433 Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Cruise Reviews

This cruise was my wife and my seventh Royal Caribbean cruise, and first since having children. We swapped to Disney for the previous 2 cruises since Disney sailed from Galveston for a time (Disney Magic), and we live around 45 minutes ... Read More
This cruise was my wife and my seventh Royal Caribbean cruise, and first since having children. We swapped to Disney for the previous 2 cruises since Disney sailed from Galveston for a time (Disney Magic), and we live around 45 minutes from the port. With Disney moving out of Galveston and Royal Caribbean bringing in a ship (Navigator of the Seas) that has a nursery and kids club for our 13 month and 3 year old, we decided to give Royal a try with kids. We booked an Owners Suite, number 1330, the Hawaiian Suite, to give us a room with a bathtub and a curtain that would separate us from the kids so that when they fell asleep, we could stay up or sneak out on the balcony. There are two doors to the balcony on an Owner’s Suite. The embarkation onto the ship was painless. We left after our younger DD’s morning nap and arrived around 11:15 am to drop off the luggage. We were eating lunch at the Windjammer by noon. There is a long road leading to the turn in for Terminal 1 (Carnival) and Terminal 2 (Royal Caribbean). The road backs up for around half a mile but there are multiple streets that turn right into old downtown Galveston. The area is a grid so a quick left and some stop signs brings you to the street you turn left on to pull into the terminal area. We checked out the kids clubs areas after eating lunch. The nursery is significantly smaller than the one on the Disney Magic (maybe a third of the size) but the counselor we met was very pleasant, and we booked from 7 to 9 pm each evening, as our youngest DD normally goes to bed at 7 pm ($8 / hour). The thought being we’d all enjoy dinner at the early main dining room seating (5:30 pm), go to the room and change into pajamas, and then let her sleep, while the oldest DD would go to the play area for older kids, Aquanauts. There is a program where the counselors from the older kids play area will pick them up each night at 6:40 pm. We viewed the larger play area, which had several main rooms, where I assume they split up the age groups. Our oldest DD was drawn to the mock boat and slide area in the front but there were also areas for drawing, for “cooking”, for playing video games, and for dancing. She asked and asked to go and play even almost throwing a tantrum, which made us feel promising regarding our plan. We dropped her off the 2nd night of the cruise to play and were called close to time to pick her up that she wanted to come back to the room. I think the issue was that she wanted to free play and the Aquanauts activities are set, i.e. story time, coloring time, cooking time, etc. The Aquanauts program has many great fun sounding activities but no choice. Our oldest DD has gone to Mother’s Day out for almost two years and loves it so we were surprised she didn’t take to it. Talking to other couple’s in the Concierge Lounge, most kids under the age of about eight didn’t enjoy the kids clubs. I went into this detail in case you are thinking that you will have a supervised activity your children will love while you and your spouse get some quiet time. Didn’t happen but we made the best of it as we love hanging out with our oldest DD, and it was special as she has had to “share” us with her younger sister. Overall the cruise made us realize Disney offers a much better experience for people with kids. However, it goes beyond this as we were excited this cruise would make us Diamond, and we’ve had several “dream of the future” conversations where we’d sail with Royal Caribbean when we retire some day. Positives: - Concierge Lounge = petit fours were tasty, bartenders were very attentive, and people were pleasant, even with us toting two small children with us for a pre-dinner drink each night. Was a bit worried seeing the comments on Cruise Critic but most had children and enjoyed “playing” or talking to our kids. My DW and I enjoyed Capuccinos from the machine as it was the only drinkable coffee on the ship, other than paying for Starbucks. - Suite Benefits = we took advantage of the Playstation 3 to borrow a controller and have movies from home while we got dressed or sun screened up. The before mentioned Concierge Lounge. I grabbed a donut for the older DD several mornings when getting coffee. Once we discovered how nice eating breakfast was in Chops, we ate there every morning (no fighting the Windjammer crowd, looking for a high chair when there weren’t readily available, and options expanded = Eggs Benedict, Omelet, etc). There was a lunch for Suite Guests that featured food from each of the specialty restaurants that was attended by all of the ships officers. The Captain was very personable. Ricardo contacted us before the cruise and booked us a reservation for Sabor for the last sea day. Finally, we used the suite section at the pool deck multiple times throughout the cruise. - Spa = my wife thoroughly enjoyed a one hour Swedish massage, and the prices weren’t that different that a shore massage. - Ports = we’ve done them all before several times and with little ones, this time we focused on getting off the ship to eat lunch where we ported and then do a bit of shopping. In Jamaica we ate at Margaritaville (crowded and confusing on how to get a table / long wait for check / very humid but music and food were good), Breezes in Grand Cayman (ridiculously slow but it was slammed due to spring break), and Senor Frogs in Cozumel (best of the bunch due to music and nice breeze but very pricey). - Swimming on Ship before lunch = spring break cruise so folks staying up late slept in giving us an almost empty pool. - Windjammer = ate there the last night and for a couple of snacks while younger DD was in nursery. Nightly ice cream with different toppings. Negatives: - Room = ordered a pack and play (crib) well ahead of the cruise and confirmed multiple times it would be set up upon arrival. Wasn’t there and so went to guest services, who stated earliest arrival would be 5 pm. By then our youngest DD missed her afternoon nap, making for a cranky customer and a rough first night. Could be due to room attendant who was kind of bad, considering we splurged for a suite. - Room Doorbell = spring break cruise, you’d expect some kids to ring it every once in a while. Turns out our main offender was a woman in her 40’s who was ringing it late at night (between 1 am and 3 am), which woke up our youngest DD and again caused a rough night. Our room attendant then informed us you can turn it off. - Room Side of Ship = don’t expect to enjoy your balcony out of Galveston with your room on the starboard (right) side of the ship. Sun was blazing after around 10 am and made afternoon enjoyment not possible. Also on the wrong side to view anything but ocean on all 3 stops. Somehow amazingly even on the trip back it was too hot to stay outside for long. - Room Balcony = from prior cruises with Royal Caribbean, one being in a Grand Suite, we skipped a stop and stayed on the balcony. There was a cleaning crew that came and scrubbed the glass and handrail daily. This cruise, the glass was so dirty you couldn’t see through it, the deck furniture left filth on your clothing, and each day they’d wash down the upper deck down onto your balcony. We had standing water each morning with cigarette butts, used straws from drinks, and even women’s hair (my oldest DD stated look, there’s a mommy hair one morning). So if you’re thinking of splurging for a balcony, don’t. - Room Inside Cleanliness = bathtub had to be cleaned by my wife and I prior to giving our daughters their first bath. My oldest daughter had various items in her hair after rough housing with her sister on the floor. - Drink Prices = we splurged with a room service Mimosa that was 50% or better orange juice for $12 a piece before the 18% tip. My favorite RCL drink is the lava flow but not at $12 pool side bar (which I decided to splurge on a second and found out we’d been overcharged the first time as the 2nd was $10). - Main Dining Service Speed = even had my oldest DD wanted to go to the play area, we’d never have been done by 6:40 pm without skipping dessert and some cases the main meal. Disney kicks Royal Caribbean out of the water for kid service, offering to make literally anything your child wants, having their drink of choice already table side when you arrive, and understanding you can’t serve a bowl of fruit to kids and then expect them to wait over an hour for their “dinner” to arrive. Our oldest DD filled up on bread by the time her dinner arrived. - Main Dining Food = some positives but definitely a downgrade to the recent Disney Magic on food quality. Soups used to be a highlight but I didn’t finish any this cruise. Lamb dish was so starving for meat, that I was hungry 15 minutes after eating. We skipped dessert to make the 7 pm nursery time twice and headed to the Windjammer for the last evening. Lobster was pretty good and we splurged on a Chops Filet, which was tasty. No meal stood out that I’d wait in line to order at a restaurant. Quality overall less than Olive Garden to give a sense. - Pool after Lunch = again Disney Magic wins over Navigator with a splash area. Navigator has a shallow area for kids out of diapers, as it connects to the main pool. On Navigator, there’s the Solarium pool, two 5’ deep pools, and the shallow area. After lunch, there are organized classic games that take out the shallow area and one of the 5’ pool from around 1 to 3 pm each sea day. The other pool becomes so crowded as to be unsafe to swim. - Coffee Anywhere on the Ship other than Concierge Lounge / Starbucks = lousy, undrinkable. Very acidic in taste. I drink my coffee black these days and only way to make drinkable is 4-6 packs of sugar and a bunch of milk. I think they are trying to drive folks to purchasing coffee at Starbucks by making the “free” coffee terrible. We used to enjoy an afternoon cup on the balcony daily from room service but didn’t order after the first couple of trys. - Auto-tips = service has overall suffered. We are the ones that would pay the tips and a bit extra. The only “Wow” personnel were the nursery personnel, the Concierge bartenders and the Chops waiters. Disney blows Royal Caribbean away on this. Like comparing a Gold medalist to a 60th place finisher in a race. - Towel Animals = ridiculous that it's no longer daily. Cost cutting to the point of stupidity. Our oldest DD would ask where's the towel animal on nights without them. We skipped the shows due to having the little ones but did catch the ice show. It was as good as we remembered and the kids enjoyed. That’s another suite benefit = don’t have to get tickets. As mentioned above, we ate at Sabor and it was good but not worth the entry price. The stuffed chicken and tortilla soup were the highlights other than the desert tray, which offered some tasty unusual desserts. I wasn’t impressed with my overcooked fish or DW’s shrimp dish, though she thought it was one of the bet of the trip. We hit up Johnny Rockets, which was worth it as it has been in the past with yummy burgers, fries / onion rings, and shakes. They missed on the order a bit and no longer dance (which we thought the girls would like). All in all I’m left with a conversation I overheard when disembarking (yet another suite perk, as they walk you to the front of the line). One gentleman stated that this was his family’s 5th and last Royal Caribbean cruise. The other gentleman responded with this was our 1st and last Royal Caribbean cruise. I don’t think Royal Caribbean is going to win over repeat business for newcomers or loyalists unless they up their game and make the value received match the ever increasing prices. For us, Royal Caribbean gets one more shot to “Wow” us in 2016. After that it’ll be Disney or land based vacations.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This is our 19th cruise and am not loyal to any particular cruise line. This trip was an average experience which was disappointing as we had taken a 2 yr hiatus from cruising and instead had been doing more eco-traveling land based ... Read More
