Regent Seven Seas Explorer Cruise Review Day 6
We decided not to take an organised tour as it was our last day onboard Seven Seas Explorer, so walked into the town of Palamos to explore on our own. A local guide boarded and set up a stand near the reception desk that provided maps so I popped along for some information.
Palamos is a town situated on the Costa Brava, located at the northern end of a large bay, popular for swimming, sailing and windsurfing. It is a major port, and the town centre is a short walk away from the where Seven Seas Explorer was docked.
We headed off and explored the old town, and went to a viewpoint overlooking the marina. There's not a lot here to be honest, it's just a Spanish fishing town famous for its prawns, so I would recommend a tour here, or stay onboard and enjoy the luxury!
Returning to the ship we sat at the Pool Bar and tried a few drinks from the extensive cocktail list, then headed over to the grill for our last lunch. Today we opted for the peel and share prawns and a burger topped with Gorgonzola. Absolutely delicious!
Later in the afternoon we popped along to afternoon tea and to participate in the team trivia quiz. The tables were covered with tablecloths with tea cups and silver sugar bowls along with side plates just waiting to be filled! The waiters soon came along with a selection of different tea bags and then filled your cup with water. There was a selection of savoury sandwiches and cakes on display in the centre of the room and then another waiter appeared with a cake trolley. So just for research purposes I tried the Battenberg cake and few other treats! I can report back they were all delicious! We came third in the trivia quiz too so a good afternoon!
That evening we dined in Chartreuse, the French inspired new restaurant debuting on Seven Seas Explorer. The menu was very extensive with a selection of ten hors d'oeuvres. I opted for the Soufflé au Fromage, (Emmental cheese soufflé with soubise sauce) the Escargot a la Bourguignonne (Snails in a Burgundy Dijon sauce with Bayonne ham and sautéed mushrooms) and Terrine de Fois Gras au Sauternes (duck Foie Gras terrine with sauternes jelly toasted brioche and marinated apricots). Someone had told us they would be small portions - but trust me - they were not!
Soup was cream of artichoke with toasted hazelnuts and a creamy thyme emulsion. It was served with an artichoke cream and hazelnuts in the base of the bowl, then the waiter poured the thyme emulsion on top, creating the final dish. The flavour of the nuts with the delicate artichokes was delicious.
The main course I opted for the Homard Roti et Mousseline de Saint-Jacques, (roasted lobster with scallop Mousseline, green asparagus and fava beans) The presentation was beautiful and it tasted just as good! There was no room for dessert so we finished our wine and headed to the show. The Chartreuse menu will extend to the rest of the Regent Seven Seas Cruises fleet with select dishes being offered at Compass Rose aboard Seven Seas Navigator and later in the autumn of 2016 and spring of 2017 when Signatures on board Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Mariner will be converted into Chartreuse.
The evening show was called "A Day In Hollywood", and the daily programme described it as “This Tony Award winning tribute to Hollywood spurs singing and dancing in the aisles and leaves guests yearning to go to the movies. The show features some of the greatest music ever written for the silver screen such as 'Over the Rainbow' , 'Thanks for the Memory' and 'Hooray for Hollywood'”
This show was again performed really well by the talented production singers, who not only had to sing but tap dance too, during some very long and energetic numbers. However the content let it down; it was like a documentary about Hollywood in the 1930's, with only three songs performed that anyone would recognise. There were no costume changes, a static set and the ships professional dancers only popped up in the last 30 seconds. There was a segment focusing on the dance steps from the 1930's which comprised of the singers on the stage singing, then a suspended, raised platform that was sectioned off so that all that was visible were the dancers legs and feet. It was a novelty at first but after the whole show was performed like that it got a bit frustrating and tedious; why not just perform the dance numbers on the stage for all to see? A bit too clever for its own good and the average applause at the end summed it up really. Regent Seven Seas Cruises have invested a lot of money in revamping their shows but personally they need to go back to the drawing board on this one. If you were a die hard fan of 1930's / 40's Hollywood movies and the machinations of the Hollywood machine from that time in history then it might have held interest – however this audience were international and too young for this sort of material. The cast even had to sing the “Motion Picture Production Code” whilst tap dancing; and that was one of the more entertaining numbers.
Cruise Summary of Seven Seas Explorer
This is a stunning ship – the attention to detail and quality of furnishings, lighting, carpeting and tableware are second to none. The food was always excellent, with the alternative restaurants taking the crown for the best on board – my personal preference would be in order: Pacific Rim, Chartreuse, Prime 7, Compass Rose (the main dining-room) and then Sette Mari at La Veranda. Choice and variety of the included excursions was excellent and the way these were organised was very good. Service could be a bit hit-or-miss but the ship is still bedding in (this is only the third cruise) so I have no doubt this will be improved and perfected over the coming few voyages (I was on Seven Seas Mariner last year and the service was excellent). I was disappointed in the entertainment I saw, with the headline act (the juggler) being my favourite show. Regent also has a link to the Smithsonian Institute and there were lectures on board – however I did not attend any of these so cannot comment – topics included “The History of France” and “Spain: The Arab Conquest”
I would recommend Seven Seas Explorer for couples who appreciate fine wine and excellent food, who enjoy a choice of specialty dining, in large spacious accommodation, whilst travelling with like-minded people in luxurious surroundings.
If shows and entertainment are high-on your priority list, this might not be the ship for you. The evenings are quite low-key with 4-piece bands, pianists, and trios performing music sets in the various lounges – very talented but a more sophisticated, cabaret style than some other ships.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises is perfect for people who don't like to be nickle-and-dimed on board as everything is included - tours, tips, drinks, wi-fi and more. All you would need to pay for are Spa services, shop purchases and the enhanced tours - however The Luxury Cruise Company has a number of voyages where these are included by way of an onboard spending credit – see our exclusive offers here – Regent Seven Seas Cruises exclusive offers.