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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I have been a long time Regent cruiser and was concerned about the quality of service after the takeover by Norwegian. In October my wife and I took a 10-day cruise to Canada and then Bermuda. We found the staff as warm and friendly as ... Read More
I have been a long time Regent cruiser and was concerned about the quality of service after the takeover by Norwegian. In October my wife and I took a 10-day cruise to Canada and then Bermuda. We found the staff as warm and friendly as in the past and the food was at least as good. The entertainment was moderate as I expect on a small ship, but the performers were enthusiastic. But… My wife uses a mobility scooter and transport chair which we brought on the cruise. The access to the pool deck and specialty restaurants was made especially difficult. Scooters had to navigate the lip between the corridor and deck and they created an extra barricade with an inclined plane to ease the scooter across the lip. But the plane did not slope to the ground but started with a two-inch vertical rise. To negotiate this the scooter had to be perpendicular to the rise and moving relatively fast. The problem was the stairwell was close to the deck access and there was little room for maneuvering. It was worse leaving the deck since the fast-moving scooter was headed toward the stairwell. A tense experience, to say the least. Leaving the ship in port was an adventure-in-itself. The gangway was set up in much the same way as the as access to the pool deck and disregards the needs of those who need mobility assistance. It took two crew members to move the scooter over the hump. The ship stayed in Bermuda for two days, the longest on the cruise. But none of the excursions were available to the mobility impaired -- even folding wheelchairs. This really did not matter since the gangway was steps rather than an incline. The crew offered to carry my wife and scooter down the steps, but we did not want to be singled out. Finally, the stress was too much and the scooter transmission was damaged. Half way through the cruise we filled out a questionnaire and we expressed these complaints. We were ignored. The changes that would have solved these problems were simple and inexpensive and the failure to implement these changes shows indifference, at best. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I’ve cruised many lines, including Princess, Celebrity, Windstar, Paul Gauguin, RCCL, HAL & Crystal. I had heard so many accolades regarding Regent, & I was determined to try them. It’s been 6 months since our cruise (there ... Read More
I’ve cruised many lines, including Princess, Celebrity, Windstar, Paul Gauguin, RCCL, HAL & Crystal. I had heard so many accolades regarding Regent, & I was determined to try them. It’s been 6 months since our cruise (there were 4 of us, in 2 cabins), but my disappointment has not waned & I cannot see myself attempting another Regent cruise - at their prices, they were far below my expectations & not worthy of a repeat. — The cabins were wonderful, comfortable, & our attendant was also wonderful. — The main dining room was too brightly lit & it ruined the ambiance of a gracious evening. One night they lost power for a short time in the brightest lights & people cheered; when the brights came back on, you could hear the grumbling disappointment. We asked for dimmer lighting, but I suppose we were one of the few because that did not happen. It was bright like a MacDonalds, no exaggeration. The food was very good, the wait staff rushed with service varying accordingly. We had some kind of VIPs on board & it was pretty angering to watch the multiple staff tripping on themselves to serve them - while we sat unattended waiting. — The 2 specialty restaurants were both disappointments, in food & in service. All 4 of us agreed, our meals were poor. We complained about the meals in the steak restaurant & they apologized profusely, asked us to give them another try ... why would we try again when we couldn’t even eat the steaks? — The drinks were poor & I sent back a few of them. I also had to start asking for doubles and/or extra shots because they skimped on the alcohol. Even the martini olives were small! That may sound petty, but I enjoy a well made martini with great olives - which was not to be had on this ship ... nor a decent Old Fashion, nor a decent Manhattan. The bar staff were polite, but not friendly & after 10 days on the ship not one of them acted like they had ever seen us before, even when we greeted them by name & tried to engage them. — Most of the tours were terrible. We paid $150 per person extra (as best I recall) for a tour in Boston to the Kennedy Library. We arrived at the library later than had been expected by the guide & our time in the library was very rushed - so I didn’t enjoy what I had been looking forward to. Our tours on Bermuda were both terrible - one was on a sailboat that was too small for all the passengers & many of us sat uncomfortably on deck. Many sat packed into the well. There was never a discussion of safety or life jackets & if I had not sailed before I imagine I would’ve been scaired sitting against the mast on a flat deck, cutting through windy seas. The other Bermuda tour was 7 people packed into an RV & a drive-about. We ended up in the 3rd row of seats, with 3 of us tucked in, which meant that 2 of us half-sat on the wheel wells & the one in the middle was a sardine. We left that tour at the first stop & were thrilled to be out of that RV. A very disappointing cruise, for many reasons. This was definitely not the “luxury” I had anticipated, was far less luxurious than many other ships I’ve been on, and was way, WAY overpriced for what we received. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Despite missing Bermuda and adding a day in New York and an extra sea day, this cruise was very nice. The service was excellent. The tours were well organized. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The food is good and well ... Read More
Despite missing Bermuda and adding a day in New York and an extra sea day, this cruise was very nice. The service was excellent. The tours were well organized. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The food is good and well presented. We had not been on the Navigator since it was refurbished and thought the decor overall was very pleasant. Tea time was poorly attended which we found surprising. Setti Mari was also not very busy the one time we dined there. The food was very good, but we do not like the buffet part of it. We ate in Prime 7 once, and found the service a bit lacking. The Compass Rose is our favorite restaurant. The maitre’d’s and wait staff are just outstanding. We found there was always enough on the menu to choose from when the specials did not appeal to us. There is a reason this was our sixth cruise with Regent: the level of personal service is outstanding. Read Less
108 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This was my very first time cruising, so i didn't know what to expect. I am 49, and I took my 19 year old niece. Obviosly youngest on Regent. While we enjoyed dressing up for dinner a few times, we didn't like feeling obligated ... Read More
This was my very first time cruising, so i didn't know what to expect. I am 49, and I took my 19 year old niece. Obviosly youngest on Regent. While we enjoyed dressing up for dinner a few times, we didn't like feeling obligated to. Well, if you want to leave cabin that is... We had the first night at hotel in Miami. That was extremely disorganized. Even though Regent knew of an embarkation time change weeks before and notified me, they aparently didnt tell anyone at the hotel. Or the staff just didnt know. The Epic hotel, imo, was a complete disaster. On the plus side, transport both from airport and from hotel to port was great. Very organized. The ship itself definitely not worth the amount we paid. I did read other reviews prior, so perhaps Navigator isn"t a fair representation of Regent. If not, it should be much cheaper than the other 3 in Regent's fleet. Since it was nicely refurbished, it looked really great. But old. There was a lot of vibration and noise! I dont think all elevators were working simultaneously at any time the entire cruise. So you can imagine the wait times! And they actually use this ship for world cruises? I had my fill after only 11 nights. Definitely not a luxury experience. Service was excellant, everywhere. All waitstaff, bar staff, cabin steward.... They all go out of their way for you. Any shows or entertainment were definitely geared to a much older crowd. Not an issue though. The crew gave a great performance on the last night. Not being a drinker I really can't comment on lounges or nightlife. The food was good, but not the best. Certainly not what I was expecting. Room service menu was poor. But if it is during dinner, you can order from Compass Rose. We were both very pleased with the shore excursions. Both the quality and the way Regent handled them-very organized. Even when there were time changes. Towels and bottled water as you leave ship. But then, this is all what you should expect for a luxury cruise, right? Overall, I would probably do Regent cruise again only if it were a different ship. Or a LOT cheaper! Otherwise I would go with a more casual line. I booked another cruise for 2019, but not with Regent. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Our friends found a great deal for RSS 25th Anniversary cruise and so we jumped at the chance to join them and try our first luxury cruise (previously sailed with Celebrity, HAL and NCL). It started well with an upgrade to a balcony suite. ... Read More
