15 Regent Seven Seas Navigator Canada & New England Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise to visit ports that we had not been to and to see the fall colors. Because we live in Florida, we had forgotten how cold and rainy it gets this time of year. Of course the cruise company does NOT have control of ... Read More
We chose this cruise to visit ports that we had not been to and to see the fall colors. Because we live in Florida, we had forgotten how cold and rainy it gets this time of year. Of course the cruise company does NOT have control of those elements. This is our first cruise since I joined cruise Critics. I did not know how to contact the other members for the meet and mingle events, therefore we did not participate. We have another Regent cruise beginningin January and hope to understand the process better. The service and food were both excellent. Compass Rose has such a diverse menu with excellent selections. The talent that I watched, the Regent Production team put on excellent shows. We played trivia most days and had fun meeting other guests and trying to come up with the correct answers. We really liked the size of the ship and the easy of getting around. Our butler and room steward were both 5 star. We believe the excursions that Regent includes are every bit as good or many times better that we pay extra for on other cruise lines. We had a great trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
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 chose this cruise because we were tired of being nickeled and dimed to death with other cruise lines & the Itinerary was one we had not experienced before, in addition my sister-in-law recently lost her husband and we invited her to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were tired of being nickeled and dimed to death with other cruise lines & the Itinerary was one we had not experienced before, in addition my sister-in-law recently lost her husband and we invited her to join us. We went to some very nice ports and a few ugly ports... Guatemala and Ecuador. I have to say that this was a very enjoyable cruise except for the lack of bands and dancing facilities. For some reason the last time they rebuilt the ship some idiot decided that two poles in the middle of the only small dance floor on the ship was a good idea. Whenever more than three couples got on the floor it was impossible to move around. Also there is only one musical band on the ship. That means that there is zero dancing anywhere on the ship whenever the band is required for accompanying any performer of the production staff and dancers. This is ridiculous and cheap for a cruise company that makes a big deal out of being all inclusive. I have one really major complaint: We booked a penthouse cabin for three adults, there are only a dozen penthouse cabins supposedly set up for three passengers on the ship. The problem is that the cabins are just like all the others. Zero accommodations made for the third passenger. Here is a list of the problems associated with this setup: 1.) The pull-out couch had a lousy mattress. We insisted and got a real mattress (6 inchs thick) assigned to the bed that had to be removed and replaced each and every night for the 29 day cruise as it would not fit in the couch. Once the pull out couch and mattress are in place the bar and refrigerator cannot be used as the cabin is too narrow to open the refrigerator. It also make the balcony impossible to use once the bed is made as you have to crawl over the bed to open it. Because of this each morning I was forced to remove the matress, and then store it between the couch and the window, temporarily blocking half of our Balcony view every morning to give us access to the Balcony. 2.) The glassware had two of everything in the cabinet upon our arrival. We had to request glassware and stemware for three occupants & several times after using the bar the glassware was not replaced properly while we were away for a show or dinner. 3.) We paid for Butler service, overall the service was excellent except... when canapé's were delivered every night they were always delivered in multiples of 2, not 3, I attempted to explain this to our Butler, who seemed to speak very good English, but after numerous attempts gave up and divided what he brought as best we could. It was almost a game to decide which of the three of us was being shorted a selection each evening. In addition several times I had to request replenishment of beer and alcohol. 4.) If a cabin is properly set up for three, there should be end tables with drawers for three, not two, instead of a lamp table with NO storage for the third person. 5.) Inadequate storage space for 3, for a 29 day cruise. Of course there was an inadequate number of clothes hangers for 3 people for the cruise. It took several request to get enough into our walk-in closet. 