Regent unveils 2013 itineraries

The 700-guest, ultra-luxurious Seven Seas Voyager is one of three ships in the Regent fleet expected to span the globe in 2013. Image courtesy Michael Coleman

By Michael Coleman

The ultra-luxurious Regent Seven Seas Cruises fleet — Voyager, Mariner and Navigator — is poised to offer new port calls, five Grand Voyages and a circle South America sailing as part of the line’s just released 2012-2013 winter collection itineraries.

Look for the Grand Voyages to feature exclusive amenities, a new Western Australia cruise, and business class air upgrades from just $999 each way. Widely recognized as the world’s most inclusive luxury line, Regent sailings feature all-suite accommodations, gourmet cuisine, premium spirits and fine wines, free shore excursions, gratuities, and a pre-cruise luxury hotel stay, at no additional cost.

“When you couple the new itineraries with our luxurious suites, personalized service, superb cuisine and all-inclusive pricing, Regent Seven Seas is the best value in luxury cruising,” said Regent president Mark Conroy.

Beginning October 2012, Voyager will offer five Grand Voyages departing Rome, Bali, Auckland and Beijing. Ranging from 54 to 143 nights, Grand Voyages include exclusive amenities such as free Business Class air, a special pre-cruise overnight and dinner, exclusive event, free Visas, internet access and more.

From December 2012 through April 2013, the ship visits Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Bali, Vietnam, India, China and Japan, including maiden calls at Hiroshima and Huangpu (Canton), China. Many of the Asian itineraries offer free land programs or multi-night hotel packages in Angkor Wat, Sydney, Bali, Auckland, Hong Kong, Beijing, Chiang Mai, Safaga (Luxor) and to the Taj Mahal.

A new 21-night Western Australia cruise, departing Dec. 19, 2012, features maiden calls at Exmouth, Fremantle (Perth), Geraldton and Kangaroo Island.

Mariner’s circle South America, meanwhile, will explore many of the continent’s most popular ports-of-call with a 72-night voyage, roundtrip from Miami departing January 7, 2013. The 700-guest vessel will offer exclusive amenities include free First Class air, special pre-cruise overnight and dinner in Miami, an exclusive event, free private transfers to and from the port of Miami, free roundtrip luggage delivery service, Internet access and Visas. Four shorter South America voyages ranging from 12 to 24 nights focus on the Panama Canal, Chilean Fjords, Brazil, Argentina and the Amazon.

The 492-guest Navigator will feature voyages to the tropics now operating roundtrip from Miami — one of the line’s newest ports — beginning November 2012 through April 2013, with 16 departures to the eastern and western Caribbean. The ship then departs Miami for an 18-night voyage to San Francisco to begin its highly-popular cruises to Alaska.

The spacious pool-deck aboard Regent Seven Seas Voyager received a recent face-lift as part of a multi-million-dollar, ship-wide refurbishment. Image courtesy Michael Coleman

The line was recently rated the “World’s Best Cruise Line” by readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine and was recognized as the “Best Luxury Cruise Experience” by Virtuoso, the leading luxury travel network.

The Regent fleet visits some 300 global destinations each year.

All-inclusive Regent sets sights on longer itineraries

Image courtesy Regent Seven Seas Cruises - The 700-guest Regent Seven Seas Voyager will be featuring an all-encompassing, 29-night itinerary from London to Stockholm in June, 2012. The line’s other 700-guest vessel, Mariner, will be offering an equally immersive 27-night itinerary from Monte Carlo to Buenos Aires in November, 2012.

By Michael Coleman

Intrepid luxury cruise travelers seeking more of Europe and South America in 2012 have been eyeing new, longer itineraries recently unveiled by Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

The line’s “Grand Voyages’’ — London to Stockholm, 29 nights in June, 2012; or Monte Carlo to Buenos Aires, 27 nights in November, 2012 — were announced according to company officials in response to past guest requests and heightened demand for extended sailings in Europe and South America.

“A great number of our loyal guests are perennial travelers and seek out voyages which offer a wide range of unique experiences,’’ said Regent president Mark Conroy. “Our new 2012 Grand Voyages offer an abundance of opportunities for exploration and are certain to create life-long memories.’’

