We sailed on this newest of the Eagle or Voyager class vessels on Sunday, December 8th, on a two night pre-inaugural voyage for the Travel Industry and press. To get right to the point, if you enjoy these floating mammoth resorts at sea, ... Read More
We sailed on this newest of the Eagle or Voyager class vessels on Sunday, December 8th, on a two night pre-inaugural voyage for the Travel Industry and press. To get right to the point, if you enjoy these floating mammoth resorts at sea, and it is hard not to, then chart your course in a straight line to the Navigator of the Seas. She's a beauty... and, to this cruiser's taste, she's far and away the most attractive and inviting of them all. Navigator has a different look about her that's noticeable even from a distance. Her balcony cabins have a much more open design than her earlier sisters and it gives the ship a very different look... in a sense she looks sleeker... less formidable... it is hard to put the effect into words, but it is clearly evident... and to me it represents a remarkable and significant improvement. By the way, I'm still not sure of exactly what her Gross Registered Tonnage is. Most of the material passed out on board shows her to be 139,000 GRT. Others on board, including some senior Royal Caribbean folk speak in terms of 142,500 GRT. Given her huge size, I suppose this small difference will be of interest only to cruise ship statistical gurus (nerd's?), and I suppose Royal Caribbean will figure it out before too long. I liked each of the builds in this class and noted that each new vessel's interior seems to have been toned down from the original Voyager. While this is clearly a matter of personal taste, to me it was a good trend. What we have with the Navigator of the Seas is quite special indeed. It seems to me almost as if Royal Caribbean designed the ship and then gave over the interiors to a Celebrity designer. Navigator is a classic, top to bottom and if you've been on any of her siblings, you cannot miss the difference. Extensive use of fine woods throughout the public areas is just superb. The entire aft area on Deck 11, leading to the Windjammer Buffet area and the Chops Grille and Portofino Restaurants, is magnificent. The Royal Promenade, as breathtaking in size here as it is on her sisters, has a very different look and feel to it. It is elegant and restrained... with the addition of several new and interesting shopping, dining and drinking venues... including the much talked about "Vintages"... acclaimed as the first totally dedicated wine bar afloat. If you're a fancier of wine, you'll love Vintages... it is more than just a bar... in fact, far from it. Want to learn more about wine? This is the spot! The main dining room is a three deck high enormous space, each deck with a different theme, but all based upon ballet motifs. The effect is dramatic. Tables are very well spaced and the vast open areas make for a very comfortable noise level indeed. One can actually have a conversation with tablemates in normal tones! The room works well and is simply gorgeous! The main theater, the "Metropolis" is stunning. If you like art deco, as I do, you will love the Metropolis. It is the most appealing and attractive new large space done in art deco that I can recall seeing. And, it works as a theater too... great sight lines across the board, easy access and all the modern gimmickry that one expects to see. What a grand and beautiful space this is. They have done some job here! Navigator of the Seas has most of the passenger amenities found on the other ships in her class... the signature Rock Climbing Wall, Golf Course, Other Worldly Disco and a significantly enlarged Club Ocean kids facility. Of course the Casino is huge and the center bar is quite active all the time. There's an large Internet Cafe (internet connections in the cabins, too), a comfortable and fairly well stocked library, a Wedding Chapel on top of (yes, on top of) the Viking Crown Lounge and, of course, Johnny Rockets. Speaking of food, the Windjammer is nicely laid out and functional. We found the selections at breakfast and lunch to be attractively presented, varied and good. (We understand that this is a special sailing for the Industry and Press, so it really is hard to judge the food.) The addition of Chops Grille is the icing on the cake. If I were to design a restaurant, it would come out looking a lot like Chops and I'd do exactly the same menu... New York Steak House fare... from a specially provisioned kitchen. It is a knockout! Make your reservations early. Portofino is beautifully designed too... and located just across from Chops. Then, if you're in need of more sustenance, there's a new Ben and Jerry's ice cream stand (with a charge) and a nearby frozen custard station (without a charge) and the Cafe Promenade serving sandwiches, deserts and coffee and other beverages round the clock. You won't go hungry on Navigator of the Seas. We visited examples of most categories of cabins on the ship and they are quite similar to what one finds on her sister ships... with the exception of course of the balconies, which are a great improvement in terms of their openness and the airy feeling that creates. A great improvement is found here. These huge vessels are not to everyone's taste. I think that serious cruisers should experience them at least once... they are very special indeed. If I were to have the opportunity of sailing only on one of them, my choice, hands down, would be Navigator of the Seas. She's a class act in every sense of the words! Bravo Royal Caribbean... you've managed to take an innovative and spectacular class of ship and polish and hone it to a fine luster, with a good helping of taste too boot! In my mind, that is a hard to beat combination! erniemcc@attbi.comDecember 2002 Read Less
After taking a cruise in May 2002 on the Adventure of the Seas and being very impressed with it our group (3 married couples) decided to cruise again on the Adventure's sister ship, the Navigator. We knew that the ship was brand new ... Read More
After taking a cruise in May 2002 on the Adventure of the Seas and being very impressed with it our group (3 married couples) decided to cruise again on the Adventure's sister ship, the Navigator. We knew that the ship was brand new but we didn't realize that it was its first 7-day cruise. So, here are my impressions of the Navigator's maiden voyage. First, the good stuff. This new ship is amazing, it had all the amenities that impressed us so much on the Adventure of the Seas plus some extra things, such as the Asian buffet called "Jade" and the steakhouse ($20 extra). The food was great, the shows were pretty good and the guest comedians and entertainers were first class. We all thought the entertainment part was better on the Navigator than on the Adventure. Our waiter Nikolay was by far the best we've ever had on any cruise (it's number 4 for me). Now, here is a list of things that need improvement. The de-embarkation process was the worst thing. We almost missed our flight because no one called our tag color (they assign you a color tag based on the time your flight home leaves from Miami). The line to go through U.S. Customs was huge and it took us almost an hour to go through it. The next unpleasant surprise was outside the terminal where thousands of people were trying to get a taxi to the airport. There were not enough cabs and the traffic around the terminal was horrible. Something needs to be done about that. Few other minor complaints: the breakfast at Windjammer cafe did not feature the same selection of juices we had on AOS. They only had orange and grapefruit juices, but on the Adventure they had cranberry and apple juices as well. Also, there were no pool towels by the pools, you had to bring your own from your stateroom. On the Adventure there were tons of towels lying around the swimming pools. Our cabin attendant Douglas wasn't the best either. Apparently, dusting wasn't his best skill because the phone in our cabin had a thick layer of dust on it. One night he also forgot to bring us bath towels. Other than that we loved the ship and enjoyed our cruise very much. I would recommend this ship to anyone and I hope Royal Caribbean will take care of some of those annoying problems. thecat413@wideopenwest.com February 2003 Read Less
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Following is my review of our Eastern Caribbean Christmas cruise onboard the beautiful Navigator of the Seas. Having sailed on the other 3 Voyager class vessels, I can say that the Navigator is the prettier of the Voyager class ships. ... Read More
