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

This was our first cruise and we loved every second of it. The ship, the food, and most of all the friendliness of the staff could not be faulted. We spent 3 days in Civitivecchia awaiting our ship and stayed in the San Giorgio hotel ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we loved every second of it. The ship, the food, and most of all the friendliness of the staff could not be faulted. We spent 3 days in Civitivecchia awaiting our ship and stayed in the San Giorgio hotel right on the sea front which was excelent for our needs. We arrived at the embarkation area around 11.00 am and shortly after some administrative paper work we were soon on board exploring the ship. We took the premium drinks package and although it was good to be able to order our drinks without worrying about costs it was a shame that my wife could not choose her wine as she had to have the house wine by the glass, luckily it was to her liking, although it did mean she could not try other types. Our two 14 year old children loved the teenagers club and after the first night of eating with us in the main diding room they decided to eat with all their new friends in the Windjammer and choose from the endless buffet choices. After that we hardly saw them unless we were all together on an excursion or late evening in our cabins - my wife and I never thought that the children would find so much confidence and independance in such a short time, the kids can't wait for the next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
My wife and I sailed on the Navigator of the seas from May 5, to May 12, 2013 and this was a first cruise for both my wife and myself. I can not comment on price as my wife purchased this as a surprise for my birthday. We flew to Rome ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on the Navigator of the seas from May 5, to May 12, 2013 and this was a first cruise for both my wife and myself. I can not comment on price as my wife purchased this as a surprise for my birthday. We flew to Rome on the same day that we boarded to Ship. We have traveled in Italy before and because of that we were familiar with the trains. We purchased ticket from the Airport to the Port online. Planning and research allowed us to leave enough time so our transfer at Rome Trastevere, even though we had to go up and down stairs, not all elevators were working. the walk from the Station in Civitaveccia was not long, very flat and there is a shuttle from the entrance to the port to the embarkation area. The check-in process was amazing, very short and the person who checked us in explained everything very clearly. We arrived in the afternoon so we proceeded directly to our cabin and dropped off our carry-ons and started to explore the ship. Touring the ship at this point was suggested to us and in advance we printed out deck plans and went everywhere. This helped us later on in knowing how to get places. At 4PM there is a muster drill and it is very important. We departed on time and shortly after we received our tickets for our shore excursion. We chose My Time Dining - we suggest this as well. the menu was varied and interesting and changed every day. The food was superb. Shore Excursions - as I said we received our tickets and we went to sleep early right after we returned from dinner. Apparently even though our tickets were printed our excursion was canceled due to lack of participation. - If there was not enough participation, why were the tickets printed? guest relations did try to contact us and they left voice mail on the phone. We had retired early after our travels but even in the morning when we got to the room were the tour was supposed to depart from, there was no sign stating that our excursion was cancelled so we really didn't have a chance to book something else. Activities - were many and varied, the shows were a lot of fun and watching an ice show on a cruise ship is a special treat! The Navigator is quite a large vessel. It is big enough so anyone can find their own space, if they want to. The Solarium is a great place to be by the pool and it is quiet - we spent much of our pool side time there. The work-out area is well appointed with many machines. Summary - An Amazing experience! a really great time with really great service! The only comment we have is about the cancellation of our shore excursion. why was it cancelled not only after the tickets were printed but after the tickets were delivered. And even if attempts were made, and they were, to contact everyone, why not put up a sign saying that this/these excursions were cancelled. Posting this might have allowed us to sign up to an alternate excursion. Great Job Navigator of the Seas Staff and Crew!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
We went on Royal Caribbean's 7 night Eastern Mediterranean cruise leaving out of Civitavecchia and stopping in Sicily, Athens, Turkey and Crete. I was impressed with the efficiency of the check in process which went very fast. ... Read More
We went on Royal Caribbean's 7 night Eastern Mediterranean cruise leaving out of Civitavecchia and stopping in Sicily, Athens, Turkey and Crete. I was impressed with the efficiency of the check in process which went very fast. I believe we were in our room in about 30 minutes after arrival. I wasn't crazy about having to hand in my passport (only applicable for non-EU passport holders) but the passports were returned quite promptly on the last night of the cruise without any problem. We had an interior stateroom on deck 7. Our room was fine. Nothing spectacular, but it was clean and the bed was comfortable enough which was good. The bathroom is small, but functional. No clocks in the room, so bring a travel clock if you feel you need one. We ate at the Windjammer each morning for breakfast and the dining room each night for dinner. We didn't pay to upgrade to any of the other restaurants. I found the Windjammer to be ok. Its not top of the line gourmet, but hey its a buffet, so you have to take that into consideration. I thought it was fine as there were plenty of choices of different foods. Coffee, hot tea, iced tea, lemondade, water and a fruit flavored water are free. The coffee was not so great, although they do serve Seattle's Best, which is usually good. But, wonderful coffee awaits you at each port, thankfully. The dining room was also fine for dinner. We had an 8:30 dinner time and always had a nice time at dinner. Luckily we liked our table mates that we were assigned, so it was a pleasant experience. The food was ok, nothing reminiscient of the restaurants we have in NYC, but it was fine and sometimes very good. Our waitstaff was very good. No complaints there. I usually had a glass of wine which began at around $8. A gratuity is automatically applied to each drink purchase and charged to your Sea Pass account. We thought the price was reasonable in relation to our typical NYC prices. As far as the ports: The first stop, Messina, Sicily, was nice. We did not book a shore excursion but rather elected to just walk around the town which was very easily done from the port. We also took a short bus tour which picked up in the center near the old church which has a clocktower show at noon where various statues on the church move and appear to dance around. My husband thought it was corny but I thought it was cute. After the show we took the bus tour for 15 euros which was quite short and just ok. The skies opened up and started to pour once we were on the open air bus, so maybe that put a damper on our experience. There is a shopping district that is walkable from the boat, just ask directions when getting off the boat if you want to do some shopping. And a word to the wise: don't be late getting back to the ship, if the sign says to be back at 5, then be back before 5, because that boat is pulling away at 5:01. No joke! Next, Athens, Greece. Most of Athens looked like buildings built in the 1960's or 70's that looked blah and without character and full of unsightly graffitti, but the Acropolis was incredible. We booked a shore excursion through the boat because it was just our luck that there was a transportation strike on our day of arrival thus any other type of transportation was not reliable and you would run the risk of missing the boat if you got caught up in traffic jams due to the strike. I heard that the boat won't leave you behind if their tour bus is late, so we opted for that route. I feel like we overpaid for our tour, but it provided a comfort level that we weren't going to get left behind if the strike caused problems. I wish Royal Caribbean was a little more reasonable when pricing their shore excursions, but they got us back to the boat without problem, so I can't really complain too much. We toured the Acropolis and would recommend doing that if you can walk up many stairs and over some rough terrain without much trouble. Its really great to be able to walk right up to the Acropolis sight and see it so closely. Next, Kusadasi, Turkey. We loved Turkey. We had so much fun shopping at all the shops right off the cruise terminal that we spent all day doing just that. If you are in the market for rug or a leather jacket, then this is the stop for you. I also saw some very good looking fake Louis Vuitton bags, with real leather handels,etc, but couldn't bring myself to buy a fake. All I did here was shop, so I can't offer any other details on any sightseeing here. Next, Crete. Crete was a cute, fun stop. You will need to take a public bus which comes directly to the cruise terminal and will take you into town. I think the cost is 3 euro each way. The walk to town would be too far, especially since this is a short stop withh the boat only staying until 2:30. The town has plenty of shops and places to stop and eat or get a coffee. As far as days at sea, we went to a couple of shows. The ice show was pretty good, they have some great skaters on board. The variety show got boring after awhile because the one I saw was just dancing, not really a "variety" but the dancers were good dancers, I have to give them that credit. We played bingo once, but only once as it was expensive to play. I think I paid $22 per card. All in all, I'd say this was a good cruise. The rooms are not brand new, but they are most importantly clean. Staff is very good and always helpful which makes for nice experience. I wasn't completely wowed over this cruise, but was quite satisfied with it. This is also my first cruise, so I think I had really high expectations and don't have anything to compare it to either. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
It was OK, my mom and I are both easy people and didn't encounter any bad experiences on board. However I don't think we will sail again anytime soon. When reading other reviews keep in mind you should do lots of research ... Read More
