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

This was my first cruise and I was pleasantly surprised. Embarkation was simple and there were plenty of staff to guide us in the right direction. It was me and my mom and we are both very afraid of water. Once we were on the boat, ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I was pleasantly surprised. Embarkation was simple and there were plenty of staff to guide us in the right direction. It was me and my mom and we are both very afraid of water. Once we were on the boat, however, it was easy to forget we were not on land. The staff was very friendly and always making sure we were enjoying ourselves. The rooms were small but had everything you could ever need and had plenty of storage. The shows were entertaining but I wish they had more shows available during the daytime/afternoon on the "at sea" days. My favorite shows were the comedians and the "love and marriage" show was hilarious. The boat was a bit rocky the last two days of the cruise and I did have to take Dramamine one day but was surprised I did not need it more since I tend to get motion sick easily. The food in the dining room was very good and the service was excellent. I was not a huge fan of the food at the buffet (Windjammer) but I am not typically a fan of buffet style food to begin with. There was a snack bar that was open 24/7 that provided pizza, fruit, small sandwiches, and desserts. This was my favorite area and I enjoyed trying the different options they provided each day. My mom is gluten intolerant and there was a gluten free section at the buffet and gluten free options at the dinning room. The ship had several lounging areas where you could sunbathe or look out over the water and/or pool areas. These areas were a bit overwhelming since people would save their lounge chairs with bags and towels. Very few people were actually lounging around but it was almost impossible to find seats due to the "saving seats" problem (even though signs said you could not do that, no one was enforcing it). That was probably my least favorite part. There was a rock climbing wall that was a lot of fun and a surfing simulator that was fun to watch (I did not participate). The ports were interesting and a lot of fun. The Bahamas was a bit overwhelming with the locals yelling at you to take a taxi or buy their products. Way too much "salesman pressure". I could not just look and enjoy like some other places I have been too. Because of this, I ended up avoiding those areas and not buying much. The tour was ok in the Bahamas. We did a city tour that advertised itself as visiting a rum cake factory, the queens staircase, the governors house, a rum distillery and ending with a fish fry on the beach. The rum cake factory was a store with free samples (delicious but crowded), the queens staircase was the best part with lots of history told to us by a local, the distillery was interesting but a bit chaotic (normally a self guided tour with a sample of pina colada by the door, we actually got a tour guide for ours), and the fish fry on the beach was actually the name of a bar/restaurant that was near a beach and if we wanted food we had to order it off the menu and pay extra. The tour guide on the bus was great but the tour itself was misleading. The excursion we did in Cozumel was amazing. The tour guide was excellent and spent over an hour giving us a tour of the ruins on the island. We then went to a chocolate factory and saw a demonstration on making Mayan chocolate. This tour was the best part of the trip. We also did an excursion in Miami on a Hop-on-Hop-off Big Bus tour. We did not get off the bus but we had plenty of time to do two different routes through the city and got very lucky with another excellent tour guide. The transfer to the airport was not very well done. The bus was late getting to the airport and I believe many with earlier departures missed their flights. They dropped everyone off in a back area and left us all to fend for ourselves. Luckily, I fly 4-6 times a year and know my way around an airport so we did not miss our flight, but we were close. If you do a post-cruise excursion I would recommend taking a later flight (4pm or later, with the boat getting to shore before 8am). Overall, I enjoyed the cruise and I would definitely recommend Royal Caribbean to others. While I will not be going on a cruise every six months like some of the people we met, I would definitely consider doing one again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We like cruising. Our room was bigger than expected and the bathroom not surprisingly small but usable. Our room attendant Emmanuel was professional and kept our room very tidy. It was nice to always come back to a clean room. The main ... Read More
We like cruising. Our room was bigger than expected and the bathroom not surprisingly small but usable. Our room attendant Emmanuel was professional and kept our room very tidy. It was nice to always come back to a clean room. The main room was fine dining and wished I brought more formal dresses to wear for dinner. Our waiters Melvin and Rohan were very attentive. We made sure to get a table with them each night. Lot of activities to do and watch on the high seas. Our favorite excursion Tabyana Beach Break - white beaches, clear water, seeing different kinds of fishes when we snorkeled, lunch & light beverages included. Now we know the reason people love cruising. Same hotel & service everyday and wake up in a different city most days. Lessons learned. 1. Ask for more details when getting advice. We did not book an excursion in Cozumel and we got taken. Don't book an excursion in Cozumel, grab a taxi, etc. Spent $60 on a taxi trip to a small white beach full of drunk men. My husband and I were the only tourists and no visible taxis around (except the one we took). We immediately went back to our ship and stayed there. Our advice pay extra for the ship excursion when in Cozumel. 2. The excursion tickets have two times listed. Our Belize excursion tickets listed Meeting time 7:45 am and departing time 8:30 am. We arrived at the meeting place at 7:30 am. RC ship director started tendering groups at 7:45 but did not specify which time she was using. She was calling groups by time and we missed our time. Others also missed their call time. To RC's credit we got to go on different and cheaper excursion and RC refunded us the difference. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our first cruise & our honeymoon. We booked Royal Caribbean b/c we heard from others that it was the better ship to travel on since the rates were slightly higher there would be less children & people. We were also ... Read More
This was our first cruise & our honeymoon. We booked Royal Caribbean b/c we heard from others that it was the better ship to travel on since the rates were slightly higher there would be less children & people. We were also told that Royal Caribbean has better food than Carnival. Embarkation & Disembarkation both went smoothly. We didn't have long lines at embarkation (we got there within less than an hour of embarkation). Disembarkation could have moved a little bit quicker with more customs lines and/or better structured disembarkation. It seems they try to get everyone off the ship at the same time, with few customs lines to get through. The cabin was clean and quiet. Our attendant was very nice. The dining room food was amazing! Although, prior to sailing we were told that formal nights were not required to have full suits & ties, etc. While we did not dress like beach bums (we brought a polo shirt & slacks for my husband, and a nice semi-casual dress for me), we did not get to engage in those nights. Also, we will not be engaging in formal nights on Royal Caribbean in the future since my husband doesn't own a suit, didn't wear one to our wedding, and won't be wearing one to his own funeral. It is sad that it is like that for both nights since we do pay extra of our hard working money to sail on Royal Caribbean, but cannot enjoy the same amenities as everyone else while we are on vacation. The adult entertainment was lacking with only one show a night (which were usually great) & it wasn't good planning that the latest night show was scheduled when the earliest port day was the following morning. Also, nothing for adults to do on "at sea" days other than sit by the pool, which was boring. Hopefully with the new water slide my husband will be able to enjoy himself more on the "at sea" days. I would rather have more of the adult shows on the "at sea" days than on port days since those days wear you out anyway. We enjoyed the ports & learned after the first one that it is safer and not much more expensive to book through the cruise line. However, if you decide to do that, all of the good excursions book up quickly. You need to book online before the trip or on the first day after embarkation. While there was not much adult entertainment provided on the ship, the ship was clean and the service was great. We enjoyed trip and are going on another this fall on Royal Caribbean. This time, we are having a couple of friends join us for a kid-free vacation! Hopefully we will have more fun with a couple that we know. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was my first cruise, so I don't have a point of comparison other than what I have read here. But my overall impression was good. Galveston is unfortunately pretty far from the nearest airport, so if you are not driving in, you ... Read More
