16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Let me preface what I am about to convey by stating that I have been cruising since I was five years old when my grandparents (my grandmother is currently 89, still works as a travel agent, and has been on 108 cruises) first took me on the ... Read More
Let me preface what I am about to convey by stating that I have been cruising since I was five years old when my grandparents (my grandmother is currently 89, still works as a travel agent, and has been on 108 cruises) first took me on the S.S. Dolphin, and since then, I have been on approximately 35 or so cruises with approximately 25 of those cruises on Royal Caribbean. I am currently a Diamond Plus member of Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor loyalty program, and cruising on Royal Caribbean’s ships has been one of the great joys of my life. I have gone on a cruise almost every year of my life, and I typically bring groups of 15 or more friends and family members with me so they can share the joy I experience. With that said, I’ll discuss the Navigator of the Seas sailing April 24, 2016. We booked the Navigator of the Seas with a large group in order to celebrate my 35th birthday around January of 2015 - a full 15 months prior to sailing. My husband and I were hesitant in booking a Royal Caribbean cruise because of a medical incident on the Oasis of the Seas several years prior that resulted in us being disembarked early and how handled Royal Caribbean handled it, but because of my longstanding love and enjoyment with the cruise line, we booked along with twelve other friends and family members. Then, the worst possible thing that could have happened, happened. TWO WEEKS prior to sailing on the Navigator of the Seas, my husband gets a call from Royal Caribbean informing him that his reservation has been cancelled effective immediately (not my reservation). The associate, was unhelpful, rude, and provided no answers other than it related to the Oasis of the Seas sailing and that their Global Safety Team is prohibiting him from boarding the ship. I called after his conversation concluded with her, and I had the exact same experience. she was the end of the line and that there was no possible way to have this decision reversed – even after tears and begging and pleading just to even talk to someone else (apparently she does not have a supervisor, according to her). Yes, you could say we should have expected this possibility, but we honestly and sincerely thought that with my husband’s name and personal information in Royal Caribbean’s system for a full 15 months prior to sailing and without ever having received any notice related to being blacklisted that enough time had passed – 2.5 years – and that booking this sailing would be fine. Royal Caribbean’s decision caused significant strife in our relationship seeing that now, 2 weeks prior to sailing, I was faced with making a decision of either staying home with my husband or screwing over the other family and friends that had taken time off work, spent money, and planned a vacation at my behest. Ultimately, we made the difficult, but unavoidable decision that I would go and he would stay home, crushed from disappointment. To alleviate the situation as much as possible, we ended up purchasing plane tickets and hotel stays so that my husband could at least fly to Grand Cayman and Jamaica, two of the Navigator’s stops, to spend time with me and the group. Not an ideal outcome, but better than nothing Thank you for bearing with me to this point, but I thought it was important that you have the all of the background information. I’ll now discuss our actual cruise on the Navigator of the Seas, April 24, 2016. Just to mention, I actually sailed on the Navigator 3 or 4 times back when it was relatively new, and the ship, as I understand, recently went through renovations in 2014. To make this easy and clear, here is what was GREAT: • The boarding and disembarking processes are very smooth and quick. Even with long lines, we were able to board the ship with no more than 15 minutes of wait time. Disembarking was similarly easy. I am glad Royal Caribbean seems to have put in place a system that truly works. • The entertainment on Royal Caribbean is outstanding. The performers are amazing, the show storylines, direction, etc. are bar none. The ice show, Ice Dancin’, is my particular favorite. It is essentially the same story as when the ship was new in the early 2000’s, but the ice skaters and production staff put so much liveliness and energy into the show that it doesn’t feel as dated as it is. • The excursions and the employees who coordinate them are amazing. We were running behind for our Stingray City tour (due to an issue with the tenders) in Grand Cayman, and the ship staff rushed us to the next available tender, called the tour operators, and made sure we made the tour. • The pool band and pool entertainment were top notch as always. They have even found new ways, in addition to the traditional belly flop contest and sexy man contest, to keep everyone excited and energized. • The food in the Windjammer Café has also improved. On this trip, I found more options and even better (more flavorful) food than on previous trips. Royal Caribbean is clearly stepping up its game for the people who choose to dine outside of the dining room. • Aesthetically, the ship looks beautiful. Royal Caribbean did a phenomenal with the renovations, and the ship looks clean and brand new. Here is what was NOT SO GREAT: • While the ship’s appearance was for the most part flawless, there were odors throughout the hallways. The odors were pervasive and put simply, smelled like sewage. • We ate in the dining room every night of the week. It is clear that Royal Caribbean has implemented drastic cost cutting measures. Whereas in the past, a server would have two or three tables max, the servers now seemed to have 4 or more tables. As you can imagine, this greatly slowed down dinner service. The issue was the same with the dining room bar server. Instead of formerly having 5 or 6 tables, now there would be 1 person assigned to vast areas of the dining room. On some nights, we would not receive our cocktail until the entrée was served – and it was to no fault of the bar server, he was great and working as efficiently as possible. This increased workload for the servers resulted in a complete lack of relationship building that normally happens with your dining room waiter. In the past, the servers would know everyone’s name, engage with everyone, and even know some of your personal likes and dislikes by the end of the cruise. This is no longer the case. Additionally, our busboy, who was splendid, seemed so frazzled trying to handle all of the tables that he even dropped my butter knife on the floor and just put it back on my plate – unheard of on a Royal Caribbean ship in the past. I think the ship’s automatic gratuities, while convenient, do not encourage the dining room staff to outperform the bare minimum. On a side note, the other half of our group had a different server and busboy, and their experience was the exact same, so I do not believe our experience is isolated. • Speaking of bar service, now that the ship offers unlimited drink packages, bar service and bar availability have noticeably deteriorated. I think now that the bartenders no longer receive per-drink gratuities, they no longer seem interested in providing top-notch service. Every drink ordered seemed like a chore instead of a chance to bond and enjoy the exchange as it used to be. In previous years, the pool would have cocktail servers roaming around, offering the day’s frozen drink in a souvenir cup – all of that is gone. For example, on a previous cruise, we had a pool bar server named affably “Dr. Feel Good.” Talking to him and ordering drinks from him was one of highlights from that trip. He always made everyone laugh and kept everyone happy. Again, gone are those days. • The ship’s WIFI is a joke. Do not spend the $20 per day on it unless you absolutely have to. The internet hardly worked anywhere on the boat. Unless your entire cruise was going to be spent on the Promenade, the Windjammer, or parts of the casino, it is a complete waste of money. The signal constantly had to be reset to work, and IF it did work, it was incredibly slow. I understand the technology limitations while being at sea, but don’t sell a $20/day product that is mediocre on its best day. • I was also surprised to see that the nightclub, formerly on Deck 3 by the showroom, has been turned into cabins. On previous trips, some of our best memories were in that nightclub. Now, the only place to dance and listen to music after 12:00-12:30 AM is the Cosmopolitan Lounge (the top deck, surrounded by glass). While this venue is nice, it does not offer the same experience by any stretch of the imagination. On a side note and interestingly enough, the casino (and all ship bars except the one lounge) closed by 1:15-1:30 almost every night of the week, and it wasn’t because the casino was empty, the casino staff actually shut down and asked everyone to leave. Maybe this is how the ship casinos are operated now, but it was certainly a surprise to me based on my previous cruise casino experiences. • With a handful of exceptions, the ship’s crew and staff generally seemed tired and disinterested. In the past, all crew and staff would smile, wave, engage with you, etc., and now, the ship employees couldn’t seem to even bother. For a person who has sailed with Royal Caribbean so many times, this was truly surprising. I do not know what Royal Caribbean’s business objectives are, but lack of customer loyalty, disregard for passenger experience, and cost cutting are clearly on the list. All of the little touches and attention to detail that made Royal Caribbean so special to me over the years seem to be completely gone. Based on what Royal Caribbean did to me and my husband alone, I will never sail with them again, but even had that not happened, I am deeply stunned and disappointed. Royal Caribbean always positioned itself way above the likes of Carnival and NCL, and now I would say there is no difference, except that Royal Caribbean is more expensive… and for nothing. At least with those other two cruise lines, you know what you are getting ahead of time and you are paying a fare commensurate with that expectation. I am and will always be an avid proponent of cruising, and it is now clearly time to partner with a company that I know will treat me and my family right, care for passengers, and provide the ultimate vacation experience. Adios RCCL Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was our first time cruising on Royal Caribbean. The staff did a great job and we really enjoyed the shows (especially Ice Dancing and Sound Collage). The Windjammer, which is the ongoing buffet was good for breakfast and lunch ... Read More
This was our first time cruising on Royal Caribbean. The staff did a great job and we really enjoyed the shows (especially Ice Dancing and Sound Collage). The Windjammer, which is the ongoing buffet was good for breakfast and lunch with great fries, burgers, hash browns, and omelettes. Bartenders were friendly and quick and bars were everywhere so you did not have to stand in line for very long to get a drink. Drink packages---depends on how much you drink but my husband was definitely happy with the beer and wine package. Food in main dining room was ok but nothing great and unless you wanted to pay extra you ate in same dining room every night unless you wanted to eat at the buffet. We had a room with a balcony but it was small and my teen daughter slept in a "bunk" on top of our king size bed--no fib! We went on a shore excursion in Jamaica to the Blue Waters Beach Club--a total rip off since they advertised free wifi but it was broken all day and untruths were told to us as to the reason and not even a partial refund. Catamaran and stingray trip in Grand Cayman was fabulous. My 16 year old daughter chose the water park in Haiti which was more for younger kids. All in all we had fun but it just was not Disney (of course it was half the price too). Toilet paper not refilled enough in public areas, lights out, plates and cups sitting around but again--you get what you pay for. We can't say enough about the friendliness of the majority of the staff and we would definitely consider going on Royal Caribbean again unless I can find a good deal with Disney :) Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Great cruise for a family with many ages of kids for over Spring Break. Ship was clean, most workers friendly, and many activities to chose from. I was surprised at how the ship did NOT feel crowded in comparison to last year's ... Read More
