356 Galveston Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Just returned from our Navigator RCI cruise out of Galveston. Used Cruise Critic extensively so we were not surprised about many of the things that happened. Arrived about 11am with moderate traffic until hitting the port area. Some ... Read More
Just returned from our Navigator RCI cruise out of Galveston. Used Cruise Critic extensively so we were not surprised about many of the things that happened. Arrived about 11am with moderate traffic until hitting the port area. Some brilliant person with about a third grade education decided to funnel the cars droppings off luggage for both ships to one choke point before separating the two lines. We therefore had to pass well by the Navigator and the Carnival ship before being able to take a left where they then divided the traffic to each ship. Utterly stupid. I recommend that you take the road to the north or right of the port road and go up well past 25th street and come in the other way. Far less traffic and a much faster ingress to the baggage area. Once through the drop off line, it was not bad in the terminal itself and we saved some time since we were Crown and Anchor Platinum members and junior suite guests as well. Everything else went pretty smoothly and we were able to get our bags in a fairly timely fashion. Staterooms were ready at about 1:30 pm. Junior suite was pretty nice...bring an extension cord as very few electrical outlets. Coffee machine had good Starbucks coffee but had to move it off of the provided bar as there was no outlet. We turned the AC down all the way and left it there the whole cruise in order to keep the room nice. Can't imagine what will happen in July and August when it gets really Texas warm. No toiletries in the room whatsoever except for a dispenser on the wall which had either soap or shampoo in it...not sure which. TV was nice as it allowed for TV viewing as well as ship activities and the ability to review accounts. Bought the 1 device package on day 2 and found it to be worthwhile though fairly slow and no video streaming. If you want to use a second device, it costs more so we just made sure only one device was connected at the same time. Room service was good but limited menu. Unfortunately I pulled a hamstring on day 2 but medical was excellent and no charge since it happened on board the ship. Flowrider was pretty crowded and since we were in a group of 26, I rented it out for an hour just for us and it was super. Lots of rides and the kids loved it. Food was disappointing and has declined in quality every RC cruise we have taken...now our fourth. Lobster nice was average at best and steaks were thin and only satisfactory. Food description on the menu sounds marvelous but portions are tiny and tasteless in many cases. Fisher mans platter was about as good as a McDonalds fish sandwich. Salmon was overlooked and soups disappointing. The wine list was a joke. We ordered a bottle to find out ten minutes later that they did not have it. Went to second selection and same deal. Finally told the beverage gal to choose but wine arrived after we had already finished main course. 80% of the wines on the list were not in stock. On the first night, We were told that it was still being unboxed but that was BS since the same thing happened the next night. Apparently they changed the wine list and did not update it on the menus provided to the passengers. Extremely poor performance there. We chose the early sitting for dinner to allow the kiddos a chance to eat and then head to ocean club and allow the parents an enjoyable kid free meal. Unfortunately service was so slow that when they came to get the kids at 6:45pm, they had not finished nor had even ordered dessert. Another disappointment. Giovanni's was surprisingly excellent but you need to overlook them trying to constantly sell you additional visits or wine pourers. Food was far superior to the main dining room. Good wine selection too. Did not go to Chops as a previous cruise found it to be overpriced and not all that good. No extra C&A points though I paid for 21 people and 7 staterooms which was a little disappointing. Also the concierge club which used to be open to Junior Suite folks is now only open to the better suites. Ice show was good and pools not too crowded until the two days at sea when it was a mob. Lunch buffets by the pool were good. Windjammer buffet was okay but my son mentioned he had just returned from a Carnival cruise where their buffet was superior. Fresh squeezed OJ comes with th ultimate package and it was good. Recommend this if you like the drink of the days, the OJ, Starbucks coffee, and bottled water. Johnny Rokets made good burgers and shakes but fries were not as crispy and good as Windjammer. Ice show was good except a few animal characters for the kiddos would have been nice. Promenade was enjoyable and enjoyed Two Poets which was never crowded and a good singer and guitar player named Dallas was great. Ports would have been better for snorkeling but rain messed up Belize and Roatan. Enjoyed a tour of the monkeys and sloths in Roatan. Disembarkation was not as bad as we had heard. Follow the instructions and it is pretty painless except that the customs line was a bit long because of our visits to Belize and Honduras. RCI has lots to improve upon before I would select them again even with my C&A status. Not enough benefits for repeat cruisers to make it worthwhile. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was our second cruise with RCL. Navigator is smaller in size than the Freedom of the Seas we took last year. Loved the food and dining! With the smaller sized ship, however, the entertainment wasn't as good. The ice show was ... Read More
This was our second cruise with RCL. Navigator is smaller in size than the Freedom of the Seas we took last year. Loved the food and dining! With the smaller sized ship, however, the entertainment wasn't as good. The ice show was wonderful! The Elton John impersonator was fantastic -- all else were just, eh. We should have skipped the last show in the theater, we all got bored. Excursions: Cozumel/Belize/Roatan We LOVED our excursions! In Cozumel we shopped and played at the beach -- we just played it by ear, nothing planned in advance. Very relaxing day. Taxi service is super inexpensive. We were able to find a quiet secluded beach and did some great snorkeling. In Belize we booked a tour with cavetubing.bz --SOOOO FUN! Go with cavetubing.bz -- and book them outside of the ship (saves so much $$$, and so worth it). They are very trustworthy, drive nice vehicles, carry your tubes so you can site see while they teach you about the vegitation and all about their country. Our guides were so fun and knowledgeable. They kept our belongings secure. The caves are a must see, lunch was great afterwards. Other groups were carrying tubes and speeding past us on the trail. I felt bad that they weren't getting the same treatment we were. I highly recommend them! Our last excursion was Roatan Honduras. We went through Rony's Tours which were recommended by a friend. Again, our service was FANTASTIC and saved us so much money. We did the zipline/monkey adventure. Our guide was Carla, we also met Roney himself -- both were so so so friendly and taught us so much about their country. I think in total the zip line was 16 zips to get down the mountain. We and our adult children LOVED it. It was a very rainy day. The constant rain didn't damper our spirits none - we had a blast. After the zip line you take an awesome tour and see beautiful wild life and vegetation. Loved playing with the monkeys and parrots! Got some great pics. After our excursion Carla took us to a beach to snorkel as I kept hearing how clear the water is (so pretty!) -- we were able to see some really coloful fish! Carla stood by while we snorkled, she's such a trooper! We got about 40 minutes in before we were hit with a down poor (not an understatment). Not once did Carla complain, even though everyone of us (including her) were soaken wet. Our excursion guides in both Roatan and Belize got us back to the ship with plenty of time to spare. Again, highly recommend them both. So glad they were recommended to us. Last year we had four excursions in our 7-day cruise, Navigator had three excursions. I prefer the three day excursion deal better, left us more time to relax at sea and see all that the amazing ship has to offer. I love how RCL ships are laid out, and how CLEAN and beautiful everything is. Our room steward and dining room attendants were nothing short of fantastic, and always so helpful and trustworthy. I'm hooked on Royal Caribbean! On one of the nights a storm blew in, we got to see quite a lightning show! With all that, we only slightly felt the ship rock. How cool is that?! None of us got sick, and none of us took anything to prevent sea sickness. I wish I could remember the cruise director's name, he is hilarious! Very entertaining and honest. Tune in to Channel 14 in the morning, he always gives great instructions so you know what you are doing and what to expect. Love that feature! Embarkation: We arrived at the ship an hour early, and they let us right on! Felt like we had the ship to ourselves for a while. AMAZING! Getting off the ship went smoothly as well. I highly recommend Royal Caribbean. If you like the party crowd, there are places to hang out. If you like quiet, there are plenty of places for that too (we like the quiet). Can't wait to go again! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was our 4th Royal Caribbean cruise and we were a little reluctant about sailing on Navigator since our last cruise was on Allure, a much bigger ship. However, we were NOT disappointed. The Junior Suite was spacious and boasted a huge ... Read More
This was our 4th Royal Caribbean cruise and we were a little reluctant about sailing on Navigator since our last cruise was on Allure, a much bigger ship. However, we were NOT disappointed. The Junior Suite was spacious and boasted a huge closet, nice bath tub, and is well worth the additional cost. Cabin stewards were very attentive and the room has a coffee pot so that you don't have to send for room service every day if you like having coffee on the balcony. Make sure to dine in the dining room. The service was superb, and the food was absolutely amazing. We have always found dining room food to be good, but nothing to brag about. However, that is not the case on Navigator. The prime rib, salmon, lobster, and lamb were all quite tasty, and everyone in our group of 14 was extremely pleased with their dinner selection each evening. Try the appetizer shrimp cocktail, which is available every evening. The entertainment on our cruise was three different comedians, and all were quite entertaining, but don't miss the ice skating show - it was truly amazing! The only negative about this cruise was waiting for the ice show tickets. The daily planner stated that they would be handed out the first day at 3:00. Many guests began lining up at 2:00. Unfortunately, cruise staff waited until 3:00 to make the announcement that the tickets had been "misprinted" and would not be handed out that day. Those guests who had waited more than an hour were understandably upset. The best port was Grand Cayman. Some of our group did the glass bottom boat and island tour, which we really enjoyed. Saw a couple of ship wrecks and lots of multi-colored fish. Others did the dolphin encounter, and they said that it was great. Mexico is Mexico, and Jamaica's Red Stripe Beach excursion would have been great except that the day we were in port was really windy and so we actually left early - no one's fault, just Mother Nature! The lounge on the 14th floor was a fabulous place to have a drink, and it has the best views on the ship. It was quiet and intimate just before dinner and we enjoyed being up there as the ship left each port. We also really enjoyed dancing to the music of the Christian Simmons Band. They were at various venues on the ship each evening. They are well worth a listen! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was our 4th Royal Caribbean cruise and we were a little reluctant about sailing on Navigator since our last cruise was on Allure, a much bigger ship. However, we were NOT disappointed. The Junior Suite was spacious and boasted a huge ... Read More
