2,366 Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Cruise Reviews

We cruised over the Christmas holiday with our two adult children and their spouses. Everyone had a very good time and we would do it again. (We have been on several cruises in the past but this one was the first over a holiday and it was ... Read More
We cruised over the Christmas holiday with our two adult children and their spouses. Everyone had a very good time and we would do it again. (We have been on several cruises in the past but this one was the first over a holiday and it was a great way to get the family together for the holiday and enjoy an adventure together.) RCI has done a nice job in redecorating the public areas and rooms – very pretty. We booked a junior suite on the tenth deck for us, and outside cabins on the seventh deck for the kids. We have always booked junior suites on past cruises and I was concerned about the cabins the kids had, but they were wonderful! I still prefer the junior suite because of the extra amenities (early boarding, bathrobes, etc.) and the balcony, however I was impressed that the outside cabins were as nice and roomy as they are. The room stewards for our cabin and our adult children’s cabins were all fabulous, as always, on RCI. “Gift” orders on the RCI website for the cruise were hit-and-miss. My son’s in-laws ordered items for all of us, and a special package for their daughter and our son in celebration of their 2nd anniversary and not all of the items (such as the champagne) arrived. The “gift” items are very expensive to begin with and to not have items show up as ordered was a big disappointment. We used “My Time Dining,”, scheduling dinners around shows and busy excursion days, as worked best for our group. For some reason we were unable to schedule dinner times through the RCI website until just a few days prior so some time slots we wanted were not available. We tried to rectify the problem with the help of RCI Customer service, spending many hours with several customer service reps, however they could not figure out what was wrong, and could not book reservations for us either. We were very disappointed in that because we’ve had great success with My Time Dining reservations on previous cruises. Wondered if something was wrong with their web design…. We dined at two of the specialty restaurants – Izumi and Chops – and other than the fact that we were unable to make reservations on-line and had to wait until we were on board – the experiences and food were very good. The food in the Windjammer is reasonably good with a lot of variety so there is something for everyone. The Dining Room food was good – although we felt it was not as good as it had been on past cruises and we wondered if RCI had lowered the quality a little. The service was spectacular – the waiters, assistant waiters and the wine steward (who was an adorable young women with a great sense of humor!) The shipboard entertainment was terrific. We especially enjoyed the Ice Dancing Show and the Headliner Show featuring James Stephens III, a comedian who had us laughing through the entire show. The Christmas holiday seemed to have fully penetrate the ship which was dressed in a very festive mode with a huge Christmas tree on the Promenade deck – providing a wonderful place for family photo ops. The entire staff and our fellow passengers all seemed to be enjoying the holiday spirit and were more than pleasant. The ship was full (3,500+ passengers) with many multi-generation family groups. For the most part this was not a negative with the exception of a few families who let their young children run rampant causing problems in some hallways, stairs, and with all the buttons pushed in the elevators (because they thought it was funny). Most parents were very responsible so the problem was limited to less than a dozen kids.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Navigator of the Seas, December 21 – 28, 2014 Route: Seven day cruise: Galveston-Cozumel-George Town-Falmouth-Galveston. 1. General Comments: A pleasant Christmas cruise. We are regular cruisers and were last on this ship in August. ... Read More
Navigator of the Seas, December 21 – 28, 2014 Route: Seven day cruise: Galveston-Cozumel-George Town-Falmouth-Galveston. 1. General Comments: A pleasant Christmas cruise. We are regular cruisers and were last on this ship in August. Purpose of this cruise was to just RELAX. We booked a junior suite on the ninth deck. Details below. We also used “My Time Dining,” and it worked despite a hiccup (below). The entire top level of the three level dining room was for this type of dining. We had the same wait staff for the entire week. Ordering “gifts” on the RCL website for the cruise were hit-and-miss. First, orders cannot be made totally on-line. You look at the website and either phone an 800 number, or print off an order form and fax it to RCL. Our order for a bottle of champagne to be served in the dining room on a specific day worked perfectly. Our order for a two-foot tall Christmas tree from the flower section of the website went no-where. In my first phone call, the clerk could not bring up the item on her computer screen. She finally gave up and told me to try later. In my second call a few days later, a different clerk was able to bring up the tree on his screen, but then he put me on hold. On his return, he told me the tree was “sold out.” Our cruise agent was equally unsuccessful to make an order. Our assumption is that the little tree was not available in Galveston, and RCL just did not want to admit that it could not supply it. 2. Embarking: We left our Galveston hotel at 10:30. Despite detour traffic throughout downtown due to a walk/race in progress, dropping my wife and bags at the terminal, parking the car, taking a shuttle, getting through security, and checking in, we were on board around 12:15 and in our cabin by 1pm. Suitcases appeared at our door before 2pm. 3. The Navigator of the Seas: The junior suite is the way to go. Plenty of space, and plenty of storage space, including a walk-in closet. Suitcases fit well under the bed. A tub shower in the bathroom. The cabin has a small safe and a small refrigerator (never used it). There is a TV that receives movies, CNN (International only), ESPN, shipboard activities, and other channels. You get a daily planner in your cabin the night prior. You need to read it carefully as there are very few announcements on the PA system. While you get a daily planner, there is no newspaper. You have to get your news from the TV. It takes a while to get a handle on what is where on the ship. Maps and interactive “help” panels are at each elevator lobby. There is a large children/teens area and programs for them. 4. Meals: Food in the Windjammer buffet - which almost everyone uses for breakfast and lunch - is good. There are plenty of choices at both meals, and you can eat as much or as little as you want. It is a bit hurried, though, and not a place for a slow meal. The dining room’s food was good but not imaginative. The Christmas turkey dinner was fine, but certainly nothing special. We only used the dining room for dinner, although it is available with open seating at breakfast and lunch. Food portions are of respectable size, and if you don’t try to eat all the courses everyday, you should not do bad weight-wise. Wine steward duties were handled by our assistant waiter. This meant having to tell him what we wanted by the item number on the wine menu. Arranging My Time Dining on-line was a pain. For the longest time, the dining page on the RCL website did not work. The website posted an apology; even our cruise agent was only told that there were “computer problems.” Only on December 10 was our agent able to get My Time Dining time for us – 6:30 – as our requested time of 7PM was not available (!). We were advised to try to change the time after boarding. We did, and the staff person handling the times very quickly and efficiently adjusted our reservations to the closer time of 7:15. That this could not be handled on-line remains a puzzle. We had made reservations on-line for the Izumi specialty restaurant. A very pleasant meal with good tempura and sushi. There are other food outlets around the ship as well as a goodly number of bars including a pub, and a wine shop. You cannot go hungry or thirsty. 5. Dressing for meals: For this seven day trip it was two formal, and all the rest casual. Formal attire for men appears to be defined by age: seniors are in tuxes or suits; next generation is in jackets and maybe a tie; youngest generation is in pants, shirt, and tennies. Maybe it’s time for RCL to drop the “formal” category. 6. Fellow Passengers: As this was a Christmas cruise, the ship was full (over 3,500 passengers). There were many large multi-generation family groups, both from the US and Latin America. There were a few announcements reminding parents they were responsible for their children’s behavior, indicating there were some issues. 