433 Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Cruise Reviews

We travelled to Southampton on the Friday evening and stayed at the Holiday Inn. Car parking/luggage drop off was long winded even though RCI stated 'please do not arrive before 2 p.m.'. We arrived at 1.15 and it took 45 mins to ... Read More
We travelled to Southampton on the Friday evening and stayed at the Holiday Inn. Car parking/luggage drop off was long winded even though RCI stated 'please do not arrive before 2 p.m.'. We arrived at 1.15 and it took 45 mins to drop off cases and get a parking space (even though we advised disabled driver the allocated spaces are 'normal' size). This means the less mobile traveller has to be able to walk to rear of vehicle. We took advantage of the online checkin which speeded up getting on board however we had to wait for assistance as the ramps to the ship are quite steep and we had a manual chair. By the time we got on board it was nearly 3.30 so we were able to go to our suite on the ninth deck. We had paid a bit more for a suite as opposed to the balcony cabin we would normally have chosen and this was to prove its worth as our suite became a haven from the crowded public places. We booked the 6.30 sitting and just as well since on average it was around 8.15 by the time coffee was served. The food was good but not fantastic (compared with Celebrity and P&O). The first evening we tried the Chef's Special 'Alaskan Herb Crusted Cod' - this was a great piece of fish on a bed of rice with a full spring onion on top and nothing else! By day three we eventually got a portion of veg/pots with the main courses although one night these consisted of mushy peas and garlic mushrooms!?! Despite the fact they knew my husband used a wheelchair our table was on the front of one of the balcony and therefore involved us having to ask people to move to get past. On other cruises we have been allocated a table near the entrance or on the main 'floor' so this situation has never arisen before. When I asked about an easier location I was told there were no suitable tables available to move to even though several tables near to the entrance were never used during the entire trip. My husband has never experienced seasickness (his seventh cruise) until this trip. He wasn't actually sick ... when I went to the Windjammer I found that a large number of passengers were 'not well'. Smaller ships are definitely better from this aspect because we have experienced a force seven crossing the Med in a ship half the size of this one with no ill effect although we had to hold onto the rails. There are two major problems with RCI - they allow smoking virtually everywhere except the food areas. Even though they are in Europe where most public spaces are smoke free, you will have to endure a smoke haze and stale smoke. Why can't they at least have the Promenade smoke free as there are several other bars throughout the ship that smokers could use. If not then their literature should at least include a warning. Secondly even though it was not yet school holidays those children on board were allowed to 'run wild'. They were allowed to run around bar areas, the casino, the theatre etc; they played in the lifts, the library and people who hoped to have breakfast in their cabin (including us) found the menus had disappeared or every item on them was ticked so either you didn't get breakfast or you had a trolley full of food you didn't want. I found it disturbing that they were allowed to play machines in the casino (in Vegas you can't even enter a casino if you are under 21) and when I spoke to the staff I was told they couldn't do anything in case the parents made a complaint against them! The staff were friendly. The food adequate in the restaurant, better in the Windjammer but at these prices why should you have to serve yourself! Nearly everyone complained about the toast - basically its rock hard because the bread is very thinly sliced, its made early morning and put in a warming oven until the waiter brings it to the table by which time it is only suitable for use if you are having pate. The fruit juices are also limited orange, tomato, V8, cranberry and PRUNE! On all our other cruises there have been buses provided free of charge to the local town centre but RCI charge $4.95 per person each way. Not a big problem if you know in advance, but with the number of stops on a 14 day cruise this can make a hole in your spending. Would we take another cruise? Definitely but its back to Celebrity or P&O as the prices are virtually the same but they are five star and this is three star. However if you are a smoker it will be heaven. If you have children and want to let them 'do their own thing' then you will have a wonderful time. Bigger is not better. Read Less
Sail Date June 2007
Entered Southampton dock gate 8 at 2.45 dropped of luggage parked car on board by 3.20. I think they started embarkation about noon or even before. Long stay car parking you enter by dock gate 8 other pax enter by dock gate 10 but if you ... Read More
