Navigator of the Seas Cruise Review by mczArgyle
- Sail Date: August 2014
- Destination: Western Caribbean
First, my tips:
carry-on wine: we carefully read the policy and determined we could bring on two bottles of wine per stateroom. One of ours was a bottle of port which had an alcohol content of 20%. This was confiscated upon boarding because they claimed anything above about 15% was not considered wine. I have no problem with that statement, but it should be clarified in their written policy. They did give us back the port after we boarded when I complained, but I would warn anyone planning carry-on wine to NOT bring PORT.
Shareholder "benefit": when I was planning the cruise, I was searching for any ways to get on-board credit, and I found that RCL shareholders (of 100 shares or more) get a $100 credit. I purchased 100 shares a few weeks before leaving, got my $100 credit, and upon my return sold the shares (it wasn't really something that fit in my long term portfolio). I was lucky: the stock was up, and I netted about $800. Talk about win-win!! So, if you're able to take the risk, buy some RCL before you cruise.
Next, my review:
8372 balcony. Great bathroom, big comfortable bed, good balcony, outstanding room attendant (Rohan). I felt there was plenty of closet/drawer space. We were able to 'move in' and have the room very neat and orderly
9303 inside. This one had the virtual balcony. I think this made a big difference in making the inside cabin tolerable.
Flowrider: lines were almost always huge, so you had to wait 15-30 minutes for a turn that lasted a few seconds (we did surfing, not wake-boarding). It was open most of the day, but with those lines it was hardly worth doing. We wanted a shared lesson (they offered lessons for 4 students at about $70 each), but they did nothing to coordinate getting 4 people together. We wanted just one slot, and they basically said we'd have to find the other three attendees on our own. It was so unhelpful that I have to conclude they didn't really want to give these lessons. Also, almost every time I wanted a pool towel they were 'out'.
Ice rink: cool to say we went ice skating in the Caribbean, but it was pretty small, pretty crowded, and the ice was pretty bumpy.
Rock climbing: fun to see the kids do it, but they complained it was too easy (!). From where I stood, it looked very impressive to see them scale the wall! We were lucky we just walked up and did it on the first day of the cruise, but I saw pretty long lines later on...
Mini golf: no lines. Good relaxing activity.
Ice dancing: AMAZING!!
Quest: pretty crass, but If you like that sort of thing, get there early because it fills up.
Cozumel: we took a taxi to Corona Beach, and had a great day with snorkeling, nachos, a beer and beach. NOT CROWDED!!!
Grand Cayman: we did the ship's excursion for 'deluxe stingray city'. This was quite well done (even if you were with 100 other people, and there were many other big groups out on the sand bar), and the stingrays were amazing! Oddly, the ship's price was less than I found elsewhere—but in any case, because of the tenders (take a boat to shore; no dock), you really want to do the ship's excursion to get off the ship faster in Grand Cayman.
Jamaica: we did the ship's 'Mystic Mountain with bobsled and Dunns River Falls' excursion. This was also cheaper than the ones I found on-line (plus, I didn't find this particular combination elsewhere). It was also well done. I liked Mystic Mountain a lot (beautiful, and not too crowded), and climbing the falls is definitely something to have on your bucket list.
Main Restaurant: EXCELLENT everything. I'm a foodie, and I found the food to all be very good. The service was also very good. There tended to be long lines to get seated (we did my time dining, and usually eat pretty late (8-9pm)). But once seated, the service was good enough. I thought it was odd that they didn't seem to have a wine steward come around—we had to ask for wine. And nobody ever tried to offer any other kind of alcoholic drinks—kind of odd in a restaurant!
Windjammer: we only ate here for breakfast/lunch; it was okay but VERY CROWDED.
Specialty restaurants: I just wasn't motivated to pay the extra money when the main restaurant was so good.
Holy cow! Amazing, fantastic! Huge! Gorgeous!!
I think we were on within an hour and completely off and out of customs within 45 minutes. It wasn't too hot or painful.
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