Among the highlights:

– Northern Odyssey, 29 nights, London to Stockholm, departs June 3, 2012. Travelers visit the most alluring ports aboard the 700-guest Voyager in the British Isles, Ireland, Iceland, Norway and the Baltic. Along the way, guests will be treated to the region’s must-see star ports such as Dublin, Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm, along with lesser-explored locales in Scotland, Norway and Iceland and overnight calls in Reykjavik, Oslo and St. Petersburg.

– Latin Sojourn, 27 nights, Monte Carlo to Buenos Aires, departs Nov. 9, 2012. A nearly four-week journey aboard the 700-guest Mariner visiting some of the Costa del Sol’s treasures — Barcelona, Cartagena and Granada — before calling on the golden shores of North Africa and the Canary Islands. Relaxing days crossing the Atlantic are the perfect prelude to one of the most comprehensive explorations of South America’s east coast, where bustling metropolises are perfectly blended with Old World colonial charm and breathtaking nature preserves.

Recently rated “world’s best cruise line” by Condé Nast Traveler readers, Regent operates the all-suite Voyager, Mariner and Navigator on seven- to 119-night voyages to more than 300 destinations world-wide, including Alaska, the Mediterranean, Greek Islands and Holy Lands before venturing to Egypt, India, Australia, New Zealand, the Far East, South America and the Caribbean for the winter.

The line has just completed a $100 million enhancement of all three vessels. Almost every area of the ships was refurbished, with public rooms being substantially redesigned. The updates resulted in a new look that is fresh, elegant and luxurious yet retains the familial warmth and charm for which Regent is lauded.

Beginning with the 2012 summer season, guests in concierge-level suites and higher will enjoy a range of benefits from priority online shore excursion and restaurant reservations to upgrades and complimentary amenities. Enhancing the culinary experience, menus in the Compass Rose and La Veranda restaurants will be expanded with a greater emphasis placed on showcasing specialties from the regions visited.

The company is widely recognized as the world’s most inclusive cruise line because airfare, all-suite accommodations, award-winning cuisine, open bars, nightly entertainment, sightseeing tours and excursions, gratuities and taxes, and a free, pre-cruise luxury hotel package are included in the cruise fare.

On the web: www.rssc.com

Stars to shine aboard Regent Voyager

Regent Seven Seas Voyager embarks on a 162-night world cruise later this month and will feature a star-studded line-up of enrichment lecturers. Image courtesy Michael Coleman

By Michael Coleman

Regent Seven Seas Cruises has announced its line-up of star-studded luminaries to be featured on the line’s 2011 world cruise aboard the 700-guest Seven Seas Voyager — an award-winning, all-suite, all-balcony, ultra-luxury vessel.

The 162-night odyssey departs Fort Lauderdale this month and will complete its global adventure on June 7, 2011, in London. The featured luminaries will present lectures, classes and workshops to offer guests fresh perspective and insights.

Experts and award-winning luminaries include:

– Jim Nantz — Feb. 23 – 29: Emmy award-winning sports personality and five-time National Sportscaster of the Year. He will be available to discuss some of his favorite play-by-play moments throughout his 25-year sportscasting career.

– Rita Moreno — Feb. 23-March 12: One of only 10 performers who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award; she will entertain with a special musical performance and speak about her life and career.

– Morton Dean — March 29-April 13: Emmy Award-winning correspondent; one of the best known, most highly regarded and widely traveled newsmen in his profession. During his 14 years with ABC News and 20 years with CBS News, he covered many historic, headline-making stories around the world including presidential campaigns, Papal visits and the civil rights struggle.

– Alan Thicke — April 28-May 4: Known best as psychiatrist and father, Jason Seaver, from ABC’s “Growing Pains.” Thicke has earned a “Best Actor” Golden Globe nomination and seven Emmy Award nominations (five for writing and two for acting).

– Charles Cook — May 4-24: Widely regarded as one of the United States’ leading authorities on U.S. elections and political trends, Charlie has appeared on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening news programs, as well as on “Good Morning America,” the “Today Show,” “Nightline,” “Meet the Press with Tim Russert,” and “This Week….” He has also appeared many times on CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, C-SPAN and National Public Radio.

– Jeff Greenberg — May 4-24: Emmy-Award winning casting director for the hit comedy Modern Family after having guided the casting chores for such other iconic shows such as Frasier and Cheers. Other television credits include Ugly Betty, Wings, My So-Called Life, NewsRadio and dozens of others. His feature credits include A Night at the Roxbury, Father of the Bride 2, Look Who’s Talking and Die Mommie Die!

