Sail Date: November 2013
Embarkation was as usual...not good, not bad. We were in a Grand Suite (GS 1298) and found it to be most delightful. It was spacious with a good lay-out...albeit a bit tired looking, but the ship is to be refurbished in January we were ... Read More
Embarkation was as usual...not good, not bad. We were in a Grand Suite (GS 1298) and found it to be most delightful. It was spacious with a good lay-out...albeit a bit tired looking, but the ship is to be refurbished in January we were told. The Concierge room was a joke. It was totally jammed every evening with mostly the super frequent flyer group of good ol' boys who felt that visiting had to be at full volume, drawing up circles of people from their crowd. This certainly took away from any atmosphere of a quiet conversation over a cocktail. So much for the perk of spending money for a suite. We sometimes just took our drink to our cabin. One wonders how some of the trolling women were in the room, but I guess if you get enough cheap tickets and spend months on a ship you qualify. Movies in the theater were so awful we left two of them and didn't try again. TV programming was terrible. Gave up..and will NOT pay to watch a movie in our cabin. Hello, this is the age of communication and it isn't that expensive for Royal Caribbean to provide top quality TV. Food was OK, but I wouldn't go out my way for the specialty restaurants. Celebrity speciality restaurants totally outshine anything we saw on RC. The staff overall was most friendly and helpful. We applauded them. Lastly..my husband and I both came off the ship with pneumonia. We are both quite ill. Think cruising is on the back burner for some while (we have cruised about twice a year for several years). Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
This was our 1st TA but our 25th cruise. We stayed at the Hotel Canton in Barcelona the night before. Great pre-cruise hotel & quick cab ride to the port. The ship, while a little tired, was much nicer than I thought it would be. Did ... Read More
This was our 1st TA but our 25th cruise. We stayed at the Hotel Canton in Barcelona the night before. Great pre-cruise hotel & quick cab ride to the port. The ship, while a little tired, was much nicer than I thought it would be. Did feel that it lacked that "outdoor" feeling. would have loved an ocean breeze while in the Windjammer. Café Promenade was a great spot for a quick snack. Played a lot of Trivia with a nice group of "new" friends. Ice show was FAB!, Hypnotist was entertaining, heard that the lectures were good but never could leave the Schooner bar where the trivia was. Food was good & while not too much was "outstanding", we never sent anything back. Roxie, our cabin steward was fine, but our waiter, BOGDAN, was the BEST we have EVER had!. There was nothing he could not do or get. Scott our tablemate was late every night & Bogdan pre-ordered for him because he could figure out just what he would want. Casino was large with 300 slots. Staff was almost too invisible. Cabin TV was awful & the internet was the slowest we have had in recent years. But we still had a great time. Also, I injured my foot 2 bays before the end of the trip. Went to the doctor's office. Got great treatment there. Looking forward to our next TA. This cruise made us understand why so many people love the "crossings". Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2013
We took our first t/a on this same ship two years ago and got totally hooked on transatlantics, this trip was our fourth t/a in two years. R/C must have had all the in training officers put on this ship, it was really unorganized. The ... Read More
We took our first t/a on this same ship two years ago and got totally hooked on transatlantics, this trip was our fourth t/a in two years. R/C must have had all the in training officers put on this ship, it was really unorganized. The activities were led by people that had Just been informed that they were doing it or had not been told at all. The entire ship was hot in all the public areas so sitting in other than your cabin or outside was very uncomfortable. I get cold if the temp drops below 70 so it wasn't me, the men wearing suits were taking their jackets off after making an appearance. The ship lost satelite tv for 10 days so we watched the same reruns of recorded tv over and over again! The thing that bothered me the most was that they never bothered to tell us any news except we were diverting to try to get below a storm. I went on the internet after a couple of days rocking and rolling to find out that we were in the middle of tropical storm Melissa. If we wanted to know if the world wass still out there we had to telephone relatives or get on the internet both of which are expensive. I normally love R/C but this was a bad one.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
I am a Platinum member of RCCL's Crown and Anchor Society, and this was our second Transatlantic. In the past we were quite satisfied with the hospitality given to passenger on the Royal Caribbean ships we have sailed on. This trip ... Read More
I am a Platinum member of RCCL's Crown and Anchor Society, and this was our second Transatlantic. In the past we were quite satisfied with the hospitality given to passenger on the Royal Caribbean ships we have sailed on. This trip left a lot to be desired. I read the review that another passenger left on our cruise, and I find he was quite accurate. He spent a lot of time on the food, and I concur. The food was mediocre, at best, and I was really surprised, when it was announced two days out, that the ship had run out of raw eggs. This was the day after we were in Nassau. I would think, they should have restocked when they were in port. Not only were Eggs sold out, but they ran out of bananas and Berries on day 10. The other reviewer mentioned a shrimp soup. I also was surprised by this when I ordered it, and saw the lack of shrimp. We had a surf and turf night, and a lobster night. The Surf part of Surf and turf was 1/2 of a small lobster tail. It also was served in shell, and was hard to retrieve the meat, which was overcooked. The cooks could also learn something about seasoning. There were a number of passengers from Louisiana on board, since the ship was slated to terminate in New Orleans. Several times on the lunch menu Jambalaya was featured. I was sitting in the restaurant with a couple from New Orleans. I told them not to expect much, and that's what they got. No heat at all! One of the problems we encountered was the state of the room. To be frank, it was dirty, and showed signs of extreme wear. This ship needs a renovation badly. the room