Great cruise for a family with many ages of kids for over Spring Break. Ship was clean, most workers friendly, and many activities to chose from. I was surprised at how the ship did NOT feel crowded in comparison to last year's cruise on the Freedom. I loved the pool and hot tub lay out on this ship as it was easy to keep an eye on my kids and find my friends easily. And, the live music on this ship was amazing! Lots of opportunities to sing along, dance, or just relax and enjoy. The only negatives were some of the servers in the dining room. Our waiter was snooty and made demeaning comments to two members of my group (two families together). Our table also had a bar waitress that was mean and grumpy. She cut off people at several tables around us and had a horrible attitude. On the other hand, our assistant waiter was nice and accommodating. She got an extra tip for her friendliness! My room steward was the best I've ever had. He was smiling every day and greeted us by name. He cleaned twice daily and asked a lot if we needed anything. He was awesome. Ports were pretty good. I enjoyed snorkeling in Grand Cayman (Cemetary Beach) and loved the Red Stripe Beach in Falmouth. This beach was relaxing but older kids got bored. Labadee is not my favorite island but I had a good day walking around & swimming. I think they need more excursion selections in Labadee and Falmouth. I guess I will have to try another cruise here to figure it out! ;) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
What made this cruise memorable was the group of family and friends we were with. And the Bon Jovi cover band. Other than that, the ship itself was below average on what we expect from cruising with Royal. Our stateroom attendant was ... Read More
What made this cruise memorable was the group of family and friends we were with. And the Bon Jovi cover band. Other than that, the ship itself was below average on what we expect from cruising with Royal. Our stateroom attendant was great and the staff at the schooner bar was the best I've ever encountered. Our head waiter was practically non existant. He would mumble "his recommendations" and took our orders. That was it. I've never had a waiter that didn't call us all by name or bring extra dishes for us to try. And twice the assistant waiter refilled water glasses with Sprite. the dinner menu has been the same across the fleet for far to long. A little variety would be nice. Activities around the ship were far and few between or all at the same time. It was a spring break cruise so of course it was going to be a full ship but it really seemed crowded. No one patrolling the pool deck. The one person we talked to about people saving chairs said he had "to go get his friend". Clearly not enforcing the rules. Still any day on a cruise is better than one not! 2 more booked and Loyal to Royal Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We brought our 6 year old twins on their 2nd cruise. We flew in late the night before and stayed at Riverfront Hotel the night before (booked through Priceline, very expensive because of Easter Weekend). We used Uber service from airport ... Read More
We brought our 6 year old twins on their 2nd cruise. We flew in late the night before and stayed at Riverfront Hotel the night before (booked through Priceline, very expensive because of Easter Weekend). We used Uber service from airport to hotel, hotel to port and port to airport without a hitch. We cruised on RCI's Navigator of the Seas to Georgetown, Grand Cayman, Falmouth, Jamaica & Labadee Haiti. We had 2 Sea Days. There were 2 formal nights. Food was just ok, bland when they are cooking for so many people. We ate in the main dining room 4 out of 6 nights, windjammer for breakfast and lunch most days and Izumi for one dinner (a la carte). They were pushing the other specialty dining packages & Johnny Rockets but we just didn't feel like spending the extra money. We did have the premium beverage package, which was great. We had a BOGO special, or otherwise not sure if I would have purchased it. Only other comment on the food-hard to find anything after 10pm and room service was sub-par offerings and wait time was about an hour. We took one RCI excursion in Grand Cayman to the Turtle Farm and it was amazing. We booked a private tour in Jamaica and just enjoyed the relaxing beach break in Labadee. Only complaint about Labadee was the artists were aggressively trying to get our business when we were walking to the inflatable/sport area. Service was great on the ship. I never experienced any cleanliness issues. Our cabin was fine for our family of 4. We had an interior cabin on Deck 8 with 2 pullman beds (bunks) above our queen bed. I felt like there was plenty of storage, and I liked the shower having doors instead of a curtain! The kids loved their Adventure Ocean program, and would've gone every waking moment if it was available. We loved it because it gave us a few breaks throughout the day, which is always welcome! The entertainment was so-so. There was a Bon Jovi cover band one night that was amazing. The ice skating show was fun. The other main entertainment was average and we didn't go to any of the comedians. The pier was definitely the most outdated one I've ever checked in (this was our 6th cruise, 2nd with RCI). I'd say embarkation was about 30-45 minutes, we arrived around 11:30. We chose self-assist for debarkation and again that maybe took 45-60 minutes but only because they only had like 2-3 customs people working. We were at the airport by 7:30 am. On a side note, however our return flight from FLL on SW was canceled and we ended up having to rent a car to drive back to Ohio which was not so fun. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was my 10th cruise and 5th with Royal Caribbean. We had been on Voyager of the Seas in 2008 so it was our 2nd Voyager class ship. This was our 13 and 16 year old sons first cruise. Hotel info-We flew in a day early and stayed at ... Read More
This was my 10th cruise and 5th with Royal Caribbean. We had been on Voyager of the Seas in 2008 so it was our 2nd Voyager class ship. This was our 13 and 16 year old sons first cruise. Hotel info-We flew in a day early and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express on 17th. Didn't care much for the hotel but you can't beat the location to the port- about 5 minutes away. Embarkation was relatively quick and easy. We arrived about 11:00 and we on board by 11:30. Cabins were ready about 1:00. Ship info- It is very easy to get around the ship and never takes too long to get from one place to another. Yes, the elevators can take a while sometimes but never too bad. My husband and sons spent a lot of time on the sports deck. They all play basketball and were all able to play in some games and tournaments. They play soccer as well but open play soccer was always way too crowded. They enjoyed mini golf, the rock wall, ping pong tables (there are 2) and the flow rider. The flow rider has a small amphitheater where you can watch the "surfers". We enjoyed the outdoor movies by the pool although the movie selection wasn't great. They also show sporting events (NCAA Elite 8) by the pool. My experience with deck chairs on sea days has always been bad and it still is. This rule about only saving a chair for 30 minutes or your items will be removed isn't enforced. I got up to see the sunrise at 7:15 on our first day at sea and dozens of chairs already had towels on it!! I was just looking for 1 chair one day and walked the ship for about 20 minutes before I could find one. The fitness center is very nice and never seemed overly crowded. Service- All aspects of service were excellent. Very hard working and friendly staff. Entertainment- This was just so-so for us. We really enjoyed the comedians but they only appeared 2 nights.The ice show is also really good. But none of the other Broadway style shows appealed to us. Dining-We ate breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer everyday. We never had trouble finding a seat. While the breakfast offerings are the same each day there is so much to choose from we never tired of it. Lunch also had great variety. While the Main Dining room meals were fine I feel like it's no longer exceptional like it was in the past. It almost feels like they toned the quality down a bit to secretly encourage people to go to the specialty restaurants. I also found serving sizes to be quite small. Which isn't really a problem because we could just order a second entree if we were still hungry. We chose My Time Dining which was very disappointing. Each night they had 2 desks where you could check in. One was for guests with reservations and one was for guests without reservations. The line for those with reservations was at least 15 minutes long (just to get to the desk) while there was no line for guests without reservations. I observed also that they would usually be seated right away while we waited and waited. It really made no sense to me and I will go back to traditional seating in the future. Ports- Labadee- We love Labadee! It's so nice to have an easy and cheap day at the beach. It's a lovely spot. We took our time getting off the ship and I worried that we wouldn't find any chairs but there was plenty still available. There was 8 in our group and 5 of us had all day dragon coaster tickets ($35.75). We parked ourselves on Adrenaline Beach right near the entrance to the coaster. It was also right next to restrooms, a bar and lunch. It was perfect because our party easily did the coaster 10 times each. They loved the coaster and the views it offered. Lunch was great- burgers, dogs, ribs, chicken, corn on the cob, salads, rolls and dessert. We also rented a floating mat ($19.75). Grand Cayman- We love 7 mile beach so we spent our time there. We took a taxi ($5pp) to Public beach which is a free beach and they have all the amenities that you can pay for (umbrella, chairs, water sports, food etc). We decided to walk down to Governors Beach and stayed there. This is a very quiet spot but just we we wanted. We walked across the street and grabbed the bus back for $2.50pp. Falmouth- The port area is brand new and very nice with lots of shops and hand crafted goods. We did the Chukka Zipline at Rose Hall excursion through RCCL for $114pp. This was a GREAT choice. The tour guides made the day so fun. It was a great experience that allowed us to see lots of Jamaica. Disembarkation- We had a flight at 11:30 so we chose to do self express departure so we were the first ones off the ship and carried our own luggage. This was smooth and very fast. We had final call from the windjammer at 7:10 and ran back to get our bags. By 8:20 we were through security at FLL (we were not checking any bags). Port Everglades is a great port to sail out of simply because it is so close to the airport. Summary- This is a great choice for a cruise! I really love Voyager class ships- just the right size and lots of amenities. We are trying out Oasis next year so I am curious to see how it compares. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We flew from Newark to Fort Lauderdale the day before the cruise and stayed at the Hyatt Place. It was a very nice hotel, free breakfast, airport shuttle ($2 per room-not per person) and everything else you need within walking distance. ... Read More
We flew from Newark to Fort Lauderdale the day before the cruise and stayed at the Hyatt Place. It was a very nice hotel, free breakfast, airport shuttle ($2 per room-not per person) and everything else you need within walking distance. They offered a shuttle to the pier for $7 per person. This was my 14th cruise, 4th time on the Navigator. I picked this ship for a few reasons with the main reason being the price. We got a great deal during tax season last year where we paid no taxes or port fees and also it was bogo 1/2. I also love the Voyager class ships and the port stops were good. Getting on the ship was longer than usual. We arrived around 12:00 to a long, windy line of people waiting to check in. It seemed worse than it was because I think it was only 20-25 minutes long. Once inside, we were quickly checked in and on the boat. Once 1:00 hit we went up to our rooms and noticed a gross smell in the corridor. I've had this sewage smell before but it usually subsides mid-cruise. The hallway seemed to have an odd smell every day but thankfully, it stayed in the hall and not in our rooms. Throughout the week, I really can't complain about the food. We ate in the Windjammer only on Day 1 for lunch and the rest of the time we ate in the dining room for breakfast and/or lunch as well as one day at Johnny Rockets. Even though the menu has been the same for quite some time, I only cruise once a year so I'm fine with it. The service in the dining room was great. We had my time and were lucky enough to have the same table every night. The entertainment was pretty good, some I've seen before The ice show was the same but they did have a guest skater and she was fantastic. They had the typical love & marriage, the quest, two comedians and broadway-type shows. They had acappella group during the week who were really good. The casino was not very generous to us and it was so smokey but we were there usually once a day. Bingo was not very crowded surprisingly but I noticed that other than the compass, it's not advertised. I've been on cruises where the cruise director would announce things going on all day long and can say I don't ever remember hearing him. As much as a cruise director doesn't make or break my cruise, they can add a little something and this guy did nothing for it. The ports were nice. I'm not a fan of tendering but this wasn't too bad in Grand Cayman. Last time we were there (2 years ago) we waited for almost an hour to get a tender back to the ship. In Falmouth we just got off to shop and check out Margaritaville. And Labadee is just a beautiful beach day. The weather was decent the whole week. We decided to carry our own luggage off the ship to try to catch an earlier flight instead of waiting until 1:00. We walked off at 6:45, were at the airport around 7:30 and caught the 9:19 flight with no problem. In summary I will say that cruising is still a great vacation, am already looking for 2017 cruises and would gladly hop on the Navigator again (although I think she will be in another country starting this summer). Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Cruised with a group of 8 people. This was the 9th cruise for my wife and myself. Embarkation was a disaster. Arrived at the port at 11 am only to wait almost 2 hours to process onto the ship. Was told that this was due to previous ... Read More
