Why my trip on board Regent Seven Seas Cruises' Grandeur was an unrivalled experience

Out of the corner of my eye I can see it, glinting and shimmering in its ethereal beauty.

I've been on board Regent Seven Seas Cruises' newest ship The Grandeur just five minutes and its talisman acquisition, the Fabergé egg, is winning the battle for my attention as I hand over my passport to the ship's reception.

Commissioned bespoke for Regent and the only Fabergé egg to reside permanently at sea, this is by no means the only jewel on board this vessel. A $6m 1,600-strong art collection demands your gaze throughout, with original Picassos, sublime sculptures, a 40-foot-tall hand-woven tapestry and other aesthetic gems at every corner.

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But then this is no ordinary ship, and eggs and Pablos respectfully aside, the biggest piece of art is the Grandeur itself.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises' GrandeurRegent Seven Seas Cruises' Grandeur
Regent Seven Seas Cruises' Grandeur

At just over 56,000 tons and 224m long, the 12-deck Regent flagship is not the biggest boat on the seas, but nevertheless packs a powerful punch - unsurprisingly from the elite cruise line, billed unashamedly by themselves, as The World's Most Luxurious Fleet™.

Speaking of punches, let's pull none here. Being at the top of the sea tree means prices are higher compared with more mainstream lines, but for that magical experience, perhaps if only a once-in-a-lifetime for some, this is a bucket-list must.

So what elevates this experience on board Grandeur above your regular cruise? It doesn't take too long to see why.

Wherever your Dior deck shoes take you (mine were Matalan actually) on the plush and lush carpets, elegant decor and stylish contemporary furniture compete to turn your head, with highly-polished timbers, magnificent marbles and gleaming metals reflecting light from the sun or from the ship's 503 beautiful themed chandeliers.

Our luxurious Superior Suite on GrandeurOur luxurious Superior Suite on Grandeur
Our luxurious Superior Suite on Grandeur

The immaculately maintained staterooms are divine, with opulent soft furnishings, a bed to die for, a fully-stocked and constantly replenished fridge, L’Occitane toiletries and a bottle of champers on arrival. Valet laundry service is also included.

Just picture luxury, and I'll leave the decor eye candy there for now.

What immediately jumped out at me was how quiet the ship seemed to be. Were most of the guests offshore? Sleeping off last night's banquet?

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No. The simple fact is Regent takes pride in giving people 'unrivalled' space, accommodating fewer passengers on board than the ship could easily manage, to give customers that sense of room and freedom.

The beautifully ornate Compass Rose restaurantThe beautifully ornate Compass Rose restaurant
The beautifully ornate Compass Rose restaurant

Indeed on our voyage there were 809 guests on a ship that could have easily hosted double or even triple that number.

So, for example, no battle to secure a sunbed here - oh and what a sunbed this is! With no tape measure to hand in my media kit, I'm guessing that the comfy plush mattress with monogrammed cover atop was some six inches thick.

"I won't want to get up," said my wife, and who would want to, when smiling, professional and very attentive waiters are at hand to serve you up all manner of delightful drinks and cocktail concoctions.

And that's another thing. Despite fewer guests per square foot on board, that's not the same with staff. In fact, the guest to staff ratio was 1.36 to 1. In other words, for every four passengers there are three crew members, so expect unrivalled (there’s that word again) service.

Picturesque MontenegroPicturesque Montenegro
Picturesque Montenegro

Dining, as you would expect, is a triumph. There are seven experiences - eight if you consider that 24-hour room service is also included.

The Compass Rose is the ship's main restaurant for everyday dining - and I use that word with some trepidation as this is by no means 'everyday'.

Turn up anytime for your evening meal here with no reservation and be greeted at the entrance with a feast for the stomach and the eyes, with an elaborate metal and crystal waterfall sculpture flowing from a backlit onyx skylight.

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This astonishing piece welcomes you into the magnificent main dining room, where a canopy of trees intertwine to form a glimmering lattice above. Pretty tables bedecked with Versace charger plates make way for steaks and lobster - always on the menu here - with other daily epicurean delights to seriously tempt the tastebuds.

Sette Mari at La Veranda offers traditional Italian fare, again with no reservation needed in the evening, and this restaurant also serves breakfast and lunch earlier in the day, along with the Pool Grill.

By reservation only there are three speciality restaurants - Prime 7, Chartreuse and Pacific Rim.

Prime 7 Steakhouse restaurantPrime 7 Steakhouse restaurant
Prime 7 Steakhouse restaurant

Prime 7 is a steakhouse second to none, bedecked with wing-back leather chairs and burnished wood decoration serving up dry-aged prime cuts of steak and lamb washed down with complementary fine wines recommended by the knowledgeable sommeliers. My excellent fillet and lobster 'surf and turf' combo was preceded by an onion soup that still lingers favourably on my tongue!

Expect chic Parisian fine dining in Chartreuse, but with views of the Eiffel Tower swapped for amazing ocean vistas.

We watched the sun set over the horizon as we enjoyed a menu featuring modern French dishes including halibut viennoise with fennel, porcini, spinach and veal jus; soupe de poissons with brandade, mussels, aioli and seed crisp; and velouté de champignons consommé, egg yolk confit and truffle cappuccino.

Pacific Rim is an eye-opening tour de force, where guests are greeted by a full-size custom-made bronze and hand-cast glass Bonsai Cherry Tree.

