23 Regent Seven Seas Explorer Cruise Reviews for Luxury Cruises to Baltic Sea

We had tried to get a group of friends together to tour the British Isles for a few years, but it never happened. My wife and I decided to take a British Isles cruise on Regent's Explorer instead, and are very glad we did. We used ... Read More
We had tried to get a group of friends together to tour the British Isles for a few years, but it never happened. My wife and I decided to take a British Isles cruise on Regent's Explorer instead, and are very glad we did. We used the included business class to arrive in Southampton a day early. We mainly used the day to shake off jet lag, and the next day used the hotel's complimentary car service to get to the port at around 12:30. Embarkation was a breeze; we were the only passengers there, and had a choice of 10 people to take care of us. We had cocktails on the pool deck, and were in our room with our luggage just after 2:00. That couldn't have been easier. The room was an F2 (Superior) suite. It had a large walk in closet, with more hangers than we needed (and we overpacked). The bathroom was nice with double sinks, a bathtub and a separate shower. All of the surfaces were luxurious marble. The bed was very comfy and faced the veranda, the veranda was big and had nice wicker chairs,and our room attendant dropped off a bottle of scotch and a bottle of bourbon. No complaints about our room at all, and it was one of the bottom end suites! We spent some time touring the ship, and were frankly amazed at how nice all of the public areas were. It's maximum luxury, almost obsessively so. Everything was spotless and appeared to be in perfect shape. Explorer has been in service for about three years, and looks like it's a brand new vessel. It's supposed to be refurbished this fall, but the passenger-visible areas don't seem to need it. We split our dinners between Compass Rose (the main dining room) and the specialty restaurants. We like to eat late, and that made it easy to get additional reservations at the specialty places. We can honestly say that we didn't have a single dish that we were unhappy with. The service was also great, everything was perfectly paced. One or both of Prime 7 and Chartreuse are open for lunch each day, and that was really nice. All in all, it couldn't have been better. We don't pay much attention to the entertainment. Since we eat late, the show has usually started by the time we're ready. But what we did see was pretty good. Cruise director John Barron's show was excellent. He's really a great CD, the best we've run across. They had an Irish flute player that we liked. The real highlights were two groups that John brought on board. In Belfast there was a troupe of musicians and dancers that told the Belfast story. But the topper was in Liverpool where he had the Cavern Club Beatles on stage. They are the house band at the Cavern Club, the place the actual Beatles play hundreds of times. The theater was definitely rocking that night! Cons: 1. The theater has too many obstructed vision seats. The steps are tricky when the lights go out, and we saw a woman fall and break her ankle. She had to be airlifted off the ship the next day. 2. British weather. Pros: 1. Literally everything else. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
First RSSC cruise, chose the ship because it’s supposed to be the newest & best of their fleet. Beautiful ship, good layout of public spaces, lots of dining options (food so-so at Sette Mari & Pacific Rim; liked Prime 7 & ... Read More
First RSSC cruise, chose the ship because it’s supposed to be the newest & best of their fleet. Beautiful ship, good layout of public spaces, lots of dining options (food so-so at Sette Mari & Pacific Rim; liked Prime 7 & Chartreuse; La Veranda ok, Pool Grill good). Enjoyed Pré dinner drinks at the various lounges. Embarkation & disembarkation were a breeze (did our own private transfers to/from, also booked hotels of our choice Pre & Post cruise, so avoided chaos at Regent selected hotels). Loved our Grand Suite 1015 (can hear pool deck chairs & running every now & then; though not enough to really bother us)! Majority of staff were friendly & helpful. There were quite a number of crew members who ignored us walking by, no greeting, no eye contact. We’re they afraid we were going to ask them to do something? Our room attendants & Butler were great fortunately. Service outside our Suite fell short. Are they understaffed or undertrained or inefficient? After embarking, tried to have lunch at La Veranda. Absolute mayhem! Ended up at the Pool Grill. Going to La Veranda for breakfast was always an ordeal. Empty tables but none ready. Have to stand & wait several minutes for someone to come over & help us find a table. Coffee refills slow. We mostly ate dinner in the Specialty restaurants to avoid the bedlam at La Veranda, Sette Mari & Compass Rose. Half the time, we’d show up at Pacific Rim or Prime 7 or Chartreuse and no one will be at the reception podium. Have to stand and wait. Same at the Constellation theater, have to wait for drinks server to take our order. We finally got smart & would stop at the Explorer Lounge to get our drinks & would take them into the theater. A lot of waiting for service, not good. Entertainment was ok. Lounge music quite boring. Didn’t go to any lectures since topics were not interesting to us. Shore excursions were well run. Tour guides were mostly ok. Very nice spa. They messed up my husband’s massage appointment which we booked 3 weeks in advance - he was not on the schedule. He had to take a different day; no attempt on Canyon Ranch’s part to give us any remuneration for the inconvenience. The manager did apologize profusely. We are loyal Crystal cruisers so we’re always comparing our Regent experience to Crystal’s. Explorer being a new ship wins on facilities hands-down. Crystal’s service & entertainment are so much better. Food quality are comparable but I thought Crystal had better buffets. We do have a RSSC Navigator cruise booked for January 2020 just because we were looking for a cruise that circumnavigated Australia. Having second thoughts about it now. They better have excellent service because Navigator certainly will not have facilities like Explorer’s. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I specifically chose this cruise for the new ship and the itinerary. Neither disappointed. The ship is absolutely beautiful and anyone who reviews it less than 5 stars I really wonder about... So book with confidence for a luxury ship - ... Read More
I specifically chose this cruise for the new ship and the itinerary. Neither disappointed. The ship is absolutely beautiful and anyone who reviews it less than 5 stars I really wonder about... So book with confidence for a luxury ship - your stateroom, pool, and public areas. See my stateroom review. I would agree with other reviewers service was so-so. Some of the staff were excellent - would address you by name, have a great conversation and remembered your preferences. Those staff members made the cruise super enjoyable. Other staff members, mostly assistants in specialty, staff in the main dining room and at breakfast were fairly checked out and didn't really care. The complimentary beverage selection was very good and fairly large, we never felt a need to order a paid item. There was a huge variation on the wine availability. Some staff would only serve the "one" featured wine. 3 ports in we learned from another passenger who had complained to f&b manager about beverages and food, learned and told us they had a wine list that you could order from. Once we discovered that and ordered our wine by name it was much more pleasant. Other than staff convenience and budget, I'm not sure why they keep that such a well guarded secret. So be sure to ask to see the ship's wine list! Food was average. While the menu was massive in the main dining room, the quality and taste was average. I will throw kudos their way - we ate in the main dining room only twice on a 12 night cruise and both times they allowed my husband to order a dish he made up with ingredients they had on board. That, in itself, says something about the ship. Specialty restaurant food was equally just average. The chef at the French restaurant comes out and chats with each table, a very nice touch. I will say almost every passenger we met had a different opinion on food quality, so it must be driven by what you are accustomed to. We live in a large city and eat in top restaurants so perhaps our expectations are high. The pool buffet offered a rotating menu and the food was great. They did a