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We are from Topeka, Kansas, USA. Overall, this was our 13th cruise, the 10th on Royal Caribbean, with the last 8 on Royal. Even so, this cruise had many “firsts” for us. The first “first”: the first time we booked very late...10 days before sailing...one can get a very good deal. The Ship itself. The Navigator is clean and bright. Embarkation. This is the first time we drove to the port. We stayed in a local motel the night before, then, just before boarding, explored Galveston by just driving around and with the help of a tourist map from the motel. Finding the pier parking was extremely easy. We prepaid the parking on-line about 3 hours before arriving at the lot, with no problems. The cruise lines provide free shuttles to the pier, because it is an industrial and trafficked area. Dining First time for Anytime or My Time dining. We ate in the main dining room every night with a reserved 5:30 My Time seating. Booking late, My Time was the only remaining seating, but there were no issues with reserving, via on-line before leaving home, 5:30 each night prior to sailing. The food itself was good with good variety. We thought the Windjammer was OK, but we tried to avoid it, if possible, in favor of the main dining room for breakfast. We also think the Windjammer is getting repetitive. The lunch deserts were the same every day and the stations in the rear on each side both served the same food for lunch. . Public Rooms Very clean and comfortable, but often noisy. This was our first trip upon reaching RCCL’s Diamond Level. There are some benefits to that, one of which is the Diamond Lounge, which is a bit quieter. Cabins Our cabin was comfortable. This was the first time we had an inside cabin and with a virtual balcony. The virtual balcony is a 4x6 foot screen mounted vertically, on the wall of the stern side, with live picture and sound from a camera looking out the stern of the ship. The virtual balcony was good...when it worked. The image froze several times, then with no sound. I called the front desk and reported the first time. I like to know how things work. I know the display is a computer monitor because after reporting it frozen, I then watched it go through a reboot process bringing up all the messages displayed when the Red Hat Linux operating system was started. It then stopped with a display of a computer "desktop" with various icons, one of them a folder with the name "...virtual balcony.." associated with it. So, the magic is gone...the display is NOT a direct video feed; rather, it is a live video feed via a computer program. It is not a TV screen; rather, it is a computer monitor. There is a remote that enables one to turn off the view or adjust the sound volume. The camera is always on, even in port. At least in our room, we always looked out the stern and had no option to view a side camera if there was one. I suspect the design configuration of a rear view has operational advantages. If you can’t have a real balcony or Ocean View, this was actually pretty good. Try it! Entertainment The live stage band was very good. Live music was nearly all county. Hey, it originated in Galveston and we suspect many preferred county. Us...no. Nightly shows The production shows were OK, well executed, the singers and dancer performed well...they were just not interesting. ... like watching an aerobic dance class. My wife and I thought they were boring, especially the Now and Forever show. The "Mr. Bojangles" segment in that show was a disappointment - the dance although well done, was not appropriate for the song; we liked the ABBA segment - good costumes and the music was indeed good, but I wish they would have stayed more true to the original instrumentation The ice show was excellent, well done.. Probably one of the best we’ve seen. We also learned that this particular cast finished their run. Excursions: Although we reviewed the excursions before leaving home, this was the first time in quite a while that we did not book prior to leaving home. Because we had two days of cruising before the first port, we had plenty of time. We are more interested in culture, sights, and history. Roatan: RT51 A good tour and we enjoyed it ...a beautiful area. I was not fully cognizant of the depth of apparent poverty in Roatan. I certainly tipped our guide and driver, but wish I would have brought a bit more small change with me to tip others at the stops or to buy something from the kids that were selling. Belize: BD99 We've been on MANY RCCL shore excursions over the years and RCCL has done well facilitating them every time... but this time. RCCL failed greatly in BE99. We asked, but we did not get the traditional sticker and then follow the numbered paddle out of the ship. While waiting in the lounge, we were told that if were were not on a certain trip, we could now leave the lounge and go to the tender. Then, it felt as if we were blindly walking down the ship’s I-95 to get out, AND, most impactful, not all of our tour was on the same tender. We, the first group out, had to wait another 30-40 minutes for a subsequent tender to bring the remainder of the people on our tour. [Glad RCCL knows who is and how many are on the tour!] Consequently, we left late and were rushed at the Mayan site. The tour itself was well done and the guides were very good, but this was a rare, for us, and MAJOR FAIL on RCCL's part. Interesting point: to get to the site, we traveled nearly, less about 7 miles, the entire width of the country. Also, there was only a very light snack at the end of the site tour, so plan accordingly, i.e., consider your own water and snacks. Cozumel: ...been there before. We simply got off the ship and walked to the shopping area and back. Service The service was sharp and friendly. No issues. Disembarking The was the first time we did Self Assist departure -- carry you own luggage. It would have worked well, we had only two major bags, but the line ended in the terminal on the second floor at an inoperative escalator that was roped off and a small elevator that would only occasionally work. Add to that many people requiring assistance and people with too many large bags, and the results are lines moving with excruciating slowness and a testy atmosphere. We carried (i.e., bounced, dragged) our bags down the stairs then were nearly alone going through the terminal and customs, leaving a large crowd upstairs. The directions to the parking lot shuttle could have been more clearly marked. Summation Overall a good cruise. We booked the cruise simply to escape colder weather in Kansas at home. So, having cruised the Caribbean several times previously, we had no specific expectations. Ironically, the weather was warm at home while we were gone. Food was great. Service was friendly and helpful. The ship was comfortable. The excursions themselves were good, but RCCL’s management was lacking in one of them. We always felt safe on the ship and on tours, but as always, take precautions.

Just a quick getaway...

Navigator of the Seas Cruise Review by CruiseKansas

Trip Details
We are from Topeka, Kansas, USA. Overall, this was our 13th cruise, the 10th on Royal Caribbean, with the last 8 on Royal. Even so, this cruise had many “firsts” for us. The first “first”: the first time we booked very late...10 days before sailing...one can get a very good deal.
The Ship itself.
The Navigator is clean and bright.
Embarkation.
This is the first time we drove to the port. We stayed in a local motel the night before, then, just before boarding, explored Galveston by just driving around and with the help of a tourist map from the motel. Finding the pier parking was extremely easy. We prepaid the parking on-line about 3 hours before arriving at the lot, with no problems. The cruise lines provide free shuttles to the pier, because it is an industrial and trafficked area.
Dining
First time for Anytime or My Time dining. We ate in the main dining room every night with a reserved 5:30 My Time seating. Booking late, My Time was the only remaining seating, but there were no issues with reserving, via on-line before leaving home, 5:30 each night prior to sailing. The food itself was good with good variety.
We thought the Windjammer was OK, but we tried to avoid it, if possible, in favor of the main dining room for breakfast. We also think the Windjammer is getting repetitive. The lunch deserts were the same every day and the stations in the rear on each side both served the same food for lunch. .
Public Rooms
Very clean and comfortable, but often noisy. This was our first trip upon reaching RCCL’s Diamond Level. There are some benefits to that, one of which is the Diamond Lounge, which is a bit quieter.
Cabins
Our cabin was comfortable. This was the first time we had an inside cabin and with a virtual balcony. The virtual balcony is a 4x6 foot screen mounted vertically, on the wall of the stern side, with live picture and sound from a camera looking out the stern of the ship. The virtual balcony was good...when it worked. The image froze several times, then with no sound. I called the front desk and reported the first time. I like to know how things work. I know the display is a computer monitor because after reporting it frozen, I then watched it go through a reboot process bringing up all the messages displayed when the Red Hat Linux operating system was started. It then stopped with a display of a computer "desktop" with various icons, one of them a folder with the name "...virtual balcony.." associated with it. So, the magic is gone...the display is NOT a direct video feed; rather, it is a live video feed via a computer program. It is not a TV screen; rather, it is a computer monitor. There is a remote that enables one to turn off the view or adjust the sound volume. The camera is always on, even in port. At least in our room, we always looked out the stern and had no option to view a side camera if there was one. I suspect the design configuration of a rear view has operational advantages. If you can’t have a real balcony or Ocean View, this was actually pretty good. Try it!
