356 Galveston Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Cruise Reviews

My wife and I just got back from our honeymoon cruise and I must say that we extremely enjoyed ourselves. The crew was always working super hard and were a bit overwhelmed at times but always made sure to say hello. I never once saw any ... Read More
My wife and I just got back from our honeymoon cruise and I must say that we extremely enjoyed ourselves. The crew was always working super hard and were a bit overwhelmed at times but always made sure to say hello. I never once saw any crew members just standing around or loafing. The people are working their tails off all day, everyday. Although we were just first time cruisers and haven't experience the way things used to be before the pre paid gratuities, I didn't once notice any crew members not willing to help with any problem big or small. We still ended up tipping certain members that were outstanding anyways which made the services even better. All I can say is get to know the fellows that work at the Schooner Bar, Abel, Eric, and Bela are phenomenal guys and we loved hanging out with them. Our dining time was at 8:00 pm on Deck 3 and had Annabelle for a waitress with the help of Milan. These two were so very attentive to our needs and always there to treat us like royalty. There were so very many activities on board to attend as well from shows, ice shows, Salsa Dancing, Ballroom Dancing, rock climbing, putt putt, Flowrider, Ice Skating in Studio B, the list just goes on and on and we tried them all. Food was all pretty good in the Windjammer as well as the Main Dining Hall, never any complaints except for the tiger shrimp to which Annabelle just brought me out a different entree and everything was fine. No matter where we went on the boat there was always friends to be made whether they were other passengers or crew members everyday was full of great conversations with all types of different people.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
DH and I are in our 60s, retired, and live in East Texas about three hours drive north of Galveston. We have sailed with Carnival, Celebrity, Disney, Holland America, Princess and Royal Caribbean cruise lines before, both out of Florida ... Read More
DH and I are in our 60s, retired, and live in East Texas about three hours drive north of Galveston. We have sailed with Carnival, Celebrity, Disney, Holland America, Princess and Royal Caribbean cruise lines before, both out of Florida ports, Bayport, Houston and Galveston. We drove to Galveston on the Saturday and stayed at the Comfort Inn & Suites on Sea Wall Blvd. Nice hotel with good location, breakfast and great price. On Sunday we drove to the port, dropped off our luggage and then left the car at EZ Cruise Parking who drove us back to the terminal. Fast and efficient. We arrived early, waited in line outside [in the shade] for a short while and were through security and seated with sea pass in hand waiting to board all within 45 minutes. We had My Time Dining and I had booked a table for 2 every evening at 5:30pm and we had the same table by the window every evening. Our wait staff were Agnelo and Sachin who were great - no complaints about service at all. For the most part the food was good in both the dining room and Windjammer. We had the occasional snack in the Promenade Café and the sandwiches were very good. We did not try any of the specialty restaurants on this cruise. We found that almost all of the staff onboard were friendly and helpful. As this was my 38th cruise and DH's 36th cruise and we had visited all of the ports many times previously, we stayed on the ship and took advantage of the peace and quiet on port days. Entertainment and activities is where we felt that this cruise was lacking. Okay, so as an retired teacher of theatre I may be a little more picky than some people, but I always go to all the shows and the production shows were without a doubt the worst I have ever experienced on any cruise. Thank goodness for the ice show which we saw twice and Scott Record the impressionist, both of which were excellent. Also compared to our last RCCL cruise on Mariner of the Seas [also out of Galveston], there were very few activities which we could enjoy. I enjoy scrapbooking and on Mariner the classes were great, but on this cruise the class was very short and relegated to a room where the staff was busy setting up for a shore excursion talk and our crew director staff person wandered off to set up her bingo activity. We also enjoy ballroom dance classes, but despite having a professional ballroom couple onboard, there were only two ballroom dance classes and one of them was during a lunchtime. While flow rider, rock climbing, and ice skating may be great activities, not all ages can cope with them and bingo and the casino are not our things. Perhaps we have been spoiled by some of the other cruise lines which offer far more activities for a greater variety of ages. However, we came on this cruise to relax and as the weather was fantastic and the sea as calm as we have ever experienced, we spent most of our time sitting reading on the balcony, and I finished off 18 for the 20 books I brought with me. Debarkation was easy and painless. As Crown and Anchor members, we waited in the Star Lounge and from the time we left the lounge, went through customs, until we were in our vehicle driving home, was less than an hour. No problems at all. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise, but I think we are ready for another cruise out of Florida on a different line for a change. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
I have been on many cruises, some were a great experience, some were ok, and ONE was just plain awful. Unfortunately this is the one cruise that was awful. It was so bad in fact, that it has made me realize that I will never cruise with ... Read More
I have been on many cruises, some were a great experience, some were ok, and ONE was just plain awful. Unfortunately this is the one cruise that was awful. It was so bad in fact, that it has made me realize that I will never cruise with Royal Caribbean ever again. That is just sad! Let me begin by telling you that the main reason I went on this cruise, was to reward myself with a little bit of alone time. I went solo on this cruise, so seeing that Royal Caribbean does not have studio rooms like NCL does, I had to pay a solo cruiser surcharge (basically a little more than DOUBLE the price of a double occupancy rate.) I knew that going into the cruise, so that I had no problem with that, as long as I get my moneys worth, which I did not. I had read that this ship just received a major overhaul this year, so I expected a refurbished ship. Aside from the fact that my interior stateroom had the new "virtual balcony" in it, I saw NO other signs of a refurbished ship, aside from the new restaurant Sabor (read on to learn more about Sabor.) The ship is a dump! Everyday there was another broken stool up on deck. The deck planters looked like they have not been repainted in years. Old worn out lounge chairs with broken straps on them. Even the carpeting and walls had a dirty and dingy feel to them. My stateroom toilet never flushed properly. I had the handhold in the shower literally fall off the wall due to rust. My sink faucet was rusty and nasty, and my sink had been cracked and repaired quite poorly. I know that over the years, the prices of cruises has gone down considerably, and the one section that has taken a serious hit with the prices going down in the food. The main dining room (Sapphire) is horrible. The food was just plain awful. It wasn't just the taste, but the quality of the food. Escargot that came out cold not once, but twice. Filet Minon that was actually tough to cut, with a right out of the box gravy on top of it. It was just nasty. We tried the main dining room three nights out of seven, and each night the food was terrible. The buffet (normally pretty good on RCI) was a notch better than the main dining room, but not much better. Hamburger buns that were hard a brick, hamburgers that were way overdone. It seems that RCI is now catering strictly the Asian and Indian market because the "International Flavor" section of the buffet ONLY had Indian and Asian food on it. The quality of food and variety was OK. The main highlight of my dining experience is the new Sabor restaurant the just put in. It is FANTASTIC! It is worth double the price that they charge for it. We loved it so much that we actually at there 2 night, back to back with a group that got friendly on the cruise. The ports on this cruise are NOT good, nor are they safe. There is NOTHING to do in Roatan at all. The city port itself is NOT safe and very little to do. If you enjoy going into a port where the police staff is packing serious firepower (AK-47's) this port is for you. Belize City is just as bad, with very little to do, and the port itself is a big tourist trap. I met a marine and his wife online, and went into belize city with them. People were constantly telling us not to go any further. Cozumel, well there is never anything wrong with Cozumel! The worst part of this cruise was the customer service, or should I say lack of customer service. When something would go wrong it always got brushed under the carpet. Even after speaking to the guest relations manager, nothing got done. He is totally worthless. Overall this is the worst cruise I have ever been on, and I am still waiting to hear back from Royal Caribbean customer service. I doubt I ever will. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Like many we were concerned based on some of the reviews but picked this cruise due to the port location. We had a wonderful time and have no problem recommending both the ship and the cruise destinations. Galveston port is a challenge ... Read More
Like many we were concerned based on some of the reviews but picked this cruise due to the port location. We had a wonderful time and have no problem recommending both the ship and the cruise destinations. Galveston port is a challenge because 2 ships are leaving at the same time. Keep in mind Royal is leaving from terminal 2 as you make your parking plans. My advice is to arrive early. We were in the security line at 9:45 and were on the ship exploring within 45 minutes. Royal promised staterooms ready by 1 which they met. We boarded and took the elevator to the highest point, then walked and explored our way down. We found all of the Royal staff to be excellentWe had a couple of minor service issues from our travel agent and they promptly answered our questions and generally made us feel welcome. We at the majority of our meals in the MDR and had great service. We enjoyed the table conversation and lounging through meals over the rush of eating at the buffet in the Windjammer. Our MDR waiters we attentive and even brought extra entrees if we had trouble deciding. We enjoyed all of the entertainment and the activities. The ship is very clean. The only time we felt pressured to buy something was when my wife visited the spa. They did try to hard sell her, but after a polite no she enjoyed the rest of the experience. We booked our excursions thru Royal and all 3 were good. I know people say you can save by going outside but we didn't want any hassles. They met us immediately off of the ship and took care of everything from there. Hope you have as good as time as we did. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
My husband and I loved this cruise! I read the reviews about how dirty the ship was,and how poor the food and entertainment was and I have to wonder, were we on a different ship? We thought the entertainment was exceptional. Loved the ice ... Read More
My husband and I loved this cruise! I read the reviews about how dirty the ship was,and how poor the food and entertainment was and I have to wonder, were we on a different ship? We thought the entertainment was exceptional. Loved the ice skating show and all of the "game show" type events, like "Love and Marriage" and "The Quest". The cruise director, Jeffery, was so funny and we enjoyed starting each morning watching his show on the ships channel to let us know what was going on that day. We ate in the main dining room every night and found there was a good variety to choose from and never found any issues with our meals. The wait staff was attentive and our only complaint is that they didn't acknowledge my husband's birthday even though they were aware of it the first night of the cruise. We found the ship very clean and well maintained and would certainly cruise on this ship again. The only negative thing was the port at Galveston was difficult to get in and out of and it was a bit chaotic. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Background  This was the fourth cruise (Voyager, Enchantment, Solstice & Navigator) for the adults and third cruise (no Voyager) for the kids Wife and I are 48 with two girls 15 & 11 living in Dallas. We take turns on which ... Read More
