69 Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

We've just come back from our first ever cruise, 7 nights on the RCI Navigator of the seas cruising the Eastern Med from Civitavecchia, 2 adults and 2 teenagers. We wanted to visit Athens so the choice of cruise line and ship was ... Read More
We've just come back from our first ever cruise, 7 nights on the RCI Navigator of the seas cruising the Eastern Med from Civitavecchia, 2 adults and 2 teenagers. We wanted to visit Athens so the choice of cruise line and ship was largely dictated by that although RCI got better reviews than MSC so we went with them. Made our own flight arrangements with Alitalia from Heathrow to Fiumicino, got 23kg luggage each and able to prebook seats, at no extra charge Easyjet! Then we had booked a transfer with Bobs Limos, now a note here, give them the flight arrival time don't make an allowance yourself for the time it will take you to get through customs/baggage collection, I did the latter and we had a fraught 45 min wait but anyway van duly arrived and transferred us straight to the ship. The drive was er interesting there was a lot of gesticulating and use of the horn but I think that a, this is standard roman driving and b, it was largely friendly between the taxi driving community. We didn't know what to expect at check in, the van driver knew where he was going and had found us a porter, unloaded our luggage which was then instantly whisked away by the porter before I even had time to sort myself out to tip him. Considering that later we found the ship was full we thought that check in went fast, we were probably queuing in the marquee for ½ hour and there was free fruit punch and cookies available. Onto the ship. Found our stateroom with no trouble, 7692 at the back, recommended by other reviewers and we were very happy. Initially the bed was made up wrong we wanted it split as 2 singles but a quick call to our attendant and when we returned from exploring the ship it had been corrected. A couple of other minor niggles but again as soon as mentioned to our stateroom attendant they were quickly rectified. We trotted down to the windjammer self service restaurant for lunch and it was busy but really what do you expect with so many people boarding at the same time, still managed to get a table for 4 without too much difficulty. I can't comment on organised excursions as we did our own thing but here's a quick port review. Messina; didn't expect much here, but pleasantly surprised, you walk straight off the boat into the town. Great ice cream, but then this is Italy, and don't miss the cathedral clock at mid day its statues are animated, it roars, crows and also plays Ave Maria, trust me it is more impressive than my description. Athens; you get a courtesy bus, probably depending on where the ship docks, to the customs and unless you are on a tour you are on your own. I was planning to take a metro to the centre of Athens but we realised that we were further away from the Piraeus metro station than I expected so we found the tourist info hut at the port and they told us which buses you could take to the metro stop. Couldn't find a ticket vendor the Piraeus end so we fare dodged on the bus, not intentionally I add. The trip on the metro was uneventful although seemed to take forever; one change took us to Acropoli station. The Acropolis was heaving, they made us wait in places on the approach I should imagine to avoid it becoming a total log jam and as other reviewers have mentioned it is slippery, you are walking on uneven marble on a slope in places. Athens is a strange mix of great history and terrible 70's architecture, it is certainly no Rome. We took the same route back to the ship but this time we had found the yellow bus ticket kiosk outside the metro station at Piraeus. Kusadasi; my wife was not looking forward to Turkey, but I wanted to go to Ephesus so had hired a car. At Kusadasi we walked straight from the boat through customs into the town. There is a tourist information office right outside the port, I was confused by Turkish addresses but they sorted me out. I had to walk through the bazaar to get to the hire company and it is a bit intimidating being accosted by shopkeepers but it wasn't as bad as we feared, we just weren't used to it. It is an experience and it can't have been that bad as we went wandering through the bazaar again when we got back from Ephesus. Ephesus was certainly worth seeing but be aware once you are in the site there is nowhere to get a drink until you get back to the stalls/shops at the entrance so in summer take plenty of water, it is bigger than you think! When we were there a small re-enactment was put on for tourists financed by some of the cruise lines/tourist board. We thought it OK but one of the children of our colonial brethren was heard to comment "is that it, that's rubbish" obviously more accustomed to a Disney parade. Personally in hindsight I wouldn't have bothered getting Turkish Lira, we did but everywhere except the entry at Ephesus was priced in Euros and I should imagine they would have taken them too. Chania (Souda) Crete; First off be advised the ship docks at Souda. Chania is the other side of the promontory and not walkable. Assuming that you want to go to Chania, when you get off the ship there is a ticket booth for a local transfer bus. I obviously hadn't done my homework here so just followed everyone else. When you get off the bus in the town centre look for the tourist information hut, we didn't spot this initially and wandered around for 40 minutes but we found some good ice cream. Anyway the tourist info office will tell you where to go through the market to the harbour/lighthouse. The Market is very good especially for leather, very cheap but I suspect that like Turkey the branded goods may not be genuine ;-) Back on the bus from the same stop to the ship, the trip takes around 20-30 minutes. If we hadn't wandered aimlessly around to start we might have had time for a short boat trip from the harbour which you can get. They do snorkeling too. Civitavecchia; disembarkation was very slick, cases packed and collected from outside the room the night before and we picked them up from the dock at our allotted time after breakfast, which ranged from 6.45-9.45. For the return we had decided to take the train back to Rome drop the cases at Termini to wander the city for a few hours. The cruise line had organised buses to take you and luggage to the port entrance if you did not have your own transport organised or use their transfer to the city or airport. At the entrance there were plenty of offers of taxis but we found a train ticket office and brought tickets for the regional to Termini and then onto the dedicated Fiumicino express. The rail station was a 10 minute walk from where we were dropped off, straight along the boulevard, easy. Got into Termini, found the baggage check downstairs, a fair walk and a long queue, and left cases, 4 Euro ea for 5 hours. Picked up luggage and took Fiumicino express, even longer trek to find train and then platform not as originally shown. Now I like Italy so don't get me wrong here but who thinks it is clever to put a train on a dedicated airport run that requires you to get up about 4 narrow steps at the door with your luggage and then drag it down a narrow corridor to the luggage racks? Come on guys get your act together! Anyway back to the Navigator OTS. We ate breakfast in the main restaurant every day apart from one and the staff were always brilliant, I couldn't fault the choice although one day there was a chocolate theme which I imagine was aimed at children as who else could cope with so much chocolate at that time of day? But even this day the usual options were available. Breakfast was only served in the Nutcracker on deck 3 not that that was a problem. We had elected for my time dining to avoid being tied and we were assigned to the Swan Lake Restaurant on Deck 5. Despite being my time we never managed to get a time between 7-9 it was always full/blocked out. The first night ended up at 9.30 after that we took the latest between 6.30-6.45 which worked OK. On this trip my time dining in the main dining room was only available in Swan Lake. Our waiter and assistant waiter were great, took the trouble to learn our children's names and our preferences, thank you Mihai, Eldon, we all had a thoroughly enjoyable time. The only time we didn't eat breakfast in the main dining room was because we wanted to use the whirlpools before they got busy. This gave us the opportunity to see our fellow guests trotting up, choosing the best loungers, planting their towels and then cluttering off for the next few hours. I would have given them the benefit of the doubt if it had only been an hour as they could have gone to breakfast but we were in the tub, went to breakfast in the windjammer and came back and the towel clad loungers were still sans occupants. Oh one thing I didn't know, you don't need your own towels for the loungers you just pick them up and return/change them on deck 11. A couple of other things, the shows, we saw 3, Mario D'Andrea, guitarist, Now & Forever, songs from musicals, and the Ice dancing Spectacular. We thought all were very good, in 50 minutes on a cruise liner you aren't going to get the Phantom of the Opera. I don't mean to come over gushing and I'm not and RCI employee so negatives, well, Mum & Dad got the sofa bed, that must be one of the most uncomfortable sofa beds ever made, come on RCI get a decent one, I've slept on more comfortable floors. Could have done with more information about the ports, we were given rudimentary information and maps, they were definitely steering you towards their excursions. They'll try to flog you mineral water to take ashore "you may get charged up to 20 Euros for mineral water ashore", right, only if you're an idiot, I never paid more than 2 Euro for 1.5litre ashore. The only night the restaurant team seemed pressurised was the last night which we assumed was because more people used the main restaurant on the last night. So be aware, book your table early and be considerate, don't hog that table when you've finished your meal they need it. Finally smoking, was allowed on deck and on the balcony which for me was a negative, not so if you are a smoker. So for anyone interested that possibly hasn't cruised before I hope I have given you some enlightenment. Be aware we have nothing to compare this cruise to but we were happy. We went geared up for seasickness and never opened the boxes, this is a big ship and very stable although to be fair the weather was very good, one night we went for a walk on deck after dinner and only knew it was windy when we opened the doors to be blown across the deck before retreating inside again. All of the crew we came into contact with were always very helpful and friendly indeed couldn't do enough for you. Before we went I was apprehensive, didn't know if it was me but having taken the plunge would I do it again, yes without hesitation. With RCI yes but not exclusively, I just want a balcony. First thing in the morning getting out of bed in your pyjamas and walking onto your balcony to see where in the world you are is fantastic. We've just got to decide where we want to go. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
This was a trip with friends and our children (twin 2.5yr olds). It was our first time and we were a little scared since we had our little ones but after the first day we figured out how to do everything and had a great time. We had ... Read More
This was a trip with friends and our children (twin 2.5yr olds). It was our first time and we were a little scared since we had our little ones but after the first day we figured out how to do everything and had a great time. We had stayed close by port and arrived at 11ish and went right in with hardly a wait...so wonderful with kids! Everyone was very helpful and we went to eat which was so crowded and a little hard to maneuver a double umbrella stroller and our carry on but our friends were a lot of help. Food was great everywhere but I'm not hard to please since I have to eat fast because of the kids. We ate in the dining hall all but one night. Waiter was awesome and have to say even better with our kids! It was like they knew we wanted to enjoy our meals so they helped to keep or boys entertained with food. our rooms were great as we had two adjoining rooms so they could run around...best choice ever! Our room attendant was amazing and our kids loved their towel animals she made everyday. All the activities on board were great. We did a couple shows and went dancing...great evening time activities but just wish we had more time to spend. We had to get child care a couple of nights for up to 3 hrs for $60...ouch on the wallet but so worth the couple of free nights out. Husband went to the Casino several times and loved it! Sailing days were a little hard at first to keep the kids busy. Loved the Ice Dancing Show! Pool area was not ever too packed and found chairs easily. Pools cold and wish they had a bigger one for the lil ones but they had fun and made friends. Haiti was great! Just went to the beach and they had a little water park where they played in fountains of water...Loved and for free! Beach was beautiful but just be careful of coral. Food was good and the Haitian people were very nice to us when we bought stuff. Overall a great day for our kids to run some energy off! Jamaica was also great. We arranged to go to Breezes in Trelawney because it was kid friendly and cheap. Adults $60, kids $30 for all inclusive and kids went to a program for 2 hrs so I could have a break for lunch. Overall, very happy with food, tasty drinks, pools and activities. Everyone was very nice and felt safe with my kids. Just wanted to add we had the greatest driver they we found when we got off the port...$60 round trip for 12 people...I thought was a good deal. I actually wouldn't mind going back there...very nice for the money and my kids had a blast! Leaving the ship was LONG! Thank goodness I had a stroller! Attendants were nice and helpful when leaving and I would so recommend getting someone to help you get your luggage if you have young kids...so worth the help! Overall, had the best time on our first trip. I'm so excited my kids will be able to join the program for toddlers next time and we can see what else Royal Caribbean has to offer. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
This is a review for first time cruiser by a 1st timer. Having never been on a cruise, I had nothing to compare so I read some reviews & hopefully you will read some different reviews before booking a trip. I didn't really think I ... Read More
This is a review for first time cruiser by a 1st timer. Having never been on a cruise, I had nothing to compare so I read some reviews & hopefully you will read some different reviews before booking a trip. I didn't really think I would like it that much and I was a little nervous, but it ended up being one of the best times I have ever had with my wife. If you are seeking a quiet, private, romantic getaway, away from kids, or if you are a food snob then a Jamaican cruise at the end of spring break is not for you. If you are xenophobic, racist, dislike kids or foreigners, or reggae, or intolerant of poverty, etc, then again, a cruise to Labadee/Jamaica is not for you. If that doesn't bother you, then you are probably in for a really good time. My overall review is very positive but I wanted to put this at the beginning in hopes that it has a better chance of being viewed by RCI. The service on Navigator was outstanding, some of the best service I have ever had anywhere. The wait staff was so on top of it, Every server called you by your name, anyone that took your card said "Thank you Mr. ...." Very friendly, accommodating, just fanstastic. With so much emphasis on service I can't for the life of me understand why they put people that aren't proficient in English in customer service positions. It is the thing I found most people complained about. The Ukrainian girl who ran trivia and guy that ran the sports are perfect examples of when it was appropriate. Both were attractive and vivacious. Her personality and accent made it seem like it was being hosted by Zsa Zsa Gabor, perfectly awesome. All us jocks were laughing because no one could understand a work the sports guy was saying, but he still did a good job, and It is only a ball game. I know the foreign accent makes it exotic, I get it. All of our waiters native language was not English, it was totally cool. Our tour guide, cave guide, falls guides, room attendants, the band, etc all had thick Jamaican accents, & totally added to the whole experience. Captain Patrick had a great voice/accent, loved it! BUT ...But when you need important info involving money, or booking an excursion, or need room service, or need to know when the sun goes down, etc. Then you need someone who can communicate, some one that can help, and here is the area RCI failed miserably. I would say 90% of the cruisers are English speaking Americans and I find conflict with putting someone that can't understand or speak English in those important customer service positions. It unnecessarily holds up the excursion lines, It delays room service (I failed to get room service twice), I missed a wake up call, I was given wrong times for events and sunset, and the list goes on. There are too many other positions available that could be filled that doesn't require important exchange of info. They are serving 3000 people, efficiency is too important!!!! The only other major flaw was the size of the pool(s). There is 3000 people and the only adult pool is 12'x12'? It is almost like they chose fashion over function. I LOVE my kids, I have coached 12 teams in 8 years, but we did not take our kids and I wanted to relax. It was impossible to get 2 chairs in the Solarium (adult area) and the tiny common area pools were ALWAYS jammed packed with kids. I just thought the boat could have been laid out a little better. I also thought there could have been adult swim at some times. The other thing that bugged me personally is that children are allowed to sit AT THE BAR in a nightclub with people drinking (just tacky and not right)!!!! They are allowed IN THE CASINO (wrong)!!! The night they had Teen night in the Dungeon, it ruined the best Club for the rest of the night! I think it ruined the atmosphere on several occaisions. Those are my only real complaints. The rest is mostly positive ... That said, let's get to the "Meat" of this review. Food: I read so many negative reviews on the food I expected the food to be really generic. I read 3 reviews comparing the food to Golden Corral. I was thinking that they were comparing the nightly sit down dinner with GC and that is very unfair. I was happy to find out that the sit down dinner had prime rib (very good), duck (good), lobster tail (tasty!), NY Strip (yummy), shrimp cocktail (Good, but small), some very good desserts ... So soon as Golden Corral has all that for $10 just let me know. Also, the waitstaff is off- the-hook awesome. We had 3 incredible waiters constantly bringing us everything we wanted. They knew all our names from the first night on. It is a really cool 3 floor dining room with balconies and chandeliers. .... Now the Windjammer has a buffet similar to GC or a decent casino buffet from morning until about 8:30 pm and that was fine with me! The other place is the 5th floor deli that is open 24 hours. It has small, tasty sandwiches always ready and some decent pizza served up until 3:00 am. The service there sucks, the guys are rude and surly probably cuz it is a late crowd and there is always kids there. So if you are not a gormet chef or the aforementioned food snob, then the food is pretty frickin' good considering they are feeding 3000 people for a week! My criticism of the food is that the sitdown dinner is limited to tea and water ... Boring. The soda package for a couple is 16.00 per day. My other dislike was we had a late seating and sometimes would be there at 10 pm!!! My other complaint Was that the Frozen Yogurt was always running out and no one would give me a pitcher of ice water. My dinner suggestions would be to follow the dress code and review table etiquette. Entertainment ... We liked the female singer in the Cosmopolitan. We loved the games shows and the Trivia was a blast (a little too easy when 10 groups get them all right, though). Ice carvings were cool, the basketball and dodgeball tournaments were a blast, too. Our friends did the some gambling tournaments and loved it. The NCAA finals were on the movie theatre screen, AWESOME! And there was lots of activities for kids/teens. Negative: The mall singers were terrible. I couldn't stand the piano guy. And it was one of the worst karaoke song lists that I have seen anywhere (only oldies!!!). Also, they had a Bartender competition during the outdoor dance party, but when it was over, it killed all the dancing for the rest of the night. Aside from the karaoke, none of that affected my stay one bit, and all can be avoided. Although the pool side band is too loud at some times Clubs: I was pretty skeptical about how good a club can be on a ship. And most of the clubs were pretty lame, but The Dungeon was one of the coolest bar setups I have seen anywhere. Great lighting, great lines, great theme, nice dance floor, cool lights, smoke machine and video screen of the dancers ... But extremely limited music selections. They didn't have anything we requested (Prince, no?) And basically played the same few songs every night. They had an 80s night that everyone went to and a MJ tribute. If you are looking for a quiet, laid back, more romantic vibe The Cosmopolitan Club is really nice. It is dark, the band has a smokey, loungy feel, the bartenders are mellow ... Pretty cool. The other bars weren't really our style, but there is something for everyone. The negative: the drinks are sooo overpriced. Alcohol is dirt cheap in the Carribean, we bought 2 LITRES (not fifths) of rum for $19.99!!! So they probably get it for $5 for a liter, or $3 for a fifth!!! Yet drinks are $7-8. Too much. The cheapest wine package was $135 for 5 bottles of mediocre wine (?!?!?!?!). Even the water package was something like $40 a gallon!!! You're on a boat in 3000 feet deep of water, every direction you look you see water, and the most abundant resource on earth is $40 a gallon? I think it is ridiculous. Labadee: The excursions were very limited and nothing seemed worth the price, so we just went to the beach and it was a great time. The beach chairs were free, don't forget to bring a couple beach towels from the ship (return them or be charged!). It is not the same soft white sand beaches like Florida but it is very beautiful and we took some cool photos. Dragon's Rock makes for some good photos, Weslie's Beach has some great pics, too. The zipline was $90 each for one ride, not worth it on our budget!. It looked fun, but it ruined the natural view and relaxing on the beach because every couple minutes, someone flew by screaming. Annoying. It was fun hiking around the island, but every thing had a fake, inauthentic