This is the second time we have sailed on the Navigator and once again it fulfilled all our expectations. We had made our own transfer arrangement from Barcelona airport to the Port, this is not difficult as there are numerous Taxis available. We had however pre-booked ours through Resorthopper. If we did it again I would just use airport Taxis as you have to confirm your return Taxi with Resorthopper 24hours beforehand - not so easy when you are at sea! Only tip would be to disembark as early as possible on the last day as taxi queues were quite long by 9.30am.
Boarding at Barcelona was quick and easy. Luggage was delivered to our cabin quickly. The cabin with balcony was well fitted and spacious compared to some. The doors to the balcony were welcome at nightime when we slept with them open to create a pleasant cooling effect with the sound of the sea murmuring in the background. The days at sea could be as action packed or relaxing as you required. This depended upon how much you became involved in the on board organized activities which were wide ranging. These varied from towel folding to pool games and basketball to learning to ice skate. As we had our 9 year old Grandson with us he provided us with all the action we required, plus some! He made good use of the Children's Adventure Club which thankfully provided us with some free time. The Adventure club was open all day until 10.00pm for no charge, then up to 11.00pm there was a $5.00 charge. Every night he was keen to attend as he had made many new friends and the staff were excellent. This enabled us to see all the evening shows without any problem. The main problem we encountered was persuading him to leave at 11.00pm. For those children like our Grandson who like to participate in adventurous activities such as rock climbing, ice skating, roller blading it is ideal, all are provided on board the ship and are well supervised by trained staff. The entertainment was good and varied. The show provided by the on board entertainment staff was excellent and comparable with many West End productions. That said the 'Ice Show' was spectacular. To see such fast moving acrobatic dances performed on an ice rink on a moving ship is unbelievable. Our Grandson insisted on seeing this show and he thought it was 'dead cool'. The midnight 'Mardi Gras' parade through the Promenade was colorful, noisy and much fun. It should not be missed! The covered promenade area which is unique provides an excellent choice of shops, cafe's, pub and wine bar. It is stunningly decorated and is overlooked by 3 storey's of balconies. The hot chocolate and cookies in the cafe are worth trying. The main restaurant is on three floors and is stunning with its chandeliers, grand piano and colorful gilded decor. The staff willing offered alternative menu suggestions if required. However we found the choice more than adequate, the 'lamb shank' in particular being quite memorable. On the evening of the formal night it was nice to see that most people had made an effort. This included Josh our Grandson who looked smart in his black coat and bow-tie and meticulously 'styled hair' - 15 minutes in the bathroom. The self service Windjammer and Jade Restaurant was well fitted with excellent sea views (if I could only breakfast with a view like that everyday!) Again there was a wide choice of food and drink available. Staff at all levels were helpful but not pushing, even Josh who commented upon how friendly all the staff were. He and our Cabin Stewart had a nightly game. Each night the inevitable 'folded towel animal' was left in the room. Josh would add to this - a rolled paper cigar in the mouth, or paper hat on its head etc. All added to the 'fun' of the cruise. By the end of the cruise we had a menagerie of, an elephant, snoopy dog, bat, rabbit and monkey.
When ashore we made our own arrangements as we always do, but there were a wide variety of excursions provided and the excursion staff were helpful even if you did not book with them. Whilst in Palermo,Sicily some advice I was given many years ago once again proved very profitable. That is to walk away from the port area if you can, and find a taxi or other transport and negotiate a tour with them. On this occasion we found a horse drawn carriage just outside the port area that offered us a tour which was longer and 20euros cheaper than those found in the port.