Following is my review of our Eastern Caribbean Christmas cruise onboard the beautiful Navigator of the Seas. Having sailed on the other 3 Voyager class vessels, I can say that the Navigator is the prettier of the Voyager class ships. EMBARKATION: This cruise was a last minute booking and thus our cruise documents were waiting for us at the pier in Miami. Upon arriving at the pier around 11:30 am, we explained to the RCI Rep that we had pier pick up documents and therefore did not have our cabin number or luggage tags. The Rep took our names and went to find what she could. A few minutes later she came back with luggage tags and our cabin number so we could check our bags with the curbside porters. After checking our luggage she escorted us through the security checkpoint and to the Chairman's Club. Once inside the Chairman's Club a very nice lady by the name of Lillian came over with our cruise documents and told us to fill out the attached embarkation forms etc and she'd be back to check on us in a few minutes. After about 10 minutes or so she came over with a check-in agent who took our forms and the credit card we wanted to use for our onboard account. A few minutes later we were handed our Sea Pass cards and wished a bon voyage by the staff. I must admit I was a little surprised by the "extra special" treatment we were receiving until I realized that we had been upgraded to a Cat. A Suite!!! It was a total shock, and I almost refused to believe it until I stuck my card into the cabin door. (More on that later). While our check in process was a smooth one, it's important to note that we did observe total chaos in the main boarding lounge area. I've never seen such long lines in my life and they didn't appear to be moving very quickly. We heard from others once onboard that they waited in line for almost 2 hours. Embarkation is usually a very smooth process with RCI, and I'm not real sure why there was such a problem with this sailing unless the fact that the Explorer was also embarking a full ship had something to do with it?? ONBOARD Once onboard we headed straight to our cabin (still not believing in the good fortune of our upgrade) I was anxious to see where we'd be calling home for the next 7 days. Our Suite, on Deck 10, was located on the "hump" of the ship and was a perfect location being near the aft elevators. The Cat. A Suites are huge (almost 600 sq. ft) and contained a queen size bed, large flat screen TV/DVD/Stereo, sitting area, wet bar, safe, and plenty of closet space and drawers. The bathroom was huge by ship standards and featured a shower, whirlpool tub and again plenty of storage space. Since the cabin was located on the "hump" we were able to get nice views down the side of the ship both forward and aft. The balcony was nicely furnished with a few chairs and a table. One new feature onboard the Navigator is the addition of "walls" of safety glass on all the balcony cabins, rather then the ½ walls of steel found on the other Voyager class ships. The balconies are also pushed out from the side of the ship which make them a little deeper then those of the other Voyager class vessels. The addition of the safety glass made the balcony feel more spacious and gave you great, unobstructed views of the ocean even when you were in your cabin. OK, cabin inspection over, it was time to get some shipboard business taken care of in the Concierge Club on Deck 9. The Concierge Club is available to anyone booked in Royal Suites or Cat. A and B Suites, as well as to any Crown and Anchor Diamond members. Due to a misprint in the RCI 2002-03 brochure all Cat. C suites will also have access to this lounge until the end of April 2003. Access to the Concierge Club also gives you authority to board any of the tenders on a priority basis as well. Marise is the Concierge, and she was extremely helpful and attentive to everyone's needs. Marise gave us a brief overview of all the services available to us such as special times for the rock wall, ice skating etc. She would also arrange reservations at Chops and Portofino's, book our shore excursions and take care of our tickets to the Ice Show. Also available in the Concierge Club is 24 hour coffee/tea, continental breakfast each morning, and nightly hors d'oeuvres and free cocktails. They also have a variety of music CD's and DVD's which you can borrow. The club was nicely decorated and had several small seating areas where you could read or play any of the board games that were also available. After arranging dinner reservations for Chops and Portofino with Marise, it was up to the Windjammer for a little lunch. The area where the Windjammer and Island Grill is on the other Voyager class ships has been greatly improved onboard the Navigator. This area is now known as The Plaza and houses the Windjammer, Chops, Portofino, The Plaza Bar, and RCI's first Asian restaurant-Jade. The design of the Windjammer has also been improved and rather then a long buffet line, the area is divided into separate food stations (similar to the Radiance class ships). The Windjammer offered daily buffet breakfast, lunch, afternoon snacks and dinner. The food in the Windjammer was good and there was a nice variety including salads, soups, sandwiches, fish and meat entrees, burgers, and desserts along with a self-serve frozen yogurt station. Coffee, tea and lemonade stations were also available. Jade is a nice buffet style restaurant that served a nice variety of good Asian food as well as sushi and there is no fee to dine here. THE SHIP As I stated at the beginning of this review, the Navigator is the most beautiful of the Voyager class ships. She is more lavishly decorated in rich carpets and furnishings then her older sisters, and boasts an impressive $8.5 million art collection. Her more "upscale" dEcor is similar to that of the Radiance and Brilliance. The use of rich fabrics, textures and wood accents give this ship a more intimate and cozy feel. In addition to the dEcor changes, the addition of more external glass on the balcony cabins and the creation of the Plaza area, Navigator of the Seas has a few other changes. Onboard Navigator is Bolero's Latin Jazz club, Vintage's in the Royal Promenade is the first dedicated wine bar at sea and offers several wine tastings throughout the week. Also in the Royal Promenade is the addition of a Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Parlor and yes there is a charge ($2.50) but those of you who object to paying can find free soft serve machines at Sprinkle's right next door in the Cafe Promenade area. Another major change onboard the Navigator is the addition of 6,000 sq. ft. of space in the Adventure Ocean facilities. The additional space was created out of the area used for Adventure Beach on the other Voyager ships, so you will not find the children's pool and slide onboard the Navigator. Instead that area was used to create the "Back Deck", an outdoor area dedicates to teens, with buffet area, seating and music. Additionally, teens have their own disco "Fuel" and "The Living Room" with its coffee/non-alcohol bar, internet stations, TV's, games etc. FOOD AND SERVICE Nobody will ever go hungry onboard the Navigator! We mostly ordered breakfast from room service and ate out on our balcony. Room service was very prompt, our orders were always correct and the food arrived at the proper temperature. It was nice to receive a call from room service advising that our order was on the way about 5 mins before it actually arrived. We also received calls about 15 mins after delivery to check and see if everything was satisfactory-nice touch! One thing to note, the breakfast order card you place on your door each night offers a very limited menu-if you wish something else or in addition to those items, simply place a "post it" note or write your preferences directly on the card and all will be delivered without a problem. All of our lunches were eaten in either the Windjammer, Jade or Johnny Rockets and again the variety and quality of food was good in each place. Dinners in the beautiful 3 story main dining room were also very good and the service was excellent. I've had better meals onboard the Sovereign, Vision and Radiance class ships but that's to be expected since they aren't cooking for as many people, but all in all the food in the Navigator's main dining room was good. We also dined one night in Chop's Grille and one night in Portofino's ($20.00 per person fee in each) and the meals there were excellent with very attentive service. I would highly recommend both of these dining options. Additionally the Cafe Promenade in the Royal Promenade area offers 24-hour snacks, sandwiches, pizza, cookies etc. Room service is also available 24 hrs a day with a limited menu. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner from the main dining room menu can be ordered from room service during "normal" meal hours. The service on this ship was in typical Royal Caribbean style-EXCELLENT! The crew really went out of their way to see to it that everyone was well treated and having fun. Our cabin attendant kept our cabin spotless throughout the 7 days and left us with a towel animal each night. One night he almost gave me a heart attack-I walked into the cabin to find "Mr. Cool" sitting on my bed. This towel "man" was something to see.. he was wearing my ball cap, sunglasses, shoes, necktie and was propped up on the bed with the TV remote in one hand and the daily Compass spread out over his lap. Very creative and after the initial shock of seeing him - very funny! ENTERTAINMENT AND NIGHTLIFE Just as you won't go hungry onboard the Navigator, neither will you be bored. Cruise Director Ken Rush and his staff did a nice job of offering plenty to do during the day (and night). Between the rock wall, rollerblading, ice skating, putt putt golf, sports deck, shipshape center, pool games etc you could literally spend all 7 days onboard this ship and still never do everything there is to do. The Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers did a nice job with the production shows. We only attended one production show "Now and Forever" which was a production of music from popular Broadway shows like Mamma Mia, The Producers, Dreamgirls etc. It was entertaining and the Metropolis Theater was a stunning Art Deco styled room with comfortable seating and good sight lines. The celebrity headliner was comedian Yakoff Smirnoff and as he'd been on several other cruises we've been on and I don't particularly find him funny we didn't attend. By far the best show was " Ice Dancin" in Studio B. Whatever you do, make sure you get your tickets and attend this show! Most other evenings we spent in the different lounges onboard. Matt Yee in the Schooner Bar was very talented and entertaining. Bolero's offered Latin Jazz and specialty Latin drinks. The Ixtapa Lounge had karaoke and other events like The Quest (those of you who have not seen this adult game show MUST attend or better yet participate). The Two Poets Pub in the Royal Promenade was a nice place to people watch, but it was my least favorite bar. The Cosmopolitan Club in the Viking Crown Lounge had smooth jazz and the 19th Hole Sports Bar not only gave you plenty of TVs to watch the games but a nice view from the 14th Deck. It seemed no matter what we did each night we always found ourselves in the Dungeon Disco which rocked until the early morning hours. One thing we did not do on this cruise was view the parades in the Royal Promenade. It just gets too crowded and that type of thing just isn't my cup of tea anyway-yes I even hate the Ringling Bros Circus J. PORTS We were on the Eastern Caribbean cruise, with port calls at Nassau, St. Thomas, San Juan and Labadee with 2 days at sea. I really won't go into details on the ports for 2 reasons... 1) I've been to these islands so much over the years, I only got off the ship in St. Thomas and Labadee and 2), In 8 years of cruising over Christmas this was the first time the weather was less then perfect. We left Miami with overcast skies, cool temps and VERY windy conditions. It remained cloudy and cool in Nassau and during our day at sea. St. Thomas had on and off rain throughout the day and it totally poured while we were in San Juan. By far the best day was Labadee, where it was hot and sunny, but again the closer we got to Miami the cooler and more windy it got. If you have any questions regarding these ports, please feel free to email me at Rdeagazio@aol.com and I'll be more then happy to offer advise from my past visits to these islands. SUMMARY Overall this was an excellent cruise on a beautiful ship with great food and service, however I think this will be the last time I sail on a Voyager class ship. This is strictly a matter of personal preference, but I prefer the smaller ships (Radiance class are my all time favorite) due to the fact that when on the Voyager class you don't get the feeling you're on a ship. I don't want to have to go to my balcony or to the top decks to feel a connection with the ocean and the smaller ships offer you more views of the ocean with their floor to ceiling windows throughout. Also, the Voyager class ships attract WAY to many kids, especially when school is out. While I think these vessels are beautiful and very impressive, they just don't give me the feeling that I'm cruising. I do think that everyone should sail on these ships at least once and if you're sailing with a large group they're perfect. The only real negative comment I have regarding this cruise is the behavior of the children onboard. I've never sailed with such an unruly bunch. With all that's available for kids (and teens) on this ship, there's NO excuse for them to be running around like wild animals! I not only fault their parents for the lack of supervision, I also fault RCI for not enforcing their Guest Satisfaction Policy which clearly states such behavior will not be tolerated by the cruise line and can result in being "offloaded" at the next port. Why have this policy if you don't enforce it?? Maybe if RCI started putting off the parents and their wild kids at the next port, word would get out and people will act responsibly. This should be a ZERO TOLERANCE policy like Carnival has with smoking on the Paradise. This was also the first cruise that I did not see RCI staff address this. On previous cruises, like last year on the Enchantment they had on deck "Pool Patrols" that kept kids tame around the pools, out of the hot tubs, out of the Solarium etc. On that cruise the Bar staff and ships officers kept the kids under control in the various public rooms as well. I didn't see any of this on the Navigator. I've rambled on long enough... I'm sure I left out a lot, but if any of you have specific questions about the ship or the ports, please email me and I'll do my best to answer them. Happy Sailing Everyone!!! Rdeagazio@aol.com March 2003 Read Less
By Vincent N. & Mary Finelli This was our 12th RCI cruise and our 4th on a Voyager (Eagle) Class ship, having sailed on all Navigator's sister ships: the Voyager, the Explorer and the Adventure of the Seas. The Navigator is the ... Read More
By Vincent N. & Mary Finelli This was our 12th RCI cruise and our 4th on a Voyager (Eagle) Class ship, having sailed on all Navigator's sister ships: the Voyager, the Explorer and the Adventure of the Seas. The Navigator is the "spitting image" of the other three; in fact, berthed in the Port of Miami next to the Explorer, she could only be differentiated by her name. Even though, the Navigator is 1,000 tons bigger, thus making it the largest cruise ship afloat, the increase in size is only due to larger balconies, a difference not easily discerned. We eagerly anticipate each new cruise experience and this voyage on the Navigator was one to remember, not only for the wonders of a new ship, but also to visit once again with old friends and make new acquaintances. Captain Leif Otto Bang commands a bright, eager to please staff with Hotel Manager Raimund Gschieder orchestrating the superb service. Cruise Director Jeffrey Arpin sets the pace for a lively and enjoyable time aboard, and Chief Purser Jorge Lynch makes sure all sails smoothly (more about these integral men later). The Navigator of the Seas is quickly located in port, just look for the BIGGEST. This time we saw the twin biggest! (Docked one after the other were the Navigator and the Explorer.) The aqua blue glass superstructure and the almost all glass exterior with the Crown & Anchor atop are the identifying characteristics. Be prepared to literally look down upon other ships in ports of call, since, this ship is tall: We did dwarf the Nordic Empress and enjoyed an aerial view of her in Cozumel. She is one of the older and the smallest of RCI's fleet, but quite charming with her gigantic Chess Board Game on deck and vestiges of former glory. Captain Bang speaks fondly of her. It was an advantage to have sailed on the Navigator's sister ships and be familiar with her deck plan; comparisons and differences quickly become obvious. The Navigator's decor is elegant. There is nothing glitzy about her (no glaring neon or overly decorated areas). She is outfitted beautifully with fine woods, cleverly carved and in interesting combinations. We enjoyed her stunning grandiosity and stylish simplicity with attention to detail, a perfect combination of "beauty & practicality." EMBARKATION As Diamond Members of RCI Crown & Anchor Society, we know well the hospitality RCI so warmly extends to repeat cruisers. Boarding was simple, since a special lounge is set up for members with seating, refreshments and a priority check-in. We arrived at the port 12:30pm and, with a minimum of security checks, were on board by 1:00pm. We went immediately to the dining room to check on our table assignment and saw a familiar face, Asst. Maitre D' Apolo Coelho who arranged for a table for two, then we were off to the buffet - - a very nice spread! THE SHIP This 650 million dollar wonder took 18 months to build; she is 1,020 feet in length; tonnage of 139,000 tons; cruising speed of 22 knots; she can accommodate 3,835 guests (this voyage had 3,400) in her 1,557 rooms on board. Her crew numbers 1,256 and all of this on a ship with a draft of only 28 feet! These are staggering statistics, but all soon to be surpassed by the already under construction Queen Mary II by Cunard Line (150,000 tons), and the race to bigger and better cruise ships keeps on going. A hint to cruisers: Whenever on board a large ship, it is best to pick up a deck plan early. FOOD & SERVICE The food on board the Navigator is similar to that on all RCI ships. This line has reached a high level of homogeneity or equality of fare among the ships. Cruisers can be sure that the offerings and quality, designed for American palate, are tempting. Meats are exceptional and served as ordered, say "medium rare" and that's what comes! Portions are regular, not too large or too small; however, we still could do with less, so many times we share to avoid wasting food. The General Manager explained the new and more stringent innovations of the Outbreak Prevention Program (OPP) and about some of the additional sanitary precautions being taken to avoid transmitting any infection brought on board. For instance breadbaskets are no longer placed on tables; instead, the bread is served with tongs by a waiter. Dining room staff and other crew no longer shake hands with passengers; they politely apologize that stringent rules are for safety of all. Ice buckets are no longer placed automatically in staterooms; however, if you ask for one, it will come "hot" from the sterilizer with fresh ice. Ill passengers are isolated immediately to avoid any possibility of transmission. Common areas, door handles, elevator buttons, rest rooms etc. are constantly being sanitized. At dinner with Captain Bang, we joked about the necessity for "Elevator Etiquette," like standing aside to allow passengers off; moreover, in these days of Norfolk virus, we also need "Sanitary Etiquette," like covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing. Passengers need to wash their hands often as a protection for both themselves and others! Whatever new procedures RCI has implemented, they seem to be working. We found the food to be presented neatly and appealingly - - - - salads were crisp, soups were hot, and entrees cooked perfectly. However, the best meal on board was at Captain Bang's table. Mary, seated on the Captain's left, had ample opportunity to ask questions and he proved to be both intelligent and jovial. The Captain had spent most of the 18 months it took to build the Navigator at the Kvaerner Masa Shipyards in Turko, Finland. He knows his ship intimately. The conversation with the Captain and the other guests at the table made this a very enjoyable dining experience. We were also pleased to have at the table Ms. Debbie Nylund, an RCI Environmental Officer, whom we had previously met on the Radiance. Vincent enjoyed once again chatting with her about environmental activities aboard ships and other interesting topics. Mary asked the Captain: Since the Navigator, after all, is the largest cruise ship afloat, and carries over (what some captains still refer to as) 5,000 SOULS, how does he sleep at night under all that pressure? He answered simply, "I sleep like a baby. It is 'trust' which allows me to do so. I know my bridge mates personally and for many years. I have the utmost confidence that whether I am on the bridge or in bed every regulation and procedure is followed strictly." We slept well that night, too! We had a terrific meal of Sun Ripened Pineapple Delight, House salad of escarole and oakleaf lettuce, and vine ripened yellow tomatoes (with Florida orange dressing), Lobster Tail Royale (with garlic butter, paella rice and broccoli florets), which Vincent pronounced "Excellent!" Mary opted for the Rosemary Roasted Chicken (au jus, with pearl onions and polenta fingers) all exceptional. Desserts are great on RCI, and this meal was no exception: An Almond Meringue with Tutti Frutti or the soufflE from the main menu. Delicious! Service at the Captain's table was top notch by Asst. Maitre D' Apolo. Every evening we had prompt service at our table for two, #423, in the Coppelia Dining Room. Head Waiter Christopher kept a close eye on everything and our Waiter Koray Baysal was affable and quick. His Asst. Waiter Antonio Gordon has a good teacher and is learning the ropes. Service all over the ship was excellent. We used Room Service for breakfast every morning and it was friendly, accurate and quick. CABIN We had booked stateroom #7600, but we received our third upgrade in thirty-three cruises to #1268, a Category B Suite, thanks to the friendly Chief Purser Jorge. It was lovely, and contributed to making this cruise unforgettable. When entering on the left there is a full bath with double sink, tub/shower (granite, marble and tile abound) Look for a mosaic of the "Wind God." Next there is a desk/vanity, a queen size bed with nightstands in a drapery enclosed alcove and a large screen interactive TV. When entering on the right there are four mirrored armoires, a full Bar Island with refrigerator, dining area, large coffee table, hide-a-bed sofa, lamp table and two upholstered barrel chairs. The far wall is windows to the oversized balcony and the sea. The draperies and linen in this room are quite nice: heavy woven brocades in blues and gold. There were three framed silk screens of cymbidium orchids and narcissus on the walls. Our first steward seemed a bit distracted; we later found out he was ill. His replacement Marvin was terrific. The opportunity for a simplified method of tipping the service staff is great. We had the recommended amounts charged to our account and, on the final evening, envelopes and vouchers were delivered to our room. Yet, we always feel free to tip on a daily basis anyone who is helpful and we added cash to the prepared vouchers; after all, excellent service deserves a reward! ENTERTAINMENT The heart and soul of a ship, as Captain Bang explains, are the people on board. The daily COMPASS is the best guide to activities, and the Navigator has more fun opportunities than any other ship. Cruise Director Jeffrey Arpin has a huge assignment and he executes it with aplomb. He is funny, friendly, and fast on his feet since he travels between so many venues - - - keeping all the balls up in the air. This ship is a "destination in itself." Sports, dancing, music and spectacular shows nightly. The Navigator, like her sister ships, boasts of her ice shows, and she should: "Ice Dancin," with Violetta & Peter Dack and the International Ice Cast lived up to the publicity: EXCELLENT! The regular shows with comedians Rodney Johnson and James Stephens III and the production shows by the RCI Orchestra, singers and dancers are quite good. Perhaps the most memorable single act was the "Duo Iouvilov," a combination of dancing and acrobatics. We didn't think those positions were possible! If passengers prefer to rest in their stateroom, many of these attractions are shown on their cabin's TV. PORTS OF CALL As frequent Caribbean cruisers, we have seen all of these ports many times over, but every cruise is different and the dynamics are always changing. The weather can change plans, but when on vacation it's best to go with the flow. CONCLUSION The more we cruise, the more intrigued we are by the artwork on each ship. Suddenly, we are more interested in what differentiates one ship from another and what gives each ship her "personality." We admire unique pieces of art and frequently recognize recurring themes from ship to ship, especially on those within the same class, e.g. the Voyager class. On recent cruises, we made a point of visiting each ship from top to bottom (or vice versa), to see and enjoy her art collection; it is like Art Appreciation 101 or maybe 102. But it gives us pleasure and we are improving at recognizing common characteristics and styles of certain artists whose artwork is frequently present on various ships of the same cruise line. Sometime the names are not easily remembered, but once identified, we can recalled them as authors of other pieces on other ships. We were told that the art collection on the Navigator costs $ 8.5 million. Surely, she can be compared to a nice art museum. We enjoy cruising, especially on new ships. The smell of new, the desire of seeing, feeling and comparing the new ambiance with that of other ships are the reasons for booking cruises early on the ships' inaugural season (or voyage). We are ready to book cruises on both the Serenade and on the Mariner for this coming fall; however, we have already booked three cruises on RCI ships, two in May on the Grandeur (back-to-back, transatlantic and Baltic Capitals), and a family reunion in October on the Explorer (Western Caribbean). It'll be nice to revisit both ships; it will be our third and fourth cruise on the Grandeur and our second on the Explorer. It looks like this will be for us another year of intensive cruising. Happy Cruising! finellivn@mindspring.comApril 28, 2003 Read Less
The Navigator of the Seas is an absolutely spectacular ship. Once you have been on a Royal Caribbean Voyager Class ship you may not want to cruise on anything else. The ship is full of imagination. This is the largest cruise ship afloat ... Read More
The Navigator of the Seas is an absolutely spectacular ship. Once you have been on a Royal Caribbean Voyager Class ship you may not want to cruise on anything else. The ship is full of imagination. This is the largest cruise ship afloat (which the crew reminds you of several times a day) and it uses that space to its every advantage. The most incredible concept on the ship was the Promenade on Deck 5. This is really the ship's Main Street. The street has a cafe with food and pastries which is open 24/7, a coffee bar (espresso-type drinks are extra), a frozen yogurt station (also 24/7), and a Ben & Jerry's stand (also for an additional charge). That's just the beginning. There are shops, a wine bar and a pub. All on the main street. On two nights during the cruise, the promenade is used for Disney-style parades, including colorful costumes, comics on stilts, music and streamers. On other nights there are "street" performers and singers who sing from the bridges over the promenade. It amazed me more each time I went down there. The other amenities on this ship include the rock-climbing wall, miniature golf, inline skating, a full basketball court, and ice skating in the ice rink which also hosts a wonderful ice show (get your free tickets early so you don't miss this great show) which are apparently typical for the Voyager-class ships. This was part of what I loved about the ship. Although these activities (and even the Promenade) seemed very contrived at times, they really added to the fun of being on this ship. Note that the rock-climbing is pretty strenuous. You may want to pass on this if you are not in decent shape or if it is an especially hot day. Instead you can work out in their fitness area, which has plenty of good workout machines and a great view. The ship is beautifully appointed. I loved taking the stairs so that I could see the different artwork on each landing (and fool myself into thinking I was burning off all of those extra calories). However, the perspective from the elevators is also interesting. It was cute how they had a carpet tile with the day of the week in each elevator. The kids loved trying to be in the elevators at midnight to see them change the date. The staterooms were large and comfortable. The architects outdid themselves in finding places for storage. We had more than enough. They have also replaced those pesky shower curtains with glass enclosures. What an improvement! We were on the eighth deck which we felt was just right for us. It was very quiet and everything was easily accessible. The ship's size has another advantage-it is extremely smooth sailing. There were times when I looked at the ocean to see whether we were still moving. The ship is that stable. The seas were not rough so maybe we just got lucky. But I never had to regain my land legs after this cruise as I have on the other five cruises we have been on, even those of short duration. The food was the best I have had on a Royal Caribbean cruise. It was very good to excellent. The dining rooms are beautiful and the quality of the food was good. We recognized the menus from our RCI cruise last year on the Nordic Empress. The execution of the menu was much better on the Navigator. I was never disappointed in anything I ate (and I sampled a lot). We did not try the steakhouse or the Italian restaurant, which costs an extra $20 per person only because we were having such a good time with our tablemates. However, everyone who tried them thought they were excellent. The Windjammer was good, with more ethnic food than I remembered from other ships. In addition, they have added Jade, which is Asian food. Jade was outstanding. The cuisine ranged from Japanese to Indian to Thai to Chinese stir-frys. All very good. Finally, this ship has a Johnny Rockets. Although primarily a hangout for the teens, plenty of adults were caught eating some of their delicious onion rings and sipping cherry Cokes. It was odd to pay for the drinks but not the food (not that I'm complaining). Johnny Rockets had great food and was also a lot of fun. Just like on land, the wait staff would dance to certain songs, which made it even more entertaining to go up there. The entertainment on the ship was terrific. The production shows were excellent, especially the Broadway review. We had two good comedians, one of whom we saw last year on the Nordic Empress and we laughed just as hard this year even though we knew all of the punch lines. One of the singing acts was the Osmond Brothers (Merrill, Wayne and Jay). They were very entertaining and nice guys. They were on the ship with their families and spoke with many of the other passengers. The setting was also a beautiful art-deco theater (the Metropolitan Theater). By the way, Jeff Arpin, the Cruise Director and host for the shows, was extremely funny and he was everywhere. No one worked harder on that ship than he did. Also, Captain Johnny was engaging and fun. A professional who does not take himself too seriously. The ice skating show is not to be missed. The skating runs the gamut from figure skating to ice dancing and other forms in between. It is amazing that they can do the tricks they did on a relatively small rink. There are also open skating sessions during the week. The lounges had wonderful entertainment. Matt Yee was in the Schooner Lounge piano bar. He would have crowds of 150 people singing songs with him. He was a hoot. The Cosmopolitan Club is a beautiful art-deco lounge on the 14th deck with great jazz nightly. In addition, there was a wonderful singer in the pub and a great disco (The Dungeon) which was busy and had a great atmosphere. Our teenage daughters had a great time (or so they tell us since we almost never saw them). They have a special area of the ship geared for teens which serves as a good meeting place for them even if they do spend most of their time walking around the ship. Our friends who had younger children could not get their kids out of the "camp." They did not want to go ashore with their parents because they were having so much fun on the ship. One negative about the children's area: you have to enter and leave through the video arcade. If you like to buy art, the art auctions have great deals. However, hold onto your wallet tightly. Richard, the auctioneer, is the best I've seen on a cruise ship. One shore excursion tip: If you are going to Cozumel, the BOND adventure ("Catch the Wave") is not to be missed. A BOND is an underwater scooter that allows you travel along the ocean floor while breathing normally as a scuba tank brings air into an enclosed helmet which forms a huge air bubble around your head. You are guided by a scuba diver who will show you interesting sea life and around the coral reef. According to the person who runs the boat, you must book this through the ship. It costs more and it's worth every penny. It was a great adventure. The only things that I did not like about the ship were that they no longer had a water and iced tea station on the pool deck. It was hard to get a glass of water while sitting at the pool. You had to go into the Windjammer which is well inside the ship because it has a large (but beautiful) entryway or go to a bar. (It took me three days to find the drinking fountains on deck.) Another minor annoyance is that certain fitness classes cost an additional $10. I did not feel it was worth it and stuck to the machines. The other bigger problem is that I found that although smokers were in the minority they were very noticeable. The smoking areas on the deck should be more limited. Likewise, we found it unpleasant to sit on our balcony because the people in the next cabin were smoking on their balcony. They should do a better job of having separate corridors for smoking and nonsmoking. This ship is for anyone who wants to be in the middle of all of the action. It has over 3000 passengers and 1200 crewmembers. In short, this is a wonderful ship if you are very active and/or your are part of a group with varying interests. However, while there are places on the ship where you can be alone, this is mainly for people who like to be a part of something big and exciting. I had several friends on the ship and I could go for days without running into them. It is just that big. We are already contemplating a family reunion in December for the Navigator or its sister ship, the Mariner of the Seas, which will go into service later in the year. If I could find a way to go back sooner, I would. Nhwelber@aol.com June 2003 Read Less
I normally would not take the time to write a review of a cruise but this situation warrants a few words. My wife and two teenage sons (ages 16 &17 ) booked the Navigator of the Seas because of the great reviews for teenage cruisers. ... Read More
