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9 Regent Seven Seas Canada & New England Cruise Reviews

The destinations and season were both of interest to my wife and myself. Since it's a small ship (490 passengers) entertainment is constrained. The performers did a good job in a small space. The ports were good and some are only ... Read More
The destinations and season were both of interest to my wife and myself. Since it's a small ship (490 passengers) entertainment is constrained. The performers did a good job in a small space. The ports were good and some are only accessible by small ships. The food was excellent, fresh, tasty and served efficiently. Beverages were included as usual with Regent with a good selection and they were well prepared. The pre-cruise hotel was top of the line and in a good location. We were able to walk to the theater for Hamilton. Transfers between airports and hotel were comfortable and well managed. We missed one scheduled port due to rough seas. Even though it's a small ship it is very seaworthy. The staff were both friendly and efficient. It was quick and easy to get to shore when tied up a the dock and when tenders were used. High quality as usual with Regent! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We took this cruise because of 2 nights in New York City. Although never having sailed with Regent, we were pleasantly surprised. Excellent service by all staff. The ship was not full so staff had more time to visit with passengers. ... Read More
We took this cruise because of 2 nights in New York City. Although never having sailed with Regent, we were pleasantly surprised. Excellent service by all staff. The ship was not full so staff had more time to visit with passengers. The captain, Serena Melani, was frequently out and about visiting with passengers. Senior restaurant staff were often seen cleaning tables. I was very impressed to see this. Capt. Serena was even at the gangway, saying farewell to passengers during disembarkation. Two staff members stood out. Reynaldo in Compass Rose, took special care of my wife’s dietary needs. He even had menus sent to our cabin ahead of time. Gayatri, our butler, is new to working on a cruiseship but learns fast and tries hard. Her sweet nature overcame any inexperience. Nothing was too much trouble for her. Tours are included. The only thing spoiling them were quite a few days of rain. Still we got what we wanted through this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
My wife and I flew Delta Airlines from Ft. Lauderdale taking off at 6:45 a.m.. We arrived in Montreal at 12:10 p.m.. We took a taxi from the airport to the cruise terminal (fixed rate of $40) arriving portside about 1:30 to board the ... Read More
My wife and I flew Delta Airlines from Ft. Lauderdale taking off at 6:45 a.m.. We arrived in Montreal at 12:10 p.m.. We took a taxi from the airport to the cruise terminal (fixed rate of $40) arriving portside about 1:30 to board the Navigator. This left us plenty of time before the ship was scheduled to sail for Quebec at 6:00 pm. When boarded our suite was still not ready and we were directed to deck 10 for lunch. We stepped out of the elevator to the pool area which was windy and damp form a slight rain. People were seated at tables covered from the rain. We couldn’t find an open table but we soon realized there was another restaurant just inside featuring a large buffet with all kinds of items. We were seated at a nice table overlooking the port and the Montreal skyline. The waiter poured us water and then the drink steward offered to get us wine or any drink we desired. I have cruised the best of the big cruise lines and you all you cruisers know that time after the initial boarding it's always hectic and even with only 490 passengers this one was busy also, but it quickly quieted down to a very enjoyable experience. Shortly after lunch our suite was ready so we descended to deck 7 and down the hall to Cabin 722 on the Port side of the ship, forward of the center line of the ship’s hull. I was looking forward to all the ports of call on this cruise which included Quebec, Sydney, Halifax, & St. Johns in Canada followed by the US ports of Portland, Boston, New York, Norfolk, Charleston, and Canaveral ending in Miami, fourteen days later. Also provided on the cruise was a Smithsonian Museum Representative who presented on four different occasions in the Seven Seas Lounge. These presentations included many interesting insights into the areas we would see and their significance they played in a historical sense. Always tea, coffee and a large assortment of pastries are provided while you listen. If not able to attend you can watch them from the comfort of your suite on the television channel devoted to replaying them. Also the TV provides a channel that the Cruise Director reviews all upcoming event for the day and also another channel reviews the menus from the three restaurants for that evening. The food quality is very high and the presentations are what you would expect in an exclusive dining environment. The variety of menu choices is extensive, but I found the portion sizes to be small. I believe this is based on the desires of the very frequent, repeat cruisers you find on the Regent Cruise Ships. The passengers for the most part are slim and in very good physical condition for what is most likely a post retirement age group. I found asking for an extra portion was met with the very enthusiastic reply “of course sir”! The Wine Sommelier would suggest a choice of recommended wines for dinner, but you can chose whatever your preference might be. The menu of wines, mixed drinks and beers available was six pages. Available where some very high end spirits and wines which were available for extra cost but all regular drinks are no charge on Regent’s all inclusive package. I found the beer choices available were severely lacking for a craft beer lover, so I mostly stayed with wines, martinis, and some old fashioned favorites like whiskey sours or even the occasional margarita. The available tours or excursions were extensive and my wife and I enjoyed all our choices. We found at most we would have liked to stay longer at all our excursions so they seemed too short in duration. Most all excursions are free of charge although two did incur a charge ranging from $89 to $106 per passenger if chosen. These were Colonial Williamsburg and the more extensive NYC tours. Some tours do fill up and you are then put on a waiting list. Regent at their discretion may add a second tour to accommodate those on the waiting list. On several tours the ship put out a buffet so you could eat before going out if the tour times conflicted with normal dining times. Also on those days they slightly relaxed the dinner dress code which is normally casual elegant (slacks & collared shirts for men, skirts, slacks and blouses for women). The larger production stage shows were very good and there was always something going on in the lounges every night for entertainment. Prior to the shows an attentive bar staff is available for drinks. The ship has nice shopping areas that are well stocked, but are closed when in port. Also every day at 4:00 pm is tea time followed by Trivia Questions at 4:30 where groups of passengers answer 15 random questions provided by the cruise director. It’s a fun time and allows passengers to get to know each other, if you prefer you can go it alone or as a couple but when competing against a group of six the odds are much higher one of them will have the answer. The ship provides prizes to the winning team. The weather in Canada was cooler than normal due to the remnants of Hurricane Kate that directed some artic temperatures down over Quebec our first destination port. Normal temperature for that time of year is 48 degrees and we saw 39 degrees. After that it warmed up each day and by the time we got to Portland and Maine we were climbing into the 60s. NYC was mid 70s although Norfolk dropped to lower 60s followed by the 80s in Cape Canaveral & Miami Florida. I highly recommend sailing with Regent Seven Seas Cruise Line. Most passengers I spoke with would never consider any other cruise line and have cruised Regent many times, as with anything if you look hard for problems or have issues with everyone and everything you'll always have a problem. No one is flawless, and I feel this group has put together a very nice experience you will in all probability enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Sailed through the pretty fall colors, and loved every minute of it. I am quite partial to Regent because of the smaller ships, the friendly, excellent service, and the all-inclusive nature. Navigator is my favorite because it is ... Read More
Sailed through the pretty fall colors, and loved every minute of it. I am quite partial to Regent because of the smaller ships, the friendly, excellent service, and the all-inclusive nature. Navigator is my favorite because it is smaller, and I have yet to queue for anything! We watched others on the larger ships in port queuing for ages just to get on the ship. I also appreciate that Regent's employees get time off the ship, and seem to be genuinely enjoying their jobs. I know that is not the case with a lot of other cruise lines. And, I like that there is true interaction between staff and passengers - on the last night of the cruise, we were all dancing with the dancers and singing with the Cruise Director, Jamie. That was really fun! To be fair, the Navigator is best for adults and grown families - there aren't a lot of amenities for the younger crowd (or perhaps that was just the nature of this particular sailing, which is entirely possible. And this was not an issue for us, as we don't have kids! Just a comment, though. The variety of shore excursions, and the care with which local guides are chosen, is of the highest quality. Navigator is due for a facelift next year (2016) so cosmetically, she'll be spruced up again. She is still a quality ship as far as I'm concerned. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our first cruise on the Seven Seas Navigator and indeed the first with Regent - previously we have sailed on Seabourn and Silversea. We mainly chose this cruise for the itinerary (Montreal to New York), and its dates which ... Read More
This was our first cruise on the Seven Seas Navigator and indeed the first with Regent - previously we have sailed on Seabourn and Silversea. We mainly chose this cruise for the itinerary (Montreal to New York), and its dates which fitted well with our earlier travels through Canada. We also liked the size of the ship, which factored into our choice. And we were keen to try Regent. It was a very enjoyable cruise..easy, friendly embarkation with prompt suite availability after a leisurely lunch, very good included excursions and fabulous meals and entertainment. It has what I would call a lovely casual elegance to it, compared to other cruises we had been on, which occasionally felt a little too formal - we prefer relaxed elegance. We mostly dined at Compass Rose, our favourite, but enjoyed La Veranda (Setti Mare) and Prime 7 as well . However the latter two did not have as much menu variation from day to day over our period on board. For breakfast we either went to the Breakfast Buffet or had room service which we find works well for us on excursion days if you order early. We had been a little concerned about some of the reviews mentioning vibration on the Navigator. We honestly did not feel this even though we did have some days of heavy seas. The only thing we did notice was that during the storms we had on 2 nights, our particular cabin seemed to have a creaking/ rubbing noise in its wall/ceiling area - no one else we spoke to had the same issue though. Looking at the deck plans it seems that our particular suite 811 structurally looks to be at the end of a ship 'section' - so we are thinking that perhaps that is what the issue was - it was fine on normal sea days - only happened during the storms. And such things can happen in storms anywhere really. Overall it was a fabulous cruise - enjoyed it so much we are cruising on the Navigator again in August - and we hear that it has had some extensive renovations in the meantime - so very much looking forward to it! Oh - and a little hotel tip - we booked into the St Paul Hotel in Montreal which was just beautiful, by the Old Town restaurants and boutiques, and close to the port as well Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This is our 4th cruise with Regent (and our 22nd in total, with a variety of cruise lines) and confirmed that Regent are our favourite line. The great thing is that everything is included and so there is no sales pressure for anything. At ... Read More
This is our 4th cruise with Regent (and our 22nd in total, with a variety of cruise lines) and confirmed that Regent are our favourite line. The great thing is that everything is included and so there is no sales pressure for anything. At the same time, all the free services are easily available - for example, no need to search for a waiter, they are always there to serve you. Embarkation was quick and easy and the rooms soon available. The cabins are excellent with beautiful marble bathrooms and big shower as well as a bath. The toiletries and bathrobes are luxurious, and the cabin and balcony are both spacious. I particularly like the way the cabin has an internal curtain between the sitting area and bed which you can open - this allowed me to get up before my husband and read without disturbing him. The night light is also a great touch - it lights your way to the bathroom without you having to switch lights on but is low enough not to keep you awake. The staff are the best feature - they are really great, helpful and attentive without being obsequious. You can have a laugh and a joke with them. For example, I had packed a teddy bear as a gift and every day the cabin steward found an amusing place to put it e.g. reading the paper on the bed, watching TV etc. The food is excellent in both the main dining room (Compass Rose) and the buffet (La Veranda). Good choice of different food and drinks in all restaurants, There was no waiting and there were always tables available even though it was too cold to sit outside most of the time. There was a good mix of tables for 2 and bigger tables so you could choose whether you wanted to share with others. The staff are constantly at hand to serve with drinks - they are so keen that you enjoy yourself and have everything you want. Excursions are included and of a generally good standard - 1 or 2 were not as good. Itinerary was great and we intend to go back to at least 4 ports to spend a longer time independently! Tendering was a bit slow but this seems to be a weakness on most ships!! It was quite well organized and linked in to the tours well but also catered for independent travellers (unlike some ships where tours get first priority!) Entertainment is not our main concern but what we saw was good and the other passengers seemed to enjoy the shows. It is not a big ship but still quite a lot of activities - games, a decent library, good internet service (quick and easy to use) Disembarkation was a bit slow but that seemed to be because there was a lack of shore staff available at the port - we were kept well-informed and there was about a 20 minute delay. All in all, a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Our third trip with Regent ( we've been with Seabourn and Silversea) and our second on Navigator, having done the San Francisco to New York leg last year, we opted for the NY to Montreal section. This was an unusual cruise for us as ... Read More
Our third trip with Regent ( we've been with Seabourn and Silversea) and our second on Navigator, having done the San Francisco to New York leg last year, we opted for the NY to Montreal section. This was an unusual cruise for us as we were going from sun to decidedly cool weather. The other 6 star lines are very good in their different ways, but we do feel Regent staff seem to have that spontaneous friendliness which pervades - and yes we do know that they work all hours for months at a time. The Compass Rose really is excellent and one feels comfortable as a two or sharing a table. We personally would prefer the verandh/setti Mari to be service only in the evening with a change of appetisers as well. Some items in tureens for self service tend to dry a bit. Prime 7 is an excellent fine dining experience and performs well. Thankfully they seem to have reduced vegetables a bit so one is not so overwhelmed and the waste on plates (which we as elderly UK residents who had to eat up everything after the war hate to see) may be less. We had a penthouse suite which has similar configuration to others but a 'butler' service as well as the attentive housekeeping staff. An interesting experience and one which we enjoyed with an extremely pleasant and knowledgeable young man. Cabins have everything you need. Trips were good and interesting with one hiccup where a group was sent early to the tender without us - a learning point more fore the staff than us! In particular Sanguenay and Quebec City are not to be missed ( although perhaps you might see more of Chateau Frontenac if you visit on your own rather than for the group tea.) The odd hiccup and thought - the agents for transfer from the Hotel in New York were somewhat dysfunctional and might have come from Fred Carno's circus (Regent were aware of this from several members). In my last review I lamented the lack of a fourth restaurant like their other two ships, and similar sized ships on other lines ( but their 3 restaurants are good). I personally can't come to terms with tumblers provided for wine at lunchtime in the verandh, and the catering manager could only name one quirky hotel in Switzerland that does the same. Wine glasses were provided when requested! My wife and I can't come to terms with the somewhat boring and repetitive moves of the dancers and gymnasts - we could have walked into the theatre in any of our 3 Regent cruises and not known which one! Jean Ann Ryan needs a rethink. Other entertainment and particularly Crew Kapers were excellent. These are minor items because overall it is a five star/six star experience and there is plenty to keep even the most picky people (could that be us?) happy. We shall be back on Regent.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
For those of you unfamiliar with Regent, do yourself a favor and go to Cruise Reviews section of Cruise Critic and read the article on Regent. This will give you an idea of what to expect, but, hopefully my review will give you some ... Read More
For those of you unfamiliar with Regent, do yourself a favor and go to Cruise Reviews section of Cruise Critic and read the article on Regent. This will give you an idea of what to expect, but, hopefully my review will give you some additional insights. We do not consider ourselves seasoned cruisers, having only 5 cruises between us, on everything from a now defunct Greek line to Princess to Regent. However, we do consider ourselves as well traveled, having been all over the world. We like great food and wine, expect good service and first class accommodations. We're not big into the casino scene or late night entertainment, but love history, sight seeing, beautiful scenery and meeting interesting people. After a wonderful trip on Navigator from Vancouver to Anchorage in August of 2011, we looked for another trip for this year. Our travel agent is based in Scottsdale, Arizona and mentioned that they were putting together a group of clients to do the October 14-24 trip from New York to Montreal. We readily signed up and looked forward to seeing New England and Canada from Navigator. Arrived one day prior to sailing on a balmy fall day in New York City. Our transfer from La Guardia to the Intercontinental Times Square was a private town car with a former NYPD officer as our driver. He regaled us with stories as we entered Manhattan, even pointing out his favorite restaurants along the way. We were quickly checked into the Intercontinental and were disappointed to be assigned a handicapped accessible room on the third floor. It had two queens, rather than the requested king, and had a lower hanging rod in the only closet, which meant our suit bag dragged on the floor. As it was only one night, we made the best of it and set out to explore the hotel and neighborhood. We had a fabulous meal at Keens Steakhouse (72 W. 36th) - do try the famous mutton chop! After a good night's sleep we went to the pre-cruise buffet and met some fellow passengers. Service was poor at the buffet and after trying to track down more coffee, we made a bee line for the closest Starbucks. I usually judge a pre-cruise hotel with one simple question - would I come back on my own on a future trip and the answer here is simply no. The nearby Westin is a better hotel for a comparable price. Embarkation was not as smooth as it could have been. We were told to wait in a lower level ballroom and only come out to the transfer area when our number was called. Needless to say, we waited and waited well past our 1:30 