“Your suite is now prepared for you to take residency. Welcome home.”
That announcement over the speaker system was how my cruise aboard the Regent Seven Seas Mariner to Alaska began. And that was only the beginning of the difference in cruising with Regent Seven Seas Cruises (RSSC).
I have cruised with Princess, Celebrity, Holland America, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Viking. I’ve also toured ships Carnival, Silversea, Oceania, MSC, Windstar, Cunard, and Cruise West ships. Most all of the aforementioned cruise lines feature snippets of luxury touches throughout their cruises. Whereas the RSSC Seven Seas Mariner was the world’s first all-suite all-balcony 6 star luxury cruise ship.
My suite was a category F Deluxe Suite (more than adequate at 300+ sq. ft.). It was exceptionally well laid out and very comfortable.
The flat screen TV was on a swiveling mount so that I could position it facing the bed or the sofa depending on where I was watching from.
Most lights had independent controls so you could keep only the ones on you wanted on. The temperature control system worked perfectly. The bathroom and shower were very spacious and the fan combined with the open space kept the mirror and everything fog free throughout.
The only thing I would caution you about is that if you are over 6’ 1” tall like me, you might want to opt for a suite with shower only. I had the shower/tub combo and when standing flat the top of my head touched the ceiling (I’m about 6’2”). Aside from that one thing to keep in mind, all accommodations onboard this ship are very comfortable.
I had the opportunity to have been invited into several of the larger suites and really liked them! My favorite are the aft Seven Seas Suites (category SS) because of the huge decks (sufficient to host a party for 10+) with no significant breeze which provided panoramic views while listening to the churning of the water below. Also, although not indicated on the deck plan, some triple occupancy suites can be configured to accommodate a family of four with ease.
The service was outstanding! At 50,000 gross tons with a guest capacity of 700 and a crew of 445, when full the crew to guest ratio is 1:1.57 …and they’re all more than willing to make your experience as relaxing and enjoyable as possible.
I’m confident in describing the crew as consummate professionals of the service industry. No matter what I wanted (a beverage, assistance with luggage, something not readily available in the venue I was in but absolutely available elsewhere onboard), all I had to do was begin to request it and it was already half done or on the way! I’m not kidding.
When I was dining in La Veranda in the aft of Deck 11, I was telling my table mates about how good one of the specialty coffees I’d had two days prior was and how I could sure go for one right about now. One of the waiters nearby overheard me and politely informed me that he’ll have one to me within a few minutes time. Unbelievable! (And potentially dangerous if they’d heard me talking about the crème Brule; even without their assistance I think I averaged two a day). Although just one little example, there were so many instances of this over the top service that there are too many to list. Simply put, that’s just how RSSC does it.
The dining onboard was fantastic and then some. Every venue was sensational. La Veranda (mentioned above) is the “buffet” restaurant, Compass Rose is the main restaurant, Prime 7 is a specialty steak restaurant (by reservation only, no additional charge) and Signatures is a specialty French restaurant featuring a Le Cordon Bleu menu (by reservation only, no additional charge).
I am not forgetting about room service, it just has a different location for every guest. The variety of cuisine options was almost overwhelming, but each of them was planned, prepared and presented exquisitely.
The other more casual walk-up/seat yourself food and drink areas were equally excellent (Pool Bar/Grill, Coffee Connection, Horizon Lounge, Observation Lounge etc.).
During dinner, a different included red and white wine was featured every night. Granted many wines and a very long list of spirits are fully included 24/7, there are always premium wines and spirits available for purchase should you desire something more exclusive.
It’s an understatement to say that I indulged throughout the week, but am happy I did so that I can write this comprehensive review without making any assumptions.
The entertainment onboard was very good. I attended a few of the evening shows and they were outstanding.
There was one of the Regent Singers that stood out though; she performed an Aretha Franklin tribute night after completing a musical in the main show lounge that blew everyone away; just amazing.
The other public amenity spaces were well used and enjoyable, including the library, deck space, Stars Nightclub, casino, and of course the spa.
Enrichment lectures held in the main theatre every day were well attended and raved about. Yes, they do have some destination and cultural highlights playing on one of the RSSC TV channels in your suite, but there’s no substitution for attending a live event where the host is eager to interact with everyone and answer your questions. There’s no cost or registration required to participate in any of the lectures onboard.
The other guests onboard were all wonderful people. RSSC guests are often professionals in their 30’s through 50’s + with the average age, in my experience, being 40 to 45, plus or minus 5 years or so.
The relaxed country club casual environment onboard RSSC (there are no formal nights) coupled with their service and all other aspects of the cruise experience makes it very understandable why it’s so popular with those that lead very busy day-to-day lives with great responsibility.
In short, traveling with RSSC is the polar opposite. RSSC is also the most popular 6 star line for family travel. In the summer time more than 10% of their guests are under the age of 17.
The inclusivity of an RSSC cruise vacation experience is unparalleled. Wine and spirits, gratuities, specialty dining, specialty coffees, soda, and bottled water are all included.
A wide selection of shore excursions in every port is also included.
Roundtrip airfare and transfers for nearly every voyage are included [if you don’t require this, like me living in the home port or if you plan to arrange flights with points, etc. you can opt for an air credit (a discount off the air inclusive fare)].
There are a few things that you could choose to spend money on such as premium alcohols, souvenirs from the boutique shops, spa treatments, and art auction acquisitions.
So I know you’re wondering; what was your bill at the end of the cruise? Answer: $0. I would have bought an RSSC coffee mug but they were sold out. The inclusivity contributed to the overall relaxation of trip tremendously because anything you desired was merely a notion or request away from being provided; not once did I have to sign for anything; actually, the only time I used my ship ID card was to check in and out of the ship and unlock the door to my suite. It was very, very nice.
In conclusion, this was my first RSSC cruise and it won’t be my last. Their slogan “luxury goes exploring” is truly a perfect description of what it’s like. I can appreciate that it may not be the right fit for your very next trip, but I sincerely hope you treat yourself to RSSC at some point in the future while you’re able to fully take advantage of and enjoy every aspect of the trip; perhaps to celebrate a special occasion like a milestone birthday, anniversary, or other significant personal achievement.
If after reading this you’re inclined to begin exploring options to cruise with Regent, please contact me at 1-800-565-2784 as we have some fantastic phone-in offers.Wes Ewing
t: 604.737.8100 -ext. 128 | t: 1.800.565.2784| f: 604.737.1672