933 Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Navigator of the Seas Review By Pete Larson Sail date: 12-13-2003: Voyage # 54 Western Caribbean: Labadee, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel Nautical miles sailed: 2,040 Ships Captain: Leif Otto Bang Cruise Director: Jeff Martin We ... Read More
Navigator of the Seas Review By Pete Larson Sail date: 12-13-2003: Voyage # 54 Western Caribbean: Labadee, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel Nautical miles sailed: 2,040 Ships Captain: Leif Otto Bang Cruise Director: Jeff Martin We are a couple just turning 40, traveling with 19 family members and friends. This was our 3rd cruise, (second with RCI) and our children's 1st. (ages 21 & 18) We booked 13 months in advance through an Internet travel agent, and had great prices. The price of the cruise never dropped below our booking price. I booked our airfare direct with the airline, and bought travel insurance through CSA. HOTEL We flew in 2 days prior, and stayed at Holiday Inn, South Beach. This is a decent hotel, with great prices and a nice beach/pool area. There are 2 restaurants in the hotel; one is OUTBACK, which was good. There is a SUBWAY right across the street. This is a nice area within walking distance of Lincoln Road Mall, which is full of outdoor cafes. (most are Italian) The boardwalk is right outside the hotel, and runs North. It doesn't connect to the South Boardwalk. You can catch the Electro wave shuttle outside the Jackie Gleason Theatre, and ride around SoBe for 25 cents per ride. Driving and parking in SoBe is a nightmare. I suggest renting a bike over at Lincoln. You can even rent a Segway Human Transporter! There are many other choices for public transportation as well. You can also rent YamahaWaverunners on the beach at $65 per half hour. TIP # 1: Everyone in Miami wants your money. Everyone in Miami wants a tip. Even the "Sandwich Artist" at SUBWAY has a tip jar! The cabbies, the porters, the concierge, the guy in the bathroom, the bartenders, waitresses, bellhops...etc. Bring lots of small bills with you! EMBARKATION We arranged 2 SUPER SHUTTLE'S to take us to the Port of Miami at 10am. They arrived on time, and the charge was $55 for each shuttle. (+ tip) They transported all 19 of us, and luggage with no problem. Upon arrival at the Port, the porters were fighting over us immediately. Our porter was very nice, and wanted $60 to toss our luggage in the bin, and get it to the ship safely. (that was just one shuttle with 9 people!) He was very helpful, and was tipped $40 from our shuttle, and more for the other shuttle. Not sure of his final take, but he got more than $2 per bag from us. One suitcase was damaged upon arrival as well. Not sure who did it. I don't like the porter situation in Miami. We entered the Port and waited in line to pass security. Have all your documentation & ID ready. They would not allow boarding until 11am. Check-in and security went fast and smooth. We boarded within minutes of checking in. TIP # 2: If you are in a group, and your children are switching to other rooms, you must see the Pier Coordinator near check-in to have the rooms switched before boarding the ship. They will update which room # each person will actually be occupying. This is done after you set up the Sea Pass accounts. (they will print new cards) BOARDING: You have to see it to believe it! OVERWHELMING is all I can say. Seeing Navigator and Explorer end to end is a real spectacle. WOW! This ship is gorgeous! Off to the Windjammer for a quick lunch. They buffet was great! TIP # 3: Get onboard early, and tour the ship. You can get photos of the public spaces with no other people in them. You can take Spa tours and make appointments for things as well. Bring tip money for the porters, but don't pay what they ask! ($1-2 per bag) THE SHIP: The layout is nice, the dEcor is beautiful, and the public areas are plentiful. We always take a self-tour of the ship after our boarding lunch. There were many places I never made it back to during the week! You will find your way around pretty easily by day 2 or 3. This ship is in top-notch condition...and still looks brand new. There is a pool open 24 hrs a day. They are all salt-water pools. Hot tubs are fresh water. There is a mineral spa in the SPA / Gym. It is very hot and has different massage vents. You can use it free of charge. Also free, are most activities such as Rock Wall, In Line skating, ice-skating, and mini golf. I thought a ship this large would be more stable than smaller vessels...it isn't. I didn't see too many sick people, but the ship definitely moves around a lot. My wife took Bonine and had no problems. You will feel the movement though. Come prepared. TIP # 4: The elevators are a busy place. Many times, when an elevator finally comes to get you...it's already full! Learn to take the stairs more! You will get there quicker anyway. The glass elevators are much more scenic to ride. The view of the Royal Promenade is spectacular! THE CABIN: We had aft cabin #7688. It faces the ships wake, and has the largest balcony. This cabin is GREAT! The balcony is its best feature. It does take on a little soot from the stacks. Don't walk out there in your socks...they will be black! I found myself wiping the chairs off each morning. It has 2 lounge chairs, 2 chairs and a table. We ate many room service breakfasts here. Much easier than fighting the crowds at the Windjammer on port days. Nothing like a nice hot breakfast on the balcony as we pull into port each day! I laid on a lounge chair to watch the meteor shower and fell asleep under the stars listening to the sounds of the sea. The structure on the back of the ship doesn't obstruct the view much. The balcony is in shade most of the day. If you are looking for sun, it's better on the top decks. It is less windy back there, but there were mornings that were still too windy to eat out there. I like the re-design of the shower stall. No more curtains, like on Vision Class ships. The room was large enough for 3 persons, and had a drop down bunk if needed. There is a sofa, safe, dressing table, coffee table, big closet, hair dryer, and plenty of storage space. The RCTV is wonderful. You can book excursions, check your Sea Pass account, order room service, movies, and many other things right on the TV. TIP #5: If you don't like to walk...you won't like this cabin. It is a long way