Pretty loyal to Royal and a very good cruise overall, but have to say I am disappointed in what I feel is a slippage in quality of food and communication. We booked this cruise about 8 months prior to departure. Brought our adult children as well. 5 rooms total. Selected this particular ship for length of cruise and itinerary. Our room was a regular balcony. The children were all in various interior rooms.
Let me start with the concerns. Navigator was coming out of dry dock after major renovations. The cruise before ours was cancelled because the ship was not ready. Many people were wondering if our cruise was going to sail or not. RCCL would have been wise to email all of us with an update and to assure the cruise was on but there was no communication at all. The upgrades were wonderful on the pool deck. Really liked the new look and vibe; however, one new water slide never opened on our cruise, the youth space never opened, and, most upsetting to me, was that the fitness center never opened. Additionally, there was NO communication from the ship’s staff about these closures nor if and when they would open. Daily trips to Guest Services and asking directly of Hotel Senior Staff members provided a variety of reasons and excuses for lack of openings but were always told they would open at some point during the cruise. They never did. Again, RCCL would have best served its guests by providing consistent, written, and proactive communication. The Guest Services Manager did not return my call to her so I had to track her down personally. She deferred me to corporate guest services, but after the cruise, corporate referred me back to the ship’s guest services. Being just shy of Diamond status, I found this lack of communication very unsettling and unprofessional. To cap it off, not once during the cruise did I receive any invitations or communication around being an Emerald member or any sense of welcome back to RCCL. This has left me questioning my loyalty to RCCL. Having sailed Holland America just before this cruise, I also felt the food in the Windjammer was subpar compared to HA’s wonderful buffet service. Main dining room food and service was quite good on Navigator though. Love the Mexican eatery on the pool deck. Ate there a lot.
Enough of the concerns. Our balcony room was clean and spacious. Bathroom was the usual tight squeeze but I am used to this. The continual pool deck music and vibe were outstanding. Music was excellent at all venues. Entertainment for the shows was also pretty good. Room service was also solid. The theme nights were fun. The ice show was outstanding—went twice. Played laser tag—also fun. Couldn’t run on the outdoor jogging track—too crowded and temporary gym (7 machines) was less than excellent. The exercise bikes were found in 1-2 inches water every morning because of deck washing at night.
Labadee (spelling?) beach was beautiful. Pretty crowded at lunch time and food was just okay. Our ports of call were all good though Bonaire stands out as exceptional after taking the water taxi out to Little Bonaire for snorkeling. Such blue waters and lots of fish.
Everyone in our group had a lot of fun. There’s plenty to do on the ship during sea days. Getting on and off the ship was seamless. Everyone in our group was sad when the cruise ended and I think everyone would enjoy another another RCCL Cruise. My expectations are high though, especially after spending as much money as we did to make this cruise happen, and they were not fully met on this cruise. I am not sure if I will cruise RCCL again, even though I am one cruise away from Diamond status. This makes me sad because I have been loyal to Royal all these years. We’ll see.
Nice beaches. Reasonable taxis.
Take the water taxi to Little Bonaire. Excellent snorkeling.