This is our 19th cruise and am not loyal to any particular cruise line. This trip was an average experience which was disappointing as we had taken a 2 yr hiatus from cruising and instead had been doing more eco-traveling land based vacations. Embarkation and debarkation were both easy. We arrived at the pier at approx 2 pm and were on the ship in 30 min. We did self disembarkation. Met in the show lounge at 7 a.m. and off thes ship at approx 7:20. Parked at EZ Cruise Pkg and quicker to walk to their lots then waiting for their shuttle to fill w/ people before they leave. The ship itself was well maintained. No issues there. We had a corner aft balcony - 7688. It's marked as obstructed view, but we thought it was AMAZING. Google images of RCL Navigator Cabin 7688 and you'll see great pictures to determine if this is the right cabin for you. Stateroom attendant was perhaps the best we've ever had. No more robes on RCL unless you are elite status. Dissapointing. Room service menu seems to have been paired down. Must order on the tv (calling on the phone was a lengthy wait if they even answered). Doesn't allow you to make any one off requests to your order such as I just want 1 cookie w/ my sandwich. For a vegetarian my room service menus were limited. I thought I had read on CC that during dining room hours you could order room service from the dining room menu, but this was not the case. We also missed potato chips or pretzels. None to be found anywhere on the ship. ?? We opted for Windjammer all wk and did not go to the dining room or speciality restaurants. Many options to choose from and food was good. Not bad, not great....acceptable. My biggest complaint of the whole trip is Windjammer closes at 9 pm and only food available after that is the Cafe. Cafe served the same sandwiches the entire week! Nothing changed and only 1 vegetariant option. After 2 days this got old for me. Also Windjammer would be closed when we would return from our ports. Most people are hungry after getting back on the ship and once again all 3000 of us are forced to the cafe w/ the same darn sandwiches they have served all week! Comedians were ok. Joel M (Elton John impersonator) and the ballroom dancing shows were our favorite. Of course, who doesn't get a good laugh by watching the Quest game show?! The country western band was very good. PLEASE give them a larger venue to perform in. We were literally dancing in the walk way each evening b/c the dance floor was so small and only room for a few couples. Cozumel we rented a VW Bug convertible from Rentadora ISIS for $35. Very easy option to explore the island on our own. Always enjoy this port. Disappointed we missed G Cayman. However, weather is weather and nothing can be done abou this. Falmouth we opted for the Mystic Mountain bob sled and zip line tour. We never book ship excursions, but we did this time. For the first time in a long time the ship excursion was cheaper than a private excursion. Wish I had paid the extra $ and done our own tour. The guide did a terrible job of keeping up all together and therefore we ended up waiting 2 hours for everyone to finish their zip, sled and lunch. We got separated in to different groups with other people visiting the park that day and that should not have happened. Across the street from the park is an area w/ a waterfall, selling crafts, etc.... I asked can I go over there and "visit" while we wait and our tour guide said no we are leaving in 15 min. 2 hours later and several more requests of now may I go over there and kept being told we are leaving in 15 min. I should have just gone. Oh well. Zip line was disappointing compared to the others we have done, but if you have never done this it is worth doing. Bob sled was disappointing as well. Its basically a small roller coaster ride. Not sure what i was expecting, but now I can cross this off our bucket list. Used the gym every day. They sell yoga and pilate classes for $12. Every day at 5 pm they offered a free class called stretching or core conditioning. Guess what folks? It's yogo and pilates, but free. Was only 25 min, but a good class especially for a beginner. Gym equipment was in good condition and rarely had to wait for machines. I'd give the cruise a B. LOVED our cabin, shows were ok to good, food ok, but lack of food choices and food venues was TERRIBLE.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
In the middle of the promenade is a staircase that leads down to the casino. I have never seen anyone take these stairs but the stairs function as a chimney for the cigarette smoke in the casino. The smoke from the casino comes up these ... Read More
In the middle of the promenade is a staircase that leads down to the casino. I have never seen anyone take these stairs but the stairs function as a chimney for the cigarette smoke in the casino. The smoke from the casino comes up these stairs and into the promenade. The entrance to the casino is on either end of the promenade, one deck below. Smoke from these casino entrances also ends up in the promenade, , main staircases, and the elevator areas. RC makes statements in their policies such as "our ships are designated as non-smoking" and "onboard all interior public spaces are smoke free". This is misleading and not what happens in actual practice. I had hoped that after RC improved their smoking policy that it would be better than before, but in the common areas it is just as bad. A nonsmoker should be able to take a cruise and not have to breathe smoke. The casino could easily be configured so that smoke does not easily flow into other areas, but RC has not done this. It seems like the most important thing is the comfort of smokers in the casino at the expense of everyone else. They have a bar and a cigar lounge on the ship where smoking is allowed and they smoke from those venues does not enter other parts of the ship. Why don't they do the same thing with the casino. The casino basically is centrally located, open to other areas, place to smoke. I have witness people in the casino just smoking and not playing. I have tried RC twice and while no one is smoking on the balconies anymore, you still have to put up with a lot of smoke, and you shouldn't have to. It has left a bad taste in my mouth and I plan to wait until this improves, to take my next RC cruise. For some reason when you and your travel agent tell RC about you sleeping preference (apart/together) the information never makes it to cabin steward. On both of my RC cruises they had it wrong when I boarded. I heard many other people complaining that had other stewards, so it seems to be a system problem, not just my steward. Our steward also neglected to give us the paperwork and luggage tags before we departed. I had to get them myself. The seating requests also do not get passed through. When we asked about our seating arrangement not being right, the only way they could fix it was to have as eat at *PM instead of our requested 5:30, so we had to live with the mistake. The Galveston terminal is crowded, confusing, small and has contradictory signs. The rest of our cruise was very enjoyable and we were treated royally at every turn. The ship is very nice and we thoroughly enjoyed our aft junior suite. The food was very good and our waiters were fabulous. The gym was sometimes crowded but very nice with lots of equipment. The shows were good and there are lots of things to do onboard. If you ignore the smoking and the few mistakes, it was a great cruise. RC does a great job and has the bests ships. I look forward to cruising with them again as soon as they truly fulfill their promise that "Onboard all interior public spaces are smoke free." Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We are upper-tier (longtime RCL) cruisers with nearly all our journeys on RCL. We have been on Navigator before, and expected the typical first-rate services and entertainment. This cruise was disappointing. As a casual cruiser, I often ... Read More
We are upper-tier (longtime RCL) cruisers with nearly all our journeys on RCL. We have been on Navigator before, and expected the typical first-rate services and entertainment. This cruise was disappointing. As a casual cruiser, I often wore dress shorts with a nice shirt to the dining room. No more. RCL has changed their enforcement policy and will no longer serve persons who are not well-dressed for dinner. I guess they are not interested in casual cruisers any longer. Room service (thankfully) was excellent. Quality of the RCL song and dance show the second night was awful, as was the adult comedian. Thankfully the shows got better, and the ice show is incredible, as always. This was the first cruise we have ever taken on RCL where we left a bit disappointed. Guest services staff were bored and once even rude. The Coca-Cola fountains were so weak it could barely be tasted at all venues. The cruise director was missing in action compared to our previous cruises. Windjammer was a great place to be, but it seems their hours of operation have been reduced to where guests had to wait for it to open, and it closed much too early. Just did not feel the WoW anymore. We actually cancelled another cruise we had booked onboard, and decided to try another cruise line next time. I do not understand why things have deteriorated, because this cruise was fully booked and it seemed lots of drinks were sold. Sorry RCL... just being honest. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
I know...you wonder how a cruise can be both dazzling and disastrous. I am here to tell you it happened! So here goes my latest cruise experience. My husband and I have over 50 cruises under our belts, so this is not a blown out of ... Read More
I know...you wonder how a cruise can be both dazzling and disastrous. I am here to tell you it happened! So here goes my latest cruise experience. My husband and I have over 50 cruises under our belts, so this is not a blown out of proportion rookie cruise experience. Embarkation and Debarkation went smooth and fast. For us, Galveston has been an easy port. Our group of five booked this cruise specifically for The Texas Tenors group. It was a charter done through an agency. Our reservation for this cruise was made ten months in advance. Upon embarkation, we went to the Windjammer for lunch and then proceeded to explore the ship. At 1:00 we set off for our rooms. As a group of five, we were to have three people in one room and two in another. This is where disaster set in. My husband, sister-in-law, and I were sharing a balcony room with a couch bed...we thought...It wasn't. Somehow we are stuck in a room with a bunk bed. None of us are young or fit enough to climb into an overhead ceiling bunkbed. We thought the solution would be simple. Get a room with a couch bed (what we wanted in the first place) or get my sister-in-law a roll away bed. We were told the cruise was COMPLETELY BOOKED AND FULL (Lie #1) . No rooms to be had. The front desk and the room steward were supposed to get her a roll away bed, so we went our merry way to dinner and the show. We get back to our room around 11:30 pm to find a children's cot on the floor. My sister-in-law is 63 years old, 5'10" tall. She is not built for a child's cot. Bless her heart, she tried to lay on it and the middle sank to the floor and the ends came up. I cannot believe they really thought she would sleep like the letter "U" for seven nights! Livid does not begin to describe my husbands anger. We go back to the front desk and are told nothing else could be done (Lie #2) . I have never ever seen my husband so mad. The desk manager FINALLY realized that my husband was not going to back down and somehow a room would be available for my sister-in-law the next day. Hmmm...we were told there were no rooms left just hours before...after we set sail. A miracle...They also found a roll away bed that did not exist earlier. Instead of all the deception, anger, hurt feelings, and BS, RC could have just given us a roll away bed in the beginning and all would have been fine. Nope. RC had to screw us around first. My sister in law ended up in a room to her self (no extra charge) and that was wonderful. I just wonder why RC had to be so hard to get along with? Our early dining was an adventure too. We get to our table and find it full of people. We look at our sea pass cards to make sure we had it right and we did. The people at our table were supposed to be at the late seating dinner. They refused to leave our table. They claimed that RC let them change their time. So there we stand with no table and the wait staff is just as floored and surprised as us. After already going a couple of rounds over our stateroom, this was just beginning to really irk me. The maitre'd was found and he placed our group at a nice table for the entire cruise. The maitre'd got it right when it came to service. As I said earlier, this was a cruise with The Texas Tenors. A fabulously talented group of singers. These young men were the Dazzling part of this cruise. Their fan club (who arranged this charter) were the rudest and nastiest group of people to hit the seas. This fan club has a core group that excludes more people than it includes and The Texas Tenors have no idea of the nastiness that occurred at their fist performance. There were a lot of us who wished to see their performance and stood outside and waited for the fist performance (6:30) to end so we could enter the theater as soon as possible and get good seats for the second performance. This group of rabid fans did not let anyone waiting for the second performance to have any of the first three rows. When I asked them if they thought it was fair that they sit through two performances and take the first three rows, I was told to screw myself and go to he!! Classy group of fans...NOT! They even pushed and bullied people for the private show. I really wonder if the Texas Tenors have any clue that some of the "ladies" they recognize as wonderful fans are anything but. The Q & A was no better. Only the core group knew about first cancellation. Only the core group was let in on the door decorating contest. Only the core group was fully informed of the schedule of private events. Most people did not get a schedule until the 3rd cruise day. I paid for the Texas Tenor charter and was treated like an intruder. I am a fan of the Texas Tenors, but I will never do another one of their charter cruises. Think twice before booking with a charter group. It is not as fun as it sounds. I never did get close enough to have my CD's autographed...which the seller guaranteed would be autographed. Lesson learned. I usually enjoy the RC singers and dancers, but not this time. The dancers were fine and did their best. The singers were the worst ever. I really mean that. After fifty plus cruises, these singers were the worst. Tone deaf...out of sync...no projection of voice...monotone...zero harmonizing...awful. Lots of people walked out of both shows. The 70's disco music on the promenade was just as horrible. That young man hit so many sour notes. It was cringe worthy! The comediennes were a blast. Family friendly and adult comedy was just awesome. Enjoyed that a lot. The Cruise Director and his staff were really nice and very entertaining. The trivia was always enjoyable and those who hosted were always very funny. The Schooner bar piano player is one of the best I have ever heard. His nightly shows were always great. The Schooner Bar staff is also to be commended. Always great service. The food on our cruise was fine. There was always plenty to select from. If anyone dares to say that there is no selection food on this ship, they did not read their daily compass! As I said in the beginning...Dazzling and Disastrous!   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
This was the first time we have sailed on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. Had it been our first cruise ever I probably would not have been as disappointed. Prior to this cruise we have sailed with Princess several times and Celebrity once. ... Read More
