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kjbacon

Explorer Live! Lisbon to Venice, April 8-30 (with the prequel)

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We are off to a most impressive start. After a pleasant flight from Philadelphia, we were greeted by a staff (not just one or two) of helpful, professional, friendly Regent reps. Our transfer to the hotel was flawless. They had selected the Four Seasons Ritz Hotel for us and it is a magnificent grand old hotel. Our rooms were ready early and everyone on our flight is already checked in before 11:00am Lisbon time. Check in was also flawless. So far, nothing could have been improved.

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What an unexpected treat to be able to check in to your rooms early after an overnight flight!  I'll be following along with interest as we were booked for this cruise but unexpectedly had to cancel.  Hope it's wonderful!

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The early check in truly was a treat that we, and many others, took full advantage of. A two hour nap and we were good to go! Lisbon is a lovely city and I would have been happy to spend more time here.

 

Day 0 was terrific, even if the weather did not cooperate. Another compliment to Regent in the choice of this hotel and flawless coordination so far. Breakfast in the ballroom this morning was very nice. We have already met several nice couples.

 

As we transition into Day 1, we are very excited to start our adventure today on the Explorer, can’t wait to see it after months of anticipation!

 

 

 

 

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Look forward to your posts. The excitement day of boarding is lovely getting the first glimpse of the ship and stepping onboard. 

Have a wonderful cruise and thanks for taking us along with your updates.

Jean.

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Wishing you a terrific cruise.     Be sure to let us know what you'd add to your food post.    😋

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We’ll be joining you in Barcelona. Have a great first leg!

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Ok. Where to start. We are onboard, have had lunch, have met our butler and housekeeper, unpacked, and have had a basic look around. We are floored.

 

We now are beginning to understand where some of the “regulars” are coming from. I think it was TravelCat who resisted grouping this ship with Viking, Azamara, and such because it is a different category. I stand corrected. This is a different category . 

 

Yes, there is a lot of dark wood throughout and while I tend to prefer lighter colors, this works. It is elegantly beautiful. We are delighted with our cabin on all counts. Every staff member that we have encountered so far has been exceptional. Lunch was excellent and if that is what I will get at the buffet on embarkation day, I cannot imagine what culinary treats are to come. Carved prime rib, a perfect medium rare, was the feature and was delicious with grated horseradish.

 

The red wine at lunch was a California Cabernet that was not our favorite. No problem whatsoever subbing a Bordeaux that we thoroughly enjoyed.

 

As for the transfer from the hotel to the ship ... lol ... it was a bit of a mess, running a good hour behind schedule with a decent dose of confusion. Happily, most everyone took it in pleasant stride and embraced the opportunity to meet fellow passengers.

 

Embarkation was easy and efficient, once here, we were boarded in no time. Off to enjoy!

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Well it does look like your off to a great cruise, so relax and enjoy your cruise.  Looking forward to reading more.

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So glad that you are onboard and happy.  Hope that you enjoy every minute of your cruise!

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42 minutes ago, kjbacon said:

As for the transfer from the hotel to the ship ... lol ... it was a bit of a mess, running a good hour behind schedule with a decent dose of confusion. Happily, most everyone took it in pleasant stride and embraced the opportunity to meet fellow passengers.

Love your upbeat attitude!   This makes the difference in all travel.  Can’t wait to hear more. .  

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Have a great cruise. 

 

Your comments regarding transfer to the ship for embarkation highlight why, unless it is just a really long or logistically difficult transfer, we always do our own, even if the transfer is included.

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How refreshing to hear of the positives - sometimes I think the product is so good that people actively look for things to nitpick.  (Yes, I know there are often real issues - I'm not trying to trivialize anyone's previous misadventures).  But it's refreshing nonetheless.

 

May the rest of your cruise be as enjoyable as your embarkation and your nice Bordeaux.

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Glad you are finally onboard and enjoying the ship.  Looking forward to hearing more about your impressions and adventures. 

Z and TB

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Sorry to sound a discordant note but our experience today has been very negative. The transfer from the hotel was a complete shambles. Not only was it late, an hour and a half in our case, but there was no one on site to provide any information about what was going on. The rep who got on the bus blamed variously the hotel, the passengers and oh the passengers again. 

It’s fine for people to say “oh we just get a cab” but Regent provide the transfer and they should do it better than they did today. 

For us, we did not get to the ship in time for lunch.

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kjbacon, wishing you a fabulous cruise on this fabulous ship.  I know from your other thread that you are well armed with knowledge of food suggestions, enjoy!

 

Tucruisers, here's hoping that things get better from here, I am confident that they will.  Have a great cruise.

