931 Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Cruise Reviews

EMBARKATION: We flew non-stop from Washington,D.C. to New Orleans on Dec.21 and stayed with our children and grandchildren at the Marriott Springhill Suites in the warehouse district. We particularly like Springhill Suites because they ... Read More
EMBARKATION: We flew non-stop from Washington,D.C. to New Orleans on Dec.21 and stayed with our children and grandchildren at the Marriott Springhill Suites in the warehouse district. We particularly like Springhill Suites because they include a free breakfast. The Hotel is close enough to the pier so that our kids just walked with their luggage to the pier. We took a taxi, left our luggage with the porters and were on board the ship within fifteen to twenty minutes..best embarkation ever!! We loved sailing on the Mississippi River..much more interesting than going right into the ocean. SHIP INTERIOR: The Navigator of the Seas is still a beautiful vessel! We sailed a few years ago on her sister ship, Explorer of the Seas, so we knew our way around at once. Our staterooms were on deck three, oceanview..we had four cabins side by side...our daughter and her husband had connecting cabins with their three children which is a perfect arrangement, because, among other things, it allows them to have two bathrooms. The cabins are beautifully designed, with plenty of storage behind mirrors, shelves in the closets and great lighting! Our cabin attendant was fine, and did the towel animals almost every evening which is always entertaining. They were especially cute in our grandchildren's cabin. We really did not ask for anything special except for a bucket of ice each day, however, our grandkids' cabin did require a bit more effort. DINING ROOM: We were at table #291 and table #294. There were twenty of us altogether in our party, all cousins, who had decided to take this cruise. My travel agent was able to link the two tables, so we had two oval tables together on deck three in the Nutcracker Dining Room. Our server, Ivor, and his assistants, Robert and Ruben were FABULOUS!!! This was the best service we have ever had on any cruise and the dining room experience can make or break a cruise! The food is adequate..not gourmet, but tasty! The soups are superb, especially the cold fruit soups, and the desserts were always good. They had lobster tails two nights, which were fine, and they had prime rib, which was also very good. They also offer a menu for those who are trying to be calorie conscious, which is quite satisfactory. We did not use any of the specialty restaurants although one of my grandchildren went to Johnny Rockets, which was just okay! ENTERTAINMENT: The entertainment on this ship was my greatest disappointment. I have the feeling that Royal Caribbean is using their entertainment budget to enhance the programs on their newer and larger ships, and are neglecting their older ships. The performers are talented, but the productions were not worthy of their talent. The costumes were cheap, there were no sets and until the third program, I did not even know they had an orchestra. The ice show was the only show that was really professionally done and it was excellent!!! The Schooner Bar also had a pianist with an amazing repertoire and he packed the place every night!! MISCELLANEOUS: The only port we had not been to was Jamaica, which was okay, but the guides never forgot to remind us that they wanted to be tipped. We went to Paradise Beach in Cozumel, which is the best beach of all and the most reasonable for what you get, and in the Caymans we went to the Royal Palms Beach Club, where our daughter had reserved a cabana and four beach chairs in advance for $100. It was expensive but lovely. The hotels on the Caymans do not give day passes at Christmas, so there were not too many options since we had already done the Stingray thing. Our disembarkation was easy. We had an eleven o'clock flight back to D.C. so we arranged for an early disembarkation..the process is not quite as organized as the embarkation, but we purchased transfers for a quick bus ride via Royal Caribbean, and went quickly through customs. This was really our best cruise ever and can't wait to sail again!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Embarkation: The port of New Orleans was pretty organized but not as organized as Oasis and Allure. We were checked in and on the ship within 45 minutes. Cabin: We had a Superior Balcony cabin on deck 7 forward. The room was in good ... Read More
Embarkation: The port of New Orleans was pretty organized but not as organized as Oasis and Allure. We were checked in and on the ship within 45 minutes. Cabin: We had a Superior Balcony cabin on deck 7 forward. The room was in good shape except for some of the droors that were pretty knicked up, but it didn't bother us much. Also it still had one of the older Tvs. We were very close to the elevators and it was very convientant to the promenade. Dining: We ate in the main dining room 5 of the 7 nights. Food was overall good, with a few bad dishes. Our servers Ali from Turkey and Iwanai were great and very personable and not forced. We were a group of 2 and we were at a 4 top but the other 2 never showed. Ports: In Grand Cayman we did the Dolpin adventure (push, pull, and swim) which was excellent. The facility was very nice and very modern. In Falmouth we did a Mountian Valley Rafting tour was overall okay. The bus ride was a good hour, which was longer than expected. The rafting part was very fun and relaxing, while the activities afterward drug on. Shows: We saw all of the shows in the main theatre along with the ice show. The production shows were All Access and Ballroom Fever. All Acess was a fast paced pop and rock show which I really enjoyed. Ballroom Fever was okay, there was minimal sets, plus we don't really ballroom dancing. The guest entertainers were good except for the juggler. The other guests were the Platters and Vox Audio were both excellent. Crew: We felt like overall the crew seemed more confortable and more friendly than on Oasis and Allure. Like I already said our wait staff was awesome. We gave our wow card to our server Ali. Overall a fantastic cruise, and we would return to the Naviagtor any day! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
First thing I want to mention is how incredible the crew was considering the ship had norovirus present, the cruise before us has over 100 cases, the virus was all but gone when we disembarked. We had to board late due to sanitizing the ... Read More
First thing I want to mention is how incredible the crew was considering the ship had norovirus present, the cruise before us has over 100 cases, the virus was all but gone when we disembarked. We had to board late due to sanitizing the ship but that was a minor inconvenience. We were a party of 4, in two staterooms and none of us caught the bug. :) Yeah! Royal Caribbean notified us of the virus before we left for the port and that there was a delay boarding. They were professional and everything was super clean. Us two couples travel together cruising and on land and we had a great time. We drove to the port and spent one night in New Orleans, boarding was late but efficient considering the extra precautions due to Norovirus. The windjammer was not open at the time of boarding which I thought was poor planning. They opened the windjammer (buffet dining) at 2:00 which meant everyone was on board and very hungry. Norovirus on board meant that they had to serve us in the buffet lines and the biggest problem was rude inpatient cruisers. We were all in the same boat (so to speak) and they had plenty food, people were just impatient, these people complained and were impatient the entire cruise, even though the Captain and crew were working hard to keep us all healthy. I had no complaints except chapped hands from an allergic reaction to hand sanitizer. Food was good but not great, I found it was not as good as our first cruise on Navigator of the seas in 09. NOS Captain was highly concerned about the virus and it was handled well. The port of New Orleans is nice for the New Orleans experience. The port itself was like navigating through a maze. Navigator is in the voyager class, has plenty to offer- multiple pools one of them an adults only pool with large hot tubs in the area, spa, beautiful 3 level dinning room, casino,clubs, and 24 hour cookie and snack shop on the Royal Pramenade. I had heard there are no quiet spots on mega ships, not true, there are numerous seating areas you can quietly sit back and relax. We found one next to the sky bar and played cards when we had extra time or wanted to unwind, just the 4 of us. We also had our private balconies. Our cabins we were on deck 8, room 8603, balcony room, great clean room, comfortable bed and quiet location. We were around the corner from the elevators but had no noise from that,we have booked same general area and we will continue to book this area, close to elevators and the internet cafe. I did not pack my own computer but enjoyed a few minutes to check on my family back home from the internet cafe. Speaking of internet is is slow, all ships have slow internet, you just expect that from a ship internet. The entertainment was a comedian who was very good his name is Scott Record but and an Elvis impersonator, he was talented guy but I do not enjoy a tall skinny Elvis as my headliner entertainment. The ship crew shows were OK, usual show for RCI. We always do the Ice Show, which is excellent, Love and Marriage show (always a blast) and the QUEST!!! A MUST SEE! (for adults ONLY!) There are two formal nights on the 7 night cruise, some still wear Tuxedos and Gowns, I prefer a nice cocktail dress. Our ports were Falmouth Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, and Cozumel. Falmouth is still a port being developed and there is not that much do to there. Grand Cayman is beautiful and rich, which is why it stands out from other islands. Cozumel is typical tourist local with plenty to offer. We docked at Falmouth and Cozumel and had to tender to Grand Cayman. The tendering process was easy even though we were doing it during a storm. No problems at the ports getting on or off the ship. The Navigator is showing her age a little bit, I believe she is on the list to be refurbished, I think this was more apparent since we were just on a newer larger ship 6 months before this cruise. I would recommend this ship for a family, couple, or group of friends who want an affordable enjoyable week away in the beautiful Blue Caribbean Sea or Gulf of Mexico. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We picked this cruise to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary; we were married onboard Enchantment of the Seas 12/15/07. Decided to sail on Navigator because she was sailing out of New Orleans, which allowed us to drive down from ... Read More
We picked this cruise to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary; we were married onboard Enchantment of the Seas 12/15/07. Decided to sail on Navigator because she was sailing out of New Orleans, which allowed us to drive down from Missouri. The drive was not bad, split up into a couple of days. Stayed at Springhill Suites by Marriott in NOLA the night before the cruise (rate $80 by using hotwire.com). Parked at Fulton Place Parking Garage for $12/day, which was walking distance to hotel. So, parked at the garage when we arrived on Friday and there was a little confusion with trying to locate the parking garage office but finally figured it out. Ate dinner at Cochon which was just a few blocks from the hotel. Saturday morning walked over to Riverwalk to see the sites and view the ship as it was too early to go to the pier for pre-boarding process. Around 11am made our way back to the parking garage to catch the shuttle to the pier. Upon arrival, our check-in process went pretty quick and we were onboard eating lunch at Windjammer by noon. Got to our stateroom at 1 and at 1:30 our luggage was delivered, quickest delivery ever! Many of our dinner mates told stories about delays at the pier and still hadn't received their luggage by 6pm. I think our key to success was arriving around 11:30, later than the early birds but earlier than the later arrivals so it worked well for us. This is the largest ship we have been on and it was at first overwhelming. But thanks to the maps near the elevators we were able to "navigate" Navigator fairly easy. I thought it was comical that the carpet in the elevators had the day of the week on it, until around Tuesday when I was thankful to know which day it was. Afterall, every day is Saturday when you are on vacation! Our stateroom attendant, Russell, was great! We requested an ice bucket and every day he filled it with ice during the day and at night. When he was out and about and saw us walking toward the cabin, he had his key ready and opened the door for us - so helpful! Only ate in the main dining room the first two nights, then ate at windjammer, Johnny Rockets, and Chops on the other nights. Pre-paid gratuities so didn't have to worry about handing out the envelopes on the last night. Had room service delivered (free!) every morning, just coffee, oj, and milk. This is a great service and we tipped the delivery person a few bucks each morning. I really miss that coffee delivery, it was great to wake up & have some coffee while getting ready for the day. Then, had real breakfast at windjammer a little later in the morning. One afternoon we had lunch in the dining room, they have a fantastic little salad bar where you pick the ingredients and they mix your salad for you. So good. Other days we had lunch in the windjammer, Johnny Rockets, and/or on shore while in port. We registered for the meet & mingle in advance and participated in the roll call threads prior to the cruise. Met a great, fun couple at meet & mingle that we ended up hanging out with throughout the week, and we feel we have made friends for life! Falmouth, Jamaica - the pier area was nice and we took excursion to Red Stripe Beach ($24 per person). Nice beach area but the drive there shows a bit of the real Jamaica. The staff we encountered at the pier and during the excursion to the beach were super nice. I would not, however, feel safe just out and about walking around the town. The pier area is a gated, guarded compound as was the beach area. Grand Cayman - fantastic! On one of our previous cruises the port call was cancelled due to rough seas (can't tender if waves are too rough) so I was so excited to finally make it onshore at the cayman's. We met another couple during the meet & mingle on Day 2, so the four of us decided to get together and hire a driver to show us the island for the afternoon. Saw some great sites, stopped at the rum cake factory for rum cakes & rum, as well as the brewery for a beer. Ate lunch at a restaurant just outside the pier area before getting back on the ship. Stopped at Margaritaville for some t-shirts. Cozumel - our new friends that we met at meet & mingle told us about Nachi Cocom, a private beach club that costs around $55 per person for the day. All-inclusive drinks & food, it was a bargain. You don't reserve Nachi Cocom onboard the ship though, you have to reserve online before you arrive. Our friends added our reservation for us the day before, once we arrive at Grand Cayman. Took a cab to the beach club, taxi cost was $15 each way for our group of 4. Upon arrival to Nachi Cocom, drinks were ordered and delivered to our spot often. We rented one of those large rafts that's tethered in the water just off the beach for $40 for the day. Had a fantastic authentic Mexican lunch, also included in the daily fee. Try the dirty monkey drink if you visit Nachi Cocom, it's similar to a mudslide. Drank way too much but didn't have to drive so all was good. Took taxi back to the pier and our new friends did some jewelry shopping while we went back to the ship. All in all, this was a great cruise on Navigator. Would definitely sail again from NOLA on this ship or any other ship from that port, as it is an easy drive from our home in Missouri. Will still consider Florida sailings as well though. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Part I - Precruise A. Inception We are avid Caribbean cruisers. Two years ago, we spent Christmas and New Year's in the Caribbean on the Celebrity Mercury (which, sadly, sailed for the last time under that name in February 2011); ... Read More
