356 Galveston Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Cruise Reviews

The Navigator of the Seas was recently refurbished and it shows. It is clean and well kept. We drove to the port and had none of the problems stated in some other reviews. We used Lighthouse Parking and recommend them. We arrived at the ... Read More
The Navigator of the Seas was recently refurbished and it shows. It is clean and well kept. We drove to the port and had none of the problems stated in some other reviews. We used Lighthouse Parking and recommend them. We arrived at the ship at 11:00 and were onboard in 10 minutes. Embarkation was just as smooth. We took our own bags off. We chose the earliest departure time of 7:30 and were through customs, picked up by a Lighthouse van and in our car before 8:00! No problems taking the 2 allowed bottles of wine in a carry on bag onboard. Room was fine..clean ...good bed...and attendent, Arlene, was excellent. Location very good and very quiet. Balcony just large enough for table and two chairs. I took own shampoo and soaps so no guessing as to what it was in shower dispenser. There are a lot of activities onboard. Fun to watch Flo Rider folks and rock climbers. Pro football games shown on huge outdoor screen. Best shows were the Ice Dancing and comedy of Ettamae. Very few children on-board as school in session..nice! Food good..but repetitive in Windjammer. Service good with staff trying to please. We did My Time Dining and always got time we wanted. Service in dining room very attentive. Promenade food a good touch as always available. Overall, clean ship with attentive staff. We did not use ship excursions but booked others on line. Be aware that tender in Belize is more like a 25 minute ferry ride if you schedule any private tour there. On Roatan , Mayan Eden is a great tour spot and highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We like cruising. Our room was bigger than expected and the bathroom not surprisingly small but usable. Our room attendant Emmanuel was professional and kept our room very tidy. It was nice to always come back to a clean room. The main ... Read More
We like cruising. Our room was bigger than expected and the bathroom not surprisingly small but usable. Our room attendant Emmanuel was professional and kept our room very tidy. It was nice to always come back to a clean room. The main room was fine dining and wished I brought more formal dresses to wear for dinner. Our waiters Melvin and Rohan were very attentive. We made sure to get a table with them each night. Lot of activities to do and watch on the high seas. Our favorite excursion Tabyana Beach Break - white beaches, clear water, seeing different kinds of fishes when we snorkeled, lunch & light beverages included. Now we know the reason people love cruising. Same hotel & service everyday and wake up in a different city most days. Lessons learned. 1. Ask for more details when getting advice. We did not book an excursion in Cozumel and we got taken. Don't book an excursion in Cozumel, grab a taxi, etc. Spent $60 on a taxi trip to a small white beach full of drunk men. My husband and I were the only tourists and no visible taxis around (except the one we took). We immediately went back to our ship and stayed there. Our advice pay extra for the ship excursion when in Cozumel. 2. The excursion tickets have two times listed. Our Belize excursion tickets listed Meeting time 7:45 am and departing time 8:30 am. We arrived at the meeting place at 7:30 am. RC ship director started tendering groups at 7:45 but did not specify which time she was using. She was calling groups by time and we missed our time. Others also missed their call time. To RC's credit we got to go on different and cheaper excursion and RC refunded us the difference. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
The ship was fun. The only problem we had was one of the showers at the adult pool did not work. We had great food and the staff was wonderful. We sailed to Cozumel, Belize and Roatan. We had a wonderful time at all three ports. We ... Read More
The ship was fun. The only problem we had was one of the showers at the adult pool did not work. We had great food and the staff was wonderful. We sailed to Cozumel, Belize and Roatan. We had a wonderful time at all three ports. We sailed out of Galveston and boarding was quick and easy, however when we returned it was a nightmare. I would recommend that you never sail out of Galveston because of the reentry process or chaos as we experienced. First my luggage was not in the area it was supposed to be and by the time I found my bag the like was out of control. There were many people not going to the end of the line because the like was so long there were no barriers. So they just walked up and got in like wherever they pleased. When the Customs agents tried to handle the situation those who cut in line said they did not so it was a stand off and they stayed in front of us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This cruise is one with a majority of Texans on it due to the port. We were one of the minority being from the Pacific Northwest (PDX). Because of the makeup of the guests, there was a lot of country western music in the bars and the big ... Read More
This cruise is one with a majority of Texans on it due to the port. We were one of the minority being from the Pacific Northwest (PDX). Because of the makeup of the guests, there was a lot of country western music in the bars and the big screen had plenty of football playing. They know their audience, that's for sure! The port itself is a mess - piles of dirt and construction materials that you see from the deck of the ship. The area in front of the terminal entry was very small and crowded but we had no problem finding a porter to wheel our bags inside. The line into the security scanners was long and slow as there were only two security guards working. They only made you throw out your bottle of water if it had been opened but you could have just put it in your bag and it would have probably gone right on through. (Think vodka...) The actual registration went very quickly even thought we were there about 11:30 am in the thick of the early boarders. The first night the left balcony partition door came loose in the wind and was banging against the ship from 2 am - 5 am when my husband finally called the desk. It ruined the next day having to sleep all afternoon to catch up. I feel like we lost a day of the trip. The humidity was horrid - impossible to have your balcony door open with that wall of wet coming in. Of course, we're from a place where we hardly have humidity so it was difficult to enjoy the balcony except late at night. The first night's dinner was unsettled. My fish was overcooked which isn't normal for RC. The rest of the time, everything was perfect except the Baked Alaska (gritty meringue) which was easily replaced. Our waiter, Stalin and assistant, Jakub, table 414, at Early Seating were very attentive. Stalin would make suggestions which were always the best choice. We had brought our own wine on board (they allow 1 bottle per person), and we had them the last 3 nights without a corkage fee being charged. My mother wasn't able to negotiate the stairs much so we had to use the elevators most of the time. They were so busy we had to go in the opposite direction we wanted to go just to get in one. Lots of other people were doing the same. This was the first time for this experience. The Flow Rider was so much fun. You have to sign a waiver and there are age/height restrictions. The instructors are very helpful and work to give you the longest ride possible. They have boogie board (on your stomach) and surfing at separate times. Putt putt golf is an 8 hole course and goes fast. It's in the sun, so wear your sunscreen! We didn't do any excursions through the ship except the Houston Space Center which included bus transportation to IAH. It was a very comfortable bus with a toilet, safe driver and knowledgeable guide. The stop at the HSC is about 2 hours long which is plenty of time to see almost everything within the building. There is a nice cafeteria to grab a bite to eat, a large gift shop and restrooms. Since we were a tour, we had Green 1 bag tags which put us off the ship among the first groups and through customs quickly. The baggage area is small so it makes for some confusion. The customs process is slow depending on who is in front of you. We were behind three British citizens who had to be fingerprinted and photographed. The tour does watch for you since you have a sticker on your shirt and they usher you out to the bus area. I would pay for this next time just for the priority service! We did not go to the production shows since the last one I went to on a cruise a couple of years ago was pretty ordinary. After reading reviews on here, I'm glad we didn't waste the time. However, we went to the comedian and the hypnotist shows which were hilarious. We also found the time to to go the Love and Marriage game which had the best participants I've ever seen. The drinks were only $5 in a souvenir glass - the best deal on the ship? We played the Nations Game where you collect signatures from crew members from all the different countries on the ship. It was a great way to meet them and have a conversation for a more personal trip. We ate in the dining room every night and only a few times in the Windjammer. We had breakfast from room service most days. The order forms are on a hook behind the cabin door. They were normally about 1/2 hour earlier than the time selected. The first morning's food had cold, hard toast and poorly cooked bacon. The scrambled eggs seem like they are baked. The fruit plate was ordinary, not well plated and some of it was sour/unripe. It didn't stop me from ordering it, though. The refrigerator is a good place to put an extra yogurt or lemon tart for the next morning or a snack. As someone posted before, it would be a good idea to have the steward remove all the items from your frig so you aren't tempted to use any of it. We didn't use anything but I think I was charged for an item. Probably poor inventory control from the last occupant. The Belize City port is a tender port. They may have this well organized, but it's a big chunk of your port time sitting on a noisy boat on metal benches. This port appears to be the poorest of the three, followed by Roatan, Honduras and then Cozumel, Mexico. Everywhere you are inundated with "requests" for your money. It was very tiring and depressing. The ship was late loading our Gold benefits onto the Sea Pass card on Sunday and I went to the service desk to find out how to get a credit. The person at the desk called the shop and sent me back to have it fixed. He even called me the next day to make sure it was taken care of! That was the only time I had any dealings with the desk since the rest of the trip went smoothly. I signed up for international internet with my carrier, Verizon, but it didn't work very well with the ship or on land. The next trip, I'll buy a couple of days of access and do everything I need to during that time and forget about it the rest of the time. The cafe at the end of the Promenade is where there are sandwiches, pizza, desserts, coffee, tea, iced tea, lemonade and water. It's not apparent that this is included in your fee as it's next to the Starbucks and Ben & Jerry's counter that do have a cost. It's not that large but the tables have good turnover and it's open all night, unlike the Windjammer. The dinner menu is posted on an interactive screen outside of the dining rooms so you can check out that night's options or any of the other restaurants. I always found something to eat without a problem and they take care of dietary issues such as gluten free. We signed up for the galley tour which was a $30 per person buffet lunch for 150 people. It started with a mimosa and then an inside glimpse of how the kitchen works. Lunch was prepared by various sou chefs and placed on the pass for you to select from. There were omelets, Beef Wellington, eggs Benedict, salmon, fresh fruit, a lovely bread display, sushi, a large selection of desserts and crepes made to order. It was well worth the cost, so if you have the opportunity offered to you, don't hesitate to do it. The cardroom is on deck 7 and has a daily suduko puzzle and quiz posted. They have boxed games, plenty of tables & chairs and a pretty large library of books. It was a hidden gem we didn't discover until the cruise was about over. It's just below the art gallery. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our 6th cruise total and 4th cruise on Royal and our 3rd time onboard the Navigator of the Seas. We drove to Galveston from Dallas early sunday morning and got to the port around 10:30 am and they made an announcement they ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise total and 4th cruise on Royal and our 3rd time onboard the Navigator of the Seas. We drove to Galveston from Dallas early sunday morning and got to the port around 10:30 am and they made an announcement they were delayed a little bit. We are used to the port of Galveston being crowded and long lines, so we were onboard the ship by 12:00. They are building a bigger port, so I'm sure once it's done it will be better, but other than that, just have to have a little patience! :) We had an excellent time this cruise! We have always cruised alone as a couple and this time we brought our good friends, my mom and my aunt. We all had a blast together, and they all loved this ship as first time cruisers! The ship itself is beautiful just like it has been the other two times we have been on it. The service is always so nice and pleasant and they are always willing to help with whatever you need. Our room attendant, Reynaldo did a great job with our room. Always clean and made sure to stop and say hi to us the first day and throughout the rest of the trip. We ate in the MDR every night for dinner and the food is great! I was excited to eat some of my favorite menu items and thoroughly enjoyed them each night. Our head waiter Sandeep was right on point, he did a fabulous job of explaining the menu every night and waiting on us and letting us know what the next day held as far as weather, tendering and etc. However, the assistant waiter is not what we are used too. This was his first week in the MDR learning all of the ropes, so we didn't get great service, but we understood it was his first time doing this and just let him know what we needed each night. I'm pretty certain he will do a great job the more he does it! He was very nice! I'm addicted to the shows each night and the shows were really good this trip! The Royal cast was fabulous, and my favorite show was the Broadway Hits the last night of the cruise, they did fantastic! The Ice Skating Show is a MUST SEE! It's absolutely beautiful and fun to watch! Ports of Call: Cozumel - we had a nice warm day, we rented a taxi and took it over to Chankanaab National Park and snorkeled on our own (Best Snorkeling site around), ate some lunch at the beach while were there, saw the sea lion show (adorable) and had a really great day! We left there and did a little bit of shopping back at the port before we got back on the ship. Chankanaab is really nice fun place with a great beach and lots to see! We go there every time we are in Cozumel. It's $21 per person to get in, but if you go to their website beforehand, you can print off a $2 coupon. It's a great price for all the access you get inside. Grand Cayman - We had to tender in this port of call, and the tendering went really well. We had a shore excursion, so we were one of the first groups to get off the ship. We took the Jeep & Snorkel Excursion - we got to drive our own jeep and they took us around the island, we stopped at a really nice beach spot but we couldn't swim because there was a ton of seaweed, but it was beautiful to look at. The water is incredible. Our next stop was to the town of "Hell" - there we saw why it was named Hell and went into the gift shop and etc. After that they took us to another stop to enjoy some samples of Rum Cake and Rum. After that, we went to 7 Mile Beach where we could enjoy swimming, snorkeling, or just laying on the beach. This excursion was a little misleading, as we thought we would be snorkeling out somewhere nice, but it was just right at the beach at your own leisure so it wasn't much to see. Still a great time though! Jamaica - We took the Dunns River Falls Excursion - we got on a bus and took a 1 hour ride to Dunns River Falls - here we left all our belongings on the bus as we couldn't take anything with us per our tour guides and climbed the beautiful falls! I think everyone should at least do this once in Jamaica, it was breathtakingly beautiful and an absolute blast! Our guide on the falls was so much fun!!!! However, we were really sad that we couldn't tip him since we couldn't bring any money in. After that, they took us to a beautiful beach where they brought us different plates food (jerk chicken was so yummy!) and free drinks (lemonade, rum punch and etc) - we had about an 1 1/2 here to relax. We really enjoyed this excursion. The Disembarkation was a pretty easy process, lines as normal, but we were off the ship by 8:30am, so we were on good timing to get back to Dallas by early afternoon. All in All, we absolutely love Royal and will continue to sail with them! Thanks for a wonderful vacation!! :) Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Embarkation: If you’re a Crown and Anchor member you’re fine, the lines were quick and easy. If you’re not, get ready for a long wait! Everything was quite orderly the day of embarkation, no complaints, we were on the ship by ... Read More
