Sail Date: April 2006
We were "displaced" Star Princess cruisers. Our party consisted of Me, DH, & our 2 DD and their spouses. We booked VERY last minute when our cruise on the Star was canceled (due to the fire)and were fortunate enough to get 3 ... Read More
We were "displaced" Star Princess cruisers. Our party consisted of Me, DH, & our 2 DD and their spouses. We booked VERY last minute when our cruise on the Star was canceled (due to the fire)and were fortunate enough to get 3 Balcony rooms. (Of course we had to pay top dollar and the rescheduled airfare was costly) but at least our vacation was saved. DH and I had sailed with RCCL on the Sovereign once before, but the kids were all cruise newbies. (We have also sailed with Disney and Princess) We flew USAir from Pittsburgh to Miami, no problems. Great flight. Took a cab to the pier and we truly believe the cabbie drove faster than the pilot!! Yikes!!! We had checked-in online before we left home so check-in was a breeze. On the ship in about 20 min. What a beauty she is. We had aft balcony room #8678 for DH & Me and the kids were one deck up in #9674 & #9672. Our rooms were ready so we dropped off our carry-ons and head to the Windjammer for lunch. Good food but the seating was very limited. Our luggage was in our rooms when we finished lunch. We had time to unpack and tour the ship before we sailed off. We only saw our room steward on the first day we arrived, but our room was always clean and our turn down service was prompt and included those cute little towel animals every night. We all had the time of our life! Our cruise director, Graham Seymore was a hoot!! The entire staff was so friendly and they seemed to be on vacation with us. We loved the trivia contest, ice-skating, The Quest game and the stage shows were excellent. Bowzer, from Sha Na Na, was the headliner one evening and I was totally star-struck! (My kids has NO IDEA who he was!!) Our dining room serving team, Juanito and Vashal were "Excellent"! The food was great and our table overlooked the ocean and the sunset each evening was breathtaking! Labadee was beautiful, Ocho Rios was fun (especially Margaritaville), Grand Cayman was cool (especially Senor Frogs) but we weren't too fond of Cozumel. The shop keepers were very pushy and very grabby. The traffic was CRAZY!! Of course there were 6 other ships in port that day so the city was crowded!! Because of booking so late all the "good" shore excursions were already booked, so we just set off on our own to explore the ports. The pools onboard were only crowded the first sea day, and we never had any trouble finding chairs. I was not crazy about the sea water in the pools but I spent more of my time in the fresh water hot tubs. We met so many friendly cruisers. Loved the Dungeon nightclub for dancing the night away and I loved the casino because I won $550.00 on the slots. Disembarkation was a breeze. Had a great breakfast in the Windjammer and our color was called and we were off the ship by 9 a.m. Another scary taxi cab ride to the airport and we were back in Pittsburgh by 2:30 p.m. All in all we had a marvelous time and are looking forward to booking our next cruise on the Freedom or on the Genesis! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2006
Our 40th anniversary called for something new and exciting  but even after much research, we were unprepared for the magnificence of Navigator of the Seas and the entire 7-night cruise experience! Cruising is a passion of our youngest son ... Read More
Our 40th anniversary called for something new and exciting  but even after much research, we were unprepared for the magnificence of Navigator of the Seas and the entire 7-night cruise experience! Cruising is a passion of our youngest son and his wife. They convinced us to book our first cruise. My concern was motion sickness that I experience in small boats or if I try to read in a moving car. Not to worry! Motion sickness was NEVER a problem and medication wasnt needed!! Our airline arrangements were made through RCI and went smoothly. The nice man with a Navigator of the Seas sign directed us at the baggage claim in Miami to the waiting buses. We boarded the bus, went through embarkation procedures quickly and smoothly and dropped our carry-ons in Cabin 7270 by 2 PM. The Windjammer was serving lunch so that was our first stop. A plateful of food later and we decided to do a fast tour of the ship. Ill reiterate that we were first time cruisers before saying: instead of acting like a couple whos been married 40 years, we conducted ourselves like 10 year olds on Christmas morning! With eyes wide and mouths dropping, we briefly explored each deck and couldnt believe the size of this vessel, the diversity of the artwork and the splendor of the overall dEcor. Cruise reviewers suggested going to the dining room to find your table to avoid confusion during dinner. At first we werent pleased with our table. It was in the back of the dining room, but that proved to be a good thing! Our table of six didnt have wait staff moving all around and in between. Gustavo did a fine job of serving every evening, the menu offered several choices and we thoroughly enjoyed dinner and lively conversation all 7 nights. Choosing a dining time was a difficult decision  6:30 seating means you can attend the early shows and still have time to bar hop and dance. Our regular routine keeps us from keeping late night hours. But again, our son convinced us that the 8:30 seating would be better. That gave us more day time and we didnt need to rush to prepare for dinner. Besides, we were hungrier at 8:30! Our internal clocks did adjust somewhat. We saw several shows and did do a little barhopping after dinner. Sunday was a day at sea. The pool deck chairs filled early but chaises were available if you didnt mind being away from the action. We had a view of the pool, the live Caribbean band and the ocean. Even the bar service folks were entertaining. Dr. Booze carried drinks on his head and did tricks with his tray. The ports of call were interesting and we will have fond memories of St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Nassau. The daily temperature averaged 85 so the beaches were a welcome respite and the Caribbean water was warm. At San Juan, we met a cousin who I havent seen in 30 years so the time to explore was limited. At St. Thomas we did the SeaBlaster excursion and it was more intense than we expected. On the way to the snorkeling area, the boat is blasted with a wall of water about every minute. Passengers are drenched and there is no place to hide! Snorkeling was good for my husband. Since Im not much of a swimmer, I headed directly to the beach and after half an hour, swam back (with the help of my life jacket) and enjoyed the best Rum Punch of the week. The crew was a lot of fun, but also mindful of their guests. As I made my way to the boat, the captain was watching to be sure I wasnt in trouble. The Yellow Bird excursion at Nassau was cancelled  a big disappointment! We looked forward to a sightseeing boat with live Caribbean music and a limbo contest (not to mention rum punch and snacks!). We made our way to the excursion desk and signed up for a Glass Bottom Boat tour. With an hour to spare we walked around Nassau and had a lovely little lunch of Lobster Quesadillas. The Glass Bottom Boat was a good choice  relaxing and the guide was full of touristy information. He ended his sentences with Yay mon! The Ice Dancin show was spectacular. Considering that the action is taking place on a moving ship , we wondered, How do the skaters manage so many precise moves?! The Broadway-style shows at Metropolis were very good. The first one we attended was the late show Sunday night featuring Bowser from Sha Na Na, (an oldies group). Since that is an era we know and love, we couldnt pass up this show! As it turned out, Bowser had his 3 back-up singer/dancers go to the audience to select a partner for a dance contest. I was one of the contestants! The other 2 females were teenage girls. As we made our way to the stage, my partner whispered, This will be fun. I ALWAYS win! I thought, Oh boy, the pressure is on! We DID win!! Much of the credit goes to the group of Pittsburghers in the audience who clapped when I announced that I went to high school in Pittsburgh, and after the other 2 contestant revealed their ages as 15 and 18, I said Im 59 and the audience clapped loudly. So I won!! It was a great experience and throughout the rest of the cruise, people came up and said nice things about the dancing lady. Disembarkation wasnt a time we were looking forward to. It meant our cruise was over! Our color was called and we stood in line about 45 minutes (the longest wait for the week). Once we got to customs, it went quickly. We had paid the $10.00 each to have suitcase valet service to American Airlines and it was a good investment! As soon as we picked up our luggage, we were instructed to carry it to the next room. We didnt see the 2 suitcases again until we picked them up in Pittsburgh. Overall we give the entire trip a 10. In fact, on Thursday (the only day it rained, and our second at sea day), we registered for our second cruise  Freedom of the Seas, April 22, 2007! The RCI representative, Colleen, was very helpful. She also asked the name of our travel agent so credit would go to her. That also means our hometown agent would make any other arrangements that we need. So now were very excited and check out websites to get information on Freedom of the Seas!! SUMMARY: FOOD: Excellent at every venue. Windjammer and Jade offered more choices than anyone could possibly eat! Tables were crowded about half the time at lunch, not so much at breakfast  maybe because we ate earlier than other passengers. Finding a place to sit was never a problem for the 2 of us. Breakfast and lunch was delicious! The dining room dEcor is elegant and the service very civilized. My hobby is cooking and having dinner parties so food was a top priority! We werent disappointed in the presentation, quality and quantity of each dish. We left pleasantly full but never stuffed. (I ate everything I wanted and gained only 3 pounds!) ENTERTAINMENT: Graham Seymour was the cruise director and we had nothing to compare him to so its hard to say how he ranks as a cruise director. We liked him; he had a morning television program telling passengers what activities were offered each day. He emceed many of the shows and also conducted an interview with the captain in the Viking Crown Lounge the day it rained. SHORE EXCURSIONS: were good. There are many choices with a variety of physical activity levels. We will choose for our next cruise based on the amount of time each excursion takes. We want to see the ports of call but also spend time on the ship when its docked. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2006
This was our first cruise so we needed some help on deciding which cruise line to go on, what kind of room we should get,and what time of the year we should go at. Our TA answered all of our questions. Once we had talked to her we decided ... Read More
This was our first cruise so we needed some help on deciding which cruise line to go on, what kind of room we should get,and what time of the year we should go at. Our TA answered all of our questions. Once we had talked to her we decided to go on The Navigator of the Seas at our Spring Break which was the first week of April. We were traveling with 2 Children (12 & 16) and they were so excited to go on a cruise for the first time. When Spring Break finally came we hopped on a flight from Atlanta to Miami. When we got to Miami we had a limo pick us up from the airport to take us to the Hyatt Hotel in Miami. Which was such a nice hotel. Amazing bathrooms, pool area, food was great and just right around the corner from the port. When we woke up the next day we got ready and headed downstairs to eat breakfast. Then we got all of our suitcases ready and took a bus to the port where all the of the ships looked so amazing! My children were in "awe" when they saw all of the ships. Once we got off the bus we then went into the port building to check in with 3,000 other people. So the lines moved along fairly slowly but they kept us entertained with little acts some of the crew were putting on for us. As we finished checking in they told us our bags wouldn't be ready for us back at the room for a little while ( i think we waited 30 minutes) but the waiting wasn't bad at all. We went to the pool deck and my husband and I got amazing drinks and the service was so friendly and kind to everyone on board. There was caribbean music playing by a band it was just so nice. Everything on the ship was just so well decorated everyone was so kind and helpful. Our cabin was so amazing. We got a Junior Suite with a Balcony and it was so spacious and so well decorated. Our room steward was so helpful! He always addressed us by name and made little towel guys for my children.And our captain Johney greeted us every morning by saying "Good morning, good morning good morning good morning" in his little Norwegian accent. It was the best wake up call to have in the morning Royal Caribbean has 3 dining times (four-six-and eight oclock) we took the eight oclock dining. The food was amazing and never had to send back a meal. But we didn't have too great of people to sit with. They were a quiet couple with two not so nice kids. We didn't know we were able to get our table changed so we had to deal with them all 7 nights of our cruise. But if anyone wants to know you CAN change your table with no problem. But overall the food was amazing. Every night there is a different theme to dinner. There are themes like dressy and casual and caribbean nights. Everyone gets pretty into the whole dressing up thing. But after dinner there are absolutely AMAZING shows! My family and I went to them every night. I would recommend them to anyone and everyone. Also after dinner you can go to the casino (only open to people over 21 years of age) and a midnight buffet. This buffet was the longest buffet i have ever seen. Different nights were for different foods like chocolate and cheese. The ports that we went to were absolutely amazing! Except for Labadee. Labadee was filled with rude people. My daughter wanted to get her hair braided and they were not nice at all! They had the worst attitudes I have ever seen. In Grand Cayman we went on an Excursion where you can swim with the stingrays. Let me tell you it was one of the most amazing things I have ever done. The stingrays aren't scary at all and the crew is so friendly and offers refreshments like coke for the kids and beer for the parents. We didn't get off the boat in Jamaica because my husband and I didn't like it when we had been there before. We got off the boat in Mexico and went to Carlos and Charles. I wouldn't recommend bringing your kids to that restaurant because everyone is taking shots and it is very loud. Overall the ports were very fun and I would definitely go back to them. The children's clubs were so helpful. My youngest daughter met so many friends and still keeps in touch with them. They give the kids a full itinerary to keep them busy all day long. This was the best vacation I had ever been on and I recommend it to everyone! Probably the worst thing on the cruise was how rude everyone was at Labadee but that won't put a damper on our vacation. We have already booked two cruise for the next 2 years and are going on the Mariner of the seas for my daughters birthday in the summer and we are so excited. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2006
