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I have 25 sailings with Royal Caribbean, four are on the Navigator all of our sailings on her have been wonderful. Unfortunately our Transatlantic cruise was not up to their normal high standards. The odd things that happened on this cruise are not normal at all. I do have a few disappointments as well as high points to share. The guests on board were seasoned travelers, we notice every little thing. The average age was 65+. EMBARKATION - The line for the Priority boarding for Diamond and above was extremely long. The person inside the door at the terminal directed us to the shortest line for general boarding. It was a quick easy process. LIFE BOAT DRILL - The life boat drill was held later than usual. This created a problem in the dining room. Some muster stations are in the dining room. The life boat drill was not totally completed in time for the passengers with the 5:30 dining to enter the dining room. We were trying to leave as they were trying to enter. The poor waiters were trying to move everyone along. DIAMOND LOUNGE - The Star Lounge which they used for the Diamond Evening events had many broken chairs. Even by moving the large number of Diamond members to a huge facility, finding seats was challenging at times. On the positive side, there were two areas where you could get hot and cold snacks. They kept them well stocked. The waiters were always available to get you a beverage. Most of them remembered exactly what you drank. The regular Diamond lounge is always open. They still served their continental breakfast with Salmon, and had warm cookies in the afternoon. It is also a nice quiet place to go and sit. GUEST SERVICES - I never found any long lines or wait times at Guest Services, I went there on several occasions and quickly had my questions answered to my satisfaction. All the agents were pleasant. As usual there were long lines on day one and on the last day. MEDICAL FACILITY - I needed a medical issue taken care of and went to the medical facility. The particular insurance I purchased pays the facility up front. The guest should never receive a bill. This is one of the reasons I choose this company. It is not the insurance sold through the cruise line. I went to the medical office and showed them my insurance card. They didn’t look at the card and said it would be on my onboard account. My bill was less than $100 so it was not a budget breaker. I cannot imagine the immediate out of pocket cost of a major illness or accident on board. MISCOMMUNICATION - There were typo errors and incorrect information in the Daily Cruise Compass. That publication comes from the home office in Miami, therefore, the crew on board has no control over what they receive. They had to deal with what they got, just as we did. In my 25 cruises with Royal Caribbean I have never run across this issue. When the cruise director read the compass at his morning TV show you could see that he was taken aback by when he read daily events from the Cruise Compass. He was able to make verbal corrections on the spot. He tried to play it off, many people saw this action as uncaring. It is too bad passengers viewed it that way. It was not his intent, he was trying to make the best out of an uncomfortable situation. DAILY ACTIVITIES - There were many different types of activities to keep us busy through the entire trip. The activities were varied and offered something for everyone. DINING ROOM - I did not see shrimp cocktail on the menu any evening. I found out later, from another passenger, they do have it available if YOU ASK for it. The meals were ok, but not spectacular. The wait staff did an excellent job. IMMIGRATION - In order to speed up the disembarkation process in Southampton, immigration agents came on board during an at sea day to check our passports. Immigration did not send enough agents to smoothly and quickly do this process. The passengers did not help this situation either. We were all given times to show up for this process. Many thought why not go early. Well that action delayed everyone. Again not Royal Caribbean's fault. The immigration officials office determines how many agents they need to send out. There should have been more agents and passengers should have stuck to their assigned time to get in line. The cruise line did the best they could in this inconvenient situation. SPA - I have never treated myself to a massage on a cruise. I was pleasantly surprised, they have many rooms. Everything was professional and clean. The atmosphere was calm and I felt so much better after my treatment. I will do this on every cruise from now on. GYM - I thought with being at sea for so many days the gym would be packed. No it was not. I usually went about 10 AM and I was able to use any of the machines I wanted. ENTERTAINMENT - Many reviews slammed the entertainment. I did not find it much different than the regular twice yearly 7 night cruises we take. It is geared to please various tastes and they can't please everyone every day. SHORE EXCURSIONS - There were two tours offered to Normandy, people who booked one tour were told 2 days in advance it was cancelled due to weather. I find that odd since the other tour went on as scheduled. The weather was beautiful that day. This is a 10 hour tour and I do believe they should have some sort of provision for food. PONTA DELGADA WAIT- Unfortunately the port of Ponta Delgada did not have enough security agents. Due to short staffing and a small security area the wait to get back on board was 45 min to an hour. Royal Caribbean cannot be faulted for this. It is the Azores Port Authority who staffs the security. The blame lies on them for this. WINE TASTING TOURS - We took 3 tours which included wine tasting at the end of the regular tour. I do not recommend doing this. It is not what we think of as a wine tasting. All three places gave you a bit less than 2 oz of ONE wine. That was it. One place offered many cheeses, one offered some canapés and a sweet item, one offered only crackers. They are not worth the additional cost. Take the tour that is the same but does not include the wine tasting that is good by itself. ANOTHER SLOW EMBARKATION - At one port we had to wait for the gangway to be moved to a different level on the ship. This is due to the normal ebb and flow of the tides. It was an inconvenience but not Royal Caribbean's fault. They do not have control over the tides. They moved the gangway as swiftly and safely as they could. Yes, this caused lines, but there was no other option. We were at the mercy of the seas. HANDICAP ACCESSIBLE TOUR CANCELLED - At one port there was a tour geared to those with mobility issues. It was the only tour that was handicap accessible. They cancelled that tour due to only 4 people signing up. That is a shame and slap in the face to the disabled. PHOTOS - They are doing the purchasing of your photos differently. They now, after your order them on the computer kiosk, deliver them to your room. This did not work out so well. Many people did not get their photos and had to have the charges removed from their account. If you wanted to purchase a photo on the last night, there was no way they could get the photo to you before we docked. They were only open from 9-11PM the last day. You could pay and down load the photo to your electronic device. That would have incurred additional fees for WiFi, then the cost to have it printed when you got home. We wanted a PRIVATE BLACK AND WHITE photo taken in celebration of our 50th wedding anniversary. We tried to contact that photographer the entire 13 days on the ship. We went to the photo studio area and made the request every couple of days. They wrote down our name and said the photographer would contact us. That never happened. HELPFUL TIPS - There are 3 formal nights. You will move your clock ahead 1 hour at NOON 4 days in a row. From the Azores to Lisbon you move 1 hour ahead at midnight. From LeHarve to Southampton you move the clock back 1 hour at midnight. Changing the clock at noon was very strange. It is well worth taking the cruise line transfer from Southampton to Heathrow. It has two routes, one stops at Stonehenge and the other at Windsor Castle. LEAVING THE SHIP AT AN ALTERNATE PORT - I was curious if this could be done. I received many different answers. I know the answer now. Several couples left the ship in LeHarve and traveled on their own to other European destinations. You have to make special arrangements through the Cruise Line to do this. CRUISE DIRECTOR Jeff has been with Royal Caribbean for 25 years. Many passengers had issue with him. He has a very demanding job; he needs to be all things to all people, both passengers and staff. Imagine having lines of upset passengers and trying to solve all of their problems. Many issues were caused by outside sources not Royal Caribbean itself. With all of the glitches with this cruise this had to be one of the hardest ones he worked. Give him a break, put yourself in his shoes.

