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 More
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. Less
Navigator of the Seas Cruises to the Western Mediterranean
This was the last port for us on our 6-day cruise. We spent two nights in a nice commercial hotel in Barcelona. We bought the two-day pass for the tour bus, which we used to get around the city. We had wonderful meals at a restaurant a few blocks from our hotel.
Although it was raining, we walked into the city and took the "walk on/walk off" bus tour. This got us a pretty good idea of Genoa, which is a pretty large city. We then went out on our own, with umbrellas, checking out the old city itself. I accidentally discovered the "red light area," when I noticed several young ladies,each holding a pink umbrella, standing in their respective doorways. We later had great focaccia for a quick lunch. The prices were one to three euros for a large piece. An entire class of local students was getting their lunch at the same time. We walked past the house of Christopher Columbus. We highly recommend walking around Genoa.
We spent two nights in Rome before embarking on our 6-days cruise. We arrived from Firenze (Florence) via the high-speed train. A great way to go. We walked amongst the ruins of the Palatine Hills and the Colosseum. Our hotel was very nice, and near the Circo Massimo (Circus Maximus). Rome is a great walking city.