6.) Inadequate lighting at the bed for the third person. On this ship, the Navigator, having a third person in a Penthouse suite is NOT advisable. By the end of the cruise, because of the inadequate facilities, we determined never to attempt a third person again, at least not in this suite. It seemed to me that when you add a third person for over $10,000 you should expect better. Our cruise was supposed to stop at Catalina Island. Upon embarkation, we were informed that we were NOT stopping in Catalina, but because of some problem, yet to be explained, we instead went to the stupid port of Ensenada. I believe they waited to tell us this upon embarkation because numerous people would have been on the Cruise lines case because of the change. I would have been one of them. There has been no mention of refunding some of our money because we lost out on a port all of us really wanted to go to. Excursions; Having excursions included in the price of the cruise is a good thing. You don't have to worry about getting back to the ship on time if you stay with the guide. You also don't have to do the amount of planning and coordination that is required to do them on your own. We did run across several minor issues that I felt happened because the Cruise line was being cheap. All cruisers paid a lot of money for this trip. This kind of stuff should not happen: 1.) They give you all the water you want to carry when you leave the ship, OK, who wants to carry more than one bottle each. On several occasions once on the coach no additional water was provided by the cruise ship and after a 6 to 7 hour tour of very warm and humid conditions having to pay a couple bucks for local water should not happen. On more than one occasion when we reached our destination on the coach the tour/guide had water for sale at ridiculous prices. Why is water not included in the tours? Good question... 2.) We signed up for "Lunch with an Astronaut" at the Kennedy space center. The lunch with the Astronaut was cancelled, but everyone still thought lunch was going to be provided, just that the Astronaut would not be there. Wrong, we had to buy our lunch after being ticked to have a lunch provided. Can we say, cheap. 3.) We went to a tour that was advertised as a drive through an animal park in Guatemala consisting of driving through the park in 6 passenger covered jeeps and station wagons.... Wrong, we drove through in our 50 passenger motor coach that barely made the turns and photography was hampered by the fact that the windows were glary and would not open, and of course if you were seated on the wrong side of the bus it was impossible to see, much get good photo's.... bummer OK, not so bad, but we were promised a lunch. The restaurant made sandwiches and burgers that all of us thought should have been provided, but Wrong, our provided lunch consisted of a small cup of fries and a local beer. If you wanted more, you had to purchase it on your own dime. Another cheap play by the Cruise. Not sounding quite so all inclusive is it. Many of the excursions were excellent, but not all of them. Whenever I have paid for an excursion with non all inclusive lines, I got really nice excursions. Regent could do a much better job and stop being so cheap. I also feel they should pre-tip the guides so they did not look for handouts at the end of there tour. Read Less
Sail Date July 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
I am a retired Navy Captain with 30 years of service and a Doctor with 2 postgraduate degrees. My spouse is retired and has a computer science engineering degree. I have spent 2 years aboard a naval aircraft-carrier and 2 years aboard a ... Read More
I am a retired Navy Captain with 30 years of service and a Doctor with 2 postgraduate degrees. My spouse is retired and has a computer science engineering degree. I have spent 2 years aboard a naval aircraft-carrier and 2 years aboard a naval destroyer tender, which had approximately the same propulsion system as the Seven Seas Navigator, two controllable pitch propellers. We departed New York Harbor 26 Sept 2015 around 8:00 PM. As the ship began backing away from the pier, we noticed heavy vibrations and the rear section of the ship began shacking violently. The heavy vibrations and violent shacking remained throughout the duration of the cruise. We noticed that the Captain reduced the cruising speed to try and reduce the vibrations. At times it become much worse. We had approximately 3 hrs of sleep that night, with calm seas. 27 Sept., we arrived in Newport, Rhode Island on time in calm seas, with blue skies and high clouds. Departed on time calm seas. Heavy vibrations and noise from ceiling, drawers, cabinets and doors. Unable to sleep, period. 28 Sept., we arrived in Boston on time. After two nights with very little sleep, I went to the Guest Relations desk and asked if I could change to a room further forward. I was told that would be impossible, because the ship was full. I stated that there is something wrong with the ship’s propulsion system causing excessive vibrations. They looked at me with a total blank stare and declared, “There is nothing wrong with the ship.” Lie #1. 29 Sept., arrived Portland, Maine with calm seas and fog. It is now obvious that the action of the seas is NOT the cause of excessive vibration. That evening the Captain announces that we will not be stopping in Rockland, Maine, due to the weather and that it would be difficult to operate the tenders. Another sleepless night. 30 Sept., as we slowly limp our way North to Saint John, NB the vibrations and noise level in our stateroom and La Veranda dinning area increased dramatically. At breakfast in La Veranda, the room was shacking so badly that passengers were holding on to the tables attempting to eat. Many just got up and left. This has now escalated into a safety and comfort issue for many of the passengers. This was unacceptable. My spouse and I went to the Guest Relations area to speak to the General Manager, Davor . I asked him directly and politely what is wrong with this ship and I informed him that I believe that there is something very wrong with the propulsion system. He stated there was nothing wrong with the ship that the vibrations were due to the action of the rough seas. Lies #2 & #3. I also stated that I believe that may be a contributing factor, minor at least, that we were unable to visit Rockland, Maine. I suggested that at the very least to compensate the passengers with free wifi. This set Davor off in a rage. In front of other passengers and staff, he said, “if you do not keep your mouth shut, I will throw you off the ship”! We pull into Saint John, NB that evening with heavy wind and rain. 01 Oct., Saint John, NB. at breakfast the Captain makes an announcement. He did not realize the low tide was more extreme than expected, due to the full moon. As a result, we would not be able to leave the ship for a few hours until the crew can place the gangway on the starboard side. Note: the ship was docked with the stern facing the storm rather than bow and I believe that there is a disembarkation exit on a higher deck on the port side? 01-02 Oct., night sailing from Halifax to Sydney finally got to sleep with the help of sleeping pills supplied by another miserable passenger. Woke up in the middle of the night by 4 extremely loud bangs on the hull?! 03-05 Oct. asked to see the Captain on the bridge. Told by the Guest Relations Dept., that would not be possible. I only saw the Captain once with another officer walking through the restaurant La Veranda ,while we were experiencing heavy vibrations. 06 Oct., Montreal: As the ship backed up along side the pier on the port side, I noticed a large crane and 2 enormous trucks with the name Divex Marine Inc. emblems on the sides of each truck. This company is noted for its underwater ship repair services and has been used by the US Navy. Once the ship was securely docked they had 3 divers in the water. The divers worked continually 24-30 hours in rotating shifts. I spoke with one of the divers and he said that they were working on one of the propellers. In conclusion: 1) In speaking with some of the service crew, one who had only been on the ship for one month and worked on other Regent ships, they all said that they have never seen a ship shake so violently, for so long. 2) In speaking with one of the restaurant managers early on in the cruise as to why the ship vibrates so much and he said that there is a problem with one of the propellers. Staff also indicated the ship was going in for an overhaul/refurbishment in March 2016. 3) There were several passengers at any given time at the Guest Relations Dept. desk complaining about wet, moldy carpet in their rooms, stained passageway carpets, heavy vibration and noise in there staterooms. It is obvious that the Captain,Chief Engineer and General Manager knew of the condition of the ship. Yet, they chose to, or were told to go to sea. They put the safety and comfort passengers at risk. I personally spoke with the president of Divex Marine Inc., Mr. Michel Birs, phone # 450-441-2974. He confirmed that there is a problem but could not go into detail because he had to sign a nondisclosure agreement. Obviously, one must conclude that ship staff and management is trying to coverup a very big problem. My spouse and I feel we deserve a full refund from this experience, and hope Regent will do the right thing. We chose this cruise because we have sailed on the Seven Seas Mariner to Alaska, and had a fabulous time on a wonderful ship. We will not accept credit toward another/future cruise as compensation. In short, we found our Regent Seven Seas Navigator experience a complete disaster, and Regent Management dismissive and far short of the standard of service one would expect from a five star passenger vessel. To think we paid over $20,000 for this dismal experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
The total cruise was very good, up to the expectation for Regent. Having spent over 400 nights on various of their ships, this did not alter my high expectations and observations. We had some bad luck with the weather, Hurricane edge ... Read More
The total cruise was very good, up to the expectation for Regent. Having spent over 400 nights on various of their ships, this did not alter my high expectations and observations. We had some bad luck with the weather, Hurricane edge off of Mexico-some deep holes in the water to go through- but the ships and crew seemed to handle it well-the guests were very quiet!. Jamie and Dana Logan were the cruise directors and keep things humming. Though we had to skip Cabo because of the swells, the rest of the trip was as promised and up to the Regent standards. The Destinations group reacted to challenges quickly and were very helpful in each of the ports. The routine of exchanging reservation slips for tour groups went well in almost all of the instances. This was my first time on Navigator, and at first was disapointed in the scaled down version from Marsiner and Explorer. Seemed that Main Street was Main Alley, but in retrospect, the compact style layout workes well, it was a surprise that all of the main public lounges are in the aft of the ship. No public areas in the forward portion so you could only see where you have been. The spa occupies these prime forward locations-maybe should be placed elsewhere and open to an observation lounge as on the their shops. The debarcation in Montreal was very efficient. All were off the ship by 9:30, which was a blessing. Would I go on on Navigator again??--Yes, I have booked an African leg in 2016 Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