This was the first time we have sailed on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. Had it been our first cruise ever I probably would not have been as disappointed. Prior to this cruise we have sailed with Princess several times and Celebrity once. Embarkation: Outside was a zoo - very unorganized. Once we got inside the terminal, things did go quickl. Meals at the Windjammer: Food was good but nothing to write home about. I felt that the flatware and napkins could be already at the tables and drinks served. Difficult at times to juggle playes, flatware, drinks and hunt for a table. It's the little things that count. Lunch at the Main Dining Room: Went with friends for final lunch and really enjoyed it. Food was better and always nice to have table service. Main Dining Evening Meal: Food above average but again. it exceptional. Was surprised about add on items for an extra price. I felt that was unnecessary. If you want to pay extra, go to the signature restaurants. Entertainment: Enjoyed the entertainment - some of the best we have seen on cruise ships. Daytime activities: Lots of activities for those who want to rock climb, ride the wave machine swim, put put, etc. Most activities were for the more active lifestyle. Was very little educational type activities. Had hoped for some indoor movies. The last Princess cruise we were on had great movies by the pool and also had a great selection on the TV - for no extra cost! I felt we were nickel and dined for everything! I did enjoy the design of the ship and the Promenade area. We visited the shops but purchased very little. Just not a great selection (hubby ok with this)! Overall, enjoyed cruise because we were with friends. Would I cruise a Royal Caribbean ship again? Only if traveling with my children or grandchildren or if going to a destination not covered by another cruise line. Also, service by our room steward and our main dining room attendants was outstanding!   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Embarkation was fairly smooth Dining: The food choices have have steadily gone to a lower standard. For this New Years Cruise a Significant WINE. Champagne selection was NOT Available...only the expensive stuff was offered...makes you ... Read More
Embarkation was fairly smooth Dining: The food choices have have steadily gone to a lower standard. For this New Years Cruise a Significant WINE. Champagne selection was NOT Available...only the expensive stuff was offered...makes you wonder why. They even cut out " O Sole Mio".....I guess this will increase their Stock Holders portfolio?...Someone in RCL's organization needs to be fired,,,,,,,,this does not cost anything ....and PEOPLE LOVED IT Not one (1) ice carving....and this was supposed to be a Holiday cruise. Entertainment was ok. The comedians were good. However is you are a Ballroom Dancer don't bother. RCL must think all TEXANS are HICKS. TOOOOO much country!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!A band playing a variety of music would have been nice.. A final observation: Congratulation to RCL........You are very close to achieve equality with Carnival and Norwegian....but then why pay premium...any answers? Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We have sailed on the Navigator several times in the past, usually from Cape Liberty. We are diamond plus members, so are well used to RCCL. Every time we board a ship, the first thing we do is go to the library. We were shocked, no ... Read More
We have sailed on the Navigator several times in the past, usually from Cape Liberty. We are diamond plus members, so are well used to RCCL. Every time we board a ship, the first thing we do is go to the library. We were shocked, no SHOCKED to find that the library only had approximately 30 books, spread thinly on it's many shelves. This was not because people had taken them, as the glass doors were locked! There were approximately 10 swap shop books which previous passengers had left, which went within minutes of our arriving (taken by other people). The situation did not improve throughout the cruise and each time we went past the library, people were there trying to find something, anything to read. There were scores of boxed games of Backgammon however, together with a few packs of cards and a couple of Scrabble board games. Nothing else The games room on the Navigator used to be on deck 14 in the Viking Lounge, but this has now been made into an Asian restaurant (another money making venture). We usually go to Portofino's each cruise, but this is no longer there and the room is now called Giovani's. We were told by the maître de that it was just a good, so we went. Don't believe it. The food is served in the middle of the table to be shared by everyone, which is by no means fine dining, also the food wasn't that good. On one night of the cruise there wasn't even a show. This is often the case when a ship stays overnight in port, but this didn't happen on this cruise. There was only one ice show, which was repeated on several days, again cut backs. The ports of call, Roatan, Belize and Cozomel are probably the cheapest ports of call in the Caribbean, and to be honest not very nice. The food in the main dining room (we were on freetime) isn't as good as it used to be, but the waiters still try to make it a pleasant occasion. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Customer service is really bad on The Navigator of The Seas. We redeemed points from our Royal Caribbean credit card for on board credit. We had our emails and conformation numbers from the redemption and called Two days prior the confirm ... Read More
Customer service is really bad on The Navigator of The Seas. We redeemed points from our Royal Caribbean credit card for on board credit. We had our emails and conformation numbers from the redemption and called Two days prior the confirm the on board credit would be there. The credit was not there when we boarded and was told that we had to go through our travel agent to find anything out. Our travel agent finally got our credit on day Four of our Seven day cruise (The travel agent was not involved in the redeeming the points). Royal Caribbean in Galveston is very unorganized and is chaos when getting off the Ship. I will not go to Royal Caribbean in Galveston again, it was that bad. I do not mind waiting in line and I expected it to be organized. luggage on both sides of the room with snakes lines in the middle,security breaking and parting the lines to allow porters to bring in the luggage for the next cruise, people making their way through the snake lines to get their luggage and not knowing where the line started or stopped. It took us two hours to go through the lines. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
My family of four (including my two sons, 17 and 22) were on the August 17 cruise with the Grand Cayman/Jamaica itinerary. I would say this cruise was well done and enjoyable—for the price. This is not a five star cruising experience, ... Read More
My family of four (including my two sons, 17 and 22) were on the August 17 cruise with the Grand Cayman/Jamaica itinerary. I would say this cruise was well done and enjoyable—for the price. This is not a five star cruising experience, but we didn't pay five star prices. I think the overall experience on this ship has been degraded by the recent expansion--they just aren't handling the huge number of people very well. Here are some comments that I hope will be helpful: First, my tips: carry-on wine: we carefully read the policy and determined we could bring on two bottles of wine per stateroom. One of ours was a bottle of port which had an alcohol content of 20%. This was confiscated upon boarding because they claimed anything above about 15% was not considered wine. I have no problem with that statement, but it should be clarified in their written policy. They did give us back the port after we boarded when I complained, but I would warn anyone planning carry-on wine to NOT bring PORT. Shareholder "benefit": when I was planning the cruise, I was searching for any ways to get on-board credit, and I found that RCL shareholders (of 100 shares or more) get a $100 credit. I purchased 100 shares a few weeks before leaving, got my $100 credit, and upon my return sold the shares (it wasn't really something that fit in my long term portfolio). I was lucky: the stock was up, and I netted about $800. Talk about win-win!! So, if you're able to take the risk, buy some RCL before you cruise. Next, my review: Cabins: 8372 balcony. Great bathroom, big comfortable bed, good balcony, outstanding room attendant (Rohan). I felt there was plenty of closet/drawer space. We were able to 'move in' and have the room very neat and orderly 9303 inside. This one had the virtual balcony. I think this made a big difference in making the inside cabin tolerable. Activities: Flowrider: lines were almost always huge, so you had to wait 15-30 minutes for a turn that lasted a few seconds (we did surfing, not wake-boarding). It was open most of the day, but with those lines it was hardly worth doing. We wanted a shared lesson (they offered lessons for 4 students at about $70 each), but they did nothing to coordinate getting 4 people together. We wanted just one slot, and they basically said we'd have to find the other three attendees on our own. It was so unhelpful that I have to conclude they didn't really want to give these lessons. Also, almost every time I wanted a pool towel they were 'out'. Ice rink: cool to say we went ice skating in the Caribbean, but it was pretty small, pretty crowded, and the ice was pretty bumpy. Rock climbing: fun to see the kids do it, but they complained it was too easy (!). From where I stood, it looked very impressive to see them scale the wall! We were lucky we just walked up and did it on the first day of the cruise, but I saw pretty long lines later on... Mini golf: no lines. Good relaxing activity. Shows: Ice dancing: AMAZING!! Quest: pretty crass, but If you like that sort of thing, get there early because it fills up. Others: mediocre/okay Excursions: Cozumel: we took a taxi to Corona Beach, and had a great day with snorkeling, nachos, a beer and beach. NOT CROWDED!!! Grand Cayman: we did the ship's excursion for 'deluxe stingray city'. This was quite well done (even if you were with 100 other people, and there were many other big groups out on the sand bar), and the stingrays were amazing! Oddly, the ship's price was less than I found elsewhere—but in any case, because of the tenders (take a boat to shore; no dock), you really want to do the ship's excursion to get off the ship faster in Grand Cayman. Jamaica: we did the ship's 'Mystic Mountain with bobsled and Dunns River Falls' excursion. This was also cheaper than the ones I found on-line (plus, I didn't find this particular combination elsewhere). It was also well done. I liked Mystic Mountain a lot (beautiful, and not too crowded), and climbing the falls is definitely something to have on your bucket list. Food: Main Restaurant: EXCELLENT everything. I'm a foodie, and I found the food to all be very good. The service was also very good. There tended to be long lines to get seated (we did my time dining, and usually eat pretty late (8-9pm)). But once seated, the service was good enough. I thought it was odd that they didn't seem to have a wine steward come around—we had to ask for wine. And nobody ever tried to offer any other kind of alcoholic drinks—kind of odd in a restaurant! Windjammer: we only ate here for breakfast/lunch; it was okay but VERY CROWDED. Specialty restaurants: I just wasn't motivated to pay the extra money when the main restaurant was so good. Ship: Holy cow! Amazing, fantastic! Huge! Gorgeous!! Embarkation/Debarkation: I think we were on within an hour and completely off and out of customs within 45 minutes. It wasn't too hot or painful.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was our first time back with Royal in several years. Started with Royal in early 2000's from Galveston. Boarding was so much easier this time. Balcony cabin was fine and airy. Room steward was under the weather, did not see him ... Read More
This was our first time back with Royal in several years. Started with Royal in early 2000's from Galveston. Boarding was so much easier this time. Balcony cabin was fine and airy. Room steward was under the weather, did not see him much. Luggage late as we brought wine aboard in our luggage, as Royal allows this privilege for passengers. Well, no one told us you had to go and claim this luggage in person before you could take it to your room. Not too sharp! Food service was not as full of choices as on previous cruises. No coffee or tea on the outside decks as on previous cruises. Almost forces you to buy a beverage card to get coffee/tea outside the buffet line. Then, the endless extra dining experiences you could have. This new approach totally takes themed nights out of the dining rooms for sure. Dining room for lunch was the best.  Loved the calamari salad offered. Just right for a mid-day repast. Shows were nice most of the time. Ice show as really a treat. Went back another night to see if changes were made. It was even better the second time. However, never filled with spectators!  Missed the amenities once given on Royal. Royal towel creatures began with this cruise line. Only had 3 creatures on the 7 day cruise. This told me that cabin stewards are fewer and fewer these days. In the main dining area in the evening, our table steward on several occasions made reference that he hoped we gave him a top rating for his service to our table. At first we dismissed this statement from him. But on the last night of our cruise, we knew he was most serious. Somehow, cruising has lost the great feel of the last decade. It is all to much emphasis on money and what it buys a cruiser. This attitude does not make me feel comfortable. My husband and I have 16 plus cruisers on other lines. So far HA is coming up a winner for passenger treatment and food service.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We are experienced cruisers. We chose RCI and Port of Galveston for the convenience of the majority of our party driving to the port. The best things about Navigator are the Ice Skating Show, the "FlowRider", and the Climbing ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers. We chose RCI and Port of Galveston for the convenience of the majority of our party driving to the port. The best things about Navigator are the Ice Skating Show, the "FlowRider", and the Climbing Wall. Our travel agent had our group sit together in the Sapphire dining room. Not once did the staff acknowledge our anniversary. The food is only average at best. Other cruise lines offer a better selection of entrees. The extremely slow service in the main dining room at breakfast the first shore excursion day almost caused us to miss our tour. RCI's setup for viewing and selecting pictures taking by ship's photographers requires substantial software overhaul to work properly. Many passengers could not get their pictures to appear on the monitors by scanning their room cards. One member of our group purchased a CD of all the pictures on the cruise at a price of $172. When the CD was received in the mail after returning home, the pictures were of other people not in our group. RCI has promoted the extensive renovation Navigator of the Seas went through January 2014. RCI must have spent the money in the engine room and crew's quarters. We couldn't tell it was spent on public areas. RCI appears to promote the Indian and Asian trade. This ship had the highest percentage of these rude, obnoxious passengers of any cruise we have been on to date. There are too many good cruise lines to waste time and money on Royal Caribbean International. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
