Sail Date: March 2004
This was our first cruise, and it was breath taking. It was like living with the rich without being rich. It won't be our last hopefully. We learned a lot so we are better prepared for our next cruise. The ship was outstanding, ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and it was breath taking. It was like living with the rich without being rich. It won't be our last hopefully. We learned a lot so we are better prepared for our next cruise. The ship was outstanding, there was so much to do and see. The food and the service was incredible. Our statesman was Isaac and he was incredible. There was nothing he would not do to make your stay top of the line. Unfortunately, we happened to be on the ship during March break and we found that there were just too many kids. Don't get me wrong I love kids but I found it hard to even get in the jacuzzi for the kids that used them for swimming pools. At one point a child was swimming and came up and kicked a lady in the face, it was an accident but things like this are not necessary. The teens on board ran the halls all night long keeping the older passengers from getting their rest. One man on board chased them three time one night down the hall. This is not appropriate. Also there should be one pool side just for adults as there are designated areas on the ship just for teens. The dining was above and beyond. Our head waiter was great. The dining room was out of this world, and the food amazing. You won't come home without gaining weight. I really enjoyed the ice show as well as the Nelson brothers. Also the midnight buffet and pool party were great. The shopping on board was fabulous, lots of great buys every day. We didn't take all the excursions we wanted to do, time was too limited. We did visit San Juan, St. Thomas and Nassau. My favorite of our destinations was Nassau. Hopefully we will cruise again and we will get to do more, there was a lot we didn't know but hey you learn as you go. Way to go Navigator of the Seas. GREAT CRUISE!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2004
I love reading trip reports before a trip so I thought this might be helpful to some of you. This trip was my husband and I and our 8 year old son, Austin. We have taken two Carnival and one Celebrity cruises prior to this trip on the ... Read More
I love reading trip reports before a trip so I thought this might be helpful to some of you. This trip was my husband and I and our 8 year old son, Austin. We have taken two Carnival and one Celebrity cruises prior to this trip on the wonderful Navigator! We started our vacation on Saturday, March 6, 2004 with a 4:15 AM alarm. We were at the airport at 5:40 (the recommended two hours early). There was the longest line for Sun Country Airlines that I have ever seen. As time crept along, everyone on our flight that was still in line was called to the front of the line so we wouldn't miss our flight. We were assigned seats in the back of the plane. We spoke to other travelers that were at the front of the plane. They arrived after 6:00 and used curbside check in; they didn't have to stand in the long lines. Our flight arrived on time in Miami. There were plenty of representatives from Hobbit Travel (our tour company) waiting to direct us to our transportation bus. After waiting for all the travelers to arrive we were underway to the port. The Royal Caribbean check in was smooth, but we waited in line for at least 30 minutes. You checked in by cabin level. We were checked in and on the ship by 2:15. Austin was so excited to get on the ship; he kept asking tons of questions. We were in cabin 9658; ninth floor, aft and port side. The room was of standard size for cruise ships and the balcony was big enough for two chairs and a small table. The balcony felt private, as you couldn't see through to the adjoining balconies (but the doors could be opened if you wanted). The views while sitting on a chair on the balcony were wonderful and unobstructed. We had a snack at the Windjammer after exploring the ship a bit. I really liked the tortilla roll up sandwiches; they hit the spot after a long day of traveling. Our luggage arrived in the room around 5:00 PM. There was plenty of space for the three of us to unpack all of our things. We thought there were plenty of little "cabinets and shelves" to store all of our things. There are two medicine cabinet type shelves on each side of the large mirror over the desk unit; I didn't notice there were shelves on both sides until after we were unpacked. I found them very convenient for makeup/hair supplies, etc. We did bring extra hangars; while there is quite a number in the closet, there is never enough! Since we were going to be using the pull out couch for Austin's bed, we asked the cabin steward to remove the glass coffee table. The couch/bed was HUGE; a queen size bed he found very comfortable. The two beds put together for Kevin and I were very comfortable. We went to an Adventure Club orientation in Studio B. It was neat, as they gave the kids a preview of the ice show. We went up to check out the rooms used for the kids program. They are nicely divided by ages and the staff was warm, inviting and accommodating. They efficiently handled Austin's food allergy issues without hesitation. The variety of programs offered looked interesting. The only downside at first glance was the location of the dreaded arcade right next to the kids club. The arcade was filled with kids all hours of the day! Austin chose not to attend any of the activities at the Adventure Ocean, as he enjoyed being with us. There were only 120 kids on board during our week. The next two weeks, were told that number jumped to 1200! They do have some nice activities for teens and special lounge/dance areas that don't allow adults. There was a family on the plane that had a 15 year old and she really enjoyed the activities for her age level. They were always supervised, so her parents felt comfortable, but she didn't get in until late at night (hot tub parties, etc.). She made so many friends she was crying on the plane that she missed them. Second dinner seating was at 9:00 the first night. We met our tablemates. They were a great family from Ottawa, Canada. They had two girls, ages 9 & 10. The kids got along great all week. The cod and chicken entrees were our favorite. Our waiter was fabulous. His name was Peamkait (we called him pumpkin or Jackie Chan). Our asst. waiter was Calvert. There was a welcome parade at 11:00 PM on the 5th floor Promenade; it is worth going to. Day 2 We were in port at Free Port, Grand Bahama, but we didn't get off the ship. The weather was sunny and warm. We got off to a slow start around 8:30. We had breakfast at the Windjammer. They have the standard fare of eggs, omelets, pancakes, waffles, fruit, etc. There is a huge variety, but it is the same every day. I really enjoyed time at the Solarium Pool area (this is the adults only area). There are nice chairs, a pool and two covered hot tubs. The general pool area has two covered hot tubs, one open hot tub and two pools. One area of one pool is very shallow for very small children. Austin wished that the pools had a shallow end that he could stand and play in. The depth was around 4'11" of the main pools. I never had trouble finding a lounge chair, even on days at sea. I worked out at noon in the beautiful exercise facility. There is a nice hot tub in that area also. There are plenty of treadmills and steppers, etc. We had a late lunch at Johnny Rockets. We enjoyed the fun music and atmosphere. The staff dances to Stayin' Alive; Austin really enjoyed that. They bring you onion rings and fries right away. The burgers were very good and I enjoyed the chili cheese fries. We did not try the malts. We did hear that they were going to be charging for Johnny Rockets starting the next week. I talked to the manager and he said it would be $3.95 per person, per visit (malts/drinks extra). He said it was for crowd control, but a bartender told us it was because people were ordering tons of stuff and not eating them. He said that a group of kids came in and ordered a huge amount of burgers and they found them in the garbage can. Not sure the truth of that, but that is what the bartender said. After lunch, we spent some time on the sports deck playing mini golf, inline skating and climbing the vertical wall. Tickets for the ice show were given away starting at 4:30. I went down to get in line around 4:20 and they were already handing them out. The line went quickly, but I was glad I went early as it got longer and longer as time progressed. We took a late afternoon nap and dressed for the Captain's Dinner. We went for pictures at 7:30 and it wasn't nearly as busy as it was closer to 8:30. We enjoyed the tenderloin and salmon at dinner. The cheesecake and pecan dessert were also favorites. We very much enjoyed the "Now & Forever" dance/singing show. The singers are fantastic! The show goes through a variety of songs from Broadway Shows. Be warned, they do the Full Monty! (we were trying to explain why they did this to Austin). Day 3 We slept late, got up after 10:00. It was a day at sea with hot, sunny weather. The Windjammer was packed at 10:30. Even with it busy, it is nothing like the congestion we experienced on our last Carnival cruise. I don't know why this ship feels less crowded with more people, but it does! Spent the day at the pool, ice skating and golf. We had a late lunch at the Windjammer. We watched the Adventure Ocean "circus show" on the Promenade. It was cute. We ate fruit tart and lemon pound cake (very yummy) at the Cafe Promenade. Up to the room for showers and a nap. It was Italian night and this dinner was by far my favorite! I just loved the amazing risotto with scallops appetizer (had two). The desserts were forgettable. The show that night was pretty good. It was Bobby Arvon, the man that wrote the theme to "Happy Days". He did some great impressions. Day 4 We slept in again, choosing not to get off in Jamaica. We heard that Dunns River Falls was a good excursion though. The weather was great; hot and sunny. The ship was empty and we enjoyed the pool. We had lunch at Johnny Rockets again; there was no wait today! We attended the ice show before dinner; it was very, very good. It is amazing what they do on such small ice. We sat at the end where you come in and that appeared to be the main way the skaters face. We got there five minutes before it started and got a seat in the second row. We enjoyed the Krooze Komics entertainment prior to the show starting. Dinner was Caribbean theme; we enjoyed the tilapia and jerk chicken. The Mardi Gras parade that night was wonderful and very high energy. There was a pool party at midnight. There was a buffet and music. We didn't eat anything; too full. Day 5 Unfortunately, our Grand Cayman stop was cancelled due to high winds for the boat tenders. Everyone was pretty disappointed with this. Since we hadn't gotten off the ship at the point, it was even more disappointing. Apparently, other cruise lines were able to be tendered in on the southern part of the island, but the two RCCL ships were not able to on the northern part of the island. At dinner I loved the chocolate dessert, rich and sinful! We also enjoyed the shrimp pasta and lobster. We went to the show; All Access, singing and dancing. It was OK, but not the greatest. Tonight was the night of the Grand Buffet, it was the best one I have ever seen. I even took pictures of food, which I have never done. We did go back to get chocolate covered strawberries, but nothing else. Day 6 Today was our Cozumel stop and we got off the ship! The weather was beautiful again. We took a cab; we were going to Chakanaab Park originally but the cabbie said there were eight ships in port and it would be crazy. Then, we were planning on going to Paradise Beach (which is an American run, free beach with all sorts of activities), but the cabbie recommended a beach called Nachi-Cocom (it is farther than Paradise and Mr. Sanchos Beach). The cab ride was $15.00. It was a nice, clean area with a great beach area, pool, restrooms and a restaurant. They do ask for $3/person to use the chairs and facilities. We ended up walking along the beach for some time and went back to Nachi-Cocom for drinks and lunch (we didn't end up paying the fee). It was a very pleasant afternoon! That night, the headliner entertainment was an acoustic group called Toxic Audio. They made all the sounds with their mouths; no instruments. They were very talented and their humorous bits were quite entertaining. My husband got pulled from the audience to participate onstage. It was their last cruise ship show, as they are opening a show off-Broadway. If you get a chance to see them in New York, I bet you wouldn't be disappointed! Day 7 This was our last day. We were at sea and it was cold, cloudy and VERY windy. We bummed around the ship, tried to play golf in the wind gusts (which was rather entertaining) and ate our final meal at Johnny Rockets. We did try breakfast in the dining room. The eggs benedict was a nice change from the Windjammer buffet. Little Observations: ·The 5th floor promenade is wonderful! We enjoyed stopping at Cafe Promenade for pizza, sandwiches, treats and water whenever we felt a bit hungry ·They change the day of the week on the elevators; Austin thought that was pretty cool. ·We brought a lanyard for Austin to wear his sea pass on. The purser's desk punched an extra hole in it so he could use it to open our door while keeping it attached to the lanyard. Several people stopped to ask us where we got it and wished they had one. ·We did get the soda/juice package for Austin. It cost $34.16 with gratuity. We never had a problem getting him a soda, at any of the bars or in the dining room. ·We really enjoyed the Bolero bar on the 4th deck, aft. The bartenders were awesome there! We especially liked the entertainment of Adrianne, from the Philippines. He entertained Austin like crazy with tricks and puzzles with toothpicks. ·Speaking of entertaining; the waiters and bartenders all loved sharing their tricks with the kids at our table. My son came home with a bunch of jokes and tricks to share; it was really fun! ·The service on the entire ship is really incredible. The best of any of our cruises. When walking around the ship or down the hallway of your stateroom, the crew would always stop what they were doing and say hello, etc. The cabin steward that took care of the rooms next to us was so friendly and personable, I felt like we should give him a tip too! ·I felt that I brought clothes that were too dressy. There are the two formal nights, but the other nights are really much more casual. I didn't feel as comfortable in dresses the other nights. I would recommend bringing along less clothes that are fancy. They have the beach night, so there were whole families in tropical shirts. There is also the 70's (Back in Time) night and you were encouraged to dress up like that too. I don't know how you would know about these nights ahead of time though. Of course, it is freezing in the dining room (my only complaint), so make sure to have long sleeves or a sweater. You do need pants to ice skate. Food The food was wonderful all week. We ate in the dining room every night. The $25 cost of Portofino and Chops just didn't seem worth it, especially when we had such wonderful service and great food in the dining room. The head waiter was very attentive to our table. In three other cruises, we have only seen the head waiter when he comes around looking for a tip on the last day. This time, he was visible all the time and stopped at our table at least once a night. He regularly cut up Austin's steak and cut off the corn kernels from his cob of corn (VERY SPOILED!) Our tablemates requested calamari; they did everything they could to get some for them but were unable. Instead, they made a special dish of mussels for them and offered to bring more every night if they wished. Austin got a bowl of sliced strawberries every night for dessert. Our table loved veggies, so every night we had a large plate of steamed veggies brought to our table. There were a ton of special requests at our table and all requests were met without fail. Peamkait always said, "whatever you want" or "of course, whatever makes you happy". We were absolutely so pampered! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2004
