152 Galveston Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Cruise Reviews

My wife and I went on this cruise for my 50th birthday. It was our 4th cruise and 3rd with RCI. We had a Prom view cabin and thought it was fine. I will list both positives and negatives. Positives: Got to the port around 10:45 and were ... Read More
My wife and I went on this cruise for my 50th birthday. It was our 4th cruise and 3rd with RCI. We had a Prom view cabin and thought it was fine. I will list both positives and negatives. Positives: Got to the port around 10:45 and were on board in about 30 mins. The crew were very friendly on this ship as were the other cruisers. Most from Texas and surrounding states. The food was good, we had traditional seating in MDR. We made good friends with a couple at our table. I did enjoy the lobster tail. They went all out to make my meals without dairy, head waiter brought out the next days menu for me to order from every night. The other MDR staff were fun and hard working. We enjoyed all the live music they offered on this ship. They had a country band, island type band, piano bar and a young lady playing/singing in the pub. All were very good. The late night comedy guy was good and funny. Never had much trouble finding a window seat in the Windjammer for breakfast. Staff there were great as well. Sabor was very good. We enjoyed the staff at the R Bar very much. Francisco and Fernando were awesome. Never had a problem finding chairs in pool areas. Flow Rider was a ton of fun. Able to bring on two bottles of wine. Negatives: Stateroom attendant wasn't that great. I had to ask 3 times for a remote control for our TV. Got it on the 3rd day. I also felt she could have cleaned better. We brought 2 bottles of wine with us and I always had to hunt her down for glasses, I feel she should have had them replaced without asking. Limited drinks at sail away due to Texas laws. No sail away party at all due to a light off and on rain. I cut my foot in Cozumel and Med Staff wouldn't give my any band aids. They sent me to the service desk and they did. Disembarking wasn't as smooth as it could be. It was delayed for 90 mins, so that meant waiting in the theater for awhile. They did have coffee, water and snacks for us. Once off we found our bags and made it to the bus in 40 mins or so. We had a great time and met some really nice and fun people on our cruise. Cant wait until our next time.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Departure: Normally we cruise on Celebrity out of Florida (we live in Florida) but with friends from Texas, we sailed out of Galveston. Poor signage to the port parking but we found it by following the other cars (Sunday cruises park in ... Read More
Departure: Normally we cruise on Celebrity out of Florida (we live in Florida) but with friends from Texas, we sailed out of Galveston. Poor signage to the port parking but we found it by following the other cars (Sunday cruises park in Lot B, Saturday and other days use Lot A per our shuttle bus driver). Found our parking and buses came right away. Easy drop off of luggage. Check in lines moved fast (Diamond status helped with that), only slow part was before security. We could not get to our cabin till 1p.m. Our luggage did not show up till after 5:30 so plan accordingly. We heard some people had to go downstairs to find their luggage. Easy life boat drill with some passengers in dining room and theater with others out on deck. No need to take or wear life vests, no video just a short announcement. Ports: Roatan: Took the Maya Key private island tour through the cruise line. Quick boat ride over to the island, you don't even exit the port gates to get on the boat. Rented snorkel equipment and followed their underwater trails. Very easy snorkeling as the water is not deep at all, watch out for shallow coral though. Lots of fish to see. Plenty of chairs under the trees give shade. Got bit by sand fleas or sand flies, don't know which but had red spots and itching for a few days after. Lunch included but be prepared for a huge line, one small buffet for hundreds of folks. Fun to see the animals on the island. Belize: Did cave tubing with the .bz website tour group. Booked this on our own, much cheaper than ship excursion and not on a huge bus. Vitalino's staff did an amazing job, very organized, informative, nice new vans (14 passengers) and they carry your tubes to the beginning for you. Passed out water in the van. Highly recommended. Caves were longer and larger than expected. Don't expect rapids or excitement on the water, it is a slow relaxed ride. Water cooler than expected and you will get wet. Some of us ate the termites and held the tarantula on the jungle walk. Cozumel: Salsa, salsa excursion. Fun except for the fact with 5 ships in port including the Allure, everything in town was busy including this excursion which they moved from a beachside room with windows into a large windowless ballroom to accomodate the hoardes. Food on Board: Nice variety in the Windjammer. Don't understand why there is no outdoor seating, which would be nice. Don't listen to other negative reviews, it was fine. Sometimes Indian and Asian choices. Sabor: Went the first night and enjoyed the guac and appetizers. Did not like the main entrees (perhaps we ordered the wrong things). Dessert is a variety of things on a tray, nice selection and not too sweet. Chops: Excellent as always but we were in a corner that was VERY dark. They need to increase the lighting in some parts. Excellent steak. Red velvet cake was the best I ever had. 3 hour meal. Johnny Rockets: Undercooked fries and cold onion rings brought out first. Good burger, yum. Excellent oreo sundae (had to ask, not on the menu) Ship: I am not a fan of the huge jumbotron by the pool. The movies at night were either ancient (Ghostbusters?) or obscure. Football was popular but why not just create a real sports bar. And on my morning walk or sitting by the pool on vacation, I do not want to see CNN Headline News blaring over the pool with bad news. Too bad the solarium pool is not really covered, as on cooler windy days, this could have been a nice refuge. Still nice to have a ship with a real promenade deck. I DID NOT LIKE the cluttering up of the Grand Promenade (indoor mall) with permanent sales kiosks and the daily display and sale of dollar store items (cheap scarves, jewelry, etc.) which adds to the traffic congestion. Bad move. And with the removal of the theater, they should have free movies on your cabin TV, but no, they charge $11.99 for a recent DVD release. The ship is in good shape, maintained well. Elevator wait can be long sometimes during the week. Departure day elevators are completely overloaded. Many folks wanting to walk off with their luggage just overwhelm the capacity. The other passengers are mostly Texans, very friendly and polite. More kids on board than I would think for the first week in November but were never unruly or annoying. Lots of repeat passengers, one couple had been on for 7 weeks in a row. Found nothing but friendly staff on board. I had read some negative reviews, did not see any of that. Departure: We walked our luggage off in Group A. Huge line down the exterior promenade deck and then inside. Moved quickly once it began moving. Short lines at Passport Control. From cabin to car in 45 min, most of that waiting in line on deck till they started letting people off. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Getting around Texas after flying into IAH is inconvenient, no doubt about it. Because the week that we were traveling bordered on a holiday, we were unable to get a one-way car rental from Enterprise in Houston to Galveston - in either ... Read More
Getting around Texas after flying into IAH is inconvenient, no doubt about it. Because the week that we were traveling bordered on a holiday, we were unable to get a one-way car rental from Enterprise in Houston to Galveston - in either direction. They say that it is up to the issuing agency whether they will allow one-way at an additional fee or not. TIP: Call multiple locations and ask their policy, because it can vary. In our case, it was almost cheaper to rent a car at the airport and pay for the car and parking at the port for the whole duration of the cruise, rather than using shuttle services. Ultimately, because we were a group of 8, we rented a car for our time in Houston, then returned it to the airport and used Super Shuttle to get back and forth from/to Bush Continental Airport, about 1 hr 45 min. The port was crazy, but not terrible. Lines outside were not well controlled. Porters were bypassing the people waiting patiently in line to drop off luggage in favor of getting bags from people at their cars - because the people at the cars were tipping better. Tip: get it taken at curb if possible, wave $$ wherever you are. Also, when they send you luggage tags to print as part of your welcome packet - they mean it! If you don't print and attach them before you get to port, you have to wait in an additional line just to get the tags, before you can get in line for luggage, before you can get in line to enter the terminal, before you can get in line for security screening, before you can get in line to check in for the cruise. Also, in our family's case, their Platinum status didn't print on their boarding pass- which meant that they were not allowed to use the express line for premium members. Make sure you have proof of your membership status or the man controlling lines will treat you like a commoner. The ship itself is an interesting mix of old and new. Our last cruise was on the Freedom of the Seas. After Navigator had a face lift this year, we were curious as to what to expect. The ship is comparable in the sense that it has ice skating, FlowRider, Adventure Ocean, the Promenade, rock climbing. Navigator does not have the Dreamworks Experience for kids. On Navigator, the pool area lacks the large kid-friendly shallow pools and the Promenade is not as large as on Freedom. In fact, the Promenade was beautiful, but kind of a bottleneck for the ship, especially with the super large Christmas tree in it. There are only a few shops, so don't plan on doing much shopping on board unless you want to purchase alcohol, perfume, or watches. There is a Card Room & Library combo on the 7th level, it was frequently full. There is no movie theater. The main theater for show nights seemed of standard size. The public restroom situation was less than perfect. Considering that the Windjammer buffet and the pool have to share a bathroom, it is shocking that the bathroom only has 4 stalls. And with regards to the Windjammer, it is only open until 9pm. That was a huge disappointment for those of us with Main Dining at 5:30 and the Show at 8:30 - we'd get out at 9:15pm and our only snack option was sandwiches, pastries, or a slice of cold pizza in the Cafe on the Promenade - a selection that didn't change. Ever. In Roataon, Honduras, we docked at the port. The port is behind a gate with security controlling who gets in and out. We did not see a line of private taxis waiting to take people around like we usually do see at ports, so I'm not sure what is offered. Because rain was in the forecast and we assumed all beach time was out, we used a ship excursion to take us to Gumbalimba Park. There, we got a tour of the property, learned a little history, held spider monkeys and parrots, and got rained on really really hard. The property had a small beach and a large pool that we were not prepared to use, but would have been fun for the kids after the tour was over. Lockers cost $3 and there were no covered areas in the animal area. On the rope bridge we saw turtles when we looked down and flying Macaws when we looked up. They also had zip lining, which we didn't do. (Also on Roaton was a park or beach called Turtle Bay that looked really nice.) The guide that jumped into the van with us was our tour guide for the whole day. TIP: be prepared for rain and sun, if you get one you're likely to also get the other. In Belize City, Belize, we hired a company called EcoTours to take us to a beach and snorkeling. We didn't realize it was 30 minutes by boat. Went to tiny Goff Caye where the guides snorkeled off the boat, but water was murky. Cuty, tiny private island - the areas is full of them. Kids got to catch hermit crabs and live brittle stars. Toilets were gross. Rum punch was good but unsure how it was made. They poured it from a Tropicana bottle, but.... In Cozumel, this was the only port that searched our bags on the way in and took away all food and fruit. We hired a taxi for $32 each way to take the eight of us to Playa Mia. Entrance fee was $30 for adults, close to the same for kids to get in. For more $ you can get all you can eat buffet and all you can drink as well. The resort has great beaches and an inflatable jungle gym in the water. On land, there is a water play area, pools, and a water slide. Back at the ocean, you can check out kayaks, water boats, and sail boats for no additional fee (but note that all are two person only. The sailboat holds three, but that third is the resort employee unless you know how to sail). Jet skis were available for an additional fee. From the port to to the beaches there is just one road that runs along the coast (but has bushes on both sides) and we passed San Francisco Beach, Carlos & Charlie's Beach, and Mr Sanchez's beach along the way. Those would have been good to check out too. Bags were screened before we could get back on ship in a giant screening room and all shells, slingshots, and food was confiscated or tossed. Alcohol was confiscated to be returned on the day you get off the ship. TIP: If you have a wooden slingshot to keep or some other trinket that may get confiscated: put it in your pocket. Disembarking was rough the way we did it. Because we had a late flight, we wanted to stay on the ship. Breakfast was only served until 8:30am then we had to wait in a theater, then a half hour line to find our luggage, then almost an hour for customs, before we were out of the port building. Next time, we will keep our luggage with us and do early walk off/self-service no matter what. Flying out on Alaska Airlines was also rough. Because our flight wasn't until 5:40pm, and Alaska only has about 2 flights a day leaving from Houston, they closed the luggage counter until 2:30pm! Even though we arrived before 1pm at the airport, we had to stay in the bag drop area until we could get in line at 2:30pm to deposit our bags. We couldn't enter the main part airport because we couldn't go through security with our luggage. Unsure if there is any way to avoid this or know about this in the future - but be warned!   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We have sailed 15 times on RCCL and this was the first trip out of Galveston. Although a little hard to get to from the west coast we enjoyed the port and embarkation and debarkation were easy. We have sailed Navigator before and the ... Read More
