16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Let me preface what I am about to convey by stating that I have been cruising since I was five years old when my grandparents (my grandmother is currently 89, still works as a travel agent, and has been on 108 cruises) first took me on the ... Read More
Let me preface what I am about to convey by stating that I have been cruising since I was five years old when my grandparents (my grandmother is currently 89, still works as a travel agent, and has been on 108 cruises) first took me on the S.S. Dolphin, and since then, I have been on approximately 35 or so cruises with approximately 25 of those cruises on Royal Caribbean. I am currently a Diamond Plus member of Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor loyalty program, and cruising on Royal Caribbean’s ships has been one of the great joys of my life. I have gone on a cruise almost every year of my life, and I typically bring groups of 15 or more friends and family members with me so they can share the joy I experience. With that said, I’ll discuss the Navigator of the Seas sailing April 24, 2016. We booked the Navigator of the Seas with a large group in order to celebrate my 35th birthday around January of 2015 - a full 15 months prior to sailing. My husband and I were hesitant in booking a Royal Caribbean cruise because of a medical incident on the Oasis of the Seas several years prior that resulted in us being disembarked early and how handled Royal Caribbean handled it, but because of my longstanding love and enjoyment with the cruise line, we booked along with twelve other friends and family members. Then, the worst possible thing that could have happened, happened. TWO WEEKS prior to sailing on the Navigator of the Seas, my husband gets a call from Royal Caribbean informing him that his reservation has been cancelled effective immediately (not my reservation). The associate, was unhelpful, rude, and provided no answers other than it related to the Oasis of the Seas sailing and that their Global Safety Team is prohibiting him from boarding the ship. I called after his conversation concluded with her, and I had the exact same experience. she was the end of the line and that there was no possible way to have this decision reversed – even after tears and begging and pleading just to even talk to someone else (apparently she does not have a supervisor, according to her). Yes, you could say we should have expected this possibility, but we honestly and sincerely thought that with my husband’s name and personal information in Royal Caribbean’s system for a full 15 months prior to sailing and without ever having received any notice related to being blacklisted that enough time had passed – 2.5 years – and that booking this sailing would be fine. Royal Caribbean’s decision caused significant strife in our relationship seeing that now, 2 weeks prior to sailing, I was faced with making a decision of either staying home with my husband or screwing over the other family and friends that had taken time off work, spent money, and planned a vacation at my behest. Ultimately, we made the difficult, but unavoidable decision that I would go and he would stay home, crushed from disappointment. To alleviate the situation as much as possible, we ended up purchasing plane tickets and hotel stays so that my husband could at least fly to Grand Cayman and Jamaica, two of the Navigator’s stops, to spend time with me and the group. Not an ideal outcome, but better than nothing Thank you for bearing with me to this point, but I thought it was important that you have the all of the background information. I’ll now discuss our actual cruise on the Navigator of the Seas, April 24, 2016. Just to mention, I actually sailed on the Navigator 3 or 4 times back when it was relatively new, and the ship, as I understand, recently went through renovations in 2014. To make this easy and clear, here is what was GREAT: • The boarding and disembarking processes are very smooth and quick. Even with long lines, we were able to board the ship with no more than 15 minutes of wait time. Disembarking was similarly easy. I am glad Royal Caribbean seems to have put in place a system that truly works. • The entertainment on Royal Caribbean is outstanding. The performers are amazing, the show storylines, direction, etc. are bar none. The ice show, Ice Dancin’, is my particular favorite. It is essentially the same story as when the ship was new in the early 2000’s, but the ice skaters and production staff put so much liveliness and energy into the show that it doesn’t feel as dated as it is. • The excursions and the employees who coordinate them are amazing. We were running behind for our Stingray City tour (due to an issue with the tenders) in Grand Cayman, and the ship staff rushed us to the next available tender, called the tour operators, and made sure we made the tour. • The pool band and pool entertainment were top notch as always. They have even found new ways, in addition to the traditional belly flop contest and sexy man