17 Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Cruise Reviews for First-Time Cruisers Cruises to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

I say second "Cruise of a Lifetime" because this is our second trip to The Mediterranean! Our first was our 25th Anniversary Cruise just two years ago. Who knew we would be returning so soon. (We did throw a coin in Trevi ... Read More
I say second "Cruise of a Lifetime" because this is our second trip to The Mediterranean! Our first was our 25th Anniversary Cruise just two years ago. Who knew we would be returning so soon. (We did throw a coin in Trevi Fountain!) This trip was with my brother and sister in law and since we had been before we were nominated as trip planner. I made all the reservations direct through various sites on the internet - Flight, hotel, cruise, tours, etc. Of course Crusie Critic was my Number One source of information. We flew to Rome via Atlanta two days early to enjoy a little more sightseeing. Good thing as Delta had computer problems and all regional jets were grounded Thursday mid-day and we missed our connection to Rome by about 15 minutes. Delta agents were helpful and the four of us were put on a later flight that stopped briefly in Paris. We got to add another city to our "bucket list of places to visit". I had arraigned a private transfer with "Rome Airport Transportation" and was not sure they received my notice about the delayed flight but once we cleared customs there they were with our name on a sign. What a welcome relief! The trip from the airport to our hotel was uneventful but we did get to see some sights on the way. We had reservations at the Hotel Colosseum. The hotel was very adequate, very clean and in a good location. (I was a little worried as other reviews painted it in a somewhat negative light as being close to a gentlemens club. There was one at the end of the block but we never saw anyone going or coming and had no problem at all.) As I mentioned the rooms were clean and well cared for. Breakfast was a selection of breads, cheeses and meats. It was adequate unless you were looking for a full American breakfast of all the eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage and cereal you could eat! They did keep our passport to register us but they were returned to us our first trip down to the desk. The keys are on a giant brass key ring that weighs a pound but they kept the keys for you at the front desk as you went out. The elevator was small - enough room for two pieces of luggage and two people. If you don't like tight places take the stairs! We went to a small restorante pizzeria just down the street that was recommended to us - La Mela D'Oro. Our waitress wasn't much although some of the other staff seemed friendly. We really didn't like the food and would advise seeking out another place. The sound of thunder awoke us on Saturday morning but by the time we finished breakfast the storm was clearing. We broke out our umbrellas and hit the street. After a few minutes of getting oriented we made our way to Termini Station and purchased an all day Metro pass. We had reserved tickets to the Vatican Museums and so bypassed the lines and walked right in. After spending the morning touring the museums and St. Peter's we found (or it found us) a small mom and pop restaurant - Trattoria Al Cuppolone. It had good food and good service at a great price. From the Vatican we took the Metro back to Barberini Station and started our walking journey. We began at the corner of San Carlo Quattro Fontane and made our way to the Quirinale. From there a short walk to the Trevi Fountain and it hordes of people! Onward to the Pantheon, Pizza Navona and back along the Vittorio Emanuele to the Forum area and its wonderful ancient ruins. The Colosseum was the end of our walking tour with a short jaunt back to our hotel. After a short time to cleanup from all the walking and exploring we headed back out for some real Italian food at the Hard Rock Cafe! Day One - The next morning Rome Airport Transportation picked us up at the hotel and delivered us to the pier at Civitavecchia. Upon arrival at the port RCL personnel greeted us and escourted us into the registration area. It took less than 20 minutes from our arrival at the port until we were aboard the ship. Although only Gold members of C&A we were treated like royalty! We went to the Windjammer for a delicious lunch and while there the announcements that the rooms were ready was made. Arriving at our cabin (#7221) we found it ready and our cabin attendant nearby. Although the cabin was cleaned regularly we hardly ever saw the attendant. He did a fair job but nothing special. At 4:30 pm we went to the Guest Assembly Drill. It’s amazing that people don’t think they really mean everyone has to attend. After rounding up the strays we were dismissed. Sail away took place at 5:00 pm and the high seas beckoned! After cleaning up a bit we headed to the Welcome Aboard Show. It was OK but it seems that the entertainment has gone down hill a bit. The orchestra was great but most of the other entertainment just didn’t WOW us as in the past. We had Second Seating for our meals so we wouldn’t have to rush back from shore every day. It worked well for us. Out Wait Staff (Natalia and Sachim) were EXCELLENT and showed excitement every night. We had two couples from California traveling together as table mates and enjoyed great conversation each evening. Day Two we awoke to find our ship pulling into Messina, Italy. We had opted for a RCL excursion "Taormina on Your Own”. This fit us well as we were able to enjoy the town at our own pace. After getting back to the ship we made the Headliner Show - The East Coast Boys - not a bad group. We enjoyed their songs and then made our way to dinner. After dinner a stop in the Casino was mandated by the wife. After making our contribution we strolled the deck and then turned in for the night. Day Three was a Sea Day. Nothing to do but kick back and relax. I had brought along a book to enjoy on deck so after a quick stop at the Café Promenade for some hot chocolate I retired to a chair on Deck 4 to begin my relaxation! The Production Showtime was "Now and Forever” featuring Broadway numbers. We did not enjoy the show and forced ourselves to sit through it. Afterwards it was off to dinner - our first Formal Night. Day Four we found ourselves in Athens. I had arraigned a private tour through Nikos Loukas (privategreecetours.com) to see the sights of Athens. We were met at the port by our driver, Demitris. He had a vast knowledge of Greek history and shared it with us as we toured the city at our pace. The Acropolis and Mars Hill had to be the high points for me. We never felt rushed or pressured at the suggestions he made and had a wonderful time. We had lunch in the Agora area and stopped for dessert on the way back to the ship. That evening we went to the Ice Dancin’ Spectacular - and it was! This was the best entertainment of the entire cruise. It is amazing what these people can do in such a small area while the ship is moving!!! After the show, dinner, the casino and bed. Day Five we arrived at the port of Kusadasi, Turkey. Again, I had arraigned a private tour through Tayf Tours. Our guide and driver (Yesim and Hasan) were waiting for us as we exited the ship. We quickly boarded our van and were whisked off to the House of Mary. We arrived before the tour buses and so had a rather peaceful time there. We then beat the crowds to Ephesus and toured the ruins and the Terrace Houses. From there we went to a local pottery store and yes we bought some pieces. They were absolutely beautiful. Our journey then took us into the mountains to Sirince. We spent just enough time here to pick up a few items and then back to the valley for lunch. Everyone warns of the "carpet factory” tours! I was hesitant but did stop at one for lunch and a quick tour. Looking back I would have let them know up front that we had no intention of purchasing a rug. Although they were beautiful they moved outside of our price range very quick. It was an interesting stop and story and the lunch was very