4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
This was my first cruise and I was pleasantly surprised. Embarkation was simple and there were plenty of staff to guide us in the right direction. It was me and my mom and we are both very afraid of water. Once we were on the boat, ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I was pleasantly surprised. Embarkation was simple and there were plenty of staff to guide us in the right direction. It was me and my mom and we are both very afraid of water. Once we were on the boat, however, it was easy to forget we were not on land. The staff was very friendly and always making sure we were enjoying ourselves. The rooms were small but had everything you could ever need and had plenty of storage. The shows were entertaining but I wish they had more shows available during the daytime/afternoon on the "at sea" days. My favorite shows were the comedians and the "love and marriage" show was hilarious. The boat was a bit rocky the last two days of the cruise and I did have to take Dramamine one day but was surprised I did not need it more since I tend to get motion sick easily. The food in the dining room was very good and the service was excellent. I was not a huge fan of the food at the buffet (Windjammer) but I am not typically a fan of buffet style food to begin with. There was a snack bar that was open 24/7 that provided pizza, fruit, small sandwiches, and desserts. This was my favorite area and I enjoyed trying the different options they provided each day. My mom is gluten intolerant and there was a gluten free section at the buffet and gluten free options at the dinning room. The ship had several lounging areas where you could sunbathe or look out over the water and/or pool areas. These areas were a bit overwhelming since people would save their lounge chairs with bags and towels. Very few people were actually lounging around but it was almost impossible to find seats due to the "saving seats" problem (even though signs said you could not do that, no one was enforcing it). That was probably my least favorite part. There was a rock climbing wall that was a lot of fun and a surfing simulator that was fun to watch (I did not participate). The ports were interesting and a lot of fun. The Bahamas was a bit overwhelming with the locals yelling at you to take a taxi or buy their products. Way too much "salesman pressure". I could not just look and enjoy like some other places I have been too. Because of this, I ended up avoiding those areas and not buying much. The tour was ok in the Bahamas. We did a city tour that advertised itself as visiting a rum cake factory, the queens staircase, the governors house, a rum distillery and ending with a fish fry on the beach. The rum cake factory was a store with free samples (delicious but crowded), the queens staircase was the best part with lots of history told to us by a local, the distillery was interesting but a bit chaotic (normally a self guided tour with a sample of pina colada by the door, we actually got a tour guide for ours), and the fish fry on the beach was actually the name of a bar/restaurant that was near a beach and if we wanted food we had to order it off the menu and pay extra. The tour guide on the bus was great but the tour itself was misleading. The excursion we did in Cozumel was amazing. The tour guide was excellent and spent over an hour giving us a tour of the ruins on the island. We then went to a chocolate factory and saw a demonstration on making Mayan chocolate. This tour was the best part of the trip. We also did an excursion in Miami on a Hop-on-Hop-off Big Bus tour. We did not get off the bus but we had plenty of time to do two different routes through the city and got very lucky with another excellent tour guide. The transfer to the airport was not very well done. The bus was late getting to the airport and I believe many with earlier departures missed their flights. They dropped everyone off in a back area and left us all to fend for ourselves. Luckily, I fly 4-6 times a year and know my way around an airport so we did not miss our flight, but we were close. If you do a post-cruise excursion I would recommend taking a later flight (4pm or later, with the boat getting to shore before 8am). Overall, I enjoyed the cruise and I would definitely recommend Royal Caribbean to others. While I will not be going on a cruise every six months like some of the people we met, I would definitely consider doing one again in the future. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Background information This was me and my girlfriends first cruise together and we were majorly excited for this, mainly as this was my 30th Birthday as well so we hoped this would be a special holiday/vacation and for 95% of the time ... Read More
Background information This was me and my girlfriends first cruise together and we were majorly excited for this, mainly as this was my 30th Birthday as well so we hoped this would be a special holiday/vacation and for 95% of the time it was! More on that in a minute... Before we went on this cruise, my girlfriend was diagnosed with having Fibromyalgia so any variety of movement (walking, going up stairs, moving etc) was a challenge so she could do short bursts of movement before getting sore/tired/achey so I will also factor in accessibility into the equation FYI, this will be a detailed review as well (i.e. long one) so I will separate into sections like others have to make this easier to digest: - Embarkation day We were flying from Edinburgh to Southampton via Flybe on their Bombardier propeller planes - I am 6' 3" and a bit heavy built so I had my reservations about this plane however I will say that my fears were not founded at all, plenty of legroom even for my tree-trunk legs!! Slight turbulence on the way south but otherwise perfectly adequate flight, certainly more enjoyable than other "larger" planes I have been on. As a side note, the Special Assistance both through the Airports as well as Flybe were excellent and we now know anytime we go to an airport we will always request this - had we not done this, she would've been killed before even getting on the plane! If you have a Chronic Pain condition, I seriously recommend looking into Special Assistance if you can get it - if you put pride aside temporarily, it will help you out in leaps and bounds! Our flights and transfers were organised through Royal Caribbean (as per current promotion at the time) when we arrived at Southampton Airport, we were greeted by the Royal Caribbean rep who advised us what would happen, when and how. Very nice chap! Once everyone was accounted for, we boarded a bus and headed towards Southampton port - traffic that day was really busy compared to normal apparently but otherwise OK journey. Once we arrived at Southampton, we waited to be escorted through (my girlfriend is disabled so we were using Special Assistance to help us through, everyone was nice). We approached the desk, checked us in and after 15 minutes tops we were on board. One slight note was the woman at Southampton Port checking us in was very pushy with the whole credit card angle - me and my partner do not own (or want) a credit card and she was really pushing this agenda, which I found very odd!! It's like an Asda/Walmart clerk heavily pushing an Amex card on you for no good reason whatsoever - her face turned a funny shape when we advised we didn't own a credit card. Maybe I should've asked for a loan of hers!! The Ship Once we were onboard, we headed straight for Cafe Promenade for something to eat - was glad I did because seats were a bit of a challenge had I been 5-10 minutes later than I was (which is to be expected considering 3000+ guests trying to converge to the same location at the same time for the same reason!). The Royal Promenade was a nice touch, quite liked the layout of it, how everything is within spitting distance of each other (close but not too close). The shops, bars and Guest Services were all on Deck 5 however the speciality restaurants were spread out all over the place (Didn't even find Izumi until day 8 of the cruise as it was on the highest deck at the rear of the ship near the Cosmopolitan Bar - I'll have to remember for next time) We found the ship to generally be very good (we say this not as a negative reflection but purely because we have nothing to compare it to) in terms of navigating about, finding where places were and which end of the ship you had to be to get to the locations/cabins/restaurants etc. Once you orientate yourself (took me about 2 days) you get into a habit of knowing where to go and how to get there - if you forget then you can use the Digital Signs at both ends of the ship near the elevators to help you on your way. Despite my girlfriends mobility problems, getting about the ship was not too much of a problem and everything was within easy reach meaning she very rarely got tired or felt like she was pushing herself too much - plus we noticed others on scooters and other mobility devices so very accessible friendly in my opinion. In our experience, we did not find a problem using the elevators - some times like shows finishing or breakfast/dinner time (i.e. key busy periods) wait times were a tiny bit longer but you're on holiday so what's the rush? We weren't in a rush to get anywhere so we weren't overly bothered. My girlfriend found it particularly good using the elevators as well - plus the floor of each elevator had a plate with today's day on it that changed with each day that passed which was a cool wee touch! We thought the decor of the ship was really nice - I wouldn't use the word modern at all but at the same time it's not "Thy Quaintest Ye Olde Ship Hath Sailed These Waters" style either - just somewhere in the middle, wee nod here and a wee nod there in terms of styling so a good mix up of design over the ship I felt anyways. I like the design of the ship from the outside - weird thing to say however I did like the look and design of the ship from outside the ship (when she was docked in port) and she came out impressive when taking photos of her whilst in port! In regards to the restrooms onboard, they are at either side of each end of the ship, near the elevators (and Main Dining Room as well as Metropolis Theatre). This may be a new thing for me to adjust to however I found it slightly weird that in order to go the toilet/restroom when you are eating at a restaurant that none of the restaurants have a toilet/restroom within the actual restaurant itself - I think this may very well be a cruise ship thing but just a weird thing to adjust to personally so if it's your first time going on a cruise ship, be prepared to walk to a toilet if you need to! The ship itself is very clean - we always seen people cleaning the ship, keeping it in tip top condition regardless where we went. Top decks where the sun loungers were always had a space or three but for good reason - the weather didn't exactly permit for it!! However saying this we were thankful for the secluded Solarium on the day where the sun was out and was warm but the wind was so chilly it took away the warmth! The Solarium was one level below Top Deck and was secluded from any sidewinds so in a way was sheltered from the winds so it was warm within the Solarium - did not try the pool however heard it was cold so glad I didn't do that! We visited the NextCruise desk on Deck 6 aft and booked another cruise for December 2017 with the lovely Vitor Gomez (sales manager onboard and also the man who did the Lecture/Presentation about Alaska in the Metropolis lounge, where bingo was also held) but did not visit the Library or the Art gallery so nothing much else to report venue wise on the ship. Activities Every day there was activities on the ship - FlowRider, Rock Climbing Wall, Bingo, Films, Kids clubs, Crazy Golf, Sports Court as well as the Studio B Ice Rink and Metropolis Theatre. If anyone says there's nothing to do on the ship then the problem is with them and no-one else - I kept all the Cruise Compass papers and can easily show the breadth and scale of what you do on the ship. Yes there are activities that are chargeable however they only account a small selection of activities on offer (like less than 20% or so, no more than that) so it's really impossible to be bored on this ship. We did the Bingo (waste of money because I didn't win of course!), we also did the Royal Caribbean Next Cruise plug on Alaska (looked nice to go to!) and we also attended the theme nights at the Royal Promenade like 70's Party night so there was plenty to do on the ship and the Cruise Director Rob was a delight to watch - funny, witty and nice guy. Finally we even dabbled with Lady Luck at Casino Royale and, yet again, Lady Luck was nowhere to be found but I still had fun there regardless. Bit smoky but not too overpowering - however I did not miss having to smell cigarette smoke in any public place so a casino is somewhere I don't tend to visit often Service Having never been on a cruise before, I had nothing to compare this to (apart from on land Hotel and Restaurant service) and it is simply worlds apart - Everyone we spoke to was absolutely brilliant! Sylvain at Guest Services was an absolute joy to interact with and sorted out all our problems (we did have a few - I'll cover this at the end of this review). Dennis our Stateroom Attendant was excellent, helpful and always had a smile! Quite surprised his face didn't hurt after all that smiling but, all jokes aside, it just felt like they genuinely liked their job and wanted to help and make your holiday as enjoyable as they could make it. I will comment on the service in the restaurants within the Dining section but overall majority of people we spoke to were nice, happy to speak to us and very friendly! Port & shore excursions Le Havre - port was cancelled due to National French Strike (apparently Google advises this is a current past time of the working class French - go on strikes) so didn't go into France at all so this turned into a Spain and Portugal cruise itinerary!! Subsequently we did get a refund of port fees because of this so make sure if this happens to you that you get this as well, for any port cancellation Gijon - to quote Cruise Director Rob, the port looked like a deleted scene out of Prison Break. It was literally an industrial port near a petrochemical site and we were parked behind a cargo vessel loading copious amounts of sand into its cargo hold! At the customs/embarkation/disembarkation tent just at the port looked like a war zone checkpoint with armed guards getting confused and disorientated (and rightfully agitated) passengers into single file so that getting back on the ship was less stressful than it already was. Me and the missus were on Deck 5 Aft looking at the massive line of people under the watchful eye of the armed Policia Naçional (i think they were) and were quite grateful we weren't amongst them waiting to get on board! Lisbon - simply the best port in my personal opinion! Best day for weather (30° Celsius that day), best day for doing things. My only experience with the Shore Excursions desk was booking transfers to and from the drop off point in Lisbon. $7 pp return, which I found exceptionally reasonable as the buses were there every 30 minutes so definitely worth the $7 in my opinion. We then got on the Red Hop On/Hop Off tour bus for €20 per person for the Green Line that took us through the town, by the river. By the time it was finished 1hr 30mins had passed at which point we headed back to the ship. Out of the entire cruise, this was the best port visit in my opinion, the weather being the biggest factor to that decision - can't beat glorious sunshine! Plus we sailed out and was waived off by P&O Britannia and its crew/passengers which was a wee treat Vigo - this was a small port compared to Lisbon and it had a Shopping Mall within 50 metres or so from the port so not bad for doing a small spot of Retail Therapy! There is a Burger King there (seemed to be the only restaurant worth eating at - one of the local restaurants refused to serve anything outside the lunch menu for reasons he wasn't willing to disclose so we got up and got a Chicken Royale meal!!). It may have had good Shore Excursions but the weather was a bit cloudy so didn't want to risk getting caught in the rain so we went to the shopping mall, had a look around and then went back to the ship. La Coruna - weather was appalling, if anyone booked Shore Excursions on land that day they would have needed a canoe and a paddle it was that wet. This was a bonus port as when we originally booked this, it was meant to be an 8 night cruise however due to a berthing conflict at Southampton on Disembarkation day, Royal Caribbean added on an extra night at no extra cost so not getting off wasn't a deal breaker for us Cabin We were in an Interior Room with Virtual Balcony (Room Number 1587, Deck 10 midship) and this was an excellent choice. The room was adequately sized, the bathroom was plenty big enough and the Virtual Balcony itself was definitely the main reason I enjoyed the room. Also the Virtual Balcony room also played the sound of the ocean being captured by said camera so you got the full balcony experience even though you were in an interior room! There was 3 times the Virtual Balcony did not