specialty buffet on sea days. Eating in specialty restaurants more than once is not a problem. If the main dining room is busy they will offer that up as an option or ask to get in again once you board. Theater shows were good - no problem getting a seat with good sight lines - the theater has ample seating. Avoid the balcony as another passenger suggested. Lounge entertainment is all geared to those passengers 70 plus with no variation. Regents has some work to do to appeal to anyone under 70 and should really focus some time on that. Their target audience goes to bed after the show (10:15). By 11:30 only the one front desk person is up. There were times when we wanted to be at the casino and it was closed. They have improved since our last cruise - now in one lounge they have a self service iPad that you can play music from. We met the 2 other couples on board under 70 and made our own fun. Our takeaway is sail with a group of friends if you are under 70. Pool was heated to about 90 and very enjoyable as we had fall type weather with plenty of sunshine. The nice thing with the older crowd, there were plenty of chaise lounges at the pool. Pool service was good and it was very enjoyable to just relax and read. Canyon Ranch needs to ease off the push to sell products. I was a bit disappointed in my ritual massage/scrub experience I booked with them - not quite up to par. Same for hair salon - I paid $120 for a blow out for short hair and got shamed because I didn't want to order Kerastase products - hello I can get them in the US. Shore excursions we did all private, except for 3, as we knew there would be a lot of older folks on board. I loved the overnights we had in two ports as you could really get out and explore in much more depth or enjoy a nice dinner off ship. We did the dinner at Chateau de Tetre - very nice tour and appetizers. Dinner was ok - chicken. If I did it again I would have dined in Bodeaux. We also took the Santiago de Compostela tour with the ship - I would not recommend - there was no need to be in town so long and the food was again a bit of disappointment (chicken). Lastly chef market tour and tapas cooking class. Can't recommend that either - we grilled bread with olive oil on it. I don't quite understand the culinary kitchen - it takes up quite a bit of real estate but all of the classes except the one I took were booked 10 months prior to sailing and there were not that many in total. I would think they should use that venue every day as it is a revenue generator. I did hear from another passenger that the class she took they actually made something. I booked all of my tours on Tours By Locals. The ship's schedule allowed ample time in port to explore. I could not find a tour guide for St Malo so we took a cab to see St Michel and Cannacle. It worked out great and was only 300 euro. We could not tender in St Jean de Lux so we had 2 days in Bilbao. We got off the ship that night for a local dinner at the port town which was quite fun. We took the air credit and booked our own first class air so no issue with that. Langham London was lovely and had a great location. We came in several days early and the hotel worked with our 2 reservations and kept us in the same upgraded room. Regents paid for breakfast and the transfer to Southampton, which was about a 1 1/2 to 2 hour bus ride. In Barcelona, super simple to get off the ship and take a cab to the airport. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We sailed on the new Explorer. We were very disappointed with our cabin on this new ship. Very small compared to the other Regent ships. (we have sailed on all the others). Couldn't move in the room. Closet too close to the beds, no ... Read More
We sailed on the new Explorer. We were very disappointed with our cabin on this new ship. Very small compared to the other Regent ships. (we have sailed on all the others). Couldn't move in the room. Closet too close to the beds, no walk around space. Very disappointing compared to the sister ships. Our cabin was like a much less comparable cruise line cabin. We like Regent because we have always had a walk in closet, a vanity for hair and makeup, space to move around and a much larger bathroom. Explorer other than that was fine. Still need to get a few kinks out, but service is good and food is excellent. Should have stuck with the cabin sized on the other ships. Way too small and a big disappointment. Food is always excellent on Regent cruises. New Asian restaurant is wonderful. Staff in the restaurants are top notch. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was our 9th cruise with Regent and much anticipated. We embarked in Stockholm and sailed the Baltic returning to Southampton. We looked forward to being on the new ship having watched the programme about it's construction. The ... Read More
This was our 9th cruise with Regent and much anticipated. We embarked in Stockholm and sailed the Baltic returning to Southampton. We looked forward to being on the new ship having watched the programme about it's construction. The decor is dark wood everywhere and lots of old fashioned bling. Regent missed a real opportunity to tap in to the younger age group who can afford luxury all inclusive holidays. There has been a real drop in standards. The beds were always super comfortable on the other ships. Not this time. The bedding was always silky and luxurious so much so I have in the past tried to buy some without success. Apparently you can now buy it from the ship but it so inferior I would not bother. The service is patchy with more of the " couldn't care less attitude" in evidence. Breakfast was a shambles with insufficient seating and staff too busy to pay attention. I had to wait 15 minutes for an espresso one morning which arrived in the form of luke warm filter coffee with froth on top. Other days it arrived at the service point and I had to collect it. We were not offered water and the food was bland cafeteria quality and staff looked harrassed and unhappy. It used to be that the miserable ones stood out now it is the other way around. Lunch was bland with little choice of hot dishes which again looked like they had been sat there all day and were only just warm. The pool deck was the same with lukewarm fries. No special buffets were staged even when at sea for the day. The restaurants have not changed their menus much in the seven years we have been cruising. Does the menu itself have to be bigger than A4size and in an incredibly heavy awkward cover!The fillet minion in Prime Seven, the specialist steak place, was dry and inedible. The new restaurant Chartreuse, replacing Signatures , was the only fine dining we experienced and we were limited to one booking.. in the coffee lounge I was either ignored or palmed off with the wrong coffee in the wrong cup. At tea they failed to anticipate the numbers and at one point a long queue stretched behind a single trolley with one sandwhich on it. When more did arrive they had yo be served on saucers as there were no plates. They ran out of scones and at that point we gave up. We gave up on the entertainment years ago and went to bed early. It is all Broadway themed from 60 years ago or the usual Beatles night. The Cruise Director and his partner were appalling and did nothing to include all guests just their" groupies" The tours were mixed. The ambience on the ship is nothing compared to Seabourne. We criuised twice with them and the dancers and officers all come down to the bars and get involved. Those on Regent do their hours and that's it. They are just not interested. The dvd's and in suite films are put of date. We spent a lot of time reading. We had three days in St Petersburg and wasted one and a half as were advised not to book morning and afternoon tours. This was incorrect and others did both. Very disappointing. We did try and get on one when we arrived back at lunchtime but a very very unhelpful and very brusque member of destinations would not budge. Her excuse" there's no one on the desk to print out your ticket" She was at the time sitting down doing nothing. When I pointed out that this was very unhelpful she said we had all been warned not to book last minute! That had not actually happened and surely on a luxury cruise staff should go above and beyond wherever possible. That's how it used to be..The other tours were ok but one in to Sweden from Denmark was a waste of time. Although included in the price you pay many of these tours are very basic. In St Petersburg for example we only drove past the Hermitage and could not stop to take a picture in the square. At the very picturesque church in the centre we had ten minutes to run and take a picture then spent twenty minutes in a tatty souvenir shop. Most guests stayed on the bus. That should tell them something but as usual nothing changes in that respect. We will not cruise with Regent again. Our early cruises were complete luxury and we recommended this company widely. We have spent a lot of money with them cruising all over the world. This is no longer luxury cruising. It has not only dropped standards but has failed to move with the times. Cruising has become so popular with younger professionals and this company fail to notice. We are now in our late fifties. We are prepared to pay for luxury but expect to experience it. We like to be entertained but are way past the days of Broadway and the Beatles. We love good food. Quality over quantity. Regent has failed us. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Luxury encompasses the entire passenger experience. The physical environment of the ship is part of this experience, and the Seven Seas Explorer does present an environment that is richly decorated and often spacious, but the passenger ... Read More