good. Arriving back at the port we had some time to look around and purchase a few more items! The Headliner Show was Chilli Gold, a British singer, and she was actually pretty good. We enjoyed her show as it was full of familiar songs and high energy. Dinner was casual. My wife and I actually ate alone as my brother and sister in law went to the Mystery Dinner. They had a great time and said the steak was some of the best that they had ever eaten. More casino and deck strolling before turning in for the night. Day Six we arrived in Chania, Crete. We took the three Euro bus into town and spent the day wandering about. More shopping about town and then back to the ship for another show and dinner. Day Seven was at Sea so we could unwind before arriving back in Rome. The Farewell Show was pretty good and dinner was sad as we bid farewell to our new found friends. Sunday our ship arrived back in Civitavecchia. Disembarkation was as painless as checking in. We had no more arrived at the C&A waiting area when they announced we could leave the ship. Transportation was again through Rome Airport Transportation. The were waiting when we left the ship and had us on our way to our airport hotel in no time. Because of flight schedules we chose to stay Sunday night and fly back to the US on Monday morning. Our hotel, the Courtyard Rome Airport had our rooms ready when we arrived about 9:30 am. We checked in, had lunch and a nap and then went out exploring. A walk into downtown Fiumicino led to a street fair and seeing how the locals spend their Sunday afternoons. Monday morning was a shuttle bus ride to the airport and our flight back to the US. All things considered this was a great vacation. We’re already planning our next cruise to either Northern Europe (the Baltic) or New England (to see the leaves change). Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We are seniors and this was our very first cruise. I have to say right at the start that it turned out to be more than I expected. We had a wonderful time, and we will do it again. We were on the Navigator of the Seas, and our departure ... Read More
We are seniors and this was our very first cruise. I have to say right at the start that it turned out to be more than I expected. We had a wonderful time, and we will do it again. We were on the Navigator of the Seas, and our departure point was Chivitecchia (Rome). This port is located about 45 minutes north of Rome Airport. We chose to take a limousine from the airport to the port. I am glad that we did because it was cheaper that taking the coach and much more comfortable. The limousine took us right to the departure area located on the quay. We also upgraded to a stateroom with a balcony and we are glad that we did this. The room very spacious for a cabin and having the balcony was nice to be able to sit out in the evenings. The boarding procedure went smooth and being as we were from Canada we had to surrender our passports for the duration of the cruise. On our arrival at our cabin we were met by our cabin steward who explain everything to us and looked after us well during the trip. The cabin was spotless I noticed that the steward even dusted the walls every day. This is without any doubt the cleanest hotel room that I have been in. The entire ship is spotless. During the voyage the Captain explained that they are very conscious of any kind of bug or infection being brought onto the ship by passengers. The crew will not shake hands, and passengers were asked to use the Purell hand sanitizer machines that were located all over the ship. When you went to board the ship the machines were at the gangplank. There was an officer pointing out the machines for you to use. While the passengers were on shore the crew spent their time wiping every hand rail, they even vacuum on the top of the signs over the stores. The whole ship is kept spotless. Ports Our first port of call was Massena we took the Red bus tour of this port. I cannot say it was a very nice place the buildings were drab, and there was a lot of graffiti on the buildings. Athens was our next stop and this is a big tourist city. We chose to take the afternoon tour because there was not too much waling. Athens is a nice city and there was lots to see. Ephesus was a shopping stop we did not take the tour we just went to the market. It was interesting they sell lots of gold and silver in these markets. The last port of call was Chania and we took the tour the scenery was lovely and we had a very pleasant day. The two days we had a sea were different the first one we had thunderstorms and it was wet and overcast. The second one was clear and sunny. It does not matter what the weather is like there is so much to do you cannot get bored. Activities are well organized and you get a copy of what is going on the day before. We dined at the Windjammer. This is the buffet restaurant and I found that there was Indian food, Chinese food, Japanese food and North American or European food. There was always something different available. In general I must say it was a wonderful trip and the crew on this ship were excellent. The ship is going to Galveston in December for a re fit. I did notice some of the carpets in high traffic areas were low on pile. Not dirty just showing signs of wear. The one thing that I would do different next time is. We had to fly overnight from Canada to Italy. We arrived in Rome the morning that the ship departed. Next time I would go a day earlier and stay in a hotel for the night and overcome the jet lag before starting a cruise. My next cruise will be on Royal Caribbean I found there service prior to the cruise and after the cruise to be excellent.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
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
We traveled as a family of 5 (My parents, brother;28 years old, sister;24y.o., me;20y.o.) and this was our 'first cruise'. We have sailed on a Carnival ship before, but that was so many years ago that not even my brother ... Read More
We traveled as a family of 5 (My parents, brother;28 years old, sister;24y.o., me;20y.o.) and this was our 'first cruise'. We have sailed on a Carnival ship before, but that was so many years ago that not even my brother remembers it that good. We did our research on what ship we wanted to go on, and this one had the things we wanted. We wanted fun activities and just more than enough things to do. We can't be happier with the choice we made! This ship has so many things, we didn't even do all the stuff we wanted to do. Golf, rock climbing wall, ice skating rink, the pool deck. There's more than enough things to do. ***PORTS*** The boarding process went really good actually, for the amount of people who were there (at around 11:30AM) I would say in about 45 minutes we were on board. We had to wait a little for our rooms to get ready at 1PM. We stayed on the ship that day and walk around and get to know the ship. Second day we arrived in Messina,Sicily. There's not much to do around the harbor itself, so we took the excursion to Taormina. Highly recommended. You have 3 hours 'free time' which is just enough time to walk the whole town. Lots of shops and restaurants/cafes. You can take lots of cool pictures here. And make sure the walk all the way to the Greek Theatre. In the evening there was a party in The Dungeon Club called 'Traffic Lights Dance Party' where you get a sticker. Green for Single, red for Taken and orange for 'Call Me Maybe'. This is a good place to meet the young cruisers like us, so of course my brother and sister and I went there. It's open till around 3.30-4:00 usually. Third day was at sea. So we woke up a bit hung over from the night before at the club. We went and breakfast and then went to the pool. There were no chairs at all available. After walking like 4 rounds looking for chairs we just went to the bar and hang out a little till we finally saw a couple leave. We immediately went for their chairs. You have to keep an eye out for people leaving so you can get the chairs fast. There are 20 other people looking for the same chair, haha. This is a good day to plan your onboard