We have sailed 15 times on RCCL and this was the first trip out of Galveston. Although a little hard to get to from the west coast we enjoyed the port and embarkation and debarkation were easy. We have sailed Navigator before and the upgrades were wonderful. We enjoyed the ports and would recommend this trip to anyone. Our one issue was with the new bar configuration. RCCL has done a great job in creating a couple of specially bars (RBar an Ballaro). The drinks are outstanding but they require a great deal of effort on the part of the bartenders, who also act as wait staff. The waits for drinks during evening hours was completely unacceptable. Twice we had to give up trying to get a drink at the RBAR. It has noting to do with the staff, they were working as hard and fast as they could and providing the usually RCCL friendly service. It is in the staffing by the ship of these bars at key periods. We ate at specially dinning three nights and enjoyed it a great deal. After our last two cruises on Allure and Oasis it was a little hard to get use to the small ship but they have done a nice job with the upgrades. Once they fix the bar issue it will be perfect. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
As back round we flew into Hobby Airport the day before the cruise and stayed at the Comfort Suites. Nothing special but they had a good rate so it was good enough. We took 24hourairport taxi to the terminal the next day and arrived there ... Read More
As back round we flew into Hobby Airport the day before the cruise and stayed at the Comfort Suites. Nothing special but they had a good rate so it was good enough. We took 24hourairport taxi to the terminal the next day and arrived there about 10:30 and was on the ship in an hour. Very easy process with no chaos at all that has been described in other postings. The ship itself is very nice. I can't say it looks brand new from the refurb it went through earlier this year but it didn't appear old either. We hung around the pool after changing into bathing suites and went to our cabin when we thought our luggage would be there. Sure enough by 3pm we were good to go. The activities were plentiful. My wife did the Zumba class poolside the kids did the rock climbing wall and had an absolute blast on the Flowrider. We stayed on the ship on the day the ship was in Jamaica and the kids had the Flowrider almost to themselves. Otherwise count on some pretty long wait periods when you are using it. We went to almost all the shows. Very good entertainment as my 10 and 12 year olds have not been to this type of venue and they really enjoyed them. We sat in the front row every time and it's pretty cool to be up front and close to the action and I highly recommend the ice show and dancing show but they were all good. Very talented crew putting on a good show. The service in all areas of the ship was outstanding. In the Windjammer, the servers would come around and offer to get you a drink. My 10 year old spilled a drink and 2 servers were on it in a flash and another was on his way to get her another drink with a smile on his face! Almost the entire crew would greet you with a "good morning" or " hello, sir". Just old fashion good manners. Our room attendant was named Elroy on deck 10 and if you get him you are lucky to have him. He was so nice to me and my family and the girls would run to the room after dinner to see what towel animal he made! WE ate at Chops one night and it was fantastic. One of the best steaks I've ever had. The Windjammer had a good variety of food that I enjoyed as well. We ate in the MDR one night and I did not care for the food. Seemed a bit bland to me for the occasion. I have a hard time sitting through a 1 1/2 hour dinner as well. Disembarkation was a breeze. We were off the ship by 7:40 and even my driver could not believe we were off so quickly. No chaos whatsoever so don't believe everything you read here. All in all a great family cruise and I would highly recommend you get on board and experience some of the things I did. You won't regret it!   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
My husband and I sailed on NOS in October 2014 to celebrate our 22nd anniversary. We are in our mid 40’s and were looking to relax and enjoying being together. We were able to do that. Our room was great, it was centrally located on the ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on NOS in October 2014 to celebrate our 22nd anniversary. We are in our mid 40’s and were looking to relax and enjoying being together. We were able to do that. Our room was great, it was centrally located on the ship in an effort to reduce my queasiness and I think I fared pretty well. I did end up buying some essential oils on the ship to combat my nausea and I was mostly fine. We had a great time on the cruise. The ship was beautiful, very clean and everyone was very friendly. Our cabin steward was awesome and went above and beyond whenever we asked him for anything. We loved the specialty restaurants and main dining room but were disappointed in the windjammer and with room service (breakfast). The powdered eggs were shameful! Who eats that? We spent WAY too much money on ourselves, but we don’t regret it. We found out we are light weight drinkers and love afternoon naps! We enjoyed singing along at the piano bar, which we both found surprising. We did NOT love the Fury Catamaran shore excursion in Cozumel. It had to be the worst snorkeling experience we have ever had. The beach break was nice, tons of stuff to do, beer and margaritas were free flowing, just don’t choose this one if you want to snorkel! We are already watching the dates for 2016 to go back with the kids. WE LOVED IT!   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Southwest Airlines and Houston Hobby: My wife and I flew into Houston Hobby early the day before our cruise. Just about everyone knows the pros and cons of flying S.W. My only question, did the seats get smaller or my butt get bigger?? ... Read More
Southwest Airlines and Houston Hobby: My wife and I flew into Houston Hobby early the day before our cruise. Just about everyone knows the pros and cons of flying S.W. My only question, did the seats get smaller or my butt get bigger?? Hobby was a very nice and easy airport to fly in and out of. Lady Bird Limo: I researched ground transportation through trip adviser and cruise critic. I decided to go with Ladybird Limo. Working with Susan through e-mails, texts and phone calls was smooth. When compared to other services YES there are cheaper, HOWEVER being met at baggage claim, not waiting on others passengers, the comfort of the Lincoln Navigator and a straight shot to the hotel was worth the couple extra dollars. The one minor snag, not a fault of Ladybird, is the nearly daily traffic jam at the construction area between Houston and Galveston. Make sure you are adding some extra time for this. Hilton Galveston: Again trying to get the best bang for the buck I did my research. I would have preferred to stay at the Harbor House but they required a two night minimum. So we booked with our second choice, The Hilton Galveston Island Resort. Upon arrival the doorman was great to work with. Check in was quick and easy at the front desk. However the room was not ready because of our early arrival. They stored our bags, the doorman got us a Taxi and we were off to The Strand (see below). When we returned, they had upgraded our room to the top (10th) floor in a newly remodeled room and gave us free Wi-Fi. The view of the Galveston coast line was awesome and the bed was extremely comfortable. The next morning the itemized bill was under the door. My wife and I had the breakfast buffet, which had a good selection and was very good, finished packing and headed to the free cruise port shuttle. I overwhelmingly give them a five star rating Galveston Island: Keeping in mind that Galveston Island is largely a tourist area. Our taxi took us from one side of the island to The Strand on the other side for 15 dollars. We walked the main street with all eclectic shops. There was nothing that we needed to purchase before the cruise but it was enjoyable. Being “Off Season”, Almost all the movies, tours, exhibits had limited hours so we missed those. With many choices for dining, we decided on Olympia the Grill at Pier 21. We see (taste) why they have won the trip advisor award three years in a row. Highly Recommended!! Boarding: We took the free hotel shuttle to the cruise port. After a quick stop to pick up drivers, who were dropping off cars, we were at terminal 2 in fewer than 20 minutes (11 am). We used a porter for our bags, just about walked up to the counter, signed a few documents, got our sea passes and were walking on the ship in less than 30 more minutes. Cabin: I reserved an aft balcony cabin, Deck 10, cabin 1692. We explored the ship until 1 PM when the cabins were ready and our bags were waiting at our door. Our cabin was very spacious with plenty of closet, drawer and cabinet space. The balcony was well worth the extra money. It fit two lounge chairs plus two balcony chairs and a small table with enough room to walk around. Many breakfasts and early evenings were spent relaxing watching the wake of the ship. We never heard a sound from the Windjammer on the deck above and the reputed movement in the aft felt more like a fluid train movement than the rise and fall of a boat. Our steward, Elroy, was good. Our room was always well kept and we rarely saw him, when we had a special request he saw to it. Roatan: We booked a private “Best of Roatan” tour with Victor Boden tours. Our scheduled driver wasn't available, but we very quickly had a replacement and who was great-- very informative and he drove us around the island in a nice comfortable car. The iguana farm and V.B.’s Monkey Business were fun with great photo opportunities. We went to the highest point on the island for some more photo ops, walked the public beach and shopping area and then a nice lunch overlooking the bay across from the public beach. Belize: Again booking privately with Cavetubing.bz, we booked the zip line and cave tubing and had a blast! The ship got into port earlier than scheduled. We hopped on the very first tender without any wait or tender ticket and was ashore in less than 20 minutes. After the first 10 people arrived we jumped in the van and headed out to the zip line portion. Our guides introduced themselves (Jose, Lionel and our driver Jr.) during the ride, and remained with us throughout the excursion keeping us informed and entertained. Upon arrival we signed the waiver, were harnessed up and walked to the first platform. With double lines and triple safety we were zipping above the jungle, platform to platform in no time. Once un-harnessed we were off to the national park for the cave tubing portion. A quick 20 minute educational walk through the jungle, crisscrossing the river twice, and we were at the river near the cave mouth. The river tube ride under/through the mountain was fun. After we exited the cave all the other groups were getting out of the river and walking up stairs, our group continued down and exited where we initially crossed the river the first time. We were then driven back to our initial stop for a traditional lunch of chicken, rice and beans, coleslaw and a soda, and a sip of cashew wine. We returned to the port with plenty of time to browse the port shops. Cozumel: For this port we booked the Salsa and Salsa through RCCL. We woke that morning with a slight bump as the boat docked. By the time the boat was cleared we were walking off and had plenty of time to browse the shops prior to our scheduled 10 am excursion time. Our group met at the designated place and we were ushered off two by two to awaiting van for a quick trip to the resort. Once all the seats around all the tables were full, we met our two cute and funny hosts. We were taught how to make two different types of Margaritas, after which our glasses were never empty; 6 different types of salsa (do not touch the pepper, use the fork) and then a workout learning to Salsa dance (where did everyone go??) There was plenty of food, drink, and dance to enjoy! Disembarking: While this wasn't really terrible, it was the worst part of the trip--both because the great week was over, and because it took quite a while. Since we booked late flights and had plenty of time to get to the airport, we were in nearly the last group to leave. Our group waiting area was the Metropolis Theater with complimentary coffee, tea, juice and bakery. Once our group was called we waited in line to get off the boat, we waited in line to get our bags, and we waited in line to get through customs. All of this due to backlogs in the understaffed customs area. The staff they had was efficient, just overwhelmed. It took over 2 hours to get from the waiting area to curbside. This port has a long way to go to compare to Florida ports. This being our first trip with Royal Caribbean, we had a very good overall experience. Comparing it with our only other cruise, RCCL did some things a lot better and others needed improvement. PROS: Boarding Process, Stateroom, Bartenders CONS: Disembarkation, 2 sea days in a row, Second formal night on a port day   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We had five incredible days and nights aboard The Royal Caribbean Navigator of The Seas. Our trip was tragically cut short. We were notified of an impending death in the family within hours, on Thursday night. Up until that time our cruise ... Read More