This was my first cruise, so I don't have a point of comparison other than what I have read here. But my overall impression was good. Galveston is unfortunately pretty far from the nearest airport, so if you are not driving in, you will have to work out how to get to port. We ended up flying into Bush a day early. We stayed the night at the Country Inn and Suites by Carlson. It has a shuttle from the airport and another to the port. It is located right on the southern beach near the pleasure pier and a bunch of other restaurants, so it is a good place to stay if you plan on coming in early. It is one of the only ones in Galveston that has an airport shuttle. We arrived at the port the next morning a little after 11 am. There was a porter ready immediately to take our bags and when the rooms opened our bags were already waiting for us. Embarkation seemed fairly painless. We were on the boat and eating in the buffet well before noon. We were not really impressed with the Windjammer and after eating lunch there the first couple days, we just stopped going back. Rooms opened a little bit after one. Our room was clean and everything worked, our room attendant, Golda, was very friendly. She came and introduced herself the first day and knew our faces and names after that and was always friendly and accommodating every time we saw her. She left us two towel animals, a snake and a dog (even incorporating the sunglasses I left lying around into our dog). The view from the balcony was nice and we felt the movement of the ship a lot less in our room than other places on the ship. We were part of BGG@SEA and we spent a lot of time in the conference room. It was nice, although hard to get to. You can only get to it from the forward stairs. If you go down the wrong side, you have to go back up to the fourth floor and then over through the casino. The casino was always packed and there was no easy way to get from one side to the other. Plus, this is one of the only areas where people are allowed to smoke inside the ship. I'm sure it is convenient for those who do smoke, but it is pretty gross to travel through if you do not. And the smoke bleeds out into the bar areas on either side sometimes since it is not enclosed in any way. I honestly never went to the casino, in part because I couldn't breath for all of the smoke in there. There are a lot of different bars on the ship (about 15 in all). They all have a different feel and each has their own specialty drinks (as well as being able to make all of the usual ones). Most people tend to find one or two they like better and frequent regularly. We tended to go to Two Poets (an English style pub) and R Bar, a kind of zany looking little bar. For food, we primarily stuck with the Main dining room and café promenade. We always enjoyed the food in the main dining room and the menu changed every day so we never got bored and never ate the same thing twice unless we really liked it and wanted some again. Our waiters Leonardo and Atarulla were wonderful and we stayed in their section all week. They were very accommodating to a surprising degree. My husband mentioned he was debating between two food options, the waiter gave a recommendation, he ordered and then the waiter brought both out for him to try. He was always willing to bring out extra at the slightest hint that we wanted it (even bringing an extra lobster out to us on the 2nd formal night, which was the last port day without a word from us, just because my husband was excited to eat lobster). We did my time dining and we got a table to ourselves unless we wanted to go with a big group and then they sat us together. Overall the main dining room was one of our favorite places on board. Café promenade has snack food like little sandwiches, cookies, etc. (the muffaletta is really good). It is attached to a starbucks and a ben and jerry's which are both good options if you want them, but they do cost extra. Overall they tend to overcharge you for anything extra you buy (normally two mixed drinks would run us a little over $20, two frappes at starbucks would cost about $10, etc). Overall the only food we weren't super thrilled with was the Windjammer, but it worked if you just wanted to dash in, eat and dash out again. It was always busy so I guess most people liked it. Because we were with a group, we did not do too much of the normal on board activities. The adult pool was frequently empty with a lot of people lounging around it but the hot tubs were super packed. We did go to the Quest and the Love and Marriage game. Both of them were very fun and we laughed a lot. The director and his comments really added a level of humor to each event. The only thing we were not very happy with was the shore excursions and disembarkation. Since this was our first time cruising, we stayed with all RCI excursions. In Jamaica, we did Flavors of Jamaica. It was about an hour drive each way to the plantation. Our guide on the bus was very nice and we learned a lot about Jamaica from her. The plantation itself was very pretty (although they have a lot of very large spiders all over the place, so this may not be the best tour if you are an arachnophobe like me). The guide that showed us around the plantation was really mean. The group in the back couldn't always hear very well, at one point, she called us out for "not listening" and then pulled us to the front of the line like bad children. Then as punishment she wanted us to dig through a pond searching for a bullfrog to catch for her. I refused since I am afraid of spiders and there were some big ones on the lily pads. She then had us go wash our hands, ad held my husband back so I would be by myself when I had to go by this giant web filled with spider webs. He didn't realize what she was doing until I jumped when I saw it and she laughed. Overall she was very mean and ruined this excursion for me. The food itself was very good, but there was some miscommunication at some point and the plantation did not realize how many people there were and did not have enough places for everyone. So it was delayed by quite a bit while they had to try and figure out how to squeeze in the extra people. There was not enough food for everyone and some people did not get everything. The group that came in after us ended up having to cancel their excursion because it was so delayed, but not until they spent an hour or so, standing there staring at us and complaining that we needed to hurry up. Overall we were not thrilled, although, the food when we finally got it was very good and the chef and our bus tour guide were very nice. We were going to do the stingray city sandbar through RCI, but they cancelled it (due to high winds, I guess they were afraid a wave might knock someone into the path of a boat) and didn't tell us until we got to the pier. By the time we found out, the other tours we wanted to do were either full or had already left since this was one of the later excursions. RCI ended up just refunding our tickets, but they made no effort to try and help us find another excursion. We just ended up wandering to the different stations, trying to find something else to do. We were very disappointed in how RCI handled this. We ended up going with a local one that was doing the stingrays anyways. It was called Kelly's watersports and it was in this big round both at the end of the pier. Overall, I would not recommend them either. They crammed a bunch of people on the boat. And they only had one handler and one stingray for the whole boat of 50 plus people. They ended up just having us crowd around this one poor stingray to feed it and then to take pictures with it. There was no line, it was just pushiest people got to go first. If you went first you really had nothing to do but float around, and if you went last you spent the whole excursion waiting for your turn. Very disorganized. They charged us extra for the tour because they knew we were in a bind, and then charged us another $40 for five pictures if we wanted the pictures we waited for, but they didn't tell us the price until the end. They were supposed to email us the pictures and we still haven't received them. I would go with moby dick tours instead, they are also on the pier and were much better organized and less crowded. When we got done with the picture fiasco, we went to their area and they let us interact with the stingray like we thought we were going to get to. Finally in Cozumel we did the island tour and mayavn ruins. This one was a lot of fun and we learned a lot about the mayans from this tour. We wished we had a bit more time at the tour, especially to look in the little shops afterward. As part of the tour, we went to a mayan chocolate factory which was fun and we learned a lot about the way they used to make chocolate before Europeans got a hold of it. This was really well done and well organized and everyone was friendly. They even recommended a local restaurant, La Choza to eat at afterwards and it was very good. This is the only tour I would really recommend to anyone. Disembarkation was very long (especially for those with visas rather than passports). I would recommend taking your bags down yourself, picking them up again is not very streamlined, and they actually lost our friends bags, or someone else grabbed the wrong bag, there was no process to check out the bags back to you. Anyone could have grabbed any bag. Better to keep your bag with you and know you will have it. It was a very long wait in the lounge and then a very long line when they finally let you leave the lounge. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
I'll keep this short since I really don't have a comparison point. My family had a great time on the Navigator. It was Spring Break for my school aged kids, so there were lots of families on the boat. This was great as my kids ... Read More
I'll keep this short since I really don't have a comparison point. My family had a great time on the Navigator. It was Spring Break for my school aged kids, so there were lots of families on the boat. This was great as my kids were easily able to find other kids to hang with either in Adventure Ocean or at the Arcade/Sports Court. My kids loved getting to be on a nice vacation with us and having some independence on the boat (10 and 12 years old). We brought walkie talkies so that we could make contact and check in with them when needed. We signed up for My Time Dining, which worked out perfectly for us. The food was great most nights, but we were most impressed with the excellent service from our wait staff. They really deserved the extra gratuity on the last night. All areas were clean and well maintained. My husband took advantage of the gym and spin classes. I enjoyed browsing the shops, attending the shows, ice skating with the kids, playing mini golf, and relaxing at the pool and on our balcony. Our room was small, but we made the this was perfect for first timers). Roatan was also our favorite port as we spent a little best of it. We enjoyed having a balcony on the right side of the boat (we could see the ports- Roatan & Cozumel from our side- I never really thought of that when I picked the room). We booked our own shore excursions online with independent companies, which worked out well, but if I ever sail to Belize again, I will book off the ship because the passangers who did had priority getting off of the boat (on earlier tenders). There was a long line and wait to get on the tenders in Belize- some people we talked to missed their excursions due to not getting to port in time. My family agrees that our favorite activity while in port was doing the zipline course at the Mayan Jungle Canopy in Roatan. It was worth the $45 per person cost and we would do it again (or a more advanced course, but extra $ and had a private driver (Best of Roatan Tours) who drove us around and took us to the zipline, sightseeing, and to a beach resort. Overall, it was a great family experience and I can't wait to cruise again! My kids are saying that they want to sail on Royal Caribbean again b/c they don't want to take a chance on another cruiseline...that's how much they enjoyed it! Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
