356 Galveston Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Embarkation was easy and fast. We don't arrive until after 12:30 for the port to be clear of dis-embarking passengers. Walked right in, boarded the ship and on to our stateroom which was available at 1 pm. Did requests dining table ... Read More
Embarkation was easy and fast. We don't arrive until after 12:30 for the port to be clear of dis-embarking passengers. Walked right in, boarded the ship and on to our stateroom which was available at 1 pm. Did requests dining table change as we had requested a large table, but were assigned a 4 top. Moved to a 6 top which was okay. Still prefer a larger table but we knew we would go to Chops and Giovanni's several times. Being a 7 day cruise, didn't matter. Love the new décor in the public areas and the JS we had was tastefully done with a coffee and tea pot in the cabin. Like having my coffee when I wake up! The JS was around the corner from the Concierge Lounge and elevators to go to the Diamond Lounge on 14. We went to Concierge more this time than any other cruise as it was not crowded and Ricardo and staff were outstanding, First port was Cozumel. Been there, done that! Walked off to the port area, stayed awhile then back on the ship to enjoy the pool area. Second port was Grand Cayman where we also have been. D+ could be escorted by Ricardo so we were the second group on the tender. Wish G.C. would rebuild the piers as guests get tired of waiting for tenders, but that is not RCI's fault. Went to Palm Beach with friends we met on board, Nice beach area, restaurant and pool, but crowded. When we return in January will go farther down 7 mile beach. Last port was Jamaica. We know many did not leave the ship, but we had a special tour guide - our cabin steward from the November 2013 Med and TA was on vacation. He and his wife picked us up for a tour of the northeast side of Jamaica. Stopped for local food and to meet his family. Wonderful day! Will see him and another friend in January (both on vacation at that time) for another excursion on the island. We ate in Chops once and Giovanni's twice. Both were excellent. Again visited with staff we had met last year. Never got to Sabor, but living in Texas don't need to go eat Mexican food on a ship. Really wanted to go to Izumi, but ran out of time so that is planned for the next cruise. MDR staff was excellent and I always find the food very good. Still love the lamb shank the best - excellent! No complaints at all. This was just a getaway week for us to only relax Living just 20 blocks from the cruise terminal allows us to take off when we want!   Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
We finally did our our first cruise to the Caribbean, Jamaica, Grand Caymans, and Cozumel. We left from San Antonio the 23rd to spend the night in or near Galveston. We thought we had a hotel in Houstonbut it didn't turn out so we ... Read More
We finally did our our first cruise to the Caribbean, Jamaica, Grand Caymans, and Cozumel. We left from San Antonio the 23rd to spend the night in or near Galveston. We thought we had a hotel in Houstonbut it didn't turn out so we continued into Galveston. After going over the bridge we found a Howard Johnson just off of 45. The Hotel was nice and we found out that we could park our vehicle there for the week for FREE. they gave us a placard to put on the dase and security watched our vehicle. There was transportation arranged for us by the company that charged for parking. It cost us 5 dollars per person round trip. This saved us a ton of money. I have to say that the boarding of the ship went smothly and without incident. We did run into some imagration problems cincerning the crew andthat delayed our sailing by about an hour. The first few days of sailing was rough. The weather was raining at first but we did sail during winter so that was to be expected however it was still enjoyable. Our first port was Jamaica, beautiful weather. Not knowing what to do and doing a lot of research I found a tour guide named Admiral SA. I found him on Cruise Critic and was highly recommended. We are not much water people and wanted a tour of the island. The Admiral did not disappoint. He took us all around the island and showed us plenty of sites and gave us a historical overview. We went to one of the best Jerk Chicken and Pork on the island and it was delicious. He did take us shopping however it was ok. Shopping at the port was better with the prices cheaper. I highly recommend the Admiral and he will customize an excursion for you. The one port that we were looking forward to was Grand Cayman but due to rough waters we had to bypass it. Needlessto say we were highly disappointed. However the crew was fantastic, and had everything ready for us. They did an amazing job. At Cozumel, we did the shopping thing. I did buy a watch at a great price. After that we had made reservations at Mr Sanchos. We had a blast, all the food and drinks for $45 a person. It was everything that everyone said. It was a beautiful day and the water was nice and clear. They had parrots and eguanas for the kids and lots of things to do. It was a relaxing day after spending all that time on the water. All in all the cruise was awesome and the crew made everything great. Out waiter for dining was Michael Jackson from Jamaica and his assistant was Kelly. They were both great. Our bar tender was Velacko (n8t sure if I spelt it right), and he was great. I would highly recommend the cruise. The shows were awesome and kept us well entertained. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
INTRO: Navigator of the Seas (NOTS) Thanksgiving Cruise to Falmouth, Grand Cayman (NOT!) and Cozumel. I want to share our reflections of our (DW and I 45, DS 16 and DD 14) first RCCL cruise in 8 years. We drifted away from RCCL due ... Read More
INTRO: Navigator of the Seas (NOTS) Thanksgiving Cruise to Falmouth, Grand Cayman (NOT!) and Cozumel. I want to share our reflections of our (DW and I 45, DS 16 and DD 14) first RCCL cruise in 8 years. We drifted away from RCCL due geography and timing and are very pleased to report that the line was as great as we remembered and has not cut very few corners during this time (at least compared to Carnival, NCL and Celebrity). Weather did not cooperate for us on this cruise: Departure day, our first sea day and Grand Cayman were windy, cold and wet (we could not call on Grand Cayman). Two of the other days were either just cold or just wet. We had perfect weather only for Jamicia. This cruise could have been a washout if not for the exceptional entertainment and restaurant staff. This was also RCCL’s first cruise out of Galveston in 6 months and NOTS turned over a third of the crew after an extended summer in Europe. There were more than a few kinks to be worked out during the first few days and the shore side staff was downright discombobulated at both embarkation and debarkation. We drove to Galveston and slept on the island the night before. DW and I enjoyed an underpublicized, adults only. resort 10 minutes from Falmouth and we did the Nachi Cocom thing with our teens in Cozumel. All of us enjoyed great bar service through some form of pre-paid package and our Dining Experience was our best in over 10 years. I’ll do a day by day, but I wanted to post a few more highs and lows for folks who just want the cliff notes: SUMMARY: LOWS: Terminal 2 in Galveston is no where near as nice as Terminal one which is occupied by Carnival. Dining Room, hallways to staterooms and cabins are definitely ready for refurb. Illusive Casino Staff. RCCL pier in Cozumel had trouble handling FOTS and NOTS together (can’t imagine if OOTS or AOTS was there) Poor AC throughout the ship. HIGHS: MDR experience on par with “the good old days” Falmouth better than MoBay Ship never felt crowded – kids were kept out of adult only hot-tubs. GREAT Thanksgiving Experience (including Football in Studio B and Tasty Turkey) HAPPY and enthusiastic crew Confirmed proof that real people (DS) win “Free Cruise Bingo” Day 0 (McAllen Tx to Galvestion) – My work had me out of town till late Friday night – DW picked me up at the airport at 12:30 AM and we did not get home till 1:30 AM. Was up by 8am to start packing and send the dogs to the Kennel. Incredibly, we were on the road by 10:30 and, near as I can tell, we did not forget anything (though we over packed as usual). We made it to the Galveston Hampton by 5pm. We have a pretty good overnight bag system and we were able to leave 8 of 10 bags in the car. I stay in a lot of Hamptons, and the one in Galveston is one of the nicest. Weather was terrible, so we ended up going to see the new Hunger Games movie at DD’s request and picked up a couple of things we wanted for the cruise at the Walmart just across the street. Day 1 (Embarkation) – Love using the Galveston web cams to see the ship come in – was expecting NOTS to be late with the weather, but she backed in right on schedule with the CCL Magic (our last cruise) close behind. Hampton and the other Hilton properties have a park and shuttle package for $45 – but as much as we pack, we prefer just dropping the bags at the pier (and its much faster at debark). We had a great experience with Galveston Park and Cruise last time on Magic but we thought the “Park and Cruise” right across from Terminal 2 would be a better bet for this trip. This turns out not to be the case as you can only cross Harborside drive at 25th street - so Galveston Park and Cruise is your best bet for either terminal. TIP: Avoid traffic on Harborside Drive around the Terminal – approach via Kepner/22nd street from Broadway and pull right in to the terminal. I have spent a lot of time on this thread: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1951525 discussing expected hiccups at embarkation due to crew turnover and the fact that this was RCI and Navigator’s first cruise of the season from Galveston. We were expecting a lot worse and the issues we encountered were largely comical - except for two things: 1) DW and I had a beverage package and it was not on our card - we had to visit 4 places once on board before the issue was finally resolved (and it would have taken longer if I did not have a printed confirmation in hand). 2) Pre-Ordered Bon-voyage flowers never came and have not been credited as of this writing. TIPs: If something goes wrong with your check-in, ASK for priority embarkation. The Embarkation line at the front of the ship was MUCH shorter than the one at the stern. Unlike Carnival, RCI will not let you sneak in to the cabin areas to drop your bags, so carry on only what you will be comfortable schlepping until 1pm. We always arrive early and tip our porter well - and we ALWAYS have our bags before the boat drill and this time was no exception. There was a parade immediately after the boat drill on the promenade - we headed there by way of the aft stairs in the MDR (to get to deck 5) and we scored a table at “Two Poets” which provided an unobstructed view and great service (all cruise). We had late seating dinner and great tablemates - our waiter was the best we have had in many, many years. The post dinner welcome aboard show was very promising. DW and I did the Casino for an hour or so before bed and came out ahead – I played on “their money” the rest of the week. (DW was not so lucky). DAYS 2&3 (at sea with not so great weather). These days kind of just blended together and we followed the same morning routine both days, on time room service, hot-tub in the solarium until lunch. Lunch in the MDR was great on day 2 and we did the Windjammer with the kids on day 3 as a lead in to the Ice show. Our ice show had wonderful guest performers from Russia where the woman magically changed costumes in front of us – no fewer than 10 times. Main review show on formal night was OK - the top lead singers were weak. Show on night 3 was the man of 10,000 voices which was more entertaining. Plenty of live entertainment. DW and I also did the Rasul mud bath (85 bucks for an hour per couple in the spa) – it was fun even though there were a lot of things wrong with the facility. DAY 4 (Falmouth). Our first time at this port – DW and I had planned this as “Our Day” and the kids stayed on the ship. We did an all inclusive at a place that used to be called Pebbles and it was fantastic – surpassing all expectations – way better than Couples or Sunset beach which we have done from Mo’Bay. This was our only excellent weather day. The RCI port facility is very well thought out and we were able to get a cab quickly on the way out and pick up our Christmas tree topper at a souvenir stand on the way back to the boat. There is no formal show in the Theater on Jamaica night- but there are two ice shows that night, a late night comedy and a rocking 70s party. DAY 5 Thanksgiving (Grand Cayman washed out). We had a family jetski excursion to Stingray City and Rum Point booked through Island marketing planned for this special day. Wife and kids were growing apprehensive about this as the weather was predicted to be cold and wet and we knew the waves would be rough. We were relieved to have a cancelation decision made for us when the ship turned around in the harbor and the Captain announced we would not be making the port of call. We were impressed that the crew put out a new Compass with new activities (this was their holiday too). I was particularly impressed that the dining room, which was supposed to be closed in port, was opened for Lunch. Imagine preparing Thanksgiving Dinner for 3500 when they decide to drop in early for lunch. Throwing a Cowboys football party in Studio B for a ship full of Texas was pure genius and was greatly appreciated by those who attended. Finally, with all due respect to my wife, mom, grandmothers, mother-in law, sister-in-law, and all others who have prepared Turkey for me over the past 45 years – I enjoyed the best Thanksgiving dinner of my life. Everything was great –especially the Turkey which was moist and delicious. The custom menu was a nice touch and a wonderful keepsake. This was our third Thanksgiving cruise and it was the first time we were not disappointed. The 2nd review show (which is normally on day 6) was better than the first. DAY 6 (Cozumel) – We did Nachi CoCom through Island marketing which was perfect for a family beach day with teens. While getting off the ship was easy enough, coming in a half hour behind FOTS, the pier and terminal were SWAMPED. When we saw the line for Taxis, we walked out of the terminal and walked a block towards town where we caught a Cab for 4 (which was $20 each way with tip). TIP: walk out the exit for rental cars, even if you don’t have one and walk towards the town there are plenty of cabs waiting to shortcut the line. We skipped the show but made it to the Battle of the Sexes and “The Quest after dinner. TIP- If your are planning to take your pants off during the Quest game show wear funny boxers. We also visited the Dungeon, which was a well managed club with a DJ who played music that sounded like… music. There were enough people in there so that it felt like a party without feeling like a crowd. DAY 7 (Sea) – This day started out cooler but sunnier so we resumed our morning hot tub routine. DS and I did the rock wall which was a nice mini-adventure while DW and DD shopped. TIP – there is no need to was a portion of your day looking through the walls of photos. On the last night, simple swipe your card at one of the Kiosks and the system will pick up every picture of everyone in your party and you can order and pick-up on debark morning! TIP - The four photo package is a great deal as it includes a nice folio, the DVD and some extra stock photos and is priced below the cost of four 8x10s. When we met up on the promenade, I was talked in to Bingo. I don’t like Bingo, is was $32 bucks for a pack of cards (and I had to buy three packs) the Bingo caller was very lame and it was clear that we were indoors for the best sea weather of the entire cruise. But the kids were having a good time with it, and that made DW and me happy. Then, on the last game of the cruise, DS made an “X” and yelled BINGO for a free 7 day cruise for 2. After receiving our certificate - we were so busy celebrating - all of a sudden it was time for the best show of the cruise (the acrobats/gymnasts/ballet dancers) and a great dinner (DS asked for the expensive steak in return for turning over the cruise certificate to DW and me). Then, we had to pack, which would have been a terrible drag if we did not know that we would be CRUISING AGAIN SOON! DAY 8 (Debark) – for the first time in 21 cruises, we slept in on debark day and showed up at the MDR just before they closed the doors. We enjoyed a nice leisurely breakfast as I was not at all anxious to be dropped of at Hobby for a flight to work on Monday, without DW and family as they proceeded back to McAllen. So we took our time and waited until there was no line at all to get off the ship. When we did wander off, there was a crazy shortage of porters, so we just went ahead and grabbed our own stuff. Only difficult part was where I parked. There are cops at 30th street to keep you from crossing the highway there – why they couldn’t act as crossing guards to save me a 10 block walk in traffic via 25th street is a mystery to me. But staying off Harborside drive, taking a back road to 22nd (like I did on day one) got me back to the curb easily enough. The drive to Hobby was not bad at all and DW and the kids made their way home safely and were home before I reached my hotel in PA. FINAL THOUGHTS: The RCCL experience is head and shoulders above the current Carnival product – we are so pleased to have the opportunity to cruise them again for free within the next 12 months. There is at least a 50% chance that we will use the certificate to cruise the Navigator again after her refurb (either at spring break or in June). We are also considering great options from NJ and Baltimore and are really excited at the prospect of our first Oasis class cruise!   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
This cruise was full of celebrations for our group of 15: two birthdays and Thanksgiving. This was my second time on the Navigator of the Seas, 3rd Voyager-Class, and 4th Royal Caribbean cruise. Coming in, we had high expectations. In most ... Read More
This cruise was full of celebrations for our group of 15: two birthdays and Thanksgiving. This was my second time on the Navigator of the Seas, 3rd Voyager-Class, and 4th Royal Caribbean cruise. Coming in, we had high expectations. In most cases, we had a great journey. But in some aspects, we were disappointed. To start with, the weather produced some rough seas midweek so we missed a port call in Grand Cayman. THE SHIP: Overall, it was in good shape but definitely had some things that will be addressed (I hope) in dry dock (scheduled for early 2014). The cabin faucets had trouble distinguishing from hot or cold water -- it was always just warm. A fellow traveler complained 3 times, but nothing was ever fixed. We had a closet door hinge break, but it was fixed quickly. Some of the carpet and theater seats look worn and ready for replacing. But overall, everything was functional and still kept in good shape. CABIN: We were in Aft 1392 - our favorite on this ship. The covered area of the balcony is big enough for two sitting chairs, a table, and two lounge chairs. It is quiet - not much traffic. There is a little more side-to-side vibration movement at full speed, but there is almost no up-down motion being in the very back. Our room steward was very efficient and kept us very happy. DINING: For the first time on a ship, we opted for a big table with 15 seats. The dining room appears to have two right in the center, near the stairs. It was exciting to be near the action and activities. But I think the size also caused major service issues On the first night, we all were seated close to the 5:30 time. But the actual service was very extended with long pauses between courses. Finally at about 7:45, our desserts started to arrive. We were the last table in the dining room, and we could see the people lining up at the door for the 8:00 seating. One of the head waiters finally came over and said we would have to leave even though our dessert/coffee had been on the table for just minutes. We explained the situation, and he indicated it would be addressed. For the rest of the nights, service was inconsistent and still took a long time. What bothered me is that we never saw an Asst. Head Waiter at our table or appear to help our Waiter out. The Asst. Waiter did a great job of keeping drinks and bread refilled, but she did not help with food distribution at all. For the first time on a RCCL ship, I never saw or met our Assistant Head Waiter! The Head Waiter stopped by a couple of times, and he said he did some things to have the problem addressed. But I don't think it helped much. Was our table too big for their system? Maybe...but our waiter may have just been over her head. The food itself was good. Some dishes were excellent (turkey and sole), but some items were tough and rubbery (steak and lobster). STAFF: Outside the dining staff, the staff was pleasant and friendly. Some did seem "tired", and many of them said this was their final cruise before vacation. It seems the transatlantic voyage and some missed port calls for time off was weighing on them. There just didn't seem to be that energy with the crew that I have seen on previous ships. ENTERTAINMENT: The stage shows were well acted, but they do need to be refreshed. We had taken a Spring Break 2012 cruise, and much of the content was the same. The guest ice show performers and the guest headliners were excellent. We really enjoyed the "Man of 1000 voices" and the Russian ice skaters. CHILDRENS AREA: The kids said Adventure Ocean was pretty crowded at time, but there were 900 kids/youth onboard this ship (out of 3,690 guests!) PORT OF GALVESTON: Having taken a previous Galveston cruise, I learned some tricks: 1) Entry Into Port: Avoid Harborside completely and go through the "Strand" area to enter the port directly around 22nd street. You bypass the massive line of cars coming down Harborside. There is still a 1-car-wide funnel just inside the port before the Terminal 1/Terminal 2 divide that needs to be fixed. 2) Check-In: The agents were pretty efficient for normal cruisers, but the handicap/wheelchair area was backed up. We arrived about 11:30, but the wheelchairs were still be used by disembarking passengers. 3) Disembarkation: This was much improved. We had two wheelchairs with us so we got a little priority but not much. We waited about 30 minutes onboard, then it took about 15 to get to our bags. Once we had our bags, we were outside in 10 minutes. They had 8+ customs lanes open. OVERALL: We love cruising from Galveston as we can drive so I hope that the drydock and crew change that should occur will revive the Navigator for its year+ stay in Texas. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Where to begin! First, we are experienced cruisers, and have sailed with several different cruise lines. Eleven months earlier we took the same Caribbean cruise, on Royal Caribbean, but that trip was on the Mariner of the Seas. The first ... Read More
Where to begin! First, we are experienced cruisers, and have sailed with several different cruise lines. Eleven months earlier we took the same Caribbean cruise, on Royal Caribbean, but that trip was on the Mariner of the Seas. The first thing we learned on this trip (on the Navigator) is that Royal Caribbean’s quality standards vary greatly from ship to ship. There was little comparison between the two cruises. Apparently Captain Flemming Neilsen of the Mariner ran a tight ship. Captain Claus Andersen of the Navigator does not. The Navigator of the Seas came up short in every category except food, where we have to give an edge to the Navigator. The crew of the Navigator seems to have a large concentration of Eastern Europeans. We found many to be disinterested and distracted at best, surly and distracted at worst. Our cabin attendant’s level of cleaning was far below standard. We had to go around behind him every day. The windows and railing were never washed. Stains on tables remained for days, until we cleaned them. In practically every respect we were extremely disappointed in the service level. As I said earlier, the food was better. The selection and quality in the Windjammer was a marked improvement over the Mariner. Otherwise, the Navigator fell on its face in every respect. We never saw the captain. On the Mariner he was visible every day, and often. It is true that you get what you measure, and if you are not watching your staff will spend their time watching the young girls and not working. That is what we observed. The entertainment was a mixed bag. The ice show, which was exceptional on the Mariner, was amateurish and monotonous on the Navigator. True enough, it was their first show but it lacked refinement. The guest group The Drifters was spectacular, but the Russian gymnasts (or whatever they were supposed to be) put on a brief display of physical prowess, done to painful choreography and sophomoric graphics. We also noticed that the demographic that Royal Caribbean is catering to on this cruise route has shifted. It now appears that the 50 plus gang has been tossed under the bus in favor of the 20-40 year old gang. Most “entertainment” and onboard antics catered to that segment. It seemed more like a Carnival cruise line trip, catering to the drinking and partying set. Johnny Rockets Diner, which we used to love, appeared to be a hangout for off duty Eastern European gangsters, with some sort of rap, Euro, techno and hip hop music replacing classic rock and roll. In spite of what we would call a disappointing experience my instincts tell me to lay most of it at the feet of Captain Claus Andersen, who obviously has little interest in managing the crew under his command. We are sticking with Royal Caribbean for now, betting that Captain Flemming Neilsen of the Mariner of the Seas is more representative of the line than Captain Andersen. Our next cruise is booked on the Rhapsody of the Seas, in May 2014. Will see how that goes. I am expecting to have a great experience!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We chose this cruise primarily based on the fact we would be traveling from Canada and were looking for a nonstop flight to the port. Galveston is only a relatively short drive from Houston Bush International airport so this worked. ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily based on the fact we would be traveling from Canada and were looking for a nonstop flight to the port. Galveston is only a relatively short drive from Houston Bush International airport so this worked. (Nonstop flight where less chance of weather delay in Dec. was a priority for us). Galveston itself is not a place to spend more than one night in though we had extended the trip for a longer holiday. Stay near the port to make sure restaurants are near by. The ship itself is very nice, and the service aboard the boat met our expectations of Royal Carribean who we had traveled with before. No issues with service at all. My only disappointments were the dining room meals seemed less gourmet than our previous cruise and more tailored to a north american palate. We were advised that a seafood soup was spicy - but it was not spicy at all. Main courses and even appetizers were stuff you might cook at home, when I travel I am looking for meal options I don't prepare myself. We were initially seated at a table for 4 by ourselves. We did ask to move to a bigger table so we might meet other diners and this was accommodated. I wish the organizers at Royal Carribean made a better effort to place families with other families at meal time. The entertainment was not much to speak of. Silly comics, jazz dancers pretending to do latin dancing etc. I expected better given that inclusive resorts I have stayed at have better entertainment. The teen club was overrun as it was Christmas so difficult to meet the same kids each time but this was minor. It's more of a place to hang out in and not much activities that are actually carried out. The schedule of events for the teens is just a way to get them together. The ports visited were Falmouth, Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Having been to there places before we chose excursions to suit our needs. The Bamboo Beach Club and Dunns River Falls was a hit and miss. The Falls is worth doing if you have never done it before but be sure to bring water shoes as you are in waist deep water at times. Also, it is very crowded. The Bamboo Beach Club was a real disappointment. Hardly a club and hardly a beach. In fact the beach was so narrow to get the sun you had to pull your beach chair into the water as the shade from the trees blocked the sun on the little beach area. And the so called local cultural entertainment was 3 guys in shorts dancing to music plus the recruitment of passengers to model beach clothes they were hoping to sell. And don't expect the tapas lunch to be a meal or be served hot. In fact it comes in dribbles (Jamaica time) and is mostly vegetables. Would not call this a beach club at all. While Grand Cayman has lots to offer it is pricey and Cozumel has plenty of options and will be a treat. The excursion we took in Grand Cayman included a trip to Sting Ray City where you stand in waist deep water while the sting rays swim around you. This can be fun and much of the time the tour operator is conducting a photo op for each person. (You can purchase the digital pics and he emails them to you-ours arrived before we got home). Unfortunately the Barrier Reef snorkling got cancelled due to wind conditions. If snorkling is a must for you I suggest booking it in Cozumel as we missed out because we had it scheduled in Grand Cayman and then it got cancelled. Cozumel Beach Club at Playa Mia was excellent. Really nice beach, alcoholic drinks included, and lunch was served buffet style in a huge open building. (Good for rain coverage when it suddenly showers). Tour operator was well organized and no delay in getting to the beach. I appreciated that this ship's crew did not push their photographers on you at every opportunity. They were there to capture moments but didn't intrude or be pushy. Sailing in Dec. you are not guaranteed sunshine and the first 2 days at sea offered only one day of rays so be prepared to rest and relax but not necessarily come back tanned at this time of year. A good option for a family Christmas getaway but not necessarily a great getaway to see the islands. It's a large ship with lots of activities if you like to take part. Royal Carribean does a nice job with the personal service and if the itinerary was right I would probably look at booking them again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We sailed from Galveston on Dec 8th. The Navigator pales in comparison to our past cruises from Galveston on Mariner, Voyager and Rhapsody. On all our previous Royal Caribbean cruises, everything from the crew to the food to the ... Read More
