*Wonderful kids camp - ages 3 to 11 are all together and my kids said it was the best Adventure Ocean camp they’ve been to
*El Loco Fresh Taco Station - food was good and they had enough ready items that you can grab something
*For the size of the ship, pool options were good
*Fun and attentive staff at Windjammer (if you can find a table to eat at)
*Cool guy rides the elevator playing a piano!
*Lack of entertainment - there was basically a comedian and 1 ice show that was shown twice
*Navigator and Royal App out of sync so you could miss one of the VERY FEW events on board
*Waterslides are cool in concept, but there were absurd wait times (+1 hour) for the Blaster slide and only a few mats for the the Riptide so only the same 15 people can ride it and you have to basically wait for someone to not want to ride it anymore , including port days!
*Coco Cay bungalows are a complete waste of $400 and in general, excursions are over priced at Coco Cay
We are a family of 5 - 2 adults and 3 kids ranging in age from 4 to 10 and we are experienced cruisers; we are Emerald with Royal, and have status on Carnival, Disney and NCL but admit that Royal is our preferred cruise line at the moment.
This was our first time on Navigator of the Seas but we’ve sailed Mariner, Oasis, and Allure recently. We knew Navigator was much smaller than Oasis and Allure and comparable to Mariner, so we knew what to expect, sort of.
This was BY FAR our least favorite Royal Caribbean experience. The boat is OK, but there were a lot of small things that added up and left us frustrated and annoyed more often that I should be on vacation. There were some highlights but overall, I would not recommend this itinerary; Royal has much better experiences, including the Mariner. This was an overall, very subpar experience for us.
It was not all bad, however. The ship was recently updated, which is how the water slides were added, the specialty restaurants added and according to the staff, how the kids camp was reconfigured. The camp, again according to the staff (I didn’t verify) is the first and only in the fleet to have ages 3-11 all together. My kids, who are experienced “Adventure Oceaneers” RAVED about the camp. They said it was the best one yet! Staff was very nice and friendly but there is a 90 person capacity to the camp so while I don’t know of anyone turned away, it’s possible, I suppose.
The dining room was OK. Staff didn’t really go above and beyond like they usually do. We had early seating and only ate there on nights 1 and 3. Nights 2 and 4 we did Windjammer/Cafe Promenade so that may have played into the issue, but dinner took a solid 2 hours so we decided to mix it up for the kiddos.
Johnny Rockets was nice. It was an “express” which I personally prefer because you only pay for what you eat and you only order what you want. On other boats it’s a cover and you can eat as much as possible. On this ship, they give you a pager and you can eat your food anywhere on the ship, although there are about 4 tables near the restaurant on the pool deck.
Opposite Johnny Rockets is El Loco Fresh Taco. On other ships this is where the grill for hot dogs and hamburgers typically is. I personally loved this venue. They have warm flour tortillas, and will serve you the protein and you can then hit the toppings station and add lettuce, salsa, cheese, cilantro, etc. They also offer premade cheese and chicken quesadillas and beef and chicken burritos, and tortilla chips. Wonderful for a quick way to feed hungry, soggy kiddos!
The opposite could be said of Cafe Promenade. Since the boat is smaller there’s no Sorrentos so the only place to get pizza was at Cafe Promenade. They had 2 lines and we could just get pizza or the sandwiches. I left my oldest to watch the other 3 because we were in a rush to do the escape room, and I tried to order 4 cheese and 4 pepperoni slices. I waited on line for 5 minutes and was denied. The pizza limit is 4 slices per person! I pointed to my children and said “I need to feed them all dinner, they’re too little to wait on line with me and carry hot pizza?” The woman, Jialu, said “maybe you should drop this off and get in line again.” So I did. Waited TEN minutes next time because people came and by time I get up to the front she was out of cheese pizza and said “3 minutes” so I waited TEN MORE minutes for 2 slices of cheese pizza. I get it, I understand the procedures but when you can see my kids with no plates of food and unapologetically ruin dinner for my entire family it’s absolutely absurd. Not the Royal service I am used to.
Windjammer is great, staff is great, food is standard but it’s way too tiny. We almost never got a table in there. I really wish they removed Jamie’s and Chops and let people eat in peace, but alas we had to take our food to our room for lack of seating more than once. There’s also an good balloon artist at breakfast who made really cool balloon animals for the kids for free, which my kids were delighted with. Aside from the seating availability, great service in Windjammer!
Entertainment on the ship, compared to others, is light at best. There is one show and one ice show. Ice shows were at 1 and 3 pm on the last sea day and the one show was after Coco Cay. Other nights there was a comedian. Not anywhere near what you get on Oasis or Allure. Not a lot of activities planned for the days either, especially the sea day. Perhaps it was just a lousy cruise director but there wasn’t too much to do on board.
