We mainly chose this cruise since we had not been in Bonaire before (all other ports of call we've visited before).
SHORE EXCURSION: The best shore excursion on this cruise was the "Fun Beach Express, Sightseeing & Snorkel" tour in Curacao. Our guide was Melissa and her driver was Cedric. Melissa was so pleasant and had a wealth of knowledge. Saw a lot & the bus was open-air, so taking pictures/videos was a breeze (pun intended). One thing to note - before you cruise: check out the shore excursions online. About 10 weeks prior to our sailing date, Royal Caribbean started offering 10-30% off if you booked the excursion prior to your sail date. Well worth it!
DINING: We did find that crew must've been told to "push" for the Specialty Dining Package. I'm assuming they get commission, since we were almost tackled about this on every corner of the ship. We finally gave in and purchased a 3-dinner Specialty Dining package. The experience in the Chops Grille was fantastic and well worth the extra $. The Filet Mignon is grilled to perfection and everything from the service to the side dishes is a perfect complement. Truly makes for a special evening, so I do recommend that you visit Chops at least once during this cruise. We also visited Giovanni's Table - which I cannot recommend after our experience (service was lackluster and came with an "attitude", main entrees came out cold, etc.). We did not visit Sol (Mexican Specialty) as the menu only includes appetizer style food & enchiladas - something I can get in Southern California and certainly won't pay extra for. Our friends visited Izumi (Japanese/Sushi Specialty Restaurant). They went back twice, raving about the quality of the food. Note: if you go to Izumi, you will order "a la carte". Cover charge is $35 and you can order whatever you like, but after reaching $35 value of foods ordered you will pay a la carte price extra for each item you order.
ENTERTAINMENT: Headliner shows were great and excellent variety, from Comedy to Singing (e.g. Las Vegas Tenors). Production Shows featured predominantly 70s & 80s music. Our cruise featured a professional ballroom couple from Ukraine - they have won several awards and rightfully so - they are spectacular to watch. They also hosted 1/2 hour dance lessons for all to attend (no cost) during the cruise, which was great and we enjoyed every lesson! The Ice Show was also fantastic - a must see - I still can't believe how these professional ice skaters make it look so easy on this tiny ice skating rink inside the ship, even when the ship is moving. Pure talent at work!
SPA: booked a 50-minute Swedish massage prior to sailing (special discount). Was "upsold" to hot stone massage ($20 more). Massage & service overall was good and pleasant (although I do prefer the massage therapist at my Chiropractors office for therapeutic purposes; the Spa massage on the ship was more of a "feel good" activity than truly therapeutic). Afterwards, be aware that they will try to sell you about $150 worth of extras (sponges, ointments, free acupuncture consultation). It's ok to say no, but you might start seeing some of the smiles fade....
ONBOARD: if you are looking for a quiet place to read a book, look for Deck 13 on the front of the ship. Hundreds of free chaise loungers and plenty of space. If you are looking for activities, be near to the pool area. Sports Deck offers lots of variety (FlowRider, MiniGolf, RockClimbing, Basketball, Table Tennis). Ice Skating Rink is also open during sea days (bring long pants if you want to try this out!). They do play major picture movies on the big screen by the pool area. During the day, fun "failarmy" videos are being played for general entertainment.
CREW: very friendly, extremely helpful; cruise director staff was excellent and offered lots of fun activities during sea days; service in main dining room and Windjammer Buffet was excellent, as was the quality of the food itself.
OVERALL: I would definitely recommend this cruise and would go again (but book a different cabin - see my comments under Cabin details below). I've been on about 12 cruises and although I've tried other cruise lines, keep coming back to Royal Caribbean due to value & quality. Navigator is a very clean ship & great size (140,000 ton, Voyager class).
The cabin was great. Located right near the 2nd level of the Spa/Fitness Center. One major downside: noise. When sailing, you will hear the loungers from the deck on top of you being rattled around by the wind - it did wake us up at night. Another major draw back: there's a mechanical noise every time someone uses the automatic door to the Solarium Pool on the deck below. This also woke us up at night and in the mornings - whenever someone walked through it. We did talk to housekeeping & engineering, but there was nothing they can do. So unless you are a very tight sleeper, I do not recommend this cabin, located on Deck 12. Otherwise it was in a great location & spectacular views from the balcony.
Regular Chaise Loungers are available throughout the island - just grab one and place it wherever you like. There's also Cabanas and covered double-loungers available for purchase (you can purchase on ship or on Labadee itself with your seapass card). 4 areas for lunch on the island (they bring the food from the ship), but 1 is exclusive for Suite members only. Bring some cash if you'd like to purchase some souvenirs from the locals.
Ask if Melissa is the tour guide for the Fun Beach Express, Sightseeing & Snorkel excursion. She's the best! This tour provided lots of variety. Beach/Snorkel stop was at the Blue Bay resort. Lounge chairs included in your tour. Great drinks at the bar (some might argue even better than on the ship) at Blue Bay resort...
Save some time for walking around Willemstad (walk to downtown from ship is about 10 minutes; across a bridge). Felt very safe.View All 52 Snorkeling Reviews
Afternoon tour was Island Tour. Lots of stops. One major stop at Aloe Balm Factory. A short tour of what they all make out of the Aloe and of course: a gift Shop! Definitely worth looking into and bought a few items here - I think prices were as expected. De Palm was the operator and they had air conditioned buses - very comfortable to ride in.View All 248 Island Tour Reviews
Booked two tours back-to-back (not recommended by cruise line, because if your first tour is late, you will miss the second and no refunds for that, but we took a chance). Snorkel Sail Tour in the morning was great. 2 snorkel spots. Lots of fish to see. Second snorkel spot was at approx. 60ft depth - old sunken ship with even more fish to see. Quite a sight - definitely recommend. It was overcast weather and we still had a blast, so I can imagine this is even better of an excursion when the weather is sunny...View All 185 Snorkeling Reviews
Guided snorkel tour at nearby resort (Van der Valk Plaza Beach Resort). Even got a token for a free drink at the bar after the snorkel. Facilities & Shower available. Overall would do this again. If you want to save some money and don't mind exploring by yourself: you can probably have walked here from cruise ship in about 15-20 minutes. No entrance fee and about $10 to rent snorkel equipment. Of course: no guided snorkel, though. So depends on what you like... Definitely recommend the tour. The snorkeling was some of the best & clearest waters I've seen.View All 14 Bonaire Marine Park Reviews
Sightseeing Tour in afternoon was ok. Tiny buses, air condition didn't work. Guide was difficult to understand (broken English). Drove us all around the island, and we did get a chance to get out of the bus by the Salt Fields to take pictures.View All 107 Island Tour Reviews