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

Background information This was me and my girlfriends first cruise together and we were majorly excited for this, mainly as this was my 30th Birthday as well so we hoped this would be a special holiday/vacation and for 95% of the time ... Read More
Background information This was me and my girlfriends first cruise together and we were majorly excited for this, mainly as this was my 30th Birthday as well so we hoped this would be a special holiday/vacation and for 95% of the time it was! More on that in a minute... Before we went on this cruise, my girlfriend was diagnosed with having Fibromyalgia so any variety of movement (walking, going up stairs, moving etc) was a challenge so she could do short bursts of movement before getting sore/tired/achey so I will also factor in accessibility into the equation FYI, this will be a detailed review as well (i.e. long one) so I will separate into sections like others have to make this easier to digest: - Embarkation day We were flying from Edinburgh to Southampton via Flybe on their Bombardier propeller planes - I am 6' 3" and a bit heavy built so I had my reservations about this plane however I will say that my fears were not founded at all, plenty of legroom even for my tree-trunk legs!! Slight turbulence on the way south but otherwise perfectly adequate flight, certainly more enjoyable than other "larger" planes I have been on. As a side note, the Special Assistance both through the Airports as well as Flybe were excellent and we now know anytime we go to an airport we will always request this - had we not done this, she would've been killed before even getting on the plane! If you have a Chronic Pain condition, I seriously recommend looking into Special Assistance if you can get it - if you put pride aside temporarily, it will help you out in leaps and bounds! Our flights and transfers were organised through Royal Caribbean (as per current promotion at the time) when we arrived at Southampton Airport, we were greeted by the Royal Caribbean rep who advised us what would happen, when and how. Very nice chap! Once everyone was accounted for, we boarded a bus and headed towards Southampton port - traffic that day was really busy compared to normal apparently but otherwise OK journey. Once we arrived at Southampton, we waited to be escorted through (my girlfriend is disabled so we were using Special Assistance to help us through, everyone was nice). We approached the desk, checked us in and after 15 minutes tops we were on board. One slight note was the woman at Southampton Port checking us in was very pushy with the whole credit card angle - me and my partner do not own (or want) a credit card and she was really pushing this agenda, which I found very odd!! It's like an Asda/Walmart clerk heavily pushing an Amex card on you for no good reason whatsoever - her face turned a funny shape when we advised we didn't own a credit card. Maybe I should've asked for a loan of hers!! The Ship Once we were onboard, we headed straight for Cafe Promenade for something to eat - was glad I did because seats were a bit of a challenge had I been 5-10 minutes later than I was (which is to be expected considering 3000+ guests trying to converge to the same location at the same time for the same reason!). The Royal Promenade was a nice touch, quite liked the layout of it, how everything is within spitting distance of each other (close but not too close). The shops, bars and Guest Services were all on Deck 5 however the speciality restaurants were spread out all over the place (Didn't even find Izumi until day 8 of the cruise as it was on the highest deck at the rear of the ship near the Cosmopolitan Bar - I'll have to remember for next time) We found the ship to generally be very good (we say this not as a negative reflection but purely because we have nothing to compare it to) in terms of navigating about, finding where places were and which end of the ship you had to be to get to the locations/cabins/restaurants etc. Once you orientate yourself (took me about 2 days) you get into a habit of knowing where to go and how to get there - if you forget then you can use the Digital Signs at both ends of the ship near the elevators to help you on your way. Despite my girlfriends mobility problems, getting about the ship was not too much of a problem and everything was within easy reach meaning she very rarely got tired or felt like she was pushing herself too much - plus we noticed others on scooters and other mobility devices so very accessible friendly in my opinion. In our experience, we did not find a problem using the elevators - some times like shows finishing or breakfast/dinner time (i.e. key busy periods) wait times were a tiny bit longer but you're on holiday so what's the rush? We weren't in a rush to get anywhere so we weren't overly bothered. My girlfriend found it particularly good using the elevators as well - plus the floor of each elevator had a plate with today's day on it that changed with each day that passed which was a cool wee touch! We thought the decor of the ship was really nice - I wouldn't use the word modern at all but at the same time it's not "Thy Quaintest Ye Olde Ship Hath Sailed These Waters" style either - just somewhere in the middle, wee nod here and a wee nod there in terms of styling so a good mix up of design over the ship I felt anyways. I like the design of the ship from the outside - weird thing to say however I did like the look and design of the ship from outside the ship (when she was docked in port) and she came out impressive when taking photos of her whilst in port! In regards to the restrooms onboard, they are at either side of each end of the ship, near the elevators (and Main Dining Room as well as Metropolis Theatre). This may be a new thing for me to adjust to however I found it slightly weird that in order to go the toilet/restroom when you are eating at a restaurant that none of the restaurants have a toilet/restroom within the actual restaurant itself - I think this may very well be a cruise ship thing but just a weird thing to adjust to personally so if it's your first time going on a cruise ship, be prepared to walk to a toilet if you need to! The ship itself is very clean - we always seen people cleaning the ship, keeping it in tip top condition regardless where we went. Top decks where the sun loungers were always had a space or three but for good reason - the weather didn't exactly permit for it!! However saying this we were thankful for the secluded Solarium on the day where the sun was out and was warm but the wind was so chilly it took away the warmth! The Solarium was one level below Top Deck and was secluded from any sidewinds so in a way was sheltered from the winds so it was warm within the Solarium - did not try the pool however heard it was cold so glad I didn't do that! We visited the NextCruise desk on Deck 6 aft and booked another cruise for December 2017 with the lovely Vitor Gomez (sales manager onboard and also the man who did the Lecture/Presentation about Alaska in the Metropolis lounge, where bingo was also held) but did not visit the Library or the Art gallery so nothing much else to report venue wise on the ship. Activities Every day there was activities on the ship - FlowRider, Rock Climbing Wall, Bingo, Films, Kids clubs, Crazy Golf, Sports Court as well as the Studio B Ice Rink and Metropolis Theatre. If anyone says there's nothing to do on the ship then the problem is with them and no-one else - I kept all the Cruise Compass papers and can easily show the breadth and scale of what you do on the ship. Yes there are activities that are chargeable however they only account a small selection of activities on offer (like less than 20% or so, no more than that) so it's really impossible to be bored on this ship. We did the Bingo (waste of money because I didn't win of course!), we also did the Royal Caribbean Next Cruise plug on Alaska (looked nice to go to!) and we also attended the theme nights at the Royal Promenade like 70's Party night so there was plenty to do on the ship and the Cruise Director Rob was a delight to watch - funny, witty and nice guy. Finally we even dabbled with Lady Luck at Casino Royale and, yet again, Lady Luck was nowhere to be found but I still had fun there regardless. Bit smoky but not too overpowering - however I did not miss having to smell cigarette smoke in any public place so a casino is somewhere I don't tend to visit often Service Having never been on a cruise before, I had nothing to compare this to (apart from on land Hotel and Restaurant service) and it is simply worlds apart - Everyone we spoke to was absolutely brilliant! Sylvain at Guest Services was an absolute joy to interact with and sorted out all our problems (we did have a few - I'll cover this at the end of this review). Dennis our Stateroom Attendant was excellent, helpful and always had a smile! Quite surprised his face didn't hurt after all that smiling but, all jokes aside, it just felt like they genuinely liked their job and wanted to help and make your holiday as enjoyable as they could make it. I will comment on the service in the restaurants within the Dining section but overall majority of people we spoke to were nice, happy to speak to us and very friendly! Port & shore excursions Le Havre - port was cancelled due to National French Strike (apparently Google advises this is a current past time of the working class French - go on strikes) so didn't go into France at all so this turned into a Spain and Portugal cruise itinerary!! Subsequently we did get a refund of port fees because of this so make sure if this happens to you that you get this as well, for any port cancellation Gijon - to quote Cruise Director Rob, the port looked like a deleted scene out of Prison Break. It was literally an industrial port near a petrochemical site and we were parked behind a cargo vessel loading copious amounts of sand into its cargo hold! At the customs/embarkation/disembarkation tent just at the port looked like a war zone checkpoint with armed guards getting confused and disorientated (and rightfully agitated) passengers into single file so that getting back on the ship was less stressful than it already was. Me and the missus were on Deck 5 Aft looking at the massive line of people under the watchful eye of the armed Policia Naçional (i think they were) and were quite grateful we weren't amongst them waiting to get on board! Lisbon - simply the best port in my personal opinion! Best day for weather (30° Celsius that day), best day for doing things. My only experience with the Shore Excursions desk was booking transfers to and from the drop off point in Lisbon. $7 pp return, which I found exceptionally reasonable as the buses were there every 30 minutes so definitely worth the $7 in my opinion. We then got on the Red Hop On/Hop Off tour bus for €20 per person for the Green Line that took us through the town, by the river. By the time it was finished 1hr 30mins had passed at which point we headed back to the ship. Out of the entire cruise, this was the best port visit in my opinion, the weather being the biggest factor to that decision - can't beat glorious sunshine! Plus we sailed out and was waived off by P&O Britannia and its crew/passengers which was a wee treat Vigo - this was a small port compared to Lisbon and it had a Shopping Mall within 50 metres or so from the port so not bad for doing a small spot of Retail Therapy! There is a Burger King there (seemed to be the only restaurant worth eating at - one of the local restaurants refused to serve anything outside the lunch menu for reasons he wasn't willing to disclose so we got up and got a Chicken Royale meal!!). It may have had good Shore Excursions but the weather was a bit cloudy so didn't want to risk getting caught in the rain so we went to the shopping mall, had a look around and then went back to the ship. La Coruna - weather was appalling, if anyone booked Shore Excursions on land that day they would have needed a canoe and a paddle it was that wet. This was a bonus port as when we originally booked this, it was meant to be an 8 night cruise however due to a berthing conflict at Southampton on Disembarkation day, Royal Caribbean added on an extra night at no extra cost so not getting off wasn't a deal breaker for us Cabin We were in an Interior Room with Virtual Balcony (Room Number 1587, Deck 10 midship) and this was an excellent choice. The room was adequately sized, the bathroom was plenty big enough and the Virtual Balcony itself was definitely the main reason I enjoyed the room. Also the Virtual Balcony room also played the sound of the ocean being captured by said camera so you got the full balcony experience even though you were in an interior room! There was 3 times the Virtual Balcony did not work, it simply froze up (unsure if it was due to loose wiring or faulty connections or software locking up) however it was fixed within 24 hours of reporting it so very happy with the room itself. Due to my unique size, I had to shower with the shower doors open to allow elbow room but apart from that it was a lovely room and would book it again no problem. I would rate it a solid 9.5 out of 10 Dining Windjammer Buffet - we ate here only a few times for lunch and primarily for breakfast however we were reminded daily why we didn't like the Windjammer, it was just too crowded, too chaotic and seating was rare! The quality of the food in the Windjammer was a bit "meh" to be honest - not to say it was rubbish, everything was totally edible borderline nice to have however it is a buffet and suffers the same problem all buffets have (stuff drying out, stuff running out, fresh stuff is pounced on immediately etc). We barely saw any wait staff whenever we were there - either they blended in with the crowds or were possibly helping out folk at the other end of the place from where we were sitting. I wasn't overly bothered because the place is a buffet and it performed like a buffet does - every man for themself and if you snooze you lose! Rating 7 out of 10 Cafe Promenade - we ate here a couple of times for snacks to go or to sit in (again if you were lucky to find a seat) and this was the place where you got your pizza fix as there is no Sorrento's on board Navigator, which I was slightly bummed out about but hardly a deal breaker. Pizza was always fresh, the sandwiches and wraps were lovely and the Ranger Coconut cookies were amazing!! I'd buy a crate's worth to go if I could they were that nice to me anyways! Also at Cafe Promenade is where you get your Starbucks fix as well as some Ben & Jerry's ice cream (no Caramel Chew Chew option, MAJORLY bummed out by that but quickly got over that as well). Rating 7.5 out of 10 Main Dining Room - we had pre-paid gratuities before going on the cruise and therefore opted for the My Time Dining option. Initially we didn't eat there primarily because we were too busy trying either the Speciality restaurants or the Windjammer buffet. However our service at the Sapphire Main Dining Room was exceptional! If I could rewind the cruise and eat here every day and not do one Speciality restaurant then I would've been happy with the Main Dining Room - they offered Steak and/or Lobster (which came from Chops Grille so you knew the quality of the product) and why bother paying $35-$40 per person for a steak dinner when you could spend half that and get the money maker (Filet Mignon) cooked to your liking and then to be served by (what would end up becoming) your favourite waiters! Massive shout out to Eri and Bobie, they are the reason I LOVED dinner time and I have to admit, from sit down to finishing up the whole dinner can be had within 30 minutes if you wanted however there was no rush! Plus everything was tickety boo and ran like a well oiled machine. The most impressive part of the whole cruise was that Main Dining Room and the lovely men and women who serve and work there. Rating 10 out of 10 Chops Grille - Excellent dinner (wished I ordered extra portions of the starter!) and lovely service from our waiter Rohan. Decor was dark and warm with ideal seating by the window offering a great view! I had the Black Pepper Bacon starter followed by the Porterhouse entree with creamed corn, cheesy tater tots and mashed potato, followed by birthday cake and Red Velvet cake - was utterly wonderful! Word of caution regarding their drinks offering, the cocktail Citroniti was like moonshine in a Martini glass so hope you don't smoke if you intend on drinking this otherwise lighting up a cigarette could possibly put your face on fire!! They took the drink back and did not charge me, which I found was really nice - no chance of that happening at a land based restaurant that's for sure! Rating 9 out of 10 Sabor - The freshly made guacamole blew my mind both being made in front of me as well as the taste of it, it has totally ruined guacamole I get back home now! The waiter we had (can't remember his name) was very funny and full of charm