5 Lisbon to Europe - Western Mediterranean Regent Seven Seas Explorer Cruise Reviews

The ship is absolutely beautiful - both public spaces and cabins. Like a very luxurious hotel. By appearances, you could easily forget that you were on a cruise ship - more like being at a Ritz Carlton or Four Seasons, and our Explorer ... Read More
The ship is absolutely beautiful - both public spaces and cabins. Like a very luxurious hotel. By appearances, you could easily forget that you were on a cruise ship - more like being at a Ritz Carlton or Four Seasons, and our Explorer Suite category cabin was extremely comfortable. But that was the problem. It was all about appearances. That may be enough for some, and you would not be disappointed in terms of high end comfort. The library, lounges, restaurants were all very attractive. But then the service. Didn't even come close to matching the surroundings. I actually found some staff downright hostile. They seemed so unhappy so much of the time. Our butler was nowhere to be found the afternoon of embarkation and for the rest of the cruise it was like pulling teeth to get anything out of him. At one point he threw away newspapers I had set aside on our sofa (needed them for work) and he took it upon himself to throw them out when he brought in the newer newspapers then tried to blame it on the room steward who swore up and down that he never throws anything away if it's not in the garbage can, which I believe because when I did have things right next to the garbage can to throw out (they didn't fit in the can) he did not take them. The room steward seemed pleasant enough, but overworked and doing his work somewhat begrudgingly. They seemed really "cheap" about things. For example, a spare roll of toilet paper is usually kept in the bathrooms. They would never replenish this - even after we had to call for more tp and you could clearly see there were only a few sheets left on the existing roll. You would think once that happened they would be better about restocking. The last night, we needed to take tp out of one bathroom for another. Toiletries were never replenished, even when soap was down to a sliver. Service was quick and perfunctory. We had to ask multiple times for them to put the cushions back out on the deck chairs. I understand taking them in at night in inclement weather, but even when we were in port overnight with very pleasant weather, they would not put anything out and often we had to do ourselves. Not a big deal, but you would think at these prices they could make sure details like that were attended to. Also, with all it's beauty, the ship itself still seemed kind of odd. We are used to the creakiness when a ship is at sea. But this one made all kinds of weird noises at all different hours - especially at night. We did not get one decent night's sleep over the 12 days we were on board. Dining was okay, but varied widely from one venue to another. Anywhere from bad to pretty good. Never really good. Prime 7 and Pacific Rim were very disappointing. We get better steaks at our local diner, and the Asian food left us not feeling great and very thirsty all night long. Chartreuse was the only specialty restaurant we enjoyed and would return to. Compass Rose was decent with good service. The Pool Grill lunches were okay if you stuck to the salads, but the hot foods were pretty awful. Husband said it was the worst hamburger he ever had, and I could barely eat two bites of the chicken wings I ordered. Pizza was dull and flavorless. In Veranda, lunch was okay. Dinner (when it became an Italian restaurant) varied. Breakfast was not good at all if you wanted anything beyond eggs. On the plus side, we did not go hungry, but compared to other cruise ships we have been on, the pickings were slim and with very limited hours and availability. Servers for the large part seemed unhappy. Most did their jobs, but that's it - just did their jobs. Once in a while you would get someone with a smile and that was such an exciting moment due to the rarity. The ports and itinerary for this particular cruise were, for the large part, very good. That's why we picked this cruise (Lisbon, Porto, A Coruna, Bilbao, Bordeaux, L'Orient, St. Malo, Guernsey, Southampton). We did Lisbon on our own, but I heard from other passengers who did pre-cruise through Regent that there was a bit of a cattle car feel. We then felt that throughout the cruise with any excursions booked through Regent. They may be free (as part of "all inclusive"), but be warned. You get what you pay for. Generally speaking the Excursions staff was clueless. Not only were they uniformly not very nice, they knew little to nothing about the ports. On other cruise lines, we have gotten much more detailed port information, including maps, the night before and there is usually someone you can speak with on the ship who has some familiarity with the ports. With this we had to wait for a local representative to come on board the ship the "day of" before we could see any map or get any local iniformation. The excursions themselves were pretty