OMG, it was great. The Navigator is terrific, the service was excellent, the food was really really really good. We used the Cruise line to book our air and transfers and were pleased. One stop from Baltimore to Miami, in Atlanta and a ... Read More
OMG, it was great. The Navigator is terrific, the service was excellent, the food was really really really good. We used the Cruise line to book our air and transfers and were pleased. One stop from Baltimore to Miami, in Atlanta and a direct flight on the way home. We got to Miami airport by noon and were having lunch on the ship at about 1:45. Embarkation and Debarkation were simple smooth and hassle free. Having only cruised once before on HAL's Westerdam last spring break, that is my only point of reference. It was miles better in almost all categories. You can sail on the Navigator with no cares or worries. We had a JS (Me & Mrs.) and an the girls (10 & 13) an interior across the hall and a few doors up, deck 10. It was perfect. The JS was large enough to move around and enjoy the space, the balcony was fine but a little shallow, though with so much to do on the ship we didn't spend a lot of time there, just a little in the morning and evening. The room stewards, Chito for us and Jeromy for the girls, were super. They both remembered the girls names from the 1st moment and were always friendly, thoughtful and caring. Towel animals every night and the rooms were always made up when we were at breakfast and the turn down when at supper. Without asking, Chito brought robes for us in the JS and wonderful shampoos, lotions and shower gels. I couldn;t have asked for better service. We ate at the late seating and the girls were great. The waiter (Vipin) and ass't waiter catered to us like we were their only table. Remember drinks, parm on the Caesar salads, coffee and refills. They were everything that you would expect on a cruise ship. Great selections of food. The soups, cold and hot were really terrific. Except for the pie, the deserts were a big hit, something that I've never experienced even in lux Carib resorts. They even brought the second lobster tail without being asked. The Windjammer was great for breakfast, even with a sold out ship they still managed to make omelets and eggs to order in a relatively orderly manner. They didn't run out of anything, ever, unlike HAL did last year.(They ran out of bagels on the 3rd day.) Johnny Rockets is worth the trip and expense and Ben & Jerry's was a big hit with the girls. The waffle cones are made fresh just like at the real B & J's. Windjammer lunch was also great, lot's of selections. An our after lunch is over, they open up again for snacks, like hot dogs, taco bar, fruit and salads. Truth be known, they put the HAL's Westerdam to shame. The Royal Promenade was wonderful and the Cafe was a great place. Amazing sandwiches, cookies, pastries and cakes, all the time. A great reason to have the late seating is to get a snack there. The English pub on the Promenade was great for a beer and late night music and singers. We went to one of the 2 parades down the Promenade, it was a Mardi Gras parade and the kids loved it. The production shows, singers, comedian and ice show were better than expected, and quite good. The Metropolis Theater was a perfect venue for the production numbers and comedy show. We sat in 3 different areas, orchestra, lower mezzanine and upper mezzanine just to sit somewhere different and there wasn't a bad seat in the house. The Ixtapa lunge is a great show lounge for Karaoke and audience participation games. This was spring break and there were no children in the Solarium pool, Jacuzzis and chairs. The Main pool was very crowded on the 1st sea day, the only downer. The ship was sold out and full of kids. NO PROBLEM. My kids had so much to do they never did the kids activities except the arcade. They enjoyed the shows and even went to Love and Marriage and Battle of the Sexes and enjoyed them. The teens really did congregate on deck 12 at night and didn't bother anyone, mostly. A little elevator playing but hey it's a vacation. Even the tendering process was smooth and without problem. RCI contracts large ferries at Cayman and Cozumel and have their own large ferries at Labadee (BTW, a great place for the kids). It's so much better than when HAL and some others use their life boats as tenders. Hundred of people are ferried at a time. Only things not perfect: the beds could be better, more seating around the pool on seas days, excursions are over priced. I can't emphasize the level of personal service enough from the dining staff and the cabin stewards. They truly seemed eager to please. As huge a cynic as I am, they were honestly thoughtful and caring. Lots of Puerto Ricans on our cruise and they partied the night at Boleros, with great Latin Bands and dancing. With a sold out ship, spring break and tons of kids, the ship didn't feel crowded except at the pool on the first seas day and the blackjack tables, they could have doubled the numbered of tables, but the slots were so plentiful that no one had a problem. The shops on the ship were great, or so my teenaged daughter said. I walked through the gym and was impressed by the quality, quantity and variations in the aerobic workout machines. Not crowded. There were art auctions and daily bingo games, but they weren't pushed on anyone. No constant announcements about the games or the auctions. We did play bingo on the last afternoon, since the jackpot was over $11,000. We didn;t win and even though it was expensive to play, it was a lot of fun, as a onetime activity BTW the weather was sunny and mids 80's everyday, except for the last when it was windy and bumpy, but nobody seemed to mind. Every night I thanked my cabin steward for great the weather. It was 4 years old and looked great. They were replacing the carpets in the public rooms in the late night so as not to disturb anyone. I sailed on the Westerdam when it was less than 2 years old and the Navigator at 4+ years was in much better condition. In Summary. I was impressed by the service and the condition of the ship, the number of things to do and the lack of pressure to do anything. The food was great, just keep it in perspective that you are on a cruise ship not a Michelin 2 Star restaurant. The cabins were just wonderful. We All Lived Happily Ever After. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2006
This was our 7th cruise (5th with RCCL). Mom with 15 year old boy and 14 year old girl (Dad stayed home this time). Navigator is our favorite ship to date mostly because it has expanded teen facilities. Instead of the kiddie pool in the ... Read More
This was our 7th cruise (5th with RCCL). Mom with 15 year old boy and 14 year old girl (Dad stayed home this time). Navigator is our favorite ship to date mostly because it has expanded teen facilities. Instead of the kiddie pool in the back of deck 12 it has a teen deck where only the teens are allowed. My kids had a blast. We love all of the Voyager class ships but this was heaven for my teens. We flew into Fort Lauderdale the night before and took Tri County Express (pre reserved town car for $64) to Intercontinental in Miami. We LOVED this hotel. Very fancy room and you can see the cruise ships from your window. Took cab over to the pier at 11:30am and had a 5 minute wait through security and then zipped through the RCCL registration line and were on the ship by noon - best embarkation I have ever had! We were in cabin 7688 (our first corner aft) and loved it. The room was fine - nothing fancy and was small but it didn't matter as the balcony was 6 times the size of an ordinary balcony and had 2 lounge chairs, 2 chairs and a table. Sitting their listening to the wake, watching the sunset and the moon shining on the water was worth it. This is a very private balcony (no one can see you from up above). The steel girders didn't affect us at all. We also didn't feel that is was a really long walk back to the cabin so that wasn't an issue for us either. First two nights we had high seas and felt movement everywhere in the ship, but it was really soothing going to bed feeling the rocking sensation. After the first two nights we didn't feel and thing and we didn't hear or feel vibrations at all. Went to Maitre D' on first day to make sure we had a table to ourselves - my kids don't like to mingle at dinner so it worked out great. We ate dinner in the Windjammer as well - I think they have really improved on their desserts! We also love Johnny Rockets - wish we didn't have to pay the cover charge and milkshake charges though! My son played a ton of basketball and was involved in a lot of the competitions and pick up games. Service was superb all around. Entertainment as usual was great. The slots were really tight (I had better luck on the Explorer the year before!) I really enjoyed the skating show - really fresh and up to date. The hula hoop guest star was phenomenal! San Juan - Walked to the fort on our own. St. Thomas - We took the ferry over to St. John and went to Cinnamon Bay which was incredible, peaceful and beautiful (great beach to get away from the touristy crowds). St. Maarten - Our Thriller boat tour was canceled so they let us pick an alternate excursion at no charge so we did the dolphin excursion over in Anguilla which was fabulous. Nassau - We had booked a room at the Comfort Suites next door so we could use the facilities at Atlantis - was fun but the place was packed and not a free beach chair in sight! Probably wouldn't do it again though unless we went in the off season... Disembarkation was a breeze and rented a car from Alamo and drove to Gator Park for an airboat ride and to see the gators. It was fun. We then drove to Fort Lauderdale where we stayed at the Embassy Suites - a lot of college breakers were there so thankfully we had the back bedroom to escape the noise! We took the water taxi up the waterway and then grabbed a taxi back to our hotel - we were all bushed by then. I am a big fan of RCCL. I wish we could cruise every month! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2006
This was our fourth cruise (2nd with RCI) and our first outside of hurricane season!! Embarkation was relatively painless. We didn't encounter anything out of the ordinary. We found our cabin right away and were satisfied with it. ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise (2nd with RCI) and our first outside of hurricane season!! Embarkation was relatively painless. We didn't encounter anything out of the ordinary. We found our cabin right away and were satisfied with it. It was a bit on the small side (our cabin on Princess was a similar category but much bigger) but adequate. Embarkation day was chilly. Some people were brave and laid out by the pools, but most had towels wrapped around them! We checked out the Promenade and loved it! It's just like a mini-mall in the middle of a huge ship! We immediately purchased the soda card and a wine package (my husband loves the reds). We were seated at the main seating (6PM) at a table for 4. Initially we were disappointed as we would like to have sat with more people, but the couple we were seated with turned out to be great and we got along just fine. We ate one night at Portofino's. The food was OK, but not fabulous. I think I was too full from all the food I had already eaten that day! Was it worth $20 per, I don't really think so. We didn't get to Johnny Rockets as they were never open when we went to check it out. Ben and Jerry's was great...we visited them a couple times! One cool thing that happened was we were invited to sit at the Captain's table! As we walked into the dining room, the head waiter asked if we'd like to sit with the captain...I guess they were looking for a "nice" couple. We did and it was very interesting. It was his last cruise before going on leave and his wife and son were also at the table. I am a dog person and quickly found out that they were too. It was an awesome experience! As for the ports/sea days... The first day at sea we checked out the rock wall and the mini-golf. The staff at the rock wall were great. I even rang the bell at the top! :) Mini golf was challenging because it was so windy, but not too bad. The Windjammer had wonderful food, but seating was a challenge. We ended up sitting on the higher bar stools most of the time. We attended the free wine tasting and the art auction. We bought a couple pieces at some pretty decent prices (I think!). Our first port was Labadee and it was OK. Again the day was somewhat chilly and it rained a bit. We got some chairs and laid out on the beach. The food they had for lunch was great and the drinks were fabulous! Jamaica was the next day and we were somewhat disappointed as we were to dive there, but the conditions were too choppy so they canceled our dive. Instead, we got a taxi driver and he showed us around the island. We ended up at Dunn's River Falls which was pretty cool. We finished our day shopping near the port. Cayman was next and it's gorgeous as usual. We spent our time in the water (diving) so didn't see much of the island. We had seen it on a previous cruise however. Cozumel was next and WOW...what a shock. We were there a couple years ago and it was lush, green and beautiful. Now...wow. The trees have been stripped and the devastation is visible. It's so sad. Again, we spent our time diving, but you could see the devastation clearly from the ship. Our last day at sea we spent out by the pool, drinking, playing Bingo and enjoying ourselves. Debarkation was stressful at best. The lines were long and we were told we probably wouldn't make our flight. Luckily, we were able to get through somehow and made our flight with minutes to spare. All in all, we'll be back! We love RCI for their great service (cabin stewards were wonderful...waiters were fantastic) and food. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2005
