Nickie Sheils is well used to life at sea. She has been cruising for 20 years, the last three with Seven Seas. Before that she spent 10 years with the Royal Navy.
She has served on the Mariner, the Voyager and the Explorer before joining the Navigator, regularly rotating from ship to ship, as do all the senior staff. “It keeps us on our toes and means a fresh pair of eyes are looking at how things are running,” she said.
There are 360 crew members on board at any one time (286 male; 74 female). The relatively low number of women will surprise many on our cruise as women were very much in evidence every day with many of the senior staff being female.
As to the passengers, six months is the youngest they will take but, that said, it is unusual for there to be children on board as there are no children’s facilities. There is no upper age limit. On our ship we had an elderly permanent resident who went from cruise to cruise and had done so for the past 20 years.
The majority of travellers are American with Europeans (especially Brits) coming a close second.
Solo travellers are very welcome but, as with most companies, they pay a premium for single occupancy. “We have a social group for people on their own. We find that people team up with each other for excursions or a few of them will meet up for dinner independently of the group,” said Nickie. “We find the singles social group is very popular on all our ships. It means that people travelling alone know that we have a network on board which is readily available to them.”