10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Navigator of the Seas – March 5th 2016 Sailing My wife and I are seasoned cruisers and I have completed Cruise Critic entries of our past voyages, I certainly do not use this forum to criticize at least that is not my intent. I do ... Read More
Navigator of the Seas – March 5th 2016 Sailing My wife and I are seasoned cruisers and I have completed Cruise Critic entries of our past voyages, I certainly do not use this forum to criticize at least that is not my intent. I do however share my thoughts and experiences based on previous cruises and comparable voyages. With that being said this is my review of the MS Navigator of the Seas from Cruise Port to Embarking to disembarkation. Ft. Lauderdale Cruise Port Embarkation Unfortunately the MS Navigator was delayed 2 hours prior to docking in Ft. Lauderdale on March5th this meant that the furthest Southern Dock was used which is not very passenger friendly to say the least. The Traffic is a mess and not very organized. Nonetheless we managed to get through without that big of a deal. Just an FYI to Platinum and above RCCL members – The signs for Check in are not advertised to well so you need to ask where these areas are, it does make a difference. The only good thing about Ft. Lauderdale is they finally finished the freeway construction into the Port (Only took a couple years). As for Disembarkation the terminal is just as dis-organized going out as it is coming in and we generally take the early off the ship option so I cannot imagine what it is like if we waited until Nine or Ten AM. Thus my only advise is, feel it out when you arrive and make your best educated decision on what you see it’s like. MS Navigator of the Seas Well we were told that the Navigator is the sister ship to the Freedom and you wouldn’t notice too much difference – well not quite, the MS Navigator is actually smaller in Width and Length so there is a noticeable difference but you will overcome the differences rather quickly so it’s not a show stopper. The ship is arranged similar to that of the Freedom Class ships so getting around should be relatively easy. The Promenade is smaller in width and this is probably where you will see the most difference. As for the Location of the dining rooms and specialty restaurants - Just an FYI Giovanni’s and Chops Grill are located right inside the Windjammer (Left and Right) sides AFT Ship so no worries about running cross country to find these. The Ship overall has had some face lifts but is still in need of a few minor things that will make it complete. For example the elevators on AFT Starboard side seemed to be a lot slower than the elevators on the AFT Port side. We even experienced one of the Starboard side elevator doors opening and closing several times before it finally reset and started running its normal cycle. Also the women’s rest rooms on Deck 11 (Windjammer Side) seemed to be out of order for the week of our cruise not sure what happened after day 1 but it never recovered for use. The Sliding doors seem to be a little of with Sensors on Deck 4 and deck 11. As aforementioned the ship is a tad bit smaller but it is definitely not a show stopper. MS Navigator of the Seas CREW Words cannot describe how ecstatic we are with the Crew – We had a group of six and there was not one crew member that did not make us feel like part of the RCCL Family. We have taken over Nine cruises and although we had great service from the staff, the MS Navigator Crew raised the bar on Customer Satisfaction we were absolutely mind blown on the interaction – the service and the commitment this crew had absolutely amazing, we made some awesome lifelong friends with this RCCL Staff and already conversing on social media. It was something we didn’t expect and something we will never forget. So with that as I said in the beginning words cannot describe how awesome this crew was during our trip and we hope you have the same interaction. Windjammer / Specialty Dining Well honestly we only used the Windjammer for Breakfast, most of our dinners were in the main dining room as our wait-staff was so top notch we could bear not having dinner with them on a nightly bases. Although when we did use the Windjammer the food was good although it appeared it was more crowded than normal but that could certainly be about timing. There could have been more staff on hand during the breakfast service but nothing extremely bad. We did not try any of the Specialty restaurants as the timing just wasn’t there for us. But I didn’t hear any bad reviews from anyone on the ship. The Main Dining Room (Sapphire) was absolutely incredible from the Hostess down to the wait staff it was fantastic. During one of our dinners the wait staff let us know that there was a Galley Excursion that costs about $30.00 per person, Although we were a little reluctant to do it – we decided to anyway and I will be the first to say it was well worth the experience in understanding firsthand how the Galley works I highly recommend you take this tour if the opportunity presents itself. Games and Shows on Navigator We only made a couple shows (Quest and Love and Marriage) both are great shows and if you have time it would be worth seeing / participating in either one. As for the headliner shows, honestly there wasn’t allot of advertisement on the ship about the headliner shows so I couldn’t even tell you who was on board, generally you would see this advertised on the ship or a marquee but honestly I don’t remember seeing much of anything. BINGO – Well this was our first and last time playing bingo, it’s not your typical bingo play – you have 3 rounds of Bingo and depending on how you play – Soft Card or Electronic will determine how much it cost to play. You can figure and averages start about $25 and go up from there. Game 1 is your general BINGO Straight or Diagonal Cover, Game 2 is 4 Corner and Game 3 is Cover All. Now I am not an expert BINGO player but I heard allot of people complaining when game one was over in 4 Number Picks and we all found out there is only one prize for each round. No one was expecting anything extravagant but come on RCCL a T-Shirt and or a Specialty restaurant Gift Card would be nice 2nd and 3rd Place prizes especially after 5 minutes playing round one. Round two went a little longer with only one prize awarded and round 3 was for a Free Cruise, So it just so happened that there was a 3 way tie and the answer to the tie is, The MC would pull a number and if that number is on your card you win. Uhm… Not good – and no one was happy of how this all ended. So do your-self a favor and ASK the questions before you play – How much? How Many Prizes and how Tie Breakers are handled. As for the Pool Side – Pretty much the norm as any other cruise except my overall standing complaint is the music is way too loud, not that it’s a bad thing but it is nice to sit on the deck and have a conversation that doesn’t require a bull horn to communicate with your party who is two and a half feet in front of you. Overall Appearance on Navigator The ship was very clean except the pool area; I certainly don’t blame the workers I do however believe that RCCL and Passengers bear most of the Brunt on this. First we are smokers and we are polite smokers meaning we will not wander into a nonsmoking area, we keep our areas clean and do not impede on others to clean up after ourselves in any shape or form. RCCL needs more trash and recycling containers on deck 11 and need table ashtrays as well. These two simple and low cost products can help allot of unnecessary work for everyone, but more importantly help to detour those passengers who like to leave their garbage anywhere and everywhere. Restrooms were clean and the only non-operational Restroom was the aforementioned Women’s area on Deck 11 Windjammer. Gest Services Officers Utterly fantastic – never met such an awesome Guest Services crew. We had some room issues that we later found out were are issues. Which I will explain below – Nonetheless they were very helpful and very patient with us. Stateroom 3626 Deck 3 AFT three doors from the Elevators – Awesome area, great for immediate access to dining rooms, elevators, casino etc. We liked it so much we are booked next year on the same ship same room. As I mentioned before there was a slight room problem that RCCL failed to alert us of. They have staterooms that are POWER EFFICIENT meaning there is a trigger Pocket below the light switch that when activated it allows your lights to turn on and off. If you don’t place the cards into the slot the correct way your lights will not work. Well it took us a few days before someone finally explained it to us (Guest Services) although we felt silly we laughed quite hard about it because we were sure there was an issue with our room’s electric. So check with your State Room Attendant and ask if you have such a room – I think they are retrofitting these rooms a little at a time. Overall The MS Navigator is a great ship, with a great Crew and we are looking forward to sailing on her again in March 2017 if not sooner. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
First time on Royal Caribbean and a poor first impression. Check in was not bad, but could tell security screening was intended to find alcohol, not weapons - side table was full of confiscated booze. Stateroom was nice with a ... Read More
First time on Royal Caribbean and a poor first impression. Check in was not bad, but could tell security screening was intended to find alcohol, not weapons - side table was full of confiscated booze. Stateroom was nice with a full-sized sofa. Bathroom had a shower door instead of a curtain and plenty of hot water and pressure was good. Unfortunately, neighbor three doors upwind liked to smoke on the balcony. Reported it twice. First time nothing, second time a "reconnaissance" crew came to "scope things out." Told us to call sooner. What?!? We called and it took you 25 minutes to show up. Smoking a cigarette only takes 3-4 minutes so who's to blame? Didn't report it when it happened again - no point. Burn baby burn. Almost took up smoking myself. Ship was overcrowded and understaffed. Contemplated purchasing the booze-inclusive option. So glad we didn't. Always a line 10-deep at every bar. Not enough bartenders for this party cruise, probably to keep from losing money on the large number of drunkards. We brought aboard wine and had 2 drinks/night in the bars. Prices all over the place. Same drink would be $10 one place, $12 in another and once a bartender tried to charge $14.25 (+ 18%) for a Hendrick's martini after he told me martinis were $12. Told him, "No thank you," and he refunded the charge. Not sure everyone knew the gratuity was already added. Royal Caribbean is sneaky in adding an "extra tip" line. Good grief. Buffet was worse than Circus Circus with abysmal food quality. Main dining room service was slow as molasses in January. First night it took 2 hours 45 minutes to serve our table of four. Ass't waiter said he had TWELVE tables. Unbelievable the lack of staff. Complained to the waiter at the beginning of the second night and service time decreased to 2 hours 5 minutes. Still too long for the banquet-quality of food. Waiter asked us FOUR times to give him good marks on the survey. How about giving us timely service and then you don't need to ask? Food was mediocre, fish always overcooked. "Crab" cake was made with salmon, not crab. Coco Cay. The BIG lie. We didn't make it there due to "conditions." Staff told us they had only made it there 2 of 8 times so far in 2016 (through last week of February). 