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'Explorer' Documentary on UK TV


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40 minutes ago, English Voyager said:

On the Europa 2, in all the dining venues, the wine steward will sniff the cork, and taste the wine, and if it is ok he/she will then pour a little for the diner to sample.

I had assumed that on the Explorer the wine stewards followed the same practice.

Europa 2 is not inclusive so all the wines that are served at dinner are wines that are purchased, hence the fact that each on is tested prior to serving.

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20 minutes ago, ClefsDor said:

Europa 2 is not inclusive so all the wines that are served at dinner are wines that are purchased, hence the fact that each on is tested prior to serving.

 

You hit the nail on the head (so to speak).  Purchased wines should be tested prior to serving.  However, as has been stated, if every included wine had to be tasted, we would have very drunk servers/sommeliers.  Regent customers go through many, many bottles of wine each day!

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7 hours ago, English Voyager said:

On the Europa 2, in all the dining venues, the wine steward will sniff the cork, and taste the wine, and if it is ok he/she will then pour a little for the diner to sample.

I had assumed that on the Explorer the wine stewards followed the same practice.

That is not what happens in restaurants here in Switzerland...   if you order a really really expensive red wine it is decanted, and especially if a Bordeaux which tend to be high in tannin and you want to keep the dregs in the bottle and not pour them into a glass.   The sommelier will of course smell the cork.  But not, as a rule, taste the wine.  Instead the wine is poured in a tiny amount and the person who ordered the wine tastes it and also checks the "tears".   It is very normal here also to ask "qui le dégustera"   who will taste the wine.    Then - as shown on the Regent documentary - a guest tastes it.  And in this case the gentleman said it is corked.  All that is totally normal.  In fact I resent it when a sommelier tastes the wine - I have an extremely sensitive "nose" and can tell precisely from the bouquet of the wine whether it is good or not.  I don't want someone else drinking my wine!!

Any restaurant or ship where the sommelier tastes the wine is, IMO, pretentious.    I don't like "pretentious" !!

 

TCs point about not being able to taste ALL the bottles served on board in an evening is a good one.  But any of those could be corked and any guest could say so and have a new bottle opened.   

Edited by Hambagahle
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We generally drink the included wines--if we don't like what's being poured that evening, we'll ask for something else. However, on our last cruise, my travel buddy had some leftover OBCs, so used them to order one of the select wines. The head sommelier served in, and did taste it, having asked first for permission. 

 

I recognized a couple of the servers shown in the video. At least some in that group are not sommeliers; they are wine stewards/bar waiters. They are in the process of learning, some seeing their advancement trajectories as becoming sommeliers or bartenders. Many come from backgrounds where wine is rarely seen. They are in the jobs they are in because of their people skills. The other knowledge is obtained in training and on the job.

 

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On 8/30/2019 at 8:40 PM, flossie009 said:

No info yet on the final episode #4 (13 Sept)

 

Here is a summary of the fourth and final episode to be aired on 13 Sept:

"The Seven Seas Explorer heads to St Petersburg in Russia, the most popular destination of the Baltic cruise. While guests are away on land, the cleaning team works in full force, facing one of the most important jobs - cleaning the giant 6,000 crystal chandelier in the atrium.

Meanwhile, a new butler starts on board and it remains to be seen how long it will take for him to find his sea legs.

Towards the end of the trip, cruise director John takes a huge gamble after being called into action to find replacement entertainment.

Last in the series."

 

Episode 3 is on tonight, 06 Sept.

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As I said on another thread - I cannot stand the voice over woman.  I have heard her somewhere else. (Could have been MasterChef?)  Sounds condescending and has a tone of "you can't possibly afford this"...  Plus I think a good part of it was staged -- The dinner in the private dining room with the CD,  the room steward's promotion etc.  There is really no problem with that but it does make it seem artificial.

 

We will certainly watch the last episode - why?   We love seeing the footage of the ship.  But I am almost to the point where I will kill the sound so I do not have to listen to the drivel that the commentator speaks!

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On 9/6/2019 at 1:43 PM, malily said:

We were on the Explorer when the documentary was filmed. It was Barcelona to London mid-May 2019. Great cruise, folks filming were very nice and unobtrusive. 

 

May I assume that no one was asked to dress a certain way during the filming?  I suspect that passengers do not pay much attention to just how many passengers dress up (even though it is not required).  

 

As far as being “staged”, this was filmed by a British television crew while Mighty Cruise Ships was filmed by a U.S. television crew.  The only thing staged when they filmed a couple of dinner courses served by our butler in our suite was how the table was set, the wine we were drinking , the food that we were eating* and the directions not to look at the camera.  Whatever we said may be cut or left in — up to them.  Not controlled much at all.

 

*The only negative was that we only got to try a few bites of food (first course was caviar) and the food was set aside.  We hoped to finish the plates but the plates were gone the second the filming was done.  Oh well!

