3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We are a family of four: Mum and Dad, 12 & 15 yr old girls. And we found there was something for everyone. Personally me and my husband liked just liked chilling by the pool and my daughters liked exploring the boat. They had a go at ... Read More
We are a family of four: Mum and Dad, 12 & 15 yr old girls. And we found there was something for everyone. Personally me and my husband liked just liked chilling by the pool and my daughters liked exploring the boat. They had a go at the flow rider, climbing wall, swimming pools and the ice rink, but it was only one for like a couple of hours on a few days which was ridiculous they were very disappointed by that and the ice wasn't the best but they did have s good ice show. The food was really good quality and the windjammer had a good selection of food and the sapphire dining room was good as well but the food was all really repetitive and I then found it hard to choose something to have. All service was incredible at the sapphire dining room we had a server called Oliver he was so lovely and good with the kids and then we had a cleaner to clear the room and he was called Dennis and he was incredible and made the best towel animals Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Our first cruise.Family of 4.Getting on the ship was smooth and hassle free..First empressions were pretty good clean and well presented.Our cabin was small but cosy and clean.Our bags arrived on time.The ship was quite impressive.The ... Read More
Our first cruise.Family of 4.Getting on the ship was smooth and hassle free..First empressions were pretty good clean and well presented.Our cabin was small but cosy and clean.Our bags arrived on time.The ship was quite impressive.The staff we met were incredibly helpful .anything we asked was answered and dealt with fully. Windjammer food was not to bad and food in the main dining area (Saphire) was really good.infact most things we experienced on the ship was really not too bad but the real problem was the shear amount of people on the ship.simply too many.there were too many kids (even though we were with ours) .the whole ship was just too packed.the main pool areas were terrible messy, no chance ever of getting a deck chair.jam packed with crazed children pumped up on crazy pills.My children are a lot more sensible and were shocked at the behaviour of some children..some parents were letting there kids go crazy throught the ship.it all became too much at times.the childrens clubs seemed ok but were not really able to cope(not the fault of the staff who were great).There were quieter parts of the ships which we were forced to go to at times. The evening shows were mostly great.The service from the staff was good.Embarking and disembarking was not a problem. As a family we did enjoy ourselves but the whole thing was marred by there being too many passengers and super hyper children all congregating in certain areas of the ship on a daily basis.The main pool area was too tacky,busy and felt a bit butlins.Its all about packing as many people on the ships as possible,and with ships getting bigger its all about the numbers.For these reason we will not be using RC again and hence the 3 stars.By the way we were told by staff the next outing on the ship had even more children booked. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
This was our first cruise and we loved every second of it. The ship, the food, and most of all the friendliness of the staff could not be faulted. We spent 3 days in Civitivecchia awaiting our ship and stayed in the San Giorgio hotel ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we loved every second of it. The ship, the food, and most of all the friendliness of the staff could not be faulted. We spent 3 days in Civitivecchia awaiting our ship and stayed in the San Giorgio hotel right on the sea front which was excelent for our needs. We arrived at the embarkation area around 11.00 am and shortly after some administrative paper work we were soon on board exploring the ship. We took the premium drinks package and although it was good to be able to order our drinks without worrying about costs it was a shame that my wife could not choose her wine as she had to have the house wine by the glass, luckily it was to her liking, although it did mean she could not try other types. Our two 14 year old children loved the teenagers club and after the first night of eating with us in the main diding room they decided to eat with all their new friends in the Windjammer and choose from the endless buffet choices. After that we hardly saw them unless we were all together on an excursion or late evening in our cabins - my wife and I never thought that the children would find so much confidence and independance in such a short time, the kids can't wait for the next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
My wife and I cruised with our two 20 year old daughters. We arrived two days early in Rome to enjoy the food and visited the Forum, Coliseum, and many other historic sights. This was our first time in Europe and Rome and it was amazing. ... Read More
My wife and I cruised with our two 20 year old daughters. We arrived two days early in Rome to enjoy the food and visited the Forum, Coliseum, and many other historic sights. This was our first time in Europe and Rome and it was amazing. We also spent two days after the cruise in Rome again. Our first hotel was near Termini station (fun but grittier neighborhood) our second stay was near the Vatican. We used Civitavecchia Cab service for pick ups and transfers and they were consistently on time with no hassles. They picked us up at our hotel, Augusta Lucilla at 10:00 am and we were at the port at about 11:20. He dropped us right in front of the embarkation tent and luggage check area and we were probably on board 20 minutes later. I was expecting the little wear and tear on the ship because of its age and I can be very critical at time. I thought the ship looked great. Most areas were spotless and looked fine. Most noticeable age was seen a little in hallway carpeting and some of the chrome and metal around the pools. Overall great ship. Rooms were available at 1:00 and we booked two promenade rooms for great prices and they were perfect. We wanted to spend more money on tours and these cabins were clean with plenty of room. The windows allowed you to watch the parades right from your room. They can be loud and we were worried but the music was not noticeable after 11:30. The Windjammer had a lot of variety and good food. Service was a little sketchy and sometime hard to get drinks at your table. We ate at night in the Nutcracker dining room. This was my 3rd Royal Caribbean cruise and probably the best food. There was a lot of variety on the menu but at time the service was spotty. The waiters were very friendly but it just seemed like there was not enough of them. Food service was slow and cocktail and beverage service at time was not existent. When the food came out it was tasty but on a few occasions we had to send it back because it was cold. The new themed menus seemed to bog things down as well. I though Simona was one of the best cruise directory I have ever had but the overall entertainment was weak. On board planned parties were great. The ice show was great. The production shows were a little boring. No comedians and the juggler was kind of lame. Let's face it, this cruise is all about the port of calls and they are amazing and will wear you out. The shows, better to rest up. Simona's Adult Quest, disco night, and dance parties were a blast. Beautiful views while sailing through the Greek Islands and past Mt. Stromboli, the volcano. All of the sports decks were top notch. Very little wear and tear on the miniature golf. This ship was my first cruise that seemed crowded at times. Pool seats were gobbled up early. Lines at miniature golf and health club. However, you can always find quiet space if necessary. Disembarkation was a breeze. In fact we were off the ship with our luggage 1 hour prior to our drivers arrival time. I have enjoyed 10 cruises and I would book this one again without a second thought. A few quirky things but nothing to prevent you from having a great time. I do wish Royal Caribbean would put water and drinks out at a few locations instead of just the Cafe Promenade at night, but that is a discussion for another time. Book the cruise and enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2013
We traveled as a family of 5 (My parents, brother;28 years old, sister;24y.o., me;20y.o.) and this was our 'first cruise'. We have sailed on a Carnival ship before, but that was so many years ago that not even my brother ... Read More
We traveled as a family of 5 (My parents, brother;28 years old, sister;24y.o., me;20y.o.) and this was our 'first cruise'. We have sailed on a Carnival ship before, but that was so many years ago that not even my brother remembers it that good. We did our research on what ship we wanted to go on, and this one had the things we wanted. We wanted fun activities and just more than enough things to do. We can't be happier with the choice we made! This ship has so many things, we didn't even do all the stuff we wanted to do. Golf, rock climbing wall, ice skating rink, the pool deck. There's more than enough things to do. ***PORTS*** The boarding process went really good actually, for the amount of people who were there (at around 11:30AM) I would say in about 45 minutes we were on board. We had to wait a little for our rooms to get ready at 1PM. We stayed on the ship that day and walk around and get to know the ship. Second day we arrived in Messina,Sicily. There's not much to do around the harbor itself, so we took the excursion to Taormina. Highly recommended. You have 3 hours 'free time' which is just enough time to walk the whole town. Lots of shops and restaurants/cafes. You can take lots of cool pictures here. And make sure the walk all the way to the Greek Theatre. In the evening there was a party in The Dungeon Club called 'Traffic Lights Dance Party' where you get a sticker. Green for Single, red for Taken and orange for 'Call Me Maybe'. This is a good place to meet the young cruisers like us, so of course my brother and sister and I went there. It's open till around 3.30-4:00 usually. Third day was at sea. So we woke up a bit hung over from the night before at the club. We went and breakfast and then went to the pool. There were no chairs at all available. After walking like 4 rounds looking for chairs we just went to the bar and hang out a little till we finally saw a couple leave. We immediately went for their chairs. You have to keep an eye out for people leaving so you can get the chairs fast. There are 20 other people looking for the same chair, haha. This is a good day to plan your onboard activities. It's also a good day to get to know your 'new friends from the club' a little better and get that bond going. Fourth day we arrived in Athens, Greece. We took the excursion called Highlights of Athens, I believe. It went to the Akropolis first. There are so many tourist there, so it kinda takes a while to get up there with all the busses and lines at the entrance. It was very beautiful! We listened to the guide man for a little bit, but then went to walk around since there was only like half a hour left before we had to meet back all the way down at the busses. Then it went to the city centre where there are like palaces and some high-end designer stores. We had the opportunity to get off the bus if we wanted to stay there and shop, but everybody opted to go back to the ship. The whole bus was tired from walking/climbing the stairs at the Akropolis. Fifth day we were in Kusadasi, Turkey. We again took an excursion to House of the Virgin Mary. Very beautiful ride all the way to the top of the mountain. Was kinda disappointed with the attraction itself. You can see everything in like 5 minutes. You can also get Holy Water if you want. The tour then dropped us off at a carpet store to meet a guy called Tony. (Owner of the shop). He does a whole show for the group and tried to sell us some carpet hand-made. But you can only imagine the prices of those carpet. Out of this world. You can then walk to ship since its right in front of it. It's a area with lots of shops, so you can go shop around. Sixth day we arrived in Chania, Crete. We wanted to chill out this day and our parents still had like energy to go for a tour. So they went to the Old City and we ' the kids' went to a beach for the young crowd. It was a beach club kind of place called Costa Costa. They had good house music and a bar and some fancy chairs on the beach. We just tanned and went swimming and drink a lot of alcoholic drinks. We had a good time there! It was very crowded tho', since there were so many people from the cruise itself. All we saw was blue towels from the Royal Caribbean on the chairs. We went there with the cab for 25euros/each ride. You have to make sure the taxi comes back to get you, since there are no taxies outside waiting. Seventh day we were on sea again. We had a relaxing day. And tried to be out of the sun since we tanned already and it kinda began to hurt a little bit. Haha. THIS TIME WE WOKE UP EARLY TO GO GET SOME CHAIRS with good location on the deck. In the evening we went to club again as usual for the farewell party. Disembarking was really easy and fast. Your luggage is right there in the terminal building with a number on it. ***ENTERTAINMENT*** There is a place called Boleros, and they play latin music so there's some dancing going on there. So we kinda went there after the dinners (9-11 seating) and stayed there till like 12 or something and then we go to the Dungeon Club every night, except the first night. It's kinda the only thing open that late on the ship. The Dungeon Club is a cool place to meet the young crowd (18+). When you meet the other people on board, you