October 24th 2017

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Cruise to Bruges & Amsterdam Cruise to Bruges & Amsterdam Cruise to Bruges & Amsterdam

 

Continent: Europe. Country: Netherlands. City: Amsterdam.

Cruise to Bruges & Amsterdam

By Jacqui Ridler, WEXAS

Day 1 - Southampton

Check in was the smoothest I have ever experienced in Southampton, and although the suites weren't ready until 2pm, I was able to sit in the lounges plus I had a choice of venues for lunch. I chose La Veranda and enjoyed a juicy grilled chicken with delicious French fries.

My suite was number 1028 a Concierge Class Suite situated mid ships on deck 10 of Seven Seas Voyager. As you enter the suite, there is a very spacious bathroom on the right (some suites will have a slightly different layout) there is a separate bath and shower cubicle, nice deep sink with plenty of storage and some wonderful L'Occitane toiletries - there is even a sewing kit with various coloured cotton (already threaded in 10 needles), and the towels are plentiful and very fluffy. Outside the bathroom is a full length mirror and opposite a half-length mirror useful for checking the back of your hair! Next is a curtain that can be closed if you wish.

You then find a wonderful walk- in wardrobe with plenty of hanging space and luxury hanger's, two fluffy dressing gowns, and a pair of slippers. In here there is a shoe rack, safe, 3 shelves and 2 large and 3 small drawers. Finally along with two life jackets are an umbrella for two, shawls, extra blanket, laundry bags and a hair dryer. I was puzzled at what I thought was a nappy changing table but later I found out it was for room service to give a proper size table for meals! Moving through this large suite there is a dressing table and stool with a large magnifying mirror and lighting all around the main mirror plus two electric sockets. There are two bedside units each with two small drawers and two reading lamps over the Slumber bed (exclusively found aboard Regent Seven Seas Cruises)

The bed has a double layer memory foam and is dressed in the finest linens plus four plump pillows. Another curtain is available to separate the bed from the living area which has a very large sofa, two easy chairs a table, large TV with movies on demand, DVD player, glass cabinets for glasses etc. illy espresso machine, stocked mini bar and a writing desk with chair and two more electric sockets. Outside on the balcony are two adjustable wicker chairs with very comfortable soft seats and a table; I enjoyed sitting out here reading my current book Inferno. All in all a very comfortable private retreat.

We ate in one of the speciality restaurants Prime7 - this is not to be missed! You need to pre book online or through your travel agent to reserve a table, but once on board if there is space you can make additional reservations. I started with an Amuse Bouche of a delicious mini burger, followed by the homemade Crab Cake, then French onion soup and for my main I could not resist the famous Prime Surf and Turf - 6oz filet mignon and lobster, asparagus in truffle butter and French Fries. I cannot explain how tasty this meal was! For dessert I had vanilla ice cream followed by a creamy Latte.

After dinner we went to the night club on deck 4 for a cocktail and found the Spontaneous duo playing live music. Tonight's main entertainment was provided by Terry Bishop in the Constellation Theatre. We were still in dinner when his show was on, but I caught his amusing presentation in my suite before I retired for the night.

Day 2 Brugge

I decided to have breakfast in my suite this morning! My table was set and I had a very nice breakfast with hot English breakfast tea.

At 11am I went to Coffee Connections and the waiter Ifa remembered me from yesterday - he just said "take a seat" and he bought over a Latte - without me having to order to it! I had lunch in Compass Rose, which is the main restaurant on board Seven Seas Voyager. I ordered grilled chicken, which arrived with the vegetables cut in petal shapes (this kind of attention to detail is found all over the ship) along with creamy mashed potato and a fruit dessert.

With Regent Seven Seas Cruises it really is all inclusive - including unlimited shore excursions, and, subject to the departure times, you could even take two in one day if you wanted!

We chose "Brugge On Your Own", which was a 15-minute guided walk into town from where the buses dropped you off. After our brief tour with the very informative Tom, we could have carried on with him to explore further, or we had the option of discovering Brugge on our own. We opted for the latter and were soon finding chocolate shops (most of which had free samples on the counter) and we also stopped for waffles!

6pm was the Captains Cocktail party in the Constellation Theatre. It was very well done and we met lots of officers, but unfortunately the Captain, Staff Captain and Chief Engineer weren't there because they were "driving" the Seven Seas Voyager out of Brugge! Dinner tonight was in the Compass Rose Restaurant. I had fruit with Malibu, followed by red onion soup that was very light and somehow foamy in your mouth (in a good way), then a berry sorbet that cleansed my palate, and prepared me for a fabulous prime rib of beef served with double baked potato and vegetables. Cuppachino Cup with Chantilly Lace cream was my dessert.

Showtime was in the Constellation Theatre (with very comfortable chairs!) The Jean Ann Ryan dancers and singers opened with a 70's medley followed by funny man Martin Beaumont from Wimbledon. I finished the evening in the night club which has a full dance floor and the live duo provided excellent music for dancing. 

Day 3 - Amsterdam

Today I had a quick breakfast in Coffee Connections - here they have cereal, fruit, yoghurt and pastries.

At 9am our tour departed - today it was the "Anne Frank Museum and City Tour". We had luxury coaches (that were not full, so plenty of space) and our guide spoke excellent English. He gave a detailed description of this fabulous city with many canals and stories; most people use bicycles here as it is very flat however we were told that there is a problem with them being stolen, but if a local loses theirs they just take someone else's, and if you are lucky you will be able to buy your bike back from a market stall! This is called recycling!