Where do I start? This was my first cruise and I can honestly say that I hope it is not my last. I got a very good first impression from this ship. Even though the sailing was a bit rough at first, the animated staff and cautious captain ... Read More
Where do I start? This was my first cruise and I can honestly say that I hope it is not my last. I got a very good first impression from this ship. Even though the sailing was a bit rough at first, the animated staff and cautious captain was able to keep everybody's spirits up. As far as food is concerned, you have plenty of choices. Windjammer's is a buffet open all day with more choices than you need and a section with sushi (Jade). There are also two restaurants, Chops and Portofino which are very nice. Chops is a specialty in meats and Portofino in Italian cuisine. If that is not enough, you can always go to the dining room, which I definitely suggest because of its beautiful decor and excellent service. You will NOT be bored on this cruise and will probably come off the ship feeling like you hadn't done much, but that's only because there is so much to do. There is a sports deck, a pool deck, plenty of indoor activities, such as daily Bingo in the Extapa lounge and ice skating (yes you can go skating on this ship!). At night, you can enjoy the wonderfully executed shows with truly talented singers and dancers. The good bye show is something you should not miss and will not be able to forget. Excursions can be easily planned in the comfort of your own room, by selecting from the menu on you television, or if you feel like dealing with someone face-to-face, you can go down to the desk and plan it there. St. Thomas is the place for shopping so I don't recommend that you choose a long activity that day because it truly has some great shops. As far as service is concerned, that is really what made my trip. My state room attendant (from India), our waiters (from Jamaica, South Africa and India) and everyone that you ask for directions while on the ship (from all over the world!!) are so kind and respectful and it really seems like they want you to have a pleasant stay. All that combined with the fun activities (do not hesitate to attend Bingo...you will regret it!) make for a very pampered stay that makes it very difficult to leave and truly reinforces that it is "Like no vacation on earth"! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2004
You may think you're ready for your cruise after having seen commercials and videos and after hearing first-hand what is waiting for you but nothing could have prepared me for the amazing experience I had... After checking into my ... Read More
You may think you're ready for your cruise after having seen commercials and videos and after hearing first-hand what is waiting for you but nothing could have prepared me for the amazing experience I had... After checking into my stateroom with my brother and parents by my side, we prepared to do a routine emergency evacuation...what an experience! It makes you feel really safe to know that they know what they are doing and to see first-hand how organized they are. We then did a tour around the ship alongside my cousin who works on the ship and were amazed at the size of the ship, its beauty and the details of every piece of artwork. As far as food is concerned, you don't have to worry about ever feeling hungry...Windjammer is always stocked with food and the Cafe Promenade is open 24/7 if you want a coffee or a little snack. The dining room is beautiful to look at and great to eat in; you get the chance to meet people if you requested a table that accommodates more than the people travelling with you and you get a chance to meet some very warm and talented waiters. They make you feel good about yourself and they really care about how your day was and if you're enjoying the food and services. You also get to see where everyone is from because of their country of origin printed on their name tag...it really shows the beauty of the different cultures in the world and it was really nice to get a chance to meet people from all over the world. After filling your stomach with a delightful choice of international cuisine, you can head on to a show, the casino or maybe a lounge if you feel like relaxing. The shows are amazing, with extremely talented singers and dancers and you're sure to have a laugh or two with the comedians! Bingo is definitely something you will not want to miss...remember, Bingo Becky's jokes are on sale for $29.95 in the gift shops and they're on sale!! You also might want to sit in on Karaoke Idol or make your way to Studio B for an ice show...whatever it is that suits you because after all, it is your vacation! Activities on board the ship are great! Whether it's rock climbing, basketball, volleyball, ping-pong or the belly-flop contest alongside the pool, you are bound to find something to fill your day. When you have finally tired yourself out and are ready to drag yourself to your room, you will be pleasantly surprised to find your bed laid down for you, a chocolate placed on your pillow and an animal made out of towels(possibly sporting a pair of your sunglasses) ready to greet you on your bed! The stateroom attendants are pleasant and kind and you are most probably going to find it very difficult to say goodbye at the end of the week...aboard the ship, you become a family with the staff! Even though our cruise started out with a bit of rough seas, the animated staff, the caring crew and the cautious captain brought us through with memories that will last forever! No matter what activities you take part in and no matter who you meet, there is no doubt that this is an experience that you will never forget and there is no doubt that this is like no vacation on earth!! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2004
Recently returned from a wonderful cruise on Navigator. This was our first time on a voyager class ship and I was overwhelmed but thrilled by the experience. Embarkation: We had Royal Carib do our airfare (we would not do this again). ... Read More
Recently returned from a wonderful cruise on Navigator. This was our first time on a voyager class ship and I was overwhelmed but thrilled by the experience. Embarkation: We had Royal Carib do our airfare (we would not do this again). They booked our flights so late that we only arrived at the pier 30 minutes before the ship sailed, thus there were no lines at all. They were in a big rush to get us on board by that point. Still we didn't miss having to wait in line and we didn't have to take part in the muster drill as it was half over. Cabin and ship facilities: We had an atrium room on deck 7 midship. Overall we were satisfied with this room but noise was sometimes an issue even on deck 7. There was ample room for your things and the room was nicely decorated and pleasant. The common areas of the ship were most impressive. This ship was kept extremely clean and it shined, even though it was school vacation week and there were more children then usual. The kids stayed busy with their activities and even though there were over 800 kids they were rarely an issue. There are numerous places to go on this ship and all are inviting. The pool we frequented the most was the solarium. It was beautifully designed and the lounge chairs in this area were more comfortable then in the main pool area. We took advantage of many areas of the ship, including the deck 4 when we wanted to simply get away from the crowds and read. Very nice ship shape spa. We used the hot tub in the gym as there were no kids unattended in it. Entertainment: The shows were excellent. We were on Monarch last year and the singers were a little better on that cruise but still were good on Navigator. The ice show was a must see. I watched one of the parades from our atrium room which was nice as I wasn't crowded and could see beautifully. Food: Good but not great. Much has been said about the food on Royal Carib but overall we were satisfied. The prime rib was excellent and my husband really enjoyed the lobster. We ate dinner in the dining room all but the first night. We had lunch and breakfast in the Windjammer most days. We did not try out Chops as we waited too long to try for a reservation. We did eat at Johnny Rockets once and that was fun. The food was excellent and nice and hot. The lunch we had there the waiters did a dance to a Saturday night fever medley. Shore Excursions: Our first stop was in Nassau. We did a harbor tour and Discover Atlantis. We did book this through the cruise line. My only complaint is that the stop in this port was really not long enough to fully enjoy the beauty of Nassau. Atlantis was very impressive but again not enough time to fully enjoy it. Out next stop was St. Thomas. We had decided ahead of time to basically skip St. Thomas and take the ferry to St. John. This was by far our best port of call. The ferry ride was VERY ROUGH but well worth it. We did the snorkel excursion to Trunk Beach. The water was more beautiful then anywhere I've ever been. Our bus driver to the beach, Wesley was a riot. He sang and entertained from start to finish. He's won numerous awards which he was happy to show us in his scrapbook! My only complaint here is I wish the excursion left for St. John's earlier in the day. We had several hours to kill before leaving on the ferry which did give us time to go to the close mall. I'm not a big shopper so that didn't do much for me. Our next stop was San Juan. This was my least favorite stop. We ended up having a very extended day in San Juan as the next day's stop Labadee was cancelled due to the situation in Haiti. We didn't leave San Juan until 10 PM to give us more time in a port. We took the city tour and Bacardi Rum Factory tour. The main problem was the tour was VERY early AM and we really weren't interested in rum at 10 in the morning. We went back to the ship after our tours and had planned to head back into town later. The wait for taxis was horrible thus going back into town was not worth it. The ship had docked at the Pan American Pier which is way off the beaten track and not at all convenient. Areas that Could Be Improved: Chair Hogging, Chair Hogging, Chair Hogging!!!! This was an unbelievable problem. If you didn't have a chair by 7:30 AM you wouldn't have one until after 3 PM. Royal Carib is not enforcing the rule of not saving chairs at all. I did save a chair on two mornings but only for a few hours and gave it up so others could enjoy. I felt bad even doing that but as I paid good $ for this cruise I wanted to be able to sit by the pool at least some of the time. Windjammer-it would be nice if the food could be kept warmer. I know this is difficult given the amount of food and the # of people. Shore excursions-giving more time in one port due to skipping Labadee is not the best option, particularly if you don't like the port you get the extra time in. I've heard that they are now doing another day in the Bahamas which would be an excellent option. Children-parents should more closely monitor their kids. Many children were allowed to race up and down the hall ways at very late hours and were in the hot tubs with no adult supervision. Pool staff did at times monitor this but not consistently. Disembarkation: No complaints here. We were the second group to leave the ship as we had an early flight. The only issue was we had to wait at the luggage carousel for over 45 minutes for out bags to come out. We took the bus arranged by the cruise line to the airport. Big mistake. The bus driver dropped us off at the part of the airport that was the furthest it could possibly be from our airline. We were exhausted by the time we got to our ticket counter. Overall a very memorable experience. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2004
This is our 3rd cruise, with our last cruise about 3 years ago with Royal Caribbean. Embarkation: Getting registered and on the boat seemed a little smoother than last time on the Monarch in San Juan. There were some fairly long lines, ... Read More