as well as being very attentive. I had a very tasty starter of Chicken Stuffed Jalapeños, followed by the Pollo Picante Chicken Tacos however I was underwhelmed by the dessert. It was rather bland and tasteless - not what I envisioned to have after having the flavour sensation of the starter and entrée. I also had a cocktail called The Smoky and it honestly tasted like Laphroaig Whisky - essentially liquid tobacco with a horrible smoky/peaty after taste, ended up handing it back and getting a Sol beer which was MUCH nicer! They took it back without charging me so that was nice. Rating 8 out of 10 Giovanni's Table - Lovely lunch, not a fault with it. Lovely decor with lovely seating by the window offering a great view (similar to Chops Grille in it's layout - primarily because it's directly opposite Chops Grille just by the entrance to Windjammer and therefore having a similar floor plan/layout). I had the Veal Meatballs and Foccacia Margherita for the starter, the utterly divine Lasagne for the entrée and then the options of Cannoli and Tiramisu for dessert. All were lovely although slight observation about the desserts was that the Tiramisu wasn't as chilled as I would have liked it and the cannoli shells were a bit chewier than I would have liked. Even still this was the nicest lunch I had during the entire cruise. I wasn't adventurous with the drinks this time, instead opting for some soda as per my soda beverage package. Rating was 9 out of 10 Johnny Rockets - We went here once for lunch on my birthday and for me it was nice but something I would only visit once during my time on the ship, any more than once would encourage a heart attack to come on prematurely!! I opted for the Smoke House Burger that had onion rings and BBQ sauce along with french fries followed by their legendary Malt Shakes, which was the nicest shake I've ever tasted. Burger was a bit greasy however I do like a greasy burger (hence can only do that one time!). Pro-tip in case you don't know, at Johnny Rockets it is a speciality restaurant (i.e. chargeable) however included within your charge is your soft drinks which are refillable so if you didn't purchase a drinks package you need not fret about the cost of soda at this restaurant. Rating 8.5 out of 10 Izumi - N/A due to the fact that I did not find this until Day 8 of our cruise when were wanting to look at the onboard chapel and right there slightly beyond the Cosmopolitan Bar was Izumi. Next time I go on Navigator, I'll make a point of trying her out! Bars Schooners Bar - We went there once and was watching some comic on the piano and he was pretty funny. He then called someone up to play the piano and the fella called his bluff and ended up playing a really good tune that night. Was OK but we didn't fancy sitting around it, looked a bit old fashioned for our liking but others seemed to love the nautical theme about it R Bar - we sat here for cocktails on a couple of nights and found the cocktails to be nice. They primarily did $10 and $12 cocktails and the waiters did come round asking for orders at your seats which I found to be nice. Seats were nice, if you could get one at night, and spacing was OK as well Boleros - this bar we only tried once as it was always mobbed, the seats always taken, there was a line there all the time. Either it was a hot spot that I wasn't aware of or they did a special drink I wasn't aware of - plus this is where you unleashed your samba style and moves on the dance floor in front of the house band as well. Nice place to be at if the seats were free Cosmopolitan Club - if my memory serves me right, this used to be the Viking Crown bar lounge area, Deck 14 aft. Lovely club with lovely views (I believe there is an entrance to the Diamond/Concierge lounge here as well) and the cocktails here were excellent and bar men were great! Our favourite bar on the whole ship! Children's clubs - Me and the missus don't have any kids that we know of (and if we did they weren't on the cruise with us!) so marking this as N/A due to not having any Entertainment - We watched the 70's Disco Show (can't remember the title of it) performed by singers Giovanni & Whitney from Florida and they put on a sensational show in my opinion, very talented singers. They certainly had a hard time convincing moody english travellers to join in with the singing along however despite this they were professional and excellent to watch. Whitney in particular dedicated her final performance of that show to her late mother by singing I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston - excellent performance! We then watched Gary Lovini play the violin to some popular music songs and incorporated the mix of American and British by playing American and British classical numbers. He came up and down the aisles playing close to the audience to allow for photos close up which I thought was very nice! The last night involved some dude on a BMX bike (can't remember his name) however his control of it was phenomenal so hats off to him! And to round it off, and in my opinion the best entertainment showing, was the Ice Show at Studio B so pay attention to the Cruise Compass to see when you go as they know it's a highly demanded show to go to so they organise it by Muster Station location (this can be found on the right hand side of your SeaPass Card - for example, mine's was D6) so keep your eyes peeled for this Disembarkation - Was relatively painless, I asked a Royal Caribbean rep on the ship to help me locate those who are helping those that require Special Assistance. They helped my partner through the port and to the bus. We then rode the bus to Southampton airport in plenty of time - we even got into the Priority Lounge for free due to a system issue meaning the person couldn't take cash for payment so result!! But even still, the Airport Lounge is definitely worth it - peace and quiet for the trip is priceless. Boarded the plane and flew home without any problems at all so really smooth process getting home at a reasonable time. Observations/Niggles - Before I give my summary on the whole cruise I do wish to pass on some observations and niggles I encountered on my trips (and I score that as a percentage of 5% so despite these niggles I fully enjoyed my cruise!) - As it was my 30th, my girlfriend went to the bother of pre-purchasing a 4 pack of Red Velvet cupcakes on Royal Caribbean's website so that they would be dropped off at my stateroom in the morning as a surprise for my big 3-0. 8am been and went with no arrival - she then called Guest Services who then transferred her to the team that deal with these requests who told her she needs to give 2 weeks notice for these requests (which she hadn't done however both the Royal Caribbean website and a subsequent phone call to a Royal Caribbean agent after purchasing this did not make her aware of this). She then went to speak to Sylvain at Guest Services who was very apologetic and able to sort something out and, within 15 minutes of this conversation, Red Velvet cupcakes that were pre-packed (read probably on a shelf somewhere as stock for selling to passengers) magically appeared out of nowhere. We were more interested in the resolution however we felt this shouldn't have happened as it was a basic request that required minimal logistical effort to implement but otherwise in the grand scheme of things not a catastrophe by any means - The only times where I personally would consider the service received by me to be classed as a mulligan was at the Boleros Bar and one of the Guest Services staff members - he had a pretentious and slightly condescending attitude (probably mystified as to why I had the audacity to come onto a cruise ship without a credit card) and the woman at Boleros Bar looked about as a fed up as the passengers at Gijon! So apart from those 2 one time interactions, Service generally speaking was excellent. - Another niggle I found was the lack of Freestyle Coca Cola Machines on the ship - having to queue at bars for a soft drink was a bit of an annoyance and availability of certain drinks varied from one bar to another and from deck to deck. For instance, Fanta wasn't available at Cafe Promenade but was available at Two Poets Pub. Canada Dry Ginger Ale was only available at Two Poets pub and Coca Cola Zero was varied day to day and bar to bar so it was your donald duck (down to luck) which brand of soda you were drinking each day so I felt that inconsistency was a bit of an annoyance - The biggest full on complaint I had was with the Spa onboard. I opted for a Bamboo Body Massage (which ain't cheap to me) seen as how it was a special occasion the massage part was nice and enjoyed that. The masseuse went to get a cup of water and then after 5 minutes she came in with literally the back catalogue of Elemis SpaHome products and cue the hard sell!! I was sitting there utterly flabbergasted at what was happening in front of me and, being the wimp I am, I caved in and bought the dry brush just to keep her relatively content. Lesson learned for me is to NEVER step foot into the Spa ever again, almost going to contest the gratuity for the treatment but I wasn't going to allow that to ruin my birthday so it was an expensive mistake I learned that day! - Finally, the VOOM internet is apparently fleet wide (i.e. on ALL Royal Caribbean ships) however the VOOM internet was utterly pathetic on Navigator - so much so I ended up cancelling the package on Day 2 of the cruise as regardless where I was the download speed did not go above 0.5mbps. In the stateroom, Royal Promenade, Johnny Rockets and on Top Lounging deck was the same result. After speaking with Guest Services about the matter, they simply offered to cancel the package and refund the cost of it to my stateroom account which I accepted. Pro Tip, majorly test that internet package in the first 24-36 hours of boarding the ship because if it's unacceptable to you, the longer you leave it you won't then be able to cancel it and get a refund like I did so be on the ball about that one! One thing I would like to see, perhaps for those of us using Apple or Android devices, would be to update the Royal IQ app (currently only available to Quantum class ships and Harmony of the Seas) so that you can select your destination on the ship and then the app will direct you like Google Maps Walking directions does and you can follow your app's instructions (Turn Left, get on this next elevator, go up the stairs by the bar etc) along with a diagram showing you how to get there. I've sent this onto Royal Caribbean, whether this will happen or not is another matter but we shall see! Summary - Overall I loved this cruise and wouldn't mind going back on the ship again. I would just hope that the VOOM internet and Freestyle Coke machines to be installed and I would be a happy camper but I'm knitpicking now. If you book a cruise on this ship, you won't be disappointed - just avoid the spa unless you're getting a complimentary treatment!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
It was a wonderful bonding time for my 19 yr-old daughter and me. Knowing that we will spend most of our time outside our cabin, we chose an inner stateroom (8237) which served us just fine. Our attendant (Adela Benliss-Nicaragua) was ... Read More
It was a wonderful bonding time for my 19 yr-old daughter and me. Knowing that we will spend most of our time outside our cabin, we chose an inner stateroom (8237) which served us just fine. Our attendant (Adela Benliss-Nicaragua) was the sweetest and took good care of our needs. We took advantage of a lot of the activities offered in the ship: aerobics, jogging deck, hot tub, treadmill, pool deck for relaxing/reading/getting tan/watching movies, rock climbing, dancing, listening to bands, singing karaoke. The entertainment was top of the class - from Vox Audio (Acapella group), Broadway-type song and dance productions to Ice Show. We also loved the audience participation-type shows (Love and Marriage and Quest). Dining in the Sapphire room was a great experience! Our servers (Subbiah-India and Savran-Mauritius) spoiled us. I liked how the portions are smaller, so we can sample a second starter or dessert if we like. We booked the stingray experience in the Grand Cayman which did not happen due to weather. In Jamaica, we drove about an hour to the Reggae Hill for a relaxing swim, garden walk, lots of reggae music/dancing while sampling tapas-style food and lots of drinks with Jamaican rum. Naioka, our guide, was very friendly. In Labadee, Haiti, we jet-skied for the first time. My daughter drove and we had a blast! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
First-time out for me! I had no idea that I would like cruising. I found the initial 'cattle call' to get on the ship overwhelming and I needed the evening to decompress. The ship was impressive and clean. The staff was very ... Read More
First-time out for me! I had no idea that I would like cruising. I found the initial 'cattle call' to get on the ship overwhelming and I needed the evening to decompress. The ship was impressive and clean. The staff was very service oriented. I walked every area of the ship that was accessible. I did not get seasick as I had feared. Rough waters on the return leg of the trip did make me feel off-balanced like I could fall if I did not sit down. I did excursions at each port and I participated in most of the ships activities. With the variety of food in the Windjammer Cafe - I did not try any of the premium food venues. I was not impressed with the food - especially the meats - in the main dining room. I booked next cruise before I left the ship. Glad I found this forum so I can research and learn more about cruising from your posts. I’m just trying to rest-up after all the activities. Happy Holidays to all! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Let me start off by saying that my boyfriend and I were first timers. I am a big-time researcher and planner when it comes to vacations and family trips and I read everything I could about cruising and I watched YouTube videos for tips and ... Read More
Let me start off by saying that my boyfriend and I were first timers. I am a big-time researcher and planner when it comes to vacations and family trips and I read everything I could about cruising and I watched YouTube videos for tips and hints for months before the trip. This post is going to include tips that I did not read about (even though you may have). So if you want to stop reading now, know that I absolutely LOVED my experience on the Navigator and I can't wait to book next year's trip! Day 1 We stayed at the Hilton FL Marina which was good enough for one night. They had a shuttle service they used named Quick & Safe Transportation. They were very unprofessional when I tried to book my trip from the airport to the hotel. We ended up taking a taxi instead (about $25). They had a table at the hotel the day of our departure to take the guests to the various ships at Port Everglades for $6pp via shuttle bus. It was pouring raining so as luck would have it, the Navigator was the 4th of 5 stops. The entire trip took 45 minutes (we got on at 1:45p) because of the rain and there was MUCH traffic heading to all of the ships (6 in port in total). We arrived close to the ship and dropped our luggage with the porters in an outdoor, covered area however a passenger later informed us that his wife's luggage was soaked and she had to hang out most of her clothes to dry. My recommendation is that if it's raining, cover the inside of your luggage with plastic trash bags. Ours was fine however. We then went inside and waited in line (think Disneyland corrals) for about 15 minutes for the first security check-in, then 10 minutes to the counter. Since it was 2:30p when we arrived, I'm guessing it was quicker than those that got there first thing. At the counter, we then had to show our Passports, fill out a form stating whether we were ill, had our photo taken and SeaPass card given to us. On the way to the ship (after an escalator or 2) we had our official boarding photo taken. After that we boarded. Our room was ready (as evidenced by our key working) but the luggage did not arrive until after 5p. Day 2 We spent the day at sea. I read that you should get the Ice Show tickets on the first day but they were only distributed from 3:30-4:30p outside Studio B so I went to the Guest Services desk at 11a on this day. The tickets were all lined up on the counter for the various shows, you just had to select which time you wanted. Breakfast is over in the Windjammer at 11a. Lastly the World's Sexiest Man by the pool was a lot of fun. A 50-something year old beat out the young guys! Day 3 On the day before the Captain announced that the CoCoCay port was cancelled because of the poor weather making it difficult to tender (taking a smaller boat to land) so Costa Maya, Mexico was to be our new port. They sent a list of excursions that could be purchased on your television or at Guest Services but since I did not get a chance to do any