Personal Background Information:
My husband and I are recently retired. We have cruised over 40 times, mostly on mainline ships. This is our second Regent cruise and we just love the small Navigator. We are non-smokers and prefer a cruse that doesn't leave us gasping for air. I no longer fly so cruises from Ft. Lauderdale work well for us.
On April 25, the Navigator took us from Fort Lauderdale to Port Canaveral, Charleston, Bermuda and Nassau. It was a very good eleven days. I wonder why they don't make this trip more often.
We drove from our home in central Florida the day before and stayed in the Homeward suites. It was fine. We used Fly to Park. That also worked well for us.
Embarkation was a breeze.
I cannot call our accommodations a cabin. Suite 1125 was probably the best 'cabin' we have ever had. I learned about that suite from the Cruise Critic. It was a great choice. Yes, there were small glitches but the staff quickly took care of. The bedroom was small, but comfortable. The closet was quite large with more room than I could possibly use even if we did the world cruise in that suite. The living-dining room is spacious. The balcony door is hard to open, but it gave a great place to enjoy the ocean breezes.
So many things on this ship were perfect so the less than good stuff really stuck out like a sore thumb. Four treadmills were not enough on sea days. The other thing that made me nuts was the service in the Compass Rose. The food raged from good to great. BUT the waiter had 6 tables and I know he did his best, but six is two too many. As a result, we ate most of our meals in the La Veranda. The food there was almost as good as in the Compass Rose, but the service was wonderful. I don't want you to think we had a bad cruise, on the contrary, it was fantastic. Despite the treadmill, I managed to gain six pounds! EEEK. Some of my favorites included the foie gras sliders in Prime7, the macadamia nut pie in La Veranda, and Gorgonzola cheeseburgers at the grill.
We are not fans of most shows, but the show Cirque Navigator was really good. The dance numbers were breathtaking. I was surprised to find that theater was less than half-full. Once the word gets out, that will be a sell-out. Many afternoons there was local music on the pool deck. It helped lend a very festive atmosphere.
All in all, it was a great cruise. I too am looking for the perfect cruise and I have not found it yet, but this one came close.
1."Real" Florida Airboat Adventure Port Canaveral: We have lived in central Florida for decades, and this is the first time we tried this magical experience. We saw the expected alligators as well as snakes, osprey, turtles and even a bald eagle! The ride was as exciting as a rollercoaster. The guide stopped whenever we found something interesting. The earphones kept the noise to managed levels. I would do this thing again at home when I have the chance. We did not find this tour hard at all. When I saw the three little men on the list, I was a little worried. No sweat! It was as easy as getting on a bus.
2.Boone Hall Plantation & Historic Charleston: After our airboat tour, our expectations were high. This one was a letdown. The guide seemed more interested in getting back to the ship than informing us about the places we were seeing. Yes, we did see the beautiful house and the slave quarters. The tour took a lot of time on the bus in a now you see it there it was experience. We did get to see the Citadel and all those handsome cadets. But, I think we would enjoyed it much more on our own pace.
3.Crystal Caves: After Boon Hall, we decided that we would do our touring in Bermuda on our own. So we bought a bus ticket and we were ready for an adventure. This time, we had a wonderful guide and enjoyed the beauty of the caves. The 81 stairs were not easy to navigate but the guide was patient and we forgot the problem of walking up so many stairs as we focused on the beauty of the environment. At the lowest point in the cave, the guide turned off all the lights and we were in absolute darkness. This was a fantastic thing to do.
4.St. George by a horse-drawn carriage: The last time we were in Bermuda we did not get to St. George, so we did the horse-drawn carriage offered by the ship. We ended in facing backwards with a third person in the seat. What should have been a nice experience turned out to be just OK, but not comfortable. Oh well.
5.Blue Lagoon Island Dolphin Encounter: After the horse-drawn up carriage, I was wary of any more ship tours. This one did not start well. I told the guide that I walk slowly so I asked if I could just start to walk. He said no he wanted to keep us all together. When the walk to the launch started, I did my best, but I could not keep up the pace. Together my eye!! There were times I couldn't even see anyone from our tour. My DH told me that we should just stop, but I really wanted to do the encounter. I was so angry about the lack of care for me. Then we got on the boat and everything changed. We saw parts of Nassau we had never seen before. Nassau is a beautiful place! The dolphin encounter was by far the most fun I have ever had in the water. When I have the opportunity to do the swim, I will. It will be worth every penny.
Yes, our Navigator cruise was very pricy, but it was wonderful. I am saving my pennies to go on another Regent cruise.