At least one shore excursion in every port is included on Seven Seas Splendor. Passengers can typically choose from several free options in each port that range from short two-hour trips to all-day excursions, though most last four to five hours. An additional selection of excursions can be paid for in each port. Free tours might typically include walking, bicycle or boat tours; wine tasting excursions; and city highlights and themed tours that might focus on the arts, architecture or culture. Tours generally are small, in terms of number of passengers allowed, so they feel more intimate. Passengers can, and should, book their tours ahead as places can be limited on some tours. Tours can be booked pre-cruise via the cruise personalizer.
Each excursion is rated in its difficulty so passengers know how much activity is involved. Shore excursion booking forms also indicate if meals are included, if an excursion is a seated tour and if the tour is suitable for passengers with limited mobility.
Passengers can take advantage of Regent Seven Seas' SmartGuide on selected shore excursions. The app allows passengers to hear commentary through their own smartphone and headset. Excursions with this facility are highlighted with a headset symbol.
A highlight for foodies is the ship's line of Gourmet Explorer Tours, offered for an additional fee in a handful of ports. These might include market tours in Europe or Master Chef-hosted meals paired with cooking demonstrations. Plan to eat -- a lot.
The ship also has a Destinations Services Desk located by the reception desk on Deck 5, so if you require more information on a port, you can ask for advice on attractions, how to best see a destination and how to get around. Maps usually are available, and staff are knowledgeable about the region. Passengers can also find out more about destinations and shore excursions via the ensuite TVs on channels 9 and 10.
Daytime and Evening Entertainment
During the day there are activities such as Ping-Pong, mini-golf, bocce, cornhole and shuffleboard tournaments outside, on Deck 12. Daytime entertainment inside is pretty subdued. There's trivia, lectures that take place in the Constellation Theater and a jigsaw puzzle by the coffee shop for anyone who enjoys puzzles.
The ship's show lounge, Constellation Theater, is at the front of Decks 4 and 5. The two-tiered theater is fitted with luxurious velvet seating and Art Deco detailing, which creates a glamorous Golden Era ambiance. One of the few nuances between Seven Seas Explorer and Splendor is the improved sightline on the upper tier of the latter.
Two large LED screens flank the main stage, which are used in the theater's big productions, "Crossroads" and "Diamond Run." "Crossroads" is described as the ship's blockbuster show but, for us, it didn't quite live up to this statement. The performance focuses on a showdown between the musical genres of country and rock, staged around a barn dance coming up against a rock show. We enjoyed the costumes and set design, but vocals were disappointing and the narrative fell flat.
Cookery demos often take place in the theater during the day and cabaret-style performances and comedians alternate with the main shows in the evening.
The ship's casino is located midship on Deck 4 and is open when the ship is at sea. Th space includes slot machines, gaming tables and hosts tournaments, such as blackjack, poker and Texas Hold'em.
All shipboard activities and entertainment are listed in Passages, the daily newsletter.
We love the ship's Culinary Arts Kitchen, on Deck 11, and the classes held here. The space has 18 stations, each equipped with induction cooktops, stainless steel sinks and cooking utensils. It feels high-tech, like what you'd expect from a professional kitchen. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow light to fill the space during classes.
Classes have fees, but we recommend the splurge for beginners and those who are keen to learn new skills or just perfect a couple of dishes. Experienced cooks might find some of the cooking on the basic side, but it's still fun to cook dishes inspired by the ship's destination. Knife skills and filleting fish are just some of the talents you could pick up in one of the themed classes.
Several classes also focus on destinations or styles of gastronomy, such as Flip-Flop Floribbean, which centers on the fusion of Caribbean and Floridan fare, or Mediterranean Masterpieces, which looks at the cooking of Italy, Greece, France, Spain, Israel and Morocco.
If you're keen to hone your culinary skills, book ahead; classes fill fast.
Other onboard enrichment might include a guest lecturer giving a talk on popular topics such as history, space and geography.
Seven Seas Splendor has three main bars, plus a cigar lounge and pool bar. A couple of dance floors are available, as is sophisticated lounge-style entertainment that typically finishes up by midnight. The ship's bars and lounges are a classy affair, and we love that each one offers something different with a unique vibe. For example, Meridian Lounge is the place to go for contemporary drinks, and Splendor Lounge is great for dancing. What is consistent throughout all of the bars and lounges is the service. It's second to none. Staff will whip you up a cool new cocktail creation at the bar or have your (insert the name of your favorite drink) topped up before you know it.