7. Shore Excursions: A word of advice: make your shore excursion reservations on-line! Otherwise you will either have to use the not-so-user-friendly on board TV system to make your reservations or stand in line at the excursion counter. The on-line billing goes direct on your credit card and not on your shipboard account. If you know the ports of call and want to travel by yourself, then, of course, you don’t need the ship’s tour office. RCL’s tour prices are not cheap; you are paying for the convenience of having the ship organize the tour rather than you doing it after you get ashore. Also, if you obtain your tour through RCL, you have support when there is a problem, eg, the ship will wait for you if the tour is delayed. As the captain announced, “Be on time. If you are not, you will be able to take that rare photo of the departing ship.” As we have been to these ports before, we only poked around the pier areas and otherwise enjoyed the quiet ship. We were six ships in Cozumel, and we were another six ships anchored at George Town. George Town was especially crowded with cruise passengers. We were the only ship in Falmouth. 8. Shipboard entertainment: The ship has a daily schedule full of activities for all tastes including the surf rider, the rock climbing wall and the ice skating rink. We did not see any of the shows. The casino was of good size and the payoffs did not seem to be much worse than Las Vegas. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to have your picture taken by the ship’s photographers--pricey, but a good souvenir. There are various venues for night owls. Sing-alongs with Phil Anderson in the Schooner Bar are always popular with C&W fans. The former separate library and card room are now merged into one, resulting in many card and domino games being played and very few books on the shelves. Want to read on this ship? Bring your own material. 9. Tipping: Not a problem if you sign up for the recommended amounts (for cabin steward, waiter, asst waiter, and head waiter). The amounts are charged to your shipboard account, and the tips are taken care of electronically with the staff. If you use My Time Dining, you will be billed the full tip amount when you book your cruise. You only need to tip separately (cash) the person who brings you room service. Your bar bill automatically adds 15 percent. 10. Settling of Accounts: During your cruise, anything you purchase on board is punched into a computer; you sign one copy of the ticket and you receive a copy. You can track your account on the ship’s TV channel. On Sunday morning you receive a paper final statement of your account. 11. Disembarking: On Saturday you will receive luggage tags with numbers. You also receive a sheet of paper telling when that number will be called for disembarking and where you have to be waiting in order to hear the announcement when your number can leave the ship. Your bags have to be out by 11PM, breakfast is early, and you have to be out of your cabin by around 8:30 and in your designated waiting area. Again, you will only hear the announcements in the waiting areas. This cruise turned out to have the fastest disembarkation we have ever gone through in Galveston. We left our departure waiting lounge at 8:40 (20 minutes early) and were out of the customs and immigration hall with our bags at 9:20. We drove out of the parking lot at 9:35. Texas Taxes: After going through immigration and customs, we did stop at the Texas TABC table to declare our one bottle of booze. We paid $3.75 ($3 administrative fee and 75 cents tax), received a tax sticker for the bottle and were on our way. 12. If anyone has questions, send me an e-mail at LTC519@satx.rr.com. Fred Groth San Antonio, TX   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was our 4th cruise on RCCL and by far, the best organized one. There was no confusion as where to go or when. There was no overcrowding for any of the events on board. I was a little disappointed with the shows. In September, on the ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise on RCCL and by far, the best organized one. There was no confusion as where to go or when. There was no overcrowding for any of the events on board. I was a little disappointed with the shows. In September, on the same ship, the shows were much better. The food was about the same & most of the time still warm by the time it arrived to our table. This was the first time we chose "my time" dining and it worked great. We loved the excursions offered in Roatan & Cozumel. In Roatan, We did the Tabyana beach and the coral reef was a short distance from the shore. Then, in Cozumel, we did the catamaran snorkel & beach break. Had fun there too but I must admit that the sand was like quicksand so getting in & out of the water was difficult for someone with bad knee's. We had a balcony room. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This is the fifth cruise on the Navigator and with the renovations she looks great. We stayed in a balcony at the stern which was a first. Loved the extra lounge chairs and the larger deck room but was a long walk to everything. Was ... Read More
This is the fifth cruise on the Navigator and with the renovations she looks great. We stayed in a balcony at the stern which was a first. Loved the extra lounge chairs and the larger deck room but was a long walk to everything. Was terribly disappointed to see they quit having the waiters sing for us and also that we could not have a set dining time (not my time). My mother is hard of hearing so I enjoy talking and meeting others during the dinner time and many times we had to sit alone. Our ports of call were great except I did not care to get off the ship at Cozumel with 8 cruise ships at port. I had been there many times before so no great loss. On the other hand, Belize Zoo was fantastic and a 2 tank dive in Roatan was Awesome with Sun Divers (only 5 of us and no other divers at the sites). It is too bad that RC has gone heavy into pushing all their pay extra activities. I kind of felt like they really are over doing that and need to back down. I am not on vacation to be pushed but to relax and make my own decisions. We did not dine at any of the specialty restaurants and did not feel the need to. The food was great on board and the service fantastic. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We were very excited to join the royal loyal following of RCI only to be met with disappointment after disappointment on this, our first (and possibly last) cruise with RCI. This was not only the Christmas cruise but it was our honeymoon ... Read More
We were very excited to join the royal loyal following of RCI only to be met with disappointment after disappointment on this, our first (and possibly last) cruise with RCI. This was not only the Christmas cruise but it was our honeymoon as well. A few highlights: 1) Our a/c was not working properly and our room never fully cooled. They tried to fix it - once - but it did little to alleviate the problem. Actually, the whole ship was overheated - we were sweating at dinner, walking in the halls and for SURE in the un-airconditioned elevators. 2) Service was sub-par. Our server was exceptionally awful and rude and eventually just 'left the ship' when we docked in Jamaica (his home country). Room service attendant sighed at me and argued with me (claiming they had NO salads with chicken on them, which was untrue and she later realized), etc. 3) Food was disgusting. Greasy, bland, cold....even the 'grilled' chicken left a grease film on our plates. They also close all dining options at 9 unless they're paid restaurants, and the room service menu is very limited. 4) Limited hours - of everything. Instead of a carefree vacation we felt strapped to timetables the whole time. 5) The TV booking system didn't work correctly which caused us to miss our excursion. 6) Little decoration for Christmas on this, the Christmas Cruise. The best part? Disembarking was quick with the self-serve option. All you have to do is schlepp your own stuff and have a US Passport and you're homefree! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was our second cruise out of Galveston. If you are not from Texas this port is very expensive to go through. We live in Indiana, we flew into IAH airport. Getting to the Galveston terminal from IAH is very expensive. After checking ... Read More
This was our second cruise out of Galveston. If you are not from Texas this port is very expensive to go through. We live in Indiana, we flew into IAH airport. Getting to the Galveston terminal from IAH is very expensive. After checking all of the options, we rented a car and had to pay to leave it at the terminal, cost for all was approximately $300. The shuttle and limos were the same amount. The Diamond Club on the Navigator is the best we have experienced during our short time of being Diamond Club members. The staff was wonderful! The bartender makes the best lemon drop martinis!! The appetizers were delicious. Having three drinks added to our sea pass card every day was a new experience for us. These drinks could be used in most places on the ship during the hours of 4:30 pm to 8 pm. Very nice! We enjoyed the people we met in the diamond lounge area, we usually stayed there until dinner. The food in the dining room was probably the best we have had on a cruise for a while. We were going to take our daughter and son-in-law to one of the specialty restaurants, but our kids said the food was so good in the dining room, why spend the extra money. The wait staff in all of the food areas were very friendly and efficient. The windjammer on the first day was a crazy place. My advice would be to avoid the place on the first day. We weren't traveling with children, so this is probably why the windjammer wouldn't be our choice. For the same reason, we chose to have breakfast in the main dining room each morning. Disembarkation was an ugly disaster!! The lines were very long and slow. This was a very disappointing way to end our trip. Galveston really needs to get their act together. Waiting in line for 2 hours was way past reasonable.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We went a group of 9 other people, all of us were family in one way or another. I had a wonderful time! The food was great in both the dining room and Windjammer. All of the crew were very polite, entertaining and helpful. I would have ... Read More
