After cruise #4 we're still loyal to the Royal! The Port of New Orleans is wonderful. We've sailed out of Miami, Tampa, and New Jersey and this was the fastest and easiest. Clean, nice looking, efficient, & friendly port staff. Also, porters weren't NEARLY as pushy about taking our luggage as they have been in other ports. We arrived at 10 and were on the ship by 10:45. It's a large port - we left out of Julia Street, #2. Do your homework before you drive there. When we arrived at 10, cruisers were still disembarking from the previous cruise, so we asked a port employee when we could expect them to start to allow us on. She told us to go shopping across the street at the RiverWalk! Luckily we knew not to do that, and soon enough they called for us. Very nice to have a separate desk for suite and C&A guests. Cookies and water for all while we waited. Security and x-ray scanning while getting on board was a breeze - they didn't say a word about our 2 bottles of wine. Even though this is allowed now we figured they'd be a lot more stringent about counting them and making sure you're following the policy, but it was easy!
Navigator is beautiful. Yes, she's due for some upgrades, but that doesn't mean she's not a beautiful ship. They see 3000 people every week, so she's bound to have some wear. Loved the decor - beautiful opera & dance art work!
- We had the 5 bottle wine package and free drinks in the concierge lounge from 5-8:30. Because of that we only spent a total of about $250 on alcohol over 7 nights. As in the past, most cocktails were priced between $6.75 and $9. The liquor package would have been a waste for us, based on those factors.
RCI Navigator of the Seas - Grand Suite - 1552
We cruised with only 2 people in a Grand Suite. Very clean and spacious. Even with clothes for 7 nights AND Scuba gear for 2 people we still had a lot of drawers we didn't use. I was able to do a kickboxing workout video in the living space! Bed is super-comfortable. Balcony is spacious. We ate breakfast at our balcony table every morning. Great view. Nice and quiet. We read one review of this stateroom indicating that noise from the solarium was an issue but it wasn't for us, and this was a spring break (party) cruise. Beautiful bathroom - good to have a full tub and shower to clean Scuba gear in. Nice to have 2 sinks. GREAT Bose sound system! As a gal with VERY long hair I wish I had remembered to bring my own hairdryer - the one they give you is very basic.
Wonderful suite attendants. Great concierge lounge. Ricardo Mock, the concierge, is fabulous.
Opposite end of the ship from the concierge lounge. One level down from the fitness center and solarium.
Port was new, clean, beautiful. No one hassling you. Fast disembarkation. Easy to find your excursion. Lots of stores, lots of food. You could probably spend a few hours just shopping/window shopping in the port.
We did the Dreamer Catamaran excursion. This is actually in Montego Bay, not Falmouth, so there was about a 40 minute bus ride. Not a big deal. Many people were on a coach bus, we were in a small van. Driver gave a bit of commentary throughout the ride.
Again, great resort. We didn't spend any time there, but it looked nice. Beautiful catamaran, great staff, amazing snorkeling (about 40 minutes). They had some cheese sandwiches for us. Rum punch was STRONG. Fun atmosphere. They stopped at various times and pulled out a jellyfish, starfish, and other marine life to pass around and show people. If you can, get on the boat first and get a spot in the BACK. There's a bench in the back that seats about 10 people and faces the water. A little more secluded, which is nice as they fill the boat to capacity. Still, it was fun and comfortable.