It was OK, my mom and I are both easy people and didn't encounter any bad experiences on board. However I don't think we will sail again anytime soon. When reading other reviews keep in mind you should do lots of research yourself. I noticed many are negative by surprises they could have avoided if only they did their research. Embarkation: Maybe I didn't do enough research in this area specifically, but I wished there was a sign with "Wait until your shuttle bus arrives here". Instead lots of ppl were like chicken without heads (as we were), and there was no one in the tourist information desk. As the result we, like lots of ppl, walked all the way to the wrong port under the Italian sun. Great when you just got off a sauna-train with the heat generated by human sweat. I made my luggage tags at home so this exchange went very smoothly. The porter didn't seem to expect any tips for the 2 seconds work. The check-in was OK too, though they should have used microphones when calling your number. The announcer was barely hear-able, not surprising in the cacophony of ppl. We waited there for 30min maximum. Inside we went straight to our room, and only a few minutes our luggage arrived, talk about good timing! Public rooms: They were maintained and never too crowded despite the 3000+ passengers (unless there was some special occasion). I don't think you can expect more than that, unless you're an unreasonable person like me. Cabin: It was small, but hey what do you expect of an interior cabin? Everything was placed very functionally and there were lots of drawers to get rid of our garbage in our luggage cases. If there is a next time I would go for a window, nothing beats some light in the morning when you wake up from a nightmare. Our cabin was located under the pool and while there was an oozing noise we're not sure whether it's because of the pool or something else. It didn't bother us much though, taking in account that my mom can fall asleep through the shows and me being able to sleep through her snores. There's no clock but you can set the alarm via the phone. Summarised: we got what we purchased and it was nice. Fitness and Recreation: The fitness had almost everything we needed, loved the water and towels on the side, and the cleaning tissues to wipe out the bodily fluids came in very handy too, we don't have that in our fitness centers! I only missed a skipping rope amidst the modern equipments. The sports desk was nice too, maybe they could have added more ping-pong tables, maybe ppl wouldn't have to wait that long. Enrichment: They tried their best I can give them that. But two concerns: the timing never seemed right, we would be ashore most of their lectures. Secondly they didn't seem very interesting. Rates: For drinks, they were standard prices, I didn't think they were overly expensive. Especially the ice-water, lemonade, coffee and tea were greatly priced. About Spa, we'd rather go to the real Spa, it's only a few hours further away from where we live, they're less expensive ashore. Why going all the way to a ship for a Spa-treatment is a mystery to me. The shore-excursions are overprices compared to private excursions, but it's a choice you make yourself whether you want to through the hassle of the alternatives. And let's not talk about the photos, I read they were expensive but $19.95 for a picture?! No thanks! RCL really are concerned about the environment(you know, with their suggestion of reusing our towels). I think the trees are thankful that they print out ALL the pictures taken. Of course they will keep the unsold pictures as a souvenir to their 3000+ passengers. I had a great time looking through the pics on deck 3 though, especially the ones taken with captain Eric. The poor man, it must have been hard retaining the same face for hours. But perhaps I am mistaken and it wasn't the flesh captain Eric but the carton one. RCL also organises Greek and Turkish Bazaars. They forgot to mention that the products were made in Israel and China respectively. Of course they're a bit more expensive than those found ashore. Food: Now I'm one of the easiest yet most difficult to please eater. I eat everything (unless it aches the stomach), but it takes more to amaze me. The food on board was good, especially when you consider the quantity, but I rarely wanted seconds of the same dish. Food tastes great when they're hot, but when serving 3000+ passengers it's a hard feat to accomplish. My suggestion is installing a microwave for those who wish to use it. The food in the dining room was never hot as well, and it never surpassed the Windjammer. We decided to stay with the buffet after three nights in de MDR, takes less time and there's more choice. I also think the food was too American-oriented. Deserts flavours changed all the time, it it wasn't mango flavoured then it was shoe flavoured (just kidding!) but it never surpassed the ones in the supermarkets. The most horrible things in the Windjammer were the soft-ice and the cookies: they miss-named the ice-cream, it should have been called hard-ice! Cookies are all mushy, maybe they sopped it in the coffee for us but forgot to add the coffee favour. What I liked most were the bread with Mediterranean vegetables and the bruschetta (if there was mozzarella available). Both aren't meant to be eaten very warm so they were delicious. Also had my first American-style greasy hamburger of Johnny Rockets, the grease leaking through the packing paper looked so appetising, and the meat pats were thicker than I imagined! Big 5/5! Summarised: food, be it from the Windjammer of MDR, can be compared to chains like Lunch garden, but with more choice. Drinks: Cocktails weren't expensive at all, but I would have paid more with pleasure if they had more soul. Most were juice-mixes with ice and a shot of strong alcohol. I'll stick with the cocktails of a real cocktail bar. Entertainment: They did try their best here as well, but it didn't really spark my interest. I've seen better performances on YouTube, unless the professional guest performers were on the podium. The most horrible show was the musical though they sang and danced well. There was just no story in it. I suggest some theater, but it would probably be too apparent if someone snored. In the evenings there were only money-earning bars and a casino but that's OK, we had to get up early for the excursions anyway. Service: They were friendly and eager to please, which is the least what I expect from someone in the service industry. Most smiles were too forceful which lead me to think whether they're after the gratuities. A person behind a genuine-looking smile is probably also after some tips, but at least I wouldn't be so suspicious. Ah but don't take my words to heart, I'm just very very twisted. The state-room attendant and our waiters did a wonderful job. Shore excursions: Like mentioned before, they are overpriced. We took the Taormina on our own and Ancient Athens. We did get what was advertised so no biggies here. About the call of ports, though you can find souvenirs anywhere, you can re-find most of these products back in Chania(near Souda the last port of call) for a cheaper price. Value for money: We went on this cruise by special promotion so it was definitely worth our money, considering we had a nice place to sleep and never had to go hungry (There is 1 kg more of me now). I can recommend this cruise line for anyone who wants to have fun with friends, lover and family, or for those who wants to escape the stress of daily life. I can tell you this because I haven't been spying on ppl under my sun glasses for nothing! The reason why we won't be cruising anymore is that our personalities don't suit cruising. My mom can't understand English and isn't interested in history. I personally hate lazing around sun-sea-beach vacations. The places the ports do are overly commercialised and there's not much time to visit the more ethnic places. The 'grand' and 'exaggerating' display in shows, art displays ("Though worth $9 999, we will give you an amazing price of only $4 750!" ...sure they don't want to earn money)etc also ticked me off a bit, but it's also a fun thing to mock with later on. I don't regret going on this cruise because it's an additional experience. I loved walking on the lower decks(read empty) and feel the sea wind in my face. I liked reading a book while taking a sip of a bad cocktail and finding strange white objects floating on the sea. The sights of the rising and dawning sun in the sea were breathtakingly beautiful and definitely worth the '5.20am getting up and returning to bed half an hour later'-trip. I don't know what other first-time cruisers look for in a cruise, but to me those moments were the most memorable ones that you can only experience on a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
This is a review for first time cruiser by a 1st timer. Having never been on a cruise, I had nothing to compare so I read some reviews & hopefully you will read some different reviews before booking a trip. I didn't really think I ... Read More
This is a review for first time cruiser by a 1st timer. Having never been on a cruise, I had nothing to compare so I read some reviews & hopefully you will read some different reviews before booking a trip. I didn't really think I would like it that much and I was a little nervous, but it ended up being one of the best times I have ever had with my wife. If you are seeking a quiet, private, romantic getaway, away from kids, or if you are a food snob then a Jamaican cruise at the end of spring break is not for you. If you are xenophobic, racist, dislike kids or foreigners, or reggae, or intolerant of poverty, etc, then again, a cruise to Labadee/Jamaica is not for you. If that doesn't bother you, then you are probably in for a really good time. My overall review is very positive but I wanted to put this at the beginning in hopes that it has a better chance of being viewed by RCI. The service on Navigator was outstanding, some of the best service I have ever had anywhere. The wait staff was so on top of it, Every server called you by your name, anyone that took your card said "Thank you Mr. ...." Very friendly, accommodating, just fanstastic. With so much emphasis on service I can't for the life of me understand why they put people that aren't proficient in English in customer service positions. It is the thing I found most people complained about. The Ukrainian girl who ran trivia and guy that ran the sports are perfect examples of when it was appropriate. Both were attractive and vivacious. Her personality and accent made it seem like it was being hosted by Zsa Zsa Gabor, perfectly awesome. All us jocks were laughing because no one could understand a work the sports guy was saying, but he still did a good job, and It is only a ball game. I know the foreign accent makes it exotic, I get it. All of our waiters native language was not English, it was totally cool. Our tour guide, cave guide, falls guides, room attendants, the band, etc all had thick Jamaican accents, & totally added to the whole experience. Captain Patrick had a great voice/accent, loved it! BUT ...But when you need important info involving money, or booking an excursion, or need room service, or need to know when the sun goes down, etc. Then you need someone who can communicate, some one that can help, and here is the area RCI failed miserably. I would say 90% of the cruisers are English speaking Americans and I find conflict with putting someone that can't understand or speak English in those important customer service positions. It unnecessarily holds up the excursion lines, It delays room service (I failed to get room service twice), I missed a wake up call, I was given wrong times for events and sunset, and the list goes on. There are too many other positions available that could be filled that doesn't require important exchange of info. They are serving 3000 people, efficiency is too important!!!! The only other major flaw was the size of the pool(s). There is 3000 people and the only adult pool is 12'x12'? It is almost like they chose fashion over function. I LOVE my kids, I have coached 12 teams in 8 years, but we did not take our kids and I wanted to relax. It was impossible to get 2 chairs in the Solarium (adult area) and the tiny common area pools were ALWAYS jammed packed with kids. I just thought the boat could have been laid out a little better. I also thought there could have been adult swim at some times. The other thing that bugged me personally is that children are allowed to sit AT THE BAR in a nightclub with people drinking (just tacky and not right)!!!! They are allowed IN THE CASINO (wrong)!!! The night they had Teen night in the Dungeon, it ruined the best Club for the rest of the night! I think it ruined the atmosphere on several occaisions. Those are my only real complaints. The rest is mostly positive ... That said, let's get to the "Meat" of this review. Food: I read so many negative reviews on the food I expected the food to be really generic. I read 3 reviews comparing the food to Golden Corral. I was thinking that they were comparing the nightly sit down dinner with GC and that is very unfair. I was happy to find out that the sit down dinner had prime rib (very good), duck (good), lobster tail (tasty!), NY Strip (yummy), shrimp cocktail (Good, but small), some very good desserts ... So soon as Golden Corral has all that for $10 just let me know. Also, the waitstaff is off- the-hook awesome. We had 3 incredible waiters constantly bringing us everything we wanted. They knew all our names from the first night on. It is a really cool 3 floor dining room with balconies and chandeliers. .... Now the Windjammer has a buffet similar to GC or a decent casino buffet from morning until about 8:30 pm and that was fine with me! The other place is the 5th floor deli that is open 24 hours. It has small, tasty sandwiches always ready and some decent pizza served up until 3:00 am. The service there sucks, the guys are rude and surly probably cuz it is a late crowd and there is always kids there. So if you are not a gormet chef or the aforementioned food snob, then the food is pretty frickin' good considering they are feeding 3000 people for a week! My criticism of the food is that the sitdown dinner is limited to tea and water ... Boring. The soda package for a couple is 16.00 per day. My other dislike was we had a late seating and sometimes would be there at 10 pm!!! My other complaint Was that the Frozen Yogurt was always running out and no one would give me a pitcher of ice water. My dinner suggestions would be to follow the dress code and review table etiquette. Entertainment ... We liked the female singer in the Cosmopolitan. We loved the games shows and the Trivia was a blast (a little too easy when 10 groups get them all right, though). Ice carvings were cool, the basketball and dodgeball tournaments were a blast, too. Our friends did the some gambling tournaments and loved it. The NCAA finals were on the movie theatre screen, AWESOME! And there was lots of activities for kids/teens. Negative: The mall singers were terrible. I couldn't stand the piano guy. And it was one of the worst karaoke song lists that I have seen anywhere (only oldies!!!). Also, they had a Bartender competition during the outdoor dance party, but when it was over, it killed all the dancing for the rest of the night. Aside from the karaoke, none of that affected my stay one bit, and all can be avoided. Although the pool side band is too loud at some times Clubs: I was pretty skeptical about how good a club can be on a ship. And most of the clubs were pretty lame, but The Dungeon was one of the coolest bar setups I have seen anywhere. Great lighting, great lines, great theme, nice dance floor, cool lights, smoke machine and video screen of the dancers ... But extremely limited music selections. They didn't have anything we requested (Prince, no?) And basically played the same few songs every night. They had an 80s night that everyone went to and a MJ tribute. If you are looking for a quiet, laid back, more romantic vibe The Cosmopolitan Club is really nice. It is dark, the band has a smokey, loungy feel, the bartenders are mellow ... Pretty cool. The other bars weren't really our style, but there is something for everyone. The negative: the drinks are sooo overpriced. Alcohol is dirt cheap in the Carribean, we bought 2 LITRES (not fifths) of rum for $19.99!!! So they probably get it for $5 for a liter, or $3 for a fifth!!! Yet drinks are $7-8. Too much. The cheapest wine package was $135 for 5 bottles of mediocre wine (?!?!?!?!). Even the water package was something like $40 a gallon!!! You're on a boat in 3000 feet deep of water, every direction you look you see water, and the most abundant resource on earth is $40 a gallon? I think it is ridiculous. Labadee: The excursions were very limited and nothing seemed worth the price, so we just went to the beach and it was a great time. The beach chairs were free, don't forget to bring a couple beach towels from the ship (return them or be charged!). It is not the same soft white sand beaches like Florida but it is very beautiful and we took some cool photos. Dragon's Rock makes for some good photos, Weslie's Beach has some great pics, too. The zipline was $90 each for one ride, not worth it on our budget!. It looked fun, but it ruined the natural view and relaxing on the beach because every couple minutes, someone flew by screaming. Annoying. It was fun hiking around the island, but every thing had a fake, inauthentic feel. It reminded me of the old Jungle Cruise in Disneyland with fake handmade directional signs, and cheesy vending booths. If you can't handle aggressive, rude 'salespeople', or someone making suggestive comments to your wife or daughter, or trying to sell you pot, then avoid the vending area. It is kinda fun, but it gets annoying real fast. We were skeptical about eating in Haiti but all the food (& ice) was brought off of the boat. Actually the ribs/lunch was good! RCI advertises Labadee as an island, but actually it is a peninsula with a fence that separates it from Haiti. I think it is a private "island" owned by RCI. Also, considering the high rates of AIDS in Haiti and the recent tsunami, I would suggest taking insect repellant and not having sex with anyone from the island. Jamaica: New port in Falmouth, totally bad idea. It is 30-50 miles to Montego Bay & Ocho Rios. There is nothing in Falmouth so you have to pay $200 round trip cab ride or take excursion just to go anywhere. There isn't any decent shopping in Falmouth (or Labadee) so you almost have to take an excursion. We did the Green Grotto Caves/Dunn's River Falls tour. The falls are almost a requirement when visiting Jamaica and both excursions were fun, but overrated. The falls are beautiful, but there are literally hundreds of people climbing all at the same time, thus ruining the natural beauty. The "guides" are very aggressive, and groups joining hands and singing, and vendors bugging you to mug for the camera (and tips) are also very annoying. The park next to the falls is beautiful and picturesque. When you finish your climb you have to go thru a vendors area to get back to the bus. If you take the left path you go thru the hyperaggressive male section, but if you go right, you go thru the mellower female vendors where you can browse. All the vendors have the same generic stuff and they are all fighting for your tourist dollar. Two sets of our friends were very upset with the vendors, & reviews of vendors grabbing, physically blocking exits, separating couples etc are not uncommon. The falls are very dangerous and one should be in good physical condition to climb. The is a paved walkway right beside the falls if you don't want to climb. Personally, I loved it and would like to be there on a slow day. I wish we had more time in Jamaica. Two out of 5 hours were on the bus. The ship should have docked in Ocho Rios (Or Montego Bay). Green Grotto Caves: I am from Indiana and have been through a dozen show caves from Indy to Kentucky. I have never seen a cave so damaged, so poorly kept and it smelled like someone was roasting a skunk. American caves emphasize preservation, ecology, etc. But The Jamaican guides told pirate stories and at least 10 bat poop jokes. Rarely explaining any geological info & Letting people walk on stalactites. I love caves so it was still very cool to see. The cave was different than our karst caves, they are warm with lots of larger bats flying around everywhere. After the tour we all went back to the office and had rum punch. After a couple cups of the strong punch, we all had a nice buzz and continued on to the falls. The Jamaica you see on the tour is nothing like the Jamaica advertised on the commercials. The new highway makes it a much quicker trip, but it is not through the mountains, trees or by the ocean. You see a lot of trash in the streets, lots and yards. You see some depressing poverty next to extravagant mansions and lavish resorts and golf courses. I didn't see one recognizable chain restaurant in the hour drive, yet the falls, the cave and the beach at Labadee were very commercialized. We loved our tour guide, a beautiful, smart Jamaican woman, and our bus driver was really cool, too. Don't expect too much and it will be a fantastic trip. I wish we had gone to a cool beach. Our friends swam with dolphins and loved it. Some other people we met on the ship took a cab from Falmouth to Montego Bay to see the Jamaica not on the excursions. They said they had fun but were a little scared at times. It was almost $200 with tip and they said it was worth every penny. Tips: Here are a couple tips ... Buy cheap booze on the ship on the last day. If you don't like you dinner seating, change it on the first day. Book your excursion early, they fill up fast (one can book BEFORE you are on the ship). The back of the ship is less choppy than the front. There are no alarm clocks on the ship, so bring one if you want to see the time while in bed. If you want a spot in the Solarium or by the pool, then get there early! Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Overall: We took the Navigator of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) to the Western Caribbean: Coco Cay, Cozumel, Grand Cayman starting November 22nd, 2015. We had about 25 family members, and I was travelling with my wife and three kids staying ... Read More
Overall: We took the Navigator of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) to the Western Caribbean: Coco Cay, Cozumel, Grand Cayman starting November 22nd, 2015. We had about 25 family members, and I was travelling with my wife and three kids staying in two staterooms (#9358, #9360). Apparently there are hard-core crusiers whose loyalty approaches religious ferver and then there is everyone else. So after my first cruise I fall squarely into the ‘non cruiser’ camp. The constant upselling, the rampant waiting in lines even after paying for ‘premium’ services, and the lack of any luxury put me into the ‘not a fan’ group. That said, my room was reasonable and clean, many of the crew tried hard, and as a family we had several amazing memories… though these were made because we were together, not because of the cruise. It strikes me that cruiselines have to cut prices so much because of competition that they basically lose money on the cabins, and have to recoup it during the cruise. The constant barrage of up-selling and add-ons is really wearying, makes the cruise unpleasant and ugly, and is really noticeable. It removes any romance or luxury from what is really an amazing boat sailing to wonderful places, so just considering the environment, it is telling that they cause you to forget about the sunsets and beautiful water and focus on them. I’d rate the experience as about a 3.5 out of 10. I should note, generally speaking I prefer exclusivity (and am more than willing and able to pay). I had wanted to upgrade to a suite, but as the room was a gift from in-laws, I didn’t want to disrespect anyone or break up the group. I believe we paid about $2700 per room (x2) plus 18% tipping ($1000), in addition to the $500 airfare (x5), and a hotel rooms in Fort Lauderdale of about $150 (x2). For that we had $500 in room credit, but with various drinks, dinners, excursions were out another $1000. So the total cost was about $10,500 for a family of 5 for a week. Of note: on the first day, I tipped the room steward $40, and two bartenders $20. I also tipped our 2 dining room attendants another $120 at the end of the week. The good: As many of my comments are negative, let me start with the positive. I hope I’m being balanced and fair, but also giving you insight as to what to expect without any particular axe to grind: • The room (Balcony Stateroom) was clean and efficient. It was a bit sparse, but highly utilitarian. The steward, Rolly, was unobtrusive, and kept the room very clean, organized, and in towels. That said it was an aluminum box without anything special. • Another high-spot was our dining room waiter: Apurv (“AP”). AP was funny, engaged, and able to follow through on bringing a cake to my daughter on her birthday (please note: I tipped heavily and paid for the cake). He was also able to handle the various family members coming and going, and a grandmother who was a bit neurotic. Many kudos to him. • The ship itself is a marvel. I enjoyed walking around and see every floor, every bar, every restaurant and shop. It was pretty cool. • Finally during an excessive line (more on this) a housecleaning woman, Elena B, who had no business helping us, stopped, asked what the issue was, and then stayed with us (and about 20 others) who were waiting. This is spite that it wasn’t her issue and she could have ignored us – as most of the staff were doing. Many kudos to her. And now onto the not-so-good: • Service. Service is horrible, generally speaking. After not buying a drink package, I quickly bought the most expensive option as service was so poor, I figured I need to get the special sticker for attention. I could not be more wrong. Bartenders seemingly slow roll everything, and the constant need to check (and recheck) your ‘seapass’ is maddeningly inefficient. There were times I would wait 20 minutes to get a drink – in spite of having only 2 people in front of me. This has to be a corporate decision as there are never more than 2 bartenders working even at hugely crowded hours (e.g. 1 PM during a cruising day). I went so far as to tip two different bartenders $20 and asked them to remember me, which improved service, but this was on top of paying $67/day for any drink. Also if you just want water or a soda… you have to wait in line. Christ on a stick! I paid, I understand 8 other people who also paid want Pina Coladas. Couldn’t their just be a vending machine where I could insert my card and get a drink/water (there are two hidden machines in the WindJammer, BTW, and so I often resorted to walking up 7 or 8 decks from whatever I was doing to get a diet coke, or water). • Excursions. I scuba dive, with my son. I had to register with the desk. Each time the line was 20-25 people deep. Finally at the last minute (4 PM the day before) I got to the desk at 3:45 and was only #3 in line, so I waited. And waited. And waited. After the line grew to more than 25, I started asking people at customer service. I went to the phone and starting calling various service people. All to no avail. The people at customer service (who were equally besieged) had no interest in helping us. Only when a housecleaning person, Elena B, saw me trying to start the computers and mockingly making announcements to the amusement of those in line, did she come over and ask what was wrong. She called a Manager, and after about 5 minutes, the person “Melanie” came to the desk @ 4:32 (32 minutes late). Instead of apologizing she yelled at us for not having an orderly line to the side. I haven’t been much tempted to punch a service employee as they have incredibly onerous jobs, but this was one time I almost changed my policy and essentially decided Royal Caribbean could ‘suck it’. Even then, just as illustration, it was 4:50 before I was helped for a 3 minute thing. Seriously. I had to wait in line for an hour, just to do something that should have all been done ahead of time (The cruise will say they need to see my PADI card, etc… but we had to fill out all of this information AGAIN – for the 3rd time—at the dive shop). o Incidentally, the diving in Cozumel was wonderful. In spite of a 50 minute ride in some heavy chop to pick up a random hotel passenger, the 14 of us had 2 excellent guides, and some really excellent cave and drift dives. • Tendering. In Grand Cayman we got a tender ticket. The process was horrible. Long lines (45 minutes) just to get off the boat, and from the time I left my room to the dock was just over 1 hour 30 minutes. Again, I get there are lines. But Royal Caribbean clearly knows that 4000 people want to go ashore, but have only 2 doors to get people off and away. My advice: avoid any cruise/port where you have to tender. I’m on vacation to relax, have a drink, soak in some sun. Not wait in lines for Royal Caribbean to get their act together. • Guest Services. We asked for our 2nd stateroom to be decorated on Thursday as it was our daughter’s birthday. It never happened, and hey wires get crossed, and even without said decorations she had a memorable day (again in part thanks to AP, the dining steward). So we paid for it ($47?) and got nothing. My wife tried to go to the Guest Services desk several times but the line was so long, she gave up. Finally on the last day she called (rather than stand in line) and the woman’s reaction was “Why didn’t you tell us?!” While I don’t think she meant to blame the customer, our response essentially, but much more politely should be interpreted “because your lines are so horribly long and inefficient that we’d rather bask in the sun than stand in your lines!” Ultimately we got the amount refunded, but I didn’t appreciate the attitude (which I heard twice, per above). • Royal Caribbean’s cheapness I’m an MBA and I well understand queuing theory. I also own my own company and well understand costs. But Royal Caribbean took it to parsimonious levels. For instance there is no shampoo in the rooms. Not a big deal, I have my own, but I noticed as I started to suspect that Royal Caribbean was desperately trying to maximize profits. Even things like pens, which you find in every hotel room, became conspicuously absent. When I noticed that they were closing bars, and never really had enough people to service people, I realized Royal Carribean wasn’t trying to supply an amazing experience but rather had sophisticated cost containment strategies in place, and were willing to sustain long queues, angry customers, and knew that people will endure frustration rather than complain. You should realize this when you book. It’s not immoral, but it is annoying. o Consider the picture ‘package’. They want $147 for 10 pictures, $250 for 20, and ultimately $417 for all pictures. That’s fine, if ridiculous, but they have signs everywhere saying ‘no cameras’ e.g. in the kids area, rock wall, etc… o Pro tip: If you are travelling in a group use 1 cabin number and just pay the $400+ and get all the pictures. • Excursions. Simply stated: Book your excursions on shore. The markups RC charge are ridiculous and again, I suspect, due to their need to recoup in other areas. The one advantage is that if you buy an RC excursion on tender days, you can go to the front of the line. Again, the implication being that if you buy through them, you can get reasonable service levels. o Pro Tip: Heck you can follow the Royal Caribbean people to the excursion and do it yourself for $100s less. And there are always numerous people on shore, just past the end of Royal Caribbean’s area who will offer many more things, usually for 25-33% less. o The Chica Itzen tour. Our boat was late leaving Cozumel as a family was late by 40 minutes returning from an RC excursion. Because of this (the ship waited for them) the captain blamed the family in announcing our late arrival into Grand Cayman… and ‘strong head winds’ (there were amazingly strong head winds). But what I found in talking to them was that Chica Itzen is 3 hours away, and so when you get there, RC says “you have 15 minutes” to explore something that people usually spend a full day at. The family said, “heck no, we’re going to explore for 45 minutes” with the result of being late. While I can certainly find fault with that family’s decision, RC too must bear some blame. And the captain using it as an excuse for our late arrival into Grand Cayman during that evening’s announcements (yet never going more than 16 KPH) seems petty and unfair. Again, I will let the circumstances speak for themselves, as this is conjecture on my part. • Wifi. My wife got the package because she wanted to continue with work, as she could. The wifi is operable… but s-l-o-w. It is frustratingly slow. Given that you can pay anywhere from $20-$40 / day, I would expect functional Wifi. o Recommendation: Don’t use the internet. You’ll be frustrated and it’ll just annoy you. Focus on your vacation. Also there are several shipboard terminals if you really need it. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our first cruise and we were so excited! We arrived on time and had to wait 3 hours (with a baby) to board the ship. We bought a drink package, but didn't realize they were charging us every day for the entire 8 days. That is ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we were so excited! We arrived on time and had to wait 3 hours (with a baby) to board the ship. We bought a drink package, but didn't realize they were charging us every day for the entire 8 days. That is partially our fault for not reading the fine print, however, we were never given a receipt to sign and were pretty upset at the end of the week when they charged is $400 for a drink package we barely used. I went to customer service and asked to see the receipt, and they didn't have a signed one on file for us. They said, oh we are sorry, you should have been made aware of how the drink packages work. They admitted we never signed anything authorizing them to charge our credit card but would do nothing to help us out. That's what was so frustrating. Yes, it was our fault but it was their fault too. They could have done something to help us, being that we barely used it. The whole experience left a bad taste in our mouths for this cruise line. Also, there was always sometime trying to sell you something...that got annoying. However, our room attendant, Ricky was awesome! And our servers Michael and Marcelo were wonderful as well. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
First off I would like to say that this was my first cruise and my wifes 11th and I was very excited and looking forward to this trip for months and then this all happened. Check in took 2.5 hours as their computers were down, so we ... Read More
