932 Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Cruise Reviews

We are still in the process of unpacking, but I couldn't wait to post our review of the Navigator. We had the time of our lives and couldn't be happier with the experience with RCCL. We are first time cruisers with this line, ... Read More
We are still in the process of unpacking, but I couldn't wait to post our review of the Navigator. We had the time of our lives and couldn't be happier with the experience with RCCL. We are first time cruisers with this line, having cruised with Princess and Celebrity and wanted to try one of the mega ships, we were not disappointed. Embarkation: It was so fast, we think it took about 20 minutes in all. RCCL personnel were polite, and very well organized. Cabin: We went to our D category cabin and were delighted with the spaciousness of the room, lots of closet space, drawers and we even ended up with empty space, a very nice change from previous small cabins on a Celebrity ship a few years ago. Ship: We toured the Navigator and wow, is it a beauty. She is stunning, well appointed and remarkably easy to get to know. She is very well laid out and we had no trouble with finding our way. Shore Excursion: We had booked our shore excursions online and that was great because we didn't have to wait in line to do so, although you can book on your cabin TV and avoid standing for help at the desk. I would highly recommend you book early to avoid getting shut out, a few people were a bit unhappy they couldn't get on a few tours. We just wanted to snorkel in St. Thomas and got one of the sailing snorkel tours that were offered. Boarding Day: We toured the ship, had lunch, then we went off to the Welcome Aboard show. We were amazed at one of the performers, a silk act. The girl was absolutely incredible! She performed on silks, something I have only seen on television, and hubby and I held our breath watching her do all these tricks while suspended mid air on fabric. I can only imagine what strength it must take to do such an act, and she was so lovely to watch. Dining: We were seated at a large table and our table mates were such a fun bunch of people. They were a family of six from England and made us feel a part of their group for the entire voyage. The food was excellent and served with style by our attentive waiter. We did make it to Chops one night and it was one of the best steaks we have ever had. The Windjammer is a great idea, the way it's laid out, you don't have to wait in line for anything. Entertainment: The Ice Show was incredible, I don't know how they can skate in such a small rink but we loved it and the show was fabulous. The production shows are very very good, the dancers were very talented. The silk act, WOW, and at the end of the cruise at the farewell show, the same girl did this act on a big hoop up in the air. She was as wonderful on it as she was on the silks. She was up high in the air, spinning about a million miles a minute doing all sorts of tricks, it was unbelievable. The rest of the entertainment was good but the normal cruise fare. Ports: We loved St. Thomas and our excursion was wonderful. We snorkeled and saw lots of beautiful fish. The water is so clear and the day was lovely. St.Maarten we just went to the beach and then shopped. We decided to stay on the ship in San Juan, and I got a massage at the spa, a little over priced in my opinion. Debarkation: We packed lightly and didn't have to put our luggage off and so our getting off the ship was easy, we had parked in the garage in Miami, got our car and were on the road by 9:30. Easy Summary: WE LOVED THIS CRUISE. We want to book another Voyager class ship again, the amenities are so nice, from mini golf, ice skating, etc. The only drawback we found was chaos in the elevator, I guess that is expected on such a large ship though. There were lots of kids on the ship and they played with the elevators, very annoying, but that was the only thing I can complain about. Read Less
Sail Date July 2006
Pre-cruise - Friday, 7/7 -- Just for some background, this was my fourth cruise, the second for my wife and the first for my stepkids (daughter age 10 and son age 14). My wife and I had taken the Carnival Miracle last summer so some of my ... Read More
Pre-cruise - Friday, 7/7 -- Just for some background, this was my fourth cruise, the second for my wife and the first for my stepkids (daughter age 10 and son age 14). My wife and I had taken the Carnival Miracle last summer so some of my comments compare the Navigator of the Seas to the Carnival Miracle (because both cruises are fresh in my mind). My family and I flew from Dallas (DFW) non-stop to Ft. Lauderdale on American Airlines. There was bad weather in Ft. Lauderdale so we circled for about a half hour and then were diverted to Fort Myers (where we had to refuel). After about another hour in Fort Myers, we took off and finally made it to Ft. Lauderdale 2 ½ hours late. This kind of scenario is why I always leave a day early for a cruise. We could have missed the cruise if we had flown in the day of the cruise. We found our luggage with no problems and then hired a private car through Tri-county Airport Express (you dont have to reserve this in advance) and made it to our hotel in about 45 minutes. We stayed at the Holiday Inn near the Miami Port. The location was nice as the Bayside Marketplace was right across the street. We had a decent room with a bedroom and separate living area. The hotel was quiet and we didnt have any noise issues that Id read about. The hotel is nothing great but functional and close to the port. Its worth staying at if youre just looking for an overnight stay prior to a cruise. We went to Bayside to look around and ate at Bubba Gumps which was fairly good. I had fish and chips and there was way too much food. We were tired after the flight and delays so we called it a night. Day 1  Saturday, 7/8 Embarkation -- I woke up fairly early (at 8 am) and immediately looked out the window for a view of the Navigator. She was at dock and was a beautiful sight to see. We had breakfast at the Holiday Inn and I can quite honestly say that it was one of the most awful breakfasts Ive ever had (terrible tasting thin pancakes, lousy bagels, and lumpy oatmeal). Avoid this breakfast at all costs! We checked out of the hotel a little after 11 am and arrived at the dock around 11:20, dropped off our bags with a porter and headed inside. Outside the port terminal were numerous signs stating that check in would not occur until 2:30 pm but they were incorrect (so ignore them). We quickly passed through security and then I asked for the line for suites. We had a Jr. suite and I had read that sometimes they allow priority boarding for Jr. suites and sometimes they dont. We had no problems at all in the suites line with checking in, so add Miami to the list of ports where Jr. suites get priority check in. The ship was already boarding (it was a few minutes before 12) so we passed most of the people in the normal line, had our picture taken and walked onto the ship. We explored a little bit and headed to the windjammer as we were starved. The windjammer was supposed to open at noon but when we got there, it was still closed. Apparently, a health inspection was taking place and it didnt open until 12:40 or so, at which point there was a long line of hungry cruisers waiting to get in. Once the doors opened it was a mad rush to get food. Food stations were overcrowded and there didnt seem to be enough tables for everyone. This was the one negative of the Navigator. The Windjammer doesnt seem to be built large enough to handle the volume of passengers on board. We ate here several times during the cruise and every time but one it was very difficult to find a table. The food quality was mediocre and it seemed cramped and over crowded trying to get through the food lines. We found the buffet on the Carnival Miracle to be superior in terms of layout, quality, and variety of food. The pizza was much better on Carnival and we also missed the Reuben sandwiches that can be found on Carnival. The positive of this scenario is that the Navigator scored 100 on its health inspection score (which is supposed to be very difficult according to Captain Bang). After lunch, we explored the ship a little more and then headed to our cabin. One of our 5 bags was already there (the others arrived shortly thereafter) which was nice. We had cabin 9584 which we really liked (and was a Jr. suite as I mentioned earlier). It had abundant storage space (including a walk in closet) and we were able to unpack all of our clothes (for 4 people) and store the luggage under the bed. There was plenty of space to walk around in the room even when the couch was made out into a bed, and the balcony was large and could seat three. The bathroom had a tub and two medicine cabinets and was small, but pretty good sized for a ship. It soon was time for the muster drill (my least favorite part of a cruise except for disembarkation) and following that we started to sail out of Miami Port. Prior to leaving the Carnival Triumph and Imagination both sailed by us which was fun (people were waving and yelling back and forth). Cars honked at us as we sailed out of the harbor from a nearby highway which was fun as well. It was soon time for dinner so we headed for the Nutcracker Dining Room (there are three dining rooms but its really one big 3 story dining room) and we had our own table for four. Vipin from India was our waiter and his assistant was also from India. They were wonderful and took great care of us all week. They remembered our names (and addressed us by name when ordering) and what we liked to drink and made dining there a true pleasure. We found the dining room on the Navigator to be superior to the Carnival Miracle both in dEcor and food quality, although both had great service. I tried two entrees most nights and usually had 2 appetizers and 2 desserts (Im on vacation so I figured what the heck). My step son had steak every single night (the top sirloin was fairly decent actually). After dinner we went to the welcome aboard show. It was pretty good and the cruise director Graham Seymour was humorous (he usually did a comic routine at each show and even sang one night). The entertainment was solid although not spectacular. During the week, we attended one of the production shows called Now and Forever (where they sing various Broadway songs), a comedian named Troy Thirdgill (hilarious), and a comic magician named Chad Chesmark (average) in addition to the welcome aboard show. Id call entertainment a draw between RCCL and Carnival. After the show we retired and day one of the cruise was over. One final note for day 1: I had trouble falling asleep as the bed wasnt that comfortable (I could feel springs pushing into my back). My wife mentioned this to Clover, our room steward and she said they were replacing mattresses and bedding on the ship, but they hadnt gotten to our deck yet. Clover said shed ask about getting a new mattress for us but wasnt sure if theyd do it or not. The next night the bed was much more comfortable as she had added padding and it made a huge difference (they must have told her no about the mattress so she took it upon herself to do something to help). I really appreciated her making the effort to do this for me. Day 2  Sunday, 7/9 At Sea -- Today was a day at sea, and I got up at 8:45 am to head down to wait for ice show tickets. They were handing them out at 9:30 at the entrance to Studio B (the ice rink area) and when I got in line around 9 there were about 10 people in front of me so it wasnt too bad. Next, we grabbed some breakfast at the Windjammer (overcrowded as usual) and then headed up to play mini golf. The golf course is 9 holes and it can be tricky with the wind. After that we changed into our swimsuits and went to the pool. The adult pool area looked much more relaxing than the regular pool but we of course couldnt go there as we had the kiddos along! The regular pool was very crowded so we just dipped our feet in and relaxed. After hanging out by the pool for awhile, we decided to play Bingo. The crew member running the Bingo was pretty annoying (and told dreadfully bad jokes), but it was still fun and we were one number away from winning in two different games. Alas, we did not win though. We skipped lunch today since we had a fairly late breakfast. Tonight was the first of two formal nights so we got dressed up and had some photos taken. Other passengers seemed to dress up (I didnt see any jeans this night) with most men (including myself) opting for nice suits rather than tuxes. After dinner we went to the Captains reception and had our picture taken with Captain Bang. He seemed to be a nice fellow and the kids thought this was fun. We went to the show and then returned to the room to find our first of many towel animals waiting on the bed. At 11:30 pm, they had an underwater parade on the promenade so we checked that out (They have two parades during the week, one is an underwater theme and the other is a mardi gras theme). The parade was fairly good with performers singing, walking on stilts, etc. I wouldnt call it a must do, but it was fun and worth the effort. Day 3  Monday, 7/10 Labadee -- The Navigator arrived at Labadee this morning. My wife and step son had a 9 am parasailing excursion and the tickets notified us to catch the first tender ashore. We had room service for breakfast and headed down to deck 1 to catch a tender. I was expecting to have to get a tender ticket but that wasnt necessary. We just walked right aboard the first tender with no problem at all (this was a few minutes after 8). The only port where tender tickets were required was Cozumel. The tender ride was short (less than 5 minutes) and we came ashore. Royal Caribbean does a better job of tendering then Carnival as it seems more organized and the tenders are larger. Labadee is Royal Caribbeans private beach paradise and features beaches, water activities and a few water excursions. I explored Labadee while my wife and step son did the parasailing (which they really enjoyed). I went to Hideaway Beach (more secluded than the other beaches), and to Dragons Breath Point, and then worked my way back past the market and to Columbus Cove Beach. After the parasailing we all hooked up and went to Dragon Tail beach for awhile to swim. The water was nice and clear but there were some rocks on the ocean floor so aqua socks are a good idea. Anytime I got anywhere near a beach, a local would ask if I wanted beach chairs. Royal Caribbean made it clear that these chairs are free but the locals want to carry the chairs for you in exchange for a tip. At 11:15 my stepson and I went over to the wave runner desk to check in for our 11:30 tour. We saw an instructional video then walked out to the dock. We were assigned a waverunner and a number from 1 to 10 based on how fast we wanted to go and previous experience in driving a wave runner (I had none). We ended up being #9, only ahead of an older man and his young child. We were instructed to follow in the wake of the wave runner ahead of us but no closer than 100 yards back. There were 3 or 4 stops along the tour where we would regroup and one of the guides would tell us information about Haiti. We went near the Navigator, to a beach (we were just offshore and locals paddled out in kayaks to try to sell us stuff), and one or two other stops. We started off and the other riders (who all seemed pretty experienced) took off pretty fast. I tried to keep up but eventually kept falling behind and had to have the guide in the back lead me to the next stop (there was a guide in the front to lead the way and one in the rear to help stragglers). At one point, the older man passed us so we ended up number 10. I finally got the hang of things on the last stretch and got to drive full throttle which was a blast. The tour was a lot of fun and I can definitely recommend it. After the waverunner tour, we had the barbecue lunch (which RCCL provides) and it was mediocre. Then we went shopping at the artisans market (like a normal gift shop) and the flea market (where you haggle) which was high pressure. We did buy a few things and got ourselves out of there. The prices are very cheap for souvenirs at both shopping locations so its worth taking a look, and they will personalize items at the flea market (they carved the kids names into a flute and wooden sword). It was time to head back to the ship for the normal evening activities of dinner and a show. Day 4 -Tuesday, 7/11 Ocho Rios -- We docked in Ocho Rios, Jamaica so it was easy to just walk off the ship after breakfast in the windjammer. We had a river tubing safari excursion booked today through the ship so we found the staging area for the tour and waited a few minutes in the hot tropical sun. We were broken up into little groups and boarded mini buses (ours held 10 people) and drove for about 40 minutes to the launch area along the White River. The road was mostly rough and barely wide enough for two vehicles to pass (some of the road was unpaved). At the launch area, they gave us some free punch and a paddle and there were a couple of vendors (very low pressure though) for us to look at while we waited for the rest of the buses to show up. Finally we launched one by one into the river, which was slightly cold, but crystal clear. The river was 90 percent shaded by tropical trees so the heat wasnt a factor at all. The tubes were nice and had a bottom to them. My step daughter was apprehensive about doing this activity as she doesnt swim very well, so she had trouble launching. She had thought she could share a tube with my wife but it wasnt allowed. She got scared and didnt want to do the tubing anymore but the tubing company was extremely nice and gentle with her. Their top guide Ovan promised her that hed hold onto her tube the entire way down the river and he guaranteed that shed have a good time. Also, one of the vendors named Junior saw my stepdaughter crying and came over and gave her what he called a good luck necklace. He also spoke kindly to her and calmed her down. Thus we continued with our adventure. The tubing was fun. Most of the river was calm but there were 3 or 4 rapids which were a blast. They take your pictures at various points along the river. By the end of the tubing my step daughter was smiling and asked if we could do this again! It turned out to be a very enjoyable excursion and I recommend it if youre looking for something a little different. When we got out of the river, there was an area with shops (including sale of the photos they took of us), restrooms, and a snack bar. Also we took the same bus back to the ship so we could leave our valuables on the bus while tubing which was convenient. We did some souvenir shopping near the dock and then got back aboard the ship. After dinner we had the ice show. It was actually better than I expected as they had a variety of different performances that we all enjoyed. It wasnt Olympic quality skating but it still was good quality and I felt they put a lot into the show. Day 5 - Wednesday, 7/12 Grand Cayman -- Grand Cayman is another tender port but we didnt need to get a tender ticket. We had a Stingray and Island tour booked through Native Way for 11 am ship time. We caught a tender, did some shopping, and then asked for Native Way at the information booth (near where the tenders drop you off). Paula from Native Way picked us up in a mini van and told us that we were going to do the Island tour first. We had a private tour for just the four of us which was fantastic. Paula seemed to know everyone on the island and was full of information for us. We stopped at 7 mile beach (for a photo), Hell, the turtle farm, and the Tortuga Rum Cake Factory. The kids particularly enjoyed the turtle farm as they got to hold a baby turtle. At the rum cake factory, Paula bought us some sodas and patties (pastries filled with seasoned meat) which were delicious. I thought that was a nice touch. After the land portion of our