I Went on a $4,800 Ultra-Luxury Cruise. This Is What Makes That Price Worth It. The fare also includes roundtrip flights to and from the ship.

By Brittany Chang

Key Takeaways

  • Regent Seven Seas Cruises invited me to sail on its new ultra-luxury ship, the Seven Seas Grandeur.
  • The ship's 2024 itineraries range from $4,800 to $84,000 per person.
  • This price includes roundtrip flights, pre-cruise hotels, food, drinks, and excursions.
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Brittany Chang/Business Insider
Regent Seven Seas Cruises is all-inclusive, including flights to and from the ship, alcohol, raw seafood at the buffet, and caviar-topped dinners.

My favorite part of Regent Seven Seas Cruises' newest ultra-luxury Grandeur ship wasn't its large cabins with walk-in closets, peaceful pool deck, or even the chandelier-lined lounge.

Instead, it was a feature offered across the brand's entire fleet — all-inclusivity.

After spending three nights on the Seven Seas Grandeur, I now understand why this alone could make the ship worth its expensive starting 2024 fare of $4,800 per person.

Most people probably won't pay nearly $5,000 for the average weeklong cruise.

seven seas grandeur pool deck

The pool on the Seven Seas Grandeur was surrounded by two decks of lounge chairs. Brittany Chang/Business Insider via BI

A nearly $5,000 cruise is expensive — but when you compare that to the typical cruise, you have to consider that most operators use a different pricing model from Regent Seven Seas Cruises, which is owned by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.

Some other cruise lines often mimic that of budget airlines: Charge a cheap base cruise fare and pile on opportunities to upsell through food, beverage, and entertainment.

However, luxury cruise lines like Regent Seven Seas take the opposite approach by going "all-inclusive."

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Grandeur's  cabin balcony

All of the cabins have private balconies. Brittany Chang/Business Insider via BI

And unlike competitors like Explora Journeys, Regent Seven Seas is truly all-inclusive.

The fare includes roundtrip flights to and from the ship (business class if it's an intercontinental journey), a one-night pre-cruise hotel stay, transportation between the airport and ship, and excursions.

After sailing on the Seven Seas Grandeur's three-night "christening" sailing, it's easy to understand why wealthy travelers pay more for this luxurious and convenient option.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Grandeur' DJ

Nighttime programming includes a DJ in the Grandeur Lounge. Brittany Chang/Business Insider

Regent Seven Seas comped my stay on this non-revenue sailing attended by other journalists, travel agents, and the cruise line and its parent company's employees.

I organized my own flight there and back, which was a logistical headache when booked according to the embarkation and debarkation times — an issue traditional guests wouldn't have with this all-inclusive model.

Regent practically plans its guests' vacations door-to-door, not including transfers between the travelers' homes and their origin airports.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Grandeur's sports deck

The Sports Deck has a putting green. Brittany Chang/Business Insider

Like any all-inclusive resort, food, beverages, and onboard amenities are also included.

No need to pull out your wallet during your time at sea (unless you want a more expensive bottle of wine, a special paid excursion, or a spa treatment).

bottle of champagne in Regent Seven Seas Grandeur's concierge suite

Guests receive a welcome bottle of champagne. Brittany Chang/Business Insider

Unlike sailings with mass-market operators like Royal Caribbean, none of the menus I saw had the elusive additional dollar signs next to more premium dishes.

Instead, no matter where or what I ate or drank, I knew I wouldn't have to pay extra — even if I ordered filet mignon or lobster.

regent seven seas grandeur's food

The beef tenderloin at French-inspired Chartreuse was topped with luxuries like seared foie gras. Brittany Chang/Business Insider

As someone who eats to live and lives to eat, the all-inclusive food was the best part of the luxury cruise.

No more roast beef that's been drying out for hours — the restaurants aboard the Grandeur, of which there are five, served up options like escargot, duck, and fish and steak tartare.

pan-asian food on a table at Regent Seven Seas Cruises Grandeur's Pacific rim

Pan-Asian Pacific Rim serves up options like vegetarian pad thai and fried lobster. Brittany Chang/Business Insider

"Girl math" would decree that these all-inclusive meals are basically free.

