Sail Date: September 2006
The Navigator of the Seas is a beautiful ship, this is the 4th time we have cruised on one of their Voyager class ships and the reason is the variety of activities they offer. We drove to Miami and parked our car in the lot at the port. ... Read More
The Navigator of the Seas is a beautiful ship, this is the 4th time we have cruised on one of their Voyager class ships and the reason is the variety of activities they offer. We drove to Miami and parked our car in the lot at the port. Cost: $84.00 for the week. We gave our luggage to the porter and went up to get our sea passes. Royal Caribbean is pretty organized and we were on the ship by 1:00 pm. We proceeded to check out our cabin, outside category I Ocean View. It was very roomy, great storage and we noted the upgraded bedding right away. Very very nice sheets, duvet cover with green pillows. It sure looked good after the long ride to the port, but we had a lot of exploring to do, sleep later. We proceeded up to the Windjammer to have lunch and like the other Voyager class ships, there is no waiting in line to get your food. I really like this concept of stations of food, it works so much better than the traditional buffet line. The food was pretty good and there were many selections to choose from. We went exploring the ship, checked out the Cruise Compass to find out what activities were on tap for the voyage. There is a great cafe on the Promenade that you can get coffee, tea, snacks etc. so we sat there and made up our shore excursion selections. It was just fun to people watch and relax and dream about the upcoming week. We had the required boat drill and about died of the heat, I know it's necessary but wow, it is so hot standing in those orange jackets in the sun. We couldn't wait till we got permission to take them off. Finally we were released and went up to the sail away. I love the sail away from Miami, it's so pretty to see all the beautiful homes and watch the city disappear from view as we sail off. We decided to go to the concierge as we are Diamond members and have a quick drink. The lounge is very nice, but there was a really strange odor in the room. There are no windows like the lounge on the Brilliance of the Seas. I don't understand why they put the lounge where they did. We got our tickets for the Ice show and then went down to the Welcome Aboard Show. The show was wonderful, a fabulous performer, Jennifer Drabik did an act on silks, she was amazing to watch and then a really really funny comedian Steve Bruner did his show. After the show, we had our dinner, first seating. We tried to change to 2nd but nothing was available this sailing so we managed with the early seating. Our waiter was Bond, James Bond, as he said, very good service and very personable. I would have to say as far as the food goes, it was just ok, nothing memorable except maybe the Vidalia Onion Tart and the Tomato soup. We ate at Chops one night and the food there was very good, excellent steak. If you decide to eat there, starve for the whole day, there is so much good food you will be stuffed after you leave. Sunday was our first day at sea and we spent it at the pool just relaxing. and listened to the band "Rhythm Section" who were upbeat and played the typical island songs. We met up with our Meet and Mingle at the Cruise Critic Party and it was nice to meet the people we had chatted with for so long. We also tried the rock wall, we didn't do too well, I'm afraid. We played Mini Golf and that was really fun and the views of the ocean from the course were amazing. That night was the first formal night, we were really surprised how casually people dressed, some still in shorts rather than suits. We had the first production show, "Now and Forever", very very good. Our first Port was San Juan PR. We decided to take the Rain Forest tour. We drove up to the Rain Forest, about 45 minute drive. In my opinion, I was not impressed with the tour, I would not recommend it at all, there was really nothing to see. It was disappointing. St. Thomas was our next port. We took a cab into town and did the shopping thing, definitely overload on Jewelry, but I managed to buy a lovely pendant and we got our liquor limit. St. Maarten is beautiful. We took the water taxi over to the beach and spent the day just basking in the sun. The water was beautiful and we could have just stayed there forever. The Ice show, "Ice Dancin" was good, however I was not as impressed with this show as much as the others that I have seen on the Mariner or the Explorer. The skaters were good, but the show lacked luster. I still have to give them all credit for skating in such a small space, that is really something. The second production show, "All Access", was just ok, also, I didn't get the whole idea of it, too much contemporary music I couldn't relate to. It was a total opposite to the first show which was excellent. We also had a performer, Gary Mule Deer, who I had never heard of, but he actually was quite entertaining, kind of a Johnny Cash. In Nassau we went over to Paradise Island and did the tour and saw the Aquarium, it is quite something to see. The hotel is beautiful and one day we might take a trip and stay awhile. Some other activities not to miss are the Love and Marriage game show, it is too funny for words, I can't believe people say the things they do! The quest is another game you can't miss. We went to the champagne Art Auction and saw some excellent art,and drank free champagne, watched Karaoke and did the dancing under the stars. We loved going to the Xtapa Lounge and dancing to the band "Rock the Boat", they were very good. We went to the Parades and they were very nice, great costumes. We learned how to make "towel animals" they put in your cabin. Another thing to do, is to go to the scrapbooking workshops. They give you some nice cut outs to add to your pages if you scrapbook. We had every intention of going to the gym, it looked great, a lot of nice machines and a whirlpool, but we somehow never made it there. Our last day on the ship was, as usual when leaving a ship, kind of sad. You know it's over, got to pack and think about getting up early to make room for the next group of passengers. We tried to forget that fact and went to the farewell show. It was REALLY good, two excellent acts, the performer, Jennifer Drabik from the welcome aboard show did a hoop act that was incredible, and then a comedian/magic act Chad Chesmark. Royal Caribbean also offers a a cruise in review video, which we bought to re-live our cruise. I would recommend this ship to anyone, there is so much to do, or if you want, just lay back and enjoy the voyage. We didn't bring our kids but we saw so many of them having a great time at different times on the ship. I understand they have a fabulous children's program. I can't wait to cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2006
My boyfriend and I booked this cruise about 4 weeks before departure. It was a fantastic experience for us both; my 4th cruise, his first. We flew from Toronto to Miami and used our pre-purchased transfer to get to the Miami port. We had ... Read More
My boyfriend and I booked this cruise about 4 weeks before departure. It was a fantastic experience for us both; my 4th cruise, his first. We flew from Toronto to Miami and used our pre-purchased transfer to get to the Miami port. We had to sit on the bus for about an hour as we waited for other passengers and went to a second terminal at the airport, but they took great care to keep us and our luggage out of the pouring rain. Next time, we'll take a taxi to the ship. Once at the port, we breezed through the registration lines as we'd filled out our information online before leaving home. Onboard, we found our balcony cabin on deck 9 in great shape, the food in the Windjammer ready to go and everything else in good order. Ports of Call: Labadee- Beautiful beach with lots of space for us to spread out away from the crowds. The lunch was quite good and offered vegetarian options for us. The crafts and paintings in the Haitian market were quite interesting, but the vendors were so pushy we didn't want to stop and look at anything. This was by far the worst we experienced for badgering us to buy goods. Overall a good day with no additional expenses incurred. Ocho Rios- We climbed the Dunn's River Falls but not with a RCCL tour package. At the port, we got a taxi bus for $8US per person (round-trip) transportation to the falls. Our taxi guide took us in to the park ($15US)and directed us to the aqua-shoes rentals ($5US) and lockers (share with another couple for only $5US). The park provides guides to take you up the falls and will even carry your non-waterproof cameras for you to take pictures throughout the trip. The water was cold, but fun to swim in. The climb was steep, but could easily be done by those in moderate physical shape. We were pleased to have spent a total of $46US for two adults in comparison to RCCL's cheapest tour of $41US per person! All costs within the park for shoes, lockers, tips, etc. would be incurred on the RCCL tour also. Grand Cayman- The highlight of our trip was swimming with the stingrays in Stingray City. We reserved a tour through Captain Marvin's Watersports (www.captainmarvins.com) for $35US per person. This included round-trip transportation from the downtown area to the charter boat, snorkel gear, and 2 hours on the water at a coral dive site and at Stingray City. The guides were professional, informative and very patient with all its guests regardless of their experience (or fear) level. We were again pleased at the cost savings over the tours offered by RCCL. Cozumel- Our ship docked at the International Pier for the first time since Hurricane Wilma hit in 2005. Cozumel is still rebuilding from the hurricane, and the damage is still quite evident. We took a taxi from the pier to Playa San Francisco ($12US one-way) and were immediately bombarded by the workers on the beach to rent a couple of chairs from them; we opted instead to just lay on our towels outside of the club area. The water was beautiful and had lots of good snorkeling areas just off the beach. We cabbed back into town ($18US) for some shopping; the vendors were pushy, but not rude. A final taxi ($6US) took us back to the ship. We enjoyed the day, but would have saved money by renting a moped at $30US and had another adventure by driving around trying to follow the signs! Entertainment: We were pleased with most of the entertainment onboard. The Broadway-style shows were quite good, and the singers fantastic. There was an entertainer later in the week that was definitely more for the older crowd... we didn't walk out of his show, but we wanted to. The Love and Marriage Show was funny, although the questions haven't changed in 3 years. The ice show was average, but it was still neat to see on a cruise ship. Sports: The fitness center was quite nice. The universal weight machines are adequate to provide a good workout, and the cardio equipment (treadmills, elliptical machines, bikes, etc.) were in good shape and plentiful. We used the fitness center every day and found it clean and orderly. The sports deck provided lots of fun options also with mini golf, volleyball, and basketball. Dining: No complaints about the food on the ship! There were plenty of vegetarian options as well as those for picky eaters. The food at the Cafe Promenade (open 24 hours) was always fresh and available just when you needed it. The buffets at the Windjammer and Jade were also good with plenty of healthy food options. Service was always excellent. Cabin: Our cabin was very nice. We loved the balcony and had plenty of room to set out a room service meal on the table outside to enjoy the views. Storage was plentiful, and our suitcases all fit easily under the beds. The room steward was helpful, and we had no problems with any of the features in the room. Service: Service on the Navigator of the Seas was excellent and what you'd expect from Royal Caribbean. The workers always greeted you in the hallways or on the stairs and seemed to really care about our having a good time. Disembarking: This was the only negative experience we had on our trip. We stood in line for 2 hours to leave the ship only to wait more on the bus to the airport. Once we got to the airport, the driver went to the wrong place in the terminal and had to leave and circle back. We missed our flight due to the disorganization, but American Airlines helped us get an equally satisfactory flight back. Royal really needs to re-think it's disembarkation process. Fantastic experience!! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2006
There were many cruise critics on board this cruise so this will probably be somewhat of a repeat review. But I wanted to fill everyone in on how I felt the cruise was. Also, this may be long. Background / Miami To start it was just DH ... Read More
There were many cruise critics on board this cruise so this will probably be somewhat of a repeat review. But I wanted to fill everyone in on how I felt the cruise was. Also, this may be long. Background / Miami To start it was just DH and I cruising on our fourth cruise. Second time on RCCL. We flew down to Miami the night before. We decided against staying in a hotel downtown near the pier and opted for the cheaper route as we didn't get into Miami until the evening and figured that we wouldn't really want to go explore Miami after travelling all day. So we stayed at the Airport North Days Inn. We picked it because it had complimentary transportation from the airport and then again to the pier in the morning. It was only $70 a night, and while it was not one of the nicest hotels I've stayed in, it served it's purpose. Though if I were to go again, I might stay in downtown Miami, even though it would cost more. Embarkation The embarkation process is probably about the only complaint that I have about the whole cruise. It was so disorganized. No one seemed to know where to go or what to do. We were just kind of standing around alot and wondering where do we go now? And because of the extreme disorganization, DH and I and another foursome ended up getting on the ship first. Way ahead of everyone that had been standing in line. We did not mean to and I felt bad about it because I know I would have been upset to be waiting in line for ever and then to have six people who just got there walk on in front of you. But one of the employees told us to go and follow the guy with the walking talkie, which apparently we shouldn't have done. He was the one who was supposed to let everyone on. He was upset that we were told to follow him, but just let us get on anyway in front of everyone else. So even though the disorganization worked out for us, I still think it was a mess and would like to see it improved. The Ship I don't think there are many bad comments I can make about the ship. It was beautiful. We had a PR room which is an interior room that overlooks the promenade. We were on deck six, and were worried that it might be noisy, but it really only was when the band was playing in the bar, which wasn't that often. Other than that we didn't have any noise. My favorite area of the ship was the solarium. The area for adults only. The Activities / Entertainment The activities were okay. The only minor complaint I have is that some of the activities that I wanted to do were while we were at port so we could not do them and I wished they would have held them at other times, but I guess they can only do so much on the at sea days. We played mini golf, which I wasn't that impressed with. DH played in a dodgeball tournament and that was fun. We went to one of the deck / pool parties and watched some of the pool contests. We wanted to do the rock-climbing wall, but there was too much of a wait so we never did. And neither of us skate, but it was fun to watch. We also spend a good bit of time in the pool and hot tubs, particularly in the adult only area. We also went to the casino a good bit and played bingo twice. DH and I like to gamble and I was not very impressed with the casino, it was the lack of choices that I didn't like and the payouts on table games were lower than what I am used to. As far as ship's casinos goes, NCL is the best by far. As far as entertainment, we only went to the ice show and the ventriloquist (sp?). The ice show was really good. Especially the guest performers Peter and Violetta. Hopefully they will be onboard for a few weeks because they were the best part of the whole show. We also went to the model competition, but I think that was only done on our cruise, so I won't critique it much. But in case you were wondering, I enjoyed that as well, particularly when the audience got to participate too. We also went to the love and marriage game, battle of the sexes and some other game I don't remember the name of. We really wanted to go to Quest, but DH was feeling sick that night so we didn't make it. I heard it was a lot of fun though. Probably one regret that I have is that we didn't get to go to that. The Food I didn't really have many complaints about the food. We did not go to any of the speciality restaurants. We mostly ate in the windjammer for breakfast and lunch, but did try the main dining rooms on the at sea days. The food in the main dining room was pretty good also. The Service No complaints about the service either. Our room attendant was good and so were our wait staff. We did ask to be seated at a small table, but got seated at a large table. The headwaiter asked if we wanted to switch, but we got along well with all the other couples at the table that we just decided to stay and we enjoyed their company. The only problem we had was my husband got a soda card and they ended up charging him for two. We checked our bill on the TV so we were able to notice it right away. We went down to the pursers desk and they seemed a little hesitant about wanting to take off the second card but they did in the end. We had no more discrepancies with our bill. Although all the staff were good, I can not think of one that stands out in my mind as being excellent. But I can't think of one that was awful either. THE PORTS I am a big fan of booking excursions independently rather than through the ship. However, this was my first cruise during hurricane season and I was so afraid that there would be a hurricane during our cruise and we would not go to port and I would be out of that money. So we booked all our excursions through the ship. Labadee I think Labadee was the most beautiful of all the ports. However, I have also been to Cococay and I liked Cococay better. Labadee was nice though. The beach the we chose to go to was rocky. I don't know if all the beaches were like that or not. It just made getting in and out of the water difficult. I did like dragon's breath point though. I would suggest that everyone going to Labadee go and see it. We walked off the path some and got some really good pictures of the waves crashing into the rocks. Ocho Rios This was our first time in Ocho Rios and we went to Dunns River Falls and Dolphin Cove. We absolutely loved DRF. We would go back again just to do that. That was probably our favorite activity on the whole cruise. We were the first group to get there so there was no one ahead of us and that was nice. Also I have read about people making a human chain and going up. We did that for like the first little hill and then everyone was on their own, we did follow the guides though, but no one held hands. I don't know if that is how it is normally done or not. But anyway, we really enjoyed it. Also a tip: the ship sells water shoes on board for $20. At DFR you can rent them there for less than $20. I think $10, but not for sure as we had our own shoes. After DFR we went to Dolphin Cove. If you are not doing anything with the dolphins, there is not much there. We saw a little dolphin show and they had a nature walk that took about 10 minutes. Then we went back to the ship. The only thing I did not like about Jamaica (especially DRF) was the people trying to get you to buy things. They were all over you. You almost wanted to pay them just to leave you alone. Jamaica was really the only port like that though. Grand Cayman This was our second time to GC so we decided to try the SNUBA excursion. Everybody on the excursion and the people before our group went just raved about it. I hated it. But I was in the minority in that one, so don't let me discourage anyone from trying it. DH had a good time. I however had problems. I don't think I had enough weights and had trouble going underwater, then when I was able to I had trouble with equalizing myself. Anyway the only thing I was disappointed in was that DH told one of the guides I was having trouble and he said that I needed more weights and that since he didn't have any I needed to exhale. And then he was off. No one helped me out at all to try and figure it out. I thought that as there were like four guides for 11 people that one of them could have came and helped me figure out what I was doing wrong. But they didn't so I just basically ended up snorkeling. We did not give them a tip for that. Other than the excursion, we really like Grand Cayman. It is a very clean island and the people are very friendly and not pushy like Jamaica. Cozumel This was also our second time to Cozumel. We were last there in 2003. That was before the hurricane hit last year. You could still see the damage that was done. The pier was still in pretty bad shape, but at least we were able to dock and didn't have to tender. DH and I really like Cozumel also. I know some other people on this site don't always have good things to say about Cozumel, but it is one of our favorite ports and one of the reasons we chose this cruise. Anyway, we did the catch the wave excursion. We got on a little boat that took us out about a half mile from the ship. We got to snorkel and they also had a glass bottom boat which was nice. There was an open bar and they had a small buffet also. A few of the other passengers stated that the drinks were not very strong, but DH tipped the bartender and then he made them almost all alcohol. It was a fun excursion. Afterwards we went shopping in downtown Cozumel and got some good deals. Unfortunately DH was a little drunk from the drinks he had before so he was a little embarrassing and it was like being with a two year old at times. Still we had a good time. Disembarkation We had an 11:30 flight so we asked for the earliest colored tags at the pursers desk. They said no problem but when our stateroom attendant gave us our tags they were not the earliest departure ones. However, when I told the stateroom attendant he just gave me the ones I wanted. We debated carrying our own luggage off but decided not to as it was alot. It would not have made a difference as we got off the ship at the same time as the people who were carrying their own luggage off, so I am glad we opted not to do that. But disembarkation was pretty smooth. We had no trouble getting off and going through customs. There are many taxis at the pier and we got one to go to the airport. Our color tag was called at 6:45 AM and we were at the airport by 7:30 AM it was that quick of a process. So then we had to wait 4 hours for our flight. All in all it was a good cruise. I do like RCCL and would cruise them again. However, I think NCL is my favorite line. Not that there is anything wrong with RCCL, but NCL just suits DH and I a little better. I did really like the Navigator and she was very impressive. I would recommend this cruise to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2006
