This was our 12th cruise (all with RCCL, DW did do a Carnival 15+ years ago, but wasn't impressed, so we don't count it), we live on the East Coast of Florida, so Port Canaveral is out Port of Choice, although due to other ... Read More
This was our 12th cruise (all with RCCL, DW did do a Carnival 15+ years ago, but wasn't impressed, so we don't count it), we live on the East Coast of Florida, so Port Canaveral is out Port of Choice, although due to other commitments had to book on the Navigator out of Miami to be able to do the Eastern itinerary.
We left home around 8:00am Saturday morning for the 200 mile trip to Miami, traffic was good and we arrived at the port before 11:00am, followed the directions provided by RCCL in the ticket book, glad we did as the port is not very well sign posted. Once you are going over the bridge to the actual pier, then the signs are very good, but who needs them now, as the Navigator is so big, you could never miss it!!. Drove straight into the Drop Off Zone and unloaded bags, DW and DD, tipped the porter $5 for 3 suitcases and drove into the parking garage $12 per day ($84 for the week), pay as you leave, not as you enter like in Port Canaveral. Walked across the street, met back up with DW and DD and went into the terminal building.
We are Diamond Crown and Anchor Members, so missed out on the wait at the check in, although at this time, there were probably only 50 or so people in line, check in was a breeze, we had our set sail passes and passports ready, on the ship by 11:30, we were told at check in that our cabins could not be accessed until 1:00, so went straight, to Customer Relations to rent DECT phone, so we could keep track of our DD, she's only 10, but looks and acts 16 and likes the Cruise Adventure activities and hanging out with new found friends,were told that they did not have any phones for rent, although latter they were advertised on RCTV as being available, well never mind, off to the Windjammer for lunch, usual RCCL buffet,great selection, hot and plentiful, went out to the pool, laid in the sun until 1:30 and then went to check out our room on the 9th deck, inside cabin, exactly the same as the Mariner, met our room attendant, asked him to make a double bed and pull the left side pullman bed down for DD, not a problem, but this did mean that he would have to step onto our bed to make up the pullman each night, was this ok with us?
Went back to the pool deck, lazed around, had a few drinks, DD went and got the life jackets from the room at 4:00, came back and told us 2 cases were there, went to the Mustard Drill at 4:20, Mustard Station D19 is in the Dining Room on deck 4, no standing out in the sun for 1/2 an hour. Once Mustered, went back to the cabin, last suit case was there and unpacked, asked the room attendant, if he could take away the unused wooded hangers, they take up to much room, but he told us that they could just put them at the top of the closet, as if he took them away, he would be to busy on Saturday to get them back in time for next weeks guests, also asked for an "egg box" mattress topper, but was told they were not available. Went to the Schooner bar at 8:00 to have a pre dinner, we had late seating, cocktail and listen to the piano music, like we have done on ever other RCCL cruise we've been on, only to find that he doesn't start playing until 10:00pm. Went to dinner at 9:00pm, it's late on the first night, were seated at a table for 8, met a couple from Wales, we're originally from England, so hit it off and a couple and their son from Virginia, the son went to the Adventure Ocean with our daughter. Albert our waiter was wonderful all week, as was the assistant waiter, whose name I forget, after the first night, he had our drinks waiting for us, new which bread we liked etc.
After dinner went to the Two Poets Pub on the promenade, met up with the couple from Wales and had a great evening singing alonDg to the Guitarist SHANE TAPPER, Shane made our vacation, we spent most nights in the Two Poets, he is a great entertainer, with a varied selection of music, and made everyone like part of the family, the 2 Bar Servers, Opal and San, were great, knew what drinks we had, sang along with Shane and generally had a laugh and a joke with everyone.
Day 2 was spent at sea, sunning by the pool, breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer, Dinner in the Dining Room and Shane in the Two Poets after dinner.
Day 3 was San Juan, we had no shore excursions booked for the entire cruise, we just wanted to do our own thing, got off the ship around 3:00pm wandered around San Juan, bought a few things and then headed back to the ship for some sun, dinner and, you've probably guessed, the Two Poets.
Day 4 was St. Thomas. Took a Taxi to Morning Star Beach, about 10 Mins and $6 each, the drive was amazing, very small and narrow roads and very hilly, nice scenery as we drove. Morning Star beach was wonderful, clear blue water white sand, chairs and umbrella's Jet Ski's parasailing etc. Not crowded very relaxing. Taxi back to town, did some shopping and then back to the ship, for the usual, sun, dinner, Two Poets with Shane, Opal and San Day 5 was St. Maarten. Took the Water Taxi, $5 each round trip unlimited all day rides, to Front Street, once again, very narrow streets, but very beautiful, the vendors near the taxi drop off were a little pushy, come into my shop mon, but this stopped a little further in. Walked the entire length of Front Street, did some shopping and then took the water taxi back to the ship, got changed and took a taxi to the French Side of the Island and Orient Beach. Once again, clear blue waters, soft white sand and water sports for those who wanted them. Spent a wonderful 3 hours just relaxing, had a bite to eat at the Perch Bar, then back to the ship for, Dinner and the Two Poets.
Day 6 was at sea, so see day 2 for what we did.
Day 7 was Nassau, a bit cloudy, have been to Nassau so many times that we just stayed on the ship, breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer and then Dinner, Shane and the Two Poets.
Although it seems that we spent our entire cruise in the pub, we did see some shows, Quest, which was hilarious, the Adult Comedy show with Cruise Director Graham Seymour, who is wonderful, late night stand up comedian and the parades in the promenade. We did not see the Ice show, although a couple at dinner, did and said it was even better than the one on the Mariner, which we thought was fabulous. We also enjoyed a lot of the pool activities.
Getting off the ship was quick and organised, we were through Immigration and in the car by 8:00am
This was the first cruise that we saw the Head Waiter every night, not just occasionally and on tip night!!. I was impressed with the state of the Navigator, it's been a year since we were on the Mariner and the Navigator is a year older, so we expected to see 2 more years worth of wear and tear, not so, the ship was impeccable.
Well sorry it's been so long, I would rate this cruise a 10 out of 10, Thanks Shane, Opal & San, and the Navigator a 9 1/2, just due to the lack of DECT Phones, mattress toppers and Sorento's, although the pizza in the Cafe Promenade wasn't bad.
Can't wait until September for our Freedom Trip. Read Less