1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Navigator of the Seas
Cruise Review Navigator of the Seas November 18-24, 2007 We enjoyed our Thanksgiving week cruise on The Navigator of the Seas, but it was not our most memorable cruise of recent years. We were fans of the now-defunct Orient Lines (bought by Norwegian Cruise Lines), and thoroughly enjoyed a cruise of the Greek islands and Turkey on the Crown Odyssey, and of the Mediterranean and Baltic on the Marco Polo. These were smaller, older ships of about a thousand passengers. We were on a month's vacation in Boca Raton, Florida, away from our home on the Big Island of Hawaii. We decided to explore the Caribbean while there, and found the cruise on the Navigator at a low price: less than $600 per person for a six-day cruise in an inside cabin, so we decided to give it a try. Since we live in Hawaii, we were not interested in shore excursions which emphasized beach time or snorkeling, but preferred touring interesting towns or cultural sites. The Navigator cruise to the Western Caribbean including the ports of Cozumel, Belize and Roatan Island, appealed to us more than other possibilities. We also chose Royal Caribbean over Carnival, because the latter had a bad reputation for uncontrolled drinking by minors. (Everyone we observed on the Navigator was well-behaved.) Further, since Port Everglades was just a half hour from our vacation home, we chose that port over Miami. (That may have been a mistaken idea: other reviewers say Miami is better.) On and Off The choice of Port Everglades over Miami worked out well, in part, but only because it was closer to home. We called Royal Caribbean the morning of departure to inquire about early boarding. We are in our seventies, and my wife (Nancy) has heart trouble and two hip replacements, (we have a handicapped parking pass,) so we did not want to endure long walks or standing in long lines. We were told we could board about 45 minutes earlier than the official embarkation start time of 2:00 PM. When we arrived at the pier, the scene was chaotic, but we drove right up to where porters were unloading baggage, and had assistance getting our two 26" bags out of the trunk. Then we drove to the nearby parking garage, which appeared to be full, except for two handicapped spaces on the top deck. We were happy to have brought our parking pass with us from Hawaii! If it were not for the parking pass, we would have had to circle the garage until we spotted someone leaving. From the garage it was just a short walk back to the pier, where we went through processing without too much waiting. We found our way to our stateroom on deck 8, near the stern of the ship. Our bags did not arrive until after dinner, but that was not a problem. We went to the Swan Lake dining room for the first seating of the regular sit-down dinner, and thoroughly enjoyed our first meal there. Disembarking turned out to be a problem. Since we were not part of a tour and did not have a plane to catch, we had been assigned a purple baggage tag and group, for a late morning disembarkation. That was fine for us, we were not in a rush and preferred a leisurely departure. Our bags were outside the room the night before. We had breakfast in the Nutcracker dining room, full menu with waiter service. We were instructed to wait in Studio B, a cool theater (where the ice show is given), where from time to time an announcer would call the next group to depart. We were one of the last to be called. To our disappointment, we had to join a long line going through customs and immigration, on the pier. Then it was time for the baggage puzzle: which one of the 3,500 or so bags was ours. They were in a large warehouse, in groups by color: there were hundreds with purple tags. Alas, we found only one of our two. Someone had mistakenly marched off with my bag. This was in spite of the bag being blue (not black) with a chartreuse lock and an orange name tag! We filled out a lost baggage form, and I left to retrieve our car, leaving my wife at curbside, with no place to sit, guarding the bags. Thirty minutes later, we were unpacking the luggage we had at our vacation home in Boca Raton. After another hour, I got a call on the cell phone (I had fortunately written the number on the purple tag) from Port Lucie, an hour and a half up the coast, from a sheepish man who had my bag! He immediately returned to Port Everglades and traded in my bag for his at the terminal. I got a second call from the terminal, and arranged to pick up my bag before their closure (they offered to deliver it, but two days later.) I was lucky to be just half an hour away. The Cabin The inside stateroom was compact, but comfortable, a little larger than what we had with Orient Lines Between a small sofa and a dressing table there is a glass-topped coffee table that always seemed to be in the way; we noticed that our neighbors had moved theirs out into the passageway- perhaps the steward had a place to stow it. We rationalize our acceptance of tight quarters: after all, it's not about spending a lot of time in the cabin. We had our bed made up in the king-size configuration, i.e, the two twin beds together, with a too-narrow for use space on either side. There are several movies on the TV throughout the day, we were too busy outside the cabin to ever want to watch one. The room was quiet, had a good air conditioning control, and the ship's motion was calm. The bathroom was tiny, but functional. Lifeboat Drill We didn't have a problem with this, but some people did. Since this was