First off I would like to say that this was my first cruise and my wifes 11th and I was very excited and looking forward to this trip for months and then this all happened. Check in took 2.5 hours as their computers were down, so we were herded under a shelter to wait in line as it was raining very hard, all guest luggage was put onto trollies but were left out in the rain, everyone's bags got soaked and clothes as well, we tried our best to dry them but went to our first dinner in damp clothing. Because all our clothes were wet in the case for so long they got a musty smell so we used the ships laundry service and it took 2 full days to get the clothing back, needless to say, I was in the same shirt for three days, I wasn't happy. I had to buy shirts in Haiti just to get bye. We decided to buy the drink package for myself but not for my wife as she only had the occasional drink, the front desk made a mistake and put the drink package on sharons card and not mine so I was still being billed. The next day I went back to the front desk and told them and was told, it did not matter as the cards were linked together that I would not be billed. Happy about this I went back to my vacation at the bar. Later that night I checked the bill on the tv in our room and of course it was not fixed. So for a third time I went back to the front desk and explained again. They then corrected the problem and the drink package was put on my card. I also asked at this point about the charges for those drinks as they never should have been on there in the first place, the front desk manager agreed and removed the charges. The next day I checked our tv account again and found that the charges had been removed and then put back on again. So of course, now for a fourth time, I had to go back to the front desk and ask what was going on? as you can imagine, by this point I am very frustrated and lining up for a half our every day to fix the same problem over and over was annoying. I was told that the charge was put back on by the bar manager and I would have to speak with him. They called him down and I had to explain myself to him just like I did every other day to the front desk staff, and yes now that he knew the situation and what error was made he then took off the charges again. Food: The one thing I had heard about cruising was that the food was amazing, we found the very first night fantastic, I don't think I had ever had prime rib that tender, simply awesome and the service was excellent. It went down hill from here though. Every other piece of beef was tough or loaded with fat, we found ourselves ordering another dinner or just going to the buffet. One of our nights we went to Chops Grille, my wife ordered the fillet mignon and I had the 12oz strip loin, hers was a little tough and mine was like leather, I had a steak knife but felt like I was using a butter knife, I ate 1/4 of the steak and called the waiter, I told him that I could not eat this, he then said "I will tell him, and what can I get you for desert" I said another steak would be nice, so he handed me the desert menu, we ordered desert and left without eating it as both our appetites were gone. We did enjoy the breakfast buffet in the windjammer, and if you liked your scrambled eggs with the texture of vanilla pudding then you would have loved it or if you liked your sunny side up eggs undercooked then this was the place for you. Other than the eggs I did enjoy the rest of their food, and I really liked all the fresh buns, very nice. Music: This would have been great if we had it everyday. Instead we got tennis, yes I said tennis, EVERY DAY!! When out on deck all you heard every day was the sounds of two men grunting as they hit the ball with their tennis rackets. The big screen played tennis or football with the volume on every day. No music at the bars or the pool, just tennis. There was a live band on two of the days out at the pool, and on those days, once the band had finished about 5 songs, the DJ would play music till they came back, but once they were done, so was the music. The only time people on our ship got to dance and listen to music was when we were in port and parked beside another ship that was playing music. This was an onboard joke at the bars after awhile, because it did not feel like a vacation on board at all without music. I guess if I was a tennis lover, this would have been a dream vacation. My wife kept telling new people we would meet on the first and second day that this was my first cruise, and all said the same thing "you are going to love it" by day 5 and 6, those same people were saying to me, "don't let this sour you on cruising, its normally much better than this". For awhile I was just thinking that it was me, that maybe cruising just wasn't for me, but after speaking and making so many new friends I found that everyone was disappointed in some way, shape or form. Upon arrival to Haiti I was up early, 6am, excited to pull into port, I had just opened the patio door to the balcony when the engines made a weird sound and a large plume of thick black smoke poured over the back of the ship and completely engulfed our balcony, I honestly thought the ship was on fire it was that bad, our room smelled of diesel fumes for the next couple of hours. I asked one of the cleaners if there was a problem with the ship and was told no. But clearly over the next two days we were running on one engine only. I asked the front desk about the smoke and was told this was normal. I said normal to fill a room with thick black smoke and laughed. Later on in the trip they shut the elevators down for a test on an emergency generator (or so they said) I sat on my balcony listening to the engine trying to start and watching for more think black smoke, there was some smoke but once it was running again the smoke went away and we were now clearly running on two engines. If we did lose an engine I understand not to tell the passengers so they don't panic, but to tell me that black smoke in my room was normal, well that's just laughable. When we got back we complained to Royal Caribbean and they offered us a $250 voucher for each of us that we must use by the end of the 2016 or it expires. So what they are saying is, "spend another $4200 with us and we will give you $500 off". This to us does not feel like RC really cares about its customers and we will never travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Being in hospitality myself, it requires foundational customer service skills that are not reflected in Royal Caribbean's core values. I booked this cruise with two best friends to celebrate our 30th birthday. Although it seemed ... Read More
Being in hospitality myself, it requires foundational customer service skills that are not reflected in Royal Caribbean's core values. I booked this cruise with two best friends to celebrate our 30th birthday. Although it seemed hopeful, the booking process was relentlessly stressful and needless to say we will probably not be booking again. Our sales rep was helpful up until he made the sale. Once we made our deposit, he had disappeared without a trace. I left several voicemails as well as numerous emails with questions regarding our trip as I had been a first time cruiser. He never returned one voicemail or one email to this day. The final payment process became even more strenuous when we realized the due date to be paid in full was within the week. Regardless of the lack of help from our sales rep, we paid based on the invoice sent. The month before our sail date, I called him again to inquire about a shuttle from Houston airport to the Galveston port. I was met with quite the shock to find out that Royal Caribbean had decided to cancel our cruise due to a remaining balance. Immediately I pressed zero to speak to ANY representative in order to correct this horrible mistake. I had not received any cancellation notice via email and I was in complete horror that our vacation was canceled. After an hour of being transferred to at least 3 people, I learned that our sales rep had added a vacation protection plan which was Not included on the only invoice that he emailed me. Therefore, we never knew we had a remaining balance and were extremely frustrated how Royal Caribbean had handled our situation. Not once was there an apology but rather blame on the us, the customer, for not knowing. Finally after 90 minutes of pleading with the customer service department, I spoke with Geneva Harrison and Samantha Koomen who were both a breath of fresh air and the glimpse of hope that rescued our vacation. These 2 ladies exuded empathy by pausing to reflect our feeling of distress and offered a solution. Although it wasn't ideal, they were able to apply our penalty to the cruise originally booked and I paid the difference in full over the phone. We couldn't get the original price so I paid the rack rate. The additional amount of money spent could have paid for a second cruise however I was completely grateful for the two women that owned the situation and were willing to come up with a recovery solution. These two individuals should be recognized for their distinct skill set that includes positivity, empathy, patience and professionalism which defines customer service. We were anxious as our sail date approached; hoping that we wouldn't deal with any other problems. Boarding the ship was a smooth process however the guest service/ front desk team on the ship was a mirror image of the phone operators with misinformation. Every employee at the desk gave us a different answer to the same question asked about gratuities and beverage packages. We decided that it would just be best to avoid speaking to guest services and book with another cruise line next time. When we were allowed to go to our cabins, we were informed that one of our suit cases was misplaced and would be sent to the room later in the evening around 7pm. Trying to maintain a calm attitude, our day 1 of our 7 day cruise seemed to start off disappointing. Needless to say, we were not impressed with setting sail with Royal Caribbean however we met some employees on the Navigator of the Seas that are worth mentioning. These team members brightened our day daily and Royal Caribbean should be honored to have such employees aboard their ship. Shauna and Jakob in the windjammer cafe were a great start to our morning. They were always cheerful and even if we were unable to find a seat in their section, they would find us and make sure we had our coffee and excursions set for the day. Bernadette, Gilberto, Dean, Agnelo and Bobie were absolutely delightful during our evening dinners in the Sapphire room. We never could pick who would serve us each night because each person brought a unique exuberant attitude to our dining experience. We loved our dinner conversations with each waiter and seating host as we learned about their hometowns and family life. It made the vacation more personal and created unforgettable connections. Lastly our room attendant Tanoe was fabulous. He conversed with us multiple times a day to ensure our stay was beyond expectation. Working for a hotel, I know the importance of the operations team. They run the property/ ship and are the face of the company. These employees operated their functions with pride and perfection as mere advocates for the enjoyment of their guests. None of them knew the experience we had booking the vacation however each of them created new memories and new loyalties to the Royal Caribbean family. Although Royal Caribbean has room for improvement, their employees on their ship make the vacation worth while. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Our stateroom attendant was Awesome!!! The dining room food was HORRIBLE. The food in the buffet was good but always cold..... We purchased a photo package and got home and our pictures are not on the disk!!! I have called RCI and NO ... Read More
Our stateroom attendant was Awesome!!! The dining room food was HORRIBLE. The food in the buffet was good but always cold..... We purchased a photo package and got home and our pictures are not on the disk!!! I have called RCI and NO HELP but to call another company... Nothing like celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary and even the professional photographer didn't have the camera settings right...... Very disappointing for the money we spent. Excursion in Belize got changed and Guest Relations stated it changed to something else and gave us a printout of what we were supposed to do - got tendered to the Port and the RCI representative said NO that is not the excursion we were supposed to do - went back and forth with the RCI representative and we JUST CANCELLED!!!! Got a refund from Guest Relations - Left and Right hand didn't know what was going on.... We had two families with us and we were all very disappointed because everyone always spoke highly of RCI - NOT worth the money we spent on the cruise. The entertainment was good. Embarkation - Took over 3 hours in lines to get on the ship and took over 3 hours to off the ship on the return. They need to work on getting people off the ship and out before the next round of people are trying to get on. Total Chaos!!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We are 2 seniors and we have just returned from our first cruise. The ship is beautiful and the service was excellent. What was very disappointing was the lack of entertainment during the day. We were expecting there to be bars/lounges ... Read More
