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CptBoatface

Potential Navigator Cruise

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Greetings.  I'm working with a group of friends to plan for a 2021 South Pacific cruise. We've gone on HAL, but all other cruises have been on the big three of mass market lines. Trying to determine whether Navigator would be a good choice, as there have been some scathing reviews recently.

 

My wife and I may be leaning towards Oceania regatta but are having a hard time finding excursion prices for a full cost analysis for the team. Needless to say either line should be a huge step up and spoil us for mass market in the future.

 

Mid40s to 50s, fairly active. Would we like Regent? Would any recent travelers have positive input?

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Also recommend the Paul Gauguin.  Regent used to manage this ship - it was built for the South Pacific and is a beautiful ship.  

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We booked the Navigator for the South Pacific cruise and we looked at Paul Gauguin.  For was it looked a little to themed which some people would like, we don't.  Also I would believe it would be more family orientated from the photos they show, which isn't us.  Also if it's as themed as the photos show, we prefer more a lot less that look when cruising.  That said if you cruised HAL this mostly may fit your likes.  Check them both out--we did, but for us it was Regent Navigator.  Also they are saying the Navigator is going in to be freshen up a bit. One other big thing for us is on Regent you pay for everything within the price you paid for the cruise, most items are included.

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That's a big draw, no further payouts once booked. We can swing the balcony (a must) but we may be a bit short of the Paul gauguin price range

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Paul Gauguin is made for the itinerary and they know it well.  It is smaller than Navigator but flat bottomed which is good for the islands but we noticed the difference in size a lot.  Very friendly ship.  This was almost 7 years ago so not recent.  Now I would pick Navigator but for first time and younger, I may go with PG. 

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Paul Gauguin is all inclusive except for excursions (though here is an included beach barbecue and free private island access in Borabora) It is a dream. Not sure I understand the ‘too themed’ comment earlier and definitely not family oriented. 

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@CptBoatface,

Our blog from a recent cruise on Seven Seas Navigator may be of some use to you. Post #3 gives some pluses & minuses for the ship.

 

Note that our cruise was at the same time as a couple of those negative reviews to which you refer, so different cruisers have very differing opinions.

It does seem that Navigator in particular is a "Marmite" ship. You will either love it or hate it. We loved Navigator.

 

Like all ships you need to be careful about the position of the suite that you book - on Seven Seas Navigator, avoid suites towards the aft or under the Pool Deck. SuiteGuru is useful to for reviews of individual suites.

 

Whatever you eventually choose I hope you have a wonderful cruise 😎

If you do decide on Regent and it is your first booking then take advantage of the Regent Ambassador Programme. If you do not know anyone who has cruised with Regent then someone on these Boards will be happy to supply their details.

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It took me a while to find your blog but thoroughly enjoyed it!  Thanks!

Peggy

 

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Thank you! I will check it out. I want to do well by my friends as this is a big financial stretch for us. 

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We did our first Regent cruise last Nov-Dec.  from Honolulu to Sydney.  I compared all the options and found that it was no more (or not significantly so) to do Regent vs. other lines when considering airfare, tips, shore excursions, drinks, etc.  Our's was a bit of a "leap of faith" based on the discussion I had with our long time TA who is a huge Regent fan.  She was right!  We are hooked!  

So, our cruise was on Mariner and I know that makes a difference.   But I have to say we loved the South Pacific.  Our cruise was 44 nights, the first 30 were in the South Pacific.  I loved it so much I'm hoping to do it again.    The South Pacific portion of the cruise had a very active group on board.  Lot's of snorkelers and divers.  I would say that the average age was still 60 or better, but again, a very active group. The demographics changed in Auckland for the New Zealand portion.  

We really loved the "all inclusive" side of this cruise.  So much so that we've booked 29 nights next year on Navigator for New York to Dublin, then another 16 nights New York to Miami.  And I'm looking forward to the release of the rest of 2021 to find either South America or Asia.  We have decided that we want longer cruises on Regent.  We'll do short, 7 night Caribbean cruises on Royal Caribbean simply for the getaway and lower price. But we have been eternally spoiled by Regent.  

