7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
i took a half term break with my three children on Navigator of the Seas,, I really wish I hadnt .This is a very expensive cruise line . Good points : Boarding was quick ,unlike P&O where you sit like sardines in the Ocean terminal ... Read More
i took a half term break with my three children on Navigator of the Seas,, I really wish I hadnt .This is a very expensive cruise line . Good points : Boarding was quick ,unlike P&O where you sit like sardines in the Ocean terminal like sardines before any security checks hoping that none of the people packed in that terminal have anything ticking in their rucksacks !. the Meat is always very nice , and they bake nice cookies ...... unfortunately ,,, thats about it . This cruise ship is very very expensive , first thing to consider is the dreaded drinks package,one is a soda package at 10 Dollars per day , the second is a non descript non alcoholic cocktail package at around 30 Dollars a day, and the third is the "Ultimate Package" at 58 Dollars a day which covers pretty much everything. Also you must add to these packages an extra 18% Gratuity. I asked Royal Caribbean what exchange rates they were using and was told 1.09 Dollars to the pound ..... ouch !!. when you consider that a glass of Pinot noir costs 12.00 Dollars plus 18% Gratuity ( 14.16 Dollars ) converted to pound notes thats £12.99 per glass of wine !!!!????. WOW ,I was shocked and in my state of confusion and dismay ,,,I signed up for three Ultimate and a one soda package which came to 1044 dollars plus 18% gratuity ( 1,231.92 dollars ) . as you can guess ,, all this within one hour of being on the ship ,, i needed a drink !!. The Gratuity is salt in the wound as there are very few drinks waiters and 98% of the time you go up and order from the bar !!. Drunkeness was a problem for the 6 days we were aboard this ship. When people are paying a lot of money for drinks packages ,, its human nature to make sure you get your moneys worth . We had to move tables in the dining room after the parents from a group of seven got very drunk and caused a big argument and scene at dinner. In 15 years cruising I can honestly say Ive never experienced anything like it , I ended up making a statement to security, and not eating in the dining room for three of the six nights as the people concerned continued to drink to excess !!. This apart , the food was very average , and certainly not what i would consider " cruise food". We were served delights such as mash potato and croquet potatoes which to be honest , i can buy in Iceland at home. Lobster was a 35 dollar surcharge where as on P&O it comes as standard. shuttle buses were extra at ports , i spent 60 Euros on these at two ports Our room steward was a pleasant girl who i saw only about four times , she never introduced herself and i still dont know her name . Our cabin was kept in an ok condition tho a broken glass was still there at the side of my bed when we departed .... three days after the incident that lead to its demise. This is a very average , bottom shelf ship that is way past a refit .... where I felt like a cash cow being milked on a daily basis .I could go on but wont . needless to say "never again " with Royal Caribbean , spend a bit more and go with Cunard , you will be happy you did Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
My Wife, my Granddaughter & myself have just returned from a European cruise on this ship. First the Good! the food in the main restaurant was very good, & our waitress & waiter were excellent, but after paying a good amount ... Read More
My Wife, my Granddaughter & myself have just returned from a European cruise on this ship. First the Good! the food in the main restaurant was very good, & our waitress & waiter were excellent, but after paying a good amount for this cruise with an all inclusive package we naturally thought that would be it, but don't be fooled, when we got our tickets it stated we could only have wine & beer, so we were told by our agent it would cost another $72 a day per person to up grade to include Spirits & Cocktails,($216.00) so I phoned R/C direct & was told I could upgrade on the ship for an extra £70.00 per person per week, which is what we had to do, but although all 3 fares were the same only the first 2 passengers get A/I you have to pay even more for anybody else ie. the 3rd person. We went into town at the 1st port & were charged $10.00 each ($30) for the shuttle bus, which we found out was a mere 1/2 mile from the ship, (RIP OFF) times this by 3 ports = a total of $90.00 and although we had paid £140. to upgrade we were charged extra for Coffee's (RIP OFF) we were intending to use the WiFi but once again it would cost $12.99 per day $91.00 per week per person. (RIP OFF) In our cabin, which we had paid extra for, to upgrade to a family cabin, which turned out to be the smallest cabin we have ever had, & most certainly not a family cabin. (RIP OFF) We had a TV in the cabin, but if you wanted to watch it (other than R/C adverts) it would cost you $13.99 per day. $98.00 p/week. (RIP OFF) and if you wanted to watch a film that was even more per day. (RIP OFF) Like I said the food was nice, but we thought we would try the steak restaurant on board, until we found you had to pay $35.00 per person to enter, & a further $13.00 if you wanted a decent steak so making $38.00 x 3 = $113.00 (BIG RIP OFF) if you fancied an Italian that would cost you an extra $13.00 p/p entry fee. total $39.00. You are asked to pay your bill on the day before you disembark. when we checked the bill there were small amounts on it, so I asked what they were for, and I was told that when we had a drink it would be rounded up to the nearest dollar and the extra would be added to your bill, we paid our bill minus the small amounts, leaving us with a Nil balance. After returning home we received a bill from our credit card co. to say R/C had taken £9.64 ($11.68) from our account so I phoned them to ask why, I was told it was for 2 small bottles of water that were in the fridge, This must surely be the most expensive water in Europe £4.68 per bottle.(RIP OFF) This is without the Gratuities rip off where R/C add approx £250.00 p/p x 3 = £750.00 to your bill without asking, (BIG RIP OFF) which we found out you can have taken off your bill if you ask. And if you ask any of the crew on board they all say the same, they DO NOT GET ANY TIP MONEY FROM R/C. If you are like us you tip individuals for good service. SO BEWARE!!! you think you have paid for a full board with A/I drinks Cruise, but think again, because you could end up with additional excess charges of over £2,000.00 (Pounds) So think again before you use Royal Caribbean!!!!!! Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Having cruised with a number of lines including Fred Olsen and P&O over period of 20 years, we had a fair idea of what we ought to expect when choosing Royal Caribbean. We chose the Navigator of the Seas Mediterranean cruise on 7 ... Read More
Having cruised with a number of lines including Fred Olsen and P&O over period of 20 years, we had a fair idea of what we ought to expect when choosing Royal Caribbean. We chose the Navigator of the Seas Mediterranean cruise on 7 August for the itinerary and because, travelling in the school holidays is a must, as we care for grandchildren during term time. For the first time we opted to pay a pre-cruise service charge amounting to £256. Embarkation was effective and speedy. We had a balcony cabin on Deck 8 which was comfortable. We were lucky to have a balcony because there were rarely seats available on the sun decks having been reserved with towels. RC have notices banning the practice but no-one seems to care. On arriving in the cabin I wanted to make a coffee for myself and a tea for my husband. He was OK. I wasn't. The cabin attendant informed us that RC do not provide sachets of coffee only teabags - (no biscuits a la P&O either). We bought a jar of coffee in Gibraltar. Having had toiletries provided on previous cruises and in hotels, I brought no conditioner or body wash. RC provide only thin slivers of soap and a shampoo dispenser. My luggage arrived at tea time. My husband's case was finally located the following morning. We discovered that the electrical circuits are 120 volts - no-one thought to mention it and the shops do not sell adapters. We were able to borrow one from Customer Services. Apart from jewelry, watches, drink and overpriced clothes little space is given to basic items. Ordering pre-dinner drinks we found that not only were the prices extortionate but that an 18% service charge was added. This was standard for every drink ordered at the bar. There was actually no service. You queued behind bad mannered children ordering time consuming concoctions to order all drinks at the bar. Confusion