12 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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: 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
37 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 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
9 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
13 Helpful Votes
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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We sailed on the Navigator as a family of six, two adults and four children ages 5-15. We stayed in a family room (8200). The room was excellent with plenty of space for all of us and our luggage. I found the closet space a bit awkward ... Read More
We sailed on the Navigator as a family of six, two adults and four children ages 5-15. We stayed in a family room (8200). The room was excellent with plenty of space for all of us and our luggage. I found the closet space a bit awkward as your hanging items block the shelf storage but that was a small issue. Our cabin steward was new to the ship but he was great. It was nice that he came twice a day as one of our children slept on a pull out bed. Our steward always put it back to a couch while we had breakfast. My biggest complaint about the room would be that the upholstered furniture is rather dingy and stained. The location on the eighth level was great. 3 levels down to the promenade and dining room or three levels up to the windjammer and the pools. We rarely used the elevators. The pool areas are crowded. We were unable to find chairs. But we enjoyed swimming although the pool water is very salty. Our kids really enjoyed the climbing wall and the skating rink. Our two younger children used the kids club facilities every day and they loved it! The staff in the youth areas are excellent and we can't say enough good things about the children's programming on the Navigator. We also played on the sports court, and played several games of ping pong and mini golf. The shows were good but not great. We enjoyed the ice show and there was a ventriloquist that was excellent. The tenors of Las Vegas were also very good. There were two other musical type shows that were average. I wish there had been more variety in the type of shows. A comic would have been a great addition. The performers in the pool areas were very good. As for food I have mixed reviews. The Windjammer was a disappointment. This mainly due to lack of variety. It is almost exactly the same every day. And I found the service in the windjammer quite poor. A few times I ordered tea from a server and it would never come. My omelet order was wrong more than it was right. And you have to stand around waiting for your omelet which makes it crowded in that area. The food in the Windjammer was just OK. You can always find something to eat but I felt it could easily be better. I have only been on one other cruise but the buffet offerings on that one were much better. Cafe Promenade is good. The pizza there is better than anywhere else on the ship. However, same problem in that it is the exact same sandwiches and dessert offerings every day. Service is great in the cafe though. The main dining room is what made our trip. It was great. The food was very good and our servers were amazing with our kids. We had my time dining but ended up choosing the same time and table every night as we enjoyed our servers so much. Not every dish was a home run but overall I left satisfied every night. The soups tended to be too salty so I avoided them. The salads were great. For us the main dining room wasn't just about the food but rather the overall experience. Our kids had fun "dressing up" for dinner and trying new foods. Forming a relationship with your servers and having fun during your meal makes it a special part of a cruise. The main dining room is also excellent for lunch, far better than the offerings in the Windjammer. The salad bar in the MDR at lunch is phenomenal and was my favourite thing to eat. My biggest complaint is that we were forced to pay our gratuities at the time of booking because we choose my time dining. Once you do that the gratuities are not able to be adjusted. Because we were a larger group we ended up having to reserve our table each night if we didn't want to wait for a table. So we did not have the flexibility we expected with my time dining and we lost the ability to adjust our gratuities. I am not certain we would have adjusted them but as a family of 6 we paid a lot each day in gratuities and other than the MDR we didn't feel that the service was worth that amount. Our embarkation and disembarkation both went well. I was worried based on previous reviews but it wasn't bad. Yes terminal 29 is not in the greatest condition but we arrived at 12:30 and were were on the ship an hour later and our room was ready. On our return we got off the ship at 8:00, collected our bags, went though customs, and were at the airport by 8:45. Overall it was a great trip. If I could I would give a 3.5 rating as it was better than average but I also wouldn't quite go all the way to very good. Had there been more variety in the Windjammer and if the entertainment was a bit more varied it would easily have been a 4 to 4.5 rating. We would sail with RC again especially since they are among the few cruise lines that offer a family room that sleep six, but we would probably try a different ship next time just to see what the others have to offer. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
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
9 Helpful Votes
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
10 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2016
It was a wonderful bonding time for my 19 yr-old daughter and me. Knowing that we will spend most of our time outside our cabin, we chose an inner stateroom (8237) which served us just fine. Our attendant (Adela Benliss-Nicaragua) was ... Read More
It was a wonderful bonding time for my 19 yr-old daughter and me. Knowing that we will spend most of our time outside our cabin, we chose an inner stateroom (8237) which served us just fine. Our attendant (Adela Benliss-Nicaragua) was the sweetest and took good care of our needs. We took advantage of a lot of the activities offered in the ship: aerobics, jogging deck, hot tub, treadmill, pool deck for relaxing/reading/getting tan/watching movies, rock climbing, dancing, listening to bands, singing karaoke. The entertainment was top of the class - from Vox Audio (Acapella group), Broadway-type song and dance productions to Ice Show. We also loved the audience participation-type shows (Love and Marriage and Quest). Dining in the Sapphire room was a great experience! Our servers (Subbiah-India and Savran-Mauritius) spoiled us. I liked how the portions are smaller, so we can sample a second starter or dessert if we like. We booked the stingray experience in the Grand Cayman which did not happen due to weather. In Jamaica, we drove about an hour to the Reggae Hill for a relaxing swim, garden walk, lots of reggae music/dancing while sampling tapas-style food and lots of drinks with Jamaican rum. Naioka, our guide, was very friendly. In Labadee, Haiti, we jet-skied for the first time. My daughter drove and we had a blast! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2015
My wife and I and our son and daughter (19 & 21) went on a 6 day Christmas Cruise and had a great time! The ship is beautiful and the crew is excellent. Our cabins were inside on deck 8 and overlooked the Promenade. They were also ... Read More
My wife and I and our son and daughter (19 & 21) went on a 6 day Christmas Cruise and had a great time! The ship is beautiful and the crew is excellent. Our cabins were inside on deck 8 and overlooked the Promenade. They were also adjoining which was very handy. We loved the location. Deck 8 is the highest Promenade view you can get and we were at the front of the Promenade (almost dead center of the ship). It was quiet and the curtains block out all the light. You always have something to look at. We could see the Santa Parade on Christmas morning. The cabins were plenty large enough for 2 each. They had 2 small couches with one of them right in front of the window. The circular shower with sliding doors was a nice touch. The only cabin complaint I had was the bed. It was very firm and not comfortable for my wife and I. Our cabin steward David was great. He was from Jamaica and got to see his family for Christmas on our stop in Falmouth, Jamaica. He got me plenty of extra pillows so that I could customize the bed and make it more usable. He also got us a bottle opener for our wine and saved us from having to pay a corking fee. We tried out 4 of the extra charge restaurants. Giovanni's and Sabor both had superior service and excellent food. The small intimate atmosphere of these restaurants is a nice change from the large and noisy dining rooms. We felt that they were both worth the money. My son had the best steak he has ever had (other than the ones that dad makes, of course) at Giovanni's. The table side made guacamole was fantastic at Sabor's. We had to get a second order. The Margaritas, while not cheap, were top notch. We also tried Johnny Rockets and were pleasantly surprised. It's only 6.95 a person and the burgers, fries and onion rings were great. You can just sit there for 2 hours and stuff your face if you want to. We did also try Izumi's and were very disappointed. The service was poor. The sushi was not very tasty. My wife had the best meal - steak that she cooked herself on a hot stone. The food in the main dining room was hit or miss. Some items were delicious and others were sad. We signed up for my time dining and discovered that you need to make a reservation ahead of time (if you know when you are going to want to eat) to be sure that there is a seat waiting for you. They try to give you the same waiter each time. The first time, we got right in because it wasn't busy. The second time, we got a pager and had to wait 45 minutes. That's when we found out that we could have made a reservation. The Sapphire Dining room is 3 decks high. My time dining enters on deck 5. You enter on deck 3 for breakfast. I would recommend breakfast there every day. The room service menu is limited and not that great. The Windjammer cafe is about what you would expect for a cafeteria. Our cruise director and his staff did an excellent and impressive job. I hope they get paid