Embarkation: If you’re a Crown and Anchor member you’re fine, the lines were quick and easy. If you’re not, get ready for a long wait! Everything was quite orderly the day of embarkation, no complaints, we were on the ship by 11:30am! Cozumel: Getting through security points was easy; aside from a sea pass we were never asked for more identification. While people were generally kind, we were duped when we took a taxi that, instead of charging $4/person, decided to charge us $17/person. It was our mistake for not getting into a van jammed full of people I guess. We went to Mr. Sanchos Beach Club and paid for the all-inclusive experience ($55/person); which was worth it for us. The drinks were great, we were brought to our chairs where we had a waiter for the next several hours and the private beach was incredibly relaxing. If you get food, order it off the menu, it’s fantastic. The “buffet” is a joke and incredibly sparse, don’t even bother going up for it. All in all I’d go back to this resort, it takes care of the pampered “fix” with the attentive waiter, good drinks, relaxing private beach and amenities. Grand Cayman: Again, getting through security was a breeze, we were only ever asked for our sea pass. Taxis here were nominal at around $4 to get to several beaches…we went in a packed van this time. People on the island were absolutely fantastic, very kind and bubbly. We spent the day at the Royal Palms and I could not recommend this spot more! Yes, there is a $2 entry fee but the beach is beautiful, private and incredible. Since there aren’t any “water sports/kids water toys/etc” it was sparse of kids/teens, which made for a quiet and peaceful day! This spot is purely a la carte, beach chairs are $8, drinks ran anywhere from $10 on up and were well made, some of the best drinks I had on the trip. Again, if we ever go back to this port we’ll be at this location, it was fabulous! Grand Cayman is a port I would go back to over and over again :-) Jamaica: First, let me say, the port at Falmouth is fantastic. It’s new and full of great shopping; definitely try to make time to look around! But since I hadn’t heard the best things about Falmouth we decided to make this our excursion day. We did the Chukka Ziplining Canopy and Dunns River Falls tour. Our guides were great, very informative and funny during the hour long drive to Chukka. Once we arrived we were fitted with gear then sent on a 10-15 minute hike towards the start of the zipline. During our hike several of the male guides began to make conversation, most of it polite, some of it not. Case in point, when myself and another woman were “barked” at by a young guide who thought this was either flattering or funny. We found it to be neither. But moving along we began our adventure and the ziplining in and of itself was fun. There are lines, you do wait a while, and you WILL be tired at the end of it. It took us a good two hours to complete everything simply due to the volume of people in our group. Once you get back to home base they have a buffet set out for you. I use the term ‘buffet’ lightly. In fact, they shouldn’t call it that; it’s a spread of chicken, rice and beans, and salad (which, you know, we’re told not to eat anyway!). It was disappointing to say the least, you would do well to bring along some other snacks. Oh and, unlike the other ports, we were asked for tips several times after the tour. From there we went to Dunns River Falls, which was 20 minutes away. Dunns River is pretty neat when you take it in, however, you will be soaked head to toe when done. The climb isn’t terrible if you’re in decent shape but just know you can’t bring any phones/video/etc so it kind of takes away from documenting the experience…bring waterproof gear if you want to do that. I’m going to be honest, I wasn’t terribly impressed by this excursion though it was beautiful to behold. It was the type that sounded more exciting v. the actual experience. I definitely wouldn’t recommend doing this tour together with the ziplining only because it is A LOT of physical exertion…this is coming form someone who runs half marathons. I had enough midway through; it’s just too much for one day of activity. Again, at the end, we were asked for tips. Honestly out of all of the ports this was my least favorite. Jamaica is very poor (which you will see as you drive through the country), the people are kind but the constant barraging for tips (and I am a tipper!) just leaves you feeling nickeled and dimed and guilty for not throwing money to everyone who makes eye contact. I wouldn’t get off the ship if I found myself at this port again. Experience on the Ship: I have nothing negative to say. Every single staff member we came across was friendly and kind. Props to our waiter Bovino, if I could have him on every vacation I would…he would always bring us extra treats and was very attentive, just a lovely person. The food overall was good, of course, some dinners were better than others but I don’t have any complaints. The shows: I appreciated the entertainment for what it was and with that I’ll say the shows with live music compilations definitely received more positive feedback from the crowd. Karaoke was a nice way to kill time and have a drink in between events and the singers were actually very good on this cruise. This was our first time with Quest and I will be sure to be at every single one from now on, I have not laughed so hard, what a great time! We had a Promenade room, which was decently sized (for what it was) and having the window to look out of did make the room seem more open and comfortable -- I’d book this room again. My favorite place though was the Two Poets Pub…a warm and relaxing atmosphere, good beer and just a nice way to chill out. This was my first time on this class of ship and I was extremely happy with the amenities, this is a new standard of sailing for sure! Disembarkation: Holy crap, I have no idea what the heck happened but it was the biggest mess of people and luggage I’ve ever been in the middle of. There were no lines outside of the ones we formed ourselves. No people to navigate us. No rhyme or reason to ANY of it. COMPLETE CHAOS. Somehow we managed to find a line and get out….lol. This is my third cruise with RCCL and I have no reason to look anywhere else, I just love them. We booked our 4th on the ship and can’t wait for our next adventure! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We were on the Navigator of the Seas from Sept 5-13/15 which sailed in/out of Galveston and visited the ports of Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Falmouth Jamaica. It was our girls trip this year and the two of us travelled from Canada. Our ... Read More
We were on the Navigator of the Seas from Sept 5-13/15 which sailed in/out of Galveston and visited the ports of Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Falmouth Jamaica. It was our girls trip this year and the two of us travelled from Canada. Our flight arrived in Houston at 10:30 am and we had arranged for airport to port transfers with RC transfer service which began just after 11:30 am. When checking in with the RC rep at the transfer desk (baggage claim area), we were told that the buses were running behind and that they should be there "shortly". This was the only information that was given to passengers waiting and the whole process seemed a bit disorganized - but we were patient and eventually we were loaded onto a bus at 12:45 pm. (bathroom on board). It does take about 1.5 hours to get to the port but in our case, traffic was pretty heavy and we arrived at the port at 2:45pm. Embarkation was easy as the crowds were gone and we breezed through all the checkpoints and on the ship in about 20 minutes. Stateroom: JS9268 We were in a Junior Suite on deck 9, forward location/starboard side. This was our first time in a junior suite and we appreciated the extra space. The stateroom was about the size of a typical hotel room, which compared to the regular staterooms, is quite large. The bathroom has a bathtub/shower, great water pressure and temperature. We appreciated the tub/shower combo as it was as big as a standard bathroom in your house. The balcony (covered) was bigger with two nice chairs and a round table. Inside the stateroom, we had a sofa, chair with ottoman, tea/coffee station, vanity with lit up mirror, mini fridge (did not keep things very cold), hair dryer (in a drawer), plenty of drawers, cupboard space, twin beds with night stands and a walk in closet with hangers, shelf space, iron/board. Our room steward was Susan and she was an absolute delight. Always smiling and accommodating and she surprised us most nights with imaginative towel art. Being on deck nine, we had staterooms above and below us, so it was very quiet. We were right across from the service area where they collect the luggage, etc.., but honestly, we were not disturbed during the night and slept well. The beds were comfortable and while we each had two pillows, they were not to our liking but that is just personal preference. Sleeping with one pillow was too flat but two was too much. We enjoyed room service breakfast each morning (coffee, fruit, yogurt, toast) and enjoyed it out on our deck. In the morning, we always received a phone call to let us know breakfast was on the way. Nice touch. Ship activities According to the Cruise Compass, there was a lot of activities and things to choose from. If you were interested in being pool side, there was three pools to choose from. One pool was in the Solarium area (adults only) and while the pool was open air, the seating area around it plus the huge hot tub was all undercover so it actually had the sauna effect going on rather than having any breeze. The main pool area had two pools side by side. There was a small area partitioned off for the kiddie wading pool. Wait staff did their rounds poolside for drink orders and it was easy to get drinks yourself at the two pool bars. There are lots of lounge chairs both at the pool deck as well as one level up overlooking the pool. We did not have difficulty finding two chairs and noted that staff did a good job of removing towels placed on chairs if the occupant didn't return within 45 minutes or so. There was plenty of signs up telling people that reserving chairs and leaving them unoccupied would result in the towels being removed. This made it fair for everyone to have a chair poolside at various times. The Flowrider looked challenging and we enjoyed watching but did not participate. Same with rock climbing. There was mini golf, ping pong, basketball, etc and many poolside events (men's bellyflop contest, trivia, beanbag toss, and bands playing). Deck 5, Promenade deck was like a shopping/entertainment floor with shops, restaurants, bars lining both sides. We were a bit disappointed that the Two Poets pub did not have a selection of beer on tap - rather it was bottles and cans. We found the service in the pub lacking customer service. There was no acknowledgement by bar staff as you waited. On two occasions, we were the only people standing at the bar waiting to be served. The bartenders were busy making drink orders for those at tables and although they were mixing right in front of us, there was no hello or be right with you. We found the same at Schooner's. R Bar, Boleros and Vintages wine bar had wonderful bartenders/sommeliers. We did spend a lot of time in Vintages trying different wines, learning from the sommeliers, Robert and Daniel and enjoying the atmosphere. It was fun to have a nice glass of wine, enjoy some complimentary tapas and watch the craziness of the shoppers (pushing and shoving!!) in the Promenade from our vantage point in Vintages. We saw the majority of the shows at night. The RC Orchestra are very good and supported most acts/performances. The production show singers and dancers (ballroom and toast to Broadway) were "ok" - nothing special. The comedian/ventriloquist Ron Lucas, was terrific, the fellow who did the tribute to Motown was terrific as well as the singer/impressionist Greg London. The Ice Dancing shows held in Studio B (ice rink on deck 3) are professionally done and very entertaining. We attended two art auctions and while we did not buy anything it was interesting learning about the artists and pieces and seeing what price points they were. Dining: We were on My Time dining and enjoyed it. Prior to sail date, we had made a reservation for 7:30 pm under My Time dining for the first night's dinner as our experience with cruising is that the first night is a bit of a gong show. This worked out well given the long line up of My Time diners who did not have a reservation and had to wait. We were seated in a lovely section and looked after well by head waiter Albert and assistant waiter Marcello. I truly believe that the wait staff can either add or detract from your dining experience and we were fortunate enough to be seated at table 614. After night one dinner we asked to be seated in the same section at a standing 7:30 pm reservation. There was always something on the menu that suited us and we enjoyed many dishes. The rack of lamb stood out as a wonderfully prepared dish, as well as the salmon, lasagna, escargot, French onion soup, and the decadent desserts. As we had a shipboard credit, we ate at Sabor (gourmet Mexican) and Giovanni's table (Italian). At Sabor they make your guacamole tableside (big!) and also make your margarita's tableside as well. Dessert here is a 6 piece sampler plate so it gives you the opportunity to have a few bites of 6 different items. We also enjoyed Giovanni's table where the food is served "family style". The appetizer portions are not big, so our waiter encouraged us to have three so that we could try different things. For example, the scallop appetizer was two scallops (one each), beautifully prepared and presented. They also do a pretty impressive filet mignon. Ports: Cozumel - we just walked the boardwalk/malecon from the cruise ship to the marina. It was about 10 kilometers/6 miles one way. We took a taxi back towards the cruise ship ($5) and got out to enjoy a beer ($2.50) and snack at a palapa bar overlooking the water. It was a hot/humid sunny day with a bit of a breeze coming from the water. Grand Cayman - we had an excursion booked through RC doing a catamaran cruise and swimming with the sting rays. Grand Cayman is a tender port so we hopped on the 11 am tender to give us some time to check out Georgetown prior to our excursion scheduled at 1:30 pm. Georgetown is pretty and friendly and we had a good walk around. At 1:30 at our designated meeting point (clearly marked