This was our 4th Royal Caribbean cruise and we were a little reluctant about sailing on Navigator since our last cruise was on Allure, a much bigger ship. However, we were NOT disappointed. The Junior Suite was spacious and boasted a huge closet, nice bath tub, and is well worth the additional cost. Cabin stewards were very attentive and the room has a coffee pot so that you don't have to send for room service every day if you like having coffee on the balcony. Make sure to dine in the dining room. The service was superb, and the food was absolutely amazing. We have always found dining room food to be good, but nothing to brag about. However, that is not the case on Navigator. The prime rib, salmon, lobster, and lamb were all quite tasty, and everyone in our group of 14 was extremely pleased with their dinner selection each evening. Try the appetizer shrimp cocktail, which is available every evening. The entertainment on our cruise was three different comedians, and all were quite entertaining, but don't miss the ice skating show - it was truly amazing! The only negative about this cruise was waiting for the ice show tickets. The daily planner stated that they would be handed out the first day at 3:00. Many guests began lining up at 2:00. Unfortunately, cruise staff waited until 3:00 to make the announcement that the tickets had been "misprinted" and would not be handed out that day. Those guests who had waited more than an hour were understandably upset. The best port was Grand Cayman. Some of our group did the glass bottom boat and island tour, which we really enjoyed. Saw a couple of ship wrecks and lots of multi-colored fish. Others did the dolphin encounter, and they said that it was great. Mexico is Mexico, and Jamaica's Red Stripe Beach excursion would have been great except that the day we were in port was really windy and so we actually left early - no one's fault, just Mother Nature! The lounge on the 14th floor was a fabulous place to have a drink, and it has the best views on the ship. It was quiet and intimate just before dinner and we enjoyed being up there as the ship left each port. We also really enjoyed dancing to the music of the Christian Simmons Band. They were at various venues on the ship each evening. They are well worth a listen! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We cruised on the Navigator of the Seas out of Galveston with my extended family, 17 people total, ranging in age from 2 to 71. The itinerary was a 7 night cruise to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica. This was my third cruise and the ... Read More
We cruised on the Navigator of the Seas out of Galveston with my extended family, 17 people total, ranging in age from 2 to 71. The itinerary was a 7 night cruise to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica. This was my third cruise and the first time with Royal Caribbean. We are from San Antonio and Austin which makes leaving from Galveston convenient. The traffic at the port was a mess and took a long time. The embarkation process was okay, but the lines were long and slow. We arrived around noon and were onboard by 1:30pm. We were able to go to our staterooms, but when we got there, the cabin was so small, I thought they had made a mistake. We had four cabins in a row on the 3rd floor, each with adults and children. My parents had a balcony room on the 7th floor (which was much larger and very nice). We were 2 adults (in our 40’s) and 2 children (ages 12 and 13) in our room but there was only a king sized bed. We looked around bewildered and could not figure out where the supposed bunk beds would be. Furthermore, I could not find an attendant or a single person to ask. Other people were wandering around the hallway asking the same thing. I ended up going up to guest services and was told the beds come down from the ceiling and our stateroom attendant would lower them after dinner. Basically, the bunk beds hang over the king sized bed. I had looked online before the trip and had even called Royal Caribbean about the sleeping arrangements in a family room, and could not find any information. There are no pictures of this room configuration on the website or anywhere else. I took some pictures once the beds were down and will post them online so others will know what to expect. In addition, the cabin itself was really dirty. It seemed the only thing done between the prior guests’ departure and our arrival was to make the beds. There was hair in the bathroom and on the window sill above the bed, sand all over the floor and couch, some kind of smeary stains (blood?) on the walls, dried vomit on the curtains above the bed, and a disgusting toilet brush that lingered in the bathroom during our entire stay. Our stateroom attendant came by and introduced himself (Leon) and assured us the beds would be lowered after dinner time and he would vacuum the floor. I did not mention the other things because I would basically be asking him to clean the room properly, but I didn’t want to get off on the wrong note. It was getting late so we went to the Wind Jammer for lunch. The food was good with lots of variety. After lunch, we explored the ship. We watched the departure from the top deck and enjoyed a drink. We returned to the cabin late in the afternoon thinking we might unpack, but none of the luggage had arrived to our room. Leon assured us the luggage would be there soon. But by dinner time, our luggage had still not arrived, even though all my family in the other cabins had theirs. I had to go to dinner wearing shorts with holes in them. Bummer. Next time, I’ll pack my dinner clothes in my carry on. We had a 5:30 pm dining time. Our group of 17 was split amongst two tables next to one another. We ended up eating in the main dining room every night of the cruise. I really didn’t care for the food, but everyone liked the experience of eating in the dining room. Some of the items were better than others (salmon was good, steaks were not good). The kids became increasingly adventurous with what they ordered each night (escargot, lamb, duck, etc.), which was fun to watch. Everyone enjoyed the interesting desserts and being able to order as many items as they liked from the menu. The portions were very small (ex., 5 chips served with the spinach and artichoke dip made us laugh), but that was fine since none of us are really big eaters anyway. Our waiter was not friendly and was actually abrupt and sometimes downright rude. He was always behind the other tables in his service cycle. Not that we wanted to rush, but he was consistently slow and seemed very stressed out. The wine steward was also rude and not knowledgeable about the wine list and his service was very slow also. But the young lady who brought the bread basket around each night and refilled tea and water glasses was so sweet. She smiled the whole time and was so warm and pleasant. She needs a promotion!!! After dinner, our luggage arrived and we were able to unpack. The cabin had very little storage for 4 people. It would have been fine for 2, but with 4 people, there definitely was not adequate space to unpack our things. I had to get pretty creative to make it work. At the end of the first day, I was kind of annoyed and disappointed. It had not been the best beginning for a cruise. But luckily, the rest of the trip went so much better and despite a rough start, the cruise itself was wonderful. The second day was a sea day and we had to pass through a tropical storm. It was pretty rough waters and the boat was rocking, not enough to make people ill, but enough to through off your balance. They closed the upper decks until we were through the storm by the late afternoon. My husband decided to buy a beverage package on the second day (beer, wine and soda), which was probably a cost saver in the long run. The prices of the drinks are really high! Being able to bring two bottles of wine onboard (plus the ones my sister carried on for me, since she doesn't drink wine) was perfect for me. Surprisingly, no one even used the soda cup. In the end, I think we got our money's worth, but it would be nice if there was an allowable amount of beer you could bring too. While I'm on the subject, the policy on bringing water onboard seems a bit fuzzy. Most of our group had no trouble and just put a luggage tag on our water case and it arrived at the room with the luggage. But we saw another person carrying water during boarding who had it confiscated. So stupid. They should just make an allowance for bringing on a case of water to keep in your stateroom. Jeez... The third day we docked in Cozumel. We arrived later than scheduled due to the weather the day before, but that was nice because we got to sleep in a little later. We had booked the Fury Catamaran Snorkel and Beach Break through Royal Caribbean. This was so much fun. The catamaran’s crew were very capable and kept the beers and margaritas flowing. The snorkeling location was not that great. There weren’t that many fish and the waters were pretty rough that day. But at least it was memorable. The private beach had lots of inflatables to play on and the kids had a blast. You could order a hamburger or hotdog that was made fresh in front of the guests. They are enormous and delicious and could easily be split between two people. We stayed at the beach for about an hour and a half then boarded the catamaran for the trip back to the boat. The crew played music and got the passengers dancing on the deck. It was really entertaining to watch everyone. We were back in time to do some shopping in the port before getting back onboard the ship. The fourth day, we tendered in Grand Cayman. It was a late arrival (10 am) and they prioritized those guests with excursions booked through Royal Caribbean to get off the ship first. Everyone else needed a numbered ticket to disembark and the process was slow. We didn’t get off the ship until almost noon. We did not have an excursion booked because we had heard how beautiful the beaches are and decided to take cabs on our own. It was easy to get a cab and we were taken to Public Beach. Our cab driver said she would take us back and we arranged a time. There was a bar/restaurant where we ordered buckets of beer and headed out to the beach. This beach was very narrow and pretty crowded. We rented a couple of chairs and umbrellas. The kids snorkeled and played in the water. We ordered food from the bar, which was very good. But it was very hot that day and we only stayed at the beach for a couple of hours. Our driver returned to pick us up and we asked to be dropped off near the port to shop. Grand Cayman is clean and safe to walk around, but we had to remind the kids to be careful crossing the street since they drive on the other side of the road. We bought a few souvenirs and returned to the tenders for the ride back to the ship. It was enjoyable, but we probably would have had more fun if we had booked an excursion. The fifth day, we docked in Falmouth, Jamaica. I had booked an excursion through a private company (Liberty Tours) for a trip to Blue Hole. This was such an amazing day and I cannot say enough good things about the experience. I had been given directions by the tour company on where to meet our guides and we found the meeting place easily. We divided into two groups and were taken to the comfortable, air conditioned vans. The driver of our van was Rose Marie. She was so friendly and outgoing and kept us entertained the whole way. She would answer any and all questions happily and knowledgeably. There was never a lull in the conversation and the facts she told us about life in Jamaica were fascinating. The drive to Blue Hole is over an hour, but was part of the fun. Seeing the homes and people of Jamaica going about their day was really cool. It is such a unique culture. The drive up to the falls was off the main road and along a bumpy, windy, narrow dirt road. Once we arrived, we were led up to the falls by our guides; two young Jamaican guys who were very friendly (Irving and Morgan). Our group was led up the falls and shown where to jump off into the pool below. You could jump from different heights depending on how adventurous you wanted to be. Some were easy (about 6 feet or so) and some were really high (30 plus feet). Everyone in my group jumped from various heights, and even the oldest generation braved the most treacherous of the falls. The