kinda plan to meet up again at the pool during the day and then at the club at night. You will obviously see the same people everytime. BE SURE NOT TO MISS THE SHOW AT 'STUDIO B' called THE QUEST. It's an adult only show. An interactive game show/scavenger hunt. The audience is divided into teams, and then the teams are given quests to fulfill, like producing a certain object or getting someone from the team to do something specific. The quests get more and more outlandish and embarrassing, and I swear it was so funny! ***CROWD ON THE CRUISE*** It was a Eastern Mediterranean cruise starting in Italy, so there were so many Italians on board. There was also a large crowd of Spanish speaking countries (Spain, Colombia). Some other European countries Scotland, Norway. Not as many Americans as I thought. I'm from Aruba and speaks several languages (English, Dutch, Spanish and Papiamento). I found it very hard to communicate with the Italians since many of them don't speak English at all. I had to speak Spanish, and than they would get what I was saying (kind of). But the people on our cruise were very young I would say. Lots of people aged 20-30. This was one of the best things for my brother/sister and I. We made so many new friends from our age group on this cruise. But if you only speak English, be prepared to use sign language or something. **CREW ONBOARD** 1 word. AMAZING! **ROOMS** We had two balcony rooms and they were great! I recommend getting a balcony. The bed I must say is kinda hard. It's not your 'Heavenly Bed' at the Marriott Hotel. We also had the 'sofa bed', but it's actually just a sofa. They literally just put 2 layers of sheets on it and it becomes a 'bed'. Extremely hard but yeah. I would imagine its not good for someone older with back pain or something. ***FOOD*** We mostly ate at the Windjammers Cafe. Free and buffet style. They have very simple food there. From the hamburger with french fries to the grilled fish and some sushi. There's def something for everybody there. We didn't try out the Johnny Rockets. Overall the food was good. At the dinners there were some fantastic items on the menu, except 2 nights. Thats it I guess. We all really loved this cruise and would definitely recommend it to anyone! Beautiful ports, amazing crowd onboard, great crew, good food, LOTS OF FUN! I'm looking forward to cruise again with Royal Caribbean! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2013
We booked quite late and didn't have much time to review the comments on Cruise Critic etc but did manage to gather sufficient information together to have most things sorted before we boarded. We booked two tours, which after great ... Read More
We booked quite late and didn't have much time to review the comments on Cruise Critic etc but did manage to gather sufficient information together to have most things sorted before we boarded. We booked two tours, which after great deliberation we booked directly through RCI, more for ease than anything else. I did look at booking through various recommended companies such as Ephesus Tours and was very happy with their response to my emails and the fact that they only wanted a small deposit upfront. I will certainly consider external tour companies next time we cruise. We also took the soft drinks package option, since this had worked well for us previously. Other than the fact it took ages for us to get our cases on arrival, the transfer from Rome airport to the Navigator went smoothly. The RC staff were clearly marked at the airport and were very assuring when the cases were delayed, advising us all that the coaches were aware of the situation. The actual transfer to the ship was just over an hour. Embarkation also went smoothly and much quicker than on our previous cruise. First we checked out our cabin and since the cases had not yet arrived, we went to the Windjammer and had lunch and lots of drinks. We then decided to explore the ship and worked from top to bottom with the boys guiding us using the many maps available. We made the Kids Club our first port of call to get the boys registered before the rush (worth doing even if you don't know whether they will use it - they give all the children a lanyard to attach their sea pass card to allowing them to keep it around their necks and reducing the risk of losing it - (Suggestion - if you don't like bags take a lanyard with you and ask Customer Services to put a hole in the card for you so you can attach it). I had packed swimming trunks in the hand luggage so my husband was then able to take the boys swimming whilst I unpacked. We then had a leisurely evening meal in the Windjammer, followed by a welcome show in the theatre. Sicily Next day we were in Sicily. We had decided to do this port on our own based on various comments on Cruise Critic. Immediately outside the port we were able to take a tour on a horse drawn carriage (40 euro for 45 mins). There was also the option of a City Tour Bus or a small land train, both of which covered a larger area. The boys loved the carriage, although it was a little cramped since they had to sit on a fold down seat. (I noticed later there were larger carriages too). We then walked back into town to see the clock strike 12. The clock had various levels of mechanical scenes which told a story (though I am not sure what the story was). It was interesting to see, but not as spectacular as I had hoped. There were other sites and we walked a long way, climbed lots of steps and several hills. The views of the ship were great from the top of the hill and we even had a photo stop with Mickey Mouse who we realised was up there waiting for the tourists on the land train. It was a nice enough visit but in hind site we wished we had booked a tour to Etna. The port town was not very special, lots of graffiti and a bit disappointing. Our reason for not choosing the tour was we didn't want to travel the 2 hours each way to Etna with the boys. As it was we were able to go back to the ship, have a late lunch and a swim whilst the boat was relatively quiet, which the boys enjoyed. Day at Sea One recommendation is to get up at a sensible hour if you have young children since the sun beds near the pools get taken very quickly. Despite the policy of not being able to leave your bed unattended for longer than 30 mins we saw lots of beds with towels on which were hardly ever sat on. We were lucky because our boys are good swimmers, so we were happy to be further away. This was also the formal night, which was the only one we made the boys attend. Since they were not too keen on the show the previous night we allowed them to go to the Kids' club after dinner, which allowed us to enjoy a glass of champagne at the Captains' reception and take in the show ourselves. Greece We did the RC half day tour to the Acropolis. It was well organised. This was one that I wanted to do but the boys both enjoyed it too. It was unfortunate that the Acropolis was surrounded on three sides by scaffolding which took away some of the views, but was still worth a visit. We returned in time for a late lunch and a swim. That evening we ate in the Windjammer, since we found this the easiest option with the boys, due to the variety of food available. The boys then chose to go to the kids' club whilst we took in the evening show. Turkey We chose the half day tour to the House of the Virgin Mary and Ephesus. After an early breakfast we went to the tour meeting point. Being one of the first groups ready, we got on one of the first coaches, and were amongst the first visitors at the House of the Virgin Mary, arriving whilst it was still quite cool and before the queues. This was an enjoyable and interesting stop. Ephesus was spectacular and exceeded my expectations. I won't say any more other than in my opinion it is a must see. Although still early, it was very hot and the reason all the tour guides use an umbrella as identification was immediately apparent. There was very little shade to be had. Many tourists also carried umbrellas or parasols and if you have trouble with the heat, or are travelling with very small children or the elderly, I would recommend you taking one. The other essential is the complementary bottle of water provided as part of the tour. Don't forget your camera! I would have liked to see the Terrace Houses, but didn't want to extend our tour to more than half day. I was glad I had made this choice because by lunch time it was exceptionally hot. After the obligatory visit to a carpet store, where we were given a demonstration on carpet weaving and shown many different types of carpet, accompanied by a drink and some kind of pastry, we decided to return to the ship. Fortunately our tour took us to a carpet store near the port, so we were able to make our excuses and return to the ship in time for lunch and a spot of sun bathing. We had our evening meal in the Windjammer, then the boys went to kids' camp and we went to see the show. Crete We did Crete on our own, and since we didn't have long at this port made sure we were ready to disembark as early as possible. This was a very enjoyable morning. There were lots of taxis immediately outside the port should you prefer, however, we caught a bus which was also immediately outside the port. This was very easy to do - there was a kiosk where we bought a return ticket for 3 euro each and the trip took less than 30 mins. They do allow passengers to stand so they can become quite busy, but we were lucky and had seats in both directions of travel. The buses also seemed to be very regular and we had no waiting around. Drop off and pick up was at the same spot, near the indoor market and was easy to find. We were able to explore the town at our leisure. We started by heading to the harbour area where we walked along for a while before stopping for a drink. We then returned to the town/market area and spent some time visiting the many interesting shops and stalls. Crete was a lovely stop, everywhere was clean and tidy, even the back streets. It was a pleasant change after the graffiti and unkempt appearance of the port in Sicily. Once we had finished we found the return bus and went back to the ship. We had a very late lunch after which they boys chose to go to kids' camp. At their request we booked them into camp for tea and agreed to pick them up at 10pm after the evenings show. This meant we were able to relax on deck for a while, and then get ready for the last formal night. It was nice to dress up and eat in the formal dining room and our table companions were great company. This turned out to be one of our more hectic evenings. After a leisurely meal in the dining room, as Crown and Anchor Members were invited to a champagne gathering in the theatre, where they put on a welcome back show for us. Unfortunately, we had to leave this show early because our youngest had spent the afternoon at pirate camp and all the small camp members were to be part of a pirate parade on the Promenade. It was fantastic. They had all coloured in their own pirate bandanas and learnt various pirate songs and shanties. It was really cute and worth the challenge of removing all the face paint when we returned to the cabin. Thank goodness for baby wipes (which I still take everywhere even though my youngest is nearly 8!). Once the boys were tucked up in bed we were then able to go to one of the more adult shows. At Sea After a final exploration of the ship, taking pictures and playing mini golf the boys chose to spend most of the day in the kids' camp. I was able to relax on deck and enjoy my book, whilst various activities went on by the pool below. I spent some time in the afternoon packing, since the cases had to be packed and ready for collection by 11pm the night before departure. That way we could enjoy our last evening together. We then had our evening meal in the Windjammer and the boys asked to go back to the kid's camp, whilst we took in the final show. There was also a farewell circus parade on the promenade, after which we took the boys to bed, before venturing out for a drink. In brief The main reason I have done this review is that during my search I found very little information from a family perspective. My overall opinion is do what works for you. If you prefer the formal dining then do it. For us we only did the formal dining on the two formal nights. We found that eating in the Windjammer was faster, and meant the boys were able to have an evening session in the kids' club, whilst we took in the early show. We were lucky that our eldest is both old enough and was willing to look after our youngest on an evening, so each evening when kid's camp closed at 10pm, we took them back to the cabin got them settled then were able to go out again to some of the more adult and sometimes "cheesy" entertainment and quizzes. It meant that we were able to get as much out of the cruise as the boys. We kept out tours to half day, which meant the boys were able to enjoy them as well as the activities on the ship. It was a good balance that worked well for us. Main advice 1. Whatever their age, if your child likes kids' camps, then enrol them and use it. It will give you some time to relax knowing they are in safe hands. They will look after small children whilst you do the shore excursions, or take them to dinner if you do not think they would appreciate formal dining. 2. Do what works for you. Read Cruise Critic, Trip Advisor etc, gather as much information as possible, then, decide what you want to do. The key to cruising seems to be lots of preparation. Try to book tours and drinks package in advance so you don't have to do this on the ship. One less thing to worry about. 3. If you have cruised with RCI before, or if think you may again, join their Crown and Anchor Society online. You receive discount vouchers for use on board, an invite to a return/welcome reception and other benefits. Also try and find your cruise on Cruise Critic and register for the Meet and Mingle. This can be great way of finding out who is on your cruise and even sharing shore excursions. 4. Be aware drinks are very expensive and I would say the only downside to cruising with RCI. Recommended wine by the bottle in the formal dining room seemed to be upwards of $40 and the wine lists do not have prices so make sure you ask. Check out the drinks packages and decide if you would benefit. In most cases I think the soft drinks package is a must, but if you don't want to commit then there is always water on the bars and free drinks from the Windjammer when it is open (not a big selection - lemon cordial/ice tea/orange). The big question is would I sail with RCI again and the answer is Yes. I would also be more than happy to sail on either of the ships I have being on again. Having read reviews saying the Navigator was tired I did wonder, but the ship was clean and well maintained. There were signs of her age, but then again I am sure anyone travelling on the newer ships will also encounter similar issues.   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
In sum, our cruise was wonderful. We had no complaints and no major mishaps until our final night. More about that later. This review will be more of a cautionary tale than anything else because our experience was so positive. We did ... Read More
In sum, our cruise was wonderful. We had no complaints and no major mishaps until our final night. More about that later. This review will be more of a cautionary tale than anything else because our experience was so positive. We did encounter a few things that could be improved, especially as newer and larger cruise ships are coming out. None of what I will describe will keep us from cruising in the future. First, we were a group of six: two senior citizens, three adults, and a teenager. The seniors were in their own Junior Suite cabin (expansive!) on Deck 9, and the rest of us were in two separate Balcony cabins on deck 8. This cruise was chosen by the teenager who is a history/mythology buff and it was in celebration of her 13th birthday (her sister's 13th birthday was celebrated by cruising to Alaska). Traveling to Rome was lengthy but uneventful. We enjoyed two days of touring Rome before our cruise. I highly recommend the tour company we used and a PM on the boards will get you their name. They arranged our Rome tours and meals, tour of Mt. Etna in Sicily, and tour of Kusadasi in Turkey all for about 1/2 of the cost of what those tours arranged by the cruise line would have cost. Embarkation was a breeze, the trip to Civitavecchia was scenic and speedy. We breezed through check-in and were on board the Navigator and in the Windjammer in record time for a very nice meal. We headed to our cabins afterward, mustered for the safety drill and were sipping pina coladas by the pool as we sailed away. We loved Sicily, touring Mt. Etna and Taormina. We loved the Acropolis and the Acropolis museum, however, we did not really enjoy Athens itself. Our tour was arranged by taking private cars arranged on the street just outside the port area who drove us through some not-so-great neighborhoods to arrive just down the hill from the Acropolis area. We never felt unsafe, just not as well protected as we would have been taking an arranged tour. Other folks have walked to the subway or taken other public transportation, don't do what we did. Kusadasi was the real highlight. Our tour was arranged with a private guide a mini bus and a lunch stop with a side trip to Sirinice village. We loved our guide's descriptions of the ancient ruins along with her enthusiasm as another minibus pulled up along side us with her husband guiding other tourists. Very cute moment. Crete was nice, but a bit of a disapointment as we wanted to visit a beach for a swim in the Med, but, the beach tours were sold out. So we settled for a bus ride into Chania and a walk around the town. Return to Civitavecchia and the US was also uneventful, with one exception: the teenager came down with food poisoning on the final night of the cruise. How do we know it was not Noro? No one else in our group came down with it and we were sharing everything. However, after a quick visit to the ship's infirmary, the girl was confined to the cabin, her picture was circulated around the ship, and we were told that she could order toast to be delivered for breakfast the next morning. She wound up sleeping from about 5 pm Saturday until we landed in NYC Sunday evening. All in all, a very wonderful time was had by all. So, as the title indicated, what are my wishes for the future? First, smoking needs to be better controlled. Not in the private areas like cabins and balconies, but, in the public areas like bars and the casino. The Navigator has a wine bar and a pub located on the promenade and at night smoke from these areas can be somewhat overwhelming. Further, there were times when the smoke from the casino wafted up the stairs connecting to the promenade. My wish is that cruise ships ventilate these areas with exhaust fans. My second wish is that the My Time Dining be looked at again with an eye toward refining it a bit. On a prior cruise on another line my wife and I used My Time Dining and we never waited more than about 10 minutes for a table to become available. However, on this cruise, for some reason, you could not just walk up whenever you wanted and be seated, the dining staff was really pushing for reservations to be made ahead of time. But even this didn't guarantee a table at a time you wanted; one night we could not make a reservation at all. Once we figured this out, we never had a problem, but, on formal night, we were turned away and wound up having a wonderful meal in Windjammer albeit overdressed for the venue. If making a reservation ensures that you have a table, how is this different than using the regular seating times? I think MTD needs to be reformulated, even if MTD diners are relegated to a separate dining room. One final wish: As cruise ships are designed to being larger and larger, it seems to me that they can be designed so that one can walk from public spaces in the bow to public spaces in the stern without having to change decks. If this means that a venue (like an ice rink) needs to be made smaller to accommodate a hallway around it, I think that's valuable. Many times we were blocked from reaching a bar or performance venue because there was another bar, dining room, or night club in the way. In conclusion we had a wonderful time and after we finish paying for this trip, we will definitely be going back to Italy and cruising again somewhere special.   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
12 year old Navigator not a sign of its age clean bright almost as new. Two splash pools plenty of sun beds very colorful sun deck , negative points only 2 showers on sun deck the bar prices ( over £5.00 a drink ) the chops grill way over ... Read More
12 year old Navigator not a sign of its age clean bright almost as new. Two splash pools plenty of sun beds very colorful sun deck , negative points only 2 showers on sun deck the bar prices ( over £5.00 a drink ) the chops grill way over priced , the portafino on the other hand well worth a visit.Food very average in restaurant windjammer self service very good one negative egg station for fried eggs and ommletes very very slow even when little demand people turning away due to amount in line after giving your order taking a numbered ticket up to 10 to 20 people waiting really let down it upset a lot of people. The shows when on great on two night show had one act each time lasting 1 hour on two shows other nights very entertainment team productions. Ice skating only one show all week but great show well worth a visit my first and loved it wow what a show.Finally please be aware when your account bill is left outside your state room last night check it many people being charged for not returning pool towels ( 50 dollars ). Overall good holiday not cruised for a few years noticed drop in standards but cannot complain check out the prices.   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
We flew in to Rome on the morning of the cruise (the flights were included in the package, so no option to arrive the day before). Flights, transfers and embarkation all went smoothly, and we were soon exploring the ship. It was a very ... Read More
We flew in to Rome on the morning of the cruise (the flights were included in the package, so no option to arrive the day before). Flights, transfers and embarkation all went smoothly, and we were soon exploring the ship. It was a very favourable first impression. Our D2 balcony stateroom was comfortable, and spacious, and it was well positioned just before the hump, sandwiched between suites. It had everything we required, and the stateroom attendant was efficient. We had extremely noisy neighbours in one of the suites next door who smoked and talked very loudly on the balcony until 3 or 4am most nights, and this did bother us I have to say. We found the food to be of a high standard, but possibly not quite as outstanding as on previous RCI cruises. The variety and quality of food in the Windjammer was good, but it could get so busy and difficult to get a table at lunchtimes. The waiting staff in the MDR was friendly and efficient, but perhaps a little lacklustre this time. We actually felt that the crew throughout the ship generally wasn't as upbeat and happy in their roles as we have experienced previously with RCI. We noticed this particularly in the shops and at the Pool area. I wondered if this difference in service levels was a result of the automatic upfront gratuities policy which has been adopted? We didn't buy the Drinks package. We just don't drink enough to merit it. We enjoyed the variety of bars and lounges on board, and spent some time in most of them I think. The Two Poets was a bit smoky for us,so we didn't sit inside but it was nice to 'people watch' outside the pub while having a drink. We enjoyed Boleros and also the Schooner Bar, where they had a nightly singalong. It was good fun, but the pianist/singer could perhaps broaden his repertoire, and he isn't a great singer. It was the same stuff each night and got a bit repetitive, although if you hadn't been before it was good fun. There are plenty of alternatives around the ship though if it's not your cup of tea. The entertainment in the theatre was OK, but not great in our opinion. You can't please all of the people all of the time though, and they did a pretty good job of trying to get it right. We really enjoyed The Emperors of Soul, but not so much the Production Shows. The Ice Show was fabulous. We had a tour of the Bridge and the Galley, and a behind the scenes tour of the Theatre etc. All very interesting, especially the Bridge Tour, meeting the Captain etc.We spent more time on board on this cruise than we normally do, but we have been on this itinerary a couple of times before. It is a fabulous itinerary! How else can you see parts of 3 different countries in one week? A highlight was the ship's excursion to Ephesus, which we have visited before,and love it. This time we were on a half day, early visit which was great, because our coach was first to arrive before the crowds, and we were back on the ship for lunch! I would advise anyone who goes on an organised excursion from Kusadasi to be aware that you do NOT have to go to the Carpet Factory if you don't want to! The tour guides give the impression that it is a compulsory part of the tour. Of course, it isn't! It's your vacation and you can do what you like. The fact is that the ship is berthed just a few hundred yards from the Carpet Factory. You can just get off the coach and walk back to the ship. We met several people who said that they didn't like the 'hard sell' tactics at the Carpet Factory (sold as a 'Demonstration')but they didn't know that they could say No and leave the tour when the coach returned from Ephesus. We just always politely but firmly say "No thank you, we will just make our own way back to the ship now" As on previous cruises, we were very impressed by the efficiency of our disembarkation and transfers back to the airport. For us, it's a good idea to have RCI arrange the flights as the price includes transfers to and from the airport. We overheard several people at the Guest Relations desk complaining about the price of transfers when they bought them seperately. I think it was about $90pp for a one way transfer from airport to ship, which is ridiculous. It's a pity that Navigator is returning to the States. We had a great time and would have loved to do another Med cruise on her after the refit :( Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
After check-in, there is nothing to drink until you get to the deck 11. There is no more ice sculpture showing. Cabin - Cabin in deck 9 mid-ship is very noise. There are machines installed on deck 10 right above the room for swiming ... Read More
After check-in, there is nothing to drink until you get to the deck 11. There is no more ice sculpture showing. Cabin - Cabin in deck 9 mid-ship is very noise. There are machines installed on deck 10 right above the room for swiming pools on deck 11.. Custormer relation department did n't do anything to correct the situation. We need to switched room within family. They did use ear-plugs for the rest 6 nights. Food - About the same quality of cafeteria. Dirty and sticky tables on deck 11 area. I saw people use napkins to cover the table before they eat. Fish dishes are always over-cooked, beef dishes are tough and over-cooked. Lamb dishes are excellent. No loster or steak served if you don't pay extra. Entertaiments are good - Singing, dancing and Ice dancing too. Customer relation department - not treating customer as customer, unprofessional and very rude. I think RCCL is cutting down, there is no pen , pencil or paper in the room. No more chocolate in bed at night, no more food during the captain's welcome back party. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
