August 2016 - Seven Seas Navigator to Europe - Mediterranean
We originally signed up for a "Greek Islands" trip ending in Istanbul. While we agree it was wise to not include Istanbul as a destination due to security concerns, we were very disappointed that the majority of destinations we really were interested in were eliminated as well (Mykonos, Santorini, Ephesus, etc) and replaced with destinations that were ok but not the reason we selected this cruise in the first place. That aside, here's our rating of the cruise, ship, staffing, etc.
The ship Navigator is the smallest in the RSSC line up and smaller than most any other of the competition. While this means about 400 passengers rather than a horde of thousands, it comes with a price. In our view, there was not enough room in the public areas for 400 guests. For example, the small pool deck area resulted in all the lounge chairs being quickly taken up. The smoking area on the pool deck was not really isolated and therefore smoke permeated the already limited non smoking area and made it uncomfortable for enjoying relaxation. There were no deck areas on the sides of the ship where there access for walking or lounging in chairs. You had to be in the pool area or the running track above it to have a place to lounge. The food was very good and abundant. Due once again to space limitations it felt crowded in the Veranda dining area at breakfast or dinner. Lunch on board was not a viable option because there were excursions every day but one and the excursion timing meant it was not possible to have lunch on board and still enjoy your time ashore. On the subject of excursions, they were pretty well done with professional, experienced, knowledgeable local guides. It would have been better to allow more time for exploring on your own or shopping before the excursion returned to the ship (especially Venice and the Murano glass factory tour). We would like to have more than one day at sea rather than a port 7 days in a row.
The room was spacious and well laid out. Large walk-in closet, large bathroom with plenty of storage area, nice bed, nice deck. My wife was excited about having a bath tub, that is until she ran the bath water to find it a rusty brown color--complete turn off. We think that's a sign of the ship's age and need for a redo or replacement. The staff were uniformly friendly and excellent. Very well trained and attentive. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and easy.
We would select a different RSSC ship next time.