contest, to keep everyone excited and energized. • The food in the Windjammer Café has also improved. On this trip, I found more options and even better (more flavorful) food than on previous trips. Royal Caribbean is clearly stepping up its game for the people who choose to dine outside of the dining room. • Aesthetically, the ship looks beautiful. Royal Caribbean did a phenomenal with the renovations, and the ship looks clean and brand new. Here is what was NOT SO GREAT: • While the ship’s appearance was for the most part flawless, there were odors throughout the hallways. The odors were pervasive and put simply, smelled like sewage. • We ate in the dining room every night of the week. It is clear that Royal Caribbean has implemented drastic cost cutting measures. Whereas in the past, a server would have two or three tables max, the servers now seemed to have 4 or more tables. As you can imagine, this greatly slowed down dinner service. The issue was the same with the dining room bar server. Instead of formerly having 5 or 6 tables, now there would be 1 person assigned to vast areas of the dining room. On some nights, we would not receive our cocktail until the entrée was served – and it was to no fault of the bar server, he was great and working as efficiently as possible. This increased workload for the servers resulted in a complete lack of relationship building that normally happens with your dining room waiter. In the past, the servers would know everyone’s name, engage with everyone, and even know some of your personal likes and dislikes by the end of the cruise. This is no longer the case. Additionally, our busboy, who was splendid, seemed so frazzled trying to handle all of the tables that he even dropped my butter knife on the floor and just put it back on my plate – unheard of on a Royal Caribbean ship in the past. I think the ship’s automatic gratuities, while convenient, do not encourage the dining room staff to outperform the bare minimum. On a side note, the other half of our group had a different server and busboy, and their experience was the exact same, so I do not believe our experience is isolated. • Speaking of bar service, now that the ship offers unlimited drink packages, bar service and bar availability have noticeably deteriorated. I think now that the bartenders no longer receive per-drink gratuities, they no longer seem interested in providing top-notch service. Every drink ordered seemed like a chore instead of a chance to bond and enjoy the exchange as it used to be. In previous years, the pool would have cocktail servers roaming around, offering the day’s frozen drink in a souvenir cup – all of that is gone. For example, on a previous cruise, we had a pool bar server named affably “Dr. Feel Good.” Talking to him and ordering drinks from him was one of highlights from that trip. He always made everyone laugh and kept everyone happy. Again, gone are those days. • The ship’s WIFI is a joke. Do not spend the $20 per day on it unless you absolutely have to. The internet hardly worked anywhere on the boat. Unless your entire cruise was going to be spent on the Promenade, the Windjammer, or parts of the casino, it is a complete waste of money. The signal constantly had to be reset to work, and IF it did work, it was incredibly slow. I understand the technology limitations while being at sea, but don’t sell a $20/day product that is mediocre on its best day. • I was also surprised to see that the nightclub, formerly on Deck 3 by the showroom, has been turned into cabins. On previous trips, some of our best memories were in that nightclub. Now, the only place to dance and listen to music after 12:00-12:30 AM is the Cosmopolitan Lounge (the top deck, surrounded by glass). While this venue is nice, it does not offer the same experience by any stretch of the imagination. On a side note and interestingly enough, the casino (and all ship bars except the one lounge) closed by 1:15-1:30 almost every night of the week, and it wasn’t because the casino was empty, the casino staff actually shut down and asked everyone to leave. Maybe this is how the ship casinos are operated now, but it was certainly a surprise to me based on my previous cruise casino experiences. • With a handful of exceptions, the ship’s crew and staff generally seemed tired and disinterested. In the past, all crew and staff would smile, wave, engage with you, etc., and now, the ship employees couldn’t seem to even bother. For a person who has sailed with Royal Caribbean so many times, this was truly surprising. I do not know what Royal Caribbean’s business objectives are, but lack of customer loyalty, disregard for passenger experience, and cost cutting are clearly on the list. All of the little touches and attention to detail that made Royal Caribbean so special to me over the years seem to be completely gone. Based on what Royal Caribbean did to me and my husband alone, I will never sail with them again, but even had that not happened, I am deeply stunned and disappointed. Royal Caribbean always positioned itself way above the likes of Carnival and NCL, and now I would say there is no difference, except that Royal Caribbean is more expensive… and for nothing. At least with those other two cruise lines, you know what you are getting ahead of time and you are paying a fare commensurate with that expectation. I am and will always be an avid proponent of cruising, and it is now clearly time to partner with a company that I know will treat me and my family right, care for passengers, and provide the ultimate vacation experience. Adios RCCL Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