25% rate is unacceptable. Choose another port since conditions in the winter don't suit this isle. So, we had a sea day. Ship does not have enough outdoor deck space for the number of passengers. After 10 am, no chairs anywhere. 20% were unoccupied, but "reserved" by various tawdry romance novels, stained T-shirts or week-old newspapers. Staff did nothing. Lines at the deck bars were 14 deep. Unacceptable. Nassau. Arrived early evening 14 hours before scheduled since Coco Cay was canceled. Went to Senor Frog's. We were told $10/pp cover. Turned around to leave and suddenly there was no cover. Drinks were better and cheaper than on board. Nice local crowd who made us feel welcome. Returned on board to have a drink at R Bar. Bartender told us it was last call and shut the place down at 5 'til midnight even though there was still a crowd. Turned out the crew got to go ashore on this "bonus" night in Nassau. Who cares about the paying passengers? The following day we went to Hilton British Colonial using pre-purchased day passes. Very nice, private and easy walking distance from the pier. Recommended. Last night of the cruise the dining room waiter and ass't waiter made another "rate us a 10 on the survey" speech. Disgusted. First cruise we considered removing the tips. Would have if the room steward hadn't been proficient and friendly. He could teach his co-workers a thing or two about service. In summary, this Royal Caribbean 3-night cruise was just an excuse for drive-in passengers to board and drink - inebriated folks everywhere, cursing and stumbling ... not a pretty sight. Wasn't why we went, so we won't do it again. Buyer beware. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We flew from Newark to Fort Lauderdale the day before the cruise and stayed at the Hyatt Place. It was a very nice hotel, free breakfast, airport shuttle ($2 per room-not per person) and everything else you need within walking distance. ... Read More
We flew from Newark to Fort Lauderdale the day before the cruise and stayed at the Hyatt Place. It was a very nice hotel, free breakfast, airport shuttle ($2 per room-not per person) and everything else you need within walking distance. They offered a shuttle to the pier for $7 per person. This was my 14th cruise, 4th time on the Navigator. I picked this ship for a few reasons with the main reason being the price. We got a great deal during tax season last year where we paid no taxes or port fees and also it was bogo 1/2. I also love the Voyager class ships and the port stops were good. Getting on the ship was longer than usual. We arrived around 12:00 to a long, windy line of people waiting to check in. It seemed worse than it was because I think it was only 20-25 minutes long. Once inside, we were quickly checked in and on the boat. Once 1:00 hit we went up to our rooms and noticed a gross smell in the corridor. I've had this sewage smell before but it usually subsides mid-cruise. The hallway seemed to have an odd smell every day but thankfully, it stayed in the hall and not in our rooms. Throughout the week, I really can't complain about the food. We ate in the Windjammer only on Day 1 for lunch and the rest of the time we ate in the dining room for breakfast and/or lunch as well as one day at Johnny Rockets. Even though the menu has been the same for quite some time, I only cruise once a year so I'm fine with it. The service in the dining room was great. We had my time and were lucky enough to have the same table every night. The entertainment was pretty good, some I've seen before The ice show was the same but they did have a guest skater and she was fantastic. They had the typical love & marriage, the quest, two comedians and broadway-type shows. They had acappella group during the week who were really good. The casino was not very generous to us and it was so smokey but we were there usually once a day. Bingo was not very crowded surprisingly but I noticed that other than the compass, it's not advertised. I've been on cruises where the cruise director would announce things going on all day long and can say I don't ever remember hearing him. As much as a cruise director doesn't make or break my cruise, they can add a little something and this guy did nothing for it. The ports were nice. I'm not a fan of tendering but this wasn't too bad in Grand Cayman. Last time we were there (2 years ago) we waited for almost an hour to get a tender back to the ship. In Falmouth we just got off to shop and check out Margaritaville. And Labadee is just a beautiful beach day. The weather was decent the whole week. We decided to carry our own luggage off the ship to try to catch an earlier flight instead of waiting until 1:00. We walked off at 6:45, were at the airport around 7:30 and caught the 9:19 flight with no problem. In summary I will say that cruising is still a great vacation, am already looking for 2017 cruises and would gladly hop on the Navigator again (although I think she will be in another country starting this summer). Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Cruised with a group of 8 people. This was the 9th cruise for my wife and myself. Embarkation was a disaster. Arrived at the port at 11 am only to wait almost 2 hours to process onto the ship. Was told that this was due to previous ... Read More
Cruised with a group of 8 people. This was the 9th cruise for my wife and myself. Embarkation was a disaster. Arrived at the port at 11 am only to wait almost 2 hours to process onto the ship. Was told that this was due to previous cruisers refusal to leave the ship. On the whole the ship is still in good shape but does show signs of a lack of maintenance in some areas, specifically the bathrooms. On 3 occasions I visited men's rooms that had non working toilets or sinks. Cruise mates had a non functional toilet in their cabin for 4 days. Food in the main dining room was OK but not great. Windjammer was passable for breakfast and lunch. Ice show was outstanding. Adult comedy show was also very good. RC seams to be selling more alcohol packages and cutting back on bar staff, service was slow at bars through out the ship. Children were allowed into two different bars during the cruise and remained under foot for over an hour each time. Cabin was not cleaned for the first day of the cruise. Was informed that it had been the room stewards last day. After that the new steward (Jose) did a fantastic job for the remainder of the cruise. Crew was cordial all over the ship. Pool staff at the main pool and solarium did a good job clearing spaces for people to sit. Disembarkation was very quick. We took our own luggage off and cleared customs in under 30 minutes. Would recommend that RC change up the menu and cut back on vendors try to upsell in the main dining room. If it hadn't been for the enthusiasm and friendliness of the crew I would have rated this just average. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was my 7th cruise with Royal Caribbean and 20th overall. I'd been looking forwarding to sailing on a Voyager class ship for some time because a travel agent friend had raved about the Mariner OTS. My husband and I thought the ... Read More
This was my 7th cruise with Royal Caribbean and 20th overall. I'd been looking forwarding to sailing on a Voyager class ship for some time because a travel agent friend had raved about the Mariner OTS. My husband and I thought the Navigator was absolutely beautiful and did not disappoint. We never felt "crowded" except in the Windjammer which we didn't frequent often, except for a couple of lunches. We chose My Time Dining (for the first time), and really liked it. We usually ate between seven and eight o'clock, and were seated in the same section each evening, being served by the same wait staff who were extremely attentive and friendly. We thought the selections and quality of food were very good, and the portions just right. We also ate breakfast and lunch in the dining room several times. Being night owls, we wish there had been another option other than Sorrento's after Windjammer closed. The comedy team of Alfred and Seymour from L.A. was totally awesome, as was Basile. We missed the comedy show on the first night and that was a good thing because we caught it on TV the next morning, and the little we saw was thumbs down all the way. Lining up in the morning for tickets to the Ice Dancin' show was well worth it because it was incredible, especially the quick-change routine by Katrina and her partner. I did notice that there was no Reggae and steel band music onboard. Too bad - especially since we were sailing to Jamaica! We'd been to Ocho Rios before, but not Montego Bay, so we took a RCCL tour there and stopped in at Bigg's on the water where we tried Jamaican jerk chicken and a couple of Red Stripes. Our tour guide, Niki, was very knowledgeable and entertaining, too! The reasons we're giving only a four-star rating are: 1) because embarkation and disembarkation were not good at all. There was no signage or assistance of any kind with regard to priority boarding. After standing in a very long line for about ten minutes, I made my way to someone in a uniform close to the entrance to discover that priority boarding was, in fact, available but you had to go on a treasure hunt to find it. Although we were informed that we'd be getting off the ship by 8:15, we didn't get off and make it through customs until 10:30. 2) for whatever reason, some of the bar tenders seemed tired and not at all happy to be onboard serving customers who are obligated to pay an 18% tip without so much as a 'thank-you' or a smile in return. Would love to see less smoking areas, and replacement of Evian water with Dasani. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean since 1984 and it was our 8th cruise in total. We travelled from Canada with my husbands elderly parents. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale the day before our cruise and to save money we stayed at ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean since 1984 and it was our 8th cruise in total. We travelled from Canada with my husbands elderly parents. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale the day before our cruise and to save money we stayed at the Motel 6 in Dania. It was clean and had reasonable rates - we were pleasantly surprised. Our embarkation in fort Lauderdale took over an hour which we were not used to having sailed mostly with Princess and their process was noticeably faster. The ship is lovely but their attention to detail was lacking in a few areas (ie. no chocolates on your pillow; no champagne waterfall; little access to food later on in the evening at the Windjammer which closed early; no blankets, chair pads or popcorn while watching movies under the stars to name just a few and comparing with Princess ships). The public areas were very nice and well maintained. We did not have great weather during our cruise which affected some excursions were wanted to take in Grand Cayman and it did not go over very well that we missed the Labadee Port due to protests by the locals. Our cabin steward was exceptional....thanks Mary Grace. We had one of the Promenade Staterooms on Deck 8. It was lovely with a window seat to sit and look over the people on the Promenade. We were pleased that these rooms were very quiet and had plenty of room for two. We were disappointed with the food. The quality just didn't seem to be what we were used to. It seemed to be always the same offerings at the Windjammer. The Dining Room we expected would be better but it was just OK, nothing special exccept for the night we had lobster. We did have a great meal at Giovanni's though. We enjoyed the nightly entertainment but our favourite was the Ice Dance show. It was amazing what they could do on such a small ice surface. Wished we had gone more than just the once. Even though the casino was smoky we did enjoy our time 'making our donation', especially since we did not have great weather for spending time outdoors. The disembarkation process was a bigger nightmare than the embarkation. We even walked off the ship with our luggage to save time but the lineup was crazy long and they only had two customs officers processing the bulk of the passengers. Having said all of this we did have a good time despite the challenges. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We signed up for this cruise the year before while on an Alaskan cruise: husband, daughters (2) with their husbands and both sets of in laws (2 grandbabies have since arrived). We had a balcony cabin and the others had 4 inside promenade ... Read More