Cruised with a group of 8 people. This was the 9th cruise for my wife and myself. Embarkation was a disaster. Arrived at the port at 11 am only to wait almost 2 hours to process onto the ship. Was told that this was due to previous cruisers refusal to leave the ship. On the whole the ship is still in good shape but does show signs of a lack of maintenance in some areas, specifically the bathrooms. On 3 occasions I visited men's rooms that had non working toilets or sinks. Cruise mates had a non functional toilet in their cabin for 4 days. Food in the main dining room was OK but not great. Windjammer was passable for breakfast and lunch. Ice show was outstanding. Adult comedy show was also very good. RC seams to be selling more alcohol packages and cutting back on bar staff, service was slow at bars through out the ship. Children were allowed into two different bars during the cruise and remained under foot for over an hour each time. Cabin was not cleaned for the first day of the cruise. Was informed that it had been the room stewards last day. After that the new steward (Jose) did a fantastic job for the remainder of the cruise. Crew was cordial all over the ship. Pool staff at the main pool and solarium did a good job clearing spaces for people to sit. Disembarkation was very quick. We took our own luggage off and cleared customs in under 30 minutes. Would recommend that RC change up the menu and cut back on vendors try to upsell in the main dining room. If it hadn't been for the enthusiasm and friendliness of the crew I would have rated this just average. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was my 7th cruise with Royal Caribbean and 20th overall. I'd been looking forwarding to sailing on a Voyager class ship for some time because a travel agent friend had raved about the Mariner OTS. My husband and I thought the ... Read More
This was my 7th cruise with Royal Caribbean and 20th overall. I'd been looking forwarding to sailing on a Voyager class ship for some time because a travel agent friend had raved about the Mariner OTS. My husband and I thought the Navigator was absolutely beautiful and did not disappoint. We never felt "crowded" except in the Windjammer which we didn't frequent often, except for a couple of lunches. We chose My Time Dining (for the first time), and really liked it. We usually ate between seven and eight o'clock, and were seated in the same section each evening, being served by the same wait staff who were extremely attentive and friendly. We thought the selections and quality of food were very good, and the portions just right. We also ate breakfast and lunch in the dining room several times. Being night owls, we wish there had been another option other than Sorrento's after Windjammer closed. The comedy team of Alfred and Seymour from L.A. was totally awesome, as was Basile. We missed the comedy show on the first night and that was a good thing because we caught it on TV the next morning, and the little we saw was thumbs down all the way. Lining up in the morning for tickets to the Ice Dancin' show was well worth it because it was incredible, especially the quick-change routine by Katrina and her partner. I did notice that there was no Reggae and steel band music onboard. Too bad - especially since we were sailing to Jamaica! We'd been to Ocho Rios before, but not Montego Bay, so we took a RCCL tour there and stopped in at Bigg's on the water where we tried Jamaican jerk chicken and a couple of Red Stripes. Our tour guide, Niki, was very knowledgeable and entertaining, too! The reasons we're giving only a four-star rating are: 1) because embarkation and disembarkation were not good at all. There was no signage or assistance of any kind with regard to priority boarding. After standing in a very long line for about ten minutes, I made my way to someone in a uniform close to the entrance to discover that priority boarding was, in fact, available but you had to go on a treasure hunt to find it. Although we were informed that we'd be getting off the ship by 8:15, we didn't get off and make it through customs until 10:30. 2) for whatever reason, some of the bar tenders seemed tired and not at all happy to be onboard serving customers who are obligated to pay an 18% tip without so much as a 'thank-you' or a smile in return. Would love to see less smoking areas, and replacement of Evian water with Dasani. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean since 1984 and it was our 8th cruise in total. We travelled from Canada with my husbands elderly parents. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale the day before our cruise and to save money we stayed at ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean since 1984 and it was our 8th cruise in total. We travelled from Canada with my husbands elderly parents. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale the day before our cruise and to save money we stayed at the Motel 6 in Dania. It was clean and had reasonable rates - we were pleasantly surprised. Our embarkation in fort Lauderdale took over an hour which we were not used to having sailed mostly with Princess and their process was noticeably faster. The ship is lovely but their attention to detail was lacking in a few areas (ie. no chocolates on your pillow; no champagne waterfall; little access to food later on in the evening at the Windjammer which closed early; no blankets, chair pads or popcorn while watching movies under the stars to name just a few and comparing with Princess ships). The public areas were very nice and well maintained. We did not have great weather during our cruise which affected some excursions were wanted to take in Grand Cayman and it did not go over very well that we missed the Labadee Port due to protests by the locals. Our cabin steward was exceptional....thanks Mary Grace. We had one of the Promenade Staterooms on Deck 8. It was lovely with a window seat to sit and look over the people on the Promenade. We were pleased that these rooms were very quiet and had plenty of room for two. We were disappointed with the food. The quality just didn't seem to be what we were used to. It seemed to be always the same offerings at the Windjammer. The Dining Room we expected would be better but it was just OK, nothing special exccept for the night we had lobster. We did have a great meal at Giovanni's though. We enjoyed the nightly entertainment but our favourite was the Ice Dance show. It was amazing what they could do on such a small ice surface. Wished we had gone more than just the once. Even though the casino was smoky we did enjoy our time 'making our donation', especially since we did not have great weather for spending time outdoors. The disembarkation process was a bigger nightmare than the embarkation. We even walked off the ship with our luggage to save time but the lineup was crazy long and they only had two customs officers processing the bulk of the passengers. Having said all of this we did have a good time despite the challenges. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
My husband and I have cruised before, but this was our girls' (ages 8 & 6) first cruise, and our first cruise with Royal Caribbean. We were delighted. The food and service at Sapphire was excellent. Every night there would be a ... Read More
My husband and I have cruised before, but this was our girls' (ages 8 & 6) first cruise, and our first cruise with Royal Caribbean. We were delighted. The food and service at Sapphire was excellent. Every night there would be a fruit salad waiting for my girls and even though a children's menu was available, my girls ordered off the main menu and to my surprise, ate everything! The self-serve soft ice cream on the pool deck was probably the highlight of their trip! The food at Windjammer offered a great variety of choices, and my vegetarian husband was pleased that there was always something new for him to try! It can get a bit crowded there, however, and finding a table was sometimes an adventure. Although I had read some reviews regarding the age of the ship, I never found it to be rundown or decrepit. I absolutely loved all the beautiful artwork that was displayed all over the entire ship. My only complaint is that on several occasions, the public bathrooms were closed for maintenance causing a frantic search for a working one. On one occasion this was the case right before the skating show and after checking a total of 4 floors - all of which had the bathrooms closed, we had to go all the way back to our room, causing us to be somewhat late for the show and missing out on getting better seats. The ice show was terrific, however, and we enjoyed seeing it very much. We had a wonderful time on this cruise and would definitely sail on this ship again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
After reading the reviews about the Navigator, we were really concerned about our upcoming cruise and worried that we had made a mistake, however, we were pleasantly surprised at how nice the ship was and how friendly and welcoming the ... Read More
After reading the reviews about the Navigator, we were really concerned about our upcoming cruise and worried that we had made a mistake, however, we were pleasantly surprised at how nice the ship was and how friendly and welcoming the crew was. My husband and I traveled with our 14 and 17 year old girls for a 6 night cruise over Christmas. We arrived at Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale at around 11:30 a.m.. Everyone greeted us in a friendly manner and there were no lines so we got on the ship shortly after we arrived at the Port. Our cabin wasn't ready (but this was no surprise since this was our 15th cruise and this has been the case on every one) but the Windjammer was open and the food was ready for us to have lunch. The food on this cruise wasn't the best that we've ever had but there was a good variety and it was always fresh. We chose to eat at 3 specialty restaurants (Sabor, Izumi and Chops) for dinner and we enjoyed all 3 and thought that they were worth the extra money. We were asked several times if we wanted to book a specialty restaurant (while we ate in the dining room) but once we said that we had already booked or that we weren't interested, they politely said thank you and left us alone. When we ate in the dining room, the staff was always courteous, efficient and went out of their way to make our dinner an enjoyable experience. Our daughter is lactose intolerant and our server Nadia and the head waiter made sure that there was no dairy in any of her food choices. They even had a special lobster prepared for her, without butter. The man in charge of our beverages, Putu, did an excellent job making sure that we were never thirsty! We met Raquel, one of bartenders at the Bolero Bar, on our first day and she remembered our names and greeted us with a smile and great drinks every time we stopped by there. She took the time to chat with us and ask us what kinds of drinks we like so that she could serve us our favorites. Some of the reviews that we had read said that they had received poor service with the drink packages but we never felt this way. The only time that we had poor bar service was on the last sea day at the Sky Bar. We understand that it was very busy and a few of the bartenders were trying to get drinks made quickly but a few others had no interest in serving the passengers quickly or at all! We stopped in Grand Cayman, Jamaica and Labadee, Haiti. We only got off the ship in Grand Cayman and Haiti and had a wonderful time on both islands. We didn't enjoy the tender in Grand Cayman but the ride was short and we understand that this is sometimes necessary. Our cabin attendant, Berline, was great. She kept our cabin clean and often asked us questions about how we slept etc...She was visible and always greeted us with a smile. We had read reviews about how hard and uncomfortable the beds were and how flat the pillows were but we slept just fine. We went to a few shows and if I had to complain about 1 thing on this ship, it would be the entertainment in the theater and the piano bar, but it didn't ruin our experience on the Navigator, we just found other things to do. This was our first vacation away from home during Christmas and we felt as though the crew did a very nice job of keeping the Christmas spirit alive, with the decorations, music, caroling, Christmas cookies and cake etc....On our last day, we chose to walk off the ship with our luggage since we had an early flight and our girls are old enough to take care of their own luggage. We walked off the ship at 7:15 a.m., with no lines and no trouble at all. We have cruised with Princess, Norwegian and several cruises with Royal Caribbean, including on one of their biggest and newer ships, the Oasis (4 years in a row!) and we thoroughly enjoyed our cruise on the Navigator and would recommend it to others. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Well, this was not the best of the cruises we have been on. We have cruised previously on NCL (8), Celebrity (2) and Princess (1). We flew out of Halifax on November 13th on American Airlines to Philadelphia and then on to Fort ... Read More
