Seven Seas Explorer

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Ship information

Seven Seas Explorer

About Seven Seas Explorer

Well before Seven Seas Explorer launched in July 2016, Regent Seven Seas was calling it the "Most Luxurious Ship Ever Built." That is a bold statement when it comes to ultra-luxury cruising. In many ways, the ship lives up to the billing, with extraordinary features and tiny details that will make even the most discerning passenger exceptionally happy.

To begin with, the cabins -- they're all suites -- are beautifully designed and feature some of the largest balconies in the industry. (Balcony sizes range from 55 to 994 square feet.) At the very top is the Regent Suite, a two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom cabin that is so indulgent and well-appointed, passengers staying there might never want to leave.

Then, there's the dining, with two restaurants that make their debut for the line on Explorer: Chartreuse and Pacific Rim. Food onboard is outstanding no matter where you dine, but the addition of the new specialty restaurants -- included in the price -- gives passengers more variety. The line's signature steakhouse, Prime 7, remains one of the best at sea, and its main dining restaurant options, Compass Rose and La Veranda/Sette Mari, set the bar high for "standard" cruise ship dining.

The ship features more than an acre of granite and an acre of marble, almost 500 chandeliers and some 2,500 pieces of art, including works by masters such as Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall. And that's not just in the public spaces, which are impressive. Suites feature incredible marble and stone detailing in their bathrooms and on surfaces like desks and bars.

Those looking to poke holes in the "most luxurious" claim might point to the ship's entertainment, which is OK but not extravagant as one might expect. Likewise, the spa feels like it missed an opportunity to create a more expansive thermal suite complex, with features such as a therapy pool. But complaints in general are minor.

With its over-the-top features and world-class dining, Seven Seas Explorer delivers a luxurious experience that feels like something special. Whether the ship is the world's most luxurious is a judgment call, but Seven Seas Explorer makes a good case.

Cabins

Seven Seas Explorer has 15 cabin types available

Suite Cabins

15 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

15 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

15 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

15 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

15 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

15 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

15 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

15 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

15 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

15 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

15 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

15 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

15 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

15 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

15 Suite types to choose from

Deck Plans

10 deck images available

Activities and Entertainment

Shore Excursions

Cruises on Seven Seas Explorer include at least one excursion in each port. Most excursions fall into the half-day category, running four or five hours. A few longer excursions are available. Excursions fill quickly -- often before the ship sails -- so book online ahead of your sailing. Excursion difficulty is indicated so you know how much walking to expect when you are touring. Tours are capacity controlled to keep the tours the "right size." If you have mobility concerns, check with the destinations desk to see which tours can accommodate you.

Tours visit the biggest sites in most cities, and they're led by excellent English speakers who have intimate knowledge of a region's history and culture. Buses are provided for most tours and generally are clean and comfortable. Note: Tips for the guides and drivers are not included in your cruise fare; a tip of 1 or 2 euros per person is the custom. Tours are generally good, though many passengers on our sailing said they would have preferred more time to stop for pictures and exploration. If you're a connoisseur of wine or spirits, sign up for those excursions, as they often offer deeper understanding of the creation process and provide an opportunity for you to purchase a bottle or two to take home with you.

The ship also has a destinations concierge, so if you're not interested in doing a group tour, you can ask for advice on how to see a port. Maps usually are available, and staff are knowledgeable about the region. For example, if you wanted to do a hike with some beach time in St. Tropez, they could point you to a trail near the port that includes a beach stop along the way. Concierges also can arrange for private tours, which will cost extra.

Seven Seas Explorer also offers some incredible culinary tours, called Gourmet Explorer Tours. These tours pair hands-on foodie experiences in port with fine dining. You might, for example, join a family in Rhodes, Greece, to see how they shop for fish and produce, then help with cooking before enjoying a gourmet lunch -- paired with local wines. Other journeys might conclude with a visit to a Michelin-starred restaurant. All Gourmet Explorer Tours require an extra fee, which varies depending on the event. Tours are restricted to a handful of people and can be booked ahead of your cruise.