on the pier) we got on a bus and drove to the other side of the island to the yacht club to board our catamaran. It was another beautiful sunny day. The water is crystal clear with varying shades of blue and is not deep. It took about 30 minutes to get to Stingray city. Our guides were very good about explaining what to expect, safety precautions and making sure everyone felt comfortable. The water was only waist deep so for those not comfortable in the water or thinking that you have to be a strong swimmer, consider this excursion as no swimming is involved. the guides show how to feed the stingrays (they don't have teeth) and how to touch and hold them. A photographer comes along and takes a variety of photos of you and the stingrays which you can purchase for $40. The excursion is about 3 to 3.5 hours and they tour company brings you back to the pier. At the pier, there is a shopping area/craft stalls set up exclusively for cruisers along with a bar on the water and food stands. Jamaica- we did an excursion through RC for the Green Grotto Caves and Dunn's River Falls (5.5 hour excursion starting at 8:30 am). Falmouth port is a laid back shopping/craft centre with bars/restaurants, etc. Excursion pick up was again clearly marked. We were loaded on a bus for a 30 minute drive to Green Grotto Caves (traveling from Falmouth towards Ochos Rios). Once at the caves, we had to put on hair nets with hard hats overtop. There are tons of bats in the caves, so be forewarned. Our guide took us through the cave system and gave us the history of the run-away slaves taking refuge in these caves for many years. Going through the cave pathways, there are places were you have to duck, go up and down man made stairs, and watch your footing as the pathways are not even. There were a couple of elderly folks in our group who found it difficult to navigate the stairs and walk the pathways. They did do it, but were slower. At the end of the cave tour, you are given a complimentary non-alcoholic glass of punch which is appreciated! You cannot take any food or drink in with you to the caves. We thought it might be cooler in the caves but it really is not. You are pretty hot and thirsty by the end. There is also a little snack bar if you want to buy cold bottled water or 7up or snacks, plus there are clean bathrooms. If you are not already wearing your bathing suits the tour guide will suggest you get changed here, so that we won't have to wait in line once at the Falls. Back on the bus it another 30 minutes to the Falls. We were fortunate to be able to leave all our belongings on the locked bus but there are lockers to rent. Because you get wet when climbing the falls, you are cautioned not to bring your phone or camera, etc as there is a good possibility they could be ruined. They also rent water shoes but we just wore our sneakers which worked out just fine. We were a group of 14 and they added 6 more folks with us to be led by one of the Falls' guides. Our Fall's guide was a young man named Andrew who was very good and conscientious. Each group is also joined by a guy who does a video ($40) of your group for the whole climb. The fellow who did our video, while I applaud his enthusiasm, it was annoying to keep hearing him want us to scream "ya mon", "Jamaica mon" and "oowa oowa". The climb itself was a lot of fun. It is about 900 feet in total but there are level parts as well as climbing spots. The guides do a good job of taking you through safe routes and encourage your group to hold hands and help each other along the way. No one in our group slipped or fell and I did not encounter any overly slippery rocks. There were people of all ages and shapes and sizes. It takes about 45 minutes to climb but this is due to a couple of factors 1) it is crowded! 2) the guides take you at a slow pace for safety. Once at the top you do need to pass through an artisan village and while we did not encounter aggressive vendors, many others did to the point where they felt a bit intimidated. Dunn's River Falls is a very touristy thing to do but it is fun and is nice to be in water during 100 degree sunny/humid weather. Back on the bus, it takes an hour to get back to the port. We wandered around the port and stopped in for a red ($5 each) at one of the bar/restaurants. Disembarkation: The self assist express folks started getting off at 8:15 am. As we had airport transfers, we were slated to get off the ship at 8:45 am. We had breakfast in Windjammer and our group was called right at 8:45 am. The line ups to get through customs, etc., took over an hour in total and we were on the transfer bus at 10 am. Traffic was easy Sunday morning and we arrived at Houston Airport at 11:15 am. In summary, we were very happy with the cruise and felt we were treated very well. Each staff member we passed in the hallways or other areas (with a couple of exceptions) were friendly and greeted us warmly. Will said RCI again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Took this cruise with my wife, son and daughter in law. My wife and I have taken 15 cruises together, 6 with Royal Caribbean. We invited my son and his wife to go along. This was their first cruise and we were excited about having them ... Read More
Took this cruise with my wife, son and daughter in law. My wife and I have taken 15 cruises together, 6 with Royal Caribbean. We invited my son and his wife to go along. This was their first cruise and we were excited about having them join us. We drove to Galveston the morning of the cruise from Louisiana and my son and daughter in law drove from Dallas. I was a bit skeptical about this cruise after reading some negative reviews on this web site. I shouldn’t have worried. We had a wonderful time. Some people only notice the negative side. We had a balcony cabin on level 10 and the kids had a balcony on level 8. We had dinner every night in the dining room except for the night we went to Chops. I think that was the best steak I have ever eaten. Over all the food was good to excellent. The buffet was good at breakfast, but we usually ate lunch at some of the other venues. We had my time dining and had our evening meal at 6:30 each evening. Christ, our waiter was from India and she did an excellent job. Some of the reviews we read said that people were not friendly and acted like they had rather be doing something else. That was not the case with us. Each person we came in contact with was smiling and friendly. Our cabin steward was Igusti. We did not see much of him the first several days, but he seemed to know when our room needed attention. He did a great job. We especially enjoyed the ice show, love and marriage game and the quest. The first comedian we heard was very funny. The second one was just OK. We always go the shows in the theater and they were all good. Even though I do not participate in some of the activities such as rock climbing and flow rider, I like seeing the younger crowd enjoy themselves. We went to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica. Although we have done this itinerary several times, we still like going there. The four of us did the Catamaran sail, snorkel and beach tour. It was the best snorkeling we have ever done. Did a little shopping in Grand Cayman. It did take a little while to get off the ship, but the lines moved quickly. My wife and I did not get off in Jamaica. It was nice staying on the ship on a port day. And yes the elevators were a slow at times, but that is why God made stairs. Not only were the employees friendly but the passengers were as well. For the most part, people were friendly and courteous and just having a good time.Gotta love those Texans. The ship looked very good for her age. Just a few things that showed some wear. We like cruising with Royal Caribbean. They have never disappointed us. I would recommend them to anyone who likes cruising. They have something for all ages. We also like cruising out of Galveston because it is only a 5 hour drive and we don’t have to fly. Can’t wait to do it again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our first cruise & our honeymoon. We booked Royal Caribbean b/c we heard from others that it was the better ship to travel on since the rates were slightly higher there would be less children & people. We were also ... Read More
This was our first cruise & our honeymoon. We booked Royal Caribbean b/c we heard from others that it was the better ship to travel on since the rates were slightly higher there would be less children & people. We were also told that Royal Caribbean has better food than Carnival. Embarkation & Disembarkation both went smoothly. We didn't have long lines at embarkation (we got there within less than an hour of embarkation). Disembarkation could have moved a little bit quicker with more customs lines and/or better structured disembarkation. It seems they try to get everyone off the ship at the same time, with few customs lines to get through. The cabin was clean and quiet. Our attendant was very nice. The dining room food was amazing! Although, prior to sailing we were told that formal nights were not required to have full suits & ties, etc. While we did not dress like beach bums (we brought a polo shirt & slacks for my husband, and a nice semi-casual dress for me), we did not get to engage in those nights. Also, we will not be engaging in formal nights on Royal Caribbean in the future since my husband doesn't own a suit, didn't wear one to our wedding, and won't be wearing one to his own funeral. It is sad that it is like that for both nights since we do pay extra of our hard working money to sail on Royal Caribbean, but cannot enjoy the same amenities as everyone else while we are on vacation. The adult entertainment was lacking with only one show a night (which were usually great) & it wasn't good planning that the latest night show was scheduled when the earliest port day was the following morning. Also, nothing for adults to do on "at sea" days other than sit by the pool, which was boring. Hopefully with the new water slide my husband will be able to enjoy himself more on the "at sea" days. I would rather have more of the adult shows on the "at sea" days than on port days since those days wear you out anyway. We enjoyed the ports & learned after the first one that it is safer and not much more expensive to book through the cruise line. However, if you decide to do that, all of the good excursions book up quickly. You need to book online before the trip or on the first day after embarkation. While there was not much adult entertainment provided on the ship, the ship was clean and the service was great. We enjoyed trip and are going on another this fall on Royal Caribbean. This time, we are having a couple of friends join us for a kid-free vacation! Hopefully we will have more fun with a couple that we know. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Please understand we love cruising and couldn't wait for our first time on Royal Caribbean but we just want people to be warned to set your expectations low!! Pros-- Cozumel always awesome with the beautiful water and great people ... Read More
Please understand we love cruising and couldn't wait for our first time on Royal Caribbean but we just want people to be warned to set your expectations low!! Pros-- Cozumel always awesome with the beautiful water and great people Belize ok but if we don't go back no big deal Roatan awesome our first time there and Maya Key was amazing The comedy show of Alfred and Seymour were hilarious Cons-- notice that none of the pros were related to the ship other than the comedy show, where to start, well it smelled like mildew on the 8th floor (we warned you) the windjammer food is nearly inedible, the biscuits for breakfast can double as hockey pucks, the eggs were obviously instant eggs and not real, the dinner is below Golden Corral or Furrs, and the worst part is the windjammer closed at 9!!! The main dining room really the only good option was the lobster one night, the rest of the nights were average to below average at best, and the portions are pathetic. Don't complain about the food or you will be asked if you have tried the pay options of Chops or Sabor, which we didn't book the cruise so that we could pay addl money for food we should be getting served in the main dining room. Also if you have been on Carnival and had the luxury of Guys Burger joint you don't get that on RC no you get to pay for a burger at Johnny Rockets which was unfortunately the best meal we had. Next up is the pool area, the best seats that are facing the pool are reserved for suite holders so if you aren't in a suite (99% of the people) you will get to try to find one of the seats that don't face the TV screen or the action, and as for the TV screen don't worry it is all commercials for royal Caribbean and the bigger ships that are "better" than the one you paid for. The promenade that they are so proud of is a waste of space, Also PLEASE stop trying to get me to buy tanzanite I don't care!!!!! I could go on but you probably stopped reading anyway, to make a long story short (too late) we will NEVER cruise RC again not worth it! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Ship looks great inside with the refurbish. they spent millions of dollars to upgrade this. However the food in the buffet was a 7.99 type of buffet. i have been on many Cruises including royal , i cruise 2-3 times a year. I noticed less ... Read More
Ship looks great inside with the refurbish. they spent millions of dollars to upgrade this. However the food in the buffet was a 7.99 type of buffet. i have been on many Cruises including royal , i cruise 2-3 times a year. I noticed less variety as well as lower quality. (cheap Chinese buffet desserts, no cake pies ect) the main dinning room was ok some nights however overall i found the food lacking. forget a late night option on this ship , the cafe promenade was terrible with the same tiny sandwich with no meat in them everyday and night. all these millions spent and you cant get a hot tasty hot sandwich??? entertainment was good, the cruise director was very boring though. he would be doing paperwork or be on celebrity with a much older crowd. overall i think royal is cutting costs on food so sadly i think this is a deal breaker for me. Adam Goldstien needs to read the reviews and correct this as he is trying for record profits im sure. staff is friendly but clearly overworked and spread thin. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Dining was great. We have always cruised Carnival and decided to try Royal Caribbean. The ship was nice and easy to navigate. Service in dining area was great, but that's where it stops. I cruised with 10 guessed of mine and we ... Read More
Dining was great. We have always cruised Carnival and decided to try Royal Caribbean. The ship was nice and easy to navigate. Service in dining area was great, but that's where it stops. I cruised with 10 guessed of mine and we like to hang out poolside in evenings, however they pretty much roll in the entertainment at dark. All bars close early outside, big screen TV on deck rarely plays, after 7:00 the deck is virtually a ghost town. I realize they cater to seniors, but come on... there are plenty of bars inside ship but seriously under staffed. If you need help at the "service" desk, be prepared to wait and wait as it is under manned as well. I purchased a bottle of Rum in Belize (mainly to help the locals as they are in poverty) which I turned into the ship until disembarkment by protocol; Last I ever saw of that bottle! My visit to "Service" desk was a disaster. The man at the desk asked for a receipt to prove I bought a bottle. Seriously, a receipt from Belize? It was only about a $20.00 bottle which I could care less about except in principle. He was dang near rude. I only cruise about every 1-2 years, but I do so with 10-15 family members and friends. We have decided to stay with Carnival where we have yet to have a mediocre time with rude service. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
I have been on 8 Carnival cruises, but this was my 1st Royal Caribbean cruise. I am a pretty loyal Carnival cruiser as I have always enjoyed Carnival, but I was interested to find out if RC really is better. The answer is....yes. I still ... Read More