Entertainment
The live stage band was very good. Live music was nearly all county. Hey, it originated in Galveston and we suspect many preferred county. Us...no.
Nightly shows
The production shows were OK, well executed, the singers and dancer performed well...they were just not interesting. ... like watching an aerobic dance class. My wife and I thought they were boring, especially the Now and Forever show. The "Mr. Bojangles" segment in that show was a disappointment - the dance although well done, was not appropriate for the song; we liked the ABBA segment - good costumes and the music was indeed good, but I wish they would have stayed more true to the original instrumentation
The ice show was excellent, well done.. Probably one of the best we’ve seen. We also learned that this particular cast finished their run.
Excursions:
Although we reviewed the excursions before leaving home, this was the first time in quite a while that we did not book prior to leaving home. Because we had two days of cruising before the first port, we had plenty of time. We are more interested in culture, sights, and history.
Roatan: RT51 A good tour and we enjoyed it ...a beautiful area. I was not fully cognizant of the depth of apparent poverty in Roatan. I certainly tipped our guide and driver, but wish I would have brought a bit more small change with me to tip others at the stops or to buy something from the kids that were selling.
Belize: BD99 We've been on MANY RCCL shore excursions over the years and RCCL has done well facilitating them every time... but this time. RCCL failed greatly in BE99. We asked, but we did not get the traditional sticker and then follow the numbered paddle out of the ship. While waiting in the lounge, we were told that if were were not on a certain trip, we could now leave the lounge and go to the tender. Then, it felt as if we were blindly walking down the ship’s I-95 to get out, AND, most impactful, not all of our tour was on the same tender. We, the first group out, had to wait another 30-40 minutes for a subsequent tender to bring the remainder of the people on our tour. [Glad RCCL knows who is and how many are on the tour!] Consequently, we left late and were rushed at the Mayan site. The tour itself was well done and the guides were very good, but this was a rare, for us, and MAJOR FAIL on RCCL's part. Interesting point: to get to the site, we traveled nearly, less about 7 miles, the entire width of the country. Also, there was only a very light snack at the end of the site tour, so plan accordingly, i.e., consider your own water and snacks.
Cozumel: ...been there before. We simply got off the ship and walked to the shopping area and back.
Service
The service was sharp and friendly. No issues.
Disembarking
The was the first time we did Self Assist departure -- carry you own luggage. It would have worked well, we had only two major bags, but the line ended in the terminal on the second floor at an inoperative escalator that was roped off and a small elevator that would only occasionally work. Add to that many people requiring assistance and people with too many large bags, and the results are lines moving with excruciating slowness and a testy atmosphere. We carried (i.e., bounced, dragged) our bags down the stairs then were nearly alone going through the terminal and customs, leaving a large crowd upstairs.
The directions to the parking lot shuttle could have been more clearly marked.
Summation
Overall a good cruise. We booked the cruise simply to escape colder weather in Kansas at home. So, having cruised the Caribbean several times previously, we had no specific expectations. Ironically, the weather was warm at home while we were gone. Food was great. Service was friendly and helpful. The ship was comfortable. The excursions themselves were good, but RCCL’s management was lacking in one of them. We always felt safe on the ship and on tours, but as always, take precautions.
CruiseKansas’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Cabin 9587
The virtual balcony was actually pretty nice. I had low expectations, but was pleasantly surprised. We left the sound provided by the virtual balcony on all the time. [see my full review for more on the virtual balcony] Since the camera looks out the stern, we always saw the wake (or whatever was behind us in port) and heard the sound of the wake. That is soothing at night. Unfortunately, the camera did not do well in lower light situations, but that's OK. We left it on anyway. Because of the position of the virtual balcony itself, we had only a chair and ottoman, no couch and table. We purposely chose this cabin (all the Ocean View were sold by the time we booked) because it is next to a non-cabin - an open area on the deck plan- thinking it would be quieter. It was. I suspected that area was a steward's prep and storage area and it was. When he was using that area, he was very quiet. For an interior cabin (not my preferred choice) this was a good cabin.
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