This is our 3rd cruise, with our last cruise about 3 years ago with Royal Caribbean. Embarkation: Getting registered and on the boat seemed a little smoother than last time on the Monarch in San Juan. There were some fairly long lines, but the wait wasn't bad (We have a 4 year old and she's a good kid!). Ship Activities (Days at Sea): If you get bored while at sea on these ships, make no mistake - YOU ARE THE PROBLEM, not the ship. Both days at sea, we all ice skated, swam, played mini-golf and used the rock wall. We do not drink or gamble, and we still had plenty to do. The gym is excellent. I worked out before breakfast each day and never had to wait for anything. Plenty of dumbbells and 3-4 benches. The life-fitness machines were high quality. I spent most of the time lifting, but there were many treadmills and bikes also. Only negative on the gym was the limited lighting earlier in the morning. The TV's were also off for the first couple of days. There is also a big whirlpool. My daughter loved the krooze komics and we walked through the promenade a lot. Our daughter was with us the whole time so we didn't use the on-board day-care. With a pool and several free ice cream stations, what 4 year old wouldn't be happy? Food: The food quality overall is excellent. If there was anything at the Windjammer or the Dining room that didn't look good, there was always plenty of other options. Service: Outstanding service from the evening dinner staff (Waiters were Ercan from Turkey and Miguel from Columbia) and our cabin steward (Raul). Nearly everyone else was pleasant and courteous as well. The one exception was the guest relations desk (purser). One guy came off to me as a little arrogant. Our tip vouchers only reflected 2 people instead of 3, so I came down to fix it. Instead of going back and fixing the problem, the guy asks me "Did your wife fill out the form right?" Of course my wife filled the form right, but even if she didn't, the problem needed to be fixed regardless. The restaurant wait staff at RCCL should be training these people in customer relations. If if wasn't for that dude, I would have rated the service perfect. Cabin: Interior stateroom had plenty of room for the 3 of us. Having a refrigerator was nice too. Ports: All the ports I've been before except Haiti. We took the Castaway at Malfini. Its an exclusive tour, and the only problem was actually finding the meeting place. The RCCL ticket said to "check in" at 10:45 and leave at 12:00. We got to the place at 10:45 and nobody had a clue. The tour staff didn't know why RCC put 10:45 on the ticket. Anyhow, the tour was cool. It was great to get away from the crowd to a private beach with 20 people for swimming and snorkeling. The tour operators were really friendly. We did our own thing at Jamaica and Cayman. We did the semi-submersible excursion in Cozumel. After a slow start, we saw plenty of fish and coral. It made us miss snorkeling and scuba, but our daughter will be old enough in a few years. Excursions are expensive. With a little planning, you can do your own thing at most ports and save a few bucks. Cozumel and Cayman were crowded (6 boats in port at each) so make sure you factor in some time getting on and off the boat and moving around near the pier. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2004
Navigator of the Seas is an amazing ship. This was our first cruise and we were shocked by this ship and its many wonders. Our magnificent vacation aboard this astounding ship was so amazing and wonderful not simply because of the physical ... Read More
Navigator of the Seas is an amazing ship. This was our first cruise and we were shocked by this ship and its many wonders. Our magnificent vacation aboard this astounding ship was so amazing and wonderful not simply because of the physical reality of the beautiful ship but even more so because of the fantastic service we experienced throughout the ship. Some of the staff we met deserve special mention, if you meet these people, count yourself lucky, they are all amazing. Our bartender in the stunning Cosmopolitan lounge overlooking the ship and the surroundings on the 15th deck was Roger Pasmore. What a great guy and a great bartender. Royan Caribbean should really promote him, he works so hard to make people happy and satisfied in every way. He set us up with a friend of his in Ocho Rios for a personally guided tour, and the result was the best day of our trip. Mark Henry is a must see in Jamaica, mon. What he did for us was great, we got to see everything we wanted to see, and more. All of this while in no rush and no need to wait for others. Our group of four had the best time with Mark, a great guy everyone should try to hire as your personal tour guide in Jamaica. We can't wait to go back and see Roger, Mark, and Roger's family on that beautiful island. For our delicious dinners we couldn't have had better service and more fun than we did with our wait staff of Isidoro Rebello and Eveline Gheorgiu, they were simply the best on board. Their attention to detail was unsurpassed and they made dining in the same dining room for 7 nights and special occassion each evening - truly amazing! In addition was our dining room bartender Sean Bryan, and really Irish Jamaican - you can't find a better combination. And Sean was the best, he made sure we always had what we wanted and when we wanted it. He works hard and happily to make people happy. Finally, our room attendant was Martin and he was also the best on board. His enjoyment of the job made the cruise that much more fun - what a great guy. He was so friendly and informative, always willing to go the extra mile. No request was too much for him and he always had a smile, a funny comment, or a laugh for us. He really made the cruise a great experience. All of these people, and the countless others we didn't get to know as well turn a phenomonal ship into a vacation experience to remember for a lifetime. We can't say enough about Roger, Isidoro, Eveline, Sean, and Martin - and we can't thank them enough for helping us have such a great experience and wonderful time. And of course Mark on shore in Ocho Rios - you helped us have the best day of 7 excellent days. I hope many people contact you in the future for their own personal tours of your great country. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2004
This was the 15th cruise for my wife and I. It was the first time we had taken a large group with us (38 in all). Our group was made up of married children, friends, and in-laws. To sum up everyone had a wonderful time. Many of the first ... Read More
This was the 15th cruise for my wife and I. It was the first time we had taken a large group with us (38 in all). Our group was made up of married children, friends, and in-laws. To sum up everyone had a wonderful time. Many of the first time cruisers thought it was just fantastic and in many ways it was. The ship is absolutely beautiful. Our cabin was a mini suite and it was just outstanding. There was plenty of room and our big surprise was the walk-in closet. Most of our group were in balcony cabins and they just sang high praises about the comfort of the cabins. There were no complaints about storage space and there was plenty of room on each balcony to be comfortable with a drink in the evening or just reading a book in the afternoon. The ship was spotless. The decor is just beautiful. The Promenade is just a lot of fun. We sampled most of the night spots and heard some great music from Glen Miller and some wonderful ball room dancing to Latin, disco and a great singing bar. The spa is well equipped and the machines are some of the best. I worked out every day as did several of my friends and it was great fun. What they were missing were cups for your water. You had to leave your workout machine in order to get a drink at the drinking fountain. The food was good although I have had better. There was a lack of good presentation and delivery of the food. Our waiter happened to be very good but around us there were complaints of being hurried and just not quite up to the standards we have had on previous cruises. I was really impressed with the Windjammer Cafe. It is a very efficient operation and even with 3000 people on board you never had to really wait in a long line or even any line at all. I loved the coffee. On some cruises I have been really disappointed with the coffee. Not on this cruise. I do not want to fault all the help on board as many were very nice but overall I would not say this was the friendliest staff I have had. If there is room for improvement and there is, it would be in the attitude of some staff. Many never even said anything to you. One of the enjoyments for me on a cruise is meeting the many different people from allover the world. It is always fun to speak with them and learn about where they are from etc. It was evident with many on this ship that they were not customer friendly. Overall it was a great trip. Would I go again on one of these RCCL Mega ships - absolutely. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2003
Well first I have to say that we had a wonderful cruise experience. We were all first time cruisers so I can't compare it to anything else. Day Before. Miami We choose to fly in to MIA a day early. None of us had been to Miami ... Read More
Well first I have to say that we had a wonderful cruise experience. We were all first time cruisers so I can't compare it to anything else. Day Before. Miami We choose to fly in to MIA a day early. None of us had been to Miami before, so we figured this would give us some time to at least see the downtown area before setting sail on Saturday. Not to mention it caused less stress in worrying if we were going to make it there in time. This trip was full of firsts for all of us. First cruise, first time on a jet for me, first time to miami, etc,etc. The flight from RDU went smoothly, though I really did not enjoy myself on it. Can't say I'm a fan of flying, but it really made the trip itself nicer. We had rooms booked at the Sheraton Biscayne Bay. I booked them through priceline at $35 bucks a room. The hotel was very nice. Loved having rooms facing the Pier and getting to see the ships come in on Saturday morning. We went to Bayside Market for Dinner that night and ate at the Hard Rock. A law firm had the restaurant booked for a party so we had our dinner out on the deck. It was a lovely night and we enjoyed walking around the Market afterwards. Day 1. We were up very very early. 4:30 am in fact. Dear Husband and I couldn't sleep from all the excitement so we lounged in our room, watched some TV and the ships as they came in. It was around 5:30 that morning when we saw the Navigator come in. Had the Breakfast buffet at the hotel, it was pretty good, but I don't think any of us really tasted anything. We were all so anxious to get to the pier. After breakfast we wasted some time around the grounds of the hotel, then got our stuff together and hopped a taxi to the pier. Embarkation went fairly fast. We had what I would guess would be normal to short lines. I don't think the whole process took us an hour. Really didn't keep track of time, so I know we weren't standing around for a long time. We were on board before noon and they told us that our rooms would not be ready yet, so we headed to the pool area and our first drink. After kicking back and relaxing on deck, we headed to the Windjammer for lunch. By the time we were finished our rooms were ready. We had room 1688 and it was awesome! Loved the room. The deck was nice as well, but I don't think we utilized it as much as we could have. It was fun setting out there before we left Miami and calling everyone back home from our cell. Mom and Dad and 7388. Mom said she would have stayed in a broom closet to have had that deck. After seeing our room we really thought that theirs was small, but it had plenty of room for two people. They spent most of their time on the deck. Can't say enough good things about the waitstaff we had in the dinning room. My family had went with all intentions of not eating in the dinning room everynight. I'm so glad we all packed enough clothes, because we were in there everynight. We had great tablemates, who we have kept in touch with since returning home. The whole atmosphere, our tablemates, John (HW) and Wendel (SW) just really made the trip. Didn't see the problem with any of the food we were served. I had already warned my husband not to expect anything spectacular after reading other peoples posts. After a few nights we started asking ourselves where these other people had been eating. Everything was good. Of coarse being our first cruise we couldn't compare it to others, but we were pleased with everything we tried. Day 2 Sea Day Set out to do as much as we could. I think we accomplished that as well. Our days pretty much started out the same, 7:45 Stretch Class, Breakfast in the Windjammer with mom and dad then the 8:30 Walk-a-mile. I can say we never once stepped foot in any of the pools or played putt putt. That's the only things we didn't do. Did inline skating several times during the week, as well as ice skating and the rock wall. We did go to the Solarium Mineral Spa once. Took a few of the seminars they were offering as well. Day 3 Labadee Really enjoyed exploring this place. I would say it was the hottest day we saw too. Had fun haggling with the merchants in the marketplace and managed to get a few things we wanted. Really wished now that we had tried to bargain for one of the masks, but there is always another time for that. After walking the entire "private island" and taking several beautiful photos we spent the rest of the time stretched out on a chair at the side of the beach where you are not supposed to swim (sea urchins). It had shade and few people so we kicked back there. Day 4 Jamaica We had already been warned by people on board that we would regret getting off the ship at this port. That was hooey. We all loved the port. Mom and Dad booked the Horse Back riding and both had a wonderful time. Dear Husband and I did the Enchanted Gardens/Dunns River Falls. Really found the Garden tour interesting, plus the grounds made for beautiful shots, for those of you who like to take photos. We got rained on, or should I say had liquid sun shine, while on this tour. However I think everything let loose while we were at Dunns Rivers. My Dear Husband was the only person in our group who wanted to climb the falls, unfortunately I couldn't because of a neck injury and fear of falling and making it worse. Anyway he got put with a group of people who were there from Carnival Ship. They were really, really slow. Don't know if there was a problem, or it was just the fact that every person in the tour had to stop to take a photo in the same place. I talked Dear Husband into just climbing the falls by himself. I was going up along the side and taking photos. Had fun getting through the marketplace. We bought some necklaces off this one guy and when we told him we would give him 5 bucks for 3 of them he didn't want to do it, said he got 12 a piece for them. Well he ended up taking the deal and when some of the other sellers heard this, they started trying to get the same 5 dollars from us. I've never saw anything like that. One guy put these little head things in my hands even though I didn't want them. I finally had to set them on the walk way because he wouldn't take them back. We had a great time though, its all part of the experience. After