Splendor Lounge (Deck 4): Splendor Lounge is located outside Compass Rose and is a popular venue for pre- and post-dinner drinks. It's also were passengers will find after-dinner entertainment, with live acts such as a band or music duo performing, followed by a DJ set. There's a bar to left of the entrance and tables for two and four with plush velvet-covered chairs scattering around. There's a small stage and a dance floor to the right as you enter the venue. Splendor Lounge is a moody spot, in contrast to most venues onboard, with dark blue and black decor and vibrant artwork.
Meridian Lounge (Deck 5): Also popular for pre- and post-dinner drinks, Meridian Lounge features a large bar with bar stools, tables with armchairs that mostly seats two and four, and a dance floor. The venue hosts resident musicians, such as pianists, groups and guitarists. Meridian Lounge is the place to try the line's new experimental cocktails, with a menu featuring seven new gin creations and 19 new cocktails, in addition to the regular cocktail menu. We really like this venue -- particularly seated at the bar when you get chance to chat to the mixologists and bar staff. Craft cocktails take some time to make, so don't go in for a "quick drink"; plan to enjoy the space and ambience.
Connoisseur Club (Deck 11): An intimate spot beside the Library, the Connoisseur Club is the ship's cigar bar -- the only place smokers can smoke indoors. It's a cozy spot with leather couches, a small bar and cigars for sale. If you're a smoker or can bear the smoke from others, it's a popular spot for late-night conversation and after-dinner drinks.
Observation Lounge (Deck 11): Located at the front of the ship, with stunning views of the bow, the Observation Lounge is a stylish space used both day and night. There's a long bar with stools, leather couches and plenty of seating offering different perspectives. During the day, light fills the space from the floor-to-ceiling windows, while at night the venue is a fashionable spot -- it has the feel of a sky bar you might find at the top of a luxury hotel. Afternoon tea is served here, with trivia and the occasional lecture also held in the lounge. It's also another popular spot for late-night drinks, ship cocktail parties and dancing that takes place beneath a statement chandelier.
Pool Bar (Deck 11): A small bar located on the Pool Deck, the Pool Bar is an informal spot to enjoy a drink during the day and early evening. There's some seating, though it's limited to a few bar stools.
Seven Seas Splendor has one swimming pool and two hot tubs located on Deck 11. Children under the age of 12 are not permitted to use the hot tubs without an adult present. Babies/toddlers who are not toilet trained are not allowed to use the pool or hot tubs. Gorgeous teak decking surrounds the pool, and you'll find rows of padded wicker sun loungers covered in branded terrycloth, which give the pool area the feel of a chic country club or luxury beach resort.
Other facilities include two enclosed rainforest-style showers by the hot tubs and the glass-enclosed smoking area.
An infinity pool is located to the aft of Deck 5, accessed via the ship's spa. The infinity pool area is mostly shaded with some chairs and sun loungers, including double loungers, in the decked area around the pool.
Two spiral staircases lead from the Pool Deck to the Sun Deck above, where more sun loungers -- most unshaded -- are located. Clamshell sofas and some double lounge chairs are found on Deck 12.
Deck 12 is also where all of the ship's outside recreation, outside of the swimming pool, is located. There's a golf net, putting green, shuffleboard, paddle tennis, bocce court, cornhole pitch and running track.
The ship's medical center is located on Deck 4, along with two boutiques selling designer clothing, accessories, toiletries, Regent-branded items and luxury cosmetics.
The reception desk is on Deck 5, centrally located by the Atrium, midship. It's staffed 24 hours a day.
Also on Deck 5 is the ship's business center, which opens set hours that vary depending on the day. The business center is usually staffed and offers several computer stations and a printer that are free for passengers to use.
The concierge desk, which can be used by passengers to book services and make special requests; destination services, for information on ports and shore tours; and the cruise consultant, which offers appointment-only hours during the afternoon to discuss and book future cruises (brochures can be found in all cabins) are also located on Deck 5.
Self-service launderettes can be found on Decks 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12 and are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. Launderettes are equipped with washer dryers, irons and ironing boards. Complimentary detergent is also supplied.
Currency can be exchanged at the reception desk in some ports, though not all.