We had five incredible days and nights aboard The Royal Caribbean Navigator of The Seas. Our trip was tragically cut short. We were notified of an impending death in the family within hours, on Thursday night. Up until that time our cruise was perfect. We had the best cruise mates in our close friends, five other couples who joined us, and the best sea days. We also had the best Room Steward, Wilbur on deck 9 and the most attentive Sapphire Dining Room Waiters, Jaun and Salim who served delicious meals and always made us fee so special. We especially love the dining room because you get to know your waiters and vice versa. Ladies Salim was from Istanbul, and resembled a gorgeous young Yul Brenner. Because it was our 40th anniversary cruise my husband had purchased a romance package. Seeing Roatan, Maya Key was incredible. Our group snorkeled in crystalline waters full of fish. Lots of exotic animals, lazy sun tanning and Mayan history.The included lunch was delicious. Thursday was Belize and OMG the ancient Mayan Lamanai Ruins and the long trip are indescribable as far as beauty, history and experience. We truly lucked out because our tour guide was an instructor at the university. He had notebooks full of Mayan language he had personally deciphered from the statuary, stella, and pyramids. Only five of seven hundred sites have been unearthed at Lamanai. Unlike Chitsinitsa, you can climb this pyramid to the top. The steps are typically short but have huge depth as far as height. When we did get the tragic news. Royal Caribbean was wonderful. Albert handled everything for us. We had internet for purchasing airline tickets, and ship to shore at the desk to talk with family.. All these charges were removed from our bill. By early Friday we went to an onboard immigration agent, were cleared to leave each charged twenty six extra dollars apiece and were on our way across Mexico to Cozumel airport. One sad note We paid for pictures that were erased when we turned in our ship card to quickly disembark. Luckily we linked our photos to one of the group, because they could not bring theirs up. Our folder was empty by Saturday Another friend found the photographer and saved a group and dinning room shot. We were suppose to get a silver frame with our Romance PKG and that got erased. Our friend fought valiantly to get us our frame. This cruise was wonderful in spite of a few glitches. If you had an emergency like we did, Royal Caribbean is wonderful to you. Nothing is perfect, but this cruise came close. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
My first cruising experiences were with Disney, so I've had high standards from the beginning. The RCL Navigator was very close to Disney in quality, and head-and-shoulders above the Carnival Triumph- and Magic-class boats. (Life is ... Read More
My first cruising experiences were with Disney, so I've had high standards from the beginning. The RCL Navigator was very close to Disney in quality, and head-and-shoulders above the Carnival Triumph- and Magic-class boats. (Life is too short to cruise Carnival... no matter how cheap.) I haven't been on the Norwegian lines in a while, so don't remember well enough to compare, but I think they're comparable. I've heard too many people say Princess is like Carnival, so I haven't even tried. Pros: * Ship is freshly refurbished, and in immaculate condition. Kept excruciatingly clean. * Attentive dining room and cabin staff. Outstanding entertainment (especially the ice show). * Excellent quality food, both in the main dining room and WIndjammer. The 24-hour Cafe' had sandwiches to die for - and I don't generally get excited about sandwiches. Try the Jive Turkey and muffuletta. They're served dry, so find the condiment packages. * Morning room service was always prompt, even on port days. The fruit plate was wonderful! * The Windjammer is entirely indoors, making it much eaisier to find a seat in hot or inclement weather. * The WJ staff circulate to bring you water, iced tea, and a yummy strawberry-kiwi water. * Lobster night is spectacular. Someone at my table ordered two entrees, and ran out of time to order a third. * Good general layout of the ship; it's easy to get wherever you're going, except Johnny Rockets, which is accessed from outside. They have outdoor seating, and limited indoor seating. * Really nice, quality ship mates; dinner was always interesting and we made some lasting friends. Cons: * The dinner seating only serves 3 courses, so if you're accustomed to 4, you'll need to double-order an appetizer. There were one or two appetizers I didn't care for (e.g. chilled fruit soups), so I was glad to leave one untouched. * Elevators: There were fewer elevators than on most ships, but they were generally larger. Still, on formal nights, when women were reluctant to climb stairs in ultra-high heels, the wait for an elevator was rough. DItto for getting on and off the ship. Be prepared to climb stairs - a lot. Ports of call * Roatan, Honduras. Docked port-side (but nothing to see but a bunch of trees). The Roatan stop was almost a waste of time. Maybe 5 shops are open at the pier with overpriced, unoriginal merchandise. No internet, but I did find a tiny booth with $1/min calls to the US. Tours will take you past grinding poverty (tough for sensitive children). By all means, stay within the touristy pier area, where you're protected from aggressive begging. It's a good day to stay on the boat and chill, or take classes (belly dancing and ballroom were great). * Belize City, Belize. Ships tender about 5 miles out - plan 30 minutes to get to/from shore. The bar right by the pier (second floor) offers free internet service; just buy a $2 can of soft drink. It's also a great place to watch the line for the tenders, and choose your time to get in line. The best prices on prescription pharmaceuticals was in Belize. Cozumel was twice the price. * Cozumel (docks starboard side, great view). The shopping at Cozumel was excellent. Internet service was easy to find in local bars. There were 4 mega ships that day: the RCL Allure, the RCL Navigator, Carnival Magic and Dream. Tourists vastly outnumbered the locals. It was a little crowded, but not as bad as I thought it would be. Best shore excursions. Suggestions: * Events, like giving out ice show tickets, start the very first day - even before the ship departs - so find a Compass and get going! * With such outstanding service, the staff deserves higher tips (so budget for it). * Decks 3 and 4 don't go through the ship; Deck 3 has the ice rink, and Deck 4 has the casino. If you're late, it's fastest to walk through level 6, with cabins. Getting through level 5 (Promenade) can be tough if it's crowded. * The really good food in the Windjammer is at the very back (onion gravy over mashed potatoes - yummm!). There can be lines at peak times. * People dress well for every evening meal. Formal night often means a tux, but almost always a suit. Ladies often change into nicer dresses for dinner (no flip flops, even if they're formal). * Bring an ice chest, and stop by the local fish market (the pier is just down from the cruise terminal) to buy some fresh shrimp and fish. They'll supply the ice. Ask any local for help. * Must do Quest - outrageously funny. The Married Game is typical for all ships (and answers are faked). Galveston on/off ship: * The Galveston terminal is largely un-air conditioned, with pretty much no seating, so waiting in line can be truly miserable. The less time you spend here, the better. * Boarding is from boarding from 11:30 - 3:00. We asked; the staff at terminal said best time to arrive was either 9:30 or after 2:00. During peak times, 12:00 - 2:30, the wait can exceed 2 1/2 hours. * We arrived at 2 pm and sailed right through, with a brief wait to get our room cards. Our cabin was ready. However, we had to rush to grab a bite before the Windjammer closed for the mandatory drill. Since events start at noon, next time we'll get there at 9:30. It's cooler then, too. * Luggage doesn't appear until the evening, so I recommend carrying your own on board. * Leaving the ship, we were in the first self-assist group (pick up a ticket at Customer Service the day before, being queuing *at least* 15 minutes early) and again, sailed right through with a brief wait at Customs because the two parties ahead of us didn't fill out their Customs Declaration forms. Both were between 30-45 minutes. * We stayed at a local hotel with free parking. Taxis were abundant, just cross the street; no waiting. Taxi was $20 including a generous tip to the pier, and a bit less for the return trip (no traffic). Getting a taxi was ~far~ easier than waiting for a hotel shuttle, which will wait for more guests to arrive, clogging the driveway, etc. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
After cruising well over 200 nights with RCI, I feel that I can judge with experience the pros and cons of my recent week on the Navigator. We decided to experience, for the first time, a virtual inside cabin. Totally LOVED it! Ample room ... Read More
After cruising well over 200 nights with RCI, I feel that I can judge with experience the pros and cons of my recent week on the Navigator. We decided to experience, for the first time, a virtual inside cabin. Totally LOVED it! Ample room and storage plus the virtual "window" was amazing. Loved watching the sunrises, It was also a positive to be able to "see" the weather before getting dressed. We ate in all 4 specialty restaurants and loved each one! Although it was additional costs, the food was absolutely amazing and the service above reproach. A true negative that we have found on this cruise (and previous Navigator cruises the past year or so) is the decline in activities. The Cruise Compass seems to be filled more with upcoming sales (everything from the stores to Bingo). I, personally, love relaxing activities such as crafting and reading. Both the Scrap-booking and Jewelry classes have decreased from 3x weekly to once a week... and moved to 9am instead of 3pm. The library area is now the card/game area. Hence, the decrease in books by probably 80%. Plus, due to game-playing it is not quiet for reading (the comfortable chairs are gone, also). The most severe negative is the lack of evening entertainment. The Schooner Bar had mediocre activity a few nights and empty most (even Phil Anderson was gone). Two Poets Pub was dull and dead (where is Derek Lewis and Kamikaze Karaoke when I need him). Bubba Feathers was basically the only entertainment for music and dancing. PLEASE bring Derek Lewis back on the Navigator of the Seas and watch the Two Poets Pub overflow with happy guests and busy bartenders. In addition, Dining in the Main dining room has declined. Possibly due to our continual cruising it has become repetitive and mundane. While the service was 4 star level, the food tasted and looked like "assembly-line" food. We ate in the Main dining room the first night and then ate in all 4 specialty restaurants and also the Windjammer. The pros still outweigh the negatives and we are booked for 9 more cruises. Royal Caribbean is still the best in the way they treat their guests (past guests especially). I'm still "Loyal to Royal".   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We cruised out of Galveston last week and had an incredible time. We drove down and visited relatives and arrived at the pier at around 10:30 on Sunday. We parked at Park N Cruise which is right across the street from the cruise terminal. ... Read More
We cruised out of Galveston last week and had an incredible time. We drove down and visited relatives and arrived at the pier at around 10:30 on Sunday. We parked at Park N Cruise which is right across the street from the cruise terminal. It could not have been any easier. Book it early as both their interior and exterior parking areas are limited and sell out quickly. Embarkation is a bit of a mess with dropping off luggage. There is not a lot of organization or sense of direction. Once in the terminal, check in went quickly and we were on the boat by 11:30 having lunch in the Windjammer. Our cabin was ready by 1:00PM and our luggage showed up by 4:00PM. Navigator recently underwent a refurbishment and it looks fantastic. The crew was friendly and helpful. Our kids had a great time and we really could not ask for a better week. Our itinerary was Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Falmouth Jamaica. Three islands in a row will wear you out! The last two sea days were recovery time for everyone on the ship. The shows on ship were great. Our children were enthralled by the song and dance productions and the ice show. Make sure and get tickets on the first day for the ice show as seating is limited. We opted for self disembarkation and were off the boat and in the car by 7:45AM. Again, it was awesome to just walk across the street to our car and get on down the road.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
I was a little skeptical about my upcoming cruise, because of all the negative comments that were post on cruise critic. My family of 4 found the Navigator of the Seas absolutely wonderful. When we arrived in Galveston, my husband dropped ... Read More
