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Seven Seas Navigator Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
290 Reviews

Seven Seas Navigator

Seven Seas Navigator Cruise Review by donmckenzie

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 1970
  • Destination:

I sailed on the Navigator from April 21 to May 5,

2002 from Rio to Fort Lauderdale. Having sailed over

30 times on Crystal, Silversea, Radisson and other

lines, I believe the Radisson Seven Seas Navigator is

the best ship afloat. The ship is magnificent,

spotless and the service is wonderful.

What is not matched by any other cruise line is the

Navigator's minimum cabin sizes. The standard cabin

measures approximately 10 feet wide by 30 feet long or

about 300 square feet. (The Radisson Mariner's cabins

are about 250 sq. ft., while the new Radisson Voyager

will be 300. The new Crystal Serenity's cabins will

be only about 225 sq. ft.) There is plenty of drawer

and storage space not only in the closet but also in

the bathroom. Such bathroom storage space is almost

nonexistent on Crystal ships. The cabin temperature

control was excellent as was the shower pressure and

temperature consistency. The shower had one knob for

volume and the other for temperature which made a lot

of sense. The bathroom has a single sink. The sound

proofing was very good although some passengers

reported that they could hear their noisy neighbors.

There is a 19 inch TV/VCR to which you can attach your

camcorder, CD player, etc. The TV remote is somewhat

of a challenge: the power button is the smallest

button in the middle of 36 other buttons.

The room stewards were virtually invisible and very

fast. They operated on the team concept - two for

each room which made it faster and more efficient.

The stewards even set the clock on the VCRs with each

time change. Their service carts did not seem to

clutter the hallways as much as on Silversea.

The food was as consistently good as I have

experienced on any ship. The one sitting dining when

you like was a treat. I even liked the fact that they

left the bread on the table so that you did not have

to beg for more as on Crystal and Silversea. The

wine stewards freely poured the complimentary wines at

dinner. They willingly opened another bottle if you

did not like the taste of the first. There is fresh

orange juice available throughout the ship in the

mornings unlike Crystal ships on which they provide

fresh orange juice only if you specially request it.

The ship has upgraded and improved its internet

facilities since I was last on it in 2000. The $1.00

per minute charge is only applied when passengers are

actually downloading on the computer so that being on

line for a half hour may only cost two or three

dollars. Silversea handles charges in this manner,

while Crystal charges a flat $1.25 per minute

regardless of downloads.

The library is open 24 hours and is on the honor

system.

Silverseas has abolished photographers, art auctions,

bingo, etc. Radisson has photographers but they seem

to be less obtrusive than on other ships. Radisson

has art sales, but they also are very low key. About

half of the art displayed on the Navigator's walls is

for sale which is somewhat tacky but I guess is better

than tripping over the easels in the hallways of many

other ships. I may be a bit prejudiced against cruise

ship art auctions as we were burned on a prior

Navigator art auction - we got the price "down" to

three times what I found the identical piece selling

for on the internet a few weeks later.)

The negatives: At times there was noticeable motor

vibration especially in the rear of the ship; the

Mariner and the new Voyager are not supposed to have

this problem. The vibration was minor and barely

worth mentioning. Disembarkation was another

negative. They wanted all passengers out of their

cabins by 8 a.m., which, to my knowledge, is the

earliest of any cruise ship. We didn't quite make 8

a.m., so at 8:10 they burst into our room without

knocking, but I glared them down and they retreated.

We finally took the hint and went up to one of the bar

areas. The RCI Enchantment of the Seas, which holds

about 2000 passengers was docked next to us and was

empty by 9:40 a.m., while we were still getting off at

10:30. We did have the opportunity to shake the hands

of all the corporate brass when we disembarked.

Radisson promised those with late flights a

"hospitality room" which turned out to be the lobby of

a local Embassy Suites hotel. We were given the hotel

buffet lunch and were then taken to the Ft. Lauderdale

airport where we went through security without a

hitch.

A few notes about our cruise:

We arrived at the Rio de Janeiro airport around 9:00

a.m. for the last leg of the 2002 round the world

cruise. We found that Radisson had actually paid for

the previous night so we could check into our rooms

early. This was quite nice after a long overnight

flight.

Evidently the ship has a new unwritten early boarding

policy which allows passengers to board at noon

instead of the "official" time of 3 p.m.

The emergency drill was done professionally and

without unnecessary delays. This is in contrast to

Silversea in which they required passengers sit

through advertising for the ship's revenue centers.

Certain travel agencies belong to groups that offer

free shore excursions. The agency we happened to pick

belonged to API or Virtuoso group which has the

Voyager Club. I have found the Voyager Club tours to

have very good meals, but in my experience the

transportation is often barely adequate. On Barbados,

for example, we were put on a small bus with extremely

limited leg room. It was so crowded that people had

to sit on the pull down seats in the aisle of the bus.

We were finally rewarded with a great lunch in the

elegant Sandy Lane Country Club's restaurant.

The tour deadlines were just a half day before the

tour, not two days as are most other ships. As all tips are included in the price of the Radisson

cruise, there are no extra tips requested for the

alternative dining as are required on Crystal.

In summary, until the new Seven Seas Voyager is

launched, this is the finest cruise ship afloat.donmckenzie@yahoo.comJuly 2002


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