185 Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Family Cruise Reviews

This was our first time cruising on Royal Caribbean. The staff did a great job and we really enjoyed the shows (especially Ice Dancing and Sound Collage). The Windjammer, which is the ongoing buffet was good for breakfast and lunch ... Read More
This was our first time cruising on Royal Caribbean. The staff did a great job and we really enjoyed the shows (especially Ice Dancing and Sound Collage). The Windjammer, which is the ongoing buffet was good for breakfast and lunch with great fries, burgers, hash browns, and omelettes. Bartenders were friendly and quick and bars were everywhere so you did not have to stand in line for very long to get a drink. Drink packages---depends on how much you drink but my husband was definitely happy with the beer and wine package. Food in main dining room was ok but nothing great and unless you wanted to pay extra you ate in same dining room every night unless you wanted to eat at the buffet. We had a room with a balcony but it was small and my teen daughter slept in a "bunk" on top of our king size bed--no fib! We went on a shore excursion in Jamaica to the Blue Waters Beach Club--a total rip off since they advertised free wifi but it was broken all day and untruths were told to us as to the reason and not even a partial refund. Catamaran and stingray trip in Grand Cayman was fabulous. My 16 year old daughter chose the water park in Haiti which was more for younger kids. All in all we had fun but it just was not Disney (of course it was half the price too). Toilet paper not refilled enough in public areas, lights out, plates and cups sitting around but again--you get what you pay for. We can't say enough about the friendliness of the majority of the staff and we would definitely consider going on Royal Caribbean again unless I can find a good deal with Disney :) Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Great cruise for a family with many ages of kids for over Spring Break. Ship was clean, most workers friendly, and many activities to chose from. I was surprised at how the ship did NOT feel crowded in comparison to last year's ... Read More
Great cruise for a family with many ages of kids for over Spring Break. Ship was clean, most workers friendly, and many activities to chose from. I was surprised at how the ship did NOT feel crowded in comparison to last year's cruise on the Freedom. I loved the pool and hot tub lay out on this ship as it was easy to keep an eye on my kids and find my friends easily. And, the live music on this ship was amazing! Lots of opportunities to sing along, dance, or just relax and enjoy. The only negatives were some of the servers in the dining room. Our waiter was snooty and made demeaning comments to two members of my group (two families together). Our table also had a bar waitress that was mean and grumpy. She cut off people at several tables around us and had a horrible attitude. On the other hand, our assistant waiter was nice and accommodating. She got an extra tip for her friendliness! My room steward was the best I've ever had. He was smiling every day and greeted us by name. He cleaned twice daily and asked a lot if we needed anything. He was awesome. Ports were pretty good. I enjoyed snorkeling in Grand Cayman (Cemetary Beach) and loved the Red Stripe Beach in Falmouth. This beach was relaxing but older kids got bored. Labadee is not my favorite island but I had a good day walking around & swimming. I think they need more excursion selections in Labadee and Falmouth. I guess I will have to try another cruise here to figure it out! ;) Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
What made this cruise memorable was the group of family and friends we were with. And the Bon Jovi cover band. Other than that, the ship itself was below average on what we expect from cruising with Royal. Our stateroom attendant was ... Read More
What made this cruise memorable was the group of family and friends we were with. And the Bon Jovi cover band. Other than that, the ship itself was below average on what we expect from cruising with Royal. Our stateroom attendant was great and the staff at the schooner bar was the best I've ever encountered. Our head waiter was practically non existant. He would mumble "his recommendations" and took our orders. That was it. I've never had a waiter that didn't call us all by name or bring extra dishes for us to try. And twice the assistant waiter refilled water glasses with Sprite. the dinner menu has been the same across the fleet for far to long. A little variety would be nice. Activities around the ship were far and few between or all at the same time. It was a spring break cruise so of course it was going to be a full ship but it really seemed crowded. No one patrolling the pool deck. The one person we talked to about people saving chairs said he had "to go get his friend". Clearly not enforcing the rules. Still any day on a cruise is better than one not! 2 more booked and Loyal to Royal Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We brought our 6 year old twins on their 2nd cruise. We flew in late the night before and stayed at Riverfront Hotel the night before (booked through Priceline, very expensive because of Easter Weekend). We used Uber service from airport ... Read More
We brought our 6 year old twins on their 2nd cruise. We flew in late the night before and stayed at Riverfront Hotel the night before (booked through Priceline, very expensive because of Easter Weekend). We used Uber service from airport to hotel, hotel to port and port to airport without a hitch. We cruised on RCI's Navigator of the Seas to Georgetown, Grand Cayman, Falmouth, Jamaica & Labadee Haiti. We had 2 Sea Days. There were 2 formal nights. Food was just ok, bland when they are cooking for so many people. We ate in the main dining room 4 out of 6 nights, windjammer for breakfast and lunch most days and Izumi for one dinner (a la carte). They were pushing the other specialty dining packages & Johnny Rockets but we just didn't feel like spending the extra money. We did have the premium beverage package, which was great. We had a BOGO special, or otherwise not sure if I would have purchased it. Only other comment on the food-hard to find anything after 10pm and room service was sub-par offerings and wait time was about an hour. We took one RCI excursion in Grand Cayman to the Turtle Farm and it was amazing. We booked a private tour in Jamaica and just enjoyed the relaxing beach break in Labadee. Only complaint about Labadee was the artists were aggressively trying to get our business when we were walking to the inflatable/sport area. Service was great on the ship. I never experienced any cleanliness issues. Our cabin was fine for our family of 4. We had an interior cabin on Deck 8 with 2 pullman beds (bunks) above our queen bed. I felt like there was plenty of storage, and I liked the shower having doors instead of a curtain! The kids loved their Adventure Ocean program, and would've gone every waking moment if it was available. We loved it because it gave us a few breaks throughout the day, which is always welcome! The entertainment was so-so. There was a Bon Jovi cover band one night that was amazing. The ice skating show was fun. The other main entertainment was average and we didn't go to any of the comedians. The pier was definitely the most outdated one I've ever checked in (this was our 6th cruise, 2nd with RCI). I'd say embarkation was about 30-45 minutes, we arrived around 11:30. We chose self-assist for debarkation and again that maybe took 45-60 minutes but only because they only had like 2-3 customs people working. We were at the airport by 7:30 am. On a side note, however our return flight from FLL on SW was canceled and we ended up having to rent a car to drive back to Ohio which was not so fun. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was my 10th cruise and 5th with Royal Caribbean. We had been on Voyager of the Seas in 2008 so it was our 2nd Voyager class ship. This was our 13 and 16 year old sons first cruise. Hotel info-We flew in a day early and stayed at ... Read More
This was my 10th cruise and 5th with Royal Caribbean. We had been on Voyager of the Seas in 2008 so it was our 2nd Voyager class ship. This was our 13 and 16 year old sons first cruise. Hotel info-We flew in a day early and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express on 17th. Didn't care much for the hotel but you can't beat the location to the port- about 5 minutes away. Embarkation was relatively quick and easy. We arrived about 11:00 and we on board by 11:30. Cabins were ready about 1:00. Ship info- It is very easy to get around the ship and never takes too long to get from one place to another. Yes, the elevators can take a while sometimes but never too bad. My husband and sons spent a lot of time on the sports deck. They all play basketball and were all able to play in some games and tournaments. They play soccer as well but open play soccer was always way too crowded. They enjoyed mini golf, the rock wall, ping pong tables (there are 2) and the flow rider. The flow rider has a small amphitheater where you can watch the "surfers". We enjoyed the outdoor movies by the pool although the movie selection wasn't great. They also show sporting events (NCAA Elite 8) by the pool. My experience with deck chairs on sea days has always been bad and it still is. This rule about only saving a chair for 30 minutes or your items will be removed isn't enforced. I got up to see the sunrise at 7:15 on our first day at sea and dozens of chairs already had towels on it!! I was just looking for 1 chair one day and walked the ship for about 20 minutes before I could find one. The fitness center is very nice and never seemed overly crowded. Service- All aspects of service were excellent. Very hard working and friendly staff. Entertainment- This was just so-so for us. We really enjoyed the comedians but they only appeared 2 nights.The ice show is also really good. But none of the other Broadway style shows appealed to us. Dining-We ate breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer everyday. We never had trouble finding a seat. While the breakfast offerings are the same each day there is so much to choose from we never tired of it. Lunch also had great variety. While the Main Dining room meals were fine I feel like it's no longer exceptional like it was in the past. It almost feels like they toned the quality down a bit to secretly encourage people to go to the specialty restaurants. I also found serving sizes to be quite small. Which isn't really a problem because we could just order a second entree if we were still hungry. We chose My Time Dining which was very disappointing. Each night they had 2 desks where you could check in. One was for guests with reservations and one was for guests without reservations. The line for those with reservations was at least 15 minutes long (just to get to the desk) while there was no line for guests without reservations. I observed also that they would usually be seated right away while we waited and waited. It really made no sense to me and I will go back to traditional seating in the future. Ports- Labadee- We love Labadee! It's so nice to have an easy and cheap day at the beach. It's a lovely spot. We took our time getting off the ship and I worried that we wouldn't find any chairs but there was plenty still available. There was 8 in our group and 5 of us had all day dragon coaster tickets ($35.75). We parked ourselves on Adrenaline Beach right near the entrance to the coaster. It was also right next to restrooms, a bar and lunch. It was perfect because our party easily did the coaster 10 times each. They loved the coaster and the views it offered. Lunch was great- burgers, dogs, ribs, chicken, corn on the cob, salads, rolls and dessert. We also rented a floating mat ($19.75). Grand Cayman- We love 7 mile beach so we spent our time there. We took a taxi ($5pp) to Public beach which is a free beach and they have all the amenities that you can pay for (umbrella, chairs, water sports, food etc). We decided to walk down to Governors Beach and stayed there. This is a very quiet spot but just we we wanted. We walked across the street and grabbed the bus back for $2.50pp. Falmouth- The port area is brand new and very nice with lots of shops and hand crafted goods. We did the Chukka Zipline at Rose Hall excursion through RCCL for $114pp. This was a GREAT choice. The tour guides made the day so fun. It was a great experience that allowed us to see lots of Jamaica. Disembarkation- We had a flight at 11:30 so we chose to do self express departure so we were the first ones off the ship and carried our own luggage. This was smooth and very fast. We had final call from the windjammer at 7:10 and ran back to get our bags. By 8:20 we were through security at FLL (we were not checking any bags). Port Everglades is a great port to sail out of simply because it is so close to the airport. Summary- This is a great choice for a cruise! I really love Voyager class ships- just the right size and lots of amenities. We are trying out Oasis next year so I am curious to see how it compares. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was my second cruise, so I don't have a huge breadth of experience but I always read reviews in advance of travelling to know what to expect so here are a few things that may be helpful when either booking this cruise or prior to ... Read More
