10 Day Eastern Caribbean Cruise on the Regent Explorer departed Miami Feb 19, 2018.
First of all a shout out to "HKSILVERFOX" for a great review of the same ship and similar itinerary. I'm going to do my review in a ... Read More
10 Day Eastern Caribbean Cruise on the Regent Explorer departed Miami Feb 19, 2018.
First of all a shout out to "HKSILVERFOX" for a great review of the same ship and similar itinerary. I'm going to do my review in a different fashion but since we were on the same vessel there will be some overlapping.
Overall -- Fantastic experience!!! Were there issues? Yes, of course there were!! we are dealing with human beings not computers. Did any of the issues distract from a fabulous vacation? NOT A BIT!!!!
Pre-cruise hotel -- Four Seasons on Brickell Ave Miami. Met some new friends when we were in line to check in with the Regent representative at the hotel. Found them again at the Edge Bar and Grill and we enjoyed some quality time together throughout the cruise. Left bags inside our suite at the 4 Seasons on the morning of the cruise as directed and they appeared in our cabin on ship by 3:00 p.m. We had driven from North Carolina to Miami making several stops for visits with family and friends therefore we parked the car at Terminal "J" right next to the ship.
Embarkation -- Simple, quiet, and relatively fast. There was a Regent representative who discreetly asked to see your boarding documents before you entered the queue. He then directed you to the appropriate line. No red carpets, nothing to detract or highlight any passenger. From entering Terminal "J" to getting onto the ship it was no more than 25 minutes at 12:00 p.m. A glass full of Champagne by 12:30!!!!
The Explorer Ship -- truly a work of art or many works of art depending upon your perspective. You really need to 'walk' this ship as you would an art museum because you are in one. Art is everywhere from the ceilings to the flooring to the furniture to the coverings not just the "paintings" hanging everywhere. Take the time to enjoy the photographs that line the walls on every cabin deck, truly a magnificent collection. Enjoy the Library for a few minutes even if you do not intend to read a single word. We are gamers so the Card Room came in quite handy and it too is beautifully put together. There is so much ART that some might say it is overkill. For us it was, "Oh, Look at that," with big smiles!" My DW could have spent an hour just looking at the marble flooring on deck 5. "Exquisite"!!! Not all of the "art" was to our taste but we still enjoyed trying to piece together the designer's thoughts. Spend a few hours it is well worth your time.
The Explorer Crew -- truly a work of art...."HKSILVERFOX" said it best; "The word NO did not exist". I need to find the Human Resources Director that was able to put this together. These young men and women ALWAYS greeted you with a smile, ALWAYS were willing to spend a few minutes with you, ALWAYS went out of their way to make sure that your request was fulfilled if at all possible. You can't ask for any more than they gave to every passenger. The crew's ATTITUDE and strong WORK ETHOS made this cruise. HAPPINESS IS CONTAGIOUS!!!
Demographics -- I believe that this sailing had a bit younger clientele than the normal Regent cruise. I think the fact that it was a 10 day cruise allowed for those still working the ability for some "get away" time. If I were to guess the median age it would have been 65 or slightly younger. This also kept the lounges and dance floors full after the evening show let out from the Constellation Theater. Karaoke was very popular in the Explorer Lounge as were Boogie and Kassia. Quiet conversation could be had late night in the Meridian Lounge with some soft jazz as background (one night). Luckily we are not sun worshipers. The deck chair hogs were out in full force on this sailing. By 9:00 a.m. every front row lounger around the pool was taken with nary a body in sight. I wonder if they were even up??
Entertainment -- from okay to excellent. I did not care for the guest performer. He was a quite gifted pianist but his shows were disjointed. From Billy Joel to Bach in 60 seconds flat. I thought if he did a Billy Joel, Elton John, Harry Chapin tribute set it would have been perfect. The shows by the full ensemble were also hit or miss. I loved Revolution but didn't care for the Peggy Lee show. The best performance was World Beat on the next to last evening. Our CD's were Andy and Tammy who gave a single performance during the cruise. I think they are headed back to Kansas for a well deserved vacation. Boogie and Kassia were a unique duo. All about energy and getting the blood flowing on the dance floor. If you weren't smiling Kassia was not happy. i also enjoyed the Regent band. They played some Dixieland and Jazz in the Meridian lounge for two late sets which were well attended. Karaoke was a big hit as well in the Explorer Lounge!!! One lady brought the house down with her version of Pat Benetar's "Hit me With Your Best Shot". You know she had done this before when she never looked at the words scrolling behind her.
