Seven Seas Navigator
Regent Seven Seas Navigator provides chic country club-style sailing
My first impression upon boarding the jaunty little Seven Seas Navigator from Regent Seven Seas for the first time many years ago was wow! My second reaction was that cruise ship food never tasted or looked this good — this was before Seabourn, Crystal and even Silversea came along and raised the bar, which Regent has easily kept up with).
Navigator is a stunner. She sports a deep blue color palette, lavish artwork and floral arrangements and has an all-around classy vibe without being stuffy. We had a suite, and so did the other 490 passengers during our Mexican Riviera cruise; the ship features all-suite accommodations with ocean views, and 90 percent of them have private balconies. We later sailed her in the Mediterranean after she underwent some needed nips and tucks and enjoyed an equally splendid cruise.
All inclusive that means all inclusive
Seven Seas Navigator's guests enjoy a high level of service, with some of the highest space and service ratios at sea. Additionally, her three gourmet restaurants allow you to dine wherever, whenever and with whomever you choose, at no additional charge.
Regent Seven Seas is one of the few cruise lines that means it when they say "all-inclusive" fares. You indeed get your tips taken care of, unlimited wines at meals, all soft drinks, spirits at the bar (save for premium brands), wi-fi, some select free shore excursions and big discounts on air or free air depending on the itinerary and port. Round-trip air fare is included from major airports.
Who will like sailing on Seven Seas Navigator
If you have money to spend and enjoy exquisite dining and a high level of personal service, Seven Seas Navigator is a great choice. Comfortable, luxurious suites, a well-staffed crew and live theatrical performances add up to a memorable experience aboard one of the top luxury ships at sea.
Where Seven Seas Navigator sails
Navigator sails Alaska in summer, Canada and New England in fall and spends the rest of the year in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Panama Canal, exotic ports in Africa — you name it. Some of her most popular destinations include Italy, Alaska and Spain with itineraries that range from about a week to about a month.
Top dining options on board
When we sailed, Navigator didn't offer as many choices as she does now, but the food was always fantastic (and still is, according to those who've sailed on her recently), especially the morning and lunchtime buffets, which pale in comparison on mega-liners and even some small vessels. Richard (my first mate) I do room service often — we sail a lot and sometimes tire of dining venues — and took many meals in our suite, served in courses, always hot and tasty.
Here's a rundown of the dining venues on board:
Compass Rose, the signature restaurant of the Regent fleet, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a refined, elegant setting adorned in warm golden and maroon hues and enhanced by natural light during the day. The cuisine tends toward European fare, though there’s a wide variety of choices for everyone from gourmets to dieters and vegans (from Canyon Ranch Spa Club) and even kosher fare.
La Veranda's buffet-style venue was our favorite for breakfast when we didn't dine in. Spacious and comfortably casual, La Veranda offers regional specialties that often reflect the cuisines of the countries called on, such as grilled lamb chops with Spanish sherry sauce or pan-sauteed Mediterranean sea bass. La Veranda also features a shaded, open-air veranda for dining al fresco. The creative offerings included fresh fish dishes, ripe fruit — some ship galleys send out fruit that’s hard as a rock — and about the most sinfully decadent desserts allowed by culinary law. If you like pizza, La Veranda offers one of the best pizzas you'll find at sea. It's open for breakfast and lunch.
Sette Mari at La Veranda
Regent was just experimenting with this when we last sailed on Navigator in the Med and we liked it. Each evening the room morphs into a casual, romantic evening dining venue with delicious Italian cuisine and wines served by top-notch waiters. Enjoy an extensive menu of authentic antipasti and Italian specialties served a la carte and paired with fine Italian wines.
This wasn’t on board when we sailed, but I’ve heard nothing but raves about the handsome steakhouse that is open for dinner only (reservations required). Handsomely decorated with supple leather wing-back chairs, burnished woods and rich earth-toned fabrics, Prime 7 exudes an intimate elegance. All the traditional starters are here, including jumbo lump crab cakes, Oysters Rockefeller and French onion soup. The beef served is all USDA Prime and dry aged at least 28 days to enhance the flavor.
Capturing the diversity of French fare, Signatures offers a fine dining experience with a tasteful presentation. You'll find classics such as quiche au camembert and foie gras terrine with plum marmalade. It's open for dinner only; reservations are required.
Even the Pool Grill, the ultimate come-as-you-are dining venue, managed to impress. Walk over straight from sunbathing or swimming in the pool. The Pool Grill is open air, yet abundantly shaded for comfortable dining. Enjoy grilled-to-order burgers, grilled fish, sandwiches and fresh salads.
Where I went & what I loved
Just about any itinerary on the Navigator is enjoyable because her svelte size makes getting in and out of ports and on and off the ship seamless and enjoyable. We loved sailing round-trip from our home port of Los Angeles, where I could pack a wardrobe that could dress the entire female population of the ship (joking but close). We hit the Mexican Riviera ports of Los Cabos, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Zihuatanejo (our favorite former sleepy fishing village, now a more upscale resort area where the ship anchors and takes you ashore by launch), and bustling Acapulco, olé!