We went a group of 9 other people, all of us were family in one way or another. I had a wonderful time! The food was great in both the dining room and Windjammer. All of the crew were very polite, entertaining and helpful. I would have booked my cruise if my husband would have let me! All of the ports were fun and had plenty of souvenir shopping available as well as lots of snorkling opportunities. I am ready to go again! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
In general is was a very nice cruise. The ships staff were wonderful. They were engaging and very friendly. The ship is very clean and looks great after the refurbishment earlier in 2014. For the most part the passengers were friendly and ... Read More
In general is was a very nice cruise. The ships staff were wonderful. They were engaging and very friendly. The ship is very clean and looks great after the refurbishment earlier in 2014. For the most part the passengers were friendly and enjoying the holiday season. In the main dining room the service was very good. With a waiter and assistant waiter we were well attended to. There was never a delay in courses or the water glass being topped off. The food in the main dining room was ok. The soups were nice and varied. The deserts were good and not too large. The main meals did seem bland to us. Also in our opinion they could not properly cook a baked potato. The specialty restaurants that we tried were very good. We did Chops for dinner one night and Giovani's table for lunch. Both were very good and in our opinion worth the cover charge. We had a balcony cabin and our cabin steward was fantastic. The itinerary was Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Jamaica. All of our excursions, which were booked through RCL, were great. In Cozumel we took the Tulum tour and marveled at the Mayan ruins. In Grand Cayman we took the submarine tour and dove to 100 feet. In Jamaica we did the zip line and bobsled run, this was the most fun of the three. We did have technical issues in the cabin with some of the ships infrastructure but they were eventually resolved by the end of the cruise. All in al it was a very nice cruise that had relaxation and exhilaration. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
It seems RCI is lowering their standards to compete with other lines. Having cruise multiple times with Royal I and my traveling companions were disappointed with the main dining room menu selection. For example there was a time when Royal ... Read More
It seems RCI is lowering their standards to compete with other lines. Having cruise multiple times with Royal I and my traveling companions were disappointed with the main dining room menu selection. For example there was a time when Royal had a surf and turf night and other specialties in the main dining room, no more. This has now been added as an extra with the extra cost. We ate in the specialty restaurant, Chops, a couple of nights and it was excellent as usual. But I don't appreciate being directed to eat there by the lack of choice in the main dining room menu to eat at the specialty restaurants. The wait staff on the pool deck was practically non-existent for most of the cruise. Royal's crew members were using the passenger elevators and Royal Promenade for moving luggage carriers during peak hours. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
One is never too old to learn new life lessons. Our trip to the Caribbean on Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas in December 2014 was another brutal reminder of that. Loved the boat, liked the crew, food was just OK, logistics were ... Read More
One is never too old to learn new life lessons. Our trip to the Caribbean on Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas in December 2014 was another brutal reminder of that. Loved the boat, liked the crew, food was just OK, logistics were poor, entertainment was a mixed bag…mostly focused on a younger demographic. Most readers are probably more interested in the ship, the service, the food, the fellow travelers and the logistics than in the ports visited. Plenty of information can be found online about Cozumel, Honduras and Belize. All are third world countries and all have warts. Travel too far from the luxurious beaches and you will find that out for yourself. Actually, one should do just that. We sailed on the Navigator of the Seas in December 2013, just one trip before it went to dry dock for a much-needed facelift. The results of that undertaking were quite pleasing. The staterooms received a facelift, with new draperies, carpet, sofa, etc. Very tasteful and nicely done. The ship in general was spruced up. It looks good and has been well maintained. Also on the positive side, the crew from last year, which was largely comprised of Eastern Europeans who seemed to have a bad attitude, an inability to smile or to hear a customer request. They have been supplanted by a much improved cast of mixed nationalities. The result is excellent. We never encountered a surly, sullen or morose crewmember on our entire trip! The captain has also been replaced. That too was a positive move. The new master was quite professional, personable, visible and seemed to have things well in hand. Not withstanding the foregoing enhanced crew, we found the service in the dining room to be extremely slow. When we questioned the servers they made it clear to us that Royal Caribbean’s quest for profits has led to a staff reduction, which has resulted in this substandard service. Efficiency and customer satisfaction have been thrown under the bus in favor of profits. Sad. The food was only good, and not at all special. That includes the specialty restaurants like Giovanni’s. We can boast only about two good meals for the week. The selection at the buffet venue had a extensive selection of East Indian and Asian choices, but little good ole American food. The mixed nationality chefs’ attempts at dishes like tacos or biscuits and gravy were a dismal failure. Such food should not be attempted by non-Americans. So… Royal Caribbean gets high marks for catering to the requests of all minorities…except middle aged Americans. Once again…sad. Boarding at Galveston is still a nightmare. It always seems like it is the first time they have ever attempted it, and that it is everyone’s first day on the job. It is simply stunning that such an elementary process cannot be managed better. They need to hire a few former Disney World managers to teach them how to handle crowds and organize a process. The security agents and border patrol staff there always seem dim witted, slow, humorless and clueless about customer service. They are actually entertaining to watch however, as one has no alternative but to submit one’s self to the punishment and folly inflicted by them. And they wonder why people have so little respect for authority these days. Oh well….. The “Expedited Departure” from the ship was nothing short of a rodeo. The crew tried valiantly to keep it organized but to no avail. The 20% who seem to feel privileged by their status, wealth, nationality or race navigate through the process as they wish while the great unwashed masses are left to stand in line politely and wait for their bowl of porridge so to speak. One is reminded of the famous line by Tiny Tim, “please sir, may I have more.” Royal Caribbean needs to hand out numbered or coded passes for this Expedited Departure at the Service Counter, in managed numbers, rather than let folks just show up and add to the mayhem. In short, the focus on “improving profits” not “cutting costs” will probably be Royal Caribbean’s undoing with the mature cruisers. When the guests hear from the crew that they have cut back on staff to improve profits, when the head waiter at Giovanni’s is heard to encourage his staff to sell more wine for profits…nothing about guest service…and when the food quality slips…well…you figure it out for yourself. The most important thing we learned from this experience is that after four attempts over four successive years, taking a cruise out of Galveston during the Holiday Season is a very bad idea! It seems clear that Royal Caribbean has shifted age group and demographic focus on their Galveston based cruises. Younger folks, big drinkers and partiers who spend on excursions and bar beverages have supplanted their interest in older, more experienced and conservative cruisers. No problem with that strategy given that their competition out of Galveston is Carnival and Disney. However, and unfortunately for them, those of us who fit in that “older, more conservative cruiser” demographic will be looking to another cruise line for future bookings. I have had enough!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Nicely redone Public Areas and Rooms - a lot more inside cabins added - which makes me wonder if Royal Caribbean is now trying to compete with Carnival? Note we were very comfortable in our cabins. Food in the Restaurants and Windjammer ... Read More
