So, how was it on Navigator?
Though we'd sailed on all three of the other Regent ships, somehow none of the itineraries we'd favoured were on board the oldest and smallest of the fleet, the Seven Seas Navigator until now. I'd read conversations about her perceived shortcomings and knew that many of the features on board the other, larger ships were not going to be available. So, just one speciality restaurant - Prime 7 - for example, and a more limited choice when it came to bars and other entertainment venues. We didn't think that would trouble us unduly but even so, when we got on board in Singapore, we immediately noted how close everything seemed.
Our suite was on the port side of deck 10 forward, so the lifts and the door to the pool deck were just a few steps away. In no time at all, we could stroll by the pool, past the pool grill juice bar where the healthiest breakfasts were on offer and over to La Veranda, our favourite "all round" breakfast spot.
Here, we'd find our favourite wait staff and almost always, I'd find Elaine standing by the toast machine, smiling and asking "Blueberries, Madame?"
If the Indian Ocean weather was kind, then breakfast in the fresh air as always our choice.
A more leisurely and less informal breakfast was always on offer in the main restaurant, Compass Rose on Deck 5, but we saved the pleasure of white linen and polished glass for lunchtime, when on a sea day, we'd enjoy choosing from a great menu, like this (so extensive, it needs three photographs to capture it all!)
To begin with, there's the lighter options:
Not tempted by a sandwich or salad? Then perhaps the full lunch menu has something a little more to offer...
Even though the choice of speciality restaurants is limited on board Navigator, as you can see, some of our favourite dishes from the French Chartreuse and Asian inspired Pacific Rim were available at lunchtime and it was very hard to resist temptation. On one day in particular, Ella, a favourite staff member with a wicked sense of humour took the menu away "to stop you ordering any more!"
One stop each morning was usually the library, one floor up on deck 6. We weren't so interested in the daily papers there, nor the wide selection of books but were eager to get the latest puzzle page and Mensa quiz!
Next door to the library is a very popular area - on this side, the Navigator Lounge with more of a piano bar feel and on the other, the Coffee Connection; a help yourself to coffee and cookies kind of place with a few computers there too.
Adjacent to the coffee shop is the hub of the ship: the reception desk, the destinations desk and the Concierge. All the action was happening around here: the General Manager's office, the Cruise Consultant and so on. I don't quite know how I managed to find a time when no one was there! Just beyond that white tile wall is the atrium, with staircase and lifts back up to deck 10 and our suite.
So sorry, not a good photo at all, but hopefully enough to give an idea of the light and the spaciousness of the ship.
One aspect of Navigator we really liked was that there was a great choice of places to get together for drinks or a chat and these places were never really crowded. Above is Galileo's, the top deck "observation" lounge/bar with a small stage and room for dancing.
We preferred the Stars Lounge, location of the afternoon Trivia quiz and the site of my favourite paintings, mentioned in a previous post.
It's right next to the theatre, which in our opinion is the best in the fleet. No pillars or obstructed views, comfortable seating and no awkward arrangements of tables either.
Not a bad seat in the house, whether for an evening show or a daytime lecture.
We'd sail on Navigator again in a heartbeat, given the right itinerary. I think this cruise in particular has demonstrated to us that our preference will always be for a "journey" cruise, with a distinct purpose, rather than a pootle around a particular area. We have a couple of such itineraries up our sleeves for the next couple of years, sadly neither of which is on Navigator.
I'm not quite finished with her yet, though and have a few more pictures to share. Join me in my next post!