Seven Seas Splendor's christening was a ladies night

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Seven Seas Splendor godmother Christie Brinkley bestowed the blessing in front of travel advisors, media and VIP guests inside the Constellation Theater.
Seven Seas Splendor godmother Christie Brinkley bestowed the blessing in front of travel advisors, media and VIP guests inside the Constellation Theater.

MIAMI -- It was all about the women at the Regent Seven Seas Splendor’s christening, a lavish black-tie ceremony at PortMiami Friday night. 

Model and entrepreneur Christie Brinkley served as the godmother of the 750-passenger ship, bestowing the blessing in front of travel advisors, media and VIP guests inside the Constellation Theater.

Brinkley and high-level executives lauded Capt. Serena Melani for being the first woman to launch a cruise ship straight from the shipyard.

“I just think it’s so exciting that our Capt. Melani is a woman,” Brinkley said to a group of journalists before the ceremony. “It’s an incredible responsibility. It takes an incredible amount of calm and just knowledge to be able to know what to do in any circumstance.”

“Being the first woman in the cruise industry to be appointed as the master of a new ship at launch is very significant for me and, of course, I think for the industry,” Capt. Serena Melani said.
“Being the first woman in the cruise industry to be appointed as the master of a new ship at launch is very significant for me and, of course, I think for the industry,” Capt. Serena Melani said.

Melani said she was proud to see the ship being built at the Fincantieri shipyard in Ancona, Italy. She is originally from Italy but now calls Croatia her home.  

“Being the first woman in the cruise industry to be appointed as the master of a new ship at launch is very significant for me and, of course, I think for the industry,” Melani said. “To all the female officers out there, and I’m happy to say the numbers are growing, my achievement should serve as proof that you can accomplish anything by putting in effort and perseverance and passion.”

A prediction of storms and high winds moved what was supposed to be a dockside ceremony indoors to the Constellation Theater, which stretches over two decks and has plush seating with tables for drinks. The weather also delayed the scheduled midnight departure to Key West to 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Grammy Award-winning singer Seal capped the ceremony with a performance that included his own hits “Kiss from a Rose” and “Crazy” and covers of Frank Sinatra’s “Luck Be a Lady” and “That’s Life.”

The Splendor is the fifth ship in Regent Seven Seas’ fleet. The luxury ship is similar to the Seven Seas Explorer, which debuted in 2016. That had been the company’s first new ship in more than a decade. 

This new ship, which cost about $460 million to build, contains all the trappings of a luxury liner, including seven dining options and six bars and lounges. All of the suites have balconies.   

“She is the most luxurious cruise ship ever built,” said Frank Del Rio, CEO of parent company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. “I used to say that about the Explorer, but I mean it this time about the Splendor. Every time we launch a vessel, they get a little bit better. That’s what every ship owner tries to do.” 

The ship has a Culinary Arts Kitchen with 18 individual cooking stations. 

It is adorned with about $5 million worth of fine art, including works by Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro. 

Ship godmother Christie Brinkley and Regent Seven Seas Cruises CEO Jason Montague watch as the Seven Seas Splendor is christened with a bottle of champagne.
Ship godmother Christie Brinkley and Regent Seven Seas Cruises CEO Jason Montague watch as the Seven Seas Splendor is christened with a bottle of champagne.

The staff-to-guest ratio is 1 to 1.36. Penthouse Suite closets are larger than those on the Seven Seas Explorer -- 43 square feet versus 24 square feet.

The Regent Suite has a hand-crafted $200,000 Vividus bed from the Hastens brand in the master bedroom. 

“Seven Seas Splendor truly delivers on the concept of luxury perfected. She set a new benchmark in our industry,” said Regent CEO Jason Montague.

The inaugural season will feature destinations in the Caribbean, North America and the Mediterranean. 

Journeys will go from seven to 26 nights. Starting rates vary depending on the length of the cruise. A seven-night voyage could start at about $8,000 per person. A 26-night cruise could begin at about $18,000 per person.

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