928 Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Cruise Reviews

I sailed on the Navigator of the Seas on 6/22/14. This was my 4th cruise but first with Royal Caribbean Int'l. This was also my first inside cabin and that is something I thought I would never do. Reason, touch of claustraphobia and ... Read More
I sailed on the Navigator of the Seas on 6/22/14. This was my 4th cruise but first with Royal Caribbean Int'l. This was also my first inside cabin and that is something I thought I would never do. Reason, touch of claustraphobia and once you go balcony, you just never want to do anything else. But when my travel mates and I heard of the new virtual balconies, we were curious. So we decided to give them a try. Well, they won't replace my preference for balconies but it wasn't bad. I liked having a view and I could opt to hear the outside noise if I wanted. The window/balcony did add light to the room and the room did not feel so closed-in so the claustraphobia did not kick in. So I would recommend it to someone who wanted to save the expense of a balcony room but was concerned about the closed in feeling of an inside room. Now for the rest of the review. Even though I've resided in Houston for over 20 years, this was my first time to depart out of Galveston and while I've heard others complain about the terminal and embarkation/debarkation out of Galveston, I feel it went quite smoothly. I had no major problems to report. Except that it was hot but hey, it's Texas in June, what do you expect? The ship is very nice. The large glass flower decorations and light fixtures on the Promenade were quite impressive. My neighbors who were my travel companions and I enjoyed all of our meals in the main dining room. Marichrist and Conroy were the best servers, top notch and very competent. We also ate in the MDR for breakfast a couple of times and that's the way to start the day. The Promenade Cafe always had a generous supply of cookies and sandwiches to snack on. Our rooms were maintained superbly by Raoul in housekeeping. And since I'm naming names here, our cruise director John Perry is a total "hoot" and a lot of fun. He is quite the entertainer and if you get a chance to attend "The Quest" which is an adult game show/event at the end of the cruise, by all means go...its a lot of fun. Poolside action was great as we were able to watch the World Cup games from the pool on the large screen outside. And while my friends and I never won any of the trivia games we participated in, we still had a great time with Ricardo from Jamaica leading the fun. In Cozumel, we shopped and then enjoyed lunch at a private beach we went to via taxi. In Grand Cayman, we did the Stingray city express. I had a blast. I got some great videos of the stingrays on my camera. These creatures are awesome and our guides were very informative. I booked through Royal Caribbean and I recommend this excursion to everyone. This was my second trip to stingray city. In Jamaica, I did the Dunns River excursion and I can't say I enjoyed it. Some people do and that's great but I was not aware of how difficult it would be. I know the info for the excursion advises to be aware of your abilities but if you do not know that you will be climbing up over 900 ft of waterfalls over rocks that are not exactly even or visible, you might not be aware of your ability to complete the climb. I sure wasn't. Plus once you are done climbing, you do not get to hang out and play in the falls. Once done, you're done. Excursion over. Not quite how the video depicts it. But for those who completed the climb, they did feel a sense of completion so I'm not saying it can't be done or enjoyed. Then we shopped! :) The cruise was over way too quickly but I look for to booking the NOS again soon now that I know how easy to whole process is out of Galveston. Til next time...Smooth Sailing! Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
I dont claim to be a seasoned critic since this was my 2nd cruise. previous was crown princess. this time we took our teenage girls. teenagers formed their own gang to hangout. you can search youtube for navigator videos and pictures but ... Read More
I dont claim to be a seasoned critic since this was my 2nd cruise. previous was crown princess. this time we took our teenage girls. teenagers formed their own gang to hangout. you can search youtube for navigator videos and pictures but here is my comments: want to be alone?---the cruise was full capacity but visit the bridge overlook to get away from the crowds and music. minimal people there to layout in the sun or relax in the shade of the 'radar tower'. touchscreen at the elevators was nice to find the nearest bathroom,cafe, activities,ect. room--we had interior stateroom since we didnt plan to be in the there much so room was not a priority. no complaints with the room or service. shower might be bigger than crown princess. excellent AC in the room. the virtual balcony is a large live video camera so you can see the conditions outside with audio. only 2 electrical outlets that are crammed next to each other. hair dryer in the drawer. tv offered a few channels and RC promotions. food---only once place for a free snack at cafe promenade. be prepared to wait in line if full capacity. no free cokes or booze on the trip. pay a daily amount for a card to get that. sapphire dining had excellent service and flexible to any dislike of food since our kids tried unfamiliar foods. johnny rockets is tricky since its about 6 bucks to eat there and 'all you can eat' and good but then you get hit several bucks for milkshakes so beware. weather---never saw many whitecaps but very minimal movement when winds got high. we got lucky with no severe heat and dead calm seas. at cozamel we were docked next to the monster ship allure. shows----great ice dancing show and musicians. internet---wifi everywhere on ship. we didnt take a chance on the severe roaming charges so cell phones were disabled. we used my itouch and the wifes ipad. be aware connection is slow and if you pay by the minute you will burn up many just getting connected. so we paid unlimited minuted for nearly $200, one user at a time. email and pics were ok but be aware it did not allow audio so that means no skype no magicjack. however, i hear there is a hi speed internet sat system coming for cruise ships. communications----as a ham geek i brought the FRS radios with PL tones. that means we only hear each other and not every 8 year old that plays with one. some people complain about the radio but i will let you do all the walking around to find somebody. it wont punch thru the whole ship but better than nothing. RC praises----the front 'helicopter deck' is unlit at nite so if you want to behold the heavens make a trip there. touchscreen gives great info if you forget something. RC complaints---- no ham radio. as a ham geek i want to talk from the seas with low power unit. staff cant tell me why its prohibited. back to princess for that. no washer and dryer rooms. they can do it for a large fee. back to princess for that. no internet audio. cant make phone calls from ship internet. back to princess for that.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
My two 12 year old children and I went on a Navigator of the Seas cruise in late July. I have to admit that I have high standards in travel, and after reading some reviews on this website, I had wondered if we had made a mistake in booking ... Read More
My two 12 year old children and I went on a Navigator of the Seas cruise in late July. I have to admit that I have high standards in travel, and after reading some reviews on this website, I had wondered if we had made a mistake in booking the cruise. In fact, I called Royal Caribbean at the last minute to see if there was any way we could update to a suite or to "Gold" status just to avoid some of the things I had read (I couldn't - it was too late). Certain reviews had stated how crowded the cruise was, how Royal Caribbean always said "No" and what a disaster Galveston was. I have to say that I found NONE of that true and that the kids and I thoroughly enjoyed our cruise and would do another Royal Caribbean Cruise in a heartbeat. We got to Galveston around 11:30 (took Stamax Limo from Houston which was fantastic) and we were on the Ship eating by 12:30. We had a great cabin with a pull down ceiling, twin bed (and a king bed) and a nice balcony overlooking the ocean. Ernesto was our cabin attendant and we never had any problems with our room. [We did smell cigarette smoke a few times from our balcony, and Royal Caribbean immediately responded and came to investigate where the smoke was coming from, and then stopped it.] We enjoyed the activities on the ship (Flowrider, Rock Climbing, Mini golf, basketball, the running track) and enjoyed the shows - especially the comedy show and the Marriage/ Newlywed show. We ate at almost all of the restaurants, and found that the food was very good. We paid extra money for the Mexican, sushi and Italian restaurants, and found that they were well worth the supplement. Those restaurants were basically empty and the food and service were amazing. We also ate at Johnny Rockets and had the most amazing milkshakes ever. If we had one complaint, it was that the pools were too small. It would have been nice to have bigger pools, and we will look for that on our next cruise. We loved Roatan and going to Guambalina park to see monkeys. We ended up doing the zip line while we were there, which was not part of our shore excursion. It was the best zipline we have ever done (incl in Mexico and Costa Rico). After ziplining, we enjoyed the very quiet, freshwater pool at Guambalin, and took the shuttle back to the boat at 3:00. A perfect day and a highly recommended shore excursion. If you want to ice skate, be aware that the ice skating times quickly get full. Therefore, it is best to go there in the morning and get a ticket for the time that you want. For disembarking, we opted to take our own bags off the ship and got a pass to be the first group off. We were through customs in minutes - definitely not the nightmare that others had encountered.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
I read a lot of the reviews here, and went to the port wondering if I had made the correct choice for my family. Obviously, there were lines, but one expects that when loading 3900 people. We were greeted with smiles and hello's by ... Read More
I read a lot of the reviews here, and went to the port wondering if I had made the correct choice for my family. Obviously, there were lines, but one expects that when loading 3900 people. We were greeted with smiles and hello's by almost every staff member we met. The ship was clean, and our stateroom was nice and cool. Our stateroom attendant Juan was courteous and friendly. We attended the shows most nights, and were entertained. My kids enjoyed the shows as well as the flow-rider and the rock climbing wall. The Dining room staff were very nice, and we felt the food was great. Maihi and Vladamer were our attendants, and we rarely wanted for anything. We had no trouble getting off or on the ship for our excursions, however I did notice that the queue was rather long if you waited until the last minute to board. We chose our excursions through RC and enjoyed all 3. We did buy the Royal Replenish, however if we choose to cruise again, I might not buy a drink package as we are not big soda or smoothie drinkers. My only complaint is that we bought the picture package, and at the end of the cruise it was not ready, and they were very vague about when we would get the photos. All in all we cam back relaxed and wishing it was not already over.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
This was my 9th Cruise. Four on Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Four on Carnival Cruise Lines and one on Norwegian. It had been 18 years (1996) since my last RCL cruise. So that is my qualifier. Now the Port of Galveston started things off ... Read More