well. They are very busy people. The Quest game show and the Love and Marriage game show were well done and hilarious. We saw one of the comedians and he was good. We saw the Ice Show and were very impressed. There is a must see quick change act in the show that is mind-blowing. We checked out and participated in karaoke a couple of times. They could do a better job organizing and running it. It can be fun for everybody if done right and there were plenty of people who wanted to participate. The Flowrider was fun. They help you out and give you advice to succeed. The climbing wall is challenging. The basketball/volleyball/dodge-ball court was always active. The fitness studio had something for everyone. My wife and daughter enjoyed their spa treatments and that's all I can say about that. The ship was decorated for Christmas very nicely. A giant tree, garland, lights, bows and music playing. There was a Santa parade on Christmas morning and Santa gave out a present to each child that came to see him. We went snorkeling in Grand Cayman and swam with the stingrays. Great fun. We booked our excursion online through Captainmarvins.com. Well run, reliable and great reviews. Cheaper than going through RC. We hung out at Margaritaville in Jamaica and did not go on any excursions. We had a good time enjoying the pool, spa and dancing. We rode the zip line in Haiti that is the longest in the world over water. Expensive? Yes. Once in a lifetime awesome experience? Yes. There are also plenty of beach areas to just sit and relax at. Lunch is served there. There are bars to get drinks and shops to buy souvenirs. We realized on this cruise that you really don't have to wait for you disembarkation number to leave. They ask you what it is but they don't actually know. If you get tired of waiting like we did, just go and tell them that your number is one that has already been called. For parking at Port Everglades, we used Park'n Go. It is a little cheaper than Port Parking. It is very well run and very close. Shuttles get you to and from your car. Everybody gets a bottle of water when you leave the parking lot! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
This was our 16th cruise on RCCL and the very first on the Navigator of the Seas. We are Diamond Crown and Anchor members. We sailed from Port Everglades, Ft. Lauderdale and departed from the "older terminal". A few months ... Read More
This was our 16th cruise on RCCL and the very first on the Navigator of the Seas. We are Diamond Crown and Anchor members. We sailed from Port Everglades, Ft. Lauderdale and departed from the "older terminal". A few months prior we sailed on the Independence from the "newer" terminal. Things during check in just did not seem as streamlined as we found at the "newer" terminal. Long lines (even for Diamond) check in. Baggage drop off was also somewhat disorganized with porters reminding us we need to "take care" of them. Since we signed in around 1 PM we went immediately to our cabin with no wait. Once to our cabin we were really disappointed with the cleanliness of the stateroom. The floor had not been vacuumed, mirrors were all dirty or smudged and it appeared that the only preparation the cabin had was a set of clean sheets. There was no replenished supply items like shampoo and soap. I finally found the room attendant and had her finish the job of preparing our room. In all of our prior cruises on RCCl we never had this issue. It seemed much longer for us to receive our luggage once we were on board! We were kind of holding our breath at this point as to what the cruise would be like! Once underway things settled down and we had a wonderful cruise! Now there were the normal issues faced which I will relate in a moment. Our first stop was Labadee in Haiti. We had not been here for at least 15 years and were not really looking forward to the stop based on our prior experience there. Once on shore we found that there has been a tremendous amount of building and improvements made to to Labadee. It is a beautiful stop and we look forward to going again! The buffet served was excellent and a high light of the stop. Activities were many and well planned and thought out. This is a great place for visiting the beach and water sports. The shopping was just so so and the items being sold would be better classified as trinkets. This was really a great stop over all. Back on board we headed out for San Juan. There just seems to not be enough time to do anything here other than visit "Old Town". The shopping was good and the people friendly. Back on board, Dining in the main dining area was a frustration. We were not able to get My Time Dining and ended up on a list trying to get reassigned to a table for two. Just did not happen!!! Finally I went to the Concierge in the Diamond Club for help. She made some suggestions and they worked, we got our table for two from the Maitre'D! We also noticed at least 6 tables for two that were empty which really made us think! The food served was just so so and the menu the same as we had on the Independence. The quality just was not there. We were fortunate enough to have dinner in Chops Steak House one night and it was really first class! The service and food quality was super. We remembered how years in the past the food we had to pay extra for was the normal meal in the Main Dining Room! As another side note we also tried Giovanni's Table which was also EXCELLENT. Service and food quality was super...don't miss it if you get the chance. We ate a number of meals in the Windjammer which was consistent but unfortunately the food quality just was not there. It might be good to mention at this point that the crew seemed to all be happy and most acknowledged us with smiles and greetings. This went a long way with us. Most were helpful and really wanted to please us..WELL DONE! Next stop was St. Kitts. Really a laid back island with friendly folks. there is shopping right at the port (seems to be the only shopping) and there are a few good deals available. There are a number of independent island tours that you can take without booking ahead on board. Final stop was St. Maarten, our favorite place. There are great shopping deals here and a great beach right in town. People are great and glad to see you! Very enjoyable place to visit. As a general rule we do not take advantage of the entertainment on board i.e.. shows, ice skating etc. This ship (like other Royal ships) had a great "pool" band and combos. We enjoyed dancing on the fourth deck and the music played on the pool deck. We decided that we would let the ship's photographers take some pictures of us throughout the cruise. This was a disappointment to say the least! The quality of the prints was terrible. Coupled with the fact that each print costs $20.00!!!! In one of the scenes there was a life bouy with the name of the ship on it as a prop. We had our picture taken here and later discovered that although NAVIGATOR was legible the OF THE SEAS was rubbed almost entirely out! Just giving a word of caution here. You can also buy digital photos. Were were quoted $85.00 for 4 pictures...they change $5.00 for the external flash drive with the pictures in it. This might be a good place to mention that RCCL has done a great job with their Customer Loyalty Program, The Crown and Anchor Society. I appreciate it knowing that they care enough to do something a little extra for return cruisers/customers. It does matter. Arriving back in Ft. Lauderdale we discovered that you can carry your own bags off the ship. This worked really well for us... We walked off the ship at 7.30 AM went immediately to Customs and found there were only 3 customs agents clearing the ship but there was no line! Smooth as silk debarking! OK, I was probably a little more negative on this cruise than in the past but we still found this to be a wonderful trip overall and would certainly go again on this ship if given the opportunity. They have a great product but need to fine tune a few items on the Navigator.. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
Our family decided to try the Grand Suite luxuries on the Navigator of the Seas as our first experience with Royal Caribbean and our first experience leaving from Port Everglades. We flew into Ft Lauderdale on Friday, March 30th and ... Read More
Our family decided to try the Grand Suite luxuries on the Navigator of the Seas as our first experience with Royal Caribbean and our first experience leaving from Port Everglades. We flew into Ft Lauderdale on Friday, March 30th and stayed at the Hampton Inn North for the night--nice room, free airport and cruise port transfers--good value. Sailed March 31st, Easter Caribbean itinerary. The ship is beautiful and we had a good time, however, the process of getting on board was greatly disappointing and left us rethinking our decision. Arrived at the port at 10:30, left our luggage outdoors with the porters (which was our first head-scratcher)and headed to the terminal. Not much organization outside the building while we waited, but oh boy, what a surprise awaited us when we got inside! The place resembled a warehouse--concrete walls with a few random RCI posters stuck to the walls and a check-in desk that looked temporary at best. Exposed ventilation ducts, industrial lighting, noisy, etc. Chin up--we still had the "priority boarding" area for GS and above to look forward to..and what a WOW factor THAT turned out to be(and not in a good way)! After check-in, ALL passengers were directed to large lines of connected chairs to await boarding---our "priority boarding" area was a roped off area of about 4 lines of these pretty-disgusting looking chairs. Ugh! Our rows WERE called first to board, but not at ALL a good first impression of RCI, and everybody knows what they say about first impressions. On Board a little after noon, we were told our cabins would be ready by 1:30--no big deal, we headed for lunch at Windjammer. Looking around the ship, we were impressed by the decor and especially the Grand Promenade. Beautiful! This ship really doesn't show it's age. Before going in to eat, we noticed it was raining outside, quite heavily, too. Nice buffet, good meal, and we were impressed by the number of choices. Our cabin, our Grand Suite, was ready as promised and it was beautiful! Birthday decorations were in place on the door and in the room for my daughter's birthday to her great surprise. For our family of four, there was