Our friends found a great deal for RSS 25th Anniversary cruise and so we jumped at the chance to join them and try our first luxury cruise (previously sailed with Celebrity, HAL and NCL). It started well with an upgrade to a balcony suite. Embarkation was smooth although they did not have our cards and had to escort us to Guest Services which was unusual. The ship has been recently remodelled and we were impressed by our cabin and the public spaces. The ship has notable vibration problems in the rear spaces such as the theatre and bars. At times all the bottles were clinking and sitting on stools almost required hanging on. It was also notable how much more this smaller ship moves. Especially in our forward cabin, this cabin was very noisy when arriving in ports as well. As a married couple in our early 40's we were regularly queried if we were entertainment when embarking so I think it highlights the average age is much higher than our previous cruise experiences. Unfortunately we did not meet our room attendant for the first 2 days and eventually when we queried how we were supposed to set up the personal bar, the assistant HK visited us with our attendants to find out why we had not been given a tour of our cabin and requests for our personnel requirements. Things improved after this. The first 2 nights in the Compass Rose we also found the service to be very casual and when my wife asked if she could taste a different wine to the daily special the sommelier quoted it was not a wine tasting event?!!? A query to the FB manager was handled quickly and professionally and we had no future problems. Many of us felt that the crew seemed very tired and uninterested and that this may have been due to them just completing the world cruise and apparently having a very rough crossing. After a couple of days service improved and after visiting Bermuda where the weather was great and the crew got a chance to get ashore, service notably improved from then on and by the end was an excellent standard. We appreciated the amazing dinnerware, quality of furnishings, pool chairs, sporting equipment, the library etc. It was a noticeable improvement in quality. We felt breakfast was average to good (except the caviar Sunday which was fun). Lunch options were plentiful but the standout was dinner. The compass Rose has a great dinner, Prime 7 was superb and the Italian was a nice change (although hard to get into with the limited seating). Entertainment was not as good as we have experienced on the larger ships, most other passengers thought the production shows were great. The last one was excellent but the earlier ones were a bit flat and the quality of some of the singing and dancing wasn't great. The theatre looks amazing but unfortunately gets very crowded and could be difficult to find a comfortable seating arrangement. We enjoyed the silly activities and the deck games. The pool area was nice but shade was limited and unfortunately rude passengers reserved deck chairs for hours without using them and this was never policed. Also many use multiple deck chairs which is even more arrogant. Included tours were quite good but we are not group tour people and with large groups and elderly members it made for very slow going. Overall we had a very fun time and appreciated the lift in quality especially as we were fortunate to sail on a very good deal which made the value for money even more outstanding. If we had paid full price the early service issues would have been unforgivable. The vibration, movement and noise issues would be annoying. At our age it is probably preferable to sail on the ships with a slightly different demographic but still appreciate what an amazing time we had. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
The itinerary allowing us to travel to Bermuda from Florida on the ship was our deciding factor to celebrate our 44th anniversary. We cruised on the Navigator for our 30th anniversary and did not want to miss out on this last trip to ... Read More
The itinerary allowing us to travel to Bermuda from Florida on the ship was our deciding factor to celebrate our 44th anniversary. We cruised on the Navigator for our 30th anniversary and did not want to miss out on this last trip to Bermuda. The ship was beautiful, having been refurbished last year, and was better than our expectations. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and easy. The food delicious and always flavorful, attractive and top service. We especially enjoyed several of the cast productions however felt Clive Carrington's classics and piano bar entertainment was the best we have enjoyed (this was our 28th cruise). His amazing talent playing everything from classical to current venues as well as singing kept us entertained nightly. Guests and one of the bar servers, Elvis, even shared his mike adding so much to the evenings. Singer Shauna Hicks' Broadway show was also amazing. She was featured two nights and we wish she was on stage at least once more. Another great talent who hope to see in the future. We enjoyed the special interest lectures with Kim Orlando. Service was always perfect, helping with smiles and warm greetings. We definitely will cruise on Regent again and plan to book one of their other ships for variety and itinerary from Florida. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We choose this cruise because it was inclusive,cruise,food,drinks,tours and tips.The ship was also mid size only 700 passengers. The service was good but the tours where not very organized and not worth the money. We usually cruise ... Read More
We choose this cruise because it was inclusive,cruise,food,drinks,tours and tips.The ship was also mid size only 700 passengers. The service was good but the tours where not very organized and not worth the money. We usually cruise Princess and have always had a pleasant experience. The only exception would be their cruises are far more packed with people. Once you get over the crowds the rest is fine. We would not spend the very high price to cruise Regent again, it is not worth the huge difference in price. I guess we don't feel the need to be treated like the King and Queen of the cruise, just good service and a fine experience is all we ask for in a cruise, and of course the venue. The cabin was no bigger then the cabin in the Princess,and in fact the cabin seemed to be not as well laid out. It was clean and had some nice complimentary room drinks and fruit, it also had a King bed(nice touch). The food was usually very good and the service was good, however, you had to wait for a table most nights and the setting took over a 1.5 hours to complete. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Not interested in another Caribbean cruise, we jumped at the opportunity to sail out of Miami going northeast instead. All the ports except Nassau were new to us, and two were overnights, so it offered a chance to really explore these ... Read More
Not interested in another Caribbean cruise, we jumped at the opportunity to sail out of Miami going northeast instead. All the ports except Nassau were new to us, and two were overnights, so it offered a chance to really explore these destinations. We were offered an exceptional price for a concierge-level cabin mid-ship on deck 9. We've decided that these 700-passenger ships are our favorites--big enough to find your favorite places to relax but small enough to run back to the room from time to time without it seeming like a hike (or using the elevators). We're walkers, so out we went into the streets of Miami, Nassau, Hamilton, St. George, Norfolk, and Charleston, finding interesting pubs, local beers, vernacular and notable architecture, and impromptu cemetery and garden tours. I think being on foot gives you a look at the city unobtainable in any other way. Some on our ship saw a certain church in Charleston as they went by on their tour bus, while we wandered in for noon prayers and sat in the same pew that George Washington and Robert E. Lee did. Signing on late meant we were shut out of the more popular shore excursions. The few we took were our least favorite part of the cruise. Only the space center was memorable. Had we gone on the all day trips to Williamsburg or Jamestown, or seen the plantations in South Carolina, we may have had more to say on those, but we chose to do our own thing. Bermuda and Charleston both rated highly in interesting things to do, and I wish we had had another day in each. We enjoyed the food more on this voyage than our previous Regent cruise, particularly Signatures. Compass Rose did a great job, too, and I'm thankful for the Canyon Ranch selections. La Veranda/Sette Mari seemed a bit frantic and crowded. We only ate there a few times for lunch and once for dinner. The bartenders were great; the Horizon lounge became our go-to spot before and after dinner. The big stage shows were entertaining and impressive in that space. I hope to never see another ventriloquist on board, however. The enrichment speaker was a disappointment. His information was a bit scattered, occasionally useful, but had some out-of-date elements, like when he said that the birdcage in Hamilton is used by traffic cops (it hasn't been for some time) and that the boat to Fort Sumter is a hundred yards from our ship (more like five blocks). As always, Regent handled the boarding and debarking process nicely. A Regent vacation is an easy choice. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
