141 Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

My how standards have dropped. The ship was dirty, tired, shabby. The crew were indifferent, never rude....just completely uninterested and world weary. Can't remember how many shoulder shrugs I got when I asked for something ... Read More
My how standards have dropped. The ship was dirty, tired, shabby. The crew were indifferent, never rude....just completely uninterested and world weary. Can't remember how many shoulder shrugs I got when I asked for something completely routine....like a mug for my coffee? None left apparently. Carvery section was almost always empty with a tough curling bit of meat on it and no staff in sight. Lunch was boring and samey, although tasty enough. Desserts were awful. Thick clods of 'mousse' and tiny lime jellies in plastic pots. Silhouette Dining Waiters were terrible, kept getting our orders mixed up and forgot my husbands pre ordered birthday cake. Had to be reminded when almost everyone left the table. Diamond Club was a joke. Queues of people shouting for drinks at a makeshift bar, no seating, bad tempered bar staff, free loaders coming in, leaving with as many drinks as they could carry, laughing in the corridors about getting free booze. Last few days the diamond club staff realised their mistake and took over the sky bar, roping it off and asking for show of passes. Nothing like the cruises we have had in the past. Really disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We are a family of four: Mum and Dad, 12 & 15 yr old girls. And we found there was something for everyone. Personally me and my husband liked just liked chilling by the pool and my daughters liked exploring the boat. They had a go at ... Read More
We are a family of four: Mum and Dad, 12 & 15 yr old girls. And we found there was something for everyone. Personally me and my husband liked just liked chilling by the pool and my daughters liked exploring the boat. They had a go at the flow rider, climbing wall, swimming pools and the ice rink, but it was only one for like a couple of hours on a few days which was ridiculous they were very disappointed by that and the ice wasn't the best but they did have s good ice show. The food was really good quality and the windjammer had a good selection of food and the sapphire dining room was good as well but the food was all really repetitive and I then found it hard to choose something to have. All service was incredible at the sapphire dining room we had a server called Oliver he was so lovely and good with the kids and then we had a cleaner to clear the room and he was called Dennis and he was incredible and made the best towel animals Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Our first cruise.Family of 4.Getting on the ship was smooth and hassle free..First empressions were pretty good clean and well presented.Our cabin was small but cosy and clean.Our bags arrived on time.The ship was quite impressive.The ... Read More
Our first cruise.Family of 4.Getting on the ship was smooth and hassle free..First empressions were pretty good clean and well presented.Our cabin was small but cosy and clean.Our bags arrived on time.The ship was quite impressive.The staff we met were incredibly helpful .anything we asked was answered and dealt with fully. Windjammer food was not to bad and food in the main dining area (Saphire) was really good.infact most things we experienced on the ship was really not too bad but the real problem was the shear amount of people on the ship.simply too many.there were too many kids (even though we were with ours) .the whole ship was just too packed.the main pool areas were terrible messy, no chance ever of getting a deck chair.jam packed with crazed children pumped up on crazy pills.My children are a lot more sensible and were shocked at the behaviour of some children..some parents were letting there kids go crazy throught the ship.it all became too much at times.the childrens clubs seemed ok but were not really able to cope(not the fault of the staff who were great).There were quieter parts of the ships which we were forced to go to at times. The evening shows were mostly great.The service from the staff was good.Embarking and disembarking was not a problem. As a family we did enjoy ourselves but the whole thing was marred by there being too many passengers and super hyper children all congregating in certain areas of the ship on a daily basis.The main pool area was too tacky,busy and felt a bit butlins.Its all about packing as many people on the ships as possible,and with ships getting bigger its all about the numbers.For these reason we will not be using RC again and hence the 3 stars.By the way we were told by staff the next outing on the ship had even more children booked. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We enjoyed the ports, Messina, Athens, Kusadasi and Crete. We did independent tours this time instead of using the ship's and really enjoyed it. This seems to be the way to go, we read Cruise Critic for recommendations for the tours! ... Read More
We enjoyed the ports, Messina, Athens, Kusadasi and Crete. We did independent tours this time instead of using the ship's and really enjoyed it. This seems to be the way to go, we read Cruise Critic for recommendations for the tours! This was our first cruise on R.C. and we were disappointed. Past cruises have been on Carnival, NCL, and Celebrity. We had a balcony stateroom which was very nice. This is an older ship, but the dining room and lounges, etc. were lovely. Lots of beautiful wood. The service at bars was great, we especially liked one right outside the casino and had a great young bartender from Portugal. Service in the dining room was also good, but the food left a lot to be desired. No special nights with lobster and filet mignon on R.C. You could purchase it every night for an extra $30.00 per person. Other cruise lines, we've always looked forward to this on formal nights. The buffet on deck was just o.k. Not many choices there either for all three meals. We usually eat in the dining room most nights on cruises, but because we didn't like the choices on R.C., we ate on deck more. To me, the whole dining experience with other passengers and being waited on in the dining room makes the cruise. We saw several shows. Our favorite was the ice show, it was outstanding!! Disembarkation was orderly and went smoothly, no problems locating our bags. We probably won't cruise Royal Caribbean again just because of the food. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We flew to Rome on flights arranged through RCI which included transfers. This was a good decision and RCI staff were waiting in the luggage reclaim area. After reclaiming our bags we handed them to the RCI staff and next saw them outside ... Read More
We flew to Rome on flights arranged through RCI which included transfers. This was a good decision and RCI staff were waiting in the luggage reclaim area. After reclaiming our bags we handed them to the RCI staff and next saw them outside our room. The journey to the port took about 50 minutes , check in was quick and we were immediately able to deposit our hand luggage in our room before heading to the Windjammer for lunch. Our cabin was an inside on deck 6. The cabin was comfortable and adequate for our needs but was showing obvious signs of wear - paint chipped and peeling, shower screen was cracked and tears in the padded wall near the bed. We only saw our room attendant on day 1 and again mid week when we bumped into her in a corridor. Food. We had 3 breakfasts in the dining room , 3 in the Windjammer and 1 room service. Dining room and room service were good but we felt Windjammer food wasn't as good as we've experienced on other cruises. We had my time dining and ate all our meals in the MDR. I had booked times before sailing but we went in earlier on a few nights which was fine. We had the same friendly wait teAm every night. Food was ok but range seemed more limited and quality average. We bought a wine package but had long waits most nights while the assistant waiter went to the wine store to recover any left over wine. Apparently on this ship wait staff are not given advance notice of bookings and hence the delays which again we have not experienced on other ships. Bar service very efficient and friendly. We liked the schooner bar best. Entertainment was the usual range of magicians, jugglers, RCI dancers and singers and one decent soul singer. The ice show was great. Captains welcome back party was bizarre as it was held in the theatre and everyone sat in rows facing the stage. We were given drinks but no canapés and there was no chance to socialise with passengers or staff. On this boat the officers seemed very distant and didn't make much effort to engage guests. Again this was different to our previous experiences. We mainly spent time in the solarium which was pleasant and comfortable. There are a lot of tannoy announcements on this ship and we'd suggest they consider reducing these as on Celebrity ships. Mainly because it would be less disruptive but also because many of them were so loud it is impossible to hear them! Hand hygiene was not given massive prioritisation. Not visibly encouraged except by a very entertaining waiter in the Windjammer and on a number of occasions all 3 sanitisers at the entrance to the MDR were empty. We reported this but the staff member did not seem interested. Wi-fi is available in a small number of hotspots around the ship but did not appear to be very effective. The ship does not have dedicated IT staff in the Internet cafe and advice is allegedly available at guest relations. We spent 3 days trying to purchase an internet package and made a number of visits to guest relations before giving up and deciding to use free wifi in the ports which was very easy to find. The ports were obviously the highlights of our trip. In Messina we used the ships transfer to Taormina where we pottered around for 3 hours and had a lovely lunch. The public gardens are well worth a visit. Athens - ship docked in terminal B. We walked to the gate - took about 10 mins on a well paved and safe path where we caught a hop on hop off bus . We visited Acropolis and Plaka district before picking up the bus again. 2 bus companies vying for business and we were offered a discount by one of them. Kusadasi - we went on a ships tour to Ephesus. This was excellent and very interesting. Thankfully we'd chosen a trip that visits the terrace houses which are just amazing. This part of the tour was led by an archeologist with 40 years experience of working at Ephesus. The trip included a visit to a carpet workshop back in a Kusadasi but we and others managed to avoid this. Chania - we used the local bus costing 3 euro return to get into town. Interesting Venetian harbour surrounded by lots of cafés and restaurants. We had a relaxing and enjoyable week but this cruise lacked the sparkle and sadly on this occasion the wow factor cards stayed firmly in the envelope.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
The Itinerary of ship for 7 nts was very good with all ports worth seeing. The biggest disappointment was how much RCCL nickeled and dimed you once onboard. Charging for orange juice ( fresh squeezed at 4.00 a glass) , Extra if you wanted ... Read More
The Itinerary of ship for 7 nts was very good with all ports worth seeing. The biggest disappointment was how much RCCL nickeled and dimed you once onboard. Charging for orange juice ( fresh squeezed at 4.00 a glass) , Extra if you wanted a decent steak or lobster in dining room . Pictures were way overpriced. No wonder no body buys them and they get all trashed. 20.95 for a photo is RIDICULOUS! A couple of shows onboard were worth seeing, including Jersey Boys tunes. and Ice skating. Most were mediocre or not worth the time. Snacks in Promenade cafe good and complimentary. Johnney Rockets fun. Shore excursions pricey. Embarking and disembarking really easy. Specialty dining at PORTOFINOS was excellent. Waiter was good and food excellent. Only bad experience there is they charged both rooms cost for 3 so we were double billed. When trying to correct this at Pursers desk... attendants there are clueless and are less than zero for help. We finally had to go back to Portofinos to get charge fixed. Also I am a travel agent and sent wine to my friends. Good thing I brought receipt because again Pursers desk was clueless and took an hour to get the wine finally!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
This was our second cruise with RC, our first being ten years ago when we cruised the Western Med from Barcelona. This time we opted for inclusive flights, transfers and gratuities. Both the flight to and from Rome and the transfers to and ... Read More