I know many here love Oceana also.  I have looked at them and am considering trying one.  But I have to say I loved the Regent experience and am counting the days until our next Regent cruise. 

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Posted (edited)

I looked at some of those trips in FP on the Navigator in a recent brochure.

 

We're Paul Gauguin addicts, and frankly would not do it any other way (although we hope to visit briefly on our world cruise in 2021.)

 

No, the PG is not too "themey".  Yes, they do give you the chance to immerse yourself a bit in Polynesian culture, but it's not at all cutesy. It's small, yes, but intimate in a great way.  A very well-run ship and a wonderful experience.

 

I'd compare the fares--the PG includes economy air from L.A., and does NOT includes excursions.  Cabins are smaller, but very nicely laid-out.  We usually have done a window cabin since there is plenty of outdoor space on various decks, and you don't spend a heap of time on the ship.  They also include snorkelling equipment, an all-day island picnic, and usually one or two half-day trips to a mostly-deserted beach off Bora Bora.

 

That being said, Navigator is definitely the one Regent ship that could do a good job in this area.

Edited by Wendy The Wanderer

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Wendy The Wanderer said:

I looked at some of those trips in FP on the Navigator in a recent brochure.

 

We're Paul Gauguin addicts, and frankly would not do it any other way (although we hope to visit briefly on our world cruise in 2021.)

 

No, the PG is not too "themey".  Yes, they do give you the chance to immerse yourself a bit in Polynesian culture, but it's not at all cutesy. It's small, yes, but intimate in a great way.  A very well-run ship and a wonderful experience.

 

I'd compare the fares--the PG includes economy air from L.A., and does NOT includes excursions.  Cabins are smaller, but very nicely laid-out.  We usually have done a window cabin since there is plenty of outdoor space on various decks, and you don't spend a heap of time on the ship.  They also include snorkelling equipment, an all-day island picnic, and usually one or two half-day trips to a mostly-deserted beach off Bora Bora.

 

That being said, Navigator is definitely the one Regent ship that could do a good job in this area.

I totally agree with Wendy about the Paul Gauguin. It's not "themey" in any way. It's home port is Papeete, and they always have a group of young people from French Polynesia as part of the crew to provide insight and entertainment on board. They are very genuine and provide a lot of information about the place where they live.

The cabins aren't large, but they are comfortable, and the crew is wonderful and provides excellent service. The food is quite good as well. If you like a small ship experience, there's not better way to cruise in the South Pacific.

Ronrick1943 mentioned that it looked like it was family oriented. We have met a few small family groups on board, but the cabins really only hold 2 comfortably. We have seen very few children. The family groups we have seen have been siblings, and a parent of 2, traveling in their own cabins. They have been outgoing with the rest of us; unlike very large family groups with children we've encountered on larger ships, where they're looking for tables for 20 or more at the same time. 

The OP mentioned that they're a group of friends traveling together. If they're a group of 8 or less, or a larger group that doesn't mind going their own way for meals and excursions, and mixing in with other passengers onboard, then they would fit in on the Paul Gauguin. If they're a group of 20 friends that will be staying together onboard and on excursions, then a somewhat larger ship like the Navigator would be more comfortable for that size group.

Edited by SWFLAOK
typo

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1 hour ago, SWFLAOK said:

Ronrick1943 mentioned that it looked like it was family oriented.

 

Yes, I forgot to mention that--we've encountered very few children on the PG, except once when we inadvertently booked over Easter when there were perhaps 4 or 5 kids.  I can't remember *any* children on any of our other cruises.

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We sailed Paul Gauguin several years ago for our anniversary.  14 day cruise through French Polynesia- loved it.  Highly recommended

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Less children would improve my wife's calm. 🙂 our three couples often do different things during the day and do dinner together so PG might be great. We may need to save some more pennies for PG

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13 minutes ago, CptBoatface said:

Less children would improve my wife's calm. 🙂 our three couples often do different things during the day and do dinner together so PG might be great. We may need to save some more pennies for PG

 

I think you'll find that the PG prices are lower than Regent (which they should be, considering the cabins are smaller, and included air is Economy, from L.A. instead of Business Air. To really compare you should compare cruise-only prices.  Business air to Tahiti from Los Angeles is quite expensive, btw.