Luxury encompasses the entire passenger experience. The physical environment of the ship is part of this experience, and the Seven Seas Explorer does present an environment that is richly decorated and often spacious, but the passenger experience suffers some of the same faults that I have encountered on other Regent ships. After a rather bad experience on a recent cruise on the Seven Seas Voyager (previously reviewed on Cruise Critic), we were hesitant to take another Regent journey. However, we had already booked this trip, the itinerary was one that had great appeal to us (one of the few that have three full days in St. Petersburg), and several friends who had been on the Explorer raved about it, so we decided to go ahead. The cruise was certainly an improvement over our one on the Voyager, but not quite perfect. Our suite, a Concierge E level, was indeed one of the best cabins we have had on a cruise ship. It had plenty of sitting room, was well furnished, had a very comfortable bed and a large balcony, and more than enough drawers, cabinets and closet space. The bathroom was also well designed, with two sinks, a tub and a very good shower, and again plenty of drawers and shelf and counter space. Although the Explorer offers even larger suites, we saw no need for anything bigger. Regent appears to have spared no expense in outfitting the common areas of the ship. Furniture and fixtures were over the top. Of course, décor is a personal matter, and I found some of the areas to be overdone, some clashing of various styles, and the art was not to my liking, but I would not downgrade the Explorer for these reasons as others do love the way the ship is outfitted. One of the disappointing parts of the cruise was the food. Presentations were always very well done, but the taste often did not live up to expectations. The specialty restaurants were especially disappointing. Service was exceeding slow (way past leisurely) to the point where we started a meal at 7:00 and were not finished until after 10:00, missing the evening show. In Prime 7 I had the Prime Rib, one of my favorites on previous Regent cruises, but the meat was lacking in flavor and texture. In Chartreuse I had the “rack of lamb,” actually just two lamb chops that were overcooked. In Pacific Rim I had the lobster tempura, finding the lobster to be tough and flavorless. But the Pacific Rim is beautifully decorated at least. We were able to get only one reservation in each restaurant, not understanding why some people seemed to be able to get multiple reservations. But we found that one was enough. We actually preferred meals in the Compass Rose and especially Sette Mare, where service was much better (and much improved from previous Regent cruises). The breakfast and lunch buffets lacked variety from day to day, but there were plenty of choices. The specialty restaurants were also open at lunch with a limited menu and offered a sit-down alternative to the buffet, but the hours were limited and often closed before morning excursions returned. The sommeliers or wine stewards did not seem to know much about wine, always suggesting a wine before they knew what you planned to eat. The Constellation Theater, where the big shows are held, is a disaster. None of the balcony seats, and less than half of the main floor seats, have good sight lines. The acoustics are bad and muddy the vocalists. Speakers are badly placed and often the singing appears to be coming from the back of the theater rather than from the performer. In fact, for a while I thought they were lip-synching, but there was an instance where a singer had a microphone failure and you could hear her natural, unamplified voice and it was quite lovely. The singers and dancers were quite talented and gave good shows, although the choreography was a bit repetitive at times. The cast also made an effort to socialize with the passengers, which was a very nice touch. The excursions were mostly good, although we optioned for independent tours in St. Petersburg as the Regent included tours were primarily only half day and didn’t allow you to get to much in this marvelous city. For most of the tours Regent did not provide personal audio systems, making it hard to hear the guides. Almost all the tour groups from other ships did seem to have the audio systems. The departures for the tours were most unpleasant. People were asked to wait around the theater and then there was a mob scene with pushing and shoving when a tour was called. We have never had this type of problem on other cruise lines and Regent needs to find a better way. The enrichment lectures were a big disappointment. In an area rich in history and culture, the speaker, chose not to talk about any of the ports but instead all but one of his lectures were about the Vikings, pertinent to the region but not worth so many lectures. And the lectures were generally rambling collections of facts with no real take home points. The speaker was part of the Smithsonian lecture program and unfortunately he gave the Smithsonian a bad name. There was a paucity of activities during sea time, and most of the activities seemed to be promotions for the spa or the boutique. The Cruise Director, who should be responsible for the passenger experience, did not seem to be directing anything, but only acted as an announcer or an emcee. He appears to have been hired for his singing ability rather than for any administrative or guest relations abilities. He was probably the worst cruise director of the many cruises I have been on. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
The greatest joy - short of actually being on a Regent Seven Seas cruise - is the anticipation of that day you embark upon one of the best cruising experiences in the world. The greatest responsibility after your wonderful cruise is to ... Read More
The greatest joy - short of actually being on a Regent Seven Seas cruise - is the anticipation of that day you embark upon one of the best cruising experiences in the world. The greatest responsibility after your wonderful cruise is to try to pay amaige to all the professionals that ensured that every element was on point, every meal was a joy and every day was a life fulfilling experience. Unfortunately, words fail in fully expressing how truly gratifying the decision was to once again trust Regent to deliver the perfect vacation. My wife and I accompanied the RSS Explorer from Stockholm to London. The ship was everything that has been praised in past reviews - and more! You truly feel like you are the crew's primary concern on your own personal mega-yacht. The Explorer is small enough to literally transition from fore-to-aft, atrium-to-pool deck in minutes, yet large enough to feel like no matter where you were, you still felt there was a whole ship to explore. Never was there a crowd at any venue. Always there were options where to grab a bite, to enjoy a drink or to find a calm place to sit and absorb the ambiance of the ship. We had a couple of evenings where the seas were up and you could feel the motion of the seas, but the Explorer always performed excellently and nothing moved from any spot. We were staying in Penthouse "B" Suite 818 which is perfectly located just forward of the atrium elevators/stairs but also secluded enough to be very quiet and peaceful. It was our first exposure to being afforded a Butler and found the experience to be warming and gratifying - but not a necessity. Our butler, Prakash, was never in our way but always present moments after we