more than enough room and tons of storage space for our things. We knew our bags would be delivered at some point, so we kept checking back throughout the afternoon to see if they arrived. Alas, they did not arrive before dinner. We like to dress for dinner but were forced to enter the beautiful Main Dining Room for the first seating in very casual clothes. We weren't alone. Checking our cabin after dinner, our bags had arrived---four out the the six were WET! Not sure why some of the first bags to arrive at the dock were STILL not on the ship or at least under cover in their trolleys or a holding area by the time that rain came. First the warehouse, now this? Time to find out how our GS Concierge service worked. Quite well, it turned out. Concierge Karen Hernandez is wonderful! Her customer service skills are outstanding. Commiseration, free laundry service and a bottle of wine later, we left her lounge happy. She must have been inundated with similar problems that day, but never appeared frazzled---what a gem she is!The Sail Away "party" was another disappointment--they just kept coming on Day 1 for us. This ship seriously is not for families with children--this "party" was a dud and we left. After that first day, things did get better. The ship is lovely, beautifully appointed and well-maintained. The cabin stewards are very friendly--we had Ray and he was terrific (although he did miss a pair of undershorts tucked into the vanity chair during the quick turnover from the previous occupants---or maybe that was just another perk for a GS?). I loved the day-of-the-week inserts in the carpeting of the elevators. Usually crowded though, and Spring Break travel brings lots of unsupervised teens who would quickly press ALL the buttons before exiting so that the cars stopped at all floors. Not impressed by how some parents can't teach their kids to behave. Our cabin doorbell was rung late hours a couple times, the Happy Birthday poster on the door was stolen, and, on the last day, the "make up the room" card was cut into pieces and inserted back into the door slot on just about every suite that we saw on our way to the aft elevators. The Casino was great fun, but the theatrical performances were blah-the RCI lip-syncing "singers" and dancers were not that good. The ice show was a WOW! The comedian Bobby Collins was hysterical--wish he had been booked for TWO shows. James the jewelry guy wasn't a favorite--I won a necklace in one of his drawings(on Day 2)and chased after him until Day 7 before I got my prize(thank you Karen for helping!). Labadee was beautiful--Barefoot Beach was beautiful and I'm SO glad I rented a cabana(B2)--it was comfy for the family and we had our best day there. Grandson loved the kid's club on board--the counselors there kept the children engaged and active in fun games and competitions. One of the nicest perks of the GS was the valet luggage service for debarkation--sign up with Karen early for this! We received our special tags for our bags, set them outside our door and off they went at 11:00pm the night before debarkation, not to be seen again until Baggage Claim at your home airport. No searching through the warehouse for your color section, no lugging them through customs yourself or shuffling them to transport. WOW! Overall, we liked this cruise although you might not be able to tell from all the verbiage above. WE had a great time despite the diversions. Will we cruise RCI again? Probably, but not soon. And never again out of Port Everglades. Overall, not even the Suite life can lure us away from our favorite, Disney. Our next cruise is booked on the Fantasy. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
We took this cruise during Spring Break due to our youngest child being on Spring Break. Had concerns about the activity being crazy but was pleasantly surprised with how well behaved the fellow cruisers acted. The ship does show some ... Read More
We took this cruise during Spring Break due to our youngest child being on Spring Break. Had concerns about the activity being crazy but was pleasantly surprised with how well behaved the fellow cruisers acted. The ship does show some age but overall was still a beautiful ship. Would gladly go on it again. The Promenade, dining rooms, theaters, etc were superb and loved all of the shows. The worst part of the cruise was the embarkation process. I had read about Terminal 29 before going to Fort Lauderdale and of course the earlier comments were right on the money. The Terminal was busy as there were 4-5 other ships going out including the Oasis of the Seas. Congestion was an understatement. We traveled with another family member and their spouse so the five us drove to the Park N Fly, who were excellent. I would recommend them again in a heart beat. Never waited for getting to the ship or off of it so would recommend them to anyone for consideration. We unloaded all of our bags and the Port Staff were busy getting the thousands of bags in the lot. Within 15 minutes of our unloading we saw rain clouds forming (welcome to Florida) and sure enough it began to rain. There is no difference in the handling of bags so if you think a GS cabin will get you special treatment for bags you are mistaken. We saw our suit-bags and suitcases getting drenched in the rain for 15 minutes. They did not have enough tarps to cover and there seemed to be no urgency for the staff to rectify the situation either. We were standing in the rain for several minutes until they finally rearranged the long lines to give some coverage under the limited covering. My wife's formal dress got wet and stained from other clothes being in the same garment bag. We had 20 items hanging all over the cabin trying to dry and sent off 4 to be cleaned of which two they could not get the water stains out of. Sure they tried to clean them for free and apologized but we were not happy with this issue. I can assure you I will never go out of Fort Lauderdale #29 again. The Oasis and Allure have there own new terminal and it is suppose to be state of the art but outside of that there are no guarantees. I've been out of Port Canaveral and it is like the stone ages in Terminal 29. Now the Good part. Our state room attendant was fantastic. Augusta was the consummate professional. While quickly learning our names and greeting us coming and going every day and night when he saw us. He would step out of room he was cleaning to inquire about our day and if he could do anything for us. Our dining room staff were excellent as well throughout the cruise. The food was very good and for the most part prepared well. We ate most of our breakfast in the formal dining room instead of the Windjammer. The Windjammer met our expectations for buffet dining but we preferred the dining room most of the time. The ports were excellent and getting on and off the ship was easy for us. We did the ATV ride to Orient Beach in St Maarten. The ride was cool but Orient Beach was overrated in my humble opinion. We did the rain forest excursion in St Kitts and that was really informative. Long hike so having good shoes and being in reasonable shape is recommended. We just walked around in Puerto Rico and shopped since it was such as short stop. We really enjoyed Labadee since it had the cleanest beaches and all the available activities. The Zip-line was cool to see and will probably do that if we go back there again. Overall, I would recommend this cruise to anyone with the caveat that you should avoid Ft Lauderdale Terminal 29. It could have made a good cruise a great cruise if the embarkation process would not have started off so poorly. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2012
About my group: Myself (48), my youngest DD (18), my Mom, my twin sister and her husband and their DS (12), and DD's (10, 7). It's my ninth cruise (fifth on a Voyager class ship), my Mom's fourth, and my sister and her ... Read More
About my group: Myself (48), my youngest DD (18), my Mom, my twin sister and her husband and their DS (12), and DD's (10, 7). It's my ninth cruise (fifth on a Voyager class ship), my Mom's fourth, and my sister and her family's 2nd on RCI. My daughter and I are Diamond and my Mom and sister's family are Gold Crown and Anchor members. All my photos from this cruse can be found here: http://navigatorcruise2012.shutterfly.com/pictures/330 Pre-departure: My DD and I flew in from DC on a non-stop flight to FLL the day before departure, 30 March. The only issue was that the plane had changed from the one we originally booked so we ended up not sitting next to each other. I noticed that our boarding passes didn't have a seat assignment after we went through security. So I went to the gate and inquired as to why. It was then the gate attendant rifled through a stack of boarding passes and dug ours out. It was then I saw that we were not in our originally booked seats. When I asked why, he stated it was because of an "equipment change." Oh well, I wasn't going to let that ruin my vacation. When we boarded I was hoping that whoever had the aisle or window seat next to my middle seat would swap with my daughter, but those seats were also taken by a family that had been split up as well. But much to my surprise, up walked the Mom of the boy in the window seat and wife of the gentleman in the aisle seat and asked if I would take her aisle seat 10 rows up. Since my DD is 18, I said sure, and swapped...my good deed of the day. After I was seated, a gentleman started to settle into the middle seat next to me, a lady one row over and up one, in a window seat, asked if he would swap since her son was in the window seat in my row. He said no problem. After the Mom was happily seated next to her son, she introduced me to her daughter that was right across from me in the aisle seat...so I asked her if she would like to swap seats to sit next to her Mom...and of course she was delighted to swap. My second good deed of the day! So after more swapping of handicapped and children who were inadvertently seated in exit rows after the "equipment change", we were finally off and made it to FLL on time. My DD and I met my mom, sister and her family at FLL when they landed an hour after us and we grabbed two taxis to Embassy Suites on 17th St. My sister had made the reservations last fall and we were looking forward to the Manager's Reception that evening, the free breakfast the morning of embarkation, and the fact that it was across the street from Kelly's