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The Navigator of the Seas (NOTS) is a very large modern ship built in Finland in 2002. We have just returned from a 10 day Madeira and Canary Isles cruise. This was our second cruise with Royal Caribbean but my 37th cruise (32 P&O, 3 Princess, 2 RCI) since 1963. We are a family of 4 and our children have been cruising since they were 5 and 9. This is not meant to be an exhaustive report. It is just picking up on a few things which I feel are important when making a decision about which ship to book. This was probably our best cruise ever mainly due to the friendliness of the crew, the facilities on the ship and the excellent food and service we received. Yes, the ship is big, yes the ship is very Americanised but somehow (despite my dislike for most things American) it all work beautifully together and provides a wonderful cruise for any age. The Royal Promenade (Atrium) has all the P&O ships beaten to a pulp and makes the Arcadia's atrium look sad and old. That is all I will say on the subject of comparing ships as many people see the same thing differently. It is possible that a newish cruiser who has only seen one or two ships would not like the NOTS but as an experienced cruiser, I can say for definite that P&O have a lot to learn from Royal Caribbean on facilities, crew and design. The restaurants on board are magnificent and the food and the waiters complement this. Every meal we had was superbly designed and hot (or cold if it was meant to be) we did not have to send one part of any meal back at all. There is a lot of menu choice and the offer of "we can make you anything you want if there is nothing on the menu you like" helps even more. There are a number of dining options depending on your mood ranging from informal buffets to very formal dining in speciality restaurants. The evening dress code was reasonably stuck to by most passengers but, in this new cruiser era that is to be expected on all cruise lines. The entertainment was particularly good with acts ranging from Adagio to an Elton John tribute. We also saw a Beatles tribute band and there were 3 production shows plus a juggler/comedian who was very funny. There were also 2 ice rink shows similar to the Disney on ice shows. The bands on board were typically 'cruise' bands but they got the job done. The cruise director (Graham Seymour) also did an adult comedy stand up routine and there were the usual welcome aboard and farewell shows. The very funny Jeff Stevenson was on board but sadly he was limited to a 15 minute routine on the opening show as he disembarked at the first port. There were over 3000 passengers on board and yet, only once, did we have to queue and this was to gain entrance to the ice rink show but this queue was no worse than a queue to enter a football match or to exchange something at the Argos store. In closing, I would recommend to the NOTS to any cruiser who has been on P&O and wants to see to how it should be done. As a dedicated P&O passenger over 44 years, it hurts me to say this but if P&O think that the design of the Arcadia is how is should be done, then they are sadly mistaken. We are booked on the new P&O ship, the Ventura next year and I sincerely hope that this new ship has been built as a sign of things to come for P&O.

Navigator of the Seas

Navigator of the Seas Cruise Review by Philip Gordon

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Trip Details
The Navigator of the Seas (NOTS) is a very large modern ship built in Finland in 2002.
We have just returned from a 10 day Madeira and Canary Isles cruise. This was our second cruise with Royal Caribbean but my 37th cruise (32 P&O, 3 Princess, 2 RCI) since 1963. We are a family of 4 and our children have been cruising since they were 5 and 9.
This is not meant to be an exhaustive report. It is just picking up on a few things which I feel are important when making a decision about which ship to book.
This was probably our best cruise ever mainly due to the friendliness of the crew, the facilities on the ship and the excellent food and service we received.
Yes, the ship is big, yes the ship is very Americanised but somehow (despite my dislike for most things American) it all work beautifully together and provides a wonderful cruise for any age.
The Royal Promenade (Atrium) has all the P&O ships beaten to a pulp and makes the Arcadia's atrium look sad and old. That is all I will say on the subject of comparing ships as many people see the same thing differently. It is possible that a newish cruiser who has only seen one or two ships would not like the NOTS but as an experienced cruiser, I can say for definite that P&O have a lot to learn from Royal Caribbean on facilities, crew and design.
The restaurants on board are magnificent and the food and the waiters complement this. Every meal we had was superbly designed and hot (or cold if it was meant to be) we did not have to send one part of any meal back at all. There is a lot of menu choice and the offer of "we can make you anything you want if there is nothing on the menu you like" helps even more.
There are a number of dining options depending on your mood ranging from informal buffets to very formal dining in speciality restaurants.
The evening dress code was reasonably stuck to by most passengers but, in this new cruiser era that is to be expected on all cruise lines.
The entertainment was particularly good with acts ranging from Adagio to an Elton John tribute. We also saw a Beatles tribute band and there were 3 production shows plus a juggler/comedian who was very funny. There were also 2 ice rink shows similar to the Disney on ice shows. The bands on board were typically 'cruise' bands but they got the job done. The cruise director (Graham Seymour) also did an adult comedy stand up routine and there were the usual welcome aboard and farewell shows. The very funny Jeff Stevenson was on board but sadly he was limited to a 15 minute routine on the opening show as he disembarked at the first port.
There were over 3000 passengers on board and yet, only once, did we have to queue and this was to gain entrance to the ice rink show but this queue was no worse than a queue to enter a football match or to exchange something at the Argos store.
In closing, I would recommend to the NOTS to any cruiser who has been on P&O and wants to see to how it should be done. As a dedicated P&O passenger over 44 years, it hurts me to say this but if P&O think that the design of the Arcadia is how is should be done, then they are sadly mistaken. We are booked on the new P&O ship, the Ventura next year and I sincerely hope that this new ship has been built as a sign of things to come for P&O.
Philip Gordon’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
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Ages 13 to 15
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