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7 Night Western Mediterranean Cruise from Barcelona

7 Night Western Mediterranean Cruise from Barcelona

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Seven Seas Explorer
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Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Barcelona
  • Day 2
    Cartagena (Colombia)
  • Day 3
    Motril
  • Day 4
    Gibraltar
  • Day 5
    Casablanca
  • Day 6
    Seville
  • Day 7
    Lisbon
  • Day 8
    Lisbon

Seven Seas Explorer

Seven Seas Explorer - Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Pros

Gorgeously decorated ship; emphasis on fine dining and intuitive service

Cons

Ship action slows at night, and entertainment needs refining

Bottom Line

The ship offers an inclusive and completely luxurious experience


Cruise Reviews

Sail Date: March 2019
Two years ago, my wife and I with three other couples enjoyed a GREAT cruise on this ship. Accordingly, another couple and ourselves chose to repeat our positive previous experience with this 16 day cruise. Spoiler Alert- Big big ... Read More
Two years ago, my wife and I with three other couples enjoyed a GREAT cruise on this ship. Accordingly, another couple and ourselves chose to repeat our positive previous experience with this 16 day cruise. Spoiler Alert- Big big MISTAKE! Very little worked on this so called "Luxury Experience" . It is quite obvious that the "bean counters" at Regent have decided to squeeze every single dollar out of every single cruise and then let the customer "suffer" their decisions. The problems began with the so called "Free" Airfare. This is nothing more then a marketing ploy as the cruise fare is increased by $ 300 per couple if you decide to take their "Free" airfare. Regent's response, when questioned, it that if you do not take the "Free" Airfare they will credit $ 150 pp. So much for the "Free" Airfare!. We decided to upgrade our flight to LAX via First Class @ an upcharge of $ 699 pp. When we finally received our flight information we found that Regent had booked 4 Senior Citizens to fly out of Miami on a 6:30AM flight to Chicago! Yes... fly to Chicago in mid-winter! We would have to get up at 3 AM in the morning to try and catch that flight. Really! When we objected, our travel agent finally had Regent offer us a 9:30 flight from Miami to Orlando and then to LAX. Somewhat better but that "new" flight was @ a $350 per couple upcharge! We declined and made our own First Class flight to LAX. Regent included a one night stay at the" Beverly Wilshire" Hotel which was fine. After checking in we were told that Regent had a "Hospitality Suite" available for all information about the next days travel to the ship. The so called "Hospitality Suite" offered NOTHING in the way of either Food or drink! Not even a bottle of water! The Regent "representative" could answer none of our questions except to say that our luggage should be ready to be picked up at 7:30 AM and we should meet in a Hotel Ballroom @ 11:15 AM. The "free" included breakfast was not offered in the Hotel's restaurant but instead was a buffet-style "Holiday-Inn Express" type of breakfast. Shame on "Regent" for that! The buses to the ship did not even arrive until 1:30 in the afternoon! Regent"representative offered little information except to wait. Arriving at the pier involved another l o n g wait. Once on the ship we again had to wait even though our quarters were supposed to be ready at 1:30 PM. No apologies were offered for the delay! We heard through the grapevine that the ship was inspected by the Coast Guard that day and experienced some "difficulties". In addition, many of the crew's contracts had expired and they were leaving and a new crew had come onboard. Many of the "new" crew were in-experienced and it showed. They just did not know what to do. Breakfast in "Compass Rose" took close to a hour and 45 minutes. Two years ago at breakfast, you were immediately served juice and coffee/tea and a server came right offer and offered Muffins/Pastries. Now, we waited and waited and waited. Finally, we were served Coffee/Tea and then waited some more to juice. The server offering pastries/muffins made only a single pass at the table and did not return. Each morning we had to ask our server what the Breakfast "special" was. They either did not know or were instructed not to offer that information. Orders are transcribed via Tablets and mistakes (missing orders) were common. Coffee refills had to be requested. An order of Smoked Salmon and a Bagel resulted in being presented with a single small scoop of cream cheese. You had to request more cream cheese or ask for a triple serving of it when ordering. Head Waiters tried very very hard but were totally overcome3 by problems/issues with the kitchen and the inexperienced