We had planned this cruise for almost a year since we were taking my husband's sister and her husband on their FIRST cruise! We had balcony rooms right next to each other and the whole cruise was such a blast!! I told them they would ... Read More
We had planned this cruise for almost a year since we were taking my husband's sister and her husband on their FIRST cruise! We had balcony rooms right next to each other and the whole cruise was such a blast!! I told them they would feel what it was like to have a real vacation? I think we were all exhausted by the end because there were so many activities planned that we were on the go constantly! Weather was great except for one day--no big deal at this time of year. A couple that they knew joined us on the cruise and there was no problem getting our dining table changed to accommodate the 6 of us. The HEAD WAITER-you usually don't see until the last night cause he wants a tip- was attentive EVERY single night and made us laugh and made sure we had excellent service which we did!! FOOD was just great and the servers were so wonderful to all of us. We usually don't eat in formal dining except for 2 or 3 nights but they made it so much fun that we dined there every night of the cruise! We were laughing and having so much fun with the staff that we were all in tears on our last night and knew we would miss all of them! All in all it was one of the BEST cruises we have taken and always prefer Royal Caribbean. Made a BIG mistake and took Carnival one year and it was so bad that I didn't even take the time to make a scrap book of it. We could NOT wait to get off of that new ship! Royal Caribbean Line for us FOREVER!!! Shopping was great on board and off. Since there were 6 of us we took it upon ourselves to find our own excursions and saved a lot of money! Got a couple of great cab rides and tours for a 1/3 of what they would have cost from the ship! Sorry, but it's true! We had planned on ATV excursions but found out after we were on the ship that they were not available on this cruise? We did book our snorkel excursion from the ship as we had always been happy with it before in St. Thomas and this was no exception. WONDERFUL and worth the price!! Our beautiful lady Captain and her handsome mate were attentive and did NOT rush us like other tours!! Unbelievable!!! St. Maarten we usually go on a tour to a beach but we decided to sight see instead and got a GREAT deal on Mopeds off of the ship. OK--this is a little risky cause you know they all drive like wild people? LOL Now if you have no experience on bikes, don't do this!! Because we had a BLAST being on our own and touring all over and it was such a beautiful day, but, a sharp turn caused one couple to CRASH!! No major damage, but the people that live there were so NICE and RESPECTFUL and called for assistance (ambulance) and we followed them to the emergency room where our sister ended up with just a nasty leg bruise---cost of this? $32 and a free ride back on the ambulance--IT'S MY PLEASURE!! While we were following the ambulance back to ship--YEP, someone pulled out in front of us and I went flying over my husband's shoulder and crashed on my head (thank God for the helmet) but no major injuries and again ALL the local people were EXCELLENT and CARING and I can not thank them enough!! I wish more Americans would treat us like they all did!! The crew at the gate when we got back could have cared less that we were bleeding and more concerned about if we had tried to bring liquor back on the ship? The entertainment on the ship was wonderful and the food and drinks and on and on. We always say we had a wonderful cruise, but each one is different and having our sister and her husband with us made it a trip we will always remember and we are both busy making our scrap books to show and share with friends!!! YES, I was the blonde in the "bright orange cover-up,t-shirts that said IT'S ALL ABOUT ME and CAN YOU AFFORD ME" and I hope the lady that invited us to her suite for a private party forgives us for not showing up, but she forgot to give us the cabin number? Please know we appreciated the invite and feel free to contact us. I tried to find you on the ship again? Sorry! Thank you for another WONDERFUL cruise and keep up the good work! WOW it seems strange to be back home--although now our house seems so BIG after being in our cabin for days!! LOL e-mail address dansun@verizon.net Dan and Sunny Read Less
Sail Date: September 2006
The September 9 Eastern Caribbean cruise on Navigator of the Seas was our honeymoon and the first cruise for both of us. Although we were new to cruising, we were very deliberate in selecting cruise company and ship, and the research paid ... Read More
The September 9 Eastern Caribbean cruise on Navigator of the Seas was our honeymoon and the first cruise for both of us. Although we were new to cruising, we were very deliberate in selecting cruise company and ship, and the research paid off. We're both 33 years old, child-free, and while we're occasional social drinkers, we are in no way partiers. We wanted a cruise that had all of the good stuff and none of the bad stuff.....fun but not insane, all ages but not a horde of kids, lots of activities but the flexibility to relax in peace and quiet when we want. And, for the most part, Royal Caribbean and NOS were exactly what we were looking for. Boarding was fast considering the quantity of people at the port. We got in our first line at 11:45 am and were on the ship shortly before 1pm. The lines were long, but the employees kept things orderly by batch processing the flow.....letting each area fill up to a certain point then halting the flow so people wouldn't get trapped on escalators or pinned into corners. It allowed the lines to really be lines instead of random milling about, which decreased the number of queue jumpers, especially going through security. Of course there will always be queue jumpers, especially those who came off the elevator and felt they were so special they didn't have to walk to the back of the line. (Note to those who somehow feel magically entitled: You're not. Be an adult, find some manners, and wait your turn in line). We had our pre-printed Set Sail, and I certainly recommend using one. Once we got through security, our line for the registration desk was significantly shorter than those who just had the RC booklets. We received our Sea Passes in no time and were in line for ship. We had a fabulous balcony cabin, 8630. It was just past the hump, which we felt was a perfect location. The only thing on our floor besides cabins was Royal Caribbean Online, which was rarely used and very quiet, so there wasn't a lot of extra foot traffic on our floor. We were really close to the elevators, but enough rooms away that we never picked up any noise from them. And the location of the online lounge meant we had neighbors on both sides but not across the hall. And having cabin floors above and below us instead of public areas further increased the serenity of our area. We were so impressed with location of our room that we plan on booking the same room on our next NOS cruise. The room itself was wonderful. Even though it was not yet 1pm, the room was already cleaned and ready. And it was mega-cleaned; everything sparkled with cleanliness. Not a smudge, hair, crumb or any indication that anyone other than us had ever been in the room. The linens didn't just look clean, they looked brand new. In fact, the whole room seemed new; it lacked even the gentle wear and tear that you find even in the most top notch hotels. The bed was made up as a king bed, and had I not read on here that it was really two single beds made up as one, we never would have known. The framed artwork on the wall was a real watercolor and not a print. Yes, the room is small, but laid out so smartly that we never felt cramped. And yes, the shower stall is a very small cylinder, but it had sliding doors instead of a shower curtain, the shower nozzle itself was more than high enough for my 6'4" husband (which rarely happens), and the tile throughout was immaculate. We loved the balcony so much that we'll never be interior cabin people, even if it means paying a smidge more. The chairs and table on the balcony were inexpensive and looked sun-bleached, but even then, they were uber-clean, in good repair, and very sturdy. We dropped off our carry-on bags and, as we headed out of the room, we met Wilma, our cabin attendant. She was rather pretty, with (I think) a Jamaican accent, and very pleasant overall....huge smile, knew our names, very welcoming. And she was like that every time we saw her. Yes, she told us what hours she was available, but they were more than generous and we didn't mind. We are the type of people who find more satisfaction knowing that RCCI gives their employees breaks than forcing people to be on 24 hour call. We asked her to remove the items from the mini fridge so we could store the pop and water we brought with us, and she said she'd get right on it. (Had we known she would simply take the items from the fridge and place them in one of our cupboards, we would have moved the items ourselves. We just didn't know). We decided right away that if she kept the cabin as clean as when we first got in, we would give her a generous tip above and beyond the RCCI recommended guidelines. (And yes, she did, and yes, we did!) Side Note on Wilma: Throughout the trip, Wilma seemed to have a sixth sense about our movements. No matter when we went to breakfast or how long we stayed at the meal, the bed was made up and the room cleaned by the time we got back. The same with dinner; the bed was always turned down when we got back, with mints and the Compass on the pillows, a different towel animal every night, and a fresh cleaning. This happened every night, including the last night. She did us well from the first second to the last. We had a light snack at the Windjammer, explored the ship, had muster, and were up on deck for sail-away. Even though cruises sail out of Miami all the time, lots of people driving by were honking and waving. Apparently the people of Miami aren't as jaded as we've heard. We even got some waves from some people in the ultra-rich houses on the private islands. After sail-away, we went back to our room, and our luggage had arrived, sans one piece. The DH took a quick trip up the hall to the luggage distribution area and came back right away with the missing piece. It simply hadn't been distributed yet. Unpacking was a breeze; empty suitcases went under the beds, and there was more than enough space (and hangers!) in the closet and drawers for all our stuff. And we didn't exactly pack light, either. We had first seating in the Nutcracker dining room, which we very much liked. Everything was in fabulous shape; it's hard to believe that thousands of people go through these ships every week. Our main waiter, Nilesh (from India-a veteran of many cruises with three weeks to go until his vacation), and assistant waiter, Nuncio (from Portugal newbie only three weeks into his first cruise) were very on top of things, and we rarely wanted for anything. Water was refilled when the glasses were only half empty, napkins were placed in my lap for me, and shellfood was shelled for me. On one night, Nilesh didn't want us to miss out on the best dessert, so he brought us what we ordered as well as a third dessert for us to split. We were at a table for six, but we wound up dining with only one other couple, who were a great match for us. They were similar in age and occupations, so we had a good time with them. There was a third couple at our table the first night but asked to be changed after finding out (using perfectly fine English, I might add) that none of us were South American and that we all had careers instead of being independently wealthy. I kid you not. Needless to say, we were more than fine with them moving to another table. :) Side note about Nilesh and Nuncio: We usually ate breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer, and both men went out of their way at the Windjammer as well. They always said hello and asked if they could do anything for us, even if we weren't sitting in their section. And their helpfulness didn't seemed forced, or a pushiness to get a big tip. They were genuine and friendly the whole time. I know other people have complained about the food, but we thoroughly loved it. In both the Windjammer and main dining, I might add. (We never made it to Portofinos or Chops). We ate dinner in main dining every night, which I expected to dislike because I tend to dislike "gourmet" restaurants. I've eaten in a few such restaurants and they tend to think that overly spicy = gourmet. But almost without except, the food on NOS was fabulously seasoned without being overdone. The lobster tail in main dining was one of the best ever; very soft and flavorful. Yes, I've had other lobster tails (and read the reviews here!) and I was actually surprised by how good it turned out. In fact, I enjoyed every dish I had in main dining except one; I sent back the risotto primavera. The DH liked it, but it had too much saffron for my taste. Nilesh was somewhat distressed, and the only way I could talk him out of bringing me another dinner was by promising to eat two desserts. And for a buffet meant to feed thousands of people, the Windjammer/Jade did really well. I enjoyed a snack of sushi every night at Jade, and the french fries were always hot and fresh. Yes, there are some foods they rerun every day (hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, lunch meat, cookies), but there were also new main dishes every day. And for you buffet-bashers, that's how a buffet is supposed to work. Something new every day for the adventurous (it's up to you whether you like it or not), and something familiar for those less inclined. Side note about the Windjammer: We found it to be well maintained and thoughtfully laid out. Lines for food were never long since you could get food on both sides and the back, and we appreciated the conveniently placed hand sanitizer stations. Tables were cleaned up promptly and, although crowded, we never lacked for a seat. We had stops at San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, and Nassau, and, being novice cruisers, we booked excursions at each port. In the future, we will probably split our options and do half ship excursions and half on our own. San Juan was okay, although nothing very exciting. We had heard less-than-pleasant things about the island, but everyone we met was really friendly and we didn't see a single beggar. We noticed a fairly heavy police presence, which may have been a factor. In St. Thomas, we took the Ultimate Island Adventure, a blend of tour, beach, and shopping. The tour was okay, and Magen's Bay was gorgeous. White sand, aqua water, and totally warm. The only problem was that we had 2 hours allotted for the beach, and it rained for 1.5 of those hours. And not just rained...we're talking total downpour thunderstorm. We were willing to keep swimming in the rain, but our beach bag was getting soaked, and once the lighting started, we were done. Everyone crowded under the covered picnic areas and waited for the two hours to end. A lot of people didn't wait for their tour buses and took cabs back because the only place it was rained on the island was at the beach. In St. Maarten, we had the St. Maarten Beach Rendezvous, and it was a highlight of the trip. It was over 4 hours at Orient Beach, which we spent swimming and Jet Skiing. It was completely sunny, warm, clean, and fabulous. We had a hard time leaving the water for lunch, and leaving St. Maarten in general. And then there was Nassau, which we hated. We had the Breezes Resort excursion, and this one will earn RCCI a letter of complaint from me. We were looking for another beach day like St. Thomas and St. Maarten, and wound up in a tacky hellhole full of partiers. The only reason we booked this excursion was because it was the ONLY excursion that specifically listed that it had Wave Runners, which was one of the things DH really wanted to do. (Other excursions simply mention "water sports", which is a little open-ended). Anyway, it took forever to get to the "resort", which was more like someone plunked a Super 8 motel on a beach. All of the resort people were in the 3 pools instead of the ocean (there's a clue right there), and the pools were just ringed with ash trays and empty drink glasses. The outdoor bar was covered in a skin of bees. The resort had an outdoor stage situated between the pools and the miniscule strip of beach, and was blaring Madonna over the loudspeakers. They only stopped the music when they brought people up on stage to have a beer chugging contest. The beach was dirty, with cigarette butts mixed in with dead jelly fish. There were wave runners, at almost triple the price of Orient Beach, and very poorly maintained. We wouldn't ride the rickety wave runners, we wouldn't swim in the filthy water (lots of floating junk), and we couldn't even sun bathe because the ruckus on the stage was too loud for us to even think. Within 10 minutes, we decided to leave and take a cab back to the ship. The excursion was $78 a person, and a total waste of money. Side note on ports: We did some shopping at every stop, just staying in the shopping areas listed on the maps that come with the Compasses. We found the cheapest alcohol prices in St. Maarten's; they were actually $3-$4 dollars a bottle cheaper than St. Thomas, which was also cheap. There are dozens of jewelry stores at each port, so if you are looking for jewelry, bring a credit card or some money. The prices are definitely cheaper than at home, but I'm a smaller gem type of person, and the islands are definitely about the larger gems. I did buy a pair of tanzanite stud earrings for $20, though. As for the Navigator itself, we really enjoyed ourselves on the ship. There was always more activities than we had time, and we enjoyed the ones we attended. The Love and Marriage game show was quite funny, and I'm bummed that I missed Quest due to some rough seas. The DH went, though, and said it was fun. We practiced our Tae Kwon Do a few days in the fitness center, and found the area to be clean and well maintained. Actually, anywhere we went on the ship was clean and well maintained. We always saw people out cleaning, fixing, tidying, etc. The pool in the Solarium was closed and without water the first few days on the ship, but the hot tubs were open and clean. We never went in the main pools or tubs; in fact, we barely had time to visit the Solarium hot tubs because we were always doing something. I don't know about chair hogs because we never really tried to lay out.....we preferred to keep walking around. We visited the casino with $60 a piece, and right as I turned to tell the DH that the slots were the tightest I've ever seen, I won $130. He played around with the money pusher thing and managed to get the $50 bill. We each had an alcoholic beverage every night, and while the prices were on par with what we find in bars in Michigan (mixed drinks run approx. $6-$7 around here), there was actually more alcohol than expected. I was completely buzzed after two sips of a strawberry margarita. We played mini golf. And ice skated. And played trivia. And watched the ice show. And watched the comedian (Gary Mule Deer!) Etc. Overall, we loved it, and can hardly wait to go again! Royal Caribbean and the Navigator are wonderful! Still, I might as well throw in the few negatives we encountered: 1. Splenda was only available in main dining, and not in the Windjammer and Cafe Promenade. 2. The mini fridge in the room took almost two days to chill a can a pop. 3. The DH is a coffee drinker and he said the regular coffee is undrinkable. So the majority of our Sea Pass tab was his specialty coffees. It could have been worse, but the specialty coffee machine next to the Ben and Jerry's broke half way through the cruise, and the only other place to get a cup (outside of main dining) was in Two Poets. Which wasn't always open. 4. The Breezes excursion. Don't go unless you're positive you can drink $78 worth of alcohol on a hot, humid afternoon. 5. Even though children were maybe 2% of the cruise population, the few that we encountered made a nuisance of themselves. I shudder to think of what it must be like to cruise during summer or spring break. There was the usual....pushing all the elevator buttons, running wildly without looking, cutting in lines, etc. But there was also four boys, all in one family, who chased everyone off of the ice rink with their wild behavior.....skating against the flow, falling for fun, trying to tackle each other. And their parents not only encouraged it, they took pictures! The two staff members checking out skates didn't say anything to them, so my DH summoned another staff member to get the kids (and parents) under control. But by then, everyone else had already left the rink and taken off skates. 6. Smokers on the clearly-marked, ashtray-free side of the ship. Not all the time, but often enough to be really annoying. Especially since smokers were a definite minority of the population, but still have half the ship for themselves.  7. Smokers in the excursion lines right outside of the ship. Everyone who smoked lit up the minute their feet hit concrete, and never mind who got a face full...kids, old people on oxygen, everyone else, etc. And it's not like there are ashtrays on the pier, so it was littered with cigarette butts. 8. People with a sense of entitlement. Look, I read the newspaper article on cruising that advised cruisers to quit being Ugly Americans and just relax and go with the flow. Well, I've got news for you. Us "Ugly Americans" were the best of the bunch as far as manners are concerned. We understand concepts like waiting in line, using an indoor voice, thanking the staff, throwing trash in the receptacles, making our children behave, letting people who waited longest for the elevators on first, walking THROUGH doorways and walkways instead of standing in them, etc. It's not a language issue, people. It's a manners issue. I don't care what country you come from. Oh, and for all of you, Ugly Americans included, I also don't care how old you are or how much money you make. You wait in the line and behave yourself like the rest of us. 9. Disembarking. I'm sure you've read other reviews and yes, it's a nightmare. We had beige tickets, which meant we were supposed to disembark around 7:30 am. How we got beige (the second earliest color), considering we were driving home and not flying, I'll never know. We got up early so we'd have time for breakfast, but we just sat down in the Windjammer when they called our color. 20 minutes early! We each crammed in a roll and ran out, to find that the white ticket holders were still in line and not going anywhere. Why call us early when the people before us haven't even left? We stood in line on the ship for almost an hour (before we started the hour long process of creeping towards customs). And of course various entitled people had to cut in line, which made a slower crowded mess of it all. If you think I'm being uptight about the whole queue jumping business, here's a reason why I'm not.....a group of 8 or so seniors felt they shouldn't have to wait at the back of the line, so they just walked past most of the line and then pushed their way in near the front. But in all of their pushing and fussing, they separated a 10 year old from her parents. Tears, chaos, and irate parents ensued. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2006
