As published by Travelzoo
Low price points for cruises can often be deceiving. Once taxes and fees, flights, transfers, drinks, upgrades, specialty dining, Wi-Fi and shore excursion costs are added in, it’s easy to end up with sticker shock. If you are constantly worried about breaking the budget with this cost and that fee — you’re not really on vacation.
A cruise-industry insider put it this way: “This is how much it costs to get on the ship, but how much will it cost to get off?”
So, yes, you pay more upfront when you take a Regent Seven Seas Cruise. But if you’re looking to take a luxury vacation where almost everything is taken care of, here’s why it’s one of the best values out there.
1. Everything is included for one price. Really!
Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Mediterranean voyages start at $6799 per person, for example — but it’s a single, upfront price, and compared to other luxury cruise lines, you could easily end up paying less at the end of the day.
The only surprises are good ones: business class air with intercontinental flights; hotel stays; spacious all-suite, all-balcony accommodations; personal service; creative enrichment programs; and unique unlimited shore excursions in every port you visit are all included.
2. Business class flights to and from your cruise!
Airfare is an extra cost for most cruise vacations. For international flights, Regent Seven Seas Cruises books you business class tickets with all the perks that come with them — airport lounges, attentive service, food, wine and a more comfortable start and finish to your vacation. Once you land, transfers to your hotel or directly to the ship are also part of the package.
3. Bigger is not always better …
Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ vessels are the opposite of mega-cruise ships, allowing for a more personalized, intimate experience with a staff-to-guest ratio of, at most, 1 to 1.5.
Their ships can visit less-traveled ports that larger ships can’t access — like Zakynthos, Greece, known as the “Florence of Greece;” secluded Kotor, Montenegro, an UNESCO World Heritage site; or Rijeka, Croatia, home to the Trsat Castle, where guests can catch stunning views of the old city.
4. … Except when it comes to your suite.
Smaller ships, bigger suites — even the “base” suites are the size of regular hotel rooms, and 98 percent of them come with private balconies. All suites include a marble bathroom, sitting area, in-suite mini-bar replenished daily, a walk-in closet, L’Occitane or Guerlain bath products, plus a welcome bottle of champagne and fresh fruit. Twenty-four-hour room service is included if you prefer to dine on your balcony and breathe in the sea air between bites.
5. Sophisticated? Yes. Pretentious? No.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises has an “elegant casual” dress code, which means daytime dress can include t-shirts, shorts and jeans; evening wear can range from polo shirts and slacks (no shorts or jeans) to black tie formal, so you really have the freedom to wear what you feel like.
The sophistication comes through more in the onboard programming, which includes featured lecturers who provide insights far beyond what you’d get from a guidebook. We’re talking authors, television personalities, art historians, former diplomats and other experts. Imagine, for example, speaking with a professor who directed excavations at archaeological sites around the Mediterranean just before you step off the ship to explore these same sites. Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “deeper understanding,” right? The featured scholars stay for the whole voyage, so if you’re lounging by the pool three days after the talk when a question strikes you, chances are you will still have time to ask it.
6. Take advantage of unlimited shore excursions.
There are hundreds of experiences available — all included — from active adventures to excursions that cater to those with limited mobility.
Explore museums, historical towns, art, culture and nature with guidance from local experts, without paying more. Take a guided pub crawl in Antwerp, Belgium; day-trip from Rome to the scenic island of Genoa; see the hilltop villages in Saint-Tropez, France; ferry from Mykonos to the Island of Delos to explore ruins and ancient Greek mosaics; bike through charming Lucca in Tuscany; or kayak the Dalmatian Coast in Dubrovnik, Croatia. And if an excursion books up early, they’ll try to add more sessions so that you don’t “miss the boat.”
7. A foodie favorite cruise line for a reason!
On other cruise lines, the best dining options are specialty restaurants that cost extra. With Regent Seven Seas Cruises, that’s the everyday menu — and you don’t pay more for it.
Offering “some of the best food on the seas” (Travel + Leisure), three onboard restaurants serve a variety of world cuisine (French, Pan-Asian and fine steakhouse fare, for example.) Yes, the whole Maine lobster is included, along with choices like jumbo lump crab cakes, Korean barbecue lamb chops, poached Chilean sea bass and escargot in burgundy-dijon sauce. Every menu has vegetarian options, and vegan, diabetic-friendly, gluten-free and Kosher meals are all available upon request.
Aboard the line’s newest ship Seven Seas Explorer (which the cruise line deems “The Most Luxurious Cruise Ship Ever Built”), guests can also head into town with the Chef Instructor from the Culinary Arts Kitchen at various ports to shop for fresh local ingredients, and then prepare gourmet destination-specific cuisine during a hands-on cooking class.
8. Drinks are on the house.
That means just about all drinks — including fine wine and premium spirits, from Montaudon Brut Champagne to Grey Goose. So yes, you can have your Tanqueray and tonic.
The mini-bars in suites are stocked with wine, beer and spirits as well. Going thirsty is not something to be concerned about.
Don’t drink alcohol? The Observation Lounge hosts daily themed tea times (often with live music) so guests can enjoy diverse teas and coffees.