My wife and I were first time cruisers and I thought it would be nice to take a cruise to Belize, Roatan and Cozumel through Galveston. Embarkation was easy and I have to say, I was very impressed with Royal Carribbean service on board. ... Read More
My wife and I were first time cruisers and I thought it would be nice to take a cruise to Belize, Roatan and Cozumel through Galveston. Embarkation was easy and I have to say, I was very impressed with Royal Carribbean service on board. The food was good, if not exceptional and there was plenty to do on sea days. We were not bored. We had an ocean view room and the room service was exceptional. The on board entertainment we enjoyed most (surprisingly) was the stand up comic. The guy was hilarious. Food wise, we tended to stay away from the Windjammer cafe, I'm not a huge fan of buffet food, but on the occasions we ate there, it was acceptable. Our table mates at the main dining hake were pretty uninteresting so we opted to eat out. The latin/fusion restaurant was the least impressive of the lot. But otherwise I would say the cruise was good value for the money. It was the disembarkation where Royal Carribbean fell down. It might have been poor coordination with the TSA (whom I also blame btw) but we waited over 3 hours to move the 100 feet to go through customs. I felt awful for the British citizen who missed his flight. This experience has convinced me that we will never sail out of Galveston again. It was a miserable end to what was otherwise an excellent cruise. Oh well. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
This was our family's 4th cruise, but the first on Royal Caribbean. We sailed with Carnival the three previous times. We thought we were "upgrading" by choosing Royal Caribbean. We were genuinely unimpressed. We tried to see ... Read More
This was our family's 4th cruise, but the first on Royal Caribbean. We sailed with Carnival the three previous times. We thought we were "upgrading" by choosing Royal Caribbean. We were genuinely unimpressed. We tried to see it as a nicer ship, but it just wasn't. Heads up: We were under the impression that you had to purchase a drink package if you wanted coffee, tea, or bottled water. (which is all we drink) WRONG! We purchased the package at $140.00 each just to find out that coffee, tea, and water (not bottled) was available 24 hours a day. The only advantage to that package was smoothies not made from fresh fruit, but artificial flavoring and ice. We are not stupid people. Everyone one of us have at least a bachelor's degree. We did not misinterpret the information. It was extremely misleading. The food was just okay and not available as often as it should have been. The buffet is only open for a few hours; if you're not hungry during that time, plan on eating a mini sub sandwich or pastry because that's all that's available. Not only was it difficult to get food, it just wasn't very good. However, the main dining room served good food for dinner and the service was excellent. As for entertainment.....and I use that term loosely in this case.....it was mediocre at best. The singers were extremely amateurish and the sound was deafening. We saw about half of one show and never went back. Activities were limited and uninteresting. We mainly sat on the balcony. If you've ever cruised before, you are aware that excursions are pricier if booked through the ship, and usually more crowded. Therefore, we booked our excursions ourselves directly through the company. Usually this is not an issue. It became an issue with this ship. We tendered in Belize. If you booked your excursion through RC, you got off the boat first while the rest of us waited, and waited, and waited. We were on the first tender of private bookers and had to wait an hour and a half after the preferred passengers left. We felt as if RC was rather passive aggressive in this matter. In retrospect, I would not have paid double the amount to go on this ship over Carnival. In fact, I wouldn't pay at all to go on this ship. Next time we cruise, it's back to Carnival.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Sailed Eastern Caribbean On 07/13/2014  Balcony Room on Starboard Side If the ship faces the same way each time it docks then port side would have been better. I know that some consider Carnival a "lower class" of ship and ... Read More
Sailed Eastern Caribbean On 07/13/2014  Balcony Room on Starboard Side If the ship faces the same way each time it docks then port side would have been better. I know that some consider Carnival a "lower class" of ship and passengers, but they are the fun ship and do know/remember how to have a good time. I submitted my electronic comment card today with the following attached. I'd like to consider myself a regular cruiser. I'm 39 years old and did not start cruising until about 15 years ago. In that time I have been on 10 cruises, on two cruise lines - Royal Caribbean and Carnival. My first experience with Royal Caribbean was on Liberty of the Seas in 2008. 2010 I had the pleasure of cruising on Oasis of the Seas (best ship design, experience, etc. of all my cruises). Navigator of the Seas came with mixed reviews online, but it was one of two ships sailing to the ports I was wanting to visit, and left from a different port other than those in FL. So I gathered a group of 6, including my wife and myself, and we booked this last cruise. Boarding the ship was easy and fast. I forget the exact time of our arrival, around 1:30pm ish. Checked our bags with a porter, got in line, made it through x-ray/security check point, and then we were put into a giant bigger than Disneyland line. One of my traveling companions is pregnant and a staff member took us aside to a no line check in. Not sure how long that line would have taken us but by the looks on people’s faces, they were very jealous of us walking up to the front after only 5-10 minutes in line. Check in was fairly smooth, but appeared a little hectic where we were located (far right if facing counter). I'm guessing this is the problem line and entertainer check in as we saw the onboard band checking in next to us. Once on board we proceeded straight to our stateroom, which was already available for us. I think on most cruises we are there a little early and have to wait for our rooms so this was welcomed change for us to be able to ditch our belongings and get down to the cruise pocket stuff - room key and camera. Quick entertainment note - it was the world cup final. The game was playing on the big screen. No music. No band; just the world cup audio. I get that millions of people love the world cup, but this is day 1 of a Caribbean cruise, where was the Caribbean band? The music? The cruise ship ambiance I have had on all other voyages? Missing. It was a bunch of people sitting, laying, and standing around watching a big TV. Although entertaining because it is world cup, it would have been better to have the game silenced and some music playing or the band playing. After the stateroom drop off, it was time for my first drink of every cruise - mango margarita. No idea why that's my first drink, just kind of started years ago and the tradition continued with our group of 6. The pregnant one obviously was not going to drink alcohol. Her husband had already purchased the premium drink package prior to boarding. My other friend had purchased the ultimate drink package. My sister, my wife, and myself did not purchase any drink packages prior to boarding. The information on the website was crystal clear and the reviews online were back and forth with answers, so I figured we would just ask an employee once there to see if it was good for us or not. My wife and my sister are moderate drinkers and I drink a bit more than they do, but like particular brands of whiskey, beer, etc. Our first stop for mango margaritas was the Solarium Bar. The bartender there (a male, unknown name) was whom we first asked for drink package information. His initial response to the drink packages was that they were not worth it. He continued on a bit about price per drink and port days where people don't drink, before my friend with the ultimate package interrupted him. My friend explained he already purchased the package and wanted to know if there were exclusions to what types of alcohol or price limits. We were told we could have any drink up to $10 in value, after that we would be required to pay the difference. As in a $12 drink would cost us $2 with a drink package. After thinking about what the bartender initially said about price per drink, I thought at $6-$8 a drink I'm not sure the package would benefit my wife at all, and I would probably break even or come out slightly ahead. I asked the bartender when do I have to purchase the package by? He responded to me I could purchase it on any day of the cruise. This was different than what I had originally read online, which I believe was it had to be purchased in the first 2 or 4 days of the cruise (cant recall as it was online info and I wanted direct info from an employee). I then asked what happens if I drink more than $55 in drinks today? His response was not perfectly clear (as I am guessing English was not his first language) but it was something to the extent of you would pay the $55 for that day and all the other days. To clarify I asked, if I drink $120 worth of alcohol today (day 1) and decide to buy the package tomorrow (day 2) what happens to the amount above and beyond the $120? Do I pay $55 plus the extra ($65) or just the $55 for the package and they (Royal Caribbean) zero out the drinks above and beyond that? His response to me was that I would only pay the $55 for that day and not the extra ($65). Since that was the case, I decided to wait and see how much my wife and I drank to see if either of us or neither of us needed the package. My sister decided the same thing. Now this was my sister's first cruise. I was the organizer of the cruise and therefor felt responsible for her from that perspective as well as from an older brother perspective. 6 mango margaritas were ordered (1 virgin of course) and first drink of the cruise photo taken. All seemed well. We proceeded to another couple of bars, I don’t recall which or in which order. We asked another couple of bartenders about the packages and received similar responses. Variances in answers were in regards to when the drink packages could be purchased up to. Some said any of the 7 days, while we had answers that were down to only during the first 2 days. I wasn't worried about that because I knew we were going to make a decision on day 2 regardless. The other variances in answers were in regards to how often could we buy a drink. Could I buy a whiskey with a beer at the same time, was my base question. Answers ranged from yes all the way up to having to wait 20 minutes between drinks. We asked if that was a computer thing, meaning would the computer prevent me from buying before the 10 - 20 minute wait time had expired, or could I walk to the next bar and by the other drink. No one was really ever able to give us a straight legitimate answer on this topic. Day 2 came around and I checked my bar tab for day 1. I was clearly over the $55 mark. For me it was going to be worth the drink package. For my wife, she decided against it, as she didn't feel she would have more than a drink or two on port days. My sister decided since it was her first cruise she would go with the package in order to have a fixed known drink expense, and not have to worry about her bar tab while she is out trying to enjoy her first cruise vacation. After breakfast, a quick poolside relaxing suntan, and a couple poolside drinks, we proceeded to grab a bite at the Windjammer Cafe. While there, an employee again told us we could purchase the drink package anytime during the 7-day cruise. Luckily there were guests sitting nearby. They interjected their response into our conversation, stating yes, but you will be charged for all drinks every day as well as the $55 a day package price. We asked if this was true, and could not get a clear enough explanation from the bartender. So rather than order the package there at the Windjammer bar, we went back to our stateroom. I contacted the operator to ask the question. I spoke with the operator who told me we would be charged for all drinks from day 1, plus $55 a day for the package for all 7 days. Now I understand it is more of a package price of $385 for the drink package, and when broken down that comes out to a daily amount of $55. I get that. That's fine. What I did not get or appreciate was why so many employees aboard the ship would give us the wrong info. All the original bartender at the Solarium bar had to do was give us the correct information from the start and he would have definitely sold 2 packages and probably a 3rd to my wife (as after this experience my wife said she didn't care to give Royal Caribbean any more of our money when it came to alcohol). I explained what we were told to the operator. She said she would have the Bar supervisor contact me. I called my sister, and she had told me she was just informed the same thing from the operator. I called back to the operator (a bit angry now - going back to that planning the cruise and big brother thing) and was transferred to the bar supervisor. Told him the entire story of what happened where and how many times. His response to me was there was nothing he could do for me, at all. I asked who could do something for me, and he relied his boss