I was a little skeptical about my upcoming cruise, because of all the negative comments that were post on cruise critic. My family of 4 found the Navigator of the Seas absolutely wonderful. When we arrived in Galveston, my husband dropped us off at the pier and then found parking; immediately there was someone from RC taking our luggage. Super easy. If you actual arrive when you are suppose to, look at the boarding time for your room, then it is a snap. Once on board you can tell a significant difference from Carnival. The decor is just beautiful, a lot of time and money went into this ship. I found the ship to be spotless and the staff wonderful. We had Mac as our room attendant and he very nice and helpful. We had a family oceanview stateroom and it was great for 4; never cramped. I did not come on this ship to eat, so to me all food was great. The Sapphire Dining Room was beautiful and I loved dressing up for our special dinners. We had Cajetan and Angelo as our servers, who were awesome. There was always enough options and conversation to keep us coming back. We also eat at Sabor, WOW, amazing. Johnny Rockets was good for an afternoon break, but nothing special. There were a lot of activities on the ship, so much that I did not get to everything. My teenagers loved the sports court and especially the Flow Rider. All the evening shows were good to me. I especially enjoyed the line dancing classes, they were fun and a skill I could take back home with me. I also liked the Cosmopolitan Club, great view of the poolside. For excursions we did the Playa Mia in Cozumel. It was a great beach day with fun activities for my teenagers. I enjoyed the unlimited margaritas. In the Georgetown we did the Catamaran to Sting Ray City. This was so much fun***5 stars. In Jamaica we did the Estate Pass at Good Hope. I wanted my kids to get a little bit of culture and this was just the ticket. We enjoyed a beautiful day just walking around and eating Jerk. I typically do not give reviews, but I wanted others to know that this trip was wonderful. We have traveled around the world as a family, but this cruise allowed us to spend quality time as a family. We did not have to make beds, do dishes, nor plan anything; it was all done for us. We did feel like Royals. We will be returning asap for another cruise on RC. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This was our 20th cruise overall, our 10th cruise with Royal Caribbean International, our 12th cruise in the Caribbean Sea, and our 1st cruise on the Navigator of the Seas. At the time of our sailing (Oct 2014) on the Navigator of the ... Read More
This was our 20th cruise overall, our 10th cruise with Royal Caribbean International, our 12th cruise in the Caribbean Sea, and our 1st cruise on the Navigator of the Seas. At the time of our sailing (Oct 2014) on the Navigator of the Seas, this ship was 12 years old (2002) and had been refurbished earlier in the year. This was the fourth time that we had cruised on RCI Voyager-Class ships, so we were already familiar with the layout, staterooms, public spaces, facilities, and amenities onboard this ship, because they are substantially similar to what we had experienced previously. We found this ship to be very well-maintained, and with very little, if any, signs of wear. Almost all of the crew members that we encountered on the ship were friendly, cheerful, attentive, and accommodating towards us throughout the week. After dealing with traffic problems in Houston, and especially in the vicinity of the Port of Galveston, the embarkation process went relatively smoothly, with only minimal delays inside the cruise terminal for security, check-in, and boarding. We boarded the ship around 11:30 a.m. The staterooms were available for passengers at 1:00 p.m. on embarkation day, and our luggage was delivered to us before the 4 o’clock mandatory lifeboat drill. The ship sailed just before 5:45 p.m. We ate all of our evening meals in the main dining room, where we always found a variety of interesting menu selections, and the delicious food was nicely served by our waiter, assistant waiter, and head waiter. My wife has some special dietary requirements, and our wait-staff were always careful to provide her with meal options that would be safe for her. They took excellent care of her needs. We also ate meals from the Windjammer buffet, and snacks from the Café Promenade, and the Diamond Club. There always was an abundance of nutritious food. On one or two occasions, there didn’t appear to be enough crew members clearing tables in the Windjammer after the tables had been vacated. Once, a waitperson in the Windjammer went out of his way to deliver a gluten-free pizza that had been specially prepared for my wife – we were impressed! Entertainment onboard was excellent! We especially liked the Royal Caribbean Singers & Dancers, the Ice Dancin’ Show (including acrobatic stuntman Cornell Freeney), musical impressionist Greg London, special ballroom dancers Anastasia & Igor, the Temptations Tribute Show, and juggler/comedian Billy Prudhomme. The instrumental musicians that we particularly enjoyed included the Navigator Orchestra, Tropical Breeze band, and pianist David. We also listened to the Bubba Feathers Band, and Riddim Wave band. Our Cruise Director was Jeffrey Arpin – he kept things lively and fun! Cruise entertainment also included the usual trivia games, sexiest man contest, belly flop contest, bingo games, scavenger hunt, love & marriage game show, and the Quest, plus napkin folding, line dance classes, towel folding. And because Halloween occurred during our cruise, there was an awesome Halloween costume parade involving several hundred of our cruisers! I worked-out in the Navigator’s Fitness Center on 6 out of 7 days, and I found that facility to be well-equipped and excellent. My wife and I also walked laps on the deck every day. We saw the climbing wall, miniature golf course, sports court, and flowrider, but we didn’t use those attractions ourselves. We didn’t take any of the ship-sponsored shore excursions. Instead, we participated in our own self-guided touring ashore. It didn’t take our observant stateroom attendant, Othniel, long to figure out our pattern of comings-and-goings – our cabin was always made up whenever we returned. A feature on this ship that we made use of every day was the Diamond Club lounge. We enjoyed having a quiet, exclusive place to visit when all of the ship’s public spaces were busy, we enjoyed “happy hour” there every day before dinner, and the Diamond Concierge Nadja Durdevic always saw to it that we had ice show tickets, priority tendering service, and anything else that we wanted! She provided fantastic service for Diamond and Diamond-Plus members! One area which could really use some improvement is RCI’s debarkation process. We opted for the Self-Assist Express Departure, but were saddened to find ourselves among an unorganized mob of cruisers, all clamoring to get off of the ship first. As we waited for debarkation to begin, there was very little direction or information received from crew members. My wife and I did manage to exit the ship before 8 o’clock, but it was an unnecessarily stressful process.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Flew into IAH the night before the cruise and took the Royal shuttle to the port and back.Very efficient.They took our bags at IAH and loaded them on the ship Galveston was not the nightmare some have written about.We were off the shuttle ... Read More
Flew into IAH the night before the cruise and took the Royal shuttle to the port and back.Very efficient.They took our bags at IAH and loaded them on the ship Galveston was not the nightmare some have written about.We were off the shuttle and on board in about 20 minutes.Went to the Windjammer for a snack and went to check on the Diamond club.(more about that later) Navigator is pretty much the same as other ships in its class. ,.As usual,the food was very good,especially the prime rib on night 1.WEWe chose my time dining and ate most nights around 6;00 sometimes with reservations sometimes not (it didnt seem to make a difference we never had to wait for seating) Formal night were again a disappointment.WE reserved a table for 10:00 the first Formal night,but the people at the table didn't seem to grasp the concept.Guess the tux goes into retirement. AS mentioned ,we checked out the Diamond Club.It is woefully undersized.We. went one night and couldn't find a seat.Their "continental breakfast" was a self serve affair, SO most eveninjgs we went to the Schooner Bar where we discovered Mercelyn (Merci) one of the best cocktail servers we ever had! and apparently others felt the same in a couple of days she had a group of "regulars" ever night. Entertainment was a bit of a disappointment. The first night introduction was not too exciting,featuring the cruise director and a comedienne who seemed more interested in promoting her late night "adult" show There was a production show that was so loud that it distorted thing so much we left about ten minutes.They moved the Love and Marriage show from a small late night venue .to the main stage for one night.After that it got better.The production show featuring ballroom dancers was very good as were the two comics and the singer-impressionist.We didn't go ashore much.Did some shopping in Roatan and found a very good shop that sold silver jewelry.In Belize we took the caravan tour which was very informative. All in all.it was a relaxing cruise .but the only WOWs we found were the prime rin amd Merci. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
From the very start it was a great cruise. Check in was fast and we walked right on the boat, no lines! The crew was great, very attentive! We had a promenade cabin on deck 6 which we worried would be noisy but after about 10:30 pm it was ... Read More
From the very start it was a great cruise. Check in was fast and we walked right on the boat, no lines! The crew was great, very attentive! We had a promenade cabin on deck 6 which we worried would be noisy but after about 10:30 pm it was quiet. It is so quick to get everywhere from this cabin. This is our 2nd time on promenade .... Our only complaint was with Chops. After paying a 40 cover charge then to hear we had to pay another 19 to get our favorite cut..... Didn't happen. We spent our money on the other great specialty restaurants. We realize that beef prices have gone crazy but wow..... The dining room food seemed better to me than it has in a while. They could improve the quality of the steak - tough..... but we were warned, and I would love to have the flourless cake more than once. We love the Diamond Lounge and new policies, I miss the movies in the little theater, but we enjoy the big screen. I enjoyed going to the movies on port days after we had gotten back to the ship. The TV selection was bad. But you don't go on a cruise to watch TV..... The shows were great. Really liked Bonjovi. Disembarkation went really well. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
I'm going to start by saying I'm very disappointed in the reviews for Navigator of the Seas that I have read recently! I'm not sure where people are getting that this ship needs work and is falling apart and that trash was ... Read More
I'm going to start by saying I'm very disappointed in the reviews for Navigator of the Seas that I have read recently! I'm not sure where people are getting that this ship needs work and is falling apart and that trash was left by the pools or that the service was rude in some areas! This is our second time on the Navigator of the Seas within 9 months and we absolutely love it!! We are pretty picky people when it comes to cleanliness and having high standards for service, but this ship exceeded our expectations! Never once was there trash that I could see around the pools or the ship, the carpet is just fine and the ship never smelled at all! The public restrooms were in prestige condition and didn't smell like urine, from what some reviews said below. I have no idea what they are talking about. So my Cruise: :) Getting on the ship in Galveston took about 45 minutes, they do have a smaller terminal than Carnival does, so it takes quite a bit longer to get on the ship. However, not a problem at all.....we were on the ship around Noon and went straight up to the Windjammer to have lunch (cookies were so yummy!) and then the rooms were available at 1:00pm and we went up to our room to check it out since this was our first balcony room we had booked! It was beautiful! We loved the view and enjoyed the beautiful sea view everyday! Our stateroom attendant, Presley, was awesome!!!!!!! He kept our room so nice and clean and in great condition, we never went without anything that we needed and he made it a point to ask how we were everyday, what our plans were and to have a great time! He even made us a stingray towel animal in our room when we got back from Grand Cayman since we told him we were swimming with the stingrays that day!! Great great service from him!! We ate in the MDR every night except Wednesday night, which we went to Chops Grille! We always make it a point to at the steakhouse! The MDR service was great, and our menu every night was wonderful with great and unique selections! We enjoyed the food and have no complaints. Chops Grille was very good too and we always enjoy eating there! We also tried out the new Mexican restaurant called Sabor and it was delicious!!!!! Such great modern Mexican food! We had it for lunch on Friday and it was a nice switch from eating my normal cheeseburger and French fries from the Windjammer, even though it was very yummy too! :) The only complaint I might have is that maybe the chef that cooks their chocolate cakes might need a little more help! I'm a huge fan of good ole chocolate cake and it was not that on the ship! But that was just a minor minor minor thing.... I had plenty of other great desserts to choose from!! The Entertainment on the ship was awesome! We enjoyed the circus parade in the promenade on the first night aboard the ship and also the 70's Disco night as well. We went to the shows in the theatre every night and enjoyed them so much! One night they had an all acapella group called "The Edge Effect" and they were awesome!! Great job to the Cruise Director, Jeffrey for getting great shows together! We especially enjoyed the Ice Skating Show! That was awesome!!!! To do all of that stuff on the ice skating rink on a moving ship, is unbelievable!! We loved it! I also had fun doing different thing like the music trivia and rock climbing, watching the flowrider and etc. I LOVED how there wasn't any pressure to buy alcohol on this cruise! We sailed with Carnival this past May and they covered us at the pool with constant pressure to buy alcohol! It was awful! So I was thankful to be able to lay out by the pool and not be bothered hardly! The service is great out there! All in All, it was an AMAZING cruise and we enjoyed ourselves immensely and were so relaxed! It's always hard to leave a good cruise!! We have already booked 2 more cruises with Royal for next year and can't wait to go back!! Thank you Royal for another wonderful vacation!!! It was Awesome!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
