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

Too Many Passengers, Mediocre Food, Beautiful Ship

Navigator of the Seas Cruise Review by Happy1211

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Mar 2017
  • Destination: the Southern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Family Panoramic Oceanview Stateroom

Navigator is a beautiful ship that Royal Caribbean stuffed with more passengers (over 3800) than its crew can handle well. Despite assigned times to embark, too many passengers arrived early and were crammed into a hall to wait on line to check in. 40 minutes is too long for this process given that passengers check in online well in advance of sailing. Disembarkation was better run but passengers were forced into different waiting areas than they were assigned to just the day before.Elevators are inadequate at certain times each day. Main concourse is overcrowded all evening every day.Vintages is an outstanding wine venue that often is overwhelmed by very loud music elsewhere on deck 5. Great wines and tapas make it one of the best shipboard experiences - Nikka and Senzell are consumate professionals. Most damning of all is that the food in the Main Dining Room (Sapphire) is flat out mediocre. A very good prime rib is plated atop gravy rather than natural au jus. Fish entrees are better but the serving is probably 5 ounces . The classic steaks on the dinner menu each evening are good but very thin and easily overcooked. Lunch in Main Dining is better on the days it is offered - nice salad bar with a few entrees for self-service off the buffet with a full line up of entrees that can be ordered.

Windjammer is a horrible place to dine. Mostly because too many guests are balancing plates while looking for their families in scattered seating areas. Some entrees like carved to order meats/poultry are good but hot dogs and hamburgers are overcooked while pasta dishes are left under warming lights until crisp. Windjammer food in the warming trays is inconsistent in temperature. Breakfast potatoes were often cold on top . Room service suffered from the same problem.

Entertainment was very good with excellent comedians and excellent singers/dancers suffering under 50- 70 year old music rather than anything from the last 20 years except for Adele songs. Talent is wasted with this out of date material on a Spring Break cruise. Cuddy, the cruise director who departed the ship at the end of the cruise was excellent both in person and on the Morning Show with Cuddy and Mark.

Labadee, Aruba and Bonaire were excellent ports. Curacao was disappointing because our excursion transportation broke down on a highway ramp heading to the snorkel boat and our excursion and return to the ship was delayed by 2 hours as a result. I submitted a written complaint to the Shore Excursion Desk but was never contacted by them or anyone at Royal Caribbean.

The three of us spent about $5,000 on this cruise - $3,051 for base fare, $912 for excursions and another $1,000 for wine, gratuities, parking at the port and other expenses. The value delivered was far less. We will not be sailing on this large a ship again. Our 11 prior cruises were on ships under 2,700 passengers with most on 2,000 passenger ships that had far less crowding, fewer elevator problems and fewer lines.


Happy1211's Full Rating Summary
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Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Family Panoramic Oceanview Stateroom
Cabin PF 1820

This stateroom was at least 175 square feet and the outward wall is floor to ceiling and wall to wall glass with an unobstructed view of the ocean, including straight down to the water. Plenty of storage and room once you put your bags under the bed. When the sofa bed was opened fully at night, getting around was more difficult. The shower was small and had only a combo shampoo/conditioner dispenser. Liquid soap would have been very helpful rather than bar soaps that other cruise lines have abandoned. Our steward, Wilbort Estrada, was excellent and never intrusive.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Excellent private island off the coast of Labadee. Some who brought their own equipment snorkeled. No equipment was available to others. Chase loungers and patio furniture provided shady or sunny comfort at the option of the guest. One cup of rum punch was included. About 90 minutes on the island after arrival. Took about 10 minutes to walk completely around the island. The excursion was uncrowded and relaxing with great music from a boom box and friendly staff.

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Snorkeling

Minivan transportation to the excursion broke down on the highway entry ramp. Travel was delayed by 2 hours including delayed return to the ship. Shore excursion staff did not reply to my letter of complaint.

View All 52 Snorkeling Reviews
Snorkeling

Boat was too crowded without enough vests for every guest.

View All 185 Snorkeling Reviews
Snorkeling

Samur Sail excursion on a Siamese junk was fun despite the zodiak boat rides to and from the ship which killed time.

View All 171 Snorkeling Reviews

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Happy1211
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