This was my second cruise, so I don't have a huge breadth of experience but I always read reviews in advance of travelling to know what to expect so here are a few things that may be helpful when either booking this cruise or prior to embarking. The Port Everglades pier is under construction and while it was very busy we were dropped by our shuttle right by the ship and the process of embarkation began. It wasn't a pretty area but we were processed through line up after line up quickly and efficiently. If at all possible get to the port by noon to make this process easier. It also allowed us to travel around the ship while it was still relatively quiet to get the lay of the land prior to all passengers being on board. The ship is big and beautiful. Previous reviews talked of it showing it's age.... I thought, while colour-schemes, a few fixtures and maybe the odd rusting railing were somewhat dated, everything was really well taken care of. Every area was extremely clean and yet it seemed to all happen without you being aware of it. We ate in the buffet and main dining room for breakfast and dinner. Both were always amply supplied, food was always fresh and being refilled. Service always friendly and helpful. Our waiters in the main dining room, Rodrigues and Bogdan, were amazing. They were kind, unobtrusive and efficient. We had "My Time Dining" which meant we could eat in between the early and late seatings. We made a reservation for the entire week at 7:30 and we usually ate right around that time. This had pros and cons - some of the events on the promenade occurred at about this time, I guess capturing the people in between the dinner seatings, so you missed these but then we didn't have to end our day early to get ready for dinner and we had time afterwards for shows or relaxing. During "at sea" days the ship is busy around the pool. The frustration of getting a lounge chair the first day made us decide we had to get involved in the 'reserve a chair with a towel' game which I detest but otherwise there wasn't a chair to be found anywhere, by the pool or elsewhere. I would have loved to see a few more chairs in quieter areas or decks of the ship where you could be outside enjoying the breeze but not necessarily in the hub of the pool. Grand Cayman was our first stop. Exited the port area and took a taxi to Seven Mile Beach. Only $4 for the taxi $2 to enter the beach area and then you can decide on spending $10 for a lounge chair and $15 for an umbrella. Servers will bring drinks and food directly to your chair if you wish. It was a beautiful, clean beach with washrooms and good food. Taxis then came and waited for you in the afternoon and it was $4 back. A really good, fun and safe day. Jamaica was great. The port area is built up with lots of new tourist shops. We did the Dunns River Falls and VIP Bamboo Beach Excursion. It was great although you want to be sure you do the leg work on understanding what the falls is like to be sure it is for you. It is very touristy. Labadee is beautiful. Just an amazing, relaxing day in paradise. And finally, the teen program was amazing. My 16 year old had the time of her life. She was travelling with a girlfriend and the two of them went to the teen welcome, met a ton of other teens, enjoyed the activities (scavenger hunts, amazing race, dodge ball, rock climging, etc.) that were organized as well as just made friends that they swam and had a blast with. Hats off to a very well-organized program for a not easy age group to please! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We sailed on the Navigator as a family of six, two adults and four children ages 5-15. We stayed in a family room (8200). The room was excellent with plenty of space for all of us and our luggage. I found the closet space a bit awkward ... Read More
We sailed on the Navigator as a family of six, two adults and four children ages 5-15. We stayed in a family room (8200). The room was excellent with plenty of space for all of us and our luggage. I found the closet space a bit awkward as your hanging items block the shelf storage but that was a small issue. Our cabin steward was new to the ship but he was great. It was nice that he came twice a day as one of our children slept on a pull out bed. Our steward always put it back to a couch while we had breakfast. My biggest complaint about the room would be that the upholstered furniture is rather dingy and stained. The location on the eighth level was great. 3 levels down to the promenade and dining room or three levels up to the windjammer and the pools. We rarely used the elevators. The pool areas are crowded. We were unable to find chairs. But we enjoyed swimming although the pool water is very salty. Our kids really enjoyed the climbing wall and the skating rink. Our two younger children used the kids club facilities every day and they loved it! The staff in the youth areas are excellent and we can't say enough good things about the children's programming on the Navigator. We also played on the sports court, and played several games of ping pong and mini golf. The shows were good but not great. We enjoyed the ice show and there was a ventriloquist that was excellent. The tenors of Las Vegas were also very good. There were two other musical type shows that were average. I wish there had been more variety in the type of shows. A comic would have been a great addition. The performers in the pool areas were very good. As for food I have mixed reviews. The Windjammer was a disappointment. This mainly due to lack of variety. It is almost exactly the same every day. And I found the service in the windjammer quite poor. A few times I ordered tea from a server and it would never come. My omelet order was wrong more than it was right. And you have to stand around waiting for your omelet which makes it crowded in that area. The food in the Windjammer was just OK. You can always find something to eat but I felt it could easily be better. I have only been on one other cruise but the buffet offerings on that one were much better. Cafe Promenade is good. The pizza there is better than anywhere else on the ship. However, same problem in that it is the exact same sandwiches and dessert offerings every day. Service is great in the cafe though. The main dining room is what made our trip. It was great. The food was very good and our servers were amazing with our kids. We had my time dining but ended up choosing the same time and table every night as we enjoyed our servers so much. Not every dish was a home run but overall I left satisfied every night. The soups tended to be too salty so I avoided them. The salads were great. For us the main dining room wasn't just about the food but rather the overall experience. Our kids had fun "dressing up" for dinner and trying new foods. Forming a relationship with your servers and having fun during your meal makes it a special part of a cruise. The main dining room is also excellent for lunch, far better than the offerings in the Windjammer. The salad bar in the MDR at lunch is phenomenal and was my favourite thing to eat. My biggest complaint is that we were forced to pay our gratuities at the time of booking because we choose my time dining. Once you do that the gratuities are not able to be adjusted. Because we were a larger group we ended up having to reserve our table each night if we didn't want to wait for a table. So we did not have the flexibility we expected with my time dining and we lost the ability to adjust our gratuities. I am not certain we would have adjusted them but as a family of 6 we paid a lot each day in gratuities and other than the MDR we didn't feel that the service was worth that amount. Our embarkation and disembarkation both went well. I was worried based on previous reviews but it wasn't bad. Yes terminal 29 is not in the greatest condition but we arrived at 12:30 and were were on the ship an hour later and our room was ready. On our return we got off the ship at 8:00, collected our bags, went though customs, and were at the airport by 8:45. Overall it was a great trip. If I could I would give a 3.5 rating as it was better than average but I also wouldn't quite go all the way to very good. Had there been more variety in the Windjammer and if the entertainment was a bit more varied it would easily have been a 4 to 4.5 rating. We would sail with RC again especially since they are among the few cruise lines that offer a family room that sleep six, but we would probably try a different ship next time just to see what the others have to offer. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Our 4th cruise on Royal and first on Navigator of the Seas. We loved it and was much better then the past few cruise on Royal. We flew down a day early and stayed at the Fort Lauderdale Hyatt Place, 17th Street. Every thing was great ... Read More
Our 4th cruise on Royal and first on Navigator of the Seas. We loved it and was much better then the past few cruise on Royal. We flew down a day early and stayed at the Fort Lauderdale Hyatt Place, 17th Street. Every thing was great here. That Saturday, we departed at about 11AM to head to the ship. It was packed at the port, but really no issues. We were on the ship by 1:15PM, after an eventful start, as my dad fainted just before checking in and this was really our only disappointment in the trip. Nobody from the port or Royal Caribbean came to help as I and a few other passengers held my dad up. We finally, got them to hand a stool from behind the counter, where dad sat and started to feel better. Once checked in we moved to getting on the ship while waiting for crew members to decide which one would push dad on-board in the wheel chair. (They were not doing anything, just sitting around). We went up to the Windjammer for some food and refreshments. It was not that busy and our trip was now starting to get better. This was our first time being on the Navigator, so we had to check it out. Very nice ship and in good shape too. We finally went to our room and waited for the muster drill that went fairly smoothly. Dinner was at 5:30PM and show following. We do wish that they would move dinner back to 6PM. But it still worked out okay. We ate in the Main Dinning room each night except for once. That one night we decided to eat at Chops and it really was very good. The steaks and other food were very good. The service was great too. Back to main dinning room. We had to excellent servers - John Dsouza from India and Viacheslav Polchenko from the Ukraine. We had a table with 9 and we can honestly say that they were the best table mates we have had on a cruise. Our whole table got along together and did many things together too. This really made the cruise great too. Overall food was good, but rather bland and they could really change the menu up, as it seems like the food was the same as our other 3 Royal cruises were. We went to all the shows and the Ice show too. Again changing up the shows is needed here, although they were good and we still enjoyed them. We also went to see Quest for the first time and that was so much fun. We had a blast and can say, yes it is adult humor, but don't miss it for some fun. We had stops at Labadee, San Juan, St. Kitts and St. Maarten. We just did our own thing in Labadee and San Juan, as we have been there many times already. Still nice stops. It was our first time to St. Kitts. We had wanted to do the train ride to get a look at the island, but it was already booked, so we did our own thing there and did a walking food tour from "A Taste of St. Kitts". This was really great and we enjoyed our tour guide, 5 stops of food and walking around the island. In St. Maarten we did one of the ships excursions - The Tall Ship tour with Mercedes and this too was a great time. We were able to go by Maho beach and even see a couple of airplanes land. Cool site. It seems that most crew members were in good spirits, helpful and very friendly this cruise. There did seem to be a lack of servers walking around the deck for drinks we thought, but not a big deal as we found a great bar to go to with super bartenders at the Solarium bar. We had a great cabin - 8392, which is an aft cabin. We really love the aft cabins, as we have had them before. No issues with motion, noise or soot. Lots of room on the balcony for the 3 of us. We had 2 loungers, 2 regular lounge chairs and 2 table and still had room to move around. Loved watching the waves and the sun come up and go down. The room itself was nice and although tight for the 3 of us, we made it work and never had an issue with space. Our cabin steward - Iwayan Sudiarta (ME) from Indonesia was just AWESOME. He was truly the best. Disembarkation went very quick and smooth. No issues, and we decided to get my dad a wheelchair to help him get off the ship this time and this did work out great. Overall, we were very pleased with this cruise. We really liked the fact that it was a 8 night cruise and loved the 2 days at sea coming back, as we were really able to relax. We would go on Navigator again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We flew from Newark to Fort Lauderdale the day before the cruise and stayed at the Hyatt Place. It was a very nice hotel, free breakfast, airport shuttle ($2 per room-not per person) and everything else you need within walking distance. ... Read More
