2,366 Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Navigator of Seas departed FLL on 2/12/11. There were 3 of us: me, spouse and our girlfriend. We are Diamond status. This was our 3rd time on Navigator this year. We like the ship and love the waiter Lucien Maftei. We chose the ship ... Read More
Navigator of Seas departed FLL on 2/12/11. There were 3 of us: me, spouse and our girlfriend. We are Diamond status. This was our 3rd time on Navigator this year. We like the ship and love the waiter Lucien Maftei. We chose the ship specifically for him this time. Requested him, but to no avail. However, after considerable work, the asst maitre d' (an extremely nice woman) managed to move us around, add an extra chair, etc. and we got Lucian at table 341 (Nutcracker). We were very happy. Naturally, he remembered all 3 of us and was very pleased to see us again. He is Plato's ideal waiter. Embarkation was smooth, painless and friendly. Took taxi from airport. 10 minutes $15 including extra person charge and tip. Although Diamonds go to head of line, all lines looked reasonable. We even arrived early, roughly 12:15 pm, and the rooms were ready. We had 2 rooms on deck 8. 8392 which faces aft and has a great balcony and 8681, which is on the outside but counts as an inside room. Both were quiet and extremely well kept. No particular signs of wear. The stewards in both rooms were excellent. Food: We ate in the Windjammer for breakfast every day but one. All onboard lunches, too. The food was reasonably good. The Asian and Indian items are still the best bet. We ate at the Diamond breakfast one sea day and were very pleased. Much better service than in the past. Quick turnaround and good coffee and tasty food and bagels and lox. (No longer have that in Windj.) We ate in dining room every night. The sail away prime rib was disappointing. The 3rd night prime rib was excellent. Unlike prior cruises were the food deteriorates as the days wear on, this cruise it improved. The lobster was excellent, the duck was top notch. And, the soups (especially the fruit soups) were wonderful. A distinct improvement over recent cruises. Ports: We have done these many times. We use Capt Marvin in Grand Cayman to go to Stingray City. Unfortunately, on the tender over--which went off with no issues at all--the sea was high. When we got to Marvin's we learned the marine police had closed the park. Disappointed, but Marvin's took us to Hell, the turtle farm, rum cake, etc. and the beach. Driver Carl even returned to pick us up at the beach 1.5 hours later, saving $4 each on fare. It was great service and well done. Next day was Cozumel. Always fearing a late ferry, we took the ship's tour to Tulum and beach break. Well done. One of the few RCL tours I approve of and was well organized and executed. Worth doing. Entertainment: Did not get to any shows. Disco was fine until the DJ started playing Latino music. This is the least favorite of all dance music but there are always 15 or so of his friends who want to hear it and he is Cuban. That tends to ruin things. Need a better mix of Top 40. Cruise staff changed out from the ones we knew. I never miss a trivia. Danny was very good. Aubrey was rude and should be canned. Did not see the Cruise Director so no comment. Diamond lounge: Spectacular. We really enjoy this C&A perk. We met great people, as we always do. Became very close with several, including Sylvia who is 91 and in phenomenal shape. This was a highlight of every evening and RCL MUST keep it. The wait service here was top notch. Not so in the bars. It was very hard to get a drink and they were very stingy with all the pours. Tragedy: On our first night we were seated with a couple from Michigan and a family of 4 from Texas: father and mother and daughter and fiance. It was a bit tough at first because of differing backgrounds, but worked out. I dance a lot and the second night commented thereon. Mother ('Gay') said she liked to dance, but husband 'Steve' did not. But they came down to disco for the Michael Jackson set and I whirled her about the dance floor. Gay really enjoyed it. Cozumel day they missed dinner. At start of dinner there was an Alpha Alpha call and I said: that can't be good. But, you never assume it is anyone you know. Next night only daughter and fiance came to dinner. Mother Gay was the Alpha and died. It was horrible. She had a heart attack. Now, there are worse places and ways to die than on a great cruise with your family when you are having fun, but it did ruin their vacation. RCL Class response: Even though RCL did everything possible to help save Gay's life (only 59 years old), it was not possible. RCL comped the cruise. They acquired all the photos taken of the family and gave them to Steve and the kids. They contacted all the relatives at no cost and arranged all the logistics for the family. Nothing can take away the intense pain, but we were incredibly impressed with the effort made by the line to ease this family's suffering. Often times the Line does stupid, miserly things, but this time they went beyond any expectation and I applaud them. We gave the cruise an 8.5 of 10, which is a very good rating from us. We had a great time and loved meeting everyone and pray for the McCul... family. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
Windjammer lunch was not very good. First night in the My Time Dining Room (Swan lake dining room), we were there for over two hours. They never could get my dressing right on my salad, so I ended up not even eating it. Hubby got vidalia ... Read More
Windjammer lunch was not very good. First night in the My Time Dining Room (Swan lake dining room), we were there for over two hours. They never could get my dressing right on my salad, so I ended up not even eating it. Hubby got vidalia onion tart, and it was good. Rolls were almost too hard to eat. I got some kind of white truffle oil linguine dish as my entree' which was VERY good. Hubby got prime rib. It was good. Dessert was strawberry pavlova. It was "ok", but I wish I would have gotten something else. We were not impressed at all with the parade on the promenade. The cruise director was annoying. Not impressed with the ballroom dancers, a couple from Russia. Day 2 breakfast in the windjammer was better than lunch, however, beware of the scrambled eggs. They are not good. Lunch in the main dining room, we got the catfish. It was good, as well as the oreo cheesecake. THe banana chocolate crunch dessert was not that good. Pool water was extremely cold, but we managed to get in and tolerate it somewhat. Large hot tubs are nice. Lava flows, strawberry daquiries were 7 dollars. Budweiser were 4.25 (not including fees) Second night was formal night, we ate at Chops. Service was very good. Ordered Beef tenderloin & eggplant tower. It came out bloody, so I got a salad instead. Hubby liked it though. Server also offered Hubby another appetizer. He got the crabcake. He said it was good but I did not try it. We don't know much about wine, but we described what we would like and the server chose perfectly! Ordered filet mignon well done. Server tried to convince me to get medium well. I said no. It came out perfectly and was delicious. Hubby ordered strip steak medium well. Came out well done, and he said it was too dry for him. We got the apple pie and the cheesecake for dessert. We were happy with our dessert choices. We went to the Dungeon, which was really cool, but we did have a weird security experience. After two whole days of ordering alcoholic beverages and no one asking for ID, we were approached by two security men in the Dungeon who asked for our seapasses. They took them and returned and asked for my husband's ID, and took it. (This happened even AFTER we had ordered drinks in there and was sitting drinking them) So they came back and said they couldn't tell it was him at first because he had GLASSES on in the pic on his seapass card. So apparently if you wear eyeglasses, and sometime wear contacts, you look like a completely different person--at least to the dungeon security!lol Day 3- We had room service breakfast. It's the same stuff from the windjammer, without the trip up there. We got room service lunch as well, after returning from the beach on Labadee. We got the fried honey stung chicken with sweet potatoe fries. It was very good. Better than anything we tried in the windjammer. The spinach and artichoke dip is very good, too. But take my advice and request EXTRA chips. We had dinner in the main dining room tonight. Better & quicker service than the first night-different server. We had some kind of garlic soup for appetizer. It was just ok. It had the texture of a grainy potatoe soup w/o the chunks. Hubby ordered rigatoni. The server said he was going to bring out lamb for him to try as well. I ordered chicken marsala. I was told the lamb dish was not good, but the rigatoni was (the rigatoni with the spicy sausage). My dish was just ok. It was basically chicken breasts with gravy. We ordered tiramisu for dessert. We did NOT like it. It was unlike any I've had before. It was really wet and sloppy. Later that night we went to Johnny Rockets. We really enjoyed it there. They automatically bring you a plate with fries and onion rings. I didn't care for the fries, but the onion rings were good. We also paid extra for shakes, but I would say to save your money and go for the oreo sundae that's included in the price, because it is just as good if not better (we had that the next night). The ventriloquist was good up until the part he brings a monkey out. I could have definitely skipped that part of the show. Day 4 we were in Montego Bay. We got a call from room service saying they were bringing up our order. I told them we did not order anything. It was from yesterday, so since we hadn't eaten yet, we told them to go ahead and bring it up. It worked out. We took a hot spot taxi to Margaritaville and ate there. I got the nachos with chicken, and hubby got the fish n chips. The fish was not very good. On Day 5 I went up to the windjammer to hopefully get some bananas and apples, but there were not bananas this day, and the apples were not in great shape. There were mushy spots all over them. I grabbed some yogurt to take to the room. It was not good at all. We had lunch in the mdr. I got some kind of chicken yakitori and it was just ok. Hubby ordered a steak sandwich. It was not a sandwich (no top bun) and not very good. We got the strawberry napoleon for dessert, and that was good. We caught the juggler act on the tv and he was good. His comedy was not funny, but he was talented in his juggling. Overall, I would recommend Johnny rockets, and chops grille. Stay away from the scrambled eggs. Beware that when you order a sandwich, it may not be an actual sandwich. I was disappointed with the limited ice skating times. We never did get to ice skate :( We were happy with our room, 8622, with a hump balcony. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
The ship was impressive. The staff was very friendly and helpful. I encountered two problems but they will not prevent me from cruising again. Both problems happened on day one. The first problem was found under my bed. My ... Read More
The ship was impressive. The staff was very friendly and helpful. I encountered two problems but they will not prevent me from cruising again. Both problems happened on day one. The first problem was found under my bed. My roomie checked under the beds and there was a bag and a pack of cigarettes under mine! I immediately called housekeeping and the steward appeared very quickly. We were also visited by the supervisor who assured us that the room would receive a thorough cleaning again. (I believe the person in charge of sweeping did not run the sweeper under my bed) Our assigned dinner time was 6:00p.m. The waitstaff was friendly and professional our head waiter, very attentive. However there was an "issue" in the kitchen and dinner service was painfully slow. Once dinner arrived I was not disappointed with the food. Throughout the cruise I tried new dishes and foods at dinner that I would not normally eat. The aged beef was the only meal I did not care for. I may have ordered too "done". The service for the remainder of the cruise was perfect. I am a bit of an event planner on my job. I understand "stuff" happens. I judge how one overcomes "stuff" so it doesn't happen again. Our steward kept our room spotless and dinner service improved tremendously. I rate this cruise a solid 4. I can't give it a 5 or 5+ because this is my first cruise. I do plan to cruise again and will compare the next one with this one. I will admit I can see myself becoming a cruise fan. For this cruise I decided to be a morning person. This was tip I received from reading reviews from the expert cruisers on this website. I used the gym and walked the track during the sunrise. Great sight and I managed to not gain any weight! The gym was well equipped. It tends to become crowed as the day progresses. If you can get up early and go. You can always take a nap later! My roommate and I opted for the massage special on the day we docked. This was another tip I used from this site! When we decided what we wanted to do, 8:00am was the only appointment that fit our schedule. (Bonus for being early morning people) The special included a glass of champagne. We had to ask for our glass. They were a little surprised that we wanted champagne at 9:00am, but hey we are on vacation and according to our internal clock, it was noon. There we were, 9:00am sitting on a very empty deck, overlooking the island and toasting our day. The majority of folks were already off the boat for excursions or eating. I should mention toward the end of the massage you could hear the staff setting up the deck chairs. It sounded like the circus was in town and I was experiencing march of the elephants. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
My partner and I are from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I am 43 and he is 55.We have sailed a lot since we live so close to both Port Everglades and Port of Miami and Royal Caribbean has never let us down. While Celebrity and Holland America ... Read More
My partner and I are from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I am 43 and he is 55.We have sailed a lot since we live so close to both Port Everglades and Port of Miami and Royal Caribbean has never let us down. While Celebrity and Holland America have better food in the main dining room, Royal Caribbean has good food and much better entertainment for our age range. We seem to fit in well with Royal Caribbean passengers. We had booked a cruise in early December, 2010 on Celebrity Century that was such a huge disappointment. We had previously LOVED Celebrity Century, she is a beautiful older ship; but the Cruise Director was awful, the music everywhere was awful and did not fit with the younger passengers on this 5 day trip. I believe this all lies squarely on the shoulders of the cruise director. When we sailed a year before, the music was contemporary and very enjoyable. The ship was still in excellent condition, but we just could not find entertainment anywhere and the pool grill smelled like it had not been cleaned in 15 years and made it very difficult to sit at the pool without feeling greased out. We hated seeing such a lovely vessel not being treated up to par.To make up for that cruise, we found a last minute, very inexpensive inside guarantee on Navigator of the Seas for January 15, 2011 - January 19, 2011. It felt like a great gift from God. We absolutely LOVED Navigator of the Seas, we had the most perfect weather we have ever had in Caribbean (not too hot or cold with calm seas and clear, sunny skies). We felt welcomed from the moment we arrived and were greeted warmly everywhere we went on the ship. Embarkation was a breeze; we are platinum members so that helped, but I don't think even new cruisers had a long wait.We were extremely happy with our cabin. We were very near the rear elevators on deck 9, so getting anywhere was so easy. We are both relatively tall and HATE the rounded off beds that many cabins now have. We were thrilled to have square beds! We slept so much better than we do with the "one-legged beds" as we call them that are in higher categories and on other ships. Cabin was very nice, plenty of storage and comfortable. We have had prior trouble with soundproofing on RCI, but our cabin was extremely quiet on this ship. We were only in it mostly to shower and sleep as it was so beautiful outside and there was so much to do. One element that we love on all Royal Caribbean ships prior to Oasis and Allure is the exterior promenade on Deck 4. We love lounging in the shade in a deck chair and hearing the ship cut through the water. We also love having a full panoramic ocean view from this location that we cannot get with a balcony. Oasis and Allure get a big thumbs down for not having this area and we do not plan to sail on them.We have previously loved our cruises on Radiance (twice), Enchantment (twice), Jewel and Liberty. Liberty was fun, but almost too big, especially the crowded royal promenade. On Navigator, the ship never felt crowded, not even on the royal promenade. Navigator is a beautiful ship with lovely color palette and many comfortable