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
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
This was our first ever cruise and we were very impressed on arrival. During the cruise, the crew was exceptional and attentive and the food was overall very good including the wine selections. The furnishings in the ship were good as ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and we were very impressed on arrival. During the cruise, the crew was exceptional and attentive and the food was overall very good including the wine selections. The furnishings in the ship were good as well. The excursions ranged from excellent to average. We did experience vibrations as others have commented on especially in the rear of the ship and in the theater. We did have a MAJOR problem with a recurring noise in our cabin that woke us every night or early morning. As a result, we never got a good night's sleep and were extremely tired most days. When the noise first started, I complained to the Guest Services/Reception desk who said they would look into it. The loud noise sounded like two empty pipes hitting together and originated from the ceiling in the bathroom or in the hall inside the cabin outside the bathroom. It lasted no more that 1 or 2 seconds but was loud enough to wake us. Guest Services/Reception was good in following up saying they checked during the day when we were on an excursion and could not hear anything. I continued to complain and finally took my complaint to the General Manager. I suggested the clanging noise might be due to water hammer causing the pipes to vibrate and hit together. At my suggestion, he went to the cabin above while the guests were out and opened and closed the faucets and could not replicate the noise. As the days passed, I started noting the time noise occurred. The strange thing was that it happened every morning at ~2:50 am! I kept my watch by the bed and every morning was awakened at that time by the clanging. It also happened at other times sometime one clang and sometime two clangs, one after another. I asked about moving to another cabin but the only one available was at or near the rear of the ship where there would be some amount of vibration. We had already experienced vibration in the rear of the ship in the restaurant, etc. so that did not sound like a good alternative so I declined. We had also had a couple of nights of rough seas and purposely selected our cabin to minimize ship movement. The last night we were onboard, we had just fallen asleep at ~10:15 pm and got a double clang! I was very upset and called the GM. After apologizing, he or the Concierge said they could move us to cabin 619, next door. I was shocked that the cabin door was vacant and wondered why we had not been offered this before! In any case, to get dressed and move at 10:30 pm did not have much appeal and the move might be so upsetting we may not have gone back to sleep so we stayed in 621. Unfortunately, maybe we should have moved. The double clang at 10:15 pm was followed by the 2:50 am clang, another at 4:30 am and a double clang at 6:30 am! By 6:30 we had enough clanging and got up. We were not in the cabin much during the day except during a day of sailing. The noise did occur but I cannot remember how many times.   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
This was going to be the Cruise of a Lifetime for my companion's 50th birthday. She has always wanted to see Alaska and I figured we would truly "go in style." I wanted the very best in service aboard a smaller, more custom ... Read More
This was going to be the Cruise of a Lifetime for my companion's 50th birthday. She has always wanted to see Alaska and I figured we would truly "go in style." I wanted the very best in service aboard a smaller, more custom vessel. 1. AIR TRANSPORT This therefore narrowed it down to either RSSC or Silverseas. What sold me on Regent, like many other passengers I am sure, was that they include airfare while Silverseas may or may not, in a sailing-versus-utilization scheme that's more complicated to understand than your cell phone company's data plans. But as it turned out, this "free" airfare was a huge hassle, and ultimately a very expensive perk: we were traveling on to Hawaii, and while Silverseas flat-out refused to even consider ending up at a different airport than where we started (Newark), RSSC was quite accommodating. But here's the catch: because our other connections were made by us (RSSC was only responsible for getting us to and from the ship), that meant that if our other carriers failed to make connections we were on our own. And of course, that's exactly what happened - our Go! airlines flight was cancelled coming back, creating a domino effect of missed flights and resulting in us having to pay $900 in additional airfare - not to mention taking almost three days to get home. In addition, I later discovered that Alaska Airlines (the preferred carrier to the Navigator) actually flies direct to Kauai, which would have saved us considerable funds and literally days off our round trip; but RSSC's air program only covers Honolulu. NONE OF THIS is RSSC's fault, and I am definitely not dinging RSSC here: if your plans take you directly to and from one of the preferred airports that RSSC's air program covers, then this is a pretty good deal (but even then, do not expect RSSC to make the effort to find you particularly efficient connections). My proviso is that if your plans involve going to any secondary airports, or on to other destinations, then RSSC's included airfare may not be the bargain it first appears. 