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We are ardent and addicted cruisers (just in 2017 we are having 6 cruises). We love good service and we are willing to pay for it. So we choose to sail as suite guests. Before we book this cruise we've been told, that the cruise ship was refurbished in 2014. We also been told, that the beloved coastal kitchen will not be on board, however the Chops will be operated very comparable as breakfast and lunch venue. Well - to make things short. The ship is old and the suite was everything else but refurbished. The carpet was from 2002, as was the furniture. Many doors did not close, some parts of the furniture been loose or missing. Not only that, also simple fixes like paint or glue wasn't used too much. Not only that the suite was very old and down lived, it was also bad maintained and dirty. The overall cabin experience was very disappointing. The concierge lounge was dark (no windows) and stinky. Not really a place you like to be in. The concierge itself is great, but what can she do if the ship is just not what it should be? Also - she has not the power to fix things. We asked plenty of time to talk to the F&B Manager but it was denied until the end of the cruise. Dining - a huge and important task of cruising. The quality of main dining food was very low. We just disembarked Norwegian couple of weeks ago and the difference is like day and night. Quality of food on the Navigator was low and the service probably the grumpiest we ever seen on a cruise ship. We complained but nothing changed. Not a single bit of smile on the service. We tried it 3 times but then we gave up. Paid extra for the specialty restaurants or just went to Windjammer. Windjammer was a bit better from the food but the quality of ingredients been low to. Chops for breakfast and lunch - what a joke. No passion, no love, no suite service. Lunch is only served on sea days, and then, you are having 3 dishes to choose from. Chicken, Beef or Vegie. Every sea day the same. Also - on sea days every "normal" guest could come to have lunch at Chops - for 20 USD. But surprise, that guest receives a full menue with plenty of choices. What a joke - a suite guest which pays thousands of dollars extra upfront will be served 3 choices and every other guest can upgrade for 20 USD for a much better experience. Room Service - had nice menus in the room, but if you want to order it happens 8 out of 10 times, that they told you it is not available. On the other side - breakfast on room service was excellent. Specialty Restaurants - Chops was ok but far below the experience of the bigger ships. Sabor was "so la la"... probably a 3 out of 10. Giovanni was unexpectedly the best experience. We really liked it, but again and I would give a 8 out of 10. Drinking - well - I love wines therefore I have the Ulitmate Package. There are a lot of wines by the glass. Many are below 14 USD but most are above (means you have to pay extra). That wouldn't really be an issue, but most of the wines have not been on board at all. So you order a wine and you have been told that the wine is sold out as it is just the second cruise after the Atlantic transfer and the restock didn't happen yet. Well - I have to pay the full fee and expect the full dining and drinking experience. By the way - it happens 12 times that the wine I was asking for wasn't available. Cocktails are ok - the pool bar guys are great. The windjammer team is 50/50 - half is great and half is lousy. Again - it misses the passion of the team. As I said we had the ultimate package - but please don't try to order a Espresso and a water on the same time. They will tell you "only one at a time". I would understand if I would like to order two beers on the same time, but an espresso and a water - in most restaurants this is standard anyway. Big mistake Royal! The shows - a lot of singing, but no musical or big show like on other ships. The concierge seats are on the upper balcony - so make sure to bring your googles otherwise you are not part of the show. The ice show on the other hand was amazing. Very entertaining and a lot of fun. Internet - well, RCL did it again. They sell you Internet Voom Service but it is everything else then Voom. What happens is, that they are having Satellites up there which are beaming into the main sailing regions to provide fast internet. This works well in the Caribbean and Mediterranean. But (all experienced by ourselves) - if you are sailing in areas like Asia, Mid East, Northern Canada or like in our this year trip in the Baltic sea - there is just almost no reception. Means - you might be able to receive a text message but please don't even try to stream movies of sending pictures to the beloved ones. What I don't understand - RCL knows that before selling it but they still do. Nevertheless they tell you to read the disclaimer that this can happen. I think this is fraud! Selling is actually also a key word. After complaining at the main dining room our head waiter came and said sorry. He then said "we are offering Galley Tours" and asked if we would be interested. We thought it is kind of a nice gesture after having a bad dining experience. But after we said that we would love to join for the galley tour he said, this will be 35 USD per person. So even in the event of bad service and saying sorry, the head waiter tries to sell something. Also - you can hardly walk the royal promenade as it is overloaded with sales booths. Whenever you are walking through the ship they try to sell you something - souvenirs, massages, specialty restaurants, shoe insoles, etc. etc. .... you feel like on the Royal Bazar. Disembarkation on port days. Well - badly organized. In Saint Petersburg it took 90 Minutes to leave the ship. People been queuing up and squeezing on the stair cases. The cruise director announced that "we are working on it" instead of organizing things better. Would have been easy to tell people to go back to their rooms until things are organized. I also would expect to have for suite guests an extra exit. Again - it is not existing. Other cruise lines are doing that - Royal not. What else to say - well, I could complain a lot but don't want to over stress the situation. I would not recommend to book a suite on this ship as you don't receive much of an extra service or any perks you really would enjoy. You are treated like everyone else even by paying a lot of extra. The ship is old and did see the best days long time ago. The refurbishment in 2014 was majorly the extension and adding of many rooms. It was more about making more revenues instead of adding a better and fresh cruise experience. Overall experience - you can feel that the company saves costs on every corner. You also can feel that they have a head of revenue on board (thats actually the only Officer you really can tell it is on board!). Everywhere they try to sell you something. The ship is old and needs an overhaul badly. The crew needs to be trained and the concierge lounge needs to be relocated to a place with windows. On top of it - add the Royal Suite Program. This here - is anything else than a sweet suite experience.