My husband and I have just returned from a 14night transatlantic cruise on seven seas navigator. It was a final cruise before a complete refurbishment in dry dock for 2 weeks. We had read the reviews so had a few concerns about the ... Read More
My husband and I have just returned from a 14night transatlantic cruise on seven seas navigator. It was a final cruise before a complete refurbishment in dry dock for 2 weeks. We had read the reviews so had a few concerns about the negative reviews. Let me reassure you it was the best cruise line we have ever cruised with and we have cruised with many others including Cunard and Royal Caribbean. Embarkation was quick and easy and we were met by friendly staff handing out champagne. A nice start! Cabins were not quite ready so we went to the restaurant for lunch. The staff were there to make sure you had a table of your choice and were serving drinks to our table. It was a self service restaurant, The Veranda, the food was excellent and again the staff were really helpful, especially with elderly passengers carrying their food to the tables for them, always with a smile. Nothing was ever too much trouble. When we arrived to our cabin we were very impressed with the cleanliness and the size of it! A bathroom with bath and shower, large king size bed, seating area which led into the balcony which although small plenty of room for a table and 2 chairs which we used often when the weather was nice. I loved the walk in wardrobe which had loads of space for hanging clothes plus drawers that even I couldn't fill and I take a lot of just in case clothes with me!!!! There was a bottle of champagne on ice and a lovely selection of fresh fruit. The fruit was replenished daily and the fridge filled with soft and alcoholic drinks plus bottled water which was also replaced as we used it. The bed was very comfortable with lovely fresh Cotten bedding and the most comfortable pillows! We were in a cabin at the rear of the ship which unfortunately was as noisy as other passengers said it was!! We slept with earplugs in and managed at first but after a few days of this noise we went to reception to ask if there was another cabin we could have as we were very tired from the disturbances due to the noise in the cabin, we found out we were near the propellers which is the reason for the noise and the vibrations which was constant. They were really sympathetic and upgraded us to a coseirge cabin at no extra cost which was mid ship. No noise or vibration!!! Fantastic! I would advise to pay the extra for mid ship cabins if you will struggle with the noise and vibrations. It was extreme vibrations! The food was superb in all the restaurants and the staff in all areas of the ship were friendly and helpful at all times. Not having to sign for every drink and not think about the price of everything was so easy. Plus free excursions which we booked ahead of the cruise. All online and simple to do. The tickets for these were in our cabin on arrival. The shows were pretty much the same as all cruises but were good entertainment. The seating for shows was very comfortable and we never struggled to find seating. Room service is fantastic. The day of departure was well organised and easy too. Coach transfers and hotel pre cruise etc were all organised for us and coach to airport at end of cruise had regency staff there until we entered the airport so we all knew where to go. This was a top class cruise company that we would highly recommend to anyone. Don't believe the negative reviews as we couldn't fault a thing. Worth the extra cost and will definately use them again. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
This was our second cruise with Regent, and the first on the Navigator. We cruised last January on the Mariner, and were less than blown away, so were somewhat concerned about what our experience would be like on the smaller Navigator. ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Regent, and the first on the Navigator. We cruised last January on the Mariner, and were less than blown away, so were somewhat concerned about what our experience would be like on the smaller Navigator. We need not have been worried...the ship and her crew were amazing! Embarkation in Fort Lauderdale was a breeze. It probably helped that there were only 500 passengers to check in, and we were in the last 100 or so, arriving at the pier at around 1:30. It was also a Tuesday, so the pier was not busy at all. It probably only took about 15 minutes from the time we entered the terminal until we were stepping onboard the ship...very nice. We were finally allowed into our cabins around 2:30. We found the cabin to be very large, with a nice walk-in closet and very nicely laid out bathroom with shower and separate tub. Our bags actually arrived before the safety drill, so I was able to unpack before the drill and sailaway, which was a first for us. As spacious and well laid out the cabin was, we were soon to find that it was exceptionally noisy (which is why I only rated it a 3). We have been on a lot of cruises, and we have never, ever heard our neighbors on either side of us...that changed with this cruise. It isn't that they were overly loud...it just seems as if the walls were extremely thin. Several other passengers complained of this throughout the cruise, so it wasn't just our cabin or neighbors. It probably didn't help that there were three people...two adults and one teen...in the cabin next to us. However, that cabin is NOT designated as a 3-person cabin in the Regent brochures, and indeed, their sofa did not pull out to a bed. Instead, a rollaway bed was delivered to them at the start of the cruise! I had specifically booked our room to be as far as possible from any of the 3-berth cabins because, quite frankly, I did not care to possibly be around children (I left mine at home!!). So you can imagine my frustration when I discovered that apparently Regent will make any cabin a 3-berth one if they find themselves overbooked (which was the case in our cruise). I do not know if the third person was the reason for the extra noise, but I doubt it, as I could hear the husband/father snoring at night, and if I tried hard enough, could actually make out what they were saying next door. Plus, the people above us must have been early risers, as we could hear them clomping around in the early hours, and then soon thereafter, the cabin stewardess would re-wake us with her vacuuming, which literally vibrated and shook the wall next to our bed every time she slammed the vacuum into the wall. I was amazed that I came home from this cruise more tired than when I left! But that was probably the biggest negative for us, and truthfully, it was more of an inconvenience than something that would ruin our cruise (although I will pick my cabin more carefully the next time). The only other thing that was somewhat negative was the soot that spewed out of the smokestacks all over the decks. We had noticed that there were black spots all over the deck chairs on Deck 11 (one deck above the pool deck), but didn't think anything about it. Well, after an hour or so on the deck our first day, we discovered that those black spots were from the soot of the smokestack (we could see it flying around), and it does NOT wash out. The laundry onboard tried to get the spots out of my new yellow bathing suit, but they just couldn't. To be fair, the concierge did offer to pay for a replacement, but I declined. I just didn't go up to Deck 11 to lounge around anymore. However, I do wish the response to my request to put signs up there warning people of the "soot danger" would have been taken more seriously. Based on the conditions of the chair cushions, this was not an isolated incident, and I just felt that perhaps even just a small notice would have been nice...at least my bathing suit might have been saved. From the moment we stepped onboard to the moment we left, we were treated like royalty by everyone on the crew. This was the most amazing crew we have ever cruised with, and could not believe the level of service we received. The cruise director, Lorraine Weimerskirch, was by far the best we've ever seen. She was engaging and fun, and was always "out in the open." Not only was she a fantastic singer, but she also was just a neat person to be around, and she literally made the cruise for us (in fact, we asked what her schedule is, so we can hopefully book another cruise with her). Surprisingly, the entertainment was fantastic as well. We had heard that it was less than stellar on other cruises, but again, it was the best we've ever seen. This particular group is nearing the end of their contract, and they have apparently all become fast friends, and it shows in their performances. We usually pass on the evening shows when we cruise, because we just don't find them very good...not so in this case! They were great! Food is always so subjective, and I will just say that it was very good on this cruise. Nothing to blow you away, but we certainly never had to send anything back and I certainly gained enough weight that it shows! We were not all that impressed with Prime 7...the steaks were just so-so, although the Dover Sole was very good. However, the service there was well above par, so that made up for a lot. The service in Compass Rose seemed rushed...we felt a little sorry sometimes for the waiters, as they had to run around, literally, to take care of all their tables. But we never had a surly waiter, and we found that if we told them ahead of time that we would not be having dessert or coffee, we could just enjoy our entrees and then leave whenever we wanted to. That kept our dining times down below 2 hours (we never had a dinner that took less than 2.5 hours on the Mariner). As for the pool grill, it was wonderful, and we ate breakfast and lunch there almost every day. If I couldn't find something I liked out there (my husband was always ordering a specialty burger), I could just walk inside to La Veranda and get some salads. We only did La Veranda for dinner once, and liked it, but are not really buffet fans (at least not for dinner). We definitely prefer the way it is done on the Mariner, where appetizers and desserts are buffet, but you order your entree off the menu, from a waiter. As for the wines, we were not very impressed. When a Bogle Cab was presented with a flourish at Prime 7, I had to laugh. Yes, Bogle is a very decent label...but when I'm cruising on a luxury line, I hope to have something presented to me that I cannot buy at my local grocery store. If we asked for something else, they would bring it without question or complaint...but we found that even the alternate wines were not always to our liking. Also, wines that were supposed to have been available (according to the list we were given) were no longer available (apparently they had run out, and not bothered to re-stock them). We ended up just not bothering with wine more often than not. We ran into some bad weather, and so had to miss our stops in Wilmington and St. Georges in Bermuda. We were disappointed, especially since Savannah was taken off the itinerary a few months ago, but the crew did a great job of taking care of us on the extra sea days. I have also heard several negative comments about the Destinations personnel, but we found them to be extremely helpful, with one exception. We were on the Dolphin Encounter in Nassau, and specifically asked the Destinations personnel if we should wear bathing suits. They told us, "Absolutely not...you will NOT get in the water." Thankfully, the Dolphin Encounter people had wetsuits we could use, because we most certainly DID get in the water...all the way up to our necks! That kind of information really should have been something the Destinations people were smart about. However, the excursions we did were all excellent, and we never really had that "round 'em up" feeling while waiting in the Seven Seas Lounge to be called for our excursion. In fact, two of them (Airboat Adventure in Port Canaveral, and the Dolphin Adventure) rank right up there as two of the best we've ever done. We hit some extremely rough seas between Charleston and Bermuda, and yes, the Navigator moves a LOT in rough seas. Thankfully we had our SeaBands, or else we might have been like so many other people (including the spa's hairdresser) who were unable to even get out of bed. Many, many people tried to crowd into the Navigator Lounge and the library, as that is as low and center as you can go on the ship. Only then did the ship feel a bit crowded to us...so we just went up to the pool deck, which, even though higher, is still in the center of the ship so the motion was not as bad (still bad though...water from the waves would hit the side of the ship and sprinkle down on us, even though we were way up on Deck 10!!!). We had friends traveling with us who did not like the layout of the ship at all, as they said it felt too crowded all the time to them. But we spent most of our free time on the pool deck, and it never felt overcrowded, so we came out of it with a different opinion...in fact, we loved the Navigator and her layout. If I had to say there was one thing that blew us away on this cruise, it would be the crew and service. When a bartender can remember your name after only meeting you once, and know exactly what you want to drink, that is impressive. When the cruise director participates in karaoke with the passengers, that is impressive (especially when she can really sing!). When the entertainers actually act as part of the crew, rather than just entertaining, that really enhances the experience (it was great fun talking to them around the ship). And when you get hugs from so many of them as you are leaving the ship (not without at least a few tears on my part), you really do feel as if they are family. Bottom line: Best cruise we've ever been on and I cannot wait to board the Navigator again!!! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2011
This was our third Navigator cruise, our ninth on Regent overall. Although we had a wonderful time, we feel that Regent has gone downhill overall. We're not sure if they have reduced their staff, or if the inclusiveness of tours, or ... Read More
This was our third Navigator cruise, our ninth on Regent overall. Although we had a wonderful time, we feel that Regent has gone downhill overall. We're not sure if they have reduced their staff, or if the inclusiveness of tours, or a combination of both, as led to the decline. Embarkation was a total cattle call, with us all crammed in the Fort Lauderdale holding area for what seemed like an eternity. I am sure this is a port thing which Regent has no control over. However, Regent's computers failed just as they were to start the boarding process, and so they had to move all of their equipment onto the ship to commence boarding. Why they didn't just leave all their equipment on board in the first place, I don't know. The ports were wonderful - Port Canaveral, Savannah, Charleston, Hamilton (Bermuda), and Nassau. We took Regent-sponsored tours in each port except Nassau, and they all turned out well. My only issue is, now that tours are included, it seems EVERYONE on the entire ship feels they must take a tour just because it's "included". Therefore, each morning, it's a cattle call in the Seven Seas Lounge. Even though our tour tickets stated a certain time - e.g., 8:30am - we often ended up not leaving until an hour later. It was a bit irritating just sitting in the lounge waiting for our bus to be called, thinking "we could have slept another hour" or "we could have had a sit-down breakfast rather than a grab-n-go". It was never this way before the tours were included in the Regent fare. It used to be much more personalized, and we used to leave right at the time on our tour tickets - e.g., 8:30am! The food was excellent at Compass Rose - although the service was a bit lacking. Getting seated at this venue became so strange. We'd be greeted by the maitre d', then absolutely RUSHED to our table. I literally had to run a couple times to keep up with him. And I'm in my heels and the ship is in strong motion (more on that later). Anyway, it used to be that I would be gracefully offered the gentleman's arm and pleasantly escorted to the table at my own pace. Those days are gone. My only guess is, they are short-staffed in the restaurant. However, there was never anyone behind us waiting to be seated. Maybe they are doing double-duty, delivering food as well? Our experience once at our table was fair - you could tell some of the waiters were stressed out, wiping their brow, and once again, in a hurry. One night they missed two of my courses, and on another, I got the wrong meal. On another night, we had to flag someone down for wine after our courses were being served (wine glasses were never replaced from the sitting before us so they must have assumed we didn't want wine). But like I said, the food was excellent. Very flavorful, excellent