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
“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.
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
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
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.
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
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