97 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) to Caribbean - Eastern Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise for the cost and for the islands visited. Not having to drive down to Miami was also a big plus. We had never cruised on one of the larger ships. This was about twice as big as we had sailed on before, yet it was ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the cost and for the islands visited. Not having to drive down to Miami was also a big plus. We had never cruised on one of the larger ships. This was about twice as big as we had sailed on before, yet it was not one of the HUGE new ones. Surprisingly it did not feel crowded, and it was very easy to find our way around. Our little inside cabin was good sized with a big bed, LOTS of storage in the large closet with many hangers plus drawers in the built in areas. There was even a couch. The bathroom was compact but comfortable - easy to maneuver in. The service was exceptional everywhere on the ship. We ate in the main dining room for most meals and enjoyed the varied menu. The breads/rolls and desserts were the best we've ever had on a cruise. The soups and salads were good - a few exceptionally good. The main entrees were a mixed blessing: some very good; others sounded better than they actually tasted. The ship was well laid out, easy to get around, plenty of elevators and wide stairwells. There were "You are here" illustrations at all main intersections, so it was easy to keep track of location. There were also large touch screens by each bank of elevators for additional information. The main dining room had the evening menu on large touch screens outside the main doors at each level of the room. We looking forward to picking out what we would be eating ahead of time - saved time. The trip was totally for relaxation. We did not attend the shows or take any of the ship sponsored excursions though we did go off on our own in ports with no trouble getting around. Only one complaint about the ship: in the hallways around the cabins there was a constant bathroom/sewage smell - sometimes quite pungent. There must be some way to control that - never encountered it on any other cruises. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was the fourteenth cruise for my wife and myself and our fourth on Royal Caribbean. We are in our early 70's. We chose this cruise because it traveled to a few places in the Caribbean that we had not been to yet. We arrived in Ft ... Read More
This was the fourteenth cruise for my wife and myself and our fourth on Royal Caribbean. We are in our early 70's. We chose this cruise because it traveled to a few places in the Caribbean that we had not been to yet. We arrived in Ft Lauderdale from Dallas a few days before the cruise departure, rented a car and drove to Key West, stayed there for a few nights. While in Key West we took the ferry to Fort Jefferson located in the Dry Tortugas, a bit pricey but well worth it. The day before the cruise we drove back to Lauderdale, turned the car in and stayed at the Hilton Gardens south of the airport, they have a free cruise shuttle. The Hilton is a very nice hotel with friendly service. On the morning of the cruise we took the 11:00 hotel shuttle to the ship. The embarkation process took about an hour and 15 minutes, we were aboard by 12:30. The interior of the ship and the common areas are very clean and well appointed. We particularly liked the deck 5 promenade, this area is like a small city block with shopping, a coffee shop and bar. Our cabin was on deck six, an inside cabin with a bay window overlooking the promenade. The cabin was well appointed, of decent size with a flat screen TV, desk and chair another chair and a couch. The closet and storage areas were adequate for two people. The TV channel offerings were poor, no US based networks just repetitive drivel. I purchased the Wi-Fi package for $160.00, a waste of money, painfully slow and problematic. Overall the food was adequate, nothing to wax poetic about but you won't starve to death. We had the your time dinner seating. On the first night we ate at the assigned restaurant but for the rest of the cruise we took meals at the Windjammer on deck 11, except for one night, we went to the Italian upcharge restaurant. In my opinion, we should saved our money, the Italian fare was not at all enjoyable, probably the worst upcharge experience out of all of the cruises that we have taken. The first port was the RCCL private beach at Labadee, Haiti, great beaches plenty of food, well manicured and things to do for all age groups.. Overall a fun experience except for one downside. There is an area called the Artisans Market, the venders here are extremely aggressive and kept hounding you to buy something for my wife and I, this was an ugly experience, after a few minutes of this we walked away and bought nothing. Just before the Artisans Marked there was an indoor market where you could buy souvenirs without the incessant barking of vendors. The second port was San Juan PR, we walked the streets had a few beers ate at a small local restaurant and walked to both forts, we both had a pleasant day ashore. St Kitts was the third stop. We chose to take a tour with a local tour guide and driver instead of an excursion arranged by the ship, we saved 50% by doing this. When using non ship tours that are offered in the debarkation area use common sense, make sure other people are in the tour group, don't go alone. I chose a young lady named Coleen for our tour aboard a small van, she had a nice personality and seemed to be more trustworthy than some of the men that were also hawking tours. For safety reasons before boarding the van I check the tires. We had an interesting and enjoyable tour around the island seeing many beautiful sights, just remember, there is some risk to taking private tours, use your best judgement, if it does not feel right, don't go. At St. Martin we did a bus tour, arranged by the ship of both the Dutch and French sides of the island. The tour was informative, fun and we did a little shopping on the French side. The only downside to this tour was the long wait in a very long line to board the bus after departing the ship. We were going to go back to the ship after the bus tour but with 3 hours left to stay onshore we decided to take the water taxi to Phillipsburg, glad we did. We did some shopping, walked along the beach and ate at the Hard Rock Café. All in all it was a very good cruise. The sea was calm for the entire trip with no rain at all. The service on the ship was excellent, our cabin attendant was the best. The entertainment was average but there are many fun things to do especially up on the sports deck. The cruise director was ok but seemed to lack the exuberance usually associated with this job. Just like any other cruise line RCCL will make every attempt at separating you from your money. The best advise is to stay out of the Casino, way too much cigarette smoke and the odds are beyond awful, We would both do this cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Just started cruising again after 22 years. The ships are a lot larger and definitely more luxurious then I remember. This isn't the largest ship but you can get lost at first. Embarkation was a little annoying at fist with the port ... Read More
Just started cruising again after 22 years. The ships are a lot larger and definitely more luxurious then I remember. This isn't the largest ship but you can get lost at first. Embarkation was a little annoying at fist with the port at Port Everglades. The signage was poor as pier listings only went to pier number 26, the entrance gate guard said we were at number 29, duh, no signs to direct you. Once we were cleared through security check-in the embarkation went smoothly. State room accommodations were a surprise as to layout and roominess with ample closet and storage space. The bathroom was great with shower doors rather than a curtain, not the largest but ok for our small statures in comparison to some tall/large bodies. What surprised me was that the cabin was so sound proof. We never heard anyone in the next door staterooms, unless the balcony doors were open. Our cabin assistant was always there to meet our needs. There was always something to do if you wanted to with entertainment most anytime and shows in afternoon and evenings. The cruise director Jeffery is just great with a great sense of humour and comedian in his own right! We liked the assigned time and table sitting over the my time dining and having the same servers every night for dinner, I believe we had the best of the lot. Everyone on staff was very courteous and friendly. Disembarking went smooth. Definitely like RCCL, have rebooked to go on the Oasis of the Seas next to try the large ship, but the Navigator is great. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
LOVE Royal Caribbean cruises. Love the ships, the food, the entertainment and all the crew. The food on this ship, I have to say, was just okay. Nothing bad, just okay. We've been on the Oasis, the Allure and the Quantum, their ... Read More
LOVE Royal Caribbean cruises. Love the ships, the food, the entertainment and all the crew. The food on this ship, I have to say, was just okay. Nothing bad, just okay. We've been on the Oasis, the Allure and the Quantum, their food is extraordinary, so I guess we're rather spoiled! The only complaint I have (and I normally don't complain about anything on cruising, because we love it), is the salon on this ship. I had a manicure/pedicure done and was not happy with the price at all! $117.00 for a 'nothing special' job. Complained about the price and she said, 'you asked for a fire and ice!' How could I 'ask' for something that I knew nothing about. This was a 'nothing special' job and I could have gotten something better at a Walmart! And I'm not a Walmart fan. I felt I should have received some sort of discount after mentioning it at the desk. I also told them I would not promote the salon. They didn't care apparently. I was not bitchy, just wanted them to know how I felt about it. I've had this done at the Oasis of the Seas salon and it was heavenly and NOT as expensive. My opinion.....get your nails done BEFORE you go on the Navigator of the Seas or you won't be happy! I was just plain not happy with it at all. Overall, we still LOVE Royal Caribbean cruising and won't let this incident stop us from more cruising! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was our second RCI cruise, first one was on Freedom. Ships almost identical except for size. Embarkation was very slow and line identification poor. Finally on board and walked through Windjammer three times looking for available ... Read More
This was our second RCI cruise, first one was on Freedom. Ships almost identical except for size. Embarkation was very slow and line identification poor. Finally on board and walked through Windjammer three times looking for available table before going to Cafe Promenade. Balcony cabin was spotless and very comfortable. Room steward (Ivan) was very attentive and helpful. Had MTD and chose to keep same table every night because our servers (Ricky and Inyoman) were so good. Food in all the venues was delicious. Had lunch at Sabors and it was excellent. Also did the Galley Tour and Champagne Brunch, loved it. Booked two excursions through ship and one on my own. The ship one in San Juan (tour of city) was okay, guide was good. The non-ship one in St. Kitts (Grey Tours) was more enjoyable, also a city tour. In St. Maarten the double decker bus tour was the worst. Had to wear headphones to hear guide, who was almost unintelligible. 15 minute stops every now and then were spent in bathroom line. No AC in bottom section of bus. The shows were okay, most enjoyable being the illusionist and Beatles cover band. The ice show is always a big hit. Debarkation went much smoother than getting on. Hired a porter and was off the ship and in our car in 20 minutes! We would definitely sail on Navigator again and are planning to try Oasis soon when she comes to FLL. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
I chose this cruise because it was priced right and I wanted to experience this ship. I also had never been to Labadee, their private island. The ship was beautiful and very clean. The cabin and especially the bathroom was quite ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was priced right and I wanted to experience this ship. I also had never been to Labadee, their private island. The ship was beautiful and very clean. The cabin and especially the bathroom was quite small for a balcony stateroom. We had purchased 3 nights in specialty restaurants prior to the cruise. When we got on board, a man from the Sabor Mexican restaurant said we could save money if we purchased a 5 night dining pkg. So he said he would make all the arrangements for us and cancel our original reservations. He didn't! It took us 3 days to get it all straightened out. I even went to the front desk for help and they handed me their phone. No customer service at all. I do not recommend the specialty restaurants. I never met the lady who cleaned our cabin. She gave us 3 bath towels on day one and only 2 every day after that. The Ice Dancing show was very nice. Nice costumes and music. Lots of talent!! The food was nothing to write home about. I would not recommend the Isumi Asian restaurant unless you enjoy cooking your own food on a hot rock. Chops Grill was pretty good. Don't order the lasagna in Giovanni's because there is no cheese in it, meat sauce and noodles. I asked the waiter at lunch in the dining room for the soup of the day. I just wanted to know what it was. His response... "I'll get to that". Wear your shoes to the beach in Labadee because the sand is full of rocks and coral, very bad for cuts and bruises. Watch the vendors on Labadee because they are more aggressive than what you see in Mexico! Labadee is nothing compared to Half Moon Cay. You cruisers from HAL know how staff offer to bring you a drink on the beach at Half Moon Cay? Well, you will not see that service on Labadee. They even charged us for a chair to sit down!! We did not do any excursions because we have been to all the islands previously. We are four star mariners on Holland America. We will stick with them in the future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We picked this cruise just to get away for a break. This was our 5th cruise, 3 of which were in the last 17 months. (Did we say retirement!) 4 out of 5 cruises were on RC ships. We parked at Park 'N Go about a mile from the ... Read More
