An all-suite small ship with large ship amenities, excellent itineraries, cuisine, all-inclusive
Should Be Avoided By People Who Prefer
Marvelous entertainment and fitness facilities; extensive children's programs
The all-suite Regent Navigator, a small ship with a pleasing pedigree of big ship amenities, is best described as a luxury ship for those who enjoy long exotic itineraries with quiet, relaxing days at sea, and wonderfully palatable cuisine at night. It has all the perks of a modern luxury ship -- one of the highest passenger/space ratios found at sea, single/open seating, wonderful lecturers, computers with Internet connections in the library, a comfortable observation lounge and a full array of spa services. But it is also small enough for the staff to quickly learn, anticipate and deliver your unspoken desires.
Built within a hull originally meant for Soviet research vessel, some people claim a vibration has been known to compromise the pleasure of those dining in the Portofino restaurant.
Except for glass cage elevators. Navigator's decor is a combination of contemporary and classic European decor; with warm and light colors embellished with Mahogany and cherrywood highlights. There's a notable art collection, the only downside in its enjoyment being the tiny price tags next to each piece.
From the Compass Rose Restaurant to the Seven Seas Show Lounge, the ship offers elegant, yet simple, commodious and comfy. Nothing about the decor would be considered breathtaking, yet nothing is even remotely garish, either. It is like a well kept summer home for the idle wealthy.
The Vista Lounge, the ship's proverbial observation lounge and crow's nest, offers excellent views for quiet contemplation of where you are going, while the Galileo Lounge on Deck 10, aft, offers similarly great sea views of where you have been, and is a lovely place to converse.
The major action is on Deck 6, site of the reception desk, whose staff is unusually warm and helpful. A wide hallway opens into the Navigator Lounge, a great place for people-watching, with comfortable chairs and a small bar. Directly opposite, the Library is well stocked not only with books, but also videos and nine computer terminals, all accessible 24 hours a day.
The Card and Conference Room is fairly modest but utile, the Stars Lounge for pre-dinner drinks and dancing is a great place to meet with friends. The two-deck Seven Seas Show Lounge, which can seat everyone on board, is probably the most impressive room on board. Further down the hall, the wood-paneled Connoisseurs Club attracts the cruise's most ardent cigar smokers.
Two attractive boutiques, one offering the usual logo merchandise, the other notable jewelry, real and costume, occupy deck seven. Close by is the casino with three blackjack tables, roulette and an abbreviated version of a craps table.
The warm and inviting Compass Rose main dining room has only one seating, and eager, charming service. The servers in the restaurants are so knowledgeable about the food and wine they serve you can't help but wonder if they have actually tasted them.
The Portofino Restaurant on Deck 10 offers a pleasant and intimate alternative dining in a casually elegant, yet festive atmosphere, with live music and elaborate tastings set up throughout the restaurant, followed by a set menu of Italian specialties. Seating only about 80 guests, it is a nice change from the main dining room.
Opening onto the aft deck, it is also a wonderful spot for an alfresco buffet breakfast or lunch. At lunchtime, the Pool Grill, near the swimming pool, serves hot dogs and hamburgers, grilled steaks, salads and a hot dish.
The Navigator's staff one encounters daily makes a point of quickly learning your name and preferences. The rest of the staff is unfailingly vigilant and professional, to the point where you no longer ask if something is possible, you simply presume that anything is possible.
Navigator's spa, operated by Carita of Paris, makes up for its size with excellent treatment services from a mostly Filipina and French staff, using proprietary products and techniques, the "Renovateur" treatments being especially popular. The surprisingly big gym is equipped with treadmills, dumbbells and a Universal machine. There's no charge for fitness classes. There's an outdoor walking/jogging track. A PGA golf pro is aboard all Bermuda sailings. On a hot day at sea, deck chairs around the pool can seem few and far between.
On formal nights, passengers don tuxes and gowns; during port days, evening attire is more casual. During the day, attire is casual.
Best For People Who Want
Big ship creature comforts on a luxurious small ship; luscious food served at a single seating; spacious balcony cabins; elegant attire.
The food on the Navigator is, for the most part, nearly legendary, and after a few meals don't be surprised to find yourself wondering what culinary surprise lies in waiting for you that night. There is always complimentary wine served with dinner, and the quality of the pick of the house may very well surprise you. If not, you may select another variety from the wine list for an added charge. Every afternoon at four, the Galileo serves a marvelous tea with linen tablecloths and fresh flowers. Each morning at 6:30, coffee, juice and pastries are set out both here and in the Navigator Lounge, across from the library.
Gratuities are included in your cruise fare.
On most cruises, expect an excellent morning lecture series featuring fine speakers addressing mostly large, rapt audiences.
Many older passengers find it hard to stay up for the 9:45 p.m. show, which is a shame, as it showcases some energetic young talent. Regent encourages its young performers to interact with guests, and they can be bright and personable. The ship's little orchestra, known from stem to stern as the Navigator Five, pops up in different venues virtually every evening. Various other solo musicians, such as a harpist, pianist or violinist, will be filling one room or another with song at almost any waking hour on the ship.
The colourful, appropriately gaudy casino is equipped with the usual stud poker, black jack, roulette and some 40 slots.
Navigator's cabins are some of the most spacious accommodations afloat; some observers have theorized that the reason the ship never feels crowded is that many passengers find their suites too nice to leave for long!
The smallest cabins are 300 sq. ft. and the two penthouse suites a surprising 1,173 sq. ft. each. Ninety percent of the cabins have a private veranda. Standard amenities includes: walk-in closets, plenty of drawer space, TVs with DVD players attached (disks available in the library) and an in-suite bar that's stocked when you board.
The opulent Penthouse Suite boasts a large square living room with 2 l/2 baths and acres of storage room. Beautifully equipped with a dining room, a huge bedroom, A/V equipment and double sinks in the bathroom, it can be opened into an adjoining suite. Navigator Suites (Cat. NS) measure 495-sq. ft., with separate living room and dining area, plus a large balcony. Category G-H is standard outside cabins with large picture windows; aside from balconies, they are identical to the other staterooms.
The ship's Guild of English Butlers-trained butlers (for categories B and higher) provide everything from the initial in-suite bar setup to afternoon canapeacute;s. They'll pack and unpack for you, and do your ironing (for a extra fee), dutifully murmuring, "Very good, sir," and, "Very good, madam," pretty much regardless of what you ask of them. During dinner hours, guests may also order from the Compass Rose dinner menu to be delivered to your suite; the butler will set a table with full service and bring you each course separately. Menus for all dining venues are broadcast daily on in-suite televisions.
There isn't a trace of a formal children's activity available on most sailings, but as more and more children join their parents in the summer and during holiday periods, Regent has added the Club Mariner children's programs at those times (check with your travel agent before booking). A children's menu is served in the Compass Rose as well. In-suite babysitting services ($25 an hour; and you thought Internet access was expensive!) are offered upon request and are subject to availability of staff.