This was my 9th Cruise. Four on Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Four on Carnival Cruise Lines and one on Norwegian. It had been 18 years (1996) since my last RCL cruise. So that is my qualifier. Now the Port of Galveston started things off on a bad note by having the lousiest run "official" Parking Service there is in the world. $70.00 to park for a week uncovered and they do not even have enough buses to service the parking lot. No sidewalks and crosswalks if you decide to walk. So on a 98 degree F day you are standing in the SUN waiting on a bus or walking about 4 city blocks across un-mowed grass and railroad tracks to get to the cruise terminal. Royal Caribbean lines you up and starts boarding at 10:30am and they send you a text to try to get everyone to space it out by telling you a time to get there. FORGET THAT!. They have six X-ray machines but will not run more than three at a time so any semblance of organization is out of the window. Get there so that you are at the terminal at 10:30 and fall into the cue, first come, first served. That was my first lesson learned. Because I was told to get there at 1:30PM by RCL. I started parking my car at 11:30PM, was at the gate at 1:00pm and was 3:30PM getting on the Ship. Lousy experience mostly caused by the Port of Galveston and Royal Caribbean's contracted Security Service. The ship is awesome. It is a thing to behold. RCL has the top of the class when it comes to Large Cruise Ships. Since my significant other works in education we had to schedule the cruise in the summer months of June or July. That was a mistake for us as we are both approaching 60 with no kids. The ship had booked a record capacity of 3,900 people with 1,100 of them being kids ( Our stateroom was an inside one which is what I try to book because I never spend time in any hotel room or accommodation I ever have. I am a get up and get to seeing and doing kind of a person. Besides the inside staterooms sleep the best because they are so dark you cannot see your hand in front of your face. The room was wonderful and the room attendant was great. Not as good as I have had in the past but way above adequate. Food is something that I do not live for but main dining was good and we had dinner at main dining all but one night, because of a wonderful family we met at our table the first night. We enjoyed their company so much we just could not stand not seeing them. The ship was straining at the seams so some of the food was served not hot. It was lukewarm which is a pet peeve of mine. But I suffered that because I do not try to find fault. I will have to mention that RCL has went to what they call open dining for Breakfast and Lunch but it is more like assigned seating and filling empty slots. Any sense of choice is lost and I did not care for it so we only tried main dining once for breakfast and walked out when they tried to sit us at a table with 10 other people. I am not that friendly at breakfast. I did not like it and I have wrote RCL about it. I liked the way it used to be where you walk in and sit yourself. That is open dining. The Windjammer, is wonderful and was the best buffet of any ship I have been on and it was always warm, clean and inviting. Sometimes you had to wait for a table because of the crowds (I suspect from no one using the main dining) but you did not have to wait very long. My only complaint was the soft serve machine on the Port side was constantly broke down overloading the one on the Starboard side. And they never put enough ice in the drinks. But if that is all that you can complain about you are in pretty good shape. I did not use any of the premium dining venues as they were booked. I personally do not agree with the concept but it makes them a lot of money evidently. So I cannot report on them. Everything else we tried was wonderful. I do not like the fact they do not have movie theaters anymore and instead have ice skating rinks but then I am older. CONCLUSION: I think that from observation it works like this. Bigger is not better if you are say 50 and older with no kids. I am not going to use boogie boards, basketball courts and ice skating rinks, etc. Also when you get over a number some where between 2,700 and 3,900 passengers on board a ship there is a point of diminishing returns in the area of service and personalization. It is a numbers game after all. Now if you have kids or are in your 40's and younger you should go all the way to the Oasis class or as large as you can. It gives you so much variety and you will use those amenities. But for me I am going to resign myself to the smaller passenger ships so we booked on the Radiance Class ship for the next one. I will report on that in January of 2015. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We cruised on the Navigator of the Seas from July 27 to Aug 3. We departed from Galveston and had ports of call including Roatan, Belize City, and Cozumel. This was the first cruise I took my family on - I had cruised many years ago on ... Read More
We cruised on the Navigator of the Seas from July 27 to Aug 3. We departed from Galveston and had ports of call including Roatan, Belize City, and Cozumel. This was the first cruise I took my family on - I had cruised many years ago on both Windstar and Carnival. Prior to this cruise, I did read many of the cruiser reviews for Navigator on this website. So I will begin with the embarkation process - the main point I will make here is TRY AND GET ONBOARD AS EARLY AS THEY WILL ALLOW. I signed up for the transfer through RCI from Hobby Airport. The ticket they gave me indicated that I should arrive between 11 am and 12. Since I am a planner, I always arrive early. We didn't leave until 12:45. The lady who was in charge at the airport was not particularly organized. Not impressed. We arrived in Galveston at 2:00. I agree with other critics that the port is poorly organized. No signs, no good direction about where to go or how to start the process. Once in the port, the lines were long but I thought they moved reasonably quickly. The cruise line has a priority method of boarding. I can understand you want to treat your loyal customers well. But we felt that by boarding very late, it was a disadvantage for certain lines and activities on board. As for the cruise experience, I really thought RCI did a pretty good job. There is an abundance of things to do. The NOS did have a renovation in February. They now have the big screen pool and the Flowrider which was a hit with my sons. The actual pool area is not that large - pool did get crowded on the at sea days. I have to say the entertainment was just "ok". The comedian was average at best. The juggling show at the end of cruise was entertaining. The ice show was better than average but not anything to write home about. The live music venues were average - the piano bar guy, the pool music and the country band. Not bad, but not anybody I would actually sit in a place and wait to hear them play. The food was above average. The service in Sapphire (the main dining room) was really outstanding. I have to say the people who are on the boat were all great. Mehmet and Karlos took care of us in the main dining room and were outstanding. Christopher was our wine person at dinner and was great. We also ate at Chops, one of the specialty restaurants. The food there was very good. The steaks were done perfectly and the choices of appetizers were all very very good. There are many activities each day. Gets pretty overwhelming. I would recommend each night before to take a close look at the next day's activities. Maybe focus on the two or three you really want to do. If you try and do everything, it will be frustrating. Many activities are stacked in the same time frame - so you end having to prioritize. The ports were good. We enjoyed Roatan very much. We took an excursion that wasnt that well promoted by RCI. We went to Maya Key. This is a private isle area a short jaunt by ferry from the docking site. The snorkeling here is very good. We have snorkeled in Maui, Kauai, Grand Cayman, etc... The Roatan reef is beautiful. This excursion was not that expensive - included a great lunch - and the isle has an animal reserve as well. Nice beach to lounge on. I will say this I was very disappointed in the the knowledge base of the RCI excursion staff. They have no clue. I asked about a certain excursion in Belize - about simply where the excursion took you - and the person had no clue. They need to improve this. There are many comments about the tender process at Belize. My take on that is this - if you want to leave early, do an excursion thru RCI and pay the extra money. There is no way around this. Overall, we had a very nice time. The staff really try to enhance your experience. The bar lines got long sometimes but contrary to other reviews, I found the pool bar wait staff to be plentiful. Just like any trip, its a matter of managing expectations. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Background  This was the fourth cruise (Voyager, Enchantment, Solstice & Navigator) for the adults and third cruise (no Voyager) for the kids Wife and I are 48 with two girls 15 & 11 living in Dallas. We take turns on which ... Read More
Background  This was the fourth cruise (Voyager, Enchantment, Solstice & Navigator) for the adults and third cruise (no Voyager) for the kids Wife and I are 48 with two girls 15 & 11 living in Dallas. We take turns on which family member gets to plan our vacation. I am always involved as the banker. This year my youngest had the honor of planning. She had a budget. After last year’s cruise to Alaska, she immediately settled on a Caribbean cruise. Her main request was to swim with dolphins. We booked the cruise in February and worked on excursions and travel plans through May before pretty much finalizing everything. Part of this whole process is to keep the other family completely in the dark about when and where are going. Travel to The Woodlands Saturday, 8/9 finally arrived. While still a secret, the approaching vacation was hard to get around because summer was running out. Woke wife and eldest up and gave them one hour to pack. We told them we were doing “fancy dinners” at a steak house and Italian restaurant during our vacation and they needed two very nice (formal) outfits. Wife who remembered last year’s cruise on Celebrity immediately thinks she has it figured out by assuming we are going on a cruise. We were out the door in 65 minutes and on our way to Houston. Drive was simple and painless. Only problem was some sort of issue with the shake machine at the Dairy Queen in Fairfield. Had our first experience with Buc-ees Truck Stops in Madisonville. Not sure I am making a point of stopping at every location in the country, but it was clean. Hit The Woodlands, checked into our rooms at The Woodlands Resort & Spa, and by the pool with a drink in our hands by 3:00pm Travel to Galveston At breakfast, we tell my wife and daughter we are going to Schlitterbahn in Galveston. Told them it will be a long day because it is hot and humid and we were going to be there all day before we drove multiple hours to hit our final destination (never specified) The look on my wife’s face was priceless. She was so certain we were going on the cruise and quite frankly not at all thinking a trip to a water park was what she wanted to be doing. I am just glad she did not say anything we both would have regretted. A short drive later, we are pulling up to the terminal and my wife looks up enough from her sulking position in the front seat of the car where she was using her phone to figure out if you could get a vodka soda in the waterpark (or find a good lawyer) and notices both the NOS and Carnival Breeze right in front of us and with a relieved and happy tone says “we are not going to Schlitterbahn” Embarkation Was relatively painless. Parked across the street, walked with our luggage to the terminal. Handed checked bags to porter and got in line. We had no special status with Royal Caribbean and therefore stood in line with the common folk. Maybe 10 minutes in line outside (pretty warm) and 30 minutes inside waiting to go through security. No wait for boarding docs or getting on NOS. No trouble getting a table in Windjammer and not even done with Windjammer when they announce our rooms are ready by 1:00pm. Cabins – We booked two. 7612 had a balcony and 7611 was across the hall with a promenade view. We were right next to the aft elevators and stairs and the 7th floor game room/library. Never heard any noise and felt we had an easy walk up or down during busy times. I never caught her name, but our stateroom attendant kept everything tidy. We had towel animals 3-4 nights and never any issues that she did not quickly handle. I was given a key at Guest Services for the kids’ room so we could check on them. We had our keys hole punched at Guest Services and used lanyards to carry them around. Dining: Ate Windjammer for breakfast & lunch every day and dinner on Day 1. The food was fine. Nothing spectacular a fair selection, but tended to stick to the same thing during my visits so I could say a bit repetitive. Had plenty of staff refilling drinks or cleaning plates. We never once had a problem finding a table for four. Youngest ordered Room Service Breakfast 5 days and had it for dinner one evening. Very pleased. We could use the in-room TV menu to order. Very handy. MDR for Dinner on M-T-W-F-S We did My Time Dining. I made the reservations via phone about two weeks out. We essentially ate at 6pm every evening. Never had to wait and always had the same table. Ivo and Avinesh were the pair taking care of us. These two had it down. We had water and bread in abundance and they basically brought us what we ordered. They handle special requests just fine. We had the drink package (more later) and we were well taken care of in that regard. We often had multiple drinks/wine with our meal and everything progressed smoothly. The basic set-up was for a three-course meal app/salad, entrée, dessert. I love to eat and always left full. On the lobster night (Friday), they made Surf & Turf for us by combining the prime rib with the lobster tail. My youngest ordered the $14.95 filet from menu supplement twice and my wife got a full lobster (~$25) one night. We really enjoyed the MDR. Great people watching. We hit both formal nights (I dusted off my $99 internet tuxedo from last year). We may have been in the minority in dressing up but it is what we wanted to do. Did not bother me in the least to see people coming in with blue jeans and a shirt. They also had a good selection of music playing on the piano most nights. They played so many Disney classics I was able to quip we did not need a Disney cruise after all because RCi was just fine. Enjoyed Sabor on Thu pm. Go Hungry. The Guac is really good. We had two appetizers, chicken stuffed jalapenos wrapped in bacon and a queso fundido dish. We were done by then, but we did have entrees. I had the empanadas which were quite good and my wife had a fish described as red snapper. That may or may not have been red snapper, but it was very tasty. They then proceed to bring out a dessert sampler with two of everything. I could not even try a bite of each much less finish. We went Thursday and had no trouble walking in and getting a table w/o reservation. Café Promenade/Starbucks/Ben & Jerry’s – They serve Seattle’s Best in big urns or whatever you call them as self-serve. They had a couple small sandwich selections throughout the day and had some of the pizza they serve in Windjammer – typically cheese and pepperoni. They also had an assortment of muffins/breakfast breads and cookies. They tended to run low or even out of some types of food right around departure time on port days. This was typically around 4pm. Before Windjammer opened and right as 3000+ people returned to the ship and many of those were towing hungry kids with them. You can also order “Starbuck’s” at the counter. Prices are essentially