I would like to preface this brief review by totally agreeing with the more detailed review by Petersonfcu, whom took the next cruise of Navigator from Barcelona to New Orleans. Our opinions as to the food and liquor policy echo their experience.
We had been on a number of RCCL cruises in years past (Monarch, Mariner, and Vision). In all previous cruises on RCCL ships the food was quite good to excellent. This cruise on Navigator subjected us to food that was barely "fair." I realize that most cruise lines in the "less expensive" categories have been cutting back on expenses for the past several years. But, this ship (can't speak about other RCCL ships, since it had been about three years since our previous cruise on the line) is not even providing food that is acceptable given our past experiences on RCCL and other lines. Most of our cruises for the past several years have been on Princess, mostly as RCCL has abandoned Los Angeles. In every way Princess has exceeded the experience we just had on Navigator.
Things that we DID LIKE:
(1) The room steward was great. No complaints at all. We did, however, wonder why the bed could not have been rotated 90 degrees so that both of us could walk to the bathroom without climbing over the corner of the bed. And, why should we need to put the glass coffee table in the closet to give us some walking space.
(2) The pastries at the Cafe Promenade were pretty good, as was the coffee. Not nearly up to the level of Princess ships, however. Nor was pizza aboard the Navigator anything like that available on Princess.
(2) Overall, the staff were fine. You find plenty of the lower-level restaurant people working in "robot mode," just going through the motions without any attempt at actually thinking about the passengers. But, in the main dining room, and elsewhere, the staff was about the same as on other ships we've been on.
(3) The ice show. Great performance.
(4) The main theater. Pretty good shows, for the most part. Not very well attended compared with other ships we've cruised on, for some unknown reason.
(5) The cabin bathroom was pretty good compared with other ships that we've been on....particularly the shower.
(6) The gym and locker rooms. Great facilities. The guy that lead the stretching class in the AM was very good. He actually seemed to be trying to help people. Usually the buff guys that lead these classes just go through the motions.
Things that we Did NOT LIKE:
(1) Food in the main dining room and the Windjammer. Pathetic stuff, for the most part.
(2) The absolute "No Liquor Allowed" policy for anything brought on board. Princess wins hands down in that they allow you to bring essentially as much wine or champagne on board as you want. Also, prices for drinks and bottles of wine on Navigator were a total rip-off. Hence, we bought less.
(3) No lotion in the cabin.
(4) No laundromats available. You can wash you clothes at reasonable cost on Princess ships. That means you can pack smaller and lighter.