A getaway to a warmer climate is a great way to break up the monotony of winter and its cold and dreary days. It was something that many of us missed last year and I was happy at the opportunity to be able to leave winter behind for a week last month and enjoy the warmth of the Caribbean on board Regent Seven Seas.

Concierge Suite - Regent Seven Seas Explorer

A well-appointed Concierge Suite considered by the author to be the best in his 30 years of cruising

After 7 days on board Regent’s Seven Seas Explorer, it’s hard to identify the best part of the trip: the beautifully appointed suite, the gorgeous bars and lounges, some of the best food I’ve ever had at sea, the incredible shore excursions, or the attentive service from everyone on board? It was all of the above.

Our ship, the largest in the fleet with only 732 guests, is intimate and intuitive, making it easy to find our way around. While considered small by today’s standards, the ship nonetheless features a myriad of options on how to spend your days and nights on board.

Regent’s fleet of ships only offers suite staterooms and so every accommodation is wonderfully appointed and spacious. We stayed in a Superior Suite and in my 30 years of travelling by cruise ship, this was one of the most beautiful and well-designed staterooms I’ve ever experienced. It was a perfect space in every way from the double-sink bathroom with separate tub and shower, to the large walk-in closet, the window facing king-sized bed and our spacious balcony. It was our luxurious private retreat.

Regent Seven Seas Explorer - spacious balcony

All Regent Seven Seas staterooms have spacious balconies

In addition to featuring only suites on board, Regent Seven Seas is an all-inclusive cruise line so that there are no extras to be paid once you are on the ship. It’s not just that everything is included; it’s the quality of what is included. In suite breakfast every morning? Yes, but not just eggs and coffee, you can also have smoked salmon every day if you wish. The opportunity to indulge at lunch and supper means lobster and foie gras are always on the menu, and it’s included. The chilli at the Tex-Mex lunch didn’t feature ground beef but pieces of sirloin – it was all wonderful. You also have the choice of top quality cuisine in their Steakhouse, Italian, Asian and French restaurants as well.


Ann and Sean piloting a mini-speedboat while in Cozumel

The quality of service and experience extends to all aspects on board, including the bars and lounges. We were impressed not only by the attention to detail in the furnishings but also the outstanding acoustics in these rooms. Every night in the Meridian Lounge, members of the orchestra would play jazz and standards in a small group format and they were some of the best musicians I’ve ever heard at sea.

Sailing on a Regent cruise means that shore excursions are also included. This is a feature that I’ve experienced with some ocean and river cruises before and it’s a benefit that I’ve really enjoyed. Having shore excursions included often means doing something that you might not otherwise do and I’ve found that some of the most enjoyable travel experiences happen when you move out of your comfort zone. One of the most anticipated tours for this trip was in Cozumel, piloting our own mini-speedboat! It was as exhilarating as we had imagined it would be. We were also impressed by the level of attention and care given by the tour operators that Regent had chosen for their shoreside operations, a true extension of the service that we experienced on board. And it was all included.

Regent Seven Seas Explorer

Regent Seven Seas Explorer carries only 652 guests

Regent offers cruises all over the world, from sun destinations to Europe and other exotic destinations as well as Grand Voyages and World Cruises. Given all that is included and the quality of these inclusions in your suite and throughout the entire vacation experience, Regent truly offers one of the best vacation values. For Canadians, their Canadian Dollars at Par offer for select sailings is one of their best offers. For more information about Regent Seven Seas, visit www.rssc.com, or contact your local Expedia Cruises vacation consultant.

Sean Flynn is the co-owner (with his sister Kelly) of four Expedia Cruises locations in Montreal, Dorval, DDO and Kirkland