If you ever visit Amsterdam I recommend you visit the Anne Frank Museum, it really brings her moving book to life. This afternoon back on board Seven Seas Voyager I went to a Top Toss competition! It was hosted by one of the dancers, it was interesting to chat to him, it seems they each do games and competitions every six days. I didn't win but you get a Regent award for attending, and these can be exchanged for Regent gifts at the end of the cruise. It was a fun game with the other passengers and I managed to win enough awards to get a t shirt and a bookmark!

Afternoon Tea was in the Observation Lounge on deck 11, complete with panoramic views, and comfortable cream leather chairs, all beautiful accompanied by guitarist Oleh from the orchestra. As a Coeliac I can't eat any gluten so was very impressed that I was given a selection of gluten free mini filled rolls, chocolate brownies and a delicious (hot) pot of English breakfast tea.

Dinner was at another speciality restaurant called "Sette Mari". You don't require a reservation and they will seat you when you arrive. It is an Italian themed restaurant - first is an assortment of Anti Pasti, choice of soup, or you can make your own choice from the self-serve salad bar. I had a delicious tomato soup followed by a pasta course and then on to a good selection of Entree. I had a nice creamy Creme Brûlée for dessert.

For tonight's entertainment we saw the first of three production shows, a very talented company of 13 comprising of two excellent dance couples, three singers and six dancers. They performed a Broadway themed show with songs from The Book of Mormon, Cinderella, Mamma Mia the Jersey Boys etc. To finish the evening off we went for a cocktail in the Horizon Lounge where a five piece band lead by a saxophonist, played a variety of music. 

Day 4 At Sea & cruise summary

This morning I had breakfast in the Compass Rose with a wonderful choice of everything you could think of for breakfast - beautifully presented with impeccable service.

This is a sea day and there is a huge array of activities to choose from, or if you prefer you could just relax!

We started at 10 am with a Ballroom Class in the Observation Lounge, hosted by ballroom champions Hannah and Sasha from last night's show. Other activities today include various seminars, a presentation from Ian McCormack on "The World of Faberge", classes with the fitness director, an Enrichment Lecture by Terry Bishop, Wine Tasting, a top toss tournament and an Art seminar - and all of this before the Captains noon update from the bridge!

In the afternoon there was a similar programme with the addition of live music, needlepoint and Afternoon "Cheesecake tea".

Lunch was a fabulous meal - I had a Tiger Prawn Starter followed by Lamb with a Feta Crust.

I went to a Baggo competition before Cheesecake Tea followed by a very well attended quiz. My team came first yesterday and 2nd today!

At 6pm there was a rare announcement saying we were having a "block party". We were told to grab a wine glass from our suite and go into the corridor to meet our neighbours! My wine glass was filled as soon as I got into the corridor and I met my very interesting neighbours. The Captain and JR the cruise director came along and shook our hands. I thought this was a lovely touch which I enjoyed.

I just had time to redeem my Regent points before we had a pre-dinner drink in Horizon Bar. For our last dinner we went to Compass Rose and again it was a wonderful meal. I started with prawn risotto, followed by a tomato, beef and onion soup. My entre was from the Prime 7 menu - succulent Lobster salad with a chocolate soufflé to finish. Tomorrow morning sadly it's time to fly home from my final port Copenhagen. 

Cruise Summary

I was very impressed with Seven Seas Voyager, she exceeded my expectations. Somehow I thought the average age would be much higher, and, due to the fact that Regent have such a high percentage of repeat bookings, I thought the other passengers may not be that friendly, I was very wrong.

Even though I knew the tonnage and size of the ship I was surprised to see how much space there is everywhere. The staff were perfect with their service, everything you need without being intrusive. All of this, plus the all-inclusiveness, made the "Regent difference" clear to me.

The Seven Seas Voyager is 42,363 tons and takes about 700 passengers, there are 9 passenger decks. All-suite Seven Seas Voyager provides fine food and excellent service, and with even the smallest suite at an impressive 300sq ft, you have a wonderful relaxing retreat of your own.

Regent Seven Seas provide a very high level of attentive service - this is due to a high staff to passenger ratio with around 1 staff per passenger. Dress code is elegant casual. Many of my fellow passengers told me that Regent Seven Seas standard was always consistent, which is good to know.

The ship was very spacious with a nice choice of lounges and bars and in the evening there was always an excellent show - after which it was possible to listen or dance to live music to quite late into the night.

For dining there is one open sitting but you do need to reserve the speciality restaurants. Dining venues include: Compass Rose, Prime 7, Signatures, Pool Grill, Coffee Connections, La Veranda and Sette Mari.

Lounges include: Horizon Lounge, Observation Lounge, Connoisseur Club, Voyager Lounge. Entertainment and other venues include: Constellation Theatre, Casino, Night Club, Internet Café, Library, Boutique, Gym, Beauty Salon, Aerobic Studio. Card Room, self-service laundry rooms (x5) & Reception. The average age on board is, I would say, 60-65 years old. I spoke to a few first time cruisers who thought the ship was wonderful! This cruise line is a very good choice for well-travelled couples who like a very high standard. The itineraries are port intensive and they include many smaller ports and overnight visits. I recommend that you experience the Regent difference I cannot wait to cruise with Regent again.


Jacqui Ridler

CLIA Master
0800 883 0411 | 01323 763579 | www.theluxurycruisecompany.com
27–45 Stamford Street, London SE1 9NT

Keywords: Southampton, Brugge, Amsterdam, Regent Seven Seas, Seven Seas Voyager