staff! Breakfast service at "Compass Rose" was overall a failure! Our quarters were excellent as was our Butler and Steward! Kudo's to them! Dinner at "Compass Rose" matched that of Breakfast except the food quality overall was fair at best. We dined 5 nights at the "Pacific Rim" Restaurant and overall both the food and service was excellent. The steakhouse. "Prime" featured quality food and excellent service also. As to the French "Chartruese"... forgetabout it! Poor food and even worse execution. Service was even worse as demonstrated by our request for Onion Soup. Both "Chartruese" and "Prime" share a kitchen with two separate lines working. Onion Soup is offered at "Prime". Two of use requested Onion soup at "Chartruese" and were told NO!!!. No exceptions..!! Way to go Regent! We never went back to "Chartruese" with their poor food. As to the cutbacks- portion sizes have been cut back... obvious to us was the fact that previously when ice cream was ordered as a desert, you received 3 scoops plus a cigar shaped cookie (a "Pirouette"". Now, only 2 scoops and no cookie! Cost savings are now the norm and not the exception as to both the quality and quantity of the food. An example of the cost cutting is the fact that on one night dinner was ONLY served on the pool deck as a buffet. ALL other Restaurants were closed so either eat at the buffet or order room service. There is little question that this "move" by Regent saves them money overall. At dinner, I like to be served and help myself to a buffet. Overall, the crew is very very nice and helpful. However, here again, Regent drops the ball. One night a notice was placed on our bed that "Painting and Varnishing" of our deck were take place the next day. We returned to our room and noted one crewman was entering our cabin with a paint bucket/varnish materials. We followed him in and noted another crewman working on our deck and they finished shortly afterwards. However, they had left the doors leading to the deck open, so our quarters were both hot and humid as well as smelling from the paint/varnish. I called to complain and was told it would not happen again. Two days later, in the late afternoon, my wife was napping, and I was shaving. Our curtains were open and I then noted a crewman on our deck, varnishing. I chased him away and again complained that our privacy had been compromised. I received an apology again but clearly this is no way to treat a passenger. I do not expect perfection in an imperfect world. However, if I am paying top dollar for a cruise experience, ( over $ 30,000 in this case) , I do expect more then we received from "Regent" on this cruise. In speaking to other repeat "Regent" passengers on this cruise, I found my experiences not to be that unusual. The conclusion reached appeared to that "Regent" has changed... sadly, not for the better... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We have cruised for a number of years with different cruise lines but promised ourselves that one day we would try one of the supposed most luxurious cruise ships. After much research and saving we decided to try Regent Seven Seas Explorer ... Read More
We have cruised for a number of years with different cruise lines but promised ourselves that one day we would try one of the supposed most luxurious cruise ships. After much research and saving we decided to try Regent Seven Seas Explorer and booked the Mexican Riviera to Panama Canal cruise.We flew to Los Angeles and were transferred to a 1st class hotel for the first night bit of a shock in the bar 2 beers $48.00. We were informed to be downstairs by 11am for coach transfer to ship but then waited 1 1/2 hours for collection which I considered very poor. On arrival at the port we had another wait of over 1 hour before we could book in, this was the worst book in of any cruise we have ever been on and was starting to wonder whether we had made the right decision to cruise with Regent, later on board we were told this was due to a customs inspection of the ship if we had been told the reason for delay a number of passengers would not have been so angry. We eventually got on board and went to our cabin 1409 which was a D grade Concierge. The cabin was presented immaculately with a wealth of cupboards and hanging space for clothing, the bathroom had a bath and large walk in shower. The balcony was large with very comfortable reclining chairs.Our cabin stewards were excellent even going to the trouble of decorating our cabin on my Birthday with balloons and happy birthday banner, a large cake and champagne was also supplied. We ate in all the restaurants while on board and the standard of food and waiting service was excellent as was the menu and the best of any ship we have ever sailed on. Due to the low number of passengers only 750 only one show at 9.30pm