Fantastic First Cruise: Navigator of the Seas Cruise Review by David Steel
Overall Member Rating
Fantastic First Cruise
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
We chose a promenade stateroom, as my wife is not keen on rooms without a window. This was an excellent choice as it had a large bowed window with a window seat, with a view over the inside promenade. The room was quiet and it was only a bit more expensive than an inside stateroom. The room was a decent size with a very comfortable queen sized bed, sufficient storage, a free safe and a mini fridge. The bathroom was small but functional and had a powerful shower. There was also a washing line above the shower if needed.
The food in the main dining room was excellent in choice and quality. We used the main dining room for all meals whenever possible, as we did not enjoy the 'scrum' of the Windjammer Buffet. We eat one More night at Chops Grill (Â£20 extra pp) and one night at Portofino (Â£12-50 extra pp). We both thought that the food and in particular the steaks were better at Portofino. The Promenade Cafe is open 24 hours a day and serves slices of pizza, cakes and sandwiches (no charge for any of these), which is handy when you fancy a snack.
There are numerous bars on-board. Drinks are very expensive (about double what you would pay in a UK pub). If you like a glass of wine with your meals I would certainly recommend purchasing a wine package, as you save about 20% on the on-board prices (the Gold package is more than sufficient). Coffee/tea, iced water and iced tea are free on-board and are available in the Promenade Cafe and Windjammer. You pay extra for speciality coffees at the cafe.
The ship has an excellent gym with all the usual equipment and in sufficient quantities. There are plenty of sunbeds located in both sunny and shady spots. There is a climbing wall, 9 hole putting course, small ice rink and a basketball court to name but a few of the things to do. We enjoyed going to the art auctions, which we found interesting, plus there was a free raffle and as much free champagne (bubbly wine) as you could drink! There are a few shops on-board which had various sales throughout the week, but the best sales could be had on the last day at sea.
Ports of Call:
Messina - we hired a car and drove up Mount Etna, which is easy and inexpensive if you do your research before going. It was cold and cloudy, so the views were not great from the top, but was worth a visit. We met the tour from the ship coming up a crater as we were going down and heading back to the ship!
Athens - we took the Metro into the city from Piraeus which took 20 mins and cost 1.40 euro. However it was a 25 min walk to the metro from where the boat docked - I would recommend taking a taxi to the metro station! The other option is to use the red 'Hop on Hop off' bus to see the sights of Athens, which you get just outside the port. Athens is easily accessible so I would not recommend using the ships own expensive tour to visit here.
Kusadasi - we a splashed out for the ships own tour to Ephesus (4 hours and cost Â£50) and were glad we did as it was well organised and our guide was very informative. We took one of the early morning tours to miss the heat of the day. After having lunch on the ship we spent the afternoon wandering around the shops of Kusadasi, then sat at a waterfront bar sipping wine.
Chania - we only had a short stop in Crete so decided to stay on the boat, as it was a 30 min bus drive into the nearest town.
Overall this is an excellent cruise on a lovely ship, with excellent staff, excellent food and plenty to entertain you. Less
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