Thanks to Royal Caribbean, my wife and I have decided to cruise again in the near future. Our seven day cruise was interesting, fun, and well-worth the time, money, and effort. After leaving Miami, we visited San Juan, St. Thomas (w/an ... Read More
Thanks to Royal Caribbean, my wife and I have decided to cruise again in the near future. Our seven day cruise was interesting, fun, and well-worth the time, money, and effort. After leaving Miami, we visited San Juan, St. Thomas (w/an excursion to St. John), St. Maartin, then Nassau before returning to Miami. Navigator of the Seas (NOS) is well-maintained. We noticed small spots on carpeting and scuffs on furniture, but overall, the ship looked just fine. I compared the exterior of NOS to three Carnival ships we docked alongside in Nassau and it was evident that NOS was in better condition. Our stateroom was a superior balcony on Deck 10, sandwiched between two junior suites. Our cabin was fine for two people, but no more. The new bedding is nice; we had no problem sleeping. Our balcony wasn't large, but big enough for my wife and I to sit and enjoy morning coffee while taking in the views. Marvin, our room steward, was just grand. The ship has many great activities to attend and, when we didn't feel like going to one, just walking around the ship was enjoyable. We almost always found something new. As examples, we enjoyed the murder mystery dinner our first evening aboard. The cast was funny, the plot was muddy, but the food at Portofinos was superb. The Ice Dancin' Show was top-notch- don't miss it! The Promenade is fun with its shops- and its very good (and free) coffee and snacks. Walking around on the top deck, gazing at thousands of stars, then playing putt-putt golf, was fun one quiet evening. Dining was good to great on NOS. The serving staff in the Windjammer Cafe ranged from fair to very good. I had to repeatedly ask for a cup of coffee on two mornings as our waitress was just walking around with a tray in her hand. One or two of her peers were great, however. The selection and quality of food was very good. As an example, I usually had bacon, sausage links, scrambled eggs, grits, melon chunks, fresh pineapple, orange juice, and coffee for breakfast! The service and food at Portofinos was just wonderful. Service at Chops wasn't impressive. My wife and I couldn't fully understand our waitress who was from Europe. The staff attempted to be personable, but their efforts were very strained. They didn't seem to be well-trained or sure of themselves at all. The food was very good, but not exceptional. I would go to Portofinos again, but not to Chops. Room Service was very good; we had coffee brought to our cabin every morning for our coffee and conversation ritual on the balcony. We ordered breakfast one morning and laughed when our waiter brought six covered plates and a large pot of coffee to our room! Our experience in the dining room was excellent. The food, with very few exceptions, was great. Our waiter, Jose, was very professional and personable. The deserts were superb. We were quite pleased to have six very nice tablemates which helped make every dinner enjoyable. Our shore excursions ranged from great to mediocre. The 12 Metre Regatta in St. Maarten was a highlight of the cruise! The views on the sightseeing tour of St. John were spectacular. Visiting Coral World and Coral Sea was an interesting and fun trip- I got to pet a live shark and still have all my fingers on that hand. The El Yunque Rain Forest tour was fair to mediocre- many on our bus could not understand our driver/guide's heavily-accented English. Walking around Nassau is, well... just that, nothing more. Our embarkation and disembarkation went fine. Both took time, but were painless. Patience is imperative for anyone on vacation. In summary, my wife and I had a superb time on the Navigator of the Seas. The food and service could've been a little better on occasion, but for every negative, we found two or three positives. I would highly recommend this ship and its crew to anyone wishing to spend a week cruising the Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2006
We flew into Fort Lauderdale. Took a 14 passenger van to Miami. Cost was about $15pp. There are lots of vans waiting but we reserved ahead. We spent Friday night at the Holiday Inn Port of Miami. It was a nice hotel, clean and Convenient. ... Read More
We flew into Fort Lauderdale. Took a 14 passenger van to Miami. Cost was about $15pp. There are lots of vans waiting but we reserved ahead. We spent Friday night at the Holiday Inn Port of Miami. It was a nice hotel, clean and Convenient. Across the street from Bayside shopping Center. Lots of Restaurants and a 10 minute ride to the port. Embarkation: We arrived at the port about 11:30. Not very crowded. We got through the check in and to the final waiting area quickly. Boarding started at 12:30. Room: Cabin was Roomy and clean. Loved the new bedding. Our SA, Patrick was great. Told him one day to just leave towels and ice if he was busy and he cleaned the whole cabin anyway. Meet and Mingle: I have not been on the board long so just sat back and listened. Everyone was very friendly. I won the RCI computer mouse. It has a cruise ship sailing inside. Several people tried to bribe it away from me but I held on tight. Disappointing turnout. I imagine if large numbers sign up and only a few show up RCI will stop having them. Food: I was disappointed. Some nights I had trouble finding something I wanted to eat. It tasted fine but I guess I just expected a little more. The Chef's offerings seemed very unimaginative. Mostly different fish. Big surprise, lobster night was not formal night. It was Wednesday. Lots of empty tables because we were in St Martin. More for us. I was at the casino later and sat with a man that almost cried when he heard he missed it. Wait Staff: Outstanding. Erkan, Eldon and Mr G were great. My son considers eating a sport and Erkan kept 2 or 3 plates coming at a time. We had a great time teasing Eldon about going to Orient Beach. Dining Attire: There isn't much to prepare you for the variation of the dinner dress. Because it was the Caribbean (less formal) and because we had four ports, we had 5 casual nights and two formal nights. No in between. Because we had early dinner and didn't do any RCI excursions, we still dressed for dinner but loads of people didn't. We had no smart casual night. We did have Tropical night and Western night. Just wore bright colors and ignored western night. Drinks: The wine package was ok. Not much selection. I chose the middle class and 7 bottles with tax it was $212.79. I mostly drink G & T. If you are ok with house Gin they run $4.89 with tax and tip. Tanquarey is $5.75 with t&t. Very reasonable. Casino: OK but not great. Machines were very tight. Staff there was very friendly on the most part. Some dealers were just bored and didn't hide it. Marvin, one of the drink waiters was exceptional. The first drink I ordered he knew my name and from that moment on he would start calling my name from a few steps away. I only ordered 1 or 2 drinks a night so he had that good a memory. I gave him a nice tip. Ports: San Juan: Hired a van with two other couples. $15pp and he would take us where we wanted. We went to both forts. Beautiful photo ops. Driver was very good. Took us also into New San Juan. We wanted to be back for our early dinner so that is about all we had time for. Lots of shopping within walking distance of the pier. I was pleasantly surprised. Liked it better than I thought I would. St. Thomas: I was disappointed in this island. I though it was dirty. Our driver Henry was great, Again we hired him as we got off the ship. He took us on a two hour tour for $15pp. My Daughter and Son in law wanted to go to the beach after we returned to the ship. Henry took them the the Hotel beach, showed them the rest room facilities and told the workers to treat them well as they were family. Might have had something to do with the really nice tip my husband gave him earlier. St Martin: My favorite of the stops. After we took the Water Taxi to the French side($5 rt) we took a cab (again) $18 for two to Orient Beach. Our driver Marius was exceptional. He had a van but made the trip for just the 2 of us. He answered all our questions and took us to what he said was the nicest part of the beach. The beach is well worth the visit. Pure white sand. Lots of shaded places to sit if you are sun sensitive like me. Kakao Beach bar had a good Bloody Mary. When we got back from the beach we stopped at a little cafe called Chez Del Phine. A lovely french woman owns the place. She makes a nice crab sandwich for about $4.00 and I had a really good Tuna Tartar for $12. I told her I wanted to try something different and local. She suggested a Ti Punch. It is Sugar cane syrup, lime Juice and French rum. Very potent but wonderful. She said that the plantation owners drank it. It was called Petit Punce, Now just Ti punch. If you don't want to eat just stop by and talk to her. She is very nice. Nassau: We have been there many times and it doesn't get any better. Walked to the Straw Market. A real waste of time. so crowded and hot it was hard to move. Every booth had the same thing. Knock off purses, cheap t-shirts and straw items. Our GrandDaughter got her hair braided. It took 2 hours and cost $144.00. Very well done but expensive. My Granddaughter loved the Adventure Seas kids program. We had to drag her away. Lots of activities. Disembarkation: We had the third color called and were off the ship by 7:30. We had to wait for about 30-40 min for our luggage. We had to wait for some others to get off to share our ride to FLL. We were there by 10:00AM. Overall: Had a great time. Beautiful ship. Biggest disappointment was the food but the rest of my family thought it was great. It was my first RCI. I have done 3 Carnivals before. I think the spirit class Carnival ships hold up very well in comparison. I would not take this route again but would sail RCI again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2006
Hi all, Just off the Navigator Eastern Route. Had a great time! For the most part everything was wonderful, with a few MINOR snags here and there. We were in an interior room 7th floor. Room was always clean and service by our cabin ... Read More
Hi all, Just off the Navigator Eastern Route. Had a great time! For the most part everything was wonderful, with a few MINOR snags here and there. We were in an interior room 7th floor. Room was always clean and service by our cabin attendant was great. Now for the first not so great - There seems to be a huge problem with the toilet vacuum system, in that it won't flush at times throughout the ship. I heard several people saying throughout the cruise that the toilet's weren't working, etc. This was also evident in the Public restrooms, which at times some were closed because of this problem, or at other times you would find a back up of stuff in the toilet. Hopefully this will be fixed soon, but again, minor to me. EMBARKATION - Got to the pier at 10:30, they start letting people on the ship at 1130. THey do have a line for platinum and diamond members, but that's it, no private waiting area to get on the ship first like at other piers. CRUISE DIRECTOR/ENTERTAINMENT. Shane E.... Was our cruise director, and this was only his second week as a cruise director. He did an awesome job. Very friendly, and was seen throughout the ship! Saturday - Welcome aboard comedy Sunday - Production Show Monday - The Ozmand Brothers Tuesday - Ice SHow and Love and Marriage Wednesday - Comedy Show and the Quest Thursday - "All Access" production Show (Not good at all) Friday - Farewell I will save everyones time and not go into the ports, since there is enough under the port section for weeks of reading. FOOD - WONDERFUL, AWESOME, Period. OTHER SHIP STUFF - Remember with RCCL, the drinking age for EVERYTHING is now 21. They are not joking when they say this. We were told by a ship officer at the welcome back party, 2 families were "thrown" off the ship at a port for teens violating the policy! The concierge on the ship, Jennifer is WONDERFUL! Because of the new policy, the dungeon (Disco) was really slow compared to normal! It is still welcome to people 18+, but it is 18 to party 21 to drink and they are very strict at checking ID's to get into the club, if you are under 35 you will need your seapass card and your State ID. We had really noisy neighbors at night. They were kids, and their parents were across the hall. They would fall asleep each night to XY Music TV BLASTING in their staterooms (Enough to where we could hear the music crystal clear) I spoke to the kids one day, did no good. Called security, the next night, never came. So then I went down in person the following night - Security went up and no more problems. I did ask to speak to the supervisor at the pursers desk, and was told that Keith the supervisor would call me, he left a message, when I finally got a hold of him 3 days later, he insisted that his job was not to deal with me and he had no Idea why he was upset, and promptly walked away. I have never dealt with anyone as RUDE as Keith in 18 cruises, and will be writing RCCL to discuss the full details with them. (Not expecting any compensation just for those who were thinking....) They also need to have more security presence - often times I saw kids throwing things overboard (Golf clubs, dishes) always in the evening from the sports deck or johnny rockets area, you would think rccl would notice a trend, and start having more security in the area.. Debarkation - White was the first color called, and I think EVERYONE thought they had white tags because the line got to over an hour long to get off the ship right when white was called, so we just relaxed and played mini golf (we had white tags for being Diamond members, but our flight didn't leave until 1) if anyone has more specific questions, please email me at hoopster3145@yahoo.com Read Less
Sail Date: August 2006
A little background. My adult daughter and I traveled together on this cruise. It was her first and my second cruise. My first cruise to Alaska was with Princess. Day 1. We arrived in Miami on Friday and stayed overnight with friends who ... Read More
A little background. My adult daughter and I traveled together on this cruise. It was her first and my second cruise. My first cruise to Alaska was with Princess. Day 1. We arrived in Miami on Friday and stayed overnight with friends who dropped us off at the ship around 12:30. Embarkation was a breeze, and we were in our room (8390, an aft balcony) shortly after 1. We dropped off our carry-on and raced off to explore. Of course we started in the Windjammer where the food was acceptable and varied. I appreciated the fresh salads and cut-up fruit at every meal. After lunch, we toured the spa and booked a hot-rock massage for Monday (my birthday). We also booked Chops for Sunday night (her birthday) and checked our table in the dining room where we discovered we had been placed with a group of 6 at a table for 8. That didn't sound good so we requested and received a change to a table for 2. After the exploration, it was time for muster, which went quickly. By that time, our luggage was in our room so we spent the time until dinner unpacking and enjoying the balcony. It turned out that we had brought twice as much stuff as we used, but everything fit into the shelves and cubbyholes with room to spare. Next came late dinner and the welcome aboard show. Dinner tasted good and the show was fun. At some time during the afternoon, we attended the shopping scavenger hunt where I won a free entry in tomorrow's slot tournament. Day 2. (At Sea). We woke early and walked on the track, which was uncrowded and pleasant. We continued our walk by exploring the rest of the outside decks. The surroundings were pretty impressive. Then we returned to our cabin to await our room service breakfast, which we enjoyed on the balcony. We had three activities planned this morning: a much touted shopping lecture, the slot tournament, and our Meet and Mingle. The shopping lecture turned out to be a high-pressure pitch to buy a $20 coupon book. Unfortunately I bit. Most of the coupons were for high-end watches and jewelry that we had no intention of purchasing and the woman pitching failed to mention that the coupon book included the entire Caribbean. It was the only time on the ship I feel I was ripped off. The slot tournament followed and my daughter made it to the next to last round before she was knocked off. I was knocked out in the second round. As a result of her doing so well, we were late for the Meet and Mingle so everyone was pretty much bonded when we arrived. We picked up our presents (a notebook cum Seapass holder), had some punch and left. By then we were hungry and a hamburger sounded good, so we headed for Johnny Rockets where we could eat outside. We both loved it. After lunch, we felt like we had had a full day so we retreated to our cabin for a nap on the balcony. Later that afternoon, while the hoards were dressing for formal night, we went to the pool for a swim. Our Chops reservations were for 8:30 so we had time after we dressed (in nice skirts and tops but not formal wear) to enjoy a cocktail in the Cosmopolitan Bar before dinner. Both the service and the food at Chops were truly outstanding, and I would recommend the restaurant to anyone. The first production show followed dinner and, as we both like those kinds of shows, we had fun. The singers and dancers are talented and exuberant. By this time it was around midnight so we turned into pumpkins and went to bed. Day 3. (Labadee). We started the day by walking the track and having breakfast in the Windjammer, which we preferred to room service. Then we got dressed and hopped on a tender, which took no time at all. First we explored the shopping area, but the vendors were so aggressive that we left without going to the Artisan's market. Next, we found ourselves a shade tree on the second beach and made use of the chairs the beach attendant brought us and the beach floats we had rented. If I had to do it again, I would have skipped the floats. The water was calm and it was easy to float on it without the mat. We spent about 2 hours on the beach alternating between the water and our chairs and making sure to slather on sunscreen often. Then we headed for the lunch barbecue, which was mediocre, and went back to the ship for a nap, a swim at the pool, and treadmill time before our massage appointments. I've heard all the arguments about the cost of spa services on cruises, but the spa is my casino and this was the best hot rock massage I have ever had. It was 75 minutes of heaven. After the massage, we each got a Labbadoozie (drink of the day) to take back to our room and enjoy the balcony. Then it was time to get dressed for dinner, which was tasty. After dinner, we went to the piano bar for awhile and had a specialty coffee before calling it a night. Day 4 (Ocho Rios) Once again, the day started with a walk around the track. It was fun watching the ship dock in Ocho Rios. We had a fairly early excursion so left the ship right after breakfast in the Windjammer. As with Princess, I was impressed by the quality of the logistics. We had chosen ship's excursions to lower the hassle factor, and there was no hassle. Ship personnel directed us to our excursion, which was a river tubing safari. The van was air conditioned and had ample space for the group of 10. The river was well shaded so we had no need of sunscreen and the water was pleasantly cool. The trip lasted about 90 minutes and included patches of slow moving water and gentle rapids, We loved it. After the trip was over, we were given about 45 minutes to have a complimentary lunch and see (buy?) our pictures, which came on a cd. We bought a bunch because they captured the entire sequence of my daughter washing out on some rocks. After the excursion, the bus dropped us off near the ship. We used the opportunity of easy-on-and-off to change before we shopped for a couple of hours. It was a typical port town and we grew bored rather quickly so we headed back to the ship for a treadmill session and a swim (always take advantage of times when the pool is not crowded) before dressing for dinner in the dining room. It was the much maligned Caribbean night, but there were plenty of non-Caribbean offerings. We wandered the ship a bit after dinner, but discovered we were tired and went back to the cabin. Day 5 (Grand Caymon). We had an early excursion of snorkeling with the stingrays so ordered breakfast from room service before heading to the tender line. This took longer than Labbadee, but once again the process was organized and staff quickly helped us find our tour. The stingrays were wonderful, soft and exotic. Guides helped us feed and hold them and, of course, took pictures, which we bought later. We loved the experience although the snorkeling part was superfluous since we were standing in waist-deep water and you could interact with the stingrays without snorkeling. After the excursion, we returned to the ship for lunch and an afternoon of lazing by the pool, which was pretty empty before it was time for our evening's events, which included the ice show (fabulous), win-a-cruise bingo (fun even though we lost), formal dinner (yummy lobster), and the Broadway production show, which we loved. Day 6 (Cozumel). Remember that the spa is my casino. Well the Compass included an advertisement for an in-port special on the hydrolift facial. I called and booked the latest appointment they had for 6 p.m. Then we left for the excursion. Our excursion ticket was our tender ticket and the system worked well. We reported to the Metropole theater and were called quickly for the tender, which took about 5 minutes. However, thunderstorms started just as we landed so we had to wait on shore for awhile and eventually left about 1 hour late. My daughter enjoyed the snorkeling a lot. We had to jump in, and I panicked when I went under so went back to the ship. She reported that the reefs were much diminished from the hurricane, but the fish were beautiful. After stopping at 2 snorkeling spots, we were taken to Playa Mia Beach for lunch, shopping, and loafing. The day remained cloudy so the beach was beautiful and we enjoyed sunning ourselves. We thought 2 hours would be too long on the beach, but we ended up loving every minute, and bought some nice jewelry as well. The facial followed the beach and once again, the services were divine. The sales pitch, starting with a $145 cream, came afterwards but I said no and the therapist stopped the pitch. That evening we decided to bag the dining room (too much elegance) and went to Johnny Rocket's again. Delicious. Then we went to the Love and Marriage Show, which was a hoot. Day 7 (At sea). Or, you could say, Day of Rest. We highlighted a bunch of activities on the Cruise Compass, but the weather was beautiful and so after breakfast and the mandatory last-day shopping for the gifts we missed, we parked ourselves on the balcony and watched the wake. Around 1:30 p.m., we started getting hungry and went to the Windjammer. Then we vegged for a little longer before starting to pack and going to the pool for our late-afternoon swim and drink-of-the-day. By this time, we had no interest in elegance, so we opted for dinner in the Windjammer. After dinner we finished packing and went to bed. Debarkation: At 6:10 a.m., the Captain announced that we had docked and told people with carry-on luggage they were free to leave. We waited in our room until 7:45 and then went to the Metropole theater as we had been told. Our color for debarkation was called at 8:30 a.m. and then we stood in line until 10:30 waiting to go through Customs/Passport control. It was a drag. Finally we got off, hooked a mini-van and went to the airport, where we waited until 4 p.m. for our plane to leave. Overall: Pros: The ship was beautiful and there was plenty to do. The aft balcony was a private slice of heaven, which provided us with a wonderful alternative to the overcrowded, noisy, rambunctious pools. The service was fabulous and the food was adequate. The excursions were well-organized and fun. We both felt pampered all week. Cons: The cigarette smoke on the pool deck and in most of the bars was unpleasant. The Discover Shopping program was a rip off. Would we travel with RCI again? In a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2006