NAVIGATOR OF THE SEAS East Caribbean Cruise December 3 - 10, 2005 By Mary & Vincent Finelli This was our return to Royal Caribbean International (RCI) Navigator of the Seas; we first sailed on her in 2003. At that time, we published ... Read More
NAVIGATOR OF THE SEAS East Caribbean Cruise December 3 - 10, 2005 By Mary & Vincent Finelli This was our return to Royal Caribbean International (RCI) Navigator of the Seas; we first sailed on her in 2003. At that time, we published a review detailing her many amenities and the beauty of this Voyager Class ship. Then the Navigator held the title "Largest Cruise Ship" in the world. When the Cunard Queen Mary II was launched in 2004, she took the title with a record 150,000 tons. RCI will again hold that title in May 2006, with the launching of the Freedom of the Seas, soon to become the largest cruise liner afloat at 158,000 tons. We were happy to see Captain Leif Otto Bang still in command, and to receive such a warm welcome back by both him and Hotel Director Richard Nentwich. This review will center on Gold Anchor Service, since we have already detailed the Navigator's beauty and decorations in the 2003 review. The elegant three deck dining room, with an enormous chandelier, is resplendent in nautical navy blue, maroon and brass decor providing a beautiful setting for an entertaining cruise. The Navigator was decorated with hundreds of live poinsettia plants, trimmed Christmas Trees and then festooned with bows galore. These natural and classic holiday decorations were much appreciated by the passengers. EMBARKATION -- The port of Miami is easily accessed; however, to embark approximately 3,500 passengers (and all their luggage) in less than four hours could be a logistical nightmare. RCI is up to the task and once security had concluded its work, then the lines moved along quickly. Boarding time is 2:00pm and we were on board and assisted to our stateroom in about thirty minutes. Recent US federal cut backs to the number of security personnel has made the process slower all around. There is a specific check-in counter for Crown & Anchor Diamond members and passengers on wheelchairs which makes boarding very quick. We checked our Dining Room reservations -- a table for two near the entrance to the Coppelia Dining Room -- perfect! It is better to do this soon after boarding, in order to avoid waiting in line at dinner time. All set, we went to the very crowded Windjammer Cafe' for the welcome aboard buffet. This is probably the only time that it is so busy, because so many hungry passengers descend on it simultaneously. There were many staff who helped with the seating, trays and beverages; even so, we usually avoid the buffet because of the wheelchair. Yet, many Americans love a buffet and some even avoid the dining rooms altogether, not us. We enjoy the exquisite dinners and service provided in the dining room as do so many other passengers. This is what makes cruising so much fun. Cruisers can enjoy the ship or exotic ports in the daytime, and then in the evening come together at dinner and talk about their adventures of the day. THE SHIP -- The Navigator is a 138,000 gross tonnage, 650 million dollar wonder with 1,557 staterooms which can accommodate 3,835 passengers -- on this cruise there were 3,600 and a crew of 1,256. Her length is 1,020 ft., beam is 157.5 ft. and her draft is only 29 ft. All this and a cruising speed of 22 knots. The purser's desk provides a handy ship's deck plan, which folds to a neat playing card size. The Voyager Class ships, the Voyager (1999), Explorer (2000), Adventure (2001), Navigator (2002) and Mariner (2003) all have the distinctive feature of the Royal Promenade. This city street within the ship is almost 400 ft long and four decks tall. There are cabins overlooking the mall of boutiques, cafes and pubs. It is the center of action and the place to stroll, window shop or just sit and have a coffee or an ice cream. (See our 2003 review for a deck by deck description of the Navigator's 15 decks). The other unique features are the ice skating rink (the site of Olympic quality skating shows) and the rock climbing wall. The Navigator is just as lovely as when we first sailed on her three years ago. Mr. Nentwich keeps her pristine! FOOD & SERVICE -- Service is labeled "Gold Anchor Service" and when things go well as they do on the Navigator ---- we have only praise and no complaints. When passenger needs are anticipated and met, then it is smooth sailing. Loyalty ambassador Cindy Dangel provides special assistance for Crown & Anchor Members and information on future cruise savings. There is also Concierge Patricia Isaacs, who can provide assistance to all your needs with speed and grace. She is lovely. The Navigator's elegant three tier dining room forms an exquisite dining setting with its slender, tall white columns, and intricate double curving staircase framing its enormous central chandelier with matching round crystal chandeliers throughout the dining room ---- Magnificent. Service in the dining room is top notch. The Head Waiter Ali Matjani was efficient and our Waiter James D'Sa (India) and his Assistant Nikola Vucetic (Croatia) were very cordial and made our evenings truly enjoyable. Food on RCI is very good and aimed toward the American palate. The menus have been downsized literally. There are fewer offerings, but better varied. The "Always Available" section covers fish, fowl and beef. We had a long talk with the new Executive Chef Johan Petutschnig (Austria), who was scheduled to take over the following week. We discussed the large portions and the many food venues. On board are Johnny Rockets, two upscale restaurants, bars, ice cream shops etc. The crew on this ship is very approachable, well mannered, and efficient. Specialty dining in the Portofino and Chops Grille is excellent ($20 per person dining fee). The first evening there was a Murder Mystery Dinner, a fun/dinner show with audience participation. Dinner with Captain and Mrs. Bang was our dining highlight. Fine food, fine conversation and a dessert to remember: "Captain's Delight" which is a goblet filled with wild berries (strawberries, blue berries, raspberries, and black berries) topped with freshly made ice cream. It was a night that ended with the dining room staff singing and dancing for the passengers. The Gold Anchor Service is most evident in the special attention given to the repeat cruisers: Concierge service, Welcome Back Cocktail Parties with the ranking crew; booklets of coupons which include the following: Free drinks and commemorative glasses; Casino Credits; discounts in the shops on board; Free Internet time; Free Personal Photographs, etc. We are always amazed that ship personnel make a special effort to call us by our names. In short, RCI makes cruisers feel welcome as no other line does. Of course cordiality works both ways; whenever a cruiser has a concern and directs it to us, we always inform them of the proper person to go to for assistance. A problem with the cabin should be directed to the Housekeeper; a problem in the dining room should be discussed with the Maitre D' and so forth. The crew is there to give passengers an excellent vacation, and we commend them on their excellent job. Whenever a passenger needs assistance, a simple phone call down to the Passenger Service Desk will bring immediate help. CABIN -- Wheelchair accessible Stateroom #6600 has a small foyer, and when entering on the left is the huge bathroom with a nice size mirrored medicine cabinet, and a large 5'x5' shower with safety rails all around. Then, there is an upholstered arm chair and a matching sofa in teal and gold, and a glass coffee table. There is also a TV, private safe, refrigerator, and a desk/vanity with lighted mirror and drawers. When entering on the right is a triple armoire (ample room and shelves), a queen size bed with a teal suede head board, and two night stands with reading lamps. The far wall is all windows with blackout draperies in a foliage and stripe print of teal and gold which matches the bed linens and the carpeting. There are two prints of exotic orchids on the walls. The wood is all light pine; the total effect is very pretty, cool and restful. ENTERTAINMENT -- Cruise Director Ken Rush is a seasoned (20 years in the cruise industry) M. C., who knows how to warm up an audience and present a show. Good laughs and excellent shows are the hallmark of RCI. The singers and dancers did Broadway style shows and Judy Kolba was a standout headliner: comedy, costumes, and a voice that "shook the rafters," all brought the entire audience to its feet, a standing ovation. It follows that the largest ships have the most to offer in entertainment; yet, there is plenty of room for quiet, or private times. Strolling the Promenade Deck, we watched a young couple play shuffleboard. We watched sail away from the Cosmopolitan Club on Deck 14, and it was serene, way above the merry sail away party on Deck 12. In the mornings, we picked up the daily newspapers in English, French, Spanish, Italian and German. We took them up to the 19th Hole Sports Bar and compared the slant on the news from country to country. Diamond members of the Crown & Anchor Society (10 or more cruises on RCI ships) and passengers in suites may enjoy cocktails and canapEs in the Concierge Lounge on Deck 9. This is a nice way to meet fellow passengers. The crown jewel of entertainment on board is the Ice Skating show "Ice Dancin" with Dance Captain Danny, who was excellent. We wish that show programs were still given out to the audience as at prior shows. It would be nice to know the skaters by name and country of origin. The quality is near Olympic level and the choreography was beautiful. Lots to see and do on board, including Casino gaming and Bingo, mini golf, rock climbing, skating, inline skating, ping pong, basket ball, dancing, movies, etc. PORTS OF CALL Day 1. Miami -- Set sail at 5:00pm. Day 2. At Sea Day 3. San Juan, Puerto Rico -- Arrive 2:00pm Depart 10:00pm Entering San Juan is one of the prettiest sights with the view of the two forts dating back to the 1500s: La Fortaleza and El Morro. This island has everything from rain forest to shopping. Day 4. St. Thomas, USVI -- Arrive 8:00am Depart 6:00pm Nicknamed a "Shoppers' Haven," it is especially great for linens, and its Danish influence is still apparent. Day 5. St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles -- Arrive 8:00am Depart 5:00pm This tiny island is divided into two sovereign powers: Dutch & French which have co-existed for 350 years. The ship guarantees more than twenty shops on the island and any purchase may be questioned within thirty days of the sale date. Take an island tour up to Mount Concordia, the view is lovely. Day 6. At Sea Day 7. Nassau, Bahamas Arrive 1:00pm Depart 7:00pm -- The capital of the Bahamas is connected with a bridge to Paradise Island, where Atlantis is located. This resort hotel offers some of the most interesting sites in the Bahamas, such as beautiful beaches, a nice water park and a spectacular aquarium, the best we have ever seen anywhere. Day 8. Miami Disembark 7:00am SUGGESTIONS -- Longer lines during embarkation have become more tedious and wearisome due to the security clearance (recently the federal government reduced the number of security agents). However, we feel the situation can be definitely improved with better coordination and timing of the security personnel in screening the passengers. We noticed on this cruise that the screening process did not start until after 1:00pm, much later than usual, and the lines grew longer and a bit restless by the time we started boarding the ship. This was a great cruise and RCI remains for us one of our favorite lines. We have accumulated thirty cruise credits with RCI and plan to do many more cruises in the future. Now we have booked one on the new Freedom of the Seas for October, but we'll be booking more cruises before October. This month we are going on the Costa Magica (Jan. 8th) and on Carnival Liberty (Jan. 29th). We have not yet booked any cruises for the coming Spring and Summer, but we'll do it soon, before Vincent gets cruise withdrawal symptoms. Happy Cruising! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2005
Fantastic! After spending 7 nights aboard this wonderful ship and now back home I would be hard pressed to find anything negative to say abound my trip. The Navigator of the Seas itself is such a beautiful ship. When we would enter into ... Read More