We are 2 seniors and we have just returned from our first cruise. The ship is beautiful and the service was excellent. What was very disappointing was the lack of entertainment during the day. We were expecting there to be bars/lounges with live entertainment during the day. Caribbean, blues, western or jazz music would have been nice. They did have a lonely guitar player that sounded as if he should be playing background music at a wedding. They also had all kinds of trivia and games, which did appeal to families with children. We stopped on day 4 at Jamaica, then our next stop was to be Grand Cayman, but we couldn't ferry in because of rough water. The captain slowed the ship down and we sailed slowly towards Cozumel, Mexico.It was a long boring time. We got to Cozumel on day 6, and back to Galveston on day 7. Way too much sailing with very little to do. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We have cruised several times with several different cruise ship lines over the past 15 years. We actually cruised on the Royal Navigator of the Seas in 2006 so this was our second time aboard this very ship. I want everyone to know before ... Read More
We have cruised several times with several different cruise ship lines over the past 15 years. We actually cruised on the Royal Navigator of the Seas in 2006 so this was our second time aboard this very ship. I want everyone to know before you book your trip that we have NEVER been told NO so many times aboard ship! It was such a different experience from all of our other trips that we won't likely cruise any more. The new trend is to have everyone purchase drink cards, not just the usual 'soda pop cards' but non-alcoholic cards and alcohol cards as well. What this means is that the line already has everyone's money so they don't have very many attendants walking about asking you if you would like a drink brought to you. You now get to go stand in line and wait 20 minutes to get a drink from the bar. AND, if you purchased one of their drink cards you are told that you can only get ONE drink and that you must wait a minimum of 10 minutes to get back in line to purchase another. We don't drink alcohol so this rule wasn't just for hard drinkers. I couldn't get two bottles of water to drink after working out in the gym. What a joke. I actually was not asked if I wanted a drink of anything for two solid days. That is not what the shipboard service is suppose to be like. We also found the service in the formal dining to be changed as well...keep in mind we were on this very ship several years prior and we know what the standard service experience should be. We were sat down and given menus and expected to get our dinner orders submitted ASAP. We asked to start with drinks (non-alcololic for us) and the waiter actually became irritated. We ended up drinking water and hurrying thru our dinner. Second night he attempted to do the same and we told him no. We insisted that he go find a bar attendant for us so we could order drinks prior to placing our food orders. Our waiter did weird things like giving menus to two men at our table and not giving menus to the ladies for several minutes. Things like that shouldn't happen with upscale dining. Also, the waiter wouldn't bring me a cappuccino coffee with my dessert stating that my drink card did not provide for after dinner coffee. I ended up standing for 30 minutes in the service desk line the next day to get that resolved. So stupid that the employees of the ship don't know their own rules. Every bar tender had a different excuse as to why I couldn't receive a free drink with my drink card as well as the amount of time I had to wait to order a second one. The only high light was the room steward who took great care of us during our trip and one particular waiter that came to us each evening in the dining room (starting on day 3 ! but that wasn't his fault). Those two men were the only people who made our ship board experience special...everyone else acted like the passengers were just in their way. Also note that if you purchase the drink card that they charge you for each day you are aboard the ship; however, they will not serve you any drinks on the last day as they state that the cards no longer work on the day that you disembark even though you paid for that day! I don't know yet if all ship lines are moving to this type of service; but my guess is that they are...just like anytime dining is now the standard fare option on most ships too now. New cruisers will not realize that they are receiving substandard service but past cruisers know what the service standards were and will definitely be unhappy with what is being given now. I would rather stay in a hotel and eat in a regular restaurant and get up and go order my own drink from a bar without paying many thousands of dollars that we pay for cruising. I use to think the extra costs were worth it because of the special service that you received onboard. Not any more... The room was tight as far as size but well appointed and beds were very comfortable. We had a third person in our room (our daughter) and her bed was hanging directly over the main bed in the room. We didn't like that layout but were unaware of how the extra bed was set up. Last ship we were on the extra bed was a fold out from the sofa which was much better FYI   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
My wife and I were first time cruisers and I thought it would be nice to take a cruise to Belize, Roatan and Cozumel through Galveston. Embarkation was easy and I have to say, I was very impressed with Royal Carribbean service on board. ... Read More
My wife and I were first time cruisers and I thought it would be nice to take a cruise to Belize, Roatan and Cozumel through Galveston. Embarkation was easy and I have to say, I was very impressed with Royal Carribbean service on board. The food was good, if not exceptional and there was plenty to do on sea days. We were not bored. We had an ocean view room and the room service was exceptional. The on board entertainment we enjoyed most (surprisingly) was the stand up comic. The guy was hilarious. Food wise, we tended to stay away from the Windjammer cafe, I'm not a huge fan of buffet food, but on the occasions we ate there, it was acceptable. Our table mates at the main dining hake were pretty uninteresting so we opted to eat out. The latin/fusion restaurant was the least impressive of the lot. But otherwise I would say the cruise was good value for the money. It was the disembarkation where Royal Carribbean fell down. It might have been poor coordination with the TSA (whom I also blame btw) but we waited over 3 hours to move the 100 feet to go through customs. I felt awful for the British citizen who missed his flight. This experience has convinced me that we will never sail out of Galveston again. It was a miserable end to what was otherwise an excellent cruise. Oh well. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
This was my first cruise. My husband and I spoke about taking one for a while. We actually booked the cruise a bare week before the date of departure to celebrate his 30th birthday. We booked a balcony room. Our overall experience was ... Read More
This was my first cruise. My husband and I spoke about taking one for a while. We actually booked the cruise a bare week before the date of departure to celebrate his 30th birthday. We booked a balcony room. Our overall experience was better than I expected. On Cruise Line Critic I got the impression that the food and customer service were sub par. Our first meal on the cruise did not leave me very hopeful. The lunch served in the Windjammer Cafe shortly before departure reminded me of school lunch. There were cold limp french fries and stale hot dog buns. I was much more impressed with the sit-down dining room. The food in the dining room was mid-level French style food. I did not realize that they completely change the menu every night. To do 10 different entrees and appetizers every night without a noticeable lack if quality was very impressive. Out waiter, Johannson, was a pleasure to have. We did have trouble with customer service. On our second day our tickets for our pre-booked excursions never showed up. We went to the front desk to inquire about it and they said they had no record of our excursions. Our credit card had been charged for them. They told us to rebook our excursions and if they ever found the reservations they would reimburse us for the ones we rebooked on board. There was no talk of reimbursement for excursions we missed because we could not rebook them. There was no apology. They also miraculously found our reservations late on the last night of the cruise when it was too late to do anything about it. I wish that they had had a pool large enough to swim laps in. Most of the hot tubs were very crowded. We did find a hot tub that was nearly deserted and we were happy to use that. I was annoyed that any time we wanted ice in the room, we had to bother someone to get it. Any time we tried to get ice over the phone we never got it. We only got it when we asked for it along with other room service orders. The last few days they started keeping ice in our room so that we wouldn't have to bother anyone. We didn't really partake in any of the on board entertainment, so I don't have an opinion about that. I wanted to take the cruise so that I could lay around on deck reading a book drinking a cocktail. The cruise was very good for that, especially on the last excursion day we had because we stayed on board and the boat was pretty deserted. I was disappointed that they did not have an alcohol package for drinks that were not wine. Our last port of call was very disappointing. It was Labadee, Haiti. We did not realize when we booked the trip that Labadee was a private peninsula owned by Royal Caribbean. It reminded us of Disney Land. Nothing there was "real". It was like an amusement park. Another couple on the cruise with us said that they walked to the far end of the peninsula and that there was a ten-foot high fence covered with barbed wire to keep the starving children on the other side of the fence. It was very sad. I enjoyed cruising enough to go again, but my husband and I don't want to use Royal Caribbean again. Next time we are supposed to have something, we are bringing documentation with us. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
My wife, who has cruised before, helped me pick out the Navigator of the Seas for our anniversary cruise, in late April of 2011. Things started out well, with a flight to FLL and a quick shuttle to the ship. We were greeted by the ... Read More