We flew from Newark to Fort Lauderdale the day before the cruise and stayed at the Hyatt Place. It was a very nice hotel, free breakfast, airport shuttle ($2 per room-not per person) and everything else you need within walking distance. They offered a shuttle to the pier for $7 per person. This was my 14th cruise, 4th time on the Navigator. I picked this ship for a few reasons with the main reason being the price. We got a great deal during tax season last year where we paid no taxes or port fees and also it was bogo 1/2. I also love the Voyager class ships and the port stops were good. Getting on the ship was longer than usual. We arrived around 12:00 to a long, windy line of people waiting to check in. It seemed worse than it was because I think it was only 20-25 minutes long. Once inside, we were quickly checked in and on the boat. Once 1:00 hit we went up to our rooms and noticed a gross smell in the corridor. I've had this sewage smell before but it usually subsides mid-cruise. The hallway seemed to have an odd smell every day but thankfully, it stayed in the hall and not in our rooms. Throughout the week, I really can't complain about the food. We ate in the Windjammer only on Day 1 for lunch and the rest of the time we ate in the dining room for breakfast and/or lunch as well as one day at Johnny Rockets. Even though the menu has been the same for quite some time, I only cruise once a year so I'm fine with it. The service in the dining room was great. We had my time and were lucky enough to have the same table every night. The entertainment was pretty good, some I've seen before The ice show was the same but they did have a guest skater and she was fantastic. They had the typical love & marriage, the quest, two comedians and broadway-type shows. They had acappella group during the week who were really good. The casino was not very generous to us and it was so smokey but we were there usually once a day. Bingo was not very crowded surprisingly but I noticed that other than the compass, it's not advertised. I've been on cruises where the cruise director would announce things going on all day long and can say I don't ever remember hearing him. As much as a cruise director doesn't make or break my cruise, they can add a little something and this guy did nothing for it. The ports were nice. I'm not a fan of tendering but this wasn't too bad in Grand Cayman. Last time we were there (2 years ago) we waited for almost an hour to get a tender back to the ship. In Falmouth we just got off to shop and check out Margaritaville. And Labadee is just a beautiful beach day. The weather was decent the whole week. We decided to carry our own luggage off the ship to try to catch an earlier flight instead of waiting until 1:00. We walked off at 6:45, were at the airport around 7:30 and caught the 9:19 flight with no problem. In summary I will say that cruising is still a great vacation, am already looking for 2017 cruises and would gladly hop on the Navigator again (although I think she will be in another country starting this summer). Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Cruised with a group of 8 people. This was the 9th cruise for my wife and myself. Embarkation was a disaster. Arrived at the port at 11 am only to wait almost 2 hours to process onto the ship. Was told that this was due to previous ... Read More
Cruised with a group of 8 people. This was the 9th cruise for my wife and myself. Embarkation was a disaster. Arrived at the port at 11 am only to wait almost 2 hours to process onto the ship. Was told that this was due to previous cruisers refusal to leave the ship. On the whole the ship is still in good shape but does show signs of a lack of maintenance in some areas, specifically the bathrooms. On 3 occasions I visited men's rooms that had non working toilets or sinks. Cruise mates had a non functional toilet in their cabin for 4 days. Food in the main dining room was OK but not great. Windjammer was passable for breakfast and lunch. Ice show was outstanding. Adult comedy show was also very good. RC seams to be selling more alcohol packages and cutting back on bar staff, service was slow at bars through out the ship. Children were allowed into two different bars during the cruise and remained under foot for over an hour each time. Cabin was not cleaned for the first day of the cruise. Was informed that it had been the room stewards last day. After that the new steward (Jose) did a fantastic job for the remainder of the cruise. Crew was cordial all over the ship. Pool staff at the main pool and solarium did a good job clearing spaces for people to sit. Disembarkation was very quick. We took our own luggage off and cleared customs in under 30 minutes. Would recommend that RC change up the menu and cut back on vendors try to upsell in the main dining room. If it hadn't been for the enthusiasm and friendliness of the crew I would have rated this just average. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was my 7th cruise with Royal Caribbean and 20th overall. I'd been looking forwarding to sailing on a Voyager class ship for some time because a travel agent friend had raved about the Mariner OTS. My husband and I thought the ... Read More
This was my 7th cruise with Royal Caribbean and 20th overall. I'd been looking forwarding to sailing on a Voyager class ship for some time because a travel agent friend had raved about the Mariner OTS. My husband and I thought the Navigator was absolutely beautiful and did not disappoint. We never felt "crowded" except in the Windjammer which we didn't frequent often, except for a couple of lunches. We chose My Time Dining (for the first time), and really liked it. We usually ate between seven and eight o'clock, and were seated in the same section each evening, being served by the same wait staff who were extremely attentive and friendly. We thought the selections and quality of food were very good, and the portions just right. We also ate breakfast and lunch in the dining room several times. Being night owls, we wish there had been another option other than Sorrento's after Windjammer closed. The comedy team of Alfred and Seymour from L.A. was totally awesome, as was Basile. We missed the comedy show on the first night and that was a good thing because we caught it on TV the next morning, and the little we saw was thumbs down all the way. Lining up in the morning for tickets to the Ice Dancin' show was well worth it because it was incredible, especially the quick-change routine by Katrina and her partner. I did notice that there was no Reggae and steel band music onboard. Too bad - especially since we were sailing to Jamaica! We'd been to Ocho Rios before, but not Montego Bay, so we took a RCCL tour there and stopped in at Bigg's on the water where we tried Jamaican jerk chicken and a couple of Red Stripes. Our tour guide, Niki, was very knowledgeable and entertaining, too! The reasons we're giving only a four-star rating are: 1) because embarkation and disembarkation were not good at all. There was no signage or assistance of any kind with regard to priority boarding. After standing in a very long line for about ten minutes, I made my way to someone in a uniform close to the entrance to discover that priority boarding was, in fact, available but you had to go on a treasure hunt to find it. Although we were informed that we'd be getting off the ship by 8:15, we didn't get off and make it through customs until 10:30. 2) for whatever reason, some of the bar tenders seemed tired and not at all happy to be onboard serving customers who are obligated to pay an 18% tip without so much as a 'thank-you' or a smile in return. Would love to see less smoking areas, and replacement of Evian water with Dasani. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We signed up for this cruise the year before while on an Alaskan cruise: husband, daughters (2) with their husbands and both sets of in laws (2 grandbabies have since arrived). We had a balcony cabin and the others had 4 inside promenade ... Read More
We signed up for this cruise the year before while on an Alaskan cruise: husband, daughters (2) with their husbands and both sets of in laws (2 grandbabies have since arrived). We had a balcony cabin and the others had 4 inside promenade rooms across the hall from us. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale the before and stayed at the Embassey Suites on 17th. Across the street were a grocery store, Totally Wine and restaurants. Kelly's Landing was a great place for lunch or dinner. We had the shuttle service from the airport and then to the port the next day. Happy hour and breakfast are included. We got to the port around 11:00am and had. Very short wait until we were getting our picture taken on board. Windjammer for lunch, always found good things to eat, but love going to the main dining room for breakfast and lunch when available. We didn't do any of the specialty resturants, we had a table for 10 and two high chairs at MTD of at 6:00 PM every night. The waiter had fruit every night first off for the Grandbabies. I enjoyed escargot every night! We had really good food and service. We tipped the guys on Laberdee to get 8 lounge chairs and 2 cabanas for the day right near the water. The weather was sunny and warm, everyone enjoyed the water. I used my water shoes, because it was rocky in spots. We didn't arrive into San Juan until after 3 PM, we hired a van to take all of us to the Barardi Rum factory, stopped to buy lotto tickets ( it was for the BIG one) and back to the port area. St Kitts again we found a van and driver to take us on an island tour, $20 pp, babies free. St Martin we pre arranged Jo Junie Tours, which I had used last year when my husband I were there. Tour included Orient Beach, Sunset Beach (airplanes over head), geckos, and monkeys too! We went to the diamond lounge a few times, but enjoyed having the three drinks on the card available too. The ice show is a do not miss! We didn't go to any of the other shows. The staff that we interacted with were all great, friendly and helpful. We left the ship after breakfast in the dining room around 8:30 AM, got through customs, called Embassey Suites and spent another night there. We could've check in yet, but they store the luggage and we went poolside. Great cruise was had by all! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
My wife and I and our son and daughter (19 & 21) went on a 6 day Christmas Cruise and had a great time! The ship is beautiful and the crew is excellent. Our cabins were inside on deck 8 and overlooked the Promenade. They were also ... Read More
My wife and I and our son and daughter (19 & 21) went on a 6 day Christmas Cruise and had a great time! The ship is beautiful and the crew is excellent. Our cabins were inside on deck 8 and overlooked the Promenade. They were also adjoining which was very handy. We loved the location. Deck 8 is the highest Promenade view you can get and we were at the front of the Promenade (almost dead center of the ship). It was quiet and the curtains block out all the light. You always have something to look at. We could see the Santa Parade on Christmas morning. The cabins were plenty large enough for 2 each. They had 2 small couches with one of them right in front of the window. The circular shower with sliding doors was a nice touch. The only cabin complaint I had was the bed. It was very firm and not comfortable for my wife and I. Our cabin steward David was great. He was from Jamaica and got to see his family for Christmas on our stop in Falmouth, Jamaica. He got me plenty of extra pillows so that I could customize the bed and make it more usable. He also got us a bottle opener for our wine and saved us from having to pay a corking fee. We tried out 4 of the extra charge restaurants. Giovanni's and Sabor both had superior service and excellent food. The small intimate atmosphere of these restaurants is a nice change from the large and noisy dining rooms. We felt that they were both worth the money. My son had the best steak he has ever had (other than the ones that dad makes, of course) at Giovanni's. The table side made guacamole was fantastic at Sabor's. We had to get a second order. The Margaritas, while not cheap, were top notch. We also tried Johnny Rockets and were pleasantly surprised. It's only 6.95 a person and the burgers, fries and onion rings were great. You can just sit there for 2 hours and stuff your face if you want to. We did also try Izumi's and were very disappointed. The service was poor. The sushi was not very tasty. My wife had the best meal - steak that she cooked herself on a hot stone. The food in the main dining room was hit or miss. Some items were delicious and others were sad. We signed up for my time dining and discovered that you need to make a reservation ahead of time (if you know when you are going to want to eat) to be sure that there is a seat waiting for you. They try to give you the same waiter each time. The first time, we got right in because it wasn't busy. The second time, we got a pager and had to wait 45 minutes. That's when we found out that we could have made a reservation. The Sapphire Dining room is 3 decks high. My time dining enters on deck 5. You enter on deck 3 for breakfast. I would recommend breakfast there every day. The room service menu is limited and not that great. The Windjammer cafe is about what you would expect for a cafeteria. Our cruise director and his staff did an excellent and impressive job. I hope they get paid well. They are very busy people. The Quest game show and the Love and Marriage game show were well done and hilarious. We saw one of the comedians and he was good. We saw the Ice Show and were very impressed. There is a must see quick change act in the show that is mind-blowing. We checked out and participated in karaoke a couple of times. They could do a better job organizing and running it. It can be fun for everybody if done right and there were plenty of people who wanted to participate. The Flowrider was fun. They help you out and give you advice to succeed. The climbing wall is challenging. The basketball/volleyball/dodge-ball court was always active. The fitness studio had something for everyone. My wife and daughter enjoyed their spa treatments and that's all I can say about that. The ship was decorated for Christmas very nicely. A giant tree, garland, lights, bows and music playing. There was a Santa parade on Christmas morning and Santa gave out a present to each child that came to see him. We went snorkeling in Grand Cayman and swam with the stingrays. Great fun. We booked our excursion online through Captainmarvins.com. Well run, reliable and great reviews. Cheaper than going through RC. We hung out at Margaritaville in Jamaica and did not go on any excursions. We had a good time enjoying the pool, spa and dancing. We rode the zip line in Haiti that is the longest in the world over water. Expensive? Yes. Once in a lifetime awesome experience? Yes. There are also plenty of beach areas to just sit and relax at. Lunch is served there. There are bars to get drinks and shops to buy souvenirs. We realized on this cruise that you really don't have to wait for you disembarkation number to leave. They ask you what it is but they don't actually know. If you get tired of waiting like we did, just go and tell them that your number is one that has already been called. For parking at Port Everglades, we used Park'n Go. It is a little cheaper than Port Parking. It is very well run and very close. Shuttles get you to and from your car. Everybody gets a bottle of water when you leave the parking lot! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our 16th cruise on RCCL and the very first on the Navigator of the Seas. We are Diamond Crown and Anchor members. We sailed from Port Everglades, Ft. Lauderdale and departed from the "older terminal". A few months ... Read More