Background  This was the fourth cruise (Voyager, Enchantment, Solstice & Navigator) for the adults and third cruise (no Voyager) for the kids Wife and I are 48 with two girls 15 & 11 living in Dallas. We take turns on which family member gets to plan our vacation. I am always involved as the banker. This year my youngest had the honor of planning. She had a budget. After last year’s cruise to Alaska, she immediately settled on a Caribbean cruise. Her main request was to swim with dolphins. We booked the cruise in February and worked on excursions and travel plans through May before pretty much finalizing everything. Part of this whole process is to keep the other family completely in the dark about when and where are going. Travel to The Woodlands Saturday, 8/9 finally arrived. While still a secret, the approaching vacation was hard to get around because summer was running out. Woke wife and eldest up and gave them one hour to pack. We told them we were doing “fancy dinners” at a steak house and Italian restaurant during our vacation and they needed two very nice (formal) outfits. Wife who remembered last year’s cruise on Celebrity immediately thinks she has it figured out by assuming we are going on a cruise. We were out the door in 65 minutes and on our way to Houston. Drive was simple and painless. Only problem was some sort of issue with the shake machine at the Dairy Queen in Fairfield. Had our first experience with Buc-ees Truck Stops in Madisonville. Not sure I am making a point of stopping at every location in the country, but it was clean. Hit The Woodlands, checked into our rooms at The Woodlands Resort & Spa, and by the pool with a drink in our hands by 3:00pm Travel to Galveston At breakfast, we tell my wife and daughter we are going to Schlitterbahn in Galveston. Told them it will be a long day because it is hot and humid and we were going to be there all day before we drove multiple hours to hit our final destination (never specified) The look on my wife’s face was priceless. She was so certain we were going on the cruise and quite frankly not at all thinking a trip to a water park was what she wanted to be doing. I am just glad she did not say anything we both would have regretted. A short drive later, we are pulling up to the terminal and my wife looks up enough from her sulking position in the front seat of the car where she was using her phone to figure out if you could get a vodka soda in the waterpark (or find a good lawyer) and notices both the NOS and Carnival Breeze right in front of us and with a relieved and happy tone says “we are not going to Schlitterbahn” Embarkation Was relatively painless. Parked across the street, walked with our luggage to the terminal. Handed checked bags to porter and got in line. We had no special status with Royal Caribbean and therefore stood in line with the common folk. Maybe 10 minutes in line outside (pretty warm) and 30 minutes inside waiting to go through security. No wait for boarding docs or getting on NOS. No trouble getting a table in Windjammer and not even done with Windjammer when they announce our rooms are ready by 1:00pm. Cabins – We booked two. 7612 had a balcony and 7611 was across the hall with a promenade view. We were right next to the aft elevators and stairs and the 7th floor game room/library. Never heard any noise and felt we had an easy walk up or down during busy times. I never caught her name, but our stateroom attendant kept everything tidy. We had towel animals 3-4 nights and never any issues that she did not quickly handle. I was given a key at Guest Services for the kids’ room so we could check on them. We had our keys hole punched at Guest Services and used lanyards to carry them around. Dining: Ate Windjammer for breakfast & lunch every day and dinner on Day 1. The food was fine. Nothing spectacular a fair selection, but tended to stick to the same thing during my visits so I could say a bit repetitive. Had plenty of staff refilling drinks or cleaning plates. We never once had a problem finding a table for four. Youngest ordered Room Service Breakfast 5 days and had it for dinner one evening. Very pleased. We could use the in-room TV menu to order. Very handy. MDR for Dinner on M-T-W-F-S We did My Time Dining. I made the reservations via phone about two weeks out. We essentially ate at 6pm every evening. Never had to wait and always had the same table. Ivo and Avinesh were the pair taking care of us. These two had it down. We had water and bread in abundance and they basically brought us what we ordered. They handle special requests just fine. We had the drink package (more later) and we were well taken care of in that regard. We often had multiple drinks/wine with our meal and everything progressed smoothly. The basic set-up was for a three-course meal app/salad, entrée, dessert. I love to eat and always left full. On the lobster night (Friday), they made Surf & Turf for us by combining the prime rib with the lobster tail. My youngest ordered the $14.95 filet from menu supplement twice and my wife got a full lobster (~$25) one night. We really enjoyed the MDR. Great people watching. We hit both formal nights (I dusted off my $99 internet tuxedo from last year). We may have been in the minority in dressing up but it is what we wanted to do. Did not bother me in the least to see people coming in with blue jeans and a shirt. They also had a good selection of music playing on the piano most nights. They played so many Disney classics I was able to quip we did not need a Disney cruise after all because RCi was just fine. Enjoyed Sabor on Thu pm. Go Hungry. The Guac is really good. We had two appetizers, chicken stuffed jalapenos wrapped in bacon and a queso fundido dish. We were done by then, but we did have entrees. I had the empanadas which were quite good and my wife had a fish described as red snapper. That may or may not have been red snapper, but it was very tasty. They then proceed to bring out a dessert sampler with two of everything. I could not even try a bite of each much less finish. We went Thursday and had no trouble walking in and getting a table w/o reservation. Café Promenade/Starbucks/Ben & Jerry’s – They serve Seattle’s Best in big urns or whatever you call them as self-serve. They had a couple small sandwich selections throughout the day and had some of the pizza they serve in Windjammer – typically cheese and pepperoni. They also had an assortment of muffins/breakfast breads and cookies. They tended to run low or even out of some types of food right around departure time on port days. This was typically around 4pm. Before Windjammer opened and right as 3000+ people returned to the ship and many of those were towing hungry kids with them. You can also order “Starbuck’s” at the counter. Prices are essentially the same as on land, but the staff was best tasked with the simple creations (lattes and the like) rather than some of the more creative options people may be used to ordering at home. We let the kids do Ben & Jerry’s whenever they wanted. They had a maybe 10-12 different flavors with various pricing for 1,2,3, etc. scoops. I did notice they were often out of the extra charge cupcakes and only noticed that they had chocolate with white icing. Nothing to me, but certainly not a real cupcake shop. Ports Roatan (Day 4) – we did Maya Key through RCI. I did this because earlier this year there was a bunch of bad press about Roatan and I decided I wanted to bring my whole family back (my wife is lucky she did not get too grouchy with me back in Galveston). All you do is walk off the ship and over to a tender type boat the ferries you over to the island. Maybe 10 minutes. The admission included a buffet lunch, water and tea. They had a small animal rescue center on the island with a bunch of monkeys, birds and the like. There was also a Swim with the Sharks add-on. It was $35/person. I missed this little nugget when I booked and only brought $100 with me. My wife and youngest went and thoroughly enjoyed themselves while my eldest and I enjoyed the beach. Snorkeling was pretty decent. They have a jetty out into the water. The area right where you enter is pretty beat up and rather dead looking, but if follow the marked path out to the seaward side of the reef you are treated to a very nice drop-off and a fair amount of sea-life. We shared the island with Carnival Dream. They had a much longer commute. With just the two ships in port, it was never crowded on the island for any of the activities. Plenty of chairs and privacy if you wanted. The gift shop was a bit on the pricey side and we were short of funds. We went back to the ship and I reloaded my wallet and we did some easy shopping in the port complex. Just shirts and stuff. Belize City (Day 5) – We were set to due zip line cave-tubing through VIV tours. My older daughter woke us up around 3:00 am with some nausea. I believe she was either seasick or had a slight disagreement with something she ate (not Noro). It passed in < 24 hrs. We did not know this at the time, but later heard some stories of quarantines and the like so we were lucky to have this pass so quickly. I was up early to get tender tickets. I think they posted they would begin distribution at 8:00 or 8:30 am that morning. I strolled by before 7 and the line was already forming. I skipped breakfast and waited about one hour to get Tender 4 tickets. We were off the boat and in Belize around 10am. I did escort my youngest and wife to port and put them on the van with VIV. They had an absolutely great time and could not say enough nice things about the staff and experience. I returned solo via tender to NOS and basically sat around and tended to an ill 15 yr old girl. That was a vacation in and of itself. I did break away at lunch to eat in the Windjammer and was struck by how empty the ship was. Almost like having it to yourself. After we reunited, we fed the girls (our invalid was up to some crackers, bread, plain pasta). Wife and I hit Sabor as described earlier. Cozumel (Day 6) We booked Royal Swim directly with Dolphinaris. There was some sort of on-line special my daughter found that got the four of us for a very reasonable price. It was a short ($8) cab ride from the port. We were in a group of 8 and had roughly 60 minutes of time in the water. We got to pet the dolphin, kiss the dolphin, shake hands/fins and got a ride of the whole thing. I am well aware of the issues about animals in captivity and will let that discussion take place somewhere else. We went and had a very good time. Pictures cost a fortune. Some haggling can take place, but you will still pay a bunch. Afterwards we enjoyed a buffet lunch which included chicken tenders (big hit for girls), hamburgers and fajitas. Bar drinks and beer were complimentary. After lunch we used the paddle boards they had. A lot of fun and some hard work. There is no beach at this place. You walk to the ocean and it is just rocks. They have a sheltered snorkel area, paddle boards and kayaks. We had fun, but do not think you will get some more time on the beach. Pick Chankanaab if you want that. Some easy shopping in the port complex and back on board by 4:00pm. Random note: In port with Allure of the Seas. We did Solstice last year and now Navigator. Neither are what you would call small, but seeing the Allure and Navigator next to each other was something else. You can see the family lines, but they hardly compare. Entertainment Already forgetting things, but… Saw the comedian Monday. Definitely adult and funny. We hit the Ice Show on Tuesday. Really quite enjoyable. In addition to the show, we went ice skating twice during open skate sessions. Flowrider – fun to watch and my youngest did it during open period and had a blast. There was maybe a 20 minute wait as the line cycled through. Love & Marriage on Wednesday or Thursday – a classic First time to see Quest on Friday which was an absolute riot and should not be missed. It is for adults. We enjoyed the Latin Band in Boleros every night after dinner. We went to Schooners late and had fun with the piano guy. We stumbled upon the young adult night club out by the Solarium pool Thursday night and had a great time watching a bunch of 20 something’s party it up, but left before anyone fell into the pool. They played movies on the big screen most nights. It was on all the time, but mostly ignored. We gambled a bit. We are not big gamblers, but were up each night for the first four nights. They took it all back on night five and that pretty much ended things for us. We are not smokers and generally did not mind, but a couple of times we were smoked off a table. Minor gripe. Likely saved us money. TV had some basic channels CNN, ESPN, TNT, Cartoon and a fair selection of pay-per-view movies (~$12each). Drinking We hit every bar on the ship. Boleros and Schooners were by far our favorites. Vintages was understandably low-key and the R Bar never really did anything for us. Bella in Schooners was great. Really chatted us up and loved to explore what to make us with our drink package. We used our Ultimate Drink Package for Water, fresh juice and coffee during the day and a variety of drinks and wine in the evening. We never felt like we had to wait an undo amount of time to get a drink. I sat out by the pool on the first two sea days and was always able to flag down a server from my chair. I mentioned we had drinks with dinner and had wine to suit our courses/desires. I do wish they had outdoor bar option available. We could take drinks and sit outside, but I wish they kept the Mast Bar open past 9:30pm. Pictures Fairly easy to use the computer kiosks to order prints. Not exactly a bargain, but easy to do. Internet Very slow. I think the server works better running something other than Safari (Apple). I did use the PC’s in the library and it seemed to work faster than using my Mac or iPad. I did not even try to send a picture from the NOS because I figured it would take too long. Random Ship Comments Stroll deck four on the outside and take the forward outside stairs to the path leading to the helipad. Great place visit almost any time of day or night. Deck four is also sprinkled with chairs and some foot rests. Pool deck did get crowded and it was often hard to find a chair in the Solarium on sea days. Plenty of chairs on deck 12 surrounding the pool and the jogging track were open, but you may have to wait a bit on Deck 11 for chairs. Kids’ Club – somewhat ambivalent about the experience. Our 15 yr. old simply used the two rooms for teens as a meeting point for her to find her little group of new-made friends and move along. They let our 11 year old move up to the 12-14 group and this was a bit of a mistake. There is far less structure and activity with the older groups. I think she would have had a better experience in the 9-11 group doing the more organized activities rather than walking around with a bunch of other awkward tweens trying to act like the “big” kids. Older daughter been Skyping her new friends since we got back. Younger daughter really has no memorable experiences from the club We gave the kids simple instructions. Meet at room for lunch at noon, be ready for dinner at 6:00pm. Go in no rooms and let no one in our rooms. We are fairly strict at home (9:00 pm bedtimes for both), but gave a range of curfews from 11-1am. We did add they needed to check-in with us at various times after dinner, but we strangely enough felt more comfortable with them running around a ship packed with >3000 strangers than I would be letting them ride their bikes to our neighborhood park. Disembarkation This is complete chaos and I refuse to let RCI get a pass of this one. Absolutely no rhyme or reason to the twisting turning line you had to get in in order to exit. The girl they had organizing things would have had trouble drawing a line on a piece of paper if you spotted her two dots and a ruler. Plenty of standing, shuffling and warding off line jumpers (1/2 of them did not even realize they were cutting the line was bad). I remember reading about the porter situation, but maybe I killed those brain cells earlier in the cruise because it took me one hour in line before I jumped in the porter line. Things were much faster after that, but we did not exit the terminal until almost 1:00pm. I was told something happened in the morning to slow things down. I get the limited number of staffed Customs counters, but I cannot imagine RCI really wants so many people each and every week to have that as their last memory of the cruise. At the very least they could invest in some line dividers/organizers and maybe put some water out. Summary They often close the Olympics with the president of IOC thanking the host city for putting on the best games ever. This was a truly great vacation. We loved Alaska last year and I definitely suggest that as a bucket list item, but Alaska is 2-3 times the cost of a Caribbean cruise. This was by far a more relaxing cruise. Two very different itineraries and thus experiences. We took Solstice last year and while that is a beautiful ship, I hardly think there is some huge gap between the two sibling lines. I have a hard time imaging why so many have been put-off by NOS. Maybe they somehow thought they were traveling on Seabourne or so jaded with departure they forgot how much fun they had the previous 7 days. We had a couple of funny moments trying to get someone to understand what we wanted in the Windjammer, but always found the staff eager to please. If you want Broadway or Vegas entertainment go there. The dancers and shows are on the level of what one would expect on a cruise ship, local bar or comedy club. Very enjoyable, but not exactly selling out any arenas. Expect a lot of kids and people and read up about the ship and the ports (dare I say visit other travel sites as well). Absolutely loved seeing the kids try new things and eat new things at dinner. I end my overly wordy review with a comment from my just completed the RCI survey. Question: Would you recommend this cruise to one of your friends? Answer: 10 (absolutely)   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Customer service is really bad on The Navigator of The Seas. We redeemed points from our Royal Caribbean credit card for on board credit. We had our emails and conformation numbers from the redemption and called Two days prior the confirm ... Read More