We just got back from the Eastern Caribbean cruise...it was our 1st cruise with the Royal Caribbean line since we started cruising again in the last couple of years, our most recent ones being with the Grand Princess (Jan '06), ... Read More
We just got back from the Eastern Caribbean cruise...it was our 1st cruise with the Royal Caribbean line since we started cruising again in the last couple of years, our most recent ones being with the Grand Princess (Jan '06), Caribbean Princess (Aug '05) and the former Norwegian Sky ('04). We flew in from Toronto without incident, landed at Miami airport by 1 pm, took a taxi (1/2 hr ride...it's $24 fixed price either way (but be careful, some may try to ask for more!)) to the port, and was on board by 2 pm. The Navigator must have docked early, because we were among the last crowd of people to board, the terminal was empty of passengers by the time we boarded...it was as painless an embarkation as I could remember. We headed straight to the Windjammer buffet...apparently most the other 3,114 passengers had the same idea -it was packed, but after some patient waiting, we finally did managed to find a table. The service by the wait staff were efficient, clearing and cleaning the tables as soon as guests left. Oh..the Jade fusion 'restaurant' is just another part of the Windjammer buffet self-service area, nothing particularly good or bad about it. Our overall experience in regards to dining is that the quality and presentation of the food is just a bit (a 1/2 star) better than the Caribbean Princess and a full 1 star better than the Grand Princess. The service was better in that with fixed seatings, the wait staff knew what each guest's preferences were, and tried hard to cater to it. There were no problems in asking for 2nd, or even 3rd appetizers, entrees and desserts to try; in fact, the waiter always asked if we wanted to have more. However, unlike the Princess ships, which are open 24/7 the Windjammer buffet shuts down after about 10 pm, though the Promenade cafe is 24/7. And being a Starbucks coffee drinker, a big plus for me was that the ship used 'Seattle's Best Coffee', rather than the coffee concentrate that the Princess seemed to use. Other impressions: The ship had a definite 'wow' factor and bragging rights with its 4 stories high central concourse, rock climbing wall and ice skating rink. The overall quality of the onboard entertainment was quite good, the revues were high energized, and we got lucky in that Martin Dube (the impressionist from Quebec) was the headliner on the cruise that week (he's usually in Vegas). The fitness facility had plenty of machines and was usually not full, but did not have individual lcd TV monitors on each machine; the center also closed early, at 10pm, which meant if one had the late seating for dinner, or caught a bit of entertainment, it'd always be too late to do a late session at the gym...a midnight closing would be nice. The casino had lots of slots to play with but the blackjack rules here are worse than that on the Princess, e.g. the 8 and single deck games both hit on soft 17 and there is no surrender, and in the 1 deck game, blackjack paid only 6:5 (and no mid deck entry). There was usually a $5 table and the other 2 or 3 tables were $10. The Windjammer buffet was open only till 10 pm, and also shut down for 1/2 hour stretches when changing over from breakfast to lunch to dinner. Standardized gratuities rates were recommended and could be paid through one's shipboard account, they then print out perforated 'vouchers' for you to give to the cabin steward and wait staff (you can add extra $ if you like) on the last night...I noted 1 or 2 not-so-nice folks at nearby tables skipped the last meal. Our daughter liked the Caribbean Princess more...she preferred the 'Movie under the Stars' and the 24/7 buffet (she cuisine habit is to graze every few hours). We thought the entertainment, food quality and service superior...but in terms of value for money, the cost was also higher by some $200 per person compared to the same cruise and time offered by the Caribbean Princess. Chances are, we'll be doing the Royal Caribbean by ourselves in Jan and the Princess in Aug with our daughter. Chuck Sep 03, 2006 Read Less
Sail Date: August 2006
I just got back from a 7 day Western Caribbean cruise and it was great!! This is our first cruise and I would recommend it to anyone. Day 1 - We got to Fort Lauderdale at about 9. We took the Tri County Express to the Port of Miami ... Read More
I just got back from a 7 day Western Caribbean cruise and it was great!! This is our first cruise and I would recommend it to anyone. Day 1 - We got to Fort Lauderdale at about 9. We took the Tri County Express to the Port of Miami which I recommend because on the way back we took a cab that was charged on a meter and they purposely drive slow having a bill of almost $80. When we arrived someone took our luggage and we went through all the security which was a breeze!! I have to give them credit for always having a smooth transaction everywhere. We found our cabin which was an OK size for 3 we had a standard oceanview, and later received our luggage. Day 2 - Was all day at sea. We woke up and decided to go to the Windjammer which was HUGE it was this buffet that wrapped around this whole cafe. Then we looked around the ship which you won't have time to see everything, went in the pool and got a tan. Day 3 - Labadee was ok.... there want really much to do since I'm 14 but everyone 18 and older went parasailing or waverunners.. the beach is nice except there are a lot of jellyfish everywhere. We took Castaway at Malfini which was the same as Labadee just less crowded. You get a little boat that takes you there, hear some history, arrive with people greeting you with a nice drink. You get a float mat and can sit on the chairs -- there were also some stairs leading into the huge mountains and I think a well was up there but we saw a lizard cross the stairs and freaked out!! If you want to just get away then go to this one it is very peaceful but not enough to to in such long time After we got back on the cruise from boats that bring you back and forth we were starving! We went to the Windjammer and got some lunch. Later on in the night we got our compass that told us what was going on in the night we decided to catch the show at the metropolis theatre which was right by a room thank god and watched John Joseph AND HE WAS HILARIOUS the funniest person ever. Day 4 - Ocho Rios was nice. We choose water tubing which was really fun and relaxing. The ride is long and scary you drive up a 1 lane 2 way rode ahhh that was the only bad part. but I recommend it. Later we saw the ice show and it was amazing. We also went to Margaritaville. The music was nice and the pool the service and food wasn't great... the margaritas were really good though. shopping pshh everything was soooooooooo much money wow that's all I have to say. Day 5 - Grand Cayman -- We went swimming and snorkeling with the stingrays. That was a lot of fun scary though. I'm still not sure -- were not to touch them. They're everywhere they really do glide on your feet. we ate ate Hammerheads which was good a lot better than the food at Margaritaville and once again prices were outrageous. Day 6 - Cozumel was super fun. We went on catch a wave snorkel and bond adventure -- if you can swim and you like to participate in things take the bond. They take in a nice boat explain some rules then we took the clear bottom boat and got to some nice fish came back went snorkeling which was the first time for me and was beautiful. Then we went under water on like a scooter and got to about 15 feet under and you can actually breath in this bubble that was fun. Then they have unlimited free non virgin and virgin drinks, food and music for free!! At night we got to see THE OSMOND BROTHERS which was cool and even sat next to them at the Windjammer. Day 7 - We just relaxed watched some activities and packed Ship Info - Just beautiful always clean really big and elegant. Activities - OH GOSH SO MUCH you will never get bored just go to shows -- and OUR CRUISE DIRECTOR SHANE WONDERFUL!!! Service - Excellent, always someone there to help perfect service -- one problem all employees do not speak fluent English all are from some other country. SHANE (cruise DIRECTOR) MAD PROPS AND HE'S A LITTLE HOTTIE RECOMMENDED 10000xs Read Less
Sail Date: August 2006
This was the second time my wife, Cookie and I were on the Navigator. We had a wonderful time again. We went on the Carnival Glory and the Norwegian Dawn in between our 2 Navigator cruises. They both do not compare with the Navigator. ... Read More
This was the second time my wife, Cookie and I were on the Navigator. We had a wonderful time again. We went on the Carnival Glory and the Norwegian Dawn in between our 2 Navigator cruises. They both do not compare with the Navigator. There are just a few things that Navigator needs to improve: the food in the main restaurant is very dry. I asked to have my fish cooked lightly so it would be moist. I was told that all the dinners are cooked in advanced so I couldn't get any food the way I would like it cooked. Carnival and Norwegian food is much better especially Norwegian where you can tell them how you like your food cooked is it prepared exactly how you want it. It has a lot to do with their free style dining. Hopefully RCCL will follow their lead so this way the food is cooked just before you eat it, not hours before. We did eat in the Italian specially restaurant where the food is cooked just before you eat it but the food was way too rich and not worth the extra money. We had an 8:30 reservation on Wednesday with the restaurant empty except for 2 other couples. Very strange. We were always running out of towels and soap, which I thought was our cabin steward's fault. He saw we were using the pool towels to take our 2nd shower of the day. Nothing dries in the rooms. He only once gave us 4 towels for the day instead of just 2. When I go on vacation I prefer not to complain. Everything else was excellent. Boarding and leaving the ship is always the best experience. Carnival and Norwegian can defiantly take some lessons from RCCL. The Navigator always has top-notch entertainment. You will never be bored. If you like to dance the Navigator is your ship with 3 places or more to dance every night. From slow to salsa to hip hop. What ever you like is here for you on the Navigator. I want to thank all the staff for making our stay with you a wonderful time. It is so important that you talk to each other at the dining room table the first night to see if you are compatible for the entire week. If not ask to be changed to another table as soon as possible. We were very fortunate to be among 3 other wonderful couples that every night was fun with great conversations and we always looked forward to be together at dinner. Big hello and hugs to Linda and Ben from Las Vegas, Marilynn and Gary from Indianapolis and Jerry (Smurf) and Carol Sue from Atlanta. Thank you all for being so nice. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2006
My partner and I sailed on Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas for two back-to-back cruises, Eastern and Western Caribbean, this August We were very impressed by the overall standard of the ship. The facilities, including bars, ... Read More
My partner and I sailed on Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas for two back-to-back cruises, Eastern and Western Caribbean, this August We were very impressed by the overall standard of the ship. The facilities, including bars, restaurants, theatres and spa/fitness centre were excellent. Dining in the ship's main restaurant was a pleasure with beautifully prepared and tasty dishes with cheerful and attentive service. Although, we were shocked to learn that RCCL do not pay their waiter staff anything, so the passengers end up paying their wages through gratuities. I believe this to be a disgraceful system; even though we would have probably given a good gratuity in any case! Our inner state room was small but perfectly comfortable with a nice bed and other furnishings. The bathroom was very tiny with a toilet that frequently didn't flush properly. The ports of call were generally very good:-San Juan- Puerto Rico St.Thomas,St Martin, Nassau (not exactly a paradise destination of which we could have lived without), Labadee-Haiti (RCCL's own private island and a very nice one too!) Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel (a beautiful destination with stunning beaches). Some of the arranged island tours were excellent, particularly in Jamaica. All in all, a very good cruise with good destinations. However, beware of expensive drinks not included in the price (this is obviously where cruise lines make their money) and gratuities which you are made to feel are more or less mandatory. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2006
The July 1 cruise on Navigator of the Seas (NOS) marked our fourth cruise with Royal Caribbean. We arrive in Miami the night before and stayed at the Marriot Biscayne Bay. This Marriot is very close the port and makes for a short drive to ... Read More
The July 1 cruise on Navigator of the Seas (NOS) marked our fourth cruise with Royal Caribbean. We arrive in Miami the night before and stayed at the Marriot Biscayne Bay. This Marriot is very close the port and makes for a short drive to arrive at RCCLs terminal The 19th floor room was requested so that we faced the cruise ship harbor. We were rewarded with a terrific sunrise view of NOS arriving in Miami. Boarding was organized and fast. Despite the crowds, time from arrival to stepping on board was one hour. Cabin 7279 facing the Grand Promenade was found clean and comfortable. Plenty of storage for a seven day cruise. I have read remarks complaining about the lack of privacy on Promenade cabins, and did not have any concerns. Just close the curtain and one has all the privacy one desires. Our attendant was great, efficient and always pleasant. We had first seating at table 534, Swan Lake. Out waiter, Alonah Mallari was one of the nicest people we have ever met. Charming, witty and always attentive. I would look forward seeking her section if we cruise on NOS in the future. The food in the main dining room was very good. No complaints from myself nor my wife. Great food and great service! We had one dinner in Chops and had a memorable dining experience! Windjammer (WJ) and Jade provide a great variety of fare. Good food, not great. That being said perhaps I do not possess the sophisticated palate that others have, those who mention the food in WJ is average. I always thought the food was quite good. Considering the number of passengers in WJ, we never had a problem finding a table. One of the nicest people if NOSs crew, was found every morning in the Windjammer, Anastasia! The morning greeter for WJ, a lovelier, more gregarious, kind, gentle and slightly over the top person is yet to be found. She made every morning visit to the Windjammer special. The entertainment on NOS was great. The singing/dancing troupe is one of the best we have seen. Comedian Troy Thirdgill was very funny! The Navigator's own Cruise Director Graham Seymour, is also one of the funniest people you will ever meet. His daily morning Be Very Afraid show on RC TV got every day off with some good laughs. We took an iceskating lesson, and Kayla, Natalia and Àso, who are part of the Ice show, and also take part in the Promenade parades, gave the adult newbie skaters a fun lesson. During the cruise the Ice show is truly amazing when one considers that you are indeed on a cruise ship! The port of call, San Juan, St. Thomas, was for shopping and the great vies at Paradise point. St, Maarten/Martin, we had great fun with the America's Cup race. We were on Canada II, and of course lost to Stars and Stripes. The last time we visited St, Maarten/Martin, (1998) on the then named Nordic Empress now Empress of the Seas), we were tendered ashore, the new dock accommodated NOS well. In Nassau we relaxed with a beach excursion just to relax and not run around as we did at other ports. Disembarking was quite fast, 90 minute from start to customs check.. We have cruised with Holland America and with Royal Caribbean, and while both lines are very good, we find ourselves coming back to RCCL. We had such a good time that we are booked on Liberty of the Seas for November 2007! Navigator of the Seas is very well maintained The CDC's recent rating for NOS was 100. NOS was sparkling and clean. We never smelled anything remotely; unappealing. NOS has a great crew who take pride in their ship, shipmates, and care for the passengers. We do look forward to sailing on the Liberty of the Seas in 2007, and will sail again on Navigator of the Seas.       Read Less
Sail Date: July 2006
We are still in the process of unpacking, but I couldn't wait to post our review of the Navigator. We had the time of our lives and couldn't be happier with the experience with RCCL. We are first time cruisers with this line, ... Read More
We are still in the process of unpacking, but I couldn't wait to post our review of the Navigator. We had the time of our lives and couldn't be happier with the experience with RCCL. We are first time cruisers with this line, having cruised with Princess and Celebrity and wanted to try one of the mega ships, we were not disappointed. Embarkation: It was so fast, we think it took about 20 minutes in all. RCCL personnel were polite, and very well organized. Cabin: We went to our D category cabin and were delighted with the spaciousness of the room, lots of closet space, drawers and we even ended up with empty space, a very nice change from previous small cabins on a Celebrity ship a few years ago. Ship: We toured the Navigator and wow, is it a beauty. She is stunning, well appointed and remarkably easy to get to know. She is very well laid out and we had no trouble with finding our way. Shore Excursion: We had booked our shore excursions online and that was great because we didn't have to wait in line to do so, although you can book on your cabin TV and avoid standing for help at the desk. I would highly recommend you book early to avoid getting shut out, a few people were a bit unhappy they couldn't get on a few tours. We just wanted to snorkel in St. Thomas and got one of the sailing snorkel tours that were offered. Boarding Day: We toured the ship, had lunch, then we went off to the Welcome Aboard show. We were amazed at one of the performers, a silk act. The girl was absolutely incredible! She performed on silks, something I have only seen on television, and hubby and I held our breath watching her do all these tricks while suspended mid air on fabric. I can only imagine what strength it must take to do such an act, and she was so lovely to watch. Dining: We were seated at a large table and our table mates were such a fun bunch of people. They were a family of six from England and made us feel a part of their group for the entire voyage. The food was excellent and served with style by our attentive waiter. We did make it to Chops one night and it was one of the best steaks we have ever had. The Windjammer is a great idea, the way it's laid out, you don't have to wait in line for anything. Entertainment: The Ice Show was incredible, I don't know how they can skate in such a small rink but we loved it and the show was fabulous. The production shows are very very good, the dancers were very talented. The silk act, WOW, and at the end of the cruise at the farewell show, the same girl did this act on a big hoop up in the air. She was as wonderful on it as she was on the silks. She was up high in the air, spinning about a million miles a minute doing all sorts of tricks, it was unbelievable. The rest of the entertainment was good but the normal cruise fare. Ports: We loved St. Thomas and our excursion was wonderful. We snorkeled and saw lots of beautiful fish. The water is so clear and the day was lovely. St.Maarten we just went to the beach and then shopped. We decided to stay on the ship in San Juan, and I got a massage at the spa, a little over priced in my opinion. Debarkation: We packed lightly and didn't have to put our luggage off and so our getting off the ship was easy, we had parked in the garage in Miami, got our car and were on the road by 9:30. Easy Summary: WE LOVED THIS CRUISE. We want to book another Voyager class ship again, the amenities are so nice, from mini golf, ice skating, etc. The only drawback we found was chaos in the elevator, I guess that is expected on such a large ship though. There were lots of kids on the ship and they played with the elevators, very annoying, but that was the only thing I can complain about. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2006
Pre-cruise - Friday, 7/7 -- Just for some background, this was my fourth cruise, the second for my wife and the first for my stepkids (daughter age 10 and son age 14). My wife and I had taken the Carnival Miracle last summer so some of my ... Read More
