5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
My review will focus on the casino aspect of the ship as well as my overall opinion of the trip. The Navigator of the Seas is in the Voyager class, and is similar to the Independence of the Seas in its layout. EMBARKMENT: Went quickly ... Read More
My review will focus on the casino aspect of the ship as well as my overall opinion of the trip. The Navigator of the Seas is in the Voyager class, and is similar to the Independence of the Seas in its layout. EMBARKMENT: Went quickly from the bus ride with only two passengers, myself and one other person from Fort Lauderdale airport to the Port of Miami. The check in process took less than one half hour. Once on the ship about 1pm, the staterooms were not ready until 1:30 pm, so I went up to the Windjammer buffet on Deck 11, and it was standard varieties of buffet foods. STATEROOM: As I was traveling solo, I usually get a interior cabin unless, I get an free upgrade to oceanview or balcony, since I am really there just to nap/sleep, shower, dress and out of the room. It is good size but there is little room when the two twins are put together to make a king/queen size bed, its about six inches of space between the end of the bed and the sofa on one side and the dresser on the other side. Two outlets,eight drawers, and a spacious closet. The bathroom has the sink with two medicine/toiletry cabinets and the round shower with doors, just don't drop the soap when showering as it is difficult to pick up. One shower gel or shampoo dispenser in the shower stall. PROMENADE: There is a spacious promenade in the center of the ship with bars, shops and "Promenade Cafe". There are the standard evening sales on port days and all day "special sales" on sea days. THE FOOD: Promenade Cafe: This has a Ben and Jerry's and Starbuck Coffee shop connected with it, for a additional fee. The cafe part has the free coffee and tea, the breakfast pastries, that you can get in the main dining room and the Windjammer buffet. It is open 24 hours. The "lunch and dinner" sandwiches are EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTING, its basically a submarine sandwich bread cut in half and one slice of a meat, one leaf of lettuce and slice of tomato and maybe a slice of cheese on some sandwiches. What you wind up doing is getting two or three sandwiches to make one sandwich and then tossing the bread, what a WASTE of FOOD. Main Dining Room: Traditional early seating at 5:30pm and late seating at 8:00pm in the Sapphire Dining Room on deck 3, with their "my time dining on the 4th and 5th decks. The food was a meat, seafood, poultry and vegetarian selections rotating daily with some standard mainstay available every evening. The wait staff at table #280, Jorden and May provided excellent service, though at times, it took some for the food to get out of the galley. Overall, the food was excellent, with several appetizers, and main dishes to select, with a couple of exceptions, don't bother to order the potato pie main dish or the turkey dinner which appeared to consist of some white turkey breast and a dark turkey meat roll, and I do mean roll, looking at the dark meat is spiral, I did not order it but my table mate indicated that it was tasteless. Other than these two selections the food was better than served on my past Carnival cruises. Windjammer Buffet: Serving the "masses" is difficult to maintain a high quality standard, the staff did the best they could with some limited variety on the main meats, its better then Golden Corral. MAIN POOL and SERENITY POOL: Both areas were popular and in heavy use on sea days, the main pool lounges fill up early so you have to go to the sun deck for an available seating. BARS and LOUNGES: Many bars, with excellent service. As a Diamond member of the Crown and Anchor Society, I get automatically added to my SeaPass card three free drinks each day, non cummulative, so you can go to any bar on the ship, outside the MDR and buffet and get three free adult beverages or sodas between 5 pm and 8:30 pm. For Diamond and Pinnacle members there is an exclusive DIAMOND CLUB for evening cocktails and appetizers and they pour a most generous Jack Daniels on the rocks. EXCURSIONS: I have been to Nassau and Cozumel so I did not do any excursions. The shopping at both ports are filled with silver outlets. CASINO ROYALE: I got a reduced accomodations rate, as I do gamble, and I must say that of all the casino, on the Royal Caribbean cruise ships I have been on, which is 5 different ships, this was the most disappointing. There are ample card tables, with craps, three card poker, Ultimate Texas hold em poker, one poker table, a Carribean Poker table, roulette and several blackjack tables. The dealers are extremely friendly and helpful. The DISAPPOiNTMENT are the SLOT machines. There were several slot machines that were out of service including the popular "Wheel of Fortune" slot machines, for the ENTIRE CRUISE. Also, several of the machines, you had to repeatedly insert and re insert you Seapass card in order for it to register your number so you can get credit for you playing time and monies inserted in the slot machines. The casino host was absent for most of the time except for doing the slot, blackjack tournaments and the nightly hot seat and other giveaways. I am used to the casino host circulating and talking to the casino patrons. The casino is somewhat smoke, but the non smoking areas are a little better. ENTERTAINMENT: Better than on Carnival cruise line ships. The cruise director, a Brit, named Cuddy, is a HOOT! DEMBARKMENT: Was at my assigned station, at 7am debarkement on deck 4 of the MDR, but the process of the carry your luggage walk off did not start until 8 am, and I was finally off the ship about 9:15 pm, get my luggage was very quick and the customs lines when smoothly, I was on the bus and at the Fort Lauderdale Interantional Airport by 10:30 am. OVERALL: its a nice ship, if you don't gamble, it would be a very good cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
AWFUL: PADI service. We understand the policy of not serving kids under 12 years old. What it is unacceptable is that the guy from South Africa in charge does not help in contacting other PADI centers to facilitate diving to families ... Read More
AWFUL: PADI service. We understand the policy of not serving kids under 12 years old. What it is unacceptable is that the guy from South Africa in charge does not help in contacting other PADI centers to facilitate diving to families with children under 12. “Go online and search” is a rude answer and definitely not a Royal Caribbean style answer. We lost the opportunity of diving in 3 islands. ROOM TO IMPROVE: 1. Mattresses: Please include foam pads for back pain sufferers. Mattresses are too hard. 2. WATER PLEASE! It is very complicated to get bottles of water. We had to purchase them at the bars because ROOM SERVICE is slow, inefficient and expensive. Put them back in the room refrigerators and charge as minibar. 3. BREAKFAST AND FRUITS: more variety and quality. Other RY ships have much better breakfast. 4. Desserts: they can get better, like the Chocolate Lava cake. 5. ENTERTAINERS: learn from the Mexican all inclusive entertainers. Need better quality / trained people for teens. 6. ROOM SERVICE is awfully slow in taking calls and delivering simple things like water. EXCELLENT 1. The stateroom attendant RAMON (8673) was amazing. He solved the problem of the bad quality mattress by bringing comforters and pads. He made a great difference. 2. RAKESH at the Sapphire dining room: he also made a great difference giving our son his favorite Indian food every night. 3. MARY and VALENTINO: excellent waiters. 4. THE SHOWS were excellent. Christmas environment was perfect, the mass at midnight and caroling was amazing. Cruise director did a great job too. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Ok so where to start, so many things to say. First of all, we had to wait 4 1/2 hours in line in the heat just to get on the ship. We never went to a terminal. It was a tent that was even hotter inside to wait in more lines. After a couple ... Read More
Ok so where to start, so many things to say. First of all, we had to wait 4 1/2 hours in line in the heat just to get on the ship. We never went to a terminal. It was a tent that was even hotter inside to wait in more lines. After a couple hours they finally started passing out water while we waited in line. We didn't leave until 6pm and when we got onboard there we didn't get to grab a bite to eat because we had to go immediately to the muster drill. By the this time we were starving and went looking for food. Could we find any? NO!!! We were supposed to wait for the dining room to open. I had an anxiety attack at this point and started crying and begging for food so I went up to one of the waiters and started yelling at them that I just wanted food and to sit down. Something to the effect of: "Can't we even get fed on this stupid ship? I just want some food and my feet hurt and I want to sit down already. We've only been waiting for hours in line!" Yes, embarrassing, but it happened. I've got to say they found me a seat and within two minutes moved us into the dining room. Probably to keep everyone else from rioting. After A glass of wine and some bread I started to calm down, ate and went straight to the stateroom and to bed. Everything was ok until we got to the royal Caribbean port in Haiti. We booked an excursion for jet skiing. With our friends. The staff on the excursion was rude and antagonizing. The chicks name was HANNAH and she gave us misinformation and was rude to us because we are middle age and treated us like we were geriatric. She almost let our friend drown because she didn't follow safety protocol or recommendations for the excursion. After 30 minutes of our friend in the water she decided to stop laughing and saying Ebro thing was cool and called for help. After the boat came and took our friends away we just wanted to be done and on our way. They charged us twice for the locker because of their mistake. The port shopping was horrible because the people are so aggressive and rude. Plus, they lie to you just to get you to buy. One guy actually got in my husbands face and told him "LOOK AT ME! I'm taking to you." The only good thing was that the ship provided food and beverages. On Wednesday night there was supposed to be a Latin pool party but the whole deck got flooded from the pools because the ship was rocking so badly since we sailed that it was cancelled because they were worried the band would get electrocuted. So were we. They told everyone to go to the Cosmopolitan Club to continue the party. That was a disaster. The do apparently didn't get the memo and some old lady started yelling and cussing at him that no one liked his music and to play something else. When he did, she started yelling at people to get up and dance, so we left. At 1am, said lady was leading a protest two decks below us, stomping and chanting "This stupid "A" (profanity) boat sucks!" because they closed the only dance club early. This went on for 30 minutes. At 4am there was an explosion and I thought the ship was sinking. Never found out what that was about. For the first 3 days the hallway smelled of sewer. There was only one dance club on the ship. The Latin band was awesome! But they only get a corner the deck and it was super crowded because it was the only place that had decent dance music. I called and bought a gift for my husband for our anniversary, which was on the 29th. I waited all day and nothing came. Next day we went to guest services and to find out what happened and they apologized for the error, which I they never said what happened but they ruined the surprise. They tried to make up for it and offered us a bottle of champagne, which we never recieved. They also offered us dinner at one of the premium restaurants to make up for it. That was nice, but ,y husband woke up sick and it wa on the last day of the cruise so I had dinner with my friend and not our anniversary dinner. So no anniversary celebration for us on the ship, thanks to ROYAL CARIBBEAN. Needless to say, we will never ever travel with them again. Worst vacation of our lives. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2016
Mom has liked Royal Caribbean in the past - it's a older crowd (she is 82) and she feels more comfortable. We had problems after problems. The guy at the desk told me 2 things about WIFI that was WRONG and they keep telling me to ... Read More
Mom has liked Royal Caribbean in the past - it's a older crowd (she is 82) and she feels more comfortable. We had problems after problems. The guy at the desk told me 2 things about WIFI that was WRONG and they keep telling me to call Verizon. It's their fault. Horrible customer service - paid for WIFI and it does NOT include calls or text - just data. So many things went wrong. From having my 82 year old mom stand in the sun for 3 hours waiting to board, to a room that is in badly need of some repairs. Our room had a wind tunnel noise and it took maintenance 2 days to get this fixed and kept us up for hours. I bought souvenir T Shirts ( NOT from this itinerary mind you!_) and they all shrunk ! So many things went wrong. The mattress was hard. There was a black ring around the toilet, no tissue in bathroom. Food choices were bland. Try another cruise line. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
As Diamond Crown & Anchor members, my family has gone on many cruises, but we brought three cruise newbies on our group and we went to Puerto Rico for the first time in 33 years. Pros: - My wife and I got married on Voyager in ... Read More
As Diamond Crown & Anchor members, my family has gone on many cruises, but we brought three cruise newbies on our group and we went to Puerto Rico for the first time in 33 years. Pros: - My wife and I got married on Voyager in 2003, so this class is memorable for us - We also failed on Navigator in the Med five years ago, so we remembered the ship too - It's really hard to get Royal Family Suites anywhere in the fleet, so I jumped on this one - Filet Mignon in MDR ordered from the Chops menu was good - Diamond and Suite perks were decent, and I didn't use them all - Loved the cabin - Labadee keeps getting better Cons: - It's been a while since there was a refit. Worn railings. Little things out of place. Some spill in the R-Bar that needed a massive fan to dry out for several days. - Food in MDR not nearly up to the standard I expected, I blame specialty dining. Even breakfast in the MDR was average. Windjammer was also lackluster. - Embarked on a day when 6 ships were in Miami, so we ended up on the pavement for over an hour and embarking from a tent... no suite or diamond perks for that - Air2Sea never notified me about pick up time from the hotel - Teenagers in our group didn't really enjoy the teen "Living Room" - Significant delay leaving the ship in Puerto Rico due to Anthem docking on the same pier right when we were to depart - No longer a special deal for photo packages shared among 3+ cabins for a larger group - Only 1/3 of the passengers participated in formal night Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
I would have given this cruise 5 stars but for the unfortunate boarding experience in the parking lot at Miami.....My husband and I got on very quickly (1/2 hour)....but then had to watch our luggage sit in the parking lot and not loaded ... Read More
I would have given this cruise 5 stars but for the unfortunate boarding experience in the parking lot at Miami.....My husband and I got on very quickly (1/2 hour)....but then had to watch our luggage sit in the parking lot and not loaded until 6pm. And we finally got it after dinner. I do want to state that this was the fault of Port of Miami Baggage Handlers Union. Those guys in the white hats refused to work with RCCL and to be quite frank, they are a lazy bunch of money grabbing porters. One told me that for $30 he would deliver my luggage to my room in ten minlutes.....that is pants on fire lying. He could not board the ship. Being more or less seasoned cruisers, we booked the dining package for 4 nights....and both Chopped and Giovanni's were excellent. I still remember the Osso Buco....lovely. We only had dinner one night in the MDR and that was the Puerto Rico stop when most of the people were off the ship and it was very nice. We did eat in the Windjammer for dinner two night and we had no complaints...especially about the staff....they were really great. I was on the same ship as many of there other reviewers but evidently did not have the same experience, I never had a problem getting served in the Windjammer, nor did I experience a problem with the food. We actually liked it. And to the gentleman who only saw ham being carved....I had chicken, roast beef and pork roast on different days. Still love the egg station and frankly could care less about lobster night. I have read a lot of negative reviews here about the November cruise and totally understand it started out on a negative tone....but for us, the rest of the cruise was delightful. The famous robes, we had two. If I had one complaint about the cruise, it was that the Captain was invisible. We had sailed on Navigator in April and had Captain Ari and he was fun...all over the ship and talking to everyone. When I mentioned it to some of the crew, they told me they had never seen this Captain either....part of being Captain is PR.....and this one totally dropped the ball. The ship does seem to represent the Captain's attitude and that might have been part of the negative reviews, a dull Captain = a dull ship. Our cabin, Deck 12, 1864, was wonderful....clean, spacious and I love the 25 feet of floor to ceiling windows. We would eat breakfast there most days. What a view.....And I was never cold....but I am from Miami and used to freezing air conditioning. One really positive thing was that my husband had some heart problems on the ship and for the first time we had to visit the Medical Facility....and I can tell you they are top notch. We took their treatment records to a very renowned cardiologist in Miami and he said we were very fortunate.....we could not have gotten better treatment any place. So thanks to the two Doctors and the nurses, we were able to finish our cruise in good health. All in all we have Navigator booked for the April Southern Caribbean.....and Captain Ari Medina will be back so we expect to have a rocking cruise..... Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We booked this cruise 1.5 years ago. It was a first sibling cruise for my husband's siblings and spouses. There were 8 of us traveling together. We arrived at the Port at 10 AM. By 11:15 we were able to board the ship. We did a ... Read More
We booked this cruise 1.5 years ago. It was a first sibling cruise for my husband's siblings and spouses. There were 8 of us traveling together. We arrived at the Port at 10 AM. By 11:15 we were able to board the ship. We did a quick walk thru the Promenade and then up to the Windjammer for lunch. The windjammer got really busy around noon so we left our table so others would have a place to eat and we started exploring. Our rooms were ready shortly after 1. Our luggage did not arrive until almost 4. The first day was busy getting settled in, going to the first night's show and dinner in the MDR. We fell in love with our server's in the MDR. They were very attentive and provided great service. We had Mario and Xuemei. They really added to our whole cruise experience. I found the staff of the ship to be some of the best I have seen. (This was my 8th cruise on multiple lines). The staff all seemed happy to be there. They spoke when they saw you and were all very polite and helpful. Most of my crowd likes to stay active. They all found plenty to keep them busy. We have our own shuffle board tournaments. My husband played in table tennis tournaments. He tried the flow rider several days. The gym was very nice. We normally went in afternoons when less crowded. They was a huge hot tub in the gym that we also used several times. It tended to be less crowded. In the shower area of the gym were a sauna and steam room. We girls went to the steam room several days. The food in the Windjammer was all very good. Basically what you expect for cruise buffet. A little more variety would be nice. But no reason anyone should go hungry. We all enjoyed the food in the MDR. There was a pretty good selection of choices each night. As the norm, chairs near the pool were hard to come by. But there were plenty to be found in other areas or on the deck above the pool. The ship is starting to show it's age. It was recently in dry dock, so cosmetically looked fine. But some of the fixtures were showing age. We always book inside rooms. Our room was a good size for us. Loved all the storage room. We did have issues with our room not being very cool. We were only one in our group with this complaint. We did have maintenance come take a look, but it didn't help. Thankfully we had brought a small fan. The shows for the most part were pretty good. The Ice Show was spectacular. We went to it twice. 2 of the night shows were just okay. (Probably not our taste/style of music). They had a tribute band to the Beatles one night, they were excellent. The Motown show was also excellent. Overall it was a great cruise and many wonderful memories were made. Of the 3 other couples 1 had never cruised before. The other 2 couples had never cruised with RCL. 2 Couples booked while on board a future cruise on Freedom of the Seas. The other couple has been booked for the last year with use for next year's Navigator 9 day cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2016
A warning before you start: My reviews are long. This one may be longer than most because it was an 8-day, port intensive itinerary. I divided it into sections to help the reader find the information they need a little faster. ... Read More
A warning before you start: My reviews are long. This one may be longer than most because it was an 8-day, port intensive itinerary. I divided it into sections to help the reader find the information they need a little faster. Embarkation We left for Fort Lauderdale from Atlanta at around 3:30 am on the day of our cruise. Spring break traffic was pretty heavy all the way down there except for I-10. The almost constant rain did not help. We got stuck in traffic about 15 miles from our exit to Park n Fly. We eventually got here. As always, the shuttle driver at Park n Fly was waiting to help unload our car and take us to the ship when we parked. We got to the terminal a little before 3. The upside of such a late arrival was virtually no line. We were checked in and on the ship in about 30 minutes. The downside is we were among the last to get our luggage. It arrived well after 7. The ship The common areas of the Navigator are nice and well appointed. The atrium has a beautiful sculpture that extends all the way up to the upper floors. The ship is a little hard to navigate for me, mainly because there are no aft elevators and apparently, I booked an aft cabin without realizing it. There does not seem to be an official mid-ship on the Navigator. You're either forward or aft. It took a misguided attempt to try to get to the Windjammer (which the map says is aft but it's really more midship) by simply walking to the back of the ship and going up, to realize that there are no aft elevators or stairs. As a mostly Carnival cruiser, this is odd to me because every ship we've been on has had forward, midship, and aft elevators. I also kept turning the wrong way to get to the forward elevator from our cabin. In a forward cabin on Carnival, the forward elevators are usually behind us. On this ship, they were in front of us. The elevators were slow in the mornings, evenings, and on sea days. When one finally came, it was usually crowded. The layout and slow elevators means this is a walking ship. If you book a cabin at the very back, you will have quite a long walk to the aft/midship elevators to get anywhere on the ship. If you're like me and find the cabin numbering confusing, it may mean more walking to get back to one of the two opportunities you have to cross to the other side of the ship if you find yourself wandering around on the wrong side. All of my confusion could be because I am so used to Carnival ships. But, I did not have issues navigating on the Indy. Around the 3rd day, we started calling this ship, the Conquest class ships of Royal Caribbean. The crowding and the layout really reminded us of the Carnival Valor, Conquest, Glory, and Sunshine. The promenade area is very similar to the one on the Indy. The pizza shop was hard to find, mainly because they don't mention it at all as a food option in the Cruise Compass. One of our Cruise Critic roll call members told me that it's there, but at the very end of the promenade in the Cafe. Where the Navigator is showing its age is the cabins. Our cabin, 8562, was nice but there was obvious aging in the bathroom, mostly. Other than the age issues, the cabin is fine. We slept really well each night. Activities When we registered our son for Adventure Ocean, The counselor provided us with an overview schedule for the week that didn't provide important details like what time certain activities were going to take place. This made it difficult for me to plan our days. Like on the INDY, their scheduling of certain activities at night made family dinner a challenge if we weren’t eating dinner between 5 and 7. The counselor said that free arcade night was 7 to 8 that first evening. My husband took our very excited son. They came back and reported that many of the games marked as free did not work. Some did not play at all and others did not function properly. The Mario Kart game only turned left which meant going in circles for the entire race. We loaded his card with arcade credit for him to use the rest of the cruise. On our day in Labadee, we spent about an hour in the arcade after dinner. The games are expensive, averaging about $1 per play. We swiped our card on the Sonic game 3 times. Each time, it removed a credit but never played. We learned which games to avoid. Games would be working one day and not working the next. Annoying. But, when we called the help number, they put the credits back on our card. After eating dinner on our day in St. Maarten, it was too late to drop our son off at Adventure Ocean for the Pirate Parade, so we watched the Family Movie on the top deck, Big Hero 6. We've already seen it but it is a very good movie. The big screen on the deck is probably mounted too low. It's hard to find a spot where you have an unobstructed view of the screen. We settled on the area in front of the Sky Bar. Nope. Balcony bars running all across the screen. The Sky bar is also a smoking area so once the smokers showed up, the party was over. It seems you have to sit on the same level as the pool on either side of it to get an unobstructed view of the big screen. When he did go, our son had a great time at Adventure Ocean. We skipped our planned beach day in St. Maarten because he wanted to go to Adventure Ocean. I attempted to pick him up twice but he was having so much fun, he wanted to stay. We did not really rely on the Cruise Compass for activities. They tended to be the same every day. On the first sea day, after our dinner in Chops, we picked up our son and headed to the 10:15 ballroom dancing show. We stuck it out for about 30 minutes. With a show called "Ballroom Dancing", I expect more dancing than singing. The singers were amazing. The dancing, not so much. When