Spacious Seven Seas Voyager

SeaDream & VoyagerThis is Ralph Grizzle, editor of The Avid Cruiser magazine. Yesterday, I talked about my cruise on SeaDream II, which carries only 110 lucky passengers. After disembarking SeaDream II in Nice, I made my way back to Rome to board Regent Seven Seas Voyager.

Seven Seas Voyager carries 700 passengers and has the highest space ratio of the four ships I cruised on in May. What that means is that Seven Seas Voyager has more space on a per passenger basis.

Here’s a breakdown of the space ratios on my four cruises:

Emerald Princess: 36
Seadream II: 39
Seven Seas Voyager: 66 (note: audio says 59, erroneously reported in the Berlitz Complete Guide To Cruising & Cruise Ships 2007)

and the ship I haven’t talked about yet, Crystal Symphony: 53

By contrast, Silversea Cruises Silver Whisper has a space ratio of 73.

So Seven Seas Voyager felt roomy and uncrowded. Although the ship was full, it did not feel that way.

Staterooms (or actually they’re called suites on the all-suite, all-balcony ship) were the largest of the four ships I sailed. The smallest measure 356 square feet with the balcony. And all feature large and beautiful bathrooms with separate tub and shower.

Weak points: Actually they could be considered strong points, because the excellent reservations-only restaurants – Signatures and Latitudes – book very quickly. Do yourself a favor and reserve the day you get on board.

Also, although Seven Seas Voyager was built in 2003, it’s in need of some upgrades, such as flat panel TVs that are so popular on ships today. They’re coming soon, I’m told.

Also coming soon: new fitness equipment, and a dedicated coffee shop.

Brochure rates for seven day cruises from Venice to Rome in the Class H (356 square feet including the balcony) work out to be $1056 per person per day, but check with your cruise seller. You may end up paying half of that.

Fares include select wines and spirits served throughout the ship and gratuities.

Both SeaDream II and Seven Seas Voyager were the only alcohol inclusive ships I sailed on.

Regent only began offering free alcohol in January, and the new policy has been widely applauded. I talked with one widow who said her husband would have loved the new policy. She said he was kind of “thrifty” and that each time they went down the restaurant for dinner, he would ask if she wanted a glass of wine, secretly hoping that she didn’t.

Instead of enjoying a cocktail in their staterooms or on their balconies, people are gathering in the public areas.

I’ve posted an interview below with Hotel Director Engelbert Lainer-Wartenberg about how the new policy has changed the social dynamic of the ship. This is Ralph Grizzle. Thanks for tuning in.

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