expressed a need or desire. The high point was Prakash's ability to provide a short notice balcony party for leaving Amsterdam. He setup high end canapés, wine(s) of choice and a semi-formal table setting. Later - it all disappeared like we had been alone in our suite. The layout of the Penthouse suites is unique to the Explorer and has been criticized, but we found it comfortable and functional. The walkin closet is sufficient for any cruise lasting up to 16-20 days. The dining venues were all exceptional - including in-suite - and match your mood at the moment. All were equal in quality and service but these subtle points are noted: Compass Rose was an enjoyable option for Breakfast or Dinner. The very competent Matire'de, Alen, and his staff always provided a welcoming atmosphere and excellent service. Alen repositioned himself at lunchtime to the La Veranda and did a equally good job of overseeing the mostly buffet venue. La Veranda was always our choice for lunch as long as we were able to return from an excursion in time. The Pool Grill which is in operation until 4:00 was a suitable option if La Veranda was missed. In addition to the buffet line offerings they also offer sandwiches and burgers to order and small entrees. One small criticism of a venue is that the portions are extra large and difficult to finish unless you limit the anti-pasti and bread, and still, might be too much. Of the specialty restaurants, the best was Prime 7 and least enjoyed was Pacific Rim - mostly because it is Asian inspired rather than authentic Asian cuisine. So, you can expect to be offered similar fare to other restaurants but with an Asian sauce. Example: Korean barbecue Lamb Chops... That didn't workout like someone might have intended. Chartreuse was a true joy - closely paring in satisfaction to Prime 7. The Coffee Connection seemed to always be ready to fill the void if you were peckish or in need of a craft coffee drink. Martina was an artist making Irish Coffees and Russian Chocolate concoctions. The Coffee Connection was also a perfect express breakfast option. We didn't hit all the production and featured performances presented in the Constellation Theatre but those we did attend were very well performed any very enjoyable. An outstanding performance one night was presented by our Cruise Director Andy Heath and his Social Hostess wife Tammy. Both are accomplished singers and were ever present throughout the cruise as the inspiration for enjoying life to its fullest. As I already stated, the services received in all the venues was exemplary and many of the staff went even above and beyond that to ensure that the passengers were very well cared for. Honestly, I can't think of any of the crew that failed in performance and maybe only one that might have needed more polishing. The ship's itinerary was " Port Intensive " with only one 'Sea Day' out of the twelve days aboard. Helsinki Finland was experienced at a leisurely pace, visiting the town market and other venues in the area. The food was interesting - if not challenging. Who knew smelt can be cooked so many ways? Saint Petersburg, which we spent three days/two nights was a treasure trove of history, architecture and culture. The Russian people treated us warmly and we were impressed with their openness and candor. On the second day my wife and I fulfilled a lifelong goal of visiting Moscow. Although this was a Regent Choice excursion and was an additional fee, it was the best 18 hours of my life. Four hours on a high-speed train to Moscow, paired with visits to the Kremlin, Red Square, the Metro Station as well as other venues filled the day with memorable sights, sounds and tastes. Visiting the previous Soviet States of Estonia (Tallinn) and Latvia (Riga) offered further insight to the wonderful people and culture of that region. Copenhagen and Amsterdam offered us beautiful vistas of wonderful architecture and quaint canals. Brussels was equally welcoming and we enjoyed experiencing the brews and concoctions of the country. The last and disembarkation port was Southampton UK which lead us to London for two nights which was a couple of nights too few to see and experience this cosmopolitan city. Saw a bunch, didn't get to experience enough. The 12 night cruise was a pleasure to take and Regent did an outstanding job. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
What can I say. Everything about this cruise was fantastic. Our F1 cabin was luxurious. The bathroom with a tub and shower and double vanity was wonderful. The large stateroom was great and the king bed was very comfy. The food was ... Read More
What can I say. Everything about this cruise was fantastic. Our F1 cabin was luxurious. The bathroom with a tub and shower and double vanity was wonderful. The large stateroom was great and the king bed was very comfy. The food was exceptional, especially in the specialty restaurants and they have three. We ate in all three and they were all great. We especially liked Chartreuse, the French Restaurant. The premium alcohol was very, very nice. You can get just about any type of drink you want and it is included. We enjoyed the cafe with all of the specialty coffees every day. The crew was great and sailing was very, very smooth. Everyone of the tours that we took was exceptional. The Ballet and the Evening Of The Tsars in St. Petersburg were the best, although there was an extra charge for both of them. If you go on this cruise, you must do both of those. The extra charge is well worth it. We also liked the itinerary very, very much. My wife and I also had great massages on board. And we loved having the unlimited wifi included. We used it all of the time. I cannot say enough about Regent and this cruise. This was our first Regent cruise, but it will not be our last. We will definitely sail with them again soon. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We wanted to try an all inclusive cruise and we loved the port intensive itinerary for our Baltic Sea cruise. We booked a F1 Superior Suite . On past cruises with Oceania and Celebrity we usually book a Concierge Suite or a Penthouse ... Read More
We wanted to try an all inclusive cruise and we loved the port intensive itinerary for our Baltic Sea cruise. We booked a F1 Superior Suite . On past cruises with Oceania and Celebrity we usually book a Concierge Suite or a Penthouse Suite. We were delighted when we entered our suite on the EXPLORER to find that a Superior Suite on Regent is not only equal in size but surpasses Penthouse suites or Concierge Class on other ships. It had a walk in closet, a large bathroom with double sinks, a bathtub and shower. We also had an oversized balcony. The ship itself is beautiful, so tastefully decorated and very comfortable. We tried al the dining options and all were equally excellent. Our room Stewards were courteous, and so helpful. They made sure we had everything we asked for and they even anticipated our needs. If our wine bottle was half empty, they put another bottle i our room and kept our refrigerator stocked with ice and soft drinks each day. We highly recommend the Explorer and Regent.. It was a wonderful experience. We hope to do another cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This review is divided into three parts: the good, the bad and the ugly. It accurately reflects my experiences prior to, during and after the cruise. Not being a knowledgeable cruiser (I had only cruised once before about 20 years ago), ... Read More