spaces. We particularly enjoy all the live music opportunities on Royal Caribbean and having contemporary and pop recorded music played at other times. This is where the Century let us down. The most modern song we heard on that ship was by Frank Sinatra.Navigator had two Production Shows we had not seen "Now and Forever" and "Ballroom Fever." We enjoyed the first one more. The singers and dancers were terrific; the shows were just not as well assembled as some we have seen, but still enjoyable. The big surprise was the ice show "Ice Dancin'" which we saw multiple times. It was a perfectly choreographed show, great performers, high energy and a blast! We had seen and enjoyed the ice show on Liberty, but this one was truly exceptional. We also had a very good headliner one night named "Delisco." We loved Boleros, sipping mojitos and listening to live Latin music. It was a very different experience than on Liberty. We are not smokers, so we were so happy that Boleros was non-smoking on Navigator. On Liberty, the smoking was heavy and we could not sit on the side with the bar and the live music. The funny difference between the two ships was that on Liberty we sailed from Miami and there were lots of Latin passengers who were great dancers and we wished we could watch them more without the smoke. On Navigator from Port Everglades, there were no good Latin dancers but it was fun(and funny) to watch people try.We had "My Time Dining" in the Swan Lake dining room. It was lovely and interesting to dine there as I had just seen the movie "Black Swan." Service was capable, but not remarkable, and the food was good. We have been blessed with some extraordinary servers on Radiance, Enchantment and Liberty, so it makes it hard to compare. I like a full serving of vegetables and after requesting the first night, fresh vegetables were always brought to the table. If you want them, you need to ask as the dinners use very little. We normally enjoy the Schooner bar, but pianist was not that good and they allowed smoking which made it unpleasant. We really enjoyed the band in the Cosmopolitan Club in the Crown; it is a beautiful room with a great view over the pool area. Very nice. As always, Royal Caribbean has better pool bands than other cruise lines and music was tropical, well performed and relaxing. I am always fascinated that the windows on the pool deck can be opened or closed which is such a thoughtful feature. Even the smoking side is not unpleasant because they can open a window. Great ship design. As this was a makeup cruise, we did not have a lot of money to spend. We visited Grand Cayman and Cozumel. We went to our favorite Sea Grape Beach in Grand Cayman using the cheap and reliable public bus system. We rented floats and had a wonderful day in paradise. Beaches don't get much prettier than Grand Cayman. We had planned on going to a beach club like Paradise Beach in Cozumel, but we slept in and decided not to go. We have been to Cozumel many times and it is definitely not a favorite port. Partner got off the ship and walked around a bit, but I stayed on board as good music was playing and it was nice to have the pool deck to myself. From previous experience, Paradise Beach is a nice place to go with really clean bathrooms and nice facilities with fun water toys, but I'm sure we will get there again. Cozumel has pretty water, but the beaches themselves are not the best.We enjoyed Johnny Rocket's one day, but they stuffed us full. Piping hot fries and onion rings put on the table the minute we sat down and they kept bringing them. Burgers were good, we got a dance routine from the staff, and the sundae dessert was terrific! We did not know it was included in the $4.95 cover charge. We used our coupon for a buy one, get one free milk shake, but we would have skipped that if we had known there was no extra cost for dessert. We were so FULL, but it was a nice experience.One additional entertainment option I loved was called "twenty" outdoor nightclub. It was an adults only event at the Solarium pool with the DJ and a South Beach night club feel. Great music and lighting, it was perfect night and was really fun. I would like to have had that option every night.Overall this cruise was a solid A for us and we are sad that she is going to the Mediterranean year round after this spring. We feel that with Oasis and Allure taking over our port, that our choices on Royal Caribbean are more limited. We are doing a 8 day Southern Caribbean cruise on Serenade of the Seas in May, 2011 which we are really excited about, then a 5 night Celebrity Millennium trip in November, 2011. Our Serenade trip will be our first trip where have had to fly anywhere, so I guess we get to experience the "tired" first day feeling that we see with so many out of town passengers.I would HIGHLY recommend Navigator of the Seas; catch her while you can in the Caribbean or maybe you can sail hear in the Mediterranean which is out of our price range. Hopefully she will be back some day as we would sail her again in a heartbeat out of a Florida port. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
My husband and I, along with our two children ( aged 11 and 14), voyaged out for our 5th cruise Our Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas from Dec 9-12th. We arrived in Miami the night before our cruise and stayed at the JW ... Read More
My husband and I, along with our two children ( aged 11 and 14), voyaged out for our 5th cruise Our Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas from Dec 9-12th. We arrived in Miami the night before our cruise and stayed at the JW Marriott, which is great. Had dinner at the Oceanaire Seafood Room and I must say it was exceptional food...the lobster was great!! The next day we used the shuttle service. Very friendly. They were waiting for us and were knowledgeable of the cruise we were taking. Staff... Wonderful.... Everyone from Officers to maintenance personnel smiled and gave a "hello" when we passed. Let me just say again all the staff on the ship, is GREAT, but the wait staff in the main dining room makes you not want to leave your table. So professional, so talented, so friendly, so relaxing. Thanks Maria! Bars.. Two Poets is good for a before or after dinner drink and smoke..very nice staff...the strawberry daiquiri was to die for. Johnny Rockets: I love hamburgers...they gave large portions for the money..we were served right away. The cafe 50's theme was very cool. The kids loved it! The Windjammer offered a prime rib which was delicious. The attendants were always asking us if we needed anything. Very polite.. The Main Dining Room exceeded my expectations, from the staff to the food I can't compliment them enough. The portion size was a as expected....huge. And a beautiful room. There was plenty of things to do for the kids..golf and shuttle board..pools and more..very kid friendly..other activities The X Games, Rockin' Through the Decades.. Scavenger Hunts, Backstage Tour, The Art Walk, Win, Cruise or Draw, Sports Tournaments. Be sure to save time for the shows. I thought the entertainment was exceptional. Everything from the Ice Show to the Belly Flop Competition. There's not one thing we would have wanted to miss. And, by the way, the shows far exceeded my expectations! Entertainment: 1st night was Dean Austin comedian. He was very friendly and a great laugh. 2nd The show called All Access..They were a bunch of young singers and dancers. Very good. 3rd Randy Cabral..the comedy juggler..I had seen him somewhere I said to my husband...it was Jay Leno...he was very funny..love the paddle ball trick. Overall a great ship with friendly service. The crew was always enthusiastic and happy. And we made some great friends! Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Embarkation: While the embarkation process was speedy and efficient, Port Canaveral does not do justice to the ships that sail from there. At least terminal 28, is a warehouse. The Port of Miami is much better looking. In the end what ... Read More
Embarkation: While the embarkation process was speedy and efficient, Port Canaveral does not do justice to the ships that sail from there. At least terminal 28, is a warehouse. The Port of Miami is much better looking. In the end what matters is the process, and it was just great. Food: The food was alright. It was exactly the same menu as our last cruise in October aboard the Majesty of the Seas. The assortment at the Windjammer was good, and at times better then the food at the main dinning room. However both where satisfying. Just don't expect expensive restaurant quality food because that will not happen. Specialty restaurants: Now here is AMAZING dinning. The service and food was excellent at Portofino's. Our friends ate at Chop's Grille and they also said it was amazing. There is a $20 - $25 charge per person, but it is absolutely worth it. Service: The food and beverage service was excellent. We had my time dinning and were sat at different tables, every time we had great service. At The Dungeon, the night club, the beverage service was outstanding. One of the servers knew our drink every night and was always at hand. Entertainment: The parades on the Royal Promenade are fun. The ice show was also good and lasted for about an hour. At the main theater, the dancers did a great job, and they even have a live band. Stateroom: We had an interior on deck 8. It was specious for an inside cabin, suited us just fine. Bars: The English pud "Two Poets" is good for a before or after dinner drink and smoke, if you smoke. The "Vintages" wine bar is great for a glass of wine. They serve free tapas with your glass of wine from 5pm to 1pm. Tip: Don't be afraid to meet people. We met a group of guys at the Dungeon, the club, and it made our vacation. We drank, danced, talked and are planning future vacations together. All from different walks of life and countries. Overall a great ship with friendly service. I am glad we are booked to go on the Navigator again for a Mediterranean cruise in June 2011. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
My husband and I have always dreamed of taking our entire family on a cruise. This past Christmas we made that dream a reality...it's unfortunate we chose the wrong cruise ship- Navigator of the Seas. We read the reviews about their ... Read More
My husband and I have always dreamed of taking our entire family on a cruise. This past Christmas we made that dream a reality...it's unfortunate we chose the wrong cruise ship- Navigator of the Seas. We read the reviews about their food being terrible but there are no reviews to describe just how disappointing the food really is. For breakfast we ate in the Nutcracker dinning room which was good. Then the food begins to go downhill from there...The windjammer (free style- dining alternative) reminded me of a poorly ran Golden Corral restaurant. It seemed to serve the exact same food day after day. If you wanted a change of pace for Lunch you had to pay for it in their premium lunch spot- Johnny Rockets. Johnny Rockets did have great food and service with the exception of their shakes (made from a bag in a box). We ate in the dinning room for dinner and the meals were just Okay. I couldn't believe they served me Lobster bisque with no actual lobster in it just lobster flavoring! Oh and if you heard that you get served lobster on the cruise...better think again. We were not served lobster one time on this premium, prime time Christmas cruise. I can't tell you how disappointed I was. We brought my mother along and Lobster is her all time favorite food. I went as far as requesting it..."no can do". Funny thing is we received a menu that had lobster tails on it and when we ordered it, I was told we had been given the wrong menu. Okay, okay enough about the terrible food. Let's talk about our other experiences... When we arrived at the port the Porter told my husband if he tipped him well enough he'd ensure that our bags were properly taken care of. When my husband didn't tip him what the porter thought he should, he made sure to tell him so. I could not believe it...My husband told him he thought the tip was fair and we moved on. Well that must have been a huge mistake because our bags went missing the entire day and when they were finally found around 10:00pm that night, no one could tell us why they were not delivered and where they had been located. We do know that someone had to know because my mother's dirty laundry bag (from inside one piece of the luggage) was delivered to her stateroom...without the luggage. When the luggage was located it had been shredded to pieces. We were furious! The ship offered to repair it for our return travel but there was no offer to replace it. And then last but not least my recently turned 18 year old son had absolutely nothing geared towards his age group. He is still in High School and was not permitted to attend the teen activities as they were geared for 15-17 yr old without exception. When I went to Guest services to get suggestions their response to me was "he is an adult and should join adult activities to include the night clubs". They assured me he could not order alcohol. I was appalled! But just when I though I had issues...I overheard another guest complaining of the same problem ... only they had an 18 year old girl! One woman said her daughter turned 18 a few weeks ago and 25yr old men were hitting on her in the "adult lounges". This is a huge oversight on Royal Caribean's part and they are asking for trouble by not addressing activities for this age group. If you have children between the ages of 18-21 look out! There is nothing organized for them to do. Believe it or not we did manage to squeeze some good entertainment and RR between the drama and disappointment. Honestly, I can't say I would ever do another cruise with this ship. My husband and I spend a lot of money sending our whole family on this cruise...relatively speaking it simply was not worth it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
First a little background on me: I'm a Cleveland native, live in Miami. I've been on 6 cruises now, all with RCI (Royal Caribbean Intl), 3 Navigator of the Seas, 1 Adventure of the Seas, 1 Explorer of the Seas, 1 Liberty of the ... Read More
First a little background on me: I'm a Cleveland native, live in Miami. I've been on 6 cruises now, all with RCI (Royal Caribbean Intl), 3 Navigator of the Seas, 1 Adventure of the Seas, 1 Explorer of the Seas, 1 Liberty of the Seas. I've cruised starting from 2001-2010 and am 25. With that stated short of the bingo's and arts and crafts I've experienced a good deal of what many of RCI's ships offer (short of Oasis' and Allure's new offerings) One thing I can tell you off the bat is, even after being 8 years old, Navigator of the Seas is NO SLOUCH! There were some area's I could see some very slight wear, but there are many places with much more wear and tear than this ship! The public spaces for the most part are just as immaculate as they were the first of my three times on this ship. And for anyone who thought that all of RCI's best talent was transferred to Allure and Oasis, your DEAD WRONG. You can obviously see some of the people aren't as good as the lofty standard I've come to expect from RCI but there were a couple others that were way way way better than any other's I've experienced on RCI or anywhere else in the world for that matter! The transportation to the port royally sucks if you dont either A: take Royal's transfers or B: stay at a local hotel offering a shuttle. As a local I had to take a shuttle to FLL to take a shuttle (my mom stayed at a such hotel) to the port. Local shuttle services do not go from home's or hotel's to the seaport only airport. It wasn't fun! However if you do your research and book a hotel with a shuttle you shouldn't have problems. Also I HIGHLY RECOMMEND FLYING IN A DAY IN ADVANCE!!! This is for multiple reasons, first if your flight is late or delayed a day you have a planned buffer to protect you. Second if luggage is lost by the airline. Usually the time lost or late luggage is delivered in the late afternoon or evening hours. If you arrive the day before, you have a chance to get your bags before shipping out. If you arrive the same day, well not so much. I work for a major hotel in Miami and have worked for RCI as a port agent and have seen it FAR TOO MUCH!!! Transportation by taxi in either city isn't expensive for short distances. However dont take the cheaper flight to Miami for Port Everglades or to Fort Lauderdale for Port of Miami. Taxi's to the respective areas cost 70-100 USD based on traffic! Embarkation: smooth! Actually very smooth! They caught me by surprise! The last time I sailed out of Port Everglades I absolutely hated it. Port Everglades is finally coming into its own as RCI, Holland America, and Carnival are beginning to base more of their ships there vs Port of Miami. The day we left there were 5 megaships (2 RCI, 1 Holland America, 1 Celebrity, 1 Carnival) in port. Traffic in the port flowed well. Clearance to enter the port likewise flowed well no bottleneck. The buildings now seem to resemble terminals more than just converted warehouses (the feeling I felt before). The feeling still is there but they are so much more efficient with it its not as bad. I'm a