2. COMMUNICATIONS RSSC does TERRIBLE job of communicating to passengers, and perks that they claim are available often simply don't actually exist. We booked a deluxe cabin, which included a butler. Did we actually require a butler? No. But my companion was very much looking forward to having one if only for bragging rights. Aboard the ship, we were introduced to our stewardess (who was indeed friendly and helpful). But no butler - RSSC had changed their web site and their policy regarding which cabins are butler-equipped...months after we had paid in full. Another example: each deck has a big map of the ship next to the elevators. Except they don't accurately reflect the ship's layout (deck eight showed a laundry, but deck seven did not, even though the laundry is there). The map handed out said something different, and the maps on the company's web site said something else yet again. Internet is not included (well, stay tuned) and is unbelievably pricey - really? An Internet plan for $1,200?!? That was pretty hard to swallow, but the punch line was this - on the last day of the voyage, after we had been directed to the Internet lounge to print boarding passes, we discovered that our cabin came with 60 minutes of free Internet. Nobody had ever told us. One thing that people DID tell us, including an announcement by the cruise director, that if the ship was sinking we were to report to our mustering stations printed on the back of our room keys. Except no such information was on the keys. To his credit, the Cruise Director was very glad to hear of this and promised to correct his briefing - but he had not been told by the junior officer to whom we pointed out this important safety misinformation on the first day. While in many instances the information coming to us was wrong or missing, a place where they definitely overcompensate is the number of emails they sent us in the months leading up to departure. I just tallied them up: seventeen emails with "latest" or "updated" itineraries. Except...for the most part, they were identical copies of each other - but one included a change in airline departure time, and boy that one change would be easy to miss buried inside 17 otherwise identical emails. 3. PORTS OF CALL Here is the one place where I really felt let down. RSSC makes a major point of the Navigator's small size and how her smaller size allows her to go places where the bigger ships cannot. Well, I guess from a technical point of view that may be true...but the fact of the matter is that at least on the Seward-to Vancouver run, the Navigator follows EXACTLY the same course as the bigger ships. I know this for a fact, because we often were part of a convoy of ships including Princess, NCL, and Holland America, and we followed in each other's wakes. It was very disappointing to find that RSSC makes great play about the Navigator's special abilities but fails to mention that they don't utilize any of it. 4. EXCURSIONS It is certainly nice that RSSC includes many excursions in the fare. Naturally, the better ones are not included (if you do go, absolutely take the float plane glacier ride; worth every penny. Don't waste your money on a helicopter unless that chopper is also going to touch down to let you do something useful) (this advice applies to Alaska; there are places in for example Hawaii where a helicopter is worth the extra price). Of the ones that are included, warning: take RSSC's guide to physical fitness with a grain of salt! The "nature walk" requiring you to be in good physical condition refers not to YOUR condition, but that of your walker. The only thing that required anything more than a heartbeat was the kayak and even that was ultra low-key. And having excursions included means that you are restricted to RSSC's contracted schedules, which can be very limiting. We wanted to go ziplining but it did not fit in with our other excursions. I checked around (we did not know we had free Internet yet, but there's a McDonald's in every port...) and found that the zipline operator had lots of other times, including at other ports. But the "destination services" desk wasn't interested in trying to book us for a different time, even if we were willing to pay for the excursions ourselves. 5. COMFORT The Navigator is a fairly fast and comfortable ship. The cabin was very nice but it showed a surprising amount of wear, including a bathroom cabinet whose door was caved in. The bed was firm but very comfortable. But it was NOISY when the ship was underway - all kinds of squeaks and buzzes coming from above the ceiling. In desperation I tried stuffing toilet paper above the ceiling tiles - only to discover toilet paper already there from previous passengers! As it turned out, the noise was coming from joints and piping above the ceiling and simply could not be silenced by any means other than a pillow over the head. The Navigator was built as a research vessel, not a cruise ship. When I was aboard the Norwegian Dawn, the only time the cabin ever made noise was while the ship was at top speed and with the stabilizers going full tilt in a rough sea - in the middle of night a slow, distant groan came from a ceiling panel. The Navigator creaked