This was our second cruise with RC, our first being ten years ago when we cruised the Western Med from Barcelona. This time we opted for inclusive flights, transfers and gratuities. Both the flight to and from Rome and the transfers to and from the ship were like clockwork. A RC rep met us at Rome and instructed us with labels etc and the transfer to the ship took about one hour. The timing was perfect as with less than 30 minutes on board the staterooms were ready for occupancy. The stateroom during our cruise was kept pristine, with the bed being made twice a day. The food on board is 5 star. It really cannot be faulted, the variety and quality was exceptional. With a full ship we always found a table in the Windjammer "cafe" for breakfast and lunch. Dinner was served at 8.30 in the Deck 3 dining room where we had a great table and great service. There are numerous activities available during the days but we opted for the lazy sun bathing mode as the late October weather was so nice. The ports of call were Sicily, Athens, Kushadasi and Crete. We didnt partake in the excersions, preferring to stroll ashore at our lesiure. The only complaint from the cruise i had was that smoking is allowed in most of the bars on board. In the "pub" is was quite strange to see people being told smoking at the tables outside was forbidden and you had to go inside to light up. All in all a top week, helped by the brilliant service from the staff, a good table in the dining room and lovely weather. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Getting to port: Don't listen to whoever says it's not so bad dragging your luggage from the Civitavecchia train station. Btw, getting to Civitavecchia by train from Rome Termini station was very straightforward. We paid the 20 ... Read More
Getting to port: Don't listen to whoever says it's not so bad dragging your luggage from the Civitavecchia train station. Btw, getting to Civitavecchia by train from Rome Termini station was very straightforward. We paid the 20 Euros per person for first class. Next time we'll probably opt to save the money since it was such a short trip (40 min) - it's about 5 Euros for coach class. So... to get from the train station to the port, take the shuttle bus!!! It's free! To avoid the line, we decided to walk it since someone had posted that it's not that far. It's far, even for this marathon walker, especially while wheeling luggage. We survived but avoiding the line for the shuttle wasn't worth the hassle. So... unless you want to burn the extra calories (good reason to binge when you get on the ship), take the shuttle. Embarkation: was pretty straight forward, long line but lemonade/water was provided, a nice touch. And the line moved quickly as there were many agents. They take your passport away for this itinerary. I don't really like that. Something about clearance process being complicated for non-EU residents. There were piles of passports sitting on a table which was roped off but anyone could have leaned over and grabbed them. One person collecting them and no one to monitor the table... doesn't instill much peace of mind... Day 2, Messina, Sicily: Breakfast on day two at Windjammer was insane. We've never experienced such crowding, and people were so rude, cutting in line, nudging, elbowing... it was difficult to find a seat. And there was no one walking around serving coffee, which we're accustomed to, with 4 RCI trips under our belts. The crowding was likely due to the fact that the first port day was the day after embarkation. Next time that happens, we'll definitely use the main dining room or room service for breakfast. Sicily fire and water excursion: not recommended. Information about preparation was poor. If you do choose to do this excursion, dress in layers, long pants. Mt. Etna is cold and windy. And then you're taken to a river park which is warm and humid, with lots of mosquitoes. The bus ride was loooong (I slept most of the time consequently) and the sights weren't worth it, at least to me. I wish I could get my money back. We should have been properly informed about the conditions and how to dress and prepare appropriately. While water was provided, there weren't enough toilet breaks. The only highlight was the farmer's market at the "water" portion of the excursion. They sampled/sold wonderful olive oil, pestos, dessert spreads. I wish we had brought more cash... I'll definitely be googling for these products... Athens: Make sure you wear proper shoes (sneakers) if you're visiting the Acropolis (Parthenon). The steps up to it are marble, uneven and slippery. Especially when wet. Excursion was worth it. Ephesus: Great shopping town. I found the salespeople were not too pushy. If you like shopping, no need for an excursion here. To see the ruins you will need one, or at least a ride. Chania: Beautiful little town with winding alleyways and cafes and arts and crafts at every turn. No need for an excursion here really. Other impressions of the ship: Compared to the other RCI experiences (Liberty, Allure)... not as great. There was no lobster night (has this changed across all RCI?). Hardly any coffee service at breakfast. Not enough areas to get free beverages (coffee/tea were only available 24/7 at Cafe Promenade). No one ever approached us for drink service at the hot tubs. Also at the main dining, there were a couple of nights where we had to ask for bread / drink orders, after waiting at least 15 minutes. Overall: The trip itself was great. The ship definitely needs the reburb in Jan 2014. And service could be improved too. Excursion descriptions were lacking in prep information (clothing required) and indications re: time that you'll be on the bus vs. time spent at the destination(s). Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We are seniors and this was our very first cruise. I have to say right at the start that it turned out to be more than I expected. We had a wonderful time, and we will do it again. We were on the Navigator of the Seas, and our departure ... Read More
We are seniors and this was our very first cruise. I have to say right at the start that it turned out to be more than I expected. We had a wonderful time, and we will do it again. We were on the Navigator of the Seas, and our departure point was Chivitecchia (Rome). This port is located about 45 minutes north of Rome Airport. We chose to take a limousine from the airport to the port. I am glad that we did because it was cheaper that taking the coach and much more comfortable. The limousine took us right to the departure area located on the quay. We also upgraded to a stateroom with a balcony and we are glad that we did this. The room very spacious for a cabin and having the balcony was nice to be able to sit out in the evenings. The boarding procedure went smooth and being as we were from Canada we had to surrender our passports for the duration of the cruise. On our arrival at our cabin we were met by our cabin steward who explain everything to us and looked after us well during the trip. The cabin was spotless I noticed that the steward even dusted the walls every day. This is without any doubt the cleanest hotel room that I have been in. The entire ship is spotless. During the voyage the Captain explained that they are very conscious of any kind of bug or infection being brought onto the ship by passengers. The crew will not shake hands, and passengers were asked to use the Purell hand sanitizer machines that were located all over the ship. When you went to board the ship the machines were at the gangplank. There was an officer pointing out the machines for you to use. While the passengers were on shore the crew spent their time wiping every hand rail, they even vacuum on the top of the signs over the stores. The whole ship is kept spotless. Ports Our first port of call was Massena we took the Red bus tour of this port. I cannot say it was a very nice place the buildings were drab, and there was a lot of graffiti on the buildings. Athens was our next stop and this is a big tourist city. We chose to take the afternoon tour because there was not too much waling. Athens is a nice city and there was lots to see. Ephesus was a shopping stop we did not take the tour we just went to the market. It was interesting they sell lots of gold and silver in these markets. The last port of call was Chania and we took the tour the scenery was lovely and we had a very pleasant day. The two days we had a sea were different the first one we had thunderstorms and it was wet and overcast. The second one was clear and sunny. It does not matter what the weather is like there is so much to do you cannot get bored. Activities are well organized and you get a copy of what is going on the day before. We dined at the Windjammer. This is the buffet restaurant and I found that there was Indian food, Chinese food, Japanese food and North American or European food. There was always something different available. In general I must say it was a wonderful trip and the crew on this ship were excellent. The ship is going to Galveston in December for a re fit. I did notice some of the carpets in high traffic areas were low on pile. Not dirty just showing signs of wear. The one thing that I would do different next time is. We had to fly overnight from Canada to Italy. We arrived in Rome the morning that the ship departed. Next time I would go a day earlier and stay in a hotel for the night and overcome the jet lag before starting a cruise. My next cruise will be on Royal Caribbean I found there service prior to the cruise and after the cruise to be excellent.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
I say second "Cruise of a Lifetime" because this is our second trip to The Mediterranean! Our first was our 25th Anniversary Cruise just two years ago. Who knew we would be returning so soon. (We did throw a coin in Trevi ... Read More
I say second "Cruise of a Lifetime" because this is our second trip to The Mediterranean! Our first was our 25th Anniversary Cruise just two years ago. Who knew we would be returning so soon. (We did throw a coin in Trevi Fountain!) This trip was with my brother and sister in law and since we had been before we were nominated as trip planner. I made all the reservations direct through various sites on the internet - Flight, hotel, cruise, tours, etc. Of course Crusie Critic was my Number One source of information. We flew to Rome via Atlanta two days early to enjoy a little more sightseeing. Good thing as Delta had computer problems and all regional jets were grounded Thursday mid-day and we missed our connection to Rome by about 15 minutes. Delta agents were helpful and the four of us were put on a later flight that stopped briefly in Paris. We got to add another city to our "bucket list of places to visit". I had arraigned a private transfer with "Rome Airport Transportation" and was not sure they received my notice about the delayed flight but once we cleared customs there they were with our name on a sign. What a welcome relief! The trip from the airport to our hotel was uneventful but we did get to see some sights on the way. We had reservations at the Hotel Colosseum. The hotel was very adequate, very clean and in a good location. (I was a little worried as other reviews painted it in a somewhat negative light as being close to a gentlemens club. There was one at the end of the block but we never saw anyone going or coming and had no problem at all.) As I mentioned the rooms were clean and well cared for. Breakfast was a selection of breads, cheeses and meats. It was adequate unless you were looking for a full American breakfast of all the eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage and cereal you could eat! They did keep our passport to register us but they were returned to us our first trip down to the desk. The keys are on a giant brass key ring that weighs a pound but they kept the keys for you at the front desk as you went out. The elevator was small - enough room for two pieces of luggage and two people. If you don't like tight places take the stairs! We went to a small restorante pizzeria just down the street that was recommended to us - La Mela D'Oro. Our waitress wasn't much although some of the other staff seemed friendly. We really didn't like the food and would advise seeking out another place. The sound of thunder awoke us on Saturday morning but by the time we finished breakfast the storm was clearing. We broke out our umbrellas and hit the street. After a few minutes of getting oriented we made our way to Termini Station and purchased an all day Metro pass. We had reserved tickets to the Vatican Museums and so bypassed the lines and walked right in. After spending the morning touring the museums and St. Peter's we found (or it found us) a small mom and pop restaurant - Trattoria Al Cuppolone. It had good food and good service at a great price. From the Vatican we took the Metro back to Barberini Station and started our walking journey. We began at the corner of San Carlo Quattro Fontane and made our way to the Quirinale. From there a short walk