guides held onto each person securely as they walked to the edges of the falls. These young men were so strong and capable, we felt very safe. However, this is not an easy excursion. It is best to be up for a little adventure!!! There was a rope swing at the end which was fun too. Once everyone in the group had jumped, the guides would run off the falls and do the most amazing flips and dives. Very impressive!!! It is suggested to wear water shoes, and while they are certainly no fashion statement, I was glad I had them. The rocks could get pretty sharp in some places. After the falls, we were driven in the vans back down the mountainside to “Scotchies” for lunch. Our drivers had called ahead, so the food was ready when we arrived. We sat outdoors and enjoyed the wonderful jerk chicken, rice and “peas” (beans), and sodas they brought us. The portions were large and by that time everyone had worked up an appetite. The food was fresh, hot and delicious. There was a bar for those of us who wanted a Red Stripe or Rum Runner. After lunch we headed back to the port with over an hour to spare. This was everyone’s favorite excursion and was truly a unique experience. The sixth and seventh days were at sea and we enjoyed everything the ship had to offer. We watched the ice show (wonderful), climbed the rock wall, played on the Flow Rider, worked out at the gym, lounged by the pool, and caught the nightly shows in the theatre. Disembarkation went smoothly and we were on the road by 10:30 am. Overall, this cruise was one of our family’s favorite vacations. The kids said they had more fun on this trip than on our Disney World vacations. My parents even booked themselves another cruise for next year. Comparing the two cruise lines I have taken out of Galveston, there are some things I like more about Royal Caribbean and some things I prefer about Carnival. I guess the deciding factor in the future will be promotional prices and destinations. But we really had a great time on this cruise and look forward to more in the future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was my second cruise on Royal carribean with my family. From the first day we arrived, I felt like they have lost their royal treatment. The food was disgusting. the bread was hard, the smell of the sapphire restaurant was horrible, ... Read More
This was my second cruise on Royal carribean with my family. From the first day we arrived, I felt like they have lost their royal treatment. The food was disgusting. the bread was hard, the smell of the sapphire restaurant was horrible, and the cook couldn't prepare soft scrambled eggs. The pool area was dirty all the time, the room a/c was not cooling well at all. And some of the staff workers were rude, they badly in need of a class in customer service. But on the other hand, they were very informational on what's going on. I'm willing to give it another try. I think they just over booked this cruise and was not able to accommodate everyone to give you that outstanding service that they are known for. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Loved our balcony cabin in room 1826 (more below in cabin review) and had great service from our room steward. PROS: Navigator was refurbished a couple of years ago and is still well maintained and looks great. The overall layout ... Read More
Loved our balcony cabin in room 1826 (more below in cabin review) and had great service from our room steward. PROS: Navigator was refurbished a couple of years ago and is still well maintained and looks great. The overall layout with the Promenade deck is nice. Service in the dining room was fantastic and food in the dining room was very good. The ice skating show is top notch. CONS: Drink prices are outrageous! $14 for a Moscow Mule in R Bar and over $10 for the drink of the day special. RCI's shore excursions really aren't great. In Cozumel we went with a snorkeling excursion and the water was way too rough for snorkeling (our guides assured us it would be better once we were actually in the water) and the equipment wasn't good quality (my daughter's mask never fit properly which we didn't learn until we were in the water, my fins had a defective strap that kept coming off, daughter's life jacket had a grimy blow-up tube that left black marks on her face). In Grand Cayman the ship arrived early so we were told to get off early only to arrive at our excursions meeting point and end up waiting an hour and 20 minutes in the heat (way past even the original meeting time). The shows weren't very good and did not seem to fit the audience on the ship. They debuted a brand new ballroom dance show one night and it had a very Latin them with lot of songs in Spanish. Most of the people around us had walked out before it was over. There was also an Elvis impersonator (really only appealed to the older crowd, and not to any of the younger couple/families) and a comedy show. I was surprised they didn't have an aerialist show or big singing/dancing show other than the ballroom dancing. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Background: Family cruise for us. 2nd cruise for my wife and I and the 1st for our kids (12 yr old boy and girl who turned 15 on the cruise). Appreciated the fact that is was out of Galveston and fairly close to the DFW area (5 hrs drive ... Read More
Background: Family cruise for us. 2nd cruise for my wife and I and the 1st for our kids (12 yr old boy and girl who turned 15 on the cruise). Appreciated the fact that is was out of Galveston and fairly close to the DFW area (5 hrs drive - we are out of Aledo, near Ft. Worth) Booking/Room: We initially booked an exterior room on floor 3, with a large window. We called about a month out and asked for upgrade options and got a Superior Balcony room on the 9th floor for a very reasonable price (Room 9658). The boat is laid out where all the food (Main dining, Windjammer, etc.) is at the back and the entertainment (Metropolis, Star Lounge, etc.) is at the front. Flowrider, sports deck is also at the back of the ship. Staying near the back was ideal for us. Hotel: We chose to drive down the day before the cruise and spent the night near NASA south of Houston. It was less expensive than staying in Galveston, but still less than an hour to get there for embarkation. Parking: We choose EZ cruise that was only a couple of blocks from Terminal 2 (RCL terminal). They charge $65 for the week but you can get a $20 discount for walking and not taking their shuttle. Elevated uncovered lot that was very easy to find and convenient. Embarkation: We arrived at around 10:30am and got to the terminal and checked in by 10:45am. They started boarding at 11:00am and we were on the ship by 11:15am. Rooms are not available until 1pm so we took a couple of carry-on bags with swim suits etc. We went to the Windjammer and had lunch and explored the ship until the room was ready at 1pm. Spent the remainder of the day exploring and enjoying. Really maximized than 1st day aboard. Weather: We did have to go through a tropical storm on the way out so our 1st full day at sea was a "rocky" one and all of the outside decks were closed. We made the most of it by exploring inside or sleeping it off. The remainder of the cruise was fabulous! Dining: Specialty Dining – they have 5 different specialty dining places that cost you more: They offer discounts and specials for the first night and at other times so you should never have to pay the full up charge. • Izumi – Sushi that is charged by the item – did not try no opinion • Chops Grille – steak restaurant – did not try no opinion • Sabor – Mexican cuisine – did not try no opinion, but one couple from Texas said they eat Mexican all the time and thought the place was awesome. • Giovanni’s Table – Italian – Loved it We had booked the Murder Mystery dinner at Giovanni’s Table but they had to cancel (something about the actors changing out and not being ready). We went ahead and made reservations for Giovanni’s table for the first night anyway. It is normally an extra $20 per person but we got 25% off on the first night. It was really good – you get a menu with about 10 different appetizers, several pasta options and main courses. You can order as many as you want so we mixed it up and tried all kinds of Italian food. They will bring basic spaghetti for any younger kids too. Excellent very personalized service! • Johnny Rockets – Burgers, etc. – Only an additional $5 per person We ate there for lunch on one of our sea days and it was really good. They play typical diner juke box music and occasionally do a little dancing. You can get as many of the burgers, sandwiches or sides as you want. They brought some fries and onion rings right away and we got some burgers, tuna melt, Chicken BLT and all were good. They have ice cream sundaes and apple pie ala mode for dessert, all good. You can get shakes anywhere on the ship but they are an extra charge even at Johnny Rockets. Normal Dining – Main Dining room, Windjammer Café, and Royal Promenade - Windjammer is the buffet and I would liken it to Golden Corral. Nothing awesome, but not bad either. Lots of selection. We ate breakfast (good, hard to mess up breakfast) there several times and a few times for lunch. Kids would eat there every meal if they could. - Royal Promenade – you can get some sandwiches, pizza, and some desserts at most anytime. They have a Starbucks and Ben and Jerry’s there for additional charge. Good place for a snack or quick bite. - Main Dining room – very nice and we ate every dinner there, except 1st night, and a couple of breakfasts. The menu always had 8-10 appetizers (5 or so that change nightly and a few standbys like Cocktail Shrimp), and 5 or so rotating main dishes with 5 standard options (NY Strip, Salmon, Sliders, etc.) Then they have 3-4 standard desserts (creme brulee, etc.) and a few that rotate nightly. There is a kids menu with standard selections for appetizers, mains, and desserts, as well. The waiters are awesome and will recommend items. You can order as many or whatever you want. My daughter had 1-2 cocktail shrimp orders each night, while my son pretty much had pizza every night. On lobster night I had the lobster and prime rib. We typically got 4 or more desserts to share. We were so spoiled there. There are 2 formal nights always on days at sea, ours were day 2 and day 6 and most people dressed up. Entertainment: - Flowrider – kids absolutely loved it. Must be over 58” to try stand up surfing. My son was not tall enough but he did the boogie boarding (BB) a bunch, seriously, a bunch. They will have different times allocated for BB or surfing, but go early in the trip as it keeps getting busier throughout the trip. You have to sign a waiver and get a wristband so do that the first day. It will cover the flowrider, ice skating, and rock climbing wall. - Ice Skating – small rink and only open a few times. The kids went at a specific kids time through the kids club so they had a good time. - Rock Climbing – at specific times, but can be hot if the sun is shining on it. - Miniature Golf – just show up and play - Sports court – basketball goals, periodically a volleyball net is set or soccer goals. They did dodgeball, volleyball, basketball, and soccer tourneys. - Kids program – they have multiple kids clubs, but we only focused on the 12-14 and 15-17. There is a mixer/meet&greet on the first full day at sea that is a great way to get the kids involved. Since it is summer time there we tons of families and kids on board which we were hoping for. After the first day the kids were always wanting go to the living room (teen area) to hang out and we had to schedule times with them for family stuff (i.e. be back at 5:30pm to get ready for dinner) - Live music - all over the ship at different times – piano guy in the Schooner bar – Guitar guy in the 2 poets pub, Country group, etc. There were all good and we enjoyed listening and singing along. - Shows – the main shows change each day, so they can be a crap shoot. Some were really good and others were ok. We had an acapella group (great), southern lady comedian (great), juggling comedians (good), Elvis impersonator (good) The Ice Dancing show was excellent, unbelievable what they can do in that small space. It was typically at 2pm and 4pm on the at sea days and should not be missed. They will distribute tickets for the various showtimes while on