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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.orgJuly 2002