Entered Southampton dock gate 8 at 2.45 dropped of luggage parked car on board by 3.20. I think they started embarkation about noon or even before. Long stay car parking you enter by dock gate 8 other pax enter by dock gate 10 but if you walk to cruise terminal and quite a few people did then they would only let you in through dock gate 8 met someone who had to walk from gate 10 to 8 they were not happy. At end of cruise everyone leaves by gate 10. Cannot say it was the best cruise I'd been on mainly because everywhere was so crowded, I expect the ship was designed for the sun so when pax are not on deck the bars and the Windjammer cafe crowded. Cruise did not get off to a smooth start, cabin steward did not put a copy of Cruise Compass in cabin so had no idea of time for muster or evening entertainment. I eventually met the cabin steward about 7pm ask if I could have a copy of the Cruise Compass he then informs me he wants to `do` the room, found this a bit strange as I was going to get ready for Dinner, shower etc. On the second day he also wanted to do the room at about 7, I then realized he thought I was on first sitting explained this was not the case and no more problems. Thought muster quick and smooth. Dinner first night I had requested a table for 8 or 10 but ended up on one for 4 but only me and an elderly couple explained to head waiter and was transferred second night to a table for 10, pleasant enough people. Bfast/lunch Windjammer busy few seats but no real queuing good choice of food but had to hunt around for my selection, oh and to run out of Baked Beans for Bfast on last two days, unforgivable. Being a solo cruiser Lunch turned into musical chairs, starter on one table go for main my starter plates cleared someone in seat so found another, go for sweet same again, then coffee same again, you have to laugh. Didn't enjoy dinners in the Dining room table companions were OK I suppose, but service was oh so slow. Went to Windjammers last 3 nights what a difference to Bfast/lunch such a relaxed atmosphere and no one took my seat, I also though more choice and potatoes & vegetables, in the Dining room our table virtually had to beg for veg, could not believe first night had the chicken breast came with sauce and ONE piece of Broccoli. Thought that all the food was tasty and really enjoyed the ham cheese and tomato croissants in the Cafe Promenade. The incident at Stavanger..... Got off early when I came back they had to move the ship a few feet forward so a short wait no problem but I had just entered the ship loud crash and the gangway fell to the ground behind me luckily no one injured especially me. Enjoyed the experience of a big ship but think 3000+ pax too many for me. Left ship 8.30 on time very smooth operation, found luggage but took a while as was light blue which was far end row but row not marked. Read Less
Sail Date April 2007
My wife and I took our first cruise in October 2006. We sailed Navigator of the Seas to the Eastern Caribbean. Great ship, awesome ports but poor customer service and resolution. I have contacted RCI several times and still to this day ... Read More
My wife and I took our first cruise in October 2006. We sailed Navigator of the Seas to the Eastern Caribbean. Great ship, awesome ports but poor customer service and resolution. I have contacted RCI several times and still to this day over three years later, it still has not been resolved leaving me with a bad overall view of how Royal Caribbean treats the customer. I am the author of a travel website Around the World in Pictures http://www.dontenphotography.com/ and here is a copy of my trip log from the cruise, highlighting the good and bad. Eastern Caribbean Cruise 2006 October 21, 2006 Miami, Florida: We left our home in the early morning to begin the three hour commute to the cruise port in Miami as we embarked on our first ever cruise. The anticipation of the cruise made the drive feel more like 8 hours. As we climbed the bridge and caught a glimpse of the ship in the port, the excitement began to kick in we had finally made it. Embarkation was a breeze, having a toddler in a stroller was a golden ticket to advance to the front of the line. We were photographed for our Sea Pass and quickly stepped aboard the Navigator of the Seas. Once one board, it did not feel like a ship, rather its vast open promenade felt like a city block. We headed up to our stateroom on the ninth deck. We booked an superior balcony room near the front of the ship. The room was spacious and the private balcony was worth the extra money. My parents and sister arrived shortly after and checked in to the room next to us. They added airfare to their cruise package and were picked up and transported from Miami International Airport directly to the ship. Once they arrived we headed up to the Windjammer buffet for some food, a spot that will become our choice for the cruise. The convenience of the buffet and variety of food offered was easiest for us traveling with a 1 1/2 year old. We then headed to the front of the ship as we set sail from Miami to begin our cruise through the Eastern Caribbean. Once afloat, we played a round of golf at the Navigator Dunes miniature golf course as we watched the skyline of Miami slowly disappear into the Florida sunset. After a walk around the ship, we retired to the stateroom for the night. October 22, 2006 Atlantic Ocean: The began with breakfast at the Windjammer. Then my wife and mother went to play bingo while my dad, son and I set off to explore the ship. With 15 decks the ship has many places to enjoy. We started from the top down and visiting the Viking Crown, Bridge overlook, pool area and many more. During the evening we decided to break from our routine and have