Sail Date: March 2019
This is my second RC cruise, 20th overall cruise, this was the most disappointing. I believe in celebrating the positives so I'll start there. Nine days with great weather, met some awesome people and had the BEST/most enthusiastic ... Read More
This is my second RC cruise, 20th overall cruise, this was the most disappointing. I believe in celebrating the positives so I'll start there. Nine days with great weather, met some awesome people and had the BEST/most enthusiastic activities staff EVER (on any ship or line). Now why this got a two star: worst, most bland food of any cruise, Princess held this title for nine years but Navigator of the Seas now claims the title. I say this strictly from Windjammer and late seating main dining. My food was cold or luke warm when it should have been hot, and multiple dishes were straight up bland and flavorless. I addressed this during on board surveys and with waiters and head waiters, and even the staff seemed to know it. When the staff won't even drink the orange juice because it's color water there's a fundamental problem. To be fair the turkey dinner was good and the pizza in the promenade cafe was delicious. Sadly at one point my fellow guests and I questioned if this was a corporate decision to make subpar food included so that you would pay the surcharge and eat at specialty restaurants. I cannot speak from first hand about any of these but three different groups had not been happy with hooked or the chop house either. Biggest complaint cold, bland food. The burritos at Loco Fresh were good but the hours are just afternoon. Ben and Jerrys was tasty and reasonably priced (free soft serve by the pool was not good). Drinks were bad. I thought I would enjoy some fun tropical drinks on this vacation but the flavor and quality was all over the place. Some drinks were too strong and imbalanced others too watered down and flavorless. I'm really glad I did not get the drink package. Best drinks were served by the solarium pool. They were a positive and cheerful staff and most consistent. Schooner Bar was all over the place, some great, others undrinkable. Disappointed that movies in your stateroom had a $12 cost, that's crazy when other cruise lines movies are free. The room was regularly cleaned (loved the magnets on the door to notify staff). The pools were well monitored by lifeguards and after an early rumble for chairs by the pool there was a nice staff member who pulled towels and bags if people didn't show up within 30 minutes. I was impressed with RC that they followed through with this. Muster drill was efficient. Illusionist and ventriloquist were great shows (two of the best ever). Comedians were disappointing. I had a great time on this cruise but I think I'll take a break from this line. I hadn't been super impressed with my first experience and unfortunately this one didn't improve upon it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We (a group of 31) chose this ship because of the "new water slide and water coaster." The ship was to be refurbished and greater than ever. The first original sailing on February 24th was canceled and RC should have canceled the ... Read More
We (a group of 31) chose this ship because of the "new water slide and water coaster." The ship was to be refurbished and greater than ever. The first original sailing on February 24th was canceled and RC should have canceled the next couple cruises. Only one water slide was open part of the time, the other leaked to the floors below. RC failed to check the air conditioning units on the ship while it was ported...it was extremely hot in the rooms, in the dinning areas, in the casino, in all areas. only 1/3 of the elevators worked and a few of the public restrooms were either closed or had water problems. The new cabanas on deck 12 were nice but the light fixtures in them were not secure, one fell on some of our group members and thankfully they didn't get hurt too badly. The next day, RC removed all of the light fixtures from the cabanas. The fitness centered was located on the deck...the room was not ready for equipment so they had a few things on the deck. We didn't have children with us but the children's areas did not open until March 6. The casino was so jam packed with chairs in both the table and slots areas that the folks using chairs could not possibly get through. The staff was very friendly as usual. Some of them were obviously just starting to work together, some of the tables took a very long time to get their dinners which were not what the people ordered. I found this to be very unusual since the dining staff is typically on top of things. It was so hot in the dining area that it was almost unbearable. I felt as if we were being forced to go dine at one of the pay restaurants... I was very disappointed that Royal Caribbean made the decision to set sail when it was obviously not ready. I would have rather rescheduled it. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise for price and ports of call. Sail date 11/23/18 - 12/2/18. Ports of call were Labadee, Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire. Boarding the ship was handled efficiently and we had our luggage within an hour of boarding. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for price and ports of call. Sail date 11/23/18 - 12/2/18. Ports of call were Labadee, Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire. Boarding the ship was handled efficiently and we had our luggage within an hour of boarding. We had questions and we couldn’t get answers because everyone was “new.” No one directed us to someone that could answer our questions. We had breakfast in the Sapphire dining room on our first day. We were among the first seated. It took 45 minutes to get served. The food was not hot and the order was wrong. When I questioned the waiter about the mistake they showed me that they had given me an old menu. We had breakfast in the dining room on our final day and it took 50 minutes to be served. We have to cut them a break on this one because the last day can be hectic. As good as the dinner menu looked and the presentation was beautiful, the food rarely arrived hot. Room temperature was what we received in most cases. The only exception was on evenings when we had late departures and the dining room was not as crowded because passengers were still on the island. My guess is that food is plated in advance and left sitting until served because they can’t handle a full dining room. I received an old menu on one occasion. Our waiter and assistant waiter (Shenelle and Miran) were the perfect balance of friendly and professional. Our cabin was kept tidy by our room steward but we kept finding gnats in our bathroom. They appeared to be coming from the sink drain. Bath towels, hand towels and wash cloths were horribly worn with torn hems and frayed edges. Bolero bar was not clean. A puddle of liquid and debris needed to be wiped up. We noticed that upholstery throughout the ship was stained and worn. Definitely needed to be replaced. We found the Windjammer cafe was the best place to eat. Good options on the buffet and the food was hot. We were able to pick convenient times to eat so that there wasn’t a scramble for a place to sit. Chops grill was a great place to eat. Costs extra but the food was perfectly prepared. Disembarking went smoothly. This is our third Royal Caribbean cruise and we were disappointed. We aren’t sure if RC is falling apart in general or if it’s just this ship. Not sure we will cruise with RC again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
A big reason we usually choose RC is because of our Diamond status (those who pay for suites also enjoy.) However it’s became apparent RC is no longer valuing the loyalty this brings them. The Diamond lounge is usually a place where you ... Read More
A big reason we usually choose RC is because of our Diamond status (those who pay for suites also enjoy.) However it’s became apparent RC is no longer valuing the loyalty this brings them. The Diamond lounge is usually a place where you get the added benefits of a quiet place to get a contintental breakfast and happy hour with free drinks at night. However, it feels like this is a bother to the staff. The first thing that happened is they sent notification to our room that happy hour was from 4:30-8pm. When we arrived at 4:30, they told us that it doesn’t begin until 5pm. Even showing the paper we received, we were told it was wrong. Then when we asked for a drink at 8pm before leaving, we were told last drink was at 7:55. At breakfast, they only had a carton of milk by the coffee. We asked for something non-dairy (due to allergy) and were practically yelled at that there was “only milk!” When we then asked the concierge if maybe tomorrow a non-dairy could be provided, she replied very snootily “I’m sorry you were inconvenienced. I’ll see what we can do.” Also, we used to always be issued robes to use in our staterooms, but our cabin steward told us that is no longer a service. I didn’t bring a robe because of this and now it makes getting ready difficult. I asked for a couple of extra towels, and he agreed but looked very pained, which means he probably gets flack from management. I will tip him very well to compensate, but I feel bad. At the pool, you are only allowed 2 towels per person. Period. No exceptions. So there’s no way to have 1 towel cover your chair, one for a pillow and one to dry off. I realize it is a luxury to do this, but I’m on vacation! I feel like I’m at a very low end hotel. These are pretty simple things but apparently the staff is overworked and not getting support from management to make guests happy. Honestly, save $100 and just take a Carnival Cruise because this is what RC is catering to.Ill definitely be sharing this with our travel agent to warn others as well. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Oh, Mr Porter, what shall I do? I wanted to go to Boston and New York and they've taken me on to the Canary Isles....OK, it doesn't rhyme or fit the tune, but it sums up what happened to us on our first experience of cruising. ... Read More