Nicely redone Public Areas and Rooms - a lot more inside cabins added - which makes me wonder if Royal Caribbean is now trying to compete with Carnival? Note we were very comfortable in our cabins. Food in the Restaurants and Windjammer were a mixed bag - I have found on Princess and Norwegian lines the food was better. Surprised that the Windjammer dining closed early every night - even when we had ports of call - only option then was the cafe on the Promenade - deserts across the board were some of the most lacking along with many of the entrees. Coffee and soups were either good or watered down. Had a smoked chicken appetizer that was sensational. Surprised there weren't more classes - given that it was a holiday cruise - would have been nice to be able to tour the kitchen or have a gingerbread challenge or even pottery painting. Thought I might try the scuba as a first experience but was told that it was an internet pre-register only - no exceptions. Should note there was plenty of holiday music. Got a lot of exercise walking on the track on the top and outside on lower decks, took the stairs, did the flow rider and while I didnt use it - seemed to be a very nice gym. Actually lost weight this cruise - no extra pounds. Entertainment was ok to really good - We enjoyed in particular the Ice Dancin, Broadway, and TheseGuys shows. The Photo Manager and the woman handling all of the omelette requests in the Wind Jammer were really good as were other staff - never saw a feedback from (even asked at guest services who referred me to the after cruise evaluation) - later my wife came across something as we were disembarking we could have used. The one thing that surprised us most - was the spirit of I cant do it. As two examples Waiters who said they had no ability to impact food temperature or specific requests "officially" - for some may have been trying to increase a tip - but for others it was different such as in the Wind Jammer. Guest Services suggested the best way to get something was to go to Captains reception and ask one of the officers - requests were to tour the kitchen or possibility of a pastry class.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We just completed the the Carib loop on the Navigator of the Seas and our general opinion was that the ship is definitely up to the usual RC standards. The food on the cruise was quite good and of very fresh character. The staff was ... Read More
We just completed the the Carib loop on the Navigator of the Seas and our general opinion was that the ship is definitely up to the usual RC standards. The food on the cruise was quite good and of very fresh character. The staff was polite and helpful and ship in general was exceptionally clean. Our cabin was well outfitted and everything therein worked well. There were very few complaints in our group and certainly no major problems. The Navigator has undergone a recent refurbishment, and while the ship basically looks new, it is from a generation where RC was still refining the layout designs. One obvious flaw is layout of the Solarium (our usual adult refuge) where the cross deck traffic goes right through the semi private area. So while kids are excluded from this area there are the occasional noisy group that pass through on their way to the central pool area. Another minor glitch is the abismal onboard internet. With a towering cost in excess of $200 for a one week access it is only slightly faster than dial-up, so get ready for emails with attachments that won't open and super slow searches. Other than the minor issues we would certainly recommend the Navigator as a great place to spend a vacation!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Hubby and I have been trying out different cruise lines to see which ones we liked best and find things on everyone we like!! The Navigator was no different we enjoyed ourselves. Especially like the entertainment in the piano bar along ... Read More
Hubby and I have been trying out different cruise lines to see which ones we liked best and find things on everyone we like!! The Navigator was no different we enjoyed ourselves. Especially like the entertainment in the piano bar along with the attentiveness of the bartenders there. Rooms are nice a little larger than some. Bathrooms a little smaller but they work even the shower that reminded me of a old telephone booth or something... Embarkment was very poor. At least 3 very long slow lines it took about 3 hrs totally unacceptable. Thankfully getting off was a breeze. All in all we had fun Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
RCCL is cutting corners everywhere they can. I guess it is so they can pay for their new mega ships. The entertainment was not up to par compared to other of the 19 cruises we have been on. The food service was not as great as in the past ... Read More
RCCL is cutting corners everywhere they can. I guess it is so they can pay for their new mega ships. The entertainment was not up to par compared to other of the 19 cruises we have been on. The food service was not as great as in the past and the food temperature varied. We had to send several dishes back for reheating. One of the major disappointments was the elimination of the guest talent show. Sometimes that is the best entertainment on the cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was our first time cruising out of Galveston and our first time on the Navigator of the Seas since it's upgrade. Enjoyed the flow rider and the TV screen out by the pool. Our waitstaff and room steward were WONDERFUL! We're ... Read More
This was our first time cruising out of Galveston and our first time on the Navigator of the Seas since it's upgrade. Enjoyed the flow rider and the TV screen out by the pool. Our waitstaff and room steward were WONDERFUL! We're diamond members on RCCL and this was one of the first times that the cafe on the promenade did not server different sandwiches. Every day was the same thing so if you didn't like what they were serving on day one you were out of luck for the rest of the week. The dining room now has shrimp cocktail and escargot on the menu every night. The shrimp was really good. I didn't so much like the escargot as it came to me at room temperature each time. Dipping my delicious bread in the room temperature garlic butter was not pleasant. With the upgrade NOS now has two additional specialty restaurants. There is a Mexican and Japanese restaurant. The Mexican restaurant is an additional $25 and the Japanese Restaurant is a la cart. We saw on the TV in our cabin that the last day on ship all sushi is 25% off so we quickly booked a reservation. We found out later that they will only give you the 25% off if you mention that you saw the add on the TV. The sushi was really fresh. We were told that they get their fish fresh from each port. The views from the restaurant was beautiful. To check out your pictures everything is now digital. They have computer screens for you to scan your sea pass card to check out all your photos. Towards the end of the cruise it was hard to find one that wasn't being used but that's expected. At least you no longer have to hunt your pictures down. Of course, it eliminates someone from walking off with your pictures. Like who does that?????? LOL All in all we did enjoy the ship and the cruise. Disembarkation was a NIGHTMARE!!!!!!!!!! We got off the ship at 9:14am and were still in line to go through customs at 11:00. Needless to say we missed out flight. In all our cruises we have never seen this before. I would definitely recommend for those that don't have their car at the pier to just state in your on-line check-in that you have an early flight so you are in the first group to get off. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Let me began by stating we are veteran cruisers and have cruised on Carnival, Princess, Celebrity, and Royal. We continue to prefer Royal because the crew is happy and there is a mix of age groups aboard the ships. Our last trip was out ... Read More
Let me began by stating we are veteran cruisers and have cruised on Carnival, Princess, Celebrity, and Royal. We continue to prefer Royal because the crew is happy and there is a mix of age groups aboard the ships. Our last trip was out of Galveston in December. We arrived late, around 2:00, and the lines to get aboard were long. It just reconfirmed my goal of arriving at 11:00. Still, the staff did their best and from the bus to the ship only took about 30 minutes. Once onboard we went to the restaurant and reconfirmed our My Time Dining Reservation. We also greeted the maitre dei and told him we were happy to be aboard the Navigator. He remembered us each night and made sure we had a good waitor each night. This time we had an interior stateroom on deck 8 aft. The cabin was large and not claustrophobic as it can be on the older cruise ships. Our stateroom attendant always did his best to keep the room immaculate.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We were on the Navigator 12/07-12/14, 2014. Since being home I have read CC for the week we were on the ship. Sometimes I wonder if we are even on the same ship with some of the others. I have read complaints about no hot water, ours was ... Read More