– Dr. Michael Leeden — May 4-24: the Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Leeden is also a contributing editor at National Review Online. Previously, he served as a consultant to the National Security Council, the State Department, and the Defense Department and has taught at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Rome.

– Jacki Lyden — May 4-24: Acclaimed journalist, author and radio host, Jacki Lyden can currently be heard on the weekend broadcasts of National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. Formerly NPR’s London correspondent, Lyden has covered the Gulf War from Baghdad, Iraq and has reported from Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Iran, and other countries.

– Ari Shapiro — May 4-24: NPR’s award-winning White House correspondent, Shapiro reports for all of NPR’ s newsmagazines, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Based in Washington, D.C. He has received the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award, the Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize and a “laurel” for excellent reporting from the Columbia Journalism Review.

– Jack Hanna — May 14-24: Recognized around the country as America’s favorite zookeeper and author of 10 books. He will be available to share his “hands on” approach to wildlife conservation and his lifetime of travel experiences.

When the ship visits San Francisco on Jan. 13, 2011 full world cruise guests will be entertained by legendary performers Norm Crosby – he’s been making audiences laugh and a crowd favorite since his days from “The Ed Sullivan Show” — and Joel Grey, best known for his role as the Master of Ceremonies in the Broadway musical “Cabaret,” in which he earned an Academy Award for the film version.

In addition to the headliners, the world cruise will feature a variety of enrichment lecturers, arts & crafts workshops, ACBL-certified bridge masters, gentlemen social hosts and dance instructors.

Regent is the world’s only cruise line that includes award-winning service, acclaimed cuisine, premium spirits and fine wine, gratuities, hotel packages and sightseeing excursions in every port.

On the web: rssc.com

Poll: Crystal, Regent, Seabourn deemed world’s best

Three ultra-luxury cruise lines — Crystal, Regent and Seabourn — have been voted as the world’s best. Regent Seven Seas Mariner is pictured here in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.
Images courtesy Michael Coleman

By Michael Coleman

Luxury cruise ship operators Crystal, Regent and Seabourn have been voted as the world’s best cruise lines.

Crystal and Regent tied for number one in the “large-ship” category in the 2010 Condé Nast Traveler readers’ poll while Seabourn was named best in the “small ship’’ category.

Considered among the travel industry’s most coveted honors, the magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards celebrate the best-of-the-best cruise lines, hotels, airlines, cities, rental car companies and islands.

Travelers evaluated cruise lines on their Itineraries and Shore Excursions, Accommodations, Food/Dining, Crew/Service, Design/Layout and Activities/Facilities to determine the overall score. Complete results appear in the magazine’s November edition.

Crystal, soon to celebrate its 20th Anniversary, shares the number one billing with a competitor for the first time in over a decade-and-a-half yet still holds the distinction of having won the award more than any other cruise line, hotel or resort in the magazine’s poll history. 

Renowned for their service, space, quality and choices Crystal’s two stylish ships, Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, are recognized for innovative partnerships with Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Piero Selvaggio, stimulating Creative Learning Institute and Computer [email protected], Feng Shui-designed spa, and a myriad of culinary, cultural and fitness-oriented enrichment. In 2011, Crystal will introduce Perfect Choice dining featuring flexible open dining times, by reservation, and two seating choices. Itineraries of seven to 100+ days are available throughout the world.

Regent, meanwhile, the world’s only cruise line to include airfare, all-suite accommodations, acclaimed cuisine, open bars, sightseeing excursions, gratuities and taxes as part of the overall cruise fare, features a three-ship, all-suite luxury fleet carrying 490 to 700 guests to ports in Australia, Europe, Asia, Alaska and the Caribbean. Facilities include several bars, a show lounge, intimate casino, library, Internet center, card room, outdoor pool, hot tubs and Canyon Ranch SpaClub. Depending on the ship, guests can choose from up to four, open-seating gourmet restaurants, including Prime 7, the line’s new steakhouse.

Seabourn Odyssey docked on Grand Turk Island, Turks & Caicos.
The 2010 Readers’ Choice award comes as Seabourn is in the midst of a three-year, three-yacht expansion of its small ship fleet, which has included the launch of Seabourn Odyssey in June 2009 and Seabourn Sojourn in June 2010. The new Seabourn Quest is scheduled to depart on its maiden voyage from Barcelona, Spain, on June 20, 2011. The expanded fleet has enabled Seabourn to increase its capacity in the most popular destinations, such as the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, while adding new, exotic ports of call around the world, including Indonesia and the South Pacific. 