the same as on land, but the staff was best tasked with the simple creations (lattes and the like) rather than some of the more creative options people may be used to ordering at home. We let the kids do Ben & Jerry’s whenever they wanted. They had a maybe 10-12 different flavors with various pricing for 1,2,3, etc. scoops. I did notice they were often out of the extra charge cupcakes and only noticed that they had chocolate with white icing. Nothing to me, but certainly not a real cupcake shop. Ports Roatan (Day 4) – we did Maya Key through RCI. I did this because earlier this year there was a bunch of bad press about Roatan and I decided I wanted to bring my whole family back (my wife is lucky she did not get too grouchy with me back in Galveston). All you do is walk off the ship and over to a tender type boat the ferries you over to the island. Maybe 10 minutes. The admission included a buffet lunch, water and tea. They had a small animal rescue center on the island with a bunch of monkeys, birds and the like. There was also a Swim with the Sharks add-on. It was $35/person. I missed this little nugget when I booked and only brought $100 with me. My wife and youngest went and thoroughly enjoyed themselves while my eldest and I enjoyed the beach. Snorkeling was pretty decent. They have a jetty out into the water. The area right where you enter is pretty beat up and rather dead looking, but if follow the marked path out to the seaward side of the reef you are treated to a very nice drop-off and a fair amount of sea-life. We shared the island with Carnival Dream. They had a much longer commute. With just the two ships in port, it was never crowded on the island for any of the activities. Plenty of chairs and privacy if you wanted. The gift shop was a bit on the pricey side and we were short of funds. We went back to the ship and I reloaded my wallet and we did some easy shopping in the port complex. Just shirts and stuff. Belize City (Day 5) – We were set to due zip line cave-tubing through VIV tours. My older daughter woke us up around 3:00 am with some nausea. I believe she was either seasick or had a slight disagreement with something she ate (not Noro). It passed in < 24 hrs. We did not know this at the time, but later heard some stories of quarantines and the like so we were lucky to have this pass so quickly. I was up early to get tender tickets. I think they posted they would begin distribution at 8:00 or 8:30 am that morning. I strolled by before 7 and the line was already forming. I skipped breakfast and waited about one hour to get Tender 4 tickets. We were off the boat and in Belize around 10am. I did escort my youngest and wife to port and put them on the van with VIV. They had an absolutely great time and could not say enough nice things about the staff and experience. I returned solo via tender to NOS and basically sat around and tended to an ill 15 yr old girl. That was a vacation in and of itself. I did break away at lunch to eat in the Windjammer and was struck by how empty the ship was. Almost like having it to yourself. After we reunited, we fed the girls (our invalid was up to some crackers, bread, plain pasta). Wife and I hit Sabor as described earlier. Cozumel (Day 6) We booked Royal Swim directly with Dolphinaris. There was some sort of on-line special my daughter found that got the four of us for a very reasonable price. It was a short ($8) cab ride from the port. We were in a group of 8 and had roughly 60 minutes of time in the water. We got to pet the dolphin, kiss the dolphin, shake hands/fins and got a ride of the whole thing. I am well aware of the issues about animals in captivity and will let that discussion take place somewhere else. We went and had a very good time. Pictures cost a fortune. Some haggling can take place, but you will still pay a bunch. Afterwards we enjoyed a buffet lunch which included chicken tenders (big hit for girls), hamburgers and fajitas. Bar drinks and beer were complimentary. After lunch we used the paddle boards they had. A lot of fun and some hard work. There is no beach at this place. You walk to the ocean and it is just rocks. They have a sheltered snorkel area, paddle boards and kayaks. We had fun, but do not think you will get some more time on the beach. Pick Chankanaab if you want that. Some easy shopping in the port complex and back on board by 4:00pm. Random note: In port with Allure of the Seas. We did Solstice last year and now Navigator. Neither are what you would call small, but seeing the Allure and Navigator next to each other was something else. You can see the family lines, but they hardly compare. Entertainment Already forgetting things, but… Saw the comedian Monday. Definitely adult and funny. We hit the Ice Show on Tuesday. Really quite enjoyable. In addition to the show, we went ice skating twice during open skate sessions. Flowrider – fun to watch and my youngest did it during open period and had a blast. There was maybe a 20 minute wait as the line cycled through. Love & Marriage on Wednesday or Thursday – a classic First time to see Quest on Friday which was an absolute riot and should not be missed. It is for adults. We enjoyed the Latin Band in Boleros every night after dinner. We went to Schooners late and had fun with the piano guy. We stumbled upon the young adult night club out by the Solarium pool Thursday night and had a great time watching a bunch of 20 something’s party it up, but left before anyone fell into the pool. They played movies on the big screen most nights. It was on all the time, but mostly ignored. We gambled a bit. We are not big gamblers, but were up each night for the first four nights. They took it all back on night five and that pretty much ended things for us. We are not smokers and generally did not mind, but a couple of times we were smoked off a table. Minor gripe. Likely saved us money. TV had some basic channels CNN, ESPN, TNT, Cartoon and a fair selection of pay-per-view movies (~$12each). Drinking We hit every bar on the ship. Boleros and Schooners were by far our favorites. Vintages was understandably low-key and the R Bar never really did anything for us. Bella in Schooners was great. Really chatted us up and loved to explore what to make us with our drink package. We used our Ultimate Drink Package for Water, fresh juice and coffee during the day and a variety of drinks and wine in the evening. We never felt like we had to wait an undo amount of time to get a drink. I sat out by the pool on the first two sea days and was always able to flag down a server from my chair. I mentioned we had drinks with dinner and had wine to suit our courses/desires. I do wish they had outdoor bar option available. We could take drinks and sit outside, but I wish they kept the Mast Bar open past 9:30pm. Pictures Fairly easy to use the computer kiosks to order prints. Not exactly a bargain, but easy to do. Internet Very slow. I think the server works better running something other than Safari (Apple). I did use the PC’s in the library and it seemed to work faster than using my Mac or iPad. I did not even try to send a picture from the NOS because I figured it would take too long. Random Ship Comments Stroll deck four on the outside and take the forward outside stairs to the path leading to the helipad. Great place visit almost any time of day or night. Deck four is also sprinkled with chairs and some foot rests. Pool deck did get crowded and it was often hard to find a chair in the Solarium on sea days. Plenty of chairs on deck 12 surrounding the pool and the jogging track were open, but you may have to wait a bit on Deck 11 for chairs. Kids’ Club – somewhat ambivalent about the experience. Our 15 yr. old simply used the two rooms for teens as a meeting point for her to find her little group of new-made friends and move along. They let our 11 year old move up to the 12-14 group and this was a bit of a mistake. There is far less structure and activity with the older groups. I think she would have had a better experience in the 9-11 group doing the more organized activities rather than walking around with a bunch of other awkward tweens trying to act like the “big” kids. Older daughter been Skyping her new friends since we got back. Younger daughter really has no memorable experiences from the club We gave the kids simple instructions. Meet at room for lunch at noon, be ready for dinner at 6:00pm. Go in no rooms and let no one in our rooms. We are fairly strict at home (9:00 pm bedtimes for both), but gave a range of curfews from 11-1am. We did add they needed to check-in with us at various times after dinner, but we strangely enough felt more comfortable with them running around a ship packed with >3000 strangers than I would be letting them ride their bikes to our neighborhood park. Disembarkation This is complete chaos and I refuse to let RCI get a pass of this one. Absolutely no rhyme or reason to the twisting turning line you had to get in in order to exit. The girl they had organizing things would have had trouble drawing a line on a piece of paper if you spotted her two dots and a ruler. Plenty of standing, shuffling and warding off line jumpers (1/2 of them did not even realize they were cutting the line was bad). I remember reading about the porter situation, but maybe I killed those brain cells earlier in the cruise because it took me one hour in line before I jumped in the porter line. Things were much faster after that, but we did not exit the terminal until almost 1:00pm. I was told something happened in the morning to slow things down. I get the limited number of staffed Customs counters, but I cannot imagine RCI really wants so many people each and every week to have that as their last memory of the cruise. At the very least they could invest in some line dividers/organizers and maybe put some water out. Summary They often close the Olympics with the president of IOC thanking the host city for putting on the best games ever. This was a truly great vacation. We loved Alaska last year and I definitely suggest that as a bucket list item, but Alaska is 2-3 times the cost of a Caribbean cruise. This was by far a more relaxing cruise. Two very different itineraries and thus experiences. We took Solstice last year and while that is a beautiful ship, I hardly think there is some huge gap between the two sibling lines. I have a hard time imaging why so many have been put-off by NOS. Maybe they somehow thought they were traveling on Seabourne or so jaded with departure they forgot how much fun they had the previous 7 days. We had a couple of funny moments trying to get someone to understand what we wanted in the Windjammer, but always found the staff eager to please. If you want Broadway or Vegas entertainment go there. The dancers and shows are on the level of what one would expect on a cruise ship, local bar or comedy club. Very enjoyable, but not exactly selling out any arenas. Expect a lot of kids and people and read up about the ship and the ports (dare I say visit other travel sites as well). Absolutely loved seeing the kids try new things and eat new things at dinner. I end my overly wordy review with a comment from my just completed the RCI survey. Question: Would you recommend this cruise to one of your friends? Answer: 10 (absolutely)   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Embarkation day My sister dropped us off at the terminal at 10 am. There were two lines. I got in the wrong line which was priority. The regular line is the far left. At 10:30 they opened the door and we started in. We were through ... Read More
Embarkation day My sister dropped us off at the terminal at 10 am. There were two lines. I got in the wrong line which was priority. The regular line is the far left. At 10:30 they opened the door and we started in. We were through security in about 15 mins. We went on into the terminal and found our line (Gold). We were second in line and were through and seated in about 5 mins. At 11:10 they called the ship was ready and we were on the ship eating lunch by 11:20. Quickest I’ve ever been on the ship. It pays to go early. The ship Navigator had been through an overhaul so I was expecting a lot. It honestly didn’t look any different than some of the older ships I had been on. It was very nice though. I love the open promenade of RC ships. It was so open and roomy. I never felt crowded. One thing I must point out is, they had changed all the seating on the ship to chairs with arms. This was an issue for large people! The dining room had arm chairs and they were very snug if you were a large person. They do have some without arms but it was rather embarrassing for you to have to ask for one. The chairs in the Windjammer buffet were the same only smaller. At the entrance to the Windjammer, there is a little bar and the tables there didn’t have arms so a lot of larger people were setting in those to eat. The theater chairs have all been replaced. They used to have long benches with tables for your drinks. Now they are theater chairs, tight theater chairs. And no place for your drink. They had some little holder things connected to your seat but not all of the drinks would fit into that. I saw a lot of larger people leave the show because they couldn’t fit in the chairs. I’m not really sure the reasons for all the snug chairs but just letting you know ahead of time if this is an issue with you. Guess they want us to go on diets and not eat so much while we are on board. Cabin We stayed in cabin #6309. A promenade inside room. The room was so small! It worked out ok for the price but if at all possible, I won’t do that again. There was very little storage space. There was one row of drawers under the TV. The closet had shelves were you could put your under clothes and folded up shirts. There were plenty of hangers. We put our suitcases under the bed. There were two small sofas for places to sit. Some have said that you couldn’t hear the music in the promenade rooms. Not so. It wasn’t blaring but we could hear it. Two floors down