We sailed from Galveston on Dec 8th. The Navigator pales in comparison to our past cruises from Galveston on Mariner, Voyager and Rhapsody. On all our previous Royal Caribbean cruises, everything from the crew to the food to the entertainment was wonderful.. The ship itself is lovely and it was decorated for Christmas which was nice. There is a lot of art around the ship that is interesting and fun to look at. The public areas were clean and inviting. We enjoyed the steamroom and sauna and fitness center. We had a great time in Grand Cayman and Cozumel on DIY excursions. We walked around the port in Falmouth which is really just an extension of the ship with the same prices on everything. What we've seen of Jamaica during this and previous cruises is gorgeous so next time we will book an excursion to see more of it. On this cruise, we found the crew to be somewhat unfriendly and in some cases, rude. For instance man-handling (expensive) personal items when returning to the ship from port and saying things like "my time is valuable" when people on vacation weren't moving fast enough for them. While the service was good in the main diningroom, the food was good only the last night out of the seven; otherwise, it was not good at all and not even edible in some cases. People say food is subjective but one of our tablemates put her fork in her mashed potatoes, raised them as one solid inedible mass, waved it around and said "I just don't see how they could improve on these mashed potatoes".. we laughed until we cried because dressing up and sitting down at a beautifully set table, having someone place a napkin in your lap and then be served slop is just that absurd..and there was nothing subjective about it. Food at the Cafe Promenade was good for the most part. There was always a long line which we never experienced on other ships but I think people were hungry since the diningroom food was so bad. We ate at the Windjammer for lunch a time or two and the food was fine and about what you'd expect. Everything we ordered from room service was really good. We ordered breakfast a time or two and bistro burgers for lunch once and it was all as ordered and tasty. We did eat at Chops Grille one night and the food and service was top-notch. We had our reservations booked and paid for before we sailed and would highly recommend Chops. Our cabin was fine and our attendant did a good job. We had to call around to get ice a number of times but other than that, he did a good job and was friendly. While we are on the subject of ice, let me just interject that there seemed to be a shortage of ice on the ship. If you asked for ice for your tea at the Cafe Promenade, they told you to get it from the coffee bar. Seriously? The ice show is very entertaining even if you usually skip the theatre shows (like us). As far as other entertainment, it was pretty much non-existent after about 8 at night. The disco was closed which we didn't understand considering it just requires someone to spin records. At the same time last year, we were dancing the night away on a crowded dance floor in the disco every night on the Mariner. Only one hot tub was running in the main pool area and it was always packed. Even TV was sub-par. Lots of good things to watch if you understand Italian and German. Overall, this cruise was bad enough that my husband wants to cancel our two future cruises with Royal. I want to believe this cruise was just a fluke because it doesn't make sense to me how we could have such spectacular cruises from Galveston on the Voyager and Mariner for 3 years running and then experience this one that was such a dud. Someone in another review mentioned the ship is headed to dry dock and maybe that's why there are staffing, morale and management issues. I guess we'll all have our fingers crossed that dry dock fixes the issues with the Navigator. Who's going to spend a couple grand to find out? Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This was our third Caribbean cruise but our first on RCCL and our first time to Grand Cayman and Falmouth Jamaica. We were planning to do the 'Dickens on the Strand' thing in Galveston with some friends and ended up taking a last ... Read More
This was our third Caribbean cruise but our first on RCCL and our first time to Grand Cayman and Falmouth Jamaica. We were planning to do the 'Dickens on the Strand' thing in Galveston with some friends and ended up taking a last minute bargain basement cruise to get out of the cold weather for awhile. The price was so good we decided to upgrade to a balcony which was also a first as we normally spend little time in our room, preferring to explore every nook and cranny on the ship. The balcony acted as a kind of human magnet and we ended up spending far more time in the room than normal! In a way that was not good as toward the end of the cruise I mentioned that we had seen little of the ship on this trip. As far as the ship and accomodations are concerned, what is there to say? We typically look at the ship as a sort of floating hotel and transportation rather than a destination. We did our usual thing: eat too much, enjoy as much of the onboard entertainment as possible, and drink a little. I normally have fairly low expectations but when the bar girl at one of the lounges announced that they had no single malt scotch I was rather surprised. I was then dumbfounded when after I asked for a scotch with no ice or water and a side of water she brought me the usual watered down scotch/water/ice combo. After she realized her mistake she took it back, took out the ice, and brought the scotch and water back! Oh well. It was a fun evening anyway and made for a good story later. There were several highlights on the trip. Leading the pack was meeting a local from Falmouth with the same last name as mine. I knew it was a fairly common name on the island dating back to the old English plantation owners so I used FB to track down a Falmouth resident by that name and invited him to lunch. We had a grand time! Along with our walking tour of the old port town of Falmouth it gave us a unique peek into the local scene. Jamaica is an interesting place with lovely people and I put it on my list of places to go back to. Second hit of the trip was meeting up with a group of fellow geocachers on the CC Roll Call forum. We did a little geocaching along the way and swapped stories on board. Grand Cayman was new to us so we were delighted when a local shop owner came out and greeted us at one of our geocaching locations and regaled us with local stories. On the downside, embarkation was the pits with huge crowds, long lines, and a long long wait to get onboard. Getting off was easier but my wife lost her passport somewhere in the meelee and we ended up having to get another. While the shows at night were good, the entertainment in the lounges was not as good as we've had on other cruises and generally pretty poor. All in all the trip met or exceeded all my expectations. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
I just got back from the Dec. 15 crusie from Galveston to Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel. Last year I was on the Navigator to Grand Cayman, Jamaica, and Cozumel, and I loved it--the food was great, and the service was impeccable. To begin, ... Read More
I just got back from the Dec. 15 crusie from Galveston to Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel. Last year I was on the Navigator to Grand Cayman, Jamaica, and Cozumel, and I loved it--the food was great, and the service was impeccable. To begin, embarkation took almost TWO HOURS! I was exhausted, my feet were killing me, and I was starving (didn't get lunch until almost 3:00pm). This year, I got the sense that everyone was "waiting for dry dock," which happens next month. Basically, the ship is short-staffed, because a lot of employees left early for their vacation due to dry dock. I also found the restaurant staff to, in general, be sloppy and inattentive, and they were not particularly friendly. The food on this cruise was fair to poor. My general sense is that everyone is mentally checked out, due to upcoming dry dock. I did have another excellent stateroom attendant. I liked my room, but it really needs to be overhauled. Next month it goes into dry dock, where they will put in new carpeting, upholstery, cabinets, etc. The bed was unbelievably hard and uncomfortable--my stateroom attendant put 6 comfortor covers on top of the bed for me, and that helped, but I can't understand why they bought such hard beds. I did like the ability to leave your sliding-glass door open all night (on Holland American, they made it difficult to prop the balcony door open), and I slept with the door open every night. My stateroom attendant did an excellent job keeping the room spotless twice a day. I am sure that if you cruise after the ship is revamped, you will have a much better experience, and the ship will be beautiful.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
I have cruised with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Holland America and Princess in the past with 8 cruises in total. Royal Caribbean has been my preference overall from the food, service, ease of embarkation etc. This trip was extremely ... Read More
I have cruised with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Holland America and Princess in the past with 8 cruises in total. Royal Caribbean has been my preference overall from the food, service, ease of embarkation etc. This trip was extremely disappointing for many reasons but primarily in all past cruises (on any ships mentioned) entertainment was enjoyable, and something that we thoroughly enjoyed after a day either at the pool or on shore. Unfortunately this was not the case on this particular cruise. We were in awe initally as to why there was no entertainment beyond a very poor "comedy" act which to many was quite offensive (except for the last comedian that I had seen before and was very good). Unless you were into trivia, (we were going to attend at one point but could not get into the lounge as it was overcrowded), interested in heavy drinking you were out of luck. We could not enjoy the hot tub in the Solarium because 9 twenty somethings (and some were obviously NOT of age) spent most of the days while on board - all yelling, drinking, and getting more loud as they drank. Many of the older travellers could not get in the hot tub nor would they want to as these individuals really took over the area. We were not aware of the rationale for the lack of entertainment in the theater until the last night there when told there was an issue with maintenance of the stage and the fact that the ship was going in for re-fitting. The morning we left we went to enter the elevator only to find everything had been already removed and the floor, walls, ceiling were just bare plywood. The feelings many got was that RC couldn't wait to get rid of us so they could proceed with the renovations. It was an insult I am sure not only to us and the few others who mentioned it. We were certainly not along in feeling that the bare necessities were provided this cruise because of the upcoming refitting. The schedule of activities was poor and except for the ice show far below what I have come to expect from Royal Caribbean...very poor experience. Several of us have booked for the 45 day repositioning cruise in 2015 in Europe. This will be costly but having travelled RC before, it this cruise proves to be a bust, we will certainly be considering alternative cruise lines. VERY VERY disappointing and we travelled from Vancouver Canada...pretty much a waste of 7 days we won't get back. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This was my 5th Cruise, and 4th with Royal Previous Cruises: VoyagerOTS - Western Caribbean from Miami Constellation - Southern Caribbean from San Juan BrillianceOTS - Westbound TA from Barcelona SplendourOTS - South America Round the ... Read More
This was my 5th Cruise, and 4th with Royal Previous Cruises: VoyagerOTS - Western Caribbean from Miami Constellation - Southern Caribbean from San Juan BrillianceOTS - Westbound TA from Barcelona SplendourOTS - South America Round the Horn from Valparaiso I have recently moved for work to Houston, and since moving here I had been eyeballing a return to cruising after work had kept me from cruising for a number of years (since 2008). Being a loyal Royal Customer, and having Navigator based in Galveston looked great despite the fact that I had visited the islands on the itinerary before, yet the point of the vacation was more about cruising for me than destinations. In a spur of the moment, I booked this cruise the Friday before we were supposed to depart on Sunday the 22nd, so the haste in planning made the trip seem sort of unreal at times, plus added a certain amount of stress as I did not take any real time from work off, it was a slow week due to Xmas, but nonetheless, I had to be "connected" the whole week. BOARDING Having booked 2 days prior, of course we did not get booklets or luggage tags, and I could not complete online registration (which I had done in most of my previous cruises and found to be extremely easy). I also had never even been South of the "loop" here in Houston, so I had to do a little research on Galveston. In all previous cruises I had flown into the port of departure, so I had never experienced driving to the port, parking, etc. nonetheless,parking was easy enough, though I should have pre-booked a $45.00 lot I had seen on the internet which is just across the street from Terminal 2, instead I chose to wait till I got to the port to see where I wanted to park and ended up paying a little more to be on a lot a little bit further away. However, they do offer a shuttle, the staff was courteous, and my car was safe the whole week. After a short shuttle drive from the lot, we found ourselves in the long lines and sort of controlled confusion of Terminal 2. There was a huge line spiraling to the outside of the building, and there was very little staff going around pointing people in the right direction. Most everyone was a little more prepared than us and at least had their tags, in which case porters were getting the bags from the passengers quickly, leaving them to stand in the long line with their carry-on items. I went to look around for someone to get me tags, since I knew I had to make sure our bags made it on board. I had no printed cruise documents as all I had gotten was a confirmation, so I just had that information in my BlackBerry, thankfully getting tags was a breeze, the port staff have printed manifests with them, so they were able to check my booking and get me generic tags. With that done, i deposited our luggage with the porters and went to stand in line. Once we got closer to the main door of the boarding hall, staff was on hand directing Crown & Anchor Society upper-tier members to a quicker line. Thankfully I am Platinum, so we were able to skip the winding general check-in line. Once inside the building and in the C&A line, we went through security (where another manifest check had to happen since we had no docs.) and on to the check-in line. Again, after security, the general line twisted and turned inside the building, and despite the fact that there were easily around 40 check-in positions, the line seemed to be endless (more on this later). Thankfully for us, there was only one other party ahead of us for check-in, so within a couple minutes we were being checked in. As I had not filled out the Credit Card Charge