Daytime and Evening Entertainment

The ship's main theater is the Constellation Theater, located on decks 4 and 5. The theater has an Art Deco style, with gold balconies and pillars, navy blue bench seating and dark, glossy wood. Try to get a seat on the main level as the balcony doesn't have the best sightlines. The main stage is flanked by two large LED screens, and a third screen is located center stage. These screens are incorporated into the various large-scale production shows, which take place roughly every other day. The theater also hosts a group cabaret show as well as various functions such as cooking demonstrations, which make use of the LED screens and overhead cameras to give the audience a closer view of the chopping, mixing and frying.

The theater hosts several production shows each cruise as well as guest headliners, such as guitarists or comedians. Seven Seas Explorer offers production shows roughly every other day. There's certainly variety, from the bawdy "Paradis" to the rocking "My Revolution." But the shows still feel fairly traditional and a little cheese-ball for a ship of this size and quality. The best show we saw was "My Revolution," which combines music from the British invasion of the 1960s with excellent Burn the Floor-style dancing. We wish the shows would have pushed the envelope even more, with edgier and more modern songs and stylings. Chances are, you'll find something you like if you catch all the shows, which couldn't be more different from one another.

The casino is also located on Deck 4, and it's open when the ship isn't in port. It includes several table games as well as slot machines. The casino regularly hosts activities such as blackjack and poker tournaments.

A daily trivia contest is held in the afternoon at the Observation Lounge, and outdoor activities such as bocce or shuffleboard tournaments take place regularly.

Enrichment

The highlight of Seven Seas Explorer's enrichment offerings is its Culinary Arts Kitchen, a dedicated kitchen space where passengers can get hands-on instruction on a variety of cooking techniques and skills. Classes take place on Deck 11 in the kitchen, which is fabulously fitted with 18 fully equipped workstations. (Foodies on our cruise were blown away by the top-of-the-line induction cooktops.) A chef instructor provides direction, demonstrating each step, then students repeat the steps to make their own creations. The kitchen includes two large TVs and two fish-eye cameras, so students can see the details of what the chef is doing.

Classes range from fairly basic (fileting a fish) to more advanced (French technique), and pricing starts at $89 per person. We were pleased to pick up a few skills in just one class, where we learned to sear a scallop, make a cake, create an emulsion and poach fish. The classes sell out quickly and can be booked online ahead of your cruise.

Other enrichment activities might include hosted chats about shared interests, like sports or travel. Seven Seas Explorer also routinely hosts guest lecturers, who speak on topics like space, geology, history and geography as well as subjects specific to the region to which the ship is sailing.

Regent Seven Seas Explorer Bars and Lounges

When itineraries are packed with port days, action on the ship slows down before midnight most nights; before sea days, the bars and casino will have customers a bit longer. Still, the ship's three lounges offer a variety of spaces for chilling, relaxing or chatting with fellow passengers.

Explorer Lounge (Deck 4): Most nights, the Explorer Lounge hosts live music acts, such as a jazz band, duo or guitarist. The venue, decorated in dark blues and blacks, features a bar with seating around it, tables for two and velvet-covered chairs, a small stage and a dance floor. This is the spot onboard for occasional karaoke.

Meridian Lounge (Deck 5): The Meridian Lounge features a large bar, tables and leather armchairs. It also has a stage with dance floor in front of it. (Strangely, sightlines here are disrupted by an oddly positioned column that blocks part of the stage.) The lounge hosts pianists, ensembles and guitarists.

Connoisseur Club (Deck 11): The ship's cigar bar is also a spot where cigarette smokers can smoke indoors. The club is comfortable and features leather couches and chairs as well as cigars for sale. Order a cognac and enjoy the quiet atmosphere.

Observation Lounge (Deck 11): A multiuse space, the Observation Lounge is used in the daytime for things like tea time, trivia and even lectures. At night, it's a dance club -- and a popular spot onboard for late-night drinks. The lounge, located at the front of the ship, has floor-to-ceiling windows that let in plenty of light during the day. At night, the action moves to the center of the lounge, where you'll find the dancefloor -- beneath a unique bubble-chandelier -- and the large bar.

Pool Bar (Deck 11): A small bar is located on the pool deck.

Regent Seven Seas Explorer Outside Recreation

The main swimming pool is located on Deck 11. The pool deck is made of teak wood and includes numerous padded wicker lounge chairs, including some made for two people. Loungers are available in full sun or under shade. Shaded loungers can be separated by sheer white curtains (though when it gets windy, these are prone to gusting into relaxing passengers). One touch worth noting: Pads are covered by terrycloth, and when one passenger leaves, a pool attendant replaces the cover with a new clean, dry cover. Two hot tubs -- with shade -- sit at the end of the pool, in front of two large, glass-enclosed rainfall showers.  A glassed-off smoking section is located on the right (starboard) side of the ship and does a good job of providing smokers a place to go while keeping smoke from seeping out onto the pool deck. Service, available from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., is fantastic on the pool deck, with waiters and waitresses coming by often to offer drinks. We love the attentiveness, especially from the waiter who offered to clean our sunglasses using lint-free wipes. (Yes, please!)

Two spiral wood staircases lead to a sun deck above the pool. Most lounge chairs are in full sun, but clamshell sofas are also available, which provide their own shade. (The clamshell shade can be lowered, too.) A few double lounge chairs are located under shaded overhangs. Deck 12 is also where you'll find a variety of activities, including a bocce court, golf net, a putting green, shuffleboard and paddle tennis court. 

Regent Seven Seas Explorer Services

The bulk of services on Seven Seas Explorer are on Deck 5, where you'll find the reception and concierge desks, along with the destinations desk. There's also a small business center with a half-dozen computers with internet access. (Wi-Fi is complementary throughout the ship, though, so the business center is seldomly used.)

A number of boutiques are located on Deck 4, selling items from the likes of Calvin Klein, Tom Ford and Bulgari.

The ship's library and card room are located on Deck 11. Passengers can borrow fiction and nonfiction books from the library, which features leather chairs and even a faux fireplace. The card room has several card tables and is a casual place to hang out for a game. Bridge instructors are onboard all sailings. On Deck 5, you'll find a jigsaw puzzle table, which is a surprising stop for many passengers, who swing by and pop in a few pieces.

Self-service launderettes are located on virtually every floor that has cabins, and washing and drying is free. Each launderette has an iron, too, for pressing. If you'd rather outsource the dirty work, laundry and pressing services are offered as well, for a fee.

Dining

Dining on Seven Seas Explorer is simply excellent. Variety, quality and service are outstanding no matter the venue. The ship has two main restaurants, Compass Rose and La Veranda/Sette Mari, which are open to passengers for as many dinners as they wish, as well as three included specialty restaurants, where passengers can dine at least once per venue.

The restaurants are stunning, and each has its own feel and design inspiration. They all feature high-end crystal, silverware and china, from makers like Bernardaud and Versace.

Waiters, waitresses and sommeliers know the menu well and make knowledgeable recommendations based on your tastes. We love the little touches, like a wooden box filled with chic reading glasses (in case you forgot yours) to help you with the menu. 

Reservations are required for the specialty restaurants (and you can book them ahead of your cruise or once onboard), though walkups can occasionally be accommodated.

Compass Rose (Deck 4): The ship's main dining room, Compass Rose is a large space just off the ship's atrium. It's decorated with an ocean theme -- that is, it features a color palette heavy on sea blues, white and light grays. The columns are adorned in mother of pearl. But the nod for the most impressive feature here has to go to the main blue crystal-and-glass chandelier, which is massive and features hundreds of blue crystal droplets. It's so splendid, you might overlook the brilliant -- though smaller -- amber chandeliers scattered throughout the dining room. Most of the tables here seat two or four, though several can accommodate larger parties. Dining here is open, meaning there are no set seats or dining times; just show up and eat any time the restaurant is open.

Breakfast is served here most days and features items such as eggs cooked to your preference, pancakes, waffles, yogurt, fresh fruit, bacon and sausage. Fresh juices are offered, as is coffee and tea. Compass Rose generally isn't open for lunch. (Instead, visit either Chartreuse or Prime 7 for a sit-down afternoon meal.) The same menu is offered every day for breakfast; every Sunday is a Champagne and caviar breakfast. (If you don't see an item you want, such as eggs Benedict, on the menu, just ask your waiter; chances are you can get it.)