from us was a bar with an area for a band and we could always hear them playing. It didn’t bother us though. I loved the central location of this room. It was very easy getting around. The a/c in this room was perfect. I had taken a fan but didn’t even need it. I can’t begin to tell you how small the bathroom was. But if you are very small people, say a size less than 14, it probably wouldn’t seem so small to you. Our room attendant was Raul and he was the best! We didn’t see him the first day but told another person that we needed ice in our room if they could tell Raul for us and we had ice twice a day every day after that. We did meet him on the second day and saw him a lot after that. He always greeted us by our name. We asked him for wine glasses for our wine that we brought on board and he brought those to us. Dining Here is where I had some issues. I didn’t like hardly any of the food. The breakfast buffet area was huge. There was everything imaginable. Lots of stuff that I would never eat at breakfast though. I had a bagel with ham and bacon everyday and some days I had grits and eggs which were really good. The bacon was so greasy and not cooked very crisp. They had fresh cooked omelets and fried eggs. There really was something for everyone even though not cooked very well. The scrambled eggs were like a powdered egg mix. Disgusting. The pancake syrup was horrible. Bring your own if you like pancakes. Lunch, didn’t care for a lot of the dishes. The hamburgers and hot dogs were lukewarm to cold. I’m used to an open grill where you see them making the hamburgers and you can get hot ones. Nothing like that here. Everything was made behind closed doors and brought out in pans. The French fries were pretty good. We ate at Johnny Rockets because we knew the food would be hot and fresh and good! There is a little deli that serves food after hours. They had a lot of cold sandwiches, no more Panini’s like they had before a few years ago. You could get pizza there. It was ok. My husband didn’t like it at all. And you could get cookies and sweets there. No midnight buffet. Nowhere to get nachos or a hot snack late in the evening. Very disappointing. On Carnival, you can get hamburgers and pizza late at night. You could call room service but that took an hour and a half!! MDR- We had the best server, Drazen. He was an older man around 56 maybe. He took great care of us. Even when some of our tablemates came late to dinner nearly every day, he still took good care of us. Again, didn’t like the food. I am not a picky eater! I found something every night that I could eat but the choices wasn’t good in my opinion. Entertainment. We saw some really good shows in the theater. I was just uncomfortable with the tight seating. The Beach boys cover band was really good. We failed to get tickets for the ice skating so we didn’t get to see that. They are free; you just have to get them by Tuesday. We loved the Bubba Feathers Band. We went to see them every chance we got. There was also a Latin band and a reggae band that was really good. No problem finding something to do in the evening. Our cruise director Mitch was really good too. For once, one that spoke great English! We really enjoyed the Solarium, adult only area. The pool was nice and there were two huge hot tubs. We went into the middle pool area some but not much. We sat on the top deck and watched some of the activities going on at the pool. Two different days they cook some stuff out on the pool deck. Jambalaya, we missed that day because we slept in and then bbq ribs and chicken. The ribs were really good. Missing was… the waiters didn’t sing or dance this time around. I kinda enjoyed seeing them that in the past but no big deal.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We cruise alot these days and like these two lines.  Here is my comparison of their mid-ships ( ie Nav/mariner of Seas vs Grand/Star Princess)... Both are very clean and no issues with staffing or pleasantness thereof. Windjammer vs ... Read More
We cruise alot these days and like these two lines.  Here is my comparison of their mid-ships ( ie Nav/mariner of Seas vs Grand/Star Princess)... Both are very clean and no issues with staffing or pleasantness thereof. Windjammer vs Horizon Crt : basically a tie as far as food goes. Princess offers better hours and more fruit/veggies at lunch, RCLL has Lemonade and flavoured water out with iced tea so more options. RCLL closes Windjammer 11-noon and 430-530pm which is a ROYAL (pun intended) pain to me as snacks are now 6 floors away and so is an iced tea. Strange times to close IMO. Princess keeps one line open always and open later at nite as well BBQ Princess wins. Their burgers and hotdogs are fresh on a BBQ, RCLL has then sitting in pans in buffet. Pizza also way better on Princess. RCLL has best fries ANYWHERE tho. CASINO basically the same BUT Princess usu offers 2 smoke-free nites in a 7-day cruise which is nice Entertainment Dont really like the singers n dancers on either line. So no winner and u are at mercy of who the headliners brtought in are on each cruise. RCLL wins tho as Quest game show (adults only) and ice shows are not avail on Princess. All have outdoor movies at nite tho. Better movies IMO on Princess. DINING ROOM Both are excellent in staff and food. No complaints. RCLL does offer a great salad bar at lunch. Food was awesome on both. RCLL offers open concept so u can see all three floors so it looks more grand , as Princess ships only have your one floor visible. For the 'always avail' food, Princess has a wicked fett alfredo, RCLL has escargots and their desserts include liqueur recipes. SHIP LAYOUT Seemed RCLL ships were easier to navigate ( again, pun). Princess seem to put the kitchen towards mid-ship so entry gets blocked off and u have to approach from a floor up or down. SPORTS RCLL wins hands down. both have ball courts but Flowrider and rock walls and way better mini-golf make it a non contest. TRIVIA lots on both ships but RCLL offers music trivia NIGHTLY. Prizes are lame on both. Logo and dingbat trivai were good on RCLL. Lyric and liars club were good on Princess. CABINS RCLL are bigger. If 4 in a cabin, RCLL uses a hide-a-bed while 2 bunks come from the ceiling on Princess. Some inside cabins on RCLL have a virtual screen looking off the stern and its very realistic, sound too! STAFF Never had a concern on any of these lines. AGE OF CRUISERS RCLL is younger. More kids (teens) and younger parents due to all the fun things to do. More late 20-s, 30's honeymooners too. Princess is older but not that much ( not like H America, Crystal etc,) Overall, Princess is better IMO in food due to a better Cafe, BBQ and buffet and RCLL is better if u want fun, espec with teens, BUT both are great , even where the other line is the better option Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
I think we had such a great time in 2009 on Voyager of the Seas, that our expectations were very high for this one after hearing about the remodel, so we were a little bit disappointed about several things, but overall this was a really ... Read More
I think we had such a great time in 2009 on Voyager of the Seas, that our expectations were very high for this one after hearing about the remodel, so we were a little bit disappointed about several things, but overall this was a really Fun cruise! We are pretty easy to please, but this was our 14th cruise, so we do have other experiences to which we compared, and so here ya go - just don't get the wrong impression that this wasn't a fantastic cruise overall, because it was! Our itinerary was Galveston to Cozumel, Grand Cayman & Falmouth Jamaica. We arrived at the port early and were able to get in the shorter check-in line for Gold members and up, which helped. But this was the 1st time in a long time that we've checked in for a cruise & not been able to just walk onto the ship. There is very little waiting/seating area in the Galveston terminal, so that was a bit of a pain to have to stand around waiting for hard-to-hear announcements, but they called Gold pretty quickly, and we were on our way. The next thing that bummed us out was the lunch that was offered as soon as we boarded. We so look forward to a sit-down lunch in 1 of the main dining rooms when we 1st board a cruise, and this ship did not have that available. Very surprising & disappointing! We were directed to the Windjammer Buffet - yuck! The line was horrendous & the food was all dry and tasteless. It was inedible in my opinion & I refused to go to the buffet for the rest of the cruise. Our teens ate there on occasion though. Our cabins were ready by the time we finished lunch, which was a pleasant surprise. The kids had an inside cabin across the hall from our balcony cabin on deck 7 aft, starboard side. After visiting the ports, we wished we'd booked the port side for more scenery. But it was still very nice. The balcony was large enough for 2 chairs & a small table comfortably. If you're next door to travel companions, the balcony doors can be opened & secured to make 1 big balcony area you can share. The inside cabin was small but had plenty of storage space. Our balcony cabin was a bit larger, and the balcony was a great place to hang out with coffee or wine. (Remember: you're allowed 2 bottles of wine per cabin, brought on board with you. Hand carry it in your carry-on bag for safe keeping.) The kids said their beds were comfortable enough, but we had to ask our steward for a foam pad to put over our mattresses, because they were so incredibly hard, our hips and shoulders hurt so much from sleeping on our sides by the 2nd night. The foam pad helped, and we slept better. The showers are good in the cabins. They're the rounded sliding door kind, instead of a wet, sticky curtain. I liked it. I only wish the bathrooms were set up like they are on the Epic. I liked the Epic's separation of the toilet in its own little sliding door room, and the shower across from that with its own sliding door. And on the Epic, the sink is in another separate area, so the mirror doesn't get fogged up for someone else trying to get ready while the other person showers. This ship has the old tiny bathroom set-up, but at least there's a shelf & medicine cabinet for storage (Hint: bring a hanging plastic shoe holder (the kind with many pockets) with you. Hang it from the hooks by the door of the cabin, so you can get all your toiletries, sunglasses, sunscreen, etc out of the way, off the tables & counter space.) The ship is very pretty, but there are not enough shops in the promenade, and there are very few places to eat that don't cost extra. There's only 1 main dining room besides the buffet. The 3-story Sapphire dining room. And the only other free places to get food are Room Service and the promenade pastry/coffee place. Everything inside there is free. The starbucks & icecream is not. We were disappointed that there weren't any additional places to eat for free, like there are on ships like the Epic, which has O'Shean's irish pub for fish and chips, shepherds pie, cheese sticks, etc. Other cruise lines have little burger or pizza stands, etc for snacks. Not this ship. You're going to pay for Johnny Rockets and the other specialty restaurants, so we didn't do any of those. We were limited to the 1 main dining room. Our assigned dinner time was 8pm. We had a table for 4 and the same wait staff each night. They did a wonderful job, and the food was very good. Not the best we've ever had on a ship, but very good nonetheless. And the service was wonderful. We were able to order 3 lobster tails on lobster night - yum! The only time the dining room upset us was at breakfast every morning. We would arrive at approx. 9am or earlier, and there was usually a line, but rarely was it bad. The only day it was really bad was Cayman day. Deck 3 is the tender waiting area, and that's where the restaurant is for breakfast, so everyone must have decided to have breakfast there instead of the buffet that day, and it was crazy. Every other day of the cruise, when we would ask the hostess for a table for 4 (we are not sociable, especially in the morning), she would give us an exasperated look, like Uggghhh, what a hassle, and tell the wait staff "table for 4". That person would then either try to walk us to a Giant table (all the Giant tables are by the windows, which sucks for us families of 4) & we'd have to say in front of all of those people "No, we don't want a large table", or they would escort us to 1 of the worst tables in the dining room: next to the serving area, right in the middle of a main walkway, or in the middle of a bunch of crying babies. That happened every morning. And 2 times breakfast was very busy, so the waiter was obsiously rushing us and then get our orders wrong. Breakfast needs to be worked on. They need to open the upstairs areas or something. Having everyone report to deck 3 of the main dining room was too crowded. We like to order room service in the early morning and have coffee and croissants on the balcony. But Be sure to put the order on your door the night before, because there were a couple of port mornings when we were told they couldn't deliver to our cabin for 1-1.5 hour. If you place your order the night before, they're good about getting it there on time, if not early. The English pub and the wine bar were nice areas to relax in the early evening. The pub offered $3 pints of Heineken. That's all they had on tap. Bottles of various beers were approx. $8/bottle. If you're a 2nd time cruiser or higher, check your ship pass, there are several 2 for 1 deals already loaded on your card. Each of us had a buy 1 get 1 beer/wine by the glass offer, and a buy 1 get 1 milkshake at Johnny Rockets, shopping discounts, etc. The shows with singers/dancers were pretty generic. We enjoyed the comedian and the juggler. The Texas Tenors were amazing! The promenade parade looked cheezy. We didn't stay. Shopping is a joke. They hold things back & announce very limited times for certain