reigned when tendering your seapass in payment. Some were returned to the wrong customer. We queried why, having paid an advanced service charge we were then hit with an 18% gratuity charge. The answer was that the advance service charge was merely for cabin attendants. Having also unsuccessfully queried the lack of service in the bars, we withdrew the advanced payment. We were later told by a crew member that RC deduct admin charges from theseadvance payments. The ship was overcrowded and most bars had insufficient seating room. There is however a huge area of Deck 4 allocated to slot machines and gaming tables. Gangs of feral children roamed the ship unsupervised often carrying food and drinks, playing in the lifts and sitting in the interior balconies. The RC curfew is ignored. There is little point in RC having a dress code since some passengers make a point of disregarding it. Shorts and T shirts were worn on formal nights and delightful male teenagers refused to be separated from their baseball caps at meal times. Informal is fine but do bother to have have a dress code if it is ignored. We have seven grandchildren ranging in age from 2 to 18 and they are not angels but a lot of these children behaved appallingly and without parental control RC are excellent at pushing sales. We were pushed to order $20 or $30 items from the menu most evenings. The food was reasonable in the MDR and our two waiters, Brandon and Bomchai were excellent. Food in the Windjammer was what you would expect from a self service cafeteria, but again it was difficult to find a table. Every time we switched on the TV a message was waiting to sell us something. There was no such importance given to information about the ports of call. Equally the broadcast system is shocking. It was either blasted to the cabin or you couldn't hear it at all. This also applied to the Captain's regular midday announcements. The tours we took in Civitaveccia for Rome, Genoa for Portofino, and Lisbon were good. We gave up on entertainment having seen the hypnotist and a singer. Royal Caribbean can obviously fill their cruises and will not notice that they have lost our custom. We would never travel RC again Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Our first cruise.Family of 4.Getting on the ship was smooth and hassle free..First empressions were pretty good clean and well presented.Our cabin was small but cosy and clean.Our bags arrived on time.The ship was quite impressive.The ... Read More
Our first cruise.Family of 4.Getting on the ship was smooth and hassle free..First empressions were pretty good clean and well presented.Our cabin was small but cosy and clean.Our bags arrived on time.The ship was quite impressive.The staff we met were incredibly helpful .anything we asked was answered and dealt with fully. Windjammer food was not to bad and food in the main dining area (Saphire) was really good.infact most things we experienced on the ship was really not too bad but the real problem was the shear amount of people on the ship.simply too many.there were too many kids (even though we were with ours) .the whole ship was just too packed.the main pool areas were terrible messy, no chance ever of getting a deck chair.jam packed with crazed children pumped up on crazy pills.My children are a lot more sensible and were shocked at the behaviour of some children..some parents were letting there kids go crazy throught the ship.it all became too much at times.the childrens clubs seemed ok but were not really able to cope(not the fault of the staff who were great).There were quieter parts of the ships which we were forced to go to at times. The evening shows were mostly great.The service from the staff was good.Embarking and disembarking was not a problem. As a family we did enjoy ourselves but the whole thing was marred by there being too many passengers and super hyper children all congregating in certain areas of the ship on a daily basis.The main pool area was too tacky,busy and felt a bit butlins.Its all about packing as many people on the ships as possible,and with ships getting bigger its all about the numbers.For these reason we will not be using RC again and hence the 3 stars.By the way we were told by staff the next outing on the ship had even more children booked. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
My husband and I, my daughter, grandchildren, brother and sister in law have just retuned from a two week cruise around the Med. Things the ship did well: The cruise director Rob was extremely good and worked hard to make sure ... Read More
My husband and I, my daughter, grandchildren, brother and sister in law have just retuned from a two week cruise around the Med. Things the ship did well: The cruise director Rob was extremely good and worked hard to make sure everything was well. The cleanliness of the ship is good, check in and out very smooth. The variety of entertainment etc. was very good with a truly outstanding ice show and ice skating sessions over the holiday. A very comprehensive menu in the Windjammer and super snacks in the café. Necessary improvements... Quality of food in the main dining room is mediocre at very best. The presentation is no better than you would get in a pub and the variety of menu is disappointing. There are 3 courses and no chocolates offered with coffee after dinner. Some examples of this are: Crackers served with cheese come in packets and were invariably broken. Mint sauce was offered and served from a supermarket jar. A main course of Quiche was served on a plate with a ramekin of lettuce leaves - that was it. It had to be seen to be believed. One evening the menu advertised outside the dining room was changed once we sat down to dinner. I wish I could upload photos. Lack of waiters means 10 minutes+ queue at the bar to get your drinks (and pay 18% gratuity for the privilege). No coffee, milk, shampoo or conditioner in the staterooms although they do provide general 'jallop' shower gel. We had to request bed linen change on day 7 and 8 as this had not been done. My daughter's stateroom was never touched in the evening. There is a laundry service ($30 per bag) but no laundry room for guests to do their own should they wish. The kids club is oversubscribed so its a first come first served system meaning my grand-daughter missed a pyjama party and film night she had been looking forward to. There is only one baby changing facility on the whole ship and we found this out from another guest. Guest services had told us there were not any on board and we should use the cabins. Babies in nappies or swim nappies are not allowed in the swimming pools or Jacuzzis. There are no cots available. Some of the towels are frayed and one even had a hole in. The safe instructions are in every language it seems but English. Little touches provided previously are now missing or chargeable - eg: ice sculpting, towel sculptures (although my brother in law and sister in law did get this every night in their stateroom), iced drinks on arrival back from shore excursions... The sail away parties were lack lustre and short lived. The childrens' section of the library had no books! We will never use on this cruise line again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We've cruised many times before but always avoided RCI as we were concerned about the number of kids on board (even though we have 2 of our own). However, as our youngest had just completed his GCSE's we were able to sail before ... Read More
We've cruised many times before but always avoided RCI as we were concerned about the number of kids on board (even though we have 2 of our own). However, as our youngest had just completed his GCSE's we were able to sail before the main weeks of the Summer holiday, so, as we wanted there to be some older teens for him to meet, we thought RCI would be the best option. EMBARKATION The ship was late arriving from the previous cruise so this wasn't a great start. They had shuttles to Southampton which was OK - we went to Starbucks and used their wifi to watch the British Grand Prix and The Wimbledon final. So getting on board was hectic and very late. You can't really blame them for this as it was the weather on the previous cruise that caused the delay but it meant that there was no Sail Away party and no apology for the late departure - I though they could have at least given everyone a free drink! SHIP IS TIRED Overall the ship is looking its age and not particularly well maintained, nothing major just lot of little things that weren't quite right - automatic doors didn't always work; unpainted areas; light-switch not working properly; tv remote very iffy. Nothing to really put you off but not up to the standards of other lines we've cruised with. SUNBEDS One thing I wasn't aware of before we cruised with RCI was that sunbeams, or lack of them, seem to be an issue on RCI