Oh, Mr Porter, what shall I do? I wanted to go to Boston and New York and they've taken me on to the Canary Isles....OK, it doesn't rhyme or fit the tune, but it sums up what happened to us on our first experience of cruising. My wife and I decided two years ago to blow our savings on a cruise down the Eastern Seabord of the USA. Royal Caribbean International were advertising a 13 night cruise leaving from Southampton in early November, calling at Boston, New York, Port Canaveral and Miami - all places we had never visited, but would very much like to see. We took a deep breath and booked, then waited as the months crawled by, getting excited at the prospect of the Big Adventure ahead. Two weeks before departure, I went in to hospital and we had to miss the sailing. Insurance paid for most of the financial loss, so when an identical cruise was advertised last February, we decided to tempt fate and book up again. This time we were both fit and well as the day of departure arrived. Unfortunately, as it turned out, the ship wasn't in quite such great shape. Newspapers carried the story of a catastrophic failure of one of the stabilsers which caused hull damage and resulted in the cruise before ours being curtailed for emergency repairs. Then came the storm warnings. Late on the Friday before Monday's sailing our travel agents contacted us to say that because of adverse weather conditions in the Atlantic, the ship would not be calling into Boston, New York or Port Canaveral, but instead would spend time in Belgium and French ports before taking a southerly route to Miami. With someone else booked to move into our house the next day to dog-sit, and goodness knows how much already spent on return air-travel, overnight stays and car-hire, we felt we had no choice but to continue with the cruise, even though we had zero interest in spending time in Bruges or LeHavre. (No offence, Belgium and France, but we have visited you lots of times before.) Our disappointment was utter, and there was little excitement left when we went on board The Navigator for our first cruising experience. Things appeared to look up when, just before sailing, the Captain came on the Tannoy to say that - reponding again to weather changes - we would now be sailing direct to the Canary Isles, then crossing the Atlantic to the Bahamas for a day's water sports and sunbathing on a tropical island before going to Port Canaveral. (Back on the list). Nine happy days at sea allowed us to work up an appetite for the day of snorkling and coral reef exploration we were promised on Coco Cay, the RCI's private island paradise in the Bahamas. Crossing the Bay of Biscay was pretty choppy as the broken stabiliser was still not working, but the seas soon calmed down to a light swell. The crew were magnificent, the onboard entertainment excellent, and because so many people had cancelled at the last minute, we virtually had a waiter each. Life on board was relaxing and fun-packed, and our spirits rose. Sure, we had missed meeting our old friends in New York, and we never got to see Boston, but the sun was shining, the southern breezes were balmy, and there was that delicious day of water sports in the Bahamas to look forward to. The Day arrived, and the whole ship's complement lined up to disembark, larded in sun cream and already dressed in swimming gear. Announcement over the Tannoy: "Because of the swell, tenders are not prepared to put out from the island. We will not now be spending the day on Coco Cay but will divert to Freeport for a few hours on Grand Bahama." More dashed hopes. More cancelled excursions. But still, there was a guided tour of the Everglades at Port Canaveral to look forward to tomorrow, wasn't there? Well, no, actually, becuase later that day, after a rather uninteresting few hours on the quayside at Freeport, we had the message that all guided tours booked for the next day were off because of "immigration difficulties." So far, of the four excursions we had booked, none had or would now take place. As a last ditch effort to have some fun somewhere, we booked a shuttle ride to Magic Kingdom. Been there before, and it costs an arm and a leg, but, hey, we're on holiday. The ship docked in Port Canaveral. The shuttle bus made it to the Magic Kingdom. We had five hours in the park - just time for two rides and a ten-minute show - then back to the ship. Or so we thought. The coach broke down on the way back. We waited forty minutes in a gas station for a replacement bus, and ended up back at the ship seconds before it sailed, missing half of our last meal on board because we were so late back, and having to wear the same clothes we had worn for a sweaty day in the seething Disney park. Short of actually sinking mid-Atlantic, it is difficult to see how anything else could have gone wrong on this voyage. We have never cruised before - is our experience typical? Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
