Sail Date: March 2014
We are Canadians and left from Detroit International Airport. We arrived in Galveston on March 1, 2014 rented a car from Avis $52.00 plus $13.00 for gas for the four of us. We stayed at Inn at the water park. very nice place. They will ... Read More
We are Canadians and left from Detroit International Airport. We arrived in Galveston on March 1, 2014 rented a car from Avis $52.00 plus $13.00 for gas for the four of us. We stayed at Inn at the water park. very nice place. They will drive you to and from the port. We returned the car back to Avis on March 2, just before we had to board the ship cost $40.00 for tax ride. So it cost $105.00 for the rental and we had it for 24 hours. This was nice as we drove around shopping and sightseeing. Better then paying for taxes or shuttle service. Boarding the ship. I hear people complaining about this and realize people will complain for no reason. Boarding is in side don't know why people are saying they were out side. The line is long there are over 3000 people trying to get on one boat. It might have taken 1 1/2 hours and i'm not even sure it was that long. And if your gold and higher your line moves faster. So people stop complaining about boarding and disembarkation. Our room was amazing and the Hudson our stateroom attendant was incredible. Rooms cleaned twice a day where can you get that kind of treatment? no where. The boat had everything you could ask for. Our cruise was for 7 nights and still didn't do everything. The shows were great. The comedian made me laughed so hard my contact fell out but again you can't make everyone laugh, some people need to just let loose. The food how can anyone complain about the food. We ate in the dinning room every night. The food was amazing. Prime Rid, Lobster, Crab Legs, Steak, Salmon, Lamb, Chicken, Pork Chops the list goes on and on. All prepared to make your mouth water, with a presentation just like the cooking shows on TV. Appetizers 8 to pick from and 6 changed nightly. Desert was incredible and i'm not a Desert person. The cheese cake was to die for. Most of the Deserts were so rich you only needed two bites to satisfy the sweet spot. The Dinner staff catered to your every need and they are constantly smiling. I felt like i was eating in a dinning room made for kings and queens. How people can complain about the food is beyond me. Now for entertainment, my son who is 16 had the best time. He participated in games won 2nd place in the belly flop competition and 3rd in the rock climbing. He danced away the night in the teen room. He met great friends and is missing them already. They did it all from hot tub parties to dancing to pool parties to rock climbing to ice skating to riding the flow-rider and then just relaxing in the teen room playing guitar hero. The only time I seen my son was for dinner and our excursions. Now for my experience. Daily hot tub get together s, dancing until late at night, meeting so many nice people. Eating when ever I needed to in so many different places. My morning coffee on the deck watching the sun rise. To a drink on the pool deck watching the sunset. So many shows to watch it was none stop entertainment. Excursions Jamaica zip lining & Dunn's fall booked with ship. This was a great tour and the tour guides are they for you. they don't let the natives push you into buying. The best thing about booking through the ship is if you are late for any reason the ship waits for you. In our case we were almost late and we didn't have to worry. I will tell more on this issue later. We then stopped in Grand Cayman-Georgetown you have to be tendered in as Cayman's has a coral reef around the island preventing ships to get close. Then tender ride is fun. My mother and brother thought they might get sea sick but it was an okay ride. I did make a excursion by myself thorough Fat Fish Adventures. I recommend this to everyone. Cut your dollars somewhere else if your short of cash. This tour is amazing. They pick you us at the Hard Rock Cafe and drive you to the ski doo's you can drive as slow or as fast as you want. They bring you to the sting ray sand bar where almost everyone goes and i'm sure we were the envy of about 75% of the people there. Most of the boats were crowded. With is tour there was 7 of us plus our guide. The guide knows his stingrays and they come right to him. We each feed which was a great experience. After we were done feeding he showed us how to hold them and we each took our turns. He did not rush us and let us take our time taking pictures and enjoying this beautiful spot. We then left and went to a private spot to snorkel. It was just our group this was incredible. He let us just take our time never did he rush us. He then took us to starfish bay. we beached the ski doo and walked into the water to our knees. He found a starfish right away. The all took turns holding as he gave us some back ground on this area. Then it was for about a 20 mile ride back. This was the best excursion i have ever did and it cost $175.00 for two of us on one ski doo. This excursion you can not get from the cruise ship it is a private company. I was very sacred we would not get back to the ship on time but he guaranteed me he would and he did. Took a chance and it worked out. Now for Cozumel again we did not book an excursion through the ship we got off and there were excursion right there. It cost $60.00 for us to go on a snorkel trip with free pop and beer. The posted price was $50.00 a person. but Mommy is good at getting a lower price $30.00 for both of us. We paid the lowest. Make sure you bargain. This was a fast trip only 2 1/2 hours. Trip could have been avoided. No different then Grand Caymans snorkeling. But this is why I say book with the ship when you have tours that are way from he ship. And they have to drive you. Six people went on an excursion 4 of them through the ship 2 did not. The group of 4 where late. They were on the wrong time(time change)the ship waited for them. The 2 that did not go through the ship were left behind. Now that is not a way I want to spend my vacation. So be very careful on your shore excursions. Now for the disembarkation. It runs very smooth. But don't forget over 3000 people are getting off this ship and trying to clear customs and get rides. And Celerity is doing the same just down the street. So be patient. We were lucky as Canadians we go in a different line much faster. It is chaos outside with over 6000 people trying to get shuttles and taxis. It took us two shuttles before we could get on but that was okay to me. We went back to Inn at the water park stayed another night rented the car from Avis again cost was $72.00 plus taxi ride $40.00 plus gas $8.00. Total cost $120.00. Grand total for rental car for 4 people $185.00 round trip. Can't get this any cheaper. And we had the car to sight see. We all loved this trip. Don't listen to complaining people. This ship was amazing, the food was excellent, the ports were beautiful, the staff is incredible, the entertainment was enjoyable with some great laughs. When it says adult it means adult don't go if you can't handle it. This will stop you from complaining. I'm sorry but some of these reviews are just stupid. I know there are all kinds of people that like different things. But to complain about anything on this ship just tells me those people can't be pleased no matter what. Take this trip if you can. Some things I would not do next time. Don't buy the drink specials as my son and mother never used them. They loved the lemonade and my son drinks alot of water he did not have one pop..waste of money there. I bought the premium drink special I would not do that again could not drink enough to pay for it. But if you drink more then 9 drinks a day then get it. Remember you are off the ship for 8 hours 3 times. 9 drinks are alot they put almost 2 shots per drink and they are not watered down like when your on a resort all inclusive. You can see how much you drink the first night and if you want to buy it for the rest of the trip you have that opinion. I hope this help you plan a cruise on Navigator of the Sea. Please read between the lines when reading complaints. Because the 4 of us and the many friends we met loved this trip and are all planing on doing it again. Thank you Royal Caribbean, thanks to the staff, thanks to Fat Fish Adventures we had just an amazing time. Cannot wait to do it again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2014
My husband and I just completed our 7th cruise. We have traveled RCCL (Rhapsody & Navigator) Carnival (Ecstasy x 2, Conquest & Sensation) and Princess (Crown). We love cruising and can find good things to say about all of them we ... Read More
My husband and I just completed our 7th cruise. We have traveled RCCL (Rhapsody & Navigator) Carnival (Ecstasy x 2, Conquest & Sensation) and Princess (Crown). We love cruising and can find good things to say about all of them we have been on but we both agree that Royal Caribbean is the total package for us! We live about 500 miles away from Galveston and traveled down on Saturday, March 8. We prefer to stay in the Webster, Seabrook area hotels which are half the cost of Galveston hotels. This trip down we stayed at the Quality Inn (Trip Advisor #1 Rating) right by NASA. I booked the room for $82 per night. Great hotel, wonderful beds and nice breakfast. Sunday, March 9 - Embarkation Day! We get in no hurry especially since we were weary from traveling the day before (about 10 hours) and the time changed. Only about a 30 minute drive to the ship terminal. Traffic was light. Made a fast trip to WalMart for sunscreen, bottled water, Dr. Pepper and Dramamine (just in case). Dropped off luggage at the ship terminal and then proceeded to EZCruise Parking. Dropping off your lugguage prevents you from having to load it onto the van from the parking lot. Hang on to your carry on and don't forget to have your Passports and Boarding Passes with you as well. Boarded the Navigator of the Seas around 2:00. Went straight to our room, which was ready for us, on deck 7 Aft. Always love being at the back of the boat and sleeping to the gentle rocking of the ship. Our luggage had not arrived yet, but no big deal. Went straight up to the Windjammer to begin a week of feasting. All week long the food in the Windjammer (breakfast and lunch) was great! We always ate in teh MDR for dinner. Loved the Asian foods and the Mexican cuisine. I always enjoy the fish as well. Salad bar was loaded, the fresh pineapple was to die for, pizza, french fries, hamburgers, hot dogs all great but my favorite new dish was an Indian Soup called "Dal" which was on the lunch line everyday. A bean based soup with cilantro, curry, garlic and just enough spice to pack a little heat! Loved it! My husband loved the omelet bar at breakfast and he is a picky egg eater! Our stateroom attendant was Mochadi from Indonesia. He saw to our every need in an excellent way. Ice, towel animals, turn down service and fresh towels twice a day. He was so professional and always spoke to us in the hallways, in fact, all stateroom attendants were extremely friendly to us each time we passed in the hallway. Some of the activities and areas on the ship that we loved were the Martini Clinic (loads of fun)Circus Parade on the first night, the ice shows, went to all of the theater shows (all were good), the Casino, Cafe Promenade (great free coffee for a cruise ship) and the Solarium. The hot tubs at the Solarium were hot and powerful (one more so than the other).....wonderful. The Bubba Feathers Band was awesome! Loved their Country Music. This ship really knows how to cater to Texans! We ate every night in the MDR. This is one of our favorite experiences while cruising. Husband and I had a table for two on the second level (can't remember the name of dining room) with Head Waiter Atul and Assistant Franklyn attending to our every need. Great service, great food! I can't remember the name of our Maitre'd but he came around visiting all the tables every evening. He brought our food, filled our glasses and cut our lobster! This is rare because the Maitre'd is usually not so present. Thank you! Loved the KC Strip Steak (it's a Texas thing) and the Escargot. Salads were all beautiful and all of the fish dishes delightful. All of the ports were good. We didn't book any excursions through the ship but independently. Upachaya Snorkle in Roatan (very nice), no excursion in Belize, just walked around and as always Eagle Ray Divers in Cozumel for snorkeling and lunch at the Money Bar! Diana, Carlos and Leo showed us a great day! The time to pack and place all luggage in the hallway came way too soon as always! We loved the Navigator. This ship is the total package! We were a little late coming in to port due to fog but the crew did an outstanding job keeping us all informed and updated. We were supposed to disembark around 9:30 and it was actually 12:00 but as amazing as RCCL is they cannot control the weather. Once back in the cruise terminal we grabbed a porter (HINT: this is a fast ticket out, don't stand in those long lines dragging your luggage) and were through customs and in our car at EZCruise Parking at 1:15. Pulled into our driveway at Midnight. The countdown now begins for Spring Break Cruise 2015! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
Left out of Galveston for a 7-night cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. Ship had been recently refurbished and was beautiful! We had a balcony suite on deck 8. Big cabin with plenty of storage space and a nice couch. Plenty of room even with ... Read More
Left out of Galveston for a 7-night cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. Ship had been recently refurbished and was beautiful! We had a balcony suite on deck 8. Big cabin with plenty of storage space and a nice couch. Plenty of room even with beds separated into twins. Food was very good (desserts were a little disappointing, but that was a minor "problem"). Crew was amazingly attentive and friendly and many went above and beyond to give cordial service. We had traditional early seating in the dining room; never had a long wait for someone to take our drink orders, and by the third night they all knew our preferences and were right on it. Plenty of lounges around the pool area (never had to search for space), and deck attendance was also good for drink service, etc. Shows were great; loved the main shopping area (beautiful atrium setting that had a main-street feel). Full breakfast was available through room service at no extra charge, so we enjoyed breakfast on the balcony several mornings. Ports of call were fun; Falmouth, Jamaica port shopping was nice. Grand Cayman we did a private yacht snorkeling that was awesome, and Cozumel is always fun. Only very slight criticisms we had were announcements were sometimes difficult to hear, especially if you were by the pool, and there were sometimes very long waits for the elevators (especially at dinner time). All in all a great cruise, and we would for sure book with RC again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
This was our 15th cruise and there was fog on day of departure. A ship hit an oil barge spilling 160 gallons of oil into Galveston bay closing the port. Royal Caribbean kept us well informed with regards to port closings and delays. We ... Read More