We picked this cruise just to get away for a break. This was our 5th cruise, 3 of which were in the last 17 months. (Did we say retirement!) 4 out of 5 cruises were on RC ships. We parked at Park 'N Go about a mile from the port. We had excellent service being dropped off and picked up. Upon arrival at the port we had a smooth embarkation with approximately 30 minutes time lapse from the time we dropped off our car til we were aboard the ship. We had an interior cabin with the virtual balcony, which was nice to be able to see outside but takes away the small sofa. We were not as happy with the fact our choices were a single seat or the bed to sit on. The gentleman that did our room was great. We do not spend much time in our cabin. We were very disappointed with the main dining room. While we requested a table for two we were told there were none to be had. They sat us at a table for 10. We finally were able to be moved to a table of 4 but it was not easy getting them to do so. What was frustrating was the fact that there were two tables for two empty the first night and the second night someone sat in one of them right behind us. They told us they had a table for two and were moved to this other table because they did not like the first one. Our waiter/asst waiter were average. We were rarely offered seconds in rolls and my husband had a difficult time getting beverage refills. He finally asked them to bring him 3 at once which they balked at but finally did.The food was not the best. We sailed on the Freedom of the Seas in Dec. 2014 and Dec. 2015 and the food was much better. You would think a smaller ship would do better in the food department. The Windjammer was fine. I don't think the choices were as plentiful as on the Freedom. One of the best meals we had was at Johnny Rockets. There is a cover charge but you can eat as much as you want. They had excellent onion rings and fries. We did not try any of the specialty restaurants. The activities were basically the same as on the Freedom. I wish they had added a few more games besides Trivia like on the previous ship. We played Apples-to-Apples and it was great fun. I think there were also more poolside events. The shows were mediocre. The RC singers/dancers/musicians put their heart and soul into the shows but the production was lacking with a poor choice of music, etc. The comedians were not very good. The Elton John Revue wasn't too bad. The best show of the week was the Beatles revue. There were a number of people that walked out of the different shows and through talking with other passengers many had the same impression of the Headliner Shows. The ice skating show are good. They need to come up with a better system of giving out tickets and lining up to get into the show. We were in line an hour before the show and a number of people just "crowded" up near the time to enter the theater, disregarding all the guests who patiently waited in line. Tickets were given out earlier in the week and my husband saw a number of people walk in without tickets. One of the best entertainment during the week was the piano player in the Schooner lounge. David Curtis was amazing. We caught his show every night but one. He probably played over 200 songs in the 7 nights, played with no music in front of him, sang the songs and invited the guests to sing along with him. He has worked for RC for 30 years he told us. The ports were all right. The best one was San Juan, PR. It was clean and we felt very safe walking around. We were disappointed in St. Kitts and did not feel as safe. St. Marten was fine, we had been there before and looked forward to going back. There is a cheese shop between the port and the shopping area that is great and we brought back some cheese. There is not a lot to do in Labadee but it good for those guests who do no have the advantage of being able to go to the beach as we do. We live 25 minutes from Hilton Head Island. We did not do any of the excursions as we feel they are outrageously priced. Most of the staff was friendly and helpful. We did not have the need to use guest relations. We were the first ones off the ship and back at our car within 30 minutes and heading home. Overall, I am glad we went on our trip despite the issues mentioned above. I would definitely go on the Freedom of the Seas on a future cruise. We will not go on the Navigator again. We have another trip booked on the Serenade of the Seas in December where we will be going to the Southern Caribbean. We are hoping for a better experience. We are also looking into the Oasis or the Allure. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Chose this as the 1st royal trip, previously cruising on carnival. Overall ship and amenities were very nice. Hallway outside cabin down to elevators smelled very musty and damp. Found out there had been a water leak and carpet was ... Read More
Chose this as the 1st royal trip, previously cruising on carnival. Overall ship and amenities were very nice. Hallway outside cabin down to elevators smelled very musty and damp. Found out there had been a water leak and carpet was needing replacement. No Ac in elevators. AC in main dining and show area was very inefficient. Seemed to cycle on for very short periods of time and then be off way too long. Made for some uncomfortable dinners and shows. Room was ok, bathroom needed a facelift. Pillows were terrible, flat and no support. Plenty of pool and sunning areas. Didn't see many chair hogs with their saved spots. Food in MDR was fantastic. Service very good. Food in Windjammer was very good, lots of options. Labadee was enjoyable. Good bbq lunch and plenty of shade if desired. No issues in FTL either getting on or getting off. Lines moved well for a sold out cruise. Overall very enjoyable experience and would recommend. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was our 29th anniversary and decided to take a cruise since that cruise taken was in 1994 on Celebrity and 1981 on Carnival. The ships have vastly improved since then. The Navigator of the seas was recently renovated and was like a ... Read More
This was our 29th anniversary and decided to take a cruise since that cruise taken was in 1994 on Celebrity and 1981 on Carnival. The ships have vastly improved since then. The Navigator of the seas was recently renovated and was like a new ship. The cabin was clean with a seating area, large closet setup with more than ample shelving space. The bathroom was ample with tri-mirror and shelving and a shower stall with door enclosure rather then shower curtain with rain shower head. The desk/make-up area was good with shelving and storage cabinets, which also housed the refrigerator and safe. The king size bed was very comfortable with plenty of room for large luggage underneath, and Good size balcony. We chose early assigned dining to be assured of having our same servers and made some new friends. Our servers were exceptional, Inyohan and Pedro at table #311. The food was very good and would always have at least one new dish to try each night from the regular menu. Entertainment was very good with variety, d on't miss the comedy shows. Service was great no matter where we were on the ship, we do have to especially compliment our cabin attendant, Donato, who was accommodating to anything we may have asked of him. Our Cruise Director was a hoot and a comedian in his own right, Jerry. All I can say is that we loved the Navigator. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We booked this cruise 1.5 years ago. It was a first sibling cruise for my husband's siblings and spouses. There were 8 of us traveling together. We arrived at the Port at 10 AM. By 11:15 we were able to board the ship. We did a ... Read More
We booked this cruise 1.5 years ago. It was a first sibling cruise for my husband's siblings and spouses. There were 8 of us traveling together. We arrived at the Port at 10 AM. By 11:15 we were able to board the ship. We did a quick walk thru the Promenade and then up to the Windjammer for lunch. The windjammer got really busy around noon so we left our table so others would have a place to eat and we started exploring. Our rooms were ready shortly after 1. Our luggage did not arrive until almost 4. The first day was busy getting settled in, going to the first night's show and dinner in the MDR. We fell in love with our server's in the MDR. They were very attentive and provided great service. We had Mario and Xuemei. They really added to our whole cruise experience. I found the staff of the ship to be some of the best I have seen. (This was my 8th cruise on multiple lines). The staff all seemed happy to be there. They spoke when they saw you and were all very polite and helpful. Most of my crowd likes to stay active. They all found plenty to keep them busy. We have our own shuffle board tournaments. My husband played in table tennis tournaments. He tried the flow rider several days. The gym was very nice. We normally went in afternoons when less crowded. They was a huge hot tub in the gym that we also used several times. It tended to be less crowded. In the shower area of the gym were a sauna and steam room. We girls went to the steam room several days. The food in the Windjammer was all very good. Basically what you expect for cruise buffet. A little more variety would be nice. But no reason anyone should go hungry. We all enjoyed the food in the MDR. There was a pretty good selection of choices each night. As the norm, chairs near the pool were hard to come by. But there were plenty to be found in other areas or on the deck above the pool. The ship is starting to show it's age. It was recently in dry dock, so cosmetically looked fine. But some of the fixtures were showing age. We always book inside rooms. Our room was a good size for us. Loved all the storage room. We did have issues with our room not being very cool. We were only one in our group with this complaint. We did have maintenance come take a look, but it didn't help. Thankfully we had brought a small fan. The shows for the most part were pretty good. The Ice Show was spectacular. We went to it twice. 2 of the night shows were just okay. (Probably not our taste/style of music). They had a tribute band to the Beatles one night, they were excellent. The Motown show was also excellent. Overall it was a great cruise and many wonderful memories were made. Of the 3 other couples 1 had never cruised before. The other 2 couples had never cruised with RCL. 2 Couples booked while on board a future cruise on Freedom of the Seas. The other couple has been booked for the last year with use for next year's Navigator 9 day cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We needed an 8 day cruise to attain our Diamond status with Royal Caribbean's Crown and Anchor program. The Navigator of the Seas was the only one that met the criteria for us. Port Everglades was a piece of cake. Royal Caribbean ... Read More
We needed an 8 day cruise to attain our Diamond status with Royal Caribbean's Crown and Anchor program. The Navigator of the Seas was the only one that met the criteria for us. Port Everglades was a piece of cake. Royal Caribbean rep met us at the airport and directed us to an air conditioned bus. We boarded immediately and in less than 5 minutes we were on our way to the port. We had booked a Grand Suite (1264) so embarkation was a breeze, front of the line service to get our Gold Cards. Total time from luggage drop to onboard the ship was about 25 minutes. Hit the Windjammer for a quick cup of coffee and a little relaxation before exploring the ship. Nothing new, same as the Voyager and Mariner, and just as clean and welcoming as all Royal Caribbean Ships. Although we are Freedom of the Seas fans, we were pleased with our decision to try the Navigator. Our suite was ready by 1:00. Checked everything out and, as usual, we were happy with the upgrades made during the 2015 refurbish. Very near perfection. Met Randy, our suite attendant and felt comfortable that we were in good hands. My Time Dining was our choice and we hit the jackpot. Our waiter Darwin and assistant waiter Nazira were professional, courteous and pleasant to deal with. Our 5:30 reservation was ideal, never a line, and great table for 2. Food was the best that we have encountered on any of the RCCL ships. Absolutely the "best". Our Concierge, Nadja was a joy to work with, always checking to make sure we were enjoying our cruise and coaxing us to enjoy the amenities of the Concierge Club. Her service when we were disembarking was amazing. Took us from Deck 11 to customs and down the ramp in record time. Too much time in the Casino, slots didn't pay out, no further comment. Shows were shows. Nothing special. Should have gone to the ice show, but we spent too much time in the Casino. Did I already say that? St. Kitts was the only island we hadn't visited so we walked around on our own. Nice place to visit. Walked around San Juan also on our own, visited shops but made no purchases. St. Maarten,we got off the ship and headed for the Guavaberry Colada stand in town. I must say it is a delicious way to get a brain freeze. Overall, the experience was wonderful. Service was exceptional from day 1 to day 8. Gonna try the Oasis next April, hoping it provides the same awesome experience. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We chose the Navigator to celebrate my 50th birthday on the 16th and I wanted to leave on that day. Also, we hadn't been to Labadee or St. Kitts. We stayed at the Hyatt Place for one night before the cruise. Super easy and fast ... Read More