dinner at Johnny Rockets. After dinner we spent some time playing games in the arcade before heading back to the stateroom for the night. October 23, 2006 San Juan, Puerto Rico: Today marked the first stop of the cruise, San Juan. We started the day off with breakfast at the Windjammer and then got ready for the day. As we approached the coast of Puerto Rico, we went up to the deck to watch the ship sail into the harbor. We past the Fort El Morro on the point as the ship made its way to the dock. We were greeted by Puerto Rican dancers on the pier as we arrived in port. Disembarkation at the pier was hectic, a mad rush and the lines were slow moving. Once we were off the ship we began our shore excursion. We chose the Old and New San Juan City Tour. The tour consisted of a bus ride through the city of San Juan passing by many of the landmarks of the city. The tour guide was great, provided a great historical perspective of the city while mixing in the right amount of humor to keep it interesting. The tour bus stopped at Fort San Cristobal and we spent some time touring the fort on foot. Once back onboard the bus, we heading into the shopping district where the bus left us off. We walked around for a little before taking the short walk back to the pier. Back on the ship we ate dinner at the Windjammer and then headed back to the stateroom for the night. October 24, 2006 Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas: Day four of the cruise began as the ship arrived at St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. Living it Florida it was nice to see some elevation as the ship pulled closer to the island. Disembarkation here was much easier. We walked around the Havensight Mall by the port prior to beginning our excursion. For the excursion we book the Ultimate Island Experience. We boarded an open air bus and began a tour through the island. We drove along Skyline Drive and enjoyed the scenery that St. Thomas has to offer. First stop on the tour was Mountain Top overlook. We continued our climb through the mountains and made another stop at Drake's Seat overlooking Magen's Bay. After a brief stop, we began our descent from the mountains to Magen's Bay where we took a two hour beach break. It was easy to see why Magen's Bay has been rated one of the top beaches in the world, the water was crystal clear and refreshing. We then boarded the bus resumed our tour. The next stop on the trip was Blackbeard's Castle. Here we toured the castle and ground before boarding the bus and heading into town. The bus tour concluded in the down town shopping district of Charlotte Amalie. From here we hopped a cab and headed to our next destination, Skyride to Paradise Point. The Skyride took us to the top of Paradise Point and then return trip back to the base of the mountain. We then took a short walk back to the ship where we ate dinner and retired for the evening. October 25, 2006 Phillipsburg, St. Maarten: Another day, another island. This time marking the first time we set foot on land not under control of the United States government. We will be visiting to separate countries on one island; Dutch St Maarten and French St Martin. We took the St Maarten Island Tour excursion. We boarded the air-conditioned bus and began our tour of the Dutch side of the island, traveling through the great salt pond and past Orient Beach. A stop was then made for shopping in Marigot. Forty-five minutes later we boarded the bus to continue the tour back to the ship. Once back onboard we headed to the Windjammer for dinner and then to Ixtapa Lounge for karaoke and drinks before heading back for bed. October 26, 2006 Atlantic Ocean: Today marked our second day at sea and when our wonderful vacation turned bad. We encountered some rough seas after departing St Maarten and the ship was rocking pretty good. Between the rough seas and the drinks from the night before, my wife got seasick pretty bad. She went down to the clinic to see the doctor and get some medication to cure the seasickness. He misdiagnosed her with a viral disease rather then give her seasickness medication and quarantined my entire family to the stateroom. We were not allowed to leave the stateroom for any reason and all food would be delivered to us. During this time, the cabin attendant was not allowed to enter the cabin for clean linens or to clean the room and was ordered to keep an eye on us that we did not leave the cabin. Despite pleas to the medical staff explaining the circumstances of the night, the rhinovirus diagnosis remained an the quarantined restrictions we kept in place. We tried to speak to guest relations and all offers of assistance were turned down and eventually we were told if we were not happy with the results, we could get off at the next stop in Nassau and find our own way home. After that threat, we just dealt with it and could not wait to return to Florida. October 27, 2006 Nassau, Bahamas: Today was the second day of the quarantine period and the ship had pulled into port in Nassau. We were originally scheduled to do the Nassau and Paradise Island excursion but thanks to the restrictions put in place by the medical staff, we were unable to attend. Today we were extremely grateful to have had a balcony room so at least we could get some fresh air. But the four walls of the room were closing in quickly and the stateroom began to feel more like a prison. As the