I normally would not take the time to write a review of a cruise but this situation warrants a few words. My wife and two teenage sons (ages 16 &17 ) booked the Navigator of the Seas because of the great reviews for teenage cruisers. This could possibly be our last family vacation for some time so we paid much more to go on this ship. That proved to be a costly mistake. We found that a senior class trip was on the ship and this caused some problems with drinking. I have no problem with controlled drinking for 18 year old kids. They could be in Iraq fighting instead of cruising. I do have a problem with "out of control" drinking and that is what we experienced all week. The group of 20-30 kids were drinking in every possible place on the ship. The elevators, chapel, and library were not off limits to this crowd. The ship security was not able to keep up with this group. They were buying beer for underage kids all week long. This put an additional worry on parents of 15-17 year old kids. The swearing we heard was as good as any heard on a US Navy ship. If there were any chaperones traveling with this group I never saw them. They certainly never had them under control. When security told them they could not drink beer in the hot tub a volley of swears was slurred. The people at RCI should restrict the drinking of 18-20 year olds to the places they purchase the drink. This would keep them more under control and less likely to slip some beer to an underage person. The food was good, the service was excellent and the cruise director was the best. Raise the age limit and we might come back. USFenceBoston@aol.com July 2003 Read Less
This was our 18th cruise. We have cruised on the Explorer, Adventure, Voyager and now the Navigator. As far as we are concerned, nothing beats the Voyager class ships. Royal Caribbean gives you a week of first class entertainment. After ... Read More
This was our 18th cruise. We have cruised on the Explorer, Adventure, Voyager and now the Navigator. As far as we are concerned, nothing beats the Voyager class ships. Royal Caribbean gives you a week of first class entertainment. After being on the Norwegian Wind in Hawaii last November, this was like moving up from a bus to a limousine. Royal Caribbean and Norwegian used to be close together in service and entertainment but Norwegian has excused themselves from competition with the implementation of "Freestyle Non-Service Cruising". We unfortunately missed the "Cruise Critic Party" because bingo was scheduled at the same time. We won Bingo 4 times during the week, split 1 time- 3 ways, 2 times- 4 ways, and during the final jackpot session, on the lucky 7, split 6 ways after 8 numbers called. With all of those splits, we did not win enough to pay for the bingo we played. We did have fun and that is what counts. We were not aware when we booked this cruise that it was actually a "Crown & Anchor" member cruise. We are at the Platinum level with Royal Caribbean and they went out of their way to make this a week to remember. They provided us several receptions and several nights they had left gifts for us in our cabin. Embarkation: When you hit the Platinum level with Royal Caribbean, you no longer wait in the cattle herd lines. You are taken to nice reception area with chairs and refreshments provided while you check in. Cabin: We had an inside cabin 7369. Typical, small inside cabin which suits our needs because we don't spend enough time in the cabin to take advantage of a balcony. By not wasting money on a balcony we don't use, gives us enough money to take more cruises. Our cabin attendant was Byron. Byron was the best cabin attendant we have had on a cruise. Byron was professional, courteous and demonstrated an unusual level of class. I believe Byron has the potential to move-up to something that suits him better. Byron would make a good manager in a service-related industry. He understands and knows how to provide service. Entertainment: Production shows, ice shows, promenade parades, comedians, jugglers, "Cruise Comics", etc. provided all first class entertainment. You can dance to about any kind of music you like somewhere on the ship. They have from Latin to ballroom and most types in between somewhere on the ship. The only entertainment I was not impressed with was the karaoke in the pub off of the promenade. I just don't enjoy hearing people screech. If you were in the promenade cafe late in the evening, or any where else near the promenade, the volume in the pub was so loud, you could hardy hear yourself think. The screeching would cause the hair on your back to stand-up. I just wish that they had a place this could be done in private so the rest of us would not have to listen to it. Let those who enjoy it enjoy it and spare the rest of us. The exercise facilities are nice. I try to jog at least 3 times during the week and 5 laps on the upper deck will give you a mile. If shade and reading is your thing, I suggest deck 4 promenade. That is a peaceful place to spend time while at sea. We made our usual donations to the slots in the casino. Those machines have an insatiable appetite. We did not spend much time in the casino because the cigarette smoke could choke a mule in that place. This was the only area we had problems with cigarette smoke and we just could not stand it in there. Food: We ate the buffet breakfast in the Windjammer each morning with fresh made omelets, bacon that was actually cooked, fresh fruit &just about anything you would want for breakfast. We had first seating in the dining room at table for 8. We had a group ranging from a newly wed couple to the retired and we had a pleasant time each night in the dining room. The food, service and presentation were outstanding. We did not try Portofino's of Chop's grill so I cannot comment on those restaurants. The Cafe Promenade has an endless supply of sandwiches, cookies, desserts and pizza. It is probably unimaginable of how much ice cream is distributed by the machines in the promenade. You will see people all week long with ice cream cones in hand. If free soft serve ice cream is not your thing, look 40 degrees left and there is a Ben &Jerry's. The midnight buffet by poolside and the gala midnight buffet were both outstanding productions. Eight pounds gained in a week is the proof of the food quality. For booze, we purchased a drink card at one of the bars for $44 (including tip) that prepaid for 12 drinks. It was kind of nice just giving them the card when you ordered a drink. There are some limitations so be sure this suits your drink needs. It won't cover the special drinks, draft or foreign beer, or name brands. If you like margarita's, pina colada's, whiskey sours, domestic beer, etc. the card is a good choice. Cruise Director: I believe Royal Caribbean will have a hard time replacing Jeffery Arpin as cruise director, he is a good showman and that is what that job demands. He retired at the end of this cruise. He will be back for some fill-in work later on. Jeff received a well-deserved standing ovation at the farewell show. You could see tears in his eyes as he left the stage. Ports-of-Call: We were on the eastern route consisting of Nassau, Bahamas, St. Thomas, San Juan, and Labadee. Labadee is a premier beach day area, if you like spending time at beach, you will enjoy Labadee. St. Thomas is for shopping. We just briefly got off the ship in Nassau and San Juan. Both are nice ports to visit. Summary: There is so much to do on the Voyager class ships; you really do not need to leave the ship. As stated earlier, this is our 4th Voyager Class ship and we have not had time yet to get to Johnny Rockets, play miniature golf, even see the in-line skating area or see the rock climbing wall up close. There are trivia games, dance lessons, cooking demonstrations, bingo, napkin folding, the spa., etc, etc. There is just more to do than you can possibly accomplish in a week. You can do as much or as little as you want to do without ever leaving the ship. My wife is kind of disappointed now, we are back home and her nightly entertainment is back to me snoring in the recliner. Royal Caribbean stays at the top of our list. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2003
I would have to say that my experience on the Navigator of the Seas was one of the most memorable vacations I've ever had. My husband and I booked this cruise to celebrate our anniversary and this was truly a great experience. We were ... Read More
I would have to say that my experience on the Navigator of the Seas was one of the most memorable vacations I've ever had. My husband and I booked this cruise to celebrate our anniversary and this was truly a great experience. We were first time cruisers and weren't sure exactly what to expect. We had been to all-inclusive resorts before, but this was even better. From day one we were given top-rate service by everyone. From the bartenders and the dining room staff, to our room attendant, we can't say enough about this experience. One of the best bartenders aboard this ship is Adrian in the Boleros Lounge. From the night we met Adrian, he would greet us by name everytime we would stop by. With thousands of passengers on this cruise, we thought this was amazing that he would remembers us by name. He was also fun to be around and took the time to tell some stories and laughs. Our dining experience was also exquisite. Our waiter, Jorge, from Portugal was great. He took the time to speak to us about some of his experiences aboard this ship and others. He gave us some great tips for our shore excursions also. He is definitely one of a kind. One of the things we noticed about our cruise was the how clean everything was kept. We didn't see one speck of dirt or dust anywhere on this ship. If we hadn't known this ship was over 1 year old, we would have thought it was brand new. It is a beautifully decorated vessel and definitely well designed. Some things not to miss on this cruise would be the ice show, and the nightly entertainment. We couldn't wait each day to find out what kind of show would be in the theater. The shows were very professional and entertaining. Overall, I would say this was the best vacation we ever had. Although we were traveling alone, we met some great people. We have two children that we will be bringing on the next cruise. We are all looking forward to it. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2003
