2,356 Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Cruise Reviews

We arrived at the Miami airport Friday night with no problems, although the baggage claim at the airport (at least for Delta) was poorly marked and difficult to find. Bags in hand, finding a taxi was no problem and our Cuban-American taxi ... Read More
We arrived at the Miami airport Friday night with no problems, although the baggage claim at the airport (at least for Delta) was poorly marked and difficult to find. Bags in hand, finding a taxi was no problem and our Cuban-American taxi driver, Orlando got us to the hotel in about 15 minutes at a cost of $18.70 + tip. The Holiday Inn Port of Miami is not a 5 star hotel, more like a 3, but it has a great view of the ship as well as being right across the street from the Bayside Market, which is wonderful. Get to Miami early and wander around the market if you can. There are lots of shops, restaurants and live music, all right beside the water. The Holiday Inn seems a bit dated, but has some nice aspects like granite in the bathrooms - and for a better price than some of the other nearby hotels. Saturday - woke up about 9am to see the NOS out the window. Grabbed a cab and headed approximately a half mile to the terminal, arriving there about 11am. Tipped one of the porters and gladly got rid of our heavy luggage. We then got in line and the fiasco began. Of course the actual arrival time is 2pm. But on our previous cruise, and according to everyone we talked to, getting on board the ship early was no problem. However, for some reason customs decided that this cruise (the one prior to ours) would be the one where they would send everyone through customs. Sort of a random check. Everyone, including the crew and captain all had to go through customs. As a result, we sat on the floor inside the terminal for 3 hours. It was a long wait. Yes, I know - official check-in time was 2pm. So we weren't mad, we had just hoped to get on early. Finally got aboard to discover that the Navigator is an amazing vessel. It is enormous. But, what is even more amazing is the great arrangement of everything. On our previous cruise aboard the Conquest, we were equally amazed at it's size. But, the NOS is laid out so much better (easier to get around and a more "friendly"/ community feel to its arrangement. We went to our cabin and met Omar our cabin steward. From there up to the Windjammer for a great late lunch. Then off to explore the ship. We did the muster drill, then headed up to the Cosmopolitan club to have meet some of our cruise critic friends early. Everyone seemed really nice and it was good to finally put faces with names after 9 months of talking on line. Cafe Promenade became a place we visited regularly. Free coffee, hot tea and snacks available 24 hours a day. Vintages Wine Bar is on the Promenade and offers tables with great spots for people watching. If you follow the deck 4 balcony (outside) to the front of the ship, you can make your way to the helipad at the very front of the ship, offering great views. Also, deck 4 makes its way all around the ship, including to the very back. Dinner Saturday Night in the Coppelia dining room, a very nice space. We had table number 439 which was dead center as you walk in the doors, overlooking the captains table. Our Waiter Dwayne was from Jamaica and his assistant Vakay was from India. They quickly learned what we liked and didn't like. Our table mates were our 2 friends who took the trip with us and 2 new friends from Texas. After dinner more exploring. Our luggage began arriving around 6:30 pm and we got our final piece around 8pm. Our cabin 6548 was spacious. It had a sofa, tv, safe, refrigerator, spacious closets with some creative shelving, a queen sized bed and of course, the balcony. The bathroom was not as spacious as ours on the Carnival Conquest, but then again, we had a balcony on this ship! Sunday - sea day. Rest and more exploring. That night we saw the show "Now and Forever" - a New York style production which we agreed was well done. This was formal night, so we got dressed up for dinner, formal portraits and then some late night Latin dancing at Boleros. Also checked out the show in the Metropolis theater, which was very well done. BIG SURPRISE! I was sitting on the bed reading the Compass when suddenly my cell phone rang! I had left it on, and set it on the desk. I thought it must be some weird mistake, but sure enough, one of my friends was calling me. Of course I didn't answer it! Then I got some text messages. Certain cell phones work on the Navigator, even in the middle of the ocean. Good to know in case of an emergency. But I didn't want to talk to anyone, so I ignored it! Monday - San Juan - we actually decided to stay on the ship here. We like to spend at least one of our port days on the ship where it's nice and quiet. During dinner, the dining room staff did some dancing for everyone. It was great. Tuesday - Saint Thomas - got off the ship and climbed into a large open taxi of sorts. Hector, our driver, did his best race car routine zipping about the countryside on our way to Red Hook to grab the ferry. The taxi ride was $9 for about a 15 minute ride. I found this absurdly expensive considering the ferry ride to St. John was only $4. But, it's vacation. Got to red hook then immediately left to St. John on a short, but beautiful ride. In Cruz bay, we grabbed another open taxi to Trunk Bay. "Puff" agreed to come back later and pick us up. Trunk bay was beautiful. We had hoped to get in some snorkeling since Michele had never done it and Trunk was supposed to be a great place to go. But the water was really rough and they had warning signs everywhere. Since I had snorkeled previously I went in to see what the water was really like. It was very rough. The underwater snorkeling trail was barely visible from the surface. And the current / waves kept tossing me about. I almost got slammed into some corral. I did see a sting ray up close, though. But I finally gave up. It was just too rough. So we all relaxed on the left (as you face the water) end of the beach. We found a nice shaded spot under some tree limbs and spend a couple of hours relaxing and taking pictures. Then, same excursion back to the ship. St. John is beautiful. It has the most amazing beaches and water. We skipped the dining room and ate dinner in the windjammer. We were just too tired for a formal dinner. That night we saw the "Newlywed" quiz show which was really funny. We hadn't planned on going, but our friends talked us into it, and I'm really glad they did. Then we went to the Ixtapa lounge for drinks and some big band music. After that, we headed up to the pool deck for some latin music and a buffet. But, there was rain, so they sent everyone back down to the Ixtapa for some 70s / disco dancing. We had lots of fun being silly and dancing, finally getting to bed about 1:30. Wednesday - St. Maarten. Got up late. There was an incredible amount of noise early that morning that sounded like something large banging into the ship. No one could ever tell us what it was. Went into Saint Maarten for some shopping. Took the water taxi from the port to the center of town. It's beautiful place, probably my favorite in terms of appearance. It's a big "bay" surrounded by mountains with beaches at the waters edge. The only drawback to this port is the endless stream of locals pushing you to buy something or asking you if you want something. It got really old quick. We didn't go to the French side of the island. Then back to the ship for a late lunch and a long nap. Thursday - Sea Day My friend Chuck and I played the classic rock trivia game in the schooner lounge and ended up winning. I think it was mainly because we were the only sober ones playing. Watched the ship pull away from the port on deck 4, a great place to watch. Friday – Nassau: Got off the ship and was unimpressed with the area right by the dock. So, we went back and waited for our excursion to gather. Michele did the Dolphin encounter and I went as an observer, having experienced Dolphins before. This was a very cool excursion and I think worth every penny. Michele got to pet, dance, hug and get kissed by “Stormy” the dolphin. Made it back to the ship with only moments to spare before the ship pulled away. We packed, went to dinner, tipped our staff, then went back to the cabin to get our luggage out into the hallway before midnight. Saturday: Woke up early in order to be out of our cabin by 8am. Then waited. We didn’t get off the ship until about 11 am. Waited for 2 hours in the Café Promenade eating Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and Drinking Coffee. Overall: We loved the Navigator of the Seas and all the ports we visited in the Eastern Caribbean. We would highly recommend this cruise to anyone, and any negatives are far outweighed by the positives. I personally think 4 ports is probably too much. I like sea days, and Nassau (the city) was a disappointment. A few Negatives: 1. Embarkation and Debarkation are problematic, at best. Royal Caribbean and Customs need to work together to make this process smoother. Making cruisers get out of their cabin at 8am, but then wait around the ship until 11 is ridiculous. We went from not wanting to get off the ship, to “please let me off this ship!” 2. The food was good, but finding food at odd hours was not as easy as on Carnival. The Windjammer needed to be open more hours and later. 3. We went one night to one of the main productions shows (“now and forever”- I think) that as listed in the compass to begin at 7pm. But, it didn’t happen. The theater was closed, the stage was set up for bingo and no staff were present. About 100 people were outside waiting for the show to begin, but no one was there to tell us what was happening. 4. Some friends purchase Royal Caribbean Robes for us, but we never received them. 5. One night room service took 1 hour 20 minutes to arrive, and when it did, they got the order wrong. 6. Our bed was horribly uncomfortable. We could feel where the two twin beds were joined together and we couldn't get it fixed. 7. The port information sheets (“discover st. marten”, etc) seemed only geared toward shopping and offered little information about the ports, towns, countries, themselves. A Few Positives: 1. All the staff was very friendly and helpful. Everyone worked hard to make us comfortable and feel welcome and special. 2. Our Cabin Steward (Omar) and our Dining Room Staff (Dwayne and Varkey) were amazing! 3. St. John was BEAUTIFUL! 4. The Balcony was wonderful. Never experienced smoke or loud noise from others. 5. The Compass (the cruise newspaper) was very helpful and informative. 6. The towel animals were great. 7. The ship was very clean. 8. GO TO THE MARRIAGE SHOW (or whatever it’s called). Graham, the cruise director does a sort of Newlywed game, but with people married for different lengths of time. We weren’t going to go, but did at the last minute and were really glad we did. I haven't laughed that hard in ages. It was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen! 9. We spent about $100 on photos, especially loving the “lifestyle” ones where we were placed in fun / relaxed poses. We had a great trip and would love to cruise on the Navigator again some day. We highly recommend this ship and itinerary. It's wonderful, save for the post-cruise depression! Read Less
Sail Date September 2005
Navigator of the Seas review Sail date - Sept. 24th, 2005 Itinerary - Eastern Caribbean Our info. My wife and I are in our Mid 30s our son is 2.5 years. Number of past cruises 12+ Intro -- My wife and I have cruised many times in the ... Read More
Navigator of the Seas review Sail date - Sept. 24th, 2005 Itinerary - Eastern Caribbean Our info. My wife and I are in our Mid 30s our son is 2.5 years. Number of past cruises 12+ Intro -- My wife and I have cruised many times in the past, 4 times with RCL, Grander, Voyager, and Explorer of the Seas so we were pretty familiar with the Navigators' layout given we were on 2 other sister ships. This was our second cruise with our son, the first one being on HAL Zuiderdam last December. We opted for 2 connecting rooms this time rather than one large suite so when our son went down for bed, we could go in the other room and not disturb him. We a suite on the Zuiderdam and although it was big, it was still one large room so when he went down for the night, we had to tip toe around so we didn't wake him. Our rooms were 9520 and 9518. A unique set up given one room had a balcony and one only a port whole, but they had a connecting door between them. Cruise Highs -- Given we were traveling with a 2 year old, we didn't go to the formal dining room, instead we ate in the windjammer cafe most of the time. The service in there was great and we usually didn't have a problem finding a place to sit. Especially for dinner since most of the people were in the main dining room. Our room steward 'group' was excellent and provided great service. They were great to our son and very quick cleaning up the room. The reason I put group down was because it is no longer one person that handles your cabin, rather a group of people which makes things much more efficient. The activities on board were very good even for our 2.5 year old. I was surprised they had activities for his age group. He couldn't go into the regular kids programs, but they did have activities for the parents and children which was nice. The overall condition of the ship was good, however, they had one stairway closed for the entire cruise for maintenance. Not a huge deal, but I would hate to be in one of the cabins close to it because the glue fumes were terrible. Ports of call were ok. We had been to them many times in the past so we didn't do much besides a little shopping. We preferred to stay on board and go to the pool given there were very few people there on port days. This is an unusual thing to mention, but the medical facilities on board were excellent. Our son came down with a respiratory problem and they did a great job at treating him and had everything he needed. It reminded me of a small hospital with separate patient rooms and dr offices. Cruise Lows -- Of course there were some. To start, the embarkation process was horrible or at least, much worse than we remember. We are use to cruise lines staggering the boarding process where the start boarding around 11:00ish until the time the ship leaves. Not this time. Instead, everyone waits outside until 2:00pm in a giant line and they open the doors and attempt to board 3800 passengers in 3 hours. If you happen to be at the end of the line, I have no doubt it would take 3 hours to get on board especially if you didn't do the sign and sail process beforehand. We did arrive around 2:00pm to find a huge line and as we were walking to the back past all of the upset people that have been waiting since 11:00 in the Florida heat, they opened a second set of doors and it only took us an hour and a half to get checked in which was not great, but I really feel for the people that showed up at 11:00 and had to not only wait in line until 2:00, but also had to wait another 2-3 hours to get checked in. Not to dwell on this one issue, but on the 12+ cruises we have been on, this was the worst check in process to date. Not sure where RCCL came up with this one. The food was also not very good. I admit, I really don't expect gourmet food on RCCL, but it seemed unusually bad this time. Usually the Windjammer is at least on par with the main dining room because it is a lot of the same type of food, but this time it really seemed pre packaged for lack of a better way of describing it. It seemed like the had big bags of pre-made food in the back and they were just sticking it in the microwave and dumping it into the troughs. Luckily they had an oriental area within the windjammer which had pretty good food. I pretty much ate that all week. The liquor policy was just stupid. You obviously couldn't buy it in the on board liquor store and take it back to the room. I had already read that, but there wasn't any liquor, beer or wine in the minibar which made no sense to me. You also couldn't order a bottle off the in room menu, you had to order individual drinks. Not sure what the reasoning was other than get you out of your room?? If you wanted a drink, you basically had to go down to a bar and bring it back to your room or order one off the menu and wait 30 minutes to get it. Can't quite figure out why this new policy came about. Summary -- Overall, it was a good trip, but I got the feeling that RCCL is going a little 'down hill' for lack of a better way of describing our experience. Nothing major, we just didn't have as good of a time as we have had on other RCCL cruises. Maybe it was just an off cruise for us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2005
