Just back from a 13 night Southampton to Miami trans Atlantic repositioning cruise with stops in Boston, New York City, and Cape Canaveral. ( Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas) I loved it ! That is the quick review ; more long ... Read More
Just back from a 13 night Southampton to Miami trans Atlantic repositioning cruise with stops in Boston, New York City, and Cape Canaveral. ( Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas) I loved it ! That is the quick review ; more long winded stuff is below
As preamble, my wife and I are not experienced cruisers, we have done three cruises over the last 15 years. So admittedly, we are likely out of the knowledge base with respect to what is out there and expectations.
Our embarkation in Southampton was smooth and efficient. Yes, there was queuing up, but the line seemed to move quickly enough, and before we knew it, we were in our room ; 7th level, middle of the ship, starboard balcony. The room was totally adequate in size with lots of drawers, hangers, and nooks to put stuff. We brought along a few magnetic wall magnet hooks that were handy for hanging Sea Pass Lanyards, hats, and other light things. The bathroom was shower, sink, and toilet. Perfectly adequate in size and function.
The room steward we had, projected a quiet and gentle image. Our room was kept in immaculate condition and it seemed like whenever we left the room and came back , it was refreshed and ready to go.
Prior to this cruise, I had read of a lot of complaints about the dining and food selection choices. I appreciate that everybody had a different take and perspective on things but I really have a hard time in understanding these posts. The food in the Main Dining Room and in the Windjammer Cafe was amazing in diversity and quality. I sampled fish, beef, chicken, lamb, pork and vegetables in both North American / British styles as well as Indian and Oriental presentations. Appetizers, Soups, Salads were amazing as were the desserts, desserts, and desserts. I am no Gordon Ramsey, but if I had been presented the dishes back home, and I was paying out of pocket, I would have been satisfied. Oh, I could quibble that the Chicken Vindaloo was not spiced sufficiently and the Rice and Beans in the buffet was were not super hot but really …
We did eat a lunch in the Chops Restaurant ( one of the pay extra places ) and the food was pretty good but I would likely not spend the money next time. We did pay $10 each for an “upgraded” filet in the MDR and that I would do again.
Drinks ( as in alcoholic ) are pretty pricy in my view. My wife had one mixed drink and 3 glasses of wine during the cruise and that tab for that was over $60. I do not drink alcohol so for the most part I was okay. Water, iced tea, and lemonade are included as part of the dinner and some juices are as well. We are both fancy smanchy coffee drinkers so we purchased two coffee cards for lattes, espressos and the like. That was worth it for us. There is also free coffee and tea on the Promenade Deck as well as free fruits, pizza, sandwiches, and sweets.
I had a few reasons to be connected to home so I paid the internet fee to have a connection for the entire voyage. Let’s just say it brought back fond memories of the good old days of dial-up. But it did the job and there is something funky cool about in the middle of the ocean and being able to chat with someone in our town.
One the reasons that we picked an ocean crossing was because it was an ocean crossing. Lots of time to walk the deck, sit and read, sit and write, or sit and just look at the ocean. That is not everybody’s idea of a good time of course but I loved it. There are also lectures on board ( John Wayne Movies to Six Sigma ), Ice Skating ( spectacular ) , listening to music ( the guitar guy and the ship’s band were very good ) and evening stage shows ( no idea, that is not in my interest scope) plus all kinds of little goofy contests.
I don’t really understand Ship Board Shopping - if I want a watch I will buy it on Amazon but I am in a minority, as the shops were jammed. I did not really spend any time in the many bars and nooks of the ship. I am more of a “sitting on a deck chair even though it is late at night and no one else is doing it” sort of guy. I did the tour of the ship ; they call it All Access. Yes, it is a nice little money maker for them but it was very interesting. You even get to go to the bridge.
In 2016 posts there were a lot of complaints about the arrival into Boston and dealing with the US Immigration authorities. From the time we lined up ( following the instructions we had been issued ) to our final personal clearance was about two hours of standing in line. Some folks were apoplectic. I took the view that in 2017 anyone entering the United States of America is going to encounter delays, bureaucracy, and a certain amount of hassle. I just went with the flow, chatted to people, relaxed and had a good time. Sometimes, it is just a matter of perspective.
Sailing into New York City is something I will remember I think for the remainder of my days. At first you see what looks like a haze on the horizon, then you see it is buildings and not just buildings, but the New York Skyline. Soon you pass under the Verrazano Bridge and by the Statue of Liberty. I think the emotion of doing that was collectively felt by everybody on the ship - truly amazing. The ship docks at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal which is very convenient for trekking into New York. I think the fact that Navigator is in NYC for 28 hours or so was very well thought out.
The cruise concludes with a stop at Port Canaveral and then on to the conclusion at Miami where disembarkation was smooth. So would I do this cruise again ? Yes, absolutely … it totally met and exceeded my expectations. Maybe not for everybody, but for me, half of an early 60s couple it was perfect. Read Less