items to be available, and people crowd in acting like they've never seen a cheap piece of crap in their lives. Are they so desperate for entertainment/shopping that they don't care what it is? We avoided the shopping areas/times like the plague. I did like that inch of gold/silver was available most of the time. I usually treat myself to a piece or 2. They are pretty and can withstand swimming in the salt water. The kids only enjoyed the Flow Rider the 1st day. They had a blast on it! But the rest of the cruise they wouldn't go, because they thought it would be too crowded, so I don't know. We spent most of our time at the adult pool, the Solarium, which was very peaceful. Our 18 year old was with us, and our 15 year old hung out with new-found friends at the teen club. The teens have their own special times at night for ice skating and flow rider, which I thought was cool. I was surprised my teens didn't take advantage of the rock climbing, skating, mini golf, etc. They were more chill on this cruise for some reason. We never book excursions through the ship, because they're usually way too expensive, and they make them sound so much more exciting than they end up being. We can do much better on our own, and that we did for all 3 ports on this cruise. In Cozumel, we took a cab ($11 each way) to Chankanaab park. There we paid $37 per person for entry, which included all the facilities, chairs & umbrellas, snorkeling, dolphin & sea lion shows, 1 beer per person & a free Tshirt per person. It was a great deal, and we all had a blast. There's a lagoon with walking trails around it and through a bit of the jungle, where you can go see crocodiles, and there are miniature ruins. We really enjoyed the snorkeling. The water was fantastic. If you don't want to snorkel, it's $21 per person for park entry and amenities. You can watch the dolphin experiences/shows even if you're not participating. It's pretty cool. There are cabs outside when you're ready to head back to the port. We docked at International pier. We hung out at Senor Frogs for a while until it was time to head back to the ship. Margaritas are a bit pricey, but our 18 year old enjoyed being able to order drinks. They have a small pool & beach area there for swimming/tanning if you'd like to just hang out there for a while. Grand Cayman is a tender port, and the process was a bit of a hassle. You go down at 8:30am to get your tender tickets. On other cruises, we've been able to stay in our cabin and wait for our tender number to be called. But not here. You have to go to deck 3, actually 4 and up, until they call your tender group. Then you make your way to deck 3 & stand in line around & up & then down stairs to the gangway. It was crowded, and there's not enough seating in the public areas. They should let you stay in your cabin until your group is called. Once we were called, it didn't take too long to get on the tender and to shore. In Cayman, we took a shuttle ($4 per person each way) to Royal Palms beach club on 7 mile beach. Entry was $2 per person, which included use of the adult pool with swim up bar, restaurant, restrooms/showers and beach. We paid $7 per chair & $10 for an umbrella. The kids jet ski'd together (2 people on a double was $100 for 30 minutes), and they had a super fun time! There were vans outside when we were ready to head back to the port. Shopping in town is safe and a relaxing, nice time in Grand Cayman. And then you just walk back to the ship area, which is right there. In the past we've done Stingray City 2 different times in Grand Cayman, and it never disappoints - so amazing! The 1st time, we booked online with Moby Dick tours & had a wonderful time snorkeling at the reef & then swimming with/feeding the stingrays. The kids were approx. 7 and 10 at the time and loved it. The last time, we walked out to the pier area & booked with Captain Marvins. It was the best so far. They took us to 2 snorkel spots, the reef and coral garden & then we spent a good deal of time with the stingrays. They help you hold/kiss and feed them, then they take photos of everyone, which they then sell you on a personalized CD (no pressure). You get a bunch of photos of you & your family/friends with the stingrays, holding them, kissing them, with them on your back, etc. Great poses. And it also includes some other beautiful scenic photos of Cayman. I think it was $40 for the disc, but it was completely personalized & better than us trying to take pics with water cameras. The crowd was so much smaller and more relaxed than the ship excursions. Give them a try. They're great! Falmouth Jamaica was a real disappointment. It's a new port, and you don't have to tender, which is good. But there's nothing around, so it's extremely expensive to get off the ship & try to find something to do on your own. The ship's excursions are pricey, but unless you book something through them, you're going to be shocked when you get off at the pier & walk over to the cab stand & see the prices. For example, a cab for 4 to the beach 15 minutes away is $20 per person round-trip. Then the beach would cost another $10 per person for entry, not including chairs/umbrellas, etc. We said no way! Other places, such as hotels and shopping areas were even more expensive trips via cab. Do yourself a favor and just stay at the pier. The shopping area is huge, new, clean, safe, and very pretty. There's plenty to look at. Get yourself a beer, do some shopping and just spend the day at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville. It's large and there's a pool, several restaurants, bars, etc. That's what we did & it was lots of fun. Actually we left the port area for a short time, walked across the street and got a local beer for 1/2 the price of what they charge inside. But we didn't feel all that comfortable outside the port area, because salespeople were swarming us, "What you looking for? What you need. I get it for you. Come look at my shop. You need a cab?" and such. We didn't feel like we were in danger, we just don't like the high-pressure sales tactics. We got our beer and went back to the port shopping area immediately. So for Falmouth, either book a cruise excursion or just plan on hanging out at the pier all day. Or just stay on the ship and enjoy everything it has to offer with smaller crowds around. The sea days were relaxing. We just spent time around the Solarium adult pool for the most part. There are plenty of pools and jacuzzis on this ship. There's music and all kinds of activities going on around the pool. There are art auctions, sports activities, spa specials, etc. You won't be bored. The entertainment staff has all kinds of games and shows and activities going on all day & night for all ages. That's just not our thing. We like to relax and get some sun. The debarking process was a little more of a hassle on this ship than we're used to. We like self-debarkation, so we did not put our bags out the night before and ignored our colored/numbers tags the steward gave us. We went down to the guest services desk & claimed 1 of the self-debarkation tags, which had a letter and the expected time of exit on them. We chose C so we'd have time for a quick breakfast before exiting at 8:30am. After breakfast, we were told on our tickets to go down to deck 3, the metropolis theater. When we arrived, everyone was lined up & making their way in a long line upstairs, around and around deck 4 & then out the door and gangway to the terminal. The line moved fairly quickly, but once again I didn't understand why we had to report to a particular location. Why couldn't we just go get in line when it was our time? If we wanted to wait in our cabin until an announcement that could have been made over the television or speakers, why not? That's the way it's done on other cruise lines. The pier is much more organized than it was when Galveston first opened. We used EZ Cruise parking, and the shuttles run non-stop. We did not have a wait before or after the cruise. That was $60 for 7 days. Overall this was a wonderful cruise & we would totally do it again for the right price! We are not loyal to any 1 cruise line. We look for the best bargain leaving from a port we can get to. Galveston is an easy port for us, since we live north of Houston. There were people from all of the world though, and they were taking advantage of touristy things to do in Galveston and Houston before they left. If you've got time, check out Pleasure Pier in Galveston, have some delicious fish & shrimp at Shrimp & Stuff, or if you've got a car, make your way to the Kemah boardwalk, where there's an amusement park, shopping, lots of restaurants, etc.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was cruise #35, I usually try and avoid cruising the Caribbean during the hot summer months but a friend called and before I knew it I booked the newly renovated “Navigator of the Seas”, a voyager class ship with many of the ... Read More
This was cruise #35, I usually try and avoid cruising the Caribbean during the hot summer months but a friend called and before I knew it I booked the newly renovated “Navigator of the Seas”, a voyager class ship with many of the features of the Freedom class ships + much, much more - let the fun begin! Embarkation: Painless, simple and quick but some confusion regarding the bringing of alcohol (two bottles of wine) on board. Arrived around mid day and was on board in twenty minutes. Cabins: I personally think that the promenade inside cabins are the best cabins on these ships. I could not get a promenade deck cabin but was happy with my inside cabin on deck 6. There were a number of minor issues - i.e.; the safe did not work correctly, TV remote and the hairdryer were broken but these inconveniences were not show stoppers. I would gladly book an inside cabin but long for the promenade deck cabins. Dining/Food: I selected “My Time Dinning”. Overall food in the main dining room at dinner was nothing short of very good; sure some nights better than others but still very good. I made one special request and the staff came through with flying colors. The nightly hostesses were very accommodating and tried to seat you at your requested table. I am not a breakfast person and was always in the Diamond lounge so no comment on the buffet/Windjammer Café breakfast fare. For lunch I went to the main dining room and was pleased…loved the salad and service what I can say. My only disappointment was the Mexican specialty restaurant Sabo which was a new feature on this ship - definitely not worth the $25 cover charge + you get charged a hefty sum for drinks..If at least one of the drinks was free, I would reconsider. The food was good; some of it very good, but overall, nothing great enough to spend extra $ on. Public Rooms: Simply beautiful! The ship was nicely decorated and I loved the promenade. Deck 5 serves as the main hub of activity, as well as decks 4 and 3. One of the newest onboard attractions is a HUGE TV screen on deck #10 overlooking the pool. This screen displayed various scenes of aquatic life/comedy skits during the day, but evening showings included movies. I was hoping for a football game but no such luck. Entertainment: In the evening, you will find music playing at several locations throughout the ship. There is a piano bar, also variety music in different lounges, and karaoke at the Star Lounge was usually crowded each night I went but needs a better song selection. The Promenade occasionally had a band, and there was a guitar player at the bar. Did not go to the disco, but I will say the volume for music at any venue was GREAT – not so loud you needed ear plugs nor too low to feel ‘in the mood’ – perfect volume level! The parade on night one was off the charts and the 70’s celebration was just as good. I attended three shows and all were good; the Beach Boys reenactment was very nicely done. The Ice Show was most excellent! Ports of call: We stopped at three terrific ports: Roatan, Belize and Cozumel. I never take the ship excursions because I think they are too expensive. In Roatan I went deep sea fishing; Belize - just walked around (not much to see in town, so stay on the ship unless you have something specific to do); and in Cozumel I got a massage and had a drink/did wifi at my hangout bar. Activities: We can separate the on board activities into two types: usual ship activities (trivia, bingo, bean bag toss, not so newlywed games, etc.), and the sports type (rock climbing, flow rider, volleyball etc.) All were GREAT (are you not getting tired of hearing this). Disembarkation: You can take your own bags off although after you leave the ship and are going downstairs into the terminal, they might not let you take your bags on the escalator (some bags had already tumbled down causing some issues) and if the elevator stops working, you might experience some delay/frustration which happened to my wife. Otherwise, no real issues except with customs, but they were overworked. No hassle getting a cab as I pre-arranged. Overall: A wonderful cruise experience. I would not hesitate to recommend this ship to anybody - wonderful staff, great food, plenty to do - what more can you ask for?! PACK YOUR bags NOW.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We just took our 13th cruise (11th with Royal Caribbean) and sadly we wasted time reading reviews on how bad everything had gotten. We found nothing of the sort. The embarkation was a little slow for Crown and Anchor guests because of only ... Read More