Platinum member with them now so I had priority check-in. Really didn't need it. I arrived around 12:30 and while all the agents were occupied when I stepped up, there weren't lines. As usual lines bottlenecked around the seapass machines as some cards didn't work and people stopped to bicker about what to do. Even this did flow ok still. Activities: I found plenty to do. At first I was slightly bored in port. In port on embark day there's not much to do until after the mandatory muster drill. All the shops are closed same as the casino in a port. Some bars are open same as windjammer. Otherwise no real coordinated activities. So I made a phone call and BS'd a bit while I was still in port and able to get a cell tower not belonging to RCI's $7 + p/minute network. I also went to find if the Auburn SCarolina game or Oregon Oregon State game was going to be shown. This is where I met hands down the best bartender I have ever had. He was patient and non confrontational with the drunks and demanding people in the bar. He was kind and remembered my name from night 1 and forward plus what I drank. One of the bartenders in the Dungeon (dance club) also remembered my drink every night. After embarkation all the fun begins when the ship sets sail. The shows are still excellent. Now thats not to say they are all perfect. I still find show's I'm not enthused over but I'm sure there's people who don't like what I liked and thats what the hospitality business is about. Trying to find things that please all of the masses even if it cant be done all at once (which it usually cant). There were plenty of activities for all types of people. There were sports activities, gaming activities, children activities, trivia, music trivia, karyoke, etc. Its hard to be bored once the ship has left the first port! Dining: This is one area I was somewhat disappointed about. In the past I found that I enjoyed the food from the Windjammer and Main Dining Room (MDR). I found that the Windjammer was lacking in taste compared to MDR. Also I was less than thrilled with the service in Windjammer all day and the MDR for breakfast. Evening service as usual was above average which of course is par for RCI. Shore excursions: I've been to cozumel 3 times now. I've done the ATV jungle and the Jeep experience. First I'd like to say for the ATV jungle tour, if you're not an adventurous person wanting to learn something new, not somewhat in shape/athletic, or experienced with ATV's this isnt for you. The first one I did was somewhat challenging but the one I did this time was very challenging. I had others who did ATV's many more times than I who said the same. It was fun but I imagine for the lady who was struggling along (even thats putting it gently) it wasnt fun for her and probably was a waste of money (80 USD). If your in shape and down for some adventure its fun to learn and experience. Lastly for the ATV one the ATV's are semi-automatic, meaning there's no clutch but you still shift up and down. For the Jeep experience (last year '09) the Jeeps are MANUAL! If you cannot drive a manual transmission (stick shift) either find someone who does or you might not wish to go. The course isn't super super challenging but some parts can be. The better your 'driver' the softer the ride. I recommend someone who has experience in stop and go traffic on a stick take the wheel as there is much shifting up and down and quick reflexes will be needed. Both excursions were a great time for me, but you should plan in advance by reading BEFORE you get to the ship. DO NOT BOOK BEFORE ENTERING THE SHIP (unless you've done that exact excursion before) Your first day will usually be an 'At Sea' day. That day usually the excursion desk is busy with people booking for the next port. However the embarkation day usually there's a few hours it'll be open. There'll be modest lines but most excursions wont be sold out! Book what you want on that day. If you book in advance and misunderstand you're not getting anything. If you talk to them on the ship there's still the chance you get squat but there's a larger chance they'll have compassion and do something if they remembered you asked them questions and maybe they made a mistake (it happens we're all human). I found they are completely willing to take time (within reason, dont milk it they have 3k + to deal with) and explain their experience with the tour and what they've seen and experienced to help you book. Lastly, be smart with excursions. I recommend sticking with the cruise line. If something happens on their tour and you don't return in time, RCI will help in someway otherwise you're out on your own if you found your own tour operator. Stateroom: The cabin was great. If you have a D1 cabin 1388 is a pretty good choice. Balcony is definitely larger than average due to its position at the rear of the ship. The cabin (perhaps I'm wrong but I dont think so) also felt larger than the average. Downside, you're at the opposite end of the ship from the Metropolis theatre and nightclub. Positive your one deck from the windjammer for breakfast and lunch, one deck from open air deck 11 for sun lounging and pool swimming, 3 decks from the sports court, 4 decks from sports bar. This basically means you can walk to most of the public areas on the stairs when those elevators back up (which they will) Entertainment: Entertainment was spectacular this trip. Like I said it comes and goes because they want to please as many as possible which will always leave some people unpleased. We had a guy named Finest Hanson who was great! He was a voice impersonator singer. And to tell ya the truth he had it nailed for many of the people he impersonated. He did NSync, Elvis, Ray Charles, Arnold Schwartzenegger, Rocky, and many others. About 1 hours worth of songs and maybe 10 min of talking. He was amusing as well. I always sit in the row thats interrupted by the sound board because its one of the best seats in the theatre. I kept looking at the sound board because I'm a skeptic. I believe the worst before the best. And I couldnt find any place in which it looked like something was being played for him to lipsync with. I think he's the real deal and if he's not he's pretty damn close and really damn good! The late night comic was good too, of course not for all. If your not cool with R rated comedy dont go, you'll probably be offended. For the rest, the guy was good, I only wish I remembered the name. Of course there's the Quest which is amusing. Overall I rate this voyage: 8.5/10 I'll be putting up compasses of my trip soon on the boards so if you're interested look for those. Along with some pictures. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
My husband and I, along with our two children ( aged 11 and 14), voyaged out for our 5th cruise Our Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas from Dec 9-12th. We arrived in Miami the night before our cruise and stayed at the JW ... Read More
My husband and I, along with our two children ( aged 11 and 14), voyaged out for our 5th cruise Our Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas from Dec 9-12th. We arrived in Miami the night before our cruise and stayed at the JW Marriott, which is great. Had dinner at the Oceanaire Seafood Room and I must say it was exceptional food...the lobster was great!! The next day we used the shuttle service. Very friendly. They were waiting for us and were knowledgeable of the cruise we were taking. Staff... Wonderful.... Everyone from Officers to maintenance personnel smiled and gave a "hello" when we passed. Let me just say again all the staff on the ship, is GREAT, but the wait staff in the main dining room makes you not want to leave your table. So professional, so talented, so friendly, so relaxing. Thanks Maria! Bars.. Two Poets is good for a before or after dinner drink and smoke..very nice staff...the strawberry daiquiri was to die for. Johnny Rockets: I love hamburgers...they gave large portions for the money..we were served right away. The cafe 50's theme was very cool. The kids loved it! The Windjammer offered a prime rib which was delicious. The attendants were always asking us if we needed anything. Very polite.. The Main Dining Room exceeded my expectations, from the staff to the food I can't compliment them enough. The portion size was a as expected....huge. And a beautiful room. There was plenty of things to do for the kids..golf and shuttle board..pools and more..very kid friendly..other activities The X Games, Rockin' Through the Decades.. Scavenger Hunts, Backstage Tour, The Art Walk, Win, Cruise or Draw, Sports Tournaments. Be sure to save time for the shows. I thought the entertainment was exceptional. Everything from the Ice Show to the Belly Flop Competition. There's not one thing we would have wanted to miss. And, by the way, the shows far exceeded my expectations! Entertainment: 1st night was Dean Austin comedian. He was very friendly and a great laugh. 2nd The show called All Access..They were a bunch of young singers and dancers. Very good. 3rd Randy Cabral..the comedy juggler..I had seen him somewhere I said to my husband...it was Jay Leno...he was very funny..love the paddle ball trick. Overall a great ship with friendly service. The crew was always enthusiastic and happy. And we made some great friends! Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Us oldtimers (DW & I, both mid 50's) favored Celebrity in the 90's (think Zenith), then for a time Holland America (Ryndam) and the past few years were complacent on Carnival. But our two RCL cruises in 2010 were both what we ... Read More
Us oldtimers (DW & I, both mid 50's) favored Celebrity in the 90's (think Zenith), then for a time Holland America (Ryndam) and the past few years were complacent on Carnival. But our two RCL cruises in 2010 were both what we are looking for now in the cruise experience, in so many respects, that I will just declare RCL is our favorite cruise line. We sailed the Navigator of the Seas in early December from Ft. Lauderdale. The 2 days immediately preceding our cruise set record low temperatures in South Florida and had a Twilight Zone effect on me, a native South Floridian, waking up twice to ice on my windshield. Yikes! That cold snap gave us another first: an actually Not-Hot, 4-day Western Caribbean voyage, if only to Cozumel and back. What? Cozumel, always a friendly and fun port with plenty to do for everyone, in the low 70's? I'll take it! The Twilight Zone mindset was with us through embarkation, where other than a momentary stop to sign in and get our SeaPass keys, we pretty much just walked on the ship. I've never had a quick enough boarding process, but might have lingered here in the beautiful new, enormous terminal built to accommodate the Oasis and Allure. There must have been 50 to 75 check-in agents - each with a flat screen informational TV overhead - and nary a line anywhere. Indeed, after boarding 11:30ish, the only line was at the Windjammer Buffet, which opened just before noon. Built in 2002 and a Voyager-class vessel, the NOS is showing her age, but in a finely polished way. By example, automatic doors would creek a bit but everything was well maintained. Our standard balcony cabin (8522) was large and clean; don't know why I'd spring for anything more like a junior suite. With 2 days at sea the balcony was especially nice to have. As with the Indy (RCL's Independence of the Seas) earlier this year, the efficient fore and aft lifts and cylindrical shower doors were simple but smart and welcome features. The Royal Promenade adds a whole new dimension to these vessels that any ship's atrium, anywhere, cannot come close to matching. People watching, shopping, bars, refreshments and snacks, parades and events all take place on this ship-length, indoor, 3-story (or was it 4?), Disney World-like street. Admittedly though, I missed an outdoor jumbo-tron screen and a Carnival pool slide. All staff members to a one (save a snooty server at the wine bar - but even he seemed to come around) were friendly and eager to please, reminding me of the attentive service by HAL's Indonesian staff. Another thing I've come to like about RCL is the Crown and Anchor loyalty program, which has significant benefits. Members are constantly recognized, beginning with your printed luggage tags, which have your cabin number, name and status (Platinum, etc.) on them. Your status is also displayed on your SetSail key. We are now Platinum (5+ cruises) and found 2 for 1 coupon books waiting in our cabin with several decent value offerings. I believe the Diamond and Diamond Plus members had an open bar reception every nite at various venues onboard. The Platinum reception was well attended (read a tad crowded), but was open bar and numerous servers that kept up nicely. Food was standard fare and good to very good. The Windjammer offered a vast selection (try the curry dishes) at spread out serving stations so that even on sea days seating could be found. For dinner we chose anytime dining (choose a time and make a reservation during the day - easy to do), and found the prime rib, other meat and fish entries to be very good. Sadly, no lobster or Eggs Benedict. The so-called NY Strip the last nite: not so good. Service in the dining room was attentive and never rushed. Table for 2 no problem at dinner or open seating breakfast. Cruise Director Mitch did a fair job and had the now prevalent "live on-air" TV morning program discussing activities and events onboard. In one interesting segment he interviewed Captain Patrik, the Doogie Howser/youngest captain to make captain on any cruise ship, who spoke of his career ascent to Master and related that maybe 5-7% of his duties actually involved navigating the ship, the balance "running this big hotel". Captain Patrik seeks and values input from his 1,200 crew members and believes a happy staff equates to happy passengers. The guy was clearly on the ball. The art auction, formal portraits and P.A. announcements were mercifully minimal. We chose to relax more than be active, but I assure you there were tons of activities for all tastes day and nite. In conclusion, I won't knock Carnival because if you get your mindset right for a basic, mass-market cruise it doesn't disappoint. HAL's sedateness used to appeal to us, but oddly now does not. So we'll spring for the few extra bucks and sail Royal Caribbean, and recommend you do to. Bons voyages to all. extom. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
We have sailed with RC 2 other times and felt that the food quality was passable. We decided to cruise with them again because it was a last minute decision and this cruise was available. We went without very high expectations regarding ... Read More
We have sailed with RC 2 other times and felt that the food quality was passable. We decided to cruise with them again because it was a last minute decision and this cruise was available. We went without very high expectations regarding the food. I have to say that RC did not disappoint us. The food quality this time was, at times, inedible. If they cannot cook lobster tails properly, don't serve them. If the quality of the prime rib is poor, don't serve it. I understand budget cutbacks to keep the cruise price down, but there is no excuse for such poor quality. The cream soups were mostly cornstarch and little flavor. The salmon was dried out. The food in the Windjammer was not much better. The selections were limited and not very good. I eaten in cafeterias that had better food. I am not that picky and understand cooking for a large crowd, but there is no excuse. This will be our very last RC cruise. I should add that everything else about the cruise was great. They have an amazing staff, good entertainment, and great facilities. It is just the food. I cannot believe the rave reviews I have read about their food. Did these folks have the same cooks? Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
We had s specific window of opportunity to go on a cruise to celebrate my birthday. The only ship that could work within our available time frame was the Navigator of the Seas. We have sailed on Celebrity ships several times and were under ... Read More