We chose the Navigator to celebrate my 50th birthday on the 16th and I wanted to leave on that day. Also, we hadn't been to Labadee or St. Kitts. We stayed at the Hyatt Place for one night before the cruise. Super easy and fast check in, staff was friendly and the hotel was clean. Breakfast was good, plenty of hot and cold choices and guests were polite. Walking distance to numerous restaurants, though we had dinner at the hotel due to pouring rain. Felt secure in leaving our car parked for the duration. We used the hotel shuttle to get to the port, it leaves every hour between 10 am and 1 pm. We chose the 12 noon departure, were the only ones on the shuttle and were onboard the ship by 12:40 pm. Somehow everyone was spread out enough that boarding was super fast. We've been on the Mariner in the past, so the ship layout was familiar. Headed to the pool bar to order our first celebratory drink and wait for the cabin to be ready at 1 pm. After seeing the drink prices, I opted to purchase the package. Drink prices have gone up a lot and they really encourage the purchase of the package without being pushy about it. By the end of the cruise, we just didn't feel like drinking enough to meet the daily cost, so I don't know if it was worth it. Bar menus are few and far between. I only saw them in Boleros and Schooners. The roaming waiters for drink service seem to be limited to the main pool area. We spent most of our sea days in the Solarium and seldom saw them and when they did show up, it took another 30 minutes before they came back. Faster to get your own drinks. We had dinner in Sabor the first night, the guacamole was excellent and I will now compare it in every other Mexican restaurant. Sabor set the bar pretty high. They were booked the remainder of the cruise, so I'm glad was took this opportunity. Would definitely recommend. We also had sushi in Izumi, pretty good, but I would not say spectacular. Pricing seems to be comparable to mainland Sushi restaurants. Dinner in the main dining room was good, no complaints. The portions seemed a bit smaller, but between apps, soup, and salad, we didn't starve. The wait staff was very accommodating and made good recommendations. We had "my time" dining, never had to wait more than two minutes at the most to be seated and ended up in the same section with the same wait staff every night. Our server Mahendran and his assistant Jaikisshan (Maddy and Jai) did a great job. There was a sign out on the first formal night that "short pants were not permitted in the dining room for dinner," but I didn't see it the rest of the cruise and noticed men in shorts even during the second formal night. Food in the Windjammer was okay, plenty of options to include vegetarian. We had room service breakfast every morning, they usually delivered a few minutes before the requested time. Had a D1 balcony stateroom, 8656. A little larger, but there was no table in the room. Standard balcony with two chairs and a table. Bed was hard as a rock, though our cabin steward Kevin added a couple of duvet covers which helped a little. Worst mattress and pillows ever. There was a definite sewage smell in the hallway during the first half of the cruise. I also noticed the smell on the last night on deck 4, both inside and outside on the promenade. Public areas were clean. Entertainment was standard. The ice show is assigned by muster station, so read the daily newsletter. Chair hogs were definitely in the Solarium. If you didn't have a place by 8 am, your were just out of luck. But if you wanted space in the shade, it was available else. The gym was good, plenty of treadmills, ellipticals and weight machines. A small section of free weights. I don't recommend rooms on deck 10, under the gym, pool areas and Windjammer. Labadee was pretty much rained out, though they still had the beach barbeque. The different beach areas looked nice, but we got soaked enough walking to the market. I'm sure it would be a nice beach day when not pouring rain. St. Kitts is like a less developed version of St. Maarten. We took the grand tour with Thenford Gray, which starts with a drive through Basseterre, goes to the poor side of the island with stops at the Batik place and up to Brimstone Hill fort and then moves over to the other, wealthier side of the island and leaves you either at the beach or takes you back to the ship. There are no food stops on this tour until you get to Shipwreck beach, which has a restaurant. St. Maarten is a beach day for us, since we've been several times. Had lunch at Caribbean Blend restaurant, based on a recommendation, food was very good. Three ships in port, but not too crowded. We did self assist debarkation and were off the ship by 6:45. People were leaving before 6:30 am, so we grabbed our bags, headed to the Sapphire restaurant on deck 4, were routed through the restaurant, back out on deck, swiped sea passes, down the escalators to customs and out the door. This process was a little cumbersome, but it kept everyone spread out enough to stop bottlenecks. Had to wait about 10 minutes for a taxi, that took longer than anything else. All in all, it was a good and relaxing cruise. The staff onboard was friendly, the ship is showing it's age and could use an overhaul, but clean. I'd sail Royal Caribbean again, but probably a newer ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
A warning before you start: My reviews are long. This one may be longer than most because it was an 8-day, port intensive itinerary. I divided it into sections to help the reader find the information they need a little faster. ... Read More
A warning before you start: My reviews are long. This one may be longer than most because it was an 8-day, port intensive itinerary. I divided it into sections to help the reader find the information they need a little faster. Embarkation We left for Fort Lauderdale from Atlanta at around 3:30 am on the day of our cruise. Spring break traffic was pretty heavy all the way down there except for I-10. The almost constant rain did not help. We got stuck in traffic about 15 miles from our exit to Park n Fly. We eventually got here. As always, the shuttle driver at Park n Fly was waiting to help unload our car and take us to the ship when we parked. We got to the terminal a little before 3. The upside of such a late arrival was virtually no line. We were checked in and on the ship in about 30 minutes. The downside is we were among the last to get our luggage. It arrived well after 7. The ship The common areas of the Navigator are nice and well appointed. The atrium has a beautiful sculpture that extends all the way up to the upper floors. The ship is a little hard to navigate for me, mainly because there are no aft elevators and apparently, I booked an aft cabin without realizing it. There does not seem to be an official mid-ship on the Navigator. You're either forward or aft. It took a misguided attempt to try to get to the Windjammer (which the map says is aft but it's really more midship) by simply walking to the back of the ship and going up, to realize that there are no aft elevators or stairs. As a mostly Carnival cruiser, this is odd to me because every ship we've been on has had forward, midship, and aft elevators. I also kept turning the wrong way to get to the forward elevator from our cabin. In a forward cabin on Carnival, the forward elevators are usually behind us. On this ship, they were in front of us. The elevators were slow in the mornings, evenings, and on sea days. When one finally came, it was usually crowded. The layout and slow elevators means this is a walking ship. If you book a cabin at the very back, you will have quite a long walk to the aft/midship elevators to get anywhere on the ship. If you're like me and find the cabin numbering confusing, it may mean more walking to get back to one of the two opportunities you have to cross to the other side of the ship if you find yourself wandering around on the wrong side. All of my confusion could be because I am so used to Carnival ships. But, I did not have issues navigating on the Indy. Around the 3rd day, we started calling this ship, the Conquest class ships of Royal Caribbean. The crowding and the layout really reminded us of the Carnival Valor, Conquest, Glory, and Sunshine. The promenade area is very similar to the one on the Indy. The pizza shop was hard to find, mainly because they don't mention it at all as a food option in the Cruise Compass. One of our Cruise Critic roll call members told me that it's there, but at the very end of the promenade in the Cafe. Where the Navigator is showing its age is the cabins. Our cabin, 8562, was nice but there was obvious aging in the bathroom, mostly. Other than the age issues, the cabin is fine. We slept really well each night. Activities When we registered our son for Adventure Ocean, The counselor provided us with an overview schedule for the week that didn't provide important details like what time certain activities were going to take place. This made it difficult for me to plan our days. Like on the INDY, their scheduling of certain activities at night made family dinner a challenge if we weren’t eating dinner between 5 and 7. The counselor said that free arcade night was 7 to 8 that first evening. My husband took our very excited son. They came back and reported that many of the games marked as free did not work. Some did not play at all and others did not function properly. The Mario Kart game only turned left which meant going in circles for the entire race. We loaded his card with arcade credit for him to use the rest of the cruise. On our day in Labadee, we spent about an hour in the arcade after dinner. The games are expensive, averaging about $1 per play. We swiped our card on the Sonic game 3 times. Each time, it removed a credit but never played. We learned which games to avoid. Games would be working one day and not working the next. Annoying. But, when we called the help number, they put the credits back on our card. After eating dinner on our day in St. Maarten, it was too late to drop our son off at Adventure Ocean for the Pirate Parade, so we watched the Family Movie on the top deck, Big Hero 6. We've already seen it but it is a very good movie. The big screen on the deck is probably mounted too low. It's hard to find a spot where you have an unobstructed view of the screen. We settled on the area in front of the Sky Bar. Nope. Balcony bars running all across the screen. The Sky bar is also a smoking area so once the smokers showed up, the party was over. It seems you have to sit on the same level as the pool on either side of it to get an unobstructed view of the big screen. When he did go, our son had a great time at Adventure Ocean. We skipped our planned beach day in St. Maarten because he wanted to go to Adventure Ocean. I attempted to pick him up twice but he was having so much fun, he wanted to stay. We did not really rely on the Cruise Compass for activities. They tended to be the same every day. On the first sea day, after our dinner in Chops, we picked up our son and headed to the 10:15 ballroom dancing show. We stuck it out for about 30 minutes. With a show called "Ballroom Dancing", I expect more dancing than singing. The singers were amazing. The dancing, not so much. When we got on the ship, one of the first things we did was start looking for the water park or water slide. Apparently, this ship does not have one. I have no idea how I missed that in my planning. There is a rock climbing wall, mini golf, and the Flowrider. So, what's a parent with a child too young for rock climbing or flowriding to do? We don’t play mini-golf, so Adventure Ocean and the pool are pretty much it. On a sea day, the pool area was very crowded. Your experience will vary depending on the time of day you get there. We went around 10:30 am on the first sea day and there was not an available deck chair to be found. But, one of the pools only had a few people in it so we were able to enjoy it for about 2 hours. I absolutely loved that this ship had a 1 am curfew for cruisers under 18. We experienced none of the unsupervised kid craziness that was everywhere on the Independence of the Seas. For the most part, the kids we encountered were well-behaved. This was also the friendliest bunch of people we have cruised with in a while. People did not hesitate to strike up a conversation with you or extend the greeting of the day. Food The food on the Navigator was good overall. The Windjammer tended to serve a standard breakfast every day. We had no issues with this since we are meat and eggs breakfast lovers. They also offered a selection of breads and pastries, fruit, juices, coffee, and milk. Lunch and dinner offered a variety of entrees and veggies. The sides were pretty standard though. Every day, we saw mashed potatoes, white rice, a flavored rice