ships. On every other cruise we've done you could always get a sunbed, it might not be exactly were you want it but there were always a few free. Not here. We never got a sunbed on a sea day as they were ALL covered with towels by about 8:00am and even though some of these beds were unoccupied for long periods - hours some of them - staff never moved towels to free them up. We complained, as many, many others did, and the staff just said there was nothing they could do and we should get up and nab a bed at 7:00am if we wanted one! CREW The crew, with the exception of those at Guest Services, were generally pretty good, the problem is there weren't enough of them. I imagine they are saving money by reducing waiters, etc. Most times I had to go to the bar to get a drink because it might take 15 minutes or more before a waiter would come along - that's at the pool and the inside bars. Again, I've never experienced anything like this on other cruises. I assume that the Guest Services staff were continually being complaint to/at because everyone we talked to had complained about sunbeds. However, this is no excuse. My wife was told 3 times that shuttle tickets could not be purchased at Guest Services even though it was being announced that this is were they should be purchased. After my wife purchased the tickets at Guest Services and confronted the crew member who had 'lied' to her he said, the printer was slow at Guest Services so he was trying to get people to buy them on-shore - why he just didn't say this in the first place I don't know! FOOD Overall the food was good but I couldn't believe the opening times of the 'freestyle' restaurant. It closed at 9:00pm. I seem to remember other restaurants like this on other cruises being open almost 24/7, certainly until late in the evening. There was a small cafe that opened later but it was tiny and other than pizza didn't serve any hot food. ENTERTAINMENT Very second rate compared to other cruises, with the exception of the Ice Show and one of the guest acts. The cruise's own dancers/singers only did a couple of shows in the 2 weeks and they were nothing like as good as other shows I've seen on cruises. The live music around the ship was also pretty poor, the singer/guitarist made everything sound like a dirge and the pool band were playing to a backing track - no drummer or bassist. The house band and orchestra, to give them their due, were pretty good. ITINERARY This is my fault as I should have paid more attention before I booked but there was FAR too much time at sea, 6 days on 14 day cruise - it was actually 7 for us as we didn't dock at Nice due to the terrorist attack but that's understandable. It wasn't only the number of days at sea but the short time in each port, many of them were really only half days 12:30 to 6:30, or leaving at 2:30. Again, I put this down to cost saving - or trying to get people to spend more money on board. OVERALL I wouldn't cruise with RCI again as so much wasn't up to scratch and not as good as other lines. I've cruised with Celebrity a lot and maybe I shouldn't expect RCI to be as good as them but we've also been on P&O, Princess and Norwegian and they are all much better. Apparently, there will be 800 more passengers on the Navigator for the next 6 weeks due to school Summer holidays. I dread to think how the staff will cope as they couldn't cope with the passengers on my cruise. And you may have to get up at 5:00am if you want to claim a sunbed! (PS. Spell check keeps changing sunbeds to sunbeams so if there are any left above you know what happened.) Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
I liked that there were lots of beach chairs on deck. Checking out towels each day was a pain. And people did save chairs even though they weren't supposed to. The captain was super hard to understand and didn't really keep us ... Read More
I liked that there were lots of beach chairs on deck. Checking out towels each day was a pain. And people did save chairs even though they weren't supposed to. The captain was super hard to understand and didn't really keep us updated. The food in the windjammer was not great. Always the same things and too many rice dishes or one pot dishes. The windjammer was always closed too. The deck was dirty. Needed to be swept and cleaned and dusted. Our room steward was pretty awesome. Her name was Tracy from Jamaica. I loved the soap. The food at dinner was good in the dining room. Service was a bit slow for my son and husband and the other party at our table. The cruise compass didn't have enough details. The shows were not given good descriptions. I sat through mo town which was good but I might not have picked it if I had known what it was. I only saw one comedian. He was not PG. I missed another comedian and I didn't see a magician. The tv shows and movies on tv were awful. I really missed Zumba. They offered Latin dance but the instructor was not prepared, late and had technical difficulties. She couldn't speak English and it was a disappointment. The decor on the boat was nice. The carpet was nice. I wish that sometimes the crew would offer more service. Serve my lobster out of shell, offer straws, napkins. Pull out my chair. A cool cloth after shore excursions. Mints on pillow. Offer bar service a bit earlier. Esp on Haiti. Provide more drink stations on deck. Catholic mass was not offered this cruise. Too short of times in port for my husband and son to see everything. The exercise classes didn't have an Instructor show or the stretching class started late. The music pool side was not great. My son said lines were long to enjoy the flow rider. Embarkation was a bit rough. Hard to find port terminal. No instructions on website. The terminal and parking are separate and very confusing. Not explained on boarding info. We rcd several e mails about our cruise but nothing about getting to port. Disembarkation was dreadful. It took over two hours to get off the ship. I don't know how people flying were able to do it. The shuttle to the parking garage was efficient from the ship. There was too many smoking areas on the ship. On deck by windjammer and pool, in bars on deck. And on deck four. It is 2016. 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
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: 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
Sail Date: July 2015
Galveston wouldn't be my first choice of ports, but it was uneventful (that's a good thing). I was hesitant to believe how good the food was before I took my first cruise. After my first cruise (Carnival Conquest), I was ... Read More
Galveston wouldn't be my first choice of ports, but it was uneventful (that's a good thing). I was hesitant to believe how good the food was before I took my first cruise. After my first cruise (Carnival Conquest), I was hooked. The food was off the chart good. skip to this cruise... My first Royal Caribbean Cruise (thinking it was a slightly higher end) and my fears were realized. While service was good all over the ship, the food was barely edible. It was beyond bad. Poor quality food with uninspired preparation. Canned clam chowder, steaks taste like they came from a box of frozen steaks bought at Walmart or Sams. Even the crew said they go off the boat to find good food. There was literally nothing on the boat that was exceptional that was intended to be consumed. To be fair, the lobster and escargot were pretty good. Literally nothing else was any better than high school cafeteria fare. Even the cocktails weren't very good. The boat was fun. The service was good and even great in places with the exception of cocktail service to the casino tables (a drink every 90 minutes was the norm unless you got up to get one for yourself). They had one waiter there and he could most often be found talking to pretty girls instead of his job. Melvin and Rohan (dining room staff) couldn't have been better. Not their fault they are serving slop. Bands and music were pretty good. The Reggae band at the pool was awesome. The country band in Bolero's was pretty good (but only played one night that I heard). The guitar guy in Two Poets was good. Problem was, not enough music or for long enough. There were times when you couldn't find a band anywhere. Shows were disappointing. I didn't like the constant marketing. I didn't expect high pressure sales tactics on my vacation. I bought a few things, would have bought much more without the in your face tactics. Mini fridge in my stateroom was broken and maintenance never came to fix it despite daily requests. I guess they were too busy ripping up and grinding away balcony flooring with power tools just outside my stateroom most of the cruise. I wasn't and am not bitter, I just found Royal Caribbean (or at least this ship) severely lacking in comparison to other choices out there. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