finishing up the tour we walked back to the Island Village and went to Margaritaville and some of the other shops. Day 5 Grand Cayman Booked the Sting Ray Tour onboard a Catamaran through Capt Bryans. Weather wasn't that great, but it stayed calm enough that we were able to do the tour and snorkeling. As everyone else says, this is a excursions you just have to do! I would recommend it to anyone. Capt Bryans was great. The guide that went out in the water with us really took his time in letting everyone hold and kiss the stingrays. Plus when we went snorkeling he got a huge moray eel to come out. We would have gotten to see a nurse shark as well, but he said it wasn't home. After the excursion we done some shopping and loaded up on rum and rum cakes. The tender ride back was rough. The seas had been choppy all day, but we made the mistake of getting on the bottom back side of the tender. The smell of diesel makes me ill. Anyway and that with waiting on the rough waters to get off was not making for a enjoyable ride. Had to take a nap after getting back to room in hopes of making myself feel better. Didn't know that we were in for a rough night as well. Our last formal night was that night and after getting up from a nap I did my best to get dressed on the roller coaster we were on. It really wasn't horrible, but being in the aft you really felt it. Finished getting dressed and headed down to the photo area on Deck 3 thinking that being low and center I would feel better. Nope, didn't work. Everything down there was moving as well. Had our pictures taken and headed to the dinning room. We had 2nd seating by the way. I sat down at the table and when given the menu and reading it, I just knew I wasn't going to be able to eat. So after apologizing to our tablemates I headed back to the room in tears. I tried to get my Dear Husband to stay and enjoy dinner, but he didn't. John our waiter sent with him a tray of crackers for me. That was so nice. John even told him that if he was to come back he would have the dinner fixed so that he could bring it back to room. Dear Husband settled for a sandwich and cookies from the Cafe Promenade. I was in tears because I was really looking forward to the last formal night and seeing the midnight buffet. Instead, we laid in bed and watched movies. The next morning the captain came on and said that it was rougher than they had expected and several were talking about not making it to dinner. So I at least I know I wasn't the only one. Day 6 Cozumel The front we had traveled through had hit Cozumel the day earlier and left in its wake some rough seas so all water activities were canceled. Good thing we had only planned to shop. Took a cab to downtown and walked the shopping area. Got lots of nice gifts for everyone at home. Found a working payphone to call our daughter back home at her grandparents. Did some more exploring then headed back to the ship. Day 7 Sea Day Did pretty much the same stuff as on the first sea day. Took pictures of the ship. Really just enjoyed ourselves. We checked out all the shows through the week that we could keep our eyes open to go to. Getting up early everyday and having late dinner seating makes for some late nights. We told ourselves that we would sleep when we got home! Disembarkation: Had the 2nd colored tags to be called, I believe it was white. We went to boleros lounge and waited for the color to be called. Went very smoothly. By the time our color was called and we had walked down the gang plank through immigration our bags were on the conveyer and coming around. Pulled them off. Customs, we just about walked right through. They took our form glanced over it and we were on our way. Grabbed a Taxi and were at the Dollar Rental car and MIA by 8:30am. We rented a Minivan from them and drove to Key West for a couple days to site see and fish. It was so cold in Key West. Had to buy sweat shirts while we were there. Did get to go on our fishing trip, I was the only person to catch anything and I landed a hammerhead shark! My first catch ever, not to bad. We had a wonderful time, so much so we are planning another trip for the Explorer this October and a 14 day Panama Canal on Radiance for 2005. Princesstori Read Less
Sail Date: December 2003
Navigator of the Seas by Pete Larson Western Caribbean December 13, 2003 Voyage # 54 Labadee, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel Nautical miles sailed: 2,040 Ships Captain: Leif Otto Bang Cruise Director: Jeff Martin See my pictures at: ... Read More
Navigator of the Seas by Pete Larson Western Caribbean December 13, 2003 Voyage # 54 Labadee, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel Nautical miles sailed: 2,040 Ships Captain: Leif Otto Bang Cruise Director: Jeff Martin See my pictures at: http://community.webshots.com/user/ndjollymon2 We are a couple just turning 40, traveling with 19 family members and friends. This was our 3rd cruise, (second with RCI) and our children's 1st. (ages 21 & 18) We booked 13 months in advance through an Internet travel agent, and had great prices. The price of the cruise never dropped below our booking price. I booked our airfare direct with the airline, and bought travel insurance through CSA. HOTEL We flew in 2 days prior, and stayed at Holiday Inn, South Beach. This is a decent hotel, with great prices and a nice beach/pool area. There are 2 restaurants in the hotel; one is OUTBACK, which was good. There is a SUBWAY right across the street. This is a nice area within walking distance of Lincoln Road Mall, which is full of outdoor cafes. (most are Italian) The boardwalk is right outside the hotel, and runs North. It doesn't connect to the South Boardwalk. You can catch the Electro wave shuttle outside the Jackie Gleason Theatre, and ride around SoBe for 25 cents per ride. Driving and parking in SoBe is a nightmare. I suggest renting a bike over at Lincoln. You can even rent a Segway Human Transporter! There are many other choices for public transportation as well. You can also rent Yamaha Waverunners on the beach at $65 per half hour. TIP # 1: Everyone in Miami wants your money. Everyone in Miami wants a tip. Even the "Sandwich Artist" at SUBWAY has a tip jar! The cabbies, the porters, the concierge, the guy in the bathroom, the bartenders, waitresses, bellhops.etc. Bring lots of small bills with you! EMBARKATION We arranged 2 SUPER SHUTTLE'S to take us to the Port of Miami at 10am. They arrived on time, and the charge was $55 for each shuttle. (+ tip) They transported all 19 of us, and luggage with no problem. Upon arrival at the Port, the porters were fighting over us immediately. Our porter was very nice, and wanted $60 to toss our luggage in the bin, and get it to the ship safely. (that was just one shuttle with 9 people!) He was very helpful, and was tipped $40 from our shuttle, and more for the other shuttle. Not sure of his final take, but he got more than $2 per bag from us. One suitcase was damaged upon arrival as well. Not sure who did it. I don't like the porter situation in Miami. We entered the Port and waited in line to pass security. Have all your documentation & ID ready. They would not allow boarding until 11am. Check-in and security went fast and smooth. We boarded within minutes of checking in. TIP # 2: If you are in a group, and your children are switching to other rooms, you must see the Pier Coordinator near check-in to have the rooms switched before boarding the ship. They will update which room # each person will actually be occupying. This is done after you set up the Sea Pass accounts. (they will print new cards) BOARDING: You have to see it to believe it! OVERWHELMING is all I can say. Seeing Navigator and Explorer end to end is a real spectacle. WOW! This ship is gorgeous! Off to the Windjammer for a quick lunch. They buffet was great! TIP # 3: Get onboard early, and tour the ship. You can get photos of the public spaces with no other people in them. You can take Spa tours and make appointments for things as well. Bring tip money for the porters, but don't pay what they ask! ($1-2 per bag) THE SHIP: The layout is nice, the dEcor is beautiful, and the public areas are plentiful. We always take a self-tour of the ship after our boarding lunch. There were many places I never made it back to during the week! You will find your way around pretty easily by day 2 or 3. This ship is in top-notch condition.and still looks brand new. There is a pool open 24 hrs a day. They are all salt-water pools. Hot tubs are fresh water. There is a mineral spa in the SPA / Gym. It is very hot and has different massage vents. You can use it free of charge. Also free, are most activities such as Rock Wall, In Line skating, ice-skating, and mini golf. I thought a ship this large would be more stable than smaller vessels.it isn't. I didn't see too many sick people, but the ship definitely moves around a lot. My wife took Bonine and had no problems. You will feel the movement though. Come prepared. TIP # 4: The elevators are a busy place. Many times, when an elevator finally comes to get you.it's already full! Learn to take the stairs more! You will get there quicker anyway. The glass elevators are much more scenic to ride. The view of the Royal Promenade is spectacular! THE CABIN: We had aft cabin #7688. It faces the ships wake, and has the largest balcony. This cabin is GREAT! The balcony is it's best feature. It does take on a little soot from the stacks. Don't walk out there in your socks...they will be black! I found myself wiping the chairs off each morning. It has 2 lounge chairs, 2 chairs and a table. We ate many room service breakfasts here. Much easier than fighting the crowds at the Windjammer on port days. Nothing like a nice hot breakfast on the balcony as we pull into port each day! I laid on a lounge chair to watch the meteor shower and fell asleep under the stars listening to the sounds of the sea. The structure on the back of the ship doesn't obstruct the view much. The balcony is in shade most of the day. If you are looking for sun, it's better on the top decks. It is less windy back there, but there were mornings that were still too windy to eat out there. I like the re-design of the shower stall. No more curtains, like on Vision Class ships. The room was large enough for 3 persons, and had a drop down bunk if needed. There is a sofa, safe, dressing table, coffee table, big closet, hair dryer, and plenty of storage space. The RCTV is wonderful. You can book excursions, check your Sea Pass account, order room service, movies, and many other things right on the TV. TIP #5: If you don't like to walk.you won't like this cabin. It is a long way from stairs and elevators to the rear of the ship. (120 steps to be exact) I didn't mind it, but some might. Also, be careful walking down the halls. Cabin attendants and passengers put carts, trays, vacuums, and stuff all over the halls. I found myself navigating around, and tripping over stuff everyday. TIP #6: There is a charge of $7.95 per minute for using your phone to call shore. Some teens in our party thought they could use a Phone Card, and did. They rang up hundreds of dollars in phone bills calling their boyfriends back home. They thought it would not apply if using a card. It did. Learned the hard way at the parents' expense. Educate your children before boarding. STAFF: The staff was always friendly. I really liked our cabin steward, Renato, and some of our servers. Great dining room & bar staff. I had one problem with security holding onto one of my suitcases. It made me late for dinner on the first night. Security held it because they saw something suspicious inside. They called me to the GUEST RELATIONS and made me show them what I had. There were 2 little knives in the outside pocket of my checked bag. I needed them to cut the zip ties on the zippers. They needed to see them, and then they let me take them to my room. It was a real joke. The knives in the dining room are bigger! Each of my knife blades was less than 2 inches! I was also stopped by security coming back from snorkeling in Grand Cayman. I had a dive knife in my snorkeling gear. I forgot it was even there, but they picked it up on the x-ray. When showed them it, they let me back onboard with it. (which is weird, because it was much bigger than the knives they saw in my other checked bags being loaded on the ship) TIP # 7: The GUEST RELATIONS desk (also known as the PURSER) is less busy in the middle of the night. Most of the day and evening, there is a line. Sometimes, a really BIG line. Get your business done early in the cruise. Late in the cruise.you will wait forever! Use the casino as your personal bank to get money or break down bills. The line is shorter. DINING & FOOD: We were in the very rear (near Port windows) of the SWAN LAKE DINING ROOM. (Top tier) I would have preferred the bottom level, but it wasn't a big deal. The Waiters still sing and dance on each tier. The windows were nice, but you can't see anything outside because at Second Seating it's already dark in DEC. Our waiter was Omar, and he was good, not great. Seemed quiet and shy. I didn't like our table assignments. We had a party of 19 at two tables. My children were split up at two different tables, which didn't please me, and we moved around a bit. The waiters were a little confused, but it worked out. I thought the food was FANTASTIC, and usually stayed with what was recommended by the staff. We had the best Head Waiter ever. She really took care of us. TIP #8: I thought with the coming of Seattle's Best Coffee, that it would be better than before. It's not. Personally, I couldn't stand the coffee. Way too strong and bitter. Being a diehard coffee drinker.I made due with it, but you may want to think about an alternative way to make coffee. ENTERTAINMENT: ~Royal Caribbean Singers & Dancers -Now & Forever -All Access ~Ice Dancers -Ice Dancin' ~The Original Drifters (Celebrity Entertainers) ~Miguel Washington (Comedy) ~John Joseph (Comedy) ~Duo Iouvilov ~James Stephens III (Comedy) The Broadway type shows are interesting, but not my favorite. The Drifters were great! Lot's of oldies, and the young singer is EXCELLENT! The Duo is really good, and the comedy of John Joseph is OUTSTANDING! I did not see the others. Ice Dancin'.just like everyone says.DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW! It is incredible what they can do on the small ice! This is by far.the best show on the ship. There are also singers, and musicians in the pubs and lounges each night. I enjoyed the guy in the Two Poets Club on the Royal Promenade. (He would play Jimmy Buffett for me) Another nice thing to see are the parades down there. They