Regent Seven Seas Alaska Cruise

In June 2012 my wife and I joined Regent Seven seas Navigator for a cruise along the Alaskan coast between Anchorage and Vancouver.

EPSON MFP image

We flew from London Heathrow to Seattle on a scheduled British airways flight and from  Seattle to Anchorage with Alaska Airlines. We then transferred to an Anchorage Hotel for the night. The following day we transferred from Anchorage to the port of Seward to join the Regent Seven seas Navigator

The Regent Seven Seas Navigator is a 490 passenger small sized cruise ship that offers appeal to well travelled couples and singles who seek excellent itineraries, fine food and excellent service.

We flew from London Heathrow to Seattle on a scheduled British airways flight and from  Seattle to Anchorage with Alaska Airlines. We then transferred to an Anchorage Hotel for the night. The following day we transferred from Anchorage to the port of Seward to join the Regent Seven seas Navigator.

As one would expect cruising at this level all transfer arrangements were of an exceptionally high standard – always a good start.

Check-in at Seward was faultless and we were shown directly to our accommodation, a Deluxe Suite with balcony…

which came complete with a full en-suite facilities including bathtub and separate walk in shower…

Taking into consideration the overall size of the ship,  this suite of 356 sq. ft. seemed remarkably spacious.

Suites feature a European king size ‘Suite Slumber Bed’  which we found to be the particularly comfortable and a walk in closet/wardrobe. The marble and granite clad en-suite bathroom also featured a full sized bath,  separate walk in shower and toiletries by L’Occitane.
Complimentary soft drinks, beer  and bottled water were replenished daily in the suite mini bar.  As is usually the custom on quality cruise ships,  a bottle of champagne and canapes awaited our arrival in the stateroom.
Dining

There are four different dining venues, all operated on an open-seating, single sitting basis, with a good selection of tables for two for those who prefer.

Reservations are required only in one  of the four dining spots, Prime 7.

In general, the cuisine is well above good, with creative presentation and a wide variety of food choices including lots of fresh fish.

The main restaurant, The  Compass Rose,  is an elegant dining room with attractive décor and fantastic table service. Daily changing menus feature European-inspired continental specialities  as well as featuring the ingredients of the areas visited. Most dietary needs are catered for.Here you can take advantage of the open seating plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a wide range of local and international dishes on offer….

Alternatively, head over to La Veranda for a daytime breakfast and lunch  self-serve indoor/outdoor café experience.

In the evening, enjoy  the transformation to the Tuscan inspired Sette Mari at La Veranda

Sette Mari at la Veranda

The real gourmet restaurant  onboard Navigator is the iconic classic American steakhouse,  Prime 7

with its exceptional menu…

and my personal favourite from the  Appetizer Section…

Ahi Tuna Tartare

Prime 7’s  succulent steaks were excellent and the two occasions we dined at Prime 7 the experience was most  memorable. Needless to say the comprehensive wine list matched the quality of the steaks.

One very satisfied passenger…

The  final option for dining was  ‘al fresco’ at the poolside grill, or afternoon tea served daily on the deck.

A lighter alternative breakfast – pastries, mini rolls and Continental selections –  and exceptionally good coffee was available at the Navigator Lounge…

where the resident Barista was on hand, from 6.30 am through to midnight, always with a smile…

Traditional afternoon teas, always a treat, are served in the  Galileo’s Lounge, its panoramic wrap around windows affording splendid views for this delightfully sophisticated daily ritual: all, of course, accompanied by equally traditional piano melodies.

In the final analysis though, there cannot be many cruise lines that have on offer, at breakfast, a Caviar and Champagne station. Decadence? Maybe, but what a treat…

Entertainment.

Central to entertainment on Regent Seven Seas Navigator is the Seven Seas Lounge…

For a small sized ship the Navigator certainly knew how to do entertainment. The nine -piece Signature Orchestra did well whether accompanying the entertainers of providing Ballroom dance numbers. Ship size didn’t impede at all and this ‘show lounge’  is of a particularly good sized facility with well tiered seating, excellent spacing and not too many obstructive pillars. With reference to size, there was no impeding the more adventurous style of show as can be seen here when the speciality artists ‘Vision in Flight’ performed their routine…

With one ‘open ‘ sitting for dinner there was just the one main evening show time, nicely billed each evening at 9.30 pm. Singers and Dancers for Regent Seven Seas shows are provided by Jean Ann Ryan Productions, one of the  the World’s most respected and highest rated Cruise  Ship Entertainment production companies. The quality of the shows certainly reflected their high standing.

For this particular cruise the resident ‘Enrichment’ lecturer was Terry Breen, a most knowledgeable Lecturer, Naturalist and Raconteur. Her presentations were not too be missed and she covered all subjects pertaining to the place visited. Indeed, so good were her presentations I bought her book.

Another excellent facility with panoramic views was Gallileo’s Lounge…

A comfortable venue for all occasions where live music and dancing often featured.

Cocktail piano music was also central, though never obtrusive,  to the atmosphere  in the Stars Lounge…

The pre-dinner warm canapes in this lounge were especially delightful.

This was never going to be a cruise where sunbeds and long sessions on the  ‘open-deck’ would be a high feature: the Alaskan climate saw to that. However, a mention of the facilities will not go amiss.

The pool area was perfectly adequate and additional deck spaces were available, both fore and aft, though  at higher levels. As can be seen ain the photograph above there was an ample promenade deck for either exercise or general viewing of the Alaskan scenery.