activities. It's also a good day to get to know your 'new friends from the club' a little better and get that bond going. Fourth day we arrived in Athens, Greece. We took the excursion called Highlights of Athens, I believe. It went to the Akropolis first. There are so many tourist there, so it kinda takes a while to get up there with all the busses and lines at the entrance. It was very beautiful! We listened to the guide man for a little bit, but then went to walk around since there was only like half a hour left before we had to meet back all the way down at the busses. Then it went to the city centre where there are like palaces and some high-end designer stores. We had the opportunity to get off the bus if we wanted to stay there and shop, but everybody opted to go back to the ship. The whole bus was tired from walking/climbing the stairs at the Akropolis. Fifth day we were in Kusadasi, Turkey. We again took an excursion to House of the Virgin Mary. Very beautiful ride all the way to the top of the mountain. Was kinda disappointed with the attraction itself. You can see everything in like 5 minutes. You can also get Holy Water if you want. The tour then dropped us off at a carpet store to meet a guy called Tony. (Owner of the shop). He does a whole show for the group and tried to sell us some carpet hand-made. But you can only imagine the prices of those carpet. Out of this world. You can then walk to ship since its right in front of it. It's a area with lots of shops, so you can go shop around. Sixth day we arrived in Chania, Crete. We wanted to chill out this day and our parents still had like energy to go for a tour. So they went to the Old City and we ' the kids' went to a beach for the young crowd. It was a beach club kind of place called Costa Costa. They had good house music and a bar and some fancy chairs on the beach. We just tanned and went swimming and drink a lot of alcoholic drinks. We had a good time there! It was very crowded tho', since there were so many people from the cruise itself. All we saw was blue towels from the Royal Caribbean on the chairs. We went there with the cab for 25euros/each ride. You have to make sure the taxi comes back to get you, since there are no taxies outside waiting. Seventh day we were on sea again. We had a relaxing day. And tried to be out of the sun since we tanned already and it kinda began to hurt a little bit. Haha. THIS TIME WE WOKE UP EARLY TO GO GET SOME CHAIRS with good location on the deck. In the evening we went to club again as usual for the farewell party. Disembarking was really easy and fast. Your luggage is right there in the terminal building with a number on it. ***ENTERTAINMENT*** There is a place called Boleros, and they play latin music so there's some dancing going on there. So we kinda went there after the dinners (9-11 seating) and stayed there till like 12 or something and then we go to the Dungeon Club every night, except the first night. It's kinda the only thing open that late on the ship. The Dungeon Club is a cool place to meet the young crowd (18+). When you meet the other people on board, you kinda plan to meet up again at the pool during the day and then at the club at night. You will obviously see the same people everytime. BE SURE NOT TO MISS THE SHOW AT 'STUDIO B' called THE QUEST. It's an adult only show. An interactive game show/scavenger hunt. The audience is divided into teams, and then the teams are given quests to fulfill, like producing a certain object or getting someone from the team to do something specific. The quests get more and more outlandish and embarrassing, and I swear it was so funny! ***CROWD ON THE CRUISE*** It was a Eastern Mediterranean cruise starting in Italy, so there were so many Italians on board. There was also a large crowd of Spanish speaking countries (Spain, Colombia). Some other European countries Scotland, Norway. Not as many Americans as I thought. I'm from Aruba and speaks several languages (English, Dutch, Spanish and Papiamento). I found it very hard to communicate with the Italians since many of them don't speak English at all. I had to speak Spanish, and than they would get what I was saying (kind of). But the people on our cruise were very young I would say. Lots of people aged 20-30. This was one of the best things for my brother/sister and I. We made so many new friends from our age group on this cruise. But if you only speak English, be prepared to use sign language or something. **CREW ONBOARD** 1 word. AMAZING! **ROOMS** We had two balcony rooms and they were great! I recommend getting a balcony. The bed I must say is kinda hard. It's not your 'Heavenly Bed' at the Marriott Hotel. We also had the 'sofa bed', but it's actually just a sofa. They literally just put 2 layers of sheets on it and it becomes a 'bed'. Extremely hard but yeah. I would imagine its not good for someone older with back pain or something. ***FOOD*** We mostly ate at the Windjammers Cafe. Free and buffet style. They have very simple food there. From the hamburger with french fries to the grilled fish and some sushi. There's def something for everybody there. We didn't try out the Johnny Rockets. Overall the food was good. At the dinners there were some fantastic items on the menu, except 2 nights. Thats it I guess. We all really loved this cruise and would definitely recommend it to anyone! Beautiful ports, amazing crowd onboard, great crew, good food, LOTS OF FUN! I'm looking forward to cruise again with Royal Caribbean! Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
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
Decided to do a Cruise for our Honeymoon, arrived in Rome a few days after the wedding absolutely exhausted.Wish we had been more prepared for the struggle to get to the boat, we took the train which was so hectic and full of thrives and ... Read More
Decided to do a Cruise for our Honeymoon, arrived in Rome a few days after the wedding absolutely exhausted.Wish we had been more prepared for the struggle to get to the boat, we took the train which was so hectic and full of thrives and gypsies trying to rip off foreigners. Waited at the platform for like 1 hr finally for the train to come, with no notice if it was the right train. No one would help us and nothing is clearly marked and no one can speak English. Finally arrived at the Port, almost being late for the boat and took a Taxi for 20 EUROS...Embarkment was a piece of cake as it was 3:50 by this point. Got on board very quick and our luggage was brought up within 30 mins. Cabin: We had a Junior Suite which we were very happy with , very big and lots of space. Food: The main dinning room had great food, we did my time dining but the waiters were so annoying. Only ate there 3 times the whole trip. We did room service every day for breakfast was always on time and pretty good. Only complaint the portion sizes were pretty small. Wasn't very impressed with the Windjammer, first the location made us sea sick and it was always packed and not very clean. Food was okay but nothing special.Activities: didn't do any as was either not feeling well from the waves or exhausted from the excursionsSpa: Our travel agent gave us a 100.00 voucher so I had a massage, was very happy with everything :)Service: Pretty happy with all the services and help from everyone on boardShore Excursions: Did one in each port, and absolutely LOVED them. The Port of Calls is what made this trip not the actual cruise. Only compliant, to early and not enough time in location.Only MAJOR compliant: I had heard a Mediterranean cruise was a calm and relaxing time at sea. However the last night they decided to speed back and we had to lie in bed from 3pm to 5am when we docked. The water was so rough and we could barley stand :( It was also very windy the whole trip so no swimming or being out on the decks. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
We booked a trip on the Navigator of the Seas for 7 nights with a very nice destination to Eastern Mediterranean countries: Turkey, Greece and Italy-Sicily. The trip was amazing and we enjoyed every bit of it. The room we booked, was a ... Read More