As a new cruiser, I have only small river barges as comparison, but I loved this trip on the Navigator! The crew, every one I encountered, were wonderful, professional and friendly. Dias, our Steward, couldn't have been kinder or more ... Read More
As a new cruiser, I have only small river barges as comparison, but I loved this trip on the Navigator! The crew, every one I encountered, were wonderful, professional and friendly. Dias, our Steward, couldn't have been kinder or more helpful. He knew right away I didn't like to get up early. I thought the food was very good considering the number of passengers and crew. I wish they didn't have to resort to pre-made foods, but it is probably cost-prohibitive to make everything from fresh ingredients. The only bad meal I had was in the dining room--a crab cake appetizer I ordered for dinner--which was obviously not prepared fresh. I would sail on the navigator again in a minute! Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Summary: Had a wonderful time getting away. Ship was beautiful. Service was mostly good. Food was terrible (except for Giovanni's). Cabin was great. Would probably book with RCI again, but for different ports of call. My husband and ... Read More
Summary: Had a wonderful time getting away. Ship was beautiful. Service was mostly good. Food was terrible (except for Giovanni's). Cabin was great. Would probably book with RCI again, but for different ports of call. My husband and I are first time cruisers and came with a large group of Texans. We had high expectations and were not disappointed with the ship. One thing that made our experience unique to most others, is I was about 4 months pregnant at the time, so we did not do a lot, but just nap and relax by the pool. It was wonderful. I read just about EVERY review on this site, so I will chime in with what to really expect, and what some reviews overdramatized issues (although I know everyone's experience is different). Embarkation: We pre-paid parking online with a coupon code with EZCruise Parking (got $15 off - came to $54.12 total). We were nervous about leaving our truck in a parking lot, but it was great! The lot is fully barb-wired fenced with security. Not covered, but you can get a car cover, if you want. Quick shuttle trip to the port (the guys load your luggage for you). Only problem is they dropped us off kind of far away, and their last cart was fully loaded, so we had to haul our luggage ourselves to the front. Not a big deal normally, but was a strain being pregnant or if you are elderly / handicapped. Arrived at our designated time. Took only about 45 minutes to get on the ship. Lots of people complain about lines and line jumpers, etc., but don't be concerned. It's just like going through airport security. Not a big deal. Once on the ship, we explored and had lunch at the buffet, the Windjammer, while waiting for our room to be ready (room was ready at 1:00 p.m. - luggage came at about 4 - 5 p.m., so give them extra time for that). We booked our excursions in the super short line at the guest services, also got all our restaurant reservations and drink package booked. Go to Level 5, The Promenade, to book all of that right away, because the lines do get long later on in the day. Also, be sure if you want to change your dining options at night, to do it either before you leave online, or right away. We messed up and waited until about 6 p.m. the first day to change it to MyTimeDining (which they say you can do on the first day), but were told it was too late and they were sold out. Huh? Oh well. We never did do the main dining room at night because of that. We got the basic drink package (soda, coffee, juice, non-alcoholic cocktails and bottled water). I felt like this was a very nickel and dime thing to do, but did it anyways. I had to have water bottles (preggers), and I felt like this should be provided regardless. It was expensive ($350 for 2), but we had to do it. It was also a pain to get your pre-paid drinks (long lines, could only get one at a time). RCI can surely do better than this, like have some kind of drink machine that takes your SeaPass card. Dining: This is where most of the reviews were right on. There are little bars everywhere and a Starbucks. Most service was great, esp. at the Windjammer bar. That bartender is awesome and knew my name after the 2nd day. The Starbucks personnel are TERRIBLE. Horrible service. They get visibly upset when you don't add an extra tip, never mind that the drink package includes a 30% TIP. A fellow cruiser and I were yelled at for not having the line go a certain way. What? There's no rope or anything. My suggestion is they remove the staff and put them in a back kitchen somewhere. Seriously. There's a little café next to the Starbucks and they have OKAY food. It's good for little snacks like turkey croissants (a little bland and stale) and bananas and apples and some bite-sized desserts. Windjammer. Let's just say it sucks. Half of the food is weird international food that NOBODY touches. The other half is exceptionally bland American food that people are forced to eat. The buffet never changes. Nothing is hot. And nothing is cold. EVERYTHING is lukewarm. I have never wanted a microwave in my entire life. Avoid breakfast. It's crazy. BTW: You can order room service breakfast for free. We did that most days. We did lunch at the main dining one day. It was terrible and we never went back. Food was nasty, cold and service was slow. It took them 30 minutes to get me a bottled water. So, we mostly ate at the specialty restaurants which were pretty good, and honestly, that's something that should be provided cost-free. Chops Steakhouse: Great service, atmosphere is romantic, good steak, but it was overcooked. Sides were delicious. But not worth the extra $35/person. Giovanni's Italian: Ate here twice because it was just that good. BEST filet mignon I've had in a long time, and I'm from Texas! Don't go to Chops for a steak, go here. The service was out of this world. It was $20/person, but we tipped an extra $20 each time bc it was just that good. Definitely recommend this place. Sabor Mexican: Overall, it was okay, but we do live in San Antonio, so we know good Mexican. The side guacamole service was cool, but the guacamole was not good. I would go at least once, if you're craving Mexican. Johnny Rockets: Ate here multiple times. Only $5.95/per person, all you can eat. Well worth it. Service was outstanding (except one time when our server left us for 30 minutes, but they quickly corrected the problem). Two thumbs up - best hamburgers for sure. Miscellaneous: Didn't go to any of the shows because we were pretty tired at the end of each day, plus we had private shows to see (from our group). Enjoyed the casino - my husband did win about $350 on the slots - woohoo! Wish they had a regular Texas Hold Em table, but the casino director didn't know when they would have it, and she seemed very scatterbrained about it. Be sure to wait to shop because they do sales and specials near the end of the trip. Also, I did a spa day the first day. Had a great facial. The pedicure I got was terrible. Worst ever. The girl didn't even rub the lotion in my skin. She just slapped it on, and I was on my own. Ladies, trust me, for the price, do your pedicure before you go. Husband got a haircut and he said it was the best one he's ever gotten! Word of advice - don't fall for their trap of booking right away. I wish I would've waited on the facial because later in the week, they have MULTIPLE daily specials, and they slash their prices. Bummer. We spend most of our days at sea by the lovely adult pool, Solarium. Despite what some of the reviews said, it was very quiet and peaceful. Plenty of sun. Get there early if you want two loungers. They also have plenty of poolside towels, and there is even a bar with some servers that will walk around to get you drinks. Very nice. All in all, it was a lovely, relaxing trip. We met a lot of new and interesting people. There were no kids running around like wild monkeys (Hooray! And kudos to the parents, the kids there were VERY well behaved), and a lot of elderly people (be patient with them). Plan to spend a little extra money on food and beverage packages. Don't expect every RCI person to kiss your butt and say hello (although most do) - the reviews blasting RCI for this are simply ridiculous. We would definitely go again! Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
This was the first cruise for my whole family (myself, husband, MIL, and 2 children ages 10 and 8). We flew into IAH and took Galveston Shuttle which was a large SUV to the port. It was a nice vehicle but the driver never said a word to ... Read More