 

Bob

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Like Rachel, we choose not to use Regent transfers to the ship.  They are trying to move hundreds of passengers by bus to the ship in hopes of getting there are different times so there isn't a line with 500 or so people in it.  

 

kjbacon, as you likely know, Explorer is our favorite ship.  When Splendor debuts, she will be like a fraternal twin to Explorer (similar but not identical).  The dark colors will be replaced with a lighter palette which will make some guests happy.

 

In any case, while Splendor will also be gorgeous,  we still prefer Explorer - she is close to perfect but has her flaws - just like most human beings.  

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We have been up half the night with winds and rough seas making sleep impossible. The good news is that we were able to see the final basketball game live when we never thought we would! I hope it does settle down during the day; I think we will need a nap.

 

Sail away was indoors last night due to the weather. We had cocktail hour in the Observation Lounge and just loved it. We asked about the Bordeaux that we had at lunch and next thing you know, someone was off to find a couple bottles of it. Pinch me! The piano player was excellent and his choice of songs could not have been better. Butlered snacks and hors d’doeuvres ranged from jumbo shrimp to potato chips and pretzels. This lounge is tailor made for us and I expect we will be there daily before dinner.

 

Dinner was in Pacific Rim. We learned that we do not like sake but we were happy to enjoy more Bordeaux. We ordered multiple dishes with the intent to taste many small plates and they were glad to bring us small portions of each. Favorites included the tuna tartar, pork shumai, and lobster tempura. A note to Travelcat that I found the tempura batter to be very light and crispy so I think your feedback was heeded. Our least favorite dish was the Korean bbq lamb chop. Both the sauce and the meat were good but we did not feel that the flavors worked well together. 

 

Here’s hoping for the storm to subside !

 

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Yes, storm to subside and Tucruisers to be enjoying the delights of being on board despite the weather.

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KJ:  would you mind sharing the name of the Bordeaux you are enjoying so much?  We will be on the Navigator in June and would like to try it out.  Thanks!

Z and TB

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Thanks for the good wishes. Lots of green faces today, the ocean did not seem so rough but big swells and this evening’s theatre performance cancelled. 

Excellent dinner tonight in P7 and great also last night in CR. Getting used to the new bottled water system of which we approve. Everyone on board doing their best.

Just all a big contrast with the very (very!)  poor embarkation process. Would have been good if Regent had even acknowledged there had been a problem and maybe regret but it seems that will not happen. Still, I need to let it go so that’s my last word!

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What is the new bottle water system you mention Tucruisers ?

1 hour ago, Tucruisers said:

Thanks for the good wishes. Lots of green faces today, the ocean did not seem so rough but big swells and this evening’s theatre performance cancelled. 

Excellent dinner tonight in P7 and great also last night in CR. Getting used to the new bottled water system of which we approve. Everyone on board doing their best.

Just all a big contrast with the very (very!)  poor embarkation process. Would have been good if Regent had even acknowledged there had been a problem and maybe regret but it seems that will not happen. Still, I need to let it go so that’s my last word!

 

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28 minutes ago, GrJ Berks said:

What is the new bottle water system you mention Tucruisers ?

 

We aren't Tucruisers, but we can point you to an explanation.  Google Vero Water on Regent.

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Ugh , glad we didn't have the new "water system" during our prior cruise. Enjoy being guinea pigs!!

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Conditions finally started to calm last night and we were able to get a good nights sleep. Yesterday turned into a bit of a food fest for us and I absolutely must get on the stick today or I will gain a ton.

 

Our butler is warm and personable but doesn’t seem to be accomplishing much. Upon boarding, I gave him my requests for additional restaurant reservations and I followed up with him over 24 hours later to find that he was unable to get any of them. Not so happy about that! I’m going to see if I can get anywhere with that before our excursion this morning.

 

Some ups and downs with food yesterday. We opted for the Spanish lunch buffet at the Pool Grill and it was only fair. There was grilled chicken with peppers and onions, that was good. The grilled steak was too tough to cut or eat, the seafood paella was flavorful but over cooked. An assortment of grilled veggies and salads were ok.

 

We had dinner in Compass Rose and it was very nice. Dinner pace is a bit leisurely for our taste running over 2 hours but service is good, just on the slower side. Jack started with the Seared Foie Gras and found it to be the best bite he has had on the ship yet. He followed that with a weak Lobster Bisque and very good Grilled Lamb Chops with an excellent Chimichurri Sauce. I had the tasty Caviar Profiteroles, a very nice Asparagus Bisque, and a good but quite undercooked Ribeye with a well seasoned Bernaise. I enjoyed my perfectly baked potato, such a treat after not having potatoes in forever! We ended our meal with a delicious cheese plate.

 

Before dinner drinks in the Observation Lounge was wonderful again with Ross playing a great mix of songs.

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