we got on the ship, one of the first things we did was start looking for the water park or water slide. Apparently, this ship does not have one. I have no idea how I missed that in my planning. There is a rock climbing wall, mini golf, and the Flowrider. So, what's a parent with a child too young for rock climbing or flowriding to do? We don’t play mini-golf, so Adventure Ocean and the pool are pretty much it. On a sea day, the pool area was very crowded. Your experience will vary depending on the time of day you get there. We went around 10:30 am on the first sea day and there was not an available deck chair to be found. But, one of the pools only had a few people in it so we were able to enjoy it for about 2 hours. I absolutely loved that this ship had a 1 am curfew for cruisers under 18. We experienced none of the unsupervised kid craziness that was everywhere on the Independence of the Seas. For the most part, the kids we encountered were well-behaved. This was also the friendliest bunch of people we have cruised with in a while. People did not hesitate to strike up a conversation with you or extend the greeting of the day. Food The food on the Navigator was good overall. The Windjammer tended to serve a standard breakfast every day. We had no issues with this since we are meat and eggs breakfast lovers. They also offered a selection of breads and pastries, fruit, juices, coffee, and milk. Lunch and dinner offered a variety of entrees and veggies. The sides were pretty standard though. Every day, we saw mashed potatoes, white rice, a flavored rice variation, ziti, and spaghetti. The food quality in the Windjammer was pretty consistent. The broccoli beef (way too much soy sauce - tasted burnt) and the lamb stew (flavors not quite right), were the only two misses of the food I selected during the cruise. The Windjammer seemed to have a condiment issue, mostly the ketchup, for most of the cruise. They had the large tubs that you pump the condiments out of. They had a hard time keeping them filled. It got annoying playing find the ketchup every time we ate. Every time we found ketchup packets out, we started saving them so we wouldn't have to hunt for ketchup the next time we ate. They also ran out of chocolate chip cookies around day 6 of the cruise. For us, if you're out of chocolate chip cookies, then you're out of cookies. The coconut, cranberry, lemon, and oatmeal raisin cookies that were still available just aren't the same. We only ate in the dining room one night during this cruise because we just didn't find the menu appetizing on most nights. I called to make an anytime dining reservation around 4 on our day in Labadee. All they had left was the late seating which was fine with us. At dinner, I got the shrimp cocktail and lasagna pomodoro. My husband ordered a Caesar salad and garlic shrimp. Our son ordered the chicken fingers from the kids menu. The shrimp cocktail was great. I did not care for the lasagna. I know it's made with a milder bolognese sauce but I like my lasagna with a hearty tomato flavor. This lasagna was really bland. Our son ate the French fries but only nibbled at the chicken fingers. My husband ate one and described it as tough and chewy. He thought garlic shrimp was ok. We both ordered the chocolate sensation for dinner. It was served with vanilla ice cream. The chocolate mousse cake was not bad but I enjoyed the ice cream more. I am glad we bought the specialty dining package Dinner in Chops Grille was a wonderful dining experience. We ate there twice during our cruise. We shared our entrees, the jumbo shrimp cocktail and crab cake. The crab cake texture was not what we are used to. It is clearly not a recipe that includes bread crumbs and the flavor was muted but the sauce they served it with elevated the taste. I ordered the strip steak and my husband ordered the filet mignon. Our sides, mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach were served family style in shareable portions. The waiter offered us a variety of options for sauces. I got the red wine sauce which was the perfect complement to the steak. We shared a huckleberry cheesecake for dessert and finished an entire bottle of wine. Sabor also did not disappoint. The salsa that came with the chips at the beginning of our meal was amazing. We ordered the bacon wrapped chicken and peppers, and the cheese dip for appetizers. Our son got the three cheese quesadillas for his entree. My husband ordered the duck burrito. I started with the red snapper and finished with the short rib mole. The plantain mash that the snapper came with was good but all the flavors seemed to come together when you combined the fish, mash, and mango salsa in the same bite. The mole was delicious. Too bad I was too full to finish it. Everything was delicious. The sides are served family style and they bring all the ones shown on the menu. The dessert is served the same way, as a sampler and family style. This works because everyone just chooses what they want. I got the espresso custard and the coconut lime flan. We nibbled on everything else. Chocolate crepes, chimichangas, and cinnamon sticks with dipping sauces. The desserts were not the greatest part of the meal, unfortunately. Good. Not great. We ordered a carafe of red sangria to go with our meal not realizing how large it was. Two adults had a difficult time drinking it all. Overall, a great meal and our wait staff was excellent. I love how they make fresh guacamole for every table. The Cafe Promenade was by far the most problematic and inconsistent place on this cruise. While the crew was always courteous, the frequent lapses in quality were annoying to say the least. On the first sea day, I went to the coffee shop around 6:30 in the morning to get a cappuccino for my husband. When he started to drink it about 30 minutes later, he said this is just milk. We got dressed and I took the cappuccino back to the coffee shop on our way to breakfast. There was a different crew there and the barista made another cappuccino without comment or complaint. This one was made correctly. Almost daily, the coffee quality varied. Sometimes, it was brewed perfectly. Other times, it tasted as though it had been mixed with water to extend it rather than make a fresh batch. Room service also delivered coffee that tasted like it had been mixed with water. Honestly, the Windjammer was the only place that provided a consistently good brew throughout the cruise. I started drinking tea if I just had to get a hot drink when the Windjammer was closed. They also ran out of pepperoni pizza midway through the cruise. So, they started making and offering salami pizza instead. Yes, you read that right. Of all the alternate toppings they could substitute for pepperoni, they chose salami. We got a few of the sandwiches on the second day and were not impressed. Bologna in a muffuletta? No. If you're going to offer a muffuletta sandwich, make it correctly. The rest of the sandwiches we got were just bland. The desserts were much better. The lemon tart was consistently excellent. Unfortunately, the Café Promenade became the place we chose when we absolutely had no other choice. Service The staff in the Windjammer was very friendly, helpful, and accommodating. Some of the best service we encountered on the ship was in the Windjammer. For the first time ever, we got a steward that was just meh. When we first got to our room, I really questioned whether it had been cleaned. The carpet was obviously not vacuumed and stayed that way for most of the cruise. She may have vacuumed it once but the debris under the desk chair never budged. She just was not very detail oriented. Our room was missing the glasses and the ice bucket that normally sit on the desk. We asked her to bring us some. She refilled the ice bucket every day but never replaced the glasses with clean ones. I always ended up cleaning them when we wanted to use them again. Sure, I could have asked her to replace them with clean ones but, these are things that are pretty standard on every other cruise we have been on. The fact that I even had to ask for them in the first place was annoying enough. I do have to compliment the captain. Other than the captain on the Carnival Legend, he is one of the most personable captains we have cruised with. He gave updates several times a day which were always informative and interesting. Ports Day 3 - Labadee We got off the ship and caught a ride to the beach. We planned to go to Columbus Cove again but ended up staying across from the water park since our son wanted to play there. A local fetched us beach chairs and set them up, for which he expected a tip. I spent the day lounging on a beach chair doing crossword puzzles while my husband and son played and swam at the beach and then played in the waterpark. We headed back to the ship after our son stubbed his toe pretty badly on the waterpark's concrete surface. Half his toenail was coming off and the toe was bleeding so we needed to get back on the ship to attend to it. By this time, everything was closing down anyway. I went to get some food around 1:15 but they had already shut it down. We got back on the ship, got cleaned up, took care of our sons toe, and rushed up to the buffet to eat before they closed at 3. I am not fond of the schedule for the buffet, especially on a port day when people are probably getting back on the ship hungry only to find the only thing available is sandwiches and pizza. Day 4 - San Juan We docked in San Juan a little before 1:30. We had prebooked a tour through Shore Excursioneer for a San Juan Bay boat tour. We wanted to book directly with the vendor, San Juan Water Tours, but their cancellation policy was not cruise ship friendly. What if the ship was late or didn't make it at all? There did not seem to be any allowance for those situations at all. Also, the only tour time, we could pick was 3:00. Again, what if the ship was late? Shore Excursioneer offered a cruise-friendly cancellation policy and a 4:00 tour time. Fortunately, our ship arrived earlier than the scheduled 2:00 arrival time. After eating lunch in the Windjammer, we were off the ship by a little after 3. It felt really good not to have to rush off the ship. Now to find Pier #6 using the directions that Shore Excursioneer provided. They describe it as a short walk. If we had docked at the usual pier #4 AND if it wasn't so darn hot, then yes, it would have been a short walk. Pier 6 is to the right of where the cruise ships dock. It does not look like a typical pier. If it weren't for the San Juan Water Tours sign, we would still be looking for it. If you are coming from the cruise ships, there is no Pier 6 sign until after you pass the San Juan Water Tours area. There was no boat there, so we sat and waited until the 3:00 tour returned. We finally get a day in San Juan with no rain and it is hot as Hades. We now see the rain is a mixed blessing. At some point while we were waiting, Mother Nature had mercy on us. Heavy clouds moved in and a nice breeze started to blow. The 3:00 tour returned a little before 4. When they unloaded, we gave our confirmation print out to the captain. His facial reaction told me that he was not expecting us. He did not say it though. He recovered quickly and told us it would be a few minutes while he prepared the boat. When the boat was ready, he checked us in. He said that Shore Excursioneer had not charged us for the local tax so we paid him the balance due on the excursion with an extra $10 for the taxes. San Juan Water Tours is a very professional operation. Shore Excursioneer is questionable. I think your success with them will depend heavily on the tour operator. I am pretty convinced that they did not confirm our reservation with the operator like they said they did. Either that, or there was a miscommunication somewhere. Day 5 - St. Kitts Our ship docked a little earlier than our scheduled arrival time of 10 am. We watched the ship sail past several islands before docking in St. Kitts. The Carnival Conquest and a small Silversea ship were already in port. We were scheduled to meet our tour guides at 10:30. We got in line with the masses to be among the first to get off. There was no rain when we docked but it was raining by the time we got off the ship. It stopped shortly after. We enjoyed beautiful weather for the rest of the day. I had prebooked our tour with Thenford Grey Tours through their website. They were easy to find because there were several people at the port area with signs. After a short wait, we met our guide, Al, and driver, Kasim. We boarded the bus and headed to the mountains for the rainforest eco hike. Our tour ended around 1:30 and we headed back into town for lunch and some souvenir shopping. Day 6 - St. Maarten I got to watch the ships sail into St. Maarten. The Regal Princess and Celebrity Summit were already docked. The Norwegian Gem and the Freedom of the Seas arrived around the same time we did. It started to rain while we were watching our ship dock from our balcony. Our plan for the day was to take a cab to Divi Bay Beach. Our son decided he wanted to spend the day at Adventure Ocean instead. So, we decided to make it a shopping day. The St. Maarten port looks a lot different since the last time we were here in 2008. They built a shopping area. I'm not sure. The dock may be new too. Now instead of walking off the ship and being in downtown Phillipsburg, you have to take a cab or walk. We started at the shopping area around the port. Everyone seemed to be selling mostly the same things at very inflated prices. We took a cab into downtown Phillipsburg because the water taxi always seemed to have a long line. The cab driver dropped us off in the midst of a street vendor area. The harassment/haggling started almost immediately. When I got off the bus, there was a colorful purse right next to me that caught my eye. Without thinking, I reached out to touch it and she pounced. It was a good 5 minutes before I wrested myself away. She was determined that I was going to buy that purse. I don't need another purse. I was admiring it because it was pretty. We wandered around for a little while longer before taking a taxi back to the port. Disembarkation We did not do much on our last two sea days. Whatever we did is already covered in the activities section. Disembarkation had to be the worst we have ever experienced on any ship. Apparently, they assign you a zone but let you off whether your zone has been called or not. The terminal got so packed with people since they were just letting everyone off that they actually closed the gangway so the crowds could make their way out of the terminal. Guess who was stuck in the line that snaked through the dining room when they closed the gangway? It was a mess. We did not get off the ship until after 10 even though disembarkation had started around 8:00. There was no Park n Fly van waiting for us as there usually is. We called them after waiting 15 minutes. We still waited another 15-20 minutes before they arrived. The driver’s explanation was that it was really busy. Then why did we see other shuttles like 3 or 4 times while we were waiting? To summarize, I am really not sure what to make of this cruise. On one hand, we had a good time but we have pretty much decided we won’t sail on this RCI class ship again. On the other hand, the lack of a water slide, the confusing layout, the hiccups with food quality in the promenade and food selection in the dining room, the lack of interesting activities, and a below standard steward are all deal breakers when you combine them all in one vacation. One or two issues here and there is fine but this was a bit much for us. We were really looking forward to the Navigator but this vacation was so-so. The ports made this a fun vacation, not the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2016