Part I - Precruise A. Inception We are avid Caribbean cruisers. Two years ago, we spent Christmas and New Year's in the Caribbean on the Celebrity Mercury (which, sadly, sailed for the last time under that name in February 2011); last year, we spent Christmas in the Caribbean on Celebrity's Millennium; and this year, we wanted to do it again. We looked at all cruise lines, and wanted another 14-day cruise, but the way that Christmas and New Year's are on the calendar this year, a 14-day cruise would've taken our son out of too much school, so we booked a 7-day cruise. We settled again on either Royal Caribbean or Celebrity (the only lines we have cruised on) because of their itineraries and schedules. We prefer to drive to the East Coast for our cruises, but that wasn't an option this year. B. Cruise Critic We use the community chat boards on cruisecritic.com extensively for cruise port hints and information. This review is my way of sharing. Thank you to everyone who shared in their reviews and roll calls. C. Choice of Route Our route was out of New Orleans (very excited about that again. New Orleans is a wonderful city!), to Falmouth, Jamaica; Cozumel, Mexico; and George Town, Grand Cayman. We have been to most of these ports of call before, but not in a while, so we were excited about seeing them again. We have been to Jamaica before, but not to Falmouth, so that should be interesting. D. Choice of Cruiseline and Ship We selected Royal Caribbean because we found out during our Celebrity Cruise last year that if we spent even 1 day on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, we would be Diamond members. Navigator, a Voyager Class ship, is a 138,000 ton ship with 15 decks, 10 pools & whirlpools, and 16 bars, clubs & lounges. It has a rock wall, a basketball court, an ice-skating rink, and a mini-golf course. Capacity is 3,114 passengers plus a crew of 1,185. It was launched in 2002, is registered in the Bahamas and has a CDC score of 96. E. Choice of Airline This was pretty easy. We picked the cheapest, most direct flight from Milwaukee to New Orleans. I have lots of miles on Delta, so we used them to book the 4 tickets, so they cost us only $40 out of pocket total. Flying hints: 1. Don't fly if you have a choice. I suggest driving if you can. 2. Go non-stop if you fly. Each connection increases the possibility of lost luggage and additional flight delays. 3. Consider flying in to your departure port one day early. This can be a major stress reducer! 4. Don't select your airline seats without first visiting SeatGuru.com. They have detailed airplane seating plans and hints about each seat for almost every plane flown by major airlines. F. Choice of cabin Generally, the lower your cabin and the more central its location, the less you will feel the movements of the ship. We love rocking and so did not mind being closer to the back of the ship. We always stay in inside cabins (unless something strange happens) because it is nice to be able to sleep in without worrying about the sun shining in the window. A recommendation to anyone in an inside cabin is to bring a clock. It can be very disconcerting to wake up and have absolutely no idea what time it is. We were in cabins 7345 & 7347, both interior staterooms (N). My husband and I were in one and our 17-year-old son and his 15-year-old friend (a first-time cruiser) was in the other. Royal Caribbean allows minors to stay together in a cabin if it is adjacent to their guardians' cabin. It took a few requests to ensure that we were in the right cabins (they originally wanted to book one adult and one minor in each cabin), but it ended up working out. G. Price We went to a local Travel Agent who specializes in cruises (as we always do for cruises). The cost, because it was over the holidays, was high at just over $1,000 per person. The flights were $40 for all four of us because I used my Delta miles to pay for them. Additionally, because of when we booked, we received a $100 on-board credit (OBC) for each cabin, so that was nice. I also use the Royal Caribbean Credit Card, so we got another $250 OBC from that. H. Passports We all have passports and encountered no problems. I did bring extra documentation for my son's friend. I brought a detailed (notarized) letter from his parents saying that we could take him on this specific ship, that we could take him into these specific countries, that we could make medical decisions for him, that we would supervise him, and that we would be able to sign for permission for onboard activities (like climbing the rock wall). I got all of this information from the RCCL website, but it wasn't easy to find. I. Insurance We also purchased travel insurance because we never know when our son might wind up in a cast or one of our aging parents might have a health crisis. J. Prebooking Excursions We booked all of our excursions on our own. I did research beforehand and we decided what to do from there. I do not like using the ship's excursions because they are usually expensive; I do recommend them, though, for novice cruisers. K. Packing We packed for 2 formal nights (we all brought nice outfits -- the boys wore what they wore to their Homecoming dance, my husband wore a shirt and tie (and pants) and I brought nice clothes), and the rest at various levels of casual (non-jean pants and nice shirts for all of us). Additionally, we brought enough clothing to cover us during the day for 7 days. This is less than you think because clothing rarely gets really dirty and we tend to re-wear clothes a few times before it goes in the "to be washed at home" luggage. (NOTE: My son has apparently outgrown the "re-wear your clothes" phase and decided to pack different clothes for every day. We made him carry them all in his luggage.) Among the most helpful "extra items" we packed were: extension cords and power strips for each room (usually, there are only 2 outlets in the room and we have lots to charge), alarm clock, bug lotion, sunscreen ranging from 100 to 15 spf, highlighters, beach bag, and water shoes. We also brought Christmas decorations for each room, as well as Cruise Critic door signs printed off of the roll call lists. Part II - Embarkation A. The Port We flew into New Orleans via Atlanta and arrived at 3:30pm the day before the cruise departed. You have a choice of buying transfers from Royal Caribbean, catching a taxi or hiring a car. We used taxis to and from our hotel (in the French Quarter). B. Security Processing and Boarding We arrived at the pier at 2:30pm, hoping that there would be no wait, but there was a long line for security screening. But because we were Emerald Club members, we bypassed all of that and had absolutely no line. Once through security, there were separate lines for non-Crown & Anchor Society (C&AS) members and Gold C&AS members, and all other C&AS members. All lines were kinda long and fed into a table of folks processing your boarding documents. Assuming you had already completed all the documents requested online, signing in and getting room keys (which is also your cruise ID, and ship credit card) took no more than 10 minutes. There was a quick wait for the embarkation cruise photo (which we skipped). On-board and our cruise cards were quickly data-encrypted with our images at one of three stations. Once they handed us our cards we found ourselves on the 4th floor aft lobby of the ship. It took a total of 60 minutes from the time we arrived at the pier to our arrival in our cabins. I was surprised that I was never asked for the paperwork for my son's friend. At no point in the cruise (embarkation, disembarkation or anywhere in between) did anyone ask for it. However, I have heard from others that this is not always the case, so I would recommend that anyone taking a minor non-family member get the required paperwork. C. Explore The Cabins We were in cabins 7345 & 7347, side-by-side, inside category N cabins in the back of the ship. The cabins are each 150.7 square feet and were set up for my husband and I to sleep in one big bed and my son and his friend to each have their own. The bathroom has enough room, and the shower was very nice. Our bathroom had a reasonably large shower (no bath), hair dryer, large mirror, sink, toilet, and some pretty decent storage. Something new since the last time we were on a ship: a nightlight we could use in the bathroom or main cabin. We used it in the bathroom so we wouldn't have to turn the lights on at night. Hangers were provided in the cabin, as was a welcome gift: a bottle of Evian water, some key lime cookies and a small package of candied fruit. The room safe is located in the cabinet. In the closet there are shelves for organizing your stuff. The desk featured a number of informational brochures including that day's event newsletter. The cabins also have a TV, thermostat, phone (but no clock, although you can set your phone for an automated wake-up call), and a mini-bar (small refrigerator). Being Emerald Club members, we requested and were given robes for use on board. We also received a discount booklet with coupons for beverages, Johnny Rockets, photos, internet, laundry, casino, bingo, gift shop, art, jewelry temporary tattoos, the spa, etc. Having signed up for the Meet & Mingle party, we received invites to the following day's gathering. Being members of the C&AS, we were also given invitations to a number of different events during the cruise. Our stateroom attendant, Orson from St. Vincent & the Grenadines, did a wonderful job throughout our cruise. D. Tour of Ship and Search For Food We almost found sustenance in the Windjammer Cafe on the deck 11 for a 3:45pm buffet lunch, but the Cafe closed for the 4:00pm Muster until 6:30pm. This was inconvenient as I hadn't eaten lunch and now could not find any until later in the evening. It is possible that the Promenade Cafe (on Deck 5) was open, but I wasn't aware of it at the time. The ship is well laid out with ample sets of stairwells and elevators. I tried to take the stairs as much as possible (and pretended that this was sufficient exercise to cover my food intake). E. Muster/Sailaway About one hour prior to leaving port, we participated in the mandatory lifeboat drill. The drill went smoothly and lasted 40 minutes. We are very happy at the changes that have been made in the muster drill as we no longer have to get our lifejackets and wear them to the muster, but we did have to stand outside waiting for everyone to show up. It was a good opportunity to meet people. We had a Cruise Critic get-together at the Sky bar right after muster. I asked people to wear red so that we could identify each other. I also brought nametags. About 10 people showed up -- it was a great opportunity for some of the teenagers to meet each other and start hanging out. It takes 7 hours to get through the Mississippi River from NOLA to the Gulf. The scenery was magnificent on the way out. F. Dinner -- 8:30pm Late Seating We selected the late seating. We were seated at table 366 with seating for 8 at an oval table on the lower floor (3) of the Nutcracker Restaurant. Our server, Vipin from India, and his assistant, Kiara from Peru, did a very good job throughout our cruise. Our tablemates were a dating couple (in their 20s) and their parents who spend ½ the year in Wisconsin (which is, I suspect, how we were paired up because we are from Wisconsin). They were delightful people and dinner conversation never lagged. The two-story restaurant has a seating capacity of 1,000+ passengers at each seating. Of note: jeans, t-shirts, tank tops, swimsuits, robes, and bare feet are prohibited in the Dining Restaurant at all times. Shorts are permitted at lunch only. However, we did see a number of people wearing jeans (our teenagers did on a regular basis), shorts and t-shirts for dinner even on formal nights. Part III - Food! Royal Caribbean's meals met our expectations. There was good variety. There are 2 specialty restaurants on the ship--Chops Grille Steakhouse and Portofino Italian Restaurant. There is a per-person fee for these restaurants. There is a for-fee Johnny Rockets and Ben & Jerry's. Free food is available in the main dining room, The Windjammer, Jade, Cafe Promenade and room service (for-fee late at night). We did not feel the need to eat at any of the specialty restaurants for dinner because the food in the main dining room was sufficient. A. Always Available On the Vitality menu every day were the following items: Traditional Caesar Salad, Linguini with Pomodoro Sauce, Broiled Filet of Atlantic Salmon, Grilled Chicken Breast with Rosemary, Grilled Black Angus Steak, Top Sirloin with Herb Butter, and sides of Mashed Potatoes, Rice, and Vegetable of the Day. B. Our Favorite Breakfast Items I enjoyed the fresh-squeezed orange juice (US$4), but I also loved the availability of English muffins and corned beef hash at the buffet. There was a large variety of foods, including many Asian foods, for breakfast. I liked the Mango Water, too. C. Our Favorite Lunch Items I enjoyed tremendously the Indian food at the Jade restaurant. There was also hamburgers and mashed potatoes, and chicken. D. Our Favorite Appetizer My son liked the Onion Tart, while I appreciated the wide variety of salads. We all loved the escargot and the endless supply of bread that day (to sop up all of the garlic butter!). E. Our Favorite Soups My son loved the cold soups, while I liked the warm ones. My son's friend declared the Potato with jalapeo to be a winner. F. Our Favorite Salads All of them. Honestly, the focaccia and tomato was great, but so were all the others. G. Our Favorite Entrees Any fish -- including the sea bass and the sole -- was great. The linguine was appreciated by the boys, as was the lobster tail. I loved the lamb shank and the Christmas Day turkey dinner. H. Our Favorite Desserts Cherries jubilee, crème brulee, and anything chocolate. I. Buffet I loved the warm scones available in the Windjammer. They were usually only there around 2:30-3:30pm. I also enjoyed the small sandwiches available in the Cafe Promenade on the 5th floor. The availability of Indian food was appreciated. J. Room Service We didn't use room service. Part IV - Entertainment A. Movies All the movies were shown in the Cinema. They were mostly releases from about a year ago. We did not watch any movies in the Cinema. B. Shows The Celebrity Theatre is gorgeous, with comfortable seating and good sight lines. We did not see any shows in the theater. C. Casino Large casino filled with the usual. We did not use the casino. D. Spa I did not use the spa. The prices are just too darn high. E. Outdoor Pools and Hot tubs. They were busy all day when we were at sea and the air was warm. The pools are chlorinated salt water. The hot tubs are fresh water. There are fresh water showers near each pool and hot tub. We liked that the hot tubs stayed open late -- after midnight. F. Indoor Pool and Hot Tubs The indoor pool is for adult use only. The pools are chlorinated salt water. The hot tubs are fresh water. There are fresh water showers near each pool and hot tub. We liked that the hot tubs stayed open late -- after midnight. G. In-room TV There were a number of closed-circuit ship channels and satellite stations (Global CNN, ESPN, Eye on CBS, Sky News, and a few others) available on the TV in the cabin. Pay-per-view movies were also available. You can also order room service and