Navigator of the Seas Cruise Review by DMcG
- Sail Date: May 2008
- Destination: Western Mediterranean
Overall, I found this trip disappointing - not bad, but a long way short of what I expected. I had naively believed that as long as the prices were roughly comparable, the overall quality would be the same, although clearly one line would better better in one area than another, and vice versa. I cannot say that I think this is true of our trip on Navigator of the Seas.
The first surprising thing was that when we got on board there was no-one to give any guidance at all on where our cabins might be. One every other trip so far, there has been some sort of welcoming party/group , with people to guide you to your cabin. Here, we were left completely to our own devices. (It did not help that Royal Caribbean seems to have invented an unusually complicated way of numbering their cabins!) Now, I think this might be because of the size of the ship - the amount of time to get everyone on board pretty much the same whether you are taking 1000 or 3000 people on board, so the larger the ship, the more difficult it is to greet people as they get on. As I say, I haven't been on such a big ship of any other line, s can't be sure about that.
The second most striking thing was the poor choice of meals in the main restaurant in the evening. All but one item on the menu was the same every evening, and that item was never anything out of the ordinary. As an example, one evening the dish was 'knuckle of lamb in rosemary jus'. Nothing wrong with that, except that it is what you would expect to find in almost any UK pub that wanted to move sightly upmarket with its food but did not actually employ a chef. I had a similar experience one breakfast - the restaurant menu claimed to have a special 'egg dish of the day'. When I asked what it was, the water did not know, so he asked the other waiters, who didn't know, then asked the head waiter, who had to send out to the kitchen to find out. Ten minutes later the answer came back as 'Mexican Egg' which they described as fried and sprinkled with herbs. To me, this sounded more like someone had made up on the spur of the moment (and not in the least Mexican!); subsequently a Google search has revealed there is such a thing as 'Mexican Egg', but its nothing like that.
My daughter mainly ate evening meals in the buffet area, and reported that the choice was probably better there.
The third disappointing aspect of the trip was that piped music was playing constantly and everywhere, even in places where, for example, a string quartet was trying to play something completely different.
Finally, there was very little to do in terms of entertainment beyond the big shows. There were no 'learn to play bridge sessions', or anything like that, for example.
Over the atmosphere was, to quote my daughter again, 'like spending a week living in a shopping mall'.
Lest all of this appears very negative, let me repeat: the trip was not bad. It was simply well below what other companies charging about the same price have provided on our other trips.
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