We booked a trip on the Navigator of the Seas for 7 nights with a very nice destination to Eastern Mediterranean countries: Turkey, Greece and Italy-Sicily. The trip was amazing and we enjoyed every bit of it. The room we booked, was a deluxe double with balcony and it's very comfortable and has a good space, with shower room, closet, big bed, balcony, safe, vanity, TV and mini bar. If I was you and looking to book on he Navigator I would book a room with balcony, not an interior one, because you would really feel cornered, as people can see in your room if you're above the promenade area. You get a full service on the room, including free food and room nicely arranged (bed made twice a day). Every night we were coming back from dinner to find a nice surprise from our housekeeper - a towel folded animal puppet which looked very cute. The poolside is nice and comfortable and you have plenty of choice of sitting on different areas of the pool. Although in the very hot days, you should get to the pool quite early as it can get crowded and you won't find place in the sun that easily. There are plenty of hot tubs and you can always enjoy a dip in the warm comforting and bubbly water. I never waited for an empty spot in the hot tub, even in the crowded days at the pool. We like massages and spas in general and if you do as well, we totally recommend you to book some spa day in advance. You don't need to book before your cruise, there are spots all the time, but if you are specific about a certain day when you want to spa, then you should book online, in advance. If you're a couple get the couple's retreat massage plus Rasul...AMAZING! The shops on the ship have a variety of things you need from toiletries to bags and souvenirs, perfumes and make-up and other accessories you may need. The karaoke nights were very fun and we had a blast actually participating in some contests. The must do on the cruise is the Adult Quest, there is plenty of fun and you will laugh out loud! It's good to book some of the shore excursions in the first day of your cruise otherwise they get pretty full. If you don't want to book, you can always go on foot by yourself and enjoy the sights. It's also very good to have an account open on your room otherwise you'll need to walk around with cash on you all the time and there is only one ATM on board which runs outta cash quickly. Was very satisfied with the food quality and the amounts, an all you can eat breakfast, lunch, dinner at the Windjammer but an occasional fancy dinner at the Chops Grille, which was very nice. There are tons of choice of food and drink on board. Btw, the staff on the ship is impeccable and very nice, they really make you feel important. Overall this cruise line is a very nice choice and I can't wait to book my next one. We're looking at the moment at different options for the next year. Enjoy your cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
I booked my holiday through Trail Finders - Fantastic Value - 7 Night Eastern Med Cruise on Board RCI Navigator of the Seas. Inclusive Flights and hotel in Rome night before sailing. We got great value in our deal and paid less than 1900 ... Read More
I booked my holiday through Trail Finders - Fantastic Value - 7 Night Eastern Med Cruise on Board RCI Navigator of the Seas. Inclusive Flights and hotel in Rome night before sailing. We got great value in our deal and paid less than 1900 for the package. We upgraded our room to Promanade Room, Booked My Time Dining and Late Departure as additional extras with extra costings. We stayed in the Crowne Plaza St Peters Rome the Saturday night before Sailing. This hotel was outside the city, which was fine, a shuttle bus runs through out the day at different intervals to drop you into the city, this Im afraid does not run often enough for my liking. We took a taxi in as we did not want to waste our only day in Rome waiting for an hour for the bus. This cost us approx 15.00 euro( to give you an idea ). I found Rome to be pretty dirty in a lot of places, even though the historic element was beautiful, the city was very drab. The People I am afraid were not very friendly either. We hired a private transfer to the Port the next morning. We boarded Navigator Of the Seas very quickly which was pleasing. My first impression of the exteroir of the Ship was WOW HUGE...14 DECKS high. I found the Interior of the Ship extremely impressive, All areas totally spotless and clean, even the carpeted areas.Our stateroom, Promanade View: Lovely Clean Room with a fabulously comfortable bed. Lovely Clean Bathroom. Lots of Storage. Safe. Minibar. Tv with all guest information. Window facing down onto the prom, while an upgrade from an interior cabin, we did not spend too much time gawking out the window. It was handy because we could check out the queue at guest relations. My next Cruise I will book a balcony room. Our room attendent was highly attentive to us and wa practically waiting for us to exit the room so that he could clean TWICE a day!! What service. He always greeted us and was so friendly. All staff on board were so respectful and pleasant in all ways. The Dining room we were assigned to was Swan Lake - We had booked My Time Dining - which while handy as you can choose your dining time every evening, was more of a hindrance as we wanted to sit together every evening and not share tables, we had to compromise regarding time a few night, this is not a deal breaker though. We had a table at the window every night, and was beautiful. Service Staff were excellent, and food over all top notch. Only one night did we feel the standard slipped slightly and I think that was down to over filling the dining room at that particular time. We ate in Chops Restaurant (30.00 dollars per head), it was FABULOUS. We also ate in Portofino (20.00 dollars per head )it was great also, well worth splashing out for a bit of variety. We did not take part in the first formal night, although we felt the whole way through the cruise people dressed as they wished, whether formal or casual attire was the recommedation,most dressed how they pleased. The bars were fantastic on board, we drank at them all, but spent most time in the Sports Bar on the top deck 14, where we could catch the news on the tv as well as a little sport. Bela a romanian guy behind the bar was amazing and really kept us entertained every night we were there with lovely conversation. The nightclub was great also but we only went once. The shows seemed a bit drab to me, felt they all appealed to a very family orientated audience, while this is understandable, it would have been nice to have a comedian with some adult humour as well...Advertised comedian, was a juggler, while funny, it did get old after ten minutes of juggling and miming. The pool was always busy,as the weather was so good. The tours offered were brilliant, although leaning on the expensive side. We picked wisely and spent money where we only wanted to see something in particular. We chose to do the Taste of Sicily tour which we would really recomend as you get to go up to MT Etna and is very beautiful!! We mostly did hop on hop off tours everywhere else. We stopped in Sicily, Kusadasi, Crete, Athens and Back to Rome. There was a jam packed schedule of activities on the ship, parades, bingo, The casino...etc...You WILL NEVER BE BORED if you are willing to take part in something. I cannot endorse this holiday enough. There was a good mix of elderly, retirees, honeymooners, families and couples, to not feel isolated...Just Brilliant...I really admire the staff for their friendly approach and outlook to spending 7 months solid away from their families to work on board. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
I sailed on the Navigator of the Seas for my dads 60th Birthday last August. It was my first time cruising but my parents have done many and Royal Caribbean is their favorite. First Impressions I was astounded by the sheer size of ... Read More