do a lot in the space given, and it is quite spectacular. TIP # 9: Get tickets to ICE DANCIN' early for the seating you want. All of the shows SELL OUT. (even though tickets are free) CRUISE CRITIC MEET & GREET: I met several of our group at the Pool Bar the night before. I spotted someone with a CC lanyard around her neck, and she knew someone who knew someone.and it went from there. We met for the party in the Cosmopolitan Club, and the Social Host was Mikiko. There was cookies and coffee, or you could use the cash bar. A free drawing was held and the prize was a computer mouse. Capt. Bang also came down to speak. He answered questions and even posed for pictures. He is the nicest guy. It was a really great group of people. PORTS: MIAMI Pre-cruise- See above (hotel) Post-cruise- RCI Everglades tour. The bus picked us up right outside the ship. Our bus had a flat tire that they fixed in about 30 minutes, and we were on our way. We got on the airboat, and the weather was cold for Florida, so gators weren't too active. We did see a few. I liked the airboat trip, but it could have been longer. We were at the airport well before 2:00pm. TIP # 10: If you have a lot of time to kill before your flight, there is a nice little 'park like' seating area outside, across from the main entrance. There are benches to sit on, and catch some sun, or read. Inside the terminal it's pretty hectic, and hard to find seating. LABADEE A really nice place to spend the day. This is a tender port, but the tenders are huge. The line really does move quickly. We did the Waverunner tour here, and it was great! The water was pretty rough, so it was hard to go wide open. Lots of fun. The rest of the day was spent eating the BBQ, and swimming at Hideaway Beach. The Haitian Market here is IN YOUR FACE shopping at it's finest. There is loads of nice stuff to buy, but they will try everything to get you to buy something. Use your bargaining skills, and don't be afraid. They are nice people, but they REALLY want you to buy. If you like hand carved things.this is the place to buy. TIP # 11: There is a little tram to take you around the peninsula, but it never seems to come by. You may end up walking everywhere, but the walk is not really as long as it looks. Bring lots of sun block.this place is HOT, HOT, HOT! You can use your soda sticker here too. OCHO RIOS, JAMAICA: We booked a tour with Peat Taylor, but he was not our guide. I never saw him. Great tour...but we DID NOT beat the crowds as promised. We waited for 20 minutes in a building outside the ship while they got the bus. Then waited in the bus for 45 minutes in the parking lot for 2 people that didn't show up. I think they went fishing for others to take their place...and found some. I felt a little deceived, and we did not beat the huge crowds of people. We also had to wait over 20 minutes in a downpour for the bus to pick us up at the falls when finished. The falls are very fun to climb. The rest of the tour was very nice. The fern gully was a nice drive, and we asked to go see the Fire Dept, as there were 3 U.S. Firefighters on the tour. (me included) His other tour bus made the falls before the crowds, and they were very happy with the tour. I was still very satisfied with the experience, although disappointed at what had happened. He dropped us off at Island Village for shopping, and MARGARITAVILLE! What a great place. Beach, bar, restaurant, water slide, pool, hot tub, dancing, gift shop, and a great party atmosphere. A perfect end to the day, at the swim-up bar! TIP # 12: If you are paranoid about Jamaica, go to ISLAND VILLAGE. It is a gated area of shopping, where the sales are NOT AGGRESSIVE. You shop in stores like in the US. You may not get to bargain, but it is not IN YOUR FACE shopping. There are a couple stands in the center where you can bargain with the locals. You can get JABLUM BLUE MOUNTAIN COFFEE here for about $13 US per LB. GRAND CAYMAN: Nativeway Watersports is a great tour company that takes you to STINGRAY CITY and CORAL GARDENS to snorkel. Excellent tour and crew. The interaction with the Stingrays is priceless. Coral Gardens is really beautiful. Very nice coral and fish everywhere. I took a different tour of STINGRAY CITY in 1999, but Nativeway was much better. I even bought the video they filmed for us! Everyone on this trip really thought Nativeway was GREAT! They took us to 7 Mile Beach, and dropped us off at Royal Palms Hotel. This is a nice section of beach, with cafe and bar, Waverunner rentals ($65 per half hour), or you can have your hair braided. Admission is $3 per head, and taxi fare to tender dock is $3 per person. COZUMEL: We took a taxi to CHANKANAAB NATURE PARK. We got big van-taxis for our large group, and they charged us $13 US for the ride, which included the ($10) admission fee. The park is very nice, with an excellent beach. (look for iguanas all over the place) The restaurant food was great, and drinks are plentiful. (try the one in the pineapple!) The wind was VERY strong that day, and snorkeling wasn't allowed until the seas calmed down. Lots to see out there. They even put some statues and such out there to find. We taxied downtown for shopping, and then hit CARLOS & CHARLIES for some refreshments. This is a fun but WILD place! Kids are allowed in, but the behavior is a little wild and risquE, so be prepared. We had a great time, and taxied back to the shopping area near the ship. We hit ½ SENOR FROGS there. Another fun place. Be prepared to drink some shots! (like it or not!) Needless to say, we were feeling no pain when we got back on the Navigator for sail away! TIP # 13: At C & C, (and FROGS) they will come around and blow a whistle behind you. Then they tilt your head back and pour a shot of (Sex on the Beach) down your throat, shake your head, and grab you where you don't expect it. It's pretty funny, so bring a camera! (and your wallet. Shots are $3 each!) SEA DAYS: This is a great time to sun or go to the SPA. Relax away the hectic pace of the island stops, and listen to the Steel Drum band on deck. Yes.people still hog deck chairs, and block your view. Don't get discouraged.there's always somewhere to sit to enjoy. TIP # 14: Go to the CORONA DECK PARTY! It's a lot of fun, drinking and dancing under the stars. There is also a big buffet on deck, CORONA beer, and drink specials. Let loose and DANCE! DISEMBARKATION: Very smooth and easy. I love the baggage carousel! I really hated the old method, wading through a sea of suitcases. It helps to mark your cases distinctly. TIP # 15: Regardless of what RCI tells you, there is currently an American Airlines bag check in at the pier. Each person over age 18 must fill out there own CUSTOMS FORM. Do it in the line, and they get mad! Have ALL forms, and ID ready! HIGHLIGHTS: Sunsets Sky watching Sound of the sea from the balcony Steel Drum music on deck Walking around the ship the first time in awe Standing on the bow of the ship Sail away parties & the CORONA deck party! LOWLIGHTS: The coffee Getting off the ship after a week! CONCLUSION: I think the VOYAGER CLASS ships are great. They have something for everyone. There are a lot of people aboard, but it only feels crowded during meals, or getting off/on the ship. (same as any other ship) There is so much you can do; a week is not enough time. Don't try to do it all, just enjoy what you are doing! No Problem Mon! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2003
Navigator of the Seas Review By Pete Larson Sail date: 12-13-2003: Voyage # 54 Western Caribbean: Labadee, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel Nautical miles sailed: 2,040 Ships Captain: Leif Otto Bang Cruise Director: Jeff Martin We ... Read More
Navigator of the Seas Review By Pete Larson Sail date: 12-13-2003: Voyage # 54 Western Caribbean: Labadee, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel Nautical miles sailed: 2,040 Ships Captain: Leif Otto Bang Cruise Director: Jeff Martin We are a couple just turning 40, traveling with 19 family members and friends. This was our 3rd cruise, (second with RCI) and our children's 1st. (ages 21 & 18) We booked 13 months in advance through an Internet travel agent, and had great prices. The price of the cruise never dropped below our booking price. I booked our airfare direct with the airline, and bought travel insurance through CSA. HOTEL We flew in 2 days prior, and stayed at Holiday Inn, South Beach. This is a decent hotel, with great prices and a nice beach/pool area. There are 2 restaurants in the hotel; one is OUTBACK, which was good. There is a SUBWAY right across the street. This is a nice area within walking distance of Lincoln Road Mall, which is full of outdoor cafes. (most are Italian) The boardwalk is right outside the hotel, and runs North. It doesn't connect to the South Boardwalk. You can catch the Electro wave shuttle outside the Jackie Gleason Theatre, and ride around SoBe for 25 cents per ride. Driving and parking in SoBe is a nightmare. I suggest renting a bike over at Lincoln. You can even rent a Segway Human Transporter! There are many other choices for public transportation as well. You can also rent YamahaWaverunners on the beach at $65 per half hour. TIP # 1: Everyone in Miami wants your money. Everyone in Miami wants a tip. Even the "Sandwich Artist" at SUBWAY has a tip jar! The cabbies, the porters, the concierge, the guy in the bathroom, the bartenders, waitresses, bellhops...etc. Bring lots of small bills with you! EMBARKATION We arranged 2 SUPER SHUTTLE'S to take us to the Port of Miami at 10am. They arrived on time, and the charge was $55 for each shuttle. (+ tip) They transported all 19 of us, and luggage with no problem. Upon arrival at the Port, the porters were fighting over us immediately. Our porter was very nice, and wanted $60 to toss our luggage in the bin, and get it to the ship safely. (that was just one shuttle with 9 people!) He was very helpful, and was tipped $40 from our shuttle, and more for the other shuttle. Not sure of his final take, but he got more than $2 per bag from us. One suitcase was damaged upon arrival as well. Not sure who did it. I don't like the porter situation in Miami. We entered the Port and waited in line to pass security. Have all your documentation & ID ready. They would not allow boarding until 11am. Check-in and security went fast and smooth. We boarded within minutes of checking in. TIP # 2: If you are in a group, and your children are switching to other rooms, you must see the Pier Coordinator near check-in to have the rooms switched before boarding the ship. They will update which room # each person will actually be occupying. This is done after you set up the Sea Pass accounts. (they will print new cards) BOARDING: You have to see it to believe it! OVERWHELMING is all I can say. Seeing Navigator and Explorer end to end is a real spectacle. WOW! This ship is gorgeous! Off to the Windjammer for a quick lunch. They buffet was great! TIP # 3: Get onboard early, and tour the ship. You can get photos of the public spaces with no other people in them. You can take Spa tours and make appointments for things as well. Bring tip money for the porters, but don't pay what they ask! ($1-2 per bag) THE SHIP: The layout is nice, the dEcor is beautiful, and the public areas are plentiful. We always take a self-tour of the ship after our boarding lunch. There were many places I never made it back to during the week! You will find your way around pretty easily by day 2 or 3. This ship is in top-notch condition...and still looks brand new. There is a pool open 24 hrs a day. They are all salt-water pools. Hot tubs are fresh water. There is a mineral spa in the SPA / Gym. It is very hot and has different massage vents. You can use it free of charge. Also free, are most activities such as Rock Wall, In Line skating, ice-skating, and mini golf. I thought a ship this large would be more stable than smaller vessels...it isn't. I didn't see too many sick people, but the ship definitely moves around a lot. My wife took Bonine and had no problems. You will feel the movement though. Come prepared. TIP # 4: The elevators are a busy place. Many times, when an elevator finally comes to get you...it's already full! Learn to take the stairs more! You will get there quicker anyway. The glass elevators are much more scenic to ride. The view of the Royal Promenade is spectacular! THE CABIN: We had aft cabin #7688. It faces the ships wake, and has the largest balcony. This cabin is GREAT! The balcony is its best feature. It does take on a little soot from the stacks. Don't walk out there in your socks...they will be black! I found myself wiping the chairs off each morning. It has 2 lounge chairs, 2 chairs and a table. We ate many room service breakfasts here. Much easier than fighting the crowds at the Windjammer on port days. Nothing like a nice hot breakfast on the balcony as we pull into port each day! I laid on a lounge chair to watch the meteor shower and fell asleep under the stars listening to the sounds of the sea. The structure on the back of the ship doesn't obstruct the view much. The balcony is in shade most of the day. If you are looking for sun, it's better on the top decks. It is less windy back there, but there were mornings that were still too windy to eat out there. I like the re-design of the shower stall. No more curtains, like on Vision Class ships. The room was large enough for 3 persons, and had a drop down bunk if needed. There is a sofa, safe, dressing table, coffee table, big closet, hair dryer, and plenty of storage space. The RCTV is wonderful. You can book excursions, check your Sea Pass account, order room service, movies, and many other things right on the TV. TIP #5: If you don't like to walk...you won't like this cabin. It is a long way from stairs and elevators to the rear of the ship. (120 steps to be exact) I didn't mind it, but some might. Also, be careful walking down the halls. Cabin attendants and passengers put carts, trays, vacuums, and stuff all over the halls. I found myself navigating around, and tripping over stuff everyday. TIP #6: There is a charge of $7.95 per minute for using your phone to call shore. Some teens in our party thought they could use a Phone Card, and did. They rang up hundreds of dollars in phone bills calling their boyfriends back home. They thought it would not apply if using a card. It did. Learned the hard way at the parents' expense. Educate your children before boarding. STAFF: The staff was always friendly. I really liked our cabin steward, Renato, and some of our servers. Great dining room & bar staff. I had one problem with security holding onto one of my suitcases. It made me late