We were picked up at the Sheraton Stockholm around noon on Sunday (August 4) and transported across town to the port to board our home for the next ten days, Regent Seven Seas Voyager. Our luggage was delivered directly to our room from the hotel, so we didn’t have to drag it through Passport Control before getting on the ship.
Regent is a luxury cruise line currently operating only three smaller ships in their fleet and soon adding a fourth. Our ship, Voyager, accommodates a maximum of 700 passengers in “all suite, all balcony” rooms. It boasts all the amenities of larger ships, including four dining rooms all providing delicious regional cuisine.
As we expected, it was a mostly older clientele (50 and above) but there were a small number a children and teens aboard as well.
On this particular sailing, half the ship had been reserved for Playbill’s Broadway On the High Seas 3 event and the entire ship was booked to capacity.
As with most cruises, once you board the ship you are directed to the pool deck where a buffet style lunch was available, while the rooms were being readied. One of the full service dining rooms was also open, La Veranda, which is where Michael and I chose to eat. After a light lunch, we headed to our room to unpack before the mandatory evacuation drill.
I have to stop here and say that as the periodic announcements were being made: welcoming us aboard and directing us where to go… I kept thinking– that voice is so familiar. When we finally got to our room and turned on the ship’s information channel on the TV… there he was, larger than life… our Cruise Director, Willie Aames. Yes, THAT Willie Aames.–TV star from the 70’s and 80’s, most notably, in my life for the series Eight Is Enough and Charges In Charge.
Willie is a phenomenal Cruise Director. He was always out and about and so very friendly. Every time I heard his voice it just made me smile. It was a piece of home– a part of my past that felt so welcoming and inviting. Am I one of the few people that didn’t know he was also a fully ordained minister?
So back to my least favorite part of any cruise– the evacuation drill. I know they are necessary and for our own safety but why do they have to take so long? I do have to say it was run very efficiently and we had the bonus of getting our first glimpse of all the Broadway performers who were also in our lifeboat station. Spotting and watching them certainly made the time go faster.
Soon, we were sailing in the beautiful Archipelago Sea , through the Baltic to our first stop– Turku, Finland. Since the sun doesn’t set until around 11 pm, we had some time to enjoy the spectacular view of the world’s largest archipelago (island group) before dark.
The rest of the evening was spent exploring the ship, attending the Broadway Meet and Greet (I’ll talk more about this in a later post), and dinner.
The Voyager is a beautiful ship and the only way I really noticed its smaller size was that everything was in close proximity. There are no long, endless corridors like the larger ships. For exercise, I took the stairs whenever possible. We were on deck nine, and mostly used decks four through eleven. The layout of the ship is very similar to the larger ships we’ve been on and very easy to navigate.
This was our fourth cruise and by far, the best ship experience. We also met a lot of wonderful people and exchanged contact information with some of them so we could stay in touch. That’s never happened before.
I highly recommend Regent and hope we have a chance to sail with them again in the near future.
(Stay tuned for more of our trip. I’m trying to break in down a little differently for easier reading. We were constantly on the go and at times it was a little overwhelming. Hopefully, this format will be easy to follow. Thanks for reading!)