Glamorous sophistication and impeccable service make this ship luxury perfected, says Liz Jarvis

With its sparkling white hull and 500 chandeliers, Seven Seas Splendor dazzles. It looks and feels like a swanky hotel, but what really sets it apart is the ambience. What you’re hoping for when you step on to a cruise ship is to be wowed, at the same time as feeling instantly at home and relaxed. Despite the lavish décor and $5million specially curated art collection (there are even works by Picasso and Miró on board), Splendor manages to convey both warmth and gracious hospitality while still being unapologetically opulent. 

Helmed by Captain Serena Melani, the first woman to captain a newly built ocean cruise ship, everything about this ship feels unique and high-quality; service is impeccable, the design aesthetic contemporary and refined.  

Favourite spaces ­include the glamorous Observation Lounge, with its glittering glasswork by Duncan McClellan; and La Veranda, which features over-water alcove seating, giving you a closer connection to the sea. Even if you don’t manage to nab one of those tables, it’s still delightful for dining al fresco. Other highlights include the Culinary Arts kitchen, which has 18 stations for its very entertaining interactive cookery classes (you also get to keep the apron and recipes). A giant bronze dragon rises up through the floor to welcome
you to Pacific Rim, the Pan-Asian restaurant; the main restaurant, Compass Rose, is bright and contemporary, with a stunning grand chandelier as its centrepiece, while Chartreuse, the French restaurant, evokes elegant Parisian chic. 

Entertainment can be found in the rather splendid two-deck Constellation Theatre as well as the Lattitudes Lounge, and there is also a Monte Carlo-style casino. The Serene Spa exudes a cool, New York-city spa vibe, and it has a decent-sized gym. There is also a jogging track, plus one of the most elegant pool areas at sea, with whirpools and adjustable loungers.

With capacity for 750 guests, there are 375 immaculately appointed suites on board Splendor, each with a spacious balcony, and no matter the grade all have the same superlative attention to detail; Italian marble bathrooms with multi-jet showers; illuminated mirrors; Illy coffee makers; mini-fridges stocked with drinks; L’Occitane toiletries; supremely comfortable beds; pashminas for chillier evenings on board; and plenty of room for loungers on the spacious balconies. Veranda staterooms are furnished with flair in luxurious tones of oyster, bronze, silver and gold.

And for the ultimate in decadence, the Regent Suite, designed by Sweden-based Tillberg Design, has a hand-crafted king-sized bed and its own in-suite spa retreat.

Splendor is a sister to Regent Seven Seas Explorer, which was billed as ‘luxury redefined’. This ship, Regent’s President and CEO, Jason Montague, tells me over dinner, is ‘luxury perfected’. That’s a bold claim, but actually, I think he’s right. With Christie Brinkley as a godmother, Regent Seven Seas Splendor is definitely an uptown ship. 

GETTING THERE

A seven-night sailing on Regent Seven Seas Splendor, departing on 7 December 2020, and sailing round-trip from Miami to the Caribbean starts from £4,519pp. The price includes return flights, plus unlimited beverages, including fine wines and spirits, unlimited shore excursions, wifi, speciality dining, pre-paid gratuities and transfers. For details visit rssc.com