quarantined continued, the rudeness and hostility of the staff increased. Our meals arrived to the stateroom cold and when asking for drinks, all we were told is they couldn't do that. Well if we weren't restricted to our rooms, we would have gotten it ourselves, but it wasn't an option. By the end of the day, I was so furious with the situation I could not wait to return home in the morning. As the sunset over Nassau, we began the short trip back to Miami and off the prison boat. October 28, 2006 Miami, Florida: We arrived into Miami early in the morning and it could not be early enough as we could not wait to get off the SS Prison Boat. Well its not like we had a choice, since my wife was still "infected" she was given priority disembarkment and we were off the ship quickly. Not sure if it was because they didn't want to get anyone else sick or just because they were tired of hearing us complain but it didn't really matter since we were free. We gathered our luggage in the claim area and began the drive back home. The events of the last few days of the cruise really tarnished what started out as a remarkable vacation. Its hard to believe the amount of power they give to one person with no secondary opinion available. Seems like there should be a checks and balance system in place which there was not at the time. Once we returned home, I contacted Royal Caribbean's corporate office and advised them of the experience. The actions of the crew were justified in their minds and as a token of the inconvience, they gave us $500.00 towards a future cruise, but based on what happened that wasn't much since the experience prevents us from ever wanting to cruise again. Update: Three years later, the emotional scars of the last few days of the cruise have worn off my wife and she is ready to give it another try. I contacted Royal Caribbean to see about booking another cruise and using the credit they offered and I was told that the offer was no longer on the table, that too much time has passed since the offer was made. So the customer service aspect of Royal Caribbean has not improved, really leaves me disappointed. They offer such a great product but the poor service of a few has a lasting effect on the whole company. So it leaves me in a predicament, I am looking to try another cruise in April 2010 and they have the itinerary that we want, 10 night Jewel of the Seas. Do we suck up and deal with the poor relations we had with them to give them another try or do we go shopping for another cruise line? Only time will tell what we are going to do and you will be the first to know. Read Less
Sail Date October 2006
I had back surgery after the cruise which is why this is so late The Navigator holds 3200 passengers. If you like going to a Las Vegas resort this cruise is for you. Everything is crowded and hectic. If you are used to a traditional cruise ... Read More
I had back surgery after the cruise which is why this is so late The Navigator holds 3200 passengers. If you like going to a Las Vegas resort this cruise is for you. Everything is crowded and hectic. If you are used to a traditional cruise this ship is not for you. I was in the military where I had to wait in line with 1000 others to eat and I can't imagine paying to have this service We are veteran cruisers with at least 15 cruises completed have been on RCL, Princess, Crystal This has been over more than 30 years. The embarkation was flawless. The total time it took was 15 or 20 minutes. We elected to board the ship directly after arriving at Heath row. RCL offered an overnight stay for $750. We decided that to ensure arriving on time was too big of a price to pay. We booked a mini suite and it was worth the extra money. The cabin attendant was perfect . He left took care of flawlessly. The room was large and decorated in good taste. The food on board was plentiful. That is the only good thing I can say. Examples are-lamb chops with gravy. Fried chicken with gravy Prime rib which was sliced roast beef. Baked beans over toast. Need I say more. After three days we never used The Windjammer. The lines were huge with people tripping over others. Table had to be shared with others with the usual quest question " is Cleveland near Chicago" Breakfast we ate in the dining room, had room service or at Seattle's Best on deck five where you can get a sweet roll or a croissant. The ice show was excellent. It was hard to get tickets so I recommend getting them as early as possible. The floor shows were above average. I feel that with the large number of passengers it is possible to have better entertainment. The only criticism is that the comedian was for the British passengers as many of the jokes I didn't understand. We took limited number of shore trips so I can't comment on them. The few we took were O.K. The usual surly French who are supposed to help. but don't. Read Less
Sail Date September 2006
Our cruise began pleasantly enough in Miami. Check-in at 2:00 with our pre-registration was quick and efficient, with little waiting and courteous service. We boarded the ship and checked out our cabin. What we noticed immediately was that ... Read More
