My husband and I are new to cruising and we'd been to the fjords last year with P & O so chose a another cruise company to get a different experience. We had one week in Orlando before driving to Fort Lauderdale to board the Navigator of the Seas for a 6 night cruise to the Western Caribbean. Leaving the car at the airport was a breeze and instructions to get the shuttle to the ship quite straightforward. Embarkation however was very messy with queues right out the building in the morning heat. Staff were very efficient and we got on-board and into our cabins. We were advised to take our swimsuits in our hand-luggage as the suitcases didn't arrive for another couple of hours so we got our bearings and had lunch and went to the pools.
We had a balcony cabin on deck 8 just in front of the bulge so couldn't see the back of the ship but the views were wonderful anyway. The bathroom was larger than expected and the shower with sliding doors very practical as water is kept inside and doesn't spill all over the floor.They also have shower gel in a container on the wall which is replenished as required. The queen size bed big enough but very hard even with a pillowtop. Our stateroom attendant Jorge was extremely helpful and couldn't do enough for us. Nothing was too much trouble as with the Freedom dining choice and staff in that dining room. We never tried the other two dining rooms which have a surcharge because we were quite happy with the choices we had.
Food choices in the buffet style dining were excellent. You could not fault the freshness or quality. We found the staff not as cheerful but then you're in and out quicker than in the other dining options.
Entertainment accommodated dining sittings with two shows in the evenings so you didn't feel you'd missed out one by choosing the other. The newsletter put in your cabin every evening allowed you to plot what you wanted to do the following day. The ice-skating show was very good as was the "Broadway show" with all the costumes on the last night.
The casino seemed to attract a lot of custom but we made a point of going around it because the smoking allowed in that area was so intense it ruined it for us.
We enjoyed the Solarium the most as it's adults only and with the salt water pool and two hot water jacuzzis you felt yourself unwind. The spa is beautiful with treatment rooms overlooking the sea but the Elemis treatments were too expensive to indulge in everyday especially with the 15% surcharge on top of the price. The fitness center was also very good and the kingsize jacuzzi excellent to melt away tight muscles.
There were quite a few children on board but they had their own space onboard with their own activities so we didn't see much of them which for some is very important. We saw several families with young children in the dining room and a credit to their parents because they so well behaved.
The negative is the 15% surcharge on everything. The drinks, treatments, wine, beer, cocktails and excursions we found to be overpriced because they have us as a captive audience and then you have to add the 15% on top. No alcohol is allowed to be taken onboard even when bought in the ports we visited. It is taken off you on embarkation and returned to you the evening before you disembark to pack in your suitcase.
All in all though, a very pleasant experience. Something for all age groups from the sporty to the more laid back customer. I'll certainly be trying another cruise.