The printed Navigator Times/location planner was not in sync with the Royal Caribbean application so we decided to do trivia on sea day to entertain the kids and the app sent us to Boleros. Well at 10 minutes past, another guest asked the bartender (who pulled out the paper) and said “no it’s in Schoonmaker bar”. We had 3 really disappointed little kiddos and they had 2 annoyed parents. When we told the person running it she unapologetically pointed to the paper and said “you should always check the paper one. The app is usually out of date.” Great.
There is the main pool and splash area and 3 hot tubs (2 on deck 11 and 1 on 12). For the size of the boat the pools are fine, arguably bigger than what I’ve seen on other ships so that was nice. We did not use the Solarium pool because of the kids but that looked nice too.
Another addition of the remodel was The Perfect Storm. The Perfect Storm is the area with the 2 waterslides - Riptide is a slide that requires a mat, which is provided at the bottom of the slide. There are about 15-20 mats on board, so if you don’t get a mat, you have to wait until someone doesn’t want to ride anymore as they don’t collect the mat at the bottom of the slide; if you have one you can keep it and ride the slide over and over. This caused some frustration and disappointment from hot, soggy people who want a turn. Even on port days there is a wait, which was very disappointing. The other slide is called the Blaster and is very similar to Disney’s Aquaduck. The tube holds 1 or 2 people but the combined weight of the 2 people had to be 100 lbs. The height restriction for this was 48” I believe, but it was less on Riptide so my youngest could only do the Riptide. The wait for the blaster was insane - over an hour at some point. There’s nothing you can do; it’s a bit of supply and demand but it was not really worth the wait.
Tip - this is not much different from any other cruise, and we planned for it! We fed everyone a HUGE breakfast before boarding the boat and everyone boarded In bathing suits so we went straight to these 2 slides. There were plenty of mats available for Riptide and my older kids did the blaster about 10 times. Thankfully we kind of got our fill because there was not a opportunity to ride again due to the long waits/lack of mats. We rode the slides and did FlowRider until they got bored, basically on embarkation day. Then we grabbed tacos and went to muster!
The FlowRider staff was OUTSTANDING. I’ve done it on other boats and usually they tell you what to do and you wipe out. Here they really worked hard to get people on the board and kneeling, etc. My oldest left it feeling accomplished and not frustrated which was awesome.
The casino is eh. The non-smoking section is like 15% of the place so it just stinks in there. Nothing too outstanding either way.
Finally, Coco Cay. We had not been in a while and they are constantly remodeling so we booked the Beach Bungalow. It was $399 and accommodates 6. We’ve done cabanas at Disney, and with Royal but the $800 cabana felt like more than we needed so we did the bungalow. It was an absolute waste of money. We got off the boat at 8:15 which was great! Got the the bungalow and checked in. There were LOADS of free chairs and umbrellas on the beach at that time. We get our bungalow only to find out the section is neither private nor patrolled! We had people who did not pay sit on our lounge chairs, smoking cigarettes next to us, and laying out in front of and next to our bungalow! All you get is a 1 walled building, 4 bottles of Evian, 2 floating mats and 4 loaner beach towels. You get no privacy, and 2nd hand smoke. I asked those who were using our chairs to move, and they did, but they simply brought chairs down from the beach area. It’s not patrolled so I had to tell the people at the check in area that they were like on top of us. When I told them they moved the chairs but the guests didn’t leave, they set up their towels and lit their smokes! Anyone is allowed - it’s not roped off or patrolled - you don’t even get bar service and it’s a decent walk to the buffet. I STRONGLY discourage this particular excursion.
Other than that, Coco Cay is ok. I realize Royal is trying to accommodate all price points but I think that things are kind of pricey. $80 for the water park is ok but it was PACKED. We didn’t do it but we could see the waits for the slides and it wasn’t pretty. The free stuff was fun. We explored a little after my oldest got stung by some jellyfish. They have a cute pirate splash pad with kiddie waterslides and another area for kiddie waterslides and a bucket that fills and splashes. It was nice enough. The buffet was very good; Royal did a good job planning the area to eat and it has ample food options and seating.
Overall, it was, again, my least favorite Royal experience. Will not do this itinerary again, simply not worth it to us. My recommendation is the Oasis, when it returns
It was an absolute waste of money. We got off the boat at 8:15 which was great! Got the the bungalow and checked in. There were LOADS of free chairs and umbrellas on the beach at that time. We get our bungalow only to find out the section is neither private nor patrolled! We had people who did not pay sit on our lounge chairs, smoking cigarettes next to us, and laying out in front of and next to our bungalow! All you get is a 1 walled building, 4 bottles of Evian, 2 floating mats and 4 loaner beach towels. You get no privacy, and 2nd hand smoke. I asked those who were using our chairs to move, and they did, but they simply brought chairs down from the beach area. It's not patrolled so I had to tell the people at the check in area that they were like on top of us. When I told them they moved the chairs but the guests didn't leave, they set up their towels and lit their smokes! Anyone is allowed - it's not roped off or patrolled - you don't even get bar service and it's a decent walk to the buffet. I STRONGLY discourage this particular excursion.View All undefined undefined Reviews