This was our 15th cruise and there was fog on day of departure. A ship hit an oil barge spilling 160 gallons of oil into Galveston bay closing the port. Royal Caribbean kept us well informed with regards to port closings and delays. We boarded at midnight on Sunday. On Monday they told us the port would be closed and we would not be able to sail. After offering us a full refund, they told us we could stay as long as we wanted aboard the ship. On Tuesday the captain told us the port authorities would be opening up the port and we would sail on Wednesday. Royal Caribbean called all the passengers who had chose to leave and invited them back to finish the cruise as best they could. Awesome company! The food was excellent and the ship was very clean. The crew was very friendly and pleasant during a very difficult time. Despite being faced with the possibility of not receiving the tips they had planned on earning, they were very professional and went out of their way to make the trip enjoyable.   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
This was our 13th cruise, 8th with Royal Caribbean. I am 57 and my wife is 62. This was a family cruise over spring break. We had 5 balcony cabins and 1 inside cabin starboard side near the elevators right by the Future Cruise area. ... Read More
This was our 13th cruise, 8th with Royal Caribbean. I am 57 and my wife is 62. This was a family cruise over spring break. We had 5 balcony cabins and 1 inside cabin starboard side near the elevators right by the Future Cruise area. Embarkation - A breeze. Entered terminal around 10:45am, checked in, got our cards and went straight on the ship. Cabin was ready about 12:30pm or so. Ship - Nice. We've been on Voyage Class before so we knew the layout. The improvements made to Navigator while in dry dock made the ship seem a lot newer. We've been on Oasis too so we've seen a Flowrider before. Nice addition to have on Voyager Class. The big screen on the pool deck wasn't noisy and obnoxious like it is on some ships, mainly Carnival ships. The pool deck itself looked nice. Being older we hung out a lot in the Solarium. We were always able to find at least one chair to put our stuff on. Both hot tubs were nice and not overly crowded. Pool was refreshing cool, some would say cold. Didn't bother us. Pool bar was ridiculously slow. One bartender on most days. Since it takes so long to make the fancy drinks the line got long. The pool bar service was quicker. The spa hot tub was ungodly hot. It took your breath away. We only tried it once. Food - The Windjammer is the Windjammer, nothing special, but i always found something to eat. Breakfast was decent and we split lunches between the WJ and the Cafe Promenade. Did not eat in the WJ for dinner nor did we have any room service. Really liked the food in the MDR. 1st night's prime rib was really good and so was night two's roast beef. I had escargot all seven nights. The tiger shrimp and the fried cod were good too and I always enjoy lobster night. Thought the chicken cordon bleu was dry. We had table 366 & 367 in the MDR on deck 3. Service at 366 was slow, but service at 367 was better. Jose, my guy at 366 seemed to always be a step behind. He was nice though, mixed up orders a few times. His helper, who's name I have forgotten was very helpful and quick with requests. Bar service was extremely slow in the MDR. We did not do any specialty dining, but had Johnny Rocket's once. Cosmopolitan Club - We were up here 6 out of 7 nights. The other night we listened to the country band in the Star Lounge. The CC was the place to be. It was lively every night though it got rolling late due to other things going on around the ship. It was the DJ's first week onboard and he was happy to play requests. Plenty of line dances too, if you are in to that. it was our favorite place to hang out on the ship after our second seating dinner. Gabriel was outstanding in the CC, Stefan not so much. Don't think he really liked his job. Drink card - I was on the $40 a day beer & wine card and my wife did not have a card. I thought it worked out well, though as I mentioned the service was pretty slow sometimes. People who I cruised with had the $55 a day card and they had the same complaint about the slow service. They spent a lot of time in the pub and said the service and the servers were pretty quick and very friendly. Shows - We saw most of the shows. They were good, though better on Oasis. I know, we're spoiled. Donovan & Rebecca, from America's Got Talent were outstanding, though I could have done with a little less opera singing. Their act is amazing. The Royal Caribbean singers and dancers were good enough. The comedy show was funny, but did not see the adult comedy show. Cabin - We had cabins 6314, 6316, 6318, 6320, 6324 and 6341. I personally was in 6318. Wayans from the Philippines was outstanding. Room was always clean, he knew our names from day one and he was always smiling. Those who wanted ice got ice as requested. Our cabin seemed spruced up since the dry dock. Everything seemed pretty much new. We had our balcony door partitions all opened up to make one long balcony. The balcony partition for my cabin(6318) sort of blocked the sliding balcony door. No big deal, but it did seem in the way. It would have been nice for the partitions to come completely off. Minor problem with flushing in the bathroom. Had to hit the button just right or it wouldn't flush. I got the hang of it, but my wife did not. Ports - Roatan, Belize and Cozumel. Been to all of them before. Took a van to West Bay Beach in Roatan. We paid $15 per person RT for 13 people, driver waited. Somehow a "tour guide" went along. The beach area was crowded, but I had expected that. 10 bucks to use a chair and facilities at Argentinian Grill. Alcohol prices were decent too. Just went to the dock in Belize. Waited until no tender ticket was needed. All tender tickets were called in about 60 minutes, no need to rush. Went to Paradise Beach in Cozumel. I had been there before and it's a well run operation, though crowded, especially the beach. That was ok with us because we were in their giant pool. 3 bucks per person to use the place. Food and drink prices run a little higher, but I'd recommend the place in a heartbeat. Disembarkation - Bad, as usual. Fog once again in Galveston. Been there, done that before. We waited in Studio B forever then had to deal with the madhouse in the terminal. Custom lines were LONG. it was our 11th cruise out of Galveston so we knew what to expect going in. Overall - The seas were like glass and you hardly felt the ship. Probably one of the smoothest cruises that i have ever been on. I'd give high marks to the cabin, cabin steward, MDR food, friendliness of the crew, some of the entertainment and the public areas of the ship. I'd give low marks to the service in the MDR and service at the pool bars. The pool bar staff that walked around were slightly better. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2014
We really enjoyed this amazing cruise to the Western Caribbean out of Galveston. We have traveled on Royal Caribbean, Norweigan, and Carnival. Royal Caribbean is by far the best! We are in our early 30's and this was our babymoon! We ... Read More
We really enjoyed this amazing cruise to the Western Caribbean out of Galveston. We have traveled on Royal Caribbean, Norweigan, and Carnival. Royal Caribbean is by far the best! We are in our early 30's and this was our babymoon! We both have really intense jobs and this getaway was very relaxing and refreshing. It was the perfect babymoon. Our very first cruise was about seven years ago with Royal Caribbean to Greece, Italy and Egypt. This Western Caribbean cruise was our first one back on Royal since then. Here are some things we noticed lacking: 1. Interior cabins no longer have the curtain that separates the sitting area from the bed, which was really nice if one person wanted to read while the other took a nap. 2. They no longer hand out mints at night on the beds. 3. They don't have the activity where you can earn free stuff for walking laps anymore. 4. The Cafe Promenade took the place of the snack bar near the pool. For free, the Cafe Promenade served sandwiches and pastries and pizza but no longer hamburgers and hot dogs, which my husband missed. Johnny Rockets now serves unlimited hamburgers for $4.00 per person but friends said these burgers were not good. These are really minor changes but sometimes it is the little things that make customers loyal. And little free things can go a long way with cruisers on a budget. Things that I thought were good about this cruise: 1. Cranberry bread for breakfast is still delicious! 2. The interior cabins are more spacious than those of NCL and Carnival. The sitting area is very nice with the sofa. 3. All of our stuff fit really well in the shelves and drawers. 4. The cabin was really quiet; we were lucky to have quiet neighbors. 5. Overall, the food in the dining room was good (especially the salads made during lunch). The food in the Windjammer was OK but I really didn't like all the people being germy and pushy at the buffet. We avoided the Windjammer as much as possible. There was also not much variety at the Windjammer. (My husband got the Norovirus on NCL once, so we are now extra careful on all cruises.) 6. Trivia was awesome and fun. Royal Caribbean hands out great prizes like umbrellas, tote bags, caps, and sturdy travel pouches. 7. No one was smoking in their cabins as far as we could tell. We smelled smoke in our Carnival room. 8. Our room functioned perfectly. No problems with shower or toilet or electricity (again we had problems on Carnival's Magic in 2011 out of Galveston, prior to it being stranded.) AC was great. 9. Room attendant was great. 10. Beds were comfy. 11. Soda card was $53 for unlimited sodas for 7 days. 12. Watching people on the flow rider was fun. Some were really good and some fell really hard. 13. The pictures the photographers took were great but expensive. An 8x10 was $20 but since we were Crown and Anchor members we got the second photo for $10. 14. We didn't spend a lot of money on board. 15. We enjoyed walking around Decks 4 and 11/12. 16. Small handful of college students and families with young kids; mainly elderly people. 17. Seatings in the main dinner room were fine as you got there a little early. Had to beat those elderly people! 18. We booked our cruise one week in advance and got a great deal!! $450 per person for 7 nights; interior room on deck 8 aft, 8671. 19. Tendering at Grand Cayman was not too bad but we also got off the ship at 2pm. 20. Falmouth, Jamaica has the best prices for shopping. Grand Cayman and Cozumel were much more expensive. Shop in Jamaica!! 21. There were two formal nights. 22. I wish I had brought an alarm clock because there are no clocks in the room. I am glad I brought my power strip due to lack of outlets in the room. 23. Library was great! Some negatives this time around: 1. Entertainment was not that great. Only two shows were awesome - a funny magician and Rebecca and Donovan's acrobatics. Most nights we did not attend. The ice show was cheesy. 2. This ship held about 3600 passengers, which made getting on and off the boat a little hectic and stressful. We prefer the smaller ships. 3. Movies on the big screen - selection not that great. (Man of Steel, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, The Butler) Catching Fire was the only really good one. But this is a matter of taste. 4. Crazy shuttle driver at the port who cursed at us and yelled....not the best way to start off the trip! 5. I wanted to book our Next Cruise while on the ship but that was person was NOT helpful at ALL. At first he said children were free but then later, he said they were just cheaper. It was like he really didn't know his stuff. He was not knowledgeable at all, even on other questions we had for him. A regular travel agent would probably have known more. Overall, we were very pleased with how it all went. We would recommend this trip to anyone!! It was fun and relaxing! Can't wait to go again!   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2014
Our cruise on Navigator of the Seas, March 23-30, 2014 from Galveston, Texas, will likely forever be our most unusual experience in cruising. It’s one we will never forget. As best my research revealed, never has the port of Galveston ... Read More
Our cruise on Navigator of the Seas, March 23-30, 2014 from Galveston, Texas, will likely forever be our most unusual experience in cruising. It’s one we will never forget. As best my research revealed, never has the port of Galveston been closed due to an oil spill. It was our eighteenth Royal Caribbean cruise since 2006, and our first cruise as Diamond Plus members. Let me preface my report by saying that, given the fact that Royal Caribbean was not at fault for what happened with the oil spill, they really delivered the WOW to us this week, taking care of us with refunds, future credits, and reimbursements for expenses. Given the situation, they did handle it “Royally”, and did everything they could to create a positive experience for us. For many, however, it was a rollercoaster of a week for all parties. We live about nine hours from the port, so Galveston is a drivable port for us. The ports for our sailing were to have been Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel. We left home on Friday, visited with friends in Eastern Texas on Friday night, and drove on to Galveston, arriving Saturday at noon. Not long after arriving, we heard word that a 585-foot bulk carrier vessel, named Summer Wind, had struck a barge holding 160,000 gallons of heavy bunker oil. This happened near the Texas City dike where all ships must pass through to go to port in Houston or Galveston, the “Y” as they refer to it. As the evening progressed, we saw news report after report on television and on the internet that all of the oil was leaking out and that hundreds of people had been dispatched to try to lessen the environmental impact of the spill. We met with friends from Cruise Critic and had a lovely dinner and visit with our Cruise Critic friends. On Sunday morning, we woke up and at 8:50 a.m. we have a notice from Royal Caribbean that we should not come to the port due to fog, which has been an issue several times since Navigator arrived in Galveston in February. We went to the front desk of the SpringHill Suites where we stayed, and asked for an extended checkout, and were told we had to be out by 1 p.m. or pay for another night. At 11:50 a.m. Sunday, we had a text from RC stating that the US Coast Guard had closed all inbound and outbound vessel access to the Port of Galveston, and that aircraft had been dispatched to survey the extent of the oil spill (the tanker lost all of the oil it carried), and the impact that incoming and outgoing water traffic would have. Those currently on Navigator of the Seas were sitting outside the port area on the ship (along with legions of other ships), still, awaiting word from the Coast Guard. On the ship, those passengers reported being allowed back into their staterooms to wait. At airports in Houston, passengers were awaiting transfers to the Galveston area for transport to RC Navigator and Carnival Magic. Cruise ships affected by the oil spill were: Caribbean Princess (which was to have sailed from Houston on Saturday), Navigator of the Seas (could not come into port, and we were waiting at port to board), Carnival Magic (couldn’t disembark or embark passengers), and on Monday, Carnival Triumph. Late afternoon on Sunday, the Coast Guard allowed RC Navigator and Carnival Magic to sail into port. Passengers began disembarking as night fell on Galveston Island. Most of us who belonged to our Cruise Critic roll call were contacting each other via Cruise Critic regarding updates (MOST helpful, as usual), and then we did have a combination of texts and phone calls from Royal Caribbean during the afternoon. Several people reported getting no texts nor phone calls, although those of who had completed all contact information got texts or calls or sometimes both. As regards my husband and me, we had a choice at 1 p.m. of paying another night at our hotel, or just walking, riding, and sitting around Galveston for the afternoon which is what we did. Most hotels in the Galveston area were more accommodating than ours