was a little larger than many of the balcony staterooms, and on the hump, which is about the best you can get, and not have a suite. so I was disappointed when we saw cigarette burns on the carpet, and had lumpy mattresses. Shortly after boarding, we sent out some our clothes for cleaning. The clothes were delivered the next day. About halfway through they offered a special deal. Laundry was done for $25 all you can get. Unfortunately it took two days instead of one. To top that off, they lost our laundry. Our cabin steward had to bring three bags of unmarked laundry, and helped us find it. Which brings me to entertainment. Many of our table mates had sailed on the Navigator before. They commented on the shows which were pedestrian at best. In some cases they had seen the same shows two or three times. the cruise director made the point in one of his pre show comments, that he had been in the same show in 2003. Ten years is a long time to have the same show. Now I know why the shows seemed dated. I also have criticism with the activities, or lack thereof. The Art auctions no longer are with Park West. RCCL now runs the auction themselves, and they are not as varied than the Park West auctions. It also seemed that there were less poolside activities, then we've seen in the past. One standout was Vito, who ran the Bingo games. He is also a marine biologist, and also had a series of enrichment programs which were educational and well attended. Finally kudos to the wait staff, and cabin stewards, who worked hard and were very professional. I was impressed. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
Flight to Barcelona was 3 1/2 hours late in leaving this was not to bad considering hurricane sandy and the troubles other folks had. Hotel Rivalto was great, room was clean, staff was great, location excellent will definitely go there ... Read More
Flight to Barcelona was 3 1/2 hours late in leaving this was not to bad considering hurricane sandy and the troubles other folks had. Hotel Rivalto was great, room was clean, staff was great, location excellent will definitely go there again. Arrived at ship 1 pm on Sat. very smooth embarkation stateroom was ready dropped off carry on, off to windjammer. Our cabin needed a do over as the carpets were not clean and bathroom was still dirty. our cabin was never really cleaned like previous cruises and if was really was an effort to get it cleaned before 11.30 most mornings even after putting his make room card out at 8 am. Just to say we are really happy go lucky couple with many cruise on rcl, this is my first and probably my last attempt at doing a review. This transatlantic our 7th left a lot to be desired. Food. very disappointed with selection, and quality, our wait staff were excellent, but the food coming out of kitchen was never hot. we were a table of 8 and all had similar complaints. Shows were weak other than ice show and the Platters who did a great job with the oldies, other than these two just fair Day time activities less than exciting, trivia fun, sudoku ok,guest speakers no comment Debarkation was close to 4 hrs from start to finish what a mess, Please RCL bring your product up to your old standards us loyal cruisers have supported you in the past but you will lose us in the future unless you improve your attitude and services. PS Ricardo in the cc lounge is the best assest on the ship, a real gentleman with a great way of taking care of his guests. Overall 6 out of 10 Still love cruising GOING ON A 14 DAY CRUISE WITH A PRESIDENTAL ELECTION IN THE MIDDLE WAS QUITE AN EXPERIENCE ALMOST LIKE BEING IN CONGRESS WHERE THERE WERE TWO SIDES WHO NEVER AGREE GOD BLESS AMERICA Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
This was our second time aboard Navagator of the Seas and once again we were very happy with the crew and the for the most part happy with the whole experience. As has been noted by others Navagator is due for a makeover and if it is ... Read More
This was our second time aboard Navagator of the Seas and once again we were very happy with the crew and the for the most part happy with the whole experience. As has been noted by others Navagator is due for a makeover and if it is another 18 months off she will really need some help. We arrived in Barcelona late on Thur. before boarding on Saturday and found that a day and a half is not enough time in this great city. STayed at the Hotel Villamari and found it comfortable and in a good location from which to get around the City. Arriving at the port about 2PM only took about 30 minutes to get on board and our stateroom was ready for us--clean but a little worn--the embarkation was about as smooth as could be expected. We enjoyed the Ports both Cartagena and Malaga were pleasnt enough and the weather was good. One problem we found in Malaga was a that several places did not accept credit cards and after you order lunch without cash it gets a little tense. Tennerefe was interesting with the very rugged topography coming right down to the waters edge. My wife and I both thought the shows in the theater started out as very poor but got better later during the trip, The Platters put on a good show as did El Gaucho. The Ice show was good but not as spectacular as previous Ice Shows we have seen on both the Navagator and on Mariner. I always look forward to the encrichment lectures and am disappointed when they are not offered. The Fun Decades presentation was fun and informative and I thought the speaker was among the best we have seen on Cruise ships. The art historian a little less impressive. I also enjoyed the evening Astronomy lectures offered by one of the Directors staff. I would like to know in the future that these types of lectures will be offered it might be the difference in going or not going. Now to the dinning experience, we are relatively new to Cruising (only about 6 years) but I certainly feel that even in that short time the meals have gotten worse both in quality and variety. We were always able to find something on the dinner menue that was agreable but unlike a few years ago when almost each evening there were two or three things on the menue that I thought I would like to have. Our waite staff was very good there were a couple of evening when the food was not as hot as I would have prefered. The windjammer was ok we had the late seating for dinner and would usually just look for a snack for lunch and then perhaps go to tea aroun 4 or so. I think on future transatlantics we will try to get the early seating for dinner. Most mornings we had breakfast in the Main Dinning room and found that very good Hot food cooked to order. I was a little worried about 6 consecutive sea days but they litteraly flew by to the point that I lost track--we played bridge most days, attended the lectures and other activites and found ourselves plenty busy. The last comment concerns the debarkation I don't think you can necessairly fault RCI but the last memory of a very good trip is a bad experience. I don't know how to fix this problem certainly we need security and control but this system is just a mess with little information being transmitted to very frustrated passengers. Fortunately we were in no great hurry as we had a late afternoon flight out of New Orleans but there were a lot of people at the airport when we got there that had missed flights some of them international connections. The trip was really great and one that we will do more often the future it is a great value at less than 100 dollars a day I can't stay home for that. Fishforfun Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
