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7 Regent Seven Seas New York (Manhattan) Cruise Reviews

I know that reviews of this little ship have been less than glowing in the past, but we loved every minute. Let's get the major complaints out of the way.. 1) stern vibration....yup, it's still there. Depending on the speed ... Read More
I know that reviews of this little ship have been less than glowing in the past, but we loved every minute. Let's get the major complaints out of the way.. 1) stern vibration....yup, it's still there. Depending on the speed that the ship is going or special nautical adjustments that need to be made, you can feel it, but only in the stern. As everyone suggests, pick a cabin that's NOT in the stern. Mind you, the vibrations are sporadic, not all the time. 2) No observation bar. ....yup, we missed it, BUT we had such a good time with the excellent and charming barkeepers, all around the ship, it more than made up for lack of a view. 3) Only one special restaurant...again (and last) yup....only Prime 7. I guess you could count Sette Mare as another. Didn't bother us at all. With the new Compass Rose menu where you can order almost anything you'd like. We didn't really miss other "specials". Now that I've told you about all of the "bad" stuff, let me tell you why this cruise was wonderful We had a terrific captain...very friendly, funny, professional. We had some terrible weather but he managed to keep us well informed and safe. We missed both Boston and Bar Harbor, but he did manage to get us to Portland,Maine as an alternative. We enjoyed his daily noon reports and his continual praise of the crew that works so hard. I liked that! We had an F cabin towards the bow on deck 6. Cabin was perfect, as was the location. Convenient to everything. Since the ship has basically just come out of dry dock, the entire vessel was ultra clean, freshly redone in a tasteful (at least for us) way. Who ever designed the soft finishings( fabrics, art work, etc. did an excellent job.Carpeting is a little funky, but you get used to it..haha! I think the theater is actually one of the best in the fleet. Excellent views all around and comfortable, like a big living room! Since this is a small ship, you get to know the entire crew and we liked that. It was also so easy to interact with fellow passengers if you choose to. We adored the crew....special shout outs to Crisy, our room stewardess, barkeepers, Gusti in the Navigator, Mayya at the pool and servers Christine and Yana (a brand newby who was on her first cruise, first contract!) I feel guilty in not mentioning so many others who knew us, what we liked and always, always had a smile. They all say yes to everything and then deliver! Food was wonderful all around....I had one lobster miss in Compass Rose, but not enough to send back or complain about. We did do the special (for cost) wine luncheon. OMG! Spectacular.!!! Also a special vodka and caviar event done by Sonia. Terrific! In summing this all up, we'd most certainly cruise on her again. In looking ahead, some of the Navigator's itineraries are the most interesting, at least for us. Good things come in little packages! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
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
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
Sail Date October 2017
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
Regent Voyager Transatlantic sailing from Ft. Lauderdale to Reykjavik, Iceland May 15, 2010 This spring my husband reminded me it had been 16 years since we had vacationed alone together without our children. 2010 marked a big ... Read More
Regent Voyager Transatlantic sailing from Ft. Lauderdale to Reykjavik, Iceland May 15, 2010 This spring my husband reminded me it had been 16 years since we had vacationed alone together without our children. 2010 marked a big anniversary and my husband's 50th birthday - both warranted a special vacation. Cruising has long been our vacation of choice, and we been cruising for more than 20 years, and each year for the past 16 with our 2 sons. We've enjoyed all the activities offered by the megaships - especially with the boys. But this year we decided to leave the kids at home, and try something special. After lots of research and considering several options and recommendations - we choose the Regent Voyager. This cruise marked a lot of "firsts" for us. This was our first voyage with Regent; our first transatlantic sailing; and our first holiday longer than 3 days without our sons. Our itinerary began in Fort Lauderdale and ended in Reykjavik, Iceland, although some passengers stayed on through Southampton. We boarded the ship in New York on day 3 of the sailing. This ship stayed in North America until the 3 day journey across the Atlantic to Iceland. This was a bonus for my husband who needed to stay somewhat connected to his business while we were gone. Our ports of call included New York, NY; Newport, RI; Boston, MA; Bar