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  • Writer's pictureJason Leppert

Regent’s Compass Rose: Best Main Dining Room at Sea

PHOTO: Surf and Turf at Compass Rose, Seven Seas Explorer, Regent Seven Seas Cruises. (photo by Jason Leppert)

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is one impressive luxury line, and its fleet-wide main dining room—Compass Rose—is largely responsible for contributing to its greatness. In fact, the brand calls it the largest specialty restaurant at sea, and for good reason.

On a short two-night preview cruise aboard the wonderful new Seven Seas Explorer, one might expect the main dining room to feature first followed by a more traditional specialty restaurant offering. After all, it’s ideal to lead up to the very best. Pacific Rim was such a fantastic opener, but I had not expected a main restaurant to be reserved for last.

I was not, however, disappointed. In fact, Compass Rose is a main dining room I could repeat ad infinitum and be most content for the duration of even a world cruise because its choices are astounding.

Not only is there a daily selection of five appetizers, two pastas, five entrees and plentiful desserts, there is a monster listing of always-available choices as well.

Keep in mind most cruise lines offer a handful of dishes that are common alternatives to a day’s specials, but they along with the dailies on mainstream ships are usually prepared banquet style. That means, what is being served is essentially mass-produced albeit at high quality. Lobster night, for instance, requires thousands of tails to be cranked out on a single evening.

Standard ships with high passenger counts have food quantities down to a science, using algorithms to accurately anticipate guest wishes and how much of each item needs to be ordered for each sailing accordingly. Alternatively on luxury ships, cuisine is prepared a la minute with greater dedication given to each and every course before it is served.

Luxury lines can also mostly expect certain numbers of food items, but Regent’s always-available dinner menu includes a staggering 13 appetizers, 13 entrees, 19 sauces, 15 sides and three pastas. The appetizers are broken down into fish and seafood, meat and soup and salad, and the entrees are divided by fish and seafood and meat as well.

Mathematically, they can be paired with sauces, sides and pastas for a whopping 11,115 combinations of entree preparations. By comparison to the mainstream, that makes it awfully challenging on Regent to plan and order provisioning for, but its guests sure eat up the benefits.

Even with that many combinations, my chosen surf and turf—technically another combo entirely—with chimichurri sauce on a Black Angus Filet Mignon and melted butter on a Maine Lobster Tail, accompanied by potato gratin, was collectively sublime. I even mixed and matched that with additional daily selections and was amazed at how effortlessly our excellent waiter plotted everything into a tablet computer.

Rounding out my meal was an equally delicious Alaskan Crab Salad with avocados, tomatoes and lemon-chive mayo; Tart Tatin with goat cheese, Golden Delicious apples and apricot balsamic reduction and Lime Mousse Cake with red berry confit.

The service is seamless overall on Regent, but Compass Rose and its chefs alone should win an award for handling the complexities of such a wild menu. I commend the line for attempting something fully for the guest without cutting any corners. That’s what makes its brand of all-inclusive cruising all that much more satisfying.

Now there are so many other things I long to return for and try including other premium entrees of Jumbo Shrimp, King Sea Scallops, Whole Dover Sole, New Zealand Lamb Chops, Marcho Farms Veal Medallions, Smithfield Pork Chop and more.

Of course, it’s hard not to select lobster when its perpetually available.

This post first appeared on TravelPulse.



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