BACKGROUND: This was our 3rd cruise. The first was on Majesty of the Seas (Loved her), and our 2nd one was on Norwegian Dawn (loved her as well), and now this was our 3rd. If she would have been our first..... she most likely would have ... Read More
BACKGROUND: This was our 3rd cruise. The first was on Majesty of the Seas (Loved her), and our 2nd one was on Norwegian Dawn (loved her as well), and now this was our 3rd. If she would have been our first..... she most likely would have been our last as well. I would have thought the bigger the better, which is so far from the truth that it's pathetic. Bigger means better service.... absolutely not. Bigger means more entertainment..... no way. Bigger means better food..... better think again.
EMBARKATION: This was probably the best thing about the cruise was the fact that we were on the ship within 15 minutes after getting in line to board the ship. Had our welcome aboard picture taken, stepped inside the ship, got that WOW feeling from the beauty of the ship, and from then on, it was down hill.
DAY #1: We left Fort Lauderdale at 5:00pm. One good thing about RCCLs ships is that you barely know you're moving, but unfortunately we were in our room when the ship pulled out, so we seen Fort Lauderdale in our "rear view mirrors" by the time we got back out on deck. We spent this first day browsing the ship, and taking pictures. Navigator is definitely a beautiful ship, but we've found that looks are not everything when it comes to a cruise. It takes many other things to make a cruise complete. We stayed up for the late night parade (around 11:30pm), which lasted all of 15 minutes. I have to give RCCL credit on their beds. They have the most comfortable beds. (even though I broke out in a rash on the back of my neck).
STATEROOMS: Before I get to day 2.... let's discuss the Stateroom. By the 2nd day, I had a rash all over the upper part of my back and the entire back of my neck. (I'm home now and the rash is gone). We didn't get a towel animal until the 3rd night, and I think that was only because I asked for one. We didn't get nightly mints the last 2 nights at all, nor was our bed folded down. Our heater/air conditioning didn't work in our room the first 2 days we were onboard. We were never addressed by name by our stateroom attendant. (maybe it was because he couldn't pronounce it, even though our room attendants on our last 2 cruises didn't seem to have a problem). I would NEVER EVER NEVER stay in another interior cabin. When I asked what it was like to be in an interior room and was told it's like walking into a walk-in closet and turning off the light and shutting the door, that was explained to me perfectly. It was like a dungeon. And being there was no natural light at all, I believe our bodies dealt with the situation as if it was night time every day in that room. It became the room from hell by the 4th night, because by that night I was sick as a dog. To the point, that I stayed in the room from 6:00pm on the 4th night, until we got off the ship, the morning of the 6th day. And then I prayed that I'd make it home on the 3 hour bus ride.
DAY #2: This ship has a lot of WOW factors. The promenade alone is amazing. This was the day that I mentioned to our stateroom attendant that our fridge wasn't keeping things cold, and was told that it really wasn't a fridge, and more like a cooler to keep candies or chocolate that was inside of it from melting. Surely wasn't like any cooler we've ever owned. And even if we would have purchased sodas from it, we never had any ice in our bucket in our room. It was always water when we took a look.
It's 72 degrees today and very windy. We're about 18 nautical miles from Cuba, headed to Cozumel, Mexico. Too windy to play shuffleboard or miniature golf. We purchased our Welcome Aboard photos for $19.95. You get one 5 x 7 and one 8 x 10. If I would have thought of bringing my Crown & Anchor coupon from my booklet that we got as being past cruisers, I could have received a free photo of the ship.
I purchased 2 towel animals (sold at the logo souvenir shop in the gift store onboard) for my daughter and granddaughter). They're really cute. About the size of a beanie baby, and sold for $7.50 each. Also bought a pen for $3.50 with a cruise ship that floats inside. We also purchased our "Navigator of the Seas" ship model last night for $25.00 and a few t-shirts.
I sat out on the starboard side of the ship for 1 1/2 hours and only seen 2 people sit down. It felt like I had the entire ship to myself. Would never have known that there were over 3,000 people on this cruise.
MEALS: Before I get to day 3, lets discuss the meals. We're not into formal dining, so we always go for the buffet on our cruises. Therefore, the only places we ate on this cruise was Windjammers and the Promenade Cafe.
Windjammers................ We were not very pleased with the food at Windjammers on NOS. Don't know how this could be, but Majesty had better food. One morning I got french toast, that was so hard that only the interior section of it, was eatable. And then even that didn't taste very good. Scrambled eggs were very bland. One thing that was very upsetting for me, was that no cold ice tea was served at breakfast. Everything was pre-made with the ice already in it, and then you just picked up what you wanted. There was apple juice, orange juice, milk, and water for breakfast. Milk was in the little cartons. Don't even think of bringing milk back to your room because the coolers in the room wouldn't have kept them cold enough to drink later. I was not impressed with the food at Windjammers at all.