for dinner on the first night. Security held it because they saw something suspicious inside. They called me to the GUEST RELATIONS and made me show them what I had. There were 2 little knives in the outside pocket of my checked bag. I needed them to cut the zip ties on the zippers. They needed to see them, and then they let me take them to my room. It was a real joke. The knives in the dining room are bigger! Each of my knife blades was less than 2 inches! I was also stopped by security coming back from snorkeling in Grand Cayman. I had a dive knife in my snorkeling gear. I forgot it was even there, but they picked it up on the x-ray. When showed them it, they let me back onboard with it. (which is weird, because it was much bigger than the knives they saw in my other checked bags being loaded on the ship) TIP # 7: The GUEST RELATIONS desk (also known as the PURSER) is less busy in the middle of the night. Most of the day and evening, there is a line. Sometimes, a really BIG line. Get your business done early in the cruise. Late in the cruise...you will wait forever! Use the casino as your personal bank to get money or break down bills. The line is shorter. DINING & FOOD: We were in the very rear (near Port windows) of the SWAN LAKE DINING ROOM. (Top tier) I would have preferred the bottom level, but it wasn't a big deal. The Waiters still sing and dance on each tier. The windows were nice, but you can't see anything outside because at Second Seating it's already dark in DEC. Our waiter was Omar, and he was good, not great. Seemed quiet and shy. I didn't like our table assignments. We had a party of 19 at two tables. My children were split up at two different tables, which didn't please me, and we moved around a bit. The waiters were a little confused, but it worked out. I thought the food was FANTASTIC, and usually stayed with what was recommended by the staff. We had the best Head Waiter ever. She really took care of us. TIP #8: I thought with the coming of Seattle's Best Coffee, that it would be better than before. It's not. Personally, I couldn't stand the coffee. Way too strong and bitter. Being a diehard coffee drinker...I made due with it, but you may want to think about an alternative way to make coffee. ENTERTAINMENT: ~Royal Caribbean Singers & Dancers -Now & Forever -All Access ~Ice Dancers -Ice Dancin' ~The Original Drifters (Celebrity Entertainers) ~Miguel Washington (Comedy) ~John Joseph (Comedy) ~Duo Iouvilov ~James Stephens III (Comedy) The Broadway type shows are interesting, but not my favorite. The Drifters were great! Lot's of oldies, and the young singer is EXCELLENT! The Duo is really good, and the comedy of John Joseph is OUTSTANDING! I did not see the others. Ice Dancin'...just like everyone says...DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW! It is incredible what they can do on the small ice! This is by far...the best show on the ship. There are also singers, and musicians in the pubs and lounges each night. I enjoyed the guy in the Two Poets Club on the Royal Promenade. (He would play Jimmy Buffett for me) Another nice thing to see are the parades down there. They do a lot in the space given, and it is quite spectacular. TIP # 9: Get tickets to ICE DANCIN' early for the seating you want. All of the shows SELL OUT. (even though tickets are free) CRUISE CRITIC MEET & GREET: I met several of our group at the Pool Bar the night before. I spotted someone with a CC lanyard around her neck, and she knew someone who knew someone...and it went from there. We met for the party in the Cosmopolitan Club, and the Social Host was Mikiko. There was cookies and coffee, or you could use the cash bar. A free drawing was held and the prize was a computer mouse. Capt. Bang also came down to speak. He answered questions and even posed for pictures. He is the nicest guy. It was a really great group of people. PORTS: MIAMI Pre-cruise- See above (hotel) Post-cruise- RCI Everglades tour. The bus picked us up right outside the ship. Our bus had a flat tire that they fixed in about 30 minutes, and we were on our way. We got on the airboat, and the weather was cold for Florida, so gators weren't too active. We did see a few. I liked the airboat trip, but it could have been longer. We were at the airport well before 2:00pm. TIP # 10: If you have a lot of time to kill before your flight, there is a nice little 'park like' seating area outside, across from the main entrance. There are benches to sit on, and catch some sun, or read. Inside the terminal it's pretty hectic, and hard to find seating. LABADEE A really nice place to spend the day. This is a tender port, but the tenders are huge. The line really does move quickly. We did the Waverunner tour here, and it was great! The water was pretty rough, so it was hard to go wide open. Lots of fun. The rest of the day was spent eating the BBQ, and swimming at Hideaway Beach. The Haitian Market here is IN YOUR FACE shopping at it's finest. There is loads of nice stuff to buy, but they will try everything to get you to buy something. Use your bargaining skills, and don't be afraid. They are nice people, but they REALLY want you to buy. If you like hand carved things...this is the place to buy. TIP # 11: There is a little tram to take you around the peninsula, but it never seems to come by. You may end up walking everywhere, but the walk is not really as long as it looks. Bring lots of sun block...this place is HOT, HOT, HOT! You can use your soda sticker here too. OCHO RIOS, JAMAICA: We booked a tour with Peat Taylor, but he was not our guide. I never saw him. Great tour...but we did not beat the crowds as promised. We waited for 20 minutes in a building outside the ship while they got the bus. Then waited in the bus for 45 minutes in the parking lot for 2 people that didn't show up. I think they went fishing for others to take their place...and found some. I felt a little deceived, and we did not beat the huge crowds of people. We also had to wait over 20 minutes in a downpour for the bus to pick us up at the falls when finished. The falls are very fun to climb. The rest of the tour was very nice. The fern gully was a nice drive, and we asked to go see the Fire Dept, as there were 3 U.S. Firefighters on the tour. (me included) His other tour bus made the falls before the crowds, and they were very happy with the tour. I was still very satisfied with the experience, although disappointed at what had happened. He dropped us off at Island Village for shopping, and MARGARITAVILLE! What a great place. Beach, bar, restaurant, water slide, pool, hot tub, dancing, gift shop, and a great party atmosphere. A perfect end to the day, at the swim-up bar! TIP # 12: If you are paranoid about Jamaica, go to ISLAND VILLAGE. It is a gated area of shopping, where the sales are NOT AGGRESSIVE. You shop in stores like in the US. You may not get to bargain, but it is not IN YOUR FACE shopping. There are a couple stands in the center where you can bargain with the locals. You can get JABLUM BLUE MOUNTAIN COFFEE here for about $13 US per LB. GRAND CAYMAN: Nativeway Watersports is a great tour company that takes you to STINGRAY CITY and CORAL GARDENS to snorkel. Excellent tour and crew. The interaction with the Stingrays is priceless. Coral Gardens is really beautiful. Very nice coral and fish everywhere. I took a different tour of STINGRAY CITY in 1999, but Nativeway was much better. I even bought the video they filmed for us! Everyone on this trip really thought Nativeway was GREAT! They took us to 7 Mile Beach, and dropped us off at Royal Palms Hotel. This is a nice section of beach, with cafe and bar, Waverunner rentals ($65 per half hour), or you can have your hair braided. Admission is $3 per head, and taxi fare to tender dock is $3 per person. COZUMEL: We took a taxi to CHANKANAAB NATURE PARK. We got big van-taxis for our large group, and they charged us $13 US for the ride, which included the ($10) admission fee. The park is very nice, with an excellent beach. (look for iguanas all over the place) The restaurant food was great, and drinks are plentiful. (try the one in the pineapple!) The wind was VERY strong that day, and snorkeling wasn't allowed until the seas calmed down. Lots to see out there. They even put some statues and such out there to find. We taxied downtown for shopping, and then hit CARLOS & CHARLIES for some refreshments. This is a fun but WILD place! Kids are allowed in, but the behavior is a little wild and risquE, so be prepared. We had a great time, and taxied back to the shopping area near the ship. We hit ½ SENOR FROGS there. Another fun place. Be prepared to drink some shots! (like it or not!) Needless to say, we were feeling no pain when we got back on the Navigator for sail away! TIP # 13: At C & C, they will come around and blow a whistle behind you. Then they tilt your head back and pour a shot of (Sex on the Beach) down your throat, shake your head, and grab you where you don't expect it. It's pretty funny, so bring a camera! (and your wallet. Shots are $3 each!) SEA DAYS: This is a great time to sun or go to the SPA. Relax away the hectic pace of the island stops, and listen to the Steel Drum band on deck. Yes...people still hog deck chairs, and block your view. Don't get discouraged...there's always somewhere to sit to enjoy. TIP # 14: Go to the CORONA DECK PARTY! It's a lot of fun, drinking and dancing under the stars. There is also a big buffet on deck, CORONA beer, and drink specials. Let loose and DANCE! DISEMBARKATION: Very smooth and easy. I love the baggage carousel! I really hated the old method, wading through a sea of suitcases. It helps to mark your cases distinctly. TIP # 15: Regardless of what RCI tells you, there is currently an American Airlines bag check in at the pier. Each person over age 18 must fill out there own CUSTOMS FORM. Do it in the line, and they get mad! Have ALL forms, and ID ready! HIGHLIGHTS: Sunsets Sky watching Sound of the sea from the balcony Steel Drum music on deck Walking around the ship the first time in awe Standing on the bow of the ship Sail away parties & the CORONA deck party! LOWLIGHTS: The coffee Getting off the ship after a week! CONCLUSION: I think the VOYAGER CLASS ships are great. They have something for everyone. There are a lot of people aboard, but it only feels crowded during meals, or getting off/on the ship. (same as any other ship) There is so much you can do; a week is not enough time. Don't try to do it all, just enjoy what you are doing! No Problem Mon! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2003
Okay, being 16 (15 at the time of the cruise) I can tell you how it will be from a kid's point of view! I LOVE RCL! And so do my parents! It's our favorite line..and the Nav is our all time favorite ship and favorite cruise! My ... Read More
Okay, being 16 (15 at the time of the cruise) I can tell you how it will be from a kid's point of view! I LOVE RCL! And so do my parents! It's our favorite line..and the Nav is our all time favorite ship and favorite cruise! My parents have been on 15 cruises and I my 13 yr. old brother and I have been on 5. The Navigator is the ultimate ship if you want all the adventure and a real kid-oriented experience. They have everything--a rock climbing wall, mini-golf, roller blading, inside ice skating rink, and a fabulous kids program! Of course, it's not just the kid's program that i enjoyed! I loved the BIG ship. It was like a small city floating in the middle of the ocean. Embarkation--FABULOUS! We got at the pier around noon and it was pretty much smooth sailing. There were two mega ships and we weren't sure which one was the Navigator, so we went to the wrong terminal and the staff was quite rude. Other than that, once we found which way to go, we went in a short line and then it was on the ship in no more than 10 minutes. Walking on the ship is just a gorgeous sight! We were greeted by friendly-staff and the kids program counselors that handed us an itinerary of events and told us about what we could do on the ship!! We headed to our rooms (balcony on deck 7, my brother and I got a connecting room to my parents..we got a good deal but booked 13 months in advance to get it!) and check it out, then headed to the buffet and then walked around the ship, amazed! Food and Dining---We LOVED Johnny Rockets which was right by the teen rooms and the arcade! They sold burgers, fries, shakes (you have to pay extra for shakes) and a whole 50's theme. The staff in J.R. was kind of rude the few times just me and my brother walked in to grab a burger...but other than that the food is awesome there! We(including my parents) loved the Windjammer (is that how you spell it?) A good variety of foods for any person...but it was usually so crowded you couldn't find a table. The dining room was absolutely gorgeous! We asked to be seated at a table for 4, but were seated with a french couple with the worst behaved kid I've ever met! He would scream at the top of his lungs, take the knives and throw them, and walk over to other tables and grab their napkins and forks. But other than that, our waiter was excellent and very, very friendly! The food was pretty good...I didn't go to the dinning room more than three times (rather have dinner with my new friends and our awesome counselor!) But my parents went every night and they absolutely loved the service and the food. The only thing I didn't like about the dining room was they have windows all along the walls so you can see the smooth ocean floating by, but the drapes were always closed. Service---Overall, the service was EXCELLENT! Everyone was always happy to help you out and get you whatever you needed. The only disappointing thing is being a kid, some are quite rude and just ignore you or brush by. People opened the doors for us to the pool and everything! Cabin---We got 2 oceanview balcony staterooms and they were excellent. Closet space was more than needed and the bathroom was bigger than usual. There wasn't a lot of walking space. The balcony was my favorite part of the room! Very relaxing and peaceful. Our stewart was awesome! Always TWO mints on our pillows and they always made us animals out of the fresh towels and laid them on our pillows and used my sunglasses as shades for the bunny! The room was always kept clean and neat. Pool---I love the pool area and the hot tubs! There were plenty of hot tubs (which were huge) and the pool was nice (always too cold though). There were plenty of deck chairs, but then again, there were plenty of passengers! So, it was hard to find 3 or 4 deck chairs for us all to enjoy. There were barrels of fresh, folded beach towels right by the sliding doors on each side, and