We’ve just touched down in Barcelona after a relatively short hop across the pond from Charlotte. Even the economy seating was comfortable onboard the American Airlines Airbus A330-200. By noon we’ve collected our luggage and have been escorted to a small transfer van that will take us directly to the ship. It’s only about 30 minutes from the airport to the pier where we get our first glimpse of the Explorer. While we’re anxious to see this beautiful new ship, we’d also love to spend more time in Barcelona, one of our favorite European cities.
After a quick check-in procedure we’re welcomed onboard the Seven Seas Explorer with a glass of champagne and handshakes all around by uniformed staff and crew. Stepping into the fourth deck atrium with Roman columns, inlaid Italian marble floors, sweeping dual grand staircase and massive chandelier, it’s evident this is a ship like no other. This central area with the Explorer Lounge to one side and the ship’s Casino to the other is perfectly finished by the grand entrance to Compass Rose, the main dining room to the rear. Forward are the main elevators and stairs followed by the main entrance to the Constellation Theater.
We’re onboard for the first of two pre-inaugural cruises. Besides staff, crew, contractors and Regent marketing staff that joined the ship yesterday in Genoa, we’re the very first to embark and sail on this gorgeous new ship. Travel professionals, media and Regent marketing staff will provide the willing “subjects” as the ships’ staff and crew settle into their new surrounding and procedures over the course of the next two weeks. The gala inaugural festivities are planned for July 13th in Monte Carlo where we’ll disembark, before another 7 night “pre-inaugural” sailing of travel professionals and other dignitaries. Then, on the 20th of July, the Seven Seas Explorer will welcome guests as she sails from Monte-Carlo for Venice on a 14 night inaugural voyage.