information, we were sent to the Port Steward (or something like that), we had to battle the crowds checking in in order to get to the other side of the building, I guess in an effort to fit more people within the great hall, the port authorities have left very little room between the counters and the queue. Once with the Port Steward, I completed the necessary forms, signed over my AMEX, and were soon quickly given our SeaPass cards (felt completely unreal to me, that at last, I was once again holding onto one of these!). I was pleasantly surprised at the quickness of it all, and even asked again "are you sure we can now go onboard?", the answer was yes and soon we were getting off the gangway on the outer promenade of NavigatorOTS on Deck 4! Overall, I was very happy with the check-in procedure at Galveston. Parking had been easy to find (and there are what seems to be like a dozen lots flagging you down as you come down the highway), the Terminal was a bit chaotic, but thanks to my Platinum Status, we were able to move through it all quickly and were soon on board. Nevertheless, T2 at Galveston does seem very inadequate to handle a ship of Navigator's size (she may not be the biggest anymore, but she's still larger than most ships out there). We were over 30 minutes late upon departure due to guests who hadn't boarded yet and were still standing in line on the gangway (probably with some others still at the check-in counters). This really wasn't a huge inconvenience, but the fact that not everyone was probably even checked-in at least an hour before departure, seems to bring up the fact that the staff might just have a very tall order to fill. Also, the rest of us who were already on board, had to stand at our muster stations until everyone was on the ship. It seems the crew were not even allowing on-coming guests even the chance to leave their stuff and were directing them to their muster stations right as they set foot off the gangway. We saw many people joining our muster station a good 30 minutes after we had been there, with all of their carry on items with them. Thankfully, it seems along with Navigator's improvements during Drydock, there will also be some improvements to the Terminal as mentioned by Capitan Claus during his "Capitan's Corner" on the Last Day at sea (more on Claus later). FIRST IMPRESSIONS From the outside, Navigator is clearly different from his older sister, Voyager (primarily due to the fact of the newer generation, off-hull, glass balconies), but once I stepped off the gangway on the outer promenade off Deck 4 (one of my favorite spaces of the Ship), it was like a blast from the past, and this is were I felt right back on Voyager. Having experienced Voyager before, I was expecting no surprises from Navigator, and this ended up being true to the bone. I had previously been very open to trying out all different ships within the same class, but now that I have finally tried it, I have found that I'd rather prefer sailing on different classes all the time. Simply, the "wonder" of stepping into a new ship just wasn't there for me, it felt like deja-vu. Nevertheless, Navigator has kept up well with the times, and the ship still looked like the modern marvel that it is. I think the Voyager-class was such a game-changer, that these ships will continue to be the backbone of the RCI Fleet for years to come as they are still light years ahead of some of their competitors. Seems like RCI has the curb on grandiose innovation. During my first years cruising, I had the privilege of going on some of the industry's "leading ships". Sailed on Voyager when it was the "Oasis of it's day" in 2001, then the award-winning and standard-setting Millennium and Radiance class ships in 2002 and 2006 respectively. So in 2008 when we chose to sail on SplendourOTS (an older and smaller ship by far) I knew I wasn't in for any surprises, nonetheless, the Ship still offered me a chance to discover new spaces, and to see what "Classic Cruising" was all about. On Spendour it was in a way kind of great to have a limited number of spaces to "wander into" as each night was filled with a different kind of activity. Plus the use of the Centrum itself, proves to be a great experience. A feature that gets overlooked with the amount of inner, open space within the Voyager-class. On Navigator, there were no surprises, and no new spaces to find. It definitely felt like a "throw-back" cruise of sorts. With so many innovations that have taken place in the industry within so little time, even for me, the rules of cruising have definitely changed, and Navigator will be changing with them, but just not during this cruise. (More on Innovations later). In the end, by 2pm (after having left Houston at 12 noon), I was happy, and a bit surprised, to find me at the Pool Bar, on a cool 60 degree afternoon, on board NavigatorOTS with a "Bud Light" in hand, ready to head off into the Gulf of Mexico bound for Jamaica! But.... my holiday spirit had not caught up to my body... *** Note that due to Texas "Blue Laws", Alcohol consumption on board NavigatorOTS while in Galveston, restrict the number and types of liquor/beer that can be served until out at International Waters. I saw a lot of people complaining they couldn't get the liquor they wanted, or the type of "Cruise Drink" they desired due to these restrictions. It was not till around 7:00 pm (after our failed 4:30 departure that was close to 5:15ish) that full blown alcohol started to flow through the bars. RCI might want to prepare better for this and stock the bars better, as we saw people being turned away because they were out of different wines/liquors/beers during the restriction at different bars throughout the ship. CABIN I like getting the most bang out of my buck, so I'm always in the Interior Stateroom (have always felt there's so much to do on the ship, why waste your time on a Balcony!), so off we went to 8357 on Navigator. Cabin is normally appointed, I still love the "Round, Space-Tube" shower, and the beds were perfectly comfortable. The water pressure on the sink could have been better, but so long as the shower pressure stays nice and strong as it is, then I can live with that! I was traveling with a friend, and on my hasty booking I had chosen the "2 separate beds" option, but from experience, it seems that button doesn't really work even if you book weeks in advance! No matter though, I knew it was just a matter of finding our Stateroom Attendant and it would be solved before we came back from Dinner, so no biggie on RCI here. We left the stateroom and I hoped I'd see our stateroom attendant right away, it did not happen, but I left a little note on top of the unified bed asking it to be "divorced". After touring the ship, we went back to the room to get ready for dinner, sadly, our bed was still "happily married', no matter, I knew our SA would take the opportunity to "divorce" the bed during turn-down service. Sure enough, while enroute to the Swan Lake Restaurant on Deck 5, Nelson (our SA) found us and after a friendly greeting, he acknowledged my note and apologized noting that whilst he had seen 2 male names on the manifest, he had wanted to "wait and see". I guess good on RCI for keeping an eye out for the LGBT Market, those little details count, and I was not offended at all. As I had thought, he promised all will be fixed during turn-over service. Cabin was comfortable during the cruise, though the TV System is now showing it's age (and old-timey TV's too!), this will be corrected during drydock. Also, the cabin was a bit noisy, and the ship was quite shaky the whole trip (more on that later!). Nevertheless, it was a suitable accommodation, but for the first time, it left me wondering if the Balcony was really necessary. I think for my next cruise I will definitely try for a Balcony. Additionally, some of Navigator's inside staterooms will be getting a Quantum-Class innovation, LCD Balconies, so that might be workable! Also, as always RCI has a channel showing the ship's stats, position, etc., however, I seem to recall there was also a channel that showed the outside view from the front of the ship in real time, being in an Inside stateroom, I always loved this feature, thus, it was not available on Navigator! That feature was probably the one thing that kept me "connected" to the outside, so may be not having it was the reason why I will now book a Balcony. THE SHIP As I mentioned before, there was really "nothing" that I was waiting to see, I was conscious that this was Voyager's twin, and for the most part this was true, i was unfair earlier saying there really wasn't anything new. Navigator, being a few years younger than Voyager, does have a few updates, mainly Boleros on Deck 4, and Vintages, on the Royal Promenade. Both, really nice additions to the ship. Like I also mentioned, the ship is kept close to spotless! There are a few items here or there, but for a "fresh eye", I'm sure the ship continues to awe (as was the case with my Travel Companion who was on his 1st cruise). Overall, Navigator is a top of the line ship, with every amenity imaginable, and is a magnificent first-time cruise experience to get you hooked for a lifetime. Come the drydock, the Ship will have a whole new life ahead of it winning more and more cruisers for years to come, and I can personally say I might even try it again just to see the change. SHIP COMPLAINTS I really shouldn't complain about anything, this cruise really was perfection as prescribed by booking an RCI Cruise. Ship was beautiful, staff was wonderful, ports were ports, food was satisfying, and you felt you got your money's worth (even me, who not only booked a usually costlier "Holiday Sailing", but bought it 2 days before!), nonetheless, I feel I couldn't be doing the review any justice if I didn't have any opinions, so here goes... I may be wrong, but I feel there's some work that will need to be done on Navigator as far as propulsion/stabilization systems. Voyager was "unmovable" during my 1st cruise, Contellation was sturdy despite it's hasty itinerary, Brilliance faced the Atlantic with aplomb despite it's tranquil-water background, and Splendour showed it's smaller side, and the daunting journey made her vulnerable. However, Navigator in the Gulf of Mexico and even in the cozy Caribbean, felt at times like Splendour being tossed around in Cape Horn! The ship rocked pretty much from the 1st day at sea, until the day we were off the ship. The only calm part of the journey was the 1st evening leaving Galveston. On day 3 (2nd day at sea before Falmouth, JA) we had pretty nasty weather, and would be the only day I would really give Navigator a "pass" on her stability, the other days seemed pretty normal, and yet, Navigator swayed. Hopefully this will be corrected after drydock. Again, maintenance was adequate, but the ship definitely shows its age just a bit. For a more seasoned cruiser, let's just say you can tell "this is not Oasis or Allure, let alone Quantum". For a new cruiser, I think you'll be plenty satisfied, and the fact that Navigator will return to Galveston after its drydock, only goes to show that RCI has a firm bet on the South Central market, and wants to continue awing their audiences. It all started with Voyager in that "long horn" get up years ago, and has now grown to Navigator, and even Captain Claus mentioned the fact that RCI is studying bringing a Freedom-Class ship to Galveston! No matter what, I hope Navigator stays, as with its improvements, it will still be smaller than the pretty similar larger Freedom-Class, but will be closer to Oasis & Quantum in it's veins. FOOD Overall: Pretty Good! RCI continues to deliver a "consistent" product in my view, they are not as "Gourmet" as other lines, but are steadily increasing the venues on their ships that do offer that experience, nonetheless, the "regular food" meets expectations. Let's just say, it's like going out to dinner at a up-market, chain restaurant (i.e. Landry's, Morton's, McCormick & Schmick's) every night you're on vacation. Some day's it's exceptional, some days it's just OK. We ate in the Main Dining Room (Swan Lake, Deck 5) every night, and it really did not disappoint. Most nights were an overall win, and just a couple times they felt a little short. Nevertheless, it was a great experience as always, and the staff is always charming (more on Service later). My pet peeve, as it has been with Voyager-Class vessels, the Windjammer. Food is adequate, don't get me wrong, but the passenger flow, and the somewhat limited selection, continue to make this place a disappointment in my book, nonetheless, it was perfectly adequate for quasi-brunches all week (we're late risers, so we always got the tail-end of Breakfast Service). On Sea Days, it can get to be a mad-house, but thankfully, we were always able to find a table, only had to share once. All in all, what I can say to RCI is, try to look at people flow and selection with these new improvements, it really makes you feel "low budget" when in peek times. SERVICE Great, Exceptional, Warm, Kind, Friendly, etc., etc., etc., etc. There are not enough compliments for the crew, this diverse, multi-cultural gang of people continue to be the deciding factor on choosing a Cruise Vacation. Without them, any improvement or innovation on a ship would be worthless! It's true what other reviews said, these people were certainly ready for their drydock time, it seems to me like it's a vacation to them! But perhaps it was the "Holiday Atmosphere", or truly wonderful training and employee engagement results, but the crew was exceptional. Any one you would meet, from bar staff, to casino staff, to the shops, they were all ready to serve. We bought the Ultimate Drink Package, and made healthy use of pretty much all the bars on board, so I have nothing but wonderful things to say about the staff. All we had to do was roll-up, and they pretty much knew what we were drinking. From the Cosmopolitan Club (Deck 14, Viking Crown), to the Theatre Bar, they were friendly, talkative, interested, and super efficient. Also, they were always friendly enough to allow me to practice the two or three phrases I knew in French, Italian, or Portuguese. Our Dining Room Staff was also great, we were seated at an 8-person table, but only had a couple for seatmates the whole cruise. We had interesting conversations, and lovely meals. I seem to recall that RCI's Menu was mostly focused on the "Chef's Suggestions" which went along with their nightly theme (different inspirations, i.e.: basil, jasmine, spices, etc.), on this Cruise, however, it seemed that other entree's on the menu were the glowing choices as pointed out by our waiter every night. Most of the times, my choices matched those of our waiter, which I had chosen before he came over to explain. All in all, the food was pretty good, as I said, sometimes glorious, sometimes just good enough. But our staff really shined, primarily our waiter Kevin from Mauritius, our Asst. Waiter was Alex from Bosnia, but they both made our nights unforgettable, and cruise-worthy as always. There were a few "special" nights, with this being a Holiday Cruise and all with the typical Waiter-singing, and Napkin-waving antics of Classic Cruising. Nothing to say from Stateroom Attendant other than efficient, friendly, and perfectly sufficient. As far as Cruise Director's Staff, I'll go into detail a little further off, but they seemed adequate enough. ENTERTAINMENT I will admit that I am a little biased as it comes to this, BUT, it might be one of two things, either 1: Despite my bias, it might be