This was our 16th cruise on RCCL and the very first on the Navigator of the Seas. We are Diamond Crown and Anchor members. We sailed from Port Everglades, Ft. Lauderdale and departed from the "older terminal". A few months prior we sailed on the Independence from the "newer" terminal. Things during check in just did not seem as streamlined as we found at the "newer" terminal. Long lines (even for Diamond) check in. Baggage drop off was also somewhat disorganized with porters reminding us we need to "take care" of them. Since we signed in around 1 PM we went immediately to our cabin with no wait. Once to our cabin we were really disappointed with the cleanliness of the stateroom. The floor had not been vacuumed, mirrors were all dirty or smudged and it appeared that the only preparation the cabin had was a set of clean sheets. There was no replenished supply items like shampoo and soap. I finally found the room attendant and had her finish the job of preparing our room. In all of our prior cruises on RCCl we never had this issue. It seemed much longer for us to receive our luggage once we were on board! We were kind of holding our breath at this point as to what the cruise would be like! Once underway things settled down and we had a wonderful cruise! Now there were the normal issues faced which I will relate in a moment. Our first stop was Labadee in Haiti. We had not been here for at least 15 years and were not really looking forward to the stop based on our prior experience there. Once on shore we found that there has been a tremendous amount of building and improvements made to to Labadee. It is a beautiful stop and we look forward to going again! The buffet served was excellent and a high light of the stop. Activities were many and well planned and thought out. This is a great place for visiting the beach and water sports. The shopping was just so so and the items being sold would be better classified as trinkets. This was really a great stop over all. Back on board we headed out for San Juan. There just seems to not be enough time to do anything here other than visit "Old Town". The shopping was good and the people friendly. Back on board, Dining in the main dining area was a frustration. We were not able to get My Time Dining and ended up on a list trying to get reassigned to a table for two. Just did not happen!!! Finally I went to the Concierge in the Diamond Club for help. She made some suggestions and they worked, we got our table for two from the Maitre'D! We also noticed at least 6 tables for two that were empty which really made us think! The food served was just so so and the menu the same as we had on the Independence. The quality just was not there. We were fortunate enough to have dinner in Chops Steak House one night and it was really first class! The service and food quality was super. We remembered how years in the past the food we had to pay extra for was the normal meal in the Main Dining Room! As another side note we also tried Giovanni's Table which was also EXCELLENT. Service and food quality was super...don't miss it if you get the chance. We ate a number of meals in the Windjammer which was consistent but unfortunately the food quality just was not there. It might be good to mention at this point that the crew seemed to all be happy and most acknowledged us with smiles and greetings. This went a long way with us. Most were helpful and really wanted to please us..WELL DONE! Next stop was St. Kitts. Really a laid back island with friendly folks. there is shopping right at the port (seems to be the only shopping) and there are a few good deals available. There are a number of independent island tours that you can take without booking ahead on board. Final stop was St. Maarten, our favorite place. There are great shopping deals here and a great beach right in town. People are great and glad to see you! Very enjoyable place to visit. As a general rule we do not take advantage of the entertainment on board i.e.. shows, ice skating etc. This ship (like other Royal ships) had a great "pool" band and combos. We enjoyed dancing on the fourth deck and the music played on the pool deck. We decided that we would let the ship's photographers take some pictures of us throughout the cruise. This was a disappointment to say the least! The quality of the prints was terrible. Coupled with the fact that each print costs $20.00!!!! In one of the scenes there was a life bouy with the name of the ship on it as a prop. We had our picture taken here and later discovered that although NAVIGATOR was legible the OF THE SEAS was rubbed almost entirely out! Just giving a word of caution here. You can also buy digital photos. Were were quoted $85.00 for 4 pictures...they change $5.00 for the external flash drive with the pictures in it. This might be a good place to mention that RCCL has done a great job with their Customer Loyalty Program, The Crown and Anchor Society. I appreciate it knowing that they care enough to do something a little extra for return cruisers/customers. It does matter. Arriving back in Ft. Lauderdale we discovered that you can carry your own bags off the ship. This worked really well for us... We walked off the ship at 7.30 AM went immediately to Customs and found there were only 3 customs agents clearing the ship but there was no line! Smooth as silk debarking! OK, I was probably a little more negative on this cruise than in the past but we still found this to be a wonderful trip overall and would certainly go again on this ship if given the opportunity. They have a great product but need to fine tune a few items on the Navigator.. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Just back home to Scotland. Ship was excellent as is norm but this time the theatre shows were so poor and amateurish and very little live entertainment at pool.I overheard some staff in windjammer talking about other staff and on the ... Read More
Just back home to Scotland. Ship was excellent as is norm but this time the theatre shows were so poor and amateurish and very little live entertainment at pool.I overheard some staff in windjammer talking about other staff and on the ramps to the tables where i had ti squeeze between them wirh my plate and some of them were miserable looking, again not the usual courtesy you get. The only other thing was the hard selling tactics on the ship from shopping to waiters directly asking us when we were going to order more cocktails!I did find out later from a female waiter at the bar that they are on commission!says it all. apart from that had a wonderful break but royal carribean needs to inform guests why they don't port for whatever reason.we were due first portvif call to Bahamas and by sheer luck I checked messages on stateroom TV where we were informed that it was cancelled.. Later managedvti find out that unsafe for tenders due to high winds but they should have announced this..other guests complained about this too. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We had a great time. Our drive to Galveston from Oklahoma was good except for a 20 minute traffic jam in Dallas and a 10 minute traffic jam in Houston. We booked one night at Moody Gardens Hotel Resort to stay before our cruise on ... Read More
We had a great time. Our drive to Galveston from Oklahoma was good except for a 20 minute traffic jam in Dallas and a 10 minute traffic jam in Houston. We booked one night at Moody Gardens Hotel Resort to stay before our cruise on Galveston Island. I am serious about customer service and I must say it is exceptional here! ​The next day we drove about 10 minutes and parked at the Galveston Park & Cruise in-door lot and walked across the street to the cruise terminal. Embarkation was smooth OUTSTANDING. I hate mustering but at least our station was inside the Main Dining Room. The Navigator is old but beautiful. There was some rusting here and there around the ship as well as on the balcony of our room. The couch in the room was already showing some wear (so soon after renovation?); however everything was very very clean including the bathroom. The beds were CRAZY HARD! Our Cabin Attendant Maritza made life a lot better by adding several blankets to the mattress. In Cozumel, we did the tequila tasting tour and have probably acquired more knowledge about tequila than we ever thought possible. We learned about "clear" tequila, "rested" tequila, and the best: "aged" tequila -- tasted it (some in the group should have held back...lol) and were able to purchase it to bring home. We were served margaritas and great tacos, beans, rice, guacamole, sodas, water, etc.; watched a pole performance; toured a small cultural museum; and, shopped. At the end of the tour, we were presented ​​​​with ​​​certificates, we are now certified tequila tasters. You should have seen how tipsy Evette was. She is a light weight. ​Roatan Honduras was EXCELLENT! We did the dolphin encounter. I was very nervous initially -- that went away as soon as I got in the water. A locked box is provided to store your personal items. We were all separated into groups, the trainers encourage smaller groups for more interaction with the dolphins. I have never experienced anything like it and I cannot imagine anything better. The trainers are informative and it was very apparent how fond they were of the dolphins. Gosh, is it weird to say the dolphins were so sweet? They were like very well behaved (and at times mischievous) kids and very smart. We stood about waist deep in the water to touch them, take pictures with them, and watch them perform and eat! Would do this again in a flash! Best excursion I've participated in hands down! The trip back was 2 days straight cruising and the Gulf was kinda shaky. I won a cruise for 2, for 5 days, at Bingo that we have to take within 365 days of winning it. I was too lightheaded and breathless after I yelled BINGOOOOOO! The same guy that had me signing the paperwork for the prize was the same guy that awarded me a Royal Caribbean hat the night before when we won the Michael Jackson trivia contest. It was too funny! We were able to forget the shakiness of the seas for a little while at least. Back in Galveston, disembarking was a complete pain - OMG. I thought doing self carry would make things easier, NOT! I won't do that again. We picked up the car and made good time getting thru Houston and Dallas and this time hit a construction traffic jam in Oklahoma for over an hour. Unbelievable! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The ship was fun. The only problem we had was one of the showers at the adult pool did not work. We had great food and the staff was wonderful. We sailed to Cozumel, Belize and Roatan. We had a wonderful time at all three ports. We ... Read More
The ship was fun. The only problem we had was one of the showers at the adult pool did not work. We had great food and the staff was wonderful. We sailed to Cozumel, Belize and Roatan. We had a wonderful time at all three ports. We sailed out of Galveston and boarding was quick and easy, however when we returned it was a nightmare. I would recommend that you never sail out of Galveston because of the reentry process or chaos as we experienced. First my luggage was not in the area it was supposed to be and by the time I found my bag the like was out of control. There were many people not going to the end of the line because the like was so long there were no barriers. So they just walked up and got in like wherever they pleased. When the Customs agents tried to handle the situation those who cut in line said they did not so it was a stand off and they stayed in front of us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This cruise is one with a majority of Texans on it due to the port. We were one of the minority being from the Pacific Northwest (PDX). Because of the makeup of the guests, there was a lot of country western music in the bars and the big ... Read More