We are a family of five who all enjoy cruising, and to date have tried the major cruise lines but only on Caribbean itineraries. Though this was our first time to Europe, we had come to expect a certain level of service with RCI and they ... Read More
We are a family of five who all enjoy cruising, and to date have tried the major cruise lines but only on Caribbean itineraries. Though this was our first time to Europe, we had come to expect a certain level of service with RCI and they did not disappoint. We flew into Rome the day before embarkation and spent a whirlwind 24 hrs exploring as much as the city as we could in a jet-lagged state. We chose to save some euros by taking the regional train from our hotel near the Vatican to the port of Civitavecchia and everything went extremely smoothly. We met some crew from the ship at the train station and they stayed with us, even helping us with our luggage up and down the steep stairs at the train station. Thank you Francis!!!! We did the easy walk from the train station to the shuttle busses to the ship, arriving about 2 p.m. Embarkation was a breeze. The ship is required to keep your passports until you leave the last port of call. We dropped our carry-ons in the stateroom and headed to the Windjammer along with hundreds of other starving and excited passengers. Our 7-nights went by so fast! Our children loved the Kids' Program, leaving DH and I to fully relax and take in all the amenities around the ship. One of the highlights of our onboard experience was ice-skating! We also took advantage of the activities on the Sports Desk--DH took in several really good volleyball games--as well as the rock-climbing wall, the inline skating track and the mini-golf. We didn't use the pool much as it was a little breezy, but took advantage of the hottubs a couple of times. Dining on board was really good. Usually we love the dining room and avoid the Windjammer as it can be such a zoo. The Windjammer was always a zoo but I must say that the variety of food, and the quality of food was exceptional. Loved the dining room for breakfast, especially the mini-buffet. Lunch was always in the Windjammer and dinner was with our waiter Rey in the dining room. The dinner menu was varied and the food was okay (good, but not mouthwatering) but for some reason, it was a little too slow to be really enjoyable. The kids almost always ditched us after the soup course to escape to the kids' playroom. The evening entertainment is the only area where we felt let down. There was something every night, but I could have easily passed and not missed a thing. We did feel that the cruise director (Ciao, Bella!) was very good at her role. The one exception to the blah entertainment was the ice-skating show. It's worth attending. We had one issue with customer service at the front desk. I had made a point of going to the desk early on the last day to settle my account in cash and avoid the long line ups that would crowd the area for the rest of the day. On our morning of departure, the paper statement that came to our room had no indication that I had made a cash payment and showed the full balance owing. I had to return to the desk, delaying our disembarkation, and wait in line again to clear up the error. The only explanation they offered was a computer glitch??? Come on! At least I had kept my receipt, otherwise I would have had a nasty surprise on my credit card when returning home. Disembarkation was smooth. Royal Caribbean did not disappoint. The only thing that seemed to be lacking was a place to get a quick bite or snack, such as a poolside grill or Solarium cafe that we've seen on other ships. All of the staff we met were friendly and outgoing and you got a sense that they were happy employees. I must mention again that Francis in the Schooner Bar deserves to be recognized for his exceptional friendliness and helpfulness. Our ports: In Sicily, we arranged a group tour on the Cruise critic roll call to Taormina and Castelmola with a private company. The tour was okay; the views were breathtaking. In Athens, we took the metro/subway to the Acropolis and met up with the group Athens Free Walking Tour, which was fabulous! Lots of reviews mentioned how easy it was to take the metro to the Acropolis and I just want to say that while it wasn't complicated, it wasn't exactly simple, especially since the walk from the ship to the metro station was about 2 km. and we arrived at Thissio station to face another long, hot, uphill walk to the meeting point. After the tour, we had time to walk around the acropolis. Kusadasi, Turkey was our best port day. We took a half day tour with Ephesus Plus and they were A1. My goal in Crete was to swim in the Mediterranean but unfortunately mother nature did not cooperate, imposing high winds and rain during our brief stay on the island, so we just took the bus into the town and walked around a bit before returning to the ship. We chose to carry our own bags off the ship, and after breakfast and one last game of minigolf, we left the ship and headed straight to the FCO airport by pre-arranged cab to fly home. This was definitely one big tick off the bucket list, but unfortunately for my hard working DH, it just whet my appetite to plan another European cruise adventure! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
Royal Caribbean remains a quality experience. We upgraded to a balcony room since we knew we would be gliding by fantastic sights. It was worth it. The room was really nice and we don't know if we will ever go back to the interior ... Read More
Royal Caribbean remains a quality experience. We upgraded to a balcony room since we knew we would be gliding by fantastic sights. It was worth it. The room was really nice and we don't know if we will ever go back to the interior tiny rooms that we convinced ourselves were OK because we only slept there... The Eastern Mediterranean cruise was a first for us.. We flew into Rome to join our son and a "quaint B&B we found on the Internet. We were looking for the best ways to be economical (it's a challenge our family persists in) We planned on the train from the airport to Termini end. It was 24 euros. As we walked the airport to baggage claim, we saw signs for bus lines advertising 5 euros transfers... We checked it out and thought it would be fine. We bought a round trip ticket for 8 euros. It was a short walk to the bus stop and easy to load suitcase in the outside bins. They let us off just outside the Termini, and took about 50 minutes. Our son arrived later that afternoon and he took the train as planned. He said it was a terrifically long walk to get to the station, then load the luggage on the train and haul it with them. We toured Rome (not our first time, but perhaps our last) for two days. The pickpockets were worse than ever. My husband was picked twice within 30 minutes and both times he recovers his wallet from the hands of the pickpocket who got his wallet out of my husband from pockets. My son was picked the next day, and later on the way to the Termini to go to the port, I was picked by three young women who surrounded me. I also figured out what they were doing and batted one of them away from me as she reached into my bag. We took the 'slow' train for 5 euros. It took about an hour, and the fast train for much more was about 25-35. The ship offered transfers back for 95 euros... We exited the train and walked about 3 football fields to the gates of the port where we then walked a little further to the cruise line shuttle bus. Finally the cruise... great fun! Same food we expect on Royal lines. Ice Shows, great music, the Promenade!!. mini golf, volley ball, dodge ball, lots of varied activities. Loved room service breakfast, and late night snacks of fruit trays, cheese trays and spinach dip and chips. Eating while watching the stars and passing by islands and sites. Even saw a small island that seemed to grow straight out of the water to a sharp peek.. watched as it erupted with a burp of smoke. We found out it was an active volcano. We stopped At Messini and we went to Mt Etna, and our son and his wife went to another small town up a winding hill side road. He won on his excursion. I stayed on the ship and lounged at Crete while my husband and son went swimming at the beach. they switched stops because Greece was having strikes and protests, and went to Turkey next. We toured the bazaars and saw an old fort. The rugs were amazing and the work to make them incredible. But $1000 for a place-mat size... I will settle for walmart. Greece was beautiful. We took a bus tour and stopped at a beach-side cafe for a break and at the acropolis. I think we could have spent a week there. It was clean and everyone was pleasant. Back to Rome and my husbands fav.. Gelato.. sour cherry was the best! All in all it was great... I think I enjoyed the cruise more than the stops. and Definitely have had enough of Rome. The current condition of danger there is more than I want to experience again. Others on the cruise reports similar experiences and many not as successful as we were. One older couple were 'guided' into a narrow roadway and then surrounded and forced to provide the password to their credit card, and lost their passports and everything they carried. sigh... great stories if you save yourself and get away.... Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
We took this cruise as a graduation trip for my daughter before she heads off to college. We had done the Western Mediterranean cuise two years ago. We started our first night in Rome, arriving a day early. Booked a hotel through RCL ... Read More
We took this cruise as a graduation trip for my daughter before she heads off to college. We had done the Western Mediterranean cuise two years ago. We started our first night in Rome, arriving a day early. Booked a hotel through RCL because I couldn't figure out where to stay -- to many choices. The hop on, hop off bus was not a good experience. Perhaps we were too tired or too hot. RCL port transfer got us to the ship a little slower and later than I would have prefered but we did miss the crowds. Pick up was 1 pm from the hotel but we had to make an additional hotel pick up. Our first port was Messina. We took the ship transfer to Touramina. We had the option to take a cab for $120 with the driver to wait 2 hours. The ship tour was 3 hours. What we were not told was that a lot of stores close from 1 to 4. We were in Touramina from 12 to 4. Most stores were very expensive. We did not have time to visit the Greek theater because my kids wanted to shop first. Messina was our least favorite port. In Athens we had a private tour through Nikos Loukas of privategreecetours. Manos was very friendly and knowlegable. He took us to the major ruins and gave us background history. We also saw some modern day sites. He took us to a handmade sandle shop. Definitely worth the money. Our next stop was Kusadasi and Ephesus. Definitely everyones favorite port. Booked a private tour through Ekol travel. Our guide was Alex. He took us through Ephesus, Sirince village, and a rug and leather factory. I would recommend a private tour in this port. Prices were good.Euros, US dollars or Turkish liras accepted every where. Our last port was Chania, Crete, Greece. Had no idea what to expect. Take the city bus for 1.50 Euro each way to the city center. The beach is a 15 minute walk. Behind the old market is a wonderful shopping bazar. Not hassled but found leather and jewerly to buy. Better than I expected. Give yourself enough time to get back. Several people arrived back at the port late. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
This was my first ever cruise although some members of our party had cruised before. My state room on deck 7 had a balcony and was adequate for our 12 year old, my wife and I. Others in our party had a state room which overlooked the ... Read More
This was my first ever cruise although some members of our party had cruised before. My state room on deck 7 had a balcony and was adequate for our 12 year old, my wife and I. Others in our party had a state room which overlooked the central promenade, which was ok but the inside room without windows was dismal. Once on board the first call was for life boat drill which seemed quite chaotic, very hot and uncomfortable. The centre 'Royal Promenade' seems impressive to start with but you soon realise it's really just overpriced shops selling to captive clientele. When there are activities or shows this area becomes jam-packed and it is very difficult to see or enjoy anything unless you can grab one of the view points higher up. Outside the main 2 pool area is usually very crowded and noisy. There are 'fun' activities if you feel like dragging out your orange Speedos and dancing to Aga-do or entering the belly-flop competition (and no I'm not making this up). During our 'At Sea' day there were around 3000 passengers all vying for sun-beds and a dip in the tiny pools. There is an adults only area which has another tiny pool and a couple of hot tubs but don't think you can relax here either. On a positive note I found solace in the excellent gym and once I had my IPod plugged in I could watch the world go by with a view out of the windows. My son loved the Adventure Ocean no parents allowed teen hang out areas and would disappear for hours to 'hang-out'. Our first port was Messina (Sicily) where we joined the tour bus to Mount Etna and Taormina. Both good choices with a knowledgeable guide. Then on to Athens where we made our own way to the Acropolis and the Parliament building but we wouldn't choose to return here. Ephusus in Turkey was next but we chose the full on detailed guide and found the depth of information and the heat overwhelming, this was followed by a trip to a carpet shop, enough said. Finally we stopped in Souda Crete making our own way to Chania on the local bus which stops next to the ship. Unfortunately we were not in port long enough to fully enjoy this very pretty town. Back on board the Windjammer buffet restaurant has an impressive and well presented selection of food but was very busy with lots of families and a fair amount of pushing and shoving often difficult to find a table. We chose the Coppelia dining room and the assigned early (6 p.m.) sitting. The waiters were fantastic, attentive without being overpowering but the food was mediocre and sparse with little in the way of vegetables. We didn't try any of the other areas as they required extra payments. After dinner we had high hopes for the shows in the main theatre The Metropolis. What a disappointment, the shows here were awful and we were not the only ones to give up and walk out, far better was the Ice Dancing show in Studio B. There is the Casino Royal but this was full of cigarette smoke and slot machine noise. What a relief then to discover Schooners Bar and Phil Anderson on piano, great guy with charm and wit the only downside being the overpriced drinks, but that applied to everywhere onboard. We had a disabled passenger in our group and while everywhere was accessible we found pushing a wheelchair round difficult because of the number of people, especially trying to get into the lifts. Finally, we used the Guest Relations desk a couple of times and they were fine for taking bookings to things but when we approached them with a problem we were experiencing it seemed the default position was to deny any fault or blame on the part of the company. Our issue was resolved eventually but it took some persuading. Overall not a great experience and maybe not one I would wish to repeat. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