true Entertainment was lacking on this Cruise, or 2: Entertainment was sufficient despite the fact that we were on a Holiday Cruise, before another Holiday Cruise, one week before a long-awaited drydock. In any case, this Cruise, I found that despite the fact that our Ultimate Drink Package drove us to seek a more "beverage-oriented" form of nightlife, I still felt as though not enough entertainment options were offered. I remember in past-cruises (before the age of Drink Packages) that I had longed to be at one venue or another "just to be able to enjoy a drink in that wonderful space", now I had the keys to the Kingdom (I could have whatever I wanted, wherever I wanted it) but no further places to try! It seems as though we tried every place on board Navigator, but it just seems as though there "wasn't enough" going on. I remember in my past Voyager Cruise, the main bar/lounge (Cleopatra's Needle in Voyager/Ixtapa on Navigator) was sorely underused. This Cruise the only highlights at Ixtapa were two, hour-long Karaoke nights (nothing compared to before when it was a late-night favorite), and only 1 specialty act (Frank Sinatra Tribute which was pretty good), there were no "Orchestra Nights" or other smaller acts there. Also, at the main Theater (The Metropolitan, Decks 3,4, and 5), there seemed to be a lack of "Acts". There were the standard, two-a-week, production shows, and then there was a very obscure (even for Cruise Standards) succession of a comic, a variety act, and a fiddle show. Needless to say, we only attended the production shows. Nonetheless, we noticed that there was positive feedback from fellow passengers stemming from the obscure performances at the Theater. The Latin Band (which played mostly at Bolero's, and at times the Promenade, which were acts meant for the Poolside but were limited to the Promenade due to weather) was fine, but by the middle of the cruise, I felt they were running out of material. No matter their short comings, they were our favorite, and were our main entertainment on most nights. There was a Caribbean-style, steel-drum band, but I felt they were sorely underused, and this was probably mainly due to the fact that the weather really did not cooperate the whole cruise, so I don't think they really got a chance to fully utilize their main space, which is the Pool Area. Also, there was a country/jazz quasi-band (I think they were mostly Country, but despite the Ship's Texas provenance, there was still a mix of country lovers, and the more "avant-garde" type, so they also confronted an identity crisis) Additionally, we had the benefit of having the traditional classic piano stylings of a talented player who would grace The Cosmopolitan (Deck 14, Viking Crown) in the afternoon, and then delight the Dining Room Audiences for both sittings. He was great and always seemed to have even more material to pull from, from classic Piano sonatas, to soaring Broadway Scores, to Pop Favorites and even Disney Classics. A true delight during each and every night at Dinner. Then there was the NavigatorOTS Orchestra, which as in cruises past, would sometimes play along with the performance at the Theater, but would also often play at the Main Lounge (Cleopatra(V)/Ixtapa(N), this second scenario wasn't the same on Navigator. There were no Orchestra/Big Band Concerts offered at Ixtapa throughout the cruise, we only saw the Band during the aforementioned Sinatra Tribute, and during the last production show. I don't know why this might be, perhaps due to Holiday Scheduling, or may be due to the upcoming drydock, but I felt that such a wonderful entertainment asset on Navigator wasn't used to offer something else to do. Most nights, the sole headliners after the Theatre were the Latin Band at Boleros, other than that, there might be an odd performance by a Guitarist at the limited-seating PUB, a sole-piano player at the also small Schooner, or the Country/Jazz Quasi Band at The Cosmopolitan, but they would only have an hour set, then off to bed at 11:00pm. The only place that went through past midnight was Bolero's, so it sort of became the hub of the ship (right along with the Casino, which unfortunately has no live entertainment, only pre-recorded, uptempo, modern music). The NIghtclub. "The Dungeon" seemed to be rather lively most of the evenings after 1:00 am (when Bolero's closes), but as always, there wasn't enough of a "crowd" to make it really feel like a Real Nightclub, nonetheless, Kudos to Navigator, THIS is probably the only space within the Ship I really got to enjoy for the 1st time, since at the time of my trip on Voyager, I wasn't 21 and couldn't go into "The Vault". The design of this space is impressive, spanning 2 decks, with an architecture that will take you back to a Gothic Cathedral. All i all, I blame these Entertainment shortcomings to the Holiday-Nature of our Cruise, and to the imminent drydock of the Ship, otherwise, despite the limited selection, we still had a fantastic time on board. Having limited spaces, really afforded the cruiser the chance to meet new friends that would come back every night. Last cruise it seemed more like there were "crowds", like "the Casino Crowd", "The Schooner Crowd", etc. This time, it seemed a little more unified due to the lack of variety. Also, the Cruise Director's Staff, and even the Cruise Director himself, seemed to be a little "afraid of the limelight". In past cruises I felt that the Cruise Director's Staff actually became part of the Social Life on the Ship, introducing acts and their intermissions at each public space, being seen dining in the main dining rooms, hosting the Nightclub, etc., this time, I felt they were missing. Also, I must point to the fact that we didn't attend many of the other "social" functions on the ship (Newlywed Game, Karaoke, Etc.), but there also seemed to be fewer of these, so this ads to my theory of the Cruise Director's Staff to be lacking. THE HIGHLIGHT The Ice Show! What a treat! Even for me, that had seen the Ice Show before, now I was WOWed (as RCI says), and this was truly a moment to behold. Audiences holding their breath mid-caribbean-sea, is still awesome! I know they do that now at the Aqua Theater, or will do so on "Northstar" or "Two70", but StudioB on a Voyager or Freedom Vessel, is still awe-inspiring. PORTS Arguably, some seasoned travelers might say that "Once you've been to a Caribbean Island, you've been to all of them!", nonetheless, I feel that every Island offers a different view into the sprawling and diverse culture that the Caribbean as a whole offers. Having said that, I can also say that having been to each of the 3 places we were vsiitng (Jamaica, Cayman, Cozumel), visiting again wasn't going to be the highlight of my cruise. Don't get me wrong, there's always new stuff to learn, and new things to explore, but since by the time we made it to Jamaica on Xmas Day (25th) my Holiday Spirit was barely starting to join me, I didn't much care about where we were stopping. It was more about going through the motions. Needless to say, there's tons to do at these 3 ports, and RCI has a wealth of suitable excursions. They might be slightly higher priced than independent tour companies, but in the end, I wish I would have booked a couple during this Cruise, we were left with seeing hardly anything at any port, in part due to my lethargy, and also due to intimidating business dealings from the locals, and higher prices for last-minute activities. Through it all, we made the most of it, and RCI did a good job building yet another Caribbean-Type Disneyland (as with other Cruise-owned islands, ports, etc.), and Falmouth does not disappoint as a super cute little port, separated from reality by the gates of their sparkling complex of shops and little eateries. Cayman is always striking, and we could have been savvier at getting an $8 dollar cab (as our table-mates did) to Seven Mile Beach, instead we were intimidated by a very aggressive local offering the same trip for $40 a pop! Instead we opted for a stroll of the quaint Georgetown, and a drink at generic-old Margaritaville (a version of which, by the way, also stands gracefully at Falmouth-Disney). Cozumel, which was to be the highlight for my friend, was unfortunately very rainy. Despite this, we made it to a Beach Club, managed a Swim, and a Local "SOL" Beer before the storm hit. Weather was so bad that we were also an hour late leaving Cozumel due to the fact that we had 300 people still coming from across the Channel in Play del Carmen (Their Ferry hadn't been able to sail due to the conditions). All in all, I can say that we did the most with what we had, and had a good time regardless. If you really want to see the ports, do the research and book in advance, you're guaranteed a great time as we heard from many of our more active shipmates. OTHER NOTES/NEW STUFF As mentioned above, since my last cruise in 2008, cruising has definitely changed, we are now used to more ambitious innovations, to ever expanding size, and to seemingly endless wonder. By the same token, the rules have also changed, there are new drink packages, prepaid gratuities, and the changes these represent to "Traditional Cruising". We pre-paid our gratuities for this Cruise, and it was a total time saver, no more "stuffing envelopes" and "getting cash" on the last day of the cruise. However, there does seem to be a "VOID" that is left there, when there is no actual acknowledgement that these Tips have been paid for. What I mean, is that in cruises-past, these "handing of the envelopes" sort of signified the end of that wonderful week or two that you were on that cruise, and you thanked the people who had so graciously tended to your every spoiled need. This time however, though far more convenient to not have to stuff the envelopes, and count the money; there were no envelopes, and on the last evening, I felt almost at a loss for words to sort of say "good bye" to these folks. Also, with these new Drink Packages, you don't have to spend an extra dime on drinking, the gratuity is included, but this, also, like before, leaves you without that moment of acknowledgement of gratitude. In cruises-past, after having sat a certain bar for a number of drinks, you "cashed out" and left a tip accordingly, thus when you returned the next night, or a few nights after, you were treated even better. Now, each drink you order gets charged and the waiter/bar person, gets the same tip. Thus when you come back night after night, it's all sort of the same, and then when you leave, it seems like there was no gratification given. So all in all, may be RCI could introduce "recognition envelopes"? In which you can hand your waiters, bar people, SA's, etc, a sort of "certificate" for what you have already prepaid? Perhaps I might sound narcissistic, but I just feel there should be that moment of guest/attendant sort of bond. ** Footnote: Drink Packages are pretty awesome, but don't get carried away when you see the prices. I had done a little research and had decided may be the "Premium Package" would be enough, but once on board, going from $55 to $65 for the Ultimate Package seemed like a no brainer, but that's 70 bucks at the end of the week! In all, we enjoyed having the UP, and would probably do it again, having unrestricted access to whatever the hell you want is great. Nonetheless, seeing the almost $1000 price on two packages at the end of the week, did hurt a bit. In retrospect, I will budget those $500plus dollars p/p for beverages into my entire cruise vacation budget, for a Wine and Liquor aficionado, it is well worth it. Also, connectivity (meaning Internet), has never been so important. In 2008 at the time of my last cruise, I was used to social networks, and instant messaging, but I was able to "disconnect" from work. This time around though, the significant "weight" of a smartphone or a tablet are ever present, and RCI has a long way to go in order to provide proper, and fairly priced connectivity. This stands to be at least somewhat corrected upon drydock as Navigator will get Wi-Fi Throughout (currently, most cabins do not have Wi-Fi), and they will reduce costs/offer discounts for Tier Members. This cruise however, I paid two blocks of data ($29.95 each 29 minute session), it was barely enough to cover some email answering (work only, which was a must) and a very brief glance at Facebook/Other Social Sites. Once on land, I took advantage of T-Mobile's new, inclusive, international Roaming. Apparently, we are entitled to free Data in participating countries (most of the America's, and larger part of Europe/Asia) albeit at low speeds, but it worked sufficiently well that I was able to stay on top of key emails, instant messaging, and a little Facebook. So I had no need to pay for further internet service on the ship. Calls were also of OK quality, hopefully they will upgrade their "Cellular at Sea" network as well for those that just simply cannot wait. DEBARKING Having seen the nightmare of coming on board (despite us not actually being in the Nightmare itself!), I was getting ready for the worst during debarking. Even the last night, I bid my less "cruise savvy" (as per my own ignorant assessment) stablemates a "speedy, and expeditious" debarking, fully believing myself that that was going to be quite an impossible feat to complete. Nevertheless, RCI Impressed me once again with a speedy, if not almost perfect, departure. The only thing lacking here, is a little bit more order when picking up bags, then proceeding to immigration/customs, and clearer signage. Otherwise, the process was pretty straight forward. Hear your color, get off the ship, pick up your bags (from a pile of luggage under your tag number inside the empty terminal), and do the "round about" (they seem to make you walk around the entire hall in order to guarantee there will be an orderly queue of people, though we only had a very few people ahead of us). All in all, we woke up at 7:30, unhurriedly showered and got ready, heard our color around 9ish (we were expecting 9:15 from the list provied). had a little queue getting off the ship and into the terminal, quickly found our bags, made the "round about", just a few more people to pass through customs, and off we were land side probably by 9:35ish. So about a 30 minute process to debark such a large ship, not bad at all. Off we went to the friendly shuttle, picked up the car rather quickly, and we were probably having IHOP down the highway in Texas City by 10:00 am! Needless to say, after dropping fried off (after IHOP) in the Galleria Area around 11:30, I was home in NW Houston before 12 noon! Impressive. LAST IMPRESSIONS Through it all, RCI keeps reminding me why I keep coming back. They have a solid product, and they deliver it well. I have grown though, and now in my 30's I do look forward to choosing ships/itineraries more carefully. As far as RCI goes, the Allure and Quantum are not far off in my radar for Next Cruises, they promise the innovation and amazement I seem to have come to expect from RCI Cruises. But for future me-cruises, I will definitely look at Celebrity's Solstice-Class, in fact, an 11-Night Eastern Mediterranean on Celebrity Reflection shines bright in my Cruise Compass (no pun intended on RCI's on board publication). As far as repeat-class cruising for me concerned, I think I will try to steer away from it, it was still a wonderful experience, but NOT the experience I have wanted to expect. I look forward to seeing RCI, Celebrity, (just cause I have a soft spot for them), and all other Cruise Lines continue to flourish and continue to offer new attractions and amazement for us captive Cruisers... There's no Vacation, like a Cruise Vacation.... PERIOD. Thanks for Reading!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
