To my immense delight when stepping aboard into the sparkling atrium the ship looked beautiful. The undulating grand staircase below a modern looping chandelier set the tone for the rest of the ship as subtle greys and creams are accentuated with striking lighting and a touch of shimmer plus some stunning art (more on that later!).
Entering my suite for the short 3-night sailing I was welcomed as any Regent guest would expect, by a warm and friendly housekeeping team and a chilled bottle of Champagne.
Whilst getting settled my butler, a Regent veteran of 10 years, introduced himself and offered helpfully to press as few items for me as the guest laundry wasn't yet available, not that it ever gets much use - with laundry, along with almost everything else, included in the fare.
My Penthouse Suite was incredibly comfortable, with a generous seating area separated from the bedroom, with the clever use of two sliding pocket doors which when opened into the wall by the foot of the bed giving an expansive feel to the room yet afforded complete privacy in the bedroom when closed.
The well-considered layout allows for a dressing room (leading off the entrance), a dining table ideal for two, comfortable seating area and bedroom. The large bathroom can be accessed from both the dressing room and bedroom giving a wonderful flow to the space. Décor is light and modern as it is throughout the ship.
Seven Seas Grandeur is the third in class, following the launch of Seven Seas Explorer and Splendor, and the popular culinary options are repeated with Pacific Rim, Prime 7 and Chartreuse comprising the smaller "speciality" restaurants where a reservation is recommended although at no additional charge.
The main restaurant, Compass Rose, is also a staple of the Regent fleet however the space on Grandeur has been made extraordinary by a glowing canopy of lights that reach up from the floor to branch over the entire ceiling, creating a truly magical dining venue.
More informal dining choices are available, with the pool grill proving a popular spot on a sunny and surprisingly warm November day in Dubrovnik. Whilst in port some enjoyed a choice of included shore excursions, standard on a Regent cruise, whilst those in the know headed to the expansive spa with 3 large whirlpools at the back of the ship.
The more active could be found on the padel tennis court or trying out the shuffleboard, bocce court, putting greens resembling famous courses or even in the gym on deck 6 with views from the large aft windows, and Coffee Connections provided a welcome caffeine-stop-come-meeting-point for friends.
During a day at sea Regent offered their famous brunch in Compass Rose, an extraordinary spread including salmon en croute, sushi, sweet treats galore and too many other delights to mention.
For those sticking to a traditional schedule the lunch menu at Prime 7 (where Picassos adorn the walls) was said to be even better than the evening options, high praise indeed as this was my favourite on board. An afternoon tea served in the Meridian Lounge made for the perfect sweetener for the quiz held there after.
Whilst many indulged in the culinary delights I thought the interactive art tour on board might offer some nourishment for the soul so via the Regent app Sharon and I dived into the experience. Beginning in the Atrium we were guided from piece to piece with short videos providing insight into the artist behind the work on a 30-45min tour. Rather than providing an overly prescriptive explanation of the individual pieces - art is subjective after all - the app presented short films focused more on the process rather than the piece.
The joy of the tour was to highlight pieces that you might not otherwise find the time to consider, like the huge tapestry hung above the atrium which stretched almost to the rooflight some 7 floors above. It also directs you to some, but not all, of the ship's more striking pieces, such as the Tree of Life - a stunning cherry blossom sculpture at the entrance of Pacific Rim.
The pinnacle of the tour, and the multimillion-dollar art collection, is an exquisite Fabergé egg titled Journey in Jewels, a permanent exhibit at sea. Taking inspiration from the ocean it's been specially commissioned and taken over a year to create.
Colours of sea greens, deep blues, subtle turquoise and pearl feature across a cascading, waterfall-like three-tiered base whilst the treasure within is wrapped in seven waves to represent the seven seas. Hidden from public view during my time on board, the plinth on which it will be displayed stood empty but I can say with confidence that its delicacy and beauty will enchant you, just as the ship will do.