excursion, we drove to a dock to board our boat to the stingrays. I was a little concerned about time (as it was now 1:30 pm ship time and our last tender was at 3:30 ship time) but they assured me that we would get back on time. We said good bye to Paula and boarded a boat with 6 others and headed out to the stingray sandbar. It was nice being in such a small group as we saw other boats headed back in with close to a hundred or more on board. We arrived at the sand bar and entered the water. There werent hundreds of stingrays like Id imagined but there were enough to make it exciting and fun. The Native Way guides did a good job as they made sure that everyone got to hold a stingray, feed one, etc. The stingrays are gentle creatures (at least these ones were) and I never felt the slightest bit of danger of getting stung. On the way back, they let my step daughter drive the boat which she really enjoyed. The boat got back at 3 pm and we made it back to get on line for a tender at 3:15 pm so it was cutting it slightly close, but it all worked out. I highly recommend Native Way as the tour was cheaper (for both an island and stingray tour) than a ship tour (for only a stingray tour) and we got much more personalized attention (a personal island tour and stingray tour with only 10 versus a ship tour with hundreds). Tonight, we let the kids order room service for dinner and then my wife and I went to Portofino. I had the lobster and seafood skewer which was very good and my wife tried the filet which was excellent as well. We ended up with six courses and way too much food. They even had a pre-dessert of chocolate covered strawberries and a few other goodies before the actual dessert. It was a very good meal falling slightly short of 5 star but still excellent. It was also the night for the gala buffet. We went to view it and take pictures and it was really amazing. There were ice sculptures, fruit carvings, an Eiffel Tower made of chocolate and amazing figures made out of butter. We were too tired to wait another thirty minutes to eat the buffet though so we went to bed. I still regret it. Day 6 - Thursday, 7/13 Cozumel -- We arrived at 10 am at the International Pier and had to tender to shore. This was the only port where tender tickets were required (for the first 2 hours or so after we arrived). We had two different dolphin swims booked with Dolphin Discovery at Chankanaab Park. We had a royal swim at 3 pm ship time (for me and my step son) and a dolphin encounter at 4:30 pm ship time (for my wife and step daughter). Since the swims were later in the day we decide to eat breakfast in the dining room then catch a tender after the initial rush to get ashore had subsided. Breakfast in the dining room had mostly the same items available as the Windjammer but they did have Eggs Benedict which was pretty good. The tender was a fairly short 10 minute ride and was smooth sailing. My wife and I had been to Cozumel last year before the hurricane. The first thing I noticed when coming ashore is that the pier of Puerta Maya (next door to where we came ashore) was pretty much gone, although efforts are underway to rebuild it. We did some shopping and then caught a taxi to Chankanaab. Our cab driver was extremely friendly and asked what time we needed a cab back to the pier. He said hed be there waiting for us when we were ready to return. We had also been to Chankanaab last year and the place looked totally different. The Dolphin Discovery area has been completely rebuilt with new buildings for both the gift shop and the locker/viewing (to watch the video after your dolphin swim) area. We didnt go the beach as you had to ride a little cart to get over there, as construction is ongoing. Considering that the park was completely wiped out by the hurricane, they are doing an amazing job in rebuilding. We checked in for our Royal Swim and were given a short briefing before entering the water. The Royal Swim is an amazing experience. Titan and Amaya were our dolphins and we each got to experience a kiss, a hug, a foot push, a dorsal pull, a chance to hand feed the dolphins, and dance with them. We also got to have a splash fight with the dolphins. It was outstanding and well worth the money. They film and photograph the swim and afterwards they show you the DVD and photos that can be purchased. Lockers are provided free of charge for use during the swim. After we finished, my wife and stepdaughter did the Dolphin Encounter. My stepdaughter raved about how fun it was afterwards and how dolphins are her favorite animal now. We bought the DVDs and photos for both swims and it was now 5:45 pm (the last tender was at 6:30) so it was time to head back. Low and behold our taxi driver was there waiting for us just as he said hed be (there were other taxis around too). I thought it was very nice that he came back for us and he quickly got us back to the pier. We got in line for the tender at 6 pm with plenty of time to spare. I highly suggest booking the dolphins on your own in Cozumel rather than a ships tour because its extremely easy to do and saves money. We had originally planned to go to Johnny Rockets tonight but my stepdaughter wanted to go to Adventure Ocean (she loved it there and spent almost every evening there) so she ate quickly at the Windjammer and we dropped her off. We were in the mood for steak and had missed our normal dinner time so we called Chops to see if they had any openings. We were in luck as they had 8:45 pm open. Chops was excellent and I had a great tasting filet mignon. I found the service to be friendlier here than at Portofino and I also preferred the décor. Both specialty restaurants were very good but I do want to point out that I feel that Nick and Noras on the Carnival Miracle is better than either. On Carnival I could get surf and turf with steak and lobster which I couldnt do on RCCL. Also, the desserts in Nick and Noras were out of this world and only very good in Chops and Portofinos. I also prefer the location of Nick and Noras as it is on the top of the ship and isolated by itself, whereas Chops and Portofino are located within the buffet area (although they are separate rooms and are very nice). Day 7  Friday, 7/14 At Sea -- We slept fairly late as we were worn out from four straight days at port. All of us woke up feeling sad as today was the last day of the cruise. We ate lunch in the dining room and they had a ham and cheese croissant sandwich that was fantastic. I had ordered something else but after tasting the sandwich (my wife had ordered) I ordered one for myself too. After lunch we played ping pong and then went to bingo (the jokes were even worse from the crew member running the games) where the jackpot was over $7,000. We of course lost but that was to be expected. I had filled out a form to get tips added to our on board account, so vouchers had been delivered to our cabin that I could use to put into the tipping envelopes. Just as a commentary, I really felt strange about tipping the head waiter since we had seen him just twice all week. He did nothing but walk around from table to table schmoozing with passengers and added no value whatsoever in my opinion. He also made me feel awkward when I tried to give him his tip. I tried to hand him the envelope when he came to our table and he said that hed get it later. I never did end up handing him the envelope (and wouldnt have tipped him at all had I not gone the prepaid route for tips). The waiter and assistants are the ones who did all the work so I felt great about giving them their tips. We had our picture taken with our waiters and then sadly left after dinner. They felt like friends to me and they had taken great care of the children. After dinner we packed and put our luggage outside the door, as luggage had to be out by midnight. We had lavender luggage tags which were supposed to be called between 7:30 and 8 am the following morning. We had some ice cream at Ben Jerrys and then called it a night for the final night on board the ship. Day 8 - Saturday, 7/15 Disembarkation -- We woke up at 7 am and were planning to leave the cabin by 7:30 but we heard an announcement at 7:10 am that lavender could now disembark. We scrambled to get ready and left the cabin five minutes later. Disembarking was really easy as the luggage arrived on carousels just like at an airport. It took us 35 minutes from our cabin to a taxi with the only delay being a wait for passport control. Royal Caribbean definitely has Carnival beat in this area as it seemed much more organized. On Carnival the luggage was just left in a huge room after you got off the ship and people were running every where in a mad scramble to find their bags. As we exited the terminal there was a sign pointing to the right for Miami airport transportation and a sign pointing to the left for Fort Lauderdale airport transportation. We were in a taxi at 7:50 and arrived at Fort Lauderdale airport at 8:30 am for a 1 pm flight. Everything I had read said to not book morning flights after a cruise but in this case I wish I had. To summarize the differences between Royal Caribbean and Carnival, I feel that Royal Caribbean had a superior dining room, better tendering process, and much better disembarkation. Carnival had a much better buffet and a better specialty restaurant. Entertainment and service were equally good on both ships. I would gladly take either cruise line again. Both the Navigator of the Seas and Carnival Miracle have their plusses and minuses but the positives far outweigh the negatives for both. I think we made a good choice for a family cruise as the Navigator is a great ship for children. Read Less
Sail Date July 2006
I am going to try to keep this review simple and to the point, but feel free to ask any detailed questions. Also, I apologize in advance for any misspellings. Background: Our cruise consisted of me (19 years old, sixth cruise), my friend ... Read More
I am going to try to keep this review simple and to the point, but feel free to ask any detailed questions. Also, I apologize in advance for any misspellings. Background: Our cruise consisted of me (19 years old, sixth cruise), my friend (19 years old, first cruise), and my dad (51 years old, seventh cruise). Food: I have never really been impressed with the food on any cruise in the past. I have always thought that there was a lot of food, but never thought it tasted great. This trip my impression about the food changed drastically. The food on board was amazing! I was very impressed with not only the dining room food but also Portofino's and Chops. The only thing I ate on board that was too gross to eat was the chocolate donuts from Cafe Promenade. They tasted like dinner rolls with hardened chocolate on them. Also, Johnny Rockets was soooooooooo worth the cover charge! Activities: I was not very impressed with the amount of activities for the 18-20 year old group. The drinking policy changed the day before we left (it changed July 28) and so that left us without much to do at night but gamble and watch people make a fool of themselves in the Dungeon. I would have liked to have seen more bands by the pool at night. Ports of Call: Due to Tropical Storm Chris we had to skip our stop at St. Maarten which was a major bummer. But, they made the stop up at Coco Cay which was pretty cool. In San Juan we went to one of the forts and then went to Senor Frogs. Senor Frogs was crazy as usual! In St. Thomas we went to Magen's Bay. Since I am used to the awesome white sand beaches of Florida, I was not impressed with the beach at Magen's Bay. In Nassau we went to the Atlantis, and once again, the bar was the most fun thing there! Stateroom: We were in a oceanview stateroom on the 2nd floor. I was a little worried when we booked that it was going to be too small, but since it was the only room left at the time, we booked it anyway. The room ended up being plenty big enough and being on the 2nd floor, it was very convenient for getting off the boat at the ports of call. Ship: Very clean, ultra fine ship! I was amazed how well kept up the ship was. I love how they have hand sanitizing lotion by the food stations on-board. The promenade was amazing! Pros: The features of a Voyager Class ship speak for themselves. Cons: The only thing I didn't like about Royal Caribbean is that I have a hard time trusting them since they changed the alcohol policy (making it 21 to drink all alcoholic beverages on-board) without any notice. Royal Caribbean gave us no warning that the policy was going to change. The main reason we picked Royal Caribbean over Carnival in the first place was because 18-20 year olds could drink beer and wine on-board. If I would have not read about the change several days before the trip on Cruise Critic, I never would have known about the change before I went on my trip. They didn't even update the policy on the website until several days after it went into effect. I feel they should have let the customers know about the change in advance so that if they wanted to make plans to cancel, they would have the opportunity. One more thing on this subject.....I called Royal Caribbean many times (15 to 20) in the days leading up to the cruise and no one at customer service knew about the change until 5 p.m. the day before the change occurred. Shouldn't Royal Caribbean at least tell their customer service reps about the change so that if a customer calls, they can give the customer the right information? The whole thing was kind of strange to me, but we still had a great time so it really doesn't matter. Overall: Navigator is the ship to choose, but I would look for better ports of call. We found the ports of call pretty, yet kind of boring. Read Less
Sail Date July 2006
We just returned from the 6/10/06 sailing of Navigator of the Seas to the Western Caribbean. We had been to all of the ports of call from our six previous cruises so we really went on the cruise to sail on Navigator! Day 1 (Miami) - Our ... Read More
We just returned from the 6/10/06 sailing of Navigator of the Seas to the Western Caribbean. We had been to all of the ports of call from our six previous cruises so we really went on the cruise to sail on Navigator! Day 1 (Miami) - Our flight arrived in Fort Lauderdale at around 9:30 AM. We took a limo from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Intl. to the Port of Miami. The ride was about 35 minutes on a Saturday morning with little traffic. We got to the pier just before 11 AM and were the first ones in the terminal so we had our picture taken and sat in the lounge area until 11:30 when they opened up security. We checked in with our Set Sail Pass and were on the ship by 11:45. We usually try not to sail out of Miami because the Port of Miami always seems so crowded and rushed but this was one of the best embarkation experiences we have ever had. Day 2 (At Sea) - Sunday was actually kinda overcast. We had planned on laying out on the pool deck most of the day but since it was cloudy we stayed in the cabin, ate at the Windjammer and explored the ship, comparing it to her sisters Mariner and Voyager of the Seas. The rest of the day was spent resting up for the rest of the cruise, we had to leave the house at 3:00 AM on Saturday. Day 3 (Labadee) - Labadee is actually one of our favorite ports. We spent the entire day at the beach. We got off at about 9:30 to avoid the early tender crowd and it worked out pretty well. The day was beautiful, as it always has been for us in Labadee. We usually do not eat at the BBQ because it is usually not too great, but they have improved it since last time and we actually had a pretty good lunch. Day 4 (Ocho Rios) - Ocho Rios was great. We took a brief tour of Ocho Rios and then we were dropped off at Dunns River Falls. We have never climbed the falls before and it was very worth it. We had a great time and will definitely do it if we ever go back to Ocho Rios. If you don't bring your own water shoes, you can rent them at the falls for $5. Day 5 (Grand Cayman) - Grand Cayman is also one of our favorites. We did the Trolly Rodger, which did not appeal to us but a few people in the group wanted to give it a try. It was short and not too exciting, which was to be expected. After the trolly tour, we went to Seven Mile Beach for a couple hours. Freedom of the Seas was tendering beside us in Grand Cayman. Our next cruise is on Liberty of the Seas and I have to say I really think the Navigator has a better looking exterior than Freedom. I can't stand the yellow looking mini hump on Freedom of the Seas. But besides that, from the exterior, they are nearly identical. Day 6 (Cozumel) - It was another mostly cloudy day in Cozumel. We decided to stay on the ship until 3:00 PM because the ship was completely deserted, it was great. At about 3:00 we got on a tender and took a cab downtown for $6 and did some shopping. Day 7 (At Sea) - Friday was a beautiful day at sea, not a cloud in the sky. We stayed around the pool most of the day and listened to the band on the pool deck. This day at sea really was a great end to a great cruise. The Ship - As I said before, we really took this cruise because of the ship, not the itinerary. We wanted to give Navigator of the Seas a try before Freedom and Liberty because we have heard so many great things about Navigator. I was not disappointed. Overall, the Navigator is in great shape for being almost 4 years old and never having a refurb. The only places she shows wear is on the outdoor track and some of the carpet inside the corridors and stairways, which is to be expected. Keep in mind these ships have over 3500 guests plus crew on and off the ship every week of the year. While we were on our cruise, they replaced all of the deck chairs on the top deck and pool deck areas from the teal ones to dark blue ones just like them. It really improved the look of the deck area. They really do a good job maintaining the ship. They are always painting, washing, and picking up behind the scenes, especially late at night and early in the morning. They replaced some carpet while we were on, but were never in the way while replacing carpet or deck chairs. The Cabin - We had a Deluxe Oceanview stateroom with a balcony, number 6250. It was a great cabin and plenty spacious for three adults. I was weary about having a balcony on deck six and the cabin being right on top of Cafe Promenade but we had no noise trouble at all and I actually preferred having the deck 6 balcony than a higher one. The interior of the cabin was in good shape, of course in need of the new bedding, but it was fine for a weeks stay. The Crew - Cruise director Graham Seymour was our favorite cruise director yet. We were a little disappointed with the amount of crew that was sent over to Freedom of the Seas. Many of the Guest Relations staff and bar waiters were sent to Freedom and you could tell they were new to Navigator and possibly new to the job. They were all nice and helpful, though. Overall - We had a fantastic cruise on the Navigator of the Seas and would cruise on her again in a heartbeat. We are really going to miss her when she leaves for Europe and then begins sailing short Western Caribbean itineraries. She really is still one of the best ships out there in my opinion after seven cruises. Read Less
Sail Date June 2006
We just returned from the 6/10/06 sailing of Navigator of the Seas to the Western Caribbean. We had been to all of the ports of call from our six previous cruises so we really went on the cruise to sail on Navigator! Day 1 (Miami)- Our ... Read More