I have cruised many times and normally my family cruises with Carnival, however, Royal Caribbean is just one of those boats you see from the balcony of yours and think, "Whats that boat? I want to get on there!" Boy, was I wrong! ... Read More
I have cruised many times and normally my family cruises with Carnival, however, Royal Caribbean is just one of those boats you see from the balcony of yours and think, "Whats that boat? I want to get on there!" Boy, was I wrong! I moved to Seattle last year, and we have had this family vacation planned for over 8 months. I flew all the way down from Seattle for a family vacation that turned out to be a complete disaster. I was extremely EXTREMELY disappointed with Royal Caribbean and the Navigator of the Seas boat. The food tasted like complete CRAP. EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. The ONLY good food was at Sabor the Mexican restaurant. I wish I hadn't only just discovered that the last night because we would have eaten there every day. Room service was equally HORRIBLE. They got our order wrong EVERY SINGLE TIME, (if we even got our food at all), and when we called to ask about it, the manager on duty was again, extremely rude. The staff on the ship, especially in the casino were EXTREMELY RUDE. I was appalled at the low level of customer service and manners that this crew and its members had, no respect for any of the guests whatsoever. We had a leak in our cabin that made the entire floor between our bathroom door and desk soaking wet. I called it in twice and nobody ever came by to fix it. So we were walking on wet, stinky carpet for the last 4 days and the dripping was very obnoxious and hard to drown out at night when we wanted to go to sleep. The photographers on board were horrible. Crappy backgrounds, if you can even call them that, for the pictures and there was a caution sign in the back of one of my pictures. Idiots. Extreme lack of anything to do on the ship ever. Not a lot of shows, one of the few shows that was scheduled was cancelled. Boring shows, if and when there were any. And "at sea" days there was nothing scheduled to keep the guests occupied. It was horrifically boring. I will say the ONLY good people I encountered on this trip were: my stateroom attendant Golda (she was fabulous), Horace and Anjelica at the Casino bar, Marlon in the Metropolis and Star Lounge areas and our dinner servers Joaquim and his assistant Joseph. These handful of people were FABULOUS. They in fact, were the only thing I enjoyed about this family vacation. I will never cruise with Royal Caribbean again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
This was my second cruise on Royal carribean with my family. From the first day we arrived, I felt like they have lost their royal treatment. The food was disgusting. the bread was hard, the smell of the sapphire restaurant was horrible, ... Read More
This was my second cruise on Royal carribean with my family. From the first day we arrived, I felt like they have lost their royal treatment. The food was disgusting. the bread was hard, the smell of the sapphire restaurant was horrible, and the cook couldn't prepare soft scrambled eggs. The pool area was dirty all the time, the room a/c was not cooling well at all. And some of the staff workers were rude, they badly in need of a class in customer service. But on the other hand, they were very informational on what's going on. I'm willing to give it another try. I think they just over booked this cruise and was not able to accommodate everyone to give you that outstanding service that they are known for. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
My wife and I along with our 2 daughters ages 4 and 1 sailed the Navigator on 5/17. We've been on 4 Carnival cruises but wanted to try RC for the childcare due to our 1 ye old. Ship is outdated, old, pink hallways. Staterooms and ... Read More
My wife and I along with our 2 daughters ages 4 and 1 sailed the Navigator on 5/17. We've been on 4 Carnival cruises but wanted to try RC for the childcare due to our 1 ye old. Ship is outdated, old, pink hallways. Staterooms and balcony are ok on size. Bathrooms only have hot and NO cold water until debarkation day. Windjammer buffet tastes of all hospital food. Very rude lady that works left hand side when you walk in told my 1 year old she "beat her hand" if she spilled sugar from the caddy. I thought it was a funny joke until she repeated it 3-4 times and I told her to get lost. MC on the pool deck got very annoying throughout most of the day. Room service never picks up the phone and I was on hold for 35 minutes one day before I got them to pick up. We were invited to the captains dinner table for dinner on Friday night. Took 45 minutes to get out drinks. We had already been served bread and appetizers by this point. Kids were done with dinner before they received drinks. Last night of cruise AC stopped working. bartenders on pool deck were usually rude most of the time. The only day the juices in the windjammer weren't halfway watered down was debarkation morning. Also, in the same parts of the ship smell horrible of sewer waste. You'd get a whiff here or there and avoid those parts of the ship. Childcare was great in babies and aquanaughts. Girls in the R bar know how to make great drinks. We made the best of it but NEVER again. Especially for how much more we paid. We will head back to Carnival any day. RC Navigator disappoints. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
Where do I begin? This cruise was so terrible we may never go on RCCL again despite the fact we are I have high up on the tier for past cruisers. Complaints were brought to attention of the assistant manager which were answered with empty ... Read More
Where do I begin? This cruise was so terrible we may never go on RCCL again despite the fact we are I have high up on the tier for past cruisers. Complaints were brought to attention of the assistant manager which were answered with empty apologies. I spent 1.5 hours on the phone with customer service after returning. I was told we would have a resolution within 72 hours but now I am told it will be next week. Luckily we met some really good people which made the cruise tolerable because we were all upset with everything from the service to the food to the entertainment and the trash left around the pools. We had two other people with us who never cruised. They were extremely disappointed and do not plan to go on another cruise again. Its sad that this experience was so bad for them because we love cruising. Our cabin steward was awesome but that is as far as it goes. The ship was falling apart. A stool in the pol area was broken and when my husband sat on it he almost fell off. The carpet was dirty and looked very old. One of our friends had a toilet explode in his stateroom as well as the neighbors. He called for service and they told him they could not do anything about all the feces on the wall, ceiling and mirror because it might disturb other guests since it was midnight. They told him to use the bathroom upstairs in the public areas!!!! Really..... He had to sleep with the stench all night. After going to guest services about a few of the issues, we were given chocolate covered strawberries. My daughter started eating them and noticed one was moldy. She is highly allergic to mold and could have had a serious, very serious relations had she eaten it. The food was terrible in the dining area as well as being cold. The only staff who ever called us by our name was our cabin steward. The bars constantly ran out of beer, mostly coors light and bud light. A bartender at the pool was so rude, most people would go climb the stairs to the Sky bar to avoid his rude behavior. The public restrooms smelled like urine. One near he pool for the men could be smelled outside. Even after all this was discussed with guest relations, nothing was done.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2010
I have cruised 15 times before and actually this cruise would have made me a Diamond Member.(10 Sailings) I used to think Royal Caribbean was one of the best in the industry but after this last cruise,not anymore. I feel that it has ... Read More
I have cruised 15 times before and actually this cruise would have made me a Diamond Member.(10 Sailings) I used to think Royal Caribbean was one of the best in the industry but after this last cruise,not anymore. I feel that it has lowered it standards so much that there is no class left on this line and that is what used to separate it from the rest. Everything on and off of the ship that is related to Royal Caribbean is about making a buck, not the passengers enjoyment. I booked this cruise 5 months in advance thinking I was safe since RCCL has a "Price Guarantee" Well the rates dropped, and dropped and dropped. When I called RCCL four times, they said that the "Price Guarantee" did not apply to "Royal Sales Events" pricing. What kind of crap is that. So in a nutshell, my parents who booked last minute, same category paid hundreds less than us and they had use of our money for months. DON'T BOOK UNTIL LAST MINUTE TO GET THE BEST DEAL. In just the last few years, the following have disappeared from Royal Caribbean ships. The midnight buffets, Chocolates on the pillows, the Caribbean night by the pool, the platinum member gift (hat or tote bag) Hair Conditioner (It still says they provide it on their website.) and much much more. What has appeared are a $4 charge every time you pick up the phone for room service after midnight and if you try to call for room service at any other time, they do not answer the phone, I imagine it is to discourage you from ordering. We had to call guest services and see if they could connect us. This happened every time. The price of the drinks is outrageous. The drink of the day was as much at $8.50 plus tip and they have made the glasses much smaller than they used to be. Wine...OMG. 1-$9.99 bottle of wine in Ohio is $56.50 on the ship incl.gratuity. They have reduced the value of the Platinum member coupon books so much that you might as well throw them away. ie: Buy one bottle of wine for $50 or more and get the second (over $50. for 15% off) So because you are a platinum member 2 bottles for $107.50 with gratuity. At home for this wine-$20. The menu in the dining room has not change in years. The best food on the ship comes at a cost of $20 and $25. per person in Chops and Portofinos. This is the kind of food that used to be in the dining room and included in your cruise fare. We ate Breakfast in the WindJammer and not once did someone come and collect our dirty plates or ask us if we wanted juice or coffee. This is all self serve now. What is not self serve anymore are the beverages in the Windjammer, they have a station with glasses of water, juice, coffee. This prevents anyone from refilling their own water bottle so that you have to pay $4.95 for theirs.(I drink at least 8 of these a day...You do the math) When I asked the beverage attendant to please refill my bottle for me they refused. Shaking his head, making a tisk, tisk noise. Also, on our last evening in the Windjammer, the wine water actually growled at my 80 year old mother, not once but twice, because she did not want to buy wine. OMG, I couldn't believe my ears. We could not get 4 chairs together in the solarium. On the last day, We went down early and got 4 towels with our seapass cards, for which you will be charged $20 per towel if not returned to them. The women handed me the towels and said if I got caught saving chairs and I lost the towel because of it, I would be charged. My husband and I said "we are getting two additional chairs for my Mom and Dad who had to wait for the elevator because they couldn't do the stairs and besides, we haven't been able to get 4 seats together on the entire cruise. She just shrugged. This would have been a pleasant sea day but the solarium pool was closed all day for some reason and the spa took the color out of all of our swimsuits, over treated. We would finally doze off when the bing bing bing of announcement went off to announce to everyone that Royal Caribbean needed more of our money and that we should hurry and go buy bingo cards ($44 for 4 games), or amber jewelry or Fine Art at the auction. This happened every hour. VERY annoying but the straw that broke the camels back was this..... We were on this cruise with my parents who in the past had bought and paid for 12 staterooms in D1 for a family cruise in 2007 on the Adventure of the Seas and they wanted to do it again for our family this summer. One the first day I called down to guest services and asked them to move them closer to the elevator, as it was too far for my Mom to walk. They wouldn't and the ship was not at capacity. At that moment Royal Caribbean lost $30,000 from my Parents because we will not book another cruise with them again. As far as entertainment. They had a great comedian one night but the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers sucked. For a relaxing vacation, do yourself a favor and book a hotel or condo on the beach somewhere and enjoy the beauty, culture and flavors of the country you are visiting. It will be much cheaper and much more enjoyable then being trapped, herded and bullied by of a cruise ship company that wants every penny you have. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2009
Just off this Rome-Sicily-Athens-Turkey(Ephesus)-Crete. A total waste of time.First, these are not great ports. Sicily was 100 degrees, and only had a 2 1/2 hr drive each way for 45 minutes on MT Etna or a vist to an ampitheatre in a ... Read More
Just off this Rome-Sicily-Athens-Turkey(Ephesus)-Crete. A total waste of time.First, these are not great ports. Sicily was 100 degrees, and only had a 2 1/2 hr drive each way for 45 minutes on MT Etna or a vist to an ampitheatre in a tourist town that closes 12-3 pm. This gives you an hour for sites and barely an hour for shopping which is limited. The port town is awful.Our kids stayed in town and the highlight was a car on fire. Athens was fine, but all tours sold out very early, forcing us to find a taxi/pseudo guide. Kusadasi was the best stop, and the highlight. Great town and the ruins of the town of Ephesus were outstanding. Crete...why even stop. Dock and off around 8am, and on the ship around 1pm, with a 55/pp trip to a crowded beach the only main option, and a riun site, which we did, which was very poor compared to Ephesus. As per the ship...crowded!!! The 3 small pools were never accessable in any daylight hour. You don't want to walk the periphery unless you are prepared for the gauntlet of cigarette smoke...awful. All outside decks were loaded with smokers, which was allowed. THe food was poorer than any other cruise we ever were on and the buffett often had no seats. Another thing I never read about Royal Carribean (our first, usually Princess), was the limited access for the kids to the things they brag about. Ice skating...most days it is open only for 2 hours, with the exception, the last day at sea. Same with the rcok climbing and in line skating. You book with the expectation these are 6-10 hours a day and easy access. Not so. When open, the rock wall was 30-45 minute wait. Skating was a parking lot and often they ran out of common sizes. It was laughable the inline "dog walk" (about a 40 ft narrow oval) was closed due to "wind". I checked...ship was at 20 knots and wind speed 8-10 on the monitor. It's a ship at sea for goodness sake! First and last time on Royal C. Our kids totally agreed. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
I was gravely disappointed with this cruise on the Navigator of the Seas with Royal Caribbean on March 18th. It started from the time I called Royal Caribbean to learn they did not rent wheel chairs while aboard the ship. I was ... Read More
I was gravely disappointed with this cruise on the Navigator of the Seas with Royal Caribbean on March 18th. It started from the time I called Royal Caribbean to learn they did not rent wheel chairs while aboard the ship. I was trying to get one for my mother who was traveling with us and has Multiple Sclerosis. Then I found out as we were on the ship they did have Royal Caribbean wheel chairs, we saw them quite frequently aboard the ship. I can not understand why they told me they did not have them when I called and no they did not tell me they where out for that sailing. It was a direct "no" we do not rent wheel chairs. So my mother spent most here time in her cabin without a wheelchair. I was extremely disappointed with everything on the ship. They served the same food in the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch everyday of the week. Breakfast I can understand, but not lunch!! I have never had that even cruising three times before with them. I went on my first cruise on Carnival in December 08 and was quite impressed with them compared to this cruise. They had a wide variety of food everyday and it was never the same. Who wants to eat the same food over and over? Carnival even offered FREE Sushi on there three day cruise. On past ships with Royal Caribbean they have the Seaview Cafe that offered chicken wings, onion rings, and a variety of other options. They do not have that on their newer ships. Instead they give you Johnny Rockets and charge you a fee of 4.95. How much more greedier are they going to get? My experience with dinner in the formal dinning rooms was not as well as expected. Our service was terrific but the food was mediocre. We were told they do not offer lobster on there 3 or 4 day cruises. On my recent three day Carnival cruise we had lobster, plus paid much less for the cruise itself. Even the shows on this cruise were only average, the shows on Carnival for excellent actually incredible compared to this cruise. They have also changed there delivery policy on alcohol. They use to deliver it to your room on the day before departure. Now you have to pick up you alcohol the day you depart. I guess they don't think you have enough to do on departure day. I asked the two men working "how am I going to pack it if my luggage is already packed up and gone". The two gentlemen looked at me like I don't care that is your problem. We all know the reason they started this policy is greed again. They want to make sure you buy their watered down drinks, so they can make more money off of you. We also noticed on departure day a few people in are area alone that had forget to pick up their alcohol. One person had been waiting over an hour for them to bring it out to her. Royal Caribbean is not looking out at all to what could make your departure easier. I booked this cruise for ten of us and one person who went with us had only been on Carnival ships. She had cruised with Carnival about fifteen times and I had raved so much about Royal Caribbean I was embarrassed by the end of this cruise. She won't be going back on a Royal Caribbean ship ever. In short the comparison from this four day cruise on Royal Caribbean compared to the three day on Carnival. Which, this is something I never thought I would say Carnival well surpassed by expectation. I don't believe I will be traveling on Royal Caribbean anytime in the near future. I hope everyone reads this and it helps make your decision if you are considering a cruise between the two. Please don't make the same mistake. Remember you are on this cruise with no other food but what they serve you and I don't think anyone wants to eat the same thing over and over!! 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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