Customer service is really bad on The Navigator of The Seas. We redeemed points from our Royal Caribbean credit card for on board credit. We had our emails and conformation numbers from the redemption and called Two days prior the confirm the on board credit would be there. The credit was not there when we boarded and was told that we had to go through our travel agent to find anything out. Our travel agent finally got our credit on day Four of our Seven day cruise (The travel agent was not involved in the redeeming the points). Royal Caribbean in Galveston is very unorganized and is chaos when getting off the Ship. I will not go to Royal Caribbean in Galveston again, it was that bad. I do not mind waiting in line and I expected it to be organized. luggage on both sides of the room with snakes lines in the middle,security breaking and parting the lines to allow porters to bring in the luggage for the next cruise, people making their way through the snake lines to get their luggage and not knowing where the line started or stopped. It took us two hours to go through the lines. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This review is for the 31 August - 7 September cruise. Embarkation Just after 12:00 we arrived and parked at Galveston Park N’ Cruise (highly recommended!!!) across the street from the terminal and rolled our luggage across Harborside ... Read More
This review is for the 31 August - 7 September cruise. Embarkation Just after 12:00 we arrived and parked at Galveston Park N’ Cruise (highly recommended!!!) across the street from the terminal and rolled our luggage across Harborside Drive to the luggage drop off. We already had our luggage tagged, so while I expected just to drop it off, there was a porter there with his hand out. WTF? It took 45 minutes to clear security! Emerald / Diamond / Platinum guests (which we are) had their own line / metal detector, and there were 3 other lines / metal detectors for the other passengers. Noted that regular lines moved twice as fast as the “special” line for the most loyal passengers. FAIL! Once past the mess at security, check-in was very prompt / pleasant, requiring only about 5 minutes. We boarded the ship just after 13:00 and were able to proceed directly to our stateroom. Stateroom We tried one of the “Virtual Balcony” staterooms that were added earlier this year. We ended up enjoying it much more than we thought that we would. It’s basically a vary large HDTV stood up on edge. The image shown is from an aft-facing camera from the stern of the ship. This is the only view available. There is a remote control that is for power on/off, volume up/down, mute. At night we left the system on as we drifted off to the white noise of the sea. Very restful. Entertainment We found the Ice Show very nice and definitely worth attending. Note that you have to have a free ticket to attend one of the 4 shows offered. Those tickets are distributed on both embarkation day and the first sea day. On Saturday the featured entertainer was Chad Chesmark. He is a comedy magician and mentalist. His magic show was good, but the late night mentalist show was absolutely amazing. If you are fortunate enough to have him onboard, by all means attend his shows. Dining Overall the food in the Windjammer was good, and dinner in the main dining room was very good. We opted for the My Time Dining option, and we never a problem being promptly seated when we were ready to dine. We did go to Johnny Rockets while in Falmouth, and it was also very good (especially the apple pie). Thursday was my wife’s birthday, so we celebrated it at the Italian specialty restaurant, Giovanni’s Table. The service charge was $20 / person. The food was quite good and $20 seemed like fair value. Service was a little inconsistent, as the venue was understaffed. On sea days, you can have lunch at Giovanni’s Table for $15. Ports Cozumel We were the only ship in town, so we really had the attention of the vendors. The cab drivers were like hungry sharks circling us as we walked about town. Had lunch at Pancho’s Backyard. OMG, the margaritas! Grand Cayman We love Grand Cayman, but were disappointed that we were only there from 10:30 - 17:15 (last tender). We had an enjoyable snorkel at Eden Rock ($14 for equipment rental). Our last visit was 2 years ago, and we noted that a number of jewelry shops had closed down. Falmouth We looked forward to our first visit of this port, but were very disappointed. Royal built a very nice pier / shops, but just outside of the protective fencing were hoards of harassing people and shanty towns. Your best option here is to take one of the ship’s tours to Ocho Rios or Montego Bay. Likes I really like how Royal does photography compared to say, Carnival. Rather than printing every photo and placing them in photo display kiosks that clog up hallways as people stumble to find the needle in the haystack that is their photo, Royal asks for your stateroom number and digitally associates this with your photo. To see / order your photos, you simply slide your room key to see if you want them. No waste, minimal crowding. This is how photography should be on-board. The “Captain’s Corner” on the last sea day was very interesting / informative. The Norwegian captain - Frank Martinson - was very likable and professional. Learned some interesting things about the ship. Dislikes Yet again I didn’t visit the casino because of cigarette smoke. Not even one smoke-free night like on Princess. Past guest party for Emerald / Diamond / Platinum members. It was held in a too-small venue (Star Lounge). Drinks were few and far between and hors d’oeuvres were only a wistful dream. We really started to feel beat down by the incessant bombardment to buy things onboard. Spa treatments / drink packages / specialty restaurants / yoga classes / surfing lessons - ENOUGH ALREADY!!! I half expected a crew member to accost me in the pool trying to get me to buy some beads, just like the locals do in Progresso. We just want to relax on vacation not go thru a timeshare-like hard sell. That is what we are trying to get away from. Tipping - WOW envelope. This was left in the room the final sea day. The idea is that you give an extra gratuity a crew member who has “Wowed” you with their service. Our stateroom attendant conspicuously placed his business card on top of this envelope. Needless to say, I wasn’t “Wowed” by this action and he didn’t receive anything above and beyond the prepaid gratuities. I am also annoyed that drinks / restaurants have a line item for an “additional tip” even though a 15% gratuity is already included in the bill. Sorry, but I’m not going to be shamed or extorted to tip excessively.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Over the past 30 years, we've taken about 15 cruises, mostly on Royal Caribbean. However, we haven't sailed on RCI in about 5 years. The Navigator is the largest ship we've sailed on to date, and so we had very high ... Read More
Over the past 30 years, we've taken about 15 cruises, mostly on Royal Caribbean. However, we haven't sailed on RCI in about 5 years. The Navigator is the largest ship we've sailed on to date, and so we had very high expectations. Our itinerary was Roatan, Belize and Cozumel out of Galveston, and we brought along my son and his family of 5. We did not set out to find disappointments or limitations, but they did arise. However, none of them kept us from having a great time with our family, and we're glad we went. I just want to outline some of them here, so that others can be prepared. Note: all rooms are non-smoking, AND all balconies are non-smoking as well. Nice! Elevators were usually available, except at peak times. Speaking of muster, you no longer have to arrive with your life vest. Yay! It's still a really long, slow and hot process. Boo! There are numerous hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the ship, and there was never a shortage of staff disinfecting railings and doorknobs. You saw them everywhere. We were required to use hand sanitizer before entering the dining rooms. The attention to keeping germs from spreading was comforting. We opted for two Grand Suites, side-by-side, which were really great. Lots of room, lots of storage, nice big balconies (we had them open the partition between our balcony and my son's), huge bathroom, flat screen TV, refrigerator, I could go on and on. Lights in the closets would have been nice, but no big deal. However, the king mattress was by far the most HORRIBLE mattress we've ever slept on ANYWHERE in our travels. Having dropped a serious chunk of change to travel suite style, we could not believe how awful the mattress was. Very thin, very hard, very lumpy. It actually hurt my hips to sleep on my side. We didn't get one decent night's sleep the entire week. The mattress in the sleeper sofa was actually better. In looking back, I suppose we could have asked for another mattress, and will do so next time this ever comes up. And don't be fooled that because you're in a suite and paying higher tips, you'll get better cabin steward service. That wasn't the case for us. It wasn't bad service, just not what we expected, based on what's written on the website. However, by staying in a suite, you do get LOTS of perks that we enjoyed again and again, in particular the concierge lounge and priority debarkation, but even that still takes a few hours. We waited in a special lounge until we were called to get in line, but the concierge didn't give us any directions. He just said "time to go" and then disappeared, so a lot of people were confused about where the line actually was. Just keep in mind that debarkation is inherently long and slow, no matter what, so patience is key. Also, priority embarkation doesn't seem like a perk because it also takes a long time, but at the end of the day, it still takes less time than it does for other folks. Recommendation: arrive really early, ahead of the crowds. The food in the dining room was good, although the selections weren't as plentiful as they used to be. There is no midnight buffet any longer. There are no more "theme nights" in the dining room, so no more decorations or dancing with the wait staff, fun stuff like that. But our wait staff was exceptionally good, which made dinner enjoyable each night. The food in the Windjammer was the same over and over, as usual, and not particularly hot. But even with 7 of us, we never really had a problem finding a table that fit all of us comfortably. There are several ice cream stations on board, which the grandkids took advantage of....many times! Never did try room service, but as suite guests, you get a full menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. By having access to the concierge lounge, we could get coffee/tea/snacks 24/7, continental breakfast in the morning, cookies and desserts in the afternoon, and hors d'oerves and open bar in the evenings before dinner. We received two special invitations to cocktails and meet-and-greets with the captain and crew, but both times they fell right in the middle of our early dining time. Didn't understand that at all, and we were pretty disappointed at such obvious bad planning. There is a beautiful promenade deck, but very few shops, and all of the merchandise, especially jewelry, is high end, so not very affordable. Very few souvenirs for the children. Booze prices were not much better than we get at Spec's here in Austin. The "$10 merchandise night" offerings were nothing more than really cheap, poorly made items, and the experience was pure chaos. My advice? Don't go to that! Evening shows were mediocre at best, and many of them were held out in the open on the promenade deck, not the theater. ??? We had all looked so forward to good shows each night. Seems RCI is saving those for the megaships. Lots of bingo each day, but it's now really expensive, and the payouts aren't that great. Pools were usually crowded, as was miniature golf, no big surprise here. Don't know about the rock wall or the Flowrider. Plenty of places by the pool to catch some rays, or hang out in relative peace in the Solarium. Not very many poolside games, though, just mostly music, but they often used live bands, which was nice. There's a reserved area of seating and a bar for suite guests. That was great. Photo gallery is now high tech, and you'll pay the price. Like as much as $40 per 8x10, if you purchase less than 10 photos. Process of viewing, ordering and picking up is pretty slick, though. My advice: go for the photos settings with the white and/or black backgrounds. Those are usually a lot better than the cheesy backgrounds. Casino is very smokey, even on the non-smoking side, so be prepared for that. You win often enough to play for a while, but don't expect to come home with your money! There are plentiful shore excursion offerings, unless you're traveling with small children. Most of the excursions have a height limit. As a result, we had to opt for the beach breaks and shopping, but we still had lots of fun. Because we traveled with family, and our grandkids had never cruised before, this was a special trip for us and we had a good time. Cruising is a great way to travel, and we'll keep on doing it for as long as we can! Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