Well, this was not the best of the cruises we have been on. We have cruised previously on NCL (8), Celebrity (2) and Princess (1). We flew out of Halifax on November 13th on American Airlines to Philadelphia and then on to Fort Lauderdale. I was not impressed with the plane for the second leg of the trip since the “recline” for the seats was about 2 inches! We had booked a room at the Holiday Inn Express, 1500 West Commercial Blvd in Fort Lauderdale. We got an excellent price for this hotel for the night and I discovered why. They do not have an airport shuttle because the taxi ride from the airport cost us $40.00. Then the cab from the hotel to the cruise port was another $35.00 so we will know better next time. Except for that the hotel was fine; really comfortable bed, clean, nice breakfast and friendly staff. We have only cruised one other time with Royal Caribbean and that was on the Allure of the Seas and we had no problems on that cruise. This time we had booked a Junior Suite so we were classed with the “suite” passengers (thank heavens). We got to the port around 9:40 AM and I expected to be allowed to enter the building around 10 AM. There were already about 30 people waiting outside the doors. At 10 AM, 10:30 AM, 11:00 AM, 11:30 AM, 12:00 AM and 12:30 PM the doors were still not opened for the passengers! By now there were hundreds of passengers queued up outside snaked around quickly installed barricades. We were given NO explanation, NO water and no seating for the elderly that had mobility issues. We were finally allowed into the building and through security only to find a COMPLETELY EMPTY waiting room! Why were we not allowed to go in earlier? The room quickly filled with the 2,000 + passengers and it was not a happy crowd. Then ONE man shows up and starts yelling information to the crowd. No P.A. system, no microphone, etc so basically three-quarters of the people could not hear him at all. Luckily the “suite” passengers were some of the first people allowed into the rooms to get our ID’s and room cards. But even that did not go well. Our clerk was from Port Canaveral and was not familiar with the set-up so could not find our cards. Then the picture taking gizmo did not work so we had to board the ship to get that done. When we headed to the boarding area we discovered that the ONE escalator was set for DOWN rather than UP so the passengers (who had just been standing around for over 3 hours) had to lug all their carry-on bags, etc up three flights of stairs…into another waiting room!!! It was past 1:30 PM by the time we got onto the ship. At least by the time we had our lunch all the cabins were ready. We were in #9314 and the cabin was very nice and only 3 doors from the elevators. So it was now 3:00 and we had to go to our Muster Drill at 5 PM. That was more standing around and once the demonstration was over the Captain decided to keep us standing around for 10 more minutes while he droned on about the weather, the distance to our next port, the position of the ship and more useless information before he “dismissed” us. Seriously? So, here are the pros and cons of this cruise (after the embarkation disaster): FOOD - Buffet was very good, lots of selection and always hot. Staff were excellent in this area and the only problem was they kept running out of the Lipton regular tea bags. Main Dining Room – we only ate here twice but both meals were very good and the staff again were wonderful. We had the prime rib and the lobster tails. Johnny Rockets - There is a $6.95 fee per person for this place and you have to pay extra for the milkshakes. The French fries were bland and my DH was not impressed with the onion rings either. I would not recommend this place. ENTERTAINMENT: The two comediennes, especially Gary Mule Deer were very good. The Ballroom dancing show was a big disappointment. The only real ballroom dancing was at the very end for about 5 minutes. ACTIVITIES – We enjoyed the mini-golf but they need to have bumpers around each hole as now the ball can go anywhere. The shuffleboard was also good and we did not use the surf rider or rock-climbing wall. CONS - The windows all over the ship are filthy, especially in the buffet area. Normally the balcony windows are cleaned on every cruise I have been on but not on this one. There were areas of mould on some of the ceiling tiles in the buffet too. Internet…forget it! To begin with it is grossly overpriced! $30.00 per day so $240.00 for the eight day cruise! The speed was slower than an old “dial-up” system so we did not bother getting it at all. Then, if you wanted it to print your boarding passes it was $14.95 for one hour. We decided to do that at the airport for free. Lots of issues around the ship due to the age of the ship (I guess). The bed in our cabin was hard and uncomfortable even with extra (requested) padding and the pillows were pathetic. They were either thin (two inches thick) or large and lumpy (chipped foam). The balcony door was very heavy and hard to open so it took two hands to manage it. The decorative tiles around the adult pool area were in very poor shape. These tiles were about 6 inches square and a lot of them were badly chipped and deteriorating so that walking on them was painful and possibly hazardous since you could be injured. Excursions- We booked our own excursions by getting a day pass at resorts in St. Kitt’s and St. Maarten. Labadee was very nice and we were able to get a (free) clam shell with no problem at all. We did not get off the ship in San Juan as we didn’t arrive until 2 PM. SERVICE – This was one of the good things on the ship. Our room attendant, Russel was very helpful and accommodating. Veysel and Errol in the main dining room went out of their way in all respects. The staff in the buffet were always friendly and the tables were cleared very quickly. CASINO – Another area that needs updating. Some of the oldest, saddest slot machines I have ever seen. We only went there three times: won twice, lost once. Disembarkation - At least they got this right. Very well organized and we were off the ship by 9 AM with no problems at all. Lots of taxis waiting. Trip to the airport was $20.00 including tip. Overall I would not recommend Royal Caribbean simply because they are highly overpriced for the quality of the cruise compared to other similar cruise lines. Apparently they are putting all their money into their new ships and leaving their older ones to rot. Although they are entertaining to watch, I do not need to pay a higher price for my cruise to have a surf rider, rock-climbing wall or ice-skating rink. We will go back to NCL or Celebrity in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
We've been on 6 previous cruises, and my wife and I are wondering if we are turning into "cruise snobs"! We are Diamond with RCI, and we have enjoyed the Mariner three times when the ship was brand new...once with our grown ... Read More
We've been on 6 previous cruises, and my wife and I are wondering if we are turning into "cruise snobs"! We are Diamond with RCI, and we have enjoyed the Mariner three times when the ship was brand new...once with our grown kids. This trip was our "family" Christmas/reunion trip with our 3 kids, so we splurged and got the Family Suite on the Navigator. What a beautiful suite it was...big screen TV, walk-in closet, and our personal favorite: Christmas music piped in through the overhead speakers in the room. Now, if RCI would just enforce their own policies regarding cigar smoking! Let's be clear, I enjoy an occasional cigar, but I am very aware where the smoke is going. The fellow occupying the balcony below us didn't care, or didn't hear the coughing from the decks around him. When I addressed the issue with EVERYONE I could on board, there was a general sense I got that the employees go to some kind of class to be able to look you into the eye...say they understand and will look into it, then don't. All except our wonderful Concierge lounge gal...she was the only one who said cigarette smoking was allowed on the balconies, but NOT cigars. Unfortunately, she was only able to give us one day (our last) on our balcony without cigar smoke. You would think the Asst Hotel Director, Floor Manager, Guest Relations would know the rules as well. Oh well. Our "meeting" with the future cruise consultant was a joke. All he wanted to do is be an order taker, not an order maker. Overall, there had been a massive crew change just prior to this sailing, and we were forgiving of the two days it seemed for all of the "parts" to be working. We seem to be noticing some changes with the food. Aside from our Server being dreadfully slow, the portions are getting smaller, the choices seeming to be getting more limited, the bread becoming colder, and where is the oh-my-gosh TASTE that was on our Mariner cruises 5 years ago? We went to most of the shows, the Comedian got ill, but our private sessions with fellow poster "What about Bob" made up for any void in the humor dept. That's the fun thing about any adventure, you have to make the most of it, and let the magic happen! The Ice Show was just fantastic. It was interesting to hear our kids "review" of the differences between their first cruise on the Mariner years ago, and this one. They noticed the food quality issues noted above, plus the following...pool towel deposit garbage, drinks watered down, no service from the Windjammer staff to speak of, etc. We thought it was just us, and we were turning into cruise snobs. But, maybe RCI is looking under every nook and cranny for a way to save money. Be careful! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
I hadn't been on a cruise for at least 15 years & wasn't entirely pleased with my past cruising experiences. I consider myself a well-seasoned traveler & found cruises to be boring. However, as I matured & started to ... Read More
I hadn't been on a cruise for at least 15 years & wasn't entirely pleased with my past cruising experiences. I consider myself a well-seasoned traveler & found cruises to be boring. However, as I matured & started to value convenience, I decided to give cruising another try. Our trip got off to a bad start when we arrived in Fort Lauderdale & my travel agency never bothered to book my pre-cruise hotel (although I had paid for it upfront). So we arrived at the hotel & but no reservation was made. Traveling with a special needs adult, I was quite upset. But the staff at the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel found us another room at another hotel. I still had to pay for another room, but things worked out. I'm calling my travel agency (AAA) to get this straightened out. Check-in was a breeze - we literally got out of the car & walked onto the ship. The porters took our luggage & the line to check in moved fast. In total, we probably spent 10 minutes checking in. Our balcony state room was well-appointed, a good size for 2 people. The bathroom was very small, but always had hot water & served its purpose. The beds were comfy & our stateroom attendant was wonderful. Overall, the service aboard the Navigator was impeccable. The food was also very good. The Windjammer buffet had a large variety, but it could get very crowded & seating could be hard to come by. There was also a smaller Asian buffet. Dinner was in the Swan Lake dining room. The service was incredible & the food very good. The portions were small, but delicious. If you want to gorge, go to the buffet. There was one midnight buffet, on the pool deck. It was set-up beautifully, but the line was very long. RCL has an extensive list of cocktails, ranging in price from $6.00 USD to $10 USD. We also had dinner at Portofino, one of the Navigator's specialty restaurant ($20 per person)& it was terrific. We had the shrimp & crab-meat risotto. The full-service restaurants have expansive wine lists. As for activities, there was something for every taste, from jewelry making to ballroom dancing lessons, plus the usual casinos & bingo. The bingo games were very expensive; we didn't gamble in the casino. The shows were first-rate, with very talented performers. We also enjoyed the parades on the Royal Promenade. The shops on board actually had quite a few bargains, especially with liquor. All in all, despite our rough start, this was a magical experience. We already booked our next cruise & look forward to traveling with RCL many times in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