I sailed on the Navigator of the Seas for my dads 60th Birthday last August. It was my first time cruising but my parents have done many and Royal Caribbean is their favorite. First Impressions I was astounded by the sheer size of ... Read More
I sailed on the Navigator of the Seas for my dads 60th Birthday last August. It was my first time cruising but my parents have done many and Royal Caribbean is their favorite. First Impressions I was astounded by the sheer size of the ship! It was a sight to behold when I seen it from the road high up Civitavecchia. I found the boarding procedure to be quite efficient and we where in our cabin around 20 mins after getting off the coach. The ship was clean and I had a nice wander around before heading to the windjammer for some lunch. The Cabin The cabin itself was small but there was a good use of space and it did not feel cramped. Our cabin attendants where really good and had no fault with them at all. The bathroom was also of ample size and suited our needs. I was a bit disappointed that we did not have an outside cabin but to be honest I actually didnt miss it. I spent so little time in the cabin that a window would have not been needed! Plus it was nice to emerge onto the deck and be surprised by the view of that days port! Food We used the windjammer for all our meals except one dinner on the 2nd formal night. I do not recall having a bad meal there at all! Sure I had some stuff I was trying for the 1st time that I did not like but that wasnt the fault of the staff!The food selection was very wide and appropriate to what port we where in, eg in athens we had some greek food. Every meal was great and I loved the massive glass windows given a panoramic view. Having breakfast looking out over a different port everyday and having dinner by sunset in the middle of the Med every night was an experience I will not soon forget. We also had the privilege to talk frequently with one of the head chefs, he was very happy to chat to us about the ports and food and he shared quite a few tips with us. On the 2nd formal night we decided to go to the MDR. The food was excellent and it was a nice change from the windjammer as it was completely different. However I would not chose to dine there every evening as the atmosphere was very different from the windjammer, and I would miss the views! If after all the food you remained hungry there was a snack bar on the Promenade which served sandwiches,pizza,cakes and biscuits late into the evening. Entertainment The entertainment was generally quite good, I especially enjoyed the ice show. There was one act, a juggler, he wasnt quite so good at times. Felt a bit sorry for him! But even that didnt detract from the overall good entertainment. Other Activities On the 2nd day before we arrived in Messina there was a short beginners crash guide to Italian in the schooner bar. That was quite good, was great to get some basics taught to you by an Italian! I tried the rock wall, that was a great experience as from up there I could see the volcano we where about to pass which I believe was Mt Stromboli. On the pool deck there was a bbq and also a sail away party with cakes and ice sculptures, dancing, live music and even a conga line around the pool! Staff and service The staff on board where all great, no exceptions. While chatting to the assistant at guest services it came up about my dad turning 60 during the crusie, and she arranged for a bucket of ice and champagne to be sent to the cabin on that day. The cabin attendant also found out about the birthday and actually bought my dad a t-shirt whilst we where in port! It was very kind of him and greatly appreciated by us. Excursions This is the only low point for me. I refused to pay the prices for the excursions they where charging. Messina - In messina we went for a lovely walk around the town. Athens - After doing my own research I organised a tour for my party around athens using the hop on hop off bus which was 20 euros each and included 2 routes, also a visit to the acropolis museum. We had a fantastic time doing this and loved the flexibility doing it that way gave us. If I recall correctly there was a cost of 45 dollars each for a 4hr tour which I do not feel is value for money. Kusadasi- This was a fantastic little port to explore on foot, none of us in the party were inclined to go further afield than the old town markets. Chania - This again was a fantastic town to explore on foot. We caught the shuttle bus from the port to the town and i think the cost was certainly less than 2 euros each. Overall we had a fantastic time and now I have caught the cruising bug and would not consider anything other than Royal Caribbean. I have since now book a 2 week Hawaiian cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas and look forward to the same WOW factor there! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2012
Let me begin by saying that we spent months preparing for this trip and, together with the new friends we met on Cruise Critic along with valuable advice from our travel agent, it was a complete success! The time spent researching and ... Read More
Let me begin by saying that we spent months preparing for this trip and, together with the new friends we met on Cruise Critic along with valuable advice from our travel agent, it was a complete success! The time spent researching and planning in advance is well worth it ... the time on vacation flies by so quickly you'd hate to get home and realize you missed out on something you really would have enjoyed. We flew into Rome three days early and I'm so glad we did because the city is really magical. The history is rich and interesting, the Vatican is an experience everyone should have - regardless of your religious beliefs - and the people there are so warm, friendly and inviting. I'm also glad we did it because we had time to adjust to the time change (we are from SE USA) so when we boarded the ship we were refreshed and ready to go. (I could write for days about the wonderful things we did in Rome, but since this is a cruise review, I'll stop myself!) We took the train to the port ... it was easy and economical. Be advised though ... the track for the train is not in the main terminal so you'll have to walk about 10 minutes carrying your own luggage. You'll have to load your own luggage onto the train and when you arrive at Civitavecchia you'll have about another 10-15 minute walk to get to the port. It's not difficult, but be prepared. Boarding was not as polished as it is at other ports we've been to (Canaveral, Everglades and Miami). After all, it's a cargo port so no pretty embarkation area, no music, no friendly RCCL reps greeting you at the curb. But, don't stress, once you're on the Navigator it will be everything you expected it to be. Disembarkation is VERY early so all of the cabins were ready when we boarded around lunchtime. Three best things I packed for this trip: 1. Brita water bottle with built-in filter -- fountains are readily available all over Rome and ports on this trip, but having the bottle with the filter made me feel better about drinking it vs. purchasing bottled water (up to $5USD at some places). 2. Tova hiking sandals (another brand is called Chocko's) -- some of the pathways, rocks and steps in Turkey, Greece and Italy were quite slick. Several people I met on the ship fell at some of the sites. Get some sandals/shoes with good traction on the bottom. 3. A small umbrella -- if you go in the summer, it is HOT. Most of the ruins have no shade, so be prepared with sunblock, hat, umbrella, etc. Three best things about the ship: 1. The RCCL staff really goes out of their way to make the cruise special. Our waiter in the dining room (Leonardo) and his assistant (Carol) were just wonderful. Our room steward was friendly and happily left a bucket of ice in our cabin each night. Simone, the cruise director, was funny and charming and did an amazing job speaking in both English and Italian without missing a beat. (We did have a miserable experience with the guitar player in the Pub, but since it is such a rare exception from what we typically experience on RCCL, I won't go into it.) 2. The entertainment. I have been on many cruises and without a doubt, the best show we've ever seen was on this trip. The group was called the Beatle Maniacs and they were a tribute band. The costumes, music quality, corresponding video clips all proved to be ideal. The crowd was on their feet singing along and dancing. It was really great. The Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers are great ... so versatile. 3. The size. Navigator is big enough to keep you busy for a week (Promenade, Ice Skating, Mini Golf, Very active sports desk, big theater, nice casino, etc.) but also small enough that you don't feel like you're getting lost or walking half a mile to dinner. You make friends on this ship easily and bump into them frequently. At the same time, it's big enough that if you want so have a little space it's easy enough to find a spot. Quick port reviews: Sicily - we did a private tour here (thank you Mary!) and that worked out really well because we got to move at our own pace. I loved Messina/Sicily. The views were breathtaking, everything you remember from any romantic Italian movie you've ever seen can be found in Sicily -- mountain views, stunning shorelines, quaint villages with cobblestone streets and winding alleys filled with verandas and little shops, quiet churches on hilltops, the list goes on and on ... Athens - we did Athens on our own and it was completely do-able. We walked up to the top of the Acropolis and it was amazing. Beautiful, so much history, view of the entire city with mountainscapes in the background. Really, really humbling. We paid $20eu for four people by taxi to get to the center of all the activity (lunch at Plaka then walked to Temple of Zeus and Hadrian's Arch) and walked from there. We skipped the museum but I heard it was very good. It was $12eu for adults to Acropolis and kids under 18 are free (bring your student ID). Turkey - we did the ship's tour here and I was glad we did because the sites were quite far from port. We visited Mary's House, which was inspiring and I especially liked the prayer/wish wall. We really enjoyed this tour and I recommend it highly. We visited Esphesus which was simply amazing. So well-preserved. At the end of the tour they take you to a "carpet presentation" (translation - sales pitch to buy rugs) but it's in the air conditioning and we got to sit and relax and have a cool drink, so nobody complained. but, nobody on our bus bought a rug either. From there you walk back to the ship. BEWARE ... there is a market area across from the port where everybody goes to buy gifts. The pickpockets there are bold. My husband caught someone opening the zipper to his backpack and when he yelled half a dozen shop owners raced out to the sidewalk to defend the guy. He didn't get anything from us, but we immediately returned to the ship. So, skip the Turkish Bazaar and get your souveniers at the sites you visit would be my advice. Also the shopkeepers are very aggressive. If you touch something and don't buy it, they will yell at you and chase you. So, if you go, look but don't touch unless you're buying. Crete - The beaches are beautiful. The ride to town is bleak. But there's a good little market area where you can pick up last minute souveniers for good prices. It's a short port stop but a nice little break. The photographers on the ship were wonderful -- friendly and creative. I was thrilled to get a nice family photo to take home. The casino is nice and the dealers are helpful. Lots of smokers in there late at night though. The food was very good, there wasn't a meal we didn't like. Usually, we visit the upgrade restaurants once or twice on a cruise, but we liked our waiters so much that we didn't do it this time. The drink prices were fair -- I never felt like I was being ripped off and the drinks were strong. Don't stay up too late on the last night, they were in our room at 6:30am to check the minibar on disembarkation day! Quest is raunchy but super fun -- don't bring your kids! Some people had kids in there and I was uncomfortable sitting near them. A note for families with kids ... not too many elementary/middle school aged kids on our ship. LOTS of high schoolers though. The ship had so many activities for them -- they were busy all the time. They loved it! Also, unlike the Caribbean cruises we've been on ... formal night really means formal night. Tuxedos, Flowing evening gowns, up-do's and everything. The folks in our dining room dressed up (cocktail dresses and suit jackets) for the other nights. And, finally, regarding pre-pay tips. We did it for the first time and I didn't like it. I felt badly the last night at dinner not having envelopes to leave and worried that my room steward would be disappointed when he went in on Sunday morning and didn't find anything. We ultimately wrote them thank you notes and let them know their tips had been pre-paid. We also left some additional cash for each. Enjoy your cruise~!!!! It really is the trip of a lifetime!! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
