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Navigator of the Seas Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
2,315 Reviews

Fun times, great value overall

Navigator of the Seas Cruise Review by ms23

0 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Oct 2015
  • Destination: the Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Interior Stateroom with Virtual Balcony

I wrote this information for myself and thought I'd share it with everyone, as it contains information I wish I'd had before sailing.

Cruise line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Navigator of the Seas

Cruise Dates: Oct. 4-11, 2015

Western Caribbean (Starting at Galveston, Texas, and traveling to Cozumel, Mexico; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Falmouth, Jamaica)

7 Night Western Caribbean Cruise

Cruise Amenities (non-exhaustive): Surf Rider, rock climbing, ping pong, basketball, mini-golf, spas, gym, outdoor track, large outdoor television screen, 3 pools, 3 hot tubs

Day 1 (Boarding/Sea)

Boarding is from 11am – 4pm. We arrived around 11:30am (drove from Dallas).

Royal Caribbean is terminal 2. You first drop people and luggage off and then take the car to park at a nearby parking lot. The parking lots have shuttles that bring you back to the boarding area. It will likely take about 30-45 minutes to complete the process (drop people off, take care to lot, come back). While the cars go park, everyone else drops off their luggage at the luggage drop off. Make sure to print out your luggage tags before you get to the port and make sure to tape/staple them to your luggage to save you time. There is no food at the port but you can eat as soon as you enter ship. The total check-in process took about 1 hour. We got in line while the people parked but it was difficult for us get them to skip back in line.

I heard, though have not confirmed, that there is now a parking lot where you can go with your luggage and you can bring it back to the terminal to avoid the whole drop off/take car to lot/come back process. Apparently it’s called “Parking Lot B.”

We brought in water bottles (filled) in our luggage and those went through. Since you drop off your luggage and then don’t see it until it’s delivered to your room, I’m assuming they checked our luggage but have no way to confirm.

They only officially allow 2 bottles of wine per stateroom. We brought those in our carry-ons. When they saw that I had 2 bottles they asked me to "register" with a man seated at a table. First of all they didn't tell everyone in our group to register, even though everyone had wine bottles in their carry-ons so it's clearly not enforced strictly. Also the “registration” involved a man writing down on a piece of paper my room number and number of bottles I had. So it's not high tech at all and we could have easily brought in more bottles.

There is a mandatory safety drill at 4pm. They check every room to make sure you've evacuated. You can't skip this. They even took attendance at the drill.

General tips

It's a good idea to bring a small bag to hold your sea pass and other small stuff while on the ship. Also, remember to bring a beach bag for the actual beach or just lounging by the pool.

Make sure to bring cash and in dollars for tipping. There were many times I wanted to tip someone (attendants or when we were off on our excursions) but I did not have enough singles. There is no need to exchange currency – everyone accepted American currency.

Water, tea, coffee, and lemonade are included in the price of the trip (so no need to buy a beverage package if you’re okay with just having these drinks available).

This particular ship did not have an iron in the stateroom, but they did have hairdryers.

Bring water bottles so you can refill them on the ship and take with you when you dock.

There is a Johnny Rockets on the ship. It is $6.95 USD all you can eat except for shakes.

Tips for choosing a room:

Choose a room closest to the top so you don't have to walk far. The dining room and pools are at the top, so you’ll have to walk less to get to them (which is where we spent most of our time). Also, choose a room on the side of the big dining room (Wyndjammer).

Day 2 (Sea)

This was a cruising day. This was our first formal attire night at the dining room. We had a set time to eat (8:30pm) every day in the main dining room. People wear suits and cocktail dresses. I did see some people in tuxedos but only a few. Anything you’d wear to a wedding or church should suffice. They will not turn you away if you’re wearing jeans.

Day 3 (Cozumel)

We rented a car from Alamo for 14 people for a total of $140 USD (paid with credit card), not including gas or insurance. We went to the San Gervasio ruins. It costs $9.50 USD per person, so bring exact change as credit is not accepted. You might want to bring bug spray, though it didn’t bother me much. The ship arrived in Cozumel at 7am but we disembarked at 9:30am. By the time we found the car rental and gathered everyone together, it was 10:30am. It took 30 minutes to drive to the San Gervasio ruins from the terminal. We found a tour guide that works for tips, and he provided very good service. It was very sunny, so definitely bring protection. Then we drove to Sky Reef Beach. We wanted to find Ocean Beach as that was recommended to us but we sort of got off the access road and then weren't able to find it. When you rent car they give you a map. It is not a big island. You need to be back on the ship by 3:30pm. Check to see what sort of insurance your credit card company offers for car rentals.

Day 4 (Georgetown, Grand Cayman)

The beach is a 30 minute cab ride. It's about 4 miles away from the port. To disembark, you first have to take a tender (small boat) from the ship to the land. The process took about 30 minutes total which includes getting in line, getting on the tender, and then leaving. The actual ride is about 10 minutes from ship to land. We went to Paradise Restaurant to do some snorkeling. It was $18 USD for full gear (mask, flippers, and life vest) and then $5 to rent a locker. They accept credit cards. We walked from the port to Paradise Restaurant. It is a green building right on the water. It took about 7 minutes to walk there. There were plenty of fish to see here. The water was very nice and it was very enjoyable. I did not eat at the restaurant but obviously there is food available there, as well as alcoholic drinks.

Day 5 (Falmouth, Jamaica)

The ship arrived at 8:00am and we had to be back on board at 4:30pm.

When you arrive at the port, there is a tiny little booth that is pale green and says “Tours and Information.” It’s to the right and further down (closer to the exit).There we found horse riding that includes riding in the water on the beach. It was $70 USD per person for horse riding and transportation to and from the beach. It was $25 for just transportation to and from the beach. The drive to the beach was 20 minutes from the port. We were able to pay cash and credit. We went to Braco Tours/Stables. The tour itself was 2 hours in total (not including travel time).

First they took us to the stable. We signed waivers, paid, and then mounted our horses. We rode for about an hour to the beach. You do not get into the water with your horse until you get to a small pool area at the beach. At the beach, there is a little pool area that they take you in one person at a time with your horse. Then you ride back and they take you to port. The beach area is private and no one was there except for a few locals. They have some food and drinks there you can buy. The guides were all extremely nice. My parents stayed at the private beach area and waited for us. There is a small store there where you can buy snacks and drinks (including Jamaican beer). Also, the store has a porch area that provides shelter from the sun and they had chairs out so my parents weren’t physically on the beach/in the sand. There are bathrooms there too.

Day 6 (Sea)

More tips:

Laundry and getting your clothes pressed is expensive.

I went to the lost and found by the pool where they distribute towels. I told them that I lost my sunscreen and they showed me several bottles they had there. I asked if I could keep one and they said yes so that's how I got free sunscreen.


We never ordered room service. The food in the buffet (Wyndjammer) is average. We only went there for breakfast and lunch. There is lots of variety. The dining room food was much better quality. You can have breakfast in the dining room, but you have to go before 9:30 am. The food on the 5th floor in the café was good, but they mostly had sandwiches.


It was mostly warm to downright hot. You should, however, bring a light jacket or sweater as it can get chilly at night.


We had an interior stateroom with no windows. This was actually great, as there was no light in the morning to wake us up. It was much easier to sleep/stay asleep. Yes, it's small but we're not large people and we kept the room tidy so it was never, ever a problem.

Day 7 (Sea)

Do those things you didn’t get to do, like rock climbing.

Day 8 (Galveston/Arrival)

Express self-serve checkout means you carry out your own bags. If you want to do this, they ask you to get a ticket the last night before you leave which gives you the time you're supposed to leave. This is absolutely necessary as they didn't ask for it. (And they aren't going to keep you on the boat because you're leaving at a different time than it says on your ticktet). It's best to leave on the very last express time because most people doing express are off the boat by then. It takes about 30-45 to get off and get your car and be on the road.

If you do not take express, then the night before, they leave you luggage tags and the time you're supposed to disembark. (Again, I doubt this is actually enforced.) You go through immigration which is relatively painless but there are a lot of people (this is of course applicable to self-express as well). The difference between express and this option is that you then have to find your luggage. They have them all waiting for you in a large warehouse, and though you have a number that leads you in the general direction of your bag, it can be a bit chaotic with all the bags and people trying to find their stuff. Definitely identify your bag in an obvious way to make finding it in literally hundreds of other bags much easier.

ms23's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Interior Stateroom with Virtual Balcony
Cabin J Floor 8

We had an interior stateroom with no windows. This was actually great, as there was no light in the morning to wake us up. It was much easier to sleep/stay asleep. Yes, it's small but we're not large people and we kept the room tidy so it was never, ever a problem.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


The staff knows what they're doing. There are a lot of people, but if you just ask someone for help, they'll give it to you. Royal Caribbean is terminal 2. Carnival also has its terminal and is boarding at the same time.

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