I have cruised on several Royal Caribbean cruises and I want to say that I am very easy-going and positive person, but this cruise was a little disappointing. Some on the ship said it was because it had just returned from the Mediterranean ... Read More
I have cruised on several Royal Caribbean cruises and I want to say that I am very easy-going and positive person, but this cruise was a little disappointing. Some on the ship said it was because it had just returned from the Mediterranean for several months and that Royal workers had told them, that many had left the ship and they were just placing people into positions to try to fill them. Whatever the reason, the ship seemed boring,and many workers seemed tired. Boarding and Embarkation were a breeze, but then upon boarding we went up to get something to eat and the dining room was closed and not open for another hour. The sail-away party there was not even music playing because they were not ready .... They scheduled the "sail-away party" and a parade on the promenade at the same time, and if you had early dining you had to chose between which of the three to go to.... After that there was no need to choose because there was nothing to choose from. No impressive shows, just pulling people from the crowd and doing very low-cost shows.Seemed to be flying by the seat of their pants alot. Same line dancing with the same people at the pool everyday, just very repetitive. There was little entertainment the entire cruise if you did not drink or gamble. Yes, they had a singing and dancing show but very boring. There were 2 things to not miss, the ice skating show and some said the adult comedian was good,but he was late, and I missed him. The magic show was good. One night the headliner entertaiment was ballroom dancing. I overheard others on the ship comment that this seemed more like a Celebrity cruise for the 55 and over crowd. I found that it was for either partiers and gamblers....... or the over 55 crowd and very little to do if you were in-between those groups who wanted good, clean fun. Many said they would switch to Carnival after this cruise just for something to do! I was there for the relaxation,and pool, and made the most of it, but would not book this cruise again. I want to put people at ease about Falmouth, it was actually very beautiful and nice. Not completed... but I was pleasantly surprised! We did venture out past the protected gate about a block but that was it, after that I would have felt uncomfortable if not with a group. I knew of one family that "tipped" a police officer to escort them around the town. There was plenty of police protection but really not much to see. We took a trolley for $15 a person and they tried to make it a "tour" but really they were pointing out old cemeteries with brick walls and at one point said "if you stand up on your seat and hold your camera above your head you will get a picture of the graves inside". But we saw a 20 min idea of how the Jamaicans live in and around that port and felt safe. Grand Caymen we did a tour apart from Royal Caribbean and had a great tour guide named Rueben. For $20 a person we saw 2 1/2 hours of Grand Caymen including Hell, The turtle farm, Discovery Cove with the dolphins and the Rum Cake factory. He told us many interesting facts and answered all our questions.....we really enjoyed him, and the tour! We then went to Margaritaville and had 2 margaritas and a plate of nachos and our bill was $57!!! Labadee was absolutely beautiful!!! Favorite port! We did see the hungry children behind the barb wire fence when we were eating and found a way to throw food over to the children behind one of the cement bathrooms way to the back...... So sad that the cruise ship is unable to give the leftovers to the people of Haiti who are suffering so badly. My favorite beach was just to the left of where the "private cabanas" are that people who are in the suites can rent. It was a quiet cove with beautiful beach, and wonderful for floating on a mat that you can rent for $12 for the day. Lunch was ribs, hot dogs,hamburgers. Lots of do if you want to be busy..... or great for a quiet beach day. Haitians are VERY pushy to get you to buy from their stalls. Labadee is a paradise created by Royal Caribbean. Went to the Circus parade on the 70's day of the cruise...offered during the week on the promenade with my teenage son and was absolutely embarrassed. It was 5-6 half naked men all girrating on the rails above our heads. SO INAPPROPRIATE for "family entertainment" and not in a bar, but in the promenade with 800 children aboard. Poorly done as it was just so inappropriate and obviously thrown together.... what did that have to do with circus or 70's??? Seriously a male-stipper show with all the sleazy moves..... and if I had brought my young girls to that, I would have been horrified.... I wouldn't take small children to this activity if your going...... The pool musicians were not that great, in fact the key board player was off quite often and I wondered if they had just grabbed him to fill in for someone. He would play off key and then just keep going as if no one would notice....really irritating and unbelievable at times. Having cruised on other Royal Caribbean cruises the food was o.k...... but not fantastic. Promenade food good. Johnny Rockets was not open for lunch and too busy after 4 p.m. so never got to go. We were on the ship for Thanksgiving and the only thing "Thanksgiving-like" was turkey on the menu that night....,no Thaksgiving activites other than drink-specials in the bars. We made many wonderful friends, had fun but as this is a review...i hope that now that Navigator is doing the Western and Eastern Caribbean the entertainment,performers and others will greatly improve. "Dan-Dan the party man" was the cruise director and I really think he did not live up to his hype. Personal opinion. You know,,,,,,having just read my own review I guess I was more disappointed than I wanted to admit. We made the best of it and met some great friends, but what Royal Caribbean offered us on Navigator did not meet up to the other Royal cruises I had been on before. It's a cruise....if your already booked you can make the most of it, if you haven't I would look at another ship in the same class. Mariner, Voyager, any were better than this one. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
We have sailed with Celebrity, Princess, Holland America, Regent, Crystal, Oceans, and Asamara. This was a great deal and we got exactly what we paid for. We drove to the port from across the state planning to arrive around 1:00 P.M. as ... Read More
We have sailed with Celebrity, Princess, Holland America, Regent, Crystal, Oceans, and Asamara. This was a great deal and we got exactly what we paid for. We drove to the port from across the state planning to arrive around 1:00 P.M. as requested. We were in a traffic line to the port for 1 hour, bumper to bumper and then finally arrived in one of several lines to give our luggage to the staff. It was raining and the lugguge was placed in uncovered luggage carriers outside and there were many. The men went to park the car and the lots were full. A parking garage attendant moved some orange cones to allow him to park. That was the 1st and last nice thing to happen all day. We, me, my daughter in law, and granddaughter waited under a roof top with the rain and wind blowing at us until the men finally caught a shuttle. It took them one hour to go park and shuttle back. To enter the building required going through security and we had all the paper work the guys would need to clear security. Caution here, there is no accessable rest room until you are through security. We were in line for quite awhile although the person who checked us in was pleasant but had to go clear across the big hall to get our keys. Arriving in our stateroom, we took a look around. No note about steward and no one around. Left a note on the bathroom mirror to clean the glass shelves and left for something to eat. Later the note was gone but the rings were still there. I cleaned them in order to put my stuff away. Room had an odor and I asked them to deal with it. They agreed and said they would take care of it. It was a moldy, mildewy smell with bathroom odor as well. Bring your fabreze. It never went away. On the balcony you smelled smoke as they allow it. In fact all the bars smell smoky and the Irish bar is the worse. It smells up the halls. They even smoke in the casino. UGH! Buffets have normal food for buffets and it really isn't very good although in the evening they seem to have the same food that is served in the Dining Room. Our table partners were great and Raoul and Jesus took good care of us. They were the only bright spot on service with the exception of dinner in "Chops". Too bad it costs $30.00 each to eat there plus the wine. We left an additional good tip because the service was spectacular. Food in the dining room was like any banquet you have to go to. Lots of beige things and mystery items. They really could use some imagination. It seems this crew needs training on simple courtesy. They run into you, cut you off, walk in front of you and never say excuse me, please or thank you. They are borderline rude in some cases. The comedian was funny and we watched the show in the room on the television. We loved the ice show especially the lady with the hula hoops. I think I saw her on "America's got Talent" We had fun because we are a family and the one ship excursion we took in Jamaica was super. We climbed Dunn River Falls and then went to the Dolphin Encounter. There is nothing like being in the water with a dolphin and she even gave us all a ride. As I said, this was a great deal and we got exactly what we paid for. Would I go again at this price, probably but not at their regular prices. There are better options. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
My family and I just got back from a 6 day cruise on Navigator of the Seas. Overall it was a wonderful experience. We had a junior suite which is about 50% larger than a balcony room. It was a perfect size for our family. The room also ... Read More
My family and I just got back from a 6 day cruise on Navigator of the Seas. Overall it was a wonderful experience. We had a junior suite which is about 50% larger than a balcony room. It was a perfect size for our family. The room also has a walk in closet that would envy many in their home. We also had several other cabins including the connector to ours. We were hoping we could be able to open the balconies between the two rooms like we have done on Freedom of the Seas however we were told no. This was a bit disappointing since it was so great to have the whole family congregate on the balcony and the kids slept inside. We found out that the Captain makes this decision so it is different per ship. Though the room was a great size the bed needs something to make it more comfortable. It needs a pillow or foam top. We found it hard to fall asleep since it was so hard. Our daughter was enrolled in Aquanauts which was perfect for her. We were surprised she would like it since we just went on a Disney Cruise last month and she wanted nothing to do with their kids club. Since it was Thanksgiving week there were many children on the cruise but though that was the case Aquanauts wasn't too overwhelmed with children that the counselors could not attend to each child. All meals were great. We attended dinner each night in the main dining room. Once the server (Falcoa)realized what our likes and dislikes were he adjusted his service to accommodate us. I highly recommend to see Nicolae in Boleros (bar on deck 4)! His service was impeccable and really tried to exceed any guests needs he encountered. One guest in particular was our 4 year old daughter. Nicolae realized how much she loved Maraschino Cherries so each night when we stopped to listen to the music he made her a special drink. In addition anytime we saw Nicolae on the ship or in port we greeted us and always asked how we were doing. By the end of the cruise we exchanged emails to keep in touch with him. We had 3 ports, Grand Cayman, Falmouth, Jamaica and Labadee. Labadee was a pleasant surprise for us. We were anticipating something like Coco Cay in the Bahamas and it wasn't. It looks newly contructed with so much to do. You can ride the new roller coaster or hang in a hammock under a palm tree. Also there are many merchants however a bit pushy to buy their goods. Overall it was a great cruise. We have become a Royal Caribbean loyal customer and will be going on many more cruises with them. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
We took a great cruise to the western caribbean on Navigator. This was during the week before Christmas so there were a good number of kids on the ship - including our own (age 6 and 9). Embarkation was a little chaotic but moved ... Read More