check your current account on the TV as well. H. Holiday Stuff The ship was decked out in its Christmas finery with a large (huge!) tree on the Promenade on deck 5 and wreaths hung there, as well. There was a large Christmas display (complete with running toy train) at the entrance to the Windjammer. There were parades every evening and Santa arrived on Christmas Day with toys for everyone from age 0-17. On Christmas Eve day, we, as Emerald members, received a plate of chocolate-dipped strawberries and cookies in our room. It was a pleasant surprise. Part V - Cruise Critic Get-Togethers A. Sailaway Party As a group, the Cruise Critic folks had arranged (on the boards) to get together at sailaway at the Sky Bar on Deck 11. About 10 showed up and we had a great time. B. Meet & Mingle Party We signed up for the Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle gathering on the RCCL web site. We received an email confirmation that a party would take place. Upon our arrival in our cabin, we received an envelope containing an invitation to the party, set for 11:30 am on Sunday (our first day at sea). At the appointed time we arrived at the Dungeon. In total, about 40 folks attended. We had a great time meeting and greeting our fellow cruise critics. Light refreshments were provided. C. Slot Pull We did not arrange a slot pull. D. Cabin/Poker Crawl We did not arrange a cabin/poker crawl. Part VI - Health Concerns A. Smoking Smoking was permitted in certain areas on the ship. Although we are very sensitive to smoke, we could not detect any smoke smell in our cabin. The only place that the allowed smoking really disturbed me was in the Two Poets pub on Deck 5. Because this is an enclosed space, you could smell the smoke in many places on the Deck 5 Promenade. They had every right to smoke in the appointed areas of the ship, and unfortunately they did. B. General Cleanliness of the Ship In a word: impeccable. You could not take a stroll without witnessing some type of cleaning going on at all hours. The ship was constantly being cleaned: floors, walls, fixtures, everything! C. Viruses Although some other ships were hit with Norovirus (and it made the news) over this time, I heard of no such outbreak on our ship. E. Seasickness The seas were choppy on the last day, but I didn't notice anyone in distress. Part VII - Ship Notes A. Ship and Crew We were very impressed with the ship and crew and they were all very friendly and competent. The ship and furnishings were in very good shape. She was very clean. B. The Shops There was something on sale each day. Realize that if you forget something, you can buy it on the ship, but necessities are expensive. Deodorant, mints, dental floss, candy bars are all available, but not at a price you might want to pay. My advice: remember to bring the essentials, even if that includes M&Ms! C. Internet Service The good news: there are plenty of computer terminals with internet access on the ship. The bad news: it is expensive. D. Children Being a holiday cruise, our ship had a number of children on board. They behaved very well. Part VIII - The Ports We visited three ports. A. Falmouth, Jamaica There really is not much to do in Falmouth. Falmouth is good only in its proximity to both Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. Because we did not want to sit on buses or in taxis for a long time, we did not schedule an outing. Instead, we wanted to help the local economy by shopping in the straw market just outside of the gated and fenced-in port. We wandered and bought a few things. I was not feeling well (too much heat) and so I went back to the ship early and my husband and the two teens kept shopping. At some point, my husband noticed a Jamaican police officer (there were dozens in view all around the port) taking too much interest in how much money he was carrying. Fearing a confrontation with an armed man, my husband took the boys and their shopping inside the port. We did get many Jamaican craft items before then and did enjoy the port. B. George Town, Grand Cayman We tendered off the ship at about 10:30am in Grand Cayman and found a bunch of people selling Stingray City tours. We booked one for US$40 per person, including transportation to and from the boat, 45 minutes at Stingray City, 45 minutes at a coral reef (snorkeling), snorkeling equipment, and non-alcoholic beverages. We left at 11am and were back by 2pm. It was a good trip with great experiences. C. Cozumel, Mexico We were late getting into Cozumel because of a medical situation on the ship that forced us to return to Grand Cayman immediately after leaving the port. We stayed an hour later in port, though, in an attempt to make up the time. We left the ship and caught a taxi to Paradise Beach. There, we hung out for about 4 hours. The cost to get to the beach was US$14 for a taxi of 4 people. The cost to get in was US$2 if you just wanted a chair and access to the beach, toilet, changing rooms, and pools; it was US$14 if you wanted to also play on their floating climbing things in the water, kayak, and bungee jump on the trampoline. No one bothered us on the beach and I enjoyed myself sitting under the palm trees. We had lunch which was US$91 including 15% tip (already included). Lunch was 2 smoothies, 1 daquiri and 1 margarita, ceviche platter, nacho platter, and 2 large chicken burritos. It was easy to catch a cab back (US$14) to the International Pier and then shop a bit (Los Cinco Soles has a branch at the pier now, along with many other shops) before we got back on the ship. I. Days At Sea Between ports, we had three at sea days. They were good, although the first and last days were a bit chilly (in the 70s) and windy, so sunbathing wasn't a given. J. Speakers/Entertainment We really didn't pay much attention to these on this trip. Part IX - Tipping The service personnel on Royal Caribbean receive meager wages and rely on your tips for income. While Royal Caribben says it is customary to offer gratuities to the ship's personnel who service you on the voyage, it really is expected, and it's something you should figure into your cruise budget. Our tips were paid on our cruise charge which was what our personnel preferred (we asked) rather than cash. We did tip extra to everyone for their good work. On our evaluation, we also included the names of people who had gone that extra mile for us. We have heard in past cruises that this is a great way to recognize people and it can result in a monetary bonus for people whose names are written down often. Part X -- Crown & Anchor Society On this cruise, we were select members and so we received a "Welcome Letter" which invited us to a events on the cruise. If you have taken a previous voyage and are not a member of the Crown & Anchor Society, sign up. It's free. Benefits include a express lines at embarkation, priority disembarkation, some small cabin welcome gifts, very minor casino, wine and spa discounts, a cocktail party, and upgrades (whenever possible). Some exclusions apply. Part XI - Disembarkation and Customs A. Disembarkation Disembarkation ("exiting of the ship at the end of your cruise"). Breakfast was served on the buffet and in the restaurant. Disembarkation went smoothly. Earlier in the week, everyone completed surveys which were used to prioritize passengers. Clearly those folks needing to catch plane and train connections or who were on escorted tours in New Orleans had highest priority. Crown & Anchor Society members had priority within their color group. Color-coded disembarkation luggage tags were issued to all cabins, and passengers were instructed to place the tags on their luggage and put it outside their cabins prior to 11:00pm Friday night. We were self-disembarking which meant we carried all of our luggage (not easy with 4 backpacks, 5 carry-ons and only 4 people, but we made it. We met on the 4th floor at 7:45am after breakfast and were off the ship, through customs and immigration and outside the pier by 8:30am. B. Customs US citizens are permitted 1 liter of alcohol and $800 worth of Duty Free goods per person. If under the limit, all you needed to do was to declare the total value. Anything greater had to be itemized (declared) and a duty paid, if requested. C. Transportation Options to Airport There were transfers available through the cruise line which would take you on bus to the local airport, taxis were available, as were hotel shuttles. We chose to take a taxi and it was $62 (with tip) for 4 people from the cruise terminal to the airport. D. New Orleans Airport Upon arrival at the airport, we proceeded to the Delta check-in. It took us less than 15 minutes to turn in our bags and less than 10 minutes to clear security. Delta charges $25 per checked bag (of less than 50 lbs) for the first checked bag per person. We checked 1 bag for $25. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We arrived in NOLA 2 days prior to our December 29th sailing aboard the Navigator of the Seas. We enjoyed our time in NOLA despite the rain and cold weather. We went to the cruise terminal a little early on the morning of our departure ... Read More
We arrived in NOLA 2 days prior to our December 29th sailing aboard the Navigator of the Seas. We enjoyed our time in NOLA despite the rain and cold weather. We went to the cruise terminal a little early on the morning of our departure but it really paid off because there were no lines and we quickly boarded without a hitch. Once aboard we had to wait a little while for our cabins but that was no problem because the Windjammer opened and we enjoyed a nice lunch while we waited. Although we didn't leave the port until around 5:30 that afternoon we took that time to become aquainted with the ship. By the time we left it was time for our dinner. We found the main dining room and the dining room personnel to be top notch. We enjoyed every meal we ate there and the service was superior. The staff did everything they could to make our dining experiences as perfect as they could and we had no complaints. We also ate breakfast and lunch there a couple of times which were also delicious! Our cabins were interior and served us well for the time we spent in them. The first couple of days were spent at sea and they were windy and cold. Once we arrived in Jamaica the weather warmed up and was nice for each port day. The ports of call were nice and we enjoyed visiting Jamaica, The Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Jimmy our cruise director was the bomb and tried to fill every day with something that appealed to everyone. The enterainment was excellent! The parade, street party and NYE celebration were so much fun. The Navigator is a beautiful ship and her crew works hard to ensure fun, good health and safety for all! We hope to sail again with RCI! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
I am writing this review to help others that were so helpful to me during my planning as well as to give RCCL a nice Thank you - we loved our trip. I hope the cruise lines read these reviews. This is my first attempt, so please bear with ... Read More
I am writing this review to help others that were so helpful to me during my planning as well as to give RCCL a nice Thank you - we loved our trip. I hope the cruise lines read these reviews. This is my first attempt, so please bear with me. I will try to be fair - if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. Stayed in New Orleans 2 nights at the Royal Sonesta - great hotel. I was given the name of Henry Lee Tennessee for shuttling purposes that was so helpful. His email is: h.tennessee@gmail.com He made our trips to and from the airport, hotel and port wonderful. He picked us up at the Royal Sonesta promptly at 11:00 am for the short trip to the port. His prices were the same as cabs but with a personal touch. Check in was effortless and easy - no lines - walked right on to the beautiful Navigator. Cabins: We had the Royal Family Suite 9394 with six adults - DM, DF, DH, DD, SIL and myself. DD and SIL slept on the pull out couch and it was a queen size pullout - very nice size. Our room steward put bed toppers on the pull out couch and the bed in the second bedroom. We had breakfast on the balcony in the mornings - weather permitting. Breakfast was fabulous, eggs, bacon, sausage, juice, coffee, fruit, ect. Other Suite perks that were enjoyed: eating lunch quietly in Portofino's (food from Windjammer),drinks in the Concierge Lounge (as well as special tender loving care from Concierge Ricardo - he was fabulous), having clothes pressed free formal nights and priority seating for the ice show - which was a nice. I cannot say enough good things about this cabin. It was more than enough room for all 9 of us to gather. My DS, DIL and Granddaughter (18 months old) were in 9397 just around the corner. Her baby monitor worked from 9394 to 9397 which was nice when she was napping. Pack-N-Play fit nicely in the corner after moving the bed and couch down a little. We celebrated New Years on the balcony together which was memorable. Never encountered any soot on our balcony, so it must have a lot to do with the wind. We did smell sewage on day 2 in the hallway aft but it was gone the next day. The balcony railing was safe for our granddaughter and she loved the room to play and walk around. Note: Nigel our room steward did a fabulous job with our suite. Our bathrooms were always sparkling, we always had plenty of towels, always plenty of ice for cocktails, and he always had a wonderful smile on his face. Ports: Falmouth Jamaica - We shopped at the port then decided to explore outside the gates. We just didn't get a warm and fuzzy feeling on the outside of the gates so we went back to the ship and enjoyed the empty pool on-board. It was a beautiful warm day. Grand Cayman - the kids went to Seven Mile Beach and DH and I took our granddaughter shopping in town. We enjoyed the roosters walking around town and had Dairy Queen - doesn't take much to make an 18 month old happy. Cozumel - did a beach excursion with RCCL - Playa Mia Beach Break. It included drinks (alcohol and non)all day and the use of all of their facilities. We ordered off the menu right from our beach chairs and the food was good. We did a cab to and from and it was $30.00 plus tip for 6 adults and child each way. We will do this beach break again when we are in Cozumel as it fit our family well. Children's pool and play area was so much fun for B but she also loved the sand and swimming in the ocean. Food: We did MTD. I think I didn't do enough research on this area. I thought that 5:30 was too early and 8:00 pm to late with our granddaughter so I went with MTD. I thought that we could get a 7:00 or 7:15pm but that was not to be. They tried very hard to accommodate us and every night we had 6:15 or 6:30. Our granddaughter did very well in the dining room but we did bring an IPAD so she could watch her favorite video (low sound of course). We never had to wait for our table and as we left every night, we just schedule for the next night. Food was good. The first nights pork was terrible but the lobster night was great. We had shrimp cocktails every night and they were wonderful. The steak that was offered nightly was not great but one night they offered Filet of Beef and it was delicious. Overall, I think the food was a little better than Carnival but a little less than Princess. Note: Roxanne and Americo our table stewards were wonderful. Roxanne always had chicken tenders waiting for our granddaughter which was a huge help. Americo made sure my coke was never empty and knew which roll I wanted after the second night. Just sweet, warm, gracious people working so very hard to make sure our vacation was wonderful. We had pizza and cookies nightly after gambling which was fun. Carnival's pizza is much better. Breakfast on the balcony was fabulous. The food was always hot and delicious. They always called before delivering which we really liked, as we used that as a wake-up call. Coffee was very good but very strong. Toast was terrible - not sure where that bread comes from but the bagels were great. We never found a crowd in the Windjammer and I thought the choices were great. Love the salad bar. We had lunch at Johnny Rockets - the milkshake was wonderful. We had level 2 for departure and it went smoothly. Wheelchairs were available for my parents and porters were easily available. My parents would have been fine without the wheelchairs but we just didn't know how long we would have to stand and wait. Henry Lee Tennessee was waiting for us and we were off to the airport. We didn't get to have a Bridge Tour which was one of my parents special requests. Due to the Noro Virus that the NAV had been battling lately they were not offering them. We did not see or hear of anyone sick with the Noro so whatever they had been doing to combat that bug was working. My parents did receive a beautiful glass frame from RCCL/Ricardo for their 65th Wedding Anniversary. That was a lovely gift and they loved it. I will be happy to answer any questions concerning babies, seniors, ect. This was the second cruise for our granddaughter - we took her last year on the Carnival Miracle when she was 6 months old. She has cruised both trips without any problems. We did not use the in-room babysitting or children's programs on either cruises due to her age. Both Carnival and RCCL were more than accommodating with our granddaughter. We have been on Carnival 3 times, Princess 2 times and this was our first RCCL as well as our first suite experience. We will definitely cruise on RCCL again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Embarking was HORRIBLE- parking directions from Royal Caribbean were wrong, then parking filled up. Traffic getting to parking was horrible. We walked in the doors of the terminal at 2 p.m. becuase RCI sent an email saying not to come ... Read More