This was the first cruise for my whole family (myself, husband, MIL, and 2 children ages 10 and 8). We flew into IAH and took Galveston Shuttle which was a large SUV to the port. It was a nice vehicle but the driver never said a word to us. Once we arrived it looked confusing and people were everywhere, so we just grabbed our luggage and went to the nearest porter to drop it off. I don't think the people standing around realized you could do it, but I wasn't going to stand around in the heat (we're from Seattle and were already melting!) And even though our check in time was still an hour away, they let us go right in. People were standing around waiting, but if you went up to ask, they let you in. We got checked in fairly quickly. Total time from curb to ship was maybe 30 minutes. We were very impressed with the ship. It was beautiful. The one thing we also were impressed with is that all the staff were so nice to everyone. The food was good most of the time. We would have breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer (if not in port) and dinner in the Sapphire main dining room. Loved the chilled soup appetizers for dinner. Our servers for table 615- Rodrigo and Virgel were awesome! They would do brain teasers with the kids and brought them extra food-making sure they didn't go hungry! We loved playing mini golf, getting some great deals shopping on the last day at sea, and the Ice Dancing show. Views from the Cosmopolitan Club on deck 14 are spectacular and don't miss going out on the peek-a-boo bridge (out of the Solarium on deck 11) and seeing the "bridge" where they drive the ship! We had a few complaints. One was the elevators. Too bad they didn't have any mid-ship, especially since my MIL who is 70 had a hard time getting around the ship sometimes. They only have them in forward and aft and there just isn't enough especially after shows, embarkation and around meal times. The elevators are slow and sometimes would just by-pass the floors. They are also hot and stuffy. And not that it's the cruise lines' fault, but some people were just so rude they would shove their way in front of you to get on the elevators before you could get to it (again, trying to get to an elevator with my 70 year old MIL) The bathrooms on Deck 11 by the restaurants smelled really bad. I don't think they ever changed the diaper pails in the women's restroom. It was bad all week long! And one thing that really annoyed us was on the last day we ordered room service for breakfast to be delivered between 0630 and 0700 since we had to disembark early for a shore excursion to the Houston Space Center- well at 0645 we get a call from room service saying that they don't deliver room service on the last day. It would of been nice to be told that ahead of time, like when we ordered! Or better yet, we shouldn't of been able to order at all! (We ordered on the tv) So we had to scramble to finish getting ready for the day and get something to eat before getting to our meeting place. Again as a first time cruiser, we didn't know this kind of info! Although the pools are small it didn't feel too crowded-probably because there wasn't too many kids on the ship, and the weather was quite windy our last two sea days. In fact the pools were closed the last sea day. Which brings me to the entertainment on the ship. We utilized the library. The games were ok and would be better if pieces weren't missing or mixed with other games. Also, young people would come in there and be loud and the tables were always messy. Too bad they don't have a "librarian" to help control some of that. Other than that I was kinda disappointed because I thought they had jewelry making and cooking classes and scrapbooking classes? I never saw any of that... As far as the ports go we loved Cozumel- went to Chankanaab for the dolphin encounter. definitely worth the money. We just wish we could of stayed there longer! Grand Cayman was ok. We didn't have any excursions. We took a taxi to Hell. They let us stay for 20 minutes but with that we barely had time to look at the rock formation, go into 1 of the stores and the post office. There is about 5 stores there and I was disappointed I didn't have time to go to the others. The taxi then took us to 7 Mile Beach. He tried to take us to a beach where we would of had to pay, even after we had agreed on our price and location, so be careful. Once we got to the beach we had a relaxing afternoon swimming and playing. Falmouth Jamaica was very hot. We also didn't do any excursions there. We walked around the port which was set up nicely. We didn't run into any pushy vendors (they were more pushy in Cozumel) and ended up with a lot of nice souvenirs. The only thing besides the heat I didn't like was Margaritaville- horribly way overpriced! Overall a wonderful first cruise experience as we didn't let the few bad things ruin all the many great things! Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
My best friend and I shared a balcony cabin aboard Navigator of the Seas sailing from Galveston, TX to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica on 5/25/14. We were on deck 6, Balcony cabin 6236. Our bags arrived about 2 hours after we sailed. ... Read More
My best friend and I shared a balcony cabin aboard Navigator of the Seas sailing from Galveston, TX to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica on 5/25/14. We were on deck 6, Balcony cabin 6236. Our bags arrived about 2 hours after we sailed. This was my first cruise, her fourth, and I have to tell you, either cruising isn’t for me, or it was just not that great. A few disclaimers: I am not a fan of crowds. I don’t like being treated like cattle. It takes a lot to impress me. Please keep those things in mind while reading this review. I will try to be objective. The Galveston Port: We hired a car to take us from the Hampton Inn in Houston to the port. It was Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend so there was some traffic, but not really that bad. From pickup to drop off was about 50 minutes. A porter met us at the car, took our bags and directed us inside to the terminal. We showed our passports and Set Sail Passes, went through screening, lined up for our SeaPasses and then onto the boat. Total time: approx. 30 minutes. Not bad. There were quite a few people, but the terminal seemed well organized and the flow of traffic moved quickly. On the Boat prior to sailing: We wandered around, took some pictures, sampled some of the Specialty restaurants’ offerings that were being displayed on the Promenade, took a tour of the spa, then settled down at the Sky Bar overlooking the pool to wait for our cabin to be ready. I am a smoker, so for my fellow smokers here are a few words of advice: THERE IS NO SMOKING ON THE BALCONIES. If you are caught it is a $250 fine. A second infraction will get you disembarked. There are approximately five smoking areas on the ship. The three I took most advantage of were: the Sky Bar, the Casino Bar and deck 11 (the pool deck) in the far corner under a covered area. Fortunately for me all of these areas were fairly close to my cabin. Our cabin was ready approximately one hour after boarding. We got in and to my surprise, my Bestie had the cabin decorated for my birthday! So sweet of her! We got unpacked, changed and headed out to eat. For lunch we went to the Windjammer. Wonderful selection, no long lines and we had no trouble getting a table. For our first night’s dinner, we ate at Sabor, the new Mexican Restaurant on deck 4. The food was divine, the service impeccable and the ambience wonderful. It’s a fairly small, intimate venue with Margaritas and Guacamole made tableside to your specifications. We enjoyed that immensely. Day 2 was spent poolside with beers in hand. The pool band started up around 4 pm and we enjoyed that for a while, then headed inside to get ready for our first Formal Night. There were photographers at all entrances to the Sapphire Dining Room and they took several shots of us together and separately in our formal attire. They also came to the table for group shots. We had the 830 seating, which I must say, is kind of late. The problem with this is that each course takes approximately 20-30 minutes from ordering to plates being cleared. Dinner was a long, drawn-out affair that I found quite tedious. I didn’t eat in the MDR again. I won’t bore you with a further day-by-day detailing, but let me hit some highlights for you: The café Promenade became our home away from home after hours. They serve sandwiches and pastries 24/7 and have a huge selection of teas. There was a very small selection of music available. One country band – Bubba Feathers – and a DJ. For dancing or live music, that was all you got. It was a bit disappointing as, while I do like country music, I would’ve liked to hear something different once in a while. And as for the DJ – he catered to the much younger (teeny bopper) crowd. That was just too raucous and crowded for me. I found 3 general groups of people on board – 20-somethings, 70-somethins, and couples. I was none of the above. It seemed that the people in my age group were parents there with their children. While I was with my best friend and my sister and her husband, there really weren’t many people with whom we identified with. That being said, let me tell you: not everyone is friendly on a cruise. In fact, most people seem to be trying to have a private vacation while amongst thousands of people. They were rude, snippy and selfish. They hogged the deck chairs for hours. They cut in front of the line. They pushed while in crowds. Not a lot of smiling. Not a lot of friendly chit chat. The pool was ridiculously crowded every day all day. Even the Solarium pool was packed, fortunately there weren’t kids allowed in there, that was very nice. We did take advantage of the Solarium pool and hot tubs several times, but mostly after hours so as to avoid the masses. It was wonderful to be floating in the pool after dark watching the stars. Very peaceful. There were a lot of things going on on the ship that I didn’t take advantage of: Quest, Love and Marriage, Trivia, lectures, etc. I did join in the Country Dance Party on the pool deck one night. We played a game of “Musical Men” and I had a blast. I won a keychain and danced the night away. My sister and brother-in-law attended the Quest game and they loved it! I mostly took advantage of room-service (get the steak sandwich and Caesar salad – excellent!) and the Café Promenade. The Windjammer was yummy, too. On the 4th night of the cruise, for my birthday, we ate at Giovanni’s table. Again, excellent service, scrumptious food, and dreamy ambience. I enjoyed every minute of it. And both restaurants were worth the extra fee. PORTS: Cozumel: we didn’t do an excursion (my friend wasn’t feeling well). We did go into town to do some shopping. This is probably not a good idea for two women to do alone. We were HOUNDED from the minute we got out of the taxi. It was so annoying. And not only did they practically drag us into their shops, they tried to totally rip us off! I was interested in a silver ring. They asked for $85. I just laughed and walked out. They literally chased me down the street going down on price. I finally paid $10 for the ring. Lots of jewel shops, lots of junk shops. We ate at