We signed up for this cruise the year before while on an Alaskan cruise: husband, daughters (2) with their husbands and both sets of in laws (2 grandbabies have since arrived). We had a balcony cabin and the others had 4 inside promenade rooms across the hall from us. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale the before and stayed at the Embassey Suites on 17th. Across the street were a grocery store, Totally Wine and restaurants. Kelly's Landing was a great place for lunch or dinner. We had the shuttle service from the airport and then to the port the next day. Happy hour and breakfast are included. We got to the port around 11:00am and had. Very short wait until we were getting our picture taken on board. Windjammer for lunch, always found good things to eat, but love going to the main dining room for breakfast and lunch when available. We didn't do any of the specialty resturants, we had a table for 10 and two high chairs at MTD of at 6:00 PM every night. The waiter had fruit every night first off for the Grandbabies. I enjoyed escargot every night! We had really good food and service. We tipped the guys on Laberdee to get 8 lounge chairs and 2 cabanas for the day right near the water. The weather was sunny and warm, everyone enjoyed the water. I used my water shoes, because it was rocky in spots. We didn't arrive into San Juan until after 3 PM, we hired a van to take all of us to the Barardi Rum factory, stopped to buy lotto tickets ( it was for the BIG one) and back to the port area. St Kitts again we found a van and driver to take us on an island tour, $20 pp, babies free. St Martin we pre arranged Jo Junie Tours, which I had used last year when my husband I were there. Tour included Orient Beach, Sunset Beach (airplanes over head), geckos, and monkeys too! We went to the diamond lounge a few times, but enjoyed having the three drinks on the card available too. The ice show is a do not miss! We didn't go to any of the other shows. The staff that we interacted with were all great, friendly and helpful. We left the ship after breakfast in the dining room around 8:30 AM, got through customs, called Embassey Suites and spent another night there. We could've check in yet, but they store the luggage and we went poolside. Great cruise was had by all! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2016
It was a wonderful bonding time for my 19 yr-old daughter and me. Knowing that we will spend most of our time outside our cabin, we chose an inner stateroom (8237) which served us just fine. Our attendant (Adela Benliss-Nicaragua) was ... Read More
It was a wonderful bonding time for my 19 yr-old daughter and me. Knowing that we will spend most of our time outside our cabin, we chose an inner stateroom (8237) which served us just fine. Our attendant (Adela Benliss-Nicaragua) was the sweetest and took good care of our needs. We took advantage of a lot of the activities offered in the ship: aerobics, jogging deck, hot tub, treadmill, pool deck for relaxing/reading/getting tan/watching movies, rock climbing, dancing, listening to bands, singing karaoke. The entertainment was top of the class - from Vox Audio (Acapella group), Broadway-type song and dance productions to Ice Show. We also loved the audience participation-type shows (Love and Marriage and Quest). Dining in the Sapphire room was a great experience! Our servers (Subbiah-India and Savran-Mauritius) spoiled us. I liked how the portions are smaller, so we can sample a second starter or dessert if we like. We booked the stingray experience in the Grand Cayman which did not happen due to weather. In Jamaica, we drove about an hour to the Reggae Hill for a relaxing swim, garden walk, lots of reggae music/dancing while sampling tapas-style food and lots of drinks with Jamaican rum. Naioka, our guide, was very friendly. In Labadee, Haiti, we jet-skied for the first time. My daughter drove and we had a blast! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
My husband and I have cruised before, but this was our girls' (ages 8 & 6) first cruise, and our first cruise with Royal Caribbean. We were delighted. The food and service at Sapphire was excellent. Every night there would be a ... Read More
My husband and I have cruised before, but this was our girls' (ages 8 & 6) first cruise, and our first cruise with Royal Caribbean. We were delighted. The food and service at Sapphire was excellent. Every night there would be a fruit salad waiting for my girls and even though a children's menu was available, my girls ordered off the main menu and to my surprise, ate everything! The self-serve soft ice cream on the pool deck was probably the highlight of their trip! The food at Windjammer offered a great variety of choices, and my vegetarian husband was pleased that there was always something new for him to try! It can get a bit crowded there, however, and finding a table was sometimes an adventure. Although I had read some reviews regarding the age of the ship, I never found it to be rundown or decrepit. I absolutely loved all the beautiful artwork that was displayed all over the entire ship. My only complaint is that on several occasions, the public bathrooms were closed for maintenance causing a frantic search for a working one. On one occasion this was the case right before the skating show and after checking a total of 4 floors - all of which had the bathrooms closed, we had to go all the way back to our room, causing us to be somewhat late for the show and missing out on getting better seats. The ice show was terrific, however, and we enjoyed seeing it very much. We had a wonderful time on this cruise and would definitely sail on this ship again! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2015
My wife and I and our son and daughter (19 & 21) went on a 6 day Christmas Cruise and had a great time! The ship is beautiful and the crew is excellent. Our cabins were inside on deck 8 and overlooked the Promenade. They were also ... Read More
My wife and I and our son and daughter (19 & 21) went on a 6 day Christmas Cruise and had a great time! The ship is beautiful and the crew is excellent. Our cabins were inside on deck 8 and overlooked the Promenade. They were also adjoining which was very handy. We loved the location. Deck 8 is the highest Promenade view you can get and we were at the front of the Promenade (almost dead center of the ship). It was quiet and the curtains block out all the light. You always have something to look at. We could see the Santa Parade on Christmas morning. The cabins were plenty large enough for 2 each. They had 2 small couches with one of them right in front of the window. The circular shower with sliding doors was a nice touch. The only cabin complaint I had was the bed. It was very firm and not comfortable for my wife and I. Our cabin steward David was great. He was from Jamaica and got to see his family for Christmas on our stop in Falmouth, Jamaica. He got me plenty of extra pillows so that I could customize the bed and make it more usable. He also got us a bottle opener for our wine and saved us from having to pay a corking fee. We tried out 4 of the extra charge restaurants. Giovanni's and Sabor both had superior service and excellent food. The small intimate atmosphere of these restaurants is a nice change from the large and noisy dining rooms. We felt that they were both worth the money. My son had the best steak he has ever had (other than the ones that dad makes, of course) at Giovanni's. The table side made guacamole was fantastic at Sabor's. We had to get a second order. The Margaritas, while not cheap, were top notch. We also tried Johnny Rockets and were pleasantly surprised. It's only 6.95 a person and the burgers, fries and onion rings were great. You can just sit there for 2 hours and stuff your face if you want to. We did also try Izumi's and were very disappointed. The service was poor. The sushi was not very tasty. My wife had the best meal - steak that she cooked herself on a hot stone. The food in the main dining room was hit or miss. Some items were delicious and others were sad. We signed up for my time dining and discovered that you need to make a reservation ahead of time (if you know when you are going to want to eat) to be sure that there is a seat waiting for you. They try to give you the same waiter each time. The first time, we got right in because it wasn't busy. The second time, we got a pager and had to wait 45 minutes. That's when we found out that we could have made a reservation. The Sapphire Dining room is 3 decks high. My time dining enters on deck 5. You enter on deck 3 for breakfast. I would recommend breakfast there every day. The room service menu is limited and not that great. The Windjammer cafe is about what you would expect for a cafeteria. Our cruise director and his staff did an excellent and impressive job. I hope they get paid well. They are very busy people. The Quest game show and the Love and Marriage game show were well done and hilarious. We saw one of the comedians and he was good. We saw the Ice Show and were very impressed. There is a must see quick change act in the show that is mind-blowing. We checked out and participated in karaoke a couple of times. They could do a better job organizing and running it. It can be fun for everybody if done right and there were plenty of people who wanted to participate. The Flowrider was fun. They help you out and give you advice to succeed. The climbing wall is challenging. The basketball/volleyball/dodge-ball court was always active. The fitness studio had something for everyone. My wife and daughter enjoyed their spa treatments and that's all I can say about that. The ship was decorated for Christmas very nicely. A giant tree, garland, lights, bows and music playing. There was a Santa parade on Christmas morning and Santa gave out a present to each child that came to see him. We went snorkeling in Grand Cayman and swam with the stingrays. Great fun. We booked our excursion online through Captainmarvins.com. Well run, reliable and great reviews. Cheaper than going through RC. We hung out at Margaritaville in Jamaica and did not go on any excursions. We had a good time enjoying the pool, spa and dancing. We rode the zip line in Haiti that is the longest in the world over water. Expensive? Yes. Once in a lifetime awesome experience? Yes. There are also plenty of beach areas to just sit and relax at. Lunch is served there. There are bars to get drinks and shops to buy souvenirs. We realized on this cruise that you really don't have to wait for you disembarkation number to leave. They ask you what it is but they don't actually know. If you get tired of waiting like we did, just go and tell them that your number is one that has already been called. For parking at Port Everglades, we used Park'n Go. It is a little cheaper than Port Parking. It is very well run and very close. Shuttles get you to and from your car. Everybody gets a bottle of water when you leave the parking lot! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