I have been on 8 Carnival cruises, but this was my 1st Royal Caribbean cruise. I am a pretty loyal Carnival cruiser as I have always enjoyed Carnival, but I was interested to find out if RC really is better. The answer is....yes. I still love Carnival and will be happy to cruise with them again, but RC is definitely more polished. The passengers are older and more genteel. Carnival is the "fun ship" and fun it is! It's loud and gawdy and I love it. The Navigator is more subdued. The crowd is certainly not rowdy. They are a well behaved bunch. At first I was a little worried as I thought I was in for snooze city, but that was not the case...at all. First I'll address my dislikes, of which there are only two. Only one deck (12) and the small deck 13 are open decks. Deck 11, with the pools, is actually closed with windows. This bugged me to no end. The adult-only Solarium area is also closed in with windows. Yes, you can open every other one, but most were left closed. It was HOT and HUMID in the Solarium. I don't know how the passengers could stand it. There was absolutely no breeze at all. It's pretty, but super hot. Most of the Solarium is shaded, which is nice because it provides the older passengers with the option of sitting poolside, but not becoming fried by the sun. However I do not understand why the outside pool deck is closed. All of the decks on Carnival are open and this is really nice. You can walk around several of the decks on Carnival ships, but not on the Navigator. My second dislike was the production shows. Please note that I am not a complainer. I never ever complain about cruises. I am so happy to be on board that I think everything is great! However....I must call a spade a spade. While the orchestra is fantastic, the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers are terrible. I mean T.E.R.R.I.B.L.E. I can see a better production at my local high school. There are 2 pairs of singers and they have absolutely no chemistry with each other. They look so stiff together. One of the male singers showed up in the first production with long, greasy looking hair and he was unshaven. He looked so smarmy it was no wonder the girls looked uncomfortable next to him. And the male dancers...where did they find these kids? And kids they are! These prepubescent boys couldn't lift the girls, and one actually dropped his partner. They were out of sync and can't jump. Please note that I realize this isn't Broadway nor So You Think You Can Dance....my bar of expectation isn't all that high. I expect cheesy performances and cheesy costumes and I'm okay with that. But this....this was painful. There really was no excuse for this. There are really good dancers all over the U.S. who would love to dance on cruise ships....where did they find these kids???? They only had 2 productions over the 7 day cruise. They need to spend the other 5 days in the fitness center working on upper body strength. Their second production wasn't any better. It was a train wreck. Carnival has the Navigator beat hands down in regard to production. While the RC singers and dancers were terrible, the Ice Show was AMAZING! RC has brought on professional skaters, as in an Olympian and several national title holders, and they perform a fantastic show. The choreography is great. The costumes are great. They are smiling and look like they are having a great time. They are in sync (take note, dancers...). This was a top of the line production. Be sure to watch the Compass for the ticket distribution and get to the show early. You don't want to miss this one! Like I mentioned previously, the orchestra is great, as are the other bands, such as Bubba Feathers and others. The live music by the pool was great! The comedians were hilarious. There was also a ventriloquist and a juggler. Superb entertainment. Royal Caribbean surpasses Carnival in this type of entertainment, and Carnival can't compete with the ice show. The FlowRider was great! My husband spent HOURS on the FlowRider. Watching was fun as the crowd claps and cheers when passengers do well and encourages everyone. It was a great time. Now for FOOD! We went to the Main Dining Room every night except one and it was great. The food is much, much better than the food on Carnival. I only had one entree that I didn't like and that was the pork chop. It's pretty tough. Think shoe leather. However our server was superb and I think he anticipated the shoe leather as he also brought a salmon dish which was excellent. The service was impeccable. The food delicious. And the desserts were of course the highlight of the meal. The food in the Windjammer was meh. Not terrible, but nothing to write home about. The burgers are better than they look. Other than that, I don't have much to say about it. We skipped breakfast as we tried to save our appetites for lunch and dinner. We went to Johnny Rockets one day. I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. It was okay. Guy's Burgers on Carnival has Johnny Rocket's beat by miles. Guy's Burgers are delicious. Johnny Rocket's is a cute place, but the fries are like frozen Or Ida fries from the freezer section. I ordered bacon cheese fries and it's just frozen fries with cheapy cheese from a can spooned on with some bacon bits. Not quite what I had in mind, but of course I ate them anyway. My opinion: save your money. It's not all that. We went to Chops Grille the night we didn't go to the MDR. Chops Grille was A+. We have been to the Steakhouse on Carnival twice and thought it was meh. Chops Grille is heads above Carnival's steakhouse. If you like Carnival's Steakhouse, you'll LOVE Chops. If you hate Carnival's Steakhouse, you'll LOVE Chops. The service was outstanding and the meal was perfection. The service on the ship is friendly and accommodating. They sell the drink packages like they do on Carnival, but I didn't see any drunk passengers. That's certainly a change from Carnival. One night we enjoyed the hot tub and it was so quiet on the pool deck it was surprising. I am used to the laughter and rowdiness of the Carnival deck. I think the Carnival passengers enjoy their beverage packages more than the RC passengers. (We don't purchase the drink packages as we don't drink much alcohol.) The other thing I noticed is that Carnival really pushes the drinks. A waiter stops by your lounge chair every 10 minutes on Carnival. The Navigator didn't push the drinks as much. I'm not saying this was good or bad, just an observation. Disembarking was fine. There was a delay due to a computer issue in the terminal, but this didn't have anything to do with RC. I'm sure this was stressful to people who had a plane to catch, but it didn't bother us. In regard to embarkation, it was a breeze. We were at the terminal by 10:30 and was on the ship by 11:00. Parked at EZ Cruise and as always they were super efficient and friendly. This was a fantastic cruise. One of my favorites! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
I think the main issue I had with our cruise was the order we went on cruise ships. We went on allure and oasis then went on the navigator. If we went on the navigator first, we wouldn't have been disappointed. Lets start with the ... Read More
I think the main issue I had with our cruise was the order we went on cruise ships. We went on allure and oasis then went on the navigator. If we went on the navigator first, we wouldn't have been disappointed. Lets start with the Good: Boarding was fast. Sit down dinning was awesome. Service in the dinning was tremendous. Room was clean and exactly what we expected. 1 really good dual comedian show. Other comedians where ok. Love and Marriage was hysterical. Quest was outrageous. Casino staff was lively and so nice! Negatives: Leaving was slow. Windjammer food was not fresh. It was edible but not nearly as good as other ships. The Sport Crew were extremely silent with no personality. They spent a lot of time on the flowerier testing it. There was a few times the wait to get on it was very long. I thought this was kind of rude. 2 production shows and ICE dancing show- I did not enjoy. I just did not care for the theme of them. Juggler- was ok but did not seem like a "headliner" Wifi- Extremely slow. Advertisement on it was very miss leading. They burry the fact it could be slower then expected. I went to talk to Customer Care about this and they were very dismissive. 1 Shore excursion- Conditions were extremely wavy. Father became very sick after struggling snorkeling. He ingested a ton of salt water. It was much more extreme then advertised. Over half the people ended up giving up and going back into the boat. Life jackets were not nice enough for conditions. They were the type you blow into. He struggled with trying to blow into it more while n the water. This ruined the last few days of the trip for my father. Shops- I bought a few items that seemed fair. I spent about $250 on board on gifts. I wanted to purchase a Gshock watch that retailed for $250. Next to the watch it said price match guarantee. I looked the watch up on amazon with my slow wifi. It was $165 with prime delivery. I walked up to the salesman with the ad. He said we don't price match to online retailers and walked away and greeted a customer looking at a more expensive watch. I have since purchased the watch on amazon. I felt a bit like really? I emailed Royal and they offered there apology. It was nice to have an apology. Our overall experience was ehh. Most of these items are no big deal. The shore excursion was my father's fault for over estimating his swimming capability. I feel they could have done better. I complained once about the wifi and once by email. I was brushed away by all. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Being in hospitality myself, it requires foundational customer service skills that are not reflected in Royal Caribbean's core values. I booked this cruise with two best friends to celebrate our 30th birthday. Although it seemed ... Read More
Being in hospitality myself, it requires foundational customer service skills that are not reflected in Royal Caribbean's core values. I booked this cruise with two best friends to celebrate our 30th birthday. Although it seemed hopeful, the booking process was relentlessly stressful and needless to say we will probably not be booking again. Our sales rep was helpful up until he made the sale. Once we made our deposit, he had disappeared without a trace. I left several voicemails as well as numerous emails with questions regarding our trip as I had been a first time cruiser. He never returned one voicemail or one email to this day. The final payment process became even more strenuous when we realized the due date to be paid in full was within the week. Regardless of the lack of help from our sales rep, we paid based on the invoice sent. The month before our sail date, I called him again to inquire about a shuttle from Houston airport to the Galveston port. I was met with quite the shock to find out that Royal Caribbean had decided to cancel our cruise due to a remaining balance. Immediately I pressed zero to speak to ANY representative in order to correct this horrible mistake. I had not received any cancellation notice via email and I was in complete horror that our vacation was canceled. After an hour of being transferred to at least 3 people, I learned that our sales rep had added a vacation protection plan which was Not included on the only invoice that he emailed me. Therefore, we never knew we had a remaining balance and were extremely frustrated how Royal Caribbean had handled our situation. Not once was there an apology but rather blame on the us, the customer, for not knowing. Finally after 90 minutes of pleading with the customer service department, I spoke with Geneva Harrison and Samantha Koomen who were both a breath of fresh air and the glimpse of hope that rescued our vacation. These 2 ladies exuded empathy by pausing to reflect our feeling of distress and offered a solution. Although it wasn't ideal, they were able to apply our penalty to the cruise originally booked and I paid the difference in full over the phone. We couldn't get the original price so I paid the rack rate. The additional amount of money spent could have paid for a second cruise however I was completely grateful for the two women that owned the situation and were willing to come up with a recovery solution. These two individuals should be recognized for their distinct skill set that includes positivity, empathy, patience and professionalism which defines customer service. We were anxious as our sail date approached; hoping that we wouldn't deal with any other problems. Boarding the ship was a smooth process however the guest service/ front desk team on the ship was a mirror image of the phone operators with misinformation. Every employee at the desk gave us a different answer to the same question asked about gratuities and beverage packages. We decided that it would just be best to avoid speaking to guest services and book with another cruise line next time. When we were allowed to go to our cabins, we were informed that one of our suit cases was misplaced and would be sent to the room later in the evening around 7pm. Trying to maintain a calm attitude, our day 1 of our 7 day cruise seemed to start off disappointing. Needless to say, we were not impressed with setting sail with Royal Caribbean however we met some employees on the Navigator of the Seas that are worth mentioning. These team members brightened our day daily and Royal Caribbean should be honored to have such employees aboard their ship. Shauna and Jakob in the windjammer cafe were a great start to our morning. They were always cheerful and even if we were unable to find a seat in their section, they would find us and make sure we had our coffee and excursions set for the day. Bernadette, Gilberto, Dean, Agnelo and Bobie were absolutely delightful during our evening dinners in the Sapphire room. We never could pick who would serve us each night because each person brought a unique exuberant attitude to our dining experience. We loved our dinner conversations with each waiter and seating host as we learned about their hometowns and family life. It made the vacation more personal and created unforgettable connections. Lastly our room attendant Tanoe was fabulous. He conversed with us multiple times a day to ensure our stay was beyond expectation. Working for a hotel, I know the importance of the operations team. They run the property/ ship and are the face of the company. These employees operated their functions with pride and perfection as mere advocates for the enjoyment of their guests. None of them knew the experience we had booking the vacation however each of them created new memories and new loyalties to the Royal Caribbean family. Although Royal Caribbean has room for improvement, their employees on their ship make the vacation worth while. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
First i want to stat this by saying that certain people on the Navigator of the Seas went over and above in their efforts to not only make sure we had a great vacation but that everyone else that they served did as well. First shout ... Read More
First i want to stat this by saying that certain people on the Navigator of the Seas went over and above in their efforts to not only make sure we had a great vacation but that everyone else that they served did as well. First shout out to Cat in the Solarium bar. He knew my name and my wife's name and what we drank every time one of us walked up. Second shout out to Ella and her team at the R Bar. I have never seen a team work so well together. It was an incredible site of precision and efficiency, not only were their cocktails perfect and constant each time, no matter which one made it, the camaraderie between them and the guest was a true pleasure. Third was to Muammer and Sheetal in the fifth floor dining room. Their level of service was unmatched. Their anticipation and attention to detail made each evening a fine dining experience. Lastly one goes to Kwame Mathews. He was the assistant front desk manager who was able to help us out when we were ready to quit the cruise early due the the mold/mildew issue on the eighth floor. These folks above deserve every congratulations and celebration they can get. Dealing with 2500-3000 people everyday is a daunting task and they did it with a smile and never let us feel like we were intruding on their time. After saying all that i will mention some items that made me swear off Royal Caribbean Cruise Line for a cruise vacation. The first issue was mentioned earlier. The MOLD/MILDEW on the eight floor. It was overwhelming. Many people complained and their complaints as well as ours seemingly fell on deaf ears. Sunday night the first night at sea we had a crew member say that he could not smell anything so we were imagining it. After several phone calls and trips to the desk we ended up with people in our room until 1:30 am to deal with the “crazy peoples” mold problem and temperature issues. Yes we could not get the temp regulated in the room either. Very frustrating. It was not until three days later that something was done. This only after Kay’s asthma had kicked in and she was taking meds to prevent further developments over the issue. Windjammer buffet…food quality below average, hours open limited. service levels non existent. Main dining…service outstanding, food quality slightly better than windjammer but very limited. Bar service…other than those listed above i would say horrible is a kind word. At the Cosmopolitan night club i witnessed two waiters standing around with their trays at their side either talking to each other or just watching the dance floor. This was each and every night. I finally had to give one waitress $20 dollars cash just to get service without having to track down someone. Bar preparedness was poor as well. Whoever managed this bar is not experienced or not gifted in making sure essential items were stocked. On more than one occasion I saw someone ask for a drink and they said we cant make it right now because something was missing, either a mixer or basic spirit. They then would leave to go get it. While that was nice this left the bar down one bartender often, two bartenders on a couple of occasions and once when all three were off getting things like Jack Daniels, grapefruit juice or something else. meanwhile waiters still standing around watching the ladies on the dance floor. Debarkation…what a mess that was. We showed up at our designated meeting place to await debarkation. It was roped off. Staff said we could not go in until fifteen minutes before our estimated debarkation time. Their was a lobby full of people, young children, older folks, people with walkers etc who had to stand around an hour or more because we were not allowed in to sit down. Commercials…this isn't a complaint per se but it was annoying to get Royal Caribbean commercials all day at the big screen at the pool. Very tiresome. I do not usually write a review on anything because i know that most people just gripe about stuff but this was a vacation that is actually shaping our future vacation plans. At one point despite all of this we wanted to talk to the NextCruise people about a European cruise. we cancelled that appointment deciding to go on another cruise line instead. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Ok, not our first cruise. Have cruised Norwegian, Carnival and Royal. We choose Royal because our last cruise was great as far as the ship was concerned. Hats off to Cat at the Solarium who always knew our name and drink, even when ... Read More
Ok, not our first cruise. Have cruised Norwegian, Carnival and Royal. We choose Royal because our last cruise was great as far as the ship was concerned. Hats off to Cat at the Solarium who always knew our name and drink, even when changing venues at night..he can save the night!. Ella and team at R Bar..true mixologist and need to make a youtube video. You girls rock! Daniel the Whiskey expert on the Promenade is just fun! I believe his friend was Nola, they rock too! Muareem and Sheetal on 5th floor dinning room..Thanks for knowing we needed extra shrimp cocktail each night before we asked, always making sure I had the correct food for dietary restrictions and for even keeping me eating something that would probably make me sick later:) Thank you Kwame Matthews for finally getting me out of the cabin that was going to land me in hospital with pneumonia. Now on to the complaints. We exited the elevator to our room on the 8th floor with a balcony and were immediately met with the smell of mold. Now, I know I have sensitive nose to this because it is my asthma/bronchitis/pneumonia trigger but after sometime my hubby could also smell it. We immediately called, someone came down and said they could not notice anything. We called again and someone came and said they would shampoo the carpet in the morning, to which I explained that would not get rid of mold, he could do the hall but not the room because it would make it worse. Now on top of the mold the room was warm. We figured it was due to it not being set on low, so we turned it down and went off to explore and have dinner & dance. We got back 11:30-12 and the room was steaming. 3 people later and now it is 1:30 am the best solution we can come up for mold and heat is a fan! Well this tends to make one grumpy, sleepy, not feeling well, & well you get it so Monday both of us were not in great moods. Oh, I forgot to mention that we paid for internet because we had some business stuff to take care of. It took 3 phone calls to get that where we could log on( which consumed the bulk of two lost days) of internet. Once we could log on, the service was so slow we could only load one page and the internet would freeze. So, we had already complained so much we were hesitant to address this issue, they did give us one day credit due to log on issues but we just said forget it on the slow service issue. OK, back to mold, finally on day three after telling them they would need to pay my medical bills we get moved to a room on deck 2 that someone unexpectedly deserted at Cozumel. FYI, they eventually after other complaints found a leak on deck 8 and had fans out trying to dry it out..they will need to replace the carpet. Other than the ones mentioned above and a few others, service was non existent. We (and I mean me and hubby, hubby &friends, me &friends, etc) could stand at a bar that was not busy and not even be acknowledged, even with a “hi!’ At R Bar they would be swamped 2-3 people deep and they would ask what you wanted and tell you just a few and then when got to you repeat the drink back. At the Windjammer forget it, the salad bar was so lacking it was pathetic, you could get “gluten free, just ask” but good luck finding someone to ask. And it closes at 9 pm so you are really out of luck if you don't make dinner because your selection is the Promenade cafe which is even more skimpy than the Starbucks selection (well other than if gluten free they do have Udis GF snickerdoodles which are a huge treat) Leaving the boat/getting from venue to venue…well heaven help you if you are elderly and with a walker or wheelchair. First you have to wait 5 or more minutes for an elevator and then make sure you get on a floor that will take you to the other end of ship you need to be on and then catch another elevator…just a tip, allow 30 minutes to get somewhere. Oh and if you need to leave the ship make sure to not ask the staff, find someone to help you. We saw quite a few elderly wandering hallways frustrated trying to figure out how to get off the ship or get to whatever end of the boat the activity was going on. Entertainment, I will be honest we knew we would be bored. We are used to poolside activities starting at 9 or 10 am poolside (swim up bar) and being on the hour something to entertain us. But this was horrible, big screen videos which only encouraged people to watch tv and commercials for RC. Good grief, we are already on RC, do something to encourage us to come back. What no late night buffets, no theme nights. We even had discussed booking a Mediterranean cruise for the discount while onboard but as the trip went on we decided we would book with another cruise line. Before this trip we would swear by RC, not now. I honestly think the prepaid tips encourage lack of service. Those that getting marketing, the ones that we gave a shout out to, got extra tips. We are not hostile, ignorant travelers. But we appreciate those that go out of their way. We will give extra at end of trip, if you make yourself memorable, then you get extra for it. I have spent hours talking with the staff, I know what they do is not easy. I too am in a service per se industry…people are hard to deal with…but those who can market day in and day out and keep the charm on…they get extra reward. So…long review…sum up. Unless RC gives me on heck of a deal for my Mediterranean trip or something, I will not do RC again. We thought Carnival was lacking on service when we went (and it was only in bar area, not eating or room, we always had a towel something awaiting and dancing by waitstaff and midnight buffets) RC really disappointed us this time. I cant logically give a one so 2 is the overall rating..if not for the people we were with and the people we met and have already contacted after getting home and our excursions and the great staff we mentioned, it would be a 0 Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
My wife and I (both in our early ‘50s) just returned from the 8/23 sailing of the Navigator of the Seas from Galveston to Cozumel, Grand Cayman & Falmouth, Jamaica. Overall, this was a very exception cruise. It was our third ... Read More
My wife and I (both in our early ‘50s) just returned from the 8/23 sailing of the Navigator of the Seas from Galveston to Cozumel, Grand Cayman & Falmouth, Jamaica. Overall, this was a very exception cruise. It was our third cruise (Norwegian Jade & RCL’s Splendor of the Seas were the others, both in Europe), and the ship was much bigger than those first two. We were a little worried that it would seem more crowded, but to be honest, the feeling was about the same. The pool was packed on sea days. The shopping areas get packed at night. But our anxieties were misplaced…it was populated with lots of people but VERY rarely did it particularly merit notice. The passengers were mostly American and mostly from Texas. A sprinkling of folks from around the world filled in the rest (I heard Spanish, Hindi, German, French and others I didn’t recognize). It was a friendly group with better elevator manners than some others. The ship was renovated in early 2014 and overall it looks GREAT. To really find signs of wear, look UP. The ceilings in many of the public places like the main dining room were a bit grimy. But for the most part, it all looked quite shiny! Now, for specific categories. EMBARKATION: Galveston port is a chaotic mess. We were in port with the Carnival Magic, also taking on passengers, so the drive up to the terminal took awhile. Once I unloaded my wife and our luggage, a porter from RCL came to us almost immediately, and whisked away our bags, but first took the time to actually ask us if we had our passports and other documents. Nice touch. Then taking the car to the Port of Galveston parking was another traffic jam challenge, and then you have to wait for a shuttle to take you back to the terminal. Of course, it was very hot outside. My wife waited for me at the terminal and said it was even hotter inside the big metal building than standing in the shade outside. I would say from time we arrived at the port area to the time I was reunited with my wife after dropping the car was 45 minutes. My biggest complaint is that the port doesn’t have enough signage. You really are left to your own to figure out how to manage. We got there at 11:15, and most of the passengers from the cruise before were gone, but it was still chaos. Our past experiences have been Barcelona and Civitavecchia…both of those were a complete breeze, BUT I wasn’t driving either. Once reunited, y wife and I checked in and were on the ship in 20 minutes, most that time spent waiting on Deck 4 to get our Sea Passes scanned. Overall, not too bad. Once onboard, we got a drink at the nearest bar and then began to explore, including a stop at the buffet. (No other dining options on embarkation day.) STATEROOM: We were in 8298, a balcony room. Our luggage arrived by our cabin by 5pm, if not sooner (we weren’t there to see it delivered. The balcony is very small, the smallest we’ve had. 2 chairs and a small table, with room for almost nothing else. We just like to go out there to look out at the surroundings and to sit and read, so our purposes were met. The carpet and walls out there could have used some renovating, I suppose. The room itself, while small (SHOCKER!!) was clean and efficient. We actually had plenty of storage space. The bed was comfortable. The little table/dresser area was handy. Note that there are two outlets built into the dresser, and that’s IT for outlets. You can’t get at the one behind the fridge (I’ve done that on a past cruise). So bring cords or something to expand your options. The fridge was not terribly cold. The closest was nicely sized (again, for a cruise ship). Bathroom was small, but I like that RCL has actual useable counter space at the sink AND some actual shelves in the mirror. We were fine with this. The shower is a small round tube. (Same as we had on SPLENDOR). It is certainly tiny but perfectly utilitarian. The carpet in the room looked pretty new. Bernadette was our stateroom attendant, and she was perfectly friendly. We didn’t see much of her, but she was always great when we did. She did NOT empty our mini-bar as requested, but always kept us stocked with ice and extra towels, as requested on day one. I’ve had flashier attendants, but she was more than okay. COMPLIMENTARY DINING: We had My Time Dining, and we got off to a rough start. We went there at about 1pm to make our dinner reservation for that night (7 pm). When we showed up, they seemed almost unprepared to see us and the table we were given was not acceptable. Carts with dirty dishes went past us constantly. We could practically have handled the water jug refills for them! Also, our waiter that night was not very friendly or helpful and I’m not sure we ever saw our assistant waiter. Just not off to a good start AT ALL. After dinner, we asked for new seating and the lady who helped us was not very helpful. “Well, you may have to sit with others.” Nope, no go, we said. Then she gave a non-specific reply that left us not feeling very good about things. The next morning, we went back and spoke to a young man from Slovenia who was a bit more reassuring. And they obviously put some notes about us in their seating software, because after that, everyone was super aware of us (they probably said we were “picky” or something….which I don’t think we are overall). But we got a nice table and a much better waiter (Umesh) and assistant (Rohan) than before. After that, aside from a couple of nights were the host staff was a bit harried, we had great service. The meals themselves ranged from fine to great. Day 6, by the way, was lobster. We usually got an appetizer each with a third to split. Almost all were very good. Main courses were generally okay, although one night my wife’s pork was very fatty and I had the “classic” menu strip steak which was very average indeed. But most other meals excelled, and the desserts were varied and fun. (Lobster night, the Grand Marnier Souffle was really exceptional.) We frequently had breakfast in Sapphire (the main dining room) and it was always good without ever being great. The French toast was nice. The bacon was variable. The fried eggs over easy were always runny (a plus). The toast was thin and hard, more like a giant Melba cracker than bread. But we enjoyed it. We ate lunch there one day, and it was very nice. The tossed salad bar was fun. You tell the guy what you want on your salad and he dumps it all into a bowl and then tosses your salad with your dressing so you get a very nice stirred salad…better than you could do yourself without risking a mess. We used room service twice for breakfast on excursion days. On time both times, and exactly what we ordered. We seldom went to the buffet after embarkation day, but did try once for breakfast and once for lunch. It was perfectly fine…a cattle call experience, but with nice presentation and a very friendly staff. The food was always perfectly acceptable, and the Jamaican Beef stew as really tasty! The big disappointment in “Free food” was the 24 hour option. The Promenade Café (part of the Royal Promenade that makes up the middle of deck 5…think of it as the shopping mall) is open all the time, but only has so-so pizza and little sandwiches. Plus a few dessert choices. You go through a deli line for your food. Water and tea available to drink, but no ice nearby. On our previous two cruises, we enjoyed the “anytime” options because on the Jade, you could sit and order from a menu, even at 2 am and the Splendor had a café that was aft, with outside seating perfect for watching sailaways (although I gather that is gone now). In fact, there is no place aft to sit outside at a table. There are some spots with loungers, but I missed having something like the Great Outdoors on the Jade, where you could sit outside either under sun or shade, and have your drink at a table and just enjoy the views. (Oh, dress code. Casual except for Days 2 & 6, which are formal). On the casual days, yes, there were guys in shorts and flip flops in the dining room. It’s disappointing, but not a total distraction. On formal days, everyone looked very nice, but I saw only one actual Tuxedo. Never bothered me. Take a sportscoat…you’ll be covered, in my opinion. Yes, plenty of men wore ties, but plenty didn’t. But the overall effect was still one of “I’m on a Caribbean vacation, gosh darn it, and wearing a coat and slacks is pretty darn dressy.” And it was!) PREMIIUM DINING: We had dinner one night at Chops. (We started a tradition on our first cruise of having a “Date Night” where we splurge a bit on the food and wine.) Chops was quite good. The French onion soup is killer…the single favorite think I ate all week. The steak was very good and the side items ranged from okay to great. Dessert was decadent (although they had fewer choices than I would have expected). We got great service and the atmosphere was very intimate. Worth the extra, in my opinion. We did not try the other venues, although Izumi is on our list for next time. On the Navigator, it is near the top of the ship and has some great views! BARS: We are not the kind to “hang around in bars”, but we did play some trivia at Schooners. It was a nice spot, but the bar service there was always a bit slow. Bolero’s was right by the door we entered the ship on Day 1, so the first place we got a drink. It was a nice place, but we didn’t spend much time there. We never did anything at the R Bar, but it actually looked pretty nice. Our favorite spot to sit and chill (as far as bars) was the pub. The only place on the ship where you can get a different selection of beer. Still not a staggering choice, but better, with a couple of Belgian Wit Biers which I enjoyed. Most nights, a guitarist played there, singing “classic rock” tunes. He was okay. (Schooners had their “piano man” but we were never there for that.) If you’re looking for a relaxing bar, try the Cosmopolitan Club up on Deck 14. At night, it is the late-night club, but during the day, it provides great views, comfy seating, no crowds and good A/C! So relaxing. The ship also has Vintages, a wine bar, but we never went in, and from the looks of it, not many other people went there either. I never saw more than two tables occupied, even though it was right in the middle of the promenade. The Star Lounge is the bigger club, where Karaoke and other such events take place. In the evening, it’s tough to find a seat there…you have to arrive well ahead of the events. It’s a nice enough space though. ENTERTAINMENT: We really enjoyed most of the entertainment, which was heavy on comedy. Here’s what we had: Night 1: One show only. Navigator the Seas orchestra played for about 10 minutes (they are a very tight outfit…should be used more) and then a very funny comedian rounded out the show. All ages show. Night 2: The “ship’s company” did a ballroom dancing show. There was a guest couple, who have won some dancing competitions, and they were suitably skilled and impressive. But the rest of the show was extremely lackluster. Dancing was sloppy and signing was uninspired. Worst show we saw. That night, the same comedian did a 10:30 “adult only” show. It was a bit racier, but really not much more than PG-13. Very funny. Night 3: An “Elton John impersonator with a comedic twist”. This turned out be really entertaining. Not much singing (5 songs or parts of songs, I think), but great costumes and lots of humor. Big surprise…worth seeing for sure. (Show featured the orchestra…very good again.) Night 4: No show. The Ice skating venue had two shows, but we had tickets for Saturday afternoon. Night 5: A comedy duo. This was a very high energy duo who just bounced all over the place, including doing some great mocking of the latecomers. (Why would you ever come late to a comedy show and then try to sit down front???) We laughed a lot. Night 6: Another comedian. Very funny. Night 7: The orchestra played as the company did a “salute to Broadway” show. Some of the stuff was very obscure, but this show was much better than the ballroom dancing show. Concluded with a MAMMA MIA medley that was a good capper. The orchestra was excellent again. At 10:15 pm, the comedian did his adult’s only show. It was VERY R-rated, and often bordered on the offensive. He got quite nasty with a lady who heckled him. Yes, she deserved a good comeback (which she got!), but then he mocked her graphically throughout. I am not a prude at all, but the show made me uncomfortable at times with its nastiness. We REALLY enjoyed the Ice show. Get your tickets on Day One (distribution started at 3pm for us) and enjoy. Yes, there were some falls, but again, the ship is gently rocking throughout. But the fun-factor was high and crowd was really into it, which helps. We were back in Studio B on night 6 for the Quest Show. GO TO THIS. Even if you don’t participate, it is a blast to watch. DON’T TAKE YOUR KIDS. OUTSIDE: As always, there were chair hogs galore on the chairs around the pool (Deck 11). But Deck 12, the area that overlooks the pool, was NEVER crowded. We got some nice tans and never had trouble finding a place to sit. We also spent a little time (actually on Day 1, before we even sailed) watching folks wipe out on the Flowrider. Go check it out, even if you have no interest in doing it yourself. The basketball/volleyball court was always in use, which was nice to see. The ping pong tables were frustrating because there is always a breeze at sea, so it was tough to get in a reasonable game. Miniature golf was challenging (again, the ship is always listing slightly), so we played one perfunctory round. Do not bother with the golf simulator. I did it, and consider it to have been a waste of my $25. Observation deck was gorgeous (Deck 5) and hardly anyone was ever there because it gets windy. Deck 4 has the walkway almost all the way round (a promenade of sorts, I guess) and we did play some shuffleboard there. Never any crowds. SHOPPING; the shopping is extremely typical, with the same watches, jewelry (Tanzanite! Zultanite!!!) and perfume as always, but I did appreciate the overall aesthetics of the Royal Promenade. It is a lovely space. I liked that they changed the lighting from “daytime” to “night” (with a sunset in between). There was also a couple of big events there a couple of nights (Disco Night) and the whole area became party central. It is a nice space, even if you don’t want to shop. PORTS: We did private excursions (just the 2 of us) each stop. This review is more for the ship, of course, but let me just touch on a few items. Cozumel: We did an excursion to the ruins of Tulum. It was worth doing, but it does eat up a chunk of your day. Next time, we’ll stay on the island and do some more adventuresome activity there. The shopping “Mall” as you exit the ship is a mazelike zoo of very pushy vendors. Just too much, and very ineffective, because we just rushed through in an effort to get away from the obnoxious vendors. Be prepared for this place…there is no straight-shot from ship to main street; you have to navigate the maze. Grand Cayman: We did a boat tour. Visited Star Fish bay, Stingray City (Great fun!!) and did some good snorkeling at the reef. All in a 4 hour tour. The island is much more laid back, no crazy salespeople. Ironically, we spent the most money here, buying gifts. This is a tender port. There were 3 ships in that day (Navigator plus Carnival Magic & Breeze). I’ve heard the tender process can be brutal here, but we had NO such experience. Smooth as can be both coming and going. Falmouth: Another shopping mall here to greet you, but the vendors are much more chilled out and the mall is lovely. And you can quickly walk through it if you so choose. We took a private tour for zip lining, with lunch afterwards at Scotchie’s (in Discovery Bay) for jerk chicken and pork. Go there if you can. I know it’s “touristy” but we arrived at 12:30 and there were few folks there that early. The food was GREAT! And inexpensive. I didn’t know what the currency rate was, so I worried a bit, but our whole chicken, 3 large side items and 2 Red Stripes was $24 USD!! MISC: The staff, overall, was friendly, but I’d say a tiny bit less friendly than others we’ve had. Nothing bad (expect what I mention above), but there were a few folks (random bar staff or hosts) who just weren’t in to it. Internet service was maddeningly slow. I expected it, but it had been 3 years since we cruised, so I had hoped it might be a little bit better. No dice. The photographers were just as bad as they always are with their cheesy poses. Yes, minor grips throughout, but considering the logistics of a cruise, and how great so many other things were, I can’t give less than 5 stars. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
I was pleased to see that they have returned staffers to the dining room service. An RC cruise we took 3/2014 had marked shortages in the dining room. Overall, I think this is a good value and we enjoyed the ports. We booked our own ... Read More
I was pleased to see that they have returned staffers to the dining room service. An RC cruise we took 3/2014 had marked shortages in the dining room. Overall, I think this is a good value and we enjoyed the ports. We booked our own excursions. Ocean Adventure was great for our 3.5 and 9 year old boys. There were just enough activities planned. We avoid the musical shows and stick to the headliners now. Joel /Elton John guy was so good and I think we've seen Phil Anderson/Piano Bar on at least 4 cruises. I enjoyed the casino with low limits every night not just off peak hours. Embarkation in Galveston was a mess...not RC's fault...security lines were long and disembarkation was a joke...there are NO signs telling where the luggage is, porter line or custom line..you have to ask someone in uniform. Dang, make a few signs. Speaking of lines, I had to plan and go down the ice show entrance on 1st sea day by 9am to wait in line to get tickets for 1 of 4 ice shows. It was Ice Dancing and not so exciting as other RC's shows I've seen but we enjoyed it. I waited about 20 minutes. The next day, I had to get in line for tender tickets for the following day in Belize. That line was about 15 minutes. You kind of get punished for not booking a RC' excursion cuz you don't have to have tender tickets. Without tender tickets, you are the last to get off the ship. Speaking of, we had the longest tender ever. It was 20 minutes! That's a ferry ride in my book. It was fine but just unexpected- 20 each way. Carnival Magic was next to us out in the deep blue waters. I was pleased to see breakfast room service with more than continental stuff- the Quantum did not have anything but drink/pastries ! The windjammer was better than in times past and I was able to stick to a low-fat, sugar-free diet. They also had a lot of gluten free selections. Dining room service was very good and the selection was fine. I do not pay for specialty restaurants. Had a little issue with one staffer telling my son he wasn't 52" tall for Flowrider and miraculously he was over 52" days later when we tried again-somebody was messing with the height flag. He was turned down on the Quantum and devastated when he was turned down again and we KNEW he was 52.5 inches tall. At least he got to go on it and had a blast. They are very helpful on the Flowrider. Last, the drink package- I found it hard to drink at least 7 beers per day on the basic beer/wine package but if you factor in the sodas it might be worth it. In other words, I had diet coke and sprite for the kids the whole cruise. Don't get me wrong, I like beer but that many beers 6 days in a row ! Keep in mind the 18%tax on packages and a la carte. I loved the fitness center but didn't see ANY staff. No charge for wet/dry saunas. Last the cabin- deck 9 #9356. Location was okay ( didn't want to be too close to stairs/elevators) no noise from above but of course you can hear everyone's door slam. I did not like that there was no aft elevator access on this floor -you had to go to mid-ship. Sadly, the toilet had a strong urine/sewer odor the entire cruise. Our cabin guy was great and tried to spray some stuff in there but I think it's the positioning of the cabin/toilet system so I would not recommend this room. The balcony was fine. I do wish RC would allow family of 4 to get more pullman options which my 9 year old prefers but they make us go in the double sofa beds. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
I was really surprised to see so many negative reviews of this cruise. We just returned and I have to say this was an amazing vacation. We have been on four previous cruises (Princess, Holland America and Disney) and Navigator of the ... Read More
I was really surprised to see so many negative reviews of this cruise. We just returned and I have to say this was an amazing vacation. We have been on four previous cruises (Princess, Holland America and Disney) and Navigator of the Seas stacked up in all categories. We traveled with our two children (ages 7 & 10) and my kids said they liked in better than Disney. We had two adjoining balcony rooms which was the perfect set-up for our family. The staterooms very clean and nice. We received excellent service from our cabin steward. We loved the food! No, it is not equal to a five star restaurant but that is not our expectation on a cruise where the staff is preparing meals for thousands of people at the same time! It was equal to or better than our previous cruises and much better than Disney. Our dinners in the main dining room were simply excellent. We ate in the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch most days. I thought the variety was good. There was a beautiful salad bar, wonderful soups and the bread and baked goods were outstanding. We did eat at Johnny Rockets for one lunch which was a lot of fun and I highly recommend. One evening we at Sabor which was just okay. We are from San Antonio and have access to a lot of good Mexican food, though. We probably won't do the specialty restaurants again as it doesn't seem worth it. The pools were not especially good for kids. We were able to go when it wasn't super crowded and it was fine. It would have been nice to have some water slides. There were a lot of other activities that my kids enjoyed (Flow rider, basketball court, putt-putt, arcade). I would say if you have much younger children, the activities are more limited. Yes, the elevators were slow but we understood that there was almost 4,000 passengers on the ship. If you don't have a mobility issue, you will want to take the stairs. This is a great way to burn some extra calories from all of the food we were eating! We went to a couple of shows. One was pretty bad and we loved the other one. We don't choose a cruise based on the evening entertainment, so this wasn't a huge issue for us. Overall, this was a wonderful cruise. The service was great and I felt taken care of the entire week which is really what makes the vacation for me! We're booked on Liberty of the Seas next summer and we can't wait! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