was performed but at no time was it necessary to get into theater early to get a seat, we walked in a 9.25 and could always find a good seat. The production shows were 1st class as was the guest entertainers. Most of the many and varied excursions ashore are included and of a good and interesting nature, a point to note that a few trips have a supplement to pay but check once on board and a very similar trip may have been added which is included but was not shown when booking. The bar staff again were excellent and no matter what drink or cocktail you wanted it was available.It would be nice if a day room at a hotel was included on disembarkation as you have to leave ship at 9am and in our case our flight was not till the evening a hop on hop off trip of Miami was included but was poor and once completed at 1pm waited a further hour for luggage which was stored by the bus company. One day I will hopefully cruise with Regent again as we will always compare other ships to this which will be a very hard act to follow. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This is only the second time that I have composed any dialogue regarding our many cruises around this unique planet. This cruise, on Regent SS "Explorer", was chosen by us more than two years ago. It takes a lot of ... Read More
This is only the second time that I have composed any dialogue regarding our many cruises around this unique planet. This cruise, on Regent SS "Explorer", was chosen by us more than two years ago. It takes a lot of discussion, a lot of planning, a lot of 'buyers' remorse, a lot of tender anticipation before deciding on the correct fit that an Ocean Going Cruise will make. Two years ago a significant birthday, for myself, was looming on the horizon and the two of us (TC2 and myself) wanted a cruise that would meet the requirements of that birthday. Since my birthday, by default, had two distinct dates ( another story, another time) the 2019 Explorer Cruise from Santiago to Los Angeles would be a perfect fit for both dates. Since we live in the northern area of the USA it can and does have very obtuse weather conditions during the winter. Our weather assumption, unfortunately, proved correct and caused us to change flights, incur unexpected hotel stays and invoke extra costs to an already expensive cruise. But, if we did not accomplish this we would never have reached the ship on time for embarkation. Taxi scams at the Santiago Airport added more frustration to our journey and being 'World travelers' we should have known better. The flight from Dallas/Fort Worth to Santiago, Chile. was made on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Comfortable and on time flight but we would never have made that flight had we not changed out flight from Vancouver to be one day earlier. However, our luggage arrived with us and having that not happen more than once, we were surprised. Boarding the "Explorer" ship and climbing the gangway to be greeted with a Champagne "Welcome Aboard" is always exciting, even though we have done this so many times. We have told each other, "do not take it for granted". We were, indeed, fortunate to obtain a 'Master Suite' due to a last minute 'upsell' which we offered to accept. It is a fine example of what Regent can put into a luxury ship. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms (one full) and a deck that commands more than 180 degree view as well as an expanse that would accommodate a Rothchild party. Put this together with Butler Service and it would be hard to find an equal. It just so happened that the "Discovery Channel" camera crew were on board with us filming for one of their episodes of "Mighty Cruise Ships". In order to cover the complete ship they need to film a Butler served dinner service en Suite. We were innocently chosen to be the couple that was provided this service. The episode will not air for about eights months but it certainly should be interesting and also give a boost to Regent. The Discovery Channel film crew attended my birthday get together. Balloons, festoons and canapes together with a full Marzipan cake for me and an Opera cake for TC2, baked by the Regent Pastry chef, all made it a Happy Birthday and unforgettable memorable occasion. The crew is always our second family and we look forward to greeting each one of them on our regular Regent cruises. General Manager, Massimo, met and greeted us as we boarded the ship and made sure that attention, care, service and safety were all prime. We particularly enjoyed being invited to an Explorer Suite on Deck Eight where we met and became extremely close with the guest of that suite. We also were fortunate to join, for cocktails in the Explorer Lounge, two outstanding guests, 'Master and Madame Echo'. I would like to comment on some items that Master Echo has reported on in his cruise critic review. 