We had s specific window of opportunity to go on a cruise to celebrate my birthday. The only ship that could work within our available time frame was the Navigator of the Seas. We have sailed on Celebrity ships several times and were under the impression that RCL was a lesser product. Some of the reviews we read about the ship made us even more concerned that we would not be satisfied. NOTHING COULD HAVE BEEN FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. We were pleasantly surprised and had a wonderful time. The ship was in excellent condition, immaculate and sparkling. The dining room food was extremely good, with a wide range of selections every day... much better than our last Celebrity cruise. The only drawback with regards to food was the buffet. The presentation was very mediocre, which masked the fact that the food was pretty good. There was no sushi- the only disappointment. Our balcony cabin was clean, comfortable, and well-maintained with a great shower. There was an abundance of room to unpack and spread out. The shows were entertaining. In addition, there were parades in the main promenade on three nights - a 70s disco event, a holiday parade, and a caribbean style parade. The lounge entertainers were enjoyable and the Ice Dancing show (yes, there is an ice rink onboard) was extravagant and fun to watch. The midnight dance party/buffet was very high energy. The gym and the spa were first class. We had spa treatments and used the sauna and steam facilities. The solarium, adult-only pool/hot tub area was relaxing and serene. I was disappointed that there was no internet service in the cabins. Needless to say, there was a cost to use the internet. There were about 6 hot spots onboard for those of us with our own wireless capabilities as well as a computer lounge area. I needed to get some work done and would have liked to have done it in my cabin. The captain and crew were all friendly and helpful. Service in all areas was more than satisfactory. The only problem was the weather - it was unseasonably cool and rainy for the first three days and only marginally better the next two...but, for us, it was all right. We didn't mind it at all. I would definitely sail on a RCL ship again. Bravo - well done. I highly recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
I'm going to make this simple I simply packed way to many clothes, getting on board was simple. I arrived at 1 o'clock and walked on with no wait. We were actually able to go right to our cabin and our luggage was there by 2 ... Read More
I'm going to make this simple I simply packed way to many clothes, getting on board was simple. I arrived at 1 o'clock and walked on with no wait. We were actually able to go right to our cabin and our luggage was there by 2 o'clock. The room was 158 sf, but didn't feel cramped. The open window looking out over the Promonade was a huge plus and the showers had serious water pressure. The Bon Voyage cocktails were very tasty up on deck and made the day start off perfect. Prices of cocktails were not as bad as I expected and they do make very good beverages with high quality stuff! Makers Mark for me please. We did order a 5 bottle wine package, but should not have. It was for the dining room and we only used 3 bottles. While we could take the rest home, it wasn't worth the cost. Having said that, the soda package was very much worth the money. Be sure to save time for the shows. I thought the entertainment was exceptional. Everything from the Ice Show to the Belly Flop Competition.. not one thing we would have wanted to miss. Service on board was friendly and cordual. How that beverage waiter I met on deck the first day always remembered me by name and exactly how I liked my beverage made was increadable, even when he saw me at a show. Food.. this is one area. We didn't have a bad meal on the ship. The first nights Sea bass was the best, and from there it was all just ok. Service seemed rushed in the main dining room as well. But again, even in this area every was good. Best part though was the Coffee. Even the stuff that was not an extra charge was Seattles Best. It was excellent. I can't think of anything I didn't enjoy. Even leaving the ship didn't take more then 45 minutes. That was with 6 ships in port. I would recommend this ship and this cruise to anyone. It was a value for what we received and a life time of memories. Think I'm wrong, as the lady I met on board who was taking her 167th cruise. Even she was happy! Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
We had an early morning flight the day of embarkation (Saturday, Dec 18) from Detroit to Ft Lauderdale. We traveled with our adult children (ages 22-26) and all 7 of us packed carry-on. Upon arrival to Ft Lauderdale we found a shuttle van ... Read More
We had an early morning flight the day of embarkation (Saturday, Dec 18) from Detroit to Ft Lauderdale. We traveled with our adult children (ages 22-26) and all 7 of us packed carry-on. Upon arrival to Ft Lauderdale we found a shuttle van for all of us and our luggage and were at the cruise terminal in no time (the shuttle was around $62 and we found that splitting into 2 taxis would have been cheaper--which we did on return) Since we arrived at the terminal on the early side we had to wait a little but the excitement of embarkation is always an experience I enjoy! We got through security easily and I just think there is nothing like making your way onto the ship and hearing the "ding" of your first time through the gangway! LOVE it!!! We found our staterooms (the largest balcony rooms we have ever had...with small couch) and since we had our luggage with us we had to wait for nothing! We toured the beautiful ship and found the Promenade Cafe with Seattle's coffee very quickly! Yay! We also love sailing Princess...but hate the coffee...so this was so nice! Our family found this cafe (no extra charge for coffee/tea/hot choc and pastries/pizza) to be a great place to relax. It was never crowded. The Promenade was beautifully decorated for Christmas and we thoroughly enjoyed this ship's design. My family ice skated, played miniature golf, went to almost every Trivia, played bingo, relaxed by the pools, and found many open tables to play "Bananagrams!" The Windjammer is a great food court design and food was very good (how can you NOT find something that you like?!) We also very much enjoyed our early seating in the dining room and had wonderful service. Our stateroom attendant was also great! Our ports were Grand Cayman and Cozumel. We found both to be very nice and went to beaches both days. I think we ended up at Royal Palms in GC. We went by van and could have done an all-inclusive day but we are not drinkers so we opted for throwing our towels on the sand and enjoying the beach for free. We had eaten a large breakfast and were in no hurry to get off the ship so we easily returned to the ship for a late lunch/snack. The waves were awesome and it was a lot of fun. Cozumel has a wonderful shop area right near the dock. We found it very easy to get a van to the beach (Mr. Sanchos) and prices are posted before you even get on. At Mr. Sanchos we did purchase some drinks and chips/salsa/guac which was inexpensive and tasty! We highly recommend this place. If you make purchases you can use tables/chairs. Very friendly place. Apart from finding out that balconies cannot be unlocked from room to room "due to safety issues" I cannot think of one thing that was not wonderful (except maybe the RC beach towels that are only the size of bath towels)...this trip/ship/staff/ports were just what we were looking for! What a great way to celebrate the 30 years of marriage God has blessed us with! We arrived home Dec 23 to a relaxing Christmas celebration...I wish we could do this every year! Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
I had not cruised in years when we took our first cruise with Royal Caribbean. For those who have not cruised in many years and remember getting "seasick", well you just have to believe me, "it just does not happen any ... Read More
I had not cruised in years when we took our first cruise with Royal Caribbean. For those who have not cruised in many years and remember getting "seasick", well you just have to believe me, "it just does not happen any more". The new ships are so smooth on the ocean, you're not going to believe it until you try it. Like me, you will take one and be hooked...especially, with Royal Caribbean. There are lots of companies out there but this is the best...in my book. We have not been able to cruise for awhile because of the economy, our business has been so bad, and we have been so stressed about it, that it was making us sick. Then, we realized that no matter what we had to get away and relax for a few days, and the most relaxing vacation we have ever had was on Royal Caribbean cruises, so this was just what the doctor ordered, get away from the stress. I have been so impressed with all the service with RC. The ship's staff is UNBELIEVABLE", you will never be treated this well the rest of your life, the whole time you are on board you are treated like "ROYALTY", UUMMM, wonder if that's where they got the name??? As a matter of fact, you are treated like that from the first phone call. With some of the booking agencies you feel like they are just selling you a product, with RC, their operators make you feel much more comfortable and that they truly want to make your experience the best both before the cruise, and during the cruise. The executives of this company are very "hands on" and caring when it comes to specials needs, they "get It". Our last cruise was not with RC, and I can tell you, that will never happen again...the food on Carnival was really so so, and comparing the food to RC, then it's the difference between black & white...RC rocks when it comes to food, out of the 3 cruise lines I have traveled, RC is out front by miles. We are dreaming of being able to cruise on the ALLURE it looks great, every time I turn around RC is outdoing themselves. Let me just say again all the staff on the ship, is GREAT, but the wait staff in the main dining room, makes you not want to leave your table...so professional, so talented, so friendly, so relaxing...We pull up are cruise pictures on FLICKR all the time, just to relive the memories...TO: Royal Caribbean (Exec. to every staff member) THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES...they will last a lifetimes. And, by the way, the entertainment far exceeded my expectations! Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Me and my husband and 2 children 11 and 14 voyaged out for our 12th cruise Our Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas from Dec 9-12th. We arrived in Miami the night before our cruise and stayed at the JW Marriott, which is great... ... Read More
Me and my husband and 2 children 11 and 14 voyaged out for our 12th cruise Our Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas from Dec 9-12th. We arrived in Miami the night before our cruise and stayed at the JW Marriott, which is great... Had dinner at the Oceanaire Seafood Room and I must say it was exceptional food...the lobster was great!! The next day we used the shuttle service. Very friendly and curtious. They were waiting for us and were knowledgeable of the cruise we were taking. Staff... Wonderful.... Everyone from Officers to maintenance personnel smiled and gave a "hello" when we passed. Let me just say again all the staff on the ship, is GREAT, but the wait staff in the main dining room, makes you not want to leave your table...so professional, so talented, so friendly, so relaxing..Thanks Maria and Jen... Bars.. Two Poets is good for a before or after dinner drink and smoke..very nice staff...the strawberry daquri was to die for. Johnny Rockets: I love hamburgers...they gave large portions for the money..we were served right away. The cafe 50's theme was very cool. The kids loved it! The Windjammer offered a prime rib which was delicious..the attendents were there to ask if we needed anything and very polite.. The Main Dining Room exceeded my expectations, from the staff to the food I can't compliment them enough. The portion size was a as expected....huge. And a beautiful room. There was plenty of things to do for the kids..golf and shuttle board..pools and more..very kid friendly..other activities The X Games, Rockin' Through the Decades.. Scavenger Hunts, Backstage Tour, The Art Walk, Win, Cruise or Draw, Sports Tournaments. Be sure to save time for the shows. I thought the entertainment was exceptional. Everything from the Ice Show to the Belly Flop Competition. There's not one thing we would have wanted to miss. And, by the way, the shows far exceeded my expectations! Entertainment: 1st night was Dean Austin comedian. He was very friendly and a great laugh. 2nd The show called All Access..They were a bunch of young singers and dancers. Very good. 3rd Randy Cabral..the comedy juggler..I had seen him somewhere I said to my husband...it was Jay Leno...he was very funny..love the paddle ball trick. Another thing I've come to like about RCL is the Crown and Anchor loyalty program, which has significant benefits, which is a huge plus for us...it is so nice and has such a welcome feel when we travel with RCL...I can't praise this cruise line..I have been on numberour cruises and I feel this is the best around! Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Hotel: Loved the W in Fort Lauderdale which we got for a steal - $99 bid on priceline. They have the Acura experience so we got a free ride to the port the next day around 10:30. Embarkation: Arrived at port and no line up ... Read More
Hotel: Loved the W in Fort Lauderdale which we got for a steal - $99 bid on priceline. They have the Acura experience so we got a free ride to the port the next day around 10:30. Embarkation: Arrived at port and no line up whatsoever. Checked in and had to wait around 15-20 mins until boarding was allowed. Previously we've generally been able to get into our rooms before 1:00 but this time the corridors were closed until then. We travel light so not an issue checking out the ship with hand luggage in tow. Ship: Loved the ship but amazing it seems so much smaller than our impressions of Explorer, the other ship in this category we sailed several years ago. Staff: Senior staff very visible and friendly. Cabin: location was good - 7th floor Promenade above and across from guest services area. Didn't hear anything from promenade - although think one of the first nights some music might have drifted up from Pub but not even loud enough to make out what it was. Only negative if anyone was planning to spend a lot of time in cabin would be that you get the flash from the various photo areas coming through promenade window. Food: Good, as always, but definitely see a change from when I last sailed royal. I just remember having harder time deciding on food on previous Royal cruises. Having a sweet tooth, the desserts, I think, definitely let them down. Main Dining Room: Server Murat - exceptional. If anyone sailing on Navigator soon ask for him. Think the drinks server was overextended and I remember on previous cruises the speciality shooter/Glass was heavily promoted nightly whereas I had a hard time getting one - couldn't the first night - but after I ordered I saw more being served in our section. Saying that I did get a couple of complimentary ones so service was amazing once I saw the drink server. Shows: They had the Nelson Brothers who did a retrospective of their Dad's (Ricky Nelson) music. Pretty good and they did a second set on promenade which was a mixture of their music and their dads. Didn't see any of the other shows other than the last night. Coco Cay: I'm not a beach person, but think this is the most disappointing of the three cruise line owned islands. Half moon cay has to be the best. Cozumel: Recommend the cooking class with unlimited margarita, rum punch, tequila etc. Grand Cayman: Didn't do any excursions. Just did a bit of shopping. Photography I saw them advertise pictures on disk and thought, finally, seamless, easy process like disney... But no. Hit and miss as to whether photographer took your seapass or not before taking photos so obviously if they didn't, chances of photo automatically appear in computer folder was slim. Online Photo Review: 3 or 4 terminals were set up where you could swipe your seapass and see the photos registering against your account. However, major issues with this - in our case whenever we swiped pass it would show photos of previous cruiser who had checked system, not ours. Now whether this was because we both had to get seapass reset mid-week, I don't know. Heard other cruisers complain that not all their pictures were appearing or some wrong photos in there. I know you could delete pictures you didn't want included but not sure what the chance was off having a disk with random photos on it if you didn't go through every single photo online as I believe they use photo recognition to pull the photos together. Cost: $249 for disk. Not sure if there was a maximum number of images allowed or not but would hope not at that price. Bars: Didn't really spend much time in the bars but service was good when we did. Only issue we had was vintages if we sat at the tables out front as one of the bar staff didn't seem to make it to those tables even when inside was pretty empty. Disembarkation: we waited in lounge until around 10:00 as no rush to get off as we had a late afternoon flight. with so many people walking off with luggage, us included, it can be extremely difficult to get onto elevators and we ended up getting an elevator going up as all the down elevators were full. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
We are loyal members of the Royal Caribbean cruise lines. We love their ships, service, and staff. Over the past 7 years we have taken at least 8-9 cruises with them and every time we have come back with good things to say. We live in the ... Read More