research, I declined. They refunded RCI CoCoCay excursions of course. If you purchased a non-RCI excursion you were on your own. We hadn't purchased any. There was no tendering necessary and there was a trolley-like bus taking guests down the pier. At each port an RCI staffer has a station to take photos in front of the ship so you can view them later but we declined. I did not enjoy the Costa Maya port. It is still developing and there was construction going on. You could see a waterpark from the boat and our cabin neighbor said they rented a golf cart and drove around to see the sights. We just shopped for souvenirs. There is a bar and a pool, and a beach, but it wasn't a nice or big beach. More like something you'd see at a river. After our shopping, we went back to the ship for lunch and never came back. We finally went to the Main Dining Room this night (My Time Dining). Our table was 660 and our servers were Bovino and Anecito. They were great and brought us extra appetizers, an extra entre to try and an extra dessert. Day 4 Tendering was also not necessary for Cozumel, which was far more modern than Costa Maya. We did the Dolphin Push, Pull & Swim at Chankanaab Park. After checking in at the pier, and a 15 min wait, we piled into taxi vans for about a 15 min drive. Not only was this excursion the highlight of my trip, the park also had free Wi-Fi! I will post more on the excursion under the excursions review but let me say this...haggle, haggle, haggle for the photos if you do this. They ARE willing to make a deal. We ended up getting almost an 80% discount off the first price quoted. As for the Wi-Fi, if you have Google Hangouts on your cell phone, remember you will be able to make telephone or video calls using Wi-Fi. We did and it worked great! The shuttles returned to the port every hour so we left after the sea lion show because it began to rain. There are restaurants there, a coffee shop, and a zip line activity as well. Now here is the worse part of the trip. The ship was scheduled to leave at 3:30p. Once returning to our room (on the starboard side), we watched the people returning to ship. Every 10 minutes after 3:30 1 or 2 people would show up late...for 45 MINUTES!! Yes the boat left about 50 minutes after we were scheduled to be back. I thought boats left people! The only highlight to the experience was that about half the balconies on this side of the ship had people shouting down to the stragglers, whistling and clapping and booing (OK I was the booer). It must have been very embarrassing for those people but I cannot find any sympathy (more on that on Day 5). This night we attended the Ice Dancing and Love & Marriage shows which were awesome! I had read about the Ice Dancing and was not disappointed. It is a must-do. Being a novice I was curious how the L&M participants were chosen (I thought you had to sign up) but they are chosen from the audience. We also ate at the dining room on this night, which was the last time for us. Nothing against it. Our servers and the food was good. It was just faster/easier to eat at the Windjammer. Day 5--Thanksgiving We woke to the Captain's announcement that we were arriving to the port late due to headwinds and LATE ARRIVALS the day before so that meant possible less time at port. Also, tender tickets were available from 8-10:30a. To avoid the mad rush we lined up at 9:30a, waited a bit only to be told that tickets ran out and that we would have to wait until the Open Tender Call at around 12:30p. SERIOUSLY?! People with RCI excursions were allowed to get off without tender tickets, but if you had a non-RCI excursion you were out of luck. Luckily we didn't have any plans so we just ate and waited. Finally the call came at noon. The tender was comfortable (they have 2 levels and hold 300 pp) and it was a 15 min ride to shore. There were many taxi vans taking people to the various beaches so we took one for $5 to the Public Beach. I would not recommend this beach. It was very crowded. I've since read that Royal Palms Beach is the best. We went left of the beach instead of right (which looked more crowded) and found 2 lounge chairs and an umbrella so we set up camp in a less crowded area. About 15 mins later an older woman showed up and said there was a fee to sit in her chairs. We were skeptical at first but decided to pay. It was $10 for the umbrella and $5 per chair. It turns out she was sitting nearby so I guess she was monitoring her section of chairs. In the end it was worth it and the one time I didn't haggle. There were many rentals within an arms reach like jet-skis ($50), banana boat, climbing floats, and a floating trampoline. When leaving the lady actually helped us get a taxi van but there were plenty waiting to take people back to the port. Back at the pier there was plenty of shopping but only one place to buy alcohol (I don't drink but I was thinking of buying a souvenir). I felt very comfortable using my debit card in the shops, as I had only used cash before. There were very long lines waiting to get back to the various ships at port so be prepared. Also something to note, at Cozumel and George Town, the areas near the piers were gated off from the town. You had to show your SeaPass to come back to the port/shopping area. I guess this protects the passengers from possible criminal activity and the ships as well. On this night we did the Quest event which was the 2nd highlight to the trip. It's an adult (yes, ADULT) scavenger hunt type game. I don't want to give any spoilers, just trust me and GO. Day 6 This was a day at sea so I used this day to take photos of the ship that I didn't have already. It's also a good time to visit the Next Cruise office (need an appointment). I also picked up my official RCI photos. These were ridiculously expensive...$400+ for the grand package, so I just bought 2 photos for $20 each. There were deals in the shops (I purchased 2 watch/necklace/earring sets for $20 each). They called it "Black Friday" but I read that they already offered these deals on the last day. This day also featured the Belly Flop Contest at the pool which was fun. That evening the customs document and 3 luggage tags were left on our bed. Your luggage must be placed outside your cabin door by 11p so we packed instead of going to see the "adult comedian." Day 7 Our luggage tag indicated that we were a part of group 30 so we were scheduled to meet in the Metropolis Room on the 4th deck by 9:30a. After breakfast (which wasn't scaled back just because it was the last day), we arrived at 9:10a and were called at 9:20a. We showed our SeaPass card for the final time getting off the ship and were led back into the Port Everglades building to find our luggage. I had read that this could be unorganized but it wasn't that bad. There were clear numbers posted along the walls for the groups of luggage and #30 initially was not hard to find. The only problem is, only 1 of our bags was there, but I asked a porter and he showed us to where another #30 was posted, which had our other bag. Yes, that was odd. After that, you get in line for Customs, you show your Passport and you head out, which took about 15 mins in total. We found a taxi van that was heading to FLL airport and we paid $11pp. I'd say we got there at around 10:30a. Since our flight wasn't until 8:30p that night we had already reserved a rental car with Advantage for $33 so we picked it up (they're at the airport, not off-site like some of the other companies) and spent the day in South Beach, which was about a 35 min drive. We were thinking of a Ft. Lauderdale excursion but this was better. It was a place to keep our luggage and cheaper than all the excursions they offered. Plus I had never hung out in SoBe before so I got a chance to do it at my own pace, with my own transportation. General Tips -Do the Daily Trivia forms the library provides (about 6 themed trivia questions, Sudoku, and a word search) -Tip your attendant daily-on Day 2 I asked the Guest Services attendant to remove the $12/day tip because I wanted to do my own tipping. We actually are good tippers. We tipped $5/day our cabin attendant (plus a larger bonus at the end), $10/formal dining room server, $2 here and there for the Windjammer servers that took away our plates, and I even gave $5 on the final day to the poor guy that has to stand outside the Windjammer to dispense hand sanitizer. -If you use or know someone that uses a flat iron for hair, bring it to do a quick pressing out of wrinkles in your clothes -Not many do it but remember that food can be taken out of the Windjammer on plates -Lemonade is not available in the Promenade, only iced tea. And for a ship that leaves from the south, I was surprised they didn't offer pre-sweetened tea. -Keep your SeaPass out when returning to the ship. You may have to show it to get back into the port area, then again to go down the pier, and definitely to get onboard the ship. -When entering the ship, be prepared to have your glasses off for the identification scan, and your pockets empty, and your bags ready to be scanned to board again. Think airport except no need to remove your shoes. -Beverages in cups cannot be taken along the pier when heading back to the ship. We saw a few people rushing to finish their drinks. And obviously alcohol bottles purchased must be claimed. They return it to you on the last night. Don't try to smuggle it in your bag because I think the scanner can pick it up. -Fruit is not allowed to go off or go on the ship -I saw a few hats fly overboard so be careful -The washcloths are rough...just saying -My boyfriend insisted that I warn that the pillows are on the flat side. I was perfectly fine with them but it is my girlfriend duty to report this. Tips for Techies -Set up a Google Hangouts account for when free Wi-Fi is available. You can make calls using it without incurring cell phone charges -You do not need to turn off Airplane Mode to use your Wi-Fi but if you do, you will get a nice message from your cell company with a rate for your continued usage -The TV has HDMI ports and the standard A/V port (red/white/yellow) if you'd like to hook up a tablet to watch your own movies or your laptop -Remember to turn on the in-cabin announcement knob on your desk. Only the Captain's announcements can be heard in-room. Other announcements can be heard through speakers throughout the ship. -Google Wallet works on the ship but does not work internationally. We tried to pay for items at various ports and kept getting declined (luckily we had cash and credit cards). It wasn't until we tried to use the ATM at Chankanaab that we received a message that it could not be used overseas. OVERALL, I loved my experience on the Navigator but I admit I have nothing else to compare it to. I will also admit that I am not a picky person and don't set unreasonable expectations just because I'm spending a few dollars. I feel like I received first-class treatment but that's probably because I don't usually go first-class. If you are accustomed to that type of lifestyle and don't like this experience, maybe a luxury line is more your style. Have fun!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Just as a quick bit of background about who I am so you understand my perspective. I'm a 27 year old adrenaline junky, foodie who loves sports and performance arts. Despite being what I would describe as a foodie, I'm also not ... Read More
Just as a quick bit of background about who I am so you understand my perspective. I'm a 27 year old adrenaline junky, foodie who loves sports and performance arts. Despite being what I would describe as a foodie, I'm also not a food snob (I am a coffee snob however) and enjoy comfort foods as well as fine dining. With this being my first cruise I have no basis for comparison to years past that some say were better. If that's true, cruising must have been head in the clouds heaven. I found my experience to be the most enjoyable trip I've ever taken. Were there a couple things I didn't love? Sure, but that's life and what happens when people have their personal opinions on things. Would I take off a star for anything? Nope, the trip was excellent, the ship was beautiful, and the service was outstanding. -Value: I could not get over what all comes for the price. We booked an inside promenade stateroom for just a hair over $200/night essentially with it coming out to about $1500 for my wife and I. For comparison sake, after getting married on May 23rd, we drove to Dallas and stayed the night at a value priced Best Western in Dallas for $100 on the way to Galveston. That did include breakfast but the breakfast wasn't nearly as good as what would be served in the Windjammer (many complain but I find it hard to name a hotel that serves better breakfast and provides turn down service at least twice a day for under this price, much less in the Caribbean). Having a waterfront hotel with all you can eat food and a formal dining room for $200/night for 2 people would have impressed me enough but they also provide entertainment options. -Entertainment: Was every show awesome? No, I wouldn't dare go that far. You're not getting Broadway productions here with super expensive set designs and special effects. You're also not paying $100/person to get in to the show. After considering the hotel + restaurant aspect, I'd say you're getting in the show for free. I really enjoyed Ballroom Fever and Finis Henderson (initially I wasn't sure about him but he got progressively better throughout the show). Those were good shows, but I thought Ice Dancin' in Studio B was incredible! I've never seen an ice show before so I'm no expert and the best production show I ever saw was Book of Mormon in Chicago but again, for what I would consider the cost of $0, I couldn't believe I was getting to see it. -Ship: Having sent my parents on their first cruise on Vision of the Seas a few months prior, I knew Navigator would have a few more amenities being a larger ship. I didn't know if it would stack up well with the Freedom and Oasis class ships. I've never sailed them so I still don't know, but I never wished I was on them while on Navigator. The promenade design works really well for keeping things open and easy to well, navigate. We found ourselves discovering new details on the ship even on the last day of the sailing and we did a fair amount of exploring it throughout the trip. While the pool deck is a lot of fun and the Solarium padded chairs along the windows make for a great nap on a sea day if you can snag one, I gravitated toward the peaceful areas on the ship. If you're looking for a great place to read, head to the front of the ship along the walking track, past the Solarium, and then up the stairs to the very front of the ship above the bridge and spa. You'll find a basically empty deck with chairs where you can hear yourself think. I didn't take advantage of this area a lot but if I was a reader I'd have been up there. My favorite area on the ship was the helicopter pad on deck 5. To get there, walk along deck 4 outside and go up the stairs. It makes for excellent stargazing or is peaceful in the daytime. On top of all of this, the sports area was a space I didn't really utilize and found myself forgetting about which is crazy to me. Being able to play mini golf, basketball, or take on the Flowrider or rock wall for free is really kind of awesome. I wish I had done it more. -Food: Overall, I thought the food was pretty good. I had breakfast every day in Windjammer and was always able to get a window seat after a little bit of work. Usually I would stake out a table and go sit at it while my wife fixed herself a plate. It's a bit chaotic but I always enjoyed it. I would compare the food quality to a Golden Corral. If that's beneath you, avoid it I guess. For the price of the vacation I thought that was a good deal. We used the Main Dining Room (MDR) for dinner all but one night and I thought just about everything was good to excellent. The shrimp cocktail left something to be desired and the seafood salad did as well but the entrees I had were good and the desserts were satisfying as well. On lobster night my waiter asked me how it was and I said, "very good but I just need you to bring me 6 more just like it." He said he would get me another piece and off he went. I thought he was kidding but a few minutes later he brought me another 2 lobster tails! The servers try their best to meet any need. If you're polite they'll go the extra mile. I'm guessing they would even if you weren't. On the last day I gave both my waiter and assistant waiter an extra $20 bill on top of their normal built in gratuity. I wish I could have given them more to be honest. They were outstanding. The Promenade Cafe was a nice option for small sandwiches or desserts 24 hours a day. I can't speak for the specialty restaurants because to be honest, I just never saw the need with how good the complimentary dining options were. My only complaint would be to have at least half the Windjammer open later than 9. It's the easiest place to grab an iced tea near the pool deck without going back down to the Promenade Cafe on deck 5. -Coffee: I'm a coffee snob. The coffee onboard sucked. I added in some half and half and a packet of sugar and drank it gladly. Good coffee is best enjoyed black in my opinion so these add ins were made for exactly this. It was no worse than a standard diner cup of coffee at Denny's, IHOP, etc. I enjoyed having it offered in the MDR with dessert every night and again, just use the add ins. I also would add in a packet of dark chocolate hot chocolate in the Promenade Cafe and take it to the show each night. -Service: I loved it quite simply. I only wish there were some bus tubs around the various venues or trash cans. Instead you would see people pile up a plate in the Windjammer and take it to wherever on some lower deck and just leave it in the bushes, on the floor, on tables in lounges, on the pool deck. It's a never ending battle for the crew to keep up with and I felt lazy having to leave my cup or plate in places like this. I would have at least liked the option of placing it in a tub for them to collect but I'm guessing it may have something to do with sanitation. Debarkation was brutal to be perfectly honest. We signed up for the self-assist (take your own luggage off with you) for the earliest time of 7:30am. We weren't to our car until almost 9:30am. With so many doing self-assist, it jammed up the hallways and felt like I dumb idea on my part pretty quickly. I doubt I really saved any time but I did likely add some frustration. Next time I'll just check it at the end of the trip. I liked carrying my own bags on to start the trip because we didn't get on until almost 2pm and our room was ready for us already. Overall, the trip was excellent, the ship was beautiful, the service was top notch, and I'd do it again tomorrow if I had the vacation and savings! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