Overall, our vacation was fun because we were together as a family, but there is definitely room for improvement on this ship (we sailed on the Navigator of the Seas out of Galveston). I want to be objective and not only focus on the ... Read More
Overall, our vacation was fun because we were together as a family, but there is definitely room for improvement on this ship (we sailed on the Navigator of the Seas out of Galveston). I want to be objective and not only focus on the negative so here are some positives to start with: Pros - our room steward was exceptional. Erick took very good care of us, was very willing to help, and always took time to talk/joke with us when we met up with him. The kids enjoyed the "towel art" that he left each evening when we got back from dinner. Speaking of dinner, they did a pretty nice job given that they had to feed over 3000 people each night. Anything that we asked for on the menu was delivered with a smile and we immensely enjoyed our evening family dinners. We also had a lot of fun on our shore excursions and looked forward to the evening shows which were very entertaining. Cons - As I write this our cruise has been over for nearly a week. We bought some pictures and we were promised a link would be waiting for us via email when we got home so we could immediately download all of our pictures. No link was waiting for us and when we contacted the company contracted by RC to take care of pictures we were told there was no record of our order. The company is telling us they "need more time to contact the ship". The frustrating part is RC certainly didn't waste any time charging our credit card for the pictures and I now have the added "pleasure" of trying to fix this. Our next con was somewhat of a bait and switch by RC (in my opinion). When we booked our cruise (we booked directly with RC), the sales person promised us adjoining rooms and stated they both would have virtual balconies. Fortunately, we did get the adjoining rooms (since we were traveling with our kids), but they did not have the virtual balconies we were promised. I contacted the ship's guest services desk and did not receive any help at all. In fact, they were fairly dismissive and made us feel like we were bothering them with a petty request (this was a feature we were really looking forward to based on our conversation with the sales rep). Guest services continued to disappoint as we asked for assistance with our stateroom (it was incredibly warm the entire cruise and we asked for help). We were told twice they would have maintenance take care of it, but nothing was ever done. Not much fun waking up uncovered at 4am in a sweat because you can't get comfortable. We received no feedback at all on these requests and I have to wonder if they ever actually contacted maintenance. Finally, I totally understand cruise companies are in the business to make money. I get that. However, please don't try to nickel and dime me every time I walk through the ship with sales pitches for specialty restaurants, shops, and extras. It was like an army of telemarketers were let loose on the ship (I'm only half-joking here). We have cruised other cruise lines before and had great experiences. Maybe we just got a bad luck of the draw with RC on this cruise, but I doubt I will give RC another chance given the associated expense and the dismissive attitudes we experienced. In the future I will likely spend my money on another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
Our stateroom attendant was Awesome!!! The dining room food was HORRIBLE. The food in the buffet was good but always cold..... We purchased a photo package and got home and our pictures are not on the disk!!! I have called RCI and NO ... Read More
Our stateroom attendant was Awesome!!! The dining room food was HORRIBLE. The food in the buffet was good but always cold..... We purchased a photo package and got home and our pictures are not on the disk!!! I have called RCI and NO HELP but to call another company... Nothing like celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary and even the professional photographer didn't have the camera settings right...... Very disappointing for the money we spent. Excursion in Belize got changed and Guest Relations stated it changed to something else and gave us a printout of what we were supposed to do - got tendered to the Port and the RCI representative said NO that is not the excursion we were supposed to do - went back and forth with the RCI representative and we JUST CANCELLED!!!! Got a refund from Guest Relations - Left and Right hand didn't know what was going on.... We had two families with us and we were all very disappointed because everyone always spoke highly of RCI - NOT worth the money we spent on the cruise. The entertainment was good. Embarkation - Took over 3 hours in lines to get on the ship and took over 3 hours to off the ship on the return. They need to work on getting people off the ship and out before the next round of people are trying to get on. Total Chaos!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
2 ships. 2 cruises taken a year apart (Carnival June 2014 & RCI 2015). Same port (Galveston). Same destinations (Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Jamaica). Both family vacations with children ranging from elementary age to college age. ... Read More
2 ships. 2 cruises taken a year apart (Carnival June 2014 & RCI 2015). Same port (Galveston). Same destinations (Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Jamaica). Both family vacations with children ranging from elementary age to college age. Cabins: Navigator of the Seas had slightly more spacious cabins (balcony). Nothing huge, but noticeable. Main Dining Sitting: Carnival Magic had a more lively atmosphere. Food tasted about the same. Wait staff worked equally hard and was attentive on both but I'd lean towards the Magic. Beverages: Equal variety. Alcohol drink packages seemed easier with Navigator of the Seas. Bar Staff Friendliness: The main reason for this review! With only a few exceptions Navigator of the Seas bar staff is rude and at times completely inappropriate (comments to guests when ordering virgin drinks), frowns when ordering bottled water, ignoring simple questions of what's in the "drink of the day", serving completely wrong drinks, an overall feeling of "they hate their job", etc. These actions weren't specific to just one bar but was at every bar we tried except two (2 Poets Pub with outstanding staff & the Snack Bar). General Staff Friendliness: Equal. No noticeable difference. Both will generally greet you. Tendering to Grand Cayman: Magic without a doubt. Navigator of the Seas debarks passengers who have purchased ship excursions first leaving those who want to explore on the own waiting 3-4 hours on the ship. Yes, 1/2 the time in port is waiting to disembark. Disembarking to Cozumel & Jamaica: Equal. Daytime Ship Atmosphere: Magic by far has a more lively daytime atmosphere. Even with the Navigator of the Seas' Flow Rider and Rock Wall the Magic was still better. Nighttime Ship Atmosphere: Magic again. Navigator of the Seas doesn't have any. They show a movie at 730 (but if you have the 8:00 dinner time..), they have the "midnight buffet" at 1030.. the nets on the 2 pools go on earlier than I thought it would.. Yes both have a dancing club and we had fun at both but the Navigator of the Seas seriously lacks nighttime activities. Nighttime Shows: I'd go with Navigator of the Seas. Magic seemed to fall short. Outside Ship Cleanliness: Magic. Navigator of the Seas seemed... old and worn out. Final Disembarking: Navigator of the Seas if you choose the "I'll take my own luggage" option. So overall: Carnival Magic easily has a more entertaining cruise if you want to have a good time. If you don't, Navigator of the Seas may be a better choice. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
my husband and two children (ages 6 &9) sailed on a 7 night cruise out of Galveston November 2-9, 2014. we have cruised 4 times previously with Disney, but it was our first time with RCI. we had 3 other families with children traveling ... Read More
my husband and two children (ages 6 &9) sailed on a 7 night cruise out of Galveston November 2-9, 2014. we have cruised 4 times previously with Disney, but it was our first time with RCI. we had 3 other families with children traveling with us for our kids' school fall break, all of whom had cruised several times before with other cruise lines. i read cruise critic quite often, and we picked this cruise because we heard about the ships' refurbishment, and we would be able to cruise out of galveston and avoid air travel. Our family takes one big vacation every year, and we try to make the most of our limited time off. therefore, we generally have pretty high expectations of the experience, and RCI did not live up to our hopes. so here goes... the pros: -embarkation was very easy and quick -many of the common areas were very beautiful/nicely decorated -the flow rider, rock wall, and ice skating were a lot of fun -food and service at Johnny Rockets was great the cons: -the stabilizers on the boat were not functional for our 2nd day at sea. several members of our party experienced severe motion sickness, which essentially meant they lost a day of the trip because they were sick in the cabin. they were repaired while in port on day 3, but no sort of compensation was offered. -the room: housekeeping was fair. most of the time, they did not vacuum our room unless i specifically asked. we stayed in a balcony room that had been "refurbished" but storage space/cabinets/shelves had not been redone, appeared dated, but most of all, we had very little storage. i had to keep my clothes stored in my suitcase all week. drawers were difficult to open and close. here were no toiletries in the room (shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc). i thought this was a pretty basic expectation to have on a ship or hotel. also, there was a strange smell in the hallway outside our room (kind of like poop) all week long. -dining- food was mediocre at best in the main dining room for dinner. same things over and over again. kind of like "golden corral" quality on meat or a chain restaurant. service OK, seemed a little disinterested at times. there is a dress code - no shorts allowed- and they refused entry to my husband on the 3rd night because he was in shorts- he didn't have any clean pants to change into because we did not realize there was a dress code prior to getting on the ship & his pants smelled of cigar smoke from the night before. (seriously, my husband was in Brooks Brother's shorts and wearing a Rolex, it wasn't like he'd just come in from the beach). we spoke with guest services and they insisted that this rule could not be flexed. they did offer him complementary cleaning service on a few items so we could attend dinner for the remainder of the cruise. - Kids Club- the most troublesome thing about the kids club is that they do not give you any type of pager or phone to contact you in the event of an emergency with your child. on the 6th night, my son sustained a minor injury while at the kids club; they called our room (once, while we were out, and did not leave a message), but made no other attempts to reach us. he ended up being fine, but at the time, it bothered him enough that he was still in tears 2 hours later when we returned to pick him up. seems like an after-thought. had odd hours, closed for a while in the middle of the day at meal times- (ok, i could deal with that). however, some of the staff did not seem at all interested in caring for the kids and not interactive. when we left our kids later than 10 PM (there is a $7/hour fee afterwards, which we were willing to pay) but we got attitude, and a staff member actually lied to a member of our party about how much we would be charged (saying it would be $1/minute) to dissuade them from leaving their children there after 10PM. - other random nit-picky stuff: gym was small, jogging track essentially unusable because it wound through other areas and activities on deck 11. there was no self-service laundry on the ship. soda selection very basic i will end by mentioning that overall, we had a great time on this trip, but mostly because we traveled and spent time with friends and family; our enjoyment of this trip had little to do with anything exceptional related to Royal Caribbean's service. the other families that cruised with us agreed that the cruise line itself was lacking in several key areas (cabins, dining, kids activities), even compared to their experiences with Carnival. for us, i can deal with lack of storage, dated cabinets, mediocre food, excessive motion; however, not being able to be contacted about your child in an emergency is a deal-breaker. RCI may be more suitable for cruisers without children. we will not cruise with Royal Caribbean in the future, and i recommend other parents take this into strong consideration when planning a vacation with their family. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
This was our second time sailing out of a Galveston. I must say, our first experience was much better then this one. As stated by others -the terminal is very crowded and the process is not run well. Additionally, we had a very slow agent ... Read More
This was our second time sailing out of a Galveston. I must say, our first experience was much better then this one. As stated by others -the terminal is very crowded and the process is not run well. Additionally, we had a very slow agent who questioned my passport picture and ask me to show two additional forms of id. Then, she didn't activate my card properly or explain that I needed to go to guest services for my beverage sticker in order to use it. So, even though this wasn't RCL's fault, it said the wrong tone for the week to come. First the pros ....We found the ship to be beautiful. We have taken a cruise every year for the last seven years and this ship was up there with one of the best looking. We found our room to be roomy enough for the 3 of us. My 2 kids are 15 and 12 and we had plenty of room for us. Plus the balcony was roomy enough and nice. We thought they could have provided a bit more space for hangingitems however there is plenty of drawer space and small shelves which are great for toiletries. The kids clubs were great for the kids with the exception of a "prom" theme on the last night. Both my 12 and 15 year old didn't like the idea of finding a date to go to prom. I think they missed the mark on that one. As for the cons.... It was so rare that the staff acknowledged us by name. Apparently this is just not important to the staff. Most of the time the staff wouldn't even say "hi". They would just look away from you. We found this very unprofessional. We also thought the food was pretty blah. The same food is served in the dining room as the buffet in a lot of cases. We didn't try the specialty restaurants with the exception of Johnny rockets which costs 5.95 a person. Which wasn't horrible but it is an additional $4 or so for a shake. That seemed a bit much. We were also told "you can't" a lot which rubbed us the wrong way. For example in the morning dining room I would sometimes go down grab a table and get a coffee why I waited for the kids to get dressed. There is no holding of tables even though others are coming. You must wait to be seated until all are there. There was no signing the kids up online for the age group 10-12 which impacted the other group we were with. These are just two but there are more of other little "you can't" rules that rubbed us wrong. Next,we took two excursions through the cruise ship that I was very disappointed in. They both transported us in very old school buses with no air conditioning and very poor suspension for the extremely rough roads. This made for a really bad experience for us and thought the cruise ship should have looked at better transportation options for us as we were in port with the carnival magic who transferred their guests by chartered buses with plush seats and air conditioning to the exact same locations. Lastly, as many warned us, the debarkation process is absolutely horrible! We waited in the hot terminal to get thru customs for close to 3 hours. It is very hot and there is absolutely no concern by any of the workers for the high frustration levels of all the crammed together cruisers. It is a bad way to end what should be a fantastic vacation Overall we won't be going on another royal carribean cruise for quite some time or ever given the competition. Additionally, even though Galveston is way closer for us, we will not be taking another cruise out of there until something changes with their port. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2014
We have cruised several times with several different cruise ship lines over the past 15 years. We actually cruised on the Royal Navigator of the Seas in 2006 so this was our second time aboard this very ship. I want everyone to know before ... Read More
We have cruised several times with several different cruise ship lines over the past 15 years. We actually cruised on the Royal Navigator of the Seas in 2006 so this was our second time aboard this very ship. I want everyone to know before you book your trip that we have NEVER been told NO so many times aboard ship! It was such a different experience from all of our other trips that we won't likely cruise any more. The new trend is to have everyone purchase drink cards, not just the usual 'soda pop cards' but non-alcoholic cards and alcohol cards as well. What this means is that the line already has everyone's money so they don't have very many attendants walking about asking you if you would like a drink brought to you. You now get to go stand in line and wait 20 minutes to get a drink from the bar. AND, if you purchased one of their drink cards you are told that you can only get ONE drink and that you must wait a minimum of 10 minutes to get back in line to purchase another. We don't drink alcohol so this rule wasn't just for hard drinkers. I couldn't get two bottles of water to drink after working out in the gym. What a joke. I actually was not asked if I wanted a drink of anything for two solid days. That is not what the shipboard service is suppose to be like. We also found the service in the formal dining to be changed as well...keep in mind we were on this very ship several years prior and we know what the standard service experience should be. We were sat down and given menus and expected to get our dinner orders submitted ASAP. We asked to start with drinks (non-alcololic for us) and the waiter actually became irritated. We ended up drinking water and hurrying thru our dinner. Second night he attempted to do the same and we told him no. We insisted that he go find a bar attendant for us so we could order drinks prior to placing our food orders. Our waiter did weird things like giving menus to two men at our table and not giving menus to the ladies for several minutes. Things like that shouldn't happen with upscale dining. Also, the waiter wouldn't bring me a cappuccino coffee with my dessert stating that my drink card did not provide for after dinner coffee. I ended up standing for 30 minutes in the service desk line the next day to get that resolved. So stupid that the employees of the ship don't know their own rules. Every bar tender had a different excuse as to why I couldn't receive a free drink with my drink card as well as the amount of time I had to wait to order a second one. The only high light was the room steward who took great care of us during our trip and one particular waiter that came to us each evening in the dining room (starting on day 3 ! but that wasn't his fault). Those two men were the only people who made our ship board experience special...everyone else acted like the passengers were just in their way. Also note that if you purchase the drink card that they charge you for each day you are aboard the ship; however, they will not serve you any drinks on the last day as they state that the cards no longer work on the day that you disembark even though you paid for that day! I don't know yet if all ship lines are moving to this type of service; but my guess is that they are...just like anytime dining is now the standard fare option on most ships too now. New cruisers will not realize that they are receiving substandard service but past cruisers know what the service standards were and will definitely be unhappy with what is being given now. I would rather stay in a hotel and eat in a regular restaurant and get up and go order my own drink from a bar without paying many thousands of dollars that we pay for cruising. I use to think the extra costs were worth it because of the special service that you received onboard. Not any more... The room was tight as far as size but well appointed and beds were very comfortable. We had a third person in our room (our daughter) and her bed was hanging directly over the main bed in the room. We didn't like that layout but were unaware of how the extra bed was set up. Last ship we were on the extra bed was a fold out from the sofa which was much better FYI   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
After check-in, there is nothing to drink until you get to the deck 11. There is no more ice sculpture showing. Cabin - Cabin in deck 9 mid-ship is very noise. There are machines installed on deck 10 right above the room for swiming ... Read More
After check-in, there is nothing to drink until you get to the deck 11. There is no more ice sculpture showing. Cabin - Cabin in deck 9 mid-ship is very noise. There are machines installed on deck 10 right above the room for swiming pools on deck 11.. Custormer relation department did n't do anything to correct the situation. We need to switched room within family. They did use ear-plugs for the rest 6 nights. Food - About the same quality of cafeteria. Dirty and sticky tables on deck 11 area. I saw people use napkins to cover the table before they eat. Fish dishes are always over-cooked, beef dishes are tough and over-cooked. Lamb dishes are excellent. No loster or steak served if you don't pay extra. Entertaiments are good - Singing, dancing and Ice dancing too. Customer relation department - not treating customer as customer, unprofessional and very rude. I think RCCL is cutting down, there is no pen , pencil or paper in the room. No more chocolate in bed at night, no more food during the captain's welcome back party. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
This is a review of the Navigator of the Seas, sailing date Nov 17, 2012. Our group was my wife, myself, our children (ages 20, 12, and 12) and my wife's (mid 70s) parents. As a general statement I believe the crew on any given ... Read More
This is a review of the Navigator of the Seas, sailing date Nov 17, 2012. Our group was my wife, myself, our children (ages 20, 12, and 12) and my wife's (mid 70s) parents. As a general statement I believe the crew on any given ship will make or break the entertainment value of the vacation. The crew on the Navigator just didn't seem to care and weren't trying to hide it. We are a pretty laid back, self-entertaining group and don't expect to be waited on hand and foot, so we can and did have a good time despite the crew. That said I could not in good conscience recommend this ship/itinerary to someone. I don't like reviews where someone just says a cruise or hotel room is bad or good. I need to know *why* you thought so. If I know the why then I can better determine if that would be good/bad for me. So I want to provide a review where I detail what was good/bad along with some of the 'why.' Boarding: We flew in the day before and spent the night at the Embassy SUites. At 12:30pm We walked the two blocks to the whale lot where there were porters loading luggage onto carts. There was a bit of confusion because some folks who were Carnival passengers were trying to give them luggage. Our bags were already tagged so it was a quick drop and go situation. The porters tagged you bags if you didn't already have them. Note that the Riverwalk access to the cruise ship walkway (it's still marked like that) is closed. The doors have a heavy chain and padlock on them. It's easy enough to walk in the street, about 1 block from the whale lot to the terminal. There was a police officer (where the port road turns onto Julia street) managing the vehicle and pedestrian traffic. At this point organization took a vacation. We didn't know it at the time but a lot of the embarkation problems were related to the fact that the Navigator had just come trans-atlantic. I was later told that because the ship was previously trans-atlantic and "new" to the port all the various authorities were being more detailed in checking things out. This applied not only to disembarking passengers, but also checking out the crew. (Imagine Coast Guard, and Immigration and CUstoms officers diligently following the rules.) I'm not saying anything is wrong with this, just making note that it cause a lot of confusion and delays. I hope this experience was not indicative of a normal boarding in NOLA, because it was hands down the worst I've experienced out of 7 cruises. I'll give an example: One RCL employee was telling embarking passengers to go back the other way because there were still 500 passengers from the previous cruise still disembarking. We ignored him along with a few others and asked a bit further down and another RCL employeed told us to continue ahead as they've been boarding passengers for the last hour. We then were able start the boarding process. Entertainment: Nightly shows: The dancing shows were fine. (Nothing spectacular or particulary impressive.) There were two different comedians which were both very good. There was a Platters group that was fantastic. Daily entertainment: Our group agreed that overall this was weak. This was compounded by the fact that the first two days were sea days. There was just very little going on those two days. This was especially disappointing to me since I enjoy having a drink on the pool deck and watching contests or listening to music. Two days at sea and the highlight of the pool deck was the ice cream machine. The bingo was run well The trivia and sudoku contests in the schooner bar were okay The movie selection in the theatre was geared towards a 20-40 crowd. I would liked to have enjoyed more movies there but the seats were were so incredibly uncomfortable I couldn't make myself go back. My father in law went once also and said it was like sitting on a board. Dining: MDR: The food was good, the service decent. Nothing spectacular. The service of course varies from table to table. For some odd reason they served the Thanksgiving meal on Wednesday night. Windjammer: Only once did I find the Windjammer crowded. It was a sea day right at noon. Any other time we have no trouble getting a table or having to wait in line for food. The food itself was fine and well kept up. The only issue I had with Windjammer was it closed at 9:30 pm every night. Which would not have been a problem except there were no late night buffets, so you were left with room service or the Cafe Promenade (See below.) Cafe Promenade: This place was just downright awful. I've seen it well done on the Freedom of the Seas, so I know it can be done. I was served the worst Starbucks latte I've ever had. I threw half of it away. The worst part though was the service. I'll give an example: There is a sign with the available kinds of pizza. (Only once was I ever there and they actually had all 3 kinds listed on the sign.) I asked the woman at the counter what kind of pizza they had since I could see there was only 1 pan under the heat lamp. She gave me a dirty look and gestured at the sign. So I play along and ask for pepperoni which was listed on the sign. She turned around and looked at the pan, turned back around and told me they only have cheese pizza. Which wouldn't be so bad except that cheese pizza wasn't one of the kinds listed on the sign. Bar Service: I've been on some ships where I felt like I was constantly getting mobbed by bar service folks. That was definitely not an issue on the Navigator. Soda Package: In my opinion, the soda package on the Navigator is a complete waste of money. They have apparently changed how this whole situation is handled because if you have the soda package you either get fountain soda or soda poured from a 2 liter bottle. The problem with the 2 liter bottles is every time I got it, it was flat. I'm convinced others figured this out as well which further aggravated the problem. What then happened is people would not get soda at the places that had the 2 liters which caused long lines at the other places. Most often those places were the bars, which then angered the bartenders and others waiting for alcoholic drinks. I honestly believe you could solve the issue by not having the bottles at all or marking them with a timestamp. Note that if you didn't have a soda package they would whip out a cold can of soda and provide glass. (I'm tempted to write letter to the Coca-Cola company about the issue.) I'm not sure I will ever buy the soda package on RCL again because of this. Wifi: This ship does not yet have wifi throughout the ship. I was able to get a very weak signal in our room on deck 9 forward but never enough to actually get a internet connection. I never had any trouble getting a connection on the pool deck, windjammer, royal promenade, or of course in the internet cafe. Teen club: My twins went to the 12-14 club and activities. My daughter didn't enjoy it and gave it up after the second day. My son kept going throughout the entire cruise. Most of the activities did seem more boy oriented. The only issue I had was once when I went to check on him in the teen club room. I stepped inside the room and the RCL woman freaked out and ran over at me. She kept telling me that I couldn't come in there. She wouldn't shut up so I started talking over her and said I came to check on my son. She kept saying I can come in there. I asked how to I get a hold of him, and she said I would have to talk to her and she could get him. I then asked how if she was also in the room how could get a hold of her without coming into the room? At that she stopped talking and just stood there with her mouth open like that had never occurred to her. By that time we had the attention of all the kids in the room. I just talked to my son quickly and then left. (I've never had a problem stepping into the room to get the attention of staff on the Carnival kids club.) Excursions: Our excursion in Grand Cayman was cancelled due to high wind. We had left early to catch the tender and shop a bit so we didn't find out it was cancelled until we were standing there waiting for the group to show. I did discover that the excursion desk had left a message on our room phone indicating the cancellation. So I give them props for trying to contact us. Disembarkation: It wasn't as bad as embarkation, but having been through many others this experience was consistent with rest of the voyage. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
We went on a Mediterranean cruise July 3rd to 10th 2011. The Navigator of the Seas is a huge ship with a crew from many different countries. I will focus on the negative things on this cruise in this review, to help those who are looking ... Read More
We went on a Mediterranean cruise July 3rd to 10th 2011. The Navigator of the Seas is a huge ship with a crew from many different countries. I will focus on the negative things on this cruise in this review, to help those who are looking for something exclusive and wonderful when searching for a cruise line. First of all, the ships focus on selling merchandise is enormous. They display and push their goods all around the ship, and it felt as if we were in a bazaar. Cheap watches, different souvenirs of various quality, cheap jewels, T-shirts. The list goes on. The service on the ship varied so much, that their self-exclaimed Gold Anchor service, which is supposed to be supreme, seemed ridiculous. Our State Attendant (the man who serviced our rooms and cleaned it) was kind and polite. Most of the waiters were alert and attentive, but it felt forced sometimes. The Portofino restaurant had an exceptional staff. Very service-minded and smiling. We played Bingo, and won, but had to share the prize because someone else had bingo too, and even if they didn't shout Bingo, as we were thoroughly explained we had to in order to get the prize, they got half of the prize. This was not explained in advance, rather to the contrary, they said that there was only one prize:$300, and we felt cheated. We mentioned this in the Guest relations Desk, and they had the Cruise Director call us. He just said this was the way they did it, but we could get some cards and play the next day.The game-shows were identical to the shows on a RCCL cruise we went on in January 2009 in Mexico. The guest relation desk were supposed to have information on the Ports of call, but they knew nothing except from what was written on a piece of paper that we already had received in our State room. We wanted to know if there was a beach near by, but they had no idea. Had never been ashore! One of the Excursion! desk employees was very condescending when we asked him if he knew about a beach, and did not want to talk about anything if it was not on the excursion program. The excursions that they sold. The speaker system was poor and it was difficult to hear what they said. It just made a lot of noise. This was particularly annoying outside by the pool. There was a policy on board that one could not reserve sunbeds. There were big signs everywhere to announce this. People did it anyway - on the days at sea everybody wants to get a bed by the pool and in the sun, but there just aren't enough of them - but the crew did nothing to prevent it. It would be so easy for them to remove the towels put on the beds to reserve them. The brochures stated the dress codes for the elegant dining room. Many guests couldn't be bothered to follow them, and went to dinner in T-shirts and shorts. This made the dinner experience feel "common" and less than stylish, especially on the Formal nights. The head waiter did nothing to stop this from happening, and it reduced the atmosphere. It felt strange to be dressed elegantly among shorts, T-shirts and sneakers. The entertainers seemed sick to their stomach to be there. The musical entertainers we saw were empty-eyed and made no attempt to connect to the guests. Last but not least. Be advised that the Tips expected is a flat out robbery. It is unfair. These are the people they "program" us to tip: State room attendant, Head Waiter, Waiter and assistant wait. We talked to some of the staff, and most of them make much less than the waiters and get no Tip. Our advice is to tip as you feel like during the course of the cruise, and don't feel pressured into tipping according to RCCL's expectations in their brochures: 3-7$ pr person pr day pr employee mentioned before. Remember, non of this money goes to the sweet man bringing you breakfast in you state room, or to the hundreds of other employees doing their best to make you happy. They receive a VERY low salary, but to quote one of them: "It is better than what we could get at home. There, there were no jobs". Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
