During a recent cruise on the Regent Seven Seas Mariner, I indulged in a new level of luxury and leisure. The individualized, upscale, six-star accommodations managed to raise the bar, for me personally, to a much higher threshold as we coasted through the Caribbean.
This was my second cruise on the line and it has somehow, to my surprise, been able to improve on perfection. Formally called the Radisson Seven Seas, their parent company, Carlson,, has separated the line from Radisson, placing it under The Regent brand of luxury hotels and cruises. As part of The Regent Experienceâ€?, their cruises regularly showcase a lineup of guest chefs and wine experts preparing signature menus with exceptional wines for a truly gourmet dining experience.
The ship isnâ€™t huge in comparison to many of the other cruise liners, but it feels grand once youâ€™re onboard. A 700 passenger all balcony vessel, it was voted â€śBest Small Cruise Lineâ€? in the Travel & Leisureâ€™s readersâ€™ survey of 1999 and 2001, and awarded â€śShip of The Yearâ€? in 2002 by the Ocean and Cruise News. Theyâ€™ve implemented a pod propulsion system that provides vibration free cruising â€“- so my Dramamine never left the bathroom cabinet.
Our itinerary had us stop in Key West and Nassau, Bahamas where we enjoyed guided tours and lounging on private tropical beaches, but the best part was not having to coordinate anything beyond getting yourself on and off the ship for excursionsâ€“ if you so desired.
They have the usual ship amenities like business services, a beauty salon, art gallery, and library, but the dĂ©cor throughout the place is 1st class. Itâ€™s top notch, all the way. The line cruises through Europe, the Mediterranean, the South Pacific, Russia, and Scandinavia. You can even do the Alaska or Antarctica venue for a taste of frozen wilderness.
Global development for Regent is at an all-time high with a bunch of new world-class hotels popping up all over the planet. Three of which will be close to my home in Florida on South Beach, in Bal Harbour, and Winter Park (an affluent town near Orlando). All to showcase the incredible ways that they can transform the average dope into a VIP. Let me just tell you…once you are fortunate enough to spend some time being pampered and spoiled by the Regent staff, your tastes will change somehow, perhaps subconsciously. Iâ€™m warning you. You may become an incurable â€śhospitality snobâ€?!