presentation and perfect portions. Prime 7 was excellent in all regards. Our steaks were prepared perfectly and our requests were met, service was efficient and friendly. They seemed genuinely happy to have us there! Now...La Veranda is another story. We walked up to the maitre d' desk and no one came. Waited, waited. Finally, we walked into the restaurant a bit further and were told we'd have to wait for a table, but in the meantime, feel free to take a look at the food items along the buffet. OK, so we did. And waited. And waited. There were only two other parties in the entire restaurant, so we found this to be very strange. Then after we got seated, we waited. And waited. Finally, our waitress comes and says, "Are you OK?" We said yes, but we were just wondering when we could order? Oh! Well, apparently now the La Veranda is TOTALLY buffet-style. It used to be that your waiter/waitress would welcome you to partake of the antipasta bar, and then you would order your Primi and Secondi courses from the menu. We tried to explain that to our waitress and she firmly told us, "No, it's always been this way." Umm, we've been on this ship twice before, and we know how it used to work. Again, she said that it's always been this way - this time in a downright rude manner. By this time we were insulted and embarrassed enough to get up and leave. (And this is something we don't ever do, we are very easy-going!) Oh well, lesson learned: back to Compass Rose! We ate lunch at the pool grill every day and it was excellent. Always fresh and tasty. We had room service for breakfast several times and it was always RIGHT on time, hot and delicious. I always requested berries for breakfast - they are not listed on the menu card - but my wish was always fulfilled. The bartenders were tip-top as usual. Alan, who we know as a bartender from prior Regent cruises, is now the Head Bartender and he runs a perfect show. Every one of the bar staff got to know our favorite drinks, I considered them mind-readers! Jan, Elvis, Vasylyna, George, Marilyn, Eric, Jerel, Teran, Laura, Ronald - all A-1. Housekeeping was amazing as always. That is the one consistent aspect about Regent that I absolutely love. Our stewardess Evangeline never missed a detail. In fact, I brought on board a bunch of bottles of Vitamin Water and put them in our fridge (I love the stuff and I had never seen it on a Regent ship) - by the end of the cruise, magically, more Vitamin Water was showing up in our fridge. I guess they have it in the gym (which we never go to, ha!). But that was a very nice touch, for Evangeline to notice my obsession with Vitamin Water! Entertainment: We don't normally attend the shows (except the Krew Kapers show) - but we had heard that the Cruise Director, Ray Solaire, was not to be missed. We watched the show and it was indeed amazing. He is a very, very talented man! Imagine my shock and disappointment when I complimented him afterward in the hallway, and he blew me off! Honestly, he looked at me like I had two heads! There was no smile, no "thank you" or "oh, I haven't met you, what is your name?". I chalked it up to, he was having a bad day/tired/stressed, whatever. Well, that is, until we met another couple on board who had a very similar experience. I won't go into it, because it's their story to tell, but that did not sit well with us. He's all enamored with everyone, we have heard such great things, so why this? The only thing we could figure was that the four of us were among the youngest on the ship, so we weren't as worthy of his time as the older guests. Bad move on his part, considering we have a lot more years to spend on cruising! It just made me kind of sad. Anyway, thank goodness for Cody Yancey Dopson, the Assistant Cruise Director. He was recently promoted from entertainment, and he is so personable, talented and obviously very happy to be in his new role. Gavin, who plays the piano in the Stars Lounge nightly, was excellent as well! One major difference between the last two times we were on the Navigator until this time: ventilation! Our suite was always on the warm side, even though we kept the setting down as cold as it would go. Air was just barely seeping out of our vents. We mentioned it to the front desk and they said they'd have maintenance look at it, but it never did improve. Additionally - and this is a pretty major one for us - cigarette smoke. It seemed to permeate everywhere. As soon as we walked out of our suite we could smell it. Then when we walked down into the public areas, it just got worse. And I am not talking about the connoisseur club or the other designated smoking areas. I'm talking EVERYwhere. So that put a damper on the cruise as well. I really think they have an overall ventilation issue, because the smoke never used to be that bad, and because the air temperature used to be consistent throughout the ship. On this cruise, Galileo's was always frigid (a welcome change after our hot suite), and some guests we met said their suites were freezing cold (lucky them!). So bottom line: they seem to have an air distribution issue of some sort. Lastly, there were very rough seas which really put a damper on things. Of course it's not Regent's fault; in fact, they made the best of it. The front desk was always ready with our "daily dose" of meclizine. We had never been seasick before (and we have been on smaller ships than Navigator), so it was quite a surprise for us. Some of the crew were sick as well, and there were lots of glasses and liquor bottles broken, items flying across tables, guests falling down at breakfast. From what we understand, some guests even flew home once we got to Bermuda (which was mid-cruise) - they couldn't stand the thought of going on to Nassau and Fort Lauderdale. When you combine rough seas with the infamous vibration problems of Navigator, it doesn't make for an enjoyable cruise. Much as I love our Navigator, she's a tired little ship and I suspect she'll be retired soon. I realize this review sounds pretty negative - I struggled on whether I should post it at all. Others who were on this cruise may have had a completely positive experience (I really hope so!). But we are just making comparisons to our prior experiences on Regent (we are gold members, so we have several nights' experience and I guess we have been spoiled by the quintessential "Regent Experience") -- but this just did NOT live up to what we have come to expect. That, combined with Regent's ever-rising fares, makes us somewhat inclined not to cruise this line again. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
This is our second Regent cruise, first on The Navigator. The cabins are perhaps Regent's strong point, and the spacious suite was a great place...fortunate since we had to spend significant time there during the sea days to and from ... Read More
This is our second Regent cruise, first on The Navigator. The cabins are perhaps Regent's strong point, and the spacious suite was a great place...fortunate since we had to spend significant time there during the sea days to and from Bermuda. Of course, the Ocean is the Ocean, but the ship did poorly (worse than on ships of similar size we've been on) with persistent 20-25 foot swells. Our first night out of Charleston was spent in what felt like a cycling elevator ride, up 15-20 feet, slide right, down 20 feet and repeat. The next day wasn't much better. On the leg from Bermuda to Nassau, the real thrills occurred...(all who were aboard will remember this for a loooong time). More 20-foot plus waves; one lifted us into a right hand yaw (quick swerve) followed quickly by another wave that hit us broadside, which tilted the ship about 25-30 degrees to the left (really). In La Veranda, a couple dozen folks were thrown from their chairs to skid across the floor, pots, pans, dishware and glasses fell and broke, and there were a few seconds that had me deliberating over the best way to find a life preserver...they went on the PA soon thereafter to ask people to go to their cabins and remain there. OK, back to the ship; great crew, excellent service throughout, especially in Compass Rose for dinners. Very good food (except the steaks, which didn't seem to have much flavor, and where anything from rare to medium was essentially the same) and menu choices. The ship's amenities were good for a vessel of that size, and the Cruise Director (Ray Solaire) is the best CD I have experienced in a dozen cruises on 5 different lines. The fitness center was more than adequate for a boat of this size; they may want to consider adding another elliptical (take out one treadmill) to keep up with trends in exercise. The shorex were generally very good, and the variety of things to do was fine in re what one might expect. Due to the heavy weather, though, both snorkling days (one in Bermuda and one in Nassau) were cancelled. Also due to the heavy swells enroute to Bermuda, we arrived several hours late, pushing some shorex to the next day and causing us and others to miss some due to conflicts in time. Perhaps to make up for