variation, ziti, and spaghetti. The food quality in the Windjammer was pretty consistent. The broccoli beef (way too much soy sauce - tasted burnt) and the lamb stew (flavors not quite right), were the only two misses of the food I selected during the cruise. The Windjammer seemed to have a condiment issue, mostly the ketchup, for most of the cruise. They had the large tubs that you pump the condiments out of. They had a hard time keeping them filled. It got annoying playing find the ketchup every time we ate. Every time we found ketchup packets out, we started saving them so we wouldn't have to hunt for ketchup the next time we ate. They also ran out of chocolate chip cookies around day 6 of the cruise. For us, if you're out of chocolate chip cookies, then you're out of cookies. The coconut, cranberry, lemon, and oatmeal raisin cookies that were still available just aren't the same. We only ate in the dining room one night during this cruise because we just didn't find the menu appetizing on most nights. I called to make an anytime dining reservation around 4 on our day in Labadee. All they had left was the late seating which was fine with us. At dinner, I got the shrimp cocktail and lasagna pomodoro. My husband ordered a Caesar salad and garlic shrimp. Our son ordered the chicken fingers from the kids menu. The shrimp cocktail was great. I did not care for the lasagna. I know it's made with a milder bolognese sauce but I like my lasagna with a hearty tomato flavor. This lasagna was really bland. Our son ate the French fries but only nibbled at the chicken fingers. My husband ate one and described it as tough and chewy. He thought garlic shrimp was ok. We both ordered the chocolate sensation for dinner. It was served with vanilla ice cream. The chocolate mousse cake was not bad but I enjoyed the ice cream more. I am glad we bought the specialty dining package Dinner in Chops Grille was a wonderful dining experience. We ate there twice during our cruise. We shared our entrees, the jumbo shrimp cocktail and crab cake. The crab cake texture was not what we are used to. It is clearly not a recipe that includes bread crumbs and the flavor was muted but the sauce they served it with elevated the taste. I ordered the strip steak and my husband ordered the filet mignon. Our sides, mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach were served family style in shareable portions. The waiter offered us a variety of options for sauces. I got the red wine sauce which was the perfect complement to the steak. We shared a huckleberry cheesecake for dessert and finished an entire bottle of wine. Sabor also did not disappoint. The salsa that came with the chips at the beginning of our meal was amazing. We ordered the bacon wrapped chicken and peppers, and the cheese dip for appetizers. Our son got the three cheese quesadillas for his entree. My husband ordered the duck burrito. I started with the red snapper and finished with the short rib mole. The plantain mash that the snapper came with was good but all the flavors seemed to come together when you combined the fish, mash, and mango salsa in the same bite. The mole was delicious. Too bad I was too full to finish it. Everything was delicious. The sides are served family style and they bring all the ones shown on the menu. The dessert is served the same way, as a sampler and family style. This works because everyone just chooses what they want. I got the espresso custard and the coconut lime flan. We nibbled on everything else. Chocolate crepes, chimichangas, and cinnamon sticks with dipping sauces. The desserts were not the greatest part of the meal, unfortunately. Good. Not great. We ordered a carafe of red sangria to go with our meal not realizing how large it was. Two adults had a difficult time drinking it all. Overall, a great meal and our wait staff was excellent. I love how they make fresh guacamole for every table. The Cafe Promenade was by far the most problematic and inconsistent place on this cruise. While the crew was always courteous, the frequent lapses in quality were annoying to say the least. On the first sea day, I went to the coffee shop around 6:30 in the morning to get a cappuccino for my husband. When he started to drink it about 30 minutes later, he said this is just milk. We got dressed and I took the cappuccino back to the coffee shop on our way to breakfast. There was a different crew there and the barista made another cappuccino without comment or complaint. This one was made correctly. Almost daily, the coffee quality varied. Sometimes, it was brewed perfectly. Other times, it tasted as though it had been mixed with water to extend it rather than make a fresh batch. Room service also delivered coffee that tasted like it had been mixed with water. Honestly, the Windjammer was the only place that provided a consistently good brew throughout the cruise. I started drinking tea if I just had to get a hot drink when the Windjammer was closed. They also ran out of pepperoni pizza midway through the cruise. So, they started making and offering salami pizza instead. Yes, you read that right. Of all the alternate toppings they could substitute for pepperoni, they chose salami. We got a few of the sandwiches on the second day and were not impressed. Bologna in a muffuletta? No. If you're going to offer a muffuletta sandwich, make it correctly. The rest of the sandwiches we got were just bland. The desserts were much better. The lemon tart was consistently excellent. Unfortunately, the Café Promenade became the place we chose when we absolutely had no other choice. Service The staff in the Windjammer was very friendly, helpful, and accommodating. Some of the best service we encountered on the ship was in the Windjammer. For the first time ever, we got a steward that was just meh. When we first got to our room, I really questioned whether it had been cleaned. The carpet was obviously not vacuumed and stayed that way for most of the cruise. She may have vacuumed it once but the debris under the desk chair never budged. She just was not very detail oriented. Our room was missing the glasses and the ice bucket that normally sit on the desk. We asked her to bring us some. She refilled the ice bucket every day but never replaced the glasses with clean ones. I always ended up cleaning them when we wanted to use them again. Sure, I could have asked her to replace them with clean ones but, these are things that are pretty standard on every other cruise we have been on. The fact that I even had to ask for them in the first place was annoying enough. I do have to compliment the captain. Other than the captain on the Carnival Legend, he is one of the most personable captains we have cruised with. He gave updates several times a day which were always informative and interesting. Ports Day 3 - Labadee We got off the ship and caught a ride to the beach. We planned to go to Columbus Cove again but ended up staying across from the water park since our son wanted to play there. A local fetched us beach chairs and set them up, for which he expected a tip. I spent the day lounging on a beach chair doing crossword puzzles while my husband and son played and swam at the beach and then played in the waterpark. We headed back to the ship after our son stubbed his toe pretty badly on the waterpark's concrete surface. Half his toenail was coming off and the toe was bleeding so we needed to get back on the ship to attend to it. By this time, everything was closing down anyway. I went to get some food around 1:15 but they had already shut it down. We got back on the ship, got cleaned up, took care of our sons toe, and rushed up to the buffet to eat before they closed at 3. I am not fond of the schedule for the buffet, especially on a port day when people are probably getting back on the ship hungry only to find the only thing available is sandwiches and pizza. Day 4 - San Juan We docked in San Juan a little before 1:30. We had prebooked a tour through Shore Excursioneer for a San Juan Bay boat tour. We wanted to book directly with the vendor, San Juan Water Tours, but their cancellation policy was not cruise ship friendly. What if the ship was late or didn't make it at all? There did not seem to be any allowance for those situations at all. Also, the only tour time, we could pick was 3:00. Again, what if the ship was late? Shore Excursioneer offered a cruise-friendly cancellation policy and a 4:00 tour time. Fortunately, our ship arrived earlier than the scheduled 2:00 arrival time. After eating lunch in the Windjammer, we were off the ship by a little after 3. It felt really good not to have to rush off the ship. Now to find Pier #6 using the directions that Shore Excursioneer provided. They describe it as a short walk. If we had docked at the usual pier #4 AND if it wasn't so darn hot, then yes, it would have been a short walk. Pier 6 is to the right of where the cruise ships dock. It does not look like a typical pier. If it weren't for the San Juan Water Tours sign, we would still be looking for it. If you are coming from the cruise ships, there is no Pier 6 sign until after you pass the San Juan Water Tours area. There was no boat there, so we sat and waited until the 3:00 tour returned. We finally get a day in San Juan with no rain and it is hot as Hades. We now see the rain is a mixed blessing. At some point while we were waiting, Mother Nature had mercy on us. Heavy clouds moved in and a nice breeze started to blow. The 3:00 tour returned a little before 4. When they unloaded, we gave our confirmation print out to the captain. His facial reaction told me that he was not expecting us. He did not say it though. He recovered quickly and told us it would be a few minutes while he prepared the boat. When the boat was ready, he checked us in. He said that Shore Excursioneer had not charged us for the local tax so we paid him the balance due on the excursion with an extra $10 for the taxes. San Juan Water Tours is a very professional operation. Shore Excursioneer is questionable. I think your success with them will depend heavily on the tour operator. I am pretty convinced that they did not confirm our reservation with the operator like they said they did. Either that, or there was a miscommunication somewhere. Day 5 - St. Kitts Our ship docked a little earlier than our scheduled arrival time of 10 am. We watched the ship sail past several islands before docking in St. Kitts. The Carnival Conquest and a small Silversea ship were already in port. We were scheduled to meet our tour guides at 10:30. We got in line with the masses to be among the first to get off. There was no rain when we docked but it was raining by the time we got off the ship. It stopped shortly after. We enjoyed beautiful weather for the rest of the day. I had prebooked our tour with Thenford Grey Tours through their website. They were easy to find because there were several people at the port area with signs. After a short wait, we met our guide, Al, and driver, Kasim. We boarded the bus and headed to the mountains for the rainforest eco hike. Our tour ended around 1:30 and we headed back into town for lunch and some souvenir shopping. Day 6 - St. Maarten I got to watch the ships sail into St. Maarten. The Regal Princess and Celebrity Summit were already docked. The Norwegian Gem and the Freedom of the Seas arrived around the same time we did. It started to rain while we were watching our ship dock from our balcony. Our plan for the day was to take a cab to Divi Bay Beach. Our son decided he wanted to spend the day at Adventure Ocean instead. So, we decided to make it a shopping day. The St. Maarten port looks a lot different since the last time we were here in 2008. They built a shopping area. I'm not sure. The dock may be new too. Now instead of walking off the ship and being in downtown Phillipsburg, you have to take a cab or walk. We started at the shopping area around the port. Everyone seemed to be selling mostly the same things at very inflated prices. We took a cab into downtown Phillipsburg because the water taxi always seemed to have a long line. The cab driver dropped us off in the midst of a street vendor area. The harassment/haggling started almost immediately. When I got off the bus, there was a colorful purse right next to me that caught my eye. Without thinking, I reached out to touch it and she pounced. It was a good 5 minutes before I wrested myself away. She was determined that I was going to buy that purse. I don't need another purse. I was admiring it because it was pretty. We wandered around for a little while longer before taking a taxi back to the port. Disembarkation We did not do much on our last two sea days. Whatever we did is already covered in the activities section. Disembarkation had to be the worst we have ever experienced on any ship. Apparently, they assign you a zone but let you off whether your zone has been called or not. The terminal got so packed with people since they were just letting everyone off that they actually closed the gangway so the crowds could make their way out of the terminal. Guess who was stuck in the line that snaked through the dining room when they closed the gangway? It was a mess. We did not get off the ship until after 10 even though disembarkation had started around 8:00. There was no Park n Fly van waiting for us as there usually is. We called them after waiting 15 minutes. We still waited another 15-20 minutes before they arrived. The driver’s explanation was that it was really busy. Then why did we see other shuttles like 3 or 4 times while we were waiting? To summarize, I am really not sure what to make of this cruise. On one hand, we had a good time but we have pretty much decided we won’t sail on this RCI class ship again. On the other hand, the lack of a water slide, the confusing layout, the hiccups with food quality in the promenade and food selection in the dining room, the lack of interesting activities, and a below standard steward are all deal breakers when you combine them all in one vacation. One or two issues here and there is fine but this was a bit much for us. We were really looking forward to the Navigator but this vacation was so-so. The ports made this a fun vacation, not the ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Sailed 5 times, 4 with RCI. Is it a floating Ritz-Carlton? No, but they over-deliver for their price-point, and if you have realistic expectations about the logistics of feeding, serving and entertaining thousands "royally," ... Read More