My girlfriend and I had reservations across from the Johnson Space center at the Microtel hotel, some 40mins away from the port. A room there seemed a better cost effective option than anything on the island. So on Saturday April 18, we ... Read More
My girlfriend and I had reservations across from the Johnson Space center at the Microtel hotel, some 40mins away from the port. A room there seemed a better cost effective option than anything on the island. So on Saturday April 18, we drove down from Arkansas. The hotel was adequate for our overnight needs, and had no vacancies. Day 1, Sunday, Departing Galveston, TX. : We ate breakfast at the hotel, checked out about 9:00am, and drove to Galveston in about 45mins. I had planned on driving around the island to see the sights before parking, and then start the boarding process around noon. However, someone had picked that day for walk-a-thon type event, and we ran into a traffic mess and barricaded streets. After much delay, due to U-turns, and waiting for participants to cross various streets, we made it to terminal 2 and Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas. I dropped off my luggage along with my companion, and headed out in the traffic again to find Park-N-Cruise. Arriving there about 10:45, I was quickly guided to an indoor parking spot, where I grabbed my backpack, other items, locked the car, and walked over to the terminal. We then rolled our main bags over to the luggage area and a porter stacked them on a cart. We entered the terminal building, and went through the screening process fairly quickly, with my backpack and its two bottles of wine being unquestioned. Stopping by the RC customer counter, we got our ship passes without delay, and boarded the ship at 11:15. We walked around looking over the ship some, and then went to the WindJammer for lunch, where we found many choices. We wound up usually eating breakfast and lunch in the WindJammer, as it was so convenient. Neither of us have any complaints about their food or service at the WindJammer. You will use the germ killer solution entering the restaurant, or they will quickly “offer” you some. Ocean View stateroom, #2314: At 1:15 we were admitted to our room and were both satisfied with the room’s size, cleanliness, appearance, décor, electrical outlets, window size/view/curtains, etc. We pulled away from the dock around 4:50, and all our luggage was outside our door at 5:00. Unfortunately, our room had an adjoining door to the next room. Normal conversation levels came easily through the door, and naturally our neighbors were louder than normal. They argued and carried on for three days on one topic. On the second day I complained to our steward, who said he’d turn it in to security. On the 3rd day, I asked and was told security didn’t catch them in, and so nothing was done. I called the steward into the room one afternoon, where he quickly got a dose of the next door action. He immediately pulled out his phone and reported it, and later I was told they did contact the occupants. While I realize the position this type of complaint puts the crew in, planned active/physical excursions, let alone the whole cruise, would certainly be less enjoyable if one is suffering from insomnia. From night one, we were both forced to use earplugs and a rain sound file on my notepad. By the third night, with excursions looming, I was glad I had brought Rx sleeping pills. Eventually, things got quieter, maybe because they got tired of arguing, or we were more tired from the port adventures. So, point of the story here is, bring your earplugs. We unpacked and walked up to the Sapphire for dinner, which is the main dining room (MDR). Again, the anti-bacterial self-dispensing machines were everywhere, and the hostess watches all who enter. The food and service in the Sapphire, was excellent every time. We had chosen My Time Dining, and ate dinner there every night, and breakfast one morning. We were always seated at a table by ourselves, and you could specify a waiter/table combo. We settled on table #634 with waiter Rodrigo, assisted by Janice, both from the Philippines. I was not bringing a suit or sport coat on my cruise, and reluctantly brought a tie. In a button up shirt and tie, I felt very comfortable at dinner in the Sapphire on those formal nights. I was certainly not alone, and ditched the tie after the first formal night, seeing many others who obviously shared my viewpoint. We had shrimp cocktail, grilled cod, crème brulee for dessert. Day 2, Monday, At Sea: Hot tub that am, suntan time, World’s Sexiest man competition poolside, We had signed up for the Meet and Mingle, but the timing was off as we busy somewhere else (FloRider?), and opted to stay with that. Scallops and lobster bisque, tenderloin, plate with three sample desserts. Around 7:30p, the Captain addressed the audience in the promenade, while we had complimentary wine. Day 3, Tuesday, At Sea: We had our only breakfast in the MDR, with four others at a table. I had salmon eggs benedict, which was very good. Then it was more hot tub, sunshine, steam room, and food. Poolside, we saw the Men’s International Belly Flop contest. In the MDR, we had pork tenderloin w/stacked potatoes, ? for dessert. That evening in the Metropolis theater, Joel Mason as Elton John – a hilarious entertainer, and I’m not easily amused, sorry if you missed it. Day 4, Wednesday, Rotan Excursions – Even though beginners, we opted for only one RC sponsored excursion, along with two private ones, and were pleased with all of them: In Rotan, off the ship at 8:30, Hector from Rony’s tours took good care of us, showing us the island, finding the beachfront Barefeet Bar where we had two lobster plates, including beer for $40. He also took us to a nearby place to snorkel on a reef. He dropped us off in town around 2:00, and we shopped a bit, buying the usual t-shirts and stuff. His car’s AC worked well, which turned out to be an exception elsewhere. I also purchased some jewelry from D.I. in the port terminal. Later, in the MDR, we had crab cakes, encrusted loin of cob fish, and Rum Baba for dessert. Day 5, Thursday, Belize City, BZ. : In Belize, we had our first tender ride, which went smooth and was not a hassle. We went just outside the terminal’s front door as Yhony had indicated in his emails, and easily hooked up with Butts Up (Cave-Tubing.com). After an interesting bus ride thru Belize City and the countryside, we arrived. Bathrooms for changing, and drinks were there, and after grabbing a PFD, we had a good informative hike up to the caves. At the end of the hike, our tubes with neck rests were waiting for us at the water’s edge. Fernando was our guide in the water and through the caves. Afterwards, it was a free boned in chicken tamale like thingy, which tasted pretty good. Of course, we had to each have a beer. Only downside was they ran out of large size Butts-Up t-shirts to buy, so I left without one. It was a nice day, getting a good overview of life in the city and country of Belize. The bus’s AC was not doing that good, so always sit up front as we did. Overall, Butts-Up was a good value for the money. Back on ship, we dined on Shrimp Ceviche, broiled sole, roasted lamb loin, chocolate cake w/ice cream, and strawberry w/kiwi meringue. Day 6, Friday, Cozumel, MX. : In Cozumel, we went into the port that am and got some good prices on T-shirts and stuff. We also had a good $2 lunch and $2 beer in the port at Bar Mandy. I paid the waitress with tip an hour earlier for our first beers, and when leaving she said we didn’t pay. I simply said, “That won’t work with us, you’ve been paid”. We returned later for lunch and had the same waitress, nothing was mentioned and when tipped again she smiled. We had chosen the RC Island Overview and Mayan Ruins tour at 11:30, over the Bar Hop tour, because we wanted to see some ruins and get a handle on the island. Turned out we picked the wrong time (my girlfriend wanted to sleep late), because it didn’t leave us time to get a cab to the town plaza before or after our tour. So about 11:45, driver Morita and tour guide Nico took us out on the road. The roads led us through the city streets and out to the countryside. We stopped at San Gervasio Ruins, and Nico gave a good walk and talk tour of the Mayan’s and the site’s history. We went out on the west side of the island and saw plenty of blue water and white sandy beaches. We also stopped at the Chocolate Factory which had free Wi-Fi. We arrived back at the terminal at 3:45. Again, the van’s AC was not doing much, so always sit up front as we did. Back on board, it was Royal seafood salad, house salad, lobster tail w/shrimp (uhh, ok, I did have two plates), chocolate sensation and baked Alaska for dessert. Then it was time for Earl Turner at the Metropolis. He’s a really wild character that had the audience in a roar. Day 7, Saturday, At Sea: After hot tub, steam room, and breakfast, we went down to the photo shop and ordered up a nice picture the crew had taken of us. Then it was poolside again, pizza and shrimp sandwich lunch at the Promenade Café, the ice rink, and FloRider. Our picture was ready at 3:00pm as promised, price $20. Dinner in the MDR was Cesare salad, scallops and steak, and key lime pie. Afterwards, a walk down the promenade and a drink at Poets lounge. Day 8, Sunday, Arrive Galveston, TX. : We chose the self-disembarking option, and at 8:00am with luggage in tow, we went down to the terminal and proceeded to Customs. It was our first time through a real Customs line, and a fairly long line. Both of us had brand new passports, and she’s asking if I go by another name? And after looking at my girlfriend’s passport several minutes, I was told to leave her there and step outside? Finally she appeared, bewildered by what the delay was. So we walked with our luggage across the street to Park-N-Cruise, and loaded up. At 9:00am I was turning onto Harborside Dr. with little traffic, and waving goodbye to the Navigator of the Seas. We arrived back home in AR. at 5:15p. In Summary: Good weather and calm seas added to the enjoyment during eight days of sailing and excursions. Using Park-N-Cruise and their indoor parking option was a good choice with the many thunderstorms passing through on those dates we were at sea. The boarding process was fairly quick, and self-disembarking is the way to go for those that can, provided your suitcases have two or more wheels. Except for the ill-timed walk-a-thon, I didn’t find Galveston a bad place to set sail from, although I can’t compare it to elsewhere. To Galveston, I would not sponsor a walk-a-thon on a Sunday with thousands of people trying to get off and on two cruise ships. Duh… I saw no sign of anyone being sick whatsoever, and the RC crew was constantly wiping everything down. I often noticed any utensil/food touched, dropped, or mishandled was immediately disposed of. Just an FYI here to any Cruise line reading this… any line that demands/enforces suit and tie in the main dining room won’t have me as a passenger. It’s simply not my thing to pack a suit, to have to wear eating while on vacation. We barely noticed any rocking/rolling motion from the ship in our level two room. We both really enjoyed cruising with Royal Caribbean on the Navigator, and we will be planning another cruise soon. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
After years of turning down cruise options for a vacation my wife and I finally gave in and went on this one during spring break with our youngest son and his family, including three younger children. We had a wonderful time, weather was ... Read More
After years of turning down cruise options for a vacation my wife and I finally gave in and went on this one during spring break with our youngest son and his family, including three younger children. We had a wonderful time, weather was great, and we just can't say enough about the staff. Everyone of them were outstanding. Special "shout-out" to Elvis in the dining room and Leon who took care of our stateroom all week. These two gentlemen went way above and beyond whatever their job description states. The shore excursion that we all enjoyed in particular was swimming with rays and sharks off the coast of Belize. While the smaller boat trip was a bit long, it was well worth it and the cost as the guides (especially Phillipe who was assigned to us) were extremely helpful. He was incredibly attentive and made sure our younger grandchildren, as well as my wife (who didn't even snorkel in Hawaii!) felt safe and had the opportunity to experience everything possible along the reef. A life-remembering experience on this excursion. Another huge shout-out to the Navigator of the Seas staff who made every possible attempt to keep us healthy by constantly cleaning all public areas. None of us, not even the children, had any sickness whatsoever. My wife and I are discriminating travelers so to give this high of an evaluation is meaningful. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
My wife and I just got back from our honeymoon cruise and I must say that we extremely enjoyed ourselves. The crew was always working super hard and were a bit overwhelmed at times but always made sure to say hello. I never once saw any ... Read More
My wife and I just got back from our honeymoon cruise and I must say that we extremely enjoyed ourselves. The crew was always working super hard and were a bit overwhelmed at times but always made sure to say hello. I never once saw any crew members just standing around or loafing. The people are working their tails off all day, everyday. Although we were just first time cruisers and haven't experience the way things used to be before the pre paid gratuities, I didn't once notice any crew members not willing to help with any problem big or small. We still ended up tipping certain members that were outstanding anyways which made the services even better. All I can say is get to know the fellows that work at the Schooner Bar, Abel, Eric, and Bela are phenomenal guys and we loved hanging out with them. Our dining time was at 8:00 pm on Deck 3 and had Annabelle for a waitress with the help of Milan. These two were so very attentive to our needs and always there to treat us like royalty. There were so very many activities on board to attend as well from shows, ice shows, Salsa Dancing, Ballroom Dancing, rock climbing, putt putt, Flowrider, Ice Skating in Studio B, the list just goes on and on and we tried them all. Food was all pretty good in the Windjammer as well as the Main Dining Hall, never any complaints except for the tiger shrimp to which Annabelle just brought me out a different entree and everything was fine. No matter where we went on the boat there was always friends to be made whether they were other passengers or crew members everyday was full of great conversations with all types of different people.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Like many we were concerned based on some of the reviews but picked this cruise due to the port location. We had a wonderful time and have no problem recommending both the ship and the cruise destinations. Galveston port is a challenge ... Read More