Pre-cruise - Friday, 7/7 -- Just for some background, this was my fourth cruise, the second for my wife and the first for my stepkids (daughter age 10 and son age 14). My wife and I had taken the Carnival Miracle last summer so some of my comments compare the Navigator of the Seas to the Carnival Miracle (because both cruises are fresh in my mind). My family and I flew from Dallas (DFW) non-stop to Ft. Lauderdale on American Airlines. There was bad weather in Ft. Lauderdale so we circled for about a half hour and then were diverted to Fort Myers (where we had to refuel). After about another hour in Fort Myers, we took off and finally made it to Ft. Lauderdale 2 ½ hours late. This kind of scenario is why I always leave a day early for a cruise. We could have missed the cruise if we had flown in the day of the cruise. We found our luggage with no problems and then hired a private car through Tri-county Airport Express (you dont have to reserve this in advance) and made it to our hotel in about 45 minutes. We stayed at the Holiday Inn near the Miami Port. The location was nice as the Bayside Marketplace was right across the street. We had a decent room with a bedroom and separate living area. The hotel was quiet and we didnt have any noise issues that Id read about. The hotel is nothing great but functional and close to the port. Its worth staying at if youre just looking for an overnight stay prior to a cruise. We went to Bayside to look around and ate at Bubba Gumps which was fairly good. I had fish and chips and there was way too much food. We were tired after the flight and delays so we called it a night. Day 1  Saturday, 7/8 Embarkation -- I woke up fairly early (at 8 am) and immediately looked out the window for a view of the Navigator. She was at dock and was a beautiful sight to see. We had breakfast at the Holiday Inn and I can quite honestly say that it was one of the most awful breakfasts Ive ever had (terrible tasting thin pancakes, lousy bagels, and lumpy oatmeal). Avoid this breakfast at all costs! We checked out of the hotel a little after 11 am and arrived at the dock around 11:20, dropped off our bags with a porter and headed inside. Outside the port terminal were numerous signs stating that check in would not occur until 2:30 pm but they were incorrect (so ignore them). We quickly passed through security and then I asked for the line for suites. We had a Jr. suite and I had read that sometimes they allow priority boarding for Jr. suites and sometimes they dont. We had no problems at all in the suites line with checking in, so add Miami to the list of ports where Jr. suites get priority check in. The ship was already boarding (it was a few minutes before 12) so we passed most of the people in the normal line, had our picture taken and walked onto the ship. We explored a little bit and headed to the windjammer as we were starved. The windjammer was supposed to open at noon but when we got there, it was still closed. Apparently, a health inspection was taking place and it didnt open until 12:40 or so, at which point there was a long line of hungry cruisers waiting to get in. Once the doors opened it was a mad rush to get food. Food stations were overcrowded and there didnt seem to be enough tables for everyone. This was the one negative of the Navigator. The Windjammer doesnt seem to be built large enough to handle the volume of passengers on board. We ate here several times during the cruise and every time but one it was very difficult to find a table. The food quality was mediocre and it seemed cramped and over crowded trying to get through the food lines. We found the buffet on the Carnival Miracle to be superior in terms of layout, quality, and variety of food. The pizza was much better on Carnival and we also missed the Reuben sandwiches that can be found on Carnival. The positive of this scenario is that the Navigator scored 100 on its health inspection score (which is supposed to be very difficult according to Captain Bang). After lunch, we explored the ship a little more and then headed to our cabin. One of our 5 bags was already there (the others arrived shortly thereafter) which was nice. We had cabin 9584 which we really liked (and was a Jr. suite as I mentioned earlier). It had abundant storage space (including a walk in closet) and we were able to unpack all of our clothes (for 4 people) and store the luggage under the bed. There was plenty of space to walk around in the room even when the couch was made out into a bed, and the balcony was large and could seat three. The bathroom had a tub and two medicine cabinets and was small, but pretty good sized for a ship. It soon was time for the muster drill (my least favorite part of a cruise except for disembarkation) and following that we started to sail out of Miami Port. Prior to leaving the Carnival Triumph and Imagination both sailed by us which was fun (people were waving and yelling back and forth). Cars honked at us as we sailed out of the harbor from a nearby highway which was fun as well. It was soon time for dinner so we headed for the Nutcracker Dining Room (there are three dining rooms but its really one big 3 story dining room) and we had our own table for four. Vipin from India was our waiter and his assistant was also from India. They were wonderful and took great care of us all week. They remembered our names (and addressed us by name when ordering) and what we liked to drink and made dining there a true pleasure. We found the dining room on the Navigator to be superior to the Carnival Miracle both in dEcor and food quality, although both had great service. I tried two entrees most nights and usually had 2 appetizers and 2 desserts (Im on vacation so I figured what the heck). My step son had steak every single night (the top sirloin was fairly decent actually). After dinner we went to the welcome aboard show. It was pretty good and the cruise director Graham Seymour was humorous (he usually did a comic routine at each show and even sang one night). The entertainment was solid although not spectacular. During the week, we attended one of the production shows called Now and Forever (where they sing various Broadway songs), a comedian named Troy Thirdgill (hilarious), and a comic magician named Chad Chesmark (average) in addition to the welcome aboard show. Id call entertainment a draw between RCCL and Carnival. After the show we retired and day one of the cruise was over. One final note for day 1: I had trouble falling asleep as the bed wasnt that comfortable (I could feel springs pushing into my back). My wife mentioned this to Clover, our room steward and she said they were replacing mattresses and bedding on the ship, but they hadnt gotten to our deck yet. Clover said shed ask about getting a new mattress for us but wasnt sure if theyd do it or not. The next night the bed was much more comfortable as she had added padding and it made a huge difference (they must have told her no about the mattress so she took it upon herself to do something to help). I really appreciated her making the effort to do this for me. Day 2  Sunday, 7/9 At Sea -- Today was a day at sea, and I got up at 8:45 am to head down to wait for ice show tickets. They were handing them out at 9:30 at the entrance to Studio B (the ice rink area) and when I got in line around 9 there were about 10 people in front of me so it wasnt too bad. Next, we grabbed some breakfast at the Windjammer (overcrowded as usual) and then headed up to play mini golf. The golf course is 9 holes and it can be tricky with the wind. After that we changed into our swimsuits and went to the pool. The adult pool area looked much more relaxing than the regular pool but we of course couldnt go there as we had the kiddos along! The regular pool was very crowded so we just dipped our feet in and relaxed. After hanging out by the pool for awhile, we decided to play Bingo. The crew member running the Bingo was pretty annoying (and told dreadfully bad jokes), but it was still fun and we were one number away from winning in two different games. Alas, we did not win though. We skipped lunch today since we had a fairly late breakfast. Tonight was the first of two formal nights so we got dressed up and had some photos taken. Other passengers seemed to dress up (I didnt see any jeans this night) with most men (including myself) opting for nice suits rather than tuxes. After dinner we went to the Captains reception and had our picture taken with Captain Bang. He seemed to be a nice fellow and the kids thought this was fun. We went to the show and then returned to the room to find our first of many towel animals waiting on the bed. At 11:30 pm, they had an underwater parade on the promenade so we checked that out (They have two parades during the week, one is an underwater theme and the other is a mardi gras theme). The parade was fairly good with performers singing, walking on stilts, etc. I wouldnt call it a must do, but it was fun and worth the effort. Day 3  Monday, 7/10 Labadee -- The Navigator arrived at Labadee this morning. My wife and step son had a 9 am parasailing excursion and the tickets notified us to catch the first tender ashore. We had room service for breakfast and headed down to deck 1 to catch a tender. I was expecting to have to get a tender ticket but that wasnt necessary. We just walked right aboard the first tender with no problem at all (this was a few minutes after 8). The only port where tender tickets were required was Cozumel. The tender ride was short (less than 5 minutes) and we came ashore. Royal Caribbean does a better job of tendering then Carnival as it seems more organized and the tenders are larger. Labadee is Royal Caribbeans private beach paradise and features beaches, water activities and a few water excursions. I explored Labadee while my wife and step son did the parasailing (which they really enjoyed). I went to Hideaway Beach (more secluded than the other beaches), and to Dragons Breath Point, and then worked my way back past the market and to Columbus Cove Beach. After the parasailing we all hooked up and went to Dragon Tail beach for awhile to swim. The water was nice and clear but there were some rocks on the ocean floor so aqua socks are a good idea. Anytime I got anywhere near a beach, a local would ask if I wanted beach chairs. Royal Caribbean made it clear that these chairs are free but the locals want to carry the chairs for you in exchange for a tip. At 11:15 my stepson and I went over to the wave runner desk to check in for our 11:30 tour. We saw an instructional video then walked out to the dock. We were assigned a waverunner and a number from 1 to 10 based on how fast we wanted to go and previous experience in driving a wave runner (I had none). We ended up being #9, only ahead of an older man and his young child. We were instructed to follow in the wake of the wave runner ahead of us but no closer than 100 yards back. There were 3 or 4 stops along the tour where we would regroup and one of the guides would tell us information about Haiti. We went near the Navigator, to a beach (we were just offshore and locals paddled out in kayaks to try to sell us stuff), and one or two other stops. We started off and the other riders (who all seemed pretty experienced) took off pretty fast. I tried to keep up but eventually kept falling behind and had to have the guide in the back lead me to the next stop (there was a guide in the front to lead the way and one in the rear to help stragglers). At one point, the older man passed us so we ended up number 10. I finally got the hang of things on the last stretch and got to drive full throttle which was a blast. The tour was a lot of fun and I can definitely recommend it. After the waverunner tour, we had the barbecue lunch (which RCCL provides) and it was mediocre. Then we went shopping at the artisans market (like a normal gift shop) and the flea market (where you haggle) which was high pressure. We did buy a few things and got ourselves out of there. The prices are very cheap for souvenirs at both shopping locations so its worth taking a look, and they will personalize items at the flea market (they carved the kids names into a flute and wooden sword). It was time to head back to the ship for the normal evening activities of dinner and a show. Day 4 -Tuesday, 7/11 Ocho Rios -- We docked in Ocho Rios, Jamaica so it was easy to just walk off the ship after breakfast in the windjammer. We had a river tubing safari excursion booked today through the ship so we found the staging area for the tour and waited a few minutes in the hot tropical sun. We were broken up into little groups and boarded mini buses (ours held 10 people) and drove for about 40 minutes to the launch area along the White River. The road was mostly rough and barely wide enough for two vehicles to pass (some of the road was unpaved). At the launch area, they gave us some free punch and a paddle and there were a couple of vendors (very low pressure though) for us to look at while we waited for the rest of the buses to show up. Finally we launched one by one into the river, which was slightly cold, but crystal clear. The river was 90 percent shaded by tropical trees so the heat wasnt a factor at all. The tubes were nice and had a bottom to them. My step daughter was apprehensive about doing this activity as she doesnt swim very well, so she had trouble launching. She had thought she could share a tube with my wife but it wasnt allowed. She got scared and didnt want to do the tubing anymore but the tubing company was extremely nice and gentle with her. Their top guide Ovan promised her that hed hold onto her tube the entire way down the river and he guaranteed that shed have a good time. Also, one of the vendors named Junior saw my stepdaughter crying and came over and gave her what he called a good luck necklace. He also spoke kindly to her and calmed her down. Thus we continued with our adventure. The tubing was fun. Most of the river was calm but there were 3 or 4 rapids which were a blast. They take your pictures at various points along the river. By the end of the tubing my step daughter was smiling and asked if we could do this again! It turned out to be a very enjoyable excursion and I recommend it if youre looking for something a little different. When we got out of the river, there was an area with shops (including sale of the photos they took of us), restrooms, and a snack bar. Also we took the same bus back to the ship so we could leave our valuables on the bus while tubing which was convenient. We did some souvenir shopping near the dock and then got back aboard the ship. After dinner we had the ice show. It was actually better than I expected as they had a variety of different performances that we all enjoyed. It wasnt Olympic quality skating but it still was good quality and I felt they put a lot into the show. Day 5 - Wednesday, 7/12 Grand Cayman -- Grand Cayman is another tender port but we didnt need to get a tender ticket. We had a Stingray and Island tour booked through Native Way for 11 am ship time. We caught a tender, did some shopping, and then asked for Native Way at the information booth (near where the tenders drop you off). Paula from Native Way picked us up in a mini van and told us that we were going to do the Island tour first. We had a private tour for just the four of us which was fantastic. Paula seemed to know everyone on the island and was full of information for us. We stopped at 7 mile beach (for a photo), Hell, the turtle farm, and the Tortuga Rum Cake Factory. The kids particularly enjoyed the turtle farm as they got to hold a baby turtle. At the rum cake factory, Paula bought us some sodas and patties (pastries filled with seasoned meat) which were delicious. I thought that was a nice touch. After the land portion of our excursion, we drove to a dock to board our boat to the stingrays. I was a little concerned about time (as it was now 1:30 pm ship time and our last tender was at 3:30 ship time) but they assured me that we would get back on time. We said good bye to Paula and boarded a boat with 6 others and headed out to the stingray sandbar. It was nice being in such a small group as we saw other boats headed back in with close to a hundred or more on board. We arrived at the sand bar and entered the water. There werent hundreds of stingrays like Id imagined but there were enough to make it exciting and fun. The Native Way guides did a good job as they made sure that everyone got to hold a stingray, feed one, etc. The stingrays are gentle creatures (at least these ones were) and I never felt the slightest bit of danger of getting stung. On the way back, they let my step daughter drive the boat which she really enjoyed. The boat got back at 3 pm and we made it back to get on line for a tender at 3:15 pm so it was cutting it slightly close, but it all worked out. I highly recommend Native Way as the tour was cheaper (for both an island and stingray tour) than a ship tour (for only a stingray tour) and we got much more personalized attention (a personal island tour and stingray tour with only 10 versus a ship tour with hundreds). Tonight, we let the kids order room service for dinner and then my wife and I went to Portofino. I had the lobster and seafood skewer which was very good and my wife tried the filet which was excellent as well. We ended up with six courses and way too much food. They even had a pre-dessert of chocolate covered strawberries and a few other goodies before the actual dessert. It was a very good meal falling slightly short of 5 star but still excellent. It was also the night for the gala buffet. We went to view it and take pictures and it was really amazing. There were ice sculptures, fruit carvings, an Eiffel Tower made of chocolate and amazing figures made out of butter. We were too tired to wait another thirty minutes to eat the buffet though so we went to bed. I still regret it. Day 6 - Thursday, 7/13 Cozumel -- We arrived at 10 am at the International Pier and had to tender to shore. This was the only port where tender tickets were required (for the first 2 hours or so after we arrived). We had two different dolphin swims booked with Dolphin Discovery at Chankanaab Park. We had a royal swim at 3 pm ship time (for me and my step son) and a dolphin encounter at 4:30 pm ship time (for my wife and step daughter). Since the swims were later in the day we decide to eat breakfast in the dining room then catch a tender after the initial rush to get ashore had subsided. Breakfast in the dining room had mostly the same items available as the Windjammer but they did have Eggs Benedict which was pretty good. The tender was a fairly short 10 minute ride and was smooth sailing. My wife and I had been to Cozumel last year before the hurricane. The first thing I noticed when coming ashore is that the pier of Puerta Maya (next door to where we came ashore) was pretty much gone, although efforts are underway to rebuild it. We did some shopping and then caught a taxi to Chankanaab. Our cab driver was extremely friendly and asked what time we needed a cab back to the pier. He said hed be there waiting for us when we were ready to return. We had also been to Chankanaab last year and the place looked totally different. The Dolphin Discovery area has been completely rebuilt with new buildings for both the gift shop and the locker/viewing (to watch the video after your dolphin swim) area. We didnt go the beach as you had to ride a little cart to get over there, as construction is ongoing. Considering that the park was completely wiped out by the hurricane, they are doing an amazing job in rebuilding. We checked in for our Royal Swim and were given a short briefing before entering the water. The Royal Swim is an amazing experience. Titan and Amaya were our dolphins and we each got to experience a kiss, a hug, a foot push, a dorsal pull, a chance to hand feed the dolphins, and dance with them. We also got to have a splash fight with the dolphins. It was outstanding and well worth the money. They film and photograph the swim and afterwards they show you the DVD and photos that can be purchased. Lockers are provided free of charge for use during the swim. After we finished, my wife and stepdaughter did the Dolphin Encounter. My stepdaughter raved about how fun it was afterwards and how dolphins are her favorite animal now. We bought the DVDs and photos for both swims and it was now 5:45 pm (the last tender was at 6:30) so it was time to head back. Low and behold our taxi driver was there waiting for us just as he said hed be (there were other taxis around too). I thought it was very nice that he came back for us and he quickly got us back to the pier. We got in line for the tender at 6 pm with plenty of time to spare. I highly suggest booking the dolphins on your own in Cozumel rather than a ships tour because its extremely easy to do and saves money. We had originally planned to go to Johnny Rockets tonight but my stepdaughter wanted to go to Adventure Ocean (she loved it there and spent almost every evening there) so she ate quickly at the Windjammer and we dropped her off. We were in the mood for steak and had missed our normal dinner time so we called Chops to see if they had any openings. We were in luck as they had 8:45 pm open. Chops was excellent and I had a great tasting filet mignon. I found the service to be friendlier here than at Portofino and I also preferred the décor. Both specialty restaurants were very good but I do want to point out that I feel that Nick and Noras on the Carnival Miracle is better than either. On Carnival I could get surf and turf with steak and lobster which I couldnt do on RCCL. Also, the desserts in Nick and Noras were out of this world and only very good in Chops and Portofinos. I also prefer the location of Nick and Noras as it is on the top of the ship and isolated by itself, whereas Chops and Portofino are located within the buffet area (although they are separate rooms and are very nice). Day 7  Friday, 7/14 At Sea -- We slept fairly late as we were worn out from four straight days at port. All of us woke up feeling sad as today was the last day of the cruise. We ate lunch in the dining room and they had a ham and cheese croissant sandwich that was fantastic. I had ordered something else but after tasting the sandwich (my wife had ordered) I ordered one for myself too. After lunch we played ping pong and then went to bingo (the jokes were even worse from the crew member running the games) where the jackpot was over $7,000. We of course lost but that was to be expected. I had filled out a form to get tips added to our on board account, so vouchers had been delivered to our cabin that I could use to put into the tipping envelopes. Just as a commentary, I really felt strange about tipping the head waiter since we had seen him just twice all week. He did nothing but walk around from table to table schmoozing with passengers and added no value whatsoever in my opinion. He also made me feel awkward when I tried to give him his tip. I tried to hand him the envelope when he came to our table and he said that hed get it later. I never did end up handing him the envelope (and wouldnt have tipped him at all had I not gone the prepaid route for tips). The waiter and assistants are the ones who did all the work so I felt great about giving them their tips. We had our picture taken with our waiters and then sadly left after dinner. They felt like friends to me and they had taken great care of the children. After dinner we packed and put our luggage outside the door, as luggage had to be out by midnight. We had lavender luggage tags which were supposed to be called between 7:30 and 8 am the following morning. We had some ice cream at Ben Jerrys and then called it a night for the final night on board the ship. Day 8 - Saturday, 7/15 Disembarkation -- We woke up at 7 am and were planning to leave the cabin by 7:30 but we heard an announcement at 7:10 am that lavender could now disembark. We scrambled to get ready and left the cabin five minutes later. Disembarking was really easy as the luggage arrived on carousels just like at an airport. It took us 35 minutes from our cabin to a taxi with the only delay being a wait for passport control. Royal Caribbean definitely has Carnival beat in this area as it seemed much more organized. On Carnival the luggage was just left in a huge room after you got off the ship and people were running every where in a mad scramble to find their bags. As we exited the terminal there was a sign pointing to the right for Miami airport transportation and a sign pointing to the left for Fort Lauderdale airport transportation. We were in a taxi at 7:50 and arrived at Fort Lauderdale airport at 8:30 am for a 1 pm flight. Everything I had read said to not book morning flights after a cruise but in this case I wish I had. To summarize the differences between Royal Caribbean and Carnival, I feel that Royal Caribbean had a superior dining room, better tendering process, and much better disembarkation. Carnival had a much better buffet and a better specialty restaurant. Entertainment and service were equally good on both ships. I would gladly take either cruise line again. Both the Navigator of the Seas and Carnival Miracle have their plusses and minuses but the positives far outweigh the negatives for both. I think we made a good choice for a family cruise as the Navigator is a great ship for children. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2006
I am going to try to keep this review simple and to the point, but feel free to ask any detailed questions. Also, I apologize in advance for any misspellings. Background: Our cruise consisted of me (19 years old, sixth cruise), my friend ... Read More
I am going to try to keep this review simple and to the point, but feel free to ask any detailed questions. Also, I apologize in advance for any misspellings. Background: Our cruise consisted of me (19 years old, sixth cruise), my friend (19 years old, first cruise), and my dad (51 years old, seventh cruise). Food: I have never really been impressed with the food on any cruise in the past. I have always thought that there was a lot of food, but never thought it tasted great. This trip my impression about the food changed drastically. The food on board was amazing! I was very impressed with not only the dining room food but also Portofino's and Chops. The only thing I ate on board that was too gross to eat was the chocolate donuts from Cafe Promenade. They tasted like dinner rolls with hardened chocolate on them. Also, Johnny Rockets was soooooooooo worth the cover charge! Activities: I was not very impressed with the amount of activities for the 18-20 year old group. The drinking policy changed the day before we left (it changed July 28) and so that left us without much to do at night but gamble and watch people make a fool of themselves in the Dungeon. I would have liked to have seen more bands by the pool at night. Ports of Call: Due to Tropical Storm Chris we had to skip our stop at St. Maarten which was a major bummer. But, they made the stop up at Coco Cay which was pretty cool. In San Juan we went to one of the forts and then went to Senor Frogs. Senor Frogs was crazy as usual! In St. Thomas we went to Magen's Bay. Since I am used to the awesome white sand beaches of Florida, I was not impressed with the beach at Magen's Bay. In Nassau we went to the Atlantis, and once again, the bar was the most fun thing there! Stateroom: We were in a oceanview stateroom on the 2nd floor. I was a little worried when we booked that it was going to be too small, but since it was the only room left at the time, we booked it anyway. The room ended up being plenty big enough and being on the 2nd floor, it was very convenient for getting off the boat at the ports of call. Ship: Very clean, ultra fine ship! I was amazed how well kept up the ship was. I love how they have hand sanitizing lotion by the food stations on-board. The promenade was amazing! Pros: The features of a Voyager Class ship speak for themselves. Cons: The only thing I didn't like about Royal Caribbean is that I have a hard time trusting them since they changed the alcohol policy (making it 21 to drink all alcoholic beverages on-board) without any notice. Royal Caribbean gave us no warning that the policy was going to change. The main reason we picked Royal Caribbean over Carnival in the first place was because 18-20 year olds could drink beer and wine on-board. If I would have not read about the change several days before the trip on Cruise Critic, I never would have known about the change before I went on my trip. They didn't even update the policy on the website until several days after it went into effect. I feel they should have let the customers know about the change in advance so that if they wanted to make plans to cancel, they would have the opportunity. One more thing on this subject.....I called Royal Caribbean many times (15 to 20) in the days leading up to the cruise and no one at customer service knew about the change until 5 p.m. the day before the change occurred. Shouldn't Royal Caribbean at least tell their customer service reps about the change so that if a customer calls, they can give the customer the right information? The whole thing was kind of strange to me, but we still had a great time so it really doesn't matter. Overall: Navigator is the ship to choose, but I would look for better ports of call. We found the ports of call pretty, yet kind of boring. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2006
We just returned from the 6/10/06 sailing of Navigator of the Seas to the Western Caribbean. We had been to all of the ports of call from our six previous cruises so we really went on the cruise to sail on Navigator! Day 1 (Miami) - Our ... Read More
We just returned from the 6/10/06 sailing of Navigator of the Seas to the Western Caribbean. We had been to all of the ports of call from our six previous cruises so we really went on the cruise to sail on Navigator! Day 1 (Miami) - Our flight arrived in Fort Lauderdale at around 9:30 AM. We took a limo from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Intl. to the Port of Miami. The ride was about 35 minutes on a Saturday morning with little traffic. We got to the pier just before 11 AM and were the first ones in the terminal so we had our picture taken and sat in the lounge area until 11:30 when they opened up security. We checked in with our Set Sail Pass and were on the ship by 11:45. We usually try not to sail out of Miami because the Port of Miami always seems so crowded and rushed but this was one of the best embarkation experiences we have ever had. Day 2 (At Sea) - Sunday was actually kinda overcast. We had planned on laying out on the pool deck most of the day but since it was cloudy we stayed in the cabin, ate at the Windjammer and explored the ship, comparing it to her sisters Mariner and Voyager of the Seas. The rest of the day was spent resting up for the rest of the cruise, we had to leave the house at 3:00 AM on Saturday. Day 3 (Labadee) - Labadee is actually one of our favorite ports. We spent the entire day at the beach. We got off at about 9:30 to avoid the early tender crowd and it worked out pretty well. The day was beautiful, as it always has been for us in Labadee. We usually do not eat at the BBQ because it is usually not too great, but they have improved it since last time and we actually had a pretty good lunch. Day 4 (Ocho Rios) - Ocho Rios was great. We took a brief tour of Ocho Rios and then we were dropped off at Dunns River Falls. We have never climbed the falls before and it was very worth it. We had a great time and will definitely do it if we ever go back to Ocho Rios. If you don't bring your own water shoes, you can rent them at the falls for $5. Day 5 (Grand Cayman) - Grand Cayman is also one of our favorites. We did the Trolly Rodger, which did not appeal to us but a few people in the group wanted to give it a try. It was short and not too exciting, which was to be expected. After the trolly tour, we went to Seven Mile Beach for a couple hours. Freedom of the Seas was tendering beside us in Grand Cayman. Our next cruise is on Liberty of the Seas and I have to say I really think the Navigator has a better looking exterior than Freedom. I can't stand the yellow looking mini hump on Freedom of the Seas. But besides that, from the exterior, they are nearly identical. Day 6 (Cozumel) - It was another mostly cloudy day in Cozumel. We decided to stay on the ship until 3:00 PM because the ship was completely deserted, it was great. At about 3:00 we got on a tender and took a cab downtown for $6 and did some shopping. Day 7 (At Sea) - Friday was a beautiful day at sea, not a cloud in the sky. We stayed around the pool most of the day and listened to the band on the pool deck. This day at sea really was a great end to a great cruise. The Ship - As I said before, we really took this cruise because of the ship, not the itinerary. We wanted to give Navigator of the Seas a try before Freedom and Liberty because we have heard so many great things about Navigator. I was not disappointed. Overall, the Navigator is in great shape for being almost 4 years old and never having a refurb. The only places she shows wear is on the outdoor track and some of the carpet inside the corridors and stairways, which is to be expected. Keep in mind these ships have over 3500 guests plus crew on and off the ship every week of the year. While we were on our cruise, they replaced all of the deck chairs on the top deck and pool deck areas from the teal ones to dark blue ones just like them. It really improved the look of the deck area. They really do a good job maintaining the ship. They are always painting, washing, and picking up behind the scenes, especially late at night and early in the morning. They replaced some carpet while we were on, but were never in the way while replacing carpet or deck chairs. The Cabin - We had a Deluxe Oceanview stateroom with a balcony, number 6250. It was a great cabin and plenty spacious for three adults. I was weary about having a balcony on deck six and the cabin being right on top of Cafe Promenade but we had no noise trouble at all and I actually preferred having the deck 6 balcony than a higher one. The interior of the cabin was in good shape, of course in need of the new bedding, but it was fine for a weeks stay. The Crew - Cruise director Graham Seymour was our favorite cruise director yet. We were a little disappointed with the amount of crew that was sent over to Freedom of the Seas. Many of the Guest Relations staff and bar waiters were sent to Freedom and you could tell they were new to Navigator and possibly new to the job. They were all nice and helpful, though. Overall - We had a fantastic cruise on the Navigator of the Seas and would cruise on her again in a heartbeat. We are really going to miss her when she leaves for Europe and then begins sailing short Western Caribbean itineraries. She really is still one of the best ships out there in my opinion after seven cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2006
We just returned from the 6/10/06 sailing of Navigator of the Seas to the Western Caribbean. We had been to all of the ports of call from our six previous cruises so we really went on the cruise to sail on Navigator! Day 1 (Miami)- Our ... Read More
We just returned from the 6/10/06 sailing of Navigator of the Seas to the Western Caribbean. We had been to all of the ports of call from our six previous cruises so we really went on the cruise to sail on Navigator! Day 1 (Miami)- Our flight arrived in Fort Lauderdale at around 9:30 AM. We took a limo to from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Intl. to the Port of Miami. The ride was about 35 minutes on a Saturday morning with little traffic. We got to the pier just before 11 AM and were the first ones in the terminal so we had our picture taken and sat in the lounge area until 11:30 when they opened up security. We checked in with our Set Sail Pass and were on the ship by 11:45. We usually try not to sail out of Miami because the Port of Miami always seems so crowded and rushed but this was one of the best embarkation experiences we have ever had. Day 2 (At Sea)- Sunday was actually kinda overcast. We had planned on laying out on the pool deck most of the day but since it was cloudy we stayed in the cabin, ate at the Windjammer and explored the ship, comparing it to her sisters Mariner and Voyager of the Seas. The rest of the day was spent resting up for the rest of the cruise, we had to leave the house at 3:00 AM on Saturday. Day 3 (Labadee)- Labadee is actually one of our favorite ports. We spent the entire day at the beach. We got off at about 9:30 to avoid the early tender crowd and it worked out pretty well. The day was beautiful, as it always has been for us in Labadee. We usually do not eat at the BBQ, because it is usually not too great, but they have improved it since last time and we actually had a pretty good lunch. Day 4 (Ocho Rios)- Ocho Rios was great. We took a brief tour of Ocho Rios and then we were dropped off at Dunns River Falls. We have never climbed the falls before and it was very worth it. We had a great time and will definitely do it if we ever go back to Ocho Rios. If you don't bring your own water shoes, you can rent them at the falls for $5. Day 5 (Grand Cayman)- Grand Cayman is also one of our favorites. We did the Trolly Rodger, which did not appeal to us but a few people in the group wanted to give it a try. It was short and not too exciting, which was to be expected. After the trolly tour, we went to Seven Mile Beach for a couple hours. Freedom of the Seas was tendering beside us in Grand Cayman. Our next cruise is on Liberty of the Seas and I have to say I really think the Navigator has a better looking exterior than Freedom. I can't stand the yellow looking mini hump on Freedom of the Seas. But besides that, from the exterior, they are nearly identical. Day 6 (Cozumel)- It was another mostly cloudy day in Cozumel. We decided to stay on the ship until 3:00 PM because the ship was completely deserted, it was great. At about 3:00 we got on a tender and took a cab downtown for $6 and did some shopping. Day 7 (At Sea)- Friday was a beautiful day at sea, not a cloud in the sky. We stayed around the pool most of the day and listened to the band on the pool deck. This day at sea really was a great end to a great cruise. The Ship- As I said before, we really took this cruise because of the ship, not the itinerary. We wanted to give Navigator of the Seas a try before Freedom and Liberty because we have heard so many great things about Navigator. I was not disappointed. Overall the Navigator is in great shape for being almost 4 years old and never having a refurb. The only places she shows wear is on the outdoor track and some of the carpet inside the corridors and stairways, which is to be expected. Keep in mind these ships have over 3500 guests plus crew on and off the ship every week of the year. While we were on our cruise, they replaced all of the deck chairs on the top deck and pool deck areas from the teal ones to dark blue ones just like them. It really improved the look of the deck area. They really do a good job maintaining the ship. They are always painting, washing, and picking up behind the scenes, especially late at night and early in the morning. They replaced some carpet while we were on, but were never in the way while replacing carpet or deck chairs. The Cabin- We had a Deluxe Oceanview stateroom with a balcony, number 6250. It was a great cabin and plenty spacious for three adults. I was weary about having a balcony on deck six and the cabin being right on top of Cafe Promenade but we had no noise trouble at all and I actually preferred having the deck 6 balcony than a higher one. The interior of the cabin was in good shape, of course in need of the new bedding, but it was fine for a weeks stay. The crew- Cruise director Graham Seymour was our favorite cruise director yet, really funny and tried to make everybody happy and have a great time. We were a little disappointed with the amount of crew that was sent over to Freedom of the Seas. Many of the Guest Relations staff and bar waiters were sent to Freedom and you could tell they were new to Navigator and possibly new to the job. They were all nice and helpful, though. Overall- Overall we had a fantastic cruise on the Navigator of the Seas and would cruise on her again in a heartbeat. We are really going to miss her when she leaves for Europe and then begins sailing short Western Caribbean itineraries. She really is still one of the best ships out there in my opinion after seven cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2006
This was our first cruise and we loved it!! My husband and I went with 3 other couples to celebrate our 30th birthdays. It was the 1st cruise for 3 of the couples and the 3rd for the other. We flew from Chicago to Miami and stayed at the ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we loved it!! My husband and I went with 3 other couples to celebrate our 30th birthdays. It was the 1st cruise for 3 of the couples and the 3rd for the other. We flew from Chicago to Miami and stayed at the Marriott (nice hammocks near the pool to relax in at night) and took a cab to the port on Saturday morning--very easy. We checked-in online, the process at the port was very easy, and the lines seemed to move quickly. We arrived at the cruise ship around 11:30 or noon and headed to the Windjammer for a buffet lunch as the rooms aren't ready until 1:00pm. Tip: bring a small carry-on with you so that you'll have access to sun screen, book, sunglasses, hat, contact lens solution, glasses, etc while you're waiting for your bags to arrive. We had our luggage before dinner and we sent all of our clothes to be pressed (great tip from another cruise critic reviewer). If you send the clothes out on Saturday, they're returned to you by Sunday at 5:00pm. We paid about $35 to have most of the clothes in our suitcases pressed. You won't have an iron in your room as it's considered a fire hazard. Windjammer food was good; dining room was excellent; Cafe Promenade had good pizza; and Johnny Rockets had the same greasy food as back home. We didn't book any excursions from home before leaving. A previous reviewer mentioned needing to pay for beach chairs in Labadee. We were not charged for chairs; perhaps they tipped someone to move chairs for them or show them to an open chair. The night before, we booked a waverunner to use on Labadee through the excursions desk on the ship. It was a guided tour around the shore and were on it for about 1 hour. We had a great time! In Ocho Rios, Jamaica, we got a cab at the pier and went to Dunn's River Falls. There are guides there and we joined a group to climb the falls. What a great, fun, and unique experience! For this excursion I think we paid about $30 per person (taxi, entrance fee, guide) as opposed to $60-80 per person if booked through the cruise ship. In Grand Cayman we just walked in and out of the shops and spent the day at the pool on the ship. Cozumel, Mexico, turned out to be a bust. We signed up for the Passion Island excursion the night before at the excursions desk on the ship. The next morning we meet at the Metropolis Theater on board at 9:45am with a tender boarding time of 10am. We sat in the theater (along with fellow passengers) waiting, and waiting with no information or explanation regarding the delay. At 11:45am we decided to cancel our excursion and was given a full refund at the guest relations desk. We spent the day at the pool on board. I still have no idea what happened. We recommend: *Getting a room with a balcony. We had room service deliver our breakfast each morning and sat on the balcony while we ate (room service is included in cost of cruise; just need to tip). *Get the pop package if you drink a lot of pop. It's around $40 for all the pop you can drink in 7 days as opposed to $1.50 per drink. *Have your clothes pressed the day you arrive. *Hang out on Labadee (hammocks strung between palm trees!) *Do Dunn's River Falls *Have a drink (or two) at Two Poets. *On board, see the Love and Marriage Game Show, Ice Skating show, and the Finale Show. Some things to look out for: *elevators are slow and have mobs of people waiting especially around dinner time and when returning to the ship. Be prepared to take the stairs. *Drinks are served in "souvenir" plastic glasses unless otherwise requested. The "souvenir" glass adds $1-2 dollars to the cost of the drink. *a cruise is not all-inclusive. You pay for pop ($1.50 per drink), alcohol, excursions, tips, souvenirs, professional pictures, etc. Each couple in our group had charges of $700-1000 at the end of the cruise. *Gratuity is added to all drinks automatically. There's a line that says "additional tip" so that you can give more for outstanding service. All-in-all a GREAT trip and would absolutely cruise again on RCI. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2006
There were 19 of us on this cruise, with 6 under 18 years old. Excursions The best thing we did was to book our own group excursion in San Juan Puerto Rico with Legends of Puerto Rico. Our driver, Jaime, was knowledgeable and relaxed. ... Read More