We are diamond on Rccl; have gone on 7 spring breaks in a row with our kids and grandkids. Altho' we love Rccl, we were disappointed that the ship was so crowded, more kids than we could count. Many unsupervised. But more ... Read More
We are diamond on Rccl; have gone on 7 spring breaks in a row with our kids and grandkids. Altho' we love Rccl, we were disappointed that the ship was so crowded, more kids than we could count. Many unsupervised. But more disappointing was that there were so many babies. We were in a balcony cabin with babies on both sides of us. We had to move from a wonderful table and excellent service because we were next to a table of 12 with 3 small babies who fussed every night for 4 straight nights. We found the food to be excellent both in the Windjammer and in the main dining room. I don't know what more any one could ask for. The shows were so so, very loud, I had to take my Bose to cut down on the volumn. The ice show was excellent . Our cabin stewart was wonderful as were most of the crew. Of course we will continue with Rccl, but not spring break again. Labadee was our favorite port. The Ship was in excellent condition. Read Less
37 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Sailed 5 times, 4 with RCI. Is it a floating Ritz-Carlton? No, but they over-deliver for their price-point, and if you have realistic expectations about the logistics of feeding, serving and entertaining thousands "royally," ... Read More
Sailed 5 times, 4 with RCI. Is it a floating Ritz-Carlton? No, but they over-deliver for their price-point, and if you have realistic expectations about the logistics of feeding, serving and entertaining thousands "royally," you will be delighted, and feel quite pampered and relaxed. If you're determined to find fault with every detail--then I pray I never sail with you & get stuck at your table at breakfast. Complaints on this site seem to center on food-- Windjammer food is a buffet, after all-- but we've always found it to be varied and good quality (their French fries are addictive). On this particular cruise, there was an excellent chef preparing Indian food (note, Jade is gone on the Navigator, and the only sushi to be found is in the extra-charge Izumi). If you've sailed before with RCI, you'll have had the identical MDR menus--but they are good and the staff is superb. Breakfast and lunch there is great as well. We've found the extra-charge restaurants to be no better than anything on land, and so do not "experience" those or the accompanying "nickle & dime" feeling. Truly, the food is fine, abundant, and well-presented and served--everywhere, period. Other things: Terminal 29 in Lauderdale is indeed a squalid warehouse; we arrived late-ish at 2:45 and practically walked on. Debarkation is a cattle call of snaking lines to a Soviet-era Customs desk--as it is, alas, whenever & wherever you enter the "welcoming" USA these days. The drinks packages have changed from last year, and now seem reasonable. Your less-than-alcoholic cabin-mate/spouse no longer has to buy it too--and can share the wine at dinner. The "ultimate" package suited my besotted inclinations well: I felt I got my money's worth--be sure, though, to make certain your 40% off bottles of wine is correctly processed--I had to check every time in the MDR. Cocktails are interesting and well made--R-Bar & Bolero's particularly innovative, & the Solarium pool bar particularly boozy. Entertainment is ok; the ice show, however, excellent and not to be missed. Ship's band is wonderful and whenever they perform-go. The cruise director was great and funnier than the comedians. The ship itself is well maintained, beautiful, and clean. Commenters here who say otherwise were apparently sailing on the S.S. Nitpicker of the Seas. Staff is friendly, welcoming, accommodating. In addition to saying "thanks," I recommend looking at their tag and asking something about their home country--you will be amazed the reaction that gets, and they will remember you. If you treat them as your personal slave for the week--then I suspect you will be commenting on their "disinterested inattentiveness." Ports of Call (does any shop right off the pier sell anything other than "diamonds," perfume, booze, watches and t-shirts? Of course not.): Labadee is a great beach, Nellie's Cove at the Town Center probably best. Brave the craft market and buy something--these friendly people really do need your dollars and the bargaining can be fun--they're not going to kidnap you! The ship's entry into San Juan harbor is the most spectacular arrival in the entire Caribbean & Old San Juan is delightful--why get all excited over crumbling, communist Havana when you can go to a fully-restored US twin? St. Kitts is naturally beautiful & Brimstone Hill Fort great for history nerds like me. St. Maarten is a fun island--we went to Maho beach on our own (jet landings perfect for boys & girls of all ages), just note traffic is terrible & the drawbridges open at set times in the p.m.--plan your return taxi ride accordingly to return to the ship on time. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Here is my review of the 3/19 - 3/27 Eastern Caribbean sailing on RCCL’s Navigator of the Seas out of Ft. Lauderdale with stops in Labadee, San Juan, St. Kitts, and St. Maarten. Pre-Cruise I was cruising with a group of 15 people. ... Read More
Here is my review of the 3/19 - 3/27 Eastern Caribbean sailing on RCCL’s Navigator of the Seas out of Ft. Lauderdale with stops in Labadee, San Juan, St. Kitts, and St. Maarten. Pre-Cruise I was cruising with a group of 15 people. We were all taking the same direct flight on United to Ft. Lauderdale at 8:25AM from Denver International Airport the day before the cruise as we typically do. We awoke that morning only to find 4 inches of snow on the ground and still snowing. The usual 40 minute drive for my family from my house to DIA took 1 hour and 15 minutes and my family and I arrived at our gate right when our group was boarding. The flight was then delayed 1 hour due to the weather and deicing but only arrived 20 minutes late. We grabbed our luggage and proceeded to the shuttle waiting area for our hotel shuttles. Our group was actually staying in two different hotels for our 1 night stay. Ten of us were booked at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport and Cruise Port Hotel on 1800 N. Federal Hwy. (formerly the Comfort Suites) and the other five were booked at the Hyatt Convention Center on 17th Street. We waited about 30 minutes for the shuttles and we found both of these hotels to be adequate for the overnight stay. After checking in we rounded up the troops and started looking for a place to grab some dinner. The front desk people at our hotel, the Ft. Lauderdale Airport and Cruise Port Hotel, recommended Ernie’s B-B-Q across the street. However, my daughter did a quick search on her iPhone only to find that the ratings were not that favorable. We then headed out walking down 17th Street when we came across 3 police officers so my son decided to ask them for a recommendation. They suggested a few places so we went with one of them, Gilberts 17th Street Grill, which was only a few blocks away in the Harbor Shops. What an excellent choice this was! They have great burgers, ribs, wings, homemade soups and salads, and daily specials. They also serve beer and wine. You order at the counter, find a table, then your food is brought to you. Everyone in our group was able to find something to suit their taste and no one was disappointed. I would highly recommend this restaurant. After dinner we went to the Publix in the Harbor Shops and the Harbordale Spirit Shoppe to purchase some wine to bring onboard the ship, along with some other alcoholic beverages to enjoy by the pool at the Hyatt before calling it a night. Embarkation Day The following morning everyone ate at the free continental breakfast at their respective hotel. It was the usual fair, bagels, doughnuts, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, sausage, waffles, cold cereals, coffee and juices. Good enough to hold us over until we boarded the ship. The Ft. Lauderdale Airport and Cruise Port Hotel offers a shuttle service to the pier for $6 per person so those of us staying there opted in when we arrived at the hotel the previous day and chose the 10:30 departure time. We were at the pier and checked in by 11:45 but were held in the waiting area for a short period of time because the ship had not been cleared for boarding of new passengers. I believe that the Hyatt also offers a shuttle to the pier for a fee as the rest of our party was already waiting for us in the waiting area. Once the ship was clear the boarding process began and we were in the Windjammer eating lunch by 12:30 or 1:00. After lunch we ventured off to our cabins. Our luggage had not yet arrived but was there after the muster drill. We unpacked then and went up to the deck for sail away. It was at this point that my 24 year old son informed me that he had received a note from security requesting him to retrieve his luggage in person. After a drink or two, myself and another person in our group ventured down to deck 1 with my son to retrieve his suitcase. When we arrived we were informed that x-ray indicated that he had a power strip packed in his suitcase and that these were not allowed onboard. They had him remove it and turn it over until debarkation day at which point he would receive it back. We thought for certain that they had identified the large water bottle, which now contained alcohol, and confiscated it. We were surprised and confused at the same time since many of us, myself included, also packed a power strip as we always do. From that point on we referred to our group as “team power strip”. Ship Love, love, love the Voyager class of ships! They are the perfect size for me. This was our fourth sailing on a Voyager class ship and the second on Navigator so we are familiar with the ships amenities. The ship is in great shape. I believe she recently went through a dry dock. They are constantly cleaning and polishing something. I really enjoy this class of ships especially for all of the little places to mingle, plus the Promenade is a great people watching venue. We also took advantage of booking a cruise while onboard for the first time. It was so cheap, only $50 per cabin not per person, so six of us booked something for August 2017 in the Mediterranean. Cabin Our group consisted of three married couples, we are all in our early 50’s, and our adult children, 9 of them, none of which are married. We had cabins on two different decks, 2 and 9. The couples were on deck 2 in ocean view cabins and the children were on deck 9 in four interior cabins. It was nice to be back in an ocean view cabin. On previous sailings with our children we would get 2 interior cabins but since they were paying their own way this time they chose an interior cabin and my wife and I chose an ocean view. I enjoy having the window since I like to look out at the sea while we’re sailing, plus it helps wake you up in the morning since a small amount of light does shine through the shades. My wife and I were in cabin 2600 and my daughter and son and their companions were in cabins 9375 and 9377. The layout of these cabins was just as I remembered from previous sailings on this class of ships. I was glad to see the removal of the small sofa table, it just seemed to get in the way. Overall, the cabins were in good shape. Our cabin steward was Debbie and she did a nice job of keeping our cabin clean and tidy, she had towel animals for us every evening, and she always said good morning, good afternoon, or good evening when we passed her in the hallway. Our children absolutely loved their cabin steward Abdul. They even took up a collection for an additional tip and wrote him a nice letter. They said that he