Embarking was HORRIBLE- parking directions from Royal Caribbean were wrong, then parking filled up. Traffic getting to parking was horrible. We walked in the doors of the terminal at 2 p.m. becuase RCI sent an email saying not to come before 1:30 p.m. We waited 60 minutes in long line to get up to security which really wasn't that bad because the line was moving pretty frequently. But the real kicker was waiting ANOTHER 90 minutes in the security line after they split us from the main line and into one of five security lines. Our line just didn't move. Other people walked into the terminal building and right through security because they were directed to another line. We were just unlucky and the security personnel seemed oblivious to the problem. Because we were one of the final few to board the ship, it was pure chaos on the deck because people were mingling about after the security drill and no one provided us any direction as to what to do or where to go once we stepped aboard. We were so worn out by the process we skipped formal dinner, grabbed a bite in the Windjammer (yummy) and spent the evening settling in to our cabin. The rest of the cruise was wonderful, thank goodness. We were especially pleased with our cabin overlooking the Promenade. It would not be good for those who want to fall asleep early, though, as the sound from the evening's entertainment was pretty audible in our cabin. The upside was we could watch the parades and entertainment from our room. We were quite pleased with the wide variety of activities and entertainment on the ship. And the cruise director (Jimmy) and Activities Manager (Tom) and their staff were highly entertaining. Our first two days aboard were at sea and we were never at a loss of something to do. The ship was large, but not so large that you couldn't get to where you needed to be relatively quickly (if you didn't mind taking the stairs.) Main dining room was good, particularly at dinner. Though we were a little surprised to be seated with a large party of 10, seeing as it was just me and my husband. We figured they would sit us with other couples or smaller parties. Oh well, we had a great time. We did eat lunch one time in the main dining room and decided it was too slow of service and the food was not any better than the Windjammer Cafe. Windjammer Cafe had a lot of variety including plenty of healthy options and plenty of comfort food and sweets. The only downside was going during peak times meant it could be difficult to find the type of seat we preferred and the buffet lines could be a bit chaotic at times. We signed up for the Murder Mystery party in Portofino (specialty restaurant.) Well worth the $$$. Tons of fun and great menu! We were warned about Jamaica so we didn't have high expectations. Turned out to be our favorite port. We went on horseback ride and climbed Dunn River Falls through Yardie Tours which we booked through Cruises Only's Marriot Rewards web site. Grand Cayman was gorgeous - we did stingray city plus 2 snorkle stops with Captain Marvin's tours. Cozumel we took advise from Trip Advisor and hired a private taxi driver for the day who gave us a great tour of the island including a tour of a small chocolate factory and a tequila tour/tasting. Turned out to be an expensive day because we bought jewelry, chocolate, and tequila in addition to paying for 5 hours of a private taxi but it was nice to get out of the crowds. We look forward to our next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
This was our second time aboard Navagator of the Seas and once again we were very happy with the crew and the for the most part happy with the whole experience. As has been noted by others Navagator is due for a makeover and if it is ... Read More
This was our second time aboard Navagator of the Seas and once again we were very happy with the crew and the for the most part happy with the whole experience. As has been noted by others Navagator is due for a makeover and if it is another 18 months off she will really need some help. We arrived in Barcelona late on Thur. before boarding on Saturday and found that a day and a half is not enough time in this great city. STayed at the Hotel Villamari and found it comfortable and in a good location from which to get around the City. Arriving at the port about 2PM only took about 30 minutes to get on board and our stateroom was ready for us--clean but a little worn--the embarkation was about as smooth as could be expected. We enjoyed the Ports both Cartagena and Malaga were pleasnt enough and the weather was good. One problem we found in Malaga was a that several places did not accept credit cards and after you order lunch without cash it gets a little tense. Tennerefe was interesting with the very rugged topography coming right down to the waters edge. My wife and I both thought the shows in the theater started out as very poor but got better later during the trip, The Platters put on a good show as did El Gaucho. The Ice show was good but not as spectacular as previous Ice Shows we have seen on both the Navagator and on Mariner. I always look forward to the encrichment lectures and am disappointed when they are not offered. The Fun Decades presentation was fun and informative and I thought the speaker was among the best we have seen on Cruise ships. The art historian a little less impressive. I also enjoyed the evening Astronomy lectures offered by one of the Directors staff. I would like to know in the future that these types of lectures will be offered it might be the difference in going or not going. Now to the dinning experience, we are relatively new to Cruising (only about 6 years) but I certainly feel that even in that short time the meals have gotten worse both in quality and variety. We were always able to find something on the dinner menue that was agreable but unlike a few years ago when almost each evening there were two or three things on the menue that I thought I would like to have. Our waite staff was very good there were a couple of evening when the food was not as hot as I would have prefered. The windjammer was ok we had the late seating for dinner and would usually just look for a snack for lunch and then perhaps go to tea aroun 4 or so. I think on future transatlantics we will try to get the early seating for dinner. Most mornings we had breakfast in the Main Dinning room and found that very good Hot food cooked to order. I was a little worried about 6 consecutive sea days but they litteraly flew by to the point that I lost track--we played bridge most days, attended the lectures and other activites and found ourselves plenty busy. The last comment concerns the debarkation I don't think you can necessairly fault RCI but the last memory of a very good trip is a bad experience. I don't know how to fix this problem certainly we need security and control but this system is just a mess with little information being transmitted to very frustrated passengers. Fortunately we were in no great hurry as we had a late afternoon flight out of New Orleans but there were a lot of people at the airport when we got there that had missed flights some of them international connections. The trip was really great and one that we will do more often the future it is a great value at less than 100 dollars a day I can't stay home for that. Fishforfun Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
After a two night stay in Barcelona we boarded the Navigator of the Seas. It had been two and a half years since we last sailed on the Navigator and not much had changed but we did notice that she was getting tired and ready for a face ... Read More
After a two night stay in Barcelona we boarded the Navigator of the Seas. It had been two and a half years since we last sailed on the Navigator and not much had changed but we did notice that she was getting tired and ready for a face lift. We were told that that upgrading had been postponed till spring 2014, she will be very tired by then I'm afraid. All that aside the cruise turned out to be one of out top three cruises for good times and great food. we enjoyed dinner in the dinning room very night with a great wait staff. If people complain about the quality of the meals they must have a wonderful life at home. The only meal we had that was less than great was the night we all went to Portofino where the meal was much less than spectacular and the seafood was cool by the time we got our meal. The entertainment was very good, both in-house and shows in the theatre. Special mention to the Sunlight Band who we miss the most. All in all we had a great time, put on a couple of pounds and came home with some great memories. The only real negative from our point of view was the number of smoking venues and the lack of enforcement of smoking in non smoking areas. I guess I have to mention the debacle when we arrived in New Orleans, even though it was the Port Authority and not RCCL that is responsible on this one. Over four hours to get off the ship and on the street is a little crazy. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
We sailed on the Navigator of the Seas, RC on 11/17 out of New Orleans. Our Embarkation was not good. Parking was impossible. But getting off the ship was very good. So I think the Port of New Orleans cleaned up their act by then. The ... Read More
We sailed on the Navigator of the Seas, RC on 11/17 out of New Orleans. Our Embarkation was not good. Parking was impossible. But getting off the ship was very good. So I think the Port of New Orleans cleaned up their act by then. The ship was FANTASTIC. The Promenade which is designed like a Main Street is great. There was a Disco Party there one night and the Circus Parade was Amazing. There are lots of activities on the ship, from jewelry making to napkin folding. There was always something to do. The shops on Main Street are okay, nothing special. The food is good at the main restaurants and buffet. The food is excellent in the specialty restaurants. We did the Mystery Dinner, which was lots of fun. The Gym on the ship is great, lots of machines and weights, but it does get crowded at certain times. The Casino is good. The Solarium, the adults only pool is fantastic. 2 whirlpools and one medium size pool. The other pool area is great, 2 larger pools and at least 4 whirlpools. They had line dancing, a disco party and various contests. The ports, Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel were okay. Grand Cayman was beautiful. We did the Captain Bryan's Snorkeling trip in Grand Cayman. It was not great snorkeling, the reefs are not spectacular, but the ship and crew were Great. The snorkeling in Jamaica, Dream (booked thru the ship) was not worth the money. Snorkeling was just off the beach. But the ride on both catamarans was wonderful. We shopped in Cozumel, which although hectic with all the vendors shouting at you. But, you can get some great deals. I bought a necklace and I know it was 50% off as I checked the US price. I would give the Navigator 5 stars. The food is not perfect, but I didn't expect it to be. The Ports were not breathtaking, but I didn't expect that either. The ship is spotless, they received a 100% grade from the Health Inspector before we left the Port of New Orleans. The best part of our cruise was the ship. There was ALWAYS something to do. Bingo, exercise classes, dance lessons, mini golf, dodge ball, skating or in line skating. The bars and lounges are great. Our favorite was the Cosmopolitan. The ship never felt crowded even though it was fully booked. The Staff on every level was wonderful. All the staff we encountered on the entire cruise was courteous and friendly. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Royal Caribbean remains a quality experience. We upgraded to a balcony room since we knew we would be gliding by fantastic sights. It was worth it. The room was really nice and we don't know if we will ever go back to the interior ... Read More
Royal Caribbean remains a quality experience. We upgraded to a balcony room since we knew we would be gliding by fantastic sights. It was worth it. The room was really nice and we don't know if we will ever go back to the interior tiny rooms that we convinced ourselves were OK because we only slept there... The Eastern Mediterranean cruise was a first for us.. We flew into Rome to join our son and a "quaint B&B we found on the Internet. We were looking for the best ways to be economical (it's a challenge our family persists in) We planned on the train from the airport to Termini end. It was 24 euros. As we walked the airport to baggage claim, we saw signs for bus lines advertising 5 euros transfers... We checked it out and thought it would be fine. We bought a round trip ticket for 8 euros. It was a short walk to the bus stop and easy to load suitcase in the outside bins. They let us off just outside the Termini, and took about 50 minutes. Our son arrived later that afternoon and he took the train as planned. He said it was a terrifically long walk to get to the station, then load the luggage on the train and haul it with them. We toured Rome (not our first time, but perhaps our last) for two days. The pickpockets were worse than ever. My husband was picked twice within 30 minutes and both times he recovers his wallet from the hands of the pickpocket who got his wallet out of my husband from pockets. My son was picked the next day, and later on the way to the Termini to go to the port, I was picked by three young women who surrounded me. I also figured out what they were doing and batted one of them away from me as she reached into my bag. We took the 'slow' train for 5 euros. It took about an hour, and the fast train for much more was about 25-35. The ship offered transfers back for 95 euros... We exited the train and walked about 3 football fields to the gates of the port where we then walked a little further to the cruise line shuttle bus. Finally the cruise... great fun! Same food we expect on Royal lines. Ice Shows, great music, the Promenade!!. mini golf, volley ball, dodge ball, lots of varied activities. Loved room service breakfast, and late night snacks of fruit trays, cheese trays and spinach dip and chips. Eating while watching the stars and passing by islands and sites. Even saw a small island that seemed to grow straight out of the water to a sharp peek.. watched as it erupted with a burp of smoke. We found out it was an active volcano. We stopped At Messini and we went to Mt Etna, and our son and his wife went to another small town up a winding hill side road. He won on his excursion. I stayed on the ship and lounged at Crete while my husband and son went swimming at the beach. they switched stops because Greece was having strikes and protests, and went to Turkey next. We toured the bazaars and saw an old fort. The rugs were amazing and the work to make them incredible. But $1000 for a place-mat size... I will settle for walmart. Greece was beautiful. We took a bus tour and stopped at a beach-side cafe for a break and at the acropolis. I think we could have spent a week there. It was clean and everyone was pleasant. Back to Rome and my husbands fav.. Gelato.. sour cherry was the best! All in all it was great... I think I enjoyed the cruise more than the stops. and Definitely have had enough of Rome. The current condition of danger there is more than I want to experience again. Others on the cruise reports similar experiences and many not as successful as we were. One older couple were 'guided' into a narrow roadway and then surrounded and forced to provide the password to their credit card, and lost their passports and everything they carried. sigh... great stories if you save yourself and get away.... Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