 

So just comparing a cruise of similar length and itinerary and a similar time of year, although not the same month, and comparing similar cabins, with air, here's what I see:

 

PG Jan 2020, 10-days, E Window cabin, $6,745 -- D Balcony, $8,345

Navigator March 2020, 10-days, H Window, $15,699 -- F Veranda, $17,899

 

Of course, the PG cruise doesn't include excursions either, but it's otherwise all-inclusive.

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9 hours ago, SWFLAOK said:

... Ronrick1943 mentioned that it looked like it was family oriented. We have met a few small family groups on board, but the cabins really only hold 2 comfortably. We have seen very few children. ...

As Wendy said, we've hardly ever been on the PG when there were children.  But at some times of the year there are kids on boards, and they put on a program for them about the environment curated by one of Jacques Cousteau's sons.

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I like the idea of the outdoor spaces on PG, but I think I would have a hard time getting over the very dated looking inner spaces!

 

I think if I was not going to do the Navigator I would look at Windstar.

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On 6/7/2019 at 2:28 AM, DavidTheWonderer said:

As Wendy said, we've hardly ever been on the PG when there were children.  But at some times of the year there are kids on boards, and they put on a program for them about the environment curated by one of Jacques Cousteau's sons.

Guess I'm wrong, I looked at the PG sales brochure which show family fun, and a look that had a little too much tropical theme for me.  I enjoy cruising without all of that---having the destination being the event, not the ship.  Some may not agree and that is fine---my opinion is what I saw in the brochure only.

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On 6/6/2019 at 11:24 PM, Wendy The Wanderer said:

 

I think you'll find that the PG prices are lower than Regent (which they should be, considering the cabins are smaller, and included air is Economy, from L.A. instead of Business Air. To really compare you should compare cruise-only prices.  Business air to Tahiti from Los Angeles is quite expensive, btw.

 

So just comparing a cruise of similar length and itinerary and a similar time of year, although not the same month, and comparing similar cabins, with air, here's what I see:

 

PG Jan 2020, 10-days, E Window cabin, $6,745 -- D Balcony, $8,345

Navigator March 2020, 10-days, H Window, $15,699 -- F Veranda, $17,899

 

Of course, the PG cruise doesn't include excursions either, but it's otherwise all-inclusive.

I'm just curious about whether the prices you quoted are in other-than-US-dollars.  I just checked the Regent website, and cruise "BEYOND THE BLUE LAGOON", for 10 days on Navigator beginning March 28, 2020, listed a price of $11,999 (Waitlist) for H window, and a price of $13,699 (Waitlist) for F veranda.  These are with business-class air: if you wanted to book your own air, you get a credit of $7,500.  Of course, if booking a number of cabins, I don''t think I'd want to depend on waitlist.

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51 minutes ago, LadyandtheTramp said:

I'm just curious about whether the prices you quoted are in other-than-US-dollars.  I just checked the Regent website, and cruise "BEYOND THE BLUE LAGOON", for 10 days on Navigator beginning March 28, 2020, listed a price of $11,999 (Waitlist) for H window, and a price of $13,699 (Waitlist) for F veranda.  These are with business-class air: if you wanted to book your own air, you get a credit of $7,500.  Of course, if booking a number of cabins, I don''t think I'd want to depend on waitlist.

 

Oh sorry, I forgot that RSSC.com quotes me in CAD$ when I'm here at home.  My apologies.

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Yup, we are looking to do our own air and go with the entry level balcony cabins or oceanview.  Trying to present team with about 15k/couple as end pricing. PG pushes the limit, even without air on most sailings of 10 days. 

I'm building a PowerPoint to show comparable sailings for O, Regent, PG, and..sorry, Princess as budget backup.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, CptBoatface said:

... I'm building a PowerPoint to show comparable sailings for O, Regent, PG, and..sorry, Princess as budget backup.

 

One should not apologise for considering a mass-market line like Princess. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to afford Regent and the PG, but given different financial circumstance I'm sure that I would have a great time on Princess.  Just perhaps not quite as great.

I'm assuming you meant a spreadsheet, not PowerPoint.

Edited by DavidTheWonderer

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