Butlers Aboard RSSC Explorer – Service Above & Beyond
by Vanessa Lee
Vanessa with Ronny, the Head Butler on Regent Seven Seas Explorer
Enjoying cocktail, canapés and dinner service
Regent Suite on EXP
Caviar service in the Regent Suite
Some of the RSSC Explorer Butlers on a day off playing soccer on the beach in Belize at Harvest Caye – the private island.
Recently I was fortunate to sail on the stunning Regent Seven Seas Explorer for the second time.
Explorer has been described as the “Most Luxurious Ship Ever Built” and I would agree. I would also praise her as the most beautiful ship on which I have ever sailed – and I’ve been on virtually too many to remember. She is a veritable piece of floating art offering her guests the true freedom of a luxurious experience.
During this voyage it was a delight to experience some of the impeccable butler services offered by the cruise line.
I have a general – and genuine! - fondness for butlers. They care for you, pamper you, deliver champagne at a moment’s notice and seem to produce caviar on a whim. And they draw Madam a soothing bubble bath at just the right moment.
Hovering appropriately, in a charming fashion, they revel in their ability to delight and surprise their guests, in the most endearing ways. So, along with a gaggle of colleagues with whom I sailed, we were able to experience first-hand the tender ministrations the butlers offered us and those fortunate guests occupying the top accommodations on the vessel. The fortunate few!
Unusually, the over-the-top and exquisite Regent Suite was not occupied on this particular voyage. There had been a late cancellation and so we were not only able to spend time in the suite checking out its gorgeous décor, art and furnishings, but one evening we were the happy recipients of a Champagne, Canapés and Caviar (yum) service offered by the lovely and totally charming Ronny, the ship’s Chief Butler.
Ronny has been with RSSC for 13 years and really knows how to “buttle.” He is a true pro and full of great advice and wonderful tips.
Do you know how to make Lilies bloom virtually overnight? Here’s a tip from Ronny – pour some Sprite in the pot or sprinkle on some Splenda – guaranteed flowers the next day – just in time for the VIP guests to enjoy as they check in to one of the top suites!
There are 13 butlers on the ship– a veritable bevy of butlers. Or, having some fun with collective nouns, I came up with the following, a Blessing of Butlers, a Busyness of Butlers, a Bundle, a Bunch, a Battery, a Borrowing, a Batch, a Blooming and a Body. I think a Blessing works best for me!
Ronny, as noted, is Head Butler and responsible for caring for the guests who stay in the very expensive ($10,000 a night) Regent Suite located high on Deck 14. Anyone who books this suite is certainly most deserving of Ronny’s impeccable care and attention. The other 12 butlers, including Prim who is second in command, are also a delight.
They unpack or pack for guests, ensure they have everything they need, draw baths, take clothes for laundry and dry cleaning, serve dinners in the suites – with menu choices from the Compass Rose main restaurant, and do virtually anything else the guest may desire. We enjoyed a 4 course dinner served by Prim in an Explorer Suite one evening.
The butlers also liaise with the concierge and tour staff for shore excursions and special events; they send invitations for cocktails and soirées the guests may wish to host in their suite – and more!
They are smart, well-spoken and charming gentlemen who have likely seen and heard practically everything (no request too strange, too small or apparently, too large) and they are the keepers of many secrets I am sure.
Some come from hotel backgrounds – the Burj in Dubai as an example. They are all impressive and if you book your guests into any of Explorer’s suites, they will undoubtedly be extremely happy at the ‘Bonus of Butlers.’
As a charming footnote, we were able to see the butlers “letting their tails down” as my friend Ryan cleverly commented. We were visiting Harvest Caye for the day, NCLH’s new and fabulous private port of call in Belize.
Ensconced in our comfy villa for the day, right by the beach, as we sat and relaxed, we saw our
‘Blessing of Butlers’ enjoying a rare day off, kicking a soccer ball on the beach, swimming in the ocean and generally having a grand time. And we smiled at this -- a highly deserved moment of laid back butler camaraderie.