3 Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Cruise Reviews for Fitness Cruises to Transatlantic

At the age of 63 it was time to embark on a new journey. As a child I traveled with my family, as a young woman I ventured to a beach resort with some other friends, as a married woman I traveled with my husband and as a single mother to ... Read More
At the age of 63 it was time to embark on a new journey. As a child I traveled with my family, as a young woman I ventured to a beach resort with some other friends, as a married woman I traveled with my husband and as a single mother to visit family members who wintered in Florida. As my son grew up we discovered cruising together, and then shared that joy as a family when I remarried. Although I still share traveling with my grown son and my husband it was time for just me. Many woman wait until they are widowed-not me-no time like the present. I eagerly anticipated being anonymous but at the same time apprehension as I am a very social being and the thought of no meaningful conversation or connection for 2 weeks was a bit creepy, to say the least. What I found was shear exhilaration, liberation, joy, life, laughter and discovery It was a 13 night transatlantic crossing on Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas. We began in Ft. Lauderdale, were at sea for 7 consecutive nights, first stop was the Azores, another night at sea, then Port in Lisbon. Portugal and Port the following day in Vigo, Spain, another day at Sea then last day/port Le Havre, France then disembark in Southampton, Great Britain. This was not just a transatlantic cruise but a journey of independence, a journey of freedom, a journey of self expression, a journey to feel, to experience, to express and to reconnect my former self back to my new self. I must thank my wonderful husband John who planted the seed for this trip, if it hadn’t been for his desire and planning to ride his bicycle solo through Italy and at the right time, I wouldn’t have had this amazing opportunity. It was our plan for me to meet him “across the pond” as I had when he rode solo the “End to End” starting in John of Groats, Scotland and ending in Lands End, Great Britain. That trip was in July 2 years ago, and traveling via British Airways, although my favorite way to fly, is certainly no feat in independence and self expression, although lugging his bicycle suitcase to the train station and transferring trains was a physical feat in itself but not much more. The only thing gained from it was knowing that working out regularly makes a difference, This solo cruise adventure boils down to one thing, as Cyndi Lauper stated about her 1981 song ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun' “I want it to be an anthem for women around the world - and I mean all women - and a sustaining message that we are powerful human beings. I made sure that when a woman saw the video, she would see herself represented, whether she was thin or heavy, glamorous or not, and whatever race she was." As for the other wonderful women I met - We were all of that. We were of many shapes, sizes, nationalities, ethnicities, colors, lifestyles and ages but our one common denominator was to embark on an adventure where we were completely unknown, unrestrained and to be solo incc a predominantly couples oriented group. But each of us, regardless of age, had a sense of adventure, openness and acceptance one glass of wine at a time. A big thank you to the Navigator Cruiser Director who organized a solo sailor 9:30 am meeting for the first 2 mornings. His personality was engaging, truly warm, genuine and welcoming. He quickly determined the solos, singles, and single solos so everyone knew who was who. Jeff made it a point to get to know each of us and not just to lead the group but to make the group the one everyone on the ship wanted to be on. (Yes, we were the in crowd-the cool kids) He coordinated daily lunches for the group where there was more mingling and soon we were recognizing each other on the dance floor, in different venues on the ship and making a shout out when someone was absent from the group get togethers. I hadn’t been given a set dining time with group table so I decided I would just go to the Windjammer to eat rather than sitting alone in the dining room. That idea was a bit depressing for me because I enjoy getting “cleaned up” for dinner, having a glass of wine and pleasant conversation. So the idea of 13 lonely dinners was a real downer. Lucky for me, one of the solo group invited me to join his early seating table of 8 on the second evening (first full day at sea). He felt quite lucky that he had such a great group to eat with and he was happy to share. To the dismay of the waiter (as the tables are set up for 8, he made room for me, #9. And the best part was at the end of the dinner, the others voted me in to be with them for the duration of the cruise. I didn’t realize I was being interviewed. This worked out so well that we even went to t the nightly entertainment together as a group, and what a blend of folks we were; 2 sisters originally from the Ukraine who now reside in San Francisco, a married couple who reside in Sebring FL, he is a retired naval commandeering who is now a private boat captain and delivers/transports boats (he stated he has water on the brain), the gentleman from Canada who invited me to sit with them was headed to Scotland to golf (his passion), 2 other male solo travelers who since retiring from their respective careers spend lots of time cruising, and then there was the life of the party an author of romance novels from Wisconsin. She always