Dining on Seven Seas Splendor is outstanding and, arguably, the best we've experience at sea.
There's something for every taste, with four specialty restaurants -- covering French, Italian, American/steakhouse and pan-Asian fare -- in addition to the main dining room, buffet restaurant and Pool Grill. Passengers can dine in each of the specialty restaurants at least once per sailing and dine in the other restaurants as often as they like.
The service and quality of food in all venues is consistently high, but we love that each one has its own character and ambiance. Every last detail is thought out, too, right down to the luxury tableware and glassware that is specific to each restaurant, such as the Versace tableware in the main dining room.
For breakfast there's the main dining room, buffet or room service, while at lunch and dinner the specialty restaurants are also available.
Dietary requirements are generally well catered for, as are veggie options with a decent selection on the plant-based menu. Give the Impossible Burger a whirl.
Compass Rose (Deck 4)
Meals: Breakfast (B), Dinner (D), brunch
The main dining room has tables for two, four, and six or more, plus a flexible policy (no set times or fixed tables).
Breakfast features hot and cold items, eggs, pancakes, meat, fresh fruit and pastries, yogurt, fresh juices, teas and coffees.
Sunday brunch serves typical items (eggs Benedict, etc.), meats and sumptuous seafood offerings. Dessert features chocolate, fruit, pastry and cheese.
Dinner leans toward French/European, starting with breads and butter, and ending with mostly classic desserts or cheese. A nightly tasting menu typically consists of six or seven courses.
Always-available appetizers include meat, fish, shellfish, soup and salad; for the main course, meat and seafood, sauces and sides, and a pasta and risotto course.
Daily specials, which feature appetizers, pasta, entree, meat, fish and shellfish, plus vegetarian options, varies nightly -- Try something new each time.
Mix and match, request your dish without a sauce, or meat poached or grilled. Its case of prescription glasses helps you read the menu.
Dietary requirements -- gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian -- can be accommodated. Notify Regent when booking and upon arrival at the restaurant.
Compass Rose sets the bar high for dining onboard, with intuitive service that makes passengers feel extremely comfortable.
La Veranda (Deck 11)
Meals: B, L
The ship's buffet restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch. Wait staff will walk around the restaurant notifying passengers around five minutes before food is cleared away.
The restaurant features floor-to-ceiling windows that are lined with tables for two; tables seating four and some outdoor seating are also available.
The restaurant features different counters serving a mix of hot and cold dishes at breakfast and lunch. At breakfast, in addition to all of the typical breakfast buffet items (eggs, bacon, sausage, beans), there's an omelet station, a burrito counter and a bloody mary bar.
Wait staff deliver made-to-order dishes direct to your table when the food is ready to save you waiting around, though you will need to know your table number (imprinted on little metal placards on the table itself) to place an order. (We found this to be a bit onerous, as we ordered before we picked a table, then were told we'd have to find a table first. It does beat standing around waiting, though.)
Lunch includes a salad bar, a fish counter (with plates of seafood and shellfish over ice), a hot buffet counter featuring meat, fish and vegetarian options, plus vegetable and potato options, and a dessert counter. A pasta station allows passengers to customize their dishes.
Drinks service is provided tableside, though we noticed it was a little slow at times.
Coffee Connection (Deck 5)
Meals: B, L
The ship's cafe offers a small venue for light breakfast, lunch and snacks from a self-service counter, as well as all-day coffee and tea. Water stations are also located here.
The bright, light space features a selection of tables for two and four, and some outdoor seating. This is the place for on-the-go specialty coffees and teas, and a lighter bite in an informal setting. This popular venue is also used by passengers as a central meeting point throughout the day, with groups and couples sitting around chatting.
Pacific Rim (Deck 5)
Seven Seas Splendor's wildly ambitious pan-Asian restaurant sets the scene with a giant bronze dragon sculpture at the entrance. Inside, the restaurant is spacious, with mostly tables for two and four, though larger groups can be accommodated.
Pacific Rim is open for dinner only and serves dishes from across Asia, including Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Korean and Vietnamese. The menu features appetizers, dim sum, soups, salads, entrees and desserts, as well as fresh sushi. More than any other venue, this is the place where you should order a number of appetizers to share at your table, as the choices are vast and portions are right-sized for splitting. The drinks menu is worth noting, as a variety of hot and cold sakes are available, as are Asian beers.
Seven Seas Splendor has perfected customization and personalization, and in Pacific Rim, we put it to the test, asking for an aggressive spice level in our curried seafood laksa. The chef delivered a creamy, elegant curry dish that set our taste buds aflame -- in the best way. The dessert that had everyone talking on our sailing was the Don Papa rum cake, a decadent combination of coconut mousse, chocolate and rum cake.
Reservations are necessary at this popular specialty venue, which is open daily from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Chartreuse (Deck 10)
Meals: L, D
Located at the back of Deck 10, next to Prime 7, Chartreuse is the ship's classic French restaurant. Inside, there's a bar area to the right with the restaurant behind the front desk to the left. Tables seat two or four, while some booths comfortably seat six.
If you're a fan of French cuisine, Chartreuse is not to be missed. The restaurant feels elegant and the food and service are outstanding.