My wife, who has cruised before, helped me pick out the Navigator of the Seas for our anniversary cruise, in late April of 2011. Things started out well, with a flight to FLL and a quick shuttle to the ship. We were greeted by the porters, with a lot of flair and a great attitude. They got our luggage stowed into the carriers and us on our way. We arrived around 1pm and were promptly checked in, registered and on board... Check in was a breeze and we were greeted kindly and promptly... that is where the courtesy ended. We found our stateroom, interior on the port side of the 10th deck. Our room was nice, clean, but without stated 'robes' as in the guide book. Our daytime stateroom attendant saw us leaving the room and introduced himself, we mentioned the robes and he said he would resolve before that evening. The room was basic, with two beds pushed together to form a full, nice linens, a couch, small TV (with poor picture), small desk and average cruise bathroom (according to my wife). In-room safe is a nice touch. After the mandatory walking around and finding everything in the boat, we did the mandatory safety briefing... our luggage arrived at the room an hour or so later, and we were able to dress for dinner. Our wait staff at the formal dinner were ok, with us having to wait frequently for service on the drinks, and our meals were ok. We were not impressed with the food at the formal dinner service, not any of the nights. My steak was never cooked correctly, and the drink service was often quite slow. The buffet was pretty good food, changing each day and meal, but often the combinations of foods offered was odd. Side dishes often did not go with the entree's. At the pools, the adults-only pool area was swarming with children of all ages, and no one was resolving. The holding of deck chairs, though mentioned by multiple signs, was a big problem. We sat at the pool multiple hours each of the two cruise-only days, never to see a towel removed from an abandoned chair, meaning we had to arrive before 9am on the second cruise only day to even get a chair. Also, even though listed in the guide book, the documentation and by some staff members of the cruise line, the smoking area outside is tiny. There was no where to smoke and lay in the sun. Inside, smoking areas are plentiful, with every bar (almost) having a smoking section. Wait staff at the pool is horrible. We waited for over 3 hours for anyone to offer us a drink on day 4. When we went to the bar, service was ok, but not great. My wife attempted to buy us drinks at the bar on day 4 only to have the bartender wait on the people behind her, which when they mentioned that she was there first, they were told by the bartender that "I Know, what do YOU want?"We experienced similar lack of service at many of the bars, with waiters seating us but never returning to get us drinks, or taking our order only to disappear. It was pretty much go to the bartender or nothing. Entertainment was disappointing on most nights, but I think we were the wrong age group. The outdoor dance club on night 4 was fun, if too loud. The 'Quest' gameshow was awesome, a lot of fun. The 'adult' shows were attended by too many children and the 1am curfew for children is too late. Teens maybe, but having a bunch of 10 year olds running the halls and screaming in the elevators each evening until very late is inappropriate. The professional photographers did an ok job... We did also purchase the 'Classic Romance' package. It consisted of a bottle of champagne one evening, canape's before dinner (awful), vanilla bean cupcakes (in a plastic box, though very tasty), one room service breakfast (mediocre), and extra pastries the same night as your formal dinner (left in the room, very good). Price was around $100 and the price was right, even if the canape's were not. We had a good time on the cruise... even though the other passengers were rude (my wife was slammed into by multiple people in regular foot traffic without apology)... even though the wait staff was rude (a waiter nearly flattened my wife, without apology)... and the staff in general was rude (we never could understand our head waiter and he looked at us like we were stupid). We will cruise again... we just won't cruise with Royal Carribean... it was very apparent that we were not either 'skinny' enough, rich enough to be an 'elite' member, or haven't been with them enough to be a gold member. Thanks goes to the gold member who saw us being treated badly and bought us drinks, then went on to reprimand the staff and took it to the manager. That did correct some of the behavior, but only on one occasion. Good Luck Royal Carribean, you lost out on some major tips and expenditures... we are not the only ones taking our business elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
My husband and I have always dreamed of taking our entire family on a cruise. This past Christmas we made that dream a reality...it's unfortunate we chose the wrong cruise ship- Navigator of the Seas. We read the reviews about their ... Read More
My husband and I have always dreamed of taking our entire family on a cruise. This past Christmas we made that dream a reality...it's unfortunate we chose the wrong cruise ship- Navigator of the Seas. We read the reviews about their food being terrible but there are no reviews to describe just how disappointing the food really is. For breakfast we ate in the Nutcracker dinning room which was good. Then the food begins to go downhill from there...The windjammer (free style- dining alternative) reminded me of a poorly ran Golden Corral restaurant. It seemed to serve the exact same food day after day. If you wanted a change of pace for Lunch you had to pay for it in their premium lunch spot- Johnny Rockets. Johnny Rockets did have great food and service with the exception of their shakes (made from a bag in a box). We ate in the dinning room for dinner and the meals were just Okay. I couldn't believe they served me Lobster bisque with no actual lobster in it just lobster flavoring! Oh and if you heard that you get served lobster on the cruise...better think again. We were not served lobster one time on this premium, prime time Christmas cruise. I can't tell you how disappointed I was. We brought my mother along and Lobster is her all time favorite food. I went as far as requesting it..."no can do". Funny thing is we received a menu that had lobster tails on it and when we ordered it, I was told we had been given the wrong menu. Okay, okay enough about the terrible food. Let's talk about our other experiences... When we arrived at the port the Porter told my husband if he tipped him well enough he'd ensure that our bags were properly taken care of. When my husband didn't tip him what the porter thought he should, he made sure to tell him so. I could not believe it...My husband told him he thought the tip was fair and we moved on. Well that must have been a huge mistake because our bags went missing the entire day and when they were finally found around 10:00pm that night, no one could tell us why they were not delivered and where they had been located. We do know that someone had to know because my mother's dirty laundry bag (from inside one piece of the luggage) was delivered to her stateroom...without the luggage. When the luggage was located it had been shredded to pieces. We were furious! The ship offered to repair it for our return travel but there was no offer to replace it. And then last but not least my recently turned 18 year old son had absolutely nothing geared towards his age group. He is still in High School and was not permitted to attend the teen activities as they were geared for 15-17 yr old without exception. When I went to Guest services to get suggestions their response to me was "he is an adult and should join adult activities to include the night clubs". They assured me he could not order alcohol. I was appalled! But just when I though I had issues...I overheard another guest complaining of the same problem ... only they had an 18 year old girl! One woman said her daughter turned 18 a few weeks ago and 25yr old men were hitting on her in the "adult lounges". This is a huge oversight on Royal Caribean's part and they are asking for trouble by not addressing activities for this age group. If you have children between the ages of 18-21 look out! There is nothing organized for them to do. Believe it or not we did manage to squeeze some good entertainment and RR between the drama and disappointment. Honestly, I can't say I would ever do another cruise with this ship. My husband and I spend a lot of money sending our whole family on this cruise...relatively speaking it simply was not worth it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
I am a first-time cruiser who wants to shoot you straight about what to expect if you have never been on a cruise before. As I read through review after review, I felt like I really didn't get a good picture of what to expect. ... Read More
I am a first-time cruiser who wants to shoot you straight about what to expect if you have never been on a cruise before. As I read through review after review, I felt like I really didn't get a good picture of what to expect. Everything was either really negative or cruises are the best thing ever invented. I believe that most cruise ships probably fall somewhere in the middle. And most experiences will probably be somewhere in the middle. So here I go, hopefully I can give some other first-timer some helpful hints of advice. First of all, don't follow the check-in begins at 2 PM advice. We got to the port at around 11:15 am. The place was already hopping with activity. Check-in for us was a breeze--only took about 20 minutes from cab until we were sitting down to eat lunch at the Windjammer. First bit of advice--make sure you do the online check-in paperwork. It doesn't take very long and will save you a little time getting onboard. You will need to print off a couple of sheets of paper at the end and sign your name explaining how your account will be paid. Remember to pack a light bad if there is anything you will need before 4 PM or so. Hopefully your luggage will arrive by then. We were able to check in to our room a little after 1 PM. I think our luggage arrived around 3 PM or so. We had gone to check the boat out and when we returned our luggage was waiting outside. Lunch will be cram-packed on day 1. I believe the Windjammer is the only place open for lunch on day 1. So expect some lines and some waiting. We enjoyed the view in the back of the Windjammer looking back at Miami and parts of South Miami Beach. The room was actually better than I expected--and even a little roomier. We had a balcony. I would vote for this at all cost. I can't imagine an interior room or one with only a water view. The balcony makes your room feel much bigger than it really is. Also, you have a place to step outside and enjoy the weather, water and views. Pay the money--get the balcony. Hair dryers are included in the room. Bathroom is small--especially the shower. But hey, you are on a boat. Did have those sliding doors instead of shower curtains that many others have mentioned. Can't imagine how it would work with a curtain?? Plenty of storage room in closet and under bed to stow away luggage. Also had about 6 drawers to put things around desk area. Wife loved the lighting around desk when it came to fixing hair and makeup. Mirrors would move a little on sides to give you a full view. Also have full length mirror on one side of room, too. Big plus for me, bed was comfortable. Not great, but not bad. As I mentioned, better than I expected. A/C worked pretty well. I like things cool. Our room was always able to get cool enough for me. Now...on to the real nuts and bolts of the trip experience. Let me make a few comments about some of the basic necessities on a vacation in a tropical climate--pool and lounging. Pool areas are just okay. If you expect to be able to get in the water and paddle around--forget about it. First, the pools are very small--especially when you think about there being 3500 people on board. Second, the kids will take the larger pool over after about 11 am. There is an adults only pool/section. But that pool is really small. I guess the lounge areas are okay. The earlier you get out the better likelihood of getting a prime-time spot. Once you get up in the day, it will be elbow to elbow everywhere. I was not a big fan of this. It is also weird to think about the walking track going around the main pool deck area. At first, you may not think this is a big deal. But if you want peace and quiet, there is none. If you are on this deck, you