My wife and I just got back from our honeymoon cruise and I must say that we extremely enjoyed ourselves. The crew was always working super hard and were a bit overwhelmed at times but always made sure to say hello. I never once saw any ... Read More
My wife and I just got back from our honeymoon cruise and I must say that we extremely enjoyed ourselves. The crew was always working super hard and were a bit overwhelmed at times but always made sure to say hello. I never once saw any crew members just standing around or loafing. The people are working their tails off all day, everyday. Although we were just first time cruisers and haven't experience the way things used to be before the pre paid gratuities, I didn't once notice any crew members not willing to help with any problem big or small. We still ended up tipping certain members that were outstanding anyways which made the services even better. All I can say is get to know the fellows that work at the Schooner Bar, Abel, Eric, and Bela are phenomenal guys and we loved hanging out with them. Our dining time was at 8:00 pm on Deck 3 and had Annabelle for a waitress with the help of Milan. These two were so very attentive to our needs and always there to treat us like royalty. There were so very many activities on board to attend as well from shows, ice shows, Salsa Dancing, Ballroom Dancing, rock climbing, putt putt, Flowrider, Ice Skating in Studio B, the list just goes on and on and we tried them all. Food was all pretty good in the Windjammer as well as the Main Dining Hall, never any complaints except for the tiger shrimp to which Annabelle just brought me out a different entree and everything was fine. No matter where we went on the boat there was always friends to be made whether they were other passengers or crew members everyday was full of great conversations with all types of different people.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
DH and I are in our 60s, retired, and live in East Texas about three hours drive north of Galveston. We have sailed with Carnival, Celebrity, Disney, Holland America, Princess and Royal Caribbean cruise lines before, both out of Florida ... Read More
DH and I are in our 60s, retired, and live in East Texas about three hours drive north of Galveston. We have sailed with Carnival, Celebrity, Disney, Holland America, Princess and Royal Caribbean cruise lines before, both out of Florida ports, Bayport, Houston and Galveston. We drove to Galveston on the Saturday and stayed at the Comfort Inn & Suites on Sea Wall Blvd. Nice hotel with good location, breakfast and great price. On Sunday we drove to the port, dropped off our luggage and then left the car at EZ Cruise Parking who drove us back to the terminal. Fast and efficient. We arrived early, waited in line outside [in the shade] for a short while and were through security and seated with sea pass in hand waiting to board all within 45 minutes. We had My Time Dining and I had booked a table for 2 every evening at 5:30pm and we had the same table by the window every evening. Our wait staff were Agnelo and Sachin who were great - no complaints about service at all. For the most part the food was good in both the dining room and Windjammer. We had the occasional snack in the Promenade Café and the sandwiches were very good. We did not try any of the specialty restaurants on this cruise. We found that almost all of the staff onboard were friendly and helpful. As this was my 38th cruise and DH's 36th cruise and we had visited all of the ports many times previously, we stayed on the ship and took advantage of the peace and quiet on port days. Entertainment and activities is where we felt that this cruise was lacking. Okay, so as an retired teacher of theatre I may be a little more picky than some people, but I always go to all the shows and the production shows were without a doubt the worst I have ever experienced on any cruise. Thank goodness for the ice show which we saw twice and Scott Record the impressionist, both of which were excellent. Also compared to our last RCCL cruise on Mariner of the Seas [also out of Galveston], there were very few activities which we could enjoy. I enjoy scrapbooking and on Mariner the classes were great, but on this cruise the class was very short and relegated to a room where the staff was busy setting up for a shore excursion talk and our crew director staff person wandered off to set up her bingo activity. We also enjoy ballroom dance classes, but despite having a professional ballroom couple onboard, there were only two ballroom dance classes and one of them was during a lunchtime. While flow rider, rock climbing, and ice skating may be great activities, not all ages can cope with them and bingo and the casino are not our things. Perhaps we have been spoiled by some of the other cruise lines which offer far more activities for a greater variety of ages. However, we came on this cruise to relax and as the weather was fantastic and the sea as calm as we have ever experienced, we spent most of our time sitting reading on the balcony, and I finished off 18 for the 20 books I brought with me. Debarkation was easy and painless. As Crown and Anchor members, we waited in the Star Lounge and from the time we left the lounge, went through customs, until we were in our vehicle driving home, was less than an hour. No problems at all. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise, but I think we are ready for another cruise out of Florida on a different line for a change. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Like many we were concerned based on some of the reviews but picked this cruise due to the port location. We had a wonderful time and have no problem recommending both the ship and the cruise destinations. Galveston port is a challenge ... Read More
Like many we were concerned based on some of the reviews but picked this cruise due to the port location. We had a wonderful time and have no problem recommending both the ship and the cruise destinations. Galveston port is a challenge because 2 ships are leaving at the same time. Keep in mind Royal is leaving from terminal 2 as you make your parking plans. My advice is to arrive early. We were in the security line at 9:45 and were on the ship exploring within 45 minutes. Royal promised staterooms ready by 1 which they met. We boarded and took the elevator to the highest point, then walked and explored our way down. We found all of the Royal staff to be excellentWe had a couple of minor service issues from our travel agent and they promptly answered our questions and generally made us feel welcome. We at the majority of our meals in the MDR and had great service. We enjoyed the table conversation and lounging through meals over the rush of eating at the buffet in the Windjammer. Our MDR waiters we attentive and even brought extra entrees if we had trouble deciding. We enjoyed all of the entertainment and the activities. The ship is very clean. The only time we felt pressured to buy something was when my wife visited the spa. They did try to hard sell her, but after a polite no she enjoyed the rest of the experience. We booked our excursions thru Royal and all 3 were good. I know people say you can save by going outside but we didn't want any hassles. They met us immediately off of the ship and took care of everything from there. Hope you have as good as time as we did. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
My husband and I loved this cruise! I read the reviews about how dirty the ship was,and how poor the food and entertainment was and I have to wonder, were we on a different ship? We thought the entertainment was exceptional. Loved the ice ... Read More
My husband and I loved this cruise! I read the reviews about how dirty the ship was,and how poor the food and entertainment was and I have to wonder, were we on a different ship? We thought the entertainment was exceptional. Loved the ice skating show and all of the "game show" type events, like "Love and Marriage" and "The Quest". The cruise director, Jeffery, was so funny and we enjoyed starting each morning watching his show on the ships channel to let us know what was going on that day. We ate in the main dining room every night and found there was a good variety to choose from and never found any issues with our meals. The wait staff was attentive and our only complaint is that they didn't acknowledge my husband's birthday even though they were aware of it the first night of the cruise. We found the ship very clean and well maintained and would certainly cruise on this ship again. The only negative thing was the port at Galveston was difficult to get in and out of and it was a bit chaotic. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Background  This was the fourth cruise (Voyager, Enchantment, Solstice & Navigator) for the adults and third cruise (no Voyager) for the kids Wife and I are 48 with two girls 15 & 11 living in Dallas. We take turns on which ... Read More
Background  This was the fourth cruise (Voyager, Enchantment, Solstice & Navigator) for the adults and third cruise (no Voyager) for the kids Wife and I are 48 with two girls 15 & 11 living in Dallas. We take turns on which family member gets to plan our vacation. I am always involved as the banker. This year my youngest had the honor of planning. She had a budget. After last year’s cruise to Alaska, she immediately settled on a Caribbean cruise. Her main request was to swim with dolphins. We booked the cruise in February and worked on excursions and travel plans through May before pretty much finalizing everything. Part of this whole process is to keep the other family completely in the dark about when and where are going. Travel to The Woodlands Saturday, 8/9 finally arrived. While still a secret, the approaching vacation was hard to get around because summer was running out. Woke wife and eldest up and gave them one hour to pack. We told them we were doing “fancy dinners” at a steak house and Italian restaurant during our vacation and they needed two very nice (formal) outfits. Wife who remembered last year’s cruise on Celebrity immediately thinks she has it figured out by assuming we are going on a cruise. We were out the door in 65 minutes and on our way to Houston. Drive was simple and painless. Only problem was some sort of issue with the shake machine at the Dairy Queen in Fairfield. Had our first experience with Buc-ees Truck Stops in Madisonville. Not sure I am making a point of stopping at every location in the country, but it was clean. Hit The Woodlands, checked into our rooms at The Woodlands Resort & Spa, and by the pool with a drink in our hands by 3:00pm Travel to Galveston At breakfast, we tell my wife and daughter we are going to Schlitterbahn in Galveston. Told them it will be a long day because it is hot and humid and we were going to be there all day before we drove multiple hours to hit our final destination (never specified) The look on my wife’s face was priceless. She was so certain we were going on the cruise and quite frankly not at all thinking a trip to a water park was what she wanted to be doing. I am just glad she did not say anything we both would have regretted. A short drive later, we are pulling up to the terminal and my wife looks up enough from her sulking position in the front seat of the car where she was using her phone to figure out if you could get a vodka soda in the waterpark (or find a good lawyer) and notices both the NOS and Carnival Breeze right in front of us and with a relieved and happy tone says “we are not going to Schlitterbahn” Embarkation Was relatively painless. Parked across the street, walked with our luggage to the terminal. Handed checked bags to porter and got in line. We had no special status with Royal Caribbean and therefore stood in line with the common folk. Maybe 10 minutes in line outside (pretty warm) and 30 minutes inside waiting to go through security. No wait for boarding docs or getting on NOS. No trouble getting a table in Windjammer and not even done with Windjammer when they announce our rooms are ready by 1:00pm. Cabins – We booked two. 7612 had a balcony and 7611 was across the hall with a promenade view. We were right next to the aft elevators and stairs and the 7th floor game room/library. Never heard any noise and felt we had an easy walk up or down during busy times. I never caught her name, but our stateroom attendant kept everything tidy. We had towel animals 3-4 nights and never any issues that she did not quickly handle. I was given a key at Guest Services for the kids’ room so we could check on them. We had our keys hole punched at Guest Services and used lanyards to carry them around. Dining: Ate Windjammer for breakfast & lunch every day and dinner on Day 1. The food was fine. Nothing spectacular a fair selection, but tended to stick to the same thing during my visits so I could say a bit repetitive. Had plenty of staff refilling drinks or cleaning plates. We never once had a problem finding a table for four. Youngest ordered Room Service Breakfast 5 days and had it for dinner one evening. Very pleased. We could use the in-room TV menu to order. Very handy. MDR for Dinner on M-T-W-F-S We did My Time Dining. I made the reservations via phone about two weeks out. We essentially ate at 6pm every evening. Never had to wait and always had the same table. Ivo and Avinesh were the pair taking care of us. These two had it down. We had water and bread in abundance and they basically brought us what we ordered. They handle special requests just fine. We had the drink package (more later) and we were well taken care of in that regard. We often had multiple drinks/wine with our meal and everything progressed smoothly. The basic set-up was for a three-course meal app/salad, entrée, dessert. I love to eat and always left full. On the lobster night (Friday), they made Surf & Turf for us by combining the prime rib with the lobster tail. My youngest ordered the $14.95 filet from menu supplement twice and my wife got a full lobster (~$25) one night. We really enjoyed the MDR. Great people watching. We hit both formal nights (I dusted off my $99 internet tuxedo from last year). We may have been in the minority in dressing up but it is what we wanted to do. Did not bother me in the least to see people coming in with blue jeans and a shirt. They also had a good selection of