There were 19 of us on this cruise, with 6 under 18 years old. Excursions The best thing we did was to book our own group excursion in San Juan Puerto Rico with Legends of Puerto Rico. Our driver, Jaime, was knowledgeable and relaxed. The bus comfortably carried 22 so we had ample room. Debbie booked the bus and driver for us. She was professional and did exactly as we asked. I have organized visits for the current First Lady and Mrs. Clinton when she was in the White House, and this bus driver could have easily done it for us. They are that good and the price is much more reasonable than paying the per person price charged by the Navigator or other companies. We visited the Bacardi House, drank rum, toured Isla Verde and Condado and ended up with a great visit of Old San Juan and the fort. Although traffic caused the bus to be behind the schedule we had accorded, they did not charge us more (although to express our appreciation we did tip the excellent driver well). The worst excursion was the one organized by the Navigator in Nassau which goes to the Atlantic Hotel on a boat. The boat was overloaded (to the point of being dangerously overcrowded), the fumes were horrible and the chairs were those cheap movable plastic chairs that were so low one could not see anything. It was a rip-off and a dangerous one at that. DO NOT take that excursion! There were some elderly members in our group and the tour guide arranged by the Navigator walked so fast that we had to drop off the walking tour! I would highly recommend you simply negotiate a cab ride ($4 per person) from the pier and go directly to the Atlantis Hotel is that's what you want to do. Then pay the fee to walk around the hotel on your own. No need to get the tour. They say nothing of interest. After you walk leisurely around the hotel, visit the casino and stores near the lobby. Those are nice. I wish we would have done that and saved all the money we paid for the fume-filled dangerous harbor boat tour. It was so bad that we dropped off the group and took our own cab back ($4 per person) from the front of the Atlantis Hotel and got back to the ship on our own. The small boats used to transport you back to the harbor (part of the tour) are also very small and not nice. Beware! The organized tour in St. Marten was also another disappointment. We did the City Tour. The bus sat at the pier for nearly one hour before we departed. We simply drove from the pier (on the Dutch side) to the French side and got off and walked. We could have done this in a cab or a small bus and left promptly and enjoyed the extra time walking and shopping. Another waste of money. Do this on your own! Negotiate a price to drive you and your party to the French downtown and walk around the fruit market, the shopping area, the small mall, the coffee shops, and then take the taxi or small bus back to the Dutch side. Ask the taxi driver to drive you around the island on the way back and you have the tour for hardly no money. Our tour guide spoke about the island but again, said nothing that you do not already know from reading the basics of St. Marten. Save your money. Another horrible land tour was the one in St. Thomas. DO NOT go to Coral World. It is poorly maintained and has nothing you cannot see at the Miami Seaquarium, or any other aquarium in the U.S. It is NOT a nice place to visit. Then we were driven to Magen's Bay Beach which was overcrowded with all the ships at port. Seems that all the planned tours go there. I recommend you hire a small bus or a taxi driver to take your party to another more secluded beach or to simply drive you to Magen's Bay Beach. Again, waiting for everyone to assemble was very time consuming. Do not waste your time or money on a planned tour of Coral World or Magen's Bay Beach. If you do hire a taxi driver ask him/her to stop at the lookout point overlooking the port/bay for some great photos and then just drive around. Taxi drivers know where to go. The Ship Now that I have sunk the Navigator-organized excursions for being expensive, crowded, always delayed, and useless, let me RAVE about the ship itself. Honestly, consider staying on the ship and enjoying it more. The prices for liquor are lower on the ship! DO not waste your time carrying it back aboard. I priced the top sellers in St. Thomas and St. Marten and found the best prices on the ship liquor store. One exception was the Bacardi store in San Juan with great prices on souvenirs (superb caps, umbrellas, shirts with he Bacardi logo) and the best 18 year old rum you have ever had which you can only buy at the Bacardi plant. That was great plus you get free Bacardi drinks at a breezy and nice bar before and after your tour. The restaurant service was great. Our main waiter was NAVIN, from India and his assistant waiter was also Indian and the other assistant waiter for our party of 19 was Turkish. Those gentleman were superb. They did everything they could to make you enjoy every dinner. On lobster night I just wanted lobster (no side dishes) and they brought just what I wanted. The last night, I was so full I also wanted the NY Strip Steak with no accompaniments and they brought me the perfect steak! They were attentive to such things as having water in your goblet, bread when you needed it, and serving everyone at once. It was perfect. The breakfasts and lunches in the dining rooms were open seating. It was OK to sit with others (because the entire group of 19 did not eat breakfast and lunch together). We ate at the buffet on the 11th floor at the Windjammer twice and found the dining room dining experience much nicer. The buffet was always sort of rushed and more crowded and could have been served anywhere. You paid for a wonderful cruise so enjoy the wonderful service offered in the dining room. You also eat much less if you go to the dining room because, although you can order as much as you want, you do not over-serve yourself as you would in a buffet. Also, I found that some of the food that appears at dinner the prior night, re-appeared in the buffet the following lunch in a modified form. My brother and the kids enjoyed the buffet more because it was quick, crowded, and noisy. I recommend going to the dining room. The pools were beautiful and great. I enjoyed the adult pool very much. Once on the last day did I see children in that pool (prohibited) but the staff did not do anything about it. Maybe it was the last night! The main pool was always crowded and noisy but ful to see. The adult pool (Solarium) is salt water which is nice. The bar is right nearby and you can enjoy your drink while soaking in the nice pool. I even did a step class and it was superb. Don't be afraid and try the step class or the aerobics class. It is not difficult and the choreography you can follow easily even if you are a beginner. It is a great morning work-out, as if the morning stretch! The sauna and Turkish Bath were great and always empty. If you like that, enjoy them, they are always clean and filled with towels. I noticed that men kept on their bathing suit in both the sauna and Turkish Bath. The SPA looked great and the services varied. The prices were comparable to US prices. The hair salon was packed on the two days of the gala dinners. Book early if you need to have your hair done. The rooms were great and kept clean and filled with fresh towels. Although the bathrooms are small they have everything you might need. The entertainment was varied and abundant. Our favorite by far was the Ice Show. Be sure to get tickets for the Ice Show and there is a coupon behind each Ice Show ticket for drink discounts as you enjoy this superb show! We also enjoyed the other shows. It is very casual. Go to all of them. If you do not like what they offer on a particular night get up and leave. It is very relaxed. I enjoyed all of them. The casino was fun. The bartender Ernesto from Uruguay was superb. What a nice helpful young man. He makes great drinks. Tip him well...he deserves it..and they live only on tips! The slot machines were fun. No one in our party won anything but the money we all lost was spent enjoying playing the games. Blackjack is the simplest card game to learn and play. We also enjoyed some of the other special activities. The gala buffet was beautifully presented. Do not miss seeing it. Also the pool caribbean night party buffet was nice and well-attended. The art auctions were fun but the items seemed a bit high for what you get. Compare the prices on eBay and other art auction websites before you buy anything. If you do win one of the auction raffles and get "free cash" to buy something, then buy something with what you won. I buy and collect a lot of art and did not find there were any good deals to be had. Do not get carried away and overbid for something you really do not want. Also remember that most items are sold unframed and framing is very expensive. It was fun seeing the auction and enjoying the free French champagne that flowed abundantly...Go and enjoy the free champagne and ask your wife/husband/SO to slap you if you bid on something! The embarkation was smooth although the lines were VERY long. If we had arrived later (we arrived at 2:30 PM) we would have waited much less. Folks who arrived at 3:30 or 4 PM had no waiting time! Disembarkation was smooth...smoother if you are with someone on a wheelchair! Tip the stewart well who helps you skip those long lines if your party is traveling with someone who needs a wheelchair. The wheelchair stewart picks up passengers needing help at the Boleros Cafe on the 4th deck. If you have any elderly folks in your group consider doing it because the lines are long as is the walk to immigration and luggage pick-up. The immigration officer was wonderful. It was an African-American lady and she is the best I have ever seen. What a kind friendly person! The passenger pick-up is chaotic! I would recommend you plan to meet your party somewhere nearby but not at the main exit area. There are "shark" tour guides that seem out-of-control and preying on innocent travelers who probably would prefer to get a city taxi. I saw no one from RCL controlling these "sharks." When you pack, pack less than you think you need! The stateroom closets are small and you can wear the same thing again and again. Although we thought we packed light, we took things we never wore. Comfortable shoes are a must! If I did not cover anything you'd like to know please let me know. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2006
My wife, her sister and husband and I have planned this trip for about one year. My wife and I have been on a total of 8 cruises. We have been on: Carnival/Ecstasy 1993 Western Caribbean, Celebrity/Horizon 1995 Bermuda, Celebrity/Zenith ... Read More
My wife, her sister and husband and I have planned this trip for about one year. My wife and I have been on a total of 8 cruises. We have been on: Carnival/Ecstasy 1993 Western Caribbean, Celebrity/Horizon 1995 Bermuda, Celebrity/Zenith 1996 Bermuda, Royal Caribbean/Enchantment of the Seas Eastern Caribbean 1998, Royal Caribbean/Voyager of the Seas 2000 Western Caribbean, Explorer of the Seas 2002 Western Caribbean, Voyager of the Seas 2004 Western Caribbean, Navigator of the Seas 2006 Eastern Caribbean. As you see we love Royal Caribbean! This cruise was no exception. We have Royal Caribbean's Visa Card and we accumulated enough points for one person free on this sailing. All we had to do was call the number on our card and they sent us the coupon and we gave the coupon to our travel agent. Important, if you do get the coupon, get it as close to the sailing as possible because there is an expiration date of 6 months and if you postpone your trip or anything like that you want as much time as possible to reschedule your trip. When flying, we always travel one day ahead to be sure of getting to the port on time and to be sure our luggage makes the voyage. We always make our own flight arrangements for the best pricing. When cruising out of Miami we always fly into Fort Lauderdale and take a shuttle to the hotel. The pricing to fly to Fort Lauderdale is cheaper including the shuttle. We used "Top Shuttle" service at the airport. They were excellent and on time. Cost $75.00 plus tip. We stayed at the Holiday Inn by the Bayside Market Place. We had a room with a great view of the port of Miami. We could see the ships! The Bayside Market Place is a great place with lots of shopping and good food. The only negative was expecting to see the big guitar over the Hard Rock Cafe and it was not there. Maybe a hurricane blew it off? Day one June 17th Partly Sunny We wanted to get to the ship early. I arranged a taxi to take us to the port at 10:00AM. The cost was $5.00/person plus tip. We gave our luggage to the porter and tipped him $2.00 per bag. We then proceeded through the doors and up an escalator to a large waiting room. There were about 20 people already there sitting on one side of the room. We got our welcome aboard pictures taken and sat down. In the middle of the room was a lined off section for going through the metal detectors. If you want to be the first one in line stand by this lined off area because later on the room will fill with people and if you are not by that area you will be behind a long line. They opened the line up at 11:00AM and we went into another area where they give you your sign and sail passes. There are multiple lines marked by decks so look for your deck number. The person checking us in forgot to take our Bahamas Immigration forms and she came running back to get them. We were now off to explore the ship. Like all the Voyager class ships, this ship is amazing. We still can't believe how large this vessel is. Captain Bang certainly has this ship in order. They told us we could not get into our cabins until 1:00PM. That was okay because we were busy exploring and going to the windjammer to eat. When I get on board I always check our table to see if we have the right place that I asked for. I asked for a table for four by a window in the Swan Lake Dining Room. They put us in the Nutcracker Dining Room in a table of four one table off the window and we were in a corner and could not see any of the activities in the dining room. If we were traveling with a group which we normally do we would want to be more towards the center where we could see the entertainment in the dining room. I asked the others if they wanted to change the table and since we saw all the entertainment in the dining room before they did not so I did not pursue it. They announced that our cabins were ready earlier at 12:30PM. We went to our staterooms. The Balcony cabin was excellent. We had plenty of space. All the luggage fit under the bed. The bathroom was the same with the two "U" shaped doors. The balcony had two chairs and a small table. The sides had frosted glass so you could not see through for privacy. We met our cabin Steward Patrick from Jamaica. He was great! Our room was always in great shape and he made the best towel animals! The muster drill was quick and painless and we were off to the going away party up on deck. The Roots Vibration band was excellent for the going away party and the frozen drinks were flowing. Floating away from Miami is an awesome sight!!! Time for dinner. We met our head waiter, Paul, our dinning room waiter, Victor, and our assistant waiter, IMade. All of these people exceeded our expectations and despite the table location, made this cruise one of our best experiences. The food was excellent and despite what people write about Royal Caribbean's food I think they have excellent choices and great tasting food. The welcome aboard show was next. We met our cruise director, Graham Seymour, for the first time. Out of all of our cruises, Graham was by far the best cruise director to date. He was extremely funny and sang very well. The welcome aboard Dance Party with the house band, Rock the Boat was very good. The Bon Voyage Parade was very similar to the past parades we saw, but still very well attended and performed. Day Two June 18th Partly sunny This is our first sea day. We worked out on the treadmills in the fitness center and we used the mineral spa. One of the 4 jets shooting straight out into the water was not working during the entire cruise. I found this similar thing on the other voyager ships I cruised on. They should fix this problem. We went to lunch in the Windjammer Cafe. They had many choices to choose from. I was a little disappointed with Jade. I was hoping for more of a choice, but it was very limited; fried rice, mixed vegetables and miso soup. We used the pool in the afternoon and had no trouble finding lounge chairs. We were invited to a Meet and Mingle party which you had to sign up for before you go on the cruise. 26 people signed up for the party and only 12 people showed up. For the people who did not show up they missed a very informative party with Captain Bang and his beautiful wife Darlene. Tonight was the Captain's Gala Dinner and the first formal night. Dinner was again very good and the service was excellent. The production show was very well performed and sung. The late night comedy show with Graham Seymour was the highlight of the cruise. Day three June 19th Partly Cloudy We decided to do shopping and sight seeing in San Juan, Puerto Rico. After shopping we went back to the ship for another excellent dinner. After dinner we went to the visitor center area and got a horse and carriage ride through San Juan; cost $80.00 plus tip. The ride was very good. Our driver took us past our cruise ship and Carnival's ship Triumph. They really looked cool at night. He took us through San Juan and we saw many historical buildings. We wanted to get back to the ship for the show tonight which featured "Revolution" the Beatles Tribute. The show was excellent, you would think that the Beatles were on the stage. It was totally awesome. Day Four June 20th Partly Cloudy We booked online the Ultimate Island Experience for St Thomas. We had the tickets delivered to our stateroom at the beginning of the cruise. On this excursion we made two sight seeing stops for pictures and the main stop was Magen's Bay for some beach time. After Magen's Bay they take you to Blackbeard's hill to see Blackbeards castle. We walked down the 99 steps into St Thomas for shopping. After shopping you have to take a taxi back to the ship. The taxi's are everywhere and they cost $4.00/person. Tonight's theme is Caribbean night. The dinner was great. We have tickets for the ice show called Ice Dancing. We got our tickets on day two at 9:30AM. The show was excellent, nobody slipped or fell... amazing! After that we went to the Love and Marriage Game Show with Graham Seymour. Again he was Grrrrrrrreat!!!! Day five June 21st Partly Cloudy We booked online the excursion St Maarten Sensation & Beach Break with Lunch. We had the tickets delivered to the stateroon at the beginning of the cruise. On this excursion we made two sightseeing stops one at Drake's Seat and the other at Cole's Bay. We had a stop at Marigot for shopping and then to Orient Beach for swimming. We had lunch at BOO BOO JAM on Orient Beach. The food was okay. The only problem with that was this is where you kept all your stuff, and they were on the far end of the beach. If you wanted to go to where all the activities are you had to walk pretty far. The water here was very pretty and the waves were very good for body surfing. Tonight the Celebrity Showtime is comedian Bobby Collins. He was very funny. Tonight was also "The quest", we did not attend. Day six June 22nd Partly Cloudy This is our second sea day. We worked out on the treadmills in the fitness center and we used the mineral spa. We ate lunch in the dining room today. The food was excellent. I had the orange chicken. We relaxed at the pool and watched the volleyball tournament. Tonight is the second formal evening the Crown and Anchor Dinner. The food and service again was wonderful. The show tonight was "All Access" with the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers. Day seven June 23rd Partly Cloudy Today we are in Nassau, Bahamas. This is a shopping day for us. We walked through the straw market. This place was very crowded and hot. I noticed two women vendors screaming at each other. We walked down Bay Street and brought some souvenirs. Me and my brother in law had a beer in one of the bars. $10.00 plus tip. We went back to the ship to relax before we sail away. We played mini golf today. Tonight is the feast of nations dinner and as usual the food and service was excellent. The farewell show is tonight with John Ferrentino. The show was okay. We are putting our luggage out today in the hallway. It has to be out between 7:00PM and 12 midnight. Day Eight June 24th Partly Cloudy They want you out of the cabin by 8:00AM. We had breakfast in the Windjammer Cafe. We had white luggage tags number #1. If you are leaving on a flight make sure you go on your TV and complete the welcome survey sometime in the beginning of your cruise. This survey will ask you about your flight plans. This will ensure that your luggage comes out early enough for you to catch your flight. There is a little white card that you are supposed to have if you don't have a passport, make sure you have one for every person. My wife didn't have one, but they left her though. At the baggage claim we found every piece of luggage except for one bag. I found it in baggage claim #3 instead of #1. So keep this in mind if you are missing a bag. We flew out of Fort Lauderdale on Delta. I would not advise anybody to fly Delta. We got out of Fort Lauderdale late and arrived in Atlanta close to our scheduled departure. We arrived at our gate 17 minutes prior to scheduled flight time and the gate personnel would not let us on the flight. They said it was closed and we would have to be reschedule 3 hours later. I'm pretty sure they gave our seats up to somebody else too early leaving us stranded. I'm a frequent flyer and I will never fly Delta again. In summary the cruise with Royal Caribbean was superb in every way. We are definitely planning another cruise with a large group in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2006
We arrived in Miami the Friday before our Saturday sailing and stayed at the Marriott Biscayne Bay. It was a convenient location with a quick cab ride to the port and Bayside for some pre-cruise drinks and dinner. The Marriott was fine, ... Read More
We arrived in Miami the Friday before our Saturday sailing and stayed at the Marriott Biscayne Bay. It was a convenient location with a quick cab ride to the port and Bayside for some pre-cruise drinks and dinner. The Marriott was fine, nothing special but it fit the bill - especially nice if you can get a room overlooking the port. We arrived at the port at about 11:30 and we were on the ship by about 12:30ish. Obviously lots of other travelers there but it seemed to go smoothly enough. Our first stop on board was the spa so we could get the sea day appointments at the times we wanted, then to Portofinos and Chops to make those reservations. Having never been on a cruise with specialty restaurants, we were curious to try them out. Then to Windjammer and the pool for some sun and tropical drinks! Just an aside to those unfamiliar with the baggage procedures  consider having shorts and bathing suit in your carry- on as most likely you will not have your luggage until later in the afternoon or evening. There were lots of folks at the pool the first day wishing they had their bathing suits. Our stateroom was really nice  I had heard so much about the hump we decided to give it a shot and we loved it. It was great being able to look forward towards the front of the ship. The room area by the window and slider and the balcony did feel more spacious but I could just be imagining that. Overall, clean and well-maintained with a very friendly cabin steward. Entertainment  Great! Much better than prior cruises. The dancers and singers were excellent. Graham Seymour the Cruise Director is quite a funny guy and keeps most laughing. Food  We thought the food in the main dining room was very good (not great) but considering they are serving thousands a day - very decent. Not big buffet fans so the Windjammer was fine but not really a favorite although we did enjoy their breakfasts and pizzas at lunch. Portofinos and Chops were excellent. Great service and food - we really enjoyed both. Some of the menu standouts for us were the Veal Saltimbocca, the Risotto, the grilled portobella mushrooms, and the desserts The ship itself is beautiful and we found it to be in excellent condition especially with the traffic it gets week in and week out. I particularly enjoyed the art work. As far as the ports are concerned, we only did one excursion choosing to sightsee around town or go the beach instead. San Juan had some beautiful architecture and we spent the majority of our time at El Morro which was interesting. Overall, not our favorite port although we enjoyed El Morro. In St Thomas, we took a cab to Magens Bay, which was absolutely beautiful, then in town for some souvenir shopping for the kids. We debated heading over St Johns instead of Magens Bay but ultimately decided we did not want to deal with ferries and cabs to get over there. We were perfectly happy with Magens Bay and it was nice to be able to get a Coke, use bathrooms, rent beach chairs ($6) etc. In St Maarten, we did the Americas Cup excursion and had a great time. Definitely one of the highlights of the cruise. It was fun helping crew, learning your task and putting it to work in the race. It is quite amazing how close the boats get to each other, several times I thought for sure we were going to hit. Nassau  having been there before I had low expectations (which were met) and since we had enough of the sun we just walked around town a bit then hit Senor Frogs for music and drinks. In summary, a fun, relaxing vacation on a beautiful ship with sunny, warm weather. Exactly what we needed! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2006