will constantly have people either running or walking by you as you try and relax. Not a big fan of this either. I always ventured to areas away from the track. Lounge chairs are pretty (okay) comfortable. Definitely two classes of chairs on boat--padded and not. get a padded one, you are loving life. Get a regular one, not so great. Maybe my expectations were too high. I guess now is the time to interject my previous vacation experiences to compare. My family often goes to Destin/Ft. Walton area of FL to get some R & R--staying at beach front condos. I also had one great trip to All-inclusive in Mexican Riveria. We are definitely not luxury travelers--but not econo-line travelers either. I was hoping the pool area and lounge chairs would be better. Like I said, maybe my expectations were too high. I love to go on vacation and sit and lounge either by the pool or in it. Cruise ship does not make my top-10 list for this. Now, the views were stunning, the accommodations were not. Okay, let me move on the the food. We ate in the Nutcracker dining room each night. We were in a group of 8 and had a large table close to the windows. Once again, views were great. I thought dinner always took way too long to complete. Normally took our party over 2 hours to complete meal. Granted, I didn't mind socializing with my friends. But 2 hours and 15 minutes is too long for dinner...period. Food was good--nothing spectacular. One of the cheesecakes one night was fabulous. A scallop appetizer one night was excellent. Besides that, nothing really above-average. Now, clearly, the food is not bad. I don't understand how folks get on here and say the food is bad. No way under any circumstances. You can always find something decent to good to eat on ship. Besides the main dining, we ate in the Promenade area several times for snacks and breakfast in Windjammer once. Of course, we were off of the ship for almost two entire days on this 5-night trip. I will say this--lunch in Cozumel at Playa Coronas was my favorite meal. Ate lunch one step from the water and had some authentic Mexican food--chips and salsa and chicken/beef fajitas. Extremely good eats!! You will have no problems finding food to eat. Something will always be open or available. The entertainment that we saw was good. Didn't take in a lot of the shows. I will also put it this way--I didn't go on the course to seek out entertainment. My wife and I are more in to relaxing, enjoying time alone away from the kids. We both enjoy a good book as much as a comedy show or ice-skating. But if you are in to the shows--this may be the place for you. There is always some form of action going on--dancing, music, karioke, games, info sessions, shopping, poolside games, sports games, etc.... Almost seems like there is too much going on at times. Almost like you are being moved around from venue to venue and act to act to make sure you don't/can't get bored. I didn't get bored. I don't think you will get bored either. Now to the last one--service. Here is where I really struggle. Was the service bad--no. But I expected better. I think many workers were not excited about there jobs. For example, if you go up to the bar and ask for a water or soda, forget getting a smile or conversation. Is it because they don't get as big a tip if you don't order an $8 mixed drink?? Great question. Many service people were not very friendly to my wife and me. It was like they were going out of their way to wait on us. Excuse me, aren't I the one that paid for this trip. And paid a lot in my opinion. Maybe you think cruising is a bargain. I don't. Seems pretty expensive for what you get to me. Anyhow, back to the service. I kept hearing about the Golden Anchor service....Not sure I got that. Another area of concern for me is that I only speak one language--English. Many of the workers speak languages well that aren't English. Thus, communication was difficult at times. Once again, maybe my expectations were too high. It seems like the cruise industry seeks out the US traveler and customer. Most of the cruisers on our ship were US vacationers. I just expected the English to be better from the workers who were in contact positions--desk, bartenders, guest relations, waiters, etc... Lastly, I will leave you with one instance of poor service. My wife was wanting her normal Diet Coke to kick start the morning. So I notice one of the bartenders at his location next to the Promenade. I also notice that no one is around--usually 4 or 5 people always waiting to be served. Hey, great chance to go get my wife her Diet Coke. As I make my request, the guy tells me he doesn't open until 8 am. I take a look at the clock--7:58! I guess the ship shuts the pre-mix machines off until 8. Maybe they work like bank vaults with time sensitive locks!! BS!! He just didn't want to serve me. I wanted to go back and ask for a drink and see if he opened before 8 am for that tip??? But I didn't, I just walked over and got a glass of water. Gold anchor service at its best. Okay, I am getting off of topic. I am trying to mention some words of advice to first-time cruisers. In no particular order, I will throw out some other things I noticed: 1. Don't fly in the day of your departure. Why? Ask the lady next to me in the muster drill who had her luggage lost by the airlines. She was not a happy camper. And her husband wasn't either as he had to stand there and listen to her complain about her vacation being ruined. 2. Make out a plan about what you want to do each day--check the Compass. If not, you can become overwhelmed with everything going on. You also need to decide if you are going to be a morning person or a late-night person on your cruise. You definitely can't do both and have any energy. 3. Make spa appts as soon as you get on board if you want certain times. But remember that some of the deals will come later in the trip. Discounts can be had for evening appts and appts on port days. FYI, massages on the beach on port days are also usually cheaper than ship prices. 4. You always run the potential of bad weather on a cruise. My wife got sick one evening when it got rather windy and the boat started swaying one night. Can't really control that on a boat. This did not make for a fun evening. 5. Internet access is very expensive on a boat--55 cents a minute or some type of pre-paid package. Internet doesn't move quickly either (nice way of saying it is slow). 6. Pay attention to the dress codes for your trip. Many folks will always dress up for dinner meals. But you don't have to--the smart casual style is okay, too. Will be one formal night at minimum. Okay, this is getting way too long. Let me end by saying the Navigator was a nice ship. But I will never participate again. For the money I paid, I could have had twice that experience at a great AI in the Caribbean somewhere. But there is a first time for everything and I learned from the experience. I enjoyed my trip. I enjoyed getting away and spending time with my wife. But I also know that my vacation could have been much better. Sorry RCI, you will not get me as a repeat customer. In order to get me again for the price I paid, the service, the amenities and the food needs to be much better. Next time, you can find me soaking up the rays at a beachside palapa in the Mexican Riviera... Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
My fiance and I booked a 5 day cruise with the RCL Navigator of the Seas, sailing over Presidents Day weekend in February. Unfortunately, the day we were to fly out of Minneapolis, there was a snow storm in Atlanta which apparently shut ... Read More
My fiance and I booked a 5 day cruise with the RCL Navigator of the Seas, sailing over Presidents Day weekend in February. Unfortunately, the day we were to fly out of Minneapolis, there was a snow storm in Atlanta which apparently shut down the entire country. We frantically searched for another flight (with no help from Air Tran), and were able to fly out the next morning. We happily arrived in Miami the day of the cruise. We were able to check in with ease and very little waiting. We ate at the Windjammer (nothing great, but it was okay) and explored the ship. We found our cabin on the 2nd deck. It was fine but nothing fancy. I had requested the refillable soda, which was in the cabin when we arrived. My fiance has some health conditions, so we (I) filled out a health conditions form and faxed it to the ship a few weeks before we had sailed. He is diabetic and has a CPAP machine, so we need distilled water, a sharps container, and extension cord. We got the sharps container and extension cord, after requesting them from the housekeeper. However, she told us that we had to call Guest Relations and request the distilled water and then she would deliver it. I had to call guest relations 3 times before we received it. The first night, I was told by Guest Relations that there was only one housekeeper working and she was too busy to deliver it. Why would there only be one housekeeper working on the first night?! We had dinner in the main dining room every night, and thought the food was good. We liked our waiter and housekeeper, and didn't have any issues with them at all. The first day was at sea, which was fine. Just did a lot of exploring of the ship. The second day we were in Labadee, Haiti. Unfortunately, it POURED rain and was cold. We had planned on doing the flight line, but were unable to, due to the weather. This was right after the earthquake in Haiti, so we had wanted to purchase items from the locals. Unfortunately, the locals were very aggressive towards us in trying to get us to purchase their wares. They were grabbing at me, and basically pulling me into their little places of business. I was really uncomfortable. My fiancee (who has been on cruises before) said that the Bahamas folks who sold stuff had nothing on these guys. I was disappointed considering that this was RCL's own, private island, and we were treated so rudely. Basically, after an hour or so, we were soaked, and crabby. RCL did a BBQ on the island, but we didn't stay for it. The main dining room was closed for lunch, so we had to go to the buffet. To be honest, I wasn't terribly impressed with the buffet. It was anything that you could find and eat at Old Country Buffet. The next day, we went to Ocho Rios, Jamaica. That day was probably the nicest, weather wise of the whole trip. We went tubing down the White River, which was fun. After that, we hung out on the beach for a few hours, which was nice as well. The last day was a day at sea, which was kind of boring. We couldn't really lay by the pool, because it was so cold the whole time. The shows were entertaining, not Broadway caliber, but good. Also, on the last day, we had requested assistance from Guest Relations to get to Fort Lauderdale (this was due to having to fly in at the last minute). Guest Relations informed us we were on our own, and they wouldn't help us. Basically, my feeling on the service was that it was not that great. I mentioned earlier that I liked the staff who dealt directly with us. However, outside of those folks, I never really felt like anyone went above and beyond for us. For example, I purchased something in one of the general stores. He charged me a dollar more than the price that was marked. I pointed it out, and requested that he change it. He glared at me and complained about the people that work for him. I also felt like when I requested a refill on my soda, I just got rolling of eyes from the staff. Perhaps I expected too much, but I just didn't feel like it was the 'Gold Anchor' service I had thought it would be. Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
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
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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