I sailed on the Navigator of the Seas for my dads 60th Birthday last August. It was my first time cruising but my parents have done many and Royal Caribbean is their favorite. First Impressions I was astounded by the sheer size of the ship! It was a sight to behold when I seen it from the road high up Civitavecchia. I found the boarding procedure to be quite efficient and we where in our cabin around 20 mins after getting off the coach. The ship was clean and I had a nice wander around before heading to the windjammer for some lunch. The Cabin The cabin itself was small but there was a good use of space and it did not feel cramped. Our cabin attendants where really good and had no fault with them at all. The bathroom was also of ample size and suited our needs. I was a bit disappointed that we did not have an outside cabin but to be honest I actually didnt miss it. I spent so little time in the cabin that a window would have not been needed! Plus it was nice to emerge onto the deck and be surprised by the view of that days port! Food We used the windjammer for all our meals except one dinner on the 2nd formal night. I do not recall having a bad meal there at all! Sure I had some stuff I was trying for the 1st time that I did not like but that wasnt the fault of the staff!The food selection was very wide and appropriate to what port we where in, eg in athens we had some greek food. Every meal was great and I loved the massive glass windows given a panoramic view. Having breakfast looking out over a different port everyday and having dinner by sunset in the middle of the Med every night was an experience I will not soon forget. We also had the privilege to talk frequently with one of the head chefs, he was very happy to chat to us about the ports and food and he shared quite a few tips with us. On the 2nd formal night we decided to go to the MDR. The food was excellent and it was a nice change from the windjammer as it was completely different. However I would not chose to dine there every evening as the atmosphere was very different from the windjammer, and I would miss the views! If after all the food you remained hungry there was a snack bar on the Promenade which served sandwiches,pizza,cakes and biscuits late into the evening. Entertainment The entertainment was generally quite good, I especially enjoyed the ice show. There was one act, a juggler, he wasnt quite so good at times. Felt a bit sorry for him! But even that didnt detract from the overall good entertainment. Other Activities On the 2nd day before we arrived in Messina there was a short beginners crash guide to Italian in the schooner bar. That was quite good, was great to get some basics taught to you by an Italian! I tried the rock wall, that was a great experience as from up there I could see the volcano we where about to pass which I believe was Mt Stromboli. On the pool deck there was a bbq and also a sail away party with cakes and ice sculptures, dancing, live music and even a conga line around the pool! Staff and service The staff on board where all great, no exceptions. While chatting to the assistant at guest services it came up about my dad turning 60 during the crusie, and she arranged for a bucket of ice and champagne to be sent to the cabin on that day. The cabin attendant also found out about the birthday and actually bought my dad a t-shirt whilst we where in port! It was very kind of him and greatly appreciated by us. Excursions This is the only low point for me. I refused to pay the prices for the excursions they where charging. Messina - In messina we went for a lovely walk around the town. Athens - After doing my own research I organised a tour for my party around athens using the hop on hop off bus which was 20 euros each and included 2 routes, also a visit to the acropolis museum. We had a fantastic time doing this and loved the flexibility doing it that way gave us. If I recall correctly there was a cost of 45 dollars each for a 4hr tour which I do not feel is value for money. Kusadasi- This was a fantastic little port to explore on foot, none of us in the party were inclined to go further afield than the old town markets. Chania - This again was a fantastic town to explore on foot. We caught the shuttle bus from the port to the town and i think the cost was certainly less than 2 euros each. Overall we had a fantastic time and now I have caught the cruising bug and would not consider anything other than Royal Caribbean. I have since now book a 2 week Hawaiian cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas and look forward to the same WOW factor there! Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Because this was my first cruise, I can not compare it with other cruise lines ... I can however compare it with the many vacations I've taken over the years. Wow ... this by far has been the best vacation. The service was ... Read More
Because this was my first cruise, I can not compare it with other cruise lines ... I can however compare it with the many vacations I've taken over the years. Wow ... this by far has been the best vacation. The service was unparalleled. From the stateroom attendant to the wait staff we were catered at every opportunity. The check in process took a total of 5-7 minutes ... I kept thinking they missed something, but in fact they are incredibly organized. Booking the day tours in onboard was another 5-7 minutes to purchase and complete all four tours. Upon arrival at our stateroom we were greeted with incredible views from our balcony. The size of the room was more than adequate as we booked (D1) Superior balcony room on the 9th deck. A balcony room is a must as you will see many islands as you cruise through the Greek Isles. The food in both the main dinning room and windjammer were definitely worth writing home about. The kitchen staff did a wonderful job with selection and preparation of the many meals offered through the cruise. The day tours offered will leave you wanting more. Each guide was well versed in the history, culture and facts of each visited city. A must do for all. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
I am a 2nd time cruiser and my friend a first time cruiser. This is the 2nd time I have sailed with Royal Caribbean and will sail with them again. The ship was very big and plenty to do. I booked the whole fly and cruise deal with ... Read More
I am a 2nd time cruiser and my friend a first time cruiser. This is the 2nd time I have sailed with Royal Caribbean and will sail with them again. The ship was very big and plenty to do. I booked the whole fly and cruise deal with Royal Caribbean, this was easy, their website is extremely user friendly. The whole cruise including return flight from Heathrow to Rome was 625.00 for the week. This was great value for money and worth every penny. From the minute we checked in on our chartered flight at Heathrow, it was painless. BMI flight Rome, all on time, you collected your luggage, and handed over to the waiting Royal Caribbean staff, they then took care of our luggage and delivered this to the ship for you. We were then shown to our waiting coaches to take us to the ship, the transfer time to the port was 70 minutes. The guide on the tour gave us some local info on Rome and the surrounding areas. Embarkation onto the ship took no more than 10 mins, very professional, organised and a well oiled process. Onto the ship we went, and we were not disappointed, our Stateroom was nice, good size, very clean, the shower was amazing the water pressure was the best ever, our Stateroom attendant was Vic and he was very nice, and kept our room spotless, the work very hard and take pride in their jobs The ship had too many activities to mention, definitely a highlight was learning to make towel animals- life long skill now learnt. Outside area were great, although ship was almost full to capacity, no shortage of sunbeds etc. The food on board was plentiful, good quality and service was brilliant we ate twice in the formal dining areas on the formal nights (optional you do not have too)The service was great, and the quality was also great. We were on anytime dining and first time, we sat with four other people and had great conversation. We did not eat in the speciality restaurants as the food in the other areas was of such a good standard and variety. Entertainment, the shows were a dancing show, with professional ballroom dancers which was amazing, Abbamax tribute show- excellent, Emperors of Soul- brilliant, Ice Dance show, which was the amazing and the final show was called Now and Forever (mix of different Broadway shows) The shows were all very professional, and a very high standard. There was also a Love and Marriage show that was very very funny. Karaoke competition was also great fun. Final Parade down the Royal Promenade was a Circus show, this was the first time the crew had performed this. Costumes were great, a giant Nelly the Elephant and various other animals were amazing. What impressed me the most that all staff you were in contact with even passing in a corridor, spoke to you said Hi, were very pleasant and helpful. This was further highlighted that the cruise director Warren (in charge of entertainment) personally saying goodbye to you as we left the ship. Considering he must have only had around 5hrs sleep after the final Circus parade this was a very personal touch and a great way to end our cruise Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
