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Dolphins, just read your review..... it was excellent and I agree with every point you made. I was on the sailing just before you and I too was very impressed with all of the staff and the ship itself. Could you not duplicate your review and place on CC to make it easier for all to see? Just a thought!
Great review - I agree a lot with your overview of the trip. We were impressed with Radisson and found the only weaknesses to be what you described.
Sorry I didn't make it to the get together - I wasn't feeling really good that afternoon and I didn't know your cabin #. I thought I might run into you sometime onboard.
We had a very nice cruise experience and I'm glad you did too.
In my review, I failed to mention a pleasant surprise we enjoyed. While walking through the ship one afternoon, I overheard a talented pianist playing in the Star Lounge and I assumed it was Nana Mukhadze, the Russian concert pianist who performed in the theatre. to my surprise, I saw an elderly gentleman going through a dazzling array of classical medleys. I discovered he was Irving Fields, renouned pianist/composer who was a passenger on the ship. He had been asked by the cruise director if he would give an impromptu performance in the Star Lounge after the main production in the theatre. He had graciously consented and delighted the passengers with his
stirring Gershwin medley including "Rhapsody In Blue." He also played his popular compositions "Miami Beach Rhumba" and "Managua, Nicaragua." Just another example of what can happen on a Radisson cruise to make it so memorable.
Nice review! I too took my first (and second) Radisson cruise on Navigator to Bermuda in April. As a result of my Radisson experiences, I am now unwilling to go back to the "mass-market" lines............
Celebrity Galaxy 10/18 and 10/25/04
Seven Seas Mariner 12/17/04
Seven Seas Navigator 1/8/05
When we were on the Navigator in June '02 and April'03, there was a vibration in parts of the ship that was far more than the norm. Especially in the show lounge, which is right above the screws. There, it actually created a noise that interfered with the shows and lectures presented therein. I hope this has been corrected, in what is otherwise our favorite ship. Did you notice any of these problems in the show lounge?
We noticed the vibration in the show lounge and the Compass Rose when we under full steam and crossing. However we did not find it out of the norm and that bad. I'm under the belief that all ships vibrate but perhaps it also depends on where you are seated in both these areas as to how severe your experience is. So I guess the answer to your question is Yes, the vibration was still there.
We noticed it also when the ship was underway even in the Galileo Lounge during afternoon tea. As explained by the cruise director, it is known as cavitation around the prop in the rear of the ship. When underway and waves pass under the ship from a certain direction, it causes an air pocket between the prop and the bottom of the hull and then the sea slaps against the bottom of the hull causing the vibration. I have also noticed it on other ships. It is occasional and not persistent depending on course, speed and wave action.
Cavitation, the bane of all submariners, is caused when a propeller moves through the water fast enough to form air bubbles(separates the dissolved air in the water). The prop then hits the air bubbles (a lot like hitting little pebbles). This causes noise (thus the submariner's problem), vibration and pitting of the prop. Water temperature, depth and prop RPM all affect cavitation.
Since the Navigator is offering reduced prices on the rear suites, my guess is that the issue has not been completely resolved. I know when we were on the Navigator for a trans canal cruise a year ago the Captain said that the situation was aggrevated when the Navigator had to make "long legs" which required higher speeds (higher prop RPM). For what its worth the somewhat more rigid hull of the Navigator also helps transmit vibration. We have noticed the vabration on two trips but it has not bothered us (we have always had "forward" suites though). Noticed, yes; bothered, no. This remains, like the Lattitudes restraunt, a highly personal perception.
Just to add a clarification to gdlamberth's reply--
Cavitation is the vaporization of water which forms little bubbles on the TRAILING edge of the propeller. When the water pressure COLLAPSES these little bubbles, causing "beating" on the propeller, cavitation (noise/vibration) occurs. Cavitation is a function of speed, wave motion, pitch and camber of the "wheel" (propeller), hull design, and the correct match between hull design, propulsion characteristics, and propeller design. You may recall that the Navigator was never designed to be a cruise ship (it was a Russian oceanographic hull) with a top speed lower than it is today as a cruise ship, it is not surprising there is some vibration.
Having said this, it is a SHIP and will never be as smooth and vibration free (in the stern) as a Ritz Carlton hotel bed. Enjoy the difference!
We also just returned from the Bermuda cruise for the second year and found it just as perfect as last year. We will do it again in 05. Until you experience the embarkation process, you would think that we are all exagerating. The staff actually seem to love their jobs. The personal service is beyond belief. You can very easily walk away with a zero balance. There is no hard sell of anything. The marble baths are like nothing you have seen on the mass market lines and actually better than Cunard or Crystal in matters of size and the Aveeda products are wonderful. The regular room service menu is quite extensive and available 24 hours a day but if you want something not on the menu you can ask and it appears. We took a tour with a small group to see the galley and found it to be immaculate. We did find the dress style to be all over the map with evenings being dressier than we expected but no problem because we had found the same thing last year. The weather was perfect the whole time. Unless you are an obsessive golfer, leave the clubs at home. It IS really hot and humid this time of year. There is nothing like this ship. You will not see Budweiser T-shirts and jeans or have hairy chest contests.Nightlife was a little quiet however when you are docked in Hamilton there are a couple of great rock-clubs right across the street. Anyone with a starboard balcony will have a cool view of town. If you buy a bus/ferry pass you can make your own excusions anwhere you want. We do our sightseeing this way. If you are headed to Bermuda, I hope your cruise was as fabulous as the 6/2 run.
We can confirm those rock clubs on Front Street. On Saturday night you can hear them in your starboard side balcony cabin even with the doors closed. On my next Bermuda cruise, I would prefer a not so cool port side balcony with a view of the quiet harbor.
You could hear music and fun going on if you sat out on your balcony. It lasts nowhere near as late as the n.y. bars where serving stops at 4a.m.! Once inside the cabin, even with the door partially open, we did not hear anything.