I went on this cruise with my husband, and 16 year old daughter. Embarkation: Galveston. Sigh. You would think a Texan port would be designed with a priority towards keeping people relatively cool and out of the sun. I am ... Read More
I went on this cruise with my husband, and 16 year old daughter. Embarkation: Galveston. Sigh. You would think a Texan port would be designed with a priority towards keeping people relatively cool and out of the sun. I am a Texan, so obviously, I am used to being hot and uncomfortable outdoors for 8-9 months out of the year. I'm not a whiner. But geez. The port was awful. If I weren't from Texas, I'd have been 100x more disappointed and annoyed. Outside there were lines for luggage drop off requiring people to stand in the sun, sweltering. Inside was barely air conditioned -- which is understandable given the open design -- but couldn't they have huge ceiling fans cranking at all times? My recommendation: Priority boarding is your friend. If possible -- consider a Junior Suite if only to get the priority boarding. If that's not an option -- research and arrive at the best time for the shortest lines. Otherwise, be prepared to stand for hours, sweating and hating life. On the plus side -- the terminal staff was friendly and helpful. Also -- regarding parking -- I didn't realize until the last minute that the standard port authority parking lots that the cruise lines refer you to, are not optimal. First all all, you have to drop your luggage off at the terminal, then drive to the designated parking lot, then wait for a shuttle to take you back to the terminal. The shuttle for these lots will not accept your luggage. And the traffic to get to those port authority lots is awful. Long lines to drop off luggage, etc. Line to get to lot. Wait in line for shuttle. Confusion is common. Also, the lots offer no covered parking. So we reserve a covered space in another lot in advance, online. There are at least three that offer covered, that are close to the terminal. The cost is about the same. You can get a covered space, even inside a parking garage. And the lots have free shuttle service that will take you AND your luggage. When you drive to Galveston, you can bypass the heavily congested roads to the port authority parking lots and avoid spending an hour in traffic just to park. We used LIghthouse covered parking. Great service. We were picked up in the lot, at our truck. And upon return to Galveston, the shuttle was waiting for us right where they said they'd be. No waiting. The shuttle drivers were friendly and helped us with our luggage. The cabin: Cabin 6694 in the aft section was awesome. No complaints really, other than the sofa bed. But regarding the cabin -- this is not specific to the cabin itself but the accommodations in general --- my biggest issue was dirty, old, stained linens. The sheets were clean – no stains. Not exactly high quality – but who expects high thread count on a cruise? But quality aside -- the mattress pads and blanket were…well, shockingly stained and old. They were torn in places. And were covered in random stains of all sizes. Thinking we had bad luck, and just needed a new set of linens – I waited for them to be changed. I didn't complain -- just kind of removed the linens in the morning. (I am not one to complain unless absolutely necessary. I just think, in the long run, to get better service, it's better to endure some things than be labeled "difficult") And guess what? New linens. More brown stains, different sizes, different locations. Clearly, they need to invest in oxyclean, bleach, or new linens. The stains were dark, and appeared to be either blood or vomit – both organic so if laundered promptly – I think they could be removed. So, bottom line -- if you are one to get grossed out guessing the sources of old, dark, stains on bedding – then be warned and spare yourself that OMG moment. Do what I did – try not to pull the sheets back too far to reveal the underside of the comforter, or heaven forbid accidentally pull an entire corner off to reveal dark brown stains on a dingy mattress pad. Just get your Lysol out, and remain blissfully ignorant. Or bring your own linens. Ignorance is easier though. Food: We are not food snobs. Do we like fine dining? Do we appreciate great presentation? Absolutely. But we are reasonable, and didn’t expect stellar dining experiences day after day. And on the whole, we liked the food. It met expectations. Main Dining Room: But as far as the MDR (main dining room) – well, that was a complete disappointment. First off, I don’t mind the dress code. In fact, I wear mostly casual skirts and dresses in the summer anyway. My husband doesn’t have a problem with a dress code either. But, if I do bother to wear something other than shorts, casual skirts, sandals, and tank tops on vacation just to eat --- I expect the food to reward the effort. And the MDR fell far short. Why? Great example is Day 2: We went to the Windjammer buffet for lunch. I had roast beef with mashed potatoes. Very tender, not too fatty. Impressive. Later on, we went to Café Promenade and had a coffee and a lemon tart served on the standard plastic little plate. All great. That evening, for the MDR, I break out the spanx (ugh!), a nice dress, sandals with a heel (I know, I know, how lame that this was a big deal to me, but hey, it’s a vacation) – my husband donned dress pants, business shirt, jacket, tie -- teenager reluctantly wore something other than flip flops and shorts – and we went to the MDR. And guess what? I was served the same roast beef, the same mashed potatoes as I had eaten earlier at the lowly buffet – albeit with a less fancy presentation. The lunch version of this meal was fresher though. And my husband has the same variation of food he had eaten at lunch as well. The kicker? The lemon meringue pie was the same lemon tart from the Promenade served on a red plastic plate, but with a dollop of “meringue” and a wedge of chocolate added for show. My daughter had the cheesecake, which – you guessed it – was available elsewhere, all day long – they didn’t even try to “jazz it up” or make it look different. There are some unique offerings – like lobster on “lobster night”, shrimp cocktail (which was, literally, three sad little shrimp in a fancy glass filled with wilted shredded lettuce) but on the whole, in my opinion, the MDR isn’t worth the effort. Add to it, our waiter was kind of odd. He gave us a long speech (and I mean LONG) about the dangers that lurk in Cozumel, identity theft, muggings, etc. Yes, all true. But we are educated travelers, well informed of the risks. And it was just a weird thing coming from cruise staff -- like he wanted people to stay on the ship rather than explore the ports via RCI excursions. He left my teenager filled with anxiety and talking about staying onboard .Not a discussion I wanted to have at dinner. We did get some wonderful photographs out of the MDR experience. And our table was next to a lovely window. So, I would recommend it for that alone . But one can have a nice family dinner, with nearly the same or more options, in the Windjammer without all the faux formality and weirdness. The food there was always fresh – lots of variety, great salad bar, wonderful French toast, fresh fruit, roasted chicken, burgers, fun dessert station (fresh beignets with whipped cream and fruit). The staff was friendly and helpful. Was it a 5 star dining experience? No. But it was decent and consistent. We also ate in the Mexican restaurant, Sabor. Wonderful food and great service. On the final night, we dined at the Italian place. The service was wonderful. Great risotto and gnocchi. But my chicken was dry and rather luke warm. The bread was stale. My daughter had shrimp ravioli – and she loved it. My husband had some kind of fish with shrimp on top --- and he enjoyed it as well. Overall, good – but nothing to get too excited about. The snacks and Cafe Promenade were decent. Nothing to rave about -- but solid little sandwiches and pastries (which you will see over and over again in the MDR and also, Windjammer). We would have a cup of fresh coffee and a snack in the late afternoon. We also ate at Johnny Rockets. We loved it. The staff was friendly and service was quick. The burgers were great with standard fries and onion rings. I got "cheese fries" which were the standard velveeta covered fries. Nothing spectacular here -- burgers are kind of hard to screw up -- but none the less good quality and a great value. My husband got a shake and it was great. Entertainment: RCI could improve it's entertainment options on board. Or at the very least, they could improve their communication about the entertainment. The Calypso-esque group that plays by the pool was awesome. The lead singer has an amazing voice. We saw one show -- a comedian. Honestly --- IMO it was awful. Just awful. And I wanted to like it. I would have loved to see the ice show, but we missed the notice that you had to get tickets on Sunday, the day of embarkation. I visited guest services to inquire and was told that it was unlikely we'd get seats without said tickets so we gave up. Fitness: The gym was nice. Lots of equipment, space to stretch or work with fitness balls. The locker room had steam and sauna, with showers. (Ok, full disclosure -- on day two, I was going to shower, walked up to one and noted the clear presence of vomit all over the floor. I informed the staff -- and they were nice enough. The entire locker room was closed immediately, the hot tub as well. But -- OMG. Wear flip flops.) And in the center of the gym area was a huge hot tub that was quiet and usually empty. Spa: We got a couples treatment package called "Five steps to Heaven." We booked it while onboard after seeing a flyer with a "special" offering 5 different services, foot massage, back exfoliation, deep tissue massage, facial and scalp massage for $159 per person. It was great -- not perfect but overall fun and relaxing. I was not in "heaven" however. Mainly due to high pressure sales pitches. It is hard to go from the zen of a massage, to a hard core product push. Kind of ruins the entire thing for many I'm sure. So, be prepared for the massive product push at the end. And the people act kind of miffed if you decline. This is not just something that happens with the masseuses -- my daughter had a mani/pedi and we got the same hard core sales pitch for random products. Needless to say -- it's kind of annoying to have to say repeatedly "no thank you I'm not interested in the $85 bottle of massage oil. No thank you but $150 for capsules filled with moisturizing oil is not in my budget." They don't take "no thank you" for an answer. FTR -- my "favorite" product push was the $48 stiff bristle brush that you use to brush your skin to rid yourself of cellulite and toxins. This was the thing they used to "exfoliate" my back (Which, truly, is not an area I need to exfoliate. And when they, without warning, scraped those stiff bristles over my sunburned skin, back and forth, over and over -- holy cow. NOT pleasant). Aside from my obvious skepticism as to the product's utility in these regards -- it was literally a $3 scrub brush you could buy at Walmart. The profit margin alone is appalling to me. Service -- Some of the RCI staff was great. Some were beyond unprofessional. For the most part, the dining/restaurant staff were pleasant and helpful. There were exceptions -- such as the surly man serving at Promenade Cafe. He seemed unhappy every single day. The photo gallery -- the worst. Honestly, it was so bad customer service-wise, it was a bit shocking. Case in point -- I ordered prints and a flash drive. The computer says pick it up tomorrow by 10:30 a.m. So I arrive at 10:45 a.m. the next day, only to be told by a disrespectful young man that "nobody told you 10:30. That's not possible." Uh, ok. why would I lie? Seriously? Then I was told, come back at 3:30. Then at 3:30, I was told "10:30". Then at 10:30 p.m. -- they don't have the prints, but they have the flash drive. So, come back in the morning and the entire package will be ready. I come back the next morning (disembarkation day), and they have lost or misplaced the flash drive, and the prints are nowhere to be found. Deep, heavy sigh. I stand around for 30 minutes b/c they tell me they can make a new flash drive. I stand there forever it seems, only to have them come out and say "the system is down" and they will email me a link to my photos. In a week. A week has come and gone -- no photos via email. Keep in mind we paid over $200 and got nothing. So, I call RCI, who tells me they are not responsible for the photo "vendor" (I'm not even going to discuss the absurdity of that pitch both legally and logically when RCI received the money for said photos as documented on my invoice). They gave me a phone number to call the photo vendor, who is only open monday through friday 8-5. Sigh. Other service issues: After reviewing our account statement -- I noted several double charges. E.g., at the bar, we had one order of drinks for $37. But on the invoice, the charge was entered twice, plus two other identical charges. We bought two drinks for $37. But were charged 4 times totalling over $100. Same thing with the spa -- there was one legit $68 charge. It was entered twice, and then an additional mystery $38 charge was added to it. These charges were readily refunded. Yes, mistakes happen. But when the RCI customer service rep said "we will talk to these employees. this is not supposed to happen" I kind of got the impression that it was a regular occurrence. If so, not cool. So check that invoice! :) Excursions: I booked all our excursions privately, ( I found that even including cab fare -- it was more economical) so I can't speak toward any RCI sponsored activities. In Cozumel, we took a cab to Mr. Sanchos. Awesome place. In Cayman, we went to the Westin. And in Jamaica -- we went to the HIlton Rose Hall. Love both places. I got up early and got a tender ticket for our arrival in Cayman. So, we were able to board the tender in group 9, almost right after the RCI excursions. We waited about 15 minutes, which to me, wasn't much of a delay . So, not getting on the tender first wasn't that big a deal for us. Overall, we are pleased with our trip. But I admit -- the three days of sailing juxtaposed to the excitement of the ports was kind of a let down. If you are not a big drinker, and are active -- i.e., don't like to sit for hours in the pool, hot tub, on a chaise reading -- a more port heavy cruise may be a better choice. Also -- even if you are not a big drinker, but think you and your spouse/partner might enjoy one or two drinks at the pool or wherever --- I think you should consider paying a bit more for a drink package. The cost of the drinks is ridiculous. E.g., I had a weak, barely alcoholic pina colada that cost about $10 at the pool. A mojito and appletini at the Schooner bar cost us --- kid you not -- $37.76 -- and that's NOT with an extra tip. Two drinks for nearly $40? And FTR -- the appletini was nasty. Insult meet injury. ;) My point is: I saw lots of people walking around on disembarkation day with long faces holding their statements. I heard one woman moan "why didn't we get the beverage package!" Even for a occasional drinker -- one or two here or there for fun can add up. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We arrived in Galveston early used Lighthouse Parking (which we always use) and got on the ship within 30 minutes. The ship is pretty and clean. Our cabin was nice and located in a great area on the ship but it was so hot in there we ... Read More