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
Background: This was our first cruise. We are a family of 5. We were joined by my sister, another first-time cruising family of 5, and my parents who have been on a number of prior cruises on various lines. The children's ages ranges ... Read More
Background: This was our first cruise. We are a family of 5. We were joined by my sister, another first-time cruising family of 5, and my parents who have been on a number of prior cruises on various lines. The children's ages ranges from 3 to 12 and my mother was in a wheelchair. Embarkation: Awful queues after bag drop where the health forms are completed in an unventilated tent with no air conditioning, which was a horrible experience. Also full of Italians who don't know how to queue! But after that the security and check-in process was very quick and efficient. Stateroom: We were in one of the Family rooms which was excellent - very large, separate sleeping area for the two bunk beds and a curtain to separate off the double bed from the sofa bed. I'd thoroughly recommend this room to any family of 5 or 6. Dining: Breakfast/lunch: The buffet in the Windjammer was a nightmare on most days. It seats about 700 for a ship of 3,600 passengers. Impossible to get a table (not helped by couples sitting on the large circular tables) and people were eating standing at the edge of the buffets. After the first day we either ate at times to avoid the queues (depending on when the excursions left) or ate in the restaurant on the days at sea, which isn't the same as even though anything can be ordered it somehow doesn't tick the boxes like a buffet does. Having said that the quality and choice of food was fantastic. Dinner: We ate fixed dining on the first sitting. Food was of an exceptionally high quality on 6 of the 7 nights. Our two waiters couldn't have done more - friendly attentive service, lots of little extras for the children and ensured that we were well catered for as most of our party were vegetarian. Activities: Plenty to do, especially for the children, with the swimming pools, rock climbing wall, ice skating rink, roller blading, mini golf etc. The mini golf was terribly disappointing - a few obstacles in the holes would have made it far more interesting. My only complaint was that the ice rink was only open twice for general skating the whole week - what's the point of having an ice rink and hardly ever being able to use it? My other complaint was concerning the arcade, which was fine in itself. However one machine took $1.25 from our card but then didn't work. I asked three times for the money to be refunded to our card, and was promised on each occasion that the refund would appear, but it never did. Although $1.25 is not a lot of money it was annoying to be promised something only to be let down. Children's Club: Disappointing. The range of activities was generally poor and the staff didn't seem so interested in the children. The activities in the 2 to 5 year old's club were mainly sticking, colouring and watching TV - something that can easily be done in the stateroom. Our three year old refused to go back again. After hearing from seasoned cruisers how amazing the children's clubs activities are we were disappointed. Service: on the whole fantastic. The waiters really excelled themselves and it was really only the table cleaners in the Windjammer that weren't so friendly. However we did have one cause to complain. At every opportunity you feel RCI are trying to sell you something or make money out of you. That's fine in itself. But when we left the ship in Athens (with someone in a wheelchair) we asked the people taking photos where to go and they said they'd only help us if we agreed to have our photo taken (which we didn't want). They then sent us to a building 100m away which was locked - it turned out we were supposed to wait for a bus. Back on the ship we complained to deaf ears - not even a hint of an apology. Entertainment: Mixed. Three great shows (Beatles review, ice skating and a street artist),one awful show (West End musicals review) and two uninteresting shows (Italian singer and ballroom dancing). No show on the first evening if eating at the first sitting which was also hugely disappointing. The cruise director (in charge of entertainment), a certain Warren Allen, was rude and awful. The evening ice show turned out to be the same as one the previous afternoon but this was never explained on the cruise compass (daily activity planner). That wasn't great as we had to sit there with the kids for over half an hour just to secure seats. When I asked the cruise director why it was the same show he reasonably explained that the ice rink only seats 700 so they need to repeat the show 4 times so everyone can see it. Fair enough. But when I asked why this wasn't explained on the cruise compass he told me it was. I still have the cruise compass and it wasn't. When I told him it wasn't he accused me of lying. All I was hoping for was an apology! Not the standard of serviceI expected. Excursions: Too expensive - we arranged our own. Disembarkation: Very efficient. We managed to leave 15 minutes before our allotted time. Luggage was easy to locate. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
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
We've just come back from our first ever cruise, 7 nights on the RCI Navigator of the seas cruising the Eastern Med from Civitavecchia, 2 adults and 2 teenagers. We wanted to visit Athens so the choice of cruise line and ship was ... Read More
We've just come back from our first ever cruise, 7 nights on the RCI Navigator of the seas cruising the Eastern Med from Civitavecchia, 2 adults and 2 teenagers. We wanted to visit Athens so the choice of cruise line and ship was largely dictated by that although RCI got better reviews than MSC so we went with them. Made our own flight arrangements with Alitalia from Heathrow to Fiumicino, got 23kg luggage each and able to prebook seats, at no extra charge Easyjet! Then we had booked a transfer with Bobs Limos, now a note here, give them the flight arrival time don't make an allowance yourself for the time it will take you to get through customs/baggage collection, I did the latter and we had a fraught 45 min wait but anyway van duly arrived and transferred us straight to the ship. The drive was er interesting there was a lot of gesticulating and use of the horn but I think that a, this is standard roman driving and b, it was largely friendly between the taxi driving community. We didn't know what to expect at check in, the van driver knew where he was going and had found us a porter, unloaded our luggage which was then instantly whisked away by the porter before I even had time to sort myself out to tip him. Considering that later we found the ship was full we thought that check in went fast, we were probably queuing in the marquee for ½ hour and there was free fruit punch and cookies available. Onto the ship. Found