PM departure time. It was finally about 2:30 when we were called to identify our luggage and board the bus. Fortunately we had a nice, scenic drive along the west side of Manhattan, passing the Intrepid and the construction of the new World Trade Center. Emerging from the Brooklyn/Battery Tunnel, it was a short drive to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, which is a huge and beautiful facility. As we were the last bus from the Intercontinental, it was a breeze getting on board. We went to our suite and leaned out on the balcony to see the Manhattan skyline to our right and to our left, in the distance, the Statue of Liberty. A bottle of champagne was chilled and waiting as were envelopes containing all of our excursions and spa appointments. We spent the rest of the day wandering around, re-acquainting ourselves with the ship. Dinner was at Setti Mari, which was new for us. The La Veranda is turned into an Italian themed dining venue for dinner only. Ala carte choices are excellent, including primi and secondi courses of pasta, chicken, seafood and beef and veal. We ended up dining in Setti Mari more than any other restaurant during the entire cruise due to the intimate size of the space, enthusiastic staff, headed by Stefano, and the excellent antipasti buffet and scrumptious dessert selections. All wines were Italian unless you requested something else, which we did occasionally. Scheid Chardonnay was excellent and something I can't find in my hometown. Sail Away was spectacular, with the Manhattan skyline ablaze with lights, Lady Liberty holding her torch and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge straight ahead. We went to the upper deck to crane our necks as we sailed under the bridge and then returned to our suite to turn in and get ready for Newport, Rhode Island. The suite's are really fantastic. Plush bedding, flat screen tv, comfortable seating and oodles of storage. The walk in closet is stocked with built in drawers, three different hanging rods, with wooden hangars, a long row of hooks, belt/tie rack and a safe. The marble bath is spacious with a small tub and walk in shower. Bath products are L'Occitane and the towels are plentiful and appear new. I appreciate the built in vanity area, with good lighting and a portable magnifying mirror. Robes and slippers are standard, as is a huge umbrella, extra blanket and a fully stocked beverage refrigerator. Our routine was established last August on Navigator - while I get ready, my husband gets us a latte and mocha from the espresso bar on the 6th deck, then we decide where to catch breakfast. We usually did La Veranda, though lots of hardy souls browsed the pool deck for cold options and ate under heat lamps. Choices in La Veranda run the gamut from pastries, cereal, fruit, meat, cheeses to made to order eggs, pancakes, and the best french toast you'll have anywhere. We always approached either Stefano or Alan, who manage the restaurant, and asked to be seated. Upon being seated we were always promptly offered water, coffee and juice and asked if we wanted to order or go to the buffet. If we were in a hurry to catch an excursion, we usually did the buffet, but found they were super fast with made to order items as well. We never had to wait for a table and almost always had a window seat. Excursions were handled well by meeting in the theater area and trading your pre-planned excursion tickets for a tour number. When called, you were escorted to the gangway and either were tendered or walked off the ship, depending on which port we were in. (By the way, I booked all of our excursions on line back in April). Representatives always met you on the dock and off you go. Most Regent excursions are included in the cruise price, with a few exceptions. For example, we did pay extra to attend a Seafood 101 Cooking Course at the Culinary Institute of Canada (trust me....worth every penny!) A few excursions were spectacular (Acadia National Park) and a few were duds (Sydney Walking Tour), but all in all, very enjoyable. Many people wore comfortable clothes, lots of jeans, khakis, layers and sturdy shoes. Our post excursion routine was either reading by the pool - yes, I said pool, or playing team trivia in the Galileo Lounge. We had unseasonably warm, sunny weather and calm seas. We always changed for dinner and my husband was glad he brought two sport coats as most gentlemen wore a jacket after 6:00 PM. I saw few dresses on ladies, but lots of nice slacks, beautiful sweaters, scarves and the occasional bling. We did dine twice in the reservation-only Prime Seven. Steaks and seafood are king here and the service and atmosphere are top drawer. Compass Rose is your other dining choice and is by far the largest dining room. I really appreciated the addition of some Prime Seven entrees on the Compass Rose menu every night. We ended up in Compass Rose three nights, one of them as guests of the General Manager, Davor. I can heartily recommend any opportunity you get to meet the officers and crew. We learn so much every time we meet them. The captain, Daniel Green, was everywhere. He was often at the gangway when we entered or exited the ship and could usually be spotted in the restaurants dining with staff and passengers. After dinner you have a few choices. Entertainment takes