We took a great cruise to the western caribbean on Navigator. This was during the week before Christmas so there were a good number of kids on the ship - including our own (age 6 and 9). Embarkation was a little chaotic but moved relatively quickly. We reserved a suite but there was no real priority boarding for us (as opposed to our experience with NCL which was much nicer). The ship is beautiful and in very good shape for being nearly 20 years old. Our room was in a great location (deck 10, midship) and was very nice. The food on the ship was only ok though. Dinners were occasionally good but, for instance, my salmon filet was dry and the selection was mediocre. We ate in Portofino once which was excellent. My 6 year old eats small meals all the time and we constantly had problems with her being hungry around 5PM and had no where to eat. It is tough to get to shows with first seating for dinner and kids (shows are often at 9P or later) but the ones we saw were forgettable. I was not impressed overall with the entertainment. The service overall was excellent! The kids suprised us and really enjoyed the Adventure Ocean camps. I am not sure why because it seemed a little lacking to me but it turns out the staff do a great job and the actificites are fun. We were under the impression they had their own pool area, but they do not (the newer RCL ships do though). In terms of ports, we first went to Grand Cayman. We like it here and arranged a horseback riding excursion on own own. The ship's excursion had a min age of 12 but the one we did (same place, I think, as the ship) had a min age of 5 so our 6 year old had her own horse! We loved it! We had them drop us off afterwards at 7 mile beach and hung out there until it was time to go back to the ship. The kids snorkled off the beach but there was nothing to really see. We had a tip though to go to the Paradise restaurant, which is near the dock, and to snorkle off thier beach. We did that and though there is no coral, the fish there were great and the kids loved it! We had to skip Jamaica unfortunately because of high surf. We had a day pass arranged with the Hilton Rose Hall whcih sounded great. Too bad.... Labadee Haiti was great, actually. I was afraid it would be too artificial. It was a little but the place is beautiful and we all had probably the bexst day of the trip there. We went to Barefoot beach, which is for suite guests only. The other beaches were beautiful but more crowded. We did not rent a cabana ($200 for the ones near the water, which did not seem worth it) but instead got under a little thatch umbrella and got chairs. This worked out great! No real snorkeling off the beach here either but had a great time. Went and did the Aqua Park with the kids which was an extra $15 each but worth it (and exhausting!!). Navigator of the Seas was a great ship and a little cheaper to book than the newer RCL ships. Overall we had a great trip and would recommend this itinerary to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
We sailed on Navigator of the Seas, an impressive ship, for five nights with our son (10) and daughter (5). We had a fantastic trip, enjoyed the sun, the ship itself, the food, and more...Our embarkation was smooth and easy. Once ... Read More
We sailed on Navigator of the Seas, an impressive ship, for five nights with our son (10) and daughter (5). We had a fantastic trip, enjoyed the sun, the ship itself, the food, and more...Our embarkation was smooth and easy. Once onboard, we had packed a carry-on of items to be able to enjoy the ship without having to wait for our luggage, which arrived before dinner. After exploring some of the ship, we headed right to the pool. The pools were beautiful! My only wish was that there was a pool for kids. The pool was deep and salty, and we should have had a tube for our daughter. The many adults sitting around it made it difficult to enjoy and swim. Our weather was simply perfect and we enjoyed our time swimming and sunning. Our children both loved the "camp" as we called it in Adventure Ocean. They begged to go back and this left my husband and I with some time to ourselves. Because of their hours, we spent time in the middle of the day together in the pool (on days at sea) but once they had enough of the water, the kids asked to go back to the camp. Our favorite feature was the time after dinner when the kids enjoyed time at the camp, with the new friends they made, while my husband and I enjoyed some time at a pub, seeing a show, or just sitting on the deck watching the sunset.The shows were fantastic! We especially loved the Ice Dancing, the comedian duo, and the magician. The pirate parade from the kids right before the comedians was such a treat! I felt so lucky to be able to enjoy a day of sun, swimming, followed by a delicious dinner, and a fantastic show. The dinners in the main dining room were delicious and plentiful. The wait staff was friendly, quick, attentive, and flexible. Contradictory to the reviews I have read, the food was delicious, fresh, and creative. The best way for us to enjoy the food the way we wanted to, was to have breakfast via room service, lunch from the Windjammer at the pool, and dinner in the dining room. The Windjammer was a bit of a disappointment in quality of food.Our Stateroom Attendants were so kind, attentive, and thorough. We trusted them and the kids even made them something special to remember us by. We loved the little towel-critters they left each evening.Our ports of call-- Grand Cayman and Cozumel-- were a hit all around. We especially loved Grand Cayman and the peaceful ocean with beach side snorkeling. The kids loved finding coral. However, keep in mind the restaurants are slow and expensive. I only wish I had researched my excursions more carefully, and then booked onshore. There were many, many to choose from for a fraction of what we paid. Choosing to visit a beach on either Island is a sure thing.While this review is positive overall, I have a few criticisms. First of all, everywhere we went, the ship was always trying to upsell us. There were auctions constantly in the Promenade, advertisements everywhere we looked, sales, sales, sales. We were constantly reminded to give gratuities to everyone we met. Drinks were $10 each, including gratuity. Even after we paid gratuity, we were given envelopes to give more gratuity. And when something did not cost extra, they called it "complimentary," as if the cruise itself hadn't cost a dime. This was the biggest surprise-- the amount of $$ we spent over five days above and beyond the cost of the cruise. Finally, I would highly recommend this cruise for families like ours--five days was just enough and the western Caribbean was peaceful and calm. Sometimes we forgot we were on a boat! Just gorgeous! Again, we felt so lucky and blessed to be able to enjoy this wonderful vacation! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
My husband and I cruised with RC to the Bahamas for our honeymoon years ago, and thought it would be the adventure of a lifetime to take our children on a cruise for spring break. Unfortunately, we expected RC to take the same care of ... Read More
My husband and I cruised with RC to the Bahamas for our honeymoon years ago, and thought it would be the adventure of a lifetime to take our children on a cruise for spring break. Unfortunately, we expected RC to take the same care of passengers now as they did in the 90s. We expected too much. There were a few little things and a few bigger things that eventually made this one of those "I wish it hadn't ended up like that" vacations. While the Navigator is a beautiful ship - very clean, with wonderful activities offered - we had some "let-downs" that, in my opinion, could have been avoided. Our certified vacation planner told us that we would have a connecting stateroom with our kids, and that we could even open up the divider on the balcony to make it one big area. Neither one of those things was accurate. Maybe some staterooms do connect, but ours did not - not a really big deal, just annoying to be told one thing and have something different be discovered upon arrival. Also, we had asked our vacation planner about the types of soda offered with the soda package. All she would tell us was Coke products. We all know that Coke makes MANY different varieties of soda. The soda package includes three - Coke, Diet Coke and Sprite. My guess is that RC wants you to assume you'll have many choices, when in reality, you only have 3! Again, nothing major, just something we would have liked to have known before purchasing the soda package. We also purchased a Pets at Sea package for my daughter as a special treat, because she wasn't old enough to do an excursion the boys would be doing. They made it seem a bit like Build-a-Bear, but the animals are nowhere near as cute, and there were only about 8 or 10 outfits to choose from. A bit of a disappointment for her.Most of the crew that we interacted with was incredible - helpful, attentive!! We had only one complaint about a crew member - our Asst. Waiter. He was so overwhelmed through dinner every night, that we spent several evenings with empty glasses and nothing to drink. After a long day in the hot Caribbean sun? Unacceptable. Even after asking for refills, he would forget. By the last couple evenings, I almost requested he leave a water pitcher on our table, so we could refill them ourselves! Port Labadee was our first stop. Here, our boys did the Dragon's Breath Flight Line. They loved it!! It was a bit expensive, but they thought it was incredible. The workers at the end who help you get off were a bit rude, but it was still a good experience.We also relaxed at the Arawak Aqua Park. It was fun - and funny - seeing everyone try to haul themselves out of the water to get on the inflatables!! What a riotous good time!The other gem of our visit was the Haitian Cultural Tour. It was something that we weren't sure we wanted to do, yet it ended up being our family's favorite part of the entire cruise!! Paradise Cove is just that - paradise! A quiet beach, with crystal waters, warm as a bath. It's a nice place to slow down and bask in the Caribbean sun! The cultural part was a bit staged, but still very interesting. I'm not sure everything being sold there was "manufactured" by the folks there, as we were told, but it was still an insightful visit.We scheduled the zip line first thing in the a.m. followed by the aqua park. RC provided a lovely buffet lunch, which we thoroughly enjoyed, and we still had time to take the afternoon Haitian Cultural Tour. A lovely day! (If you are a blood donor, keep in mind that you'll be deferred for a year after visiting Haiti - including Port Labadee.)Our second stop was Falmouth, Jamaica, which is being developed into a lovely, clean port. Greeters were very friendly and welcoming, helping to start the day off on a positive note!We had booked excursion FY55 - Catamaran Snorkel and Dunn's River Falls, and we expected WAY TOO MUCH! After a 1+ hour bus ride, seeing how very run down and not pretty much of Jamaica's north coast is, we arrived to minor chaos in Ocho Rios, where we waited for our catamaran. We sailed for about 10 minutes out to our snorkel site. It was way too close to other vessels, so sand and silt kept getting churned up. We could hardly see anything - of what little there was to see there to begin with.Our guide kept standing on the coral - something I always thought was wrong - to show us marine life he had picked up. He showed us a sea urchin that he proceeded to kill so we could see a fish feeding frenzy. I thought that was a bit disrespectful to the environment. There were way too many people on this particular catamaran tour, so as we "followed" our guide, everyone was kicking each other with their flippers. Overall, not an enjoyable snorkeling trip.We took the catamaran a short distance (during which we were harassed onboard to buy trinkets and beer and to have hair braided) to Dunn's River Falls. We were assigned two guides - who were way less than helpful. I think during the entire climb, they assisted us 3 times. Yet, they followed us to where our bags were at the end to hover for a tip. I will gladly tip anyone who provides an adequate service for me. However, these guys didn't deserve one! Dunn's River Falls is a definite MUST DO! Just hope that you are lucky enough to have a wonderful guide.I'm sure you've heard about the market vendors at the top of the falls. We knew to expect the pushiness and to say "No, thank you." I didn't expect to have a man physically block our way as we attempted to catch up with the rest of our family. Beware - you may need to be rude.After the falls, we rode the bus to Shaw Park Beach Hotel for a buffet lunch. It was decent, but by this time in the day (2:00 ship time) I was tired of Jamaica. My advice - DON'T spend $135 each to do this excursion! If you do, hope for a better experience with better guides. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
Our dream was to take our four children on a cruise since my husband have cruised before just he two of us and loved it. We chose Royal Caribbean because we took Carnival cruises before and it had a lot of young partiers we didn't ... Read More