Sailed 5 times, 4 with RCI. Is it a floating Ritz-Carlton? No, but they over-deliver for their price-point, and if you have realistic expectations about the logistics of feeding, serving and entertaining thousands "royally," you will be delighted, and feel quite pampered and relaxed. If you're determined to find fault with every detail--then I pray I never sail with you & get stuck at your table at breakfast. Complaints on this site seem to center on food-- Windjammer food is a buffet, after all-- but we've always found it to be varied and good quality (their French fries are addictive). On this particular cruise, there was an excellent chef preparing Indian food (note, Jade is gone on the Navigator, and the only sushi to be found is in the extra-charge Izumi). If you've sailed before with RCI, you'll have had the identical MDR menus--but they are good and the staff is superb. Breakfast and lunch there is great as well. We've found the extra-charge restaurants to be no better than anything on land, and so do not "experience" those or the accompanying "nickle & dime" feeling. Truly, the food is fine, abundant, and well-presented and served--everywhere, period. Other things: Terminal 29 in Lauderdale is indeed a squalid warehouse; we arrived late-ish at 2:45 and practically walked on. Debarkation is a cattle call of snaking lines to a Soviet-era Customs desk--as it is, alas, whenever & wherever you enter the "welcoming" USA these days. The drinks packages have changed from last year, and now seem reasonable. Your less-than-alcoholic cabin-mate/spouse no longer has to buy it too--and can share the wine at dinner. The "ultimate" package suited my besotted inclinations well: I felt I got my money's worth--be sure, though, to make certain your 40% off bottles of wine is correctly processed--I had to check every time in the MDR. Cocktails are interesting and well made--R-Bar & Bolero's particularly innovative, & the Solarium pool bar particularly boozy. Entertainment is ok; the ice show, however, excellent and not to be missed. Ship's band is wonderful and whenever they perform-go. The cruise director was great and funnier than the comedians. The ship itself is well maintained, beautiful, and clean. Commenters here who say otherwise were apparently sailing on the S.S. Nitpicker of the Seas. Staff is friendly, welcoming, accommodating. In addition to saying "thanks," I recommend looking at their tag and asking something about their home country--you will be amazed the reaction that gets, and they will remember you. If you treat them as your personal slave for the week--then I suspect you will be commenting on their "disinterested inattentiveness." Ports of Call (does any shop right off the pier sell anything other than "diamonds," perfume, booze, watches and t-shirts? Of course not.): Labadee is a great beach, Nellie's Cove at the Town Center probably best. Brave the craft market and buy something--these friendly people really do need your dollars and the bargaining can be fun--they're not going to kidnap you! The ship's entry into San Juan harbor is the most spectacular arrival in the entire Caribbean & Old San Juan is delightful--why get all excited over crumbling, communist Havana when you can go to a fully-restored US twin? St. Kitts is naturally beautiful & Brimstone Hill Fort great for history nerds like me. St. Maarten is a fun island--we went to Maho beach on our own (jet landings perfect for boys & girls of all ages), just note traffic is terrible & the drawbridges open at set times in the p.m.--plan your return taxi ride accordingly to return to the ship on time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
The itinerary, was a little unique, the ability to do an 8 day cruise, as opposed to a 'normally offered' 7 day cruise. I was interested in sailing with the Navigator, as I had sailed on this ship within the past 8 years. It ... Read More
The itinerary, was a little unique, the ability to do an 8 day cruise, as opposed to a 'normally offered' 7 day cruise. I was interested in sailing with the Navigator, as I had sailed on this ship within the past 8 years. It 'supposedly' had been dry-docked for modernization and refresh, but it still showed plenty of signs of age(ageing), lack of continuous maintenance, and required many updates to keep up with some other RCCL ships in their fleet. I'm hoping (and was told) that this ship will be going for dry dock in the next couple of seasons, as really does need the extra amenities, and modernization, as the other ships; that represent the RCCL name and product. The R Bar still shows the same reflection of The Champagne Bar, and the Diamond/Diamond Plus and Concierge Lounge still do not have enough room for its loyal, repeat and Concierge level cruising passengers Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We are diamond on Rccl; have gone on 7 spring breaks in a row with our kids and grandkids. Altho' we love Rccl, we were disappointed that the ship was so crowded, more kids than we could count. Many unsupervised. But more ... Read More
We are diamond on Rccl; have gone on 7 spring breaks in a row with our kids and grandkids. Altho' we love Rccl, we were disappointed that the ship was so crowded, more kids than we could count. Many unsupervised. But more disappointing was that there were so many babies. We were in a balcony cabin with babies on both sides of us. We had to move from a wonderful table and excellent service because we were next to a table of 12 with 3 small babies who fussed every night for 4 straight nights. We found the food to be excellent both in the Windjammer and in the main dining room. I don't know what more any one could ask for. The shows were so so, very loud, I had to take my Bose to cut down on the volumn. The ice show was excellent . Our cabin stewart was wonderful as were most of the crew. Of course we will continue with Rccl, but not spring break again. Labadee was our favorite port. The Ship was in excellent condition. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Here is my review of the 3/19 - 3/27 Eastern Caribbean sailing on RCCL’s Navigator of the Seas out of Ft. Lauderdale with stops in Labadee, San Juan, St. Kitts, and St. Maarten. Pre-Cruise I was cruising with a group of 15 people. ... Read More
Here is my review of the 3/19 - 3/27 Eastern Caribbean sailing on RCCL’s Navigator of the Seas out of Ft. Lauderdale with stops in Labadee, San Juan, St. Kitts, and St. Maarten. Pre-Cruise I was cruising with a group of 15 people. We were all taking the same direct flight on United to Ft. Lauderdale at 8:25AM from Denver International Airport the day before the cruise as we typically do. We awoke that morning only to find 4 inches of snow on the ground and still snowing. The usual 40 minute drive for my family from my house to DIA took 1 hour and 15 minutes and my family and I arrived at our gate right when our group was boarding. The flight was then delayed 1 hour due to the weather and deicing but only arrived 20 minutes late. We grabbed our luggage and proceeded to the shuttle waiting area for our hotel shuttles. Our group was actually staying in two different hotels for our 1 night stay. Ten of us were booked at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport and Cruise Port Hotel on 1800 N. Federal Hwy. (formerly the Comfort Suites) and the other five were booked at the Hyatt Convention Center on 17th Street. We waited about 30 minutes for the shuttles and we found both of these hotels to be adequate for the overnight stay. After checking in we rounded up the troops and started looking for a place to grab some dinner. The front desk people at our hotel, the Ft. Lauderdale Airport and Cruise Port Hotel, recommended Ernie’s B-B-Q across the street. However, my daughter did a quick search on her iPhone only to find that the ratings were not that favorable. We then headed out walking down 17th Street when we came across 3 police officers so my son decided to ask them for a recommendation. They suggested a few places so we went with one of them, Gilberts 17th Street Grill, which was only a few blocks away in the Harbor Shops. What an excellent choice this was! They have great burgers, ribs, wings, homemade soups and salads, and daily specials. They also serve beer and wine. You order at the counter, find a table, then your food is brought to you. Everyone in our group was able to find something to suit their taste and no one was disappointed. I would highly recommend this restaurant. After dinner we went to the Publix in the Harbor Shops and the Harbordale Spirit Shoppe to purchase some wine to bring onboard the ship, along with some other alcoholic beverages to enjoy by the pool at the Hyatt before calling it a night. Embarkation Day The following morning everyone ate at the free continental breakfast at their respective hotel. It was the usual fair, bagels, doughnuts, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, sausage, waffles, cold cereals, coffee and juices. Good enough to hold us over until we boarded the ship. The Ft. Lauderdale Airport and Cruise Port Hotel offers a shuttle service to the pier for $6 per person so those of us staying there opted in when we arrived at the hotel the previous day and chose the 10:30 departure time. We were at the pier and checked in by 11:45 but were held in the waiting area for a short period of time because the ship had not been cleared for boarding of new passengers. I believe that the Hyatt also offers a shuttle to the pier for a fee as the rest of our party was already waiting for us in the waiting area. Once the ship was clear the boarding process began and we were in the Windjammer eating lunch by 12:30 or 1:00. After lunch we ventured off to our cabins. Our luggage had not yet arrived but was there after the muster drill. We unpacked then and went up to the deck for sail away. It was at this point that my 24 year old son informed me that he had received a note from security requesting him to retrieve his luggage in person. After a drink or two, myself and another person in our group ventured down to deck 1 with my son to retrieve his suitcase. When we arrived we were informed that x-ray indicated that he had a power strip packed in his suitcase and that these were not allowed onboard. They had him remove it and turn it over until debarkation day at which point he would receive it back. We thought for certain that they had identified the large water bottle, which now contained alcohol, and confiscated it. We were surprised and confused at the same time since many of us, myself included, also packed a power strip as we always do. From that point on we referred to our group as “team power strip”. Ship Love, love, love the Voyager class of ships! They are the perfect size for me. This was our fourth sailing on a Voyager class ship and the second on Navigator so we are familiar with the ships amenities. The ship is in great shape. I believe she recently went through a dry dock. They are constantly cleaning and polishing something. I really enjoy this class of ships especially for all of the little places to mingle, plus the Promenade is a great people watching venue. We also took advantage of booking a cruise while onboard for the first time. It was so cheap, only $50 per cabin not per person, so six of us booked something for August 2017 in the Mediterranean. Cabin Our group consisted of three married couples, we are all in our early 50’s, and our adult children, 9 of them, none of which are married. We had cabins on two different decks, 2 and 9. The couples were on deck 2 in ocean view cabins and the children were on deck 9 in four interior cabins. It was nice to be back in an ocean view cabin. On previous sailings with our children we would get 2 interior cabins but since they were paying their own way this time they chose an interior cabin and my wife and I chose an ocean view. I enjoy having the window since I like to look out at the sea while we’re sailing, plus it helps wake you up in the morning since a small amount of light does shine through the shades. My wife and I were in cabin 2600 and my daughter and son and their companions were in cabins 9375 and 9377. The layout of these cabins was just as I remembered from previous sailings on this class of ships. I was glad to see the removal of the small sofa table, it just seemed to get in the way. Overall, the cabins were in good shape. Our cabin steward was Debbie and she did a nice job of keeping our cabin clean and tidy, she had towel animals for us every evening, and she always said good morning, good afternoon, or good evening when we passed her in the hallway. Our children absolutely loved their cabin steward Abdul. They even took up a collection for an additional tip and wrote him a nice letter. They said that he cried when they gave it to him. Food We enjoy traditional dining and went with late seating, 8PM, for our