This cruise is one with a majority of Texans on it due to the port. We were one of the minority being from the Pacific Northwest (PDX). Because of the makeup of the guests, there was a lot of country western music in the bars and the big screen had plenty of football playing. They know their audience, that's for sure! The port itself is a mess - piles of dirt and construction materials that you see from the deck of the ship. The area in front of the terminal entry was very small and crowded but we had no problem finding a porter to wheel our bags inside. The line into the security scanners was long and slow as there were only two security guards working. They only made you throw out your bottle of water if it had been opened but you could have just put it in your bag and it would have probably gone right on through. (Think vodka...) The actual registration went very quickly even thought we were there about 11:30 am in the thick of the early boarders. The first night the left balcony partition door came loose in the wind and was banging against the ship from 2 am - 5 am when my husband finally called the desk. It ruined the next day having to sleep all afternoon to catch up. I feel like we lost a day of the trip. The humidity was horrid - impossible to have your balcony door open with that wall of wet coming in. Of course, we're from a place where we hardly have humidity so it was difficult to enjoy the balcony except late at night. The first night's dinner was unsettled. My fish was overcooked which isn't normal for RC. The rest of the time, everything was perfect except the Baked Alaska (gritty meringue) which was easily replaced. Our waiter, Stalin and assistant, Jakub, table 414, at Early Seating were very attentive. Stalin would make suggestions which were always the best choice. We had brought our own wine on board (they allow 1 bottle per person), and we had them the last 3 nights without a corkage fee being charged. My mother wasn't able to negotiate the stairs much so we had to use the elevators most of the time. They were so busy we had to go in the opposite direction we wanted to go just to get in one. Lots of other people were doing the same. This was the first time for this experience. The Flow Rider was so much fun. You have to sign a waiver and there are age/height restrictions. The instructors are very helpful and work to give you the longest ride possible. They have boogie board (on your stomach) and surfing at separate times. Putt putt golf is an 8 hole course and goes fast. It's in the sun, so wear your sunscreen! We didn't do any excursions through the ship except the Houston Space Center which included bus transportation to IAH. It was a very comfortable bus with a toilet, safe driver and knowledgeable guide. The stop at the HSC is about 2 hours long which is plenty of time to see almost everything within the building. There is a nice cafeteria to grab a bite to eat, a large gift shop and restrooms. Since we were a tour, we had Green 1 bag tags which put us off the ship among the first groups and through customs quickly. The baggage area is small so it makes for some confusion. The customs process is slow depending on who is in front of you. We were behind three British citizens who had to be fingerprinted and photographed. The tour does watch for you since you have a sticker on your shirt and they usher you out to the bus area. I would pay for this next time just for the priority service! We did not go to the production shows since the last one I went to on a cruise a couple of years ago was pretty ordinary. After reading reviews on here, I'm glad we didn't waste the time. However, we went to the comedian and the hypnotist shows which were hilarious. We also found the time to to go the Love and Marriage game which had the best participants I've ever seen. The drinks were only $5 in a souvenir glass - the best deal on the ship? We played the Nations Game where you collect signatures from crew members from all the different countries on the ship. It was a great way to meet them and have a conversation for a more personal trip. We ate in the dining room every night and only a few times in the Windjammer. We had breakfast from room service most days. The order forms are on a hook behind the cabin door. They were normally about 1/2 hour earlier than the time selected. The first morning's food had cold, hard toast and poorly cooked bacon. The scrambled eggs seem like they are baked. The fruit plate was ordinary, not well plated and some of it was sour/unripe. It didn't stop me from ordering it, though. The refrigerator is a good place to put an extra yogurt or lemon tart for the next morning or a snack. As someone posted before, it would be a good idea to have the steward remove all the items from your frig so you aren't tempted to use any of it. We didn't use anything but I think I was charged for an item. Probably poor inventory control from the last occupant. The Belize City port is a tender port. They may have this well organized, but it's a big chunk of your port time sitting on a noisy boat on metal benches. This port appears to be the poorest of the three, followed by Roatan, Honduras and then Cozumel, Mexico. Everywhere you are inundated with "requests" for your money. It was very tiring and depressing. The ship was late loading our Gold benefits onto the Sea Pass card on Sunday and I went to the service desk to find out how to get a credit. The person at the desk called the shop and sent me back to have it fixed. He even called me the next day to make sure it was taken care of! That was the only time I had any dealings with the desk since the rest of the trip went smoothly. I signed up for international internet with my carrier, Verizon, but it didn't work very well with the ship or on land. The next trip, I'll buy a couple of days of access and do everything I need to during that time and forget about it the rest of the time. The cafe at the end of the Promenade is where there are sandwiches, pizza, desserts, coffee, tea, iced tea, lemonade and water. It's not apparent that this is included in your fee as it's next to the Starbucks and Ben & Jerry's counter that do have a cost. It's not that large but the tables have good turnover and it's open all night, unlike the Windjammer. The dinner menu is posted on an interactive screen outside of the dining rooms so you can check out that night's options or any of the other restaurants. I always found something to eat without a problem and they take care of dietary issues such as gluten free. We signed up for the galley tour which was a $30 per person buffet lunch for 150 people. It started with a mimosa and then an inside glimpse of how the kitchen works. Lunch was prepared by various sou chefs and placed on the pass for you to select from. There were omelets, Beef Wellington, eggs Benedict, salmon, fresh fruit, a lovely bread display, sushi, a large selection of desserts and crepes made to order. It was well worth the cost, so if you have the opportunity offered to you, don't hesitate to do it. The cardroom is on deck 7 and has a daily suduko puzzle and quiz posted. They have boxed games, plenty of tables & chairs and a pretty large library of books. It was a hidden gem we didn't discover until the cruise was about over. It's just below the art gallery. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I was pleased to see that they have returned staffers to the dining room service. An RC cruise we took 3/2014 had marked shortages in the dining room. Overall, I think this is a good value and we enjoyed the ports. We booked our own ... Read More
I was pleased to see that they have returned staffers to the dining room service. An RC cruise we took 3/2014 had marked shortages in the dining room. Overall, I think this is a good value and we enjoyed the ports. We booked our own excursions. Ocean Adventure was great for our 3.5 and 9 year old boys. There were just enough activities planned. We avoid the musical shows and stick to the headliners now. Joel /Elton John guy was so good and I think we've seen Phil Anderson/Piano Bar on at least 4 cruises. I enjoyed the casino with low limits every night not just off peak hours. Embarkation in Galveston was a mess...not RC's fault...security lines were long and disembarkation was a joke...there are NO signs telling where the luggage is, porter line or custom line..you have to ask someone in uniform. Dang, make a few signs. Speaking of lines, I had to plan and go down the ice show entrance on 1st sea day by 9am to wait in line to get tickets for 1 of 4 ice shows. It was Ice Dancing and not so exciting as other RC's shows I've seen but we enjoyed it. I waited about 20 minutes. The next day, I had to get in line for tender tickets for the following day in Belize. That line was about 15 minutes. You kind of get punished for not booking a RC' excursion cuz you don't have to have tender tickets. Without tender tickets, you are the last to get off the ship. Speaking of, we had the longest tender ever. It was 20 minutes! That's a ferry ride in my book. It was fine but just unexpected- 20 each way. Carnival Magic was next to us out in the deep blue waters. I was pleased to see breakfast room service with more than continental stuff- the Quantum did not have anything but drink/pastries ! The windjammer was better than in times past and I was able to stick to a low-fat, sugar-free diet. They also had a lot of gluten free selections. Dining room service was very good and the selection was fine. I do not pay for specialty restaurants. Had a little issue with one staffer telling my son he wasn't 52" tall for Flowrider and miraculously he was over 52" days later when we tried again-somebody was messing with the height flag. He was turned down on the Quantum and devastated when he was turned down again and we KNEW he was 52.5 inches tall. At least he got to go on it and had a blast. They are very helpful on the Flowrider. Last, the drink package- I found it hard to drink at least 7 beers per day on the basic beer/wine package but if you factor in the sodas it might be worth it. In other words, I had diet coke and sprite for the kids the whole cruise. Don't get me wrong, I like beer but that many beers 6 days in a row ! Keep in mind the 18%tax on packages and a la carte. I loved the fitness center but didn't see ANY staff. No charge for wet/dry saunas. Last the cabin- deck 9 #9356. Location was okay ( didn't want to be too close to stairs/elevators) no noise from above but of course you can hear everyone's door slam. I did not like that there was no aft elevator access on this floor -you had to go to mid-ship. Sadly, the toilet had a strong urine/sewer odor the entire cruise. Our cabin guy was great and tried to spray some stuff in there but I think it's the positioning of the cabin/toilet system so I would not recommend this room. The balcony was fine. I do wish RC would allow family of 4 to get more pullman options which my 9 year old prefers but they make us go in the double sofa beds. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
I went on this cruise with my husband, and 16 year old daughter. Embarkation: Galveston. Sigh. You would think a Texan port would be designed with a priority towards keeping people relatively cool and out of the sun. I am ... Read More
I went on this cruise with my husband, and 16 year old daughter. Embarkation: Galveston. Sigh. You would think a Texan port would be designed with a priority towards keeping people relatively cool and out of the sun. I am a Texan, so obviously, I am used to being hot and uncomfortable outdoors for 8-9 months out of the year. I'm not a whiner. But geez. The port was awful. If I weren't from Texas, I'd have been 100x more disappointed and annoyed. Outside there were lines for luggage drop off requiring people to stand in the sun, sweltering. Inside was barely air conditioned -- which is understandable given the open design -- but couldn't they have huge ceiling fans cranking at all times? My recommendation: Priority boarding is your friend. If possible -- consider a Junior Suite if only to get the priority boarding. If that's not an option -- research and arrive at the best time for the shortest lines. Otherwise, be prepared to stand for hours, sweating and hating life. On the plus side -- the terminal staff was friendly and helpful. Also -- regarding parking -- I didn't realize until the last minute that the standard port authority parking lots that the cruise lines refer you to, are not optimal. First all all, you have to drop your luggage off at the terminal, then drive to the designated parking lot, then wait for a shuttle to take you back to the terminal. The shuttle for these lots will not accept your luggage. And the traffic to get to those port authority lots is awful. Long lines to drop off luggage, etc. Line to get to lot. Wait in line for shuttle. Confusion is common. Also, the lots offer no covered parking. So we reserve a covered space in another lot in advance, online. There are at least three that offer covered, that are close to the terminal. The cost is about the same. You can get a covered space, even inside a parking garage. And the lots have free shuttle service that will take you AND your luggage. When you drive to Galveston, you can bypass the heavily congested roads to the port authority parking lots and avoid spending an hour in traffic just to park. We used LIghthouse covered parking. Great service. We were picked up in the lot, at our truck. And upon return to Galveston, the shuttle was waiting for us right where they said they'd be. No waiting. The shuttle drivers were friendly and helped us with our luggage. The cabin: Cabin 6694 in the aft section was awesome. No complaints really, other than the sofa bed. But regarding the cabin -- this is not specific to the cabin itself but the accommodations in general --- my biggest issue was dirty, old, stained linens. The sheets were clean – no stains. Not exactly high quality – but who expects high thread count on a cruise? But quality aside -- the mattress pads and blanket were…well, shockingly stained and old. They were torn in places. And were covered in random stains of all sizes. Thinking we had bad luck, and just needed a new set of linens – I waited for them to be changed. I didn't complain -- just kind of removed the linens in the morning. (I am not one to complain unless absolutely necessary. I just think, in the long run, to get better service, it's better to endure some things than be labeled "difficult") And guess what? New linens. More brown stains, different sizes, different locations. Clearly, they need to invest in oxyclean, bleach, or new linens. The stains were dark, and appeared to be either blood or vomit – both organic so if laundered promptly – I think they could be removed. So, bottom line -- if you are one to get grossed out guessing the sources of old, dark, stains on bedding – then be warned and spare yourself that OMG moment. Do what I did – try not to pull the sheets back too far to reveal the underside of the comforter, or heaven forbid accidentally pull an entire corner off to reveal dark brown stains on a dingy mattress pad. Just get your Lysol out, and remain blissfully ignorant. Or bring your own linens. Ignorance is easier though. Food: We are not food snobs. Do we like fine dining? Do we appreciate great presentation? Absolutely. But we are reasonable, and didn’t expect stellar dining experiences day after day. And on the whole, we liked the