work, it simply froze up (unsure if it was due to loose wiring or faulty connections or software locking up) however it was fixed within 24 hours of reporting it so very happy with the room itself. Due to my unique size, I had to shower with the shower doors open to allow elbow room but apart from that it was a lovely room and would book it again no problem. I would rate it a solid 9.5 out of 10 Dining Windjammer Buffet - we ate here only a few times for lunch and primarily for breakfast however we were reminded daily why we didn't like the Windjammer, it was just too crowded, too chaotic and seating was rare! The quality of the food in the Windjammer was a bit "meh" to be honest - not to say it was rubbish, everything was totally edible borderline nice to have however it is a buffet and suffers the same problem all buffets have (stuff drying out, stuff running out, fresh stuff is pounced on immediately etc). We barely saw any wait staff whenever we were there - either they blended in with the crowds or were possibly helping out folk at the other end of the place from where we were sitting. I wasn't overly bothered because the place is a buffet and it performed like a buffet does - every man for themself and if you snooze you lose! Rating 7 out of 10 Cafe Promenade - we ate here a couple of times for snacks to go or to sit in (again if you were lucky to find a seat) and this was the place where you got your pizza fix as there is no Sorrento's on board Navigator, which I was slightly bummed out about but hardly a deal breaker. Pizza was always fresh, the sandwiches and wraps were lovely and the Ranger Coconut cookies were amazing!! I'd buy a crate's worth to go if I could they were that nice to me anyways! Also at Cafe Promenade is where you get your Starbucks fix as well as some Ben & Jerry's ice cream (no Caramel Chew Chew option, MAJORLY bummed out by that but quickly got over that as well). Rating 7.5 out of 10 Main Dining Room - we had pre-paid gratuities before going on the cruise and therefore opted for the My Time Dining option. Initially we didn't eat there primarily because we were too busy trying either the Speciality restaurants or the Windjammer buffet. However our service at the Sapphire Main Dining Room was exceptional! If I could rewind the cruise and eat here every day and not do one Speciality restaurant then I would've been happy with the Main Dining Room - they offered Steak and/or Lobster (which came from Chops Grille so you knew the quality of the product) and why bother paying $35-$40 per person for a steak dinner when you could spend half that and get the money maker (Filet Mignon) cooked to your liking and then to be served by (what would end up becoming) your favourite waiters! Massive shout out to Eri and Bobie, they are the reason I LOVED dinner time and I have to admit, from sit down to finishing up the whole dinner can be had within 30 minutes if you wanted however there was no rush! Plus everything was tickety boo and ran like a well oiled machine. The most impressive part of the whole cruise was that Main Dining Room and the lovely men and women who serve and work there. Rating 10 out of 10 Chops Grille - Excellent dinner (wished I ordered extra portions of the starter!) and lovely service from our waiter Rohan. Decor was dark and warm with ideal seating by the window offering a great view! I had the Black Pepper Bacon starter followed by the Porterhouse entree with creamed corn, cheesy tater tots and mashed potato, followed by birthday cake and Red Velvet cake - was utterly wonderful! Word of caution regarding their drinks offering, the cocktail Citroniti was like moonshine in a Martini glass so hope you don't smoke if you intend on drinking this otherwise lighting up a cigarette could possibly put your face on fire!! They took the drink back and did not charge me, which I found was really nice - no chance of that happening at a land based restaurant that's for sure! Rating 9 out of 10 Sabor - The freshly made guacamole blew my mind both being made in front of me as well as the taste of it, it has totally ruined guacamole I get back home now! The waiter we had (can't remember his name) was very funny and full of charm as well as being very attentive. I had a very tasty starter of Chicken Stuffed Jalapeños, followed by the Pollo Picante Chicken Tacos however I was underwhelmed by the dessert. It was rather bland and tasteless - not what I envisioned to have after having the flavour sensation of the starter and entrée. I also had a cocktail called The Smoky and it honestly tasted like Laphroaig Whisky - essentially liquid tobacco with a horrible smoky/peaty after taste, ended up handing it back and getting a Sol beer which was MUCH nicer! They took it back without charging me so that was nice. Rating 8 out of 10 Giovanni's Table - Lovely lunch, not a fault with it. Lovely decor with lovely seating by the window offering a great view (similar to Chops Grille in it's layout - primarily because it's directly opposite Chops Grille just by the entrance to Windjammer and therefore having a similar floor plan/layout). I had the Veal Meatballs and Foccacia Margherita for the starter, the utterly divine Lasagne for the entrée and then the options of Cannoli and Tiramisu for dessert. All were lovely although slight observation about the desserts was that the Tiramisu wasn't as chilled as I would have liked it and the cannoli shells were a bit chewier than I would have liked. Even still this was the nicest lunch I had during the entire cruise. I wasn't adventurous with the drinks this time, instead opting for some soda as per my soda beverage package. Rating was 9 out of 10 Johnny Rockets - We went here once for lunch on my birthday and for me it was nice but something I would only visit once during my time on the ship, any more than once would encourage a heart attack to come on prematurely!! I opted for the Smoke House Burger that had onion rings and BBQ sauce along with french fries followed by their legendary Malt Shakes, which was the nicest shake I've ever tasted. Burger was a bit greasy however I do like a greasy burger (hence can only do that one time!). Pro-tip in case you don't know, at Johnny Rockets it is a speciality restaurant (i.e. chargeable) however included within your charge is your soft drinks which are refillable so if you didn't purchase a drinks package you need not fret about the cost of soda at this restaurant. Rating 8.5 out of 10 Izumi - N/A due to the fact that I did not find this until Day 8 of our cruise when were wanting to look at the onboard chapel and right there slightly beyond the Cosmopolitan Bar was Izumi. Next time I go on Navigator, I'll make a point of trying her out! Bars Schooners Bar - We went there once and was watching some comic on the piano and he was pretty funny. He then called someone up to play the piano and the fella called his bluff and ended up playing a really good tune that night. Was OK but we didn't fancy sitting around it, looked a bit old fashioned for our liking but others seemed to love the nautical theme about it R Bar - we sat here for cocktails on a couple of nights and found the cocktails to be nice. They primarily did $10 and $12 cocktails and the waiters did come round asking for orders at your seats which I found to be nice. Seats were nice, if you could get one at night, and spacing was OK as well Boleros - this bar we only tried once as it was always mobbed, the seats always taken, there was a line there all the time. Either it was a hot spot that I wasn't aware of or they did a special drink I wasn't aware of - plus this is where you unleashed your samba style and moves on the dance floor in front of the house band as well. Nice place to be at if the seats were free Cosmopolitan Club - if my memory serves me right, this used to be the Viking Crown bar lounge area, Deck 14 aft. Lovely club with lovely views (I believe there is an entrance to the Diamond/Concierge lounge here as well) and the cocktails here were excellent and bar men were great! Our favourite bar on the whole ship! Children's clubs - Me and the missus don't have any kids that we know of (and if we did they weren't on the cruise with us!) so marking this as N/A due to not having any Entertainment - We watched the 70's Disco Show (can't remember the title of it) performed by singers Giovanni & Whitney from Florida and they put on a sensational show in my opinion, very talented singers. They certainly had a hard time convincing moody english travellers to join in with the singing along however despite this they were professional and excellent to watch. Whitney in particular dedicated her final performance of that show to her late mother by singing I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston - excellent performance! We then watched Gary Lovini play the violin to some popular music songs and incorporated the mix of American and British by playing American and British classical numbers. He came up and down the aisles playing close to the audience to allow for photos close up which I thought was very nice! The last night involved some dude on a BMX bike (can't remember his name) however his control of it was phenomenal so hats off to him! And to round it off, and in my opinion the best entertainment showing, was the Ice Show at Studio B so pay attention to the Cruise Compass to see when you go as they know it's a highly demanded show to go to so they organise it by Muster Station location (this can be found on the right hand side of your SeaPass Card - for example, mine's was D6) so keep your eyes peeled for this Disembarkation - Was relatively painless, I asked a Royal Caribbean rep on the ship to help me locate those who are helping those that require Special Assistance. They helped my partner through the port and to the bus. We then rode the bus to Southampton airport in plenty of time - we even got into the Priority Lounge for free due to a system issue meaning the person couldn't take cash for payment so result!! But even still, the Airport Lounge is definitely worth it - peace and quiet for the trip is priceless. Boarded the plane and flew home without any problems at all so really smooth process getting home at a reasonable time. Observations/Niggles - Before I give my summary on the whole cruise I do wish to pass on some observations and niggles I encountered on my trips (and I score that as a percentage of 5% so despite these niggles I fully enjoyed my cruise!) - As it was my 30th, my girlfriend went to the bother of pre-purchasing a 4 pack of Red Velvet cupcakes on Royal Caribbean's website so that they would be dropped off at my stateroom in the morning as a surprise for my big 3-0. 8am been and went with no arrival - she then called Guest Services who then transferred her to the team that deal with these requests who told her she needs to give 2 weeks notice for these requests (which she hadn't done however both the Royal Caribbean website and a subsequent phone call to a Royal Caribbean agent after purchasing this did not make her aware of this). She then went to speak to Sylvain at Guest Services who was very apologetic and able to sort something out and, within 15 minutes of this conversation, Red Velvet cupcakes that were pre-packed (read probably on a shelf somewhere as stock for selling to passengers) magically appeared out of nowhere. We were more interested in the resolution however we felt this shouldn't have happened as it was a basic request that required minimal logistical effort to implement but otherwise in the grand scheme of things not a catastrophe by any means - The only times where I personally would consider the service received by me to be classed as a mulligan was at the Boleros Bar and one of the Guest Services staff members - he had a pretentious and slightly condescending attitude (probably mystified as to why I had the audacity to come onto a cruise ship without a credit card) and the woman at Boleros Bar looked about as a fed up as the passengers at Gijon! So apart from those 2 one time interactions, Service generally speaking was excellent. - Another niggle I found was the lack of Freestyle Coca Cola Machines on the ship - having to queue at bars for a soft drink was a bit of an annoyance and availability of certain drinks varied from one bar to another and from deck to deck. For instance, Fanta wasn't available at Cafe Promenade but was available at Two Poets Pub. Canada Dry Ginger Ale was only available at Two Poets pub and Coca Cola Zero was varied day to day and bar to bar so it was your donald duck (down to luck) which brand of soda you were drinking each day so I felt that inconsistency was a bit of an annoyance - The biggest full on complaint I had was with the Spa onboard. I opted for a Bamboo Body Massage (which ain't cheap to me) seen as how it was a special occasion the massage part was nice and enjoyed that. The masseuse went to get a cup of water and then after 5 minutes she came in with literally the back catalogue of Elemis SpaHome products and cue the hard sell!! I was sitting there utterly flabbergasted at what was happening in front of me and, being the wimp I am, I caved in and bought the dry brush just to keep her relatively content. Lesson learned for me is to NEVER step foot into the Spa ever again, almost going to contest the gratuity for the treatment but I wasn't going to allow that to ruin my birthday so it was an expensive mistake I learned that day! - Finally, the VOOM internet is apparently fleet wide (i.e. on ALL Royal Caribbean ships) however the VOOM internet was utterly pathetic on Navigator - so much so I ended up cancelling the package on Day 2 of the cruise as regardless where I was the download speed did not go above 0.5mbps. In the stateroom, Royal Promenade, Johnny Rockets and on Top Lounging deck was the same result. After speaking with Guest Services about the matter, they simply offered to cancel the package and refund the cost of it to my stateroom account which I accepted. Pro Tip, majorly test that internet package in the first 24-36 hours of boarding the ship because if it's unacceptable to you, the longer you leave it you won't then be able to cancel it and get a refund like I did so be on the ball about that one! One thing I would like to see, perhaps for those of us using Apple or Android devices, would be to update the Royal IQ app (currently only available to Quantum class ships and Harmony of the Seas) so that you can select your destination on the ship and then the app will direct you like Google Maps Walking directions does and you can follow your app's instructions (Turn Left, get on this next elevator, go up the stairs by the bar etc) along with a diagram showing you how to get there. I've sent this onto Royal Caribbean, whether this will happen or not is another matter but we shall see! Summary - Overall I loved this cruise and wouldn't mind going back on the ship again. I would just hope that the VOOM internet and Freestyle Coke machines to be installed and I would be a happy camper but I'm knitpicking now. If you book a cruise on this ship, you won't be disappointed - just avoid the spa unless you're getting a complimentary treatment!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2016
It was a wonderful bonding time for my 19 yr-old daughter and me. Knowing that we will spend most of our time outside our cabin, we chose an inner stateroom (8237) which served us just fine. Our attendant (Adela Benliss-Nicaragua) was ... Read More
It was a wonderful bonding time for my 19 yr-old daughter and me. Knowing that we will spend most of our time outside our cabin, we chose an inner stateroom (8237) which served us just fine. Our attendant (Adela Benliss-Nicaragua) was the sweetest and took good care of our needs. We took advantage of a lot of the activities offered in the ship: aerobics, jogging deck, hot tub, treadmill, pool deck for relaxing/reading/getting tan/watching movies, rock climbing, dancing, listening to bands, singing karaoke. The entertainment was top of the class - from Vox Audio (Acapella group), Broadway-type song and dance productions to Ice Show. We also loved the audience participation-type shows (Love and Marriage and Quest). Dining in the Sapphire room was a great experience! Our servers (Subbiah-India and Savran-Mauritius) spoiled us. I liked how the portions are smaller, so we can sample a second starter or dessert if we like. We booked the stingray experience in the Grand Cayman which did not happen due to weather. In Jamaica, we drove about an hour to the Reggae Hill for a relaxing swim, garden walk, lots of reggae music/dancing while sampling tapas-style food and lots of drinks with Jamaican rum. Naioka, our guide, was very friendly. In Labadee, Haiti, we jet-skied for the first time. My daughter drove and we had a blast! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
First-time out for me! I had no idea that I would like cruising. I found the initial 'cattle call' to get on the ship overwhelming and I needed the evening to decompress. The ship was impressive and clean. The staff was very ... Read More