What happens when cost saving and revenues are taking overhand

Navigator of the Seas Cruise Review by Lars997

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2017
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Grand Suite - 1 Bedroom
We are ardent and addicted cruisers (just in 2017 we are having 6 cruises). We love good service and we are willing to pay for it. So we choose to sail as suite guests. Before we book this cruise we've been told, that the cruise ship was refurbished in 2014. We also been told, that the beloved coastal kitchen will not be on board, however the Chops will be operated very comparable as breakfast and lunch venue.

Well - to make things short. The ship is old and the suite was everything else but refurbished. The carpet was from 2002, as was the furniture. Many doors did not close, some parts of the furniture been loose or missing. Not only that, also simple fixes like paint or glue wasn't used too much. Not only that the suite was very old and down lived, it was also bad maintained and dirty. The overall cabin experience was very disappointing.

The concierge lounge was dark (no windows) and stinky. Not really a place you like to be in. The concierge itself is great, but what can she do if the ship is just not what it should be? Also - she has not the power to fix things. We asked plenty of time to talk to the F&B Manager but it was denied until the end of the cruise.

Dining - a huge and important task of cruising. The quality of main dining food was very low. We just disembarked Norwegian couple of weeks ago and the difference is like day and night. Quality of food on the Navigator was low and the service probably the grumpiest we ever seen on a cruise ship. We complained but nothing changed. Not a single bit of smile on the service. We tried it 3 times but then we gave up. Paid extra for the specialty restaurants or just went to Windjammer. Windjammer was a bit better from the food but the quality of ingredients been low to. Chops for breakfast and lunch - what a joke. No passion, no love, no suite service. Lunch is only served on sea days, and then, you are having 3 dishes to choose from. Chicken, Beef or Vegie. Every sea day the same. Also - on sea days every "normal" guest could come to have lunch at Chops - for 20 USD. But surprise, that guest receives a full menue with plenty of choices. What a joke - a suite guest which pays thousands of dollars extra upfront will be served 3 choices and every other guest can upgrade for 20 USD for a much better experience.

Room Service - had nice menus in the room, but if you want to order it happens 8 out of 10 times, that they told you it is not available. On the other side - breakfast on room service was excellent.