Bermuda (where we had to stay in Hamilton and not move to St George's due to ocean conditions) we did arrive early in Nassau. Ship entertainment was better than expected, and the dance and singing performances were generally very good. They did a Cirque show one evening that I would have paid for in a land-based resort. The band was enjoyable, and their work in the various lounges and dance venues was appreciated. The ship did a Halloween dance and party one night, which was well-done and should be considered as a recurring activity (of course, the theme would change with the seasons). The comedian wasn't to our taste (not bad, just not very funny, which is subjective, I know). The enrichment lectures were OK, although the photography guy spent more time lauding the Occupy movement and a return to 60's style protests than much else. One area of concern was both getting onboard the first day, and then leaving the ship at the end of the cruise. Check-in was slowed by about an hour when the shore-side computers wouldn't sync with the ship. After about 30-40 minutes, they packed it all up and then checked us in after we boarded and were guided to the show lounge. Leaving the ship on the last morning was also delayed due to problems offloading luggage. The first group didn't run from the ship until about 0845, causing some tense moments for those flying out earlier in the day. Staff was hesitant in both instances to advise passengers about the delays, mostly just assuring us it would be "about five minutes" every 5-10 minutes or so. Our particular suite (809) had a staccato clicking and loud creaking in the heavy weather around the vanity; I could see foam shims had already been shoved into place at various spots, so this seems a recurring issue with that space. Overall, it was a memorable cruise, and we enjoyed the time onboard. The seas made for memories, also, but not the ones you necessarily want. When you dine, watching green water repeatedly cover the Compass Rose windows does help to focus dinner conversation, though... Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
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 ... Read More
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. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
Went on a Regent cruise from 4/15 to 4/25/2011 aboard the Seven Seas Navigator out of Ft. Lauderdale. Stopped at Port Canaveral, Charleston, Bermuda ,Nassau and back to Lauderdale. I read all the reviews on this vessel before we left and ... Read More
Went on a Regent cruise from 4/15 to 4/25/2011 aboard the Seven Seas Navigator out of Ft. Lauderdale. Stopped at Port Canaveral, Charleston, Bermuda ,Nassau and back to Lauderdale. I read all the reviews on this vessel before we left and just had to comment. I was looking for a 5 star cruise, something way above the ordinary and didn't mind the price tag if the experience was worth it. It was to us in spades. Keep in mind that this price was not for the faint of heart and thus you did not see families with children or honeymooners. The average age was easily over sixty. The mood was laid back and comfortable. Not a lot of rock climbers in this group but plenty of dancers. The oldies night and the Beetles night saw the floor crowded. The rooms were big by most cruise standards and probably 80% were the same size, 630 sq.ft. with a balcony. We were on deck seven and had the same room as decks 8 and 9. The higher up, add a $1000 per deck. Rooms were squeaky clean and well attended by a stewardess. The food was absolutely excellent from top to bottom. Not one bad dish. Fresh bread, fruit, fish and prepared just right. Two days into the cruise, we talked to a couple (around 70 years old) who were not pleased with the food, stating that it was much better on another up scale cruise line that they had used. To each there own I guess, but to us, we have never had better anywhere while traveling. I have read a review or two that said the dining service was lacking maybe because of in sufficient staff. Maybe then, not now, every meal was extremely well served. The staff was great. Room service was included and while we only ate breakfast in our suite, we could have had shrimp cocktails and surf and turf every day if so inclined. My significant other and I have been known to tip a few in our time and this was where we made a huge dent in Regent's profit. I was interested to see at what level the brands of spirits offered would be and was pleasantly surprised. For example: Glenfitich, Johnny Walker Red and Black, Chevis, Crown Royal to name a very few and all name brand liquors. Absolutely an excellent wine selection. Yes, you could get a bottle of Dom Perion or something else completely out of sight for an additional cost. Not needed in my opinion. Asked our stewardess for a bottle of wine for the room and one showed up each afternoon in our suite. You could have gotten a bottle of anything for your room. The staff did not in any way hold back just because this was all inclusive. AND we already had a designated driver. This ship has one flaw and I was aware of it because of reviews like this. It does have a significant vibration at the rear and especially on the lower decks. A refit of the hull when in dry dock a few years ago did not completely fix the problem. It was most pronounced when in the theater on deck 6 at the rear. Thus when booking, I chose a room well forward. However, I did not hear of one complaint from anyone about their rooms so I guess the vibration is just prevalent on the lower decks. My better half and I agreed that there was one huge drawback........this cruise has absolutely spoiled us. Cannot imagine returning to a ship where I have to sign a bill and add a tip every time I turn around. Will definitely return to Regent. Would like to try one of their other ships. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2010
Personal Background Information: My husband and I are recently retired. We have cruised over 40 times, mostly on mainline ships. This is our second Regent cruise and we just love the small Navigator. We are non-smokers and prefer a cruse ... Read More
Personal Background Information: My husband and I are recently retired. We have cruised over 40 times, mostly on mainline ships. This is our second Regent cruise and we just love the small Navigator. We are non-smokers and prefer a cruse that doesn't leave us gasping for air. I no longer fly so cruises from Ft. Lauderdale work well for us. On April 25, the Navigator took us from Fort Lauderdale to Port Canaveral, Charleston, Bermuda and Nassau. It was a very good eleven days. I wonder why they don't make this trip more often. We drove from our home in central Florida the day before and stayed in the Homeward suites. It was fine. We used Fly to Park. That also worked well for us. Embarkation was a breeze. I cannot call our accommodations a cabin. Suite 1125 was probably the best 'cabin' we have ever had. I learned about that suite from the Cruise Critic. It was a great choice. Yes, there were small glitches but the staff quickly took care of. The bedroom was small, but comfortable. The closet was quite large with more room than I could possibly use even if we did the world cruise in that suite. The living-dining room is spacious. The balcony door is hard to open, but it gave a great place to enjoy the ocean breezes. So many things on this ship were perfect so the less than good stuff really stuck out like a sore thumb. Four treadmills were not enough on sea days. The other thing that made me nuts was the service in the Compass Rose. The food raged from good to great. BUT the waiter had 6 tables and I know he did his best, but six is two too many. As a result, we ate most of our meals in the La Veranda. The food there was almost as good as in the Compass Rose, but the service was wonderful. I don't want you to think we had a bad cruise, on the contrary, it was fantastic. Despite the treadmill, I managed to gain six pounds! EEEK. Some of my favorites included the foie gras sliders in Prime7, the macadamia nut pie in La Veranda, and Gorgonzola cheeseburgers at the grill. We are not fans of most shows, but the show Cirque Navigator was really good. The dance numbers were breathtaking. I was surprised to find that theater was less than half-full. Once the word gets out, that will be a sell-out. Many afternoons there was local music on the pool deck. It helped lend a very festive atmosphere. All in all, it was a great cruise. I too am looking for the perfect cruise and I have not found it yet, but this one came close. Port highlights: 1."Real" Florida Airboat Adventure Port Canaveral: We have lived in central Florida for decades, and this is the first time we tried this magical experience. We saw the expected alligators as well as snakes, osprey, turtles and even a bald eagle! The ride was as exciting as a rollercoaster. The guide stopped whenever we found something interesting. The earphones kept the noise to managed levels. I would do this thing again at home when I have the chance. We did not find this