Bering Seas repositioning: Seven Seas Navigator Cruise Review by Balliett

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Bering Seas repositioning

Sail Date: September 2010
Destination: Asia
Embarkation: Seward
The price of this luxury cruise was not high, considering the "all inclusive" stuff and size of the cabins (300 sf+ balcony). We booked one of the few outside cabins but were offered a $400 pp upsell to a balcony a week before sailing. The Navigator sailed from Seward with 390 souls on board, on a ship with capacity of 490 or so. The empty cabins meant no long lines, never a wait in the Compass Rose for a two or four top, and extra reservations at steak-house-type Prime 7. We scored four of them without trying.

We did Regent Air. Note that if they can't fly you in timely to make the sailing, they fly you in one day early, and pick up the Hilton room for the night before sail. So our vacation had an extra "free" day.

The itinerary had two more stops in Alaska and then Petropravosk, four stops in Japan and finally Bejing, with the 6* Regent Hotel for one night. I won't describe each stop except to say Bejing was my favorite. A "young" happening city, with prices More one-third that of Tokyo.

On board, the food was great. As you may know, most seafood on a ship has been frozen, but the meat and fowl, and presentation were great. Oh, in Yokohama the chef did buy some fresh yellow fish and Kobe beer for dinner that night. 46 "free" wines to choose from but the wine dude always brought a white and red of the day, and if you wanted another, it took a few minutes. In Prime 7, they understood the term "Pittsburgh Char" for my filet. We had room service breakfast almost every morning. Once I put out the hanger after midnight, and they missed it.

Most excellent casino staff. Two blackjack tables six deck shoe with good rules and $10, or occasionally $5 min. One roulette, one craps, one three-card poker.

Excursions included. Some with extra cost. I have mixed feeling about these. Daily bus trips get old, especially in the rain, but most of us reasonably well-off older travelers won't ditch a "free" trip to arrange our own travel, which I think we should have. We did do it in Bejing, as the fact that we arrived during a national holiday week resulted in a bus trip from heck. Five hours of traffic jam toward the Great Wall and we never did make it, turned back by police due to a traffic accident. China a police state? Couldn't prove it by me, and the traffic was out of control. The next day we skipped the bus trip and caught a cab (Chinese characters a necessity) to a store we heard about. Cabbie nicked us for 15 Yuan for a three mile trip! That's about $2.15, lol. True. Entertainment: Overall a C. High points were Flutist Guzman, Singer Brandi Chapman (Ann Margaret-Susan Anton type), lecturers Sandra Bowern and Stewart Nelson, and the trombone guy in the band is good.

Transfers from plane to ship and back were well handled. We did coach to Alaska and upgraded to Business from Bejing. That was a long flight.

Regent isn't perfect but travel never is. The staff was relaxed (not rushed) and very polite.

This is our second Regent Cruise, and since we have reached Silver Status (21 days) interent and one hour of ship to shore phone is free, a hugh bonus.

We will cruise Regent again. Less

Published 10/08/10

Cabin review: D813 Deluxe Suite

813, quiet, fine, rockier than level five.

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