to the Trevi Fountain and it hordes of people! Onward to the Pantheon, Pizza Navona and back along the Vittorio Emanuele to the Forum area and its wonderful ancient ruins. The Colosseum was the end of our walking tour with a short jaunt back to our hotel. After a short time to cleanup from all the walking and exploring we headed back out for some real Italian food at the Hard Rock Cafe! Day One - The next morning Rome Airport Transportation picked us up at the hotel and delivered us to the pier at Civitavecchia. Upon arrival at the port RCL personnel greeted us and escourted us into the registration area. It took less than 20 minutes from our arrival at the port until we were aboard the ship. Although only Gold members of C&A we were treated like royalty! We went to the Windjammer for a delicious lunch and while there the announcements that the rooms were ready was made. Arriving at our cabin (#7221) we found it ready and our cabin attendant nearby. Although the cabin was cleaned regularly we hardly ever saw the attendant. He did a fair job but nothing special. At 4:30 pm we went to the Guest Assembly Drill. It’s amazing that people don’t think they really mean everyone has to attend. After rounding up the strays we were dismissed. Sail away took place at 5:00 pm and the high seas beckoned! After cleaning up a bit we headed to the Welcome Aboard Show. It was OK but it seems that the entertainment has gone down hill a bit. The orchestra was great but most of the other entertainment just didn’t WOW us as in the past. We had Second Seating for our meals so we wouldn’t have to rush back from shore every day. It worked well for us. Out Wait Staff (Natalia and Sachim) were EXCELLENT and showed excitement every night. We had two couples from California traveling together as table mates and enjoyed great conversation each evening. Day Two we awoke to find our ship pulling into Messina, Italy. We had opted for a RCL excursion "Taormina on Your Own”. This fit us well as we were able to enjoy the town at our own pace. After getting back to the ship we made the Headliner Show - The East Coast Boys - not a bad group. We enjoyed their songs and then made our way to dinner. After dinner a stop in the Casino was mandated by the wife. After making our contribution we strolled the deck and then turned in for the night. Day Three was a Sea Day. Nothing to do but kick back and relax. I had brought along a book to enjoy on deck so after a quick stop at the Café Promenade for some hot chocolate I retired to a chair on Deck 4 to begin my relaxation! The Production Showtime was "Now and Forever” featuring Broadway numbers. We did not enjoy the show and forced ourselves to sit through it. Afterwards it was off to dinner - our first Formal Night. Day Four we found ourselves in Athens. I had arraigned a private tour through Nikos Loukas (privategreecetours.com) to see the sights of Athens. We were met at the port by our driver, Demitris. He had a vast knowledge of Greek history and shared it with us as we toured the city at our pace. The Acropolis and Mars Hill had to be the high points for me. We never felt rushed or pressured at the suggestions he made and had a wonderful time. We had lunch in the Agora area and stopped for dessert on the way back to the ship. That evening we went to the Ice Dancin’ Spectacular - and it was! This was the best entertainment of the entire cruise. It is amazing what these people can do in such a small area while the ship is moving!!! After the show, dinner, the casino and bed. Day Five we arrived at the port of Kusadasi, Turkey. Again, I had arraigned a private tour through Tayf Tours. Our guide and driver (Yesim and Hasan) were waiting for us as we exited the ship. We quickly boarded our van and were whisked off to the House of Mary. We arrived before the tour buses and so had a rather peaceful time there. We then beat the crowds to Ephesus and toured the ruins and the Terrace Houses. From there we went to a local pottery store and yes we bought some pieces. They were absolutely beautiful. Our journey then took us into the mountains to Sirince. We spent just enough time here to pick up a few items and then back to the valley for lunch. Everyone warns of the "carpet factory” tours! I was hesitant but did stop at one for lunch and a quick tour. Looking back I would have let them know up front that we had no intention of purchasing a rug. Although they were beautiful they moved outside of our price range very quick. It was an interesting stop and story and the lunch was very good. Arriving back at the port we had some time to look around and purchase a few more items! The Headliner Show was Chilli Gold, a British singer, and she was actually pretty good. We enjoyed her show as it was full of familiar songs and high energy. Dinner was casual. My wife and I actually ate alone as my brother and sister in law went to the Mystery Dinner. They had a great time and said the steak was some of the best that they had ever eaten. More casino and deck strolling before turning in for the night. Day Six we arrived in Chania, Crete. We took the three Euro bus into town and spent the day wandering about. More shopping about town and then back to the ship for another show and dinner. Day Seven was at Sea so we could unwind before arriving back in Rome. The Farewell Show was pretty good and dinner was sad as we bid farewell to our new found friends. Sunday our ship arrived back in Civitavecchia. Disembarkation was as painless as checking in. We had no more arrived at the C&A waiting area when they announced we could leave the ship. Transportation was again through Rome Airport Transportation. The were waiting when we left the ship and had us on our way to our airport hotel in no time. Because of flight schedules we chose to stay Sunday night and fly back to the US on Monday morning. Our hotel, the Courtyard Rome Airport had our rooms ready when we arrived about 9:30 am. We checked in, had lunch and a nap and then went out exploring. A walk into downtown Fiumicino led to a street fair and seeing how the locals spend their Sunday afternoons. Monday morning was a shuttle bus ride to the airport and our flight back to the US. All things considered this was a great vacation. We’re already planning our next cruise to either Northern Europe (the Baltic) or New England (to see the leaves change). Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Just wanted to write a review of our eastern med cruise on the NavIgator. Flew to Rome from Heathrow, no probs, quick 2 hour flight. Transfer to ship from airport very well organised. At the pier, no queues to go on board, took about 5 ... Read More
Just wanted to write a review of our eastern med cruise on the NavIgator. Flew to Rome from Heathrow, no probs, quick 2 hour flight. Transfer to ship from airport very well organised. At the pier, no queues to go on board, took about 5 mins from arrival to on the ship!! Inside cabin was great, very clean, all facilities you need. We slept very well!! Food on board was good quality, much better than NCL, windjammer buffet fine and main dining room very good, great staff. You don't have to have just one dish, you can have as much as you like, they will bring you whatever you like! Music on the ship was great, Latin, R&B, pop, classical, bit of everything. Entertainment was top quality, singer and dancers all very good. Lots of quizzes and games on board, adult quest show was hilarious, try to go to that one!! We won the Michael Jackson quiz!! Really enjoyed the adult only area, the Solarium, spent two sea days there. Never had problems finding a space to sit, but did get up early on sea days just to make sure. On sea days there were far too many activities to do, we picked our favourites, my husband did the walk for wishes with the captain to raise money for charity. Ports of call were very interesting, did three tours through the ship, all good. Turkey had some lovely landscapes and scenery, Athens very hot!! Taormina in Sicily was beautiful. Great to have sea days at either end of the cruise to chill out. Overall a great cruise, were impressed with Royal Caribbean, much better than NCL!! (Although we enjoyed NCL)!! Try the Navigator, after its refurb in November, should be even better than it is now!! We also like the peek a boo bridge on this ship, can be interesting to watch when the ship is arriving or leaving a port. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
This was our first cruise and we loved every second of it. The ship, the food, and most of all the friendliness of the staff could not be faulted. We spent 3 days in Civitivecchia awaiting our ship and stayed in the San Giorgio hotel ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we loved every second of it. The ship, the food, and most of all the friendliness of the staff could not be faulted. We spent 3 days in Civitivecchia awaiting our ship and stayed in the San Giorgio hotel right on the sea front which was excelent for our needs. We arrived at the embarkation area around 11.00 am and shortly after some administrative paper work we were soon on board exploring the ship. We took the premium drinks package and although it was good to be able to order our drinks without worrying about costs it was a shame that my wife could not choose her wine as she had to have the house wine by the glass, luckily it was to her liking, although it did mean she could not try other types. Our two 14 year old children loved the teenagers club and after the first night of eating with us in the main diding room they decided to eat with all their new friends in the Windjammer and choose from the endless buffet choices. After that we hardly saw them unless we were all together on an excursion or late evening in our cabins - my wife and I never thought that the children would find so much confidence and independance in such a short time, the kids can't wait for the next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Myself and my husband went on the navigator for a weeks cruise on the 18th of August. We just returned at the weekend. We booked a fly cruise package including transfers through our local travel agent. I'm a really nervous flyer and ... Read More
Myself and my husband went on the navigator for a weeks cruise on the 18th of August. We just returned at the weekend. We booked a fly cruise package including transfers through our local travel agent. I'm a really nervous flyer and like to always sit in the front row aisle seat, however after I had booked the package my travel agent told me that I couldn't reserve my seat as royal carribean block book seats and I could only select my seat once we were checking in at the airport. I know this wouldn't bother some people but it really stressed me out. Eventually we did get it sorted though after ringing both the airline and royal caribean ourselves. Tut tut travel agent! We flew from dublin to Rome and almost as soon as we got off the plane we were met by a representative from royal caribean who led us to our luggage reclaim area and who also have us our luggage tags, then someone else showed us where to leave our luggage and someone else escorted us to our bus. It was very well run and would've been impossible to get lost! We then drove for about an hour to the port. The traffic was pretty light do there was no delays. We had a Rc rep on board who gave us a brief history on the areas we were passing and also explained the check in procedure and ensured everyone had their paperwork filled in correctly so there would be no delays once we were in the cruise terminal. The cruise check in was very smooth and everyone we had to deal with was very friendly and helpful. We were on board within minutes and our cabin was ready! We booked an interior stateroom at the front of the ship. We also booked a romance package so there was a bottle of chilled sparkling wine and cupcakes waiting for us which was fab after travelling all morning! The room was spotless and as you would expect an interior stateroom to be. Our room attendant called to introduce herself and give us her card if we needed to phone her. She was lovely. For our first cruise we sailed on liberty of the seas and our next two were on adventure of the seas. We booked navigator this time as we were looking forward to exploring a new ship. This is really the only thing that disappointed us. Navigator is a carbon copy of adventure apart from the name of one bar and it really felt like we had done it all before so for me a bit of the magic was gone. The ship was lovely though and well maintained. We had one issue in our stateroom with our shower hose splashing and once it was reported it was replaced straight away. We had breakfast and lunch in the windjammer most days. Food was good quality as always but hectic as always too! We always managed to find a seat though! We ate in jonny rockets one night. Food was ok but cod do with a bit of a broader menu. The other nights we