My family and I had never cruised before and hadn't known anyone who had been on a cruise so we booked this holiday completely blind. We chose Royal Caribbean because we were told by a travel agent that they were one of the best for families. Because of our lack of experience in cruising we relied heavily on the internet forums and review sites. After reading through the reviews I don't deny I was starting to think I'd made a mistake. Some of the reviews for Royal Caribbean, and especially the Navigator, were scathing. The reviews were so bad I contemplated just cancelling, despite losing some money on the booking. However, in the end I chose to go with it and make my own mind up and I am so glad we did. My family and I had one of the best holidays we've ever had.
Firstly, the embarkation was fantastic. Had no idea what the procedure was but as soon as we pulled up at the drop off point (we got a lift to the port) a member of staff was there and took our cases. We then just queued to get through security, which moved quickly (15 minutes) and within the hour we were on the ship.
One of the first things I noticed was that the cleanliness was excellent. I'm not obsessive about these things but I do think cleanliness is a good mark of how much pride is taken in an establishment. To be fair, our cabin (oceanview cabin, deck 2), whilst perfectly functional and fine for our needs, was slightly tired but always kept spotless by our room attendant. The location of our cabin (2330) was brilliant. It was so quiet as we barely heard any foot traffic and nothing at all from the deck above. As we were a family of 4, the room had the pullman beds which wasn't ideal as we all banged our heads on them at least once during the week but the room attendant folded them away during the daytime which provided a bit more room. The shower cubicle in the bathroom had sliding doors and is quite roomy. My husband is on the larger side and he also didn't feel too squashed in it.
Our cabin was a little tired but was spotlessly clean and the location was great. It was very quiet at all times.