We booked a trip on the Navigator of the Seas for 7 nights with a very nice destination to Eastern Mediterranean countries: Turkey, Greece and Italy-Sicily. The trip was amazing and we enjoyed every bit of it. The room we booked, was a ... Read More
We booked a trip on the Navigator of the Seas for 7 nights with a very nice destination to Eastern Mediterranean countries: Turkey, Greece and Italy-Sicily. The trip was amazing and we enjoyed every bit of it. The room we booked, was a deluxe double with balcony and it's very comfortable and has a good space, with shower room, closet, big bed, balcony, safe, vanity, TV and mini bar. If I was you and looking to book on he Navigator I would book a room with balcony, not an interior one, because you would really feel cornered, as people can see in your room if you're above the promenade area. You get a full service on the room, including free food and room nicely arranged (bed made twice a day). Every night we were coming back from dinner to find a nice surprise from our housekeeper - a towel folded animal puppet which looked very cute. The poolside is nice and comfortable and you have plenty of choice of sitting on different areas of the pool. Although in the very hot days, you should get to the pool quite early as it can get crowded and you won't find place in the sun that easily. There are plenty of hot tubs and you can always enjoy a dip in the warm comforting and bubbly water. I never waited for an empty spot in the hot tub, even in the crowded days at the pool. We like massages and spas in general and if you do as well, we totally recommend you to book some spa day in advance. You don't need to book before your cruise, there are spots all the time, but if you are specific about a certain day when you want to spa, then you should book online, in advance. If you're a couple get the couple's retreat massage plus Rasul...AMAZING! The shops on the ship have a variety of things you need from toiletries to bags and souvenirs, perfumes and make-up and other accessories you may need. The karaoke nights were very fun and we had a blast actually participating in some contests. The must do on the cruise is the Adult Quest, there is plenty of fun and you will laugh out loud! It's good to book some of the shore excursions in the first day of your cruise otherwise they get pretty full. If you don't want to book, you can always go on foot by yourself and enjoy the sights. It's also very good to have an account open on your room otherwise you'll need to walk around with cash on you all the time and there is only one ATM on board which runs outta cash quickly. Was very satisfied with the food quality and the amounts, an all you can eat breakfast, lunch, dinner at the Windjammer but an occasional fancy dinner at the Chops Grille, which was very nice. There are tons of choice of food and drink on board. Btw, the staff on the ship is impeccable and very nice, they really make you feel important. Overall this cruise line is a very nice choice and I can't wait to book my next one. We're looking at the moment at different options for the next year. Enjoy your cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
My wife and I sailed on the October 7 sailing of the Navigator of the Seas. This was our 8th cruise, and second on RCCL. We flew into Rome 3 days early and spent some time seeing the sights and highlights of Rome. So much to see and talk ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on the October 7 sailing of the Navigator of the Seas. This was our 8th cruise, and second on RCCL. We flew into Rome 3 days early and spent some time seeing the sights and highlights of Rome. So much to see and talk about there, however this is Cruise Critic not Trip Advisor. If you stay in Rome before sailing you should know that catching the train at Termini is somewhat a challenge. There is very little signage to direct passengers and the gypsy's are very clever at acting like train personnel providing directions for a cost! The tickets do not list the stand to catch the train to Civitavecchia. My advise is to seek out a person wearing a shirt or jacket with the railroad emblem on the left chest. We arrived by train in Civitavecchia with plenty of time to make the walk from the train to the port with luggage in tow. Be prepared its a bit of a trek. Just follow the crowd.At some point, we were directed by RCCL personnel to a bus for the short ride to the check-in area. The check-in process took less then 30 minutes and we were onboard the ship. We were required to turn our passports over to RCCL for immigration purposes...not a big deal, they were returned to us early on Thursday. The ship is beautiful! Yes, I'll agree with other critics that she is worn in some areas, but she is still a beautiful ship. We had a balcony cabin, forward, starboard, deck 7. Our cabin was very nice with adequate space and storage. Natalie did a fantastic job of keeping our room clean with fresh towels and soap. As requested, she supplied us with fresh ice daily. There wasn't the usual towel animals and mints...we had towel animals 3 out of the 7 nights...not really a big deal. Somona the cruise director and her team were fabulous and had tons of activities planned to fit every taste! The Navigator orchestra was probably the best I've every heard on a cruise ship. The featured singers were awesome as well as the dancers! The Ice show was incredible...I was totally amazed! I enjoyed every show, but understand why some might consider some of them boring...you can only watch a juggler for so long...yawn! The violinist, Gary Lovini was amazing...even bought a DVD! We enjoyed singing familiar tunes at Schooners and only donated $40 to the casino. Unlike other cruises that I have been on, I liked not having a photo shoot every five steps...the ship was not covered in photo backdrops hanging everywhere! I found the customer service desk to be very helpful. The food...was very good however, it wasn't any better then food I've had on other cruise lines. Also, on a 7 day cruise on another cruise line I can expect to have Lobster and Prime rib without having to pay extra for the Lobster, RCCL now offer Lobster for extra charge...Really? Deserts were much better on my other cruises as well. I'm not saying that I was disappointed but with the service of RCCL generally being a notch above other cruise lines, I expected the food to be a notch above as well. Our waiter Shon was superb throughout the trip. We got to know our table-mates very well and would spend time talking even after most diners had left. Shon never rushed us out to set up for the late dinner. Of course, we left him with ample time to prepare for the next seating. We ate at Johnny Rockets twice...what can I say...Good! We are not fans of buffet, but we did eat in the Windjammer twice for lunch and twice for breakfast and there was always a huge selection of food, however, I don't like walking around with my food looking for a table! Room service was great and arrived on time both times we used it. We went on our own in Sicily, walked around for a bit and returned to the ship...it was ok...I'm sure we missed something by not doing an excursion. Ephesus was the highlight of the trip for us! We did the Biblical 8.5 hour tour...AWESOME...it was a very interesting place. We enjoyed the carpet demonstration too, and we didn't feel under any pressure to buy either. If you want a rug, just have PLENTY of money with you! Shops at the port had plenty of unique things to buy. In Athens we took the Hop on Hop off bus outside of the terminal. We got to see the city from the open top, visited the Acropolis and Mars Hill, shopped and ate Gyro's in Plaka. Watch the time closely as the last bus back to the port leaves the Acropolis around 1630! In Crete, we were invited to join our new friends on a private tour they had previously set up. We had an awesome day, saw the Agia Triada Monastery, olive oil processing plant, ancient ruins, and had by for the best Gyro's and Greek salad ever...and I can't forget the Raki...Yamis! Thanks K and MB for the invitation, Great memories! Before our cruise we chatted with fellow cruise critics on the forum. A meet and mingle was set up, which we attended on our first sea day. It was great to meet other travelers from around the world and receive little gifts and door prizes! One of the couples was actually seated at our dinner table and we all became fast friends and plan to keep in touch! We had a 0940 departure from Rome so we set up any early debarkation with Guest Relations early in the week. We were able the leave the ship at 0600, taking all of our luggage with us. You must provide RCCL with a travel itinerary with proof of a flight departure before 1100 prior to the last day, otherwise you must wait for general debarkation. Overall, this was a fantastic trip and RCCL did a great job, we'll defiantly travel with them again! Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
I booked my holiday through Trail Finders - Fantastic Value - 7 Night Eastern Med Cruise on Board RCI Navigator of the Seas. Inclusive Flights and hotel in Rome night before sailing. We got great value in our deal and paid less than 1900 ... Read More
I booked my holiday through Trail Finders - Fantastic Value - 7 Night Eastern Med Cruise on Board RCI Navigator of the Seas. Inclusive Flights and hotel in Rome night before sailing. We got great value in our deal and paid less than 1900 for the package. We upgraded our room to Promanade Room, Booked My Time Dining and Late Departure as additional extras with extra costings. We stayed in the Crowne Plaza St Peters Rome the Saturday night before Sailing. This hotel was outside the city, which was fine, a shuttle bus runs through out the day at different intervals to drop you into the city, this Im afraid does not run often enough for my liking. We took a taxi in as we did not want to waste our only day in Rome waiting for an hour for the bus. This cost us approx 15.00 euro( to give you an idea ). I found Rome to be pretty dirty in a lot of places, even though the historic element was beautiful, the city was very drab. The People I am afraid were not very friendly either. We hired a private transfer to the Port the next morning. We boarded Navigator Of the Seas very quickly which was pleasing. My first impression of the exteroir of the Ship was WOW HUGE...14 DECKS high. I found the Interior of the Ship extremely impressive, All areas totally spotless and clean, even the carpeted areas.Our stateroom, Promanade View: Lovely Clean Room with a fabulously comfortable bed. Lovely Clean Bathroom. Lots of Storage. Safe. Minibar. Tv with all guest information. Window facing down onto the prom, while an upgrade from an interior cabin, we did not spend too much time gawking out the window. It was handy because we could check out the queue at guest relations. My next Cruise I will book a balcony room. Our room attendent was highly attentive to us and wa practically waiting for us to exit the room so that he could clean TWICE a day!! What service. He always greeted us and was so friendly. All staff on board were so respectful and pleasant in all ways. The Dining room we were assigned to was Swan Lake - We had booked My Time Dining - which while handy as you can choose your dining time every evening, was more of a hindrance as we wanted to sit together every evening and not share tables, we had to compromise regarding time a few night, this is not a deal breaker though. We had a table at the window every night, and was beautiful. Service Staff were excellent, and food over all top notch. Only one night did we feel the standard slipped slightly and I think that was down to over filling the dining room at that particular time. We ate in Chops Restaurant (30.00 dollars per head), it was FABULOUS. We also ate in Portofino (20.00 dollars per head )it was great also, well worth splashing out for a bit of variety. We did not take part in the first formal night, although we felt the whole way through the cruise people dressed as they wished, whether formal or casual attire was the recommedation,most dressed how they pleased. The bars were fantastic on board, we drank at them all, but spent most time in the Sports Bar on the top deck 14, where we could catch the news on the tv as well as a little sport. Bela a romanian guy behind the bar was amazing and really kept us entertained every night we were there with lovely conversation. The nightclub was great also but we only went once. The shows seemed a bit drab to me, felt they all appealed to a very family orientated audience, while this is understandable, it would have been nice to have a comedian with some adult humour as well...Advertised comedian, was a juggler, while funny, it did get old after ten minutes of juggling and miming. The pool was always busy,as the weather was so good. The tours offered were brilliant, although leaning on the expensive side. We picked wisely and spent money where we only wanted to see something in particular. We chose to do the Taste of Sicily tour which we would really recomend as you get to go up to MT Etna and is very beautiful!! We mostly did hop on hop off tours everywhere else. We stopped in Sicily, Kusadasi, Crete, Athens and Back to Rome. There was a jam packed schedule of activities on the ship, parades, bingo, The casino...etc...You WILL NEVER BE BORED if you are willing to take part in something. I cannot endorse this holiday enough. There was a good mix of elderly, retirees, honeymooners, families and couples, to not feel isolated...Just Brilliant...I really admire the staff for their friendly approach and outlook to spending 7 months solid away from their families to work on board. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
At about 1100 in the morning we took a shuttle to the ship. Check-in was slow, but we were advised that was due boarding had not yet commenced. At check-in we had a very uncomfortable experience in that we could not board without handing ... Read More