Harbor, ME; Halifax, NS; Cornerbrook, NFLD, and Lans Aux Meadows, NFLD and Reykjavik, Icleand. The Ship and Our Suite Our first impression of the ship as we boarded was elegant and graceful. The voyager carries 700 guests and weighs in at 46,000 tons. It's large enough to provide all the amenities and options you could possibly want for your vacation - but still maintains an intimate feel. The Voyager is an all suite, all balcony ship. We were in a category D - 300 sq. ft, plus a 56 sq. ft. balcony. Our tastefully decorated suite was spacious and comfortable. It was a pleasure to unpack with a walk-in closet complete with drawers, hooks, shelves and plenty of hanging space with both padded and wooded hangers. The small vanity area next to the bed had a lighted makeup mirror and a drawer, perfect for storing cosmetics. The marble bathroom was the largest I've had on a cruise ship complete with a large vanity, good lighting, a glass enclosed shower and a separate soaking tub. The king size bed was dressed in luxurious Egyptian cotton linens and beautiful pillows. I overheard a guest at the purser's desk inquiry about purchasing the pillows - They were that lovely! The sitting area had a full sized sofa, two chairs and an oval coffee table. The coffee table was taller than normal height and also served for in-suite dining. A plastic square tabletop that was stored in the closet fit snuggly over the coffee table. Most mornings we ordered a continental breakfast in the room. The room service attendant would beautifully set the table with linens, silver and china making even a simple continental breakfast seem very special. The adjacent wall of built in cabinetry had a 27 inch flat screen TV, writing desk, glass ware, additional drawer space, and stocked mini fridge. The balcony was just off the sitting area, with two chairs and a table - the perfect spot to enjoy a morning coffee, or a glass of wine surrounded by the vast ocean and the sound of the lapping waves. Dining We had heard that Regent offered exceptional on board dining. If you think that cruise ship dining cannot match the experience of a land side, fine dining restaurant - think again! We were pleasantly surprised that each of the Voyager restaurants offered a dining experience that far exceeded our expectations. The elegant Compass Rose is the main dining room offering full service, and a great variety of selections for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can dine whenever you choose - there are no scheduled dining times. You can request a table for two, or choose to be seated with other guests. The Verandah restaurant is a slightly more casual experience. Breakfast and lunch at the Verandah feature fantastic buffet selections. Breakfast offers a great selection of fresh fruits, eggs and made to order omelets; lunch features a carving station and an exceptional array of salads and seafood including stone crab claws and seared Ahi tuna. Dinner in the Verandah is casual but elegant offering an antipasti and dessert buffet and main courses are selected from a menu and served at the table. Voyager features two outstanding specialty restaurants - Signatures and Prime 7 - and this is where the magic happens! Signatures is a classic French restaurant which operates in partnership with Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. The menu items are traditional with a contemporary twist, offering some lighter selections. The service begins with freshly baked bread and a pot of compound butter with black pepper and parmesan cheese. Bread and butter are something I usually try to avoid - but this cannot be missed. But be careful - you'll want to save room for desert! Prime 7 - a Classic Steak House is an intimate, dramatic, sexy restaurant with warm colours and comfy leather club chairs. This is a" big night out restaurant" - and every element of the dining experience from ambiance, service and cuisine is spot on! The steaks and seafood were simply outstanding! I indulged in a bone-in rib eye that would satisfy any carnivore and cooked perfectly to medium. The king crab legs with drawn butter were the best I've ever had, and a tempting selection of sides including twice baked potatoes and grilled asparagus will insure to get all your food groups. There is no surcharge to dine in the specialty restaurants, but reservations are required. You can make 1 reservation for each of the 2 restaurants on-line, once your cruise booking has been finalized. To ensure all guest have an opportunity to experience the specialty restaurants, the advance reservations are limited to 1 per restaurant. However, you can inquire about additional reservations once on board the ship. On our 11 night voyage, we had the pleasure of dining twice in each of the 2 specialty restaurants. Lounges The lounges and public areas on the ship - both inside and out - were most inviting. My favourite was Horizons, located all the way aft on deck 5. Gabrielle was the bartender and instantly knew our preferences. One day during the