My wife and I took the RCCL Navigator on the 14-day Transatlantic back from the Mediterranean to New Orleans. A couple of weeks earlier, we had cruised the Norwegian Spirit on a Grand Mediterranean circuit (reviewed separately on Cruise ... Read More
My wife and I took the RCCL Navigator on the 14-day Transatlantic back from the Mediterranean to New Orleans. A couple of weeks earlier, we had cruised the Norwegian Spirit on a Grand Mediterranean circuit (reviewed separately on Cruise Critic). So my evaluation of the Navigator below contains several comparisons to our Norwegian Spirit trip (generally, we thought our experience on the Spirit was superior to our experience on the Navigator). The embarkation experience on to the Navigator was fine. We have learned to arrive for our cruise vacations later rather than earlier, and so after we got to the Barcelona cruise terminal at 2 PM it only took us half an hour to get on board the ship. Our interior cabin, 8183, was fine (as discussed below). Food is an important part of a cruise vacation, particularly when you have a lot of sea days as we did on the Navigator Transatlantic. Unfortunately, our food and beverage experience on the Navigator started out poorly and did not improve much. A rather long discussion of the food follows. We had a traditional dinner seating arrangement, and we and most of our six tablemates had problems with our food on the first night. The woman to our left ordered the sea bass, and did not like the way it was cooked. Myself, the fellow across from me, and the woman to his left all ordered the prime rib. Their two orders were not delivered up cooked as they had requested, and so they switched orders, but were still not happy -- the man said the meat had "no flavor" (and I concurred with this). Several persons at the table ordered the sweet and sour shrimp soup, and then joked that there was no discernible shrimp in their bowls. My wife had the spaghetti, and said that was OK. But I am thinking, is spaghetti the best they can do for dinner?? At breakfast the next morning, I did not see much on the Navigator that looked appetizing. I like hot food for breakfast if I can get it. The scrambled eggs did not look good, little clumps of egg, so I skipped those. I like biscuits and sausage gravy, so I tried that. The biscuits were doughy, not flaky. The gravy was thin, and the the meat consisted of a few sausage links that had been hastily (and sloppily) sliced into the gravy. Good sausage gravy (like I had on the Norwegian Spirit cruise just a couple of weeks previous) is thick and well seasoned and the sausage is well crumbled and mixed into the gravy. I also like Oatmeal, but the Navigator's oatmeal was thin and watery, again, unlike the Norwegian Spirit Oatmeal which was nice and thick. Our dining experience the rest of our Navigator trip was hit and miss, with a few more misses than hits. I tried the top sirlion (the steak option available every night), but it was dry and chewey, again, unlike the Spirit, where the steak option they made available every evening was tender and flavorful. Another example was a lobster bisque on the Navigator that was thin and tasteless. And those dishes that were "hits" were not really outstanding, just decent. Example: The escargot. I love escargot, but the Navigator's escargot -- served only one night -- was not superior (unlike what we had on the Spirit) -- it was just, say, a cut above ordinary. We like curry and other Indian food, and the buffet at the Navigator had some of that every day. Again, though, it was not as good as on the Spirit. Also, the Navigator put out some Indian bread (i.e., crispy Papadum) on only one day of the cruise, unlike the Spirit, which put out both Naan and Papadum EVERY day on the buffet. Interestingly, the Navigator's buffet had good potatoes: The fries were usually hot; the breakfast hash browns (think McDonalds style) were usually hot and crispy; and the mashed potatoes were creamy and made from scratch. I had the mashed potatoes at almost every lunch. But do you see a pattern here (good spaghetti and good potatoes??). The desserts on the Navigator were also hit and miss -- usually there were one or two a night that were pretty good, but figuring out which ones were going to be good in advance was difficult. And some of the desserts were inexplicably bad -- like the tiramasu on Italian Night by the Navigator's Italian head chef. The tiramasu tasted like it was made with gelatin. Uch, no one at the table could eat it. My wife said I should also say something about the layout of the Windjammer (the Navigator's buffet). The Windjammer almost always had a crowded feel, like you had to weave back and forth to avoid bumping into someone when stalking your food or looking for a table. In comparison, we never had this "crowded" feeling when dining in the Spirit's buffet. Also, while the Navigator's buffet seating area was almost entirely inside, the Spirit buffet seating was a 50/50 split of inside and covered outside (with views off the stern), and that was nice, because we like to eat outside. Of course, the Navigator does have two specialty restaurants, the Portofino (Italian at $20 cover per person) and Choppes Grill (Steak at $30 cover per person). These prices were higher than the corresponding Italian and Steak specialty restaurants on the Spirit ($10 and $25, respectively). We did not try the Choppes Grill, but did eat at the Portofino in conjunction with a Mystery Dinner theatre presentation (discussed below). The Portofino food was nice: good starters, and some tasty and tender beef. The Navigator also what I call a "half" specialty restaurant -- a diner called Johnny Rockets. I say "half" because the diner serves basic food -- hamburgers, hot dogs, onion rings, and fries, all for a relatively small charge ($5 per person, beverages extra). The hamburgers and hot dogs at Rockets were fresh, hot, and tasty -- and we paid the extra money and ate lunch at Rockets often. Unfortunately, that also tells you a lot about what we thought of the "free" lunch food in the buffet. Anyways, enough discussion of the food!! Unfortunately, there were some other less than satisfactory aspects of our Transatlantic on the Navigator. For example, we found the Navigator's alcohol policies to be irritating, both with regard to alcohol brought on the ship and alcohol sold on the ship. First, Navigator appears to have a strict policy against bringing any alcohol onto the ship and into your cabin, either at embarkation or at any port stop. I say "appears," because we heard from some fellow passengers that they were able to sneek alcohol on board, while other passengers said they tried but were caught and their liquor confiscated until the end of the voyage. We asked our headwaiter about bringing wine from off the ship and into your cabin, and she said that you could bring a couple of wine bottles into your cabin, but that the Navigator would charge you a $25 corkage fee at the time you brought it on to the ship regardless of whether you drank it in your cabin or in the restaurant. This Navigator policy about bringing alcohol from off the ship compares unfavorably with the Norwegian policy. For example, we bought four bottles of wine in the duty free shop in Barcelona before we boarded the Norwegian Spirit, and Norwegian let us bring the bottles on board and into our cabin free of charge, and charged us a $15 corkage fee only if we brought our wine into the dining room. Second, we also found that Navigator's wine prices were higher than Norwegian's, including: 1) when purchased as part of a wine package, 2) when purchased by the individual bottle, and 3) when purchased by the glass. We also found that individual mixed drinks (e.g, rum and coke) were slightly higher on the Navigator than on the Norwegian ship. We like to have a couple of mixed drinks before dinner, and the Norwegian Spirit had a nice 2 for 1 special during happy hour in Henry's Pub, but the Navigator had no nice drink specials like this. Our mixed drinks on the Navigator also seemed to be watered down a bit. The end result was that we bought less alcohol, but at a higher total price, aboard the Navigator than aboard the Spirit. And, at least in my mind, this affects how much you enjoy your cruise. The Navigator did offer a periodic "fill the bag" laundry special, like on the Spirit. My wife really likes these specials. For $25, they will do all the laundry in the bag for you. Interestingly, the Navigator had limits on what type of clothing you could put in the bag, only permitting underclothes, socks, T-shirts, and swimwear. The Spirit had no such limits. Again, the kudos got the Spirit over the Navigator. And at the end of our cruise disembarkation in New Orleans was irritating -- extremely slow, with a lot of standing in line. We were supposed to get off the ship at 7:30 AM, but stood in line on the ship for awhile, then got off at about 9 AM, stood in line some more, and finally cleared customs at about 10:05 AM. The customer service reps went around saying they were short of customs agents, and that they were trying to hunt down more customs agents, but I think this should have been better coordinated in advance by Royal Caribbean with the US Customs Service. In any event, we have only had two bad disembarkation experiences on our six cruises -- but both were on our Royal Caribbean cruises. Not good, not good for Royal Caribbean. OK, yes, I can say some good things about our cruise and the Navigator. Our inside cabin was nice: pleasantly decorated, well-maintained, and fairly roomy as these cabins go. The shower had good hot water and good water pressure. The hair drier worked very well. The soundproofing was very good -- we heard almost no noises from adjoining cabins or the hallway. The crew of the Navigator was generally pleasant and helpful, including our room steward and our dining wait staff. I know the staff works hard, and we appreciated it -- and we tipped all of our waiters at above the recommended amount. The port calls, although limited, were all nice, particularly on the European side (Tenerife, Malaga, and Cartegena). All three towns are excellent walking towns, and the ship docks fairly close to the town in each of them. We did the hop-on hop-off bus in Tenerife, and I would recommend it. It was always pretty easy to find a comfortable chair to sit in somewhere -- The Navigator has a lot of chairs, and I think more of the comfy type chairs than the Norwegian Spirit did. I like to play Poker, and poker on the Navigator was a rip-off, but not quite the rip-off that it was on the Norwegian Spirit (i.e., the Navigator limited the 10% house rake to a maximum of $15 a hand, unlike the $25 max per hand on the Spirit). The Navigator did have some enrichment classes, more than the Spirit did, but I found the woman who gave the enrichment presentations on the Navigator to be repetitive and dull. As for the evening entertainment, we have been on enough cruise ships now to get kind of blase about the performances -- there is usually very little that you can remember a few days afterwards. On the plus side, we found the Ice Dancing show on the Navigator to be very well choreographed and very entertaining. The acting for the Mystery Dinner theatre was amateurish, but the overall production was fun -- and its fun was enhanced by the fact that unlimited wine was included in the base price ($49 per person if purchased in advance). On the down side, we occasionally like to see a movie. Other cruise lines show movies in a large theatre, or sometimes at night under the stars. Not the Navigator. Instead, they have a tiny "screening room," which filled up quickly the two times we went. Also, the movie selection in your cabin was very limited, unless you wanted to do "pay per view" at $12 (or more) a pop. In sum, it is hard to give the Navigator a glowing recommendation. In fairness, I have to note that our cruise fare was very cheap -- less than $50 per person per day. It seems obvious, then, that Royal Caribbean is trying to make up for that cheap fare by reducing costs (e.g., for food) and upcharging for certain extras (e.g., alcohol). If you are looking for inexpensive travel, and are willing to sacrifice on the quality of food and perhaps also on your alcohol consumption, you might find this sort of transatlantic cruise acceptable. In the future, though, we will look to cruise with another line (like Norwegian), even if we have to pay more cruise fare in dollars per day. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
