The Explorer is the newest ship in the Regent family, with 750 guests in all balcony suite cabins, this “ultra all inclusive” cruise was simply stunning. Ultra All inclusive means literally any food and beverage on the ship, room service, WIFI, speciality restaurants, gratuities, minibar, snacks, anytime, anyplace, anywhere! Plus shore excursions!
Alongside the destinations, dining has to be the 2nd best thing about cruising. I am trying to rate my dining experiences, as they were all very good! The 3 speciality restaurants all require booking but you are guaranteed a seating at least once in each restaurant during your cruise. Pacific Rim, the Pan Asian restaurant was simply stunning in décor, food presentation and taste. Prime 7, the classic Steak house was a great first night meal, with melt in your mouth steaks. Charteuse, is French fine dining with a modern twist – exquisite… and as for Compass Rose, the flagship all day dining restaurant, I am not sure if the Versace plates or the food experience impressed me more! Some evenings we had a shared table, which although initially I was not pleased about, I really enjoyed. Meeting our fellow guests was a highlight of the cruise. By the way, I have not even mentioned the other dining options of La Veranda, Setti Mari La Veranda, The Pool Grill, The Café and room service!
Staying in a Deluxe Veranda Suite on Deck 6, I could actually say, I needed no more space. Large walk in shower, walk in wardrobe, high extremely comfortable bed, 3 seater couch facing a vanity area with chair and shelving, and then the balcony, with 2 large wicker relax chairs and table. The chilled champagne on arrival went down well too!
But the actual experience on the ship. I instantly felt at ease. As a true 6 star restaurant, much like a top 5 star hotel, nowhere on the ship was ever crowded. Never would I have imagined there were 750 guests on board. There was an understated calm about the whole cruise. The multi national staff were really very nice, not intrusive, but respectful and friendly. Everyone has a smile, everyone willing to assist and offer their service. All guests welcomed you with daily pleasantries throughout the entire cruise and the puzzle table, where I found myself daily, was a great talking point for those of us partaking, and those simply walking by. The average age of guests was 60-70, but there were a guests in their 20’s – 40s too, and the odd family with (well presented and polite) teenage children. The main pool is large with 2 Jacuzzis, the Spa entrance was stunning (a Regent standard I hear) with treatment rooms, sauna, hairdresser and an outdoor heated infinity pool.
The shore excursions were brilliantly organized with local informative guides at all the destinations we visited. The excursion to Lindos was so scenic. If you are afraid of heights and have any difficulty walking, this is not for you, as approx. 800 steps to climb, but if you don’t, it’s a must do!
The musicians and singers in the bars and lounges were sultry and mood enhancing. The entertainment in the theatre was brilliant, with musical tributes to comedy acts. There was even karaoke on a few evenings, which was very entertaining.
I wish I had had the chance to partake in the Culinary Arts Kitchen, have a spa treatment, go to the gym (ok, maybe not!!) but there was a lot more to experience that I did not seem to do.
So, would I personally recommend cruising with Regent? Without question yes! If it is within your budget, and you enjoy beauty with understated charm, friendly service but not intrusive, comfort and space, ease and elegance divine cuisine and taste bud popping beverages and knowing that other than the casino, shopping and spa you need not spend another penny, then Regent is for you.
Of course, waking up to this view is not so bad either!