the bar manager. I asked to speak with him, and was told he would call me. I waited in my stateroom and received a call. This time the caller (can't recall name) told me he understood my situation as I wanted the premium package but only wanted to pay for 6 days. I explained to him no, that is not it. I explained all the above of what happened and what we were told. So again he tells me, he can not sell me just 6 day package as it is one all inclusive drink package for $385, and that can not be broken down. I explained to him again, that is not what I want. I want what your employees said - 7 day drink package for $385 or $55 a day as they advertise it, and my first day drinks to be part of that package. His response to me was there was nothing the ship could do for me, as these are rules brought on by the upper management at home on land. Assuming this to be true, I explained could not believe the ship or the "upper management at home on land" would be willing to lose 2 to 6 future Royal Caribbean customers over a few drinks. His response, a chuckle. Now I was quite a bit angrier. So I asked for his name (still can't remember it) and his position on the ship. He gave me his name and said he was the assistant bar manager. I told him I did not request to be contacted by the assistant bar manager and I wanted to speak with the bar manager, no more assistants or supervisors. He said the bar manager was on break. I asked until when, he said he was probably in his stateroom and he could wake him for me. That was fine by me. Several minutes later I received a call from the bar manager (AJ or RJ). I asked him if he had been explained why I was wanting to speak with him, he told me, "Yes because you want to purchase a drink package for 6 days instead of 7. We don't do that." In complete aggravation I explained the entire situation over again. Ultimately his 'solution' went against what everyone else had been saying all along and what he initially stated. His solution was to sell my sister and me a 6-day drink package, and zero out the afternoon drinks from day 2 but no drinks from day 1. I told him this was not up to my satisfaction of a solution but rather than waste any more of my vacation time bickering over a few dollars to do it. I explained to him the idea that none of the bartenders that I spoke with could properly explain the package is a huge opportunity for them to do some retraining or rethinking of the drink packages. They should stand behind what their employees are telling and selling people. And then to be told by 4 people the package is a package at a fixed price and can not be changed, only to have 1 of those 4 people change the package and the price, gives them zero credibility. I did get most of my drinks from that date subtracted from my bill but not all. Before coming up with his solution, he quizzed me on what time I got aboard the ship, what bar did I go to, who did I talk to, and so on. No big deal. I wasn't lying or making stuff up, so I gave him all the info I could. Suddenly he found our mango margarita transaction(s) and then made the offer. I found that a bit odd and irritating. I'm sure many people lie or try to lie to save money or cheat the system, so I ignored it. However, I found this to be a continuing theme throughout our trip. Later in the 3rd day I believe it was, I was at a bar by the pool getting a drink. The bartender took my card and then kept looking at the computer and then at me, and then at the computer and then at my card. This went on for a bit so I asked if my card was reading ok. He said my folio number on my card did not match what was in the computer. I said I have no idea what that means or why but its worked fine up until this point. He gave me my drink and suggested I get a new card. I am sure people pretend to lose their card so their underage friend can go buy a drink with the lost card while the true owner has the new card. I wrote this off as the bartender doing his job, despite making me feel like I'm suspect to some underage drinking or fake folio scheme. I went to get my new card later that day at the customer service desk. The gentleman there told me I had another card issued and this was my old car. I explained this is the only card I have had since boarding and never requested another card at all. He told me I did in fact have another card issued. Again, I did not. Could it have been someone else somehow getting my card and now I have false charges? After my third time of being made to feel like I'm trying to cheat the system, I was told I would be issued a new card. He gave me a print out of my room charges but there was nothing that I did not charge there. Weird. Only thing I could think of was if the beverage package being charged caused my folio to change and made my card folio not match my current folio. However, I was not able to find that out because I was more of a hassle (another theme) to customer service than a guest having a difficult time. A passenger is a burden these days it seems. Other than the main dining room and my stateroom attendant, everywhere else it seemed as though I was an inconvenience to the staff. Trying to order a drink, with or without a line, took forever and was missing that cruise ship feel of fun and happiness. Maybe it's the drink packages? Does the staff no longer get what they should in tips? Every receipt says gratuity is included. And I would add additional if I felt they deserved it. But overall, I felt like I was a burden to them for trying to buy a drink or get a water. Buying drinks and getting water - what is the actual policy? Can I order a shot of whiskey and a beer? Can I have a water and an alcoholic beverage? Can I have two bottles of water instead of just one? How often can I order something? Is there a time limit? None of these questions were ever answered verbally. I could only try and test them. For the most part it seems like it is at the discretion of the bartender or server. Sometimes I could have a drink in hand and order one to take with me to dinner or the pool. Other times I was told you have to finish that drink before I can give you another one. What if I don’t like it? What if I don’t want that anymore? I was told we could walk from one bar to another without a problem in ordering drinks, and that seemed to be the case. I don’t need to pound drink after drink, but sometimes it is nice to have one to walk with and one to have when you get to your destination. Policy on this should be made clear and be more customer friendly. The main dining room was by far the best service aboard the ship. Assistant waiter Florentina was awesome. Great personality, super helpful, and friendly. She is what cruising should be about, or at least that is the way I remember cruise service being. Our cocktail server in the main dining room was also good and should be recognized. I believe his name was "Dee." Our stateroom was always clean, never had any issues or problems, and our attendant magically crept in and out when we were not in the room. On one occasion we were rushed and left our in room safe open containing wedding rings, cameras, cash, wallets, passports, etc. Nothing missing. Don't even think anything was touched. Good job to Arlex. Overall I wish more of the staff everywhere addressed people by name and with a smile. Both of those were severely lacking. I was "asked" to order drinks several times with nothing more than a head nod. Although, there was one bartender definitely stood out at the pool bar. He was nice and friendly and made up a custom drink for my friend and I. I think is first name was Edward and he was from the Philippines. The entertainment aboard the navigator was not bad, but it was definitely my least favorite of all cruises. Like I said the missing music or band when boarding was terrible. The DJ's set at the club was basically the same every night. I knew at a certain time in the night the music was going to switch to a particular type that I did not like and that was my cue to leave. Would have liked to stay out later and drink more on most nights. The outdoor party/dance I have done before on a previous sailing. This time however the outdoor party was Miami themed, but said dress casual, and it was after a formal night dinner. Huh? If I'm dressed up for formal night, I would like to make good use out of the time and effort my wife and I put into getting ready and enjoy the night. I don't want to go change into casual attire. And although I associated a Miami theme with being more casual than formal night, it's definitely dressier in Miami than cruise ship casual. The music was too quite. Probably because of stateroom noise. There are two spas, a pool, and a bar right there, and all that was utilized were two hallway sized sections as a dance floor, and a bar with a long line. How about a deck pool party? Servers actually walking around trying to take drink orders? Regardless, following a formal night dinner, whatever after party there is should remain formal. Another side note - the last night of the cruise while walking the ship, we came across the crew area where they had music playing. Their music from a deck above sounded better than the outdoor party music by far, and had way more bass than the normal night club. I know it is more of a Carnival thing to do dining room dances or songs, but that stuff is fun! And I could have sworn I have seen Royal Caribbean sing or something in the past. Dinner service was still the best customer service on board, just lacking that entertainment piece. The piano wasn't even playing one night until we asked about it. I did not do any excursions through Royal Caribbean. The information seemed a bit lacking online, so I booked with outside companies. Overall cleanliness of the ship was nice. Rarely saw any drinks left behind on the deck or in planters. Trash and plates always cleared from tables. There were a few rails that were really sticky - probably salt water or spilled alcohol. Back of the ship had some really bad salt build up (I'm hoping) on the rail. It stuck all over our forearms when looking out that back of the ship. I am sure several complaints have been made for the photo mishap aboard this sailing. We were told day after day, photos would be up tomorrow. Well tomorrow ended up being day 7 of the cruise. Long lines, missing photos, some printed out already, some not, and more lines. It was just a mess. Apparently some software error with facial recognition. We were only able to buy two photos. I think we were the only ones out of our group that purchased photos because of this mishap. There was the welcome back party for previous cruisers. 5 of 6 of our group were previous cruisers, my sister being the only new one. Between the 6 of us, we were in 3 staterooms. Only one of the three staterooms received an invite to the party. My wife and I (both previous cruisers) did not receive one. Debarking with tenders was delayed and slow. However, I am not sure I have ever been on a cruise where the tender operation ran perfectly smooth. End of cruise debarkation. Our morning started off a bit rushed because we had to deal with the picking up of our ordered photos from the day before. Most debarkation process was standard and smooth until it was time to actually walk off the ship. Long lines on the exit deck to swipe our cards. Once we were in the customs area, that is where the real disorganization began. We were smart enough to read signs and ask questions, but saw several people throwing a fit over the long waits and lack of organization. Still took longer than expected to get off the boat and through customs, but others were waiting much longer trying to figure out the porter vs. no porter situation. Overall, it was our big vacation for the year, so I would hate to say I did not have a good time. I was with great people and went to some fun Caribbean destinations. Overall I had fun on the cruise. The cruise could have definitely been an amazing trip if staff was able to resolve issues better, provide accurate and correct information, smile and greet passengers as though they appreciate us being their, and there was a few upgrades or adjustments in entertainment. I wont say I will never sail with Royal Caribbean again, because I base my bookings off of destinations and dates mainly. However, I will say if there is another option for the same ports (i.e. Carnival Magic for this last itinerary) I would lean towards the other option. I hope someone actually read all of this. I know it was long.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Every year we have a "Cousins and Friends Cruise" generally around 16 people. This was my 7th cruise with RCCL all out of Galveston. We have cruised on NCL, Holland America and Carnival. I really wanted my cousins to experience ... Read More
Every year we have a "Cousins and Friends Cruise" generally around 16 people. This was my 7th cruise with RCCL all out of Galveston. We have cruised on NCL, Holland America and Carnival. I really wanted my cousins to experience the RCCL difference as we had sailed Magic the last two yeas. It did not match up and I was disappointed. We did have a great time. But a vote was taken and we well be sailing Magic next year. The first night one end of the table did not get waited on?? No bar service at the table at all. It was so bad that two couples complained. We were given two "new" waiters and received great service after that..to a point. They were overwhelmed! way to many people and we were always the first in the dining room and last out. I can't blame the Waite staff, this looks to this old cruiser like a logistics problem and poor management. To many people overall? They added several cabins and maybe have not adjusted the staff to cover for the increase in passengers? I seemed crowded everywhere I went. Toward the end of the cruise we saw several passengers loose their cool and I felt sorry for the RCCL employees that were shown total disrespect. Now let me say it was a good cruise, we had fun. The shows were up to standard. The ports of call were what you make of them and we enjoyed ourselves. It is sometimes the luck of the draw and a cruise is what you make of it sometimes in spite of things that do not measure up to what you expect. Navigator has the potential to be an excellent ship. But, with a few exceptions, I believe every passenger should feel like they ge a great cruise experience and we do expect RCCL to be held to a higher standard. You let me down folks. On a scale of one to ten you got a 7 overall this trip. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We have cruised several times with several different cruise ship lines over the past 15 years. We actually cruised on the Royal Navigator of the Seas in 2006 so this was our second time aboard this very ship. I want everyone to know before ... Read More