This review is divided into three parts: the good, the bad and the ugly. It accurately reflects my experiences prior to, during and after the cruise. Not being a knowledgeable cruiser (I had only cruised once before about 20 years ago), I relied upon both recommendations from friends and reviews in the travel press to select Regent Seven Seas for our Baltic adventure. I approached this cruise with very high expectations which were not always met. The Good: 1. Our suite, Explorer category, was large, bright, spotlessly clean, beautifully appointed and very comfortable. 2. The staff were extremely hardworking, professional and friendly. I would single out our butler, Leslie, and the Excursion Desk personnel for special praise. 3. The excursions offered were interesting and well-run. 4. The pre-cruise hotel (Marriott) in Copenhagen was well-located. Our room was large and sunny with a beautiful view. 5. Our flight from San Francisco to Copenhagen on Air France (business class) was exceptional. The Bad: 1. Electronics a. The Wi-Fi, when it was working, was both slow and failure-prone. b. The staff needed two days to fix the large television in the suite’s living room. 2. Suite a. The door between the bedroom and the living room did not close properly. It was repaired immediately, but was out of alignment within two days. b. The bedroom’s sliding glass balcony door did not seal properly. During high winds, the poor seal caused a loud howling noise. c. Upon returning to the suite one afternoon, I noticed a strong toilette odor emanating from the powder room. The smell lasted for about an hour. d. The suite’s air was very dry and irritated our sinuses. 3. Dining a. Every room service order had at least one error (e.g., items missing, items not ordered and/or delivered at the wrong time). The room service menu was also extremely limited. b. The food varied from disappointing (e.g., rock-hard French fries, over-cooked veal medallions, ruined prime rib and rubbery waffles) to disgusting (e.g., malodorous beef stroganoff and inedible swordfish). The food presentation was amateurish – picture Denny’s afloat. The wines were good, however. c. The main restaurant hours appeared set to channel passengers to the buffets rather than the ship’s more formal venues. If your excursion returned to the ship at mid-afternoon, your only option would be the Pool Grill with its unappetizing buffet, desiccated pizza and sandwiches (although the Cubano was passable). d. There was a silver lining to this culinary dark cloud – I lost three pounds on the cruise. 4. Return Flight a. Our return flight from Stockholm to San Francisco on SAS (business class – sort of) was not up to Air France’s standards for service, food and comfort. My seat was especially uncomfortable. It reminded me of the troop seats in military transport aircraft. b. Regent advertises that it’s cruises include international business class air travel. Our segment from Stockholm to Copenhagen was economy although Regent’s documents said otherwise. The Ugly: 1. Booking the trip a. My ordeal with Regent’s back office began with my initial contact. My agent stated that he had only been with the company for about a year and it showed. I inquired about a specific cruise and was told it was sold-out. He attempted to steer me toward an earlier cruise which I told him would most likely not work because of my companion’s schedule. That notwithstanding, he charged my credit card for a $6,179.70 deposit without my authorization. He then sent me an email stating that I had a one-day grace period before the deposit would become non-refundable. Because I could not reach my companion (she was travelling internationally), I called Regent, explained the situation (again) and cancelled the unauthorized reservation. I then spent nearly a week corresponding with the agent before finally receiving the refund. My frustration had reached the point where I told the agent that I would no longer deal with Regent directly, but would work through my own travel agent (which is what I should have done in the first place). b. At that point, a suite on the cruise I had originally chosen miraculously became available. I told the agent I would use my travel agent for the booking. He then asked me book the trip through him so he could “get the credit.” Once I had done that, he would transfer the booking to my travel professional. Fearing I might lose the suite, I agreed. The trip was booked and the transfer made. c. When I received the preliminary itinerary from Regent, it showed my companion returning to the U.S. ahead of me. My agent contacted Regent to correct the error and was told the extra night in Stockholm would cost approximately $1,200. Given that my companion and I were sharing a room for which I had already paid, I took issue with the proposed charge. I know Sweden is expensive, but I cannot believe an extra breakfast could cost that much. It took a day to get that issue sorted out. d. Regent sent me our airline reservations approximately one month before the departure date. Upon checking them, I discovered that we were not sitting together. Sorting out this error took another couple of days. e. Regent was also less than helpful regarding Russian visa requirements for my companion (she is a foreign national). 2. Arrival in Copenhagen a. We arrived in Copenhagen on schedule and were met by a Regent representative. The representative collected our luggage and then escorted us to our transportation to the hotel. b. We registered at the hotel and then stopped by the Regent courtesy desk to check in. Apparently, somewhere over the Atlantic, we had ceased to exist – the courtesy desk had no record of us. We were told that if we really were on the cruise we would have to arrange our own transfers from the hotel to the ship. Regent’s representative didn’t seem to believe us even after we showed them the “Final Cruise Vacation Summary” provided by the cruise line. It took until the next day to get this problem sorted out. 3. Management stupidity a. On one day, the ship scheduled crew safety training at the same time excursions were attempting to leave the ship. When we tried to exit the ship, we were blocked by crew members participating in the drill. b. We went to the Compass Rose restaurant for breakfast on our final morning. Breakfast took more than an hour (not including the time it took to be seated) because the restaurant was set for dinner and not adequately staffed. Apparently, it never occurred with the ship’s hotel management that the passengers might want to have a nice “last meal.” c. While we were waiting to disembark on the final day, the ship’s crew closed the restrooms on and adjacent to the disembarkation deck. Regent is an expensive cruise line and many, if not most, of its passengers are older. Closing those restrooms showed absolutely no regard for passenger comfort. One group of women actually rebelled and forced an attendant to open a restroom for them. NOTE TO MANAGEMENT: CRUISING IS A SERVICE BUSINESS AND YOUR PASSENGERS PAY A GREAT DEAL OF MONEY SO YOU CAN EAT. 4. Post-cruise hotel a. Regent booked us into the Haymarket by Scandic in Stockholm. The room was cramped, dark and noisy. Its bathroom was so small one could hardly turn around in it. b. We considered ordering room service, but concluded there was no place to eat it. c. We ordered take-away breakfasts for our final morning (the airport transfer left before the hotel began breakfast service), but they were never provided. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was our second cruise on the Seven Seas Explorer. The service was improved from last year when the ship was new. Food in Compass Rose and specialty restaurants was good but lunches in La Veranda were rather poor. It seems any time ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Seven Seas Explorer. The service was improved from last year when the ship was new. Food in Compass Rose and specialty restaurants was good but lunches in La Veranda were rather poor. It seems any time they do buffet it is not up to standard. This also applied to one dinner in La Veranda. The Ship itself is quite beautiful and well laid out. Artwork is a matter of taste and the art on this ship is cutting edge and not for everyone. Shore excursions were hit or miss depending on the guide. More than half of them did not speak good english. They did offer a good choice of shore trips, I just wish they would get better guides. The entertainment was also a step up from last year. We particularly enjoyed the comedian/magician and the dancers. All in all a good cruise, Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Bottom line: Incredible cruise but with a few hitches (some Regent related, most not) 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 ... Read More
Bottom line: Incredible cruise but with a few hitches (some Regent related, most not) 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. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this cruise partly because of the reviews and partly because it went to a few places that we have not been before. First, the good: They had an excellent lecturer aboard and I thought his presentation was phenomenal. ... Read More