cried when they gave it to him. Food We enjoy traditional dining and went with late seating, 8PM, for our entire group and were assigned to the Sapphire dining room on deck 3. Our TA made arrangements to have the 3 couples sit at one table and the 9 children at another. Everything worked out perfectly as the tables were right next to each other. Our waiter was Assis and his assistant was Nuni. Both were amazing! I found the food in the dining room to be up to par from what we had experienced on our previous sailings with RCCL. I did enjoy my fair share of appetizers and soups, sometimes to the point of leaving no room for my main dish. The deserts were less appealing to me on this cruise. I actually had trouble finding something each night that just jumped out and made me feel like “I have to get this”. Probably a good thing since I only gained 3 pounds on this cruise. We only ate in the Windjammer I think twice for breakfast and once for lunch. I enjoy having breakfast and lunch in the dining room, especially on sea days. I must say that the eggs benedict I had in the dining room were rather small and just OK. On the other hand, the tutti salad bar in the dining room during lunch was delicious. One of my favorite places to grab a snack is the Promenade Café. I love the chocolate doughnuts in the mornings and the little sandwiches in the afternoons and evenings. The chocolate chip and chocolate chocolate chip cookies are yummy there too. I was disappointed this trip because they no longer had the type of chocolate doughnuts or cookies that I’ve enjoyed in the past. The little sandwiches were still delicious especially the ham croissandwiches and the muffuletta sandwiches. The pizza was tasty too. We never ate at Johnny Rockets or any of the specialty restaurants. All in all I have no real complaints about the food. Drinks Many of our group opted in for the mid-range drink package, I believe it was $55 a day and I have to say that everyone that purchased the package got their monies worth. I did not purchase the package nor did my wife. We had $150 in onboard credit so we used that towards our drinks along with an occasional drink from someone in our group who had purchased the drink package. Most of us did agree that the drinks were not strong and wonder if in fact that they were watered down. I will say that one of our favorite bars was the R Bar located on deck 5 aft. Olisia and the gals at this bar know how to make some serious martinis along with many other drinks! They took good care of us both night and day. We tipped them during the cruise and on the last night for all of their hospitality. If you are onboard Navigator any time soon you need to go see the gals at the R Bar. Ports Labadee – This was only our second visit to Labadee, the first was in 2003, and boy has it changed! In 2003 you had to tender as there was no dock. The north side of the island had yet to be developed. There were no zip lines, no roller coaster, no parasailing, no waterslide, and no beach cabanas. You could take an earlier version of a trolley over to what was then called Dragon’s Rock. On that visit we nestled in at Columbus Cove so this time we ventured over to Adrenaline Beach. We walked off of the ship shortly after the gangway was put out and made the long walk over since the trolley was not running yet. Workers were still cleaning and setting up for the new day. Once we arrived at the beach we were greeted by an attendant who quickly helped us setup loungers in the spot of our choice, applied our sunscreen and Off with Deet, then just relaxed in the sun. Some of our group did snorkel but said that they only saw fish further out by the breaker. Once the Schooner Bar opened we grabbed some drinks and bottled water. This would be our watering hole for the day. Lunch was served around 11:30 in the pavilion just adjacent to the Schooner Bar. It was quite tasty especially the BBQ chicken and the red beans and rice. Towards the end of the day we packed up our things on the beach and just lounged in the shade in some Adirondack chairs at the Schooner Bar sipping a few more drinks, it was a hot one that day! We ventured back to the ship around 2:30. This was just a great beach day. San Juan – We have been to San Juan many times but this time would be a little different. One of my nieces is married to a man who is originally from Puerto Rico, he still has family there and his parents own a condo there. It turned out that they would be on vacation in Puerto Rico during our stop there so we were going to meet up with them once we got off of the ship! The rest of my nieces family, her father, mother, brother and sister, were traveling with us so they contacted her by phone once we were off the ship and made arrangements on where to meet us. We met them at the J Bar on Calle Recinto Sur, just a short walk from the pier. This day just happened to be my nieces’ birthday so we toasted with Sangrias and beers then we were off to walk around Old San Juan. We headed towards El Morro stopping at Ostra Cosa on the corner of Calle San Sebastian and Calle Del Cristo where we had some tappas and drinks. Some of us walked up to the park in front of El Morro just to take some pictures since no one really wanted to go inside of the actual fort. We then continued our walk heading back towards the pier doing some shopping along the way and stopping at the Catedrál de San Juan Bautista on Calle Del Cristo. The first time we were ever in San Juan we actually attended mass at this cathedral. By this time we needing to start heading to Café La Princesa since my niece and her husband had made dinner reservations for 6:00 for our group. We walked towards the water then along Paseo del Morro until we reached the restaurant. What a beautiful walk that was. We got to see a part of San Juan that we had never seen before. Dinner at Café La Princesa was amazing! There were many traditional Puerto Rican dishes like paella and mofongo, and others with an added Puerto Rican flair. I chose the risotto with skirt steak and plantains and it was to die for! Everyone in our group absolutely loved this place. After dinner we finished the walk back to the ship and said our goodbyes to my niece and her husband. Truly a great day in San Juan. St. Kitts – On this day our group had pre-booked a half-day catamaran snorkel and sail excursion with Blue Water Safaris. Our excursion was scheduled to begin at 10:30 so we were off of the ship promptly at 10:00 once the gangway was out. At first glance the weather did not look like it was going to cooperate as there was a dark cloud over the pier and the wind was blowing. There were a few scattered drops of rain but the wind carried off the apparent storm and the skies were now clear. We met a representative from Blue Water Safaris just outside of the security gates at the end of the pier then walked over to where the catamaran was docked. Once everyone was onboard, I estimate the total size of the group to be around 30-40 people, we were given instructions as to how our day would go then we shoved off and motored out of the harbor. When we were out far enough to catch the wind the crew hoisted the sails and we cruised to our snorkeling destination. Now I do not snorkel, can’t get the breathing thing down, and I was not alone. I did however, put on a snorkeling vest, inflated it generously, and got in the water to float around with others for a period of time. It was relaxing and refreshing and the water was so clear you could see the fish even without a mask and snorkel. Once the snorkeling time was over we returned to the catamaran and the crew began to setup what was supposed to be a “light lunch” but it was anything but that. They served us a delicious chicken curry salad along with a pasta salad and a green salad. They had several different varieties of snack size bags of chips and some banana nut bread. The salads and banana bread appeared to be homemade. Refreshments consisting of water, soda, beer, and rum punch were also served. This was way more than any other catamaran excursion that we have ever taken. The sails were once again hoisted, music was turned on and we sailed back to the pier. The crew was very interactive with everyone, dancing and refilling our drinks. Needless to say a good time was had by all. I would definitely use Blue Water Safaris again and highly recommend them if you are ever in St. Kitts. After we got off of the catamaran we walked back to the shopping area at the pier and did some light shopping then returned to the ship. Once again another great day! St. Maarten - Our group had decided on going to Orient Bay for half of the day then to Front Street for shopping the other half of the day so we were promptly off of the ship once the gangway was out. My son and I ventured out ahead of the group to find transportation. We ended up using a taxi and found one that would hold our entire group of 15, I guess it was more of a van. The prices were as posted at the taxi stand, $8 per person each way. The driver originally tried to take us to a newer part of the beach at the south end but once we saw it we asked him to take us to Bikini Beach as we had been there before on a previous visit. Once we were dropped off it began to rain but it passed over quickly, the sun came out and we began our quest to find a place to enjoy our day. We were able to find a section offering 2 chairs an umbrella and 2 drinks for $15. We soaked up the sun for a couple of hours then found a taxi (van) to take us back to Front Street for some shopping. A few of us decided to forgo the shopping so we walked along the boardwalk and stopped in at the Dirty Sanchez bar for a few drinks. Those that did shop spent their time looking for jewelry bargains, sunglasses and the like. A few made purchases at Kay Jeweler’s since they know the owner, Archie. After they had finished making their purchases at Kay’s, Archie walked them over to the Barefoot Terrace Bar & Restaurant where the rest of just so happened to be eating lunch. Archie is such a nice guy that he picked up the tab for our entire group, even for those of us who had not gone into his store! Well, those of us who had not yet visited Kay’s decided to go over after finishing lunch. We did end up making some small purchases and Archie continued to be a class act by offering us refreshments while we shopped. Stop by Kay’s the next time you’re in St. Maarten, you won’ regret it. Once everyone had their fill of Front Street we made the walk back to the ship following the boardwalk then down the street just outside of the pier. It looked much longer than it was but we enjoyed the walk and made it back to the ship in plenty of time. This put a cap on four great port days as we were now to have two sea days before returning to Ft. Lauderdale. Misc. Casino – The casinos on the Voyager class of ships are very nice. We visited it on several nights after dinner but the smoke was too much for me to handle. It was nice on the two formal nights since they did not allow smoking then. I’m not a big gambler but when I do gamble I like to play craps. I ended up only loosing $50 so I was happy about that. My sister-in-law won $100 on slots the first night of the cruise. I think she said that she was only into it for $10 when she hit the jackpot. A couple people from our group did well at the roulette table over the course of the cruise. My son was infatuated with that game that cost a $1 to move this key up and over then into a variety of keyholes to win a prize. He was sure he was going to win the $1000 prize but never did. Shows – We did not attend any of the shows. Going to them after having late dinner seating only puts me to sleep and we do not like to go before dinner. We did see the children’s orchestra from Colorado that was onboard and performing on one of the sea days. They were very impressive, especially the 6th grade solo violinist. Other – My son and I played putt-putt on one of the sea days and we grabbed another guy from our group to play in the 3-on-3 basketball tournament one day. On sea days our group lounged on deck 12, just above the pool, for most of the day. Now the chair hogs were out in full force on these days and we might have been guilty too but we do not just throw items on several chairs and disappear. We actually had 3 or 4 people from our party stay with the chairs until others in our group would arrive. We visited the night club on two occasions but the DJ was really bad! Seemed like he played the music that he wanted to hear rather than what the crowd wanted to hear. Several times he had the dance floor full then would throw something on and clear it. Why wouldn’t he just stick with the genre of music that everyone was dancing to? Several of us in our group are Crown and Anchor members and were repeat cruisers so we expected to be invited to a Crown and Anchor cocktail party as we were in the past but that never happened. Has this been done away with? Debarkation This is always the worse part of a cruise however I thought it went quite well. Since we were in no hurry to get off of the ship having a 4:35 flight from Ft. Lauderdale, we ate breakfast in the Windjammer then grabbed our carry-ons from our cabins and headed to our waiting area, the Metropolis Theater, until it was time for us to disembark. We actually waited there until we heard the announcement for all remaining passengers to disembark, it was about 10:30. Finding our luggage was a breeze since most everyone was already gone. The only problem was that one piece of luggage from someone in our group could not be found. After talking to several representatives from RCI they located the missing piece. Turns out that the main zipper had broken when it was loaded off of the ship and it could not be closed back up. Fortunately my brother had packed a roll of duct tape so he and the owner closed it up as best they could using that. The bigger question was would it make it back to Colorado in one piece, well I am happy to report that it did. Since all 15 of us were on the same flight we contacted Alianza Transportation, they were the service used by the Ft. Lauderdale Airport and Cruise Port Hotel to shuttle us to the pier, and arranged a pickup for transportation to the Ft. Lauderdale airport. We arrived in plenty of time to play the waiting game for our flight and were not allowed to check-in until 12:30. Once we were checked in we went through security then to our gate. We had plenty of time to eat at one of the places on the concourse so 6 of us decided to go to Chili’s, big mistake. We got our names on the waiting list but after observing how unorganized they were we left and walked down to Shula’s instead. This place was excellent! You order at the counter, find a table, then they bring your food to you. We were in and out of there in 45 minutes. The flight was 20 minutes late but it was a direct flight back to DIA. When we landed we gathered our luggage and went our separate ways. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2016