After reading the reviews about the Navigator, we were really concerned about our upcoming cruise and worried that we had made a mistake, however, we were pleasantly surprised at how nice the ship was and how friendly and welcoming the ... Read More
After reading the reviews about the Navigator, we were really concerned about our upcoming cruise and worried that we had made a mistake, however, we were pleasantly surprised at how nice the ship was and how friendly and welcoming the crew was. My husband and I traveled with our 14 and 17 year old girls for a 6 night cruise over Christmas. We arrived at Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale at around 11:30 a.m.. Everyone greeted us in a friendly manner and there were no lines so we got on the ship shortly after we arrived at the Port. Our cabin wasn't ready (but this was no surprise since this was our 15th cruise and this has been the case on every one) but the Windjammer was open and the food was ready for us to have lunch. The food on this cruise wasn't the best that we've ever had but there was a good variety and it was always fresh. We chose to eat at 3 specialty restaurants (Sabor, Izumi and Chops) for dinner and we enjoyed all 3 and thought that they were worth the extra money. We were asked several times if we wanted to book a specialty restaurant (while we ate in the dining room) but once we said that we had already booked or that we weren't interested, they politely said thank you and left us alone. When we ate in the dining room, the staff was always courteous, efficient and went out of their way to make our dinner an enjoyable experience. Our daughter is lactose intolerant and our server Nadia and the head waiter made sure that there was no dairy in any of her food choices. They even had a special lobster prepared for her, without butter. The man in charge of our beverages, Putu, did an excellent job making sure that we were never thirsty! We met Raquel, one of bartenders at the Bolero Bar, on our first day and she remembered our names and greeted us with a smile and great drinks every time we stopped by there. She took the time to chat with us and ask us what kinds of drinks we like so that she could serve us our favorites. Some of the reviews that we had read said that they had received poor service with the drink packages but we never felt this way. The only time that we had poor bar service was on the last sea day at the Sky Bar. We understand that it was very busy and a few of the bartenders were trying to get drinks made quickly but a few others had no interest in serving the passengers quickly or at all! We stopped in Grand Cayman, Jamaica and Labadee, Haiti. We only got off the ship in Grand Cayman and Haiti and had a wonderful time on both islands. We didn't enjoy the tender in Grand Cayman but the ride was short and we understand that this is sometimes necessary. Our cabin attendant, Berline, was great. She kept our cabin clean and often asked us questions about how we slept etc...She was visible and always greeted us with a smile. We had read reviews about how hard and uncomfortable the beds were and how flat the pillows were but we slept just fine. We went to a few shows and if I had to complain about 1 thing on this ship, it would be the entertainment in the theater and the piano bar, but it didn't ruin our experience on the Navigator, we just found other things to do. This was our first vacation away from home during Christmas and we felt as though the crew did a very nice job of keeping the Christmas spirit alive, with the decorations, music, caroling, Christmas cookies and cake etc....On our last day, we chose to walk off the ship with our luggage since we had an early flight and our girls are old enough to take care of their own luggage. We walked off the ship at 7:15 a.m., with no lines and no trouble at all. We have cruised with Princess, Norwegian and several cruises with Royal Caribbean, including on one of their biggest and newer ships, the Oasis (4 years in a row!) and we thoroughly enjoyed our cruise on the Navigator and would recommend it to others. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
This was our 16th cruise on RCCL and the very first on the Navigator of the Seas. We are Diamond Crown and Anchor members. We sailed from Port Everglades, Ft. Lauderdale and departed from the "older terminal". A few months ... Read More
This was our 16th cruise on RCCL and the very first on the Navigator of the Seas. We are Diamond Crown and Anchor members. We sailed from Port Everglades, Ft. Lauderdale and departed from the "older terminal". A few months prior we sailed on the Independence from the "newer" terminal. Things during check in just did not seem as streamlined as we found at the "newer" terminal. Long lines (even for Diamond) check in. Baggage drop off was also somewhat disorganized with porters reminding us we need to "take care" of them. Since we signed in around 1 PM we went immediately to our cabin with no wait. Once to our cabin we were really disappointed with the cleanliness of the stateroom. The floor had not been vacuumed, mirrors were all dirty or smudged and it appeared that the only preparation the cabin had was a set of clean sheets. There was no replenished supply items like shampoo and soap. I finally found the room attendant and had her finish the job of preparing our room. In all of our prior cruises on RCCl we never had this issue. It seemed much longer for us to receive our luggage once we were on board! We were kind of holding our breath at this point as to what the cruise would be like! Once underway things settled down and we had a wonderful cruise! Now there were the normal issues faced which I will relate in a moment. Our first stop was Labadee in Haiti. We had not been here for at least 15 years and were not really looking forward to the stop based on our prior experience there. Once on shore we found that there has been a tremendous amount of building and improvements made to to Labadee. It is a beautiful stop and we look forward to going again! The buffet served was excellent and a high light of the stop. Activities were many and well planned and thought out. This is a great place for visiting the beach and water sports. The shopping was just so so and the items being sold would be better classified as trinkets. This was really a great stop over all. Back on board we headed out for San Juan. There just seems to not be enough time to do anything here other than visit "Old Town". The shopping was good and the people friendly. Back on board, Dining in the main dining area was a frustration. We were not able to get My Time Dining and ended up on a list trying to get reassigned to a table for two. Just did not happen!!! Finally I went to the Concierge in the Diamond Club for help. She made some suggestions and they worked, we got our table for two from the Maitre'D! We also noticed at least 6 tables for two that were empty which really made us think! The food served was just so so and the menu the same as we had on the Independence. The quality just was not there. We were fortunate enough to have dinner in Chops Steak House one night and it was really first class! The service and food quality was super. We remembered how years in the past the food we had to pay extra for was the normal meal in the Main Dining Room! As another side note we also tried Giovanni's Table which was also EXCELLENT. Service and food quality was super...don't miss it if you get the chance. We ate a number of meals in the Windjammer which was consistent but unfortunately the food quality just was not there. It might be good to mention at this point that the crew seemed to all be happy and most acknowledged us with smiles and greetings. This went a long way with us. Most were helpful and really wanted to please us..WELL DONE! Next stop was St. Kitts. Really a laid back island with friendly folks. there is shopping right at the port (seems to be the only shopping) and there are a few good deals available. There are a number of independent island tours that you can take without booking ahead on board. Final stop was St. Maarten, our favorite place. There are great shopping deals here and a great beach right in town. People are great and glad to see you! Very enjoyable place to visit. As a general rule we do not take advantage of the entertainment on board i.e.. shows, ice skating etc. This ship (like other Royal ships) had a great "pool" band and combos. We enjoyed dancing on the fourth deck and the music played on the pool deck. We decided that we would let the ship's photographers take some pictures of us throughout the cruise. This was a disappointment to say the least! The quality of the prints was terrible. Coupled with the fact that each print costs $20.00!!!! In one of the scenes there was a life bouy with the name of the ship on it as a prop. We had our picture taken here and later discovered that although NAVIGATOR was legible the OF THE SEAS was rubbed almost entirely out! Just giving a word of caution here. You can also buy digital photos. Were were quoted $85.00 for 4 pictures...they change $5.00 for the external flash drive with the pictures in it. This might be a good place to mention that RCCL has done a great job with their Customer Loyalty Program, The Crown and Anchor Society. I appreciate it knowing that they care enough to do something a little extra for return cruisers/customers. It does matter. Arriving back in Ft. Lauderdale we discovered that you can carry your own bags off the ship. This worked really well for us... We walked off the ship at 7.30 AM went immediately to Customs and found there were only 3 customs agents clearing the ship but there was no line! Smooth as silk debarking! OK, I was probably a little more negative on this cruise than in the past but we still found this to be a wonderful trip overall and would certainly go again on this ship if given the opportunity. They have a great product but need to fine tune a few items on the Navigator.. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
Just back home to Scotland. Ship was excellent as is norm but this time the theatre shows were so poor and amateurish and very little live entertainment at pool.I overheard some staff in windjammer talking about other staff and on the ... Read More
Just back home to Scotland. Ship was excellent as is norm but this time the theatre shows were so poor and amateurish and very little live entertainment at pool.I overheard some staff in windjammer talking about other staff and on the ramps to the tables where i had ti squeeze between them wirh my plate and some of them were miserable looking, again not the usual courtesy you get. The only other thing was the hard selling tactics on the ship from shopping to waiters directly asking us when we were going to order more cocktails!I did find out later from a female waiter at the bar that they are on commission!says it all. apart from that had a wonderful break but royal carribean needs to inform guests why they don't port for whatever reason.we were due first portvif call to Bahamas and by sheer luck I checked messages on stateroom TV where we were informed that it was cancelled.. Later managedvti find out that unsafe for tenders due to high winds but they should have announced this..other guests complained about this too. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Well, this was not the best of the cruises we have been on. We have cruised previously on NCL (8), Celebrity (2) and Princess (1). We flew out of Halifax on November 13th on American Airlines to Philadelphia and then on to Fort ... Read More