feel. It reminded me of the old Jungle Cruise in Disneyland with fake handmade directional signs, and cheesy vending booths. If you can't handle aggressive, rude 'salespeople', or someone making suggestive comments to your wife or daughter, or trying to sell you pot, then avoid the vending area. It is kinda fun, but it gets annoying real fast. We were skeptical about eating in Haiti but all the food (& ice) was brought off of the boat. Actually the ribs/lunch was good! RCI advertises Labadee as an island, but actually it is a peninsula with a fence that separates it from Haiti. I think it is a private "island" owned by RCI. Also, considering the high rates of AIDS in Haiti and the recent tsunami, I would suggest taking insect repellant and not having sex with anyone from the island. Jamaica: New port in Falmouth, totally bad idea. It is 30-50 miles to Montego Bay & Ocho Rios. There is nothing in Falmouth so you have to pay $200 round trip cab ride or take excursion just to go anywhere. There isn't any decent shopping in Falmouth (or Labadee) so you almost have to take an excursion. We did the Green Grotto Caves/Dunn's River Falls tour. The falls are almost a requirement when visiting Jamaica and both excursions were fun, but overrated. The falls are beautiful, but there are literally hundreds of people climbing all at the same time, thus ruining the natural beauty. The "guides" are very aggressive, and groups joining hands and singing, and vendors bugging you to mug for the camera (and tips) are also very annoying. The park next to the falls is beautiful and picturesque. When you finish your climb you have to go thru a vendors area to get back to the bus. If you take the left path you go thru the hyperaggressive male section, but if you go right, you go thru the mellower female vendors where you can browse. All the vendors have the same generic stuff and they are all fighting for your tourist dollar. Two sets of our friends were very upset with the vendors, & reviews of vendors grabbing, physically blocking exits, separating couples etc are not uncommon. The falls are very dangerous and one should be in good physical condition to climb. The is a paved walkway right beside the falls if you don't want to climb. Personally, I loved it and would like to be there on a slow day. I wish we had more time in Jamaica. Two out of 5 hours were on the bus. The ship should have docked in Ocho Rios (Or Montego Bay). Green Grotto Caves: I am from Indiana and have been through a dozen show caves from Indy to Kentucky. I have never seen a cave so damaged, so poorly kept and it smelled like someone was roasting a skunk. American caves emphasize preservation, ecology, etc. But The Jamaican guides told pirate stories and at least 10 bat poop jokes. Rarely explaining any geological info & Letting people walk on stalactites. I love caves so it was still very cool to see. The cave was different than our karst caves, they are warm with lots of larger bats flying around everywhere. After the tour we all went back to the office and had rum punch. After a couple cups of the strong punch, we all had a nice buzz and continued on to the falls. The Jamaica you see on the tour is nothing like the Jamaica advertised on the commercials. The new highway makes it a much quicker trip, but it is not through the mountains, trees or by the ocean. You see a lot of trash in the streets, lots and yards. You see some depressing poverty next to extravagant mansions and lavish resorts and golf courses. I didn't see one recognizable chain restaurant in the hour drive, yet the falls, the cave and the beach at Labadee were very commercialized. We loved our tour guide, a beautiful, smart Jamaican woman, and our bus driver was really cool, too. Don't expect too much and it will be a fantastic trip. I wish we had gone to a cool beach. Our friends swam with dolphins and loved it. Some other people we met on the ship took a cab from Falmouth to Montego Bay to see the Jamaica not on the excursions. They said they had fun but were a little scared at times. It was almost $200 with tip and they said it was worth every penny. Tips: Here are a couple tips ... Buy cheap booze on the ship on the last day. If you don't like you dinner seating, change it on the first day. Book your excursion early, they fill up fast (one can book BEFORE you are on the ship). The back of the ship is less choppy than the front. There are no alarm clocks on the ship, so bring one if you want to see the time while in bed. If you want a spot in the Solarium or by the pool, then get there early! Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
My wife, who has cruised before, helped me pick out the Navigator of the Seas for our anniversary cruise, in late April of 2011. Things started out well, with a flight to FLL and a quick shuttle to the ship. We were greeted by the ... Read More
My wife, who has cruised before, helped me pick out the Navigator of the Seas for our anniversary cruise, in late April of 2011. Things started out well, with a flight to FLL and a quick shuttle to the ship. We were greeted by the porters, with a lot of flair and a great attitude. They got our luggage stowed into the carriers and us on our way. We arrived around 1pm and were promptly checked in, registered and on board... Check in was a breeze and we were greeted kindly and promptly... that is where the courtesy ended. We found our stateroom, interior on the port side of the 10th deck. Our room was nice, clean, but without stated 'robes' as in the guide book. Our daytime stateroom attendant saw us leaving the room and introduced himself, we mentioned the robes and he said he would resolve before that evening. The room was basic, with two beds pushed together to form a full, nice linens, a couch, small TV (with poor picture), small desk and average cruise bathroom (according to my wife). In-room safe is a nice touch. After the mandatory walking around and finding everything in the boat, we did the mandatory safety briefing... our luggage arrived at the room an hour or so later, and we were able to dress for dinner. Our wait staff at the formal dinner were ok, with us having to wait frequently for service on the drinks, and our meals were ok. We were not impressed with the food at the formal dinner service, not any of the nights. My steak was never cooked correctly, and the drink service was often quite slow. The buffet was pretty good food, changing each day and meal, but often the combinations of foods offered was odd. Side dishes often did not go with the entree's. At the pools, the adults-only pool area was swarming with children of all ages, and no one was resolving. The holding of deck chairs, though mentioned by multiple signs, was a big problem. We sat at the pool multiple hours each of the two cruise-only days, never to see a towel removed from an abandoned chair, meaning we had to arrive before 9am on the second cruise only day to even get a chair. Also, even though listed in the guide book, the documentation and by some staff members of the cruise line, the smoking area outside is tiny. There was no where to smoke and lay in the sun. Inside, smoking areas are plentiful, with every bar (almost) having a smoking section. Wait staff at the pool is horrible. We waited for over 3 hours for anyone to offer us a drink on day 4. When we went to the bar, service was ok, but not great. My wife attempted to buy us drinks at the bar on day 4 only to have the bartender wait on the people behind her, which when they mentioned that she was there first, they were told by the bartender that "I Know, what do YOU want?"We experienced similar lack of service at many of the bars, with waiters seating us but never returning to get us drinks, or taking our order only to disappear. It was pretty much go to the bartender or nothing. Entertainment was disappointing on most nights, but I think we were the wrong age group. The outdoor dance club on night 4 was fun, if too loud. The 'Quest' gameshow was awesome, a lot of fun. The 'adult' shows were attended by too many children and the 1am curfew for children is too late. Teens maybe, but having a bunch of 10 year olds running the halls and screaming in the elevators each evening until very late is inappropriate. The professional photographers did an ok job... We did also purchase the 'Classic Romance' package. It consisted of a bottle of champagne one evening, canape's before dinner (awful), vanilla bean cupcakes (in a plastic box, though very tasty), one room service breakfast (mediocre), and extra pastries the same night as your formal dinner (left in the room, very good). Price was around $100 and the price was right, even if the canape's were not. We had a good time on the cruise... even though the other passengers were rude (my wife was slammed into by multiple people in regular foot traffic without apology)... even though the wait staff was rude (a waiter nearly flattened my wife, without apology)... and the staff in general was rude (we never could understand our head waiter and he looked at us like we were stupid). We will cruise again... we just won't cruise with Royal Carribean... it was very apparent that we were not either 'skinny' enough, rich enough to be an 'elite' member, or haven't been with them enough to be a gold member. Thanks goes to the gold member who saw us being treated badly and bought us drinks, then went on to reprimand the staff and took it to the manager. That did correct some of the behavior, but only on one occasion. Good Luck Royal Carribean, you lost out on some major tips and expenditures... we are not the only ones taking our business elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
We sailed on Navigator of the Seas, an impressive ship, for five nights with our son (10) and daughter (5). We had a fantastic trip, enjoyed the sun, the ship itself, the food, and more...Our embarkation was smooth and easy. Once ... Read More