After a two night stay in Barcelona we boarded the Navigator of the Seas. It had been two and a half years since we last sailed on the Navigator and not much had changed but we did notice that she was getting tired and ready for a face ... Read More
After a two night stay in Barcelona we boarded the Navigator of the Seas. It had been two and a half years since we last sailed on the Navigator and not much had changed but we did notice that she was getting tired and ready for a face lift. We were told that that upgrading had been postponed till spring 2014, she will be very tired by then I'm afraid. All that aside the cruise turned out to be one of out top three cruises for good times and great food. we enjoyed dinner in the dinning room very night with a great wait staff. If people complain about the quality of the meals they must have a wonderful life at home. The only meal we had that was less than great was the night we all went to Portofino where the meal was much less than spectacular and the seafood was cool by the time we got our meal. The entertainment was very good, both in-house and shows in the theatre. Special mention to the Sunlight Band who we miss the most. All in all we had a great time, put on a couple of pounds and came home with some great memories. The only real negative from our point of view was the number of smoking venues and the lack of enforcement of smoking in non smoking areas. I guess I have to mention the debacle when we arrived in New Orleans, even though it was the Port Authority and not RCCL that is responsible on this one. Over four hours to get off the ship and on the street is a little crazy. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
This was our fourth cruise. Now feel ready to feed the internet with feedback. Have read many reviews, usually finding the negative side to contain the most useful information. Bringing liquor on board On previous cruises we have ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise. Now feel ready to feed the internet with feedback. Have read many reviews, usually finding the negative side to contain the most useful information. Bringing liquor on board On previous cruises we have packed a bottle of Baileys for the room. My wife likes it in her coffee and I like the odd shot before dinner or in the morning. Well Royal Caribbean thinks this cuts into their drink sales and abuses the safety security scanning to confiscate liquor. Your bag just doesn't show up and when ask staff, they say to check with security on deck 1. Down there, they get you to open your bag, give them the bottle for safe keeping, then send you on your way to haul luggage through the ship to your stateroom. Not exactly the classiest way to start a transatlantic crossing. Have no problem paying corkage at any of the dining venues, but what we do in our stateroom is our business. Imagine if a hotel tried crap like this. Liquor on board Expensive, around $8 for a pint of beer or their mixed drink of the day. Two Poets pub had a sad selection of only two lager beers on draft, Heineken and Amstel light. Our local pub down the hill has about 10 on draft, including several types of ales and a stout. Also, the Two Poets atmosphere is polluted with cigarette smoke. RC should get into the 21st century and start protecting their staff and customers from this hazard. Stateroom Paid a bit extra for an outside window stateroom. The first night we noticed how hot the room was even though set to maximum cold and there was a humming noise similar to a bathroom fan coming from the wall on the left side of the window. The next morning went to Customer Service for first time ever to ask for a cooler and quieter stateroom. Am informed there is no hope in hell we will be moved and that Maintenance will come have a look. Guy in overalls quickly fixed the broken air conditioning but said can do nothing about the vibrating wall. We got somewhat used to the constantly slightly noisy stateroom. Later talked to a couple that had an inside room on deck 10 with unbearable pool sloshing noise and were changed to a quieter room. So it looks like will get moved if room has serious problem but are stuck with minor problems. It would be nice if RC would just let customers know about room defects or if someone would start (or find) a website similar to the excellent http://www.seatguru.com/ for airline seats. As a nice gesture, RC provided a free bottle of red wine with a couple of glasses. Bathroom Just soap, shampoo and towels are provided. Bought conditioner in one of the Spanish ports. Tap water Colour light amber, nose of dirt and chlorine. Found out at Captain's presentation that water was purchased at port in Cartagena. Drinking water seemed better in dining room and buffet but this could be because had more time to breathe or the added ice numbed the senses. Water quality improved over the days as more was desalinated onboard. Bought some spring water in most of the ports. No hassle bringing onboard. Pool towels Have to show seapass card to get pool towels on deck 11, then give room number when returning to same location. Purpose is to get passengers to clean up their towels. Side effect is can reserve deck chairs by placing towels. Laundry No laundry rooms to wash clothes or iron shirts. They have a fill bag wash and fold service for $25. Strangely, it says can only put undergarments, t-shirts, and pajamas in but will charge full rip-off rate for pants, sweaters etc. Can't quite picture a land based laundry doing this for long. Internet Bought the 5 bottle wine packages ahead of time. Am not very knowledgeable about wine, so got our wine expert friend to help compile a list. The dining room staff brought the first bottle of wine but took the list and lost it. Oops. Told them I could easily retrieve the list by remotely connecting to my home computer. So the dining room staff very graciously got me $10 free internet time. Went to the Royal Caribbean Online room and quickly found that Windows Remote Desktop software is locked out. Asked IT staff guy for help but he said can do nothing, then suggested I go to an internet cafe at next port to waste my time and money retrieving this file. Also, my paranoia says it is dicey typing my passwords into a possibly infected internet cafe computer. Dining room staff suggested I go back to Customer Service and get them to hook me up with the IT manager. As far as talking with IT manager, ran into a firewall at Customer Service. However, they asked if phone access would help and