board and open it up to anyone 10 minutes before each show. If you miss the distribution times, you can get remaining tickets at guest services. - Karaoke was a mixed bag – between Wow and are you kidding me - Trivia sessions - We loved going to the various sessions, typically a morning, afternoon and evening session. We teamed up with another family and really enjoyed meeting up each day. The evening music trivia (50's/60's, 80's, etc.) are great as they play song snippets and then when revealing the answers the whole bar is singing along and "dancing in the Schooner bar" as one crew member says. Shore Excursions: 1. Cozumel – We did the Chakanaab snorkel and Sea Lion show Chakanaab is a park area that includes beaches, snorkeling, a periodic sea lion show, dolphin and manatee encounters, walking paths, a crocodile exhibit, swimming pools, etc. Our tour started with snorkeling (great fish and underwater items to view), then we had beach time (we ate at the beach side restaurant and then hung out on the beach and in the surf/reef. The guide then took people on a tour through the paths, but we stayed and hung out at the beach. They had a tequila tasting that we skipped too. We finished with the sea lion show (everyone enjoyed) and then headed back. You could just get a cab there, and do you own thing if you wanted. We were late to Cozymel so we did not have much time at the shops in town. This one has a dock so boarding is easy but the lines can get long at the end of the day. 2. Grand Cayman – We booked the deluxe stingray city tour – this included a bus ride to the dock, boat ride out to the sand bar in a nice boat with walk into the water stairs. Then we were at the sandbar for around an hour where we swam with the rays, touch them and fed them. Kids loved it. The tour was only 2 – 2.5 hours so we had time before our tour in town. We headed to the left from the dock and found a nice seafood restaurant right on the water. Great fish and chips and stairs down into the water where you could swim with the fish and explore. You could throw your leftovers in the water and bring a bunch of fish (big and small). We really enjoyed it, but it was about $80 as it was $60 in Cayman dollars. At Grand Cayman you have to take tenders (boats that seat you and 250 of your closest friends) between the ship and shore. If you have an excursion booked you can go early or leave with any tender group. Otherwise you get a tender group and have to go at certain times. Expect lines and be prepared. 3. Jamaica – We booked the Green Grotto caves and Dunns River Falls tour. Air Conditioned bus from dock to caves. Cave tour was interesting and laid back. Then bus to Dunns River Falls where we climbed the falls in the water with several hundred of our closest friends. We had a great time and everyone enjoyed. After the falls you do have to go through an area of shops and they are very persuasive, so be prepared. The dock is awesome at Jamaica as it was built as a joint venture between Royal Caribbean and Jamaica. They have shops, booths, restaurants (Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville and a good Jerk chicken place). The vendors are not pushy at all and you can enjoy. No problem man. Disembarking: You have a choice of tagging your luggage and sending it down the night before and leaving the ship at your specified time or self-carrying your luggage and going during one of several time slots. Breakfast is served in the windjammer and main dining room from 7am to 8:30am. We chose the self-carry and opted for a 9am timeslot. We ate breakfast until 8:15 and went back to the room for the luggage. Walked out at 8:30 and were out and through customs by 9:15am. Good times and look forward to our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was my first cruise in 25 years. It was the first time for my husband and children. We had a wonderful time! The food was good. We always came away with a full stomach! The entertainment was a lot of fun. The boat was ... Read More
This was my first cruise in 25 years. It was the first time for my husband and children. We had a wonderful time! The food was good. We always came away with a full stomach! The entertainment was a lot of fun. The boat was immaculate! We enjoyed the Promenade Cafe for late night snacks. The dining hall was our first choice for meals. We had a wonderful time! We would definitely cruise again with RC! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We LOVE cruising and had been on 4 Carnival cruises in the past 8 years. This was our first Royal Caribbean and it was definitely different from Carnival. We had a good time on the boat and a FANTASTIC in the ports, however, we both ... Read More
We LOVE cruising and had been on 4 Carnival cruises in the past 8 years. This was our first Royal Caribbean and it was definitely different from Carnival. We had a good time on the boat and a FANTASTIC in the ports, however, we both agreed we missed the energy of Carnival. Here's the breakdown... LOVED! 1.Our room! We stayed in a Junior Suite and I don't think we can ever get anything less in the future! It was PERFECT. The closet, the view, the size, the tub - all wonderful! Beds were no different than Carnival but -eh 2. We had access to the bow of the ship which made for the amazing sunsets and photo opps. We also had a view of the bridge from above while the officers navigated the ship out of the port of Roatan. Very cool! 3. Not as crowded as Carnival but that was good and bad. Empty lounge chairs everywhere but not as many staff members coming around for drink orders. 4. Great ice show but the other shows were -eh. 5. The food was better than Carnival in all areas but the desserts still stink. Why can't cruise ships get desserts that taste good??? NOT SO MUCH :( 1. RC does not leave beach towels in our staterooms for use on excursions or on the ship. The beach towels on the boat were old, stained, thin and short and you had to find a towel vendor near a gangway to check out a towel for excursions. 2. The Windjammer buffet shuts down for 3 hours and does not open for dinner until 6:00 while all other dining rooms/specialty restaurants open at 5:00 or 5:30. If we didn't want to pay extra and just wanted pizza or sandwiches we had to go 6 floors down to a small cafe on the Promenade deck. 3. Bar drinks were inconsistently mixed. We purchased the "Ultimate Drink Package" and don't feel like we got top shelf when we asked for it. When we ordered the top shelf, 'perfect', margarita, the bartenders used Patron tequila but well triple sec and sweet and sour mix rather than lime juice and Cointreau. Bar drinks that we ordered were mixed differently at different bars. Consistency and quality of most of the bar mixed drinks were disappointing. 4. The push for cruise guests to donate money for RC's charity was awkward. RC spent a lot of time talking about their charity and asking guests to donate money. Why is Royal Caribbean asking it's guests to pay for RC's donation to The Make a Wish Foundation? Shouldn't RC be donating that money itself? Many guest jumped on that band wagon and donated quite a lot but it made me uncomfortable to be asked, for 45 minutes before a show or 2-3 hours on the Lido deck, to give money that Royal Caribbean should be giving if that is their charity of choice. Please don't do this on my vacation! 5. The RC website was not user-friendly. I booked online and had to search for links to print luggage tags, book excursions, what dress codes were, complete itinerary, show tickets and more. When I booked with Carnival ALL information is printable in one form at the end of the booking process. When we boarded the ship we just happened upon the table that was giving out tickets for the ice show. We had no idea we had to reserve tickets and we got lucky exploring the ship and noticing the line of people. I actually looked on the website for tickets to that particular show and the site said, 'it had no information' about shows on the ship. 6. Excursion tickets - we received all our excursion tickets in our stateroom but noticed the tickets only had a start time on them and no ending time. An ending time would be helpful so that we know how much time we have to explore the port at the end of the excursion. It also seemed like RC had fewer excursions to choose from than Carnival. 7. During the muster drill we followed ALL directions and went through the entire drill but were later given a letter that we had not checked in and gone to the drill. We asked our stateroom attendant where we were supposed to 'check-in' for the drill but she never gave us a specific answer. She did say that she knew we went and that she would fix it with her supervisor. She did resolve it but we still have no idea why we were contacted about not going to the drill. 8. We loved getting updates from the captain, who was pretty cool, but it was difficult to understand what he was saying over the loud speaker system on the ship. He was speaking very clearly but the sound system was unclear. It sounded as though the captain was speaking through a pillow at times. 9. We read that the parade and the ice show were definitely the 2 shows to see. Be warned the parade is not until 11:00 p.m. and in "hallway" of a promenade deck. We skipped it and watched it on tv the next day. In fact, several of the actually fun sounding events were after 10:30 p.m. The ice show was truly awesome and should not be missed. Get in line for tickets at the ice show theater (no extra charge) the day you get on the boat. OVERALL The crowd on RC is more subdued, more well dressed and has an older average age group. RC had a lot of the same activities as Carnival but somehow they were MORE fun on Carnival - more excitement, more variety, better shows. We are in our mid 40's with no kids and still like the Fun Ship vibe ;) Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
It was a repeat trip on the ship and itinerary. Being new to this cruise business, we stayed in our comfort zone and did not regret it. The Navigator had been recently re-done, was very clean and sparkling and had some good upgrades. ... Read More
It was a repeat trip on the ship and itinerary. Being new to this cruise business, we stayed in our comfort zone and did not regret it. The Navigator had been recently re-done, was very clean and sparkling and had some good upgrades. Our balcony cabin served our purposes well even though we didn't really spend much waking time in it. The balcony did provide for some great morning coffee time and evening relax time. Don't go without a balcony unless you plan to spend virtually ALL your awake time out and about on the ship. Service from all involved was again Excellently Outstanding. All took took the time to acknowledge you, tried to remember you, and worked for and with you to make sure you have a good time. They succeed from steward to waiter to bartender, entertainers, and all the crew. Minimal comments about the food: OUTSTANDING IN EVERY WAY. And I'm a foodie and they tolerated and served beyond expectations all while entertaining and interacting. Our ports were repeats so we knew a bit more about what to do and not to do. George Town is a great place to do the town and skip the excursions. Great sights, stores, eateries, easy to get around, friendly folks willing to help, point and answer questions and even some history to take advantage of. Falmouth has limited options unless you want to travel a bit and be active. Not too much for the sedate interested in culture, history and regular life. Cozumel, is Cozumel. Plenty of options with a GREAT coffee shop across the street from the port exit/entrance. A lot of varied options to choose from too from calm, learning experiences to wear-you-out active longing for the ship and hot tub. ANNNNND then there is the shopping. Go for it. Great eateries along the strip too. In and out of Galveston is quite easy which adds to this option being good for beginners. Or repeat versions like us. Royal is a great option and deserving of its high reputation and, to us, well worth the cost. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
So, we've always cruised on Carnival but since the price was the same, we decided to change cruise lines and try another experience. We are a family of 4... wife and I in the 40's, and a 17 yo son with a 16 yo daughter. Booked ... Read More