We sailed on Navigator of the Seas, an impressive ship, for five nights with our son (10) and daughter (5). We had a fantastic trip, enjoyed the sun, the ship itself, the food, and more...Our embarkation was smooth and easy. Once onboard, we had packed a carry-on of items to be able to enjoy the ship without having to wait for our luggage, which arrived before dinner. After exploring some of the ship, we headed right to the pool. The pools were beautiful! My only wish was that there was a pool for kids. The pool was deep and salty, and we should have had a tube for our daughter. The many adults sitting around it made it difficult to enjoy and swim. Our weather was simply perfect and we enjoyed our time swimming and sunning. Our children both loved the "camp" as we called it in Adventure Ocean. They begged to go back and this left my husband and I with some time to ourselves. Because of their hours, we spent time in the middle of the day together in the pool (on days at sea) but once they had enough of the water, the kids asked to go back to the camp. Our favorite feature was the time after dinner when the kids enjoyed time at the camp, with the new friends they made, while my husband and I enjoyed some time at a pub, seeing a show, or just sitting on the deck watching the sunset.The shows were fantastic! We especially loved the Ice Dancing, the comedian duo, and the magician. The pirate parade from the kids right before the comedians was such a treat! I felt so lucky to be able to enjoy a day of sun, swimming, followed by a delicious dinner, and a fantastic show. The dinners in the main dining room were delicious and plentiful. The wait staff was friendly, quick, attentive, and flexible. Contradictory to the reviews I have read, the food was delicious, fresh, and creative. The best way for us to enjoy the food the way we wanted to, was to have breakfast via room service, lunch from the Windjammer at the pool, and dinner in the dining room. The Windjammer was a bit of a disappointment in quality of food.Our Stateroom Attendants were so kind, attentive, and thorough. We trusted them and the kids even made them something special to remember us by. We loved the little towel-critters they left each evening.Our ports of call-- Grand Cayman and Cozumel-- were a hit all around. We especially loved Grand Cayman and the peaceful ocean with beach side snorkeling. The kids loved finding coral. However, keep in mind the restaurants are slow and expensive. I only wish I had researched my excursions more carefully, and then booked onshore. There were many, many to choose from for a fraction of what we paid. Choosing to visit a beach on either Island is a sure thing.While this review is positive overall, I have a few criticisms. First of all, everywhere we went, the ship was always trying to upsell us. There were auctions constantly in the Promenade, advertisements everywhere we looked, sales, sales, sales. We were constantly reminded to give gratuities to everyone we met. Drinks were $10 each, including gratuity. Even after we paid gratuity, we were given envelopes to give more gratuity. And when something did not cost extra, they called it "complimentary," as if the cruise itself hadn't cost a dime. This was the biggest surprise-- the amount of $$ we spent over five days above and beyond the cost of the cruise. Finally, I would highly recommend this cruise for families like ours--five days was just enough and the western Caribbean was peaceful and calm. Sometimes we forgot we were on a boat! Just gorgeous! Again, we felt so lucky and blessed to be able to enjoy this wonderful vacation! Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
We decided to take a short cruise for a long weekend and picked RCCL to cruise with. We usually cruise with Seabourn but short hops have been on Celebrity and Princess. Check in was fairly smooth and embarking the ship and finding our ... Read More
We decided to take a short cruise for a long weekend and picked RCCL to cruise with. We usually cruise with Seabourn but short hops have been on Celebrity and Princess. Check in was fairly smooth and embarking the ship and finding our cabin was effortless. Our cabin steward was there to greet us with a friendly smile. Our first encounter at the Windjammer Restaurant for a buffet lunch was fairly hectic with a limited selection, which included pasta, stir fires, a different carved meat each day, hot dogs and hamburgers which had previously been cooked and stacked in a pan, small salad selection and a dessert bar with fairly unattractive offerings. One nice touch, self service soft serve ice cream in the Windjammer and on the pool deck, was appreciated by young and old. Breakfast and lunch can also be enjoyed in the main dining room which is a nice alternative to the Windjammer Cafe. We spent our days reading in the rather large Solarium pool area for adults only. This was adjacent to the main pool and was a fairly quiet place to spend our time.Two out of the four nights we ate in the specialty restaurants and the remaining two we did My Time Seating where we requested and were seated promptly at 8:00PM at a table for two, without a wait. It was a welcome change from the traditional 6:30 and 8:30 seatings. Service was fair and we felt rushed in the main dining room. There was a good selection of appetizers and entrees but the food was only fair. Desserts were much better than expected and the wine list offered a good selection of reasonably priced bottles. The second night we ate in the Portofino specialty restaurant for $20 a person and the food and service were very good. I was able to make this reservation online although the restaurant did not appear to be at capacity. The fourth night we ate at Chops for a $25 per person surcharge. The food was good there but not as well prepared as it was at Portofino. No one told us to leave room for the midnight buffet that was held that night, so we just went up to the pool deck to watch others gorge themselves on hot dogs, chicken fingers, desserts, etc. and we had a good laugh.Entertainment on the ship was good although one of the revues was music from very old Broadway shows and rather boring. The show on the last night was more contemporary and we enjoyed it a lot more. The huge seating area was never full. We saw the Ice Dance show and it was very professional and entertaining and we were amazed at the quality of the skating in a fairly small ice rink. We also got to watch the end of the NCAA final game in the same room and that was a nice touch as well.The Promenade is fun to walk on but fairly limited in the quantity and quality of items for sale. Each day there were new "sales" of cheap items put out to entice you to spend money but nothing was very appealing. The last day tee shirts were brought out to the main pool and sold for two for $20 which was a good way to get souvenirs for friends and relatives. Perfumes were relatively expensive and there was a very limited selection. Liquor was well priced but had to be picked up on the day of departure which seemed like a hassle, unlike other lines that deliver it to your door the night before.The casino is large and there are a lot of slot machines. It may have filled up later in the evening but between 10 and 12, there were not that many people playing. As expected, there were art auctions, dance lessons, bingo, etc. but we preferred to read our books. Another nice touch was the "Make a Wish" walk which RCCL does to raise money to take deserving children on cruises with their families. Eight of the ten dollars spent on the shirt went to the charity. My birthday was the last day of the cruise and when my husband went to the Front Desk to see if he could buy a card, they offered to send chocolate dipped strawberries. They also threw in a bottle of champagne, which was quite a surprise and we were both very appreciative.All in all, the staff was very friendly, the ship was fairly well appointed and clean and we had a really nice weekend away. Disembarkation was not quite as smooth as embarkation since there were many people, all trying to drag their bags down to the first floor. It was nice that we could leave any time up to 10:15 which would have been leisurely if we didn't have to wait on line to go through customs along with people from an even larger Carnival ship but one can't blame RCCL for that. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
Surprised my wife with a cruise for her birthday. This would be her first cruise and my 3rd. Of course with any present you worry about how it will go over. Let me say that my wife is now hooked on cruises and is planning one for later ... Read More
Surprised my wife with a cruise for her birthday. This would be her first cruise and my 3rd. Of course with any present you worry about how it will go over. Let me say that my wife is now hooked on cruises and is planning one for later this year. The only thing I would have done different is come in a day before and stay a day later at the embarkment port. That first day was a marathon trip starting at 4:30 am. The embarkment was faster than I thought. We moved quickly through the boarding procedure. Thanks to comments on cruise critic, we bought our marriage certificate because we don't have passports yet. Next time we will have passports, but if you don't it's good for the ladies to bring their marriage certificates to easily explain the different last name. Our room was immediately available and I was pleased to see that it was fully stocked with the birthday and romance package as I had requested. The water bottles for the water package were very big (1 liter each). The juice package was also there. Our stewart was very nice and was very good. Lunch was in full blast in the Windjammer when we got there. We sat down and had a great buffet style lunch (my wife loved the pork chops and mash potatoes). The emergency procedure seemed really long, but it didn't bother us. We then went to the top deck to listen to the music and relax before the ship pulled out. It was very windy leaving Ft. Lauderdale. We went to the dining room at 6 pm for our seating. We had a great table, one couple from New Finland and two ladies from Boston. They were GREAT! The food was great too. The service was also great. We had dinner in Portofino the last night. Although we missed our new friends, the food there is exquisite. Next time we are going to try chops. I would suggest eating breakfast in a variety of places. We tried the Windjammer and dining room. The best was the dining room but the menu doesn't change. The Windjammer has ready made omelets, which my wife loves. Lunch in the dining room is a must. They had a salad bar that could be two meals by itself. My wife and I shared salad each day. Then you get a lunch too. We were stuffed. The cruise always had lots of activities. The marriage show was the best! The juggler was pretty good too. The comedian sucked! Our shore excursion (Salsa Salsa) got cancelled so that was kind of a bummer. But we just went to downtown Cozumel and walked around. It was fun haggling for prices. I have so many good things to say, I probably could fill up 5 pages. I was worried about the food due to the reviews, but I loved all of it. My wife is a little more picky and she was not impressed the first night, but had no complaints any other nights. I guess it has to do with your palate. I would recommend RCL to anyone and can't wait to get my friends hooked so we can become full time cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
We got bit by the cruise 'bug' immediately after getting on the Navigator of the Seas! Once we checked in, which was well coordinated and easy, we followed the crowd to the lunch buffet. We ate breakfasts in the main dining room ... Read More
We got bit by the cruise 'bug' immediately after getting on the Navigator of the Seas! Once we checked in, which was well coordinated and easy, we followed the crowd to the lunch buffet. We ate breakfasts in the main dining room every morning, which was very good. Lunch, we went to the buffet and do not have anything but nice things to say about the lunch buffet. Wide variety and what I had was very good. Dinners - main dining room. Awesome, great food. One of our waiters, named "Nestor" was particulary fun to be around. He always had us laughing and smiling. We really looked forward to seeing him. The specialty restaurants on board "Portofino" and "Chops Grille" were totally booked up once we thought about dining there after being on board a day. My advice is to book these in advance of sailing, if you can. Two Ports visited were Cozumel and Belize. This cruise was only 5 days. Our first one and we weren't sure if we would like it - how crazy is that?! LOL.. It was awesome. Nothing but wonderful things to say about everything. Service, food, accomodations! Best sleep I've ever had - beds were comfy. We had a balcony which probably spoiled us.. never will go without one now. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
Just returned from our 5 night RCCL Navigator of the Seas cruise! What a great time and I just wanted to share some of what we experienced. Stuff that's very helpful to a first time cruiser in particular. EMBBARKING: A friend ... Read More
Just returned from our 5 night RCCL Navigator of the Seas cruise! What a great time and I just wanted to share some of what we experienced. Stuff that's very helpful to a first time cruiser in particular. EMBBARKING: A friend tipped us that although your ship sails at 5pm and they say you must be on board by 4pm, you can get on the ship as early as 11am. This is such a great thing to do so you can avoid lines and start your overeating at the Windjammer buffet for lunch! You won't be able to get into your cabins until 1pm, but that's no problem since you'll be walking around this beautiful ship as soon as you get on. We couldn't believe how efficient the embarking process was for us arriving early. We were on the ship in less than 20 minutes and our luggage was waiting outside our cabin when we went there at 1pm. If you can, splurge on a balcony room...worth every extra penny! FOOD: Okay, the Windjammer buffet is pretty standard buffet food. Meals in the dining room is better and even when some of the things we selected weren't the best we'd ever had, the service and the beautiful decor still makes it for a fun experience. We had some great meals there! I know people complain about the food on RCCL but really, you're on vacation, get over it. Beats cooking at home! ENTERTAINMENT: Your daily compass will give you a list of activities and you'll find many things to do. Don't miss trivia games...seriously, very fun! We're sort of dorky so we didn't miss a napkin artistry or scrap booking group! Scrap booking is really nothing than getting a free RCCL pages kit to do at home, that worked for us! There is something going on every minute of the day, you'll have to pick and choose and that's fun for a vacation to have too many things to do. The shows are great! Well, at least the "headliner" performances were great. Acts from Vegas..so much fun! They change all the time so no point in going into each one. RCCL definitely knows good talent and books them for their ships. The RCCL dancers and singers, eh..they're ok..just not my cup of tea. Go to the Ice Dancing show..it's fun. TEENS: This is a tricky group to entertain. Our 17 year old found it painful that she wasn't old enough to go to the Dungeon (THE nightclub/disco) after 10pm. She would've loved it and she was too old to be lumped in with the "teens". Over all she had a GREAT time, but if you have a soon to be 18 year old, take your cruise after their birthday! Teen activities seemed to never be going on. Just too awkward at that age. I credit RCCL for trying to accommodate teens but face it, tough crowd to please. PORTS: Oh c'mon, it's all about the ships and who cares where it's going. So I won't waste your time here! REALLY?: Whoa..no little shampoos in the bathroom! Wasn't expecting that since we thought it was like staying at a hotel. You can buy a $4 bottle of White Rain in the general store. They do provide a hair dryer, so leave yours at home. Anyway, have a wonderful time! We just loved our time on Navigator and hope you do, too! Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
The ship was impressive. The staff was very friendly and helpful. I encountered two problems but they will not prevent me from cruising again. Both problems happened on day one. The first problem was found under my bed. My ... Read More
The ship was impressive. The staff was very friendly and helpful. I encountered two problems but they will not prevent me from cruising again. Both problems happened on day one. The first problem was found under my bed. My roomie checked under the beds and there was a bag and a pack of cigarettes under mine! I immediately called housekeeping and the steward appeared very quickly. We were also visited by the supervisor who assured us that the room would receive a thorough cleaning again. (I believe the person in charge of sweeping did not run the sweeper under my bed) Our assigned dinner time was 6:00p.m. The waitstaff was friendly and professional our head waiter, very attentive. However there was an "issue" in the kitchen and dinner service was painfully slow. Once dinner arrived I was not disappointed with the food. Throughout the cruise I tried new dishes and foods at dinner that I would not normally eat. The aged beef was the only meal I did not care for. I may have ordered too "done". The service for the remainder of the cruise was perfect. I am a bit of an event planner on my job. I understand "stuff" happens. I judge how one overcomes "stuff" so it doesn't happen again. Our steward kept our room spotless and dinner service improved tremendously. I rate this cruise a solid 4. I can't give it a 5 or 5+ because this is my first cruise. I do plan to cruise again and will compare the next one with this one. I will admit I can see myself becoming a cruise fan. For this cruise I decided to be a morning person. This was tip I received from reading reviews from the expert cruisers on this website. I used the gym and walked the track during the sunrise. Great sight and I managed to not gain any weight! The gym was well equipped. It tends to become crowed as the day progresses. If you can get up early and go. You can always take a nap later! My roommate and I opted for the massage special on the day we docked. This was another tip I used from this site! When we decided what we wanted to do, 8:00am was the only appointment that fit our schedule. (Bonus for being early morning people) The special included a glass of champagne. We had to ask for our glass. They were a little surprised that we wanted champagne at 9:00am, but hey we are on vacation and according to our internal clock, it was noon. There we were, 9:00am sitting on a very empty deck, overlooking the island and toasting our day. The majority of folks were already off the boat for excursions or eating. I should mention toward the end of the massage you could hear the staff setting up the deck chairs. It sounded like the circus was in town and I was experiencing march of the elephants. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
My husband and I have always dreamed of taking our entire family on a cruise. This past Christmas we made that dream a reality...it's unfortunate we chose the wrong cruise ship- Navigator of the Seas. We read the reviews about their ... Read More
My husband and I have always dreamed of taking our entire family on a cruise. This past Christmas we made that dream a reality...it's unfortunate we chose the wrong cruise ship- Navigator of the Seas. We read the reviews about their food being terrible but there are no reviews to describe just how disappointing the food really is. For breakfast we ate in the Nutcracker dinning room which was good. Then the food begins to go downhill from there...The windjammer (free style- dining alternative) reminded me of a poorly ran Golden Corral restaurant. It seemed to serve the exact same food day after day. If you wanted a change of pace for Lunch you had to pay for it in their premium lunch spot- Johnny Rockets. Johnny Rockets did have great food and service with the exception of their shakes (made from a bag in a box). We ate in the dinning room for dinner and the meals were just Okay. I couldn't believe they served me Lobster bisque with no actual lobster in it just lobster flavoring! Oh and if you heard that you get served lobster on the cruise...better think again. We were not served lobster one time on this premium, prime time Christmas cruise. I can't tell you how disappointed I was. We brought my mother along and Lobster is her all time favorite food. I went as far as requesting it..."no can do". Funny thing is we received a menu that had lobster tails on it and when we ordered it, I was told we had been given the wrong menu. Okay, okay enough about the terrible food. Let's talk about our other experiences... When we arrived at the port the Porter told my husband if he tipped him well enough he'd ensure that our bags were properly taken care of. When my husband didn't tip him what the porter thought he should, he made sure to tell him so. I could not believe it...My husband told him he thought the tip was fair and we moved on. Well that must have been a huge mistake because our bags went missing the entire day and when they were finally found around 10:00pm that night, no one could tell us why they were not delivered and where they had been located. We do know that someone had to know because my mother's dirty laundry bag (from inside one piece of the luggage) was delivered to her stateroom...without the luggage. When the luggage was located it had been shredded to pieces. We were furious! The ship offered to repair it for our return travel but there was no offer to replace it. And then last but not least my recently turned 18 year old son had absolutely nothing geared towards his age group. He is still in High School and was not permitted to attend the teen activities as they were geared for 15-17 yr old without exception. When I went to Guest services to get suggestions their response to me was "he is an adult and should join adult activities to include the night clubs". They assured me he could not order alcohol. I was appalled! But just when I though I had issues...I overheard another guest complaining of the same problem ... only they had an 18 year old girl! One woman said her daughter turned 18 a few weeks ago and 25yr old men were hitting on her in the "adult lounges". This is a huge oversight on Royal Caribean's part and they are asking for trouble by not addressing activities for this age group. If you have children between the ages of 18-21 look out! There is nothing organized for them to do. Believe it or not we did manage to squeeze some good entertainment and RR between the drama and disappointment. Honestly, I can't say I would ever do another cruise with this ship. My husband and I spend a lot of money sending our whole family on this cruise...relatively speaking it simply was not worth it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
I'm going to make this simple I simply packed way to many clothes, getting on board was simple. I arrived at 1 o'clock and walked on with no wait. We were actually able to go right to our cabin and our luggage was there by 2 ... Read More
I'm going to make this simple I simply packed way to many clothes, getting on board was simple. I arrived at 1 o'clock and walked on with no wait. We were actually able to go right to our cabin and our luggage was there by 2 o'clock. The room was 158 sf, but didn't feel cramped. The open window looking out over the Promonade was a huge plus and the showers had serious water pressure. The Bon Voyage cocktails were very tasty up on deck and made the day start off perfect. Prices of cocktails were not as bad as I expected and they do make very good beverages with high quality stuff! Makers Mark for me please. We did order a 5 bottle wine package, but should not have. It was for the dining room and we only used 3 bottles. While we could take the rest home, it wasn't worth the cost. Having said that, the soda package was very much worth the money. Be sure to save time for the shows. I thought the entertainment was exceptional. Everything from the Ice Show to the Belly Flop Competition.. not one thing we would have wanted to miss. Service on board was friendly and cordual. How that beverage waiter I met on deck the first day always remembered me by name and exactly how I liked my beverage made was increadable, even when he saw me at a show. Food.. this is one area. We didn't have a bad meal on the ship. The first nights Sea bass was the best, and from there it was all just ok. Service seemed rushed in the main dining room as well. But again, even in this area every was good. Best part though was the Coffee. Even the stuff that was not an extra charge was Seattles Best. It was excellent. I can't think of anything I didn't enjoy. Even leaving the ship didn't take more then 45 minutes. That was with 6 ships in port. I would recommend this ship and this cruise to anyone. It was a value for what we received and a life time of memories. Think I'm wrong, as the lady I met on board who was taking her 167th cruise. Even she was happy! Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