We just returned from the 6/10/06 sailing of Navigator of the Seas to the Western Caribbean. We had been to all of the ports of call from our six previous cruises so we really went on the cruise to sail on Navigator! Day 1 (Miami)- Our flight arrived in Fort Lauderdale at around 9:30 AM. We took a limo to from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Intl. to the Port of Miami. The ride was about 35 minutes on a Saturday morning with little traffic. We got to the pier just before 11 AM and were the first ones in the terminal so we had our picture taken and sat in the lounge area until 11:30 when they opened up security. We checked in with our Set Sail Pass and were on the ship by 11:45. We usually try not to sail out of Miami because the Port of Miami always seems so crowded and rushed but this was one of the best embarkation experiences we have ever had. Day 2 (At Sea)- Sunday was actually kinda overcast. We had planned on laying out on the pool deck most of the day but since it was cloudy we stayed in the cabin, ate at the Windjammer and explored the ship, comparing it to her sisters Mariner and Voyager of the Seas. The rest of the day was spent resting up for the rest of the cruise, we had to leave the house at 3:00 AM on Saturday. Day 3 (Labadee)- Labadee is actually one of our favorite ports. We spent the entire day at the beach. We got off at about 9:30 to avoid the early tender crowd and it worked out pretty well. The day was beautiful, as it always has been for us in Labadee. We usually do not eat at the BBQ, because it is usually not too great, but they have improved it since last time and we actually had a pretty good lunch. Day 4 (Ocho Rios)- Ocho Rios was great. We took a brief tour of Ocho Rios and then we were dropped off at Dunns River Falls. We have never climbed the falls before and it was very worth it. We had a great time and will definitely do it if we ever go back to Ocho Rios. If you don't bring your own water shoes, you can rent them at the falls for $5. Day 5 (Grand Cayman)- Grand Cayman is also one of our favorites. We did the Trolly Rodger, which did not appeal to us but a few people in the group wanted to give it a try. It was short and not too exciting, which was to be expected. After the trolly tour, we went to Seven Mile Beach for a couple hours. Freedom of the Seas was tendering beside us in Grand Cayman. Our next cruise is on Liberty of the Seas and I have to say I really think the Navigator has a better looking exterior than Freedom. I can't stand the yellow looking mini hump on Freedom of the Seas. But besides that, from the exterior, they are nearly identical. Day 6 (Cozumel)- It was another mostly cloudy day in Cozumel. We decided to stay on the ship until 3:00 PM because the ship was completely deserted, it was great. At about 3:00 we got on a tender and took a cab downtown for $6 and did some shopping. Day 7 (At Sea)- Friday was a beautiful day at sea, not a cloud in the sky. We stayed around the pool most of the day and listened to the band on the pool deck. This day at sea really was a great end to a great cruise. The Ship- As I said before, we really took this cruise because of the ship, not the itinerary. We wanted to give Navigator of the Seas a try before Freedom and Liberty because we have heard so many great things about Navigator. I was not disappointed. Overall the Navigator is in great shape for being almost 4 years old and never having a refurb. The only places she shows wear is on the outdoor track and some of the carpet inside the corridors and stairways, which is to be expected. Keep in mind these ships have over 3500 guests plus crew on and off the ship every week of the year. While we were on our cruise, they replaced all of the deck chairs on the top deck and pool deck areas from the teal ones to dark blue ones just like them. It really improved the look of the deck area. They really do a good job maintaining the ship. They are always painting, washing, and picking up behind the scenes, especially late at night and early in the morning. They replaced some carpet while we were on, but were never in the way while replacing carpet or deck chairs. The Cabin- We had a Deluxe Oceanview stateroom with a balcony, number 6250. It was a great cabin and plenty spacious for three adults. I was weary about having a balcony on deck six and the cabin being right on top of Cafe Promenade but we had no noise trouble at all and I actually preferred having the deck 6 balcony than a higher one. The interior of the cabin was in good shape, of course in need of the new bedding, but it was fine for a weeks stay. The crew- Cruise director Graham Seymour was our favorite cruise director yet, really funny and tried to make everybody happy and have a great time. We were a little disappointed with the amount of crew that was sent over to Freedom of the Seas. Many of the Guest Relations staff and bar waiters were sent to Freedom and you could tell they were new to Navigator and possibly new to the job. They were all nice and helpful, though. Overall- Overall we had a fantastic cruise on the Navigator of the Seas and would cruise on her again in a heartbeat. We are really going to miss her when she leaves for Europe and then begins sailing short Western Caribbean itineraries. She really is still one of the best ships out there in my opinion after seven cruises. Read Less
Sail Date June 2006
This was our first cruise and we loved it!! My husband and I went with 3 other couples to celebrate our 30th birthdays. It was the 1st cruise for 3 of the couples and the 3rd for the other. We flew from Chicago to Miami and stayed at the ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we loved it!! My husband and I went with 3 other couples to celebrate our 30th birthdays. It was the 1st cruise for 3 of the couples and the 3rd for the other. We flew from Chicago to Miami and stayed at the Marriott (nice hammocks near the pool to relax in at night) and took a cab to the port on Saturday morning--very easy. We checked-in online, the process at the port was very easy, and the lines seemed to move quickly. We arrived at the cruise ship around 11:30 or noon and headed to the Windjammer for a buffet lunch as the rooms aren't ready until 1:00pm. Tip: bring a small carry-on with you so that you'll have access to sun screen, book, sunglasses, hat, contact lens solution, glasses, etc while you're waiting for your bags to arrive. We had our luggage before dinner and we sent all of our clothes to be pressed (great tip from another cruise critic reviewer). If you send the clothes out on Saturday, they're returned to you by Sunday at 5:00pm. We paid about $35 to have most of the clothes in our suitcases pressed. You won't have an iron in your room as it's considered a fire hazard. Windjammer food was good; dining room was excellent; Cafe Promenade had good pizza; and Johnny Rockets had the same greasy food as back home. We didn't book any excursions from home before leaving. A previous reviewer mentioned needing to pay for beach chairs in Labadee. We were not charged for chairs; perhaps they tipped someone to move chairs for them or show them to an open chair. The night before, we booked a waverunner to use on Labadee through the excursions desk on the ship. It was a guided tour around the shore and were on it for about 1 hour. We had a great time! In Ocho Rios, Jamaica, we got a cab at the pier and went to Dunn's River Falls. There are guides there and we joined a group to climb the falls. What a great, fun, and unique experience! For this excursion I think we paid about $30 per person (taxi, entrance fee, guide) as opposed to $60-80 per person if booked through the cruise ship. In Grand Cayman we just walked in and out of the shops and spent the day at the pool on the ship. Cozumel, Mexico, turned out to be a bust. We signed up for the Passion Island excursion the night before at the excursions desk on the ship. The next morning we meet at the Metropolis Theater on board at 9:45am with a tender boarding time of 10am. We sat in the theater (along with fellow passengers) waiting, and waiting with no information or explanation regarding the delay. At 11:45am we decided to cancel our excursion and was given a full refund at the guest relations desk. We spent the day at the pool on board. I still have no idea what happened. We recommend: *Getting a room with a balcony. We had room service deliver our breakfast each morning and sat on the balcony while we ate (room service is included in cost of cruise; just need to tip). *Get the pop package if you drink a lot of pop. It's around $40 for all the pop you can drink in 7 days as opposed to $1.50 per drink. *Have your clothes pressed the day you arrive. *Hang out on Labadee (hammocks strung between palm trees!) *Do Dunn's River Falls *Have a drink (or two) at Two Poets. *On board, see the Love and Marriage Game Show, Ice Skating show, and the Finale Show. Some things to look out for: *elevators are slow and have mobs of people waiting especially around dinner time and when returning to the ship. Be prepared to take the stairs. *Drinks are served in "souvenir" plastic glasses unless otherwise requested. The "souvenir" glass adds $1-2 dollars to the cost of the drink. *a cruise is not all-inclusive. You pay for pop ($1.50 per drink), alcohol, excursions, tips, souvenirs, professional pictures, etc. Each couple in our group had charges of $700-1000 at the end of the cruise. *Gratuity is added to all drinks automatically. There's a line that says "additional tip" so that you can give more for outstanding service. All-in-all a GREAT trip and would absolutely cruise again on RCI. Read Less
Sail Date June 2006
There were 19 of us on this cruise, with 6 under 18 years old. Excursions The best thing we did was to book our own group excursion in San Juan Puerto Rico with Legends of Puerto Rico. Our driver, Jaime, was knowledgeable and relaxed. ... Read More
There were 19 of us on this cruise, with 6 under 18 years old. Excursions The best thing we did was to book our own group excursion in San Juan Puerto Rico with Legends of Puerto Rico. Our driver, Jaime, was knowledgeable and relaxed. The bus comfortably carried 22 so we had ample room. Debbie booked the bus and driver for us. She was professional and did exactly as we asked. I have organized visits for the current First Lady and Mrs. Clinton when she was in the White House, and this bus driver could have easily done it for us. They are that good and the price is much more reasonable than paying the per person price charged by the Navigator or other companies. We visited the Bacardi House, drank rum, toured Isla Verde and Condado and ended up with a great visit of Old San Juan and the fort. Although traffic caused the bus to be behind the schedule we had accorded, they did not charge us more (although to express our appreciation we did tip the excellent driver well). The worst excursion was the one organized by the Navigator in Nassau which goes to the Atlantic Hotel on a boat. The boat was overloaded (to the point of being dangerously overcrowded), the fumes were horrible and the chairs were those cheap movable plastic chairs that were so low one could not see anything. It was a rip-off and a dangerous one at that. DO NOT take that excursion! There were some elderly members in our group and the tour guide arranged by the Navigator walked so fast that we had to drop off the walking tour! I would highly recommend you simply negotiate a cab ride ($4 per person) from the pier and go directly to the Atlantis Hotel is that's what you want to do. Then pay the fee to walk around the hotel on your own. No need to get the tour. They say nothing of interest. After you walk leisurely around the hotel, visit the casino and stores near the lobby. Those are nice. I wish we would have done that and saved all the money we paid for the fume-filled dangerous harbor boat tour. It was so bad that we dropped off the group and took our own cab back ($4 per person) from the front of the Atlantis Hotel and got back to the ship on our own. The small boats used to transport you back to the harbor (part of the tour) are also very small and not nice. Beware! The organized tour in St. Marten was also another disappointment. We did the City Tour. The bus sat at the pier for nearly one hour before we departed. We simply drove from the pier (on the Dutch side) to the French side and got off and walked. We could have done this in a cab or a small bus and left promptly and enjoyed the extra time walking and shopping. Another waste of money. Do this on your own! Negotiate a price to drive you and your party to the French downtown and walk around the fruit market, the shopping area, the small mall, the coffee shops, and then take the taxi or small bus back to the Dutch side. Ask the taxi driver to drive you around the island on the way back and you have the tour for hardly no money. Our tour guide spoke about the island but again, said nothing that you do not already know from reading the basics of St. Marten. Save your money. Another horrible land tour was the one in St. Thomas. DO NOT go to Coral World. It is poorly maintained and has nothing you cannot see at the Miami Seaquarium, or any other aquarium in the U.S. It is NOT a nice place to visit. Then we were driven to Magen's Bay Beach which was overcrowded with all the ships at port. Seems that all the planned tours go there. I recommend you hire a small bus or a taxi driver to take your party to another more secluded beach or to simply drive you to Magen's Bay Beach. Again, waiting for everyone to assemble was very time consuming. Do not waste your time or money on a planned tour of Coral World or Magen's Bay Beach. If you do hire a taxi driver ask him/her to stop at the lookout point overlooking the port/bay for some great photos and then just drive around. Taxi drivers know where to go. The Ship Now that I have sunk the Navigator-organized excursions for being expensive, crowded, always delayed, and useless, let me RAVE about the ship itself. Honestly, consider staying on the ship and enjoying it more. The prices for liquor are lower on the ship! DO not waste your time carrying it back aboard. I priced the top sellers in St. Thomas and St. Marten and found the best prices on the ship liquor store. One exception was the Bacardi store in San Juan with great prices on souvenirs (superb caps, umbrellas, shirts with he Bacardi logo) and the best 18 year old rum you have ever had which you can only buy at the Bacardi plant. That was great plus you get free Bacardi drinks at a breezy and nice bar before and after your tour. The restaurant service was great. Our main waiter was NAVIN, from India and his assistant waiter was also Indian and the other assistant waiter for our party of 19 was Turkish. Those gentleman were superb. They did everything they could to make you enjoy every dinner. On lobster night I just wanted lobster (no side dishes) and they brought just what I wanted. The last night, I was so full I also wanted the NY Strip Steak with no accompaniments and they brought me the perfect steak! They were attentive to such things as having water in your goblet, bread when you needed it, and serving everyone at once. It was perfect. The breakfasts and lunches in the dining rooms were open seating. It was OK to sit with others (because the entire group of 19 did not eat breakfast and lunch together). We ate at the buffet on the 11th floor at the Windjammer twice and found the dining room dining experience much nicer. The buffet was always sort of rushed and more crowded and could have been served anywhere. You paid for a wonderful cruise so enjoy the wonderful service offered in the dining room. You also eat much less if you go to the dining room because, although you can order as much as you want, you do not over-serve yourself as you would in a buffet. Also, I found that some of the food that appears at dinner the prior night, re-appeared in the buffet the following lunch in a modified form. My brother and the kids enjoyed the buffet more because it was quick, crowded, and noisy. I recommend going to the dining room. The pools were beautiful and great. I enjoyed the adult pool very much. Once on the last day did I see children in that pool (prohibited) but the staff did not do anything about it. Maybe it was the last night! The main pool was always crowded and noisy but ful to see. The adult pool (Solarium) is salt water which is nice. The bar is right nearby and you can enjoy your drink while soaking in the nice pool. I even did a step class and it was superb. Don't be afraid and try the step class or the aerobics class. It is not difficult and the choreography you can follow easily even if you are a beginner. It is a great morning work-out, as if the morning stretch! The sauna and Turkish Bath were great and always empty. If you like that, enjoy them, they are always clean and filled with towels. I noticed that men kept on their bathing suit in both the sauna and Turkish Bath. The SPA looked great and the services varied. The prices were comparable to US prices. The hair salon was packed on the two days of the gala dinners. Book early if you need to have your hair done. The rooms were great and kept clean and filled with fresh towels. Although the bathrooms are small they have everything you might need. The entertainment was varied and abundant. Our favorite by far was the Ice Show. Be sure to get tickets for the Ice Show and there is a coupon behind each Ice Show ticket for drink discounts as you enjoy this superb show! We also enjoyed the other shows. It is very casual. Go to all of them. If you do not like what they offer on a particular night get up and leave. It is very relaxed. I enjoyed all of them. The casino was fun. The bartender Ernesto from Uruguay was superb. What a nice helpful young man. He makes great drinks. Tip him well...he deserves it..and they live only on tips! The slot machines were fun. No one in our party won anything but the money we all lost was spent enjoying playing the games. Blackjack is the simplest card game to learn and play. We also enjoyed some of the other special activities. The gala buffet was beautifully presented. Do not miss seeing it. Also the pool caribbean night party buffet was nice and well-attended. The art auctions were fun but the items seemed a bit high for what you get. Compare the prices on eBay and other art auction websites before you buy anything. If you do win one of the auction raffles and get "free cash" to buy something, then buy something with what you won. I buy and collect a lot of art and did not find there were any good deals to be had. Do not get carried away and overbid for something you really do not want. Also remember that most items are sold unframed and framing is very expensive. It was fun seeing the auction and enjoying the free French champagne that flowed abundantly...Go and enjoy the free champagne and ask your wife/husband/SO to slap you if you bid on something! The embarkation was smooth although the lines were VERY long. If we had arrived later (we arrived at 2:30 PM) we would have waited much less. Folks who arrived at 3:30 or 4 PM had no waiting time! Disembarkation was smooth...smoother if you are with someone on a wheelchair! Tip the stewart well who helps you skip those long lines if your party is traveling with someone who needs a wheelchair. The wheelchair stewart picks up passengers needing help at the Boleros Cafe on the 4th deck. If you have any elderly folks in your group consider doing it because the lines are long as is the walk to immigration and luggage pick-up. The immigration officer was wonderful. It was an African-American lady and she is the best I have ever seen. What a kind friendly person! The passenger pick-up is chaotic! I would recommend you plan to meet your party somewhere nearby but not at the main exit area. There are "shark" tour guides that seem out-of-control and preying on innocent travelers who probably would prefer to get a city taxi. I saw no one from RCL controlling these "sharks." When you pack, pack less than you think you need! The stateroom closets are small and you can wear the same thing again and again. Although we thought we packed light, we took things we never wore. Comfortable shoes are a must! If I did not cover anything you'd like to know please let me know. Read Less
Sail Date June 2006
My wife, her sister and husband and I have planned this trip for about one year. My wife and I have been on a total of 8 cruises. We have been on: Carnival/Ecstasy 1993 Western Caribbean, Celebrity/Horizon 1995 Bermuda, Celebrity/Zenith ... Read More
