Interview: Cruise director onboard “World’s most expensive Christmas cruise”

Interview: Cruise director onboard “World’s most expensive Christmas cruise”

TV viewers will be treated to a behind-the-scenes peek into what Christmas is like onboard Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ newest luxury liner Seven Seas Splendor in the World’s Most Expensive Christmas Cruise programme.

Following Seven Seas Splendor‘s inaugural festive season at sea at it departs from Barcelona and then arrives in the Caribbean for Christmas, the one-hour documentary will air on Channel 5 at 8pm on Christmas Eve.

Viewers can watch as 542 members of crew work around the clock to ensure that the ship’s guests have a magical time onboard.

Led by cruise director John Barron, the crew transform the ship with 70 boxes of decorations that cost a cool £70,000.

The ship’s festive look includes three Christmas trees in the atrium, 15 trees throughout the rest of the ship and a 260-foot garland wrapping around the central staircase.

Cruise Adviser caught up with John Barron during a break in filming to discover more about Christmas onboard this sumptuous ship.

How long does it take to decorate the ship for Christmas?

It’s a big undertaking. We had around 70 boxes of decorations to put up and it was a real team effort of over 50 crew members to get the three Christmas trees in the atrium and a 260-foot garland wrapping around the central staircase. Then there were 15 more trees to decorate throughout the rest of the ship. We wanted to get it done before the guests got back from their shore excursions, so we managed to complete it in about two hours.

How do you ensure that guests have an unforgettable Christmas onboard Seven Seas Splendor? 

To be honest, any cruise on Regent is unforgettable, but we of course find ways to make the festive season cruises that much more special. There are the incredible decorations, sumptuous festive meals and drinks and treats. Plus, the fantastic Christmas Eve Variety Show and the Christmas Cocktail Party in the heart of Splendor under the Atrium Chandelier (with the 5 Gold Rings) in the Atrium. We’ll even have Dicken’s character carolling on the Miami sail away day.

What festive food and drink options are onboard?

The culinary team do an incredible job of making the sailing a veritable festive feast for guests. There’s around 200lbs of geese, 600lbs of turkeys, 200lbs of ham, 20 different types of cheese and over 38,000 bottles of wine, 8 varieties of Christmas cookies, 1,000 portions of pumpkin pie and 200 logs of Bûche de Noël on board.

And the best thing is that it’s all included so guests can indulge like never before and they don’t even have to wash up!

What’s the most expensive decoration you have?

In total, we spent close to £70,000 on the very best decorations, including 18 Christmas trees and a beautiful 260-foot garland wrapping around the central staircase in the atrium.

Christmas on Seven Seas Splendor. Image courtesy of Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

What festive desserts and cocktails will be on offer?

As well as logs of Bûche de Noël, pumpkin pie with cranberries and cinnamon-vanilla sauce and classic English Christmas pudding with vanilla and whiskey sauce, we’ll have a special cranberry Santa Clausmopolitan and eggnog available in every bar.

Was it fun to be part of the documentary?

I always have such a fun time when filming – this was our sixth episode we’ve filmed following the four-part series and Christmas special in 2019.

In this episode, I go paddle-boarding on Great Stirrup Cay, our private island which was such a treat. But to be honest, after the last two years, I’m just so thankful to be back on board, sailing and entertaining once again.

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