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This was our 7th RCCL cruise, and first as Platinum members of the Crown & Anchor program. Overall, we were expecting a bit more from this experience, but things have slipped a bit and/or disappeared just since last year. We selected the ship based on departure date and port as I teach at a college and have only one particular week available each Spring. We had been to Cozumel with our children several years ago, but never to Belize. We also like this cruise because of the two "at sea" days, giving us a chance to get some real R&R. Embarkation was about the easiest it has ever been. We now rent from Alamo as they have a free shuttle from Miami airport to the cruise terminal (we also visit various family members while in Florida). We arrived around 1:30 pm and were on the ship with no real hassle in about 30 minutes. Our bags did not arrive until after the Muster Drill, but otherwise without issue. One new and important difference: We were no longer required to march to the Muster Station wearing our life preservers. We were also in a lounge, as opposed to having to queue on deck, so that was a plus. We saw a demo of the life jackets, listened to the captain and were done. The first big disappointment was the Platinum coupon booklet. We don't gamble, so all the casino "free pulls" were out. The wine bottle coupon (BOGO 15% off on $50+ bottles) was out of our price range, but we did use the two BOGO glass of wine coupons. Johnny Rockets was a BOGO milkshake instead of providing the cover charge, so we didn't bother going this time. There was a BOGO 15% off wine flight at Vintages, but the only time we went in there, we sat for ten minutes and left as no one came to wait on our table. Oh, and no more chocolates on the pillow! The two 50% Seattle's Best coffee coupons got used and that was about it. We saw every production show, including the Ice Dancing, and while enjoyable, did not seem as inspired or full of energy as we have seen on other ships. Some of the same, tired songs you hear just about everywhere, no matter the tempo. The "All Access" show was very disconnected, using songs from so many genres, it had little flow. The singers and dancers were all quite talented. The opening headliner, a comedian, was somewhat funny, while the vocal impersonator two nights later was a good singer, but just OK at many of the voices. My favorite was Christopher James, the "hyper magic" boy who used the audience to great effect and did some cool tricks. There wasn't anyone I already knew, as on most previous RCCL cruises (last year was Bowzer from Sha-Na-Na!). We ate in the dining room three nights, and in the specialty restaurants the other two. Service was attentive and we enjoyed our table mates. The food, as everyone who cruises RCCL knows, was only average. The menu doesn't change much from year to year and the quality was about that of your average convention dinner. I am on a restricted diet this year, and did not really have any issues selecting dishes low in fat and cholesterol. You used to have to ask for the Indian food, as it is always prepared for the staff, but now it is on the menu more, and is quite good. The food at Portofino and Chops Grille was inventive, freshly made and tasted good. Nothing exceptional, but much better than the dining room. I tend to compare RCCL with Carnival, and Carnival has had better food but was lacking in entertainment. The food on RCCL has always been "good enough" with the perks and entertainment being much better, but now I might have to rethink that. We ordered Room Service just once on the morning we had an early excursion, but it did not arrive in time (7:30-8am slot requested). We called five minutes before time was up and were told it was on the way. They called again five minutes after with the same message, and we left at 8:15 so we could grab a crumb at the buffet before leaving the ship. We took advantage of some on-board activities. I prefer ships with the adults only Solarium for quiet relaxing on at-sea days, present on this ship. We had two good days with only a little hassle finding a good chair. My biggest complaint was that the Hot Tub never really got hot either day I used it! I enjoyed playing dodge ball on the Sports Deck with the younger guys, and I really enjoyed the exercise area. I only used the treadmill, and there was never an issue with broken down equipment or too long of a wait. I used some of the Nautilus weight machines, and everything was available and in good repair. The best part, saved for last, was our cabin. We were on the eighth deck with only other cabins above, below and around us. We were in the front of the ship off a center hallway, meaning people on both sides, behind us and across the hall, but it was quiet all the time. Vanessa, our attendant, did a wonderful job and was rarely ever seen. Also, no problem with any of the equipment or plumbing, and I do like the circular shower enclosure that cannot possible stick to you! The robes given to Platinum members were nice, too. We attended the C&A loyalty reception one evening, now restricted to Platinum and above (sorry, no more Gold people). It was very perfunctory with the department heads giving a brief overview while free drinks were served, with some appetizers off to the side. Mostly good, but nothing fancy. This was just one of several "opportunities" where it seemed like the staff seemed a bit less excited and the amenities were squeezed a bit in hopes of holding the line on pricing and/or helping the bottom line. Overall, it just wasn't as satisfying as previous ships or cruises on RCCL.