We are loyal members of the Royal Caribbean cruise lines. We love their ships, service, and staff. Over the past 7 years we have taken at least 8-9 cruises with them and every time we have come back with good things to say. We live in the Midwest. We usually get a balcony cabin, but this time we talked our daughter into sharing a Royal Family Suite. We figured we would get "royal treatment". What a stupid thought. We were treated no different in our rooms than if we had a balcony cabin. Sure we had some chairs around the pool, and at the theater, but the lounge experience we were kicked out of just a few months before (we are only diamond members) was terrible. All five nights there were no places to sit and enjoy a drink or a snack. All five nights I asked if they were going to expand the area and each night i was told "IT WILL BE BETTER TOMORROW". It was not. I asked if I could take my glass of wine out of the area and it was taken away from me or I was told "NO!". One time the waiter actually took the glass out of my hand. I just related with whole story to two RCL reps and they said "we are sorry". That's it. Sorry. "It should not have happened." This is it for me. I played by their rules to become diamond to enjoy a perk they invented. They took it away to serve the suite members. I paid the money to get the Royal Suite to enjoy the perk they invented, and they took that away too.. Hope you have better luck. I am looking elsewhere. Petercal Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
We chose this particular cruise because it was a good price at a good time and the right length. However, before we booked I of course did a lot of review reading and I think 95% of people said not to expect much of the food. I always go ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise because it was a good price at a good time and the right length. However, before we booked I of course did a lot of review reading and I think 95% of people said not to expect much of the food. I always go into situations like this with an open mind...thinking that maybe these are seasoned travelers who are really picky. Well, I hate to say it but for the most part they were right. Now, I'm not sure if I can give a fair enough review because by the time my DH and I got up to the windjammer for breakfast it was almost over which ment that most of the food was sitting in it's own grease for a while and it was always the same stuff. None of it had much taste to it unless you lathered it in syrup, salt and pepper, or ketchup. Lunch was much the same. Now with that said here are some good aspects. Dinner in the dinning room was ALWAYS good especially our waiter Marc. Also a little know fact that during sea days the dinning room is open for breakfast and lunch, now we never made it to breakfast, but we did for lunch the salad bar as good and it was nice to be served and not have to push your way though the crowd. Another negative observation was that if you didn't get out to the pool on sea days you were not getting a chair near the pool especially at the adult pool which was exceptionally quiet. We did the excursion in cozumel called the ultimate beach break to Playa Mia. It included a buffet lunch and all the drinks you could handle. SAVE your money!!! Now, if you want all the drinks you can handle then go for it the buffet just left something to be desired. Also, you will have to ask for more beach chairs and ask for an umbrella. Over all it was nice and relaxing which was the main point of this trip. I did hear some good things about the Passion beach too. Other than that EVERYTHING else about the cruise was great. The shows, the service and the bars. I would defiantly recommend this line and this ship. Just use this hints about the dinning room on sea days and be prepared with the food. Other then that I think you will enjoy yourself. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
We were a party of 9 on the Thanksgiving day weekend cruise. I have been on 40+ cruise and 9 in the last two years so I think that I have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Will try to make this as compact and informative ... Read More
We were a party of 9 on the Thanksgiving day weekend cruise. I have been on 40+ cruise and 9 in the last two years so I think that I have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Will try to make this as compact and informative as I can. Very Good 1-The ships design and layout. 2-The over sized hot tubs 3-Full sized glasses of OJ at breakfast. Sounds trivial but I hate those shot glass sized glass that some lines use. Good 1-Not a lot on announcements on the loud speaker selling things. NCL does this constantly. I didn't feel nickled and dimed as I did on NCL. Average 1-Food. It is what it is. Not really worse or better then the other lines I have been on recently. Nothing like it was years ago. 2-Entertainment. Again not a lot of difference with the other lines. Poor 1-Embark and debark were both not run well, lots of little things that added up to a less then pleasant time. 2-The employees were so so at best. Cabin steward did the minimum and forgot to put down the third bed as asked, had to call to have it done. Poor English skills and didn't seem at all interested in her job. While most everyone would say Hello etc, it was more from training then from any real interest. 3-Dining room was poorly managed. We had 9 people, the solution stick us at a table for 8 with an extra place setting and crowd us all in. We ordered a Vanilla cake with no singing for a Birthday, just bring it to the table and leave it. Got a Chocolate cake with singing. Very Poor. Casino. Most (but not all) of the dealers were unfriendly. Had a major problem with the management. I got some chips on my card and they entered the amount wrong, to the tune of $68,000. Took them two tries to reverse it and then they rang it wrong again, this time only a $100 off but want me to take extra chips instead of doing it right. Ask to speak with the manager and frankly he just blew it off. A complete lack of interest. I love the ship but it is clear that they are working the employees into the ground and it shows. It is a mass market cruise line and if shows, if you expect any special or even good, interested service good luck. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Hello, hola, buenas noches, good evening. I'm not good at introductions, so I'll start things off with a disclaimer: I am 17, so this review will not include extensive information on the Casnio, nightclubs, bars, spas, or other ... Read More
Hello, hola, buenas noches, good evening. I'm not good at introductions, so I'll start things off with a disclaimer: I am 17, so this review will not include extensive information on the Casnio, nightclubs, bars, spas, or other adult hot spots on the ship. This review is unique because it's through the eyes of a teen, which is not common. Having said that, let's get to the review! Background: This is my fourth cruise and my second with Royal Caribbean. My previous cruises were on the Carnival Fascination, Majesty of the Seas, and Carnival Imagination in that order. All of those ships are considered small by today's standards, and I am skipping the middle size ships and going right up to the megaships (unless Oasis and Allure now push the Voyager class down a level). Either way, this is my first cruise on a ship larger than 80,000 GT. I am on this cruise with my 14 year old sister (this is her second cruise, her first was the Majesty) and with my mom (almost a cruise virgin. I say "almost" because her only other cruise was almost 30 years ago on NCL, and times have changed greatly). We booked this cruise back in March and have been waiting patiently ever since. Embarkation: I live in Plantation, Florida, so the port is only a half an hour car drive away. We left the house around 11:35 in the morning (driven by my grandmother so we wouldn't need to park in the garage) and we arrived at Port Everglades close to the top of the hour. After passing through a couple long car lines, we arrived at the Navigator of the Seas's pier at 12:10. By 12:35 we were walking on the ship. Much quicker than my other recent cruises, but with those we arrived much closer to the call time. The point is, the earlier you come, the quicker you get on the ship. The Room: I would like to use a quote from one of the ship's comedians, Billy Garan, who I will talk about more later. His opening joke was "By now you've realized those pictures of your room were taken with a wide angle lens." We had a standard balcony stateroom, which seems like it would be on the low end of decent space for two people, but it was tiny for three. The bathroom was also tiny, but the little space was efficient. My mom and sister took the two twin beds, and I was on the sofa bed. However, it is a step up from Hotel sofa beds, as it comes with a very nice set of sheets and is not on a bouncy spring mattress. On the third night we slept without air conditioning, it was only the next day we realized that the balcony door was just slightly open, which automatically shuts down the room's AC. The Ship: Centrums and Promenade: Everything on the ship revolves around the two massive lobbies and the football field of food and shopping that lies between. While it did seem a bit wider in the pictures, the Royal Promenade was no disappointment. It was the heart of the ship (literally. It had a giant expanding ball in the center that changed colors and size during the evening. Like a pumping heart). The Promenade was home to the Promenade Cafe (Ill talk about that magical place later), The Two Poets Pub (home to nightly live music from guitarist Rob McNay. I sat in on some of his shows, they were alright, not my music preference), Vintages (complete with a classic car), and the RCI logo show. Towards the back of the deck are the guest relations desk and the Champagne Bar, but I don't know if they are considered part of the promenade. I had a great conversation with the bartender of the Bar one night prior to one of the production shows. The two Centrums run up the sides of the Promenade. The Aft Centrum has eight elevators, four of which are glass facing the promenade. Four of the elevators run up to the Viking Crown Lounge. The Forward Centrum has six elevators, two which are glass. The Aft Centrum is the larger of the two, and includes access to the dining room(s), casino, Boleros, Studio B, and the photo gallery. The Forward Centrum provides access to the Metropolis Theater and The Schooner Bar. Many of these places will be discussed later in more detail. The Theater: Seating 1,359 people, the Metropolis Theater is the heart of the ship's entertainment. It housed 2 production shows, 2 comedians, and a Motown group, all of which I will talk about later. It's not as classy aesthetically as some of the other theaters in the Voyager Class, but it is a little more energetic. In many of the pictures, you can see the giant lights on the theater's ceiling, but it's not generally known that they are actually used and change color during the shows. The theater is very beautiful, and in a moderately good condition. Some of the seats had bottom's falling off, and some of the wood bars need to be treated. There is a pit for the band on the front of the stage, but it wasn't used in any of the shows I saw. As for the seating, there are ground level seats, slightly elevated seats in the back of the first floor, and balcony seats. There are some obstructed views due to the pillars supporting the balconies, but there are not many of them. I took a backstage tour of the theater on the last day of the cruise, which was very interesting. This is what I learned: Each show takes one month to program the lights for. The backstage is 2 floors, the bottom floor houses the sets and costumes for that day's shows. The second floor (only access are very steep steps) acts as a storage place for costumes not being used that day. All the singers are live during the shows, but they do have pre-recorded tracks that they use in case a microphone is broken or one of the singers is sick. Studio B: Home of Ice Dancin' (will be discussed later, yada yada yada) and The Quest, Studio B was a fun part of the ship. Although it is an ice rink, it is not freezing cold. I was fine watching the ice show in a shirt and shorts, and I live in Florida, home of heat. It seats 900, and was not full for any of the events. I would say it was about 75% full for The Quest, and just a little more populated for each of the ice shows. A good amount of seats have obstructed views thanks to the many support beams in the room. Ixtapa Lounge: This is the secondary lounge on the ship. I only went in there a couple times, mainly when they had the Nintendo Wii set up and for Karaoke. It seats about 350 people, but I never saw it near capacity. The lounge was in a generally good condition. Screening Room: I honestly did not expect this makeshift movie theater to be as packed as it was at times. It sits 60, but I often found people sitting on the floor or watching from outside because the room was filled. The room shows one movie a day, and repeats the movie every three hours. On our cruise, the movies were "Iron Man 2", "Knight and Day", "Clash of the Titans", "Shrek 4", and "Twilight: Eclipse". Many of these movies were constantly replaying on the TVs in the staterooms. The Dining Rooms: The three (or one, depending on how you view the structure) rooms are beautiful and elegant. The room's red carpet is in great condition and contrasts well with the gold pillars and bright table cloths and the chandelier. My family was seated on the first floor, close to the center of the room. The first floor of the room seats about 900 people, with the second and third floors seating 540 each. Windjammer and Jade: First and foremost, I don't see how Jade stands on its own as a restaurant. For breakfast and lunch, it is just an extension of the Windjammer, and it's just a single counter (one on each side of the Windjammer) serving Sushi and other Asian food at dinner. I guess the counter just gets its own name so RCI can claim that it's another "free" eatery on the ship. Just a minor nitpick though. The real problem here is that there was a lack of tables, at least during lunch. It was hard to find a place to sit and eat, and many people were competition to get an open table before the crew had a chance to clean it up. Long lines were a rarity here though. In fact, the only time I saw long lines were at the morning omelet stations, and that is fairly understandable. The Plaza Bar, in front of both Jade and the Windjammer, was very pretty. It had a miniature waterfall running down it's back wall. Overall, very clean and organized, if a little short on the tables. The Viking Crown Lounge: This is the only aspect of the ship that I found lacking as compared to my cruise on the Majesty of the Seas. On that ship, the VCL had a full 360 degree view, a full circle lounge, providing great views in all directions. The VLC on the Navigator still has a decent view, but I still missed the full observation of the Majesty. Anyways, Navigator's VLC was home to the Cosmopolitan Club, which housed live music nightly. On one side of the VLC were the Seven Hearts card room, Cloud Nine, and The 19th Hole Golf Bar, in which I watched the Steelers obliterate the Raiders. For some reason, Cloud Nine had a "Diamonds Event" sign outside of it the entire cruise, I don't know why though. The sports bar was packed during game nights on the cruise, and when games weren't on, the TVs were showing either ESPN highlights or FOX News. The lounge was generally clean, though the carpet was looking rugged in some areas. Adventure Ocean: The kid and teen programs took up a large part of the ship (at least in comparison with my previous cruises). All the separate rooms were adjoined by one of the largest arcades I had ever seen. As a teen, I was a frequent visitor to The Living Room and Fuel, the two teen lounges on the ship. The first of the two is where we played video games and trivia, while the second lounge was our dance club at night. While I did not spend much time in them, the rooms for the younger age groups were very spacious, although the carpets were looking stained and worn. Sports Deck: Behind the Viking Crown Lounge lies the sports deck, the biggest and best one on any ship I have been on yet. Immediately behind the VLC is RCI's signature rock wall, which I was surprised to see was not used as much as it was on the Majesty. It's not just used for normal climbing though. There were various "speed climbing" contests held throughout the cruise that were fun to watch. In front of the rock wall are two ping pong tables, placed carefully so the strong winds would not affect the game. One deck below was the full basketball court. I don't know what material it was built from, but it held up very well after some constant raining during our stay in Cozumel. It doubled as a dodge ball court for multiple tournaments during the cruise. Furthest back on the sports deck was a miniature golf course. Even though it is open 24 hours, it is best to play it during the morning or early afternoon, because it becomes difficult as the winds pick up later in the day and night. Finally, there is an inline skating track, but it was considerably small and underused. Pool Deck: What would a ship be without the pool deck? Overlooked by the Viking Crown Lounge, the Navigator's pool deck features two pools, side by side, with two hot tubs. For some reason, it was common for one of the pools to be closed at any given time, though both were open during the afternoon. The deck was clean, and not very slippery. Be sure to get your towels early, or else you will