food. It met expectations. Main Dining Room: But as far as the MDR (main dining room) – well, that was a complete disappointment. First off, I don’t mind the dress code. In fact, I wear mostly casual skirts and dresses in the summer anyway. My husband doesn’t have a problem with a dress code either. But, if I do bother to wear something other than shorts, casual skirts, sandals, and tank tops on vacation just to eat --- I expect the food to reward the effort. And the MDR fell far short. Why? Great example is Day 2: We went to the Windjammer buffet for lunch. I had roast beef with mashed potatoes. Very tender, not too fatty. Impressive. Later on, we went to Café Promenade and had a coffee and a lemon tart served on the standard plastic little plate. All great. That evening, for the MDR, I break out the spanx (ugh!), a nice dress, sandals with a heel (I know, I know, how lame that this was a big deal to me, but hey, it’s a vacation) – my husband donned dress pants, business shirt, jacket, tie -- teenager reluctantly wore something other than flip flops and shorts – and we went to the MDR. And guess what? I was served the same roast beef, the same mashed potatoes as I had eaten earlier at the lowly buffet – albeit with a less fancy presentation. The lunch version of this meal was fresher though. And my husband has the same variation of food he had eaten at lunch as well. The kicker? The lemon meringue pie was the same lemon tart from the Promenade served on a red plastic plate, but with a dollop of “meringue” and a wedge of chocolate added for show. My daughter had the cheesecake, which – you guessed it – was available elsewhere, all day long – they didn’t even try to “jazz it up” or make it look different. There are some unique offerings – like lobster on “lobster night”, shrimp cocktail (which was, literally, three sad little shrimp in a fancy glass filled with wilted shredded lettuce) but on the whole, in my opinion, the MDR isn’t worth the effort. Add to it, our waiter was kind of odd. He gave us a long speech (and I mean LONG) about the dangers that lurk in Cozumel, identity theft, muggings, etc. Yes, all true. But we are educated travelers, well informed of the risks. And it was just a weird thing coming from cruise staff -- like he wanted people to stay on the ship rather than explore the ports via RCI excursions. He left my teenager filled with anxiety and talking about staying onboard .Not a discussion I wanted to have at dinner. We did get some wonderful photographs out of the MDR experience. And our table was next to a lovely window. So, I would recommend it for that alone . But one can have a nice family dinner, with nearly the same or more options, in the Windjammer without all the faux formality and weirdness. The food there was always fresh – lots of variety, great salad bar, wonderful French toast, fresh fruit, roasted chicken, burgers, fun dessert station (fresh beignets with whipped cream and fruit). The staff was friendly and helpful. Was it a 5 star dining experience? No. But it was decent and consistent. We also ate in the Mexican restaurant, Sabor. Wonderful food and great service. On the final night, we dined at the Italian place. The service was wonderful. Great risotto and gnocchi. But my chicken was dry and rather luke warm. The bread was stale. My daughter had shrimp ravioli – and she loved it. My husband had some kind of fish with shrimp on top --- and he enjoyed it as well. Overall, good – but nothing to get too excited about. The snacks and Cafe Promenade were decent. Nothing to rave about -- but solid little sandwiches and pastries (which you will see over and over again in the MDR and also, Windjammer). We would have a cup of fresh coffee and a snack in the late afternoon. We also ate at Johnny Rockets. We loved it. The staff was friendly and service was quick. The burgers were great with standard fries and onion rings. I got "cheese fries" which were the standard velveeta covered fries. Nothing spectacular here -- burgers are kind of hard to screw up -- but none the less good quality and a great value. My husband got a shake and it was great. Entertainment: RCI could improve it's entertainment options on board. Or at the very least, they could improve their communication about the entertainment. The Calypso-esque group that plays by the pool was awesome. The lead singer has an amazing voice. We saw one show -- a comedian. Honestly --- IMO it was awful. Just awful. And I wanted to like it. I would have loved to see the ice show, but we missed the notice that you had to get tickets on Sunday, the day of embarkation. I visited guest services to inquire and was told that it was unlikely we'd get seats without said tickets so we gave up. Fitness: The gym was nice. Lots of equipment, space to stretch or work with fitness balls. The locker room had steam and sauna, with showers. (Ok, full disclosure -- on day two, I was going to shower, walked up to one and noted the clear presence of vomit all over the floor. I informed the staff -- and they were nice enough. The entire locker room was closed immediately, the hot tub as well. But -- OMG. Wear flip flops.) And in the center of the gym area was a huge hot tub that was quiet and usually empty. Spa: We got a couples treatment package called "Five steps to Heaven." We booked it while onboard after seeing a flyer with a "special" offering 5 different services, foot massage, back exfoliation, deep tissue massage, facial and scalp massage for $159 per person. It was great -- not perfect but overall fun and relaxing. I was not in "heaven" however. Mainly due to high pressure sales pitches. It is hard to go from the zen of a massage, to a hard core product push. Kind of ruins the entire thing for many I'm sure. So, be prepared for the massive product push at the end. And the people act kind of miffed if you decline. This is not just something that happens with the masseuses -- my daughter had a mani/pedi and we got the same hard core sales pitch for random products. Needless to say -- it's kind of annoying to have to say repeatedly "no thank you I'm not interested in the $85 bottle of massage oil. No thank you but $150 for capsules filled with moisturizing oil is not in my budget." They don't take "no thank you" for an answer. FTR -- my "favorite" product push was the $48 stiff bristle brush that you use to brush your skin to rid yourself of cellulite and toxins. This was the thing they used to "exfoliate" my back (Which, truly, is not an area I need to exfoliate. And when they, without warning, scraped those stiff bristles over my sunburned skin, back and forth, over and over -- holy cow. NOT pleasant). Aside from my obvious skepticism as to the product's utility in these regards -- it was literally a $3 scrub brush you could buy at Walmart. The profit margin alone is appalling to me. Service -- Some of the RCI staff was great. Some were beyond unprofessional. For the most part, the dining/restaurant staff were pleasant and helpful. There were exceptions -- such as the surly man serving at Promenade Cafe. He seemed unhappy every single day. The photo gallery -- the worst. Honestly, it was so bad customer service-wise, it was a bit shocking. Case in point -- I ordered prints and a flash drive. The computer says pick it up tomorrow by 10:30 a.m. So I arrive at 10:45 a.m. the next day, only to be told by a disrespectful young man that "nobody told you 10:30. That's not possible." Uh, ok. why would I lie? Seriously? Then I was told, come back at 3:30. Then at 3:30, I was told "10:30". Then at 10:30 p.m. -- they don't have the prints, but they have the flash drive. So, come back in the morning and the entire package will be ready. I come back the next morning (disembarkation day), and they have lost or misplaced the flash drive, and the prints are nowhere to be found. Deep, heavy sigh. I stand around for 30 minutes b/c they tell me they can make a new flash drive. I stand there forever it seems, only to have them come out and say "the system is down" and they will email me a link to my photos. In a week. A week has come and gone -- no photos via email. Keep in mind we paid over $200 and got nothing. So, I call RCI, who tells me they are not responsible for the photo "vendor" (I'm not even going to discuss the absurdity of that pitch both legally and logically when RCI received the money for said photos as documented on my invoice). They gave me a phone number to call the photo vendor, who is only open monday through friday 8-5. Sigh. Other service issues: After reviewing our account statement -- I noted several double charges. E.g., at the bar, we had one order of drinks for $37. But on the invoice, the charge was entered twice, plus two other identical charges. We bought two drinks for $37. But were charged 4 times totalling over $100. Same thing with the spa -- there was one legit $68 charge. It was entered twice, and then an additional mystery $38 charge was added to it. These charges were readily refunded. Yes, mistakes happen. But when the RCI customer service rep said "we will talk to these employees. this is not supposed to happen" I kind of got the impression that it was a regular occurrence. If so, not cool. So check that invoice! :) Excursions: I booked all our excursions privately, ( I found that even including cab fare -- it was more economical) so I can't speak toward any RCI sponsored activities. In Cozumel, we took a cab to Mr. Sanchos. Awesome place. In Cayman, we went to the Westin. And in Jamaica -- we went to the HIlton Rose Hall. Love both places. I got up early and got a tender ticket for our arrival in Cayman. So, we were able to board the tender in group 9, almost right after the RCI excursions. We waited about 15 minutes, which to me, wasn't much of a delay . So, not getting on the tender first wasn't that big a deal for us. Overall, we are pleased with our trip. But I admit -- the three days of sailing juxtaposed to the excitement of the ports was kind of a let down. If you are not a big drinker, and are active -- i.e., don't like to sit for hours in the pool, hot tub, on a chaise reading -- a more port heavy cruise may be a better choice. Also -- even if you are not a big drinker, but think you and your spouse/partner might enjoy one or two drinks at the pool or wherever --- I think you should consider paying a bit more for a drink package. The cost of the drinks is ridiculous. E.g., I had a weak, barely alcoholic pina colada that cost about $10 at the pool. A mojito and appletini at the Schooner bar cost us --- kid you not -- $37.76 -- and that's NOT with an extra tip. Two drinks for nearly $40? And FTR -- the appletini was nasty. Insult meet injury. ;) My point is: I saw lots of people walking around on disembarkation day with long faces holding their statements. I heard one woman moan "why didn't we get the beverage package!" Even for a occasional drinker -- one or two here or there for fun can add up. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We just got home from the 02 August 2015 sailing of the Navigator out of Galveston. The traveling party was me (41 year old male), my wife, and children aged 7 and 9. We were staying in cabin 1286, a Grand Suite on the starboard side. I ... Read More
We just got home from the 02 August 2015 sailing of the Navigator out of Galveston. The traveling party was me (41 year old male), my wife, and children aged 7 and 9. We were staying in cabin 1286, a Grand Suite on the starboard side. I have organized this topically in an effort to help people find information which they judge most useful. On balance, I enjoyed the trip very much and would certainly sail again if some small things were addressed. In no particular order: Getting on and off the ship-- The security company at the Port of Galveston is awful. I took a picture of the embarkation area. That included the security area, so they said I had to delete it. Whatever, but the physically aggressive woman who bumped into me to make her point should be fired. I wish I had a contact for that firm, and I would love from RC to be reading. The same company had people who were unnecessarily rude, but not physically aggressive, on the return. Other than that, the process went as well as it could. It helped a little that we had a suite, but arriving at 10:30 all of the lines were fairly short. They called suite embarkation as we were finishing check in, and we were on the ship by about 10:50. Getting off the ship earlier today, we got to the dining room on Deck 4 at around 7:10 to walk off with our own luggage. We were scheduled to leave at 7:30, actually did so about 10 minutes early, and were all the way at our car (at Galveston Park n' Cruise) at 7:49. So.... some ugly people working at the port, but the mechanics of it all were as smooth as possible. Elevators-- These were painfully slow most of the time. Happily, we are all in solid physical health and dealt with it by taking the stairs a lot. My step tracker counted over 50 flights of stairs (going up; there were more going down) each sea day. My mother and a buddy of hers were on the cruise in a different cabin and had to wait for elevators, and that was a significant time delay. Communication-- We had the global data package through Verizon. Voice calls at seas were poor but great in port (2-3 in each situation). Text messages worked fine. We bought the ship's internet for $189 for two devices ($210 minus a 10% discount) and were quite pleased. It wasn't blazingly quick, but it certainly met my requirement that I maintain just enough contact with my office to not be in fear when I return tomorrow. The TV channels were limited, but adequate to make sure I had some reasonable idea of what is going on in the outside world. As a side note, political debates are quite entertaining with mojitos, which were excellent. Food and drink-- I have seen some folks on here describe the food in the Main Dining Room (MDR) as of the quality of TV dinners, and I don't find that fair at all. I think the better analogy is that it is banquet food with more choices than