from stairs and elevators to the rear of the ship. (120 steps to be exact) I didn't mind it, but some might. Also, be careful walking down the halls. Cabin attendants and passengers put carts, trays, vacuums, and stuff all over the halls. I found myself navigating around, and tripping over stuff everyday. TIP #6: There is a charge of $7.95 per minute for using your phone to call shore. Some teens in our party thought they could use a Phone Card, and did. They rang up hundreds of dollars in phone bills calling their boyfriends back home. They thought it would not apply if using a card. It did. Learned the hard way at the parents' expense. Educate your children before boarding. STAFF: The staff was always friendly. I really liked our cabin steward, Renato, and some of our servers. Great dining room & bar staff. I had one problem with security holding onto one of my suitcases. It made me late for dinner on the first night. Security held it because they saw something suspicious inside. They called me to the GUEST RELATIONS and made me show them what I had. There were 2 little knives in the outside pocket of my checked bag. I needed them to cut the zip ties on the zippers. They needed to see them, and then they let me take them to my room. It was a real joke. The knives in the dining room are bigger! Each of my knife blades was less than 2 inches! I was also stopped by security coming back from snorkeling in Grand Cayman. I had a dive knife in my snorkeling gear. I forgot it was even there, but they picked it up on the x-ray. When showed them it, they let me back onboard with it. (which is weird, because it was much bigger than the knives they saw in my other checked bags being loaded on the ship) TIP # 7: The GUEST RELATIONS desk (also known as the PURSER) is less busy in the middle of the night. Most of the day and evening, there is a line. Sometimes, a really BIG line. Get your business done early in the cruise. Late in the cruise...you will wait forever! Use the casino as your personal bank to get money or break down bills. The line is shorter. DINING & FOOD: We were in the very rear (near Port windows) of the SWAN LAKE DINING ROOM. (Top tier) I would have preferred the bottom level, but it wasn't a big deal. The Waiters still sing and dance on each tier. The windows were nice, but you can't see anything outside because at Second Seating it's already dark in DEC. Our waiter was Omar, and he was good, not great. Seemed quiet and shy. I didn't like our table assignments. We had a party of 19 at two tables. My children were split up at two different tables, which didn't please me, and we moved around a bit. The waiters were a little confused, but it worked out. I thought the food was FANTASTIC, and usually stayed with what was recommended by the staff. We had the best Head Waiter ever. She really took care of us. TIP #8: I thought with the coming of Seattle's Best Coffee, that it would be better than before. It's not. Personally, I couldn't stand the coffee. Way too strong and bitter. Being a diehard coffee drinker...I made due with it, but you may want to think about an alternative way to make coffee. ENTERTAINMENT: ~Royal Caribbean Singers & Dancers -Now & Forever -All Access ~Ice Dancers -Ice Dancin' ~The Original Drifters (Celebrity Entertainers) ~Miguel Washington (Comedy) ~John Joseph (Comedy) ~Duo Iouvilov ~James Stephens III (Comedy) The Broadway type shows are interesting, but not my favorite. The Drifters were great! Lot's of oldies, and the young singer is EXCELLENT! The Duo is really good, and the comedy of John Joseph is OUTSTANDING! I did not see the others. Ice Dancin'...just like everyone says...DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW! It is incredible what they can do on the small ice! This is by far...the best show on the ship. There are also singers, and musicians in the pubs and lounges each night. I enjoyed the guy in the Two Poets Club on the Royal Promenade. (He would play Jimmy Buffett for me) Another nice thing to see are the parades down there. They do a lot in the space given, and it is quite spectacular. TIP # 9: Get tickets to ICE DANCIN' early for the seating you want. All of the shows SELL OUT. (even though tickets are free) CRUISE CRITIC MEET & GREET: I met several of our group at the Pool Bar the night before. I spotted someone with a CC lanyard around her neck, and she knew someone who knew someone...and it went from there. We met for the party in the Cosmopolitan Club, and the Social Host was Mikiko. There was cookies and coffee, or you could use the cash bar. A free drawing was held and the prize was a computer mouse. Capt. Bang also came down to speak. He answered questions and even posed for pictures. He is the nicest guy. It was a really great group of people. PORTS: MIAMI Pre-cruise- See above (hotel) Post-cruise- RCI Everglades tour. The bus picked us up right outside the ship. Our bus had a flat tire that they fixed in about 30 minutes, and we were on our way. We got on the airboat, and the weather was cold for Florida, so gators weren't too active. We did see a few. I liked the airboat trip, but it could have been longer. We were at the airport well before 2:00pm. TIP # 10: If you have a lot of time to kill before your flight, there is a nice little 'park like' seating area outside, across from the main entrance. There are benches to sit on, and catch some sun, or read. Inside the terminal it's pretty hectic, and hard to find seating. LABADEE A really nice place to spend the day. This is a tender port, but the tenders are huge. The line really does move quickly. We did the Waverunner tour here, and it was great! The water was pretty rough, so it was hard to go wide open. Lots of fun. The rest of the day was spent eating the BBQ, and swimming at Hideaway Beach. The Haitian Market here is IN YOUR FACE shopping at it's finest. There is loads of nice stuff to buy, but they will try everything to get you to buy something. Use your bargaining skills, and don't be afraid. They are nice people, but they REALLY want you to buy. If you like hand carved things...this is the place to buy. TIP # 11: There is a little tram to take you around the peninsula, but it never seems to come by. You may end up walking everywhere, but the walk is not really as long as it looks. Bring lots of sun block...this place is HOT, HOT, HOT! You can use your soda sticker here too. OCHO RIOS, JAMAICA: We booked