Navigator of the Seas had long lines both during embarkation and debarkation. Overall, the ship felt dated. The Promenade, however, was really nice. The Christmas tree was beautiful and they really made the holiday feel special. Caroling, Christmas dinner, the holiday decorations, snow falling from the ceiling, appearance from Santa etc.
The cabin sofas were disgusting. Not only was the sofa in my Husband's and my cabin dirty and faded but the other family traveling with us had the same issues. The only cabin in our group which did not have a dirty sofa was my kid's cabin. Our room steward, Sebastian, was beyond excellent. I cannot say anything negative about him. He went out of his way to make our stay as best as he could. He offered to put a sheet on our couch so we didn't have to see the sofa and even steam cleaned it. Unfortunately, the sofa was permanently faded and looked the same as before. He also put an additional mattress pad on our bed (they are the most uncomfortable beds we've ever had on a cruise ship...disappointing!) He also said that our child's sofa had been replaced and that slowly the ship has been replacing them. Only negative comment in the rooms beyond that was they were not the cleanest when we first arrived, found hair in the shower etc. The sliding doors to balcony was AWFUL. So hard to move.
Also, the elevators seem to skip floors waiting to go up or down and are extremely slow. That was disappointing. Some buttons didn't light up either.
The ship's entertainment was average. The dance productions were not worth going. The singers weren't good. However the skating shows were wonderful. Other than that we saw the America's Got Talent Juggler who was also on the ship, which was very good.
We found the food hit or miss. The main dining room staff was wonderful, we really liked our waiters Costa and Ivan. They were accommodating to our unique requests (such as French fries or a lactose allergy). The head waiter encouraged myself and my daughter and my friend and her daughter to take the Main Dining room Bottomless Brunch tour. It's amazing how much food they produce for such a tiny space. The food in the main dining room was so so, sometimes excellent and sometimes just okay. The food in the Windjammer felt very recycled. I understand that this is necessary on a cruise, but I feel that on my previous cruises (Celebrity, Princess, Holland and even Royal Caribbean) that they were able to come up with a more plentiful variety of dishes. I noticed this especially at breakfast. However overall the food was good, especially the lasagna and plantains!
We had an issue with guest services, where we needed something corrected on our bill. We found them rude, unwilling to help and didn't seem to trust my word until he contacted the crew member I suggested.
I do have to give props to Royal for pushing the cleanliness component. You'll grow to love the guy who mans the Purell station at the Windjammer. Everyone would say "Washy Washy!". After their recent issue with Noro Virus, they are definitely taking great strides to keep the ship clean.
Ship enrichment activities felt lacking. My 15 year old son did find a group of friends but didn't have a lot of activities to do with them. My daughter, 21, was glad we traveled with another family so she had a friend to hang with because even though she saw a lot of people her age, she didn't really end up meeting anyone. I found that as a family we felt the activities were lacking and sometimes we were bored. The pool is fun though, so hang out there.
Another issue was the gym. My daughter used it regularly and some of the machinery was broken. She noted maybe 4 ellipticals at least broken. That's sad!
The ports were great. We always enjoy Labadee. The lunch included is very good, a barbecue/cookout type menu. We took private tours for Curacao and Bonaire and just went shopping in Aruba. We really enjoyed Curacao, it was absolutely beautiful!
Overall, we did have fun as two families traveling together and enjoyed the ports. Many staff members were excellent (besides guest services) and the food was fair. However, I wasn't blown away by Royal's performance. I have another Royal planned and I am considering whether I should go back to my tried and true Celebrity cruises....