Caroline in Italy
Posted: 03 September 2015
Tales From the High Seas . . .
Regent Seven Seas claims to be the most inclusive cruise company at sea, and after just experiencing them first hand I can safely say that they most definitely are! Everything is included; all meals, all drinks, even shore excursions - truly wonderful service!
Cruising is a fabulous holiday and one that many people have a very uninformed opinion on! Imagine waking up each morning in another of Europe’s beautiful and historic cities — without driving anywhere or even thinking about how you get there! Guests can simply relax, enjoy some drinks and a fabulous dinner, sleep in a luxurious suite and then draw back the curtains in the morning and take in the new vista each day! That’s exactly what I did and I loved every minute of it!
Start the day with a freshly made Illy coffee on the balcony of your Concierge Suite, admiring the view, before choosing breakfast in the comfort of your own suite, or head to the main dining room, Compass Rose, for an al a carte breakfast, or perhaps even dine alfresco on the terrace at La Veranda. Here, you can savour fabulous omelettes while enjoying the gentle sea breeze.
After breakfast why not venture ashore and partake in one of the many daily shore excursions (that are included within the cruise price)? There is a great choice of different options, but there is no need to spend any money on excursions during your entire voyage if you don’t want to. In Portofino, we decided on a walking tour and after the quick tender journey to shore we were met by our fabulous guide, who was a fountain of all knowledge on this beautiful Italian fishing village. Having walked around all the main sites, including the pretty square, we enjoyed a leisurely stroll out to the lighthouse before taking a ferry across to Santa Margerita, which is a wonderful Italian coastal town with great shopping, a lovely seafront and a beautiful Baroque church. Here, we had time to leisurely wonder and enjoy the sites, before heading back on board for a sumptuous lunch.
Lunch can be enjoyed on deck at the Pool Grill, which offers a fabulous selection of burgers, salads and snacks. Alternatively, head back down to La Veranda for a sumptuous buffet with freshly made pasta, or visit Compass Rose, which is open for those wanting something a little more formal. Afterwards, comes the tough decision of what to do with your afternoon — enjoy another shore excursion, relax by the pool, play paddle tennis, practice your putting, play shuffleboard, enjoy a spa treatment at the award-winning Canyon Ranch Spa, have a workout in the gym, or perhaps take part in one of the complimentary fitness classes? Of course, you can also simply relax on your suite’s balcony and enjoy the roomy and comfortable accommodation. Also, don’t forget that there is complimentary Afternoon Tea, if you are feeling a little peckish later on!
During the evenings, the ship really comes alive and there is so much entertainment to enjoy. Indulge in pre-dinner drinks in the Observation Lounge, as you sail away, or sip cocktails at the opulent Mariner or Horizon Lounges. The staff are just wonderful and will be delighted to whisk up all manner of beverages for you — or one can, of course, savour a glass of delicious chilled Champagne (all of which is included in the price of the cruise).
The food on Regent Seven Seas is absolutely sensational. We dined in Compass Rose restaurant, the main dining room, on the first evening, which is a great option as no reservations are required. It has open seating and a wonderful selection of cuisine, including enticing daily specials. If this was the only option on the ship, I would have been more than happy to dine here every evening! The service, too was fabulous and the choice of wines exceptional.
There are also two speciality restaurants on board Prime 7, a wonderful American grill restaurant, and Signatures,a decadent French restaurant with a choice of six courses. I was fortunate enough to dine at Signatures and it didn’t disappoint in any way. From the creamy, soft and deliciously rich fois gras, to the lobster bisque and sharp and refreshing Champagne sorbet, to the incredible halibut in a pistachio sauce — every course was perfect and accompanied by expertly chosen, delicious white and red wines. Unfortunately, there was no room, for dessert but the chocolate truffles were absolutely incredible and more than made up for the lack of room for a sweet pudding! The best thing about the two speciality restaurant, is that you can pre-book a reservation at both, prior to your cruise, with the option to make more reservations once you are on board (subject to availability). Unbelievably, and in contrast to other cruise lines, there is absolutely no surcharge to dine in either of these restaurants, as again, it is all included!
Our final dining experience was at Sette Mari, which is transformed from La Veranda during the day to an authentic Italian restaurant by night. Enjoy sharing antipasti platters, followed by delicious traditional-style soups bursting with flavour, before a delicious pasta course. I opted for the mushroom and parmesan risotto, which melted in the mouth and was full of flavour. For main courses, there is a great variety of meats, fish, and alternative pasta dishes. I chose the mushroom lasagne and I have never tasted anything like it before, absolutely superb!
After dinner, there are more deliberations! Do you take in a show at the theatre? We chose Cirque Rock ‘n’ Roll, a mix of some of the best rock and roll songs and acrobatics, which was worthy of any of the best shows in Vegas! Alternatively, head back to one of the lounges for live music or perhaps a quiz. For those looking for a later night, there is Stars Lounge, featuring live music and a wonderful juke box — so you can tailor your own entertainment! For those fancying a flutter, the on-board casino is the ideal place to chance your luck on the high seas!
Cruising is one of my favourite types of holiday and I simply can’t wait to set sail and enjoy my next experience — wherever in the world that may take me! One thing is for sure, it definitely doesn’t get more inclusive than a Regent Seven Seas cruise!