Mom & Dad Got Away for Fun & Adventure

Navigator of the Seas Cruise Review by BrainDad

Trip Details
This was our 7th RCCL cruise, and first as Platinum members of the Crown & Anchor program. Overall, we were expecting a bit more from this experience, but things have slipped a bit and/or disappeared just since last year.
We selected the ship based on departure date and port as I teach at a college and have only one particular week available each Spring. We had been to Cozumel with our children several years ago, but never to Belize. We also like this cruise because of the two "at sea" days, giving us a chance to get some real R&R.
Embarkation was about the easiest it has ever been. We now rent from Alamo as they have a free shuttle from Miami airport to the cruise terminal (we also visit various family members while in Florida). We arrived around 1:30 pm and were on the ship with no real hassle in about 30 minutes. Our bags did not arrive until after the Muster Drill, but otherwise without issue. One new and important difference: We were no longer required to march to the Muster Station wearing our life preservers. We were also in a lounge, as opposed to having to queue on deck, so that was a plus. We saw a demo of the life jackets, listened to the captain and were done.
The first big disappointment was the Platinum coupon booklet. We don't gamble, so all the casino "free pulls" were out. The wine bottle coupon (BOGO 15% off on $50+ bottles) was out of our price range, but we did use the two BOGO glass of wine coupons. Johnny Rockets was a BOGO milkshake instead of providing the cover charge, so we didn't bother going this time. There was a BOGO 15% off wine flight at Vintages, but the only time we went in there, we sat for ten minutes and left as no one came to wait on our table. Oh, and no more chocolates on the pillow! The two 50% Seattle's Best coffee coupons got used and that was about it.
We saw every production show, including the Ice Dancing, and while enjoyable, did not seem as inspired or full of energy as we have seen on other ships. Some of the same, tired songs you hear just about everywhere, no matter the tempo. The "All Access" show was very disconnected, using songs from so many genres, it had little flow. The singers and dancers were all quite talented. The opening headliner, a comedian, was somewhat funny, while the vocal impersonator two nights later was a good singer, but just OK at many of the voices. My favorite was Christopher James, the "hyper magic" boy who used the audience to great effect and did some cool tricks. There wasn't anyone I already knew, as on most previous RCCL cruises (last year was Bowzer from Sha-Na-Na!).
We ate in the dining room three nights, and in the specialty restaurants the other two. Service was attentive and we enjoyed our table mates. The food, as everyone who cruises RCCL knows, was only average. The menu doesn't change much from year to year and the quality was about that of your average convention dinner. I am on a restricted diet this year, and did not really have any issues selecting dishes low in fat and cholesterol. You used to have to ask for the Indian food, as it is always prepared for the staff, but now it is on the menu more, and is quite good. The food at Portofino and Chops Grille was inventive, freshly made and tasted good. Nothing exceptional, but much better than the dining room.
I tend to compare RCCL with Carnival, and Carnival has had better food but was lacking in entertainment. The food on RCCL has always been "good enough" with the perks and entertainment being much better, but now I might have to rethink that. We ordered Room Service just once on the morning we had an early excursion, but it did not arrive in time (7:30-8am slot requested). We called five minutes before time was up and were told it was on the way. They called again five minutes after with the same message, and we left at 8:15 so we could grab a crumb at the buffet before leaving the ship.
We took advantage of some on-board activities. I prefer ships with the adults only Solarium for quiet relaxing on at-sea days, present on this ship. We had two good days with only a little hassle finding a good chair. My biggest complaint was that the Hot Tub never really got hot either day I used it! I enjoyed playing dodge ball on the Sports Deck with the younger guys, and I really enjoyed the exercise area. I only used the treadmill, and there was never an issue with broken down equipment or too long of a wait. I used some of the Nautilus weight machines, and everything was available and in good repair.
The best part, saved for last, was our cabin. We were on the eighth deck with only other cabins above, below and around us. We were in the front of the ship off a center hallway, meaning people on both sides, behind us and across the hall, but it was quiet all the time. Vanessa, our attendant, did a wonderful job and was rarely ever seen. Also, no problem with any of the equipment or plumbing, and I do like the circular shower enclosure that cannot possible stick to you! The robes given to Platinum members were nice, too.
We attended the C&A loyalty reception one evening, now restricted to Platinum and above (sorry, no more Gold people). It was very perfunctory with the department heads giving a brief overview while free drinks were served, with some appetizers off to the side. Mostly good, but nothing fancy. This was just one of several "opportunities" where it seemed like the staff seemed a bit less excited and the amenities were squeezed a bit in hopes of holding the line on pricing and/or helping the bottom line. Overall, it just wasn't as satisfying as previous ships or cruises on RCCL.
BrainDad’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin
Standard inside cabin, adequate for two people. Bathroom small but functional with a circular shower enclosure. Eight deck at front of ship was always quiet, quiet, quiet!
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Belize City
    I would not be in a hurry to go back to Belize City and hang out, but the Jungle Bicycle Adventure was worth the time and money. We took a 30 minute bus ride to the park, but then were told we had to wait over 1.5 hours until our bike tour. Until it left, we had use of a beautiful pool area, so we took advantage of that, and sample some of the local Belikin Stout beer (very good!). There was also a complimentary "International Buffet" (potato salad, beans/rice, jerk chicken, fried plantains and fresh fruit!), so we had lunch. The bike tour was mostly good, not to challenging even for my wife who rides infrequently. We made stops in the jungle and saw Howler Monkeys, Jaguarundi and some cool leaf-cutter ants carrying pieces of leaf for hundreds of feet. It was a nice trip and also worth the money, but we would have preferred biking first with lunch and pool time after.
    Back in Belize, we did a bit of shopping on the streets so I could track down some of the local coffee to bring home. After buying a Belikin Beer t-shirt, the lady took my to another "stall" where they had some coffee. A bit expensive to get the whole bean type but the entire area was your general tourist trap, and the rest of the city did not look like the type of place I would hang around in for too long. Another passenger told of friends who saw police shoot and kill someone attempting to rob one of the stores!
    View All 2,329 Belize City Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Cozumel
    We booked a snorkel, sail and beach package that left from next pier over from the ship. The guys running it had a lot of fun and seemed to enjoy what they were doing. We got good instruction, 45 minutes of snorkeling, and then the bar opened as we sailed to our destination beach. Plenty of free Dos Equis, premixed Margaritas and soft drinks on the catamaran and at the beach. The weather wasn't overly sunny or hot, so we enjoyed our 3-4 hours off the ship very much.
    Back in Cozumel, we did a little t-shirt and booze shopping at the pier, so I can't comment on the city or the shopping. Besides, you've been to one Diamonds International or Del Sol, and you've been to them all!
    View All 6,725 Cozumel Cruise Port Reviews
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