Like many we were concerned based on some of the reviews but picked this cruise due to the port location. We had a wonderful time and have no problem recommending both the ship and the cruise destinations. Galveston port is a challenge because 2 ships are leaving at the same time. Keep in mind Royal is leaving from terminal 2 as you make your parking plans. My advice is to arrive early. We were in the security line at 9:45 and were on the ship exploring within 45 minutes. Royal promised staterooms ready by 1 which they met. We boarded and took the elevator to the highest point, then walked and explored our way down. We found all of the Royal staff to be excellentWe had a couple of minor service issues from our travel agent and they promptly answered our questions and generally made us feel welcome. We at the majority of our meals in the MDR and had great service. We enjoyed the table conversation and lounging through meals over the rush of eating at the buffet in the Windjammer. Our MDR waiters we attentive and even brought extra entrees if we had trouble deciding. We enjoyed all of the entertainment and the activities. The ship is very clean. The only time we felt pressured to buy something was when my wife visited the spa. They did try to hard sell her, but after a polite no she enjoyed the rest of the experience. We booked our excursions thru Royal and all 3 were good. I know people say you can save by going outside but we didn't want any hassles. They met us immediately off of the ship and took care of everything from there. Hope you have as good as time as we did. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
After years of turning down cruise options for a vacation my husband and me finally gave in and went on this one, we had a wonderful time, weather was great, and we just can't say enough about the staff. Every one of them was ... Read More
After years of turning down cruise options for a vacation my husband and me finally gave in and went on this one, we had a wonderful time, weather was great, and we just can't say enough about the staff. Every one of them was outstanding, Ports of Roatan, Belize City and Cozumel were very good; we did RCL excursions and no problems had. We arrived early at port because it was our first time; the check-in process took about 1 hr. We saw some people carrying their entire luggage. We dropped our carry on in our rooms since they were ready as soon as we boarded. We went up to the Windjammer to eat. There was a pretty big selection of food including ethnic food. We went to explore the ship and then put on our bathing suits and headed for the Jacuzzi. There are several Jacuzzis on board. The best ones are by the Solarium; if they are full the one inside the gym is good. Watching the sunsets in the Cosmopolitan Club on the 14th deck was a special great. We signed up for My Time Dining, which worked out perfectly for us. The food was great most nights, but we were really impressed with the excellent service from our wait staff. They really deserved the extra gratuity on the last night. All areas were clean and well maintained. I enjoyed the shops, attending the shows, playing mini golf, and relaxing at the pool and on our balcony. I loved my morning coffee on the balcony. Our room 9376 was at the back of the ship on deck 9 and was just right since we were first timers. We only heard noise a couple times being at the back. Navigator is large but easy to, no pun intended, but navigate, we enjoyed the Mexican restaurant, Sabor. The menu at Chops Grille was great also. The bars and cafe, which serves coffee, ice cream, pastries and pizza was open 24/7. The Promenade where the captain hosts the welcome-aboard reception is beautiful, there is so much to do on Navigator, and we were never bored. The ship has a friendly vibe. Many passengers hail from Texas &/or Oklahoma and most are warm, hospitable, so you'll be greeted with plenty of smiles and enjoyable table-mates for dinner. Country music is on the sound systems, and some of the on-board musical entertainers also specialize in country music. The bars and dance club were bustling, our favorite was the piano bar, but not too crowded, on most nights during our sailing. The ship is beautiful, and fun. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Sailed March 2-9; Grand Cayman, Falmouth, Cozumel itinerary. We booked this a week before sailing after RCCL had just released the newly added Panoramic Ocean View Rooms for a great price. We usually book Balconies or Jr. Suites, but were ... Read More
Sailed March 2-9; Grand Cayman, Falmouth, Cozumel itinerary. We booked this a week before sailing after RCCL had just released the newly added Panoramic Ocean View Rooms for a great price. We usually book Balconies or Jr. Suites, but were interested in checking out these newly engineered rooms at the front of the ship on Deck 12. We had cabin #1874 which was larger than expected, floor to ceiling glass wall for awesome views (somewhat cantilevered out over the water), great storage, near elevators, same deck as Spa, jogging deck, Adventure Ocean (for kids) and Sky Bar. Highly recommend one of these rooms unless you must have a balcony. One deck below us was the Solarium Pool (adults only) which had been redesigned tastefully. Did not use the Spa on this cruise, but you can get some great deals during the week if you watch the Cruise Compass for specials offered by the Spa. Had My Time Dining and because we booked late, our dining times were all over the place. However, the dining staff was wonderful, helpful, and we had great service at table 576 (Paul & Stanley). We love Chops Grille on most ships but were a little disappointed in the service on this ship and the price increase. The menu has changed and sorry to see some favorites off the menu. Windjammer was great for breakfast and lunch. If you don't care for crowds in the morning, order room service breakfast the night before (breakfast order forms are in your room, just hang outside your door before going to bed). We find room service breakfast to be on time and hot. Since we are Diamond Members, we were pleased to find the Viking Crown Lounge dedicated to the nightly Diamond and Diamond Plus event from 4:30-8:00. The concierge, Nadjia, was very gracious and accommodating. Waiters were attentive and hustling to serve everyone. Free cocktails and very nice hot/cold appetizers are a nice perk. Plus watching the sunset from the panoramic views of this lounge are awesome. We enjoy this itinerary. Falmouth is finally finished, great shopping, fun restaurants/bars and great excursions are available. Dunns River Falls is always a favorite and rafting the Martha Brae River is fun. Some people like to explore the beaches near Montego Bay or Ocho Rios. Grand Cayman is a personal favorite--love the town, dining, gorgeous water, shopping, Seven Mile Beach, water sports and snorkeling. Cozumel is also a fun port. You can get to great beaches, snorkeling, water sports, shopping at the cruise terminal and in Old Town, restaurants and bars. Had an awesome fajita lunch at Las Palmas in Old Town complete with Margaritas and Mariachis. Usually pass on the song and dance shows, but we saw a terrific comedian/magician Cheswick and a special showing for the Texas Tenors who put on a marvelous and moving performance. We had a blast and met people from all over the US. This ship has a lot to offer: 15 deck; 10 pools/whirlpools; 16 bars/lounges; Flow Rider surfing; Rock Climbing; Sports court; ice-skating rink; Royal Promenade filled with shops, a café, bars; newly added panoramic rooms; Adventure Ocean for kids/toddlers; 8 dining choices; the casino; and the outdoor big screen for movies/events poolside. Don't understand some of the negative reviews. I know some people are upset over fog issues, but that is not RCCL's fault. We were able to leave Galveston before the sea fog got too bad and we had no issue with fog on arrival at the end of the cruise. Our weather was great for a March cruise, temps 75-84 and no rain during the day. I would highly recommend the Navigator.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
I say second "Cruise of a Lifetime" because this is our second trip to The Mediterranean! Our first was our 25th Anniversary Cruise just two years ago. Who knew we would be returning so soon. (We did throw a coin in Trevi ... Read More
I say second "Cruise of a Lifetime" because this is our second trip to The Mediterranean! Our first was our 25th Anniversary Cruise just two years ago. Who knew we would be returning so soon. (We did throw a coin in Trevi Fountain!) This trip was with my brother and sister in law and since we had been before we were nominated as trip planner. I made all the reservations direct through various sites on the internet - Flight, hotel, cruise, tours, etc. Of course Crusie Critic was my Number One source of information. We flew to Rome via Atlanta two days early to enjoy a little more sightseeing. Good thing as Delta had computer problems and all regional jets were grounded Thursday mid-day and we missed our connection to Rome by about 15 minutes. Delta agents were helpful and the four of us were put on a later flight that stopped briefly in Paris. We got to add another city to our "bucket list of places to visit". I had arraigned a private transfer with "Rome Airport Transportation" and was not sure they received my notice about the delayed flight but once we cleared customs there they were with our name on a sign. What a welcome relief! The trip from the airport to our hotel was uneventful but we did get to see some sights on the way. We had reservations at the Hotel Colosseum. The hotel was very adequate, very clean and in a good location. (I was a little worried as other reviews painted it in a somewhat negative light as being close to a gentlemens club. There was one at the end of the block but we never saw anyone going or coming and had no problem at all.) As I mentioned the rooms were clean and well cared for. Breakfast was a selection of breads, cheeses and meats. It was adequate unless you were looking for a full American breakfast of all the eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage and cereal you could eat! They did keep our passport to register us but they were returned to us our first trip down to the desk. The keys are on a giant brass key ring that weighs a pound but they kept the keys for you at the front desk as you went out. The elevator was small - enough room for two pieces of luggage and two people. If you don't like tight places take the stairs! We went to a small restorante pizzeria just down the street that was recommended to us - La Mela D'Oro. Our waitress wasn't much although some of the other staff seemed friendly. We really didn't like the food and would advise seeking out another place. The sound of thunder awoke us on Saturday morning but by the time we finished breakfast the storm was clearing. We broke out our umbrellas and hit the street. After a few minutes of getting oriented we made our way to Termini Station and purchased an all day Metro pass. We had reserved tickets to the Vatican Museums and so bypassed the lines and walked right in. After spending the morning touring the museums and St. Peter's we found (or it found us) a small mom and pop restaurant - Trattoria Al Cuppolone. It had good food and good service at a great price. From the Vatican we took the Metro back to Barberini Station and started our walking journey. We began at the corner of San Carlo Quattro Fontane and made our way to the Quirinale. From there a short walk to the Trevi Fountain and it hordes of people! Onward to the Pantheon, Pizza Navona and back along the Vittorio Emanuele to the Forum area and its wonderful ancient ruins. The Colosseum was the end of our walking tour with a short jaunt back to our hotel. After a short time to cleanup from all the walking and exploring we headed back out for some real Italian food at the Hard Rock Cafe! Day One - The next morning Rome Airport Transportation picked us up at the hotel and delivered us to the pier at Civitavecchia. Upon arrival at the port RCL personnel greeted us and escourted us into the registration area. It took less than 20 minutes from our arrival at the port until we were aboard the ship. Although only Gold members of C&A we were treated like royalty! We went to the Windjammer for a delicious lunch and while there the announcements that the rooms were ready was made. Arriving at our cabin (#7221) we found it ready and our cabin attendant nearby. Although the cabin was cleaned regularly we hardly ever saw the attendant. He did a fair job but nothing special. At 4:30 pm we went to the Guest Assembly Drill. It’s amazing that people don’t think they really mean everyone has to attend. After rounding up the strays we were dismissed. Sail away took place at 5:00 pm and the high seas beckoned! After cleaning up a bit we headed to the Welcome Aboard Show. It was OK but it seems that the entertainment has gone down hill a bit. The orchestra was great but most of the other entertainment just didn’t WOW us as in the past. We had Second Seating for our meals so we wouldn’t have to rush back from shore every day. It worked well for us. Out Wait Staff (Natalia and Sachim) were EXCELLENT and showed excitement every night. We had two couples from California traveling together as table mates and enjoyed great conversation each evening. Day Two we awoke to find our ship pulling into Messina, Italy. We had opted for a RCL excursion "Taormina on Your Own”. This fit us well as we were able to enjoy the town at our own pace. After getting back to the ship we made the Headliner Show - The East Coast Boys - not a bad group. We enjoyed their songs and then made our way to dinner. After dinner a stop in the Casino was mandated by the wife. After making our contribution we strolled the deck and then turned in for the night. Day Three was a Sea Day. Nothing to do but kick back and relax. I had brought along a book to enjoy on deck so after a quick stop at the Café Promenade for some hot chocolate I retired to a chair on Deck 4 to begin my relaxation! The Production Showtime was "Now and Forever” featuring Broadway numbers. We did not enjoy the show and forced ourselves to sit through it. Afterwards it was off to dinner - our first Formal Night. Day Four we found ourselves in Athens. I had arraigned a private tour through Nikos Loukas (privategreecetours.com) to see the sights of Athens. We were met at the port by our driver, Demitris. He had a vast knowledge of Greek history and shared it with us as we toured the city at our pace. The Acropolis and Mars Hill had to be the high points for me. We never felt rushed or pressured at the suggestions he made and had a wonderful time. We had lunch in the Agora area and stopped for dessert on the way back to the ship. That evening we went to the Ice Dancin’ Spectacular - and it was! This was the best entertainment of the entire cruise. It is amazing what these people can do in such a small area while the ship is moving!!! After the show, dinner, the casino and bed. Day Five we arrived at the port of Kusadasi, Turkey. Again, I had arraigned a private tour through Tayf Tours. Our guide and driver (Yesim and Hasan) were waiting for us as we exited the ship. We quickly boarded our van and were whisked off to the House of Mary. We arrived before the tour buses and so had a rather peaceful time there. We then beat the crowds to Ephesus and toured the ruins and the Terrace Houses. From there we went to a local pottery store and yes we bought some pieces. They were absolutely beautiful. Our journey then took us into the mountains to Sirince. We spent just enough time here to pick up a few items and then back to the valley for lunch. Everyone warns of the "carpet factory” tours! I was hesitant but did stop at one for lunch and a quick tour. Looking back I would have let them know up front that we had no intention of purchasing a rug. Although they were beautiful they moved outside of our price range very quick. It was an interesting stop and story and the lunch was very good. Arriving back at the port we had some time to look around and purchase a few more items! The Headliner Show was Chilli Gold, a British singer, and she was actually pretty good. We enjoyed her show as it was full of familiar songs and high energy. Dinner was casual. My wife and I actually ate alone as my brother and sister in law went to the Mystery Dinner. They had a great time and said the steak was some of the best that they had ever eaten. More casino and deck strolling before turning in for the night. Day Six we arrived in Chania, Crete. We took the three Euro bus into town and spent the day wandering about. More shopping about town and then back to the ship for another show and dinner. Day Seven was at Sea so we could unwind before arriving back in Rome. The Farewell Show was pretty good and dinner was sad as we bid farewell to our new found friends. Sunday our ship arrived back in Civitavecchia. Disembarkation was as painless as checking in. We had no more arrived at the C&A waiting area when they announced we could leave the ship. Transportation was again through Rome Airport Transportation. The were waiting when we left the ship and had us on our way to our airport hotel in no time. Because of flight schedules we chose to stay Sunday night and fly back to the US on Monday morning. Our hotel, the Courtyard Rome Airport had our rooms ready when we arrived about 9:30 am. We checked in, had lunch and a nap and then went out exploring. A walk into downtown Fiumicino led to a street fair and seeing how the locals spend their Sunday afternoons. Monday morning was a shuttle bus ride to the airport and our flight back to the US. All things considered this was a great vacation. We’re already planning our next cruise to either Northern Europe (the Baltic) or New England (to see the leaves change). Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We are seniors and this was our very first cruise. I have to say right at the start that it turned out to be more than I expected. We had a wonderful time, and we will do it again. We were on the Navigator of the Seas, and our departure ... Read More