There was black truffle, sturgeon caviar, and foie gras on almost every menu, all without the dreaded supplementary fee.

seven seas grandeur steak tartar

Chartreuse served dishes like beef tartare with sturgeon caviar. Brittany Chang/Business Insider

It turns out there is such a thing as "too much caviar" — I, a greedy diner, was tired of it by the second day.

At the one-day themed Italian lunch buffet, cured meats, cheeses, raw oysters, and freshly prepared tuna lined the open-air counters.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Grandeur's buffet

The poolside buffet had an afternoon "Italian Buffet" with several seafood options. Brittany Chang/Business Insider

Unsurprisingly, it was the best cruise ship buffet I've ever gorged on (even better because it felt financially guilt-free with no extra charges).

Travelers who drink will be pleased to hear that the wine, beer, and cocktails flowed as freely as the buffet food.

Regent Seven Seas Grandeur pool bar

Waitstaff shuttled drinks from the bar to guests lounging by the pool. Brittany Chang/Business Insider

Every bar was an open bar, and empty wine glasses at the dinner table were a rare sight throughout my three nights at sea.

Even the café's snacks, coffee, and espresso-based drinks were included.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Grandeur's coffee connection

Coffee Connection served various espresso-based brinks and light bites. Brittany Chang/Business Insider

And so were the beverages in the guests' cabins.

"All-inclusive" also entails access to the Grandeur's spa facilities.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Grandeur's cold room

Access to spa facilities like the sauna and cold room are included in the fare. Brittany Chang/Business Insider

This includes the sauna, cold room, aromatherapy room, and a small room with various water jet settings.

However, the latter was confusingly ineffective, and the cold room wasn't truly that cold.

I avoid paying for extra supplements and packages when I cruise for work.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Grandeur's atrium

The new ship has 503 chandeliers, including one in its atrium. Brittany Chang/Business Insider

In the past, this has limited my dining options. To save money, I've even passed on shore excursions.

But for the first time, I didn't have to think twice about my budget aboard the Seven Seas Grandeur: There was nothing for me to spend cash on.

dessert spread

Afternoon tea included a sizable dessert spread. Brittany Chang/Business Insider

Even smaller fees like gratuities, WiFi, and laundry are included in the fare.

Not worrying about money made my three nights at sea feel stress-free and relaxed.

regent seven seas grandeur's pool deck

The pool was surrounded by several hot tubs. Brittany Chang/Business Insider

For once, I didn't feel restricted by the amount I was willing to pay.

However, this does mean travelers will have to manage a higher upfront cost.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Grandeur's library

The Seven Seas Grandeur has a stocked library that includes destination guidebooks. Brittany Chang/Business Insider

The cheapest 2024 sailing is currently the seven-night roundtrip Miami cruise to Mexico, Belize, and Honduras, starting at $4,800 per person.

This price ranges up to $84,000 per person for the most expensive Regent Suite during the 14-night roundtrip Barcelona cruise to France, Monaco, Italy, Malta, and other Spanish cities.

Regent Seven Seas also offers cheaper "inclusive cruise fares" that give credit to guests who book their own roundtrip flights and pre-cruise hotel.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Grandeur's Prime 7

Prime 7 is the ship's steakhouse. Brittany Chang/Business Insider

Depending on the itinerary and cabin category, this could save travelers hundreds to thousands of dollars. With this option, the aforementioned cheapest 2024 cruise is $4,000 instead of $4,800.

So yes, almost $5,000 per person for a one-week vacation may seem expensive compared to options like Royal Caribbean or Norwegian.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Grandeur exteriorThe Seven Seas Grandeur joined Regent's six-ship fleet on November 14, 2024. Brittany Chang/Business Insider

But if you have the cash, crave luxury, prefer the convenience of having someone else plan your vacation for you, and don't want to spend money during your vacation, Regent Seven Seas could be a great option for you.

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