was. Most hotels allowed those who had stayed Saturday night to stay in their rooms until late afternoon, some as late as 5 p.m. until we had more news from RC. As the afternoon wore on, many passengers went ahead and paid for Sunday night in the off-chance that we would not sail. Because we were not afforded the late afternoon checkout at our hotel, we had a choice: Pay for Sunday night at 1 p.m. or leave, and we chose to leave after I found three other hotels, including the only other Marriott property in town, who allowed us to book a room and cancel it up to 6 p.m. We booked the Courtyard Marriott with 6 p.m. cancellation. Around 4 p.m., we received notification from RC that Navigator and Magic were being allowed to come into port, but that it would take a while for them to disembark, and that we would be allowed to embark Sunday evening. We continued to “roam” around Galveston in our car, and just sit by the beach some, although no one could go in the water (was too cold and windy to be in the water anyway). Finally, around 8:30 p.m. Sunday, we drove by EZ Parking, where our car was to be parked for the week. My husband asked what time would we need to come back to leave our car and go to the terminal (no updates from RC since the afternoon telling us we would board later in the evening). To our surprise, they said that they had already taken two buses over and that people got out and went in the terminal. So, we boarded the shuttle and went. I notified our Cruise Critic roll call that we were headed for the terminal. When we arrived, we checked our baggage immediately, and went inside the terminal and were seated, and at 8:41 p.m. when we were sitting there, we got a text and voice message from RC with staggered times suggested for arrival at the terminal, starting at 9:30 p.m. and that boarding would be complete by 12:30 a.m. Monday. We were on the ship at 9 p.m., and in our room before 10 p.m. However, many of our shipmates, due to long lines, were not on the ship until 2 a.m. Many stood in lines, where it was cold and windy, for 3 hours. Many of them had a 1½ hour wait for a taxi from their hotels to the terminal, and some actually walked with their suitcases a mile or more to get to the terminal, after waiting that long for a cab. On Monday, March 24, we still do not know when we will leave, but on the whole, activities and meals go on. We had our Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle at 11:30 with a good turnout, but it was too cool outside for many activities. Also, because we were in port, alcohol sales were limited to liquors produced in the US, and the casino and shops were closed. However, activities ensued, and we had our rooms for Sunday evening for sleeping. Bingo was held that day, but because we were in port, we could not pay for bingo cards nor receive cash prizes, SO, we played free and the prizes were Royal Caribbean bling. We had a junior suite on Deck 9. We went ahead and booked specialty dining for the week. As Diamond Plus members (our first sailing as D+), we were allowed to use one of our BOGO coupons on Monday night at Giovanni’s Table, and use one Tuesday night at Sabor, the new modern Mexican restaurant found only on Navigator, and Chops on Thursday, a gift from our travel agent. In the midst of our meal in Giovanni’s Monday night, Captain Martinsen came on the PA system and said that our cruise had been cancelled. You could have heard a pin drop in the restaurant, and it was very quiet afterward. He did say we would receive a complete refund of our trip, and that we could stay on the ship for the rest of the week, using it as our hotel and dining, and that we would be allowed ashore to come and go and visit area attractions, etc. Regardless of whether we chose to stay or to leave the ship for good, we are scheduled to receive the following: $20 each for food purchased on Sunday afternoon, a complete refund of our cruise fare for the sailing, a 25% discount toward a booking (new or existing) that sails within the next year. That really did help our mood, and we decided to stay until at least Friday. We are positive folks, and just thought, hey, it’s a free week in a good place with good food, even if we never sailed. On Tuesday, people began leaving the ship and heading home, or disembarking to go to town to shop or to see local attractions. The people who had the hardest time at that point were families with children onboard. They had planned on a traditional cruise vacation, with three ports, and a wide variety of activities in warm waters. After Sunday, the pools and hot tubs were closed, due to the way the ship handles removal and recycling of water. For kids that meant no pools, no flowrider, and so forth. We hated seeing so many disappointed children. There were almost 800 children on our sailing, as this week was Spring break for Arkansas, Oklahoma and other neighboring states. We also felt bad for the family of 50 who were onboard for a wedding to happen in Roatan, where we didn’t port. Also on Tuesday we were told that no photos taken could be processed or sold. We each get one free picture because of Crown and Anchor status, so it as disappointing that even though ours were free, the pictures could not be developed. Tuesday afternoon was especially a hard time, because our sailing had been cancelled, and Carnival Magic had not cancelled theirs, and on Tuesday afternoon, the Coast Guard and port authorities decided ships could sail out. So we watched Carnival Magic and later that evening Carnival Triumph sail out of the harbor. Still, we were determined to make lemonade out of lemons, and had a great lunch onboard, and headed to the ice show, which was wonderful, at 4 p.m. In the middle of the ice show, Captain came on the PA system, and we learned that we WERE going to sail on Wednesday morning, and that on Friday we would port in Cozumel as scheduled. After the Captain said, “we are sailing tomorrow morning” the cheering was so loud we couldn’t hear, and finally the skaters STOPPED skating, and then we heard, “and you are still getting your refund!” and cheering ensued again. The ice show continued and I videotaped the Cruise Director Mitch coming out at the end, and the cheering that started again. We were told that approximately 400 passengers left the ship and did not return. Using the numbers we were given by ship’s officers, we estimate we sailed with 2,700 passengers. We spoke with some college students who left the ship on Tuesday and were three hours away from Galveston when the text came saying that we were sailing on Wednesday morning, along with the information that we would still get all refunds and credits promised. We could not leave until Wednesday morning because many had left the ship on Tuesday for the day, and wouldn’t be back until evening, and also it gave anyone in the area a chance to return if they wanted to sail the four day/four night abbreviated cruise. Regardless if a passenger stayed or left, the compensation was the same. So, on Wednesday, our cruise became more of a normal cruise experience. As we prepared to sail out, as each line was removed untethering us from the pier, there was cheering! Soon we were heading out. Pools reopened, all shops and casinos opened, pictures were printed and sold, and there was a full complement of all types of alcohol available. The day was a bit cool and windy, but it was a good day. That evening we went to the “Welcome back party” that RC Crown and Anchor has for all folks who have cruised on RC before. The one thing that had not been addressed at that point, and many people were asking about was: What about our cruise points? We were sailing free for the week, receiving a refund of cruise fare, so would we get our cruise points? Reba, the Loyalty Ambassador, came out on the stage and the first thing she said was “We have had a question, and I have an answer. Many have been asking about your cruise points. You WILL RECEIVE all points to which you are entitled this week!” Cheering ensued. We had run into several people who were three points shy of being Diamond, etc., so that meant a lot to Crown and Anchor members. For us, it means we get our second milestone block (210 points) on our Oasis Transatlantic back to Fort Lauderdale this fall, and the refund of our cruise fare was enough to pay off that cruise! Again, happy campers. Thursday was a beautiful day at sea, warmer, and spirits were good. People enjoying their cruise. At this point, there is little “grumbling” going on. Overall, what was there to grumble about? Our Cruise Critic group had out slot pull on Thursday, which we had cancelled from Tuesday, as the casino was not open. We had a good time, although we could not reach all of our group to tell them we rescheduled, and some of them were part of the group that left the ship on Tuesday. On Friday, we ported in Cozumel at 7 a.m. Alongside us, was Allure of the Seas, along with two Carnival ships, and two Norwegian ships, one of them being Norwegian Epic. There were over 22,000 passengers in port that day, the heaviest passenger day in Cozumel, but our passengers appeared to have been able to have re-booked all their excursions and everything went well. We chose to meet up with our adopted “son”, Dexter, who is a Concierge on Allure. We took him to lunch with us and just for a laid-back lunch in the very warm Caribbean sun. Saturday was an uneventful sea day. It was warm enough, but windy. Folks were having a great time. All of the usual shows and events went on, just as they did most of the week. Being new Diamond Plus members, we got to go on some of the “behind the scenes” tours. We went on the bridge tour, which was very interesting, and also Sous Chef Douglas from Scotland, spent an hour with us touring the galleys, kitchen prep areas, and the like. Very interesting to see how they made it all happen. On Sunday, debarkation was quick, and moved well. However, the issue again of an inadequate number of taxis, along with the rudeness of some taxi drivers who drove off when fares were “in town” deliveries, caused some of our Cruise Critic members to wait over an hour for a cab back to their hotel. I understand Galveston is a small town, however, to make things easier for passengers, a method of transport on Sundays needs to be investigated and implemented. Also, customs did not seem confident of their processing of taxable/duty items purchased. We left quickly, and EZ Parking’s shuttle was waiting for us and departure was swift. General observations As far as dining and housekeeping, the staff was amazing and friendly. Our dining staff especially, who were less rushed, and the food was good in the Main Dining room. We ate there three nights, and most every day at noon, since we really only had the one true “port” day where lunch was not served in the MDR. Our stateroom attendant, Robert, was amazing. He went above and beyond to track down our missing D+ Crown and Anchor gift. I think he was more concerned about it than we were. We ate at Giovanni’s table on Monday night. The food was good and so was the service. The mood became somber with the announcement, mid-meal, of the cancellation of the cruise, but again, we were still “making lemonade” and decided to stay on until at least Friday. On Tuesday night we ate at Sabor Modern Mexican restaurant. Sabor was probably the biggest surprise of our dining experiences. It was superb. Guacamole was fresh made at our table, and the food was awesome, including the Red Snapper my husband had to the Garlic-Jalapeno Sauteed Shrimp I had. Our dessert was a tray of delicacies, from flan to crème brulee, to many other specialties with dipping sauce. You should go there very hungry. On Thursday night, we ate at Chops Grille. We had a free coupon from our travel agent for both of us, which was good, especially since on Navigator, they have upped the price to $35 each. The revitalized Navigator has been in Galveston less than two months, and they have made menu changes twice. With the first change, they removed all but the smaller steaks from the menu in there, and charged a fee for the larger steaks that used to be covered in the $30 fee (prior price). So they raised the price, and reduced the choices. They had also removed the baked potato from the menu, and honestly had tater tot casserole on the menu. When we went to Chops last week, they had the “NEW NEW” menu. The menu has changed twice now since the revitalization. Price was still $35 each, but there were two great choices of 12-ounce steaks and the baked potato was back (but the tater tot casserole was still a choice as well). We did have an appetizer that was really great, but the name isn’t descriptive of what it is—Grilled Black Pepper Bacon. It was a piece of Berkshire pork, slow cooked, with a sweet/spicy glaze. It melted in your mouth. It was still very odd to me, however, that the priciest specialty restaurant on the ship does NOT have tablecloths anymore. Cloth napkins, of course, and they were white napkins, and I had on black slacks, and our waiter was insistent that I have a black napkin so my slacks wouldn’t have lint. I just thought that part was interesting…to worry about the color of napkin when you don’t have a tablecloth. We were also afforded a trial run of handling the Diamond and Concierge lounges and the“happy hour.” We had three drink coupons loaded on our SeaPass cards each day (not cumulative), and we could go to most any bar, AND we could still go to the Diamond or Concierge Lounge. It wasn’t an "either or" situation, it was a BOTH situation. We like it and can see the advantage in it. The Loyalty Ambassador’s area had Reba and an assistant working. They were very busy later in the week, probably fueled by the newfound wealth folks had from getting a complete reimbursement of their cruise and the percentage off another cruise. Suggestion: Sign up for a date/time with the Loyalty Ambassador early in the week if you plan to book onboard. I did feel for the people as regards reimbursement on Carnival Magic. They left on Tuesday afternoon (5 days sailing), and two ports, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. They will be refunded 2 days of their seven, and get a 25% future cruise certificate. They received no reimbursement for meals or Sunday night’s hotel. Caribbean Princess, originally to set sail from Houston on Saturday, sailed on Tuesday afternoon with one stop, Cozumel, and after a flurry of 100% refund offers that apparently was rescinded on Tuesday, then were reinstated to the complete refund originally offered, so I'm guessing Princess passengers were pretty happy. Royal Caribbean got us on board Sunday evening, so we had seven nights on board, they paid for our meal on Sunday missed, 100% refund of cruise price, 25% on a future cruise, missed port taxes were refunded, and we got our cruise points. Seriously, however, if Galveston/Houston area wishes to grow as ports for cruises, the issue with taxis needs to be examined. Sunday, there was just the usual cruise passenger traffic in Galveston, and there were not enough cabs/transfers for people. Some people waited 1.5 hours for a cab, and dealt with unkind, rude drivers. Summary All in all, albeit a rollercoaster of a week, with everything from we are delayed leaving, to we are cancelled, to we are going again, it was an interesting week. Royal Caribbean, especially since none of this was their fault, definitely stepped up to the plate, offered us amazing compensation for our delays, and we had seven days of good food, fellowship, activities, and performances. It was free for the week, and our money will be refunded. Given the situation, who could ask for more? Not us. We were very happy, and will return to Galveston in May for another sailing on Navigator. The revitalization of Navigator is evident all around the ship. New tile floors in the promenade, new chairs and colors and even draperies in rooms. They did a great job in the refurb. Main downside in the stateroom was the tiniest safe I have ever seen in a room! Throughout the ship were bright colors, new carpet and furnishings, and everything looked very clean. This was our third sail on Navigator, the other two being before the drydock, so the changes were evident to us. We also noticed that both the concierge lounge and the diamond lounge had received facelifts, and new latté machines as well. Finally, how could any cruise line do anymore for a group of passengers than Royal Caribbean did for us? The answer: They couldn’t. The oil spill was beyond their control. I thank our Captain Frank Martinsen, his officers, and the entire staff for delivering the WOW in a difficult situation.   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