We are seniors and this was our very first cruise. I have to say right at the start that it turned out to be more than I expected. We had a wonderful time, and we will do it again. We were on the Navigator of the Seas, and our departure point was Chivitecchia (Rome). This port is located about 45 minutes north of Rome Airport. We chose to take a limousine from the airport to the port. I am glad that we did because it was cheaper that taking the coach and much more comfortable. The limousine took us right to the departure area located on the quay. We also upgraded to a stateroom with a balcony and we are glad that we did this. The room very spacious for a cabin and having the balcony was nice to be able to sit out in the evenings. The boarding procedure went smooth and being as we were from Canada we had to surrender our passports for the duration of the cruise. On our arrival at our cabin we were met by our cabin steward who explain everything to us and looked after us well during the trip. The cabin was spotless I noticed that the steward even dusted the walls every day. This is without any doubt the cleanest hotel room that I have been in. The entire ship is spotless. During the voyage the Captain explained that they are very conscious of any kind of bug or infection being brought onto the ship by passengers. The crew will not shake hands, and passengers were asked to use the Purell hand sanitizer machines that were located all over the ship. When you went to board the ship the machines were at the gangplank. There was an officer pointing out the machines for you to use. While the passengers were on shore the crew spent their time wiping every hand rail, they even vacuum on the top of the signs over the stores. The whole ship is kept spotless. Ports Our first port of call was Massena we took the Red bus tour of this port. I cannot say it was a very nice place the buildings were drab, and there was a lot of graffiti on the buildings. Athens was our next stop and this is a big tourist city. We chose to take the afternoon tour because there was not too much waling. Athens is a nice city and there was lots to see. Ephesus was a shopping stop we did not take the tour we just went to the market. It was interesting they sell lots of gold and silver in these markets. The last port of call was Chania and we took the tour the scenery was lovely and we had a very pleasant day. The two days we had a sea were different the first one we had thunderstorms and it was wet and overcast. The second one was clear and sunny. It does not matter what the weather is like there is so much to do you cannot get bored. Activities are well organized and you get a copy of what is going on the day before. We dined at the Windjammer. This is the buffet restaurant and I found that there was Indian food, Chinese food, Japanese food and North American or European food. There was always something different available. In general I must say it was a wonderful trip and the crew on this ship were excellent. The ship is going to Galveston in December for a re fit. I did notice some of the carpets in high traffic areas were low on pile. Not dirty just showing signs of wear. The one thing that I would do different next time is. We had to fly overnight from Canada to Italy. We arrived in Rome the morning that the ship departed. Next time I would go a day earlier and stay in a hotel for the night and overcome the jet lag before starting a cruise. My next cruise will be on Royal Caribbean I found there service prior to the cruise and after the cruise to be excellent.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We traveled as a family of 5 (My parents, brother;28 years old, sister;24y.o., me;20y.o.) and this was our 'first cruise'. We have sailed on a Carnival ship before, but that was so many years ago that not even my brother ... Read More
We traveled as a family of 5 (My parents, brother;28 years old, sister;24y.o., me;20y.o.) and this was our 'first cruise'. We have sailed on a Carnival ship before, but that was so many years ago that not even my brother remembers it that good. We did our research on what ship we wanted to go on, and this one had the things we wanted. We wanted fun activities and just more than enough things to do. We can't be happier with the choice we made! This ship has so many things, we didn't even do all the stuff we wanted to do. Golf, rock climbing wall, ice skating rink, the pool deck. There's more than enough things to do. ***PORTS*** The boarding process went really good actually, for the amount of people who were there (at around 11:30AM) I would say in about 45 minutes we were on board. We had to wait a little for our rooms to get ready at 1PM. We stayed on the ship that day and walk around and get to know the ship. Second day we arrived in Messina,Sicily. There's not much to do around the harbor itself, so we took the excursion to Taormina. Highly recommended. You have 3 hours 'free time' which is just enough time to walk the whole town. Lots of shops and restaurants/cafes. You can take lots of cool pictures here. And make sure the walk all the way to the Greek Theatre. In the evening there was a party in The Dungeon Club called 'Traffic Lights Dance Party' where you get a sticker. Green for Single, red for Taken and orange for 'Call Me Maybe'. This is a good place to meet the young cruisers like us, so of course my brother and sister and I went there. It's open till around 3.30-4:00 usually. Third day was at sea. So we woke up a bit hung over from the night before at the club. We went and breakfast and then went to the pool. There were no chairs at all available. After walking like 4 rounds looking for chairs we just went to the bar and hang out a little till we finally saw a couple leave. We immediately went for their chairs. You have to keep an eye out for people leaving so you can get the chairs fast. There are 20 other people looking for the same chair, haha. This is a good day to plan your onboard activities. It's also a good day to get to know your 'new friends from the club' a little better and get that bond going. Fourth day we arrived in Athens, Greece. We took the excursion called Highlights of Athens, I believe. It went to the Akropolis first. There are so many tourist there, so it kinda takes a while to get up there with all the busses and lines at the entrance. It was very beautiful! We listened to the guide man for a little bit, but then went to walk around since there was only like half a hour left before we had to meet back all the way down at the busses. Then it went to the city centre where there are like palaces and some high-end designer stores. We had the opportunity to get off the bus if we wanted to stay there and shop, but everybody opted to go back to the ship. The whole bus was tired from walking/climbing the stairs at the Akropolis. Fifth day we were in Kusadasi, Turkey. We again took an excursion to House of the Virgin Mary. Very beautiful ride all the way to the top of the mountain. Was kinda disappointed with the attraction itself. You can see everything in like 5 minutes. You can also get Holy Water if you want. The tour then dropped us off at a carpet store to meet a guy called Tony. (Owner of the shop). He does a whole show for the group and tried to sell us some carpet hand-made. But you can only imagine the prices of those carpet. Out of this world. You can then walk to ship since its right in front of it. It's a area with lots of shops, so you can go shop around. Sixth day we arrived in Chania, Crete. We wanted to chill out this day and our parents still had like energy to go for a tour. So they went to the Old City and we ' the kids' went to a beach for the young crowd. It was a beach club kind of place called Costa Costa. They had good house music and a bar and some fancy chairs on the beach. We just tanned and went swimming and drink a lot of alcoholic drinks. We had a good time there! It was very crowded tho', since there were so many people from the cruise itself. All we saw was blue towels from the Royal Caribbean on the chairs. We went there with the cab for 25euros/each ride. You have to make sure the taxi comes back to get you, since there are no taxies outside waiting. Seventh day we were on sea again. We had a relaxing day. And tried to be out of the sun since we tanned already and it kinda began to hurt a little bit. Haha. THIS TIME WE WOKE UP EARLY TO GO GET SOME CHAIRS with good location on the deck. In the evening we went to club again as usual for the farewell party. Disembarking was really easy and fast. Your luggage is right there in the terminal building with a number on it. ***ENTERTAINMENT*** There is a place called Boleros, and they play latin music so there's some dancing going on there. So we kinda went there after the dinners (9-11 seating) and stayed there till like 12 or something and then we go to the Dungeon Club every night, except the first night. It's kinda the only thing open that late on the ship. The Dungeon Club is a cool place to meet the young crowd (18+). When you meet the other people on board, you kinda plan to meet up again at the pool during the day and then at the club at night. You will obviously see the same people everytime. BE SURE NOT TO MISS THE SHOW AT 'STUDIO B' called THE QUEST. It's an adult only show. An interactive game show/scavenger hunt. The audience is divided into teams, and then the teams are given quests to fulfill, like producing a certain object or getting someone from the team to do something specific. The quests get more and more outlandish and embarrassing, and I swear it was so funny! ***CROWD ON THE CRUISE*** It was a Eastern Mediterranean cruise starting in Italy, so there were so many Italians on board. There was also a large crowd of Spanish speaking countries (Spain, Colombia). Some other European countries Scotland, Norway. Not as many Americans as I thought. I'm from Aruba and speaks several languages (English, Dutch, Spanish and Papiamento). I found it very hard to communicate with the Italians since many of them don't speak English at all. I had to speak Spanish, and than they would get what I was saying (kind of). But the people on our cruise were very young I would say. Lots of people aged 20-30. This was one of the best things for my brother/sister and I. We made so many new friends from our age group on this cruise. But if you only speak English, be prepared to use sign language or something. **CREW ONBOARD** 1 word. AMAZING! **ROOMS** We had two balcony rooms and they were great! I recommend getting a balcony. The bed I must say is kinda hard. It's not your 'Heavenly Bed' at the Marriott Hotel. We also had the 'sofa bed', but it's actually just a sofa. They literally just put 2 layers of sheets on it and it becomes a 'bed'. Extremely hard but yeah. I would imagine its not good for someone older with back pain or something. ***FOOD*** We mostly ate at the Windjammers Cafe. Free and buffet style. They have very simple food there. From the hamburger with french fries to the grilled fish and some sushi. There's def something for everybody there. We didn't try out the Johnny Rockets. Overall the food was good. At the dinners there were some fantastic items on the menu, except 2 nights. Thats it I guess. We all really loved this cruise and would definitely recommend it to anyone! Beautiful ports, amazing crowd onboard, great crew, good food, LOTS OF FUN! I'm looking forward to cruise again with Royal Caribbean! Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Decided to do a Cruise for our Honeymoon, arrived in Rome a few days after the wedding absolutely exhausted.Wish we had been more prepared for the struggle to get to the boat, we took the train which was so hectic and full of thrives and ... Read More
Decided to do a Cruise for our Honeymoon, arrived in Rome a few days after the wedding absolutely exhausted.Wish we had been more prepared for the struggle to get to the boat, we took the train which was so hectic and full of thrives and gypsies trying to rip off foreigners. Waited at the platform for like 1 hr finally for the train to come, with no notice if it was the right train. No one would help us and nothing is clearly marked and no one can speak English. Finally arrived at the Port, almost being late for the boat and took a Taxi for 20 EUROS...Embarkment was a piece of cake as it was 3:50 by this point. Got on board very quick and our luggage was brought up within 30 mins. Cabin: We had a Junior Suite which we were very happy with , very big and lots of space. Food: The main dinning room had great food, we did my time dining but the waiters were so annoying. Only ate there 3 times the whole trip. We did room service every day for breakfast was always on time and pretty good. Only complaint the portion sizes were pretty small. Wasn't very impressed with the Windjammer, first the location made us sea sick and it was always packed and not very clean. Food was okay but nothing special.Activities: didn't do any as was either not feeling well from the waves or exhausted from the excursionsSpa: Our travel agent gave us a 100.00 voucher so I had a massage, was very happy with everything :)Service: Pretty happy with all the services and help from everyone on boardShore Excursions: Did one in each port, and absolutely LOVED them. The Port of Calls is what made this trip not the actual cruise. Only compliant, to early and not enough time in location.Only MAJOR compliant: I had heard a Mediterranean cruise was a calm and relaxing time at sea. However the last night they decided to speed back and we had to lie in bed from 3pm to 5am when we docked. The water was so rough and we could barley stand :( It was also very windy the whole trip so no swimming or being out on the decks. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
This was my Girlfriend and I first cruise as adults(I cruised when I was 6 years old, she never has). Let me start by saying the cruise was AWESOME! We were on Navigator Of The Seas. The biggest thing that made the trip enjoyable was ... Read More
This was my Girlfriend and I first cruise as adults(I cruised when I was 6 years old, she never has). Let me start by saying the cruise was AWESOME! We were on Navigator Of The Seas. The biggest thing that made the trip enjoyable was how clean everything was on the ship. no bugs, no smells, no overflowing garbage, no smudgy surfaces.....ever. nothing worse than a dirty atmosphere to ruin the mood. The food was top notch, the worst thing we ate was just "OK" and that was poor selection of meal on our part. I would rate the food 9 out of 10. We ate in the MDR all nights except one and had My time Dining. we had one of two waiters every time. The other night Wed night we ate at Chops, I give it an 10 out of 10 for taste, performance, value, and presentation. I had the Porterhouse and my GF had the Filet Mingon. All AWESOME and The Mud-pie for dessert was worth the extra 30 alone. The one downside to the cruise were kids were not controlled. They invaded the pools and we roudy and parents did nothing and cruise staff were busy doing other things to babysit(not their responsibility). Kids took up space in the elevators and would ride up and down for hours, this is fine until they take up half the elevator when people are in line to get on and they dont move or when several times you get in to see they just pushed every floor button to ride for fun and you get out because you dont want to go to every floor when your trying to get lunch. Every port was Great! Grand Cayman was the best. Cozumel was very nice, has rough beaches because of weather coming in, and Falmouth was rich in culture, and as in many reviews about that port.... STAY in the gates unless you book a tour or plan on taking a cab out of town, the locals outside will pursue you until you come to their shack, they do this by chasing up the street after you yelling and screaming. We did the ATV safari at Good Hope Estate and this was amazing, defiantly a cruise highlight. Our stateroom was basic interior and to our liking, we slept in their and that was it, we were busy vacationing and not being couch potatoes. The Solarium was our place of choice to hang and drink, mostly in the whirlpools . We spent 2 days after in New Orleans and was a very good choice on our part, great city with Awesome food, culture, and sights to see. Embarkation was a breeze and so was debarkation. We self serviced our bags off. We enjoyed the cruise immensely and we booked our next with RCCL on board already. WE recommend RCCL to anyone! Navigator was a great ship! Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