1st cruise booked as a special occasion for our 25th anniversary. Travelled with 2 children 11 and13 years. Cruise was overcrowded with queues for everything. Activities over subscribed. Staff looked exhausted and harassed and couldn’t ... Read More
1st cruise booked as a special occasion for our 25th anniversary. Travelled with 2 children 11 and13 years. Cruise was overcrowded with queues for everything. Activities over subscribed. Staff looked exhausted and harassed and couldn’t cope with numbers on board. Communal areas dirty. Food in main restaurant was hit and miss and sent food back on several occasions, but because service was so slow gave up and ate sandwiches and pizza in cafe. Buffet area was completely overwhelmed every morning, and struggled to find a table. Tried signature restaurants chops grille was excellent. Jonny rockets served stale buns after a 45 minute wait. Complained and left- still waiting for an apology from RC. The shore excursions we enquired about were sold out, so just made own arrangements and saved over 50% for better quality trips. Overall this was a very disappointing experience and I will not be booking another cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Its a floating mall with too many people and too few hours ashore at ports of call, The North Atlantic is too cold even at the height of summer: literally too windy and/or cool (or even rainy) to enjoy being outside for a good part of the ... Read More
Its a floating mall with too many people and too few hours ashore at ports of call, The North Atlantic is too cold even at the height of summer: literally too windy and/or cool (or even rainy) to enjoy being outside for a good part of the time. Especially galling is RC letting guests reserve lounge chairs in the pool areas, when it was nice out, by leaving their towels and whatnot there as they go do other activities and don't use those loungers. 3,000 people, or whatever it is, is too many - my advice is find a smaller boat if you feel you must cruise. Itinerary: 1. We arrived in Le Havre on a Monday which meant the main museum in town (the Malreaux) was closed and those who did the Rouen tour were disappointed to find that the Joan of Arc places of interest were also closed. What kind of company books these tours when they know the main attractions are closed? Why wasn't the itinerary set up to be at sea on a Monday when most museums in Europe are closed??? 2. Lisbon: Been there before and looked forward to it but the Al Fama neighborhood the boat conveniently pulls in next to means its now swarming with 3,000 fellow tourist so there is no sense of a local feel - and the hours allowed there were few (back on the boat by 3:30PM!) 3. Vigo, Spain - a pleasant surprise; I'd go back to experience its restaurants for dinner,etc. - but not on a cruise because of course you have to be back on the boat for dinner. Would have loved to have gone to the beautiful Roda beach island at the mouth of the harbor via ferry but the boat's arrival/departure time simply wouldn't allow enough time for that, so another minus for the boat's itinerary in-spite of the cool city of Vigo. All other days were the dreaded "at sea" with the staff trained to be annoyingly cheerful and in your face ("Washie, washie!"), only slightly less annoying than the children running amok and their awful parents hoarding the loungers. Even enjoying the balcony as a refuge was a a problem as wifi there was spotty with too much steel around it apparently and wifi disconnects repeatedly. And you pay dearly for that service (around US $25/day). Never again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
It just keeps getting worse. I’ve been on 2 cruises before, all with Royal Caribbean and I thought they were ok but this year was bad. - Embarkation was smooth. - Breakfast was the same every morning ( sausages, bacon, scrambled ... Read More
It just keeps getting worse. I’ve been on 2 cruises before, all with Royal Caribbean and I thought they were ok but this year was bad. - Embarkation was smooth. - Breakfast was the same every morning ( sausages, bacon, scrambled eggs etc) I wish there were more healthy options. - Lunch was good, more varieties and new things every day - Dinner and service was good apart from Steak. I ate lots of steaks in different places and I know what medium rare means. These steaks were raw. Four of us ordered and they were all raw. Definitely go for medium well instead. - The stateroom attendant was friendly - The shows were not so good compared to Independence. There was a very good comedian in the first night. On the last night there was a different comedian which wasn’t that good. Some of his jokes were word by word the same as some of the first comedian which was painful to watch. - The cruise director was ok but not very involved. - The ports weren’t very good. Le Havre is too far from Paris so took an excursion to Deauville and Honfleur which were really beautiful. Portugal was ok but not as nice as France. Vigo was a waste of time - The next cruise discounts on board were terrible. Basically 40 dollars off a oceanview stateroom and 165 dollars deposit per person which was not refundable if cancelled. Overall there wasn’t anything wow but just ok. I don’t think it was worth the money. Once I got to airport I realised I forgot my brand new suit and 2 ties in the stateroom. I know it was my fault but there was 0 help with that. Once they take your money they don’t care anymore. That is definitely my last cruise with them and will start trying out other cruise lines. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We have been on Royal Caribbean before and have always found the ships and service to be fabulous. This cruise and this ship were neither of these things. The ship looks tired and dated and the obvious ‘cutbacks’ are the talking point ... Read More
We have been on Royal Caribbean before and have always found the ships and service to be fabulous. This cruise and this ship were neither of these things. The ship looks tired and dated and the obvious ‘cutbacks’ are the talking point of the passengers. On arrival in our stateroom,the usual toiletries have been replaced by a pump of shampoo in the shower, and a couple of slim soaps on the sink. No shower caps, no lotion, no shower gel. No pillow chocolates (although they are not missed) in the bars, no nibbles provided, and no water when going ashore (there was some availabe on a couple of ports, but it had to be paid for or pass card swiped if on drinks package) we had a ‘spacious’ balcony cabin on floor 10 which proved to be a mistake, as the decks were power washed at 1/4 to 1 in the morning and woke us up with (a few times) by a blooming loud horrible racket. The ship was fully booked and the windjammer for breakfast and lunch was not a pleasure. Queues, waiting for tables, irritable diners was the norm at both services. Our real bugbear was the ‘towels on sunbeds’ that was blatant on sea days and port days. The pool staff did absolutely nothing about this, even when they were told, and shown beds that had towels, hats glasses etc on them for hours without anyone using them. There were arguments and nastiness with many people and it made the whole relaxing aspect of the holiday a joke. Royal Caribbean have lost their mojo, and this cruise felt a bit like ‘Butlins at sea’. We won’t book with them again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I have just returned from a 12 night Northern Europe cruise with my partner and was rather disappointed by the whole experience. The Navigator of the Seas was a very dated and poorly designed ship, and overall the cruise offered little ... Read More
I have just returned from a 12 night Northern Europe cruise with my partner and was rather disappointed by the whole experience. The Navigator of the Seas was a very dated and poorly designed ship, and overall the cruise offered little value for money. Cabin We booked an outside cabin (standard with a window). We weren’t expecting to be in the lap of luxury but in all honesty we felt like we were staying in an old caravan. Faded carpets, and worn, poor quality furniture meant that we wanted to spend as little time as possible there. The cabin itself was tidy but unclean – despite the fact our stateroom attendant turned down the bed every day. We had to ask on three separate occasions for stained bedsheets and pillow cases to be replaced. There was dirt in the drawers and thick layers of dust in many places. Not great. Satellite reception on the TV was also poor (shows would regularly freeze or cut out half way through, though I’m not sure if this is common to all ships). Dining A mixed bag. The food itself was decent but not spectacular. The Sapphire Dining Lounge, which is the main a la carte restaurant included in the cost of the cruise, was very pleasant, and had a hint of luxury with a nice winding staircase and chandeliers. The menu each night had a good variety of choice and our waiters were friendly and attentive – couldn’t fault them. However, we still experienced a number of issues. The dining room and bars ran out of a huge number of drinks very early on – we ended up on our fourth or fifth choice of wines about halfway through the cruise and number of cocktails were unavailable owing to a lack of mixers such as ginger beer. We reported this to both the dining room manager and beverages manager, and were assured that extras supplies would be taken on board at the next port and the menus updated accordingly - this didn't happen and communication between the dining room and beverages team was poor. Royal Caribbean knew exactly how many people were on board and what the demand would have been given they have run this route for some time, so this was inexcusable. I also did not understand the dress code for dinner. Royal Caribbean requests that gentlemen wear collared shirts and trousers, yet there were people walking around in football shirts