First-time out for me! I had no idea that I would like cruising. I found the initial 'cattle call' to get on the ship overwhelming and I needed the evening to decompress. The ship was impressive and clean. The staff was very service oriented. I walked every area of the ship that was accessible. I did not get seasick as I had feared. Rough waters on the return leg of the trip did make me feel off-balanced like I could fall if I did not sit down. I did excursions at each port and I participated in most of the ships activities. With the variety of food in the Windjammer Cafe - I did not try any of the premium food venues. I was not impressed with the food - especially the meats - in the main dining room. I booked next cruise before I left the ship. Glad I found this forum so I can research and learn more about cruising from your posts. I’m just trying to rest-up after all the activities. Happy Holidays to all! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Overall: We took the Navigator of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) to the Western Caribbean: Coco Cay, Cozumel, Grand Cayman starting November 22nd, 2015. We had about 25 family members, and I was travelling with my wife and three kids staying ... Read More
Overall: We took the Navigator of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) to the Western Caribbean: Coco Cay, Cozumel, Grand Cayman starting November 22nd, 2015. We had about 25 family members, and I was travelling with my wife and three kids staying in two staterooms (#9358, #9360). Apparently there are hard-core crusiers whose loyalty approaches religious ferver and then there is everyone else. So after my first cruise I fall squarely into the ‘non cruiser’ camp. The constant upselling, the rampant waiting in lines even after paying for ‘premium’ services, and the lack of any luxury put me into the ‘not a fan’ group. That said, my room was reasonable and clean, many of the crew tried hard, and as a family we had several amazing memories… though these were made because we were together, not because of the cruise. It strikes me that cruiselines have to cut prices so much because of competition that they basically lose money on the cabins, and have to recoup it during the cruise. The constant barrage of up-selling and add-ons is really wearying, makes the cruise unpleasant and ugly, and is really noticeable. It removes any romance or luxury from what is really an amazing boat sailing to wonderful places, so just considering the environment, it is telling that they cause you to forget about the sunsets and beautiful water and focus on them. I’d rate the experience as about a 3.5 out of 10. I should note, generally speaking I prefer exclusivity (and am more than willing and able to pay). I had wanted to upgrade to a suite, but as the room was a gift from in-laws, I didn’t want to disrespect anyone or break up the group. I believe we paid about $2700 per room (x2) plus 18% tipping ($1000), in addition to the $500 airfare (x5), and a hotel rooms in Fort Lauderdale of about $150 (x2). For that we had $500 in room credit, but with various drinks, dinners, excursions were out another $1000. So the total cost was about $10,500 for a family of 5 for a week. Of note: on the first day, I tipped the room steward $40, and two bartenders $20. I also tipped our 2 dining room attendants another $120 at the end of the week. The good: As many of my comments are negative, let me start with the positive. I hope I’m being balanced and fair, but also giving you insight as to what to expect without any particular axe to grind: • The room (Balcony Stateroom) was clean and efficient. It was a bit sparse, but highly utilitarian. The steward, Rolly, was unobtrusive, and kept the room very clean, organized, and in towels. That said it was an aluminum box without anything special. • Another high-spot was our dining room waiter: Apurv (“AP”). AP was funny, engaged, and able to follow through on bringing a cake to my daughter on her birthday (please note: I tipped heavily and paid for the cake). He was also able to handle the various family members coming and going, and a grandmother who was a bit neurotic. Many kudos to him. • The ship itself is a marvel. I enjoyed walking around and see every floor, every bar, every restaurant and shop. It was pretty cool. • Finally during an excessive line (more on this) a housecleaning woman, Elena B, who had no business helping us, stopped, asked what the issue was, and then stayed with us (and about 20 others) who were waiting. This is spite that it wasn’t her issue and she could have ignored us – as most of the staff were doing. Many kudos to her. And now onto the not-so-good: • Service. Service is horrible, generally speaking. After not buying a drink package, I quickly bought the most expensive option as service was so poor, I figured I need to get the special sticker for attention. I could not be more wrong. Bartenders seemingly slow roll everything, and the constant need to check (and recheck) your ‘seapass’ is maddeningly inefficient. There were times I would wait 20 minutes to get a drink – in spite of having only 2 people in front of me. This has to be a corporate decision as there are never more than 2 bartenders working even at hugely crowded hours (e.g. 1 PM during a cruising day). I went so far as to tip two different bartenders $20 and asked them to remember me, which improved service, but this was on top of paying $67/day for any drink. Also if you just want water or a soda… you have to wait in line. Christ on a stick! I paid, I understand 8 other people who also paid want Pina Coladas. Couldn’t their just be a vending machine where I could insert my card and get a drink/water (there are two hidden machines in the WindJammer, BTW, and so I often resorted to walking up 7 or 8 decks from whatever I was doing to get a diet coke, or water). • Excursions. I scuba dive, with my son. I had to register with the desk. Each time the line was 20-25 people deep. Finally at the last minute (4 PM the day before) I got to the desk at 3:45 and was only #3 in line, so I waited. And waited. And waited. After the line grew to more than 25, I started asking people at customer service. I went to the phone and starting calling various service people. All to no avail. The people at customer service (who were equally besieged) had no interest in helping us. Only when a housecleaning person, Elena B, saw me trying to start the computers and mockingly making announcements to the amusement of those in line, did she come over and ask what was wrong. She called a Manager, and after about 5 minutes, the person “Melanie” came to the desk @ 4:32 (32 minutes late). Instead of apologizing she yelled at us for not having an orderly line to the side. I haven’t been much tempted to punch a service employee as they have incredibly onerous jobs, but this was one time I almost changed my policy and essentially decided Royal Caribbean could ‘suck it’. Even then, just as illustration, it was 4:50 before I was helped for a 3 minute thing. Seriously. I had to wait in line for an hour, just to do something that should have all been done ahead of time (The cruise will say they need to see my PADI card, etc… but we had to fill out all of this information AGAIN – for the 3rd time—at the dive shop). o Incidentally, the diving in Cozumel was wonderful. In spite of a 50 minute ride in some heavy chop to pick up a random hotel passenger, the 14 of us had 2 excellent guides, and some really excellent cave and drift dives. • Tendering. In Grand Cayman we got a tender ticket. The process was horrible. Long lines (45 minutes) just to get off the boat, and from the time I left my room to the dock was just over 1 hour 30 minutes. Again, I get there are lines. But Royal Caribbean clearly knows that 4000 people want to go ashore, but have only 2 doors to get people off and away. My advice: avoid any cruise/port where you have to tender. I’m on vacation to relax, have a drink, soak in some sun. Not wait in lines for Royal Caribbean to get their act together. • Guest Services. We asked for our 2nd stateroom to be decorated on Thursday as it was our daughter’s birthday. It never happened, and hey wires get crossed, and even without said decorations she had a memorable day (again in part thanks to AP, the dining steward). So we paid for it ($47?) and got nothing. My wife tried to go to the Guest Services desk several times but the line was so long, she gave up. Finally on the last day she called (rather than stand in line) and the woman’s reaction was “Why didn’t you tell us?!” While I don’t think she meant to blame the customer, our response essentially, but much more politely should be interpreted “because your lines are so horribly long and inefficient that we’d rather bask in the sun than stand in your lines!” Ultimately we got the amount refunded, but I didn’t appreciate the attitude (which I heard twice, per above). • Royal Caribbean’s cheapness I’m an MBA and I well understand queuing theory. I also own my own company and well understand costs. But Royal Caribbean took it to parsimonious levels. For instance there is no shampoo in the rooms. Not a big deal, I have my own, but I noticed as I started to suspect that Royal Caribbean was desperately trying to maximize profits. Even things like pens, which you find in every hotel room, became conspicuously absent. When I noticed that they were closing bars, and never really had enough people to service people, I realized Royal Carribean wasn’t trying to supply an amazing experience but rather had sophisticated cost containment strategies in place, and were willing to sustain long queues, angry customers, and knew that people will endure frustration rather than complain. You should realize this when you book. It’s not immoral, but it is annoying. o Consider the picture ‘package’. They want $147 for 10 pictures, $250 for 20, and ultimately $417 for all pictures. That’s fine, if ridiculous, but they have signs everywhere saying ‘no cameras’ e.g. in the kids area, rock wall, etc… o Pro tip: If you are travelling in a group use 1 cabin number and just pay the $400+ and get all the pictures. • Excursions. Simply stated: Book your excursions on shore. The markups RC charge are ridiculous and again, I suspect, due to their need to recoup in other areas. The one advantage is that if you buy an RC excursion on tender days, you can go to the front of the line. Again, the implication being that if you buy through them, you can get reasonable service levels. o Pro Tip: Heck you can follow the Royal Caribbean people to the excursion and do it yourself for $100s less. And there are always numerous people on shore, just past the end of Royal Caribbean’s area who will offer many more things, usually for 25-33% less. o The Chica Itzen tour. Our boat was late leaving Cozumel as a family was late by 40 minutes returning from an RC excursion. Because of this (the ship waited for them) the captain blamed the family in announcing our late arrival into Grand Cayman… and ‘strong head winds’ (there were amazingly strong head winds). But what I found in talking to them was that Chica Itzen is 3 hours away, and so when you get there, RC says “you have 15 minutes” to explore something that people usually spend a full day at. The family said, “heck no, we’re going to explore for 45 minutes” with the result of being late. While I can certainly find fault with that family’s decision, RC too must bear some blame. And the captain using it as an excuse for our late arrival into Grand Cayman during that evening’s announcements (yet never going more than 16 KPH) seems petty and unfair. Again, I will let the circumstances speak for themselves, as this is conjecture on my part. • Wifi. My wife got the package because she wanted to continue with work, as she could. The wifi is operable… but s-l-o-w. It is frustratingly slow. Given that you can pay anywhere from $20-$40 / day, I would expect functional Wifi. o Recommendation: Don’t use the internet. You’ll be frustrated and it’ll just annoy you. Focus on your vacation. Also there are several shipboard terminals if you really need it. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Let me start off by saying that my boyfriend and I were first timers. I am a big-time researcher and planner when it comes to vacations and family trips and I read everything I could about cruising and I watched YouTube videos for tips and ... Read More
Let me start off by saying that my boyfriend and I were first timers. I am a big-time researcher and planner when it comes to vacations and family trips and I read everything I could about cruising and I watched YouTube videos for tips and hints for months before the trip. This post is going to include tips that I did not read about (even though you may have). So if you want to stop reading now, know that I absolutely LOVED my experience on the Navigator and I can't wait to book next year's trip! Day 1 We stayed at the Hilton FL Marina which was good enough for one night. They had a shuttle service they used named Quick & Safe Transportation. They were very unprofessional when I tried to book my trip from the airport to the hotel. We ended up taking a taxi instead (about $25). They had a table at the hotel the day of our departure to take the guests to the various ships at Port Everglades for $6pp via shuttle bus. It was pouring raining so as luck would have it, the Navigator was the 4th of 5 stops. The entire trip took 45 minutes (we got on at 1:45p) because of the rain and there was MUCH traffic heading to all of the ships (6 in port in total). We arrived close to the ship and dropped our luggage with the porters in an outdoor, covered area however a passenger later informed us that his wife's luggage was soaked and she had to hang out most of her clothes to dry. My recommendation is that if it's raining, cover the inside of your luggage with plastic trash bags. Ours was fine however. We then went inside and waited in line (think Disneyland corrals) for about 15 minutes for the first security check-in, then 10 minutes to the counter. Since it was 2:30p when we arrived, I'm guessing it was quicker than those that got there first thing. At the counter, we then had to show our Passports, fill out a form stating whether we were ill, had our photo taken and SeaPass card given to us. On the way to the ship (after an escalator or 2) we had our official boarding photo taken. After that we boarded. Our room was ready (as evidenced by our key working) but the luggage did not arrive until after 5p. Day 2 We spent the day at sea. I read that you should get the Ice Show tickets on the first day but they were only distributed from 3:30-4:30p outside Studio B so I went to the Guest Services desk at 11a on this day. The tickets were all lined up on the counter for the various shows, you just had to select which time you wanted. Breakfast is over in the Windjammer at 11a. Lastly the World's Sexiest Man by the pool was a lot of fun. A 50-something year old beat out the young guys! Day 3 On the day before the Captain announced that the CoCoCay port was cancelled because of the poor weather making it difficult to tender (taking a smaller boat to land) so Costa Maya, Mexico was to be our new port. They sent a list of excursions that could be purchased on your television or at Guest Services but since I did not get a chance to do any research, I declined. They refunded RCI CoCoCay excursions of course. If you purchased a non-RCI excursion you were on your own. We hadn't purchased any. There was no tendering necessary and there was a trolley-like bus taking guests down the pier. At each port an RCI staffer has a station to take photos in front of the ship so you can view them later but we declined. I did not enjoy the Costa Maya port. It is still developing and there was construction going on. You could see a waterpark from the boat and our cabin neighbor said they rented a golf cart and drove around to see the sights. We just shopped for souvenirs. There is a bar and a pool, and a beach, but it wasn't a nice or big beach. More like something you'd see at a river. After our shopping, we went back to the ship for lunch and never came back. We finally went to the Main Dining Room this night (My Time Dining). Our table was 660 and our servers were Bovino and Anecito. They were great and brought us extra appetizers, an extra entre to try and an extra dessert. Day 4 Tendering was also not necessary for Cozumel, which was far more modern than Costa Maya. We did the Dolphin Push, Pull & Swim at Chankanaab Park. After checking in at the pier, and a 15 min wait, we piled into taxi vans for about a 15 min drive. Not only was this excursion the highlight of my trip, the park also had free Wi-Fi! I will post more on the excursion under the excursions review but let me say this...haggle, haggle, haggle for the photos if you do this. They ARE willing to make a deal. We ended up getting almost an 80% discount off the first price quoted. As for the Wi-Fi, if you have Google Hangouts on your cell phone, remember you will be able to make telephone or video calls using Wi-Fi. We did and it worked great! The shuttles returned to the port every hour so we left after the sea lion show because it began to rain. There are restaurants there, a coffee shop, and a zip line activity as well. Now here is the worse part of the trip. The ship was scheduled to leave at 3:30p. Once returning to our room (on the starboard side), we watched the people returning to ship. Every 10 minutes after 3:30 1 or 2 people would show up late...for 45 MINUTES!! Yes the boat