our stateroom with no trouble, 7692 at the back, recommended by other reviewers and we were very happy. Initially the bed was made up wrong we wanted it split as 2 singles but a quick call to our attendant and when we returned from exploring the ship it had been corrected. A couple of other minor niggles but again as soon as mentioned to our stateroom attendant they were quickly rectified. We trotted down to the windjammer self service restaurant for lunch and it was busy but really what do you expect with so many people boarding at the same time, still managed to get a table for 4 without too much difficulty. I can't comment on organised excursions as we did our own thing but here's a quick port review. Messina; didn't expect much here, but pleasantly surprised, you walk straight off the boat into the town. Great ice cream, but then this is Italy, and don't miss the cathedral clock at mid day its statues are animated, it roars, crows and also plays Ave Maria, trust me it is more impressive than my description. Athens; you get a courtesy bus, probably depending on where the ship docks, to the customs and unless you are on a tour you are on your own. I was planning to take a metro to the centre of Athens but we realised that we were further away from the Piraeus metro station than I expected so we found the tourist info hut at the port and they told us which buses you could take to the metro stop. Couldn't find a ticket vendor the Piraeus end so we fare dodged on the bus, not intentionally I add. The trip on the metro was uneventful although seemed to take forever; one change took us to Acropoli station. The Acropolis was heaving, they made us wait in places on the approach I should imagine to avoid it becoming a total log jam and as other reviewers have mentioned it is slippery, you are walking on uneven marble on a slope in places. Athens is a strange mix of great history and terrible 70's architecture, it is certainly no Rome. We took the same route back to the ship but this time we had found the yellow bus ticket kiosk outside the metro station at Piraeus. Kusadasi; my wife was not looking forward to Turkey, but I wanted to go to Ephesus so had hired a car. At Kusadasi we walked straight from the boat through customs into the town. There is a tourist information office right outside the port, I was confused by Turkish addresses but they sorted me out. I had to walk through the bazaar to get to the hire company and it is a bit intimidating being accosted by shopkeepers but it wasn't as bad as we feared, we just weren't used to it. It is an experience and it can't have been that bad as we went wandering through the bazaar again when we got back from Ephesus. Ephesus was certainly worth seeing but be aware once you are in the site there is nowhere to get a drink until you get back to the stalls/shops at the entrance so in summer take plenty of water, it is bigger than you think! When we were there a small re-enactment was put on for tourists financed by some of the cruise lines/tourist board. We thought it OK but one of the children of our colonial brethren was heard to comment "is that it, that's rubbish" obviously more accustomed to a Disney parade. Personally in hindsight I wouldn't have bothered getting Turkish Lira, we did but everywhere except the entry at Ephesus was priced in Euros and I should imagine they would have taken them too. Chania (Souda) Crete; First off be advised the ship docks at Souda. Chania is the other side of the promontory and not walkable. Assuming that you want to go to Chania, when you get off the ship there is a ticket booth for a local transfer bus. I obviously hadn't done my homework here so just followed everyone else. When you get off the bus in the town centre look for the tourist information hut, we didn't spot this initially and wandered around for 40 minutes but we found some good ice cream. Anyway the tourist info office will tell you where to go through the market to the harbour/lighthouse. The Market is very good especially for leather, very cheap but I suspect that like Turkey the branded goods may not be genuine ;-) Back on the bus from the same stop to the ship, the trip takes around 20-30 minutes. If we hadn't wandered aimlessly around to start we might have had time for a short boat trip from the harbour which you can get. They do snorkeling too. Civitavecchia; disembarkation was very slick, cases packed and collected from outside the room the night before and we picked them up from the dock at our allotted time after breakfast, which ranged from 6.45-9.45. For the return we had decided to take the train back to Rome drop the cases at Termini to wander the city for a few hours. The cruise line had organised buses to take you and luggage to the port entrance if you did not have your own transport organised or use their transfer to the city or airport. At the entrance there were plenty of offers of taxis but we found a train ticket office and brought tickets for the regional to Termini and then onto the dedicated Fiumicino express. The rail station was a 10 minute walk from where we were dropped off, straight along the boulevard, easy. Got into Termini, found the baggage check downstairs, a fair walk and a long queue, and left cases, 4 Euro ea for 5 hours. Picked up luggage and took Fiumicino express, even longer trek to find train and then platform not as originally shown. Now I like Italy so don't get me wrong here but who thinks it is clever to put a train on a dedicated airport run that requires you to get up about 4 narrow steps at the door with your luggage and then drag it down a narrow corridor to the luggage racks? Come on guys get your act together! Anyway back to the Navigator OTS. We ate breakfast in the main restaurant every day apart from one and the staff were always brilliant, I couldn't fault the choice although one day there was a chocolate theme which I imagine was aimed at children as who else could cope with so much chocolate at that time of day? But even this day the usual options were available. Breakfast was only served in the Nutcracker on deck 3 not that that was a problem. We had elected for my time dining to avoid being tied and we were assigned to the Swan Lake Restaurant on Deck 5. Despite being my time we never managed to get a time between 7-9 it was always full/blocked out. The first night ended up at 9.30 after that we took the latest between 6.30-6.45 which worked OK. On this trip my time dining in the main dining room was only available in Swan Lake. Our waiter and assistant waiter were great, took the trouble to learn our children's names and our preferences, thank you Mihai, Eldon, we all had a thoroughly enjoyable time. The only time we didn't eat breakfast in the main dining room was because we wanted to use the whirlpools before they got busy. This gave us the opportunity to see our fellow guests trotting up, choosing the best loungers, planting their towels and then cluttering off for the next few hours. I would have given them the benefit of the doubt if it had only been an hour as they could have gone to breakfast but we were in the tub, went to breakfast in the windjammer and came back and the towel clad loungers were still sans occupants. Oh one thing I didn't know, you don't need your own towels for the loungers you just pick them up and return/change them on deck 11. A couple of other things, the shows, we saw 3, Mario D'Andrea, guitarist, Now & Forever, songs from musicals, and the Ice dancing Spectacular. We thought all were very good, in 50 minutes on a cruise liner you aren't going to get the Phantom of the Opera. I don't mean to come over gushing and I'm not and RCI employee so negatives, well, Mum & Dad got the sofa bed, that must be one of the most uncomfortable sofa beds ever made, come on RCI get a decent one, I've slept on more comfortable floors. Could have done with more information about the ports, we were given rudimentary information and maps, they were definitely steering you towards their excursions. They'll try to flog you mineral water to take ashore "you may get charged up to 20 Euros for mineral water ashore", right, only if you're