a tour with Peat Taylor, but he was not our guide. I never saw him. Great tour...but we did not beat the crowds as promised. We waited for 20 minutes in a building outside the ship while they got the bus. Then waited in the bus for 45 minutes in the parking lot for 2 people that didn't show up. I think they went fishing for others to take their place...and found some. I felt a little deceived, and we did not beat the huge crowds of people. We also had to wait over 20 minutes in a downpour for the bus to pick us up at the falls when finished. The falls are very fun to climb. The rest of the tour was very nice. The fern gully was a nice drive, and we asked to go see the Fire Dept, as there were 3 U.S. Firefighters on the tour. (me included) His other tour bus made the falls before the crowds, and they were very happy with the tour. I was still very satisfied with the experience, although disappointed at what had happened. He dropped us off at Island Village for shopping, and MARGARITAVILLE! What a great place. Beach, bar, restaurant, water slide, pool, hot tub, dancing, gift shop, and a great party atmosphere. A perfect end to the day, at the swim-up bar! TIP # 12: If you are paranoid about Jamaica, go to ISLAND VILLAGE. It is a gated area of shopping, where the sales are NOT AGGRESSIVE. You shop in stores like in the US. You may not get to bargain, but it is not IN YOUR FACE shopping. There are a couple stands in the center where you can bargain with the locals. You can get JABLUM BLUE MOUNTAIN COFFEE here for about $13 US per LB. GRAND CAYMAN: Nativeway Watersports is a great tour company that takes you to STINGRAY CITY and CORAL GARDENS to snorkel. Excellent tour and crew. The interaction with the Stingrays is priceless. Coral Gardens is really beautiful. Very nice coral and fish everywhere. I took a different tour of STINGRAY CITY in 1999, but Nativeway was much better. I even bought the video they filmed for us! Everyone on this trip really thought Nativeway was GREAT! They took us to 7 Mile Beach, and dropped us off at Royal Palms Hotel. This is a nice section of beach, with cafe and bar, Waverunner rentals ($65 per half hour), or you can have your hair braided. Admission is $3 per head, and taxi fare to tender dock is $3 per person. COZUMEL: We took a taxi to CHANKANAAB NATURE PARK. We got big van-taxis for our large group, and they charged us $13 US for the ride, which included the ($10) admission fee. The park is very nice, with an excellent beach. (look for iguanas all over the place) The restaurant food was great, and drinks are plentiful. (try the one in the pineapple!) The wind was VERY strong that day, and snorkeling wasn't allowed until the seas calmed down. Lots to see out there. They even put some statues and such out there to find. We taxied downtown for shopping, and then hit CARLOS & CHARLIES for some refreshments. This is a fun but WILD place! Kids are allowed in, but the behavior is a little wild and risquE, so be prepared. We had a great time, and taxied back to the shopping area near the ship. We hit ½ SENOR FROGS there. Another fun place. Be prepared to drink some shots! (like it or not!) Needless to say, we were feeling no pain when we got back on the Navigator for sail away! TIP # 13: At C & C, they will come around and blow a whistle behind you. Then they tilt your head back and pour a shot of (Sex on the Beach) down your throat, shake your head, and grab you where you don't expect it. It's pretty funny, so bring a camera! (and your wallet. Shots are $3 each!) SEA DAYS: This is a great time to sun or go to the SPA. Relax away the hectic pace of the island stops, and listen to the Steel Drum band on deck. Yes...people still hog deck chairs, and block your view. Don't get discouraged...there's always somewhere to sit to enjoy. TIP # 14: Go to the CORONA DECK PARTY! It's a lot of fun, drinking and dancing under the stars. There is also a big buffet on deck, CORONA beer, and drink specials. Let loose and DANCE! DISEMBARKATION: Very smooth and easy. I love the baggage carousel! I really hated the old method, wading through a sea of suitcases. It helps to mark your cases distinctly. TIP # 15: Regardless of what RCI tells you, there is currently an American Airlines bag check in at the pier. Each person over age 18 must fill out there own CUSTOMS FORM. Do it in the line, and they get mad! Have ALL forms, and ID ready! HIGHLIGHTS: Sunsets Sky watching Sound of the sea from the balcony Steel Drum music on deck Walking around the ship the first time in awe Standing on the bow of the ship Sail away parties & the CORONA deck party! LOWLIGHTS: The coffee Getting off the ship after a week! CONCLUSION: I think the VOYAGER CLASS ships are great. They have something for everyone. There are a lot of people aboard, but it only feels crowded during meals, or getting off/on the ship. (same as any other ship) There is so much you can do; a week is not enough time. Don't try to do it all, just enjoy what you are doing! No Problem Mon! Read Less
Sail Date December 2003
Okay, being 16 (15 at the time of the cruise) I can tell you how it will be from a kid's point of view! I LOVE RCL! And so do my parents! It's our favorite line..and the Nav is our all time favorite ship and favorite cruise! My ... Read More
Okay, being 16 (15 at the time of the cruise) I can tell you how it will be from a kid's point of view! I LOVE RCL! And so do my parents! It's our favorite line..and the Nav is our all time favorite ship and favorite cruise! My parents have been on 15 cruises and I my 13 yr. old brother and I have been on 5. The Navigator is the ultimate ship if you want all the adventure and a real kid-oriented experience. They have everything--a rock climbing wall, mini-golf, roller blading, inside ice skating rink, and a fabulous kids program! Of course, it's not just the kid's program that i enjoyed! I loved the BIG ship. It was like a small city floating in the middle of the ocean. Embarkation--FABULOUS! We got at the pier around noon and it was pretty much smooth sailing. There were two mega ships and we weren't sure which one was the Navigator, so we went to the wrong terminal and the staff was quite rude. Other than that, once we found which way to go, we went in a short line and then it was on the ship in no more than 10 minutes. Walking on the ship is just a gorgeous sight! We were greeted by friendly-staff and the kids program