At about 1100 in the morning we took a shuttle to the ship. Check-in was slow, but we were advised that was due boarding had not yet commenced. At check-in we had a very uncomfortable experience in that we could not board without handing in our passports, something we are not keen to do. We were given various unacceptable explanations, due fact that 2 months ago we did virtually the same cruise, from Italy, with another company, and we were not requested to deposit our passports. We asked for a manager, or someone in charge and a Customer Service Agent, from Royal Caribbean came and told us it was not necessary to hand in our passports since we did not need visas to any of the countries. His explanation that the authorities check all the passports seemed to be a slight exaggeration of the facts. He went on to say if we did not mind being woken every morning by customs, we could hold our passports. He then did a 360 about face and told us he was not prepared to give us this option, and we could not board without handing over our passports. A pretty poor show, we thought. Don't give the customer an option if it does not exist. We then spoke to a senior security officer who gave us his personal word that nothing could or would go wrong, and that the passports would be returned the day before we disembarked. I purposely have not named them, but have recorded their names. We then boarded, and waited till 1300 to get our room, quite an acceptable procedure, with all the public facilities as well as food halls open for our convenience. Our stateroom, 8th floor with balcony was larger than what we have had in the past, with a larger than usual size bathroom, with a user friendly shower cubicle and not shower curtains. sink and plenty of mirrors and storage space. No shampoo and conditioner, something which was stated as being in our rooms, our cabin attendant said the shampoo and conditioner now comes mixed together -- not good for those of us who like to use only conditioner. 2 small bars of cheap smelling soap are supplied on the first day, one more five days later-- no more. The room itself boasts more than ample cupboard, storage space and endless mirrors, What can I say, large double bed, sofa bed, mini-fridge, vanity table, lights, mirrors; only thing lacking is a small kettle with cups for early coffee in bed, but as I never leave home without my kettle and coffee --no problem.Another point, mini bar with drinks but no glasses are supplied. The ship. Certainly the most impressive, grandiose and most spacious ship we have ever sailed on. From the Promenade with its bars and shops, the decor, the colors, the winding staircases, to the various bars,lounges and quiet intimate corners with such beautiful decorations, statuettes chandeliers, you name it; here it was bigger and better! Wide corridors with display cases with different objects, the chandeliers, and the copper and glass friezes, quite out of this world! It literally takes a few days to take in all the features of this magnificent vessel, from the ceilings with different decorations, to the floors -- see the entrance to the Casino! The atriums are something to see and marvel - just to wander the different floors with the display cases with different objects, the staircases with artwork, superb! General Less public announcements are made, making for a quieter time, all in at least English and Italian. Some of the shows outstanding, such as Grazie Quaranta. Good pianist singer in the Schooner Bar, other artist's singers of a high standard, and the ice show -- simply superb. One suggestion, the time changing of clocks could be made more prominent, like a separate reminder on ones bed the same night, as on other lines.!, We also missed the finer small points such as name of room steward with contact details, chocolates on pillow at night, daily replenishment of soap. Its 6 star accommodation with 3 star services! Gratuities -- This cruise company has quite a different approach to gratuities, either agree to pay the "Customary Gratuity Amounts "and the amount is charged to ones credit card, or envelopes are placed in ones stateroom and the passenger can decide on the amount of the gratuities. My opinion, with regard to all lines we have sailed on, is that too much emphasis is placed on gratuities, which should be left to the individual to decide. If gratuities are part of the salaries, than the cost of the cruise should be increased by the amount of the gratuities and then passengers can decide themselves whether and how much to leave to those that gave extra service. Smoking -- my major grouse. When will one of the cruise lines decide to make the ships completely smoke free? Not likely that smokers will stop cruising because more people fly today than in the past and is there smoking on aircraft? The fact that one side of the ship is smoke free means nothing when people disregard the notices. Casino -- smoking without even a non-smoking night, as on some other lines. Maybe if smoking was stopped the smokers would be more on edge and gamble more?! Bars in the Promenade -- smoking, Decks and balconies-- smoking. Most unpleasant for the non-smokers, with little or no control where people smoke. Food -- We found it easier to eat in the Windjammer, the buffet restaurant, than in the main dining room as we could eat when we wanted to, enough to satisfy anyone, in my opinion. Food hot, looked good, what more could one ask for? Well laid out and stocked Islands"with a good range of foods on offer, however, we were surprised at the amount of pork on offer. The range of fresh salads was also more limited than other lines, this noticeable as my wife is vegetarian and mainly eats salads. There was an asian"section, good range of antipasti. However there were slight differences. The bagels and breads are pre-toasted which means we ate cold, hard toast in the mornings. The salmon however, was of a lower standard than we have enjoyed on other lines. At breakfast there is a dedicated counter for freshly fried eggs or omelet's. At dinner the same system applies to pasta or stir fried vegetables. Drink stations, always well stocked, offering water, lemonade, iced tea as well as hot drinks are self service, although the wait staff do come around to offer to bring to the table. Generally the service in the Windjammer was good, although some mealtimes were very crowded with problems to find a vacant table, and announcements were made to vacate tables for other guests, for us a first!. Last note, when we departed the ship I specifically looked for a final account, although I knew none was due me, as we had not spent/bought anything. I did not find an account on our door, as I saw on other staterooms and correctly assumed the amount was nil. Mistake, I received a debit on my credit card, and have no idea what it is for. According to company rules, all queries must be made before leaving the ship as nothing can be requested thereafter. Catch 22 for me! Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
I sailed on the Navigator of the Seas for my dads 60th Birthday last August. It was my first time cruising but my parents have done many and Royal Caribbean is their favorite. First Impressions I was astounded by the sheer size of ... Read More
I sailed on the Navigator of the Seas for my dads 60th Birthday last August. It was my first time cruising but my parents have done many and Royal Caribbean is their favorite. First Impressions I was astounded by the sheer size of the ship! It was a sight to behold when I seen it from the road high up Civitavecchia. I found the boarding procedure to be quite efficient and we where in our cabin around 20 mins after getting off the coach. The ship was clean and I had a nice wander around before heading to the windjammer for some lunch. The Cabin The cabin itself was small but there was a good use of space and it did not feel cramped. Our cabin attendants where really good and had no fault with them at all. The bathroom was also of ample size and suited our needs. I was a bit disappointed that we did not have an outside cabin but to be honest I actually didnt miss it. I spent so little time in the cabin that a window would have not been needed! Plus it was nice to emerge onto the deck and be surprised by the view of that days port! Food We used the windjammer for all our meals except one dinner on the 2nd formal night. I do not recall having a bad meal there at all! Sure I had some stuff I was trying for the 1st time that I did not like but that wasnt the fault of the staff!The food selection was very wide and appropriate to what port we where in, eg in athens we had some greek food. Every meal was great and I loved the massive glass windows given a panoramic view. Having breakfast looking out over a different port everyday and having dinner by sunset in the middle of the Med every night was an experience I will not soon forget. We also had the privilege to talk frequently with one of the head chefs, he was very happy to chat to us about the ports and food and he shared quite a few tips with us. On the 2nd formal night we decided to go to the MDR. The food was excellent and it was a nice change from the windjammer as it was completely different. However I would not chose to dine there every evening as the atmosphere was very different from the windjammer, and I would miss the views! If after all the food you remained hungry there was a snack bar on the Promenade which served sandwiches,pizza,cakes and biscuits late into the evening. Entertainment The entertainment was generally quite good, I especially enjoyed the ice show. There was one act, a juggler, he wasnt quite so good at times. Felt a bit sorry for him! But even that didnt detract from the overall good entertainment. Other Activities On the 2nd day before we arrived in Messina there was a short beginners crash guide to Italian in the schooner bar. That was quite good, was great to get some basics taught to you by an Italian! I tried the rock wall, that was a great experience as from up there I could see the volcano we where about to pass which I believe was Mt Stromboli. On the pool deck there was a bbq and also a sail away party with cakes and ice sculptures, dancing, live music and even a conga line around the pool! Staff and service The staff on board where all great, no exceptions. While chatting to the assistant at guest services it came up about my dad turning 60 during the crusie, and she arranged for a bucket of ice and champagne to be sent to the cabin on that day. The cabin attendant also found out about the birthday and actually bought my dad a t-shirt whilst we where in port! It was very kind of him and greatly appreciated by us. Excursions This is the only low point for me. I refused to pay the prices for the excursions they where charging. Messina - In messina we went for a lovely walk around the town. Athens - After doing my own research I organised a tour for my party around athens using the hop on hop off bus which was 20 euros each and included 2 routes, also a visit to the acropolis museum. We had a fantastic time doing this and loved the flexibility doing it that way gave us. If I recall correctly there was a cost of 45 dollars each for a 4hr tour which I do not feel is value for money. Kusadasi- This was a fantastic little port to explore on foot, none of us in the party were inclined to go further afield than the old town markets. Chania - This again was a fantastic town to explore on foot. We caught the shuttle bus from the port to the town and i think the cost was certainly less than 2 euros each. Overall we had a fantastic time and now I have caught the cruising bug and would not consider anything other than Royal Caribbean. I have since now book a 2 week Hawaiian cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas and look forward to the same WOW factor there! Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Our family sailed on Navigator of the Seas for the second time, but the first time on a European itinerary. We were my wife and I, and out two teenage daughters, 13 and 16. We spent a few days in Rome exploring, booking a nice apartment ... Read More
Our family sailed on Navigator of the Seas for the second time, but the first time on a European itinerary. We were my wife and I, and out two teenage daughters, 13 and 16. We spent a few days in Rome exploring, booking a nice apartment via HomeAway, which was fabulous. We took the express train from Rome Termini to Civitavecchia, the Rome port just north of the main airport. It was about a 45-1hr train journey, complicated by the hundreds of local Romans heading for the beaches on this beautiful Sunday morning. It was very easy to walk from the train terminal to the waiting buses, which whisked us to the ship. Confusingly, there were no signs, so simply walk north (turn right on exit of the train station) along the sidewalks, until you see the old fort on your left. Its in a fairly busy roundabout, where the entrance to the port proper begins. You will see buses waiting off to your left. We had to wait a bit to get to our room, and yes, we did have an emergency drill before departure, which thankfully did not require us to head to the cabin to get life preservers, as they were handed out in our station. As we have been on 5 RCCL cruises before, here are a few brief observations on this particular cruise: Turkey, Crete and Athens ports are incredible, and worth the entire cruise. Sicily is not very interesting. It is so close to Rome that the ship must go very slow, which is a nice break for getting your sea legs. But the port is missable in my opinion. They only stop to take on local travelers, as this is an embarkation/debarkation point as well. There were 3300 guests on board, so the ship was nearly full. They consisted of about 1/3 Italian, 1/3 USA and 1/3 other European/Asian. The ship 'felt' like a busy town in Italy, and the 'pace' of life on the cruise felt very different to this American. It was not as relaxed as Caribbean cruises, and I feel that the European meal culture was partly to blame: the Late dinner seating was packed, with over 300 on the waiting list. Most Europeans eat dinner much later than American's so they all wanted the late dinner seating. We switched to early seating and got our choice of tables. This also meant that the Windjammer was crowded at dinner time, but almost unusable at lunch. My impression was that larger Italian families were gathering around several tables in the Windjammer, and enjoying a long, leisurely lunch. The trouble is, the Windjammer is not designed for low table turnover, and guest spend 20 minutes circling looking for a table. Lines for food were long as well. It was manageable, but just different to what I had witnessed on four other RCCL cruises. This was our first cruise where it felt full. On sea days, the pool was packed, with folks lounging for hours. There was not much 'towel-holding' of chairs, and RCCL crew patrolled, but mostly there just were not many chairs available. We had a glass balcony, which was fabulous, as there was always land nearby and the sea was amazingly calm. We enjoyed our balcony. Well worth it for this cruise. The ship broadcast World Cup soccer (football) during the cruise, using all the bars and even the main theater for a few of the games. Ephesus was a memory of a lifetime, don't miss it. We hired Ephesus Shuttle, and we were delighted with it. Ephesus is nearly an hour drive away, so having a tour guide really is important. Tour the homes, and pay the extra fee, you won't regret it. Mary's house is miserable, as it is underwhelming and over crowded. Expect to wait in line 30 mins to get a 2 min glimpse of what is really just a shrine. We appreciated the experience and the gifts we bought, but otherwise, I would not recommend it. Athens is also fantastic. It is fairly easy to get to the Acropolis by walking to the train station. If your itinerary supports it, shop in the morning and tour Acropolis after lunch, as there are no crowds then. Morning is completely jammed, and will take 3 hours total to buy tickets and see the sights. Crete is a lovely stop, beautiful seaside shopping district, but otherwise not much to see. Sicily (Messina) is a good time to stay onboard and enjoy the pool.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