We did take a couple of included shore excursions, one in Puerto Vallarta and another in Acapulco, both to beaches where we snorkeled and had picnics on the sand provided by Regent SS.
Spa & fitness
Canyon Ranch SpaClub
Canyon Ranch SpaClub attracts lots of customers. so be sure to book treatments prior to your departure, which you can do online once you are ticketed. Enjoy an array of high-priced treatments including signature massages and therapeutic bodywork, aromatherapy, ayurvedic and seaweed treatments as well as facials. hair care, manicures, pedicures and more.
Canyon Ranch fitness experts lead popular exercise classes, so get there early to participate. I did the Pilates, yoga and aerobics and was duly impressed. There are also free weights, equipment, Lifecycles, StairMasters, treadmills and other ways to keep the pounds off during your vacation. One-on-one training can be arranged with a fitness instructor.
One of the disappointments for me as an avid swimmer was the modest size of the pool, but during our two itineraries there was beach time to make up for the lack of lap space.
Entertainment on board
The entertainment aboard Navigator is understated. Live entertainment can be found in several venues, including entertainers, stage productions, feature films, vocalists, and piano and guitar music. At least one gentleman host is aboard each cruise to escort the ladies around the dance floor.
Other entertainment includes:
- Casino: For those in a gaming mood, the nicely appointed casino on deck 4 offers blackjack, roulette, stud poker, mini-craps and 43 slot machines. It's open every day at sea when not restricted by territorial border limits.
- Connoisseur Club: Located on deck 4 forward, the Connoisseur Club is where you can order a rare vintage cognac or port and fire up a Cuban cigar.
- Library: The well-stocked and cozy library offers an ideal setting for reading and relaxing. Curl up with a classic novel, play chess or borrow a DVD to watch in the privacy of your suite.
Bars & lounges
- Galileo's: On Deck 11 aft, Galileo's is the place to swig a cocktail and hit the dance floor if you're so inclined. The resident musicians entertain with familiar tunes during teatime as well as before and after dinner. Game shows and live musical events are featured regularly.
- Stars Lounge: On Deck 6 aft, the Stars Lounge is another place to meet friends and fellow travelers for an after-dinner drink or late night cocktail. Feel free to dance into the night or maybe sing along in a karaoke competition.
- Navigator Lounge: On Deck 6 midship, the Navigator Lounge offers an informal Early Riser Continental Breakfast where you can enjoy a cup of coffee, espresso, cappuccino, latte or tea accompanied by a selection of pastries and a variety of fresh juices.
Navigator is an all-suite ship. Some 90% of them come with private balconies (which we loved) and the other 10% have ocean views. The rooms are big and comfy, with walk-in closets, king beds that can convert to twins, flat-screen TVs with free movies on demand. The marble-appointed bathrooms are lovely, featuring a full-size tub and separate shower and upscale amenities (shampoo, condition, moisturizer, mouthwash etc.). There are 11 stateroom categories, ranging from 301 square feet (including balcony) to 1,529 square feet.
Butler service awaits guests in Penthouse Suites and higher. Butlers can assist your arrival on board by unpacking your luggage, arranging pressing for your clothing and making reservations in Signatures restaurant or at the spa. If you are making changes in your shore plans, a butler can arrange for a private car or lunch reservations at your favorite restaurant.
Excursions: Private arrangements can be arranged for personalized shore excursions, designed for smaller groups and tailored to your own interests.
Laundry services: Onboard laundry and valet services, including pressing and dry cleaning, are available for a charge and may be arranged through your stewardess for same-day service. In addition, self-service laundries are located on decks 5, 8, 9 and 11. All guests entitled to butler service will receive complimentary pressing of any items that will be worn the first evening on board.
Wi-fi: Wireless access is available throughout the ship for a small fee, although the Internet connection is reported to be pokey in open waters.
Safety: The medical center is designed to provide medical care for temporary illnesses and accidents. The ship's licensed and registered doctor and nurse are on 24-hour call for professional and emergency services, available at standard charges.
Much like Silversea and Seabourn, the passengers you will hobnob with on the Navigator are very, very rich but down to earth probably because we're talking old money or trust fund children use to living large. The ship attracts people to whom size does matters and eschew mega-ships like the plague. Just about every seafarer who chooses to sail with Regent Seven Seas also picks the line because of the fantastic food. She definitely attracts a global clientele as do all of Regent Seven Seas ships.
In 2004, the ship was featured and used as a focal point for the movie "After the Sunset," starring Pierce Brosnan and Salma Hayek.
We sailed as guests of Regent Seven Seas Cruises while on assignment for travel publications. See Cruiseable's Ethics & Disclosure policy.
How about you? Have you sailed on Seven Seas Navigator? We'd love to hear about your experience or see your photos!
Republished and updated from an earlier post.
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Top highlights on this ship
- Relaxing spa treatments at Canyon Ranch SpaClub
- The library offers a nice selection of books in a tranquil setting.
- Gaming in the on-board casino
- Delicious French cuisine at Signatures restaurant