This was our fourth cruise. Now feel ready to feed the internet with feedback.
Have read many reviews, usually finding the negative side to contain the most useful information.
Bringing liquor on board
On previous cruises we have packed a bottle of Baileys for the room. My wife likes it in her coffee and I like the odd shot before dinner or in the morning. Well Royal Caribbean thinks this cuts into their drink sales and abuses the safety security scanning to confiscate liquor. Your bag just doesn't show up and when ask staff, they say to check with security on deck 1. Down there, they get you to open your bag, give them the bottle for safe keeping, then send you on your way to haul luggage through the ship to your stateroom. Not exactly the classiest way to start a transatlantic crossing. Have no problem paying corkage at any of the dining venues, but what we do in our stateroom is our business. Imagine if a hotel tried crap like this.
Liquor on board
Expensive, around $8 for a pint of beer or their mixed drink of the day. Two Poets pub had a sad selection of only two lager beers on draft, Heineken and Amstel light. Our local pub down the hill has about 10 on draft, including several types of ales and a stout. Also, the Two Poets atmosphere is polluted with cigarette smoke. RC should get into the 21st century and start protecting their staff and customers from this hazard.
Paid a bit extra for an outside window stateroom. The first night we noticed how hot the room was even though set to maximum cold and there was a humming noise similar to a bathroom fan coming from the wall on the left side of the window. The next morning went to Customer Service for first time ever to ask for a cooler and quieter stateroom. Am informed there is no hope in hell we will be moved and that Maintenance will come have a look. Guy in overalls quickly fixed the broken air conditioning but said can do nothing about the vibrating wall. We got somewhat used to the constantly slightly noisy stateroom. Later talked to a couple that had an inside room on deck 10 with unbearable pool sloshing noise and were changed to a quieter room. So it looks like will get moved if room has serious problem but are stuck with minor problems. It would be nice if RC would just let customers know about room defects or if someone would start (or find) a website similar to the excellent http://www.seatguru.com/ for airline seats. As a nice gesture, RC provided a free bottle of red wine with a couple of glasses.
Just soap, shampoo and towels are provided. Bought conditioner in one of the Spanish ports.
Colour light amber, nose of dirt and chlorine. Found out at Captain's presentation that water was purchased at port in Cartagena. Drinking water seemed better in dining room and buffet but this could be because had more time to breathe or the added ice numbed the senses. Water quality improved over the days as more was desalinated onboard. Bought some spring water in most of the ports. No hassle bringing onboard.
Have to show seapass card to get pool towels on deck 11, then give room number when returning to same location. Purpose is to get passengers to clean up their towels. Side effect is can reserve deck chairs by placing towels.
No laundry rooms to wash clothes or iron shirts. They have a fill bag wash and fold service for $25. Strangely, it says can only put undergarments, t-shirts, and pajamas in but will charge full rip-off rate for pants, sweaters etc. Can't quite picture a land based laundry doing this for long.
Bought the 5 bottle wine packages ahead of time. Am not very knowledgeable about wine, so got our wine expert friend to help compile a list. The dining room staff brought the first bottle of wine but took the list and lost it. Oops. Told them I could easily retrieve the list by remotely connecting to my home computer. So the dining room staff very graciously got me $10 free internet time. Went to the Royal Caribbean Online room and quickly found that Windows Remote Desktop software is locked out. Asked IT staff guy for help but he said can do nothing, then suggested I go to an internet cafe at next port to waste my time and money retrieving this file. Also, my paranoia says it is dicey typing my passwords into a possibly infected internet cafe computer. Dining room staff suggested I go back to Customer Service and get them to hook me up with the IT manager. As far as talking with IT manager, ran into a firewall at Customer Service. However, they asked if phone access would help and gave me a free phone call. Called a friend who remotely connected to my home computer, retrieved the text file and emailed it to my work email that has a web interface. Was then able to go back to Royal Caribbean Online room, log onto my work email and get the list. So Customer Service was able to help resolve this, but when it comes to computers on board, the 'Nation of Why Not' quickly becomes the 'Nation of Can't Do It'.
An interesting selection of ports. Problem is spend too little time actually in the ports, for example, pulled out of Tenerife at 2:30pm to start 6 days at sea. It looks like fuel efficiency is more important than time in port.
Find other people's perception of ports interesting. In the dining room breakfast the next morning after Tenerife one of our table mates said 'didn't think much of the place' while we had been scheming on how to get back to this spectacular island.
One of the best parts of the cruise. Lots of relaxation with no shortage of things to do, such as eating, exploring the ship, rock climbing, swimming, cooking in the steam room, more eating, nightly entertainment. Could do this for weeks. Many people enjoyed the outer decks with mostly warm weather, low winds and calm seas. The enrichment we went to was just a slide show with some commentary. RC could learn from Cunard in this area.
Navigator of the Seas is a large beautiful slightly tired cruise ship with good design and many amenities. Staff provided excellent service even with constraining policies. Overall good value for the dollar. Will likely try another line for out next cruise to see how they do things.