At night, Compass Rose serves a multicourse dinner, with expansive and customizable menus (re-developed in late 2016 for the entire fleet). The left side of the menu features always-available appetizers, categorized by fish and seafood (Alaskan crab salad, lobster bisque), meat (egg and truffle, pan-seared foie gras) and soup and salad (classic Caesar, tomato soup). They're followed by a list of 13 meats and seafood (Maine lobster tail, Black Angus filet mignon, New Zealand lamb chops and veal medallions, among others) that diners can mix and match with a list of sauces, sides and pasta. The combinations on this half of the menu alone could get you through a lengthy cruise.

On the right side of the menu are the specials, which change daily. Appetizers could be caviar profiteroles or a goat cheese tart, pasta might be pasta diavola with lobster and entrees range from butternut agnolotti to roasted duck Beijing style and Maine lobster. Menus identify lacto-ovo vegetarian options and include a tasty vegetarian bean chili or a Mediterranean squash and zucchini quinoa salad.

Menus identify a "balanced selection" option: a three-course meal that is lower in calories and fat. Calories, fat and fiber content for those dishes are written on the menu, so you won't be guessing. Passengers also can request any dish be prepared plainly or with less fat or sodium. Additionally, proteins can be prepared grilled or poached, and passengers can get virtually any item without sauce.

A tasting menu, called the Executive Chef's Menu Degustation, is available each night as well and includes a perfectly portioned six-course menu.

Dessert might be cheesecake or a tart, for example, while options such as ice cream, sorbet and a cheese plate are always available.

Vegan, strict vegetarian and gluten-free diets can be accommodated; passengers who have dietary restrictions should notify the cruise line when making reservations and confirm with the maitre d' once onboard. The ship carries some kosher meat onboard and has a separate preparation area; those who are very strict will want to speak to the line in advance and pre-order meals. We were impressed with the way the Explorer crew handled passengers with allergies; the staff leaves the next day's menu in the cabin, and the passenger can select the items he or she wishes to eat. They'll be prepared apart from everyone else's, ensuring no allergens cross-contaminate the meal. Wait staff also know which passengers have which allergies, and if a passenger accidentally orders something with that allergen in it, the waiter or waitress will advise.

The Cafe (Deck 5): The Cafe is a small, casual venue, with a bar that serves a variety of teas and coffees, cappuccinos, lattes and espressos. There's also a self-serve coffee machine. The cafe serves continental breakfast and snacks buffet-style throughout the day. Passengers dine and linger in the adjacent seating area with comfy cafe seating. It's a busy spot, especially midmorning and on sea days.

Pacific Rim (Deck 5): Pacific Rim, Explorer's Pan-Asian restaurant, is tough to miss in part because of its nearly 6,000-pound, bronze-cast prayer wheel, a floor-to-ceiling art piece inspired by traditional Tibetan Buddhist prayer wheels. (The wheel features sayings of wisdom rather than prayers, though.)  Passengers walk past it to gain entry into the restaurant, which is decorated in olive green and gray, with dark wood and touches of brass throughout. Seating is available in tables of two and four, as well as a couple of larger tables.

The restaurant is only open for dinner, and it serves Asian food from across the continent, so items include Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Korean and Vietnamese selections. This was one of our favorite restaurants, in part because of the variety and portion sizes that allow you to sample a lot without feeling guilty. Appetizer options include an assorted sushi platter, hamachi sashimi, duck spring rolls and beef tataki -- a favorite at our table. Dim sum is offered, with popular items like a delicious open-top pork and shrimp shui mai, chicken and foie gras gyoza and eggplant and mushroom potstickers. Soups and salads are available as well. Skip the seaweed wakame salad and opt for the tom kha gai or pho sai gon. The restaurant has an excellent selection of entrees -- try the miso black cod, served wrapped in a hoba leaf, or the Black Angus beef bulgogi. If you're looking for something a little spicier, try the vegetarian or seafood curry. Our only real quibble from our meal here is we asked for a higher level of spice, and it was served mild -- at best. Vegetarian dishes are labeled as such. For dessert, save room for the green tea panna cotta and chili chocolate mousse.