entire group and were assigned to the Sapphire dining room on deck 3. Our TA made arrangements to have the 3 couples sit at one table and the 9 children at another. Everything worked out perfectly as the tables were right next to each other. Our waiter was Assis and his assistant was Nuni. Both were amazing! I found the food in the dining room to be up to par from what we had experienced on our previous sailings with RCCL. I did enjoy my fair share of appetizers and soups, sometimes to the point of leaving no room for my main dish. The deserts were less appealing to me on this cruise. I actually had trouble finding something each night that just jumped out and made me feel like “I have to get this”. Probably a good thing since I only gained 3 pounds on this cruise. We only ate in the Windjammer I think twice for breakfast and once for lunch. I enjoy having breakfast and lunch in the dining room, especially on sea days. I must say that the eggs benedict I had in the dining room were rather small and just OK. On the other hand, the tutti salad bar in the dining room during lunch was delicious. One of my favorite places to grab a snack is the Promenade Café. I love the chocolate doughnuts in the mornings and the little sandwiches in the afternoons and evenings. The chocolate chip and chocolate chocolate chip cookies are yummy there too. I was disappointed this trip because they no longer had the type of chocolate doughnuts or cookies that I’ve enjoyed in the past. The little sandwiches were still delicious especially the ham croissandwiches and the muffuletta sandwiches. The pizza was tasty too. We never ate at Johnny Rockets or any of the specialty restaurants. All in all I have no real complaints about the food. Drinks Many of our group opted in for the mid-range drink package, I believe it was $55 a day and I have to say that everyone that purchased the package got their monies worth. I did not purchase the package nor did my wife. We had $150 in onboard credit so we used that towards our drinks along with an occasional drink from someone in our group who had purchased the drink package. Most of us did agree that the drinks were not strong and wonder if in fact that they were watered down. I will say that one of our favorite bars was the R Bar located on deck 5 aft. Olisia and the gals at this bar know how to make some serious martinis along with many other drinks! They took good care of us both night and day. We tipped them during the cruise and on the last night for all of their hospitality. If you are onboard Navigator any time soon you need to go see the gals at the R Bar. Ports Labadee – This was only our second visit to Labadee, the first was in 2003, and boy has it changed! In 2003 you had to tender as there was no dock. The north side of the island had yet to be developed. There were no zip lines, no roller coaster, no parasailing, no waterslide, and no beach cabanas. You could take an earlier version of a trolley over to what was then called Dragon’s Rock. On that visit we nestled in at Columbus Cove so this time we ventured over to Adrenaline Beach. We walked off of the ship shortly after the gangway was put out and made the long walk over since the trolley was not running yet. Workers were still cleaning and setting up for the new day. Once we arrived at the beach we were greeted by an attendant who quickly helped us setup loungers in the spot of our choice, applied our sunscreen and Off with Deet, then just relaxed in the sun. Some of our group did snorkel but said that they only saw fish further out by the breaker. Once the Schooner Bar opened we grabbed some drinks and bottled water. This would be our watering hole for the day. Lunch was served around 11:30 in the pavilion just adjacent to the Schooner Bar. It was quite tasty especially the BBQ chicken and the red beans and rice. Towards the end of the day we packed up our things on the beach and just lounged in the shade in some Adirondack chairs at the Schooner Bar sipping a few more drinks, it was a hot one that day! We ventured back to the ship around 2:30. This was just a great beach day. San Juan – We have been to San Juan many times but this time would be a little different. One of my nieces is married to a man who is originally from Puerto Rico, he still has family there and his parents own a condo there. It turned out that they would be on vacation in Puerto Rico during our stop there so we were going to meet up with them once we got off of the ship! The rest of my nieces family, her father, mother, brother and sister, were traveling with us so they contacted her by phone once we were off the ship and made arrangements on where to meet us. We met them at the J Bar on Calle Recinto Sur, just a short walk from the pier. This day just happened to be my nieces’ birthday so we toasted with Sangrias and beers then we were off to walk around Old San Juan. We headed towards El Morro stopping at Ostra Cosa on the corner of Calle San Sebastian and Calle Del Cristo where we had some tappas and drinks. Some of us walked up to the park in front of El Morro just to take some pictures since no one really wanted to go inside of the actual fort. We then continued our walk heading back towards the pier doing some shopping along the way and stopping at the Catedrál de San Juan Bautista on Calle Del Cristo. The first time we were ever in San Juan we actually attended mass at this cathedral. By this time we needing to start heading to Café La Princesa since my niece and her husband had made dinner reservations for 6:00 for our group. We walked towards the water then along Paseo del Morro until we reached the restaurant. What a beautiful walk that was. We got to see a part of San Juan that we had never seen before. Dinner at Café La Princesa was amazing! There were many traditional Puerto Rican dishes like paella and mofongo, and others with an added Puerto Rican flair. I chose the risotto with skirt steak and plantains and it was to die for! Everyone in our group absolutely loved this place. After dinner we finished the walk back to the ship and said our goodbyes to my niece and her husband. Truly a great day in San Juan. St. Kitts – On this day our group had pre-booked a half-day catamaran snorkel and sail excursion with Blue Water Safaris. Our excursion was scheduled to begin at 10:30 so we were off of the ship promptly at 10:00 once the gangway was out. At first glance the weather did not look like it was going to cooperate as there was a dark cloud over the pier and the wind was blowing. There were a few scattered drops of rain but the wind carried off the apparent storm and the skies were now clear. We met a representative from Blue Water Safaris just outside of the security gates at the end of the pier then walked over to where the catamaran was docked. Once everyone was onboard, I estimate the total size of the group to be around 30-40 people, we were given instructions as to how our day would go then we shoved off and motored out of the harbor. When we were out far enough to catch the wind the crew hoisted the sails and we cruised to our snorkeling destination. Now I do not snorkel, can’t get the breathing thing down, and I was not alone. I did however, put on a snorkeling vest, inflated it generously, and got in the water to float around with others for a period of time. It was relaxing and refreshing and the water was so clear you could see the fish even without a mask and snorkel. Once the snorkeling time was over we returned to the catamaran and the crew began to setup what was supposed to be a “light lunch” but it was anything but that. They served us a delicious chicken curry salad along with a pasta salad and a green salad. They had several different varieties of snack size bags of chips and some banana nut bread. The salads and banana bread appeared to be homemade. Refreshments consisting of water, soda, beer, and rum punch were also served. This was way more than any other catamaran excursion that we have ever taken. The sails were once again hoisted, music was turned on and we sailed back to the pier. The crew was very interactive with everyone, dancing and refilling our drinks. Needless to say a good time was had by all. I would definitely use Blue Water Safaris again and highly recommend them if you are ever in St. Kitts. After we got off of the catamaran we walked back to the shopping area at the pier and did some light shopping then returned to the ship. Once again another great day! St. Maarten - Our group had decided on going to Orient Bay for half of the day then to Front Street for shopping the other half of the day so we were promptly off of the ship once the gangway was out. My son and I ventured out ahead of the group to find transportation. We ended up using a taxi and found one that would hold our entire group of 15, I guess it was more of a van. The prices were as posted at the taxi stand, $8 per person each way. The driver originally tried to take us to a newer part of the beach at the south end but once we saw it we asked him to take us to Bikini Beach as we had been there before on a previous visit. Once we were dropped off it began to rain but it passed over quickly, the sun came out and we began our quest to find a place to enjoy our day. We were able to find a section offering 2 chairs an umbrella and 2 drinks for $15. We soaked up the sun for a couple of hours then found a taxi (van) to take us back to Front Street for some shopping. A few of us decided to forgo the shopping so we walked along the boardwalk and stopped in at the Dirty Sanchez bar for a few drinks. Those that did shop spent their time looking for jewelry bargains, sunglasses and the like. A few made purchases at Kay Jeweler’s since they know the owner, Archie. After they had finished making their purchases at Kay’s, Archie walked them over to the Barefoot Terrace Bar & Restaurant where the rest of just so happened to be eating lunch. Archie is such a nice guy that he picked up the tab for our entire group, even for those of us who had not gone into his store! Well, those of us who had not yet visited Kay’s decided to go over after finishing lunch. We did end up making some small purchases and Archie continued to be a class act by offering us refreshments while we shopped. Stop by Kay’s the next time you’re in St. Maarten, you won’ regret it. Once everyone had their fill of Front Street we made the walk back to the ship following the boardwalk then down the street just outside of the pier. It looked much longer than it was but we enjoyed the walk and made it back to the ship in plenty of time. This put a cap on four great port days as we were now to have two sea days before returning to Ft. Lauderdale. Misc. Casino – The casinos on the Voyager class of ships are very nice. We visited it on several nights after dinner but the smoke was too much for me to handle. It was nice on the two formal nights since they did not allow smoking then. I’m not a big gambler but when I do gamble I like to play craps. I ended up only loosing $50 so I was happy about that. My sister-in-law won $100 on slots the first night of the cruise. I think she said that she was only into it for $10 when she hit the jackpot. A couple people from our group did well at the roulette table over the course of the cruise. My son was infatuated with that game that cost a $1 to move this key up and over then into a variety of keyholes to win a prize. He was sure he was going to win the $1000 prize but never did. Shows – We did not attend any of the shows. Going to them after having late dinner seating only puts me to sleep and we do not like to go before dinner. We did see the children’s orchestra from Colorado that was onboard and performing on one of the sea days. They were very impressive, especially the 6th grade solo violinist. Other – My son and I played putt-putt on one of the sea days and we grabbed another guy from our group to play in the 3-on-3 basketball tournament one day. On sea days our group lounged on deck 12, just above the pool, for most of the day. Now the chair hogs were out in full force on these days and we might have been guilty too but we do not just throw items on several chairs and disappear. We actually had 3 or 4 people from our party stay with the chairs until others in our group would arrive. We visited the night club on two occasions but the DJ was really bad! Seemed like he played the music that he wanted to hear rather than what the crowd wanted to hear. Several times he had the dance floor full then would throw something on and clear it. Why wouldn’t he just stick with the genre of music that everyone was dancing to? Several of us in our group are Crown and Anchor members and were repeat cruisers so we expected to be invited to a Crown and Anchor cocktail party as we were in the past but that never happened. Has this been done away with? Debarkation This is always the worse part of a cruise however I thought it went quite well. Since we were in no hurry to get off of the ship having a 4:35 flight from Ft. Lauderdale, we ate breakfast in the Windjammer then grabbed our carry-ons from our cabins and headed to our waiting area, the Metropolis Theater, until it was time for us to disembark. We actually waited there until we heard the announcement for all remaining passengers to disembark, it was about 10:30. Finding our luggage was a breeze since most everyone was already gone. The only problem was that one piece of luggage from someone in our group could not be found. After talking to several representatives from RCI they located the missing piece. Turns out that the main zipper had broken when it was loaded off of the ship and it could not be closed back up. Fortunately my brother had packed a roll of duct tape so he and the owner closed it up as best they could using that. The bigger question was would it make it back to Colorado in one piece, well I am happy to report that it did. Since all 15 of us were on the same flight we contacted Alianza Transportation, they were the service used by the Ft. Lauderdale Airport and Cruise Port Hotel to shuttle us to the pier, and arranged a pickup for transportation to the Ft. Lauderdale airport. We arrived in plenty of time to play the waiting game for our flight and were not allowed to check-in until 12:30. Once we were checked in we went through security then to our gate. We had plenty of time to eat at one of the places on the concourse so 6 of us decided to go to Chili’s, big mistake. We got our names on the waiting list but after observing how unorganized they were we left and walked down to Shula’s instead. This place was excellent! You order at the counter, find a table, then they bring your food to you. We were in and out of there in 45 minutes. The flight was 20 minutes late but it was a direct flight back to DIA. When we landed we gathered our luggage and went our separate ways. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was my second cruise, so I don't have a huge breadth of experience but I always read reviews in advance of travelling to know what to expect so here are a few things that may be helpful when either booking this cruise or prior to ... Read More