gave me a free phone call. Called a friend who remotely connected to my home computer, retrieved the text file and emailed it to my work email that has a web interface. Was then able to go back to Royal Caribbean Online room, log onto my work email and get the list. So Customer Service was able to help resolve this, but when it comes to computers on board, the 'Nation of Why Not' quickly becomes the 'Nation of Can't Do It'. Ports An interesting selection of ports. Problem is spend too little time actually in the ports, for example, pulled out of Tenerife at 2:30pm to start 6 days at sea. It looks like fuel efficiency is more important than time in port. Find other people's perception of ports interesting. In the dining room breakfast the next morning after Tenerife one of our table mates said 'didn't think much of the place' while we had been scheming on how to get back to this spectacular island. Sea days One of the best parts of the cruise. Lots of relaxation with no shortage of things to do, such as eating, exploring the ship, rock climbing, swimming, cooking in the steam room, more eating, nightly entertainment. Could do this for weeks. Many people enjoyed the outer decks with mostly warm weather, low winds and calm seas. The enrichment we went to was just a slide show with some commentary. RC could learn from Cunard in this area. Summary Navigator of the Seas is a large beautiful slightly tired cruise ship with good design and many amenities. Staff provided excellent service even with constraining policies. Overall good value for the dollar. Will likely try another line for out next cruise to see how they do things. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2008
We decided to splash out on an Owner's Suite for this crossing and paid a significant premium for the privilege. Perhaps I should say up front that we had a really good time aboard Navigator, despite the somewhat critical comments ... Read More
We decided to splash out on an Owner's Suite for this crossing and paid a significant premium for the privilege. Perhaps I should say up front that we had a really good time aboard Navigator, despite the somewhat critical comments that will follow! For us, the lesson was that if one wants a cruising experience commensurate with an investment of some $6000, then Navigator (and RCI) is not the appropriate choice. For a fraction of what we paid, we could have had just as good a time in comfortable balcony accommodations. Check in was effortless, and very efficient. We were very impressed that RCI was able to process almost 3000 passengers without long delays. Arriving on board, there was no assistance offered in finding our suite; neither were any welcome drinks offered. The ship is beautiful, and well maintained. Despite its size, it is easy to "navigate" one's way around without getting lost. Our suite, the Fiji Suite, was nicely appointed, and really spacious. There is enough closet and packing space for a household! The bathroom was stocked with premium toiletries, and a bowl of fresh fruit was awaiting us on the dining table. A bottle of complimentary mineral water was placed on the bar counter. Neither the fruit nor the water were replaced during the duration of the 12 day cruise, and on one afternoon, we received a cheese plate that was available from the room service menu. We received an access card for the small concierge lounge on Deck 9, and an invitation to the daily complimentary cocktails and snacks in the Ixtapa Lounge on Deck 5. This was the sum total of the privileges we received for booking an Owner's Suite. Our greatest disappointment was the level of indifference with which we were treated. We most certainly did not wish to be fawned upon, but some personal interaction with senior crew members would have been welcome. The "concierge service" throughout the cruise was lacking. One one occasion, we entertained guests in our suite, and asked the concierge to arrange some snacks (from the complimentary room service menu). We were informed that this would cost $350, despite the fact that we ordered wine and drinks from the ship's bar! Eventually we called room service ourselves, and our order was delivered at no charge! The concierge, Xavier, seemed disinterested and not inclined to make any effort - maybe fatigue from a season of cruising in the Mediterranean. Food...The food was of a reasonable standard (but not remarkable), in both the Windjammer Cafe and the dining room. We never had difficulty finding a table in the Windjammer during breakfast and lunch. The lunchtime menu and made-to-order salads in the dining room were excellent - perhaps the best meals we had on board. Dinner menus were somewhat repetitive in the dining room, but the food was palatable. Our waiter and assistant waiter (Glennifer and Serdar) were excellent,and were willing to go to great lengths to please. The Head Waiter, Ashton, was also wonderful. Standards have slipped, though - but quite understandable given the massive global food price increases over recent times. Getting tea and coffee outside Windjammer opening hours was a challenge and an irritation - getting early morning coffee meant a trek to Deck 5 (if we did not make our own in the suite). The star of our cruise was the bar waiter in the Ixtapa Lounge, Mark Lyttleton, who is a shining example of outstanding service. Activities and entertainment...We saw all three production shows, which were good. The highlight, though, was the special performance of "Ice Dancin'", the ice show, for Platinum and Diamond Crown & Anchor members. Wow! It was great. We enjoyed the gym facilities. Other activities were quite low-key, and influenced by the awful weather conditions across the Atlantic. (For "operational reasons" RCI decided to change our route from what was originally advertised when we booked, and the more northerly route resulted in a cold and windy crossing). We found the Cruise Director and his Assistant to be rather indifferent, and the daily video clips advertising activities on board to be reminiscent of a Butlins Holiday Camp (UK members will know what I mean). The activities staff didn't show much initiative or innovation in tailoring activities in the light of the bad weather. On a positive note, The ship's master, Captain Bang, was visible around the ship throughout the crossing (including in the gym), and communicated regularly. It would have been good if his officers had followed his example. During the cruise, it transpired that our rather bumpy ride was exacerbated by the fact that one of the two stabilizer sets on the ship was out of action. The motion caused one of the large closet doors in our suite to come off its hinges, and we were kept awake on several nights with drawers banging. In conclusion: we had a very enjoyable 12 days, but mainly due to the company of great people, and the hard work of a few outstanding crew members. It was most certainly not value for money, and although I steadfastly refrain from making comparisons with other cruise lines, RCI's premium category services are very poor indeed, by any standards. It lacks finesse and attention to detail, despite pricing that compares with premium cruise lines. Maybe a mid-priced balcony cabin in future, but never again a suite! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2008
