There have been recent enhancements to the 'Every Luxury Included' Regent experience and I really appreciated these whilst on board. All guests now have complimentary unlimited cleaning and pressing of any garments, a very worthwhile benefit! And 'Vero Water' has been introduced on board, an eco-friendly system using five stage nano-filtration. Each guest has a reusable Vero bottle, which can be filled from the water bottles provided and replenished twice daily in suite, as well as hydration stations around the ship.
After quickly unpacking, I enjoyed a tour of the ship, as most guests were ashore on tour or visiting the nearby Old Town of Rhodes. Explorer carries 700 guests and has many beautifully furnished public areas, which are complimented by impressive artworks, all individually chosen by Frank Del Rio, President of the cruise line. So, there is something special to admire wherever you are on board!
I was particularly impressed with the elegant table settings in each restaurant, all individual in style, colour and beautifully matched to the menu offered. I enjoyed a light lunch at the pool grill and took a visit to the Spa, which offers many treatments, all arranged once on board. The staff were very friendly and happy to explain the benefits of the therapies. There are male and female areas to the spa and on each side there is a sauna, steam and an ice room to be enjoyed. There is also an infinity pool overlooking the back of the ship and each time I visited there was plenty of space on the expansive sun loungers, a quiet respite, which was very enjoyable.
I enjoyed dinner on my first evening at the Compass Rose, an elegant restaurant with a substantial menu catering for all dietary requirements. After dinner, I enjoyed a very special piano recital in the Constellation Theatre, by a guest performer more used to playing in Carnegie Hall. This was followed by karaoke in the Explorer Lounge, where a number of the ship's entertainers took to the stage to show their incredible talents.
I was awake early the next morning when we had docked in Alanya, Turkey and enjoyed breakfast on the outside terrace of La Veranda, before taking one of the included excursions to Side and the Damlatas Cave. The guide was very personable, engaging and I thoroughly enjoyed her commentary as we made our way around. Part of the tour was to the Roman Amphitheatre in Side and whilst admiring the historical significance of this very special place, one of the guests (a professional opera singer) aboard the ship started to sing, which was very magical.
Dinner this evening was at the Asian Restaurant, Pacific Rim and there were so many dishes to choose from! Our table decided to order together and shares a little of everything; the food was authentic and quite delicious! The evening entertainment was a pool party, starting with a Turkish Belly Dance show followed by Dancing Under the Stars and the full ship orchestra played alongwith the company singers and dancers; everyone had a great time!
My last full day on board was spent enjoying the summer sunshine, a beautiful sunny day, I knew the weather has already turned autumnal back at home so wanted to make the most of it.
I enjoyed a fantastic dinner this evening in Prime 7, the steak restaurant on board, where there were choices of steak, lamb and pork, combined with various sauces and side dishes and all were beautifully prepared to order. To my surprise I was presented with a birthday cake accompanied by a rendition of Happy Birthday from everyone in the restaurant, which will be a lovely memory to reflect on! The theatre show this evening was 'Paradis', a bohemian cabaret show reflecting Parisian nightlife, exquisitely performed by the production cast. The energy and quality of their performance was fantastic and they received a well deserved standing ovation.
The next morning it was time to bid farewell, the three night cruise was thoroughly enjoyable and has really whetted my appetite for a longer journey next time. The exceptional crew looked after all guests so well and always with a smile; with so many exciting itineraries to consider right through to 2025, I hope it won't be too long before I return!