2 Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Canary Islands from Southampton

Just returned from an excellent family cruise around the Canary Islands. We were a group of 6 adults and one very young child occupying three staterooms No. 8368 a port side aft balcony, No. 8690 an aft balcony and No. 1655 an internal ... Read More
Just returned from an excellent family cruise around the Canary Islands. We were a group of 6 adults and one very young child occupying three staterooms No. 8368 a port side aft balcony, No. 8690 an aft balcony and No. 1655 an internal virtual Balcony. The port side balcony was very roomy with a 4 seat couch. The aft balcony stateroom was rather restricted in size for the 2 adults and a small child in a cot. The virtual balcony stateroom was more like a broom cupboard with room only for a bed and one chair. Due to a slight mix upin our transport arrangements to the Southampton cruise terminal, we arrived rather early at around 10:30hrs. Much to our surprise and delight we were ushered immediately through both security and the check in process and were on board the Navigator by 10:45hrs. My wife and I settled down in the Solarium while the others charged around the almost deserted ship. The staterooms were opened up on schedule at 13:00hrs and our luggage was delivered around 14:30, an Ideal start to any cruise. The required safety drill was held at 16:30 and we set off soon after on our way down the Solent and into the English channel. Ports of Call: Apart from Gran Canary the time scheduled in the various ports was rather limited, which was a bit annoying. I assume these timings were fixed to reduce the very costly consumption of ships fuel when travelling at max speed and not for our benefit. We managed to walk into each of the ports taking between 20 to 30 minutes to do so. At this time of the year, with the temperatures around 23C it made for a very pleasant and easy walk. Entertainment: We watched the majority of the shows and there were some very good acts and some average. The RCL singers and band put on an excellent performance on one occasion, simply singing well know musical numbers. The slightly different ventriloquist and the string quartet acts were excellent. The Ice show as normal was superb; ice dancing on a moving ship has to be classed as very impressive. There were lots of organised quizzes and music playing around the ship so overall I would say it was good value for the money. Have to mention we were not too overly impressed by the cruise director; her rapport with the audience at the shows etc. was rather limited. Dinning Food and Beverage. Very pleased to report, that the Windjammer on the Navigator we consider to be the best in the fleet. “The Hot food was kept hot” and “The cold food cold” we have done numerous cruises with RCL where the windjammer food was served lukewarm. There was also a noticeable change in the variety of food served and with more British style dishes on offer and also in the quality which we though was much improved. Fully agree with many reviewers if you go in the windjammer at the peak times it is occasionally very hard to find an empty table. We avoid this issue by going in either early or later and avoid the busy peak times at breakfast and lunch. The food in the main dinning room was much of an RCL standard and both our waiters Chetan and Wilson were excellent, with no request for changes or additions being too difficult for them to achieve. I can never fully understand some cruise reviews where there are complaints about insufficient quantity, when all you have to do is ask for more…… Two of our party had a full drinks package, two had a soft drinks package and we had the loyalty free drinks a plenty in the evening and a coffee package. Our grandson stuck with his formula milk…. Various points: The normal hard sell to upgrade or buy RCL packages was in evidence but thankfully was not quite so pronounced or long lasting as we have experienced on previous RCL cruises. The ship appeared to be in very good and clean condition, having been I believe recently refurbished. The photo prices and ship booked excursions are now so costly, we seldom purchase either. Our stateroom safe proved somewhat temperamental from day one and failed completely on day three. This was removed from our stateroom for service but regrettably no immediate replacement was a available. From anecdotal evidence I believe there were issues with quite a number of safes. We were offered use of a safe deposit box in the customer relations office however that would hardly have been convenient to use on a regular basis. There would appear to be very little in the way of onboard services for the under 1 year olds. This despite having to pay almost full price fare and be expected to pay full gratuities…. In respect of gratuities, we along with many many others removed our auto gratuities on the first day. There appeared to be pages of people doing this. After years of paying full rate gratuities, cruise after cruise, we have decided to stop doing so. We gave tips to every person who served us a beverage, also to our stateroom attendant to our MD waiters and a couple of servers in the windjammer who we got to know. Having gone up from a reasonable 6$ to 14$, it is just not on. It is now long past time the various cruise companies to pay improved wages to all their staff and not rely on gratuities to compensate for low wages. Sad to say we encountered quite a few drunken passengers this cruise, who as well as being unable to hold their liquor were unable to control their foul mouthed language. Acceptable this may be in in some places but most certainly not on a family cruise ship, it is not pleasant to see people staggering around, cursing and swearing. Never did hear the fate of Mr and Mrs Thomson of Deck 5 who sadly missed the ship sailing from port, mid cruise. The Captain took the time to explain that he had to sail on time to make the next port on schedule. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Embarkation at Southampton went like a dream and we were on the ship in minutes. We had been on the Navigator five years previously when it sailed around the Med out of Rome so were looking forward to seeing if there were any changes. ... Read More
Embarkation at Southampton went like a dream and we were on the ship in minutes. We had been on the Navigator five years previously when it sailed around the Med out of Rome so were looking forward to seeing if there were any changes. Unfortunately, there were only bad ones. It seems that Royal Caribbean are now only interested in trying to make you spend as much as possible at every opportunity. We were pestered at breakfast, at lunch and when trying to relax in the bars in the evening (when we could get a seat) with people trying to sell the paying restaurants to us. Thirty seconds out of every port the promenade was constantly filled with extra tables with 'sale' goods, making it difficult to actually get down the promenade, and everyday we were bombarded with leaflets and emails about the next 'big sale'! The shops on board weren't very good, little variety and very expensive, $5.99 for a tube of Pringles! Fortunately, the dining room experience was still as good as ever with very friendly and attentive waiters and good food, with good wine served by an excellent Sommelier. We did notice however that a number of people frequently turned up at dinner sometimes 40 or 50 minutes late which obviously caused problems for the waiters trying to serve dinner on time to those of us who arrived at the allotted time and we were frequently very late getting out of the dining room because of this. Previously the dining room would be closed 15 minutes after the sitting time but this doesn't seem to be the case now, even though there is anytime dining available on the ship. The so called production shows were dismal, and the space taken up by the ice rink could be made better use of as the bars were so crowded it was really difficult to get a seat, mainly due to people sitting sleeping, reading or eating food from the promenade cafe as they couldn't get a seat in there. As the Windjammer now closes in the afternoons - people come back on board hungry and have to queue down the promenade to get something to eat at the cafe, the only place open at that time. Service in Vintages was excellent however the smell of cigarette smoke wafting up from the Casino didn't make it a pleasant place to sit when you did manage to get a seat on an evening. People were allowed to smoke in all areas of the Casino and it would seem on deck too - I didn't see any of the staff stop them. You couldn't even spend a few hours in your cabin watching a movie as they charged $13.99! Obviously, RCI want you out of your cabin so you can spend and if you're going to stay in you're going to pay for that too! Very few of the officers spoke to anyone when they were passing through the ship and the only time we saw the Cruise Director was his 10 second introduction to the stage acts, we never once saw him out and about chatting to people anywhere. It seems like all RCI want to do now is pack 'em in tight and get as much money as possible out of 'em without putting in too much effort - other than at selling! All a bit of a shame really as they used to be so good. We did get a good price on this cruise but to be honest, it really wasn't worth it. We won't be travelling with them again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
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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