Miami cruise port
First of all, if you are driving, the Miami traffic is very congested. We got into Miami at 9:30 am Allow 1/2 to 1 hour extra time. After checking all the reviews for parking and shuttles, I recommend paying the ... Read More
Miami cruise port
First of all, if you are driving, the Miami traffic is very congested. We got into Miami at 9:30 am Allow 1/2 to 1 hour extra time. After checking all the reviews for parking and shuttles, I recommend paying the extra money ($20 / day) and park at the terminal. This will save you a lot of headaches. The parking garage is literally right across the street from the RCI cruise terminal. We parked on the first floor, got our luggage and crossed the street into the cruise terminal!
This embarkation was the easiest, most efficient process of any of the cruise lines. From the time we entered the cruise terminal, in 30 minutes, we were on the ship! Including the pre cruise picture!.
First impression. The Navigator of the Seas is a Voyager class ship. It is built like the Freedom class which we love, but shorter. It still has the Royal Promenade “Main Street”, the Flow Rider, the Putt-putt course, Rock climbing wall, and the Ice Arena.
This is an older ship and if you are looking for details, you will notice the age showing through. Just little things like paint chips and a little rust at the bottom of a door frame, etc.
Windjammer is the buffet restaurant on deck 11. I was a little disappointed with the lack of variety in this buffet.
Muster - The required muster drill is on the promenade deck. This makes for a very hot 30+ minutes standing. The poor PA system makes it very difficult to hear the instructions. Some other cruise lines have this inside and use the “sail pass” to check you in, which is much more efficient.
Theater - The theater in this ship is large and comfortable. They only had a few production shows over the nine day cruise. The other days were comedians, magicians, juggler etc. The orchestra was one of the best cruise line orchestras I have heard. Bravo!
Announcements : I wish they would announce activities over the loudspeaker. I would appreciate an announcement that you need to go the the 11th floor to pick up towels (using your “sail pass”) before you go down to the first floor to leave the ship at one of the ports. Also an announcement stating what deck to disembark at the port and when you can start leaving the ship.
The Cafe Promenade is a favorite location and stop of ours on the ship. Small bites to eat including pizza, and desserts and free coffee.
Sapphire Dining room. We love the 3 story dining room on the RC cruise ships. Very elegant indeed!!
The food was excellent on this cruise. The Salmon, fish, lamb, turkey were amongst the best I have tasted. The prime rib and steak was all excellent. I do need to add that my wife had the NY strip steak that was on the daily menu and this was just okay!.
Labadee, Haiti was our first port of call. This is a RCI owned area of Haiti and therefore very well maintained and furnished. Lounge chairs are provided along an excellent beach area. Locals will set up your chairs wherever you like for a tip. If you want to go in the water, I recommend getting water shoes because there is a lot of coral on the bottom.
Dragon’s Breath Zip-line. Wow, what an awesome experience. I need to say that I did not do this a few years ago because I thought $100 for a one minute thrill was a little expensive. However, this time, I could not resist. I have heard horror stories about other zip-lines where you are dangling from the cable and have to wear gloves and have to reach up to brake yourself. Here, the entire experience is very detailed and geared towards your safety.
1st is the signing of the waivers. 2nd is the area where they help you put on the safety harness. They fit you and double check everything to be sure that safety is top priority! This is no ordinary harness. This comes complete with its own type of seat!
3rd They take you to a practice zip-line. This is just like the real thing, only shorter and closer to the ground. I was very impressed and when I got done with this run, I was very comfortable going to the Dragon’s Breath. This is the longest zip-line over water in the world. It is almost a mile long and starts out at a little than 1000 feet high. The truck ride was the worst part! Maybe that is what the waiver signing was for!!! The views from the top were worth the trip. When it came my turn, I was ready. All buckled up and ready to fly! The trip was smooth, fast, and exhilarating! 60 secs and it was over. What a great experience. If you want someone to take your picture besides the ship photographer, wear a bright color so you can be spotted. I will do this again, next time my wife will do it too!!!
