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Joanandjoe

RSSC Changes Name To Regent

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Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, in a move that has been rumored for years, has finally announced it will change the name of the cruise line to Regent Seven Seas Cruises (nicely, the RSSC abbreviation still works as does the www.RSSC.com website). In a "fleet christening" ceremony held today at New York's Asia Society, Marilyn Carlson Nelson, the chairman and CEO of Carlson, RSSC's parent company, made the announcement and then waved a bejeweled wand and pronounced the cruise line's name change. It doesn't actually go into effect onboard until Wednesday, March 8 and ships' smokestacks will get the new logo this spring.

Carlson, which launched RSSC in 1992 by combining Seven Seas Cruises' Song of Flower with Radisson's Diamond (both ships have since retired from the fleet), picked up the luxury-oriented Regent Hotels five years later. The crux for the company has long been that the cruise line, which pioneered many of today's most significant luxury accouterments, from all-outside staterooms to all-balcony suites to butler and concierge services, is upscale while Carlson's Radisson Hotels, which share the name, are resolutely mass market. The small-but-growing Regent chain of hotels, with properties in places like Shanghai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Taipei, Berlin, Zagreb and Beverly Hills (and with nine new builds on the way) seemed a better fit.

The name change itself won't mean much to passengers once they get used to it. But more significant evolutionary features were announced today as well. For one, the fleet of four ships will, throughout the next 18 months, receive significant upgrades that include wireless capabilities (and improved computer connections), new bedding that will feature down comforters and Egyptian cotton linens, and Regent-branded bathroom amenities. Staterooms will all get flat screen televisions, DVD players and new clocks. Higher end suites receive as well iPod music systems (with Bose speakers). And cell phone access will be available even at sea.

What was intriguing even more than the upgrades which, let's face it, all luxury lines (and even most mass market ones) have to offer to compete was the fact that the company is hoping to wrap around this new name a new philosophy onboard. The aim of course is to distinguish it from competitors such as Seabourn, SeaDream and Silversea. "Our intent is to go far beyond simply renaming the ships," Nelson said. "We are redefining luxury and what it means in today's world."

In her new definition, based on focus group-style research with RSSC passengers, Nelson described today's luxury using four keywords: "choice," "exclusive access," "intimate ambience," and "personalized experiences". This, she noted, "is this generation's definition of luxury."

"It's not about where you've been," Nelson said, "but about what you've experienced there."

Beyond that she addressed the issue of RSSC's goal to provide the highest level of service, describing the Regent philosophy as it applied to its service staffers as "to hear without being told, to see without being shown, and to know without being asked. That's the Tao of Regent."

Which is a bit interesting because, at the food-stingy lunch-hour reception following the presentation, several of us who requested diet Cokes were told "sorry, you can only have wine, champagne, Perrier" or some kind of exotic juice.

The most interesting part of the new philosophy, part of which is already in place with cruising's first dedicated travel concierges onboard each ship, is the line's commitment not only to its Circles of Interest enrichment programs but also its efforts to provide customized sightseeing while in port, no matter how small the group.

While soft furnishings additions will take place over an 18-month period onboard RSSC's four ships -- Mariner, Navigator, Voyager and Paul Gauguin -- physical adaptations will begin with Seven Seas Mariner on April 18 (and then occur as vessels go into regularly scheduled drydock sessions).

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Now if only we can find the right cruise on Regent. We loved the Seven Seas Navigator, and would sail again on Regent in an eyeblink if we find the right date, price, and itinerary. Joe

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I think the idea is to upgrade the ships, so that they live up to the standard of the ultra-classy Regent hotel chain. As you say, time will tell. The product (i.e., RSSC) is already outstanding.

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Bump! Jason missed this thread.

Apparently the best thing about the change is that, starting 1/1/07, RSSC will join the other luxury lines (with the exception of Crystal), in being all inclusive with respect to drinks. In addition to the present policy of including soda, bottled water, 6 start up cans of beer, 2 startup bottles of booze, and wine and other drinks with with dinner, RSSC will now include all drinks (other than super premium brands) at all times.

It's unclear what will happen to the initial setup of two bottles of booze and six cans of beer in the room when you arrive. We took our booze home, and gave the beer back to the steward. With all inclusive, I don't see how the setup is needed any more.

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Aha. No wonder I've been having difficulty finding info about my cruise. I, too, missed this piece of info about the name change.

Glad I wandered over to this site. Thx for bumping this back up.

Do any of you really savvy types know how to find out how soon the upgrades (bedding, etc) will take place on a particular ship? I'm on the Navigator on May 13 and imagine that's a tad optimistic to hope for...

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Welcome to these Crazy Boards, TravelBug. You'll find these boards to be friendly and informative.

As it happens, there are very few RSSC cruisers on these boards, but don't get uptight about that. People can help you on ports and general questions. There are also fun things such as ongoing games, threads about non-cruise topics such as "welcome to spring", etc.

Regarding RSSC, I seriously doubt that the upgrades will take effect by mid-May. For example, I know that, as mentioned in my earlier post, all inclusive takes effect next year.

I'll send a private message to you. If you don't get that, please send an email to Joanandjoe@.

BTW, the web site hasn't changed, even though the name has. It's still www.rssc.com .

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Here is our review of the Navigator. http://www.cruisecrazies.com/reviews/radis...or/review=1.php

You can also get it by clicking on reviews, then going to the ship, which is listed as Radisson Navigator. Ours is the only review of the ship.

I'm on the board because an expected 3 p.m. conference call is still on hold. In general, Sherry (TravelBug), it's best to be on Boards at home, rather than at work.

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I'm one step ahead of you and already read your review while learning my way around this site. Thx!

As for reading the reviews at home rather than at work....they are one and the same for me and therein lies the problem. Too tempting to ignore last week's cruise laundry and job workload while I fling myself into plotting the next trip.

No willpower around here!

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