Well, this was not the best of the cruises we have been on. We have cruised previously on NCL (8), Celebrity (2) and Princess (1). We flew out of Halifax on November 13th on American Airlines to Philadelphia and then on to Fort Lauderdale. I was not impressed with the plane for the second leg of the trip since the “recline” for the seats was about 2 inches! We had booked a room at the Holiday Inn Express, 1500 West Commercial Blvd in Fort Lauderdale. We got an excellent price for this hotel for the night and I discovered why. They do not have an airport shuttle because the taxi ride from the airport cost us $40.00. Then the cab from the hotel to the cruise port was another $35.00 so we will know better next time. Except for that the hotel was fine; really comfortable bed, clean, nice breakfast and friendly staff. We have only cruised one other time with Royal Caribbean and that was on the Allure of the Seas and we had no problems on that cruise. This time we had booked a Junior Suite so we were classed with the “suite” passengers (thank heavens). We got to the port around 9:40 AM and I expected to be allowed to enter the building around 10 AM. There were already about 30 people waiting outside the doors. At 10 AM, 10:30 AM, 11:00 AM, 11:30 AM, 12:00 AM and 12:30 PM the doors were still not opened for the passengers! By now there were hundreds of passengers queued up outside snaked around quickly installed barricades. We were given NO explanation, NO water and no seating for the elderly that had mobility issues. We were finally allowed into the building and through security only to find a COMPLETELY EMPTY waiting room! Why were we not allowed to go in earlier? The room quickly filled with the 2,000 + passengers and it was not a happy crowd. Then ONE man shows up and starts yelling information to the crowd. No P.A. system, no microphone, etc so basically three-quarters of the people could not hear him at all. Luckily the “suite” passengers were some of the first people allowed into the rooms to get our ID’s and room cards. But even that did not go well. Our clerk was from Port Canaveral and was not familiar with the set-up so could not find our cards. Then the picture taking gizmo did not work so we had to board the ship to get that done. When we headed to the boarding area we discovered that the ONE escalator was set for DOWN rather than UP so the passengers (who had just been standing around for over 3 hours) had to lug all their carry-on bags, etc up three flights of stairs…into another waiting room!!! It was past 1:30 PM by the time we got onto the ship. At least by the time we had our lunch all the cabins were ready. We were in #9314 and the cabin was very nice and only 3 doors from the elevators. So it was now 3:00 and we had to go to our Muster Drill at 5 PM. That was more standing around and once the demonstration was over the Captain decided to keep us standing around for 10 more minutes while he droned on about the weather, the distance to our next port, the position of the ship and more useless information before he “dismissed” us. Seriously? So, here are the pros and cons of this cruise (after the embarkation disaster): FOOD - Buffet was very good, lots of selection and always hot. Staff were excellent in this area and the only problem was they kept running out of the Lipton regular tea bags. Main Dining Room – we only ate here twice but both meals were very good and the staff again were wonderful. We had the prime rib and the lobster tails. Johnny Rockets - There is a $6.95 fee per person for this place and you have to pay extra for the milkshakes. The French fries were bland and my DH was not impressed with the onion rings either. I would not recommend this place. ENTERTAINMENT: The two comediennes, especially Gary Mule Deer were very good. The Ballroom dancing show was a big disappointment. The only real ballroom dancing was at the very end for about 5 minutes. ACTIVITIES – We enjoyed the mini-golf but they need to have bumpers around each hole as now the ball can go anywhere. The shuffleboard was also good and we did not use the surf rider or rock-climbing wall. CONS - The windows all over the ship are filthy, especially in the buffet area. Normally the balcony windows are cleaned on every cruise I have been on but not on this one. There were areas of mould on some of the ceiling tiles in the buffet too. Internet…forget it! To begin with it is grossly overpriced! $30.00 per day so $240.00 for the eight day cruise! The speed was slower than an old “dial-up” system so we did not bother getting it at all. Then, if you wanted it to print your boarding passes it was $14.95 for one hour. We decided to do that at the airport for free. Lots of issues around the ship due to the age of the ship (I guess). The bed in our cabin was hard and uncomfortable even with extra (requested) padding and the pillows were pathetic. They were either thin (two inches thick) or large and lumpy (chipped foam). The balcony door was very heavy and hard to open so it took two hands to manage it. The decorative tiles around the adult pool area were in very poor shape. These tiles were about 6 inches square and a lot of them were badly chipped and deteriorating so that walking on them was painful and possibly hazardous since you could be injured. Excursions- We booked our own excursions by getting a day pass at resorts in St. Kitt’s and St. Maarten. Labadee was very nice and we were able to get a (free) clam shell with no problem at all. We did not get off the ship in San Juan as we didn’t arrive until 2 PM. SERVICE – This was one of the good things on the ship. Our room attendant, Russel was very helpful and accommodating. Veysel and Errol in the main dining room went out of their way in all respects. The staff in the buffet were always friendly and the tables were cleared very quickly. CASINO – Another area that needs updating. Some of the oldest, saddest slot machines I have ever seen. We only went there three times: won twice, lost once. Disembarkation - At least they got this right. Very well organized and we were off the ship by 9 AM with no problems at all. Lots of taxis waiting. Trip to the airport was $20.00 including tip. Overall I would not recommend Royal Caribbean simply because they are highly overpriced for the quality of the cruise compared to other similar cruise lines. Apparently they are putting all their money into their new ships and leaving their older ones to rot. Although they are entertaining to watch, I do not need to pay a higher price for my cruise to have a surf rider, rock-climbing wall or ice-skating rink. We will go back to NCL or Celebrity in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
My family was excited to go on the Navigator as it was the largest ship we've ever been on and it had some features we'd never experienced before. The ship itself was nice, and the family oceanview room with separate bunks for ... Read More
My family was excited to go on the Navigator as it was the largest ship we've ever been on and it had some features we'd never experienced before. The ship itself was nice, and the family oceanview room with separate bunks for the kids was awesome--that was probably the best part of the entire experience. The kids had fun at the kids camp and we enjoyed all of our shore excursions. And the ice skating show was great. Beyond that, we left fairly unimpressed with Royal Caribbean. This was our 8th cruise, and admittedly, our last was a Disney, so it was hard not to compare this one to it, but it just seemed like it was lacking many of the special touches that even the cheap 5 day Carnival cruises have had. While we are used to having to pay extra for SOME things, like alcohol, it really seemed over the top on this cruise. Everything seemed to have an upgraded version available, even dinner in the main dining room, where you could order a lobster or better steak for an extra $30. In the past, we have been happy to just sick with the included dining options, but much of it was really not good, and at times, inedible. Horrible, horrible instant coffee and iced tea...but of course Starbucks is right there....for an extra charge. Bland, unimpressive food at most meals in the main dining room and casual buffet...or you can pay extra to eat at one of the specialty restaurants. We tried Johnny Rockets one night, and even that wasn't great. The staff did their jobs, but really weren't all that friendly or available if we needed something--we only saw our room steward a couple of times during the whole week. No extras in the room, such as toiletry kits, or even a pen (unless you wanted to pay for the snacks in the mini fridge), and the bed and pillows were flat and hard, making sleep difficult. We got just three towel animals the whole week, which has always been something the kids were excited to find in the room each night. It was quiet most of the time (aside from our own children), so that was good, but I think it was mostly due to the fact that many of the people around us had to be moved to other rooms after a pretty significant flood of the interior staterooms. Again, we had a good time and nothing BAD happened, we just didn't leave feeling like we had really been pampered. Common areas were usually pretty congested, things didn't seem to be laid out to allow a good flow of the many people--like, instead of a hamburger grill and drink station right by the pool like we've seen on other ships, you had to go all the way in to the Windjammer cafe, so it was hard to even grab a quick snack or drink while at the pool. And the "blowout $10 sale" in the shopping area was total madness, with people elbowing each other in the face just to snatch up a crappy watch or hat. Think, Black Friday shopping at sea. Not my idea of fun! My husband said this cruise was like "taking a vacation on a city bus". So I think we'll stick to Disney or Carnival for any future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We had a great time. Our drive to Galveston from Oklahoma was good except for a 20 minute traffic jam in Dallas and a 10 minute traffic jam in Houston. We booked one night at Moody Gardens Hotel Resort to stay before our cruise on ... Read More