We have cruised several times with several different cruise ship lines over the past 15 years. We actually cruised on the Royal Navigator of the Seas in 2006 so this was our second time aboard this very ship. I want everyone to know before you book your trip that we have NEVER been told NO so many times aboard ship! It was such a different experience from all of our other trips that we won't likely cruise any more. The new trend is to have everyone purchase drink cards, not just the usual 'soda pop cards' but non-alcoholic cards and alcohol cards as well. What this means is that the line already has everyone's money so they don't have very many attendants walking about asking you if you would like a drink brought to you. You now get to go stand in line and wait 20 minutes to get a drink from the bar. AND, if you purchased one of their drink cards you are told that you can only get ONE drink and that you must wait a minimum of 10 minutes to get back in line to purchase another. We don't drink alcohol so this rule wasn't just for hard drinkers. I couldn't get two bottles of water to drink after working out in the gym. What a joke. I actually was not asked if I wanted a drink of anything for two solid days. That is not what the shipboard service is suppose to be like. We also found the service in the formal dining to be changed as well...keep in mind we were on this very ship several years prior and we know what the standard service experience should be. We were sat down and given menus and expected to get our dinner orders submitted ASAP. We asked to start with drinks (non-alcololic for us) and the waiter actually became irritated. We ended up drinking water and hurrying thru our dinner. Second night he attempted to do the same and we told him no. We insisted that he go find a bar attendant for us so we could order drinks prior to placing our food orders. Our waiter did weird things like giving menus to two men at our table and not giving menus to the ladies for several minutes. Things like that shouldn't happen with upscale dining. Also, the waiter wouldn't bring me a cappuccino coffee with my dessert stating that my drink card did not provide for after dinner coffee. I ended up standing for 30 minutes in the service desk line the next day to get that resolved. So stupid that the employees of the ship don't know their own rules. Every bar tender had a different excuse as to why I couldn't receive a free drink with my drink card as well as the amount of time I had to wait to order a second one. The only high light was the room steward who took great care of us during our trip and one particular waiter that came to us each evening in the dining room (starting on day 3 ! but that wasn't his fault). Those two men were the only people who made our ship board experience special...everyone else acted like the passengers were just in their way. Also note that if you purchase the drink card that they charge you for each day you are aboard the ship; however, they will not serve you any drinks on the last day as they state that the cards no longer work on the day that you disembark even though you paid for that day! I don't know yet if all ship lines are moving to this type of service; but my guess is that they are...just like anytime dining is now the standard fare option on most ships too now. New cruisers will not realize that they are receiving substandard service but past cruisers know what the service standards were and will definitely be unhappy with what is being given now. I would rather stay in a hotel and eat in a regular restaurant and get up and go order my own drink from a bar without paying many thousands of dollars that we pay for cruising. I use to think the extra costs were worth it because of the special service that you received onboard. Not any more...   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Living near Galveston, we decided to cruise the Navigator. After experiencing other RC Ships, and other Cruise Lines; I can say this Cruise did not match up to our past Cruises. Here are some high, and mostly low lites of our Trip. 1. ... Read More
Living near Galveston, we decided to cruise the Navigator. After experiencing other RC Ships, and other Cruise Lines; I can say this Cruise did not match up to our past Cruises. Here are some high, and mostly low lites of our Trip. 1. Embarkation- Arrived at Galveston Terminal at 11:30AM to long and slow Security Lines. We were in line for about 30 minutes. The Terminal was hot and it was not pleasant. Once through Security, we got in the Check-In Line. This wait was about 20 minutes. 2. Day 1- Boarded- Had a drink in the Pub, (we bought the Drink Packages). We had heard about the Chef's Table on RC ships, and asked the Bartender where we could sign up for it. He told us at Guest Services. My husband went there to register and they told him to go to the Dining Room on Deck 4. He went there and could find no one. He came back, and someone else told him to go to Deck 3's Dining Room. Off he went again, only to discover that the Navigator does not have a Chef's Table offered. Does their Staff know what is going on? My husband was hot from all the running around, and not happy. After our drink, we went on to the Windjammer for Lunch. Typical Cruise Ship Buffet Food. Cabins were ready by 1:00PM. Once we arrived at our Cabin, we opened the Mini-Refrigerator and found a Chocolate Cake with Molded Strawberries on top. It had a date on it which was from the previous passengers. We took it out, put it outside the door, and when we told our Steward about it, he told us it was from the people before. So we figured that, but why would he leave a molded Cake for us to find? 3. Cabin Air Conditioning- Had it going full force, but it was never nice and cool, except for at night. 4. Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle -Our Roll Call had been talking to each other for over a year, and we made sure everyone was reminded of the date, time and location of the Party. Found out the Ship changed the location of the Party, and we had people going to Deck 14 Forward as we had been telling everyone, and the Ship had moved the Party to Deck 3 Aft, (a portion of the Dining Room). I was going back and forth trying to find out was going on, and no one seemed to know anything. People were late to the Event due to the confusion over the location. Once the RC Coordinator of the Party arrived, we had a great get-together, and RC had a nice drawing for gifts. That was appreciated. 5. Specialty Dining Confirmations - We always enjoyed receiving our Specialty Dining Reminder Card left in our Cabin. Now they call you on the phone to remind you of your Reservations. I understand it is cheaper this way, but it's just one more nice thing gone. 6. Specialty Dining - Chop's Grille- We paid the $35. Surcharge each to dine there. Upon our arrival the Maitre'd was on the phone and we could tell he was having a problem. He did not acknowledge us and other couples started forming behind us. Finally someone else came along and seated us. We waited a while for water, had to ask for bread, and got confronted by the Waiter when we asked for a Glass of Wine. He tried to sell us a Bottle of Wine with a 20% discount instead. We explained we had the Drink Package, and he sulked off. Had to ask for a second glass of Wine. The food was very good, but to us, not worth $70. a couple more. Found out the next night that in the Dining Room you can order Filet Mignon from Chop's Grille for only $15.95. Would have been a cheaper route for us. 7. Specialty Dining -Italian Restaurant- Surcharge also, but got great service, even though we were questioned when we ordered 2 vegetables. It was like, "You really want two?". Same problem with Drink Package. They tried to push on us a bottle of Wine. 8. Drink Packages- We purchased our Drink Packages ahead of time. Don't know if we got our money's worth. The Gratuity is included in the Packages, so that is good, and you don't have to sign a receipt each time you get a Drink. But they sure don't seem to want people to use them, always pushing bottles of Wine. In the Dining Room, getting a Drink was slow, and they never offered to get you another one, but people around us with bottles of Wine were getting served graciously. Pool Waiters were few and far between. Always seemed to be lines at the Pool Bars, and the Bartenders were stingy on their alcohol pours. 9. Elevators- Full most of the time. It seemed we waited longer on this Ship than any we have been on before. Is there, maybe less Elevators on the Navigator, than on other Ships? 10. Lunchtime Venues at the Pool- We are used to laying at the Pool, and being able to go to a Hamb./Hot Dog Line for Lunch, where you don't have to get dressed. There was no such place on this Ship. Your Lunch Choice for the Pool was dressing and going to the Windjammer Buffet to eat there, or carry it back to your Lounge Chair. 11. Dis-embarkation-Awful- We used the Carry Your Own Luggage Off Route- At 8:00AM, once we left our Cabin, finally were able to fit on an Elevator, and proceeded to the Gang Way, we were told to go right on off. Thinking this was going to be easy, (saw no lines), we left the Ship, only to see all the lines ahead of us, leading in to the Terminal. We waited, and waited, and it was hot. People were getting off the Ship at Aft and Forward, and were then merging into the same line. Once we got to the front of the line you had to carry your luggage down an Escalator or wait in a long line at one Elevator. We did the Escalator, but it was very dangerous with our bags. Down in the Terminal the Customs line continued. Took about 30 minutes to weave through this one, to then be routed into individual Lines for a Customs Worker. Well, ours was slow, slow, slow, and then she left her Booth with a couple who had some sort of problem. We all stood there helpless, waiting for her to come back, as other lines were moving on and people were exiting. After about 15 minutes, I went back to the gal who was putting us in the lines to tell her our Customs Worker had disappeared, and after about another 10 minutes they decided to mix us in to the other lines. Did not think we would ever get out of that hot Terminal. My nerves were frazzled. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
I had planned this cruise for seven months. A friend and I who had previously cruised with Carnival and Celebrity were eager to try Royal Caribbean after hearing so many positive things about the beauty of the ship, quality of food and ... Read More
I had planned this cruise for seven months. A friend and I who had previously cruised with Carnival and Celebrity were eager to try Royal Caribbean after hearing so many positive things about the beauty of the ship, quality of food and service, etc. For the second time, I surprised my retired parents by taking them with us (the previous year I had surprised them with an Alaskan cruise which I will review later), and they were absolutely giddy with excitement when they found out that they would once again be traveling aboard Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas, which they claimed was their favorite ship of 13 other cruises they had taken. With the ship fresh out of dry dock for upgrades, were set to go to some brand-new destinations none of us had ever visited: Roatan Island, Honduras and Belize City. Expectations were high. Then cruise time came. While I am not prepared to say that we had a BAD time on this cruise, I think it is fair to say that our expectations were a bit deflated, pretty much from the minute we arrived at the Port of Galveston. Allow me to take you through the high and low lights of life on the high seas aboard Navigator of the Seas. The Highs Our dining experience-- Most definitely the best service we received on the ship was in the main Sapphire Dining Room, which is without a doubt the most gorgeous dining room I have seen on a cruise ship. Walking into the dining room is like entering a regal opera house complete with grand stair case and three levels of dining with windows on each side. Our two servers were extremely attentive, noting my step-mother's preference of making her own ice tea with two glasses of ice, 2 tea bags and some hot water, which was waiting for her every night after night one. I could fault her for being a "tea snob," but then I'd have to look at myself in the mirror with my Starbucks in hand turning my nose up at Folgers. All of us enjoyed the variety of meal choices and thought the food was of very high quality, with service running like clock work. It was truly a pleasure to dine each evening. Here we are at dinner. I am the goof-ball in blue. The Cabin-- Inside cabin 7667 (Aft Port) was home sweet home for our week at sea. My parents were right next door in 7669. For an inside cabin, there was plenty of room to stow all of our stuff and have a completely clear space to move in. I would say the bed was a bit hard, but it's all about your preference as my friend and traveling partner Jay (the guy in purple) said his was just right. Ample closet and drawer space allowed us to each have sufficient space to unpack. Our steward service was also top-notch, re-stocking and tidying up twice daily. The ship-- Navigator is definitely a beautiful ship. Of note is the Royal Promenade, a series of shops, restaurants and bars running aft to forward giving cruisers the feel of strolling down a cobblestone street while at sea. I recommend the Two Poets Pub for some nice ambiance and people-watching. The main atrium is gorgeous, and the various lounges and bars are designed with a very classy yet comfortable feel. The pool deck is also impressive, featuring two main pools flanked by several hot tubs, some of which are shaded. For the most part there are plenty of chairs both in and out of the shade, but if your cruise is full you had better get there early to snag one. We also thought the nightclub overlooking the pool deck with its floor-to-ceiling windows added a nice touch to the ship's offerings. The ship's