1) Electric cut off when you leave the suite. This items is about par for most hotels. I presume it is a method of conservation. However, since the ship provides its' own electricity you would think it is not necessary. It is most likely a safety item especially for batteries and chargers that are left plugged in. Because we don't want to keep putting the card key into the slot each time we enter we chooses to use either a cardboard or stiff paper insert and leave it is as long as we "own' the suite. It works fine for us. 2) Cabin cleanliness. I was surprised to learn that some funnel smut had collected in the room and also that a solitary and wayward grape had not been cleaned away. For our own experience we have found housekeeping to be above par but understand that some items can be missed. Where's that 'white' glove? 3) Vibration. Like individuals, we are different. So it goes for ships. We expected big things from Explorer when she came out. "This one is not going to vibrate and she is not going to have dischordent frequencies. She is going to be so stable you won't know your on a cruise!" Obviously not so. Every ship, again like ourselves has its' idiosyncrasies. They all creak, they all sway and they all have haunting vibrations. A super example of this is the "Navigator". It has always had problems. They have 'fixed' it several times, but it still has problems. If you 'fix' one frequency in one place it transfers to another. That is the ship world. Given the amount of weight on the Explorer, with glass, marble alloyed Prayer Wheels, etc. etc. it is a wonder that she even got our of Italy. 3) Water quality. Water quality on the ship is always a concern. It is conserved and osmetically re-cycled. Problems to emanate from rusty boilers but while it is unsightly it does affect the cleaning power. Personally, I found the shower water to be so clean that it left my shampoo squeaky clean. Most people do not realise that 'conditioners' change the structure off the hair and eradicate its' history. I do not think you can get away without putting chlorine into a swimming pool. It is ubiquidous. I found the Infinity Pool to be quite strong with this additive. 4) Gratuities. Regent classifies itself as "All Inclusive". Therefore you should never have to dig into your pocket for anything. Coming from the U.K. I am very stingy. I work for my money, I get a salary, I do expect anything else. The early coffee house in Britain in the 17th Century gave rise to the TIP. (To Insure Promptness) It has now grown, due mainly to American influence, some that is not just expected but demanded. It seems that if you do not give a 'Tip' you are embarrassed and the worker relies on this embarrassment. Regent contracts their employees. Their employees get paid well for what they do. Nowhere in the contract does it say, "Thou shalt receive a tip or extra awards for doing your job". Should you wish to contribute to a crew 'welfare' fund then do so, but you can do it without be embarrassed by it. I was extremely upset to see a head-waiter canvassing every table in Compass Rose, on the penultimate night, shaking hands with each customer and instructing them to make note of his name in the 'Comments' report. It was also noted that some exchange of dollars was taking place. 5) Explorations. The Ships' Destination Services has historical problems. Each of the port and each of the tours brings it's own problem. Dealing with contractor busses, variable languages, countries, ethnicities, safety, reliability, comfort, needs a lot of tact and experience. Transform this into on-board guests who always want to be first in the line at the supermarket and it can be a bee-hive to avoid. But, seeing the world and it's history is why we cruise. Patience! 6) Internet. On board Internet is almost a permanent failure. Contacting Satellites hovering 25,000 miles above the Earth is expected but cannot always be justified. Nature is, however always present. Climate, Gravity, Sun Spots and a myriad of galactic and global influences have a big influence on our Internet system. Just like the movies, we expect instant response but even electricity takes time to get from one place to another. Again, it pays to be patient and through in a little levity. I just wait until I get home. Just a word or two on Dining. The Pacific Rim on Explorer was a new and exciting addition. Being our fifth cruise on Explorer we had eaten in Pacific Rim several times. It took us four or five of those visits to finally grasp what the menu is about. Now, when we attend, we know what it is that we like and we have adjusted ourselves to the Asian Infusion method that type of cuisine. Service is always impeccable as provided by mostly Russian servers. Read Less
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