We had a great time. Our drive to Galveston from Oklahoma was good except for a 20 minute traffic jam in Dallas and a 10 minute traffic jam in Houston. We booked one night at Moody Gardens Hotel Resort to stay before our cruise on Galveston Island. I am serious about customer service and I must say it is exceptional here! ​The next day we drove about 10 minutes and parked at the Galveston Park & Cruise in-door lot and walked across the street to the cruise terminal. Embarkation was smooth OUTSTANDING. I hate mustering but at least our station was inside the Main Dining Room. The Navigator is old but beautiful. There was some rusting here and there around the ship as well as on the balcony of our room. The couch in the room was already showing some wear (so soon after renovation?); however everything was very very clean including the bathroom. The beds were CRAZY HARD! Our Cabin Attendant Maritza made life a lot better by adding several blankets to the mattress. In Cozumel, we did the tequila tasting tour and have probably acquired more knowledge about tequila than we ever thought possible. We learned about "clear" tequila, "rested" tequila, and the best: "aged" tequila -- tasted it (some in the group should have held back...lol) and were able to purchase it to bring home. We were served margaritas and great tacos, beans, rice, guacamole, sodas, water, etc.; watched a pole performance; toured a small cultural museum; and, shopped. At the end of the tour, we were presented ​​​​with ​​​certificates, we are now certified tequila tasters. You should have seen how tipsy Evette was. She is a light weight. ​Roatan Honduras was EXCELLENT! We did the dolphin encounter. I was very nervous initially -- that went away as soon as I got in the water. A locked box is provided to store your personal items. We were all separated into groups, the trainers encourage smaller groups for more interaction with the dolphins. I have never experienced anything like it and I cannot imagine anything better. The trainers are informative and it was very apparent how fond they were of the dolphins. Gosh, is it weird to say the dolphins were so sweet? They were like very well behaved (and at times mischievous) kids and very smart. We stood about waist deep in the water to touch them, take pictures with them, and watch them perform and eat! Would do this again in a flash! Best excursion I've participated in hands down! The trip back was 2 days straight cruising and the Gulf was kinda shaky. I won a cruise for 2, for 5 days, at Bingo that we have to take within 365 days of winning it. I was too lightheaded and breathless after I yelled BINGOOOOOO! The same guy that had me signing the paperwork for the prize was the same guy that awarded me a Royal Caribbean hat the night before when we won the Michael Jackson trivia contest. It was too funny! We were able to forget the shakiness of the seas for a little while at least. Back in Galveston, disembarking was a complete pain - OMG. I thought doing self carry would make things easier, NOT! I won't do that again. We picked up the car and made good time getting thru Houston and Dallas and this time hit a construction traffic jam in Oklahoma for over an hour. Unbelievable! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
This ship had the best service overall than any other cruise we have been on. From the great room attendant to the fabulous wait staff to the fantastic bartenders in many of the venue bars. The R bar staff was incredible. The ship is the ... Read More
This ship had the best service overall than any other cruise we have been on. From the great room attendant to the fabulous wait staff to the fantastic bartenders in many of the venue bars. The R bar staff was incredible. The ship is the perfect size for everyone. The entertainment in the main theater was ok. Not my favorite. The ice skating show was great. Cuddy is awesome and full of energy. They need more general trivia but it was always fun to play. I would go back on this ship in a heartbeat if it would be out of any other port. I will not go to Galveston again. Too hard to get to. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
I wrote this information for myself and thought I'd share it with everyone, as it contains information I wish I'd had before sailing. Cruise line: Royal Caribbean Ship: Navigator of the Seas Cruise Dates: Oct. 4-11, ... Read More
I wrote this information for myself and thought I'd share it with everyone, as it contains information I wish I'd had before sailing. Cruise line: Royal Caribbean Ship: Navigator of the Seas Cruise Dates: Oct. 4-11, 2015 Western Caribbean (Starting at Galveston, Texas, and traveling to Cozumel, Mexico; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Falmouth, Jamaica) 7 Night Western Caribbean Cruise Cruise Amenities (non-exhaustive): Surf Rider, rock climbing, ping pong, basketball, mini-golf, spas, gym, outdoor track, large outdoor television screen, 3 pools, 3 hot tubs Day 1 (Boarding/Sea) Boarding is from 11am – 4pm. We arrived around 11:30am (drove from Dallas). Royal Caribbean is terminal 2. You first drop people and luggage off and then take the car to park at a nearby parking lot. The parking lots have shuttles that bring you back to the boarding area. It will likely take about 30-45 minutes to complete the process (drop people off, take care to lot, come back). While the cars go park, everyone else drops off their luggage at the luggage drop off. Make sure to print out your luggage tags before you get to the port and make sure to tape/staple them to your luggage to save you time. There is no food at the port but you can eat as soon as you enter ship. The total check-in process took about 1 hour. We got in line while the people parked but it was difficult for us get them to skip back in line. I heard, though have not confirmed, that there is now a parking lot where you can go with your luggage and you can bring it back to the terminal to avoid the whole drop off/take car to lot/come back process. Apparently it’s called “Parking Lot B.” We brought in water bottles (filled) in our luggage and those went through. Since you drop off your luggage and then don’t see it until it’s delivered to your room, I’m assuming they checked our luggage but have no way to confirm. They only officially allow 2 bottles of wine per stateroom. We brought those in our carry-ons. When they saw that I had 2 bottles they asked me to "register" with a man seated at a table. First of all they didn't tell everyone in our group to register, even though everyone had wine bottles in their carry-ons so it's clearly not enforced strictly. Also the “registration” involved a man writing down on a piece of paper my room number and number of bottles I had. So it's not high tech at all and we could have easily brought in more bottles. There is a mandatory safety drill at 4pm. They check every room to make sure you've evacuated. You can't skip this. They even took attendance at the drill. General tips It's a good idea to bring a small bag to hold your sea pass and other small stuff while on the ship. Also, remember to bring a beach bag for the actual beach or just lounging by the pool. Make sure to bring cash and in dollars for tipping. There were many times I wanted to tip someone (attendants or when we were off on our excursions) but I did not have enough singles. There is no need to exchange currency – everyone accepted American currency. Water, tea, coffee, and lemonade are included in the price of the trip (so no need to buy a beverage package if you’re okay with just having these drinks available). This particular ship did not have an iron in the stateroom, but they did have hairdryers. Bring water bottles so you can refill them on the ship and take with you when you dock. There is a Johnny Rockets on the ship. It is $6.95 USD all you can eat except for shakes. Tips for choosing a room: Choose a room closest to the top so you don't have to walk far. The dining room and pools are at the top, so you’ll have to walk less to get to them (which is where we spent most of our time). Also, choose a room on the side of the big dining room (Wyndjammer). Day 2 (Sea) This was a cruising day. This was our first formal attire night at the dining room. We had a set time to eat (8:30pm) every day in the main dining room. People wear suits and cocktail dresses. I did see some people in tuxedos but only a few. Anything you’d wear to a wedding or church should suffice. They will not turn you away if you’re wearing jeans. Day 3 (Cozumel) We rented a car from Alamo for 14 people for a total of $140 USD (paid with credit card), not including gas or insurance. We went to the San Gervasio ruins. It costs $9.50 USD per person, so bring exact change as credit is not accepted. You might want to bring bug spray, though it didn’t bother me much. The ship arrived in Cozumel at 7am but we disembarked at 9:30am. By the time we found the car rental and gathered everyone together, it was 10:30am. It took 30 minutes to drive to the San Gervasio ruins from the terminal. We found a tour guide that works for tips, and he provided very good service. It was very sunny, so definitely bring protection. Then we drove to Sky Reef Beach. We wanted to find Ocean Beach as that was recommended to us but we sort of got off the access road and then weren't able to find it. When you rent car they give you a map. It is not a big island. You need to be back on the ship by 3:30pm. Check to see what sort of insurance your credit card company offers for car rentals. Day 4 (Georgetown, Grand Cayman) The beach is a 30 minute cab ride. It's about 4 miles away from the port. To disembark, you first have to take a tender (small boat) from the ship to the land. The process took about 30 minutes total which includes getting in line, getting on the tender, and then leaving. The actual ride is about 10 minutes from ship to land. We went to Paradise Restaurant to do some snorkeling. It was $18 USD for full gear (mask, flippers, and life vest) and then $5 to rent a locker. They accept credit cards. We walked from the port to Paradise Restaurant. It is a green building right on the water. It took about 7 minutes to walk there. There were plenty of fish to see here. The water was very nice and it was very enjoyable. I did not eat at the restaurant but obviously there is food available there, as well as alcoholic drinks. Day 5 (Falmouth, Jamaica) The ship arrived at 8:00am and we had to be back on board at 4:30pm. When you arrive at the port, there is a tiny little booth that is pale green and says “Tours and Information.” It’s to the right and further down (closer to the exit).There we found horse riding that includes riding in the water on the beach. It was $70 USD per person for horse riding and transportation to and from the beach. It was $25 for just transportation to and from the beach. The drive to the beach was 20 minutes from the port. We were able to pay cash and credit. We went to Braco Tours/Stables. The tour itself was 2 hours in total (not including travel time). First they took us to the stable. We signed waivers, paid, and then mounted our horses. We rode for about an hour to the beach. You do not get into the water with your horse until you get to a small pool area at the beach. At the beach, there is a little pool area that they take you in one person at a time with your horse. Then you ride back and they take you to port. The beach area is private and no one was there except for a few locals. They have some food and drinks there you can buy. The guides were all extremely nice. My parents stayed at the private beach area and waited for us. There is a small store there where you can buy snacks and drinks (including Jamaican beer). Also, the store has a porch area that provides shelter from the sun and they had chairs out so my parents weren’t physically on the beach/in the sand. There are bathrooms there too. Day 6 (Sea) More tips: Laundry and getting your clothes pressed is expensive. I went to the lost and found by the pool where they distribute towels. I told them that I lost my sunscreen and they showed me several bottles they had there. I asked if I could keep one and they said yes so that's how I got free sunscreen. Food: We never ordered room service. The food in the buffet (Wyndjammer) is average. We only went there for breakfast and lunch. There is lots of variety. The dining room food was much better quality. You can have breakfast in the dining