Truly, it is a fantastic trip for my first family cruise vacation. We are family of 4 from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Navigator of the Seas by Royal Caribbean: The ship was loaded with every activity for every age group. It is so calm ... Read More
Truly, it is a fantastic trip for my first family cruise vacation. We are family of 4 from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Navigator of the Seas by Royal Caribbean: The ship was loaded with every activity for every age group. It is so calm and stable on the sea. My daughter (11 age) loves the Adventure activities. My son (16 age) loves the Teen activities. We love every activity (show, game, food, dinner & room service etc). Except one thing is the smoking area is not enclosed. We have to smoke the 2nd hand as we pass the Bar on deck 3 & 4. Also on the deck 11 near the pool, all the smokers are gathered there. Labadee (Royal's own port): Not much to see but just relax on the beach. Be sure to negotiate the price from the local reseller. Ocho Rios, Jamaica: As we traveled on the West Caribbean route, I will recommend the local tour guide - Trevor Hudlin for Ocho Rios, Jamaica. He is not only provided the best price but the best service. He introduces us the local drink - fresh coconut drink and famous Jamaica food - Jerk Chicken. We have visited Dunn's River Falls. It is fun. You can reach him by: http://trevorhudlintours.com Be sure to negotiate the price if you want to buy anything. You can buy Jamaica Rum on the store at the port. They sell for less than the town. Grand Cayman Island: I will also recommend the local tour:- snorkeling with stingrays at Stingray City Sandbar on Grand Cayman Island by Captain Marvin. They provide the best service and price. The staffs are very helpful for non-swimmer (my wife). We saw a lot of beautiful different fishes because they feed the fish. Also they hand over some stingray to us to touch. At the end they provide fresh water to wash the salt water. You can reach Captain Marvin by www.captainmarvins.com Cozumel, Mexico: I will recommend to visit the Chankanaab National Park on Cozumel, Mexico. The park provides every water activity you can spend for a whole day. Thus the local snuba service we used is not that great by Mayan Paradise Tours - Zorro 3 Reef Snorkel & Snuba Trip-Special Sept/Oct. No fish feeding and no fresh water to wash the salt water. Even the great price included with drink and fruit. We didn't see a lot of different fishes. Be sure to negotiate the price for everything including taxi in Cozumel. They are always over price. I recommend to buy from the store with price tag on each item. I suggest to buy from the stores at the port. The items are labeled with price tag. Finally Miami: Be sure to negotiate the price for Taxi, don't take the meter. For sure, we will choose the cruise ship from Royal Caribbean again especially the big ship as Freedom of the Seas. Be aware to carry light hand carry or back pack, it may take a long time (2 hrs) leaving the ship to the US Immigration Dept. Hope this info will help the first time cruiser. P.S. You can only bring 1.5 litre of alcohol per adult into Canada. Read Less
Sail Date September 2005
My wife and I recently returned from the Halloween sailing onboard the Navigator of the Seas. It was a wonderful cruise and I was surprised by the number of friends that joined us at the Meet and Mingle on Sunday morning. We had 77 sign up ... Read More
My wife and I recently returned from the Halloween sailing onboard the Navigator of the Seas. It was a wonderful cruise and I was surprised by the number of friends that joined us at the Meet and Mingle on Sunday morning. We had 77 sign up and I believe we had near 50 show up for the get together. Lisa made wonderful nametags for the group and we were also joined by Captain Bang and his wonderful wife. It was a wonderful way to begin the cruise. I am sad to say we did not get a photo at the Meet and Mingle however, we did have several get togethers planned through out the week. We had one in Jamaica at Margaritaville but as some of the tours ran late not all could make it. We had a Last Day Sea Exchange get together on Friday. We sorta over took the solarium pool area for a short time, but it was a wonderful time. We each exchanged gifts from our area and got one in return. I wish everyone could have found time to be at the last party however as everyone knows, you get so tied up in the cruise that time goes right by. I wish to thank all the new friends that I made online and that the time before the cruise of talking to all of you was wonderful. We are talking about maybe cruising again in 2007.I have all ready booked another cruise for the Explorer Repositioning cruise and two friends that we made on the Navigator are joining us. Cruise Critic is a sensational way of meeting up prior to the cruises. The cruise overall was great. From the dining room to the pool. To the great shows. We really loved the ice show, which is truly amazing. Who would have ever thought of seeing one at sea? Every time I have been on a cruise I keep telling myself I will make it to the wall. However the Cruise staff keeps us so busy I still have not made it yet. Thanks to Graham and his staff for making the cruise fantastic. Next cruise I will win the Belly Flop and not just come in 2nd place. I can't wait for the next cruise and again I would like to thank Cruise Critic for the chance to meet folks prior to the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
This was my 1st time on a RCCL and I must say I wasn't disappointed. I'm sure my trip was slightly different than most since this cruise was actually a chartered cruise but probably not enough to make a huge difference. The ... Read More
This was my 1st time on a RCCL and I must say I wasn't disappointed. I'm sure my trip was slightly different than most since this cruise was actually a chartered cruise but probably not enough to make a huge difference. The first sight of the NOS was quite breathtaking...you see pictures of it and you read reviews about it but until you actually see it in all its splendor-you can't even imagine! Embarkation went well..nothing to complain about. All our luggage made it to the room in plenty of time. Chester was our cabin steward and he made a point of introducing himself and he always had a smile on his face. One thing to note here: Since this was a chartered cruise, the company we were sailing with had already pre-paid the gratuities for everyone so the workers really didn't have to go out of their way to do any extra things for us since they were already guaranteed to be paid but not once did I notice anyone slacking in making everyone's trip enjoyable. We made sure to tip extra also. We had early seating for dinner each night and our waiter was Paulo from Portugal. Not only was he gorgeous but very friendly! We enjoyed his conversations and attention that he showed us each night. We unfortunately were one of the cruises that got sidetracked due to Hurricane Wilma. Right up front we knew we weren't going to Cozumel and we found out the day before we were due to arrive in Grand Cayman that we would not be able to stop there due to heavy swells. I was very disappointed that we weren't able to stop there since that was the one stop I was looking forward to. We had made reservations to snorkel with the stingrays and I must admit, I had a little pity party for a few minutes since we weren't going to stop there!! The captain decided that we would make a stop at Montego Bay, Jamaica instead. Since I hadn't done any prior research on this stop, I was at a loss but we ended up going to Margaritaville and a few shops. We had a blast at Margaritaville but I found out later that 2 couples in our company were robbed at gunpoint by their taxi driver while shopping in Montego Bay! Not a pleasant memory! Our next stop was in Ocho Rios, Jamaica (which funny enough was only a 1 1/2 hour drive away from Montego Bay!!). We went to Dunn's River Falls and it was beautiful and we had a great time there. We unfortunately didn't take the correct turn in trying to miss the shops at the top and we got cornered by several vendors but if you were polite to them and repeated "no thank you" they generally left you alone. We also went shopping some in town and found some decent prices on items. I got a pair of peridot earrings that were originally marked at $150 and got them for $40. We got name brand perfume (Liz Claiborne, Gucci, etc) for $20.00 a bottle for 3.4 oz sprays! Medium size Tortuga Rum cakes 6 for $20. We went to Margaritaville again and had a great time. Our last stop was Labadee and I must say this was my favorite place. The island is absolutely beautiful and well kept. Sitting on the island and looking back at the majestic NOS in that crystal blue/green ocean was one sight I won't soon forget! The marketplace was interesting and I wish I could have spent more time there and looked without being hassled. There were some pushy vendors and I'm the type that likes to look without being harassed so that took some of the fun out of it. We did buy a painting of the NOS for $10 and some hand carved medium sized candy dish type wooden bowls that were 4 for $10. I saw some people with some beautiful hand carved walking sticks (tho I did wonder how in the world they were going to manage to get them on the plane!!!) We went to several shows-The Quest-not to be missed and Love/Marriage show was hilarious (Anna Maria and Jorge!). The entertainers were top notch and I think even Simon Cowell would give them their props on how well they sung! The art auction was interesting with lots of beautiful paintings tho I didn't buy any but loved the freebies they gave out! Bingo I sucked at, along with the slot machines but I enjoyed watching others playing in the casino. There were quite a few "characters" that made it interesting to watch and a special hello to Edgar who was a dealer at the blackjack table! Very nice and personable guy!!! The food was great at both Windjammer and the dining room. I didn't try out Johnny Rockets, Chops or Portofino's but I heard from others how great they were. The desserts at dinner were to die for especially the creme brulee and I loved the crabcakes!!! YUMMY! I loved the lifestyle casual photos that were taken by the ship photographer. Everyone looked so great in those pictures. I enjoyed watching others have their pictures made also. Pictures are kinda pricey but I'm willing to spend that on good quality photos. I think probably the best thing about the NOS to me was Graham Seymour. He absolutely kept me in stitches laughing and always cutting up with passengers and to top it off-that man can S-I-N-G!! His morning shows "Be very afraid" would have me laughing constantly ("Dirty!Dirty!"). I bought his DVD and CD and have watched it several times since returning home and laughed as if it was the first time I had seen it! He would definitely be a major selling point to me in returning to the NOS! I thoroughly enjoyed my cruise on NOS. Do I have any complaints other than it not lasting long enough? Nah, not really. Labadee was the high point of the ports-beautiful, serene, peaceful, relaxing, primitive-I could go on and on with great adjectives! I would definitely recommend cruising on the Navigator. I don't think you would be disappointed! Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
NOTS was our first cruise in Oct. 2005. A hurricane had just gone through so Miami was not the best. Traffic lights were out and gas was hard to come by for our rental car. We rented a car from Dollar. Price was excellent and when ... Read More
NOTS was our first cruise in Oct. 2005. A hurricane had just gone through so Miami was not the best. Traffic lights were out and gas was hard to come by for our rental car. We rented a car from Dollar. Price was excellent and when returning the next day, Dollar took us to the port, no charge. They would have also picked us up after the cruise and taken us to the airport, no charge. Due to Miami conditions and being eager to cruise, we arrived early to board the ship on Sat. Everything went smoothly and there were minimal waits. Be sure to fill out your Sail pass on line. This helps to expedite things. We were amazed at all the art decor, and vastness of the ship. We loved the days at sea to explore. We watched a movie in the theater room, lunch in dining room since we had plenty of time on sea days. Pick up a waterproof container to hold sea passes and credit card. We shopped at the promenade shops. Remember that the shops put out specials every day. Also, some services at the spa are half price later in the week. We used internet service and set up account. We used this several times to check on family at home. We used the same computer so info was ready to pop up. We worked out in the gym each morning and would go to our room to clean up, then eat a nice breakfast in dining room (less crowded than Windjammer) to begin our day. The work out facilities are excellent, and we were able to try different equipment. View is excellent. Dining is good, not great. We used the dining room most days for breakfast. Most of the same choices are in the Windjammer. It was just quieter in the dining room. They only use one floor of the dining room for breakfast and lunch and you are seated as you come in. Some of the same wait staff work here at breakfast and lunch. This is also closer to the bottom of the ship on port days than the Windjammer. There is congestion in the stairways during port days and it helps to be on the third floor already! We also ate at Johnny Rockets one day. It was great and a good change. The service and food for dinner was good. We did not eat at Pordellios, but think that we will next time for a change. Ports: Labadee was our favorite. It looks like every picture of every beach and more. It is gorgeous. We just lounged on the beach. The same guys that sell drinks on the ship are also on the beaches, but it is good to get a refreshing virgin drink while you are lounging. How many times can you do that? The market was very pushy, but these vendors did not come out on the beach at all. So if you want to see the market and pick up something unique, this is the place. Our excursion through the ship for Ocho Rios was fair. The bus and drivers were not the best, and when we got to Dunn's River Falls, there were pushy natives that put bead necklaces on you, then wanted something for it. All I had in my pocket was 50 cents and they were offended! We climbed the falls but were in constant worry about the guide, who was barefooted, dropping our camera in the water. He had everyone's camera in our group, about 12 cameras around his neck. He didn't fall. We didn't get to enjoy the site of the falls at all. We were too busy trying not to get hurt. It is very slippery. We wore swim shoes and they wanted us to hold on to each other in our group. We would do better climbing by ourselves but understood the rules. This was our least favorite port. Grand Cayman was very nice and had shopping right off the pier. We booked the stingray snorkeling tour. It was great. We booked this off the ship. There was some hurricane damage here, but not too much. There were lots of stingrays and it was a very unique experience. Beautiful shallow water to walk in, out where stingrays are. We were supposed to go to Cozumel but due to hurricane, we went to Costa Maya. This was a very pleasant surprise. We had no idea what we were getting to do since our excursion was cancelled on Cozumel. Again, the shopping was excellent at this port. We booked a bicycle and kayak excursion through the ship. This was good. Bicycles were not in the best shape but we got to see quite a bit of the villages, not just the port. Beaches were gorgeous and we wish we could have spent more time here. Taxi service was very good and safe. This was our second favorite port. Pictures were fun to take on and coming off the ship. The photographers were always there. Remember you can get black and white or color and you can have these pics in any size that you want, not just what they have printed. Check these. This is a nice souvenir. We will definitely be cruising again. It was a unique experience and one that we want to continue to see other parts of the caribbean. The inside atrium cabin is perfect for two people. It was not crowded at all and they use every available space. Have a fun cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
This was our second cruise on the Navigator of the Seas and just as before it was GREAT!!! It was my husband, father & mother in-laws and myself. Embarkation---Very smooth! We had filled out a majority of our information on the Royal ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Navigator of the Seas and just as before it was GREAT!!! It was my husband, father & mother in-laws and myself. Embarkation---Very smooth! We had filled out a majority of our information on the Royal Caribbean website so I think this helped. We arrived around 12:30 and it took approx 30-45 min before we were in the Windjammer having our first lunch. The boat itself is amazing, so big and impressive. Just as before it was kept spic-n-span...I always saw people cleaning and occasionally small repairs being made. Ports of Call---Labadee, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel. Labadee is one of our favorites!! We love to relax on the beach and search for shells. This time I made it to the local market and was able to get some great deals on handcarved wooden pieces. Ocho Rios: Well I was shocked at this stop...we had a GREAT time!! After reading all the posts I was really even wondering about getting off the ship, everything read the most rude and pushy people encountered. We did the Reggae Baby Boat with the Dunn's River Falls and had an awesome time. We read that the shopping section at the top was full of very rude merchants, but you don't even have to go through the shopping section. Really we didn't find anyone to be too pushy at any locations we shopped at. Grand Cayman: It rained and we missed our beach break but RC did refund our excursion prices, we were looking forward to Seven Mile Beach!!! :( O'well we'll catch it next time. It cleared up some later and we did make it off the boat to do some shopping. Always a good stop! Cozumel: Last time we stopped here we only shopped so this time we wanted to hit the beach. We chose the Fiesta Baby Party Boat...WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT!!! This excursion went to Playa Mia Beach..it was quite a long ride there, the band on the boat SUCKED!! When we were about to the beach the director on the boat made the announcement that we wouldn't be able to get into the water because of crocodiles??? So we were able to look at the little shopping area and sit by a small pool...We were severely pissed (to put it mildly)we weren't pleased about paying 45$ per person to sit by a pool where we were leery about drinking the water or eating any food. All in all it was great...wonderful food and good entertainment. We recommend trying Chops and Johnny Rockets. The casino was finally good to us on the last day. My hubby hit a jackpot of $3750.00 which they said was the highest paid out that week. Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
This was our 4th Cruise on Royal Caribbean, and like the previous 3, it did not disappoint. We boarded the ship very easily, after a 4 hour drive from Orlando. The lines were very short and we were enjoying a buffet lunch by about 1:30. ... Read More
This was our 4th Cruise on Royal Caribbean, and like the previous 3, it did not disappoint. We boarded the ship very easily, after a 4 hour drive from Orlando. The lines were very short and we were enjoying a buffet lunch by about 1:30. We started off by exploring the ship for a bit after lunch. The ship is very nicely appointed, and all of the public areas contain such an awesome attention to detail. Of course, we sailed on the Explorer, so much was the same. One of the highlights was eating at Chops. All I can say is wow. The other dinners were very good, and I am quite a picky eater. Royal Caribbean is nice in that you can order room service and it comes quickly and still quite hot. After a day in port, it was nice to order room service while showering and getting cleaned up. The only issue is that we accidently got seated at late dinner, and it was a bit of an ordeal getting the seating changed. But we got a nice table for the four of us. This was our first time cruising with a balcony. It made the cruise nice, especially when all 4 of us were in the cabin (on those rare occasions). OF course, it is also nice to just relax out there and see the sights. The ports were nice. Labadee is a lot of fun, and we won a Thriller Power Boat ride for 2. That is a ton of tun! We went on our own in Ocho Rios and just walked around. I am not sure if I would do that our next time there though. Grand Cayman and Cozumel still remain my favorite ports of all time for shopping and snorkeling. The only disappointment was that the shopping guide was off the ship until after the 2nd port. To me that is one of the highlights, the first day shopping show. The information and personal service is second to none. Even if you aren't planning on doing a lot of shopping, they can help you. Disembarking was awesome. We requested early leave (just ask folks - they will accommodate you) and we were out of the garage by just after 8. It made it very nice. All in all this was another awesome cruise. Hats off to everyone. Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
Sailed in November of 2005 with my husband and 2 year old son. My Mom and Dad and my brother and his fiance. First of all the ship was beautiful. It was not worn down at all. Even our cabin was quite clean (and cleaner than most hotel ... Read More
Sailed in November of 2005 with my husband and 2 year old son. My Mom and Dad and my brother and his fiance. First of all the ship was beautiful. It was not worn down at all. Even our cabin was quite clean (and cleaner than most hotel rooms I've stayed at. My husband, son and I stayed in a Junior Suite, which was quite large. The closet was so big you could have fit another bed in it. My Mom and Brother stayed in a Superior Oceanview Room (with balcony). Was large enough for 2, but with our 2 year old we needed a little extra room for him to run around. It was great having a balcony. Ordered coffee in our room every morning and drank it on the balcony. So I have to say that the accommodations from everyone's perspective were just terrific. We were assigned a lovely oceanview table in the main dining room. The wait staff couldn't do more for us. As a matter of fact everyone on the ship was most accommodating. I've seen mixed reviews about the food. All I can say is that I never had a bad meal. Every meal was at least good and sometimes incredible. It is usually the luck of the draw on what you order. The great thing is that if you don't like what you ordered. Just order something else. They don't care. You could order 5 entrees if you want. We also ate at Johnny Rockets 1 day which was quite good and Chops Grille which was excellent. Never made it up to experience the midnight buffet. We actually got to look at it one night, but we thought it was mainly for show. Every dessert I had on the ship was truly outstanding (So whatever you do, don't miss dessert!) The only negatives we experienced were embarkation/debarkation. Both took forever. We almost missed our flight going home. At embarkation we were there very early with hundreds of other folks. My advice is to embark later. We saw people coming on board at 5:00 p.m. (no hassles). Also the ship is quite crowded and this is most noticeable at the pool area. Fighting for chairs a spot in the pool or hot tub. Just isn't my idea of fun. On the days you are at sea it is the worst because no one has anywhere else to go. I was feeling a bit trapped. When we got to Labadee it was the same thing on the island because everyone got off the boat and was fighting for chairs on the beach. It was too much for us so we got back on the ship and enjoyed a nice quiet day on the ship. Lunch in the main dining room that day was superb (better than what they were serving on the beach). And I got to relax at an empty pool. The other days you were in port, weren't bad at all because everyone leaves the ship and does their own thing. I think the excursion they had to offer were terrific. We enjoyed Dunn's Rivers Falls, and the Sting Ray Adventure. In Cozumel we hooked up with a cab driver that took us to timeshare place where we listened to a 60 minute presentation (said no at the end) and got to stay, eat and drink there all day for free. Probably the worst thing about the cruise is that it is not kid friendly for kids under 3 years of age. All of the kids programs are for kids 3 and up so my husband and I never got to share any time alone. We were always chasing after our 2 year old. Except a couple of evening when we hired a babysitter and went out to the lounges for a drink. (Stay away from the Cigar club! It was way too smokey. We enjoyed the cosmopolitan club where there was live music every night. The shops on board were nice and had some good sales going on different days of the week. You can usually get your best deals the last day of the cruise. All in all we had a great time, but wouldn't take another cruise until my son was at least 3 years old, so Mommy and Daddy could get some down time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2005
What can I say about Navigator of the Seas ,it was so beautiful I was in love with the ship from the moment I entered the ship it took me by surprise! Once I got settled in my room and went to the safety drill i went exploring and just ... Read More
What can I say about Navigator of the Seas ,it was so beautiful I was in love with the ship from the moment I entered the ship it took me by surprise! Once I got settled in my room and went to the safety drill i went exploring and just fell in love the Royal Promenade. Me and my sister and mother spent a lot of time in the Ixtapa lounge, played bingo listened to Karaoke. I even won a $500.00 art portrait at a raffle. I really had a great time and would definitely do this cruise again. I loved the staff -- they were just so warm and gracious. Although I did not swim or gamble in the casino I thought it was beautiful. There is so much to do on this monstrous ship I saw an ice show, of course the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers were dazzling to my eyes. The food was out of this world our waiter and his assistant were very polite and made sure everything was to our satisfaction every night. Was great with the teenagers that were traveling with us. And who can forget Johnny Rockets great chix sandwiches along with fries and onion rings to start all for 3.95 well worth it. I enjoyed their little 5 cent jukeboxes at the tables and every time somebody would play Staying Alive they would stop and dance for us very awesome! I enjoyed the dinner themes they had every night. And, our first stop was Labadee. Haiti was just so cool! I enjoyed Royal Caribbean's own private island. I saw some great dancing from the people there and i saw a fire eater could not believe my eyes. The other ports of call were Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Grand Cayman Island, BWI, and lastly Nassau. We took tours for all the other islands and learned a lot from the tour guides. The ocean was so beautiful. I stood on my balcony for a long time just looking out in the blue ocean waters morning, noon, night just an awesome view . i would get up early and start my day. I will never forget the showers in my stateroom was very clean and very spacious and I will never forget how comfortable i slept on those comfortable beds very soft. Embarkation took a long time one hour 10 minutes long but, well worth the wait. I will definitely suggest Navigator of the Seas again. Most of our money went to pictures that we purchased from the photo shop and buying things in the gift shops. I especially love to talk to people from all over the world. Read Less
Sail Date November 2005
This was a good cruise that could have been great with a few changes. EMBARKATION was pretty good, but mainly because we had a suite, and got to go through the special "suite line". No problems getting our luggage or getting to ... Read More
This was a good cruise that could have been great with a few changes. EMBARKATION was pretty good, but mainly because we had a suite, and got to go through the special "suite line". No problems getting our luggage or getting to our room. ROOM: Now...onto our room. We paid twice as much as many people to get an Aft Junior Suite. We were on deck 6. This was a complete and total waste of money. Do not get an aft balcony!!!! We basically had a balcony railing which was proceeded by about 20 feet of aft decking. We could not see the water from our balcony. We could not even take pictures because there were all sorts of wiring, support structures and flags. The room itself was nice, but was fairly noisy with engine noise, and had a shimmy from the engine/rutter. The bathroom was roomy and the walk-in closet was nice. We barely used the couch and chair area, and barely used the balcony for obvious reasons. There were pretty decent and new movies available on the TV. We enjoyed the ship weather channel which showed our location at all times (and showed hurricane Gamma trailing us!). Beds were comfortable, and had good reading lights. Do not use any drinks (soda) from the mini bar! They were $4.00 each - they were $1.25 on an Alaskan cruise I took in July 2005 on the same line. FOOD: Food in the dining room was pretty good. Nothing special. It was the exact same menu as Serenade of the Seas from July. Windjammer food is mediocre. Breakfast in the Windjammer was especially bad, and never changed. We ate breakfast in the dining room once, but my husband was pretty unhappy with having to sit with other people (we don't even talk to one another at breakfast). Our dinner table was set for six, but we only had one other couple the entire time. They were quite nice, but it would have been better to have more people to carry the conversation. We were on our honeymoon, and sometimes we just wanted to be alone. The first night, we were seated over 1/2 an hour late, and then ignored for another 20 minutes. The steak that is always available as an alternate selection is better than a lot of the steak they served as a main entree. My husband was quite annoyed by the constant waiter dances, and the fact that we and our culinary needs would be ignored for a good 29 minutes every time they did one. Our waiter was okay - not great. The head waiter only showed his face for trite conversation and his tip at the end. Note from my husband: Anyone who tends toward a problem with constipation, please take a fiber supplement. The food has NO FIBER. He is a Doctor, and recommends starting the supplement a week or two before leaving. Yes, he was bound up! Talk to your doctor prior to the trip. Oh, and if you go to Jamaica, go to Breezes resort and get the Jerk Chicken....it was to die for!!!! If you are into the shows, the first seating would be better (we are not). We went to the ice skating show, and thoroughly enjoyed the "hula-hoop girl." PORTS: Not much to say - it rained a lot!!! HAITI: It poured down rain. Once it stopped raining we decided to go over for lunch, and waited 1/2 an hour for a tender. Once we got there, no one was serving food. Avoid the market if you don't want to be harassed!!! The beach is beautiful. JAMAICA: It rained again. We went to Breezes and had a blast. Good food and good drinks. The bus ride to get there was pretty long (about 40 min). GRAND CAYMAN: It didn't rain, but was very windy. Very beautiful beaches with good and fine sand. We went to 7-mile beach (took a cab) for very little money. We had a really nice time. The water is very clear and beautiful. BAHAMAS: Our best day for weather. We took a carriage ride around town, and walked to a nearby beach. The town is clean and safe. Other people we talked to recommended Paradise Island. Our dinner companions recommend: Swimming with Stingrays in Cayman; Duns River Falls in Jamaica and Waverunner on Haiti. They did begin to voice some concerns about what they had spent toward the end of the trip. We were highly annoyed by the ship photographers who would block the gangways when we attempted to disembark at the ports. Very irritating!!!! SHIP: It's very beautiful and clean. We were unhappy one night with the situation with the hot tubs - there were 5 total, and all were closed but the two smallest (for "Cleaning" - no one was cleaning). The two remaining open were packed full with about 20 teenagers in each. We did enjoy the hot tubs in the solarium during the day, but we did have poor weather and heavy winds. To get some private time, go to the highest deck behind the bar which was deserted (even when everything was full). We very much enjoyed the art auctions, but spend almost $1,000. DISEMBARKATION: We easily made our 11:00 AM flight. We were to the airport in time to try to get onto a 9:30 flight, but it was full. We flew out of Fort Lauderdale. Overall we had a good time - not a great time. Next time we would opt for a 4-day cruise. We were ready to go home by Tuesday. Recommended if you can get a good deal or a bargain price!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2005
First let me just say that this was my fourth cruise and DH's third cruise. We have been on Carnival and RCCL in the past and I've sailed an old line called Commodore back in the late '80s. DH is 37 and I am 36. We have no ... Read More
First let me just say that this was my fourth cruise and DH's third cruise. We have been on Carnival and RCCL in the past and I've sailed an old line called Commodore back in the late '80s. DH is 37 and I am 36. We have no children. I am disabled (wheelchair) so we always get a wheelchair accessible cabin. Embarkation: Slower than last year when we got on Explorer. This time there was some type of slowdown due to Customs so we wound up waiting awhile to board the ship. Also, last year, they moved my husband and I to another line due to the wheelchair. It was a special lower desk that was specially done for wheelchairs. This time we weren't moved and I barely could see over the desk to talk to the agent once we got to the front of the line. Not sure why they weren't using the other desk at all. Cabin: 7600 is a handicapped accessible cabin and seemed slightly bigger than 7604 on Explorer. It seemed wider, but that could have been my imagination. The cabin is very nice. One word of caution, the sliding door to the balcony has this strange little platform that has to drop down in order to wheel out of the room. It doesn't drop on it's own so you do have to push it with your foot or something else in order to get outside. My husband who is not handicapped nearly tripped over the little metal thing several times. It seems more dangerous than anything else. The bathroom is great for a wheelchair, plenty of room to turn around and maneuver. Ship: Very beautiful, however, I do think the artwork on Explorer was better. However, I really do think this ship is a bit prettier than Explorer in the long run. The Promenade is always hopping and is really an amazing marvel of ship building. It really does feel like you are sitting on a street in Paris or something while you are actually in the middle of the ocean. WindJammer is also much nicer on this ship. I love the way the stations are set up. It made getting around much easier. One word of caution for wheelchair users: the carpet on these ships is very hard to wheel on. I'm not sure what the issue is but it can be a real bear to push the chair on and I recommend if you have to cross the ship from end to end to do it on a level that doesn't have the carpet -- Promenade, Pool deck, Sun Deck, etc. That made it a lot easier for me and I'm used to pushing my chair a lot. This carpet is just not good wheelchair carpet. Staff: Mainly wonderful. I really enjoyed our stateroom attendant, Martin. He was always around (when does that poor guy sleep???) and seemed to really want our stay to be wonderful. The waiter in the dining room was nice, however I never felt as connected to him as I have with waiters in the past. Not sure if that was just a personality issue or something else. The excursions people are not terribly helpful. They really have no clue about accessibility and tours and make very little effort (on the ship or via the 800 number) to find information out about tours. They also give a lot of conflicting information. Someone needs to seriously work on getting accessible tour information with RCCL. If I lived in Miami, I'd be applying to work for them as an accessibility mentor. They need it. Food: Okay. Not wonderful but not horrible either. I really think the food last year on Explorer was better. But I didn't gain a lot of weight this time so maybe it is a good thing the food wasn't that spectacular. Chops and Portofino was wonderful. I wouldn't hesitate to spend the $$ and go there again. And I recommend both places equally, however, the hubby recommends Portofino higher. We got the Wine and Dine package for 5 days (Platinum) and really enjoyed it. It's a great way to get wine if you aren't a total wine snob. We aren't and we had a good time picking out different wines. Islands: Labadee is nice, pretty and has a nice beach wheelchair service to get handicapped people to and from the beach. It's a beach... nothing more. Other than that, I wasn't impressed with any of the islands. I will not be sailing Western Caribbean again anytime soon. I really enjoy eastern better, and find the islands more accessible. Disembarkation: Okay. Slow but okay. Not nearly as bad as Carnival however. That was a horrid way to end a trip. This was just kind of slow. All in all, it's a beautiful ship and I wouldn't hesitate to sail RCCL again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2005
NAVIGATOR OF THE SEAS East Caribbean Cruise December 3 - 10, 2005 By Mary & Vincent Finelli This was our return to Royal Caribbean International (RCI) Navigator of the Seas; we first sailed on her in 2003. At that time, we published ... Read More
NAVIGATOR OF THE SEAS East Caribbean Cruise December 3 - 10, 2005 By Mary & Vincent Finelli This was our return to Royal Caribbean International (RCI) Navigator of the Seas; we first sailed on her in 2003. At that time, we published a review detailing her many amenities and the beauty of this Voyager Class ship. Then the Navigator held the title "Largest Cruise Ship" in the world. When the Cunard Queen Mary II was launched in 2004, she took the title with a record 150,000 tons. RCI will again hold that title in May 2006, with the launching of the Freedom of the Seas, soon to become the largest cruise liner afloat at 158,000 tons. We were happy to see Captain Leif Otto Bang still in command, and to receive such a warm welcome back by both him and Hotel Director Richard Nentwich. This review will center on Gold Anchor Service, since we have already detailed the Navigator's beauty and decorations in the 2003 review. The elegant three deck dining room, with an enormous chandelier, is resplendent in nautical navy blue, maroon and brass decor providing a beautiful setting for an entertaining cruise. The Navigator was decorated with hundreds of live poinsettia plants, trimmed Christmas Trees and then festooned with bows galore. These natural and classic holiday decorations were much appreciated by the passengers. EMBARKATION -- The port of Miami is easily accessed; however, to embark approximately 3,500 passengers (and all their luggage) in less than four hours could be a logistical nightmare. RCI is up to the task and once security had concluded its work, then the lines moved along quickly. Boarding time is 2:00pm and we were on board and assisted to our stateroom in about thirty minutes. Recent US federal cut backs to the number of security personnel has made the process slower all around. There is a specific check-in counter for Crown & Anchor Diamond members and passengers on wheelchairs which makes boarding very quick. We checked our Dining Room reservations -- a table for two near the entrance to the Coppelia Dining Room -- perfect! It is better to do this soon after boarding, in order to avoid waiting in line at dinner time. All set, we went to the very crowded Windjammer Cafe' for the welcome aboard buffet. This is probably the only time that it is so busy, because so many hungry passengers descend on it simultaneously. There were many staff who helped with the seating, trays and beverages; even so, we usually avoid the buffet because of the wheelchair. Yet, many Americans love a buffet and some even avoid the dining rooms altogether, not us. We enjoy the exquisite dinners and service provided in the dining room as do so many other passengers. This is what makes cruising so much fun. Cruisers can enjoy the ship or exotic ports in the daytime, and then in the evening come together at dinner and talk about their adventures of the day. THE SHIP -- The Navigator is a 138,000 gross tonnage, 650 million dollar wonder with 1,557 staterooms which can accommodate 3,835 passengers -- on this cruise there were 3,600 and a crew of 1,256. Her length is 1,020 ft., beam is 157.5 ft. and her draft is only 29 ft. All this and a cruising speed of 22 knots. The purser's desk provides a handy ship's deck plan, which folds to a neat playing card size. The Voyager Class ships, the Voyager (1999), Explorer (2000), Adventure (2001), Navigator (2002) and Mariner (2003) all have the distinctive feature of the Royal Promenade. This city street within the ship is almost 400 ft long and four decks tall. There are cabins overlooking the mall of boutiques, cafes and pubs. It is the center of action and the place to stroll, window shop or just sit and have a coffee or an ice cream. (See our 2003 review for a deck by deck description of the Navigator's 15 decks). The other unique features are the ice skating rink (the site of Olympic quality skating shows) and the rock climbing wall. The Navigator is just as lovely as when we first sailed on her three years ago. Mr. Nentwich keeps her pristine! FOOD & SERVICE -- Service is labeled "Gold Anchor Service" and when things go well as they do on the Navigator ---- we have only praise and no complaints. When passenger needs are anticipated and met, then it is smooth sailing. Loyalty ambassador Cindy Dangel provides special assistance for Crown & Anchor Members and information on future cruise savings. There is also Concierge Patricia Isaacs, who can provide assistance to all your needs with speed and grace. She is lovely. The Navigator's elegant three tier dining room forms an exquisite dining setting with its slender, tall white columns, and intricate double curving staircase framing its enormous central chandelier with matching round crystal chandeliers throughout the dining room ---- Magnificent. Service in the dining room is top notch. The Head Waiter Ali Matjani was efficient and our Waiter James D'Sa (India) and his Assistant Nikola Vucetic (Croatia) were very cordial and made our evenings truly enjoyable. Food on RCI is very good and aimed toward the American palate. The menus have been downsized literally. There are fewer offerings, but better varied. The "Always Available" section covers fish, fowl and beef. We had a long talk with the new Executive Chef Johan Petutschnig (Austria), who was scheduled to take over the following week. We discussed the large portions and the many food venues. On board are Johnny Rockets, two upscale restaurants, bars, ice cream shops etc. The crew on this ship is very approachable, well mannered, and efficient. Specialty dining in the Portofino and Chops Grille is excellent ($20 per person dining fee). The first evening there was a Murder Mystery Dinner, a fun/dinner show with audience participation. Dinner with Captain and Mrs. Bang was our dining highlight. Fine food, fine conversation and a dessert to remember: "Captain's Delight" which is a goblet filled with wild berries (strawberries, blue berries, raspberries, and black berries) topped with freshly made ice cream. It was a night that ended with the dining room staff singing and dancing for the passengers. The Gold Anchor Service is most evident in the special attention given to the repeat cruisers: Concierge service, Welcome Back Cocktail Parties with the ranking crew; booklets of coupons which include the following: Free drinks and commemorative glasses; Casino Credits; discounts in the shops on board; Free Internet time; Free Personal Photographs, etc. We are always amazed that ship personnel make a special effort to call us by our names. In short, RCI makes cruisers feel welcome as no other line does. Of course cordiality works both ways; whenever a cruiser has a concern and directs it to us, we always inform them of the proper person to go to for assistance. A problem with the cabin should be directed to the Housekeeper; a problem in the dining room should be discussed with the Maitre D' and so forth. The crew is there to give passengers an excellent vacation, and we commend them on their excellent job. Whenever a passenger needs assistance, a simple phone call down to the Passenger Service Desk will bring immediate help. CABIN -- Wheelchair accessible Stateroom #6600 has a small foyer, and when entering on the left is the huge bathroom with a nice size mirrored medicine cabinet, and a large 5'x5' shower with safety rails all around. Then, there is an upholstered arm chair and a matching sofa in teal and gold, and a glass coffee table. There is also a TV, private safe, refrigerator, and a desk/vanity with lighted mirror and drawers. When entering on the right is a triple armoire (ample room and shelves), a queen size bed with a teal suede head board, and two night stands with reading lamps. The far wall is all windows with blackout draperies in a foliage and stripe print of teal and gold which matches the bed linens and the carpeting. There are two prints of exotic orchids on the walls. The wood is all light pine; the total effect is very pretty, cool and restful. ENTERTAINMENT -- Cruise Director Ken Rush is a seasoned (20 years in the cruise industry) M. C., who knows how to warm up an audience and present a show. Good laughs and excellent shows are the hallmark of RCI. The singers and dancers did Broadway style shows and Judy Kolba was a standout headliner: comedy, costumes, and a voice that "shook the rafters," all brought the entire audience to its feet, a standing ovation. It follows that the largest ships have the most to offer in entertainment; yet, there is plenty of room for quiet, or private times. Strolling the Promenade Deck, we watched a young couple play shuffleboard. We watched sail away from the Cosmopolitan Club on Deck 14, and it was serene, way above the merry sail away party on Deck 12. In the mornings, we picked up the daily newspapers in English, French, Spanish, Italian and German. We took them up to the 19th Hole Sports Bar and compared the slant on the news from country to country. Diamond members of the Crown & Anchor Society (10 or more cruises on RCI ships) and passengers in suites may enjoy cocktails and canapEs in the Concierge Lounge on Deck 9. This is a nice way to meet fellow passengers. The crown jewel of entertainment on board is the Ice Skating show "Ice Dancin" with Dance Captain Danny, who was excellent. We wish that show programs were still given out to the audience as at prior shows. It would be nice to know the skaters by name and country of origin. The quality is near Olympic level and the choreography was beautiful. Lots to see and do on board, including Casino gaming and Bingo, mini golf, rock climbing, skating, inline skating, ping pong, basket ball, dancing, movies, etc. PORTS OF CALL Day 1. Miami -- Set sail at 5:00pm. Day 2. At Sea Day 3. San Juan, Puerto Rico -- Arrive 2:00pm Depart 10:00pm Entering San Juan is one of the prettiest sights with the view of the two forts dating back to the 1500s: La Fortaleza and El Morro. This island has everything from rain forest to shopping. Day 4. St. Thomas, USVI -- Arrive 8:00am Depart 6:00pm Nicknamed a "Shoppers' Haven," it is especially great for linens, and its Danish influence is still apparent. Day 5. St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles -- Arrive 8:00am Depart 5:00pm This tiny island is divided into two sovereign powers: Dutch & French which have co-existed for 350 years. The ship guarantees more than twenty shops on the island and any purchase may be questioned within thirty days of the sale date. Take an island tour up to Mount Concordia, the view is lovely. Day 6. At Sea Day 7. Nassau, Bahamas Arrive 1:00pm Depart 7:00pm -- The capital of the Bahamas is connected with a bridge to Paradise Island, where Atlantis is located. This resort hotel offers some of the most interesting sites in the Bahamas, such as beautiful beaches, a nice water park and a spectacular aquarium, the best we have ever seen anywhere. Day 8. Miami Disembark 7:00am SUGGESTIONS -- Longer lines during embarkation have become more tedious and wearisome due to the security clearance (recently the federal government reduced the number of security agents). However, we feel the situation can be definitely improved with better coordination and timing of the security personnel in screening the passengers. We noticed on this cruise that the screening process did not start until after 1:00pm, much later than usual, and the lines grew longer and a bit restless by the time we started boarding the ship. This was a great cruise and RCI remains for us one of our favorite lines. We have accumulated thirty cruise credits with RCI and plan to do many more cruises in the future. Now we have booked one on the new Freedom of the Seas for October, but we'll be booking more cruises before October. This month we are going on the Costa Magica (Jan. 8th) and on Carnival Liberty (Jan. 29th). We have not yet booked any cruises for the coming Spring and Summer, but we'll do it soon, before Vincent gets cruise withdrawal symptoms. Happy Cruising! Read Less