tour hard at all. When I saw the three little men on the list, I was a little worried. No sweat! It was as easy as getting on a bus. 2.Boone Hall Plantation & Historic Charleston: After our airboat tour, our expectations were high. This one was a letdown. The guide seemed more interested in getting back to the ship than informing us about the places we were seeing. Yes, we did see the beautiful house and the slave quarters. The tour took a lot of time on the bus in a now you see it there it was experience. We did get to see the Citadel and all those handsome cadets. But, I think we would enjoyed it much more on our own pace. 3.Crystal Caves: After Boon Hall, we decided that we would do our touring in Bermuda on our own. So we bought a bus ticket and we were ready for an adventure. This time, we had a wonderful guide and enjoyed the beauty of the caves. The 81 stairs were not easy to navigate but the guide was patient and we forgot the problem of walking up so many stairs as we focused on the beauty of the environment. At the lowest point in the cave, the guide turned off all the lights and we were in absolute darkness. This was a fantastic thing to do. 4.St. George by a horse-drawn carriage: The last time we were in Bermuda we did not get to St. George, so we did the horse-drawn carriage offered by the ship. We ended in facing backwards with a third person in the seat. What should have been a nice experience turned out to be just OK, but not comfortable. Oh well. 5.Blue Lagoon Island Dolphin Encounter: After the horse-drawn up carriage, I was wary of any more ship tours. This one did not start well. I told the guide that I walk slowly so I asked if I could just start to walk. He said no he wanted to keep us all together. When the walk to the launch started, I did my best, but I could not keep up the pace. Together my eye!! There were times I couldn't even see anyone from our tour. My DH told me that we should just stop, but I really wanted to do the encounter. I was so angry about the lack of care for me. Then we got on the boat and everything changed. We saw parts of Nassau we had never seen before. Nassau is a beautiful place! The dolphin encounter was by far the most fun I have ever had in the water. When I have the opportunity to do the swim, I will. It will be worth every penny. Yes, our Navigator cruise was very pricy, but it was wonderful. I am saving my pennies to go on another Regent cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2004
Review of Radisson Seven Seas Navigator ~ July 28, 2004 New York to Bermuda Guests: I am in my late thirties and serve as executive director of a charitable foundation. My husband is in his early forties and runs a consulting business. ... Read More
Review of Radisson Seven Seas Navigator ~ July 28, 2004 New York to Bermuda Guests: I am in my late thirties and serve as executive director of a charitable foundation. My husband is in his early forties and runs a consulting business. We have been on 15 previous cruises together, mostly on Princess and Celebrity to the Caribbean. Pre-Cruise: We departed Atlanta for New York the day before the cruise. This turned out to be wise, as we were delayed due to heavy storms on the way to Newark. After a 90-minute ground hold, our flight was released and was the last to land before Newark was closed for 3 hours later in the evening. We used Marriott Reward miles for a complimentary night at the New York Marriott Financial District. By the time we arrived, it was late and pouring outside, so we had a quick dinner at 85 West, the hotel bar/casual restaurant. Prior to making our way to the pier on Wednesday, we took a walking tour of Ground Zero, Wall Street and the Battery Park area. We had not been to New York since the 9/11 attacks, and the hole where the World Trade Center had been was a sobering reminder of the tragedy. Also, we noted a high degree of police presence around the NYSE, including guards with body armor and automatic weapons. (And this was the Wednesday before the terror alerts were issued on Sunday.) After a short cab ride to the pier, we were ready to board the Navigator. Embarkation: We arrived at the pier around 12:30 and were checked in with no waiting. A member of the ship's crew escorted us on board, where we were met with a glass of champagne, and directed to the Portofino Grill Restaurant for a buffet lunch. This was to be the beginning of a week of wonderful cuisine and service on the Navigator. On Princess and Celebrity cruises, we studiously avoid the buffet areas, because of the chaotic atmosphere. On the Navigator, the ratio of servers was much higher and the experience was much more relaxed. Since our suite was not yet ready, we left our carry luggage at the Reception Desk and ventured back off the ship to explore the USS Intrepid museum, which was located on the next pier. Although the flight deck was closed in preparation for Bobby Knievel's jump, to be televised on Saturday, we found the rest of the museum to be informative and entertaining. From there we were able to hear the Navigator's announcement that the suites were ready and headed back to the ship around 2:45. Suite: We had booked the ship's minimum accommodation, a Cat H oceanview suite on Deck 5. Having previously sailed in balcony staterooms and mini-suites on Princess and Celebrity, we found our suite on Radisson to exceed those accommodations in every respect (with the exception of the absence of the balcony.) We had been worried that we would miss having a balcony, but actually only wished for one the day we sailed from Bermuda. The suite was 301 sq. ft. and was separated into a bedroom and living area by a heavy curtain. The marble bathroom included a tub with hand-held and stationery faucet and a glass shower. One minor annoyance was the uneven water pressure and varying water temperature. After being scalded during my first shower, I used the tub for the rest of the voyage. The walk-in closet was more than ample for a week's worth of clothes and offered a tie rack, eight drawers and numerous hooks and shelves. It also had a safe which allowed you to set your own combination. A real plus to me were the real wooden hangers. The bedroom area had a king-size bed with an assortment of pillows and duvet cover. Although the bed was very comfortable, the pillows needed to be replaced. Night stands with two drawers and individual reading lights were on each side of the bed. The living area contained a long sofa, cocktail table and two small barrel chairs. On the opposite wall was a built-in cabinet holding a TV (with VCR), four additional drawers, a writing desk and bar setup. We requested our two complimentary bottles of liquor before going to dinner and they arrived with our turn-down that evening. A small fridge underneath contained 1 large and 2 small bottles of water, 2 Cokes, 2 diet Cokes, 2 7-Ups, 2 Club Soda, 2 Tonic Water and 2 Heinekens. All except the beer were replenished each day as they were consumed. Our cabin stewardess and her assistant (Jane and Stanley) were most efficient and unobtrusive. Sailing from New York: The sail away from New York Harbor was breathtaking and WINDY! The atmosphere was very festive, with the bar staff serving complimentary rum punch. (Lucky for me, that is my customary sail away beverage on every cruise!) As we stood near the bow watching the sights go by, we began to notice how many families with children were on board. Quick contextual note: We have an 11-year-old daughter, but made arrangements to go on this cruise without her due to our perception of the more adult, elegant and sophisticated atmosphere of Radisson Seven Seas Cruises. We like kids, but expect them to behave in a manner appropriate for their surroundings. We later learned that this voyage was a "Kids Under 17 Sail Free Promotion." There were 62 children on a ship with a normal capacity of 490. This is around the same ratio that Princess employs as the maximum number of children allowed on one of its ships. However, the big difference was that the Navigator had no dedicated facilities for children. Although they had 2 youth counselors on board, only about a third of the kids participated in the planned activities, leaving the rest to roam the ship with minimal supervision from their parents. The ship's security officers attempted to keep them under control, but were clearly outnumbered. Did the disruption caused by a number of unruly children ruin our cruise?? No way, the rest of the experience was too exceptional for that to happen. However, I would definitely check to make sure I was not sailing on the "Kids Sail Free" trip again. (The other dates for this season are the August 25 and September 1 sailings to Bermuda.) Dining: I can't think of enough superlatives to use to describe our dining experience on the Navigator. Each and every meal was a highlight! Standout items for me were: Eggs Florentine and Benedict, Beef Wellington, Seafood Newburg, Rack of Lamb and Almond Souffle with Vanilla Sauce. My husband loved the Lobster Tails and Chateaubriand. All of the appetizers, salads