I booked this cruise in February of 2013 for December of 2013 purely because of the amazing deal. We paid $429/person for a promenade room (8383). When we arrived to embark, the process was the worst I've ever seen. Surely something ... Read More
I booked this cruise in February of 2013 for December of 2013 purely because of the amazing deal. We paid $429/person for a promenade room (8383). When we arrived to embark, the process was the worst I've ever seen. Surely something could be done to fix the situation. It made the start of our vacation very sour. We waited from 10am to 2pm before being let on, we were not informed as to why. Once onboard, our rooms were ready, but our bags weren't there. Cabin steward assured us that they would arrive in time. We waited until 7pm before our bags arrived, which made me nervous as we left promptly at 4pm and I thought our bags were goners! When booking this cruise, I knew ahead of time that the NOTS was being refurbished and our cruise was one of the last before all the changes would take place. However, the crew were very rude compared to our first cruise. Our waiter was awful and told stories of how poor he was so that we would tip him more. I didn't appreciate going to dinner and feeling bad every night. Also, the mini fridge was broken in our room. No big deal, except no one ever tried to fix it, despite calling everyday. They could have attempted to help. Luggage was ruined, but the guest relations desk was rude as well. No help there. For all of our troubles, we found help when we disembarked and called corporate guest relations. They were wonderful and fixed everything for us. I don't even want to talk about disembarkation...it was a total nightmare. I felt like a cow being herded into a hot corral. It was horrible. Took about 2 hours for express. Again, Galveston port needs employees to help make this transition easier. All in all, we had a great time though. We loved the lunch buffets by the pool, as we love laying out all day, but hate having to get dressed to go eat. hehe The drinks were also good. The bartender in the main theater was absolutely fabulous and always had fun with us. We bought most of our drinks there. The music was great by the pool. Wish the band in the Crown Lounge was different however. We had an awesome cover band on the EOTS and loved them. The Crown Lounge is always our favorite spot for the end of the night. We went to more trivia shows this time around and it was fun. We got to know the staff more and interacted with them a lot. I also participated in The Quest and the Battle of the Sexes gameshow, which was awesome. I loved this cruise, just wish a few things could have been done differently. Excited to go on it again in May 2014 to see all the new refurbishments! Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
First, a few tips, Be sure to bring 2 or 3 ball point pens, also extra batteries, AA are very expensive on ship. Also a small folding bag to use on shopping tours. Four bus load of cruisers, arrived at the ship terminal about 12:45, note ... Read More
First, a few tips, Be sure to bring 2 or 3 ball point pens, also extra batteries, AA are very expensive on ship. Also a small folding bag to use on shopping tours. Four bus load of cruisers, arrived at the ship terminal about 12:45, note RCL uses terminal 2. I was told to move to the front of the line, as I am 85, traveling alone, and use a walker. Just inside the terminal, which appeared more like a huge warehouse, was then told to use the wheelchair lane, and moved to the next agent. Showed my documents, then over to the security line, just like at the airports. Walked to the opposite end of the area, qued up, when an agent held up a number sign, proceeded to check in. Gave my documents to Rebecca, had a photo taken, then given my Sea Pass. No picture on it, but when the Sea Pass is scanned as you enter, or leave the ship, your picture is on the screen for security to view. Neat. Then walk back to the security area, exited to another room, presented my Sea Pass, and up to the next floor. The gangway i here and up to deck 4 to board. Now the Sea Pass is scanned and I entered the ship. Here is where the confusion starts. All want to go up to their rooms, (cruisers like to use nautical terms, ok, staterooms.) TIP, elevators are called lifts, so look for one that is going down, get in. When it is ready to go up, tap in your deck number. Remember, Starboard (right), port (left.) Door to my room, was quite heavy, the interior was adequate for me, two is ok, four is a crowd. The shower is about 40" diameter. A bar of soap in shower and next to wash basin. The used one will not be replaced. The TV set was about an 18", with good display, ships activities was being shown. On the bed was the ship's Cruise Compass. It will help you decide what events you wish to do/see the next day. Mark them down, It will help you. There is muster a 4 this is the life preserver drill. Although the TV indicated to bring preservers with you, don't. If you wish to have a seat, arrive at 3:45, the drill will be about 15 minutes. There is a circus parade at 5:15 at the Royal Promenade, deck 5. Dinner is served at 6 in the Windjammer Cafe, you won't be allowed to enter early. When you do enter, head to your right past the bar, the Jade portion is here, for the Asian styled food. Pass this to the main food area. TIP. No trays, also no spoons with the fork and knife. Pick up one at the soup, or desert area. Coffee, tea, water and a strawberry-kiwi drinks are free. The wait staff was extremely helpful. They wanted to carry my food for me. Take names, if you can, of all that help. TIP. Remember food is aft,entertainment is forward. Also public restrooms, men on port, ladies on, yep, right. TIP. The ships movement is shown on the TV, I think 14, take a picture of the screen, but turn off the flash first. You will find this interesting as you pass into the Gulf, and the Mexican ports. TIP. On deck 4, to reach forward, or aft, you must walk through the maze if slots, easier on deck 5. Also the life boats are on this deck, medical on deck 1. To reach deck 14, use port side lifts. The main show is in the Metropolis Theater, decks 3 and 4. Wheel chair passengers, should use deck 4, as the area just inside is reserved for this use. The Dungeon is the disco room, deck 4 is the bar area, while deck 3 is the dance floor. A fun place, was here past 11:00, for a few nights. Internet fee is .75 per minute, or 38 minutes for $24.95! A WOW card may be on your bed, last night, to express who did an outstanding job to assist you. The ice show was on the second day, and a must see. Be sure to obtain tickets early, and also arrive early for a good seat. the show was fabulous! It is on deck 3, best to either walk down, or use the forward lifts. I wanted to visit the bridge overlook on deck 11. Use the exit doors, near the spa,then walk forward. You can look down into the bridge, and perhaps an officer might be at the controls. Must have been on auto-pilot when I looked in. As I explored the ship, discovered there are about 150 deck chairs on the aft side of deck 12. seems the poolside chairs are in demand for the swimmers. Johnny Rocket's is also on this level, on the port side. As others have mentioned, the fee for ordering is $4.95, but all you can eat. Beverages are extra, and the shake was really, really delicious. The Navigator had docked, port side, in Roatan early in Wednesday morning. Roatan is an island 40 miles from the mainland of Honduras. RCL uses the docks at Coxen Hole. A tribe of Garifnas live in a village nearby, and several of them were on the dock welcoming our guests, as they got off the boat, OK, disembarked. TIP The ships stores will be closed when in a foreign port. As I did not book any tours, I took photographs from both deck 11, then deck 4. Now just past the port security, is a shopping area called Town City, past the entrance were the tour buses. If you don't plan a tour,just get off, walk through the Town City entrance for an excellent view of the Navigator. We left that evening at 5:00 pm. If you can, be on deck to photograph the sunset over the island. You will enjoy this opportunity. Thursday, found us off the coast of Belize. As the water is too shallow for the cruise ship to dock, they must remain off shore, about a 20 minute boat ride to the shore. The depth of the water is about 40', and the ship's draft is 29'. This permits an 11" variance in case of an ocean surge. TIP. Use the starboard lifts to go down to deck 2, as the port side is in use to board the tenders. Tenders are catamaran boats, that can carry up to 200 passengers . Take your Sea Pass, as it will permit you to return to the ship. A German cruis ship, Aida Bella was also visiting Belize this day. There is not really much to see at the dock area, a few bars, many shops, etc. To see the city, or other areas, you can take a tour, or use a taxi. When you return, look for a water fountain, just past security, good cold water! We left Belize at 6:00 pm, and headed for Galveston. I didn't mention the find dining, I did have dinner there the second and last nights. The last mostly for the Baked Alaska! Each of us on our tour were assigned a table to be used each time for dinner. Elegant, attractive and excellent tastes. These were the two formal nights, takes about an hour and a half, from start to finish. This provides ample time to socialize with your fellow cruisers. I had more fun this week, than I have had for the past three years! Last TIP, explore the ship, the cities, get lost (?), but have FUN!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Route: Seven day cruise: Galveston-Roatan-Belize-Cozumel-Galveston. 1. General Comments: A pleasant cruise with some hiccups noted below. We are regular cruisers; purpose of this cruise was to celebrate New Year’s. We booked a junior ... Read More
Route: Seven day cruise: Galveston-Roatan-Belize-Cozumel-Galveston. 1. General Comments: A pleasant cruise with some hiccups noted below. We are regular cruisers; purpose of this cruise was to celebrate New Year’s. We booked a junior suite on the ninth deck. Details below. We also used “My Time Dining,” and it worked fine. The entire top level of the three level dining room was for this type of dining. We had the same wait staff for the entire week. The cruise had three sea days that were very relaxing. Not only was this a New Year’s cruise, it was also the time of college bowl games and NFL playoffs. Most bar tv’s – and many passengers – were tuned to these games. 2. Embarking: We left our Galveston hotel at 11:30am. With dropping my wife and bags at the terminal, parking the car, taking a shuttle, getting through security, and checking in, we were in our cabin just before 1pm. Suitcases appeared around 3pm. At check in, all passengers received a flier that effective January 1, all cruise passengers arriving in Galveston would have to declare to Texas authorities at the terminal their liquor and cigarette purchases – whether on board or in a foreign country - and pay a Texas “import tax.” Examples are $3.75 for a liter of alcohol and $15 for a carton of cigarettes. As we made no such purchases, I have no experience to relate as to how this works, or how it applies to non-residents of Texas. As this was a holiday cruise there were plenty of families and children on board. A large number of travellers from Latin America were also on board as all announcements on the ship PA system were also made in Spanish. 3. The Navigator of the Seas: The junior suite is the way to go. Plenty of space, and plenty of storage space, including a walk-in closet. Suitcases fit well under the bed. A tub shower in the bathroom. The cabin has a small safe and a small refrigerator (never used it). There is a TV that receives movies, CNN (not very well), ESPN (very well), shipboard activities, and other channels. You get a daily planner in your cabin the night prior. You need to read it carefully as there are very few announcements on the PA system. While you get a daily planner, there is no newspaper. You have to get your news from the TV. It takes a while to get a handle on what is where on the ship. There is a large children/teens area and programs for them. 4. Meals: Food in the Windjammer buffet - which almost everyone uses for breakfast and lunch - is good. There are plenty of choices at both meals, and you can eat as much or as little as you want. It is a bit hurried, though, and not a place for a slow meal. The dining room’s food was very good, well-prepared, and well-served. We only used it for dinner, although it is available with open seating at breakfast and lunch. Food portions are of respectable size, and if you don’t try to eat all the courses everyday, you should not do bad weight-wise. If you want wine with your meal in the dining room, whether a glass or a bottle, you need to know what you want. Your Assistant Waiter is your wine steward. He will have no idea about recommending a wine, and you need to tell him the wine’s number on the list; he will not understand the wine’s name. Once you understand this “system,” it works well. We had made reservations on-line for the Chops specialty restaurant. Very good food and wine, and service. The meal was worth the extra charge. There are other food outlets around the ship as well as a goodly number of bars including a pub, and a wine shop. You cannot go hungry or thirsty. 5. Dressing for meals: For this seven day trip it was two formal, and all the rest casual. One formal was, of course, New Year’s Eve. Compared to other cruises, there was a definite decline in the number of men in tuxedos. The ladies, however, still dressed up. 6. Shore Excursions: A word of advice: make your shore excursion reservations on-line! Otherwise you will either have to use the not-so-user-friendly on board TV system to make your reservations or stand in line at the excursion counter. The on-line billing goes direct on your credit card and not on your shipboard account. If you know the ports of call and want to travel by yourself, then, of course, you don’t need the ship’s tour office. RCL’s tour prices are not cheap; you are paying for the convenience of having the ship organize the tour rather than you doing it after you get ashore. Also, if you obtain your tour through RCL, you have support when there is a problem, eg, the ship will wait for you if the tour is delayed. Of the three stops, both Roatan and Belize were new for us. Roatan is “just another Caribbean island.” We enjoyed the tour of the island but, been there, done that. We took the Wallace River cruise and Altun Ha ruins tour in Belize. Fascinating and interesting. However, we ran into a new issue. I booked the tour on-line, and the RCL website has all the details of all the shore excursions. The website gave no details of how the river cruise portion was conducted. The tour information provided on board had the statement, “Boat ride during the tour is uncovered.” For those of us who have problems with sitting in broiling sunshine for 2 ½ hours, this would have been useful to know whether or not to book the tour. It raises the question of how cruise passengers are to be informed about changes/updates to shore excursions. We have been to Cozumel often and just wandered around the shops in the pier area. The third pier is now operational, and we were six cruise ships – about 19,000 passengers – in town that day. We were docked next to the Allure. That was a sight to see. 7. Shipboard entertainment: The ship has a daily schedule full of activities for all tastes including the rock climbing wall and the ice skating rink. On this cruise there were no production numbers in the theater. Reason: computers that controlled the sets broke down and could not be fixed. Thus, the guest entertainers and small musical numbers that did not involve the moving of sets were the evening entertainment. The casino was of good size and the payoffs did not seem to be much worse than Las Vegas. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to have your picture taken by the ship’s photographers--pricey, but a good souvenir. There are various venues for night owls. 8. Tipping: Not a problem if you sign up for the recommended amounts (for cabin steward, waiter, asst waiter, and head waiter). The amounts are charged to your shipboard account, and the tips are taken care of electronically with the staff. If you use My Time Dining, you will be billed the full tip amount when you book your cruise. If you use regular seating dining, you will be asked at some point by the Front Desk how you want to handle tips. You only need to tip separately (cash) the person who brings your room service breakfast. Your bar bill automatically adds 15 percent. 9. Settling of Accounts: During your cruise, anything you purchase on board is punched into a computer; you sign one copy of the ticket and you receive a copy. You can track your account on the ship’s TV channel. On Sunday morning you receive a paper final statement of your account. 10. Disembarking: On Saturday you will receive luggage tags with numbers. You also receive a sheet of paper telling when that number will be called for disembarking and where you have to be waiting in order to hear the announcement when your number can leave the ship. Your bags have to be out by 11PM, breakfast is early, and you have to be out of your cabin and in your designated waiting area. Again, you will only hear the announcements in the waiting areas. On this cruise, the whole process was a mess. Ship management decided to push all 3,000+ passengers off the ship in two hours, from 8 to 10 am. This was accomplished, and there were probably 2,000 passengers in the terminal looking for bags and waiting in line to clear customs and immigration. In our case, we got off the ship right on time at 9:05 and cleared immigration at 11:10. The RCL ground personnel and the immigration officers worked hard to make the best of this situation. It was no surprise that the mood of passengers in the terminal was not good. The assumption of all – right or wrong – was that the ship management wanted all passengers off the ship as fast as possible so that revitalization work could begin (see below). 11. Revitalization: The captain had a session in the theater where he briefly discussed this program for the Navigator. It starts at the end of this cruise and will be done in the Bahamas. It will cost $80 million and last 26 days with workers working 24/7. Changes will include: New LED flat screens in all cabins, and wifi throughout the ship New satellite system. Screens in all elevator lobbies showing how to get around and providing information on how full the restaurants are. Revamp the pool area, including a large screen. Sports area will have a “better” golf course and a Flo-ride. 98 staterooms will be built in the area where the spa is now. Virtual balconies with audio on screens in inside cabins. New specialty restaurants. 12. Conclusion: While not an outstanding cruise, it was OK. We are booked on the Navigator for this coming Christmas. We are looking forward to seeing what the “revitalized” ship is all about. If anyone has questions, send me an e-mail at LTC519@satx.rr.com. Fred Groth San Antonio, TX   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
The add on costs of this cruise and the long lines to get on and off the ship are never mentioned in any reviews I have read. We had to stay in a Hotel over night, and pay for a shuttle to and from Dallas, the hotel was 143.00 and the ... Read More
The add on costs of this cruise and the long lines to get on and off the ship are never mentioned in any reviews I have read. We had to stay in a Hotel over night, and pay for a shuttle to and from Dallas, the hotel was 143.00 and the shuttle 361.00 round trip for 6. The ship got into port late because of fog, all passengers for this ship were in the ship terminal at the same time, all 3,000 +. We were standing in line to get our ship boarding pass from 4:00 in the afternoon until 7:00pm we got on at 7:00 PM. No water to drink no food, just mass confusion. Our bags made it to our room at 12:00 PM. We sat in port until Monday morning 8:00am the ship left the dock at 8:30. Now we left the port late so we had to make up time at sea, the sun was out but the wind on the deck with the pool 11th floor was so strong you could only stay out there for 30 min. or so. Our room was on the 7th floor aft , the whole hall way smelt of mildew and mold, other times it smelt of raw sewage. Not sure why, our cabin steward could not give us a cause for this smell. Our room was very nice, nice bed, very clean lots of storage space. This is our 5th cruise and we found the service from the help in the Windjammer was lacking. It seemed they were sort staffed. Staff was slow to clean up plates and bring you a hot or cold drink to your table, most of the time we got our own. The food in the Windjammer was just run of the mill, nothing special, lots of it but nothing to write home about. We saw the captain and his crew eat there once in 7 days. They made sure we saw them with lots of walking around looking at all the food stations. We went on a tour in Roatan and Belize, we rode in vans that were very small and if you had any trouble with your back, neck or knees this was not for you. The pot holes in the roads in Belize could jar the fillings from your teeth. These two places were very poor and had lots of trash blowing around and all over the roads if you could call them that. The entertainment was very good and all of us enjoyed the skating and the shows in the Metropolis. The new flat big screen featured a movie every night on deck 11 but had no pop corn to go with it. Disembarkation was fantastic on this ship, very orderly, we were off the ship in record time, we had breakfast at 6:00am and were in our holding area with our bags at 7:15 and started getting off at 7:30 we were off the ship and waiting for our shuttle at 8:15. I am not sure we would sail with this cruise line again, no matter what the price. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Royal Caribbean did a nice job of refurbishing the Navigator of the Seas with new restaurants, new carpeting and drapes in the cabins, and some improvements to the sports venues. What they have done which is not going to be good for future ... Read More
Royal Caribbean did a nice job of refurbishing the Navigator of the Seas with new restaurants, new carpeting and drapes in the cabins, and some improvements to the sports venues. What they have done which is not going to be good for future cruisers is to continue to add new cabins without increasing the space in the dining rooms, the theaters and the other common areas. In fact, there is less and less space in common areas so with the anticipated 400+ additional passengers in the future it is going to be very crowded on this ship. One of the reasons we have sailed Royal Caribbean for more than 14 cruises is the open spaces and the lack of congestion onboard and that is about to change. The new food menus are really good changes and, as always, the food is always good in all the venues. One negative we noticed was the lack of flowers on any of the tables, including the Captain's table in the main dining room. We don't know if the change is to save money or just a glitch in contracts but the lack of flowers was noticed by many frequent cruisers and is one of many "little things" that Royal Caribbean has been deleting from our cruises over the past two years. Things like taking away our slippers, then the nighttime chocolates and on this last cruise they even took away the coffee table in our Jr. Suite. So, when breakfast arrived each morning, we were force to eat from trays sitting on the bed. This is not what we were expecting on this cruise. The Captain, senior staff and crew members were very friendly, helpful and professional. Everyone we met tried very hard to satisfy everyone's needs and wishes. There were a few glitches along the way such as the new system of purchasing photos but, again, everyone tried their best to handle difficult situations. And, the disembarkation was a little disjointed but it was partially caused by a fog delay in docking on return. But, overall, the crew handled problems very well and we were very pleased with all of them. And, finally, the Port of Galveston is one of the worst layouts of any port we have sailed from in the U.S., other than New Orleans which holds the record as the worst for both parking and traffic flow. Add to that the high probability of fog in the Houston ship channel and you have the makings for frequent delays in both the arrival and departure sailing schedule. There is not much Royal Caribbean can do about the port or the weather but I wanted to voice my opinion of a cruise port that was developed on too little land and with too little regard for the poor travelers who need to get in and out of the port.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
This is my 12 cruise. We started in 1969 on an Eastern Steamship (Star of the seas) and have cruised on 5 different cruise lines.. I rate this cruise a 3 out of 5. On embarkation we were delayed until 7:30 pm to board ship. This was not ... Read More
This is my 12 cruise. We started in 1969 on an Eastern Steamship (Star of the seas) and have cruised on 5 different cruise lines.. I rate this cruise a 3 out of 5. On embarkation we were delayed until 7:30 pm to board ship. This was not RCCL's fault because the port was closed due to fog (Galveston). But we still had to buy a 7 day drink package even though most of the bars were closed and we were limited to only certain brands of liquor that could be bought while in port. I drink Jack Daniels and that was not one of the brands. The Ship did not depart till 8AM the next day. Also very little food could be found because most of the restaurants were closed.. The cabin and staff were very nice. But I found that some of the bartenders were not that good. (they could not make a Rob Roy or didn't know how. ) Our cabin, and not only ours but many others had only hot water for 1-1/2 days so we could not shower. My son's cabin had only cold water for those days. Also the Toilets would only work sometimes because of a vacum line problem. The food in the dinning room was OK even though I ate the same thing almost every night. I did not like the choices. The waiters were great. I prefer anytime dinning on NCL instead of mytime dinning on RCCL.. The windjammer buffets were OK. I rate the food 7 out of 10. The refurbished ship was nice. I saw a few things that could have been done that weren't like a piece of countertop at the poolside bar was missing. We were 400 in our group and had a good time. ESPECIALLY our Mardi Gras party with the Nic-L beer band on last day at sea. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
This was our 5th cruise with Royal Caribbean. We've sailed aboard the Mariner, The Voyager and now the Navigator. Each of these cruises were the last week of February out of Galveston. We were extremely disappointed with the changes ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise with Royal Caribbean. We've sailed aboard the Mariner, The Voyager and now the Navigator. Each of these cruises were the last week of February out of Galveston. We were extremely disappointed with the changes aboard the Navigator. We've dealt with fog issues in the past but this year was the poorest, almost dangerous, debacle I've ever seen at embarkation. They can blame it on whomever they want, bottom line is Carnival was at the other terminal doing considerably better than we were. I don't mind waiting in line. I do mind waiting in a mob with 1,000 folks all trying to squeeze through a single door. I appreciate Anchor tiers. Loyalty should have privilege. However, quietly yelling "Platinum and above" from the door and not having some avenue for those folks to actually get to the door without plowing through the throng was just plain stupid. Ok...you get the idea about embarkation. We gave our WOW cards to the bartenders at the Bolero bar on deck 4. We gave an extra large tip to our waiter, Rey, on deck three in the dinning room. These three were enthusiastic, friendly, and represented Royal Caribbean well. They were fun to be around. And that's where my compliment ends. In seven days I was asked only once if I'd like a drink while being around the pool. In years past, if I stopped in one place for more than a few minutes someone would ask if we needed something. At the Solarium party I stood next to not one, but two, waiters neither of which budged for twenty minutes. Crazy. It appeared to me that there was some kind of intentional slow down on the part of the wait staff. All other staff we dealt with we're....present? It's disappointing that the production shows were drastically "less" than in the past. It seemed to be function of the producers, not the talent. Same with the ice skaters. A couple years ago we were stunned with the awesome production, this year the skaters were great but the rest was...OK. It's ashamed that RC continues to use the same comedians and magicians, They were good, but they are also using the darn near exact same routines we've seen in the past. RC, as it brags about the number of returning cruisers, should realize that us returning cruisers actual remember the shows we've seen, The Texas Tenors were AMAZING! So was the afternoon show that Chad the magician did on Saturday. Food...it was fine. We did go to Izumi on Saturday night and really liked it. That was the first meal we were actually impressed with. Room...we booked late. The only two balcony rooms that were available were both handicapped access rooms. We aren't handicapped but RC went ahead and booked us into the room. Wow! Huge! Obviously not a normal balcony room which we always book, but the extra space was cool. Room attendant, again, was just OK. I guess that's it. It kinda breaks my heart to have to Rory so negatively. Perhaps RC will consider returning to the same superior level of service we've learned to expect from them. Until then, we're going to try another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
We found the Navigator of the Seas to be a fun experience overall. With few exceptions, the crew and staff was very helpful and friendly. The best of any cruise ship we have been on. We also found the service desk staff to be very ... Read More
