Seven Seas Explorer Cruise Review by UUNetBill
- Sail Date: August 2017
- Destination: Baltic Sea
- Cabin Type: Concierge Suite
Boarding Explorer is always a rush for me. To my eye, it’s the most beautiful ship in the Regent fleet. I feel like the transfer and boarding was a bit rushed and just a little crowded. Nothing ‘bad’ really, just seemed a tad less luxury than it could have been. And of course, once we got our key cards we still had to wait a while for the cabins to be ready. No worries – a couple of cocktails and a light snack always fill that time for us. Once we got the all-clear, we went to our cabin and started unpacking. We were in 612 and my in-laws were in 611 (although they’re right above some lifeboat davits, could be noisy in tender ports if they use those particular boats). Great locations on these cabins, just aft of the forward elevators and an easy walk down to Reception, Destination Services, etc.
Ship. I'm biased, I know. We've sailed on all four of Regent's current ships and we feel that Explorer is probably their best. The décor tends toward dark (dark woods, heavy furniture) but we like this - it's like being in a club environment. The layout is nice (with a few minor exceptions - aft staircase, access to the infinity pool, etc.) and everything is easily accessible.
Cabin. We were in a D Concierge cabin. These cabins are physically the same as the E and F cabins but we chose the Concierge cabin to take advantage of the one night pre-cruise hotel. They also offer some additional amenities (binoculars, cashmere lap blankets, espresso machine, etc.) but we really didn't use those. We usually choose an F2 and those are awesome, too. The D/E/F cabins have an ocean facing bed, huge closet, double sink vanity, and a separate tub and shower with a rainfall head. Nice. Cabin service was fantastic.
Dining. Subjective, I know, but I thought the service in Compass Rose was impeccable. I love the new menu and honestly, if you can’t find something you enjoy on board, I don’t think it’s the ship’s fault. Between the four of us, we couldn’t agree on a favorite specialty restaurant. We liked them all, but we all had our favorites. The only places I saw any issues with service were the Pool Bar/Grill (a continuing sore spot, I’m afraid) and to a lesser extent in La Veranda. Even when it wasn’t busy, water would go unfilled, orders would get jumbled, etc. Not often, mind you – but enough to be noticeable.
Entertainment. Also subjective. I only attended a few shows, and these were good. Not great, but not terrible. They had some talented singers and dancers, and some who were, well, enthusiastic. Krew Kapers was (as always) my favorite show - front row seats so we could cheer on our favorite crew members!
Excursions. Hit and miss. Mostly hits. Most were good, but frankly, sometimes it’s difficult to tell the included excursions from the Regent Choice excursions. Some we were on were great and we said ‘Wow, this is worth every penny’, only to find out it was an included tour, while others were ‘Meh, this is okay’ and then saw that we’d paid extra for it. I’d still rather see Regent limit both the number of passengers on each bus and the number of buses they send to any one location. I know that’s not really feasible with ‘included’ excursions, but sometimes it just cheapens the experience a bit.
Disembarkation. Was a little bit of a mess due to a late arrival (medical evac the night before) and rainy weather on arrival. But the luggage porters were very professional and helped most everyone with their luggage with a smile. The end of a cruise is always a bit of a sad time and it can be made worse if disembarkation is a cluster, but this one went as smoothly as could be expected.
The general feeling is that this was one of our best cruises ever, which is saying a lot considering how we got off to a bit of a rocky start with the missing luggage and cancelled flights (which Regent was incredible about following up on!) Not sure when our next one will be, but hopefully it will be soon.
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