room, but you have to go before 9:30 am. The food on the 5th floor in the café was good, but they mostly had sandwiches. Weather: It was mostly warm to downright hot. You should, however, bring a light jacket or sweater as it can get chilly at night. Cabin: We had an interior stateroom with no windows. This was actually great, as there was no light in the morning to wake us up. It was much easier to sleep/stay asleep. Yes, it's small but we're not large people and we kept the room tidy so it was never, ever a problem. Day 7 (Sea) Do those things you didn’t get to do, like rock climbing. Day 8 (Galveston/Arrival) Express self-serve checkout means you carry out your own bags. If you want to do this, they ask you to get a ticket the last night before you leave which gives you the time you're supposed to leave. This is absolutely necessary as they didn't ask for it. (And they aren't going to keep you on the boat because you're leaving at a different time than it says on your ticktet). It's best to leave on the very last express time because most people doing express are off the boat by then. It takes about 30-45 to get off and get your car and be on the road. If you do not take express, then the night before, they leave you luggage tags and the time you're supposed to disembark. (Again, I doubt this is actually enforced.) You go through immigration which is relatively painless but there are a lot of people (this is of course applicable to self-express as well). The difference between express and this option is that you then have to find your luggage. They have them all waiting for you in a large warehouse, and though you have a number that leads you in the general direction of your bag, it can be a bit chaotic with all the bags and people trying to find their stuff. Definitely identify your bag in an obvious way to make finding it in literally hundreds of other bags much easier. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
Our waiter Jasper and Assistant Waiter Jirmansyah were excellent. They made our cruise enjoyable in spite of other falling-short on the cruise. With regards to Entertainment/Shows. Very lame. I have seen better High School ... Read More
Our waiter Jasper and Assistant Waiter Jirmansyah were excellent. They made our cruise enjoyable in spite of other falling-short on the cruise. With regards to Entertainment/Shows. Very lame. I have seen better High School productions. Another issue that needs to be improved is the music: 1. At the pool. There was NO music playing except when there was a "competition" or the Reggae Band was playing. Reggae is okay for a day, but every day of the 7 days? and for only 1-2 hours of the day? 2. At the Boleros Bar, the musicians seemed bored and played the SAME songs EACH night, in the same order. To top it off most were not even done live, but played from an ipad and they pretended to play and sing the song. They weren't even good lip-sync artists. 3. When there were dance lessons, for example, Salsa Dance Class. They promptly played Merengue and Bachata and Cumbia. The effect was to confuse everyone as to whether we were supposed to try to dance the Salsa steps to the wrong genre of music. They have a wonderfully HUGE movie screen by the pool. this was mostly used for promoting the newer ships of Royal Caribbean and occasional CNN or a movie here and there. Otherwise, it was not used. A waste of money and space. These are some of the areas that I found entertainment seriously lacking. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
This was the second RCI ship I have been on since June and the second ship where the food was mediocre at best. Good thing I don't cruise for the food, we cruise for the adventure of new ports and the people we meet. But many ... Read More
This was the second RCI ship I have been on since June and the second ship where the food was mediocre at best. Good thing I don't cruise for the food, we cruise for the adventure of new ports and the people we meet. But many people remember the food and this prompts this review. The buffet food on this cruise was best described as less than mediocre. When two young men that have eaten me out of house and home growing up rather go to the main dining room than the buffet that should tell you something. Even the desserts at time appeared to be below par. Maybe in tough times RCI is cutting back on the food selections but that shouldn't affect taste and variety, should it? Otherwise, service was exceptional from the staff. The shows I thought were not as entertaining as others. Cleanliness was of high standards in both the cabins and public areas. Other than the food my only other major criticism is about the port of Galveston. When the line to get to customs upon disembarking crosses in front of the baggage pickup it cause confusion and some chaos. I overheard many first timers to Galveston cruise port saying they would have to think twice about going on another cruise from there. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
The ship was fun. The only problem we had was one of the showers at the adult pool did not work. We had great food and the staff was wonderful. We sailed to Cozumel, Belize and Roatan. We had a wonderful time at all three ports. We ... Read More
The ship was fun. The only problem we had was one of the showers at the adult pool did not work. We had great food and the staff was wonderful. We sailed to Cozumel, Belize and Roatan. We had a wonderful time at all three ports. We sailed out of Galveston and boarding was quick and easy, however when we returned it was a nightmare. I would recommend that you never sail out of Galveston because of the reentry process or chaos as we experienced. First my luggage was not in the area it was supposed to be and by the time I found my bag the like was out of control. There were many people not going to the end of the line because the like was so long there were no barriers. So they just walked up and got in like wherever they pleased. When the Customs agents tried to handle the situation those who cut in line said they did not so it was a stand off and they stayed in front of us. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
This cruise is one with a majority of Texans on it due to the port. We were one of the minority being from the Pacific Northwest (PDX). Because of the makeup of the guests, there was a lot of country western music in the bars and the big ... Read More
This cruise is one with a majority of Texans on it due to the port. We were one of the minority being from the Pacific Northwest (PDX). Because of the makeup of the guests, there was a lot of country western music in the bars and the big screen had plenty of football playing. They know their audience, that's for sure! The port itself is a mess - piles of dirt and construction materials that you see from the deck of the ship. The area in front of the terminal entry was very small and crowded but we had no problem finding a porter to wheel our bags inside. The line into the security scanners was long and slow as there were only two security guards working. They only made you throw out your bottle of water if it had been opened but you could have just put it in your bag and it would have probably gone right on through. (Think vodka...) The actual registration went very quickly even thought we were there about 11:30 am in the thick of the early boarders. The first night the left balcony partition door came loose in the wind and was banging against the ship from 2 am - 5 am when my husband finally called the desk. It ruined the next day having to sleep all afternoon to catch up. I feel like we lost a day of the trip. The humidity was horrid - impossible to have your balcony door open with that wall of wet coming in. Of course, we're from a place where we hardly have humidity so it was difficult to enjoy the balcony except late at night. The first night's dinner was unsettled. My fish was overcooked which isn't normal for RC. The rest of the time, everything was perfect except the Baked Alaska (gritty meringue) which was easily replaced. Our waiter, Stalin and assistant, Jakub, table 414, at Early Seating were very attentive. Stalin would make suggestions which were always the best choice. We had brought our own wine on board (they allow 1 bottle per person), and we had them the last 3 nights without a corkage fee being charged. My mother wasn't able to negotiate the stairs much so we had to use the elevators most of the time. They were so busy we had to go in the opposite direction we wanted to go just to get in one. Lots of other people were doing the same. This was the first time for this experience. The Flow Rider was so much fun. You have to sign a waiver and there are age/height restrictions. The instructors are very helpful and work to give you the longest ride possible. They have boogie board (on your stomach) and surfing at separate times. Putt putt golf is an 8 hole course and goes fast. It's in the sun, so wear your sunscreen! We didn't do any excursions through the ship except the Houston Space Center which included bus transportation to IAH. It was a very comfortable bus with a toilet, safe driver and knowledgeable guide. The stop at the HSC is about 2 hours long which is plenty of time to see almost everything within the building. There is a nice cafeteria to grab a bite to eat, a large gift shop and restrooms. Since we were a tour, we had Green 1 bag tags which put us off the ship among the first groups and through customs quickly. The baggage area is small so it makes for some confusion. The customs process is slow depending on who is in front of you. We were behind three British citizens who had to be fingerprinted and photographed. The tour does watch for you since you have a sticker on your shirt and they usher you out to the bus area. I would pay for this next time just for the priority service! We did not go to the production shows since the last one I went to on a cruise a couple of years ago was pretty ordinary. After reading reviews on here, I'm glad we didn't waste the time. However, we went to the comedian and the hypnotist shows which were hilarious. We also found the time to to go the Love and Marriage game which had the best participants I've ever seen. The drinks were only $5 in a souvenir glass - the best deal on the ship? We played the Nations Game where you collect signatures from crew members from all the different countries on the ship. It was a great way to meet them and have a conversation for a more personal trip. We ate in the dining room every night and only a few times in the Windjammer. We had breakfast from room service most days. The order forms are on a hook behind the cabin door. They were normally about 1/2 hour earlier than the time selected. The first morning's food had cold, hard toast and poorly cooked bacon. The scrambled eggs seem like they are baked. The fruit plate was ordinary, not well plated and some of it was sour/unripe. It didn't stop me from ordering it, though. The refrigerator is a good place to put an extra yogurt or lemon tart for the next morning or a snack. As someone posted before, it would be a good idea to have the steward remove all the items from your frig so you aren't tempted to use any of it. We didn't use anything but I think I was charged for an item. Probably poor inventory control from the last occupant. The Belize City port is a tender port. They may have this well organized, but it's a big chunk of your port time sitting on a noisy boat on metal benches. This port appears to be the poorest of the three, followed by Roatan, Honduras and then Cozumel, Mexico. Everywhere you are inundated with "requests" for your money. It was very tiring and depressing. The ship was late loading our Gold benefits onto the Sea Pass card on Sunday and I went to the service desk to find out how to get a credit. The person at the desk called the shop and sent me back to have it fixed. He even called me the next day to make sure it was taken care of! That was the only time I had any dealings with the desk since the rest of the trip went smoothly. I signed up for international internet with my carrier, Verizon, but it didn't work very well with the ship or on land. The next trip, I'll buy a couple of days of access and do everything I need to during that time and forget about it the rest of the time. The cafe at the end of the Promenade is where there are sandwiches, pizza, desserts, coffee, tea, iced tea, lemonade and water. It's not apparent that this is included in your fee as it's next to the Starbucks and Ben & Jerry's counter that do have a cost. It's not that large but the tables have good turnover and it's open all night, unlike the Windjammer. The dinner menu is posted on an interactive screen outside of the dining rooms so you can check out that night's options or any of the other restaurants. I always found something to eat without a problem and they take care of dietary issues such as gluten free. We signed up for the galley tour which was a $30 per person buffet lunch for 150 people. It started with a mimosa and then an inside glimpse of how the kitchen works. Lunch was prepared by various sou chefs and placed on the pass for you to select from. There were omelets, Beef Wellington, eggs Benedict, salmon, fresh fruit, a lovely bread display, sushi, a large selection of desserts and crepes made to order. It was well worth the cost, so if you have the opportunity offered to you, don't hesitate to do it. The cardroom is on deck 7 and has a daily suduko puzzle and quiz posted. They have boxed games, plenty of tables & chairs and a pretty large library of books. It was a hidden gem we didn't discover until the cruise was about over. It's just below the art gallery. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
Took this cruise with my wife, son and daughter in law. My wife and I have taken 15 cruises together, 6 with Royal Caribbean. We invited my son and his wife to go along. This was their first cruise and we were excited about having them ... Read More
Took this cruise with my wife, son and daughter in law. My wife and I have taken 15 cruises together, 6 with Royal Caribbean. We invited my son and his wife to go along. This was their first cruise and we were excited about having them join us. We drove to Galveston the morning of the cruise from Louisiana and my son and daughter in law drove from Dallas. I was a bit skeptical about this cruise after reading some negative reviews on this web site. I shouldn’t have worried. We had a wonderful time. Some people only notice the negative side. We had a balcony cabin on level 10 and the kids had a balcony on level 8. We had dinner every night in the dining room except for the night we went to Chops. I think that was the best steak I have ever eaten. Over all the food was good to excellent. The buffet was good at breakfast, but we usually ate lunch at some of the other venues. We had my time dining and had our evening meal at 6:30 each evening. Christ, our waiter was from India and she did an excellent job. Some of the reviews we read said that people were not friendly and acted like they had rather be doing something else. That was not the case with us. Each person we came in contact with was smiling and friendly. Our cabin steward was Igusti. We did not see much of him the first several days, but he seemed to know when our room needed attention. He did a great job. We especially enjoyed the ice show, love and marriage game and the quest. The first comedian we heard was very funny. The second one was just OK. We always go the shows in the theater and they were all good. Even though I do not participate in some of the activities such as rock climbing and flow rider, I like seeing the younger crowd enjoy themselves. We went to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica. Although we have done this itinerary several times, we still like going there. The four of us did the Catamaran sail, snorkel and beach tour. It was the best snorkeling we have ever done. Did a little shopping in Grand Cayman. It did take a little while to get off the ship, but the lines moved quickly. My wife and I did not get off in Jamaica. It was nice staying on the ship on a port day. And yes the elevators were a slow at times, but that is why God made stairs. Not only were the employees friendly but the passengers were as well. For the most part, people were friendly and courteous and just having a good time.Gotta love those Texans. The ship looked very good for her age. Just a few things that showed some wear. We like cruising with Royal Caribbean. They have never disappointed us. I would recommend them to anyone who likes cruising. They have something for all ages. We also like cruising out of Galveston because it is only a 5 hour drive and we don’t have to fly. Can’t wait to do it again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
This was our 6th cruise total and 4th cruise on Royal and our 3rd time onboard the Navigator of the Seas. We drove to Galveston from Dallas early sunday morning and got to the port around 10:30 am and they made an announcement they ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise total and 4th cruise on Royal and our 3rd time onboard the Navigator of the Seas. We drove to Galveston from Dallas early sunday morning and got to the port around 10:30 am and they made an announcement they were delayed a little bit. We are used to the port of Galveston being crowded and long lines, so we were onboard the ship by 12:00. They are building a bigger port, so I'm sure once it's done it will be better, but other than that, just have to have a little patience! :) We had an excellent time this cruise! We have always cruised alone as a couple and this time we brought our good friends, my mom and my aunt. We all had a blast together, and they all loved this ship as first time cruisers! The ship itself is beautiful just like it has been the other two times we have been on it. The service is always so nice and pleasant and they are always willing to help with whatever you need. Our room attendant, Reynaldo did a great job with our room. Always clean and made sure to stop and say hi to us the first day and throughout the rest of the trip. We ate in the MDR every night for dinner and the food is great! I was excited to eat some of my favorite menu items and thoroughly enjoyed them each night. Our head waiter Sandeep was right on point, he did a fabulous job of explaining the menu every night and waiting on us and letting us know what the next day held as far as weather, tendering and etc. However, the assistant waiter is not what we are used too. This was his first week in the MDR learning all of the ropes, so we didn't get great service, but we understood it was his first time doing this and just let him know what we needed each night. I'm pretty certain he will do a great job the more he does it! He was very nice! I'm addicted to the shows each night and the shows were really good this trip! The Royal cast was fabulous, and my favorite show was the Broadway Hits the last night of the cruise, they did fantastic! The Ice Skating Show is a MUST SEE! It's absolutely beautiful and fun to watch! Ports of Call: Cozumel - we had a nice warm day, we rented a taxi and took it over to Chankanaab National Park and snorkeled on our own (Best Snorkeling site around), ate some lunch at the beach while were there, saw the sea lion show (adorable) and had a really great day! We left there and did a little bit of shopping back at the port before we got back on the ship. Chankanaab is really nice fun place with a great beach and lots to see! We go there every time we are in Cozumel. It's $21 per person to get in, but if you go to their website beforehand, you can print off a $2 coupon. It's a great price for all the access you get inside. Grand Cayman - We had to tender in this port of call, and the tendering went really well. We had a shore excursion, so we were one of the first groups to get off the ship. We took the Jeep & Snorkel Excursion - we got to drive our own jeep and they took us around the island, we stopped at a really nice beach spot but we couldn't swim because there was a ton of seaweed, but it was beautiful to look at. The water is incredible. Our next stop was to the town of "Hell" - there we saw why it was named Hell and went into the gift shop and etc. After that they took us to another stop to enjoy some samples of Rum Cake and Rum. After that, we went to 7 Mile Beach where we could enjoy swimming, snorkeling, or just laying on the beach. This excursion was a little misleading, as we thought we would be snorkeling out somewhere nice, but it was just right at the beach at your own leisure so it wasn't much to see. Still a great time though! Jamaica - We took the Dunns River Falls Excursion - we got on a bus and took a 1 hour ride to Dunns River Falls - here we left all our belongings on the bus as we couldn't take anything with us per our tour guides and climbed the beautiful falls! I think everyone should at least do this once in Jamaica, it was breathtakingly beautiful and an absolute blast! Our guide on the falls was so much fun!!!! However, we were really sad that we couldn't tip him since we couldn't bring any money in. After that, they took us to a beautiful beach where they brought us different plates food (jerk chicken was so yummy!) and free drinks (lemonade, rum punch and etc) - we had about an 1 1/2 here to relax. We really enjoyed this excursion. The Disembarkation was a pretty easy process, lines as normal, but we were off the ship by 8:30am, so we were on good timing to get back to Dallas by early afternoon. All in All, we absolutely love Royal and will continue to sail with them! Thanks for a wonderful vacation!! :) Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
Ship looks great inside with the refurbish. they spent millions of dollars to upgrade this. However the food in the buffet was a 7.99 type of buffet. i have been on many Cruises including royal , i cruise 2-3 times a year. I noticed less ... Read More
Ship looks great inside with the refurbish. they spent millions of dollars to upgrade this. However the food in the buffet was a 7.99 type of buffet. i have been on many Cruises including royal , i cruise 2-3 times a year. I noticed less variety as well as lower quality. (cheap Chinese buffet desserts, no cake pies ect) the main dinning room was ok some nights however overall i found the food lacking. forget a late night option on this ship , the cafe promenade was terrible with the same tiny sandwich with no meat in them everyday and night. all these millions spent and you cant get a hot tasty hot sandwich??? entertainment was good, the cruise director was very boring though. he would be doing paperwork or be on celebrity with a much older crowd. overall i think royal is cutting costs on food so sadly i think this is a deal breaker for me. Adam Goldstien needs to read the reviews and correct this as he is trying for record profits im sure. staff is friendly but clearly overworked and spread thin. Read Less
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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