casino is also pretty decent, but since smoking is allowed in there, you may come out smelling like an ash tray. Overlooking the Royal Promenade The Grand Atrium Beverage Package--Three of us on this cruise had the premium package for $55 per day, but since my dad only drinks beer, we got him the basic package. At first glance, this package might seem a bit pricey (Royal Caribbean's beverage packages are some of the most expensive at sea), but overall we got our money's worth. What I especially liked was that basically nothing on the drink menu was off limits short of the super premium stuff. You could even opt for Grey Goose vodka at no extra charge. The flip side here is the bar service (see below). Theatre Entertainment--If you ever find yourself on Navigator of the Seas, don't miss the ice-skating show. It is fantastic and was much better than I thought it was going to be. We also enjoyed the Elton John impersonator, the bar flair show and the adult game show. The Lows Embarkation/Debarkation--The words fiasco, nightmare, eternity and disorganization come to mind for both. This was hands-down the WORST embarkation/debarkation process I have ever experienced, and my parents who had been on 13 previous cruises agreed. We should have expected this when Royal Caribbean sent us out an e-mail prior to the cruise instructing us to arrive at certain times based on the deck on which our cabin was located. As it happened, we had flown into Houston, and our transfer dropped us off right at the time we were supposed to be there, which was 12:30 p.m. We did not step foot on the ship until almost 2 p.m, as we were stuck two different lines, both of which were extremely slow-moving. This is definitely not the way you want to start your vacation, and very few smiles were to be found in the security and check-in lines. Mind you, I totally expect a bit of a wait checking in, but this was just ridiculous. I think the longest wait I have ever experienced prior to this was 30 minutes tops. I definitely expressed my dissatisfaction to the check-in lady. Debarkation was practically just as bad. Since we had a driver waiting for us, we opted for the self check-out and were given a specific time and place to meet. We have done this on other cruises with minimal waiting, with customs officers boarding the ship to collect forms. In the past, we have basically just walked off the ship. Not this time. When we arrived at the appointed spot we then waited another good 45 minutes just to be allowed to disembark. Once off the ship, guess what? Another line, another 45 minutes to pass through customs. I ended up being a charged an additional wait fee by my driver, thanks to Royal Caribbean and the Port of Galveston. Bottom line--I will never cruise from Galveston, Texas again as they clearly do not have the ability to handle the volume of people that cruise ships have. Basically, Royal Caribbean left a negative first impression and a negative last impression. Service--Aside from our servers at dinner, service in the bars and lounges on this ship was average at best and certainly not what I am accustomed to on a cruise. While some bartenders were standouts, it generally took forever to get a drink and often you felt as if you were a bother to the bartender or server. The worst service was probably at the pool bar. Some might say that I am too demanding, but when I spend my hard-earned money on vacation I want decent service. Period. I didn't really get it on this cruise. My parents also commented that "things just weren't the same on this cruise" as their previous experience on Navigator of the Seas. Kids, kids, kids-- OK, I am probably going to get some eye-rolls for this, and maybe for some it wouldn't be a negative, but there were just too many kids taking over the main pool area on this ship. As with anyplace else, parents are partially to blame here, allowing their little monsters to run amuck and splash others in the main pool, but I fault Royal Caribbean for not enforcing pool rules. On past cruises, kids weren't even allowed in hot tubs, but they were in this one. Granted, there is an adults-only pool and hot tub, but the problem is that there isn't any entertainment there (not that the entertainment at the main pool was anything to write home about). We did not participate in any excursions on this cruise, so I can't speak to their quality. We did hear various comments that the excursions were over-priced and not worth the money. One excursion was even over an hour late and had to be delivered to the ship by boat as it was departing Honduras. The verdict--If I had to choose between Royal Caribbean and Carnival, I would probably go with Carnival based on past experiences. I am not totally closed to giving Royal Caribbean another chance, but they would have to completely WOW me to keep me coming back. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We have cruised nearly 50 times on a total of 6 lines with over 20 on RCCL. We have cruised many times out of Galveston over the years. The cruise port facilities have historically been below average when compared to other ports not in the ... Read More
We have cruised nearly 50 times on a total of 6 lines with over 20 on RCCL. We have cruised many times out of Galveston over the years. The cruise port facilities have historically been below average when compared to other ports not in the third world. Earlier this year RCCL accomplished a dry dock on the Navigator. This dry dock accomplished many positive changes on this ship. Notable improvements were the specialty restaurants, additions like the flow rider and a relocated and improved diamond lounge. Passenger capacity was increased from 3114 to 3686. The change in the cruise experience was quite noticeable. Pretty much every venue was significantly more crowded. From dining to all entertainment venues to just walking in the promenade were all affected. Big surprise. Not. Now for the really bad news. The Galveston port facilities were simply overpowered by the additional 572 passengers. Access to the terminal by private car has always been a problem and is now clogged. Parking is also becoming difficult as most passengers arrive by car. The terminal has the same number of metal detectors and the check in has the same number of check in stations. Now add in 18% more passengers and the system is gridlocked. Lines go outside the building and to the end of the passenger drop off area. Literally several hundred feet. I did not see any RCCL employees out there to “direct traffic”. I did see a few people exchange unkind words about line jumpers. The backlog was so bad the muster drill was delayed over an hour. Baggage delivery to the cabins was also noticeably slower. As to the departure, there are the same 9 Immigration/Customs checkpoints. The same poor drive up access for customer pick up. Guess what – a much greater hassle. Much more than 18%. I must add that the RCCL personnel who were there were working hard and maintaining a pleasant professional attitude in a tough situation. Royal Caribbean management needs to “get off the dime” and come up with some immediate improvements. Underline IMMEDIATE. A very bad customer experience especially when compared to our cruise on Princess at the new Port of Houston cruise terminal in December. While I saw no conventional cigarettes in undesignated smoking areas many passengers had electronic cigarettes and were using them openly in the interior promenade, late night disco, and Schooner Bar. I can understand the bar staff and waiters looking the other way but during the entire cruise I never saw security or any management personnel attempting to intervene. Both English speaking and Spanish speaking passengers flouted the smoking ban. Probably also in their cabins. Now for the good news – the passenger service personnel all provided us with excellent service. Cabin stewards, wait staff in restaurants, windjammer, room service, and the concierge areas did their jobs and did them well. We enjoyed the Bubba Feathers Band and Phil Anderson in the Schooner Bar. Phil Anderson and Joe Lamont, from Bubba's band, put on an excellent "Dueling Pianos" show on day 4. This show was to be for one hour but they were having a fine old time and the crowd interaction was also great so they went on for two hours. Bubba was relegated to the small Boleros Lounge where seating was at a premium and the Mexican Band “Latin Vibes” was in the larger Star lounge as this sailing had over 1000 Spanish speaking passengers. And only 2500 or so English speakers. We understand there were some disagreements between Rednecks and Mexicans on the selection of music in the disco but did not see it ourselves. One of our new friends was in an interior cabin with the new video wall. They were pleased with it versus a standard inside cabin. Bottom line: In spite of the negatives we had an enjoyable cruise and booked another one while onboard. Now --- about the embarkation, debarkation, and the 18% more passengers: RATS.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
We are Diamond Plus so, needless to say, we have sailed on Royal Caribbean many times and have always loved it! Obviously we have never cruised during Holy Week and spring break for Mexico, but we will never make that mistake again! ... Read More
We are Diamond Plus so, needless to say, we have sailed on Royal Caribbean many times and have always loved it! Obviously we have never cruised during Holy Week and spring break for Mexico, but we will never make that mistake again! First, it seems like security decided to take their lunch break when everyone was trying to get onboard so we all had to wait in a very long line for over an hour. Once onboard everything seemed OK until we tried to go for dinner. We had MyTime dining and I had made reservations online before we ever left home. When we went down for dinner there was a line for 'those with reservations' and those without. The line 'with' reservations was terribly long so I went to the other line which was rather short and we got seated rather quickly. Strange! It was like that every night! And I thought they said 'no shorts in the dining room'. Well, it didn't apply evidently to a lot of the passengers from Mexico who came dressed as they pleased and ignored the dining hours. I guess RCCL didn't want to offend anyone but why have rules if they aren't inforced for everyone? The worst part was on our last day. Those who were doing the self assist were to let the ship know so time slots could be allocated. We were supposed to be in a lounge on deck 4 at 9:00 for assistance since my husband was in a wheelchair. We left our cabin at 9 and got on the elevator which took us to deck 4 but when the doors opened we were unable to get off due to all the people in line with all their big bags! We stayed on the elevator going up and down until their was finally a little space for us to get off on deck 4. Horrible and a big safety issue!!! Will we sail again on Royal Caribbean? Absolutely! However we will never sail at that time of the year again!   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
We booked this cruise at a pretty reasonable rate about 2 years out. Was looking to our first time cruising in an owners suite and being able to drive to the port (Galveston). It was also a family cruise and spring break! I took a while to ... Read More
We booked this cruise at a pretty reasonable rate about 2 years out. Was looking to our first time cruising in an owners suite and being able to drive to the port (Galveston). It was also a family cruise and spring break! I took a while to write this because I wanted to reflect. I wrote a detailed live review on the forums, so this is just going to be the good and the bad in a quick synopsis. Oh, and also note that the ship just came out of a major refurbishment 2 weeks prior. Any problems are really just first world problems. I still enjoyed being away from home and I am booked on Royal again in August. However, I am exploring options with other cruise lines....something I never would have done before. Embarkation: Long line to get into port (arrive earlier?) and to park. No dedicated line for suite members (unlike Ft. Lauderdale). Was a bit disorganized inside, but took about 30 minutes to get through. Grade: B Ship appearance: She looked great! Fresh off refurbishment and it showed. Everything was sparkling clean. Grade: A Room: So the room was a good size and the amenities were great. However, they didn't update everything. They claim they touched "every inch" of the ship, but the wood work and mirrors in the room were looking pretty beat up. Mattress wasn't so comfortable and pillows were lumpy. Huge balcony though! And loved that the TV flipped around between living room and bedroom. Grade: B+ Room attendant: Awful. Wayans from Bali was awful. We didn't get service one day. The rest of the days he showed up in the late afternoon for the AM service and then late at night for turn down. He didn't clean all the areas (we had dust bunnies floating on the carpet). Very poor service. Grade: F Shows: Meh, as always the production shows are awful (this is subjective, but we heard many people saying the same thing). The guest entertainers were pretty good though. Grade: C Food: Quality - same as always. Just average, nothing outstanding in the MDR/Windjammer. Food in Giovanni's table was fabulous. We skipped dinner in the MDR several times because the menus were very boring. Breakfast in the MDR has gone so far downhill in the last 2 years (soggy french toast as one example). Service - Poor service in MDR. Long wait times for simple things like a water refill. FABULOUS service in Giovanni's. Grade: B (only because of Giovanni's) Concierge Lounge: Rico was amazing!!!! So attentive and willing to go above and beyond. The waiter was great too! Grade: A+ Diamond Lounge: It was OK. I preferred the concierge lounge even though there wasn't a view. Only because the D lounge was always crowded and I never ended up near a window anyhow. Grade: C Fun Stuff: Flowrider was cool to have. Didn't use it, but the one time that a family member wanted to and it was broken...but up and running within 30-45 minutes. Otherwise, we didn't really partake in that stuff. We didn't use the pool at all, but the movies at night at the pool were always full. Internet: They have unlimited wifi and it was decent. Well, slower than Allure, but I could still get work done. Grade: C (well, OK a B since it is a cruise ship lol) Guest Services: Fabulous!!! Were great at addressing our problems with our stateroom attendant. Grade: A+ Disembarkation: I can't even use the words to describe it....it was a mess. There was fog and we were delayed several hours. Employees were not enforcing anything. it was just a free-for-all mess. Grade: F Overall grade: C So it was just average. There weren't any real WOW moments, but it was a cruise. We will never cruise Galveston again due to the potential fog issues (we will only cruise Caribbean during winter/spring).   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
