I am home again after visiting the Regent Seven Seas Navigator. Ahh…the Navigator….a world unto itself. A world where the service level is unparalleled, where at every turn there is a smiling crew member welcoming you aboard, offering assistance, offering a glass of Champagne. Ahh…the Navigator.
I was intrigued by the Regent Seven Seas Navigator after I read that in December 2009 she had been in a German dry-dock for 40 days where she received a $30 million refit. To put that into context, the typical cruise ship is in dry-dock for 7-10 days when being refit. So I was excited to see what the end result was like.
The result is what I would call a boutique-style, six-star cruise ship. Boutique in the sense that she carries some 490 passengers with a crew of approximately 360. The Navigator has some of the highest space and service ratios in the cruising world.
All of the suites, and this vessel is an all-suite, all oceanview vessel, are well appointed and spacious. The suites are extraordinarily large, some of them are over 1100 square feet. Each with beautiful natural lighting due to the fact that every suite has a balcony with an oceanview.
Another benefit that comes with some of the suites is the individual attention of a butler. Yes, a butler. When I asked Florian Kibgilka, Food and Beverage Manager and my tour guide aboard the Navigator what a butler might add to your cruise experience he informed me that it is the personal touch that some people enjoy. The butler will see that your shoes are polished, your appointments and reservations are made, your breakfast arrives as you like it and when you like it. And perhaps most importantly to some, the butler keeps the mini-bar in tip-top shape.
The butler simply makes your cruise experience everything you want it to be.
Regent Seven Seas made the decision to go all-inclusive in their cruises in order to change their cruise culture. Each guest is provided a complimentary bottle of Champagne when they arrive in their suite. The ship’s management and crew found that many people were then staying in their rooms and enjoying the free drinks without coming out of their suites. This detracted from the cruise experience because there was not the energy of people meeting and mingling in the social settings. Now you can wander into a cocktail lounge and order a drink when you want. Interestingly, I was told that over time there has only been a slight increase in the volume of alcoholic beverages served.
Smoking aboard the Seven Seas Navigator is very closely controlled. There is not smoking in the suites or in the public spaces. However, there is a smoking room called the Connoisseur Club. As we entered the smoking room the pleasant aroma of cigars and pipes took me back in time to when I was a small child and I would visit with my great-Grandfather.
In the smoking room you can find a selection of fine single malt and blended Scotch whiskeys to be enjoy.
My eyes really light up when I saw in a glass showcase of its own a bottle of Remy Martin Louis XIII. I asked if this was part of the all-inclusive beverage package and was advised that in fact it was not.
As you can see in the above photo, at some point, someone has enjoyed this fine Cognac. Understandably, I was not offered a sample during my brief visit aboard.
And then there is the food…Prime 7, Compass Rose, La Verandah, the Pool Side Grill, and little coffee shops nestled everywhere. If you don’t feel like leaving the comfort of your room there is 24 hour room service. Of course if you are in one of the suites that has butler service, your wish is his command.
Myself, I enjoyed a beautiful lunch in the Navigator’s largest dining room, the Compass Rose. My lunch companion was my on board tour guide, Florian Kibgilka. And remember, he is the Food and Beverage Manager so not only was the kitchen trying to impress me, they also had their boss sitting at the same table as me. For now I will say that our lunch server, Annika was perfectly attentive.
To hear about the details of our lunch, check back in tomorrow and I will provide a full account of my lunch as well I will talk about the many other dining options that are available on board the Navigator.
Disclosure; My tour of, and lunch aboard the Regent Seven Seas Navigator is being sponsored very generously by the kind and thoughtful people of Regent Seven Seas. I am not obligated nor expected to write about my experiences aboard the Navigator or any follow-up entries, but I certainly feel that my readers will benefit from my description of my tour of this ship. In any review I write or publish on my site, I retain editorial control at all times. Should you have any questions or concerns, contact me at email@example.com