Landing, the restaurant our Meet and Mingle group were meeting for dinner that night. When we got to the front desk they informed us that they were in an oversold situation due to extended stays and asked if we would mind staying at a different hotel at the same or higher class hotel. They were offering $50 cash per room (we had 2 rooms booked). Our first instinct was no due to the reasons listed above and the fact that the fold out couches would ensure 2 rooms would accommodate our party of 8 of varying ages/genders. After several phone calls and about 30 minutes of waiting, this is what we were offered: 3 rooms at the Riverside Hotel in downtown FLL, transportation to and from the Embassy suites for our dinner reservation that night and the Manager's reception, as well as back to the Embassy Suites the next morning for breakfast, and then to the port....all at NO CHARGE...PLUS $150 in CASH. Wow....we may have not won the Mega Millions jackpot that night, but it was a great way start an awesome cruise!!! Thank you to Jackson, our awesome driver, who took us everywhere we needed to be that night and the next morning!!! And the Riverside Hotel was very, very nice. Plus it saved us almost $600 in hotel costs on top of dinner and transportation fees!!! Embarkation: We always like to get the pier by 1030-1100 and Jackson picked us up promptly at 1045 at Embassy Suites after taking us there from the Riverside Hotel at 0830, and we made it to Port Everglades Pier 29 by 1100. We dropped off our luggage and made our way to the line waiting outside. The cruise prior to us was a Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage charter cruise and they did not want to leave! So there was a bit of delay getting on. Now, I had heard some so-so reviews of Pier 29, but I did not expect the austere check in conditions that we encountered at that time of day. After finally being let inside at around 1145, we found ourselves in a warehouse environment without any sort of priority check in line/waiting area for Suite/Diamond passengers, just rows and rows of chair to wait to board. But, oh well, I was there and close to boarding, so I didn't mind....just found it odd. But like I said, after reading the Pier 29 reviews, and the fact that it wasn't built for cruise ship, it didn't really matter. But much to my surprise, as our early bird group were being led to the ship, we passed through what was the "real" embarkation space, complete with the priority boarding/waiting area (can you say cookies and lemonade?). They were still setting up, so we missed that being so early at the pier....but heck....we were boarding so I didn't care. We were on board and in the Windjammer around 1230 and by the time we finished lunch, our cabins were open...woo hooo! The Cabins: We were in OS Hump cabins 1314 and 1320. Amazing!!! The balconies were ginormous...and the rooms very spacious. The only downside was that the beds in the OS's did not separate into two twin beds for my Mom and I...oh well...we're both small, so it didn't really matter. But for any one whom this may be an issue, take note. The sofa bed was also different than we were used to...it was more like a futon that pulled out from the bottom. But my daughter and nieces and nephews had no complaints, other than the fact the one in 1314 was a bit squeaky. My nieces slept on the futon bed and nephew on the L-shaped part of the couch. And my DD had her futon/sofa bed to herself in 1320...sans squeak. Adrian our suite attendant was fantastic and was always available when we needed anything. We loved the location of our cabins...right next to the aft elevators. So just one floor up to the WJ and one floor down to the concierge lounge. And bonus on the hump!! Only downside...kiddos ringing the door bell at random times. Oh well, that's what you get for having a door bell on a cruise ship with 1,000 kids on board. Food: Loved, loved having Portofino's to enjoy our meals while dining at the WJ for lunch and dinner. WJ food was as expected. But since this was our first time sailing on a 2nd generation Voyager class ship, I was expecting more Asian fare from "Jade." I don't cruise for fine dining 24/7, so the offerings were good enough for us. We always eat at the MDR for dinner and enjoyed every meal. We weren't in an ideal location (Table for eight, third floor near the stairs), but still enjoyed the MDR experience. Our waiter Alberto, and Asst. Waiter Manolo, were outstanding. They treated my young nieces and nephew like royalty and we enjoyed each meal immensely. We've eaten at Chops and Portofino before, so didn't spend the extra $$ to do so again. Plus the fact that my nieces and nephew were too young for those venues, so we happily spent each dinner in the MDR. We did Main Dining at 6:00, and it was perfect for our crowd. There was a table for two next to us that routinely showed up at 6:30 or later. They were from Spain and I guess on the "European" time clock -- meaning 6pm was just a "suggested" dinner time....but no matter, Alberto and Manolo took care of them just the same. The kids loved the pizza, sandwiches and cookies in the Cafe Promenade. They're available 24/7...some passengers don't figure that out until late in the cruise! Entertainment: This is the first cruise where I did not go to any of the shows nor the ice show....why you ask??? The concierge lounge now accepts passengers under the age of 18 in the evenings (as long as they are with an adult). So every night we were in the concierge lounge from 5-6 and after dinner til 8:30. From then, the little ones and my Mom went to bed and my sister, brother in law and I would find a lounge or go to the casino for a bit before going to bed ourselves. My DD is 18 so she wanted to learn roulette and the slots. We came out ahead!! Beginner's luck I am sure. We tried the Schooner Lounge and Promenade Pub entertainers the first night and did not go back....eeeks. Did not like either of them. We did talk my BIL to being a contestant in the new "Finish the Lyric" game show one night...he came in third!! Vito, the Emcee was AWESOME...promote him to a Cruise Director STAT! And of course, we couldn't miss Quest...my sister was again a team co-captain...it was great...but I miss the old style Quest... Ports: St. Maarten: My sister and her family, and I and my DD went on the Capt Morgan Sailing Adventure. Wasn't bad...it was a great sail from the Dutch to French side of St. Maarten, with a great view of the planes landing and taking off at Maho Beach. Just wished the snorkeling would have been better. We stopped at Long Beach on the French side and while the water was great for swimming and shore in swimming distance...there wasn't any real marine life to see other than the ravenous fish (don't know what kind) that would attack any form of food thrown overboard. After our BBQ lunch we were instructed to throw all leftover food overboard....I have never seen fish fight over pork rib remains!!! It was creepy!! But a great time was had by all...and I got a nice little sunburn. My mom went a guided city tour, and she enjoyed that as well. St. Kitts: My DD and I went on the Catamaran Fan-ta-Sea excursion, my sister and her family on the Eco-Tour, and my mom on a guided city tour. LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the Catamaran Fan-Ta-Sea!!!! There were actually 2 catamarans, the Spirit and the Eagle. Our catamaran, the Spirit, was definitely the PARTY catamaran. We sailed to a great snorkeling spot, and while I wish it had been longer, had a great time with lots of fish and marine life to see during the snorkel. After that the rum punch and local beers started flowing as we made our way to Nevis for our lunch. YUMM is all I can say! Terrific food and a nice swim at the beach followed. Then party really started for our sail back to the pier. Everyone starboard on Navigator heard us make our way back!! San Juan: Best part according to my DD: having cell phone coverage!! She was on the phone or texting whenever possible after discovering we had service while on our way to our zip line excursion. My sister and her family and I and my DD did the Zip Line Adventure. It wasn't bad...the driver was the best...Hector....but they don't take pictures during the zips, much to the disappointment my sister as the little ones were all able to zip and they really wanted photos of them zipping. So all we have are my mediocre photos of them at the last zip. But, they had a blast!! And that's what counts. Labadee: I pestered the concierge, Karen Hernandez, since early Feb to get a cabana on Barefoot Beach and she did not disappoint. We got B1 -- a beach side cabana. LOVED it. The beach is real rocky, but once past the "drop off" about a few yards out, it was great. Our "cabana boy", Leon, would sometimes disappear when we needed something, but we made do. Having the private beach was awesome, as well as the private lunch grill, and transportation to anywhere we needed. My sister and BIL did the zip line and loved it. My DD and I did that in 08 so we were going to parasail. Unfortunately, there was no wind that day and the parasail excursions were running way behind schedule due to the fact that they could only take one person up at a time. So after waiting over an hour, and although we had already pre-booked, we bailed and decided to enjoy our beach time at the cabana instead, maybe next time. Disembarkation: My sister and her family at 5:30pm flights so they did the Everglades tour with transportation back to FLL and had a great time. My mom and DD and I left at our leisure (we all carried our luggage off) at around 9:30 am. The lines weren't too bad, other than those whose pre-unloaded luggage line was lined up against the customs line...they were having a hard time hauling their luggage past the customs line....so they could get in the customs line. So glad we were able to carry ours off unassisted. My DD, mom and I were at the airport by 11ish. So after getting my Mom checked in at Terminal 1 to await my sister and her family's arrival from the Evergalde's excursion, my DD and I took the shuttle to Terminal 3 for our 2pm flight. Thankfully there had been no equipment change and we were off on time. But just a cautionary note...eat well before you leave the ship. All restaurant venues were PACKED at the airport!!! It is a zoo on embarkation/disembarkation day!!!! My DD regretted sleeping in on the ship and not eating breakfast because we waited forever just for a sandwich at a small restaurant in Terminal 3...and don't even think about going to Chili's (pre-security)...huge line!!! There wasn't even a place to sit in terminal 3 (post security) until it cleared out at about noon when the early birds left. Change I noticed since last year: Towels: Suite guests must check towels out now (at least on Navigator). Such a pain in the a$$ especially since the night prior to the first port there were no clean towels until after 8pm. I will bring my own beach towels from now on! Summary: FANTASTIC cruise...we all had a great time!!! Thank you Bela and Francis in the Concierge Lounge who took wonderful care of all of us! And of course to Alberto and Manolo in the MDR and Adrian our Suite Attendant. And I have to mention Nickolai in the MDR...he was our beverage server. OMG....He was AWESOME!!!! RCI...promote him NOW!!! We gave them all WOW cards! So overall, a big thumbs up for this cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