The itinerary, was a little unique, the ability to do an 8 day cruise, as opposed to a 'normally offered' 7 day cruise. I was interested in sailing with the Navigator, as I had sailed on this ship within the past 8 years. It ... Read More
The itinerary, was a little unique, the ability to do an 8 day cruise, as opposed to a 'normally offered' 7 day cruise. I was interested in sailing with the Navigator, as I had sailed on this ship within the past 8 years. It 'supposedly' had been dry-docked for modernization and refresh, but it still showed plenty of signs of age(ageing), lack of continuous maintenance, and required many updates to keep up with some other RCCL ships in their fleet. I'm hoping (and was told) that this ship will be going for dry dock in the next couple of seasons, as really does need the extra amenities, and modernization, as the other ships; that represent the RCCL name and product. The R Bar still shows the same reflection of The Champagne Bar, and the Diamond/Diamond Plus and Concierge Lounge still do not have enough room for its loyal, repeat and Concierge level cruising passengers Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
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
8 Helpful Votes
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
10 Helpful Votes
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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Family of 6 travelling on spring break. Stayed in Weston, Florida on Friday night which was very convenient to the Port area. Received notification of delay in boarding due to unfortunate accident the night prior but turned out fine. We ... Read More
Family of 6 travelling on spring break. Stayed in Weston, Florida on Friday night which was very convenient to the Port area. Received notification of delay in boarding due to unfortunate accident the night prior but turned out fine. We arrived by 11:30 and was on board by 1:00. Ship is beautiful!! We toured the ship, had some lunch at Windjammer, and in our rooms by 2:15. We had 3 rooms on 7th floor overlooking the Promenade by front elevators which could not have been any better location. Quiet and close to everything!! Our Cabin Steward and MDR staff were AWESOME!! I tell my children all the time a Cruise is what you make of it--Can be the best week of your life or you can complain and be miserable all week. Food--Windjammer is same food everyday--A sandwich station would be nice. Rating C Café Promenade was very good. Pizza was fresh and good sandwich variety. Rating A MDR--Breakfast was very good. Dinner was good just not great. Rating B Service--Bar, Windjammer, Café was good. Rating B MDR Service--Excellent A+ Haiti--weather was not great but had a good time on island. Stay away from the market area they are very aggressive. Roller Coaster was pretty cool. San Juan--great old city, walked, ate, shopped, very good stop St. Kitts--went to Cockleshell beach which was awesome. Small taxi ride across island to beach. We paid $ 7 per person and used beach chairs for free. Ship excursion charged $ 50 per person for ride and use of chairs. St Maarten--we took the Robinson Boat tour around island. Very rough seas but it was a AWESOME day seeing the island's beach's, yachts, food, planes, etc. We booked this tour on our own which we always like to do. Very small walk from port and cool boats and captains to take care of you for the day. Drinks--my children had the drink packages which paid for themselves by day 3. Sea Days--only complaint is they should provide some music during times without scheduled events. Bar staff was very good. Chairs are hard to find later in the day so get our there and reserve. Pool boy gave us a hard time but everybody does it. Casino--very big casino and great staff. Not the lucky week I was hoping for but win some lose some. Disembarkation--we self assisted and will never wait around again for number to be called. If you do nothing else pack light enough so you can leave on your own early and not have to wait in the cattle line. Overall--Awesome week with some great ports of call and beautiful ship!! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Navigator of the Seas – March 5th 2016 Sailing My wife and I are seasoned cruisers and I have completed Cruise Critic entries of our past voyages, I certainly do not use this forum to criticize at least that is not my intent. I do ... Read More
Navigator of the Seas – March 5th 2016 Sailing My wife and I are seasoned cruisers and I have completed Cruise Critic entries of our past voyages, I certainly do not use this forum to criticize at least that is not my intent. I do however share my thoughts and experiences based on previous cruises and comparable voyages. With that being said this is my review of the MS Navigator of the Seas from Cruise Port to Embarking to disembarkation. Ft. Lauderdale Cruise Port Embarkation Unfortunately the MS Navigator was delayed 2 hours prior to docking in Ft. Lauderdale on March5th this meant that the furthest Southern Dock was used which is not very passenger friendly to say the least. The Traffic is a mess and not very organized. Nonetheless we managed to get through without that big of a deal. Just an FYI to Platinum and above RCCL members – The signs for Check in are not advertised to well so you need to ask where these areas are, it does make a difference. The only good thing about Ft. Lauderdale is they finally finished the freeway construction into the Port (Only took a couple years). As for Disembarkation the terminal is just as dis-organized going out as it is coming in and we generally take the early off the ship option so I cannot imagine what it is like if we waited until Nine or Ten AM. Thus my only advise is, feel it out when you arrive and make your best educated decision on what you see it’s like. MS Navigator of the Seas Well we were told that the Navigator is the sister ship to the Freedom and you wouldn’t notice too much difference – well not quite, the MS Navigator is actually smaller in Width and Length so there is a noticeable difference but you will overcome the differences rather quickly so it’s not a show stopper. The ship is arranged similar to that of the Freedom Class ships so getting around should be relatively easy. The Promenade is smaller in width and this is probably where you will see the most difference. As for the Location of the dining rooms and specialty restaurants - Just an FYI Giovanni’s and Chops Grill are located right inside the Windjammer (Left and Right) sides AFT Ship so no worries about running cross country to find these. The Ship overall has had some face lifts but is still in need of a few minor things that will make it complete. For example the elevators on AFT Starboard side seemed to be a lot slower than the elevators on the AFT Port side. We even experienced one of the Starboard side elevator doors opening and closing several times before it finally reset and started running its normal cycle. Also the women’s rest rooms on Deck 11 (Windjammer Side) seemed to be out of order for the week of our cruise not sure what happened after day 1 but it never recovered for use. The Sliding doors seem to be a little of with Sensors on Deck 4 and deck 11. As aforementioned the ship is a tad bit smaller but it is definitely not a show stopper. MS Navigator of the Seas CREW Words cannot describe how ecstatic we are with the Crew – We had a group of six and there was not one crew member that did not make us feel like part of the RCCL Family. We have taken over Nine cruises and although we had great service from the staff, the MS Navigator Crew raised the bar on Customer Satisfaction we were absolutely mind blown on the interaction – the service and the commitment this crew had absolutely amazing, we made some awesome lifelong friends with this RCCL Staff and already conversing on social media. It was something we didn’t expect and something we will never forget. So with that as I said in the beginning words cannot describe how awesome this crew was during our trip and we hope you have the same interaction. Windjammer / Specialty Dining Well honestly we only used the Windjammer for Breakfast, most of our dinners were in the main dining room as our wait-staff was so top notch we could bear not having dinner with them on a nightly bases. Although when we did use the Windjammer the food was good although it appeared it was more crowded than normal but that could certainly be about timing. There could have been more staff on hand during the breakfast service but nothing extremely bad. We did not try any of the Specialty restaurants as the timing just wasn’t there for us. But I didn’t hear any bad reviews from anyone on the ship. The Main Dining Room (Sapphire) was absolutely incredible from the Hostess down to the wait staff it was fantastic. During one of our dinners the wait staff let us know that there was a Galley Excursion that costs about $30.00 per person, Although we were a little reluctant to do it – we decided to anyway and I will be the first to say it was well worth the experience in understanding firsthand how the Galley works I highly recommend you take this tour if the opportunity presents itself. Games and Shows on Navigator We only made a couple shows (Quest and Love and Marriage) both are great shows and if you have time it would be worth seeing / participating in either one. As for the headliner shows, honestly there wasn’t allot of advertisement on the ship about the headliner shows so I couldn’t even tell you who was on board, generally you would see this advertised on the ship or a marquee but honestly I don’t remember seeing much of anything. BINGO – Well this was our first and last time playing bingo, it’s not your typical bingo play – you have 3 rounds of Bingo and depending on how you play – Soft Card or Electronic will determine how much it cost to play. You can figure and averages start about $25 and go up from there. Game 1 is your general BINGO Straight or Diagonal Cover, Game 2 is 4 Corner and Game 3 is Cover All. Now I am not an expert BINGO player but I heard allot of people complaining when game one was over in 4 Number Picks and we all found out there is only one prize for each round. No one was expecting anything extravagant but come on RCCL a T-Shirt and or a Specialty restaurant Gift Card would be nice 2nd and 3rd Place prizes especially after 5 minutes playing round one. Round two went a little longer with only one prize awarded and round 3 was for a Free Cruise, So it just so happened that there was a 3 way tie and the answer to the tie is, The MC would pull a number and if that number is on your card you win. Uhm… Not good – and no one was happy of how this all ended. So do your-self a favor and ASK the questions before you play – How much? How Many Prizes and how Tie Breakers are handled. As for the Pool Side – Pretty much the norm as any other cruise except my overall standing complaint is the music is way too loud, not that it’s a bad thing but it is nice to sit on the deck and have a conversation that doesn’t require a bull horn to communicate with your party who is two and a half feet in front of you. Overall Appearance on Navigator The ship was very clean except the pool area; I certainly don’t blame the workers I do however believe that RCCL and Passengers bear most of the Brunt on this. First we are smokers and we are polite smokers meaning we will not wander into a nonsmoking area, we keep our areas clean and do not impede on others to clean up after ourselves in any shape or form. RCCL needs more trash and recycling containers on deck 11 and need table ashtrays as well. These two simple and low cost products can help allot of unnecessary work for everyone, but more importantly help to detour those passengers who like to leave their garbage anywhere and everywhere. Restrooms were clean and the only non-operational Restroom was the aforementioned Women’s area on Deck 11 Windjammer. Gest Services Officers Utterly fantastic – never met such an awesome Guest Services crew. We had some room issues that we later found out were are issues. Which I will explain below – Nonetheless they were very helpful and very patient with us. Stateroom 3626 Deck 3 AFT three doors from the Elevators – Awesome area, great for immediate access to dining rooms, elevators, casino etc. We liked it so much we are booked next year on the same ship same room. As I mentioned before there was a slight room problem that RCCL failed to alert us of. They have staterooms that are POWER EFFICIENT meaning there is a trigger Pocket below the light switch that when activated it allows your lights to turn on and off. If you don’t place the cards into the slot the correct way your lights will not work. Well it took us a few days before someone finally explained it to us (Guest Services) although we felt silly we laughed quite hard about it because we were sure there was an issue with our room’s electric. So check with your State Room Attendant and ask if you have such a room – I think they are retrofitting these rooms a little at a time. Overall The MS Navigator is a great ship, with a great Crew and we are looking forward to sailing on her again in March 2017 if not sooner. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2016
