Navigator of the Seas Cruise Review by Andrea
- Sail Date: July 2004
- Destination: Western Caribbean
After checking in and making our way onto the ship, we got to our room and was very pleased with the size of the room - we had a balcony stateroom. Would definitely get this again - I couldn't imagine a cruise without a balcony! We explored the ship and discovered that the Windjammer Cafe would quickly become a favorite place to eat! The views on all the decks, inside or out are beautiful. There is always something to see or do from movies, ice skating, BINGO! Good luck to Asst. Cruise Director Jeannie as she returns home to Montreal!!, casino (check out the incredible glass floor!), grabbing a snack in the Cafe Promenade, shopping, internet (there was trouble sending from AOL), mini-golf, rock wall climbing, swimming, roller-blading, etc.
The Metropolis theatre is perfect for the amazing shows - extremely talented performers - also wonderful ice show in Studio 2B - Don't miss it! We didn't do the "nightclub" thing and as we are non-drinkers we didn't visit the bars, but opportunities abound and other family members greatly enjoyed these venues. A must-see is the Mardi-Gras parade. Although it was a bit sad the final night of the cruise, knowing that the parade signified the (almost) end of our vacation. Our cabin attendant did a wonderful job, everything was always clean and made up nicely and we actually looked forward to going back to the room after dinner to see what towel animal was waiting for us on the bed (and to see the next day's schedule).
We had main dining in the Swan Lake dining room - top level deck 5 - Table for 8,corner, ocean view. Beautiful! Our waiter Agus and Assistant waiter Weildan made the dining experience even more enjoyable. We all wished Agus the best as his 10 years in the business ended the day our cruise ended as he headed home to Bali to his wife and 5 yr. old daughter. We enjoyed our chats with the crew as to their lives aboard the ship, their work schedules and their homelands. Our "Meet and Mingle" the first full day at sea gave our group an opportunity to meet everyone in our travel group of 42 and also meet the Captain and his wife - very nice people!!
Shore excursions are great! When you see a photo of an island in a magazine, think : Royal Caribbean can get you there! I was soooo impressed with Labadee. From the palm trees to the white sand to the multi-hued turquoise sea. It took my breath away. I didn't want to leave. We lounged on the beach and had a wonderful lunch provided by Royal Caribbean. Jamaica was exciting as well. We took a tour of Brimmer Hall to see a working plantation of coconuts, bananas, sugar cane and pineapples. Always wanted to do that! Then it was on to Dunn's River Falls. SCARY from the bottom looking up but worth it to say you did it!!!! A must see is a stop in Island Village by the pier. Margaritaville is a favorite stop cuz Jimmy Buffett is #1, YEAH MON!! I think the most eye-opening thing about Jamaica though was our 45-minute or so drive to Brimmer Hall which took us along the coast but away from the "tourist" town. You see a lot of "reality" here - from mansions to the poorest of poor - makes you appreciate you have a cruise ship to go back to. Next was Grand Cayman. An island I have wanted to visit for a very long time. We had a wonderful tour guide - a man that was born on the island. This is the perfect job for him because he liked to talk, a lot, about everything. Our first stop was Hell with its limestone field and tacky little gift shop. Cute! We then went to Stingray City for a semi-submersible view of a diver feeding the stingrays - awesome!! The C.I. Turtle Farm is a must see! The turtles are adorable and make sure you hold one!
If you like shopping , Cozumel is for you. We aren't shoppers so we rented a car! Many thanks go out to Ricardo at Hertz at the end of the Pier. After checking out all the rental places at the pier we decided to go with a name-brand rental company and ended up with Hertz. We had a four door Acura type with a/c. Ran great, no problems. Used minimal gas. We put $10 in the tank and barely used it. We drove the entire island, a lot of good bargains at the back roads stands on blankets, hammocks, etc. Our goal was Coconuts Bar and Grill on the East side of the island. A must-see! Amazing views from the hill-top, friendly staff, delicious food and VERY interesting decor! We made a few stops along the road back to Cozumel. Very few people and very beautiful beaches - no hotels, just pull off the road and hit the sand! This is the ultimate if you are a beach/island lover and want to see the "perfect" beach. Heading back to Cozumel we stopped at Paradise Beach - rain was heading in unfortunately - This is a FREE beach but it looks like it could be at one of the finest hotels. Skip the shore excursions in Cozumel and head to this beach! You won't regret it! Look for the bar on the beach (you can get soda) that has the swings for chairs - we hung out there and watched the jet skiers and swimmers for awhile. It was a wonderful day in Cozumel.
To wrap up my rambling, I'll say a big thanks to Ken the cruise director for the wonderful entertainment, to Melissa, the social hostess for always having a smile, to the whole crew for a wonderful time. Don't miss the midnight buffets, the sunrises from your balcony (or top deck), keep in mind that the souvenirs are inexpensive, cell phones work in port but you have to call collect at $.95 a minute. I am sure I missed something to comment on but right now I am anxious to get back the 14 rolls of film I took! We all had a great week and wish it could go on longer!! Royal Caribbean is the ONLY way to go!!
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