So, we've always cruised on Carnival but since the price was the same, we decided to change cruise lines and try another experience. We are a family of 4... wife and I in the 40's, and a 17 yo son with a 16 yo daughter. Booked 2 interior rooms on the 10th deck with the virtual balcony. The rooms - seems a little smaller than Carnival but none of us noticed it. The virtual balcony was great. Made it seem as if you had an outside view even though it was just through the rear camera on the boat. Recommend it. Storage was fine and the hair dryer is in a drawer outside the bathroom...one of those good to know things. Shower is a round device but worked great. Plenty of room in the shower and bathroom...one at at time of course. The ship...Navigator of the Seas has undergone the renovation and it certainly shows. It's a beautiful ship. The promenade deck is simply beautiful although somewhat short. You'll love the wine and beer bars there. Of course, that is where all the shops are at but I recommend you make a stop at your local drugstore at get all your needed first aid and sundries before you get on board. One early critcism...the AC. On Magic it seemed if they were trying to hang meat. On NOS, it seemed like it barely kept up during the entire cruise. I'm convinced the thermostat in the room is to make you feel good that you turned it all the way down...temp didn't decrease the entire cruise. You'll definitely do the "legs out" of the sheet the cruise. Highly recommend you bring a small fan. If you are dressed in a suit and get onto the elevator at the 10th floor, be sure you bring a hankerchief because you'll need it by the time you get to the 4th floor for the main dining room. No AC in the elevators...and many of the other areas of the ship. You'll sweat at many points throughout the cruise. So, what was better than Magic? Even though we had a full ship with no empty rooms, there were very few lines...only lines we encountered was at the rock wall and the flow rider. However, my kids never experienced more than a 15 min wait at either. The Windjammer, their buffet, was much better run than Carnival's. Instead of waiting in line to get the included drinks, they have 2 sides where they staff an employee pushing the drinks to you. Instead of waiting in the omelete line, they take your order and let you go fill up your plate. If you don't claim your omelete in time, they come looking for you...and somehow know where you sat...had my omelete come over to me as I was getting up to go get it. Great customer service! We ate every meal in the main dining room, so I can't talk to the speciality restaurants. Service in the first 2 days left me feeling like I needed to say something but all of the sudden, it picked up to what we expected. Food was solid but this is where I felt Magic had an edge...food was good but we all agreed the food in the MDR was better on Magic. Just our opinion. We really enjoyed their mini-golf and their course was in much better shape than Magic. We enjoyed thier ping pong table so much that less than a week off the ship, we have one in our house. My son really enjoyed the basketball court...be sure to make them wear a shirt or put on sun screen! The bars were very courteous and attentive...seemingly more than Magic in my experience. So, to buy a drink package or not? I drink and my wife drinks sparingly. The thing I like more about RC is they allow you to buy a drink package per preson...not the stateroom. On Magic, if you buy a drink package, everyone in the stateroom has to buy it. On RC, they allow you to buy it per person. I normally drink beer but for some reason when I'm on a cruise I like to buy the drink of the day or other fruity drinks. So, for me, it probably would have worked out better to buy a package but defintely not for my wife. Drinks will range from $7.08 for a 16oz Miller Lite to a range of prices for a Rum Runner. Depending on who makes it, it''ll cost $11.08 to over $14. A double Maker's Mark will cost you $21. So, we defintely spent less on alcohol then what I budgeted but only because I watched it. One caution note on the drink packages...seemed like the folks that bought the packages seemed to need to take full advantage of it.... Ice show...highly recommend! They did a great show, about one hour, in a very small rink. We also did ice skating and found it fun...be sure to bring some jeans or other pants since you can't do this in shorts. And after busting my butt, I understand why. And we skated with no delay. Be sure to do the wave riding and rock climbing early. My wife tried to do the rock climbing on the last day at sea and a short rain storm canceled that for her. She wasn't able to do it as they shut it down for the rest of the day even though the rain passed quickly. Excursions. If you book through the cruise line...well, you are a novice cruiser. Go online and book your own excursions at about 40-50% savings. They always get you back to the ship on time...12 cruises talking here. And if you do book through the cruise line, do it before you leave. Could not belive the line the line to book once people were on the ship...only to find out their excusions was already full. The crew constantly greeted you and inquired what they could do to help you. Room service was very good and the menu was different than Magic but still very good. We got quick service (under an hour but many times around 15 mins) but we did tip $2 each time. I felt like a King even though I was in the cheapest room in the ship. So did the rest of my family. My wife and I like to gamble and we spent several nights in the Casino. This is where we thought NOS certainly shined. Every person we dealt with in the casino from the Blackjack dealers, Crap personnel, to the bar crew seemed to have a good time and wanted to engage with us to have a good time. They laughted and joked with us and hated it, seemingly, when we lost. On Magic, it was stoid faces all the time. One other point...you only get "points" on the slots...not at the tables. Not sure what that means but my wife wanted me to make sure I pointed that out. Customer service on RC was outstanding. They addressed every concern very quickly and absolutely to our satisfaction. Internet. We paid for the plan where we had unlimited use on one device for $20 and another device for $10...$210 for the week. So, $30 a day for 2 devices simultaneously logged on at one time. We had 4 devices, so we worked it out with the kids where they could log on one phone at a time and my wife and I could log on. Internet was about what you expect on a ship. It's slow but it defintiely works...200Kb download via speedtest.net. So, what could I use? Email, iMessenger through iOS and basic intenet was easy. Uploading a 12mb picture was a no go. But, I could stream Pandora and download my podcast with no issues. When the internet was knocked off-line for a day due to a very small storm we encountered, customer service had no issue re-imbursing us for the $30 day. So, where did NOS not meet expectations? No robes in the room. But, you can get them if you ask. But, if you are a big guy like me, don't expect them to fit. And by big, I mean 6'2" and 220. Good luck. No towel animals except for formal night...so you get those cruise only features only twice on a 7 night cruise...we missed that. A charge for room service, $3.95, between midnight and 5am. Now this was never an issue but I actually understand this one. Based on thier experience I kind of get people ordering food and not answering the door at 2am. But after losing $$$ at the blackjack table and getting back to my room at 2am, I didn't want to pay anything else...so maybe it was a little issue. More less than expectaions...no amenities in the room. Be sure to bring all your soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc. We asked and got what we wanted but I did tip my room steward on the first day...not sure you can get it if you don't. Also, NOS definitely nickles and dimes you to death. Fresh squeezed OJ at breakfast, $$$. It goes on and on. But, since we didn't care about any of that, it didn't really detract from our experience...just an annoyance. One last annoyance...my oldest son is 17 and turns 18 in Aug. All of the competitive sporting activities were mostly 18 or above and he didn't qualify. Now, my son is a Varsity keeper on his H.S. soccer team and could definitely hold his own on the sporting events like the soccer challenge or the ping pong challenge but didn't feel comfortable breaking the rules. So, he felt a little left out as he's a little too big (6'4") for the "teen" events and not able to participate in the adult events...but we understand there have to be rules. So, would I cruise again on NOS or Magic? For my family, we had a much better time on NOS than Magic. We had such a great time on the Navigator of the Seas. Just hate all my points are on Carnival! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We just got off the Navigator of the Seas. It was a beautiful boat. We have sailed the Freedom of the Seas and the Navigator was a bit smaller. That's not a bad thing, it just means you can get to where you are going quicker. It was ... Read More
We just got off the Navigator of the Seas. It was a beautiful boat. We have sailed the Freedom of the Seas and the Navigator was a bit smaller. That's not a bad thing, it just means you can get to where you are going quicker. It was easy to navigate, the Carnival Magic we took last yr, was not! The upgrades they did are nice. The carpet, etc all new. The flow rider was fun, kids loved that and the basketball court and arcade. We did several scheduled activities. We got rained out in Grand Cayman and excursion was cancelled. We had allot of rain. We did a plan B and went to the beach in the rain and had a blast anyway. This was my 5th cruise and embarkation was a snap! Took 15 min. another 15 waiting in the terminal and we were on. Room ready. Entertainment was great. Much better than Carnival Magic's, we were on that last year. RCL has better entertainment and stuff to do daily. Disembarkation was a snap too! Wow! We chose early 7:30am carrying off our own luggage. Meet in the dining room assigned then we were lead off at 7:30am and thru customs in 10 min. Had our car loaded and on the road at 8:15am! We used Galveston Park and Cruise (second time I have used them-I will never use another company) RIGHT across the street. The whole thing was the easiest and fastest I have ever experienced. Cruise was great, we only had one sunny day, the last day at sea, but we found stuff to do and had a ball. RCL is the best by far. I will be loyal to them and we will book another cruise! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Bad Service, Terrible Accommodations, and Poor Quality Food. 3rd time cruising with RC. 30 years old traveling with Fiance. Stayed in a balcony suite. Beverage Package not worth it, doesn't include everything like it says. ... Read More
Bad Service, Terrible Accommodations, and Poor Quality Food. 3rd time cruising with RC. 30 years old traveling with Fiance. Stayed in a balcony suite. Beverage Package not worth it, doesn't include everything like it says. Rude bartenders that take FOREVER to serve a drink. And don't forget to include the tax and automatic gratuity which makes it about $30 more than advertised per day. Stains in bed sheets every night (yellow and purple - attendant said it was the detergent but that's a bit iffy). Water only had scalding hot temp. Mini Fridge didn't work. Room service takes 2+ hours to receive food. No towel animals anymore. No healthy food options. I had to specifically ask for vegetables at dinner and even then they came fully saturated in butter. Halfway through the cruise, I didn't even want tacos in Mexico because my body was just craving greens. Flo-Rider was best part of cruise and even that had minimal operation times and every little kid wanted to be on it so the line was about an hour for a one-two minute ride. We hated it. We felt like we were a burden to the staff. I guess we just aren't cruisers. It was fun when we were 14 but now that we are 30, we realize how terrible cruises actually are. We got off the boat in Belize and had a much better time as soon as we got away from port. Overall, we wasted about 5 grand on a balcony suite that we ended up only using for 4 days. I'll never go on a RC Cruise again. Ever. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Our first experience sailing out of Galveston. Had read some of the really bad reviews about this port so let me start there. We chose RCL transfers from Hobby to get priority attention for em/disembarkation. It was convenient and ... Read More
Our first experience sailing out of Galveston. Had read some of the really bad reviews about this port so let me start there. We chose RCL transfers from Hobby to get priority attention for em/disembarkation. It was convenient and comparably priced, worth it. We arrived around 12:45p. The lines were long and winded through the terminal. It was organized but you have to be patient. What was confusing was the number of people who carried on cases of water and twelve packs of soda, since RCL's site and agents told us we couldn't bring any of that onboard. It took about an hour to get on board. The disembarkation was more frustrating. We were provided information (where to be and when) the night before, so good start. The confusion began when a long line formed across the 4th floor leading to the meeting point (Metropolis Theater). After standing in the long line without moving for 15 mins, my wife went to the theater to find it 90% empty. The line was long because 1) people heading to the theater became mixed with self assisting passengers (the first off) rather than going around them to the theater. When we jumped out of the wrong line and headed to the theater many people got angry saying we were line jumping and they had been waiting a half hour. I said that the theater was empty and to follow me if they wanted. This could have been solved if there were RCL employees around to direct, reassure and answer questions. I saw one person, no exaggeration, the entire time from the point I left my room until my group was called and I began the process of leaving the ship. Overall the time to leave the ship was only about 30 mins from my original departure time, not bad at all. All the passenger angst came from the lack of communication and visibility from RCL. My suggestion...over communicate during disembarkation, it will go a long way to easing customer stress. The customs process was another long line and somewhat disorganized, no one directing traffic, but I don't blame RCL for this. Ok, enough with that. The cruise itself met all our expectations. We had beautiful weather and calm seas, and we had fun in each of the ports of call (Cozumel, Belize, Roatan). The ship was clean and well maintained. We enjoyed the various venues, shopping and bars. The surf rider and rock walls were fun, and we were always able to find chairs in the sun, albeit on the second level above the pool. The entertainment was good, but not great. The ice show was terrific. The food was good, but not OMG good, but that's ok for us. We realize that they are preparing food for 3,200 people so we don't expect a 5-star meal. I'd rate it good, and never disappointing. The windjammer served the same food every day, so no variety but enough choices that you don't have to have the same food every day. The sushi restaurant was the only specialty restaurant we visited and it was tasty. Our room was nice (2nd floor) and the window a nice view. The bead was a bit hard, but ok. The staff was outstanding throughout the ship especially our room attendant and dinner team. Overall a very fun trip and a satisfying experience on RCL and the Navigator. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
The wife and I had not been on a cruise in about 10 years, so we were really looking forward to this. It was our 10 year anniversary celebration. As is typical of my luck in such things, I contracted a nasty stomach bug the week before, ... Read More
The wife and I had not been on a cruise in about 10 years, so we were really looking forward to this. It was our 10 year anniversary celebration. As is typical of my luck in such things, I contracted a nasty stomach bug the week before, and was still getting over it when we got on the ship. I had just started taking antibiotics, and was told by the pharmacist, "If you drink alcohol while taking this medication, you will wish you were dead." This meant that the one week of the year where I was allowing myself to eat whatever I wanted and even relax and have a few drinks was essentially ruined before I even stepped on the ship. I won't hold that against the cruise company though. The ship is beautiful and is HUGE. All the other cruises I have been on have been on much smaller ships. I gotta say, having been on both, I prefer the smaller ships. With over 10,000 people on the ship, every activity was crowded to the gills, especially on sea days. The pool deck was also packed. The windjammer cafe was packed at peak times, with people packed like pigs at a trough. The windjammer food was basically on par with a Shoney's or Golden Corral. The dinner in the dining room was much better than the Windjammer, although I was unimpressed with the breakfast in the dining room. We ate at Giovanni's Table and the Sushi Place. Both were good, but the dinner's were not any better than at the dining room. The staff made it sound like reservations at these places would fill up fast, but in both cases the places were half empty when we ate there. We had a stateroom with a "virtual balcony". The virtual balcony was a total waste of money. It is an interesting gimmick, but I did not feel it really added anything to the experience. I won't be paying extra for it again next time. The staff was the best part of the experience. Every crew member on board, from the maintenance guy who had to come and fix our shower vent, to the waiters who served us dinner, went out of their way to be friendly. As I said above, I was unable to partake of the alcohol on board, but my wife was very impressed by the bar staff. As a former bartender, it looked to me like they really knew their stuff. Overall, I would not hesitate to go on another RC cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
I booked this cruise as a high school graduation gift for my daughter. I traveled with my husband, daughter and mother for this trip. For my mom and daughter, this was their first cruise ever. I have previously cruised on the Crown ... Read More
I booked this cruise as a high school graduation gift for my daughter. I traveled with my husband, daughter and mother for this trip. For my mom and daughter, this was their first cruise ever. I have previously cruised on the Crown Princess but the Navigator was our first experience with Royal Caribbean. Embarkation, for us was simple. Since we have family that lives close to Galveston, they dropped us off at the cruise terminal and left in our vehicle. The check in went very well. Plenty of staff were present and helpful during check in. We purchased our drink package after check in but before boarding the ship at a table on the way. My husband and I purchased the soda only package. We're not big drinkers. Although, we did carry 2 bottles of wine aboard with no problems. I purchased the coffee package for my daughter so she could have the starbucks coffee. This package also included bottled water. I liked the fact that she could pick up a water before leaving the ship for the port or at night to take our meds. Overall, I think the drink packages for Royal Caribbean are too high. On our previous cruise with princess, it was 35$ a week for the sodas and mocktails for the WHOLE week. Princess's coffee card was also more reasonable, however princess coffee was undrinkable according to my husband (I don't drink coffee) and the navigator coffee was drinkable. The dining room was great! Melvine and Junmar were our waiters and did a fabulous job. I don't know if you can request certain waiters or not but I would definitely request them again! I'm a huge escargot fan. I had them for 3 nights that week. Our waiters would bring out extras of items that we had requested on a previous nights. The Windjammer was a different story. There were NEVER enough seating. I know, on the first day at noon, the windjammer is EXPECTED to be packed. I get that, I expect that. However, on the following days, there just wasn't enough seating. I hope royal fixes this problem either with another buffet area or another seating area. What is available just isn't enough. The food was just ok. Nothing special, I prefer the princess buffet. The entertainment was ok. We prefer the game/quiz/karaoke shows to the more -produced shows. We really really enjoyed The Quest game show. Very Very Very funny! The cruise director was good. Disembarkation was ok. We were the last ones off the ship. We waited down in the ice rink before our turn to leave. I can not recommend enough to get there EARLY. Otherwise, you will have to stand during your wait time. Customs was a breeze. We had our passports and customs form signed and ready to go. Overall, our trip was good. I will go back to princess when available but would sail with RC only if the price was really really nice. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
This was our second trip on the Navigator, our first with our two daughters, ages 20 & 24. After our first trip on the Navigator, my first cruise vacation, my wife and I learned what we liked and didn’t like and made the necessary ... Read More
This was our second trip on the Navigator, our first with our two daughters, ages 20 & 24. After our first trip on the Navigator, my first cruise vacation, my wife and I learned what we liked and didn’t like and made the necessary adjustments for this trip. First of all, having family around always makes vacation more fun. It is also nice to know that we have memories to share that will certainly last a lifetime. The girls had their own stateroom so we were all able to vacation on our own schedules. We did meet for dinner every night and when convenient, had breakfast and lunch together. We went on shore excursions together, but while on the ship we usually went our separate ways. On our first trip we had an interior stateroom and spent very little time in it. This meant that we spent a lot of time wandering around the ship looking for things to do, and there are plenty. This made for a busy week that was fun, but not very relaxing as we felt the need to spend every hour at the pool, a show, or one of the many other activities. If you get bored on a cruise, you are not trying! This trip we booked a Balcony room (1690) at the aft of the ship and this made for an entirely different cruise experience. Having natural light wake us in the morning meant that we were up earlier and this felt more normal. The Balcony had two small tables, two upright chairs and two lounge chairs. Rather than spending time wandering the ship, we found ourselves sitting on the balcony reading, watching the wake and staring at the clouds. This made for an entirely different cruise dynamic as we were much more relaxed. For shore excursions we went to Nachi Cocom in Cozumel, always great. The girls went snorkeling and paddle boarding, my wife had a massage and I stayed on the beach and enjoyed an adult beverage or two or three ….. In Belize we booked the Lamanai river boat tour through the cruise line. It was more expensive than booking it privately, but this is a tender port and we didn’t want to take any chances. Everything was fine and we had a great time, though we would have liked to have more time at the Mayan ruins. Our final shore excursion was a Zip n Dip with Victor Bodden Tours in Roatan. This was the highlight of our vacation. Our tour guide was knowledgeable, friendly and an absolute sweetheart with a true passion for her native culture. The Zipline was a blast, the monkeys are amazing creatures, and the beach was beautiful even though it was a bit crowded. Stopping in Roatan is not a wise move on the part of the cruise line, I will explain this at the end of this lengthy review. On board, we enjoyed the few shows that we went to and we found the Quest to be hilarious adult fun. Meet and greet with the Captain was ok, nothing exciting and we were a bit put off that the captain didn’t want to join us at this event so he sent the Staff Captain in his place. The cruise critic meet and mingle was more fun than I would have thought it was going to be. There were many people “saving” chairs in the solarium so we would just go to our balcony and enjoy the view from there. Dining was ok, most nights we went to the main dining room and had a wonderful waiter and assistant waiter. The food was ok, nothing was horrible and nothing was great, but we enjoyed the variety. The Windjammer was as good as a buffet can get, though we were disappointed that they no longer put out lox to enjoy with our morning bagel. The girls really enjoyed trying all of the different foods on the ship and were amazed that they could get food delivered to their room at any time of the day or night. They also enjoyed the snacks at the Promenade Cafe and found them to be delicious. Our room attendant was wonderful and he did everything he could to make our stay special. Our room was large enough to make it comfortable and had everything that we could have needed. Having a large balcony (11’ x 15’) with four chairs meant that our girls could join us without it feeling claustrophobic. I can’t express enough how much of a difference our stateroom selection made. As I mentioned earlier, RCCL made a mistake by stopping in Roatan. We, and everyone we spoke to enjoyed this beautiful little island so much more that we did our time on the ship. In fact, our family decided that our next family vacation will be spent in Roatan, skipping the cruise ship all together. I am glad that we went on another cruise as I enjoyed this one more than the first, sharing it with our daughters made it that much more special. As a side note, our last cruise was all about waiting on lines, to get on the ship, to get off the ship, to get a tender, to get a taxi. We warned our daughters about all of the waiting that we would have to do…… and this time there was not a single line that took more than a few minutes to get through. It was wonderful!