The after end of the Pool deck was occupied by the Pool Grill, where both casual breakfast and lunches could be taken. Lunches often took on a theme and theses proved very popular, particularly the ‘Fish  and Seafood Al Fresco’…

Other facilities on board included a well stocked library and internet facility…

…and even a self service Laundrette facility…

Before I come to the itinerary of the cruise I feel that one institution on Regent Seven Seas,  that is worth a mention, is the ‘Block Party’.

Completely new to us it was simply explained. Around 60 minutes after sailing the ship’s gong would sound. Passengers were encouraged to grab a glass from their stateroom, open the door of their suite, and step out to discover the party. Enjoy a few tipples, wines, etc served by the staff while taking the opportunity to meet your suite neighbours. While this was happening the Captain and Cruise Director would race around all accommodation levels with the intended purpose of meeting and greeting all passengers. It was really good fun and probably the first occasion we had ever met both our neighbours on the first day of a cruise.

The Itinerary:

I would consider the start of this cruise actually being at Anchorage where our flights terminated and we were accommodated for  24 hours in a quality hotel. That gave us the opportunity to explore this northern most city in the United States, where we stumbled across this memorial to Captain James Cook…

and this not very well preserved 1940s steam rail engine…

…which  actually had a bit of history.   Built in 1943 in Pennsylvania  locomotive No  556 was originally  intended to be shipped to Europe as part of the US war effort however 12 units were alternatively shipped to Alaska and saw service for 13 years before becoming a museum exhibit in Anchorage.

Following lunch on our second day at Anchorage we set off by coach for the 2 hour scenic drive to Seward where the Seven Seas Navigator awaited us. Check-in was efficient  and we were soon aboard and exploring the ship prior to slipping our berth and sailing away around 5.00 pm…

There were no port calls on Day 2. This was the day we were to cruise the Hubbard Glacier

Our first taste of ice flows, glaciers and the haunting sounds of icebergs breaking from the glaciers. All credit to Captain Teo Srdelic for navigating the ship so close.

Our first port call was Sitka which is itself steeped in history and the place where Russia  officially transferred ownership of Alaska to the United States. While on our visit we made time to visit The Pioneer Home, one of Sitka’s many historic structures…

 

…and St. Michael’s Orthodox Cathedral with its almost full time residential Bald Eagles…

Day 4 saw us cruising most of the morning along  ‘Tracy Arm’, an Alaskan Fjord and the passage way to Juneau.

At Juneau we took the ship’s excursion to Mendenhall Glacier…

and, on return to Juneau, took the Mount Roberts Tramway, (actually a Cable Car) to Mount Roberts, where we enjoyed the views, back along Tracy Arm….

and over Juneau….

We had a late departure from Juneau and spent the  night and following morning transiting the ‘Inside Passage’ before arriving at Skagway.

With hindsight Skagway was the most interesting port of call on this particular cruise.

My wife and I had chosen to take one of the ship’s complimentary excursions –  the ‘White pass Scenic Railway’ –  but with the payable option of continuing on into the Yukon in order to visit the Yukon Suspension Bridge.

 

*****

I have written a separate review of the excellent railway journey…

https://solentrichardscruiseblog.com/2013/10/15/one-way-to-do-skagway-part-1/

and of our time in Skagway itself…

https://solentrichardscruiseblog.com/2013/10/15/one-way-to-do-skagway-part-2/

 

 

And a Non-pc version for those that like a bit of fun on their runs ashore…

https://solentrichardscruiseblog.com/2013/10/15/one-way-to-do-skagway-non-pc-edition/

 

 

The next port of call was Ketchikan where we arrived at midday. We took a ship’s excursion entitled ‘Rainforest Island’ which was an informative and interesting experience and found time,  on our return,  to visit one of Ketchikan’s older attractions, Creek Street

Our penultimate day on board was a sea day as we steamed International waters towards our final destination, Vancouver, British Columbia…

berthing in the heart of the city at Canada Place. We had arranged a post-cruise three day extension stay.

 

Summary:

 

This was our first experience cruising with Regent Seven Seas. In their brochure they promise an extraordinary experience and, having completed this cruise, I can fully concur. Without any doubt they are the most inclusive luxury cruise experience and, though there are one or two better dining experiences to be had at sea, they certainly are up there amongst the leaders.

 

Their mid-sized ships offer impeccable friendly but unobtrusive service and they do exactly what it says on the tin: right down to the free unlimited shore excursions, complimentary drinks, in suite binoculars, coffee brewer and cashmere blanket. Voyages under 16 nights are restricted to an elegant casual dress code though on many occasions gentlemen could be seen in jackets.

 

A truly upper Premium and Luxury cruiseline. If satisfaction is related to meeting expectations then Regent Seven seas was a clear winner – it exceeded them.

 

Would we cruise with them again?  You bet we will.

 

Post Script:

I would strongly recommend anyone contemplating a similar Alaskan and ‘Inside Passage’ cruise to consider two publications that we found invaluable…

 

In due course guides to Vancouver, Skagway, Sitka and Juneau will join this blog.

4 responses to “Regent Seven Seas Alaska Cruise

  1. Pingback: Seven Seas Voyager visited | Solent Richard's Cruise Blog·

  2. Thanks for this. We’ve recently completed an Inside Passage Alaskan cruise from Vancouver with HAL Nieuw Amsterdam. We loved it, though the ship felt huge. We’re now considering a Regent Seven Seas Mariner cruise from Miami, through the Caribbean, Panama Canal to Lima next January. I’ve heard varying reports about the line/ship but this has eased my mind somewhat.

    • Good afternoon Debj1.

      So pleased I could help.

      And here is the good news. Two weeks ago I attended a presentation at goodwill House by Regent and they have, since our cruise, upped their game.

      I do believe you are in for a treat.

      Richard

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