It was a wonderful bonding time for my 19 yr-old daughter and me. Knowing that we will spend most of our time outside our cabin, we chose an inner stateroom (8237) which served us just fine. Our attendant (Adela Benliss-Nicaragua) was ... Read More
It was a wonderful bonding time for my 19 yr-old daughter and me. Knowing that we will spend most of our time outside our cabin, we chose an inner stateroom (8237) which served us just fine. Our attendant (Adela Benliss-Nicaragua) was the sweetest and took good care of our needs. We took advantage of a lot of the activities offered in the ship: aerobics, jogging deck, hot tub, treadmill, pool deck for relaxing/reading/getting tan/watching movies, rock climbing, dancing, listening to bands, singing karaoke. The entertainment was top of the class - from Vox Audio (Acapella group), Broadway-type song and dance productions to Ice Show. We also loved the audience participation-type shows (Love and Marriage and Quest). Dining in the Sapphire room was a great experience! Our servers (Subbiah-India and Savran-Mauritius) spoiled us. I liked how the portions are smaller, so we can sample a second starter or dessert if we like. We booked the stingray experience in the Grand Cayman which did not happen due to weather. In Jamaica, we drove about an hour to the Reggae Hill for a relaxing swim, garden walk, lots of reggae music/dancing while sampling tapas-style food and lots of drinks with Jamaican rum. Naioka, our guide, was very friendly. In Labadee, Haiti, we jet-skied for the first time. My daughter drove and we had a blast! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2015
My wife and I and our son and daughter (19 & 21) went on a 6 day Christmas Cruise and had a great time! The ship is beautiful and the crew is excellent. Our cabins were inside on deck 8 and overlooked the Promenade. They were also ... Read More
My wife and I and our son and daughter (19 & 21) went on a 6 day Christmas Cruise and had a great time! The ship is beautiful and the crew is excellent. Our cabins were inside on deck 8 and overlooked the Promenade. They were also adjoining which was very handy. We loved the location. Deck 8 is the highest Promenade view you can get and we were at the front of the Promenade (almost dead center of the ship). It was quiet and the curtains block out all the light. You always have something to look at. We could see the Santa Parade on Christmas morning. The cabins were plenty large enough for 2 each. They had 2 small couches with one of them right in front of the window. The circular shower with sliding doors was a nice touch. The only cabin complaint I had was the bed. It was very firm and not comfortable for my wife and I. Our cabin steward David was great. He was from Jamaica and got to see his family for Christmas on our stop in Falmouth, Jamaica. He got me plenty of extra pillows so that I could customize the bed and make it more usable. He also got us a bottle opener for our wine and saved us from having to pay a corking fee. We tried out 4 of the extra charge restaurants. Giovanni's and Sabor both had superior service and excellent food. The small intimate atmosphere of these restaurants is a nice change from the large and noisy dining rooms. We felt that they were both worth the money. My son had the best steak he has ever had (other than the ones that dad makes, of course) at Giovanni's. The table side made guacamole was fantastic at Sabor's. We had to get a second order. The Margaritas, while not cheap, were top notch. We also tried Johnny Rockets and were pleasantly surprised. It's only 6.95 a person and the burgers, fries and onion rings were great. You can just sit there for 2 hours and stuff your face if you want to. We did also try Izumi's and were very disappointed. The service was poor. The sushi was not very tasty. My wife had the best meal - steak that she cooked herself on a hot stone. The food in the main dining room was hit or miss. Some items were delicious and others were sad. We signed up for my time dining and discovered that you need to make a reservation ahead of time (if you know when you are going to want to eat) to be sure that there is a seat waiting for you. They try to give you the same waiter each time. The first time, we got right in because it wasn't busy. The second time, we got a pager and had to wait 45 minutes. That's when we found out that we could have made a reservation. The Sapphire Dining room is 3 decks high. My time dining enters on deck 5. You enter on deck 3 for breakfast. I would recommend breakfast there every day. The room service menu is limited and not that great. The Windjammer cafe is about what you would expect for a cafeteria. Our cruise director and his staff did an excellent and impressive job. I hope they get paid well. They are very busy people. The Quest game show and the Love and Marriage game show were well done and hilarious. We saw one of the comedians and he was good. We saw the Ice Show and were very impressed. There is a must see quick change act in the show that is mind-blowing. We checked out and participated in karaoke a couple of times. They could do a better job organizing and running it. It can be fun for everybody if done right and there were plenty of people who wanted to participate. The Flowrider was fun. They help you out and give you advice to succeed. The climbing wall is challenging. The basketball/volleyball/dodge-ball court was always active. The fitness studio had something for everyone. My wife and daughter enjoyed their spa treatments and that's all I can say about that. The ship was decorated for Christmas very nicely. A giant tree, garland, lights, bows and music playing. There was a Santa parade on Christmas morning and Santa gave out a present to each child that came to see him. We went snorkeling in Grand Cayman and swam with the stingrays. Great fun. We booked our excursion online through Captainmarvins.com. Well run, reliable and great reviews. Cheaper than going through RC. We hung out at Margaritaville in Jamaica and did not go on any excursions. We had a good time enjoying the pool, spa and dancing. We rode the zip line in Haiti that is the longest in the world over water. Expensive? Yes. Once in a lifetime awesome experience? Yes. There are also plenty of beach areas to just sit and relax at. Lunch is served there. There are bars to get drinks and shops to buy souvenirs. We realized on this cruise that you really don't have to wait for you disembarkation number to leave. They ask you what it is but they don't actually know. If you get tired of waiting like we did, just go and tell them that your number is one that has already been called. For parking at Port Everglades, we used Park'n Go. It is a little cheaper than Port Parking. It is very well run and very close. Shuttles get you to and from your car. Everybody gets a bottle of water when you leave the parking lot! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
This was our 16th cruise on RCCL and the very first on the Navigator of the Seas. We are Diamond Crown and Anchor members. We sailed from Port Everglades, Ft. Lauderdale and departed from the "older terminal". A few months ... Read More
This was our 16th cruise on RCCL and the very first on the Navigator of the Seas. We are Diamond Crown and Anchor members. We sailed from Port Everglades, Ft. Lauderdale and departed from the "older terminal". A few months prior we sailed on the Independence from the "newer" terminal. Things during check in just did not seem as streamlined as we found at the "newer" terminal. Long lines (even for Diamond) check in. Baggage drop off was also somewhat disorganized with porters reminding us we need to "take care" of them. Since we signed in around 1 PM we went immediately to our cabin with no wait. Once to our cabin we were really disappointed with the cleanliness of the stateroom. The floor had not been vacuumed, mirrors were all dirty or smudged and it appeared that the only preparation the cabin had was a set of clean sheets. There was no replenished supply items like shampoo and soap. I finally found the room attendant and had her finish the job of preparing our room. In all of our prior cruises on RCCl we never had this issue. It seemed much longer for us to receive our luggage once we were on board! We were kind of holding our breath at this point as to what the cruise would be like! Once underway things settled down and we had a wonderful cruise! Now there were the normal issues faced which I will relate in a moment. Our first stop was Labadee in Haiti. We had not been here for at least 15 years and were not really looking forward to the stop based on our prior experience there. Once on shore we found that there has been a tremendous amount of building and improvements made to to Labadee. It is a beautiful stop and we look forward to going again! The buffet served was excellent and a high light of the stop. Activities were many and well planned and thought out. This is a great place for visiting the beach and water sports. The shopping was just so so and the items being sold would be better classified as trinkets. This was really a great stop over all. Back on board we headed out for San Juan. There just seems to not be enough time to do anything here other than visit "Old Town". The shopping was good and the people friendly. Back on board, Dining in the main dining area was a frustration. We were not able to get My Time Dining and ended up on a list trying to get reassigned to a table for two. Just did not happen!!! Finally I went to the Concierge in the Diamond Club for help. She made some suggestions and they worked, we got our table for two from the Maitre'D! We also noticed at least 6 tables for two that were empty which really made us think! The food served was just so so and the menu the same as we had on the Independence. The quality just was not there. We were fortunate enough to have dinner in Chops Steak House one night and it was really first class! The service and food quality was super. We remembered how years in the past the food we had to pay extra for was the normal meal in the Main Dining Room! As another side note we also tried Giovanni's Table which was also EXCELLENT. Service and food quality was super...don't miss it if you get the chance. We ate a number of meals in the Windjammer which was consistent but unfortunately the food quality just was not there. It might be good to mention at this point that the crew seemed to all be happy and most acknowledged us with smiles and greetings. This went a long way with us. Most were helpful and really wanted to please us..WELL DONE! Next stop was St. Kitts. Really a laid back island with friendly folks. there is shopping right at the port (seems to be the only shopping) and there are a few good deals available. There are a number of independent island tours that you can take without booking ahead on board. Final stop was St. Maarten, our favorite place. There are great shopping deals here and a great beach right in town. People are great and glad to see you! Very enjoyable place to visit. As a general rule we do not take advantage of the entertainment on board i.e.. shows, ice skating etc. This ship (like other Royal ships) had a great "pool" band and combos. We enjoyed dancing on the fourth deck and the music played on the pool deck. We decided that we would let the ship's photographers take some pictures of us throughout the cruise. This was a disappointment to say the least! The quality of the prints was terrible. Coupled with the fact that each print costs $20.00!!!! In one of the scenes there was a life bouy with the name of the ship on it as a prop. We had our picture taken here and later discovered that although NAVIGATOR was legible the OF THE SEAS was rubbed almost entirely out! Just giving a word of caution here. You can also buy digital photos. Were were quoted $85.00 for 4 pictures...they change $5.00 for the external flash drive with the pictures in it. This might be a good place to mention that RCCL has done a great job with their Customer Loyalty Program, The Crown and Anchor Society. I appreciate it knowing that they care enough to do something a little extra for return cruisers/customers. It does matter. Arriving back in Ft. Lauderdale we discovered that you can carry your own bags off the ship. This worked really well for us... We walked off the ship at 7.30 AM went immediately to Customs and found there were only 3 customs agents clearing the ship but there was no line! Smooth as silk debarking! OK, I was probably a little more negative on this cruise than in the past but we still found this to be a wonderful trip overall and would certainly go again on this ship if given the opportunity. They have a great product but need to fine tune a few items on the Navigator.. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
Ship looks great inside with the refurbish. they spent millions of dollars to upgrade this. However the food in the buffet was a 7.99 type of buffet. i have been on many Cruises including royal , i cruise 2-3 times a year. I noticed less ... Read More
