After two years since our last Regent cruise, we sailed again on Navigator. We did not have a six star experience but the ship is a well-maintained ship in all the public areas. We chose Navigator for its size and intimate atmosphere aboard.
The ship’s stabilizers were not working as we pulled out of Miami to Key West, but when departing Key West, they had been fixed. They were definitely needed for about four evenings at sea.
Cabin – our portside Deluxe Veranda was roomy enough for us. Walk-in closet space was very good. Toiletries were of high quality. The current choices of on-demand movies, ship event briefings, access to our on-board account and presentations of cultural talks were all available en-suite via the flat screen TV. Not all high end cruise lines provide these amenities.
The SpaClub is one of the best on the ocean. It is key benefit for people like us who have a workout routine. The space available for stretching and free weights is huge. There are the usual aerobic machines and some resistance training machines. There are mats, foam rollers and plenty of space to conduct your workout. The locker room adjoining the sauna, showers and steam room is a well-designed location for helping muscles relax after a workout or a particularly challenging land excursion. The place was always abandoned as the other guests were not interested in the health club portion of the Club. Better for us, I say.
The Pool Grill and Pool Bar got much of our time with comfortable table seating. The mixed drinks were generally good but the skill of the bartender was low. The Pool Bar is full of unskilled workers mixing things which don’t even resemble what was ordered. We did drink at all the available bars and found that the most capable bartenders were at the Navigator Lounge and the Galileo Lounge. Regent was very generous in their constant offer of alcoholic drinks.
La Veranda was perfect for breakfast where we would sit outside and have either buffet or order our meals. Service was consistent and mostly good. The omelet station was simple, limited and not very good. At night, La Veranda turns into Sette Mari – a casual food venue where Italian specialties are the highlight. The service personnel were the best on the ship at this location. They were friendly and accommodating, a refreshing difference from Prime 7 and Compass Rose. If it wasn’t for the performance of the crew who supported Sette Mari, the dining experience based on the other venues would have earned the ship a complete ‘C’ grade.
Pool area is well thought out with many very comfortable lounges on two decks with both shade and sun. The ratio of passengers to lounges was so good; there were vacant lounges throughout the entire voyage. The lounge chairs were plush and comfortable. Extra-large plush towels were plentiful. Two whirlpools could have been hotter and the pool was good size for the few people who used it. Since the median age group on board had to be in the 70’s, there were not many sun worshippers and fewer bathers. The only problem with the pool area is when the smoking section was filled with smokers of cigarettes and cigars.
Prime 7 was a huge disappointment. We could get only one night there and it turned out to be a blessing. Our head waiter was gruff and not friendly at all to most of the members of our table. This attempt at a prime steakhouse atmosphere failed on many levels. Most of the same meals were available at Compass Rose.
Compass Rose was staffed with pretentious management, but great servers and waiters. This venue catered to the guests who crave having excessive attention paid to them. During the evening service, too many cruisers were full of complaints about nonsense items about the service. The whole scene is a real downer. Food quality was good and portion control was proper.
The Connoisseur Club is a euphemism for chocking, stinking, smoking room. Once again, Regent caters to smokers because those are the only people who can “stomach” being in the room for more than a minute. How Regent thinks that any person in their right mind could enjoy themselves with a fine Scotch or brandy in a room densely filled with cancerous air and phlegmy coughers is a mystery.
For four days, dark brown water came out of the shower head and sink faucet. Each day, the incident was reported to the registration desk. Each day, a sugary, smiling reply was “just run the water for 10 minutes and it will clear up” Four days is more than 10 minutes and at $1000 per day, we won’t be buying any more of Regent’s brown water.