After an absence of about 4 years I decided to try Royal Caribbean again. I should never have bothered. They definitely earn their standing as worst cruise line in my book. This was a 12 day cruise and the tap water came out brown ... Read More
After an absence of about 4 years I decided to try Royal Caribbean again. I should never have bothered. They definitely earn their standing as worst cruise line in my book. This was a 12 day cruise and the tap water came out brown during the entire cruise. I understand the problem continued on the following cruise. The bathroom featured a nice shower with good water pressure. There was a shampoo dispenser but no shower gel. They place bar soap in the shower. Also, there is a water restricter on the sink tap which made the water come out in almost a trickle. I needed to use the handheld shower head to rinse out anything in the sink. Luckily it reached. The men's gym was disgusting. The soiled towels piled up and fresh towels were not to be found. Several phone calls were made before anyone would appear to clean up. On Carnival, there was a full-time crew member maintaining the changing area. The crew aboard Navigator was not the friendliest group. Very often they would pass by without a friendly greeting. I have always found cruise ship staff to make an effort to be friendly to their guests but apparently this is not encouraged or monitored on Royal Caribbean. I had a PR cabin and the drawer space consisted of 3 drawers beneath the tv about the width of a shoe box. There were 2 other drawers, one each in each night stand. Also, small. For a 12-night cruise this was unacceptable. At times the food could be very good. Even the lobster tails proved to be excellent. There was also an excellent baked sea bass, which was one of the only dishes I experience, other than the Indian cuisine, that had any kick to it. There was plenty of food. However, they ran out of something so basic as lemon. The Seattle's Best coffee is horrible. They even put Instant Maxwell House out as a alternative. I dined in both Portofino and Chops. Portofino definitely has the edge. Service and food were excellent. I did enjoy my entree (a perfectly cooked veal chop), sides(the mushrooms are like heroin) and dessert in Chops, as well as the service, but the soups, starters and salads were ho-hum. Carnival's supper club is far superior. Entertainment was not so wonderful. I find the music options superior on NCL and Carnival. The theatre is not well designed and there are a lot of obstructed views. There are only 2 banks of elevators, which are then sub-divided so that you need to run back and forth if no elevator is available in the direction you are heading. Check-in was excellent and went quickly. Disembarkation was done by schedule and ran smoothly, except when you arrive in the terminal building in Ft. Lauderdale, you wait in line before entering the baggage claim area. I recall things running smoother in the Miami terminal. The shops on board the ship offered no bargains. I priced a Tissot Watch and it was going for U.S. retail price. They then offered a slight discount, but nothing compared to what you can get at home. Alcohol was not as cheap as the Caribbean but since the ship was not going there they probably felt that they didn't need to be as competitive. Also, despite the Royal Promenade featuring a lot of shops, they still felt it necessary to place tables in the middle to sell even more merchandise. The television offered a decent selection of not-so-new films. But since I hadn't seen any of them, it was fine with me. However, no film schedule was printed or available on television. Worst of all was the c.d. Kieron and his side-kick Cuddy. Two classless boors who have no business parading their low comedy on the onboard tv. Kieron thought it would be a hoot to have guests shout across to the Disney Wonder, "You're on the wrong ship!" as we docked next to it in Nassau. Not only is this tacky, but incorrect. We were on the wrong ship! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2008
Background There was 5 of us on this cruise, myself, my wife and 18 year old daughter, plus my in-laws. This was our 5 cruise and third Transatlantic cruise. We had a outside stateroom on deck 2 mid ship and my in-laws had a balcony ... Read More
Background There was 5 of us on this cruise, myself, my wife and 18 year old daughter, plus my in-laws. This was our 5 cruise and third Transatlantic cruise. We had a outside stateroom on deck 2 mid ship and my in-laws had a balcony stateroom on deck 6. Travelling & Embarkation We travelled from Edinburgh to Barcelona via London City airport. It was a very early start with a 6:30 flight out of Edinburgh, but we all seemed to get up with spring in out step as it was holiday time. We arrived in Barcelona at 12:30 and were met just outside baggage collection by the RCI rep, who pointed us in the right direction of porters; this was the last we saw out luggage until we were on the ship. There was a short 20 min bus ride to the port where we were sped through the check in process. Having now attained Platinum status we were very lucky to join a very short queue and within 30-40 mins we were on the ship. After a getting slightly lost, we found our stateroom which was still in the process of getting ready. Sammy our stateroom attendant met us, what a nice guy. Nothing was a problem for him, and always seemed to be smiling as we met him coming and going. The Ship & Crew Having been on both the Mariner and Explorer; we all had a basic idea of the layout so it didn't take us long to to figure out where everything was. We knew that the Windjammer was going to busy so we headed for the Promenade Cafe on deck 5 for a few snacks. The ship it's self is still looking like it just came out the dock. Everywhere we looked someone was polishing or cleaning something. We can't praise the staff and crew highly enough, everyone we passed in the corridors had a smile or a nod to acknowledge we were there. I'll give a special mention to our