May is a busy month along San Francisco’s Embarcadero, specifically Pier 35, when almost every cruise ship heading up to Alaska for the summer seasons stops off here. And that’s nice since we’re otherwise out of the way for most cruise itineraries. Did you know that San Francisco is mostly bypassed as a regular port of call because we’re too far north for Mexico and Panama Canal cruises, and too far south to do less than a 10 day Alaska sailing?
Anyway, that’s my trivia for the day – the inside scoop for having worked at Seabourn and Royal Viking Line.
Now, as a luxury travel specialist, cruise lines invite me to lunch when they’re in town. Since my office is just a few blocks from the cruise terminal, it’s an easy and fun thing to do. Here are my observations on the Regent Seven Seas Navigator.
Why not start with the center piece of the cruise experience for most travelers. Awesome. Just fantastic. I’m a Seabourn snob having worked for them for several years in their early days, and I measure all cruise lines now according that very high standard. And I do consider myself somewhat of a foodie so maybe you can trust me. I’ve had several meals over the last few years with Silversea and Regent and this was by far the best of those. I haven’t been on Seabourn for a while so I can’t comment on that other than what I hear from my clients – and that’s really good. [but I’ll be on seabourn in november so stay tuned.] From the delicate and extremely flavorful pumpkin soup, to the lightly grilled Halibut to the chocolate moose it was a great repast.
Next to food, accommodations are likely the next most important component in a cruise and these were very nice. They’re spacious junior suites – just like the standard in all luxury cruise lines. These are actually a bit bigger than the average at 301 square feet plus a 55 more for the balcony for a total of 356 square feet. The decor is pleasant with subtle earth tone. And the ship was recently refurbished so everything is new. The amenities in the marble bathrooms are Hermes. But to be honest I’m not using big words here because, while nice, they were not really exciting. And I think the couches could use a little bit more fluff. Read my comments on Silversea’s new Silver Spirit or see my pictures if you’d like a super cool suite.
RESTAURANTS. CLUBS. PUBLIC SPACES.
I’d add these to my description of the suites: spacious, luxurious, new, pleasant but not super exciting. Check out my photos or Regent’s site and see if you agree – or make up your own mind. There was one exception and that’s the Stars Lounge (pictured). This is a very exciting club and it’s where I’d be hanging out all the time. It’s a bit blingy – think St Regis vs Four Seasons – but that’s my style. It may not be yours. Have you seen the bar at the Slanted Door in San Francisco? It’s a little like that. Long. Subtle lighting. Dark woods. Glass. And then the seating area is very fun with black and white brocaded chairs.
It all comes back to service as I always say. And Regent is tops along with Silversea, Seabourn, Crystal and Cunard’s Grills. And SeaDream Yacht Club for the little ships. They blow away anybody else.
CRUISING AND VOYAGER CLUB
Of course my one-two solution for learning more about Regent Seven Seas is to 1) call me and 2) have me book you on a cruise. And remember, you have complimentary membership in Voyager Club, our host and amenities program aboard most luxury cruises with Silversea, Crystal, Seabourn, Cunard and Regent Seven Seas.
For my complete set of photos from this trip and others, visit my photo home page.
Josh Friedman is a travel agent specializing in luxury travel for small groups and individuals – particularly ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations and food & wine inspired journeys. Based in San Francisco, and with clients throughout the USA and abroad, his business is focused on 24/7 personalized service to the sophisticated leisure and business traveler and management of study abroad groups. Business services include high-touch reservations, exclusive hotel and airline offers. His relationships with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful business or leisure trip.
For more information, to learn about our exclusive benefits, Voyager Club, and to book, please contact Josh at 415.248.5079 or 800.553.4777. Associated with Casto, a member of the prestigious Virtuoso Travel network. Be a big fish in our small pond.