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3 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

The only thing staged when they filmed a couple of dinner courses served by our butler in our suite was how the table was set, the wine we were drinking , the food that we were eating* and the directions not to look at the camera.  Whatever we said may be cut or left in — up to them.  Not controlled much at all.

 

So the food, the wine, the setting were all prescribed by the producers - what else is there about a meal that wasn’t staged given it was in a Penthouse and not the restaurant 

 

Having said that I guess by mandating caviar they can add to the aura of luxury they want to portray and in reality most of the dining options on a luxury line are going to be fine dining type dishes whether the Producers or the guests select them 

 

Like most “reality TV” there is considerable staging and scripting involved

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23 minutes ago, Stickman1990 said:

 

So the food, the wine, the setting were all prescribed by the producers - what else is there about a meal that wasn’t staged given it was in a Penthouse and not the restaurant 

 

Having said that I guess by mandating caviar they can add to the aura of luxury they want to portray and in reality most of the dining options on a luxury line are going to be fine dining type dishes whether the Producers or the guests select them 

 

Like most “reality TV” there is considerable staging and scripting involved

Not disagreeing, however, we were in a Master Suite (not a Penthouse).  Agree that the producers or Regent decided on what meal would be served to us but our dress and commented were not staged or scripted. Time will tell if our words make it to the final show.

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We enjoyed watching all four of the UK Channel 5 documentary series about Seven Seas Explorer. It was good to see some of the staff & crew who look after us so well. It was a pity that Captain Serena Melani did not feature more often.

 

Although targeted to a British audience I am sure the production company will tweak the series, particularly the commentary, to enable them to sell the series to other countries.

 

As previous posters, on the various threads, we found the constant references to the cost of items to be unnecessary and the title of the series "The World's Most Expensive Cruise Ship" was incorrect; Explorer being the most expensive luxury cruise ship ever built and, arguably, the most luxurious (as John Barron opined in the introduction to each episode).

 

Unfortunately we did not find that the series managed to bring out the unique qualities of a Regent cruise that we enjoy and that attracts us and many others back on board so often.

 

If Regent saw this as a marketing opportunity I don't think they will attract many new customers from the UK on the back of this series, for the following reasons:

  • constant reference to cost is seen as indelicate and vulgar; there was very little mention of quality or value
  • spending millions on art, $150,000 on a bed and £8000 on a vase sounds profligate
  • prices quoted were per suite rather than per person, which made Regent cruises sound even more expensive than they are
  • showing Baggo as the daytime on-board entertainment reinforces a widely held myth in the UK that all cruises are like "Butlins at Sea
  • the two excursions featured were not a good advert for a luxury experience

We certainly wouldn't push friends into watching the series if we were recommending Regent to them.

 

......................... but maybe this type of British Cruiser will be attracted by the series:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Kz8m2Q6bVE

 

Would love to share a table at Dinner with the actress Patricia Routledge, but not her character Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced Bouquet) 😱

 

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I wonder how those of us that have seen the series in the U.S. have the same views.  This was a series about the most expensive cruise ship, so, I would expect to hear about costs.  When they did the show on the building of the ship, they discussed that.  And, when the Discovery Channel program on Explorer finally aires, it will likely focus on a different aspect of the ship.

 

My British DH and I discussed (once again) how he was raised to never discuss money - it was not polite.  I was raised that you never discuss politics or religion.  I cannot (and do not) want to change how the beliefs that he grew up with and he cannot change mine.  This is sometimes a challenge when people from different countries marry - it requires understanding of each other's culture's and acceptance - never belittling or making fun of our cultural differences (although we do laugh about it).

 

Having said that, why on earth would a British television channel air a program that is all about how much everything cost?

 

P.S.  It is also interesting that, by showing British passengers, you see well dressed people - even during the day.  However, when passengers from the U.S. are on the ship, quite a few dress to the lowest level that is permitted and I do not think that viewers from the U.S. would be happy to see so much formality (that really does not exist on the ships)

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2 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

Having said that, why on earth would a British television channel air a program that is all about how much everything cost?

The TV production company is relying on a compelling curiosity to see what the "most expensive cruise ship" looks like and who travels on it. They are selling the TV programme.

That does not mean that those watching will like what they see or that they will be attracted to cruise on the ship; they might be put-off. 

As I said, IMO a marketing fail for Regent. Although many marketing executives will argue that any coverage of your product counts as good advertising.

 

3 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

P.S.  It is also interesting that, by showing British passengers, you see well dressed people - even during the day.  However, when passengers from the U.S. are on the ship, quite a few dress to the lowest level that is permitted and I do not think that viewers from the U.S. would be happy to see so much formality (that really does not exist on the ships)

I don't think the cruises featured in the TV series were predominately British. I saw plenty of North American passengers in each episode, including those interviewed.