ate in the main dining room. Food and service there was excellent. My only complaint was that the lights were blindingly bright in there! They could've done with being dimmed to create a more romantic atmosphere. During the afternoon we often nibbled on one of the amazing sandwiches from cafe promenade. Not to be missed! We boarded our cruise on the Sunday. We had booked a marriage vow renewal package for the Tuesday so Sunday afternoon after the fire drill we met with our co ordinator Addy, a lovely lady from South Africa. She went through all the details with us and made sure we were happy with everything. Addy would be performing the ceremony also On Monday we were in Sicily. We decided not to get off the ship. We just fancied a day relaxing by the pool. On Tuesday we had our vow renewal at 2.30pm. Addy and the photographer met me at my stateroom and escorted me to the skylight chapel taking photos along the way. I got plenty of rounds of applause from other passengers walking through in my dress which was lovely. We had a short ceremony and then a bottle of bubbly and chocolate covered strawberries to toast. We then had a photo session all over the ship with our photographer Galina. We were with her until 4pm and then we were free to do our own thing. The renewal package cost 1095 dollars which included the ceremony and a certificate, a bottle of sparkling wine and strawberries for toasting, a button hole for Martin and a bouquet for me which consisted of 3 white rises tied together with a little greenery, and an hour photo session with 30 8x10 prints and a cd of 15 photos. On reflection it was a bit pricey. But we enjoyed it and the photos we got are fab. Our next port of call was Athens. We did a tour here of panoramic Ancient Rome and plaza and shopping. The next day we were in kusadasi. The port is right in the town so we didn't book any tours as we could walk off ourselves. I have never been to turkey before but if kusadasi is an indicator of what it's like I WON'T be back! I thought it was horrific. We went into the grand bazaar to do some shopping and the men there were horrendous. Extremely intimidating, aggressive and pushy. Women, do not go there alone!! Myself and my husband walked around briefly and then got back on the ship as I felt so intimidated and upset. After a couple of hours Martin persuaded me to get off again as I really wanted to buy a handbag and he knew I'd be annoyed if I didn't get it so we went back, kept our heads down and got my bag and got out again! It was definitely an experience not to be repeated! The next day we were in Crete. We stayed on board. The next day we were at sea. We wereooking forward to catching some sun and havi g a pool day but there was literally no free sunbeds ANYWHERE. We checked every deck. There wasn't people on most if the beds however, just towels. This is so unfair. There are signs up everywhere saying sunbeds cannot be reserved but this is not policed in any way. It was really infuriating. We spent most of evenings in the two poets English bar. Or rather outside it on the high stools because of the smoking inside. I can't believe that there is still so much smoking allowed indoors on the ships. And it's especially annoying that its always allowed in the English bar. I think it's the most "traditional pub" type bar so it's a shame it's used as the smoking bar. People who aren't even drinking there pop in for a smoke and pollute everyone else and then leave. In this day and age smoking needs to be outside only and in a restricted area. All in all we enjoyed our cruise. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the navigator. For me however I felt this cruise had lost a bit of the magic we normally feel and it's possibly time to try a new cruise company for a change. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
My wife and I cruised with our two 20 year old daughters. We arrived two days early in Rome to enjoy the food and visited the Forum, Coliseum, and many other historic sights. This was our first time in Europe and Rome and it was amazing. ... Read More
My wife and I cruised with our two 20 year old daughters. We arrived two days early in Rome to enjoy the food and visited the Forum, Coliseum, and many other historic sights. This was our first time in Europe and Rome and it was amazing. We also spent two days after the cruise in Rome again. Our first hotel was near Termini station (fun but grittier neighborhood) our second stay was near the Vatican. We used Civitavecchia Cab service for pick ups and transfers and they were consistently on time with no hassles. They picked us up at our hotel, Augusta Lucilla at 10:00 am and we were at the port at about 11:20. He dropped us right in front of the embarkation tent and luggage check area and we were probably on board 20 minutes later. I was expecting the little wear and tear on the ship because of its age and I can be very critical at time. I thought the ship looked great. Most areas were spotless and looked fine. Most noticeable age was seen a little in hallway carpeting and some of the chrome and metal around the pools. Overall great ship. Rooms were available at 1:00 and we booked two promenade rooms for great prices and they were perfect. We wanted to spend more money on tours and these cabins were clean with plenty of room. The windows allowed you to watch the parades right from your room. They can be loud and we were worried but the music was not noticeable after 11:30. The Windjammer had a lot of variety and good food. Service was a little sketchy and sometime hard to get drinks at your table. We ate at night in the Nutcracker dining room. This was my 3rd Royal Caribbean cruise and probably the best food. There was a lot of variety on the menu but at time the service was spotty. The waiters were very friendly but it just seemed like there was not enough of them. Food service was slow and cocktail and beverage service at time was not existent. When the food came out it was tasty but on a few occasions we had to send it back because it was cold. The new themed menus seemed to bog things down as well. I though Simona was one of the best cruise directory I have ever had but the overall entertainment was weak. On board planned parties were great. The ice show was great. The production shows were a little boring. No comedians and the juggler was kind of lame. Let's face it, this cruise is all about the port of calls and they are amazing and will wear you out. The shows, better to rest up. Simona's Adult Quest, disco night, and dance parties were a blast. Beautiful views while sailing through the Greek Islands and past Mt. Stromboli, the volcano. All of the sports decks were top notch. Very little wear and tear on the miniature golf. This ship was my first cruise that seemed crowded at times. Pool seats were gobbled up early. Lines at miniature golf and health club. However, you can always find quiet space if necessary. Disembarkation was a breeze. In fact we were off the ship with our luggage 1 hour prior to our drivers arrival time. I have enjoyed 10 cruises and I would book this one again without a second thought. A few quirky things but nothing to prevent you from having a great time. I do wish Royal Caribbean would put water and drinks out at a few locations instead of just the Cafe Promenade at night, but that is a discussion for another time. Book the cruise and enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
We flew from Manchester Sunday morning at 07:00, the airport check in was chaotic at best, I think everyone decided to fly at 07:00 that day. We flew with Jet2, never again but thats another story (very poor service). We landed in ... Read More
We flew from Manchester Sunday morning at 07:00, the airport check in was chaotic at best, I think everyone decided to fly at 07:00 that day. We flew with Jet2, never again but thats another story (very poor service). We landed in Fiumicino Airport Rome, which I think is the biggest in Rome. We were met by Royal Caribbean staff holding over sized table tennis bats, they asked our names and explained where we would find our luggage and where to make our way after (we had booked transfers). When we had our luggage we met more staff who took our luggage and directed us to a coach outside, our luggage went in a different vehicle to our ship. Our journey took approx 50 minutes, once off the coach we made our way into a big 'tent' where we had to go through a sort of customs type place where they checked all your documents, this did not take long, maybe 20 minutes, free refreshments are supplied if needed. After all checks were completed we made our way outside to the ship for our first of many photos then made our way onto the ship, this was the most exciting part, we didn't know what to expect this being our first cruise, anyway we made our way onto the ship and headed for anywhere really, we ended up at the windjammers, this was very busy but this is what buffets are. The food was soooo nice, I had a kind of Tandoori chicken which was cooked to perfection my wife had some kind of fish and my son and his cousin had a usual Teenage concoction, we all agreed it was very nice. We boarded at approx 13:30 so we could make our way to our rooms after lunch, we were on deck 7 at the forward end of the ship at the end of the Royal Promenade, which would prove to be a good place and easy to find so close to the Royal Promenade. Our room was bigger than we expected, a bit worn with a queen bed and lots of room to put our clothes into, the vacuum toilet is an eye opener. We HAD to go to a safety meeting which is a legal obligation, we this quite annoying as we wanted to enjoy our holiday right now, not in another hour or so, anyway went to one of the theatres (where we met our first of many rude Italians), while the staff were explaining the safety procedure there were people talking on the phones quite loud and had to be told to be quiet, these people were Italian and were a very loud group of people compared to all the other nationalities. At this point we started to get a bit fed up, we were up early, very busy at the airport, HAD to go to a safety meeting, had to wear a suit to eat and we didn't know where we could eat and drink. If you offered us a ticket to say Tenerife or somewhere sunny at that moment we would have taken it, we decided to do what most English do at time like this, head to the nearest pub which happened to be the two poets, very nice typical pub type place tables and chairs inside (where people smoke) and outside where they can't smoke, as we sat there we looked around and both looked at each other and said wow this is amazing. The view along the promenade is amazing with different lighting and designs. We spent most of our meals in the windjammer but went to one of the 'posh' nights, I wasn't very impressed having to dress up on holiday and was a bit mardy about the whole situation, but once everyone came out it was quite an occasion, the main dining room is breathtaking making you feel very 'posh' (which I'm not, compared to most people on the ship). There was something to do every night from watching the theatre to playing bingo or casino plus much more. Our first night I was swimming in the pool at 02:00 fully clothed with other passengers at the request of simone and her gang. Our nephew (19) thought it had an Ibiza feel about the pool party on the first night, he was also impressed with the silent disco in the dungeon. The ship was full and at times it was difficult to find a decent sun lounger at times, the 30 minute rule cannot be implemented due to all the towels have to be signed out and if they lose yours it's a $25 charge, so they won't remove your towel just in case it goes missing. 7 days was just about the right length of cruise, Royal Caribbean's customer service is excellent, on the posh night my son couldn't fasten his tie and I was in the pub waiting for him, so he rand room service and they came out and tried to sort it out but they had to call their manager who fastened it, as my son walked off they said go and get the captains daughter like two proud parents. We enjoyed the cruise and next time will be more prepared, we expected too much, but it was still an excellent holiday which we would recommend. On a final note, when we go on holiday we are normally very quiet and don't make friends but this is the first holiday where we were chatting to quite a few couples. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
This was our honeymoon cruise. What drew us to it was the itinerary: Rome, Messina (Sicily), Athens, Ephesus, Turkey, and Crete. I had only ever been on a Princess cruise before, but RCI was rated so highly, it was a no brainer. My ... Read More