a pool burger and fries bar! (One of my favorite things!) There was always a live band playing, and while they took a brake, they played all different types of music. The solarium was nice too, didn't spend too much time in there except with my parents (kids aren't allowed unattended), but being 15, I wasn't yelling and screaming, just enjoying time with my mom on a beach chair. Shops/public areas---The mini-mall in the middle of the ship is AWESOME! They have several bars and little night clubs you can go into right from the mall (which I only saw the day we got on when it was empty) but there was one mini-club that looked so cool. At the doors are medieval knight armour and you enter and go down stairs and its a cool mid-evil theme! I was upset they didn't have themed kid/teen rooms like that! But, anyway, back to the mall...there were shops and then little shops which had 24-hour service of pizza and cookies (free) and then coffee drinks (not free). The other shops always seemed to be crowded, but they sold candy and snacks(chips, gum, etc.), which I've never seen being sold on a ship before. Kid Program/arcade---"The living room" is just 1 of the teen rooms! "Fuel" is the other for ages 15-17 and "the living room" was from 12-14. My brother was 12, so I decided to stay with him. I spent almost all my free-time in the teen room or the awesome arcade! The kids rooms are all right next to the pool, but up a deck. In "The living room" they have a little bar with pizza and soft drinks (not free unless you buy a soda card..which is really worth the $20!) and three TV's that played music videos, a computer area (25 cents per minute, but its 50 cents per min for adults) and just an awesome hang out area with couches and funky chairs! Fuel has a dance floor and a d.j. booth and then a private deck outback where they have parties. We swapped rooms every once in a while. A few activities were: Scavenger Hunts, Hot-tub parties, Ice-skating, rock-climbing, mini-golf game, other games, movie night, Pizza night, Trivia, Club night, etc... The younger kids rooms have video games, computer games (free), etc. The arcade is AWESOME!! It's huge (bigger than arcades at the mall) and it has awesome games. You can have credit on your passenger card for $5, $10, $15+, which makes it easier than using real money or tokens. Overall the kid's program was awesome! And our counselor Judy was the best! I made friends with all of the kids in our group and its very diverse. There was a boy from Columbia (the country) and another from Puerto Rico, and 2 boys from England, and the other kids were from all over the U.S. It was a small group, but we always met up even when it wasn't a scheduled time and just had a blast! Ports---The ports we went to were Grand Cayman, Jamaica, and Cozumel. In GRAND CAYMAN we just walked around---it was so crowded (at least 9 other ships were there at once!) then got back on the ship and went to the pool and had some lunch. In Jamaica we went tubing on this fresh-water river. It was AWESOME! We took a van over to the river (the roads are very poor and curvy!) and got in our life-jackets and tubes. It started to drizzle and the water was a little cold, but it was still an awesome experience! I would not walk around in Jamaica other than the small area of shops by the pier. The people there can be rude and are always trying to sell you drugs and hound you to buy things for their store. In COZUMEL we went to Passion Island. It was very, very windy, which made the air cold. We were met by our guide and the others on the pier early, then were led to an air-conditioned bus and drove about 20 minutes to the little pier. We got on a ferry and drove over the ocean to a gorgeous little island. We had some lunch (mahi-mahi, yum!) which are now my favorite foods and I can't hardly find them in the states! And then there are free beers and lounge chairs, hammocks, and a beach with the clearest water ever! I slept in a hammock while my parents and brother swam and bought a few souvenirs. Overall, our trip was absolutely AMAZING!! The ship was AWESOME and GORGEOUS! My dad, who was scared that the Nav would have nothing but long lines and overwhelming everything, had the best time and looked into booking a cruise on the same ship before the cruise was over! Out of 15 cruises, this one was his favorite and the ship was his favorite also. I love everything about RCL, and I'm looking forward to my next cruise on RCL's Grandeur of the Seas next Friday out of Baltimore! Happy Cruising! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2003
NAVIGATOR OF THE SEAS November 15, 2003 Western Caribbean The Navigator of the Seas is one 'BBC!' While a BBC is synonymous with one of Royal Caribbean's signature cocktails, I use it in this context: "Big Beautiful ... Read More
NAVIGATOR OF THE SEAS November 15, 2003 Western Caribbean The Navigator of the Seas is one 'BBC!' While a BBC is synonymous with one of Royal Caribbean's signature cocktails, I use it in this context: "Big Beautiful Cruiseship." Although not perfect, it's as close to perfection as one can get. As mentioned in other reviews on Voyager-class ships, it is a floating city. And, as with cities, it can be a bit crowded at times. This was most noticeable when events were scheduled in the Royal Promenade (downtown), such as the Captain's Welcome Reception, street entertainment and parades. The Promenade is a larger version of a main atrium on smaller class ships - with an assortment of the typical shops found on board most, with the addition of a champagne bar, coffee bar, snack bar, and maybe one or two others I missed. You may purchase alcohol for cabin consumption in the Gift Shop, but there is a $9 per bottle surcharge, which basically means it'll cost about what you pay for it at home. Traffic flow seemed to be very good, even with 3000 people on board, but I was able to get lost/turned around at least several times a day; the children on board did a better job of finding their way. STATEROOM: (category D2 - was a D8 when I booked it). This is a balcony cabin on Deck 8. With every new ship, improvements are made. There is more than ample storage for 2 people for a 7-day, or even a back-to-back cruise. Lots of nooks and crannies. Closets are roomy, with shelving on one side, a bar for hanging, and two fold down bars for added hanging space, if desired. The bathroom shower appears to have more space than most ships, due to the rounded-out sliding shower doors - no more curtain that sticks to the body! There is a shampoos dispenser in the shower. The only disappointment is that RCI has done away with one amenity - lotion - unless you are a 'Diamond Member.' The cabin decor was a combination of soft but bright (if that makes sense) colors and wood. A hair dryer is proved in the top desk drawer. All cabins have safes (you program the code) and mini refrigerators, which is stocked with beverages and snacks. These aren't free! I've heard from various sources, that you should not remove or move these items or you will be charged. Ask your room steward to do it. Stateroom rating: A. FOOD - MAIN DINING ROOM (there are 3 - Swan Lake, Coppelia, Nut Cracker): Again, this is a matter of personal taste (no pun intended). I found the quality better than I expected. Having read others commenting on how RCI has gone downhill in this department, I was pleasantly surprised. There were 4 or 5 entrees offered every evening that included beef, poultry, fish, lamb/pork, vegetarian and pasta. If none of these were to your liking, they also had a steak, chicken breast, salmon and fettuccini Alfredo every night. Live, soft dinner music, either piano or strings, played throughout. Our dining room was Swan Lake, which is the uppermost tier and the brightest. The Nut Cracker was on the first level and was much larger and also had the Captain's Table. We had all of our dinners in the dining room, so I can not comment on the Portofino Restaurant or Chops Grille. Rate it as excellent (A). FOOD - WINDJAMMER AND JADE CAFES: Buffet style, and visited several times for breakfast (opens earlier than the dining room) and lunch. And again, I think for buffet food, it was very good. They had some basics every day but also had many new additions mixed in. One of the better buffets I've had on board a ship in awhile. Rate it as Very Good to Almost Excellent (A-). FOOD - JOHNNY ROCKETS: This is a "must do," "do not miss." It takes all of us older folks back to the 50's and 60's, and shows the younger folks what they missed. Food is free, drinks, except for water, are extra, and you can get the largest glass of beer on the ship - 20 oz - for $3.50. There are booths with nickel jukeboxes and a soda fountain type counter with swivel bar stools (all plastic covered of course), with more juke boxes; lots of chrome, old style napkin dispensers, salt and pepper shakers - the works. It's a step back in time. Oh, yes, the food! The best burgers and (Nathan's) hot dogs served on the ocean! You begin with (what else), 'Starters.' which is a platter of french fries and onion rings, with two dipping bowls - ketchup and ranch dressing. Yes, ranch dressing - I never realized how good fries are with it. There are 5 or 6 variations of hamburgers. Also on the one page menu (plastic coated, of course), are a selection of club sandwiches and chili. Oh, and when there's a real beat tune on the jukebox ("YMCA", "Stayin' Alive," etc.), the waiters and waitresses stop what they're doing and dance to the music. WARNING: The burgers and dogs are very messy - wear something already stained. I had lunch/late lunch here 5 days. Rate it as exceptional (A+). POOL AREA AND SUN DECK: Wow! More cruise lines should follow RCI's lead. You are issued two pool towels in your stateroom, for which you are responsible. Once used, you can exchange them for clean ones poolside, or your cabin steward will replace them that evening. This cut down considerably on 'Lounge Hogs.' The 2 pools seemed small for this size ship, as well as the Solarium pool, but they were never overly crowded and there was always an ample amount of lounges available. Now, if they could only enforce the policy of children not swimming in the hot tubs, I'd probably rate this experience an A. The Solarium pool is for adults only. ENTERTAINMENT: I walked into the first main show, just as it was beginning, and there was not a seat to be had, so I missed it. I went back to drown my sorrow (money) in the casino, which I might add, didn't take too much away over the entire week. Actually, come to think about it, it treated me kindly. The other productions I saw, which was most of them, were very, very good. The Ice Show is another 'Must See.' It's free, but you have to get tickets the day before, because it only seats so many. I didn't catch any of the lounge acts, but what I did see, I'd say was excellent (A). SERVICE: Both the room steward and dining staff were very efficient and pleasant. It was one of the few times we saw our assistant maitre d' every day. The shops' personnel were a little standoffish, but that wasn't a big deal. Rate the service an A-. EMBARKATION/DEBARKATION: Again, RCI has this down to a science. Arrived at the cruise terminal at 11:00am. went to the special check-in for Platinum and Diamond members, on the ship and in my cabin by 11:30am. Was one of the first to be called for debarkation at a little after 7:00am, spent a half hour at the baggage carousal for my luggage, hopped in a cab, and was sitting at my airway gate at Miami International by 8:30am. Initially, I was worried - I had an 11:30am flight. Rate this as superb (A+). ITINERARY: LABADEE, HAITI: One of RCI's private oasises. Probably as close to a total paradise beach experience as one can get. Royal Caribbean keeps updating and improving here, with 4 beach areas, more outbuildings, water toys and activities. It just keeps getting better and better with each visit. OCHO RIOS, JAMAICA: Used this as a 'Sea Day' the past several times, having ported in Jamaica numerous times, both here and Montego Bay, with unpleasant experiences. This time was different - found it to be VERY clean, and the local people friendly and non-aggressive; totally different from the past. James Bond Beach was a recommended beach, but that was a $120 round trip cab ride. We hung out in town and at the Village Island complex - $3.00 admission to their beach. A surprisingly very pleasant experience. GRAND CAYMAN: Another beach day. The cruise line recommended the Beach Club Colony ($3.00pp cab fare) but the taxi driver talked us into going a little further ($4.00pp) to the beach across the street from the Holiday Inn. I'm glad we did. We saw the beach at the Beach Club, and the one near the Holiday Inn was far superior, wider and less crowded. Well worth the extra buck each way. COZUMEL: Was going to be another beach day at Playa Azul, but ended up a light shopping day. Got hung up with an Independence (Revolution) Day Parade, but that was kind of fun. Then headed to our favorite store - Los Cinco Soles. Good quality cotton wear and the least expensive vanilla anywhere, and in lightweight plastic bottles - good gift idea and stocking stuffers. Then down to Bye-Bye - more cotton wear. Between Los Cinco Soles and Bye-Bye, there is a great leather goods shop (quality - brand names) where prices are VERY negotiable. Since I've been to these ports before, I've done the adventuring thing and tours. This cruise was meant to be, and was, total relaxation, from start to finish! I know I skipped a lot of information in this report, and it wasn't intentional. There were just so many things to see and do on the ship that time, and in some cases, space here, does not allow. Overall experience - Excellent (A). If I can be of any help with Information about the Navigator of the Sea, or the ports of call, please feel free to contact me. "The next best thing to cruising is talking about it." Wes Carter (aka mainecruiser) wesnbarb@maine.rr.com Read Less
Sail Date: November 2003
Wow....there is no other way to describe Navigator of the Seas. She was in port bow to bow with her sister ship, Explorer of the Seas. Mammoth does not even begin to describe the two ships. We traveled to Miami the day prior to embarkation ... Read More