We were on the Navigator 12/07-12/14, 2014. Since being home I have read CC for the week we were on the ship. Sometimes I wonder if we are even on the same ship with some of the others. I have read complaints about no hot water, ours was very good. Some said flooring on balconies was bad ours and all the friends travelling with us were good. We thought the entertainment was good. Food is usually the only issue because it is not the type of food that we normally eat at home, however I like trying new dishes and if we don't like something they are always so happy to bring us something else from the menu. Even something not from the menu. One night my husband didn't like any of the deserts and jokingly he said he would like a banana split. In about 5 minutes there it was before him. The whole table was surprised. The last comment I have is about embarkation and debarkation. We had no problems with either. On the 7th we walked straight through the terminal, security and waited about 3 minutes to get to the counter to check-in. After check-in we walked straight to getting picture taken for sea pass purposes then onto the ship. On the 14th we got off at our appointed time of 9:00 and had no lines in the terminal until we got to customs and we were 3 couples back. The lines were short and moving very quickly. There were others writing that is was horrible and long lines, therefore I sometimes wonder if we were even on the same ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We love Royal Caribbean and cruised on Navigator of the Seas on February 23rd after 4 weeks out of drydock. After a few minor problems and a few comments on the comment card, we decided to give Navigator of the Seas another try and booked ... Read More
We love Royal Caribbean and cruised on Navigator of the Seas on February 23rd after 4 weeks out of drydock. After a few minor problems and a few comments on the comment card, we decided to give Navigator of the Seas another try and booked onboard for turkey week. To us, a vacation is a cruise vacation! Had a beautiful day leaving our home in Cypress Texas for the 1 hour and 15 minute drive to Galveston. We decided that Royal has a reason for asking you to come at a certain check-in time so we decided instead of getting there real early we would abide by our 11:45 AM check-in. In the past, we have always arrived at 10 AM. The first problem we had was 1-45 South to Galveston construction closure. We were not the only ones in this major traffic jam, saw many shuttles, busses, and cars with luggage all in the same bumper to bumper traffic. Couldn't wait to get there. Once past Nasa Road 1, we were anxious to get there. Got to the pier, unloaded luggage, hubby went to parking lot, came back quick, and we immediately went inside. We arrived about 12:20 and were on the ship when the rooms were cleared. Really smooth compared to back in February. We were in room 9610 balcony. The one we picked back at Next Cruise in February so we knew what our room looked liked. One perk about booking on board, find the cabin you want and reserve it. Ronald Holt was our steward. Met us, greeted us in the hall, opened our door, we had ice twice a day, and reminded us about our excursion the night before. Room was always clean. Greatest steward ever. We also WOW ed him. Changes that we found 100% better than February 2014......(1) Bartenders walked around the pool more and took your order. No need to have to go to the Sky Bar all the time. Of course the Skybar was a great hangout. Bartenders there were great and after 1st day they knew your name . (2) Food in the diningroom was fantastic and hot. Recommendations given by our Royal Hostess were fantastic. Big improvement from February. Bar staff took our orders so we always had wine. We had late seating and we always out of diningroom by 9:45 PM. We also gave our waitstaff extra money on the last night because she was so sweet, corgial, and just the best ever. Back in February I did not care for the green sauce on the lobster so this time they brought me the lobster without it. As a matter of fact they gave me 3. All of the food in the diningroom was good and the beef tenderloin and the fish was very appetizing. We also did the specialty restaurants on this cruise. We did Chops in February and did not do it this time. We did Sabor, and the guacamole was so good. Wished we had more. The food was really good. Was so full, I dozed off during the comedy show. We also went to Izumi. Remember that Izumi is a la carte. We enjoyed picking many different dishes to share. Be sure to get the tenderloin that you cook on the hot rock. We also went to Giovanti's table the last night. It was very good as well. We are breakfast at the Windjammer every morning and we were happy with selection. Had our Bloody Mary (Windjammer Bar) they make the best, and got my Starbucks with my beverage package. Just sat by the window, relaxed, and waited for our friends to touchbase. We did eat at the diningroom during breakfast one morning. I found it easier just to go to the Windjammer because you were not rushed to order or to get up and leave. We did eat at diningroom twice during lunch and it was really good. Highly suggest it. Salad bar really good. Last cruise we did Johnny Rockets but this cruise for some reason did not get there. But it sure is nice to just get a hamburger and fries and a milkshake. As for the Promendade café, yes they could do a little makeover in the sandwiches and pizza department. But I had no problem after coming back from excursion and getting a couple pieces of pizza or a sandwich since dinner was at 8:30. Ice Cream on deck also took care of the sweet tooth. Entertainment was good. Our crowd really enjoyed it especially "Quest". Now I know what to bring on next cruise to be able to help participate in this scavenger hunt. Love and Marriage was good also but I think the old married couple already decided they were going to be on the show and had written down there answers. Their answers were exact but it was fun. Ice Skating show was great and we loved the bands. Only problem is when you have late seating you miss some of the dancing. Missed Bubba Feathers dancing most of the time. They really need to put the dancing in the Cosmo Lounge on 14. More room to dance. Baleros is kinda small especially for Bubba. We loved the Rock and Roll Trivia, 80's trivia, in the Schoover Bar but I kinda wished it was in the am because eating dinner or being somewhere had us trying to get there. The activity cruise staff made it fun and enjoyable. Casino is not part of our cruise but we heard if you played the first night you had a good chance of winning so after dinner the first night I put a dollar in Wheel of Fortune slot and won $600.00. That was enough for me. Cashed in and left. Plus it did start getting smoky. Heard reviews about disco etc. There is plenty of dancing, country, rock, dancing with headphones on, etc. Something for everyone. We had a beautiful week on the cruise. Spent time up on top deck watching all of the kids on FloRider, and rock wall. Played putt putt golf, watched the dodge ball and enjoyed our alcohol beverages. Got some great sunshine. As for shopping on board, yes they have the t-shirts for $10.00 on the last day. I like picking up a few and also my clip magnets and emory boards, I do not do the jewelry. Did that a couple cruises ago. We also stopped buying the alcohol on board like on previous cruises. Kinda crazy with all of the people picking up those souveners but you're on vacation. Everyone needs to be flexible. And yes there is only 1 person or 2 in gift shop but be patient and just talk to your fellow passengers. I found out one of them in line lived in the same subdivision. We decided not to take our luggage off and let Royal do it. We had a 9:30 departure time. It was 9:45 when he headed down to customs. I got in line, hubby found luggage no problem. Got in line with me and together we went through customs. Took 45 minutes if that long. No problems. We were on shuttle bus and in our car 10:45. Headed home 45 North and saw the traffic jam again on the other side. What a bummer. Had a great trip and back to reality. Cruising is the best. Nothing is 100%. Yes there might be a few things you do not like but brush it off. We booked again while on board. Best deal ever. Sticking with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
In spite of the rainy and windy weather, the cruise was really great. The crew just couldn't do enough for each passenger. As always the food was terrific. What was most interesting to me was the importance the ship's officers ... Read More