My wife, her sister and husband and I have planned this trip for about one year. My wife and I have been on a total of 8 cruises. We have been on: Carnival/Ecstasy 1993 Western Caribbean, Celebrity/Horizon 1995 Bermuda, Celebrity/Zenith 1996 Bermuda, Royal Caribbean/Enchantment of the Seas Eastern Caribbean 1998, Royal Caribbean/Voyager of the Seas 2000 Western Caribbean, Explorer of the Seas 2002 Western Caribbean, Voyager of the Seas 2004 Western Caribbean, Navigator of the Seas 2006 Eastern Caribbean. As you see we love Royal Caribbean! This cruise was no exception. We have Royal Caribbean's Visa Card and we accumulated enough points for one person free on this sailing. All we had to do was call the number on our card and they sent us the coupon and we gave the coupon to our travel agent. Important, if you do get the coupon, get it as close to the sailing as possible because there is an expiration date of 6 months and if you postpone your trip or anything like that you want as much time as possible to reschedule your trip. When flying, we always travel one day ahead to be sure of getting to the port on time and to be sure our luggage makes the voyage. We always make our own flight arrangements for the best pricing. When cruising out of Miami we always fly into Fort Lauderdale and take a shuttle to the hotel. The pricing to fly to Fort Lauderdale is cheaper including the shuttle. We used "Top Shuttle" service at the airport. They were excellent and on time. Cost $75.00 plus tip. We stayed at the Holiday Inn by the Bayside Market Place. We had a room with a great view of the port of Miami. We could see the ships! The Bayside Market Place is a great place with lots of shopping and good food. The only negative was expecting to see the big guitar over the Hard Rock Cafe and it was not there. Maybe a hurricane blew it off? Day one June 17th Partly Sunny We wanted to get to the ship early. I arranged a taxi to take us to the port at 10:00AM. The cost was $5.00/person plus tip. We gave our luggage to the porter and tipped him $2.00 per bag. We then proceeded through the doors and up an escalator to a large waiting room. There were about 20 people already there sitting on one side of the room. We got our welcome aboard pictures taken and sat down. In the middle of the room was a lined off section for going through the metal detectors. If you want to be the first one in line stand by this lined off area because later on the room will fill with people and if you are not by that area you will be behind a long line. They opened the line up at 11:00AM and we went into another area where they give you your sign and sail passes. There are multiple lines marked by decks so look for your deck number. The person checking us in forgot to take our Bahamas Immigration forms and she came running back to get them. We were now off to explore the ship. Like all the Voyager class ships, this ship is amazing. We still can't believe how large this vessel is. Captain Bang certainly has this ship in order. They told us we could not get into our cabins until 1:00PM. That was okay because we were busy exploring and going to the windjammer to eat. When I get on board I always check our table to see if we have the right place that I asked for. I asked for a table for four by a window in the Swan Lake Dining Room. They put us in the Nutcracker Dining Room in a table of four one table off the window and we were in a corner and could not see any of the activities in the dining room. If we were traveling with a group which we normally do we would want to be more towards the center where we could see the entertainment in the dining room. I asked the others if they wanted to change the table and since we saw all the entertainment in the dining room before they did not so I did not pursue it. They announced that our cabins were ready earlier at 12:30PM. We went to our staterooms. The Balcony cabin was excellent. We had plenty of space. All the luggage fit under the bed. The bathroom was the same with the two "U" shaped doors. The balcony had two chairs and a small table. The sides had frosted glass so you could not see through for privacy. We met our cabin Steward Patrick from Jamaica. He was great! Our room was always in great shape and he made the best towel animals! The muster drill was quick and painless and we were off to the going away party up on deck. The Roots Vibration band was excellent for the going away party and the frozen drinks were flowing. Floating away from Miami is an awesome sight!!! Time for dinner. We met our head waiter, Paul, our dinning room waiter, Victor, and our assistant waiter, IMade. All of these people exceeded our expectations and despite the table location, made this cruise one of our best experiences. The food was excellent and despite what people write about Royal Caribbean's food I think they have excellent choices and great tasting food. The welcome aboard show was next. We met our cruise director, Graham Seymour, for the first time. Out of all of our cruises, Graham was by far the best cruise director to date. He was extremely funny and sang very well. The welcome aboard Dance Party with the house band, Rock the Boat was very good. The Bon Voyage Parade was very similar to the past parades we saw, but still very well attended and performed. Day Two June 18th Partly sunny This is our first sea day. We worked out on the treadmills in the fitness center and we used the mineral spa. One of the 4 jets shooting straight out into the water was not working during the entire cruise. I found this similar thing on the other voyager ships I cruised on. They should fix this problem. We went to lunch in the Windjammer Cafe. They had many choices to choose from. I was a little disappointed with Jade. I was hoping for more of a choice, but it was very limited; fried rice, mixed vegetables and miso soup. We used the pool in the afternoon and had no trouble finding lounge chairs. We were invited to a Meet and Mingle party which you had to sign up for before you go on the cruise. 26 people signed up for the party and only 12 people showed up. For the people who did not show up they missed a very informative party with Captain Bang and his beautiful wife Darlene. Tonight was the Captain's Gala Dinner and the first formal night. Dinner was again very good and the service was excellent. The production show was very well performed and sung. The late night comedy show with Graham Seymour was the highlight of the cruise. Day three June 19th Partly Cloudy We decided to do shopping and sight seeing in San Juan, Puerto Rico. After shopping we went back to the ship for another excellent dinner. After dinner we went to the visitor center area and got a horse and carriage ride through San Juan; cost $80.00 plus tip. The ride was very good. Our driver took us past our cruise ship and Carnival's ship Triumph. They really looked cool at night. He took us through San Juan and we saw many historical buildings. We wanted to get back to the ship for the show tonight which featured "Revolution" the Beatles Tribute. The show was excellent, you would think that the Beatles were on the stage. It was totally awesome. Day Four June 20th Partly Cloudy We booked online the Ultimate Island Experience for St Thomas. We had the tickets delivered to our stateroom at the beginning of the cruise. On this excursion we made two sight seeing stops for pictures and the main stop was Magen's Bay for some beach time. After Magen's Bay they take you to Blackbeard's hill to see Blackbeards castle. We walked down the 99 steps into St Thomas for shopping. After shopping you have to take a taxi back to the ship. The taxi's are everywhere and they cost $4.00/person. Tonight's theme is Caribbean night. The dinner was great. We have tickets for the ice show called Ice Dancing. We got our tickets on day two at 9:30AM. The show was excellent, nobody slipped or fell... amazing! After that we went to the Love and Marriage Game Show with Graham Seymour. Again he was Grrrrrrrreat!!!! Day five June 21st Partly Cloudy We booked online the excursion St Maarten Sensation & Beach Break with Lunch. We had the tickets delivered to the stateroon at the beginning of the cruise. On this excursion we made two sightseeing stops one at Drake's Seat and the other at Cole's Bay. We had a stop at Marigot for shopping and then to Orient Beach for swimming. We had lunch at BOO BOO JAM on Orient Beach. The food was okay. The only problem with that was this is where you kept all your stuff, and they were on the far end of the beach. If you wanted to go to where all the activities are you had to walk pretty far. The water here was very pretty and the waves were very good for body surfing. Tonight the Celebrity Showtime is comedian Bobby Collins. He was very funny. Tonight was also "The quest", we did not attend. Day six June 22nd Partly Cloudy This is our second sea day. We worked out on the treadmills in the fitness center and we used the mineral spa. We ate lunch in the dining room today. The food was excellent. I had the orange chicken. We relaxed at the pool and watched the volleyball tournament. Tonight is the second formal evening the Crown and Anchor Dinner. The food and service again was wonderful. The show tonight was "All Access" with the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers. Day seven June 23rd Partly Cloudy Today we are in Nassau, Bahamas. This is a shopping day for us. We walked through the straw market. This place was very crowded and hot. I noticed two women vendors screaming at each other. We walked down Bay Street and brought some souvenirs. Me and my brother in law had a beer in one of the bars. $10.00 plus tip. We went back to the ship to relax before we sail away. We played mini golf today. Tonight is the feast of nations dinner and as usual the food and service was excellent. The farewell show is tonight with John Ferrentino. The show was okay. We are putting our luggage out today in the hallway. It has to be out between 7:00PM and 12 midnight. Day Eight June 24th Partly Cloudy They want you out of the cabin by 8:00AM. We had breakfast in the Windjammer Cafe. We had white luggage tags number #1. If you are leaving on a flight make sure you go on your TV and complete the welcome survey sometime in the beginning of your cruise. This survey will ask you about your flight plans. This will ensure that your luggage comes out early enough for you to catch your flight. There is a little white card that you are supposed to have if you don't have a passport, make sure you have one for every person. My wife didn't have one, but they left her though. At the baggage claim we found every piece of luggage except for one bag. I found it in baggage claim #3 instead of #1. So keep this in mind if you are missing a bag. We flew out of Fort Lauderdale on Delta. I would not advise anybody to fly Delta. We got out of Fort Lauderdale late and arrived in Atlanta close to our scheduled departure. We arrived at our gate 17 minutes prior to scheduled flight time and the gate personnel would not let us on the flight. They said it was closed and we would have to be reschedule 3 hours later. I'm pretty sure they gave our seats up to somebody else too early leaving us stranded. I'm a frequent flyer and I will never fly Delta again. In summary the cruise with Royal Caribbean was superb in every way. We are definitely planning another cruise with a large group in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2006
We arrived in Miami the Friday before our Saturday sailing and stayed at the Marriott Biscayne Bay. It was a convenient location with a quick cab ride to the port and Bayside for some pre-cruise drinks and dinner. The Marriott was fine, ... Read More
We arrived in Miami the Friday before our Saturday sailing and stayed at the Marriott Biscayne Bay. It was a convenient location with a quick cab ride to the port and Bayside for some pre-cruise drinks and dinner. The Marriott was fine, nothing special but it fit the bill - especially nice if you can get a room overlooking the port. We arrived at the port at about 11:30 and we were on the ship by about 12:30ish. Obviously lots of other travelers there but it seemed to go smoothly enough. Our first stop on board was the spa so we could get the sea day appointments at the times we wanted, then to Portofinos and Chops to make those reservations. Having never been on a cruise with specialty restaurants, we were curious to try them out. Then to Windjammer and the pool for some sun and tropical drinks! Just an aside to those unfamiliar with the baggage procedures  consider having shorts and bathing suit in your carry- on as most likely you will not have your luggage until later in the afternoon or evening. There were lots of folks at the pool the first day wishing they had their bathing suits. Our stateroom was really nice  I had heard so much about the hump we decided to give it a shot and we loved it. It was great being able to look forward towards the front of the ship. The room area by the window and slider and the balcony did feel more spacious but I could just be imagining that. Overall, clean and well-maintained with a very friendly cabin steward. Entertainment  Great! Much better than prior cruises. The dancers and singers were excellent. Graham Seymour the Cruise Director is quite a funny guy and keeps most laughing. Food  We thought the food in the main dining room was very good (not great) but considering they are serving thousands a day - very decent. Not big buffet fans so the Windjammer was fine but not really a favorite although we did enjoy their breakfasts and pizzas at lunch. Portofinos and Chops were excellent. Great service and food - we really enjoyed both. Some of the menu standouts for us were the Veal Saltimbocca, the Risotto, the grilled portobella mushrooms, and the desserts The ship itself is beautiful and we found it to be in excellent condition especially with the traffic it gets week in and week out. I particularly enjoyed the art work. As far as the ports are concerned, we only did one excursion choosing to sightsee around town or go the beach instead. San Juan had some beautiful architecture and we spent the majority of our time at El Morro which was interesting. Overall, not our favorite port although we enjoyed El Morro. In St Thomas, we took a cab to Magens Bay, which was absolutely beautiful, then in town for some souvenir shopping for the kids. We debated heading over St Johns instead of Magens Bay but ultimately decided we did not want to deal with ferries and cabs to get over there. We were perfectly happy with Magens Bay and it was nice to be able to get a Coke, use bathrooms, rent beach chairs ($6) etc. In St Maarten, we did the Americas Cup excursion and had a great time. Definitely one of the highlights of the cruise. It was fun helping crew, learning your task and putting it to work in the race. It is quite amazing how close the boats get to each other, several times I thought for sure we were going to hit. Nassau  having been there before I had low expectations (which were met) and since we had enough of the sun we just walked around town a bit then hit Senor Frogs for music and drinks. In summary, a fun, relaxing vacation on a beautiful ship with sunny, warm weather. Exactly what we needed! Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
My boyfriend (soon to be fiancE...we'll get to that later) Craig and I left on May 20, 2006 for our 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise, departing from Miami. My first piece of advice: get to your port a day early if you need to fly ... Read More
My boyfriend (soon to be fiancE...we'll get to that later) Craig and I left on May 20, 2006 for our 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise, departing from Miami. My first piece of advice: get to your port a day early if you need to fly there. We took a 5:30 flight out of Albany International to Ft. Lauderdale, then transported to Miami via van. While everything went fine, I am very high-strung and was worried all day that we would be late! Getting there a day early would have relieved that stress. We were at the port by about noon-1:00, and got in line ASAP. Really enjoyed the lemonade and cookies provided! While the lines were long, they moved very quickly. We got our Sea Passes from the service desk and then got in line to get on the ship! We were quite early getting on board, so our cabin was not yet cleaned from the last cruise. This brings me to my second piece of advice: make sure you give all of your big luggage to the porters before you check-in and get on board. Again, being very high strung I insisted that we carry most of our luggage on board with us, to make sure it didn't get lost. This was not a smart idea, since our room wasn't ready until about 3pm and we had to drag our bags all over the ship with us in the meantime! The porters, I learned, are very responsible and I did not hear anyone complaining that they lost their luggage. Craig and I were immediately overwhelmed with all of the people offering us stuff on the ship. Drinks, wine specials for the week, jewelry, etc. We did sign up for the Wine Package for the week...you pay a set amount for however many bottles of wine you want for the week. Then, when you're at dinner, the waiters will get you whatever one you choose until you run out. If you don't finish the bottle, they hold on to it for you until the next time you want it. It was a great deal, and since we are big wine drinkers, it came in handy for the week! Once our room was ready, Craig and I settled in a bit. We were in an oceanview cabin, which was actually a decent size. The drawer space was good as well as the mirrors (hey, I'm a girl). The shower was a bit small (shaving your legs is an adventure, ladies!) but otherwise we enjoyed everything. The bed was also very comfy, and our housekeepers were great...they kept us entertained with towel animals all week (the elephant was our favorite). We changed out of our airport-wear and went out on deck to join everyone. We explored the different decks/pools/etc. and ended up hanging out near the railings just taking in Miami for a while. We did take the spa tour but soon realized that it was a little pricey for us! We did the muster drill around 4:30...it was very confusing. Craig and I couldn't figure out where our muster station was for the longest time. But it was a quick drill, and the ship didn't crash all week, so I guess it doesn't matter that we got lost! We left Miami on time, right around 5pm. They had a band on deck playing music, overall a very festive atmosphere for our sendoff! Craig and I had early dinner at 6pm so we headed to the formal dining room after the sendoff. A few notes about dining. First, we are taking another cruise in 9/07 and have already decided to do the later (8pm) seating. 