This was our 4th cruise, but the first on Royal Caribbean. We went with some family who wanted to go on a spring break cruise with the kids. This was their first cruise. The itinerary was Falmouth, Grand Cayman, Cozumel. I won't go ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise, but the first on Royal Caribbean. We went with some family who wanted to go on a spring break cruise with the kids. This was their first cruise. The itinerary was Falmouth, Grand Cayman, Cozumel. I won't go much into the ports because I really think that is individual by choice, and we had been to everyone but Falmouth before (we had been to Montego Bay), and we stayed on the boat in the Caymans because it was crowded and we just wanted to lay by the pool. Our favorite cruise days are sea days and port days we don't get off, but that is just us. One other note- We understand that as part of the dry dock, a number of cabins were added increasing the capacity by about 150-200 people. The cruise we were on had 3,825 passengers, a record for Navigator. For the most part it didn't feel crowded walking around, but it was hard to get seats for some shows and the dining room felt crowded (they had to push chairs against walls to make enough tables to feed everyone). Getting a seat at the Windjammer for lunch on a sea day was tough. And the elevators were slow during peak transition hours. Embarkation - Was a disaster. I blame this more on the Port of Galveston then on Royal Caribbean, but at the end its Royal Caribbean's responsibility to work with the port. I understand the port is spending $10 mil to renovate the terminal that Navigator uses, but it was just a mess. The ship was 2 hours late getting in due to fog, and Royal Caribbean called and texted everyone to show up at 1-3 p.m. instead of 11-1. When we arrived at 1:30 p.m. the traffic was a nightmare. It took us 40 minutes to get into the port complex itself to be dropped off. Then when we got our bags to a porter, their was single set of glass doors entering the terminal with about 1,000 people trying to cram through. The port officials limited the number of people going in to avoid a fire hazard, but there was NO organization in creating a line to get in. It was simply a horde trying to crash the doors that took almost an hour. Once we got in, it was a breeze and we were on the ship in 20 minutes. Ship - Is nicely redone and looks fresh. The nicest ship we have been on, its open and easy to get around. It didn't feel as crowded as it was, except as noted above. The pool deck is nicely laid out and the TV over the pool had the NCAA tournament on almost the entire time Thurs-Sun so we sat in the pool and watched the games. Cabin - Was the nicest we have had. We had an aft, port balcony on Deck 9. It was mostly quiet, was spacious and had plenty of storage. The bed was okay but not great. Our Cabin Steward (Iketut) was awesome, he honored all our requests without question. He introduced himself on night 1 and made sure we were always happy. He was not intrusive at all. He got the biggest tip of any Steward we ever had on any cruise on any line. Food - The main dining room was very inconsistent. Nothing was inedible, but very little stood out. The choices were more limited then any other cruise we had been on. Some dishes were quite good, but others were bland and lacked flavor. We did my time dining because we were traveling with family and kids, but I understand this was true of all the dining service. The Windjammer was actually better than the main dining room at times. They had an Indian section on the buffet each day that was very good. We ate more lunches and meals in general at the buffet then we have on any other cruise. We also ate at the steakhouse twice - it was excellent and our server Amanda was great, but I felt like I had to pay $30/pp to get the quality of food that I should have gotten in the main dining room and have gotten on other cruises. Service - Was all over the place. Our dining servers was generally great as was our stateroom steward and the bar folks at the pub. But getting a drink at the pool, even when it wasn't crowded, took effort. One afternoon as we were leaving port, there was a single bartender and one attendant at the main pool bar. It took 20 minutes to get a drink. That's not acceptable. Period. Entertainment - The main shows were at 6:30 and 8 which is the first time we ever seen that (usually 8 and 10). Since we tended to eat around 7:30-8 this didn't work for us at all. There was one late show on night 1 that we went to that good (the comedian was very good), and we sucked it up and went to one of the 6:30 ice shows which was well done. Other than that, the timing was awful for us. Disembarkation - This was hard to rate. Through no fault of RCL, the Port of Galveston was closed on Sunday when we were scheduled to arrive back because of a shipwreck and oil spill at the entrance to the main channel to Houston. The Captain warned us on Saturday night we would be slightly late on Sunday morning due to fog. When we got to the 12 nm anchorage where we load a port pilot, we were ordered to stop. About 8:00 am the Captain came on and explained the Coast Guard had closed the port and suspended all ship traffic from the Gulf. Carnival Magic was stopped next to us and affected as well. He made hourly updates and about 10 am the Cruise Director told us they had plenty of extra food and to treat it as an extra free sea day. They opened most of the ship, and reopened the buffet for lunch from 12-3, as well as making food available at the cafe on Deck 5. They continued to sell alcohol and to try and make it seem like a regular cruise day. About 2:30, the Captain told us that the Coast Guard was going to try and get us moving into port about 4 p.m., but it would take about 2 hours because they were going to have to escort us into port very slowly. We started moving about 4:30 and we tied up about 6:30. They started offloading us about 7 p.m. and we were off about 7:30 and through customs by 8. The process seemed pretty orderly (we heard from some Carnival passengers their disembarkation was terrible and they didn't get through customs until almost midnight). I thought the staff and RCL did a pretty good job of handling the situation since it was completely out of their control. All in all it was a good cruise, but not great. I would probably try something else next time or go back to Carnival, with whom we have had always had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
The add on costs of this cruise and the long lines to get on and off the ship are never mentioned in any reviews I have read. We had to stay in a Hotel over night, and pay for a shuttle to and from Dallas, the hotel was 143.00 and the ... Read More
The add on costs of this cruise and the long lines to get on and off the ship are never mentioned in any reviews I have read. We had to stay in a Hotel over night, and pay for a shuttle to and from Dallas, the hotel was 143.00 and the shuttle 361.00 round trip for 6. The ship got into port late because of fog, all passengers for this ship were in the ship terminal at the same time, all 3,000 +. We were standing in line to get our ship boarding pass from 4:00 in the afternoon until 7:00pm we got on at 7:00 PM. No water to drink no food, just mass confusion. Our bags made it to our room at 12:00 PM. We sat in port until Monday morning 8:00am the ship left the dock at 8:30. Now we left the port late so we had to make up time at sea, the sun was out but the wind on the deck with the pool 11th floor was so strong you could only stay out there for 30 min. or so. Our room was on the 7th floor aft , the whole hall way smelt of mildew and mold, other times it smelt of raw sewage. Not sure why, our cabin steward could not give us a cause for this smell. Our room was very nice, nice bed, very clean lots of storage space. This is our 5th cruise and we found the service from the help in the Windjammer was lacking. It seemed they were sort staffed. Staff was slow to clean up plates and bring you a hot or cold drink to your table, most of the time we got our own. The food in the Windjammer was just run of the mill, nothing special, lots of it but nothing to write home about. We saw the captain and his crew eat there once in 7 days. They made sure we saw them with lots of walking around looking at all the food stations. We went on a tour in Roatan and Belize, we rode in vans that were very small and if you had any trouble with your back, neck or knees this was not for you. The pot holes in the roads in Belize could jar the fillings from your teeth. These two places were very poor and had lots of trash blowing around and all over the roads if you could call them that. The entertainment was very good and all of us enjoyed the skating and the shows in the Metropolis. The new flat big screen featured a movie every night on deck 11 but had no pop corn to go with it. Disembarkation was fantastic on this ship, very orderly, we were off the ship in record time, we had breakfast at 6:00am and were in our holding area with our bags at 7:15 and started getting off at 7:30 we were off the ship and waiting for our shuttle at 8:15. I am not sure we would sail with this cruise line again, no matter what the price. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Navigator, #9624  We had a very smooth embarkation, and were in our rooms by 1 PM. Love the Royal King beds! We’d pre-booked dinner at Chops, and booked Sabors and Giovanni’s on day one. The Giovanni’s sales man said that eating ... Read More
Navigator, #9624  We had a very smooth embarkation, and were in our rooms by 1 PM. Love the Royal King beds! We’d pre-booked dinner at Chops, and booked Sabors and Giovanni’s on day one. The Giovanni’s sales man said that eating in three specialty restaurants would give us a 20% discount, and it didn’t matter if one of them was prepaid. After several attempts to get Guest Relations to handle our rebate, the Diamond Concierge handled it. She said we had to book all three restaurants onboard on Day 1 or 2. We got a rebate for Sabors and Giovannis, but not Chops. We’d prepaid before the price jump, and they assumed we’d already gotten the discount. 20% of $35 is $7.50, not $5.00 which was the difference we paid. No flowers in MDR, fruit and vegetable carvings long gone too. Room service didn’t take write-ins. Sabor’s and Giovanni’s were great, but Chops was awful. We’d pre-booked for Ken’s birthday, and while Sabor’s called us up to ask us to celebrate his birthday with them, Chops never mentioned it! I’d ordered my steak medium, and got a very rare steak. Neither the waiter nor the head waiter dropped by to ask how the food was. The waiter charged us for the second cappucino’s in spite of the fact we each had a Diamond discount. (Husband handed over his diamond concierge card instead of his cruise card by mistake, and the waiter just rang up the bill, and didn’t ask for the Seapass Card). We later got Guest Relations to remove the charge. Chops raised their cover charge from $30 to $35, and lowered the quality of the menu. The 8 ounce Filet and a dry aged hamburger were the only not for additional charge beef entrees that remained on the menu. And I can’t see paying $35 for a hamburger! The Dry Aged New York strip and Porterhouse available for $17-$18 extra charge. More disturbing, I saw a tray of Filets sitting on the shelf in the kitchen. Some were sitting there at least one and a half hours without refrigeration! And all looked pre-cooked. They’d also removed the baked potato, onion rings as well as the Creme Brulee from their new and not so improved menu! A steak without baked potato doesn’t do it for me! The Main Dining room had better service than Chops, and it was included in our cruise fare. If this had been our first experience w/ Chops, we wouldn’t be back. AND, we’ll be checking the menu before booking w/ Chops. After going home, we contacted Royal Post-Cruise about our Chops experience, and they apologized and sent us some OBC for our next B2B pair of cruises. Our cabin steward was great, getting us almost everything we asked for. Lots of computer glitches! The first night we tried to use our BOGO Wine, beer, or soda the waiter couldn’t bring the discount up on his computer. So, guest relations helped us by printing out our discounts. It took three tries by maintenance to get our television to work, and also load up our account review. We had 377 Diamonds and up on this cruise, so most of the nightly happy hour was held in the lounge itself. The stateroom was a nice JS, but less than a month out of dry dock, the new rug was already shedding! We really liked the stateroom layout on Navigator. We had a stuffed chair with and ottoman, as well as a three-cushion sofa. Most notable was the lack of a coffee table. Heard later they were being redesigned. I love the half-circle shelf next to the stuffed chair. This time they had the coffee and tea service there. But we still needed to move the teakettle and coffee pot to the desk to reach the plugs. We often use that half-circle shelf for holding books, and our coffee cups. No coffee table. We pre-ordered the chocolate cake, and found it delicious! The cabin birthday decorations were great, but only lasted one day before they started coming down. Fog hit us on the way back. We were about six hours late getting back to port. Fog is so common now, that this delay didn’t cause a news ripple. The captain did the turn so he could back into the port. Good thing too. On embarkation, he was able to sail out of port ahead of an approaching fog bank.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Navigator of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.3
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.5 4.2

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