left about 50 minutes after we were scheduled to be back. I thought boats left people! The only highlight to the experience was that about half the balconies on this side of the ship had people shouting down to the stragglers, whistling and clapping and booing (OK I was the booer). It must have been very embarrassing for those people but I cannot find any sympathy (more on that on Day 5). This night we attended the Ice Dancing and Love & Marriage shows which were awesome! I had read about the Ice Dancing and was not disappointed. It is a must-do. Being a novice I was curious how the L&M participants were chosen (I thought you had to sign up) but they are chosen from the audience. We also ate at the dining room on this night, which was the last time for us. Nothing against it. Our servers and the food was good. It was just faster/easier to eat at the Windjammer. Day 5--Thanksgiving We woke to the Captain's announcement that we were arriving to the port late due to headwinds and LATE ARRIVALS the day before so that meant possible less time at port. Also, tender tickets were available from 8-10:30a. To avoid the mad rush we lined up at 9:30a, waited a bit only to be told that tickets ran out and that we would have to wait until the Open Tender Call at around 12:30p. SERIOUSLY?! People with RCI excursions were allowed to get off without tender tickets, but if you had a non-RCI excursion you were out of luck. Luckily we didn't have any plans so we just ate and waited. Finally the call came at noon. The tender was comfortable (they have 2 levels and hold 300 pp) and it was a 15 min ride to shore. There were many taxi vans taking people to the various beaches so we took one for $5 to the Public Beach. I would not recommend this beach. It was very crowded. I've since read that Royal Palms Beach is the best. We went left of the beach instead of right (which looked more crowded) and found 2 lounge chairs and an umbrella so we set up camp in a less crowded area. About 15 mins later an older woman showed up and said there was a fee to sit in her chairs. We were skeptical at first but decided to pay. It was $10 for the umbrella and $5 per chair. It turns out she was sitting nearby so I guess she was monitoring her section of chairs. In the end it was worth it and the one time I didn't haggle. There were many rentals within an arms reach like jet-skis ($50), banana boat, climbing floats, and a floating trampoline. When leaving the lady actually helped us get a taxi van but there were plenty waiting to take people back to the port. Back at the pier there was plenty of shopping but only one place to buy alcohol (I don't drink but I was thinking of buying a souvenir). I felt very comfortable using my debit card in the shops, as I had only used cash before. There were very long lines waiting to get back to the various ships at port so be prepared. Also something to note, at Cozumel and George Town, the areas near the piers were gated off from the town. You had to show your SeaPass to come back to the port/shopping area. I guess this protects the passengers from possible criminal activity and the ships as well. On this night we did the Quest event which was the 2nd highlight to the trip. It's an adult (yes, ADULT) scavenger hunt type game. I don't want to give any spoilers, just trust me and GO. Day 6 This was a day at sea so I used this day to take photos of the ship that I didn't have already. It's also a good time to visit the Next Cruise office (need an appointment). I also picked up my official RCI photos. These were ridiculously expensive...$400+ for the grand package, so I just bought 2 photos for $20 each. There were deals in the shops (I purchased 2 watch/necklace/earring sets for $20 each). They called it "Black Friday" but I read that they already offered these deals on the last day. This day also featured the Belly Flop Contest at the pool which was fun. That evening the customs document and 3 luggage tags were left on our bed. Your luggage must be placed outside your cabin door by 11p so we packed instead of going to see the "adult comedian." Day 7 Our luggage tag indicated that we were a part of group 30 so we were scheduled to meet in the Metropolis Room on the 4th deck by 9:30a. After breakfast (which wasn't scaled back just because it was the last day), we arrived at 9:10a and were called at 9:20a. We showed our SeaPass card for the final time getting off the ship and were led back into the Port Everglades building to find our luggage. I had read that this could be unorganized but it wasn't that bad. There were clear numbers posted along the walls for the groups of luggage and #30 initially was not hard to find. The only problem is, only 1 of our bags was there, but I asked a porter and he showed us to where another #30 was posted, which had our other bag. Yes, that was odd. After that, you get in line for Customs, you show your Passport and you head out, which took about 15 mins in total. We found a taxi van that was heading to FLL airport and we paid $11pp. I'd say we got there at around 10:30a. Since our flight wasn't until 8:30p that night we had already reserved a rental car with Advantage for $33 so we picked it up (they're at the airport, not off-site like some of the other companies) and spent the day in South Beach, which was about a 35 min drive. We were thinking of a Ft. Lauderdale excursion but this was better. It was a place to keep our luggage and cheaper than all the excursions they offered. Plus I had never hung out in SoBe before so I got a chance to do it at my own pace, with my own transportation. General Tips -Do the Daily Trivia forms the library provides (about 6 themed trivia questions, Sudoku, and a word search) -Tip your attendant daily-on Day 2 I asked the Guest Services attendant to remove the $12/day tip because I wanted to do my own tipping. We actually are good tippers. We tipped $5/day our cabin attendant (plus a larger bonus at the end), $10/formal dining room server, $2 here and there for the Windjammer servers that took away our plates, and I even gave $5 on the final day to the poor guy that has to stand outside the Windjammer to dispense hand sanitizer. -If you use or know someone that uses a flat iron for hair, bring it to do a quick pressing out of wrinkles in your clothes -Not many do it but remember that food can be taken out of the Windjammer on plates -Lemonade is not available in the Promenade, only iced tea. And for a ship that leaves from the south, I was surprised they didn't offer pre-sweetened tea. -Keep your SeaPass out when returning to the ship. You may have to show it to get back into the port area, then again to go down the pier, and definitely to get onboard the ship. -When entering the ship, be prepared to have your glasses off for the identification scan, and your pockets empty, and your bags ready to be scanned to board again. Think airport except no need to remove your shoes. -Beverages in cups cannot be taken along the pier when heading back to the ship. We saw a few people rushing to finish their drinks. And obviously alcohol bottles purchased must be claimed. They return it to you on the last night. Don't try to smuggle it in your bag because I think the scanner can pick it up. -Fruit is not allowed to go off or go on the ship -I saw a few hats fly overboard so be careful -The washcloths are rough...just saying -My boyfriend insisted that I warn that the pillows are on the flat side. I was perfectly fine with them but it is my girlfriend duty to report this. Tips for Techies -Set up a Google Hangouts account for when free Wi-Fi is available. You can make calls using it without incurring cell phone charges -You do not need to turn off Airplane Mode to use your Wi-Fi but if you do, you will get a nice message from your cell company with a rate for your continued usage -The TV has HDMI ports and the standard A/V port (red/white/yellow) if you'd like to hook up a tablet to watch your own movies or your laptop -Remember to turn on the in-cabin announcement knob on your desk. Only the Captain's announcements can be heard in-room. Other announcements can be heard through speakers throughout the ship. -Google Wallet works on the ship but does not work internationally. We tried to pay for items at various ports and kept getting declined (luckily we had cash and credit cards). It wasn't until we tried to use the ATM at Chankanaab that we received a message that it could not be used overseas. OVERALL, I loved my experience on the Navigator but I admit I have nothing else to compare it to. I will also admit that I am not a picky person and don't set unreasonable expectations just because I'm spending a few dollars. I feel like I received first-class treatment but that's probably because I don't usually go first-class. If you are accustomed to that type of lifestyle and don't like this experience, maybe a luxury line is more your style. Have fun!! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
This was our first cruise and we were so excited! We arrived on time and had to wait 3 hours (with a baby) to board the ship. We bought a drink package, but didn't realize they were charging us every day for the entire 8 days. That is ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we were so excited! We arrived on time and had to wait 3 hours (with a baby) to board the ship. We bought a drink package, but didn't realize they were charging us every day for the entire 8 days. That is partially our fault for not reading the fine print, however, we were never given a receipt to sign and were pretty upset at the end of the week when they charged is $400 for a drink package we barely used. I went to customer service and asked to see the receipt, and they didn't have a signed one on file for us. They said, oh we are sorry, you should have been made aware of how the drink packages work. They admitted we never signed anything authorizing them to charge our credit card but would do nothing to help us out. That's what was so frustrating. Yes, it was our fault but it was their fault too. They could have done something to help us, being that we barely used it. The whole experience left a bad taste in our mouths for this cruise line. Also, there was always sometime trying to sell you something...that got annoying. However, our room attendant, Ricky was awesome! And our servers Michael and Marcelo were wonderful as well. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
First off I would like to say that this was my first cruise and my wifes 11th and I was very excited and looking forward to this trip for months and then this all happened. Check in took 2.5 hours as their computers were down, so we ... Read More
First off I would like to say that this was my first cruise and my wifes 11th and I was very excited and looking forward to this trip for months and then this all happened. Check in took 2.5 hours as their computers were down, so we were herded under a shelter to wait in line as it was raining very hard, all guest luggage was put onto trollies but were left out in the rain, everyone's bags got soaked and clothes as well, we tried our best to dry them but went to our first dinner in damp clothing. Because all our clothes were wet in the case for so long they got a musty smell so we used the ships laundry service and it took 2 full days to get the clothing back, needless to say, I was in the same shirt for three days, I wasn't happy. I had to buy shirts in Haiti just to get bye. We decided to buy the drink package for myself but not for my wife as she only had the occasional drink, the front desk made a mistake and put the drink package on sharons card and not mine so I was still being billed. The next day I went back to the front desk and told them and was told, it did not matter as the cards were linked together that I would not be billed. Happy about this I went back to my vacation at the bar. Later that night I checked the bill on the tv in our room and of course it was not fixed. So for a third time I went back to the front desk and explained again. They then corrected the problem and the drink package was put on my card. I also asked at this point about the charges for those drinks as they never should have been on there in the first place, the front desk manager agreed and removed the charges. The next day I checked our tv account again and found that the charges had been removed and then put back on again. So of course, now for a fourth time, I had to go back to the front desk and ask what was going on? as you can imagine, by this point I am very frustrated and lining up for a half our every day to fix the same problem over and over was annoying. I was told that the charge was put back on by the bar manager and I would have to speak with him. They called him down and I had to explain myself to him just like I did every other day to the front desk staff, and yes now that he knew the situation and what error was made he then took off the charges again. Food: The one thing I had heard about cruising was that the food was amazing, we found the very first night fantastic, I don't think I had ever had prime rib that tender, simply awesome and the service was excellent. It went down hill from here though. Every other piece of beef was tough or loaded with fat, we found ourselves ordering another dinner or just going to the buffet. One of our nights we went to Chops Grille, my wife ordered the fillet mignon and I had the 12oz strip loin, hers was a little tough and mine was like leather, I had a steak knife but felt like I was using a butter knife, I ate 1/4 of the steak and called the waiter, I told him that I could not eat this, he then said "I will tell him, and what can I get you for desert" I said another steak would be nice, so he handed me the desert menu, we ordered desert and left without eating it as both our appetites were gone. We did enjoy the breakfast buffet in the windjammer, and if you liked your scrambled eggs with the texture of vanilla pudding then you would have loved it or if you liked your sunny side up eggs undercooked then this was the place for you. Other than the eggs I did enjoy the rest of their food, and I really liked all the fresh buns, very nice. Music: This would have been great if we had it everyday. Instead we got tennis, yes I said tennis, EVERY DAY!! When out on deck all you heard every day was the sounds of two men grunting as they hit the ball with their tennis rackets. The big screen played tennis or football with the volume on every day. No music at the bars or the pool, just tennis. There was a live band on two of the days out at the pool, and on those days, once the band had finished about 5 songs, the DJ would play music till they came back, but once they were done, so was the music. The only time people on our ship got to dance and listen to music was when we were in port and parked beside another ship that was playing music. This was an onboard joke at the bars after awhile, because it did not feel like a vacation on board at all without music. I guess if I was a tennis lover, this would have been a dream vacation. My wife kept telling new people we would meet on the first and second day that this was my first cruise, and all said the same thing "you are going to love it" by day 5 and 6, those same people were saying to me, "don't let this sour you on cruising, its normally much better than this". For awhile I was just thinking that it was me, that maybe cruising just wasn't for me, but after speaking and making so many new friends I found that everyone was disappointed in some way, shape or form. Upon arrival to Haiti I was up early, 6am, excited to pull into port, I had just opened the patio door to the balcony when the engines made a weird sound and a large plume of thick black smoke poured over the back of the ship and completely engulfed our balcony, I honestly thought the ship was on fire it was that bad, our room smelled of diesel fumes for the next couple of hours. I asked one of the cleaners if there was a problem with the ship and was told no. But clearly over the next two days we were running on one engine only. I asked the front desk about the smoke and was told this was normal. I said normal to fill a room with thick black smoke and laughed. Later on in the trip they shut the elevators down for a test on an emergency generator (or so they said) I sat on my balcony listening to the engine trying to start and watching for more think black smoke, there was some smoke but once it was running again the smoke went away and we were now clearly running on two engines. If we did lose an engine I understand not to tell the passengers so they don't panic, but to tell me that black smoke in my room was normal, well that's just laughable. When we got back we complained to Royal Caribbean and they offered us a $250 voucher for each of us that we must use by the end of the 2016 or it expires. So what they are saying is, "spend another $4200 with us and we will give you $500 off". This to us does not feel like RC really cares about its customers and we will never travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
We like cruising. Our room was bigger than expected and the bathroom not surprisingly small but usable. Our room attendant Emmanuel was professional and kept our room very tidy. It was nice to always come back to a clean room. The main ... Read More