6pm was very inconvenient for us, especially when we were at port. On a better note, the food is fantastic. We ate in the formal dining room most nights, and had no complaints about the food. Everything from filet mignon to lobster and you get as much as you want! Our waiters, John and Vicente, were also fantastic. We did enjoy that our dining room table was next to a window, but were not huge fans of our tablemates...we were young/unmarried, most of them were older/married and we just did not have a lot in common. You are assigned to sit with the same people at dinner all week (we were at a table for 8), so we couldn't really change it. We hope to get better pairings in our next cruise! The first night, we really just spent time roaming the decks. We went to the first show in the Metropolis theatre, which wasn't too exciting but acted as an introduction to the rest of the shows for the week. Our cruise director, Graham Seymour, was very funny though—kept us entertained the whole week! We turned in relatively early so that we would be able to get a lot done the next day! May 21, 2006 This was our first Day at Sea. We definitely made the most of it! Started with breakfast in the Windjammer Cafe, which is where we usually ended up for breakfast. They had a really good buffet selection, as well as cereal (my personal staple). Plus, the views from the cafe seating area are awesome. After breakfast, we did some of the recreational stuff on the ship. We started with the rock climbing wall. Tons of fun and there was hardly ever a line! Craig made it up on his first try—I didn't, but my effort was commendable. We also did a round of mini golf, which is WAY more fun on the deck of a ship than it is back home. We did a lot of sunbathing out by the pools and early on, decided our favorite pool was at the Solarium...lots of covered areas for us pale folks, and the pool itself was smaller than the main one on the other deck. We returned to the Windjammer for lunch, where they also had a great buffet selection. That night was the first formal dinner...so much fun playing dress up! After dinner we explored some of the bars/clubs on the ship. The Dungeon was definitely what Craig called the "hoopty-hoopty room"...lots of crazy top-40 music and dancing, which was fun for us for a while, but we were a little too tired for it! We stopped by the Champagne room where there was a great piano player. Our personal favorite spot turned out to be the Two Poets Irish Pub, where they had a great guitarist there every night. He always got people into the songs and they had a great beer selection. May 22, 2006 Today was our first port—San Juan, Puerto Rico. We didn't dock until 2pm, so we got up early, did breakfast at Windjammer, and made another attempt at the rock wall. (This time I made it!) We also went ice skating at the indoor rink...very fun, though the small size makes it a bit claustrophobic once a lot of people get on the ice. We got off the boat as soon as we could, around 2pm. We didn't have an excursion booked, but had heard that we could pick up a map of the city at the Visitor's Center and give ourselves the same walking tour that others were paying for via excursions. We heard correctly! We got our map (Visitor Center is right near where we docked) and walked the city. San Juan is a great place to explore on your own (but do bring water, it was hot hot hot in May!!). We walked along the shoreline for a while, and eventually ended up at Fort El Morro. You pass the fort when the boat is docking, and you can't miss it. It's out on a point. Very historic and has excellent views of the shoreline. We walked back through the shopping areas of town, which was good for souvenir hunting. Because of our early dinner time on the ship, we opted to have dinner on the island at Senor Frogs. Very fun! We especially enjoyed their "Yard" drinks and they had an emcee providing entertainment while we ate. Even though it was only 6pm or so, they had quite a party going on. We walked around town a bit more, and eventually headed back to the ship around 8pm. We weren't leaving port until 10, but we weren't really into the evening party scene (or walking around on our own after dark...not a good idea, we've heard!). The good thing about getting back on the ship early was that hardly anyone else was there, so we had first claim to the hot tubs! We soaked our tired feet for a while, then cleaned up so that we could hit Two Poets again. May 23rd, 2006 Second port day—St. Thomas! We docked much earlier this time. Breakfast at the Windjammer, then got off the boat and decided to walk around the shops near the dock for a while. This was not the most enjoyable time—most of the shops, we learned, are further downtown and easier to access by taxi. We ended up waiting around for a little while first, because we had a parasailing excursion booked for 10. What an awesome time!! We went out on a powerboat with 3 other couples, each taking turns getting rigged to the parasail. They kept you up in the air for about 10 minutes each (and made sure to dunk you in the ocean at least once!). I definitely recommend buying a waterproof camera for excursions like this. We brought one with us and got great photos while we were up in the air. After parasailing, we decided we wanted a relaxing afternoon. We got in a cab and asked the driver to take us to the nearest beach. The most popular beach in St. Thomas is Magen's Bay, but we didn't want the crowding and it was a longer drive. He took us to Morningstar Beach, which was great (and now holds a special place in our hearts!). We rented chairs and an umbrella, and I got a mask/snorkel as well—prices actually weren't too bad from the stand on the beach. We recognized the Royal Caribbean towels of the beachgoers next to us...turns out it was the road manager for Nelson (of 1990's fame), and the Nelson brothers were with her. They had just joined the cruise that day because they were going to be the entertainment tomorrow night on the ship. Very exciting for us to meet them! And, they actually took pictures for us about 15 minutes later when Craig surprised me and proposed in the water! So Nelson and Morningstar Beach will always be a good story for us. After the proposal, we giddy beachgoers headed back to the ship before the 5pm departure time. We called our families, then got ready for dinner. We actually had reservations at Chops, the steakhouse on board. What a great dining experience! We both had the filet mignon, which was amazing. We treated ourselves to dessert and lots of wine off our wine package as well. Definitely worth it to reserve at one of the specialty restaurants, for at least one dinner. Make sure you do it early though, they book up fast!! We reserved ours the first day on the ship. May 24th, 2006 Newly engaged, we headed on to St. Maarten. This was another early port, so we got breakfast at Windjammer and got off the boat. St. Maarten was easily our favorite port. It was very clean, the people were unbelievably friendly, and the water just seemed bluer (if that's possible!). We had an early excursion booked...ocean kayaking and snorkeling. Our group was bused out to another area of the island, where we met up with our guides and got a quick kayaking lesson. Then we all got into 2-person kayaks and went about a half mile out to a secluded beach. They had us put our snorkeling gear on, then got to snorkel for about an hour. It was awesome. The guides actually brought food into the water, which attracted huge schools of fish to us...made for some great underwater photos! Once we were done snorkeling, we all kayaked back...the guides had soda, water and beer available, and took some time to sit around with us and give us a small history of the island. Of all our excursions, this was definitely the most bang for the buck! We had a great time and the guides were unbelievably friendly. After the excursion, we went back to the shopping area near the dock. We grabbed a quick lunch at one of the stands, then did some souvenir shopping. (I found some great hand-made jewelry.) Definitely enjoyed the shopping here better than St. Thomas/San Juan...the salespeople didn't seem like they were trying to scam you with the pricing as much. We got back on deck around 5pm (6pm departure), and got ready for dinner. After dinner was the Nelson show, which of course we sat front and center for! They did a great set, and we got our photo with them again after the show. We stopped at the karaoke bar for a while, then back to Two Poets before bed. May 25th, 2006 Our last Day at Sea! We got up early as usual and did our Windjammer breakfast. We then decided, after all our activities this week, it was time to relax! We grabbed towels and hung around the Solarium with our drinks for a several hours. Did lunch in the dining room for the first time—the food was good, and our tablemates were more fun than dinnertime. (They seat you randomly when you come in for lunch.) After lunch, we did another round of mini golf, along with some turns around the inline skating track. We made time for a quick nap, then got ready for the second formal dinner—again, had a great time playing dress up! Not too much more to report from today—we really just took it easy and enjoyed the fact that we were on vacation. May 26th, 2006 Last port—Nassau, Bahamas! We didn't get off the ship until noon, so we spent the morning sunbathing. The day was a bit overcast, but still warm. We were not overly impressed by Nassau. I had cruised there about 8 years ago, and at that time my family had booked an excursion so that we had a private beach to hang out on all day. That is definitely the way to go. We did some souvenir shopping downtown, then took a taxi to the Atlantis hotel. We jumped onto a beach there, and were instantly annoyed by all the price haggling we had to do for a beach chair. Plus people kept coming by our towels to sell us stuff. We did get to relax on the beach for a while, but Nassau was definitely the place where we felt most hassled by the locals. Other than shopping/beaches, there wasn't much else to do without an excursion. We returned to the ship around 5 to get ready for our last dinner in the formal dining room. Then we had to pack—so sad!! We spent the night singing along in the Two Poets and wishing we didn't have to go home. May 27th, 2006 Departure day...boo! We had told Royal Caribbean that we had a much earlier flight than we actually did, so that we could be one of the first off the ship. This was a very good idea, as we didn't have to wait around long that morning. Our color tag got called and we got off the ship, got our luggage and caught a transport back to Ft. Lauderdale. I actually woke up sick with a stuffy nose this morning...thankfully, only the day we left! A smooth ride home ensued as we talked about all the great times we'd had...and our impending wedding! Overall, we had a great time and highly recommend Royal Caribbean to all of our friends. Craig was worried at first that he would get bored on the Days at Sea, but that was never the case. There's tons to do, but also lots of room for relaxation—which we welcomed a bit more than we thought we would. A Few Notes First, about the Sea Pass. BE CAREFUL. The Sea Pass is your ID on the ship, but it is also your form of payment whenever you pay for something on the ship. You can link your credit card to it, so your charges get added up all week, and then they put one big charge on your credit card bill. Because of this, it is VERY easy to spend more than you intend to. You can constantly check the balance on your Sea Pass through your room TV, and I recommend doing that. We kept ourselves in check all week and still left with a $500 bill! You can also opt to just put cash on the card and use it like a debit—that's another good way to control spending. As far as other spending, we brought about $500 to spend off the ship, and we spent all of it. That includes food/souvenirs/etc. and we are not very big shoppers. Given all this, I advise being smart about what you buy. Drinks of the Day look cute, but are very expensive! For other alcoholic drinks, check around at the different bars on the ship—sometimes one brand was cheaper at one bar vs. another. Get the most for your money. The photographers on the ship are very good, but be aware this is also an expensive venture. We had someone take nice photos of us on formal nights with our own camera, so we never had to buy anything. I'm all for having fun, but if you don't want to go broke on vacation there are definitely ways to avoid it! Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
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
Sail Date May 2006
We were "displaced" Star Princess cruisers. Our party consisted of Me, DH, & our 2 DD and their spouses. We booked VERY last minute when our cruise on the Star was canceled (due to the fire)and were fortunate enough to get 3 ... Read More
We were "displaced" Star Princess cruisers. Our party consisted of Me, DH, & our 2 DD and their spouses. We booked VERY last minute when our cruise on the Star was canceled (due to the fire)and were fortunate enough to get 3 Balcony rooms. (Of course we had to pay top dollar and the rescheduled airfare was costly) but at least our vacation was saved. DH and I had sailed with RCCL on the Sovereign once before, but the kids were all cruise newbies. (We have also sailed with Disney and Princess) We flew USAir from Pittsburgh to Miami, no problems. Great flight. Took a cab to the pier and we truly believe the cabbie drove faster than the pilot!! Yikes!!! We had checked-in online before we left home so check-in was a breeze. On the ship in about 20 min. What a beauty she is. We had aft balcony room #8678 for DH & Me and the kids were one deck up in #9674 & #9672. Our rooms were ready so we dropped off our carry-ons and head to the Windjammer for lunch. Good food but the seating was very limited. Our luggage was in our rooms when we finished lunch. We had time to unpack and tour the ship before we sailed off. We only saw our room steward on the first day we arrived, but our room was always clean and our turn down service was prompt and included those cute little towel animals every night. We all had the time of our life! Our cruise director, Graham Seymore was a hoot!! The entire staff was so friendly and they seemed to be on vacation with us. We loved the trivia contest, ice-skating, The Quest game and the stage shows were excellent. Bowzer, from Sha Na Na, was the headliner one evening and I was totally star-struck! (My kids has NO IDEA who he was!!) Our dining room serving team, Juanito and Vashal were "Excellent"! The food was great and our table overlooked the ocean and the sunset each evening was breathtaking! Labadee was beautiful, Ocho Rios was fun (especially Margaritaville), Grand Cayman was cool (especially Senor Frogs) but we weren't too fond of Cozumel. The shop keepers were very pushy and very grabby. The traffic was CRAZY!! Of course there were 6 other ships in port that day so the city was crowded!! Because of booking so late all the "good" shore excursions were already booked, so we just set off on our own to explore the ports. The pools onboard were only crowded the first sea day, and we never had any trouble finding chairs. I was not crazy about the sea water in the pools but I spent more of my time in the fresh water hot tubs. We met so many friendly cruisers. Loved the Dungeon nightclub for dancing the night away and I loved the casino because I won $550.00 on the slots. Disembarkation was a breeze. Had a great breakfast in the Windjammer and our color was called and we were off the ship by 9 a.m. Another scary taxi cab ride to the airport and we were back in Pittsburgh by 2:30 p.m. All in all we had a marvelous time and are looking forward to booking our next cruise on the Freedom or on the Genesis! Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
Our 40th anniversary called for something new and exciting  but even after much research, we were unprepared for the magnificence of Navigator of the Seas and the entire 7-night cruise experience! Cruising is a passion of our youngest son ... Read More
Our 40th anniversary called for something new and exciting  but even after much research, we were unprepared for the magnificence of Navigator of the Seas and the entire 7-night cruise experience! Cruising is a passion of our youngest son and his wife. They convinced us to book our first cruise. My concern was motion sickness that I experience in small boats or if I try to read in a moving car. Not to worry! Motion sickness was NEVER a problem and medication wasnt needed!! Our airline arrangements were made through RCI and went smoothly. The nice man with a Navigator of the Seas sign directed us at the baggage claim in Miami to the waiting buses. We boarded the bus, went through embarkation procedures quickly and smoothly and dropped our carry-ons in Cabin 7270 by 2 PM. The Windjammer was serving lunch so that was our first stop. A plateful of food later and we decided to do a fast tour of the ship. Ill reiterate that we were first time cruisers before saying: instead of acting like a couple whos been married 40 years, we conducted ourselves like 10 year olds on Christmas morning! With eyes wide and mouths dropping, we briefly explored each deck and couldnt believe the size of this vessel, the diversity of the artwork and the splendor of the overall dEcor. Cruise reviewers suggested going to the dining room to find your table to avoid confusion during dinner. At first we werent pleased with our table. It was in the back of the dining room, but that proved to be a good thing! Our table of six didnt have wait staff moving all around and in between. Gustavo did a fine job of serving every evening, the menu offered several choices and we thoroughly enjoyed dinner and lively conversation all 7 nights. Choosing a dining time was a difficult decision  6:30 seating means you can attend the early shows and still have time to bar hop and dance. Our regular routine keeps us from keeping late night hours. But again, our son convinced us that the 8:30 seating would be better. That gave us more day time and we didnt need to rush to prepare for dinner. Besides, we were hungrier at 8:30! Our internal clocks did adjust somewhat. We saw several shows and did do a little barhopping after dinner. Sunday was a day at sea. The pool deck chairs filled early but chaises were available if you didnt mind being away from the action. We had a view of the pool, the live Caribbean band and the ocean. Even the bar service folks were entertaining. Dr. Booze carried drinks on his head and did tricks with his tray. The ports of call were interesting and we will have fond memories of St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Nassau. The daily temperature averaged 85 so the beaches were a welcome respite and the Caribbean water was warm. At San Juan, we met a cousin who I havent seen in 30 years so the time to explore was limited. At St. Thomas we did the SeaBlaster excursion and it was more intense than we expected. On the way to the snorkeling area, the boat is blasted with a wall of water about every minute. Passengers are drenched and there is no place to hide! Snorkeling was good for my husband. Since Im not much of a swimmer, I headed directly to the beach and after half an hour, swam back (with the help of my life jacket) and enjoyed the best Rum Punch of the week. The crew was a lot of fun, but also mindful of their guests. As I made my way to the boat, the captain was watching to be sure I wasnt in trouble. The Yellow Bird excursion at Nassau was cancelled  a big disappointment! We looked forward to a sightseeing boat with live Caribbean music and a limbo contest (not to mention rum punch and snacks!). We made our way to the excursion desk and signed up for a Glass Bottom Boat tour. With an hour to spare we walked around Nassau and had a lovely little lunch of Lobster Quesadillas. The Glass Bottom Boat was a good choice  relaxing and the guide was full of touristy information. He ended his sentences with Yay mon! The Ice Dancin show was spectacular. Considering that the action is taking place on a moving ship , we wondered, How do the skaters manage so many precise moves?! The Broadway-style shows at Metropolis were very good. The first one we attended was the late show Sunday night featuring Bowser from Sha Na Na, (an oldies group). Since that is an era we know and love, we couldnt pass up this show! As it turned out, Bowser had his 3 back-up singer/dancers go to the audience to select a partner for a dance contest. I was one of the contestants! The other 2 females were teenage girls. As we made our way to the stage, my partner whispered, This will be fun. I ALWAYS win! I thought, Oh boy, the pressure is on! We DID win!! Much of the credit goes to the group of Pittsburghers in the audience who clapped when I announced that I went to high school in Pittsburgh, and after the other 2 contestant revealed their ages as 15 and 18, I said Im 59 and the audience clapped loudly. So I won!! It was a great experience and throughout the rest of the cruise, people came up and said nice things about the dancing lady. Disembarkation wasnt a time we were looking forward to. It meant our cruise was over! Our color was called and we stood in line about 45 minutes (the longest wait for the week). Once we got to customs, it went quickly. We had paid the $10.00 each to have suitcase valet service to American Airlines and it was a good investment! As soon as we picked up our luggage, we were instructed to carry it to the next room. We didnt see the 2 suitcases again until we picked them up in Pittsburgh. Overall we give the entire trip a 10. In fact, on Thursday (the only day it rained, and our second at sea day), we registered for our second cruise  Freedom of the Seas, April 22, 2007! The RCI representative, Colleen, was very helpful. She also asked the name of our travel agent so credit would go to her. That also means our hometown agent would make any other arrangements that we need. So now were very excited and check out websites to get information on Freedom of the Seas!! SUMMARY: FOOD: Excellent at every venue. Windjammer and Jade offered more choices than anyone could possibly eat! Tables were crowded about half the time at lunch, not so much at breakfast  maybe because we ate earlier than other passengers. Finding a place to sit was never a problem for the 2 of us. Breakfast and lunch was delicious! The dining room dEcor is elegant and the service very civilized. My hobby is cooking and having dinner parties so food was a top priority! We werent disappointed in the presentation, quality and quantity of each dish. We left pleasantly full but never stuffed. (I ate everything I wanted and gained only 3 pounds!) ENTERTAINMENT: Graham Seymour was the cruise director and we had nothing to compare him to so its hard to say how he ranks as a cruise director. We liked him; he had a morning television program telling passengers what activities were offered each day. He emceed many of the shows and also conducted an interview with the captain in the Viking Crown Lounge the day it rained. SHORE EXCURSIONS: were good. There are many choices with a variety of physical activity levels. We will choose for our next cruise based on the amount of time each excursion takes. We want to see the ports of call but also spend time on the ship when its docked. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