place nightly in the theater, or you could opt to go to the casino or have a drink in one of the lounges where a piano player or the orchestra might be playing. We often stopped by the computer room in the library to check email or read the news. WiFi is available, but expensive. If you reach "Silver" status as a frequent Regent traveller, you receive free WiFi, but as we discovered, it was not consistently reliable. With only one sea day, we saved our spa appointments for the day we cruised the Gulf of St. Lawrence. My husband was skeptical that he would get a really intense massage on a cruise, but was raving about the quality of his deep tissue massage. My hot stone pedicure was fabulous. Spa services are provided through Canyon Ranch and are top notch. Again, we booked these services directly through Canyon Ranch at Sea before we left home. This is important as we noticed people trying to book last minute treatments and not being able to get their choice (if at all). All in all, Navigator is a great ship. Small size - 480 passengers, large crew, excellent dining, beautiful public spaces and large suites. The crew are phenomenal. We were usually greeted by name everywhere we went, wait staff remembered our drink preferences - whether is was Perrier, Diet Coke, Grey Goose Martini - up, twist, no vermouth, non-fat latte, mocha with whipped cream....Chardonnay, Dark Beer...they never missed a beat. I admit to having favorite staff - Elvis, Navin, Austin, Eduardo, Stefano, Alan and, of course, Davor and Capt. Green. To improve the experience, I would recommend a few things: 1. Update your computer/wifi system. We found the computer area too small, the equipment dated and it appeared that the servers were overwhelmed when everyone was online at once. 2. Expand your gateway airports to include regional airports. Free airfare isn't really free if it's only out of a handful of major cities. We are 6 hours from either Detroit or Chicago and are forced to pay extra to get to the cruise. 3. Allow us to rate excursions and other non ship processes. Although very interested in seeking survey feedback on-board, there was no mechanism to report on the quality of the pre-cruise hotels, transfer process, or each excursion. With Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the east coast, I am grateful that we had beautiful weather and hope everyone stays safe on Navigator (I think she's in Sydney, Cape Breton Island today). Happy Cruising! Lady Madeline Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
Cruise: 9/16 to 24, 2005- Montreal to New York Overview We've gotten spoiled on our last two cruises, first on Windstar, then on Radisson. This was a jazz cruise, and featured the best entertainment we've ever had, on land or ... Read More
Cruise: 9/16 to 24, 2005- Montreal to New York Overview We've gotten spoiled on our last two cruises, first on Windstar, then on Radisson. This was a jazz cruise, and featured the best entertainment we've ever had, on land or on a cruise ship. It also featured great food and service. While the itinerary was not as exciting as our Windstar cruise from Nice to Lisbon, the ports were generally well handled, and we had a great time. Ship By modern cruise ship standards the Navigator, with 490 passengers, is a small ship. It never felt too small, and it was great never having to wait on line for anything. The Navigator is infamous for vibration in the rear of the ship, particularly the Portofino grill, and we're generally sensitive to movement. Joe never felt any vibration, Joan just a bit (but not enough to bother her). The ship was roomy and comfortable. Public rooms For a ship with so few PAX there were a surprising number of public rooms: two restaurants, Compass Rose (main) and Portofino (buffet and alternative), a large showroom (Seven Seas Lounge), a casino, and several lounges, both large and small. We didn't try the casino or the Stars lounge, but people seemed to be having a good time in both places. There were two lounges near the main desk: a cigar and fine liqueurs lounge (Connoisseur Club, too smoky for us!) and a lounge (Navigator) that served good coffee and tea at all times, and usually had cookies or hors d'oeuvres. That was very comfortable, even though there was no entertainment when we were there. We were never in the piano bar, Galileo's. Most shows were in the Seven Seas Lounge or the largest bar area, the Vista Lounge. Seven Seas was never overcrowded, so we were able to catch all shows we wanted to see. (In contrast, on the Celebrity Horizon, we had two or three times when we couldn't get into a show. The Vista Lounge had friendly bartenders, good hors d'oeuvres, and terrific bar snacks. It was the site of sever of the jazz concerts, trivia contests, afternoon tea, etc. A very pleasant place. Fellow passengers and family A good age mix, but mostly between 40 and 60. There were two young girls and one baby boy onboard-no other children. The clientele was probably 75% American, 5 percent Japanese (a group), and 25 percent British, other European, and Australian. The jazz theme probably resulted in a younger than usual mix of passengers. On this cruise there was no apparent kids' program. Fitness and recreation We're walkers, and we walked rather than trying the gym. The gym appeared to be of fairly