the banquets I typically attend. That means that there are some limits based on the number of people they are feeding, and the spices and flavors were generally designed for a universal medium rather than my preferences. Yes, of course, I have had much better food on land. That said, I really enjoyed my dinner each night. The service was very good, there was always at least one choice at each stage of the meal I wanted (sometimes 2-3), and I enjoyed dinner each night. The order of dinner menus in the MDR was: Day 1 Mojo Day 2 Saffron Day 3 Pimiento Day 4 Basil Day 5 Shitake Day 6 Jasmine Day 7 Pomodoro Breakfast in the buffet was adequate but bland. Breakfast from the menu in Chops (a suite privilege) was actually quite good, and I enjoyed the ability to eat in that quieter space even when I was merely bringing in my own plate from the buffet. I enjoyed my two lunches from the buffet, and found Johnny Rocket's on two other days to be merely adequate. So... I enjoyed the MDR quite a bit, and the buffet was perfectly serviceable. I did have the Ultimate package, and my wife and the boys had the Royal Replenish (all of the non-alcoholic stuff). The juice was nice for them, and we enjoyed fancy coffee each evening in the MDR after dinner. We drank more club soda than I can count, and the boys were quite fond of various smoothies. I suspect the three of the broke even or lost a little bit of money on the package, but I would still do it again to avoid thinking about things at the point of sale. I am quite certain I got value out of it; I found a series of drinks at precisely the $12 (maximum) level and grew quite fond of a $14 cognac that cost me $2. We tended to tip $1 a drink in cash, and that was appreciated. We never had a problem getting service. The Sky Bar above the pool was nice, but my favorite spot on the ship was the cigar bar on Deck 5 forward. I generally didn't smoke, but it was a nice quiet space with great service. I actually left that bartender a WOW tip envelope at the end of the week, and that is where I discovered I like cognac. Who knew? Spa-- The treatments were lovely. The product sales afterwards were so aggressive as to make me not want to go back; they were my biggest service problem on board. RC really needs to find a way to dial this back, because it is a pretty facility doing good work that I would try to avoid if I booked another cruise. Cabin 1286-- The grand suite had plenty of space for us and was in good shape save for some work needed on the balcony. We would have no need to pay extra for an owner's suite, although I would certainly consider a configuration that had two bathrooms. The couch made a lovely bed for the boys. The balcony was a great spot to sit or lounge and had plenty of space for a table, two chairs, and a lounger. I might pick a cabin closer to a stairwell next time, but I was on balance very happy with the cabin. I also enjoyed several suite perks (several reviewed here) enough to not downgrade to a junior suite. Casino-- I work for a living, but within the budget that allows am still able to get nice deals on good rooms in Vegas based on gambling play. I spent very little time gambling here because the blackjack rules were so bad and because all of the limits were so low. RC lets new punters in mid-shoe on demand, so we were constantly stopping for people to buy enough chips for one or two table minimum bets. Some of them would then loudly insist they knew precisely what they were doing; I sat in peace and simply didn't go back much. I would like to see a few tables with $25 minimums. Kid's club (Adventure Ocean)-- My kids loved it here and wanted to go as often as possible. There weren't a lot of staff, but they seemed well-trained and were helpful to the kids. This is a real strength and is something which would draw me back- my kids were happy, and it let my wife and I enjoy cocktail hour. Ports-- Cozumel was good. The fact that I speak Spanish (I lived in Mexico City for a couple of years) helped but was completely unnecessary. We played laser tag at Chankanaab, which we booked on our own. That was splendid, and then we snorkeled a bit. The cruise pier here is enormous and was a challenge for my mom (mobility challenges), but it was a fairly reasonable place to do some shopping. It certainly felt safe. Belize was my least favorite due to the tenders, but it was still good. We booked Altun Ha and River Wallace in advance through the ship. This was a great tour which simply took too long and left the boys and I exhausted. It didn't help my spirits that I was sitting in the corner of the boat that got soaked on the return. Also, the lunch was pretty small given how hungry we were. That said, the tour guides did a good job giving me an interesting perspective on a new place. The ruins were gorgeous, and we had a bit of time to climb about. I liked Roatan much more than I though I might. We booked Maya Key through the ship, and it was lovely. The beach sand was too rough for building sand castles, so we swam. And snorkeled. And walked around. Saw some Mayan re-creations in an interpretation center. Ate a fantastic meal while learning to love Honduran beer. Saw some awesome rescued animals in what amounted to a very nice zoo. Conclusion-- Yeah, I would do it again. There were some things to fix, but all four of us left feeling like we had a splendid time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Arrived at 10am at the Galveston Port from a transfer from Hotel Galvez. In line and on board at 1045. It was amazing!!! We read reviews about the nightmare it is and we had none on that day. We left the cruise at 845am on disembarkation ... Read More
Arrived at 10am at the Galveston Port from a transfer from Hotel Galvez. In line and on board at 1045. It was amazing!!! We read reviews about the nightmare it is and we had none on that day. We left the cruise at 845am on disembarkation day and got our luggage immediately, a porter and was out of the terminal to transfers in 45 min. - it was going very quickly. Cabins were ready at 1pm, luggage was delivered around 3pm. Food was good. Nothing outstanding. Had teen boys who could order as much as they needed and it was no problem at all. Service was great in dining rooms and specialty restaurants. Ate at Chops, Gioviannis and Sushi. Again, good but my opinion nothing outstanding. I can see if the general public doesn't really cook at home it would be great for them. We love to cook and eat well. Actually loved going into the Sapphire dining room for breakfast. Not crowded and relaxing. I thought the only bars that had good service was Schooner and the adult pool bar. Pools are way overcrowded on sea days, and music at pool was extremely loud. Need more fun activities inside cruise ship when people have had enough of the crowed pools and unsupervised children. Pool decks slippery and hot, both in adult solarium and family pool. Cabins- balcony room, lots of room compared to Disney and Celebrity balcony rooms. Just bring own shampoo, soap etc... Loved the wine bar every afternoon before heading to showers for dinner. Chose MY time dining at 730pm. We went to the 630 showtime and then ate and had the rest of the evening free to listen to music, watch people karaoke etc... Now that I have been on 3 cruises, I feel they are all about the same with the exception of food quality, types of crowd-families with children, adults, seniors etc... but in the end game - all similar. We have done Disney, Celebrity, and Royal Caribbean. We Might want to look at Norwegian or Crystal next. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Hotel-Stayed at a Farfield inn in Texas city 26 minutes from ship. Sufficient for pre cruise. This was our 7th ruise Embarkation-The port of Galveston is organized chaos. 3100 new cruisers on 1 street. However, we arrived at ... Read More
Hotel-Stayed at a Farfield inn in Texas city 26 minutes from ship. Sufficient for pre cruise. This was our 7th ruise Embarkation-The port of Galveston is organized chaos. 3100 new cruisers on 1 street. However, we arrived at 10:30 and were on board in an hour. This inlcuded dropping off bags and parking the car. Parking is well marked and cost $70 for the week. Shuttle carries you back to ship. Almost no one is in line at that time. Took about 10 minutes. Ship-Showing some wear but absolutely nothing that intefered with our enjoyment. It was clean and well maintained. 3100 passengers Activities-Numerous activities for cruisers of all ages. Grandkids enjoyed the climbing wall and wave machine. Some of the cruise directors were hard to understand but were enthusiastic. Entertainment-A bit disappointed with the productions. About the quality of a high school group. Average at best. Out of step many times. The former American idol singer was great-don't remember his name. Juggler/commedian was very good. Rock group-I hated it, but that is just not my style. Ice skaters-production was first class. Crew and staff-all worked very hard to make our cruise enjoyable Dining-I thought the main dining room was excellent. Very wide selection and it changed nightly. Its much better than most of us have at home. Our waiter Arnold and his assistants K'anne and Miothan were professional and delightful. K'anne was a sweetheart. Buffet-Ok. I am not fond of buffets, but this one was good enough.Very wide variety Ports-This is a cruise that centers on beach and water activities. I am getting too old for that but the younger generations enjoyed it. Cozumel-There is plenty of shopping in the dock area. Some in our party took a taxi to a beach. One went to the Myan ruins and said that were not too impressive. Belize-some shops in the port area.We all took the cave tubing and enjoyed it. Roatan-One of the group went to the private island and said that it was great. All of the ports are filled with the typical tourist shops. Overall, nice family trip. I personally enjoy cruises to non beach countries but this trip was not about me. The cruise line did their job in delivering us and I will sail with them again-If the price is right and they are going where I want to go. Disembarkation--WALK OFF ON YOUR OWN-BETWEEN 7:00 & 7:30 IF YOU CAN CARRY YOUR BAGS. WE WALKED STRAIGHT THROUGH CUSTONS AND IMMIGRATION WITH NO WAITING. There were 3100 people and you do not want to be at the back of the line Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Just returned from our Navigator RCI cruise out of Galveston. Used Cruise Critic extensively so we were not surprised about many of the things that happened. Arrived about 11am with moderate traffic until hitting the port area. Some ... Read More
Just returned from our Navigator RCI cruise out of Galveston. Used Cruise Critic extensively so we were not surprised about many of the things that happened. Arrived about 11am with moderate traffic until hitting the port area. Some brilliant person with about a third grade education decided to funnel the cars droppings off luggage for both ships to one choke point before separating the two lines. We therefore had to pass well by the Navigator and the Carnival ship before being able to take a left where they then divided the traffic to each ship. Utterly stupid. I recommend that you take the road to the north or right of the port road and go up well past 25th street and come in the other way. Far less traffic and a much faster ingress to the baggage area. Once through the drop off line, it was not bad in the terminal itself and we saved some time since we were Crown and Anchor Platinum members and junior suite guests as well. Everything else went pretty smoothly and we were able to get our bags in a fairly timely fashion. Staterooms were ready at about 1:30 pm. Junior suite was pretty nice...bring an extension cord as very few electrical outlets. Coffee machine had good Starbucks coffee but had to move it off of the provided bar as there was no outlet. We turned the AC down all the way and left it there the whole cruise in order to keep the room nice. Can't imagine what will happen in July and August when it gets really Texas warm. No toiletries in the room whatsoever except for a dispenser on the wall which had either soap or shampoo in it...not sure which. TV was nice as it allowed for TV viewing as well as ship activities and the ability to review accounts. Bought the 1 device package on day 2 and found it to be worthwhile though fairly slow and no video streaming. If you want to use a second device, it costs more so we just made sure only one device was connected at the same time. Room service was good but limited menu. Unfortunately I pulled a hamstring on day 2 but medical was excellent and no charge since it happened on board the ship. Flowrider was pretty crowded and since we were in a group of 26, I rented it out for an hour just for us and it was super. Lots of rides and the kids loved it. Food was disappointing and has declined in quality every RC cruise we have taken...now our fourth. Lobster nice was average at best and steaks were thin and only satisfactory. Food description on the menu sounds marvelous but portions are tiny and tasteless in many cases. Fisher mans platter was about as good as a McDonalds fish sandwich. Salmon was overlooked and soups disappointing. The wine list was a joke. We ordered a bottle to find out ten minutes later that they did not have it. Went to second selection and same deal. Finally told the beverage gal to choose but wine arrived after we had already finished main course. 80% of the wines on the list were not in stock. On the first night, We were told that it was still being unboxed but that was BS since the same thing happened the next night. Apparently they changed the wine list and did not update it on the menus provided to the passengers. Extremely poor performance there. We chose the early sitting for dinner to allow the kiddos a chance to eat and then head to ocean club and allow the parents an enjoyable kid free meal. Unfortunately service was so slow that when they came to get the kids at 6:45pm, they had not finished nor had even ordered dessert. Another disappointment. Giovanni's was surprisingly excellent but you need to overlook them trying to constantly sell you additional visits or wine pourers. Food was far superior to the main dining room. Good wine selection too. Did not go to Chops as a previous cruise found it to be overpriced and not all that good. No extra C&A points though I paid for 21 people and 7 staterooms which was a little disappointing. Also the concierge club which used to be open to Junior Suite folks is now only open to the better suites. Ice show was good and pools not too crowded until the two days at sea when it was a mob. Lunch buffets by the pool were good. Windjammer buffet was okay but my son mentioned he had just returned from a Carnival cruise where their buffet was superior. Fresh squeezed OJ comes with th ultimate package and it was good. Recommend this if you like the drink of the days, the OJ, Starbucks coffee, and bottled water. Johnny Rokets made good burgers and shakes but fries were not as crispy and good as Windjammer. Ice show was good except a few animal characters for the kiddos would have been nice. Promenade was enjoyable and enjoyed Two Poets which was never crowded and a good singer and guitar player named Dallas was great. Ports would have been better for snorkeling but rain messed up Belize and Roatan. Enjoyed a tour of the monkeys and sloths in Roatan. Disembarkation was not as bad as we had heard. Follow the instructions and it is pretty painless except that the customs line was a bit long because of our visits to Belize and Honduras. RCI has lots to improve upon before I would select them again even with my C&A status. Not enough benefits for repeat cruisers to make it worthwhile. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We cruised on the Navigator of the Seas out of Galveston with my extended family, 17 people total, ranging in age from 2 to 71. The itinerary was a 7 night cruise to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica. This was my third cruise and the ... Read More