Promenade Cafe................ We liked eating here for lunch or a quick snack. The ham sandwiches made with croissant bread was very good. The round-like sandwiches though, had bread that was so tough, that it was almost impossible to bite into it. The cheesecake was very good. Cookies were good too.
DAY 3: Okay.... the morning started off as a total joke. We had a shore excursion in Cozumel to visit the Ruins. The shore excursion was 5 1/2 hours from the time we left the ship until the time we returned. We had received a voice message on our phone in our stateroom the night before that said that Windjammers was going to open at 6:30am instead of 7:00am to allow those that had early shore excursions to be able to eat breakfast before we left for our shore excursions. We thought this was a nice gesture. However, that was until we got to level #11, got off the elevator and noticed that a huge crowd at 6:35am was waiting for Windjammers to open, only to be told that they were not aware that they were suppose to open early, and therefore would not be opening until 7:00am. That's when a herd of people bombarded the stairs and the elevators to go down to level 5 to go to the Promenade Cafe to get something to eat before leaving the ship. We got a banana and a Chocolate covered doughnut. The doughnut was awful. And for me to say that a doughnut is awful, then it had to be pretty bad. ;) We met at the Metropolis Theater at 7:15 to leave for our shore excursion. (still hungry obviously)
Shore Excursion....TULUM MAYAN RUINS EXPRESS: The ferry ride to get to the bus was a nightmare. We were watching people get sick. I found that if you watch the Mexican videos that they have on a large screen in the front of the ferry, then you didn't feel as dizzy. You're sitting inside this ferry, and the windows were covered with sea salt and it was difficult to see out of them, so you felt enclosed. I think this was the reason people were feeling sick. The ferry was a 30 minute miserable ride.
We then boarded a bus, and spent another hour getting there. You can not get up close to the ruins because they are roped off. We finally split off from the tour guide, otherwise, we wouldn't have seen everything. He was a talker, and when we noticed that 1/2 of our group was missing, that's when we realized that people were leaving the group a little at a time to go off on their own. We had a scheduled time to be back at the bus, so I was unsure of why we were walking around with the tour guide to begin with. It wasn't like you could get lost in this place. This excursion involves a lot of walking. I mean a lot.
If you need to use the restroom, use the one near the ruins before the long walk back to the marketplace area. The ones at the marketplace cost to use.
We purchased a post card and when asked what it cost and was told $7.00, my husband about went into cardiac arrest. (It was 70 cents in U.S. money). When we got back to the bus, we were given what they called a "boxed" lunch. We had purchased a hot dog for $1.50 right before entering the bus. There was a Subway there, but it was packed, and we wouldn't have had enough time to eat before boarding the bus. Truthfully, you could have brought your sub on the bus. Our boxed lunch consisted of a chocolate chip cookie, a blueberry muffin, a Sun capri fruit drink in a pouch, and Dole fruit in a cup, and Tuna in a pouch that you make with mayonnaise and relish, and crackers. Everything is pre-sealed. If you don't like the smell of tuna, don't take this excursion because our entire bus smelled of a large tuna by the time everyone opened their boxed lunches.
When we arrived back in town, the bus does not take you back to the ship. You have to pay $6.00 per taxi to get back to the dock. Back on ship..... Our captain specifically told us before we left the ship that we were to stay on ship time. Mexico is 1 hour behind us. So when we were told to be back on the ship at 4:30, that meant 4:30 ship time. However, about 9 people were not back on the ship at that time. And fortunately for some of the passengers, our captain kept the ship there until around 5:10pm waiting for people. As we pulled away from the dock, we noticed a "Pilot" boat pulling up to the dock. My husband said then that he thought that people were getting on it to be brought to our ship. Indeed he was correct. Our ship stopped, to allow the pilot boat to pull up next to us, so 2 people could get on the ship that had missed it. By this time it was 5:30pm. We're figuring that these were people that used their cell phones to keep track of time, and what they weren't aware of, was the fact that the cell phones changed time with Mexico time, so when it said 4:30 on their cell phones, it was really 5:30 ship time. Our captain was highly upset and made it a point to announce that tomorrow he would not wait 1 single minute for anyone. That he had to pull out on time in order to reach the U.S. at the correct time.
