Regent Seven Seas Cruises is in its first
year as the renamed and rebranded cruise line once known as
Radisson Seven Seas.
The most obvious
difference to returning passengers would be that the line decided
to include most alcoholic beverages in its cruise prices this year,
joining the ranks of Silversea, Seabourn and SeaDream Yacht
The move leaves
Crystal as the only luxury cruise line to charge separately for
change in policy, Regent President Mark Conroy said that he had
noticed that on earlier itineraries on which liquor was included in
rates, such as Regent's world cruises, passengers were more social
and got out of their suites and into public areas more.
On a recent
Caribbean sailing on the Seven Seas Mariner, veteran Regent guests
concurred. The new policy made the ship seem livelier, they
"There are far more
people having pre-dinner cocktails now," said one guest who had
cruised several times with Regent. "It's nice because you might
talk to someone at the bar and then decide to have dinner
A woman from
England traveling with her husband remarked that while she didn't
mind paying for the drinks separately, her experience was
heightened by not having to think about it.
"You don't have to
think about having your card and signing the bill or who's picking
up the bill," she said from a poolside lounge chair.
Of course, some
guests felt that because they didn't drink much or at all, they
shouldn't have to pay a higher cruise price.
Ship employees said
the new policy did not result in passengers drinking more alcoholic
beverages. On this sailing, crowds were generally sparse at the
lounges and bars at night.
But according to
Regent, consumption of alcohol on its ships has increased 15% to
20%, depending on itinerary, since the implementation of the new
One passenger habit
has changed: A cruise officer noted that before the policy shift,
guests would take their glasses with them to bars and lounges after
dinner because wine always came free with the meal. Now, they leave
them behind, half full.
People seem to be
drinking more coffee, too. The Seven Seas Mariner went in for a
makeover last March and came out with a new coffee bar on Deck
The area was so
popular during the cruise that it was hard to imagine the ship
didn't have it before.
refurbishment also included an upgrade to all the Seven Seas
Mariner staterooms, which were outfitted with new carpeting, bed
linens, duvets, cashmere throws and bath amenities.
To contact reporter Johanna Jainchill, send e-mail to [email protected].