So we had 3 weeks booked and we had decided we were going to Italy, my girlfriend began mentioning going to visit Greece as well so we began looking at ferries and whatnot. Turns out they can be rather complicated. Not sure how we decided, ... Read More
So we had 3 weeks booked and we had decided we were going to Italy, my girlfriend began mentioning going to visit Greece as well so we began looking at ferries and whatnot. Turns out they can be rather complicated. Not sure how we decided, but we began looking at cruises that would stop there. We found that the Navigator was going to not one but two ports there AND going on to Turkey then Egypt (both dream destinations). The price was confusing, as when we began looking, inside cabins were the same price as outside cabins, we dragged out feet and did not book right away, and the outside rooms went up by $1,000.00. Once the price jump happened we got our room right away before the price went up again. We headed to the port, then had to put up with way more people than there were buses for at the gate to the Civetavecchia Port. Royal Caribbean really needs to correct the shuttle bus situation, as it was a bad way to begin the cruise. We eventually made it to the disembarkation tent, then onto the boat. Wow it was big, being that I've never been on a cruise I was not sure what to expect, but this boat was bigger than aircraft carriers I have visited. The staff were all very friendly, the only ones who did not smile and greet us were the work men (there was ongoing work being done to resurface several areas, and wow did they ever make deck 4 smell like paint thinner). I would imagine the workers are not staff, because any of the rest of the staff went out of their way to greet you. The room we had was really tiny, but well laid out, it seemed there was a place for everything, even the bed was set up so you could put your luggage underneath. Our cabin attendant was nice, although on the first day of he cruise she left us the cruise compass (the daily what's going on guide) in Dutch because she saw we were from Canada lol. I can assure you I have never heard any Dutch spoken here, and once we assured her that we spoke perfect English the correct version of the compass was brought. The food onboard was good, we never went to the Main Dining Room because we preferred the relaxed atmosphere and dress code. The few times we looked at the menu offered we noticed it was almost the same as the buffet (the Windjammer). My biggest criticism of the buffet was that the food was almost the same every day for 12 days. We ordered room service a few times and it was always fast and hot. In all the food was very good, just not enough variety. We saw the shows a few nights in the Main Theatre and really enjoyed them (a Beatles Tribute, a Frankie Valli Tribute, etc) Enjoyed the ice show, but you really need to get to the rink early as it fills up fast. Took advantage of the adults only pool (oh my gosh it was cold!) and the hot tubs, both were nice, although with 3,000 people onboard you almost need more, things got very busy on sea days. The port selection was really good, although Messina is a bit of a waste of time (we didn't get there until 2:00, and all the stores were closed until 4:00) although some did do an excursion to Etna from there, so other than that I am not sure why we even ported there. In all though, this was our first cruise, and we both really enjoyed it and hope to do it again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
We took this cruise with RCI to the eastern Med and Egypt and were not disappointed... we had a wonderful time and can't wait to our next time! The ship was well laid out and very clean. We never had long to wait for the lifts ... Read More
We took this cruise with RCI to the eastern Med and Egypt and were not disappointed... we had a wonderful time and can't wait to our next time! The ship was well laid out and very clean. We never had long to wait for the lifts (elevators) and found the promenade, theatres, lounges and bars to be immaculately decorated and comfortable throughout. Our cabin attendant Josie was incredibly friendly and so hard working... she deserves a raise for sure and was a credit to both herself and RCI. The entertainment was generally good and at times very good. I was appalled to see some guests walk out on some of the performers at times after only a few minutes... their loss! We opted for My Time Dining which gave us greater flexibility with to regards to when we ate. We never made a reservation and never had to wait more than two minutes to be seated. We were a little disappointed by quality of the steaks served for dinner (I suspect the quality meat was kept for Chops Grill which had a $25 cover charge!), we found them to be quite 'stringy' and gave up after a couple of nights and instead opted for the chef's recommendations which were usually good. We took breakfast in the Windjammer most mornings (buffet style) and their was always a wide choice of good quality fare on offer. We also enjoyed a relaxing coffee (Seattle's Best) with sandwich or cake in the Promenade Cafe most days too. The only reason I deduct a mark for the dining experience was the because of the steaks... surely this could easily be resolved! We took RCI shore excursions at all ports bar Rhodes Town. These were generally good value and well organised if a tad expensive. See below for comments on each port. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth and really quite painless. Hats off to RCI for this as there were over 3000 guests on-board! Being from Northern England, we were keen to take advantage of the wonderful sunny weather and never had problems in finding sun loungers; the towel exchange facility worked well too. If you enjoy more than just the odd glass of wine, beware! RCI must be one of the most expensive purveyors of wines... the cheapest glass we saw was in the $8-9 range with bottles costing $30+. Cocktail of the day was $6.95 plus 15% gratuity with typical cocktails costing around $8-9 plus gratuity. We opted for the Soda Package which was great value for money but did enjoy our fair share of cocktails too ;-) Would I do this again? In a heartbeat! Would I cruise with RCI again, yes, I would... the staff worked tirelessly to ensure the guests had friendly and first rate service and I can't thank them enough for ensuring our Silver Wedding Anniversary was a memorable experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
Pre-cruise activities and accommodations: Rome, Italy; Hotel Navona, city center three nights. Clean, well-located hotel, though we actually stayed in one of their satellite apartments (they called it a suite). Tiny bathroom and shower ... Read More
Pre-cruise activities and accommodations: Rome, Italy; Hotel Navona, city center three nights. Clean, well-located hotel, though we actually stayed in one of their satellite apartments (they called it a suite). Tiny bathroom and shower (welcome to Italy!), but excellent service. -Great food, great tours, great city. Navigator of the Seas: Unbelievable facilities and service that far exceeded our very high expectations. Room: Our room (interior) was certainly large enough, and the size of, and water pressure in the shower was surprising. The only time the room seemed small was when we were packing or unpacking. Our stateroom attendant (Taylor) was friendly and delivered excellent service in our absence. The fact that the room had no outside access actually made for some of the most restful sleep we'd ever had! Fitness/ Spa: Worked out several times and wife got a facial. We were pleased with the extent of these facilities. Pools: Very nice, though for our cruise it was unseasonably cool and not always sunny on 'at sea' days. Still found time to catch some rays and a soak in the tubs. Promenade: This was amazing. Such a huge area to spend your time or pass through on the way to dinner or to the shows at night. The jewelery store had a fantastic selection, and the souvenir shop was nice, too. The Two Poets Pub offered a relaxing atmosphere and great selection of the ales of the world. We loved the Cafe Promenade. It was always our stop after getting on the ship after excursions for a quick snack to hold us off for late dinner. Always have pizza and the best chocolate cannoli I've ever had. Casino: Great for low-speed (penny machine) gamblers like my wife and I. Not too smokey at all, and formal nights are smoke-free. Shows: Top notch dancing and singing. Ice show was great, too. We really enjoyed the 'Quest' and 'Love and Marriage Game'. Dining: The Windjammer offers the biggest selection I've seen at a buffet, though we really enjoyed our meals in the dining room, whenever possible. We had all our dinners there- loved our table-mates- and several lunches. The salad bar at lunch is the best kept secret on the whole ship. There were a couple of nights when the selection for dinner wasn't my favorite, but there was always a nice variety. And if you wanted to try something different, just order it. They are so accommodating and no amount of entrees (or starters or desserts) is too much to handle. Service from our waiter (Nuno) was impeccable. Embarkation/ Disembarkation: Smooth for such a large amount of passengers. The only backup was in Egypt, but that was due to a slow customs agent. Overall: We've already booked our next cruise with RCI! Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
I am a first-time cruiser who wants to shoot you straight about what to expect if you have never been on a cruise before. As I read through review after review, I felt like I really didn't get a good picture of what to expect. ... Read More