More than 26,000 subscribers voted in the 2010 survey. 

On the web: www.crystalcruises.com, www.rssc.com, www.seabourn.com

Crystal Serenity pictured off the coast of Taormina, Sicily.

Special deals offered for ‘World’s Largest Cruise Night’

Most cruise lines are offering some sort of special deal for the World's Largest Cruise Night on Oct. 13. Some offers are only good for deals booked that day and some last a bit longer. Pick your ship, see what sort of deal you can get and plan your next getaway. Photo by Matt Roseboom

By Jackie Roseboom

The Cruise Lines International Association is holding a special World’s Largest Cruise Night this Oct. 13. Travel agents across North America will be hosting a special events in partnership with several cruise lines. Some amazing deals are being offered. As the event gets closer, more deals will be offered. Here are the ones already showing up:

Carnival is enticing vacationers with cruise upgrades on virtually all “Fun Ship” departures through December 2011. To sweeten the deal, Carnival will offer up to a $200 onboard credit per stateroom for all Carnival Magic Europe voyages booked on Oct. 13. The Carnival Magic Europe offer includes best available upgrades and a $100 onboard credit per stateroom for seven-day Europe sailings and a $200 onboard credit per stateroom for nine- and 12-day sailings.

Celebrity is hosting a three-day sale beginning Oct. 13 for sailings departing April through December 2011 for select seven- to 14-night sailings. Look for onboard credits of $50 per stateroom for oceanview accommodations; $100 per stateroom for veranda accommodations; and $150 per stateroom for AquaClass (only on Solstice-class ships), suites, and Concierge Class.

Costa is offering a $50 onboard credit per stateroom on any sailing. The offer is valid only on Oct. 13.

Crystal Cruises is offering a $100 per person additional savings incentive on most 2010-2011 departures for new bookings made from Oct. 1 to 31.

Cunard is offering an onboard credit (per stateroom) of up to $300 for Queens & Princess Grill accommodation; up to $200 for Balcony staterooms; and up to $100 for Oceanview/Inside staterooms, depending on length of voyage. Bookings made during the Cruise Sale will receive a waiver of the deposit on the second guest.

Holland America Line is offering shipboard credits that can be combined with group amenities or cruise night offers. Plus deposits are only $100 per person for cruises of seven to 36 days.

For booking between Oct. 13 to 27, MSC will offer exclusive shipboard credits, such as $25 per passenger for inside cabin/oceanview bookings; $50 per passenger for standard balcony/superior balcony accommodations; and $100 per passenger for suites bookings.

Oceania Cruises is celebrating its maiden season in Alaska with two-for-one cruise fares, plus free round-trip air and bonus savings up to $1,000 per stateroom.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is offering a $100 per person ($200 per suite) shipboard credit booking incentive. This offer is valid for any new reservation on a 2010 or 2011 departure of seven nights or longer booked between Oct. 1 and Nov. 15.

Silversea Cruises is offering a $100 per guest ($200 per suite) savings on any 2010, 2011 or 2012 cruise booked during the month of October.

Windstar is offering a $100 per person shipboard credit on any Wind Spirit, Wind Star or Wind Surf sailing in the Caribbean or Costa Rica between Jan. 2 and April 2, 2011. The offer is valid for new bookings made between Oct. 13 and Nov. 15, and the credits may be combined with all nationwide offers including two-for-one offers.

On the Web: visit cruising.org for more information or check with a CLIA-member travel agent.

New-Look Regent Seven Seas Navigator debuts

The 490-guest Regent Seven Seas Navigator has received a multi-million facelift. Image courtesy of Regent.

By Michael Coleman

One of luxury cruise travel’s iconic vessels, Regent Seven Seas Navigator, has received a stem to stern makeover.

The 490-passenger ship, just a decade old, was both updated and upgraded during a 50-day transformation. Fleet-mates Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Mariner, each 700-passengers, were refurbished last year.


Among the most luxurious ships afloat, the intimate, all-suite Navigator sports a sophisticated new décor with rich fabrics and furnishings, much like those found in an elegant estate home. 