This was our honeymoon cruise. What drew us to it was the itinerary: Rome, Messina (Sicily), Athens, Ephesus, Turkey, and Crete. I had only ever been on a Princess cruise before, but RCI was rated so highly, it was a no brainer. My husband and I got into Rome the day before. I know passable conversational Italian, which saved us money on our cab ride to our hotel (make sure you know common rates before or they will rip you off). On our own, we headed to the Vatican and Colosseum. The next day, we took the metro and then a train to Civitavecchia. You will likely be able to split a cab with others heading to your port; it's a very short ride (10 minutes). Embarkation was very easy. Our bags came fairly quickly and we had a nice meal in the meantime. Not too much else to report on that. We had an interior cabin. Besides being cheapest, my husband doesn't like being woken up by the sun. Perfectly adequate. The food was sensational, especially the desserts (I may have eaten 10 different cheese cakes). We used My Time Dining most nights and had the same waiter and table neighbors on most nights. We sat right next to the window, so we had gorgeous views as we ate. I don't eat red meat or shellfish, but I was always able to find something. I also loved the menus themed on where we were (e.g., caprese in Italy and anything with feta in Greece). This review is being written over a year later, but with an infant son now, my husband would only book another cruise if we were able to take him in the dining room. We aren't huge entertainment on the boat kind of people, but we enjoyed a wonderful couple's massage at the spa. We spent every night in a hot tub, participated in trivia as often as possible, and frequented the arcade (Deal or No Deal was the best game ever). We tried the ice skating, Bingo (which we thought was a rip off), and the Newlywed Game, which was okay entertainment. Also tried the karaoke which was ok. The best part of our trip was the excursions. We did everything through RCI, which was well-worth it. We went to Mt. Etna in Sicily, the Acropolis in Athens and Plaka for a nice lunch, historical highlights of Ephesus, and Crete. I can't stress enough how fantastic these excursions were, especially Ephesus, which completely surprised us. I would absolutely go back in a heartbeat. Disembarkation took a little longer than we thought. We had to stand in line, partly in the sun, to get on a complimentary bus back to the train station. My husband and I were heading to Florence, so we needed to make a certain time. All and all, however, it worked out. Overall, this was the honeymoon of my dreams. My husband and I decided that cruising was going to become a part of our lives, so we booked a Caribbean cruise for the winter. Unfortunately, we had to cancel that because I was pregnant and over 24 weeks at the time, but we were able to move our onboard credit from booking on the boat to a later cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
We traveled as a family of 5 (My parents, brother;28 years old, sister;24y.o., me;20y.o.) and this was our 'first cruise'. We have sailed on a Carnival ship before, but that was so many years ago that not even my brother ... Read More
We traveled as a family of 5 (My parents, brother;28 years old, sister;24y.o., me;20y.o.) and this was our 'first cruise'. We have sailed on a Carnival ship before, but that was so many years ago that not even my brother remembers it that good. We did our research on what ship we wanted to go on, and this one had the things we wanted. We wanted fun activities and just more than enough things to do. We can't be happier with the choice we made! This ship has so many things, we didn't even do all the stuff we wanted to do. Golf, rock climbing wall, ice skating rink, the pool deck. There's more than enough things to do. ***PORTS*** The boarding process went really good actually, for the amount of people who were there (at around 11:30AM) I would say in about 45 minutes we were on board. We had to wait a little for our rooms to get ready at 1PM. We stayed on the ship that day and walk around and get to know the ship. Second day we arrived in Messina,Sicily. There's not much to do around the harbor itself, so we took the excursion to Taormina. Highly recommended. You have 3 hours 'free time' which is just enough time to walk the whole town. Lots of shops and restaurants/cafes. You can take lots of cool pictures here. And make sure the walk all the way to the Greek Theatre. In the evening there was a party in The Dungeon Club called 'Traffic Lights Dance Party' where you get a sticker. Green for Single, red for Taken and orange for 'Call Me Maybe'. This is a good place to meet the young cruisers like us, so of course my brother and sister and I went there. It's open till around 3.30-4:00 usually. Third day was at sea. So we woke up a bit hung over from the night before at the club. We went and breakfast and then went to the pool. There were no chairs at all available. After walking like 4 rounds looking for chairs we just went to the bar and hang out a little till we finally saw a couple leave. We immediately went for their chairs. You have to keep an eye out for people leaving so you can get the chairs fast. There are 20 other people looking for the same chair, haha. This is a good day to plan your onboard activities. It's also a good day to get to know your 'new friends from the club' a little better and get that bond going. Fourth day we arrived in Athens, Greece. We took the excursion called Highlights of Athens, I believe. It went to the Akropolis first. There are so many tourist there, so it kinda takes a while to get up there with all the busses and lines at the entrance. It was very beautiful! We listened to the guide man for a little bit, but then went to walk around since there was only like half a hour left before we had to meet back all the way down at the busses. Then it went to the city centre where there are like palaces and some high-end designer stores. We had the opportunity to get off the bus if we wanted to stay there and shop, but everybody opted to go back to the ship. The whole bus was tired from walking/climbing the stairs at the Akropolis. Fifth day we were in Kusadasi, Turkey. We again took an excursion to House of the Virgin Mary. Very beautiful ride all the way to the top of the mountain. Was kinda disappointed with the attraction itself. You can see everything in like 5 minutes. You can also get Holy Water if you want. The tour then dropped us off at a carpet store to meet a guy called Tony. (Owner of the shop). He does a whole show for the group and tried to sell us some carpet hand-made. But you can only imagine the prices of those carpet. Out of this world. You can then walk to ship since its right in front of it. It's a area with lots of shops, so you can go shop around. Sixth day we arrived in Chania, Crete. We wanted to chill out this day and our parents still had like energy to go for a tour. So they went to the Old City and we ' the kids' went to a beach for the young crowd. It was a beach club kind of place called Costa Costa. They had good house music and a bar and some fancy chairs on the beach. We just tanned and went swimming and drink a lot of alcoholic drinks. We had a good time there! It was very crowded tho', since there were so many people from the cruise itself. All we saw was blue towels from the Royal Caribbean on the chairs. We went there with the cab for 25euros/each ride. You have to make sure the taxi comes back to get you, since there are no taxies outside waiting. Seventh day we were on sea again. We had a relaxing day. And tried to be out of the sun since we tanned already and it kinda began to hurt a little bit. Haha. THIS TIME WE WOKE UP EARLY TO GO GET SOME CHAIRS with good location on the deck. In the evening we went to club again as usual for the farewell party. Disembarking was really easy and fast. Your luggage is right there in the terminal building with a number on it. ***ENTERTAINMENT*** There is a place called Boleros, and they play latin music so there's some dancing going on there. So we kinda went there after the dinners (9-11 seating) and stayed there till like 12 or something and then we go to the Dungeon Club every night, except the first night. It's kinda the only thing open that late on the ship. The Dungeon Club is a cool place to meet the young crowd (18+). When you meet the other people on board, you kinda plan to meet up again at the pool during the day and then at the club at night. You will obviously see the same people everytime. BE SURE NOT TO MISS THE SHOW AT 'STUDIO B' called THE QUEST. It's an adult only show. An interactive game show/scavenger hunt. The audience is divided into teams, and then the teams are given quests to fulfill, like producing a certain object or getting someone from the team to do something specific. The quests get more and more outlandish and embarrassing, and I swear it was so funny! ***CROWD ON THE CRUISE*** It was a Eastern Mediterranean cruise starting in Italy, so there were so many Italians on board. There was also a large crowd of Spanish speaking countries (Spain, Colombia). Some other European countries Scotland, Norway. Not as many Americans as I thought. I'm from Aruba and speaks several languages (English, Dutch, Spanish and Papiamento). I found it very hard to communicate with the Italians since many of them don't speak English at all. I had to speak Spanish, and than they would get what I was saying (kind of). But the people on our cruise were very young I would say. Lots of people aged 20-30. This was one of the best things for my brother/sister and I. We made so many new friends from our age group on this cruise. But if you only speak English, be prepared to use sign language or something. **CREW ONBOARD** 1 word. AMAZING! **ROOMS** We had two balcony rooms and they were great! I recommend getting a balcony. The bed I must say is kinda hard. It's not your 'Heavenly Bed' at the Marriott Hotel. We also had the 'sofa bed', but it's actually just a sofa. They literally just put 2 layers of sheets on it and it becomes a 'bed'. Extremely hard but yeah. I would imagine its not good for someone older with back pain or something. ***FOOD*** We mostly ate at the Windjammers Cafe. Free and buffet style. They have very simple food there. From the hamburger with french fries to the grilled fish and some sushi. There's def something for everybody there. We didn't try out the Johnny Rockets. Overall the food was good. At the dinners there were some fantastic items on the menu, except 2 nights. Thats it I guess. We all really loved this cruise and would definitely recommend it to anyone! Beautiful ports, amazing crowd onboard, great crew, good food, LOTS OF FUN! I'm looking forward to cruise again with Royal Caribbean! Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
We booked quite late and didn't have much time to review the comments on Cruise Critic etc but did manage to gather sufficient information together to have most things sorted before we boarded. We booked two tours, which after great ... Read More
We booked quite late and didn't have much time to review the comments on Cruise Critic etc but did manage to gather sufficient information together to have most things sorted before we boarded. We booked two tours, which after great deliberation we booked directly through RCI, more for ease than anything else. I did look at booking through various recommended companies such as Ephesus Tours and was very happy with their response to my emails and the fact that they only wanted a small deposit upfront. I will certainly consider external tour companies next time we cruise. We also took the soft drinks package option, since this had worked well for us previously. Other than the fact it took ages for us to get our cases on arrival, the transfer from Rome airport to the Navigator went smoothly. The RC staff were clearly marked at the airport and were very assuring when the cases were delayed, advising us all that the coaches were aware of the situation. The actual transfer to the ship was just over an hour. Embarkation also went smoothly and much quicker than on our previous cruise. First we checked out our cabin and since the cases had not yet arrived, we went to the Windjammer and had lunch and lots of drinks. We then decided to explore the ship and worked from top to bottom with the boys guiding us using the many maps available. We made the Kids Club our first port of call to get the boys registered before the rush (worth doing even if you don't know whether they will use it - they give all the children a lanyard to attach their sea pass card to allowing them to keep it around their necks and reducing the risk of losing it - (Suggestion - if you don't like bags take a lanyard with you and ask Customer Services to put a hole in the card for you so you can attach it). I had packed swimming trunks in the hand luggage so my husband was then able to take the boys swimming whilst I unpacked. We then had a leisurely evening meal in the Windjammer, followed by a welcome show in the theatre. Sicily Next day we were in Sicily. We had decided to do this