Hubby and I met his brother and family for a week long get away. We flew to New Orleans from Oklashoma City on Friday before embarkation on Saturday. Taxi fare from airport to Embassy Suites cost $35 for us both and took about 25 minutes. Saturday, we drove two blocks from the hotel to the cruise ship terminal parking lot, parked, went thru the check in lines (previous RC cruisers have faster lines) and were on board within an hour! We were NOT allowed into our cabins until 1:00 even though we tried to get in at 12:15. A polite, yet firm RC employee was guarding the area. At 1:00 an announcement was made that the cabins were ready. Lunch was in the Windjammer dining area which is buffet style. Total chaos finding a table but the employees were very helpful clearing dirty tables and helping us find a seat. We ate in the WJ several times for lunch during the week and once at night. Overall, the selection of food was good, but the quality was so-so at best.
Day 1 was a More
chilly, rainy day at sea. Nothing much to report. Dinner was formal. We saw a mixture of people dressed very formal (tuxes and long evening gowns), dressy (suits and cocktail dresses) and nice (slacks and sundresses)
Days 5 & 6 were sea days. Day 7 was disembarkation. We used the self assist departure program which means we took all our luggage and left when we needed to. It took about 45 minutes to get off and thru customs. No problems there.
We were at Cafe du Mond by 10:00 which was crazy crowded!
Overall, I'd give this cruise an 8 out of 10. I missed the in-cabin robes I was used to on Carnival. Room service for breakfast was average but always arrived on time. Breakfast in the Nutcracker two mornings. One morning, it was super fast and the next day it took forever! Our cabin steward did a nice job, but we hardly ever saw him. We used my time dining and LOVED our waitstaff. We tipped them extra the last night because we felt like they worked their tails off to keep our table of 6 (including 2 teenage girls) happy all week long. The refrigerator in the cabin was stocked with soda, snacks and water. There's a price list inside. No alcohol was included. We tried to visit every bar at least once and have to say this ship has many of them! Plenty of places to sit and relax. A few of them are smoking including one in the Royal Promenade that allows the smoke to drift into the public areas. I didn't much enjoy that. The only downer of the week was our noisy neighbors. They opened the door between their two balconies and the four of them sat outside talking so loudly we felt like we should join in the conversation!
We love to cruise and will choose the next cruise based on itinerary and cost. We honestly didn't see much different between RC and Carnival. My port reviews are below. Less
Navigator of the Seas Cruises to the Western Caribbean
Cabin review: Superior Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony
Cabin 7640. A short walk from the elevators. Comfy bed but awful pillows! Room temperature easily controlled. Refrigerator included sodas, snacks and water to purchase. No alcohol. Two chairs and a table on the balcony. Tiny bathroom counter space! Nice shower with a door instead of a curtain. Adequate blow dryer.
We booked "Passion Island Escape by Boat" and LOVED it! This was our 3rd trip to Cozumel and we were looking for something different. We boarded a boat and the ride took about 30 min to the island. It was beautiful! Perfect sandy beach, unlimited bar drinks, hammocks, shady tables, plenty of lounge chairs, delicious lunch and probably the best guacamole I've ever had (I lived in Houston 10 years, I know guacamole). The downer? Not enough time. We had to leave at 1:00. Highly recommend this excursion for a relaxing beach break! The cost was $79 per person.
We booked a day pass to the Hilton Rose Hall Resort thru an independent website. A very comfy bus drove us there, taking 30 minutes. I didn't see the resort rooms, but the grounds are exquisite! I will definately look into taking an all inclusive vacation there in the future. Beautiful beach and a lazy river, food, drinks and transfer (bus ride) were included in the cost of $94 per person. I would highly recommend this excursion!
No reason to worry about being in Jamaica as some people do. RC has built a huge shopping complex at the port. We didn't see any of the "scary" stuff until we left the area.
We booked "Cheeseburger Reef Kayak and Power Snorkel" and I'm giving it a generous 3 because the owners of the equipment and guides were so nice. The power snorkel equipment barely worked and was more trouble than it was worth. We did a similar excursion last year in Grand Turk and the equipment was much nicer and we could zip around really fast if we wanted. Most people ended up putting the power snorkel back on the kayak and snorkeled without it. The cost was only $65 per person, so I guess you get what you pay for.