We chose this cruise partly because of the reviews and partly because it went to a few places that we have not been before. First, the good: They had an excellent lecturer aboard and I thought his presentation was phenomenal. They had one great restaurant: Chartreuse, for French, but you can only book it once. The suite was adequate, lots of drawer space. The seating area could be partitioned off with curtains, so it could be considered an actual suite. Decor is very dark with low ceilings. I am 5’6” and could place my whole hand on the ceiling. Now the negative: We have cruised before with Seabourn and Silverseas. This did not compare to those lines in any way. The main issue is the overall experience: We felt like cattle. Like many other luxury lines, they include the tours in your price, but unlike others our experience, they make no attempt to control the quality of the tours. On Silverseas, we had a crew/staff member on every bus and on every tour. If something went wrong, that person was able to manage it or intervene. Regent makes no effort to even ask for reviews of the tours. The most obnoxious part was the tour departures: They ask you to line up early on board to turn in your tour ticket and get a bus number. There are a lot of buses on a 700 guest cruise... then you wait and wait in the very dark “Constellation Lounge” until your bus is called. Often twice a day. You spend a very long time hanging out in this lounge with staff repeating the same thing over and over... Then you line up to offload and get on the buses. I do not remember any waits or lines for the tours on with either Silverseas or Seabourn. Finally, the food is just ok. They rely heavily on buffets. Their returning customers seemed happy with that. There was exceent restaurant, Chartreuse. The other two were just OK. There seemed to be a dichotomy of opinion between people who cruised with them often and the newcomers to Regent. The returning customers thought it was just the best experience, and the newcomers were talking mutiny. Our experience was exactly what we wanted to avoid on a cruise. Perhaps it is caused by the move back to larger ships. It has put us off cruising for the future. One of the reasons we chose Regent was because of the glowing reviews. Please don’t be fooled. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We have sailed on Regent going back to when they were Radisson, ( Pre-Regent days), and thought they were excellent. We last enjoyed them a year ago in Alaska, and we were looking forward to sailing on their new ship the Explorer. ... Read More
We have sailed on Regent going back to when they were Radisson, ( Pre-Regent days), and thought they were excellent. We last enjoyed them a year ago in Alaska, and we were looking forward to sailing on their new ship the Explorer. Advertised as the most luxurious ship a-float, we thought this would be the ultimate in Regent Cruising. Suffice it to say I assume that the cost of the ship and its extensive art work and decor must be paid for somehow, and so cuts must be made. It is the little things such as food served lukewarm, or tepid. A request at lunch for a German or dutch lager beer and getting served " Tiger Beer " from the Philippines. A Concierge that immediately responds; "We are not offering any Compensation", when all you were doing was making them aware of an issue, ( while never asking for any compensation). Ordering an Asian stir fry dish listed on the menu in the Pacific Rim Restaurant and being asked how you wanted it cooked? Really? Going to the Patio for lunch and taking a dish from the stack just placed by the kitchen staff and finding the first plate still has food residue stuck on it. When reported and shown to the server, they simply took it away and left the stack of dished it came off of in place for other passengers to take their plates from. I have no idea if the other plates were clean or may have also have had some residue stuck on them as well. Is it possible as Regent has increased the size of this newest ship to add more passengers that they have lost ability to continue to provide World Class Customer Service? Our overall experience made us feel as if we were on a Princess, or Celebrity Cruise, good but not " Luxury Class, not world Class. Goodbye Regent and Hello NCL. Service for the masses, good but not luxury. For us, if I want that type of service I can Cruise with Princess, or Celebrity, or Royal Caribbean. For luxury though, I will be comparing to SeaBourn, and SilverSea Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This cruise took us from Iceland, through the Faroe and Shetland Islands, to Norway, Sweden, and ending in Copenhagen. What a wonderful experience - we will find it difficult to “go back” to regular cruising. The service was ... Read More
This cruise took us from Iceland, through the Faroe and Shetland Islands, to Norway, Sweden, and ending in Copenhagen. What a wonderful experience - we will find it difficult to “go back” to regular cruising. The service was outstanding, drinks were generous and ubiquitous, our cabin was so luxurious that we didn’t mind spending time in it, excursions were informative and geared to the capabilities of the “over 55” set that is the primary passenger profile. Beautiful ship with original artwork, glass sculptures, etc. Only complaint is that, since airfare is included, they make the arrangements, and you have no say in your air itinerary unless you pay a $175pp fee. Domestic airfare is coach, not what you expect for a luxury line that transports you in Business Class for overseas travel. Our next cruise leaves Miami and ends up in San Francisco - we don’t expect to have to travel coach cross-country, and the cost for upgrade is very high. The rebate if you choose not to use their airfare is not enough to cover travel cost. We do like the convenience and security of using them to book air, but wish that they would just include travel arrangements that are suitable for a luxury vacation for ALL of their cruises.. We did have to stand outside in a cold wind with slight rain, waiting to embark onto the ship. Other passengers told us that having to stand in line out in the cold (and it’s cold in Iceland even in August) was not normal. Did not like that. Hotel in Reykjavik was poor, but they are building more new ones all around. Our room was small, no A/C so we had to keep the window open even in the rain, listening to the traffic below. Mold in the shower. I suggest RSSC find a better hotel there or get the Blue to improve. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
My husband and I chose this ship after seeing the PBS special, "Ultimate Cruise Ship." We were sorely disappointed, though, especially given the cost of this cruise. You'd expect that an average cost of $2,000 per day for ... Read More
My husband and I chose this ship after seeing the PBS special, "Ultimate Cruise Ship." We were sorely disappointed, though, especially given the cost of this cruise. You'd expect that an average cost of $2,000 per day for the two of us would have resulted in exceptional service and food. Wrong! Not only was the food institutional quality, but the service on the ship was only average. We even had a malfunctioning toilet the entirety of the cruise (it would fill up to the very top with water if not flushed every 3-4 hours). We also had a serious problem with the excursions. We booked way ahead of time only to find that the destinations team re-booked us on several excursions that overlapped with other excursions during the day. When we inquired about getting our existing tour, we were told they were sold out. What a huge, huge disappointment and point of frustration on what was supposed to be a luxury cruise. Outside of the beautifully furnished cruise ship and public areas, this is not a luxury cruise. Don't waste your hard-earned money! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
My wife and I did the 10 day Baltic cruise from Copenhagen to Stockholm. We are not experienced cruisers - we had only been on one short Carnival Ecstasy cruise in 2007. Regent's Explorer provides a far superior experience. Bottom ... Read More