Fantastic! After spending 7 nights aboard this wonderful ship and now back home I would be hard pressed to find anything negative to say abound my trip. The Navigator of the Seas itself is such a beautiful ship. When we would enter into ports of call, you could look at the other ships docked or tethered there and there was no comparison. From its upper level decks to its row after row of balconied staterooms, passengers on other ships we pulled along side must have felt cheated about their vacation package. But that's only the beginning; From the Olympic class skaters at the ice dancing show to the dancers and singers at there broadway style shows and musicians entertainment was just superb. But saving the best for last, it was the crew and staff aboard that this cruise that made it so memorable. Such a wonderful mix of people from all nationalities, always friendly, cheerful, willing to help,they made you feel special. From day one even up til 6:30 A.M saturday when we were getting ready to depart the ship they were just great. Royal Caribbean; you must have searched the world over for the best of the best and put them aboard this ship. Would I sail again with this bunch? In a heartbeat! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2005
Navigator of the Seas Sail Date: 12/03/2005 Eastern Caribbean Ports of Call: Miami, San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Nassau Pre Stay: Arrived in Miami on Friday 12/02 and stayed at the Marriott Biscayne Bay. This has become my ... Read More
Navigator of the Seas Sail Date: 12/03/2005 Eastern Caribbean Ports of Call: Miami, San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Nassau Pre Stay: Arrived in Miami on Friday 12/02 and stayed at the Marriott Biscayne Bay. This has become my favorite hotel for a cruise pre stay when leaving out of Miami. The hotel has rooms with great views of the port of Miami and the ships. Make sure that you ask for a room overlooking the port when you reserve. This hotel is close to Bayside Marketplace but is not within safe walking distance due to major construction going on near the hotel. Take a taxi to Bayside. The hotel does have several restaurants with one being a sport bar with a very limited menu. They do offer a shuttle to the port but I believe that there is a charge. Embarkation: First I should mention that this was my second cruise on this ship. The first time was the same week last year. Embarkation still has some issues but I feel that it has more to do with Immigration and Custom officials than the cruise line. Our ship did not clear until 12:30 and then boarding started. The Chairmans Club which is the room used for checking in Platinum, Diamond and suite passengers could not handle the amount of passengers trying to use this facility. RCI really needs to look at this as it was a fiasco. Ship: Still the best looking ship that I have cruised to date and this was cruise #27. RCI does a great job in keeping their ships clean and well maintained IMHO. The Navigator is now three years old but looked as though she was a brand new vessel. There was always crew cleaning all around the ship. Captain Bang obviously takes great pride in his vessel and it shows with rest of the crew. The only negative about this ship is the elevators. I try to use the stairs most of the time but when I do have to use the elevator I would not like to wait forever to get the use of one. They seemed to have a quirk in the way that they operated and would pass right past your deck on the way up or down. Very annoying. Cabin: We had cabin #1394 which is a Junior Suite on deck 10 aft. We had the sister cabin next door last year. IMHO these two cabins are outstanding. The cabin itself is a nice size room with plenty of storage area. The bathroom has a full size bathtub which made showering much easier. There were bottles of shampoo, lotion, body wash, Q-tips, cotton balls, lip balm and shower caps in the bathroom. The balcony in this cabin is very nice. I would estimate that it measured around 15x15. If you want sun then this is not the cabin for you as it is totally covered. At no time did I hear any noise from the Windjammer above. Crew and Service: This is the main reason that I cruise with RCI. I have noticed with my six cruises on RCI that there is a big difference in the level of service received. The crew on this ship goes out of their way to make one feel welcome. They seem happy to be there and it shows in their actions. Everyone that I passed spoke with a smile. Our room steward Ernesto was one of the best that I have seen. The crew definitely makes a difference. Food: I am not big on food as I have yet to go hungry on a cruise. I feel that the food that I had was consistently good. The Windjammer offers plenty of selections for anyone wanting a casual dining experience. Glad to see that RCI has rules against bare feet, no shirts and wet swimsuits in the Windjammer. Room service was used several times and each time the order arrived promptly and with the correct order. Ate at Johnny Rockets several times and the burgers were great. Again, no problems with any of the food. Entertainment: Went to both major production shows. The same as last year but this year the four main singers seemed much stronger. Went to one show that seemed to be geared for the more mature crowd and I found him boring. Did not make it to any other shows. Spent more time in the casino which was pretty good to me all week. Passengers: The passenger make up of this cruise was more of a mature(older) crowd. We had several condo groups on board from south Florida and the infamous Mah Jonng group. If I never see this one particular group again I will consider myself a very lucky person. You have to experience this group to know what Im talking about. Rude is the first thing that comes to mind with this group. Warning that they will be back aboard the Navigator same week next year. Ports of Call: We had been to all of these ports of call many times so we made no particular plans for any island. Just decided to relax and walk around this time. In San Juan, stopped at a small bar in front of the Sheraton and had a few drinks and people watched. Then on to the Hard Rock for dinner which was very good. Glad to see that the HR has reopened in San Juan after the fire. St. Thomas: Took our time in getting off of the ship and headed downtown to walk around and then to the Green House for lunch. A great place to eat with nice views of the ships. By noon it does get busy. After lunch on to Paradise Point for a relaxing view of the Havensight area and a couple of Bushwackers. If you havent had a Bushwacker then you are missing a great drink. St. Maarten: Again took our time leaving the ship to let the crowds thin out. Took the water taxi to town. I cannot believe the change in one year with the new boardwalk and the total rejuvenation of Old/Front Street. Phillipsburg is really doing a great job with the area. This is my favorite island by far. Had lunch at the Pasagrahan Guest House on the boardwalk. Great food, service and the view of the beach is very nice. A local was set up just outside of the house playing steel drums which added to the tropical feel of the place. After lunch we took time walking around downtown and then back to the ship. Nassau: Walked down to the Hard Rock for a drink and then walked around and looked at the other ships in port. Went back to the ship, grabbed a drink and watched the sunset over Nassau. Just a nice relaxing day doing mostly nothing, which was the main reason for this cruise. Debarkation: We had white tags due to being Platinum C&A. We were at the meeting area at 6:55 and walking off of the ship at 7:00. It did take over 30 minutes to get our luggage as there were many white tags. Overall a very easy debarkation. Love those past guest benefits that RCI offers. This was a great cruise all the way around. I really have no major complaints. RCI continues to win me over with each cruise. I am now booked on the Jewel for 06 and am looking forward to trying a Radiance class ship. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2005
What can I say about Navigator of the Seas ,it was so beautiful I was in love with the ship from the moment I entered the ship it took me by surprise! Once I got settled in my room and went to the safety drill i went exploring and just ... Read More
What can I say about Navigator of the Seas ,it was so beautiful I was in love with the ship from the moment I entered the ship it took me by surprise! Once I got settled in my room and went to the safety drill i went exploring and just fell in love the Royal Promenade. Me and my sister and mother spent a lot of time in the Ixtapa lounge, played bingo listened to Karaoke. I even won a $500.00 art portrait at a raffle. I really had a great time and would definitely do this cruise again. I loved the staff -- they were just so warm and gracious. Although I did not swim or gamble in the casino I thought it was beautiful. There is so much to do on this monstrous ship I saw an ice show, of course the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers were dazzling to my eyes. The food was out of this world our waiter and his assistant were very polite and made sure everything was to our satisfaction every night. Was great with the teenagers that were traveling with us. And who can forget Johnny Rockets great chix sandwiches along with fries and onion rings to start all for 3.95 well worth it. I enjoyed their little 5 cent jukeboxes at the tables and every time somebody would play Staying Alive they would stop and dance for us very awesome! I enjoyed the dinner themes they had every night. And, our first stop was Labadee. Haiti was just so cool! I enjoyed Royal Caribbean's own private island. I saw some great dancing from the people there and i saw a fire eater could not believe my eyes. The other ports of call were Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Grand Cayman Island, BWI, and lastly Nassau. We took tours for all the other islands and learned a lot from the tour guides. The ocean was so beautiful. I stood on my balcony for a long time just looking out in the blue ocean waters morning, noon, night just an awesome view . i would get up early and start my day. I will never forget the showers in my stateroom was very clean and very spacious and I will never forget how comfortable i slept on those comfortable beds very soft. Embarkation took a long time one hour 10 minutes long but, well worth the wait. I will definitely suggest Navigator of the Seas again. Most of our money went to pictures that we purchased from the photo shop and buying things in the gift shops. I especially love to talk to people from all over the world. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2005
My wife and I recently returned from the Halloween sailing onboard the Navigator of the Seas. It was a wonderful cruise and I was surprised by the number of friends that joined us at the Meet and Mingle on Sunday morning. We had 77 sign up ... Read More
My wife and I recently returned from the Halloween sailing onboard the Navigator of the Seas. It was a wonderful cruise and I was surprised by the number of friends that joined us at the Meet and Mingle on Sunday morning. We had 77 sign up and I believe we had near 50 show up for the get together. Lisa made wonderful nametags for the group and we were also joined by Captain Bang and his wonderful wife. It was a wonderful way to begin the cruise. I am sad to say we did not get a photo at the Meet and Mingle however, we did have several get togethers planned through out the week. We had one in Jamaica at Margaritaville but as some of the tours ran late not all could make it. We had a Last Day Sea Exchange get together on Friday. We sorta over took the solarium pool area for a short time, but it was a wonderful time. We each exchanged gifts from our area and got one in return. I wish everyone could have found time to be at the last party however as everyone knows, you get so tied up in the cruise that time goes right by. I wish to thank all the new friends that I made online and that the time before the cruise of talking to all of you was wonderful. We are talking about maybe cruising again in 2007.I have all ready booked another cruise for the Explorer Repositioning cruise and two friends that we made on the Navigator are joining us. Cruise Critic is a sensational way of meeting up prior to the cruises. The cruise overall was great. From the dining room to the pool. To the great shows. We really loved the ice show, which is truly amazing. Who would have ever thought of seeing one at sea? Every time I have been on a cruise I keep telling myself I will make it to the wall. However the Cruise staff keeps us so busy I still have not made it yet. Thanks to Graham and his staff for making the cruise fantastic. Next cruise I will win the Belly Flop and not just come in 2nd place. I can't wait for the next cruise and again I would like to thank Cruise Critic for the chance to meet folks prior to the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2005
This was my 1st time on a RCCL and I must say I wasn't disappointed. I'm sure my trip was slightly different than most since this cruise was actually a chartered cruise but probably not enough to make a huge difference. The ... Read More
This was my 1st time on a RCCL and I must say I wasn't disappointed. I'm sure my trip was slightly different than most since this cruise was actually a chartered cruise but probably not enough to make a huge difference. The first sight of the NOS was quite breathtaking...you see pictures of it and you read reviews about it but until you actually see it in all its splendor-you can't even imagine! Embarkation went well..nothing to complain about. All our luggage made it to the room in plenty of time. Chester was our cabin steward and he made a point of introducing himself and he always had a smile on his face. One thing to note here: Since this was a chartered cruise, the company we were sailing with had already pre-paid the gratuities for everyone so the workers really didn't have to go out of their way to do any extra things for us since they were already guaranteed to be paid but not once did I notice anyone slacking in making everyone's trip enjoyable. We made sure to tip extra also. We had early seating for dinner each night and our waiter was Paulo from Portugal. Not only was he gorgeous but very friendly! We enjoyed his conversations and attention that he showed us each night. We unfortunately were one of the cruises that got sidetracked due to Hurricane Wilma. Right up front we knew we weren't going to Cozumel and we found out the day before we were due to arrive in Grand Cayman that we would not be able to stop there due to heavy swells. I was very disappointed that we weren't able to stop there since that was the one stop I was looking forward to. We had made reservations to snorkel with the stingrays and I must admit, I had a little pity party for a few minutes since we weren't going to stop there!! The captain decided that we would make a stop at Montego Bay, Jamaica instead. Since I hadn't done any prior research on this stop, I was at a loss but we ended up going to Margaritaville and a few shops. We had a blast at Margaritaville but I found out later that 2 couples in our company were robbed at gunpoint by their taxi driver while shopping in Montego Bay! Not a pleasant memory! Our next stop was in Ocho Rios, Jamaica (which funny enough was only a 1 1/2 hour drive away from Montego Bay!!). We went to Dunn's River Falls and it was beautiful and we had a great time there. We unfortunately didn't take the correct turn in trying to miss the shops at the top and we got cornered by several vendors but if you were polite to them and repeated "no thank you" they generally left you alone. We also went shopping some in town and found some decent prices on items. I got a pair of peridot earrings that were originally marked at $150 and got them for $40. We got name brand perfume (Liz Claiborne, Gucci, etc) for $20.00 a bottle for 3.4 oz sprays! Medium size Tortuga Rum cakes 6 for $20. We went to Margaritaville again and had a great time. Our last stop was Labadee and I must say this was my favorite place. The island is absolutely beautiful and well kept. Sitting on the island and looking back at the majestic NOS in that crystal blue/green ocean was one sight I won't soon forget! The marketplace was interesting and I wish I could have spent more time there and looked without being hassled. There were some pushy vendors and I'm the type that likes to look without being harassed so that took some of the fun out of it. We did buy a painting of the NOS for $10 and some hand carved medium sized candy dish type wooden bowls that were 4 for $10. I saw some people with some beautiful hand carved walking sticks (tho I did wonder how in the world they were going to manage to get them on the plane!!!) We went to several shows-The Quest-not to be missed and Love/Marriage show was hilarious (Anna Maria and Jorge!). The entertainers were top notch and I think even Simon Cowell would give them their props on how well they sung! The art auction was interesting with lots of beautiful paintings tho I didn't buy any but loved the freebies they gave out! Bingo I sucked at, along with the slot machines but I enjoyed watching others playing in the casino. There were quite a few "characters" that made it interesting to watch and a special hello to Edgar who was a dealer at the blackjack table! Very nice and personable guy!!! The food was great at both Windjammer and the dining room. I didn't try out Johnny Rockets, Chops or Portofino's but I heard from others how great they were. The desserts at dinner were to die for especially the creme brulee and I loved the crabcakes!!! YUMMY! I loved the lifestyle casual photos that were taken by the ship photographer. Everyone looked so great in those pictures. I enjoyed watching others have their pictures made also. Pictures are kinda pricey but I'm willing to spend that on good quality photos. I think probably the best thing about the NOS to me was Graham Seymour. He absolutely kept me in stitches laughing and always cutting up with passengers and to top it off-that man can S-I-N-G!! His morning shows "Be very afraid" would have me laughing constantly ("Dirty!Dirty!"). I bought his DVD and CD and have watched it several times since returning home and laughed as if it was the first time I had seen it! He would definitely be a major selling point to me in returning to the NOS! I thoroughly enjoyed my cruise on NOS. Do I have any complaints other than it not lasting long enough? Nah, not really. Labadee was the high point of the ports-beautiful, serene, peaceful, relaxing, primitive-I could go on and on with great adjectives! I would definitely recommend cruising on the Navigator. I don't think you would be disappointed! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2005
NOTS was our first cruise in Oct. 2005. A hurricane had just gone through so Miami was not the best. Traffic lights were out and gas was hard to come by for our rental car. We rented a car from Dollar. Price was excellent and when ... Read More
NOTS was our first cruise in Oct. 2005. A hurricane had just gone through so Miami was not the best. Traffic lights were out and gas was hard to come by for our rental car. We rented a car from Dollar. Price was excellent and when returning the next day, Dollar took us to the port, no charge. They would have also picked us up after the cruise and taken us to the airport, no charge. Due to Miami conditions and being eager to cruise, we arrived early to board the ship on Sat. Everything went smoothly and there were minimal waits. Be sure to fill out your Sail pass on line. This helps to expedite things. We were amazed at all the art decor, and vastness of the ship. We loved the days at sea to explore. We watched a movie in the theater room, lunch in dining room since we had plenty of time on sea days. Pick up a waterproof container to hold sea passes and credit card. We shopped at the promenade shops. Remember that the shops put out specials every day. Also, some services at the spa are half price later in the week. We used internet service and set up account. We used this several times to check on family at home. We used the same computer so info was ready to pop up. We worked out in the gym each morning and would go to our room to clean up, then eat a nice breakfast in dining room (less crowded than Windjammer) to begin our day. The work out facilities are excellent, and we were able to try different equipment. View is excellent. Dining is good, not great. We used the dining room most days for breakfast. Most of the same choices are in the Windjammer. It was just quieter in the dining room. They only use one floor of the dining room for breakfast and lunch and you are seated as you come in. Some of the same wait staff work here at breakfast and lunch. This is also closer to the bottom of the ship on port days than the Windjammer. There is congestion in the stairways during port days and it helps to be on the third floor already! We also ate at Johnny Rockets one day. It was great and a good change. The service and food for dinner was good. We did not eat at Pordellios, but think that we will next time for a change. Ports: Labadee was our favorite. It looks like every picture of every beach and more. It is gorgeous. We just lounged on the beach. The same guys that sell drinks on the ship are also on the beaches, but it is good to get a refreshing virgin drink while you are lounging. How many times can you do that? The market was very pushy, but these vendors did not come out on the beach at all. So if you want to see the market and pick up something unique, this is the place. Our excursion through the ship for Ocho Rios was fair. The bus and drivers were not the best, and when we got to Dunn's River Falls, there were pushy natives that put bead necklaces on you, then wanted something for it. All I had in my pocket was 50 cents and they were offended! We climbed the falls but were in constant worry about the guide, who was barefooted, dropping our camera in the water. He had everyone's camera in our group, about 12 cameras around his neck. He didn't fall. We didn't get to enjoy the site of the falls at all. We were too busy trying not to get hurt. It is very slippery. We wore swim shoes and they wanted us to hold on to each other in our group. We would do better climbing by ourselves but understood the rules. This was our least favorite port. Grand Cayman was very nice and had shopping right off the pier. We booked the stingray snorkeling tour. It was great. We booked this off the ship. There was some hurricane damage here, but not too much. There were lots of stingrays and it was a very unique experience. Beautiful shallow water to walk in, out where stingrays are. We were supposed to go to Cozumel but due to hurricane, we went to Costa Maya. This was a very pleasant surprise. We had no idea what we were getting to do since our excursion was cancelled on Cozumel. Again, the shopping was excellent at this port. We booked a bicycle and kayak excursion through the ship. This was good. Bicycles were not in the best shape but we got to see quite a bit of the villages, not just the port. Beaches were gorgeous and we wish we could have spent more time here. Taxi service was very good and safe. This was our second favorite port. Pictures were fun to take on and coming off the ship. The photographers were always there. Remember you can get black and white or color and you can have these pics in any size that you want, not just what they have printed. Check these. This is a nice souvenir. We will definitely be cruising again. It was a unique experience and one that we want to continue to see other parts of the caribbean. The inside atrium cabin is perfect for two people. It was not crowded at all and they use every available space. Have a fun cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2005
This was our second cruise on the Navigator of the Seas and just as before it was GREAT!!! It was my husband, father & mother in-laws and myself. Embarkation---Very smooth! We had filled out a majority of our information on the Royal ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Navigator of the Seas and just as before it was GREAT!!! It was my husband, father & mother in-laws and myself. Embarkation---Very smooth! We had filled out a majority of our information on the Royal Caribbean website so I think this helped. We arrived around 12:30 and it took approx 30-45 min before we were in the Windjammer having our first lunch. The boat itself is amazing, so big and impressive. Just as before it was kept spic-n-span...I always saw people cleaning and occasionally small repairs being made. Ports of Call---Labadee, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel. Labadee is one of our favorites!! We love to relax on the beach and search for shells. This time I made it to the local market and was able to get some great deals on handcarved wooden pieces. Ocho Rios: Well I was shocked at this stop...we had a GREAT time!! After reading all the posts I was really even wondering about getting off the ship, everything read the most rude and pushy people encountered. We did the Reggae Baby Boat with the Dunn's River Falls and had an awesome time. We read that the shopping section at the top was full of very rude merchants, but you don't even have to go through the shopping section. Really we didn't find anyone to be too pushy at any locations we shopped at. Grand Cayman: It rained and we missed our beach break but RC did refund our excursion prices, we were looking forward to Seven Mile Beach!!! :( O'well we'll catch it next time. It cleared up some later and we did make it off the boat to do some shopping. Always a good stop! Cozumel: Last time we stopped here we only shopped so this time we wanted to hit the beach. We chose the Fiesta Baby Party Boat...WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT!!! This excursion went to Playa Mia Beach..it was quite a long ride there, the band on the boat SUCKED!! When we were about to the beach the director on the boat made the announcement that we wouldn't be able to get into the water because of crocodiles??? So we were able to look at the little shopping area and sit by a small pool...We were severely pissed (to put it mildly)we weren't pleased about paying 45$ per person to sit by a pool where we were leery about drinking the water or eating any food. All in all it was great...wonderful food and good entertainment. We recommend trying Chops and Johnny Rockets. The casino was finally good to us on the last day. My hubby hit a jackpot of $3750.00 which they said was the highest paid out that week. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2005
This was our 4th Cruise on Royal Caribbean, and like the previous 3, it did not disappoint. We boarded the ship very easily, after a 4 hour drive from Orlando. The lines were very short and we were enjoying a buffet lunch by about 1:30. ... Read More
This was our 4th Cruise on Royal Caribbean, and like the previous 3, it did not disappoint. We boarded the ship very easily, after a 4 hour drive from Orlando. The lines were very short and we were enjoying a buffet lunch by about 1:30. We started off by exploring the ship for a bit after lunch. The ship is very nicely appointed, and all of the public areas contain such an awesome attention to detail. Of course, we sailed on the Explorer, so much was the same. One of the highlights was eating at Chops. All I can say is wow. The other dinners were very good, and I am quite a picky eater. Royal Caribbean is nice in that you can order room service and it comes quickly and still quite hot. After a day in port, it was nice to order room service while showering and getting cleaned up. The only issue is that we accidently got seated at late dinner, and it was a bit of an ordeal getting the seating changed. But we got a nice table for the four of us. This was our first time cruising with a balcony. It made the cruise nice, especially when all 4 of us were in the cabin (on those rare occasions). OF course, it is also nice to just relax out there and see the sights. The ports were nice. Labadee is a lot of fun, and we won a Thriller Power Boat ride for 2. That is a ton of tun! We went on our own in Ocho Rios and just walked around. I am not sure if I would do that our next time there though. Grand Cayman and Cozumel still remain my favorite ports of all time for shopping and snorkeling. The only disappointment was that the shopping guide was off the ship until after the 2nd port. To me that is one of the highlights, the first day shopping show. The information and personal service is second to none. Even if you aren't planning on doing a lot of shopping, they can help you. Disembarking was awesome. We requested early leave (just ask folks - they will accommodate you) and we were out of the garage by just after 8. It made it very nice. All in all this was another awesome cruise. Hats off to everyone. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2005
We were on the Western Caribbean cruise on from September 3rd - 10th, 2005. Our first time on such a big ship and we quite enjoyed it; lots of things to do. We had perfect weather and it was hard to believe that just a week before such ... Read More
We were on the Western Caribbean cruise on from September 3rd - 10th, 2005. Our first time on such a big ship and we quite enjoyed it; lots of things to do. We had perfect weather and it was hard to believe that just a week before such a bad hurricane happened in the Gulf Coast and now there is other tropical storms brewing. We felt there were pros and cons with such a big ship, the pro we noticed the most was you hardly could feel any motion at all with this ship, not in the theatre or on the promenade or in the dining room. So when we were watching the delightful ice show and such, you had to remind yourself you were actually on a ship! Not like smaller Celebrity ships and the other RCI cruise that we have done. The biggest con for us, and why we wouldn't probably cruise on such a big ship again, was the embarkation and disembarkation. The embarkation was a nightmare, some of the staff there did not seem to have any idea which line we should be in and the biggest downside was there was nowhere for anybody to sit. Some people had arrived at the airport that morning and had been transferred to the terminal by RCI and had to wait outside for two hours in the sun, and that is before they went inside the building to be processed. If you are not an U.S. or Canadian citizen you have to have your picture taken twice which is where we became confused. Disembarkation looked like it also was going to be bad, we took our own luggage off and there were long lines with only four immigration officers in our section, and I know there were many, many people still on the ship. We do not wish to comment on ports of call, because where the ship goes does not matter to us, we just like cruising, although I will say we had a wonderful time swimming in Labadee, Haiti. We loved the food, the entertainment, the Royal Promenade, Johnny Rockets. All were first class and very enjoyable. Our only disappointment inside the ship was the fact that they didn't provide a free jug of iced water in your room. We had always had that on other cruises, and it was refreshed morning and evening. You could, however, buy bottled water out of your fridge (you have to pay for any goodie you consume from your fridge, so be warned!) which we chose not to do. To be fair to RCI, there were snacks, iced water and coffee and tea available 24 hours a day down on the fifth floor on the Promenade, but it still was a little more inconvenient than what we were previously used to. The dining room and cabin service was excellent and I believe that this is where most cruises excel. It is hard to come home to reality! I was disappointed when I went down to the pool the last evening to have a swim about 10:00 p.m. (one of the pools was always open 24 hours) and all the pools had been closed for cleaning. I wouldn't have minded so much but when I had asked earlier in the evening they had said that one of the pools would still be open. All in all I would recommend trying this size ship at least once, and particular if you have children who like things like basketball, rock climbing, mini golf and the like, your children will love it. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2005
We arrived at the Miami airport Friday night with no problems, although the baggage claim at the airport (at least for Delta) was poorly marked and difficult to find. Bags in hand, finding a taxi was no problem and our Cuban-American taxi ... Read More
We arrived at the Miami airport Friday night with no problems, although the baggage claim at the airport (at least for Delta) was poorly marked and difficult to find. Bags in hand, finding a taxi was no problem and our Cuban-American taxi driver, Orlando got us to the hotel in about 15 minutes at a cost of $18.70 + tip. The Holiday Inn Port of Miami is not a 5 star hotel, more like a 3, but it has a great view of the ship as well as being right across the street from the Bayside Market, which is wonderful. Get to Miami early and wander around the market if you can. There are lots of shops, restaurants and live music, all right beside the water. The Holiday Inn seems a bit dated, but has some nice aspects like granite in the bathrooms - and for a better price than some of the other nearby hotels. Saturday - woke up about 9am to see the NOS out the window. Grabbed a cab and headed approximately a half mile to the terminal, arriving there about 11am. Tipped one of the porters and gladly got rid of our heavy luggage. We then got in line and the fiasco began. Of course the actual arrival time is 2pm. But on our previous cruise, and according to everyone we talked to, getting on board the ship early was no problem. However, for some reason customs decided that this cruise (the one prior to ours) would be the one where they would send everyone through customs. Sort of a random check. Everyone, including the crew and captain all had to go through customs. As a result, we sat on the floor inside the terminal for 3 hours. It was a long wait. Yes, I know - official check-in time was 2pm. So we weren't mad, we had just hoped to get on early. Finally got aboard to discover that the Navigator is an amazing vessel. It is enormous. But, what is even more amazing is the great arrangement of everything. On our previous cruise aboard the Conquest, we were equally amazed at it's size. But, the NOS is laid out so much better (easier to get around and a more "friendly"/ community feel to its arrangement. We went to our cabin and met Omar our cabin steward. From there up to the Windjammer for a great late lunch. Then off to explore the ship. We did the muster drill, then headed up to the Cosmopolitan club to have meet some of our cruise critic friends early. Everyone seemed really nice and it was good to finally put faces with names after 9 months of talking on line. Cafe Promenade became a place we visited regularly. Free coffee, hot tea and snacks available 24 hours a day. Vintages Wine Bar is on the Promenade and offers tables with great spots for people watching. If you follow the deck 4 balcony (outside) to the front of the ship, you can make your way to the helipad at the very front of the ship, offering great views. Also, deck 4 makes its way all around the ship, including to the very back. Dinner Saturday Night in the Coppelia dining room, a very nice space. We had table number 439 which was dead center as you walk in the doors, overlooking the captains table. Our Waiter Dwayne was from Jamaica and his assistant Vakay was from India. They quickly learned what we liked and didn't like. Our table mates were our 2 friends who took the trip with us and 2 new friends from Texas. After dinner more exploring. Our luggage began arriving around 6:30 pm and we got our final piece around 8pm. Our cabin 6548 was spacious. It had a sofa, tv, safe, refrigerator, spacious closets with some creative shelving, a queen sized bed and of course, the balcony. The bathroom was not as spacious as ours on the Carnival Conquest, but then again, we had a balcony on this ship! Sunday - sea day. Rest and more exploring. That night we saw the show "Now and Forever" - a New York style production which we agreed was well done. This was formal night, so we got dressed up for dinner, formal portraits and then some late night Latin dancing at Boleros. Also checked out the show in the Metropolis theater, which was very well done. BIG SURPRISE! I was sitting on the bed reading the Compass when suddenly my cell phone rang! I had left it on, and set it on the desk. I thought it must be some weird mistake, but sure enough, one of my friends was calling me. Of course I didn't answer it! Then I got some text messages. Certain cell phones work on the Navigator, even in the middle of the ocean. Good to know in case of an emergency. But I didn't want to talk to anyone, so I ignored it! Monday - San Juan - we actually decided to stay on the ship here. We like to spend at least one of our port days on the ship where it's nice and quiet. During dinner, the dining room staff did some dancing for everyone. It was great. Tuesday - Saint Thomas - got off the ship and climbed into a large open taxi of sorts. Hector, our driver, did his best race car routine zipping about the countryside on our way to Red Hook to grab the ferry. The taxi ride was $9 for about a 15 minute ride. I found this absurdly expensive considering the ferry ride to St. John was only $4. But, it's vacation. Got to red hook then immediately left to St. John on a short, but beautiful ride. In Cruz bay, we grabbed another open taxi to Trunk Bay. "Puff" agreed to come back later and pick us up. Trunk bay was beautiful. We had hoped to get in some snorkeling since Michele had never done it and Trunk was supposed to be a great place to go. But the water was really rough and they had warning signs everywhere. Since I had snorkeled previously I went in to see what the water was really like. It was very rough. The underwater snorkeling trail was barely visible from the surface. And the current / waves kept tossing me about. I almost got slammed into some corral. I did see a sting ray up close, though. But I finally gave up. It was just too rough. So we all relaxed on the left (as you face the water) end of the beach. We found a nice shaded spot under some tree limbs and spend a couple of hours relaxing and taking pictures. Then, same excursion back to the ship. St. John is beautiful. It has the most amazing beaches and water. We skipped the dining room and ate dinner in the windjammer. We were just too tired for a formal dinner. That night we saw the "Newlywed" quiz show which was really funny. We hadn't planned on going, but our friends talked us into it, and I'm really glad they did. Then we went to the Ixtapa lounge for drinks and some big band music. After that, we headed up to the pool deck for some latin music and a buffet. But, there was rain, so they sent everyone back down to the Ixtapa for some 70s / disco dancing. We had lots of fun being silly and dancing, finally getting to bed about 1:30. Wednesday - St. Maarten. Got up late. There was an incredible amount of noise early that morning that sounded like something large banging into the ship. No one could ever tell us what it was. Went into Saint Maarten for some shopping. Took the water taxi from the port to the center of town. It's beautiful place, probably my favorite in terms of appearance. It's a big "bay" surrounded by mountains with beaches at the waters edge. The only drawback to this port is the endless stream of locals pushing you to buy something or asking you if you want something. It got really old quick. We didn't go to the French side of the island. Then back to the ship for a late lunch and a long nap. Thursday - Sea Day My friend Chuck and I played the classic rock trivia game in the schooner lounge and ended up winning. I think it was mainly because we were the only sober ones playing. Watched the ship pull away from the port on deck 4, a great place to watch. Friday – Nassau: Got off the ship and was unimpressed with the area right by the dock. So, we went back and waited for our excursion to gather. Michele did the Dolphin encounter and I went as an observer, having experienced Dolphins before. This was a very cool excursion and I think worth every penny. Michele got to pet, dance, hug and get kissed by “Stormy” the dolphin. Made it back to the ship with only moments to spare before the ship pulled away. We packed, went to dinner, tipped our staff, then went back to the cabin to get our luggage out into the hallway before midnight. Saturday: Woke up early in order to be out of our cabin by 8am. Then waited. We didn’t get off the ship until about 11 am. Waited for 2 hours in the Café Promenade eating Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and Drinking Coffee. Overall: We loved the Navigator of the Seas and all the ports we visited in the Eastern Caribbean. We would highly recommend this cruise to anyone, and any negatives are far outweighed by the positives. I personally think 4 ports is probably too much. I like sea days, and Nassau (the city) was a disappointment. A few Negatives: 1. Embarkation and Debarkation are problematic, at best. Royal Caribbean and Customs need to work together to make this process smoother. Making cruisers get out of their cabin at 8am, but then wait around the ship until 11 is ridiculous. We went from not wanting to get off the ship, to “please let me off this ship!” 2. The food was good, but finding food at odd hours was not as easy as on Carnival. The Windjammer needed to be open more hours and later. 3. We went one night to one of the main productions shows (“now and forever”- I think) that as listed in the compass to begin at 7pm. But, it didn’t happen. The theater was closed, the stage was set up for bingo and no staff were present. About 100 people were outside waiting for the show to begin, but no one was there to tell us what was happening. 4. Some friends purchase Royal Caribbean Robes for us, but we never received them. 5. One night room service took 1 hour 20 minutes to arrive, and when it did, they got the order wrong. 6. Our bed was horribly uncomfortable. We could feel where the two twin beds were joined together and we couldn't get it fixed. 7. The port information sheets (“discover st. marten”, etc) seemed only geared toward shopping and offered little information about the ports, towns, countries, themselves. A Few Positives: 1. All the staff was very friendly and helpful. Everyone worked hard to make us comfortable and feel welcome and special. 2. Our Cabin Steward (Omar) and our Dining Room Staff (Dwayne and Varkey) were amazing! 3. St. John was BEAUTIFUL! 4. The Balcony was wonderful. Never experienced smoke or loud noise from others. 5. The Compass (the cruise newspaper) was very helpful and informative. 6. The towel animals were great. 7. The ship was very clean. 8. GO TO THE MARRIAGE SHOW (or whatever it’s called). Graham, the cruise director does a sort of Newlywed game, but with people married for different lengths of time. We weren’t going to go, but did at the last minute and were really glad we did. I haven't laughed that hard in ages. It was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen! 9. We spent about $100 on photos, especially loving the “lifestyle” ones where we were placed in fun / relaxed poses. We had a great trip and would love to cruise on the Navigator again some day. We highly recommend this ship and itinerary. It's wonderful, save for the post-cruise depression! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2005