Newly renivated ship looked great, I did not like the beds and pillows at all. Reminded me of bunk beds that fold down from wall and hard. Pillows were very slim, but after asking cabin maid, he brought us two more pillows that were ... Read More
Newly renivated ship looked great, I did not like the beds and pillows at all. Reminded me of bunk beds that fold down from wall and hard. Pillows were very slim, but after asking cabin maid, he brought us two more pillows that were thicker. RC has cut out the midnight choc. bar and food was not up to their usual great food. In the main dinning on 11th floor chairs were very slim and big people will not fit in them. The staff was very good about bringing chairs without arms on them to you. In the dinning room on the 3rd,4th, and 5 th floor was beautiful and well done. Chairs again were an issue for big people, but the waiters did bring a chair without arms. We travel RC all the time and really enjoy the hospitality on board, and the folks that cruise with us on each cruise. Over all it was a great cruise and I recommend sailing on this ship, the promenade state rooms were really nice with a window overlooking the center of the boat. Gambing did not pay off and slots were tight and did not see very many people winning. The dealers were very friendly and really wanted us to win, but no luck on this trip. By the way guys, they do have poker tables to play on. The new ports were fantastic and had good shopping for the ladies. Jamacia was really nice after they moved the port entry and shopping area was excellent. I recommend going on this cruise, and maybe if people complain a little they will fix the other items that i talked about.   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
I wasn't in the Navigator before dry dock, but on the first cruise after. The common areas are lovely and the cabin colors were modern and soothing. I was a little surprised the balcony area was dirty. I realize sea spray keeps it a ... Read More
I wasn't in the Navigator before dry dock, but on the first cruise after. The common areas are lovely and the cabin colors were modern and soothing. I was a little surprised the balcony area was dirty. I realize sea spray keeps it a little dirty, but this was way more than that.  Loved this cabin. Very spacious with plenty of storage. We brought along an over-the-door shoe holder which we hung on the inside of the bathroom. This works great for toiletries. The new carpet, bedding and couch were lovely. The only complaint is the balcony was pretty dirty. I know sea spray can make a mess, but this was more than that. You would think that after being in dry dock they could have cleaned the balconies! Other than that, everything was great with the cabin. On our cruise there were some plumbing issues, but not to the gross point. The main point of contention was the smoke from the casino on deck 4 drifted up to the promenade on deck 5. That got old, quick. Also, the bars were WAY understaffed. It would take forever to get any type of beverage, including a simple bottle of water. We had 14 ft+ seas the first night, but only experienced minor rocking. All in all, it was a good cruise and I would sail this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
Lesson learned; never sail out of Galveston in the winter! The Navigator of the Seas was several hours late in arriving in port due to fog after its 5 day shakedown cruise. RCCL did an admiral job in getting 3,000 passengers off the ship ... Read More
Lesson learned; never sail out of Galveston in the winter! The Navigator of the Seas was several hours late in arriving in port due to fog after its 5 day shakedown cruise. RCCL did an admiral job in getting 3,000 passengers off the ship and 3,000 new passengers on board when they were all in the terminal waiting. The passengers, for the most part, were accepting of the situation, realizing that it was beyond RCCL's control. We were unable to leave until 8:00 AM the next morning. Since we had to stay in port only 2 bars were open and this caused a crush of people. Due to the late sailing we were late (although the captain made up considerable time) in arriving in Roatan and we had to cut our shore excursion short. Embarkation rating is based on this experience. This was our first time on the Navigator and understand that she had just come out of 4 weeks in dry dock. The reason was to add several additional cabins and specialty restaurants. It was in great shape; all the public areas were clean and appeared to be refreshed. New carpet, new dining chairs in the main Drs. other cosmetic additions and the addition of a Flow Rider made the ship as good as new in our opinion. RCCL gave several interior cabins "virtual" balconies; large screen tv on the wall broadcasting an outside view from live cameras. Only talked to two passengers who were in them; one negative, one positive. We had a balcony cabin on deck 7. Our cabin steward was very competent; responding to requests in a timely manner. We did not rate the entertainment as we did not go to the ice show and do not go to the ensemble revue shows as they are not our thing. The guest entertainers were okay. Tom McTigue's adult show was fun and Chad Chesmark, comedian and magician was good and we would have liked his show to be longer. The Love & Marriage Game Show was a hoot but is strictly dependant on the volunteers who go up. The flow rider is a nice addition and neither it nor the climbing wall were overly busy when I went by. The one issue I had was that while we were in port in Cozumel members of the crew of the Allure, which was also in port, came over to use it which made the wait longer for the passengers. Hopefully a one time thing to check out the new toy. We are not fussy eaters or overly critical of our dining. We enjoyed all the food options from breakfast room service to the Windjammer to the main dining. We were early, fixed seating. We chose to sail out of Galveston this time as we were able to more easily drive to the port. Never again though; sorry Navigator. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
My wife and I did our first Caribbean cruise last week and it was quite enjoyable. We went to Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and Cozumel, Mexico. We have done 15 cruises altogether, but they've all been in Europe with the exception of 3 ... Read More
My wife and I did our first Caribbean cruise last week and it was quite enjoyable. We went to Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and Cozumel, Mexico. We have done 15 cruises altogether, but they've all been in Europe with the exception of 3 to Alaska. I'm not a big fan of hot, humid weather (we live in the desert), but my wife wanted to go on this cruise so I went along. I actually had a very good time. The check-in process was quick and easy - as always. The ship was nice just having come from a refurbishment two weeks prior. They put in new carpet and new furniture in some of the lounges and dining rooms and new TVs in the staterooms. Someone said they also added some more cabins and we can believe it because the dining room is now rather cramped compared to our previous sailing on this ship because all they did was add more tables to the existing space. The diining room service, as with all the service on the ship, was still excellent however. We didn't sign up for any shore excursions prior to boarding as we usually do because looking on-line we didn't see anything that grabbed our attention, but once on board we found a brochure from the Shore Excursions Office in our stateroom that seemed to offer more than what we saw on-line. We ended up signing up for a tour in each of our three stops. We did the Falmouth, Jamaica walking tour with Falmouth Hertage Walks, Ltd and our tour guide Crystal (a college student). She was an excellent tour guide. She's very knowledegable, friendly, and personable. The tour was at a very reasonable pace given the heat and humidity and Crystal and her assistant Grace both had plenty of bottled water for us provided free of charge. If you like seeing what life is like in a place and hearing about the historical aspects of it, then this is a good tour. It was about two hours long. George Town in Grand Cayman was a pleasant surprise. It was quite modern with nice roads, homes, and shops. We took the 1-hour trolley tour which was very informative and a pleasant ride down the coast seeing how some of the locals live. Some people took a city bus tour that they found on the pier and said that was good also. They saw things we didn't and vice versa. In Cozumel we took the guided island bus tour that included a 1-hour tour of some Mayan ruins dating back to 3100 BC. We had never been that interested in the Mayan culture, etc, but we found this to be extremely interesting. Of course our guide from the bus was of Mayan descent and knew what he was talking about and made it fun and informative. It was supposed to be a 3-hour tour but came out closer to 4. Actually, I think the 1-hour Mayan tour was more like an hour and a half or so, but nobody cared. It was too good. But bring bottled water because it is hot! The cruise was uneventful until Sunday morning when we were supposed to dock in Galveston at 7:00 a.m. We actually got into port at 12:30 p.m. because the port had been closed due to heavy fog. We sat 12 miles out in the Gulf for over 4 hours until the port was opened. It certainly caused a lot of frustration for many people who had to try and rebook airline flights. Some had to pay heavy penalties. For us who were driving we did not make it the 600 miles through Texas we had hoped to. Of course, none of this was Royal Caribbean's fault and we never heard anyone say it was. So, now having done this one cruise in the Caribbean and enjoying it we may do another one sometime but going to different locations. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
My sister and I traveled together and we had a great experience. It was the first on RCI for both of us. Galveston: We highly recommend the Moody Gardens Hotel. Not only is the room very nice, but we got free shuttle to/from the terminal ... Read More
My sister and I traveled together and we had a great experience. It was the first on RCI for both of us. Galveston: We highly recommend the Moody Gardens Hotel. Not only is the room very nice, but we got free shuttle to/from the terminal AND free parking/valet for the car while gone! Not only that, but with fog delaying our departure, they extended our check-out time twice. Very nice to work with. But regarding that fog, it turned the check-in process at the terminal into a disaster. Some people were in line for 3+ hours. And it was hard to even make out the line. It looked like just a large crowd. I was actually concerned for some of the older, more frail-looking people I saw in the crowd. With the late departure, we started out with open seating in the MDR and we barely got done eating before muster. In fact, we didn't get dessert! :) But really, all was well. We found the food to be very good. I had salmon several times and it was very good (though the last night it didn't seem to have the outstanding flavor it had before). We loved the smaller portions that we were served and that the food seemed so fresh. My sister and I had both been counting calories for a long time (2 years for me) and were concerned about our eating but there were plenty of healthy choices. We didn't always choose the healthiest items, but that isn't RCI's fault. (In case you are wondering, we each gained about 1.5 pounds). Speaking of watching our weights, we were able to get lots of physical activity aboard the ship. Almost every morning we worked out in the Fitness Center. We loved looking out at the sea while exercising. We also both wear pedometers and were able to count our steps and flights of stairs. One day, I went up 22 flights! We found it more convenient to take the stairs than to wait for the elevators (more on that later). We averaged over 10,000 steps a day. It felt good to be moving around so much though we apparently still ate more calories than we burned! The elevators were often crowded. A couple of times, it seemed like every man for himself. We had waited through 3 full elevators opening on our floor when a couple of girls walked up and got on the next almost-full elevator right in front of us effectively cutting us off. People are people so that kind of thing will happen occasionally. For the most part, though, we found everyone friendly and engaging. Our only other complaint would be the smoking, even though it is restricted to only a couple of areas. Really, it was the most bothersome in the casino. I only went in there once and didn't stay due to the smoke. Our cabin attendant, Zaldy, was wonderful. He went above and beyond the first night to find our luggage. Our main dining server, Yazi, was also wonderful. If we had any complain at all in the MDR, it was that drinks didn't come quickly enough. The assistant finally caught on that we had several tea drinkers and he began to get that to us faster as the days progressed. I always had coffee with my dessert (yes, part of the calories problem, I know!) but several times I never got a refill because the assistant server was no longer around. Two days before embarkation, we upgraded to a junior suite and we loved, loved, loved our room! The closet was amazing. We could both be in it at the same time if needed. But it was easy for one person to go in and close the door, making it a changing room if needed. The tub/shower was nice with lots of water pressure. The room had tons of storage. We didn't use all the spaces. The room is on the "hump" which was nice. First, it always helped us know where our rooms was when walking down the long hallway! But really the treat was when on the balcony. It expanded our view. I'd read somewhere that some junior suites have a column in them that interrupts the view and that was the case with ours. But the good thing is that it provided a nook area on one side of it that we were able to put our larger suitcases (that wouldn't fit under the bed). I almost forgot about the entertainment. We saw several average shows but were also treated to the Texas Tenors!! They were so good. Because of how phenomenal they were, I will rank the entertainment very high. Overall, we loved the ship and the trip. Can't wait to do it again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2013
This was our third Caribbean cruise but our first on RCCL and our first time to Grand Cayman and Falmouth Jamaica. We were planning to do the 'Dickens on the Strand' thing in Galveston with some friends and ended up taking a last ... Read More
