Once again my husband and I have taken to the water aboard the Navigator Of The Seas. It's one of Royal Caribbean's older and slightly smaller ships. For her age she's a fine vessel but as of next year (2013) she will be heading to dry dock for a bit of a much needed makeover. Our cabin 9636 was really nice with lots of closet space for us to fully unpack and put the suitcases away. We had a nice balcony and we would have had a very relaxing time out there had it not been for our neighbours who smoked on their balcony.
Our itinerary took us from her home port of Ft. Lauderdale to Grand Cayman, to the brand new port of Falmouth, Jamaica to their own island in Labadee, Haiti and back to Ft. Lauderdale. Check-in was a breeze. I think it took us a grand total of 10 minutes from our shuttle to the ship. I was amazed as there was a big crowd but the line moved quickly. Especially since we are gold members and had a different line from everyone else. We got there early and our stateroom wasn't ready yet so we headed off to the Windjammer for some lunch. The food there was ok, with many choices. My one complaint was that it was packed and we had a tough time finding a place to sit. After lunch our room was ready and we were able to drop off our carry-on luggage and explore the ship. Our other luggage took until almost 9:00 p.m. to arrive and we were getting rather worried that it would never show up. Our stateroom attendant Clinton went to find it for us. He was a great guy. Just before we set sail everyone gathered for a muster drill. This was the first time we were not required to wear or bring our life jackets to our muster stations. The drill lasted for about half an hour and then we were set free to explore the ship or take part int he sail away party.
That night we were able to wear whatever we wanted to dinner, which was a good thing as many people were still were waiting for luggage. We were seated in the Nutcracker Dining room on deck 3. Directly behind our table was the Captain's table.
Day 1 Was at sea but there were plenty of activities to keep us busy. There was a 9-hold mini-golf course, in-line skating, ice skating, rock wall climbing and of course swimming. My one criticism was that many activities that we wanted to try were all scheduled at the same time. It was hard to get enough time to try all of the things we wanted to try. One day we joined a competition to play Wii bowling and the husband and I actually won. We had a great time but wanted to play a second game with everyone just for fun but after only one game it was all over. I'm not sure why?
Day 2 was our first port visit. We stopped in Grand Cayman and had to tender into port. Thankfully the waves were small and the weather was excellent that day. We've been there before and it was less than ideal for a ride in the tiny tender boat. We walked around in the town for a bit but really how many jewellery stores and tourist shops can one person see? One thing we saw that was interesting was chickens walking around all over the place. They didn't seem to belong to anyone. I have never seen that before. For the rest of the day we visited with family who live on the island. That night was our first formal night. We got all dressed up in our finest. They had photographers taking pictures all around the various dining locations. Dinner was elegant. The show that night was a comedian and was very funny.
Day 3 We arrived in the brand new port of Falmouth, Jamaica. This port has just recently been welcoming cruise ship traffic this year. Some of the buildings are still in the process of being built. But once again it was all jewellery stores and souvinere shops. That day it was extremely windy. So windy in fact that our tour aboard a pirate ship got cancelled. So while everyone was off in Jamaica, the husband and I went back to the ship to explore. It was a wonderful day as we didn't have to wait in line for anything. I went in-line skating that morning and I was the only person on the track. Then we tried our hand at the mini-golf course. Because of the wind the ball did some really crazy things but we had so much fun. After lunch it was time for a swim in the freezing cold pool. Later on that night after dinner we went skating on the ice rink. Yes this ship actually has a real ice rink. Then we went to the production show that was singing and dancing.
Day 4 We arrived in Labadee, Haiti which is Royal Caribbean's own island. As we were pulling up the Liberty Of The Seas also pulled into port. This was not a good thing as the island became over crowded very fast. There are 4 beaches here on the island, a children's play area, a roller coaster, zip-line, and various other water activities. The husband rented a kayak and I rented a stand up paddle board. At first the guy didn't want to rent it to me but then he finally did. I heard the attendants say in French, they are tourists let them do what they want. He tried to give me the wrong paddle but later found the correct one and brought it out to me. Maybe nobody ever rented one before. We had previously been here 5 years ago on our honeymoon but we were told that a hurricane totally destroyed the island so it was very different than we remembered it. When we were there before, there was only one little shop on the island selling tourist things now there's a while line of locals bugging tourists to buy their stuff. I have to admit this really bothered me. We go there to have fun and relax and not be pestered by the locals. If we want to buy things we will come to them not having them come to us. When we wouldn't come to their shops they called us names. Then it was time for our island BBQ lunch. I lined up for close to an hour to get food only to find out that there was no vegetarian option. I got some salad and a fruit and then the rest was for my husband who was holding a place at the table for me. After lunch we'd had enough of the crowds and went back on the ship and I got some better food at Cafe Promenade. This was a little bakery shop on deck 5 that served pastry, pizza and sandwiches and Seattle's Best Coffee and tea. What a great idea. All of this is included but the Ben & Jerry's is an added cost.
That night was our 2nd formal night. Dinner was very elegant and the captain was sitting at the table directly behind us. As they started to serve desert, I mentioned that I would love to photograph the captain's desert because it was different from what we were served and a very beautiful chocolate creation. Well, as luck would have it, the captain had to leave and his desert was left uneaten. All of the sudden his desert was placed at our table. I got my photograph and I shared it with the rest of the table. We were as happy as can be but the rest of the guests around us just shot daggers at us. Oh well too bad for them. The show that night was the ice skating show. Oh my goodness this show was great! I do think that some of the performers need to practice a little more so that they will be able to land their jumps but all in all they did a great job considering that we had rough seas that night. One part of the show that stood out was the hoola hooper. She was fantastic. She was skating and hoola hooping and at one point she must have been spinning 30 hoops while skating. Very impressive!!!
Day 5 Was our last day at sea. We went back and did all of the activities that we enjoyed all week. We were kind of bummed that the cruise was over the next day. Dinner that night was nice and then we saw another singing and dancing production show. I didn't really care much for it and was falling asleep during the show.
Day 6 The ship docked in Ft. Lauderdale very early in the morning. We had a nice breakfast in the dining room and then we took our bags off the ship ourselves. This is a far better option than putting our luggage out the night before and then having to claim it at the depot. We quickly went though customs and then found a taxi to take us to our hotel.
All in all we had a great trip on the Navigator. If you enjoy sports this is the cruise for you.