My wife surprised my daughter and I with this Christmas cruise a few days before Christmas. We travel a lot and have done at least a few cruises together, mostly on Norwegian (which we loved), but this was our first try with RCL. We aren't the type to spend much time on deck in the sun (especially around the loud music), so we probably aren't your average cruisers and you should take the remainder of this review in that context.
Dining: For dining, we prefer to dine in the upscale themed restaurants and the Navigator of the Seas had several options to choose from. We dined at all of them except Chef's Table as the 3+ hour dinner was too much for our five year old to handle. Service in the themed restaurants was excellent. Our favorite was Izumi (the Sushi restaurant). We spent a lot of time chatting with our all of the staff there and received excellent service from our alternating servers Ashwin and Virgilio. Along with Izumi's awesome manager, Messaoud Haykel, our dining experiences could not have been better. The whole team worked exceedingly hard to meet or exceed all of our requests. The team did things like getting our daughter whatever she wanted for dinner from anywhere else on the ship, getting my wife her favorite liquid center chocolate cake from Chops, and me glasses of port that came from another bar on the ship. That said, we went through much of the menu at Izumi and loved it. It was much better than any sushi restaurant we can find in our home town of Charlotte, NC. (I'm getting hungry just writing about it.)
We really enjoyed the other restaurants that we dined at as well. Chops is the second most expensive restaurant on the ship (Chef's Table is the most expensive) and the quality of the food, dining room and service reflect that. Muameer and Manolo at Chops were a pleasure to speak with as well as the rest of the staff. Its well worth the splurge, in our opinion. We also ate at Sabor, the Mexican themed restaurant. It was quite good Mexican food with good service in a pretty dining room, but not anything over-the-top. We had one dinner at Giovanni's Table, their Italian themed restaurant. Although the service was excellent and the dining room was lovely, the food was hit and miss in our opinion. The meat mains were OK, the appetizers were things I do better at home, but the pasta was excellent. Perhaps we just made poor choices. I took my daughter to Johnny Rockets for lunch while my wife was enjoying a reasonably priced massage package and it was a very enjoyable experience.
Cabin: Our cabin was a stateroom with balcony at the front of the port side. This allows you to look forward through a window which the other balcony cabins don't have. Because of the location, this cabin only had one adjoining cabin on the aft side making noise less of an issue. You also don't have to worry about someone smoking forward of you and having smoke blow into your balcony. There are about 8 of these cabins and they don't cost more than other balconies, so look out for them. Our cabin steward, Leonard, was great. We couldn't have asked for better service and wished we could bring him home with us. Our cabin was clean, well laid out and comfortable but not as nice as the suites on Norwegian (probably an unfair comparison). We spent many evenings on the balcony after our daughter went to sleep and thoroughly enjoyed the view of the dark sea, sipping wine.
Boarding was 2 hours standing in line. I suggest arriving early.