an idiot, I never paid more than 2 Euro for 1.5litre ashore. The only night the restaurant team seemed pressurised was the last night which we assumed was because more people used the main restaurant on the last night. So be aware, book your table early and be considerate, don't hog that table when you've finished your meal they need it. Finally smoking, was allowed on deck and on the balcony which for me was a negative, not so if you are a smoker. So for anyone interested that possibly hasn't cruised before I hope I have given you some enlightenment. Be aware we have nothing to compare this cruise to but we were happy. We went geared up for seasickness and never opened the boxes, this is a big ship and very stable although to be fair the weather was very good, one night we went for a walk on deck after dinner and only knew it was windy when we opened the doors to be blown across the deck before retreating inside again. All of the crew we came into contact with were always very helpful and friendly indeed couldn't do enough for you. Before we went I was apprehensive, didn't know if it was me but having taken the plunge would I do it again, yes without hesitation. With RCI yes but not exclusively, I just want a balcony. First thing in the morning getting out of bed in your pyjamas and walking onto your balcony to see where in the world you are is fantastic. We've just got to decide where we want to go. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
So we had 3 weeks booked and we had decided we were going to Italy, my girlfriend began mentioning going to visit Greece as well so we began looking at ferries and whatnot. Turns out they can be rather complicated. Not sure how we decided, ... Read More
So we had 3 weeks booked and we had decided we were going to Italy, my girlfriend began mentioning going to visit Greece as well so we began looking at ferries and whatnot. Turns out they can be rather complicated. Not sure how we decided, but we began looking at cruises that would stop there. We found that the Navigator was going to not one but two ports there AND going on to Turkey then Egypt (both dream destinations). The price was confusing, as when we began looking, inside cabins were the same price as outside cabins, we dragged out feet and did not book right away, and the outside rooms went up by $1,000.00. Once the price jump happened we got our room right away before the price went up again. We headed to the port, then had to put up with way more people than there were buses for at the gate to the Civetavecchia Port. Royal Caribbean really needs to correct the shuttle bus situation, as it was a bad way to begin the cruise. We eventually made it to the disembarkation tent, then onto the boat. Wow it was big, being that I've never been on a cruise I was not sure what to expect, but this boat was bigger than aircraft carriers I have visited. The staff were all very friendly, the only ones who did not smile and greet us were the work men (there was ongoing work being done to resurface several areas, and wow did they ever make deck 4 smell like paint thinner). I would imagine the workers are not staff, because any of the rest of the staff went out of their way to greet you. The room we had was really tiny, but well laid out, it seemed there was a place for everything, even the bed was set up so you could put your luggage underneath. Our cabin attendant was nice, although on the first day of he cruise she left us the cruise compass (the daily what's going on guide) in Dutch because she saw we were from Canada lol. I can assure you I have never heard any Dutch spoken here, and once we assured her that we spoke perfect English the correct version of the compass was brought. The food onboard was good, we never went to the Main Dining Room because we preferred the relaxed atmosphere and dress code. The few times we looked at the menu offered we noticed it was almost the same as the buffet (the Windjammer). My biggest criticism of the buffet was that the food was almost the same every day for 12 days. We ordered room service a few times and it was always fast and hot. In all the food was very good, just not enough variety. We saw the shows a few nights in the Main Theatre and really enjoyed them (a Beatles Tribute, a Frankie Valli Tribute, etc) Enjoyed the ice show, but you really need to get to the rink early as it fills up fast. Took advantage of the adults only pool (oh my gosh it was cold!) and the hot tubs, both were nice, although with 3,000 people onboard you almost need more, things got very busy on sea days. The port selection was really good, although Messina is a bit of a waste of time (we didn't get there until 2:00, and all the stores were closed until 4:00) although some did do an excursion to Etna from there, so other than that I am not sure why we even ported there. In all though, this was our first cruise, and we both really enjoyed it and hope to do it again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
We took this cruise with RCI to the eastern Med and Egypt and were not disappointed... we had a wonderful time and can't wait to our next time! The ship was well laid out and very clean. We never had long to wait for the lifts ... Read More
We took this cruise with RCI to the eastern Med and Egypt and were not disappointed... we had a wonderful time and can't wait to our next time! The ship was well laid out and very clean. We never had long to wait for the lifts (elevators) and found the promenade, theatres, lounges and bars to be immaculately decorated and comfortable throughout. Our cabin attendant Josie was incredibly friendly and so hard working... she deserves a raise for sure and was a credit to both herself and RCI. The entertainment was generally good and at times very good. I was appalled to see some guests walk out on some of the performers at times after only a few minutes... their loss! We opted for My Time Dining which gave us greater flexibility with to regards to when we ate. We never made a reservation and never had to wait more than two minutes to be seated. We were a little disappointed by quality of the steaks served for dinner (I suspect the quality meat was kept for Chops Grill which had a $25 cover charge!), we found them to be quite 'stringy' and gave up after a couple of nights and instead opted for the chef's recommendations which were usually good. We took breakfast in the Windjammer most mornings (buffet style) and their was always a wide choice of good quality fare on offer. We also enjoyed a relaxing coffee (Seattle's Best) with sandwich or cake in the Promenade Cafe most days too. The only reason I deduct a mark for the dining experience was the because of the steaks... surely this could easily be resolved! We took RCI shore excursions at all ports bar Rhodes Town. These were generally good value and well organised if a tad expensive. See below for comments on each port. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth and really quite painless. Hats off to RCI for this as there were over 3000 guests on-board! Being from Northern England, we were keen to take advantage of the wonderful sunny weather and never had problems in finding sun loungers; the towel exchange facility worked well too. If you enjoy more than just the odd glass of wine, beware! RCI must be one of the most expensive purveyors of wines... the cheapest glass we saw was in the $8-9 range with bottles costing $30+. Cocktail of the day was $6.95 plus 15% gratuity with typical cocktails costing around $8-9 plus gratuity. We opted for the Soda Package which was great value for money but did enjoy our fair share of cocktails too ;-) Would I do this again? In a heartbeat! Would I cruise with RCI again, yes, I would... the staff worked tirelessly to ensure the guests had friendly and first rate service and I can't thank them enough for ensuring our Silver Wedding Anniversary was a memorable experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
Navigator of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.3
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.5 4.2

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