The style of clothes shown in the TV series reflected what we are used to seeing during our Regent cruises.

 

........... and are you really saying that everyone from the US dress down at all times? We have plenty of friends from the US who choose to dress very snazzily.

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2 minutes ago, flossie009 said:

 

As I said, IMO a marketing fail for Regent. Although many marketing executives will argue that any coverage of your product counts as good advertising.

 

I don't think the cruises featured in the TV series were predominately British. I saw plenty of North American passengers in each episode, including those interviewed.

 

........... and are you really saying that everyone from the US dress down at all times? We have plenty of friends from the US who choose to dress very snazzily.

 

Perhaps it was a marketing failure in the U.K. since that is basically the only people that saw it on television or even knew about it - except for the few of us on CC).  Australians that watched it from links provided on CC also did not like the show.  However, if the show was the same as it is now and was showed in the U.S., it definitely would not be a marketing failure.  They would be fascinated by the decor, the cost of the items on the ship, the food preparation and, of course, John Barron who is likely the only person that I've ever met that can switch back and forth from U.S. to British humor easily.  He really understands both cultures. 

 

I did not say that people in the U.S. dress down all of the time.  And, I did see about 80% British passengers (where normally there are 80% from the U.S. and Canada).  

 

I've noticed, on our 33 Regent cruises, that some men from the U.K. and Europe wear dress shirts and slacks and women wear dresses for breakfast.  This would be extremely rare in the United States (unless you are at work and meeting for breakfast).  There is certainly nothing wrong with dressing up, however, seeing so many people dressed up during the day could be a put off for U.S. travelers.  You may have noticed that most of the dreaded dress code threads are from people in North America that hope to not have to pack a jacket and certainly not a suit.  

 

In any case, from what you state, people in the U.K. would not be impressed. And, from my perspective, people from the U.S. would be.  We all have our opinions!

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From the programme grid here in Switzerland channel 5 looks like it is ITV.  I certainly agree that it is down market.  Lowest of the low in fact.  I found the entire thing quite embarrassing.   I watched all four ONLY because I was happy to have a glimpse of what the Explorer looks like (we're on the Splendour next March).  Not for what was said which made me cringe nor for the "staged" bits which included the CD.

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14 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

And, I did see about 80% British passengers (where normally there are 80% from the U.S. and Canada).  

If I am wrong and you are correct, I wonder how the TV company and Regent managed to change the mix of passengers so dramatically on the two cruises featured? 🤔

 

Maybe @malily, from South Carolina, can enlighten us as they were on board during one of the featured cruises

On 9/6/2019 at 10:43 PM, malily said:

We were on the Explorer when the documentary was filmed. It was Barcelona to London mid-May 2019. Great cruise, folks filming were very nice and unobtrusive. 

 

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The documentary was about the “Worlds most expensive ship” to have just been shown around the ship with no idea of costs of furnishings etc would have been boring. As it would have been ridiculous to not have input from cruisers on board said ship. 

IMO it gave  an insight into modern cruising and what to expect now. Some cruise companies still have a them and us elitist mentality  and restaurants designated by your cabin. I personally wouldn’t pick to go on these. RSSC is all inclusive, and wether in the most expensive suite or cheapest everyone is treated in the same respectful manner, having experienced this when on Mariner, yes it was not Explorer, but the ethos should be the same throughout the various ships, I hope. 

 

Also many of us save up to splash out on a special anniversary, birthday etc. Isn’t it nice to know you can do it in style, if we wish too, even if it’s only the once, whilst enjoying meeting people from all over the world in one place.

 

lifes too short, let’s just go with the flow, or the wake of the ship. Whichever floats your cruise ship.

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One episode was enough for me. Did the corporate people have a say in the final edit? I wonder if they are changing their marketing strategy to appeal to the "not our kind, dear" crowd or people who are impressed with " The real housewives of anywhere" clientele? I think we love the Navigator for a reason and have never felt that vibe on board but I guess a company has to go in the direction that will bring them the highest yield.

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1 hour ago, fizzy said:

One episode was enough for me. Did the corporate people have a say in the final edit? I wonder if they are changing their marketing strategy to appeal to the "not our kind, dear" crowd or people who are impressed with " The real housewives of anywhere" clientele? I think we love the Navigator for a reason and have never felt that vibe on board but I guess a company has to go in the direction that will bring them the highest yield.

 

I understand that Regent had no control over the final edit. I agree with many of the critical comments about the programme above but that says more about TV than it does Regent, except that Regent marketing does focus too much for my liking on the expense of everything.

Although we were interested to see the programme and recognise some things (and people) overall we did not think it was a true reflection of life on board a Regent ship and certainly not why we continue to sail.

Understand also that the UK office has been getting lots of calls after each programme, so maybe we will see Hyacinth B on board one day!

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