Aboard the Regent Seven Seas Explorer-As the Explorer docked at the old town in southern France fairly early, there was time to walk to the Provencal market that takes place every morning and features local products before returning to the ship for one of the day’s highlights, the cooking experience.
Chef Kathryn Kelly, director of culinary enrichment, conducted the class, where the menu started with scallops and ended with a Limoncello dessert. With humor and infinite patience, Chef Kathryn took the participants, whose skills ranged from nearly professional to nearly novice, through the slicing and dicing and seasoning. The reward at the end of the work was a fine meal, accompanied by wine.
My next “task” was to experience the brand spanking new Canyon Ranch Spa, which included an infrared sauna, a cold ream (with heated seating), an experiential shower where you could choose to be buffeted by a tropical monsoon or gentled by a spring rain, and an aromatic steam room.
My treatment was an oxygen boost facial, a high-tech series of cleansing, massages and serums and an oxygen infusion. At the end of this experience, I almost fell asleep on one of the heated loungers in the relaxation area.
Among the various ships sailing today, those of the Oceania brand have the reputation of being “foodie” vessels. After sampling the cuisine on the Explorer, I think the Regent could be known as the brand that could earn the most Michelin stars, if they were given to restaurants at sea.
At the Chartreuse restaurant, which evokes the romance and glamour of Hemingway’s Paris, Chef Jerome (who has worked at some of the world’s top restaurants), has created a menu that his truly sublime. My meal started with a heavenly light soufflé, moved on to a beautifully prepared Dove sole–and ended with a photogenic and melt-in-your-mouth floating island.
The finale of my day was at the show in the Constellation theater, at a musical revue called “A Day in Hollywood,” a Tony award-winning singing and dancing tribute to the movies of yesteryear. I’m not a dedicated fan of such shows, but this one was a nostalgic experience featuring such classics as “Over the Rainbow” and Hooray for “Hollywood.” Thanks to an adorable and very talented cast, I stayed until the very end.