Regent Seven Seas includes shore excursions in its cruise fares, but also offers more specialized tours for an added fee. On our cruise, there were always more free tours than upcharge tours on offer in each port. Included options could be an overview tour by bus, a biking or kayaking excursion, independent transportation to a big city like Rome or Florence (as well as highlights tours in those cities) or wine tastings. There really is a nice choice of complimentary offerings, with both passive and active options.
Extra-fee tours might include a cooking class, 4x4 tour or a city tour with more included admissions. For example, in Rome, the included tour visits the Colosseum (from the outside), Forum and Piazza Navona with free time to explore, while the extra-fee tour includes admission to the Vatican and St. Peter's Basilica.
We found both the free and for-fee excursions to be quite good with knowledgeable guides -- the difference was really with the activities.
With such destination-focused itineraries, daytime activities are rather limited. You'll find spa seminars and fitness classes, talks by the onboard lecturers, bingo and daily afternoon trivia in Galileo's Lounge, the Deck 11 observation lounge. A Ping-Pong table is tucked away behind a wall near the Deck 8 stairwell. Deck 12 has mini-golf, shuffleboard and two baggo setups (beanbag toss). Most Regent cruisers spend their days in port then congregate around the pool or hole up in their suites upon their return.
If you participate in anything competitive (trivia, organized deck games), you can win Regent points, which can be traded at the end of the cruise for logo swag. Some cruisers are very set on winning that baseball cap or pen.
Seven Seas Lounge is the main theater on decks 6 and 7, arranged stadium-style with no separate balcony. Every evening, there is one main 9:30 p.m. show, alternating between song-and-dance revues performed by the ship's cast of 12 singers and dancers and performances by guest artists, such as a piano showman or a comedian. Regent is in the process of upgrading its evening entertainment, but on our cruise, the shows ranged from lively and fun to very amateurish, though the singers did have good voices. The theater also hosts enrichment lectures and cooking demonstrations.
The ship's band, either altogether or as solo performers, play in Galileo's before dinner and after the show, and a piano entertainer holds forth in the Navigator Lounge. In the evening, you might find Name That Tune in the Navigator Lounge or karaoke in the Stars Lounge, but on many nights there are no scheduled activities, other than music and dancing in a couple of the lounges, after 9:30 p.m.
The small casino on Deck 7 was refreshed in 2016; the casino bar was replaced with a comfortable, contemporary-looking sitting area -- not that we ever saw anyone sitting there. Gamers can enjoy six tables of blackjack, roulette, craps or poker and an array of slot machines.
Regent Seven Seas partners with the Smithsonian Institution to bring onboard knowledgeable guest lecturers (art historians, authors, professors, former diplomats) to speak about topics related to the cruise destination. For example, on our Italy and Mediterranean cruise, an art historian spoke about the Renaissance in Florence and Rome, the Byzantine influence on Corfu and Provencal artists like Van Gogh and Cezanne. The Smithsonian speakers join shore excursions and are available to continue the conversation over dinner onboard.
Some sailings might have bridge instructors onboard, itinerary dependent.
With nearly all drinks included in your fare, socializing or listening to music over a drink (or three, or seven) is the most popular evening pastime. Navigator has three main lounges, which people seem to choose depending on their taste in entertainment (dance band, pianist or background music). In general, we found the ship shuts down around midnight -- earlier if there's a long day of touring with early departures the next day. Note that the former Connoisseur Club cigar lounge no longer exists on this ship.
Navigator Lounge (Deck 6): The Navigator Lounge is a convivial cocktail venue where the ship's piano entertainer holds court or hosts Name That Tune after the main show lets out. It's right on the main Deck 6 thoroughfare and people get lured in as they walk by. The Coffee Connection serves as overflow seating. The cocktail menu offers a wealth of ideas -- including cocktails named after each of the Regent ships -- or you can make up your own from the list of complimentary liquors.
Stars Lounge (Deck 6): The Stars Lounge borders the ship's main theater, making it a perfect spot for pre- or post-dinner (and show) cocktails. On our cruise, it was fairly empty post-show, and an attempt at karaoke was a failure with no one game enough to have a go.