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Just as a quick bit of background about who I am so you understand my perspective. I'm a 27 year old adrenaline junky, foodie who loves sports and performance arts. Despite being what I would describe as a foodie, I'm also not ... Read More
Just as a quick bit of background about who I am so you understand my perspective. I'm a 27 year old adrenaline junky, foodie who loves sports and performance arts. Despite being what I would describe as a foodie, I'm also not a food snob (I am a coffee snob however) and enjoy comfort foods as well as fine dining. With this being my first cruise I have no basis for comparison to years past that some say were better. If that's true, cruising must have been head in the clouds heaven. I found my experience to be the most enjoyable trip I've ever taken. Were there a couple things I didn't love? Sure, but that's life and what happens when people have their personal opinions on things. Would I take off a star for anything? Nope, the trip was excellent, the ship was beautiful, and the service was outstanding. -Value: I could not get over what all comes for the price. We booked an inside promenade stateroom for just a hair over $200/night essentially with it coming out to about $1500 for my wife and I. For comparison sake, after getting married on May 23rd, we drove to Dallas and stayed the night at a value priced Best Western in Dallas for $100 on the way to Galveston. That did include breakfast but the breakfast wasn't nearly as good as what would be served in the Windjammer (many complain but I find it hard to name a hotel that serves better breakfast and provides turn down service at least twice a day for under this price, much less in the Caribbean). Having a waterfront hotel with all you can eat food and a formal dining room for $200/night for 2 people would have impressed me enough but they also provide entertainment options. -Entertainment: Was every show awesome? No, I wouldn't dare go that far. You're not getting Broadway productions here with super expensive set designs and special effects. You're also not paying $100/person to get in to the show. After considering the hotel + restaurant aspect, I'd say you're getting in the show for free. I really enjoyed Ballroom Fever and Finis Henderson (initially I wasn't sure about him but he got progressively better throughout the show). Those were good shows, but I thought Ice Dancin' in Studio B was incredible! I've never seen an ice show before so I'm no expert and the best production show I ever saw was Book of Mormon in Chicago but again, for what I would consider the cost of $0, I couldn't believe I was getting to see it. -Ship: Having sent my parents on their first cruise on Vision of the Seas a few months prior, I knew Navigator would have a few more amenities being a larger ship. I didn't know if it would stack up well with the Freedom and Oasis class ships. I've never sailed them so I still don't know, but I never wished I was on them while on Navigator. The promenade design works really well for keeping things open and easy to well, navigate. We found ourselves discovering new details on the ship even on the last day of the sailing and we did a fair amount of exploring it throughout the trip. While the pool deck is a lot of fun and the Solarium padded chairs along the windows make for a great nap on a sea day if you can snag one, I gravitated toward the peaceful areas on the ship. If you're looking for a great place to read, head to the front of the ship along the walking track, past the Solarium, and then up the stairs to the very front of the ship above the bridge and spa. You'll find a basically empty deck with chairs where you can hear yourself think. I didn't take advantage of this area a lot but if I was a reader I'd have been up there. My favorite area on the ship was the helicopter pad on deck 5. To get there, walk along deck 4 outside and go up the stairs. It makes for excellent stargazing or is peaceful in the daytime. On top of all of this, the sports area was a space I didn't really utilize and found myself forgetting about which is crazy to me. Being able to play mini golf, basketball, or take on the Flowrider or rock wall for free is really kind of awesome. I wish I had done it more. -Food: Overall, I thought the food was pretty good. I had breakfast every day in Windjammer and was always able to get a window seat after a little bit of work. Usually I would stake out a table and go sit at it while my wife fixed herself a plate. It's a bit chaotic but I always enjoyed it. I would compare the food quality to a Golden Corral. If that's beneath you, avoid it I guess. For the price of the vacation I thought that was a good deal. We used the Main Dining Room (MDR) for dinner all but one night and I thought just about everything was good to excellent. The shrimp cocktail left something to be desired and the seafood salad did as well but the entrees I had were good and the desserts were satisfying as well. On lobster night my waiter asked me how it was and I said, "very good but I just need you to bring me 6 more just like it." He said he would get me another piece and off he went. I thought he was kidding but a few minutes later he brought me another 2 lobster tails! The servers try their best to meet any need. If you're polite they'll go the extra mile. I'm guessing they would even if you weren't. On the last day I gave both my waiter and assistant waiter an extra $20 bill on top of their normal built in gratuity. I wish I could have given them more to be honest. They were outstanding. The Promenade Cafe was a nice option for small sandwiches or desserts 24 hours a day. I can't speak for the specialty restaurants because to be honest, I just never saw the need with how good the complimentary dining options were. My only complaint would be to have at least half the Windjammer open later than 9. It's the easiest place to grab an iced tea near the pool deck without going back down to the Promenade Cafe on deck 5. -Coffee: I'm a coffee snob. The coffee onboard sucked. I added in some half and half and a packet of sugar and drank it gladly. Good coffee is best enjoyed black in my opinion so these add ins were made for exactly this. It was no worse than a standard diner cup of coffee at Denny's, IHOP, etc. I enjoyed having it offered in the MDR with dessert every night and again, just use the add ins. I also would add in a packet of dark chocolate hot chocolate in the Promenade Cafe and take it to the show each night. -Service: I loved it quite simply. I only wish there were some bus tubs around the various venues or trash cans. Instead you would see people pile up a plate in the Windjammer and take it to wherever on some lower deck and just leave it in the bushes, on the floor, on tables in lounges, on the pool deck. It's a never ending battle for the crew to keep up with and I felt lazy having to leave my cup or plate in places like this. I would have at least liked the option of placing it in a tub for them to collect but I'm guessing it may have something to do with sanitation. Debarkation was brutal to be perfectly honest. We signed up for the self-assist (take your own luggage off with you) for the earliest time of 7:30am. We weren't to our car until almost 9:30am. With so many doing self-assist, it jammed up the hallways and felt like I dumb idea on my part pretty quickly. I doubt I really saved any time but I did likely add some frustration. Next time I'll just check it at the end of the trip. I liked carrying my own bags on to start the trip because we didn't get on until almost 2pm and our room was ready for us already. Overall, the trip was excellent, the ship was beautiful, the service was top notch, and I'd do it again tomorrow if I had the vacation and savings! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
If asked before this cruise, I would have said I prefer cruising Royal Caribbean out of Galveston/Houston. However, this cruise made me rethink this after having cruised in February on NCL for a lower price with a better experience. On ... Read More
If asked before this cruise, I would have said I prefer cruising Royal Caribbean out of Galveston/Houston. However, this cruise made me rethink this after having cruised in February on NCL for a lower price with a better experience. On the plus side, Navigator of the Seas is a very nice, clean ship. The service (cabin steward and dining room) was as good as any we have had in well over 20 cruises. Two of the evening headline shows were excellent (Re-Voiced and the Ice show). Shore excursions seemed to be priced well compared to those offered on other cruise lines although I still found it more than we could do by doing something outside. Disembarkation went smoothly. On the negative side, the embarkation process was long, hot and painful. I'm not sure if this is a cruise line issue or a port issue but it should be addressed. The dining room staff was delivering the food as quickly as it came out, but it was NEVER hot and rarely even very warm which detracted a great deal from the quality. The production staff entertainment was about the weakest I have ever seen with regard to the 4 singers. They tried to cover this with lots of flashy costumes and set changes but did not succeed. We had multiple problems with the safe in our cabin and it took 3 times before the fix occurred which was as simple as changing the batteries. The virtual balcony froze up 4 or 5 times and my cabin door key quit working at an inopportune time. In summary, I was disappointed as I was on cruise with my sister, parents and aunt and uncle. I picked RC because I wanted them to have a great experience and while it wasn't bad, it wasn't great. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
My wife and I along with our 2 daughters ages 4 and 1 sailed the Navigator on 5/17. We've been on 4 Carnival cruises but wanted to try RC for the childcare due to our 1 ye old. Ship is outdated, old, pink hallways. Staterooms and ... Read More