In spite of the rainy and windy weather, the cruise was really great. The crew just couldn't do enough for each passenger. As always the food was terrific. What was most interesting to me was the importance the ship's officers showed to the Cruise Critic group. There were almost a hundred of us Cruise Critic members at the Meet And Greet, and quite a few on the Cabin Crawl and poker catch. I was impressed with the visibility of the ship's Master. I must have seen the captain once or twice every day, usually just chatting with the vacationers, sharing pictures, or walking with the guests - I have not ever seen a Captain so often. The stops we're not all that great. Costa Maya was OK. There was not much to do at Rotan in the heavy rain. But, Cosmel MX was excellent. I took the long trip to Chichen Itsa but there was too little time to enjoy it, and the tour guides were way below par. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This was our third cruise. The second with Royal. We chose it because the ship had just been refurbished and the itinerary was to ports that we hadn't visited before. We flew in to Houston and took the transfer to the port. Bus ride ... Read More
This was our third cruise. The second with Royal. We chose it because the ship had just been refurbished and the itinerary was to ports that we hadn't visited before. We flew in to Houston and took the transfer to the port. Bus ride is about an hour depending on traffic. Embarkation process was very smooth and efficient. The ship is an attractive vessel. It's well laid out and easy to navigate. There were a few problems on the ship. The elevators get very crowded and slow during busy times. The Royal Promenade is a gathering place for shops, bars and onboard activities. It's almost impossible to get through this area during sales, raffles and other activities. During the final sale it reminded me of scenes from Black Friday shopping. The crew was generally friendly and helpful. Although this is the first cruise that we have been on where some crew members don't greet passengers as they pass. In some cases they didn't return greetings. The food was average. The service in the main dining room was excellent. We were on My Time Dining and our waiters, Elias and Agnelo were terrific. We did have an unpleasant experience in Chops Grille. We arrived early and apologized. Another couple came up behind us. The host said, "Please step to the side so I can seat people who have the 'correct' reservations." The other couple happened to have the same reservation time that we did, so he had to seat us. He chose a table right in front of the food distribution area. It was very hot and noisy. (Almost like we were being punished for coming early.) Our waiter was kind enough to move us to a table that wasn't as noisy or hot. My filet was tasteless. All in all, an unpleasant experience. We did ship sponsored shore excursions in both the Caymans and Jamaica. In the Caymans we took a catamaran, the Cockatoo, to Stingray City and got in the water with stingrays. It was a great experience. The crew was great. In Jamaica, we rafted down the Martha Brae River. It was also a very enjoyable trip until the raft captain showed us "hand carved" Calabasas shells that he had for sale. We declined and the rest of the trip was a little frosty. Strangely, every raft captain has identical carvings. Entertainment on the ship was great. We really enjoyed the Ice Dancing show. A minor point that was an irritant to us is the inflexibility of the photo staff. We had out picture taken boarding and at a couple of ports. When we went to purchase the photos, we found that unless you buy the expensive package, you are extremely limited in terms of what is available. For example, the boarding photo is only available in 8x10. we didn't want a photo that size so we couldn't buy it. Disembarkation was as smooth as boarding. This was our first and last cruise out of Galveston. As the Cruise Critic review states, most of the passengers are from Texas. Most of them seem to drive to the port. Flying in to Houston and busing to Galveston is just not convenient. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
I am writing this review as I could not find a lot of info for when we took the cruise so I thought since this is the beginning of the season down there I would give some hopefully helpful clues! Port of Galveston: getting there is the ... Read More
I am writing this review as I could not find a lot of info for when we took the cruise so I thought since this is the beginning of the season down there I would give some hopefully helpful clues! Port of Galveston: getting there is the biggest challenge so I would highly recommend the TransGates Limousine Service of HOUSTON, TX, 77093 (281) 217-0772 they were clean, flexible, well dressed and friendly! My only warning is to book them much later for the pickup on your return trip as getting off the ship and thru customs is a three hour nightmare thanks to RC! The ship in front of us got right off and out but there are very few customs agents for RC and it takes forever to even get off the ship. We were scheduled at 9:30 we exited at 11:00 then had to get thru customs. FYI get a porter to help you they push you right thru! And the TransGates Limousine was patiently waiting for us, thank you to them!! Port of Costa Maya: hmmmm what is RC thinking? The town is a dump filled with hockers and not clean at all! Maybe someday it could be nice. The only diamond in the rough was a place run by an American guy named Steve at Tropicante. http://www.sandalsandskis.com Web Site He is great and the $30 for an hour massage was the best I've ever had! Only 2$ per person by cab to get there, the cabs were safe! Port of Roatan: let me just say Little French Key is the perfect place on the whole trip! Super clean and friendly and the animals are incredible. Great snorkeling and you could really feel safe with kids or we took our older parents and they said it was the perfect place to relax! info@littlefrenchkey.com Port of Cozumel: I don't need to even post a review it is the best snorkeling ever, right off the ship and plenty to do right at the pier! So the second reason I posted this review is because there are great places to go without paying an arm and a leg to RC for an excursion! And make sure you are prepared for possible rain and rough seas! We've been to Alaska and this trip was way more rough on the sea by far. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Service was excellent everywhere. The crew goes out of their way to be friendly ad accommodating. The ship itself is amazing and beautifully maintained. If you are a drinker, make sure and buy "UP" - the Ultimate Package. All ... Read More
Service was excellent everywhere. The crew goes out of their way to be friendly ad accommodating. The ship itself is amazing and beautifully maintained. If you are a drinker, make sure and buy "UP" - the Ultimate Package. All premium alcohol is included, as is Starbucks coffee. At $9-11 USD per drink, you don't have to be a lush to get value from this package. Now the weaknesses: 1. Internet. Horribly slow and grotesquely expensive. If you need Internet, buy the unlimited package. I bought two one hour packages and wasted my money. It can take 15 minutes to log on ad just download some email. 2. Restrooms. They didn't build enough in the public areas. Usually lines in both men's and woemn's. 3. Food in the dining rooms. It is just "OK," nothing special, and feels mass-produced as it is. I actualy found the food in the coffee shop (next to Starbucks) to be the most consistent. The sushi bar is also excellent (but it is a la carte.) 4. Itinerary. I have been on many cruises and generally stay on the ship now. That is especially true in Roatan, Belize and Cozumel -- all not worth the time unless you are going on a tour to do something you like. Otherwise, nothing worth seeing in these places. Overall, I would rate the experience "good," but always leave cruises wondering why I didn't just find a 4 or 5-star all-inclusive and spend less time traveling and more time relaxing. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This is a quick recap of our 2nd consecutive Thanksgiving Cruise on the Navigator. We submitted a review of the previous cruise here: http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=245331 We had such a good time that ... Read More
