A Cruise Holiday For The World’s Wealthiest
Guest blogger Lewis Nunn gives us his opinion of Seven Seas Voyager and Oceania Cruises Marina after a day visit in Southampton
Before your heart palpitations begin, don’t panic. It is not a requirement to have the bank account of a world’s wealthiest; though you’ll certainly be treated like one. Mid-summer last year, I was invited to attend a Luxury Cruise Expo in Southampton, organised by CLIA (The Cruise Lines International Association).
This two-day event consisted of many luxury cruise conference sessions along with two luxury cruise ship visits. These two multi-million-pound vessels were Oceania Cruises Oceania Marina, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises Seven Seas Voyager.
Oh, hold on a moment, I haven’t introduced myself. My name is Lewis Nunn and I’m a Luxury Cruise & Travel Blogger at The Luxury Traveller. The Luxury Traveller is a luxury cruise & travel blog featuring cruise & travel tips, exotic destination guides and 5* trip reviews from around the world.
Day 1-Regent Seven Seas Voyager. Seven Seas Voyager is a 677-foot luxury ship, carrying 700 guests in an all-suite all-balcony accommodation. Fresh from refurbishment, the vessel holds an elegant style throughout her lounges, restaurants, and décor. Sailing off into the sun, guests can relax in one of the many bars such as the Deck 11 Observation Lounge where passengers glean stunning panoramic views. As for entertainment, passengers seeking a thrill can partake in a few hands of blackjack in the onboard Casino. Or catch one of the many musicals, cabaret shows and cirque-style productions in the Constellation Theatre; all complemented by the backing Regent Signature Orchestra.
The first thing I noticed onboard was the noise, there wasn’t any! Instead of a loud, party-like atmosphere, I was sent into a state of complete tranquillity. Finding myself whispering at every opportunity and tip-toeing across the velvet carpets. I must point out, some of the onboard suites were bigger than my own house! This vessel is painted with designer furniture, crystal chandeliers and vast amounts of artwork.
Is anyone hungry? Onboard, I had the pleasure of experiencing a 5-course lunch in the ships main dining room; Compass Rose. My menu consisted of luxury cuisines such as the Caviar, Fois Gras, and a luscious mouth-watering steak. This was the moment I began to see the difference between mainstream cruising and ultra-luxury cruising.
During the conference sessions onboard, I was very lucky to hear a talk from John O’Ceallaigh (pronounced O’Kelly), Luxury Travel Editor of The Telegraph. This gentleman possibly has the best job in the entire world. Experiencing and reviewing every luxury hotel, airline, restaurant, and cruise ship in existence. In great detail, he spoke about the future of luxury travel covering elements such as Virgin Galactic. If you don’t know already, Virgin Galactic is a new concept being created by Virgin Holidays in order to allow customers to travel to space. Currently priced at £250,000 per passenger!
After an eye-opening life-changing day onboard Seven Seas Voyager, it was essential that the next day of the Luxury Cruise Expo be just as high standard. I wasn’t disappointed!
Day 2-Oceania Cruises Marina. Oceania Marina has an elegant ambiance present throughout the ship complemented by the many activities available onboard. There are six open-seating gourmet restaurants onboard such as La Reserve offering many seminars, tastings, and gourmet food pairings. For those hoping to delve further into their own culinary skills, the onboard Culinary Centre offers a hands-on cooking experience from multiple master chefs. Entertainment is certainly not a short option, with many musical performances such as live pianists, a classical string quartet, and dynamic vocalists. After an evening of relaxation and entertainment, passengers can head back to their spacious ultra-luxury suites decorated with lustrous fabrics and original pieces of artwork. Or reside on the spacious private teak veranda, enjoying a cocktail as you drift off to slumber.
Delicately stepping onboard, the first element of the ship you notice is the sparkling Lalique Grand Staircase; certainly setting the tone for the rest of the ship. Nearly double the capacity of Seven Seas Voyager, Marina carries 1,250 passengers. Yet, she doesn’t feel bigger or overcrowded. This cruise experience is definitely aimed at travellers who appreciate comfort, fine dining, sophistication and utter pampering.
Oceania Cruises claims to have the finest cuisine at sea, and I must agree! In The Grand Dining Room, I enjoyed a four-course lunch consisting of lobster risotto, Oceania’s famous seabass and a taste bud tickling dark chocolate mousse.
In a conversation with Oceania managing director, Bernie Carter; I asked him to describe the difference between Oceania Cruises and mainstream cruise lines. “There’s certainly no rock climbing walls, zip-lining or surfing simulators for sure. But if you want the comfiest bed at sea, your very own movie room inside your cabin, a grand piano, private bar, ship-wide Wi-Fi, many Jacuzzi’s, incredible food and butler service to even wipe your sunglasses if they steam up; then join us onboard."
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Until next time, Bon Voyage!