There are better cruise ships out there than this one. Choose differently.Had a loud and annoying banging / tapping noise- metal to metal from the moment we entered our room. The issue was addressed by us and several other passengers on ... Read More
There are better cruise ships out there than this one. Choose differently.Had a loud and annoying banging / tapping noise- metal to metal from the moment we entered our room. The issue was addressed by us and several other passengers on this floor as well as the floor below. Complained all throughout the cruise(mainly during the hours of midnight on) and lost lots of sleep. I think that they decided that it was a steam pipe bracket ? and finally said that they would turn it off 6 days into the cruise. Don't get why they just didn't fix it especailly on the days that we were in port. Their compensation was to give a small discount for a future cruise. Right - I would want to jump right on that. No thanks. I will spend my money elsewhere. Windjammer food - no variety and closes at 9:00pm. Breakfast - don't order a cook to order egg. Chicken will hatch before it gets to you. Rest of the food - cold and the same ole - same ole.This leave one small venue open at night that is on the promenade deck and has one staff member trying to serve the same ole small sandwiches /pizza every day. When the shows get out at night and everyone is lined up at this one place- good luck getting anything. Not worth waiting for. Not really much activities to do on the ships - Never have figured out the art auctions events on ships but go view the collection just to kill time but this collection of art was the absolute worst ever.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Embarkation day My sister dropped us off at the terminal at 10 am. There were two lines. I got in the wrong line which was priority. The regular line is the far left. At 10:30 they opened the door and we started in. We were through ... Read More
Embarkation day My sister dropped us off at the terminal at 10 am. There were two lines. I got in the wrong line which was priority. The regular line is the far left. At 10:30 they opened the door and we started in. We were through security in about 15 mins. We went on into the terminal and found our line (Gold). We were second in line and were through and seated in about 5 mins. At 11:10 they called the ship was ready and we were on the ship eating lunch by 11:20. Quickest I’ve ever been on the ship. It pays to go early. The ship Navigator had been through an overhaul so I was expecting a lot. It honestly didn’t look any different than some of the older ships I had been on. It was very nice though. I love the open promenade of RC ships. It was so open and roomy. I never felt crowded. One thing I must point out is, they had changed all the seating on the ship to chairs with arms. This was an issue for large people! The dining room had arm chairs and they were very snug if you were a large person. They do have some without arms but it was rather embarrassing for you to have to ask for one. The chairs in the Windjammer buffet were the same only smaller. At the entrance to the Windjammer, there is a little bar and the tables there didn’t have arms so a lot of larger people were setting in those to eat. The theater chairs have all been replaced. They used to have long benches with tables for your drinks. Now they are theater chairs, tight theater chairs. And no place for your drink. They had some little holder things connected to your seat but not all of the drinks would fit into that. I saw a lot of larger people leave the show because they couldn’t fit in the chairs. I’m not really sure the reasons for all the snug chairs but just letting you know ahead of time if this is an issue with you. Guess they want us to go on diets and not eat so much while we are on board. Cabin We stayed in cabin #6309. A promenade inside room. The room was so small! It worked out ok for the price but if at all possible, I won’t do that again. There was very little storage space. There was one row of drawers under the TV. The closet had shelves were you could put your under clothes and folded up shirts. There were plenty of hangers. We put our suitcases under the bed. There were two small sofas for places to sit. Some have said that you couldn’t hear the music in the promenade rooms. Not so. It wasn’t blaring but we could hear it. Two floors down from us was a bar with an area for a band and we could always hear them playing. It didn’t bother us though. I loved the central location of this room. It was very easy getting around. The a/c in this room was perfect. I had taken a fan but didn’t even need it. I can’t begin to tell you how small the bathroom was. But if you are very small people, say a size less than 14, it probably wouldn’t seem so small to you. Our room attendant was Raul and he was the best! We didn’t see him the first day but told another person that we needed ice in our room if they could tell Raul for us and we had ice twice a day every day after that. We did meet him on the second day and saw him a lot after that. He always greeted us by our name. We asked him for wine glasses for our wine that we brought on board and he brought those to us. Dining Here is where I had some issues. I didn’t like hardly any of the food. The breakfast buffet area was huge. There was everything imaginable. Lots of stuff that I would never eat at breakfast though. I had a bagel with ham and bacon everyday and some days I had grits and eggs which were really good. The bacon was so greasy and not cooked very crisp. They had fresh cooked omelets and fried eggs. There really was something for everyone even though not cooked very well. The scrambled eggs were like a powdered egg mix. Disgusting. The pancake syrup was horrible. Bring your own if you like pancakes. Lunch, didn’t care for a lot of the dishes. The hamburgers and hot dogs were lukewarm to cold. I’m used to an open grill where you see them making the hamburgers and you can get hot ones. Nothing like that here. Everything was made behind closed doors and brought out in pans. The French fries were pretty good. We ate at Johnny Rockets because we knew the food would be hot and fresh and good! There is a little deli that serves food after hours. They had a lot of cold sandwiches, no more Panini’s like they had before a few years ago. You could get pizza there. It was ok. My husband didn’t like it at all. And you could get cookies and sweets there. No midnight buffet. Nowhere to get nachos or a hot snack late in the evening. Very disappointing. On Carnival, you can get hamburgers and pizza late at night. You could call room service but that took an hour and a half!! MDR- We had the best server, Drazen. He was an older man around 56 maybe. He took great care of us. Even when some of our tablemates came late to dinner nearly every day, he still took good care of us. Again, didn’t like the food. I am not a picky eater! I found something every night that I could eat but the choices wasn’t good in my opinion. Entertainment. We saw some really good shows in the theater. I was just uncomfortable with the tight seating. The Beach boys cover band was really good. We failed to get tickets for the ice skating so we didn’t get to see that. They are free; you just have to get them by Tuesday. We loved the Bubba Feathers Band. We went to see them every chance we got. There was also a Latin band and a reggae band that was really good. No problem finding something to do in the evening. Our cruise director Mitch was really good too. For once, one that spoke great English! We really enjoyed the Solarium, adult only area. The pool was nice and there were two huge hot tubs. We went into the middle pool area some but not much. We sat on the top deck and watched some of the activities going on at the pool. Two different days they cook some stuff out on the pool deck. Jambalaya, we missed that day because we slept in and then bbq ribs and chicken. The ribs were really good. Missing was… the waiters didn’t sing or dance this time around. I kinda enjoyed seeing them that in the past but no big deal.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
It been a while since we sailed with RCI and we were disappointed with the selection and quality of the food. It was the same thing for 7 days in the windjammer food was warm at best and lacked variety. The formal dining lacked any great ... Read More
It been a while since we sailed with RCI and we were disappointed with the selection and quality of the food. It was the same thing for 7 days in the windjammer food was warm at best and lacked variety. The formal dining lacked any great desserts like warm molten chocolate cake, etc. We ate at the Chops steak house the first night and found out they didn't even offer a ribeye. if you wanted an aged porter house, it would cost an additional approximately $20.00 on top of the $35.00. The wait staff at Chops were running around like it was a fast food service, quick in, quick out. 'My wife and I were celebrating our anniversary and were expecting better food and quality service. The embarkation and debarkation process was quick and fast, but where where was the RCI staff welcoming you on board. There were no one. Our stateroom was not clean, but we eventually got that resolved and a bottle of wine for that problem. One big attraction for us was the flow rider and it was only opened only twice a day for either 1 hr or 2 hrs. It just seemed they lacked personnel on the ship for everything. The staff they had were very good and friendly, which made our cruise somewhat more bearable, but for the entertainment and quality, I think we will be using Carnival or other cruise lines, after all they still offer the turn down chocolates at bedtime. Also we are emerald level and had no robes, which we found out you have to request. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Background: This was our 5th cruise, the 4th on Royal Caribbean. 3rd time out of Galveston. Parking in Galveston: We parked at Galveston Park N Cruise. Booked online. It is located directly across from the Carnival cruise terminal, not ... Read More
Background: This was our 5th cruise, the 4th on Royal Caribbean. 3rd time out of Galveston. Parking in Galveston: We parked at Galveston Park N Cruise. Booked online. It is located directly across from the Carnival cruise terminal, not the Royal Caribbean cruise terminal. When facing the terminals, Royal Caribbean is on the left, just a short walk. This was a great place to park and if you need assistance, they have golf carts to move you around. Embarkation from Galveston: We arrived at the port at 12:30 pm. There was a line at security but it was inside the building. We waited a little over 30 minutes. After going through security, check in at Royal Caribbean was fast. Ship Information: We sailed on Navigator of the Seas last time in November 2012. Since then, the ship went into dry dock for refurbishing. They removed the in-line skating area and replaced it with the Flow Rider. They refurbished the mini golf course. The balcony rooms have flat screen TVs. It looked like most of the carpet throughout the ship is new. Not sure but think the atrium sculptures also are new. Cabin: Our cabin was a balcony room on the 7th floor, about the center of the ship, starboard side. Nice room. Comfortable bed and pillows. We did notice some rust near the balcony door on the wall and the back side of the blackout drapes were dirty. Would be hard for the staff to see so that's probably why it hadn't been taken care of. We asked for ice the first day and had ice without asking every day. Dining: We had the 5:30 pm seating in the Main Dining Room. The lobster was a nice surprise. It was cooked perfectly and a good size. Last time the lobsters were really small. On previous cruises, the appetizers and salads were separate courses on the menu. Now they have been merged into one, although you can still order both. The service was good every night but the first night. Perhaps they were just getting into the swing. Room Service: We ordered room service one morning. It was nice not to have to get dressed just to go get coffee. We had toast, fruit, and coffee. Windjammer: We ate at the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch. We were satisfied with the selection. Timing is everything as some food can be cold if it has set out too long. Specialty Restaurants: We ate lunch at Giovanni's. It's $15 per person at lunch vs $20 at dinner. They are only open for lunch on 'at sea' days. It was great. Highly recommend it. Great food and great service. Another couple we met on the ship ate at both Giovanni's and Chops for dinner and they liked Giovanni's better. Watch out for the bottled water. They offer still or carbonated water but don't tell you that there's an extra charge for it. It's $7 so ask for tap water if you prefer it or don't want to spend the extra money. Entertainment: The Ice Show is new since we saw it 2 years ago. And we think it's better than last time. The other shows were ok but nothing noteable. We were relieved to hear a variety of music played throughout the ship. Perhaps Royal Caribbean listened as several previous reviewers complained that nothing but country music was played. We enjoyed the trivia contests. The yoga class is not for beginners. It's very fast paced, cardio oriented, with little or no instruction. In the library, there are daily sudoku and trivia quizzes in hardcopy form. We didn't discover this until late in the cruise but enjoyed taking them along to work on. They also offered 2 half hour beginning Spanish language classes which were good. Port & Shore Excursions: We booked all our excursions through Royal Caribbean. You can get them cheaper on your own but we like the guarantee that the ship won't leave you if your excursion is late getting back to the ship. We have seen people get left on previous cruises. And we've also seen the ship wait for their own excursions to arrive. Roatan, Honduras: Our excursion was the Roatan Island Tour and Highlights. Transportation was in a VW type van. The air conditioner barely worked