face long lines at the Towel Exchange Desk. Loose them, and it will cost you $20 each. Chairs were easy to come by, especially if you are a Crown and Anchor member, in which prime stadium seating chairs are roped off for you by the Pool and Sky bars. During the day, live music can be heard, or if the band isn't playing, modern pop music through speakers. The pool deck was home to a pool party and buffet on the third night from 11:30 PM through 1:00 AM, but more on that later. The pools themselves were never very crowded. Solarium: This enclosed adult's only space was a mixed bag. While it was in good condition, it was always very packed. Go early to get a chair. Additionally, while children were kept out of the area, it didn't solve the "noise" problem of the main pool deck. Many adults in the Solarium, mainly college kids or those in their young twenties, were loud and disruptive, if only for brief amounts of time. The Solarium was Italian themed, which was elegant and pretty. On the fourth night, the Solarium became Club 20, an adults only club, so I don't know what it was like, but there were many multi colored lights and it looked like fun. Schooner Bar: Full of smoke and the carpet was getting worn out. Had entertainment nightly from Don Alexander, a very talented singer/pianist (more later, yada) and trivia contests. Also, full of smoke, it deserves mentioning twice. Casino: Surprisingly, not as full of smoke as the Schooner Bar, at least in the couple seconds I spent by the glitzy entrance. Cruise Director Simeon Baker: At first, I didn't know what to expect from the cruise director. Obviously, being a Voyager Class ship, he would have more material to work with than previous cruise directors I have watched. My first impression of Simeon was that he was a bit off, but as the cruise went by I realized that it was because he had much more of a personality than my previous CDs. If you are wondering if my opening line to this review (Hello, hola, buenas noches, good evening) came from, its from Simeon. That is how he opened every show in the theater. It was weird at first, but it grew on me (and the rest of the cruisers) throughout the five days, and by the time the cruise was over, we were repeating each of those greetings after he said them. Simeon was very spirited during the cruise, but he contained his excitement properly so he was not just a flying ball of hyperactivity like my CD was last summer on Carnival. He also went the extra mile to entertain the guests. I don't know if this is an RCI standard, but on day four when we were leaving the ship to go to Cozumel, Simeon (who is bald, the kind with the shiny head) wore a short pink Lady Gaga type wig, glasses, and danced on deck one to remind us that that night was 70s night. One of my favorite things he did throughout the cruise was make a "special announcement" after every show time in the theater. For example, one of his announcements was "If someone lost a diamond encrusted 18 carat gold watch, the time is 8:01). The last thing we saw before walking in Mexico was our cruise director dancing, and it was clear he was having fun. He was a very friendly individual, and I spoke to him multiple times throughout the ship. In fact, during an elevator ride with him, he told me that his brother is a cruise director for Norwegian Cruise Lines. Matt Baker anyone? Teen Program: This was a mixed bag for me, which was a disappointment because this was (incredibly likely, barring a miracle) my last cruise as a teen (by cruise line standards, aka 17 and under). It had every reason to be great. There were organized activities, two great teen clubs, and a lot of interested teens. The main problem however was the person in charge of my age group (not giving names). I know RCI likes to hire an international crew, but the head of the teen program is probably a job best served by an American. The problem with the teen consoler on my cruise was that she didn't understand what American teens are like. She tried to control our language, she wanted us to dance apart from each other, and she didn't know how to make activities appeal to our group. The worst part was when someone spread a rumor that she was drinking in a bar one night, so instead of playing Capture the Flag like was on the schedule during day four, she called us all into The Living Room and gave us a 30 minute speech about how she doesn't drink and was afraid the rumor would hurt her job. Just not something you want to talk with teens who want to play games. I agree that the rumor should not have been started, but don't interrupt the entire schedule to make a point of it to all of us. On vacation. Anyways, the activities themselves were very fun and the teens were really into it. RCI's teen program has always been better than the one on Carnival. On my Carnival cruise last summer, the teen club was only open (doors unlocked) when there was a scheduled activity in there. Additionally, the type of teens on the Navigator (and RCI in general) are just generally nicer than ones on Carnival. On the Navigator, we were welcome to come and go as we pleased. Activities ranged from Dodgeball to nightly dances to poker. I didn't spend much time with the teen program as I thought I would (too busy eating at Cafe Promenade), but I did enjoy the time I had, even though it needs a better person in charge. I don't think not being allowed in the teen program will hurt me on future cruises, because many of the activities offered in the teen program (casino games, Nintendo Wii, dodgeball, speed climbing, etc) are already offered to adults. Entertainment: All Access (Production Show): There are three production shows on the Navigator of the Seas. The two that were preformed on our cruise were "All Access" and "Ballroom Fever". The third show, "Now and Forever", is supposed to be inspired by Broadway music and tunes. "Ballroom Fever" was themed around ballroom dancing, something that didn't interest me, so I skipped it. "All Access", which I did see, is a collection of rock songs from the 70s. Of all the production shows I have seen on any cruise, this was the most bland. That is not to say it was bad, but it just wasn't very special. One of my biggest gripes was the set, or more specifically, the lack of variety. On other RCI and Carnival shows, there are constantly changing backdrops and props rotating throughout the show. All Access's set consisted of an elevated bandstand, flashing LED lights in the background, and a lot of bars. There were also a couple of ladders that moved in from the sides of the stage, but nothing colorful or unique. Additionally, while the singers were good (more on them later), none of them had a voice for Rock and Roll. Their voices were not edgy enough to sing classic 70s song. Listening to "We Will Rock You" by Queen (the show's opening song) was difficult, because the lyrics should not sound smooth and pretty, they should sound gritty. The dancers were very talented, but the cerography for the show was nothing new. The entire package was just very bland compared to the shows I saw last summer on Carnival, and my favorite cruise production show, "Boogie Wonderland" on the Majesty of the Seas. The RCI Singers and Dancers: All four singers had talent, there is no doubt, but there is only one that left an impression on me, Michael (don't know his last name). Not only was he a great singer, but he also had a fantastic stage presence, and the way he carried himself was very loose and relaxed. He seemed to be having more fun than the other singers, and he also had the best chemistry with the other singers and dancers. The dancers were also talented, though they did not have the best material. During the backstage tour I took of the theater, I met some of the dancers, one of which is 19. He told me he auditioned over video. I think he said he was one of the youngest dancers in the entire fleet. Billy Garan (Headlining Comedian): Billy, who was the performer on our welcome aboard show, was a very interesting comedian. Interesting because there were times when he was really funny, but other times when I was wondering why RCI hired him. His opening joke ("By now you've realized those pictures of your room were taken with a wide angle lens") was funny, but holding up a giant cardboard cut out of Stewie's (from Family Guy) head and repeating the name "Lois" really quickly isn't funny at all. It's annoying actually. Billy was also a good impressionist, but he didn't use them in a comedic purpose (except for one about the TV show CSI). It was more like him doing impressions just so we know he can. His adult show was a bit of an improvement, but when he got to the impressions again, his show started to die out. He capped his performance off with an incredible boring "every TV movie acted out in 5 minutes", which had a lot of potential, but came off as corny and a waste of time. Levent (Headlining Comedian/Magician): Levent, the performer on our farewell show, on the other hand was fantastic. He was very funny, incorporating humor into magic (or vice versa) much better than many others have tried. He had humor for kids and adults alike. It is clear he was a comedian first and a magician second, as every "magic trick" he did, save for a couple serious ones scattered throughout the show, were accompanied by comedy. For example, he put a bottle of wine into a paper bag, and "turned" it into a fake bunny, which he proceeded to take a sip from the top of. Another great moment was when he made a cane disappear from inside a newspaper (tribute to Houdini), and then walked around the stage without being able to bend one knee, and kicking the cane out loudly offstage. My favorite joke from him came from when he wanted the audience to vote on what his last trick should be, either sucking a potted plant up the nose or juggling two balls. The audience voted for the potted plant up the nose one, and Levent said that the juggling won by electoral vote. He called it democracy in action. I call it funny. Spectrum (Headliner Musicians): Preforming on the third night, Spectrum is a Motown music cover group who performed in the theater. They were fantastic, and collectively were much better singers than any of the RCI Singers and Dancers, save for Michael. Spectrum comes from Las Vegas, and has been doing shows on RCI ships for a while now. Each of the four members took turns singing songs, all successfully. Having been born in 1993, there were many songs I did not know, but the ones I did know were performed beautifully. Highlights included their versions of "Soul Man" and "Stand By Me", which got the most applause from the audience, all earned. Royal Promenade Parades: There were two parades on the Royal Promenade during the cruise. The "Welcome Aboard" parade on the first night (which seems to have replaced an ocean themed parade) and a "Mardi Gras" parade on the final night. Both were very entertaining, if a bit bland. The first one focused on the crew and where they came from. Many different cultures were introduced on the bridge in the Promenade. Additionally, the ship's staff was split into their individual groups (Cooks, Casino, Stewards, etc.) and carried banners throughout the promenade. The second parade had the RCI Singers singing (duh) as the rest of the ship's entertainers (Dancers, Ice Skaters, Cruise Director's Staff, etc.) danced in Mardi Gras type outfits. Both parades were about 15 minutes long, which is a good length. Any longer and they would have become repetitive. The only problem is that if you are not in the Promenade a couple minutes before the parade starts, you won't get a good view. The promenade is roped off literally seconds before the parade begins, and once you're behind the rope, you are pretty much trapped for the duration. Ice Dancin' (Ice Show): Does it need to be said? It has been repeated so many times on this entire forum. I know you know it, I know I know it, but I will say it anyways: WOW. This show is spectacular, a surprising delight. Even with all the buildup and hype from reading about it on here, I was not prepared for the triple spins and backflips that powered this wonderful performance. See it. That is all that really needs to be said. I saw it twice. The show is preformed four times on the cruise, twice on the two sea days, at 3:00 and 5:00 PM. The guest act was a hoola hooper, who was very talented. I don't have her name with me right now, but when I get it I will post it. Don Alexander: Don was the piano player and singer at the Schooner Bar during our cruise. He began on the ship during the end of its Mediterranean season back in September, and seems like he will be on it for the foreseeable future, which is good, because he is very talented. Every night (I believe, not positive) he played music and sung along in the Schooner Bar, which attracted big audiences. On the first night he played a tribute show to both Elton John and Billy Joel, and on the last night he took requests. I know he was playing on the other nights, but I don't know what the playlists were. Either way, this man was very good, and he earns bonus points for surviving all the smoke in the Schooner Bar. Rob McNay: He was the guitarist in the Two Poets Pub. He played on pretty much the same schedule as Don, but Rob was far less interesting. Rob played guitar with prerecorded music in the background. I don't know if he sang or not. Either way, he did not garner much of an audience. Various Bands and Orchestra: The Navigator of the Seas Orchestra was talented, as all of the main ship orchestras are. At night (don't know if it was multiple or only the last one) they played Jazz music in the Viking Crown Lounge. There was a separate music group that played regularly Boleros, called the "Latin Express Trio", and they were talented. When they were playing, there were many people dancing on the floor. They knew their audience well. I don't know which group played at night normally in the VLC, but they played good slow background music in case you wanted to relax. Finally, the pool band played live music throughout the day. I didn't spend much time listening to them, but what I heard was good. They played a lot of tropical themed music. The Love and Marriage Game Show: This is one of the main reasons I love cruising. This show is always entertaining, because even though the questions might always be the same (which thankfully, they have changed since my last RCI cruise, as I feared they would be the same), the best aspect of the show is how the contestants react to and answer the questions. On this cruise, the players were a couple married for 20 days, a 2 year old married couple, and one married for 36 years. The 2 year couple were the funniest (and the winners). They were very comfortable with giving out information, and you could tell they were partiers. Simeon Baker was very entertaining during this, and seemed prepared for many scenarios with the contestants, such as when one revealed he had a bad farting habit. Overall, this part of the cruise did not disappoint at all, and I would recommend it to all. Well, not children. The Quest: Also fun and entertaining and not recommended for children comes The Quest, RCI's wild "adult" game show, as they advertised it. Just like the Love and Marriage show, the real fun here is how the audience reacts to the specific quests. I don't know if all cruise directors follow the same questions and do the same things, but I could tell that Simeon had a lot of fun here, especially when at the end, he removed his shirt to reveal he was wearing a bra, and led 11 men also wearing bras (part of the last quest) through Studio B like they were in a fashion show. Nighttime Deck Party: Sorry I don't remember the name at the moment (I don't have access to my compasses right now), but on night four from 11:30 PM to 1:00 AM, the Navigator had its midnight pool party. On the sidelines they had a great buffet, featuring many meats, appetizers, an ice cream bar, pork, and deserts. In the middle of the deck they had the main party, which strangely was not hosted by Simeon. Instead it was hosted by activities director Darren. The pre-party consisted of an ice carving demonstration, which was very cool to witness. The party itself started off with a lot of dancing songs (like the Cha Cha Slide) by the pool. After about 30 minutes or so, around midnight, they cleared the floor and set up a table with various bar tools. Everyone knew what was going to happen and got the best view possible. The bartenders were going to put on a show. The best views were gone quickly, so hurry up when you see they are getting ready for this. About four bartenders put on a presentation for us all individually, making their own signature drink with as many tricks as possible, and they proceeded to give the drinks they made out to audience members for free. After this I decided to go to sleep. I wanted to be rested well for my last day on the ship. Poolside Games: In the early afternoon of the second day of the cruise was the traditional belly flop competition, and the crowd was really into it. The contestants were also having fun, with some signing themselves up under funny nicknames (some which humorously reflect on that persons weight), and others doing funny dances or movements before jumping into the pool. In the end, the person who earned the