mediocre. Every day we saw or heard stories of people getting left behind or "lost." You are sent out in groups way too big to get much out of anything. The tours were not all that informative and very poorly timed. There was a lot of wasted time, and when you were given any free time it was usually not in the center of things. Huge variations among guides depending on the luck of the draw with which bus you ended up on. Some people complained that they couldn't even understand their guides. In one port, even the guide was wondering who had arranged such a tour. We were left with nothing to do except have tea for an hour and a half in the middle of nowhere - at the expense of seeing the island. As compared to other cruise lines we have been on (Crystal, for example) or when doing independent touring, Regent appears to be scraping pretty close to bottom of the barrel in terms of what tour companies they are using. And you never once saw a Regent rep accompanying any of the tours to see how things were going, nor was there any effort to get feedback from passengers. Clearly they take a "hands over one's ears, hear no evil, see no evil" approach to things. Another big shortcoming was the quality of WiFi. No excuse in this day and age, especially on such a new ship, for it to be so erratic and unreliable. We have been on much older ships in the middle of nowhere with much better service. They have clearly skimped in this area and have no interest in serving their customers except for collecting the money for usage. Fortunately, the wifi plan was included with our stateroom, otherwise I would have been furious for spending so much and getting what we got. Can't really comment on the entertainment. Especially with living in NY, we go to see theater, music and other entertainment quite often, so don't really look for it on a cruise ship. Although on many cruises we have been on, they have had some fun and different offerings that we don't get to here in the city. Not on this cruise. Nothing was really to our taste and the little bit we did see and hear, was not particularly impressive. The one thing I will give them high marks for was the Enrichment lecturer - an instructor from NY. She was the only person we heard from throughout the entire cruise who had any insight about anything. She was smart and well spoken, and we enjoyed her lectures. Overall, it's tough that we were left feeling the way we did. Great ship, great cabin, great itinerary, but the service end of things made us feel really badly and makes us doubt we would try Regent again. Maybe they were very good once, but it seems that since NCL acquired them things have gone downhill. The ship may be fancier, but it's still Norwegian Cruise Lines - not one of our favorites. A cruise is about so much more than just your room and surroundings. And maybe it is just how this particular ship is managed, but there definitely appears to be a morale problem among employees. Even higher level officers. On just about every other cruise we have been (several of them over multiple brands), the officers are much more visible and there is more opportunity to interact with them. Here, there was no effort whatsoever. To us it seemed very obvious that they just want your money, they will make you comfortable enough, but then want you to leave them alone. I have felt much better treated on much less expensive cruise ships. In my opinion, you would be better off paying for the best cabin you can on a less luxurious ship but then getting much better service and being made to feel more special. When we have stayed in higher level suites on other ships, we have received true VIP service. Nothing of the sort here. Other than free newspapers and free wifi (that barely worked), there was nothing here that made us feel special. As I mentioned earlier, there was even a sort of hostility here. Heck. On our last morning I couldn't even get a cup of tea. We had ordered room service and they brought me a decaf tea bag. When the steward came to try to service our room 20 minutes before we were supposed to be out of it, I mentioned the tea bag to him and asked if he could get me a non decaf regular tea bag. He snatched it out of my hand and never came back. So would I recommend this line to others? Likely not. Or I would lay it out as is and leave it up to you to decide if it's worth it. I think with so many lines building so many new ships now, there are much better options. Even as one who loves luxury hotels, I would be willing to go just a little less luxurious on a ship for better service.The surroundings are just not worth the premium charged here and for the lack of quality in other areas. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We took a our first cruise on Regent in May from Lisbon to London and we were blown away. We have taken Crystal in the past on some 15 cruises, and now we find ourselves remiss for patronizing a good cruise line (Crystal) when there was ... Read More