My Grandson wanted to see the ruins in Greece so we booked this cruise, while we were on FOS last summer, then transferred it to our Travel Agent. This was the first trip to Europe for 4 of the 5 of us. We decided to spend 3 nights in Rome ... Read More
My Grandson wanted to see the ruins in Greece so we booked this cruise, while we were on FOS last summer, then transferred it to our Travel Agent. This was the first trip to Europe for 4 of the 5 of us. We decided to spend 3 nights in Rome pre-cruise and 1 night post-cruise, just to cover our bases and make sure we got to see everything possible. We booked a double room and a triple room at the Hotel Sant' Angelo, near the Vatican. The price of the hotel averaged around $44 per person, per night. The rooms were tiny, but the beds were great and since we needed two twin beds in one room and 3 twins in another, this was perfect for the small amount of time we spent at the hotel. We added the breakfast for 7.50 euros each day. They had a buffet with scrambled eggs, english-style bacon, cheeses, fruits, pastries and baked goods, cereals, yogurt, juice, coffee and capuccina. It's tucked away on a quiet street. We arrived early, but the the hotel had one of our rooms ready and after we stowed our luggage, the manager gave us a map and a few suggestions for lunch at restaurants within a couple of blocks of the hotel. We used Aer Lingus to get from NY to Rome, with a plane change in Dublin. Aer Lingus was on time, had in-flight movies at no cost and the price of the ticket was $801, so it was too good to believe. We had arranged for Bob's Limo for the airport (FCO) to the hotel, the hotel to the cruise ship, the cruise ship back to the hotel and the hotel back to the airport. They were prompt, professional, on-time and waiting patiently for us at each transfer. We couldn't have asked for better service. The embarkation process at Civitavecchia was the fastest, most efficient we've ever experienced. The driver dropped us off at the tented area, we walked straight to the clerks, got our seapass card and were listening to the first ping of the seapass card before we had time to catch our breath. The ship was clean, and the only place we saw any signs of age or disrepair was the paint was chipping overhead on the balcony ceiling in a few places. Before we could finish our lunch, the announcement was made that the cabins were ready. The muster drill was quick and painless and then we were off to the upper deck to enjoy the first frozen drink and watch the sail-away. We chose first dining in the MDR because we knew that some of us would be tired at the end of a day of excursions and some of us would want to be interested in other things after dinner each night. Our waiter, Sean, was one of the best we've ever had. In fact, after hearing that escargot was a favorite of my Grandson, the last night of the cruise, 4 servings of escargot suddenly appeared on our table, in spite of the fact that it wasn't on the menu. What a nice surprise! We didn't use the Specialty Restaurants on this cruise and we had wonderful meals every night. We had been on the sister ships of Navigator so there were not surprises with our balcony cabin. Our cabin steward was great. He always made sure we had ice, kept the cabin immaculately clean and was extremely nice. I used the Wash and Fold special. After having spent 3 days in Rome, we were in need of some clean clothes. Because we are Diamond C&A, we had 2 coupons and were able to get a bag of laundry done for $15 each. Everything came back neatly folded with very few wrinkles and we were very grateful. I was able to fit an unbelievable amount of laundry into the bag. I was able to send underwear, t-shirts and capris and they all came back in good enough shape to wear on the tours without any pressing...just a sprint or two with the trusty Downey Wrinkle Release and I was back in business. We used private cars at all the ports except Crete, and it was the best decision ever. At each port, we had a driver who made sure we got out ahead of the lines of buses. It was more economical than the RCI excursions, we saw more in less time and there was no time wasted waiting on everyone to go to the bathroom, shop, or return to the bus..and we had the ability to change the itinerary if we were enjoying ourselves at any particular spot. In Turkey we used Ephesus Deluxe and they were great. I can't say a negative thing about them. In Sicily we used New Travel Services. The driver went above and beyond to make our trip to Taormina easy, fun and made special stops along the way, making sure we were able to stop at any spot we pointed out. In Athens we used Dennis Private Tours and not only did the driver greet us, but Dennis was there as well. It was the first trip to Europe for all of us but one and the first time we've used the private car route, but we were absolutely blown away with the cost, the professional manner and had absolutely the best of each port. In Crete, we only wanted to do a little shopping. We didn't have any plans so we just used the free shuttle provided by RCI. The only complaint would be that they waited not only until the shuttles were full, but packed with people standing and hanging on for dear life from the overhead straps before they would budge from the lot. I would without doubt use these companies again and wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone. You get a nice air-conditioned car or mini-van, a driver who is familiar with the country and takes good care of you in a way you can't get with a crowd. I listened to others complaining about the waiting time, the places they didn't enjoy and felt a little guilty because we had been having the time of our lives. Each company, in fact, had ice-cold water and juice for us which truly helped with the heat. We didn't see all of the shows, but we did see the ice show and it was great, as usual. The only negative on the entertainment was that the parades were at odd times and we missed them both times. One of our group had never seen the parade and we were a little disappointed that we missed them. This itinerary is very port intensive when compared with a caribbean cruise so I guess we should have paid more attention to the Compass. We loved every port. This was truly a wonderful trip. I wouldn't hesitate to repeat this trip on the Navigator again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
This is our (Mom and Dad) second cruise to the Mediterranean, but the first time for the kids (34 and 24). This was a family trip -- probably our last as a family as the kids are moving on with their lives. It was everything we hoped it ... Read More
This is our (Mom and Dad) second cruise to the Mediterranean, but the first time for the kids (34 and 24). This was a family trip -- probably our last as a family as the kids are moving on with their lives. It was everything we hoped it would be. After three nights in Rome on our own we boarded the Navigator at Civitavecchia. We were a little early but were allowed to board anyway. The process was quick and painless. Our cabins were to be ready at 1 pm so we headed to the Windjammer for lunch. Standard buffet fare, and as time went on it got very crowded. However it was nice to just relax and wait. We would our cabins and our luggage was waiting for. Our cabin steward, Lilliana, greeted us by name, and assisted in getting our kids' beds separated. After unpacking, we left our suitcases by the bed as we couldn't find a place to put them. Lilliana put them under the beds for us, a nice touch. The ship was a little dated and worn, but nothing to complain about. Beds were comfy and the bathrooms clean. Even though we were in an inside cabin, there was plenty of room, and the couch was a nice touch. TV service over the course of the cruise was a bit repetitive, but who watches that much TV anyway! The ship was very hygiene conscious--I saw them cleaning all the time and liberal use of hand sanitizer was encouraged. Meals in the dining rooms were generally very tasty, and a few were outstanding. There was good variety, and the service was outstanding. I liked that we could select whatever we wanted (my daughter ate two appetizers almost every night). My husband even ordered one meal off the menu and got it without a hitch. Breakfasts and lunch in the dining rooms were nice also. We tended to stay away from the Windjammer as we are not big fans of buffet (but my son and I did have an afternoon "snack" of BBQ ribs one day). We also enjoyed Johnny Rockets, and didn't mind spending the extra money for the ice cream and "cover charge." The entertainment (what we saw of it) was entertaining but not particularly "Wow." We liked the Ice Show a lot, and it was amazing what they could do with such a small rink. Activities on sea days were generally fun, but again, we sort of limited ourselves to the casino and the art auctions as we are not much in the way of partiers. But we were generally able to find a deck chair somewhere (didn't run into a chair hog once), and just enjoyed watching the sea go by. Our first port was Messina where we used the Ship's "On your own" transportation to go to Taormina, a wonderful little town with cool shops and great vistas. Next we visited Kusadasi, where we had booked a wonderful private tour with one other couple we met on Cruise Critic. Athens was next on the agenda, and again we used the ship's "on your own" transport. Athens was a bit of a disappointment for all of us, but mostly because the city is not well maintained. The kids hoofed it to the Parthenon, which of course should not be missed. We stayed in town and took leisurely strolls. Last stop was Chania, and we did not even get off the ship. I think the cruise would be better if a different stop was fit in (Malta, Santorini, or Mykonos would have been better). Disembarkation was pretty efficient. We had picked up our passports the night before, and used the luggage pick up option rather than carrying our own. Our disembarkation time fit in well with our plans (although it would have been nice to have known in advance when we were slated to leave because we had to wait for our car--thank goodness they were early). The luggage was well organized and by the time we left things were not overcrowded. All in all, we had a great time. Our kids could go do things on their own while we relaxed and just enjoyed the sea. The ship offered a good balance, and certainly was everything we hoped it would be. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
My wife and I had a great vacation. We started in Hotel Cicerone (recommended by RCL) and had a nice little room within walking distance of the Vatican. Stayed 3 nights before the cruise began. We took tours of all the sites through the ... Read More
My wife and I had a great vacation. We started in Hotel Cicerone (recommended by RCL) and had a nice little room within walking distance of the Vatican. Stayed 3 nights before the cruise began. We took tours of all the sites through the Green Line travel agency. It was a bit pricey but got us into the sites by-passing the lines. The hotel had arranged a driver from the airport to the hotel and then the hotel to the port. It was a bit pricey too. Friends we made on the ship (including ones who recommended CruiseCritic.Com) had good luck with the train system and found it inexpensive. Might try that next time. Getting on the ship was fantastic. We got to the port early, about 11 am and they took us right on with pretty much no line. Got to go tour the ship and eat lunch in the Windjammer. We met a couple on the elevator ride up as soon as we got on the ship. We had lunch with them and had so much in common, we did lots together the whole cruise. I hope with get to cruise with them in the future; starting such a good friendship. We got to our room about 1:30 and found it great. It was a junior suite on the back of the ship with a balcony enabling us to see "both" sides of the ship. We toured Messina Sicily, Ephesus turkey and Athens Greece. We were too tired to tour Crete and just slept in that day. We toured through the cruise line but our friends were able to meet people on CruiseCritic to arrange less expensive tours. They really enjoyed those too. Getting off the ship at the end of the cruise was smoother than any we have ever had. They really have their acts together! Highly recommend this trip! Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
Should have done this a while ago, but better late than never. Please forgive me, I am typing on an Italian keyboard and I am sure there will be errors. If this offends you, feel free to move on. I will not be going back over it with a ... Read More
Should have done this a while ago, but better late than never. Please forgive me, I am typing on an Italian keyboard and I am sure there will be errors. If this offends you, feel free to move on. I will not be going back over it with a fine tooth comb :| That being said, here it goes. Boarded the ship at the port in Rome. We live in Genova Italy, so we just drove down the morning of. We parked directly in front of the ship, boarded a free shuttle and were in line in no time. We were on the ship in less than half an hour easy. We have sailed Navigator twice before over the last few years and she still looks great. Sure, her carpets are a little stained in some of the halls, but the ship is clean and beautiful in most ways. We headed with about a zillion others to the WJ. To my delighted surprise, we easily found a table for 8. Food was fresh and the selection was great. I never understand the people who can't find something good to eat on RC, but that is just me. After lunch, we went straight to the dining room to find our table. It was on the 6th deck and I was not initially thrilled, but I didn't change it. We had cabins on deck 6 and I decided it was easier that way. Dining room service was fantastic. I don't have my notes, but our dining staff was very kind and as usual, pampered us. We were very happy to see our waiter from a previous cruise to Egypt. This cruise was over 2 years ago. He remembered our names, stories etc and it was great to catch up with him. While I'm on the subject of dining room, I will say the food was good to great. Never went hungry :) Kids club - Great. Our kids, ages 10 and 12 LOVE RC kids club. The staff keeps them going and they stay there every minute possible. Our children have been to all of these ports before and never even got off this ship this time around. Entertainment...... You know, they work their booties off. There was some good and some not so good, but overall they were fun and I went to most of the shows and danced away at the pool. The piano bar was ALWAYS a hit. We went almost every night and had quite good fun. We heard a few repeats during the week, but how many songs can one poor man know. He was fun and quite a showman. Our room, a prom room. I would book again. I was worried about noise, but it was a non-issue. We could hear the parades, but who cares!? We were looking out the window anyway, so the music was appreciated. Our cabin was an adjoining room with the kids and it worked out well. Our room attendant was a happy, sweet guy. The kids loved him. The pool was easy going this time. I am not one to need a spot right next to the water, so I was always able to find seats. I prefer to sit up top where I can watch the action below. Italian and Europeans in general, like to dance. There was always a fun show when the passengers got up for the dance lessons. Not a drinker, but the ones I had were good. At times, cruise drinks can seem watered down. On this trip, they were quite nice. The gym was the gym. Nice as usual and something I don't look forward to, but do take advantage of. I didn't use the spa, so can not