Big League Luxury RSSC Explorer will leave clients wanting more... of the same
by Vanessa Lee
Regent Seven Seas Explorer
RSSC Explorer suite
I wrote an admittedly effusive article2 wk. ago about the stunning, glamorous and glorious Regent Seven Seas Explorer which, in my mind is likely THE most beautiful ship sailing in the world today. If you missed it (I hope not) please take time to read that article as I believe it will help provide insight into the ship herself, but more importantly where RSSC is going, how they are defining their brand and, ultimately, why your high-end, top of class clients will want to sail this ship and what they can expect.
Of course she's beautiful; but she's more than that. She's a statement and she's an indicator of what luxury cruise and hotel guests are seeking -what they want, why they want it and, ultimately how you can ride the wave to more sales, increased revenue and higher commissions. And have your highly valued guests come back from their cruise experience wanting more - a whole lot more of the same.
We need cruise lines to build this kind of ship with an inordinate eye to detail and with luxury abounding at every corner. Ships that are sexy, smart, tactile and which provide a remarkable, seamlessly effortless and marvellous vacation to savvy customers who know what they want and will not accept less - and nor should they.
First of all this is quite a large ship at 56,000 tons but only carries 750 very pampered guests. And this is one of the keys - there are 552 crew and staff catering to the needs of those guests which is a formidable ratio for service happiness. The suites are large and so are their verandas with room for dining and sunning.
I have waxed lyrically about the sumptuous décor and the exquisite fixtures already, along with the Versace china and beautiful crystal chandeliers. So enough of that – the key is that this ship is breathtaking, time and time again. As your guests embark I guarantee you, that their breath will be taken away and the air will be filled with many “oohs and aahs”.
The designers of the ship have said on several occasions that their mandate to deliver “the most luxurious ship in the world” was a lofty one but they have achieved it and indeed surpassed it. And what is also important is that the design and execution had “to anticipate the needs and wants of the guest”. I can tell you that this has occurred. And several members of the 3 design teams stated to me more than once that, “ the sky was the limit in choosing details and being able to express our design plans”. Silverleaf in the ceilings comes to mind for me when I recall that, as do the hand-crafted crystal droplets in some of the chandeliers - each hand-blown, one by one. Equally the goal was, “to bring back luxe to travel as in the 20’s and 30’s”. That era was also a source of inspiration for some of the public spaces.
As Frank Del Rio stated, “This is the 1st new RSSC ship in 13 years so I knew it had to be the best”. And also that, “ our intended audience are upscale, mature people throughout the world”. He also mentioned that Michelin won’t rate cruise cuisine but if they did he feels confident that RSSC would win a Michelin star (and perhaps more than one – my words) and he has given himself a mandate to try and change that. And well he might!
Further to the cuisine, it was pointed out to us that each restaurant has a different concept and design, which one would expect, but that also the staff in each have different uniforms, each chef is different and each restaurant also has its own galley. And you may have also read that the chefs earn more than the Captain – a quote I love. And naturally then each restaurant gives guests a unique experience. Another point which affirms some of the detail on the Explorer is that overall there are 85 uniforms for staff on this ship – and staff are all engaged and smiling and attentive and ever-present.
Del Rio wants to build a brand – not one ship at a time - and a brand has to have equivalents so each ship must assimilate to some degree. Interesting point and one I agree with. Note their plans for refurbishment of the existing fleet and when I toured the newly “fluffed and buffed” Navigator in the Med several weeks ago, I have to say that they have done a very fine job.
Another point from Del Rio –“the world is getting richer and the farm team is the contemporary and premium products and they will graduate to the big leagues” – which is where RSSC sits in the Luxury category of course. He also states that RSSC is a couples cruise with an average net worth of USD 2 million per couple and that less than 4% of guests on RSSC and sister company, Oceania cross-pollinate. Something else I found to be of interest.
So there you have it – a little more depth about Regent Seven Seas Cruises and the Explorer and some insight into the thinking of their corporate leader and the kind of guests that are being attracted to the brand.