This was our third Caribbean cruise but our first on RCCL and our first time to Grand Cayman and Falmouth Jamaica. We were planning to do the 'Dickens on the Strand' thing in Galveston with some friends and ended up taking a last minute bargain basement cruise to get out of the cold weather for awhile. The price was so good we decided to upgrade to a balcony which was also a first as we normally spend little time in our room, preferring to explore every nook and cranny on the ship. The balcony acted as a kind of human magnet and we ended up spending far more time in the room than normal! In a way that was not good as toward the end of the cruise I mentioned that we had seen little of the ship on this trip. As far as the ship and accomodations are concerned, what is there to say? We typically look at the ship as a sort of floating hotel and transportation rather than a destination. We did our usual thing: eat too much, enjoy as much of the onboard entertainment as possible, and drink a little. I normally have fairly low expectations but when the bar girl at one of the lounges announced that they had no single malt scotch I was rather surprised. I was then dumbfounded when after I asked for a scotch with no ice or water and a side of water she brought me the usual watered down scotch/water/ice combo. After she realized her mistake she took it back, took out the ice, and brought the scotch and water back! Oh well. It was a fun evening anyway and made for a good story later. There were several highlights on the trip. Leading the pack was meeting a local from Falmouth with the same last name as mine. I knew it was a fairly common name on the island dating back to the old English plantation owners so I used FB to track down a Falmouth resident by that name and invited him to lunch. We had a grand time! Along with our walking tour of the old port town of Falmouth it gave us a unique peek into the local scene. Jamaica is an interesting place with lovely people and I put it on my list of places to go back to. Second hit of the trip was meeting up with a group of fellow geocachers on the CC Roll Call forum. We did a little geocaching along the way and swapped stories on board. Grand Cayman was new to us so we were delighted when a local shop owner came out and greeted us at one of our geocaching locations and regaled us with local stories. On the downside, embarkation was the pits with huge crowds, long lines, and a long long wait to get onboard. Getting off was easier but my wife lost her passport somewhere in the meelee and we ended up having to get another. While the shows at night were good, the entertainment in the lounges was not as good as we've had on other cruises and generally pretty poor. All in all the trip met or exceeded all my expectations. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
First, a few tips, Be sure to bring 2 or 3 ball point pens, also extra batteries, AA are very expensive on ship. Also a small folding bag to use on shopping tours. Four bus load of cruisers, arrived at the ship terminal about 12:45, note ... Read More
First, a few tips, Be sure to bring 2 or 3 ball point pens, also extra batteries, AA are very expensive on ship. Also a small folding bag to use on shopping tours. Four bus load of cruisers, arrived at the ship terminal about 12:45, note RCL uses terminal 2. I was told to move to the front of the line, as I am 85, traveling alone, and use a walker. Just inside the terminal, which appeared more like a huge warehouse, was then told to use the wheelchair lane, and moved to the next agent. Showed my documents, then over to the security line, just like at the airports. Walked to the opposite end of the area, qued up, when an agent held up a number sign, proceeded to check in. Gave my documents to Rebecca, had a photo taken, then given my Sea Pass. No picture on it, but when the Sea Pass is scanned as you enter, or leave the ship, your picture is on the screen for security to view. Neat. Then walk back to the security area, exited to another room, presented my Sea Pass, and up to the next floor. The gangway i here and up to deck 4 to board. Now the Sea Pass is scanned and I entered the ship. Here is where the confusion starts. All want to go up to their rooms, (cruisers like to use nautical terms, ok, staterooms.) TIP, elevators are called lifts, so look for one that is going down, get in. When it is ready to go up, tap in your deck number. Remember, Starboard (right), port (left.) Door to my room, was quite heavy, the interior was adequate for me, two is ok, four is a crowd. The shower is about 40" diameter. A bar of soap in shower and next to wash basin. The used one will not be replaced. The TV set was about an 18", with good display, ships activities was being shown. On the bed was the ship's Cruise Compass. It will help you decide what events you wish to do/see the next day. Mark them down, It will help you. There is muster a 4 this is the life preserver drill. Although the TV indicated to bring preservers with you, don't. If you wish to have a seat, arrive at 3:45, the drill will be about 15 minutes. There is a circus parade at 5:15 at the Royal Promenade, deck 5. Dinner is served at 6 in the Windjammer Cafe, you won't be allowed to enter early. When you do enter, head to your right past the bar, the Jade portion is here, for the Asian styled food. Pass this to the main food area. TIP. No trays, also no spoons with the fork and knife. Pick up one at the soup, or desert area. Coffee, tea, water and a strawberry-kiwi drinks are free. The wait staff was extremely helpful. They wanted to carry my food for me. Take names, if you can, of all that help. TIP. Remember food is aft,entertainment is forward. Also public restrooms, men on port, ladies on, yep, right. TIP. The ships movement is shown on the TV, I think 14, take a picture of the screen, but turn off the flash first. You will find this interesting as you pass into the Gulf, and the Mexican ports. TIP. On deck 4, to reach forward, or aft, you must walk through the maze if slots, easier on deck 5. Also the life boats are on this deck, medical on deck 1. To reach deck 14, use port side lifts. The main show is in the Metropolis Theater, decks 3 and 4. Wheel chair passengers, should use deck 4, as the area just inside is reserved for this use. The Dungeon is the disco room, deck 4 is the bar area, while deck 3 is the dance floor. A fun place, was here past 11:00, for a few nights. Internet fee is .75 per minute, or 38 minutes for $24.95! A WOW card may be on your bed, last night, to express who did an outstanding job to assist you. The ice show was on the second day, and a must see. Be sure to obtain tickets early, and also arrive early for a good seat. the show was fabulous! It is on deck 3, best to either walk down, or use the forward lifts. I wanted to visit the bridge overlook on deck 11. Use the exit doors, near the spa,then walk forward. You can look down into the bridge, and perhaps an officer might be at the controls. Must have been on auto-pilot when I looked in. As I explored the ship, discovered there are about 150 deck chairs on the aft side of deck 12. seems the poolside chairs are in demand for the swimmers. Johnny Rocket's is also on this level, on the port side. As others have mentioned, the fee for ordering is $4.95, but all you can eat. Beverages are extra, and the shake was really, really delicious. The Navigator had docked, port side, in Roatan early in Wednesday morning. Roatan is an island 40 miles from the mainland of Honduras. RCL uses the docks at Coxen Hole. A tribe of Garifnas live in a village nearby, and several of them were on the dock welcoming our guests, as they got off the boat, OK, disembarked. TIP The ships stores will be closed when in a foreign port. As I did not book any tours, I took photographs from both deck 11, then deck 4. Now just past the port security, is a shopping area called Town City, past the entrance were the tour buses. If you don't plan a tour,just get off, walk through the Town City entrance for an excellent view of the Navigator. We left that evening at 5:00 pm. If you can, be on deck to photograph the sunset over the island. You will enjoy this opportunity. Thursday, found us off the coast of Belize. As the water is too shallow for the cruise ship to dock, they must remain off shore, about a 20 minute boat ride to the shore. The depth of the water is about 40', and the ship's draft is 29'. This permits an 11" variance in case of an ocean surge. TIP. Use the starboard lifts to go down to deck 2, as the port side is in use to board the tenders. Tenders are catamaran boats, that can carry up to 200 passengers . Take your Sea Pass, as it will permit you to return to the ship. A German cruis ship, Aida Bella was also visiting Belize this day. There is not really much to see at the dock area, a few bars, many shops, etc. To see the city, or other areas, you can take a tour, or use a taxi. When you return, look for a water fountain, just past security, good cold water! We left Belize at 6:00 pm, and headed for Galveston. I didn't mention the find dining, I did have dinner there the second and last nights. The last mostly for the Baked Alaska! Each of us on our tour were assigned a table to be used each time for dinner. Elegant, attractive and excellent tastes. These were the two formal nights, takes about an hour and a half, from start to finish. This provides ample time to socialize with your fellow cruisers. I had more fun this week, than I have had for the past three years! Last TIP, explore the ship, the cities, get lost (?), but have FUN!   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
We finally did our our first cruise to the Caribbean, Jamaica, Grand Caymans, and Cozumel. We left from San Antonio the 23rd to spend the night in or near Galveston. We thought we had a hotel in Houstonbut it didn't turn out so we ... Read More
We finally did our our first cruise to the Caribbean, Jamaica, Grand Caymans, and Cozumel. We left from San Antonio the 23rd to spend the night in or near Galveston. We thought we had a hotel in Houstonbut it didn't turn out so we continued into Galveston. After going over the bridge we found a Howard Johnson just off of 45. The Hotel was nice and we found out that we could park our vehicle there for the week for FREE. they gave us a placard to put on the dase and security watched our vehicle. There was transportation arranged for us by the company that charged for parking. It cost us 5 dollars per person round trip. This saved us a ton of money. I have to say that the boarding of the ship went smothly and without incident. We did run into some imagration problems cincerning the crew andthat delayed our sailing by about an hour. The first few days of sailing was rough. The weather was raining at first but we did sail during winter so that was to be expected however it was still enjoyable. Our first port was Jamaica, beautiful weather. Not knowing what to do and doing a lot of research I found a tour guide named Admiral SA. I found him on Cruise Critic and was highly recommended. We are not much water people and wanted a tour of the island. The Admiral did not disappoint. He took us all around the island and showed us plenty of sites and gave us a historical overview. We went to one of the best Jerk Chicken and Pork on the island and it was delicious. He did take us shopping however it was ok. Shopping at the port was better with the prices cheaper. I highly recommend the Admiral and he will customize an excursion for you. The one port that we were looking forward to was Grand Cayman but due to rough waters we had to bypass it. Needlessto say we were highly disappointed. However the crew was fantastic, and had everything ready for us. They did an amazing job. At Cozumel, we did the shopping thing. I did buy a watch at a great price. After that we had made reservations at Mr Sanchos. We had a blast, all the food and drinks for $45 a person. It was everything that everyone said. It was a beautiful day and the water was nice and clear. They had parrots and eguanas for the kids and lots of things to do. It was a relaxing day after spending all that time on the water. All in all the cruise was awesome and the crew made everything great. Out waiter for dining was Michael Jackson from Jamaica and his assistant was Kelly. They were both great. Our bar tender was Velacko (n8t sure if I spelt it right), and he was great. I would highly recommend the cruise. The shows were awesome and kept us well entertained. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
Nov. 3 we boarded the Navigator of the Seas for the sixth time. The difference, this time it's 21 days and every day was fantastic. The staff and crew were so friendly and helpful from our wait staff in My Time Dining, Francisco & ... Read More
Nov. 3 we boarded the Navigator of the Seas for the sixth time. The difference, this time it's 21 days and every day was fantastic. The staff and crew were so friendly and helpful from our wait staff in My Time Dining, Francisco & Carlo, probably the best we've had in over 20 cruises. On the first 7 day cruise we had a small problem with a bar server in the Two Poets but she was going home at the end of that trip and her replacement was the very best. Guest Relations staff managed to be pleasant and helpful through it all, and just everyone on board went out of there way to be helpful and share a laugh with any of the nine people in our group. I do have to say the Nav. is getting tired but should be addressed come January when she goes into dry dock for a major overhaul. Something we've found on the last few cruises is the entertainment in the theatre is not what it used to be in the early days (5 to 7 years ago). I would have to say that this back to back cruise would have to be right up there in the top (favorite) three cruises we have been fortunate to have taken. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2013
INTRO: Navigator of the Seas (NOTS) Thanksgiving Cruise to Falmouth, Grand Cayman (NOT!) and Cozumel. I want to share our reflections of our (DW and I 45, DS 16 and DD 14) first RCCL cruise in 8 years. We drifted away from RCCL due ... Read More