My Grandson wanted to see the ruins in Greece so we booked this cruise, while we were on FOS last summer, then transferred it to our Travel Agent. This was the first trip to Europe for 4 of the 5 of us. We decided to spend 3 nights in Rome ... Read More
My Grandson wanted to see the ruins in Greece so we booked this cruise, while we were on FOS last summer, then transferred it to our Travel Agent. This was the first trip to Europe for 4 of the 5 of us. We decided to spend 3 nights in Rome pre-cruise and 1 night post-cruise, just to cover our bases and make sure we got to see everything possible. We booked a double room and a triple room at the Hotel Sant' Angelo, near the Vatican. The price of the hotel averaged around $44 per person, per night. The rooms were tiny, but the beds were great and since we needed two twin beds in one room and 3 twins in another, this was perfect for the small amount of time we spent at the hotel. We added the breakfast for 7.50 euros each day. They had a buffet with scrambled eggs, english-style bacon, cheeses, fruits, pastries and baked goods, cereals, yogurt, juice, coffee and capuccina. It's tucked away on a quiet street. We arrived early, but the the hotel had one of our rooms ready and after we stowed our luggage, the manager gave us a map and a few suggestions for lunch at restaurants within a couple of blocks of the hotel. We used Aer Lingus to get from NY to Rome, with a plane change in Dublin. Aer Lingus was on time, had in-flight movies at no cost and the price of the ticket was $801, so it was too good to believe. We had arranged for Bob's Limo for the airport (FCO) to the hotel, the hotel to the cruise ship, the cruise ship back to the hotel and the hotel back to the airport. They were prompt, professional, on-time and waiting patiently for us at each transfer. We couldn't have asked for better service. The embarkation process at Civitavecchia was the fastest, most efficient we've ever experienced. The driver dropped us off at the tented area, we walked straight to the clerks, got our seapass card and were listening to the first ping of the seapass card before we had time to catch our breath. The ship was clean, and the only place we saw any signs of age or disrepair was the paint was chipping overhead on the balcony ceiling in a few places. Before we could finish our lunch, the announcement was made that the cabins were ready. The muster drill was quick and painless and then we were off to the upper deck to enjoy the first frozen drink and watch the sail-away. We chose first dining in the MDR because we knew that some of us would be tired at the end of a day of excursions and some of us would want to be interested in other things after dinner each night. Our waiter, Sean, was one of the best we've ever had. In fact, after hearing that escargot was a favorite of my Grandson, the last night of the cruise, 4 servings of escargot suddenly appeared on our table, in spite of the fact that it wasn't on the menu. What a nice surprise! We didn't use the Specialty Restaurants on this cruise and we had wonderful meals every night. We had been on the sister ships of Navigator so there were not surprises with our balcony cabin. Our cabin steward was great. He always made sure we had ice, kept the cabin immaculately clean and was extremely nice. I used the Wash and Fold special. After having spent 3 days in Rome, we were in need of some clean clothes. Because we are Diamond C&A, we had 2 coupons and were able to get a bag of laundry done for $15 each. Everything came back neatly folded with very few wrinkles and we were very grateful. I was able to fit an unbelievable amount of laundry into the bag. I was able to send underwear, t-shirts and capris and they all came back in good enough shape to wear on the tours without any pressing...just a sprint or two with the trusty Downey Wrinkle Release and I was back in business. We used private cars at all the ports except Crete, and it was the best decision ever. At each port, we had a driver who made sure we got out ahead of the lines of buses. It was more economical than the RCI excursions, we saw more in less time and there was no time wasted waiting on everyone to go to the bathroom, shop, or return to the bus..and we had the ability to change the itinerary if we were enjoying ourselves at any particular spot. In Turkey we used Ephesus Deluxe and they were great. I can't say a negative thing about them. In Sicily we used New Travel Services. The driver went above and beyond to make our trip to Taormina easy, fun and made special stops along the way, making sure we were able to stop at any spot we pointed out. In Athens we used Dennis Private Tours and not only did the driver greet us, but Dennis was there as well. It was the first trip to Europe for all of us but one and the first time we've used the private car route, but we were absolutely blown away with the cost, the professional manner and had absolutely the best of each port. In Crete, we only wanted to do a little shopping. We didn't have any plans so we just used the free shuttle provided by RCI. The only complaint would be that they waited not only until the shuttles were full, but packed with people standing and hanging on for dear life from the overhead straps before they would budge from the lot. I would without doubt use these companies again and wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone. You get a nice air-conditioned car or mini-van, a driver who is familiar with the country and takes good care of you in a way you can't get with a crowd. I listened to others complaining about the waiting time, the places they didn't enjoy and felt a little guilty because we had been having the time of our lives. Each company, in fact, had ice-cold water and juice for us which truly helped with the heat. We didn't see all of the shows, but we did see the ice show and it was great, as usual. The only negative on the entertainment was that the parades were at odd times and we missed them both times. One of our group had never seen the parade and we were a little disappointed that we missed them. This itinerary is very port intensive when compared with a caribbean cruise so I guess we should have paid more attention to the Compass. We loved every port. This was truly a wonderful trip. I wouldn't hesitate to repeat this trip on the Navigator again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
Our family sailed on Navigator of the Seas for the second time, but the first time on a European itinerary. We were my wife and I, and out two teenage daughters, 13 and 16. We spent a few days in Rome exploring, booking a nice apartment ... Read More
Our family sailed on Navigator of the Seas for the second time, but the first time on a European itinerary. We were my wife and I, and out two teenage daughters, 13 and 16. We spent a few days in Rome exploring, booking a nice apartment via HomeAway, which was fabulous. We took the express train from Rome Termini to Civitavecchia, the Rome port just north of the main airport. It was about a 45-1hr train journey, complicated by the hundreds of local Romans heading for the beaches on this beautiful Sunday morning. It was very easy to walk from the train terminal to the waiting buses, which whisked us to the ship. Confusingly, there were no signs, so simply walk north (turn right on exit of the train station) along the sidewalks, until you see the old fort on your left. Its in a fairly busy roundabout, where the entrance to the port proper begins. You will see buses waiting off to your left. We had to wait a bit to get to our room, and yes, we did have an emergency drill before departure, which thankfully did not require us to head to the cabin to get life preservers, as they were handed out in our station. As we have been on 5 RCCL cruises before, here are a few brief observations on this particular cruise: Turkey, Crete and Athens ports are incredible, and worth the entire cruise. Sicily is not very interesting. It is so close to Rome that the ship must go very slow, which is a nice break for getting your sea legs. But the port is missable in my opinion. They only stop to take on local travelers, as this is an embarkation/debarkation point as well. There were 3300 guests on board, so the ship was nearly full. They consisted of about 1/3 Italian, 1/3 USA and 1/3 other European/Asian. The ship 'felt' like a busy town in Italy, and the 'pace' of life on the cruise felt very different to this American. It was not as relaxed as Caribbean cruises, and I feel that the European meal culture was partly to blame: the Late dinner seating was packed, with over 300 on the waiting list. Most Europeans eat dinner much later than American's so they all wanted the late dinner seating. We switched to early seating and got our choice of tables. This also meant that the Windjammer was crowded at dinner time, but almost unusable at lunch. My impression was that larger Italian families were gathering around several tables in the Windjammer, and enjoying a long, leisurely lunch. The trouble is, the Windjammer is not designed for low table turnover, and guest spend 20 minutes circling looking for a table. Lines for food were long as well. It was manageable, but just different to what I had witnessed on four other RCCL cruises. This was our first cruise where it felt full. On sea days, the pool was packed, with folks lounging for hours. There was not much 'towel-holding' of chairs, and RCCL crew patrolled, but mostly there just were not many chairs available. We had a glass balcony, which was fabulous, as there was always land nearby and the sea was amazingly calm. We enjoyed our balcony. Well worth it for this cruise. The ship broadcast World Cup soccer (football) during the cruise, using all the bars and even the main theater for a few of the games. Ephesus was a memory of a lifetime, don't miss it. We hired Ephesus Shuttle, and we were delighted with it. Ephesus is nearly an hour drive away, so having a tour guide really is important. Tour the homes, and pay the extra fee, you won't regret it. Mary's house is miserable, as it is underwhelming and over crowded. Expect to wait in line 30 mins to get a 2 min glimpse of what is really just a shrine. We appreciated the experience and the gifts we bought, but otherwise, I would not recommend it. Athens is also fantastic. It is fairly easy to get to the Acropolis by walking to the train station. If your itinerary supports it, shop in the morning and tour Acropolis after lunch, as there are no crowds then. Morning is completely jammed, and will take 3 hours total to buy tickets and see the sights. Crete is a lovely stop, beautiful seaside shopping district, but otherwise not much to see. Sicily (Messina) is a good time to stay onboard and enjoy the pool.   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
This is our (Mom and Dad) second cruise to the Mediterranean, but the first time for the kids (34 and 24). This was a family trip -- probably our last as a family as the kids are moving on with their lives. It was everything we hoped it ... Read More
