ST. MAARTEN_ Since we’re overnighting here, we have plenty of time to get to know World Navigator, who made her debut just four months ago and is the first in what will be a fleet of five ships sailing under the Atlas Ocean Voyages banner.
With a total guest capacity of just under 200, it hugs the line between cruise ship and super yacht. On this voyage, we have around 50 guests onboard, along with 127 crew, so right away we feel even more pampered and special.
And when Atlas says their fares are “All Inclusive, All the Way,” they mean just that. They include round-trip airfare, unlimited premium drinks, prepaid gratuities, a free shore excursion in every port and maybe most important these days, emergency medical evacuation insurance.
Pre-boarding, we filled in a form requesting what we wanted in our room minibar, along with our choice of premium spirit. It was all there, just as we specified.
Some initial impressions:
— The food and service — probably the two biggest considerations for any cruise — have been outstanding. Your every wish is their desire, literally. The executive chef hails from Spain, and it’s evident he knows his craft well. We also like the portions are smaller (there’s less waste and it’s better for the waistline).
— The ship is easy to learn and get around. As you might expect, as a small expedition ship with only seven decks, it doesn’t take long to locate the restaurants and public areas, so you’re not spending the first half of your trip making a lot of wrong turns.
— Atlas aims to provide “luxe adventure,” which translates to an upscale experience in a casual setting. While we’ll spend the next 10 days soaking up the Caribbean sun, she’s built to take travelers to the Antarctic and adventures around the globe in style and comfort.
— The decor is done in a retro, mid-century style, with a mix of neutral colors and design elements that conveys both elegance and fun.
— We have a Veranda Stateroom — 270 square feet with a balcony. While you always would like to have more closet space, it features the best shower we’ve had at sea, with multiple water jets that doubles as a spa treatment.
Speaking of spa, the ship does have the first L’OCCITANE spa at sea (also the brand of the bath products in your stateroom). We’ll be checking that out later in the week.
As is customary these days, you are expected to wear a mask when you’re not eating or drinking, and sanitizer distribution stations are plentiful throughout the ship.
Our next stop is a seldom-visited island that is the smallest “special municipality” of the Netherlands: Saba, with a population of around 2,000. We love seeing new places and are looking forward to checking it out.
Much more ahead about the ship and the destinations as we continue our trek through the Caribbean.
PHOTOS: Credit Gerry & Pam Barker
The Atlas Lounge is a perfect place to relax.
Our Veranda Stateroom
Check out All Things Cruise, our ultimate source for cruise lovers ~ Interested in a land-tour, possibly all-inclusive? Try our VacationCompete site, where trusted vacation specialists compete to offer the best deals! We reserve the right to correct any errors or omissions. Thank you.