large size for such a small ship. There were also lots of supervised mild athletics, such as morning walk, putting contest, ring toss, etc. There was a nice looking spa, but we didn't try it. One thing the ship lacks is a covered pool, and it was too cold for outdoor swimming. Dress Code and tipping There were no formal nights, three informal nights (jacket, but tie not required), and five casual nights on our eight night cruise. There is no tipping required or expected on Radisson. Best part of the trip A tossup between the food and the entertainment (both described below), with a slight nod to the food. The service and the friendliness of the crew were a close third, and we became very friendly with the assistant cruise director. This was a Jazz cruise, featuring Bucky Pizzarelli and an equally talented ensemble. We loved every minute they played. The jazz elevated this cruise's entertainment to some of the best we've enjoyed. The crew's show consisted of lip-synching, but was fun, anyway. I miss the native dances performed on some other (HAL) cruises, but the jazz made up for that lack. Their regular entertainers were also superb - their duo was perfectly respectable, even compared to the jazz greats. Worst part of the trip Disembarkation, both because we were sorry to have to leave the ship, and because things were so overcrowded that we posted a thread entitled "Chaos on the New York piers." There has to be a better way than to have two porters for 6 cruise ships. We were at the far end of the terminal, and there was NOBODY, and NO CARTS, to help with luggage. This is often a nightmare. The cruise lines believe the cruise is over, and they can focus on their arriving passengers - but disembarkation is also part of the cruise for the traveler, There were only three other things messed up on our eight day cruise, luggage delivery on embarkation, the Halifax shuttle back from the Public Garden (which was early, so we were on time and missed it), and the frequency of tenders in Bar Harbor, which caused us to miss lunch. That's pretty good for eight days. Embarkation Our ship arranged flight to Montreal went smoothly, we got our bags quickly, and met our transfer bus immediately. We were taken directly to the pier, and arrived at 10:50 a.m., which was too early to board. Our luggage was placed in a secure storage area, which subsequently caused one of the few problems on the trip. The line apparently forgot about the luggage, which didn't get to our room (after we complained) until about 4:30 p.m. We walked around Montreal, and got back to the pier at around 12:15. Embarkation was quick and friendly. We got our cruise cards, got a glass of champagne, left our carryon in the room (which wasn't supposed to be ready yet, and wasn't), and went to Portofino, where we had the first of many great meals. By the time we were finished, our room was ready. Accommodations These were the largest rooms we'd had on our seven cruises (300 square feet), and we enjoyed the roominess, the walk in clothes closet, the down duvets, the separate tub and shower: in short, everything. We didn't have a balcony, and didn't feel we needed one. The stewardess was attentive to our needs. The room was kept clean, and when we asked for something (ice, more shampoo, etc.) it arrived promptly. The towels and bathrobes were good, and the fruit bowl was kept filled. Wining and Dining The food in the dining rooms was so good, and so convenient, that we tried room service only twice, for breakfast. We made a special request for "crabs benedict", and got them on the second day (24 hour notice is needed) This demonstrated Radisson's willingness to honor special requests. While the crabmeat eggs benedict sounded better than they tasted, but the rest of the meal was superb. The hot things were hot, the cold things cold and everything in-between was just as it should be. Breakfast and lunch were served in the Compass Rose, but other food was available in a variety of locations. We had two lunches off the ship, on excursions in Prince Edward Island (Lobster) and Louisbourg, Nova Scotia (soldiers' fare). The remainder were at Portofino or, in one case, at the pool grill. In all cases, lunch was well presented, hot or cold as it was supposed to be, and delicious. There was always something exotic, and we like exotic. As for the service, the waiters practically fought over which one would carry our food to the table. . Dinners were even better than breakfasts and lunches: good choices, and steak, chicken, healthy and vegetable choices, and grilled fish were always available. We're not steak fans, but enjoyed "Italian steak house" nigh at Portofino. We had a second night at Portofino, for "A taste of Italy." The food wasn't as good as on other nights in Portofino and the main dining room, but who cared: we were having so much fun with the singing waiters and the hokey Italian songs. Don Vito's staff from the Diamond have arrived on the Navigator! The wine was abundant, freely poured, and delicious - and was, of course, complimentary. We had so much wine and port at dinner that our bar tab was zero. Open sitting was generally good, although we do see some benefit to fixed seating with the same waiter every night. We ate by ourselves, with people we met, and (once) at a randomly assigned table. If there