We took a our first cruise on Regent in May from Lisbon to London and we were blown away. We have taken Crystal in the past on some 15 cruises, and now we find ourselves remiss for patronizing a good cruise line (Crystal) when there was such a much finer cruise line (Regent) out there. Regent beats Crystal in room quality, service, staff, food, athletic facility, spa, public areas, embarkment, and in a very big way, in excursions. Crystal does have better entertainment, but overall this is a minor item to us. Further, Regent is not as pretentious as Crystal by declaring itself the "best" cruise line, and Regent does not push purchasing photos at every conceivable instance as Crystal always does. And even the passengers on Regent appear to be more polished and polite than those we have encountered on recent Crystal ships. Perhaps Crystal is yesterday's cruise line, but Regent is today's. Special compliments to the Regent's ship management. The attendants for the rooms were almost invisible, yet their job was always complete in a timely manner. Similarly, we were treated excellently by the food mangers in the various restaurants. Our favorite restaurant was Prime with the bone-in ribeye. Every excursion seemed better than the one before! Thank you Regent-job excellently done! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We have cruised at least 6 times on the Explorer. It is a beautiful ship with wonderful service and great food. The staff is very friendly and helpful. The complimentary wine selections were very good. The five restaurants offer a ... Read More
We have cruised at least 6 times on the Explorer. It is a beautiful ship with wonderful service and great food. The staff is very friendly and helpful. The complimentary wine selections were very good. The five restaurants offer a great variety of dinning for diner. The main dining room, Compass Rose, is very attractive and offers a great variety of dinning options. One half of the menu remains the same with many selections and the other half changes daily. On our first Explorer cruise in August 2016, the ship had only been launched a few weeks and there were a few wrinkles with service in Compass Rose. However, after a few nights these problems seemed to have been resolved. Setti Mari is the Italian restaurant on deck 11 aft. Weather permitting, it is a great place to dine outside. the other three restaurants, Prime Seven, Chartreuse, and Pacific Rim (our favorite) require reservations but there are no additional charges. A night in each may be reserved several weeks prior to embarkation. After boarding, additional reservations may be made. The public areas are very nice. We never felt crowded. The pool was spacious with ample deck chairs and lounges. The pool grill is a nice place for lunch. A lunch buffet is also served in La Veranda (deck 11 aft) and a full service lunch is available in Compass Rose and one of the specialty restaurants. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This is the first time we have cruised on a ship bigger than 450 passengers – previously having sailed on the chic Club Med 2 (twice) and Regent’s Navigator (3 times). So we were apprehensive about upscaling but the draw of cruising on ... Read More
This is the first time we have cruised on a ship bigger than 450 passengers – previously having sailed on the chic Club Med 2 (twice) and Regent’s Navigator (3 times). So we were apprehensive about upscaling but the draw of cruising on ‘the most luxurious ship ever built’ was too tempting to avoid. Is it the most luxurious? – we have not enough cruising experience to really say but Explorer is stylish, spacious, if a little ostentatious in places. Our suite (Penthouse 820) was beautiful with superb décor and an amazing wet room – the colour scheme and furnishings were lovely and the balcony was enormous. Even though this was Explorer’s 4th cruise since its inauguration some ‘snags’ still were not ironed out in our suite and, ship wide, we thought some fittings were a little flimsy and lightweight. However, it is a beautiful ship and we never felt crowded or rushed at any time. There was ample space on the sun decks for all those seeking sun or shade, though bar service to the upper pool deck was slow at times – except for Edwin, who was ever present and engaging. As always, the staff make the ship and several staff we knew from our Navigator cruises were on board and, as ever, so welcoming. They reported that expectations of staff were even higher on Explorer but our experience was that the service was similar to that we had come to expect on the Navigator. Luxury comes in many forms – not just the fabric of the ship and, at times, we felt that some staff were lauding the fact that they were on ‘the most luxurious ship ever built’ and serving the passengers was a bit beneath them. This was particular so with staff at the Reception desk who, at times, were discourteous and unhelpful – we highlighted this on the mid cruise review and received a telephone call saying that this would be addressed and was work in progress. On a 6* ship this should never be ‘work in progress’. (NB a previous Cruise Critic review raised concerns