Sail Date December 2005
Fantastic! After spending 7 nights aboard this wonderful ship and now back home I would be hard pressed to find anything negative to say abound my trip. The Navigator of the Seas itself is such a beautiful ship. When we would enter into ... Read More
Fantastic! After spending 7 nights aboard this wonderful ship and now back home I would be hard pressed to find anything negative to say abound my trip. The Navigator of the Seas itself is such a beautiful ship. When we would enter into ports of call, you could look at the other ships docked or tethered there and there was no comparison. From its upper level decks to its row after row of balconied staterooms, passengers on other ships we pulled along side must have felt cheated about their vacation package. But that's only the beginning; From the Olympic class skaters at the ice dancing show to the dancers and singers at there broadway style shows and musicians entertainment was just superb. But saving the best for last, it was the crew and staff aboard that this cruise that made it so memorable. Such a wonderful mix of people from all nationalities, always friendly, cheerful, willing to help,they made you feel special. From day one even up til 6:30 A.M saturday when we were getting ready to depart the ship they were just great. Royal Caribbean; you must have searched the world over for the best of the best and put them aboard this ship. Would I sail again with this bunch? In a heartbeat! Read Less
Sail Date December 2005
Navigator of the Seas Sail Date: 12/03/2005 Eastern Caribbean Ports of Call: Miami, San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Nassau Pre Stay: Arrived in Miami on Friday 12/02 and stayed at the Marriott Biscayne Bay. This has become my ... Read More
Navigator of the Seas Sail Date: 12/03/2005 Eastern Caribbean Ports of Call: Miami, San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Nassau Pre Stay: Arrived in Miami on Friday 12/02 and stayed at the Marriott Biscayne Bay. This has become my favorite hotel for a cruise pre stay when leaving out of Miami. The hotel has rooms with great views of the port of Miami and the ships. Make sure that you ask for a room overlooking the port when you reserve. This hotel is close to Bayside Marketplace but is not within safe walking distance due to major construction going on near the hotel. Take a taxi to Bayside. The hotel does have several restaurants with one being a sport bar with a very limited menu. They do offer a shuttle to the port but I believe that there is a charge. Embarkation: First I should mention that this was my second cruise on this ship. The first time was the same week last year. Embarkation still has some issues but I feel that it has more to do with Immigration and Custom officials than the cruise line. Our ship did not clear until 12:30 and then boarding started. The Chairmans Club which is the room used for checking in Platinum, Diamond and suite passengers could not handle the amount of passengers trying to use this facility. RCI really needs to look at this as it was a fiasco. Ship: Still the best looking ship that I have cruised to date and this was cruise #27. RCI does a great job in keeping their ships clean and well maintained IMHO. The Navigator is now three years old but looked as though she was a brand new vessel. There was always crew cleaning all around the ship. Captain Bang obviously takes great pride in his vessel and it shows with rest of the crew. The only negative about this ship is the elevators. I try to use the stairs most of the time but when I do have to use the elevator I would not like to wait forever to get the use of one. They seemed to have a quirk in the way that they operated and would pass right past your deck on the way up or down. Very annoying. Cabin: We had cabin #1394 which is a Junior Suite on deck 10 aft. We had the sister cabin next door last year. IMHO these two cabins are outstanding. The cabin itself is a nice size room with plenty of storage area. The bathroom has a full size bathtub which made showering much easier. There were bottles of shampoo, lotion, body wash, Q-tips, cotton balls, lip balm and shower caps in the bathroom. The balcony in this cabin is very nice. I would estimate that it measured around 15x15. If you want sun then this is not the cabin for you as it is totally covered. At no time did I hear any noise from the Windjammer above. Crew and Service: This is the main reason that I cruise with RCI. I have noticed with my six cruises on RCI that there is a big difference in the level of service received. The crew on this ship goes out of their way to make one feel welcome. They seem happy to be there and it shows in their actions. Everyone that I passed spoke with a smile. Our room steward Ernesto was one of the best that I have seen. The crew definitely makes a difference. Food: I am not big on food as I have yet to go hungry on a cruise. I feel that the food that I had was consistently good. The Windjammer offers plenty of selections for anyone wanting a casual dining experience. Glad to see that RCI has rules against bare feet, no shirts and wet swimsuits in the Windjammer. Room service was used several times and each time the order arrived promptly and with the correct order. Ate at Johnny Rockets several times and the burgers were great. Again, no problems with any of the food. Entertainment: Went to both major production shows. The same as last year but this year the four main singers seemed much stronger. Went to one show that seemed to be geared for the more mature crowd and I found him boring. Did not make it to any other shows. Spent more time in the casino which was pretty good to me all week. Passengers: The passenger make up of this cruise was more of a mature(older) crowd. We had several condo groups on board from south Florida and the infamous Mah Jonng group. If I never see this one particular group again I will consider myself a very lucky person. You have to experience this group to know what Im talking about. Rude is the first thing that comes to mind with this group. Warning that they will be back aboard the Navigator same week next year. Ports of Call: We had been to all of these ports of call many times so we made no particular plans for any island. Just decided to relax and walk around this time. In San Juan, stopped at a small bar in front of the Sheraton and had a few drinks and people watched. Then on to the Hard Rock for dinner which was very good. Glad to see that the HR has reopened in San Juan after the fire. St. Thomas: Took our time in getting off of the ship and headed downtown to walk around and then to the Green House for lunch. A great place to eat with nice views of the ships. By noon it does get busy. After lunch on to Paradise Point for a relaxing view of the Havensight area and a couple of Bushwackers. If you havent had a Bushwacker then you are missing a great drink. St. Maarten: Again took our time leaving the ship to let the crowds thin out. Took the water taxi to town. I cannot believe the change in one year with the new boardwalk and the total rejuvenation of Old/Front Street. Phillipsburg is really doing a great job with the area. This is my favorite island by far. Had lunch at the Pasagrahan Guest House on the boardwalk. Great food, service and the view of the beach is very nice. A local was set up just outside of the house playing steel drums which added to the tropical feel of the place. After lunch we took time walking around downtown and then back to the ship. Nassau: Walked down to the Hard Rock for a drink and then walked around and looked at the other ships in port. Went back to the ship, grabbed a drink and watched the sunset over Nassau. Just a nice relaxing day doing mostly nothing, which was the main reason for this cruise. Debarkation: We had white tags due to being Platinum C&A. We were at the meeting area at 6:55 and walking off of the ship at 7:00. It did take over 30 minutes to get our luggage as there were many white tags. Overall a very easy debarkation. Love those past guest benefits that RCI offers. This was a great cruise all the way around. I really have no major complaints. RCI continues to win me over with each cruise. I am now booked on the Jewel for 06 and am looking forward to trying a Radiance class ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2005
This was our fourth cruise (2nd with RCI) and our first outside of hurricane season!! Embarkation was relatively painless. We didn't encounter anything out of the ordinary. We found our cabin right away and were satisfied with it. ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise (2nd with RCI) and our first outside of hurricane season!! Embarkation was relatively painless. We didn't encounter anything out of the ordinary. We found our cabin right away and were satisfied with it. It was a bit on the small side (our cabin on Princess was a similar category but much bigger) but adequate. Embarkation day was chilly. Some people were brave and laid out by the pools, but most had towels wrapped around them! We checked out the Promenade and loved it! It's just like a mini-mall in the middle of a huge ship! We immediately purchased the soda card and a wine package (my husband loves the reds). We were seated at the main seating (6PM) at a table for 4. Initially we were disappointed as we would like to have sat with more people, but the couple we were seated with turned out to be great and we got along just fine. We ate one night at Portofino's. The food was OK, but not fabulous. I think I was too full from all the food I had already eaten that day! Was it worth $20 per, I don't really think so. We didn't get to Johnny Rockets as they were never open when we went to check it out. Ben and Jerry's was great...we visited them a couple times! One cool thing that happened was we were invited to sit at the Captain's table! As we walked into the dining room, the head waiter asked if we'd like to sit with the captain...I guess they were looking for a "nice" couple. We did and it was very interesting. It was his last cruise before going on leave and his wife and son were also at the table. I am a dog person and quickly found out that they were too. It was an awesome experience! As for the ports/sea days... The first day at sea we checked out the rock wall and the mini-golf. The staff at the rock wall were great. I even rang the bell at the top! :) Mini golf was challenging because it was so windy, but not too bad. The Windjammer had wonderful food, but seating was a challenge. We ended up sitting on the higher bar stools most of the time. We attended the free wine tasting and the art auction. We bought a couple pieces at some pretty decent prices (I think!). Our first port was Labadee and it was OK. Again the day was somewhat chilly and it rained a bit. We got some chairs and laid out on the beach. The food they had for lunch was great and the drinks were fabulous! Jamaica was the next day and we were somewhat disappointed as we were to dive there, but the conditions were too choppy so they canceled our dive. Instead, we got a taxi driver and he showed us around the island. We ended up at Dunn's River Falls which was pretty cool. We finished our day shopping near the port. Cayman was next and it's gorgeous as usual. We spent our time in the water (diving) so didn't see much of the island. We had seen it on a previous cruise however. Cozumel was next and WOW...what a shock. We were there a couple years ago and it was lush, green and beautiful. Now...wow. The trees have been stripped and the devastation is visible. It's so sad. Again, we spent our time diving, but you could see the devastation clearly from the ship. Our last day at sea we spent out by the pool, drinking, playing Bingo and enjoying ourselves. Debarkation was stressful at best. The lines were long and we were told we probably wouldn't make our flight. Luckily, we were able to get through somehow and made our flight with minutes to spare. All in all, we'll be back! We love RCI for their great service (cabin stewards were wonderful...waiters were fantastic) and food. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
My husband and I just got back from our Western Caribbean cruise aboard the Navigator of the seas. This was our third sailing with RCCL and our first cruise aboard a Voyager class ship. The cruise left from the pier at Miami, Fl. The ... Read More