crossing, I was a little susceptible to the rolling seas. Gabrielle took it upon himself to make me a "special" tonic of ginger ale, fresh OJ, bitters and mint. I felt better within minutes of drinking it. Gabrielle's warm personality and exceptional service was as much a feature of the Horizon Lounge as the floor to ceiling windows offering spectacular ocean views. You can access the aft outside deck from Horizons and this space is furnished big comfy sofas with pillows where you can enjoy your cocktails or just relax while looking over the wake of the ship. Activities and Entertainment When you're not off in port experiencing the destinations through one of Regent's inclusive shore excursions, there is plenty to do on board. The Canyon Ranch Spa and fitness center offers everything you need to relax or burn off some of the added calories. I took Yoga and Pilates classes and hit the tread mill a couple of times during the Voyage. Wellness classes were also part of the featured curriculum. We met some great new friends that we frequently met up with in the cafe and the Horizon's lounge. Each day at 4pm Tea and Trivia begins. A beautiful high tea is served with white gloved servers to teams of fiercely competitive passengers who gather each afternoon to answer the 12 trivia questions. After the trivia - you have just enough time to dress for dinner and gather in the Observation lounge - all the way forward on deck 11. At 6pm each evening pre-dinner cocktails are enjoyed with a "name that tune" contest. We joined a team with other passengers and had a blast. Regent is well known for their enrichment programs. We attended a number of very informative and topical lectures. 2 scientists sailed with us and lectured on the History of the Vikings; and Volcanoes and Earthquakes. We also enjoyed the company of a TV Writer from the series "Frasier". He hosted several sessions in which he described many aspects of this hit sitcom including the character development and evolution of the show. It was very interesting. The Voyager Lounge was a great venue for both the lectures and the evening entertainment. We saw some dazzling musical entertainment as well as a hysterical husband and wife comedy act . At night after dinner and possibly a show, we retired to our suite and watched the occasional movie ( a selection of 200 movies, from new releases to classics were available through your stateroom TV, complimentary) Service Each of the staff members we encountered on board the ship was a pleasure. The service was attentive and gracious. The staff truly go out of their way to exceed your expectations and ensure your optimum enjoyment - from the room stewardess to the dining room staff . We made a point of recognizing several of the staff who served us during our voyage. The wines were served by sommeliers who made excellent suggestions and wine pairings. Jayson is a young, but knowledgeable sommelier who introduced my husband to his new favourite California Cabernet Sauvignon. When we returned to our suite that evening after dinner we found 2 bottles of the vintage - compliments of Jayson (and Regent). This gesture was indicative of personal service delivered by each of the staff members on board. It was All Included! This was our first experience on an all-inclusive ship. Included in the cruise fare are premium wines and spirits, unlimited shore excursions and gratuities. The selection of inclusive premium spirits and wines were wonderful. The shore excursions we took were well planned for the destinations and a variety of experiences for every traveller. When making our shore excursion selections before we sailed, 2 of our first choices where sold out. We waitlisted for these tours anyway and to our delight - we received notification before we sailed that we had cleared the waitlists and were confirmed. My understanding is that Regent works very hard to accommodate the wishes of guests. And we cannot say enough about the service. There is tremendous value and satisfaction in the inclusive nature of a vacation. It was refreshing pleasure to not constantly be signing for purchases. The Regent Alumni Each and every other passenger we met on the board was a past guest of Regent. It was remarkable! Many of them had enjoyed multiple voyages, and talked with us about the other Regent ships and some of the great journeys they had experienced. We have been communicating with our new friends, and hope we meet up with them on a future cruise. We have enjoyed the pleasure of sailing on most of the popular cruise lines. We now consider ourselves Regent Alumni and cannot wait for our next voyage. I would recommend Regent with confidence to anyone who is looking for a cruise experience offering refined luxury, exceptional cuisine, stimulating enrichment programs, and a casual elegant ambiance. Bon Voyage! Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
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
Sail Date July 2004
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