Here is my review of the Navigator of the Seas Member Cruise 4/26/03-5/3/03. We are Platinum Members, we had 2nd Seating for Dinner, our wait staff was Edwin(Waiter) and Wencey(Asst. Waiter), Our Cabin Attendant was Allan. We left on ... Read More
Here is my review of the Navigator of the Seas Member Cruise 4/26/03-5/3/03. We are Platinum Members, we had 2nd Seating for Dinner, our wait staff was Edwin(Waiter) and Wencey(Asst. Waiter), Our Cabin Attendant was Allan. We left on Friday April 25th for our long awaited Cruise aboard the NOS. We stayed at the Sheraton Biscayne Bay Hotel in Downtown Miami. We booked this hotel, through Priceline, and paid $47 plus a service fee of $5.95 and tax. This was a bargain. We had a spacious corner room on the 14th floor. It was very clean and the hotel was very busy that nite. We thought the staff was very friendly and the hotel one of the nicer ones we have stayed in. We went to the Bayside Marketplace and took an boat ride on the Island Queen. This was $15 per person and well worth it. The weather was sunny and warm that day and we enjoyed our time in Miami. The next morning (Saturday) we woke up to rumbles of thunder and flashes of lightning. It was a gloopy day of rain and thunderstorms all day. We took a short taxi ride to the pier and arrived at 10:30 a.m. We hadn't sailed out of Miami since 1996 so we were very impressed with the new RCCL cruise terminal. A porter took our luggage outside and said that it would be in our room in one hour (never happened). We went up the escalator to a waiting area and waited until the ship was cleared for check-in. When the ship was cleared we proceeded to a special "Priority Boarding Lounge" for C &A members and waited to be checked in. Lemonade, water and cookies were available. A lot of people were waiting for the "Priority Check-In" so an RCI employee came over and took some of us to the regular check-in area. We then went back to the lounge, to wait, to board the Ship. We got on the ship at 12:00~noon. We went right to our stateroom #7592~DB Category~to drop off our carry-on and then went to the Windjammer Cafe for the Welcome Aboard Buffet. We were planning on going to the CC get together at 3:00 p.m. but fell asleep!! Muster Drill was at 4:30 p.m. We went to our station about 4:15 p.m. as did a lot of other people. This helped the drill go smoother and faster. The ship did not depart on time (5:00 p.m.) as it was waiting for passengers with delayed flights. We sat up on the pool deck waiting for the ship to leave and finally a little after 6:00 p.m. we left following the Explorer of the Seas. I was amazed to see that people still stopped their cars on the side of the road and some got out to watch the cruise ships leave. It was still raining at this time too. Now we were officially "cruising" on our way to Nassau........let the fun begin! We were at Table #427~Coppelia Dining Room (Deck4). Dinner was at 9:00 p.m. only for that nite. The rest of the week was at 8:30 p.m. Our tablemates were Don and Bonnie from Georgia, Larry and Theresa from Michigan, Ruth from Toronto, Canada and Diane from Tampa, Florida. Ruth and Diane have been best friends for 30 years. Ruth is visiting Diane for a month so Diane surprised Ruth with a Cruise, since Ruth had never cruised before! What a great friend!!! We had a lot of fun at our table. After dinner it was off to the Casino for our nightly nickel slot playing! This whole week, with the exception of a few winning spins, I lost playing the nickel and quarter machines and video poker. I still had fun though. My husband, Barry, was luckier than I. He turned $5 into $84 just playing nickels on the first nite! and he had good luck playing the rest of the cruise. Someone did win $20,000 playing the $1 Wheel of Fortune Machine during the week. The payouts were low on the slots and we lost on our BJ match play coupons also. Cabin~we booked a Category DB and it was spacious and seemed bigger than the D9 cabin we had on the Adventure of the Seas last year. Our balcony also seemed larger with glass panels so you could see out while sitting or doing the "horizontal mambo". Just some FYI. Our cabin attendant was Allan and he was just OK. He did a good job keeping our cabin clean but was not overly friendly. Other cabin attendants spoke to us daily saying "Good Morning or Good Evening". Cruise Critic Party-I wasn't impressed with the CC Party. People were too spread -out, didn't seem to want to say their name etc. I was very surprised at the low attendance considering the amount of people that had signed up. We met Carl and Margaret (Sea Travelers) that morning, at breakfast, and we met Pat H and Tina B at the party. Coupon Booklets-We are Platinum Members and our coupon booklets had (2) $5.00 Casino Match Play Coupons, (2) buy $10 get $12 in the Casino, 15% off a spa service, buy 3 get 3 bingo cards, buy an 8X10 picture get one 8X10 picture free, a complimentary glass of wine or beer, 15 minutes of free internet service, cpn for up to $300 shipboard credit on a future cruise if booked onboard, (2) cpns for 10% off @ the RCCL Logo merchandise shop, complimentary wine tasting seminar. We each got a booklet also. Food-The food was better than excellent. Had a variety of choices in both the dining room, Windjammer and Jade. Portofino's and Chops Grille are located inside with the Windjammer and the Plaza Bar. There is a HUGE variety of breakfast items~cereal, toast, bagels, pancakes, oatmeal, omelettes, waffles, French toast, grits, bacon, sausage, boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, muffins, croissants, assorted danish, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, bananas, apples, pears, peaches, prunes, figs, donuts, Austrian raisin bread (my favorite), yogurt, milk, tea, coffee, apple juice, orange juice, ice water and more...........The same items are offered, in the Windjammer everyday. Lunch items change but there is a variety of foods including sliced meats, cheeses, breads, hamburgers, hotdogs, soups, pasta, carved meats, potatoes, French fries, rice, Waldorf salad, pasta salad, lettuce salad w/toppings and dressings, and lots more. There are a variety of desserts and cookies. The WJ also offers sugar free desserts. We did not eat dinner at the WJ, Jade, Portofino's or Chops Grille. Jade also offered a variety of foods for breakfast and lunch as well as desserts. There are also 2 soft serve yogurt machines in the WJ. The Plaza Bar is right inside so it is convenient to get to from all the eating areas. Dining Room-we did not eat breakfast or lunch in the Dining Room only dinner. The food was the best of all the cruises we've gone on. The portions are smaller though, so you may want to order accordingly. Some of the desserts include: Ivory Chocolate Fondue, Pecan Pudding, Grand Marnier Souffle, Tiramisu......................they also offer 2 Sugar Free Desserts each nite. The chilled soups were fantastic! There is also an alternative menu to order from that includes a beef and chicken entree, a pasta entree, rice, potato, vegetable, etc. Our waiter-Edwin-made a lot of mistakes. 