Is this the world’s most luxurious cruise ship?
The Regent Seven Seas Explorer has been dubbed the ‘world’s most luxurious ship’. So, how does it compare to a luxury hotel?
First impressions are good, very good. The ship is immaculate and gives you the the same feeling you get when you walk into a luxury hotel. The sense of style, quality and comfort set just the right tone. Cruise lines are known for their extravagant design, and the oversize chandelier and sweeping staircase in the lobby do not disappoint, but the overall style is more one of understated luxury. From the relaxed welcome glass of Champagne to the neutral colour palate of creams and browns, the impression given is definitely informal elegance over glitz.
What’s a Regent Seven Seas Explorer suite like?
The contemporary design continues into the suites with the palate changing to cream and blue. The quality is evident in the soft-close drawers, oversize leather wall-mounted headboard and waiting bottle of Champagne.
There are certainly larger hotel suites out there but, given we are at sea, the suites are surprisingly roomy and certainly comfortable. Two thick curtains separate the lounge area from the bedroom, the balcony is large enough for two rattan reclining chairs and there’s a walk-in wardrobe. The big, bright bathroom has twin sinks, a deep bath and separate rainfall shower, plus a black and white marble finish and L’Occitane toiletries.
What is there to do on board the Regent Seven Seas Explorer?
As with any large hotel, the Explorer comes with a generously-sized spa, slick gym, well-stocked library, sophisticated lounge bars and a spacious pool deck. The Culinary Arts Kitchen does surprise though, resembling a prestigious cooking school with fully-equipped individual workstations for group tuition. Clearly popular, you can practice and learn how to prepare dishes, from modern French classics to authentic Spanish tapas.
Dining on board the Regent Seven Seas Explorer
Dining is where the Explorer holds her true trump card. In a hotel restaurant, I look for stylish and relaxed surroundings, efficient service and well-prepared fresh food paired with quality wines. Each of these is effortlessly provided on board the Regent Seven Seas Explorer, with the trio of speciality restaurants deserving special recognition. Chartreuse (contemporary French fine dining), Prime 7 (contemporary American steakhouse) and Pacific Rim (Asian-inspired cuisine) would not look out of place as stand-alone destination restaurants in London or New York and ensure that heading out for dinner becomes a real occasion.
Rave reviews all round and the maître d’s full reservation books are testament to the consistent quality of the dishes served and overall thrill of exploring the varied gastronomic offering on board.
Is the cruise value for luxury?
The key advantage Regent Seven Seas has over its land-based hotel rivals is the feeling of value while on holiday. Regent Seven Seas confidently claims to have the most inclusive offering at sea, which certainly stacks up when comparing it to luxury hotels on land. All dining, branded drinks and fine wines are included as standard, so at the end of an evening of cocktails and fine dining, there is not even so much as a room bill to sign.
It is quite possible to check-out having never signed a room bill, as there are few additional charges. Short of organising a private guide and driver (group excursions are largely included), a cooking lesson or spa treatment, you will see an absence of prices advertised anywhere on board, and therefore none of those common and unsubtle notices to entice you to indulge and spend. While enjoying the hospitality on board, you really do have an appreciation for the excellent value-for-money provided.
The Regent Seven Seas Explorer really does compare to some of the very best luxury hotels on land. I was concerned about crowds on board, but despite the ship’s size, there are only 375 suites so it never feels crowded. There’s also a wide age range, with many multi-generational families attracted to this easy and relaxing way to explore the world together.
The joy of waking up in a new port every day and drawing your curtains to a view such as Monte Carlo is not to be underestimated. Coupled with inclusions that surpass most, if not all, hotels, the Regent Seven Seas Explorer is destined to become one of our favourite luxury holidays.
You can tailor-make a Stay & Cruise holiday inside your local Kuoni store or by giving us a call. We offer different itineraries on board the Regent Seven Seas Explorer and can pair your cruise with a beach stay, city break or a self-drive.