This was our second time aboard Navagator of the Seas and once again we were very happy with the crew and the for the most part happy with the whole experience. As has been noted by others Navagator is due for a makeover and if it is another 18 months off she will really need some help. We arrived in Barcelona late on Thur. before boarding on Saturday and found that a day and a half is not enough time in this great city. STayed at the Hotel Villamari and found it comfortable and in a good location from which to get around the City.
Arriving at the port about 2PM only took about 30 minutes to get on board and our stateroom was ready for us--clean but a little worn--the embarkation was about as smooth as could be expected.
We enjoyed the Ports both Cartagena and Malaga were pleasnt enough and the weather was good. One problem we found in Malaga was a that several places did not accept credit cards and after you order lunch without cash it gets a little tense. Tennerefe was interesting with the very rugged topography coming right down to the waters edge.
My wife and I both thought the shows in the theater started out as very poor but got better later during the trip, The Platters put on a good show as did El Gaucho. The Ice show was good but not as spectacular as previous Ice Shows we have seen on both the Navagator and on Mariner.
I always look forward to the encrichment lectures and am disappointed when they are not offered. The Fun Decades presentation was fun and informative and I thought the speaker was among the best we have seen on Cruise ships. The art historian a little less impressive. I also enjoyed the evening Astronomy lectures offered by one of the Directors staff. I would like to know in the future that these types of lectures will be offered it might be the difference in going or not going.
Now to the dinning experience, we are relatively new to Cruising (only about 6 years) but I certainly feel that even in that short time the meals have gotten worse both in quality and variety. We were always able to find something on the dinner menue that was agreable but unlike a few years ago when almost each evening there were two or three things on the menue that I thought I would like to have. Our waite staff was very good there were a couple of evening when the food was not as hot as I would have prefered. The windjammer was ok we had the late seating for dinner and would usually just look for a snack for lunch and then perhaps go to tea aroun 4 or so. I think on future transatlantics we will try to get the early seating for dinner. Most mornings we had breakfast in the Main Dinning room and found that very good Hot food cooked to order.
I was a little worried about 6 consecutive sea days but they litteraly flew by to the point that I lost track--we played bridge most days, attended the lectures and other activites and found ourselves plenty busy.
The last comment concerns the debarkation I don't think you can necessairly fault RCI but the last memory of a very good trip is a bad experience. I don't know how to fix this problem certainly we need security and control but this system is just a mess with little information being transmitted to very frustrated passengers. Fortunately we were in no great hurry as we had a late afternoon flight out of New Orleans but there were a lot of people at the airport when we got there that had missed flights some of them international connections. The trip was really great and one that we will do more often the future it is a great value at less than 100 dollars a day I can't stay home for that.