We had such fabulous cruise and I'm depressed now that it's over. It was truly a wonderful experience. I was traveling with my husband and two daughters (ages 8 and 10) and my parents had the cabin next to us. We arrived in FLL ... Read More
We had such fabulous cruise and I'm depressed now that it's over. It was truly a wonderful experience. I was traveling with my husband and two daughters (ages 8 and 10) and my parents had the cabin next to us. We arrived in FLL two days before our cruise and stayed at the Gallery One. Our flight was delayed getting into town so we arrived around midnight but our shuttle driver from Quality Limo Service was there waiting for us (the poor guy had to wait 3 hours) and drove us directly to our hotel since we were the only ones on the shuttle. I'd highly recommend using this service if you are traveling between Miami and FLL. We had a 2 bedroom suite at the hotel and it was a perfect set up for us. We got up early the next morning and headed to the pool. It wasn't crowded and my kids basically had the pool to themselves for a couple of hours. Later in the afternoon we got on the water taxi (there was a stop right at our hotel) and loved seeing all the mansions on the water. We got off at the beach and walked around a bunch and then finished off the water tour. It was a great way to see the town. The next morning we got ready to head to the ship. They had a bus shuttle that took us to the port from our hotel. When we arrived at the port, our terminal was pretty chaotic. Our shuttle driver had to wait in a long line before he could drop us off. Once we got off the bus, there were people immediately waiting to take our luggage which was nice. Then we had to get into a very long line. I was told that the ship before us was a charted cruise and there were some paperwork issues which caused a delay for those passengers to get off which bottle necked our cruise. We were out on the hot sun for over an hour before we set foot into the building. Being from Seattle where it's been so cold and rainy, the sun felt really good to me and I had no complaints standing in it all day. However, the majority of passengers around us were not as pleased but there was no outright complaining or bitching. People were excited and ready to cruise and most people were pretty patient. My only complaint was having to use the port a potty in line since I was drinking so much water from the free water bottles they were handing out. Once we got through security, we moved relatively quickly and were on the ship in about 2 hours from being dropped off at the pier at 11:45. I think we were eating lunch around 2 in the Windjammer. We had a balcony room on the Deck 7 toward the aft. The room was clean and nice and our room steward immediately introduced himself and was visible for most of the cruise. 4 people in one stateroom can get tight at times and when my kids are a little bit older, I'll most likely end up getting two rooms. The food on the cruise was great! I found there to be quite a bit of variety and everything tasted good. We ate in the main dining room every night but one and absolutely loved our waiter, asst waiter and head waiter. This was the first cruise I had been on where the head waiter came and talked with us every night. She always made an appearance was so interactive with my kids. We loved her! Our waiter and asst waiter was also very attentive and we looked forward to seeing them every night. I wanted to cry the last night when we said goodbye. They were just so special to us. We had a bar waiter that we went to every night and enjoyed his company as well. The ports were great. We went to St. Maarten, St. Kitts, San Juan and Labadee. On the first 3 ports we didn't do any excursions and just basically walked the town and shopped. On Labadee, we rented a cabana on Barefoot Beach. This was definitely the highlight of our entire vacation! My kids want to just take a vacation to Labadee next time and skip the cruise. I have to say that port is like heaven on earth. Our cabana attendant had to basically kick us out of there when it was time to leave! Royal Caribbean really puts on a first class act with this port experience. I didn't hit any shows on this cruise for some reason. It may have been because I was in the casino every night! Had a great time in there and met some wonderful people. My kids were in Adventure Ocean every night after dinner until 10:00 (and sometimes later if there was something going on and they didn't want to leave). The staff at Adventure Ocean is excellent and my kids loved being in there. They also met some great people and were very sad to say good bye to their new friends. The pool deck was a lot of fun. We spent a few hours out there every day lounging by the pool. The water wasn't too cold to get in and felt really good when you needed to cool off. They had funny entertainment going on around the pool in the afternoons that was fun to watch. Leaving the ship wasn't too bad. We carried off our own bags and it took about 45 minutes to get off. We were told it was taking longer than usual due to it being Easter. I'm not sure what Easter had to do with anything but it wasn't too bad. I was just bummed to be leaving such a great vacation. Our shuttle driver from QLS picked us up and got us to the airport with several hours to spare. It was a long travel day going home since we didn't have a direct flight but we made it home safely. Until next time.... Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
Although the ship was beautiful and very clean and the crew could not have been more attentive and friendly, there were too many negatives with RCI. Embarkation wasn't too bad although Pier 29 really needs to be updated. We found ... Read More
Although the ship was beautiful and very clean and the crew could not have been more attentive and friendly, there were too many negatives with RCI. Embarkation wasn't too bad although Pier 29 really needs to be updated. We found it a bit strange that the luggage is taken by attendants outside as you pull up with your car. The weather was good but what happens when it rains? Would my luggage get wet? My husband had to drop us off with the luggage and then proceed to the parking garage with our rental which is not near terminal 29. He returned via shuttle about 15 minutes later. we went into the terminal and stood on a line for about 20 minutes or so until we were checked in. The ship is very nicely decorated and not at all offensive like the three Carnival ships we had previously been on. The colors are very appealing. The layout is good and access to the Windjammer right off of the main pool deck is very convenient. Unfortunately, the selection in the Windjammer was the same for breakfast and lunch for the entire cruise. They have several stations on either sides of the restaurant but most of the space is taken up by condiments for burgers and toppings for salads. We expected a better selection and daily variety like we had found on Carnival - Asian stir fry, Mexican, Tai and Indian stations, pasta bar etc. For such a large ship with so much real estate dedicated to the food, the selection was really poor. Although the food was never in short supply, it was either cold (pancakes, french toast, waffles)or too salty to eat. I ate peanut butter on a toasted bagel and oatmeal everyday. My children ate cereal. For lunch, it's the same thing. Too much area dedicated to hamburgers, hot dogs and toppings. Same thing every day. The staff in the Windjammer was super friendly and helpful but it does not make up for the lack of variety or the taste. Carnival has them beat hands down. Our cabin seemed to be the same size overall as the other ships we've been on but the storage on the Carnival ships is much better designed. We traveled with our two children and they slept on the pullout couch. When that is out, it is very tight and it is very difficult to walk around the cabin without asking someone to get out of the way or sit on a bed. We had the bunk beds with Carnival and that really gave us more space. Plus there are two huge drawers under the couch on Carnival that RCI doesn't have. The closets were fine but there are several wire shelves on the inside of the closet that is very difficult to access if your closet is full of hanging clothes. Carnival has a separate closet door for the shelves which is much better. The drawers by the desk are very small and worn. I lined mine with plastic shopping bags before I put anything in them. Our cabin steward was very sweet but everyday we had to ask her for something that she had forgotten when our room was made up. Dining Room - We had the late seating (8:30) and didn't finish eating until after 10. Didn't work work for us with the kids - not RCIs fault. The service was good but the food again was hit or miss. Some of it was pretty good, some of it was actually bad - too salty again, tough cut of steak, over/under cooked pasta. We ate once at the Windjammer for dinner because we just couldn't get excited about our dining experience and we actually enjoyed our meal more. The entertainment was good but not stellar. The juggler was funny and entertained the kids. The ice show was pretty impressive. The live music and dance numbers were good also but I have to be honest, the shows on Carnival were more like productions with better costumes and scenery. Rhythm Explosion by the pool, however, was awesome. We looked forward to them every day. Debarkation was absolutely awful. We had a time of 8:15 but sat in the ice rink freezing for two hours waiting. They blamed customs. The most insane thing was the announcement that everyone could get off of the ship at the same time. So like cattle, everyone moved in same direction toward the gangway. We were on deck 3 so we had to climb up a flight of stairs with carry on luggage. No one could use the elevators. Even seniors who had trouble moving their bags had to go up the stairs. Unacceptable. They were so late that they just wanted everyone off. We didn't get off until 10:30. The lines in customs were unbelievably long and to get to our luggage was ridiculous as it was placed along the lines of people waiting to go through customs. A horrible way to end a vacation. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise because the weather was fantastic and the ports were all beautiful. The crew was very attentive and friendly but again, not enough to make me want to cruise RCI again especially because you are paying a premuium. We know RCI has beautiful ships with lovely decor, and the Royal Promenad is impressive but the food was barely passable at best and for the price, we are willing to deal with the garishness of the Carnival ships. The shops are the same, the chair hogs will be there no matter what ship you're on, mother nature decides the weather and the ports are all gorgeous too. So for the value, we will probably stick with Carnival or try Celebrity next. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
