This is a review of the Navigator of the Seas, sailing date December 1, 2012. It was just my wife and I. As a general statement I believe the crew on any given ship will make or break the entertainment value of the vacation.
We flew in the day before and spent the night at Harrah's New Orleans and had a great time. We took a cab with another couple that we met at the front door and we got taken for a ride ....literally....$30.00 to go 2 blocks!!!
The ship had porters there to unload our luggage into the big carts and into the line we went.... Our bags were already tagged so it was a quick drop and go situation. The porters tagged your bags if you didn't already have them. Note that the Riverwalk access to the cruise ship walkway (it's still marked like that) is closed. The doors have a heavy chain and padlock on them.
At this point organization took a vacation. We didn't know it at the time but a lot of the embarkation problems were related to the fact that the Navigator had just come in with the "NOROVIRUS infection" on board and that they were in the process of "fumigating" each and every public area on board....
It only took about 1 hour to get on board ship but because of the decontamination process we were not allowed to go to our stateroom until after 4:00PM...
Once on board that is where the problems started. We headed to the Windjammer and instead of it being a regular buffet they had TWO (2) food servers next to each serving station to serve the guests as NOBODY was allowed to touch the food because of the virus. It took over one hour to make it through the buffet line and by the time you found a seat, the food was cold. We had this problem the WHOLE trip. Cold food....It was not until Friday, on the last day, that the guests were able to self service.
Entertainment: Average at best
Dining: The food and service in the Main dining room was fabulous and both Waiter (Rakesh) and Assistant Waiter (Americo) were phenomenal.
Windjammer: the food was always cold.
Room service: The food was decent and on time.
Bar Service: Very good
Soda Package: In my opinion, the soda package on the Navigator is a complete waste of money. I'm not sure I will ever buy the soda package on RCCL again because of this.
Excursions: Our excursion to Dunn's River Falls in Falmouth Jamaica was very good and very well organized.
NOROVIRUS: On day 3, I started getting a really bad head cold and by day 5 I was pretty run down. I went to sick bay and spoke to a nurse whose whole interest was whether or not I had a headache, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea....which were the published symptoms of Norovirus....I had none of the above other than a mild case of diarrhea.....she told me that I had two choices either to get the FREE Tylenol and Imodium to treat it as Norovirus infection or see a doctor for a $100.00 fee....Really???
I opted for the Imodium and Tylenol and was confined (quarantined) to my cabin for 24 hours. That was on Thursday at 11 AM and I was in the cabin for 24 hours....NO FUN!!
The following day at 11:15AM the nurse called and asked me "how I felt?" and since I was feeling better she released me from the quarantine and I was free to go anywhere on the ship. ...Out of courtesy for other passengers and our table mates, I decided to abstain from going to the dining room or to the buffet and stuck to room service.
Disembarkation: It was very well organized and we were off the ship within 30 minutes.
Note: We have now been home for a week and I still have yet to hear from RCCL. No emails or not even a letter asking "How I was doing or whether I was dead or alive?"
It was our third cruise with RCCL but it will be a long time before I go on another one...
A very disappointed cruiser!