Navigator of the Seas Cruise Review by Riknpat: Tried and True
Overall Member Rating
Tried and True
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Embarkation: Rome (Civitavecchia)
Took a short cruise from Rome to Barcelona stopping at Naples. Malta, Sardinia, Mallorca, and ending in Barcelona. The stop in Malta had to be aborted due to foul weather and was replaced by a stop at Messina in Sicily.
Navigator was large, clean and in pretty good shape given that is was heading across the ocean after the Barcelona stop for its refit. The ship was full but handles its capacity very well. There never seemed to be bottlenecks or crowding even in the Windjammer. It was my first time on this size of ship having cruised several times in Radiance and Vision class ships and I think that overall I prefer them. The theater is stunning though and the ice skating rink kind of neat. The main interior promenade will appeal to folks who like hanging out at the mall but it didn't appeal to me.
The crew was well organized and friendly from my steward to the bar staff to the front desk. My dining room waiter seemed to lack confidence and got flustered easily but the More assistant waiter and the section captain picked up the slack. Food was generally well presented and tasty though not gourmet - good quality banquet fare and now standardized across the fleet which probably pleases the cost accountants but bores the regular RCL cruisers like me. Likewise The Windjammer was fine with good curries though soups were salty and thinly flavored. Proper Bangers at breakfast were a surprise. An extra cost meal at Portofino was very tasty and well worth the $20 surcharge though the service was rather robotic and automatic. To that note Royal Caribbean needs to end the hokey practice of wasting our time and patience by making their waiters "describe my menu" whether the diners want it or not. We have repeatedly said "Its not necessary" but they forge on relentlessly obviously obeying some strict rule. Just ask "Would you like me to describe the menu?" and let us decide.
We enjoyed drinks at the Champagne Bar and atop the ship in the Viking Lounge. The dungeon nightclub (a disco) was loud but amusing for a late night tipple.
My inside cabin seemed a bit smaller than its brothers on the smaller ships but has the standard Royal Caribbean fittings and fixtures. The bed was comfortable and the climate control and all the plumbing worked fine. My unobtrusive steward kept it all clean and tidy and left me wanting for nothing.
It being a port intensive cruise we didn't bother with too many of the ships activities or being tired at the end of sightseeing, the entertainment so I cannot comment on either.
What Royal Caribbean is perfecting is getting people on and off the ship both at the beginning and end of the cruise and at the port stops. Embarkation took about 5 minutes. Disembarkation? If you can haul your own suitcase, leave when you want up to 9:30 am. Ports? Never a lineup or logjam off or on. They really are good at this.
All in all a fine cruise from a company that has their product down pat.
As a tip, we took the fast train that leaves Termini Station in Rome about noon to the port at Civitavecchia which takes about 38 minutes flat. It cost 9 euros each (we got the lowest fare possible). The walk from the train station to the port entrance along the seafront is a pleasant 10 minutes. You won't get lost - two dozen passengers like you are making the same trek. There are regular free shuttle buses from the port entrance to the ship itself. Cheap and simple!
I will be back with RCL again for sure but I think I prefer their smaller ships over the larger. Less
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Clean and well equipped but a little tight for space. Fine for one, OK for two. No more.
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