Lunch and dinner menus are written in French and English, starting with appetizers, followed by soups. The entree is divided into a fish, meat and vegetarian section and a selection of side dishes. The menu features nine appetizers, including salads, three soup options, four fish dishes, five meat dishes and just one vegetarian entree. The Alaskan king crab salad was a popular appetizer at our table and the roasted rack of lamb served with chickpea fritters is divine. The presentation is special, too, the kind you find in a top Michelin-star restaurant.
Chartreuse is not particularly suited to vegan or vegetarian dietary restrictions. We ordered the one vegetarian entree, a white asparagus dish, which felt more like a side dish to share (which is what we did) than a dish on its own.
Lunch is served at Chartreuse every other day, alternating with the neighboring Prime 7, and each evening. The lunch menu features a lighter variety of items, such as charcuterie, Nicoise salad and roast chicken. Reservations are a must at dinner.
Prime 7 (Deck 10)
Meals: L, D
Prime 7 is located opposite Chartreuse at the back of Deck 10. We like that these two specialty restaurants nicely complement each other -- with contrasting ambiance, style and type of cuisine -- Prime 7 being focused on American fare, particularly steaks.
A small bar with a couple of stools in the entrance area is suitable for predinner drinks, though you can order a full meal there at dinner as well. The restaurant is mainly made up of tables seating two and four, though tables accommodating larger groups are also available.
The lunch menu is made up of a selection of daily specials and everyday options, including appetizers, salads and sandwiches, entrees and desserts. The baby back ribs is a standout dish on the lunch menu, though be warned: Portion sizes are big so go with an appetite to match.
At dinner, the menu is broken down into appetizers, prime steaks, seafood and fish specialties, meats, small plates, sides and sauces. We suggest eating a light or early lunch if you plan on dining at Prime 7 in the evening. Steaks and other red meat options, such as lamb, are cooked to your preference, from rare to well done. The beef is all USDA-certified prime beef, originating from Black Angus cattle in the Midwest. It's dry aged for a minimum of 28 days, which gives a delicious buttery flavor and tender texture. Steaks are offered from 6 ounces up to an eye-watering 32-ounce portion, though smaller portions are available. The food at Prime 7 is terrific, and the standout dish at dinner is, arguably, the Signature Surf & Turf. It's a 6-ounce filet mignon served alongside either a 6-ounce lobster tail or Alaskan king crab legs. If you have saved room for dessert, order the caramel popcorn sundae.
Lunch is served at Prime 7 every other day, alternating with the neighboring Chartreuse, and each evening. Reservations are necessary.
The Study (Deck 10)
Hidden between Prime 7 and Chartreuse is a private dining room called The Study. It's available for dinner by reservation to passengers staying in the Regent Suite as well as guests they choose to invite. Passengers dining here can choose from the Prime 7 or Chartreuse menu -- or both -- as well as any other food they desire, whether from the ship's menu or not.
Pool Grill (Deck 11)
Meals: B, L
Located midship on the Pool Deck, the Pool Grill offers an informal alfresco setting to enjoy many of the dishes served at La Veranda each day. This is also the spot where barbecues focusing on the specialty of the ship's destination take place.
The Pool Grill also serves fast food-style dishes at lunchtime and is a nice spot for an informal, lazy lunch out on deck. It's also a perfect place to grab a late lunch when you've been ashore as service typically runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can enjoy the buffet setup here, or order from a set menu that includes burgers, pizza and sandwiches.
The Pool Grill is also home to The Creamery, the ship's ice cream station, serving sorbet, ice cream, sundaes and shakes. It's typically open until dinner time.
Sette Mari at La Veranda (Deck 11)
In the evening, the ship's buffet restaurant, La Veranda, turns into Italian eatery Sette Mari, which has a less formal feel than the ship's other specialty restaurants.
To start off, there's a small buffet made up of antipasti and salad. The menu also features antipasti items not offered in the buffet area, along with soups, pasta, main courses and desserts. Dishes are a hearty Italian affair. If you want to make it through the pasta and main course to dessert, go easy on the antipasti. An exquisite rum cake with ricotta and ice cream (Torta al Rum Con Ricotta) is waiting for you if you make it. The wine here is typically Italian -- expect prosecco and pinot grigio -- though wines from other regions are also available.
Meridian Lounge (Deck 11)
Meals: Afternoon tea
There's a daily afternoon tea, usually 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., in the ship's Meridian Lounge. The set menu features finger sandwiches and a selection of sweet treats -- all baked onboard. The chocolate afternoon tea is a standout, where every conceivable version of chocolate is served alongside a good variety of teas, from fragrant herbals to strong black options.
Seven Seas Splendor's 24-hour room service menu is excellent. Breakfast is ordered the traditional way, by making your selection on the breakfast menu card and hanging it on your suite's door the evening before. Juices, hot drinks and hot and cold breakfast items are available. The 24-hour set room menu features an excellent selection of dishes that can be ordered any time of day.
In addition to the set room service menu, you can order from the menu at Compass Rose and have a waiter serve it to you in your suite. Weather permitting, you can even have it served to you on your balcony. We love that a waiter arrives at your cabin, lays a tablecloth and serves each dish, course by course, in the comfort of your own suite. We did have an issue with our breakfast orders, where items were missing or not included.