Our dream was to take our four children on a cruise since my husband have cruised before just he two of us and loved it. We chose Royal Caribbean because we took Carnival cruises before and it had a lot of young partiers we didn't want our children around. Royal Caribbean was wonderful from the security check point till the time we returned home. Our children want to live on the ship!It was a wonderful experience for our children but it kept us parents so busy trying to take our kids here and there that we got no relaxation at all. If you want to relax with hubby, forget it unless you want to pay more money to leave your kids all day with the kids program.Typical day looked like this. Up and early to eat breakfast by 8pm. Kids programs opened at 9am and had to be picked up at 11 or 12 depending on the day. Lunch with the kids until they could be dropped off back at 2 pm. You could pay the money to keep them for lunch but being a large family on a budget, not possible. Pick kids up at 5pm to get ready for dinner at 6 pm (0ur dinner time choice). You could choose for the kids to be picked up at 6:40pm at dinner but the kids were never ready for that. The kids program opened back up at 7 and then you had to pick them up by 10pm or pay $7 an hour per kid till like 1 or 2 am. Within this time schedule the kids wanted to rock climb, swim, ice skate, attend a show, do putt put, play basketball or ping pong. This was not offered in the kid program as they never left there rooms during the activities. This type of schedule was quite hectic seeing that the rock climbing and ice skating were only offered at certain times. My husband and I never really got time to ourselves until midnight after the kids were in bed. The reason being is just when we dropped the kids off it seemed like it was time to pick them up again. Our room was at the other end of the ship with all the activities and dinner. Our floor didn't go all the way through the other end of the ship so we were constantly taking the steps. No need to use the fitness room with all the walking and climbing we did. Our teenager had a blast making knew friends and roaming the ship with them or hanging out in the teen lounge. She loved it so much she couldn't stop talking about it and wants to go back every month or less. The food wasn't to die for. We were quite disappointed on the first day but each day the food seemed to get better. By the last night we were wanting more food. On departure morning we went to the dining room for breakfast and it was quite hectic and service wasnt that good. Its understandable when they are trying to get everyone served and out of there quickly. I ordered pancakes that had the edges hard as a rock. I think they were leftovers from the morning before and just reheated.The staff there was incredible. Every one we came in contact with was just wonderful.We went to Cozumel and did the snorkel tour and not through the ship which saved us a boat load of money! It was wonderful and safe and fun We took a taxi that only cost 16 bucks per way for all 6 of us. When we got to the pier it had shops and the people were so helpful even when they knew we had already booked with someone else. They went out of their way to point us in the right direction and who we needed to see. They were not pushy either. Of course they wanted you to come into their stores but not as bad as in the bahamas. We did go to a restroom and had to pay 50 cents a person to use. Later we went to a shop that let us use their restroom.On the tour I got sick because I had not had lunch. They took me to a beach resort and let me go get some food. They went above and beyond for us. Even while in the water our tour guide kept letting us know if we needed anything. They were such servants and we fell in love with the people.We had no need of eating at the specialty restaurants. My kids loved the buffet and the free frozen yogurt cones on the pool deck. Don't get me wrong, the johnny rockets was calling to me but seeing we had a whole crew, not worth the money. We decided to spend that money with the duty free shopping on the ship and in Cozumel. Talk about shopping. Barter, barter, barter! My children did it and it impressed the locals. I gave my children $10 each and they knew what they wanted and bartered for the best deals. My 7 year old daughter bought a shirt for $3 because she wanted to buy this fan for $7 at another shop. Once owner told me she was impressed because the children in Mexico grab what they want and their parents get it for them instead of teaching them what we were teaching them. I guess she was listening to us when the kids were saying, I want this but I want this one more over here so maybe we can ask if they will take less so I can get them both and if not I'll have to choose what I really want. This was a great lesson for the kids and get us great deals and respect because of it.All in all it was a wonderful vacation and family experience. Just wish we had more time to spend to relax and money to put the kids in the all day program so we weren't running around like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off!Royal Caribbean beats Carnival BIG time!!! We will go with Royal Caribbean again but this time if its with the kids it will be longer than a 5 day cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
Well first of all I am Ron and my wife is Kim and assailed April 18th on the Navigator. We have sailed Disney 7 times and had sail RCCL once on the Monarch this past January. It was my b-day on the 20th and all I wanted was to be on a ... Read More
Well first of all I am Ron and my wife is Kim and assailed April 18th on the Navigator. We have sailed Disney 7 times and had sail RCCL once on the Monarch this past January. It was my b-day on the 20th and all I wanted was to be on a beach....far away from Chicago weather! We were planning a trip to Key West or and all inclusive in Jamaca when I received an e mail giving me a code see7 which gave an upgrade from inside to verandah. I received the e mail on a Saturday morning to my smart phone on my way into work so I and about 45 mins. To burn so I called RCCL. I chatted for a few mins. To a gal that was extremely help full and in a few mins. We were booked......if I remember correct our sailing was 3 weeks out! 818.00 for an outside verandah stateroom number 9540.Well our trip started on Sunday the 17th at about 5:15 from Crown Point Indiana on route to Midway Airport about 45 miles away for a 7:50 am flight....there was little traffic and we were at the airport in no time. We got to the checkin at Southwest and it was surprisingly busy. But we checked our luggage and headed to security......the lines were long and SLOW! We must have head 100 times "please remove all liquids from your carry on!" we were almost to the point of putting our bags on the conveyor when everything stopped! 5 security people kept putting this bag thru and staring at it.....really? Well, yes, they finally pulled the lady to the side and opened the bag, a half of a bottle of water! 15 mins. Later the line began again! Why couldn't they pull her aside and keep the line going? Then yes, 2 people later, same thing, same time same 5 security looking into the monitor for a bottle of water! Now we had about 30 mins. To get to our flight......I go thru the scanner and yes, I am randomly picked to get into the "cube". Well it had something to do with the plastic in the heels of my reef flip flops. Yes we made the flight as they were boarding but were unable to sit together because of the delay. Well the flight was fine and a little early and we got our luggage fairly quickly and we hailed a cab to take us to the B Ocean in Ft Lauderdale. It was about a 25 dollar cab ride and we got the at 12:30. It was a beautiful 84 degree day and we knew checkin time wasn't till 4 so we figured we would check our luggage and sit by the pool. To our surprise the lady at the desk apologized that checkin time was 4 and they had a "full house" the night before and the room category we booked wasn't quite ready. We said that's fine, then she said " wait there is a room with two queens and a full floor to ceiling window available for ten more dollars". Done, up to our room and into our pool attire. The bar tender Jessi was awesome. We had a few beers and a couple of sandwiches which were equally as good as the service! After a few hours we decided to shower change and venture out to a few shops and the blue martini which we saw on out cab ride in. We looked in some shops and got a few small souvineers and off we went. On our way we walked past an Italian resturaunt and couldn't get the smell off of our minds. We looked at the menu at the blue maritni.....which was a little on the high end....and said let's go to that Italian place! Franco and Vinnies....had to be one of the BEST Italian places I have ever eaten at. Nothing special as far as the tables chairs and ombieonce but great service and food! We ended up at I believe the blue fish around the corner from the B Ocean to watch the Hawks game.....the back to the B. The beds were great! I could write a whole review on that place but......up in the morining and off to port. The B called us a cab and off we went. This was or first sailing out of Port Everglades and to our surprise when we got close to cab driver told us to take out our passports, they had to be shown and trunk checked before he could drive into the port area....wow! We were our of the cab by 11 and thru the checkin line and on the ship in 15 mins. That was completely different that the hour and a half to get on the Monarch in Port Canaveral in January. We were so early that I ordered the first of my many miller lites at the bar in the adult pool area and the computers weren't on yet.....it seemed like we were the only ones on the ship. We sat at one of the tables in the family pool area, checked our e mails and waited for the Windjammer to open.....oh ya and had a few more lites....lol 4.25 plus gratuity if anyone is wondering. We walked in te Windjammer at noon and there was the ice sculpture and carved watermelons and such that my wife missed on the Monarch. She said "o.k. This is more like Disney" the food was good but as usual the better variety is ALL the way to the back of the ship! We were there fairly early and by 1 it was obvious that seating was going to be a problem in there for this sailing. The service was better than the Monarch, right as someone was finished the plates were cleaned up....just like she remember it happening on Disney......it was NOT like that on the Monarch. It was one so off to our room we went! We were pleasantly surprised at our verandah room, we had a ocean view on the Monarch and didn't even get a couch! But we had a large bed, couch and dressing table.....still only one bathroom....something Disney has up on everyone I guess. We explored the ship and were happy to se that even though twice the size the ship was payed out similar to the Monarch which made finding things easy for us. The lifeboat drill was painless and yes, happy to see that lifejackets are still not necessary to bring. But if I was a betting man, I would have to say that not everyone was accounted for, we were told that we could leave and there were still people showing up. Hmmm mm we visited a few bars, the 19th hole at the back was dead empty......I asked obout the Bulls and Hawks games and they said yes, we will have them. Well we went back, showered changed......yes our luggage arrived about 6:30 and went off to dinner....late seating deck 4. This is were I thought we might have an issue, we have always seated with just us, not that my wife is anti social, but she takes a while longer than me to warm up. Lol. As it turned out we were at a table of 6 right at the dining room entrance with a retired couple who happened to actually be from Indiana also. We got along great....but the other 2 at our table never showed up the whole sailing. The food was good and the service was very good! The portions were smaller than I remember them being but you know it's a cruise....order 2! My wife was VERY disappointed in the deserts, I just got a mojito....lol. After dinner we went down to the promanod for a 70's party which was awesome! We even got into the sailing DVD dancing with the village people! Day 2 at sea:We slept in a little...but not too much to miss breakfast at the Windjammer....ate and headed to deck 11. WOW! It was crowded! It was pretty difficult to find a lounge chair but not impossible.....we ended up hanging around the deck 12 pool bar overlooking most of the activities. The is a "gold member only" area reserved for people with gold key cards to lounge in just below the bar....it's a nice idea but there were very few people using it and it seemed lie a waste of space. We took a walk down to the shopping area and I purchased a watch that I had been looking at for quite some time foe a couple hundred less that the best price I had seen anywhere. My wife had a spa treatment at 1:45 so I headed back to the pool bar to people watch. The servers and bartenders we EXCELENT! Especially once you became a "regular" they were joking and messing all the time. So we got a little sun......walked the ship and went to our room to get ready for dinner. It was the formal night so we wanted to get downstairs a little early to get some