“The makeover gives the ship a stunning new look and feel,” said Mark Conroy, the line’s president.

Among the highlights:


Prime 7 — a new restaurant — features a rich palette of green and gold, with supple leather seating, granite and burnished woods. The menu features prime-aged steaks and chops as well as poultry and fresh seafood.



Compass Rose — the ship’s main dining room — has undergone a dramatic update with new window treatments, carpets and plush cranberry and camel armchairs. New signature china, silver and glassware complete the redesign.



La Veranda — with both indoor and al fresco seating — replaced Portofino’s restaurant. New furniture, carpeting and draperies create an elegant ambiance. Food stations have been redesigned and enhanced for guests to enjoy lavish breakfast and lunch buffets. In the evening diners select from a menu of regionally themed specialties. 



A New Pool Grill features a hot and cold buffet, panini sandwich station and coffee and dessert area in addition to a state-of-the-art barbecue grill. The Pool Bar, at the other end of the pool deck, was expanded and enhanced with a new ice cream station, equipped with machines for milkshakes and frappes. 



Star’s Lounge received a masterful makeover. A ruby-red carpet running the length of the entryway sets the stage for this glamorous club with furnishings that exude a classic Hollywood elegance. 



Galileo’s Lounge sports bold new interiors, window coverings and a sleek new bar area. An outdoor lounge has been added with stylish sofas and chaises overlooking the sea.



Navigator Lounge features rich hues of cappuccino, camel and navy accented by apple-green. The card room and library were redecorated and all public spaces throughout the ship were refreshed. 



Canyon Ranch SpaClub — a former health club and an observation lounge have been transformed into the ship’s new Canyon Ranch SpaClub. The serene and stylish wellness center has body and skin-care, massage and thalassotherapy treatment rooms, including a couples’ suite. Added is an aerobics studio and new gymnasium with cardio and strength-training machines, both affording forward-facing, panoramic ocean views. Locker rooms, including his and hers sauna and steam rooms, have been updated as has the full-service beauty salon, which features new wood cabinetry and granite accents. A juice bar and relaxation lounge are additional SpaClub amenities.

The ship operates seven- to 11-night cruises to the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America this winter, followed by a summer series of seven-night Alaska cruises between Vancouver and Anchorage. Upon completion of the Alaska season, the ship embarks on a 96-night Grand Asia Pacific cruise.

Regent offers all-inclusive packages featuring two-for-one cruise fares, complimentary airfare, free unlimited shore excursions, complimentary onboard liquor, and gratuities are included in the cruise fare.

Regent’s three elegantly appointed, all-suite ships operate seven- to 119-night voyages to more than 300 destinations worldwide.

On the Web: rssc.com

Days-at-sea voyages in vogue

Cunard Line is the only company that offers regularly scheduled transatlantic crossings, most often aboard the Queen Mary 2. Transocean voyages are in vogue among today’s cruise travelers. Image courtesy Cunard

By Michael Coleman

Transocean cruise travel opportunities are gaining in popularity as luxury, premium and mass market operators offer longer haul, sea-going choices than ever before.

As cruise ships large and small are seasonally repositioned from one cruising destination to another, travelers have dozens of opportunities to enjoy one of life’s most memorable and unique experiences — a voyage by ship from one continent to another.

The Cunard Line, for decades, was literally built via the transatlantic voyages offered aboard her ships and today is the only company that offers regularly scheduled transatlantic crossings on the Queen Mary 2 from April to November.

But, in this highly-competitive global industry that is cruise travel, more and more lines are offering a host of transocean opportunities as well.

In this the first of a two-part series, we’ll look at the transocean voyages being offered by the world’s best luxury cruise lines, each a member of the Cruise Lines International Association.

Next week, we’ll take a closer look at the transocean voyages being offered by the world’s top mass market and premium cruise lines.

CUNARD LINE Queen Mary 2 — Twenty-one transatlantic crossings, April-November, including classic six-day voyages between New York and Southampton, plus a seven-day option as well as eight- and nine-day crossings to Cherbourg and Hamburg,

CRYSTAL CRUISESCrystal Symphony — From Dubai to Athens, departing May 12; from London to New York, departing September 5; from New York to Los Angeles, departing November 2; Crystal Serenity — From Dubai to Athens (part of the 2010 World Cruise), departing March 15; from Rome to Barcelona, departing October 19.

