I was intrigued by ebobh's comments on the Oct. 28 voyage to Bermuda. I agree that it was bumpy with people and objects tumbling about. Also, though, in Bermuda we were not allowed to visit the port of St. George's because of gale force winds. The destinations crew did a great job of rescheduling excursions from Hamilton, although some were cancelled because of conditions. However, the quartering seas from Bermuda to Nassau were much larger, reaching 40 feet. I could see a wave cresting on a swell at the 8th deck level. The winds reached 40+ knots and decks were closed.
It was apparent that neither the bridge crew nor deck and hospitality crew were reacting appropriately for the conditions. Restaurants and lounges were closed after passengers were injured by falls and broken glass, not before. Announcements were not timely.
Another problem was the gobs of soot that descended on the pool and other open decks after the generators were cranked up Monday the 31st for a crew emergency drill. Anyone sitting on deck furniture found themselves covered in greasy black goo. The stuff was still not cleaned up by Tuesday lunchtime. Another belch from the stacks descended a few days later.
Although we were really pleased with our voyage on Regent Voyager last year, we were not at all comfortable on this ship. A little research turned up the fact that the Russian hull was designed for an ice-breaking supply ship, not a passenger vessel.
The interior was the noisiest ever, allowing no sleep for the 4 nights getting to and from Bermuda. Panels shrieked, drawers opened and the 4 props vibrated incredibly through the vessel. Mini rogue waves caused a tremendous booming in the whole aft area.
Never Navigator again for me.
I like the small ship, all-inclusive idea (when we added up the extra charges on other lines we came out ahead on Regent despite the expensive looking up-front payment) but this was not a pleasant experience for half the time.