Walking on-board I was blown away; the design was very contemporary and modern with glamourous twists. The ship was eccentric but not garish and had great taste in design. In the main atrium there is a HUGE crystal chandelier and the marble staircases faced each other and swirled up to the next level. The elevators were all glass so going up you had a fantastic view of the atrium. One thing that surprised me was how spacious everything was. The chairs in the atrium were spaced well away from each other and even though there were lots of people embarking it never felt rushed or busy. There were plenty of lifts too so again there was never a queue.
The pool area was very chilled and relaxed. The bar staff were really friendly and smiley, nothing was too much trouble and they never ask for your key card or signature as everything is pretty much included. I asked for a Banana daiquiri which wasn’t on the menu but sure enough within a few moments I got one. I also noticed the music around the pool area, this was very modern and chilled vibes, the likes of Oasis and Coldplay I recall hearing.
As we had arrived on board the ship at 1pm we were quite peckish so decided to check out the buffet restaurant La Veranda, first impressions as it was the first restaurant, we had seen on the ship was WOW straight away. It looked like a speciality restaurant. The cutlery was rose gold. It was so bright and airy with a beachy vibe in there of pale blues. A major thing I noticed and loved the idea of was that you could order to your table freshly made dishes of pasta/paella/stews etc, so you knew it was fresh. Then as you walked to the usual stations that are self service on other ships a member of staff would come over to you, take a plate and walk around the restaurant with you whilst holding your plate and you would just say what you would like and they would serve it up onto the plate for you. Great idea for hygiene, service but also portion sizes. A major thing for me on a cruise is over eating whereas this way you don’t pile your plate up high. Also, a waiter took you to your table, would pull the chairs out for you and take your drinks order straight away, similar service to what you would expect in main dining on a competitor however this was only the buffet!
After filling our bellies, we then decided to go have a sneak peak of our cabin. We stayed in cabin 702, Seven Seas Suite, we were greeted by Saraj our butler! Upon arrival into the cabin he gave us a tour and then asked us what drinks we would like for our mini bar, I asked him for a menu list he said whatever you like! Bottle of prosecco for me then please! Another lovely touch was the fresh fruit basket, canapes and a bottle of champagne in an ice bucket all awaiting us upon arrival. Loved that we had a Nespresso maker in the cabin too. The décor of the room was like something out of a home design magazine, beautiful. The cabin we had was situated at the very front of the ship and had a wraparound balcony with a huge soft cushioned settee and again lots of space. The bedroom had two king size beds in it, and this was ‘twin configuration’ I’m not even sure what to call the bed size if they were pushed together. There was a tv that was remote controlled at the foot of the bed that rose out of a cupboard, again modern nice touch. Tested out the mattress and it just sucked you in, it was so comfy. The bathroom was like a spa. Jacuzzi bath which overlooked the very front of the ship with a huge round window. L’occitane toiletries, there was a separate shower, his and hers sinks and basin, everything screamed luxury.
The Spa area caught our eye it was huge and had lots of different rooms and facilities, the waiting area had hot stone heated sun loungers and there was separate men and female sections, this area also encompassed an infinity pool. I did find the spa treatments to be quite pricey, but I definitely felt that you would get a premium experience from it if you decided to book one.
The gym was up next, and all the classes are included which I thought was great as other ships I have been on didn’t do this. The equipment was all brand new state of the art and they had lots of pieces to use. The personal trainer onboard said he was the trainer for the likes of George Michael and various other Celebrities.
Another amazing key feature I loved was the Culinary Kitchen, we took part in a cookery class ($70 – 2hrs) it was a top spec kitchen with an amazing fun chef and there were cameras above her which you could see on the big screens behind the chef. Plus, you get to eat your creations at the end, yummy!
We were having so much fun that soon came the time to get ready for dinner. This is a relaxed casual affair on Regent. The first night we dined at Compass Rose, this restaurant didn’t specialise in a particular cuisine and it had an every day option menu too for people who can only eat certain things. The restaurant itself was contempory design with lots of creams, whites and crystal features. The chairs were a deep blue and the plates were VERSACE! The food was again way better than any main dining restaurant I had experienced on other ships you could tell how much thought had gone into the menu alone and the presentation of the dishes were gorgeous.
The shops on-board were high class boutiques and there was always an abundance of staff to assist you with any purchases. Lovely branded jewellery and clothing. Positioned tactically I think outside the main dining restaurant. Treated myself to some new pearls, why not?
The evening entertainment on board was fun and upbeat. The theatre was like something out of the 30’s and was a deep royal blue. I was slightly taken aback by this design as felt it didn’t connect with the rest of the ship. I loved the Boheme Rhapsody story and thought this was definitely Regent-esque. The disco fever style show shocked me as I didn’t expect that sort of high energy show on a Regent ship, it was great but a bit Royal Carribean-esque. I was kind of expecting more big band ball style. Never the less, the Shirley Bassey flash mob tribute was amazing, and the actual singer and dancer cast were fantastic performers!
I do feel that as the cruise is so destination focused that the ship doesn’t particularly need to be all singing and dancing entertainment just some low key evening entertainment is suffice after a long day of exploring the unique ports of call and extensive shore excursion programme.
Throughout the voyage we also dined at two of the other restaurants Pacific Rim & Chartreuse. Pacific Rim was Asian inspired and themed with a variety of pan Asian dishes. Sushi, seafood, noodles dishes, curries. The décor once again truly reflected the purpose of the restaurant and as you walked in a huge dragon figurine was planted in the doorway, again super impressive. After going to Asia multiple times myself, I thought the food was so authentic and exactly like what I had encountered previously.
The French restaurant Chartreuse was a tricky one for me as I am not a fan usually of this cuisine however it was a small intimate venue, the staff spoke using French phrases too you and you left with a cute little token, Macaroons in a lovely box. Again, more proof of Regent’s attention to detail. The food was lovely, but I wouldn’t choose to dine their again purely based on my own individual preferences.
My impressions throughout the trip stayed the same from day one until the end. On some cruises I feel like on embarkation day the service is amazing and then it dwindles towards the end but with Regent it was excellent from start to finish.
Overall, I LOVED it!