music playing on the piano most nights. They played so many Disney classics I was able to quip we did not need a Disney cruise after all because RCi was just fine. Enjoyed Sabor on Thu pm. Go Hungry. The Guac is really good. We had two appetizers, chicken stuffed jalapenos wrapped in bacon and a queso fundido dish. We were done by then, but we did have entrees. I had the empanadas which were quite good and my wife had a fish described as red snapper. That may or may not have been red snapper, but it was very tasty. They then proceed to bring out a dessert sampler with two of everything. I could not even try a bite of each much less finish. We went Thursday and had no trouble walking in and getting a table w/o reservation. Café Promenade/Starbucks/Ben & Jerry’s – They serve Seattle’s Best in big urns or whatever you call them as self-serve. They had a couple small sandwich selections throughout the day and had some of the pizza they serve in Windjammer – typically cheese and pepperoni. They also had an assortment of muffins/breakfast breads and cookies. They tended to run low or even out of some types of food right around departure time on port days. This was typically around 4pm. Before Windjammer opened and right as 3000+ people returned to the ship and many of those were towing hungry kids with them. You can also order “Starbuck’s” at the counter. Prices are essentially the same as on land, but the staff was best tasked with the simple creations (lattes and the like) rather than some of the more creative options people may be used to ordering at home. We let the kids do Ben & Jerry’s whenever they wanted. They had a maybe 10-12 different flavors with various pricing for 1,2,3, etc. scoops. I did notice they were often out of the extra charge cupcakes and only noticed that they had chocolate with white icing. Nothing to me, but certainly not a real cupcake shop. Ports Roatan (Day 4) – we did Maya Key through RCI. I did this because earlier this year there was a bunch of bad press about Roatan and I decided I wanted to bring my whole family back (my wife is lucky she did not get too grouchy with me back in Galveston). All you do is walk off the ship and over to a tender type boat the ferries you over to the island. Maybe 10 minutes. The admission included a buffet lunch, water and tea. They had a small animal rescue center on the island with a bunch of monkeys, birds and the like. There was also a Swim with the Sharks add-on. It was $35/person. I missed this little nugget when I booked and only brought $100 with me. My wife and youngest went and thoroughly enjoyed themselves while my eldest and I enjoyed the beach. Snorkeling was pretty decent. They have a jetty out into the water. The area right where you enter is pretty beat up and rather dead looking, but if follow the marked path out to the seaward side of the reef you are treated to a very nice drop-off and a fair amount of sea-life. We shared the island with Carnival Dream. They had a much longer commute. With just the two ships in port, it was never crowded on the island for any of the activities. Plenty of chairs and privacy if you wanted. The gift shop was a bit on the pricey side and we were short of funds. We went back to the ship and I reloaded my wallet and we did some easy shopping in the port complex. Just shirts and stuff. Belize City (Day 5) – We were set to due zip line cave-tubing through VIV tours. My older daughter woke us up around 3:00 am with some nausea. I believe she was either seasick or had a slight disagreement with something she ate (not Noro). It passed in < 24 hrs. We did not know this at the time, but later heard some stories of quarantines and the like so we were lucky to have this pass so quickly. I was up early to get tender tickets. I think they posted they would begin distribution at 8:00 or 8:30 am that morning. I strolled by before 7 and the line was already forming. I skipped breakfast and waited about one hour to get Tender 4 tickets. We were off the boat and in Belize around 10am. I did escort my youngest and wife to port and put them on the van with VIV. They had an absolutely great time and could not say enough nice things about the staff and experience. I returned solo via tender to NOS and basically sat around and tended to an ill 15 yr old girl. That was a vacation in and of itself. I did break away at lunch to eat in the Windjammer and was struck by how empty the ship was. Almost like having it to yourself. After we reunited, we fed the girls (our invalid was up to some crackers, bread, plain pasta). Wife and I hit Sabor as described earlier. Cozumel (Day 6) We booked Royal Swim directly with Dolphinaris. There was some sort of on-line special my daughter found that got the four of us for a very reasonable price. It was a short ($8) cab ride from the port. We were in a group of 8 and had roughly 60 minutes of time in the water. We got to pet the dolphin, kiss the dolphin, shake hands/fins and got a ride of the whole thing. I am well aware of the issues about animals in captivity and will let that discussion take place somewhere else. We went and had a very good time. Pictures cost a fortune. Some haggling can take place, but you will still pay a bunch. Afterwards we enjoyed a buffet lunch which included chicken tenders (big hit for girls), hamburgers and fajitas. Bar drinks and beer were complimentary. After lunch we used the paddle boards they had. A lot of fun and some hard work. There is no beach at this place. You walk to the ocean and it is just rocks. They have a sheltered snorkel area, paddle boards and kayaks. We had fun, but do not think you will get some more time on the beach. Pick Chankanaab if you want that. Some easy shopping in the port complex and back on board by 4:00pm. Random note: In port with Allure of the Seas. We did Solstice last year and now Navigator. Neither are what you would call small, but seeing the Allure and Navigator next to each other was something else. You can see the family lines, but they hardly compare. Entertainment Already forgetting things, but… Saw the comedian Monday. Definitely adult and funny. We hit the Ice Show on Tuesday. Really quite enjoyable. In addition to the show, we went ice skating twice during open skate sessions. Flowrider – fun to watch and my youngest did it during open period and had a blast. There was maybe a 20 minute wait as the line cycled through. Love & Marriage on Wednesday or Thursday – a classic First time to see Quest on Friday which was an absolute riot and should not be missed. It is for adults. We enjoyed the Latin Band in Boleros every night after dinner. We went to Schooners late and had fun with the piano guy. We stumbled upon the young adult night club out by the Solarium pool Thursday night and had a great time watching a bunch of 20 something’s party it up, but left before anyone fell into the pool. They played movies on the big screen most nights. It was on all the time, but mostly ignored. We gambled a bit. We are not big gamblers, but were up each night for the first four nights. They took it all back on night five and that pretty much ended things for us. We are not smokers and generally did not mind, but a couple of times we were smoked off a table. Minor gripe. Likely saved us money. TV had some basic channels CNN, ESPN, TNT, Cartoon and a fair selection of pay-per-view movies (~$12each). Drinking We hit every bar on the ship. Boleros and Schooners were by far our favorites. Vintages was understandably low-key and the R Bar never really did anything for us. Bella in Schooners was great. Really chatted us up and loved to explore what to make us with our drink package. We used our Ultimate Drink Package for Water, fresh juice and coffee during the day and a variety of drinks and wine in the evening. We never felt like we had to wait an undo amount of time to get a drink. I sat out by the pool on the first two sea days and was always able to flag down a server from my chair. I mentioned we had drinks with dinner and had wine to suit our courses/desires. I do wish they had outdoor bar option available. We could take drinks and sit outside, but I wish they kept the Mast Bar open past 9:30pm. Pictures Fairly easy to use the computer kiosks to order prints. Not exactly a bargain, but easy to do. Internet Very slow. I think the server works better running something other than Safari (Apple). I did use the PC’s in the library and it seemed to work faster than using my Mac or iPad. I did not even try to send a picture from the NOS because I figured it would take too long. Random Ship Comments Stroll deck four on the outside and take the forward outside stairs to the path leading to the helipad. Great place visit almost any time of day or night. Deck four is also sprinkled with chairs and some foot rests. Pool deck did get crowded and it was often hard to find a chair in the Solarium on sea days. Plenty of chairs on deck 12 surrounding the pool and the jogging track were open, but you may have to wait a bit on Deck 11 for chairs. Kids’ Club – somewhat ambivalent about the experience. Our 15 yr. old simply used the two rooms for teens as a meeting point for her to find her little group of new-made friends and move along. They let our 11 year old move up to the 12-14 group and this was a bit of a mistake. There is far less structure and activity with the older groups. I think she would have had a better experience in the 9-11 group doing the more organized activities rather than walking around with a bunch of other awkward tweens trying to act like the “big” kids. Older daughter been Skyping her new friends since we got back. Younger daughter really has no memorable experiences from the club We gave the kids simple instructions. Meet at room for lunch at noon, be ready for dinner at 6:00pm. Go in no rooms and let no one in our rooms. We are fairly strict at home (9:00 pm bedtimes for both), but gave a range of curfews from 11-1am. We did add they needed to check-in with us at various times after dinner, but we strangely enough felt more comfortable with them running around a ship packed with >3000 strangers than I would be letting them ride their bikes to our neighborhood park. Disembarkation This is complete chaos and I refuse to let RCI get a pass of this one. Absolutely no rhyme or reason to the twisting turning line you had to get in in order to exit. The girl they had organizing things would have had trouble drawing a line on a piece of paper if you spotted her two dots and a ruler. Plenty of standing, shuffling and warding off line jumpers (1/2 of them did not even realize they were cutting the line was bad). I remember reading about the porter situation, but maybe I killed those brain cells earlier in the cruise because it took me one hour in line before I jumped in the porter line. Things were much faster after that, but we did not exit the terminal until almost 1:00pm. I was told something happened in the morning to slow things down. I get the limited number of staffed Customs counters, but I cannot imagine RCI really wants so many people each and every week to have that as their last memory of the cruise. At the very least they could invest in some line dividers/organizers and maybe put some water out. Summary They often close the Olympics with the president of IOC thanking the host city for putting on the best games ever. This was a truly great vacation. We loved Alaska last year and I definitely suggest that as a bucket list item, but Alaska is 2-3 times the cost of a Caribbean cruise. This was by far a more relaxing cruise. Two very different itineraries and thus experiences. We took Solstice last year and while that is a beautiful ship, I hardly think there is some huge gap between the two sibling lines. I have a hard time imaging why so many have been put-off by NOS. Maybe they somehow thought they were traveling on Seabourne or so jaded with departure they forgot how much fun they had the previous 7 days. We had a couple of funny moments trying to get someone to understand what we wanted in the Windjammer, but always found the staff eager to please. If you want Broadway or Vegas entertainment go there. The dancers and shows are on the level of what one would expect on a cruise ship, local bar or comedy club. Very enjoyable, but not exactly selling out any arenas. Expect a lot of kids and people and read up about the ship and the ports (dare I say visit other travel sites as well). Absolutely loved seeing the kids try new things and eat new things at dinner. I end my overly wordy review with a comment from my just completed the RCI survey. Question: Would you recommend this cruise to one of your friends? Answer: 10 (absolutely)   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Embarkation day My sister dropped us off at the terminal at 10 am. There were two lines. I got in the wrong line which was priority. The regular line is the far left. At 10:30 they opened the door and we started in. We were through ... Read More