so it was pretty warm. The tour made 4 stops. The first was Panorama Hill at what appeared to be a mostly abandonded shopping plaza. This stop was primarily for taking pictures of our ship in port. The second stop was to the Pirates Bay Tourist resort. There was a small beach here. The next stop was Cyndie's Paradise Point. The owners are a couple formerly of Fort Lauderdale, FL. They bought the land and had the house built a few years ago. They have great porches and views of the north and south coasts. Very reasonable prices for rum shots, coke, and bottled water. The final stop was Parrot Tree Beach Resort. This is a resort owned by Century 21. Not sure if these are condos or timeshares but there was no sales pitch involved in the tour. Nice man-made bay and beach. Lounge chairs, tables and chairs, and covered areas. This was a nice excursion for an overview of the island. Frankly, we weren't that impressed with Roatan. We were warned by our dining room waiter not to venture out on your own. A few months ago, one of the Carnival cruise line employees got shot in Roatan. There's nothing much to see within walking distance anyway. Most of the shops of interest are right at the port. Belize: We did the Airboat Adventure & Belize City Tour. Transportation was a nice Greyhound type bus with good air conditioning. The city tour was good and very informative. We really liked the airboat ride although we didn't see any manatees. They provide hearing protection for the boat ride. We wanted to ride an airboat for sometime so this tour fit our needs well. It is not an adventure tour. You do have to be able to walk up and down stairs and get in a boat, but there's no real physical activity. We heard lots of good reviews on the Cave Tubing. We will try that next time. Cozumel: Our excursion was Salsa, Salsa, and Margaritas. There are 2 main downsides to this excursion. First, the ride to/from is in taxis. If you want to leave early, you have to have a taxi full of people (normally 8) before they will leave. Secondly, the room isn't air conditioned. They have fans blowing but in late August, it was still hot. Be prepared and ask for water, first thing. Otherwise, we really enjoyed the excursion. They provide chef hats and aprons. You divide into pairs and one person chops and the other mashes. 6 different salsas are prepared including guacamole, red, green, pico de gallo, mango/melon, pineapple, and dessert salsa. They also serve small servings of cheese quesadillas and chicken taquitos. The margaritas aren't very strong so don't worry about getting drunk unless you drink a lot of them. All the food and drinks were good including the hibiscus tea. The host chefs were very entertaining and kept everything moving. It was fun. Disembarkation at Galveston: We signed up for self assist express departure. We were off the ship and out of the terminal by 7:55 am. Much better organized than when we did it 2 years ago. Final Thoughts: We won't be cruising to the Caribbean again in late August. It was too hot with very little, if any, breeze. And we used to live in Houston so we know hot and humid. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
(not in any order, just off the top of my head) Just got back from a back to back so we had 2 weeks to see if things were different (this was our fourth time on this ship) cons - galveston traffic (not the ships fault) winjammer ... Read More
(not in any order, just off the top of my head) Just got back from a back to back so we had 2 weeks to see if things were different (this was our fourth time on this ship) cons - galveston traffic (not the ships fault) winjammer closing times shortened - at breakfast on the first morning I was told "no more sausages" while it was still open and a lot of people mulling about looking for breakfast. The bacon looked like you would wear it as combat vest. on the first night the dining room food was cold, we ordered wine at about the time we sat down, and received it with dessert. they gave my seapass card back to a lady at our table - we had a good laugh we never went back to the dining room in 2 weeks, ate at the specialty restaurants, and windjammer if we could make it before 9., the only food available was the same room service menu, and one little coffee shop on the promenade which had the same pizza and one poor fellow giving out the same tiny sandwiches with one slice of ham and half a slice of cheese. we had a water issue in our cabin, but was resolved successfully by the hotel staff we had a sewage smell in the corridor to our cabin on deck 8 midship, and one night it came into our cabin with a vengeance, maintenance was right on top of it and put something in the toilet that made it go away the bed was horrible, it was shaped like a hammock, but only in the middle, and for the first 4 nights I woke up with pain on both sides of my back...I switched with my wife who slept the other way around and it worked....but not ideal. Our cabin attendant basically did her job, but actually got annoyed because I was napping 2 times when she wanted to come in. One night she did not even make up the cabin. the disembarkation in Galveston was an absolute nightmare, and the worst we've seen in 31 cruises. They only had a few TSA booths open and 2 ships trying to get off. I saved the Pro's for last all of the public areas of the ship were immaculate and constantly cleaned. In addition to being wiped down for virus, everything was usually kept spotless. Most of the staff tried very hard to make the vacation enjoyable. There were 2 exceptional people who really made it fun for us, the diamond concierge (we spent a couple of hours in there everyday), and the casino host was a lot of fun (we spent more than a couple of hours in there every night). Ships security was always efficient, and the process smooth, especially at peak time disembarking and embarking in busy ports. We dined a lot in the specialty restaurants. Sabor and Izumi are an absolute 10/10 every time we went there. Giovanni's was very good also, but I almost hurt someone when a button popped off from all the eating. Overall, it seems some company changes like cutting back on the quality and availability of food was disappointing. During refit, the addition of Sabor and Izumi was an excellent decision. The diamond lounge is a fantastic addition (very quiet, no kids). The upgrades to the cosmetics inside the ship are well done, but the "guts" of the ship are still old and need more maintenance than a newer ship (the maintenance people and hotel staff tried their best to rectify issues, but these issues arose more often, with more different people than we have seen in the past) Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We cruise alot these days and like these two lines.  Here is my comparison of their mid-ships ( ie Nav/mariner of Seas vs Grand/Star Princess)... Both are very clean and no issues with staffing or pleasantness thereof. Windjammer vs ... Read More
We cruise alot these days and like these two lines.  Here is my comparison of their mid-ships ( ie Nav/mariner of Seas vs Grand/Star Princess)... Both are very clean and no issues with staffing or pleasantness thereof. Windjammer vs Horizon Crt : basically a tie as far as food goes. Princess offers better hours and more fruit/veggies at lunch, RCLL has Lemonade and flavoured water out with iced tea so more options. RCLL closes Windjammer 11-noon and 430-530pm which is a ROYAL (pun intended) pain to me as snacks are now 6 floors away and so is an iced tea. Strange times to close IMO. Princess keeps one line open always and open later at nite as well BBQ Princess wins. Their burgers and hotdogs are fresh on a BBQ, RCLL has then sitting in pans in buffet. Pizza also way better on Princess. RCLL has best fries ANYWHERE tho. CASINO basically the same BUT Princess usu offers 2 smoke-free nites in a 7-day cruise which is nice Entertainment Dont really like the singers n dancers on either line. So no winner and u are at mercy of who the headliners brtought in are on each cruise. RCLL wins tho as Quest game show (adults only) and ice shows are not avail on Princess. All have outdoor movies at nite tho. Better movies IMO on Princess. DINING ROOM Both are excellent in staff and food. No complaints. RCLL does offer a great salad bar at lunch. Food was awesome on both. RCLL offers open concept so u can see all three floors so it looks more grand , as Princess ships only have your one floor visible. For the 'always avail' food, Princess has a wicked fett alfredo, RCLL has escargots and their desserts include liqueur recipes. SHIP LAYOUT Seemed RCLL ships were easier to navigate ( again, pun). Princess seem to put the kitchen towards mid-ship so entry gets blocked off and u have to approach from a floor up or down. SPORTS RCLL wins hands down. both have ball courts but Flowrider and rock walls and way better mini-golf make it a non contest. TRIVIA lots on both ships but RCLL offers music trivia NIGHTLY. Prizes are lame on both. Logo and dingbat trivai were good on RCLL. Lyric and liars club were good on Princess. CABINS RCLL are bigger. If 4 in a cabin, RCLL uses a hide-a-bed while 2 bunks come from the ceiling on Princess. Some inside cabins on RCLL have a virtual screen looking off the stern and its very realistic, sound too! STAFF Never had a concern on any of these lines. AGE OF CRUISERS RCLL is younger. More kids (teens) and younger parents due to all the fun things to do. More late 20-s, 30's honeymooners too. Princess is older but not that much ( not like H America, Crystal etc,) Overall, Princess is better IMO in food due to a better Cafe, BBQ and buffet and RCLL is better if u want fun, espec with teens, BUT both are great , even where the other line is the better option Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was our honeymoon. We had a great time together but would never choose Royal Caribbean again. The ship was beautiful, and well maintained. I'll start with the positive- kinda. We had an amazing room with balcony. 9060 - huge ... Read More
This was our honeymoon. We had a great time together but would never choose Royal Caribbean again. The ship was beautiful, and well maintained. I'll start with the positive- kinda. We had an amazing room with balcony. 9060 - huge balcony off the back of the ship. The one next to us was a little bigger but it was nice for us. The chairs on the balcony were horrible. They were so uncomfortable. I tried twice to have someone get us new chairs - nothing. Very disappointing because my back was not the best at the beginning so I couldn't enjoy just relaxing out on the balcony. The food was great in the dinning room. We ate in the dinning room for almost every meal - breakfast, lunch and dinner! The only good service we got the whole week. The buffet was so crowded and food was just okay. Room service was a joke. It took an hour and a half to get our snack - no joke - a plate of chips and some fruit. We liked to sit out on deck 12 by the track and relax in the sun. The pool deck was to crazy and loud for us. There were maybe 2 bar waiters walking around the whole 7 days, and only one of them asked us once if we needed anything. The service on this ship was very low. I was so disappointed in how the crew worked. They got paid what they got because of the prepaid gratuities and you could tell. There was no motivation to work any harder. Also one thing I really disliked about this cruise was there was always an option to spend more money - even in the Dinning Room. I paid a good amount of money to eat what I want. I understand spending a little for a specialty dinner - but the dinning room??? They liked to sell EVERYTHING. They advertise for budget friendly vacations but are selling thousands of dollar watches and diamonds. Doesn't make since to me. We booked all our excursions with 3rd party companies - the locals. Belize was so frustrating because we had to be tendered. But they would only let RCI excursions on the first tenders - an hour and a half later we finally got a tender to shore. That made our excursion late and almost missed the ship coming back. Going 3rd party is the way to do it - support the local economy and businesses - makes sense. Every one paid to get on the cruise but only those who booked with RCI for excursions got special advantages for our short visit to Belize. Honduras was our favorite! Cozumel was expensive and HOT. When we got back to Galveston - it was horrible. Ship was 2 hours behind getting everybody off the boat, then forced all 3000 people into the customs line where we waited another 2.5 hours. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Just a preface to this review: It has been almost three years since we have cruised RCCL’s Navigator OTS, and our first time on this ship out of Galveston. There sure have been some noticeable changes! This was a summertime cruise and ... Read More
Just a preface to this review: It has been almost three years since we have cruised RCCL’s Navigator OTS, and our first time on this ship out of Galveston. There sure have been some noticeable changes! This was a summertime cruise and the seas were glassy calm the entire trip. This was the Cozumel/Cayman/Jamaica itinerary which we had done two other times before. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++ EMBARKATION: Galveston We used EZ-Cruise parking again. Their parking area appears quite secure and the staff is very nice. However, now the private cruise parking shuttles are relegated to the far-end of the drop-off area – a good 100 yards from the terminal. That is not so bad, but the porters do not walk that far for a tip. They can stay right around the terminal and do more, shorter trips for more income. There is no motivation for them to wall all the way down to the private shuttle drop-off area. If you over-pack (like we did!) you will have to haul your luggage to the terminal on your own. The lines were very, very long at embarkation. Luckily we skipped them as Suite guests. The front of the terminal seemed quite chaotic with baggage handlers yelling at each other. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ THE SHIP: Navigator OTS. We were in a junior-suite on Deck 10. This was quiet cabin with lots of room and a balcony. An unexpected change is that there is no longer a coffee table in front of the sofa. That leaves a lot of open floor space, and very little horizontal surface to use. When a room service tray is delivered, there is literally nowhere to put the tray! When asked, the staff explained that they had removed the coffee tables from the mini-suites because guests were putting them out on the balcony and they were rusting. I would imagine the sofa pillows have disappeared for similar reasons. The walk-in closet is very nice and provides plenty of shelving for moving in. The bath has a tub-shower. However, on our cruise, there was a sewage odor in the bathroom off and on for the entire trip. About 2 in ten flushes during the trip would not work (button was not functional). We were told this was due to clogged pipes somewhere in the vacuum system. This appeared to be an ongoing problem with the longest time between malfunctions being about 5 hours. Overall, the ship appeared well kept. The carpets were clean and common areas did not look worn. The elevator buttons were almost always sticky, but that was likely due to the large number of kids on board this summer cruise. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ DINING Dining attendance appeared down compared to several years ago even though ship was booked almost to capacity. We were at the 6:30 PM seating, and it appeared the dining was at around 60% of capacity on our 4th floor dining room each night. Attire is casual on all nights except formal nights. On formal nights, well over ½ the men are wearing just pants and a shirt (no tie). Some wear sport coats or suits, and a few wear a tux. The food portions have shrunk to the point that everyone at our table, and those tables around us, routinely ordered two or three of each course. It is Texas, but even we were leaving hungry with only one of each course! There are now only three courses served (appetizer, main, and dessert). The salad and appetizer have merged. On the positive side, the quality of the food is as good as or better than it ever has been. Dining Etiquette: Where dining used to be an event, it is simply another place to eat now. Continuously screaming kids banging the table throughout dinner is cute in the Windjammer, but this appears now to be acceptable in the dining room (and I like kids!) Dining Staff & Performance: To go along with the above, the dining staff has dropped their level of service considerably since we last cruised on this ship. It was not uncommon for the main course to take 80 minutes to be served after we were seated at 6:30 PM. Appetizer and Entrée selections were simply missed or randomly substituted with another item that was not ordered. Not once did a wait staff member drop by the table after the entrée was served to ensure everything was OK, offer ground pepper, grated parm, or ensure the food was prepared properly. The next dining staff visit was always with the dessert menu. One last item regarding staff is self-promotion. With obvious lackluster performance behind them, the dining room PA system blared out an invitation on one of the last nights for everyone to stand up and show our appreciation for the outstanding service we had received in the dining room. This included a comment that the last cruise did this, so we should, too. About ½ stood and most politely clapped for a few seconds. It was an awkward moment. Alcohol Add-Ons: No longer does the dining staff pressure-sell alcohol before, during, and after the meal. For us, this is a nice change. Even the hocking of fancy poolside drinks appeared to be quite subdued compared to prior cruises. Windjammer: The food and service in the Windjammer was actually as good as or better than the dining room. There were some service delays for omelets in the morning, and mad rushes at times when the Windjammer was about to close, but overall it was functioning well. Seating availability was tight at times, but the staff was very helpful in keeping up with clearing tables as they emptied. More than one fellow cruiser said it would be nice if there were someplace on the ship (other than the coffee shop) to get food 24/7 like on other cruise lines. When the Windjammer is closed, it can be pretty slim pickings for food around the Navigator OTS. +++++++++++++++++++++++++ STAFF With the near 100% implementation of auto-tipping (it is built-in to your cruise billing), staff members do not seem to be as focused on service. They will get the same tip no matter the service they provide. However, they do want you to fill out the “WOW” cards where you can drop a note to management about an outstanding staff member. We still provided an additional cash tip to some staff members who were especially outstanding – and that seemed to be truly appreciated. Based on our experiences, we found two bar staff members to be downright rude and angry (bad day on Deck 14?), cabin staff (and supporting staff) to be very competent and pleasant, and cuffed (higher ranking) personnel to be very polite and cordial. +++++++++++++++++++++++++ PORTS In Cozumel, we returned to Chakanaab for a beach day. After a 10 minute wait in the taxi line, we were at the beach in 15 minutes. We used the $2 coupon from the web to save on entrance fees. Snorkeling was good, but not awesome. Food (Guaco & chips) was good, but not awesome (chips were stale). The sand, sun, water, and service were great. We were early enough to get a palapa for shade and that made all the difference. In Cayman we returned to the Royal Palms. Beautiful sand, warm clear water, and great service. The food was very good. It is just a 5-10 minute taxi ride from the pier. The usual toys are available for rent. In Jamaica, we hired a private driver (working for Courtney Taylor) and visited Blue Hole and the Turtle River Falls. Everything went smooth and was without worries. A word of warning about shopping in the walled-off Falmouth cruise terminal area: We (along with everyone else) were rushing through the rain to pick up last minute gifts at our last port before boarding the ship. Some vendors were taking advantage of visitors with enhanced pricing and dubious change practices. In our case, we picked up a Tortuga item that (I later found) was priced 35% cheaper on the ship (my mistake). We purchased a run-of-the-mill t-shirt in this terminal area and it was USD $27.50. That’s OK – we liked the shirt. However, we paid with a USD $50 bill. The shop handed my wife back 12 $1 coins…Jamaican $1 coins. That would seem to a naïve tourist to be $12 change for a $27.50 purchase using a $50 bill. Right? Not so fast. We were rushing and I didn't realize until we got home that we just received less than 10 cents of USD change for a USD$27.50 purchase with a USD$50 bill! One Jamaican dollar coin is worth less than a penny in US money. Next time, we won’t accept change in Jamaican dollars thinking they are a US Dollar! Shame on us for our ignorance and shame on the vendor for taking advantage of rushing tourists. I expected more in this special RCCL-built shops area with badged employees. We had our guard down. +++++++++++++++++++++++++ DISEMBARKATION Getting off the ship went as smooth as could be. 25 minutes from ship to car. Porters are available in the terminal to help with navigating lines and bags. We were on the road by 10:00 AM. +++++++++++++++++++++++ SUMMARY Overall, we had a great cruise on the Navigator. The changes are fascinating to see as RCCL evolves. We now have different expectations for RCCL. Not bad, just different than three years ago. We would do the cruise again – but perhaps after school has started back up. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
I think we had such a great time in 2009 on Voyager of the Seas, that our expectations were very high for this one after hearing about the remodel, so we were a little bit disappointed about several things, but overall this was a really ... Read More
I think we had such a great time in 2009 on Voyager of the Seas, that our expectations were very high for this one after hearing about the remodel, so we were a little bit disappointed about several things, but overall this was a really Fun cruise! We are pretty easy to please, but this was our 14th cruise, so we do have other experiences to which we compared, and so here ya go - just don't get the wrong impression that this wasn't a fantastic cruise overall, because it was! Our itinerary was Galveston to Cozumel, Grand Cayman & Falmouth Jamaica. We arrived at the port early and were able to get in the shorter check-in line for Gold members and up, which helped. But this was the 1st time in a long time that we've checked in for a cruise & not been able to just walk onto the ship. There is very little waiting/seating area in the Galveston terminal, so that was a bit of a pain to have to stand around waiting for hard-to-hear announcements, but they called Gold pretty quickly, and we were on our way. The next thing that bummed us out was the lunch that was offered as soon as we boarded. We so look forward to a sit-down lunch in 1 of the main dining rooms when we 1st board a cruise, and this ship did not have that available. Very surprising & disappointing! We were directed to the Windjammer Buffet - yuck! The line was horrendous & the food was all dry and tasteless. It was inedible in my opinion & I refused to go to the buffet for the rest of the cruise. Our teens ate there on occasion though. Our cabins were ready by the time we finished lunch, which was a pleasant surprise. The kids had an inside cabin across the hall from our balcony cabin on deck 7 aft, starboard side. After visiting the ports, we wished we'd booked the port side for more scenery. But it was still very nice. The balcony was large enough for 2 chairs & a small table comfortably. If you're next door to travel companions, the balcony doors can be opened & secured to make 1 big balcony area you can share. The inside cabin was small but had plenty of storage space. Our balcony cabin was a bit larger, and the balcony was a great place to hang out with coffee or wine. (Remember: you're allowed 2 bottles of wine per cabin, brought on board with you. Hand carry it in your carry-on bag for safe keeping.) The kids said their beds were comfortable enough, but we had to ask our steward for a foam pad to put over our mattresses, because they were so incredibly hard, our hips and shoulders hurt so much from sleeping on our sides by the 2nd night. The foam pad helped, and we slept better. The showers are good in the cabins. They're the rounded sliding door kind, instead of a wet, sticky curtain. I liked it. I only wish the bathrooms were set up like they are on the Epic. I liked the Epic's separation of the toilet in its own little sliding door room, and the shower across from that with its own sliding door. And on the Epic, the sink is in another separate area, so the mirror doesn't get fogged up for someone else trying to get ready while the other person showers. This ship has the old tiny bathroom set-up, but at least there's a shelf & medicine cabinet for storage (Hint: bring a hanging plastic shoe holder (the kind with many pockets) with you. Hang it from the hooks by the door of the cabin, so you can get all your toiletries, sunglasses, sunscreen, etc out of the way, off the tables & counter space.) The ship is very pretty, but there are not enough shops in the promenade, and there are very few places to eat that don't cost extra. There's only 1 main dining room besides the buffet. The 3-story Sapphire dining room. And the only other free places to get food are Room Service and the promenade pastry/coffee place. Everything inside there is free. The starbucks & icecream is not. We were disappointed that there weren't any additional places to eat for free, like there are on ships like the Epic, which has O'Shean's irish pub for fish and chips, shepherds pie, cheese sticks, etc. Other cruise lines have little burger or pizza stands, etc for snacks. Not this ship. You're going to pay for Johnny Rockets and the other specialty restaurants, so we didn't do any of those. We were limited to the 1 main dining room. Our assigned dinner time was 8pm. We had a table for 4 and the same wait staff each night. They did a wonderful job, and the food was very good. Not the best we've ever had on a ship, but very good nonetheless. And the service was wonderful. We were able to order 3 lobster tails on lobster night - yum! The only time the dining room upset us was at breakfast every morning. We would arrive at approx. 9am or earlier, and there was usually a line, but rarely was it bad. The only day it was really bad was Cayman day. Deck 3 is the tender waiting area, and that's where the restaurant is for breakfast, so everyone must have decided to have breakfast there instead of the buffet that day, and it was crazy. Every other day of the cruise, when we would ask the hostess for a table for 4 (we are not sociable, especially in the morning), she would give us an exasperated look, like Uggghhh, what a hassle, and tell the wait staff "table for 4". That person would then either try to walk us to a Giant table (all the Giant tables are by the windows, which sucks for us families of 4) & we'd have to say in front of all of those people "No, we don't want a large table", or they would escort us to 1 of the worst tables in the dining room: next to the serving area, right in the middle of a main walkway, or in the middle of a bunch of crying babies. That happened every morning. And 2 times breakfast was very busy, so the waiter was obsiously rushing us and then get our orders wrong. Breakfast needs to be worked on. They need to open the upstairs areas or something. Having everyone report to deck 3 of the main dining room was too crowded. We like to order room service in the early morning and have coffee and croissants on the balcony. But Be sure to put the order on your door the night before, because there were a couple of port mornings when we were told they couldn't deliver to our cabin for 1-1.5 hour. If you place your order the night before, they're good about getting it there on time, if not early. The English pub and the wine bar were nice areas to relax in the early evening. The pub offered $3 pints of Heineken. That's all they had on tap. Bottles of various beers were approx. $8/bottle. If you're a 2nd time cruiser or higher, check your ship pass, there are several 2 for 1 deals already loaded on your card. Each of us had a buy 1 get 1 beer/wine by the glass offer, and a buy 1 get 1 milkshake at Johnny Rockets, shopping discounts, etc. The shows with singers/dancers were pretty generic. We enjoyed the comedian and the juggler. The Texas Tenors were amazing! The promenade parade looked cheezy. We didn't stay. Shopping is a joke. They hold things back & announce very limited times for certain items to be available, and people crowd in acting like they've never seen a cheap piece of crap in their lives. Are they so desperate for entertainment/shopping that they don't care what it is? We avoided the shopping areas/times like the plague. I did like that inch of gold/silver was available most of the time. I usually treat myself to a piece or 2. They are pretty and can withstand swimming in the salt water. The kids only enjoyed the Flow Rider the 1st day. They had a blast on it! But the rest of the cruise they wouldn't go, because they thought it would be too crowded, so I don't know. We spent most of our time at the adult pool, the Solarium, which was very peaceful. Our 18 year old was with us, and our 15 year old hung out with new-found friends at the teen club. The teens have their own special times at night for ice skating and flow rider, which I thought was cool. I was surprised my teens didn't take advantage of the rock climbing, skating, mini golf, etc. They were more chill on this cruise for some reason. We never book excursions through the ship, because they're usually way too expensive, and they make them sound so much more exciting than they end up being. We can do much better on our own, and that we did for all 3 ports on this cruise. In Cozumel, we took a cab ($11 each way) to Chankanaab park. There we paid $37 per person for entry, which included all the facilities, chairs & umbrellas, snorkeling, dolphin & sea lion shows, 1 beer per person & a free Tshirt per person. It was a great deal, and we all had a blast. There's a lagoon with walking trails around it and through a bit of the jungle, where you can go see crocodiles, and there are miniature ruins. We really enjoyed the snorkeling. The water was fantastic. If you don't want to snorkel, it's $21 per person for park entry and amenities. You can watch the dolphin experiences/shows even if you're not participating. It's pretty cool. There are cabs outside when you're ready to head back to the port. We docked at International pier. We hung out at Senor Frogs for a while until it was time to head back to the ship. Margaritas are a bit pricey, but our 18 year old enjoyed being able to order drinks. They have a small pool & beach area there for swimming/tanning if you'd like to just hang out there for a while. Grand Cayman is a tender port, and the process was a bit of a hassle. You go down at 8:30am to get your tender tickets. On other cruises, we've been able to stay in our cabin and wait for our tender number to be called. But not here. You have to go to deck 3, actually 4 and up, until they call your tender group. Then you make your way to deck 3 & stand in line around & up & then down stairs to the gangway. It was crowded, and there's not enough seating in the public areas. They should let you stay in your cabin until your group is called. Once we were called, it didn't take too long to get on the tender and to shore. In Cayman, we took a shuttle ($4 per person each way) to Royal Palms beach club on 7 mile beach. Entry was $2 per person, which included use of the adult pool with swim up bar, restaurant, restrooms/showers and beach. We paid $7 per chair & $10 for an umbrella. The kids jet ski'd together (2 people on a double was $100 for 30 minutes), and they had a super fun time! There were vans outside when we were ready to head back to the port. Shopping in town is safe and a relaxing, nice time in Grand Cayman. And then you just walk back to the ship area, which is right there. In the past we've done Stingray City 2 different times in Grand Cayman, and it never disappoints - so amazing! The 1st time, we booked online with Moby Dick tours & had a wonderful time snorkeling at the reef & then swimming with/feeding the stingrays. The kids were approx. 7 and 10 at the time and loved it. The last time, we walked out to the pier area & booked with Captain Marvins. It was the best so far. They took us to 2 snorkel spots, the reef and coral garden & then we spent a good deal of time with the stingrays. They help you hold/kiss and feed them, then they take photos of everyone, which they then sell you on a personalized CD (no pressure). You get a bunch of photos of you & your family/friends with the stingrays, holding them, kissing them, with them on your back, etc. Great poses. And it also includes some other beautiful scenic photos of Cayman. I think it was $40 for the disc, but it was completely personalized & better than us trying to take pics with water cameras. The crowd was so much smaller and more relaxed than the ship excursions. Give them a try. They're great! Falmouth Jamaica was a real disappointment. It's a new port, and you don't have to tender, which is good. But there's nothing around, so it's extremely expensive to get off the ship & try to find something to do on your own. The ship's excursions are pricey, but unless you book something through them, you're going to be shocked when you get off at the pier & walk over to the cab stand & see the prices. For example, a cab for 4 to the beach 15 minutes away is $20 per person round-trip. Then the beach would cost another $10 per person for entry, not including chairs/umbrellas, etc. We said no way! Other places, such as hotels and shopping areas were even more expensive trips via cab. Do yourself a favor and just stay at the pier. The shopping area is huge, new, clean, safe, and very pretty. There's plenty to look at. Get yourself a beer, do some shopping and just spend the day at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville. It's large and there's a pool, several restaurants, bars, etc. That's what we did & it was lots of fun. Actually we left the port area for a short time, walked across the street and got a local beer for 1/2 the price of what they charge inside. But we didn't feel all that comfortable outside the port area, because salespeople were swarming us, "What you looking for? What you need. I get it for you. Come look at my shop. You need a cab?" and such. We didn't feel like we were in danger, we just don't like the high-pressure sales tactics. We got our beer and went back to the port shopping area immediately. So for Falmouth, either book a cruise excursion or just plan on hanging out at the pier all day. Or just stay on the ship and enjoy everything it has to offer with smaller crowds around. The sea days were relaxing. We just spent time around the Solarium adult pool for the most part. There are plenty of pools and jacuzzis on this ship. There's music and all kinds of activities going on around the pool. There are art auctions, sports activities, spa specials, etc. You won't be bored. The entertainment staff has all kinds of games and shows and activities going on all day & night for all ages. That's just not our thing. We like to relax and get some sun. The debarking process was a little more of a hassle on this ship than we're used to. We like self-debarkation, so we did not put our bags out the night before and ignored our colored/numbers tags the steward gave us. We went down to the guest services desk & claimed 1 of the self-debarkation tags, which had a letter and the expected time of exit on them. We chose C so we'd have time for a quick breakfast before exiting at 8:30am. After breakfast, we were told on our tickets to go down to deck 3, the metropolis theater. When we arrived, everyone was lined up & making their way in a long line upstairs, around and around deck 4 & then out the door and gangway to the terminal. The line moved fairly quickly, but once again I didn't understand why we had to report to a particular location. Why couldn't we just go get in line when it was our time? If we wanted to wait in our cabin until an announcement that could have been made over the television or speakers, why not? That's the way it's done on other cruise lines. The pier is much more organized than it was when Galveston first opened. We used EZ Cruise parking, and the shuttles run non-stop. We did not have a wait before or after the cruise. That was $60 for 7 days. Overall this was a wonderful cruise & we would totally do it again for the right price! We are not loyal to any 1 cruise line. We look for the best bargain leaving from a port we can get to. Galveston is an easy port for us, since we live north of Houston. There were people from all of the world though, and they were taking advantage of touristy things to do in Galveston and Houston before they left. If you've got time, check out Pleasure Pier in Galveston, have some delicious fish & shrimp at Shrimp & Stuff, or if you've got a car, make your way to the Kemah boardwalk, where there's an amusement park, shopping, lots of restaurants, etc.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
My wife and I booked this cruise in April and then started reading reviews about the Navigator on here. It seemed like every other review was very negative, so it was with a great deal of trepidation that we boarded the ship on 8/17 for 7 ... Read More
My wife and I booked this cruise in April and then started reading reviews about the Navigator on here. It seemed like every other review was very negative, so it was with a great deal of trepidation that we boarded the ship on 8/17 for 7 nights to the Western Caribbean. Some of the biggest complaints we had read were regarding the boarding process and the building that Royal Caribbean uses in Galveston. Compared to terminals that have been built in other places that are expressly built for cruise ships, this place is sub-standard. But I didn't see any massive lines that formed and none that stretched outside, which is fortunate because I have never felt humidity like I did in Galveston. My biggest complaint about the boarding process was that after people had completed their embarkation process, they were directed to an area with chairs. But after all the chairs were filled, many people just stood in front of the single door used to allow passengers to leave the building and board the ship. As the boarding process began and each group (Suites, Diamond Plus, Diamond, etc.) was called, you had to squeeze past a lot of people just to get to the door. It's not very well designed. We found the ship itself to be very-well maintained. I did find one men's room on Deck 11 to be slightly flooded on Day 1, but other than that, we were very pleased with the cleanliness aboard. We had a Junior Suite on Deck 10 and our cabin attendant, David, was very personable and efficient. We were happy to see the flat screen televisions in the cabins and the new video information boards on each deck proved to be invaluable in getting around the ship. This was my 30th cruise overall and 17th on a Royal Caribbean ship. I had noticed on recent cruises that the quality level of the food being served seemed to have fallen a bit. But, we had no complaints about the food served on the Navigator. Most of our dinners were in the Main Dining Room and we had My Time seating. The level of service in the MDR was very good, even though we had different servers each night. We did breakfast and lunch most days in the Windjammer and the food there was fine. I go in there knowing that they have to feed over 3500 people a day and it has to be a bit like an assembly line. but I thought everything was fresh and tasted good. It was very rare that you didn't get some kind of greeting when you passed a crew member in a hallway. I don't drink much so I didn't have much interaction with bar service so I can't honestly rate that. The cruise staff was OK. We've had better on other ships. We loved the new Diamond Club lounge that has been added to the Navigator. The staff there made you feel special whenever you entered and the room itself is very nice. One other complaint is the tendering process in Grand Cayman. It's ridiculous but I guess the government there has no intention of building permanent docks and the cruise lines want to continue going there so basically, "it is what it is". Lousy. But that little glitch aside, the cruise itself was good. We took advantage of a good on-board rate to book 2 weeks on the Adventure of the Seas next August. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
My family of four (including my two sons, 17 and 22) were on the August 17 cruise with the Grand Cayman/Jamaica itinerary. I would say this cruise was well done and enjoyable—for the price. This is not a five star cruising experience, ... Read More
My family of four (including my two sons, 17 and 22) were on the August 17 cruise with the Grand Cayman/Jamaica itinerary. I would say this cruise was well done and enjoyable—for the price. This is not a five star cruising experience, but we didn't pay five star prices. I think the overall experience on this ship has been degraded by the recent expansion--they just aren't handling the huge number of people very well. Here are some comments that I hope will be helpful: First, my tips: carry-on wine: we carefully read the policy and determined we could bring on two bottles of wine per stateroom. One of ours was a bottle of port which had an alcohol content of 20%. This was confiscated upon boarding because they claimed anything above about 15% was not considered wine. I have no problem with that statement, but it should be clarified in their written policy. They did give us back the port after we boarded when I complained, but I would warn anyone planning carry-on wine to NOT bring PORT. Shareholder "benefit": when I was planning the cruise, I was searching for any ways to get on-board credit, and I found that RCL shareholders (of 100 shares or more) get a $100 credit. I purchased 100 shares a few weeks before leaving, got my $100 credit, and upon my return sold the shares (it wasn't really something that fit in my long term portfolio). I was lucky: the stock was up, and I netted about $800. Talk about win-win!! So, if you're able to take the risk, buy some RCL before you cruise. Next, my review: Cabins: 8372 balcony. Great bathroom, big comfortable bed, good balcony, outstanding room attendant (Rohan). I felt there was plenty of closet/drawer space. We were able to 'move in' and have the room very neat and orderly 9303 inside. This one had the virtual balcony. I think this made a big difference in making the inside cabin tolerable. Activities: Flowrider: lines were almost always huge, so you had to wait 15-30 minutes for a turn that lasted a few seconds (we did surfing, not wake-boarding). It was open most of the day, but with those lines it was hardly worth doing. We wanted a shared lesson (they offered lessons for 4 students at about $70 each), but they did nothing to coordinate getting 4 people together. We wanted just one slot, and they basically said we'd have to find the other three attendees on our own. It was so unhelpful that I have to conclude they didn't really want to give these lessons. Also, almost every time I wanted a pool towel they were 'out'. Ice rink: cool to say we went ice skating in the Caribbean, but it was pretty small, pretty crowded, and the ice was pretty bumpy. Rock climbing: fun to see the kids do it, but they complained it was too easy (!). From where I stood, it looked very impressive to see them scale the wall! We were lucky we just walked up and did it on the first day of the cruise, but I saw pretty long lines later on... Mini golf: no lines. Good relaxing activity. Shows: Ice dancing: AMAZING!! Quest: pretty crass, but If you like that sort of thing, get there early because it fills up. Others: mediocre/okay Excursions: Cozumel: we took a taxi to Corona Beach, and had a great day with snorkeling, nachos, a beer and beach. NOT CROWDED!!! Grand Cayman: we did the ship's excursion for 'deluxe stingray city'. This was quite well done (even if you were with 100 other people, and there were many other big groups out on the sand bar), and the stingrays were amazing! Oddly, the ship's price was less than I found elsewhere—but in any case, because of the tenders (take a boat to shore; no dock), you really want to do the ship's excursion to get off the ship faster in Grand Cayman. Jamaica: we did the ship's 'Mystic Mountain with bobsled and Dunns River Falls' excursion. This was also cheaper than the ones I found on-line (plus, I didn't find this particular combination elsewhere). It was also well done. I liked Mystic Mountain a lot (beautiful, and not too crowded), and climbing the falls is definitely something to have on your bucket list. Food: Main Restaurant: EXCELLENT everything. I'm a foodie, and I found the food to all be very good. The service was also very good. There tended to be long lines to get seated (we did my time dining, and usually eat pretty late (8-9pm)). But once seated, the service was good enough. I thought it was odd that they didn't seem to have a wine steward come around—we had to ask for wine. And nobody ever tried to offer any other kind of alcoholic drinks—kind of odd in a restaurant! Windjammer: we only ate here for breakfast/lunch; it was okay but VERY CROWDED. Specialty restaurants: I just wasn't motivated to pay the extra money when the main restaurant was so good. Ship: Holy cow! Amazing, fantastic! Huge! Gorgeous!! Embarkation/Debarkation: I think we were on within an hour and completely off and out of customs within 45 minutes. It wasn't too hot or painful.