By Diane Tierney
The ultra-luxury experience of cruising on the six-star Regent Voyager is immediately apparent when you’re greeted with champagne, escorted to your stateroom and introduced to your butler who’s wearing a tuxedo.
The 700-passenger Voyager is a mid-size ship but the difference in your overall cruise experience is enormous.
With 450 crew for relatively few passengers, the customer service is extraordinary. It’s more like being on your own mega-yacht.
Your butler (for five of the seven categories of staterooms) will unpack your luggage and look after all your needs from shining your shoes and overseeing laundry, to running errands and booking spa appointments.
While exploring the ship, you might wonder if it’s only half full. There are no crowds or lineups. That’s because the ship has one of the highest passenger space ratios of any cruise ship at sea: about 60 cubic feet per passenger – double the ratio of most cruise ships. The spaciousness is extremely noticeable and creates an incredibly relaxed atmosphere.
All staterooms have balconies and include deeply sumptuous beds, fine linens and a menu of pillows. Yes, that’s right… a menu of pillows from down-filled to firm.
The marble bathrooms have bathtubs, glass showers, the softest towels you’ve ever touched and high-end bath products. Walk-in closets are so spacious you can change in them and balconies are so large they feature reclining wicker chairs.
For public spaces, the ship has an upscale elegance featuring colours of coffee and cream, punctuated by black and white, with touches of gold, silver and blue. Even the public washrooms boast stunning black marble.
Deck 11 is the heart of the ship for its pool, hot tubs, pool bar, outdoor grill and dining areas. Loungers with thick cushy mattresses covered by custom-fitted soft towels surround the pool. In the far corners, high-end wrought iron furniture offers a cozy place to read or chat with friends.
Waiters keep a close an eye on you in case you raise your head or hand when wanting a cold drink, chilled hand towel, or reading glasses to order lunch from the pool grill menu. This crew notices nuances – or they’re simply mind-readers anticipating your needs.
Regent is known for its gourmet fine dining. The Compass Rose main dining room tables feature Versace dishware. Enormous chandeliers hang from the ceiling for glamour and sparkle, and the floors are graced with marble.
There are also three specialty restaurants. Chartreuse is for fine French cuisine, Sette Mari for Italian, and Prime 7 is a high-quality steakhouse. All meals are delicious wherever you dine. Even the La Verandah buffet and pool grill are upscale, and a server carries your plate to your table. When you order meals to your stateroom, they bring fine linens, silver cutlery and set the table for you.
High-quality entertainment and seminars
For entertainment, there are several bars and lounges with live bands, a small casino, and the Constellation Theatre is designed so everyone has a perfect view.
Entertainment isn’t extravagant, but the performers and orchestra are high-quality. For example, award-winning vocalist Jamie Michael Stewart received a standing ovation for his powerful repertoire.
Regent, who partnered with the Smithsonian, also invites interesting speakers on board such as diplomats, scholars, authors, TV personalities, chefs and experts of the destinations. The enrichment program suits the highly loyal Regent passengers who are well-heeled, well-travelled and well-educated, but far from pretentious.
Feel free to announce to all your new cruise friends, “The next round is on me” at any bar because the Voyager is an all-inclusive ship. Enjoy unlimited premium alcohol, unlimited shore excursions, unlimited Wi-Fi, unlimited specialty restaurant dining, Canyon Ranch spa access, all gratuities, ship transfers and airfare, for one price. Some suite categories include a pre-cruise hotel night stay too.
The free shore excursions are a big bonus. There are about five to 10 tours in every port to choose from ranging from fascinating city tours to winery visits with lunch. Being a small ship also means the Voyager can visit ports that the big ships can’t access.
When you ‘do the math’ you may find that an all-inclusive cruise like Regent is better value than ships that are cheap to get on, but expensive when you get off – due to the cost of drinks, shore excursions, restaurant charges, service fees and more.
And here’s another bonus, Regent accepts Canadian dollars at par for many of their voyages.
The Regent Seven Seas Cruises Voyager sails all over the world. Visit www.rssc.com for details or call 1-844-4REGENT. Diane Tierney cruised from Monaco to Slovenia. Follow her cruise travels on Facebook and Instagram @Cruiseguru.