We took a cruise with my girl scouts. This was their reward for saving up all that cookie money over the years. So you had four moms and four late teen girls traveling together. We were in 3 interior cabins with the girls all in one room. ... Read More
We took a cruise with my girl scouts. This was their reward for saving up all that cookie money over the years. So you had four moms and four late teen girls traveling together. We were in 3 interior cabins with the girls all in one room. The cabin was surprisingly spacious and comfortable for two adults, but did get cramped for four girls. There really wasn't enough closet space for them, but that's to be expected in all honesty. The nightly dining was delicious and it was fun to have eight people ordering so we all got a sampling of nearly everything on the menu. We did have one vegetarian in the party and her choices were limited. The ice skating show was the best show of all of them, though the comedian was quite good. We played a lot of bingo and enjoyed the karaoke, and we all actually got up and sang. The girls were a little disappointed in the "teen" options, probably because they were just shy of 18 and felt too old for the most part, but were too young for the adult disco. We could have stayed on the ship, there was so much to do, but we had to investigate the ports of call. It is cheaper to tour on your own, but since it was just us "girls" I was more comfortable booking the excursions and it worked out very well for us because the girls could stick together with only a single chaperone, while the moms were able to get away to other, adult excursions. Cozumel, Mexico: The girls chose to swim with the dolphins and the stingrays and had a blast. They were able to spend time on the beach as well as shop and delighted in the freedom they had to barter and buy alcohol as they were over the drinking age in Mexico. We took the Salsa, Salsa, Salsa "class" which was a hoot. We were beach side, with a great view of the Caribbean, ocean breezes blowing in our little covered balcony while we learned to make margaritas, salsas, and salsa dance. Great fun. Georgetown, Grand Cayman: We took a drive it ourselves, jeep tour around Georgetown. We got to explore the area, visit a preserve and dip our toes in the pristine beach, visit the Rum Cake Factory and even go to Hell, ending up on the beach for an hour or so. It was fun to drive on the wrong side of the road (for us Americans) and our guides were great guys from Jamaica. Highly recommended. Falmouth, Jamaica: We did the river tubing and beach excursion. It claims to be more strenuous than it really is. You walk a little ways while carrying your tube, but you're fitted with a helmet and life vest (the helmet was completely unnecessary) and the floating is very serene with a few "rapids", then you take a powered raft to a beach which was beautiful, perfect sands and water and very uncrowded. It even had a stand for beer and jerk chicken, which was delicious. All in all this was a great experience. It was great to leave from New Orleans because we'd never been there, either, so we toured Bourbon Street before left. I'm considering doing it again, taking my husband this time.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
We booked a trip on the Navigator of the Seas for 7 nights with a very nice destination to Eastern Mediterranean countries: Turkey, Greece and Italy-Sicily. The trip was amazing and we enjoyed every bit of it. The room we booked, was a ... Read More
We booked a trip on the Navigator of the Seas for 7 nights with a very nice destination to Eastern Mediterranean countries: Turkey, Greece and Italy-Sicily. The trip was amazing and we enjoyed every bit of it. The room we booked, was a deluxe double with balcony and it's very comfortable and has a good space, with shower room, closet, big bed, balcony, safe, vanity, TV and mini bar. If I was you and looking to book on he Navigator I would book a room with balcony, not an interior one, because you would really feel cornered, as people can see in your room if you're above the promenade area. You get a full service on the room, including free food and room nicely arranged (bed made twice a day). Every night we were coming back from dinner to find a nice surprise from our housekeeper - a towel folded animal puppet which looked very cute. The poolside is nice and comfortable and you have plenty of choice of sitting on different areas of the pool. Although in the very hot days, you should get to the pool quite early as it can get crowded and you won't find place in the sun that easily. There are plenty of hot tubs and you can always enjoy a dip in the warm comforting and bubbly water. I never waited for an empty spot in the hot tub, even in the crowded days at the pool. We like massages and spas in general and if you do as well, we totally recommend you to book some spa day in advance. You don't need to book before your cruise, there are spots all the time, but if you are specific about a certain day when you want to spa, then you should book online, in advance. If you're a couple get the couple's retreat massage plus Rasul...AMAZING! The shops on the ship have a variety of things you need from toiletries to bags and souvenirs, perfumes and make-up and other accessories you may need. The karaoke nights were very fun and we had a blast actually participating in some contests. The must do on the cruise is the Adult Quest, there is plenty of fun and you will laugh out loud! It's good to book some of the shore excursions in the first day of your cruise otherwise they get pretty full. If you don't want to book, you can always go on foot by yourself and enjoy the sights. It's also very good to have an account open on your room otherwise you'll need to walk around with cash on you all the time and there is only one ATM on board which runs outta cash quickly. Was very satisfied with the food quality and the amounts, an all you can eat breakfast, lunch, dinner at the Windjammer but an occasional fancy dinner at the Chops Grille, which was very nice. There are tons of choice of food and drink on board. Btw, the staff on the ship is impeccable and very nice, they really make you feel important. Overall this cruise line is a very nice choice and I can't wait to book my next one. We're looking at the moment at different options for the next year. Enjoy your cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
I booked my holiday through Trail Finders - Fantastic Value - 7 Night Eastern Med Cruise on Board RCI Navigator of the Seas. Inclusive Flights and hotel in Rome night before sailing. We got great value in our deal and paid less than 1900 ... Read More
I booked my holiday through Trail Finders - Fantastic Value - 7 Night Eastern Med Cruise on Board RCI Navigator of the Seas. Inclusive Flights and hotel in Rome night before sailing. We got great value in our deal and paid less than 1900 for the package. We upgraded our room to Promanade Room, Booked My Time Dining and Late Departure as additional extras with extra costings. We stayed in the Crowne Plaza St Peters Rome the Saturday night before Sailing. This hotel was outside the city, which was fine, a shuttle bus runs through out the day at different intervals to drop you into the city, this Im afraid does not run often enough for my liking. We took a taxi in as we did not want to waste our only day in Rome waiting for an hour for the bus. This cost us approx 15.00 euro( to give you an idea ). I found Rome to be pretty dirty in a lot of places, even though the historic element was beautiful, the city was very drab. The People I am afraid were not very friendly either. We hired a private transfer to the Port the next morning. We boarded Navigator Of the Seas very quickly which was pleasing. My first impression of the exteroir of the Ship was WOW HUGE...14 DECKS high. I found the Interior of the Ship extremely impressive, All areas totally spotless and clean, even the carpeted areas.Our stateroom, Promanade View: Lovely Clean Room with a fabulously comfortable bed. Lovely Clean Bathroom. Lots of Storage. Safe. Minibar. Tv with all guest information. Window facing down onto the prom, while an upgrade from an interior cabin, we did not spend too much time gawking out the window. It was handy because we could check out the queue at guest relations. My next Cruise I will book a balcony room. Our room attendent was highly attentive to us and wa practically waiting for us to exit the room so that he could clean TWICE a day!! What service. He always greeted us and was so friendly. All staff on board were so respectful and pleasant in all ways. The Dining room we were assigned to was Swan Lake - We had booked My Time Dining - which while handy as you can choose your dining time every evening, was more of a hindrance as we wanted to sit together every evening and not share tables, we had to compromise regarding time a few night, this is not a deal breaker though. We had a table at the window every night, and was beautiful. Service Staff were excellent, and food over all top notch. Only one night did we feel the standard slipped slightly and I think that was down to over filling the dining room at that particular time. We ate in Chops Restaurant (30.00 dollars per head), it was FABULOUS. We also ate in Portofino (20.00 dollars per head )it was great also, well worth splashing out for a bit of variety. We did not take part in the first formal night, although we felt the whole way through the cruise people dressed as they wished, whether formal or casual attire was the recommedation,most dressed how they pleased. The bars were fantastic on board, we drank at them all, but spent most time in the Sports Bar on the top deck 14, where we could catch the news on the tv as well as a little sport. Bela a romanian guy behind the bar was amazing and really kept us entertained every night we were there with lovely conversation. The nightclub was great also but we only went once. The shows seemed a bit drab to me, felt they all appealed to a very family orientated audience, while this is understandable, it would have been nice to have a comedian with some adult humour as well...Advertised comedian, was a juggler, while funny, it did get old after ten minutes of juggling and miming. The pool was always busy,as the weather was so good. The tours offered were brilliant, although leaning on the expensive side. We picked wisely and spent money where we only wanted to see something in particular. We chose to do the Taste of Sicily tour which we would really recomend as you get to go up to MT Etna and is very beautiful!! We mostly did hop on hop off tours everywhere else. We stopped in Sicily, Kusadasi, Crete, Athens and Back to Rome. There was a jam packed schedule of activities on the ship, parades, bingo, The casino...etc...You WILL NEVER BE BORED if you are willing to take part in something. I cannot endorse this holiday enough. There was a good mix of elderly, retirees, honeymooners, families and couples, to not feel isolated...Just Brilliant...I really admire the staff for their friendly approach and outlook to spending 7 months solid away from their families to work on board. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
I sailed on the Navigator of the Seas for my dads 60th Birthday last August. It was my first time cruising but my parents have done many and Royal Caribbean is their favorite. First Impressions I was astounded by the sheer size of ... Read More
I sailed on the Navigator of the Seas for my dads 60th Birthday last August. It was my first time cruising but my parents have done many and Royal Caribbean is their favorite. First Impressions I was astounded by the sheer size of the ship! It was a sight to behold when I seen it from the road high up Civitavecchia. I found the boarding procedure to be quite efficient and we where in our cabin around 20 mins after getting off the coach. The ship was clean and I had a nice wander around before heading to the windjammer for some lunch. The Cabin The cabin itself was small but there was a good use of space and it did not feel cramped. Our cabin attendants where really good and had no fault with them at all. The bathroom was also of ample size and suited our needs. I was a bit disappointed that we did not have an outside cabin but to be honest I actually didnt miss it. I spent so little time in the cabin that a window would have not been needed! Plus it was nice to emerge onto the deck and be surprised by the view of that days port! Food We used the windjammer for all our meals except one dinner on the 2nd formal night. I do not recall having a bad meal there at all! Sure I had some stuff I was trying for the 1st time that I did not like but that wasnt the fault of the staff!The food selection was very wide and appropriate to what port we where in, eg in athens we had some greek food. Every meal was great and I loved the massive glass windows given a panoramic view. Having breakfast looking out over a different port everyday and having dinner by sunset in the middle of the Med every night was an experience I will not soon forget. We also had the privilege to talk frequently with one of the head chefs, he was very happy to chat to us about the ports and food and he shared quite a few tips with us. On the 2nd formal night we decided to go to the MDR. The food was excellent and it was a nice change from the windjammer as it was completely different. However I would not chose to dine there every evening as the atmosphere was very different from the windjammer, and I would miss the views! If after all the food you remained hungry there was a snack bar on the Promenade which served sandwiches,pizza,cakes and biscuits late into the evening. Entertainment The entertainment was generally quite good, I especially enjoyed the ice show. There was one act, a juggler, he wasnt quite so good at times. Felt a bit sorry for him! But even that didnt detract from the overall good entertainment. Other Activities On the 2nd day before we arrived in Messina there was a short beginners crash guide to Italian in the schooner bar. That was quite good, was great to get some basics taught to you by an Italian! I tried the rock wall, that was a great experience as from up there I could see the volcano we where about to pass which I believe was Mt Stromboli. On the pool deck there was a bbq and also a sail away party with cakes and ice sculptures, dancing, live music and even a conga line around the pool! Staff and service The staff on board where all great, no exceptions. While chatting to the assistant at guest services it came up about my dad turning 60 during the crusie, and she arranged for a bucket of ice and champagne to be sent to the cabin on that day. The cabin attendant also found out about the birthday and actually bought my dad a t-shirt whilst we where in port! It was very kind of him and greatly appreciated by us. Excursions This is the only low point for me. I refused to pay the prices for the excursions they where charging. Messina - In messina we went for a lovely walk around the town. Athens - After doing my own research I organised a tour for my party around athens using the hop on hop off bus which was 20 euros each and included 2 routes, also a visit to the acropolis museum. We had a fantastic time doing this and loved the flexibility doing it that way gave us. If I recall correctly there was a cost of 45 dollars each for a 4hr tour which I do not feel is value for money. Kusadasi- This was a fantastic little port to explore on foot, none of us in the party were inclined to go further afield than the old town markets. Chania - This again was a fantastic town to explore on foot. We caught the shuttle bus from the port to the town and i think the cost was certainly less than 2 euros each. Overall we had a fantastic time and now I have caught the cruising bug and would not consider anything other than Royal Caribbean. I have since now book a 2 week Hawaiian cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas and look forward to the same WOW factor there! Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Because this was my first cruise, I can not compare it with other cruise lines ... I can however compare it with the many vacations I've taken over the years. Wow ... this by far has been the best vacation. The service was ... Read More