This gloriously ornate restaurant celebrates the flavours of a diverse, colourful continent with a plethora of pan-Asian dishes that we found hard to have to choose from...so we didn't!

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Cue a series of sumptuous starters including tempura lobster, duck confit spring rolls, chicken and foie gras gyoza - I could go on, as did my waistline. And we still had the main course to come!

All food and all drink on board is in with the price, as are prepaid gratuities, wi-fi and the excursions ashore - as many as you can and care to go on, save a very few where an extra fee is applicable.

So on our journey we witnessed the World Heritage site marvels of Ephesus from the port of Kusadasi, the 'active' volcano on Santorini with its breathtaking views, the incredibly picturesque towns of Kotor and Perast in Montenegro surrounded and dwarfed by majestic mountains and geology akin to that of the Norwegian Fjords, and a relaxing cruise down The Bosphorus, the river which separates the two halves of Istanbul and indeed, the two continents of Europe and Asia.

Once back on board, fed and watered to perfection, evening entertainment is a generally relaxed affair with three entertainment venues offering karaoke, live music from the ship's resident duo and guest vocalists and comedians.

The pinnacle of the entertainment programme however was from the wonderful voices of the Grandeur Production Company , whose amazing West End-quality harmonies were superbly backed by the resident Grandeur Orchestra in a number of shows in the Constellation Theater.

Entertainment continues throughout the day with all manner of activities including pickleball, social bridge, mah jongg, shuffleboard – all leading up to a delicious afternoon tea if your trouser/skirt elastic allows.

I’m clearly running out of space to mention the spa, the gym, the pool, jacuzzis, shops to name but a few and so I’ll sum up in three words: Luxury, indulgence and (complete) satisfaction. An amazing experience that, for me, so far, is indeed unrivalled.

Departing on 16th April, 2025 for 12 nights, the all-inclusive Travel Through Time voyage from Istanbul to Venice (Fusina) on board Seven Seas Grandeur with fares from £8,409 per person.

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FARES INCLUDE: All-Inclusive Cruise, unlimited shore excursions, unlimited wifi throughout the ship, unlimited beverages, including fine wines and spirits, throughout the ship, speciality restaurants, transfers between airport and ship, return flights, pre-paid gratuities and valet laundry service.

For other cruises, visit rssc.com

Grandeur Facts

For a 10-night voyage, Seven Seas Grandeur carries:

● 1,200 lbs of lobster

● 1,000 lbs of filet mignon

● 500 lbs of smoked salmon

● 500 lbs of chocolate

● 20 lbs of caviar

● 1,500 bottles of champagne

● 5,000 bottles of wine

● 65 white varieties of wine, 130 red, five rose, six dessert and 18 varieties of champagne

and sparkling wine. The most expensive being a $2,500 Promontory Napa Valley wine

● 308,647 lbs of marble

● 503 chandeliers

● An art collection costing $6 million

● 1,600 pieces of fine art including multiple Picassos, a nearly 40-foot-tall hand-woven

tapestry and the first Fabergé egg to reside permanently at sea

● 791 flower arrangements / vases

● A crew of 39 different nationalities with 24 languages

● $200,000 Hastens Vividus bed in the Regent Suite

● 104 individual ports in 2024

● 92,512 nautical miles in 2024


Regent Seven Seas Cruises has unveiled the name of its newest ship that according to the company will once again set a new standard for luxury vacations.

Seven Seas Prestige, which will be delivered in 2026, will be the first of two new Prestige-Class vessels and Regent’s first new ship class in 10 years, following the tremendously successful Explorer-Class vessels launched in 2016, 2020 and 2023.

“This is a truly historic moment for Regent Seven Seas Cruises, as we name the next ship to join The World’s Most Luxurious Fleet as Seven Seas Prestige,” said Andrea DeMarco, President of Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

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“Seven Seas Prestige continues our legacy of revolutionising ultra luxury travel as she will transcend luxury in every way. This incredible new ship will be the epitome of timeless elegance, exemplifying Regent’s commitment to excellence which is reflected in every aspect of her elevated design and exuding an ambiance of sophistication and refinement.”

Holiday Extras

With an early flight we got our holiday off to a perfect start with a hotel stay and parking arranged by Holiday Extras.

Holiday Extras is the market leader in UK airport parking, hotels, lounges, and transfers – and last year its customers saved an average of £191 per trip by booking their airport parking in advance.

Booking meet and greet airport parking means you can enjoy more holiday with less hassle. Plus with Flextras, if you need to cancel or amend you can without charge. One night’s accommodation at the Holiday Inn Express with Breakfast and eight days’ Meet and Greet Parking at Terminal 2, Manchester Airport is available for £180.00, based on arrival on 14th August 2024.

For more information and to book, visit HolidayExtras.com or call 0800 316 5678.

1903 Lounge

1903 is Manchester Airport’s premium lounge and a visit there before a flight continued the perfect start to our holiday. It offers fantastic views of the airfield and the lounge has its own team of chefs providing freshly cooked food and premium drinks, cooking them up in front of guests in 1903’s theatre kitchen.

The 1903 lounge gives diners access to a constantly-rotating menu of freshly prepared hot plates, pastries and snacks, plus self-service bars serving complimentary premium alcoholic and soft beverages, including Champagne and locally-produced artisanal spirits. Passengers will also be able to make use of unlimited free Wi-Fi.

The lounge is priced from £49.99 per person when booked in advance.



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