not our first cruise, we were prepared and went to our station early, without our life jackets, thinking that the staff would provide them. They did not, so we followed the drill without life jackets. Our station was on deck by the lifeboat, which meant there were few chairs. We found two, but I yielded mine to a disabled passenger. The rest of about a hundred passengers had to stand for the drill and the Captain's welcome- they were not very comfortable. Public Spaces This is the highlight of the ship: it is grandly spacious. We enjoyed the three-story Promenade, and went often to the Cafe Promenade, which had coffee, tea, hot chocolate, sandwiches and pastry, all hours of the day. We went often to watch the passing parade of fellow passengers, in all sorts of attire, people in bathing suits and tuxedos simultaneously parading by. Each evening we would go to a different bar for a drink before dinner. The decor, however, was a mish-mash: a lot of it modern, but the dining room was French Rococo, and there was a Mexican theme in the Ixtapa Lounge. Dining The dining room is grand: three levels, and surprisingly quiet. I have a hearing problem: I don't hear high-pitched sounds, which means I miss a lot of consonants when there is a lot of background noise. I did rather well with our table mates on this trip. We requested a table for eight. We enjoy being served, and conversing with our table mates. On the third night we found out that we were to be alone at our table: one family decided to go to the Windjammer Cafe and dine cafeteria style, and the remaining two ladies from Canada announced plans to go to the Portofino's dining room. Not wanting to dine alone, we arranged with the maitre d' to move us to another table, where we found a very compatible group. The service was excellent. Our energetic waitress was from Romania, the rest of the staff from all over the world. The menu was extensive (but not great), and the portions were small, which was fine by us. The entrees were good, but not excellent. Sometimes the listed vegetables did not appear on the plate. There was lobster one night. There were excellent shrimp dishes on several occasions. One gentleman with a big appetite usually ordered two entrees: no problem, and others ordered two desserts. There was always steak or salmon, and a Caesar salad, in addition to the daily specials. As usual on cruise ships, wine was expensive, we ordered a bottle of wine only once (Vouvray, $33.) Cocktails are reasonable ($5.75). We had every breakfast and usually lunch in the main dining room, and enjoyed talking with our shipmates, many of whom had started the cruise from Southampton, England. We tried the Windjammer Cafe twice for lunch, and found it just OK. We prefer to be served, and to join in with others at the table. The size of the dining room explains some of the problems: for example, the coffee was never piping hot; but the servers did well, under the circumstances. On the whole, we enjoyed the dining experience. Shore Excursions We were disappointed. My wife is limited as to walking, so we mostly choose the town tours. At Cozumel, I went on the $84 tour to the Mayan ruins at Tulum, while my wife stayed on the ship. The ruins were not that great, and you could not climb around on them. It was a half hour boat ride from Cozumel to the mainland at Playa Carmen, followed by an hour bus ride to the ruins. The guide spoke English well, and gave a good description of the Mayan culture and the ruins. (Also, it rained!) Nancy had booked the folkloric show, but it was cancelled. In Belize, we had to wait a long time to get a tender, because priority was given to those who had adventure tours. Nancy and I chose the $30 tram tour, which was a good way to see the town, but outside of the better part of town, it was squalid. The people were friendly and not intrusive, but they were clearly very poor. We didn't see much of interest in the way of native handicrafts to buy. In Roatan, we skipped the tour and just walked through the town, taking a makeshift pedicab to get to the center. Again, the town was impoverished, and we didn't see much to buy. . We think that our fellow tourists who chose adventure tours did better. We heard tales of great snorkeling (we have that at home in Hawaii) and rafting through caves, but that was not an option for us. We were also fearful of malaria, because both Tulum and Roatan are listed as hazardous for that. But the ship did not warn against it, and none of our shipmates seemed concerned. I took a course of prophylactic pills, but Nancy did not want to risk their side effects. November is the dry season, perhaps that is why we did not encounter any bugs. (We did not find Florida buggy, either.) We chose the Western Caribbean rather than the Eastern to avoid such impoverished islands as Haiti and Jamaica, but we found poverty anyway.. Pool Area We did hang out at the pool deck to read, during the second 'at sea' day. It was very crowded, but with persistence one can get a chaise. Unfortunately, the chaises were in a noisy area. Entertainment The ice dancing show in Studio B was great! Magnificently presented, and with a skilled Russian troupe, it was the only grand entertainment. The juggler show in the Metropolis Theater (a grand venue) was strictly for children, and we walked out of the 'rock' music show. Conclusion To summarize: the shore experiences were disappointing compared to Europe, but the ship was grand. But even with its impressive features, our next cruise will be on a smaller ship- perhaps a river cruise?