Truly, it is a fantastic trip for my first family cruise vacation. We are family of 4 from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Navigator of the Seas by Royal Caribbean: The ship was loaded with every activity for every age group. It is so calm ... Read More
Truly, it is a fantastic trip for my first family cruise vacation. We are family of 4 from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Navigator of the Seas by Royal Caribbean: The ship was loaded with every activity for every age group. It is so calm and stable on the sea. My daughter (11 age) loves the Adventure activities. My son (16 age) loves the Teen activities. We love every activity (show, game, food, dinner & room service etc). Except one thing is the smoking area is not enclosed. We have to smoke the 2nd hand as we pass the Bar on deck 3 & 4. Also on the deck 11 near the pool, all the smokers are gathered there. Labadee (Royal's own port): Not much to see but just relax on the beach. Be sure to negotiate the price from the local reseller. Ocho Rios, Jamaica: As we traveled on the West Caribbean route, I will recommend the local tour guide - Trevor Hudlin for Ocho Rios, Jamaica. He is not only provided the best price but the best service. He introduces us the local drink - fresh coconut drink and famous Jamaica food - Jerk Chicken. We have visited Dunn's River Falls. It is fun. You can reach him by: http://trevorhudlintours.com Be sure to negotiate the price if you want to buy anything. You can buy Jamaica Rum on the store at the port. They sell for less than the town. Grand Cayman Island: I will also recommend the local tour:- snorkeling with stingrays at Stingray City Sandbar on Grand Cayman Island by Captain Marvin. They provide the best service and price. The staffs are very helpful for non-swimmer (my wife). We saw a lot of beautiful different fishes because they feed the fish. Also they hand over some stingray to us to touch. At the end they provide fresh water to wash the salt water. You can reach Captain Marvin by www.captainmarvins.com Cozumel, Mexico: I will recommend to visit the Chankanaab National Park on Cozumel, Mexico. The park provides every water activity you can spend for a whole day. Thus the local snuba service we used is not that great by Mayan Paradise Tours - Zorro 3 Reef Snorkel & Snuba Trip-Special Sept/Oct. No fish feeding and no fresh water to wash the salt water. Even the great price included with drink and fruit. We didn't see a lot of different fishes. Be sure to negotiate the price for everything including taxi in Cozumel. They are always over price. I recommend to buy from the store with price tag on each item. I suggest to buy from the stores at the port. The items are labeled with price tag. Finally Miami: Be sure to negotiate the price for Taxi, don't take the meter. For sure, we will choose the cruise ship from Royal Caribbean again especially the big ship as Freedom of the Seas. Be aware to carry light hand carry or back pack, it may take a long time (2 hrs) leaving the ship to the US Immigration Dept. Hope this info will help the first time cruiser. P.S. You can only bring 1.5 litre of alcohol per adult into Canada. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2005
We flew from England the night before the cruise and stayed at the Intercontinental Miami. The rooms at the Intercontinental are very spacious and we can highly recommend this hotel, however, the pool at the back was a bit small. We were ... Read More
We flew from England the night before the cruise and stayed at the Intercontinental Miami. The rooms at the Intercontinental are very spacious and we can highly recommend this hotel, however, the pool at the back was a bit small. We were picked up from the hotel at 12:30 and arrived at the port 5 minutes later. Our baggage was taken straight from the coach and we queued outside the terminal for about 30 mins. Once inside we queued before security for about another 30 minutes. It took us about 2 hours to board the ship, even though we had priority boarding through staying in a Grand Suite. The Ship -- We thought the ship was absolutely beautiful and I was happy to spend a few hours exploring on the first day. Of course, I stopped at the bars along the way for a glass of wine or two! Our Stateroom -- We were very impressed with the Grand Suite and were delighted with the amount of storage it had. The bathroom was lovely as we also benefited from a bath and two sinks. Our stateroom attendant, Marvin, was great he seemed to appear from nowhere every time we left the suite to greet us. He also left the children a variety of towel animals each night. Food -- We found the food in all areas of the ship excellent. We did visit Chops and had a great meal. Our waiters in the dining room were very chatty and each night made recommendations from the menu. They automatically asked us if we would like more lobster on the formal night. Entertainment -- We saw the ice show which was amazing and two of the shows in the theatre which we also thoroughly enjoyed. Concierge Lounge -- We absolutely loved the concierge lounge for pre-dinner drinks. Some mornings I popped in their for an early breakfast of bagels and fruit. Francois, the concierge, was very helpful and extremely funny. Kids Club -- My DD (aged 6) and DS (aged 11) both loved the kids clubs and they didn't want to leave. The ate with us on formal nights but for the rest of the time they would have an early dinner at the windjammer and then go off at 7 o'clock. Ports of Call -- Our favourite was Labadee we had a lovely day sitting in the sun. My DH and DS went out on a waverunner and thoroughly enjoyed this. Jamaica was our least favourite we found the locals to be too pushy and were quite glad when we got back on the ship - we did Duns River Falls and the Dolphin Encounter. We enjoyed our day at Grand Cayman and thoroughly enjoyed Stingray City. Cozumel was not what I expected, it seems to be very run down after the hurricane. However, we did have an enjoyable time at Playa Mia Beach Club. Overall -- This was our first cruise and we didn't know what to expect. My husband was so impressed that by the third day he had booked for next year for Southern Caribbean. The most outstanding feature of the cruise was their staff - everyone you met was extremely friendly and nothing was too much trouble. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2005
We were able to get a D2 balcony since the agency we used messed up. We originally booked a E1. Got bumped to a E2 and called. They bumped us up from the 6th deck to the 9th and they paid the difference. My DH and I just returned from ... Read More
We were able to get a D2 balcony since the agency we used messed up. We originally booked a E1. Got bumped to a E2 and called. They bumped us up from the 6th deck to the 9th and they paid the difference. My DH and I just returned from our first cruise. We sailed on the Navigator of the Seas 8/27-9/3. Let me just start off by saying what an amazing time we had and we cannot wait to book another cruise with RCI. We were a little nervous about getting from Philly to Miami since Hurricane Katrina had made landfall the evening before we were to fly to Miami. We were able to fly out on Friday afternoon (our original flight). I believe we were one of the first flights to land at Miami International. On Saturday morning we took a cab from the Omni in Coral Gables to the Pier. Next time we will stay in South Beach closer to the Pier. There wasn't a line to check-in. After that we weren't sure what we had to do (we are first time cruisers), but after trying to hear the folks from RCI over the loud voices of the people in front of us (who didn't understand a request to be quiet for a moment) we took our picture and then we were escorted into the lounge area. We sat there for about 2.5 hours. Many around us complained but it was out of RCI control since the NOS made a late arrival due to the Hurricane. I personally would rather be sitting there for 2.5 hours right now then at work! Getting onto the actual ship was a breeze. We headed straight for the Windjammer and had lunch and the drink of the day. Then we headed to our cabin (balcony on the 9th deck) and did a happy dance. We walked around the ship til the Muster Drill. The drill was not what I expected at all. We just sat in the dining room with our life vests on and that was that. Painless. Then it was off to Deck 11 to watch us depart Miami. Our first port was Old San Juan: We walked to the El Morro Castle (Note to anyone who is going to do this). ). DO NOT PASS THE PINKISH CEMENT GATE. We did not go through the gate because we were too busy reading the signs about the protected cats and we ended up walking A LOT and didn't get anywhere - just into a dead end at the base of the castle . That evening, we did took a night walking tour(http://www.legendsofpr.com/nighttales.htm) with Debbie. and it was amazing and such a great way to see Old San Juan. It was just my husband and myself, and Debbie showed us so many beautiful buildings, art work and perfect places to take photos (she also took so many of my husband and myself). Which was nice, since on most vacations, couples don't get to take many photos together. We were able to get into closed buildings since Debbie seems to know so many people. It was really nice to walk around and really feel the city of Old San Juan, rather then being on a bus looking out tinted windows. I highly recommend this tour to anyone who really wants to see this great island. And if you are a history buff, this is perfect for you. My husband hasn't stopped talking about the things he has learned. The next day we sailed to St. Thomas: We took an excursion through RCI to Trunk Bay. All I can say is WOW. The water is so calm and clear and the beaches are so beautiful. The ride to Trunk Bay was an adventure. A small blow up boat with a motor hit our 50ft boat. Luckily, no one was hurt. The driver of the small rental said he "didn't see us." He obviously needs glasses. We took an open air "bus" to Trunk Bay. Man do they drive FAST and take corners quickly. But we made it alive. After the morning, we took the Sky Ride to Paradise Pt. That was expensive - $16 per person. But worth it. We ate lunch up there and had the famous Bushwhacker drink. We had two mixed drinks, 2 beers and lunch. The entire trip up to Paradise Pt and down cost about $80! Then we went to the shopping area (Havensight) and did a little looking and then had a beer-my husband is a huge fan now of the El Presidentia beer. It was good - I will admit. When we left we saw the BIGGEST iguana in the world. Then we got back onto the ship. Our next port was St. Maarten: I surprised my husband with the morning 's excursion. He had no clue til I handed the tickets to the gentleman waiting for us for the America's Cup Racing Regatta (again we booked through RCI). My husband exclaimed, "I don't need another cup of coffee, I am pumped." It was awesome. We were lucky enough to be on the team that got to race the actual '87 Stars and Stripes. Our crew was so nice, funny and laid back. After we WON and beat Canada II we kept sailing. After a while, we noticed St. Kitts was getting bigger so we headed back. We will definitely do that excursion again. That is the first thing we mention when people ask, "How was your cruise?" I HIGHLY recommend this. It is a chance of a lifetime. It is a lot of work, but you don't even think twice about it while you are sailing this beautiful boat. We headed back to their gift shop and spent $30 on the photo (SO WORTH IT) and bought some t-shirts for ourselves and for my parents. After hearing about this excursion my Mom wants a cruise for her bday next year and she definitely wants to do this excursion. Afterwards we headed back to the ship to freshen up and to eat lunch. After lunch we went to the shopping area, and I bought a great purse at this place called Murphy and Ney. It is an Italian company that makes the sails for the actual America's Cup boats. My purse has some sail material on it. It is awesome. We also sat outside of Holland Hotel (at the advice of some Cruise Critic folks) and had a El Presidenta beer and looked out at our ship and St. Kitts. We took the water taxi back. Just in my opinion: Tip the guys that are working to clean up the beach chairs. I saw so many people leave lunch wrappers etc...and just get up and go. We bought 2 beers/2 beach chairs for ro $10 from the Black Pearl Snack Stand. We were there for maybe an hour and tipped the guy. Again, just in my opinion, tip him a few bucks. The final port was Nassau but we opted to stay on the ship that day. We had the Solarium pool to ourselves for most of the day. When it started to get crowded we walked around. We did hit the gym a few days on board. Pretty wild to run on the treadmill on a moving ship. I sometimes read about how bad the customer service is on RCI but I would have to say just the opposite. One evening I couldn't find my necklace. Our great room attendant told us to report it to Guest Relations so we did. They sent up a security guard to give us another set of eyes. Well before he could make it up, I got a better view into the safe (which we looked in 5 times) and found it. From that day forth, guest relations called our room to see how our cruise was going. Something to note: On our last night (this happened to two of our tablemates) in the middle of the night, our door handle turned like someone was trying to get in. It scared the day lights out of me and my heart was racing and I didn't sleep that well. Not sure if it was teenagers or security. Oh, one hint to for the first time cruiser. DO NOT PLAY BINGO EVERY DAY. I did-DUMB IDEA. Wait til the win a cruise bingo, then play forth for the jackpot. The couple that won, that was their first time playing and they won over $7,000. I learned a lesson . My husband really enjoyed the art auctions and he purchased a great painting. We did eat at Johnny Rockets for my 30th bday. The staff there was so nice. Overall, we had a blast and cannot wait to cruise with RCI next summer. We had the best weather in the world. Calm seas and sunny days. We were very lucky. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2005