We just took our 13th cruise (11th with Royal Caribbean) and sadly we wasted time reading reviews on how bad everything had gotten. We found nothing of the sort. The embarkation was a little slow for Crown and Anchor guests because of only having one scanning place open. Our room attendant was fantastic and was stealth on getting in and fixing our room before we would get back from breakfast, swimming, etc. He must have been in there at least 3 times a day. Note: ice in your stateroom is now by request. Once we requested, we never had to ask again. We also asked for only diet drinks in the fridge and was supplied with such the whole week. We didn't wait in any lines for drinks as said in previous posts. The food was fantastic, probably the best we've had on ANY ship and the wait staff was superior. We did all of our evening meals in the dining room while lunch and breakfast was in the Windjammer. We sat at Bolero's most times for drinks and there did not seem to be any confusion by the bartenders on whether or not the drink packages allowed for whatever. We did witness fellow cruisers trying to get by with ordering more than one drink at a time (having purchased the drink packages) and the staff was pretty much on top of that. People seemed to think they could cheat the system, but it didn't really look like they got away with it from where we sat. We liked how they now have all the information embedded into your sea pass card and there was no questions on what you were entitled to, if anything. When leaving the ship, they seem to have a lot better system and we were at our car by 8:00 am and on our way. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was our second cruise and we were concerned that it would not be as good as the first. Our first seemed flawless to us so we thought, there was no way that we could have two great cruises. We were wrong. This cruise was as good as the ... Read More
This was our second cruise and we were concerned that it would not be as good as the first. Our first seemed flawless to us so we thought, there was no way that we could have two great cruises. We were wrong. This cruise was as good as the first. Embarkation: This was painless for us. We arrived about 9:45 and waited for about 45 min before they let us in. We went right in, through security and then to the counters to get our sea passes. We had to wait a little bit for everyone to get off of the boat but then we went right on. We were eating in the Windjammer by 11:15. We were able to get into our rooms at 1pm. We had a balcony room on deck 6. We were just fwd of the main stairs on the forward/starboard side of the ship. It was great. We were less than a minute from the promenade deck. Sailing: It was great. The ship is awesome. There is always something to do. Excursions: We went with a RC excursion. I hear that going it on your own is cheaper. As this was only our second cruise we did not want to risk it. We went to Playamaya in Cozumel. That was over rated unless you had kids. We just laid on the beach which was nice but it was not worth the $90. We did a catamaran and snorkel over the USS Kittywake...this was awesome!! Perfect weather and water temp. In Jamaica we just went shopping. I like the watch selections in Jamaica. Entertainment: We love the shows on the ship. We enjoy going to dinner strolling down the promenade and then going to the show. Now...it is not Broadway but it is entertaining and we always have fun. Disembarkation: We took advantage of the "Self Assist" program. This is where you carry your own luggage off the ship. This was great. We arrived at our "muster" area at 7:15 and we were in our car by 7:45. We will always do this from now one. Overall: It was once again a fantastic cruise and we have already booked another for next year. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
First cruise for our family with two daughters 7 &15  I was a little concerned prior to the cruise due to negative reviews on this site. I am not sure if our standards are lower being first time cruisers, but we really enjoyed our ... Read More
First cruise for our family with two daughters 7 &15  I was a little concerned prior to the cruise due to negative reviews on this site. I am not sure if our standards are lower being first time cruisers, but we really enjoyed our time on the ship. I realize people who have bad experiences are more likely to write a review, but I just do not get all the negative reviews. We got to the terminal about 11:00 am, on the ship by 12:45. Crowded, but a simple process even with kids. Cabin- We had a balcony on the 10th floor. All four of us were in one room. The room actually has a lot of storage for a small room. We enjoyed the balcony and would recommend it to first time cruisers. Public areas- The ship is absolutely beautiful through out. Food- The food and service in the main dining room far exceeded our expectations. Victorio and Carl were outstanding. The Windjammer was fine but we used the main dining room as much as possible. Entertainment- Texas Tenors and the Ice Dancing Show were the best shows of the week. Cozumel- We did the Playa Mia excursion through the ship. We also went snorkeling through Playa Mia. It was a great day Grand Cayman- Turtle Farm excursion through the ship. Kids had a lot of fun holding and swimming with the turtles. Jamaica- We did a sight seeing tour of Falmouth and Ocho Rios. The tour include a short stay at Bamboo Beach. I WOULD NOT recommend this excursion. I would however, recommend an excursion to Bamboo Beach. Disembarkation-Our group number was called at 9:00 to leave the ship, by 10: am we were driving over the bridge leaving Galveston Island. Do Not Worry About The Negative Reviews. Get ready to have a great time   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Background Info My husband and I live in The Woodlands, TX, have been married for 8 years, have 2 kids and LOVE to cruise. This was our 3rd cruise overall and our 1st time to sail with Royal Caribbean. Since we lived just 80 miles north ... Read More
Background Info My husband and I live in The Woodlands, TX, have been married for 8 years, have 2 kids and LOVE to cruise. This was our 3rd cruise overall and our 1st time to sail with Royal Caribbean. Since we lived just 80 miles north of Galveston, we did not stay in a hotel and rather drove down on Sunday morning. Embarkation We had heard terrible reviews and even personal stories about the Galveston Cruise terminal and the crowds as well as overall slow check-in process so we planned ahead and got there early. We did get a text from RC saying wait to get to the terminal until 2 pm since we were on deck 4-7 but we ignored it and got there as early as possible. This was BY FAR the best decision we made the whole trip. We met someone who didn’t know so followed the text and arrived at 1:30 and didn’t get on until 4:15 (Which we did leave late bc of such crowds). So if you ever get a text about Galveston terminal… do not follow it would be my advice! We arrived at the port around 9:30am to find the ship, as well as the Carnival Magic, disembarking from the previous week’s cruise. We parked at “Cruise N Park” directly across from the terminal and was transported via shuttle bus to the terminal around 10. We quickly made our way to luggage drop-off and dumped our luggage. We were in the terminal, through security, checked in and waiting to board the ship by 10:45am. Around, 11:00am they began to call for Pinnacle, Diamond and Jewel members and by 11:15am we were on board the Navigator. We quickly went to the Windjammer only to find that it was not ready to be opened. In fact, we waited over an hour and a half waiting for it to be opened. This did not leave a pleasant taste in our mouth, literally or figuratively on behalf of Royal Caribbean. But we vowed to keep an open mind and I am glad we did because we were wowed later in the trip. Our rooms were ready by 1:00pm just like promised. Cabin We stayed in cabin 7320 which was a “Deluxe” balcony cabin. The location of the cabin was PERFECT! It was the 1st cabin off of the elevator entrance yet we never were bothered by the elevator lobby noise! However, this cabin was listed at 184 sqft but it felt MUCH smaller. We have only cruised on balconies and this was the smallest yet. The bed was HARD AS A ROCK and almost unsleepable! Many evenings we found ourselves in the Solarium napping on the amazing lounge chairs. This was and still is a “deal breaker” for us as we do not want to pay the money for a cruise if we cannot sleep well during our vacation! We have a cruise coming up in March 2015 and I hope this bed will be much better and the Navigator was just a “fluke”. Ship Activities WOW… This is where the Navigator really impressed us. There was SO MUCH TO DO on this boat. Between the FlowRider, Rockwall, Ice skating and other activities, we were busy form dusk until dawn every day. We prefer this style of cruising but we still were not even able to see and do it all. If you are a real adventure type of cruiser than NOS is for you. Service Again, Royal really hit it out of the park with this category. Our room steward, MDR wait staff, specialty restaurants wait staff and everyone in between was absolutely FABULOUS and truly treated us like Royalty! I was beyond impressed! Dining I was not as impressed with the Royal Caribbean MDR selections as I hoped I would be but it was still much better than on land. We had only cruised on Carnival before and their food was FANTASTIC. I would say that while Royal Caribbean had several individual dishes that were better, the overall taste and selection of Carnival was better. However, Chops Grille was suburb and we will be dining there again! Shore Excursions/ Ports We really enjoyed this itinerary and the fact that the 2 sea days were at the beginning and not the end! For whatever reason it really made the cruise feel longer and not as rushed! Cozumel – Paradise Beach This was a FANTASTIC beach with snorkeling, kayaking, jet ski, paddle boats, and even parasailing as activity options. The entrance fee included a beach chair, umbrella, use of showers and pools. The cost of the taxi ride was only $14 per couple and was very affordable. We thoroughly enjoyed this day and the beach and will be going there again when we go to Cozumel. Grand Cayman- SNUBA Wow… this was an incredible experience and well worth the money. This was an excursion offered via Royal Caribbean and was well organized and easy to get to from the tender boat. In fact, we walked form the tender boat to the diving destination. The guides and leaders were well trained and friendly. The gear was in excellent condition and I never felt “gross” after using it. We loved SNUBA and are officially hooked! Jamaica- CHUKKA Zipline and Dunns River Falls This excursion was also booked via RC and it was a FULL DAY of activities. In fact, it was a little bit too much activity for our cruising style but we had fun nonetheless. We traveled 1 hour to Chukka to do zip-lining which was exhilarating to say the least. Then we had a true Jamaican lunch of jerked chicken and rice. We then traveled 45 minutes further to Ocho Rios to climb Dunns River Falls. This was a once in a lifetime type of opportunity and it was incredible! I highly recommend either of these excursions, or both if you like all day type of excursions, to anyone who is in Jamaica! Also, we thoroughly enjoyed the port of Falmouth, a lot better than Montego Bay that Carnival uses. I could really tell that RC was in charge of this pier. It was remarkably nicer and classier! Children’s Club We did not travel with our children so we did not get to experience this part of the ship or Royal Caribbean; however, we saw enough to know that if and when we travel with our kids Royal Caribbean will be a great option. Entertainment The entertainment was very good. I am a band director so I enjoyed the LIVE orchestra. The singers and dancers seemed about “par” for a cruise ship. The hired entertainment ranged from amazing, good to just awful and needs a drink to make it through. This would depend on your actual cruise dates too. The show “MOTOWN” was fantastic and I highly recommend it! However, the activites during the day such as trivia and karaoke, seemed lacking to me. Now there was so much to do elsewhere on the ship but there were times where my husband and I felt like “We need to be entertained” and it was usually during the day! Disembarkation This process went very smoothly and we were off of the boat, through customs and in our car driving away at 9:30am. In fact, it was the smoothest disembarkation of our 3 cruises. Summary Having only cruised 3 times, I am not as experienced as some but my overall thoughts were Carnival- Fun and Royal- Excellence. So you have to ask yourself “Do I want a FUN vacation or Excellent vacation”. The Navigator of the Seas was an AMAZING ship and I hope to cruise on her again soon! Royal goes for the WOW factor and I would say they achieved it on almost every level!   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
From the very start it was a great cruise. Check in was fast and we walked right on the boat, no lines! The crew was great, very attentive! We had a promenade cabin on deck 6 which we worried would be noisy but after about 10:30 pm it was ... Read More
From the very start it was a great cruise. Check in was fast and we walked right on the boat, no lines! The crew was great, very attentive! We had a promenade cabin on deck 6 which we worried would be noisy but after about 10:30 pm it was quiet. It is so quick to get everywhere from this cabin. This is our 2nd time on promenade .... Our only complaint was with Chops. After paying a 40 cover charge then to hear we had to pay another 19 to get our favorite cut..... Didn't happen. We spent our money on the other great specialty restaurants. We realize that beef prices have gone crazy but wow..... The dining room food seemed better to me than it has in a while. They could improve the quality of the steak - tough..... but we were warned, and I would love to have the flourless cake more than once. We love the Diamond Lounge and new policies, I miss the movies in the little theater, but we enjoy the big screen. I enjoyed going to the movies on port days after we had gotten back to the ship. The TV selection was bad. But you don't go on a cruise to watch TV..... The shows were great. Really liked Bonjovi. Disembarkation went really well. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