I am a first-time cruiser who wants to shoot you straight about what to expect if you have never been on a cruise before. As I read through review after review, I felt like I really didn't get a good picture of what to expect. Everything was either really negative or cruises are the best thing ever invented. I believe that most cruise ships probably fall somewhere in the middle. And most experiences will probably be somewhere in the middle. So here I go, hopefully I can give some other first-timer some helpful hints of advice. First of all, don't follow the check-in begins at 2 PM advice. We got to the port at around 11:15 am. The place was already hopping with activity. Check-in for us was a breeze--only took about 20 minutes from cab until we were sitting down to eat lunch at the Windjammer. First bit of advice--make sure you do the online check-in paperwork. It doesn't take very long and will save you a little time getting onboard. You will need to print off a couple of sheets of paper at the end and sign your name explaining how your account will be paid. Remember to pack a light bad if there is anything you will need before 4 PM or so. Hopefully your luggage will arrive by then. We were able to check in to our room a little after 1 PM. I think our luggage arrived around 3 PM or so. We had gone to check the boat out and when we returned our luggage was waiting outside. Lunch will be cram-packed on day 1. I believe the Windjammer is the only place open for lunch on day 1. So expect some lines and some waiting. We enjoyed the view in the back of the Windjammer looking back at Miami and parts of South Miami Beach. The room was actually better than I expected--and even a little roomier. We had a balcony. I would vote for this at all cost. I can't imagine an interior room or one with only a water view. The balcony makes your room feel much bigger than it really is. Also, you have a place to step outside and enjoy the weather, water and views. Pay the money--get the balcony. Hair dryers are included in the room. Bathroom is small--especially the shower. But hey, you are on a boat. Did have those sliding doors instead of shower curtains that many others have mentioned. Can't imagine how it would work with a curtain?? Plenty of storage room in closet and under bed to stow away luggage. Also had about 6 drawers to put things around desk area. Wife loved the lighting around desk when it came to fixing hair and makeup. Mirrors would move a little on sides to give you a full view. Also have full length mirror on one side of room, too. Big plus for me, bed was comfortable. Not great, but not bad. As I mentioned, better than I expected. A/C worked pretty well. I like things cool. Our room was always able to get cool enough for me. Now...on to the real nuts and bolts of the trip experience. Let me make a few comments about some of the basic necessities on a vacation in a tropical climate--pool and lounging. Pool areas are just okay. If you expect to be able to get in the water and paddle around--forget about it. First, the pools are very small--especially when you think about there being 3500 people on board. Second, the kids will take the larger pool over after about 11 am. There is an adults only pool/section. But that pool is really small. I guess the lounge areas are okay. The earlier you get out the better likelihood of getting a prime-time spot. Once you get up in the day, it will be elbow to elbow everywhere. I was not a big fan of this. It is also weird to think about the walking track going around the main pool deck area. At first, you may not think this is a big deal. But if you want peace and quiet, there is none. If you are on this deck, you will constantly have people either running or walking by you as you try and relax. Not a big fan of this either. I always ventured to areas away from the track. Lounge chairs are pretty (okay) comfortable. Definitely two classes of chairs on boat--padded and not. get a padded one, you are loving life. Get a regular one, not so great. Maybe my expectations were too high. I guess now is the time to interject my previous vacation experiences to compare. My family often goes to Destin/Ft. Walton area of FL to get some R & R--staying at beach front condos. I also had one great trip to All-inclusive in Mexican Riveria. We are definitely not luxury travelers--but not econo-line travelers either. I was hoping the pool area and lounge chairs would be better. Like I said, maybe my expectations were too high. I love to go on vacation and sit and lounge either by the pool or in it. Cruise ship does not make my top-10 list for this. Now, the views were stunning, the accommodations were not. Okay, let me move on the the food. We ate in the Nutcracker dining room each night. We were in a group of 8 and had a large table close to the windows. Once again, views were great. I thought dinner always took way too long to complete. Normally took our party over 2 hours to complete meal. Granted, I didn't mind socializing with my friends. But 2 hours and 15 minutes is too long for dinner...period. Food was good--nothing spectacular. One of the cheesecakes one night was fabulous. A scallop appetizer one night was excellent. Besides that, nothing really above-average. Now, clearly, the food is not bad. I don't understand how folks get on here and say the food is bad. No way under any circumstances. You can always find something decent to good to eat on ship. Besides the main dining, we ate in the Promenade area several times for snacks and breakfast in Windjammer once. Of course, we were off of the ship for almost two entire days on this 5-night trip. I will say this--lunch in Cozumel at Playa Coronas was my favorite meal. Ate lunch one step from the water and had some authentic Mexican food--chips and salsa and chicken/beef fajitas. Extremely good eats!! You will have no problems finding food to eat. Something will always be open or available. The entertainment that we saw was good. Didn't take in a lot of the shows. I will also put it this way--I didn't go on the course to seek out entertainment. My wife and I are more in to relaxing, enjoying time alone away from the kids. We both enjoy a good book as much as a comedy show or ice-skating. But if you are in to the shows--this may be the place for you. There is always some form of action going on--dancing, music, karioke, games, info sessions, shopping, poolside games, sports games, etc.... Almost seems like there is too much going on at times. Almost like you are being moved around from venue to venue and act to act to make sure you don't/can't get bored. I didn't get bored. I don't think you will get bored either. Now to the last one--service. Here is where I really struggle. Was the service bad--no. But I expected better. I think many workers were not excited about there jobs. For example, if you go up to the bar and ask for a water or soda, forget getting a smile or conversation. Is it because they don't get as big a tip if you don't order an $8 mixed drink?? Great question. Many service people were not very friendly to my wife and me. It was like they were going out of their way to wait on us. Excuse me, aren't I the one that paid for this trip. And paid a lot in my opinion. Maybe you think cruising is a bargain. I don't. Seems pretty expensive for what you get to me. Anyhow, back to the service. I kept hearing about the Golden Anchor service....Not sure I got that. Another area of concern for me is that I only speak one language--English. Many of the workers speak languages well that aren't English. Thus, communication was difficult at times. Once again, maybe my expectations were too high. It seems like the cruise industry seeks out the US traveler and customer. Most of the cruisers on our ship were US vacationers. I just expected the English to be better from the workers who were in contact positions--desk, bartenders, guest relations, waiters, etc... Lastly, I will leave you with one instance of poor service. My wife was wanting her normal Diet Coke to kick start the morning. So I notice one of the bartenders at his location next to the Promenade. I also notice that no one is around--usually 4 or 5 people always waiting to be served. Hey, great chance to go get my wife her Diet Coke. As I make my request, the guy tells me he doesn't open until 8 am. I take a look at the clock--7:58! I guess the ship shuts the pre-mix machines off until 8. Maybe they work like bank vaults with time sensitive locks!! BS!! He just didn't want to serve me. I wanted to go back and ask for a drink and see if he opened before 8 am for that tip??? But I didn't, I just walked over and got a glass of water. Gold anchor service at its best. Okay, I am getting off of topic. I am trying to mention some words of advice to first-time cruisers. In no particular order, I will throw out some other things I noticed: 1. Don't fly in the day of your departure. Why? Ask the lady next to me in the muster drill who had her luggage lost by the airlines. She was not a happy camper. And her husband wasn't either as he had to stand there and listen to her complain about her vacation being ruined. 2. Make out a plan about what you want to do each day--check the Compass. If not, you can become overwhelmed with everything going on. You also need to decide if you are going to be a morning person or a late-night person on your cruise. You definitely can't do both and have any energy. 3. Make spa appts as soon as you get on board if you want certain times. But remember that some of the deals will come later in the trip. Discounts can be had for evening appts and appts on port days. FYI, massages on the beach on port days are also usually cheaper than ship prices. 4. You always run the potential of bad weather on a cruise. My wife got sick one evening when it got rather windy and the boat started swaying one night. Can't really control that on a boat. This did not make for a fun evening. 5. Internet access is very expensive on a boat--55 cents a minute or some type of pre-paid package. Internet doesn't move quickly either (nice way of saying it is slow). 6. Pay attention to the dress codes for your trip. Many folks will always dress up for dinner meals. But you don't have to--the smart casual style is okay, too. Will be one formal night at minimum. Okay, this is getting way too long. Let me end by saying the Navigator was a nice ship. But I will never participate again. For the money I paid, I could have had twice that experience at a great AI in the Caribbean somewhere. But there is a first time for everything and I learned from the experience. I enjoyed my trip. I enjoyed getting away and spending time with my wife. But I also know that my vacation could have been much better. Sorry RCI, you will not get me as a repeat customer. In order to get me again for the price I paid, the service, the amenities and the food needs to be much better. Next time, you can find me soaking up the rays at a beachside palapa in the Mexican Riviera... Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
Overall, we are very pleased with our experience. The only down side was the fact there were 900+ 18-24 year old college students on the ship - - "Spring Breakers"... had we known from our travel agent, we would have booked a ... Read More
Overall, we are very pleased with our experience. The only down side was the fact there were 900+ 18-24 year old college students on the ship - - "Spring Breakers"... had we known from our travel agent, we would have booked a different week... but regardless, we were able to enjoy our time on the ship as well as Cozumel and Belize. For starters, boarding was relatively effortless. Everyone was friendly and helpful. We traveled with two other couples who had cruised a few times before and they had commented on how well it went compared to the other cruise lines they used previously. Every crew and staff member we encountered smiled and greeted us. The ship was very clean and welcoming and there was plenty to do and delicious food to eat while we were getting underway. As recommended by a crew member, we took the opportunity to explore the entire ship while waiting for our luggage to be delivered. The food was fantastic. The Windjammer buffet and the Promenade cafe offered quite a variety of good food. It was nice to be able to grab something quick any time of day and night. Breakfast offered many options. We opted for the sit down service in the Nutcracker dining room for the majority of our breakfasts. The service was great and the food was quite tasty! Lunch varied from day to day depending on the activities we were participating in and our hunger levels! We did have a chance to go to Johnny Rockets on our last day - so glad we did - yummy! We had four of our dinners in the Swan Lake dining room. We had first seating and had the most delightful waiter, Claudiu, and assistant waiter, Michael. The Head waiter was quite welcoming and visited our table each meal and Ian, the "booze man" was a lot of fun! The only down side to our dining experience was the location of our table - in the corner next to the service station and the window had a 'lovely' view of a lifeboat - we would have preferred a better table but the wait staff made the experience delightful. Formal night was especially fun! We chose to eat in Chops Grille for our fourth night and felt like we dined in a 5 star restaurant. The food, staff, atmosphere was top notch - well worth the additional fee. The bars were hopping! The bartenders certainly had there hands full dealing with all those college kids but they were still very attentive to the rest of us! The variety was endless and prices were reasonable! The service poolside was also good. Again, with hundreds of spring breakers capitalizing the decks, pools and jacuzzi, it was a lot for the crew to handle but they seemed to do a good job with it. (although we felt there were some guests who should have been cut off and there were MANY underage drinkers but its hard to control with a crowd that size...) and we noticed plenty of "security type" staff observing the crowd to ensure everyone's safety. Unfortunately, there was a tragic accident on the second to last night during a midnight dance party held in the Solarium. A college boy jumped into a closed pool that had been drained and netted off. He suffered severe head and spine injuries. The medical staff did their best to tend to him and quickly evacuated him to the closest hospital. It was a case of too much to drink and no common sense on the part of the young man. Hats off to the wonderful Cruise Directors, Simeon and Richard. They were extremely entertaining! Their morning show was "laugh out loud" funny and informative. The daily ship newsletter, the Compass, had so much information about the day's activities, port of call information, specials and shopping information. There was so much to do all day and all night. It was nice to see things offered for all the age groups and abilities. We were able to participate in quite a number of activities. Overall, departure was quite orderly and easy. There was a delay in getting back to port because of the diversion to get that young man to a hospital but the Captain had been very informative to all the guests and was able to get us back on track in relatively good time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
My fiance and I booked a 5 day cruise with the RCL Navigator of the Seas, sailing over Presidents Day weekend in February. Unfortunately, the day we were to fly out of Minneapolis, there was a snow storm in Atlanta which apparently shut ... Read More
My fiance and I booked a 5 day cruise with the RCL Navigator of the Seas, sailing over Presidents Day weekend in February. Unfortunately, the day we were to fly out of Minneapolis, there was a snow storm in Atlanta which apparently shut down the entire country. We frantically searched for another flight (with no help from Air Tran), and were able to fly out the next morning. We happily arrived in Miami the day of the cruise. We were able to check in with ease and very little waiting. We ate at the Windjammer (nothing great, but it was okay) and explored the ship. We found our cabin on the 2nd deck. It was fine but nothing fancy. I had requested the refillable soda, which was in the cabin when we arrived. My fiance has some health conditions, so we (I) filled out a health conditions form and faxed it to the ship a few weeks before we had sailed. He is diabetic and has a CPAP machine, so we need distilled water, a sharps container, and extension cord. We got the sharps container and extension cord, after requesting them from the housekeeper. However, she told us that we had to call Guest Relations and request the distilled water and then she would deliver it. I had to call guest relations 3 times before we received it. The first night, I was told by Guest Relations that there was only one housekeeper working and she was too busy to deliver it. Why would there only be one housekeeper working on the first night?! We had dinner in the main dining room every night, and thought the food was good. We liked our waiter and housekeeper, and didn't have any issues with them at all. The first day was at sea, which was fine. Just did a lot of exploring of the ship. The second day we were in Labadee, Haiti. Unfortunately, it POURED rain and was cold. We had planned on doing the flight line, but were unable to, due to the weather. This was right after the earthquake in Haiti, so we had wanted to purchase items from the locals. Unfortunately, the locals were very aggressive towards us in trying to get us to purchase their wares. They were grabbing at me, and basically pulling me into their little places of business. I was really uncomfortable. My fiancee (who has been on cruises before) said that the Bahamas folks who sold stuff had nothing on these guys. I was disappointed considering that this was RCL's own, private island, and we were treated so rudely. Basically, after an hour or so, we were soaked, and crabby. RCL did a BBQ on the island, but we didn't stay for it. The main dining room was closed for lunch, so we had to go to the buffet. To be honest, I wasn't terribly impressed with the buffet. It was anything that you could find and eat at Old Country Buffet. The next day, we went to Ocho Rios, Jamaica. That day was probably the nicest, weather wise of the whole trip. We went tubing down the White River, which was fun. After that, we hung out on the beach for a few hours, which was nice as well. The last day was a day at sea, which was kind of boring. We couldn't really lay by the pool, because it was so cold the whole time. The shows were entertaining, not Broadway caliber, but good. Also, on the last day, we had requested assistance from Guest Relations to get to Fort Lauderdale (this was due to having to fly in at the last minute). Guest Relations informed us we were on our own, and they wouldn't help us. Basically, my feeling on the service was that it was not that great. I mentioned earlier that I liked the staff who dealt directly with us. However, outside of those folks, I never really felt like anyone went above and beyond for us. For example, I purchased something in one of the general stores. He charged me a dollar more than the price that was marked. I pointed it out, and requested that he change it. He glared at me and complained about the people that work for him. I also felt like when I requested a refill on my soda, I just got rolling of eyes from the staff. Perhaps I expected too much, but I just didn't feel like it was the 'Gold Anchor' service I had thought it would be. Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
About us: My husband has cruised 5 times previously, all with Princess. Myself and my sons (12 and 10) have never cruised before this. Embarkation: We flew from Toronto to Miami on the day of embarkation - Feb 8th. We arranged our own ... Read More
About us: My husband has cruised 5 times previously, all with Princess. Myself and my sons (12 and 10) have never cruised before this. Embarkation: We flew from Toronto to Miami on the day of embarkation - Feb 8th. We arranged our own flights separate from the cruise, so we took a taxi from the airport to the Miami Port - $24 flat rate. At the port the lineup wasn't bad - we arrived at about 130pm and were on board checking out the ship by 230pm. Our room was ready but our luggage hadn't arrived so we went to Windjammers to get a bite to eat. It was packed! I guess everyone was doing the same thing! Food: We ate lunch at Windjammers Buffet every day except the day we went to Johnny Rockets. I'm not a fan of buffet, and the Windjammer buffet was just okay. I usually had a slice of roast (pork, turkey, beef) and a big salad. My kids and husband had burgers, fries, pizza, etc. Johnny Rockets was definitely worth the $40 for the 4 of us! I was just happy to not be eating Windjammer buffet. ? For breakfast, we always went to the dining room. I prefer to be served and the dining room breakfast menu was great. The food was very good. This is a good place to mention that the soda package is worth it, but the juice package is not. We didn't realize that they'd serve us juice (included) with breakfast, so we spent $30 on juice that wasn't necessary. Also, the water package really wasn't worth it either. We bought 12 bottles of Evian, but only used about 6, as the water in the dining room was fine to drink. Our dinners were excellent. We had early seatings (6pm) in Coppelia, table 475. Our servers, Richard, Marisha and Samuel (all from India) were fantastic. The food was great - the service was greater! We have no complaints about dinner, that's for sure. Well, actually, the shrimp scampi was a tiny portion one night, but Marisha quickly offered to bring me anything else that I'd like. However, I was so full anyway. The breads are excellent! Also, the midnight poolside buffet was great. Lastly, the Cafe Promenade was a great place to stop and get a coffee or tea, hot chocolate for the kids and a cookie or piece of cake or sandwich. No complaints about the food. I gained 3 pounds in 5 nights and I exercised a lot - so the food was good! Entertainment / Activities I thought the entertainment was very good. We saw the nightly show each night and it was decent. Some nights better than others, but overall, entertaining. There was always something to do for every age group, family, couples, singles - whatever! The cruise director, Simeon, was excellent. We rock climbed, played mini golf, visited the arcade, walked around, ate, enjoyed the pool and relaxed. Room: Our room, 9656, balcony on the 9th floor was nice, but a little small for 4 people. We were always shuffling around each other. Also, the carpet seemed quite worn and my son's dust allergies were definitely bothering him due to the carpet. But overall, it was okay. Ship: I've never been on a cruise ship before, so I was quite amazed! It was definitely like a giant floating hotel. The art and decoration was beautiful. The pools (2, right beside each other) were tiny - but no one was in them (except my sons) so I guess bigger pools aren't really needed. There were tons of loungers around the pool deck and above. Excursions: In Cozumel, we did the Stingray Encounter which was short but worth it. In Belize, although we tendered to the Pier, we did not have an excursion booked, so we just walked around a bit and then returned to the ship. I think better ports of call would have been preferred but all in all, it was fine, as I didn't really want to leave the ship too much anyway! Ocean Adventure Club: My sons went twice, once for 2 hours and once for 3 hours, but they would rather stay with us. The Club seemed like a lot of fun, though, and the staff were fantastic. My sons are 12 and 10, so my older son was bumped down and they were with the 9-11 group. Disembarkation / Miami: On the day of disembarkation, our flight did not leave Miami until late at night so we rented a car and drove to Everglades National Park. There is not a single car rental company on the Port, which is nuts. We had to pay $20 to get to Budget, and then paid $160 for one day (12 hours!) car rental. After the Everglades, we drove along South Beach and then walked along South Beach. We had lunch at Big Pink. It was very good. All in all, a great vacation. I would travel Royal Caribbean again, however, might want to try their new ship, the Oasis of the Seas. My husband was happy with RC, but said he'd like to show me a Princess cruise next - and just the two of us this time! Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
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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