Sailed on Navigator departing Civitivecchia on October 30, 2011. Lots of travel tips are contained here for Rome and Eastern Med.
The cruise embarkation was easy. Max, our driver (see Rome port review for excellent recommendation and details) dropped us off right at the pier and being Diamond RCL members, we walked right in, to the front of the line, and on the ship. They even let people on early. This is our 4th time on Navigator in 14 months and we know a lot of the staff. We had balcony room deck 6. The rooms are getting old and need refurbishment. Paint peeling in shower. Medicine cabinet shelves broken, etc. Still ok, but time for improvement. The room steward, Robert from Costa Rica, was almost nonexistent. No ice ever. Not around in mornings. Made beds, but that was about it. We always ask for extra towels. Sometimes got them, sometimes not. He left dirty dishes in the room for several days.
We have a favorite waiter, but he was on vacation so we got assigned to a large table on deck 5 in the corner. Switched to a different table on deck 4--a 6 top. We were the only ones there. Then 45 minutes later 2 women show up and said they come when they feel like it. Waiter started all over so we got no food. Then, amazingly, the other 2 members of their family showed up another 30 minutes later and the waiter started all over again. We got up and left and the maitre d' assigned us to another table on deck 3 with a father and son. They were much nicer.
Unfortunately, the wait staff is vastly overworked. Our waiter Kemal actually had a station on the other side of deck 3. He only showed up at our table when he could get away from his other tables. We ordered at 8:30 and our appetizers usually came around 9:15. The assistant waiter was good, but this was not a good situation. The head waiter Mahmut is actually a 'friend' of mine and kept trying to help, but it just wouldn't work. The bar waiter did not come to our table once during the cruise except to try to charge me for a can of coke the cruise line had given me as a gift!
On the last evening the service was so bad we left the dining room in frustration. But the Windjammer closed at 9pm, so we got no food at all. Fortunately, Mahmut put some food aside, so I took it to the room.
Drink prices have escalated hugely. $11 for a glass of house white wine.
The Diamond lounge waiter Dave from Jamaica was excellent. Attentive and friendly. The DJ Frantz Michel in the disco was wonderful. I am a DJ and appreciated his talent. One of the best we have seen.
The shows sucked. Even more than usual. The headliners were dull. The disco party was its usual fun and the cruise staff was excellent. Vito and Elizabeth did a great job. People enjoyed themselves. Cruise director Warren did a good job and the Crown & Anchor touches and tours were well done.
The ship should have an email sign sheet in the Diamond lounge so C&A people can exchange emails.
Port reviews are below.