comment. Rome is always Beautiful! If you have never been there, you should take a tour. I prefer private, but do what you wish, just don't miss it. Messina, we hopped a cab to Taormina. We paid 150 euro for the 5 of us for a day. We speak Italian and my husband noted that the taxi drivers were all forming what was basically a team. They weren't going to come down any lower than 150. Oh well, it really was a fair price for the day. Our driver was nice, but quiet. He drove us rapidly to Taormina and dropped us off for 3 hours. We walked around, shopped a little, ate a lot..... My husband has family in Sicily and we spend most every August in the south of Sicily. we had a list of foods we needed. We came, we saw, we conquered. When we made it to the end of the main street, the typical musicians were playing their beautiful music. We sat for half an hour, sipped wine and had lemon granita. A little pricey if you sit in the square, but worth it for the show. I love Sicily, so this was a great day for me. Next stop, Kusadasi. We have been here many times before, so we opted to skip Ephesus and hang out in town. The last time we were here, we did the traditional hammam. My mom and aunt weren't up to the excitement, so we skipped it and opted to have a fish pedicure. My father and husband had typical Turkish shaves and a haircut. If you haven't done either of these things, you should. The shave includes fire, but just stay still and enjoy. The fish pedicure is a hoot. I liked it so much, I did it again in Crete. For 3 pedicures, 2 shaves, a haircut and blow-dry, we paid 45 euro. After the pampering, we had a traditional lunch, shopped till we dropped and returned to the ship. Athens, oh, wait, that was the stop before Kusadasi. Sorry! Been here many times, and my aunt has a hard times with stairs, so we skipped the ruins and tour. We instead, got off the ship and bargained with many taxi drivers. We didn't like their price, so walked on, prepared to do the hop on hop off. On our way out, we ran into the funniest driver ever! He was wearing red suede shoes, fought with me while laughing and we were sold. I think the man knows EVERYONE in Athens, including the police. For 150 euro *we gave him 190 in the end because he was soooo good* he agreed to haul 5 of us around for the day. He took us a direction we had never been and it was beautiful. We went first to the Acropolis. Took a few pics from the base and then went across the street to a coffee house with fab views! Took a few more pics, had an iced coffee and hit the road. Our driver took us to the changing of the guards. we have done this 3 other times, but Crazy John made it a stand out. He placed us where we should be every sec of the way to get the best pics. We did a quick driving tour and then on to the Plaka we went. Ate a little, shopped a lot, got back in the car. John then asked if we would like to eat on the water. He took us to a well priced little place on the water with beautiful view, fresh fish and veg as well as cold beer. Had a snack and then back to the ship for the day. John made the day special with his funny political views and was an excellent guide. He loves his city and that makes it fun. He was political, but never in a way that would offend. If you get off, just ask any of the other driver who Crazy John is and they will point you in his direction. Last, but not least, Chania, Crete. Got off the ship, bought our 3 euro RT bus ticket and off we went. Chania doesn't look like much from the port, but it is a beautiful little Jewell box once you get down in the old town near the sea. We started the morning off with iced coffee and treats at a local bar. from there, we took off to get lost in the tiny streets. We did just that. I think I took 300 pics of pretty doors, windows and cats . It is very charming in the morning before everyone arrives. We shopped, ate some more, had another fish pedicure and then headed back to the ship for the pool side BBQ. The smell was great, the music was good and the sun was out. Heaven for me. At last, we had a sea day and then back to sadly climb off our beautiful ship. Not everything was perfect, but it was close enough. I love RC and I love cruising, so can't wait to return. Next Sunday we leave from Venice on Costa Favolosa, so stay tuned.... Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
Navigator of the Seas is a large majestic ship, which has all the facilities you could want and more. It is in very good condition and is cleaned to within an inch of its life by the hard working and friendly staff. Room: We chose ... Read More
Navigator of the Seas is a large majestic ship, which has all the facilities you could want and more. It is in very good condition and is cleaned to within an inch of its life by the hard working and friendly staff. Room: We chose a promenade stateroom, as my wife is not keen on rooms without a window. This was an excellent choice as it had a large bowed window with a window seat, with a view over the inside promenade. The room was quiet and it was only a bit more expensive than an inside stateroom. The room was a decent size with a very comfortable queen sized bed, sufficient storage, a free safe and a mini fridge. The bathroom was small but functional and had a powerful shower. There was also a washing line above the shower if needed. Food: The food in the main dining room was excellent in choice and quality. We used the main dining room for all meals whenever possible, as we did not enjoy the 'scrum' of the Windjammer Buffet. We eat one night at Chops Grill (£20 extra pp) and one night at Portofino (£12-50 extra pp). We both thought that the food and in particular the steaks were better at Portofino. The Promenade Cafe is open 24 hours a day and serves slices of pizza, cakes and sandwiches (no charge for any of these), which is handy when you fancy a snack. Drink: There are numerous bars on-board. Drinks are very expensive (about double what you would pay in a UK pub). If you like a glass of wine with your meals I would certainly recommend purchasing a wine package, as you save about 20% on the on-board prices (the Gold package is more than sufficient). Coffee/tea, iced water and iced tea are free on-board and are available in the Promenade Cafe and Windjammer. You pay extra for speciality coffees at the cafe. Facilities: The ship has an excellent gym with all the usual equipment and in sufficient quantities. There are plenty of sunbeds located in both sunny and shady spots. There is a climbing wall, 9 hole putting course, small ice rink and a basketball court to name but a few of the things to do. We enjoyed going to the art auctions, which we found interesting, plus there was a free raffle and as much free champagne (bubbly wine) as you could drink! There are a few shops on-board which had various sales throughout the week, but the best sales could be had on the last day at sea. Ports of Call: Messina - we hired a car and drove up Mount Etna, which is easy and inexpensive if you do your research before going. It was cold and cloudy, so the views were not great from the top, but was worth a visit. We met the tour from the ship coming up a crater as we were going down and heading back to the ship! Athens - we took the Metro into the city from Piraeus which took 20 mins and cost 1.40 euro. However it was a 25 min walk to the metro from where the boat docked - I would recommend taking a taxi to the metro station! The other option is to use the red 'Hop on Hop off' bus to see the sights of Athens, which you get just outside the port. Athens is easily accessible so I would not recommend using the ships own expensive tour to visit here. Kusadasi - we a splashed out for the ships own tour to Ephesus (4 hours and cost £50) and were glad we did as it was well organised and our guide was very informative. We took one of the early morning tours to miss the heat of the day. After having lunch on the ship we spent the afternoon wandering around the shops of Kusadasi, then sat at a waterfront bar sipping wine. Chania - we only had a short stop in Crete so decided to stay on the boat, as it was a 30 min bus drive into the nearest town. Overall this is an excellent cruise on a lovely ship, with excellent staff, excellent food and plenty to entertain you. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
I've never cruised on my own before but would definitely do it again. Started in Rome and left out of Civitavecchia port, next day we were in Scilly (Messina). I had booked a tour through the ship to see Taormina. I found the guide ... Read More
I've never cruised on my own before but would definitely do it again. Started in Rome and left out of Civitavecchia port, next day we were in Scilly (Messina). I had booked a tour through the ship to see Taormina. I found the guide very organized and informative and enjoyed seeing the ancient city, originating in 1440's. Even though I was the only person not "coupled up" I was welcomed and treated friendly by other guests. After a long day traveling it was a delight to go back to my balcony room all clean and tidy. My cabin steward was an angel, I miss him now I'm home. My room was extra large as the balcony bowed out from the ship I was starboard aft and could see the bridge at the front but also close to the end of the ship. My only complaint about the balcony was my neighbors were heavy smokers and it drifted into my room whenever I opened the balcony. I choose late dining as we were in port fairly early, the service was top notch and attentive but had a friendly tone. The food was average, none of the meals stood out even on formal nights. I think the RCCL could improve in this area. That being said, the entertainment was wonderful. Second night was a BeeGee's tribute show that had everyone dancing in the isles. I saw the ice show and it was very entertaining, I still don't know how the performers managed such high jumps! In the promenade one evening everyone was dancing to a group of dancers doing the Village People impression. I didn't join in the conga line but maybe I would have if I was drinking. There broadway rendition was also first rate. The entire atmosphere of the ship was calm and efficient. Another port of call I booked with the ship was the ruins of Ephesus. We left Kusadasi port early and the excursion lasted 5 hours exploring the ancient Roman ruins dating back to the 11th century. A lot of walking on marbled streets filled with chariot ruts but well worth the 3 mile trek. The tour guide had the frailest guest set the pace. Day 4 was Athens which I did on my own but wasn't impressed. Got ripped off for $160 eu for a lunch I didn't order, I only wanted a snack. Wouldn't bother with Athens again. My all time favorite is Chania, Crete. I rented a convertible and drove up around the mountains with the beautiful turquoise waters following me. The only traffic I saw was a few mountain goats. Followed the road along the Northwest coast up to ancient Monasteries, tranquil little villages with the sound of birds calling me further up. I stopped at the British Commonwealth War Cemetary, which lies on a small plateau, just above sea level on the Souda Bay.Along the winding "old road" of Crete I saw many honey farms. The last day out was a sea day, so I took advantage of the saltwater pool on board, it was cold, but refreshing. Overall a great experience. What I would like to see improved would be the food, the spa, the pursers desk (not helpful), and disembarkation process. I was thrown out 3 hours prior to my transfer. Still I would recommend this to any solo travelers or couples. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
OVERALL -- We are a couple in our 50s, celebrating our 31st wedding anniversary by taking our 5th-ever cruise but first ever Mediterranean cruise. We definitely picked the right ship, the right itinerary and the right time to cruise. The ... Read More
OVERALL -- We are a couple in our 50s, celebrating our 31st wedding anniversary by taking our 5th-ever cruise but first ever Mediterranean cruise. We definitely picked the right ship, the right itinerary and the right time to cruise. The Navigator of the Seas is beautifully maintained, both in public areas and the cabins (our cabin certainly was). The ports of call were great and the weather even better, not too cool and not too warm. In fact, the last day of the cruise the waters were so calm they looked almost as smooth as glass. SHORE EXCURSIONS -- Thanks to Cruisecritic's Roll Call thread, we were able to pre-arrange private shore excursions for Kusadasi, Turkey, (to see the Roman ruins at Ephesus) and for Athens with fellow cruisers. We used Ephesus Tours for our Ephesus excursion and Private Greece Tours for our Athens excursion. Both turned out to be excellent choices in terms of price (significantly cheaper than tours through the cruise line) and quality. We hade enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides who got us to where we wanted to go, in most cases before the crowds got too large. GETTING ON & OFF THE SHIP was a breeze. Showed up, almost no line at all, and went on board immediately. At lunch at the Windjammer. Our cabin was ready when we checked at 1 pm. Our large suitcase arrived within an hour or so. We carried our own luggage off the ship so we could leave by 7:30 a.m. No trouble getting an elevator and walked right off the ship to our waiting cab that took us on a less-than-one-hour drive to the airport (Fiumicino). We split the cab fare 5 ways, making the fare 30 Euros per person plus a little tip for the driver. Very reasonable. FOOD -- In the dining room was generally, very very good. Only complaint: We ate too much. LOL. Ate at Chop's Grille one night. That was a real treat. Windjammer food was, well, what do you expect of a buffet? The food was convenient and kept us alive without making us sick. SERVICE -- Dining room staff were great. Our cabin attendant, Antonio, kept the room up and made nice towel animals. We didn't see him often but we're not complaining about that. Staff at Guest Services were generally okay, not spectacular. At one point I wanted to use the ATM to get extra cash (for going ashore because Rome burned through a lot of my cash). The ATM was down and the Guest Relations rep had no clue when the ATM would be working again. ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES ON BOARD -- There was plenty to do no matter your taste. And, of course, we had ample down time for ourselves to just nap or relax with a good book or to soak in a hot tub. The shows were all good. We especially enjoyed the Bee Gees tribute group. Karaoke was fun and popular with the cruisers. Had some good singers and a few who weren't. I just wish it had started earlier and went longer. An hour or so just didn't seem long enough. WHERE COULD RCI IMPROVE? -- In our opinion, the "regular" coffee was awfully regular. It was as if they used whatever brand they used just to try to drive us to buy the Starbucks stuff. They could also stand to have a lounge with music that suits our generation. After all, I think our age group was probably the largest on board. Contemporary pop plus music from 50s, 60s & 70s would have been great. If they could put that together in a lounge with an adequate dance floor I think the cruise line would sell more liquor by keeping us 50-somethings awake and partying longer than we did. Earlier, when the lounge's theme was "romance," I requested a song of the D.J. It wasn't a slow song so he made it a point to tell me that the theme was "romance." I replied that couples dancing together was romantic, especially compared to an empty dance floor. Other than this little annoyance with the music selection this cruise was great. We'd do it again in a heartbeat and we'll always have a lot of great memories from it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
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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