over the Reception staff.) Our favourite restaurants were the Compass Rose and Prime 7. We loved the décor in Compass Rose and the service was always very attentive, especially from Melbourne, Marvin, Vaughan and Kas. The pan-fried fois gras was phenomenal. Prime 7 is much brighter than on Navigator and the service was more slick and attentive. Oxana is the star – both in Prime 7 and around the ship. The petit fours were delicious. The speciality French restaurant, La Charteuse, did not really live up to expectations – we live in France, so booked our combined wedding anniversary/birthday celebration for La Chartreuse but on our arrival the Maitre d’ had forgotten the event and had not listened to our personal request regarding a table for 2 – even though we personally discussed this with him two days before. There was no ‘mise en bouche’ – in a 6* French restaurant!? and the various courses we tried were mediocre. The vivacious Rovie made our two visits to La Chartreuse particularly memorable – she was so engaging and hard working. The Asian/Fusion restaurant, Pacific Rim’, was our least favourite – it was rather dark and the food was uninspiring. That said, we have not tried a lot of Asian Fusion cuisine and other passengers reported that the food was very good overall. La Verandah is superb – the breakfast and lunch buffets are always interesting, colourful and contemporary. Eating out on the rear deck, either at sea or in port, was always a joy. Staff such as Olexsandra, Carol, Marylene and Marco were so welcoming and engaging. La Verandah converts in the evening to the Italian restaurant, Sette Mari, but we never ate here throughout the cruise. We rarely missed the evening entertainment and the main dance group led by Amanda and Robin were excellent with their best show being the 60’s Tribute. Guest singer, Phil Browne, was simply outstanding bringing his tremendous experience and repertoire from the West End. As was Andrew Scrimshire – a talented cellist. Our favourite entertainment, however, was the Nature’s Rythmn Trio, who played in various bars/lounges throughout the cruise – they were so entertaining, versatile and talented. Their repertoire was phenomenal. The Cruise Director, Ray Solaire, in our view, was passed his best and we thought his various performances of comedy, singing and ventriloquism were cheesy, outdated and predictable. The captain, known as Captain Stan, was excellent and always kept passengers informed of the ship’s progress in relation to the excellent cruise itinerary and weather. On a one to one basis, he was so engaging and ready to converse. This cannot be said for some members of his senior team, who rarely engaged with passengers and toured the ship with almost a scowl. Michala, in the boutique, was lovely and really showed interest in our cruise experience as well as promoting the products on sale. Overall, we really enjoyed our cruise and, even at some rough moments in the Atlantic, the cruise on Explorer was always comfortable and smooth. We are really looking forward to our next cruise on Explorer in the Eastern Caribbean in late Feb 2017. We are great fans of the Regent Seven Seas brand and the ‘all inclusive’ package lives up to its name unequivocally. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Absolutely fabulous. The new ship is beautiful. Our F2 Superior suite was beautiful. The bed was comfy, the bathroom huge with tub and shower, big walk-in closet, and more storage than we could use. The staff was great and it was great ... Read More
Absolutely fabulous. The new ship is beautiful. Our F2 Superior suite was beautiful. The bed was comfy, the bathroom huge with tub and shower, big walk-in closet, and more storage than we could use. The staff was great and it was great to see some familiar staff from previous Regent Cruises. The new Pacific Rim restaurant was superb and we ate there several time and ordered almost the same meal each time (Crispy soft shell crab appetizer, Miso Cod and Lobster main courses). Prime 7's cuisine and service was great, as usual, but the decor is more open and attractive than on the other Regent ships. Chartreuse and Seti Mare were great as well. The large outdoor eating area of La Veranda was larger had many more tables than the other Regent ships. The decor of the Compass Rose main restaurant was refreshingly bright and open and the menu was great with changes daily. Service in all were superior. The outdoor bar by the pool is nice. The entertainment was good but we did miss the Jean Ann Ryan productions. Most of the excursions were great. The transition excursion in Barcelona was a disappointment, however. Can't wait for my next cruise on the Regent Explorer. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Seven Seas Explorer Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 5.0 4.4
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 3.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.5 3.7
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 3.5 3.7
Rates N/A N/A

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