We like cruising. Our room was bigger than expected and the bathroom not surprisingly small but usable. Our room attendant Emmanuel was professional and kept our room very tidy. It was nice to always come back to a clean room. The main room was fine dining and wished I brought more formal dresses to wear for dinner. Our waiters Melvin and Rohan were very attentive. We made sure to get a table with them each night. Lot of activities to do and watch on the high seas. Our favorite excursion Tabyana Beach Break - white beaches, clear water, seeing different kinds of fishes when we snorkeled, lunch & light beverages included. Now we know the reason people love cruising. Same hotel & service everyday and wake up in a different city most days. Lessons learned. 1. Ask for more details when getting advice. We did not book an excursion in Cozumel and we got taken. Don't book an excursion in Cozumel, grab a taxi, etc. Spent $60 on a taxi trip to a small white beach full of drunk men. My husband and I were the only tourists and no visible taxis around (except the one we took). We immediately went back to our ship and stayed there. Our advice pay extra for the ship excursion when in Cozumel. 2. The excursion tickets have two times listed. Our Belize excursion tickets listed Meeting time 7:45 am and departing time 8:30 am. We arrived at the meeting place at 7:30 am. RC ship director started tendering groups at 7:45 but did not specify which time she was using. She was calling groups by time and we missed our time. Others also missed their call time. To RC's credit we got to go on different and cheaper excursion and RC refunded us the difference. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
This was our first cruise & our honeymoon. We booked Royal Caribbean b/c we heard from others that it was the better ship to travel on since the rates were slightly higher there would be less children & people. We were also ... Read More
This was our first cruise & our honeymoon. We booked Royal Caribbean b/c we heard from others that it was the better ship to travel on since the rates were slightly higher there would be less children & people. We were also told that Royal Caribbean has better food than Carnival. Embarkation & Disembarkation both went smoothly. We didn't have long lines at embarkation (we got there within less than an hour of embarkation). Disembarkation could have moved a little bit quicker with more customs lines and/or better structured disembarkation. It seems they try to get everyone off the ship at the same time, with few customs lines to get through. The cabin was clean and quiet. Our attendant was very nice. The dining room food was amazing! Although, prior to sailing we were told that formal nights were not required to have full suits & ties, etc. While we did not dress like beach bums (we brought a polo shirt & slacks for my husband, and a nice semi-casual dress for me), we did not get to engage in those nights. Also, we will not be engaging in formal nights on Royal Caribbean in the future since my husband doesn't own a suit, didn't wear one to our wedding, and won't be wearing one to his own funeral. It is sad that it is like that for both nights since we do pay extra of our hard working money to sail on Royal Caribbean, but cannot enjoy the same amenities as everyone else while we are on vacation. The adult entertainment was lacking with only one show a night (which were usually great) & it wasn't good planning that the latest night show was scheduled when the earliest port day was the following morning. Also, nothing for adults to do on "at sea" days other than sit by the pool, which was boring. Hopefully with the new water slide my husband will be able to enjoy himself more on the "at sea" days. I would rather have more of the adult shows on the "at sea" days than on port days since those days wear you out anyway. We enjoyed the ports & learned after the first one that it is safer and not much more expensive to book through the cruise line. However, if you decide to do that, all of the good excursions book up quickly. You need to book online before the trip or on the first day after embarkation. While there was not much adult entertainment provided on the ship, the ship was clean and the service was great. We enjoyed trip and are going on another this fall on Royal Caribbean. This time, we are having a couple of friends join us for a kid-free vacation! Hopefully we will have more fun with a couple that we know. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
Being in hospitality myself, it requires foundational customer service skills that are not reflected in Royal Caribbean's core values. I booked this cruise with two best friends to celebrate our 30th birthday. Although it seemed ... Read More
Being in hospitality myself, it requires foundational customer service skills that are not reflected in Royal Caribbean's core values. I booked this cruise with two best friends to celebrate our 30th birthday. Although it seemed hopeful, the booking process was relentlessly stressful and needless to say we will probably not be booking again. Our sales rep was helpful up until he made the sale. Once we made our deposit, he had disappeared without a trace. I left several voicemails as well as numerous emails with questions regarding our trip as I had been a first time cruiser. He never returned one voicemail or one email to this day. The final payment process became even more strenuous when we realized the due date to be paid in full was within the week. Regardless of the lack of help from our sales rep, we paid based on the invoice sent. The month before our sail date, I called him again to inquire about a shuttle from Houston airport to the Galveston port. I was met with quite the shock to find out that Royal Caribbean had decided to cancel our cruise due to a remaining balance. Immediately I pressed zero to speak to ANY representative in order to correct this horrible mistake. I had not received any cancellation notice via email and I was in complete horror that our vacation was canceled. After an hour of being transferred to at least 3 people, I learned that our sales rep had added a vacation protection plan which was Not included on the only invoice that he emailed me. Therefore, we never knew we had a remaining balance and were extremely frustrated how Royal Caribbean had handled our situation. Not once was there an apology but rather blame on the us, the customer, for not knowing. Finally after 90 minutes of pleading with the customer service department, I spoke with Geneva Harrison and Samantha Koomen who were both a breath of fresh air and the glimpse of hope that rescued our vacation. These 2 ladies exuded empathy by pausing to reflect our feeling of distress and offered a solution. Although it wasn't ideal, they were able to apply our penalty to the cruise originally booked and I paid the difference in full over the phone. We couldn't get the original price so I paid the rack rate. The additional amount of money spent could have paid for a second cruise however I was completely grateful for the two women that owned the situation and were willing to come up with a recovery solution. These two individuals should be recognized for their distinct skill set that includes positivity, empathy, patience and professionalism which defines customer service. We were anxious as our sail date approached; hoping that we wouldn't deal with any other problems. Boarding the ship was a smooth process however the guest service/ front desk team on the ship was a mirror image of the phone operators with misinformation. Every employee at the desk gave us a different answer to the same question asked about gratuities and beverage packages. We decided that it would just be best to avoid speaking to guest services and book with another cruise line next time. When we were allowed to go to our cabins, we were informed that one of our suit cases was misplaced and would be sent to the room later in the evening around 7pm. Trying to maintain a calm attitude, our day 1 of our 7 day cruise seemed to start off disappointing. Needless to say, we were not impressed with setting sail with Royal Caribbean however we met some employees on the Navigator of the Seas that are worth mentioning. These team members brightened our day daily and Royal Caribbean should be honored to have such employees aboard their ship. Shauna and Jakob in the windjammer cafe were a great start to our morning. They were always cheerful and even if we were unable to find a seat in their section, they would find us and make sure we had our coffee and excursions set for the day. Bernadette, Gilberto, Dean, Agnelo and Bobie were absolutely delightful during our evening dinners in the Sapphire room. We never could pick who would serve us each night because each person brought a unique exuberant attitude to our dining experience. We loved our dinner conversations with each waiter and seating host as we learned about their hometowns and family life. It made the vacation more personal and created unforgettable connections. Lastly our room attendant Tanoe was fabulous. He conversed with us multiple times a day to ensure our stay was beyond expectation. Working for a hotel, I know the importance of the operations team. They run the property/ ship and are the face of the company. These employees operated their functions with pride and perfection as mere advocates for the enjoyment of their guests. None of them knew the experience we had booking the vacation however each of them created new memories and new loyalties to the Royal Caribbean family. Although Royal Caribbean has room for improvement, their employees on their ship make the vacation worth while. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
Our stateroom attendant was Awesome!!! The dining room food was HORRIBLE. The food in the buffet was good but always cold..... We purchased a photo package and got home and our pictures are not on the disk!!! I have called RCI and NO ... Read More
Our stateroom attendant was Awesome!!! The dining room food was HORRIBLE. The food in the buffet was good but always cold..... We purchased a photo package and got home and our pictures are not on the disk!!! I have called RCI and NO HELP but to call another company... Nothing like celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary and even the professional photographer didn't have the camera settings right...... Very disappointing for the money we spent. Excursion in Belize got changed and Guest Relations stated it changed to something else and gave us a printout of what we were supposed to do - got tendered to the Port and the RCI representative said NO that is not the excursion we were supposed to do - went back and forth with the RCI representative and we JUST CANCELLED!!!! Got a refund from Guest Relations - Left and Right hand didn't know what was going on.... We had two families with us and we were all very disappointed because everyone always spoke highly of RCI - NOT worth the money we spent on the cruise. The entertainment was good. Embarkation - Took over 3 hours in lines to get on the ship and took over 3 hours to off the ship on the return. They need to work on getting people off the ship and out before the next round of people are trying to get on. Total Chaos!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
Just as a quick bit of background about who I am so you understand my perspective. I'm a 27 year old adrenaline junky, foodie who loves sports and performance arts. Despite being what I would describe as a foodie, I'm also not ... Read More
Just as a quick bit of background about who I am so you understand my perspective. I'm a 27 year old adrenaline junky, foodie who loves sports and performance arts. Despite being what I would describe as a foodie, I'm also not a food snob (I am a coffee snob however) and enjoy comfort foods as well as fine dining. With this being my first cruise I have no basis for comparison to years past that some say were better. If that's true, cruising must have been head in the clouds heaven. I found my experience to be the most enjoyable trip I've ever taken. Were there a couple things I didn't love? Sure, but that's life and what happens when people have their personal opinions on things. Would I take off a star for anything? Nope, the trip was excellent, the ship was beautiful, and the service was outstanding. -Value: I could not get over what all comes for the price. We booked an inside promenade stateroom for just a hair over $200/night essentially with it coming out to about $1500 for my wife and I. For comparison sake, after getting married on May 23rd, we drove to Dallas and stayed the night at a value priced Best Western in Dallas for $100 on the way to Galveston. That did include breakfast but the breakfast wasn't nearly as good as what would be served in the Windjammer (many complain but I find it hard to name a hotel that serves better breakfast and provides turn down service at least twice a day for under this price, much less in the Caribbean). Having a waterfront hotel with all you can eat food and a formal dining room for $200/night for 2 people would have impressed me enough but they also provide entertainment options. -Entertainment: Was every show awesome? No, I wouldn't dare go that far. You're not getting Broadway productions here with super expensive set designs and special effects. You're also not paying $100/person to get in to the show. After considering the hotel + restaurant aspect, I'd say you're getting in the show for free. I really enjoyed Ballroom Fever and Finis Henderson (initially I wasn't sure about him but he got progressively better throughout the show). Those were good shows, but I thought Ice Dancin' in Studio B was incredible! I've never seen an ice show before so I'm no expert and the best production show I ever saw was Book of Mormon in Chicago but again, for what I would consider the cost of $0, I couldn't believe I was getting to see it. -Ship: Having sent my parents on their first cruise on Vision of the Seas a few months prior, I knew Navigator would have a few more amenities being a larger ship. I didn't know if it would stack up well with the Freedom and Oasis class ships. I've never sailed them so I still don't know, but I never wished I was on them while on Navigator. The promenade design works really well for keeping things open and easy to well, navigate. We found ourselves discovering new details on the ship even on the last day of the sailing and we did a fair amount of exploring it throughout the trip. While the pool deck is a lot of fun and the Solarium padded chairs along the windows make for a great nap on a sea day if you can snag one, I gravitated toward the peaceful areas on the ship. If you're looking for a great place to read, head to the front of the ship along the walking track, past the Solarium, and then up the stairs to the very front of the ship above the bridge and spa. You'll find a basically empty deck with chairs where you can hear yourself think. I didn't take advantage of this area a lot but if I was a reader I'd have been up there. My favorite area on the ship was the helicopter pad on deck 5. To get there, walk along deck 4 outside and go up the stairs. It makes for excellent stargazing or is peaceful in the daytime. On top of all of this, the sports area was a space I didn't really utilize and found myself forgetting about which is crazy to me. Being able to play mini golf, basketball, or take on the Flowrider or rock wall for free is really kind of awesome. I wish I had done it more. -Food: Overall, I thought the food was pretty good. I had breakfast every day in Windjammer and was always able to get a window seat after a little bit of work. Usually I would stake out a table and go sit at it while my wife fixed herself a plate. It's a bit chaotic but I always enjoyed it. I would compare the food quality to a Golden Corral. If that's beneath you, avoid it I guess. For the price of the vacation I thought that was a good deal. We used the Main Dining Room (MDR) for dinner all but one night and I thought just about everything was good to excellent. The shrimp cocktail left something to be desired and the seafood salad did as well but the entrees I had were good and the desserts were satisfying as well. On lobster night my waiter asked me how it was and I said, "very good but I just need you to bring me 6 more just like it." He said he would get me another piece and off he went. I thought he was kidding but a few minutes later he brought me another 2 lobster tails! The servers try their best to meet any need. If you're polite they'll go the extra mile. I'm guessing they would even if you weren't. On the last day I gave both my waiter and assistant waiter an extra $20 bill on top of their normal built in gratuity. I wish I could have given them more to be honest. They were outstanding. The Promenade Cafe was a nice option for small sandwiches or desserts 24 hours a day. I can't speak for the specialty restaurants because to be honest, I just never saw the need with how good the complimentary dining options were. My only complaint would be to have at least half the Windjammer open later than 9. It's the easiest place to grab an iced tea near the pool deck without going back down to the Promenade Cafe on deck 5. -Coffee: I'm a coffee snob. The coffee onboard sucked. I added in some half and half and a packet of sugar and drank it gladly. Good coffee is best enjoyed black in my opinion so these add ins were made for exactly this. It was no worse than a standard diner cup of coffee at Denny's, IHOP, etc. I enjoyed having it offered in the MDR with dessert every night and again, just use the add ins. I also would add in a packet of dark chocolate hot chocolate in the Promenade Cafe and take it to the show each night. -Service: I loved it quite simply. I only wish there were some bus tubs around the various venues or trash cans. Instead you would see people pile up a plate in the Windjammer and take it to wherever on some lower deck and just leave it in the bushes, on the floor, on tables in lounges, on the pool deck. It's a never ending battle for the crew to keep up with and I felt lazy having to leave my cup or plate in places like this. I would have at least liked the option of placing it in a tub for them to collect but I'm guessing it may have something to do with sanitation. Debarkation was brutal to be perfectly honest. We signed up for the self-assist (take your own luggage off with you) for the earliest time of 7:30am. We weren't to our car until almost 9:30am. With so many doing self-assist, it jammed up the hallways and felt like I dumb idea on my part pretty quickly. I doubt I really saved any time but I did likely add some frustration. Next time I'll just check it at the end of the trip. I liked carrying my own bags on to start the trip because we didn't get on until almost 2pm and our room was ready for us already. Overall, the trip was excellent, the ship was beautiful, the service was top notch, and I'd do it again tomorrow if I had the vacation and savings! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
My girlfriend and I had reservations across from the Johnson Space center at the Microtel hotel, some 40mins away from the port. A room there seemed a better cost effective option than anything on the island. So on Saturday April 18, we ... Read More
My girlfriend and I had reservations across from the Johnson Space center at the Microtel hotel, some 40mins away from the port. A room there seemed a better cost effective option than anything on the island. So on Saturday April 18, we drove down from Arkansas. The hotel was adequate for our overnight needs, and had no vacancies. Day 1, Sunday, Departing Galveston, TX. : We ate breakfast at the hotel, checked out about 9:00am, and drove to Galveston in about 45mins. I had planned on driving around the island to see the sights before parking, and then start the boarding process around noon. However, someone had picked that day for walk-a-thon type event, and we ran into a traffic mess and barricaded streets. After much delay, due to U-turns, and waiting for participants to cross various streets, we made it to terminal 2 and Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas. I dropped off my luggage along with my companion, and headed out in the traffic again to find Park-N-Cruise. Arriving there about 10:45, I was quickly guided to an indoor parking spot, where I grabbed my backpack, other items, locked the car, and walked over to the terminal. We then rolled our main bags over to the luggage area and a porter stacked them on a cart. We entered the terminal building, and went through the screening process fairly quickly, with my backpack and its two bottles of wine being unquestioned. Stopping by the RC customer counter, we got our ship passes without delay, and boarded the ship at 11:15. We walked around looking over the ship some, and then went to the WindJammer for lunch, where we found many choices. We wound up usually eating breakfast and lunch in the WindJammer, as it was so convenient. Neither of us have any complaints about their food or service at the WindJammer. You will use the germ killer solution entering the restaurant, or they will quickly “offer” you some. Ocean View stateroom, #2314: At 1:15 we were admitted to our room and were both satisfied with the room’s size, cleanliness, appearance, décor, electrical outlets, window size/view/curtains, etc. We pulled away from the dock around 4:50, and all our luggage was outside our door at 5:00. Unfortunately, our room had an adjoining door to the next room. Normal conversation levels came easily through the door, and naturally our neighbors were louder than normal. They argued and carried on for three days on one topic. On the second day I complained to our steward, who said he’d turn it in to security. On the 3rd day, I asked and was told security didn’t catch them in, and so nothing was done. I called the steward into the room one afternoon, where he quickly got a dose of the next door action. He immediately pulled out his phone and reported it, and later I was told they did contact the occupants. While I realize the position this type of complaint puts the crew in, planned active/physical excursions, let alone the whole cruise, would certainly be less enjoyable if one is suffering from insomnia. From night one, we were both forced to use earplugs and a rain sound file on my notepad. By the third night, with excursions looming, I was glad I had brought Rx sleeping pills. Eventually, things got quieter, maybe because they got tired of arguing, or we were more tired from the port adventures. So, point of the story here is, bring your earplugs. We unpacked and walked up to the Sapphire for dinner, which is the main dining room (MDR). Again, the anti-bacterial self-dispensing machines were everywhere, and the hostess watches all who enter. The food and service in the Sapphire, was excellent every time. We had chosen My Time Dining, and ate dinner there every night, and breakfast one morning. We were always seated at a table by ourselves, and you could specify a waiter/table combo. We settled on table #634 with waiter Rodrigo, assisted by Janice, both from the Philippines. I was not bringing a suit or sport coat on my cruise, and reluctantly brought a tie. In a button up shirt and tie, I felt very comfortable at dinner in the Sapphire on those formal nights. I was certainly not alone, and ditched the tie after the first formal night, seeing many others who obviously shared my viewpoint. We had shrimp cocktail, grilled cod, crème brulee for dessert. Day 2, Monday, At Sea: Hot tub that am, suntan time, World’s Sexiest man competition poolside, We had signed up for the Meet and Mingle, but the timing was off as we busy somewhere else (FloRider?), and opted to stay with that. Scallops and lobster bisque, tenderloin, plate with three sample desserts. Around 7:30p, the Captain addressed the audience in the promenade, while we had complimentary wine. Day 3, Tuesday, At Sea: We had our only breakfast in the MDR, with four others at a table. I had salmon eggs benedict, which was very good. Then it was more hot tub, sunshine, steam room, and food. Poolside, we saw the Men’s International Belly Flop contest. In the MDR, we had pork tenderloin w/stacked potatoes, ? for dessert. That evening in the Metropolis theater, Joel Mason as Elton John – a hilarious entertainer, and I’m not easily amused, sorry if you missed it. Day 4, Wednesday, Rotan Excursions – Even though beginners, we opted for only one RC sponsored excursion, along with two private ones, and were pleased with all of them: In Rotan, off the ship at 8:30, Hector from Rony’s tours took good care of us, showing us the island, finding the beachfront Barefeet Bar where we had two lobster plates, including beer for $40. He also took us to a nearby place to snorkel on a reef. He dropped us off in town around 2:00, and we shopped a bit, buying the usual t-shirts and stuff. His car’s AC worked well, which turned out to be an exception elsewhere. I also purchased some jewelry from D.I. in the port terminal. Later, in the MDR, we had crab cakes, encrusted loin of cob fish, and Rum Baba for dessert. Day 5, Thursday, Belize City, BZ. : In Belize, we had our first tender ride, which went smooth and was not a hassle. We went just outside the terminal’s front door as Yhony had indicated in his emails, and easily hooked up with Butts Up (Cave-Tubing.com). After an interesting bus ride thru Belize City and the countryside, we arrived. Bathrooms for changing, and drinks were there, and after grabbing a PFD, we had a good informative hike up to the caves. At the end of the hike, our tubes with neck rests were waiting for us at the water’s edge. Fernando was our guide in the water and through the caves. Afterwards, it was a free boned in chicken tamale like thingy, which tasted pretty good. Of course, we had to each have a beer. Only downside was they ran out of large size Butts-Up t-shirts to buy, so I left without one. It was a nice day, getting a good overview of life in the city and country of Belize. The bus’s AC was not doing that good, so always sit up front as we did. Overall, Butts-Up was a good value for the money. Back on ship, we dined on Shrimp Ceviche, broiled sole, roasted lamb loin, chocolate cake w/ice cream, and strawberry w/kiwi meringue. Day 6, Friday, Cozumel, MX. : In Cozumel, we went into the port that am and got some good prices on T-shirts and stuff. We also had a good $2 lunch and $2 beer in the port at Bar Mandy. I paid the waitress with tip an hour earlier for our first beers, and when leaving she said we didn’t pay. I simply said, “That won’t work with us, you’ve been paid”. We returned later for lunch and had the same waitress, nothing was mentioned and when tipped again she smiled. We had chosen the RC Island Overview and Mayan Ruins tour at 11:30, over the Bar Hop tour, because we wanted to see some ruins and get a handle on the island. Turned out we picked the wrong time (my girlfriend wanted to sleep late), because it didn’t leave us time to get a cab to the town plaza before or after our tour. So about 11:45, driver Morita and tour guide Nico took us out on the road. The roads led us through the city streets and out to the countryside. We stopped at San Gervasio Ruins, and Nico gave a good walk and talk tour of the Mayan’s and the site’s history. We went out on the west side of the island and saw plenty of blue water and white sandy beaches. We also stopped at the Chocolate Factory which had free Wi-Fi. We arrived back at the terminal at 3:45. Again, the van’s AC was not doing much, so always sit up front as we did. Back on board, it was Royal seafood salad, house salad, lobster tail w/shrimp (uhh, ok, I did have two plates), chocolate sensation and baked Alaska for dessert. Then it was time for Earl Turner at the Metropolis. He’s a really wild character that had the audience in a roar. Day 7, Saturday, At Sea: After hot tub, steam room, and breakfast, we went down to the photo shop and ordered up a nice picture the crew had taken of us. Then it was poolside again, pizza and shrimp sandwich lunch at the Promenade Café, the ice rink, and FloRider. Our picture was ready at 3:00pm as promised, price $20. Dinner in the MDR was Cesare salad, scallops and steak, and key lime pie. Afterwards, a walk down the promenade and a drink at Poets lounge. Day 8, Sunday, Arrive Galveston, TX. : We chose the self-disembarking option, and at 8:00am with luggage in tow, we went down to the terminal and proceeded to Customs. It was our first time through a real Customs line, and a fairly long line. Both of us had brand new passports, and she’s asking if I go by another name? And after looking at my girlfriend’s passport several minutes, I was told to leave her there and step outside? Finally she appeared, bewildered by what the delay was. So we walked with our luggage across the street to Park-N-Cruise, and loaded up. At 9:00am I was turning onto Harborside Dr. with little traffic, and waving goodbye to the Navigator of the Seas. We arrived back home in AR. at 5:15p. In Summary: Good weather and calm seas added to the enjoyment during eight days of sailing and excursions. Using Park-N-Cruise and their indoor parking option was a good choice with the many thunderstorms passing through on those dates we were at sea. The boarding process was fairly quick, and self-disembarking is the way to go for those that can, provided your suitcases have two or more wheels. Except for the ill-timed walk-a-thon, I didn’t find Galveston a bad place to set sail from, although I can’t compare it to elsewhere. To Galveston, I would not sponsor a walk-a-thon on a Sunday with thousands of people trying to get off and on two cruise ships. Duh… I saw no sign of anyone being sick whatsoever, and the RC crew was constantly wiping everything down. I often noticed any utensil/food touched, dropped, or mishandled was immediately disposed of. Just an FYI here to any Cruise line reading this… any line that demands/enforces suit and tie in the main dining room won’t have me as a passenger. It’s simply not my thing to pack a suit, to have to wear eating while on vacation. We barely noticed any rocking/rolling motion from the ship in our level two room. We both really enjoyed cruising with Royal Caribbean on the Navigator, and we will be planning another cruise soon. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
After years of turning down cruise options for a vacation my wife and I finally gave in and went on this one during spring break with our youngest son and his family, including three younger children. We had a wonderful time, weather was ... Read More
After years of turning down cruise options for a vacation my wife and I finally gave in and went on this one during spring break with our youngest son and his family, including three younger children. We had a wonderful time, weather was great, and we just can't say enough about the staff. Everyone of them were outstanding. Special "shout-out" to Elvis in the dining room and Leon who took care of our stateroom all week. These two gentlemen went way above and beyond whatever their job description states. The shore excursion that we all enjoyed in particular was swimming with rays and sharks off the coast of Belize. While the smaller boat trip was a bit long, it was well worth it and the cost as the guides (especially Phillipe who was assigned to us) were extremely helpful. He was incredibly attentive and made sure our younger grandchildren, as well as my wife (who didn't even snorkel in Hawaii!) felt safe and had the opportunity to experience everything possible along the reef. A life-remembering experience on this excursion. Another huge shout-out to the Navigator of the Seas staff who made every possible attempt to keep us healthy by constantly cleaning all public areas. None of us, not even the children, had any sickness whatsoever. My wife and I are discriminating travelers so to give this high of an evaluation is meaningful. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
This was my first cruise, so I don't have a point of comparison other than what I have read here. But my overall impression was good. Galveston is unfortunately pretty far from the nearest airport, so if you are not driving in, you ... Read More
This was my first cruise, so I don't have a point of comparison other than what I have read here. But my overall impression was good. Galveston is unfortunately pretty far from the nearest airport, so if you are not driving in, you will have to work out how to get to port. We ended up flying into Bush a day early. We stayed the night at the Country Inn and Suites by Carlson. It has a shuttle from the airport and another to the port. It is located right on the southern beach near the pleasure pier and a bunch of other restaurants, so it is a good place to stay if you plan on coming in early. It is one of the only ones in Galveston that has an airport shuttle. We arrived at the port the next morning a little after 11 am. There was a porter ready immediately to take our bags and when the rooms opened our bags were already waiting for us. Embarkation seemed fairly painless. We were on the boat and eating in the buffet well before noon. We were not really impressed with the Windjammer and after eating lunch there the first couple days, we just stopped going back. Rooms opened a little bit after one. Our room was clean and everything worked, our room attendant, Golda, was very friendly. She came and introduced herself the first day and knew our faces and names after that and was always friendly and accommodating every time we saw her. She left us two towel animals, a snake and a dog (even incorporating the sunglasses I left lying around into our dog). The view from the balcony was nice and we felt the movement of the ship a lot less in our room than other places on the ship. We were part of BGG@SEA and we spent a lot of time in the conference room. It was nice, although hard to get to. You can only get to it from the forward stairs. If you go down the wrong side, you have to go back up to the fourth floor and then over through the casino. The casino was always packed and there was no easy way to get from one side to the other. Plus, this is one of the only areas where people are allowed to smoke inside the ship. I'm sure it is convenient for those who do smoke, but it is pretty gross to travel through if you do not. And the smoke bleeds out into the bar areas on either side sometimes since it is not enclosed in any way. I honestly never went to the casino, in part because I couldn't breath for all of the smoke in there. There are a lot of different bars on the ship (about 15 in all). They all have a different feel and each has their own specialty drinks (as well as being able to make all of the usual ones). Most people tend to find one or two they like better and frequent regularly. We tended to go to Two Poets (an English style pub) and R Bar, a kind of zany looking little bar. For food, we primarily stuck with the Main dining room and café promenade. We always enjoyed the food in the main dining room and the menu changed every day so we never got bored and never ate the same thing twice unless we really liked it and wanted some again. Our waiters Leonardo and Atarulla were wonderful and we stayed in their section all week. They were very accommodating to a surprising degree. My husband mentioned he was debating between two food options, the waiter gave a recommendation, he ordered and then the waiter brought both out for him to try. He was always willing to bring out extra at the slightest hint that we wanted it (even bringing an extra lobster out to us on the 2nd formal night, which was the last port day without a word from us, just because my husband was excited to eat lobster). We did my time dining and we got a table to ourselves unless we wanted to go with a big group and then they sat us together. Overall the main dining room was one of our favorite places on board. Café promenade has snack food like little sandwiches, cookies, etc. (the muffaletta is really good). It is attached to a starbucks and a ben and jerry's which are both good options if you want them, but they do cost extra. Overall they tend to overcharge you for anything extra you buy (normally two mixed drinks would run us a little over $20, two frappes at starbucks would cost about $10, etc). Overall the only food we weren't super thrilled with was the Windjammer, but it worked if you just wanted to dash in, eat and dash out again. It was always busy so I guess most people liked it. Because we were with a group, we did not do too much of the normal on board activities. The adult pool was frequently empty with a lot of people lounging around it but the hot tubs were super packed. We did go to the Quest and the Love and Marriage game. Both of them were very fun and we laughed a lot. The director and his comments really added a level of humor to each event. The only thing we were not very happy with was the shore excursions and disembarkation. Since this was our first time cruising, we stayed with all RCI excursions. In Jamaica, we did Flavors of Jamaica. It was about an hour drive each way to the plantation. Our guide on the bus was very nice and we learned a lot about Jamaica from her. The plantation itself was very pretty (although they have a lot of very large spiders all over the place, so this may not be the best tour if you are an arachnophobe like me). The guide that showed us around the plantation was really mean. The group in the back couldn't always hear very well, at one point, she called us out for "not listening" and then pulled us to the front of the line like bad children. Then as punishment she wanted us to dig through a pond searching for a bullfrog to catch for her. I refused since I am afraid of spiders and there were some big ones on the lily pads. She then had us go wash our hands, ad held my husband back so I would be by myself when I had to go by this giant web filled with spider webs. He didn't realize what she was doing until I jumped when I saw it and she laughed. Overall she was very mean and ruined this excursion for me. The food itself was very good, but there was some miscommunication at some point and the plantation did not realize how many people there were and did not have enough places for everyone. So it was delayed by quite a bit while they had to try and figure out how to squeeze in the extra people. There was not enough food for everyone and some people did not get everything. The group that came in after us ended up having to cancel their excursion because it was so delayed, but not until they spent an hour or so, standing there staring at us and complaining that we needed to hurry up. Overall we were not thrilled, although, the food when we finally got it was very good and the chef and our bus tour guide were very nice. We were going to do the stingray city sandbar through RCI, but they cancelled it (due to high winds, I guess they were afraid a wave might knock someone into the path of a boat) and didn't tell us until we got to the pier. By the time we found out, the other tours we wanted to do were either full or had already left since this was one of the later excursions. RCI ended up just refunding our tickets, but they made no effort to try and help us find another excursion. We just ended up wandering to the different stations, trying to find something else to do. We were very disappointed in how RCI handled this. We ended up going with a local one that was doing the stingrays anyways. It was called Kelly's watersports and it was in this big round both at the end of the pier. Overall, I would not recommend them either. They crammed a bunch of people on the boat. And they only had one handler and one stingray for the whole boat of 50 plus people. They ended up just having us crowd around this one poor stingray to feed it and then to take pictures with it. There was no line, it was just pushiest people got to go first. If you went first you really had nothing to do but float around, and if you went last you spent the whole excursion waiting for your turn. Very disorganized. They charged us extra for the tour because they knew we were in a bind, and then charged us another $40 for five pictures if we wanted the pictures we waited for, but they didn't tell us the price until the end. They were supposed to email us the pictures and we still haven't received them. I would go with moby dick tours instead, they are also on the pier and were much better organized and less crowded. When we got done with the picture fiasco, we went to their area and they let us interact with the stingray like we thought we were going to get to. Finally in Cozumel we did the island tour and mayavn ruins. This one was a lot of fun and we learned a lot about the mayans from this tour. We wished we had a bit more time at the tour, especially to look in the little shops afterward. As part of the tour, we went to a mayan chocolate factory which was fun and we learned a lot about the way they used to make chocolate before Europeans got a hold of it. This was really well done and well organized and everyone was friendly. They even recommended a local restaurant, La Choza to eat at afterwards and it was very good. This is the only tour I would really recommend to anyone. Disembarkation was very long (especially for those with visas rather than passports). I would recommend taking your bags down yourself, picking them up again is not very streamlined, and they actually lost our friends bags, or someone else grabbed the wrong bag, there was no process to check out the bags back to you. Anyone could have grabbed any bag. Better to keep your bag with you and know you will have it. It was a very long wait in the lounge and then a very long line when they finally let you leave the lounge. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
I'll keep this short since I really don't have a comparison point. My family had a great time on the Navigator. It was Spring Break for my school aged kids, so there were lots of families on the boat. This was great as my kids ... Read More
I'll keep this short since I really don't have a comparison point. My family had a great time on the Navigator. It was Spring Break for my school aged kids, so there were lots of families on the boat. This was great as my kids were easily able to find other kids to hang with either in Adventure Ocean or at the Arcade/Sports Court. My kids loved getting to be on a nice vacation with us and having some independence on the boat (10 and 12 years old). We brought walkie talkies so that we could make contact and check in with them when needed. We signed up for My Time Dining, which worked out perfectly for us. The food was great most nights, but we were most impressed with the excellent service from our wait staff. They really deserved the extra gratuity on the last night. All areas were clean and well maintained. My husband took advantage of the gym and spin classes. I enjoyed browsing the shops, attending the shows, ice skating with the kids, playing mini golf, and relaxing at the pool and on our balcony. Our room was small, but we made the this was perfect for first timers). Roatan was also our favorite port as we spent a little best of it. We enjoyed having a balcony on the right side of the boat (we could see the ports- Roatan & Cozumel from our side- I never really thought of that when I picked the room). We booked our own shore excursions online with independent companies, which worked out well, but if I ever sail to Belize again, I will book off the ship because the passangers who did had priority getting off of the boat (on earlier tenders). There was a long line and wait to get on the tenders in Belize- some people we talked to missed their excursions due to not getting to port in time. My family agrees that our favorite activity while in port was doing the zipline course at the Mayan Jungle Canopy in Roatan. It was worth the $45 per person cost and we would do it again (or a more advanced course, but extra $ and had a private driver (Best of Roatan Tours) who drove us around and took us to the zipline, sightseeing, and to a beach resort. Overall, it was a great family experience and I can't wait to cruise again! My kids are saying that they want to sail on Royal Caribbean again b/c they don't want to take a chance on another cruiseline...that's how much they enjoyed it! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
As a new cruiser, I have only small river barges as comparison, but I loved this trip on the Navigator! The crew, every one I encountered, were wonderful, professional and friendly. Dias, our Steward, couldn't have been kinder or more ... Read More
As a new cruiser, I have only small river barges as comparison, but I loved this trip on the Navigator! The crew, every one I encountered, were wonderful, professional and friendly. Dias, our Steward, couldn't have been kinder or more helpful. He knew right away I didn't like to get up early. I thought the food was very good considering the number of passengers and crew. I wish they didn't have to resort to pre-made foods, but it is probably cost-prohibitive to make everything from fresh ingredients. The only bad meal I had was in the dining room--a crab cake appetizer I ordered for dinner--which was obviously not prepared fresh. I would sail on the navigator again in a minute! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
We are 2 seniors and we have just returned from our first cruise. The ship is beautiful and the service was excellent. What was very disappointing was the lack of entertainment during the day. We were expecting there to be bars/lounges ... Read More
We are 2 seniors and we have just returned from our first cruise. The ship is beautiful and the service was excellent. What was very disappointing was the lack of entertainment during the day. We were expecting there to be bars/lounges with live entertainment during the day. Caribbean, blues, western or jazz music would have been nice. They did have a lonely guitar player that sounded as if he should be playing background music at a wedding. They also had all kinds of trivia and games, which did appeal to families with children. We stopped on day 4 at Jamaica, then our next stop was to be Grand Cayman, but we couldn't ferry in because of rough water. The captain slowed the ship down and we sailed slowly towards Cozumel, Mexico.It was a long boring time. We got to Cozumel on day 6, and back to Galveston on day 7. Way too much sailing with very little to do. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
Summary: Had a wonderful time getting away. Ship was beautiful. Service was mostly good. Food was terrible (except for Giovanni's). Cabin was great. Would probably book with RCI again, but for different ports of call. My husband and ... Read More
Summary: Had a wonderful time getting away. Ship was beautiful. Service was mostly good. Food was terrible (except for Giovanni's). Cabin was great. Would probably book with RCI again, but for different ports of call. My husband and I are first time cruisers and came with a large group of Texans. We had high expectations and were not disappointed with the ship. One thing that made our experience unique to most others, is I was about 4 months pregnant at the time, so we did not do a lot, but just nap and relax by the pool. It was wonderful. I read just about EVERY review on this site, so I will chime in with what to really expect, and what some reviews overdramatized issues (although I know everyone's experience is different). Embarkation: We pre-paid parking online with a coupon code with EZCruise Parking (got $15 off - came to $54.12 total). We were nervous about leaving our truck in a parking lot, but it was great! The lot is fully barb-wired fenced with security. Not covered, but you can get a car cover, if you want. Quick shuttle trip to the port (the guys load your luggage for you). Only problem is they dropped us off kind of far away, and their last cart was fully loaded, so we had to haul our luggage ourselves to the front. Not a big deal normally, but was a strain being pregnant or if you are elderly / handicapped. Arrived at our designated time. Took only about 45 minutes to get on the ship. Lots of people complain about lines and line jumpers, etc., but don't be concerned. It's just like going through airport security. Not a big deal. Once on the ship, we explored and had lunch at the buffet, the Windjammer, while waiting for our room to be ready (room was ready at 1:00 p.m. - luggage came at about 4 - 5 p.m., so give them extra time for that). We booked our excursions in the super short line at the guest services, also got all our restaurant reservations and drink package booked. Go to Level 5, The Promenade, to book all of that right away, because the lines do get long later on in the day. Also, be sure if you want to change your dining options at night, to do it either before you leave online, or right away. We messed up and waited until about 6 p.m. the first day to change it to MyTimeDining (which they say you can do on the first day), but were told it was too late and they were sold out. Huh? Oh well. We never did do the main dining room at night because of that. We got the basic drink package (soda, coffee, juice, non-alcoholic cocktails and bottled water). I felt like this was a very nickel and dime thing to do, but did it anyways. I had to have water bottles (preggers), and I felt like this should be provided regardless. It was expensive ($350 for 2), but we had to do it. It was also a pain to get your pre-paid drinks (long lines, could only get one at a time). RCI can surely do better than this, like have some kind of drink machine that takes your SeaPass card. Dining: This is where most of the reviews were right on. There are little bars everywhere and a Starbucks. Most service was great, esp. at the Windjammer bar. That bartender is awesome and knew my name after the 2nd day. The Starbucks personnel are TERRIBLE. Horrible service. They get visibly upset when you don't add an extra tip, never mind that the drink package includes a 30% TIP. A fellow cruiser and I were yelled at for not having the line go a certain way. What? There's no rope or anything. My suggestion is they remove the staff and put them in a back kitchen somewhere. Seriously. There's a little café next to the Starbucks and they have OKAY food. It's good for little snacks like turkey croissants (a little bland and stale) and bananas and apples and some bite-sized desserts. Windjammer. Let's just say it sucks. Half of the food is weird international food that NOBODY touches. The other half is exceptionally bland American food that people are forced to eat. The buffet never changes. Nothing is hot. And nothing is cold. EVERYTHING is lukewarm. I have never wanted a microwave in my entire life. Avoid breakfast. It's crazy. BTW: You can order room service breakfast for free. We did that most days. We did lunch at the main dining one day. It was terrible and we never went back. Food was nasty, cold and service was slow. It took them 30 minutes to get me a bottled water. So, we mostly ate at the specialty restaurants which were pretty good, and honestly, that's something that should be provided cost-free. Chops Steakhouse: Great service, atmosphere is romantic, good steak, but it was overcooked. Sides were delicious. But not worth the extra $35/person. Giovanni's Italian: Ate here twice because it was just that good. BEST filet mignon I've had in a long time, and I'm from Texas! Don't go to Chops for a steak, go here. The service was out of this world. It was $20/person, but we tipped an extra $20 each time bc it was just that good. Definitely recommend this place. Sabor Mexican: Overall, it was okay, but we do live in San Antonio, so we know good Mexican. The side guacamole service was cool, but the guacamole was not good. I would go at least once, if you're craving Mexican. Johnny Rockets: Ate here multiple times. Only $5.95/per person, all you can eat. Well worth it. Service was outstanding (except one time when our server left us for 30 minutes, but they quickly corrected the problem). Two thumbs up - best hamburgers for sure. Miscellaneous: Didn't go to any of the shows because we were pretty tired at the end of each day, plus we had private shows to see (from our group). Enjoyed the casino - my husband did win about $350 on the slots - woohoo! Wish they had a regular Texas Hold Em table, but the casino director didn't know when they would have it, and she seemed very scatterbrained about it. Be sure to wait to shop because they do sales and specials near the end of the trip. Also, I did a spa day the first day. Had a great facial. The pedicure I got was terrible. Worst ever. The girl didn't even rub the lotion in my skin. She just slapped it on, and I was on my own. Ladies, trust me, for the price, do your pedicure before you go. Husband got a haircut and he said it was the best one he's ever gotten! Word of advice - don't fall for their trap of booking right away. I wish I would've waited on the facial because later in the week, they have MULTIPLE daily specials, and they slash their prices. Bummer. We spend most of our days at sea by the lovely adult pool, Solarium. Despite what some of the reviews said, it was very quiet and peaceful. Plenty of sun. Get there early if you want two loungers. They also have plenty of poolside towels, and there is even a bar with some servers that will walk around to get you drinks. Very nice. All in all, it was a lovely, relaxing trip. We met a lot of new and interesting people. There were no kids running around like wild monkeys (Hooray! And kudos to the parents, the kids there were VERY well behaved), and a lot of elderly people (be patient with them). Plan to spend a little extra money on food and beverage packages. Don't expect every RCI person to kiss your butt and say hello (although most do) - the reviews blasting RCI for this are simply ridiculous. We would definitely go again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2014