Fat Tuesdays. The food was awful, the beer warm and it was hot as heck in there. They do have free wi-fi, though! After a little more shopping, we headed back to the ship. The heat and humidity are killers. Grand Cayman: A few of us booked an independent excursion to snorkel and swim with the stingrays. We chose Moby Dick Tours. They were so nice. They knew we had to tender at this port and that it takes a long time, so they pushed our tour time back from 11 a.m. to noon, just for us! We met at the pier, took a bus ride about 20 minutes to their dock, got on the boat, which was very nice, and headed out to the crystal clear blue waters of Grand Cayman. It was so beautiful. First we anchored near a reef that was literally teeming with colorful fish and snorkeled for about 30 minutes. Then we headed over to Stingray City. There were a lot of other boats there, but there were plenty of stingrays to go around. Our captain brought chopped squid for us to feed them and pretty soon they were all flocking to our group. They are AMAZING! Honestly, this was the highlight of my entire trip. I got to hold one and swim with it. Just incredible. After we got back to the pier, we did a little shopping, had a few beers and tendered back over to the ship. A few tendering tips: if you don’t have an excursion booked through RC, you MUST wait in line for a tender ticket. They will say to line up at a certain time – I was there one hour before and it was already crowded. The first two tenders went to RC excursion people, my tender ticket was for tender #4. From the start of tendering to my reaching the pier it was one hour 20 minutes. And I was on the fourth tender!!! Take this into account if you have excursions booked at a tender port. Jamaica: We didn’t book any excursions in Jamaica. Everything was very far away with round trip travel time of about 2 hours. We opted to just do a little shopping in the fake shopping center that RCI built at the port. Again, jewel shops, junk shops and in the middle of the square a little local crafts market. My girlfriend bought a very cute dress from a local who told us her mother made it. After we got back on the ship we noticed the tag inside that said “Made in China”. Our bad. She paid $25. I’m sure we could have gotten it cheaper back home. The prices for shopping in these countries are no lower than here in the states. You still only get what you pay for and a lot of the stuff can be found here for lower prices at a Wal-Mart or a similar store. The one thing I did find cheaper was medications in Cozumel. I bought my son some inhalers for his asthma at only $10/each. Here they are $45 As far as service on the ship: with the exception of the two specialty restaurants – Sabor and Giovanni’s Table – I was less than impressed. Don’t get me wrong, everyone was nice. They just didn’t seem to go above and beyond. I guess that’s acceptable, after all, they do work their tails off. There was one incredibly arrogant, rude bartender named Fernando in the Casino Bar. You could tell he thought he was God’s gift to this planet. I found him to be so offensive I actually complained to the bar manager. Our cabin steward was very nice and helpful, but again, nothing extraordinary. We only got towel animals twice – this may be the norm, I don’t know. One thing to note: my SeaPass card de-magnetized 7 times! I had to get it replaced every time. Sometimes it would work for my cabin door, but not for purchases. Other times it was fine for purchases, but wouldn’t open my door. It was very frustrating. And I wasn’t the only person this happened to. The Guest Services desk was crowded with people having the same problem. All in all I have to say: I’m not sorry I did it, but I probably won’t do it again. It just didn’t seem to be the amazing experience others have made it out to be. No fault of Royal Caribbean, just not my bag, you know?   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
We had a wonderful time and my expectations were exceeded frequently. The food in the dining room was really good and some was excellent. The buffet was good, but I didn't eat there much because the dining room was so good and so ... Read More
We had a wonderful time and my expectations were exceeded frequently. The food in the dining room was really good and some was excellent. The buffet was good, but I didn't eat there much because the dining room was so good and so relaxing. Our water and asst water (Ahmet and Alelie) took exceptionally good care of us. Our cabin steward was great, she took care of our special requests and did an excellent job. In fact, the whole crew made me feel like royalty, they really took great care of us and made us feel welcome and special. This ship is very large and had everything. The shows ranged from OK to really good. The gym was very good. I went there every day and it was sometimes busy but I was always able to do whatever exercise I wanted. Got my haircut and my DW said it was the best haircut I ever had. The promenade is really nice with shops and a 24 hour coffee/tea/sandwiches/pastries and cookies area. It also had a mini Starbucks. Royal Caribbean really won us over. Our Junior Suite on the aft of the ship was spectacular and we really enjoyed it. I could go on about how wonderful our cruise was. I really can't think of much they could have done to make it any better. I few minor items they could improve on would be to have brewed iced tea instead of made from concentrate, allow tips to be adjusted on your account instead of the all or nothing method and give receipts for tips put on your account so you can present them to the people you tip. They have a large selection of good quality tea bags available everywhere, but if you get the iced tea, it is from a concentrate. The coffee was brewed. It was a little strong for me, but that is just my preference. You have to ask for cream at your table, they just put milk on the table for your coffee. I only had one major complaint-smoking. I understand that RC tries to make both smokers and non-smokers happy, but I think they don't appreciate that you can't have it both ways. If you allow smoking in places that connect to, or are open to other areas, the smoke will naturally go to all the places. Just because you designate someplace as non-smoking doesn't mean it will be smoke free unless you don't allow smoking in areas connected to or open to that area. Balconies are part of the rooms and are connected (through the rooms) to the hallways. The bars on the sides of the promenade have large openings and doorways that open onto the promenade. The casino has a staircase leading from the middle of the casino up and onto the promenade. The casino also opens into the art studio/photograph area. The casino and bars also open onto or near the elevators and stairs. Smoking is allowed on balconies, bars and the casino. The smoke from these places doesn't stay there, it goes wherever it wants to. So when the bars and casino are open, the promenade can become smokey. When people are smoking on their balconies the smoke sometimes drifts away from the ship. Other times it goes into a neighbors balcony and other times into the hallways. If people smoke on their balconies with the balcony doors open, it can go into the room and from the room into the hallways. Many times while walking down the hallways by balcony rooms, the hallways were smokey. I was disappointed that I had to put up with smoke in the hallways and promenade. I read the smoking policy before I purchased this cruise. It gave me the impression that I would not have to put up with smoke, because it is only allowed in a few areas. I didn't expect these areas to be so connected and open to many other areas. They try to minimize the intrusion of the smoke with good air circulation and lots of air fresheners, but that just makes much of the ship smell like a casino. Royal Caribbean would have won me over as a loyal customer, if it had not been for the smoke. The trip was wonderful, but the smoking "left a bad taste in my mouth" and made me search for another cruise line for my next trip. Royal Caribbean has the departure ports, the itineraries, the ships, the staterooms and so much more that I am completely sold on. I hope they change their policy soon to be like Princess or Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Our cruise began December 15, 2012. It was our first cruise and I was nervous about cruising with kids (ages 11 & 6). We got through the security lines in less than an hour and were able to walk to the suite check-in with no line. ... Read More
Our cruise began December 15, 2012. It was our first cruise and I was nervous about cruising with kids (ages 11 & 6). We got through the security lines in less than an hour and were able to walk to the suite check-in with no line. Be sure to look for it if you are staying in a suite, as it took the people who were in front of us an additional hour to get on the boat. By then, we had already unpacked, and started checking out the boat. We went to the Windjammer for a late lunch and finished just in time to get to or muster zone for the drill. After the drill we went to our room and finished setting up our room and getting ready for dinner. I was beginning to the see a pattern! My son decided the theme of our trip was: Eat. Sleep. Repeat! Our stateroom attendant, Yara, came in and met the kids, asked us questions about some of our preferences, and gave us some tips and ideas. We were doing the 6 pm first seating dinner for the week, the food and service were great. It was nice to be able to look out and watch the sea as we started dinner the first night but before dinner arrived my youngest was not feeling well so I took him to the room and we both went to sleep. Thankfully that was the only time we experienced any uneasy feelings during our cruise. Our waiter prepared our food and let them bring it up to us. It wasn't necessary but very appreciated when I woke up starving. We had room service deliver breakfast every morning so that we could get ready at our own pace. On the days we were at sea we had a late breakfast and on the days we were in port it was earlier depending on what time we had to get off the boat. We were at sea for the first three days and my kids ended up spending a lot of time in the Adventure Ocean program. The youngest loved it and would cry when I would pick him up. This was especially shocking for us as we thought that he would not want to be away from us. We even ended up letting him stay for the late night events twice. For $6 per child they can stay until 2 AM. We were never able to stay up quite that late but they did get to stay until midnight. One night they had an adorable pirate parade and they painted their faces and walked through the promenade chanting. It was very cute and they all were having fun. They had events planned for them the entire cruise. On the last day at sea they hosted a talent show in the Cosmopolitan Bar for them and I swear it was the cutest thing ever. My oldest had fun the first few days, but I didn't want him to be a self signer so he decided he would spend more time hanging out with us. We didn't spend nearly as much time at the pool as I thought we would, we only ended up going swimming once. The pools were to deep for my youngest to reach the ground. The ice skating show was a hit with everyone in our family. We played bingo and even won a little money. We enjoyed the entertainment each night and the morning show was funny. We even sent a few shout outs to other family members that were on board. Next time we will probably do two beach days and one adventure day for excursions. Maybe zip line or a dolphin encounter? Some of the things I was very glad to have were: air deodorizer, highlighters for the daily compass, pens, waterproof camcorder (go pro), and good walking sandals. I used the packing list found on cruise critic and we found ourselves very well prepared. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Background: This was our first cruise. We are a family of 5. We were joined by my sister, another first-time cruising family of 5, and my parents who have been on a number of prior cruises on various lines. The children's ages ranges ... Read More
Background: This was our first cruise. We are a family of 5. We were joined by my sister, another first-time cruising family of 5, and my parents who have been on a number of prior cruises on various lines. The children's ages ranges from 3 to 12 and my mother was in a wheelchair. Embarkation: Awful queues after bag drop where the health forms are completed in an unventilated tent with no air conditioning, which was a horrible experience. Also full of Italians who don't know how to queue! But after that the security and check-in process was very quick and efficient. Stateroom: We were in one of the Family rooms which was excellent - very large, separate sleeping area for the two bunk beds and a curtain to separate off the double bed from the sofa bed. I'd thoroughly recommend this room to any family of 5 or 6. Dining: Breakfast/lunch: The buffet in the Windjammer was a nightmare on most days. It seats about 700 for a ship of 3,600 passengers. Impossible to get a table (not helped by couples sitting on the large circular tables) and people were eating standing at the edge of the buffets. After the first day we either ate at times to avoid the queues (depending on when the excursions left) or ate in the restaurant on the days at sea, which isn't the same as even though anything can be ordered it somehow doesn't tick the boxes like a buffet does. Having said that the quality and choice of food was fantastic. Dinner: We ate fixed dining on the first sitting. Food was of an exceptionally high quality on 6 of the 7 nights. Our two waiters couldn't have done more - friendly attentive service, lots of little extras for the children and ensured that we were well catered for as most of our party were vegetarian. Activities: Plenty to do, especially for the children, with the swimming pools, rock climbing wall, ice skating rink, roller blading, mini golf etc. The mini golf was terribly disappointing - a few obstacles in the holes would have made it far more interesting. My only complaint was that the ice rink was only open twice for general skating the whole week - what's the point of having an ice rink and hardly ever being able to use it? My other complaint was concerning the arcade, which was fine in itself. However one machine took $1.25 from our card but then didn't work. I asked three times for the money to be refunded to our card, and was promised on each occasion that the refund would appear, but it never did. Although $1.25 is not a lot of money it was annoying to be promised something only to be let down. Children's Club: Disappointing. The range of activities was generally poor and the staff didn't seem so interested in the children. The activities in the 2 to 5 year old's club were mainly sticking, colouring and watching TV - something that can easily be done in the stateroom. Our three year old refused to go back again. After hearing from seasoned cruisers how amazing the children's clubs activities are we were disappointed. Service: on the whole fantastic. The waiters really excelled themselves and it was really only the table cleaners in the Windjammer that weren't so friendly. However we did have one cause to complain. At every opportunity you feel RCI are trying to sell you something or make money out of you. That's fine in itself. But when we left the ship in Athens (with someone in a wheelchair) we asked the people taking photos where to go and they said they'd only help us if we agreed to have our photo taken (which we didn't want). They then sent us to a building 100m away which was locked - it turned out we were supposed to wait for a bus. Back on the ship we complained to deaf ears - not even a hint of an apology. Entertainment: Mixed. Three great shows (Beatles review, ice skating and a street artist),one awful show (West End musicals review) and two uninteresting shows (Italian singer and ballroom dancing). No show on the first evening if eating at the first sitting which was also hugely disappointing. The cruise director (in charge of entertainment), a certain Warren Allen, was rude and awful. The evening ice show turned out to be the same as one the previous afternoon but this was never explained on the cruise compass (daily activity planner). That wasn't great as we had to sit there with the kids for over half an hour just to secure seats. When I asked the cruise director why it was the same show he reasonably explained that the ice rink only seats 700 so they need to repeat the show 4 times so everyone can see it. Fair enough. But when I asked why this wasn't explained on the cruise compass he told me it was. I still have the cruise compass and it wasn't. When I told him it wasn't he accused me of lying. All I was hoping for was an apology! Not the standard of serviceI expected. Excursions: Too expensive - we arranged our own. Disembarkation: Very efficient. We managed to leave 15 minutes before our allotted time. Luggage was easy to locate. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We sailed on Navigator of the Seas, an impressive ship, for five nights with our son (10) and daughter (5). We had a fantastic trip, enjoyed the sun, the ship itself, the food, and more...Our embarkation was smooth and easy. Once ... Read More
We sailed on Navigator of the Seas, an impressive ship, for five nights with our son (10) and daughter (5). We had a fantastic trip, enjoyed the sun, the ship itself, the food, and more...Our embarkation was smooth and easy. Once onboard, we had packed a carry-on of items to be able to enjoy the ship without having to wait for our luggage, which arrived before dinner. After exploring some of the ship, we headed right to the pool. The pools were beautiful! My only wish was that there was a pool for kids. The pool was deep and salty, and we should have had a tube for our daughter. The many adults sitting around it made it difficult to enjoy and swim. Our weather was simply perfect and we enjoyed our time swimming and sunning. Our children both loved the "camp" as we called it in Adventure Ocean. They begged to go back and this left my husband and I with some time to ourselves. Because of their hours, we spent time in the middle of the day together in the pool (on days at sea) but once they had enough of the water, the kids asked to go back to the camp. Our favorite feature was the time after dinner when the kids enjoyed time at the camp, with the new friends they made, while my husband and I enjoyed some time at a pub, seeing a show, or just sitting on the deck watching the sunset.The shows were fantastic! We especially loved the Ice Dancing, the comedian duo, and the magician. The pirate parade from the kids right before the comedians was such a treat! I felt so lucky to be able to enjoy a day of sun, swimming, followed by a delicious dinner, and a fantastic show. The dinners in the main dining room were delicious and plentiful. The wait staff was friendly, quick, attentive, and flexible. Contradictory to the reviews I have read, the food was delicious, fresh, and creative. The best way for us to enjoy the food the way we wanted to, was to have breakfast via room service, lunch from the Windjammer at the pool, and dinner in the dining room. The Windjammer was a bit of a disappointment in quality of food.Our Stateroom Attendants were so kind, attentive, and thorough. We trusted them and the kids even made them something special to remember us by. We loved the little towel-critters they left each evening.Our ports of call-- Grand Cayman and Cozumel-- were a hit all around. We especially loved Grand Cayman and the peaceful ocean with beach side snorkeling. The kids loved finding coral. However, keep in mind the restaurants are slow and expensive. I only wish I had researched my excursions more carefully, and then booked onshore. There were many, many to choose from for a fraction of what we paid. Choosing to visit a beach on either Island is a sure thing.While this review is positive overall, I have a few criticisms. First of all, everywhere we went, the ship was always trying to upsell us. There were auctions constantly in the Promenade, advertisements everywhere we looked, sales, sales, sales. We were constantly reminded to give gratuities to everyone we met. Drinks were $10 each, including gratuity. Even after we paid gratuity, we were given envelopes to give more gratuity. And when something did not cost extra, they called it "complimentary," as if the cruise itself hadn't cost a dime. This was the biggest surprise-- the amount of $$ we spent over five days above and beyond the cost of the cruise. Finally, I would highly recommend this cruise for families like ours--five days was just enough and the western Caribbean was peaceful and calm. Sometimes we forgot we were on a boat! Just gorgeous! Again, we felt so lucky and blessed to be able to enjoy this wonderful vacation! Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
We decided to take a short cruise for a long weekend and picked RCCL to cruise with. We usually cruise with Seabourn but short hops have been on Celebrity and Princess. Check in was fairly smooth and embarking the ship and finding our ... Read More
We decided to take a short cruise for a long weekend and picked RCCL to cruise with. We usually cruise with Seabourn but short hops have been on Celebrity and Princess. Check in was fairly smooth and embarking the ship and finding our cabin was effortless. Our cabin steward was there to greet us with a friendly smile. Our first encounter at the Windjammer Restaurant for a buffet lunch was fairly hectic with a limited selection, which included pasta, stir fires, a different carved meat each day, hot dogs and hamburgers which had previously been cooked and stacked in a pan, small salad selection and a dessert bar with fairly unattractive offerings. One nice touch, self service soft serve ice cream in the Windjammer and on the pool deck, was appreciated by young and old. Breakfast and lunch can also be enjoyed in the main dining room which is a nice alternative to the Windjammer Cafe. We spent our days reading in the rather large Solarium pool area for adults only. This was adjacent to the main pool and was a fairly quiet place to spend our time.Two out of the four nights we ate in the specialty restaurants and the remaining two we did My Time Seating where we requested and were seated promptly at 8:00PM at a table for two, without a wait. It was a welcome change from the traditional 6:30 and 8:30 seatings. Service was fair and we felt rushed in the main dining room. There was a good selection of appetizers and entrees but the food was only fair. Desserts were much better than expected and the wine list offered a good selection of reasonably priced bottles. The second night we ate in the Portofino specialty restaurant for $20 a person and the food and service were very good. I was able to make this reservation online although the restaurant did not appear to be at capacity. The fourth night we ate at Chops for a $25 per person surcharge. The food was good there but not as well prepared as it was at Portofino. No one told us to leave room for the midnight buffet that was held that night, so we just went up to the pool deck to watch others gorge themselves on hot dogs, chicken fingers, desserts, etc. and we had a good laugh.Entertainment on the ship was good although one of the revues was music from very old Broadway shows and rather boring. The show on the last night was more contemporary and we enjoyed it a lot more. The huge seating area was never full. We saw the Ice Dance show and it was very professional and entertaining and we were amazed at the quality of the skating in a fairly small ice rink. We also got to watch the end of the NCAA final game in the same room and that was a nice touch as well.The Promenade is fun to walk on but fairly limited in the quantity and quality of items for sale. Each day there were new "sales" of cheap items put out to entice you to spend money but nothing was very appealing. The last day tee shirts were brought out to the main pool and sold for two for $20 which was a good way to get souvenirs for friends and relatives. Perfumes were relatively expensive and there was a very limited selection. Liquor was well priced but had to be picked up on the day of departure which seemed like a hassle, unlike other lines that deliver it to your door the night before.The casino is large and there are a lot of slot machines. It may have filled up later in the evening but between 10 and 12, there were not that many people playing. As expected, there were art auctions, dance lessons, bingo, etc. but we preferred to read our books. Another nice touch was the "Make a Wish" walk which RCCL does to raise money to take deserving children on cruises with their families. Eight of the ten dollars spent on the shirt went to the charity. My birthday was the last day of the cruise and when my husband went to the Front Desk to see if he could buy a card, they offered to send chocolate dipped strawberries. They also threw in a bottle of champagne, which was quite a surprise and we were both very appreciative.All in all, the staff was very friendly, the ship was fairly well appointed and clean and we had a really nice weekend away. Disembarkation was not quite as smooth as embarkation since there were many people, all trying to drag their bags down to the first floor. It was nice that we could leave any time up to 10:15 which would have been leisurely if we didn't have to wait on line to go through customs along with people from an even larger Carnival ship but one can't blame RCCL for that. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
The ship was impressive. The staff was very friendly and helpful. I encountered two problems but they will not prevent me from cruising again. Both problems happened on day one. The first problem was found under my bed. My ... Read More
The ship was impressive. The staff was very friendly and helpful. I encountered two problems but they will not prevent me from cruising again. Both problems happened on day one. The first problem was found under my bed. My roomie checked under the beds and there was a bag and a pack of cigarettes under mine! I immediately called housekeeping and the steward appeared very quickly. We were also visited by the supervisor who assured us that the room would receive a thorough cleaning again. (I believe the person in charge of sweeping did not run the sweeper under my bed) Our assigned dinner time was 6:00p.m. The waitstaff was friendly and professional our head waiter, very attentive. However there was an "issue" in the kitchen and dinner service was painfully slow. Once dinner arrived I was not disappointed with the food. Throughout the cruise I tried new dishes and foods at dinner that I would not normally eat. The aged beef was the only meal I did not care for. I may have ordered too "done". The service for the remainder of the cruise was perfect. I am a bit of an event planner on my job. I understand "stuff" happens. I judge how one overcomes "stuff" so it doesn't happen again. Our steward kept our room spotless and dinner service improved tremendously. I rate this cruise a solid 4. I can't give it a 5 or 5+ because this is my first cruise. I do plan to cruise again and will compare the next one with this one. I will admit I can see myself becoming a cruise fan. For this cruise I decided to be a morning person. This was tip I received from reading reviews from the expert cruisers on this website. I used the gym and walked the track during the sunrise. Great sight and I managed to not gain any weight! The gym was well equipped. It tends to become crowed as the day progresses. If you can get up early and go. You can always take a nap later! My roommate and I opted for the massage special on the day we docked. This was another tip I used from this site! When we decided what we wanted to do, 8:00am was the only appointment that fit our schedule. (Bonus for being early morning people) The special included a glass of champagne. We had to ask for our glass. They were a little surprised that we wanted champagne at 9:00am, but hey we are on vacation and according to our internal clock, it was noon. There we were, 9:00am sitting on a very empty deck, overlooking the island and toasting our day. The majority of folks were already off the boat for excursions or eating. I should mention toward the end of the massage you could hear the staff setting up the deck chairs. It sounded like the circus was in town and I was experiencing march of the elephants. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
So we had 3 weeks booked and we had decided we were going to Italy, my girlfriend began mentioning going to visit Greece as well so we began looking at ferries and whatnot. Turns out they can be rather complicated. Not sure how we decided, ... Read More
So we had 3 weeks booked and we had decided we were going to Italy, my girlfriend began mentioning going to visit Greece as well so we began looking at ferries and whatnot. Turns out they can be rather complicated. Not sure how we decided, but we began looking at cruises that would stop there. We found that the Navigator was going to not one but two ports there AND going on to Turkey then Egypt (both dream destinations). The price was confusing, as when we began looking, inside cabins were the same price as outside cabins, we dragged out feet and did not book right away, and the outside rooms went up by $1,000.00. Once the price jump happened we got our room right away before the price went up again. We headed to the port, then had to put up with way more people than there were buses for at the gate to the Civetavecchia Port. Royal Caribbean really needs to correct the shuttle bus situation, as it was a bad way to begin the cruise. We eventually made it to the disembarkation tent, then onto the boat. Wow it was big, being that I've never been on a cruise I was not sure what to expect, but this boat was bigger than aircraft carriers I have visited. The staff were all very friendly, the only ones who did not smile and greet us were the work men (there was ongoing work being done to resurface several areas, and wow did they ever make deck 4 smell like paint thinner). I would imagine the workers are not staff, because any of the rest of the staff went out of their way to greet you. The room we had was really tiny, but well laid out, it seemed there was a place for everything, even the bed was set up so you could put your luggage underneath. Our cabin attendant was nice, although on the first day of he cruise she left us the cruise compass (the daily what's going on guide) in Dutch because she saw we were from Canada lol. I can assure you I have never heard any Dutch spoken here, and once we assured her that we spoke perfect English the correct version of the compass was brought. The food onboard was good, we never went to the Main Dining Room because we preferred the relaxed atmosphere and dress code. The few times we looked at the menu offered we noticed it was almost the same as the buffet (the Windjammer). My biggest criticism of the buffet was that the food was almost the same every day for 12 days. We ordered room service a few times and it was always fast and hot. In all the food was very good, just not enough variety. We saw the shows a few nights in the Main Theatre and really enjoyed them (a Beatles Tribute, a Frankie Valli Tribute, etc) Enjoyed the ice show, but you really need to get to the rink early as it fills up fast. Took advantage of the adults only pool (oh my gosh it was cold!) and the hot tubs, both were nice, although with 3,000 people onboard you almost need more, things got very busy on sea days. The port selection was really good, although Messina is a bit of a waste of time (we didn't get there until 2:00, and all the stores were closed until 4:00) although some did do an excursion to Etna from there, so other than that I am not sure why we even ported there. In all though, this was our first cruise, and we both really enjoyed it and hope to do it again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