counselors that handed us an itinerary of events and told us about what we could do on the ship!! We headed to our rooms (balcony on deck 7, my brother and I got a connecting room to my parents..we got a good deal but booked 13 months in advance to get it!) and check it out, then headed to the buffet and then walked around the ship, amazed! Food and Dining---We LOVED Johnny Rockets which was right by the teen rooms and the arcade! They sold burgers, fries, shakes (you have to pay extra for shakes) and a whole 50's theme. The staff in J.R. was kind of rude the few times just me and my brother walked in to grab a burger...but other than that the food is awesome there! We(including my parents) loved the Windjammer (is that how you spell it?) A good variety of foods for any person...but it was usually so crowded you couldn't find a table. The dining room was absolutely gorgeous! We asked to be seated at a table for 4, but were seated with a french couple with the worst behaved kid I've ever met! He would scream at the top of his lungs, take the knives and throw them, and walk over to other tables and grab their napkins and forks. But other than that, our waiter was excellent and very, very friendly! The food was pretty good...I didn't go to the dinning room more than three times (rather have dinner with my new friends and our awesome counselor!) But my parents went every night and they absolutely loved the service and the food. The only thing I didn't like about the dining room was they have windows all along the walls so you can see the smooth ocean floating by, but the drapes were always closed. Service---Overall, the service was EXCELLENT! Everyone was always happy to help you out and get you whatever you needed. The only disappointing thing is being a kid, some are quite rude and just ignore you or brush by. People opened the doors for us to the pool and everything! Cabin---We got 2 oceanview balcony staterooms and they were excellent. Closet space was more than needed and the bathroom was bigger than usual. There wasn't a lot of walking space. The balcony was my favorite part of the room! Very relaxing and peaceful. Our stewart was awesome! Always TWO mints on our pillows and they always made us animals out of the fresh towels and laid them on our pillows and used my sunglasses as shades for the bunny! The room was always kept clean and neat. Pool---I love the pool area and the hot tubs! There were plenty of hot tubs (which were huge) and the pool was nice (always too cold though). There were plenty of deck chairs, but then again, there were plenty of passengers! So, it was hard to find 3 or 4 deck chairs for us all to enjoy. There were barrels of fresh, folded beach towels right by the sliding doors on each side, and a pool burger and fries bar! (One of my favorite things!) There was always a live band playing, and while they took a brake, they played all different types of music. The solarium was nice too, didn't spend too much time in there except with my parents (kids aren't allowed unattended), but being 15, I wasn't yelling and screaming, just enjoying time with my mom on a beach chair. Shops/public areas---The mini-mall in the middle of the ship is AWESOME! They have several bars and little night clubs you can go into right from the mall (which I only saw the day we got on when it was empty) but there was one mini-club that looked so cool. At the doors are medieval knight armour and you enter and go down stairs and its a cool mid-evil theme! I was upset they didn't have themed kid/teen rooms like that! But, anyway, back to the mall...there were shops and then little shops which had 24-hour service of pizza and cookies (free) and then coffee drinks (not free). The other shops always seemed to be crowded, but they sold candy and snacks(chips, gum, etc.), which I've never seen being sold on a ship before. Kid Program/arcade---"The living room" is just 1 of the teen rooms! "Fuel" is the other for ages 15-17 and "the living room" was from 12-14. My brother was 12, so I decided to stay with him. I spent almost all my free-time in the teen room or the awesome arcade! The kids rooms are all right next to the pool, but up a deck. In "The living room" they have a little bar with pizza and soft drinks (not free unless you buy a soda card..which is really worth the $20!) and three TV's that played music videos, a computer area (25 cents per minute, but its 50 cents per min for adults) and just an awesome hang out area with couches and funky chairs! Fuel has a dance floor and a d.j. booth and then a private deck outback where they have parties. We swapped rooms every once in a while. A few activities were: Scavenger Hunts, Hot-tub parties, Ice-skating, rock-climbing, mini-golf game, other games, movie night, Pizza night, Trivia, Club night, etc... The younger kids rooms have video games, computer games (free), etc. The arcade is AWESOME!! It's huge (bigger than arcades at the mall) and it has awesome games. You can have credit on your passenger card for $5, $10, $15+, which makes it easier than using real money or tokens. Overall the kid's program was awesome! And our counselor Judy was the best! I made friends with all of the kids in our group and its very diverse. There was a boy from Columbia (the country) and another from Puerto Rico, and 2 boys from England, and the other kids were from all over the U.S. It was a small group, but we always met up even when it wasn't a scheduled time and just had a blast! Ports---The ports we went to were Grand Cayman, Jamaica, and Cozumel. In GRAND CAYMAN we just walked around---it was so crowded (at least 9 other ships were there at once!) then got back on the ship and went to the pool and had some lunch. In Jamaica we went tubing on this fresh-water river. It was AWESOME! We took a van over to the river (the roads are very poor and curvy!) and got in our life-jackets and tubes. It started to drizzle and the water was a little cold, but it was still an awesome experience! I would not walk around in Jamaica other than the small area of shops by the pier. The people there can be rude and are always trying to sell you drugs and hound you to buy things for their store. In COZUMEL we went to Passion Island. It was very, very windy, which made the air cold. We were met by our guide and the others on the pier early, then were led to an air-conditioned bus and drove about 20 minutes to the little pier. We got on a ferry and drove over the ocean to a gorgeous little island. We had some lunch (mahi-mahi, yum!) which are now my favorite foods and I can't hardly find them in the states! And then there are free beers and lounge chairs, hammocks, and a beach with the clearest water ever! I slept in a hammock while my parents and brother swam and bought a few souvenirs. Overall, our trip was absolutely AMAZING!! The ship was AWESOME and GORGEOUS! My dad, who was scared that the Nav would have nothing but long lines and overwhelming everything, had the best time and looked into booking a cruise on the same ship before the cruise was over! Out of 15 cruises, this one was his favorite and the ship was his favorite also. I love everything about RCL, and I'm looking forward to my next cruise on RCL's Grandeur of the Seas next Friday out of Baltimore! Happy Cruising! Read Less