port on our own based on various comments on Cruise Critic. Immediately outside the port we were able to take a tour on a horse drawn carriage (40 euro for 45 mins). There was also the option of a City Tour Bus or a small land train, both of which covered a larger area. The boys loved the carriage, although it was a little cramped since they had to sit on a fold down seat. (I noticed later there were larger carriages too). We then walked back into town to see the clock strike 12. The clock had various levels of mechanical scenes which told a story (though I am not sure what the story was). It was interesting to see, but not as spectacular as I had hoped. There were other sites and we walked a long way, climbed lots of steps and several hills. The views of the ship were great from the top of the hill and we even had a photo stop with Mickey Mouse who we realised was up there waiting for the tourists on the land train. It was a nice enough visit but in hind site we wished we had booked a tour to Etna. The port town was not very special, lots of graffiti and a bit disappointing. Our reason for not choosing the tour was we didn't want to travel the 2 hours each way to Etna with the boys. As it was we were able to go back to the ship, have a late lunch and a swim whilst the boat was relatively quiet, which the boys enjoyed. Day at Sea One recommendation is to get up at a sensible hour if you have young children since the sun beds near the pools get taken very quickly. Despite the policy of not being able to leave your bed unattended for longer than 30 mins we saw lots of beds with towels on which were hardly ever sat on. We were lucky because our boys are good swimmers, so we were happy to be further away. This was also the formal night, which was the only one we made the boys attend. Since they were not too keen on the show the previous night we allowed them to go to the Kids' club after dinner, which allowed us to enjoy a glass of champagne at the Captains' reception and take in the show ourselves. Greece We did the RC half day tour to the Acropolis. It was well organised. This was one that I wanted to do but the boys both enjoyed it too. It was unfortunate that the Acropolis was surrounded on three sides by scaffolding which took away some of the views, but was still worth a visit. We returned in time for a late lunch and a swim. That evening we ate in the Windjammer, since we found this the easiest option with the boys, due to the variety of food available. The boys then chose to go to the kids' club whilst we took in the evening show. Turkey We chose the half day tour to the House of the Virgin Mary and Ephesus. After an early breakfast we went to the tour meeting point. Being one of the first groups ready, we got on one of the first coaches, and were amongst the first visitors at the House of the Virgin Mary, arriving whilst it was still quite cool and before the queues. This was an enjoyable and interesting stop. Ephesus was spectacular and exceeded my expectations. I won't say any more other than in my opinion it is a must see. Although still early, it was very hot and the reason all the tour guides use an umbrella as identification was immediately apparent. There was very little shade to be had. Many tourists also carried umbrellas or parasols and if you have trouble with the heat, or are travelling with very small children or the elderly, I would recommend you taking one. The other essential is the complementary bottle of water provided as part of the tour. Don't forget your camera! I would have liked to see the Terrace Houses, but didn't want to extend our tour to more than half day. I was glad I had made this choice because by lunch time it was exceptionally hot. After the obligatory visit to a carpet store, where we were given a demonstration on carpet weaving and shown many different types of carpet, accompanied by a drink and some kind of pastry, we decided to return to the ship. Fortunately our tour took us to a carpet store near the port, so we were able to make our excuses and return to the ship in time for lunch and a spot of sun bathing. We had our evening meal in the Windjammer, then the boys went to kids' camp and we went to see the show. Crete We did Crete on our own, and since we didn't have long at this port made sure we were ready to disembark as early as possible. This was a very enjoyable morning. There were lots of taxis immediately outside the port should you prefer, however, we caught a bus which was also immediately outside the port. This was very easy to do - there was a kiosk where we bought a return ticket for 3 euro each and the trip took less than 30 mins. They do allow passengers to stand so they can become quite busy, but we were lucky and had seats in both directions of travel. The buses also seemed to be very regular and we had no waiting around. Drop off and pick up was at the same spot, near the indoor market and was easy to find. We were able to explore the town at our leisure. We started by heading to the harbour area where we walked along for a while before stopping for a drink. We then returned to the town/market area and spent some time visiting the many interesting shops and stalls. Crete was a lovely stop, everywhere was clean and tidy, even the back streets. It was a pleasant change after the graffiti and unkempt appearance of the port in Sicily. Once we had finished we found the return bus and went back to the ship. We had a very late lunch after which they boys chose to go to kids' camp. At their request we booked them into camp for tea and agreed to pick them up at 10pm after the evenings show. This meant we were able to relax on deck for a while, and then get ready for the last formal night. It was nice to dress up and eat in the formal dining room and our table companions were great company. This turned out to be one of our more hectic evenings. After a leisurely meal in the dining room, as Crown and Anchor Members were invited to a champagne gathering in the theatre, where they put on a welcome back show for us. Unfortunately, we had to leave this show early because our youngest had spent the afternoon at pirate camp and all the small camp members were to be part of a pirate parade on the Promenade. It was fantastic. They had all coloured in their own pirate bandanas and learnt various pirate songs and shanties. It was really cute and worth the challenge of removing all the face paint when we returned to the cabin. Thank goodness for baby wipes (which I still take everywhere even though my youngest is nearly 8!). Once the boys were tucked up in bed we were then able to go to one of the more adult shows. At Sea After a final exploration of the ship, taking pictures and playing mini golf the boys chose to spend most of the day in the kids' camp. I was able to relax on deck and enjoy my book, whilst various activities went on by the pool below. I spent some time in the afternoon packing, since the cases had to be packed and ready for collection by 11pm the night before departure. That way we could enjoy our last evening together. We then had our evening meal in the Windjammer and the boys asked to go back to the kid's camp, whilst we took in the final show. There was also a farewell circus parade on the promenade, after which we took the boys to bed, before venturing out for a drink. In brief The main reason I have done this review is that during my search I found very little information from a family perspective. My overall opinion is do what works for you. If you prefer the formal dining then do it. For us we only did the formal dining on the two formal nights. We found that eating in the Windjammer was faster, and meant the boys were able to have an evening session in the kids' club, whilst we took in the early show. We were lucky that our eldest is both old enough and was willing to look after our youngest on an evening, so each evening when kid's camp closed at 10pm, we took them back to the cabin got them settled then were able to go out again to some of the more adult and sometimes "cheesy" entertainment and quizzes. It meant that we were able to get as much out of the cruise as the boys. We kept out tours to half day, which meant the boys were able to enjoy them as well as the activities on the ship. It was a good balance that worked well for us. Main advice 1. Whatever their age, if your child likes kids' camps, then enrol them and use it. It will give you some time to relax knowing they are in safe hands. They will look after small children whilst you do the shore excursions, or take them to dinner if you do not think they would appreciate formal dining. 2. Do what works for you. Read Cruise Critic, Trip Advisor etc, gather as much information as possible, then, decide what you want to do. The key to cruising seems to be lots of preparation. Try to book tours and drinks package in advance so you don't have to do this on the ship. One less thing to worry about. 3. If you have cruised with RCI before, or if think you may again, join their Crown and Anchor Society online. You receive discount vouchers for use on board, an invite to a return/welcome reception and other benefits. Also try and find your cruise on Cruise Critic and register for the Meet and Mingle. This can be great way of finding out who is on your cruise and even sharing shore excursions. 4. Be aware drinks are very expensive and I would say the only downside to cruising with RCI. Recommended wine by the bottle in the formal dining room seemed to be upwards of $40 and the wine lists do not have prices so make sure you ask. Check out the drinks packages and decide if you would benefit. In most cases I think the soft drinks package is a must, but if you don't want to commit then there is always water on the bars and free drinks from the Windjammer when it is open (not a big selection - lemon cordial/ice tea/orange). The big question is would I sail with RCI again and the answer is Yes. I would also be more than happy to sail on either of the ships I have being on again. Having read reviews saying the Navigator was tired I did wonder, but the ship was clean and well maintained. There were signs of her age, but then again I am sure anyone travelling on the newer ships will also encounter similar issues.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
This was our first cruise and we had mixed emotions about it. We really did not like the dining arrangements, in fact we disliked them so much, had we known what it would have been like, we possibly would not have booked the cruise. We ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we had mixed emotions about it. We really did not like the dining arrangements, in fact we disliked them so much, had we known what it would have been like, we possibly would not have booked the cruise. We chose the late sitting (9pm) which was fine but we had to share a table of 10 with other people we did not really like/have anything in common with and when I asked if we could have a table of 2 was told nothing was available. We ate at the table only twice for dinner and had the remainder of our meals at the Windjammer which was always horrendously busy albeit the food was very good and plenty of choice. Another thing I did not like was that it was just so busy. It was practically impossible to get a table at the Windjammer and the sunbeds were chained together so no room or privacy which I did not like at all. I did not like the constant tipping either as whilst the service was OK it was nothing spectacular. The positives however were:- Check in and embarkation surprisingly quick and amazingly well organised Transfers to and from airport excellent We had a internal room with no windows which was very small but everything fitted in it. I found it strange not having a window/view but the bed was surprisingly comfortable and we had the most amazing sleeps due to the pitch darkness and how peaceful the room was. The main areas of the ship were very lavish and clean The food was great The trips we did were brilliant and we enjoyed the places we visited (Sicily, Athens, Kusadasi, Chania). We got a very cheap deal on the cruise Negatives as above:- The dining arrangements were just not our thing We had no idea where anything was We were given no information about the captains table/drinks party There were just too many people on board for my liking and everywhere we went was just too busy and I found it all a bit claustrophobic The spa was ridiculously expensive so never booked any treatments   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
In sum, our cruise was wonderful. We had no complaints and no major mishaps until our final night. More about that later. This review will be more of a cautionary tale than anything else because our experience was so positive. We did ... Read More