and soups were delicious. The desserts did not appeal to me as much, so I usually had cheese instead. I like white wine and hubby likes red, so which bottle to order usually becomes a negotiation. On Celebrity, we usually order one of each, since they are great about saving the remainder for the next night. Radisson has solved this problem with serving a house red and house white each evening free of charge. Service in the Compass Rose dining room and Portofino Grill was exceptional and unobtrusive. We never had any wait for a table for two. On the frequent occasions that my husband was having a hard time deciding between two entrEe choices, the waiters brought the one he ordered, along with a sample of the other. (Without being asked.) After the first night, the sommeliers remembered our wine preferences, and the waiters remembered that I drink regular coffee and hubby sticks to decaf. The Pool Grill served the usual fare of hamburgers, etc, with the addition of a poolside buffet. The Fish al Fresco and Tex Mex buffets were both very good. We were never in the mood to eat at tea time, but the pastries looked superb. Each night, there was a selection of canapEs in the lounges before dinner, which were a great accompaniment for our pre-dinner cocktail. Because we had read so many complaints about vibration at the aft of the vessel, we made reservations for Portofino (which is converted to the Italian alternative restaurant in the evening) for Saturday evening, which we would be docked in Hamilton. It was a fun, less formal, dining experience. The food was very delicious Northern Italian fare. The daily special that day was Osso Bucco with Risotto, which was as good as any I have had. Although each suite is limited to one reservation in Portofino per cruise, we were able to walk up and get a table on the last night, as they were not full. Bermuda: I can't comment much on the shopping, as my husband had us fully scheduled with activities during the hours the shops were open. (Coincidence? I suspect not!) Friday: Navigator docked promptly at 9:00. It was a national holiday (for the cricket Cup Match), so many shops were closed, and the bus/ferry system was operating on the holiday schedule. We took the 11:45 ferry to Somerset Bridge to get to Blue Water Diving at Robinson's Marina. Enjoyed a one-tank dive on Blue Hole, which featured a long swim-through. We returned to Hamilton via bus just in time to shower and get back off for the Chelonia Sunset Cruise. If you enjoy catamarans, cocktails, gourmet appetizers and interesting commentary from a captain whose family has lived in Bermuda for 200 years, this shore excursion is for you! Saturday: Caught the 7:15 (am!!) bus back out to Blue Water Divers for a two-tank dive. Our first site was the Badlands and Bad Caves. It is a large expanse of coral, with outcropping of fossilized algae (I think) forming overhangs that were interesting to swim through. The current was very strong, and we ended up a LONG way from the boat. Second site was the wreck of L'Hermine, a French battleship that ran aground. Although the wooden hull is long gone, there were 50+ cannons and a huge anchor. We took the bus to Horseshoe Bay, which is a beautiful beach, with very nice changing facilities. We were a little hesitant to swim, since the waves were crashing strongly over submerged rocks. Since we are not big "beach people", we enjoyed a long walk up and down the beach, then were back on the bus to Hamilton. The extent of my shopping in Bermuda was from 5:30 to 6:00 that day. My favorite store was Trimingham's, which seemed like Bermuda's version of Macy's. We found good souvenirs there and at Onion Jack's Trading Post. Sunday: The threat of high winds prevented us from repositioning to St. George's for the day. The ship provided bus passes for those of us who wanted to go over on our own. We were scheduled to play 18 holes at St. George's Club, but cut back to 11 to allow plenty of travel time to get back to the ship. Frank Thomas, the golf pro on board, encouraged us to play, even though we had not planned on it when we packed. St. George's Club is a par 62 course, with all par 3 and 4 holes. The course is tight, with some great views over the ocean. Although there are undoubtedly better courses in Bermuda, this one was fun for a beginner and a 10 handicap to play together. The course had a very casual atmosphere, and we were not self-conscious playing in our tennis shoes with rental clubs. Also, the price was very reasonable. Shortly after the ship sailed, the Captain announced that Tropical Storm Alex was approaching Cape Hatteras and was expected to reach Hurricane Force. Instead of sailing to Norfolk, VA as scheduled, we sailed to Newport, RI to avoid the storm. This was fine for us, since we would still get back to New York as scheduled. However, it created great complications for those who expected to disembark in Norfolk. Most of them stayed on the ship an extra night and disembarked in New York. The cruise line provided motor coach transportation back to Norfolk on Wednesday. Newport: This unexpected diversion ended up being delightful for us. We toured The Breakers, the 138,000 square foot summer home of the Vanderbilt family. From there, we could see the Cliff Walk, a 3.5 mile pathway along the cliffs. We figured that we were about 2 miles from the end, where we could pick up the trolley to ride back downtown. After walking for about 20 minutes along a nice wide walkway on top of the sea wall with great views of some of the other mansions, we encountered a sign warning that it was 2 miles until the next exit. No problem, we thought, we can easily walk 2 miles. After another 30 minutes of increasingly rocky terrain, we came to a sign that said "Next ¾ mile is very uneven. Turn back if you are unsure of your capabilities." Boy, we're glad we wore tennis shoes, we thought, and forged ahead. It took us another 45 minutes or so of climbing up and down the rocks to make it to the end. The Cliff Walk turned out to be another fun adventure for us, but might have posed a problem for people with physical limitations. Since we entered the walk in the middle we missed signs advising of the length and level of difficulty. The best views of the mansions and easiest walk was between Salve Regina University and the "Next Exit 2 miles" sign. Random thoughts on random topics: Bermuda Bus/Ferry System: We found this to be a great way to see the island, and it was clean, safe and economical. (I was too much of a chicken to rent mopeds and drive on the left.) We purposely chose different routes each way so that we could see as much of the island as possible. By the end of the three days, we had covered all but the Dockyards area. Note: Although there is a stop in front of Horseshoe Bay, it's a pretty long walk down (and back up, of course!) a hill to get to the beach. Diving in Bermuda: We have done most of our previous diving in the Southern Caribbean. I like the fact that all of our dives in Bermuda were more shallow (between 30 and 40 ft. max), and we saw some very interesting coral formations and shipwrecks. However the abundance and variety of sea life and color is far superior in the Southern Caribbean, IMO. Vibration: Much has been written about vibration at the aft end of the Navigator. It was very pronounced while the ship was underway in the Portofino Grill on deck 10 and the Seven Seas Show Lounge on deck 7. I can only imagine that it would have been felt in the aft passenger accommodations as well. Our cabin was near midships on deck 5, and there was no vibration or perceptible noise at all. I think this must bother some people more than others. We noticed the vibration in Portofino, but were not concerned. However, the couple at the table next to us asked to be moved to a table more midships to avoid it. Is Radisson Seven Seas really "all-inclusive"?: The only things that we signed for were shore excursions, shop purchases, photographs and a few beers by the pool. Although we don't typically drink during the day, we enjoy our pre-dinner cocktails and wine with dinner. The en suite bar setup and complimentary wine with dinner eliminated a pretty sizable line item on other cruises. Also, it just seems right that all soft drinks, juice and bottled water should be included. None of the staff seemed to expect tipping, which created a much more relaxed and genuine interaction with them. Photographs: The photo shop offered a "Cruise Memories" special whereby one could purchase ALL photos taken during the cruise for $99. This was a great way to avoid making decisions! As you can tell, we loved the Navigator and would recommend it highly! P.S. Upon our return to Atlanta, I spoke with our travel agent (who has booked at least our last dozen cruises). She was unaware of the "Kids Sail Free" promotion, but did not seem surprised. Apparently, Crystal Cruises initiated the practice. In any event, she said that she would call the Radisson District Sales Manager to register our concern. Read Less
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