We went with a neighborhood group of 17 people who commonly cruise together. The embarkation process at pier 29 in Fort Lauderdale was terrible. Our luggage was outside getting wet in the rain. The line to get through security was long ... Read More
We went with a neighborhood group of 17 people who commonly cruise together. The embarkation process at pier 29 in Fort Lauderdale was terrible. Our luggage was outside getting wet in the rain. The line to get through security was long and very slow. They had 4 security stations for 3000+ passengers. Disembarking was worse. We couldn't get off the ship until 10AM and then waited another half hour to get through the customs line. I will never sail from Fort Lauderdale at pier 29 again. The dining room menu selection and food was not good. All of us were disappointed. Interestingly enough, the Windjammer buffet was very good. We at ate both Chops, their steakhouse and Portofino's italian restaurant. Chops was good. Portofino's was outstanding. The prices, $30 and $20 per person respectively, are very reasonable given the quality of the food and service. you have to try the sandwiches at the Sandwich Bar on the promenade. They're great! We sailed on Superbowl weekend. One of our group had a suite and wanted to set up a bar with finger food and have us all watch the game. They wouldn't do it. They won't allow you to buy a bottle of liquor and mixers for your stateroom. We thought that was odd since there are 14 bars on the ship. They encourage alcohol consumption, why not allow you to buy alcohol for your room. Even the mini bar in the room had no alcohol. The ice show was fantastic. The stage shows were good, although we could have done without the juggler. The parades on the promenade were also great. The ship is beautiful and the staff is absolutely great!! All in all, we had a good cruise. I'd recommend the Navigator to anyone who isn't overly concerned about the food. Other than that, you can't help but have a great time. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
We are a family of 5 and cruised with my husbands parents, his sisters family as well as my girlfriend. We flew from Buffalo to Orlando a few days before via Southwest and drove to Fort Lauder dale the day of the cruise. We dropped our ... Read More
We are a family of 5 and cruised with my husbands parents, his sisters family as well as my girlfriend. We flew from Buffalo to Orlando a few days before via Southwest and drove to Fort Lauder dale the day of the cruise. We dropped our rental car at a Budget location next to the port as they provided free shuttle service. We will not do this again as we had to wait an hour for that free shuttle. Next time we will drop at the airport and just pay for a taxi. We arrived at Port Everglades at 1pm which is much later than we usually do and there was a long line outside as we had expected due to other reviews on Terminal 29. Fortunately the line moved quickly and we were on board by 2pm. We booked a Royal Family Suite which we have never had as its too expensive but we shared it with my sister n law and it was about the same price as us getting 2 inside rooms for our family of 5. Great deal!. The balcony is the best part and for the first time I finally ordered room service on my balcony because I could order eggs Benedict. We enjoyed the concierge each night but did not get to take full advantage of it as we were travelling with kids. We took them a few times but mostly left them in the room with my eldest. Another perk that worked for us is the private seating in Portofinos for breakfast and lunch. With a group of 14 we did not have to worry about finding seats together plus all the cutlery and drinks were there for you as well as an omelet station. We also took advantage of special seating at the pool and the shows. Our room steward was pleasant but our room was never cleaned until after 2pm which we did not like. We have cruised with Carnival and Disney and we have done every class in the RCI fleet. We love RCI but we did not love the demographics of this ship for a family cruise. I think passengers looking to get away from the bigger family centred cruises are choosing the voyager class. There were a lot of seniors which is fine with me as most of my cruises are like that but a lot of these seniors were not happy to be in the presence of my children. I thought my children were well behaved and supervised but I received many glares everywhere we went from fellow passengers. We also met some very nice seniors as well and they had nice things to say to my kids however I was not feeling the love on this cruise and in the future I will save our family cruises for the bigger ships and save this class for our adults only cruise. The elevators were very busy on this cruise and became annoying very quickly. The Navigator is another beautiful RCI ship. We all enjoyed the rock climbing wall, basketball court, minigolf and the inline roller blading track The shows were all pretty good and we especially loved the 2 musical comedians. My in laws "Joe and Gail" were on the Love and Marriage show which was a hit and they enjoyed the positive reaction they received throughout the rest of the cruise. Quest was really funny as usual and the ice show was spectacular. We thought that there could have been more family events like a family karaoke but most events were very late and for adults only. On Freedom and Allure they have pool volleyball which I really enjoy but they did not have on this ship. On Allure I took part in water aerobics every morning which I was also hoping to do but I think I only saw it one day and it was at a strange time. A lot of activities were at strange times that did not work for us. I am not trying to complain but I hope that RCI appreciates my suggestions. I found the food to be great and nothing different from the usual RCI fare. We went on a Carnival cruise after we got off this one and we really enjoyed their food as well as it provided a change. One of the favourite things about a cruise for my kids is Adventure Ocean. Not this time. I put my 12 year old in the 9-11 year old club because we were travelling with her 11 year old cousin. Due to low numbers they joined the clubs so all of their activities were done with the 6-8 years old which included my 7 year old son. The girls did not like it and did not go the rest of the week. On Day 5 we went and signed both girls up for the teen club. They liked this much better but again due to low numbers they joined them with the 15-17 year olds which they didn't like either. On our Carnival cruise the age groups were all done properly and my kids loved Camp Carnival. My kids will tell you that they loved Carnival but I did not as I despised the layout of their ships and the crowding. I will discuss more in my Carnival Valor review. We had a very active cruise critic group on this sailing and I enjoyed meeting a few of them and joining them for quest. I would have loved to have partied more with them but hard to do with the business of our kids and our big group. Weather was perfect on this cruise and except for the first few days the seas were calm. All of our ports were great and we all agreed ST. Kitts was our favourite but San Juan will remain one of my all time favourite ports. Labadee was also a great day and I will always look for this port on an itinerary. We collected eyeglasses to bring to Haiti. We gave them to guest services who is supposed to donate them. We talked to RCI's Haitian workers and they told us it is better to give donations to them personally as RCI's donations go to the government and the people that live on Labadee will not get them. They told us the best things we can bring them are educational materials as education is the most important thing they can get to improve life on their island Debarkation was easy and we found a taxi quickly which took us back to budget to rent a car to take us to the next leg of our cruise in Miami. This was another great cruise with awesome ports but as I said we will stick to the bigger ships for cruises with our kids. We also missed flowrider very much but the deal we got on the Royal Family Suite was too good to pass up! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
Let me start of by saying that I would take this trip again in a heart beat. I traveled with my dad and two children (my husband did not attend), it was a blast! My dad booked us an Owner's Suite which was beyond what we needed, but ... Read More