Our cruise began pleasantly enough in Miami. Check-in at 2:00 with our pre-registration was quick and efficient, with little waiting and courteous service. We boarded the ship and checked out our cabin. What we noticed immediately was that it was hot. I am used to it being hot outside having lived in South Florida for so long, but my wife and I have become spoiled. I adjusted the thermostat to the lowest setting while we milled about on deck. After an hour or two our cabin was only marginally cooler. Two calls to the purser's desk elicited promises, but no response. A third call to engineering finally summoned a repairman. He replaced a small part, and then pronounced it repaired. By dinner (second seating) we were sweating through our clothes. I finally had enough and went downstairs to the purser's desk myself. This brought back the maintenance person -this time with help, and a promise to have it working by the time we returned. After much rigamarole with wires and panels removed, it still was not working adequately. We finally gave up and swore to spend the least time possible in our sweatbox. It was easily 5 degrees cooler in the hallways of the ship. It is a darn shame that Royal Caribbean could not manage to cover something as basic as air conditioning. We felt as though we had booked the floating equivalent of a Days Inn. The television picture was bad when it worked at all. Our seapass info was available about half the times we tried. A call down to the purser's desk revealed they were 'having problems'. The safe in our room was broken, and would not lock. Having gone the maintenance route before we just shrugged it off. Other parts of the ship, with the exception of our cabin, were truly a wonder. The Royal Promenade was fabulous, as was the solarium. The many bars and clubs were great. My wife enjoyed the stores, and the spa. The elevators were ALWAYS crowded, but I knew to expect that. We joked that the most sealife we saw so far was sardines. The entertainment was excellent. We really enjoyed the ice dancing show, along with the Beatlemania concert. great stuff! We missed quest though. I would definitely recommend bringing a clock when you travel. We had an inside cabin, and the lack of a window was disorienting. The service in the dining room was very good, although we found the food to be only average. Although I am sure some of the selections require a great deal of skill and talent to prepare, some of the items seemed strangely out of place. The main thing I would say was missing in the menu was balance. 'Yes I'll have the pate with berry custard and crouton topping along with the baked salmon, and the pre-frozen apple pie with the cardboard crust.' The Windjammer cafe was okay, something along the lines of a Shoney's or a Sizzler, but we found the hours inconvenient. There doesn't seem to be much thought put into how events will affect peoples' dining patterns. They should, in my opinion, put more effort into discovering when people want to eat rather than shooing them away. Sure make a huge lunch buffet when everyone is on the island, and then close it down right when everyone gets back that makes sense. As native Floridians we found the $3.95 charge for fresh orange juice at breakfast frankly insulting. Chops was delightful, and worth every cent. The service was impeccable, and the food outstanding. I would easily compare them to a Morton's or Capital Grille. Our waiter Ramil, was one of the highlights of our cruise. Bravo! Labadee was restful and beautiful. Not at all what I expected from Haiti. You definitely need water shoes for the beach though. We did not see a need for any excursions. the picnic lunch was surprisingly thoughtful (see above). Ocho Rios was our favorite port. The Highlights of Ocho Rios and Dunn's River Falls I would highly recommend. Very interesting tour, and a nice shopping district. Ignore the street urchins, and you should be okay. Our waitress at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville tried to scam us for $15. I would not expect such a con from a well known chain, but it was probably just the employee. The Stingray City Tour by Resort Sport Limited was a disorganized mess. We were transported to the boat in grimy unsafe school buses, and then waited in a dirty parking lot while we waited for the boat which was late. When we were finished we rode the ramshackle buses back to another dirty parking lot where we were unceremoniously dumped with scant minutes to spare for the last tender. We had no time for shopping or seeing the sights at all. Cozumel was another nice port. The street vendors here were as aggressive as I've seen though. Our shopping tour was great with an excellent guide. Our bus had something to be desired though. There was an exhaust leak somewhere on the back of the bus which made several people queasy. After 2 or 3 stops we got the driver to find a rag and stuff it in a hole in the floor, this seemed to wipe out most of the fumes. We had a good, but somewhat overpriced, lunch at Pancho's backyard. We still had plenty of time to walk around and explore the shops. Read Less
Sail Date June 2006
Navigator of the Seas review Sail date - Sept. 24th, 2005 Itinerary - Eastern Caribbean Our info. My wife and I are in our Mid 30s our son is 2.5 years. Number of past cruises 12+ Intro -- My wife and I have cruised many times in the ... Read More
