Seven Seas Explorer Cruise Review by jcruiser9
- Sail Date: April 2017
- Destination: Western Mediterranean
- Cabin Type: Superior Suite
The room was very nice and large, especially the balcony. The bathroom has two sinks, a separate shower and bathtub. There is also a large walk in closet. The ship itself is very nice with several specialty dining venues and nice bars. The pool area has very nice lounge chairs as well as large loungers built for two. The jacuzzis have shade covers over them.
My biggest gripes with this cruise line were with dining and entertainment. They have a caste system set up. If you do not have at least a concierge level room or higher, then your chances of getting into any of the specialty dining restaurants is very low. You are allowed to make reservations for each specialty restaurant once online before you board the ship. Good luck getting in again after that. At first, I didn't think it would be that big a deal. That was before I actually ate in the main dining room-Compass Rose. I could not believe how bad this restaurant was. Service is slow and disorganized and the food was extremely subpar. I ordered lobster as they had it on the menu. I received a small sad looking crustacean that looked like a langostino. About the size of a medium shrimp. It also tasted like it was not fresh. Considering we were paying $10,000 a person for this cruise, I was not happy about this; especially since I had been on a Holland America cruise the month before where they served fabulous lobsters in their main dining room during the dress up night. I could not believe that a cruise line that charges 1/10 the price would have better food. Unfortunately, that continued to be the case.
They do have an Italian restaurant that you don't need reservations for. It is not as nice as the other specialty restaurants as it is the buffet during the day. You have to show up early or wait hours to be seated. We ate there a couple of times after we realized that the Compass Rose was never getting any better. Regent's glossy brochures claim they have gourmet dining. Well, they do in the steak restaurant and the french restaurant and the asian one. Unfortunately, because of their caste system, your chances of trying it more than once if you are in a superior suite, are not good.If you have sailed with them at least 21 days you start to get priority reservations as well. We got notification of that halfway through the cruise so were able to get into the specialty restaurants two more times. What is completely unacceptable to me is how extremely bad the main dining room is--especially for the amount of money you are paying.
The entertainment was also a huge disappointment. On our last Regent cruise, the entertainment was quite good. They had gymnasts who were fabulous and an amazing violinist. This time around, that was not the case. Broadway style music designed for 80 year olds was the only entertainment available. Even in the bars they played a type of elevator music. Only one night in the bar did I see a decent act. A husband and wife team put on a very nice singing show. That was one night out of 10. I would give the entertainment a D .Unless you are 80 years old, you are probably not going to like it. I know we didn't and we are in our late 50's. Again, Holland America has better entertainment as well. Their Blues Club is amazing.
The excursions are something that Regent excels at. However, even though they claim they are completely free, that is not actually the case. You need to pay attention when you are signing up for them as some cost money--sometimes quite a lot of money. I did pay attention so booked only free excursions. They were all quite good. One of my favorites was in Kotor, Montenegro. It's a beautiful town, especially viewed from the water. We were able to go to a flute concert held in a church and then get a chance to eat at a local hangout. That was a special excursion that I was on the waiting list for (as I had no priority). Luckily, we were able to get in. It was for Regent's 25th anniversary.
Because we were not in a concierge or higher cabin, we did not have transfers or a night before the cruise included. However, we stayed at Hotel The Serras in Barcelona before the cruise. It is located near the marina, and is a small boutique hotel that is quite luxurious and has a rooftop bar. That turned out to be a good choice. We stayed at the Cipriani Hotel in Venice. It was also very nice with a fabulous breakfast area facing the Grand Canal. They have a free water taxi that will take you to St Mark's Square and it runs 24 hours a day.
One surprise we had when we reached Venice, was how expensive water taxis were. I thought Regent was quite deceptive in sending out a form saying you could pay an extra $400 for them to include transfers. Don't do it. The water taxi costs $100. You can take a water bus but it is crowded and with suitcases would be difficult. It is much cheaper though--less than $10.
I loved the ports we visited and thought the excursions were good. The size of the ship-750 passengers--is also very nice. However, I was so disappointed by the food and service in the main dining room and the entertainment, I think it is very unlikely I would do another Regent cruise. I don't think it is worth the money spent. This was our second time on Regent, but we have cruised many times on other cruise lines including Carnival, Princess, Norwegian and Holland America.
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