Embarkation day My sister dropped us off at the terminal at 10 am. There were two lines. I got in the wrong line which was priority. The regular line is the far left. At 10:30 they opened the door and we started in. We were through security in about 15 mins. We went on into the terminal and found our line (Gold). We were second in line and were through and seated in about 5 mins. At 11:10 they called the ship was ready and we were on the ship eating lunch by 11:20. Quickest I’ve ever been on the ship. It pays to go early. The ship Navigator had been through an overhaul so I was expecting a lot. It honestly didn’t look any different than some of the older ships I had been on. It was very nice though. I love the open promenade of RC ships. It was so open and roomy. I never felt crowded. One thing I must point out is, they had changed all the seating on the ship to chairs with arms. This was an issue for large people! The dining room had arm chairs and they were very snug if you were a large person. They do have some without arms but it was rather embarrassing for you to have to ask for one. The chairs in the Windjammer buffet were the same only smaller. At the entrance to the Windjammer, there is a little bar and the tables there didn’t have arms so a lot of larger people were setting in those to eat. The theater chairs have all been replaced. They used to have long benches with tables for your drinks. Now they are theater chairs, tight theater chairs. And no place for your drink. They had some little holder things connected to your seat but not all of the drinks would fit into that. I saw a lot of larger people leave the show because they couldn’t fit in the chairs. I’m not really sure the reasons for all the snug chairs but just letting you know ahead of time if this is an issue with you. Guess they want us to go on diets and not eat so much while we are on board. Cabin We stayed in cabin #6309. A promenade inside room. The room was so small! It worked out ok for the price but if at all possible, I won’t do that again. There was very little storage space. There was one row of drawers under the TV. The closet had shelves were you could put your under clothes and folded up shirts. There were plenty of hangers. We put our suitcases under the bed. There were two small sofas for places to sit. Some have said that you couldn’t hear the music in the promenade rooms. Not so. It wasn’t blaring but we could hear it. Two floors down from us was a bar with an area for a band and we could always hear them playing. It didn’t bother us though. I loved the central location of this room. It was very easy getting around. The a/c in this room was perfect. I had taken a fan but didn’t even need it. I can’t begin to tell you how small the bathroom was. But if you are very small people, say a size less than 14, it probably wouldn’t seem so small to you. Our room attendant was Raul and he was the best! We didn’t see him the first day but told another person that we needed ice in our room if they could tell Raul for us and we had ice twice a day every day after that. We did meet him on the second day and saw him a lot after that. He always greeted us by our name. We asked him for wine glasses for our wine that we brought on board and he brought those to us. Dining Here is where I had some issues. I didn’t like hardly any of the food. The breakfast buffet area was huge. There was everything imaginable. Lots of stuff that I would never eat at breakfast though. I had a bagel with ham and bacon everyday and some days I had grits and eggs which were really good. The bacon was so greasy and not cooked very crisp. They had fresh cooked omelets and fried eggs. There really was something for everyone even though not cooked very well. The scrambled eggs were like a powdered egg mix. Disgusting. The pancake syrup was horrible. Bring your own if you like pancakes. Lunch, didn’t care for a lot of the dishes. The hamburgers and hot dogs were lukewarm to cold. I’m used to an open grill where you see them making the hamburgers and you can get hot ones. Nothing like that here. Everything was made behind closed doors and brought out in pans. The French fries were pretty good. We ate at Johnny Rockets because we knew the food would be hot and fresh and good! There is a little deli that serves food after hours. They had a lot of cold sandwiches, no more Panini’s like they had before a few years ago. You could get pizza there. It was ok. My husband didn’t like it at all. And you could get cookies and sweets there. No midnight buffet. Nowhere to get nachos or a hot snack late in the evening. Very disappointing. On Carnival, you can get hamburgers and pizza late at night. You could call room service but that took an hour and a half!! MDR- We had the best server, Drazen. He was an older man around 56 maybe. He took great care of us. Even when some of our tablemates came late to dinner nearly every day, he still took good care of us. Again, didn’t like the food. I am not a picky eater! I found something every night that I could eat but the choices wasn’t good in my opinion. Entertainment. We saw some really good shows in the theater. I was just uncomfortable with the tight seating. The Beach boys cover band was really good. We failed to get tickets for the ice skating so we didn’t get to see that. They are free; you just have to get them by Tuesday. We loved the Bubba Feathers Band. We went to see them every chance we got. There was also a Latin band and a reggae band that was really good. No problem finding something to do in the evening. Our cruise director Mitch was really good too. For once, one that spoke great English! We really enjoyed the Solarium, adult only area. The pool was nice and there were two huge hot tubs. We went into the middle pool area some but not much. We sat on the top deck and watched some of the activities going on at the pool. Two different days they cook some stuff out on the pool deck. Jambalaya, we missed that day because we slept in and then bbq ribs and chicken. The ribs were really good. Missing was… the waiters didn’t sing or dance this time around. I kinda enjoyed seeing them that in the past but no big deal.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We cruise alot these days and like these two lines.  Here is my comparison of their mid-ships ( ie Nav/mariner of Seas vs Grand/Star Princess)... Both are very clean and no issues with staffing or pleasantness thereof. Windjammer vs ... Read More
We cruise alot these days and like these two lines.  Here is my comparison of their mid-ships ( ie Nav/mariner of Seas vs Grand/Star Princess)... Both are very clean and no issues with staffing or pleasantness thereof. Windjammer vs Horizon Crt : basically a tie as far as food goes. Princess offers better hours and more fruit/veggies at lunch, RCLL has Lemonade and flavoured water out with iced tea so more options. RCLL closes Windjammer 11-noon and 430-530pm which is a ROYAL (pun intended) pain to me as snacks are now 6 floors away and so is an iced tea. Strange times to close IMO. Princess keeps one line open always and open later at nite as well BBQ Princess wins. Their burgers and hotdogs are fresh on a BBQ, RCLL has then sitting in pans in buffet. Pizza also way better on Princess. RCLL has best fries ANYWHERE tho. CASINO basically the same BUT Princess usu offers 2 smoke-free nites in a 7-day cruise which is nice Entertainment Dont really like the singers n dancers on either line. So no winner and u are at mercy of who the headliners brtought in are on each cruise. RCLL wins tho as Quest game show (adults only) and ice shows are not avail on Princess. All have outdoor movies at nite tho. Better movies IMO on Princess. DINING ROOM Both are excellent in staff and food. No complaints. RCLL does offer a great salad bar at lunch. Food was awesome on both. RCLL offers open concept so u can see all three floors so it looks more grand , as Princess ships only have your one floor visible. For the 'always avail' food, Princess has a wicked fett alfredo, RCLL has escargots and their desserts include liqueur recipes. SHIP LAYOUT Seemed RCLL ships were easier to navigate ( again, pun). Princess seem to put the kitchen towards mid-ship so entry gets blocked off and u have to approach from a floor up or down. SPORTS RCLL wins hands down. both have ball courts but Flowrider and rock walls and way better mini-golf make it a non contest. TRIVIA lots on both ships but RCLL offers music trivia NIGHTLY. Prizes are lame on both. Logo and dingbat trivai were good on RCLL. Lyric and liars club were good on Princess. CABINS RCLL are bigger. If 4 in a cabin, RCLL uses a hide-a-bed while 2 bunks come from the ceiling on Princess. Some inside cabins on RCLL have a virtual screen looking off the stern and its very realistic, sound too! STAFF Never had a concern on any of these lines. AGE OF CRUISERS RCLL is younger. More kids (teens) and younger parents due to all the fun things to do. More late 20-s, 30's honeymooners too. Princess is older but not that much ( not like H America, Crystal etc,) Overall, Princess is better IMO in food due to a better Cafe, BBQ and buffet and RCLL is better if u want fun, espec with teens, BUT both are great , even where the other line is the better option Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
I think we had such a great time in 2009 on Voyager of the Seas, that our expectations were very high for this one after hearing about the remodel, so we were a little bit disappointed about several things, but overall this was a really ... Read More
I think we had such a great time in 2009 on Voyager of the Seas, that our expectations were very high for this one after hearing about the remodel, so we were a little bit disappointed about several things, but overall this was a really Fun cruise! We are pretty easy to please, but this was our 14th cruise, so we do have other experiences to which we compared, and so here ya go - just don't get the wrong impression that this wasn't a fantastic cruise overall, because it was! Our itinerary was Galveston to Cozumel, Grand Cayman & Falmouth Jamaica. We arrived at the port early and were able to get in the shorter check-in line for Gold members and up, which helped. But this was the 1st time in a long time that we've checked in for a cruise & not been able to just walk onto the ship. There is very little waiting/seating area in the Galveston terminal, so that was a bit of a pain to have to stand around waiting for hard-to-hear announcements, but they called Gold pretty quickly, and we were on our way. The next thing that bummed us out was the lunch that was offered as soon as we boarded. We so look forward to a sit-down lunch in 1 of the main dining rooms when we 1st board a cruise, and this ship did not have that available. Very surprising & disappointing! We were directed to the Windjammer Buffet - yuck! The line was horrendous & the food was all dry and tasteless. It was inedible in my opinion & I refused to go to the buffet for the rest of the cruise. Our teens ate there on occasion though. Our cabins were ready by the time we finished lunch, which was a pleasant surprise. The kids had an inside cabin across the hall from our balcony cabin on deck 7 aft, starboard side. After visiting the ports, we wished we'd booked the port side for more scenery. But it was still very nice. The balcony was large enough for 2 chairs & a small table comfortably. If you're next door to travel companions, the balcony doors can be opened & secured to make 1 big balcony area you can share. The inside cabin was small but had plenty of storage space. Our balcony cabin was a bit larger, and the balcony was a great place to hang out with coffee or wine. (Remember: you're allowed 2 bottles of wine per cabin, brought on board with you. Hand carry it in your carry-on bag for safe keeping.) The kids said their beds were comfortable enough, but we had to ask our steward for a foam pad to put over our mattresses, because they were so incredibly hard, our hips and shoulders hurt so much from sleeping on our sides by the 2nd night. The foam pad helped, and we slept better. The showers are good in the cabins. They're the rounded sliding door kind, instead of a wet, sticky curtain. I liked it. I only wish the bathrooms were set up like they are on the Epic. I liked the Epic's separation of the toilet in its own little sliding door room, and the shower across from that with its own sliding door. And on the Epic, the sink is in another separate area, so the mirror doesn't get fogged up for someone else trying to get ready while the other person showers. This ship has the old tiny bathroom set-up, but at least there's a shelf & medicine cabinet for storage (Hint: bring a hanging plastic shoe holder (the kind with many pockets) with you. Hang it from the hooks by the door of the cabin, so you can get all your toiletries, sunglasses, sunscreen, etc out of the way, off the tables & counter space.) The ship is very pretty, but there are not enough shops in the promenade, and there are very few places to eat that don't cost extra. There's only 1 main dining room besides the buffet. The 3-story Sapphire dining room. And the only other free places to get food are Room Service and the promenade pastry/coffee place. Everything inside there is free. The starbucks & icecream is not. We were disappointed that there weren't any additional places to eat for free, like there are on ships like the Epic, which has O'Shean's irish pub for fish and chips, shepherds pie, cheese sticks, etc. Other cruise lines have little burger or pizza stands, etc for snacks. Not this ship. You're going to pay for Johnny Rockets and the other specialty restaurants, so we didn't do any of those. We were limited to the 1 main dining room. Our assigned dinner time was 8pm. We had a table for 4 and the same wait staff each night. They did a wonderful job, and the food was very good. Not the best we've ever had on a ship, but very good nonetheless. And the service was wonderful. We were able to order 3 lobster tails on lobster night - yum! The only time the dining room upset us was at breakfast every morning. We would arrive at approx. 