My wife and I along with our 2 daughters ages 4 and 1 sailed the Navigator on 5/17. We've been on 4 Carnival cruises but wanted to try RC for the childcare due to our 1 ye old. Ship is outdated, old, pink hallways. Staterooms and balcony are ok on size. Bathrooms only have hot and NO cold water until debarkation day. Windjammer buffet tastes of all hospital food. Very rude lady that works left hand side when you walk in told my 1 year old she "beat her hand" if she spilled sugar from the caddy. I thought it was a funny joke until she repeated it 3-4 times and I told her to get lost. MC on the pool deck got very annoying throughout most of the day. Room service never picks up the phone and I was on hold for 35 minutes one day before I got them to pick up. We were invited to the captains dinner table for dinner on Friday night. Took 45 minutes to get out drinks. We had already been served bread and appetizers by this point. Kids were done with dinner before they received drinks. Last night of cruise AC stopped working. bartenders on pool deck were usually rude most of the time. The only day the juices in the windjammer weren't halfway watered down was debarkation morning. Also, in the same parts of the ship smell horrible of sewer waste. You'd get a whiff here or there and avoid those parts of the ship. Childcare was great in babies and aquanaughts. Girls in the R bar know how to make great drinks. We made the best of it but NEVER again. Especially for how much more we paid. We will head back to Carnival any day. RC Navigator disappoints. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We were on this ship a couple of years ago on a Mediterranean cruise. It was a nice ship then and it is just as nice since the dry dock. Some of the décor has been updated, but the original style of the ship seemed intact. The ice show ... Read More
We were on this ship a couple of years ago on a Mediterranean cruise. It was a nice ship then and it is just as nice since the dry dock. Some of the décor has been updated, but the original style of the ship seemed intact. The ice show was a new one and it was great. The previous one was one of our favorites, so it would have been nice to keep it, but maybe it will get transferred to one of the new ships. The itinerary was a standard western Caribbean one, so there is not much new to say about Cozumel, Grand Cayman or Falmouth. The only notable thing was the surprise thunderstorm at Grand Cayman that drenched everyone and caused shore excursion cancellations. The tender ride back to the ship was wet and cold! This class of ship has a great Windjammer buffet design and the Navigator's is one of the best, with a really good Asian section and an attentive staff. When I mentioned to Lloyd in the Windjammer that there was no grapefruit, he saw to it that it was there every subsequent day. On a previous Freedom of the Seas cruise they just shrugged their shoulders and did nothing. Well done Lloyd! Magdalena was also a great server with a super personality. The Sapphire dining room food and service was also very good and the lobster platter was the best I have had in a long time. The second of the two production shows was pretty uninspired, but the solo show by the lead male vocalist was really good, especially the backing by the ship's orchestra. Jim in the Schooner Bar was not my favorite, but he was sure loud, to the point you could not hold a conversation. It would have been better if Anna, who only performed one night, had been there every night. Her sophisticated music and style are perfect for a lounge like this. The Bubba Feathers band in Boleros played country, rockabilly, blues and even a Zydeco number. Perfect for a cruise from Texas. The ships officers were not as visible or approachable on this ship as some of the others and there was no meet and greet with the show performers as on other ships. The only real problem with sailing from Galveston is the airport and transfers. They will only provide transfers if your flights fall into some very limited timeframes. Taxis are about $130 I was told, so ship transfers are the only real alternative. From the time my flight touched down to the time I reached the check in desk was four hours! The traffic was terrible and it took a long time to get into the port area from the street. The return transfer was only available for flights leaving after 12:30 and you had to leave the ship at 8:45, no self debarkation option. Also, a week before departing I saw a news story that said that Houston is second only to New York for most expensive airports to fly into. To top it off there was no TSA Pre-check line at the Delta gate at Bush Airport! Galveston is a very difficult place to do a fly/cruise from compared to Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa or even Orlando. This was an excellent cruise and I will look forward to when this ship repositions to Florida for an easier flight and transfer. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
sad
We had much expectation for this cruise for our surprise the ship is big but very old, after embarking we headed to Winjamer cafe was clean but food was ok with very little variety. The story began when we got to the stateroom it had ... Read More
We had much expectation for this cruise for our surprise the ship is big but very old, after embarking we headed to Winjamer cafe was clean but food was ok with very little variety. The story began when we got to the stateroom it had strong odor of rat urine it was unsupportable, the pillows were old and stinky we requested new one not with out giving the housekeeping a cash tip. Was the worst nightmare ever. The sapphire restaurant manu is limited the reason of this is to pressure guests to go and buy dinner at their high pricey specialty restaurants. The only good thing this ship has is the HUMAN RESOURCES EVERYONE WENT OUT AND BEYOND TO TAKE CARE EVERY GUESS NEEDS. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Sad
We had much expectation for this cruise for our surprise the ship is big but very old, after embarking we headed to Winjamer cafe was clean but food was ok with very little variety. The story began when we got to the stateroom it had ... Read More
We had much expectation for this cruise for our surprise the ship is big but very old, after embarking we headed to Winjamer cafe was clean but food was ok with very little variety. The story began when we got to the stateroom it had strong odor of rat urine it was unsupportable, the pillows were old and stinky we requested new one not with out giving the housekeeping a cash tip. Was the worst nightmare ever. The sapphire restaurant manu is limited the reason of this is to pressure guests to go and buy dinner at their high pricey specialty restaurants. The only good thing this ship has is the HUMAN RESOURCES EVERYONE WENT OUT AND BEYOND TO TAKE CARE EVERY GUESS NEEDS. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
So now that I've been off the ship for almost 2 weeks, I figured this would be a good time to "share" my experiences with you. This cruise was for my mother who is fighting cancer and was meant to be a relaxing cruise for ... Read More
So now that I've been off the ship for almost 2 weeks, I figured this would be a good time to "share" my experiences with you. This cruise was for my mother who is fighting cancer and was meant to be a relaxing cruise for her to enjoy and keep her mind off the fight of her life. We flew into Houston International and had booked transfers through RCCL. According to my paperwork, the bus was leaving the airport at 11:00 over to the port. We landed at 10:30 and hustled to get to the bus by 11:00. We actually made it with time to spare - believe it or not. Problem was, the bus had already left. So, don't go by your paperwork. We waited for the next bus which was at 12:00. A little bit disappointing since we hustled - which isn't an easy task but wanted to be on that bus to start enjoying our day quicker. Once on the bus, we thought it was smooth sailing to the pier. Well, it was, after we stopped at Hobby Airport and then got stuck in traffic because of a nasty accident. So, about 2 1/2 hours later we were finally at the pier. Once inside, there were little to no lines and it only took about 25 minutes to walk onboard. Mom got wheelchair assistance since she isn't walking well with the neuropathy she is experiencing from chemo. I must say, RCCL was very helpful in that way - at embarkation and disembarkation. Thank you to them! So, once onboard we went immediately to our room which was a balcony room on the tenth floor. Rm 1232. The balcony was a lot smaller than other ships I've been on but the room was nice. It could have used a bit more storage but we made it work. Our room steward, Dewa, was nice and asked what, if anything, we needed for the week. We asked for extra towels and to keep up in ice for the week. I slipped him a $10 the next time I saw him alone and told him I was trying to make this trip nice for my mom and thanked him for his help in helping me do that. I was sad to learn that there was no lotion or nice toiletries in the bathroom like I've found on other ships. I kept hearing about cutbacks from other cruise critic forums. I hadn't been on a cruise since about a year and a half earlier but I surely noticed things not offered on this cruise. Oh, and this was both of our first time with RCCL. We have each sailed about 8 other times with Carnival, Costa, Holland, Norwegian, Princess, Celebrity, Disney, and Windstar. We had heard good things about RCCL so we wanted to experience them first hand. We signed up for the Main seating in the dining room and we were really glad we did. We enjoyed our servers--Aisle (pronounced Hazel without the H) and M??? Sorry, can't remember his name now. He really liked to talk though. Everytime we saw him in the buffet, he always greeted us with a smile. We ended up tipping both of them a little more at the end of the cruise. Very nice service. We enjoyed every meal as well. I had crème brulee every night so I was a happy camper! We did sign up for the Mystery Dinner the first evening and that was at Giovanni's. I thought the whole thing was way over rated. I didn't particularly like the food either sorry to say. The acting was campy as expected and hard to follow. Even though I took a crack at guessing "who done it" and guessed right. Oh well. The only other specialty restaurant we tried was Sabor's for lunch. Excellent gooey cheesy appetizer and wonderful guacamole made tableside. Good chips and salsa too. By that point I was full so the main course was just o.k. to me. I would have been happy with the appetizers and called it good. I bought the soda package and had no trouble getting soda's throughout the week. My only wish was that the soda's in the mini fridges in the rooms were part of the deal. I like a soda at bedtime sometimes and at that point I don't want to run around the ship finding a place to get one. Especially in my jammies! We both enjoyed the café promenade with it's free tea/coffee bar. I loved their green tea packets. Yum. Mom snacked on some of the cookies and sandwiches but I was good and avoided them all week. The shopping was a hoot the night they kept advertising everything for $10! You would have thought these people had never been to a sale before! It was comical to watch and then waiting for ladies to start fighting over...who saw it first made for some fun moments. I really wanted to tell them all that they could find the same items at Target for about $6.99 but why would I? I thought the entertainment was lacking. I enjoyed the comedian duo and the ice show but that was it. The RC dancers and singers were just o.k. and I didn't like the fact that on one night it was the ice show or nothing and if you didn't have tickets to that particular show, you were out of luck. No other entertainment. Not so on other ships we've been on. I must say though, I enjoyed our cruise director but his name escapes me. He was funny without trying hard. One huge thing I must mention...we spent a lot of time at and around the solarium pool. And, most of the time we didn't have any real problem getting a chair. I only saw a few people saving chairs...you know the ones, they put their stuff of the chairs early in the morning and make it look like they'll be right back???? Only to show up several hours later! I have disdain for them! Oh well. I don't think they can help themselves. There weren't any bar guys walking around asking for drink orders until about the 3rd day. Then I saw them pretty frequently. We had bad weather for a day and a half during the cruise and one of those days was our day in Grand Cayman. That was a huge disappointment for me as I wanted to show my mom 7 mile beach since she had never seen it. We never even left the ship because it rained or threatened rain all day long. Maybe next time. Overall, we had a nice time. Read Less
Sail Date May 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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