My wife and I did the 10 day Baltic cruise from Copenhagen to Stockholm. We are not experienced cruisers - we had only been on one short Carnival Ecstasy cruise in 2007. Regent's Explorer provides a far superior experience. Bottom line: the Explorer is beautiful and the service is top-notch. Embarkation was initially a little bumpy - we had stayed at a hotel arranged by Regent and rode the 12:10pm bus to the port to discover a really long line. The initial passport check took 40 minutes. After that, the rest of the checkin process went smoothly. We talked with a couple who took a different approach to embarkation: they stayed at a Regent hotel and used the bus to transport their luggage. But they enjoyed the afternoon in Copenhagen and then had a taxi take them to the ship at about 3pm and they experienced no lines. In general the food was delicious. We ate at La Veranda most days for breakfast and lunch and then Compass Rose for supper. The food was not overly spicy but was not bland either. Our only complaint about Compass Rose was the noise level - it gets really loud which diminishes the ambience a bit. Noise was never a problem in any of the other restaurants and we tried them all: Prime 7, Chartreuse, Sette Mari, and Pacific Rim. We found that as a general rule Regent's food service staff will accommodate just about any request. If you want an appetizer-sized portion of an entree, they can make that happen. Or if you enjoy an entree so much that you want a second helping, they will bring it to you - I requested seconds on the scallops one night at Compass Rose. Regarding the Regent excursions, I've seen reviews complaining about overcrowded buses, which we did not encounter. The problem we had was that the quality of the guides on the Regent excursions varied dramatically. A secondary issue was the scheduling of the Regent excursions: in most of the ports, it was only possible to go on one of Regent's excursions because they schedule all excursions to leave with an hour of each other. But the most important factor regarding excursions is: are you cruising to enjoy the ship or to spend time in the ports? For ports where you really want to learn about the city and make the best use of your time, arrange a private guide in advance. That's what we did in St. Petersburg and Stockholm and we are very glad that we did. A few other things: 1. Ships in general are not designed for tall people. I am 6'5" (195cm) and in the public rooms (restaurants, bars, etc) that was never a problem on the Explorer. And thankfully the shower stall in our cabin had adequate head room. But walking the hallways on the decks that have cabins was a bit dicey. And since our room was all the way aft, the hallway slopes up slightly, leaving less head room, so I could not actually stand up straight outside our door without banging my head on the light fixture. 2. There are laundry facilities available and Regent even provides soap. If Regent does your laundry for you, the prices are similar to what you would pay in a hotel: starting at $1.95 for socks and going up to $8.95 for slacks. 3. Reservations for the premium restaurants, Regent excursions, and spa services should be made in advance to guarantee you get the days/times that you want. The restaurant and excursion reservations are easily done through the Regent web site but I was not able to find a way to make spa reservations online. All in all, a great trip. Everything about it lived up to Regent's luxury reputation. The staff was always helpful, cheerful, and attentive. We've never really thought of ourselves as "cruise people," but if we cruise again it will be on Regent. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This was our second cruise on the Explorer. Our previous one was when the ship was "young" - fall, 2016. We were so impressed that we chose another cruise 8 months later. In addition, the itinerary fit our vacation plans. After ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Explorer. Our previous one was when the ship was "young" - fall, 2016. We were so impressed that we chose another cruise 8 months later. In addition, the itinerary fit our vacation plans. After spending several days in Norway, we boarded the ship in Stockholm. Embarkation was very smooth. We arrived at about 2 PM and within a half hour were relaxing in our cabin, with luggage delivered. If only the airlines were so prompt! The ship was in perfect condition, with everything polished and clean. Service was outstanding, from the cabin staff to the restaurants to the spa and gym. The ship traveled smoothly, even on the one night when the Baltic was rather rough. The lecturer was interesting and informative, especially with regard to Russian history. Entertainment was still spotty (see our previous review). This is not a 1980 Las Vegas crowd. Food was good to excellent. We had meals in all three specialty restaurants. Compass Rose was fine, as were Prime 7 and the French restaurant. Pacific Rim was somewhat disappointing. This was American Chinese food - OK for someone from a tiny town I suppose, but for us it was boring. And the wait staff, who were non-Asian, were clueless about the food. We chose Regent shore excursions and they were excellent. While the excursions often depend on the tour leader, we must have lucked out as the leaders were uniformly good. All in all, a five-star experience, as advertised. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Food was the best I've had on any cruise ship. Cruised 12 times. Ship's staff also some of the best as well as their service. Specialty restaurant Pacific Rim clearly our favorite. Ship always spotless. Liked flying business ... Read More
Food was the best I've had on any cruise ship. Cruised 12 times. Ship's staff also some of the best as well as their service. Specialty restaurant Pacific Rim clearly our favorite. Ship always spotless. Liked flying business class with one night at hotel with breakfast and the fact that all transfers were included if you choose Concierge E or above. To me well worth the extra and no hassle. Improvements: Enrichment speaker boring and needs to liven it up some. Shops onboard very limited leaning toward high end. No night light in bathroom. Entertainment regrettably only average. Some hits some misses. Wine selection not as great as I expected. I am not a wine snob but they offered me 2 Cabs. Tours needed some improvements and not what I had expected. Tour guides average only. Procedure for getting on and off for tours was very professional. Would consider returning. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Background information We have reviewed all our previous cruises which were on-board RSSC’s Mariner and Voyager in the Mediterranean but this time we wanted to try the new Explorer and enjoy the convenience of a Southampton round trip ... Read More
Background information We have reviewed all our previous cruises which were on-board RSSC’s Mariner and Voyager in the Mediterranean but this time we wanted to try the new Explorer and enjoy the convenience of a Southampton round trip which meant our holiday could begin with a comfortable car journey. Ship information The Seven Seas Explorer has been in service for less than a year and is described by Regent as ‘the most luxurious ship ever built’. As with Mariner and Voyager, the vessel is very spacious both in terms of cabin sizes and public areas. Although we sailed full, at no time on board did we feel at all crowded. The staff to passenger ratio is amongst the highest of all the cruise lines so that service is always at hand. Service We have always found service on board Regent ships very good but on Explorer it was even better! As many of the crew seemed to have started on the Explorer, Regent has done a really excellent job of training them up to its wonderful standard. Excursions As most excursions are included in the fare on Regent, they are of course very popular Almost all the excursions began with a bus ride and we were disappointed to find that Regent seemed to be filling the buses almost to capacity whereas in the past they have only been two-thirds full at the very most – takes the edge off the ‘luxury’ tag a bit to be on a crowded bus. Generally, the tours and the guides were of a high standard. Dining Compass Rose The main dining room with no reservations required and you can choose to share or not, as you wish. Sunday was a sea day so we had the chance to try the famous Brunch in CR - very impressive! But so difficult to decide where to start and, even more, where to stop. For dinner, we found it important to eat early, say by 7pm, to avoid a wait unless willing to share and to avoid the front section where the noise level could be very high. The food was adequate rather than exceptional and the large rectangular area, combined with the lack of any features gives the ambience of an, admittedly upmarket, refectory. The menu lacks the variety that we have found previously - I know there is the 'mix & match' of different entrees and sauces but think the chefs must find it rather inhibits creativity. The sauces also tend toward the bland - certainly the green pepper was almost flavour free. La Veranda At breakfast and lunch we enjoyed the copious buffet including a selection of hot dishes and, in good weather one can eat al fresco. Compared to Regent’s other ships, the layout was much improved. Sette Mari At night La Veranda becomes Sette Mari, an Italian restaurant with a la carte ordering of main courses and a buffet for starters and desserts. No reservations required or permitted and very popular so that a wait for a table was not unusual. We dined here on only the last night of the cruise when there were many tables free and