In sum, our cruise was wonderful. We had no complaints and no major mishaps until our final night. More about that later. This review will be more of a cautionary tale than anything else because our experience was so positive. We did encounter a few things that could be improved, especially as newer and larger cruise ships are coming out. None of what I will describe will keep us from cruising in the future. First, we were a group of six: two senior citizens, three adults, and a teenager. The seniors were in their own Junior Suite cabin (expansive!) on Deck 9, and the rest of us were in two separate Balcony cabins on deck 8. This cruise was chosen by the teenager who is a history/mythology buff and it was in celebration of her 13th birthday (her sister's 13th birthday was celebrated by cruising to Alaska). Traveling to Rome was lengthy but uneventful. We enjoyed two days of touring Rome before our cruise. I highly recommend the tour company we used and a PM on the boards will get you their name. They arranged our Rome tours and meals, tour of Mt. Etna in Sicily, and tour of Kusadasi in Turkey all for about 1/2 of the cost of what those tours arranged by the cruise line would have cost. Embarkation was a breeze, the trip to Civitavecchia was scenic and speedy. We breezed through check-in and were on board the Navigator and in the Windjammer in record time for a very nice meal. We headed to our cabins afterward, mustered for the safety drill and were sipping pina coladas by the pool as we sailed away. We loved Sicily, touring Mt. Etna and Taormina. We loved the Acropolis and the Acropolis museum, however, we did not really enjoy Athens itself. Our tour was arranged by taking private cars arranged on the street just outside the port area who drove us through some not-so-great neighborhoods to arrive just down the hill from the Acropolis area. We never felt unsafe, just not as well protected as we would have been taking an arranged tour. Other folks have walked to the subway or taken other public transportation, don't do what we did. Kusadasi was the real highlight. Our tour was arranged with a private guide a mini bus and a lunch stop with a side trip to Sirinice village. We loved our guide's descriptions of the ancient ruins along with her enthusiasm as another minibus pulled up along side us with her husband guiding other tourists. Very cute moment. Crete was nice, but a bit of a disapointment as we wanted to visit a beach for a swim in the Med, but, the beach tours were sold out. So we settled for a bus ride into Chania and a walk around the town. Return to Civitavecchia and the US was also uneventful, with one exception: the teenager came down with food poisoning on the final night of the cruise. How do we know it was not Noro? No one else in our group came down with it and we were sharing everything. However, after a quick visit to the ship's infirmary, the girl was confined to the cabin, her picture was circulated around the ship, and we were told that she could order toast to be delivered for breakfast the next morning. She wound up sleeping from about 5 pm Saturday until we landed in NYC Sunday evening. All in all, a very wonderful time was had by all. So, as the title indicated, what are my wishes for the future? First, smoking needs to be better controlled. Not in the private areas like cabins and balconies, but, in the public areas like bars and the casino. The Navigator has a wine bar and a pub located on the promenade and at night smoke from these areas can be somewhat overwhelming. Further, there were times when the smoke from the casino wafted up the stairs connecting to the promenade. My wish is that cruise ships ventilate these areas with exhaust fans. My second wish is that the My Time Dining be looked at again with an eye toward refining it a bit. On a prior cruise on another line my wife and I used My Time Dining and we never waited more than about 10 minutes for a table to become available. However, on this cruise, for some reason, you could not just walk up whenever you wanted and be seated, the dining staff was really pushing for reservations to be made ahead of time. But even this didn't guarantee a table at a time you wanted; one night we could not make a reservation at all. Once we figured this out, we never had a problem, but, on formal night, we were turned away and wound up having a wonderful meal in Windjammer albeit overdressed for the venue. If making a reservation ensures that you have a table, how is this different than using the regular seating times? I think MTD needs to be reformulated, even if MTD diners are relegated to a separate dining room. One final wish: As cruise ships are designed to being larger and larger, it seems to me that they can be designed so that one can walk from public spaces in the bow to public spaces in the stern without having to change decks. If this means that a venue (like an ice rink) needs to be made smaller to accommodate a hallway around it, I think that's valuable. Many times we were blocked from reaching a bar or performance venue because there was another bar, dining room, or night club in the way. In conclusion we had a wonderful time and after we finish paying for this trip, we will definitely be going back to Italy and cruising again somewhere special.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We flew in to Rome on the morning of the cruise (the flights were included in the package, so no option to arrive the day before). Flights, transfers and embarkation all went smoothly, and we were soon exploring the ship. It was a very ... Read More
We flew in to Rome on the morning of the cruise (the flights were included in the package, so no option to arrive the day before). Flights, transfers and embarkation all went smoothly, and we were soon exploring the ship. It was a very favourable first impression. Our D2 balcony stateroom was comfortable, and spacious, and it was well positioned just before the hump, sandwiched between suites. It had everything we required, and the stateroom attendant was efficient. We had extremely noisy neighbours in one of the suites next door who smoked and talked very loudly on the balcony until 3 or 4am most nights, and this did bother us I have to say. We found the food to be of a high standard, but possibly not quite as outstanding as on previous RCI cruises. The variety and quality of food in the Windjammer was good, but it could get so busy and difficult to get a table at lunchtimes. The waiting staff in the MDR was friendly and efficient, but perhaps a little lacklustre this time. We actually felt that the crew throughout the ship generally wasn't as upbeat and happy in their roles as we have experienced previously with RCI. We noticed this particularly in the shops and at the Pool area. I wondered if this difference in service levels was a result of the automatic upfront gratuities policy which has been adopted? We didn't buy the Drinks package. We just don't drink enough to merit it. We enjoyed the variety of bars and lounges on board, and spent some time in most of them I think. The Two Poets was a bit smoky for us,so we didn't sit inside but it was nice to 'people watch' outside the pub while having a drink. We enjoyed Boleros and also the Schooner Bar, where they had a nightly singalong. It was good fun, but the pianist/singer could perhaps broaden his repertoire, and he isn't a great singer. It was the same stuff each night and got a bit repetitive, although if you hadn't been before it was good fun. There are plenty of alternatives around the ship though if it's not your cup of tea. The entertainment in the theatre was OK, but not great in our opinion. You can't please all of the people all of the time though, and they did a pretty good job of trying to get it right. We really enjoyed The Emperors of Soul, but not so much the Production Shows. The Ice Show was fabulous. We had a tour of the Bridge and the Galley, and a behind the scenes tour of the Theatre etc. All very interesting, especially the Bridge Tour, meeting the Captain etc.We spent more time on board on this cruise than we normally do, but we have been on this itinerary a couple of times before. It is a fabulous itinerary! How else can you see parts of 3 different countries in one week? A highlight was the ship's excursion to Ephesus, which we have visited before,and love it. This time we were on a half day, early visit which was great, because our coach was first to arrive before the crowds, and we were back on the ship for lunch! I would advise anyone who goes on an organised excursion from Kusadasi to be aware that you do NOT have to go to the Carpet Factory if you don't want to! The tour guides give the impression that it is a compulsory part of the tour. Of course, it isn't! It's your vacation and you can do what you like. The fact is that the ship is berthed just a few hundred yards from the Carpet Factory. You can just get off the coach and walk back to the ship. We met several people who said that they didn't like the 'hard sell' tactics at the Carpet Factory (sold as a 'Demonstration')but they didn't know that they could say No and leave the tour when the coach returned from Ephesus. We just always politely but firmly say "No thank you, we will just make our own way back to the ship now" As on previous cruises, we were very impressed by the efficiency of our disembarkation and transfers back to the airport. For us, it's a good idea to have RCI arrange the flights as the price includes transfers to and from the airport. We overheard several people at the Guest Relations desk complaining about the price of transfers when they bought them seperately. I think it was about $90pp for a one way transfer from airport to ship, which is ridiculous. It's a pity that Navigator is returning to the States. We had a great time and would have loved to do another Med cruise on her after the refit :( Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
12 year old Navigator not a sign of its age clean bright almost as new. Two splash pools plenty of sun beds very colorful sun deck , negative points only 2 showers on sun deck the bar prices ( over £5.00 a drink ) the chops grill way over ... Read More
12 year old Navigator not a sign of its age clean bright almost as new. Two splash pools plenty of sun beds very colorful sun deck , negative points only 2 showers on sun deck the bar prices ( over £5.00 a drink ) the chops grill way over priced , the portafino on the other hand well worth a visit.Food very average in restaurant windjammer self service very good one negative egg station for fried eggs and ommletes very very slow even when little demand people turning away due to amount in line after giving your order taking a numbered ticket up to 10 to 20 people waiting really let down it upset a lot of people. The shows when on great on two night show had one act each time lasting 1 hour on two shows other nights very entertainment team productions. Ice skating only one show all week but great show well worth a visit my first and loved it wow what a show.Finally please be aware when your account bill is left outside your state room last night check it many people being charged for not returning pool towels ( 50 dollars ). Overall good holiday not cruised for a few years noticed drop in standards but cannot complain check out the prices.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Flew from Newcastle (UK) to Rome on the day of departure , arranged through RCI. Had driven from down from Scotland the day before. Any worries I had about flying on the day of departure were soon set aside by the wonderful efficient way ... Read More