Enjoyable Thanksgiving Week cruise

Navigator of the Seas Cruise Review by Patrick Callahan

Trip Details
Cruise Review Navigator of the Seas November 18-24, 2007
We enjoyed our Thanksgiving week cruise on The Navigator of the Seas, but it was not our most memorable cruise of recent years. We were fans of the now-defunct Orient Lines (bought by Norwegian Cruise Lines), and thoroughly enjoyed a cruise of the Greek islands and Turkey on the Crown Odyssey, and of the Mediterranean and Baltic on the Marco Polo. These were smaller, older ships of about a thousand passengers.
We were on a month's vacation in Boca Raton, Florida, away from our home on the Big Island of Hawaii. We decided to explore the Caribbean while there, and found the cruise on the Navigator at a low price: less than $600 per person for a six-day cruise in an inside cabin, so we decided to give it a try.
Since we live in Hawaii, we were not interested in shore excursions which emphasized beach time or snorkeling, but preferred touring interesting towns or cultural sites. The Navigator cruise to the Western Caribbean including the ports of Cozumel, Belize and Roatan Island, appealed to us more than other possibilities. We also chose Royal Caribbean over Carnival, because the latter had a bad reputation for uncontrolled drinking by minors. (Everyone we observed on the Navigator was well-behaved.) Further, since Port Everglades was just a half hour from our vacation home, we chose that port over Miami. (That may have been a mistaken idea: other reviewers say Miami is better.)
On and Off
The choice of Port Everglades over Miami worked out well, in part, but only because it was closer to home. We called Royal Caribbean the morning of departure to inquire about early boarding. We are in our seventies, and my wife (Nancy) has heart trouble and two hip replacements, (we have a handicapped parking pass,) so we did not want to endure long walks or standing in long lines. We were told we could board about 45 minutes earlier than the official embarkation start time of 2:00 PM. When we arrived at the pier, the scene was chaotic, but we drove right up to where porters were unloading baggage, and had assistance getting our two 26" bags out of the trunk. Then we drove to the nearby parking garage, which appeared to be full, except for two handicapped spaces on the top deck. We were happy to have brought our parking pass with us from Hawaii! If it were not for the parking pass, we would have had to circle the garage until we spotted someone leaving. From the garage it was just a short walk back to the pier, where we went through processing without too much waiting. We found our way to our stateroom on deck 8, near the stern of the ship. Our bags did not arrive until after dinner, but that was not a problem. We went to the Swan Lake dining room for the first seating of the regular sit-down dinner, and thoroughly enjoyed our first meal there.
Disembarking turned out to be a problem. Since we were not part of a tour and did not have a plane to catch, we had been assigned a purple baggage tag and group, for a late morning disembarkation. That was fine for us, we were not in a rush and preferred a leisurely departure. Our bags were outside the room the night before. We had breakfast in the Nutcracker dining room, full menu with waiter service. We were instructed to wait in Studio B, a cool theater (where the ice show is given), where from time to time an announcer would call the next group to depart. We were one of the last to be called. To our disappointment, we had to join a long line going through customs and immigration, on the pier.
Then it was time for the baggage puzzle: which one of the 3,500 or so bags was ours. They were in a large warehouse, in groups by color: there were hundreds with purple tags. Alas, we found only one of our two. Someone had mistakenly marched off with my bag. This was in spite of the bag being blue (not black) with a chartreuse lock and an orange name tag! We filled out a lost baggage form, and I left to retrieve our car, leaving my wife at curbside, with no place to sit, guarding the bags. Thirty minutes later, we were unpacking the luggage we had at our vacation home in Boca Raton. After another hour, I got a call on the cell phone (I had fortunately written the number on the purple tag) from Port Lucie, an hour and a half up the coast, from a sheepish man who had my bag! He immediately returned to Port Everglades and traded in my bag for his at the terminal. I got a second call from the terminal, and arranged to pick up my bag before their closure (they offered to deliver it, but two days later.) I was lucky to be just half an hour away.
The Cabin
The inside stateroom was compact, but comfortable, a little larger than what we had with Orient Lines Between a small sofa and a dressing table there is a glass-topped coffee table that always seemed to be in the way; we noticed that our neighbors had moved theirs out into the passageway- perhaps the steward had a place to stow it. We rationalize our acceptance of tight quarters: after all, it's not about spending a lot of time in the cabin. We had our bed made up in the king-size configuration, i.e, the two twin beds together, with a too-narrow for use space on either side. There are several movies on the TV throughout the day, we were too busy outside the cabin to ever want to watch one. The room was quiet, had a good air conditioning control, and the ship's motion was calm. The bathroom was tiny, but functional.
Lifeboat Drill
We didn't have a problem with this, but some people did. Since this was not our first cruise, we were prepared and went to our station early, without our life jackets, thinking that the staff would provide them. They did not, so we followed the drill without life jackets. Our station was on deck by the lifeboat, which meant there were few chairs. We found two, but I yielded mine to a disabled passenger. The rest of about a hundred passengers had to stand for the drill and the Captain's welcome- they were not very comfortable. Public Spaces
This is the highlight of the ship: it is grandly spacious. We enjoyed the three-story Promenade, and went often to the Cafe Promenade, which had coffee, tea, hot chocolate, sandwiches and pastry, all hours of the day. We went often to watch the passing parade of fellow passengers, in all sorts of attire, people in bathing suits and tuxedos simultaneously parading by. Each evening we would go to a different bar for a drink before dinner. The decor, however, was a mish-mash: a lot of it modern, but the dining room was French Rococo, and there was a Mexican theme in the Ixtapa Lounge.
Dining
The dining room is grand: three levels, and surprisingly quiet. I have a hearing problem: I don't hear high-pitched sounds, which means I miss a lot of consonants when there is a lot of background noise. I did rather well with our table mates on this trip. We requested a table for eight. We enjoy being served, and conversing with our table mates. On the third night we found out that we were to be alone at our table: one family decided to go to the Windjammer Cafe and dine cafeteria style, and the remaining two ladies from Canada announced plans to go to the Portofino's dining room. Not wanting to dine alone, we arranged with the maitre d' to move us to another table, where we found a very compatible group. The service was excellent. Our energetic waitress was from Romania, the rest of the staff from all over the world. The menu was extensive (but not great), and the portions were small, which was fine by us. The entrees were good, but not excellent. Sometimes the listed vegetables did not appear on the plate. There was lobster one night. There were excellent shrimp dishes on several occasions. One gentleman with a big appetite usually ordered two entrees: no problem, and others ordered two desserts. There was always steak or salmon, and a Caesar salad, in addition to the daily specials. As usual on cruise ships, wine was expensive, we ordered a bottle of wine only once (Vouvray, $33.) Cocktails are reasonable ($5.75). We had every breakfast and usually lunch in the main dining room, and enjoyed talking with our shipmates, many of whom had started the cruise from Southampton, England. We tried the Windjammer Cafe twice for lunch, and found it just OK. We prefer to be served, and to join in with others at the table. The size of the dining room explains some of the problems: for example, the coffee was never piping hot; but the servers did well, under the circumstances. On the whole, we enjoyed the dining experience.
Shore Excursions
We were disappointed. My wife is limited as to walking, so we mostly choose the town tours. At Cozumel, I went on the $84 tour to the Mayan ruins at Tulum, while my wife stayed on the ship. The ruins were not that great, and you could not climb around on them. It was a half hour boat ride from Cozumel to the mainland at Playa Carmen, followed by an hour bus ride to the ruins. The guide spoke English well, and gave a good description of the Mayan culture and the ruins. (Also, it rained!) Nancy had booked the folkloric show, but it was cancelled.
In Belize, we had to wait a long time to get a tender, because priority was given to those who had adventure tours. Nancy and I chose the $30 tram tour, which was a good way to see the town, but outside of the better part of town, it was squalid. The people were friendly and not intrusive, but they were clearly very poor. We didn't see much of interest in the way of native handicrafts to buy.
In Roatan, we skipped the tour and just walked through the town, taking a makeshift pedicab to get to the center. Again, the town was impoverished, and we didn't see much to buy. .
We think that our fellow tourists who chose adventure tours did better. We heard tales of great snorkeling (we have that at home in Hawaii) and rafting through caves, but that was not an option for us.
We were also fearful of malaria, because both Tulum and Roatan are listed as hazardous for that. But the ship did not warn against it, and none of our shipmates seemed concerned. I took a course of prophylactic pills, but Nancy did not want to risk their side effects. November is the dry season, perhaps that is why we did not encounter any bugs. (We did not find Florida buggy, either.)
We chose the Western Caribbean rather than the Eastern to avoid such impoverished islands as Haiti and Jamaica, but we found poverty anyway..
Pool Area
We did hang out at the pool deck to read, during the second 'at sea' day. It was very crowded, but with persistence one can get a chaise. Unfortunately, the chaises were in a noisy area.
Entertainment
The ice dancing show in Studio B was great! Magnificently presented, and with a skilled Russian troupe, it was the only grand entertainment. The juggler show in the Metropolis Theater (a grand venue) was strictly for children, and we walked out of the 'rock' music show.
Conclusion
To summarize: the shore experiences were disappointing compared to Europe, but the ship was grand. But even with its impressive features, our next cruise will be on a smaller ship- perhaps a river cruise?
Patrick Callahan’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Rates
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email