Navigator of the Seas review Sail date - Sept. 24th, 2005 Itinerary - Eastern Caribbean Our info. My wife and I are in our Mid 30s our son is 2.5 years. Number of past cruises 12+ Intro -- My wife and I have cruised many times in the past, 4 times with RCL, Grander, Voyager, and Explorer of the Seas so we were pretty familiar with the Navigators' layout given we were on 2 other sister ships. This was our second cruise with our son, the first one being on HAL Zuiderdam last December. We opted for 2 connecting rooms this time rather than one large suite so when our son went down for bed, we could go in the other room and not disturb him. We a suite on the Zuiderdam and although it was big, it was still one large room so when he went down for the night, we had to tip toe around so we didn't wake him. Our rooms were 9520 and 9518. A unique set up given one room had a balcony and one only a port whole, but they had a connecting door between them. Cruise Highs -- Given we were traveling with a 2 year old, we didn't go to the formal dining room, instead we ate in the windjammer cafe most of the time. The service in there was great and we usually didn't have a problem finding a place to sit. Especially for dinner since most of the people were in the main dining room. Our room steward 'group' was excellent and provided great service. They were great to our son and very quick cleaning up the room. The reason I put group down was because it is no longer one person that handles your cabin, rather a group of people which makes things much more efficient. The activities on board were very good even for our 2.5 year old. I was surprised they had activities for his age group. He couldn't go into the regular kids programs, but they did have activities for the parents and children which was nice. The overall condition of the ship was good, however, they had one stairway closed for the entire cruise for maintenance. Not a huge deal, but I would hate to be in one of the cabins close to it because the glue fumes were terrible. Ports of call were ok. We had been to them many times in the past so we didn't do much besides a little shopping. We preferred to stay on board and go to the pool given there were very few people there on port days. This is an unusual thing to mention, but the medical facilities on board were excellent. Our son came down with a respiratory problem and they did a great job at treating him and had everything he needed. It reminded me of a small hospital with separate patient rooms and dr offices. Cruise Lows -- Of course there were some. To start, the embarkation process was horrible or at least, much worse than we remember. We are use to cruise lines staggering the boarding process where the start boarding around 11:00ish until the time the ship leaves. Not this time. Instead, everyone waits outside until 2:00pm in a giant line and they open the doors and attempt to board 3800 passengers in 3 hours. If you happen to be at the end of the line, I have no doubt it would take 3 hours to get on board especially if you didn't do the sign and sail process beforehand. We did arrive around 2:00pm to find a huge line and as we were walking to the back past all of the upset people that have been waiting since 11:00 in the Florida heat, they opened a second set of doors and it only took us an hour and a half to get checked in which was not great, but I really feel for the people that showed up at 11:00 and had to not only wait in line until 2:00, but also had to wait another 2-3 hours to get checked in. Not to dwell on this one issue, but on the 12+ cruises we have been on, this was the worst check in process to date. Not sure where RCCL came up with this one. The food was also not very good. I admit, I really don't expect gourmet food on RCCL, but it seemed unusually bad this time. Usually the Windjammer is at least on par with the main dining room because it is a lot of the same type of food, but this time it really seemed pre packaged for lack of a better way of describing it. It seemed like the had big bags of pre-made food in the back and they were just sticking it in the microwave and dumping it into the troughs. Luckily they had an oriental area within the windjammer which had pretty good food. I pretty much ate that all week. The liquor policy was just stupid. You obviously couldn't buy it in the on board liquor store and take it back to the room. I had already read that, but there wasn't any liquor, beer or wine in the minibar which made no sense to me. You also couldn't order a bottle off the in room menu, you had to order individual drinks. Not sure what the reasoning was other than get you out of your room?? If you wanted a drink, you basically had to go down to a bar and bring it back to your room or order one off the menu and wait 30 minutes to get it. Can't quite figure out why this new policy came about. Summary -- Overall, it was a good trip, but I got the feeling that RCCL is going a little 'down hill' for lack of a better way of describing our experience. Nothing major, we just didn't have as good of a time as we have had on other RCCL cruises. Maybe it was just an off cruise for us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2005
This was our honeymoon and our second cruise. The last cruise was on Explorer of the Seas, Western Caribbean itinerary. Upon arriving to the port in Miami, the signs advised us to go to a specific terminal. We arrived there and to our ... Read More