This was my second cruise, so I don't have a huge breadth of experience but I always read reviews in advance of travelling to know what to expect so here are a few things that may be helpful when either booking this cruise or prior to embarking. The Port Everglades pier is under construction and while it was very busy we were dropped by our shuttle right by the ship and the process of embarkation began. It wasn't a pretty area but we were processed through line up after line up quickly and efficiently. If at all possible get to the port by noon to make this process easier. It also allowed us to travel around the ship while it was still relatively quiet to get the lay of the land prior to all passengers being on board. The ship is big and beautiful. Previous reviews talked of it showing it's age.... I thought, while colour-schemes, a few fixtures and maybe the odd rusting railing were somewhat dated, everything was really well taken care of. Every area was extremely clean and yet it seemed to all happen without you being aware of it. We ate in the buffet and main dining room for breakfast and dinner. Both were always amply supplied, food was always fresh and being refilled. Service always friendly and helpful. Our waiters in the main dining room, Rodrigues and Bogdan, were amazing. They were kind, unobtrusive and efficient. We had "My Time Dining" which meant we could eat in between the early and late seatings. We made a reservation for the entire week at 7:30 and we usually ate right around that time. This had pros and cons - some of the events on the promenade occurred at about this time, I guess capturing the people in between the dinner seatings, so you missed these but then we didn't have to end our day early to get ready for dinner and we had time afterwards for shows or relaxing. During "at sea" days the ship is busy around the pool. The frustration of getting a lounge chair the first day made us decide we had to get involved in the 'reserve a chair with a towel' game which I detest but otherwise there wasn't a chair to be found anywhere, by the pool or elsewhere. I would have loved to see a few more chairs in quieter areas or decks of the ship where you could be outside enjoying the breeze but not necessarily in the hub of the pool. Grand Cayman was our first stop. Exited the port area and took a taxi to Seven Mile Beach. Only $4 for the taxi $2 to enter the beach area and then you can decide on spending $10 for a lounge chair and $15 for an umbrella. Servers will bring drinks and food directly to your chair if you wish. It was a beautiful, clean beach with washrooms and good food. Taxis then came and waited for you in the afternoon and it was $4 back. A really good, fun and safe day. Jamaica was great. The port area is built up with lots of new tourist shops. We did the Dunns River Falls and VIP Bamboo Beach Excursion. It was great although you want to be sure you do the leg work on understanding what the falls is like to be sure it is for you. It is very touristy. Labadee is beautiful. Just an amazing, relaxing day in paradise. And finally, the teen program was amazing. My 16 year old had the time of her life. She was travelling with a girlfriend and the two of them went to the teen welcome, met a ton of other teens, enjoyed the activities (scavenger hunts, amazing race, dodge ball, rock climging, etc.) that were organized as well as just made friends that they swam and had a blast with. Hats off to a very well-organized program for a not easy age group to please! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Our March cruise was a step up from our last RC experience. It appeared that the crew was really trying to put their best foot forward. Everywhere we went the crewed went above and beyond to make sure we were well taken care of. A Wind ... Read More
Our March cruise was a step up from our last RC experience. It appeared that the crew was really trying to put their best foot forward. Everywhere we went the crewed went above and beyond to make sure we were well taken care of. A Wind Jammer steward made sure she greeted us every morning with our coffee and tea. In the evening she always had something nice to say and a pleasant smile for us. The Wind Jammer appears to be finally trying to upgrade the food. Since we eat all of our meals there it is important to us that the improve their rather lacluster evening meal. They seemed to be serious about improvement and were asking everyone how they could improve. I suggested that they have shrimp once in awhile in the evening, after all it is available in the main dining room. Imagine my surprise when I saw shrimp the next night. I am looking forward to see what their next improvements will be. The evening shows are always a highlight of our cruise with the ice shows being our favorite. With the guest performers and productions shows there is always something new every evening. While we were on Labadee I decided to try the Zip line out. It had been on my bucket list for awhile. I am afraid of heights and had to hang onto the platform with both hands but once they hit the release it was a thrill all of the way. Usually we have experienced delays and long lines with embarkation and disembarkation, this time RC finally got it all right and we moved rapidly thru the modest lines. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Family of 6 travelling on spring break. Stayed in Weston, Florida on Friday night which was very convenient to the Port area. Received notification of delay in boarding due to unfortunate accident the night prior but turned out fine. We ... Read More
Family of 6 travelling on spring break. Stayed in Weston, Florida on Friday night which was very convenient to the Port area. Received notification of delay in boarding due to unfortunate accident the night prior but turned out fine. We arrived by 11:30 and was on board by 1:00. Ship is beautiful!! We toured the ship, had some lunch at Windjammer, and in our rooms by 2:15. We had 3 rooms on 7th floor overlooking the Promenade by front elevators which could not have been any better location. Quiet and close to everything!! Our Cabin Steward and MDR staff were AWESOME!! I tell my children all the time a Cruise is what you make of it--Can be the best week of your life or you can complain and be miserable all week. Food--Windjammer is same food everyday--A sandwich station would be nice. Rating C Café Promenade was very good. Pizza was fresh and good sandwich variety. Rating A MDR--Breakfast was very good. Dinner was good just not great. Rating B Service--Bar, Windjammer, Café was good. Rating B MDR Service--Excellent A+ Haiti--weather was not great but had a good time on island. Stay away from the market area they are very aggressive. Roller Coaster was pretty cool. San Juan--great old city, walked, ate, shopped, very good stop St. Kitts--went to Cockleshell beach which was awesome. Small taxi ride across island to beach. We paid $ 7 per person and used beach chairs for free. Ship excursion charged $ 50 per person for ride and use of chairs. St Maarten--we took the Robinson Boat tour around island. Very rough seas but it was a AWESOME day seeing the island's beach's, yachts, food, planes, etc. We booked this tour on our own which we always like to do. Very small walk from port and cool boats and captains to take care of you for the day. Drinks--my children had the drink packages which paid for themselves by day 3. Sea Days--only complaint is they should provide some music during times without scheduled events. Bar staff was very good. Chairs are hard to find later in the day so get our there and reserve. Pool boy gave us a hard time but everybody does it. Casino--very big casino and great staff. Not the lucky week I was hoping for but win some lose some. Disembarkation--we self assisted and will never wait around again for number to be called. If you do nothing else pack light enough so you can leave on your own early and not have to wait in the cattle line. Overall--Awesome week with some great ports of call and beautiful ship!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Our 4th cruise on Royal and first on Navigator of the Seas. We loved it and was much better then the past few cruise on Royal. We flew down a day early and stayed at the Fort Lauderdale Hyatt Place, 17th Street. Every thing was great ... Read More
Our 4th cruise on Royal and first on Navigator of the Seas. We loved it and was much better then the past few cruise on Royal. We flew down a day early and stayed at the Fort Lauderdale Hyatt Place, 17th Street. Every thing was great here. That Saturday, we departed at about 11AM to head to the ship. It was packed at the port, but really no issues. We were on the ship by 1:15PM, after an eventful start, as my dad fainted just before checking in and this was really our only disappointment in the trip. Nobody from the port or Royal Caribbean came to help as I and a few other passengers held my dad up. We finally, got them to hand a stool from behind the counter, where dad sat and started to feel better. Once checked in we moved to getting on the ship while waiting for crew members to decide which one would push dad on-board in the wheel chair. (They were not doing anything, just sitting around). We went up to the Windjammer for some food and refreshments. It was not that busy and our trip was now starting to get better. This was our first time being on the Navigator, so we had to check it out. Very nice ship and in good shape too. We finally went to our room and waited for the muster drill that went fairly smoothly. Dinner was at 5:30PM and show following. We do wish that they would move dinner back to 6PM. But it still worked out okay. We ate in the Main Dinning room each night except for once. That one night we decided to eat at Chops and it really was very good. The steaks and other food were very good. The service was great too. Back to main dinning room. We had to excellent servers - John Dsouza from India and Viacheslav Polchenko from the Ukraine. We had a table with 9 and we can honestly say that they were the best table mates we have had on a cruise. Our whole table got along together and did many things together too. This really made the cruise great too. Overall food was good, but rather bland and they could really change the menu up, as it seems like the food was the same as our other 3 Royal cruises were. We went to all the shows and the Ice show too. Again changing up the shows is needed here, although they were good and we still enjoyed them. We also went to see Quest for the first time and that was so much fun. We had a blast and can say, yes it is adult humor, but don't miss it for some fun. We had stops at Labadee, San Juan, St. Kitts and St. Maarten. We just did our own thing in Labadee and San Juan, as we have been there many times already. Still nice stops. It was our first time to St. Kitts. We had wanted to do the train ride to get a look at the island, but it was already booked, so we did our own thing there and did a walking food tour from "A Taste of St. Kitts". This was really great and we enjoyed our tour guide, 5 stops of food and walking around the island. In St. Maarten we did one of the ships excursions - The Tall Ship tour with Mercedes and this too was a great time. We were able to go by Maho beach and even see a couple of airplanes land. Cool site. It seems that most crew members were in good spirits, helpful and very friendly this cruise. There did seem to be a lack of servers walking around the deck for drinks we thought, but not a big deal as we found a great bar to go to with super bartenders at the Solarium bar. We had a great cabin - 8392, which is an aft cabin. We really love the aft cabins, as we have had them before. No issues with motion, noise or soot. Lots of room on the balcony for the 3 of us. We had 2 loungers, 2 regular lounge chairs and 2 table and still had room to move around. Loved watching the waves and the sun come up and go down. The room itself was nice and although tight for the 3 of us, we made it work and never had an issue with space. Our cabin steward - Iwayan Sudiarta (ME) from Indonesia was just AWESOME. He was truly the best. Disembarkation went very quick and smooth. No issues, and we decided to get my dad a wheelchair to help him get off the ship this time and this did work out great. Overall, we were very pleased with this cruise. We really liked the fact that it was a 8 night cruise and loved the 2 days at sea coming back, as we were really able to relax. We would go on Navigator again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Pleasantly surprised by the opulence and elegance of this ship. From the moment that we were welcomed aboard, we felt at home. The main dining room was spectacular with its huge chandelier and curved spaces. Food is good and the plates are ... Read More