Specialty Restaurants - Chops was ok but far below the experience of the bigger ships. Sabor was "so la la"... probably a 3 out of 10. Giovanni was unexpectedly the best experience. We really liked it, but again and I would give a 8 out of 10.

Drinking - well - I love wines therefore I have the Ulitmate Package. There are a lot of wines by the glass. Many are below 14 USD but most are above (means you have to pay extra). That wouldn't really be an issue, but most of the wines have not been on board at all. So you order a wine and you have been told that the wine is sold out as it is just the second cruise after the Atlantic transfer and the restock didn't happen yet. Well - I have to pay the full fee and expect the full dining and drinking experience. By the way - it happens 12 times that the wine I was asking for wasn't available. Cocktails are ok - the pool bar guys are great. The windjammer team is 50/50 - half is great and half is lousy. Again - it misses the passion of the team. As I said we had the ultimate package - but please don't try to order a Espresso and a water on the same time. They will tell you "only one at a time". I would understand if I would like to order two beers on the same time, but an espresso and a water - in most restaurants this is standard anyway. Big mistake Royal!

The shows - a lot of singing, but no musical or big show like on other ships. The concierge seats are on the upper balcony - so make sure to bring your googles otherwise you are not part of the show. The ice show on the other hand was amazing. Very entertaining and a lot of fun.

Internet - well, RCL did it again. They sell you Internet Voom Service but it is everything else then Voom. What happens is, that they are having Satellites up there which are beaming into the main sailing regions to provide fast internet. This works well in the Caribbean and Mediterranean. But (all experienced by ourselves) - if you are sailing in areas like Asia, Mid East, Northern Canada or like in our this year trip in the Baltic sea - there is just almost no reception. Means - you might be able to receive a text message but please don't even try to stream movies of sending pictures to the beloved ones. What I don't understand - RCL knows that before selling it but they still do. Nevertheless they tell you to read the disclaimer that this can happen. I think this is fraud!

Selling is actually also a key word. After complaining at the main dining room our head waiter came and said sorry. He then said "we are offering Galley Tours" and asked if we would be interested. We thought it is kind of a nice gesture after having a bad dining experience. But after we said that we would love to join for the galley tour he said, this will be 35 USD per person. So even in the event of bad service and saying sorry, the head waiter tries to sell something. Also - you can hardly walk the royal promenade as it is overloaded with sales booths. Whenever you are walking through the ship they try to sell you something - souvenirs, massages, specialty restaurants, shoe insoles, etc. etc. .... you feel like on the Royal Bazar.

Disembarkation on port days. Well - badly organized. In Saint Petersburg it took 90 Minutes to leave the ship. People been queuing up and squeezing on the stair cases. The cruise director announced that "we are working on it" instead of organizing things better. Would have been easy to tell people to go back to their rooms until things are organized. I also would expect to have for suite guests an extra exit. Again - it is not existing. Other cruise lines are doing that - Royal not.

What else to say - well, I could complain a lot but don't want to over stress the situation. I would not recommend to book a suite on this ship as you don't receive much of an extra service or any perks you really would enjoy. You are treated like everyone else even by paying a lot of extra. The ship is old and did see the best days long time ago. The refurbishment in 2014 was majorly the extension and adding of many rooms. It was more about making more revenues instead of adding a better and fresh cruise experience.

Overall experience - you can feel that the company saves costs on every corner. You also can feel that they have a head of revenue on board (thats actually the only Officer you really can tell it is on board!). Everywhere they try to sell you something. The ship is old and needs an overhaul badly. The crew needs to be trained and the concierge lounge needs to be relocated to a place with windows. On top of it - add the Royal Suite Program. This here - is anything else than a sweet suite experience.
Lars997’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
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Ages 7 to 9
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Cabin Review

Grand Suite - 1 Bedroom
Cabin GS 1286
Please read above - cabin was outdated and not refurbished. Doesn't give any kind of "luxury feeling"
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins