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

My wife and I were first time cruisers and I thought it would be nice to take a cruise to Belize, Roatan and Cozumel through Galveston. Embarkation was easy and I have to say, I was very impressed with Royal Carribbean service on board. ... Read More
My wife and I were first time cruisers and I thought it would be nice to take a cruise to Belize, Roatan and Cozumel through Galveston. Embarkation was easy and I have to say, I was very impressed with Royal Carribbean service on board. The food was good, if not exceptional and there was plenty to do on sea days. We were not bored. We had an ocean view room and the room service was exceptional. The on board entertainment we enjoyed most (surprisingly) was the stand up comic. The guy was hilarious. Food wise, we tended to stay away from the Windjammer cafe, I'm not a huge fan of buffet food, but on the occasions we ate there, it was acceptable. Our table mates at the main dining hake were pretty uninteresting so we opted to eat out. The latin/fusion restaurant was the least impressive of the lot. But otherwise I would say the cruise was good value for the money. It was the disembarkation where Royal Carribbean fell down. It might have been poor coordination with the TSA (whom I also blame btw) but we waited over 3 hours to move the 100 feet to go through customs. I felt awful for the British citizen who missed his flight. This experience has convinced me that we will never sail out of Galveston again. It was a miserable end to what was otherwise an excellent cruise. Oh well. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
This was my first cruise. My husband and I spoke about taking one for a while. We actually booked the cruise a bare week before the date of departure to celebrate his 30th birthday. We booked a balcony room. Our overall experience was ... Read More
This was my first cruise. My husband and I spoke about taking one for a while. We actually booked the cruise a bare week before the date of departure to celebrate his 30th birthday. We booked a balcony room. Our overall experience was better than I expected. On Cruise Line Critic I got the impression that the food and customer service were sub par. Our first meal on the cruise did not leave me very hopeful. The lunch served in the Windjammer Cafe shortly before departure reminded me of school lunch. There were cold limp french fries and stale hot dog buns. I was much more impressed with the sit-down dining room. The food in the dining room was mid-level French style food. I did not realize that they completely change the menu every night. To do 10 different entrees and appetizers every night without a noticeable lack if quality was very impressive. Out waiter, Johannson, was a pleasure to have. We did have trouble with customer service. On our second day our tickets for our pre-booked excursions never showed up. We went to the front desk to inquire about it and they said they had no record of our excursions. Our credit card had been charged for them. They told us to rebook our excursions and if they ever found the reservations they would reimburse us for the ones we rebooked on board. There was no talk of reimbursement for excursions we missed because we could not rebook them. There was no apology. They also miraculously found our reservations late on the last night of the cruise when it was too late to do anything about it. I wish that they had had a pool large enough to swim laps in. Most of the hot tubs were very crowded. We did find a hot tub that was nearly deserted and we were happy to use that. I was annoyed that any time we wanted ice in the room, we had to bother someone to get it. Any time we tried to get ice over the phone we never got it. We only got it when we asked for it along with other room service orders. The last few days they started keeping ice in our room so that we wouldn't have to bother anyone. We didn't really partake in any of the on board entertainment, so I don't have an opinion about that. I wanted to take the cruise so that I could lay around on deck reading a book drinking a cocktail. The cruise was very good for that, especially on the last excursion day we had because we stayed on board and the boat was pretty deserted. I was disappointed that they did not have an alcohol package for drinks that were not wine. Our last port of call was very disappointing. It was Labadee, Haiti. We did not realize when we booked the trip that Labadee was a private peninsula owned by Royal Caribbean. It reminded us of Disney Land. Nothing there was "real". It was like an amusement park. Another couple on the cruise with us said that they walked to the far end of the peninsula and that there was a ten-foot high fence covered with barbed wire to keep the starving children on the other side of the fence. It was very sad. I enjoyed cruising enough to go again, but my husband and I don't want to use Royal Caribbean again. Next time we are supposed to have something, we are bringing documentation with us. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
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
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 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
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
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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