My only other Radisson cruise was 3 years ago on the 7 Seas Voyager also a sampler cruise from Naples to Nice. So when I heard about this one i had to try it out. It did not start too well as we received no cruise tickets as there was a different way of doing things, not sure if it was because of the takeover by Regent or not. no baggage labels either which was a shame as they are really nice leather ones.
TRAVEL TO EMBARKATION. I stayed outside Gatwick the night as my flight on easy jet was very early, this was the 2nd time I had done this. A great idea as you get a continental breakfast and a bus to the airport. I checked in at 0545 for the 0640 flight. I got D which meant i would be last on. We left on time and i had a snack bruchettes and a Diet Coke. After 2 hour flight landed in Ciampino airport, After I collected my luggage, I travelled light this time Ii was so overweight a week ago on the Noordam. I got the bus to Roma Termini station. From here I got a train to Civetavechia which took just over an hour. I have an F.I.P card which I get 50% off as worked for the railway before retiring from it. It only cost 2euros. Then I found a couple who were also going on the ship so we shared a cab. At the port the ship was waiting, looking very nice indeed. As we had no tickets they told us to put a label the luggage with the cabin number on. then take the hand baggage through the x ray and onto the ship. Straight onboard the ship which was a nice change from my last cruise which took over an hour to board! On board we checked in and wrere given our cruise cards. No tickets here either. As the suites were not yet ready we went into the Portofino Grill for a buffet lunch. I had a salad and an entree. I was then told that they were closing at 2.30pm so I had to purchase the dessert quickly. Then I was going on deck to wait when they say the suites are now ready.
STATEROOMS. Mine was a penthouse suite on deck 11 at the top apart from the Sun deck. They sound grand, but actually they are the same size as the others the only difference being they have a butler to attend to you. Mine was 1117 midships, a lovely suite it was too. Large bathroom with a full size bath, shower, toilet and sink. A king size bed very comfortable it was, a large sofa much nicer than the one on the Noordam, a not too large tv not a plasma screen as on the Noordam. This means that if you video tape off it the pictures are not still, where they are on a plasma screen. The balcony was quite small with 2 sun lounger chairs and a table.
SHIP INFO. The Regent Seven Seas Navigator to give it her full name is 33,000tons not a huge ship very high because of the deck above. she was originally supposed to be a Russian ship but was converted to a cruise ship in Mariotti shipyard in Italy in 1999. I did tour the ship a few years ago and had lunch but I seemed to have lost the video of it.
DINING. The main dining room at the rear of the ship was for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Of these I only used it for dinner, as breakfast I had in my suite and lunch was usually on an excursion or in the Portofino Grill which is a buffet. Complementary wines with dinner was a nice touch. The food in the main restaurant were very good not quite as much choice as the Noordam though. There was an alternative restaurant which there is no charge for. It is quite small though as it has seating for only 90. I made a reservation for the 2nd day on boarding so I was lucky as many were not so lucky. It's called the Portofino at 7pm there is wine tasting outside of different wines plus meats and cheese too. No sitting down so it was a bit difficult queuing it for everything. At 7.30pm I went in the Portofino. I was promised a large table but was given a table just for me which I don't really like as it's a bit quiet being on my own. The dinner here took a lot longer than the other restaurant as there was a lot of music being played which was really good. "Jerry" was so funny and took off a lot of different people and gor everyone to participate. We had an aperitif, 3 small portions of pasta, then an entree of lobster tail and beef but it was quite small. By the time we had finished it was 9.45pm.
ACTIVITIES. These were very little as far as i could see, bingo was extortion at 12 dollars per game but still people paid to have a go and the prizes were small i think not like on the Noordam where there was a free cruise to be won. There was a small casino but I did not really take any notice.
SERVICE. This was very good mostly in the restaurants as I never bothered in the bars. as drinks in the bars were not free. In the suites was given a bottle of champagne, plus 3 bottles of spirits, plus water, coke and beer in th mini bar.
ENTERTAINMENT. I saw 3 shows on this short cruise but there was only 1 group there playing different music. They were very good but it got a bit the same by the last night. I think on longer cruises there is more choice, then.
SHORE EXCURSIONS. There were about 3 in each port, not a great deal of choice. I took the walking tour of Napoleon which was all walking and very tiring. The one in Sardinia I took the Nora archeological site which was a good tour with a free drink at the end.
DISEMBARKATION. This was again very quick, I did not like the 11pm the night before to put your luggage out, as other lines are after midnight. had to leave the cabin by 8am. On the Noordam could stay in cabin until called. So after paying the bill I went to a bar to wait for my colour to be called. It was only 20 mins or so. Had a bit of trouble getting a taxi to take us to the station as he wanted a big fare but eventually for 9 people to make it worth his while.
SUMMERY. O have a few complaints that I wrote most in the comment form. First was they fact that we never got cruise tickets or baggage labels. I really don't think there is any point having a butler. he does not seem to want to unpack or pack for you. Things I asked him to fix he never did or give me an answer either. No balcony light, no personalized stationery. I'm sure the penthouse suites were supposed to have them. When i asked at reception they said it was only for the grand suites but then did some anyway. I registered for the bridge and galley tours. The bridge tour was at 2pm after the excursion to Nora. I rushed through my lunch to get there on time. There were a few others obviously waiting for it too. After 10 mins nobody came. I asked them what was going on, nobody knew. Some had already given up without saying anything. I actually found all English passengers very unfriendly unless you make a point of talking to them. Even when I do the conversations very quickly and I leave in silence. Anyway I decided to go to my room and call reception to find our what had happened. They did not even know there was supposed to be a bridge tour. Finally someone came and took us to the bridge. The 2nd officer was there and did a great job of telling us everything about the ship. Just a shame no pictures or video allowed. The galley tour I also got but I was the only person who turned up. It was interesting to see how everything happens, The young English only seemed to be interested in drinking and swimming in the pool.
Other things were the massive vibration in the show lounge when we were going full speed. Things were a lot better on the Noordam and she is not a 6 star ship unlike NAVIGATOR who is suppose to be. I don't really think she was on this occasion.
Despite the problems I will give Regent another chance but not on NAVIGATOR but will try the Voyager on the transatlantic in November.