Flew from Newcastle (UK) to Rome on the day of departure , arranged through RCI. Had driven from down from Scotland the day before. Any worries I had about flying on the day of departure were soon set aside by the wonderful efficient way RCI handled every thing. Were met as soon as we got off the plane and told exactly which carousel to get our luggage from and where to then go meet the rep who would tell us about our transfer bus to the ship. Once on the bus our rep helped every one fill in the health forms and make sure they knew exactly what to do when they got to the port. Check in was quick and efficient as we followed her past lines of people into the terminal building and direct to the check in desks. Were on board in next to no time and heading for our cabin. We had an inside cabin on deck 7 (7439 ) just behind the library. Cabin was bigger than I expected with a sofa and coffee table. We had the double bed split and a Pullman bed from the ceiling as there were 3 of us traveling. Wardrobe could have done with being a bit bigger for all our clothes and was glad didnt have any more cases to store but it met our needs. Beds were really comfortable and the whole cabin was spotless and clean. Bath room was small as they always are but had good storage space behind one of the mirrors. Had read a lot about the Navigator before the cruise and while yes could see a few signs of wear and tear in some areas like the mini golf area on the sports deck etc was amazed people found things to complain about. No the carpets are not 100 % new looking but still in excellent condition. The public areas are kept very clean and well looked after.The Royal Promenade was not as big as I thought it would be, not to say its not huge lol but images I got from online just made me imagine it being bigger. The cafe there served food 24/7 and was a great place to go get that extra sandwich or cake / cookie in between lunch and dinner. We had second sitting which was advertised to be 8.30 pm but was however at 9pm. First we knew of this change was our sea pass card which has the seating details printed on it. I did feel this was too late and if I sailed with RCI in the future would do my time dining. We did not get out of the dining room some nights until 10 30 pm and after a long day the though of then going on to do a full show in the theater followed by drinks was just too much. Food in the dining room was good but not excellent. Every thing was hot and served quickly and our waitress Marichris was great. But despite the fancy write up on the menu the food was not overly inspiring. Every thing was "nice" but nothing blew my socks off. Maybe though I expected too much after all they are catering for 3500 people ! The bars on the ship all seemed to have their own personalities and this was great as there was something for every one. I loved the Champagne bar for pre dinner drinks and my daughter found a second home in the Dungeon disco til 3 am or later many nights. There was always some where to get a seat and a drink some where and the staff at the bars were all very helpful and friendly. We ate at the WJ on two evenings and the food in there although missing the waitress service was very good. In some ways i preferred it to the main dining room because of the huge choice of meals and options available. The freshly prepared crepes with a choice of fillings were very very yummy :)Ports of CallMessina we stayed in town and did our own thing that day , the clock tower and its musical story at 12 noon is very interesting too see , but make sure you visit the church too as its beautiful inside. Found the street sellers just out side the dock a little pushy a firm no seemed to work fine. Athens , did own thing again and walked to metro station from the ships docking point on dock B. Its a LONG way! We are fit and healthy but by the time we got off the metro and walked up through the Plaka to the main sights we were dreading the walk back.Found Athens to be a very big and sprawling city , the views are amazing but if was to go again would take an organised tour as just took too long and to tiring to get between areas on our own.Kusadasi , took the ships tour to Ephesus , we chose the one which took in the Roman terraced houses too. Excellent tour with lots of interesting information. The ancient site is amazing and well worth the visit. Kusadasi itself is very busy but their market i found quite intimidating. Unlike Messina saying no to the traders does not stop them and its impossible to "window shop" as they dont seem to leave you alone. However if you can get your head around all that the market sells every thing you can think of and is very popular :)Chania, Crete I think was the best port stop of the trip , however had to back on board by 2.30 so this did not leave much time to do anything. Local bus from port to town takes about 30 mins and is 3 euros return. Excellent service and deff no need to book the shops transport. Chania itself is a charming place and the harbour lovely. Could have sat in the pavement cafe and drunk tea and eaten cake all day and watched the people go by.Sea days were spent swimming and sun bathing, never got around to going ice skating etc. Daughter did do the rock climbing on the second day and enjoyed it. Entertainment on the ship was very good from what we saw of it, only made the one show in the theatre. The Quest adult game show was the best fun had had in ages :) Enjoyed our holiday very much and was very sad to leave the ship when we got back to Rome. RCI transfer back to the airport was equally as efficient as arrival, with the reps letting us know exactly which check in desk to go to once we got off the bus etc. Departure from the ship was also well organised and we found our luggage etc all very easily. Rome airport itself is a bit of a Zoo and security checks are long and very thorough so be prepared to wait but it is a huge airport so to be expected. Would deff cruise with RCI again and would go back on the Navigator any time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Embarkation/Disembarkation: Arrived in Rome morning of cruise (I know - living on the edge), arranged for transportation through Romeinlimo. Had a wonderful driver and arrived at the port by 11:00, check in took less than 30 minutes total ... Read More
Embarkation/Disembarkation: Arrived in Rome morning of cruise (I know - living on the edge), arranged for transportation through Romeinlimo. Had a wonderful driver and arrived at the port by 11:00, check in took less than 30 minutes total and we were eating in the Windjammer before noon. We choose to take our own bags off when we left the ship - again no problems and no long lines.Cabins: We had three rooms - one balcony (8282) and two inside promenade rooms, directly across the hall. Cabins were a good location and very decent size with plenty of storage. Water pressure in showers was always great, though sometimes only hot water came out of the sink, which was really strange. Kids said the two late night parades through the promenade were a bit noisy and could be heard in their rooms, but overall they really liked having the window.Ship: For cruising with 3000+ passengers it never felt too crowded (which really surprised me after cruising on Oceania last summer). Never a long wait for elevators and getting on and off the ship in ports was very quick and easy. The dining rooms were decorated very tastefully, though I thought the rest of the ship was kind of boring. I would have liked more areas to just sit and relax without being in a bar. The promenade is rather impressive but always seemed really dark. Overall I thought the ship decor was just okay. Dining: We had the early seating and a very nice table near a window. We ate there 4 of the 7 nights, opting for the Windjammer the other 3 nights. Overall I really felt the food was rather ordinary. There really wasn't anything that I felt was outstanding. I had an artichoke tart that I liked and stuffed shells that were good and some of the kids said they really liked the shrimp dishes, but that's about it. Our family also tended to like the cold fruit soups. The seafood medley appetizer was just downright fishy and desserts seemed to be hit or miss. I was also surprised that the menu did not really change for the formal nights - I was expecting something a little special. The Windjammer could be crowded at peak times, but that is certainly to be expected. We all loved the Indian food, which always seems to be good on ships. Also on our last night they were making made to order crepes that were better than any dessert we had in the main dining room. There is enough variety and overall liked the food here better (for what it was - a buffet). We ate breakfast in both the Windjammer and main dining room, where they had a nice yogurt/fruit/granola buffet. We also liked the eggs benedict here. Our kids ordered room service and were happy with everything they ordered and it always arrived on time.Ports:Messina, Sicily ~ I had arranged a private tour with Sicily Life. We chose the "Godfather" tour and went to the towns of Savoca, Forza D'Agro and Tamorina. We thoroughly enjoyed everything we saw and had a great day.Athens, Greece ~ We used Athens Walking Tours (we used them last year as well for a food walking tour) and after having to walk from terminal B to terminal A because the free shuttles weren't running, all was well. We were told (by a kind taxi driver) that it was about a 8-9 minute walk. Turned out to be about 15 minutes, but it was thankfully not hot yet. There were 16 of us on the tour and it started at a subway station and then proceeded to the National Parliament building for the changing of the guards, then through the National Gardens (which aren't anything special), to the Temple of Zeus and then to the Acropolis. We then found a place to eat in the Plaka and wandered around to do a little shopping before getting picked back up and brought to the (correct) terminal.Kusadasi, Turkey ~ We again used the same company we used last year - Ekol tours and even had the same tour guide, who we really liked. We went straight to Ephesus and spent two hours there, including the Terrace Houses. I love Ephesus and think it's impossible to take a bad picture there. From there we went to the Basilica of St. John. Next was to a rug/weaving place. I was not thrilled to go here but lunch was included at this location and I figured we could sit through it. The demonstration/explanation is really rather interesting and the rugs are truly beautiful, we just don't have any need for more rugs. The whole thing only lasted about 30 minutes or so and then we had an absolutely delicious lunch sitting outside under the shade of some trees. We ended the day by visiting the House of the Virgin Mary, which was very peaceful in the afternoon. We asked to be dropped off near the Grand Bazaar to do a little shopping and all found a few treasures before getting back on the ship. Also, all stores will give you prices in either Turkish Lira or Euros and are happy to take either.Crete, Greece ~ There is nothing to do in the port, though there are city busses that run right from the port to Chania on a very regular basis for 3 euros (round trip). It took 20 minutes to get to Chania and there is lots and lots of shopping here. If you are are looking for olive oil or handmade leather sandals this is the place to buy them. Sandals tended to be around 20 euros and came in all sorts of styles and colors. You can also find a wide assortment of olive oil beauty products here. There is a cute harbor town with boats offering hour long tours. Unfortunately our time in port was fairly short, otherwise we would have taken one of the tours.Sea days ~ We spent most of our sea days just relaxing on deck, reading and resting. Though on the second day it was a bit of challenge with 50 mph winds. There are lots of things to do during the day though we really weren't interested in bingo, dance contests, beauty secrets, etc. Three of the kids and myself, though did use the spa - choosing the pick 3 mini-spa package for $99. I had a mini facial, foot and ankle massage and deep hair conditioning treatment. I also had the keratin hair treatment and have been very happy with that. Though when our 21 year old daughter had her treatment the staff member who performed her treatments asked her to meet him on deck that night at 11:00 pm! She didn't go. We also enjoyed drinks in the Crow's Nest, which was never crowded and had great views.Entertainment ~ I can't really comment on this because we only went to one evening show - with all Broadway songs. I enjoyed the show but none of the others sounded all that interesting and the first few nights we were so tired (from jet lag) so staying up for them was difficult. Our 17 year old daughter enjoyed the teen center and the planned activities they had there. We played mini golf in the whipping wind one day and thought the little course wasn't bad at all. Also, our 19 year old used the fitness center and played in a 3 on 3 basketball tournament and came in second place.Rome ~ We again used Romeinlimo to take us from the port to the apartment we were renting for 3 nights in Rome. The apartment was very spacious and in a great location - just a 5 minute walk from the Piazza Navona. Rome is a walking city and we certainly did our share of walking! While there we had a tour of the Colosseum that included the dungeons and upper levels. It was great because we bypassed all the long lines and got to enter areas those with a regular ticket could not. We also took a food walking tour that was wonderful (through Viator), toured the Vatican Museums (reserving our time on line and again skipping the long lines), saw the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, St. Peter's, wonderful meals, lots of gelato, etc. Overall ~ We chose this ship more for the itinerary/price than the ship/cruise line. For that reason it was well worth it. I can't say that I was overly impressed with RCI but also was not unhappy with anything in particular (other than the main dining room food). I just really prefer smaller ships in general, which is just a personal preference. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Navigator of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.3
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.5 4.2

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