most applause was actually a woman, who might have actually had the biggest splash of all the competitors. And no, she was not overweight. This was very fun to watch. The second poolside game I watched was the Mr. Sexy Legs competition. Again, very funny to watch. In fact, I am sure some of the belly floppers participated in this as well. Some people have no shame in making fun of themself for entertainment. All the more power to them. Mr. Sexy Legs was also very entertaining. Other poolside games included Mrs. Biceps and the Poolside Olympics, both of those I unfortunately missed out on. Food: Overview: Before I get to talking about the individual eateries on the ship and what they serve, I want to discuss the food overall. It was a very mixed bag, depending on what you ate, where, and when. When originally planning the review, I knew I was going to compare this food to that on my Carnival cruise from last summer, but I didn't think I would need to compare it to the food from my cruise on the Majesty. Even both they are both RCI ships, there are noticeable differences between the food quality. Pizza: I included this as its own category for a few reasons: For starters, pizza is one of the most important food products on a ship. Secondly, I need to compare it to both Carnival's pizza and the Majesty's pizza. Finally, because Pizza is served on multiple parts of the Navigator. Many say that Carnival has the best pizza at sea, but I disagree. I believe the best pizza belongs to RCI. Or more specifically, the Sorrentos pizza found on the Freedom and Oasis class ships, as well as the Majesty. Sorrento's is a land based pizza restaurant, like Johnny Rockets, so it's food is of a higher quality than the normal cruise line food. The difference is, Sorrento's is free on the ships that it is on, and is much better than Carnival's pizza, and that of the Navigator's. As for the Navigator's pizza itself, it's quality differed depending on where you received it. The pizza in the Windjammer was disgusting on the first and only time I tried it (lunch on embarkation day). It had very little sauce, and the cheese didn't taste like cheese. On the other hand, the pizza served in the Promenade Cafe (which is baked there, so it is entirely separate from the Windjammer pizza makers), was a big improvement. It was about as good as the pizza on my Carnival cruise last summer. They have plain and pepperoni available almost all the time, with a flavor of the day as well. Even better than the pizza though were the miniature calzones at the Cafe. When I was on Carnival, they were made by request, but on the Navigator, they had a big plate of them, almost always full, and they were very good. I believe I ate more calzones than any other individual food item on the ship. Cafe Promenade: Normally you would expect the Windjammer or the Dining Rooms to be first, rather than this little Cafe, since they are more important, but I am writing about this first because the Cafe Promenade is the place I visited the most during the cruise. Open 24 hours a day, the Cafe always has treats for you. In the morning, they had breakfast pastries such as doughnuts, bread rolls, muffins, and danishes. After around 11:00 AM, they served pizzas and calzones, and continued to do so until around 2:00 AM the next morning. Also after 11:00 AM is when they served their signature cookies and cakes. Additionally, Seattle's Best Coffee, both regular and decaf, was available free all 24 hours. I made sure to visit the Cafe every morning for breakfast items. They served miniature challah rolls every morning, and I couldn't stop eating them, I loved them so much. The danishes were also tasty, if a little stale. I already talked about the pizza products, so I will move on to the cookies and cakes, which is what the Cafe is known for. The cookies they had were not always fresh (as in hard and crunchy rather than soft), but they were tasty. From what I observed, Chocolate Chip and Triple Chocolate Chunk were some of the favorites. Other flavors included Mudslide and Toffee, with what I think had Heath bar pieces in it. Overall, the Cafe Promenade was my favorite eatery on the ship, and I don't know how I will be able to live without it. Not just on other ships, but on land. I need my daily cookies and calzones. Main Dining Room: Even though I already mentioned it, the Main Dining Room looks fantastic. I just wish that the food was of the same quality. Not that the food was bad, but it just wasn't very special. I ate in the dining room on three of the nights, and had a good meal, but nothing that I miss. On the first night, I had an Alfredo linguini with mushrooms. The Alfredo sauce was not very flavorful. I could tell it was there because of its creamy texture, but it didn't add much to the flavor. Same with the mushrooms. The pasta itself was good, but it's not really anything you can mess up. On night two, I had a shrimp cocktail appetizer, which was pretty good, and the Filet of Beef, ordered medium rare. Filling and better than the linguini (in terms of amount of flavor), but it still did not have a very big impact. I skipped the room for nights three and four, and returned on night five, the last of the cruise. On that night, I had a Ceaser Salad for an appetizer, which was dry and flavorless. I had two entrEes that night, a New York Strip Steak, which was better than I expected, and Turkey, which was mixed: The white meat was dry and dull, but the dark meat was juicy and tender. I ate breakfast in here on disembarkation day, and it was very good. The food was timely, and well prepared. I had buttermilk pancakes, and tried my sister's French Toast, both of which were better than I was expecting. Overall, the food here was good, but nothing special, and met my expectations, except for the Ceaser Salad, which was a joke. Despite the quality of the food however, it was always plated excellently. Windjammer: The Lido Buffet was comparable to the dining room. It is a much better choice for lunch and for a breakfast on the go but with a drop in the quality of the food. I only had breakfast once in the Windjammer, on the second day (first morning) on the ship. I had a French toast, and it seemed like a solid triangle of egg yolk. After that, I ate in the Cafe Promenade for breakfast. If you do choose to go to the Windjammer for breakfast, expect long lines, especially at the omelet station. Thankfully, they have premade omelets available for those who hate waiting and are willing to sacrifice custom omelets. I generally came in here for lunch, in which they always served various meats and pastas. I tried a burger one day, and found it very lacking, which is to be expected. Why offer a good burger for free when you have Johnny Rockets? The hotdogs were good though, it's hard to mess those up. I would say the Windjammer was best during lunch. For dinner, they served the same general choices that they had in the dining room, but they were not as fresh. Johnny Rockets: I love hamburgers. A lot. I knew I would be going to Johnny Rockets at one point on my cruise, and I decided to go on day three, after coming back from Georgetown, Grand Cayman. It was never incredibly busy, and the food doesn't take too long to get to you. I ordered the St. Lewis burger, with Swiss cheese and bacon, and ate it quickly. I ordered a second burger (I love hamburgers. A lot.), this time a standard original (plain with regular condiments) and ate it as well. And if that was not enough, I ordered the Royal Caribbean Oreo Sunday, which is 2 or 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream with Oreos and chocolate syrup, and ate it (although I knew I shouldn't, as I was already feeling full from the burgers), and it was delicious, as were the burgers. They are always fresh and cooked to order. And seeing how it was $4.95 for all of the food together (the cover charge covers everything except for milkshakes, which cost $4.50, and Floats, which cost $3.95), it was a great value. Soda Package: I don't know how much this cost, but it was defiantly worth it. I had more soda in a day than I normally would have in 2-3 weeks, but hey, it's a cruise. If you are a huge soda drinker, get this, because not only do you get access to all the soda you want, but you also get a special colorful plastic bottle that is yours to keep. I love soda, and did not have the package on my previous 2 cruises. There is so much temptation on the Navigator, so many places where you can buy soda, and it's hard to resist. I believe a single soda can on the Navigator costs $2.25, and the card is about $6 or $7 a day (much less for kids), so if you plan on having at least 3 cans of soda a day, buy the card, or the bills will add up quickly. Crew Service: Overview: For the most part, the service on the ship was very quick and efficient. I didn't know what to expect from the crew, since the Navigator was very recently back from its Mediterranean season, and I have read reports of low crew morale and efficiency on the cruise following a major home port change. Nevertheless, the crew was always enthusiastic and happy. Room Service (not food): I want to talk about the room's cleaning and service staff first because they were the only group that we had a problem with. On the second day of the cruise, our room was not cleaned until around 8:00 PM. We were calling the front desk every few hours throughout the afternoon to have someone clean the room and make the beds (its hard to type this without sounding like an ignorant selfish brat, but this is what cruising is like lol). We saw the cabin crew cleaning the other rooms early in the day, but for some reason ours was skipped. Anyways, it was fixed up by the time we were done with dinner. Otherwise, the crew was great. Dining Room: The staff here was fantastic. Unfortunately I do not remember the names of the waiter for my table and the other crew members who served us, but they were all great. They were more than happy to accommodate my eating (I have a big appetite, on or off a ship). The crew also had a great memory, as I ordered a Sprite on the first night, and they gave me one without me needing to ask on the other nights. They even brought one on the two nights I skipped. My only complaint would be that the food was a little slow on the second night. It took about half an hour for the main dishes to be served after the appetizer. I'm not sure if it was intentional though since it was formal night. However, its normally much quicker on cruises, and when you have second seating, getting the main dish after 9:00 PM just doesn't feel right. Bars and the Cafe: The service at the Promenade Cafe and the other bars on the ship were also very quick. For drinks, it was as simple as taking out my soda card and telling them what you want. It was a bit slow at the Cafe Promenade though because of the lines. When picking up a snack from the Cafe, it might take you longer for you to decide what you want than for the server to give it to you. There are multiple bars in both Studio B and the Metropolis Theater, each with multiple bartenders. I would recommend you go directly to them for a drink before a show, because the servers who walk the ground are hard to come by, especially if you are in anything but an aisle seat. Conclusion: Wow, what a cruise. It might sound like I found this cruise average, but it was huge improvement over my previous cruises because there was simply so much more stuff to do. The Promenade became my home. I think the only way you can't enjoy this cruise if you've been on the Oasis class. Every morning, on this cruise and my two other recent ones, I made my schedule for the day either the previous night or that morning with the compasses, but for the first time, I couldn't decide what to do. Teen dodgeball tournament or Battle of the Sexes? Soccer or trivia? Ice skating or the Love and Marriage Game Show? There are so many things to do on this ship, you will never be bored. As my last cruise as a teen, I was surprised that I did not participate in the teen activates as much as I wanted to, but I am now actually happy for that. This was my first cruise where I was given enough freedom to do what I wanted, and I took all those liberties. This is a great ship, and I had a great cruise. Of all the cruises I have been on, this is my favorite, followed by the Majesty of the Seas, and the Carnival Imagination and the Carnival Fascination. Thank you for reading this incredibly long review, and you can look forward to another one whenever I sail again. Ports: Georgetown, Grand Cayman: When we were at Grand Cayman, my mom and sister dragged me on to what I like to call the "Ooh, lets buy this" excursion. For two hours, I moved from clothing store to perfume store, just waiting to get back onto the ship. If you're a collector of Hard Rock Cafe pins, there is one very close to the port. I am sure there is a lot to do here; we just didn't do much of it. For me, the highlight was trying a coconut rum cake. Delicious. I wish I bought some in the port. If for some reason you forget to do so, they sell them on the ship in the Logo store. Cozumel, Mexico: We spent our time in Mexico down by the San Francisco beach. There are many fun things to do, including a very big water fun zone section including water trampolines, inflatable slides, and a giant rock wall type inflatable structure. It cost about 12 dollars, but was worth it. There I met people from the other ships in port, and had a very fun game of "push each other off the trampoline" with kids on the Carnival ships also in port. The water itself was very salty compared to the waters here in South Florida. The food we ordered from one the bars/restaurants was good, but pricy and low in serving size. Seeing how it's a tourist destination, I would expect that. Also, the roads were very bumpy, it's worth mentioning. Disembarkation: Even though my mom wanted to get home as early as possible, my sister and I wanted to spend the most time on the ship we could, so we took the latest disembarkation time, 10:15 in the morning. Until then, I spent my time at the Cafe Promenade, saying good bye to each product. Individually. And tastefully. They called our luggage tag to leave at around 10:00 AM, after which the process was very simple. We filled out our customs cards before disembarking, so that was an easy process, and since we were among the last leaving the ship, it was not hard to find our luggage. Overall, disembarkation was a quick and painless process, which was still negated by the pain of having to leave the ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
* Background Information This was a 5-night cruise during the Thanksgiving week break. Not surprisingly, the demographic was very family heavy - over 900 kids on board and this was very noticeable. We were also traveling with family: ... Read More
