We are a cruise short of Diamond Status and this too was our worst cruise ever. I will admit that my review is tainted by the 3 hour wait we endured outside the terminal in 90 degree heat to get on board coupled with the total failure of RCCL to step in and address the issue. The power was out in the terminal and I get it is not RCCL's fault but their failure to even minimally deal with the plight of thousands of their passengers stuck outside the terminal on a very hot day was inexcusable. There was no alternative plan to get the passengers on board with the process taking 3-4 hours on average and more than 7 hour to board all the passengers.
After obtaining our seapass, the first three RCCL employees we actually encountered were hawking photographs, beverage packages and spa services. Not one person was at the entry to the ship to say hello, offer a cold drink or even the offer slightest of apologies for the delay. The only time anyone spoke to the issue was when the cruise director commented over the airways that the boat drill and leaving the port would be delayed due to the terminal issues. The boarding process was so bad and RCCL response so inadequate that it lingered for us througout the entire cruise making this cruise the worst we ever were on.
Unfortunately, it did not end once we did enter the ship. Upon entering the room, both of us immediately ran into the foul smell (you guess) that ran throughout the stateroom. I will say that we went to guest services and it was addressed quickly and was not an issue the rest of the cruise. As to the Navigator itself, obviously the ship has been updated in some of the common areas but those areas that were not are showing it's age, an example our stateroom. By the way the glass on our balcony stateroom and most of the glass on the ship was the dirtiest I have ever seen.
The MDR food was fine, with our MDR waiters being the best part of the cruise. On the other hand, the buffet was the worst ever on any cruise we have taken. From breakfast to lunch and dinner the food selection was limited, virtually unchanged everyday, lukewarm with many dishes downright visually unappealing. We actually enjoy the buffet experience while cruising but this one was rock bottom. By the way the promenade cafe was equally as bad as the buffet.
The entertainment was anywhere from amateur hour to average. Clearly the overall experience depends on the level of ship you are on. Having been on the Oasis, Allure and the NCL Getaway all in the past 2 years the level of service offered, the quality and variety of food offerings and the varied more professional entertainment experience was dramatically different. We never encountered any issues on any of these ships even worth a mention. As a result of this experience if we ever do return to RCCL it will only be on Oasis and above class of ship. We have been on the NCL Getaway twice in the last year and likely will go on the Escape next. We actually consider the Getaway to be the best cruise we have been on and was the best value to boot.
The final fitting end to our Navigator experience was the departure which was to start at for those wanting to carry off their luggage at 6:00am which we took part in. Only issue is the the terminal apparantly does not open till 7:00am. Around 6:50am I happened to see several customs officers walking in uniform from the parking lot into the side of the terminal clearly arriving for work at 7:00am. Around 7:05am we were allowed to disembark. Hey RCCL how about maybe next time verifying with the port what time they actually open for business.
This cruise has so annoyed us because RCCL failed to take responsibility for their passengers. The port is part of the experience and their washing of their hands does not cut it. Diamond status can wait a long, long time because it will be a long, long time before I return on a RCCL ship.
Foul smell upon entry that was taken care of when brought to the attention of Guest Services. Balcony glass was dirty along with most of the glass throughout the ship
Power out in the terminal ruined our cruise and countless others. 3 hour wait outside the terminal to get on board. It was hard to recover from that and frankly we did not.