We cruised on the Navigator of the Seas out of Galveston with my extended family, 17 people total, ranging in age from 2 to 71. The itinerary was a 7 night cruise to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica. This was my third cruise and the first time with Royal Caribbean. We are from San Antonio and Austin which makes leaving from Galveston convenient. The traffic at the port was a mess and took a long time. The embarkation process was okay, but the lines were long and slow. We arrived around noon and were onboard by 1:30pm. We were able to go to our staterooms, but when we got there, the cabin was so small, I thought they had made a mistake. We had four cabins in a row on the 3rd floor, each with adults and children. My parents had a balcony room on the 7th floor (which was much larger and very nice). We were 2 adults (in our 40’s) and 2 children (ages 12 and 13) in our room but there was only a king sized bed. We looked around bewildered and could not figure out where the supposed bunk beds would be. Furthermore, I could not find an attendant or a single person to ask. Other people were wandering around the hallway asking the same thing. I ended up going up to guest services and was told the beds come down from the ceiling and our stateroom attendant would lower them after dinner. Basically, the bunk beds hang over the king sized bed. I had looked online before the trip and had even called Royal Caribbean about the sleeping arrangements in a family room, and could not find any information. There are no pictures of this room configuration on the website or anywhere else. I took some pictures once the beds were down and will post them online so others will know what to expect. In addition, the cabin itself was really dirty. It seemed the only thing done between the prior guests’ departure and our arrival was to make the beds. There was hair in the bathroom and on the window sill above the bed, sand all over the floor and couch, some kind of smeary stains (blood?) on the walls, dried vomit on the curtains above the bed, and a disgusting toilet brush that lingered in the bathroom during our entire stay. Our stateroom attendant came by and introduced himself (Leon) and assured us the beds would be lowered after dinner time and he would vacuum the floor. I did not mention the other things because I would basically be asking him to clean the room properly, but I didn’t want to get off on the wrong note. It was getting late so we went to the Wind Jammer for lunch. The food was good with lots of variety. After lunch, we explored the ship. We watched the departure from the top deck and enjoyed a drink. We returned to the cabin late in the afternoon thinking we might unpack, but none of the luggage had arrived to our room. Leon assured us the luggage would be there soon. But by dinner time, our luggage had still not arrived, even though all my family in the other cabins had theirs. I had to go to dinner wearing shorts with holes in them. Bummer. Next time, I’ll pack my dinner clothes in my carry on. We had a 5:30 pm dining time. Our group of 17 was split amongst two tables next to one another. We ended up eating in the main dining room every night of the cruise. I really didn’t care for the food, but everyone liked the experience of eating in the dining room. Some of the items were better than others (salmon was good, steaks were not good). The kids became increasingly adventurous with what they ordered each night (escargot, lamb, duck, etc.), which was fun to watch. Everyone enjoyed the interesting desserts and being able to order as many items as they liked from the menu. The portions were very small (ex., 5 chips served with the spinach and artichoke dip made us laugh), but that was fine since none of us are really big eaters anyway. Our waiter was not friendly and was actually abrupt and sometimes downright rude. He was always behind the other tables in his service cycle. Not that we wanted to rush, but he was consistently slow and seemed very stressed out. The wine steward was also rude and not knowledgeable about the wine list and his service was very slow also. But the young lady who brought the bread basket around each night and refilled tea and water glasses was so sweet. She smiled the whole time and was so warm and pleasant. She needs a promotion!!! After dinner, our luggage arrived and we were able to unpack. The cabin had very little storage for 4 people. It would have been fine for 2, but with 4 people, there definitely was not adequate space to unpack our things. I had to get pretty creative to make it work. At the end of the first day, I was kind of annoyed and disappointed. It had not been the best beginning for a cruise. But luckily, the rest of the trip went so much better and despite a rough start, the cruise itself was wonderful. The second day was a sea day and we had to pass through a tropical storm. It was pretty rough waters and the boat was rocking, not enough to make people ill, but enough to through off your balance. They closed the upper decks until we were through the storm by the late afternoon. My husband decided to buy a beverage package on the second day (beer, wine and soda), which was probably a cost saver in the long run. The prices of the drinks are really high! Being able to bring two bottles of wine onboard (plus the ones my sister carried on for me, since she doesn't drink wine) was perfect for me. Surprisingly, no one even used the soda cup. In the end, I think we got our money's worth, but it would be nice if there was an allowable amount of beer you could bring too. While I'm on the subject, the policy on bringing water onboard seems a bit fuzzy. Most of our group had no trouble and just put a luggage tag on our water case and it arrived at the room with the luggage. But we saw another person carrying water during boarding who had it confiscated. So stupid. They should just make an allowance for bringing on a case of water to keep in your stateroom. Jeez... The third day we docked in Cozumel. We arrived later than scheduled due to the weather the day before, but that was nice because we got to sleep in a little later. We had booked the Fury Catamaran Snorkel and Beach Break through Royal Caribbean. This was so much fun. The catamaran’s crew were very capable and kept the beers and margaritas flowing. The snorkeling location was not that great. There weren’t that many fish and the waters were pretty rough that day. But at least it was memorable. The private beach had lots of inflatables to play on and the kids had a blast. You could order a hamburger or hotdog that was made fresh in front of the guests. They are enormous and delicious and could easily be split between two people. We stayed at the beach for about an hour and a half then boarded the catamaran for the trip back to the boat. The crew played music and got the passengers dancing on the deck. It was really entertaining to watch everyone. We were back in time to do some shopping in the port before getting back onboard the ship. The fourth day, we tendered in Grand Cayman. It was a late arrival (10 am) and they prioritized those guests with excursions booked through Royal Caribbean to get off the ship first. Everyone else needed a numbered ticket to disembark and the process was slow. We didn’t get off the ship until almost noon. We did not have an excursion booked because we had heard how beautiful the beaches are and decided to take cabs on our own. It was easy to get a cab and we were taken to Public Beach. Our cab driver said she would take us back and we arranged a time. There was a bar/restaurant where we ordered buckets of beer and headed out to the beach. This beach was very narrow and pretty crowded. We rented a couple of chairs and umbrellas. The kids snorkeled and played in the water. We ordered food from the bar, which was very good. But it was very hot that day and we only stayed at the beach for a couple of hours. Our driver returned to pick us up and we asked to be dropped off near the port to shop. Grand Cayman is clean and safe to walk around, but we had to remind the kids to be careful crossing the street since they drive on the other side of the road. We bought a few souvenirs and returned to the tenders for the ride back to the ship. It was enjoyable, but we probably would have had more fun if we had booked an excursion. The fifth day, we docked in Falmouth, Jamaica. I had booked an excursion through a private company (Liberty Tours) for a trip to Blue Hole. This was such an amazing day and I cannot say enough good things about the experience. I had been given directions by the tour company on where to meet our guides and we found the meeting place easily. We divided into two groups and were taken to the comfortable, air conditioned vans. The driver of our van was Rose Marie. She was so friendly and outgoing and kept us entertained the whole way. She would answer any and all questions happily and knowledgeably. There was never a lull in the conversation and the facts she told us about life in Jamaica were fascinating. The drive to Blue Hole is over an hour, but was part of the fun. Seeing the homes and people of Jamaica going about their day was really cool. It is such a unique culture. The drive up to the falls was off the main road and along a bumpy, windy, narrow dirt road. Once we arrived, we were led up to the falls by our guides; two young Jamaican guys who were very friendly (Irving and Morgan). Our group was led up the falls and shown where to jump off into the pool below. You could jump from different heights depending on how adventurous you wanted to be. Some were easy (about 6 feet or so) and some were really high (30 plus feet). Everyone in my group jumped from various heights, and even the oldest generation braved the most treacherous of the falls. The guides held onto each person securely as they walked to the edges of the falls. These young men were so strong and capable, we felt very safe. However, this is not an easy excursion. It is best to be up for a little adventure!!! There was a rope swing at the end which was fun too. Once everyone in the group had jumped, the guides would run off the falls and do the most amazing flips and dives. Very impressive!!! It is suggested to wear water shoes, and while they are certainly no fashion statement, I was glad I had them. The rocks could get pretty sharp in some places. After the falls, we were driven in the vans back down the mountainside to “Scotchies” for lunch. Our drivers had called ahead, so the food was ready when we arrived. We sat outdoors and enjoyed the wonderful jerk chicken, rice and “peas” (beans), and sodas they brought us. The portions were large and by that time everyone had worked up an appetite. The food was fresh, hot and delicious. There was a bar for those of us who wanted a Red Stripe or Rum Runner. After lunch we headed back to the port with over an hour to spare. This was everyone’s favorite excursion and was truly a unique experience. The sixth and seventh days were at sea and we enjoyed everything the ship had to offer. We watched the ice show (wonderful), climbed the rock wall, played on the Flow Rider, worked out at the gym, lounged by the pool, and caught the nightly shows in the theatre. Disembarkation went smoothly and we were on the road by 10:30 am. Overall, this cruise was one of our family’s favorite vacations. The kids said they had more fun on this trip than on our Disney World vacations. My parents even booked themselves another cruise for next year. Comparing the two cruise lines I have taken out of Galveston, there are some things I like more about Royal Caribbean and some things I prefer about Carnival. I guess the deciding factor in the future will be promotional prices and destinations. But we really had a great time on this cruise and look forward to more in the future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
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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