My husband and I just got back from our Western Caribbean cruise aboard the Navigator of the seas. This was our third sailing with RCCL and our first cruise aboard a Voyager class ship. The cruise left from the pier at Miami, Fl. The check in process ran rather smooth as we had already registered online before we left. They separate the lines by cabin deck. They issue your seapass and then you are on your way to board the ship. They take your picture before you board. Our cabin was 9620 which was a balcony stateroom which was situated at a great location which is just at the top of the stairs and behind the lifts. We were unable to have access to our staterooms before 1pm but we stopped by to drop off our bags because we were sick of lugging them around. You never had to worry about food because it really was everywhere. We were a bit let down by this cruise as it is very apparent that RCCL is cutting some quality corners. The food was not as good. The menu not as exotic. For example they use to have a chef prepare your omelette to order right in front of you. You could tell them to put in more of this or that and control the amount of oil they use. You still could get a cooked to order omelette but you had no control over it. They just weren't as good. The Johnny Rockets onboard is really a joke. They charge a $3.95 cover charge just to eat at a burger joint. The food is included but any beverage you get aside from the water you must pay for and it has a 15% gratuity. On the other ships we were on there was a burger place in that same location that was open late so you could always get burgers and other types of sandwiches and iced tea which is still FREE. So late night you don't have the option of a free place to go for drinks. There basically isn't anywhere you can get and iced tea after 9pm when the Windjammer closes. Unless you order room service which is a pain because you are out doing things. At no time is there any shortage of booze pushers. So if you like to drink you will have no problem finding anything because they cater to this sort of thing because it makes them big money. I'd hate to see some of the tabs at the end of the cruise! Since RCCL started charging $20 for a lost towel there is no longer a problem of people saving deck chairs. They come around and remove belongings if the person is gone more than a half hour and you could feel free to do the same. There are plenty of large hot tubs on this ship. There are two in the solarium that kids under 16 can not be in, same for the pool. So if you are looking to escape the kids on board than that is the place for you. The activities on board were way less than I have ever seen before! This was odd because the ship is larger so I expected more activities. they didn't have many exercise classes and many of them they did have like spinning and Fitball all had a $10 charge. There were not many opportunities to earn shipshape dollars. You can earn these dollars with activities and cash them in on t shirts and other swag... there just wasn't many ways to earn them. The spa, as usual, was great. they have many services to choose from and the two massages and facial I had were great. they do try to sell you very expensive products but you don't need to buy them. One benefit is if you do you won't pay tax. The gym is full of great equipment. I was in there quite a bit and I never saw anybody waiting for a bike or elliptical. They have weights and machines and you could get a personal trainer if you wanted. Our dinner seating was the main seating which was at 6pm. We sat at a large table. Our table mates were wonderful people probably the best we ever had the chance to meet! The dinner selections were okay. There wasn't anything real exciting except for the lobster on the second formal night and yes you can ask for as many as you want. You could eat lobster till you pop if you want. You could ask on the first night to be served shrimp cocktail each night of the cruise and they will do it for you. The waiters as usual are excellent! I saw a little too much pasta on the menu. Heck you can make that at home for pennies a serving. I just expected more than the average fare. The best dessert they could ever make in my opinion is the flourless chocolate cake and they had it all right but in a tiny portion the size of a silver dollar! What a cut back. My husband and I and our friends that we were traveling with were celebrating our anniversaries. When we made the reservation for the cruise over a year ago I told them this and we wanted to celebrate each of the formal nights. On previous cruises they gave you a small cake and sang happy anniversary to you. We were informed on the cruise that they don't do that anymore unless you pay $8 a cake. What a let down. The nickle and diming was really a pain. We didn't eat in the chops grille or the Portofino's because they charge a $20 pp cover fee. The shows were very good but our table mates were on this ship last year and they said they were exactly the same so they don't change them around too much. The ice show was a pleasant surprise to me. I didn't expect much of it but it was really very good. Our cabin attendant was very good! He made sure we had ice in the ice bucket and our bed was turned down and we had some nice towel animals. The ports of call were very nice except for the private island Labadee. I will make sure whatever cruises we take in the future don't include this stop. RCCL bills this as it's private island. It really isn't an island. It is the tip of Haiti and is walled off from the rest of the island. There is a beach and water sports to do. The sports are all for a fee. They expect you to go ashore because they pretty much shut the ship down. They serve a bbq lunch on the island and the Windjammer is closed. The BBQ is basically hamburgers and hot dogs. They have a market there with locals selling their wares but they are very pushy so be prepared. We heard many people say they didn't buy anything because they were just pushed too much and wanted to get away. We did the kayak tour offered and it was great fun. We did land on a beach as part of the tour and we were not warned in advance that the people that were helping us ashore were not cruise crew but they were locals who wanted to sell us things. They all had matching shirts like the crew. They pull you by the arm and tell you "I helped you, now you help me". It would have been nice to be forewarned. We didn't have any cash on us anyway since we were doing this excursion and were on the "private island" we thought the seapass (which is your ID and payment form) would be enough. Jamaica was probably the best port. I had been there years ago and didn't expect much but it was the highlight of the cruise. We did a biking trip with Chukka Cove. I highly recommend them. the guides were friendly, knowledgeable and funny. Cozumel was just okay. since it was hit so hard from the hurricane they are rebuilding. Shopping was good there. Grand Cayman was good too. the snorkeling was the best that I ever experienced. We did feel like we were being nickled and dimed a bit with cover charges for this and that which was a draw back but it was still a good value. Hopefully the cruise lines will do more to bring back what they have been phasing out. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
Great ship with lots of great things to discover and explore. First we found out that RCI's fast check-in with online pre-registration only is fast if you are American. As Europeans after regular check-in we had to wait about 40 ... Read More
Great ship with lots of great things to discover and explore. First we found out that RCI's fast check-in with online pre-registration only is fast if you are American. As Europeans after regular check-in we had to wait about 40 minutes to pass some homeland security thing (haven't seen this on our last US-based cruise with Norwegian Dawn last summer). Cabin was spacious and in good shape (deck seven superior balcony forward). Actually not to much room for the luggage and clothes. Bathroom was spacious too but way to few space for a women's toilet bag. Cabin steward was extremely forgetful (I only got an ashtray for the balcony after asking THREE times) - she also messed some toilet things of my partner. But at least the cabin was always very clean. Otherwise service was really great and most of the food exceeded my expectations ("how can they cook meals for some 4000 guests without to much precooking?") Best buffet I saw on a large ship until now. So far a great cruise... but: Tendering is really LOUSY! In Georgetown it took us 45 minutes to tender (without waiting time in the theater and no rough sea). This was ridiculous. On the ship itself you never noticed to much that there are so many people on board. But while tendering you always were reminded of the ships size. The shore excursions were mediocre at best. One even was cancelled without telling us in advance (of course 100% refunded). The really bad thing was that RCI decided not to call Labadee (our first "port"). Because of the election in Haiti. But why RCI only came up with this in the late afternoon the day before? It was known since weeks by then that the elections will be on that date and that these elections go with a certain risk (at least a read this in a international newspaper some 5 odor 6 weeks before and the also read some risk analysis that all warned to go to Haiti right before or after the elections. Those guys at RCI do not seem to read newspapers or simply ignored the actual risk status several agencies had declared. RCI had lousy case management in this respect. Great ship, great crew, great cruise but in those short moments mentioned above the people in charge on the Navigator reminded me of a Dinosaur: very big with extremely small brain. But as I think this was a singular event I look forward to cruise with RCI again (as soon as I will loose that new kilograms around my belly). Read Less
Sail Date February 2006
Check-in at 2pm went smooth, all our forms were pre-filled online. The terminal was spacious, so there was a bit of walking involved, but the lines were not overly long and cookies and lemonade were available to ease the wait. This was a ... Read More
Check-in at 2pm went smooth, all our forms were pre-filled online. The terminal was spacious, so there was a bit of walking involved, but the lines were not overly long and cookies and lemonade were available to ease the wait. This was a preview of things to come, as this was the main drink available throughout the cruise. After a short wait at the busy elevators, we were at our cabins by 3pm and the luggage started to arrive. Most of it almost immediately, and the last one later on that evening. We headed to the Windjammer for a buffet snack before venturing onto the deck for a great view of Miami during our departure. Jade is basically the first part of the buffet, which continues as Windjammer just ahead and has slightly different choices, in somewhat oriental style. It offers sushi after 6:30 pm, but mainly California rolls, the only fish available is salmon and that is in low supply. The Windjammer is perfectly positioned on deck 11 at the back of the ship, offering a beautiful view. The buffet has many great choices, from hot dogs to breaded fish and pasta. After a week the selection starts to feel the same, though, as it is mainly the sauces that change. The omni present ribs were a real treat. The drinks available without additional charge were water, lemonade, fruit punch iced tea and, of course, coffee and tea. Orange juice was available at breakfast. This made the pop card redundant, especially at over $40 per person. Another thing that makes the Windjammer an ideal place to eat is its location on the same deck and adjacent to the pool. The pool area. There was a live Caribbean band playing during much of the day. It was definitely one of the best caribbean bands I have ever heard. Too bad the music did not last into the evening. The speakers were turned real high, so we caught refuge on the upper decks. I was glad to discover that there were some very quiet spots on the uppermost deck for sun tanning. That is unless the announcement came on. Everyone has very suddenly realized just how efficient the speaker overhead is when the announcer yelled  Its Bingo time!. The crew hasnt pick up on this problem yet. Dinner was at the main dining room which spans three floors. We were very lucky to have a table right by the window. The staff and their service was impeccable and the food was a real culinary experience, with a different theme every day. The piano accompaniment added an elegant touch. The desserts were really hard to choose from, so very often we had to try more than one. The shuffle is not to be missed, as was the low fat berry mouse. Dont discount the low fat options as just an alternative, they often top the other desserts. Aside from about four main selections, there always were about five alternative ones. The pastas were just amazing, whether as a main selection or as an alternative. I found the cabins to be fairly small but efficient. If we didnt have to pay full price for the baby, we would have likely reserved a window cabin. I dont understand the logic of charging full price for a little child which eats practically nothing and uses no services, yet seniors do get a discount. I think that this is one thing that may keep us away from more cruises, unless we can find a company which is more forthcoming in accommodating infants. The Promenade on deck five is the center of the ship, analogous to a center square of a town. Here one can visit the wine bar, the cafe or the Two Poets Pub. The customer services and the Champagne bar are also here, at he back of the deck. It is also a convenient walkway to take over the fourth and third deck, which are split in half by Studio B (deck 3) and the Casino (deck 4). Decks three and four have entrances to the theater and the Dungeon at one end and dining room at the other. In order to walk to the theater from the dining room, one has to push throughout the crowded casino on deck four or bypass tea studio B on deck three, so going through the Promenade on deck five is definitely a more pleasant option. Cafe Promenade. After the Windjammer closes around 9pm, this is pretty much the only place to get snacks. The fare consists of two or three types of sandwiches and as many types of sweets, not counting the cookies. There is a self serve coffee and tea station and water available. I have periodically ventured here to get milk for the baby, but they do run out of the small cartons of milk and only on one occasion did they actually have regular milk, the rest of the time we either remembered to get milk at breakfast and store it in our cabins fridge or she had to be content with skim milk. The Two Poets Pub. Very nicely decorated, not very large, yet not often crowded. Drinks are around $5 (beer) and up. Note that your bill already includes a 15% gratuity, which is easily overlooked, as there is a line for additional gratuity where the usual space for gratuity is found. Great music, unfortunately very loud and I dont have a particularly low threshold for loud music. The theatre. Come early to get good seats. The view is great from wherever you sit, unless you get obstruction by a post. Whether on the balcony or in front of the stage, the view is perfect. I highly recommend to go to all the shows, as every one is in a different style and every one is memorable. The Schooner Bar is a nice place to sit down and listen to some piano music favourites, such as the Piano Man. To my surprise, it is also a smoking area, so if you are squeamish about smoke, you may want to choose a different venue. I had no idea that the ship had public areas where smoking was allowed. Living in Canada, I really lost the tolerance for smoke, so this was a bit of a culture shock. The Dungeon is just an amazingly designed night club. I would give it five stars for design and worth visiting just for that. Most of the day it is unused, though, and the party gets started very late. Once it is going, the lighting is great and the music not too bad either. Going there two nights in a row, I was suspicious that the music was prerecorded. The Boleros was the only place where one could dance to Latin music, so the small dance floor (in front of the piano) was always very crowded. I always equal Caribbean cruise with dancing to Latin or Caribbean music at night on the deck. It was very disappointing to have that opportunity only once during the whole week. The rest of the time the deck was deserted after dinner, although the pool bar was open late on a few occasions, but without dance music. The ice show was truly memorable. The hockey themed piece was different, but nothing special. Probably just an introduction to the rest of the show, which was truly world class. The difficulty of the jumps and figures presented by the skaters was amazing, especially since the rink is fairly small. It was a beautifully choreographed, highly challenging and gracefully and professionally presented performance. I would definitely rate it 10/10. SUMMARY: Great things: " Babysitting, available very last minute, $8 an hour. " Kid activities (if your child is 3 and up). " Food, both dinner and Windjammer buffet  hats down to the cooks. " The design of the dining room, the Dungeon, the theatre, and the elevator area, just to name a few. " The staff, with no exceptions. " The caribbean band on deck and the shows. Not so great: " Entertainment on the Promenade, often it consisted of kids parade from the childcare programme. Quite small for the main Mardi Gras parade also. " There was no caribbean music in the evenings! " Breakfast in the main dining room wasn't anything special, basically the same things available in Windjammer, but you had to wait for the food to be brought out to you. We only did this once. From my experience on Carnival, if you ate breakfast in the dining room, you could have treats such as bananas in cream. In short, something more suited to the five star setting. Hence I rated the dining as 4, 5+ for dinner, 3 for the breakfast/lunch in dining room. " Midnight snacks only available at the Bolero and other sit down venues, beside the cafe, which only offers three types of sandwiches, some pizza and three types of