I have just returned from an amazing 4 nights on board Seven Seas Explorer, billed as the ‘Most Luxurious Ship Ever Built’. I can wholeheartedly agree with this statement, I was lost for words walking around this stunning ship!
If you are not familiar with Regent Seven Seas, they are a luxury inclusive cruise line. Included on board are all drinks, gratuities, speciality dining and shore excursions. You really do want for nothing on board, as I learned from my time on board. The staff on board are so personable, getting to know your favourite tipple and genuinely wanting to give you the best experience possible from your cruise. I really can’t recommend this cruise line highly enough and my blog could not possibly cover every aspect of what I loved about Regent!
This was my first time with Regent Seven Seas and my expectations were exceeded in all aspects. Checking in at Malaga port was a breeze, no queues at all we just showed our passports to security and boarded the ship. Check in is done on the ship itself, usually in the Theatre, with a welcome glass of Champagne, then you are free to go off and explore. Generally speaking suites are normally available later in the afternoon, however if you are in one of the named suites i.e Seven Seas Suite, these are available from 12pm.
We stayed in a Concierge Suite on deck 12 which again following my theme of the cruise, I was blown away by. The marble and stone bathroom featured a double sink, complete with l’Occitane toiletries. We had a large rainfall shower cubicle plus separate bath with shower over the top. The dressing area was fantastic, plenty of both wardrobe and drawer space, which could also be closed off to the rest of the suite by a door. The bed was a European king size, which could be converted to twins if needed, and was extremely comfortable! Our bed faced the balcony which gave a lovely view and was a lovely surprise as this is not always the case, certainly on ships I have been on in the past. There was a sitting area with sofa, chair and table, perfect for room service delivery! In Concierge suites you also receive an Illy coffee machine, I love my morning coffee so this suited me perfectly! Our mini bar was fully stocked with various soft drinks, bottled water and beers and this is re filled daily. Our cabin stewardess came to introduce herself and explained a little on how the room service worked and the various other features of the suite, she also brought us our welcome bottle of Champagne on Ice which was lovely. If you prefer to drink wine or spirits there is also the option to have these delivered to your suite at your leisure, all included, at is standard with Regent Seven Seas.
My first impression on boarding the ship was how modern and chic the reception area was, the centre piece being a stunning crystal chandelier over the grand staircase. The sense of space is clear straight away, I felt like I was in a boutique hotel rather than on a cruise ship. The ship carries 750 guests so for a ship of this size ( 56,000 GRT ) it is perfect and never felt busy with people despite our sailing being virtually full. It was difficult to take everything in at first as everywhere I looked there was a beautiful vase or piece of artwork, from Picasso’s to modern sculptures, a real feast for the eyes! I was just in awe at the attention to detail visible in every area on the ship.
One of my favourite lounges on board was the Observation Lounge right at the front of the ship on deck 11. This has a real art deco feel to it and was the go to place for pre dinner drinks and canapes, featuring live music. In the afternoon this lounge hosted afternoon tea between 4pm and 5pm, again with live music in the form of the on board pianist. I loved the atmosphere in here and of course the tasty cakes, scones and sandwiches were superb!
Dining on board is open seating in the main restaurant in the evening and of course in the speciality restaurants you select your preferred dining time when making your reservation. I should also mention that full in suite dining is also available where you will be served course by course, perfect to celebrate a special occasion.
The food in all restaurants was outstanding, I love Asian style cuisine so Pacific Rim was perfect for me. I had the most amazing Lobster and Seafood Laksa in here! My Husband loves his meat so Prime 7, which is the steakhouse on board, was more suited to his taste. He enjoyed a fillet mignon with Alaskan king crab legs on our evening here, complete with many side dishes to accompany! We both really enjoyed Chartreuse, the French restaurant on board, my starter of Emmental cheese Souffle was beautiful, I didn’t dare try the Escargots, but my main dish of scallops with chorizo was fantastic!
I could go on further about the food but I will leave you to try it for yourself, you will not be disappointed!
In regards to the free shore excursions, I would recommend booking these as soon as they are released. Excursions have limited spaces, as with all cruise lines, so to avoid disappointment it is essential. One thing I was struck by was actually getting off the ship in port. This sounds like a strange thing to mention but I was struck by the ease of this! In Cadiz the gangway was on deck 5, just opposite reception, so we literally just stepped out on to deck and then straight down the gang plank to shore side, Fantastic! I am used to the large ships and having to wait for lifts to take you down to the depths of the ship then having to queue to get off, this is just not the case on Explorer.
The final point to mention, which is very important to us ladies especially, is the dress code on board. The evening is Elegant Casual for most of the time, there are optional formal evenings as well but they are just that, optional. Elegant Casual means different things to each of us, but the main point is that no jeans are allowed after 6pm, with the exception of the last evening where the dress code is more relaxed due to disembarkation the next morning. Ladies wore both dresses and trousers with blouses/tops while the Gents ranged from full suits to trousers and a shirt, some with and some without jackets.
I hope you enjoyed reading my blog and I have really just touched the surface with regards to my time on board. I genuinely fell in love with Regent and Explorer and would go again in a heartbeat. Value for money is outstanding when you consider everything that is included with the level of service you receive, compared to one of the mainstream cruise lines.
If you are considering sailing with Regent Seven Seas and would like any advice on choosing a suite or have any questions please do not hesitate to drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call on 0161 7982506.
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