306 Galveston to Caribbean - Western Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Cruise Reviews

After a 5-year cruising hiatus, we decided to book a 7-day Western Caribbean cruise with Royal Caribbean. We were both pleased and disappointed with the changes to cruising that have occurred in the interim. Security was noticeably more ... Read More
After a 5-year cruising hiatus, we decided to book a 7-day Western Caribbean cruise with Royal Caribbean. We were both pleased and disappointed with the changes to cruising that have occurred in the interim. Security was noticeably more thorough than on our last cruise, but embarkation at Galveston went smoothly though (at around 11am), and we were able to access our cabin by 1pm. The first disappointment was the lack of a champagne welcome for previous cruising Crown & Anchor members (listed as a former cruiser benefit on the web site); we got a 2 for 1 beer/wine purchase instead. Diamond and above members got actual perks. Being a member is not much of a benefit until after a dozen or so cruises. The Navigator of the Seas is a mid-size ship by today’s standards; 3100+ passengers. The ship was stable even through some hurricane force winds encountered in the Gulf of Mexico. During that overnight event, the ship leaned considerably but didn’t rock much as the wind was perpendicular and sustained at 70+ MPH for a few hours. We experienced rain at least part of every day except the first day at sea. That limited enjoyment of the exterior sections of the ship. Navigating around the ship was somewhat challenging due to only two elevator areas and no fore to aft pass through on decks 2 and 3 (and on Deck 4 the only way through was to traverse the ultra-smoky casino). The outdoor promenade deck did not continue fully around the ship. There was a jogging track, but it was located in the congested Deck 12 pool area. Crew did a better than average job of curtailing long term reserving of deck chairs, so we could always find a lounger. Our morning routine started with a trip to the Café Promenade on Deck 5 for fresh brewed coffee. After wakening fully, we generally took breakfast in the Windjammer Café; we tried room service, but the earliest we could get delivery was 6:30am—by then we were gnawing on the furniture. The buffet breakfast was ok, and there were plenty of choices. Oddly, there is no outdoor component to the buffet seating. The layout prevents long lines except at the most popular stations, but navigating around was chaotic. We never had a problem finding a table however. Even in the buffet, gone is the reconstituted “coffee” we have endured in the past, it is now brewed, although very strong. Lunch was split between the Windjammer Café, the dining room, or onshore. There are several specialty dining venues on the Navigator, but given our past experiences and the current cover charge averaging around $20-$40 per person, we never tried them. One dinner in the Windjammer as enough; with the same chaos as at breakfast and lunch. The rest of our meals were in the Sapphire Dining room. We were booked with My Time dining, and I must say, it is far superior to the early and late seating we usually experienced. The third floor of the dining room is for “My Time” dining, and you can make reservations on Day 1 for a time and table of your choice for that evening or for the entire cruise if you wish. We had the same servers and the same table every night. Gone are the long queues for early and late, and service in the dining room seemed more smooth. The food on the other hand was nothing special. The menu featured 5-star named items and descriptions that wine reviewers would envy (Chocolate Pot de Creme = chocolate pudding). The food however was mixed. My salmon entrée was quite good, but my wife’s prime rib was of poor quality. My other fish entrees were fair to good, but my wife’s shrimp ravioli was inedible. The high points were the desserts; the low points were the miserable salads and general scarcity of vegetables. The lobster was good of course, and the last evening’s turkey dinner was great. Service was generally very good, although bread was offered too frequently, even while water glasses remained in need of filling. Dress was very casual, and even on formal night suits or tuxedos were in the minority. The stereotypical Texas cowboy-chic look and demeanor were extremely rare in contrast to what was reported in some reviews on this site. The Café Promenade is open 24/7 and offers small pastries and miniature sandwiches, so there is always food somewhere. The Windjammer buffet is open several times a day, but had frustratingly varied hours. Gone is the poolside hamburger grill; instead one must seek out Johnny Rockets on Deck 14, and pay a $7 cover charge to get an afternoon hot dog or hamburger. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Starbucks coffee are available for a fee, but if you know where to look, you can find soft drinks, ice cream and frozen yogurt for free most of the day. In the Windjammer and dining rooms, most non-alcoholic drinks were free. Although it was possible to get alcoholic drinks around the pool decks or in the lounges, there were few servers and we certainly weren’t pestered to buy drinks anywhere. Drink prices were high of course. There were plenty of activities on the ship, including frequent trivial contests. We found these contests to be difficult and the prizes were the cheapest we’d ever encountered. The ship’s stage shows varied from poor to good, and mostly suffered from poor direction and arrangement. The standout show is, as mentioned elsewhere, the ice skating show. Get your (free) tickets early, the space is small and the show is first rate. Music in the lounges was varied, but we really liked the Vibes 4 who performed frequently on the pool deck and in the Bolero Lounge on Deck 4. Our port activities were OK, but marred by rain on Cozumel and Cayman Islands. Taxis are cheap and plentiful on Cozumel, but finding transportation on Grand Cayman was difficult and expensive. We wanted to go to the Cayman Turtle Farm on our own, but taxis were over $30 one-way. We found an excursion bus for $8 each, but the rain leaked in and the bus was dirty. On the way back to the ship we were able to find an excursion bus driver who mercifully took us back to the ship in a clean, non-leaking bus for only $5 per person. The Turtle Farm was good, but we couldn’t enjoy it much because of the rain. The on-site restaurant was quite expensive. In Falmouth, Jamaica, we took our only cruise ship excursion, Bamboo Rafting on the Martha Brae river. The weather was great for the morning raft ride, and the trip was relaxing and scenic. The only negative was the intense pressure to buy over-priced crafts that the raft pilot claimed he made. There were also several shopping “opportunities” at spots along the river. Overall, our Royal Caribbean cruise was at least average compared to others in the past. We will likely never use the port of Galveston again as it was too crowded and chaotic. They need a new terminal. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We stayed in a deluxe balcony, which was upgrade over the standard. Very satisfied with the size of unit. Bathroom was large enough and functional. Did use a plastic shoe storage, over the door, for bath and personal storage. Very nice ... Read More
We stayed in a deluxe balcony, which was upgrade over the standard. Very satisfied with the size of unit. Bathroom was large enough and functional. Did use a plastic shoe storage, over the door, for bath and personal storage. Very nice to have all the items organized without having to dig through a bag. Thanks cruise critic for this advice. Our third cruise, and sadly this was the last for the Navigator before it moves to Florida. Ship is very nice, and all the shows very well done. Food in the buffet was pretty much as any buffet and plenty available. The dinner table service with my time dinning was excellent. Staff very good. Loved the different menu items. You won't leave hungry. Comics and head liner were excellent. If i would change anything i would have upgraded to the junior suite. Worth the extra as we toured one after in port. Did have storm the last night that was very rough. Ship and captain handled and did not get seasick. Sign up for the my time dinning option if possible. We did an early seating and were always early so no waiting. The excursions were ok, but rain did make them a challenge. The tender experience was functional. Please take the advice of crew and only go where you are told. Signed up for a new cruise on board as the 30 percent discount is better than the buy one get one half off sale usually found everywhere. You do get perks for this method. Get a reservation as there are many waiting to take advantage. Love the adult area pool on the 11th deck. Were not a lot of kids on this cruise. Compliments to all crew members, you made us into cruisers! Galveston port was a breeze as we arrived a little early and got through the lines easily. So many agents still made lines move well. No complaints here over the port. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean, and overall, we were pleased with the Navigator. However, the Navigator was on its last cruise out of Galveston. The day that we disembarked, it was on its way to Florida. The replacement ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean, and overall, we were pleased with the Navigator. However, the Navigator was on its last cruise out of Galveston. The day that we disembarked, it was on its way to Florida. The replacement will be Liberty of the Seas which is a larger ship. Embarkation: It was great. We arrived at the pier at 11:00am and were on the ship by 11:45. No waiting at all. Our cabin was ready by 1:00pm as promised. Ship: We really liked the Promenade located on Deck 5. This deck included most of the stores, shops, etc. all in one place. The Cafe Promenade was nice to sit and people watch. We were travelling with 2 friends and spent quite a lot of time there. The one thing that was annoying to us was how the sales people tried to whip people into a frenzy when they had sales. They kept counting down the time until the items were available for sale. By the time of the actual event, the people were lining up 6 deep to buy a $10 t-shirt. However, the crew members were very friendly and courteous. Dining: We ate at Sabor, Giovanni's Table, and Chops Grille. Overall, the food was good. Although at Chops Grille, my husband and our friend ordered their steak medium and it came out almost raw. They sent it back but it still wasn't cooked enough. The service at all the restaurants was excellent. We tried My Time Dining and really liked it. The food was ok, not extraordinary. Our servers were great. We ate breakfast and lunch at the Windjammer, and were mostly pleased. There is a wide variety of food so it isn't hard to find something you like. The best thing is about the buffet is that there were no long lines like on Carnival. It may be the way they have the various stations configured but we never had to stand in line. Entertainment: The ice show was entertaining. The Headliner show was good. The show on the last night was cancelled due to rough weather. We hit the casino several nights and actually broke even. We had good weather in Cozumel and just shopped a little. This was our 5th trip to Cozumel so we weren't that excited about excursions. It was raining in Grand Cayman so our stingray excursion was cancelled which was ok due to the weather. We walked around for a while and did some more shopping. We went to Red Stripe Beach in Jamaica and it was actually good. We swam and enjoyed the sun for a while. The shuttle comes about every hour so you don't have to stay the entire time. The last night we had to sail through some sort of disturbance and the ship was really rolling and rocking. We were extremely glad to see Galveston. Disembarkation was a breeze. We carried our luggage and were off the ship and on our way home by 7:45am. All in all, I would say that we had a good time on this cruise. Of course, we were with good friends which made it much more enjoyable than if we had been by ourselves. If we cruise again, we will definitely do it with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Just got off the Navigator of the seas after a 7 day cruise that took us from Galveston to Roatan, Belize and Cozumel before returning home… Hurricane Patricia had us worrying, but the cruise went off without much of a hitch. Captain ... Read More
Just got off the Navigator of the seas after a 7 day cruise that took us from Galveston to Roatan, Belize and Cozumel before returning home… Hurricane Patricia had us worrying, but the cruise went off without much of a hitch. Captain decided to keep us over night due to the weather (35mph sustained winds and rain…. Good call mate). We got off around 11am the following day and were informed that the itinerary would be reversed due to the weather. Nobody seemed to care and I actually thought it was better to have the two sea days at the beginning of the trip rather than the end. Gave us time to get to know the boat. The Navigator itself and the Staff…. I’ve read a lot of reviews recently about how poorly conditioned the Navigator is. BS…. She’s beautiful... I actually took the time to try and find the “worn carpet” everyone talks about or the horrible sewage smells. Didn’t find any…. Anywhere…. Anytime. Forget about it…. Anyone who thinks this ship isn’t clean is full of it. Our ship was sold out and so I was expecting some issues with pool chairs and lines at the bars… but I really didn’t experience much of either (even on sea days). The bar service could be a little slow at times, but I think that was more to do with their payment system rather than the staff. Each time anyone orders a drink, the bartenders have to swipe your sea pass card. I was with my wife and so each time we went to the bar the bartender had to swipe each of our cards, wait for the slips to print and then find a pen and walk them over to us. This usually took longer than it did to make the drink or grab the beer. I went on my first Royal Caribbean Cruise back in 1998 and so it’s been nearly 20 years since my first experience with them. Unfortunately those who write about the decline of the food and the service are probably in my boat (no pun intended). My dinning experience 20 years ago, was amazing… the food in the main dining room was amazing…. And the waiters were amazing. It seems Royal has moved the “AMAZING” parts of that sentence to the specialty dining areas on the boat (more about that later), because they are definitely not in the MDR. Our waiter was good… very attentive and nice enough… but the bar waiter was a joke. If you want to have a drink in the MDR bring it with you or plan on heading out to the bar on 4 to grab it between courses, because you’ll never see him and if you do, you won’t see him twice if you need another. The food was not horrible, but it was just what you’d expect from a kitchen turning out 2000 meals for dinner. Portions were small, however they did allow you to order multiple items. Everything I had was good…. But not melt in your mouth fantastic. Likewise in the Windjammer…. Food was what you’d expect for a buffet. The windjammer was the only place on the ship where I felt there was a crowd. I guess free food does that to people. We elected to try two specialty restaurants….Giovannis and Sabor. Both were fantastic for different reasons, but the food and the service was excellent at both. Our cabin steward (Bernadette), seemed nice, but quite honestly we saw her twice the whole week. Our room was always clean and we got the obligatory towel animals, but not really much more than that. In her defense, we did not spend much time in our room. Shows Elton John Tribute… OMG. HYSTERICAL! I don’t remember the guys name, but man was that a fun show to watch. Great music and FUNNY! Adult Comedy…… Very, very funny…. actual account of his interaction with one of the ladies in the audience. “What do you do for a living sweetheart?” ….. I’m a admission clerk at a senior living facility. “Well…. That’s an easy job…. You’re (expletive deleted) old….. come on in” The Quest: We heard a lot about it and decided to try it and it was funny, but felt like there were too many veterans that knew what to bring and it kind of took the fun out of it. Pool Deck Activities….. Our Activities Manager was named Cuddy and he was very entertaining. If there is anything happening on the pool deck and he’s running it…. Go see it. Belly Flop Contest, Sexiest Man, Pool Volleyball…. All fantastic due in large part to Cuddy’s amazing MC abilities. Tenders: Fortunately we booked our Belize excursion for 10 am rather than early at 8. We did this because we had heard the tender process in Belize is a nightmare. Never has a statement been more true. Our boat was sold out and beginning at 730am people were lined up to get a tender ticket. In addition, folks were lining the steps to try and get off the ship and the elevators were so busy that they were basically gridlocked. Because we didn’t have the pressure to get off right away due to our later excursion time, we took some time to walk around the top deck of the ship. We headed back down to get a tender ticket about 30 min later and both the tender ticket line as well as the line in the stairwells to get off the ship were empty. Good call!!! Gym/Fitness... I'm an avid runner and tried to run every morning on the boat. The first day I tried the gym treadmills which was too packed and so I bailed to the top deck track (8 times around equals a mile). It's nice, but it's windy and crowded with walkers, runners and just folks just meandering about. Best find for running was on deck four outside. There is a walk way that runs all the way around the ship and it's covered by the upper decks. It's flat almost nobody there for some reason. The only hitch was the stairways on the port and starboard sides of the bow. Basically, I ran both straightaways and the aft portion and walked the steps up and down at the bow. great workout. Embark and Disembark... Galveston is a joke. Nearly ZERO instructions or signage as to what to do or where to go. Everyone has to check their bags with a porter before getting in the security line. We saw a number of people wait in the long security line only to be turned away when they got to the front because they hadn't checked their bags. We got there with the crowds (and a few buses) and so it was packed, but it did move pretty well. Getting off the boat was a bit of a hassle as well. We decided to carry our own bags off and I think that helped. People were complaining they couldn't find their bags etc. Royal has a decent system for grouping bags in piles based on numbers and that's essentially what they were.... piles. People would grab a bag, thinking it's theirs and then just drop it wherever they were when they realized they had the wrong one. Obviously that bag wasnt' where the owner thought it would be when they got to the pile. Customs was slow. I found it odd that the alcohol tax folks were waitiing outside of customs and nearly outside the terminal. They were literally just asking folks if they had alcohol. For those who said yes, they were charged a TX tax right there on the spot. My advice.... put your bottles in your luggage and when they ask if you bought any alcohol.... your answer is "Nope". :) Tips for Royal… Show something on the TV during sea days other than the Royal Caribbean screensaver. We were at Sea on a Saturday and it would have been nice to have some football up there. Allow people to run tabs at bars to cut down on the service time. Stop trying to sell everything all over the boat. This became very annoying. I don’t need to be met each morning by somebody trying to get me to buy a sushi class or a beer tasting for $40. I’m on your boat to relax and enjoy a week at sea…. Not be bombarded by sales staff. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
My wife and I along with another couple booked this cruise last year due to some great deals and incentives at the time. Never having sailed out of Galveston or ever been to Texas, we thought it would be fun to try. Arriving three days ... Read More
My wife and I along with another couple booked this cruise last year due to some great deals and incentives at the time. Never having sailed out of Galveston or ever been to Texas, we thought it would be fun to try. Arriving three days early, we were able to see San Antonio and then drove to Houston staying in the Clear Lake area for two nights. We all agreed the best part of Texas was the people (yall) and the worst would be the traffic. Using Lighthouse parking for our rental car, we arrived at the terminal around 11am only to find that a medical emergency had shut it down, leaving the crowd to build up until they opened doors making a large mob for security screening. It took us about an hour to get through that, then easily on board around noonish. The ship is truly stunning to see, our friend was able to ride the flowrider early while there were no crowds and he enjoyed it. The buffet was quite crowded and the one feature we did not like about the ship was having no outside areas either serving food or drinks and nowhere to sit outside and eat a meal. One had to go all the way into the back of the ship to get food or iced drinks, and for sanitary reasons they were handling all drinks by staff, so you could not just go up and dispense your own ice or drinks, but grab a filled glass and pour it into your own thermal mug in our case. The food in the buffet was fine with good variety, however at peak times getting a table would be frustrating. Our cabins were on deck seven just aft of the hump superior balconies, nice and large enough but the design of the closet next to the bathroom door caused issues for us. One day the water pressure was lost entirely while my wife was showering, a call to maintainence told us they were working on a fix, and a few minutes later it came back. The same day the desalinization system went down and they were trying to serve this salty water to crew and guest alike. We ate at Chops that night and they served us this awful water, we could not drink it, so they comped us Evian as they should, however they were obviously trying to keep it hush hush, leaving the guest to speak of it on our own. I found out the next day from our waiter at dinner the entire ship was affected, my only thought is to RCI please be honest with us and tell us. The next day it tasted fine. Our service and food in the dining room was exceptional, and we enjoyed our time with Leonardo and Rommel much. The sailing was rough seas the first day and then the weather was fantastic other than that pesky hurricane Patricia the really messed with our debarkation and drive back to the airport. All in all it was a great cruise for us all. I've read other complain about the coffee however they do serve Seattles Best and it is drip coffee makers both in the Windjammer and Promenade Cafe, we thought it was very good, except the night the water went salty at which time they tried to serve us the coffee and it was undrinkable. One other strange thing we all noticed was the lack of bar servers the first half of the trip. Nowhere at any pool or even in a bar/lounge would you see any bar service, we'd have to walk to the bar and get it ourselves. We thought this was really weird given the profit on alcohol and built in customers. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Our Western Caribbean cruise on Navigator of the Seas was wonderfully relaxing. We hit the weather just right on all three ports -- Cozumel (Mexico), George Town (Grand Cayman) and Falmouth (Jamaica) -- all in the warm 80s. We caught the ... Read More
Our Western Caribbean cruise on Navigator of the Seas was wonderfully relaxing. We hit the weather just right on all three ports -- Cozumel (Mexico), George Town (Grand Cayman) and Falmouth (Jamaica) -- all in the warm 80s. We caught the tail end of Hurricane Patricia (wind and rain that had moved eastward across Mexico) right at the end of the cruise coming into Galveston, causing a short disembarkation delay. Food on the ship was one of the best experienced on Royal. High marks for the consistently good morsels in the Dining Room and the Windjammer. Our Junior Suite was perfect for us -- a restful oasis between all the fun things. Spent a lot of time in the Solarium. This is a nice spot on Navigator. Entertainment was real good -- especially the comedic ventriloquist and the Elton John tribute/comedy. No travel experience is perfect, but this cruise was nearly so for us. The only "minus" for the experience was the distance between the Houston airport and Galveston. But this is geography and not the fault of the Cruise Line. High marks for a great Room Attendant and the food service all week!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was the second cruise for me and my husband. We are in our 20's with no kids. We had some rough waters, but I didn't let that affect my overall experience because there's nothing you can do about mother nature. ... Read More
This was the second cruise for me and my husband. We are in our 20's with no kids. We had some rough waters, but I didn't let that affect my overall experience because there's nothing you can do about mother nature. Embarkation was fairly easy. We waited about 30 minutes in security lines, but didn't have a line to check-in. We were on the ship before noon! The food was average, at best. As the week went on, we got bored with the food in the dining room. We were also seated very close to another couple at a table for two. There's no privacy or space in any restaurant, other than The Windjammer! I get that this is a cruise and there are people everywhere, but sometimes it is nice to sit down with your spouse at dinner at have some privacy. We dined at Chops and Sabor, but probably wouldn't pay the extra money to go back to either of these. We were again seated very close to another couple in Chops and they wanted to chat the entire time. This was irritating and did affect our Chops experience. They even talked WHILE we ate! The food was good, dessert was overly rich and unimpressive. Sabor wasn't very good. The chips were VERY stale (but somehow greasy) and the table-side guacamole was so far away we couldn't see it. The guac had no salt but it tasted good otherwise. The best thing was the dessert...thank goodness because my entree was terrible (fish). You pay extra for a good meal and good service and Sabor had neither. Service throughout the ship was great and everyone we encountered was friendly. We did feel like they were selling the specialty dining too heavily. We were approached at least once a day while in Cafe Promenade or The Windjammer by someone wanting us to book a table. We chose not to book any shore excursions this time and instead enjoyed time on the ship and on our aft balcony. Our stateroom attendant was awesome! She always greeted us by name and would open our door for us if she saw us coming down the hall. She definitely set the bar high for future cruises. One day, the water was salty throughout the ship and it was still served to us with no explanation. It was gross! The coffee and tea were also salty. We woke up two mornings in a row without our toilet flushing. Not a huge deal but it did take a few hours to fix. Disembarkation was messed up by a tropical storm that almost kept us from coming into port until Monday. We ended up being delayed by an hour or so. We chose to take our luggage with us and were in the first group ( B - aft dining room level 4). No one was checking tickets because of the delay so things were a little chaotic. Despite the weather, we did have a good time and made some great memories! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We booked this cruise to celebrate our granddaughter's 21st birthday. My wife and I had previously sailed on Freedom of the Seas in a Grand Suite. We’ve also cruise with our granddaughter 10 years ago on the Disney Wonder. We ... Read More
We booked this cruise to celebrate our granddaughter's 21st birthday. My wife and I had previously sailed on Freedom of the Seas in a Grand Suite. We’ve also cruise with our granddaughter 10 years ago on the Disney Wonder. We prefer suites for the size and amenities. We chose an Owner’s Suite for the extra room and small price difference over the Grand Suite. We flew into Houston Hobby airport on Saturday before the cruise. We rented a car and stayed at the Springhill Suites by Marriott on NASA Parkway, near Kemah. We arrive early that morning and spent the day visiting Space Center Houston that day, and Kemah Boardwalk that evening. We enjoyed both and thought they were a good value. I highly recommend the Springhill Suites. It was nice, clean and safe. On Sunday morning, we took highway 147 south through Kemah to I-45, to Galveston. It was an easy drive, with little traffic once out of Kemah. The cruise terminal at Galveston is a mess, but with help from Cruise Critic, I was able to navigate is easily. Because of our pre and post-cruise activities, we decided to rent a car and park it at the port. We chose Galveston Park-N-Cruise based on location, price and recommendations from other CC members. It was a good choice and worked out well. Driving into the terminal to drop luggage will take some time. There’s a lot of cross traffic to deal with – both automobile and pedestrian. Patience, studying maps, and reading the CC posts about it will make it easier. It was about an hour from the time we arrived in Galveston to the time we stepped onto deck 4 of the ship. It would have been a bit longer if we did not have access the suite check-in line. We found Navigator to be nicely familiar to Freedom. Even though it’s been two years since its dry dock refurb, its looks great. Like anything out in the salt air of the ocean, and being used by thousands of people every day for years, there are always going to be a few blown bulbs, some chipped paint, and weathered wood, but these things were minimal and greatly overshadowed by all the wonderful décor. The ship never felt crowded, though the elevators always seemed to be just a bit slow and just bit too full. We found the crew to be awesome! Even our worst encounter with a crew member was far better than the typical customer service interactions we get in retail stores, hotels, and restaurants on shore. We saw many smiling friendly faces ready to help. We really liked the food. I have no complaints about it at all. Of course not every dish was wonderful, but nothing was terrible, and much of it was very good. The ambiance in the MDR and specialty restaurants is wonderful and the service was the best. We went in expecting the quality and service of a typical chain store casual dining restaurant and we were pleasantly surprised. We spent a lot of time relaxing. The only shows we saw were the ice dancing performance in Studio B and the comedian’s family show. Both were great. We enjoyed the pool deck activities, though mostly we were just spectators. We did the galley tour brunch on Friday. It’s $30 per person, and I believe well worth it. Over a two hour time, we had champagne and mimosas, heard stories from several top officers in food and beverage, toured the galley on MDR deck 4, and then had a buffet of samples from the specialty restaurants. We also participated in the Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle and had a great time. If nothing else, go for the swag! The only excursion we did was the Chukka Zip Line in Rose Hall Jamaica. I highly recommend it. The ride to the zip line is an adventure in itself. Everyone from the drivers to the guides were great. This I a lot of fun and does not require any special skills, just slight sense of adventure. It’s well worth the price and I felt completely safe the entire time. Just understand that for about an hour of zip lining, you’ll spend almost 4 hours traveling, waiting around, getting your harness on, and being trained. Just enjoy being on vacation, take in the scenery, and relax and you’ll have a great time. Overall, this was a great cruise. I have no complaints. Of course I could offer some things that would have made the cruise better, but these are all minor details. The staff was great, the food was great, the ship was enjoyable, and even our fellow passengers were mostly courteous and friendly. I’d do this all over again without hesitation. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
My family was excited to go on the Navigator as it was the largest ship we've ever been on and it had some features we'd never experienced before. The ship itself was nice, and the family oceanview room with separate bunks for ... Read More
My family was excited to go on the Navigator as it was the largest ship we've ever been on and it had some features we'd never experienced before. The ship itself was nice, and the family oceanview room with separate bunks for the kids was awesome--that was probably the best part of the entire experience. The kids had fun at the kids camp and we enjoyed all of our shore excursions. And the ice skating show was great. Beyond that, we left fairly unimpressed with Royal Caribbean. This was our 8th cruise, and admittedly, our last was a Disney, so it was hard not to compare this one to it, but it just seemed like it was lacking many of the special touches that even the cheap 5 day Carnival cruises have had. While we are used to having to pay extra for SOME things, like alcohol, it really seemed over the top on this cruise. Everything seemed to have an upgraded version available, even dinner in the main dining room, where you could order a lobster or better steak for an extra $30. In the past, we have been happy to just sick with the included dining options, but much of it was really not good, and at times, inedible. Horrible, horrible instant coffee and iced tea...but of course Starbucks is right there....for an extra charge. Bland, unimpressive food at most meals in the main dining room and casual buffet...or you can pay extra to eat at one of the specialty restaurants. We tried Johnny Rockets one night, and even that wasn't great. The staff did their jobs, but really weren't all that friendly or available if we needed something--we only saw our room steward a couple of times during the whole week. No extras in the room, such as toiletry kits, or even a pen (unless you wanted to pay for the snacks in the mini fridge), and the bed and pillows were flat and hard, making sleep difficult. We got just three towel animals the whole week, which has always been something the kids were excited to find in the room each night. It was quiet most of the time (aside from our own children), so that was good, but I think it was mostly due to the fact that many of the people around us had to be moved to other rooms after a pretty significant flood of the interior staterooms. Again, we had a good time and nothing BAD happened, we just didn't leave feeling like we had really been pampered. Common areas were usually pretty congested, things didn't seem to be laid out to allow a good flow of the many people--like, instead of a hamburger grill and drink station right by the pool like we've seen on other ships, you had to go all the way in to the Windjammer cafe, so it was hard to even grab a quick snack or drink while at the pool. And the "blowout $10 sale" in the shopping area was total madness, with people elbowing each other in the face just to snatch up a crappy watch or hat. Think, Black Friday shopping at sea. Not my idea of fun! My husband said this cruise was like "taking a vacation on a city bus". So I think we'll stick to Disney or Carnival for any future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We had a great time. Our drive to Galveston from Oklahoma was good except for a 20 minute traffic jam in Dallas and a 10 minute traffic jam in Houston. We booked one night at Moody Gardens Hotel Resort to stay before our cruise on ... Read More
We had a great time. Our drive to Galveston from Oklahoma was good except for a 20 minute traffic jam in Dallas and a 10 minute traffic jam in Houston. We booked one night at Moody Gardens Hotel Resort to stay before our cruise on Galveston Island. I am serious about customer service and I must say it is exceptional here! ​The next day we drove about 10 minutes and parked at the Galveston Park & Cruise in-door lot and walked across the street to the cruise terminal. Embarkation was smooth OUTSTANDING. I hate mustering but at least our station was inside the Main Dining Room. The Navigator is old but beautiful. There was some rusting here and there around the ship as well as on the balcony of our room. The couch in the room was already showing some wear (so soon after renovation?); however everything was very very clean including the bathroom. The beds were CRAZY HARD! Our Cabin Attendant Maritza made life a lot better by adding several blankets to the mattress. In Cozumel, we did the tequila tasting tour and have probably acquired more knowledge about tequila than we ever thought possible. We learned about "clear" tequila, "rested" tequila, and the best: "aged" tequila -- tasted it (some in the group should have held back...lol) and were able to purchase it to bring home. We were served margaritas and great tacos, beans, rice, guacamole, sodas, water, etc.; watched a pole performance; toured a small cultural museum; and, shopped. At the end of the tour, we were presented ​​​​with ​​​certificates, we are now certified tequila tasters. You should have seen how tipsy Evette was. She is a light weight. ​Roatan Honduras was EXCELLENT! We did the dolphin encounter. I was very nervous initially -- that went away as soon as I got in the water. A locked box is provided to store your personal items. We were all separated into groups, the trainers encourage smaller groups for more interaction with the dolphins. I have never experienced anything like it and I cannot imagine anything better. The trainers are informative and it was very apparent how fond they were of the dolphins. Gosh, is it weird to say the dolphins were so sweet? They were like very well behaved (and at times mischievous) kids and very smart. We stood about waist deep in the water to touch them, take pictures with them, and watch them perform and eat! Would do this again in a flash! Best excursion I've participated in hands down! The trip back was 2 days straight cruising and the Gulf was kinda shaky. I won a cruise for 2, for 5 days, at Bingo that we have to take within 365 days of winning it. I was too lightheaded and breathless after I yelled BINGOOOOOO! The same guy that had me signing the paperwork for the prize was the same guy that awarded me a Royal Caribbean hat the night before when we won the Michael Jackson trivia contest. It was too funny! We were able to forget the shakiness of the seas for a little while at least. Back in Galveston, disembarking was a complete pain - OMG. I thought doing self carry would make things easier, NOT! I won't do that again. We picked up the car and made good time getting thru Houston and Dallas and this time hit a construction traffic jam in Oklahoma for over an hour. Unbelievable! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This ship had the best service overall than any other cruise we have been on. From the great room attendant to the fabulous wait staff to the fantastic bartenders in many of the venue bars. The R bar staff was incredible. The ship is the ... Read More
This ship had the best service overall than any other cruise we have been on. From the great room attendant to the fabulous wait staff to the fantastic bartenders in many of the venue bars. The R bar staff was incredible. The ship is the perfect size for everyone. The entertainment in the main theater was ok. Not my favorite. The ice skating show was great. Cuddy is awesome and full of energy. They need more general trivia but it was always fun to play. I would go back on this ship in a heartbeat if it would be out of any other port. I will not go to Galveston again. Too hard to get to. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
First off, may I begin by noting that we have sailed many of RCCL's ships over the years, both domestically and internationally. That said, I cannot ignore the gradual decline in both service and quality of food over the years. The ... Read More
First off, may I begin by noting that we have sailed many of RCCL's ships over the years, both domestically and internationally. That said, I cannot ignore the gradual decline in both service and quality of food over the years. The Dining Room experience used to be something we always looked forward to. We could always find a dish every night that was outstanding. The room was usually full of other cruisers enjoying their meal. Just recently off the Navigator of the Seas Oct. 4-11, W. Caribbean. Let me preface this review, as food always is subjective, so I won't spend too much time on this, however, I must note the absence of diners from the Sapphire dining room each night, which changes the ambiance dramatically. All the empty tables should send a message to RCCL that we choose not to experiment with the "hit or miss" quality of the food served. We chose to dine at Giovanni's which was quite good, however, we chose the Filet entree and was served one pasta dish as a side. Not a good sampling of the Italian dishes available. The service was wonderful!! Kudos to the windjammer. We found the food to be quite tasty, as we chose to eat breakfast and lunches there practically every day. Now I, for one, do not like buffet food, but at least I could find something each day that was good!! The service was wonderful and entertaining!! Cafe Promenade serves much better coffee than the windjammer, however, breakfast choices are few/usually pastries/bread/etc., and limited choices for sandwiches at lunchtime. Small, quiet atmosphere and I have no complaints here!! This was our first sailing as "diamond", which I found the "diamond lounge" to be the best perk, as we could frequent each evening from 4:30 - 7:30 pm, for snacks/drinks. Nadja (concierge) was wonderful and had a ready supply of tickets for the "Ice Dancing Show". We also could enjoy free cocktails throughout the ship between 4:30 - 7:30 in addition to the convenience of the lounge. We chose to tip the bartenders a little extra, which they appreciated and we were given excellent service. However, we did find that most of the bars were understaffed, so the wait time for a cocktail was longer than expected. We chose to pay $30/pp for the "galley tour", which proved very disappointing, we saw two helpers chopping veggies, but other than that, we saw hot ovens/stoves/dishwashing equip. etc. (total waste of time). The buffet served after the tour was supposed to be a sampling from all the specialty restaurants, however, based on the food served, I would not be enthusiastic about paying the upcharge. It was a ripoff!!! and a very poor representation of the upscale restaurants. Many of the others in our group agreed!! While onboard we chose to book a family cruise for Christmas of 2016 on the Liberty, as we are also booked for Christmas 2015. They were offering a $500 OBC which applied to our current cruise. First time we've even done this, and did not find the "Next Cruise" people to be very enthusiastic, or helpful, the first go around got totally screwed up, and we had to start all over with a new person, who proved to be not much better. However, we wanted to take advantage of the OBC of $500 for our current trip, so we tolerated the lack of C/S. Of course our Room Attendant, Karen (Cabin 6592) was magnificent. The balconies are badly in need of refurbishment, as peeling paint and rust are quite apparent. All and all, we enjoyed the cruise, as the ship is lovely, despite the noted disappointments. However, we miss the level of service that we had come to expect from RCCL. We chose to book our family cruise for 11 on Liberty of the Seas for 12/15 as our grandchildren remember the cruises we took them on over the years and remember all the wonderful times we all had together on the Freedom of the Seas. Since it has been a few years since the grands have been on a cruise, we look forward to a great time together regardless!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We had a great cruise, weather was magnificent, water was calm all week long. Cruise was Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Falmouth Jamaica. Couldn't ask for a better cruise. The staff on the ship was courteous, friendly and seemed eager to make ... Read More
We had a great cruise, weather was magnificent, water was calm all week long. Cruise was Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Falmouth Jamaica. Couldn't ask for a better cruise. The staff on the ship was courteous, friendly and seemed eager to make your experience the best ever. Dining was good, ate at Chops three times including the Wine paring dinner which was excellent, Giovani's Table once and the food there was also very good, Sabor once and had a very nice meal there. main dining room "my time" twice. Both times we were seated in the same area and had the same waiter and assistant waiter. Both were excellent. The Windjammer as usual is pretty good buffet style food, but lots of variety, although they didn't have any smoked Salmon or Lox which my wife enjoys. another thing, they used to have really beautiful Ice sculptures, and sculptures from Watermelons and other fruits, sadly this also has gone away, I suppose they are economizing every way they can. Ice Dancin' was really nice. We aren't gamblers so we only walked through the Casino, but we did spend a lot of time in the R Bar which is a Martini Bar that is located where the Champagne Bar was before. The Bartenders were really entertaining and made great drinks. My wife lover it, partially because the two bartenders Guy and gal were from her home country. Our cabin was great. We had a Jr. Suite, and it was really big, with a Sofa and chair and ottoman, big balcony with nice chairs and table. Our cabin attendant was super nice and did a great job of taking care of the cabin. I do have one negative, the internet service sucks!! We paid 210.00 USD for two devices for seven days, and it reminded me of the worst dial up service we had back at the dawn of the internet. It was really disappointing, webpages wouldn't load, or took so much time the server timed out. This really reflects badly on RCI, to at least warn people that the service is slow, and not to expect the same speeds as you have at home or work with DSL or Cable. Outside of the irritating internet, this is probably ranks right up at the top of the best cruises we have been on. Sorry to see navigator reposition, to be replaced by Liberty which is a larger ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
1) Royal Caribbean does not allow criticism, just accolades in their web reviews. 2) Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines are now floating retail malls intent on selling you every minute on board. Even in the food service in their ... Read More
1) Royal Caribbean does not allow criticism, just accolades in their web reviews. 2) Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines are now floating retail malls intent on selling you every minute on board. Even in the food service in their main dining room (in the past superb), their menus are becoming dull and not as well prepared as though promoting their expanding "on board paid" restaurants now provide the best they have to offer. Main dining table service remains excellent. 3) After five cruises, the dancing and singing shows remain great (especially the Broadway Fever performance with Margaryta Garmash-Kyiv and Levgen Tkachenko / 5 stars) as well as the ice dancing and the Platters. However, they could have left the comics on shore. Personally, we would have preferred to see more of the Royal Caribbean Dancers and Singers. 4) It bothers us that some have historically slighted the service crew on deserved tips (their primary income), but Royal Caribbean now processes passenger automatic tips. You have to go to the desk to opt out if you want to direct your gratuities to those working their best for you in the now "WOW" program. 5) There is no space provided on the Royal Caribbean survey for anything like the above and "that" is a management issue. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I wrote this information for myself and thought I'd share it with everyone, as it contains information I wish I'd had before sailing. Cruise line: Royal Caribbean Ship: Navigator of the Seas Cruise Dates: Oct. 4-11, ... Read More
I wrote this information for myself and thought I'd share it with everyone, as it contains information I wish I'd had before sailing. Cruise line: Royal Caribbean Ship: Navigator of the Seas Cruise Dates: Oct. 4-11, 2015 Western Caribbean (Starting at Galveston, Texas, and traveling to Cozumel, Mexico; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Falmouth, Jamaica) 7 Night Western Caribbean Cruise Cruise Amenities (non-exhaustive): Surf Rider, rock climbing, ping pong, basketball, mini-golf, spas, gym, outdoor track, large outdoor television screen, 3 pools, 3 hot tubs Day 1 (Boarding/Sea) Boarding is from 11am – 4pm. We arrived around 11:30am (drove from Dallas). Royal Caribbean is terminal 2. You first drop people and luggage off and then take the car to park at a nearby parking lot. The parking lots have shuttles that bring you back to the boarding area. It will likely take about 30-45 minutes to complete the process (drop people off, take care to lot, come back). While the cars go park, everyone else drops off their luggage at the luggage drop off. Make sure to print out your luggage tags before you get to the port and make sure to tape/staple them to your luggage to save you time. There is no food at the port but you can eat as soon as you enter ship. The total check-in process took about 1 hour. We got in line while the people parked but it was difficult for us get them to skip back in line. I heard, though have not confirmed, that there is now a parking lot where you can go with your luggage and you can bring it back to the terminal to avoid the whole drop off/take car to lot/come back process. Apparently it’s called “Parking Lot B.” We brought in water bottles (filled) in our luggage and those went through. Since you drop off your luggage and then don’t see it until it’s delivered to your room, I’m assuming they checked our luggage but have no way to confirm. They only officially allow 2 bottles of wine per stateroom. We brought those in our carry-ons. When they saw that I had 2 bottles they asked me to "register" with a man seated at a table. First of all they didn't tell everyone in our group to register, even though everyone had wine bottles in their carry-ons so it's clearly not enforced strictly. Also the “registration” involved a man writing down on a piece of paper my room number and number of bottles I had. So it's not high tech at all and we could have easily brought in more bottles. There is a mandatory safety drill at 4pm. They check every room to make sure you've evacuated. You can't skip this. They even took attendance at the drill. General tips It's a good idea to bring a small bag to hold your sea pass and other small stuff while on the ship. Also, remember to bring a beach bag for the actual beach or just lounging by the pool. Make sure to bring cash and in dollars for tipping. There were many times I wanted to tip someone (attendants or when we were off on our excursions) but I did not have enough singles. There is no need to exchange currency – everyone accepted American currency. Water, tea, coffee, and lemonade are included in the price of the trip (so no need to buy a beverage package if you’re okay with just having these drinks available). This particular ship did not have an iron in the stateroom, but they did have hairdryers. Bring water bottles so you can refill them on the ship and take with you when you dock. There is a Johnny Rockets on the ship. It is $6.95 USD all you can eat except for shakes. Tips for choosing a room: Choose a room closest to the top so you don't have to walk far. The dining room and pools are at the top, so you’ll have to walk less to get to them (which is where we spent most of our time). Also, choose a room on the side of the big dining room (Wyndjammer). Day 2 (Sea) This was a cruising day. This was our first formal attire night at the dining room. We had a set time to eat (8:30pm) every day in the main dining room. People wear suits and cocktail dresses. I did see some people in tuxedos but only a few. Anything you’d wear to a wedding or church should suffice. They will not turn you away if you’re wearing jeans. Day 3 (Cozumel) We rented a car from Alamo for 14 people for a total of $140 USD (paid with credit card), not including gas or insurance. We went to the San Gervasio ruins. It costs $9.50 USD per person, so bring exact change as credit is not accepted. You might want to bring bug spray, though it didn’t bother me much. The ship arrived in Cozumel at 7am but we disembarked at 9:30am. By the time we found the car rental and gathered everyone together, it was 10:30am. It took 30 minutes to drive to the San Gervasio ruins from the terminal. We found a tour guide that works for tips, and he provided very good service. It was very sunny, so definitely bring protection. Then we drove to Sky Reef Beach. We wanted to find Ocean Beach as that was recommended to us but we sort of got off the access road and then weren't able to find it. When you rent car they give you a map. It is not a big island. You need to be back on the ship by 3:30pm. Check to see what sort of insurance your credit card company offers for car rentals. Day 4 (Georgetown, Grand Cayman) The beach is a 30 minute cab ride. It's about 4 miles away from the port. To disembark, you first have to take a tender (small boat) from the ship to the land. The process took about 30 minutes total which includes getting in line, getting on the tender, and then leaving. The actual ride is about 10 minutes from ship to land. We went to Paradise Restaurant to do some snorkeling. It was $18 USD for full gear (mask, flippers, and life vest) and then $5 to rent a locker. They accept credit cards. We walked from the port to Paradise Restaurant. It is a green building right on the water. It took about 7 minutes to walk there. There were plenty of fish to see here. The water was very nice and it was very enjoyable. I did not eat at the restaurant but obviously there is food available there, as well as alcoholic drinks. Day 5 (Falmouth, Jamaica) The ship arrived at 8:00am and we had to be back on board at 4:30pm. When you arrive at the port, there is a tiny little booth that is pale green and says “Tours and Information.” It’s to the right and further down (closer to the exit).There we found horse riding that includes riding in the water on the beach. It was $70 USD per person for horse riding and transportation to and from the beach. It was $25 for just transportation to and from the beach. The drive to the beach was 20 minutes from the port. We were able to pay cash and credit. We went to Braco Tours/Stables. The tour itself was 2 hours in total (not including travel time). First they took us to the stable. We signed waivers, paid, and then mounted our horses. We rode for about an hour to the beach. You do not get into the water with your horse until you get to a small pool area at the beach. At the beach, there is a little pool area that they take you in one person at a time with your horse. Then you ride back and they take you to port. The beach area is private and no one was there except for a few locals. They have some food and drinks there you can buy. The guides were all extremely nice. My parents stayed at the private beach area and waited for us. There is a small store there where you can buy snacks and drinks (including Jamaican beer). Also, the store has a porch area that provides shelter from the sun and they had chairs out so my parents weren’t physically on the beach/in the sand. There are bathrooms there too. Day 6 (Sea) More tips: Laundry and getting your clothes pressed is expensive. I went to the lost and found by the pool where they distribute towels. I told them that I lost my sunscreen and they showed me several bottles they had there. I asked if I could keep one and they said yes so that's how I got free sunscreen. Food: We never ordered room service. The food in the buffet (Wyndjammer) is average. We only went there for breakfast and lunch. There is lots of variety. The dining room food was much better quality. You can have breakfast in the dining room, but you have to go before 9:30 am. The food on the 5th floor in the café was good, but they mostly had sandwiches. Weather: It was mostly warm to downright hot. You should, however, bring a light jacket or sweater as it can get chilly at night. Cabin: We had an interior stateroom with no windows. This was actually great, as there was no light in the morning to wake us up. It was much easier to sleep/stay asleep. Yes, it's small but we're not large people and we kept the room tidy so it was never, ever a problem. Day 7 (Sea) Do those things you didn’t get to do, like rock climbing. Day 8 (Galveston/Arrival) Express self-serve checkout means you carry out your own bags. If you want to do this, they ask you to get a ticket the last night before you leave which gives you the time you're supposed to leave. This is absolutely necessary as they didn't ask for it. (And they aren't going to keep you on the boat because you're leaving at a different time than it says on your ticktet). It's best to leave on the very last express time because most people doing express are off the boat by then. It takes about 30-45 to get off and get your car and be on the road. If you do not take express, then the night before, they leave you luggage tags and the time you're supposed to disembark. (Again, I doubt this is actually enforced.) You go through immigration which is relatively painless but there are a lot of people (this is of course applicable to self-express as well). The difference between express and this option is that you then have to find your luggage. They have them all waiting for you in a large warehouse, and though you have a number that leads you in the general direction of your bag, it can be a bit chaotic with all the bags and people trying to find their stuff. Definitely identify your bag in an obvious way to make finding it in literally hundreds of other bags much easier. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Our waiter Jasper and Assistant Waiter Jirmansyah were excellent. They made our cruise enjoyable in spite of other falling-short on the cruise. With regards to Entertainment/Shows. Very lame. I have seen better High School ... Read More
Our waiter Jasper and Assistant Waiter Jirmansyah were excellent. They made our cruise enjoyable in spite of other falling-short on the cruise. With regards to Entertainment/Shows. Very lame. I have seen better High School productions. Another issue that needs to be improved is the music: 1. At the pool. There was NO music playing except when there was a "competition" or the Reggae Band was playing. Reggae is okay for a day, but every day of the 7 days? and for only 1-2 hours of the day? 2. At the Boleros Bar, the musicians seemed bored and played the SAME songs EACH night, in the same order. To top it off most were not even done live, but played from an ipad and they pretended to play and sing the song. They weren't even good lip-sync artists. 3. When there were dance lessons, for example, Salsa Dance Class. They promptly played Merengue and Bachata and Cumbia. The effect was to confuse everyone as to whether we were supposed to try to dance the Salsa steps to the wrong genre of music. They have a wonderfully HUGE movie screen by the pool. this was mostly used for promoting the newer ships of Royal Caribbean and occasional CNN or a movie here and there. Otherwise, it was not used. A waste of money and space. These are some of the areas that I found entertainment seriously lacking. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was the second RCI ship I have been on since June and the second ship where the food was mediocre at best. Good thing I don't cruise for the food, we cruise for the adventure of new ports and the people we meet. But many ... Read More
This was the second RCI ship I have been on since June and the second ship where the food was mediocre at best. Good thing I don't cruise for the food, we cruise for the adventure of new ports and the people we meet. But many people remember the food and this prompts this review. The buffet food on this cruise was best described as less than mediocre. When two young men that have eaten me out of house and home growing up rather go to the main dining room than the buffet that should tell you something. Even the desserts at time appeared to be below par. Maybe in tough times RCI is cutting back on the food selections but that shouldn't affect taste and variety, should it? Otherwise, service was exceptional from the staff. The shows I thought were not as entertaining as others. Cleanliness was of high standards in both the cabins and public areas. Other than the food my only other major criticism is about the port of Galveston. When the line to get to customs upon disembarking crosses in front of the baggage pickup it cause confusion and some chaos. I overheard many first timers to Galveston cruise port saying they would have to think twice about going on another cruise from there. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We live in Houston, and Galveston is only an hour away from our home. My husband and I have sailed on Royal Caribbean several times and are seasoned cruisers. Age 57-53. Embarkation- was a breeze, got to the port at 10:30AM and was on ... Read More