had a smile on her face no matter where or when you saw her, such a beautiful zest for life. (Her unlimited beverage package didn’t hurt much on that count, I’m sure) Once dinner was worked out the party began. Where best to make it happen than on the dance floor. Girls, music, flashing lights, smiles, hips moving, bodies swaying, singing along, this is what it is about. On that dance floor there is no age (other than knowing the words to some really old songs), we are transported to bygone years, the beauty is we know spending hours fixing our hair and makeup just right, the perfect outfit and shoes doesn’t matter at all. Comfortable shoes sweat able clothes and we are all set. Not looking to or for anyone, just “Girls Wanna Have Fun”, and yes, a few guys joined us. But only one could hang with the big girls, as he cruised ship to ship only spending a few months a year on land. He knows what life is about as he had retired 12 years earlier. No put ons, come ons, just let’s live life to the fullest one smile, laugh, story, drink and dance at a time. Never meet a stranger! Get togethers on shore were coordinated, some had already booked excursions and some just looking to explore or rediscover ports visited in the past. Regardless of the day’s activities or events there was always joy, celebration and laughter following. The days always ended with new found kinship in expressing one's self untethered by the questioning or demands of others. Truly liberation from time, age or finances, there was no additional cost to enjoy the company of perfect strangers who became soul mates. On this adventure I wasn’t a wife, a mother, a business owner or even a recent cancer survivor. I was a Girl who wanted to have fun-and I did. And I am booked for next year. Yes, this isn’t backpacking the Appalachian Trail or traveling Europe alone, and I so admire those who do. When I was an adolescent we were protesting he Vietnam War, just getting full access to birth control and women were going to college for more than their MRS. I think of the song “Vogue” by Madonna where she says ‘Express Yourself’, and in that 13 night adventure I certainly did. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We spent 3 nights in Rome prior to taking a very convenient, comfortable 1st class train ride to the Port. The train terminal in Civitavecchia Northbound was awkward no escalators so down and up the stairs with 4 suitcases, I certainly ... Read More
We spent 3 nights in Rome prior to taking a very convenient, comfortable 1st class train ride to the Port. The train terminal in Civitavecchia Northbound was awkward no escalators so down and up the stairs with 4 suitcases, I certainly felt sorry for the older passengers. The Embarkation was rapid and quick took all of 15 minutes before we were having lunch in The Windjammer. Our room was very comfortable an inside 6th floor and our room steward was always very friendly and efficient. This was our 20th cruise but our 1st Transatlantic and we can say that the 14 days flew by and that sailing on the Atlantic at this time was very comfortable. We will certainly be doing more crossings. The average age was 75 we're 63 with the majority being return cruisers not surprising for 14 days in November. Dan Dan the Party Man the cruise director is certainly better suited to a party crowd such as Florida sailings. The night time scheduling did not take into consideration this age group needless to say that the 10:45PM Headliner Showtime as well as the 11:45PM comedian were poorly attended. The specialty acts: Il Divo and Motown revues were excellent. The least entertaining shows were the Ships own song and dance productions you can certainly get better entertainment watching TV shows such as Glee,Sing-Off or X-Factor. The ice skating show was a real highlight these performers on a moving small ice surface were beautiful to watch As previously informed on Cruise critic we did get in line 30 minutes before the show, when the doors opened it was a shambles resembled Black Friday store openings every passenger for himself surely a better way to proceed can be found. The ports visited were wonderful we took a ships excursion to Florence and Marseilles well worth the views and plenty of time to shop and visit. Barcelona and Cartagena were an easy walk to the main sections and enjoyable to soak in Old Europe. RESTAURANTS The Windjammer for breakfast and lunch was above par the choices were excellent. The idea of no trays actually added a sense of class the table waiters were very attentive. There was always a table to satisfy your tastes if you looked a little. The Nutcracker dining room was the principal weakness on this ship compared to other similar cruise lines. The food selections were inferior and the quality/preparation of the red meats was the worst we have had in 20 cruises. Surf and Turf usually means a whole small Lobster tail on other ships NOT a half a small lobster tail with so-so filet mignon.The choices of Desserts was even poorer. We ate 1 breakfast and 1 lunch in this Dining room sorely disappointed and looked forward to getting back to the Windjammer. Many passengers chose to eat Dinner in the Windjammer with a similar or better selection along with Jade that offered Sushi and atmosphere. We dined in the Chops steak restaurant the portions are exceptionally large the Desserts exquisite however the steak cuts and preparation we're not worth the extra 60$/couple. Captain Erick was the most present and prominent Captain we have ever had you could even understand his English Noon Message. He did take the proper decision of staying in Port 12 extra hours in