Galileo's (Deck 11): Navigator's top-deck lounge is typically the most popular public space, with an active bar, circular dance floor and piano. The celestially themed space is lively both before and after dinner, for music and dancing, with the Navigator Show Band playing themed sets in the later evening. An iPad offers a DIY jukebox option once the band finishes. The outdoor deck behind Galileo's is the space for an alfresco drink or a smoke (starboard side) with your cognac. During the day, Galileo's is the spot for afternoon tea and trivia.
On Deck 10, the sun deck features a medium-size saltwater swimming pool flanked by two hot tubs. There's always plenty of space for sunning on this deck, as well as on Deck 11 overlooking the pool. The cushioned loungers are dressed in white terry cloth covers, so you can sunbathe or snooze in comfort.
Deck 11 is popular with fitness walkers, though it's not a proper track. Deck 12 forward is the place for putting, shuffleboard and beanbag toss.
Deck 6, a hub of activity, houses the reception, concierge and tour desks, the future cruise consultant's office and the Coffee Connection, which has a handful of internet-connected terminals for those not relying on personal devices. There are printers, too, but ask the manager to help you because the printers aren't setup for casual users to print.
Every suite onboard receives one free account for unlimited internet access on one device. If you'd like to use the Wi-Fi on two devices at once, or more than one person in your suite wants to go online simultaneously, you'll need to purchase additional time plans. You can pay as you go 99 cents per minute or buy 200 minutes for $160 -- each of these options incurs a $3.95 activation fee -- or get unlimited use for $29.99 per day, with no activation fee. Despite upgrades, the Wi-Fi is still slow, and certain devices connect more easily than others.
Deck 6 also offers a card room/meeting room (with plenty of table space for puzzles), and the library, with cozy seating areas, daily newspapers from around the world and a nice selection of books to borrow.
The ship's shops are on Deck 7, and sell jewelry and watches, perfume and cosmetics, snacks and toiletries, clothing, handbags and souvenirs.
Self-service laundry rooms are located within the suite corridors on decks 5, 8, 9, 10 and 11. Each has two washers and dryers (detergent is provided), a utility sink, ironing board and iron. The laundry is quite popular; every time we passed by someone was in there washing or ironing, so plan in advance if you need to wash a load, as there might be a queue.
The medical center is located on Deck 4.
Smoking is not permitted in any indoor venue or on cabin balconies. It's allowed only on the starboard side of Galileo's outdoor deck and in one designated area of the pool deck.
Though small, the ship's Canyon Ranch SpaClub on Deck 12 makes up for its size with excellent treatment services. Separate male and female locker rooms each include complimentary steam and sauna. Canyon Ranch also runs the upscale beauty salon. Prices are higher than at more mainstream cruise spas; 50-minute massages start at $165, and the cheapest pedicure is $81.
There's a surprisingly spacious gym and fully equipped aerobics and yoga room. The gym features Lifecycles, free weights, striders, StairMasters, treadmills, weight benches, a Nautilus machine, workout mats and step benches. A fridge is stocked with bottles of water, vitaminwater and sports drinks, and earbuds are available if you forgot yours. A full-time fitness instructor also is available and schedules an array of activities every day (stretching, Pilates, indoor cycling and more). There's no extra charge for fitness classes, but don't expect the intense level of workout you're used to at home.
The minimum age to sail is one year. There are no formal children's activities available during most sailings, but you'll find an increasing number of family groups onboard summer and holiday sailings, especially when they're shorter than two weeks long. This has led to the addition of Club Mariner children's programs from June through August, as well as during holiday periods. There's a series of (supposedly) age-graded events for kids 5 to 11, and 13 to 17, led by two dedicated youth staff; on our cruise, many of the activities were the same for 5 to 17 year olds, leading at least one teen to deem them "lame."
That said, we were impressed with the number of kids on an August sailing -- many part of multigenerational family groups -- and they were all well behaved and having a great time. We did see some of the younger kids playing games in the Stars Lounge or card room and getting their face painted; the older ones spent most of their onboard time in the pool or playing Ping-Pong. If you're considering bringing kids during these times, don't hesitate; the families we saw were happy and enjoying themselves. If you're nervous about cruising with lots of kids, don't be; the kids on our cruise were very well managed, either by their parents or by the youth staff.
A children's menu is served in the Compass Rose during peak family travel times, with kid favorites like chicken tenders and mac and cheese, though children can order full or half portions off regular menus, as well. In-suite babysitting services ($25 an hour per child, up to two kids) are offered upon request and availability of staff. Inquire at reception with advance notice.