My boyfriend (soon to be fiancE...we'll get to that later) Craig and I left on May 20, 2006 for our 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise, departing from Miami. My first piece of advice: get to your port a day early if you need to fly ... Read More
My boyfriend (soon to be fiancE...we'll get to that later) Craig and I left on May 20, 2006 for our 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise, departing from Miami. My first piece of advice: get to your port a day early if you need to fly there. We took a 5:30 flight out of Albany International to Ft. Lauderdale, then transported to Miami via van. While everything went fine, I am very high-strung and was worried all day that we would be late! Getting there a day early would have relieved that stress. We were at the port by about noon-1:00, and got in line ASAP. Really enjoyed the lemonade and cookies provided! While the lines were long, they moved very quickly. We got our Sea Passes from the service desk and then got in line to get on the ship! We were quite early getting on board, so our cabin was not yet cleaned from the last cruise. This brings me to my second piece of advice: make sure you give all of your big luggage to the porters before you check-in and get on board. Again, being very high strung I insisted that we carry most of our luggage on board with us, to make sure it didn't get lost. This was not a smart idea, since our room wasn't ready until about 3pm and we had to drag our bags all over the ship with us in the meantime! The porters, I learned, are very responsible and I did not hear anyone complaining that they lost their luggage. Craig and I were immediately overwhelmed with all of the people offering us stuff on the ship. Drinks, wine specials for the week, jewelry, etc. We did sign up for the Wine Package for the week...you pay a set amount for however many bottles of wine you want for the week. Then, when you're at dinner, the waiters will get you whatever one you choose until you run out. If you don't finish the bottle, they hold on to it for you until the next time you want it. It was a great deal, and since we are big wine drinkers, it came in handy for the week! Once our room was ready, Craig and I settled in a bit. We were in an oceanview cabin, which was actually a decent size. The drawer space was good as well as the mirrors (hey, I'm a girl). The shower was a bit small (shaving your legs is an adventure, ladies!) but otherwise we enjoyed everything. The bed was also very comfy, and our housekeepers were great...they kept us entertained with towel animals all week (the elephant was our favorite). We changed out of our airport-wear and went out on deck to join everyone. We explored the different decks/pools/etc. and ended up hanging out near the railings just taking in Miami for a while. We did take the spa tour but soon realized that it was a little pricey for us! We did the muster drill around 4:30...it was very confusing. Craig and I couldn't figure out where our muster station was for the longest time. But it was a quick drill, and the ship didn't crash all week, so I guess it doesn't matter that we got lost! We left Miami on time, right around 5pm. They had a band on deck playing music, overall a very festive atmosphere for our sendoff! Craig and I had early dinner at 6pm so we headed to the formal dining room after the sendoff. A few notes about dining. First, we are taking another cruise in 9/07 and have already decided to do the later (8pm) seating. 6pm was very inconvenient for us, especially when we were at port. On a better note, the food is fantastic. We ate in the formal dining room most nights, and had no complaints about the food. Everything from filet mignon to lobster and you get as much as you want! Our waiters, John and Vicente, were also fantastic. We did enjoy that our dining room table was next to a window, but were not huge fans of our tablemates...we were young/unmarried, most of them were older/married and we just did not have a lot in common. You are assigned to sit with the same people at dinner all week (we were at a table for 8), so we couldn't really change it. We hope to get better pairings in our next cruise! The first night, we really just spent time roaming the decks. We went to the first show in the Metropolis theatre, which wasn't too exciting but acted as an introduction to the rest of the shows for the week. Our cruise director, Graham Seymour, was very funny though—kept us entertained the whole week! We turned in relatively early so that we would be able to get a lot done the next day! May 21, 2006 This was our first Day at Sea. We definitely made the most of it! Started with breakfast in the Windjammer Cafe, which is where we usually ended up for breakfast. They had a really good buffet selection, as well as cereal (my personal staple). Plus, the views from the cafe seating area are awesome. After breakfast, we did some of the recreational stuff on the ship. We started with the rock climbing wall. Tons of fun and there was hardly ever a line! Craig made it up on his first try—I didn't, but my effort was commendable. We also did a round of mini golf, which is WAY more fun on the deck of a ship than it is back home. We did a lot of sunbathing out by the pools and early on, decided our favorite pool was at the Solarium...lots of covered areas for us pale folks, and the pool itself was smaller than the main one on the other deck. We returned to the Windjammer for lunch, where they also had a great buffet selection. That night was the first formal dinner...so much fun playing dress up! After dinner we explored some of the bars/clubs on the ship. The Dungeon was definitely what Craig called the "hoopty-hoopty room"...lots of crazy top-40 music and dancing, which was fun for us for a while, but we were a little too tired for it! We stopped by the Champagne room where there was a great piano player. Our personal favorite spot turned out to be the Two Poets Irish Pub, where they had a great guitarist there every night. He always got people into the songs and they had a great beer selection. May 22, 2006 Today was our first port—San Juan, Puerto Rico. We didn't dock until 2pm, so we got up early, did breakfast at Windjammer, and made another attempt at the rock wall. (This time I made it!) We also went ice skating at the indoor rink...very fun, though the small size makes it a bit claustrophobic once a lot of people get on the ice. We got off the boat as soon as we could, around 2pm. We didn't have an excursion booked, but had heard that we could pick up a map of the city at the Visitor's Center and give ourselves the same walking tour that others were paying for via excursions. We heard correctly! We got our map (Visitor Center is right near where we docked) and walked the city. San Juan is a great place to explore on your own (but do bring water, it was hot hot hot in May!!). We walked along the shoreline for a while, and eventually ended up at Fort El Morro. You pass the fort when the boat is docking, and you can't miss it. It's out on a point. Very historic and has excellent views of the shoreline. We walked back through the shopping areas of town, which was good for souvenir hunting. Because of our early dinner time on the ship, we opted to have dinner on the island at Senor Frogs. Very fun! We especially enjoyed their "Yard" drinks and they had an emcee providing entertainment while we ate. Even though it was only 6pm or so, they had quite a party going on. We walked around town a bit more, and eventually headed back to the ship around 8pm. We weren't leaving port until 10, but we weren't really into the evening party scene (or walking around on our own after dark...not a good idea, we've heard!). The good thing about getting back on the ship early was that hardly anyone else was there, so we had first claim to the hot tubs! We soaked our tired feet for a while, then cleaned up so that we could hit Two Poets again. May 23rd, 2006 Second port day—St. Thomas! We docked much earlier this time. Breakfast at the Windjammer, then got off the boat and decided to walk around the shops near the dock for a while. This was not the most enjoyable time—most of the shops, we learned, are further downtown and easier to access by taxi. We ended up waiting around for a little while first, because we had a parasailing excursion booked for 10. What an awesome time!! We went out on a powerboat with 3 other couples, each taking turns getting rigged to the parasail. They kept you up in the air for about 10 minutes each (and made sure to dunk you in the ocean at least once!). I definitely recommend buying a waterproof camera for excursions like this. We brought one with us and got great photos while we were up in the air. After parasailing, we decided we wanted a relaxing afternoon. We got in a cab and asked the driver to take us to the nearest beach. The most popular beach in St. Thomas is Magen's Bay, but we didn't want the crowding and it was a longer drive. He took us to Morningstar Beach, which was great (and now holds a special place in our hearts!). We rented chairs and an umbrella, and I got a mask/snorkel as well—prices actually weren't too bad from the stand on the beach. We recognized the Royal Caribbean towels of the beachgoers next to us...turns out it was the road manager for Nelson (of 1990's fame), and the Nelson brothers were with her. They had just joined the cruise that day because they were going to be the entertainment tomorrow night on the ship. Very exciting for us to meet them! And, they actually took pictures for us about 15 minutes later when Craig surprised me and proposed in the water! So Nelson and Morningstar Beach will always be a good story for us. After the proposal, we giddy beachgoers headed back to the ship before the 5pm departure time. We called our families, then got ready for dinner. We actually had reservations at Chops, the steakhouse on board. What a great dining experience! We both had the filet mignon, which was amazing. We treated ourselves to dessert and lots of wine off our wine package as well. Definitely worth it to reserve at one of the specialty restaurants, for at least one dinner. Make sure you do it early though, they book up fast!! We reserved ours the first day on the ship. May 24th, 2006 Newly engaged, we headed on to St. Maarten. This was another early port, so we got breakfast at Windjammer and got off the boat. St. Maarten was easily our favorite port. It was very clean, the people were unbelievably friendly, and the water just seemed bluer (if that's possible!). We had an early excursion booked...ocean kayaking and snorkeling. Our group was bused out to another area of the island, where we met up with our guides and got a quick kayaking lesson. Then we all got into 2-person kayaks and went about a half mile out to a secluded beach. They had us put our snorkeling gear on, then got to snorkel for about an hour. It was awesome. The guides actually brought food into the water, which attracted huge schools of fish to us...made for some great underwater photos! Once we were done snorkeling, we all kayaked back...the guides had soda, water and beer available, and took some time to sit around with us and give us a small history of the island. Of all our excursions, this was definitely the most bang for the buck! We had a great time and the guides were unbelievably friendly. After the excursion, we went back to the shopping area near the dock. We grabbed a quick lunch at one of the stands, then did some souvenir shopping. (I found some great hand-made jewelry.) Definitely enjoyed the shopping here better than St. Thomas/San Juan...the salespeople didn't seem like they were trying to scam you with the pricing as much. We got back on deck around 5pm (6pm departure), and got ready for dinner. After dinner was the Nelson show, which of course we sat front and center for! They did a great set, and we got our photo with them again after the show. We stopped at the karaoke bar for a while, then back to Two Poets before bed. May 25th, 2006 Our last Day at Sea! We got up early as usual and did our Windjammer breakfast. We then decided, after all our activities this week, it was time to relax! We grabbed towels and hung around the Solarium with our drinks for a several hours. Did lunch in the dining room for the first time—the food was good, and our tablemates were more fun than dinnertime. (They seat you randomly when you come in for lunch.) After lunch, we did another round of mini golf, along with some turns around the inline skating track. We made time for a quick nap, then got ready for the second formal dinner—again, had a great time playing dress up! Not too much more to report from today—we really just took it easy and enjoyed the fact that we were on vacation. May 26th, 2006 Last port—Nassau, Bahamas! We didn't get off the ship until noon, so we spent the morning sunbathing. The day was a bit overcast, but still warm. We were not overly impressed by Nassau. I had cruised there about 8 years ago, and at that time my family had booked an excursion so that we had a private beach to hang out on all day. That is definitely the way to go. We did some souvenir shopping downtown, then took a taxi to the Atlantis hotel. We jumped onto a beach there, and were instantly annoyed by all the price haggling we had to do for a beach chair. Plus people kept coming by our towels to sell us stuff. We did get to relax on the beach for a while, but Nassau was definitely the place where we felt most hassled by the locals. Other than shopping/beaches, there wasn't much else to do without an excursion. We returned to the ship around 5 to get ready for our last dinner in the formal dining room. Then we had to pack—so sad!! We spent the night singing along in the Two Poets and wishing we didn't have to go home. May 27th, 2006 Departure day...boo! We had told Royal Caribbean that we had a much earlier flight than we actually did, so that we could be one of the first off the ship. This was a very good idea, as we didn't have to wait around long that morning. Our color tag got called and we got off the ship, got our luggage and caught a transport back to Ft. Lauderdale. I actually woke up sick with a stuffy nose this morning...thankfully, only the day we left! A smooth ride home ensued as we talked about all the great times we'd had...and our impending wedding! Overall, we had a great time and highly recommend Royal Caribbean to all of our friends. Craig was worried at first that he would get bored on the Days at Sea, but that was never the case. There's tons to do, but also lots of room for relaxation—which we welcomed a bit more than we thought we would. A Few Notes First, about the Sea Pass. BE CAREFUL. The Sea Pass is your ID on the ship, but it is also your form of payment whenever you pay for something on the ship. You can link your credit card to it, so your charges get added up all week, and then they put one big charge on your credit card bill. Because of this, it is VERY easy to spend more than you intend to. You can constantly check the balance on your Sea Pass through your room TV, and I recommend doing that. We kept ourselves in check all week and still left with a $500 bill! You can also opt to just put cash on the card and use it like a debit—that's another good way to control spending. As far as other spending, we brought about $500 to spend off the ship, and we spent all of it. That includes food/souvenirs/etc. and we are not very big shoppers. Given all this, I advise being smart about what you buy. Drinks of the Day look cute, but are very expensive! For other alcoholic drinks, check around at the different bars on the ship—sometimes one brand was cheaper at one bar vs. another. Get the most for your money. The photographers on the ship are very good, but be aware this is also an expensive venture. We had someone take nice photos of us on formal nights with our own camera, so we never had to buy anything. I'm all for having fun, but if you don't want to go broke on vacation there are definitely ways to avoid it! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2006
This was our 12th cruise (all with RCCL, DW did do a Carnival 15+ years ago, but wasn't impressed, so we don't count it), we live on the East Coast of Florida, so Port Canaveral is out Port of Choice, although due to other ... Read More
This was our 12th cruise (all with RCCL, DW did do a Carnival 15+ years ago, but wasn't impressed, so we don't count it), we live on the East Coast of Florida, so Port Canaveral is out Port of Choice, although due to other commitments had to book on the Navigator out of Miami to be able to do the Eastern itinerary. We left home around 8:00am Saturday morning for the 200 mile trip to Miami, traffic was good and we arrived at the port before 11:00am, followed the directions provided by RCCL in the ticket book, glad we did as the port is not very well sign posted. Once you are going over the bridge to the actual pier, then the signs are very good, but who needs them now, as the Navigator is so big, you could never miss it!!. Drove straight into the Drop Off Zone and unloaded bags, DW and DD, tipped the porter $5 for 3 suitcases and drove into the parking garage $12 per day ($84 for the week), pay as you leave, not as you enter like in Port Canaveral. Walked across the street, met back up with DW and DD and went into the terminal building. We are Diamond Crown and Anchor Members, so missed out on the wait at the check in, although at this time, there were probably only 50 or so people in line, check in was a breeze, we had our set sail passes and passports ready, on the ship by 11:30, we were told at check in that our cabins could not be accessed until 1:00, so went straight, to Customer Relations to rent DECT phone, so we could keep track of our DD, she's only 10, but looks and acts 16 and likes the Cruise Adventure activities and hanging out with new found friends,were told that they did not have any phones for rent, although latter they were advertised on RCTV as being available, well never mind, off to the Windjammer for lunch, usual RCCL buffet,great selection, hot and plentiful, went out to the pool, laid in the sun until 1:30 and then went to check out our room on the 9th deck, inside cabin, exactly the same as the Mariner, met our room attendant, asked him to make a double bed and pull the left side pullman bed down for DD, not a problem, but this did mean that he would have to step onto our bed to make up the pullman each night, was this ok with us? Went back to the pool deck, lazed around, had a few drinks, DD went and got the life jackets from the room at 4:00, came back and told us 2 cases were there, went to the Mustard Drill at 4:20, Mustard Station D19 is in the Dining Room on deck 4, no standing out in the sun for 1/2 an hour. Once Mustered, went back to the cabin, last suit case was there and unpacked, asked the room attendant, if he could take away the unused wooded hangers, they take up to much room, but he told us that they could just put them at the top of the closet, as if he took them away, he would be to busy on Saturday to get them back in time for next weeks guests, also asked for an "egg box" mattress topper, but was told they were not available. Went to the Schooner bar at 8:00 to have a pre dinner, we had late seating, cocktail and listen to the piano music, like we have done on ever other RCCL cruise we've been on, only to find that he doesn't start playing until 10:00pm. Went to dinner at 9:00pm, it's late on the first night, were seated at a table for 8, met a couple from Wales, we're originally from England, so hit it off and a couple and their son from Virginia, the son went to the Adventure Ocean with our daughter. Albert our waiter was wonderful all week, as was the assistant waiter, whose name I forget, after the first night, he had our drinks waiting for us, new which bread we liked etc. After dinner went to the Two Poets Pub on the promenade, met up with the couple from Wales and had a great evening singing alonDg to the Guitarist SHANE TAPPER, Shane made our vacation, we spent most nights in the Two Poets, he is a great entertainer, with a varied selection of music, and made everyone like part of the family, the 2 Bar Servers, Opal and San, were great, knew what drinks we had, sang along with Shane and generally had a laugh and a joke with everyone. Day 2 was spent at sea, sunning by the pool, breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer, Dinner in the Dining Room and Shane in the Two Poets after dinner. Day 3 was San Juan, we had no shore excursions booked for the entire cruise, we just wanted to do our own thing, got off the ship around 3:00pm wandered around San Juan, bought a few things and then headed back to the ship for some sun, dinner and, you've probably guessed, the Two Poets. Day 4 was St. Thomas. Took a Taxi to Morning Star Beach, about 10 Mins and $6 each, the drive was amazing, very small and narrow roads and very hilly, nice scenery as we drove. Morning Star beach was wonderful, clear blue water white sand, chairs and umbrella's Jet Ski's parasailing etc. Not crowded very relaxing. Taxi back to town, did some shopping and then back to the ship, for the usual, sun, dinner, Two Poets with Shane, Opal and San Day 5 was St. Maarten. Took the Water Taxi, $5 each round trip unlimited all day rides, to Front Street, once again, very narrow streets, but very beautiful, the vendors near the taxi drop off were a little pushy, come into my shop mon, but this stopped a little further in. Walked the entire length of Front Street, did some shopping and then took the water taxi back to the ship, got changed and took a taxi to the French Side of the Island and Orient Beach. Once again, clear blue waters, soft white sand and water sports for those who wanted them. Spent a wonderful 3 hours just relaxing, had a bite to eat at the Perch Bar, then back to the ship for, Dinner and the Two Poets. Day 6 was at sea, so see day 2 for what we did. Day 7 was Nassau, a bit cloudy, have been to Nassau so many times that we just stayed on the ship, breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer and then Dinner, Shane and the Two Poets. Although it seems that we spent our entire cruise in the pub, we did see some shows, Quest, which was hilarious, the Adult Comedy show with Cruise Director Graham Seymour, who is wonderful, late night stand up comedian and the parades in the promenade. We did not see the Ice show, although a couple at dinner, did and said it was even better than the one on the Mariner, which we thought was fabulous. We also enjoyed a lot of the pool activities. Getting off the ship was quick and organised, we were through Immigration and in the car by 8:00am This was the first cruise that we saw the Head Waiter every night, not just occasionally and on tip night!!. I was impressed with the state of the Navigator, it's been a year since we were on the Mariner and the Navigator is a year older, so we expected to see 2 more years worth of wear and tear, not so, the ship was impeccable. Well sorry it's been so long, I would rate this cruise a 10 out of 10, Thanks Shane, Opal & San, and the Navigator a 9 1/2, just due to the lack of DECT Phones, mattress toppers and Sorento's, although the pizza in the Cafe Promenade wasn't bad. Can't wait until September for our Freedom Trip. Read Less
Navigator of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.3
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.5 4.2

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