This is our (Mom and Dad) second cruise to the Mediterranean, but the first time for the kids (34 and 24). This was a family trip -- probably our last as a family as the kids are moving on with their lives. It was everything we hoped it would be. After three nights in Rome on our own we boarded the Navigator at Civitavecchia. We were a little early but were allowed to board anyway. The process was quick and painless. Our cabins were to be ready at 1 pm so we headed to the Windjammer for lunch. Standard buffet fare, and as time went on it got very crowded. However it was nice to just relax and wait. We would our cabins and our luggage was waiting for. Our cabin steward, Lilliana, greeted us by name, and assisted in getting our kids' beds separated. After unpacking, we left our suitcases by the bed as we couldn't find a place to put them. Lilliana put them under the beds for us, a nice touch. The ship was a little dated and worn, but nothing to complain about. Beds were comfy and the bathrooms clean. Even though we were in an inside cabin, there was plenty of room, and the couch was a nice touch. TV service over the course of the cruise was a bit repetitive, but who watches that much TV anyway! The ship was very hygiene conscious--I saw them cleaning all the time and liberal use of hand sanitizer was encouraged. Meals in the dining rooms were generally very tasty, and a few were outstanding. There was good variety, and the service was outstanding. I liked that we could select whatever we wanted (my daughter ate two appetizers almost every night). My husband even ordered one meal off the menu and got it without a hitch. Breakfasts and lunch in the dining rooms were nice also. We tended to stay away from the Windjammer as we are not big fans of buffet (but my son and I did have an afternoon "snack" of BBQ ribs one day). We also enjoyed Johnny Rockets, and didn't mind spending the extra money for the ice cream and "cover charge." The entertainment (what we saw of it) was entertaining but not particularly "Wow." We liked the Ice Show a lot, and it was amazing what they could do with such a small rink. Activities on sea days were generally fun, but again, we sort of limited ourselves to the casino and the art auctions as we are not much in the way of partiers. But we were generally able to find a deck chair somewhere (didn't run into a chair hog once), and just enjoyed watching the sea go by. Our first port was Messina where we used the Ship's "On your own" transportation to go to Taormina, a wonderful little town with cool shops and great vistas. Next we visited Kusadasi, where we had booked a wonderful private tour with one other couple we met on Cruise Critic. Athens was next on the agenda, and again we used the ship's "on your own" transport. Athens was a bit of a disappointment for all of us, but mostly because the city is not well maintained. The kids hoofed it to the Parthenon, which of course should not be missed. We stayed in town and took leisurely strolls. Last stop was Chania, and we did not even get off the ship. I think the cruise would be better if a different stop was fit in (Malta, Santorini, or Mykonos would have been better). Disembarkation was pretty efficient. We had picked up our passports the night before, and used the luggage pick up option rather than carrying our own. Our disembarkation time fit in well with our plans (although it would have been nice to have known in advance when we were slated to leave because we had to wait for our car--thank goodness they were early). The luggage was well organized and by the time we left things were not overcrowded. All in all, we had a great time. Our kids could go do things on their own while we relaxed and just enjoyed the sea. The ship offered a good balance, and certainly was everything we hoped it would be. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
Should have done this a while ago, but better late than never. Please forgive me, I am typing on an Italian keyboard and I am sure there will be errors. If this offends you, feel free to move on. I will not be going back over it with a ... Read More
Should have done this a while ago, but better late than never. Please forgive me, I am typing on an Italian keyboard and I am sure there will be errors. If this offends you, feel free to move on. I will not be going back over it with a fine tooth comb :| That being said, here it goes. Boarded the ship at the port in Rome. We live in Genova Italy, so we just drove down the morning of. We parked directly in front of the ship, boarded a free shuttle and were in line in no time. We were on the ship in less than half an hour easy. We have sailed Navigator twice before over the last few years and she still looks great. Sure, her carpets are a little stained in some of the halls, but the ship is clean and beautiful in most ways. We headed with about a zillion others to the WJ. To my delighted surprise, we easily found a table for 8. Food was fresh and the selection was great. I never understand the people who can't find something good to eat on RC, but that is just me. After lunch, we went straight to the dining room to find our table. It was on the 6th deck and I was not initially thrilled, but I didn't change it. We had cabins on deck 6 and I decided it was easier that way. Dining room service was fantastic. I don't have my notes, but our dining staff was very kind and as usual, pampered us. We were very happy to see our waiter from a previous cruise to Egypt. This cruise was over 2 years ago. He remembered our names, stories etc and it was great to catch up with him. While I'm on the subject of dining room, I will say the food was good to great. Never went hungry :) Kids club - Great. Our kids, ages 10 and 12 LOVE RC kids club. The staff keeps them going and they stay there every minute possible. Our children have been to all of these ports before and never even got off this ship this time around. Entertainment...... You know, they work their booties off. There was some good and some not so good, but overall they were fun and I went to most of the shows and danced away at the pool. The piano bar was ALWAYS a hit. We went almost every night and had quite good fun. We heard a few repeats during the week, but how many songs can one poor man know. He was fun and quite a showman. Our room, a prom room. I would book again. I was worried about noise, but it was a non-issue. We could hear the parades, but who cares!? We were looking out the window anyway, so the music was appreciated. Our cabin was an adjoining room with the kids and it worked out well. Our room attendant was a happy, sweet guy. The kids loved him. The pool was easy going this time. I am not one to need a spot right next to the water, so I was always able to find seats. I prefer to sit up top where I can watch the action below. Italian and Europeans in general, like to dance. There was always a fun show when the passengers got up for the dance lessons. Not a drinker, but the ones I had were good. At times, cruise drinks can seem watered down. On this trip, they were quite nice. The gym was the gym. Nice as usual and something I don't look forward to, but do take advantage of. I didn't use the spa, so can not comment. Rome is always Beautiful! If you have never been there, you should take a tour. I prefer private, but do what you wish, just don't miss it. Messina, we hopped a cab to Taormina. We paid 150 euro for the 5 of us for a day. We speak Italian and my husband noted that the taxi drivers were all forming what was basically a team. They weren't going to come down any lower than 150. Oh well, it really was a fair price for the day. Our driver was nice, but quiet. He drove us rapidly to Taormina and dropped us off for 3 hours. We walked around, shopped a little, ate a lot..... My husband has family in Sicily and we spend most every August in the south of Sicily. we had a list of foods we needed. We came, we saw, we conquered. When we made it to the end of the main street, the typical musicians were playing their beautiful music. We sat for half an hour, sipped wine and had lemon granita. A little pricey if you sit in the square, but worth it for the show. I love Sicily, so this was a great day for me. Next stop, Kusadasi. We have been here many times before, so we opted to skip Ephesus and hang out in town. The last time we were here, we did the traditional hammam. My mom and aunt weren't up to the excitement, so we skipped it and opted to have a fish pedicure. My father and husband had typical Turkish shaves and a haircut. If you haven't done either of these things, you should. The shave includes fire, but just stay still and enjoy. The fish pedicure is a hoot. I liked it so much, I did it again in Crete. For 3 pedicures, 2 shaves, a haircut and blow-dry, we paid 45 euro. After the pampering, we had a traditional lunch, shopped till we dropped and returned to the ship. Athens, oh, wait, that was the stop before Kusadasi. Sorry! Been here many times, and my aunt has a hard times with stairs, so we skipped the ruins and tour. We instead, got off the ship and bargained with many taxi drivers. We didn't like their price, so walked on, prepared to do the hop on hop off. On our way out, we ran into the funniest driver ever! He was wearing red suede shoes, fought with me while laughing and we were sold. I think the man knows EVERYONE in Athens, including the police. For 150 euro *we gave him 190 in the end because he was soooo good* he agreed to haul 5 of us around for the day. He took us a direction we had never been and it was beautiful. We went first to the Acropolis. Took a few pics from the base and then went across the street to a coffee house with fab views! Took a few more pics, had an iced coffee and hit the road. Our driver took us to the changing of the guards. we have done this 3 other times, but Crazy John made it a stand out. He placed us where we should be every sec of the way to get the best pics. We did a quick driving tour and then on to the Plaka we went. Ate a little, shopped a lot, got back in the car. John then asked if we would like to eat on the water. He took us to a well priced little place on the water with beautiful view, fresh fish and veg as well as cold beer. Had a snack and then back to the ship for the day. John made the day special with his funny political views and was an excellent guide. He loves his city and that makes it fun. He was political, but never in a way that would offend. If you get off, just ask any of the other driver who Crazy John is and they will point you in his direction. Last, but not least, Chania, Crete. Got off the ship, bought our 3 euro RT bus ticket and off we went. Chania doesn't look like much from the port, but it is a beautiful little Jewell box once you get down in the old town near the sea. We started the morning off with iced coffee and treats at a local bar. from there, we took off to get lost in the tiny streets. We did just that. I think I took 300 pics of pretty doors, windows and cats . It is very charming in the morning before everyone arrives. We shopped, ate some more, had another fish pedicure and then headed back to the ship for the pool side BBQ. The smell was great, the music was good and the sun was out. Heaven for me. At last, we had a sea day and then back to sadly climb off our beautiful ship. Not everything was perfect, but it was close enough. I love RC and I love cruising, so can't wait to return. Next Sunday we leave from Venice on Costa Favolosa, so stay tuned.... Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
I am a 2nd time cruiser and my friend a first time cruiser. This is the 2nd time I have sailed with Royal Caribbean and will sail with them again. The ship was very big and plenty to do. I booked the whole fly and cruise deal with ... Read More
I am a 2nd time cruiser and my friend a first time cruiser. This is the 2nd time I have sailed with Royal Caribbean and will sail with them again. The ship was very big and plenty to do. I booked the whole fly and cruise deal with Royal Caribbean, this was easy, their website is extremely user friendly. The whole cruise including return flight from Heathrow to Rome was 625.00 for the week. This was great value for money and worth every penny. From the minute we checked in on our chartered flight at Heathrow, it was painless. BMI flight Rome, all on time, you collected your luggage, and handed over to the waiting Royal Caribbean staff, they then took care of our luggage and delivered this to the ship for you. We were then shown to our waiting coaches to take us to the ship, the transfer time to the port was 70 minutes. The guide on the tour gave us some local info on Rome and the surrounding areas. Embarkation onto the ship took no more than 10 mins, very professional, organised and a well oiled process. Onto the ship we went, and we were not disappointed, our Stateroom was nice, good size, very clean, the shower was amazing the water pressure was the best ever, our Stateroom attendant was Vic and he was very nice, and kept our room spotless, the work very hard and take pride in their jobs The ship had too many activities to mention, definitely a highlight was learning to make towel animals- life long skill now learnt. Outside area were great, although ship was almost full to capacity, no shortage of sunbeds etc. The food on board was plentiful, good quality and service was brilliant we ate twice in the formal dining areas on the formal nights (optional you do not have too)The service was great, and the quality was also great. We were on anytime dining and first time, we sat with four other people and had great conversation. We did not eat in the speciality restaurants as the food in the other areas was of such a good standard and variety. Entertainment, the shows were a dancing show, with professional ballroom dancers which was amazing, Abbamax tribute show- excellent, Emperors of Soul- brilliant, Ice Dance show, which was the amazing and the final show was called Now and Forever (mix of different Broadway shows) The shows were all very professional, and a very high standard. There was also a Love and Marriage show that was very very funny. Karaoke competition was also great fun. Final Parade down the Royal Promenade was a Circus show, this was the first time the crew had performed this. Costumes were great, a giant Nelly the Elephant and various other animals were amazing. What impressed me the most that all staff you were in contact with even passing in a corridor, spoke to you said Hi, were very pleasant and helpful. This was further highlighted that the cruise director Warren (in charge of entertainment) personally saying goodbye to you as we left the ship. Considering he must have only had around 5hrs sleep after the final Circus parade this was a very personal touch and a great way to end our cruise Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2011
Background: This was our first cruise. We are a family of 5. We were joined by my sister, another first-time cruising family of 5, and my parents who have been on a number of prior cruises on various lines. The children's ages ranges ... Read More