Sail Date December 2003
NAVIGATOR OF THE SEAS November 15, 2003 Western Caribbean The Navigator of the Seas is one 'BBC!' While a BBC is synonymous with one of Royal Caribbean's signature cocktails, I use it in this context: "Big Beautiful ... Read More
NAVIGATOR OF THE SEAS November 15, 2003 Western Caribbean The Navigator of the Seas is one 'BBC!' While a BBC is synonymous with one of Royal Caribbean's signature cocktails, I use it in this context: "Big Beautiful Cruiseship." Although not perfect, it's as close to perfection as one can get. As mentioned in other reviews on Voyager-class ships, it is a floating city. And, as with cities, it can be a bit crowded at times. This was most noticeable when events were scheduled in the Royal Promenade (downtown), such as the Captain's Welcome Reception, street entertainment and parades. The Promenade is a larger version of a main atrium on smaller class ships - with an assortment of the typical shops found on board most, with the addition of a champagne bar, coffee bar, snack bar, and maybe one or two others I missed. You may purchase alcohol for cabin consumption in the Gift Shop, but there is a $9 per bottle surcharge, which basically means it'll cost about what you pay for it at home. Traffic flow seemed to be very good, even with 3000 people on board, but I was able to get lost/turned around at least several times a day; the children on board did a better job of finding their way. STATEROOM: (category D2 - was a D8 when I booked it). This is a balcony cabin on Deck 8. With every new ship, improvements are made. There is more than ample storage for 2 people for a 7-day, or even a back-to-back cruise. Lots of nooks and crannies. Closets are roomy, with shelving on one side, a bar for hanging, and two fold down bars for added hanging space, if desired. The bathroom shower appears to have more space than most ships, due to the rounded-out sliding shower doors - no more curtain that sticks to the body! There is a shampoos dispenser in the shower. The only disappointment is that RCI has done away with one amenity - lotion - unless you are a 'Diamond Member.' The cabin decor was a combination of soft but bright (if that makes sense) colors and wood. A hair dryer is proved in the top desk drawer. All cabins have safes (you program the code) and mini refrigerators, which is stocked with beverages and snacks. These aren't free! I've heard from various sources, that you should not remove or move these items or you will be charged. Ask your room steward to do it. Stateroom rating: A. FOOD - MAIN DINING ROOM (there are 3 - Swan Lake, Coppelia, Nut Cracker): Again, this is a matter of personal taste (no pun intended). I found the quality better than I expected. Having read others commenting on how RCI has gone downhill in this department, I was pleasantly surprised. There were 4 or 5 entrees offered every evening that included beef, poultry, fish, lamb/pork, vegetarian and pasta. If none of these were to your liking, they also had a steak, chicken breast, salmon and fettuccini Alfredo every night. Live, soft dinner music, either piano or strings, played throughout. Our dining room was Swan Lake, which is the uppermost tier and the brightest. The Nut Cracker was on the first level and was much larger and also had the Captain's Table. We had all of our dinners in the dining room, so I can not comment on the Portofino Restaurant or Chops Grille. Rate it as excellent (A). FOOD - WINDJAMMER AND JADE CAFES: Buffet style, and visited several times for breakfast (opens earlier than the dining room) and lunch. And again, I think for buffet food, it was very good. They had some basics every day but also had many new additions mixed in. One of the better buffets I've had on board a ship in awhile. Rate it as Very Good to Almost Excellent (A-). FOOD - JOHNNY ROCKETS: This is a "must do," "do not miss." It takes all of us older folks back to the 50's and 60's, and shows the younger folks what they missed. Food is free, drinks, except for water, are extra, and you can get the largest glass of beer on the ship - 20 oz - for $3.50. There are booths with nickel jukeboxes and a soda fountain type counter with swivel bar stools (all plastic covered of course), with more juke boxes; lots of chrome, old style napkin dispensers, salt and pepper shakers - the works. It's a step back in time. Oh, yes, the food! The best burgers and (Nathan's) hot dogs served on the ocean! You begin with (what else), 'Starters.' which is a platter of french fries and onion rings, with two dipping bowls - ketchup and ranch dressing. Yes, ranch dressing - I never realized how good fries are with it. There are 5 or 6 variations of hamburgers. Also on the one page menu (plastic coated, of course), are a selection of club sandwiches and chili. Oh, and when there's a real beat tune on the jukebox ("YMCA", "Stayin' Alive," etc.), the waiters and waitresses stop what they're doing and dance to the music. WARNING: The burgers and dogs are very messy - wear something already stained. I had lunch/late lunch here 5 days. Rate it as exceptional (A+). POOL AREA AND SUN DECK: Wow! More cruise lines should follow RCI's lead. You are issued two pool towels in your stateroom, for which you are responsible. Once used, you can exchange them for clean ones poolside, or your cabin steward will replace them that evening. This cut down considerably on 'Lounge Hogs.' The 2 pools seemed small for this size ship, as well as the Solarium pool, but they were never overly crowded and there was always an