Vender area. Some people were concerned about how pushy the venders are on this island. First of all the venders are all in one area and you don’t have to go there. On a previous trip, we did go into the market area, and yes there are aggressive. If you don’t want the hassle then just don’t go inside. I believe the sign above the building says “market”. If that doesn’t bother you and you like to barter, then this is the place for you!
Lunch on the island is provided. They have a huge cook-out with a great variety. Hamburgers, hotdogs, BBQ chicken, BBQ ribs, salads, rice, potatoes, desserts. Drinks include water, iced tea, and fruit punch. All delicious!
We loved the Southern Caribbean islands. At Curacao we took the Curacao Highlights and Beach break. This was a very nice comfortable tour of the island in an air-conditioned coach. This tour took us past the Queen Emma floating pontoon bridge, and cross the Queen Juliana Bridge. This is an extremely high bridge which allows large tanker ships to pass under. This also allows for a great view of the harbor. The tour took us to the Blue Curacao Liqueur factory. Most everything is done my hand from orange peals. We tasted 3 liqueurs. The tour then took us through residential areas and past some resorts. We were then taken to Mambo Beach. This is a beautiful beach with beach chairs for rent at a nominal cost. This beach has pure white sand, the water is crystal clear and fine sand also- no rocks. One of the beast beaches I have been to! There are Tiki bars, restaurants, and shops. A great time!!
After the tour brought us home we went back out and crossed the harbor via the free ferry because the pontoon bridge was opening at that time. All the buildings are very colorful and well kept. We came back walking on the pontoon bridge and it opened while we were on it. A great experience.
Love, love this island.
In Aruba, we took the Sea and See tour. This starts on an air conditioned coach which takes us from the port area through the town and past the high-rise resorts. On the northern side of the island we stopped to see the lighthouse. Great views from the area without going inside the lighthouse. We then went back to the resort area and boarded a boat to take us out to a mini submarine. This is really a special boat that the center has a glass enclosed viewing area below the water level. This gave us great views of a sunken ship and many beautiful fish. Next the land tour took us to the Natural Bridge. This bridge collapsed in 2005 but the remains of the bridge and a large picture is there. There is also a Baby natural bridge which is still in good shape. This is a beautiful area to view and a must see when in Aruba. Next we stopped at the Natural rock formations. When volcanic eruptions formed this island, this area was formed by huge smooth rocks (some as large as a small house) being pushed to the surface and stacked on top of each other. We were able to climb many of these formations which afforded great views of the island.
Bonaire is the more natural of the southern Caribbean Islands, We took the 4X4 truck tour. This took us inland towards the “farmlands” . We got great views of the Pink Flamingos. The tour continued around the eastern side where there is a small resort area for swimming, and water sports. This wasn’t a very large beach area so we just took in the views. Next, to the salt flats. We could see the process of channeling the ocean water inland into holding ponds. As the water evaporated with the help of the Eastern trade winds, it is then systematically pumped into to ponds leading to the final ponds where the solid salt it harvested, loaded into trucks and elevated into huge mountains of salt. We also saw the slave huts.
Bon Tuk Tour. We took this tour because we were intrigued by the “Tuk-tuk” vehicle which is really just a large golf cart. This tour took us around the town viewing the churches, jails, hospitals. We did not have a very good tour guide for this. Our driver had trouble backing out of the parking area and then we clipped the side mirrors of a charter coach at our first stop. This pretty much ruined the tour for us. We were on edge the rest of the way and couldn’t wait till our 1 hour was up!
A few days into the cruise we were given a form to choose our disembarkation time. We then received tags and were given an area to meet prior to disembarkation. We arrived at Port of Miami about 30 minutes late and therefore disembarkation was delayed. However by the time our scheduled time came we were pretty close to schedule. We did have a little glitch with the Port Authority as we got into the terminal that delayed us abut 20 minutes. However, when things got moving again the process was smooth.
Thank you RCI for an enjoyable cruise. Read Less