This morning was a smooth day of sailing as Seven Seas Explorer heads towards Nassau, Bahamas. This morning we have been invited to inspect some of the different suite configurations aboard Seven Seas Explorer. We started with the biggest, baddest suite on the ship, the Regent Suite on Deck 14.
The Regent Suite
We have been on just about every luxury cruise ship in the world, and we have been fortunate to stay in some of the most luxurious, spacious suites at sea. But, I have to tell you, we have never seen anything that matches the Regent Suite. Located at the ship’s bow on Deck 14, guests entering the Regent Suite feel as though they’ve entered a magnificent Park Avenue apartment. The suite is lavishly appointed with the finest marble, exotic woods and handcrafted furnishings. A decorative credenza separates the suite lobby from the dining area where the room’s centerpiece circular table sits beneath a golden chandelier. Beyond the dining room is the glass-enclosed Vista Garden, which divides the massive, beam-to-beam wraparound veranda and offers an unparalleled sheltered vantage point with 270-degree views to the horizon.
The dining room in the Regent Suite
The master bedroom is decorated with glass, polished metals, exotic woods and natural stone. An expansive collection of floor-to-ceiling windows provides guests with majestic ocean views and port vistas from the comfort of a Savoir king-sized bed. That's a $150,000 bed, folks! Even I could get a good night's sleep on that bed. A separate sitting area in the master bedroom features a sumptuous sofa and large flat screen 4K ultra high-definition television. However, the highlight for me was the Master Spa, or what some might refer to as the Master Bathroom. There is a huge steam room/shower combo, a separate dry sauna, and a very large hot tub just outside on the balcony. Every detail and amenity has been provided.
We will discuss some of the other suite categories we viewed in our final First Impression post. After viewing the suites, we decided to disembark and do a little souvenir shopping in Nassau. The ship was experiencing some real Internet difficulties, so we decided to seek out an Internet cafe in town to print our airline boarding passes and post our daily blog.
Local Internet Cafe
The Internet Cafe charged $1 for 10 minutes, or $5 for an hour of computer/internet access. This place is located in the outdoor "shopping mall" before you get to the main shopping street, so you can't miss it. We probably were not off the ship more than 45 minutes. We found our souvenirs and immediately headed back to Seven Seas Explorer. With only two days to explore the ship, we did not want to waste much time ashore.
Seven Seas Explorer docked in Nassau
This afternoon, I had the opportunity to participate in the Culinary Arts Kitchen cooking class.
The Culinary Arts Kitchen
The Culinary Arts Kitchen is a hands-on cooking class facility that can handle up to 20 guests at a time. Each guest has his/her own cooking and prep station outfitted with utensils and an apron to wear.
Individual cooking station
Guests who were signed up for the class were greeted by Executive Chef Kathryn Kelly who welcomed us and showed us to our stations. Each station is set up with all of the pre-measured ingredients required for the dishes to be prepared, or Mise en place.
During the class, we prepared four different dishes. The first was an almond cake soaked in Limoncello (an Italian lemon-flavored liquor). Each dish preparation begins with students gathering around the instructor's cooking station as Chef Kelly demonstrates the proper technique required to prepare the dish.
Executive Chef Kelly describes one of the dishes we will be preparing
After Chef Kelly describes and demonstrates how to prepare the dish, we all return to our stations to replicate the process. It was quite a bit of fun and I actually learned a a few things. I cook quite a bit a home, but am always looking for new ideas and techniques. This was the first time I had ever baked a cake from scratch, cooked a scallop and cooked Branzino (Sea Bass).
My attempt at Rumaki, a Scallop atop bacon and water chestnut with a soy glaze
We mixed up our cake ingredients first, scooped the batter into a ramekin, and one of the chefs baked them for us in their oven so we could move on to the next dish.
My limoncello-soaked almond cake was pretty damn good, if I do say so myself!
The final, and most complex, dish we prepared was a slow-poached Branzino (Sea Bass). Our pan was smeared with clarified butter, then thin slices of shallots were placed in the pan. The fish was laid skin-side down on the shallots. White wine was poured around the fish and cherry tomatoes and olives where scattered in as well. We used a "cartouche" (a small tent made of parchment paper) to hold the steam in and poach the fish.
There is a beautiful filet of Branzino under that paper cartouche
When our fish dish was complete, we were offered the chance to invite our cruise companions to enjoy our creations. Rickee gladly assisted in eating the Branzino and the almond cake.
My completed Branzino was delicious
The Culinary Arts Kitchen cooking class is one of the most interesting and enjoyable experiences I have had on a cruise ship. The class lasts about 1 & 1/2 hours and costs $89 per person. It is well worth it, in my opinion.
Our shared "meal" at the Culinary Arts Kitchen left us with little appetite for dinner. Instead, we enjoyed a cocktail at the Observation Lounge on Deck 11 forward. I think this would be my favorite watering hole on Seven Seas Explorer.
We did make it to the 9:45 comedy show featuring popular comedian, Corey Kahaney. The show was hilarious and everyone had a great time. Tomorrow, we disembark Seven Seas Explore and fly home to Dallas. Watch for our First Impression article on Seven Seas Explorer, coming soon.