This was our honeymoon and our second cruise. The last cruise was on Explorer of the Seas, Western Caribbean itinerary. Upon arriving to the port in Miami, the signs advised us to go to a specific terminal. We arrived there and to our surprise, there was nobody there except security. It was approximately 10am. Security said they were not allowing anyone in to the check in area and there was no other entrance into the check in area. We sat in some white chairs for nearly an hour and a half. They finally allowed the two of us in and there were already hundreds of people in line and standing around. I guess there was another entrance, this was very disappointing. I didn't appreciate being lied to. We checked in at the counter and then had to stand in line for over another hour against the wall. I asked what the delay was and was advised that customs arrived late and that there were still passengers exiting the ships. While in line we overheard people talking about Labadee and how the ship was not going to stop in this port. We were never told about it at check in. I had to go ask someone about this little bit of info. and was advised that it was cancelled due to an uprising in Haiti. I guess the check in persons did not feel it was important to tell everyone they dealt with. After we were allowed on the ship, it was a stampede to the escalators without any direction or organization, they just allowed everyone to go the entrance at once regardless of who was waiting longer in line. Upon entry onto the ship, we were welcomed very graciously. My wife received a red rose for Valentine's Day and we began to think we would have an outstanding honeymoon. We went to our stateroom and our minds immediately changed again. We both have asthma and are allergic to smoke. I guess the previous people in the stateroom decided they were going to smoke in the room. The odor in the room was very very bad. After a couple hours, we were able to find our stateroom attendant and ask her if there was anything she could do to help. She entered the room and said it smelled very bad and she would try and help us. She then proceeded to wipe down the cabinets and walls with a cleaner and changed the bedclothes. She attempted to remedy the problem, but in the end, it still smelled very bad in the room. We are big complainers, so we just dealt with the problem and lived with it, we were on our honeymoon. I tipped on the very first day and it made a difference with the dining staff, but not the stateroom attendant. The only thing she did when she entered the room was make the bed and give us new towels. Not the same treatment I received on the last cruise. The ports were ok. In Nassau we went to a Dolphin Swim which was booked through the Dolphin Encounters not the ship. They only book the encounter, we wanted to swim with the dolphins which was much better. In St. Thomas, which was very beautiful, we only experienced the shopping area and the Kon Tiki Party Tour. This was a waste of time and money. Not very party like, especially with the very horrible band on board the aged boat attempting to play music. Also, the customs which everyone goes through, was very quick and painless. San Juan was extended to a full day because we were unable to go to Labadee. I was really looking forward to Labadee and San Juan was a very poor choice in an extension. There's not a lot to do there and the entire town is filthy. Food was less than wonderful, deck chairs were always full especially with three sea days. I called and complained about young kids being in the Solarium or the adult pool area and was told by the front desk that 17 and up was allowed in there and told her that these were small children jumping and yelling and splashing and all she said was that children above 17 were allowed in there. She never remedied the problem at all. It doesn't help on the boat if you have rules and you do not enforce them. As a law enforcement officer, I was very displeased to see young kids, very under the age of 18, walking around with buckets of beer through the promenade and neither their parents nor employees/security from the boat doing anything about it. I also witnessed minors in the casino gambling. If you have rules, enforce them. It is for their safety and the safety of all passengers. Debarkation was easy and painless. I know this is a long review and there is much I am leaving out, but if you have any further questions, feel free to contact me at cruiseseeker@msn.com Thank you Debarkation was easy Read Less
Sail Date February 2004
I just have to say, I was not pleased with this cruise. The ship itself is beautiful, and the service was wonderful - no complaints there. But, there seemed to be some major problems, namely the food. I have never heard anyone ever say ... Read More
I just have to say, I was not pleased with this cruise. The ship itself is beautiful, and the service was wonderful - no complaints there. But, there seemed to be some major problems, namely the food. I have never heard anyone ever say that cruise food is bad. However, I have to say that this is by far the worst food that I have ever had. My husband and I tried to eat in the main dining room every night, and each night, we were sending food back. Too salty, overcooked, bad flavor - the list goes on and on. We tried Jade and the Windjammer, and had the same problems. We thought about trying Chops or Portofino, but I just didn't feel like I should have to pay more than I already was to get better food. Honestly, we were thankful to get off the boat in each port, because we could at least get some food off of the ship. My husband