This was our first cruise so we needed some help on deciding which cruise line to go on, what kind of room we should get,and what time of the year we should go at. Our TA answered all of our questions. Once we had talked to her we decided ... Read More
This was our first cruise so we needed some help on deciding which cruise line to go on, what kind of room we should get,and what time of the year we should go at. Our TA answered all of our questions. Once we had talked to her we decided to go on The Navigator of the Seas at our Spring Break which was the first week of April. We were traveling with 2 Children (12 & 16) and they were so excited to go on a cruise for the first time. When Spring Break finally came we hopped on a flight from Atlanta to Miami. When we got to Miami we had a limo pick us up from the airport to take us to the Hyatt Hotel in Miami. Which was such a nice hotel. Amazing bathrooms, pool area, food was great and just right around the corner from the port. When we woke up the next day we got ready and headed downstairs to eat breakfast. Then we got all of our suitcases ready and took a bus to the port where all the of the ships looked so amazing! My children were in "awe" when they saw all of the ships. Once we got off the bus we then went into the port building to check in with 3,000 other people. So the lines moved along fairly slowly but they kept us entertained with little acts some of the crew were putting on for us. As we finished checking in they told us our bags wouldn't be ready for us back at the room for a little while ( i think we waited 30 minutes) but the waiting wasn't bad at all. We went to the pool deck and my husband and I got amazing drinks and the service was so friendly and kind to everyone on board. There was caribbean music playing by a band it was just so nice. Everything on the ship was just so well decorated everyone was so kind and helpful. Our cabin was so amazing. We got a Junior Suite with a Balcony and it was so spacious and so well decorated. Our room steward was so helpful! He always addressed us by name and made little towel guys for my children.And our captain Johney greeted us every morning by saying "Good morning, good morning good morning good morning" in his little Norwegian accent. It was the best wake up call to have in the morning Royal Caribbean has 3 dining times (four-six-and eight oclock) we took the eight oclock dining. The food was amazing and never had to send back a meal. But we didn't have too great of people to sit with. They were a quiet couple with two not so nice kids. We didn't know we were able to get our table changed so we had to deal with them all 7 nights of our cruise. But if anyone wants to know you CAN change your table with no problem. But overall the food was amazing. Every night there is a different theme to dinner. There are themes like dressy and casual and caribbean nights. Everyone gets pretty into the whole dressing up thing. But after dinner there are absolutely AMAZING shows! My family and I went to them every night. I would recommend them to anyone and everyone. Also after dinner you can go to the casino (only open to people over 21 years of age) and a midnight buffet. This buffet was the longest buffet i have ever seen. Different nights were for different foods like chocolate and cheese. The ports that we went to were absolutely amazing! Except for Labadee. Labadee was filled with rude people. My daughter wanted to get her hair braided and they were not nice at all! They had the worst attitudes I have ever seen. In Grand Cayman we went on an Excursion where you can swim with the stingrays. Let me tell you it was one of the most amazing things I have ever done. The stingrays aren't scary at all and the crew is so friendly and offers refreshments like coke for the kids and beer for the parents. We didn't get off the boat in Jamaica because my husband and I didn't like it when we had been there before. We got off the boat in Mexico and went to Carlos and Charles. I wouldn't recommend bringing your kids to that restaurant because everyone is taking shots and it is very loud. Overall the ports were very fun and I would definitely go back to them. The children's clubs were so helpful. My youngest daughter met so many friends and still keeps in touch with them. They give the kids a full itinerary to keep them busy all day long. This was the best vacation I had ever been on and I recommend it to everyone! Probably the worst thing on the cruise was how rude everyone was at Labadee but that won't put a damper on our vacation. We have already booked two cruise for the next 2 years and are going on the Mariner of the seas for my daughters birthday in the summer and we are so excited. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
OMG, it was great. The Navigator is terrific, the service was excellent, the food was really really really good. We used the Cruise line to book our air and transfers and were pleased. One stop from Baltimore to Miami, in Atlanta and a ... Read More
OMG, it was great. The Navigator is terrific, the service was excellent, the food was really really really good. We used the Cruise line to book our air and transfers and were pleased. One stop from Baltimore to Miami, in Atlanta and a direct flight on the way home. We got to Miami airport by noon and were having lunch on the ship at about 1:45. Embarkation and Debarkation were simple smooth and hassle free. Having only cruised once before on HAL's Westerdam last spring break, that is my only point of reference. It was miles better in almost all categories. You can sail on the Navigator with no cares or worries. We had a JS (Me & Mrs.) and an the girls (10 & 13) an interior across the hall and a few doors up, deck 10. It was perfect. The JS was large enough to move around and enjoy the space, the balcony was fine but a little shallow, though with so much to do on the ship we didn't spend a lot of time there, just a little in the morning and evening. The room stewards, Chito for us and Jeromy for the girls, were super. They both remembered the girls names from the 1st moment and were always friendly, thoughtful and caring. Towel animals every night and the rooms were always made up when we were at breakfast and the turn down when at supper. Without asking, Chito brought robes for us in the JS and wonderful shampoos, lotions and shower gels. I couldn;t have asked for better service. We ate at the late seating and the girls were great. The waiter (Vipin) and ass't waiter catered to us like we were their only table. Remember drinks, parm on the Caesar salads, coffee and refills. They were everything that you would expect on a cruise ship. Great selections of food. The soups, cold and hot were really terrific. Except for the pie, the deserts were a big hit, something that I've never experienced even in lux Carib resorts. They even brought the second lobster tail without being asked. The Windjammer was great for breakfast, even with a sold out ship they still managed to make omelets and eggs to order in a relatively orderly manner. They didn't run out of anything, ever, unlike HAL did last year.(They ran out of bagels on the 3rd day.) Johnny Rockets is worth the trip and expense and Ben & Jerry's was a big hit with the girls. The waffle cones are made fresh just like at the real B & J's. Windjammer lunch was also great, lot's of selections. An our after lunch is over, they open up again for snacks, like hot dogs, taco bar, fruit and salads. Truth be known, they put the HAL's Westerdam to shame. The Royal Promenade was wonderful and the Cafe was a great place. Amazing sandwiches, cookies, pastries and cakes, all the time. A great reason to have the late seating is to get a snack there. The English pub on the Promenade was great for a beer and late night music and singers. We went to one of the 2 parades down the Promenade, it was a Mardi Gras parade and the kids loved it. The production shows, singers, comedian and ice show were better than expected, and quite good. The Metropolis Theater was a perfect venue for the production numbers and comedy show. We sat in 3 different areas, orchestra, lower mezzanine and upper mezzanine just to sit somewhere different and there wasn't a bad seat in the house. The Ixtapa lunge is a great show lounge for Karaoke and audience participation games. This was spring break and there were no children in the Solarium pool, Jacuzzis and chairs. The Main pool was very crowded on the 1st sea day, the only downer. The ship was sold out and full of kids. NO PROBLEM. My kids had so much to do they never did the kids activities except the arcade. They enjoyed the shows and even went to Love and Marriage and Battle of the Sexes and enjoyed them. The teens really did congregate on deck 12 at night and didn't bother anyone, mostly. A little elevator playing but hey it's a vacation. Even the tendering process was smooth and without problem. RCI contracts large ferries at Cayman and Cozumel and have their own large ferries at Labadee (BTW, a great place for the kids). It's so much better than when HAL and some others use their life boats as tenders. Hundred of people are ferried at a time. Only things not perfect: the beds could be better, more seating around the pool on seas days, excursions are over priced. I can't emphasize the level of personal service enough from the dining staff and the cabin stewards. They truly seemed eager to please. As huge a cynic as I am, they were honestly thoughtful and caring. Lots of Puerto Ricans on our cruise and they partied the night at Boleros, with great Latin Bands and dancing. With a sold out ship, spring break and tons of kids, the ship didn't feel crowded except at the pool on the first seas day and the blackjack tables, they could have doubled the numbered of tables, but the slots were so plentiful that no one had a problem. The shops on the ship were great, or so my teenaged daughter said. I walked through the gym and was impressed by the quality, quantity and variations in the aerobic workout machines. Not crowded. There were art auctions and daily bingo games, but they weren't pushed on anyone. No constant announcements about the games or the auctions. We did play bingo on the last afternoon, since the jackpot was over $11,000. We didn;t win and even though it was expensive to play, it was a lot of fun, as a onetime activity BTW the weather was sunny and mids 80's everyday, except for the last when it was windy and bumpy, but nobody seemed to mind. Every night I thanked my cabin steward for great the weather. It was 4 years old and looked great. They were replacing the carpets in the public rooms in the late night so as not to disturb anyone. I sailed on the Westerdam when it was less than 2 years old and the Navigator at 4+ years was in much better condition. In Summary. I was impressed by the service and the condition of the ship, the number of things to do and the lack of pressure to do anything. The food was great, just keep it in perspective that you are on a cruise ship not a Michelin 2 Star restaurant. The cabins were just wonderful. We All Lived Happily Ever After. Read Less
Sail Date March 2006
This was our 7th cruise (5th with RCCL). Mom with 15 year old boy and 14 year old girl (Dad stayed home this time). Navigator is our favorite ship to date mostly because it has expanded teen facilities. Instead of the kiddie pool in the ... Read More
This was our 7th cruise (5th with RCCL). Mom with 15 year old boy and 14 year old girl (Dad stayed home this time). Navigator is our favorite ship to date mostly because it has expanded teen facilities. Instead of the kiddie pool in the back of deck 12 it has a teen deck where only the teens are allowed. My kids had a blast. We love all of the Voyager class ships but this was heaven for my teens. We flew into Fort Lauderdale the night before and took Tri County Express (pre reserved town car for $64) to Intercontinental in Miami. We LOVED this hotel. Very fancy room and you can see the cruise ships from your window. Took cab over to the pier at 11:30am and had a 5 minute wait through security and then zipped through the RCCL registration line and were on the ship by noon - best embarkation I have ever had! We were in cabin 7688 (our first corner aft) and loved it. The room was fine - nothing fancy and was small but it didn't matter as the balcony was 6 times the size of an ordinary balcony and had 2 lounge chairs, 2 chairs and a table. Sitting their listening to the wake, watching the sunset and the moon shining on the water was worth it. This is a very private balcony (no one can see you from up above). The steel girders didn't affect us at all. We also didn't feel that is was a really long walk back to the cabin so that wasn't an issue for us either. First two nights we had high seas and felt movement everywhere in the ship, but it was really soothing going to bed feeling the rocking sensation. After the first two nights we didn't feel and thing and we didn't hear or feel vibrations at all. Went to Maitre D' on first day to make sure we had a table to ourselves - my kids don't like to mingle at dinner so it worked out great. We ate dinner in the Windjammer as well - I think they have really improved on their desserts! We also love Johnny Rockets - wish we didn't have to pay the cover charge and milkshake charges though! My son played a ton of basketball and was involved in a lot of the competitions and pick up games. Service was superb all around. Entertainment as usual was great. The slots were really tight (I had better luck on the Explorer the year before!) I really enjoyed the skating show - really fresh and up to date. The hula hoop guest star was phenomenal! San Juan - Walked to the fort on our own. St. Thomas - We took the ferry over to St. John and went to Cinnamon Bay which was incredible, peaceful and beautiful (great beach to get away from the touristy crowds). St. Maarten - Our Thriller boat tour was canceled so they let us pick an alternate excursion at no charge so we did the dolphin excursion over in Anguilla which was fabulous. Nassau - We had booked a room at the Comfort Suites next door so we could use the facilities at Atlantis - was fun but the place was packed and not a free beach chair in sight! Probably wouldn't do it again though unless we went in the off season... Disembarkation was a breeze and rented a car from Alamo and drove to Gator Park for an airboat ride and to see the gators. It was fun. We then drove to Fort Lauderdale where we stayed at the Embassy Suites - a lot of college breakers were there so thankfully we had the back bedroom to escape the noise! We took the water taxi up the waterway and then grabbed a taxi back to our hotel - we were all bushed by then. I am a big fan of RCCL. I wish we could cruise every month! Read Less
Sail Date March 2006
This was our fourth cruise (2nd with RCI) and our first outside of hurricane season!! Embarkation was relatively painless. We didn't encounter anything out of the ordinary. We found our cabin right away and were satisfied with it. ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise (2nd with RCI) and our first outside of hurricane season!! Embarkation was relatively painless. We didn't encounter anything out of the ordinary. We found our cabin right away and were satisfied with it. It was a bit on the small side (our cabin on Princess was a similar category but much bigger) but adequate. Embarkation day was chilly. Some people were brave and laid out by the pools, but most had towels wrapped around them! We checked out the Promenade and loved it! It's just like a mini-mall in the middle of a huge ship! We immediately purchased the soda card and a wine package (my husband loves the reds). We were seated at the main seating (6PM) at a table for 4. Initially we were disappointed as we would like to have sat with more people, but the couple we were seated with turned out to be great and we got along just fine. We ate one night at Portofino's. The food was OK, but not fabulous. I think I was too full from all the food I had already eaten that day! Was it worth $20 per, I don't really think so. We didn't get to Johnny Rockets as they were never open when we went to check it out. Ben and Jerry's was great...we visited them a couple times! One cool thing that happened was we were invited to sit at the Captain's table! As we walked into the dining room, the head waiter asked if we'd like to sit with the captain...I guess they were looking for a "nice" couple. We did and it was very interesting. It was his last cruise before going on leave and his wife and son were also at the table. I am a dog person and quickly found out that they were too. It was an awesome experience! As for the ports/sea days... The first day at sea we checked out the rock wall and the mini-golf. The staff at the rock wall were great. I even rang the bell at the top! :) Mini golf was challenging because it was so windy, but not too bad. The Windjammer had wonderful food, but seating was a challenge. We ended up sitting on the higher bar stools most of the time. We attended the free wine tasting and the art auction. We bought a couple pieces at some pretty decent prices (I think!). Our first port was Labadee and it was OK. Again the day was somewhat chilly and it rained a bit. We got some chairs and laid out on the beach. The food they had for lunch was great and the drinks were fabulous! Jamaica was the next day and we were somewhat disappointed as we were to dive there, but the conditions were too choppy so they canceled our dive. Instead, we got a taxi driver and he showed us around the island. We ended up at Dunn's River Falls which was pretty cool. We finished our day shopping near the port. Cayman was next and it's gorgeous as usual. We spent our time in the water (diving) so didn't see much of the island. We had seen it on a previous cruise however. Cozumel was next and WOW...what a shock. We were there a couple years ago and it was lush, green and beautiful. Now...wow. The trees have been stripped and the devastation is visible. It's so sad. Again, we spent our time diving, but you could see the devastation clearly from the ship. Our last day at sea we spent out by the pool, drinking, playing Bingo and enjoying ourselves. Debarkation was stressful at best. The lines were long and we were told we probably wouldn't make our flight. Luckily, we were able to get through somehow and made our flight with minutes to spare. All in all, we'll be back! We love RCI for their great service (cabin stewards were wonderful...waiters were fantastic) and food. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