REGENT SEVEN SEAS CRUISESSeven Seas Mariner — 16 nights from Fort Lauderdale to Monte Carlo departing March 22; Seven Seas Navigator — 20 nights from Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco departing May 6; 18 nights from Seward to Tianjin (Beijing) departing September 15; Seven Seas Voyager — 14 nights from Fort Lauderdale to Reykjavik departing May 12; 15 nights from Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale departing November 8.

SEABOURN CRUISE LINESeabourn Spirit — 13 days from Fort Lauderdale to Lisbon departing March 19; Seabourn Legend — 13 days from Fort Lauderdale to Lisbon departing April 8; Seabourn Legend — 13 days from Malaga to Fort Lauderdale departing November 20; Seabourn Odyssey — 13 days from Nice to Fort Lauderdale departing December 6.

SEADREAM YACHT CLUBSeaDream I — 13 days from San Juan to Malaga departing April 30; 12 days from Malaga to San Juan departing October 14; SeaDream II — 12 days from Barbados to Malaga departing April 25; 2 days from Barbados to Malaga departing November 8.

SILVERSEA CRUISESSilver Spirit — 14 days from New York to Southampton departing April 23; Silver Cloud — 15 Days from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Barcelona, Spain, departing April 14; Silver Whisper — 12 Days from Southampton, U.K. to New York City, New York, departing September 2; Silver Shadow — 16 Days from Vancouver, British Columbia to Tokyo, Japan, departing Sept. 12.

Cruise Guide: Luxury passengers eye Caribbean

caribbean cruises

By Michael Coleman

The premium and luxury cruise lines, like their mass-market counterparts, are preparing for another busy Caribbean season. Here’s what’s ahead for those who seek to be pampered under a hot Caribbean sun in 2010.

Azamara Cruises – Azamara Journey will sail a variety of Caribbean, Panama Canal and first-ever Sea of Cortez voyages beginning in November 2010. The season features 23 ports in 13 different countries. The 12-night Caribbean itineraries are roundtrip from Miami, visiting ports in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, St. Martin, St. Kitts, Guadeloupe, St. Barts, St. Lucia and Dominica. Sixteen-night Panama Canal voyages sail between Miami and San Diego.

Celebrity Cruises – The 2,850-passenger Celebrity Equinox, the company’s newest arrival, makes her debut in the Caribbean this winter with 10- and 11-night cruises from Port Everglades. Celebrity guests also have more East Coast ports to choose from, including Baltimore, Charleston and Bayonne (for Bermuda cruises) and can take advantage of lower airfares to San Juan where Celebrity Summit visits no fewer than five ports in a week. Celebrity Solstice will sail year-round in the Caribbean starting this winter.

Holland America Line – Offering diversity and a breadth of itinerary lengths from seven to 14 days, Holland America has nine ships sailing the Caribbean on 126 cruises from January to May and October to December. The line’s newest ship, Nieuw Amsterdam, will offer seven-day western and eastern itineraries. Homeports are Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa. Some cruises include the Panama Canal and nearly all include the line’s award-winning private island of Half Moon Cay, Bahamas.

Oceania Cruises – Three of Oceania’s seven Caribbean itineraries for 2010/2011 will be new, including a 10-day “Mayan Mystique” voyage of the western Caribbean; a 14-day “Southern Treasures” cruise featuring overnights in Bermuda and Charleston; and a new springtime Panama Canal sailing. In addition, there will be two departures —November 27 and March 19 — for the 24-day “Amazon Adventure” and a 12-day holiday voyage. An introductory offer expiring March 31 includes free air and two-for-one pricing.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises — Ultra-luxury Regent will be offering a full season of Caribbean cruises from December to April this winter aboard the newly-refurbished Seven Seas Navigator. The ship is presently in dry dock receiving two brand new restaurants (Prime 7 and La Veranda) as well as a Canyon Ranch SpaClub. All roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, the cruises feature 2-for-1 fares, free air from 22 North American gateways and free unlimited shore excursions.

Windstar Cruises — The line will be introducing a new 7-day St. Martin roundtrip itinerary this winter on the 148-guest Wind Spirit. Each week from December through March, look for port calls to include St. Kitts, Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda and St. Barts. The 312-guest Wind Surf will be offering 7-day roundtrip sailings from Barbados.