The ship's gorgeous and well-stocked Library, open 24/7, and Card Room are located side by side on Deck 11. Passengers will find a wide selection of fiction, nonfiction and coffee-table style books neatly organized in the Library, with high-back leather armchairs making it a relaxing spot to read or catch up on news.
Serene Spa & Wellness is located on Deck 5, aft, and is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The spa is accessed via a long marble corridor and features an eye-catching bronze sculpture by Alexander Krishonov in the entrance.
A seating area and an enclosed hair and beauty salon sit opposite the reception area. Once signed in, passengers are directed through to the separate male and female changing areas, which feature showers, toilet facilities and lockers containing a robe, towel and slippers. The changing area is compact, so it might feel cramped during busy periods. Amenities include shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, hair combs, razors and shave cream.
Spa treatments include facials and specialist lip, neck and eye treatments; body treatments, such as masks, detox wraps, massages, scalp treatments; and full-body rituals, such as the Deep Sea Heat Mask & Massage. Most treatments are available in either 50- or 75-minute appointments.
Couples wanting to share a spa experience can book the Serenity for Two, which is available as a Swedish massage, deep-tissue massage and Brazilian bamboo massage. They each last 50 minutes.
A highlight that's worth the splurge, the spa's signature treatment is The Regent, available in 50, 75 or 90 minutes. It involves a massage, while warm eucalyptus-infused paraffin mitts hydrate the hands and feet. For men, in addition to any of the massages and body treatments on the menu, there's also the super-charger oxygen facial, which lasts for 50 minutes.
Another favorite of ours is the Around the World Massage, which combines therapies and products from different corners of the globe: coconut poultice, bamboo, hot-stone and Swedish massage, along with various oils and scents.
Salon treatments include manicures and pedicures, makeup application, blow outs, coloring, waxing and men's grooming treatments.
Appointments are advisable as walk-in appointments are subject to availability.
All passengers get access to the separate men's and women's Hydrothermal Suites, accessed via the changing rooms. These focus on cold and warm experiences, including a sauna, steam room, experience shower and cold room. We'd like to see some robe hooks fitted so there's a place to hang your robe as you move between each of the hydrothermal experiences.
Bathing suits are not required in the individual hydrothermal experiences, though there's also a shared (male and female) area that includes heated ceramic loungers, and at the back of the spa there's an infinity pool, where bathing suites are necessary. At the back, by the pool, you can choose from upright chairs, clamshell daybeds and lounge chairs. If you're a mixed-sex couple looking to enjoy the thermal area together you might be disappointed that these areas are separated.
Passengers must be 18 years old to use the spa. Salon services are available to passengers over 16.
A suggested 18 percent service charge is added to spa services.
Although the fitness center is located on Deck 6, it is best aft accessed via the spiral staircase in the spa, on Deck 5. (If you have mobility issues, getting to the fitness center will be difficult, as all access points require climbing at least a couple of stairs.) In the fitness area, you'll find cardiovascular equipment, including treadmills and exercise bikes, and a handful of free weights. An aerobics room with cushioned flooring is also available for use.
Exercise classes that range from beginner to more advanced are held in the aerobic studio. Classes include high-intensity interval training, Pilates, yoga and meditation, and are included in the price of your cruise fare. Daily sunrise stretching typically is offered in the morning on Deck 12, weather permitting. All times, and classes are listed in the ship's daily newsletter.
In addition to the classes, personal training can be booked from $99 for 60 minutes.
A jogging track is located on Deck 12 for passengers who prefer to take in the sea air. Two loops can be combined to create a longer lap. You'll need to walk/jog/run 7.3 laps to clock up a mile.
Seven Seas Splendor has no designated kids' clubs, though children 12 months and older are welcome to sail.
On sailings that have a lot of children -- say during the summer months or the holidays -- the ship creates a makeshift club in the Card Room. Light programing -- part of the line's Club Mariner Youth Program -- is available on selected voyages. Club Mariner is designed for three ages groups: 5 to 8, 9 to 12 and 13 to 17.
Age-appropriate programing might include a visit to the ship's galley to see behind-the-scenes in the kitchen, a backstage tour of the theater, mini-putt tournaments, dance parties and movie nights.
Seven Seas Splendor is, however, very much geared toward adults.
Passengers under 18 must be staying in a cabin with an adult. Seven Seas Splendor features 20 connecting suites that are suitable for larger families and feature pull-out sofas. The two-bedroom suites might be more suited to families with older children.