Let me start of by saying that I would take this trip again in a heart beat. I traveled with my dad and two children (my husband did not attend), it was a blast! My dad booked us an Owner's Suite which was beyond what we needed, but was great. The deck was huge, and the kids could fit friends in that they met on the way. We went on a week where there are many kids on vacation from school (mine included)! There were teenagers and children roaming the ship, pressing our doorbell, and running around. There were announcements made but it wasn't bad. What would you expect on a school vacation week? The embarkation was the easiest yet! First off, since we booked a suite, there were special security and identification lines. The whole process took about ten minutes tops. We boarded the ship to hear it would be another hour until our rooms were ready, so we went to the Windjammer (cafe on the ship) for lunch. It was packed, but there is a special seating for gold cards or suites guests in the Portofino of the Windjammer. We next headed out to the pool (which there is also special gold card seating). lastly, before entering our room, we went to check out the arcade and the children's' facilities. They were amazing and much bigger than the facilities on the Voyager, Adventure, and Explorer of the Seas. There was not a kids' pool, but my kids never enjoyed that anyway. It was a shady pool in the back of the ship. The water slide in that beach was only open two hours a day. That's why they made the Adventure Ocean as big as the facilities on the Freedom Class of Ships. The arcade was great too, except, make sure to limit your children if you give them a charge card (almost like a debit card in your ID card). My daughter spent so much money on the claw machine, but it was her money, so it was okay. For those planning on booking a suite, the Grand Suite is huge, so the Owner's Suite. The Grand Suite's bed splits, but the Owner's Suite doesn't! My dad checked several times it did, but it doesn't. Me and my older daughter ended up sharing a bed, but that isn't bad. The service was great, and the dining room was so fun to be in. We did the six o'clock seating in the Nutcracker Dining Room. It was fun. Big family tables are on the windows so we got an interior table, but it was next to my two daughter's friends' table. It was nice. Our waitress Pia was great, and our assistant was great, but I just can't recall his name at the time... he was great with the kids. My children are 10 and 11, and they made so many friends. They may have had more fun than me. They were self sign outs (available to parents, if they want, for there 9-11 year olds'). This allows the kids to sign out of the club if they want. A great system I used was having them leave a voicemail in the room. You type in the room number at one of the phones by the elevators, and you can leave a message. My children loved the Promenade. They had shops, candy, sales, and free pizza and hot chocolate (I don't know why the kids' liked that in the Caribbean, but whatever they like)! They had a pay for Ben and Jerry's ice-cream, but it was still worth it. The ports were great too. In St. Maarten we went to Orient Beach with Beach Rendevous Excursion. In St. Kitts it was raining so we stayed on the boat. In San Juan we docked in Old Town and my daughters and I went shopping. In Labadee, we booked a cabana. The timing was all messed up though because the Explorer of the Seas (also at the port) had not changed their clocks back, but we had. Everything was cool though. The upgraded lunch was amazing, yet there was a long line. The kids' watermark was also fun... and wet, so sit of to the side under the big tree. Everything about the vacation was great. The suite guest Concierge Club was great, the beaches were great and the experience with the kids was great. I would do it again! P.S. Go to floor twelve aft, and there is a super cool bridge you can walk! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
This was our first cruise so we really didn't know what to expect. Prior to cruising I had done lots of research on price and the different cruise lines. Cruise Critic was an invaluable source of information as I prepared for our ... Read More
This was our first cruise so we really didn't know what to expect. Prior to cruising I had done lots of research on price and the different cruise lines. Cruise Critic was an invaluable source of information as I prepared for our first cruise. I was able to book an eight night cruise out of Fort Lauderdale on Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas for just under $400 per person. I ended up booked a guarantee inside cabin, but was upgraded to an ocean view cabin on the second deck. When we found out about our cabin location we were thrilled to get a window, but We were a bit concerned about the possible noise since our room was close to the engines and just below the main dining room. We never heard any sound from the dining room above us and the engine sound was limited to a slight constant rumble (like the sound you hear riding in an airplane). We noticed the engine sound when we stepped into the room but since it was constant we quickly were able to totally block it out. We did notice some loud banging noises in the mornings. Some of these were when the ship docked since we were close to the water line we could hear the ship being tied to the dock. We also noticed another bang sound in the morning that we think was due to water being turned on and off in the showers in the cabins near us. I say this because my wife said she heard it loudly when I turned on our shower one morning. Overall however, these bangs were nothing to really bother us. At most they lasted for less than an hour first thing in the morning and were only a few times during that time period. Since it was our first cruise I really don't have anything to compare our cabin with. I will say it was small. But I was expecting that. the bed was supposed to be a queen bed, but it seemed larger than that to us. In addition to our bed our cabin had one easy chair and one desk chair at the built in desk. The bath was tiny but big enough to do what you needed to do in there. The TV was old and small (they really need to upgrade to flat panel monitors). Overall out cabin was fine. The ship was amazing. First off it's HUGE!!!!!! we often caught ourselves having to remember we were on a ship. We loved the Promanade which is a three deck tall shopping area that runs the length of the ship. We aren't much of shoppers but it was lots of fun to stroll along and just enjoy the people watching. Plus several times during the cruise they had parades or other party type events that ran along the pramanade. There were plenty of activities and things to do while at sea. We enjoyed the Solarium which is an adult only area with a pool, hot tubs and deck chairs. By adult only I mean that it was a place designated for adults to enjoy without having to deal with kids everywhere. The mini golf was fun too. We didn't try rock wall climbing but enjoyed watching those who did. There were a variety of lounges and other places to relax and enjoy a drink. I personally enjoyed the cigar bar very much. This space was smallish and very quiet. It was decorated with leather chairs and distinguished art. I loved it! The attendant did a great job of serving us when we wanted but left us along to enjoy our stoggies as we wished. I didn't buy any cigars on board, preferring to purchase some at the posts we were visiting. But I did notice that the prices posted on the cigar menu were very reasonable. The entertainment on board was fantastic. We loved the production shows and thought the concerts and special guest performers did a great job. I was wowed beyond belief by the ice show. That ice show was as impressive as any ice show I have ever seen anywhere. The ice rink was tiny which did limit a few things, but on the other hand I was able to have a seat one row off the ice with a perfect view of everything. As for the food as we were preparing for our cruise I had read several reviews about the food on Royal Caribbean stating that it was industrial at best. So honestly going in I was a little concerned by this. What we found was that it all depended on where you ate. We found that the Windjammer Buffet was noisy, crowded and served very institutional food. We didn't particularly enjoy the Windjammer so we avoided it. But we had fantastic experiences in the main dining room. We found that breakfast and lunch in the main dining room was enjoyable with great service a pleasant atmosphere. And dinners in the main dining room were wonderful. The food was consistently good and if you didn't like what you had ordered simply ask for something else. And the service for dinner in the main dining room was the best service I have ever had anywhere in my life! We felt totally pampered by our wait staff who knew our names and remembered our drink preferences after the first meal. Additionally we really enjoyed the little bistro that is on the Pramanade. They were open 24 hours a day and served pizza, sandwiches and some of the best rum raisin cake I have ever had. Several nights we had dinner in the main dining room then would go down to the bistro on the pramanade to grab a cup of coffee and some desert to go and enjoy them from a deck chair as we watched the sea go by. When I booked the cruise I booked at the last minute so I didn't have a choice of which dining we were to have. We were assigned late dining which means dinner was at 8:30pm. We were concerned about this at first since we normally eat at about 6. But we found that late dining was great. The advantage was that because we dined late we were not hurried when we got back from a shore excursion to get ready for dinner. We also found that on at sea days since early dining is the most popular we would have the pools and the deck chairs almost to ourselves after the early diners went to get ready for dinner. As for the ports of call. We thought St. Maartin was okay, as I mentioned we aren't shoppers but we did enjoy the beach. St. Kitts was fantastic (I booked a tour of the island from a vendor that I read about on Trip Adviser. I saved a lot of money over choosing the cruise line tour and I found that the service was better). San Juan was lots of fun, we simply enjoyed walking around the old city. The only thing about San Juan that was a bummer is that Royal Caribbean had some sort of stink with the stink so now Royal Caribbean ships dock there really early in the day (7am) and leave mid afternoon (2pm). As a result when you get off the ship most things aren't open yet and you only have time to really enjoy one thing before its time to get back on board. Before our cruise I really didn't know what to think when I saw that we had a stop in Labadee Haiti, they call it an island but its really an peninsula on the main land. I imagined abject poverty and total destruction. What we found was that Labadee was a very well thought out resort area. It was a great place to enjoy the beach for free. You could pay for an over priced zip line ride or an equally expensive coaster type ride. But really the best thing to do was just to swim and enjoy the beach. There was also a Haitian Market area that had some highly screened locals selling stuff. As I have said we aren't shoppers so that didn't appeal to me and from what I saw the vendors were very pushy. Royal Caribbean provides a buffet BBQ on shore at Labadee which was really good. The price of this buffet is included in your ticket. The only thing disturbing about our visit to Labadee was that occasionally if you walked close to the fence you would see people begging for food on the other side of the fence (I know that's a reality of Haiti but it was hard to see). We had a great time on our cruise. We thought the staff did a great job of taking care of us and we found the ship to be everything we had hoped it would be. One thing I found out as I talked to people on board is that as a Cruise Critic member we could have signed up for the "Cruise Critic Crawl" where cruise critic members get a chance to see the different cabins on board and to tour the ship. Next cruise I will make sure to sign up for this. I had no idea about it until the day after it had happened. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