ample amount of lounges available. Now, if they could only enforce the policy of children not swimming in the hot tubs, I'd probably rate this experience an A. The Solarium pool is for adults only. ENTERTAINMENT: I walked into the first main show, just as it was beginning, and there was not a seat to be had, so I missed it. I went back to drown my sorrow (money) in the casino, which I might add, didn't take too much away over the entire week. Actually, come to think about it, it treated me kindly. The other productions I saw, which was most of them, were very, very good. The Ice Show is another 'Must See.' It's free, but you have to get tickets the day before, because it only seats so many. I didn't catch any of the lounge acts, but what I did see, I'd say was excellent (A). SERVICE: Both the room steward and dining staff were very efficient and pleasant. It was one of the few times we saw our assistant maitre d' every day. The shops' personnel were a little standoffish, but that wasn't a big deal. Rate the service an A-. EMBARKATION/DEBARKATION: Again, RCI has this down to a science. Arrived at the cruise terminal at 11:00am. went to the special check-in for Platinum and Diamond members, on the ship and in my cabin by 11:30am. Was one of the first to be called for debarkation at a little after 7:00am, spent a half hour at the baggage carousal for my luggage, hopped in a cab, and was sitting at my airway gate at Miami International by 8:30am. Initially, I was worried - I had an 11:30am flight. Rate this as superb (A+). ITINERARY: LABADEE, HAITI: One of RCI's private oasises. Probably as close to a total paradise beach experience as one can get. Royal Caribbean keeps updating and improving here, with 4 beach areas, more outbuildings, water toys and activities. It just keeps getting better and better with each visit. OCHO RIOS, JAMAICA: Used this as a 'Sea Day' the past several times, having ported in Jamaica numerous times, both here and Montego Bay, with unpleasant experiences. This time was different - found it to be VERY clean, and the local people friendly and non-aggressive; totally different from the past. James Bond Beach was a recommended beach, but that was a $120 round trip cab ride. We hung out in town and at the Village Island complex - $3.00 admission to their beach. A surprisingly very pleasant experience. GRAND CAYMAN: Another beach day. The cruise line recommended the Beach Club Colony ($3.00pp cab fare) but the taxi driver talked us into going a little further ($4.00pp) to the beach across the street from the Holiday Inn. I'm glad we did. We saw the beach at the Beach Club, and the one near the Holiday Inn was far superior, wider and less crowded. Well worth the extra buck each way. COZUMEL: Was going to be another beach day at Playa Azul, but ended up a light shopping day. Got hung up with an Independence (Revolution) Day Parade, but that was kind of fun. Then headed to our favorite store - Los Cinco Soles. Good quality cotton wear and the least expensive vanilla anywhere, and in lightweight plastic bottles - good gift idea and stocking stuffers. Then down to Bye-Bye - more cotton wear. Between Los Cinco Soles and Bye-Bye, there is a great leather goods shop (quality - brand names) where prices are VERY negotiable. Since I've been to these ports before, I've done the adventuring thing and tours. This cruise was meant to be, and was, total relaxation, from start to finish! I know I skipped a lot of information in this report, and it wasn't intentional. There were just so many things to see and do on the ship that time, and in some cases, space here, does not allow. Overall experience - Excellent (A). If I can be of any help with Information about the Navigator of the Sea, or the ports of call, please feel free to contact me. "The next best thing to cruising is talking about it." Wes Carter (aka mainecruiser) wesnbarb@maine.rr.com Read Less
Sail Date November 2003
Wow....there is no other way to describe Navigator of the Seas. She was in port bow to bow with her sister ship, Explorer of the Seas. Mammoth does not even begin to describe the two ships. We traveled to Miami the day prior to embarkation ... Read More
Wow....there is no other way to describe Navigator of the Seas. She was in port bow to bow with her sister ship, Explorer of the Seas. Mammoth does not even begin to describe the two ships. We traveled to Miami the day prior to embarkation & stayed in a hotel overlooking the port. Arrived at the ship around 10:20 am & were in our cabin by 11:30 am. Took off to rent an Internet modem (which was broken & so was the replacement) then headed to the Windjammer for the buffet. My son had two online classes, so he spent quite a bit of time in the Internet Cafe at 50 cents per minute. Turns out, the Guest Relations Manager gave him a free 15 minute session when he explained about his online classes & the only reason we came on the trip was because they advertised 24 hr. Internet access from your cabin for only $100/week, which is what we thought we would be paying. With over 3,000 on board, the ship never seemed crowded; even on sea days, there were plenty of vacant deck chairs in both the shade for me & the sun for my son. This was a relaxing vacation for me with lots of time spent on the balcony reading. If you can afford it at all, go for the balcony. It was the best ocean-front room I've ever had. Left the balcony door open at night (which turns the A/C off automatically) so we sometimes had to close it til the room cooled a bit. Our waiter, Laura, & her assistant, Christian, were fantastic. They made our dining experience so enjoyable, I looked forward to dinner every night just to talk with them & we had great tablemates. A couple from St. Louis were especially interesting to discuss our day's activities with. The casino was an enjoyable place for me to spend $50 or so, winning $25 of it back. Cafe Promenade was a great place to grab a quick bite & people watch. The iced tea was the best I've ever tasted, whether in the dining room, Windjammer buffet or from room service. We ordered room service several times through the interactive TV. It was prompt & always delivered with a smile, even at 2 am. The only disappointment was our cabin steward. Rudolph may have been new; we only saw him once to speak to him on the first day (well, twice, he did come by on tip night); I had read about other cruisers' experiences with their cabin stewards & was looking forward to talking with him. I didn't even get a chance to ask where he was from, but he did honor a couple special requests so we tipped him the amount the cruise lines recommended. We also ate at Johnny Rockets & liked the food. It was mostly deserted due to it being a port day; we had returned to the ship early. We had to pay for our sodas here. Read Less
Sail Date November 2003
Navigator is a fantastic ship for children and adults. Stateroom: My wife and I traveled with our two teen daughters and family and had great rooms, 2 suites and one balcony room. With the concierge services it made the trip. Very worth ... Read More
Navigator is a fantastic ship for children and adults. Stateroom: My wife and I traveled with our two teen daughters and family and had great rooms, 2 suites and one balcony room. With the concierge services it made the trip. Very worth wild for those traveling with children. Suites are incredible, elegantly decorated with fantastic wet bar area where we entertained and truly had plenty of closet space -- his and hers closets just like home, marble bath, jetted tub, plenty of room and space even for those of us who have to pay extra $$ for our luggage...to get it aboard the plane... Amenities: The casino, dining, and overall ship activities were fantastic plenty to do and for all ages. Terrific for families. Embarkation/Disembarkation: Took a long time and was difficult but worth it. But this is standard for the larger ships with more passengers. This was the worst part of the trip getting on and off of the ship including shore excursions..but the ship makes up for the delays.. Food: Food was great had plenty of everything and the services including those at the buffet -- the "tray to table" service made it a first class experience. The food quality and variety was a great deal for your money, the teens were happy with their choices "American Cuisine" and we had fantastic variety in the dining room with good quality. Entertainment: Fantastic shows, ice shows, Broadway numbers, great variety everyone in the family had a great time at the shows. Casino: Great location and great gaming. The Voyager class is fantastic and RCI as usual is a great value for your money. Read Less
Sail Date October 2003
Let me just start off by saying that this was one of the best vacations that we have ever taken. We started off at the airport in Ft. Lauderdale and met a Royal Caribbean rep. to get us on our transfer to Miami. One of the nicest men we ... Read More
Let me just start off by saying that this was one of the best vacations that we have ever taken. We started off at the airport in Ft. Lauderdale and met a Royal Caribbean rep. to get us on our transfer to Miami. One of the nicest men we have ever met. VERY well organized also. We got down to the port in Miami and we saw a loooong line. We thought "here we go" but surprising, the line moved VERY quickly downstairs (showing our passports to up to check in) We got up the escalator and again...VERY well organized. I think that we waited on line for a total of maybe 3-4 min tops. The reps placing travelers with a rep at the counter and the reps at the counter were very good. The whole process was extremely quick and we were on the ship in no time. Oh, and about a week prior to the sailing, we were able to get an upgrade to a better class room. (this will come in to play in a bit. There was a purpose for that statement). We went to our room and were very pleased with it. We got upgraded from an interior to an oceanview. It was in the front of the ship on deck 6(There was more room than a usual oceanview). The old room was on deck 8 all the way in the back. One of the only problems (complaints) that we had on this ship were that they did not transfer luggage. They said that it would be all taken care of and it turns out that our luggage was sitting in front of our old room and they did not transfer it. We were VERY late for our first dinner because we had no clothes and had to chase down our bags. This was my wife's first cruise, so she really didn't know what to expect. We went to dinner and were extremely happy with the variety, selection and quality of the food. The dining staff that we had throughout our cruise could not have gotten any better. They were outstanding. The first day was a day at sea. What a way to start a cruise. The cruise goes by so fast and with a day at sea to start makes the cruise seem longer and you really get to know the ship the first day. Especially given the size of it. We went to the spa and had a couples morning there. Very much recommended. Really relaxes you and starts off your week right. And then we just relaxed the rest of the day and enjoyed the ship. Our second day we were in Labadee and what a beautiful island. We did the waiverunner experience and that was so much fun. Highly recommended. We also did some snorkeling but there were no fish to be found. But, the mountains and landscape there was just so beautiful and relaxing. Great private island! The third day we were went to Ocho Rios Jamaica. If we never went back there that would be fine with me. It was on the itinerary and we thought that we it would be a great place to see. When we got there the locals were EXTREMELY pushy and VERY, VERY RUDE!!! I am a big guy and did not feel safe there at all. All they did was try and sell you "smoke" (if you know what I mean)and 2 of them even pushed me when I was polite about it and turned them down. The cruise shopping specialists were right though about watches. I found a great dive watch that I always wanted for over half the price as found in the states...so that was a HUGE bonus. The one place that you can go is the shopping area as soon as you get off the ship and through the security gates on the island. There is a Jimmy Buffets and ALOT of shopping. NO LOCALS are allowed in there. Makes for a very pleasant shopping experience. The sales people in all of the shops were also extremely knowledgeable and very nice. Also..very willing to haggle. Day four was Grand Cayman Island. I didn't think that islands got any more beautiful than this until I went to Cozumel but I will get to that next. Grand Cayman was extremely clean, beautiful, nice. The people were very nice there. Not a single worry. You could have walked the streets at 3am in the morning and felt very safe. We cannot wait to go back there