My 25th Cruise with Royal Caribbean

Navigator of the Seas Cruise Review by nbgrammy

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
I have 25 sailings with Royal Caribbean, four are on the Navigator all of our sailings on her have been wonderful. Unfortunately our Transatlantic cruise was not up to their normal high standards.

The odd things that happened on this cruise are not normal at all. I do have a few disappointments as well as high points to share.

The guests on board were seasoned travelers, we notice every little thing. The average age was 65+.

EMBARKATION - The line for the Priority boarding for Diamond and above was extremely long. The person inside the door at the terminal directed us to the shortest line for general boarding. It was a quick easy process.

LIFE BOAT DRILL - The life boat drill was held later than usual. This created a problem in the dining room. Some muster stations are in the dining room. The life boat drill was not totally completed in time for the passengers with the 5:30 dining to enter the dining room. We were trying to leave as they were trying to enter. The poor waiters were trying to move everyone along.

DIAMOND LOUNGE - The Star Lounge which they used for the Diamond Evening events had many broken chairs. Even by moving the large number of Diamond members to a huge facility, finding seats was challenging at times. On the positive side, there were two areas where you could get hot and cold snacks. They kept them well stocked. The waiters were always available to get you a beverage. Most of them remembered exactly what you drank. The regular Diamond lounge is always open. They still served their continental breakfast with Salmon, and had warm cookies in the afternoon. It is also a nice quiet place to go and sit.

GUEST SERVICES - I never found any long lines or wait times at Guest Services, I went there on several occasions and quickly had my questions answered to my satisfaction. All the agents were pleasant. As usual there were long lines on day one and on the last day.

MEDICAL FACILITY - I needed a medical issue taken care of and went to the medical facility. The particular insurance I purchased pays the facility up front. The guest should never receive a bill. This is one of the reasons I choose this company. It is not the insurance sold through the cruise line. I went to the medical office and showed them my insurance card. They didn’t look at the card and said it would be on my onboard account. My bill was less than $100 so it was not a budget breaker. I cannot imagine the immediate out of pocket cost of a major illness or accident on board.

MISCOMMUNICATION - There were typo errors and incorrect information in the Daily Cruise Compass. That publication comes from the home office in Miami, therefore, the crew on board has no control over what they receive. They had to deal with what they got, just as we did. In my 25 cruises with Royal Caribbean I have never run across this issue. When the cruise director read the compass at his morning TV show you could see that he was taken aback by when he read daily events from the Cruise Compass. He was able to make verbal corrections on the spot. He tried to play it off, many people saw this action as uncaring. It is too bad passengers viewed it that way. It was not his intent, he was trying to make the best out of an uncomfortable situation.

DAILY ACTIVITIES - There were many different types of activities to keep us busy through the entire trip. The activities were varied and offered something for everyone.