Culinary Kitchen -- (3 classes) geared towards the beginner so for the DW it was not something she would repeat but for the DH another story. Good wine was served, some we even made during class (Sangria). Great equipment to use and lots of fun meeting other wanna be chefs...... Regent should think of adding an ADVANCED class or two to their menu of offerings (syllabus).
Gym -- loved it!!!! Machines dedicated to arms / upper body on one side and leg / lower body machines on the other. Great setup!!! The view of the ship's wake while on the treadmill or elliptical or stationary bike was mesmerizing. Made you forget the self inflicted pain you were enduring. Cold water, gatorade, fruit drinks all available in a stand up refrigerator between both halves of the gym. Never saw anyone in the infinity pool that is outside the spa on deck 5.
Trivia -- they take their TRIVIA seriously on the Explorer!!!!! We took it with gin & tonics and lots of laughs. Most of the questions wouldn't be allowed on Jeopardy.
Cabin -- 917 (PH-A) Quite comfortable to say the least. Large balcony that was used every morning for breakfast and every late afternoon for drinks. Adequate storage space especially if you don't over pack (which of course we did). This cabin has a bedroom (king sized bed) separated from the sitting room by pocket doors. Both rooms have Samsung flat panel televisions. The bathroom is large by cruise ship standards; double vanities, large amount of storage, extra large shower (no tub), and a closeted commode. There is also a wet bar with refrigerator in case you get thirsty. On each side of the bed there are 2 USB ports for charging your mobile devices. There are also 2 European style outlets and 1 North American type outlet. We brought with us adapters to turn the European outlets into North American types. This cabin comes with a butler who we used daily. He was great in getting us additional restaurant reservations. We had an issue the first night with the sliding glass doors "whistling" due to the strong north east winds. Our butler had maintenance come in and replace the weather stripping around both sliding glass doors the next afternoon. No more whistling!!
Restaurants -- food as duly noted is subjective. I would say that we enjoyed very good to excellent meals throughout the cruise. Noteworthy for us was Pacific Rim. The lobster tempura and duck entrees were simply fabulous. Combine these with the raspberry sorbet / chocolate mousse for dessert and for our two cents you could not ask for anything better. On one occasion we had to send an entree back at Chartreuse. At the slightest hint that something was wrong the waiter had the plate off the table in a heart beat and the menu back in hand to order something else. Then came a visit from the assistant Maitre'D, then the Maitre'D to make sure that everything was "okay". New entree delivered in record time and it was very good. I suspect that someone else had to wait a few more minutes for their entree to be served. Another round of visits from the entire restaurant staff to make sure that we were completely satisfied. We ate at Pacific Rim on 3 occasions, Chartruse, Compass Rose & Setti Mare twice, & Prime 7 once. It seemed that during this cruise that Prime 7 was the most sought after restaurant. it was also our least favorite. I think that if you were willing to eat at 8:00 p.m. you can get into any of the restaurants any evening.
Itinerary -- our cruise departed Miami on a Monday and went straight to Nassau. We then had 2 sea days (one rough, one not so rough) on the way to Antigua, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, & St. Barth's, and then two sea days (relatively calm seas) back to Miami. Regent does a good job of scheduling the Explorer to NOT be in ports with other ships as much as possible.
In St. Kitts we did a zipline adventure that was very, very good. We had 2 full busloads (16 per bus) and Regent added a 3rd bus when demand exceeded supply. Driver / guide was excellent and gave great commentary on the 30 minute ride from the pier to our destination. The ziplining personnel were all about safety, safety, and then safety. They also were very knowledgeable about their island and the rain forest we were in. Moderate hiking required between zip lines but well worth the effort. The actual zip lines were very much FUN!!!
In St. Lucia (2 busloads), we combined the aerial tram with a different type of zip lining, platform to platform. These zip lines were much shorter than the ones in St. Kitts. The personnel at the facility were again all about safety. We had a guide who had encyclopedic knowledge of the rain forest that we were in. Lots of fun for everyone!!
In Nassua we had an easy excursion to the Zoo and Gardens. It was just okay. Should have done lunch at Graycliff on our own instead.
In St. Barth's we did our own excursion (shopping!!!!).
Antigua we treated as an off day....lounging doing nothing.
Others in our party did more water related excursions. There was not one negative comment from anyone on a Regent sponsored tour / excusion.
Also interaction with Destination Services was very easy. A cooking class that DW had signed up for had to be cancelled due to the market being closed on a Sunday. They gave us additional options or the choice of a refund.
Debarkation -- so easy. We left the ship at 8:15, collected our luggage, cleared immigration & customs and were in our car driving towards I-95 at 8:30.
Summary -- we are booked on the Explorer departing Buenos Aires on Feb. 1, 2019 in the same cabin. Enough said. Read Less