Our expectations for Regent Seven Seas Grandeur couldn’t have been set any higher.
The ship’s tagline: A heritage of perfection with unrivaled space, unparalleled service, exceptional cuisine and transformative experiences.
Soon after the newest ship of the ultra-luxury line arrived at its winter home port in Miami this week, my husband and I were fortunate to have been invited onboard.
We spent three days on a fast turnaround Caribbean sailing that allowed us a first peek at Grandeur to see if it lived up to the promise and hype.
We were part of a media group joined by travel advisors, people involved in bringing the new ship to fruition, and invited loyal guests who were repeat cruisers on the five other ships in the Regent fleet: Navigator, Mariner, Voyager, Explorer, and Splendor.
Getting to know Grandeur
The ship accommodates up to 746 guests with 548 crew members in 15 different categories of suites.
With such a high crew-to-guest ratio, service feels pampered and someone is always on hand to answer a question, or help with or anticipate requests.
To us, the ship feels right-sized. It is large enough to offer a range of different spaces and amenities and small enough to feel intimate. Even after a few days, faces begin to look familiar.
Spread over ten decks, there is ample space throughout. Tables at restaurants are nicely spaced; seating in lounge areas is always available; high-speed elevators are never crowded; and in an era when some are still COVID-avoidant, you don’t feel like you are on top of other people.
Boarding the ship
Entering the two-story Atrium Lobby on Deck 5 left this first-time visitor breathless. Your eyes are immediately drawn to the brilliant chandelier reflected in the marble floor below.
The muted color scheme throughout the ship—grays, sands, greiges, and creamy whites—feels elegant.
Designed by the award-winning Studio DADO, each public space is elegant, refined, and welcoming—offering glamor without glitz. At every turn, I marveled at the fine craftsmanship and details of the bespoke furnishings, fabrics, wall coverings, floor materials, and moldings.
Though ardent cruisers, we had never been on such a stunning vessel.
A multi-million dollar art collection
With a curated art collection of more than 1600 works valued at $6 million, the ship feels somewhat like a floating museum.
The beauty of the art is complemented by unique installations and lighting. Moreover, all of the art is accessible—up close. We were surrounded by fine art in every public space, in restaurants, and our stateroom.
A soaring, nearly 40-foot tall, intricate hand-woven tapestry, “The Enchanted Tree” by Brazilian artist Walter Goldfarb, can be viewed from top to bottom as guests descend the glass elevators in the Atrium.
An extraordinary bronze and hand-cast glass Bonsai Cherry Tree sculpture, “The Enchanted Tree,” welcomes guests to Pacific Rim, the ship’s Asian-fusion restaurant.
Other works in central guest areas include pieces by Picasso, Rauschenberg, Matta, Sophie Elizabeth Thompson, and Eduardo Arranz-Bravo. The multimedia collection consists of sculptures, original paintings, photographs, and more that have been sourced from artists and galleries across the world.
“Journey in Jewels,” a Faberge egg, is the crown jewel of the art collection. The bespoke piece was created through a partnership with the legendary jeweler. The outer shell of the ombre enamel egg is composed of seven waves of deep blue, representing seven seas, with an ocean spray of pearls.
To enhance the guest experience, Regent has created a digital art tour (downloadable from the App Store and Google Play) that passengers can download via a mobile app for an immersive, self-guided experience while they are on the ship.
No matter the length of the cruise, it’s likely guests will never be bored or feel limited due to Grandeur’s wide range of culinary options, which include five specialty restaurants.
During our mini-cruise, we enjoyed sampling lunch at Chartreuse (contemporary French cuisine); and lunches and dinners at La Veranda (the informal cafeteria-style with a sumptuous buffet); Sette Mari (the Italian ristorante); and Compass Rose (the main dining room.) Everything was tasty and beautifully plated.
We missed Prime 7, the New York-style steak house, and the Asian-fusion Pacific Rim but our fellow travelers gave both of them excellent reviews.
What we liked best about Regent Seven Seas Grandeur
On a small ship that has everything (including a small casino), it’s hard to pick the best of the best but these are a few of our favorite places and spaces.
Our gracious, spacious stateroom
The space, soft colors, plush European bedding, and efficient twice-a-day housekeeping service made us wish we could stay onboard forever.
We were assigned Suite 779 (a category E stateroom) on Deck 7 (Grandeur is an all-suite ship with 373 staterooms).
Our suite was beautifully appointed with a comfortable sitting room (with a table that accommodated room service breakfasts); a king-size bed that faced out to the balcony and ocean; a marble and stone detailed bathroom; a minibar; a walk-in closet and a private balcony.
Storage space in the cabin was more than ample. The very large walk-in closet had multiple rods, cubbies, and drawers to stow all our belongings and suitcases, and an eye-level electronic safe. It was large enough to use as a dressing room. In addition, there were 10 more drawers and more than sufficient horizontal counter space in our cabin.
The bathroom had a double sink; full-size tub; shower with sliding glass door, rainshower head, and handheld; incredible soft towels, and L’Occitane amenities. The number of drawers and shelves in the bathroom, too, made it easy to fully unpack and feel at home.
Our private balcony, well over 300 square feet, was larger than we’ve found on most other ships. Having full cushions on the deck chairs (brought in each night by the cabin steward) added to their comfort.