Overall, we are very pleased with our experience. The only down side was the fact there were 900+ 18-24 year old college students on the ship - - "Spring Breakers"... had we known from our travel agent, we would have booked a ... Read More
Overall, we are very pleased with our experience. The only down side was the fact there were 900+ 18-24 year old college students on the ship - - "Spring Breakers"... had we known from our travel agent, we would have booked a different week... but regardless, we were able to enjoy our time on the ship as well as Cozumel and Belize. For starters, boarding was relatively effortless. Everyone was friendly and helpful. We traveled with two other couples who had cruised a few times before and they had commented on how well it went compared to the other cruise lines they used previously. Every crew and staff member we encountered smiled and greeted us. The ship was very clean and welcoming and there was plenty to do and delicious food to eat while we were getting underway. As recommended by a crew member, we took the opportunity to explore the entire ship while waiting for our luggage to be delivered. The food was fantastic. The Windjammer buffet and the Promenade cafe offered quite a variety of good food. It was nice to be able to grab something quick any time of day and night. Breakfast offered many options. We opted for the sit down service in the Nutcracker dining room for the majority of our breakfasts. The service was great and the food was quite tasty! Lunch varied from day to day depending on the activities we were participating in and our hunger levels! We did have a chance to go to Johnny Rockets on our last day - so glad we did - yummy! We had four of our dinners in the Swan Lake dining room. We had first seating and had the most delightful waiter, Claudiu, and assistant waiter, Michael. The Head waiter was quite welcoming and visited our table each meal and Ian, the "booze man" was a lot of fun! The only down side to our dining experience was the location of our table - in the corner next to the service station and the window had a 'lovely' view of a lifeboat - we would have preferred a better table but the wait staff made the experience delightful. Formal night was especially fun! We chose to eat in Chops Grille for our fourth night and felt like we dined in a 5 star restaurant. The food, staff, atmosphere was top notch - well worth the additional fee. The bars were hopping! The bartenders certainly had there hands full dealing with all those college kids but they were still very attentive to the rest of us! The variety was endless and prices were reasonable! The service poolside was also good. Again, with hundreds of spring breakers capitalizing the decks, pools and jacuzzi, it was a lot for the crew to handle but they seemed to do a good job with it. (although we felt there were some guests who should have been cut off and there were MANY underage drinkers but its hard to control with a crowd that size...) and we noticed plenty of "security type" staff observing the crowd to ensure everyone's safety. Unfortunately, there was a tragic accident on the second to last night during a midnight dance party held in the Solarium. A college boy jumped into a closed pool that had been drained and netted off. He suffered severe head and spine injuries. The medical staff did their best to tend to him and quickly evacuated him to the closest hospital. It was a case of too much to drink and no common sense on the part of the young man. Hats off to the wonderful Cruise Directors, Simeon and Richard. They were extremely entertaining! Their morning show was "laugh out loud" funny and informative. The daily ship newsletter, the Compass, had so much information about the day's activities, port of call information, specials and shopping information. There was so much to do all day and all night. It was nice to see things offered for all the age groups and abilities. We were able to participate in quite a number of activities. Overall, departure was quite orderly and easy. There was a delay in getting back to port because of the diversion to get that young man to a hospital but the Captain had been very informative to all the guests and was able to get us back on track in relatively good time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
About us: My husband has cruised 5 times previously, all with Princess. Myself and my sons (12 and 10) have never cruised before this. Embarkation: We flew from Toronto to Miami on the day of embarkation - Feb 8th. We arranged our own ... Read More
About us: My husband has cruised 5 times previously, all with Princess. Myself and my sons (12 and 10) have never cruised before this. Embarkation: We flew from Toronto to Miami on the day of embarkation - Feb 8th. We arranged our own flights separate from the cruise, so we took a taxi from the airport to the Miami Port - $24 flat rate. At the port the lineup wasn't bad - we arrived at about 130pm and were on board checking out the ship by 230pm. Our room was ready but our luggage hadn't arrived so we went to Windjammers to get a bite to eat. It was packed! I guess everyone was doing the same thing! Food: We ate lunch at Windjammers Buffet every day except the day we went to Johnny Rockets. I'm not a fan of buffet, and the Windjammer buffet was just okay. I usually had a slice of roast (pork, turkey, beef) and a big salad. My kids and husband had burgers, fries, pizza, etc. Johnny Rockets was definitely worth the $40 for the 4 of us! I was just happy to not be eating Windjammer buffet. ? For breakfast, we always went to the dining room. I prefer to be served and the dining room breakfast menu was great. The food was very good. This is a good place to mention that the soda package is worth it, but the juice package is not. We didn't realize that they'd serve us juice (included) with breakfast, so we spent $30 on juice that wasn't necessary. Also, the water package really wasn't worth it either. We bought 12 bottles of Evian, but only used about 6, as the water in the dining room was fine to drink. Our dinners were excellent. We had early seatings (6pm) in Coppelia, table 475. Our servers, Richard, Marisha and Samuel (all from India) were fantastic. The food was great - the service was greater! We have no complaints about dinner, that's for sure. Well, actually, the shrimp scampi was a tiny portion one night, but Marisha quickly offered to bring me anything else that I'd like. However, I was so full anyway. The breads are excellent! Also, the midnight poolside buffet was great. Lastly, the Cafe Promenade was a great place to stop and get a coffee or tea, hot chocolate for the kids and a cookie or piece of cake or sandwich. No complaints about the food. I gained 3 pounds in 5 nights and I exercised a lot - so the food was good! Entertainment / Activities I thought the entertainment was very good. We saw the nightly show each night and it was decent. Some nights better than others, but overall, entertaining. There was always something to do for every age group, family, couples, singles - whatever! The cruise director, Simeon, was excellent. We rock climbed, played mini golf, visited the arcade, walked around, ate, enjoyed the pool and relaxed. Room: Our room, 9656, balcony on the 9th floor was nice, but a little small for 4 people. We were always shuffling around each other. Also, the carpet seemed quite worn and my son's dust allergies were definitely bothering him due to the carpet. But overall, it was okay. Ship: I've never been on a cruise ship before, so I was quite amazed! It was definitely like a giant floating hotel. The art and decoration was beautiful. The pools (2, right beside each other) were tiny - but no one was in them (except my sons) so I guess bigger pools aren't really needed. There were tons of loungers around the pool deck and above. Excursions: In Cozumel, we did the Stingray Encounter which was short but worth it. In Belize, although we tendered to the Pier, we did not have an excursion booked, so we just walked around a bit and then returned to the ship. I think better ports of call would have been preferred but all in all, it was fine, as I didn't really want to leave the ship too much anyway! Ocean Adventure Club: My sons went twice, once for 2 hours and once for 3 hours, but they would rather stay with us. The Club seemed like a lot of fun, though, and the staff were fantastic. My sons are 12 and 10, so my older son was bumped down and they were with the 9-11 group. Disembarkation / Miami: On the day of disembarkation, our flight did not leave Miami until late at night so we rented a car and drove to Everglades National Park. There is not a single car rental company on the Port, which is nuts. We had to pay $20 to get to Budget, and then paid $160 for one day (12 hours!) car rental. After the Everglades, we drove along South Beach and then walked along South Beach. We had lunch at Big Pink. It was very good. All in all, a great vacation. I would travel Royal Caribbean again, however, might want to try their new ship, the Oasis of the Seas. My husband was happy with RC, but said he'd like to show me a Princess cruise next - and just the two of us this time! Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
Navigator of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.3
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.5 4.2

Find a Navigator of the Seas Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click