again. We did the submarine excursion and that was really cool. Saw lots of fish. The guides in the submarine were very nice and knowledgeable. Had an awesome day here. Didn't want to leave. Day five was Cozumel, Mexico. We were very skeptical about this island because of stories that you hear and pictures that you see of Mexico. Quite the contrary....this was the most beautiful islands that we have ever seen. We had so much fun here. The views were amazing, the shopping was good, you can haggle pretty good here to. The locals were extremely nice and courteous. They would ask you to come into their shop and if you said no thank you, they would say thank you and have a nice day. Cannot wait to go back here either. Went back to the ship kicking and screaming. Did not want to leave here. FYI - we found out later on that if you go and listen to a hotel talk about time shares for an hour, you get free transportation all day to and from town, free food and drinks all day at there resort and free beach access across from there resort. No pressure either. We will do that next time. You spend enough on cruise extras that this would be a welcomed thing. Day 6 was a full day at sea again. What a way to end the cruise. Another relaxing day of doing nothing. Did the spa again. They had specials going and we took advantage of them. By the way, we forgot to mention the cabin steward. He was great!!! The room was always immaculate, anything that we asked for was always in there right away. He was great! Even all of the cabin stewards in the hallways were always nice to you and joked around with you. They were not even getting money for a tip from you and they were just so nice. Real pleasant atmosphere to be in. I read in another review of a different ship and this is true....brings LOTS of extra money. Pictures, excursions, spa, bar etc. There is alot included and there is also a bunch not included. On the ship, all of the extras were great. The rock climbing wall, miniature golf, Johnny Rockets, shows, entertainment, spa, gym....the list just keep going on. We knew what we wanted from a ship and that is why we picked the Navigator but there was even more on there than we read about and ever imagined. We cannot wait to go on it again. Everything was TOP NOTCH!!! Bravo Royal Caribbean!! VERY MUCH looking forward to our next cruise with you. Any questions at all, please feel free to contact me. Will be more than happy to help you out with any questions you may have. Read Less
Sail Date October 2003
This Ship and her crew were above and beyond our expectations by far. I have booked another cruise on her sister ship the Adventure of the Seas, I can not wait to go. The aft cabins are the best sunset views when heading east and sun ... Read More
This Ship and her crew were above and beyond our expectations by far. I have booked another cruise on her sister ship the Adventure of the Seas, I can not wait to go. The aft cabins are the best sunset views when heading east and sun rise when headed west, WOW that was awesome. When you think of high class cruising this ship really moved the bar up several notched. I knew RCCL was good but now as my name states I am a true FAN of RCCL and the Voyager Class ships. All of the ports of call were great and the crew was fun and helpful in deciding what tours to take. The shopping advice we received on the ship allowed me to know I could dicker for a price on a chess set in Mexico, and I did, the price started a $90 US, and I got it for $39 US with both the chess pieces and the checkers pieces. The ICE Shows on the ship need to be seen, if you feel you must miss something on this ship do not let it be the ICE Shows. Disembarkation was very smooth, fast and friendly with the ship and US Customs. The only bad thing I could add is that my cruise ended and I was thinking I would love to live on that ship full time. Really nothing in any way was bad, the Dinner Table service staff "Eskra" and her "YUMMY YUMMY TIME" (dessert for those that do not know her) was a truly fun time and looked forward to by all at our table. Read Less
Sail Date September 2003
I would have to say that my experience on the Navigator of the Seas was one of the most memorable vacations I've ever had. My husband and I booked this cruise to celebrate our anniversary and this was truly a great experience. We were ... Read More
I would have to say that my experience on the Navigator of the Seas was one of the most memorable vacations I've ever had. My husband and I booked this cruise to celebrate our anniversary and this was truly a great experience. We were first time cruisers and weren't sure exactly what to expect. We had been to all-inclusive resorts before, but this was even better. From day one we were given top-rate service by everyone. From the bartenders and the dining room staff, to our room attendant, we can't say enough about this experience. One of the best bartenders aboard this ship is Adrian in the Boleros Lounge. From the night we met Adrian, he would greet us by name everytime we would stop by. With thousands of passengers on this cruise, we thought this was amazing that he would remembers us by name. He was also fun to be around and took the time to tell some stories and laughs. Our dining experience was also exquisite. Our waiter, Jorge, from Portugal was great. He took the time to speak to us about some of his experiences aboard this ship and others. He gave us some great tips for our shore excursions also. He is definitely one of a kind. One of the things we noticed about our cruise was the how clean everything was kept. We didn't see one speck of dirt or dust anywhere on this ship. If we hadn't known this ship was over 1 year old, we would have thought it was brand new. It is a beautifully decorated vessel and definitely well designed. Some things not to miss on this cruise would be the ice show, and the nightly entertainment. We couldn't wait each day to find out what kind of show would be in the theater. The shows were very professional and entertaining. Overall, I would say this was the best vacation we ever had. Although we were traveling alone, we met some great people. We have two children that we will be bringing on the next cruise. We are all looking forward to it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2003
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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