INTRO: Navigator of the Seas (NOTS) Thanksgiving Cruise to Falmouth, Grand Cayman (NOT!) and Cozumel. I want to share our reflections of our (DW and I 45, DS 16 and DD 14) first RCCL cruise in 8 years. We drifted away from RCCL due geography and timing and are very pleased to report that the line was as great as we remembered and has not cut very few corners during this time (at least compared to Carnival, NCL and Celebrity). Weather did not cooperate for us on this cruise: Departure day, our first sea day and Grand Cayman were windy, cold and wet (we could not call on Grand Cayman). Two of the other days were either just cold or just wet. We had perfect weather only for Jamicia. This cruise could have been a washout if not for the exceptional entertainment and restaurant staff. This was also RCCL’s first cruise out of Galveston in 6 months and NOTS turned over a third of the crew after an extended summer in Europe. There were more than a few kinks to be worked out during the first few days and the shore side staff was downright discombobulated at both embarkation and debarkation. We drove to Galveston and slept on the island the night before. DW and I enjoyed an underpublicized, adults only. resort 10 minutes from Falmouth and we did the Nachi Cocom thing with our teens in Cozumel. All of us enjoyed great bar service through some form of pre-paid package and our Dining Experience was our best in over 10 years. I’ll do a day by day, but I wanted to post a few more highs and lows for folks who just want the cliff notes: SUMMARY: LOWS: Terminal 2 in Galveston is no where near as nice as Terminal one which is occupied by Carnival. Dining Room, hallways to staterooms and cabins are definitely ready for refurb. Illusive Casino Staff. RCCL pier in Cozumel had trouble handling FOTS and NOTS together (can’t imagine if OOTS or AOTS was there) Poor AC throughout the ship. HIGHS: MDR experience on par with “the good old days” Falmouth better than MoBay Ship never felt crowded – kids were kept out of adult only hot-tubs. GREAT Thanksgiving Experience (including Football in Studio B and Tasty Turkey) HAPPY and enthusiastic crew Confirmed proof that real people (DS) win “Free Cruise Bingo” Day 0 (McAllen Tx to Galvestion) – My work had me out of town till late Friday night – DW picked me up at the airport at 12:30 AM and we did not get home till 1:30 AM. Was up by 8am to start packing and send the dogs to the Kennel. Incredibly, we were on the road by 10:30 and, near as I can tell, we did not forget anything (though we over packed as usual). We made it to the Galveston Hampton by 5pm. We have a pretty good overnight bag system and we were able to leave 8 of 10 bags in the car. I stay in a lot of Hamptons, and the one in Galveston is one of the nicest. Weather was terrible, so we ended up going to see the new Hunger Games movie at DD’s request and picked up a couple of things we wanted for the cruise at the Walmart just across the street. Day 1 (Embarkation) – Love using the Galveston web cams to see the ship come in – was expecting NOTS to be late with the weather, but she backed in right on schedule with the CCL Magic (our last cruise) close behind. Hampton and the other Hilton properties have a park and shuttle package for $45 – but as much as we pack, we prefer just dropping the bags at the pier (and its much faster at debark). We had a great experience with Galveston Park and Cruise last time on Magic but we thought the “Park and Cruise” right across from Terminal 2 would be a better bet for this trip. This turns out not to be the case as you can only cross Harborside drive at 25th street - so Galveston Park and Cruise is your best bet for either terminal. TIP: Avoid traffic on Harborside Drive around the Terminal – approach via Kepner/22nd street from Broadway and pull right in to the terminal. I have spent a lot of time on this thread: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1951525 discussing expected hiccups at embarkation due to crew turnover and the fact that this was RCI and Navigator’s first cruise of the season from Galveston. We were expecting a lot worse and the issues we encountered were largely comical - except for two things: 1) DW and I had a beverage package and it was not on our card - we had to visit 4 places once on board before the issue was finally resolved (and it would have taken longer if I did not have a printed confirmation in hand). 2) Pre-Ordered Bon-voyage flowers never came and have not been credited as of this writing. TIPs: If something goes wrong with your check-in, ASK for priority embarkation. The Embarkation line at the front of the ship was MUCH shorter than the one at the stern. Unlike Carnival, RCI will not let you sneak in to the cabin areas to drop your bags, so carry on only what you will be comfortable schlepping until 1pm. We always arrive early and tip our porter well - and we ALWAYS have our bags before the boat drill and this time was no exception. There was a parade immediately after the boat drill on the promenade - we headed there by way of the aft stairs in the MDR (to get to deck 5) and we scored a table at “Two Poets” which provided an unobstructed view and great service (all cruise). We had late seating dinner and great tablemates - our waiter was the best we have had in many, many years. The post dinner welcome aboard show was very promising. DW and I did the Casino for an hour or so before bed and came out ahead – I played on “their money” the rest of the week. (DW was not so lucky). DAYS 2&3 (at sea with not so great weather). These days kind of just blended together and we followed the same morning routine both days, on time room service, hot-tub in the solarium until lunch. Lunch in the MDR was great on day 2 and we did the Windjammer with the kids on day 3 as a lead in to the Ice show. Our ice show had wonderful guest performers from Russia where the woman magically changed costumes in front of us – no fewer than 10 times. Main review show on formal night was OK - the top lead singers were weak. Show on night 3 was the man of 10,000 voices which was more entertaining. Plenty of live entertainment. DW and I also did the Rasul mud bath (85 bucks for an hour per couple in the spa) – it was fun even though there were a lot of things wrong with the facility. DAY 4 (Falmouth). Our first time at this port – DW and I had planned this as “Our Day” and the kids stayed on the ship. We did an all inclusive at a place that used to be called Pebbles and it was fantastic – surpassing all expectations – way better than Couples or Sunset beach which we have done from Mo’Bay. This was our only excellent weather day. The RCI port facility is very well thought out and we were able to get a cab quickly on the way out and pick up our Christmas tree topper at a souvenir stand on the way back to the boat. There is no formal show in the Theater on Jamaica night- but there are two ice shows that night, a late night comedy and a rocking 70s party. DAY 5 Thanksgiving (Grand Cayman washed out). We had a family jetski excursion to Stingray City and Rum Point booked through Island marketing planned for this special day. Wife and kids were growing apprehensive about this as the weather was predicted to be cold and wet and we knew the waves would be rough. We were relieved to have a cancelation decision made for us when the ship turned around in the harbor and the Captain announced we would not be making the port of call. We were impressed that the crew put out a new Compass with new activities (this was their holiday too). I was particularly impressed that the dining room, which was supposed to be closed in port, was opened for Lunch. Imagine preparing Thanksgiving Dinner for 3500 when they decide to drop in early for lunch. Throwing a Cowboys football party in Studio B for a ship full of Texas was pure genius and was greatly appreciated by those who attended. Finally, with all due respect to my wife, mom, grandmothers, mother-in law, sister-in-law, and all others who have prepared Turkey for me over the past 45 years – I enjoyed the best Thanksgiving dinner of my life. Everything was great –especially the Turkey which was moist and delicious. The custom menu was a nice touch and a wonderful keepsake. This was our third Thanksgiving cruise and it was the first time we were not disappointed. The 2nd review show (which is normally on day 6) was better than the first. DAY 6 (Cozumel) – We did Nachi CoCom through Island marketing which was perfect for a family beach day with teens. While getting off the ship was easy enough, coming in a half hour behind FOTS, the pier and terminal were SWAMPED. When we saw the line for Taxis, we walked out of the terminal and walked a block towards town where we caught a Cab for 4 (which was $20 each way with tip). TIP: walk out the exit for rental cars, even if you don’t have one and walk towards the town there are plenty of cabs waiting to shortcut the line. We skipped the show but made it to the Battle of the Sexes and “The Quest after dinner. TIP- If your are planning to take your pants off during the Quest game show wear funny boxers. We also visited the Dungeon, which was a well managed club with a DJ who played music that sounded like… music. There were enough people in there so that it felt like a party without feeling like a crowd. DAY 7 (Sea) – This day started out cooler but sunnier so we resumed our morning hot tub routine. DS and I did the rock wall which was a nice mini-adventure while DW and DD shopped. TIP – there is no need to was a portion of your day looking through the walls of photos. On the last night, simple swipe your card at one of the Kiosks and the system will pick up every picture of everyone in your party and you can order and pick-up on debark morning! TIP - The four photo package is a great deal as it includes a nice folio, the DVD and some extra stock photos and is priced below the cost of four 8x10s. When we met up on the promenade, I was talked in to Bingo. I don’t like Bingo, is was $32 bucks for a pack of cards (and I had to buy three packs) the Bingo caller was very lame and it was clear that we were indoors for the best sea weather of the entire cruise. But the kids were having a good time with it, and that made DW and me happy. Then, on the last game of the cruise, DS made an “X” and yelled BINGO for a free 7 day cruise for 2. After receiving our certificate - we were so busy celebrating - all of a sudden it was time for the best show of the cruise (the acrobats/gymnasts/ballet dancers) and a great dinner (DS asked for the expensive steak in return for turning over the cruise certificate to DW and me). Then, we had to pack, which would have been a terrible drag if we did not know that we would be CRUISING AGAIN SOON! DAY 8 (Debark) – for the first time in 21 cruises, we slept in on debark day and showed up at the MDR just before they closed the doors. We enjoyed a nice leisurely breakfast as I was not at all anxious to be dropped of at Hobby for a flight to work on Monday, without DW and family as they proceeded back to McAllen. So we took our time and waited until there was no line at all to get off the ship. When we did wander off, there was a crazy shortage of porters, so we just went ahead and grabbed our own stuff. Only difficult part was where I parked. There are cops at 30th street to keep you from crossing the highway there – why they couldn’t act as crossing guards to save me a 10 block walk in traffic via 25th street is a mystery to me. But staying off Harborside drive, taking a back road to 22nd (like I did on day one) got me back to the curb easily enough. The drive to Hobby was not bad at all and DW and the kids made their way home safely and were home before I reached my hotel in PA. FINAL THOUGHTS: The RCCL experience is head and shoulders above the current Carnival product – we are so pleased to have the opportunity to cruise them again for free within the next 12 months. There is at least a 50% chance that we will use the certificate to cruise the Navigator again after her refurb (either at spring break or in June). We are also considering great options from NJ and Baltimore and are really excited at the prospect of our first Oasis class cruise!   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
This was our 1st TA but our 25th cruise. We stayed at the Hotel Canton in Barcelona the night before. Great pre-cruise hotel & quick cab ride to the port. The ship, while a little tired, was much nicer than I thought it would be. Did ... Read More
This was our 1st TA but our 25th cruise. We stayed at the Hotel Canton in Barcelona the night before. Great pre-cruise hotel & quick cab ride to the port. The ship, while a little tired, was much nicer than I thought it would be. Did feel that it lacked that "outdoor" feeling. would have loved an ocean breeze while in the Windjammer. Café Promenade was a great spot for a quick snack. Played a lot of Trivia with a nice group of "new" friends. Ice show was FAB!, Hypnotist was entertaining, heard that the lectures were good but never could leave the Schooner bar where the trivia was. Food was good & while not too much was "outstanding", we never sent anything back. Roxie, our cabin steward was fine, but our waiter, BOGDAN, was the BEST we have EVER had!. There was nothing he could not do or get. Scott our tablemate was late every night & Bogdan pre-ordered for him because he could figure out just what he would want. Casino was large with 300 slots. Staff was almost too invisible. Cabin TV was awful & the internet was the slowest we have had in recent years. But we still had a great time. Also, I injured my foot 2 bays before the end of the trip. Went to the doctor's office. Got great treatment there. Looking forward to our next TA. This cruise made us understand why so many people love the "crossings". Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
Spent one night in the Port town of Civitaveccia (Rome) pre cruise at the hotel San Gorgio. Embarkation was very quick & efficient & found ourselves on board by lunchtime. The ship is very large & beautiful. It is maintained ... Read More
Spent one night in the Port town of Civitaveccia (Rome) pre cruise at the hotel San Gorgio. Embarkation was very quick & efficient & found ourselves on board by lunchtime. The ship is very large & beautiful. It is maintained very well with only small wear & tear marks here & there. We had a large balcony room on the hump on Deck 7. The location was very handy to the lifts. The design & storage areas of the room made for a very pleasant cabin. Entertainment was good overall, not as good as I have seen on other cruises but still enjoyable. The times or nights of the week they chose to do some of the main shows didn't seem to flow well with this particular cruise. Food in the Buffet was quite good with plenty of choices & little to no lines to wait for food. Looking for a table in peak times seemed to take longer than getting your food. The dining room is a large beautiful room however we thought the food was just ok. Not bad in any way, just not brilliant either. This is our second cruise on RCI & in my opinion we have enjoyed the dining room experience more on other lines such as Carnival, Costa, & Celebrity. We had My Time Dining as we usually do on most cruises & the waiters on this cruise were good but not as good as we have come across. The Promenade café was good & handy for a snack & Johnny Rockets is always a bit of good old fun. Most of the staff seemed fairly friendly & approachable. The captain was often seen at events however he always seemed to speak like he was reading from a script he had rehearsed many times before. I realise English was not his first language but his speeches didn't always seem to come from the heart. Didn't use the pool as weather was bit cold for it but did make use of Hot Tubs, as well as enjoy other outdoor facilities like mini golf, walking track, etc. Disembarkation in Barcelona was also very quick. We just walked off with our own bags & once outside of the Terminal we paid to have our bags taken to the airport for us by a local company while we jumped in a Taxi & explored Barcelona on our own for a few hours before going to the airport later in the day. This was a very Port intensive cruise so we did not get to enjoy the ship to it's fullest but with the right Itinerary I would sail this ship again & overall we had a great cruise.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2013
I say second "Cruise of a Lifetime" because this is our second trip to The Mediterranean! Our first was our 25th Anniversary Cruise just two years ago. Who knew we would be returning so soon. (We did throw a coin in Trevi ... Read More