and I asked around, because we thought that maybe something was wrong with us, but there were so many other people on board who felt the same way - the food was awful! We are not frequent cruisers, but those who we talked to who were said that this was by far the worst food they have ever had on a cruise ship. I cannot complain about our servers in area of food however - all of the servers did their best to accommodate us, and they definitely deserve their tips. We understood that it wasn't their fault, and they understood that we weren't upset with them. I have to say, the restaurant service was probably the best that I have ever received. We had an Interior Promenade room, which was very cute! I was worried that it would be noisy, and that I would hear all of the parades and such from the Promenade. However, there was no problem at all, I am pleased to say! In fact, I slept through one of the parades! Our room was also right next to the elevator, and again, no noise. Also, the shades really blocked all of the light, so having one of those rooms really was as dark as a normal interior room. I appreciated having the extra sitting space of the window seat. Some friends of ours had balcony rooms, but those rooms were no bigger than ours - they just had balconies. The bathroom was fine. Our stateroom attendant was awesome! I was unhappy with the Spa. The prices are too high, period. Everyone does a fine job, but a one-hour massage should not cost $135. I was expecting the prices to be a bit more expensive than on land, but not that much more expensive. Also, I asked for a pedicure with paraffin wax, and the girl never gave me the paraffin wax. Fortunately, it didn't show up on the bill, but I was a bit surprised. I was also peeved that some of the exercise classes had fees associated with them. I'm already paying quite a bit, and to have to pay $10 or $15 every time I want to kickboxing, yoga, or pilates class seemed a bit excessive. Needless to say, I didn't attend any of those classes. The water in the mineral pool in the spa was dirty. Speaking of nickeling and diming at the spa, it does seem like you get nickled and dimed everywhere on the ship. If you want better food, you have to pay money. As I already stated, the spa prices were too outrageous. Drink prices were also a bit outrageous, and yes, I know that the prices included the tip. The thing that I found hilarious was that, on the bill, there was an area for you to leave an additional tip! Excursions were also a bit overpriced.... Speaking of excursions, we only went on one, and I have to say that I was not satisfied with that, either. We went on the Underwater BOB in St. Thomas. Now, I have heard that this is the coolest, and not to be missed. After being on it, I have to disagree. The reef on which we "BOBbed" was not pretty in the least. Furthermore, the BOB only goes down about eight feet. Well, in order to see any pretty colors or fish on the reef, you have to be up close. So, it didn't matter if you were BOBbing or snorkeling, it all looked the same - blue and brown rocks. Let me say now that I am a scuba diver, and so maybe I am just jaded. If you have never scuba dived before, then I think that this might be an ideal thing to do, if you're looking to experience it without being scuba certified. However, if you're already a scuba diver, don't go. It cost $100 per person, and then the mates on the boat ask for a tip! Also, we BOBbed in a protected cove, and we weren't alone - two scuba diving excursions, a snorkeling excursion, and a sailing excursion shared the cove with us. It got a bit crowded in there..... I also was unhappy with the pools. For some reason, they were drained on our first day, which was at sea. Why would the pools be drained when you're at sea? Everyone wants to be in the pools! So, all of the adults were crowded into the hot tubs, which were not hot at all, so it felt like I was in a bubbly pool. Also, the crew was doing some maintenance work on the decks during our "at sea" days, and so areas of the Solarium and pool deck were closed off. Now, this may have been emergency repair work, but it didn't appear that way to me - it looked like routine maintenance work. Why would that be done during an "at sea" day, when everyone wants to use the pool and solarium? It made those areas very crowded, because not all of the space in those areas could be utilized. On the plus side, we were very happy with the entertainment. The cruise director and his staff are absolutely wonderful - they are all very funny! In general, the service is excellent. My husband and I voiced our concerns about the pools and food and general complaints to someone in the spa, who took our name and room number and spoke with Guest Relations. From there, Guest Relations called us every day to check on how we were doing. Obviously, there's not much that they themselves could have done to improve the food and such, but I was impressed that they took the time to call. Overall, I don't know that I would use this ship again. We really did try to overlook "the little things," but unfortunately our issues weren't with "the little things." We loved the ship itself, and there is lots to do, but the food, the pools, and the added-on costs really disappointed us. Read Less
Sail Date February 2004
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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