Toulon due to high seas(15 to 20' waves) and therefore had to skip the Azores, security and health of the passengers is always Number 1.The Captain's night cocktail was better than other Cruise lines drinks and champagne for all for an hour. The Welcome party for Returning Guests could have taken place in a better Lounge than the ice skating rink.A Major weakness in all the dining areas was the attention to health and passenger sanitation. There are hand sanitizer stations at all the entrances however their usage is not enforced by the hostess who stands 20 feet away inside the Restaurant scrutinizing passenger dress code rather than the health and well being of all. Other Cruise lines enforce this discipline. The captain's answer at his talk was that the ship didn't feel responsible to police hand sanitization which was a major concern especially in the self serve Windjammer where all the salad dishes had nowhere to deposit tongs except back in the middle of the salad platters.Coincidentaly by the last 2 days the excessive coughing and sneezing of fellow passengers was very noticeable including ourselves. The Gym was very well equipped and plenty of different machines It was nice to see how crowded and well used it was especially in the early morning certainly reflects an older clientele. The lockers were disgraceful the original locks took everyone 5 minutes to open and close, replace these locks their only worth $4.The floor tiles were not slip proof and were even dangerous to walk on when wet. Half the shower valves were dangerous for scalding and impossible to adjust. We chose to self debark at 7 AM and we were waiting for our shuttle 15 minutes later a very smooth process. In closing this was our 5th cruise with RCCL The Navigator would now be rated as follows Celebrity a 10,Princess a 9,Carnival an 8 finally Navigator a 6 which is certainly far less than a few years ago. Would we sail this ship again YES if the price was as exceptional as it was this year. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
This was our first transatlatic. The whole experience was very positive and we had a great time. Embarkation at Fort Lauderdale was fine and we were in about thirty minutes already inside the ship. We had lunch and started our tour at ... Read More
This was our first transatlatic. The whole experience was very positive and we had a great time. Embarkation at Fort Lauderdale was fine and we were in about thirty minutes already inside the ship. We had lunch and started our tour at this lovely ship. Our room was nice and spacious and being a promenade room, we had the opportunity to watch the activities which were always going on at the promenade. It was a litle loud but it did not disturbed us. If some of you want to book a promenade room you might also want to take with you something to protect you from the noise. Food was to our opinion very good in all restaurants. The waiters were friendly and did a good job. The shows were most of the time fine, but we were not very impressed with them. We did not like the attitude of a Celine Dion singer, who was not well prepared for her presentation and had a funny attitude towards the band and towards the public. The ice shows were the best. The guest relations employes were according to us, not very motivated in their job. It must be very difficult to try to solve the problems and requests from so many people and probably requires a special personality to be kind and helpful for such a long time. Unfortunately, with a few exceptions ( for example a lady of China) most of the others did not display that type of personality. One of the most common complaint was the malfunctioning of the Internet connection. Maybe the people at guest relations in these ship cand be helped if somebody takes care that the internet connection works more reliable. Unfortunately we got lost one day while looking for the conference room and ended up at the crew quarters on the second floor. My friend was shouted very loud by a guy from Serbia (He said his name was Nikolai or something similar) who kept yelling we should get out of there inmediately without letting us explain we were lost. Kind of funny experience... The captain had a friendly personality and although he was very young, he seemed to have every thing under control. We also met the ships doctor, who made a very nice impression on us. We also found that Michelle at the Crown and Anchor desk was very helpful and always ready to accomodate our requests. Thank you Michelle! The ship was beautiful and the activities plenty. We made good friends, specially with members of cruise critics. We were very happy to meet people fom so many places and to be able to share time and activities with our cruise critic fellows. Thanks Dorothy, Sandra and Marie for organizing the tour in Teneriffe, the Murder Mistery afternoon and the Pink ribbon luncheon! Thank you Navigator of the seas for treating us cruise critic members with a lovely meet and mingle party. Thank you also for having plenty of activities for your crown and anchor members. We have enjoyed your hospitality. In general we had a fantastic time. We would like to thank to all those people at the Navigator of the seas who have contributed to our positive experience. Thank you so much and until next time! The ports of call were Teneriffe, Palma de Mallorca, Ajaccio and Rome. They were all different and interesting. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Navigator of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.3
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.5 4.2

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