at the slowest speed in the calmest sea. 6. FOOD Okay, now we're getting somewhere. The Navigator really does great meals, and room service is terrific. But even this comes with caveats: a) most liquor, and some pretty good wines, are included. But it is impossible to know what complimentary wines are available. In each restaurant, on each day, the menu will list one red and one white. But all the wines listed in all the restaurant menus throughout the ship for the entire cruise are complimentary - you just don't have any way of knowing what they are. Worse, the wait staff also don't know what they are. The head sommilier printed me a list, but when I said that list should be available to passengers or at least to the wait staff he was less than thrilled by the suggestion. I had one waiter who insisted that the red and white on the menu were the only complimentary wines I was allowed to have. b) we already had a reservation in Prime 7 (the excellent steakhouse) before we boarded. Supposedly that's not allowed, but I had made it clear that if I did not have reservations for my companion's birthday we would book elsewhere. I was told repeatedly that we could book another dinner there once everyone had a chance to make a reservation - according to the concierge, no later than the second night. As it turns out, this is just baloney - the head maitre'd later confirmed to me that nobody gets a second reservation. STAFF The officers are European and are generally excellent, although the woman at destination services made me feel like it was my duty to do her job (when I was trying to resolve a conflict between the start time of an excursion between what was on the excursion ticket versus what was in the excursion schedule). The staff, and especially the wait staff, were another story. They all were earnest but some of them spoke so little English as to make any attempt at communication pointless. Trying to find out if they had "Smirnoff Ice" led to an ongoing running comedy that would have made the Marx Brothers proud. ENTERTAINMENT One definite drawback of such a small ship is that there is only one troupe of entertainers on board; the same group perform every show. So Shakespeare, 50's Rock-n-Roll, and Acrobatics. The two main stars were wonderful; the supporting cast belonged in a High School musical, and not the kind that anyone other than parents show up for. CONCLUSION I had a great time on the Navigator. But I had an even better time on larger ships whose fares cost literally a third as much. Most - but not all - of the touted advantages of being on such a ship don't really pan out in reality. If I had to do it again, I would have taken the Silverseas and planned my own transportation. Silverseas has the additional advantage of moving passengers from Anchorage to the ship (a trip of several hours) via the very nice and romantic train shoreline, while RSSC puts you on a boring bus. But I am sure that I would have had every bit as good a time on an NCL ship - and had many many thousands of dollars left over a consolation for not having a butler... Oh, that's right - I didn't have one anyway! Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
This was our first time with Regent, having previously sailed extensively with HAL, and were looking forward to an "enhanced" experience. Unfortunately this was not the case. The problems started with the hotel and transfer ... Read More
This was our first time with Regent, having previously sailed extensively with HAL, and were looking forward to an "enhanced" experience. Unfortunately this was not the case. The problems started with the hotel and transfer arrangements pre cruise. The hotel was nice, but we were herded into the hotel lobby like cattle awaiting slaughter, before boarding the buses. Many Regent passengers are elderly, and have difficulties with mobility, and there was no seating. Although we were to depart from a Manhattan pier, our bus driver took us to Brooklyn.I thought we were being hijacked. We were on that bus for 2 hours, while other passengers were at the ship in 15 min.For our "troubles" we were offered nothing. With persistence we received a box of chocolates. The cruise was very nice, aside from the loss of all power in the Gulf of St. Lawrence for 2 hours, a fire on the pool deck and several errors and omissions in room service orders.The crew was lovely (like HAL), the food was excellent (like HAL), the room was nice (like HAL), the dining areas were nicely decorated, but probably not as nice as HAL. The itinerary was wonderful,which is why it is popular with many cruise lines. So I started doing some calculations: if we had been on HAL, in a "Neptune Suite" (much larger than our Regent cabin), and we drank up a storm, went on numerous excursions we still would have spent $4000 pp less on HAL. We met lovely people on the Regent cruise, and had a good time despite the problems. Upon our return I contacted our travel agent who contacted Regent regarding the problems. After an initial contact from them, I have heard nothing. Not good value for money. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
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
Seven Seas Navigator Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.3
Dining 4.5 4.1
Entertainment 3.5 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.6
Family 3.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.5
Rates 4.0 3.8

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