Regent have taken a slower approach to resumption than some other cruise lines, beginning with Splendor sailing from the UK, and the rest of the fleet will follow over the next few months, with the entire fleet back in service by February 2022. The ships will initially sail at a lower capacity, and as the situation continues to improve this will increase gradually to full capacity.
When I arrived at Southampton I was greeted by some familiar friendly faces, people who I've known for many years that work for Regent, some of whom I have been speaking to over the last 18 months sorting out various things but haven't seen for many months, so it was all very emotional and exciting. The check-in procedure was staggered, with my bags taken as soon as I arrived and plenty of people to help and guide you through the process. It was all effortless, I was tested and had my results back within 20 minutes, and then off to meet Seven Seas Splendor.
This ship has a style of her own, absolutely beautiful and carrying just 750 guests at full capacity. I have always thought these ships are a perfect size, with plenty of space and an outstanding staff-to-guest ratio. Talking of the crew, they were buzzing, so excited to be back on board and doing the job they love and do so well. The ship really was a hive of activity, with everyone chatting as they were served drinks, and the excitement was palpable.
Like the rest of the fleet, Splendor has excellent dining options, from the beautiful dining room Compass Rose to my favourite, Pacific Rim, which serves a variety of pan-Asian cuisine. The lady serving our table remembered me from Explorer, which must be three or so years ago, so that was a lovely greeting. Each restaurant has plenty of tables for two by the windows, and while some tables are currently not in use to facilitate social distancing, they are still fully dressed so you don't lose that stunning appearance when you walk into the restaurant.
The ship has beautiful lounges to sit, relax and enjoy meeting other people; the Observation Lounge was my favourite, just stunning. The casual Coffee Connection is a great place to sit and watch the world go by and remember what you have missed for so long - I had plenty of those moments while I was on board.
I managed to see a few of the suites while I was on board, which reminded me just how good the accommodation is on Regent regardless of the grade, but I must say the Regent Suite has got to be the best address at sea, with its own in-suite spa (including unlimited treatments) and 270 degree views over the ship's bow from the 1,300 square foot wraparound balcony. There are so many nice additions and touches to this wonderful suite, I really didn't want to leave!
Disembarking was very smooth and easy, saying goodbye not so easy, but I wish Splendor and the crew every success in the coming months. I know there are plenty of our clients that can't wait to be back on board.
Regent will celebrate their 30th Anniversary next year and look forward to launching the third sister ship in 2023, the Seven Seas Grandeur. This will be available to book on 22nd September 2021, so please do let me know if you would like to discuss or have any questions regarding Regent.