By Debbi K. Kickham and William D. Kickham, Esq.
Editor’s note: Debbi and William Kickham filed this story just as the coronavirus was ramping up. At present, the U.S. State Department is asking Americans not to travel by cruise ship.
Wouldn’t you love to travel on the world’s most luxurious cruise ship (once the coronavirus is all over)? Well, we just did, and we’re here to tell you not to miss the boat. Regent Seven Seas Splendor is one of the finest cruise ships ever to grace the oceans.
“We want to make sure that we deliver an unrivaled experience,” said Jason Montague, Regent Seven Seas Cruises president and CEO. “We’ve taken care of every single detail.”
At fares starting at about $1,000 per person, per night, the cruise includes (among other things) your pre-cruise hotel nights, a wealth of shore excursions (which are usually cost-plus on every other cruise ship out there), all gratuities and — are you sitting down? — all of your alcohol and spirits (top shelf, by the way, not bottom or middle). So, go ahead and order all the Champagne you want — and while you’re at it, get some caviar, too.
And here’s just a small example of what sets Splendor apart the Pogessi towels in the bathrooms. These exquisitely soft linens are the type of towels you just want to sink into and we heard many passengers rave about them. All of the suites also feature 1,000-thread-count bed linens.
“Seven Seas Splendor is the epitome of luxury perfected,” added Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., the parent company of Regent. “Every ship we launch gets even better, and Seven Seas Splendor is magnificent. The collaboration between the designers, engineers, craftsmen, hotel and restaurant teams and the crew onboard, all bring the renowned Regent experience to life on this beautiful ship. Seven Seas Splendor is a celebration of excellence, friendship, success and luxury.”
From stem to stern, she’s a beauty — as is supermodel Christie Brinkley — who was asked to be the ship’s godmother. In a special interview aboard the ship, Brinkley told me, “As godmother, I’m the ship’s good-luck charm.”
Brinkley looked stunning in a black gown with long sleeves, adorned with double-breasted nautical buttons down the front. She attested to her love of the sea, ship’s anchors and all things nautical — even down to naming her daughter “Sailor.” “I wanted to instill in her a love of the sea,” Brinkley said. The entrepreneur proudly depressed a button, which sent a 1.5-liter Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut Champagne smashing against the ship’s hull to welcome the newest member of the Regent Seven Seas Cruises fleet symbolically. “My parents had cruised on Regent ships. If they were here today, they would be so excited and proud for me to be godmother to Seven Seas Splendor.”
How suite it is
Helmed by Capt. Serena Melani, a 30-year industry veteran who’s the first woman to captain a newly built ocean cruise ship, the Splendor offers her 750 guests intimate, gracious accommodations as she sails to the world’s most iconic destinations as well as less-familiar, hidden destination gems. The ship features more than 46,000 square feet of Italian marble and a $5 million curated fine art collection that is the most discerningly curated collection of museum-quality 20th and 21st century art on the seas. (Del Rio even hung a few of the paintings himself.) The 375 suites include nearly 52,000 square feet of balcony space — among the largest allocation of balcony space in the luxury cruise sector. The suites range from the 307-square-foot Veranda Suite to the lavish (and we do mean lavish) 4,443-square-foot Regent Suite.
The latter is in a league of its own. Its guests enjoy the ultimate comfort of a $200,000 Hästens Vividus custom handmade mattress and even a linen menu offering some of the world’s finest fibers.
Debbi plopped herself down on it, reveling in those high-quality linens, and could only dream of spending an entire night on this unprecedented mattress. Mary-Jean Tully — a travel agent/designer at the helm of Tully Luxury Travel of Toronto and one of the world’s most powerful forces in the travel industry — told us that she typically sleeps only five hours per night. But she spent numerous days in the Regent Suite — and happily slept 10 hours per night. Vive the Vividus. It’s the Rolls-Royce of rest.
The suite also features an in-suite spa retreat with a personal sauna, steam room and treatment area with unlimited spa treatments (sign Debbi up for a daily massage and blowout); unobstructed 270-degree views over Seven Seas Splendor’s bow from its 1,300-square-foot wraparound veranda; and a glass-enclosed solarium sitting area on top of the bridge for a captain’s view of the world’s most beautiful destinations. (Oh yes, complimentary teeth-whitening treatments are also included.)
Guests in the Regent Suite also delight in first-class air accommodations, a dedicated personal butler to manage all the details of the guests’ experience and a personal car with driver and guide in every port. The suite sells for $5,500 per night and was virtually sold out over the next six months before the virus hit, Montague said. (He also pointed out that passengers who book the Regent Suite have access to a special private dining room located right off of Prime 7, one of the new ship’s specialty restaurants.)
We know given the current situation that the Regent Seven Seas Splendor remains a dream, and we feel blessed to have had this opportunity.
But viruses abate — and dreams do come true.
For more, call 1-844-4REGENT (1-844-873-2381) or visit RSSC.com.