Katy Brennan gets a feel for Regent Seven Seas' Grandeur

I sat down with Katy Brennan, Cruise Connoisseur and Regent Seven Seas Superfan, to talk through her first impressions of Grandeur as she sailed from Ancona to Trieste for three nights of debut-defying ultra-luxury. 

There are two clear advantages for our industry’s fam(iliarity) trips, where we’re invited aboard our partners’ ships for visits and sailings.

First, and most importantly for you, they give us the luxury cruising expertise we need — which in turn, we can pass onto you. We see what’s included, what the positives of each cruise line, ship and destination is; as well as the negatives. We meet like-minded cruisers and we better understand which cruise is right for which people. Fam trips deepen our understanding of the industry as a whole — especially what good value means — and that can only be a good thing.

Secondly, they give us time off to relax and get away from our desks. We’ve travelled all over the world for work, from the Mekong river in South-East Asia and the Caribbean’s azure waters to the Drake Passage in Antarctica and the nature’s haven in the Galápagos Islands.

Katy and I sat down in Panache Cruises’ brand-new office; the nerve centre for all our UK operations. She looked relaxed, laid-back and chilled; almost like she’d just come back from ultra-luxuriously cruising the Mediterranean with her every whim catered to.

Hi Katy, how are you? How does it feel to be back home after three days of ultra luxury at sea?

Hiya! I’m great, I’ve got my land legs back and I’m back in this gorgeous office ready-and-raring to work. I couldn’t really be better. I’m so lucky that I get to do these nice things in my job because, believe it or not, it’s work. We experience the ships and the destinations to tell our customers all about it. I’ve already had people on the phone asking about Grandeur — I’ve only been back for two days!

Katy Brennan with Regent Seven Seas Grandeur in the background

Go on then, here’s your chance! Tell us about Grandeur. What suite were you in and what did you like about it?

We were in a beautiful Concierge Veranda Suite which, of course, was lavishly appointed. I liked that the bed faced the balcony so when we woke up in the morning we had a stunning view. I liked that there was a huge walk-in wardrobe, a separate bathtub and shower in the bathroom and plenty of space for in-suite dining. I also liked that the balcony was absolutely massive with retractable deck chairs. It was lovely to have breakfast there in the morning when we couldn’t muster the energy to go to the restaurant. I liked that the suite’s bathroom was filled with L’Occitane products such as shower gel, moisturiser, bubble bath and much more. We smelled gorgeous. Oh and the Illy Espresso coffee machine is always nice to have! 

Okay, okay, I get it, it had everything you needed! What did you love about the suite then?

I loved how many mirrors there were in the suite. You could check you looked glamorous from every single angle while getting ready; not a stitch out of place! I also loved our cabin steward, Mary, who couldn’t do enough for us. She cleaned the suite twice daily and made sure everything was always immaculate. They replenished the fresh fruit bowl and kept all the drinks in the minibar topped up. When we ordered the in-suite dining, which is available 24 hours every day, she came in with white glove service to set the table for us.

That sounds like a bit of you. Where does this rank in your favourite suites you’ve stayed in at sea?

It was the very best suite I’ve ever stayed in.

Katy's suite on Regent Seven Seas Grandeur

Woah, high praise! Being an experienced cruise connoisseur, what else do you think is important for a customer when it comes to ultra-luxury cruising? Tell us about it in the context of Regent Seven Seas Grandeur.

Food, obviously. The culinary options on Grandeur lived up to their billing. There are eight dining venues on board, including some speciality venues. 

Compass Rose on Regent Seven Seas Grandeur

We were lucky enough to dine in the beautiful Compass Rose on the first evening. I can be quite picky to be honest, but the staff were so accommodating. I went off-menu and dreamt up a chicken and pesto pasta which was incredible. Everything was beautifully presented and the service was second-to-none. We even had our own sommelier for the evening, recommending beautiful drink pairings to go with our dishes. They really knew their stuff!

Other than that, I’d whole-heartedly recommend Prime 7 where we dined on the second night. It’s a restaurant that doesn’t require a surcharge; a modern steakhouse with a twist. The menu is incredible, and there are plenty of options to choose from in terms of mains and sides. Every now and then a waitress would come out with little tasters in between courses for something different to try — compliments of the chef. My favourite little snack was a mini cream of tomato and paprika soup. Just wow.  The pièce de résistance for me has to be the dessert. I’m a right sweet tooth, and this ice cream, popcorny creation was a work of art. Prime 7 was definitely my favourite Grandeur dining experience.

Food in Pacific Rim on Regent Seven Seas Grandeur

On the final evening we dined in Pacific Rim. Another must. It’s a beautiful Asian-inspired menu with lots of different meat dishes and seafood options. The décor and the ambience is so peaceful. If you love Thai curry and the other picky dim-sum-y dishes, Pacific Rim is the one for you. Chef’s kiss!

How about the rest of the ship? Any favourite public spaces?

Oh, the ship is just another work of art by the famous Fincantieri shipyard. The public spaces are all stunning, and the whole feel of the ship is light and airy; intimate but with enough space to breathe and relax. It maintains that ultra-luxurious Regent sense of traditionality, but is contemporary and sharp in all the right places.

The lobby area on Regent Seven Seas Grandeur

The lobby area was most memorable, where reception is located with the almost-ornamental glass lifts. My favourite public though was probably Grandeur Lounge. This was an area in the day or evening where Regent would have a musical duo either singing either upbeat or soft tunes, whatever matched the vibe. We would gather here for a nice drink and some nibbles in the evening. It had such a nice atmosphere to it — a great place to unwind after a day of… unwinding!

Alright, if you had to choose one highlight, what would it be?

Well, the overall experience was out of this world. From the moment they took our cases in-port and we stepped on board, greeted by a glass of Monopole Champagne, to the tidy organisation of disembarkation, everything was pretty much perfect. The whole process was seamless, and you can see why Regent is such a popular and heritaged cruise line.

The staff got ten tens from me, they simply couldn’t do enough for us. By mid-afternoon on the first day, they’d figured out that I like a little bowl of nuts to go with my white wine and they made sure I always had one. Little touches, tiny details were everywhere and that’s what makes a good cruise, great in my opinion. I honestly loved Regent Seven Seas Grandeur. She was just so classy, clean and we felt so valued while we were on board. The Regent experience really is second-to-none and I can’t wait for my customers to experience it.

It sounds like you loved it all, to be honest. Any regrets? Anything you didn’t like?

I really did. But yes absolutely one regret… We only had three nights on board! I could easily do a couple of weeks in the Caribbean on this beautiful ship!

Regent Seven Seas Grandeur is a new frontier in the world of ultra-luxury cruising. After being under construction for two years at the renowned Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, this ship promises to make the World’s Most Luxurious Fleet™ even more luxurious. She’s sailing now and available to book with a Panache Cruises connoisseur.

Call Panache Cruises on 0161 513 8200 if you want to learn more about Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

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