Navigator of the Seas Cruise Review by loveandcruises
- Sail Date: January 2018
- Destination: Southern Caribbean
Here is the explanation for my title: We planned to fly from New York JFK to Miami on January 5 to board the cruise on the same day. However, because of the blizzard on January 4th, all flights were cancelled. In order to not be penalized for the airline tickets, we flew again on Monday the 8th to Miami, and then flew to Curacao (with a stop in Santo Domingo) to catch the ship in Curacao when it arrived in port on the 9th. We booked a hotel in Curacao overnight so that we would meet the ship in the morning.
When we got to Curacao, we went out to eat at the Iguana Cafe overlooking the floating bridge, and our waitress explained to us that the restaurant was understaffed because the Navigator of the Seas came in. We didn't expect to hear that, and then the people at the next table explained that they had just come off the Navigator, and that it had skipped Labadee because of bad weather ahd had arrived at Curacao to stay overnight. (If we had known that, we would probably have boarded the ship that night.)
Boarding the ship in Curacao was no big deal at all! The security person at the pier went to the security at the ship and told them we were there, then we walked down the pier pulling our suitcases. The Royal Caribbean ship security officer at the bottom of the gangway handed us our sea pass cards, and the security officer at the top of the gangway took our pictures and let us on. We went to guest services and told them we were there.
Just to let you know, getting on a ship mid-cruise has some consequences. For instances, we had to get our passports stamped that we leaving Curacao, so we had to go to the immigration building to do so. It was a nice walk; that was the upside. Also, at the end of the cruise in Miami, we had to go to a special waiting area on the ship and be led off by a guest services staffer, to get our passports stamped by immigration. The upside of that … we were the first people off the ship and there were no lines.
Unfortunately, we missed 4 days of the cruise, but because the ship skipped Labadee, we saw as many ports as everyone else! We also missed the first formal night/Captain’s cocktail party, Cruise Critic party and the Top Tier event for Diamond Members, and, of course, some of the entertainment. Our cruise director, Cuddy, was so welcoming; on my first night in the theatre, he personally welcomed me aboard and said that I was part of the family now.
The ship looks great! I did not notice any of the problems noted on Cruise Critic. We had a fabulous cabin – 1816 on deck 12 – the panoramic oceanview stateroom with floor-to-ceiling windows. This cabin was a new addition to the ship where there had previously been open deck, and the furnishings and color scheme were different than the rest of the ship (blond wood, wall-mounted giant screen TV). Would definitely recommend this category.
Dining was very good – not exceptional. I was waiting for that “yum” moment, but it never came, although the cold fruit soups were always scrumptious. Service in the dining room and in the Windjammer was excellent. Our dining room waiters were very attentive and friendly.
Activities were pretty much limited to trivia and for-a-fee events. I attended one trivia game and an activity called “Learn to write your name in Chinese” which should have been called, “The Activities Staff guy who is Chinese writes your name in Chinese on the back of a torn piece of trivia paper when you tell him what your English name is.” Though I missed 4 days of entertainment, I really enjoyed what I saw. There was a guy who could balance a chair on his nose while playing the banjo, an a capella Doo Wop group, a comedian named Rich Aronovich who was very clever and quick (and also did a midnight show), and the production shows.
Though the production shows are really lots of songs tied together with no common theme, the singers have very strong voices and the dancers are very talented. No one should really ever complain about production shows because the cast works very hard.
Of course, there was also the “Love and Marriage Game” as well as “The Quest,” which are always a blast. I’d love to see a real old-fashioned “Farewell Show” where they sing the “Til We Meet Again” song!
I wasn’t thrilled by the piano player in the Schooner Bar. The acoustic guitar player, Henry Hood, in Two Poets Pub, had a large following, and the production singers would join him for sets.
The shops onboard really didn’t have a lot of nice merchandise, in my opinion.
As far as service, as I mentioned before, the crew was always eager to please and friendly. I have absolutely no complaints about this. I do have complaints about the attitudes of fellow guests, like the guest who had a laptop out on the table (where his place setting should go) during the entire dinner service!
What we did in each port …
Curacao: We went to the synagogue, which we had done before. The congregants volunteering in the synagogue museum and gift shop are very, very nice. Willemstad is just so pretty to walk around.
Bonaire: While my husband booked a 2-tank dive through the ship, I took a sightseeing tour and beach break, which was very nice. The sightseeing part took us to the salt refinery, the slave huts (the slaves harvested the salt) and the highest point in Bonaire. Then we had chairs waiting for us at Coco Beach, where I rented a snorkel for $10. Beaches in Bonaire are rocky, let me warn you. Bonaire is very laid back and not at all a tourist trap, and I like it that way!
Aruba: We did a catamaran, snorkel and beach break shore excursion. The first snorkeling was at 15 feet and the second was at 60 feet – there was a wreck down there but it was very hard to see. This tour included alcohol and a barbecue lunch overlooking the gorgeous turquoise water – it was a good value for $89 per person.
So, for half a cruise, we had a great time. I’d definitely recommend this ship and this itinerary to all who read this.
- Read more Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Reviews
- Read Cruise Critic's Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Review
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