We live in Houston, and Galveston is only an hour away from our home. My husband and I have sailed on Royal Caribbean several times and are seasoned cruisers. Age 57-53. Embarkation- was a breeze, got to the port at 10:30AM and was on the ship by 11:15AM. Stateroom available at 1PM. Service- on board the ship was awesome. Drink service a bit slow, but was not because of the service, just they did not have enough help to manage the crowd. Our cabin steward was beyond great. Cabin- bed was beyond horrible. It was like sleeping on the floor. We asked for a foam topper to be told they no longer provided. Again, the bed was horrible!! Main dining room-food was the worse than we have ever had on a cruise. The steak did not have the texture of a steak. It was like spam in a steak form. Disgusting. Windjammer-food was like a local buffet, breakfast was the same every day. Chops-excellent food, but the waiter seemed disinterested and only wanted reassurance that we would rate him high on the survey that you received after you got home. Tender-to Grand Cayman-I KID YOU NOT-TOOK US THREE HOURS TO GET OFF THE SHIP!!! Three hours of our cruise waiting to get on a boat to take us to shore. Jamaica-did not do an excursion thru Royal Caribbean. Did a private excursion and had the time of our lives! Cozumel-nothing special-been there-done that. Main show-high school kids could do a better job. Terrible. Comedian-raunchy doesn’t make it funny. Ice Show-Day one they made you wait in line for tickets, and show night didn’t even ask for them. Show-not bad-not great Pictures-they have you look on a kiosk to decide if you would like to purchase, and have writing all across the pictures so you cannot tell until after you buy them if you have say your eyes closed or something doesn’t look right. One night the entire ship lost power for maybe 2 minutes, totally freaked. However, you would think nothing happened. Drink service continued. People just didn’t seem to even notice. Way funny. One woman on board stayed drunk the entire trip-falling down drunk-got mean and loud and no one stepped in to take care of it. Every show she was loud and trying to get attention and again no one from Royal Caribbean stepped in to stop her. One show she was in the front seat and started to cry and blaming the performer for her troubles. Stopped the whole show- Again, no one stepped in to stop her. TIPS-watch out peeps- people take their karaoke very serious! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was one of many cruises that we have taken on RC. We started out in Atlanta, GA in which we used buyreservations.com in order to book a room at the Courtyard Atlanta Airport South which turned out to be a very good choice. Check in ... Read More
This was one of many cruises that we have taken on RC. We started out in Atlanta, GA in which we used buyreservations.com in order to book a room at the Courtyard Atlanta Airport South which turned out to be a very good choice. Check in was no problem and we left our car there for 9 days. All for the cost of one night stay. The next morning was no problem as we had an early morning flight and did not have to wait on a shuttle no more than 5 minutes. We flew into IAH and met friends that we travel with and at that point we went to Enterprise and rented a car which went very well. It is quite a long distance from the airport to the cruise terminal so we had booked a room at the Quality Inn at the seawall in Galveston for the night. The room was clean and that was all that we needed but it did need some updating. The next morning the four of us were on our way to the cruise terminal in which was just about 15 minutes from where we had stayed the night before. We were on Navigator of the Seas and the time it took us to get from the terminal to when we were on board ship was no more than 20 minutes. The ship was very clean, service was great and we could not have had a better time. The food was really good, our cabin was clean and we were treated so well. We could not have ask for a better cruise. It did take 1 hour and 15 minutes to disembark but we had allowed enough time because we know it just takes time. The line went well but it just takes time. We would rate this cruise 10 out of 10. The only downside is the cost of getting from the airport to the cruise terminal. It is a good hour and 15 minute drive. All is all a wonderful week. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Very nice ship; we had no trouble getting on board 25- 35 minutes from arrival at port to boarding ship. We showed up about 15 minutes before our schedule time so we were ready to go when our boarding time came. Seems a lot of people ... Read More
Very nice ship; we had no trouble getting on board 25- 35 minutes from arrival at port to boarding ship. We showed up about 15 minutes before our schedule time so we were ready to go when our boarding time came. Seems a lot of people were not prepared with paperwork or didn't know their scheduled boarding time, but otherwise it was a smooth process. We were able to drop our carry on luggage in the cabin before our our cabin was ready which was nice so we didn't have to lug it around the rest of the morning. Common areas were clean and easy to see. Most of the shops were closed because were still in port, but we wandered around and located all of the ones we planned to visiting later. Show tickets were free, but only distributed a specific times which was a little of a bother, but no big deal. After the mandatory muster drills and departure, we were able to start to enjoy the cruise. The ship was booked to capacity, but we never really felt crowded. We ate at 3 of the specialty restaurants during the week. Sabor, the Mexican restaurant, was nothing special; just OK. Giovanni's was very nice, good menu and the food was prepared well. Chops Grill was a good steak house, my filet was done to perfection. The main dining room was also very nice and the menu had enough variety to meet everyone's taste. The food was very good and service was more than adequate. Table mates were nice and dinner conversation was pleasant, everyone was polite and welcome to share experiences on the ship and on their shore excursions. We had a balcony cabin and enjoyed breakfast out there most mornings and enjoyed toasting the sunsets most evenings. The on board entertainment was good - the ice show was excellent. Just not enough shows in the theaters. The nightclubs offered a venue for all tastes. Hip-hop, folk rock,to 50' & 60s music. Drinks were well made and almost all brands were available. We did port shopping at all 3 locations, nothing special, mostly souvenir stuff, but if you looked hard you could find some nice items. Our shore excursions were all that we expected them to be and the tour operators were nice. The snorkeling trip in Belize was a little too crowded. My mask was knocked off a couple of times by people kicking me in the face. About 1/3 too many people on this one trip. The one negative thing I could say about the entire trip, was the departure. Getting you luggage and going through customs was a real zoo. The port Authority really needs to fix this. All in all it was a very nice trip and we would cruise with Royal Caribbean again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
The Navigator of the Seas was recently refurbished and it shows. It is clean and well kept. We drove to the port and had none of the problems stated in some other reviews. We used Lighthouse Parking and recommend them. We arrived at the ... Read More
The Navigator of the Seas was recently refurbished and it shows. It is clean and well kept. We drove to the port and had none of the problems stated in some other reviews. We used Lighthouse Parking and recommend them. We arrived at the ship at 11:00 and were onboard in 10 minutes. Embarkation was just as smooth. We took our own bags off. We chose the earliest departure time of 7:30 and were through customs, picked up by a Lighthouse van and in our car before 8:00! No problems taking the 2 allowed bottles of wine in a carry on bag onboard. Room was fine..clean ...good bed...and attendent, Arlene, was excellent. Location very good and very quiet. Balcony just large enough for table and two chairs. I took own shampoo and soaps so no guessing as to what it was in shower dispenser. There are a lot of activities onboard. Fun to watch Flo Rider folks and rock climbers. Pro football games shown on huge outdoor screen. Best shows were the Ice Dancing and comedy of Ettamae. Very few children on-board as school in session..nice! Food good..but repetitive in Windjammer. Service good with staff trying to please. We did My Time Dining and always got time we wanted. Service in dining room very attentive. Promenade food a good touch as always available. Overall, clean ship with attentive staff. We did not use ship excursions but booked others on line. Be aware that tender in Belize is more like a 25 minute ferry ride if you schedule any private tour there. On Roatan , Mayan Eden is a great tour spot and highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We like cruising. Our room was bigger than expected and the bathroom not surprisingly small but usable. Our room attendant Emmanuel was professional and kept our room very tidy. It was nice to always come back to a clean room. The main ... Read More
We like cruising. Our room was bigger than expected and the bathroom not surprisingly small but usable. Our room attendant Emmanuel was professional and kept our room very tidy. It was nice to always come back to a clean room. The main room was fine dining and wished I brought more formal dresses to wear for dinner. Our waiters Melvin and Rohan were very attentive. We made sure to get a table with them each night. Lot of activities to do and watch on the high seas. Our favorite excursion Tabyana Beach Break - white beaches, clear water, seeing different kinds of fishes when we snorkeled, lunch & light beverages included. Now we know the reason people love cruising. Same hotel & service everyday and wake up in a different city most days. Lessons learned. 1. Ask for more details when getting advice. We did not book an excursion in Cozumel and we got taken. Don't book an excursion in Cozumel, grab a taxi, etc. Spent $60 on a taxi trip to a small white beach full of drunk men. My husband and I were the only tourists and no visible taxis around (except the one we took). We immediately went back to our ship and stayed there. Our advice pay extra for the ship excursion when in Cozumel. 2. The excursion tickets have two times listed. Our Belize excursion tickets listed Meeting time 7:45 am and departing time 8:30 am. We arrived at the meeting place at 7:30 am. RC ship director started tendering groups at 7:45 but did not specify which time she was using. She was calling groups by time and we missed our time. Others also missed their call time. To RC's credit we got to go on different and cheaper excursion and RC refunded us the difference. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
The ship was fun. The only problem we had was one of the showers at the adult pool did not work. We had great food and the staff was wonderful. We sailed to Cozumel, Belize and Roatan. We had a wonderful time at all three ports. We ... Read More
The ship was fun. The only problem we had was one of the showers at the adult pool did not work. We had great food and the staff was wonderful. We sailed to Cozumel, Belize and Roatan. We had a wonderful time at all three ports. We sailed out of Galveston and boarding was quick and easy, however when we returned it was a nightmare. I would recommend that you never sail out of Galveston because of the reentry process or chaos as we experienced. First my luggage was not in the area it was supposed to be and by the time I found my bag the like was out of control. There were many people not going to the end of the line because the like was so long there were no barriers. So they just walked up and got in like wherever they pleased. When the Customs agents tried to handle the situation those who cut in line said they did not so it was a stand off and they stayed in front of us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This cruise is one with a majority of Texans on it due to the port. We were one of the minority being from the Pacific Northwest (PDX). Because of the makeup of the guests, there was a lot of country western music in the bars and the big ... Read More
This cruise is one with a majority of Texans on it due to the port. We were one of the minority being from the Pacific Northwest (PDX). Because of the makeup of the guests, there was a lot of country western music in the bars and the big screen had plenty of football playing. They know their audience, that's for sure! The port itself is a mess - piles of dirt and construction materials that you see from the deck of the ship. The area in front of the terminal entry was very small and crowded but we had no problem finding a porter to wheel our bags inside. The line into the security scanners was long and slow as there were only two security guards working. They only made you throw out your bottle of water if it had been opened but you could have just put it in your bag and it would have probably gone right on through. (Think vodka...) The actual registration went very quickly even thought we were there about 11:30 am in the thick of the early boarders. The first night the left balcony partition door came loose in the wind and was banging against the ship from 2 am - 5 am when my husband finally called the desk. It ruined the next day having to sleep all afternoon to catch up. I feel like we lost a day of the trip. The humidity was horrid - impossible to have your balcony door open with that wall of wet coming in. Of course, we're from a place where we hardly have humidity so it was difficult to enjoy the balcony except late at night. The first night's dinner was unsettled. My fish was overcooked which isn't normal for RC. The rest of the time, everything was perfect except the Baked Alaska (gritty meringue) which was easily replaced. Our waiter, Stalin and assistant, Jakub, table 414, at Early Seating were very attentive. Stalin would make suggestions which were always the best choice. We had brought our own wine on board (they allow 1 bottle per person), and we had them the last 3 nights without a corkage fee being charged. My mother wasn't able to negotiate the stairs much so we had to use the elevators most of the time. They were so busy we had to go in the opposite direction we wanted to go just to get in one. Lots of other people were doing the same. This was the first time for this experience. The Flow Rider was so much fun. You have to sign a waiver and there are age/height restrictions. The instructors are very helpful and work to give you the longest ride possible. They have boogie board (on your stomach) and surfing at separate times. Putt putt golf is an 8 hole course and goes fast. It's in the sun, so wear your sunscreen! We didn't do any excursions through the ship except the Houston Space Center which included bus transportation to IAH. It was a very comfortable bus with a toilet, safe driver and knowledgeable guide. The stop at the HSC is about 2 hours long which is plenty of time to see almost everything within the building. There is a nice cafeteria to grab a bite to eat, a large gift shop and restrooms. Since we were a tour, we had Green 1 bag tags which put us off the ship among the first groups and through customs quickly. The baggage area is small so it makes for some confusion. The customs process is slow depending on who is in front of you. We were behind three British citizens who had to be fingerprinted and photographed. The tour does watch for you since you have a sticker on your shirt and they usher you out to the bus area. I would pay for this next time just for the priority service! We did not go to the production shows since the last one I went to on a cruise a couple of years ago was pretty ordinary. After reading reviews on here, I'm glad we didn't waste the time. However, we went to the comedian and the hypnotist shows which were hilarious. We also found the time to to go the Love and Marriage game which had the best participants I've ever seen. The drinks were only $5 in a souvenir glass - the best deal on the ship? We played the Nations Game where you collect signatures from crew members from all the different countries on the ship. It was a great way to meet them and have a conversation for a more personal trip. We ate in the dining room every night and only a few times in the Windjammer. We had breakfast from room service most days. The order forms are on a hook behind the cabin door. They were normally about 1/2 hour earlier than the time selected. The first morning's food had cold, hard toast and poorly cooked bacon. The scrambled eggs seem like they are baked. The fruit plate was ordinary, not well plated and some of it was sour/unripe. It didn't stop me from ordering it, though. The refrigerator is a good place to put an extra yogurt or lemon tart for the next morning or a snack. As someone posted before, it would be a good idea to have the steward remove all the items from your frig so you aren't tempted to use any of it. We didn't use anything but I think I was charged for an item. Probably poor inventory control from the last occupant. The Belize City port is a tender port. They may have this well organized, but it's a big chunk of your port time sitting on a noisy boat on metal benches. This port appears to be the poorest of the three, followed by Roatan, Honduras and then Cozumel, Mexico. Everywhere you are inundated with "requests" for your money. It was very tiring and depressing. The ship was late loading our Gold benefits onto the Sea Pass card on Sunday and I went to the service desk to find out how to get a credit. The person at the desk called the shop and sent me back to have it fixed. He even called me the next day to make sure it was taken care of! That was the only time I had any dealings with the desk since the rest of the trip went smoothly. I signed up for international internet with my carrier, Verizon, but it didn't work very well with the ship or on land. The next trip, I'll buy a couple of days of access and do everything I need to during that time and forget about it the rest of the time. The cafe at the end of the Promenade is where there are sandwiches, pizza, desserts, coffee, tea, iced tea, lemonade and water. It's not apparent that this is included in your fee as it's next to the Starbucks and Ben & Jerry's counter that do have a cost. It's not that large but the tables have good turnover and it's open all night, unlike the Windjammer. The dinner menu is posted on an interactive screen outside of the dining rooms so you can check out that night's options or any of the other restaurants. I always found something to eat without a problem and they take care of dietary issues such as gluten free. We signed up for the galley tour which was a $30 per person buffet lunch for 150 people. It started with a mimosa and then an inside glimpse of how the kitchen works. Lunch was prepared by various sou chefs and placed on the pass for you to select from. There were omelets, Beef Wellington, eggs Benedict, salmon, fresh fruit, a lovely bread display, sushi, a large selection of desserts and crepes made to order. It was well worth the cost, so if you have the opportunity offered to you, don't hesitate to do it. The cardroom is on deck 7 and has a daily suduko puzzle and quiz posted. They have boxed games, plenty of tables & chairs and a pretty large library of books. It was a hidden gem we didn't discover until the cruise was about over. It's just below the art gallery. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Navigator of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.3
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.5 4.2

Find a Navigator of the Seas Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click