I had a balcony suite, cruising alone, and took the eastern Mediterranean cruise on RCI's Navigator of the Seas and was so impressed and thrilled that I decided to take this cruise on the smaller Navigator. The suite was equally nice, the service regarding the room was excellent - they clean the room and you never even see or hear them, but everything is spotless constantly.
The ship is smaller, but nice. The decor is still reminiscent of the 80's although it was recently updated. The ship is spotlessly clean and well maintained although we did have toilet issues twice, but they were immediately handled. The shops are the regular RCI'S shops with many of the same things I saw last year.
The excursion offer a wide variety but a number of them were cancelled almost daily. The staff at guest relations, excursions, shops, etc are excellent and extremely courteous. It is clear that they are well trained in customer comes first service. Also the ports are very interesting and worth much more time than a cruise can offer, so you have reason to return.
So where is the disappointment? The food and food staff. The staff in the Romeo and Juliet dining room (I had My Time Dining at 6:30 - early seating) was excellent. I have no complaints here. The food coming out of the kitchen was the worst of any cruise ship I have experienced. The cruise ships have a unique opportunity to cap a wonderful daily experience with an awesome dinner and start the day with a comfortable, hot breakfast. This kitchen failed daily at both. The Windjammer cafe fad waiters who did practically nothing. You had to beg for them to clean a table off, and then they wouldn't wipe it clean, just wipe at it, so I was forced to clean tables myself if I wanted a clean table. I complained with names of wait staff to the serving managers but I saw no change throughout the week. With an early dinner dining time you would think the food would be fresh and hot, but that was definitely not the case. Every dish of absolutely every meal was either temped or Luke warm at best. Not one single dish was ever served hot. The prime rib and steak was clearly cut earlier and set under a warmer where they continued to cook and rout. Neither of them had one drop of juice. Thank goodness there was sauce to use. I didn't even finish the steak it was so dry. The worst disappointment of all were the desserts. Each one was sent back after only one or two bites by me and the tables next to me. Several nights we opted for no dessert to avoid the let down and chose to go to Ben and Jerry's for dessert. The meringue was not like easy meringue I've ever had. It was more like marshmallow cream than meringue and had no flavor. Meringue was on both the lemon curd tart and baked Alaska. The lemon curd was was laughable. We could taste it (3 of us) but no one could see it there was so little of it! The ice cream in the baked Alaska had ice crystals in it which clearly meant it had been defrosted and refrozen. We (4 of us) cancelled our Chops reservations as we would not opt to pay additional monies for food from this chef. If I were in charge of the kitchen I would replace the dessert chef and would be extremely embarrassed for the quality of food served on this ship.
The Park Cafe which made salads and sandwiches was very good, but we discovered it way too late. We had breakfast in the main dining room at opening time, ordered the chef's omelette, and received omelette a which were made earlier and all were luke warm, dried out and totally tasteless. How do you mess up eggs? Finding a seat in the Windjammer cafe was a battle no matter what time you ate. I was searching at one meal and found an open table, put down my plate and serving ware and went to get an iced tea. When I returned about 60 seconds later, my food was gone, not moved, but gone, and the table had been taken by another party. I was floored that a waiter would remove a full plate of hot food and silverware and just toss it.
The difference between this experience and last year's on the Navigator were black and white. With such a difference, I would not trust this cruise line with my vacation or money again. If I want their ports of call I'll try Norwegian or Princess. Cruising is a great experience and a truly wonderful value that cannot be beat, but not so on this ship or with RCI.