DINING ROOM - I did not see shrimp cocktail on the menu any evening. I found out later, from another passenger, they do have it available if YOU ASK for it. The meals were ok, but not spectacular. The wait staff did an excellent job.

IMMIGRATION - In order to speed up the disembarkation process in Southampton, immigration agents came on board during an at sea day to check our passports. Immigration did not send enough agents to smoothly and quickly do this process. The passengers did not help this situation either. We were all given times to show up for this process. Many thought why not go early. Well that action delayed everyone. Again not Royal Caribbean's fault. The immigration officials office determines how many agents they need to send out. There should have been more agents and passengers should have stuck to their assigned time to get in line. The cruise line did the best they could in this inconvenient situation.

SPA - I have never treated myself to a massage on a cruise. I was pleasantly surprised, they have many rooms. Everything was professional and clean. The atmosphere was calm and I felt so much better after my treatment. I will do this on every cruise from now on.

GYM - I thought with being at sea for so many days the gym would be packed. No it was not. I usually went about 10 AM and I was able to use any of the machines I wanted.

ENTERTAINMENT - Many reviews slammed the entertainment. I did not find it much different than the regular twice yearly 7 night cruises we take. It is geared to please various tastes and they can't please everyone every day.

SHORE EXCURSIONS - There were two tours offered to Normandy, people who booked one tour were told 2 days in advance it was cancelled due to weather. I find that odd since the other tour went on as scheduled. The weather was beautiful that day. This is a 10 hour tour and I do believe they should have some sort of provision for food.

PONTA DELGADA WAIT- Unfortunately the port of Ponta Delgada did not have enough security agents. Due to short staffing and a small security area the wait to get back on board was 45 min to an hour. Royal Caribbean cannot be faulted for this. It is the Azores Port Authority who staffs the security. The blame lies on them for this.

WINE TASTING TOURS - We took 3 tours which included wine tasting at the end of the regular tour. I do not recommend doing this. It is not what we think of as a wine tasting. All three places gave you a bit less than 2 oz of ONE wine. That was it. One place offered many cheeses, one offered some canapés and a sweet item, one offered only crackers. They are not worth the additional cost. Take the tour that is the same but does not include the wine tasting that is good by itself.

ANOTHER SLOW EMBARKATION - At one port we had to wait for the gangway to be moved to a different level on the ship. This is due to the normal ebb and flow of the tides. It was an inconvenience but not Royal Caribbean's fault. They do not have control over the tides. They moved the gangway as swiftly and safely as they could. Yes, this caused lines, but there was no other option. We were at the mercy of the seas.

HANDICAP ACCESSIBLE TOUR CANCELLED - At one port there was a tour geared to those with mobility issues. It was the only tour that was handicap accessible. They cancelled that tour due to only 4 people signing up. That is a shame and slap in the face to the disabled.

PHOTOS - They are doing the purchasing of your photos differently. They now, after your order them on the computer kiosk, deliver them to your room. This did not work out so well. Many people did not get their photos and had to have the charges removed from their account. If you wanted to purchase a photo on the last night, there was no way they could get the photo to you before we docked. They were only open from 9-11PM the last day. You could pay and down load the photo to your electronic device. That would have incurred additional fees for WiFi, then the cost to have it printed when you got home.

We wanted a PRIVATE BLACK AND WHITE photo taken in celebration of our 50th wedding anniversary. We tried to contact that photographer the entire 13 days on the ship. We went to the photo studio area and made the request every couple of days. They wrote down our name and said the photographer would contact us. That never happened.

HELPFUL TIPS - There are 3 formal nights. You will move your clock ahead 1 hour at NOON 4 days in a row. From the Azores to Lisbon you move 1 hour ahead at midnight. From LeHarve to Southampton you move the clock back 1 hour at midnight. Changing the clock at noon was very strange.

It is well worth taking the cruise line transfer from Southampton to Heathrow. It has two routes, one stops at Stonehenge and the other at Windsor Castle.

LEAVING THE SHIP AT AN ALTERNATE PORT - I was curious if this could be done. I received many different answers. I know the answer now. Several couples left the ship in LeHarve and traveled on their own to other European destinations. You have to make special arrangements through the Cruise Line to do this.

CRUISE DIRECTOR Jeff has been with Royal Caribbean for 25 years. Many passengers had issue with him. He has a very demanding job; he needs to be all things to all people, both passengers and staff. Imagine having lines of upset passengers and trying to solve all of their problems. Many issues were caused by outside sources not Royal Caribbean itself. With all of the glitches with this cruise this had to be one of the hardest ones he worked. Give him a break, put yourself in his shoes.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 6640
CABIN - It has been years since Royal Caribbean has put personal sized lotions and shampoo bottles in the cabin. I found out on this voyage, they do indeed have them you can request them. There were 1200 Diamond and above members on this cruise. We were all to get bathrobes for use on board, they ran out. No excuse for this, they knew how many of us booked this trip. My cabin guy was able to find bathrobes for us. Some kind passengers, who never use robes, turned them back in so others could have them. THANK YOU.
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