This is a quick recap of our 2nd consecutive Thanksgiving Cruise on the Navigator. We submitted a review of the previous cruise here: http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=245331 We had such a good time that we decided to do a repeat and invite extended family to join us. In many, many respects our shipboard experience could not have been more similar, including the mediocre weather and the missed call at Grand Cayman as a result. Both were great experiences: the shows, the enthusiastic staff, the dining and the lounge entertainment were equally wonderful. What made this experience different for us was travelling with extended family, changes made to the Navigator during recent refurb and our choice of shore excursions. The opportunity to get together with family was a plus for us, while the changes made to Navigator had overwhelming negative impact. Our shore excursions were very different this time around as they were geared to accommodate ages 15 to 75. First the positives: Having a year to get used to Galveston, the NOTS crew were no longer discombobulated as they were on their first cruise of the season last year, but a broken gangway (one of 2) delayed our embarkation and debark. Our wait staff was awesome: Glen & and assistant waiter Jioa doted over us and made every family dinner an event. The AMD was always present and made sure all of the special dietary requirements of DM were met by presenting her with tomorrow’s menu a day ahead of time so that her meals could be specially prepared. In preparation for China sailings, RCCL has been hiring from China, selecting special crew members such as Jioa who was ALWAYS there at exactly the right time with a gracious smile and whatever we needed. Again, the crew made the most of the opportunity to make Thanksgiving at Sea special when the Cayman call was wiped out, including NFL games on the new Big Screen at the pool. The new flow rider ran flawlessly and was never over crowded. DW thought the removal of the coffee table from the cabin was the biggest improvement as it felt much less cluttered. Perhaps the biggest plus was that we paid $850 less for our two cabins (a D3 balcony and an OV guarantee) – and we booked with almost the exact same lead time (6 weeks out) - and last time kiddos had an inside and this time they had a gigantic window in one of the new cabins on Deck 3. One could argue that the extra capacity installed during the recent refurb (along with NCL and Princess coming to Houston) made this possible, but the extra passengers made the pools, windjammer and promenade feel over-crowded. As to the negatives, one of the two biggies was the plumbing. Both of our cabins had “Bathroom issues.” RCCL defenders will always say it’s something the passengers did – but we had the same issues on two different floors and I doubt that our bathroom “habits” have changed since our last cruise. Most noticeably, several of the public restrooms had a commode or urinal out of order. 23 cruises (including 1 on the Navigator and 4 on her sisters), and this has never happened to us: yet we had it happen 7 times in two cabins including 3 calls from one of the brand new cabins. It would be very difficult to convince me that anything but the extra “butts” were at the root of the problem. I also sincerely doubt that they added any extra bar staff to accommodate the extra passengers after the refurb. It’s also true that more beverage packages are being purchased and it sure seems like RCCL is trying to limit consumption on these packages by limiting service. I gave up trying to get seated service at the casino and the pool and I was not alone. The bars at these areas were SWAMPED – at one point I waited 20 minutes at the bar to get a beer I already paid for! I very much enjoy a glass of wine with my bread and appetizer but did not even see our bar servere until the entrée was served the first two nights. I complained to the Maiter’d and he saw to it to some degree, but even then it was not up to par. This was also an area where my parents were disappointed. They haven’t cruised in 12 years but go to Atlantic City frequently. I put considerable effort in to prepping them for the fact that they would have to pay for drinks in the casino, but they were not pleased at all to have to leave their machine to fetch (and pay for) their own drink at the bar. Fortunately the machines they left did not “hit” while they were waiting, sometimes for as long as 10 to 15 minutes to be served at the bar (and they were not on a package). They also felt the machines were “tight” - but that could just be luck – and the comps are quite pitiful by comparison (a key chain vs a free resort hotel night for the same level of play). We also missed the Dungeon that was replaced by cabins and a Mexican restaurant as well as the back nine of mini-golf course that is was supposed to be where the in-line skating used to be (at least according to the deck plans). No problem with the extra cabins around the Spa, especially since it created more deck space on deck 13 forward: Unsolicited suggestion for RCCL, move the solarium for adults up there and turn the existing solarium in to something for the kiddos as the main pool area was completely over-run. With just two port calls and Grandparents in tow, it was difficult to come up with something that was right for everyone. I feel like we nailed it with Chuka at Falmouth and Chukakannab in Cozumel. Chukka was a jungle mountain resort, with a very lazy river tube ride, zip lines and a nice uncrowded pool. We bought a resort day pass on the dock (that was charged to my sea pass) that included transport and then paid for what we wanted at the resort as we went. Saved a bundle vs the prices on the ship. We had not been to Chukakannab in over 10 years and boy has it grown. Botanical Gardens, sea lion shows and walk in snorkeling for all and Scuba for DS and I, Manatee touch for DW and DD. Just took a cab and paid $22/pp to get in so all could do what they wanted from there. HUGE shout out to the woman at the information desk who recommended Jerry at Booth #3 for scuba. DS and I had never done this and (after a very good, 20 minute orientation) enjoyed our own private experience for over an hour under water that included caves, lobsters and thousands of fish we never would have seen while snorkeling. Just $60/pp (plus a very well deserved tip) to start what might be a very expensive hobby. Too bad Grand Cayman got washed out as we had a nice private charter scheduled for that day. Other random stuff: Pre Cruise we all rendezvoused at the Hampton Inn at the Hobby airport, I flew in from work in Cali, Grandparents and Uncle from NY, and DW and the kids drove up from the border. I originally intended to shuttle everyone to and from there (two 1.5 hr round trips) but in the end I burned some National comp days to park a second car at the pier. Parking rates have gone up due to new surcharges at the pier, but EZ cruise lets you pay less if you walk (after dropping bags at the pier). I love Texas and am proud to call it our home, but they are getting intrusive with what they expect while the ship is in Texas waters (no imported beers served, photo shop closed at 11pm Saturday) plus the duty table on the pier…. None of this is consistent with the business friendly mindset that has allowed Texas to prosper. In summary, we had a great time (even though DS did not win free cruise bingo like he did last time) and feel very blessed to have the opportunity to repeat and share a great experience with our extended family; However, in our opinion, the Navigator is not as good as she was before her $80 million dollar refurb. We’ll wait for a different ship before we cruise RCCL out of Galveston again.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This was my 2nd time on Navigator this year. The first time was in August, a family vacation. This time was a group cruise with about 20 ladies. Both times we truly enjoyed ourselves and loved the ship, but this 2nd time, I was able to ... Read More
This was my 2nd time on Navigator this year. The first time was in August, a family vacation. This time was a group cruise with about 20 ladies. Both times we truly enjoyed ourselves and loved the ship, but this 2nd time, I was able to experience more of the activities on board, such as the various bars, one of the specialty restaurants, and the spa services. We also booked excursions through the ship this time, and those were well organized and so much fun. Let's start with embarkation: I don't know if it was because the bike rally that weekend slowed traffic down, but once we actually made it to the port, check-in could not have been easier. Back in August, we showed up at approx. 11:00am, and we had to wait in line and then wait some more before they let us on to the ship after 12:00pm. This time though, we got to the port at 10:50am and were on the ship by 11:00am! It couldn't have been easier! Same as last time, the only areas available for lunch on embarkation day are the Windjammer (buffet) and the cafe on the Promenade deck 5. I despised the buffet last time, so I never set foot in it this time. We instead grabbed a few croissant sandwiches at the cafe and then went to the Two Poets pub for a drink, then I took my friend for a tour of the ship before we made our way to the helipad to wave good-bye to the cameras at sail away. Then our rooms were ready by 1:30pm, so we made our way to our Junior Suite on deck 9. This was my first time in a Junior Suite, (9308, starboard side, mid aft) and I was thrilled with the size of the room and the balcony. It's much wider than the balcony we had last time. There was a little extra seating area with coffee making station, and the balcony was longer with a lounger as well as the 2 chairs and small table. There was a walk-in closet! The restroom was a bit larger and had a combo bathtub/shower. The room had so much storage space we actually kept losing things, because we'd forget where we stored them. The only complaints I had about the room were that the beds are extremely hard and uncomfortable, and our room got very hot at night for some reason. We turned the AC down to the coldest setting and it would be freezing during the day, but every night it was so hot. When we had a balcony room last cruise, I complained to our steward about the bed being too hard, and he brought