Ship Review: Seven Seas Voyager

Seven Seas Voyager is a mid-size cruise liner, but large by luxury ship standards. Sailing from Dubai this winter, we take an in-depth look at her and all she offers.

Seven Seas Voyager from Regent Seven Seas Cruises is marketed by the line as exceeding even the most stringent expectations of luxury and for a ship of her size, she is packed with more amenities than one might expect, while every single one of her cabins is a suite with its own balcony. Seven Seas Voyager is exclusive indeed.

The ship is 204.20m long (670 feet), with a gross tonnage of 42,363 making her mid-sized in comparison to the 100,000-plus gross tonnage cruise liners becoming more common in the world of ocean travel nowadays. However, the amenities and public rooms offered aboard are comparable to her larger rivals, and because Seven Seas is a luxury cruise line, the smaller size of the ship makes her more intimate, adding to the feeling onboard of exclusivity, rather than anonymity in a crowd.

Compass Rose

Seven Seas Voyager’s four dining rooms and alfresco grill offer five distinct dining experiences for her 700 guests. There is the usual Compass Rose dining room, aft on Deck 4, the flagship eatery aboard every one of the ships in the Seven Seas fleet, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in an elegant ambiance of gold, white and maroon. The Canyon Ranch SpaClub® dishes are Compass Rose’s specialities. As with all restaurants aboard Seven Seas Ships, Seven Seas Voyager’s dining rooms do not operate to a schedule and guests can eat when they like in what Seven Seas Cruises calls open-seating.

Prime 7

Signatures

The two most genteel restaurants aboard Seven Seas Voyager are the Prime 7 and Signatures restaurants, although they’re near-polar opposites of one another. The steakhouse Prime 7 to port on Deck 5 (formerly Latitudes) is reminiscent of a gentleman’s smoking room, with leather wing-back chairs and earthy colours, serving hearty food with a distinct American flare, while Signatures, also on Deck 5 and also to port, but further aft, serves food prepared by Le Cordon Bleu® trained chefs in candle lit romance and refinement.

Both restaurants require reservations and offer dinner only, probably because it’s harder to give prosaic breakfast or lunch the same sense of occasion.

La Veranda

Those looking for a less formal affair can eat at La Veranda, a smart-casual option to port and starboard on Deck 11 aft where meals are served throughout the day and the variety of choice is presented in a buffet, enabling guests to wear jeans and a shirt without feeling under-dressed. There is also an outdoor option for those who prefer fresh air, although smokers should not that they cannot light up in the outdoor area of La Veranda. However, the Connoisseur Club, Casino and Voyager Lounge, clustered together in the mid-section of Deck 4, do permit smoking indoors, while the Horizon Lounge aft on Deck 5 has an outdoor smoking area. The Pool Bar, forward and to port on Deck 11 also allows smoking. Guests should note that the super-casual ‘come as you are’ Pool Grill aft of the swimming pools also does not permit smoking, even though it is an al fresco restaurant.

Pool Deck

Seven Seas Voyager’s public rooms are immaculate and thoroughly modern, having been continuously ‘touched-up’ since the ship was launched in 2003. The Constellation Theatre, forward on decks 4 and 5 is the main show lounge, where cabaret ensembles and theatre productions are performed for a two-tier audience, backed by the nine-piece Regent Signature Orchestra. For those more interested in financial thrill seeking than theatre, the casino is a well-appointed and surprisingly elegant location considering that it offers slot machines as well as blackjack, roulette, stud poker and mini-craps.

Constellation Theatre

Seven Seas Voyager’s public lounges and bars evoke that ageless ocean voyage romance and tradition. Voyager Lounge on Deck 4 is located near the Compass Rose restaurant, the ship’s de facto main dining room, so that guests might mingle over a pre-dinner cocktail while a pianist sets the mood. With its dark blue furniture set against dark mahogany-coloured wood, this room shines at night, especially due to the bar, which necessarily dominates the room. After dinner, one might take a short stroll to the Connoisseur Club, also on Deck 4, for a post-dinner cigarette or cigar and a coffee.