Chartreuse (Deck 10): Designed to remind diners of a Parisian cafe, Chartreuse serves modern French food in a restaurant that is femininely (but not fussily) decorated, with marble tiles designed to look like a wet, cobblestone street and gold filigree screens and metal accents that replicate the ironwork of the Eiffel Tower. The back of the restaurant, which has an incredible inlaid marble floor, has bigger tables that can accommodate as many as eight people, but most tables seat two to four, and many tables have banquette seating. The front of the restaurant has an intimate bar area that really is too small for lingering but perfect for grabbing a drink while waiting for your table.

Chartreuse is open for lunch every sea day and every other port day (it alternates with Prime 7, located next door). The basic lunch menu is the same each day, with the addition of several daily specials. Daily lunch appetizers include an assortment of charcuterie items, such as duck terrine, Bayonne ham and saucisson, a nicoise salad or leek and cheese quiche. Mains include grilled octopus, grilled salmon or roast chicken. Dessert options also change daily and might include chocolate banana verrine or rhubarb and almond tart.

At dinner, the menu is the same each night. Our favorite was the appetizer course: Everyone thought their selection was the best, and lots of sharing led us to believe they all were excellent. For your first course, choose from items like steak tartare with caviar, terrine of foie gras or escargot in a rich Burgundy sauce. Order a few appetizers and skip the soup course, which we found bland. Soup options include a fish stew, a consomme or a creamy artichoke. Entrees include French standards, such as Coquille Saint Jacques sea scallops and beef ribs with seared foie gras. Vegetarian options are available, but be prepared for rich, cheesy dishes.

For dessert, we loved the excellent cheese selection, which is cut tableside. If you have a sweet tooth, try the creme brulee or chocolate Napoleon. You'll also get a takeaway box of macarons.

Prime 7 (Deck 10): If Chartreuse is feminine, Prime 7, the line's signature steakhouse, feels masculine -- in fact, it was inspired by traditional gentlemen's clubs, and as such, features lots of dark leather, stark black and white marble, and walls covered in navy blue ultrasuede. A small bar is located at the front of the restaurant for passengers wanting to imbibe while they wait for tables. Seating in the restaurant is mostly tables for two or four; only a couple of tables are available for larger parties. The restaurant also features banquette seating -- even for parties of two. While we love the intimacy of the banquettes, they are slightly too low for the tables, and you'll find yourself reaching in an odd way to cut your food. We felt like we needed a booster seat.

Prime 7 is open every sea day for lunch, and every other port day (it alternates with Chartreuse). The lunch menu is the same each day, though daily specials are offered. The menu includes appetizers like chicken quesadillas (so big, it could be an entree) and an excellent pickled beet salad with velvety goat cheese panna cotta. Main courses include a Caesar salad, burger, grilled sirloin and baby back ribs. Desserts include a peanut caramel brownie and a butter pecan sandwich.

Dinner at Prime 7 is a real treat; it's truly one of the best chop houses at sea, as steaks are perfectly prepared and meat quality is high. In general, beef is the star, but seafood is also excellent, as is the lamb and pork. Appetizer options include a decadent foie gras slider, a light but delicious ahi tuna and avocado tower and a classic steak tartare. Soup and salad courses include clam chowder, an iceberg wedge and Caesar salad. Just beware: Entree courses are large, so you might want to skip (or split) appetizers, soups and salads. The most popular item on the menu might be the prime rib, but we love the lean-yet-buttery-soft filet mignon. The surf and turf includes a filet as well as either a lobster tail or king crab legs. A variety of sauces are available, including chimichurri, bearnaise and cranberry port wine. Sides are served family style and include twice-baked potatoes, sauteed mushrooms and asparagus. Desserts include a classic Chicago-style cheesecake, or our favorite, a caramel popcorn sundae.

Tucked away behind Prime 7 is a private dining area, available for dinner by reservation to those in the top suites onboard. Passengers dining here can choose from either the Prime 7 or Chartreuse menu.