I'm going to start by saying I'm very disappointed in the reviews for Navigator of the Seas that I have read recently! I'm not sure where people are getting that this ship needs work and is falling apart and that trash was ... Read More
I'm going to start by saying I'm very disappointed in the reviews for Navigator of the Seas that I have read recently! I'm not sure where people are getting that this ship needs work and is falling apart and that trash was left by the pools or that the service was rude in some areas! This is our second time on the Navigator of the Seas within 9 months and we absolutely love it!! We are pretty picky people when it comes to cleanliness and having high standards for service, but this ship exceeded our expectations! Never once was there trash that I could see around the pools or the ship, the carpet is just fine and the ship never smelled at all! The public restrooms were in prestige condition and didn't smell like urine, from what some reviews said below. I have no idea what they are talking about. So my Cruise: :) Getting on the ship in Galveston took about 45 minutes, they do have a smaller terminal than Carnival does, so it takes quite a bit longer to get on the ship. However, not a problem at all.....we were on the ship around Noon and went straight up to the Windjammer to have lunch (cookies were so yummy!) and then the rooms were available at 1:00pm and we went up to our room to check it out since this was our first balcony room we had booked! It was beautiful! We loved the view and enjoyed the beautiful sea view everyday! Our stateroom attendant, Presley, was awesome!!!!!!! He kept our room so nice and clean and in great condition, we never went without anything that we needed and he made it a point to ask how we were everyday, what our plans were and to have a great time! He even made us a stingray towel animal in our room when we got back from Grand Cayman since we told him we were swimming with the stingrays that day!! Great great service from him!! We ate in the MDR every night except Wednesday night, which we went to Chops Grille! We always make it a point to at the steakhouse! The MDR service was great, and our menu every night was wonderful with great and unique selections! We enjoyed the food and have no complaints. Chops Grille was very good too and we always enjoy eating there! We also tried out the new Mexican restaurant called Sabor and it was delicious!!!!! Such great modern Mexican food! We had it for lunch on Friday and it was a nice switch from eating my normal cheeseburger and French fries from the Windjammer, even though it was very yummy too! :) The only complaint I might have is that maybe the chef that cooks their chocolate cakes might need a little more help! I'm a huge fan of good ole chocolate cake and it was not that on the ship! But that was just a minor minor minor thing.... I had plenty of other great desserts to choose from!! The Entertainment on the ship was awesome! We enjoyed the circus parade in the promenade on the first night aboard the ship and also the 70's Disco night as well. We went to the shows in the theatre every night and enjoyed them so much! One night they had an all acapella group called "The Edge Effect" and they were awesome!! Great job to the Cruise Director, Jeffrey for getting great shows together! We especially enjoyed the Ice Skating Show! That was awesome!!!! To do all of that stuff on the ice skating rink on a moving ship, is unbelievable!! We loved it! I also had fun doing different thing like the music trivia and rock climbing, watching the flowrider and etc. I LOVED how there wasn't any pressure to buy alcohol on this cruise! We sailed with Carnival this past May and they covered us at the pool with constant pressure to buy alcohol! It was awful! So I was thankful to be able to lay out by the pool and not be bothered hardly! The service is great out there! All in All, it was an AMAZING cruise and we enjoyed ourselves immensely and were so relaxed! It's always hard to leave a good cruise!! We have already booked 2 more cruises with Royal for next year and can't wait to go back!! Thank you Royal for another wonderful vacation!!! It was Awesome!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
My wife and I just got back from our honeymoon cruise and I must say that we extremely enjoyed ourselves. The crew was always working super hard and were a bit overwhelmed at times but always made sure to say hello. I never once saw any ... Read More
My wife and I just got back from our honeymoon cruise and I must say that we extremely enjoyed ourselves. The crew was always working super hard and were a bit overwhelmed at times but always made sure to say hello. I never once saw any crew members just standing around or loafing. The people are working their tails off all day, everyday. Although we were just first time cruisers and haven't experience the way things used to be before the pre paid gratuities, I didn't once notice any crew members not willing to help with any problem big or small. We still ended up tipping certain members that were outstanding anyways which made the services even better. All I can say is get to know the fellows that work at the Schooner Bar, Abel, Eric, and Bela are phenomenal guys and we loved hanging out with them. Our dining time was at 8:00 pm on Deck 3 and had Annabelle for a waitress with the help of Milan. These two were so very attentive to our needs and always there to treat us like royalty. There were so very many activities on board to attend as well from shows, ice shows, Salsa Dancing, Ballroom Dancing, rock climbing, putt putt, Flowrider, Ice Skating in Studio B, the list just goes on and on and we tried them all. Food was all pretty good in the Windjammer as well as the Main Dining Hall, never any complaints except for the tiger shrimp to which Annabelle just brought me out a different entree and everything was fine. No matter where we went on the boat there was always friends to be made whether they were other passengers or crew members everyday was full of great conversations with all types of different people.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
DH and I are in our 60s, retired, and live in East Texas about three hours drive north of Galveston. We have sailed with Carnival, Celebrity, Disney, Holland America, Princess and Royal Caribbean cruise lines before, both out of Florida ... Read More
DH and I are in our 60s, retired, and live in East Texas about three hours drive north of Galveston. We have sailed with Carnival, Celebrity, Disney, Holland America, Princess and Royal Caribbean cruise lines before, both out of Florida ports, Bayport, Houston and Galveston. We drove to Galveston on the Saturday and stayed at the Comfort Inn & Suites on Sea Wall Blvd. Nice hotel with good location, breakfast and great price. On Sunday we drove to the port, dropped off our luggage and then left the car at EZ Cruise Parking who drove us back to the terminal. Fast and efficient. We arrived early, waited in line outside [in the shade] for a short while and were through security and seated with sea pass in hand waiting to board all within 45 minutes. We had My Time Dining and I had booked a table for 2 every evening at 5:30pm and we had the same table by the window every evening. Our wait staff were Agnelo and Sachin who were great - no complaints about service at all. For the most part the food was good in both the dining room and Windjammer. We had the occasional snack in the Promenade Café and the sandwiches were very good. We did not try any of the specialty restaurants on this cruise. We found that almost all of the staff onboard were friendly and helpful. As this was my 38th cruise and DH's 36th cruise and we had visited all of the ports many times previously, we stayed on the ship and took advantage of the peace and quiet on port days. Entertainment and activities is where we felt that this cruise was lacking. Okay, so as an retired teacher of theatre I may be a little more picky than some people, but I always go to all the shows and the production shows were without a doubt the worst I have ever experienced on any cruise. Thank goodness for the ice show which we saw twice and Scott Record the impressionist, both of which were excellent. Also compared to our last RCCL cruise on Mariner of the Seas [also out of Galveston], there were very few activities which we could enjoy. I enjoy scrapbooking and on Mariner the classes were great, but on this cruise the class was very short and relegated to a room where the staff was busy setting up for a shore excursion talk and our crew director staff person wandered off to set up her bingo activity. We also enjoy ballroom dance classes, but despite having a professional ballroom couple onboard, there were only two ballroom dance classes and one of them was during a lunchtime. While flow rider, rock climbing, and ice skating may be great activities, not all ages can cope with them and bingo and the casino are not our things. Perhaps we have been spoiled by some of the other cruise lines which offer far more activities for a greater variety of ages. However, we came on this cruise to relax and as the weather was fantastic and the sea as calm as we have ever experienced, we spent most of our time sitting reading on the balcony, and I finished off 18 for the 20 books I brought with me. Debarkation was easy and painless. As Crown and Anchor members, we waited in the Star Lounge and from the time we left the lounge, went through customs, until we were in our vehicle driving home, was less than an hour. No problems at all. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise, but I think we are ready for another cruise out of Florida on a different line for a change. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Like many we were concerned based on some of the reviews but picked this cruise due to the port location. We had a wonderful time and have no problem recommending both the ship and the cruise destinations. Galveston port is a challenge ... Read More
Like many we were concerned based on some of the reviews but picked this cruise due to the port location. We had a wonderful time and have no problem recommending both the ship and the cruise destinations. Galveston port is a challenge because 2 ships are leaving at the same time. Keep in mind Royal is leaving from terminal 2 as you make your parking plans. My advice is to arrive early. We were in the security line at 9:45 and were on the ship exploring within 45 minutes. Royal promised staterooms ready by 1 which they met. We boarded and took the elevator to the highest point, then walked and explored our way down. We found all of the Royal staff to be excellentWe had a couple of minor service issues from our travel agent and they promptly answered our questions and generally made us feel welcome. We at the majority of our meals in the MDR and had great service. We enjoyed the table conversation and lounging through meals over the rush of eating at the buffet in the Windjammer. Our MDR waiters we attentive and even brought extra entrees if we had trouble deciding. We enjoyed all of the entertainment and the activities. The ship is very clean. The only time we felt pressured to buy something was when my wife visited the spa. They did try to hard sell her, but after a polite no she enjoyed the rest of the experience. We booked our excursions thru Royal and all 3 were good. I know people say you can save by going outside but we didn't want any hassles. They met us immediately off of the ship and took care of everything from there. Hope you have as good as time as we did. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
My husband and I loved this cruise! I read the reviews about how dirty the ship was,and how poor the food and entertainment was and I have to wonder, were we on a different ship? We thought the entertainment was exceptional. Loved the ice ... Read More
My husband and I loved this cruise! I read the reviews about how dirty the ship was,and how poor the food and entertainment was and I have to wonder, were we on a different ship? We thought the entertainment was exceptional. Loved the ice skating show and all of the "game show" type events, like "Love and Marriage" and "The Quest". The cruise director, Jeffery, was so funny and we enjoyed starting each morning watching his show on the ships channel to let us know what was going on that day. We ate in the main dining room every night and found there was a good variety to choose from and never found any issues with our meals. The wait staff was attentive and our only complaint is that they didn't acknowledge my husband's birthday even though they were aware of it the first night of the cruise. We found the ship very clean and well maintained and would certainly cruise on this ship again. The only negative thing was the port at Galveston was difficult to get in and out of and it was a bit chaotic. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
As back round we flew into Hobby Airport the day before the cruise and stayed at the Comfort Suites. Nothing special but they had a good rate so it was good enough. We took 24hourairport taxi to the terminal the next day and arrived there ... Read More