This is our 4th cruise with Royal Caribbean Int'l. We have sailed on the Navigator three of the four cruises and loved each and every one. This cruise began in Ft. Lauderdale, and yes, we did our muster drill, with two days of ... Read More
This is our 4th cruise with Royal Caribbean Int'l. We have sailed on the Navigator three of the four cruises and loved each and every one. This cruise began in Ft. Lauderdale, and yes, we did our muster drill, with two days of cruising toward St. Maarten. Warm sunshine, fun activities, plentiful deck chairs and drinks made the days roll by much too quickly. Our St. Maarten port of call was fabulous. Take the full island tour visiting both the French and Dutch sides. Absolutely beautiful and our tour guide was wonderful. Our second port of call, San Juan, Puerto Rico was also a great stop with a trip to the Bacardi Distillery. Two free drinks and informative tour guides provide excellent history on this beautiful property. I just wish we had more time here. We came into San Juan around 7am and left at 2pm. I didn't get a chance to stop in at Senor Frogs! Our third port of call was the RCI beach at Labadee, Haiti. The merchants were fun and their handicrafts beautiful. The ships crew provided a scrumptious buffet lunch. Don't forget to try their jerk chicken. It's nice and spicy!! Yum! Our last day was another cruising day. I love the cruising days and after three port stops it's great to have a day to relax before heading home. The food on the ship was truly amazing. The staff attentive and so much to do you just won't get bored! If you love a truly to-die-for steak, you just have to have an evening at Chops! The crab cake and cheese and onion soup appetizers are delicious and the steaks melt in your mouth. Don't forget the Mississippi Mud Pie. OMG! It is wonderful.Our cabin was a superior ocean view with a balcony. I missed out on the suite this time. Our stateroom was well attended by our steward and the only thing missing were toiletries such as conditioner and lotion which would be nice. You get those in the suites and many other special treatments. Spend the $$. It's worth it. I enjoy the solitude of our own private balcony. Great place to read a book, or get away from it all. The Windjammer Cafe is the general buffet. It's really crowded, so be prepared to fight the crowd. We ordered in room service two mornings and the staff was right on time with our order and for room service the food was good too. It's hard to believe this time last week we were enjoying a great show!!! It's time to plan the next cruise vacation!!! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
This was our third cruise but our first without kids. We traveld with a group of 16 friends. All of us had cruised before. We were a little worried how we would enjoy ourselves without kids to add to the fun of the event but, we had a ... Read More
This was our third cruise but our first without kids. We traveld with a group of 16 friends. All of us had cruised before. We were a little worried how we would enjoy ourselves without kids to add to the fun of the event but, we had a great time.It seemed there was an older crowd on the ship and the fact that we cruised in January while school was in session probably limited alot of families and the young twenty somethings from going. This was fine with us. We are really dont enjoy watching young people get drunk and make fools of themselves while we are trying to relax. Most people on the ship seemed to enjoy dressing up for formal night and because they were older they were mannerly. If you had to sit with strangers at the lunch seating it was no big deal. Everyone we met was polite and even helpful with tips for our ports of call since we had never been to any of these ports It was a pleasure to sail with seasoned cruisers. We started our travels by flying from Atlanta to Miami and then taking a shuttle to Port Everglades. I was a little bit nervous about how that would all work out. My worries were for nothing !! We had reservations with JR transportation and they were there promptly waiting when we landed. We got to the port in plenty of time. We boarded the beautiful Navigator of the Seas around 1:30. This was our third cruise but our first on a ship this large. We were impressed with the decor and the helpful signs posted everywhere to help you find your way around the ship. Some of the ships finishes were a little bit worn but it was very clean and staff was friendly. We had an inside cabin and were surprised that there were actually plenty of hangers in the closet. The cabin had plenty of room for the 2 of us. I would still recommend bringing a few hangars along and a power strip to recharge cameras and phones. We had our swimsuits in our carry on bags so we could right away get out of our travel clothes and get relaxes on board. They had a very nice lunch served in the Windjammer cafe. We met up with most of our group there and spent a few hours exploring the ship. Then it was time for dinner. We had only one complaint and that was our group of 10 wanted to be seated together and the reservation had been messed up. We went to see the head waiter before dinner and were assured we would be taken care of. We helped things along by all 10 of us meeting outside the Nutcracker dinning room before dinner and going in all together to request a table for 10. Sure enough they took care of us. It seems this was the attitude we found on the whole ship if you just made your request clear and gave them a few minutes they took care of you. The food in a word amazing!!!!! We loved it. There was such a wide variety that even the pickiest eater could find something they liked. I found I enjoyed the appetizers almost as much as the entrees and usually ended up ordering 2 or 3 appetizers. The portions were just the right size so you could do that and feel totally stuffed. Our waiter Carlos and his assistant Miguel took excellent care of us. They were also pretty entertaining with their napkin folding skills and jokes. We had a great time at dinner every night. I also loved that at the conclusion of dinner Carlos went over the itinerary for the next day so if you had questions you could ask right then.Since this was our first 7 day cruise I was a little worried I would actually get bored with 3 days at sea. Man was I wrong. They had so many things to do on board. Our favorite was to relax at the Solarium on deck 11. It is a separate area for 18 and over only. There is a nice swimming pool and hot tub and plenty of lounge chairs both in the sun and shade. Another activity we were surprised to see was ballroom dance classes. They had a wonderful couple Oleksandra and Vasly who taught class every sea day. We have taken classes in the past and were surprised to see how they adopted lessons for all ages and knowledge levels on the ship. We went to 2 of the classes. The shows after dinner were one better than the next. We saw a great juggler, imagine juggling knives on a moving ship. That is talent. A great musical group called Tribute. The final show on the last night was the best with a variety of music from Broadway shows. The performers on the ship were really talented and seemed to be enjoying themselves. We would wander down to Boleros lounge after dinner to watch the dancing and were surprised to see the Oleksandra dancing with guests it was almost as good as a show by it self!! The cruise director Dan Dan the party man was everywhere. Always had a smile and would stop and answer questions.I tried out the rock climbing wall. That was more fun than I thought it would be. We were too busy to try the mini golf or in line skating rink. A big highlight was the indoor ice skating rink on deck 3. They put on an amazing show on every sea day. All the shows including after dinner shows are very popular so I would advise you to get there 30 minutes ahead of time and get a good seat. Also if you are going to the ice show bring a jacket it is real ice and it is really cold. They also used that ice rink for the Welcome back party for returning cruisers. That was very nice we really enjoyed the question and answer session Captain Tommy had at that event. The Navigator of the Seas orchestra was a pretty talented bunch of performers as well. You could find them playing at various events around the ship such s before dinner Jazz or a little big band music and dancing. We loved watching some of the older couples who were really good dancers at these events. We did also find time to go to the fitness center on deck 11. They had a really neat set up with lots of treadmills facing the ocean and TVs so you had a great view while you exercised. Overall I had a lot more fun than I thought I would and will definitely cruise Royal Caribbean again. I would not mind doing this exact cruise again.   Read Less
Navigator of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.3
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.5 4.2

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