This was our 23 or 24 cruise and 3rd cruise on Navigator of the Sea. The ship and the atmosphere has changed a lot in a last few years, they no longer have European crew and you can feel this in the food quality, presentation, cabins, etc. ... Read More
This was our 23 or 24 cruise and 3rd cruise on Navigator of the Sea. The ship and the atmosphere has changed a lot in a last few years, they no longer have European crew and you can feel this in the food quality, presentation, cabins, etc. The food selection in the buffet was so limited that after first day we decided to only eat in a restaurant. They never served lox, hearing, smoked fish for breakfast or lunch in a buffet, no chocolate croissants, all croissants were uneatable anywhere on the ship, and most dishes had hot peppers or curry added - shrimp bisque was disgusting blend that looked and tasted like liquidy cream of wheat, chicken ala king has curry powder and smelled terrible, beef stroganoff has hot halopenio peppers, etc. restaurant section was better but the way dishes were prepared showed Asian not European influence. None of the deserts were good during 5 days on the ship. There were no new movies on TV, and Cinema on the ship was showing Toy Story 3 and some vampire movie. Entertainment was poor, we walked out of the show that we watched last time when we were on this ship, this time the singer's voices were unbearable. Comedian was so-so, there was nothing else and ship director chosen very boring couples for newlywed game. Ice skating show was terrific and a total highlight of the whole entertainment. Crooners or Schooners, one of the bars with piano music, was always packed with people over 70, so we could never find a spot there. There was very nice group called Inspirations in Cosmopolitan Launch, the singer was good and variety of songs was great, but times that they played was terrible - we had an 8:30 dinner time and most production shows were at 7 pm, this group was playing from 7 pm to 8 pm and from 8:30 pm to 10 pm, so it was either have dinner and a show or dance hungry. Cabin was clean but room steward was barging in without knocking 3 or 4 times, every time I passed her by in the hall and say "hi, how are you?", she would say - "oh, it's just another day, I am so busy". There was never a chocolate on the pillow or anything surprising or special as far as cabin goes. Last day on the ship, we put a do not disturb sign on the door, first knock was from a bar steward who came to check if we used anything from the refrigerator, next knock was from liquor store clerk who brought us our liquor purchases, last knock was from room steward asking if we are going for lunch so she can clean the cabin. During the 2 days at sea there were no empty lounges anywhere near the pool, both decks were packed with no empty spaces anywhere. Ship also looks very run down to compare to how it looked 2 years ago. It is too bad that all new ships are super giants with tons of people; I'd love to take another cruise on a normal size ship but new. Navigator and Voyager are getting too old and too used for my taste. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2009
This was only the second cruise that my family of four had taken and we brought along our close friends, another family of four for their first cruise. I could never speak to the "relaxing" nature of a cruise because let's ... Read More
This was only the second cruise that my family of four had taken and we brought along our close friends, another family of four for their first cruise. I could never speak to the "relaxing" nature of a cruise because let's face it - four kids between the ages of 6-8 doesn't spell relaxation. I will say that the Youth staff was overall very nice and our kids had a great time in the short times they spent in Adventure Ocean. What surprised us all, was how, well, rude the staff was! I had read "Cruise Confidential" before the cruise and the author spoke of how more than anything else the staff was expected to speak English and be gracious to guests. We would ask questions of the staff and they would either look at us, not understanding, or shrug and say they didn't know. The questions were basically - 'do we need our passports in Haiti' or 'do you know how we get to the dining room'. By the end of the cruise on disembarkation day, I commented to my husband that never in all my life would I expect the Miami Transportation Authority to be kinder than the RC staff. One kind Head Waiter did tell us that all of the "trained" staff were removed to be placed on the Oasis. This left us feeling that those who paid $3500 a cabin were much more important than those who spent $2000 a cabin. In all, I enjoyed my time with my family and friends. I appreciated the Cruise Director's staff, but never would I ever again pay money to be treated so poorly on the open seas. Shame on you Navigator. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2009
The trip got off to a great start.  The boarding process was organized and unstressful.  Our rooms (2) were a comfortable size and the only reason things were a little tight is mostly to our over-packing.  We shared a dinner table with ... Read More
The trip got off to a great start.  The boarding process was organized and unstressful.  Our rooms (2) were a comfortable size and the only reason things were a little tight is mostly to our over-packing.  We shared a dinner table with a wonderful family who was travelling with kids about the same ages as mine.  We thoroughly enjoyed their company.  The food and wait-staff were also very accommodating and the food was excellent.  My 14 year-old son is a chow hound and seconds were brought to him when we asked for more.  Giovanni was our cabin steward.  No problems there.  He was available and took very good care of us.  The problems that created the negative position of this review was to behavior of our fellow shipmates.  Most were from Europe and spoke no English.  My family is also of European descent and I had actually looked forward to some communication and mingling with these folks.  Although I had read in other reviews about the rude behavior of some guests, I did not believe it.  The bad part is that the staff did nothing to intervene when problems arose.  Typical examples are:  not controlling their children who were loud, screaming and disruptive, guests pushing through to the front of the  beverage and buffet lines, removing chairs from our table while we were sitting there waiting for others to join us-without asking, cutting to the front of a long line of passengers waiting to get back on the ship in one of the ports.  (One Italian man walked past all of us and placed his camera on the scanning machine right in front of my son and I took it off and told him to go to the back of the line)  On the basketball court, some of the older men would run the younger boys and girls off the court to play soccer.  The Navigator staff did nothing when these and similar incidents occurred even when reported.  It was THE topic of discussion for the US guests and some of the other English-speaking peoples on board this cruise.  Please understand.  These were not isolated happenings.  It was constant for every meal and typical for every encounter with these folks.  Plain and simple, they just behaved badly.  I expected that as an American I would  be in the minority due to the fact that we sailed from Rome.  However, I was not prepared for the lack of manners and the refusal of the staff to maintain some order.  I believe that the employees of these ships rely on tips.  I suppose that if corrected, many of the disorderly people, would not have been as generous. Crete-No problems- Very nice. Palace of Knossos was a little disappointing following Athens and the Acropolis, but interesting anyway. Sicily had anti-American posters up. My daughter lost her digital camera there and the police would not take a lost and found report. (Neither the local or the port police) Expect the port employees in Sicily to be outwardly abrupt and unfriendly if you are English-speaking. Ephesus was our favorite. I would go back there tomorrow. The Turkish people were beautiful and kind. My daughter and I did the Turkish Baths. What fun!!!! In Athens, the tour guide held her cell phone next her her microphone and there was constant feedback through our headsets. She was difficult to understand due to her strong accent. Our guide on Crete was fabulous. She tried to help us find the camera that had been lost previously. Back on the Navigator, the shore excursion desk was closed every time we went to check about the camera or to make new reservations. I was grateful that we had booked a few trips while still at home. 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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