Background: This was our first cruise. We are a family of 5. We were joined by my sister, another first-time cruising family of 5, and my parents who have been on a number of prior cruises on various lines. The children's ages ranges from 3 to 12 and my mother was in a wheelchair. Embarkation: Awful queues after bag drop where the health forms are completed in an unventilated tent with no air conditioning, which was a horrible experience. Also full of Italians who don't know how to queue! But after that the security and check-in process was very quick and efficient. Stateroom: We were in one of the Family rooms which was excellent - very large, separate sleeping area for the two bunk beds and a curtain to separate off the double bed from the sofa bed. I'd thoroughly recommend this room to any family of 5 or 6. Dining: Breakfast/lunch: The buffet in the Windjammer was a nightmare on most days. It seats about 700 for a ship of 3,600 passengers. Impossible to get a table (not helped by couples sitting on the large circular tables) and people were eating standing at the edge of the buffets. After the first day we either ate at times to avoid the queues (depending on when the excursions left) or ate in the restaurant on the days at sea, which isn't the same as even though anything can be ordered it somehow doesn't tick the boxes like a buffet does. Having said that the quality and choice of food was fantastic. Dinner: We ate fixed dining on the first sitting. Food was of an exceptionally high quality on 6 of the 7 nights. Our two waiters couldn't have done more - friendly attentive service, lots of little extras for the children and ensured that we were well catered for as most of our party were vegetarian. Activities: Plenty to do, especially for the children, with the swimming pools, rock climbing wall, ice skating rink, roller blading, mini golf etc. The mini golf was terribly disappointing - a few obstacles in the holes would have made it far more interesting. My only complaint was that the ice rink was only open twice for general skating the whole week - what's the point of having an ice rink and hardly ever being able to use it? My other complaint was concerning the arcade, which was fine in itself. However one machine took $1.25 from our card but then didn't work. I asked three times for the money to be refunded to our card, and was promised on each occasion that the refund would appear, but it never did. Although $1.25 is not a lot of money it was annoying to be promised something only to be let down. Children's Club: Disappointing. The range of activities was generally poor and the staff didn't seem so interested in the children. The activities in the 2 to 5 year old's club were mainly sticking, colouring and watching TV - something that can easily be done in the stateroom. Our three year old refused to go back again. After hearing from seasoned cruisers how amazing the children's clubs activities are we were disappointed. Service: on the whole fantastic. The waiters really excelled themselves and it was really only the table cleaners in the Windjammer that weren't so friendly. However we did have one cause to complain. At every opportunity you feel RCI are trying to sell you something or make money out of you. That's fine in itself. But when we left the ship in Athens (with someone in a wheelchair) we asked the people taking photos where to go and they said they'd only help us if we agreed to have our photo taken (which we didn't want). They then sent us to a building 100m away which was locked - it turned out we were supposed to wait for a bus. Back on the ship we complained to deaf ears - not even a hint of an apology. Entertainment: Mixed. Three great shows (Beatles review, ice skating and a street artist),one awful show (West End musicals review) and two uninteresting shows (Italian singer and ballroom dancing). No show on the first evening if eating at the first sitting which was also hugely disappointing. The cruise director (in charge of entertainment), a certain Warren Allen, was rude and awful. The evening ice show turned out to be the same as one the previous afternoon but this was never explained on the cruise compass (daily activity planner). That wasn't great as we had to sit there with the kids for over half an hour just to secure seats. When I asked the cruise director why it was the same show he reasonably explained that the ice rink only seats 700 so they need to repeat the show 4 times so everyone can see it. Fair enough. But when I asked why this wasn't explained on the cruise compass he told me it was. I still have the cruise compass and it wasn't. When I told him it wasn't he accused me of lying. All I was hoping for was an apology! Not the standard of serviceI expected. Excursions: Too expensive - we arranged our own. Disembarkation: Very efficient. We managed to leave 15 minutes before our allotted time. Luggage was easy to locate. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
We went on a Mediterranean cruise July 3rd to 10th 2011. The Navigator of the Seas is a huge ship with a crew from many different countries. I will focus on the negative things on this cruise in this review, to help those who are looking ... Read More
We went on a Mediterranean cruise July 3rd to 10th 2011. The Navigator of the Seas is a huge ship with a crew from many different countries. I will focus on the negative things on this cruise in this review, to help those who are looking for something exclusive and wonderful when searching for a cruise line. First of all, the ships focus on selling merchandise is enormous. They display and push their goods all around the ship, and it felt as if we were in a bazaar. Cheap watches, different souvenirs of various quality, cheap jewels, T-shirts. The list goes on. The service on the ship varied so much, that their self-exclaimed Gold Anchor service, which is supposed to be supreme, seemed ridiculous. Our State Attendant (the man who serviced our rooms and cleaned it) was kind and polite. Most of the waiters were alert and attentive, but it felt forced sometimes. The Portofino restaurant had an exceptional staff. Very service-minded and smiling. We played Bingo, and won, but had to share the prize because someone else had bingo too, and even if they didn't shout Bingo, as we were thoroughly explained we had to in order to get the prize, they got half of the prize. This was not explained in advance, rather to the contrary, they said that there was only one prize:$300, and we felt cheated. We mentioned this in the Guest relations Desk, and they had the Cruise Director call us. He just said this was the way they did it, but we could get some cards and play the next day.The game-shows were identical to the shows on a RCCL cruise we went on in January 2009 in Mexico. The guest relation desk were supposed to have information on the Ports of call, but they knew nothing except from what was written on a piece of paper that we already had received in our State room. We wanted to know if there was a beach near by, but they had no idea. Had never been ashore! One of the Excursion! desk employees was very condescending when we asked him if he knew about a beach, and did not want to talk about anything if it was not on the excursion program. The excursions that they sold. The speaker system was poor and it was difficult to hear what they said. It just made a lot of noise. This was particularly annoying outside by the pool. There was a policy on board that one could not reserve sunbeds. There were big signs everywhere to announce this. People did it anyway - on the days at sea everybody wants to get a bed by the pool and in the sun, but there just aren't enough of them - but the crew did nothing to prevent it. It would be so easy for them to remove the towels put on the beds to reserve them. The brochures stated the dress codes for the elegant dining room. Many guests couldn't be bothered to follow them, and went to dinner in T-shirts and shorts. This made the dinner experience feel "common" and less than stylish, especially on the Formal nights. The head waiter did nothing to stop this from happening, and it reduced the atmosphere. It felt strange to be dressed elegantly among shorts, T-shirts and sneakers. The entertainers seemed sick to their stomach to be there. The musical entertainers we saw were empty-eyed and made no attempt to connect to the guests. Last but not least. Be advised that the Tips expected is a flat out robbery. It is unfair. These are the people they "program" us to tip: State room attendant, Head Waiter, Waiter and assistant wait. We talked to some of the staff, and most of them make much less than the waiters and get no Tip. Our advice is to tip as you feel like during the course of the cruise, and don't feel pressured into tipping according to RCCL's expectations in their brochures: 3-7$ pr person pr day pr employee mentioned before. Remember, non of this money goes to the sweet man bringing you breakfast in you state room, or to the hundreds of other employees doing their best to make you happy. They receive a VERY low salary, but to quote one of them: "It is better than what we could get at home. There, there were no jobs". Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
We enjoyed our experience on the RCCL Navigator of the Seas. The ship was clean, well maintained, and the crew/staff were excellent. The food was very good in the dining room, and fair to good in the Windjammer (casual dining room). We ... Read More
We enjoyed our experience on the RCCL Navigator of the Seas. The ship was clean, well maintained, and the crew/staff were excellent. The food was very good in the dining room, and fair to good in the Windjammer (casual dining room). We also ate at the deck 5 promenade 24-hour cafe, which had small sandwiches, pizza, cookies and drinks. We also enjoyed the nightly entertainment, which consisted of a Motown group (excellent), Beatles cover group (excellent), variety show with the "Mad Frenchman" (excellent), and circus performers (good). The ship's singers and dancers did a great job as well. We also had an ice skating show in Studio B. They were excellent especially considering the size of the ice rink. Our stateroom was a Junior Suite (handicap access, port side midships, deck 10). Stateroom 1608 was huge and provided a gathering place for the 11 trip members at certain times. We originally booked stateroom 1390 (aft balcony room (non-suite), but found our at the pier that we were upgraded*. If you can get this room, it is worthy it as it is bigger than the normal suites. The only drawback is the shower, which has no door. The water tends to wash into the rest of the bathroom when used (we put towels in the floor). The food was excellent to very good. A nice variety and selection. The portions were smaller than I expected, but that is a plus (my son received additional tiger shrimp at times when our waiter saw his woeful expression). The wine package is way, way overpriced but we enjoyed having a glass with dinner. The waiter staff were top-notch and the kids really enjoyed all of them. The best food at the Windjammer was Indian curries and other Asian entries. The activities such as rock climbing and ice skating can get crowded, but are manageable. Get there early. We really booked a cruise to visit the ports. Be sure to check out the various excursions before you depart or soon after you get on the ship, as some book up fast. We actually used third-party tour groups, they are more affordable, more flexible in terms of itinerary, and usually are run much smaller groups using mini-vans. These better because you can get in an out of sites easier. *Our travel agency did some type of upgrade for us without our knowledge. Royal Caribbean charged us over $360 for the upgrade and would not let us on the ship till we paid (they resold our previous stateroom and were booked up). This was later refunded to us (as per RCCL policy). However the confusion and stress that this episode caused put a damper on the first afternoon and night. Bottom line: if your travel agency requested an upgrade (or RCCL grants you one) but you yourself did not request it, you should not have to pay for the upgraded difference. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
I can hardly believe that we were on the same cruise as some of the former cruise critic. This time we were 7 familypeople from 4 to 70 years old in 3 balcony cabins,and I must say we had a wonderfull time. We arrive at Rome from ... Read More
I can hardly believe that we were on the same cruise as some of the former cruise critic. This time we were 7 familypeople from 4 to 70 years old in 3 balcony cabins,and I must say we had a wonderfull time. We arrive at Rome from Copenhagen, Denmark 1 day before departure. We were picked up at the airport by Rome Cabs, which company we now have used several times when visiting Rome and I can strongly recommend this company. We are always staying in hotel Colonna Palace near Pantheon when we are in Rome. The hotel has a lovely roof terrasse with view to the church Sct. Peter. Our enbarkation next day in Civitavecchia went very smoothly and we were onbord in no time. Our cabins were ready at 1 pm and our luggage came short afterwards. The stateroom attendent has very much to do, but his service was exellent. We had dinner in the main dining room and our waiter was very good and also very kind to the children. We were a little disapointed with the food, especially the meat could have been better. We had a gold wine package and 2 of the wines were sold out. The entertainment in the theater was so and so. We loved the Motown show. The Beatles show have we seen many times now. In Messina our children and grandchildren went on the family tour to Etna and the were very satisfied. In Athen my wife was our tourguide as we have visited Athen about 12 times now. (There is only 3 hours flight from Copenhagen to Athen). We went early and saw the Acropolis and the new Acropolis Museum. Then greek lunch in our favourite taverna in the Plaka and finally shhopping near Monestraki.Metro back to Piraus and bus 843 back to the ship. In Kusadasi we had hired EKOL Travel to take our family to Efesos. We went very early and we were the first visitors to the house of virgin Mary. So quiert before all the buses came along. In Chania our children and grandchildren went to the beach, but my wife and I took the shuttle bus from the ship to Chania. Very efficient service. In Chania we visited the Archiological museum, the naval and the Byzantine Museums. Our disembarkation also wnt very smoothly and Rome Cabs took us to the aipirt directly. 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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