was a down side, it was that meals started at seven, which is later than we like to eat on vacation. That, in turn, mean that the shows started very late for us: 9:30 or 9:45. We missed several shows, including some great jazz (see below) because we simply were too tired to go to such late (for us) shows. Ports and Itinerary Unlike our two weeks in the Western Med. Last year, this was not a "killer itinerary"; but it had some very pleasant ports. Montreal and Quebec were rainy, but we did enjoy a private (non-ship) tour of Quebec, and the Quebec Museum of Civilization was terrific. We took ship's excursions in Charlottetown and Sydney , but would have enjoyed either city without any excursion. Halifax is always fun, especially when you are greeted by Theodore the Tugboat as you enter the big harbor. We took a ferry across the harbor and back, saw the Maritime museum, visited the public garden (but, as noted above, missed the shuttle back to the ship because it left early), and walked along the waterfront. Bar Harbor was disappointing. We had reserved an independent tour, but ended up with a ship's tour because of the timing of our visit. The park was beautiful and we had a nice walking tour; but the tour guide and driver refused to let us off at a museum we wanted to go to. (WHY? ) We ended up walking up and down a typical New England resort town: every window a place to take your money. Typical tourist stuff, prices too high (and too similar - all the shops sold t-shirts for a price within $1.00 of each other, all the ice cream cost the same, all the sandwiches cost within $1.00 of each other) nothing special. We just missed a tender, had a 25 minute wait, then just missed lunch. (That's when we ate a good lunch poolside). All in all, Bar Harbor was the low point of the trip. Boston was a surprising high point. After living in Boston for three years, what could we do that would be interesting during a very short time in port? The answer was: plenty. We walked the Freedom Trail to Old Ironsides, had a great (free) tour of the ship, walked through the (free) museum saw a ($3.00) multimedia re-enactment of the Battle of Bunker Hill, then took an inexpensive ferry back to our shuttle pickup point. Great fun, and something we'd never done. Obviously, the Tourist Office of Boston AND the National Parks Service AND the U.S. Navy AND the MBTA have advised people working with tourists how to treat them Excursions We used ship's excursions in three ports. In Bar Harbor, we took a "Walking Tour with Cadillac Mountain". The tour was interesting and the view from the mountain gorgeous; but, as noted, it ended on a sour note when we couldn't get off the bus where we wanted to get off. We would have done just as well with lunch on board ship and "Oli"s. In Louisbourg, we planned on taking a cab from the ship to the fortress. The ship, however, docked at Sydney, so we had to take a ship's tour to get to the fortress. Our six person kitchen and garden tour was expensive but good, and we enjoyed the fortress very much. Sydney, itself, had some history and I'm sure we could have walked their historic district happily. We've saved the best for last: Anne of Green gables and Dalvay-by-the-Sea. We're big Anne fans, so we took the deluxe tour, which included a lovely tour of PEI National Park, lobster and mussel lunch at an old seaside "cottage" that is now a landmark hotel, and Green Gables. Joan dressed up as Anne, complete with red wig (with pigtails), calico dress, and basket of goodies. Wonderful. Entertainment Entertainment was the best we've ever had. The show room and Vista lounge were comfortable, the cast shows (six talented young people) and entertainers were fine, and the lounge players were excellent. This was all overshadowed by the special signature events of the cruise: this was a jazz cruise. And what jazz! Eleven jazz men and women, many of them famous: Bucky Pizzarelli, John Allred, Randy Sandke, Nikki Parrott, Calolyn Leonhart, and several others. There was jazz once or twice a day: in the showroom, the Vista lounge, and by the pool. Hot jazz, cool jazz, old and new, New Orleans, Chicago, and Memphis style. Soloists, big combos, small combos. Total saturation, after we hadn't been to a jazz concert in years. We loved every minute. What was best, the jazz performers were treated as passengers when they weren't performing, and we kept running into them: at dinner, around the ship, in ports. We saw them as people, not just performers. There was only one down side to the entertainment, as noted above. Because of the single sitting, the evening shows were uncomfortably late for us. Level of service Even better than the generally excellent service last November on Windstar. We can't wait for our next Radisson cruise, which (due to tight vacation schedules in 2006) will probably be in 2007. Tipping None is required or accepted. Disembarkation There were seven ships in the port of New York, so disembarkation was awful. See our post on "Chaos on the New York piers". We were comfortable, if bored, during the long, long wait to get off the ship. Final impressions Radisson has a reputation as a deluxe cruise line, and it fully lived up to the reputation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2005
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