I think I'm starting to sound redundant .... once again a fantastic Regent cruise. The Explorer looked as beautiful as a year ago, even though it was heading for dry dock.. Wish I could age that well!! Food was outstanding as always. Pacific Rim is still my favorite, but every meal (and those in between!) was superb. And the service was once again beyond perfection!
There were a few experiences I think worth mentioning. We were in the Constellation Theatre with our tickets and about to board the tender for Amalfi. At the very last minute (8:15am) it was announced that the port had to be cancelled. The seas didn't 'appear' to be very rough, but the Captain determined that the tenders just were not safe enough and the port was cancelled.. Of course we were looking forward to a wonderful day on the Amalfi coast, but ship happens..... What I found amazing was how the entire crew went immediately to Plan B. Within an hour, a new schedule for the unexpected Sea Day was delivered to our suite. New activities were offered and Chartreuse and Prime 7 were opened for lunch, along with CR and La Veranda. Service throughout the day didn't skip a beat! I can't imagine how the F & B staff had to scramble to accommodate a full ship instead of anticipating that a majority of passengers would be ashore that day.
Speaking of difficulty with the tenders... when we were in Portofino two days later, the seas unexpectantly picked up at about mid day. It was pretty challenging coming back on the tender at about 3pm. We were definitely rocking and rolling! But at 5, when the last tender was returning to the ship, many of us were on our balconies, holding our breath as we watched that tender trying to get to the ship. The tender finally was able to be hoisted up onto the ship, after bobbing around in the swells for a very long time! The staff handling the tenders, and us, were absolutely phenomenal!
And a most unexpected highlight of this cruise was when we returned to the ship from a day in Firenze. We did the "Florence On Your Own" excursion. We had done the same excursion a year ago on the Voyager. We don't often do ship excursions, but when in a port we know well, and it's a distance from port to city, we take advantage of the complimentary motor coach or train. Our day in Firenze was, as always, sensational. As anticipated, we arrived back at the ship at about 6:15. Have happily and gratefully cruised on Regent many times but never experienced the reception we received when we began to board the ship from our motorcoach. As we stepped off the bus one of the butlers was there with hot towels and another with glasses of champagne. There then were a line on either side of the red carpet of about 50 + staff clapping, singing and welcoming us home, as a band played! We all took a while to get through the welcoming line of staff because we kept hugging them! We always are greeted with smiles from the staff, but this was ridiculously fun!! Our fantastic butler, Prakash, told us they do that welcome frequently when a long full day tour is returning.
And I can't wait to return. Finally, I'm listening to many of you (and my TA!) and doing a better job of planning and booking ahead. So, we now have two Explorer and one Splendor cruises in our future! Can't wait!!