DAY #4: This is one thing that I don't understand about NOS entertainment. They line up all the entertainment on nights that everyone has to get up the next morning and go on shore excursions bright and early. Parades are at 11:45pm, when we have to get up at 6:00am to get prepared to go on a shore excursion. I had called the front desk the night before to ask if Windjammers were going to be open for breakfast at 6:30am, and was told 'Oh sure, they were open at 6:30 before". I was like "Oh, no they weren't." They had even put on our Cruise Compass Newsletter that Windjammers would be open at 6:30am this time. But were they open at 6:30am? Absolutely not. They opened the doors at 6:40am. This might seem minor, and would be if you had no plans, but Windjammers is at the Aft of this ship, and where we meet for shore excursions is at the Forward section of this ship. Not that it really mattered, because the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing on this cruise, and we were 30 minutes late leaving for shore excursions to begin with this particular morning. Was later told it was because the tender boats lined up on one side of the ship and then they discovered that the waves rocking up against the ship caused problems for tendering and they had to move the tender boats to the opposite side of the ship. Now here we are, meeting at the Forward part of the ship, and now having to walk the steps from level 4 down to level 1, (or maybe it was level 2.... don't remember exactly), and then walk from the forward section of the ship to the Aft section where we had just came from to get on the tender boats. Please remember to wear your walking shoes on this ship. And bring a pair of extra legs if you have them, because your first set is going to feel like hell by the time you're ready to go home. Shore Excursion........ THE MAYAN RUINS OF XUNANTUNICH & MARIMBA LUNCH: After a short (about 15 minute) tender ride to shore, be ready to sit for 2 hours on a bus. Our bus driver was determined to keep his bus smelling pretty, by spraying some sort of red colored freshener throughout the bus. Kinda smelled like cinnamon. Made several people on our bus start coughing and sneezing though. Me included. We went through 5 Eco Systems getting to these ruins. Don't even bother to style your hair or get prim and pretty for this excursion, because the weather alone, will put a monkey wrench into those plans. Once we got to the hand-cranked ferry, the bus stayed behind, and we all got on the ferry by foot, and went across this small river. When we got to the other side, we all piled in several mini vans to go up a large hill to the visitors center. Then, we got out of the mini vans, and walked up this large hill (will put the burn in your leg muscles by the time you reach the top), where we could use the restrooms and waited for the remainder of our tour to arrive.
The ruins here are amazing, but the trip to get to them is exhausting. Took tons of pictures, and on our way to return to the ship, we stopped to eat at a restaurant. We had an outdoor lunch that consisted of grilled chicken, brown rice and kidney beans, cole slaw, and some plantation fruit thing. Not many people ate the fruit. The rice and chicken was good. The bottled sodas weren't very cold though. Neither was the bottle of water that was offered to us when we got off the bus to go to the ruins earlier that day.
After our meal, we had a 1 hr, and 40 minute drive back to the tender boats. Seemed like a ride that took forever. Last tender boat was suppose to be at 3:15pm, however, we got back at 3:30pm, and even after we got to the ship, and changed from regular shoes to flip flops in our room, and went back out on deck 4 to look around, we noticed another 5 tender boats coming in, and by this time, it was around 4:30pm. So much for the captain saying that he wasn't going to wait 1 minute. This is the best reason for making sure you book your shore excursions through the cruiseline. If your shore excursion arrives late to get you back to the ship, the ship has to wait for you.
RCCL really needs to better plan their days on this cruise ship. Now we've got thousands of people returning from their shore excursions, and there's no place to eat except Johnny Rockets. Windjammers conveniently closed while everyone was returning from shore, no dining rooms were open, and unless you wanted to go to the Promenade Cafe, that left only Johnny Rockets as a place to eat. And note that even though ice tea is free on the ship, you have to pay for it at Johnny Rockets. There is no dancing at this Johnny Rockets like you see on Majesty of the Seas or the other smaller RCCL ships. Maybe it was because they were so busy due to the fact that there weren't many places to eat and everyone was starving.
REMAINDER OF CRUISE WENT TOTALLY DOWNHILL FROM HERE...... Went to our room around 6:00pm, and I started feeling soooooo sick. Almost like someone had run over me with a truck. Every single muscle in my body was aching. Then I got this horrible cough that made me feel like someone had kicked me in the ribs. My husband and I called it an early night and figured we just needed some rest from the exhausting day.
DAY #5: This day was pretty simple for me. I just laid in bed, sick all day, and prayed that I'd see the next day to get off the ship and get home.
DISEMBARKATION: Another horror story. We got off around 9:00am, because we knew that our bus wasn't going to arrive until 10:30am. Took us 40 minutes to disembark the ship, and then the one and only soda machine that we seen was broken due to someone trying to stick some sort of plastic card where the dollar bills go in the machine at. So, we sat at the port until 11:00am (bus was late) with nothing to drink. And here I was sick to boot to begin with.
SUMMARY: If NOS would have been our first cruise, most likely she would have been out last. Either that, or I would have never booked another RCCL cruise. I will never cruise on NOS again. Going to stick with the ships that range from 840 - 980 feet long. Anything larger I will definitely stay away from. Will never book another interior cabin. Might even consider taking a can of Lysol on my next cruise. It's now been 3 days since we returned from our cruise, and I'm still sick. Still have the cough, but at least the muscle aches have pretty much gone away. But now my husband is getting sick, and my daughter that didn't even go on the cruise with us is starting to cough. I would not recommend NOS to any of my friends. Read Less