I say second "Cruise of a Lifetime" because this is our second trip to The Mediterranean! Our first was our 25th Anniversary Cruise just two years ago. Who knew we would be returning so soon. (We did throw a coin in Trevi Fountain!) This trip was with my brother and sister in law and since we had been before we were nominated as trip planner. I made all the reservations direct through various sites on the internet - Flight, hotel, cruise, tours, etc. Of course Crusie Critic was my Number One source of information. We flew to Rome via Atlanta two days early to enjoy a little more sightseeing. Good thing as Delta had computer problems and all regional jets were grounded Thursday mid-day and we missed our connection to Rome by about 15 minutes. Delta agents were helpful and the four of us were put on a later flight that stopped briefly in Paris. We got to add another city to our "bucket list of places to visit". I had arraigned a private transfer with "Rome Airport Transportation" and was not sure they received my notice about the delayed flight but once we cleared customs there they were with our name on a sign. What a welcome relief! The trip from the airport to our hotel was uneventful but we did get to see some sights on the way. We had reservations at the Hotel Colosseum. The hotel was very adequate, very clean and in a good location. (I was a little worried as other reviews painted it in a somewhat negative light as being close to a gentlemens club. There was one at the end of the block but we never saw anyone going or coming and had no problem at all.) As I mentioned the rooms were clean and well cared for. Breakfast was a selection of breads, cheeses and meats. It was adequate unless you were looking for a full American breakfast of all the eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage and cereal you could eat! They did keep our passport to register us but they were returned to us our first trip down to the desk. The keys are on a giant brass key ring that weighs a pound but they kept the keys for you at the front desk as you went out. The elevator was small - enough room for two pieces of luggage and two people. If you don't like tight places take the stairs! We went to a small restorante pizzeria just down the street that was recommended to us - La Mela D'Oro. Our waitress wasn't much although some of the other staff seemed friendly. We really didn't like the food and would advise seeking out another place. The sound of thunder awoke us on Saturday morning but by the time we finished breakfast the storm was clearing. We broke out our umbrellas and hit the street. After a few minutes of getting oriented we made our way to Termini Station and purchased an all day Metro pass. We had reserved tickets to the Vatican Museums and so bypassed the lines and walked right in. After spending the morning touring the museums and St. Peter's we found (or it found us) a small mom and pop restaurant - Trattoria Al Cuppolone. It had good food and good service at a great price. From the Vatican we took the Metro back to Barberini Station and started our walking journey. We began at the corner of San Carlo Quattro Fontane and made our way to the Quirinale. From there a short walk to the Trevi Fountain and it hordes of people! Onward to the Pantheon, Pizza Navona and back along the Vittorio Emanuele to the Forum area and its wonderful ancient ruins. The Colosseum was the end of our walking tour with a short jaunt back to our hotel. After a short time to cleanup from all the walking and exploring we headed back out for some real Italian food at the Hard Rock Cafe! Day One - The next morning Rome Airport Transportation picked us up at the hotel and delivered us to the pier at Civitavecchia. Upon arrival at the port RCL personnel greeted us and escourted us into the registration area. It took less than 20 minutes from our arrival at the port until we were aboard the ship. Although only Gold members of C&A we were treated like royalty! We went to the Windjammer for a delicious lunch and while there the announcements that the rooms were ready was made. Arriving at our cabin (#7221) we found it ready and our cabin attendant nearby. Although the cabin was cleaned regularly we hardly ever saw the attendant. He did a fair job but nothing special. At 4:30 pm we went to the Guest Assembly Drill. It’s amazing that people don’t think they really mean everyone has to attend. After rounding up the strays we were dismissed. Sail away took place at 5:00 pm and the high seas beckoned! After cleaning up a bit we headed to the Welcome Aboard Show. It was OK but it seems that the entertainment has gone down hill a bit. The orchestra was great but most of the other entertainment just didn’t WOW us as in the past. We had Second Seating for our meals so we wouldn’t have to rush back from shore every day. It worked well for us. Out Wait Staff (Natalia and Sachim) were EXCELLENT and showed excitement every night. We had two couples from California traveling together as table mates and enjoyed great conversation each evening. Day Two we awoke to find our ship pulling into Messina, Italy. We had opted for a RCL excursion "Taormina on Your Own”. This fit us well as we were able to enjoy the town at our own pace. After getting back to the ship we made the Headliner Show - The East Coast Boys - not a bad group. We enjoyed their songs and then made our way to dinner. After dinner a stop in the Casino was mandated by the wife. After making our contribution we strolled the deck and then turned in for the night. Day Three was a Sea Day. Nothing to do but kick back and relax. I had brought along a book to enjoy on deck so after a quick stop at the Café Promenade for some hot chocolate I retired to a chair on Deck 4 to begin my relaxation! The Production Showtime was "Now and Forever” featuring Broadway numbers. We did not enjoy the show and forced ourselves to sit through it. Afterwards it was off to dinner - our first Formal Night. Day Four we found ourselves in Athens. I had arraigned a private tour through Nikos Loukas (privategreecetours.com) to see the sights of Athens. We were met at the port by our driver, Demitris. He had a vast knowledge of Greek history and shared it with us as we toured the city at our pace. The Acropolis and Mars Hill had to be the high points for me. We never felt rushed or pressured at the suggestions he made and had a wonderful time. We had lunch in the Agora area and stopped for dessert on the way back to the ship. That evening we went to the Ice Dancin’ Spectacular - and it was! This was the best entertainment of the entire cruise. It is amazing what these people can do in such a small area while the ship is moving!!! After the show, dinner, the casino and bed. Day Five we arrived at the port of Kusadasi, Turkey. Again, I had arraigned a private tour through Tayf Tours. Our guide and driver (Yesim and Hasan) were waiting for us as we exited the ship. We quickly boarded our van and were whisked off to the House of Mary. We arrived before the tour buses and so had a rather peaceful time there. We then beat the crowds to Ephesus and toured the ruins and the Terrace Houses. From there we went to a local pottery store and yes we bought some pieces. They were absolutely beautiful. Our journey then took us into the mountains to Sirince. We spent just enough time here to pick up a few items and then back to the valley for lunch. Everyone warns of the "carpet factory” tours! I was hesitant but did stop at one for lunch and a quick tour. Looking back I would have let them know up front that we had no intention of purchasing a rug. Although they were beautiful they moved outside of our price range very quick. It was an interesting stop and story and the lunch was very good. Arriving back at the port we had some time to look around and purchase a few more items! The Headliner Show was Chilli Gold, a British singer, and she was actually pretty good. We enjoyed her show as it was full of familiar songs and high energy. Dinner was casual. My wife and I actually ate alone as my brother and sister in law went to the Mystery Dinner. They had a great time and said the steak was some of the best that they had ever eaten. More casino and deck strolling before turning in for the night. Day Six we arrived in Chania, Crete. We took the three Euro bus into town and spent the day wandering about. More shopping about town and then back to the ship for another show and dinner. Day Seven was at Sea so we could unwind before arriving back in Rome. The Farewell Show was pretty good and dinner was sad as we bid farewell to our new found friends. Sunday our ship arrived back in Civitavecchia. Disembarkation was as painless as checking in. We had no more arrived at the C&A waiting area when they announced we could leave the ship. Transportation was again through Rome Airport Transportation. The were waiting when we left the ship and had us on our way to our airport hotel in no time. Because of flight schedules we chose to stay Sunday night and fly back to the US on Monday morning. Our hotel, the Courtyard Rome Airport had our rooms ready when we arrived about 9:30 am. We checked in, had lunch and a nap and then went out exploring. A walk into downtown Fiumicino led to a street fair and seeing how the locals spend their Sunday afternoons. Monday morning was a shuttle bus ride to the airport and our flight back to the US. All things considered this was a great vacation. We’re already planning our next cruise to either Northern Europe (the Baltic) or New England (to see the leaves change). Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
We took our second cruise Oct 2013 out of Rome to Eastern Mediterranean (our first cruise was to Caribbean Feb 2012 with Freedom). We come from Turku, where many RCCL cruise ships have been built - along with Navigator. So we actually had ... Read More
We took our second cruise Oct 2013 out of Rome to Eastern Mediterranean (our first cruise was to Caribbean Feb 2012 with Freedom). We come from Turku, where many RCCL cruise ships have been built - along with Navigator. So we actually had been onboard Navigator while it was brand new, before it sailed away from Finland. We managed to get a great deal for JS so we had plenty of space, as it was just the two of us this time (both 44yrs). Our cabin was just lovely, very spacious with a walk in closet and bath tub with amenities on deck 9. The ship is in good shape although the carpets are a bit dusty and some furniture (especially chairs in MDR) is worn out. Other than that, we found the ship to be in very good condition. We flew out from Helsinki directly to Rome, and had booked a transfer with Civitavecchia Cab. The driver was waiting for us with our name tag, so we found him very easily. This was a shared ride, so there was another 2 persons already waiting for us. So no wait time for us, but about 20 mins for them they had arrived from Romania, and spoke very limited English, so there was no conversation in the car. It took about 45 mins to arrive to Civitavecchia port. The driver took us directly to the door where we left our luggage, after which we walked to check inn and to ship  all this took less than 5 minutes at about 11am. Cabins were ready by 1 pm and first piece of luggage had already arrived followed by the second piece in about 20 min. I had 2 bottles of wine with me one in check in luggage and the other in carry on neither of them caused any questions. Nobody seemed to care. We enjoyed everything on our cruise very much. We ordered breakfast twice to our room and the rest we had in Windjammer. We also tried out room service a couple of times, sometimes there was a good waiting time before the food arrived, but it was nevertheless delicious. We ate lunch at windjammer, in our room, at Johnny Rockets or at Café Promenade. We only had MDR dinner, which we both enjoyed very much. Service was good  especially the drinks waiter was hilarious. We had prepurchased Premium Drinks Package. Originally we wanted just soft drinks package with a wine package, but after doing some serious calculating we decided to upgrade to Premium Drinks Package since the difference was after all not that bad. Oh boy did we fully utilize it! I do not remember having been drinking for 7 continuous days since college/university. But neither of us was really drunk at any occasion  nor did we feel hung over at any morning. We were just on a "happy cruising mood” every night. We tried out so many different drinks - almost fully through the bar menu, and only 2-3 drinks we left unfinished either because we did not like them or because we felt that we needed no more drinking and headed to cabin. I admit that we drank much more than what we would have done without the package. It was lovely to try out drinks we would not normally try for example I had never had a Pina Colada before. Also the bar menu was much different from the drinks that are offered in Finland much more adventurous. House white wine as well as house sparkling was okay to us we are not fussy with our wine as long as it is dry enough. Would I have the package again? Probably yes, if there was just the 2 of us, but if our daughter was with us never. I’d then stick to just soft drinks and wine at the dinner. We did not do any paid excursions although we did find our way out of the ship at every port to do sightseeing on our own. In Athens we took a taxi from the port directly to Acropolis with 20 euro (fare was 18 euros, but we tipped 2 e) and were there at 9 am before most of the cruise ship crowds. When we walked to Plaka, it started raining and eventually after a quick lunch at a café we decided to return to ship with metro. We unfortunately decided to continue walking at Pireus, and it took really really long until we reached the ship which was at the far end of the port. We should have taken a taxi from the metro station. We had been to Efesos twice so we only shopped around the Kusadasi bazaars in Turkey. It was very windy so we had waited for almost 3 hours at sea before we could safely dock. So captain prolonged our stay with 1 hour so everybody was able to return from their excursions. In Chania we utilized the 3 euro bus to Chania city and came back early to enjoy the pool. Loved the solarium pool on sea days so quiet and without music or noise. We saw some shows like the ice show (good!) and Celine Dion impersonator (very good indeed) and found out the Navigator entertainment team to be not so good. The musicians were talented, but the dancers and singers only moderate. Simona was the cruise director. Overall the staff was friendly. But we did meet some individuals who clearly should not have been near customers. For example I accidentally knocked over my full coke glass spilling it entirely on pool deck at solarium pool. And I know how sticky it becomes when it is half dry. I asked a staff member (Pool patrol) for something to clean it with and the answer was "Don’t bother”. Well I do bother if I were to mess my bare feet on someone’s coke spills. Disembarkation was smooth out of the ship. But the line for the shuttle was long we waited about 30 mins in queue. Then we walked to train station, and took a regular train to Rome where we stayed a day. If you are traveling by train, please remember to VALIDATE your ticket. There was an inspector on the train and we saw several people getting fined although they had purchased a ticket. They had failed to validate it before entering the train and that is considered traveling without a valid ticket. So they had to pay upfront to the inspector. There is also not much space for your luggage, so as our pieces were standing in the walkway, we got nasty looks and words which we pretended not to notice/understand as we speak no Italian! Well, what can you do? Overall we had most wonderful cruise most of it has to do with us being just together we could speak Finnish together without others understanding as there was only few other Finnish passengers which were easy to spot but also because of the lovely cruise ship. I fell in love with cruising during our first cruise, so I am very much sure that we’ll be back, someday, somewhere and hopefully very soon!   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
We are seniors and this was our very first cruise. I have to say right at the start that it turned out to be more than I expected. We had a wonderful time, and we will do it again. We were on the Navigator of the Seas, and our departure ... Read More