* Background Information This was a 5-night cruise during the Thanksgiving week break. Not surprisingly, the demographic was very family heavy - over 900 kids on board and this was very noticeable. We were also traveling with family: two sets of grandparents (over 55), two sets of middle-aged adults (35-54), and 2 teens (13 and 16). Everybody has cruised before to varying degrees. As a group, we've been on Carnival, NCL, Princess and RCCL. My DH and I have been on 5. * Embarkation We all traveled on embarkation day from different points in Florida. No big problem, but it was a little slow checking in. I think part of this is because on previous cruises, we had the opportunity to fill out the health questionnaire while you are standing on line. We didn't get the forms until we were at the counter; hence, large family groups took up quite a bit of time with the boarding agents. Cabins were ready when we boarded and luck of the draw, we got our luggage with lightening speed! * Ship Info /Cabin Info I was looking forward to being "wow"ed as I had read so much about the dramatic RCCL ships. I wasn't. NOS is mostly in fine shape and seemed very clean. However, for me, the hallway and cabin dEcor was reminiscent of a chain hotel - dated colors and just not very pretty. Certainly not awe-inspiring. The Royal Promenade was nice, but it didn't seem as big and as glamorous in person as it did in pictures. Overall, I prefer the being-at-sea feeling of other ships to the being-in-a-mall feeling that the Royal Promenade gave me. I did like the dEcor and cozy feel of Vintages and Two Poets; most of the bar and eatery seating areas were comparable to other lines. The main dining rooms were the most attractive rooms on the ship -very pretty. Our cabin, a D2 balcony, was clean and had a spacious layout - as big as a mini-suite we've had on another line. As cruise ships go, I liked the showers with the rounded sliding door and handheld adjustable showerheads. The bed was rounded at the foot corners, which is nice when you're passing by it to get to the balcony or trying to edge your way around it in the dark, but weird when you're sleeping and your feet dangle off the corner. (My DH does that anyway at home, so he didn't even notice!) One small thing that leaped out at me as being in sad condition were the balcony railings; bare, cracking and unvarnished. Definitely not ship-shape. Except for this one detail and the Holiday Inn Express dEcor, I would've given the cabins a 5. * Activities / Entertainment / Kid's Clubs My DH and I are more relaxers then doers on sea days, but the offered activities seemed comparable with other lines. Members of our party enjoyed the usual trivia, bingo, and "name that tune" events. Entertainment was mainly comparable also, although I thought the production shows with the ships' singers and dancers seemed a little "chintzier" in appearance if not talent. We enjoyed some of the other featured performers more. One of the deciding factors when we opted for this cruise over other lines was the seemingly overwhelming number of things for kids. However, the teen programs were largely pronounced "lame". I do have a suspicion that perhaps our teens did not put themselves out there enough to take full advantage. I tried to look into Fuel, but true to their word, no adults allowed - I couldn't even get a peek "but do not worry, we take very good care of them!" My younger nephew and I luckily stumbled across a free hour at the arcade; other than that there was a charge for all the games, which was disappointing. I imagine that could rack up quite a bill for some parents! The kids did enjoy one open skate at the ice rink (bring socks and long pants), but found lines longer than they where willing to wait when they tried the rock-climbing wall. My younger nephew was very disappointed to find the basketball area largely taken over by "big" kids most of the trip, and he tried several times. I didn't venture up there, so I have no idea if they attempt to provide time slots for different ages and he just showed up at the wrong times or it's a free-for-all. * Service Generally, with very few exceptions, this was where RCCL shined. We found the crew to be very friendly, right up there with the best of any other. Cabin stewards seemed to be somewhat less present then we are used to from other lines. We didn't even see ours at all the first day and we had to seek him out several times during the trip, but he was very nice, we always got everything we wanted, and he even left us a complimentary bottle of champagne. We had My Time Dining but kept the same table with the same servers each night, as we were a group of ten. Our wait staff was excellent, friendly and attentive and took very good care of the kids, remembering and following up each night with their likes and dislikes. However, there seemed to be a very bad flow problem with the kitchen that was beyond their control - perhaps this is just My Time Dining. Some nights the pacing was fine, and other nights it was horrendous with terrible waits between courses. * Food & Beverage Royal Caribbean falls short here, IMHO. Having been on one previous cruise and reading many reviews, I wasn't expecting much - and it was a little worse than I was hoping for. I had maybe three items I thought were "good", all in the MDR. Everything else was cafeteria quality at best, or take-one-bite-and-put-down-your-fork at worst. We ate breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer, and I stuck mostly with cook-to-order eggs and salad bar. My parents seemed to fare better in the MDR for these meals. This is more of a service item I guess, and I can understand some reasons why they do it, but I didn't like having to ask for water/tea/juice/coffee as opposed to getting my own at the buffet. I wouldn't have minded so much if it didn't frequently result in lines and feeling like you had to take the lone glass of whatever was put up rather than what you wanted in order to get anything at all to drink. During our particular cruise, they also started running out of things that seem silly - like orange juice and butter! The rolls in the MDR on the last night had to be leftovers, they were hard as rocks. Starting on day 3 out of 5, we also started getting "sorry, we're out" for different requested brands of beers and alcohol at various bars. We actually overheard one Windjammer staffer mimicking to another all the things guests must say over and over "Can I please have orange juice with no ice? "Do you have any butter?". So it sounded like this could be a regular occurrence. Personally, I'd rather be charged more per night, if that's what it takes to find everything still available on every day of my cruise. * Port & Shore Excursions We stopped at Grand Cayman and Cozumel, and enjoyed both ports but did not use any of the ship excursions. Both ports are very easy to do on your own. When someone in your family becomes less mobile with time, you start noticing things you wouldn't have previously; the pier at Cozumel is quite long. Once we got off the ship and there was no tram or cart like they have at some ports, we inquired and the ship personnel on the dock sent my DH back up to Deck 5 for a wheelchair where he was then told no, you can't take a wheelchair off the ship. Lesson learned. * Disembarkation Other than the typically long wait for an elevator because of having bags and older people in our party, this was quick and easy. We liked being able to wait in our cabins, and we showed up at our designated departure lounge a few minutes late and were able to just keep walking right off. * Summary I decided to write this review largely because I think RCCL gets higher marks than they deserve here. After spending quite a bit of time on the boards as I always do before a cruise, I had hopeful expectations that this trip on Navigator of the Seas would be a much better experience then I had previously many years ago. But it wasn't. We also researched Princess, NCL and Carnival for Caribbean cruises offered during this same week. Although we ended up getting a better rate from our TA, at decision time this cruise was the highest priced per person per night out of all that we considered - in other words, the worst value. But we decided to chance it for the supposed "wow" factor people say the RCCL ships have, the activities for the kids, and the convenient 5-night length. To a person, even the kids, our party agreed they have preferred other cruises to this one. I am not saying anything as harsh as I will never go on RCCL again, but it is highly unlikely if we are the ones doing the choosing. I also don't want anyone to think we had a bad time - we enjoyed our vacation. But we feel RCCL's product is average at best. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Some cruise tips: Pack drinks (water bottles, juices, sodas, and liquor) in carry on and you can Check one bag of liquor and/or soda(you can do this on some ships) Pack candy and snacks for kids (you pay extra for these) ... Read More
Some cruise tips: Pack drinks (water bottles, juices, sodas, and liquor) in carry on and you can Check one bag of liquor and/or soda(you can do this on some ships) Pack candy and snacks for kids (you pay extra for these) Pack extra clothes if you don't want to pay to send your laundry out Don't sign up for the cruise line to pay out your tips. Get envelops and tip who you desire to in cash Pack a lot of cash - our boat's ATM machine was out of service most of the trip Note-ships will allow you to cash a check of up to $200 with id and your soc.sec number Get there early so you can eat and grab something to drink, they close down lunch rooms early and you will have nothing to drink for several hours - unless you had packed something in your carry on. Have a backpack with your bathing suit, sun screen, towel, and entertainment handy why you wait for your room to be ready Be the last one to leave the ship - it helps you to miss the crowds and lines. Get up early on the last day, eat breakfast and bring snack back to the room until its time to leave. Royal Caribbean, First off- boarding sucked! It was so unorganized, slow and just horrible for a family with kids. Getting off was better because we requested to get off with the last group. We had no lines, no hangups with customs and no problem finding our luggage. Has lots to offer. We went on the Navigator of the Seas boat and it was gorgeous. It had a rock climbing wall, ice skating rink, putt putt, roller rink (which was lacking) and tons of clubs. We enjoyed all of these and were pleased with them except the roller rink which was rather small. My older teen kids hated the kids camps on Royal compared to Carnival or Disney Cruises (the kids aged 13-16). The kids said the staff was rarely involved and the activities were boring and repetitive. Several times they told me that the counselors weren't even their to start any of the events. My oldest son used some of the activities he remembered from the Disney/Carnival cruise to do with his new found friends and some of the kids started to think he was a counselor. They even started to follow him around. You know the kid camps are bad with your child and their new friends spend time riding the elevators up and down for two hours! Also, there were horrible lines waiting for the elevators. So if you don't feel like being a victim to your elevator, pick a lower floor so walking down the steps is easier than walking up. Also, the rooms over the promenade suffered a lot of noise. They had an ice show that was great, and a Motown show that was really nice, but the other shows were subpar. The parades they had were wonderful and they did add a party feel with some of their impromtu entertainment in the common areas. What we didn't like was the feeling that the ship was nickle and diming us on everything. They had 4 restaurants that we had to pay extra to eat at. Also, the Johnny Rockets where the kids wanted to eat charged $4.95 per person - Huh? The formal dinners weren't that good and the over all service was subpar. We stayed in 2288 and 2292 which were great places to be because it gave us easy access to get off the ship without waits. Also, since it was a lower floor, when lines for the elevators piled up, we just simply walked downstairs. When going to Cozumel or Grand Cayman - skip the excursions offered by the boat. It's cheaper to do your research and get a cab to the places you want to go or haggle with the tour sales people at the port for excursions. We paid $16 for all of us in Grand Cayman's to get to the beach. In Cozumel we got better deals at the dock than in town, and there was only a $12 charge for all of us to take a cab to the beach. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
First cruise, pretty disappointed. The ship itself was great, very impressive. For a first time cruising, it was more than expected from a size, features, and looks perspective. The top deck was really cool as well. I think now ... Read More
First cruise, pretty disappointed. The ship itself was great, very impressive. For a first time cruising, it was more than expected from a size, features, and looks perspective. The top deck was really cool as well. I think now that the first cruise novelty has worn though, I'd be uniterested if I cruised on it again, but for a newbie it was different, like going to a new resort or country. Food was truly disappointing, no better than a meal at some senior citizen buffet. I was completely suprised by the lack of seafood on a cruise ship, went against everything I had heard. The navigator has buffets open for breakfast and lunch, or a sitdown option, but around these two timeframes only, otherwise you have to go to a small cafe for something to eat. The cruise was 4 nights, so 4 formal sitdown dinners. The first two nights, dinner was pretty good. so/so Prime Rib and really good Filet on the dress night. The 3rd was leg of lamb that was ok, and the 4th was a fried fatty strip steak, very similar to a steak that you get with a Steak and Eggs breakfast at a coney. All the appetizers, sides, and dessert were buffet quality at best. Desserts in general sucked to be honest. We asked for a table for 2, didn't get it, had to request it, so we got stuck in the corner. Didn't help the experience, but dinner with 6 strangers 4 nights in a row, not sure I would've enjoyed it more. You could pay a $20 or $30 upcharge to get better dinning which was garbage that they even offered that IMO. Not only pay pass on free dinner, but then pay more on top? Seriously? The dinner service was great, very friendly, other areas were too. I did get kinda sick of hearing about filling out surveys for everything though, but they did do a good job I thought, very pleasent people. A tip, check out the dinner buffet, than go check out the sitdown menu, might like the buffet better. They had some sushi one night, wish we would've just ate that. The entertainment was dumb. We're mid 30's and would not have paid to see one of the shows or entertainment the ship had, lots of bad lip synch and dancing. The comedy show was really bad, literally it was an hour of 1 line jokes my grandpa would tell, no stories, no routine, just awful. One positive was the ice show, that was pretty good, they had a guest performer, she was really good, wouldn't have gone otherwise, but that I enjoyed. Drinks were reasonable I guess. Some bartenders made them strong, others weak. I heard there would be daily specials, I never heard, saw, or were offered any. We had a cabin at the front of the ship, so ours was a bit bigger than most, great cabin to have. On the way home, there was some motion in the room, but no a deterent to having the extra room and view in my opinion. They had lots of bathrooms throughout the ship, but by the end, 30% were out of order, sometimes I had to walk up or down a few floors to get to one. The fitness center was great, lots of machines, no wait, top of ship, great view. The only other gripe, there were lots of American workers, and we were scooped from an American Port, why not have an American talk on the mics? It was hard to understand half of what was being said on the ship. Another tip, have room to buy duty free alcohol on the ship and bring it home with you. Incredible deal, but I had no room to bring it on the plane with me. My only regret! Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
I am a 63 year old professional who traveled with her 12 year old granddaughter. GD's first cruise, my seventh, second TA. We spent four days before the cruise in Rome. We stayed at the Hotel Melia Antica which is actually in a suburb ... Read More
I am a 63 year old professional who traveled with her 12 year old granddaughter. GD's first cruise, my seventh, second TA. We spent four days before the cruise in Rome. We stayed at the Hotel Melia Antica which is actually in a suburb of Rome. The hotel shuttle bus took us into the Vatican City every day and picked us up. We had Roma passes which were wonderful-all the public transportation and entry into Museums and other attractions either free or half price. I would recommend the Roma pass.Transfer from the hotel was smooth and so was embarkation. Cabin wasn't ready yet so we went to the Windjammer and found that it was too crowded--this was consistent through out the cruise, not enough spaces and too many people. Jade section was disappointing most of the time but when they hit it right they did an excellent job, just not consistent. Our ocean view cabin was spacious and clean and our room steward was excellent. Lots of storage space and I really appreciated the sliding doors on the shower as opposed to the curtains. The cabin was surprisingly quiet given we were down the corridor from the Dungeon bar. We had two days of high seas during the trip and the movement in the cabin was very minimal, a very smooth voyage. We did not take any of the ship's excursions in any of the ports because most places had tourists in mind with hop-on/hop-off buses and excellent public transportation. We did not get off the ship in France because of the troubles. My GD very much enjoyed the teen center and loved the counselor, Fabi from Brazil. There weren't that many children on board and the teen center kept her busy and happy. She made friends, played games, watched movies and was generally in teen heaven. Initially I was concerned that the adult pool, the Solarium, did not have a cover but the weather cooperated and I was in the pool a lot. It was wonderfully warm, all the pools were. The hot tubs weren't that hot, though. I was disappointed that the library was so meager (glad I had my Kindle), the slow internet connection, no passenger laundry (getting clothes clean was hideously expensive), the morning stretch class was excellent but too crowded and getting into the ice skating show was very poorly done. The dining room (we had my time dining, the only way to go) food and service were on a par with every other cruise I've been on. Ordered room service a couple of times and they were prompt and always got our order correct and the menu wasn't extensive but was surely adequate. I really enjoyed the cafe promenade for early morning coffee before the GD got up and loved the space in the very front of deck 5 on the helipad where you could watch the sea at all times and the stars at night. We also enjoyed the miniature golf and the movie theater. GD enjoyed the basket ball and volley ball,rock climbing wall and ice skating. Went to the spa once and enjoyed the service but not the sales pitch. Appreciated the sauna and steam room, also. This is a great ship if you are traveling with kids. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
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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