We arrived in Galveston early used Lighthouse Parking (which we always use) and got on the ship within 30 minutes. The ship is pretty and clean. Our cabin was nice and located in a great area on the ship but it was so hot in there we could not stand it. I immediately requested a fan and it was delivered and problem solved. The service in the dining room was extremely slow and we had to ask for water and tea. Our waiter spent most of his time jumping on his poor assistant. We only ate there 3 times and we were dissappointed each time. On formal night you could not find anyone to take a picture of you and if you did you had to wait forever. I thought that was so odd. The Windjammer buffet was good not great. They had a good selection and we ate there a lot but they are only open certain times of the day. If you get hungry after 9 pm good luck in trying to find something to eat. Everything closes early. Ice Cream is not 24 hrs and neither is pizza so if you want anything you have to get room service. We spent a lot of time in the little cafe drinking coffee and having a snack. We were hassled a lot about going to eat at the speciality restaurants. We would be trying to enjoy lunch at Windjammer and someone would walk up everyday to try to get us to try the restaurants and $20 per person (no thanks)! The shows were great all of them! We loved the comedians, ice show and ventriliquist. I never saw the Cruise Director except at the shows announcing the performers. He was never just walking around talking to cruisers. Our cabin Steward Bev was great. We loved her! We booked all private tours and they were great! The activities during sea days were ok. This was our first Royal Carribean and have always cruised Carnival so I was comparing a lot. The ship was laid out great, easy to get to things and much prettier than Carnival but all in all we just have more fun on Carnival. The service in the dining room is definitely better on Carnival and the food is better and you can get something to eat late at night. We were with a great group of people and we had fun but will probably be going back to Carnival! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We just got home from the 02 August 2015 sailing of the Navigator out of Galveston. The traveling party was me (41 year old male), my wife, and children aged 7 and 9. We were staying in cabin 1286, a Grand Suite on the starboard side. I ... Read More
We just got home from the 02 August 2015 sailing of the Navigator out of Galveston. The traveling party was me (41 year old male), my wife, and children aged 7 and 9. We were staying in cabin 1286, a Grand Suite on the starboard side. I have organized this topically in an effort to help people find information which they judge most useful. On balance, I enjoyed the trip very much and would certainly sail again if some small things were addressed. In no particular order: Getting on and off the ship-- The security company at the Port of Galveston is awful. I took a picture of the embarkation area. That included the security area, so they said I had to delete it. Whatever, but the physically aggressive woman who bumped into me to make her point should be fired. I wish I had a contact for that firm, and I would love from RC to be reading. The same company had people who were unnecessarily rude, but not physically aggressive, on the return. Other than that, the process went as well as it could. It helped a little that we had a suite, but arriving at 10:30 all of the lines were fairly short. They called suite embarkation as we were finishing check in, and we were on the ship by about 10:50. Getting off the ship earlier today, we got to the dining room on Deck 4 at around 7:10 to walk off with our own luggage. We were scheduled to leave at 7:30, actually did so about 10 minutes early, and were all the way at our car (at Galveston Park n' Cruise) at 7:49. So.... some ugly people working at the port, but the mechanics of it all were as smooth as possible. Elevators-- These were painfully slow most of the time. Happily, we are all in solid physical health and dealt with it by taking the stairs a lot. My step tracker counted over 50 flights of stairs (going up; there were more going down) each sea day. My mother and a buddy of hers were on the cruise in a different cabin and had to wait for elevators, and that was a significant time delay. Communication-- We had the global data package through Verizon. Voice calls at seas were poor but great in port (2-3 in each situation). Text messages worked fine. We bought the ship's internet for $189 for two devices ($210 minus a 10% discount) and were quite pleased. It wasn't blazingly quick, but it certainly met my requirement that I maintain just enough contact with my office to not be in fear when I return tomorrow. The TV channels were limited, but adequate to make sure I had some reasonable idea of what is going on in the outside world. As a side note, political debates are quite entertaining with mojitos, which were excellent. Food and drink-- I have seen some folks on here describe the food in the Main Dining Room (MDR) as of the quality of TV dinners, and I don't find that fair at all. I think the better analogy is that it is banquet food with more choices than the banquets I typically attend. That means that there are some limits based on the number of people they are feeding, and the spices and flavors were generally designed for a universal medium rather than my preferences. Yes, of course, I have had much better food on land. That said, I really enjoyed my dinner each night. The service was very good, there was always at least one choice at each stage of the meal I wanted (sometimes 2-3), and I enjoyed dinner each night. The order of dinner menus in the MDR was: Day 1 Mojo Day 2 Saffron Day 3 Pimiento Day 4 Basil Day 5 Shitake Day 6 Jasmine Day 7 Pomodoro Breakfast in the buffet was adequate but bland. Breakfast from the menu in Chops (a suite privilege) was actually quite good, and I enjoyed the ability to eat in that quieter space even when I was merely bringing in my own plate from the buffet. I enjoyed my two lunches from the buffet, and found Johnny Rocket's on two other days to be merely adequate. So... I enjoyed the MDR quite a bit, and the buffet was perfectly serviceable. I did have the Ultimate package, and my wife and the boys had the Royal Replenish (all of the non-alcoholic stuff). The juice was nice for them, and we enjoyed fancy coffee each evening in the MDR after dinner. We drank more club soda than I can count, and the boys were quite fond of various smoothies. I suspect the three of the broke even or lost a little bit of money on the package, but I would still do it again to avoid thinking about things at the point of sale. I am quite certain I got value out of it; I found a series of drinks at precisely the $12 (maximum) level and grew quite fond of a $14 cognac that cost me $2. We tended to tip $1 a drink in cash, and that was appreciated. We never had a problem getting service. The Sky Bar above the pool was nice, but my favorite spot on the ship was the cigar bar on Deck 5 forward. I generally didn't smoke, but it was a nice quiet space with great service. I actually left that bartender a WOW tip envelope at the end of the week, and that is where I discovered I like cognac. Who knew? Spa-- The treatments were lovely. The product sales afterwards were so aggressive as to make me not want to go back; they were my biggest service problem on board. RC really needs to find a way to dial this back, because it is a pretty facility doing good work that I would try to avoid if I booked another cruise. Cabin 1286-- The grand suite had plenty of space for us and was in good shape save for some work needed on the balcony. We would have no need to pay extra for an owner's suite, although I would certainly consider a configuration that had two bathrooms. The couch made a lovely bed for the boys. The balcony was a great spot to sit or lounge and had plenty of space for a table, two chairs, and a lounger. I might pick a cabin closer to a stairwell next time, but I was on balance very happy with the cabin. I also enjoyed several suite perks (several reviewed here) enough to not downgrade to a junior suite. Casino-- I work for a living, but within the budget that allows am still able to get nice deals on good rooms in Vegas based on gambling play. I spent very little time gambling here because the blackjack rules were so bad and because all of the limits were so low. RC lets new punters in mid-shoe on demand, so we were constantly stopping for people to buy enough chips for one or two table minimum bets. Some of them would then loudly insist they knew precisely what they were doing; I sat in peace and simply didn't go back much. I would like to see a few tables with $25 minimums. Kid's club (Adventure Ocean)-- My kids loved it here and wanted to go as often as possible. There weren't a lot of staff, but they seemed well-trained and were helpful to the kids. This is a real strength and is something which would draw me back- my kids were happy, and it let my wife and I enjoy cocktail hour. Ports-- Cozumel was good. The fact that I speak Spanish (I lived in Mexico City for a couple of years) helped but was completely unnecessary. We played laser tag at Chankanaab, which we booked on our own. That was splendid, and then we snorkeled a bit. The cruise pier here is enormous and was a challenge for my mom (mobility challenges), but it was a fairly reasonable place to do some shopping. It certainly felt safe. Belize was my least favorite due to the tenders, but it was still good. We booked Altun Ha and River Wallace in advance through the ship. This was a great tour which simply took too long and left the boys and I exhausted. It didn't help my spirits that I was sitting in the corner of the boat that got soaked on the return. Also, the lunch was pretty small given how hungry we were. That said, the tour guides did a good job giving me an interesting perspective on a new place. The ruins were gorgeous, and we had a bit of time to climb about. I liked Roatan much more than I though I might. We booked Maya Key through the ship, and it was lovely. The beach sand was too rough for building sand castles, so we swam. And snorkeled. And walked around. Saw some Mayan re-creations in an interpretation center. Ate a fantastic meal while learning to love Honduran beer. Saw some awesome rescued animals in what amounted to a very nice zoo. Conclusion-- Yeah, I would do it again. There were some things to fix, but all four of us left feeling like we had a splendid time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
I have cruised many times and normally my family cruises with Carnival, however, Royal Caribbean is just one of those boats you see from the balcony of yours and think, "Whats that boat? I want to get on there!" Boy, was I wrong! ... Read More
I have cruised many times and normally my family cruises with Carnival, however, Royal Caribbean is just one of those boats you see from the balcony of yours and think, "Whats that boat? I want to get on there!" Boy, was I wrong! I moved to Seattle last year, and we have had this family vacation planned for over 8 months. I flew all the way down from Seattle for a family vacation that turned out to be a complete disaster. I was extremely EXTREMELY disappointed with Royal Caribbean and the Navigator of the Seas boat. The food tasted like complete CRAP. EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. The ONLY good food was at Sabor the Mexican restaurant. I wish I hadn't only just discovered that the last night because we would have eaten there every day. Room service was equally HORRIBLE. They got our order wrong EVERY SINGLE TIME, (if we even got our food at all), and when we called to ask about it, the manager on duty was again, extremely rude. The staff on the ship, especially in the casino were EXTREMELY RUDE. I was appalled at the low level of customer service and manners that this crew and its members had, no respect for any of the guests whatsoever. We had a leak in our cabin that made the entire floor between our bathroom door and desk soaking wet. I called it in twice and nobody ever came by to fix it. So we were walking on wet, stinky carpet for the last 4 days and the dripping was very obnoxious and hard to drown out at night when we wanted to go to sleep. The photographers on board were horrible. Crappy backgrounds, if you can even call them that, for the pictures and there was a caution sign in the back of one of my pictures. Idiots. Extreme lack of anything to do on the ship ever. Not a lot of shows, one of the few shows that was scheduled was cancelled. Boring shows, if and when there were any. And "at sea" days there was nothing scheduled to keep the guests occupied. It was horrifically boring. I will say the ONLY good people I encountered on this trip were: my stateroom attendant Golda (she was fabulous), Horace and Anjelica at the Casino bar, Marlon in the Metropolis and Star Lounge areas and our dinner servers Joaquim and his assistant Joseph. These handful of people were FABULOUS. They in fact, were the only thing I enjoyed about this family vacation. I will never cruise with Royal Caribbean again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
My husband and I have been on many cruises (about 20) on various cruise lines. We prefer Royal Caribbean! The food and entertainment are the best. Port: I had read a lot of negative remarks about the Galveston port so I was ... Read More
My husband and I have been on many cruises (about 20) on various cruise lines. We prefer Royal Caribbean! The food and entertainment are the best. Port: I had read a lot of negative remarks about the Galveston port so I was somewhat prepared. We got to the port around 10:30. Were on the ship by 11:15. This part was smooth. Even though the rooms are not available to go to until 1:00, at least we were on the ship and enjoying the cool and drinks. Disembarking was a different story all together. First of all, you are given a time you can leave the ship. Our time was 9:15 (#16). We had plenty of time to eat breakfast and sat in the lounge until our number was called. They were prompt in calling the numbers on time. However, when we got off the ship the port was TOTAL mass confusion!! No one checked your number as you got off so there were numbers from 15 to 26 so needless to say, too many people trying to find their luggage. No signs where to get in line to go to customers. Lines going left and lines going right. Not to mention the fact that it was 90 degrees in the port with little or no air!! I don't see how some of the older people could handle it. Then we were in line for 45 minutes and the man and woman in front of us, called their family over (there were 6 more of them) and they all cut into the line in front of us!! This part was horrible!!! ENOUGH OF THAT!! Cozumel: We did the Royal Swim with the dolphins and it was truly AMAZING! Would highly recommend to anyone. There was even a 3 year old little girl that did it and loved it. She actually cried when it was over. Belize City: We did the Trolley tour just to see the city. This place could be missed as far as I could see. Most of the excursions were water based and you have to take an hour to hour and a half ride to get to anywhere pretty. If we went here again, I would stay on the ship. Rotan: We did the Park animal refuge tour. Played with the cappuccino monkeys! It was so HOT but I would do this again. The monkeys made it all worth it. I could have skipped the rest but it was still fun. You can not take any bags or water (and they really mean it) because the monkeys will take them away from you. Overall, the cruise was so fun and relaxing! Would defiantly recommend and do this one again!! Make sure to do the flow rider. Lots of fun and you don't need any skills to do it. Also, I did not like the idea of paying extra for a meal but the couple we went with wanted to go to Chops so we did. It was truly worth the extra money. Just make sure you don't eat anything the rest of the day before you go. there is sooo much food but very good!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Navigator of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.3
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.5 4.2

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