This was our fourth RCI cruise - one with Celebrity and three with Royal Caribbean.
On this trip, as always, the quality was excellent, the food, service and accommodation was flawless. We loved the whole experience (with the exception below), and it was a memorable trip.
Our other trips have been Caribbean, which is mainly for Americans and this trip was more international, and a bit more laid back than USA dominated cruises. But the quality right across the board was intact.
Our stateroom, 6330, with a balcony, was excellent and we loved being reasonably close to the water (this was the lowest deck that has balconies). we went to sleep at night with the balcony open - drifting off to sleep with the sound of the sea is magical! Our stateroom attendant, Stephen, was courteous and efficent and the room was spotless.
Our dining room experience as always was excellent. The way we have cruised makes the dining room experience central to the trip. This was no exception, adn once again RCI came up with the goods. Our Serbian waiter, Marjan, was outstanding, and his assistant, Anak was excellent. Together they kept up RCI's reputation for excellent service.
The excursions we went on were fine, if a bit pricey - but you don't have to do them if you don't want.
The after dinner entertainment as always was great and varied, well hosted by the Italian cruise Director, Simona, who brought some real class to the cruise entretainment program.
All in all a great cruise. But we have only given it a four - not a five.
At the start of our cruise, going with RCI was a foregone conclusion. Now if we were to book a cruise, we would seriously consider going elsewhere. What has happened?
The problem for us is in the number of cruisers on the boat. On our three previous trips with RCI, on board the Century, the Enchantment and the Radiance, the experience was faultless. On the Navigator our impression was that there were 50% more cruisers packed into the same space. For us this showed up most in the Windjammer. Whereas in the past it has been a pleasure to eat at any time in the Windjammer, and five of us, including our children, never had any problem at all in finding somewhere to eat, eating in the Windjammer on this trip with just two of us was hell on wheels. The quality of food, the service etc was fine...but there were just too many people. Finding somewhere to sit was a nightmare...sorry to go on about it but it really affeted our impression of RCI. The pool deck was the same...more like Butlins on a boat than an expensive cruise. Not disrespect to Butlins or those who enjoy it...but it just not wht we wanted on a relatively expensive cruise. Was this a one off? or is it a trend with RCI? I don't know ,but it would make me think carefully again about cruising with them. Maybe its just what RCI have to do to remain profitable, but it meant that for us this cruise gets a four rather than a five. A real shame, because just about everything about RCI, this shop and its staff is excellent. The crew could not have done anything more to make our experience a good one...it's just a mangement decision which I hope they will take a look at.
So once again. well done RCI on your outstanding quality and value for money. But crowding out the ship as in my opinion you did, takes the gloss off, and we may look elsewhere next time.