NAVIGATOR OF THE SEAS East Caribbean Cruise December 3 - 10, 2005 By Mary & Vincent Finelli This was our return to Royal Caribbean International (RCI) Navigator of the Seas; we first sailed on her in 2003. At that time, we published ... Read More
NAVIGATOR OF THE SEAS East Caribbean Cruise December 3 - 10, 2005 By Mary & Vincent Finelli This was our return to Royal Caribbean International (RCI) Navigator of the Seas; we first sailed on her in 2003. At that time, we published a review detailing her many amenities and the beauty of this Voyager Class ship. Then the Navigator held the title "Largest Cruise Ship" in the world. When the Cunard Queen Mary II was launched in 2004, she took the title with a record 150,000 tons. RCI will again hold that title in May 2006, with the launching of the Freedom of the Seas, soon to become the largest cruise liner afloat at 158,000 tons. We were happy to see Captain Leif Otto Bang still in command, and to receive such a warm welcome back by both him and Hotel Director Richard Nentwich. This review will center on Gold Anchor Service, since we have already detailed the Navigator's beauty and decorations in the 2003 review. The elegant three deck dining room, with an enormous chandelier, is resplendent in nautical navy blue, maroon and brass decor providing a beautiful setting for an entertaining cruise. The Navigator was decorated with hundreds of live poinsettia plants, trimmed Christmas Trees and then festooned with bows galore. These natural and classic holiday decorations were much appreciated by the passengers. EMBARKATION -- The port of Miami is easily accessed; however, to embark approximately 3,500 passengers (and all their luggage) in less than four hours could be a logistical nightmare. RCI is up to the task and once security had concluded its work, then the lines moved along quickly. Boarding time is 2:00pm and we were on board and assisted to our stateroom in about thirty minutes. Recent US federal cut backs to the number of security personnel has made the process slower all around. There is a specific check-in counter for Crown & Anchor Diamond members and passengers on wheelchairs which makes boarding very quick. We checked our Dining Room reservations -- a table for two near the entrance to the Coppelia Dining Room -- perfect! It is better to do this soon after boarding, in order to avoid waiting in line at dinner time. All set, we went to the very crowded Windjammer Cafe' for the welcome aboard buffet. This is probably the only time that it is so busy, because so many hungry passengers descend on it simultaneously. There were many staff who helped with the seating, trays and beverages; even so, we usually avoid the buffet because of the wheelchair. Yet, many Americans love a buffet and some even avoid the dining rooms altogether, not us. We enjoy the exquisite dinners and service provided in the dining room as do so many other passengers. This is what makes cruising so much fun. Cruisers can enjoy the ship or exotic ports in the daytime, and then in the evening come together at dinner and talk about their adventures of the day. THE SHIP -- The Navigator is a 138,000 gross tonnage, 650 million dollar wonder with 1,557 staterooms which can accommodate 3,835 passengers -- on this cruise there were 3,600 and a crew of 1,256. Her length is 1,020 ft., beam is 157.5 ft. and her draft is only 29 ft. All this and a cruising speed of 22 knots. The purser's desk provides a handy ship's deck plan, which folds to a neat playing card size. The Voyager Class ships, the Voyager (1999), Explorer (2000), Adventure (2001), Navigator (2002) and Mariner (2003) all have the distinctive feature of the Royal Promenade. This city street within the ship is almost 400 ft long and four decks tall. There are cabins overlooking the mall of boutiques, cafes and pubs. It is the center of action and the place to stroll, window shop or just sit and have a coffee or an ice cream. (See our 2003 review for a deck by deck description of the Navigator's 15 decks). The other unique features are the ice skating rink (the site of Olympic quality skating shows) and the rock climbing wall. The Navigator is just as lovely as when we first sailed on her three years ago. Mr. Nentwich keeps her pristine! FOOD & SERVICE -- Service is labeled "Gold Anchor Service" and when things go well as they do on the Navigator ---- we have only praise and no complaints. When passenger needs are anticipated and met, then it is smooth sailing. Loyalty ambassador Cindy Dangel provides special assistance for Crown & Anchor Members and information on future cruise savings. There is also Concierge Patricia Isaacs, who can provide assistance to all your needs with speed and grace. She is lovely. The Navigator's elegant three tier dining room forms an exquisite dining setting with its slender, tall white columns, and intricate double curving staircase framing its enormous central chandelier with matching round crystal chandeliers throughout the dining room ---- Magnificent. Service in the dining room is top notch. The Head Waiter Ali Matjani was efficient and our Waiter James D'Sa (India) and his Assistant Nikola Vucetic (Croatia) were very cordial and made our evenings truly enjoyable. Food on RCI is very good and aimed toward the American palate. The menus have been downsized literally. There are fewer offerings, but better varied. The "Always Available" section covers fish, fowl and beef. We had a long talk with the new Executive Chef Johan Petutschnig (Austria), who was scheduled to take over the following week. We discussed the large portions and the many food venues. On board are Johnny Rockets, two upscale restaurants, bars, ice cream shops etc. The crew on this ship is very approachable, well mannered, and efficient. Specialty dining in the Portofino and Chops Grille is excellent ($20 per person dining fee). The first evening there was a Murder Mystery Dinner, a fun/dinner show with audience participation. Dinner with Captain and Mrs. Bang was our dining highlight. Fine food, fine conversation and a dessert to remember: "Captain's Delight" which is a goblet filled with wild berries (strawberries, blue berries, raspberries, and black berries) topped with freshly made ice cream. It was a night that ended with the dining room staff singing and dancing for the passengers. The Gold Anchor Service is most evident in the special attention given to the repeat cruisers: Concierge service, Welcome Back Cocktail Parties with the ranking crew; booklets of coupons which include the following: Free drinks and commemorative glasses; Casino Credits; discounts in the shops on board; Free Internet time; Free Personal Photographs, etc. We are always amazed that ship personnel make a special effort to call us by our names. In short, RCI makes cruisers feel welcome as no other line does. Of course cordiality works both ways; whenever a cruiser has a concern and directs it to us, we always inform them of the proper person to go to for assistance. A problem with the cabin should be directed to the Housekeeper; a problem in the dining room should be discussed with the Maitre D' and so forth. The crew is there to give passengers an excellent vacation, and we commend them on their excellent job. Whenever a passenger needs assistance, a simple phone call down to the Passenger Service Desk will bring immediate help. CABIN -- Wheelchair accessible Stateroom #6600 has a small foyer, and when entering on the left is the huge bathroom with a nice size mirrored medicine cabinet, and a large 5'x5' shower with safety rails all around. Then, there is an upholstered arm chair and a matching sofa in teal and gold, and a glass coffee table. There is also a TV, private safe, refrigerator, and a desk/vanity with lighted mirror and drawers. When entering on the right is a triple armoire (ample room and shelves), a queen size bed with a teal suede head board, and two night stands with reading lamps. The far wall is all windows with blackout draperies in a foliage and stripe print of teal and gold which matches the bed linens and the carpeting. There are two prints of exotic orchids on the walls. The wood is all light pine; the total effect is very pretty, cool and restful. ENTERTAINMENT -- Cruise Director Ken Rush is a seasoned (20 years in the cruise industry) M. C., who knows how to warm up an audience and present a show. Good laughs and excellent shows are the hallmark of RCI. The singers and dancers did Broadway style shows and Judy Kolba was a standout headliner: comedy, costumes, and a voice that "shook the rafters," all brought the entire audience to its feet, a standing ovation. It follows that the largest ships have the most to offer in entertainment; yet, there is plenty of room for quiet, or private times. Strolling the Promenade Deck, we watched a young couple play shuffleboard. We watched sail away from the Cosmopolitan Club on Deck 14, and it was serene, way above the merry sail away party on Deck 12. In the mornings, we picked up the daily newspapers in English, French, Spanish, Italian and German. We took them up to the 19th Hole Sports Bar and compared the slant on the news from country to country. Diamond members of the Crown & Anchor Society (10 or more cruises on RCI ships) and passengers in suites may enjoy cocktails and canapEs in the Concierge Lounge on Deck 9. This is a nice way to meet fellow passengers. The crown jewel of entertainment on board is the Ice Skating show "Ice Dancin" with Dance Captain Danny, who was excellent. We wish that show programs were still given out to the audience as at prior shows. It would be nice to know the skaters by name and country of origin. The quality is near Olympic level and the choreography was beautiful. Lots to see and do on board, including Casino gaming and Bingo, mini golf, rock climbing, skating, inline skating, ping pong, basket ball, dancing, movies, etc. PORTS OF CALL Day 1. Miami -- Set sail at 5:00pm. Day 2. At Sea Day 3. San Juan, Puerto Rico -- Arrive 2:00pm Depart 10:00pm Entering San Juan is one of the prettiest sights with the view of the two forts dating back to the 1500s: La Fortaleza and El Morro. This island has everything from rain forest to shopping. Day 4. St. Thomas, USVI -- Arrive 8:00am Depart 6:00pm Nicknamed a "Shoppers' Haven," it is especially great for linens, and its Danish influence is still apparent. Day 5. St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles -- Arrive 8:00am Depart 5:00pm This tiny island is divided into two sovereign powers: Dutch & French which have co-existed for 350 years. The ship guarantees more than twenty shops on the island and any purchase may be questioned within thirty days of the sale date. Take an island tour up to Mount Concordia, the view is lovely. Day 6. At Sea Day 7. Nassau, Bahamas Arrive 1:00pm Depart 7:00pm -- The capital of the Bahamas is connected with a bridge to Paradise Island, where Atlantis is located. This resort hotel offers some of the most interesting sites in the Bahamas, such as beautiful beaches, a nice water park and a spectacular aquarium, the best we have ever seen anywhere. Day 8. Miami Disembark 7:00am SUGGESTIONS -- Longer lines during embarkation have become more tedious and wearisome due to the security clearance (recently the federal government reduced the number of security agents). However, we feel the situation can be definitely improved with better coordination and timing of the security personnel in screening the passengers. We noticed on this cruise that the screening process did not start until after 1:00pm, much later than usual, and the lines grew longer and a bit restless by the time we started boarding the ship. This was a great cruise and RCI remains for us one of our favorite lines. We have accumulated thirty cruise credits with RCI and plan to do many more cruises in the future. Now we have booked one on the new Freedom of the Seas for October, but we'll be booking more cruises before October. This month we are going on the Costa Magica (Jan. 8th) and on Carnival Liberty (Jan. 29th). We have not yet booked any cruises for the coming Spring and Summer, but we'll do it soon, before Vincent gets cruise withdrawal symptoms. Happy Cruising! Read Less
Sail Date December 2005
Fantastic! After spending 7 nights aboard this wonderful ship and now back home I would be hard pressed to find anything negative to say abound my trip. The Navigator of the Seas itself is such a beautiful ship. When we would enter into ... Read More
Fantastic! After spending 7 nights aboard this wonderful ship and now back home I would be hard pressed to find anything negative to say abound my trip. The Navigator of the Seas itself is such a beautiful ship. When we would enter into ports of call, you could look at the other ships docked or tethered there and there was no comparison. From its upper level decks to its row after row of balconied staterooms, passengers on other ships we pulled along side must have felt cheated about their vacation package. But that's only the beginning; From the Olympic class skaters at the ice dancing show to the dancers and singers at there broadway style shows and musicians entertainment was just superb. But saving the best for last, it was the crew and staff aboard that this cruise that made it so memorable. Such a wonderful mix of people from all nationalities, always friendly, cheerful, willing to help,they made you feel special. From day one even up til 6:30 A.M saturday when we were getting ready to depart the ship they were just great. Royal Caribbean; you must have searched the world over for the best of the best and put them aboard this ship. Would I sail again with this bunch? In a heartbeat! Read Less
Sail Date December 2005
Navigator of the Seas Sail Date: 12/03/2005 Eastern Caribbean Ports of Call: Miami, San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Nassau Pre Stay: Arrived in Miami on Friday 12/02 and stayed at the Marriott Biscayne Bay. This has become my ... Read More
Navigator of the Seas Sail Date: 12/03/2005 Eastern Caribbean Ports of Call: Miami, San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Nassau Pre Stay: Arrived in Miami on Friday 12/02 and stayed at the Marriott Biscayne Bay. This has become my favorite hotel for a cruise pre stay when leaving out of Miami. The hotel has rooms with great views of the port of Miami and the ships. Make sure that you ask for a room overlooking the port when you reserve. This hotel is close to Bayside Marketplace but is not within safe walking distance due to major construction going on near the hotel. Take a taxi to Bayside. The hotel does have several restaurants with one being a sport bar with a very limited menu. They do offer a shuttle to the port but I believe that there is a charge. Embarkation: First I should mention that this was my second cruise on this ship. The first time was the same week last year. Embarkation still has some issues but I feel that it has more to do with Immigration and Custom officials than the cruise line. Our ship did not clear until 12:30 and then boarding started. The Chairmans Club which is the room used for checking in Platinum, Diamond and suite passengers could not handle the amount of passengers trying to use this facility. RCI really needs to look at this as it was a fiasco. Ship: Still the best looking ship that I have cruised to date and this was cruise #27. RCI does a great job in keeping their ships clean and well maintained IMHO. The Navigator is now three years old but looked as though she was a brand new vessel. There was always crew cleaning all around the ship. Captain Bang obviously takes great pride in his vessel and it shows with rest of the crew. The only negative about this ship is the elevators. I try to use the stairs most of the time but when I do have to use the elevator I would not like to wait forever to get the use of one. They seemed to have a quirk in the way that they operated and would pass right past your deck on the way up or down. Very annoying. Cabin: We had cabin #1394 which is a Junior Suite on deck 10 aft. We had the sister cabin next door last year. IMHO these two cabins are outstanding. The cabin itself is a nice size room with plenty of storage area. The bathroom has a full size bathtub which made showering much easier. There were bottles of shampoo, lotion, body wash, Q-tips, cotton balls, lip balm and shower caps in the bathroom. The balcony in this cabin is very nice. I would estimate that it measured around 15x15. If you want sun then this is not the cabin for you as it is totally covered. At no time did I hear any noise from the Windjammer above. Crew and Service: This is the main reason that I cruise with RCI. I have noticed with my six cruises on RCI that there is a big difference in the level of service received. The crew on this ship goes out of their way to make one feel welcome. They seem happy to be there and it shows in their actions. Everyone that I passed spoke with a smile. Our room steward Ernesto was one of the best that I have seen. The crew definitely makes a difference. Food: I am not big on food as I have yet to go hungry on a cruise. I feel that the food that I had was consistently good. The Windjammer offers plenty of selections for anyone wanting a casual dining experience. Glad to see that RCI has rules against bare feet, no shirts and wet swimsuits in the Windjammer. Room service was used several times and each time the order arrived promptly and with the correct order. Ate at Johnny Rockets several times and the burgers were great. Again, no problems with any of the food. Entertainment: Went to both major production shows. The same as last year but this year the four main singers seemed much stronger. Went to one show that seemed to be geared for the more mature crowd and I found him boring. Did not make it to any other shows. Spent more time in the casino which was pretty good to me all week. Passengers: The passenger make up of this cruise was more of a mature(older) crowd. We had several condo groups on board from south Florida and the infamous Mah Jonng group. If I never see this one particular group again I will consider myself a very lucky person. You have to experience this group to know what Im talking about. Rude is the first thing that comes to mind with this group. Warning that they will be back aboard the Navigator same week next year. Ports of Call: We had been to all of these ports of call many times so we made no particular plans for any island. Just decided to relax and walk around this time. In San Juan, stopped at a small bar in front of the Sheraton and had a few drinks and people watched. Then on to the Hard Rock for dinner which was very good. Glad to see that the HR has reopened in San Juan after the fire. St. Thomas: Took our time in getting off of the ship and headed downtown to walk around and then to the Green House for lunch. A great place to eat with nice views of the ships. By noon it does get busy. After lunch on to Paradise Point for a relaxing view of the Havensight area and a couple of Bushwackers. If you havent had a Bushwacker then you are missing a great drink. St. Maarten: Again took our time leaving the ship to let the crowds thin out. Took the water taxi to town. I cannot believe the change in one year with the new boardwalk and the total rejuvenation of Old/Front Street. Phillipsburg is really doing a great job with the area. This is my favorite island by far. Had lunch at the Pasagrahan Guest House on the boardwalk. Great food, service and the view of the beach is very nice. A local was set up just outside of the house playing steel drums which added to the tropical feel of the place. After lunch we took time walking around downtown and then back to the ship. Nassau: Walked down to the Hard Rock for a drink and then walked around and looked at the other ships in port. Went back to the ship, grabbed a drink and watched the sunset over Nassau. Just a nice relaxing day doing mostly nothing, which was the main reason for this cruise. Debarkation: We had white tags due to being Platinum C&A. We were at the meeting area at 6:55 and walking off of the ship at 7:00. It did take over 30 minutes to get our luggage as there were many white tags. Overall a very easy debarkation. Love those past guest benefits that RCI offers. This was a great cruise all the way around. I really have no major complaints. RCI continues to win me over with each cruise. I am now booked on the Jewel for 06 and am looking forward to trying a Radiance class ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2005