This was the first cruise for my whole family (myself, husband, MIL, and 2 children ages 10 and 8). We flew into IAH and took Galveston Shuttle which was a large SUV to the port. It was a nice vehicle but the driver never said a word to ... Read More
This was the first cruise for my whole family (myself, husband, MIL, and 2 children ages 10 and 8). We flew into IAH and took Galveston Shuttle which was a large SUV to the port. It was a nice vehicle but the driver never said a word to us. Once we arrived it looked confusing and people were everywhere, so we just grabbed our luggage and went to the nearest porter to drop it off. I don't think the people standing around realized you could do it, but I wasn't going to stand around in the heat (we're from Seattle and were already melting!) And even though our check in time was still an hour away, they let us go right in. People were standing around waiting, but if you went up to ask, they let you in. We got checked in fairly quickly. Total time from curb to ship was maybe 30 minutes. We were very impressed with the ship. It was beautiful. The one thing we also were impressed with is that all the staff were so nice to everyone. The food was good most of the time. We would have breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer (if not in port) and dinner in the Sapphire main dining room. Loved the chilled soup appetizers for dinner. Our servers for table 615- Rodrigo and Virgel were awesome! They would do brain teasers with the kids and brought them extra food-making sure they didn't go hungry! We loved playing mini golf, getting some great deals shopping on the last day at sea, and the Ice Dancing show. Views from the Cosmopolitan Club on deck 14 are spectacular and don't miss going out on the peek-a-boo bridge (out of the Solarium on deck 11) and seeing the "bridge" where they drive the ship! We had a few complaints. One was the elevators. Too bad they didn't have any mid-ship, especially since my MIL who is 70 had a hard time getting around the ship sometimes. They only have them in forward and aft and there just isn't enough especially after shows, embarkation and around meal times. The elevators are slow and sometimes would just by-pass the floors. They are also hot and stuffy. And not that it's the cruise lines' fault, but some people were just so rude they would shove their way in front of you to get on the elevators before you could get to it (again, trying to get to an elevator with my 70 year old MIL) The bathrooms on Deck 11 by the restaurants smelled really bad. I don't think they ever changed the diaper pails in the women's restroom. It was bad all week long! And one thing that really annoyed us was on the last day we ordered room service for breakfast to be delivered between 0630 and 0700 since we had to disembark early for a shore excursion to the Houston Space Center- well at 0645 we get a call from room service saying that they don't deliver room service on the last day. It would of been nice to be told that ahead of time, like when we ordered! Or better yet, we shouldn't of been able to order at all! (We ordered on the tv) So we had to scramble to finish getting ready for the day and get something to eat before getting to our meeting place. Again as a first time cruiser, we didn't know this kind of info! Although the pools are small it didn't feel too crowded-probably because there wasn't too many kids on the ship, and the weather was quite windy our last two sea days. In fact the pools were closed the last sea day. Which brings me to the entertainment on the ship. We utilized the library. The games were ok and would be better if pieces weren't missing or mixed with other games. Also, young people would come in there and be loud and the tables were always messy. Too bad they don't have a "librarian" to help control some of that. Other than that I was kinda disappointed because I thought they had jewelry making and cooking classes and scrapbooking classes? I never saw any of that... As far as the ports go we loved Cozumel- went to Chankanaab for the dolphin encounter. definitely worth the money. We just wish we could of stayed there longer! Grand Cayman was ok. We didn't have any excursions. We took a taxi to Hell. They let us stay for 20 minutes but with that we barely had time to look at the rock formation, go into 1 of the stores and the post office. There is about 5 stores there and I was disappointed I didn't have time to go to the others. The taxi then took us to 7 Mile Beach. He tried to take us to a beach where we would of had to pay, even after we had agreed on our price and location, so be careful. Once we got to the beach we had a relaxing afternoon swimming and playing. Falmouth Jamaica was very hot. We also didn't do any excursions there. We walked around the port which was set up nicely. We didn't run into any pushy vendors (they were more pushy in Cozumel) and ended up with a lot of nice souvenirs. The only thing besides the heat I didn't like was Margaritaville- horribly way overpriced! Overall a wonderful first cruise experience as we didn't let the few bad things ruin all the many great things! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
My wife and I just got back from our honeymoon cruise and I must say that we extremely enjoyed ourselves. The crew was always working super hard and were a bit overwhelmed at times but always made sure to say hello. I never once saw any ... Read More
My wife and I just got back from our honeymoon cruise and I must say that we extremely enjoyed ourselves. The crew was always working super hard and were a bit overwhelmed at times but always made sure to say hello. I never once saw any crew members just standing around or loafing. The people are working their tails off all day, everyday. Although we were just first time cruisers and haven't experience the way things used to be before the pre paid gratuities, I didn't once notice any crew members not willing to help with any problem big or small. We still ended up tipping certain members that were outstanding anyways which made the services even better. All I can say is get to know the fellows that work at the Schooner Bar, Abel, Eric, and Bela are phenomenal guys and we loved hanging out with them. Our dining time was at 8:00 pm on Deck 3 and had Annabelle for a waitress with the help of Milan. These two were so very attentive to our needs and always there to treat us like royalty. There were so very many activities on board to attend as well from shows, ice shows, Salsa Dancing, Ballroom Dancing, rock climbing, putt putt, Flowrider, Ice Skating in Studio B, the list just goes on and on and we tried them all. Food was all pretty good in the Windjammer as well as the Main Dining Hall, never any complaints except for the tiger shrimp to which Annabelle just brought me out a different entree and everything was fine. No matter where we went on the boat there was always friends to be made whether they were other passengers or crew members everyday was full of great conversations with all types of different people.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2014
Like many we were concerned based on some of the reviews but picked this cruise due to the port location. We had a wonderful time and have no problem recommending both the ship and the cruise destinations. Galveston port is a challenge ... Read More
Like many we were concerned based on some of the reviews but picked this cruise due to the port location. We had a wonderful time and have no problem recommending both the ship and the cruise destinations. Galveston port is a challenge because 2 ships are leaving at the same time. Keep in mind Royal is leaving from terminal 2 as you make your parking plans. My advice is to arrive early. We were in the security line at 9:45 and were on the ship exploring within 45 minutes. Royal promised staterooms ready by 1 which they met. We boarded and took the elevator to the highest point, then walked and explored our way down. We found all of the Royal staff to be excellentWe had a couple of minor service issues from our travel agent and they promptly answered our questions and generally made us feel welcome. We at the majority of our meals in the MDR and had great service. We enjoyed the table conversation and lounging through meals over the rush of eating at the buffet in the Windjammer. Our MDR waiters we attentive and even brought extra entrees if we had trouble deciding. We enjoyed all of the entertainment and the activities. The ship is very clean. The only time we felt pressured to buy something was when my wife visited the spa. They did try to hard sell her, but after a polite no she enjoyed the rest of the experience. We booked our excursions thru Royal and all 3 were good. I know people say you can save by going outside but we didn't want any hassles. They met us immediately off of the ship and took care of everything from there. Hope you have as good as time as we did. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
My wife and I were first time cruisers and I thought it would be nice to take a cruise to Belize, Roatan and Cozumel through Galveston. Embarkation was easy and I have to say, I was very impressed with Royal Carribbean service on board. ... Read More
My wife and I were first time cruisers and I thought it would be nice to take a cruise to Belize, Roatan and Cozumel through Galveston. Embarkation was easy and I have to say, I was very impressed with Royal Carribbean service on board. The food was good, if not exceptional and there was plenty to do on sea days. We were not bored. We had an ocean view room and the room service was exceptional. The on board entertainment we enjoyed most (surprisingly) was the stand up comic. The guy was hilarious. Food wise, we tended to stay away from the Windjammer cafe, I'm not a huge fan of buffet food, but on the occasions we ate there, it was acceptable. Our table mates at the main dining hake were pretty uninteresting so we opted to eat out. The latin/fusion restaurant was the least impressive of the lot. But otherwise I would say the cruise was good value for the money. It was the disembarkation where Royal Carribbean fell down. It might have been poor coordination with the TSA (whom I also blame btw) but we waited over 3 hours to move the 100 feet to go through customs. I felt awful for the British citizen who missed his flight. This experience has convinced me that we will never sail out of Galveston again. It was a miserable end to what was otherwise an excellent cruise. Oh well. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2014
We have cruised several times with several different cruise ship lines over the past 15 years. We actually cruised on the Royal Navigator of the Seas in 2006 so this was our second time aboard this very ship. I want everyone to know before ... Read More
We have cruised several times with several different cruise ship lines over the past 15 years. We actually cruised on the Royal Navigator of the Seas in 2006 so this was our second time aboard this very ship. I want everyone to know before you book your trip that we have NEVER been told NO so many times aboard ship! It was such a different experience from all of our other trips that we won't likely cruise any more. The new trend is to have everyone purchase drink cards, not just the usual 'soda pop cards' but non-alcoholic cards and alcohol cards as well. What this means is that the line already has everyone's money so they don't have very many attendants walking about asking you if you would like a drink brought to you. You now get to go stand in line and wait 20 minutes to get a drink from the bar. AND, if you purchased one of their drink cards you are told that you can only get ONE drink and that you must wait a minimum of 10 minutes to get back in line to purchase another. We don't drink alcohol so this rule wasn't just for hard drinkers. I couldn't get two bottles of water to drink after working out in the gym. What a joke. I actually was not asked if I wanted a drink of anything for two solid days. That is not what the shipboard service is suppose to be like. We also found the service in the formal dining to be changed as well...keep in mind we were on this very ship several years prior and we know what the standard service experience should be. We were sat down and given menus and expected to get our dinner orders submitted ASAP. We asked to start with drinks (non-alcololic for us) and the waiter actually became irritated. We ended up drinking water and hurrying thru our dinner. Second night he attempted to do the same and we told him no. We insisted that he go find a bar attendant for us so we could order drinks prior to placing our food orders. Our waiter did weird things like giving menus to two men at our table and not giving menus to the ladies for several minutes. Things like that shouldn't happen with upscale dining. Also, the waiter wouldn't bring me a cappuccino coffee with my dessert stating that my drink card did not provide for after dinner coffee. I ended up standing for 30 minutes in the service desk line the next day to get that resolved. So stupid that the employees of the ship don't know their own rules. Every bar tender had a different excuse as to why I couldn't receive a free drink with my drink card as well as the amount of time I had to wait to order a second one. The only high light was the room steward who took great care of us during our trip and one particular waiter that came to us each evening in the dining room (starting on day 3 ! but that wasn't his fault). Those two men were the only people who made our ship board experience special...everyone else acted like the passengers were just in their way. Also note that if you purchase the drink card that they charge you for each day you are aboard the ship; however, they will not serve you any drinks on the last day as they state that the cards no longer work on the day that you disembark even though you paid for that day! I don't know yet if all ship lines are moving to this type of service; but my guess is that they are...just like anytime dining is now the standard fare option on most ships too now. New cruisers will not realize that they are receiving substandard service but past cruisers know what the service standards were and will definitely be unhappy with what is being given now. I would rather stay in a hotel and eat in a regular restaurant and get up and go order my own drink from a bar without paying many thousands of dollars that we pay for cruising. I use to think the extra costs were worth it because of the special service that you received onboard. Not any more... The room was tight as far as size but well appointed and beds were very comfortable. We had a third person in our room (our daughter) and her bed was hanging directly over the main bed in the room. We didn't like that layout but were unaware of how the extra bed was set up. Last ship we were on the extra bed was a fold out from the sofa which was much better FYI   Read Less
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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