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was our first time back with Royal in several years. Started with Royal in early 2000's from Galveston. Boarding was so much easier this time. Balcony cabin was fine and airy. Room steward was under the weather, did not see him ... Read More
This was our first time back with Royal in several years. Started with Royal in early 2000's from Galveston. Boarding was so much easier this time. Balcony cabin was fine and airy. Room steward was under the weather, did not see him much. Luggage late as we brought wine aboard in our luggage, as Royal allows this privilege for passengers. Well, no one told us you had to go and claim this luggage in person before you could take it to your room. Not too sharp! Food service was not as full of choices as on previous cruises. No coffee or tea on the outside decks as on previous cruises. Almost forces you to buy a beverage card to get coffee/tea outside the buffet line. Then, the endless extra dining experiences you could have. This new approach totally takes themed nights out of the dining rooms for sure. Dining room for lunch was the best.  Loved the calamari salad offered. Just right for a mid-day repast. Shows were nice most of the time. Ice show as really a treat. Went back another night to see if changes were made. It was even better the second time. However, never filled with spectators!  Missed the amenities once given on Royal. Royal towel creatures began with this cruise line. Only had 3 creatures on the 7 day cruise. This told me that cabin stewards are fewer and fewer these days. In the main dining area in the evening, our table steward on several occasions made reference that he hoped we gave him a top rating for his service to our table. At first we dismissed this statement from him. But on the last night of our cruise, we knew he was most serious. Somehow, cruising has lost the great feel of the last decade. It is all to much emphasis on money and what it buys a cruiser. This attitude does not make me feel comfortable. My husband and I have 16 plus cruisers on other lines. So far HA is coming up a winner for passenger treatment and food service.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We just got back from this cruise. It was our second cruise on Royal. We were disappointed! The disappointment started when we got to the terminal. We dropped off our bags and then had to stand in line outside in the heat!! Only those ... Read More
We just got back from this cruise. It was our second cruise on Royal. We were disappointed! The disappointment started when we got to the terminal. We dropped off our bags and then had to stand in line outside in the heat!! Only those with suites or wheelchairs were able to go inside to air conditioning ! I have been on several cruises, but that was a first. The terminal is big enough, nobody should be left outside in the heat like that!!! As we boarded the ship, we just walked in and to the buffet- first cruise that didn't have crew at entrance to welcome us onboard. The "welcome aboard" buffet lunch was fair at best. Our rooms were ready on time. My parents had a balcony room, my daughters & friends had adjoining promenade rooms, & my bf & I had a virtual balcony room. The 1st 30min in the room, my girls saw a couple (honeymooners?) in their room across ... The couple didn't close the curtain first! Our virtual balcony was kinda dumb, but learned to enjoy it later in the week. When I booked the cruise, the only dining option was "my time". At 5:30 we went to dining room, and were advised to make reservations. I still don't understand why I needed reservations, but couldn't book "early dining". Whatever. We were seated and advised that we would have that table and servers all week. I would have requested to change after the second night of 2.5hrs for dinner, but some in our party said others got worse service. The air conditioner was set way too cold at our table!! We had to bring jackets and blankets to try to stay warm enough to eat! The food was good. We had to stop servers to get our water glass refilled! Service at dining room sucked!! At breakfast, we went to the Windjammer (buffet). Half the things were empty. We had to stand in line to get eggs!! Just to get eggs, had to wait in line while they cooked eggs for buffet ...then fried eggs (special request). So frustrating! So the rest of the week we had breakfast in dining room. It was not faster, but could sit and visit while waiting . Overall, we had a good time. Is always good to not be at work, cook own food, clean up after ourself... So can't complain. Just that we had such a good experience on our 1st Royal (allure of the seas in Mar) Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was cruise #35, I usually try and avoid cruising the Caribbean during the hot summer months but a friend called and before I knew it I booked the newly renovated “Navigator of the Seas”, a voyager class ship with many of the ... Read More
This was cruise #35, I usually try and avoid cruising the Caribbean during the hot summer months but a friend called and before I knew it I booked the newly renovated “Navigator of the Seas”, a voyager class ship with many of the features of the Freedom class ships + much, much more - let the fun begin! Embarkation: Painless, simple and quick but some confusion regarding the bringing of alcohol (two bottles of wine) on board. Arrived around mid day and was on board in twenty minutes. Cabins: I personally think that the promenade inside cabins are the best cabins on these ships. I could not get a promenade deck cabin but was happy with my inside cabin on deck 6. There were a number of minor issues - i.e.; the safe did not work correctly, TV remote and the hairdryer were broken but these inconveniences were not show stoppers. I would gladly book an inside cabin but long for the promenade deck cabins. Dining/Food: I selected “My Time Dinning”. Overall food in the main dining room at dinner was nothing short of very good; sure some nights better than others but still very good. I made one special request and the staff came through with flying colors. The nightly hostesses were very accommodating and tried to seat you at your requested table. I am not a breakfast person and was always in the Diamond lounge so no comment on the buffet/Windjammer Café breakfast fare. For lunch I went to the main dining room and was pleased…loved the salad and service what I can say. My only disappointment was the Mexican specialty restaurant Sabo which was a new feature on this ship - definitely not worth the $25 cover charge + you get charged a hefty sum for drinks..If at least one of the drinks was free, I would reconsider. The food was good; some of it very good, but overall, nothing great enough to spend extra $ on. Public Rooms: Simply beautiful! The ship was nicely decorated and I loved the promenade. Deck 5 serves as the main hub of activity, as well as decks 4 and 3. One of the newest onboard attractions is a HUGE TV screen on deck #10 overlooking the pool. This screen displayed various scenes of aquatic life/comedy skits during the day, but evening showings included movies. I was hoping for a football game but no such luck. Entertainment: In the evening, you will find music playing at several locations throughout the ship. There is a piano bar, also variety music in different lounges, and karaoke at the Star Lounge was usually crowded each night I went but needs a better song selection. The Promenade occasionally had a band, and there was a guitar player at the bar. Did not go to the disco, but I will say the volume for music at any venue was GREAT – not so loud you needed ear plugs nor too low to feel ‘in the mood’ – perfect volume level! The parade on night one was off the charts and the 70’s celebration was just as good. I attended three shows and all were good; the Beach Boys reenactment was very nicely done. The Ice Show was most excellent! Ports of call: We stopped at three terrific ports: Roatan, Belize and Cozumel. I never take the ship excursions because I think they are too expensive. In Roatan I went deep sea fishing; Belize - just walked around (not much to see in town, so stay on the ship unless you have something specific to do); and in Cozumel I got a massage and had a drink/did wifi at my hangout bar. Activities: We can separate the on board activities into two types: usual ship activities (trivia, bingo, bean bag toss, not so newlywed games, etc.), and the sports type (rock climbing, flow rider, volleyball etc.) All were GREAT (are you not getting tired of hearing this). Disembarkation: You can take your own bags off although after you leave the ship and are going downstairs into the terminal, they might not let you take your bags on the escalator (some bags had already tumbled down causing some issues) and if the elevator stops working, you might experience some delay/frustration which happened to my wife. Otherwise, no real issues except with customs, but they were overworked. No hassle getting a cab as I pre-arranged. Overall: A wonderful cruise experience. I would not hesitate to recommend this ship to anybody - wonderful staff, great food, plenty to do - what more can you ask for?! PACK YOUR bags NOW.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
I got a bit concerned when I read some reviews of NAVIGATOR here before my cruise because there were a number of negative reviews. My trip was nothing but great! Everything was very organized and efficient on sail day. I got to the ... Read More
I got a bit concerned when I read some reviews of NAVIGATOR here before my cruise because there were a number of negative reviews. My trip was nothing but great! Everything was very organized and efficient on sail day. I got to the terminal building at 10:10 AM and they let us into the terminal building at 10:30 AM. They started boarding the ship at 11:00 AM. By 11:30 AM I was in the Windjammer (buffet) having lunch. We were able to go to our staterooms at 1:00 PM. Throughout the entire cruise, all of the crew members I had contact with were very polite and helpful. I found the food on Navigator to be very good. I especially liked the Windjammer buffet. I am an early riser, so I was there each morning for breakfast shortly after they opened. I never had to wait in line at the Windjammer. My Server in the main dining room was great. I enjoyed everything I ate on Navigator. I would have liked to see some different choices on the menus. This is not saying the food was not well prepared - just a matter of personal taste. The entertainment on the cruise was pretty amazing. Lots to see and do. Upon returning to Galveston, disembarking went very well. I chose to walk off in the morning with my luggage. I was given a time of 7:00 AM to be at a certain place on the ship with my luggage. I was off the ship and in my car heading towards Houston before 8:00 AM. I had a wonderful time and would not hesitate to sail on the Navigator of the Seas again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was our 10th cruise but the first with Royal Caribbean. Of all the ships I've been on, this was the prettiest. The balcony room was larger than others and was well appointed. The staff on this ship were always pleasant and ... Read More
This was our 10th cruise but the first with Royal Caribbean. Of all the ships I've been on, this was the prettiest. The balcony room was larger than others and was well appointed. The staff on this ship were always pleasant and offered a smile and hello at every turn. Our room steward did an excellent job keeping it neat and orderly. The food was fantastic. Ate all dinners in the main dining room. Somewhat slow at times. One night it took 50 minutes to get the appetizer. It took 2 hours most nights to go through the courses. It may be that our table had 12 people so that may be a factor. Ate breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer and it was always good with plenty of variety. The shows were terrible. Looked like high school performances. I did enjoy the ice skaters though. It took less than an hour to get on and off the ship. The Port of Galveston does a tremendous job handling the vast amount of people leaving and arriving from two ships at the same time..   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Navigator of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.3
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.5 4.2

Find a Navigator of the Seas Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click