As back round we flew into Hobby Airport the day before the cruise and stayed at the Comfort Suites. Nothing special but they had a good rate so it was good enough. We took 24hourairport taxi to the terminal the next day and arrived there about 10:30 and was on the ship in an hour. Very easy process with no chaos at all that has been described in other postings. The ship itself is very nice. I can't say it looks brand new from the refurb it went through earlier this year but it didn't appear old either. We hung around the pool after changing into bathing suites and went to our cabin when we thought our luggage would be there. Sure enough by 3pm we were good to go. The activities were plentiful. My wife did the Zumba class poolside the kids did the rock climbing wall and had an absolute blast on the Flowrider. We stayed on the ship on the day the ship was in Jamaica and the kids had the Flowrider almost to themselves. Otherwise count on some pretty long wait periods when you are using it. We went to almost all the shows. Very good entertainment as my 10 and 12 year olds have not been to this type of venue and they really enjoyed them. We sat in the front row every time and it's pretty cool to be up front and close to the action and I highly recommend the ice show and dancing show but they were all good. Very talented crew putting on a good show. The service in all areas of the ship was outstanding. In the Windjammer, the servers would come around and offer to get you a drink. My 10 year old spilled a drink and 2 servers were on it in a flash and another was on his way to get her another drink with a smile on his face! Almost the entire crew would greet you with a "good morning" or " hello, sir". Just old fashion good manners. Our room attendant was named Elroy on deck 10 and if you get him you are lucky to have him. He was so nice to me and my family and the girls would run to the room after dinner to see what towel animal he made! WE ate at Chops one night and it was fantastic. One of the best steaks I've ever had. The Windjammer had a good variety of food that I enjoyed as well. We ate in the MDR one night and I did not care for the food. Seemed a bit bland to me for the occasion. I have a hard time sitting through a 1 1/2 hour dinner as well. Disembarkation was a breeze. We were off the ship by 7:40 and even my driver could not believe we were off so quickly. No chaos whatsoever so don't believe everything you read here. All in all a great family cruise and I would highly recommend you get on board and experience some of the things I did. You won't regret it!   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
My husband and I sailed on NOS in October 2014 to celebrate our 22nd anniversary. We are in our mid 40’s and were looking to relax and enjoying being together. We were able to do that. Our room was great, it was centrally located on the ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on NOS in October 2014 to celebrate our 22nd anniversary. We are in our mid 40’s and were looking to relax and enjoying being together. We were able to do that. Our room was great, it was centrally located on the ship in an effort to reduce my queasiness and I think I fared pretty well. I did end up buying some essential oils on the ship to combat my nausea and I was mostly fine. We had a great time on the cruise. The ship was beautiful, very clean and everyone was very friendly. Our cabin steward was awesome and went above and beyond whenever we asked him for anything. We loved the specialty restaurants and main dining room but were disappointed in the windjammer and with room service (breakfast). The powdered eggs were shameful! Who eats that? We spent WAY too much money on ourselves, but we don’t regret it. We found out we are light weight drinkers and love afternoon naps! We enjoyed singing along at the piano bar, which we both found surprising. We did NOT love the Fury Catamaran shore excursion in Cozumel. It had to be the worst snorkeling experience we have ever had. The beach break was nice, tons of stuff to do, beer and margaritas were free flowing, just don’t choose this one if you want to snorkel! We are already watching the dates for 2016 to go back with the kids. WE LOVED IT!   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Southwest Airlines and Houston Hobby: My wife and I flew into Houston Hobby early the day before our cruise. Just about everyone knows the pros and cons of flying S.W. My only question, did the seats get smaller or my butt get bigger?? ... Read More
Southwest Airlines and Houston Hobby: My wife and I flew into Houston Hobby early the day before our cruise. Just about everyone knows the pros and cons of flying S.W. My only question, did the seats get smaller or my butt get bigger?? Hobby was a very nice and easy airport to fly in and out of. Lady Bird Limo: I researched ground transportation through trip adviser and cruise critic. I decided to go with Ladybird Limo. Working with Susan through e-mails, texts and phone calls was smooth. When compared to other services YES there are cheaper, HOWEVER being met at baggage claim, not waiting on others passengers, the comfort of the Lincoln Navigator and a straight shot to the hotel was worth the couple extra dollars. The one minor snag, not a fault of Ladybird, is the nearly daily traffic jam at the construction area between Houston and Galveston. Make sure you are adding some extra time for this. Hilton Galveston: Again trying to get the best bang for the buck I did my research. I would have preferred to stay at the Harbor House but they required a two night minimum. So we booked with our second choice, The Hilton Galveston Island Resort. Upon arrival the doorman was great to work with. Check in was quick and easy at the front desk. However the room was not ready because of our early arrival. They stored our bags, the doorman got us a Taxi and we were off to The Strand (see below). When we returned, they had upgraded our room to the top (10th) floor in a newly remodeled room and gave us free Wi-Fi. The view of the Galveston coast line was awesome and the bed was extremely comfortable. The next morning the itemized bill was under the door. My wife and I had the breakfast buffet, which had a good selection and was very good, finished packing and headed to the free cruise port shuttle. I overwhelmingly give them a five star rating Galveston Island: Keeping in mind that Galveston Island is largely a tourist area. Our taxi took us from one side of the island to The Strand on the other side for 15 dollars. We walked the main street with all eclectic shops. There was nothing that we needed to purchase before the cruise but it was enjoyable. Being “Off Season”, Almost all the movies, tours, exhibits had limited hours so we missed those. With many choices for dining, we decided on Olympia the Grill at Pier 21. We see (taste) why they have won the trip advisor award three years in a row. Highly Recommended!! Boarding: We took the free hotel shuttle to the cruise port. After a quick stop to pick up drivers, who were dropping off cars, we were at terminal 2 in fewer than 20 minutes (11 am). We used a porter for our bags, just about walked up to the counter, signed a few documents, got our sea passes and were walking on the ship in less than 30 more minutes. Cabin: I reserved an aft balcony cabin, Deck 10, cabin 1692. We explored the ship until 1 PM when the cabins were ready and our bags were waiting at our door. Our cabin was very spacious with plenty of closet, drawer and cabinet space. The balcony was well worth the extra money. It fit two lounge chairs plus two balcony chairs and a small table with enough room to walk around. Many breakfasts and early evenings were spent relaxing watching the wake of the ship. We never heard a sound from the Windjammer on the deck above and the reputed movement in the aft felt more like a fluid train movement than the rise and fall of a boat. Our steward, Elroy, was good. Our room was always well kept and we rarely saw him, when we had a special request he saw to it. Roatan: We booked a private “Best of Roatan” tour with Victor Boden tours. Our scheduled driver wasn't available, but we very quickly had a replacement and who was great-- very informative and he drove us around the island in a nice comfortable car. The iguana farm and V.B.’s Monkey Business were fun with great photo opportunities. We went to the highest point on the island for some more photo ops, walked the public beach and shopping area and then a nice lunch overlooking the bay across from the public beach. Belize: Again booking privately with Cavetubing.bz, we booked the zip line and cave tubing and had a blast! The ship got into port earlier than scheduled. We hopped on the very first tender without any wait or tender ticket and was ashore in less than 20 minutes. After the first 10 people arrived we jumped in the van and headed out to the zip line portion. Our guides introduced themselves (Jose, Lionel and our driver Jr.) during the ride, and remained with us throughout the excursion keeping us informed and entertained. Upon arrival we signed the waiver, were harnessed up and walked to the first platform. With double lines and triple safety we were zipping above the jungle, platform to platform in no time. Once un-harnessed we were off to the national park for the cave tubing portion. A quick 20 minute educational walk through the jungle, crisscrossing the river twice, and we were at the river near the cave mouth. The river tube ride under/through the mountain was fun. After we exited the cave all the other groups were getting out of the river and walking up stairs, our group continued down and exited where we initially crossed the river the first time. We were then driven back to our initial stop for a traditional lunch of chicken, rice and beans, coleslaw and a soda, and a sip of cashew wine. We returned to the port with plenty of time to browse the port shops. Cozumel: For this port we booked the Salsa and Salsa through RCCL. We woke that morning with a slight bump as the boat docked. By the time the boat was cleared we were walking off and had plenty of time to browse the shops prior to our scheduled 10 am excursion time. Our group met at the designated place and we were ushered off two by two to awaiting van for a quick trip to the resort. Once all the seats around all the tables were full, we met our two cute and funny hosts. We were taught how to make two different types of Margaritas, after which our glasses were never empty; 6 different types of salsa (do not touch the pepper, use the fork) and then a workout learning to Salsa dance (where did everyone go??) There was plenty of food, drink, and dance to enjoy! Disembarking: While this wasn't really terrible, it was the worst part of the trip--both because the great week was over, and because it took quite a while. Since we booked late flights and had plenty of time to get to the airport, we were in nearly the last group to leave. Our group waiting area was the Metropolis Theater with complimentary coffee, tea, juice and bakery. Once our group was called we waited in line to get off the boat, we waited in line to get our bags, and we waited in line to get through customs. All of this due to backlogs in the understaffed customs area. The staff they had was efficient, just overwhelmed. It took over 2 hours to get from the waiting area to curbside. This port has a long way to go to compare to Florida ports. This being our first trip with Royal Caribbean, we had a very good overall experience. Comparing it with our only other cruise, RCCL did some things a lot better and others needed improvement. PROS: Boarding Process, Stateroom, Bartenders CONS: Disembarkation, 2 sea days in a row, Second formal night on a port day   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We had five incredible days and nights aboard The Royal Caribbean Navigator of The Seas. Our trip was tragically cut short. We were notified of an impending death in the family within hours, on Thursday night. Up until that time our cruise ... Read More
We had five incredible days and nights aboard The Royal Caribbean Navigator of The Seas. Our trip was tragically cut short. We were notified of an impending death in the family within hours, on Thursday night. Up until that time our cruise was perfect. We had the best cruise mates in our close friends, five other couples who joined us, and the best sea days. We also had the best Room Steward, Wilbur on deck 9 and the most attentive Sapphire Dining Room Waiters, Jaun and Salim who served delicious meals and always made us fee so special. We especially love the dining room because you get to know your waiters and vice versa. Ladies Salim was from Istanbul, and resembled a gorgeous young Yul Brenner. Because it was our 40th anniversary cruise my husband had purchased a romance package. Seeing Roatan, Maya Key was incredible. Our group snorkeled in crystalline waters full of fish. Lots of exotic animals, lazy sun tanning and Mayan history.The included lunch was delicious. Thursday was Belize and OMG the ancient Mayan Lamanai Ruins and the long trip are indescribable as far as beauty, history and experience. We truly lucked out because our tour guide was an instructor at the university. He had notebooks full of Mayan language he had personally deciphered from the statuary, stella, and pyramids. Only five of seven hundred sites have been unearthed at Lamanai. Unlike Chitsinitsa, you can climb this pyramid to the top. The steps are typically short but have huge depth as far as height. When we did get the tragic news. Royal Caribbean was wonderful. Albert handled everything for us. We had internet for purchasing airline tickets, and ship to shore at the desk to talk with family.. All these charges were removed from our bill. By early Friday we went to an onboard immigration agent, were cleared to leave each charged twenty six extra dollars apiece and were on our way across Mexico to Cozumel airport. One sad note We paid for pictures that were erased when we turned in our ship card to quickly disembark. Luckily we linked our photos to one of the group, because they could not bring theirs up. Our folder was empty by Saturday Another friend found the photographer and saved a group and dinning room shot. We were suppose to get a silver frame with our Romance PKG and that got erased. Our friend fought valiantly to get us our frame. This cruise was wonderful in spite of a few glitches. If you had an emergency like we did, Royal Caribbean is wonderful to you. Nothing is perfect, but this cruise came close. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Navigator of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.3
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.5 4.2

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