What can I say about Navigator of the Seas ,it was so beautiful I was in love with the ship from the moment I entered the ship it took me by surprise! Once I got settled in my room and went to the safety drill i went exploring and just ... Read More
What can I say about Navigator of the Seas ,it was so beautiful I was in love with the ship from the moment I entered the ship it took me by surprise! Once I got settled in my room and went to the safety drill i went exploring and just fell in love the Royal Promenade. Me and my sister and mother spent a lot of time in the Ixtapa lounge, played bingo listened to Karaoke. I even won a $500.00 art portrait at a raffle. I really had a great time and would definitely do this cruise again. I loved the staff -- they were just so warm and gracious. Although I did not swim or gamble in the casino I thought it was beautiful. There is so much to do on this monstrous ship I saw an ice show, of course the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers were dazzling to my eyes. The food was out of this world our waiter and his assistant were very polite and made sure everything was to our satisfaction every night. Was great with the teenagers that were traveling with us. And who can forget Johnny Rockets great chix sandwiches along with fries and onion rings to start all for 3.95 well worth it. I enjoyed their little 5 cent jukeboxes at the tables and every time somebody would play Staying Alive they would stop and dance for us very awesome! I enjoyed the dinner themes they had every night. And, our first stop was Labadee. Haiti was just so cool! I enjoyed Royal Caribbean's own private island. I saw some great dancing from the people there and i saw a fire eater could not believe my eyes. The other ports of call were Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Grand Cayman Island, BWI, and lastly Nassau. We took tours for all the other islands and learned a lot from the tour guides. The ocean was so beautiful. I stood on my balcony for a long time just looking out in the blue ocean waters morning, noon, night just an awesome view . i would get up early and start my day. I will never forget the showers in my stateroom was very clean and very spacious and I will never forget how comfortable i slept on those comfortable beds very soft. Embarkation took a long time one hour 10 minutes long but, well worth the wait. I will definitely suggest Navigator of the Seas again. Most of our money went to pictures that we purchased from the photo shop and buying things in the gift shops. I especially love to talk to people from all over the world. Read Less
Sail Date November 2005
My wife and I recently returned from the Halloween sailing onboard the Navigator of the Seas. It was a wonderful cruise and I was surprised by the number of friends that joined us at the Meet and Mingle on Sunday morning. We had 77 sign up ... Read More
My wife and I recently returned from the Halloween sailing onboard the Navigator of the Seas. It was a wonderful cruise and I was surprised by the number of friends that joined us at the Meet and Mingle on Sunday morning. We had 77 sign up and I believe we had near 50 show up for the get together. Lisa made wonderful nametags for the group and we were also joined by Captain Bang and his wonderful wife. It was a wonderful way to begin the cruise. I am sad to say we did not get a photo at the Meet and Mingle however, we did have several get togethers planned through out the week. We had one in Jamaica at Margaritaville but as some of the tours ran late not all could make it. We had a Last Day Sea Exchange get together on Friday. We sorta over took the solarium pool area for a short time, but it was a wonderful time. We each exchanged gifts from our area and got one in return. I wish everyone could have found time to be at the last party however as everyone knows, you get so tied up in the cruise that time goes right by. I wish to thank all the new friends that I made online and that the time before the cruise of talking to all of you was wonderful. We are talking about maybe cruising again in 2007.I have all ready booked another cruise for the Explorer Repositioning cruise and two friends that we made on the Navigator are joining us. Cruise Critic is a sensational way of meeting up prior to the cruises. The cruise overall was great. From the dining room to the pool. To the great shows. We really loved the ice show, which is truly amazing. Who would have ever thought of seeing one at sea? Every time I have been on a cruise I keep telling myself I will make it to the wall. However the Cruise staff keeps us so busy I still have not made it yet. Thanks to Graham and his staff for making the cruise fantastic. Next cruise I will win the Belly Flop and not just come in 2nd place. I can't wait for the next cruise and again I would like to thank Cruise Critic for the chance to meet folks prior to the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
This was my 1st time on a RCCL and I must say I wasn't disappointed. I'm sure my trip was slightly different than most since this cruise was actually a chartered cruise but probably not enough to make a huge difference. The ... Read More
This was my 1st time on a RCCL and I must say I wasn't disappointed. I'm sure my trip was slightly different than most since this cruise was actually a chartered cruise but probably not enough to make a huge difference. The first sight of the NOS was quite breathtaking...you see pictures of it and you read reviews about it but until you actually see it in all its splendor-you can't even imagine! Embarkation went well..nothing to complain about. All our luggage made it to the room in plenty of time. Chester was our cabin steward and he made a point of introducing himself and he always had a smile on his face. One thing to note here: Since this was a chartered cruise, the company we were sailing with had already pre-paid the gratuities for everyone so the workers really didn't have to go out of their way to do any extra things for us since they were already guaranteed to be paid but not once did I notice anyone slacking in making everyone's trip enjoyable. We made sure to tip extra also. We had early seating for dinner each night and our waiter was Paulo from Portugal. Not only was he gorgeous but very friendly! We enjoyed his conversations and attention that he showed us each night. We unfortunately were one of the cruises that got sidetracked due to Hurricane Wilma. Right up front we knew we weren't going to Cozumel and we found out the day before we were due to arrive in Grand Cayman that we would not be able to stop there due to heavy swells. I was very disappointed that we weren't able to stop there since that was the one stop I was looking forward to. We had made reservations to snorkel with the stingrays and I must admit, I had a little pity party for a few minutes since we weren't going to stop there!! The captain decided that we would make a stop at Montego Bay, Jamaica instead. Since I hadn't done any prior research on this stop, I was at a loss but we ended up going to Margaritaville and a few shops. We had a blast at Margaritaville but I found out later that 2 couples in our company were robbed at gunpoint by their taxi driver while shopping in Montego Bay! Not a pleasant memory! Our next stop was in Ocho Rios, Jamaica (which funny enough was only a 1 1/2 hour drive away from Montego Bay!!). We went to Dunn's River Falls and it was beautiful and we had a great time there. We unfortunately didn't take the correct turn in trying to miss the shops at the top and we got cornered by several vendors but if you were polite to them and repeated "no thank you" they generally left you alone. We also went shopping some in town and found some decent prices on items. I got a pair of peridot earrings that were originally marked at $150 and got them for $40. We got name brand perfume (Liz Claiborne, Gucci, etc) for $20.00 a bottle for 3.4 oz sprays! Medium size Tortuga Rum cakes 6 for $20. We went to Margaritaville again and had a great time. Our last stop was Labadee and I must say this was my favorite place. The island is absolutely beautiful and well kept. Sitting on the island and looking back at the majestic NOS in that crystal blue/green ocean was one sight I won't soon forget! The marketplace was interesting and I wish I could have spent more time there and looked without being hassled. There were some pushy vendors and I'm the type that likes to look without being harassed so that took some of the fun out of it. We did buy a painting of the NOS for $10 and some hand carved medium sized candy dish type wooden bowls that were 4 for $10. I saw some people with some beautiful hand carved walking sticks (tho I did wonder how in the world they were going to manage to get them on the plane!!!) We went to several shows-The Quest-not to be missed and Love/Marriage show was hilarious (Anna Maria and Jorge!). The entertainers were top notch and I think even Simon Cowell would give them their props on how well they sung! The art auction was interesting with lots of beautiful paintings tho I didn't buy any but loved the freebies they gave out! Bingo I sucked at, along with the slot machines but I enjoyed watching others playing in the casino. There were quite a few "characters" that made it interesting to watch and a special hello to Edgar who was a dealer at the blackjack table! Very nice and personable guy!!! The food was great at both Windjammer and the dining room. I didn't try out Johnny Rockets, Chops or Portofino's but I heard from others how great they were. The desserts at dinner were to die for especially the creme brulee and I loved the crabcakes!!! YUMMY! I loved the lifestyle casual photos that were taken by the ship photographer. Everyone looked so great in those pictures. I enjoyed watching others have their pictures made also. Pictures are kinda pricey but I'm willing to spend that on good quality photos. I think probably the best thing about the NOS to me was Graham Seymour. He absolutely kept me in stitches laughing and always cutting up with passengers and to top it off-that man can S-I-N-G!! His morning shows "Be very afraid" would have me laughing constantly ("Dirty!Dirty!"). I bought his DVD and CD and have watched it several times since returning home and laughed as if it was the first time I had seen it! He would definitely be a major selling point to me in returning to the NOS! I thoroughly enjoyed my cruise on NOS. Do I have any complaints other than it not lasting long enough? Nah, not really. Labadee was the high point of the ports-beautiful, serene, peaceful, relaxing, primitive-I could go on and on with great adjectives! I would definitely recommend cruising on the Navigator. I don't think you would be disappointed! Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
NOTS was our first cruise in Oct. 2005. A hurricane had just gone through so Miami was not the best. Traffic lights were out and gas was hard to come by for our rental car. We rented a car from Dollar. Price was excellent and when ... Read More
NOTS was our first cruise in Oct. 2005. A hurricane had just gone through so Miami was not the best. Traffic lights were out and gas was hard to come by for our rental car. We rented a car from Dollar. Price was excellent and when returning the next day, Dollar took us to the port, no charge. They would have also picked us up after the cruise and taken us to the airport, no charge. Due to Miami conditions and being eager to cruise, we arrived early to board the ship on Sat. Everything went smoothly and there were minimal waits. Be sure to fill out your Sail pass on line. This helps to expedite things. We were amazed at all the art decor, and vastness of the ship. We loved the days at sea to explore. We watched a movie in the theater room, lunch in dining room since we had plenty of time on sea days. Pick up a waterproof container to hold sea passes and credit card. We shopped at the promenade shops. Remember that the shops put out specials every day. Also, some services at the spa are half price later in the week. We used internet service and set up account. We used this several times to check on family at home. We used the same computer so info was ready to pop up. We worked out in the gym each morning and would go to our room to clean up, then eat a nice breakfast in dining room (less crowded than Windjammer) to begin our day. The work out facilities are excellent, and we were able to try different equipment. View is excellent. Dining is good, not great. We used the dining room most days for breakfast. Most of the same choices are in the Windjammer. It was just quieter in the dining room. They only use one floor of the dining room for breakfast and lunch and you are seated as you come in. Some of the same wait staff work here at breakfast and lunch. This is also closer to the bottom of the ship on port days than the Windjammer. There is congestion in the stairways during port days and it helps to be on the third floor already! We also ate at Johnny Rockets one day. It was great and a good change. The service and food for dinner was good. We did not eat at Pordellios, but think that we will next time for a change. Ports: Labadee was our favorite. It looks like every picture of every beach and more. It is gorgeous. We just lounged on the beach. The same guys that sell drinks on the ship are also on the beaches, but it is good to get a refreshing virgin drink while you are lounging. How many times can you do that? The market was very pushy, but these vendors did not come out on the beach at all. So if you want to see the market and pick up something unique, this is the place. Our excursion through the ship for Ocho Rios was fair. The bus and drivers were not the best, and when we got to Dunn's River Falls, there were pushy natives that put bead necklaces on you, then wanted something for it. All I had in my pocket was 50 cents and they were offended! We climbed the falls but were in constant worry about the guide, who was barefooted, dropping our camera in the water. He had everyone's camera in our group, about 12 cameras around his neck. He didn't fall. We didn't get to enjoy the site of the falls at all. We were too busy trying not to get hurt. It is very slippery. We wore swim shoes and they wanted us to hold on to each other in our group. We would do better climbing by ourselves but understood the rules. This was our least favorite port. Grand Cayman was very nice and had shopping right off the pier. We booked the stingray snorkeling tour. It was great. We booked this off the ship. There was some hurricane damage here, but not too much. There were lots of stingrays and it was a very unique experience. Beautiful shallow water to walk in, out where stingrays are. We were supposed to go to Cozumel but due to hurricane, we went to Costa Maya. This was a very pleasant surprise. We had no idea what we were getting to do since our excursion was cancelled on Cozumel. Again, the shopping was excellent at this port. We booked a bicycle and kayak excursion through the ship. This was good. Bicycles were not in the best shape but we got to see quite a bit of the villages, not just the port. Beaches were gorgeous and we wish we could have spent more time here. Taxi service was very good and safe. This was our second favorite port. Pictures were fun to take on and coming off the ship. The photographers were always there. Remember you can get black and white or color and you can have these pics in any size that you want, not just what they have printed. Check these. This is a nice souvenir. We will definitely be cruising again. It was a unique experience and one that we want to continue to see other parts of the caribbean. The inside atrium cabin is perfect for two people. It was not crowded at all and they use every available space. Have a fun cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
This was our second cruise on the Navigator of the Seas and just as before it was GREAT!!! It was my husband, father & mother in-laws and myself. Embarkation---Very smooth! We had filled out a majority of our information on the Royal ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Navigator of the Seas and just as before it was GREAT!!! It was my husband, father & mother in-laws and myself. Embarkation---Very smooth! We had filled out a majority of our information on the Royal Caribbean website so I think this helped. We arrived around 12:30 and it took approx 30-45 min before we were in the Windjammer having our first lunch. The boat itself is amazing, so big and impressive. Just as before it was kept spic-n-span...I always saw people cleaning and occasionally small repairs being made. Ports of Call---Labadee, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel. Labadee is one of our favorites!! We love to relax on the beach and search for shells. This time I made it to the local market and was able to get some great deals on handcarved wooden pieces. Ocho Rios: Well I was shocked at this stop...we had a GREAT time!! After reading all the posts I was really even wondering about getting off the ship, everything read the most rude and pushy people encountered. We did the Reggae Baby Boat with the Dunn's River Falls and had an awesome time. We read that the shopping section at the top was full of very rude merchants, but you don't even have to go through the shopping section. Really we didn't find anyone to be too pushy at any locations we shopped at. Grand Cayman: It rained and we missed our beach break but RC did refund our excursion prices, we were looking forward to Seven Mile Beach!!! :( O'well we'll catch it next time. It cleared up some later and we did make it off the boat to do some shopping. Always a good stop! Cozumel: Last time we stopped here we only shopped so this time we wanted to hit the beach. We chose the Fiesta Baby Party Boat...WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT!!! This excursion went to Playa Mia Beach..it was quite a long ride there, the band on the boat SUCKED!! When we were about to the beach the director on the boat made the announcement that we wouldn't be able to get into the water because of crocodiles??? So we were able to look at the little shopping area and sit by a small pool...We were severely pissed (to put it mildly)we weren't pleased about paying 45$ per person to sit by a pool where we were leery about drinking the water or eating any food. All in all it was great...wonderful food and good entertainment. We recommend trying Chops and Johnny Rockets. The casino was finally good to us on the last day. My hubby hit a jackpot of $3750.00 which they said was the highest paid out that week. Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
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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