We left Miami on time. The boarding process took about an hour. Our bags were checked at the curb with a nice tip and still not delivered until very late. We brought a carry on as I knew this could happen. The room was wonderful. Very ... Read More
We left Miami on time. The boarding process took about an hour. Our bags were checked at the curb with a nice tip and still not delivered until very late. We brought a carry on as I knew this could happen. The room was wonderful. Very clean with a nice desk,tv and plenty of drawers, hangers and closet space for the two of us. Luggage fit under bed. Balcony was divided with frosted glass so never really felt private. We used the chairs and table often to hang our clothes out to dry. Clothespins come in very handy for this. We had to remind our attendant to replace beach towels, but that is really our only complaint. I took a tip off the Cruise Critic page and had many of my clean clothes pressed for a very reasonable fee and then we were set for the week. Do this as soon as you board as it takes a day to get them back (fees are less for pressing only). We also used the daily wakeup calls instead of an alarm clock. This worked great. We liked watching some of the shows we missed on the RCL tv broadcast in the room. Food was good. We had the first seating and were so glad as 8:30 seemed quite late for dinner. Many people with kids had wished they had the earlier seating. We enjoyed the WindJammer, Main Dining room and The Cafe in the promenade for late nite pizza, cookies, cakes and subs. Soft serve ice cream was also available on another deck and in Windjammer. Never stood in any lines more than 2 people deep at buffet type places. The midnight buffet was a bit crazy. Many people skip the main food and headed to the desserts so that would be my tip. Get your sweets first and work backwards as they were depleted of many things by the time we arrived. Morning breakfast in main dining room was quick and good. Do not skip it in place of windjammer, it was wonderful to be served. Entertainment. We toured gym, spa and salon services. Very nice gym. Evening shows were fun. Ice show was a great show and "not to be missed" as we were told. Casino was also pretty generous to us. Played Bingo the last day and won at that too. The Promenade was fun to shop, stop at pubs or cafe or just people watch. Great central location. Wish I knew my makeup prices better as they looked to have good prices on perfume and makeup. You will not be bored, too much to do. My husband enjoyed the rockwall climbing. I am comparing this to Princess ships and must say the service and hospitality of crew were at a much higher level than on princess. We also felt the ship design and location of all shops and eateries were easier to access. We booked the Waverunners with RCL for their "Private Island". This was a fun excursion. All other excursions I booked from suggestions from cruise critic. Jamaica was with Phil Lafayette,...Grand Cayman stingrays and coral reefs with Soto cruises. We were 2 guides and 2 of us in Grand Caymans...Phil's tour was just plain fun. A fun group of people. Plus we had smaller groups and saved money. Thanks to everyone for suggesting them. Internet access was very poor and costly as it would take 4 minutes to get on at .50 a minute and then wait and wait and your bill went up and up. We enjoyed everything about this cruise and RCL. Actually only were able to spend our last day at sea on deck as our excursions took up a lot of our time. We did watch our ship rescue 11 people from a sinking boat on our way back to Florida. Finally, for the first timers, I might be one of the few to report on this but I did get seasick the first day at sea. No there were not rough seas, just a constant swaying in our 8th floor room. The hangers would click together, just that much ended up sending me to medical for an IV ($600.00) and Bonine pills which I took everyday there after as it was hard to miss out on that day at sea being sick. Next time I will take it before I leave so as to not miss out on a day of fun. Also make sure and find the front of the ship and enjoy the view from there. It is a bit tricky to locate but usually not crowded. Never felt crowded except when looking at pictures for sale before dinner. Just go back later, there will be no lines after the dinner hour. Wonderful ship and crew!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2005
Overall a great cruise! My last was in the mid eighties and there is now a world of difference. The Navigator is really a beautiful ship, comfortable and well maintained (I live in Florida and have been boating for over twenty years, so ... Read More
Overall a great cruise! My last was in the mid eighties and there is now a world of difference. The Navigator is really a beautiful ship, comfortable and well maintained (I live in Florida and have been boating for over twenty years, so I can really appreciate this ship). I booked my cruise online at the RCL website, overall very easy and my cost was probably the same as going through an agent. I drove to the port of Miami and parked in a covered garage directly across from the embarkation point ($12/day) and after about 2.5 hours later was on the ship eating a late lunch in the Windjammer (buffet restaurant of the ship). We set sail exactly at 5pm and this ship is so smooth you really have no sense of motion unless you are gazing out. Our room was a balcony which I believe was well worth the extra $350 or so person as opposed to an inside cabin. Having a porch with an ocean view certainly made the trip nicer. The next day at sea was spent exploring the Navigator and relaxing. Overall we thought the food was excellent and I personally enjoyed the casual buffet style of the Windjammer restaurant as opposed to the formality of the main dining room. I have read many complaints about the food though really cannot imagine someone not being able to find something they love to eat on this ship at about any time of the day. The first port was Labadee, Haiti. RCL usually refers to it as Labadee, Hispanola I guess so the stupid among us will not know we are visiting Haiti. Labadee is a small peninsula in the North of Haiti that is I assume leased by RCL and very well secured and isolated from what is probably "normal" Haiti. Basically a nice day at the beach with a barbecue picnic. The next stop was Ocho Rios, Jamaica. I would not recommend venturing out too far on your own here. The people are very aggressive trying to sell you anything and everything and really make you uncomfortable just walking down the street. There is a market near the pier which is cordoned off from the locals and worth seeing if you want to do some shopping or drink a Jamaican beer. Grand Cayman was the next stop with beautiful waters and great diving/snorkeling otherwise not much to see. Next was Cozumel, a Mexican version of the Caymans with a nice shopping area at the foot of the pier. Last day was at sea and the next morning at the port of Miami. Disembarking seemed long. We docked around 7am and had breakfast onboard then we hurried up and waited. Finally got to my car (across the street) at 11 am. I did count about ten custom agents who had to check passports etc. for the whole lot of us (probably over 3000). Be prepared to spend some money on this cruise, sodas, alcoholic drinks, specialty restaurants, photos, excursions, tips, shopping, gambling and any other vices you may have are sure to lighten your wallet. But it will sure be fun! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2005
This was our first cruise on any line, and will likely not be our last. The ship is unbelievably awesome. As others have said, there is almost too much to do. The room, service and food was incredible. Coming home was a real ... Read More
This was our first cruise on any line, and will likely not be our last. The ship is unbelievably awesome. As others have said, there is almost too much to do. The room, service and food was incredible. Coming home was a real disappointment. We had a balcony suite, and being able to just lounge on the balcony felt so good, especially late in the evening, under the stars. Very peaceful, and a nice end to a busy day. Our dining room staff were wonderful as was our cabin attendant. I'll admit the dining room felt a bit large, especially the first night, since we were at a table for 10, and there were only 4 of us. We did have 3 other table mates for most of the rest of the cruise, and they were fun too. Try Chops Grille. Incredible beef and even better service than the main dining room. We were not thrilled with Windjammer, usually crowded at lunch, and since it is on deck 11 on the stern of the ship, it would tend to rock and roll a bit too much. The entertainment on board was first rate. The cruise director always kept us entertained and the shows were great. Our 17-year-old daughter always found something to do, and with her 18-year-old friend, they had a ball. We took advantage of the pre-sailing boarding documents and sea-pass, and that smoothed the embarkation. Some of the shore excursions could have been arranged better, and perhaps better explanation of what to expect. For instance, the Atlantis submarine cruise was fun, but you are packed in like sardines (excuse the pun) and my wife and I felt uncomfortable. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2005
This was our first cruise and it was an incredible experience. We travelled with a little kid (4 yrs) but he loved the boat. We had a cabin with a balcony and it was very nice. Mayhap the bathroom could have been a bit bigger? The ship ... Read More
This was our first cruise and it was an incredible experience. We travelled with a little kid (4 yrs) but he loved the boat. We had a cabin with a balcony and it was very nice. Mayhap the bathroom could have been a bit bigger? The ship was nice and clean and well maintained. The food was just excellent. Plenty to choose from and lots of taste. We ate dinner not only in the big dining room but also tried the Windjammer buffet on two occasions. The shows were good and we went to see the ice-show and a concert in the theatre. There were plenty of activities on board and we didn't have time to try them all. A special mention to the staff and the guy taking care of our cabin: The level of service was superb. A downer when we left the ship: Some other guests decided that their farewell with this magnificent ship was to ruin the toilets. Very sad behaviour... Me and my wife have travelled a lot and are picky, but this cruise was an experience for a lifetime. We loved every second of it and it was actually sad to leave the ship. But we have started saving again! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2005
My family and I went to the Western Caribbean on June 11th. We have cruised several times with Royal Caribbean. This was our first time on the Navigator. It was a beautiful and very clean ship. The service was great. I was very impressed ... Read More
My family and I went to the Western Caribbean on June 11th. We have cruised several times with Royal Caribbean. This was our first time on the Navigator. It was a beautiful and very clean ship. The service was great. I was very impressed with the quality of food in the Windjammer. It was much better than the Explorer and Voyager. There was an Asian buffet, Jade. Jade had excellent Asian and Indian entrees'. This is the first cruise we actually skipped a dinner in the main dining room! The greeter in the Windjammer was a lot of fun!! You'd have to see him for yourself to appreciate him. My family and I still tell each other "GOOD MORNING," the way he did!! We miss him a lot. We've been to the ports several times. This cruise was taken to enjoy the beautiful beaches. I'd honestly rather not go to Ocho Rios. A local asked me if I wanted to purchase drugs. That was near the ship too. We ate at Margaritaville and used the beach there. Too many peddlers harassed us. Labadee, Georgetown, and Cozumel are beautiful. The water is crystal clear. I wish I could live in Georgetown. Friendly people! There were numerous "quince" girls on our ship. Over 50 in all. Many were misbehaving. Running down the halls late at night. That was the only problem with the cruise. The week went by so quickly! I wish I could go again today. Many activities onboard. Don't miss The Quest!!! Enjoy!! 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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