Welcome Aboard The Seven Seas Explorer

Let me welcome you aboard the Seven Seas Explorer, our home away from home for a 12 night cruise from Southampton, England to Barcelona, Spain. It was our very first cruise ever and my husband and I were both apprehensive before boarding the Explorer.

Click on any photo in the article to enlarge and see a slide show.

As we crossed the gangway, we were greeted with a glass of Champagne and our worries started to evaporate. How could we have had concerns when we would be cruising on what is called “the most luxurious cruise ship ever built”. The beautifully designed atrium is stunning with its curved grand staircase and towering chandelier.

We were told that all the 375 suites were ready and our luggage would be outside our door within a few minutes.  Pointed in the right direction, champagne glass in hand, we were off to see our quarters for the next 12 days.

We were more than pleased with our stylishly decorated Superior Suite with a king size bed. It was midship on deck 8 with 332 sq. ft. and an additional 132 sq. ft. balcony, wonderfully large. It is only one category up from the Veranda Suites which are the smallest on board at 307 sq. ft with a 88 sq. ft. balcony. I checked out the walk in closet as well as the bathroom. Lots of room in both, we were really liking the Explorer.

If by chance you need more room, there is always the Regent Suite at 4,443 sq. ft. with 2 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, 3 walk in closets, a private spa and if you play the piano, you will love the spacious living room with a custom Steinway.

After our welcoming reception and getting settled in our room, we were off to check out the rest of the ship. We soon found out that every moment you are on board the Explorer, there is something to keep you entertained.

The Library is a great place to visit. You can grab a book to take back to your room, check something on the computer about your next port of call or simply read a newspaper. For something a little more social, there is the Card Room where you can meet up with other guests for a bridge game. Speaking of cards, you might want to try to see if Lady Lucky is with you in the Casino.

The Observation Lounge is forward on the ship and has floor to ceiling windows to enjoy the wonderful views as you sail out of port each afternoon. It is where we went to unwind after a long day of touring. Tea time is here with rolling carts filled with scones and sandwiches being offered and there is a large table loaded with different pastries and sweets every day. We played Trivia each day during tea time, had before dinner cocktails as we listened to musicians and sometimes went back later for an after dinner drink.

This was not the only lounge, there are several others including the Explorer Lounge and the Meridian Lounge. The three specialty restaurants have lounge areas as well where you could enjoy a pre dinner cocktail, a glass of Champagne or wine.

The lounges have intimate areas for music and dancing but the Constellation Theater is where the main shows are held. The large room seats more than 600 at comfortable cabaret style seats. Little tables with small glass lamps are perfect for holding your after dinner cocktail while watching a performance. The shows feature a very talented group of singers and dancers who we got to know over the course of our cruise. They performed to packed audiences and we thought each show was terrific.

If all the walking you do on your tours isn’t enough, there is a jogging track, tennis, pickle ball and bocce courts, shuffleboard, golf cages and putting greens. Whew, I’m tired just thinking about all you can do.

For something less strenuous, there are two boutiques for recreational shopping. As you enter, you will be offered a glass of Champagne to sip while you see what goodies you might not be able to live without. Perhaps spend some of your cruise credits that might have been given to you by your travel agent when you booked your trip. Another place to spend those credits is at the Canyon Ranch Spa Club where you can indulge in a wonderful calming treatment.

Cruises are known for their food and what we liked about the Explorer was that you can dine whenever, wherever and with whomever you choose at any of the restaurants and with eight restaurants, you have plenty of choices. There are three specialty restaurants, Chartreuse, Pacific Rim, and Prime 7 as well as Compass Rose, La Veranda, Sette Mari, The Pool Grill and The Cafe. For our evening meals, we had reservations for a night in each of the specialty restaurants and on the other nights we ate at either Sette Mari or the Compass Rose, which is the main dining room. Needless to say, we had a lot of delicious food. More about the food in a future article.

If you know me, you know that I spend months planning our trips to Europe. Planning this cruise was just the same, I checked out numerous cruise lines before choosing Regent. My husband basically agreed to go on this trip to please me, telling his friends “this will be our first and last cruise“. After 12 days on the Explorer, we all knew that would never happen. It is not surprising that before we got off the ship, we gave a deposit for another cruise sometime in the next two years. Perhaps one day, I’ll meet one of you on a cruise.


Since I’ve never been on another cruise, I can’t say whether the Explorer is “the most luxurious cruise ship ever built“. What I can say positively is that it was far above anything we could have imagined. The ship was absolutely beautiful and the service was impeccable. Every member of the crew simply couldn’t do enough for you…all done with a big smile. This was an all-inclusive cruise, the only things that were extra were anything you bought in the boutiques, services at the Canyon Ranch Spa Club or what you wagered in the casino. Business class airfare, all the great wine and premium  cocktails, incredible food at the specialty restaurants and our tours were all included.

What the Explorer didn’t have were any long lines anywhere, mediocre food, tiny cabins or an indifferent crew that I read about when researching other cruise lines. While tiring (which was my fault for booking a walking tour in every single port of call), my husband and I loved the Explorer and are looking forward to our next cruise on one of Regent’s cruise ships, the Explorer being on the top of the list.


About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
This entry was posted in food, lifestyle, photography, travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

112 Responses to Welcome Aboard The Seven Seas Explorer

  1. Karen, the ship looks beautiful with everything you could possibly want. With impeccable service and great food along with large size room, it sounds perfect! You had a great experience on your first cruise.

  2. Mad Dog says:

    Wow – that really is a city on the sea!

  3. Darlene says:

    We love cruising and have been on 7 so far as well as a river cruise. We loved them all. We have used a variety of cruise lines too. We have never been disappointed. So many people say they would never go on a cruise, go on one and are hooked. The Seven Seas Explorer looks amazing!

  4. The whole experience sounds marvellous and it would be just perfect for a special wedding anniversary celebration if only I could talk my husband into it! Glad to know it was everything you expected and more. 👍

    • Karen says:

      Hi Fatima, I really had to talk my husband into going on this cruise. Once we were on board he loved it…he said it was way better than he imagined it would be. I hope you can get Adonis to take you on a cruise sometime. There is hope as my husband already put down a deposit on a future cruise. 😀

  5. Anonymous says:

    That is one impressive ship. My guess is all the cabins are on the outside with the theatres and such on the inside? Helen, Silverbells

  6. I have been thinking about taking a cruise for several years but can’t talk my husband into it. It looks like you had a great time. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Wow…the ship is HUGE and has everything you need…I am really impressed.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Angie, We were impressed as well. In regards to size, it really wasn’t too big as there were only 750 passengers. I would never want to go on one of the ones that hold 6,000 passengers…now that’s big!

  8. Wow it looks amazing. Glad you’ve enjoyed it! 🙂

  9. What a great experience. It sounds a wonderful trip.

  10. Peter Herpst says:

    Wow, what an amazing ship and fabulous experience. One might find it tempting to stay on board the whole time. So glad you had an enjoyable experience on your first, but certainly not last, cruise!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Peter, The ship, the food, the people, it couldn’t have been better. Thank you for your nice comment. We really did have a memorable cruise.

  11. kitchenriffs says:

    Great review! The Explorer is a great ship. Actually, not our favorite in the Regent fleet (the Mariner is), but we’re happy sailing ANY of their ships. Our first cruise was when we lived in Florida — we did a 7 day cruise in the Bahamas out of Fort Lauderdale on Regent (then called Radisson). We thought that would be our first and last cruise, too — we just wanted to see what cruising was all about, and because we could drive to the cruise port, how bad could 7 days be? We loved it — have taken a bunch of cruises since. Maybe we WILL see you aboard one of these days! 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your nice compliment John. It sounds as though we have a lot in common when it comes to travel. I’d love to know about why the Mariner is your favorite as we have given a deposit for a future cruise but nothing specific as of yet. Wouldn’t it be fun to get together on a cruise. 😀

  12. Looks like you are about to have a wonderful vacation. Have fun.

  13. Gaz says:

    Karen, that cruise liner looks magnificent. I always find the notion of cruising tempting, but I feel nauseated just thinking about being on a boat. One day, I hope I can enjoy a cruise.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Gary, I do hope you go on a cruise, I think you would really enjoy it. A friend who is a retired pharmacist recommended Stugeron for the trip. While not sold in the USA, we bought it both in England and Spain. This medicine is used to treat dizziness and sickness associated with motion sickness and we never had a problem.

      • Gaz says:

        Thanks for the tip Karen. I find the concept of cruising really attractive. If I can overcome the motion sickness I know I’d love it.

      • Karen says:

        You are very welcome Gary. My husband used to dive and occasionally had motion sickness on the dive boats. We had no problem on this cruise even when we encountered swells on one night of sailing using the recommendation from our friend.

  14. lulu says:

    After a couple of cruises we’ve decided it’s a pretty easy way to travel. Next you’ll have to try a small ship.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Linda, I agree with you about cruising being an easy way to travel. I know you have been on smaller ships than the Explorer but I thought ours was small with only 750 passengers. Our daughter and family were on one this summer with 6,000…that is not for us. 🙂

  15. What a beautiful cruise ship! This looks like so much fun. I keep saying we need to take a cruise too!! Thank you for sharing!

  16. mjskit says:

    WOW! You’re not going to want to get off the ship! What a cruise! Have a great time and I look forward to seeing more of your trip.

    • Karen says:

      Hi MJ, You were so right, the ship was fabulous and we really did hate to leave. Saying goodbye to the wonderful staff on board the ship and to the friends we made was hard as well.

  17. Absolutely stunning! I have yet to experience my first cruise, but after reading your article it has been bumped up a few notches on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing Karen… looks like you guys had a great time 🙂

  18. Eha says:

    One of the most elegant and comfortable cabins I have seem . . . an opportunity to enjoy quiet life a deux as well as partake of the many choices outside the door . . . . love the laidback colour scheme . . .

    • Karen says:

      Hi Eha, This being our first cruise, I can’t compare it to others but I can’t imagine there being a cruise ship that we would like better than the Explorer, it was everything you could hope for. We were especially happy with our cabin and there was only one category below what we chose and lots of categories above ours.

  19. Oh WOW Karen! That entire experience sounds absolutely amazing! So happy that your first cruise experience went so well. I haven’t gone on a cruise yet, but hopefully one day! 🙂

  20. Wow! It looks fabulous – I’m so glad you had a great trip! I don’t think I’ll ever get my husband on a cruise but I really enjoyed reading about yours! 😊

    • Karen says:

      Hi Caroline, It is nice to hear from you, I hope all is well. I was like you as my husband had no desire to go on a cruise. He only went to make me happy but he really had a great time…so much so that we put down a deposit for a future cruise. That means that there is hope for those whose husbands say they don’t want to go on a cruise. 😀

  21. KerryCan says:

    I never thought I’d want to the a cruise–not my thing–but your post got me fantasizing!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kerry, Thank you for stopping by and your nice compliment. I wanted to go on a cruise as many of our friends kept telling us how much fun they had. Convincing my husband whose thinking was a lot like yours was hard but he agreed to go. We both had a great time, I think you might find it a fun adventure as well. 🙂

  22. Ron says:

    That’s my kind of cruising. If I win the lottery, that’s my choice of cruise lines.

  23. Glad you are enjoying your very posh vacation. Nice photos. The cruise line should comp your trip. 😉

    • Karen says:

      Hi Diane, We did indeed enjoy this year’s vacation. The cruise was expensive but it included everything and I mean everything, even business class flights to and from Europe were included in the fare.

  24. Penny says:

    Beautiful ship. We have fallen in love with Viking river cruises. Enjoying your trip.

  25. Sissi says:

    Wow! Thank you Karen, for sharing your holidays with us! It looks so impressive!

  26. Juliana says:

    Wow Karen, what a great review of the Seven Sea Explorer…we have done many ocean cruises and now we are into river cruises…the amenities and the food are awesome…I am enjoyed reading all about it. Have a great weekend!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Juliana, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. We loved the Explorer and have already given a deposit for a future cruise…just don’t know where yet. Lots of our friends have done river cruises and enjoyed them.

  27. Cathy says:

    I am with your husband about cruises, but I guess it is time to check it out and have my opinion changed. Your photos are inviting. I do enjoy river cruises so I will relook at this cruise.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Cathy, My husband changed his mind about cruising after being on board the Explorer one day. 🙂 I do think you would enjoy a sea cruise as well.

  28. Roz says:

    Oh my goodness Karen, what an incredible experience! My husband and I have never cruised and now you have certainly compelled me to reconsider. What a beautiful ship! Thank you for sharing this information and your experience; now I need to look into cruises for the future!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Roz, Just found your comment in my spam file…don’t know what happened. We were hesitant about doing a cruise but absolutely loved it and the Explorer was incredible. Thank you for your nice compliment, I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  29. Cathy says:

    Wow, what a beautiful and luxurious ship! This must have been a wonderful experience for you! Thanks for shraing!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Cathy, We had read that the ship was wonderful but we still a little hesitant. It was far better than either of us had imagined. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, thank you.

  30. It looks great, the food looks delicious and so much to do!

  31. For the Love of Cooking says:

    So fun!! What a ship.

  32. Eva Taylor says:

    I have only been on one cruise, and that was for our honeymoon, over 30 years ago and although it was fine, we decided with no uncertainty, we would never cruise again. Some 30 years later, our dearest friends are avid cruisers, they have been on so many to date, I can’t even count. It’s never been tempting for me, the long lineups, small cabins and mass-produced foods. However, your cruise looks absolutely awesome. I’m going to head over to their website to see if there is anything in the near future we may wish to try. Who knows, maybe I’ll turn into a cruise lover too!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Eva, After having been on the Explorer for this wonderful trip, my husband and I are definitely cruise lovers. I will say that I don’t think we would care to cruise on a ship with 6,000 passengers like our daughter and family did recently. That is far too many people although they had a good time. I think you should give it a try again…perhaps with your friends.

  33. Wow- your ship looks very luxurious! I went on a cruise once – the Alaskan ‘inner passage’ cruise. The best part about it was the sight seeing and walks that we took when we got off the boat- even saw some grizzlies walking around. Look forward to hearing about your next cruise!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Fran, The Explorer certainly did live up to the claim that it is “the most luxurious cruise ship built” as far as my husband and I are concerned. We have a lot of friends who have been on a cruise to Alaska and everyone of them loved it.

  34. Amy says:

    Thank you for the grand tour!

  35. what lovely place Karen, looks awesome, looks lovely ! xo

    (maybe now you can comment in my posts again I change some things)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Gloria, The Explorer really is a lovely ship. Yes, I really appreciate whatever you did because now I can leave you comments, thank you. I’m still having problems on some other bloggers that I follow.

  36. I’ve heard both good and bad things about cruising. Your post has me longing to give it a try. Your research paid off! Now if I could only convince my husband…..

    • Karen says:

      Hi Deb, Never say never where your husband is concerned…you just never know. My husband told everyone he knew that this would be his first and last cruise. Instead, we’ve already given a deposit on a future cruise. 😀 As to the good and bad, I think it definitely depends on the ship that you choose.

  37. I’ve been on a handful of cruises, and the quality of the ship makes a big difference. Sounds like you found a fantastic line first time out!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jeff, I have to agree with you about the quality of the ship…I think it makes all the difference in the world. Our first cruise couldn’t have been better, thank you.

  38. So fun to read Karen!! This really was an elegant cruise. We went on our first cruise last spring– but is wasn’t so fancy!! Sounds like you took advantage of all the beautiful things that were offered! Thanks for all the great photos– xo

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your nice compliment Rhonda, I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post. I remember your cruise and I know it was nice…just different.

  39. David says:

    What a great expereince, Karen! Mark and I were just talking whether or not we would take a cruise, and your post certainly is getting us closer! Thanks for sharing all the details, as well as the fruits of your research!

  40. debra cantales says:

    Now that is a cruise I would consider! Can’t wait to hear about your next adventure.

  41. What a beautifully appointed cruise ship! I know I will never get my husband on board as they aren’t any golf courses on the ship 🙂 What a lovely experience!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Susan, While there isn’t a gold course on the Explorer there are golf cages and putting greens…so who knows, you might get him on board. 😀

  42. All I can say is WOW! That ship the the definition of luxury right there. A veritable floating palace, in fact!

  43. Wow! What a time! Hubby and I have often thought about going on a cruise. It’s nice to read more about it from people who have went. Sounds like a wonderful experience 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Dawn, We did have a wonderful time. The ships are all so different that if you are considering a cruise try to talk to people you know about the pros and cons. That is how we decided on the Explorer.

  44. What a great adventure. Thanks for taking us along!

  45. This is quite the ship, very grand and spacious and so much to do and to eat. Think we might gain a little weight with all of these dining options. So fun!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Bobbi, The explorer was grand and the food delicious. What is nice was that I only gained 2 pounds over the three weeks we were gone and they were worth it. All the walking in each port is the answer I think. 🙂

  46. Wow, it sure looked like you picked a winner! We’ve been on several cruises but haven’t been for several years. Time to check this one out!

  47. Linda says:

    Wow Karen, you certainly know how to travel. The ship looks amazing. What beautiful photos. The grand space is over the top. So happy you have shared this luxury travel with us.

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  49. It sounds like you had a wonderful time! Gosh it looks amazing … Staff really make it don’t they 🙂

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  51. While there is life, there is hope. Wonderful news about deposit on next cruise. Where to?

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  53. I Wilkerson says:

    Wow–we’ve never done a cruise either. I thought we were the only ones 😉 . Looks like a perfect first experience. Guess I need to get on the stick!

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