Open dining at Compass Rose
Cruisers can’t live by specialty restaurants alone so it’s nice to find a main dining room on a cruise ship a just-as-good option.
The architecture, design and craftsmanship of Compass Rose (located on Deck 4) combine to make the room simply dazzling in appearance. Photographs don’t do it justice.
You feel as if you are dining under a canopy of faux trees with illuminated crystal trunks dividing the space. Under the leaf-patterned ceiling, soft colors are paired with rich marbles and woods, and tables are generously spaced from one another so the experience feels intimate, even in a large room.
The extensive menu had two sides. On the always available side, we could choose from fish/seafood or meat dishes with your choice of sauces, sides, and pasta. Essentially, you could curate your dinner menu. The right side of the menu listed daily specials.
We chose a rack of lamb and NY ribeye steak at dinner on our last evening of the cruise; both were perfectly cooked and beautifully presented.
Our server, Joseph, paced our meal perfectly and our food and beverage service was impeccable. Compass Rose is open daily for breakfast and lunch so one might easily opt to dine there during an entire voyage.
Not just another library
Ship libraries are often an afterthought, sometimes tucked in a corner. Not this one.
The library on Grandeur is one of the most relaxing and evocative spaces on the ship. Open 24/7, the French-style decor and furnishings transport readers to an intimate Parisian bookstore. The carved ceiling is a work of art in itself.
Readers might even fall asleep on a comfortable day lounge beside the ocean.
The diverse and large book collection includes volumes that immerse readers in the history and culture of the ports they will visit as well as all the others on any possible bucket list. Some rare books in the collection will appeal to any bibliophiles.
Spectacular Culinary Arts Kitchen
The Culinary Arts Kitchen on Grandeur is one of the most popular onboard destinations. The concept, created by Regent Seven Seas more than a decade ago, has since been expanded and refined across the fleet.
Professionally outfitted with 18 stations, the kitchen with a sea view offered a series of 90-minute culinary classes (two a day) led by Chef instructors. Designed for aspiring home chefs at every level of proficiency, guests can receive highly individualized instruction during these sessions, aided and abetted by modern technology.
The class I attended on Grandeur was led by Chef Kathryn Kelly, an amazing chef/educator who is the conceptual architect of the Culinary Arts Kitchen. We learned how to make simple pasta dishes and a crepe dessert. Both courses were paired with a destination-inspired aperitivo that made for a relaxed ambiance.
Not only did we get to taste our preparations but also we got to take home recipes and learn new cooking techniques.
The onboard wellness sanctuary
The setting of the Serene Spa & Wellness on Grandeur (located on Deck 5) sets the tone for an unparalleled luxury wellness experience at sea.
Trained staff offer a menu of restorative treatments and activities including massages and body wraps (spa treatments are one of the few add-on charges).
Guests at this full-service spa can take a journey through the steam room, cold room, sauna, and more at their own pace or guided by a staff member.
After treatments, the outside deck has three individual hot tubs and lounge chairs facing the ocean that offer a great place to relax and absorb the glow of the spa experience. (We also learned that you can take advantage of this deck even without booking a spa treatment).
Active guests will also enjoy the jogging track located on Deck 12 and the Fitness Center beyond the spa. Classes in Pilates, yoga and aerobics are offered and the center is outfitted with spinning bikes, dumbbells, treadmills, Technogym Strength Machines, and workout mats and benches.
The Coffee Connection
Part coffee bar, part coffee shop, and part gathering place, guests at the Coffee Connection can enjoy specialty coffees prepared by an in-house barista—and choose from a changing menu of light sweets, pastries, fruits, sandwiches, cheeses, charcuterie, and more.
Located at a central location on Deck 5, it’s a popular place for people to meet or grab a quick breakfast on the go. I fell in love with a macchiato drink (my first) served by the Italian barista.
Overall experience on Regent Seven Seas Grandeur
Yes, we were impressed with the unrivaled space, unparalleled service and exceptional cuisine. In addition, the elegant design, decor, and attention to detail were far beyond anything we had previously experienced.
While many cruise lines advertise all-inclusive pricing, Regent Seven Seas most closely approaches that promise. We never once had to put our hands in our pockets.
Cruises on Regent ships include: airfare, transfers between airports and the ships, unlimited shore excursions, 2-3 night land excursions on select voyages, unlimited beverages (including fine wines and spirits), open bars, en-suite mini-bar replenished daily, no-fee specialty restaurants, 24-hour room service, unlimited WiFi, valet laundry service, and pre-paid gratuities (see more details on these inclusions and more on the Regent website)
In an era when tipping has gone wild, we especially appreciated not feeling compelled to calculate a tip to a server after every drink or meal.
One disappointment on our voyage was the quality of the Wi-Fi connection. Although internet service on ships can always be spotty, satellite technology has been improving across the industry. The complimentary Wi-Fi on Grandeur fell short of our expectations as was the additional fee to get an upgrade.
It took Regent Seven Seas six years and an estimated $535 million to build Grandeur from conception to launch. Having sailed on one of Regent Seven Seas’ earlier ships, Navigator, we believe the architects of Grandeur have incorporated feedback from their guests to build upon the line’s heritage of perfection.
Indeed, this new ship does raise the bar in terms of decor and design to create an ultra-luxury sailing experience.
All photo credits: Irene S. & Jerome Levine
Disclosure: The author was a guest of Regent Seven Seas Cruises but any opinion expressed in this post are her own.