And, after 25 cruises, it's high time I write a review!
Review of Navigator of the Seas 5-18-14
Galveston – Roatan – Belize – Cozumel
What TxDOT official decided it was a good time to close I-45 for construction?!! Other than the driving frustrations, we had a great pre-cruise day. We stayed at Moody Gardens, ate dinner at Salsa’s, had an awesome after dinner Meet and Greet at Moody Gardens and then had another smooth parking experience at Park N Cruise.
All the passengers received an email instructing us on the time to board. I suspect this helped with luggage delivery as everything was handled efficiently and timely. Our luggage was in the room by 1:30!
She’s beautiful … everything felt fresh and new. Captain Claus runs a great ship! He’s highly visible, quite accessible, and rather verbose. This was our 5th time on a Voyager Class ship, and with the new refurbishments, Navigator might just be the perfect marriage of the Voyager and Freedom Class. Some random thoughts and notes:
Pool, towels and loungers:
The pool towel system is very simple and efficient. You pick up a towel from the towel station and then you return it. There is no checking it out by room number or the threat of charges.
The pool butlers are very good. Unattended towels are removed in a timely fashion.
The location of sun loungers for the gold card guests was between decks 11 and 12 on either side of the pool bar and sky bar.
Our room (GS 1282) did not have a lounge chair… an old web strap one was quickly provided on our request.
Drinking and dining:
We had My Time Dining and reserved our times before the cruise. This worked quite well. We also had the Premium drink package and were pleased that this was the right choice.
Sabor was good but we will probably not repeat. The Queso Fundito was amazing. The specialty Margarita made at the table was excellent, as was the made at the table guacamole. The atmosphere was also very nice. However, being from Texas, we enjoy nice Mexican restaurants at home for far less cost.
Giovanni’s Table was a nice surprise. This GT was much more upscale than the GT on Oasis. We had a fantastic meal and wonderful atmosphere. The jumbo shrimp were “stupid good” and I’m still regretting that I didn’t order the tenderloin. We definitely will be back.
Izumi has a lunch that is just Sushi, if that's your thing... However, the hot stone tenderloin grilled at the table has a very good reputation and we will try it for dinner next time.
Chops has been and will always be a tradition for us. The new pretzel bread is excellent as are the cheesy potato tots. They had my favorite 6 oz filet and it was cooked perfectly. As always, it was an awesome meal. It’s no big deal that the table cloths are gone. The placemats are very nice. We were slightly disappointed in the new recipes for the mud pie and red velvet cake but the liquid center chocolate cake was outstanding.
We also had the pleasure of receiving an invitation to the Officers dinner in the Windjammer. This was an outstanding Surf & Turf buffet. If you get the invite (probably Diamond suite guests), be sure to go!
The “R” Bar is not to be missed. This is the “mixology” bar. There are many items that are not on a menu and take a long time to make. Ask when they’re not busy! The Chocolate Cheesecake Martini is to die for!
There was no drink voucher provision for Diamond members on our cruise. Apparently this is a system that is put into place when the numbers of Diamond and above members on a cruise cause an overflow of the Diamond lounge.
Entertainment and activities on board:
Our Meet and Mingle was very well attended and we had a fun gift exchange following the official RCCL door prizes. Thanks to the many very active participants on our roll call.
On Monday, we particularly enjoyed the Darrell Joyce’s Comedy show. We needed to get there earlier to get a seat.
On Friday, Bowzer (of Sha Na Na) was the Headliner show. This was a great show also. He is a very talented musician who trained at Julliard, talked of playing Carnegie Hall and even played some Chopin!
The Wi-Fi in the rooms worked very well. Also, it was very easy to use the interactive TV for information.
In Roatan we booked directly with Bananarama. This was our second time there and will probably be our last. They are now the location for the beach portion of Victor Bodden’s tours. It gets very crowded and there’s not that much beach. The Monkey La-Las, food and music were very good. Also very good was our snorkeling excursion (booked when we got there) to the Blue Channel. We saw lots of beautiful fish and coral. Roatan is my favorite place to snorkel in the Caribbean.
Cave tubing in Belize was the highlight of our trip. We went with Dave’s Cave Tubing R Us. Axel was our guide and the day was just perfect (except the battery on my camera died). The trip was highly personalized and was capped off by a home cooked lunch that was fabulous!
In Cozumel we took the Bar Hop Bus excursion to the other side of the island. This was the fourth time we’ve been on Tom’s excursion and it won’t be the last. It’s always fun!
This went as smoothly as our embarkation. It took 45 minutes from our assigned waiting location until we were in our car and headed home.
Another great cruise and we can’t wait to repeat it in October!