9am or earlier, and there was usually a line, but rarely was it bad. The only day it was really bad was Cayman day. Deck 3 is the tender waiting area, and that's where the restaurant is for breakfast, so everyone must have decided to have breakfast there instead of the buffet that day, and it was crazy. Every other day of the cruise, when we would ask the hostess for a table for 4 (we are not sociable, especially in the morning), she would give us an exasperated look, like Uggghhh, what a hassle, and tell the wait staff "table for 4". That person would then either try to walk us to a Giant table (all the Giant tables are by the windows, which sucks for us families of 4) & we'd have to say in front of all of those people "No, we don't want a large table", or they would escort us to 1 of the worst tables in the dining room: next to the serving area, right in the middle of a main walkway, or in the middle of a bunch of crying babies. That happened every morning. And 2 times breakfast was very busy, so the waiter was obsiously rushing us and then get our orders wrong. Breakfast needs to be worked on. They need to open the upstairs areas or something. Having everyone report to deck 3 of the main dining room was too crowded. We like to order room service in the early morning and have coffee and croissants on the balcony. But Be sure to put the order on your door the night before, because there were a couple of port mornings when we were told they couldn't deliver to our cabin for 1-1.5 hour. If you place your order the night before, they're good about getting it there on time, if not early. The English pub and the wine bar were nice areas to relax in the early evening. The pub offered $3 pints of Heineken. That's all they had on tap. Bottles of various beers were approx. $8/bottle. If you're a 2nd time cruiser or higher, check your ship pass, there are several 2 for 1 deals already loaded on your card. Each of us had a buy 1 get 1 beer/wine by the glass offer, and a buy 1 get 1 milkshake at Johnny Rockets, shopping discounts, etc. The shows with singers/dancers were pretty generic. We enjoyed the comedian and the juggler. The Texas Tenors were amazing! The promenade parade looked cheezy. We didn't stay. Shopping is a joke. They hold things back & announce very limited times for certain items to be available, and people crowd in acting like they've never seen a cheap piece of crap in their lives. Are they so desperate for entertainment/shopping that they don't care what it is? We avoided the shopping areas/times like the plague. I did like that inch of gold/silver was available most of the time. I usually treat myself to a piece or 2. They are pretty and can withstand swimming in the salt water. The kids only enjoyed the Flow Rider the 1st day. They had a blast on it! But the rest of the cruise they wouldn't go, because they thought it would be too crowded, so I don't know. We spent most of our time at the adult pool, the Solarium, which was very peaceful. Our 18 year old was with us, and our 15 year old hung out with new-found friends at the teen club. The teens have their own special times at night for ice skating and flow rider, which I thought was cool. I was surprised my teens didn't take advantage of the rock climbing, skating, mini golf, etc. They were more chill on this cruise for some reason. We never book excursions through the ship, because they're usually way too expensive, and they make them sound so much more exciting than they end up being. We can do much better on our own, and that we did for all 3 ports on this cruise. In Cozumel, we took a cab ($11 each way) to Chankanaab park. There we paid $37 per person for entry, which included all the facilities, chairs & umbrellas, snorkeling, dolphin & sea lion shows, 1 beer per person & a free Tshirt per person. It was a great deal, and we all had a blast. There's a lagoon with walking trails around it and through a bit of the jungle, where you can go see crocodiles, and there are miniature ruins. We really enjoyed the snorkeling. The water was fantastic. If you don't want to snorkel, it's $21 per person for park entry and amenities. You can watch the dolphin experiences/shows even if you're not participating. It's pretty cool. There are cabs outside when you're ready to head back to the port. We docked at International pier. We hung out at Senor Frogs for a while until it was time to head back to the ship. Margaritas are a bit pricey, but our 18 year old enjoyed being able to order drinks. They have a small pool & beach area there for swimming/tanning if you'd like to just hang out there for a while. Grand Cayman is a tender port, and the process was a bit of a hassle. You go down at 8:30am to get your tender tickets. On other cruises, we've been able to stay in our cabin and wait for our tender number to be called. But not here. You have to go to deck 3, actually 4 and up, until they call your tender group. Then you make your way to deck 3 & stand in line around & up & then down stairs to the gangway. It was crowded, and there's not enough seating in the public areas. They should let you stay in your cabin until your group is called. Once we were called, it didn't take too long to get on the tender and to shore. In Cayman, we took a shuttle ($4 per person each way) to Royal Palms beach club on 7 mile beach. Entry was $2 per person, which included use of the adult pool with swim up bar, restaurant, restrooms/showers and beach. We paid $7 per chair & $10 for an umbrella. The kids jet ski'd together (2 people on a double was $100 for 30 minutes), and they had a super fun time! There were vans outside when we were ready to head back to the port. Shopping in town is safe and a relaxing, nice time in Grand Cayman. And then you just walk back to the ship area, which is right there. In the past we've done Stingray City 2 different times in Grand Cayman, and it never disappoints - so amazing! The 1st time, we booked online with Moby Dick tours & had a wonderful time snorkeling at the reef & then swimming with/feeding the stingrays. The kids were approx. 7 and 10 at the time and loved it. The last time, we walked out to the pier area & booked with Captain Marvins. It was the best so far. They took us to 2 snorkel spots, the reef and coral garden & then we spent a good deal of time with the stingrays. They help you hold/kiss and feed them, then they take photos of everyone, which they then sell you on a personalized CD (no pressure). You get a bunch of photos of you & your family/friends with the stingrays, holding them, kissing them, with them on your back, etc. Great poses. And it also includes some other beautiful scenic photos of Cayman. I think it was $40 for the disc, but it was completely personalized & better than us trying to take pics with water cameras. The crowd was so much smaller and more relaxed than the ship excursions. Give them a try. They're great! Falmouth Jamaica was a real disappointment. It's a new port, and you don't have to tender, which is good. But there's nothing around, so it's extremely expensive to get off the ship & try to find something to do on your own. The ship's excursions are pricey, but unless you book something through them, you're going to be shocked when you get off at the pier & walk over to the cab stand & see the prices. For example, a cab for 4 to the beach 15 minutes away is $20 per person round-trip. Then the beach would cost another $10 per person for entry, not including chairs/umbrellas, etc. We said no way! Other places, such as hotels and shopping areas were even more expensive trips via cab. Do yourself a favor and just stay at the pier. The shopping area is huge, new, clean, safe, and very pretty. There's plenty to look at. Get yourself a beer, do some shopping and just spend the day at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville. It's large and there's a pool, several restaurants, bars, etc. That's what we did & it was lots of fun. Actually we left the port area for a short time, walked across the street and got a local beer for 1/2 the price of what they charge inside. But we didn't feel all that comfortable outside the port area, because salespeople were swarming us, "What you looking for? What you need. I get it for you. Come look at my shop. You need a cab?" and such. We didn't feel like we were in danger, we just don't like the high-pressure sales tactics. We got our beer and went back to the port shopping area immediately. So for Falmouth, either book a cruise excursion or just plan on hanging out at the pier all day. Or just stay on the ship and enjoy everything it has to offer with smaller crowds around. The sea days were relaxing. We just spent time around the Solarium adult pool for the most part. There are plenty of pools and jacuzzis on this ship. There's music and all kinds of activities going on around the pool. There are art auctions, sports activities, spa specials, etc. You won't be bored. The entertainment staff has all kinds of games and shows and activities going on all day & night for all ages. That's just not our thing. We like to relax and get some sun. The debarking process was a little more of a hassle on this ship than we're used to. We like self-debarkation, so we did not put our bags out the night before and ignored our colored/numbers tags the steward gave us. We went down to the guest services desk & claimed 1 of the self-debarkation tags, which had a letter and the expected time of exit on them. We chose C so we'd have time for a quick breakfast before exiting at 8:30am. After breakfast, we were told on our tickets to go down to deck 3, the metropolis theater. When we arrived, everyone was lined up & making their way in a long line upstairs, around and around deck 4 & then out the door and gangway to the terminal. The line moved fairly quickly, but once again I didn't understand why we had to report to a particular location. Why couldn't we just go get in line when it was our time? If we wanted to wait in our cabin until an announcement that could have been made over the television or speakers, why not? That's the way it's done on other cruise lines. The pier is much more organized than it was when Galveston first opened. We used EZ Cruise parking, and the shuttles run non-stop. We did not have a wait before or after the cruise. That was $60 for 7 days. Overall this was a wonderful cruise & we would totally do it again for the right price! We are not loyal to any 1 cruise line. We look for the best bargain leaving from a port we can get to. Galveston is an easy port for us, since we live north of Houston. There were people from all of the world though, and they were taking advantage of touristy things to do in Galveston and Houston before they left. If you've got time, check out Pleasure Pier in Galveston, have some delicious fish & shrimp at Shrimp & Stuff, or if you've got a car, make your way to the Kemah boardwalk, where there's an amusement park, shopping, lots of restaurants, etc.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was cruise #35, I usually try and avoid cruising the Caribbean during the hot summer months but a friend called and before I knew it I booked the newly renovated “Navigator of the Seas”, a voyager class ship with many of the ... Read More
This was cruise #35, I usually try and avoid cruising the Caribbean during the hot summer months but a friend called and before I knew it I booked the newly renovated “Navigator of the Seas”, a voyager class ship with many of the features of the Freedom class ships + much, much more - let the fun begin! Embarkation: Painless, simple and quick but some confusion regarding the bringing of alcohol (two bottles of wine) on board. Arrived around mid day and was on board in twenty minutes. Cabins: I personally think that the promenade inside cabins are the best cabins on these ships. I could not get a promenade deck cabin but was happy with my inside cabin on deck 6. There were a number of minor issues - i.e.; the safe did not work correctly, TV remote and the hairdryer were broken but these inconveniences were not show stoppers. I would gladly book an inside cabin but long for the promenade deck cabins. Dining/Food: I selected “My Time Dinning”. Overall food in the main dining room at dinner was nothing short of very good; sure some nights better than others but still very good. I made one special request and the staff came through with flying colors. The nightly hostesses were very accommodating and tried to seat you at your requested table. I am not a breakfast person and was always in the Diamond lounge so no comment on the buffet/Windjammer Café breakfast fare. For lunch I went to the main dining room and was pleased…loved the salad and service what I can say. My only disappointment was the Mexican specialty restaurant Sabo which was a new feature on this ship - definitely not worth the $25 cover charge + you get charged a hefty sum for drinks..If at least one of the drinks was free, I would reconsider. The food was good; some of it very good, but overall, nothing great enough to spend extra $ on. Public Rooms: Simply beautiful! The ship was nicely decorated and I loved the promenade. Deck 5 serves as the main hub of activity, as well as decks 4 and 3. One of the newest onboard attractions is a HUGE TV screen on deck #10 overlooking the pool. This screen displayed various scenes of aquatic life/comedy skits during the day, but evening showings included movies. I was hoping for a football game but no such luck. Entertainment: In the evening, you will find music playing at several locations throughout the ship. There is a piano bar, also variety music in different lounges, and karaoke at the Star Lounge was usually crowded each night I went but needs a better song selection. The Promenade occasionally had a band, and there was a guitar player at the bar. Did not go to the disco, but I will say the volume for music at any venue was GREAT – not so loud you needed ear plugs nor too low to feel ‘in the mood’ – perfect volume level! The parade on night one was off the charts and the 70’s celebration was just as good. I attended three shows and all were good; the Beach Boys reenactment was very nicely done. The Ice Show was most excellent! Ports of call: We stopped at three terrific ports: Roatan, Belize and Cozumel. I never take the ship excursions because I think they are too expensive. In Roatan I went deep sea fishing; Belize - just walked around (not much to see in town, so stay on the ship unless you have something specific to do); and in Cozumel I got a massage and had a drink/did wifi at my hangout bar. Activities: We can separate the on board activities into two types: usual ship activities (trivia, bingo, bean bag toss, not so newlywed games, etc.), and the sports type (rock climbing, flow rider, volleyball etc.) All were GREAT (are you not getting tired of hearing this). Disembarkation: You can take your own bags off although after you leave the ship and are going downstairs into the terminal, they might not let you take your bags on the escalator (some bags had already tumbled down causing some issues) and if the elevator stops working, you might experience some delay/frustration which happened to my wife. Otherwise, no real issues except with customs, but they were overworked. No hassle getting a cab as I pre-arranged. Overall: A wonderful cruise experience. I would not hesitate to recommend this ship to anybody - wonderful staff, great food, plenty to do - what more can you ask for?! PACK YOUR bags NOW.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Navigator of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.3
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.5 4.2

Find a Navigator of the Seas Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click