As with all of the line's ships, the Navigator features open-seating dining in the Compass Rose, the ship's main dining room. Two alternate restaurants are also available. Prime 7 is the ship's dinner-only steakhouse, recently enlarged to accommodate 70 diners. Prime 7 is by reservation only (no extra charge). La Veranda offers buffet-style regional dishes for breakfast and lunch and in the evening transforms into Sette Mari at La Veranda. Passengers can typically choose to dine on their own or with other passengers.
The Compass Rose received a huge amount of attention during the ship's 2016 refurbishment -- literally being completely rebuilt -- and now features a tasteful neutral-centric color scheme that can theatrically change mood and ambience via color wheel technology.
Passengers can enter the elegant Compass Rose from either end. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are available here. Complimentary red or white wine is available at dinner, with mid-range bottles a surprising norm (for example, Caymus Conundrum and Pouilly Fuisse on our sailing). The international staff is quite knowledgeable about the food and wine they serve, with specific opinions showing they've actually sampled what they're serving.
Almost at the top of the ship and featuring nice views and limited outside seating, La Veranda offers a buffet-style breakfast and lunch featuring regional specialties that typically reflect the cuisines of the countries visited. La Veranda also features a pizzeria and a shaded, open-air veranda for dining al fresco. In the evening the space transforms into Sette Mari at La Veranda, an Italian venue with buffet and cooked-to-order options.
The third dining choice is the Pool Grill on Deck 10, which is normally open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Here, passengers can enjoy a grilled steak, hamburger or hot dog, as well as a nice array of deli-style sandwiches, salad offerings and side dishes (and perfectly prepared French fries to accompany grill orders).
With appropriate weather and itinerary timing, a festive poolside barbecue fish lunch (typically with four or more fish choices) and casual evening barbecue dinner (with many grilled meats) are a gustatory highlight during a cruise.
The menu at the ship's premier alternate restaurant, Prime 7, features steaks and seafood. The entrees are pretty huge. All beef products served are U.S.D.A.-approved, and the menu includes Prime New York strip, Prime porterhouse (carved tableside, by the way), Prime filet mignon (6- or 10-ounce) and surf-and-turf. There's also lobster, New Zealand lamb chops, pork, veal and a half chicken (cooked and served on an iron skillet). Sides include baked potatoes, creamed spinach, truffle fries and Lyonnaise potatoes.
Room service is available 24 hours a day and is much more extensive than that found on many other ships. Along with made-to-order eggs for breakfast and a range of intriguing entree items for lunch and dinner, guests may order from ship's restaurant menus for all three meals! Given this, in-suite dining is actually quite popular (including memorable meals out on the balcony).
Traditional tea is served in Galileo's, the ship's observatory lounge, in the late afternoon. As a further caffeine fix, complimentary specialty coffees are available throughout the ship all day in the Coffee Connection.
The food is well prepared and presented throughout Navigator, with no particular venue rising above the others during a typical cruise. There's certainly enough variety in both the offerings and the settings.