and shorts and no-one challenged them. In and of itself this isn’t necessarily a problem, but if a company sells its experience based on certain rules and standards, then it should at least implement them. By far the most unpleasant experience of the whole trip was the main buffet restaurant, The Windjammer. A piece of advice: if you cruise on the Navigator of the Seas, avoid going here at all costs. It was like the Wild West – so overcrowded you’d be lucky to get your food back to your table without bumping into someone and spilling it all over them. And that’s if you were lucky enough to get a table. It was so busy that one particularly unpleasant individual literally took a chair from underneath me as I was about to sit down. I kid you not. We braved it on three occasions, at different times, and it made no difference. Part of the problem is that dining options are very limited. The Sapphire Dining Lounge is open most days for breakfast and dinner, but it is lunch that is the problem. It was only sporadically open for lunch between 11.00-1.00pm. Ridiculously inconvenient times. Aside from the Royal Promenade Café (open 24 hours but tiny and offering only a limited selection of snacks), the only option for lunch was therefore The Windjammer, and this meant that the whole ship piled in at the same time. Horrible. There are plenty of speciality restaurants on board but you have to pay extra for these and this therefore does not make them an option for many people. On board experience As a whole, absolutely terrible. Our cruise was not sold out but the ship felt horrendously overcrowded. If you wanted a seat in a bar you would have to shark around or loiter until one became available, but this would often take a while. The result was that we spent a significant amount of time wondering around the ship simply for somewhere to sit or to enjoy a drink. The Navigator should be a big enough ship to accommodate its passengers yet it was always an uphill struggle to find a place to relax. The reason for this is that a huge amount of space on board is taken up by a hideous ‘Royal Promenade’ – a mini shopping mall with shops selling perfume, alcohol and garish fashion watches – a huge Casino that was largely unused, and a significant number of speciality restaurants that were half empty most of the time. In short, when designing the ship, Royal Caribbean prioritised taking up space with means of travellers spending as much money as possible, rather than being concerned about their comfort or on board experience. Very disappointing. On the subject of spending money, we constantly got the hard sell from staff to pay for extra activities. It’s not particularly pleasant to be enjoying a quiet drink at a bar, only to have someone shove an ipad in your face and hassle you to dine in a speciality restaurant. Furthermore, by the end of the cruise our cabin bin was full of enough paper encouraging us to spend money to fill a library. There are a range of free activities on board but not enough to meet demand. If you wanted to do a quiz you needed to get there an hour in advance otherwise there’s no chance of getting a table. We tried a simple bean bag tournament on one sea day and it took an hour and a quarter because of the amount of people participating. A key source of frustration was that when you’re on holiday, you like to be able to do what you want, when you want. That was impossible on the Navigator. Costs Opinions on tipping may vary but to my mind, Royal Caribbean’s approach to tipping is excessive. There is an 18%(!) gratuity included in the price for ALL drinks and this cannot be removed. There is also an additional $14.50 gratuity per person, per day added to your on-board account. By the end of our cruise this amounted to over $300 – madness. It can be removed at guest services but the staff serving you will know, so expect a frosty reception if you do. We did this and opted to pay tips in cash…and when we tipped our stateroom attendant, the following day we had an envelope in our room with a list of suggested tip amounts because he felt we hadn’t tipped enough! Disgraceful. Embarkation/disembarkation The highlight of the cruise. Royal Caribbean are very slick when it comes to getting you on and off the ship hassle free. Not once when we embarked or disembarked did we have to wait a long time. The process was incredibly smooth and well-managed. Can’t fault them there. Summary The ports we visited were all great and worth seeing. The only exception was Helsinki, which didn’t have a huge amount to offer. Unfortunately, the brilliant destinations on this cruise were overshadowed by a terrible ship that was dated, overcrowded and expensive. Even the (mostly) pleasant staff and decent food couldn’t redeem it. We will not be sailing with Royal Caribbean again. Read Less
Navigator of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 2.0 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0
Rates 4.5 0.0

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