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Year’s first new cruise ship debuts ahead of Florida arrival

The busy year in new cruise ships got started with the delivery of the Regent Seven Seas Splendor, which will make its way to Miami in February.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises, the high-end line of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, which also runs Norwegian Cruise Line and Oceania Cruises, got its hands on the fifth ship in its fleet at a ceremony at Fincantieri’s Ancona, Italy, shipyard last month.

The sister ship to 2016’s Regent Seven Seas Explorer, which was billed as “the most luxurious cruise ship ever,” Seven Seas Splendor is what the all-inclusive line calls “the ship that perfects luxury.”

The 750-guest vessel will have once again some of the largest balconies at sea, and that’s for every passenger of this all-suite ship. The checkboxes for luxury are in play with 46,000 square feet of Italian marble, a multimillion-dollar art collection strewn across the entire ship and even crystal chandeliers along every deck hallway.

The highest-end suite, the 4,443-square-foot Regent Suite, features a $200,000 Hastens Vividus custom handmade mattress, in-suite spa retreat with a personal sauna and steam room on top of 270-degree views from the ship’s bow from a 1,300-square-foot wraparound veranda. Those passengers get their own butler and personal car and driver in every port.

For those not as well off, the ship will once again feature the largest exquisite dining options, including main dining room Compass Rose, Pan-Asian offering Pacific Rim, Prime 7 steakhouse, classic French cuisine at Chartreuse and Italian fare at Sette Mari at La Veranda, which has added specialty seating in an over-water alcove not seen on Explorer. Passengers can also get their inner chef on at the Culinary Arts Kitchen, the popular concept borrowed from sister line Oceania Cruises, that’s used for 90-minute-long classes.

The ship features more than 600 crew members. It will debut out of PortMiami with a special christening ceremony with godmother Christie Brinkley on Feb. 21. It will use Miami as a starting and stopping point as it sails the spring to San Diego and then New York, but will return in November 2020 for round-trip voyages from the port.

Florida will see a whole fleet of new cruise ships in 2020 including new cruise line Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady arriving to Miami in March, and Carnival’s largest ship ever, the LNG-powered Mardi Gras that features a roller coaster, as well as the renamed and refurbished Carnival Victory, turning into Carnival Radiance, both coming to Port Canaveral in November.

Port Everglades will see three new ships in November with the arrival of the second Edge-class ship from Celebrity Cruises, Celebrity Apex; Florida’s first home-ported Quantum-class ship Odyssey of the Seas and the fifth Royal Class ship from Princess Cruises, Enchanted Princess.

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