Seven Seas Navigator Cruise Review by Molliemcgree: Delightful
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First of all - The balcony cabin (one of the lower priced balcony cabins) was very well appointed and comfortable. The walk in closet had plenty of hangers (including a few padded ones for delicate materials). It also had clothes hooks and clothes rods of different lengths for slacks, blouses, jackets, long dresses, etc. There were plenty of drawers in the closet as well as in the night stands and entertainment center so that storage wasn't an issue. The bathroom with its marble counter and glass shelving (with L'Occitane products as well as Regent brand products) had a separate tub and shower and plenty of towels. The cabin also had a small clock! The flat screen TV (with DVD player) was on a swivel so it could be watched from the sitting area or bed. I had requested a nice single malt Scotch for the cabin and was pleased to find it on the shelf of the entertainment center. (Glass cabinets contained glassware, corkscrew, bar equipment, champagne bottle stopper, & ice More bucket/tongs) The mini refrigerator was stocked and maintained with soft drinks, beer, bottled water, soda water, and seltzer as well as a insulated bucket with ice cubes. Cabin also had a long couch, 2 arm chairs, a desk chair for the desk in the entertainment center and a very comfortable bed. The balcony had 2 chairs and a small table. And I appreciated the thoughtful little touches such as a nice blue wool blanket (this was Alaska, folks, not the Caribbean) that I would use when on the balcony enjoying the gorgeous scenery. (And I always found it strange that a cruise was traveling through fjords with forests and mountains in view rather than only ocean.)
Without exception, I found every staff member to be friendly, eager to assist, and excellent in performing their jobs.
There were so many excursions offered that I was almost over-whelmed in trying to select the ones I wished. I strongly advise future cruisers to select as soon as the choices are available as some of the more popular ones were fully booked by the time we boarded. Some on the waiting lists were able to add at the last minute, but several were disappointed. I'm quite happy with my selections and of those my favorites were: the catamaran whale-watching (saw and heard feeding humpbacks using the bubble net method - awesome), the catamaran to view otters and birds (saw the largest raft of otters I've ever seen as well as a great variety of birds and a bonus of orca.), the cultural story and dance in Hoonah, and the White Horse Train following the Yukon Gold Rush "easy" trail.
I was truly impressed with the organization of the excursions. Once you arrived on the pier, you looked for a person holding the sign for your excursion and gathered around and then were escorted to either the boat, bus, etc. to begin the adventure. Some ports required reaching the pier by tender - well organized and I experienced no delay in getting to shore. And, again, I appreciated the thoughtful touches such as bottled water near the exit for shore as well as umbrellas on the one rainy day we had.
Although the Regent 7 Seas Navigator is a smaller ship (maximum of 490 passengers although the usual number is closer to 400), it had all of the big ship features.
The entertainment was great and the activities varied enough to meet the many wishes and expectations. The stage entertainment varied from enjoyable singing/dancing routines with talented performers and great costumes to a very well-done singing/puppet/comedy show. The stage was smaller than on the large ships but used extremely well. There were also large screen movies and dance evenings. The resource person for Alaska geography, glaciers, wildlife, and culture was very informative. Her lectures in the theater were interesting (Since they were usually at 9 am, luckily they were taped so this sleepyhead enjoyed most of them on the TV) She also did some live talks on deck as we neared a port or special scenic spot. I was a solo passenger and truly appreciated the various mixer opportunities beginning with the "block party" right after sailing when passengers were invited to return to their cabins to get their wine glass and then step out into the corridor to meet guests in the nearby cabins. Crew members filled the glasses with wine, champagne, or juice and the captain & cruise director visited every deck and every corridor to meet & greet. I met some lovely people in the near-by cabins and frequently found myself in their company for meals or entertainment. It was a great ice-breaker for helping solo travelers feel like a welcome part of the voyage. The ship also invited "Social Travelers" (not only solo but singles and couples interested in meeting new people) to meet in one of the lounges at 6:45 pm to visit and then go to dinner together - the Social Travelers were hosted by 2 staff members - usually members of the entertainment crew and assistant cruise director. (I must also add that the passengers were very inclusive and welcoming to single travelers - what a lovely bunch of people I met!) The 4 o'clock tea was a pleasant gathering to meet, visit, and compare excursions while enjoying tasty treats (always with the standard scones, finger sandwiches, etc. and with additional daily yummies - such as varieties of cheesecake, chocolate, etc. Then 4:30 pm tea time moved into a trivia contest using the same 6 gathered around the small tea tables. Good fun and the winning team received reward cards they could turn in for items on the final evening.
What can I say but excellent in every venue. And I found the wine choices fine (perhaps unknown from Chile and Australia but good wines) without needing to order and paying for upscale labels. I chose room service for breakfast and always received what I ordered when I requested it and hot.
I flew from San Francisco to Anchorage and then from Vancouver, BC Canada to San Francisco on the way home. The Regent 7 Seas agents were at the baggage carousal in Anchorage to help with the luggage and getting us on board the bus to the hotel. The hotel lobby had a table where we were handed an envelope with our room key and the ticket to a buffet breakfast in the ballroom the next morning and the time we would board a bus for the 3 hour trip to the ship berthed in Seward. The luggage was brought to the room for the evening and passengers placed the bags they wanted taken to the ship inside the door for early morning pickup by staff. We kept our carry-on luggage with us on the bus. The ride to the ship was scenic and the bus driver did a great job of narration. Embarking was fast and easy and I found my luggage already in my cabin when I arrived.
Leaving the ship was also uneventful - we were given colored tags to place on our luggage for pick up and those had to go out into the corridor by late evening. We were able to enjoy an early breakfast before gathering in the theater area to be called by color of the tag. (Those who had earlier plane flights arranged through Regent were given earlier times.) Leaving the ship with our carry-on bag, we found the bags organized in rows by color tag, retrieved ours, and went through customs/immigration before staff gathered us to board buses for the airport. Arriving at the airport, other staff helped guide us through US immigration/customs and then we were on our own for the flight home. (Amazing how many friendly passenger faces I spotted and waved to my way to my gate.)
All in all - the whole trip was delightful and I highly recommend the Regent Seven Seas Navigator for size, organization, friendly and efficient staff, food/drink, excursions, activities and dining. In checking prices, they may seem a bit high at first but almost everything is included (a few of the excursions cost extra - flights, catamarans, dog sledding). On other cruises that I have had, the added cost of drinks, excursions, wine, tips, etc. ended up costing almost as much as if not more than the cruise itself. (Sticker shock at the end of a voyage while with Regent, you know and prepay the cost with no unwelcome surprise totals at the end of the voyage.) Less
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Cabin review: NS708
Cabin 708 Generous walk-in closet with plenty of hangers (including some padded) and clothes rods for different lengths of clothing. Plenty of drawers in chest in closet as well as in bedside tables and entertainment center. Clock was in cabin as well as flat screen TV & DVD player on a swivel to watch from either sitting area or bed. Comfortable bed. Well equipped bar supplies in the entertainment center (ice bucket, corkscrew, champagne stopper, etc.) Well-stocked mini fridge. Great bathroom with separate shower and tub. Balcony had 2 chairs and a small table. Quiet location.