pictures. It was a little confusing a spread out as to what and were different setting were but we figured it out. Dinner was the same.....lobster tail (very small) and prime rib is what I had......small portions again but very good. We ended up buy the piano in the schooner bar which was a nice place to relax before and after dinner....they had some sort of trivia every night there before and piano music after....after letting the food settle we usually ventured to the Dungeon for some sort of themed music. Michael Jackson happened to be Tuesday night.Day 3 labadee:We got up got our beach attire on, had a quick bite at the Windjammer and headed off the ship.....we had never been there so we didn't know what to expect. We got off walked up the pier and saw a boat shuttle that said free shuttles but we weren't sure where it was too! Was it to rccls part of the island or somewhere else? So we walked to the beach. When a got close to halfway a hayatian with a polo that said Labade on it said come with me.....he set us up a couple of chairs and a small half tent that we could sit under if we got too much sun....or if it rained! We had two 30 second rain blasts the whole day. Now it you plan on going in the water I would HIGHLY recommend aqua socks! The bottom is only sandy for about the first 20 feet then the rest is coral. The water was warm and the zip line runs right above the beach! It was awesome watching everyone slide down. The lunch on the island was the same as it was on Disney, and the Monarch with the exception of some jerked chicken legs.....I tried one. WOW! That was hot! The ribs were a little fattier than usual and the buns for the burgers and dogs were the same fall apart no consistency buns on all the private islands. If you want a drink on the island STAY AWAY from the schooner bar! The service was horrible! At one point there must have been 40 people standing around waiting for drinks and only had one bartender....and he had an attitude! The people walking around the beach with drinks only served the rum drink of the that....the labadee I believe. On cococay I remember a few guys on golf carts with colers coming by with buckets of beers.....we started our stroll back to the ship around 3 and stopped at the end of the zip line, took some pictures and heading back.....ahhhhhh yes, that was what I wanted for my birthday.....just a day on the beach! When we got back to the ship we headed for the adult pool area to sit in the hot tub (as we did at the same time every day) which was rarely crowded. Usually 6 to8 people and more than enough room. We met some good people and friends there. I was rafting for a while and Kim fell a sleep half out of our cabana and got pretty sunburrn from her stomach down and couldn't get in....lol I can laugh now. Diner was the same except our dinner mates got me a few tongs for my bday and the servers sang to me. We did a show afterwards, hit the dungeon and headed back to the room.....to get ready for yet another day in Jamaca!Day 4 faulmouth:We booked an excursion thru Jamaca for a day to the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa. It was the first non cruise ship excursion I had ever booked on all of our 9 sailings so I wasn't su what to expect. I had read the articles of all the problems at port and just wasn't sure. We were to to be off the ship as soon as it docked. We were told on the ship tp ALWAYS use ship time because Jamaca was an hour behind us which was a little confusing when the driver was telling us when to meet him, half the time it was their time half the time ships time. But was was the ONLY bad thing to say about the day. Other than the fact that for non sponcered excursions the people werent allowed to have signs at the port telling us who they were so it was near impossible to find them. We paid 90.00 per person for an all inclusive day....food, booze, non motorized watersports chairs towels anything you wanted! There were pools, lazy river, waterside, water trampoline, parasailing, snorkeling, catamaran riding, kayaking etc. I saw the RCCL excursion lady Donna? At the hotel in the the lobby and she asked me about pricing and what I thought so it looks like it may be a RCCL sponsored excursion in the future. The bus ride back was uneventful except that at every bank there were armed guards on the front porches.....yikes! What a depressing country....almost made you feel bad getting off that ship looking at all that poverty. We did some shopping in the port area and they really negotiated mo than any other port I have been too...don't know if it was because it was a half hour before boarding or it was all new to them because the port is so new. Back on the ship, back in the hottub and then shower, trivia in the schooner lounge, then dinner.....aft dinner we did our usual bar hopping and down to the dungeon. They had an adult only dance party by the adult pool, the hung drapes and wouldn't let any youngsters near by. We had a great time there....especially knowing that we didn't have to get up early for excursions. Day 5 sea day:It was kind of weird having a sea day on the last day, usually Disney stops at their island but it was pleasantly relaxing, we were able to get some last minute deals on the ship soak in a little more sun and socialize with the new friends we had met.Disembarkation:Well, we were green 18. We had no idea what that meant. So we knew we didn't have a flight till 5:50pm so we were in no hurry. Ergot up around 8 showered, dressed and headed down to the resturaunt , at least that's what we thought. When we hit the 4thflor a gal was there telling us we had to be in studio B at 9:30.....o.k. We had breakfast, went to studio B where we waited for them to tell us it was o.k. To leave. I remembered being rushed off the ship on past cruises, but this was pleasantly not the case......I might not have been as happy if I had a noon flight but we were in no hurry. The disembarkation thru customs was probably the easiest and quickest that we have ever been thru. The B ocean told us we were more than welcome to spend the day with them prior to our late flight, once again HIGHLY recommended! But we decided to head to the airport and see if we could get bumped up to and earlier flight. Problem with being at sea for 5 days......we had NO idea Chicago cancelled flights the night before and St Louis was hit by a tornado! No chance of getting bumped! So to the B it was......we enjoyed our afternoon there and got our flight without a hitch!GoodThe Navigator is a great ship!Service was WAY better than the Monarch....but Disney still takes number 1Room was excellent!Head server was the best we have ever had anywhereOverall I give it a 9 out of 10.Not so goodELEVATORS......horrible! There were many times that I saw them sitting on deck 1 shock is the service area......why would it be there for 10-15minutes at a time? There has to be a way that the elevators have a sensor for load capacity when full and not stop at every floor a button is pressed at when full!DESERTS.......I don't eat them but I heard of no one that liked them!Bathrooms......guess we are just spoiled with the two per stateroom on Disney. We were constantly banging the bathroom doors on the closet doors! SPORTS PACKAGE!.......NO PLAYOFFS? I was told the ship was sailing to the Med. And RCCL didn't want pay for the package so the only thing we got was international espn with soccer.....really? Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
Well, I have not written these for every cruise, I should. We started cruising just a year ago, have taken 5 in the last year. We consider ourselves seasoned travelers and when traveling by land, prefer to stay at luxury properties - 4S, ... Read More
Well, I have not written these for every cruise, I should. We started cruising just a year ago, have taken 5 in the last year. We consider ourselves seasoned travelers and when traveling by land, prefer to stay at luxury properties - 4S, Waldorf, Ritz. So we are bit spoiled and prefer the nicer things. And we just may have taken our last RC cruise. Blech describes the overall experience. We will stick with Celebrity and Princess and HAL moving forward. I already have Mem Day booked on the RC Freedom so we may stick with that one, we have a family suite and the ship is newer so am hopeful.BEST thing about the Nav was Portofino, DEEEEElightful! Best $20 I spent. Loved it, everything about it: food, service, superb.WORST think about the Nav - it is in terrible shape. Seriously - the bars inside the elevators looked as if they had been gnawed. The carpet was so disgusting down our hallway and the smell so bad, I had to hold my nose for the walk to the room. The whole experience was like a really bad Hilton. When we were on the Solstice, I felt like I was on the 4S at Sea...lovely! Ahh, happy memories.Bottom line - if RC gave me the Royal Suite for a trip the Mediterranean for FREE on the Nav, I would pass. It was in poor shape, the food in the MDR was decent, the buffet was disgusting, the service was hit or miss. Certainly there are always a few who just go above and beyond. Some awfully nice service people aboard but honestly, why anyone would say nice things about this experience is beyond me. If you like 'nice' and you want a lido that has at least decent food, you are on the WRONG ship and possibly the wrong cruise line. We'll see what I think of the Freedom in May. Meanwhile, I am on the HAL Westerdam next week, with high expectations! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
We had a good trip on the Navigator. It was a spring break cruise and loaded with kids -- from college students down to young children. We were told there were over 800 kids on the ship. The ship itself is quite nice - certainly the ... Read More
We had a good trip on the Navigator. It was a spring break cruise and loaded with kids -- from college students down to young children. We were told there were over 800 kids on the ship. The ship itself is quite nice - certainly the best ship in the industry for a trip of less than 7 days. Typically the ships that cater to the 3-5 day market are older and don't have the bells & whistles of a ship like the Navigator. It was nice to have the ice rink, the upgraded mini golf, the inline skating, Johnny Rockets, 2 speciality restaurants, the Royal Promenade shops and bars, etc. The ship was also in good condition. The staterooms might be a bit tired (it was launched in 2002) but I think the public rooms are generally good. There are areas that could surely use some sprucing up but in general it is in good shape. The food was good. We found the food in the dining room to be better than the Windjammer but I think most people feel that way. The Windjammer and Jade did have a great variety of foods - from typical American fare to Indian, Chinese, Italian, etc. But based on the massive quantities that they serve they do an excellent job. The Dining room was also very good and a step up from the Windjammer. The portions in the dining room are very reasonable. I think if we had all of our meals in the Dining room instead of at the buffet, we would have eaten better and much less. The service in the dining room was excellent the first 3 nights and then slow the last 2 nights. I think it took 20 minutes to even take our orders the last 2 nights. But we weren't in a big rush to it wasn't a problem. I would say the dinners took 2 full hours. We did go to the Windjammer one night for dinner and they had the exact same food as in the dining room only buffet style. Jade has a nice selection of sushi and that was very popular. The ship is quite casual, or perhaps it was more casual on our cruise based on the young demographic. Years ago you had to dress up for dinner - on this cruise it was common to see people in shorts, t-shirts, flip-flops. Even on the formal night there were many people who were dressed in just a polo type shirt. I personally do not love getting dressed up in a formal suit or tuxedo (as it is perhaps too formal) but I think there is a balance that needs to be achieved in separating the ambience of dining room to that of the Windjammer. The ports were decent. Grand Cayman is built to a much better standard than Cozumel. The town is also much nicer. Both have lots of excursions, mostly beach or water type activities. In both places we found that you could very easily organize your own excursion right off the ship. We did not have any problems getting a lounge chair at the pool (which is something I have read is problematic) but we were outside by 9:00am. The band that plays Caribbean music poolside was great, the jacuzzis were hot, the bar service at the pools were also great. The drink prices have gone up in recent years (a pina colada at the pool was $7.00 ($8.05 with tip); beers were $4.75-$5.75 plus tip). Its not unreasonable but it surely adds up over the course of the cruise. Also, the tips came to $48 per person for the waiter/asst waiter/head waiter/room steward for the 5 day cruise. Embarcation took about 30 minutes but we arrived at peak time. Leaving the ship was a breeze. It was very well organized in Fort Lauderdale. 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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