3 different nites, out of 6 (I was sick one nite), I got the wrong food. It was getting to be a joke at our table what food I would get served? Even though he wrote it down and I would point to it on the menu. He would mix up others appetizers, salads and desserts too. Our table was his only table so we couldn't understand why he had so much trouble? It wasn't until the tips were given and we were ready to leave the dining room that he told us this was his first week as a waiter. He had been promoted last week. We wish we would have known that at the beginning of the cruise. We did adjust his tip, according to the service we received, but did not mark him down on his service on the guest satisfaction survey. He did admit that he made a lot of mistakes. Our Asst.Waiter-Wencey-was absolutely fabulous. Friendly, accommodating, Bubbly, Funny. ShipShape Center-Visited here everyday. Not for exercise, of course! Had to sit in the Mineral Bath everyday. This was very relaxing and a bit different from the Hot Tubs. Also, went into the Steam Room a lot. My husband did work out everyday and enjoyed going there. He said they play funky upbeat music to exercise to. Didn't get to have any spa treatments either. Pool Area-2 pools and 4 hot tubs. They keep 1 pool and some hot tubs open 24 hours a day. I never saw anyone in either one when I walked by at nite but that doesn't mean they didn't get used. One afternoon both pools were closed. Someone went into the pool, with a glass, and dropped it on the bottom of the pool and it broke. They had to close the pool for awhile and we don't know why the other pool wasn't open? Later, we found out that the ship can't drain the pool until they are 15 miles away from shore. I never did hear when they drained the pool as I had left the pool area shortly after the "glass incident". There is a sign on the hottub though. No eating, drinking or smoking while in the hottub. This should include the pool too!!! Or people should have common sense not to bring a glass into a swimming pool especially since there were a lot of kids in the pool. Medical Facility-I had to visit the medical facility twice while on the cruise. I woke up with a horrendous sore throat one morning and went to see the Doctor. He took a strep test (negative) and gave me some antibiotics, throat lozenges, ibuprofen. The next day I had to go back because I had non stop coughing and a different Doctor gave me a nebulization treatment, cough medicine (w/codeine!!!!) and more pills. The total bill was $250. I received quite a bit of medications and services for this money. The Doctors and nurses are professionals and very nice. Since it went on my seapass account I will get double points on my new Royal Caribbean Visa Card. Well.....I was down and out for a couple of days, it didn't ruin my vacation and it didn't affect my appetite-LOL and I get double points. What a deal! My husband has it now:(:( but no double points. LOL LOL Royal Caribbean Online-.50 a minute to get online. At St. Thomas there is a place to go, at Havensight Mall, where you can make long distance calls, get on the internet etc. The cost is $5.00 for 30 minutes for using the internet. C &A Member Gifts-lots of neat things. Sunblock lotion on a clip, sunglass straps, magnets (that someone took off of all the doors on our floor), Fanny Packs, Pens, Organizers, etc. We had a private showing of Ice Dancin' in Studio B. There were also lots of different events during the week too. We didn't get to many tho. We had robes to use onboard too-that was really nice. Upgrades-There was a long line at the Pier Coordinator at Check-In. Didn't stand in the line to find out the prices of upgrades. We did hear one lady say that she wasn't going to pay $400 for an upgrade if she wasn't going to get a doorbell! Too funny! Entertainment-Only went to one production show-"Now and Forever". I didn't care for it but my husband loved it. We did go to see "Chuck Roast and the Mashed Potatoes" in Studio B. They put down a parquet floor over the ice so people could dance. Our Cruise Director, Jeffrey Arpin, was "Big Daddy" . It was a tribute to the music of the 50's, 60's and 70's. We thought it was fantastic. Jeff was fantastic as was the band. At the end they had the "Village People" come out and sing Y.M.C.A. One of our tablemates thought that the REAL Village People were going to be there! LOL There were bands and singers at different spots on the ship. The music during dinner was especially nice and relaxing. There was horse racing, bingo, belly flop contest, hairy chest contest, music by the pool etc. Cruise Staff-Captain Leif Otto Bang was the Master of the Ship, Jeffrey Arpin was the Cruise Director and "Double D" was the Asst Cruise Director. Jeffrey has retired on our cruise. I talked with him about retiring. He was the best cruise director that I have sailed with. Very enthusiastic and fun. Sorry to see him go.........I also asked about Captain Johnny. He left the Navigator 2 weeks before our sailing:(:(. He's my favorite Captain. So funny and personable. I heard that he should be bringing out the Mariner of the Seas later this year. Tidbits- The Navigator has a Business Center Onboard. You can book a future cruise or get information here also. Book your shore excursions early for Labadee. Our tablemates said these fill up fast! especially Parasailing and Waverunners. Try to watch the 3 part series, on your cabin TV, about the building of the Eagle Class Ships. It is sooo interesting. There is so much detail that goes into these ships. I started looking at all the details on the ship after watching the series. It is amazing. The colors and patterns in different areas-lots of things that I've never noticed before. The Royal Promenade floor that was laid by hand. The interior design of the ship etc. A taxi ride to or from the Airport to the Seaport is $18. A flat rate. A Taxi Ride from the Airport to a downtown hotel, on the Super Shuttle, is $24 (2 people). Room Service is available 24 hours. You can add your tips to your seapass. Everyone has to report to immigration at St. Thomas. There is one room for US Citizens and another for NON US Citizens. It goes a lot faster now. There is an American Airlines Counter at the Pier in Miami. You can check-in, at the pier, if your flight is after 1:00 p.m. Customs is at the Cruise Terminal. This is new to us. Previously we had to go through customs on the ship. We were able to use a Private Departure Lounge on Debarkation Day. They served OJ, Coffee and Pastries. We stayed there until our luggage color was called. The RCI Holiday and Entertaining Cookbook is $19.95 and available at the Purser's Desk. There are lots of opportunities for pictures especially on formal nites. Make sure you go to Decks 3,4,5 for picture opportunities. They are also taking pictures on casual nites now. The price of a non alcoholic "fu-fu" drink is $4.60 including tip. A can of Coke is $1.73 including tip. There is a Ben and Jerry's onboard and the price for a regular cup of ice cream (4 small scoops) is $3.00-no tip. A waffle cone is .75 extra. There is free frozen yogurt next to Ben and Jerry's and Sprinkles too! The Frozen Yogurt Flavors are Choc/Vanilla/Swirl and Choc/Strawberry/Swirl. The service at Johnny Rockets wasn't so great. The Coke was horribly and flat. The food was good tho. Great Burgers and BLT's! The Cafe Promenade has great food and Ranger Cookies!!! I will miss those for sure. There is also a bar, coffee drinks to purchase, frozen coke. Seattle's Best Coffee, a large variety of tea's, hot chocolate and water are free. There is free lemonade and iced tea available at many spots around the ship. A glass of soda, from the bar, is $1.44. We did not check into the price of drink cards. It was quite a bit warmer in the Solarium than by the regular pool area. Towels-your seapass acct will be charged $20 per towel if the 2 that you are given at the beginning of the cruise are missing at the end of the cruise. I'm sure there I missed a lot of things so......if you have any questions feel free to ask me. I tried to cover a variety of areas and hope that this review is helpful to many. I apologize for any spelling error that I may have made typing this!! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2003
This Ship and her crew were above and beyond our expectations by far. I have booked another cruise on her sister ship the Adventure of the Seas, I can not wait to go. The aft cabins are the best sunset views when heading east and sun ... Read More
This Ship and her crew were above and beyond our expectations by far. I have booked another cruise on her sister ship the Adventure of the Seas, I can not wait to go. The aft cabins are the best sunset views when heading east and sun rise when headed west, WOW that was awesome. When you think of high class cruising this ship really moved the bar up several notched. I knew RCCL was good but now as my name states I am a true FAN of RCCL and the Voyager Class ships. All of the ports of call were great and the crew was fun and helpful in deciding what tours to take. The shopping advice we received on the ship allowed me to know I could dicker for a price on a chess set in Mexico, and I did, the price started a $90 US, and I got it for $39 US with both the chess pieces and the checkers pieces. The ICE Shows on the ship need to be seen, if you feel you must miss something on this ship do not let it be the ICE Shows. Disembarkation was very smooth, fast and friendly with the ship and US Customs. The only bad thing I could add is that my cruise ended and I was thinking I would love to live on that ship full time. Really nothing in any way was bad, the Dinner Table service staff "Eskra" and her "YUMMY YUMMY TIME" (dessert for those that do not know her) was a truly fun time and looked forward to by all at our table. Read Less
Navigator of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 2.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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