Waiter, Judith and her assistant (who for the life of me I can't remember his name), plus Ray our Head Waiter, honestly the best Head Waiter we've ever had. Normally in the past we've found they only show face, smile and move on, but this guy took the time to speak to all of us. We would regularly meet him in the Windjammer always taking the time to chat. I'll also mention the bar tenders we got friendly with. Richard in the Theatre, who only after the second night knew what we were all drinking. One more was in Vintages (and I'm truly sorry I never got his name). Again he knew what I was drinking and before my bum was on the seat he was over handing me my drink, now that's service. At this point I'll mention our Cruise Director and his staff, Kieron Buffrey was for me just about right. Not in your face and subtle, which I don't think went down well with our American friends. Once again thank to the CD staff who after my wife wrote to Kieron arrange for my daughter to do a backstage tour as she is studying stage management and lighting in the theatre at collage. He had a great partner in Cuddy who managed to bounce off Kieron just nicely. I hope he makes a CD in the future. For me the only cloud on the silver lining was Captain Bang, for us he was as dully as dish water. His daily announcement were tedious, all we seemed to here was hear was his name then a became garbled with long periods of silence. I'm sure in person he's a very interesting person but on the stage of pubic speaking a small improvement is needed. Ports We didn't have many ports of call on this cruise, which is one of the reasons we choose it. The first up was Cartegena in Spain. The ship had never been docked here before so it was bit of an adventure for guest and crew alike. We did manage to get on an open top bus trip for €13 each, taking about an hour for the tour. Very nice and condensed city full of naval history. After the tour we took a stroll up to the shops. After 2 days at sea we arrived at the port of Ponta Delgada in the Azores, where we had 16 hours to kill. We've never organized a tour via the ship as we can normally find something to do. With this port we really struggled. The tourist information desk should be done under the trade descriptions as they weren't helpful at all, telling us most of the buses were off or broken. So we had to fend for ourselves. The town it's self is very compact and we managed to wander through the small streets taking in the all the sites and sounds. After returning to the ship for some lunch and a change we went back off the ship and struck lucky. It seemed we were there on the day all the Christmas lights were being switched on. It truly magical place, full of marching bands, Santa and kids playing. Our last stop came after 6 days at seas and we arrived in the port of Nassau in the Bahamas. After a small delay waiting for another ship to dock we got off and headed for the hotel Atlantis. Having been to Nassau in the past we knew where to go and how to get there so no time was wasted. We wandered round the hotel checking out the aquarium and casino, then headed back to the main town for a drink at the local Hard Rock Cafe. It was then back to the ship and prepare for the big off load at Fort Lauderdale the next morning. The Sea Days As I've said before we choose this cruise because of the amount to days at sea, which for us the must relaxing time you can have. In total out of the 12 days 8 of them were spent at sea. The only down side to this was the weather wasn't the most favorable, it was warm but for the most part overcast. To say the sea was lumpy would be a small understatement, for at least 2 days it was pretty rough, so much so when we looked our stateroom window it wasn't unusual to see the sea hitting it. We did spend this time doing all the stuff around the playing golf and roller blading and ice skating etc. The rough waters didn't stop us have a great time; sometimes you have to take the rough with the smooth. We were just lucky on all the port days the sun was shinning. Entertainment This was a real mixed bag for us. We though the RCI dancers done a good job working under the conditions they do. However some of the star turns were a bit poor. Darren Day was really bad and never seemed to connect with the audience. Brenda Cochran tried very hard and has some real talent but I don't think the theatre was big enough for her voice. The real star turn was Mr Nobody (Yacov Noy). His three legged man was just classic. We did manage to see 3 showings of the Ice Dancing and we all still watch with open mouths how these people to do the things they do. With leaps, jumps and back flips it's all very cool. We just managed to stand up on the ice when the ship was moving all over the place how they do it is beyond me. Food I can't really do a review without mentioning the food. Overall it was really good. The choice within the Windjammer is amazing, if you can't find something you like you must be a very picky eater. Somethings could have been hotter. I do feel like people behave extremely badly and can be very rude within the Windjammer. Pushing in when queues have been formed, loading plates up like all the food is going to run out. I've always subscribed to you can go up as many time as you like, don't waste good food. We ate every night in the main restaurant, and there wasn't a night gone by that I couldn't find something to eat. The steak was always done the way I like it. I never walked away thinking hmm I need more to eat. In fact most nights I thought that was a lovely meal, and I don't have to do the dishes. Disembarkation We were very lucky that managed to be one of the last one off the ship, and also being Platinum member we had access to the our own waiting area, which was in the restaurant on deck 4. This made for a more pleasant experience than sitting in the theatre. By the time we got off the ship there were only a few cases left in the hall so we could spot our luggage without any problem. Clearing immigration was only a problem as some people seemed think it was a good idea to fill in their green cards when they arrived at them immigration officer. On the whole we were on our way to the airport within an hour from getting off the ship. Overall In conclusion this was a very enjoyable cruise, well worth the money we spent. Will we be doing another cruise, you better believe it, and will we choose Royal Caribbean, most defiantly yes, they tick all the right boxes for me. Read Less
Navigator of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.3
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.5 4.2

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