Ship looks great inside with the refurbish. they spent millions of dollars to upgrade this. However the food in the buffet was a 7.99 type of buffet. i have been on many Cruises including royal , i cruise 2-3 times a year. I noticed less variety as well as lower quality. (cheap Chinese buffet desserts, no cake pies ect) the main dinning room was ok some nights however overall i found the food lacking. forget a late night option on this ship , the cafe promenade was terrible with the same tiny sandwich with no meat in them everyday and night. all these millions spent and you cant get a hot tasty hot sandwich??? entertainment was good, the cruise director was very boring though. he would be doing paperwork or be on celebrity with a much older crowd. overall i think royal is cutting costs on food so sadly i think this is a deal breaker for me. Adam Goldstien needs to read the reviews and correct this as he is trying for record profits im sure. staff is friendly but clearly overworked and spread thin. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
This was my second cruise on Royal carribean with my family. From the first day we arrived, I felt like they have lost their royal treatment. The food was disgusting. the bread was hard, the smell of the sapphire restaurant was horrible, ... Read More
This was my second cruise on Royal carribean with my family. From the first day we arrived, I felt like they have lost their royal treatment. The food was disgusting. the bread was hard, the smell of the sapphire restaurant was horrible, and the cook couldn't prepare soft scrambled eggs. The pool area was dirty all the time, the room a/c was not cooling well at all. And some of the staff workers were rude, they badly in need of a class in customer service. But on the other hand, they were very informational on what's going on. I'm willing to give it another try. I think they just over booked this cruise and was not able to accommodate everyone to give you that outstanding service that they are known for. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
Getting around Texas after flying into IAH is inconvenient, no doubt about it. Because the week that we were traveling bordered on a holiday, we were unable to get a one-way car rental from Enterprise in Houston to Galveston - in either ... Read More
Getting around Texas after flying into IAH is inconvenient, no doubt about it. Because the week that we were traveling bordered on a holiday, we were unable to get a one-way car rental from Enterprise in Houston to Galveston - in either direction. They say that it is up to the issuing agency whether they will allow one-way at an additional fee or not. TIP: Call multiple locations and ask their policy, because it can vary. In our case, it was almost cheaper to rent a car at the airport and pay for the car and parking at the port for the whole duration of the cruise, rather than using shuttle services. Ultimately, because we were a group of 8, we rented a car for our time in Houston, then returned it to the airport and used Super Shuttle to get back and forth from/to Bush Continental Airport, about 1 hr 45 min. The port was crazy, but not terrible. Lines outside were not well controlled. Porters were bypassing the people waiting patiently in line to drop off luggage in favor of getting bags from people at their cars - because the people at the cars were tipping better. Tip: get it taken at curb if possible, wave $$ wherever you are. Also, when they send you luggage tags to print as part of your welcome packet - they mean it! If you don't print and attach them before you get to port, you have to wait in an additional line just to get the tags, before you can get in line for luggage, before you can get in line to enter the terminal, before you can get in line for security screening, before you can get in line to check in for the cruise. Also, in our family's case, their Platinum status didn't print on their boarding pass- which meant that they were not allowed to use the express line for premium members. Make sure you have proof of your membership status or the man controlling lines will treat you like a commoner. The ship itself is an interesting mix of old and new. Our last cruise was on the Freedom of the Seas. After Navigator had a face lift this year, we were curious as to what to expect. The ship is comparable in the sense that it has ice skating, FlowRider, Adventure Ocean, the Promenade, rock climbing. Navigator does not have the Dreamworks Experience for kids. On Navigator, the pool area lacks the large kid-friendly shallow pools and the Promenade is not as large as on Freedom. In fact, the Promenade was beautiful, but kind of a bottleneck for the ship, especially with the super large Christmas tree in it. There are only a few shops, so don't plan on doing much shopping on board unless you want to purchase alcohol, perfume, or watches. There is a Card Room & Library combo on the 7th level, it was frequently full. There is no movie theater. The main theater for show nights seemed of standard size. The public restroom situation was less than perfect. Considering that the Windjammer buffet and the pool have to share a bathroom, it is shocking that the bathroom only has 4 stalls. And with regards to the Windjammer, it is only open until 9pm. That was a huge disappointment for those of us with Main Dining at 5:30 and the Show at 8:30 - we'd get out at 9:15pm and our only snack option was sandwiches, pastries, or a slice of cold pizza in the Cafe on the Promenade - a selection that didn't change. Ever. In Roataon, Honduras, we docked at the port. The port is behind a gate with security controlling who gets in and out. We did not see a line of private taxis waiting to take people around like we usually do see at ports, so I'm not sure what is offered. Because rain was in the forecast and we assumed all beach time was out, we used a ship excursion to take us to Gumbalimba Park. There, we got a tour of the property, learned a little history, held spider monkeys and parrots, and got rained on really really hard. The property had a small beach and a large pool that we were not prepared to use, but would have been fun for the kids after the tour was over. Lockers cost $3 and there were no covered areas in the animal area. On the rope bridge we saw turtles when we looked down and flying Macaws when we looked up. They also had zip lining, which we didn't do. (Also on Roaton was a park or beach called Turtle Bay that looked really nice.) The guide that jumped into the van with us was our tour guide for the whole day. TIP: be prepared for rain and sun, if you get one you're likely to also get the other. In Belize City, Belize, we hired a company called EcoTours to take us to a beach and snorkeling. We didn't realize it was 30 minutes by boat. Went to tiny Goff Caye where the guides snorkeled off the boat, but water was murky. Cuty, tiny private island - the areas is full of them. Kids got to catch hermit crabs and live brittle stars. Toilets were gross. Rum punch was good but unsure how it was made. They poured it from a Tropicana bottle, but.... In Cozumel, this was the only port that searched our bags on the way in and took away all food and fruit. We hired a taxi for $32 each way to take the eight of us to Playa Mia. Entrance fee was $30 for adults, close to the same for kids to get in. For more $ you can get all you can eat buffet and all you can drink as well. The resort has great beaches and an inflatable jungle gym in the water. On land, there is a water play area, pools, and a water slide. Back at the ocean, you can check out kayaks, water boats, and sail boats for no additional fee (but note that all are two person only. The sailboat holds three, but that third is the resort employee unless you know how to sail). Jet skis were available for an additional fee. From the port to to the beaches there is just one road that runs along the coast (but has bushes on both sides) and we passed San Francisco Beach, Carlos & Charlie's Beach, and Mr Sanchez's beach along the way. Those would have been good to check out too. Bags were screened before we could get back on ship in a giant screening room and all shells, slingshots, and food was confiscated or tossed. Alcohol was confiscated to be returned on the day you get off the ship. TIP: If you have a wooden slingshot to keep or some other trinket that may get confiscated: put it in your pocket. Disembarking was rough the way we did it. Because we had a late flight, we wanted to stay on the ship. Breakfast was only served until 8:30am then we had to wait in a theater, then a half hour line to find our luggage, then almost an hour for customs, before we were out of the port building. Next time, we will keep our luggage with us and do early walk off/self-service no matter what. Flying out on Alaska Airlines was also rough. Because our flight wasn't until 5:40pm, and Alaska only has about 2 flights a day leaving from Houston, they closed the luggage counter until 2:30pm! Even though we arrived before 1pm at the airport, we had to stay in the bag drop area until we could get in line at 2:30pm to deposit our bags. We couldn't enter the main part airport because we couldn't go through security with our luggage. Unsure if there is any way to avoid this or know about this in the future - but be warned!   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
Synopsis: Sailing on the Navigator was a relaxing and memorable experience. The main ingredient that made it so great was the crew. Their professionalism and courtesy was awesome! Day 1: Stayed overnight in Galveston and arrived at the ... Read More
Synopsis: Sailing on the Navigator was a relaxing and memorable experience. The main ingredient that made it so great was the crew. Their professionalism and courtesy was awesome! Day 1: Stayed overnight in Galveston and arrived at the cruise terminal prior to suite boarding at 11:30. Once the time began, an orderly procession through the terminal onto the ship, I would say less than 1 hour. I was a little warm/humid, but that's the Houston/Galveston area for you too. Luggage arrived on time to cabin, did the drill and enjoyed dinner in the main dinning room. Doston our waiter was great, and made a great first impression on my 3 year old daughter. Days 2 and 3: Sailing days. Daughter participated in Adventure Ocean both mornings, and really enjoyed it. Lunch in the Windjammer both afternoons. The food was very good, if you're expecting the same luxury as the main dinning room, you'll be disappointed. None of the food, however, was cold or was stale as I've seen in other reviews. Wife and I did some putt-putt and trivia, which were both fun. Long naps also taken too. Dinner in the main dinning room on Day 2 and at Giovanni's Table on Day 3. I wanted to get Chop's but they filled up fast, so pre-book or book on Day 1 if you want to go for dinner. Service, food selection and food itself was awesome at Giovanni's. Day 4: Port day in Roatan. Didn't have any excursions booked so did a little shopping in the area near the port. Typically shopping area. Did some swimming in the pool that afternoon and other lounging around the ship/cabin. Day 5: Port day in Belize. Had to tender to get to this port. Instructions for tender tickets given day before and very clear, and no problems with the tender. Weather was nice and directed easily to the Calypso Train tour. At the start of the train, the guide gave us some basic information on Belize and Belize City before we set out, as well as a presentation on where we would be going. Very interesting to see the two sides of the city (poor/rich). As we passed by, people on the street would smile or wave if you made eye contact (or vendors would try to sell you a coconut full of rum!). Didn't do any shopping but they had some places near the tender location. Special treat that night, as we had been invited to eat at the captain's table. Great group of fellow crusiers there and a fantastic meal and wine service. Very memorable. Day 6: Port day in Cozumel. Early day for our excursion, but no real issues getting off the ship (the elevators were not very cooperative). Got to the excursion point a little early, so did some window shopping. Since Cozumel has been doing the cruise port business for some time, there are not too many opportunities for bargaining, but more reassurance that the goods are decent quality. Once the excursion was ready to go, we walked a short distance to the sub. Once on board, the guide gave us some introductory remarks and off we went. A good excursion all in all. Day 7: At sea. Enjoyed the pool in the morning and then tried Johnny Rockets for lunch. I had heard people rave about the burgers and shakes, so I really wanted to try it. There was quite a line there when it opened at 11:30, so that further bolstered my expectations. Unfortunately, it fell a little below my expectations. The burgers and shakes were good, but not different from a good local establishment. Wasn't too bad for the price. Nice goodbye dinner in the dinning room. Disembarkation: Breakfast at the windjammer, our number was called. Elevators the only real issue, but the concierge helped out. Once we were in the process, we went from ship to car in 1 hour. Lines for customs moved the whole time. No complaints. All during the trip, whether getting on the ship, dinning, activities, or excursions, the crew was really the best. Everyone went out of their way to make sure your needs were met and our daughter got called "Princess" so many times, so might think she is royalty! Questions were answered promptly, and officers could be seen going about the ship at all time. Our room attendant Maggie was great, kept the room very clean and made up the sofa be every night for my daughter. Tip of the hat to the crew! We had so much fun we booked another, sadly it won't be until Feb 2016! Read Less
Navigator of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.3
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.5 4.2

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