Pleasantly surprised by the opulence and elegance of this ship. From the moment that we were welcomed aboard, we felt at home. The main dining room was spectacular with its huge chandelier and curved spaces. Food is good and the plates are sufficient. Extra servings are welcomed. Our wait staff went above and beyond to make our dining experience a great one. The ship is on the smaller side, so getting back and forth from the restaurants, theatre and cabin was no problem. Deck 5 has a lot going on - The Promenade Deck. Here you will find the stores. The café provides 24 hour coffee, tea and water, plus snacks. The perfect place to hang out until the next show. There are also some bars and wine cellars. The Two Poets is always a "go to" place. Guest Services is also on this deck. There is an amazing Ice Show which is free but you need to get a ticket in advance. Nightly entertainment was good. There is a Rock Climbing Wall, Mini Golf, Flow Rider and sometimes the ice rink is open to for public skating. There is no entertainment for which you need to pay. There are several good restaurants of various ethnic backgrounds for which you pay extra. We only heard good things about them. It seemed to be a "kinder, gentler" group on this ship. No pushing or shoving, including debarking for shore tours. Royal Caribbean's island is at Labadee, Haiti. Well-developed, with trams that take you around. A very nice experience. Disembarkation was well-organized. I would recommend this ship and cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Navigator of the Seas – March 5th 2016 Sailing My wife and I are seasoned cruisers and I have completed Cruise Critic entries of our past voyages, I certainly do not use this forum to criticize at least that is not my intent. I do ... Read More
Navigator of the Seas – March 5th 2016 Sailing My wife and I are seasoned cruisers and I have completed Cruise Critic entries of our past voyages, I certainly do not use this forum to criticize at least that is not my intent. I do however share my thoughts and experiences based on previous cruises and comparable voyages. With that being said this is my review of the MS Navigator of the Seas from Cruise Port to Embarking to disembarkation. Ft. Lauderdale Cruise Port Embarkation Unfortunately the MS Navigator was delayed 2 hours prior to docking in Ft. Lauderdale on March5th this meant that the furthest Southern Dock was used which is not very passenger friendly to say the least. The Traffic is a mess and not very organized. Nonetheless we managed to get through without that big of a deal. Just an FYI to Platinum and above RCCL members – The signs for Check in are not advertised to well so you need to ask where these areas are, it does make a difference. The only good thing about Ft. Lauderdale is they finally finished the freeway construction into the Port (Only took a couple years). As for Disembarkation the terminal is just as dis-organized going out as it is coming in and we generally take the early off the ship option so I cannot imagine what it is like if we waited until Nine or Ten AM. Thus my only advise is, feel it out when you arrive and make your best educated decision on what you see it’s like. MS Navigator of the Seas Well we were told that the Navigator is the sister ship to the Freedom and you wouldn’t notice too much difference – well not quite, the MS Navigator is actually smaller in Width and Length so there is a noticeable difference but you will overcome the differences rather quickly so it’s not a show stopper. The ship is arranged similar to that of the Freedom Class ships so getting around should be relatively easy. The Promenade is smaller in width and this is probably where you will see the most difference. As for the Location of the dining rooms and specialty restaurants - Just an FYI Giovanni’s and Chops Grill are located right inside the Windjammer (Left and Right) sides AFT Ship so no worries about running cross country to find these. The Ship overall has had some face lifts but is still in need of a few minor things that will make it complete. For example the elevators on AFT Starboard side seemed to be a lot slower than the elevators on the AFT Port side. We even experienced one of the Starboard side elevator doors opening and closing several times before it finally reset and started running its normal cycle. Also the women’s rest rooms on Deck 11 (Windjammer Side) seemed to be out of order for the week of our cruise not sure what happened after day 1 but it never recovered for use. The Sliding doors seem to be a little of with Sensors on Deck 4 and deck 11. As aforementioned the ship is a tad bit smaller but it is definitely not a show stopper. MS Navigator of the Seas CREW Words cannot describe how ecstatic we are with the Crew – We had a group of six and there was not one crew member that did not make us feel like part of the RCCL Family. We have taken over Nine cruises and although we had great service from the staff, the MS Navigator Crew raised the bar on Customer Satisfaction we were absolutely mind blown on the interaction – the service and the commitment this crew had absolutely amazing, we made some awesome lifelong friends with this RCCL Staff and already conversing on social media. It was something we didn’t expect and something we will never forget. So with that as I said in the beginning words cannot describe how awesome this crew was during our trip and we hope you have the same interaction. Windjammer / Specialty Dining Well honestly we only used the Windjammer for Breakfast, most of our dinners were in the main dining room as our wait-staff was so top notch we could bear not having dinner with them on a nightly bases. Although when we did use the Windjammer the food was good although it appeared it was more crowded than normal but that could certainly be about timing. There could have been more staff on hand during the breakfast service but nothing extremely bad. We did not try any of the Specialty restaurants as the timing just wasn’t there for us. But I didn’t hear any bad reviews from anyone on the ship. The Main Dining Room (Sapphire) was absolutely incredible from the Hostess down to the wait staff it was fantastic. During one of our dinners the wait staff let us know that there was a Galley Excursion that costs about $30.00 per person, Although we were a little reluctant to do it – we decided to anyway and I will be the first to say it was well worth the experience in understanding firsthand how the Galley works I highly recommend you take this tour if the opportunity presents itself. Games and Shows on Navigator We only made a couple shows (Quest and Love and Marriage) both are great shows and if you have time it would be worth seeing / participating in either one. As for the headliner shows, honestly there wasn’t allot of advertisement on the ship about the headliner shows so I couldn’t even tell you who was on board, generally you would see this advertised on the ship or a marquee but honestly I don’t remember seeing much of anything. BINGO – Well this was our first and last time playing bingo, it’s not your typical bingo play – you have 3 rounds of Bingo and depending on how you play – Soft Card or Electronic will determine how much it cost to play. You can figure and averages start about $25 and go up from there. Game 1 is your general BINGO Straight or Diagonal Cover, Game 2 is 4 Corner and Game 3 is Cover All. Now I am not an expert BINGO player but I heard allot of people complaining when game one was over in 4 Number Picks and we all found out there is only one prize for each round. No one was expecting anything extravagant but come on RCCL a T-Shirt and or a Specialty restaurant Gift Card would be nice 2nd and 3rd Place prizes especially after 5 minutes playing round one. Round two went a little longer with only one prize awarded and round 3 was for a Free Cruise, So it just so happened that there was a 3 way tie and the answer to the tie is, The MC would pull a number and if that number is on your card you win. Uhm… Not good – and no one was happy of how this all ended. So do your-self a favor and ASK the questions before you play – How much? How Many Prizes and how Tie Breakers are handled. As for the Pool Side – Pretty much the norm as any other cruise except my overall standing complaint is the music is way too loud, not that it’s a bad thing but it is nice to sit on the deck and have a conversation that doesn’t require a bull horn to communicate with your party who is two and a half feet in front of you. Overall Appearance on Navigator The ship was very clean except the pool area; I certainly don’t blame the workers I do however believe that RCCL and Passengers bear most of the Brunt on this. First we are smokers and we are polite smokers meaning we will not wander into a nonsmoking area, we keep our areas clean and do not impede on others to clean up after ourselves in any shape or form. RCCL needs more trash and recycling containers on deck 11 and need table ashtrays as well. These two simple and low cost products can help allot of unnecessary work for everyone, but more importantly help to detour those passengers who like to leave their garbage anywhere and everywhere. Restrooms were clean and the only non-operational Restroom was the aforementioned Women’s area on Deck 11 Windjammer. Gest Services Officers Utterly fantastic – never met such an awesome Guest Services crew. We had some room issues that we later found out were are issues. Which I will explain below – Nonetheless they were very helpful and very patient with us. Stateroom 3626 Deck 3 AFT three doors from the Elevators – Awesome area, great for immediate access to dining rooms, elevators, casino etc. We liked it so much we are booked next year on the same ship same room. As I mentioned before there was a slight room problem that RCCL failed to alert us of. They have staterooms that are POWER EFFICIENT meaning there is a trigger Pocket below the light switch that when activated it allows your lights to turn on and off. If you don’t place the cards into the slot the correct way your lights will not work. Well it took us a few days before someone finally explained it to us (Guest Services) although we felt silly we laughed quite hard about it because we were sure there was an issue with our room’s electric. So check with your State Room Attendant and ask if you have such a room – I think they are retrofitting these rooms a little at a time. Overall The MS Navigator is a great ship, with a great Crew and we are looking forward to sailing on her again in March 2017 if not sooner. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Embarkation: Delayed due to emergency on ship the night before. Despite that, we were on board within an hour. Ship Shape: We found the ship to be in good ship and almost identical to the Liberty. No complaints on the cabins.Our group ... Read More
Embarkation: Delayed due to emergency on ship the night before. Despite that, we were on board within an hour. Ship Shape: We found the ship to be in good ship and almost identical to the Liberty. No complaints on the cabins.Our group had 5 balcony, one inside Promenade and two outside cabins. All public rooms and venues were well maintained. The Promenade is always a favorite of ours. Entertainment: Most of the entertainment was top notch..especially the Las Vegas Tenors. If we had a complaint about anything on the ship it was the fact that small children (under 10 years of age) were allowed to SWIM and play in the hot tubs In fact, one 6 yr old was actually snorkeling. This was a daily occurrence and on an 8 night cruise was annoying. No signs were posted about age restrictions and no one from RCCL was monitoring the pool.hot tub area. We also wondered why there wasnt a life guard. Shore Excursions: A few of us booked the "Essential St Kitts Tour" for $69. The van had no air conditioning and no microphone. The driver, "Mr.Macintosh", took us through the worst areas of St Kitts. When asked where the resort hotels were he said "on the other side of the island"...apparently they weren't an Essential part of our tour. He threatened to leave 3 passengers at Romney Manor and Carribelle Batik....the best part of the tour..because they were late at the previous stop and his "time is money." Luckily, they returned to the van. As he was leaving us off at the ship a port security guard waved him away from restricted parking but he continued to bypass the guard and park there. A verbal arguement ensued with the guard screaming to us not to get out of the van and Mcintosh screaming to us to get out. We were finally allowed to get out of the van and the guard called the police who headed our way to speak with the driver. Guest Services refunded three of us 50% of the tour. We should have been refunded 100%. Disembarking: Was a breeze.We chose the 8am disembarkation and were outside the terminal with 30 minutes! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
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

Find a Navigator of the Seas Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click