As one might expect, this lounge harkens back to an old-school English gentleman’s club, although ladies are, of course, welcome. One might then head one deck up to Deck 5 for a drink and a dance in the Horizon Lounge, a viable alternative to the show lounge, while the Observation Lounge, way forward on Deck 11, with its impressive view over the bow, is a perfect spot from which to reflect and end the night. The Observation Lounge is graced with evening performances of a more subdued nature than the show lounge, so guests can enjoy any public room at any point in the evening…or day for that matter!

Observation Lounge

Entertainment options aboard Seven Seas Voyager, like other ships in the fleet, are fairly unique in that the usual Pictionary and Charades-type lounge games are replaced by what Seven Seas calls ‘onboard enrichment’. Guests are able to delve deep into their various interests with lectures by special guest speakers, workshops and classes on specific issues and themes and what the line calls “Spotlights”, which are in-depth explorations of specific topics. There is also an Internet Cafe, forward of the boutiques and Prime 7 on Deck 5, for keeping in touch with land via email, or for those who need the Internet no matter where they may be in the world – wireless is available throughout the ship and is one of the few services onboard for which guests are charged (drinks, mini-bar daily replenishment, shore excursions and room service being inclusive of your cruise fare).

Seven Seas also offers art auctions onboard its ships, including Voyager and every afternoon High Tea is served in the Horizon Lounge, complete with scones and other delicacies, such as fresh sandwiches. Shopping is another activity that is bound to appeal to the UAE-based guest aboard Seven Seas Voyager and Deck 5 will prove impressive in its selection of duty free boutiques in the shopping area.

Horizon Lounge

Alongside fine dining and superb service, spa and fitness offerings are consistently ranked by passengers as being essential to their full enjoyment of a cruise vacation and the Seven Seas Voyager Spa, run by the acclaimed Canyon Ranch SpaClub®, is a world class floating fortress of relaxation and rejuvenation. In the Fitness Centre, all the equipment one needs to stay in shape is found, along with Canyon Ranch staff to offer guidance and popular exercise classes. Regent Seven Seas, combining logic and convenience seamlessly, have placed these amenities together, in the forward part of Deck 6, where steam saunas are also available.

Fitness Centre

Out on deck, the teak-clad pool on Deck 11 is huge, belying the mid-size nature of Seven Seas Voyager, with a large heated pool framed by two whirlpools forward to port and starboard (left and right to the landlubber!). Deck 12, circling Deck 11, is the ship’s sports deck with a jogging track that encircles the ship. Up here, guests can also play table tennis, challenge one another at shuffleboard or partake in a spot of golf in the specially-designed golf cages.

Sailing out of Dubai on December 19th, bound for Singapore in Southeast Asia, Seven Seas Voyager is a first-class cruise liner for those who want to feel special and travel in sublime comfort, while exploring some of the most exotic locations in the world. Seven Seas Voyager’s destination-intensive itinerary for her 18-night Dubai departure includes many famous, as well as often overlooked locations. The ship has a 77% satisfaction rating on Cruise Critic, the popular cruise review Web site.

The good –

–       walk in shower, in bathrooms complete with L’Occitane products

–       large balconies for private in-suite dining

The bad –

–       charge for Wireless Internet, which can sometimes be slow

–       some menu options are smaller than one might think

Suites

Seven Seas Voyager offers 6 general suite categories, with variations based on location aboard ship.

Master Suite, Grand Suite, Voyager Suite, Seven Seas Suite, Penthouse Suite and Deluxe Suite

Seven Seas Voyager at a Glance:

Launched:                                                  2003

Refurbished (most recent):                     2009

GRT:                                                             42,363

Length:                                                        670’ (204.2m)

Beam:                                                           94’ 5’ (28.8m)

Capacity (double occupancy):                 700

 

Deck Plan (click to enlarge)

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