Cruise Guide: Luxurious Navigator poised for upgrade

The luxurious, 490-guest Regent Seven Seas Navigator will undergo an extensive, multi-million dollar refurbishment next month. She will then operate a series of seven- to 11-night cruises to the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America this winter followed by a summer season of seven-night Alaska cruises between Vancouver and Anchorage. In the fall, look for Navigator to embark on a 96-night Grand Asia Pacific cruise featuring port calls in Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand.  Image courtesy Michael Coleman
The luxurious, 490-guest Regent Seven Seas Navigator will undergo an extensive, multi-million dollar refurbishment next month. She will then operate a series of seven- to 11-night cruises to the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America this winter followed by a summer season of seven-night Alaska cruises between Vancouver and Anchorage. In the fall, look for Navigator to embark on a 96-night Grand Asia Pacific cruise featuring port calls in Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. Image courtesy Michael Coleman

By Michael Coleman

A stem-to-stern, multi-million-dollar refurbishment is in store for the luxurious, all-suite Regent Seven Seas Navigator.

The ship will enter dry dock next month and according to company officials will emerge “radiating elegance and sophistication, resplendent with rich fabrics, textures and elegant furnishings.’’

“Navigator is beloved by our loyal repeat guests because it feels like you are cruising aboard a world-class luxury yacht,” said Regent President Mark Conroy. “After her makeover she will sport a stunning new look and feel, two new dining venues and a spa operated by the renowned Canyon Ranch.”

New Dining Options

Regent will build a steakhouse aboard Navigator. Dubbed Prime 7, it will feature stylish décor and fine, prime-aged steaks and chops along with fresh seafood and poultry. Rivaling elegant restaurants ashore, a rich palette of green and golden hues will create an ambiance of glamour and intimacy. Supple leather, polished granite and burnished woods will set an impressive stage accented by custom-designed china, flatware and crystal.

Compass Rose, the ship’s main dining room, will appear dramatically different. New and sumptuous armchairs in rich jewel tones of cranberry and opal atop plush carpets of russet and cocoa will create a regal setting for gourmet dining. New draperies, china, silver and glassware will complete the redesign.

La Veranda, meanwhile, will offer indoor and outdoor seating, replacing the ship’s current Portofino’s restaurant. New furniture, carpeting and window treatments will be complemented by signature table settings. The new restaurant will serve breakfast and lunch in a casually elegant atmosphere and, in the evening, feature regionally-themed specialty dinners.

High atop the ship on Deck 10, a new Pool Grill will be added featuring a barbeque grill, hot and cold buffet, panini sandwich station plus a coffee and dessert area. The casual, al fresco dining option will be open throughout the day.

The ship’s bars and lounges will also be transformed.

A mix of traditional and contemporary furnishings with complementary upholstery, carpeting and curtains will give Stars Lounge an eclectic ambiance reminiscent of a chic designer estate home.

Galileo’s will sport bold new interiors of burgundy and gold offset with accents of soft lavender, sky and moss while a sleek new bar area is awash with rich, tufted textiles and polished stone flooring. A new al fresco lounge will be created on the terrace featuring comfortable seating areas with plump sofas and chaises overlooking the sea.

The Navigator Lounge will also feature a new décor with rich hues of cappuccino, camel and navy accented by bold apple-green and lemon to create a vibrant, urbane feel. The ship’s card room and library plus public spaces will also be redecorated and refreshed.

Look also for the debut on Navigator of The Canyon Ranch SpaClub.

It will feature a state-of-the-art spa, wellness and fitness facility, plus a luxurious full-service beauty salon. SpaClub will offer massage, body and skin-care treatment rooms, a gym and weight room with cardio and weight training equipment, a juice bar, men’s and women’s locker rooms, thalassotherapy, sauna and steam rooms.

On the Web: rssc.com

Cruise Guide: Cupid eyes high seas romance

Weddings at sea and a host of romance packages are being offered by many of the world’s leading cruise lines. Image courtesy of Princess Cruises
Weddings at sea and a host of romance packages are being offered by many of the world’s leading cruise lines. Image courtesy of Princess Cruises

By Michael Coleman

cruiseguideheadersmallSome of the top mass market, premium and luxury cruise lines are playing cupid.

Here’s a sampling of the top cruise lines and how they’re taking romance to new heights on the high seas. Continue reading “Cruise Guide: Cupid eyes high seas romance”