I have now personally sailed aboard the new Seven Seas Explorer and toured the Seven Seas Navigator from Regent Seven Seas Cruises, and I can better outline what is special about the luxury line and sets it apart from the competition.
The Seven Seas Explorer
The Seven Seas Explorer itself is such an incredible ship that its mere inclusion in the fleet is a differentiator for the entire Regent brand. Its attention to detail is unparalleled at sea, and the palatial Regent Suite is unlike any other accommodations.
Its passenger space ratio ensures ample space for each guest with no crowding, and altogether the ship feels much larger than it is. The atrium soars through all the public decks, the Constellation Theater is an impressive two stories in height and private balconies are massive.
Despite what it says, all-inclusive as a description is often not accurately applied to cruise lines. There are many cases where others are nearly all-inclusive or an all-inclusive experience can be purchased for an extra fee, but Regent is easily the most genuinely all-inclusive cruise line there is.
Understandably, things like the casino, retail shops and spa services are excluded, and likely always will be, but just about everything else is complimentary including unlimited shore excursions, premium drinks and specialty dining, 24-hour room service, pre-paid gratuities, WiFi internet access, airport transfers, a pre-cruise hotel night and even airfare.
Other cruise lines may have a very friendly crew, but not all of them exhibit the best in actual service. Regent’s crew tirelessly provide guests with everything they need, and passengers are seldom in a position to ask or request. The crew does not hover but rather blends in such that the service seems effortless, which means plenty of effort is made behind the scenes to make it appear so.
L’Occitane Bath Products and Teddy Bears
Accommodations onboard are extremely comfortable and well configured, but it’s the extra touches that especially make them stand out to guests. L’Occitane has long been my favorite purveyor of fine soaps and shampoos, and it’s a delight to see that Regent exclusively features its excellent Mer & Mistral line of bath products on its ships. Similarly, as a collector of teddy bears, I was overjoyed to see that a welcoming Regent bear greets guests in top-tier suites as a lovely touch of home.
Extending elegant flourishes throughout the public areas of the ship as well as private suites is a beautiful collection of artwork. The breadth of paintings, mixed-media pieces and sculpture is very intriguing without ever being too bold or offensive. Several pieces speak to guests on different levels emotionally and literally across different decks. There are even plans in the works to showcase the collection with a detailed book.
Best Main Dining Room at Sea
Often it’s the specialty restaurants that most impress from a culinary perspective on ships, but Regent’s equivalent of a main dining room, Compass Rose, actually makes a bigger statement by offering a menu that is beyond extensive.
There are still a dozen or so options offered daily on a rotating basis, but when combining that with the dozens more of always-available choices, the combinations of courses to order are seemingly endless. Guests can pick their favorite proteins, sauces and sides to craft a customized meal as well as experiment with new flavors in a single evening.
Culinary Arts Kitchen
Regent’s Culinary Arts Kitchen is the cherry on top of the sundae for allowing guests the opportunity to learn how to cook gourmet cuisine in a hands-on setting in addition to enjoying world-class cuisine. Individual cooking stations ensure each participant can fully prepare several dishes during a single course of instruction and then be able to sample it on the spot before taking their newfound knowledge home with them.