La Veranda/Sette Mari (Deck 11): La Veranda is the ship's buffet, serving breakfast and lunch each day. At night, it transforms into Sette Mari, a combination buffet and order-from-the-menu restaurant. Located at the very back of the ship, La Veranda is filled with bright natural lighting. It also offers alfresco dining, with a beautiful and large seating space behind the service area. Most of the tables indoors and out seat two or four. Tables for larger parties are mostly located outside. While most of the food is self-serve, waiters and waitresses are attentive and provide prompt drink service.

Breakfast includes hot items like eggs, sausage, bacon, beans, oatmeal and grilled tomatoes, as well as cold items such as yogurt, fresh fruit, muesli, cereal and cold cuts and fish. The buffet has an egg station, where you can order eggs any style, delivered to your table (just provide the chef your table number and skip the wait). Every Sunday, a Champagne and caviar breakfast is served, with salmon roe and Osetra options. You'll love the setup, complete with blinis and crostini, eggs and cream. Waiters serve Champagne tableside. (The Caviar breakfast is also offered on the same day in Compass Rose.)

Lunch includes a small salad bar, sandwiches and a carving station, where meats such as pork loin or brisket are served. A number of hot options also are offered, with selections rotating daily. Items might include salmon fillets or chicken satay, for example. A chef mans a pasta station, making filling custom orders.

For dinner, passengers can dine at Sette Mari, an Italian restaurant that pairs antipasti buffet selections with menu options like gnocchi in pesto, lasagna, veal scaloppini or cioppino. Desserts include tiramisu or panna cotta. Menu options vary each night, though some items will repeat. The restaurant has the feel of a sit-down venue, and you'll have a waiter who will take your order for pasta and "second plate" courses. Desserts are served buffet style.

Pool Grill (Deck 11): The Pool Grill serves breakfast and lunch each day, and much of the food served here replicates what is served inside at La Veranda. At lunch, though, passengers are treated to regional specialties. So, if Explorer is sailing in France, lunch might include nicoise salad, baguettes and salmon mousseline. In Greece, you might be treated to dolmades, taramasalata, olives, and hummus and pita bread.

The Pool Grill also features a set menu for lunch, which is the same every day. It includes burgers (traditional, vegetarian or tuna, for example), pizza, an amazing Cuban sandwich and chicken wings. Most selections come with fries (get the sweet potato variety).

The Pool Grill also includes a small ice cream station (dubbed "The Creamery") for sorbet and ice cream, floats, sundaes and shakes. Snacks, mostly cookies and muffins, are available from morning until around 6 p.m.

Observation Lounge Afternoon Tea (Deck 11): White-gloved afternoon tea service is offered every day at 4 p.m. in the Observation Lounge. A small variety of Twinings tea is offered along with finger sandwiches, pastries and scones with clotted cream and jam. On sea days, a themed dessert if offered, such as cupcakes, cheesecake or crepes.

Pool Deck Party Barbecue (Deck 11): Once a cruise, a nighttime pool deck barbecue takes place. It's not your garden-variety wieners and burgers event. It's a full-blown seafood and meat extravaganza. Jumbo shrimp, mussels, king crab legs and lobster are served, and passengers pile up their plates with shellfish, along with big beef ribs, salads and fresh-carved turkey. The dessert bar includes fruit tarts, cakes and beautiful pastries. Entertainers perform live music, and waiters and waitresses bring around signature drinks, Champagne and whatever else your heart might desire.

Room Service: One of the best perks of sailing on Seven Seas Explorer is its awesome room service menu. You can order from a set menu 24 hours a day. Items include things like bacon cheeseburgers, pasta Bolognese or seared scallops. Breakfast also is available and includes eggs, toast, waffles, pancakes, yogurt and fruit.

While the room service menu selection is excellent, make sure to spoil yourself by ordering a multicourse room service dinner from Compass Rose. You pick the items from that night's menu, and a waiter will serve you in your cabin, one course at a time, either on your balcony or inside table.

Room service for all meals is served on a white tablecloth, and your waiter will setup the plates and silverware for you, and then remove your tray and dishes when you're done.