enjoyed the pasta and lamb chops particularly. Chartreuse A French restaurant available by reservation only. Our first dinner was to have been in Compass Rose but there was a long line and, rather than wait for a two-top, we accepted the offer of a table in Chartreuse. I'm not sure but it seemed to me that it was a bigger venue than Signatures had been (the previous French restaurant on Mariner & Voyager). Although it was our favourite, not many seemed to share our preference if the availability of tables at short notice was a reliable indicator. The service from all the staff was both efficient and charming. The food is to our tastes generally although the slow-cooked beef ribs were lacking in flavour but not in quantity! We were keen to try the rack of lamb but were deterred by reports that it could be tough. Otherwise the meat and fish were top quality. The cheese soufflé was consistently excellent as were the desserts. Prime 7 A steakhouse type restaurant available by reservation only. We also tried Prime 7 which is definitely bigger and better laid out than on the older ships. Again it was not full at any time that night. We enjoyed P7 which seemed to be the most popular of the speciality restaurants we actually visited. It is a very consistent, quality product but we are not great steak eaters - 6 oz is more than enough for us - so we don't seek extra visits. Pacific Rim An Asian – fusion style restaurant available by reservation only. We were not overwhelmed by Pacific Rim. While the ingredients were fine, the spicing was too bland to our taste. It was very good to find an Alsace Gewürztraminer on offer - although the Sommelier described it as German. Luckily there were no French passengers within earshot! Summary Being critical, we did not take to the layout of Compass Rose – too much the feel of a banqueting hall – but liked the new (to us) menu. We also found the Observation Lounge rather dark but perhaps that was a product of the rather gloomy weather – it certainly seemed more roomy and better laid out than on the other ships. The Explorer may or may not be the most luxurious ship ever built, but it is certainly very well appointed, sails beautifully and has a marvellous crew. We received food and service better than on any of our previous Regent cruises. As many of the crew seemed to have started on the Explorer, Regent has done a really excellent job of training them up to its wonderful standard. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Food has improved a lot since our last cruise with Regent Seven Seas on the Seven Seas Mariner in April 2013, and was the best we've had on any cruise ship this time. The foie gras, grilled lobsters, grilled scallops, grilled ... Read More
Food has improved a lot since our last cruise with Regent Seven Seas on the Seven Seas Mariner in April 2013, and was the best we've had on any cruise ship this time. The foie gras, grilled lobsters, grilled scallops, grilled shrimps, grilled fish and grilled pork chop in the Main Dining Room were all excellent and they could now be ordered every evening, which was really a great improvement from the past. The two caviar and champagne breakfast, the Sunday brunch, the New York strip steak in Prime 7 and the bread in the Italian restaurant were also excellent. The Asian specialty restaurant Pacific Rim was however not good - westerners may think that's what Asian food is like but as Asians we know that the food there is not only not authentic, but also can be done much better and much more delicious in Asian restaurants in Japan, Hong Kong and Macau. Services also need some improvements. In particular, all the guests complained for waiting too long (we needed to wait for about an hour!) for the tenders at the port Dartmouth to return to the ship, whilst we were all hungry and wanted some lunches as it was already 3-4 p.m. but lunch was not included in the tour. We also needed to wait for a long time for the coach buses for the tours at the port Dartmouth to arrive (we needed to wait for about 45 minutes!). Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We were on the Explorer from June 3 to June 14th and had a wonderful time. The ship is stunning and the itinerary was very good. We loved our Penthouse Cabin 948 with its' fabulous bathroom! The beds are so comfortable, the room ... Read More
We were on the Explorer from June 3 to June 14th and had a wonderful time. The ship is stunning and the itinerary was very good. We loved our Penthouse Cabin 948 with its' fabulous bathroom! The beds are so comfortable, the room beautifully furnished, and we really liked the big balcony with sectional sofa and a table with chairs. Besides Compass Rose, where we had some trouble getting our meal and/or a server to pay attention to us (to the point where we had to leave the restaurant and find coffee and tea at another venue) we found all the restaurants truly wonderful, both with food and service. We really liked the entertainment and the Cruise Director was fabulous with a fun personality. The Ports were great; unfortunately we had some really bad weather at one tender port, Edinburgh, and had a very rough and uncomfortable tender ride. One of our last ports in Ireland - Cork/Cobh was cancelled because we could not get a tug boat escort out of Liverpool until late in the evening not leaving enough time at Cork/Cobh to allow for time at that port- we were very disappointed when that occurred. However, we enjoyed all of our excursions, but especially the Giants Causeway and Dartmouth River Cruise/Steam Train round robin. On all of our tours, the bus drivers and tour guides were helpful and informative. I especially liked the fact that we were not "jammed" into full coaches on any of our excursions making our travels more comfortable and enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We were on Regent's 11-day cruise around the British Isles, aboard their newest ship, the 700 passenger Explorer. First time on Regent - our previous cruises had been on Seabourn, a close competitor in the luxury cruise market. ... Read More
We were on Regent's 11-day cruise around the British Isles, aboard their newest ship, the 700 passenger Explorer. First time on Regent - our previous cruises had been on Seabourn, a close competitor in the luxury cruise market. Sailed in and out of Southampton. Overall, a great experience, in spite of having to put up with rainy days in several ports and losing one port due to bad weather. The Explorer is advertised as the most luxurious cruise ship ever built. Think of it as a Las Vegas hotel - the decor is heavy on glitz and glimmer. On board, the experience is similar to traveling with Seabourn - spacious cabins (we had a F2 room), attentive service, great food, decent entertainment. Unlike Seabourn, the shore excursions were included (along with Business Class air). The tours were all excellent - Regent does an excellent job of lining up quality local tour guides. We especially enjoyed the choices available for dinner - besides the large main dining room, the Explorer offers 4 other specialty restaurants - Italian, French, Steak and Asia (the later three required reservations). While the main dining room seemed a step down from Seabourn, the three reservation-only restaurants were terrific. And occasionally, they were open for lunch without reservations - a nice treat! One can always quibble about something or other - here are my complaints: - Disembarkment for port excursions - at the start of the cruise, you get tickets for all the excursions you've signed up for. The day of, you are required to go down to the theatre and exchange your ticket for a numbered pass and then wait around for your group number to be called. This was terribly annoying and far from a first-class experience. On Seabourn, you just walk off the ship at the time your excursion is scheduled. - No outdoor viewing areas at the front of the ship - as someone who takes a lot of pictures during a trip, this was quite annoying. Whomever thought this was a good design should check out the Seabourn ships, which have 3 levels of outdoor viewing areas at the front of the ship. - Cabin seating - there are spots for 3 people to sit in the cabins - two on the sofa and on chair. So if you want to invite another couple to your room for drinks or a movie, you are out of luck. By comparison, Seabourn's cabins have seating for four. In spite of my complaints, I would book another cruise on the Regent Explorer for the right itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
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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