light desserts. There was coffee and tea available, as well as water, but that was about it. I missed the midnight buffet or crepe bar that are available at other cruise ships. " Planning for the teens. Some events were planned ½ hour before the all aboard call, which would be fine if there were other things going on later. Unfortunately the only salsa class was planned this way, as were a few other events, which were not repeated at any other time. Planning of such events could use a review. " The idea of a pop card. It just comes across as penny pinching. Everyone knows that it costs about $.10 a fountain pop. I dont drink pop, so I couldnt care less, but I would have appreciated other juice beside lemonade to be available. The iced tea was ok if one added the lemonade into it. Water was available in the cafe or as long as the windjammer was open, maybe having it by the ice cream machine on pool deck would have been nice. You can bring on board whatever RC doesnt supply, such as diet Coke, so next time I would bring a case of non-concentrate juice. " Boleros being the only latin spot in the evening and being very, very crowded. " Ridiculously expensive photos and a great waste of paper by printing and posting photos not so many people bought. I only bought two, at $10 each and even that I think I wasted too much money. If they were $5 each, I would have bought a lot more. Than for $20. Maybe they could be made available on the internet so that people could browse through them after they come home and order them for about $5 each, or 5 for $20. That would be advancing this service into the 21st century. " Midnight buffet on Thursday was a great waste of food, most people were either too tired or too full to eat. Maybe a smaller, earlier one, would have been better. Just awful: Internet. (rating 2/10  just because it does exists). I tried to get on using my outlook, but just trying to get it working cost me $6 (.50C per minute) and I wasnt able to send any email, it never worked. There was no one who would have instructions for outlook users, especially if one is using a Mac. The only way to send an email would be to prewrite it on word and paste it in once at webmail. Just logging into webmail took some time, so the time waste that one paid $.50/min for was considerable. Better option was to go on the internet at one of the ports, if you had time to spare. Maybe they could have a happy hour after 11pm, when the internet cafe was deserted. On a second thought, it was deserted most of the time. Suggestion: make a booklet, available at the cafe, with instructions for different programs such as outlook (and recent versions) on how to log on, not forgetting Mac users, the most avid computer users of all. If you have a computer specialist on board who cannot do this with his eyes closed, maybe its time to replace him. Excursion planning. Someone didnt do their homework. With so many people on board and with visiting the same port every second week, you would think that they would have a bit more info about the ports and get some discounts, beside shopping that is. I guess they get kick backs for sending cruisers to stores, so why bother focusing on trips. I found the excursions overpriced and the shore excursion people peddling trips that they knew were bad, yet admitted to it when they realized that I did my homework and checked the cruise critic website beforehand. If RC is trying to cater to active people, they have to realize that this is a group which is not that interested in shopping. Tip: Bring a walkie-talkie. That is the only way you can keep in touch if you have a group. Other than that you can let others know that you will periodically retrieve your phone messages, which they can leave on your cabin phone. There are a number of places around the ship where phones are located. Bring a guide to the caribbean for self guided excursions. There are plenty of taxis waiting at each pier to take you to your destination. Read Less
Sail Date February 2006
OMG, it was great. The Navigator is terrific, the service was excellent, the food was really really really good. We used the Cruise line to book our air and transfers and were pleased. One stop from Baltimore to Miami, in Atlanta and a ... Read More
OMG, it was great. The Navigator is terrific, the service was excellent, the food was really really really good. We used the Cruise line to book our air and transfers and were pleased. One stop from Baltimore to Miami, in Atlanta and a direct flight on the way home. We got to Miami airport by noon and were having lunch on the ship at about 1:45. Embarkation and Debarkation were simple smooth and hassle free. Having only cruised once before on HAL's Westerdam last spring break, that is my only point of reference. It was miles better in almost all categories. You can sail on the Navigator with no cares or worries. We had a JS (Me & Mrs.) and an the girls (10 & 13) an interior across the hall and a few doors up, deck 10. It was perfect. The JS was large enough to move around and enjoy the space, the balcony was fine but a little shallow, though with so much to do on the ship we didn't spend a lot of time there, just a little in the morning and evening. The room stewards, Chito for us and Jeromy for the girls, were super. They both remembered the girls names from the 1st moment and were always friendly, thoughtful and caring. Towel animals every night and the rooms were always made up when we were at breakfast and the turn down when at supper. Without asking, Chito brought robes for us in the JS and wonderful shampoos, lotions and shower gels. I couldn;t have asked for better service. We ate at the late seating and the girls were great. The waiter (Vipin) and ass't waiter catered to us like we were their only table. Remember drinks, parm on the Caesar salads, coffee and refills. They were everything that you would expect on a cruise ship. Great selections of food. The soups, cold and hot were really terrific. Except for the pie, the deserts were a big hit, something that I've never experienced even in lux Carib resorts. They even brought the second lobster tail without being asked. The Windjammer was great for breakfast, even with a sold out ship they still managed to make omelets and eggs to order in a relatively orderly manner. They didn't run out of anything, ever, unlike HAL did last year.(They ran out of bagels on the 3rd day.) Johnny Rockets is worth the trip and expense and Ben & Jerry's was a big hit with the girls. The waffle cones are made fresh just like at the real B & J's. Windjammer lunch was also great, lot's of selections. An our after lunch is over, they open up again for snacks, like hot dogs, taco bar, fruit and salads. Truth be known, they put the HAL's Westerdam to shame. The Royal Promenade was wonderful and the Cafe was a great place. Amazing sandwiches, cookies, pastries and cakes, all the time. A great reason to have the late seating is to get a snack there. The English pub on the Promenade was great for a beer and late night music and singers. We went to one of the 2 parades down the Promenade, it was a Mardi Gras parade and the kids loved it. The production shows, singers, comedian and ice show were better than expected, and quite good. The Metropolis Theater was a perfect venue for the production numbers and comedy show. We sat in 3 different areas, orchestra, lower mezzanine and upper mezzanine just to sit somewhere different and there wasn't a bad seat in the house. The Ixtapa lunge is a great show lounge for Karaoke and audience participation games. This was spring break and there were no children in the Solarium pool, Jacuzzis and chairs. The Main pool was very crowded on the 1st sea day, the only downer. The ship was sold out and full of kids. NO PROBLEM. My kids had so much to do they never did the kids activities except the arcade. They enjoyed the shows and even went to Love and Marriage and Battle of the Sexes and enjoyed them. The teens really did congregate on deck 12 at night and didn't bother anyone, mostly. A little elevator playing but hey it's a vacation. Even the tendering process was smooth and without problem. RCI contracts large ferries at Cayman and Cozumel and have their own large ferries at Labadee (BTW, a great place for the kids). It's so much better than when HAL and some others use their life boats as tenders. Hundred of people are ferried at a time. Only things not perfect: the beds could be better, more seating around the pool on seas days, excursions are over priced. I can't emphasize the level of personal service enough from the dining staff and the cabin stewards. They truly seemed eager to please. As huge a cynic as I am, they were honestly thoughtful and caring. Lots of Puerto Ricans on our cruise and they partied the night at Boleros, with great Latin Bands and dancing. With a sold out ship, spring break and tons of kids, the ship didn't feel crowded except at the pool on the first seas day and the blackjack tables, they could have doubled the numbered of tables, but the slots were so plentiful that no one had a problem. The shops on the ship were great, or so my teenaged daughter said. I walked through the gym and was impressed by the quality, quantity and variations in the aerobic workout machines. Not crowded. There were art auctions and daily bingo games, but they weren't pushed on anyone. No constant announcements about the games or the auctions. We did play bingo on the last afternoon, since the jackpot was over $11,000. We didn;t win and even though it was expensive to play, it was a lot of fun, as a onetime activity BTW the weather was sunny and mids 80's everyday, except for the last when it was windy and bumpy, but nobody seemed to mind. Every night I thanked my cabin steward for great the weather. It was 4 years old and looked great. They were replacing the carpets in the public rooms in the late night so as not to disturb anyone. I sailed on the Westerdam when it was less than 2 years old and the Navigator at 4+ years was in much better condition. In Summary. I was impressed by the service and the condition of the ship, the number of things to do and the lack of pressure to do anything. The food was great, just keep it in perspective that you are on a cruise ship not a Michelin 2 Star restaurant. The cabins were just wonderful. We All Lived Happily Ever After. Read Less
Sail Date March 2006
This was our 7th cruise (5th with RCCL). Mom with 15 year old boy and 14 year old girl (Dad stayed home this time). Navigator is our favorite ship to date mostly because it has expanded teen facilities. Instead of the kiddie pool in the ... Read More
This was our 7th cruise (5th with RCCL). Mom with 15 year old boy and 14 year old girl (Dad stayed home this time). Navigator is our favorite ship to date mostly because it has expanded teen facilities. Instead of the kiddie pool in the back of deck 12 it has a teen deck where only the teens are allowed. My kids had a blast. We love all of the Voyager class ships but this was heaven for my teens. We flew into Fort Lauderdale the night before and took Tri County Express (pre reserved town car for $64) to Intercontinental in Miami. We LOVED this hotel. Very fancy room and you can see the cruise ships from your window. Took cab over to the pier at 11:30am and had a 5 minute wait through security and then zipped through the RCCL registration line and were on the ship by noon - best embarkation I have ever had! We were in cabin 7688 (our first corner aft) and loved it. The room was fine - nothing fancy and was small but it didn't matter as the balcony was 6 times the size of an ordinary balcony and had 2 lounge chairs, 2 chairs and a table. Sitting their listening to the wake, watching the sunset and the moon shining on the water was worth it. This is a very private balcony (no one can see you from up above). The steel girders didn't affect us at all. We also didn't feel that is was a really long walk back to the cabin so that wasn't an issue for us either. First two nights we had high seas and felt movement everywhere in the ship, but it was really soothing going to bed feeling the rocking sensation. After the first two nights we didn't feel and thing and we didn't hear or feel vibrations at all. Went to Maitre D' on first day to make sure we had a table to ourselves - my kids don't like to mingle at dinner so it worked out great. We ate dinner in the Windjammer as well - I think they have really improved on their desserts! We also love Johnny Rockets - wish we didn't have to pay the cover charge and milkshake charges though! My son played a ton of basketball and was involved in a lot of the competitions and pick up games. Service was superb all around. Entertainment as usual was great. The slots were really tight (I had better luck on the Explorer the year before!) I really enjoyed the skating show - really fresh and up to date. The hula hoop guest star was phenomenal! San Juan - Walked to the fort on our own. St. Thomas - We took the ferry over to St. John and went to Cinnamon Bay which was incredible, peaceful and beautiful (great beach to get away from the touristy crowds). St. Maarten - Our Thriller boat tour was canceled so they let us pick an alternate excursion at no charge so we did the dolphin excursion over in Anguilla which was fabulous. Nassau - We had booked a room at the Comfort Suites next door so we could use the facilities at Atlantis - was fun but the place was packed and not a free beach chair in sight! Probably wouldn't do it again though unless we went in the off season... Disembarkation was a breeze and rented a car from Alamo and drove to Gator Park for an airboat ride and to see the gators. It was fun. We then drove to Fort Lauderdale where we stayed at the Embassy Suites - a lot of college breakers were there so thankfully we had the back bedroom to escape the noise! We took the water taxi up the waterway and then grabbed a taxi back to our hotel - we were all bushed by then. I am a big fan of RCCL. I wish we could cruise every month! Read Less
Sail Date March 2006
Dont Stay at the Airport Hilton: We flew from Salt Lake to Miami the night before the cruise and stayed at the Airport Hilton. We waited for a long time for the shuttle to the hotel and even longer to check in because there was only one ... Read More
