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For our fifth cruise my wife and I chose a trip from Southampton calling at Bilbao and La Coruña, Spain then Cherbourg and Le Havre, France. The ship did not sail until 7pm, so I didn't feel quite as worried booking the overnight flight into Heathrow scheduled to arrive more than twelve hours earlier. Our transfer to Southampton included a pre-cruise excursion stopping at Stonehenge--one of those places that I always wanted to visit, but never thought that I would. I must admit that I would have enjoyed the ride through the idyllic English countryside a lot more without the jet lag. But that was part of the plan--maybe we would have a burst of adrenaline arriving in Europe and be able to catch up a bit as the first full day of the cruise was spent at sea. That didn't quite happen; our internal clocks seemed to be off the entire trip. But I guess that's part of what makes travel so interesting. I'm not really sure why I am writing this at all. I read a lot of these reviews and many just seem to nitpick about so many things. Unless something is very bad, very good or maybe just a bit odd, it doesn't seem worth mentioning. Our cabin was as typical as one might expect. I don't have anything to nitpick about. We ate all of our dinners in the main dining room. The first night we sat at a table that was in a very warm part of the room, so they moved us to a more comfortable one for the rest of the cruise. The food was, as expected, usually pretty good, but nothing to email home about. We did have the beef wellington one night, just so we could compare it with the beef wellington we were planning to have at one of Gordon Ramsey's restaurants in London before we returned home. (Guess whose dish won.) At our first port we got a surprise. It was some kind of holiday and entrance to the Guggenheim Museum was free (or as our non-English speaking cab driver told us, "no dinero!) Actually, we were just planning to take some pictures of the Puppy sculpture outside and not go into the museum at all, but it was a nice bonus. Most of our time in the ports of call was spent very leisurely, drinking coffee at outdoor cafes. We did stop to eat some octopus in La Coruña and had some macarons in Le Havre. Our one purchased shore excursion was the trip through the idyllic Normandy countryside to Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery--another one of those places on the bucket list. It was a sobering venue and well worth the price. While I have been quite well-traveled domestically for decades, for much of my life I didn't even want to travel at all internationally. After retirement, this all changed; we applied for our passports almost immediately. And a few years ago we discovered cruising--another thing that for years I had disdained. This was only our second European trip. I found it much more difficult finding English speaking Spaniards in the places we stopped than in our previous travels. In fact, the predominantly British passengers were also hard to understand with all their dialects and accents (not even counting the fact that many of them were also drunk!). Due to the facts that my wife is a smoker (and I quite often sit with her in the smoking area of the ship) and a lot of our on board time was spent in the casino, we kept running into a lot of the same people. I really enjoyed this aspect of the cruise. As far as all the bells and whistles of the Navigator of the Seas, we have never and will never try the flow rider or climb rock walls. We did try to play miniature golf once, but it was very windy. The late night comedy show we attended was entertaining. After the cruise was over we took a train into London and spent the weekend there before returning home. We visited some sites we missed on our first visit there a couple of years ago like Trafalgar Square and Greenwich. We really enjoyed the Thames Clipper River Bus.

Another Fine Cruise

Navigator of the Seas Cruise Review by JPSemprini

Trip Details
For our fifth cruise my wife and I chose a trip from Southampton calling at Bilbao and La Coruña, Spain then Cherbourg and Le Havre, France. The ship did not sail until 7pm, so I didn't feel quite as worried booking the overnight flight into Heathrow scheduled to arrive more than twelve hours earlier.

Our transfer to Southampton included a pre-cruise excursion stopping at Stonehenge--one of those places that I always wanted to visit, but never thought that I would. I must admit that I would have enjoyed the ride through the idyllic English countryside a lot more without the jet lag. But that was part of the plan--maybe we would have a burst of adrenaline arriving in Europe and be able to catch up a bit as the first full day of the cruise was spent at sea. That didn't quite happen; our internal clocks seemed to be off the entire trip. But I guess that's part of what makes travel so interesting.

I'm not really sure why I am writing this at all. I read a lot of these reviews and many just seem to nitpick about so many things. Unless something is very bad, very good or maybe just a bit odd, it doesn't seem worth mentioning. Our cabin was as typical as one might expect. I don't have anything to nitpick about.

We ate all of our dinners in the main dining room. The first night we sat at a table that was in a very warm part of the room, so they moved us to a more comfortable one for the rest of the cruise. The food was, as expected, usually pretty good, but nothing to email home about. We did have the beef wellington one night, just so we could compare it with the beef wellington we were planning to have at one of Gordon Ramsey's restaurants in London before we returned home. (Guess whose dish won.)

At our first port we got a surprise. It was some kind of holiday and entrance to the Guggenheim Museum was free (or as our non-English speaking cab driver told us, "no dinero!) Actually, we were just planning to take some pictures of the Puppy sculpture outside and not go into the museum at all, but it was a nice bonus.

Most of our time in the ports of call was spent very leisurely, drinking coffee at outdoor cafes. We did stop to eat some octopus in La Coruña and had some macarons in Le Havre.

Our one purchased shore excursion was the trip through the idyllic Normandy countryside to Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery--another one of those places on the bucket list. It was a sobering venue and well worth the price.

While I have been quite well-traveled domestically for decades, for much of my life I didn't even want to travel at all internationally. After retirement, this all changed; we applied for our passports almost immediately. And a few years ago we discovered cruising--another thing that for years I had disdained.

This was only our second European trip. I found it much more difficult finding English speaking Spaniards in the places we stopped than in our previous travels. In fact, the predominantly British passengers were also hard to understand with all their dialects and accents (not even counting the fact that many of them were also drunk!). Due to the facts that my wife is a smoker (and I quite often sit with her in the smoking area of the ship) and a lot of our on board time was spent in the casino, we kept running into a lot of the same people. I really enjoyed this aspect of the cruise.

As far as all the bells and whistles of the Navigator of the Seas, we have never and will never try the flow rider or climb rock walls. We did try to play miniature golf once, but it was very windy. The late night comedy show we attended was entertaining.

After the cruise was over we took a train into London and spent the weekend there before returning home. We visited some sites we missed on our first visit there a couple of years ago like Trafalgar Square and Greenwich. We really enjoyed the Thames Clipper River Bus.
JPSemprini’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
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Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Ocean View Balcony
Cabin 4D 6614
The cabin was fine. We had asked of distilled water and extension cord for a CPAP machine and it was provided.
Deck 7 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins