My wife and I have taken seven cruises which included Carnival, NCL, and Celebrity. This was our first with RC. We were celebrating our 40th anniversary.
Embarkation: We arrived at the baggage drop-off by 11:00, parked in the whale lot, and were enjoying lunch in the Windjammer by noon. The boarding process was similar to most cruises we have taken with minimal waiting in line. This, of course was dependent upon the early arrival.
Cabin: We had an inside cabin on deck 9. Convenient and quiet. It was smaller than some we have been in, but very comfortable. It was a good choice for us since we spent so little time in the room. Storage space was well designed and adequate for our needs. The bathroom was roomy enough except for the shower. It would probably be a tight fit for anyone over 250 lbs.
Food: We ate breakfasts in the Windjammer throughout the voyage. Because we are early risers it was not overly crowded. The breakfast food choices were extensive, but tended to be the same all week. The same was true for lunches at the Windjammer. We ate suppers in the Nutcracker (MDR). Choices and quality were comparable to Carnival and NCL, but inferior to Celebrity.
Service: Waiters were attentive and helpful. Even in the Windjammer, waiters regularly circulated to offer beverages or provide assistance. Our room steward, "Speedy" was exceptional. He recognized us coming down the hallway, immediately went to our cabin, and opened the door for us. That's "royal" service.
Entertainment: Special guest performances were quite good. The ice skating show is a "must see". Tickets for the ice show are available the first night at sea in the Promenade. Don't procrastinate. Certain performances "sell out" quickly.
Disembarkation: Because we chose to carry our own luggage off the ship, we were allowed to leave at our convenience once docked. I would recommend this option to all who are able to carry their luggage. The only caution is to be patient. The elevators become very congested during this time.
Specific commendations: The ships decor is very beautiful (not gaudy like some). There is a constant emphasis on cleanliness. Gheorge, the "sanitizer man", makes your entrance into the Windjammer a fun experience. The head waiter of the Nutcracker was noteworthy, circulating and greeting every guest.
Recommendations: Search out recreational and entertainment options. The Compass
(the daily info sheet) could be more helpful identifying these options. We enjoyed the putt putt golf on deck 12 and the shuffleboard on decks 4 and 5. There are also classes such as quilting, etc. available on deck 2.
In general: The Navigator is a fine ship. It does not seem old or worn, and I would happily choose this vessel for another cruise. Royal Caribbean provides a lot of bang for your buck, its strongest feature being service.