Dont Stay at the Airport Hilton: We flew from Salt Lake to Miami the night before the cruise and stayed at the Airport Hilton. We waited for a long time for the shuttle to the hotel and even longer to check in because there was only one person working at the registration desk. Our room was nothing special and much less than you would expect from a Hilton hotel. In the morning, the lobby was crowded with people waiting for shuttles to take them to various cruise lines. Like many of the other guests, we had booked a shuttle to the pier with the concierge for $10 per person. It was total chaos with people and luggage everywhere. Nobody knew where to wait. Since this Hilton caters to so many cruisers and books shuttles for them, they should have signs along the curb indicating where people should line up for Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and the other cruise lines, but there was no signage and nobody directing the confused throngs. We later learned that people who stayed at the Marriott and other hotels near the airport didnt have this problem. Check in On-Line: We had checked in on-line and printed our Sea Passes. Once we arrived at the pier, check-in went very smoothly and we were soon on-board and enjoying ourselves. Cabins: We had a balcony stateroom and it was great. I expected it to be very small, but it was quite spacious with a large desk; mini-fridge; queen bed (two twins pushed together); sitting area with couch, chair, and coffee table; nice bathroom with good shower; and a long, private balcony. It was decorated nicely with light and bright colors. Our stateroom attendant was great and our room was always made up while we were at breakfast and turned down while we were at dinner. Meals: The food was very good and our waiters in the dining room were wonderful and attentive. At each meal, there were many tempting appetizers, soups & salads, and entrees on the menu. The Windjammer and Jade Cafe offered many choices for breakfast. Ship Design: The Navigator is a spectacular ship, both inside and out. Entertainment: Loved the nightly shows and audience participation games. Shore Excursions: I would recommend booking your own shore excursions to save money. In every port, you will find guides and tours at the end of the dock. We used Peat Taylor in Jamaica and had a private tour of the island. Negatives: We mistakenly booked our cruise during spring break (it was over in our part of the country), and the ship was absolutely overrun with teenagers and kids. I realized that this might be a problem when the main topic of conversation on the Roll Call board for our cruise was how many kids everyone was bringing. Kids were everywhere and many of them were neither properly chaperoned nor well-behaved. A drunken teen vomited all over the top deck of the tender from Cozumel and staggered off the tender still holding his big bulbous drink glass. Tendering was terrible. Jamaica was the only port with a pier and passengers took tenders to Labadee, Grand Caymans, and Cozumel. The tenders took forever, especially disembarking because security had to check IDs and scan of the carry-ons before allowing passengers back on the ship. It took us nearly an hour to disembark from a 600-passenger tender in Cozumel (the one where the kid threw up). We were quite envious when we saw passengers boarding a Celebrity ship that was in port with us being handed chilled washcloths by an attendant with tongs. Be prepared for hidden costs. Dont think this is an all-inclusive vacation. You will be charged for shore excursions, alcohol, food & beverage at certain venues on the ship, photos (every day you will have many photo ops and the photos are expensive), and even beach chairs on the RCCL-owned island of Labadee. It really adds up! Disembarkation was rushed. The last night we were given color-coded luggage tags that supposedly indicated when we would be called to disembark. We were told that our group would be called at 8:00 a.m. and our stateroom attendant told us that it was very important for us to vacate the cabin on time because the rooms would have to be prepared for the next group of passengers. They began calling our group more than an hour early. We were rushed through breakfast and felt hurried to disembark. Then, we waited in a long line to go through immigration. It was an unpleasant end to what was generally a very nice vacation. Despite these negatives, the Navigator of the Seas is a beautiful ship and we had a very good time. Don Shulas Hotel and Golf Resort: We stayed here for one night upon our return. It was wonderful. Because we were booted off the ship so early, we arrived around 10:00 a.m. and we were very tired. We worried that they might make us wait if our room wasnt ready, but we were immediately given a room. It was well-furnished, cool, had black-out drapes, and the bed was really comfy with a pillow-top and fluffy duvet. We took a 4-hour nap before venturing out to explore Miami Lakes. This hotel also had a good internet connection and an excellent restaurant in the hotel. Its about 15 minutes from the airport, but Super Shuttle runs to the airport. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
This was our first cruise and overall we had a great time. The Navigator of the Seas is a beautiful, elegant ship with a great captain (loved Captain Sullivan's announcements from the bridge) and crew. We had a spacious, comfortable ... Read More
This was our first cruise and overall we had a great time. The Navigator of the Seas is a beautiful, elegant ship with a great captain (loved Captain Sullivan's announcements from the bridge) and crew. We had a spacious, comfortable balcony cabinmuch larger and more comfortable than I imagined and Deck 6 was just fine even though it was one of the lowest decks with balcony cabins. We never heard any noise from surrounding cabins, although we did hear spring breakers making noise in the hallway. The entertainment was wonderful, especially the ice-skating show, comedian John Joseph, and the games (Love and Marriage and The Quest). The service in the dining room was great. On the down side: 1. We were nickeled and dimed to death--we spent over $1000 for shore excursions, wine in dining room, drinks, tips, and other incidentals. The beach chairs on the RCCL-owned island of Labadee weren't even free! The extra charges were really outrageous! 2. Tendering was horrendous. We waited over 45 minutes for a 600-passenger tender to be unloaded after our port of call in Cozumel, and a drunk spring breaker threw up all over the top deck while we were waiting. I wouldn't recommend going on RCCL to the Western Caribbean until dock in Cozumel is rebuilt because tenders are required everywhere except Jamaica. BTW, we saw passengers on a Celebrity cruise ship that was docked nearby being rapidly unloaded with attendant using tongs to hand them cool washcloths as they disembarked! 3. The ship was overrun with kids of all ages. Spring break in our area had ended two weeks earlier, but there were tons of kids from the Midwest and South. 4. We were RUSHED off the ship on the last day. We had been told that our group, based on the color tag given for our luggage, would disembark at 8 a.m., but at 7 a.m., they began calling for our group to disembark. We were given the bum's rush in the dining room that morning and then stood in a long line to go through immigration. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
We were "displaced" Star Princess cruisers. Our party consisted of Me, DH, & our 2 DD and their spouses. We booked VERY last minute when our cruise on the Star was canceled (due to the fire)and were fortunate enough to get 3 ... Read More
We were "displaced" Star Princess cruisers. Our party consisted of Me, DH, & our 2 DD and their spouses. We booked VERY last minute when our cruise on the Star was canceled (due to the fire)and were fortunate enough to get 3 Balcony rooms. (Of course we had to pay top dollar and the rescheduled airfare was costly) but at least our vacation was saved. DH and I had sailed with RCCL on the Sovereign once before, but the kids were all cruise newbies. (We have also sailed with Disney and Princess) We flew USAir from Pittsburgh to Miami, no problems. Great flight. Took a cab to the pier and we truly believe the cabbie drove faster than the pilot!! Yikes!!! We had checked-in online before we left home so check-in was a breeze. On the ship in about 20 min. What a beauty she is. We had aft balcony room #8678 for DH & Me and the kids were one deck up in #9674 & #9672. Our rooms were ready so we dropped off our carry-ons and head to the Windjammer for lunch. Good food but the seating was very limited. Our luggage was in our rooms when we finished lunch. We had time to unpack and tour the ship before we sailed off. We only saw our room steward on the first day we arrived, but our room was always clean and our turn down service was prompt and included those cute little towel animals every night. We all had the time of our life! Our cruise director, Graham Seymore was a hoot!! The entire staff was so friendly and they seemed to be on vacation with us. We loved the trivia contest, ice-skating, The Quest game and the stage shows were excellent. Bowzer, from Sha Na Na, was the headliner one evening and I was totally star-struck! (My kids has NO IDEA who he was!!) Our dining room serving team, Juanito and Vashal were "Excellent"! The food was great and our table overlooked the ocean and the sunset each evening was breathtaking! Labadee was beautiful, Ocho Rios was fun (especially Margaritaville), Grand Cayman was cool (especially Senor Frogs) but we weren't too fond of Cozumel. The shop keepers were very pushy and very grabby. The traffic was CRAZY!! Of course there were 6 other ships in port that day so the city was crowded!! Because of booking so late all the "good" shore excursions were already booked, so we just set off on our own to explore the ports. The pools onboard were only crowded the first sea day, and we never had any trouble finding chairs. I was not crazy about the sea water in the pools but I spent more of my time in the fresh water hot tubs. We met so many friendly cruisers. Loved the Dungeon nightclub for dancing the night away and I loved the casino because I won $550.00 on the slots. Disembarkation was a breeze. Had a great breakfast in the Windjammer and our color was called and we were off the ship by 9 a.m. Another scary taxi cab ride to the airport and we were back in Pittsburgh by 2:30 p.m. All in all we had a marvelous time and are looking forward to booking our next cruise on the Freedom or on the Genesis! Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
Our 40th anniversary called for something new and exciting  but even after much research, we were unprepared for the magnificence of Navigator of the Seas and the entire 7-night cruise experience! Cruising is a passion of our youngest son ... Read More
Our 40th anniversary called for something new and exciting  but even after much research, we were unprepared for the magnificence of Navigator of the Seas and the entire 7-night cruise experience! Cruising is a passion of our youngest son and his wife. They convinced us to book our first cruise. My concern was motion sickness that I experience in small boats or if I try to read in a moving car. Not to worry! Motion sickness was NEVER a problem and medication wasnt needed!! Our airline arrangements were made through RCI and went smoothly. The nice man with a Navigator of the Seas sign directed us at the baggage claim in Miami to the waiting buses. We boarded the bus, went through embarkation procedures quickly and smoothly and dropped our carry-ons in Cabin 7270 by 2 PM. The Windjammer was serving lunch so that was our first stop. A plateful of food later and we decided to do a fast tour of the ship. Ill reiterate that we were first time cruisers before saying: instead of acting like a couple whos been married 40 years, we conducted ourselves like 10 year olds on Christmas morning! With eyes wide and mouths dropping, we briefly explored each deck and couldnt believe the size of this vessel, the diversity of the artwork and the splendor of the overall dEcor. Cruise reviewers suggested going to the dining room to find your table to avoid confusion during dinner. At first we werent pleased with our table. It was in the back of the dining room, but that proved to be a good thing! Our table of six didnt have wait staff moving all around and in between. Gustavo did a fine job of serving every evening, the menu offered several choices and we thoroughly enjoyed dinner and lively conversation all 7 nights. Choosing a dining time was a difficult decision  6:30 seating means you can attend the early shows and still have time to bar hop and dance. Our regular routine keeps us from keeping late night hours. But again, our son convinced us that the 8:30 seating would be better. That gave us more day time and we didnt need to rush to prepare for dinner. Besides, we were hungrier at 8:30! Our internal clocks did adjust somewhat. We saw several shows and did do a little barhopping after dinner. Sunday was a day at sea. The pool deck chairs filled early but chaises were available if you didnt mind being away from the action. We had a view of the pool, the live Caribbean band and the ocean. Even the bar service folks were entertaining. Dr. Booze carried drinks on his head and did tricks with his tray. The ports of call were interesting and we will have fond memories of St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Nassau. The daily temperature averaged 85 so the beaches were a welcome respite and the Caribbean water was warm. At San Juan, we met a cousin who I havent seen in 30 years so the time to explore was limited. At St. Thomas we did the SeaBlaster excursion and it was more intense than we expected. On the way to the snorkeling area, the boat is blasted with a wall of water about every minute. Passengers are drenched and there is no place to hide! Snorkeling was good for my husband. Since Im not much of a swimmer, I headed directly to the beach and after half an hour, swam back (with the help of my life jacket) and enjoyed the best Rum Punch of the week. The crew was a lot of fun, but also mindful of their guests. As I made my way to the boat, the captain was watching to be sure I wasnt in trouble. The Yellow Bird excursion at Nassau was cancelled  a big disappointment! We looked forward to a sightseeing boat with live Caribbean music and a limbo contest (not to mention rum punch and snacks!). We made our way to the excursion desk and signed up for a Glass Bottom Boat tour. With an hour to spare we walked around Nassau and had a lovely little lunch of Lobster Quesadillas. The Glass Bottom Boat was a good choice  relaxing and the guide was full of touristy information. He ended his sentences with Yay mon! The Ice Dancin show was spectacular. Considering that the action is taking place on a moving ship , we wondered, How do the skaters manage so many precise moves?! The Broadway-style shows at Metropolis were very good. The first one we attended was the late show Sunday night featuring Bowser from Sha Na Na, (an oldies group). Since that is an era we know and love, we couldnt pass up this show! As it turned out, Bowser had his 3 back-up singer/dancers go to the audience to select a partner for a dance contest. I was one of the contestants! The other 2 females were teenage girls. As we made our way to the stage, my partner whispered, This will be fun. I ALWAYS win! I thought, Oh boy, the pressure is on! We DID win!! Much of the credit goes to the group of Pittsburghers in the audience who clapped when I announced that I went to high school in Pittsburgh, and after the other 2 contestant revealed their ages as 15 and 18, I said Im 59 and the audience clapped loudly. So I won!! It was a great experience and throughout the rest of the cruise, people came up and said nice things about the dancing lady. Disembarkation wasnt a time we were looking forward to. It meant our cruise was over! Our color was called and we stood in line about 45 minutes (the longest wait for the week). Once we got to customs, it went quickly. We had paid the $10.00 each to have suitcase valet service to American Airlines and it was a good investment! As soon as we picked up our luggage, we were instructed to carry it to the next room. We didnt see the 2 suitcases again until we picked them up in Pittsburgh. Overall we give the entire trip a 10. In fact, on Thursday (the only day it rained, and our second at sea day), we registered for our second cruise  Freedom of the Seas, April 22, 2007! The RCI representative, Colleen, was very helpful. She also asked the name of our travel agent so credit would go to her. That also means our hometown agent would make any other arrangements that we need. So now were very excited and check out websites to get information on Freedom of the Seas!! SUMMARY: FOOD: Excellent at every venue. Windjammer and Jade offered more choices than anyone could possibly eat! Tables were crowded about half the time at lunch, not so much at breakfast  maybe because we ate earlier than other passengers. Finding a place to sit was never a problem for the 2 of us. Breakfast and lunch was delicious! The dining room dEcor is elegant and the service very civilized. My hobby is cooking and having dinner parties so food was a top priority! We werent disappointed in the presentation, quality and quantity of each dish. We left pleasantly full but never stuffed. (I ate everything I wanted and gained only 3 pounds!) ENTERTAINMENT: Graham Seymour was the cruise director and we had nothing to compare him to so its hard to say how he ranks as a cruise director. We liked him; he had a morning television program telling passengers what activities were offered each day. He emceed many of the shows and also conducted an interview with the captain in the Viking Crown Lounge the day it rained. SHORE EXCURSIONS: were good. There are many choices with a variety of physical activity levels. We will choose for our next cruise based on the amount of time each excursion takes. We want to see the ports of call but also spend time on the ship when its docked. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
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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