Because this was my first cruise, I can not compare it with other cruise lines ... I can however compare it with the many vacations I've taken over the years. Wow ... this by far has been the best vacation. The service was unparalleled. From the stateroom attendant to the wait staff we were catered at every opportunity. The check in process took a total of 5-7 minutes ... I kept thinking they missed something, but in fact they are incredibly organized. Booking the day tours in onboard was another 5-7 minutes to purchase and complete all four tours. Upon arrival at our stateroom we were greeted with incredible views from our balcony. The size of the room was more than adequate as we booked (D1) Superior balcony room on the 9th deck. A balcony room is a must as you will see many islands as you cruise through the Greek Isles. The food in both the main dinning room and windjammer were definitely worth writing home about. The kitchen staff did a wonderful job with selection and preparation of the many meals offered through the cruise. The day tours offered will leave you wanting more. Each guide was well versed in the history, culture and facts of each visited city. A must do for all. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
Well first off I want to say I did have a great time. We stayed in an Superior Ocean view Balcony cabin 8346 & absolutely loved it! Actually more roomy than I thought it would be & Mr. Kerrol Green our stateroom attendant was ... Read More
Well first off I want to say I did have a great time. We stayed in an Superior Ocean view Balcony cabin 8346 & absolutely loved it! Actually more roomy than I thought it would be & Mr. Kerrol Green our stateroom attendant was AWESOME! Really went over & beyond to make us at home & have fun! Embarking was actually a breeze we arrived at the port at about 10:45 & were probably boarding by 11:00 no problems at all and disembarked just as quickly although I think they could come up with a better program for the luggage when leaving but not too bad. I was however a little queasy as soon as the ship started moving & yes i started bonine the day before but unfortunately I felt everything the whole time sick the first night but ok by the next afternoon. Pools were ok very crowded during sea days as expected but then someone got sick in one which closed it down for the day which made it impossible to get near it and the chair hogs were out in full force. Food-- Awesome everywhere! Loved the Windjammer & our dining room experience was awesome as well thanks to Lili Beth & Douglas they were Superb! Ports--Grand Cayman (AWESOME) Snorkeled there which was beautiful! Second stop was Falmouth, Jamaica beautiful port but they cancelled our excursion which was a real bummer so after walking the port area & a little of the town (scary) we were back to the ship & Third stop Labadee...BIG BIG Disappointment there! You couldn't access the beach due to the rocks unless you were willing to walk about 2 miles and/or have the private beach excursion. Personally will never go back there. We ended up back at the pool about the whole day there. Also wanted to mention I really like the casino. It was a lot of fun! The ship itself it really gorgeous and I personally didn't notice anything wrong with her. Everyone on that ship was so pleasant & kind & how they remember your name & what you order that quickly still amazes me. Overall I would definitely recommend this ship to anyone I would just maybe pick different ports. This was our first cruise so I don't have anything to compare it to. That hopefully will change in the future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
This was our first cruise so we really didn't know what to expect. Prior to cruising I had done lots of research on price and the different cruise lines. Cruise Critic was an invaluable source of information as I prepared for our ... Read More
This was our first cruise so we really didn't know what to expect. Prior to cruising I had done lots of research on price and the different cruise lines. Cruise Critic was an invaluable source of information as I prepared for our first cruise. I was able to book an eight night cruise out of Fort Lauderdale on Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas for just under $400 per person. I ended up booked a guarantee inside cabin, but was upgraded to an ocean view cabin on the second deck. When we found out about our cabin location we were thrilled to get a window, but We were a bit concerned about the possible noise since our room was close to the engines and just below the main dining room. We never heard any sound from the dining room above us and the engine sound was limited to a slight constant rumble (like the sound you hear riding in an airplane). We noticed the engine sound when we stepped into the room but since it was constant we quickly were able to totally block it out. We did notice some loud banging noises in the mornings. Some of these were when the ship docked since we were close to the water line we could hear the ship being tied to the dock. We also noticed another bang sound in the morning that we think was due to water being turned on and off in the showers in the cabins near us. I say this because my wife said she heard it loudly when I turned on our shower one morning. Overall however, these bangs were nothing to really bother us. At most they lasted for less than an hour first thing in the morning and were only a few times during that time period. Since it was our first cruise I really don't have anything to compare our cabin with. I will say it was small. But I was expecting that. the bed was supposed to be a queen bed, but it seemed larger than that to us. In addition to our bed our cabin had one easy chair and one desk chair at the built in desk. The bath was tiny but big enough to do what you needed to do in there. The TV was old and small (they really need to upgrade to flat panel monitors). Overall out cabin was fine. The ship was amazing. First off it's HUGE!!!!!! we often caught ourselves having to remember we were on a ship. We loved the Promanade which is a three deck tall shopping area that runs the length of the ship. We aren't much of shoppers but it was lots of fun to stroll along and just enjoy the people watching. Plus several times during the cruise they had parades or other party type events that ran along the pramanade. There were plenty of activities and things to do while at sea. We enjoyed the Solarium which is an adult only area with a pool, hot tubs and deck chairs. By adult only I mean that it was a place designated for adults to enjoy without having to deal with kids everywhere. The mini golf was fun too. We didn't try rock wall climbing but enjoyed watching those who did. There were a variety of lounges and other places to relax and enjoy a drink. I personally enjoyed the cigar bar very much. This space was smallish and very quiet. It was decorated with leather chairs and distinguished art. I loved it! The attendant did a great job of serving us when we wanted but left us along to enjoy our stoggies as we wished. I didn't buy any cigars on board, preferring to purchase some at the posts we were visiting. But I did notice that the prices posted on the cigar menu were very reasonable. The entertainment on board was fantastic. We loved the production shows and thought the concerts and special guest performers did a great job. I was wowed beyond belief by the ice show. That ice show was as impressive as any ice show I have ever seen anywhere. The ice rink was tiny which did limit a few things, but on the other hand I was able to have a seat one row off the ice with a perfect view of everything. As for the food as we were preparing for our cruise I had read several reviews about the food on Royal Caribbean stating that it was industrial at best. So honestly going in I was a little concerned by this. What we found was that it all depended on where you ate. We found that the Windjammer Buffet was noisy, crowded and served very institutional food. We didn't particularly enjoy the Windjammer so we avoided it. But we had fantastic experiences in the main dining room. We found that breakfast and lunch in the main dining room was enjoyable with great service a pleasant atmosphere. And dinners in the main dining room were wonderful. The food was consistently good and if you didn't like what you had ordered simply ask for something else. And the service for dinner in the main dining room was the best service I have ever had anywhere in my life! We felt totally pampered by our wait staff who knew our names and remembered our drink preferences after the first meal. Additionally we really enjoyed the little bistro that is on the Pramanade. They were open 24 hours a day and served pizza, sandwiches and some of the best rum raisin cake I have ever had. Several nights we had dinner in the main dining room then would go down to the bistro on the pramanade to grab a cup of coffee and some desert to go and enjoy them from a deck chair as we watched the sea go by. When I booked the cruise I booked at the last minute so I didn't have a choice of which dining we were to have. We were assigned late dining which means dinner was at 8:30pm. We were concerned about this at first since we normally eat at about 6. But we found that late dining was great. The advantage was that because we dined late we were not hurried when we got back from a shore excursion to get ready for dinner. We also found that on at sea days since early dining is the most popular we would have the pools and the deck chairs almost to ourselves after the early diners went to get ready for dinner. As for the ports of call. We thought St. Maartin was okay, as I mentioned we aren't shoppers but we did enjoy the beach. St. Kitts was fantastic (I booked a tour of the island from a vendor that I read about on Trip Adviser. I saved a lot of money over choosing the cruise line tour and I found that the service was better). San Juan was lots of fun, we simply enjoyed walking around the old city. The only thing about San Juan that was a bummer is that Royal Caribbean had some sort of stink with the stink so now Royal Caribbean ships dock there really early in the day (7am) and leave mid afternoon (2pm). As a result when you get off the ship most things aren't open yet and you only have time to really enjoy one thing before its time to get back on board. Before our cruise I really didn't know what to think when I saw that we had a stop in Labadee Haiti, they call it an island but its really an peninsula on the main land. I imagined abject poverty and total destruction. What we found was that Labadee was a very well thought out resort area. It was a great place to enjoy the beach for free. You could pay for an over priced zip line ride or an equally expensive coaster type ride. But really the best thing to do was just to swim and enjoy the beach. There was also a Haitian Market area that had some highly screened locals selling stuff. As I have said we aren't shoppers so that didn't appeal to me and from what I saw the vendors were very pushy. Royal Caribbean provides a buffet BBQ on shore at Labadee which was really good. The price of this buffet is included in your ticket. The only thing disturbing about our visit to Labadee was that occasionally if you walked close to the fence you would see people begging for food on the other side of the fence (I know that's a reality of Haiti but it was hard to see). We had a great time on our cruise. We thought the staff did a great job of taking care of us and we found the ship to be everything we had hoped it would be. One thing I found out as I talked to people on board is that as a Cruise Critic member we could have signed up for the "Cruise Critic Crawl" where cruise critic members get a chance to see the different cabins on board and to tour the ship. Next cruise I will make sure to sign up for this. I had no idea about it until the day after it had happened. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
This was our first cruise. When we had to pick the cruise we found out that Royal Caribbean had the best price/quality. So we expected a great holliday, The Cruise turned out to be even greater than we expected. A very important reason for ... Read More
This was our first cruise. When we had to pick the cruise we found out that Royal Caribbean had the best price/quality. So we expected a great holliday, The Cruise turned out to be even greater than we expected. A very important reason for our enthousiasm was the ship and the crew. Our waiter and assistant waiter were very kind people and the ship was beautifull. You can do exactly what you like and because the ship is so big it is even possible to miss all the things you don't like. The entertainment was fantastic, allthough the singers of RCCL were not that great, the shows en productions were superb. Service was outstanding and so were the excursions. Overall: a wonderfull experience. Food was excellent. The windjammer and the Jade offered many choices and the quality was excellent. The food in the main diningroom was also very good. And sometimes, after 5 years, we still miss our waiter and assistant waiter Pharell and Adina. Civitavecchia is not the ideal port since it's pretty far from Rome and the airport and a little chaotic. After this first cruise we had two other cruises. Also with Royal Caribbean. All cruises were great, but the Navigator is still our favourite 1 ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
I am a 2nd time cruiser and my friend a first time cruiser. This is the 2nd time I have sailed with Royal Caribbean and will sail with them again. The ship was very big and plenty to do. I booked the whole fly and cruise deal with ... Read More
I am a 2nd time cruiser and my friend a first time cruiser. This is the 2nd time I have sailed with Royal Caribbean and will sail with them again. The ship was very big and plenty to do. I booked the whole fly and cruise deal with Royal Caribbean, this was easy, their website is extremely user friendly. The whole cruise including return flight from Heathrow to Rome was 625.00 for the week. This was great value for money and worth every penny. From the minute we checked in on our chartered flight at Heathrow, it was painless. BMI flight Rome, all on time, you collected your luggage, and handed over to the waiting Royal Caribbean staff, they then took care of our luggage and delivered this to the ship for you. We were then shown to our waiting coaches to take us to the ship, the transfer time to the port was 70 minutes. The guide on the tour gave us some local info on Rome and the surrounding areas. Embarkation onto the ship took no more than 10 mins, very professional, organised and a well oiled process. Onto the ship we went, and we were not disappointed, our Stateroom was nice, good size, very clean, the shower was amazing the water pressure was the best ever, our Stateroom attendant was Vic and he was very nice, and kept our room spotless, the work very hard and take pride in their jobs The ship had too many activities to mention, definitely a highlight was learning to make towel animals- life long skill now learnt. Outside area were great, although ship was almost full to capacity, no shortage of sunbeds etc. The food on board was plentiful, good quality and service was brilliant we ate twice in the formal dining areas on the formal nights (optional you do not have too)The service was great, and the quality was also great. We were on anytime dining and first time, we sat with four other people and had great conversation. We did not eat in the speciality restaurants as the food in the other areas was of such a good standard and variety. Entertainment, the shows were a dancing show, with professional ballroom dancers which was amazing, Abbamax tribute show- excellent, Emperors of Soul- brilliant, Ice Dance show, which was the amazing and the final show was called Now and Forever (mix of different Broadway shows) The shows were all very professional, and a very high standard. There was also a Love and Marriage show that was very very funny. Karaoke competition was also great fun. Final Parade down the Royal Promenade was a Circus show, this was the first time the crew had performed this. Costumes were great, a giant Nelly the Elephant and various other animals were amazing. What impressed me the most that all staff you were in contact with even passing in a corridor, spoke to you said Hi, were very pleasant and helpful. This was further highlighted that the cruise director Warren (in charge of entertainment) personally saying goodbye to you as we left the ship. Considering he must have only had around 5hrs sleep after the final Circus parade this was a very personal touch and a great way to end our cruise Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
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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