We found the Navigator of the Seas to be a fun experience overall. With few exceptions, the crew and staff was very helpful and friendly. The best of any cruise ship we have been on. We also found the service desk staff to be very friendly and helpful which was a novelty compared to other cruise lines. One negative was the phone service for maintenance and the operator. Poor and nonexistent at times. (no one answered the phone). We found the design in the ship to be somewhat different then others we have been on and we really like some features like the Royal Promenade which has a refreshing layout. This was the first cruise since refurb so there was some new features like digital signage added to help navigate the ship. There was also problems. Our Toilet did not work one evening and intermittently during the cruise. A Stinky cabin is no fun! Cabin was large and clean although the cabin steward service could be improved. We would like to see more variety of food on Windjammer deck. (Lido on some ships). Examples: Carnival has a deli, a pizzeria, a hamburger/hot dog station and a Asian cuisine station. Windjammer food was good but limited. The drinks like lemonade was bland. Soup was to salty for our taste. I would prefer less $pecialty restaurants and more variety in the existing food places. I don't like having to pay extra to get what I expect from a cruise. If this trend continues then I'll stop cruising. There were restrooms that were out of order and some were not very well maintained. The Promenade cafe service was almost nonexistent at times. One person serving the guest while others staff stood around talking. The biggest issue was Debarkation. Debarkation was horrible! No organization! Cannot understand why Cruiselines put so little resources into debarkation. After all, this is the last thing a guest remembers and certainly left a bad memory in my mind. We are valued guest up until it is time to leave and then we are cattle. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
I traveled with a group of 13 (aged 26-30) and this was our third time with RC. The previous two cruises were perfect, this one not so much. The ship is highly understaffed. Last year drink waiters were walking around the pool decks asking ... Read More
I traveled with a group of 13 (aged 26-30) and this was our third time with RC. The previous two cruises were perfect, this one not so much. The ship is highly understaffed. Last year drink waiters were walking around the pool decks asking for drink orders, this year they were non existent. I also got an unfriendly stateroom attendant. He was there just to clean up and that's it, no effort for conversation like on my other cruises. The main dining room had some issues as well. Our waiter was Christi Zimick and asst. waiter was Jose Colaco. Christi was just there to take our order and bring the food. She made no effort to talk to any of the 13 of is at the table. We also had to pretty much drink water throughout the dinner because Jose would not bring soft drinks or tea we requested in a timely manner. Numerous times when I asked him for tea, he would point and tell Me "it's over there", as if I needed to get up and get it myself. Also, if you are looking for a nightlife atmosphere on the Navigator, look elsewhere. The Dungeon was replaced with staterooms and the cosmopolitan club hardly compares. We were amazed that out of the 3,000 plus passengers, our group of 13 plus a few others were the only ones who kept the night going. It is very apparent that RC is becoming a cruise line for strictly older people. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
This was our second cruise but our first on RCCL. I was really impressed with the way RCCL made sure my daughter's needs were met. We had a lovely accessible balcony state room, the largest I have seen, with the deaf kit installed ... Read More
This was our second cruise but our first on RCCL. I was really impressed with the way RCCL made sure my daughter's needs were met. We had a lovely accessible balcony state room, the largest I have seen, with the deaf kit installed after we arrived. I was late in requesting sign language interpreters and was ok that I would be my daughter's interpreters however I was surprised by a knock at the door by 2 very professional gentlemen that were her interpreters for the week. They reviewed the schedule with her every evening and promptly attended all shows and activities the following day. My daughter had the best time ever and I was able to relax and enjoy myself! Food quality was great and service was even better. My daughter has trouble chewing and therefore eats mostly soft foods. Dining staff made sure she had something she enjoyed and plenty of it! I am grateful for the way staff treated her. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Navigator, #9624  We had a very smooth embarkation, and were in our rooms by 1 PM. Love the Royal King beds! We’d pre-booked dinner at Chops, and booked Sabors and Giovanni’s on day one. The Giovanni’s sales man said that eating ... Read More
Navigator, #9624  We had a very smooth embarkation, and were in our rooms by 1 PM. Love the Royal King beds! We’d pre-booked dinner at Chops, and booked Sabors and Giovanni’s on day one. The Giovanni’s sales man said that eating in three specialty restaurants would give us a 20% discount, and it didn’t matter if one of them was prepaid. After several attempts to get Guest Relations to handle our rebate, the Diamond Concierge handled it. She said we had to book all three restaurants onboard on Day 1 or 2. We got a rebate for Sabors and Giovannis, but not Chops. We’d prepaid before the price jump, and they assumed we’d already gotten the discount. 20% of $35 is $7.50, not $5.00 which was the difference we paid. No flowers in MDR, fruit and vegetable carvings long gone too. Room service didn’t take write-ins. Sabor’s and Giovanni’s were great, but Chops was awful. We’d pre-booked for Ken’s birthday, and while Sabor’s called us up to ask us to celebrate his birthday with them, Chops never mentioned it! I’d ordered my steak medium, and got a very rare steak. Neither the waiter nor the head waiter dropped by to ask how the food was. The waiter charged us for the second cappucino’s in spite of the fact we each had a Diamond discount. (Husband handed over his diamond concierge card instead of his cruise card by mistake, and the waiter just rang up the bill, and didn’t ask for the Seapass Card). We later got Guest Relations to remove the charge. Chops raised their cover charge from $30 to $35, and lowered the quality of the menu. The 8 ounce Filet and a dry aged hamburger were the only not for additional charge beef entrees that remained on the menu. And I can’t see paying $35 for a hamburger! The Dry Aged New York strip and Porterhouse available for $17-$18 extra charge. More disturbing, I saw a tray of Filets sitting on the shelf in the kitchen. Some were sitting there at least one and a half hours without refrigeration! And all looked pre-cooked. They’d also removed the baked potato, onion rings as well as the Creme Brulee from their new and not so improved menu! A steak without baked potato doesn’t do it for me! The Main Dining room had better service than Chops, and it was included in our cruise fare. If this had been our first experience w/ Chops, we wouldn’t be back. AND, we’ll be checking the menu before booking w/ Chops. After going home, we contacted Royal Post-Cruise about our Chops experience, and they apologized and sent us some OBC for our next B2B pair of cruises. Our cabin steward was great, getting us almost everything we asked for. Lots of computer glitches! The first night we tried to use our BOGO Wine, beer, or soda the waiter couldn’t bring the discount up on his computer. So, guest relations helped us by printing out our discounts. It took three tries by maintenance to get our television to work, and also load up our account review. We had 377 Diamonds and up on this cruise, so most of the nightly happy hour was held in the lounge itself. The stateroom was a nice JS, but less than a month out of dry dock, the new rug was already shedding! We really liked the stateroom layout on Navigator. We had a stuffed chair with and ottoman, as well as a three-cushion sofa. Most notable was the lack of a coffee table. Heard later they were being redesigned. I love the half-circle shelf next to the stuffed chair. This time they had the coffee and tea service there. But we still needed to move the teakettle and coffee pot to the desk to reach the plugs. We often use that half-circle shelf for holding books, and our coffee cups. No coffee table. We pre-ordered the chocolate cake, and found it delicious! The cabin birthday decorations were great, but only lasted one day before they started coming down. Fog hit us on the way back. We were about six hours late getting back to port. Fog is so common now, that this delay didn’t cause a news ripple. The captain did the turn so he could back into the port. Good thing too. On embarkation, he was able to sail out of port ahead of an approaching fog bank.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
We have waited for the coldest part of the winter for us, to go warm up. The start was a disaster! We got to the pier about a half hour before we were suppose to start going aboard. We were advised by phone that the ship was not due to ... Read More
We have waited for the coldest part of the winter for us, to go warm up. The start was a disaster! We got to the pier about a half hour before we were suppose to start going aboard. We were advised by phone that the ship was not due to dock for several hours, due to fog. Okay, we know Mother Nature makes the rules. Well after the ship docked, we started the normal boarding process. After over 8 hours of waiting, we were herded into a large area to wait again. At least those with special needs were put on board sooner. From there it was one struggle after another. The buffet that is usually open all day and night was only opened for specific times. They had a little snack cafe on deck 5 that was overwhelmed almost all the time. As usual the drinks were watered and expensive. Beer is beer so that much was normal. The entertainment was so so, not as good as other cruises. The ice shows were the better of the evening entertainment and enjoyed them. They had put a wave rider on the rear deck for adventurous folks which was a nice touch too. Loved the rock climbing wall too. As usual the staff are the best part of the cruise. Our cabin steward, Sammy, was very accommodating and attentive to our wishes. The dining staff were great as usual and the meals were smaller, but good portions, you can always have more. Less waste, so it is a good idea. Great company at our dinning table and through out the cruise. The only problem was a couple that kept cutting in line to exit at port, while the rest of us waited in lines, again. I had enough and called them on it and they got back in line since they were not better than the rest of us. I hope you read this, you two. She was Hispanic and he was Anglo. I saw this a lot in 3rd world countries where they know we have more respect for our ladies than they do. They send them ahead in line and then walk up and start a conversation with someone. One other fact. is in this age, the internet service you purchase, is slow as dial up. I tried to down load a book on my kindle and for half an hour, it would not download. Oh, they said they internet at that time was down, but I did not get a credit for my time attempting to use the internet. Heads up here too. I will think hard before I look at Royal Caribbean for our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
I wasn't in the Navigator before dry dock, but on the first cruise after. The common areas are lovely and the cabin colors were modern and soothing. I was a little surprised the balcony area was dirty. I realize sea spray keeps it a ... Read More
I wasn't in the Navigator before dry dock, but on the first cruise after. The common areas are lovely and the cabin colors were modern and soothing. I was a little surprised the balcony area was dirty. I realize sea spray keeps it a little dirty, but this was way more than that.  Loved this cabin. Very spacious with plenty of storage. We brought along an over-the-door shoe holder which we hung on the inside of the bathroom. This works great for toiletries. The new carpet, bedding and couch were lovely. The only complaint is the balcony was pretty dirty. I know sea spray can make a mess, but this was more than that. You would think that after being in dry dock they could have cleaned the balconies! Other than that, everything was great with the cabin. On our cruise there were some plumbing issues, but not to the gross point. The main point of contention was the smoke from the casino on deck 4 drifted up to the promenade on deck 5. That got old, quick. Also, the bars were WAY understaffed. It would take forever to get any type of beverage, including a simple bottle of water. We had 14 ft+ seas the first night, but only experienced minor rocking. All in all, it was a good cruise and I would sail this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Lesson learned; never sail out of Galveston in the winter! The Navigator of the Seas was several hours late in arriving in port due to fog after its 5 day shakedown cruise. RCCL did an admiral job in getting 3,000 passengers off the ship ... Read More
Lesson learned; never sail out of Galveston in the winter! The Navigator of the Seas was several hours late in arriving in port due to fog after its 5 day shakedown cruise. RCCL did an admiral job in getting 3,000 passengers off the ship and 3,000 new passengers on board when they were all in the terminal waiting. The passengers, for the most part, were accepting of the situation, realizing that it was beyond RCCL's control. We were unable to leave until 8:00 AM the next morning. Since we had to stay in port only 2 bars were open and this caused a crush of people. Due to the late sailing we were late (although the captain made up considerable time) in arriving in Roatan and we had to cut our shore excursion short. Embarkation rating is based on this experience. This was our first time on the Navigator and understand that she had just come out of 4 weeks in dry dock. The reason was to add several additional cabins and specialty restaurants. It was in great shape; all the public areas were clean and appeared to be refreshed. New carpet, new dining chairs in the main Drs. other cosmetic additions and the addition of a Flow Rider made the ship as good as new in our opinion. RCCL gave several interior cabins "virtual" balconies; large screen tv on the wall broadcasting an outside view from live cameras. Only talked to two passengers who were in them; one negative, one positive. We had a balcony cabin on deck 7. Our cabin steward was very competent; responding to requests in a timely manner. We did not rate the entertainment as we did not go to the ice show and do not go to the ensemble revue shows as they are not our thing. The guest entertainers were okay. Tom McTigue's adult show was fun and Chad Chesmark, comedian and magician was good and we would have liked his show to be longer. The Love & Marriage Game Show was a hoot but is strictly dependant on the volunteers who go up. The flow rider is a nice addition and neither it nor the climbing wall were overly busy when I went by. The one issue I had was that while we were in port in Cozumel members of the crew of the Allure, which was also in port, came over to use it which made the wait longer for the passengers. Hopefully a one time thing to check out the new toy. We are not fussy eaters or overly critical of our dining. We enjoyed all the food options from breakfast room service to the Windjammer to the main dining. We were early, fixed seating. We chose to sail out of Galveston this time as we were able to more easily drive to the port. Never again though; sorry Navigator. Read Less
Sail Date February 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

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