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Cruise Line Review

Regent Seven Seas Cruises - Cruise Line Review provided by Cruise Critic

About

The current company, based in Ft. Lauderdale, was formed in 1994 as a result of the merger between two one-ship lines--Radisson Cruises and Seven Seas Cruises. The former contributed the Radisson Diamond, the industry's only twin-hulled ship, and the latter operated Song of Flower (which is no longer with the line). RSSC is part of Minneapolis-based Carlson Hospitality Worldwide, one of the travel industry's largest hospitality companies.

Since the late 1990s, the line has grown steadily, adding the Paul Gauguin in 1997, the Seven Seas Navigator in 1999, and the Seven Seas Mariner (the world's first all-suite, all-balcony ship) in 2001. The 700-guest Seven Seas Voyager, the line's second all-suite, all-balcony ship, entered service in April 2003. In addition, Radisson Seven Seas Cruises markets two Antarctica cruises aboard the Explorer II (typically in January).

The Fleet

What's particularly intriguing about the RSSC fleet is that while the ships share many similarities in programs and services, each has a distinct personality (nowhere else in the industry can one sail on a giant catamaran as with Radisson Diamond). The cozy Paul Gauguin incorporates the sultry atmosphere of French Polynesia into nearly all facets of the onboard--and onshore--experience. And the three most recent ships--Seven Seas Navigator, Seven Seas Mariner, and Seven Seas Voyager--all offer slightly different interpretations of a floating luxury resort.

Of course, the Explorer II is a completely different style ship and experience. The Explorer II provides 198 guests with a luxurious contrast to its rugged and harsh Antarctic itinerary. RSSC markets two cruises in January and February featuring Zodiacs, lecturers and ocean view staterooms.

Onboard Atmosphere

RSSC ships are known for spacious, elegantly appointed staterooms, and outstanding service and dining. The company boasts some of the industry's highest space-per-guest and staff-per-guest ratios. Its standard cabins--all of which are called suites--are among the most spacious in the industry. Each ship in the fleet features a Club.Com Internet center as well as a Carita of Paris spa. Beverages and gratuities are both included in the cabin fare.

Setting the tone for a relaxed cruise experience is RSSC's all-open-seating dining policy in its onboard restaurants. Each ship has the usual main restaurant (though names and themes vary), and operates on a high level that incorporates luxury atmosphere with cuisine. All also offer their own interpretations of alternative restaurants, from a more casual Italian trattoria with singing waiters to intimate fine-dining establishments. House wines and other liquor-based drinks are poured on a complimentary basis at dinner. In addition, all non-alcoholic beverages (cold and hot) are always complimentary throughout the cruise.

Popular features spread across the fleet include a "gratuity included in the fare" policy, butler service in uppermost category suites, and sophisticated entertainment and lecture programs. Top itineraries RSSC offers globe-spanning routes, touching some 300 ports on every continent, including Antarctica. Voyager sails Mediterranean, Caribbean, and Panama Canal voyages, as well as a world cruise. Mariner's itineraries include the Mediterranean, Bermuda, Caribbean, Canada, New England, and a Top of the World sailing to Iceland and Scandinavia. Navigator visits Alaska, Bermuda, Caribbean, Pacific, South America, and Panama Canal/Costa Rica. The Diamond also sails the Mediterranean, Caribbean, and Panama Canal.

Itineraries

Paul Gauguin remains in French Polynesia year-round and the Explorer II navigates the icy waters of Antarctica.

Fellow Passengers

While the age range encompasses couples from the mid-30s to -80s, RSSC primarily attracts professional and retired couples, aged 40+, who are affluent and seasoned travelers (mostly from North America, with a handful of passengers from the rest of the world). The itinerary of the ship tends to drive the age and activity levels of individual sailings. For example, the Navigator's Bermuda sailings tend to draw younger passengers and a larger number of children then one would typically find on an RSSC ship.

Cruise Critic

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