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When a new ship represents a true leap in design, there is a domino effect on the other vessels in the fleet in order to keep the brand integrated and please customers who have become accustomed to the look.
The 738-guest Seven Seas Explorer, Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ first newbuild in 13 years, will debut in July and bring a whole new look to the brand, with elegant stone and wood and subtle colors. Now, the company has also announced a two-year, $125 million investment to bring the Explorer aesthetic to its three other ships. The overhaul to Seven Seas Navigator is set to be completed April 13, Seven Seas Voyager is slated to finish in late 2016, and Seven Seas Mariner will debut its revival in the spring of 2017.
At a recent company event in Miami, Franco Semeraro, senior vice president of hotel operations for Prestige Cruise Holdings, parent company of Regent, detailed the transformation of Navigator.
“Every suite and public space will be touched,” Semeraro said, noting that the changes will have many echoes of Explorer, along with some of sister company Oceania Cruises’ most popular concepts, such as its library with cozy fireplace.
Viewing images of the spaces before and after makes it clear that the refurbishment will be extensive — more of a rebuild — with reconfigured rooms and entrances, raised ceilings and new lighting. The look is more elegant and contemporary, with rich, darker woods; polished stone walls with metal inlays; gold and silver leaf; and sparkling chandeliers everywhere.
The reception area will look sophisticated in black and crystal decor, with features such as a backlit onyx ceiling light and marble inlay floor. Flagship restaurant Compass Rose will have its ceiling raised, a new chandelier, a warm gray, silver and blue color scheme, an expanded wine cellar and a silver-leaf wall. La Veranda Buffet will have sleek and contemporary decor, with stainless steel replaced by stone and a porcelain tile floor that looks like fine wood. The casino will have new walls and a lounge area, and tables will be lower, with the look of a Las Vegas VIP area.
Semeraro notes that the Galileo Lounge is being taken down to the bare steel, with fiber-optic stars in the black ceiling and a solar system abstract on the tempered-glass entrance, which will have a sunburst handle. The lounge will also have an extended wood-inlay dance floor.
In deluxe suites, there are sweeping changes and carefully thought-out details. The cabinetry is being replaced with darker wood, complemented by padded leather headboards. There are pivoting, interactive HDTV screens, and plugs are set next to the bed for charging devices. Even the reading light has been improved. Regent’s custom new Elite Slumber Beds adjust to the body without the kind of heating up experienced with memory foam, and they have therapeutic silver threads woven into the construction.
Navigator’s entire refurbishment will be completed in a 12-day marathon, after which the ship will spend the summer season in the Mediterranean and late fall in South Africa. In 2017, Navigator will launch on Regent’s first world cruise in six years. Beginning and ending in Miami, the cruise will circumnavigate the globe in 128 nights, calling on six continents and 31 countries. Pent-up demand for this cruise was quite impressive: 70 percent of the ship was sold on the first day bookings opened.