Wow....there is no other way to describe Navigator of the Seas. She was in port bow to bow with her sister ship, Explorer of the Seas. Mammoth does not even begin to describe the two ships. We traveled to Miami the day prior to embarkation & stayed in a hotel overlooking the port. Arrived at the ship around 10:20 am & were in our cabin by 11:30 am. Took off to rent an Internet modem (which was broken & so was the replacement) then headed to the Windjammer for the buffet. My son had two online classes, so he spent quite a bit of time in the Internet Cafe at 50 cents per minute. Turns out, the Guest Relations Manager gave him a free 15 minute session when he explained about his online classes & the only reason we came on the trip was because they advertised 24 hr. Internet access from your cabin for only $100/week, which is what we thought we would be paying. With over 3,000 on board, the ship never seemed crowded; even on sea days, there were plenty of vacant deck chairs in both the shade for me & the sun for my son. This was a relaxing vacation for me with lots of time spent on the balcony reading. If you can afford it at all, go for the balcony. It was the best ocean-front room I've ever had. Left the balcony door open at night (which turns the A/C off automatically) so we sometimes had to close it til the room cooled a bit. Our waiter, Laura, & her assistant, Christian, were fantastic. They made our dining experience so enjoyable, I looked forward to dinner every night just to talk with them & we had great tablemates. A couple from St. Louis were especially interesting to discuss our day's activities with. The casino was an enjoyable place for me to spend $50 or so, winning $25 of it back. Cafe Promenade was a great place to grab a quick bite & people watch. The iced tea was the best I've ever tasted, whether in the dining room, Windjammer buffet or from room service. We ordered room service several times through the interactive TV. It was prompt & always delivered with a smile, even at 2 am. The only disappointment was our cabin steward. Rudolph may have been new; we only saw him once to speak to him on the first day (well, twice, he did come by on tip night); I had read about other cruisers' experiences with their cabin stewards & was looking forward to talking with him. I didn't even get a chance to ask where he was from, but he did honor a couple special requests so we tipped him the amount the cruise lines recommended. We also ate at Johnny Rockets & liked the food. It was mostly deserted due to it being a port day; we had returned to the ship early. We had to pay for our sodas here. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2003
Navigator is a fantastic ship for children and adults. Stateroom: My wife and I traveled with our two teen daughters and family and had great rooms, 2 suites and one balcony room. With the concierge services it made the trip. Very worth ... Read More
Navigator is a fantastic ship for children and adults. Stateroom: My wife and I traveled with our two teen daughters and family and had great rooms, 2 suites and one balcony room. With the concierge services it made the trip. Very worth wild for those traveling with children. Suites are incredible, elegantly decorated with fantastic wet bar area where we entertained and truly had plenty of closet space -- his and hers closets just like home, marble bath, jetted tub, plenty of room and space even for those of us who have to pay extra $$ for our luggage...to get it aboard the plane... Amenities: The casino, dining, and overall ship activities were fantastic plenty to do and for all ages. Terrific for families. Embarkation/Disembarkation: Took a long time and was difficult but worth it. But this is standard for the larger ships with more passengers. This was the worst part of the trip getting on and off of the ship including shore excursions..but the ship makes up for the delays.. Food: Food was great had plenty of everything and the services including those at the buffet -- the "tray to table" service made it a first class experience. The food quality and variety was a great deal for your money, the teens were happy with their choices "American Cuisine" and we had fantastic variety in the dining room with good quality. Entertainment: Fantastic shows, ice shows, Broadway numbers, great variety everyone in the family had a great time at the shows. Casino: Great location and great gaming. The Voyager class is fantastic and RCI as usual is a great value for your money. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2003
Let me just start off by saying that this was one of the best vacations that we have ever taken. We started off at the airport in Ft. Lauderdale and met a Royal Caribbean rep. to get us on our transfer to Miami. One of the nicest men we ... Read More
Let me just start off by saying that this was one of the best vacations that we have ever taken. We started off at the airport in Ft. Lauderdale and met a Royal Caribbean rep. to get us on our transfer to Miami. One of the nicest men we have ever met. VERY well organized also. We got down to the port in Miami and we saw a loooong line. We thought "here we go" but surprising, the line moved VERY quickly downstairs (showing our passports to up to check in) We got up the escalator and again...VERY well organized. I think that we waited on line for a total of maybe 3-4 min tops. The reps placing travelers with a rep at the counter and the reps at the counter were very good. The whole process was extremely quick and we were on the ship in no time. Oh, and about a week prior to the sailing, we were able to get an upgrade to a better class room. (this will come in to play in a bit. There was a purpose for that statement). We went to our room and were very pleased with it. We got upgraded from an interior to an oceanview. It was in the front of the ship on deck 6(There was more room than a usual oceanview). The old room was on deck 8 all the way in the back. One of the only problems (complaints) that we had on this ship were that they did not transfer luggage. They said that it would be all taken care of and it turns out that our luggage was sitting in front of our old room and they did not transfer it. We were VERY late for our first dinner because we had no clothes and had to chase down our bags. This was my wife's first cruise, so she really didn't know what to expect. We went to dinner and were extremely happy with the variety, selection and quality of the food. The dining staff that we had throughout our cruise could not have gotten any better. They were outstanding. The first day was a day at sea. What a way to start a cruise. The cruise goes by so fast and with a day at sea to start makes the cruise seem longer and you really get to know the ship the first day. Especially given the size of it. We went to the spa and had a couples morning there. Very much recommended. Really relaxes you and starts off your week right. And then we just relaxed the rest of the day and enjoyed the ship. Our second day we were in Labadee and what a beautiful island. We did the waiverunner experience and that was so much fun. Highly recommended. We also did some snorkeling but there were no fish to be found. But, the mountains and landscape there was just so beautiful and relaxing. Great private island! The third day we were went to Ocho Rios Jamaica. If we never went back there that would be fine with me. It was on the itinerary and we thought that we it would be a great place to see. When we got there the locals were EXTREMELY pushy and VERY, VERY RUDE!!! I am a big guy and did not feel safe there at all. All they did was try and sell you "smoke" (if you know what I mean)and 2 of them even pushed me when I was polite about it and turned them down. The cruise shopping specialists were right though about watches. I found a great dive watch that I always wanted for over half the price as found in the states...so that was a HUGE bonus. The one place that you can go is the shopping area as soon as you get off the ship and through the security gates on the island. There is a Jimmy Buffets and ALOT of shopping. NO LOCALS are allowed in there. Makes for a very pleasant shopping experience. The sales people in all of the shops were also extremely knowledgeable and very nice. Also..very willing to haggle. Day four was Grand Cayman Island. I didn't think that islands got any more beautiful than this until I went to Cozumel but I will get to that next. Grand Cayman was extremely clean, beautiful, nice. The people were very nice there. Not a single worry. You could have walked the streets at 3am in the morning and felt very safe. We cannot wait to go back there again. We did the submarine excursion and that was really cool. Saw lots of fish. The guides in the submarine were very nice and knowledgeable. Had an awesome day here. Didn't want to leave. Day five was Cozumel, Mexico. We were very skeptical about this island because of stories that you hear and pictures that you see of Mexico. Quite the contrary....this was the most beautiful islands that we have ever seen. We had so much fun here. The views were amazing, the shopping was good, you can haggle pretty good here to. The locals were extremely nice and courteous. They would ask you to come into their shop and if you said no thank you, they would say thank you and have a nice day. Cannot wait to go back here either. Went back to the ship kicking and screaming. Did not want to leave here. FYI - we found out later on that if you go and listen to a hotel talk about time shares for an hour, you get free transportation all day to and from town, free food and drinks all day at there resort and free beach access across from there resort. No pressure either. We will do that next time. You spend enough on cruise extras that this would be a welcomed thing. Day 6 was a full day at sea again. What a way to end the cruise. Another relaxing day of doing nothing. Did the spa again. They had specials going and we took advantage of them. By the way, we forgot to mention the cabin steward. He was great!!! The room was always immaculate, anything that we asked for was always in there right away. He was great! Even all of the cabin stewards in the hallways were always nice to you and joked around with you. They were not even getting money for a tip from you and they were just so nice. Real pleasant atmosphere to be in. I read in another review of a different ship and this is true....brings LOTS of extra money. Pictures, excursions, spa, bar etc. There is alot included and there is also a bunch not included. On the ship, all of the extras were great. The rock climbing wall, miniature golf, Johnny Rockets, shows, entertainment, spa, gym....the list just keep going on. We knew what we wanted from a ship and that is why we picked the Navigator but there was even more on there than we read about and ever imagined. We cannot wait to go on it again. Everything was TOP NOTCH!!! Bravo Royal Caribbean!! VERY MUCH looking forward to our next cruise with you. Any questions at all, please feel free to contact me. Will be more than happy to help you out with any questions you may have. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2003
This Ship and her crew were above and beyond our expectations by far. I have booked another cruise on her sister ship the Adventure of the Seas, I can not wait to go. The aft cabins are the best sunset views when heading east and sun ... Read More
This Ship and her crew were above and beyond our expectations by far. I have booked another cruise on her sister ship the Adventure of the Seas, I can not wait to go. The aft cabins are the best sunset views when heading east and sun rise when headed west, WOW that was awesome. When you think of high class cruising this ship really moved the bar up several notched. I knew RCCL was good but now as my name states I am a true FAN of RCCL and the Voyager Class ships. All of the ports of call were great and the crew was fun and helpful in deciding what tours to take. The shopping advice we received on the ship allowed me to know I could dicker for a price on a chess set in Mexico, and I did, the price started a $90 US, and I got it for $39 US with both the chess pieces and the checkers pieces. The ICE Shows on the ship need to be seen, if you feel you must miss something on this ship do not let it be the ICE Shows. Disembarkation was very smooth, fast and friendly with the ship and US Customs. The only bad thing I could add is that my cruise ended and I was thinking I would love to live on that ship full time. Really nothing in any way was bad, the Dinner Table service staff "Eskra" and her "YUMMY YUMMY TIME" (dessert for those that do not know her) was a truly fun time and looked forward to by all at our table. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2003
I would have to say that my experience on the Navigator of the Seas was one of the most memorable vacations I've ever had. My husband and I booked this cruise to celebrate our anniversary and this was truly a great experience. We were ... Read More
I would have to say that my experience on the Navigator of the Seas was one of the most memorable vacations I've ever had. My husband and I booked this cruise to celebrate our anniversary and this was truly a great experience. We were first time cruisers and weren't sure exactly what to expect. We had been to all-inclusive resorts before, but this was even better. From day one we were given top-rate service by everyone. From the bartenders and the dining room staff, to our room attendant, we can't say enough about this experience. One of the best bartenders aboard this ship is Adrian in the Boleros Lounge. From the night we met Adrian, he would greet us by name everytime we would stop by. With thousands of passengers on this cruise, we thought this was amazing that he would remembers us by name. He was also fun to be around and took the time to tell some stories and laughs. Our dining experience was also exquisite. Our waiter, Jorge, from Portugal was great. He took the time to speak to us about some of his experiences aboard this ship and others. He gave us some great tips for our shore excursions also. He is definitely one of a kind. One of the things we noticed about our cruise was the how clean everything was kept. We didn't see one speck of dirt or dust anywhere on this ship. If we hadn't known this ship was over 1 year old, we would have thought it was brand new. It is a beautifully decorated vessel and definitely well designed. Some things not to miss on this cruise would be the ice show, and the nightly entertainment. We couldn't wait each day to find out what kind of show would be in the theater. The shows were very professional and entertaining. Overall, I would say this was the best vacation we ever had. Although we were traveling alone, we met some great people. We have two children that we will be bringing on the next cruise. We are all looking forward to it. Read Less
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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