me a foam (egg carton style) pad, and that helped a lot once he put it under the sheet. This time in the suite, the beds came with a slightly padded mattress cover, and that helped a little bit, but it was still very hard. They need to invest in better beds. We sailed NCL Epic last fall, and the inside cabin had the most comfortable beds I've ever experienced! RC needs to find out which beds NCL purchased and replace theirs. Our room steward, Howard, was friendly and took really good care of us. 6 of the 7 nights we ate at the main dining room. The first night we were at a large table with some of our group, but the 2nd night we switched to My Time dining, even though they originally told us we should have booked it ahead of time. They were able to switch us, and we preferred the smaller table, which meant faster service. There are 2 formal nights on this cruise, and lobster night was on the friday 2nd formal night. The food in the main dining room was good, but we've noticed that all the major cruise lines seem to be cutting corners on the food the past few years. It was good, but nothing to write home about. Our wait staff was very friendly though and made us feel welcome & special. The last night, we were able to walk-in at Sabor, the specialty Mexican restaurant, without a reservation, and it was amazing! They charge $25 per person, but the food was so incredible, I would have eaten there more than once if we hadn't waited so long. My friend and I both had drink packages, and it was nice to never have to worry about what we ordered, and what our bill would be at the end, but with 3 port days, it's difficult to get your money's worth. I got the ultimate package, and it helped to be able to get coffees at Starbucks & after dinner. On Sea Days, we definitely got our money's worth at the bars. The martini bar was amazing! I fell in love with Lemon Drops, Dirty Martinis & something that tasted like a girl scout thin mint cookie! The best place to go for drinks without a long line was usually Two Poets. We also enjoyed the Cosmopolitan Lounge on 14. We only attended a couple of the shows, because they didn't really appeal to us. The comedian the first night was just OK. The Ice Skating show was a lot of fun. Don't miss it! Most of the time, I hung out at Solaris, the adult pool area, which is quiet and relaxing. Get there early for a lounge chair, as they go quickly. I visited the spa on 1 of the sea days and experienced the 5 steps to Heaven (75 minutes of full body massage and facial) for $139 and got baby doll (permed & tinted lashes) for $125. The spa personnel were professional and I enjoyed it. My friend went crazy & really treated herself to botox, facial, bamboo massage, baby doll lashes & a keratin blow out. She was thrilled with all of her services. We booked 2 excursions through the ship: Dolphin Encounter at Chankannab in Cozumel & Deluxe Stingray City Snorkeling in Grand Cayman. We loved both excursions, and they were worth every penny. For the Cozumel Dolphin Encounter, we met at the pier and were taken by vans to Chankannab park, a 10 minute drive. It took a while to herd everyone inside & explain everything and then get our life jackets & divide us into small groups, but once we got in the water with the dolphin, it was incredible! I would do it again in a heartbeat! After the dolphin experience, we had 2 hours to enjoy the beach or pool/bar/restaurant, walking trails, sea lion show, etc on site. I wish we had a couple more hours there, it wasn't quite long enough to enjoy everything the park has to offer, but this was my 3rd time to Chankannab, since we usually just jump in a cab & go there for beach & snorkeling. It's a great place to spend a day. They returned us to the ship in 3 shifts: 1pm, 2pm & 3pm. We opted for 3pm, and the guide just made sure we all got into vans & she paid them. Easy & lots of fun! Our Stingray City excursion wasn't supposed to meet at the pier until 2:30pm in Cayman, so we jumped on the 1st tender & had plenty of time to shop in Georgetown & have some drinks at a couple of the bars. Once we all gathered at the pier, we were put onto a couple of buses and taken to the marina. Our boat was beautiful. It was a dinner cruise style boat, with curved windows covering our dining tables where we sat for the 20 minute ride to stingray city sandbar. We chose this excursion, because the boat had stairs that drop down into the water, making it easy to get on and off the boat as much as you want. We were provided snorkel gear, and our guides helped everyone touch, kiss, catch and feed the adorable stingrays. It was incredible. This was my 3rd time to Stingray City sandbar & this was the best tour we've been on so far. We've had a great time with Moby Dick & Captain Marvin, so I would highly suggest them as well, especially if you want to do more actual snorkeling at the reef and/or coral gardens. This excursion was for the sandbar only. It was great to know the ship would not leave without us if we were late, because our buses did actually arrive at the pier late, but there was a tender waiting for us and no risk of being left behind, since we were on a ship excursion. The tenders are a pain, but they are well organized and run non-stop. If you've booked an excursion through the ship, you show your ticket and walk directly to deck 1 to get on the 1st tender. You don't have to mess with meeting points like the tender tickets do. Falmouth is not a great port in my opinion. In August we were not interested in any of the ship's excursions, so we thought we would walk off and catch a cab to a beach or something. That did not work out, since everything is very expensive there. It would have cost $120 round trip for a family of 4 to visit a beach, so we decided to just hang out at Margaritaville and swim. That was so much fun that I told everyone in our group about it, and that's what we ended up doing this time too. But my friend & I did take the $22 pp trolley ride through historic Falmouth, just to see what town looked like. We couldn't wait to get back to the port. Town was dirty and nothing to look at. The port shopping area is new, clean and safe. So I would suggest staying there if you decide not to book an excursion. We chose to walk off the ship with out luggage when we arrived back in Galveston. We got in line at 7:30am, and it was a bit awkward with the line blocking the elevators and everyone trying to get off and into the line, but we were off the ship by 8am. There was more of a line to get through customs and immigration this time, as opposed to August, but it was well organized and moved quickly. My friend's husband picked us up out front & I was in my car at her house in Galveston by 8:40am! Be prepared to pay tax on alcohol and cigarettes if you declare them at customs. There's a table set up for TABC as you get ready to exit. Texas figured out an easy way to make some money off of you if you declare your goods. If you don't though, there's a chance they could decide to check your bags. Overall, this was a great cruise, and we love RC and the Navigator. Since I'm from the Houston area, and this is a very easy, affordable trip for us, I would take this cruise again & again, but I would try to do the other itinerary that includes Belize, Cozumel & Roatan instead of Cozumel, Cayman & Falmouth. If you've cruise RC before, then you are a member of the Crown & Anchor society. Don't forget to mention it when you book your 2nd and other future cruises, because they automatically put coupons/discounts on your Sea Pass card, such as 2 for 1 beer or wine once, 2 for 1 milkshake at Johnny Rockets once, 10% discount on a spa service, etc.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Galveston isn't a hard port to navigate, but it wasn't the easiest one either. The ship is older, but after a refurbish, it looks good. We didn't plan to do much this trip, as we just wanted a getaway, so we didn't do ... Read More
Galveston isn't a hard port to navigate, but it wasn't the easiest one either. The ship is older, but after a refurbish, it looks good. We didn't plan to do much this trip, as we just wanted a getaway, so we didn't do most of the activities. The ice skating show was good, even though I don't like ice skating. Food was average, but plentiful. No midnight buffets and windjammer isn't open late were turnoffs, but didn't ruin anything for us. Giovanni's had good food, but not worth the extra money. Tablemates made dinner fun in the main dining room, but the service and food was just average. We went to Little French Key in Roatan and that was a great place to go for the day. We will definitely go back there again. We used Belize Exotic Adventures in Belize to visit the Baboon Sanctuary and Altun Ha. I would also definitely recommend this company. We only wandered in Cozumel, as we have been there plenty of times. Having 3 sea days was great and never had a problem finding a place to sit. The pool attendants kept taking towels from vacant chairs, which was great. Royal did a good job enforcing their policy of no saving chairs, at least from what we saw. This was a good cruise, but it didn't "WOW" us. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
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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