4 Regent Seven Seas Navigator Cruise Reviews for Luxury Cruises to Panama Canal & Central America from Miami

Most everyone, especially those who love the sea, has some familiarity with the story of the Panama Canal. David McCullough's marvelous book, The Path Between the Seas, is required reading for anyone making this trip. But no amount ... Read More
Most everyone, especially those who love the sea, has some familiarity with the story of the Panama Canal. David McCullough's marvelous book, The Path Between the Seas, is required reading for anyone making this trip. But no amount of reading or watching videos or documentaries prepares you adequately for the real thing. That's why we chose this trip. We began in Miami's Mandarin Oriental hotel, a splendid accommodation. As usual, the transfer arrangements were well-organized and efficient. We were able to occupy our suite at noon and it was ideal for the transit of the canal with a forward- and side-facing balcony. The stop at Georgetown was pleasant but unmemorable. Cartagena, with its Fort San Felipe, was excellent. Then came the Canal. Our transit began in the early morning, shortly after sunrise and continued until we finally exited into the Pacific at dusk. The narrator - making her 700th transit! - provided rich detail about many aspects of the canal itself, as well as the flora and fauna, along with anecdotes about both the French effort and the subsequent American success. We had room-service breakfast so as not to miss a moment. This one day made the entire trip entirely successful all by itself. Puntarenas, Costa Rica, was the next stop with a very enjoyable river cruise - numerous tropical birds and crocodiles. Other stops - Corinto, Puerto Queztal, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas - provide some interesting sites. All required boarding buses. What we missed on this cruise was the small group option we enjoyed on the two cruised we had on the Explorer. As with other Regent cruises, the cuisine was excellent in Sette Mare, Compass Rose and La Veranda. We weren't quite as impressed with Prime Seven. We found the enrichment lectures short on regional relevance. Many cruisers have commented on Navigator's vibration, particularly notable toward the stern of the ship. It is sometimes noticeable toward the bow, but we did not find it disturbing. Our cabin, a Grand Suite, was excellent. It was spacious and well-appointed. One note of caution for North American travelers: although there are 110 volt outlets, there are only two of them. We found it helpful to bring along converter plugs that allowed us to plug in electronics to the 220v outlets, which are numerous. As I mentioned above, the view from the balcony facing forward is a real treat, particularly if you are interested in watching the deck crew manage the bow and spring lines or deploy and weigh the anchor. One modification that would make the balcony really spectacular is to install a baffle between the forward and side areas. The wind across the deck makes sitting on the side area nearly impossible when the ship is underway. The ship itself is relatively small by today's cruise ship standards: only 490 passengers. But it is perfectly spacious and never feels crowded. The staff are all excellent and cheerful, particularly the stateroom butler and stewards. All-in-all, a wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime trip! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary , Panama Canal , Costa Rica , Guatemala , all those countries we haven't been ..and who are very interesting . The cabins are not very spacious , but correct . No need to take a ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary , Panama Canal , Costa Rica , Guatemala , all those countries we haven't been ..and who are very interesting . The cabins are not very spacious , but correct . No need to take a Penthouse class , anyway the area is exactly the same , it's only the situation on the ship that differs , and you get the help of a butler . There are 3 restaurants , but the capacity is not enough in the evening , so if you want to eat in the main restaurant you have to come early, or after 8 a'clock , otherwise you wil have to wait until somebody leaves and a table becomes free . Same thing in the Italian restaurant , and for the speciality restaurant you have to make a reservation . So forget about dining at your convenance . Service is very erratic , several times we had to wait one hour for breakfast , and we had only some fruit and an omelet ! Concerning the publicity about "free unlimited shore excursions "it is far from the truth - you can only get one a day , because you need at least two hours between two excursions . And in at least one port of call we could'n have an excursion . We had a discussen about that with somebody from the staff and he says that this is a normal situation , that they don't need to have an excursion for everybody . As we disagreed he become very rude and made even faces at us !!! Never seen anything like this in my whole life ! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was our fifth cruise with Regent and the first on the Navigator, which is a smaller ship for 490 passengers. Check in was efficient and our suite was ready at 2:00 P.M. as promised. We were in the Penthouse A level on deck 11. ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise with Regent and the first on the Navigator, which is a smaller ship for 490 passengers. Check in was efficient and our suite was ready at 2:00 P.M. as promised. We were in the Penthouse A level on deck 11. The suite was clean and enough room for us. The suite came with butler service, which was very efficient, friendly and helpful. Both the butler and suite attendants always seemed cheerful and quickly learned our daily routine and worked around it. Overall, the service on the ship was excellent. There are several choices for dining, but we found the Verandah and the Sette Mari to our liking. The Compass Rose did not seem to meet the same standards as on the other Regent Ships. We went on several Regent excursions and found them to be enjoyable. We also went out on our own at several ports as the long bus rides and constant waiting for other passengers to keep a schedule gets tiresome. We had one major problem during the cruise: VIBRATIONS. Most of the public areas had some vibrations, but we were able to accept that. The most annoying and discouraging aspect of these vibrations was in our suite whenever the ship was in motion. Everything placed on the furniture rattled and the bed shook constantly, making sleep a luxury. It led to several afternoon naps when the ship was in port in order to catch up on our shuteye. I made an appointment to meet with the general manager, who was most polite and understanding. However, the ship was fully booked so we were stuck. The most disturbing part was his acknowledgment that others had complained about the vibrations but Regent had apparently not done anything to remedy the situation. He assured me that he would pass on my issues to the corporate office, which I appreciated but did not help us sleep! We have traveled the world and consider ourselves savvy travelers. If Regent knew about the vibration problem, which a cursory look at other reviews on this website will confirm, then it should make a full disclosure to prospective passengers. It may scare some people away, but in a competitive marketplace, it is the right thing to do. I looked at a new car several years ago and the sales manager indicated the manufacturer was still working on some issues. With that knowledge in mind, I bought a different model from the same dealer. Regent is charging higher prices for upgraded suites such as ours and not disclosing the problems that go along with the suite. Why ruin an expensive vacation by having to sleep in a bed that feels like a washing machine in the rinse cycle? Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This cruise through the Panama Canal was our third with Regent and second time on the Navigator. The first cruise to the eastern Caribbean on the Voyageur was wonderful. The excursions were excellent (in particular the catamaran at St. ... Read More
This cruise through the Panama Canal was our third with Regent and second time on the Navigator. The first cruise to the eastern Caribbean on the Voyageur was wonderful. The excursions were excellent (in particular the catamaran at St. Barts). The second cruise to the Amazon was amazing. We loved Terry Breen's enrichment lectures, the mixologist, and the exotic shore excursions. This time was very different. I was ill twice with gastrointestinal issues which lasted several days. This was an 18 day cruise and I was ill the second day into the cruise and again 7 days later. The food was mediocre with the exception of Prime 7. Their tres leche was particularly amazing. Compass Rose had a pasta choice at dinner, and since I prefer vegetarian fare I ordered pasta several times. It lacked ingredients (vegetables were very sparse) and in my view having pasta on the menu with sparse ingredients was a way for corporate to save money. The desserts were very small and unimaginative. The wines were ok, but since I was ill twice, I limited my alcohol intake. I ordered fish several times, and the Branzini was excellent in Setti Marti, but the cod was awful at Compass Rose. The wait staff were all very good in general, but several times at dinner the room was very hot and the meal took several hours. The wait staff got way behind on several nights. Our room temperature was problematic. The room was either way too hot or too cold. The excursions were awful. We had a major problem at Puerto Chiapas, Mexico. The tour guides were 16-year olds and obviously very inexperienced. We waited over 45 minutes in 90 degree heat for the tour to start. Several in our party refused to wait and returned to the ship by taxi. Once the tour did start, most of the guides had been on the job for only two or three days and did not know much about the mangroves. The area was filled with garbage and infested with mosquitoes ostensibly from recent rains. On the way back to the ship, the bus was late and we waited again in the heat for another 45-60 minutes. Several people were quite elderly and I was concerned for their health. They asked for and were provided with chairs. Additionally, at every port, we were followed by the Norwegian Jewel. We understood we waited 45-minutes at Puerto Chiapas for our tour to begin because the Norwegian Jewel arrived earlier so their guests were taken on the tour first. Everyone complained to Regent about this tour. I expected reimbursement or additional on-board credits. We received nothing from Regent. We were told by the front desk that corporate was aware of the issue. The all inclusive value proposition is only a good value when the shore excursions are first rate. These excursions were not any different than those offered by other cruise lines and were not worth the up front money that Regent expects passengers to pay. Puerto Chiapas was not the only poor excursion. The Costa Rican train ride was another poor excursion, but somewhat more tolerable due to the excellent guide. In summary, I question the value: Mediocre food Terrible choice of shore excursions and possibly not vetted Room temperature a problem On the positive side: Terry Bishop provided excellent and entertaining enrichment lectures The staff especially at Compass Rose was very good The entertainment was good Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
Seven Seas Navigator Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.3
Dining 4.5 4.1
Entertainment 3.5 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.6
Family 3.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.5
Rates 4.0 3.8

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