We are seniors and this was our very first cruise. I have to say right at the start that it turned out to be more than I expected. We had a wonderful time, and we will do it again. We were on the Navigator of the Seas, and our departure point was Chivitecchia (Rome). This port is located about 45 minutes north of Rome Airport. We chose to take a limousine from the airport to the port. I am glad that we did because it was cheaper that taking the coach and much more comfortable. The limousine took us right to the departure area located on the quay. We also upgraded to a stateroom with a balcony and we are glad that we did this. The room very spacious for a cabin and having the balcony was nice to be able to sit out in the evenings. The boarding procedure went smooth and being as we were from Canada we had to surrender our passports for the duration of the cruise. On our arrival at our cabin we were met by our cabin steward who explain everything to us and looked after us well during the trip. The cabin was spotless I noticed that the steward even dusted the walls every day. This is without any doubt the cleanest hotel room that I have been in. The entire ship is spotless. During the voyage the Captain explained that they are very conscious of any kind of bug or infection being brought onto the ship by passengers. The crew will not shake hands, and passengers were asked to use the Purell hand sanitizer machines that were located all over the ship. When you went to board the ship the machines were at the gangplank. There was an officer pointing out the machines for you to use. While the passengers were on shore the crew spent their time wiping every hand rail, they even vacuum on the top of the signs over the stores. The whole ship is kept spotless. Ports Our first port of call was Massena we took the Red bus tour of this port. I cannot say it was a very nice place the buildings were drab, and there was a lot of graffiti on the buildings. Athens was our next stop and this is a big tourist city. We chose to take the afternoon tour because there was not too much waling. Athens is a nice city and there was lots to see. Ephesus was a shopping stop we did not take the tour we just went to the market. It was interesting they sell lots of gold and silver in these markets. The last port of call was Chania and we took the tour the scenery was lovely and we had a very pleasant day. The two days we had a sea were different the first one we had thunderstorms and it was wet and overcast. The second one was clear and sunny. It does not matter what the weather is like there is so much to do you cannot get bored. Activities are well organized and you get a copy of what is going on the day before. We dined at the Windjammer. This is the buffet restaurant and I found that there was Indian food, Chinese food, Japanese food and North American or European food. There was always something different available. In general I must say it was a wonderful trip and the crew on this ship were excellent. The ship is going to Galveston in December for a re fit. I did notice some of the carpets in high traffic areas were low on pile. Not dirty just showing signs of wear. The one thing that I would do different next time is. We had to fly overnight from Canada to Italy. We arrived in Rome the morning that the ship departed. Next time I would go a day earlier and stay in a hotel for the night and overcome the jet lag before starting a cruise. My next cruise will be on Royal Caribbean I found there service prior to the cruise and after the cruise to be excellent.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
This was our second cruise with RC, our first being ten years ago when we cruised the Western Med from Barcelona. This time we opted for inclusive flights, transfers and gratuities. Both the flight to and from Rome and the transfers to and ... Read More
This was our second cruise with RC, our first being ten years ago when we cruised the Western Med from Barcelona. This time we opted for inclusive flights, transfers and gratuities. Both the flight to and from Rome and the transfers to and from the ship were like clockwork. A RC rep met us at Rome and instructed us with labels etc and the transfer to the ship took about one hour. The timing was perfect as with less than 30 minutes on board the staterooms were ready for occupancy. The stateroom during our cruise was kept pristine, with the bed being made twice a day. The food on board is 5 star. It really cannot be faulted, the variety and quality was exceptional. With a full ship we always found a table in the Windjammer "cafe" for breakfast and lunch. Dinner was served at 8.30 in the Deck 3 dining room where we had a great table and great service. There are numerous activities available during the days but we opted for the lazy sun bathing mode as the late October weather was so nice. The ports of call were Sicily, Athens, Kushadasi and Crete. We didnt partake in the excersions, preferring to stroll ashore at our lesiure. The only complaint from the cruise i had was that smoking is allowed in most of the bars on board. In the "pub" is was quite strange to see people being told smoking at the tables outside was forbidden and you had to go inside to light up. All in all a top week, helped by the brilliant service from the staff, a good table in the dining room and lovely weather. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
This was out first Med cruise and the itinerary was perfect for us with a mix of amazing history and amazing scenery. We traveled with my parents (their first cruise ever) for our anniversaries. We spent 3 busy days in Rome before the ... Read More
This was out first Med cruise and the itinerary was perfect for us with a mix of amazing history and amazing scenery. We traveled with my parents (their first cruise ever) for our anniversaries. We spent 3 busy days in Rome before the cruise, home-based at the lovely Hotel Maryelen near Termini Station. The location of our hotel was perfect since we could walk two blocks to the metro, the bus or the trains. We used all three (the Roma Pass was great for the bus & metro), ultimately taking the train from Termini to the port at Civitavecchia. The train was a nice way to travel to the boat other than some stairs down then back up to cross the tracks at the end of the ride. There is a short walk to the port gate, then a complementary bus to the ship. The check in process was hectic looking but well run, and we were on board with little delay. Our cabins were ready upon boarding, though we were amongst the last to get our luggage. We dined in the main dining room on all but one night of the trip and thoroughly enjoyed the food and the service. It was rare that we weren't debating multiple choices on the menu and I never had a disappointing meal. We preferred the Windjammer buffet for breakfast and lunch which always had a good variety and some really good veggie/salad selections & desserts. There was plenty of availability for water/flavored water/teas for those forgoing the soda program. The only time there was a shortage of anything was the last day's breakfast when silverware/napkin sets became sparse. We spent one very nice evening at the Portofino restaurant and had a very relaxed and delicious dinner. I was surprised to see that the fine dining venues did not seem busy despite the entreaties to book them early. The public areas were gorgeous. One could see a little wear and tear in a few spots, but the ship was in amazing shape considering it's heading in for refit in the Spring of 2014. Some of the fittings in the cabins showed their age more than the rest of the ship. Our TV was an LCD, awkwardly mounted in a table designed for an old tube TV. We focused on our shore excursions and dining, so didn't use many of the ship's facilities, but I was impressed that places never got overcrowded (except the Promenade during special sales, LOL). The library didn't stock much at all and lacked reference books that would have been nice for looking up maps and information about other countries. Wireless internet access was only available in certain areas of the ship and ran $0.75 a minute, or less with packages (we didn't bother). We loved the ports of call, but chose to do our own excursions and had no regrets. For Messina we chose Taormina Tour (www.taorminatour.com) with our wonderful driver and guide, Joseph. He was gracious, knowledgeable and spoke impeccable English. We drove to Taormina, where he treated us with Sicilian pastries, but even better, up above to Castelmola where we wandered and had a relaxing lunch on a terrace looking out over Mt Etna. Castelmola is the beatiful hillside village that Taormina advertises, with even better views. We did drive back down to see the Greek theater and spent some time there. Definitely get off the main street with all it's crowds and high-end shops ASAP while in Taormina. We also saw some sites in Messina and stopped for a gelato at Joseph's favorite shop. A gorgeous tour! In Athens we had the great experience of touring with Christos (www.athenstours.gr). We had a nice Mercedes taxi for the four of us and headed straight out as the tour buses were slowly loading. There's so much to see in Athens, but Christos did a great job guiding us and adjusting the tour to our preferences. We started at the Acropolis, then worked our way around various sites in Athens, both old and new (well, relatively new). Aside from the Parthenon, one of our favorites was Lycabettus Hill providing breath taking views over the whole of Athens, well above the height of the Acropolis. We chose to forgo a sit down lunch for time in the Acropolis Museum (still tough decisions to make on vacation), but we did have some brief breaks for spanikopita, iced coffee and later souvlaki to help keep our batteries up. Christos then took us on the scenic ride back to the ship, cruising through Athens picturesque portside areas. I can't recommend Christos enough as a great guide, excellent driver and incredibly knowledgable host. Ephesus was a surprise for all of us, being much more impressive than we expected. At Kusadasi, we disembarked and were met by Murat, an energetic, smart and charming guide and this time, a separate driver. This was great as Murat was able to talk with us and show us maps as an introduction to Turkey and Ephesus while we drove to the site from the port. We wound our way down from the State Agora through the main streets to the public agora and giant theater. There were many impressive structures, but the facade of the Temple of Celsus is stunning in person. A side tour of the Terrace Houses (separate admission) is well worthwhile as the preservation of some of the structures and artwork here really brings this city back to life. we did some brief shopping in the mini bazaar after the exit, then moved on to the temple of Artemis, formerly one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, now a rather sad, single stack of column drums. One is able to get some sense of the size of the Artemision in it's day and It also provides the revealing backdrop of the Mosque of Isa Bey, the Basilica of St John and the Ottoman Grand Fortress displaying a diverse span of Turkish history in one vista. We had a relaxed lunch nearby with traditional Turkish foods, then moved over to a carpet making demonstration next door. The demonstration was fascinating, the carpets beautiful, but we skipped on buying something that large and expensive. After returning to Kusadasi, we had a little time left to stroll through the bazaar just outside of the dock area, shopped a little and dragged ourselves back on the Navigator. Murat was awesome as a guide: http://www.privatephesustours.com/ We took it easy on our last stop at Chania (ported at Souda) on Crete. With the early departure there at 2:30, we opted to take the inexpensive city provided shuttle bus into Chania to shop and stroll. The Venetian port is very pretty and the streets in the port area are lined with shops, restaurants and a few museums. We stopped at the Naval Museum (my wife would say we stalled there) where my dad and I had a great time looking at artifacts and models of ships from the Minoans to today. If you are into models, find the room where two gentlemen construct ship models of all sorts from scratch with unbelievable detail - they are happy to show off their handiwork. The old mosque in the middle of the port is no longer in religious use and is somewhat neglected, but still picturesque. the Venetian lighthouse is a standout you can't miss. the old Venetian boathouses are rather rough looking, but still in use as warehouses. There is also a replica Minoan ship on the east side of the port worth a stop if you like that kind of thing. My wife does not. There are plenty of great places to eat and shops to browse making this a good "lazy" port of call. Our last day at sea, we went to our only show, the farewell show which featured a cirque de soleil juggler/physical comedy act that was far, far better than it sounds as I write this. Truly excellent and hilarious, actually. The ice skating and dance shows just weren't our style, nor were the music reviews, so we didn't bother. The casino didn't seem as busy as on a Caribbean cruise, but I just strolled through a few times. we did quite a bit less on the ship than on Caribbean cruises because we were much more tired after our go-go day trips, but I was fine using the ship for transportation and dining purposes primarily. We self disembarked which wasn't bad at all. I thought elevators would be hard to come by, but that wasn't the case. We had a taxi service hired which picked us up shortly after we were off the boat, just outside the disembarkation area. From there it took us to our hotel in Fiumicino, near the airport where we stayed another day before returning home. Last, but not least, the staff worked their tails off for our benefit and were wonderful. Our steward was always on top of room but never obtrusive. Our waiters were very attentive, fun and professional, always ensuring we had a great dinner. Everywhere on the ship, people were gracious and working hard. I had no complaints about any of the Royal Caribbean crew. Even the maintenance guys coming through to fix things had a smile and greeting as we would pass in the corridors. Well done, Royal Caribbean! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2013
Just wanted to write a review of our eastern med cruise on the NavIgator. Flew to Rome from Heathrow, no probs, quick 2 hour flight. Transfer to ship from airport very well organised. At the pier, no queues to go on board, took about 5 ... Read More
Just wanted to write a review of our eastern med cruise on the NavIgator. Flew to Rome from Heathrow, no probs, quick 2 hour flight. Transfer to ship from airport very well organised. At the pier, no queues to go on board, took about 5 mins from arrival to on the ship!! Inside cabin was great, very clean, all facilities you need. We slept very well!! Food on board was good quality, much better than NCL, windjammer buffet fine and main dining room very good, great staff. You don't have to have just one dish, you can have as much as you like, they will bring you whatever you like! Music on the ship was great, Latin, R&B, pop, classical, bit of everything. Entertainment was top quality, singer and dancers all very good. Lots of quizzes and games on board, adult quest show was hilarious, try to go to that one!! We won the Michael Jackson quiz!! Really enjoyed the adult only area, the Solarium, spent two sea days there. Never had problems finding a space to sit, but did get up early on sea days just to make sure. On sea days there were far too many activities to do, we picked our favourites, my husband did the walk for wishes with the captain to raise money for charity. Ports of call were very interesting, did three tours through the ship, all good. Turkey had some lovely landscapes and scenery, Athens very hot!! Taormina in Sicily was beautiful. Great to have sea days at either end of the cruise to chill out. Overall a great cruise, were impressed with Royal Caribbean, much better than NCL!! (Although we enjoyed NCL)!! Try the Navigator, after its refurb in November, should be even better than it is now!! We also like the peek a boo bridge on this ship, can be interesting to watch when the ship is arriving or leaving a port. 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

Find a Navigator of the Seas Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise