40 Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Cruise Reviews for First-Time Cruisers Cruises to Caribbean - Western

This was my first cruise and I was pleasantly surprised. Embarkation was simple and there were plenty of staff to guide us in the right direction. It was me and my mom and we are both very afraid of water. Once we were on the boat, ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I was pleasantly surprised. Embarkation was simple and there were plenty of staff to guide us in the right direction. It was me and my mom and we are both very afraid of water. Once we were on the boat, however, it was easy to forget we were not on land. The staff was very friendly and always making sure we were enjoying ourselves. The rooms were small but had everything you could ever need and had plenty of storage. The shows were entertaining but I wish they had more shows available during the daytime/afternoon on the "at sea" days. My favorite shows were the comedians and the "love and marriage" show was hilarious. The boat was a bit rocky the last two days of the cruise and I did have to take Dramamine one day but was surprised I did not need it more since I tend to get motion sick easily. The food in the dining room was very good and the service was excellent. I was not a huge fan of the food at the buffet (Windjammer) but I am not typically a fan of buffet style food to begin with. There was a snack bar that was open 24/7 that provided pizza, fruit, small sandwiches, and desserts. This was my favorite area and I enjoyed trying the different options they provided each day. My mom is gluten intolerant and there was a gluten free section at the buffet and gluten free options at the dinning room. The ship had several lounging areas where you could sunbathe or look out over the water and/or pool areas. These areas were a bit overwhelming since people would save their lounge chairs with bags and towels. Very few people were actually lounging around but it was almost impossible to find seats due to the "saving seats" problem (even though signs said you could not do that, no one was enforcing it). That was probably my least favorite part. There was a rock climbing wall that was a lot of fun and a surfing simulator that was fun to watch (I did not participate). The ports were interesting and a lot of fun. The Bahamas was a bit overwhelming with the locals yelling at you to take a taxi or buy their products. Way too much "salesman pressure". I could not just look and enjoy like some other places I have been too. Because of this, I ended up avoiding those areas and not buying much. The tour was ok in the Bahamas. We did a city tour that advertised itself as visiting a rum cake factory, the queens staircase, the governors house, a rum distillery and ending with a fish fry on the beach. The rum cake factory was a store with free samples (delicious but crowded), the queens staircase was the best part with lots of history told to us by a local, the distillery was interesting but a bit chaotic (normally a self guided tour with a sample of pina colada by the door, we actually got a tour guide for ours), and the fish fry on the beach was actually the name of a bar/restaurant that was near a beach and if we wanted food we had to order it off the menu and pay extra. The tour guide on the bus was great but the tour itself was misleading. The excursion we did in Cozumel was amazing. The tour guide was excellent and spent over an hour giving us a tour of the ruins on the island. We then went to a chocolate factory and saw a demonstration on making Mayan chocolate. This tour was the best part of the trip. We also did an excursion in Miami on a Hop-on-Hop-off Big Bus tour. We did not get off the bus but we had plenty of time to do two different routes through the city and got very lucky with another excellent tour guide. The transfer to the airport was not very well done. The bus was late getting to the airport and I believe many with earlier departures missed their flights. They dropped everyone off in a back area and left us all to fend for ourselves. Luckily, I fly 4-6 times a year and know my way around an airport so we did not miss our flight, but we were close. If you do a post-cruise excursion I would recommend taking a later flight (4pm or later, with the boat getting to shore before 8am). Overall, I enjoyed the cruise and I would definitely recommend Royal Caribbean to others. While I will not be going on a cruise every six months like some of the people we met, I would definitely consider doing one again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Overall: We took the Navigator of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) to the Western Caribbean: Coco Cay, Cozumel, Grand Cayman starting November 22nd, 2015. We had about 25 family members, and I was travelling with my wife and three kids staying ... Read More
Overall: We took the Navigator of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) to the Western Caribbean: Coco Cay, Cozumel, Grand Cayman starting November 22nd, 2015. We had about 25 family members, and I was travelling with my wife and three kids staying in two staterooms (#9358, #9360). Apparently there are hard-core crusiers whose loyalty approaches religious ferver and then there is everyone else. So after my first cruise I fall squarely into the ‘non cruiser’ camp. The constant upselling, the rampant waiting in lines even after paying for ‘premium’ services, and the lack of any luxury put me into the ‘not a fan’ group. That said, my room was reasonable and clean, many of the crew tried hard, and as a family we had several amazing memories… though these were made because we were together, not because of the cruise. It strikes me that cruiselines have to cut prices so much because of competition that they basically lose money on the cabins, and have to recoup it during the cruise. The constant barrage of up-selling and add-ons is really wearying, makes the cruise unpleasant and ugly, and is really noticeable. It removes any romance or luxury from what is really an amazing boat sailing to wonderful places, so just considering the environment, it is telling that they cause you to forget about the sunsets and beautiful water and focus on them. I’d rate the experience as about a 3.5 out of 10. I should note, generally speaking I prefer exclusivity (and am more than willing and able to pay). I had wanted to upgrade to a suite, but as the room was a gift from in-laws, I didn’t want to disrespect anyone or break up the group. I believe we paid about $2700 per room (x2) plus 18% tipping ($1000), in addition to the $500 airfare (x5), and a hotel rooms in Fort Lauderdale of about $150 (x2). For that we had $500 in room credit, but with various drinks, dinners, excursions were out another $1000. So the total cost was about $10,500 for a family of 5 for a week. Of note: on the first day, I tipped the room steward $40, and two bartenders $20. I also tipped our 2 dining room attendants another $120 at the end of the week. The good: As many of my comments are negative, let me start with the positive. I hope I’m being balanced and fair, but also giving you insight as to what to expect without any particular axe to grind: • The room (Balcony Stateroom) was clean and efficient. It was a bit sparse, but highly utilitarian. The steward, Rolly, was unobtrusive, and kept the room very clean, organized, and in towels. That said it was an aluminum box without anything special. • Another high-spot was our dining room waiter: Apurv (“AP”). AP was funny, engaged, and able to follow through on bringing a cake to my daughter on her birthday (please note: I tipped heavily and paid for the cake). He was also able to handle the various family members coming and going, and a grandmother who was a bit neurotic. Many kudos to him. • The ship itself is a marvel. I enjoyed walking around and see every floor, every bar, every restaurant and shop. It was pretty cool. • Finally during an excessive line (more on this) a housecleaning woman, Elena B, who had no business helping us, stopped, asked what the issue was, and then stayed with us (and about 20 others) who were waiting. This is spite that it wasn’t her issue and she could have ignored us – as most of the staff were doing. Many kudos to her. And now onto the not-so-good: • Service. Service is horrible, generally speaking. After not buying a drink package, I quickly bought the most expensive option as service was so poor, I figured I need to get the special sticker for attention. I could not be more wrong. Bartenders seemingly slow roll everything, and the constant need to check (and recheck) your ‘seapass’ is maddeningly inefficient. There were times I would wait 20 minutes to get a drink – in spite of having only 2 people in front of me. This has to be a corporate decision as there are never more than 2 bartenders working even at hugely crowded hours (e.g. 1 PM during a cruising day). I went so far as to tip two different bartenders $20 and asked them to remember me, which improved service, but this was on top of paying $67/day for any drink. Also if you just want water or a soda… you have to wait in line. Christ on a stick! I paid, I understand 8 other people who also paid want Pina Coladas. Couldn’t their just be a vending machine where I could insert my card and get a drink/water (there are two hidden machines in the WindJammer, BTW, and so I often resorted to walking up 7 or 8 decks from whatever I was doing to get a diet coke, or water). • Excursions. I scuba dive, with my son. I had to register with the desk. Each time the line was 20-25 people deep. Finally at the last minute (4 PM the day before) I got to the desk at 3:45 and was only #3 in line, so I waited. And waited. And waited. After the line grew to more than 25, I started asking people at customer service. I went to the phone and starting calling various service people. All to no avail. The people at customer service (who were equally besieged) had no interest in helping us. Only when a housecleaning person, Elena B, saw me trying to start the computers and mockingly making announcements to the amusement of those in line, did she come over and ask what was wrong. She called a Manager, and after about 5 minutes, the person “Melanie” came to the desk @ 4:32 (32 minutes late). Instead of apologizing she yelled at us for not having an orderly line to the side. I haven’t been much tempted to punch a service employee as they have incredibly onerous jobs, but this was one time I almost changed my policy and essentially decided Royal Caribbean could ‘suck it’. Even then, just as illustration, it was 4:50 before I was helped for a 3 minute thing. Seriously. I had to wait in line for an hour, just to do something that should have all been done ahead of time (The cruise will say they need to see my PADI card, etc… but we had to fill out all of this information AGAIN – for the 3rd time—at the dive shop). o Incidentally, the diving in Cozumel was wonderful. In spite of a 50 minute ride in some heavy chop to pick up a random hotel passenger, the 14 of us had 2 excellent guides, and some really excellent cave and drift dives. • Tendering. In Grand Cayman we got a tender ticket. The process was horrible. Long lines (45 minutes) just to get off the boat, and from the time I left my room to the dock was just over 1 hour 30 minutes. Again, I get there are lines. But Royal Caribbean clearly knows that 4000 people want to go ashore, but have only 2 doors to get people off and away. My advice: avoid any cruise/port where you have to tender. I’m on vacation to relax, have a drink, soak in some sun. Not wait in lines for Royal Caribbean to get their act together. • Guest Services. We asked for our 2nd stateroom to be decorated on Thursday as it was our daughter’s birthday. It never happened, and hey wires get crossed, and even without said decorations she had a memorable day (again in part thanks to AP, the dining steward). So we paid for it ($47?) and got nothing. My wife tried to go to the Guest Services desk several times but the line was so long, she gave up. Finally on the last day she called (rather than stand in line) and the woman’s reaction was “Why didn’t you tell us?!” While I don’t think she meant to blame the customer, our response essentially, but much more politely should be interpreted “because your lines are so horribly long and inefficient that we’d rather bask in the sun than stand in your lines!” Ultimately we got the amount refunded, but I didn’t appreciate the attitude (which I heard twice, per above). • Royal Caribbean’s cheapness I’m an MBA and I well understand queuing theory. I also own my own company and well understand costs. But Royal Caribbean took it to parsimonious levels. For instance there is no shampoo in the rooms. Not a big deal, I have my own, but I noticed as I started to suspect that Royal Caribbean was desperately trying to maximize profits. Even things like pens, which you find in every hotel room, became conspicuously absent. When I noticed that they were closing bars, and never really had enough people to service people, I realized Royal Carribean wasn’t trying to supply an amazing experience but rather had sophisticated cost containment strategies in place, and were willing to sustain long queues, angry customers, and knew that people will endure frustration rather than complain. You should realize this when you book. It’s not immoral, but it is annoying. o Consider the picture ‘package’. They want $147 for 10 pictures, $250 for 20, and ultimately $417 for all pictures. That’s fine, if ridiculous, but they have signs everywhere saying ‘no cameras’ e.g. in the kids area, rock wall, etc… o Pro tip: If you are travelling in a group use 1 cabin number and just pay the $400+ and get all the pictures. • Excursions. Simply stated: Book your excursions on shore. The markups RC charge are ridiculous and again, I suspect, due to their need to recoup in other areas. The one advantage is that if you buy an RC excursion on tender days, you can go to the front of the line. Again, the implication being that if you buy through them, you can get reasonable service levels. o Pro Tip: Heck you can follow the Royal Caribbean people to the excursion and do it yourself for $100s less. And there are always numerous people on shore, just past the end of Royal Caribbean’s area who will offer many more things, usually for 25-33% less. o The Chica Itzen tour. Our boat was late leaving Cozumel as a family was late by 40 minutes returning from an RC excursion. Because of this (the ship waited for them) the captain blamed the family in announcing our late arrival into Grand Cayman… and ‘strong head winds’ (there were amazingly strong head winds). But what I found in talking to them was that Chica Itzen is 3 hours away, and so when you get there, RC says “you have 15 minutes” to explore something that people usually spend a full day at. The family said, “heck no, we’re going to explore for 45 minutes” with the result of being late. While I can certainly find fault with that family’s decision, RC too must bear some blame. And the captain using it as an excuse for our late arrival into Grand Cayman during that evening’s announcements (yet never going more than 16 KPH) seems petty and unfair. Again, I will let the circumstances speak for themselves, as this is conjecture on my part. • Wifi. My wife got the package because she wanted to continue with work, as she could. The wifi is operable… but s-l-o-w. It is frustratingly slow. Given that you can pay anywhere from $20-$40 / day, I would expect functional Wifi. o Recommendation: Don’t use the internet. You’ll be frustrated and it’ll just annoy you. Focus on your vacation. Also there are several shipboard terminals if you really need it. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Let me start off by saying that my boyfriend and I were first timers. I am a big-time researcher and planner when it comes to vacations and family trips and I read everything I could about cruising and I watched YouTube videos for tips and ... Read More
Let me start off by saying that my boyfriend and I were first timers. I am a big-time researcher and planner when it comes to vacations and family trips and I read everything I could about cruising and I watched YouTube videos for tips and hints for months before the trip. This post is going to include tips that I did not read about (even though you may have). So if you want to stop reading now, know that I absolutely LOVED my experience on the Navigator and I can't wait to book next year's trip! Day 1 We stayed at the Hilton FL Marina which was good enough for one night. They had a shuttle service they used named Quick & Safe Transportation. They were very unprofessional when I tried to book my trip from the airport to the hotel. We ended up taking a taxi instead (about $25). They had a table at the hotel the day of our departure to take the guests to the various ships at Port Everglades for $6pp via shuttle bus. It was pouring raining so as luck would have it, the Navigator was the 4th of 5 stops. The entire trip took 45 minutes (we got on at 1:45p) because of the rain and there was MUCH traffic heading to all of the ships (6 in port in total). We arrived close to the ship and dropped our luggage with the porters in an outdoor, covered area however a passenger later informed us that his wife's luggage was soaked and she had to hang out most of her clothes to dry. My recommendation is that if it's raining, cover the inside of your luggage with plastic trash bags. Ours was fine however. We then went inside and waited in line (think Disneyland corrals) for about 15 minutes for the first security check-in, then 10 minutes to the counter. Since it was 2:30p when we arrived, I'm guessing it was quicker than those that got there first thing. At the counter, we then had to show our Passports, fill out a form stating whether we were ill, had our photo taken and SeaPass card given to us. On the way to the ship (after an escalator or 2) we had our official boarding photo taken. After that we boarded. Our room was ready (as evidenced by our key working) but the luggage did not arrive until after 5p. Day 2 We spent the day at sea. I read that you should get the Ice Show tickets on the first day but they were only distributed from 3:30-4:30p outside Studio B so I went to the Guest Services desk at 11a on this day. The tickets were all lined up on the counter for the various shows, you just had to select which time you wanted. Breakfast is over in the Windjammer at 11a. Lastly the World's Sexiest Man by the pool was a lot of fun. A 50-something year old beat out the young guys! Day 3 On the day before the Captain announced that the CoCoCay port was cancelled because of the poor weather making it difficult to tender (taking a smaller boat to land) so Costa Maya, Mexico was to be our new port. They sent a list of excursions that could be purchased on your television or at Guest Services but since I did not get a chance to do any research, I declined. They refunded RCI CoCoCay excursions of course. If you purchased a non-RCI excursion you were on your own. We hadn't purchased any. There was no tendering necessary and there was a trolley-like bus taking guests down the pier. At each port an RCI staffer has a station to take photos in front of the ship so you can view them later but we declined. I did not enjoy the Costa Maya port. It is still developing and there was construction going on. You could see a waterpark from the boat and our cabin neighbor said they rented a golf cart and drove around to see the sights. We just shopped for souvenirs. There is a bar and a pool, and a beach, but it wasn't a nice or big beach. More like something you'd see at a river. After our shopping, we went back to the ship for lunch and never came back. We finally went to the Main Dining Room this night (My Time Dining). Our table was 660 and our servers were Bovino and Anecito. They were great and brought us extra appetizers, an extra entre to try and an extra dessert. Day 4 Tendering was also not necessary for Cozumel, which was far more modern than Costa Maya. We did the Dolphin Push, Pull & Swim at Chankanaab Park. After checking in at the pier, and a 15 min wait, we piled into taxi vans for about a 15 min drive. Not only was this excursion the highlight of my trip, the park also had free Wi-Fi! I will post more on the excursion under the excursions review but let me say this...haggle, haggle, haggle for the photos if you do this. They ARE willing to make a deal. We ended up getting almost an 80% discount off the first price quoted. As for the Wi-Fi, if you have Google Hangouts on your cell phone, remember you will be able to make telephone or video calls using Wi-Fi. We did and it worked great! The shuttles returned to the port every hour so we left after the sea lion show because it began to rain. There are restaurants there, a coffee shop, and a zip line activity as well. Now here is the worse part of the trip. The ship was scheduled to leave at 3:30p. Once returning to our room (on the starboard side), we watched the people returning to ship. Every 10 minutes after 3:30 1 or 2 people would show up late...for 45 MINUTES!! Yes the boat left about 50 minutes after we were scheduled to be back. I thought boats left people! The only highlight to the experience was that about half the balconies on this side of the ship had people shouting down to the stragglers, whistling and clapping and booing (OK I was the booer). It must have been very embarrassing for those people but I cannot find any sympathy (more on that on Day 5). This night we attended the Ice Dancing and Love & Marriage shows which were awesome! I had read about the Ice Dancing and was not disappointed. It is a must-do. Being a novice I was curious how the L&M participants were chosen (I thought you had to sign up) but they are chosen from the audience. We also ate at the dining room on this night, which was the last time for us. Nothing against it. Our servers and the food was good. It was just faster/easier to eat at the Windjammer. Day 5--Thanksgiving We woke to the Captain's announcement that we were arriving to the port late due to headwinds and LATE ARRIVALS the day before so that meant possible less time at port. Also, tender tickets were available from 8-10:30a. To avoid the mad rush we lined up at 9:30a, waited a bit only to be told that tickets ran out and that we would have to wait until the Open Tender Call at around 12:30p. SERIOUSLY?! People with RCI excursions were allowed to get off without tender tickets, but if you had a non-RCI excursion you were out of luck. Luckily we didn't have any plans so we just ate and waited. Finally the call came at noon. The tender was comfortable (they have 2 levels and hold 300 pp) and it was a 15 min ride to shore. There were many taxi vans taking people to the various beaches so we took one for $5 to the Public Beach. I would not recommend this beach. It was very crowded. I've since read that Royal Palms Beach is the best. We went left of the beach instead of right (which looked more crowded) and found 2 lounge chairs and an umbrella so we set up camp in a less crowded area. About 15 mins later an older woman showed up and said there was a fee to sit in her chairs. We were skeptical at first but decided to pay. It was $10 for the umbrella and $5 per chair. It turns out she was sitting nearby so I guess she was monitoring her section of chairs. In the end it was worth it and the one time I didn't haggle. There were many rentals within an arms reach like jet-skis ($50), banana boat, climbing floats, and a floating trampoline. When leaving the lady actually helped us get a taxi van but there were plenty waiting to take people back to the port. Back at the pier there was plenty of shopping but only one place to buy alcohol (I don't drink but I was thinking of buying a souvenir). I felt very comfortable using my debit card in the shops, as I had only used cash before. There were very long lines waiting to get back to the various ships at port so be prepared. Also something to note, at Cozumel and George Town, the areas near the piers were gated off from the town. You had to show your SeaPass to come back to the port/shopping area. I guess this protects the passengers from possible criminal activity and the ships as well. On this night we did the Quest event which was the 2nd highlight to the trip. It's an adult (yes, ADULT) scavenger hunt type game. I don't want to give any spoilers, just trust me and GO. Day 6 This was a day at sea so I used this day to take photos of the ship that I didn't have already. It's also a good time to visit the Next Cruise office (need an appointment). I also picked up my official RCI photos. These were ridiculously expensive...$400+ for the grand package, so I just bought 2 photos for $20 each. There were deals in the shops (I purchased 2 watch/necklace/earring sets for $20 each). They called it "Black Friday" but I read that they already offered these deals on the last day. This day also featured the Belly Flop Contest at the pool which was fun. That evening the customs document and 3 luggage tags were left on our bed. Your luggage must be placed outside your cabin door by 11p so we packed instead of going to see the "adult comedian." Day 7 Our luggage tag indicated that we were a part of group 30 so we were scheduled to meet in the Metropolis Room on the 4th deck by 9:30a. After breakfast (which wasn't scaled back just because it was the last day), we arrived at 9:10a and were called at 9:20a. We showed our SeaPass card for the final time getting off the ship and were led back into the Port Everglades building to find our luggage. I had read that this could be unorganized but it wasn't that bad. There were clear numbers posted along the walls for the groups of luggage and #30 initially was not hard to find. The only problem is, only 1 of our bags was there, but I asked a porter and he showed us to where another #30 was posted, which had our other bag. Yes, that was odd. After that, you get in line for Customs, you show your Passport and you head out, which took about 15 mins in total. We found a taxi van that was heading to FLL airport and we paid $11pp. I'd say we got there at around 10:30a. Since our flight wasn't until 8:30p that night we had already reserved a rental car with Advantage for $33 so we picked it up (they're at the airport, not off-site like some of the other companies) and spent the day in South Beach, which was about a 35 min drive. We were thinking of a Ft. Lauderdale excursion but this was better. It was a place to keep our luggage and cheaper than all the excursions they offered. Plus I had never hung out in SoBe before so I got a chance to do it at my own pace, with my own transportation. General Tips -Do the Daily Trivia forms the library provides (about 6 themed trivia questions, Sudoku, and a word search) -Tip your attendant daily-on Day 2 I asked the Guest Services attendant to remove the $12/day tip because I wanted to do my own tipping. We actually are good tippers. We tipped $5/day our cabin attendant (plus a larger bonus at the end), $10/formal dining room server, $2 here and there for the Windjammer servers that took away our plates, and I even gave $5 on the final day to the poor guy that has to stand outside the Windjammer to dispense hand sanitizer. -If you use or know someone that uses a flat iron for hair, bring it to do a quick pressing out of wrinkles in your clothes -Not many do it but remember that food can be taken out of the Windjammer on plates -Lemonade is not available in the Promenade, only iced tea. And for a ship that leaves from the south, I was surprised they didn't offer pre-sweetened tea. -Keep your SeaPass out when returning to the ship. You may have to show it to get back into the port area, then again to go down the pier, and definitely to get onboard the ship. -When entering the ship, be prepared to have your glasses off for the identification scan, and your pockets empty, and your bags ready to be scanned to board again. Think airport except no need to remove your shoes. -Beverages in cups cannot be taken along the pier when heading back to the ship. We saw a few people rushing to finish their drinks. And obviously alcohol bottles purchased must be claimed. They return it to you on the last night. Don't try to smuggle it in your bag because I think the scanner can pick it up. -Fruit is not allowed to go off or go on the ship -I saw a few hats fly overboard so be careful -The washcloths are rough...just saying -My boyfriend insisted that I warn that the pillows are on the flat side. I was perfectly fine with them but it is my girlfriend duty to report this. Tips for Techies -Set up a Google Hangouts account for when free Wi-Fi is available. You can make calls using it without incurring cell phone charges -You do not need to turn off Airplane Mode to use your Wi-Fi but if you do, you will get a nice message from your cell company with a rate for your continued usage -The TV has HDMI ports and the standard A/V port (red/white/yellow) if you'd like to hook up a tablet to watch your own movies or your laptop -Remember to turn on the in-cabin announcement knob on your desk. Only the Captain's announcements can be heard in-room. Other announcements can be heard through speakers throughout the ship. -Google Wallet works on the ship but does not work internationally. We tried to pay for items at various ports and kept getting declined (luckily we had cash and credit cards). It wasn't until we tried to use the ATM at Chankanaab that we received a message that it could not be used overseas. OVERALL, I loved my experience on the Navigator but I admit I have nothing else to compare it to. I will also admit that I am not a picky person and don't set unreasonable expectations just because I'm spending a few dollars. I feel like I received first-class treatment but that's probably because I don't usually go first-class. If you are accustomed to that type of lifestyle and don't like this experience, maybe a luxury line is more your style. Have fun!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We like cruising. Our room was bigger than expected and the bathroom not surprisingly small but usable. Our room attendant Emmanuel was professional and kept our room very tidy. It was nice to always come back to a clean room. The main ... Read More
We like cruising. Our room was bigger than expected and the bathroom not surprisingly small but usable. Our room attendant Emmanuel was professional and kept our room very tidy. It was nice to always come back to a clean room. The main room was fine dining and wished I brought more formal dresses to wear for dinner. Our waiters Melvin and Rohan were very attentive. We made sure to get a table with them each night. Lot of activities to do and watch on the high seas. Our favorite excursion Tabyana Beach Break - white beaches, clear water, seeing different kinds of fishes when we snorkeled, lunch & light beverages included. Now we know the reason people love cruising. Same hotel & service everyday and wake up in a different city most days. Lessons learned. 1. Ask for more details when getting advice. We did not book an excursion in Cozumel and we got taken. Don't book an excursion in Cozumel, grab a taxi, etc. Spent $60 on a taxi trip to a small white beach full of drunk men. My husband and I were the only tourists and no visible taxis around (except the one we took). We immediately went back to our ship and stayed there. Our advice pay extra for the ship excursion when in Cozumel. 2. The excursion tickets have two times listed. Our Belize excursion tickets listed Meeting time 7:45 am and departing time 8:30 am. We arrived at the meeting place at 7:30 am. RC ship director started tendering groups at 7:45 but did not specify which time she was using. She was calling groups by time and we missed our time. Others also missed their call time. To RC's credit we got to go on different and cheaper excursion and RC refunded us the difference. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our first cruise & our honeymoon. We booked Royal Caribbean b/c we heard from others that it was the better ship to travel on since the rates were slightly higher there would be less children & people. We were also ... Read More
This was our first cruise & our honeymoon. We booked Royal Caribbean b/c we heard from others that it was the better ship to travel on since the rates were slightly higher there would be less children & people. We were also told that Royal Caribbean has better food than Carnival. Embarkation & Disembarkation both went smoothly. We didn't have long lines at embarkation (we got there within less than an hour of embarkation). Disembarkation could have moved a little bit quicker with more customs lines and/or better structured disembarkation. It seems they try to get everyone off the ship at the same time, with few customs lines to get through. The cabin was clean and quiet. Our attendant was very nice. The dining room food was amazing! Although, prior to sailing we were told that formal nights were not required to have full suits & ties, etc. While we did not dress like beach bums (we brought a polo shirt & slacks for my husband, and a nice semi-casual dress for me), we did not get to engage in those nights. Also, we will not be engaging in formal nights on Royal Caribbean in the future since my husband doesn't own a suit, didn't wear one to our wedding, and won't be wearing one to his own funeral. It is sad that it is like that for both nights since we do pay extra of our hard working money to sail on Royal Caribbean, but cannot enjoy the same amenities as everyone else while we are on vacation. The adult entertainment was lacking with only one show a night (which were usually great) & it wasn't good planning that the latest night show was scheduled when the earliest port day was the following morning. Also, nothing for adults to do on "at sea" days other than sit by the pool, which was boring. Hopefully with the new water slide my husband will be able to enjoy himself more on the "at sea" days. I would rather have more of the adult shows on the "at sea" days than on port days since those days wear you out anyway. We enjoyed the ports & learned after the first one that it is safer and not much more expensive to book through the cruise line. However, if you decide to do that, all of the good excursions book up quickly. You need to book online before the trip or on the first day after embarkation. While there was not much adult entertainment provided on the ship, the ship was clean and the service was great. We enjoyed trip and are going on another this fall on Royal Caribbean. This time, we are having a couple of friends join us for a kid-free vacation! Hopefully we will have more fun with a couple that we know. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Being in hospitality myself, it requires foundational customer service skills that are not reflected in Royal Caribbean's core values. I booked this cruise with two best friends to celebrate our 30th birthday. Although it seemed ... Read More
Being in hospitality myself, it requires foundational customer service skills that are not reflected in Royal Caribbean's core values. I booked this cruise with two best friends to celebrate our 30th birthday. Although it seemed hopeful, the booking process was relentlessly stressful and needless to say we will probably not be booking again. Our sales rep was helpful up until he made the sale. Once we made our deposit, he had disappeared without a trace. I left several voicemails as well as numerous emails with questions regarding our trip as I had been a first time cruiser. He never returned one voicemail or one email to this day. The final payment process became even more strenuous when we realized the due date to be paid in full was within the week. Regardless of the lack of help from our sales rep, we paid based on the invoice sent. The month before our sail date, I called him again to inquire about a shuttle from Houston airport to the Galveston port. I was met with quite the shock to find out that Royal Caribbean had decided to cancel our cruise due to a remaining balance. Immediately I pressed zero to speak to ANY representative in order to correct this horrible mistake. I had not received any cancellation notice via email and I was in complete horror that our vacation was canceled. After an hour of being transferred to at least 3 people, I learned that our sales rep had added a vacation protection plan which was Not included on the only invoice that he emailed me. Therefore, we never knew we had a remaining balance and were extremely frustrated how Royal Caribbean had handled our situation. Not once was there an apology but rather blame on the us, the customer, for not knowing. Finally after 90 minutes of pleading with the customer service department, I spoke with Geneva Harrison and Samantha Koomen who were both a breath of fresh air and the glimpse of hope that rescued our vacation. These 2 ladies exuded empathy by pausing to reflect our feeling of distress and offered a solution. Although it wasn't ideal, they were able to apply our penalty to the cruise originally booked and I paid the difference in full over the phone. We couldn't get the original price so I paid the rack rate. The additional amount of money spent could have paid for a second cruise however I was completely grateful for the two women that owned the situation and were willing to come up with a recovery solution. These two individuals should be recognized for their distinct skill set that includes positivity, empathy, patience and professionalism which defines customer service. We were anxious as our sail date approached; hoping that we wouldn't deal with any other problems. Boarding the ship was a smooth process however the guest service/ front desk team on the ship was a mirror image of the phone operators with misinformation. Every employee at the desk gave us a different answer to the same question asked about gratuities and beverage packages. We decided that it would just be best to avoid speaking to guest services and book with another cruise line next time. When we were allowed to go to our cabins, we were informed that one of our suit cases was misplaced and would be sent to the room later in the evening around 7pm. Trying to maintain a calm attitude, our day 1 of our 7 day cruise seemed to start off disappointing. Needless to say, we were not impressed with setting sail with Royal Caribbean however we met some employees on the Navigator of the Seas that are worth mentioning. These team members brightened our day daily and Royal Caribbean should be honored to have such employees aboard their ship. Shauna and Jakob in the windjammer cafe were a great start to our morning. They were always cheerful and even if we were unable to find a seat in their section, they would find us and make sure we had our coffee and excursions set for the day. Bernadette, Gilberto, Dean, Agnelo and Bobie were absolutely delightful during our evening dinners in the Sapphire room. We never could pick who would serve us each night because each person brought a unique exuberant attitude to our dining experience. We loved our dinner conversations with each waiter and seating host as we learned about their hometowns and family life. It made the vacation more personal and created unforgettable connections. Lastly our room attendant Tanoe was fabulous. He conversed with us multiple times a day to ensure our stay was beyond expectation. Working for a hotel, I know the importance of the operations team. They run the property/ ship and are the face of the company. These employees operated their functions with pride and perfection as mere advocates for the enjoyment of their guests. None of them knew the experience we had booking the vacation however each of them created new memories and new loyalties to the Royal Caribbean family. Although Royal Caribbean has room for improvement, their employees on their ship make the vacation worth while. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Our stateroom attendant was Awesome!!! The dining room food was HORRIBLE. The food in the buffet was good but always cold..... We purchased a photo package and got home and our pictures are not on the disk!!! I have called RCI and NO ... Read More
Our stateroom attendant was Awesome!!! The dining room food was HORRIBLE. The food in the buffet was good but always cold..... We purchased a photo package and got home and our pictures are not on the disk!!! I have called RCI and NO HELP but to call another company... Nothing like celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary and even the professional photographer didn't have the camera settings right...... Very disappointing for the money we spent. Excursion in Belize got changed and Guest Relations stated it changed to something else and gave us a printout of what we were supposed to do - got tendered to the Port and the RCI representative said NO that is not the excursion we were supposed to do - went back and forth with the RCI representative and we JUST CANCELLED!!!! Got a refund from Guest Relations - Left and Right hand didn't know what was going on.... We had two families with us and we were all very disappointed because everyone always spoke highly of RCI - NOT worth the money we spent on the cruise. The entertainment was good. Embarkation - Took over 3 hours in lines to get on the ship and took over 3 hours to off the ship on the return. They need to work on getting people off the ship and out before the next round of people are trying to get on. Total Chaos!!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Just as a quick bit of background about who I am so you understand my perspective. I'm a 27 year old adrenaline junky, foodie who loves sports and performance arts. Despite being what I would describe as a foodie, I'm also not ... Read More
Just as a quick bit of background about who I am so you understand my perspective. I'm a 27 year old adrenaline junky, foodie who loves sports and performance arts. Despite being what I would describe as a foodie, I'm also not a food snob (I am a coffee snob however) and enjoy comfort foods as well as fine dining. With this being my first cruise I have no basis for comparison to years past that some say were better. If that's true, cruising must have been head in the clouds heaven. I found my experience to be the most enjoyable trip I've ever taken. Were there a couple things I didn't love? Sure, but that's life and what happens when people have their personal opinions on things. Would I take off a star for anything? Nope, the trip was excellent, the ship was beautiful, and the service was outstanding. -Value: I could not get over what all comes for the price. We booked an inside promenade stateroom for just a hair over $200/night essentially with it coming out to about $1500 for my wife and I. For comparison sake, after getting married on May 23rd, we drove to Dallas and stayed the night at a value priced Best Western in Dallas for $100 on the way to Galveston. That did include breakfast but the breakfast wasn't nearly as good as what would be served in the Windjammer (many complain but I find it hard to name a hotel that serves better breakfast and provides turn down service at least twice a day for under this price, much less in the Caribbean). Having a waterfront hotel with all you can eat food and a formal dining room for $200/night for 2 people would have impressed me enough but they also provide entertainment options. -Entertainment: Was every show awesome? No, I wouldn't dare go that far. You're not getting Broadway productions here with super expensive set designs and special effects. You're also not paying $100/person to get in to the show. After considering the hotel + restaurant aspect, I'd say you're getting in the show for free. I really enjoyed Ballroom Fever and Finis Henderson (initially I wasn't sure about him but he got progressively better throughout the show). Those were good shows, but I thought Ice Dancin' in Studio B was incredible! I've never seen an ice show before so I'm no expert and the best production show I ever saw was Book of Mormon in Chicago but again, for what I would consider the cost of $0, I couldn't believe I was getting to see it. -Ship: Having sent my parents on their first cruise on Vision of the Seas a few months prior, I knew Navigator would have a few more amenities being a larger ship. I didn't know if it would stack up well with the Freedom and Oasis class ships. I've never sailed them so I still don't know, but I never wished I was on them while on Navigator. The promenade design works really well for keeping things open and easy to well, navigate. We found ourselves discovering new details on the ship even on the last day of the sailing and we did a fair amount of exploring it throughout the trip. While the pool deck is a lot of fun and the Solarium padded chairs along the windows make for a great nap on a sea day if you can snag one, I gravitated toward the peaceful areas on the ship. If you're looking for a great place to read, head to the front of the ship along the walking track, past the Solarium, and then up the stairs to the very front of the ship above the bridge and spa. You'll find a basically empty deck with chairs where you can hear yourself think. I didn't take advantage of this area a lot but if I was a reader I'd have been up there. My favorite area on the ship was the helicopter pad on deck 5. To get there, walk along deck 4 outside and go up the stairs. It makes for excellent stargazing or is peaceful in the daytime. On top of all of this, the sports area was a space I didn't really utilize and found myself forgetting about which is crazy to me. Being able to play mini golf, basketball, or take on the Flowrider or rock wall for free is really kind of awesome. I wish I had done it more. -Food: Overall, I thought the food was pretty good. I had breakfast every day in Windjammer and was always able to get a window seat after a little bit of work. Usually I would stake out a table and go sit at it while my wife fixed herself a plate. It's a bit chaotic but I always enjoyed it. I would compare the food quality to a Golden Corral. If that's beneath you, avoid it I guess. For the price of the vacation I thought that was a good deal. We used the Main Dining Room (MDR) for dinner all but one night and I thought just about everything was good to excellent. The shrimp cocktail left something to be desired and the seafood salad did as well but the entrees I had were good and the desserts were satisfying as well. On lobster night my waiter asked me how it was and I said, "very good but I just need you to bring me 6 more just like it." He said he would get me another piece and off he went. I thought he was kidding but a few minutes later he brought me another 2 lobster tails! The servers try their best to meet any need. If you're polite they'll go the extra mile. I'm guessing they would even if you weren't. On the last day I gave both my waiter and assistant waiter an extra $20 bill on top of their normal built in gratuity. I wish I could have given them more to be honest. They were outstanding. The Promenade Cafe was a nice option for small sandwiches or desserts 24 hours a day. I can't speak for the specialty restaurants because to be honest, I just never saw the need with how good the complimentary dining options were. My only complaint would be to have at least half the Windjammer open later than 9. It's the easiest place to grab an iced tea near the pool deck without going back down to the Promenade Cafe on deck 5. -Coffee: I'm a coffee snob. The coffee onboard sucked. I added in some half and half and a packet of sugar and drank it gladly. Good coffee is best enjoyed black in my opinion so these add ins were made for exactly this. It was no worse than a standard diner cup of coffee at Denny's, IHOP, etc. I enjoyed having it offered in the MDR with dessert every night and again, just use the add ins. I also would add in a packet of dark chocolate hot chocolate in the Promenade Cafe and take it to the show each night. -Service: I loved it quite simply. I only wish there were some bus tubs around the various venues or trash cans. Instead you would see people pile up a plate in the Windjammer and take it to wherever on some lower deck and just leave it in the bushes, on the floor, on tables in lounges, on the pool deck. It's a never ending battle for the crew to keep up with and I felt lazy having to leave my cup or plate in places like this. I would have at least liked the option of placing it in a tub for them to collect but I'm guessing it may have something to do with sanitation. Debarkation was brutal to be perfectly honest. We signed up for the self-assist (take your own luggage off with you) for the earliest time of 7:30am. We weren't to our car until almost 9:30am. With so many doing self-assist, it jammed up the hallways and felt like I dumb idea on my part pretty quickly. I doubt I really saved any time but I did likely add some frustration. Next time I'll just check it at the end of the trip. I liked carrying my own bags on to start the trip because we didn't get on until almost 2pm and our room was ready for us already. Overall, the trip was excellent, the ship was beautiful, the service was top notch, and I'd do it again tomorrow if I had the vacation and savings! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
My girlfriend and I had reservations across from the Johnson Space center at the Microtel hotel, some 40mins away from the port. A room there seemed a better cost effective option than anything on the island. So on Saturday April 18, we ... Read More
My girlfriend and I had reservations across from the Johnson Space center at the Microtel hotel, some 40mins away from the port. A room there seemed a better cost effective option than anything on the island. So on Saturday April 18, we drove down from Arkansas. The hotel was adequate for our overnight needs, and had no vacancies. Day 1, Sunday, Departing Galveston, TX. : We ate breakfast at the hotel, checked out about 9:00am, and drove to Galveston in about 45mins. I had planned on driving around the island to see the sights before parking, and then start the boarding process around noon. However, someone had picked that day for walk-a-thon type event, and we ran into a traffic mess and barricaded streets. After much delay, due to U-turns, and waiting for participants to cross various streets, we made it to terminal 2 and Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas. I dropped off my luggage along with my companion, and headed out in the traffic again to find Park-N-Cruise. Arriving there about 10:45, I was quickly guided to an indoor parking spot, where I grabbed my backpack, other items, locked the car, and walked over to the terminal. We then rolled our main bags over to the luggage area and a porter stacked them on a cart. We entered the terminal building, and went through the screening process fairly quickly, with my backpack and its two bottles of wine being unquestioned. Stopping by the RC customer counter, we got our ship passes without delay, and boarded the ship at 11:15. We walked around looking over the ship some, and then went to the WindJammer for lunch, where we found many choices. We wound up usually eating breakfast and lunch in the WindJammer, as it was so convenient. Neither of us have any complaints about their food or service at the WindJammer. You will use the germ killer solution entering the restaurant, or they will quickly “offer” you some. Ocean View stateroom, #2314: At 1:15 we were admitted to our room and were both satisfied with the room’s size, cleanliness, appearance, décor, electrical outlets, window size/view/curtains, etc. We pulled away from the dock around 4:50, and all our luggage was outside our door at 5:00. Unfortunately, our room had an adjoining door to the next room. Normal conversation levels came easily through the door, and naturally our neighbors were louder than normal. They argued and carried on for three days on one topic. On the second day I complained to our steward, who said he’d turn it in to security. On the 3rd day, I asked and was told security didn’t catch them in, and so nothing was done. I called the steward into the room one afternoon, where he quickly got a dose of the next door action. He immediately pulled out his phone and reported it, and later I was told they did contact the occupants. While I realize the position this type of complaint puts the crew in, planned active/physical excursions, let alone the whole cruise, would certainly be less enjoyable if one is suffering from insomnia. From night one, we were both forced to use earplugs and a rain sound file on my notepad. By the third night, with excursions looming, I was glad I had brought Rx sleeping pills. Eventually, things got quieter, maybe because they got tired of arguing, or we were more tired from the port adventures. So, point of the story here is, bring your earplugs. We unpacked and walked up to the Sapphire for dinner, which is the main dining room (MDR). Again, the anti-bacterial self-dispensing machines were everywhere, and the hostess watches all who enter. The food and service in the Sapphire, was excellent every time. We had chosen My Time Dining, and ate dinner there every night, and breakfast one morning. We were always seated at a table by ourselves, and you could specify a waiter/table combo. We settled on table #634 with waiter Rodrigo, assisted by Janice, both from the Philippines. I was not bringing a suit or sport coat on my cruise, and reluctantly brought a tie. In a button up shirt and tie, I felt very comfortable at dinner in the Sapphire on those formal nights. I was certainly not alone, and ditched the tie after the first formal night, seeing many others who obviously shared my viewpoint. We had shrimp cocktail, grilled cod, crème brulee for dessert. Day 2, Monday, At Sea: Hot tub that am, suntan time, World’s Sexiest man competition poolside, We had signed up for the Meet and Mingle, but the timing was off as we busy somewhere else (FloRider?), and opted to stay with that. Scallops and lobster bisque, tenderloin, plate with three sample desserts. Around 7:30p, the Captain addressed the audience in the promenade, while we had complimentary wine. Day 3, Tuesday, At Sea: We had our only breakfast in the MDR, with four others at a table. I had salmon eggs benedict, which was very good. Then it was more hot tub, sunshine, steam room, and food. Poolside, we saw the Men’s International Belly Flop contest. In the MDR, we had pork tenderloin w/stacked potatoes, ? for dessert. That evening in the Metropolis theater, Joel Mason as Elton John – a hilarious entertainer, and I’m not easily amused, sorry if you missed it. Day 4, Wednesday, Rotan Excursions – Even though beginners, we opted for only one RC sponsored excursion, along with two private ones, and were pleased with all of them: In Rotan, off the ship at 8:30, Hector from Rony’s tours took good care of us, showing us the island, finding the beachfront Barefeet Bar where we had two lobster plates, including beer for $40. He also took us to a nearby place to snorkel on a reef. He dropped us off in town around 2:00, and we shopped a bit, buying the usual t-shirts and stuff. His car’s AC worked well, which turned out to be an exception elsewhere. I also purchased some jewelry from D.I. in the port terminal. Later, in the MDR, we had crab cakes, encrusted loin of cob fish, and Rum Baba for dessert. Day 5, Thursday, Belize City, BZ. : In Belize, we had our first tender ride, which went smooth and was not a hassle. We went just outside the terminal’s front door as Yhony had indicated in his emails, and easily hooked up with Butts Up (Cave-Tubing.com). After an interesting bus ride thru Belize City and the countryside, we arrived. Bathrooms for changing, and drinks were there, and after grabbing a PFD, we had a good informative hike up to the caves. At the end of the hike, our tubes with neck rests were waiting for us at the water’s edge. Fernando was our guide in the water and through the caves. Afterwards, it was a free boned in chicken tamale like thingy, which tasted pretty good. Of course, we had to each have a beer. Only downside was they ran out of large size Butts-Up t-shirts to buy, so I left without one. It was a nice day, getting a good overview of life in the city and country of Belize. The bus’s AC was not doing that good, so always sit up front as we did. Overall, Butts-Up was a good value for the money. Back on ship, we dined on Shrimp Ceviche, broiled sole, roasted lamb loin, chocolate cake w/ice cream, and strawberry w/kiwi meringue. Day 6, Friday, Cozumel, MX. : In Cozumel, we went into the port that am and got some good prices on T-shirts and stuff. We also had a good $2 lunch and $2 beer in the port at Bar Mandy. I paid the waitress with tip an hour earlier for our first beers, and when leaving she said we didn’t pay. I simply said, “That won’t work with us, you’ve been paid”. We returned later for lunch and had the same waitress, nothing was mentioned and when tipped again she smiled. We had chosen the RC Island Overview and Mayan Ruins tour at 11:30, over the Bar Hop tour, because we wanted to see some ruins and get a handle on the island. Turned out we picked the wrong time (my girlfriend wanted to sleep late), because it didn’t leave us time to get a cab to the town plaza before or after our tour. So about 11:45, driver Morita and tour guide Nico took us out on the road. The roads led us through the city streets and out to the countryside. We stopped at San Gervasio Ruins, and Nico gave a good walk and talk tour of the Mayan’s and the site’s history. We went out on the west side of the island and saw plenty of blue water and white sandy beaches. We also stopped at the Chocolate Factory which had free Wi-Fi. We arrived back at the terminal at 3:45. Again, the van’s AC was not doing much, so always sit up front as we did. Back on board, it was Royal seafood salad, house salad, lobster tail w/shrimp (uhh, ok, I did have two plates), chocolate sensation and baked Alaska for dessert. Then it was time for Earl Turner at the Metropolis. He’s a really wild character that had the audience in a roar. Day 7, Saturday, At Sea: After hot tub, steam room, and breakfast, we went down to the photo shop and ordered up a nice picture the crew had taken of us. Then it was poolside again, pizza and shrimp sandwich lunch at the Promenade Café, the ice rink, and FloRider. Our picture was ready at 3:00pm as promised, price $20. Dinner in the MDR was Cesare salad, scallops and steak, and key lime pie. Afterwards, a walk down the promenade and a drink at Poets lounge. Day 8, Sunday, Arrive Galveston, TX. : We chose the self-disembarking option, and at 8:00am with luggage in tow, we went down to the terminal and proceeded to Customs. It was our first time through a real Customs line, and a fairly long line. Both of us had brand new passports, and she’s asking if I go by another name? And after looking at my girlfriend’s passport several minutes, I was told to leave her there and step outside? Finally she appeared, bewildered by what the delay was. So we walked with our luggage across the street to Park-N-Cruise, and loaded up. At 9:00am I was turning onto Harborside Dr. with little traffic, and waving goodbye to the Navigator of the Seas. We arrived back home in AR. at 5:15p. In Summary: Good weather and calm seas added to the enjoyment during eight days of sailing and excursions. Using Park-N-Cruise and their indoor parking option was a good choice with the many thunderstorms passing through on those dates we were at sea. The boarding process was fairly quick, and self-disembarking is the way to go for those that can, provided your suitcases have two or more wheels. Except for the ill-timed walk-a-thon, I didn’t find Galveston a bad place to set sail from, although I can’t compare it to elsewhere. To Galveston, I would not sponsor a walk-a-thon on a Sunday with thousands of people trying to get off and on two cruise ships. Duh… I saw no sign of anyone being sick whatsoever, and the RC crew was constantly wiping everything down. I often noticed any utensil/food touched, dropped, or mishandled was immediately disposed of. Just an FYI here to any Cruise line reading this… any line that demands/enforces suit and tie in the main dining room won’t have me as a passenger. It’s simply not my thing to pack a suit, to have to wear eating while on vacation. We barely noticed any rocking/rolling motion from the ship in our level two room. We both really enjoyed cruising with Royal Caribbean on the Navigator, and we will be planning another cruise soon. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
After years of turning down cruise options for a vacation my wife and I finally gave in and went on this one during spring break with our youngest son and his family, including three younger children. We had a wonderful time, weather was ... Read More
After years of turning down cruise options for a vacation my wife and I finally gave in and went on this one during spring break with our youngest son and his family, including three younger children. We had a wonderful time, weather was great, and we just can't say enough about the staff. Everyone of them were outstanding. Special "shout-out" to Elvis in the dining room and Leon who took care of our stateroom all week. These two gentlemen went way above and beyond whatever their job description states. The shore excursion that we all enjoyed in particular was swimming with rays and sharks off the coast of Belize. While the smaller boat trip was a bit long, it was well worth it and the cost as the guides (especially Phillipe who was assigned to us) were extremely helpful. He was incredibly attentive and made sure our younger grandchildren, as well as my wife (who didn't even snorkel in Hawaii!) felt safe and had the opportunity to experience everything possible along the reef. A life-remembering experience on this excursion. Another huge shout-out to the Navigator of the Seas staff who made every possible attempt to keep us healthy by constantly cleaning all public areas. None of us, not even the children, had any sickness whatsoever. My wife and I are discriminating travelers so to give this high of an evaluation is meaningful. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was my first cruise, so I don't have a point of comparison other than what I have read here. But my overall impression was good. Galveston is unfortunately pretty far from the nearest airport, so if you are not driving in, you ... Read More
This was my first cruise, so I don't have a point of comparison other than what I have read here. But my overall impression was good. Galveston is unfortunately pretty far from the nearest airport, so if you are not driving in, you will have to work out how to get to port. We ended up flying into Bush a day early. We stayed the night at the Country Inn and Suites by Carlson. It has a shuttle from the airport and another to the port. It is located right on the southern beach near the pleasure pier and a bunch of other restaurants, so it is a good place to stay if you plan on coming in early. It is one of the only ones in Galveston that has an airport shuttle. We arrived at the port the next morning a little after 11 am. There was a porter ready immediately to take our bags and when the rooms opened our bags were already waiting for us. Embarkation seemed fairly painless. We were on the boat and eating in the buffet well before noon. We were not really impressed with the Windjammer and after eating lunch there the first couple days, we just stopped going back. Rooms opened a little bit after one. Our room was clean and everything worked, our room attendant, Golda, was very friendly. She came and introduced herself the first day and knew our faces and names after that and was always friendly and accommodating every time we saw her. She left us two towel animals, a snake and a dog (even incorporating the sunglasses I left lying around into our dog). The view from the balcony was nice and we felt the movement of the ship a lot less in our room than other places on the ship. We were part of BGG@SEA and we spent a lot of time in the conference room. It was nice, although hard to get to. You can only get to it from the forward stairs. If you go down the wrong side, you have to go back up to the fourth floor and then over through the casino. The casino was always packed and there was no easy way to get from one side to the other. Plus, this is one of the only areas where people are allowed to smoke inside the ship. I'm sure it is convenient for those who do smoke, but it is pretty gross to travel through if you do not. And the smoke bleeds out into the bar areas on either side sometimes since it is not enclosed in any way. I honestly never went to the casino, in part because I couldn't breath for all of the smoke in there. There are a lot of different bars on the ship (about 15 in all). They all have a different feel and each has their own specialty drinks (as well as being able to make all of the usual ones). Most people tend to find one or two they like better and frequent regularly. We tended to go to Two Poets (an English style pub) and R Bar, a kind of zany looking little bar. For food, we primarily stuck with the Main dining room and café promenade. We always enjoyed the food in the main dining room and the menu changed every day so we never got bored and never ate the same thing twice unless we really liked it and wanted some again. Our waiters Leonardo and Atarulla were wonderful and we stayed in their section all week. They were very accommodating to a surprising degree. My husband mentioned he was debating between two food options, the waiter gave a recommendation, he ordered and then the waiter brought both out for him to try. He was always willing to bring out extra at the slightest hint that we wanted it (even bringing an extra lobster out to us on the 2nd formal night, which was the last port day without a word from us, just because my husband was excited to eat lobster). We did my time dining and we got a table to ourselves unless we wanted to go with a big group and then they sat us together. Overall the main dining room was one of our favorite places on board. Café promenade has snack food like little sandwiches, cookies, etc. (the muffaletta is really good). It is attached to a starbucks and a ben and jerry's which are both good options if you want them, but they do cost extra. Overall they tend to overcharge you for anything extra you buy (normally two mixed drinks would run us a little over $20, two frappes at starbucks would cost about $10, etc). Overall the only food we weren't super thrilled with was the Windjammer, but it worked if you just wanted to dash in, eat and dash out again. It was always busy so I guess most people liked it. Because we were with a group, we did not do too much of the normal on board activities. The adult pool was frequently empty with a lot of people lounging around it but the hot tubs were super packed. We did go to the Quest and the Love and Marriage game. Both of them were very fun and we laughed a lot. The director and his comments really added a level of humor to each event. The only thing we were not very happy with was the shore excursions and disembarkation. Since this was our first time cruising, we stayed with all RCI excursions. In Jamaica, we did Flavors of Jamaica. It was about an hour drive each way to the plantation. Our guide on the bus was very nice and we learned a lot about Jamaica from her. The plantation itself was very pretty (although they have a lot of very large spiders all over the place, so this may not be the best tour if you are an arachnophobe like me). The guide that showed us around the plantation was really mean. The group in the back couldn't always hear very well, at one point, she called us out for "not listening" and then pulled us to the front of the line like bad children. Then as punishment she wanted us to dig through a pond searching for a bullfrog to catch for her. I refused since I am afraid of spiders and there were some big ones on the lily pads. She then had us go wash our hands, ad held my husband back so I would be by myself when I had to go by this giant web filled with spider webs. He didn't realize what she was doing until I jumped when I saw it and she laughed. Overall she was very mean and ruined this excursion for me. The food itself was very good, but there was some miscommunication at some point and the plantation did not realize how many people there were and did not have enough places for everyone. So it was delayed by quite a bit while they had to try and figure out how to squeeze in the extra people. There was not enough food for everyone and some people did not get everything. The group that came in after us ended up having to cancel their excursion because it was so delayed, but not until they spent an hour or so, standing there staring at us and complaining that we needed to hurry up. Overall we were not thrilled, although, the food when we finally got it was very good and the chef and our bus tour guide were very nice. We were going to do the stingray city sandbar through RCI, but they cancelled it (due to high winds, I guess they were afraid a wave might knock someone into the path of a boat) and didn't tell us until we got to the pier. By the time we found out, the other tours we wanted to do were either full or had already left since this was one of the later excursions. RCI ended up just refunding our tickets, but they made no effort to try and help us find another excursion. We just ended up wandering to the different stations, trying to find something else to do. We were very disappointed in how RCI handled this. We ended up going with a local one that was doing the stingrays anyways. It was called Kelly's watersports and it was in this big round both at the end of the pier. Overall, I would not recommend them either. They crammed a bunch of people on the boat. And they only had one handler and one stingray for the whole boat of 50 plus people. They ended up just having us crowd around this one poor stingray to feed it and then to take pictures with it. There was no line, it was just pushiest people got to go first. If you went first you really had nothing to do but float around, and if you went last you spent the whole excursion waiting for your turn. Very disorganized. They charged us extra for the tour because they knew we were in a bind, and then charged us another $40 for five pictures if we wanted the pictures we waited for, but they didn't tell us the price until the end. They were supposed to email us the pictures and we still haven't received them. I would go with moby dick tours instead, they are also on the pier and were much better organized and less crowded. When we got done with the picture fiasco, we went to their area and they let us interact with the stingray like we thought we were going to get to. Finally in Cozumel we did the island tour and mayavn ruins. This one was a lot of fun and we learned a lot about the mayans from this tour. We wished we had a bit more time at the tour, especially to look in the little shops afterward. As part of the tour, we went to a mayan chocolate factory which was fun and we learned a lot about the way they used to make chocolate before Europeans got a hold of it. This was really well done and well organized and everyone was friendly. They even recommended a local restaurant, La Choza to eat at afterwards and it was very good. This is the only tour I would really recommend to anyone. Disembarkation was very long (especially for those with visas rather than passports). I would recommend taking your bags down yourself, picking them up again is not very streamlined, and they actually lost our friends bags, or someone else grabbed the wrong bag, there was no process to check out the bags back to you. Anyone could have grabbed any bag. Better to keep your bag with you and know you will have it. It was a very long wait in the lounge and then a very long line when they finally let you leave the lounge. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
I'll keep this short since I really don't have a comparison point. My family had a great time on the Navigator. It was Spring Break for my school aged kids, so there were lots of families on the boat. This was great as my kids ... Read More
I'll keep this short since I really don't have a comparison point. My family had a great time on the Navigator. It was Spring Break for my school aged kids, so there were lots of families on the boat. This was great as my kids were easily able to find other kids to hang with either in Adventure Ocean or at the Arcade/Sports Court. My kids loved getting to be on a nice vacation with us and having some independence on the boat (10 and 12 years old). We brought walkie talkies so that we could make contact and check in with them when needed. We signed up for My Time Dining, which worked out perfectly for us. The food was great most nights, but we were most impressed with the excellent service from our wait staff. They really deserved the extra gratuity on the last night. All areas were clean and well maintained. My husband took advantage of the gym and spin classes. I enjoyed browsing the shops, attending the shows, ice skating with the kids, playing mini golf, and relaxing at the pool and on our balcony. Our room was small, but we made the this was perfect for first timers). Roatan was also our favorite port as we spent a little best of it. We enjoyed having a balcony on the right side of the boat (we could see the ports- Roatan & Cozumel from our side- I never really thought of that when I picked the room). We booked our own shore excursions online with independent companies, which worked out well, but if I ever sail to Belize again, I will book off the ship because the passangers who did had priority getting off of the boat (on earlier tenders). There was a long line and wait to get on the tenders in Belize- some people we talked to missed their excursions due to not getting to port in time. My family agrees that our favorite activity while in port was doing the zipline course at the Mayan Jungle Canopy in Roatan. It was worth the $45 per person cost and we would do it again (or a more advanced course, but extra $ and had a private driver (Best of Roatan Tours) who drove us around and took us to the zipline, sightseeing, and to a beach resort. Overall, it was a great family experience and I can't wait to cruise again! My kids are saying that they want to sail on Royal Caribbean again b/c they don't want to take a chance on another cruiseline...that's how much they enjoyed it! Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
As a new cruiser, I have only small river barges as comparison, but I loved this trip on the Navigator! The crew, every one I encountered, were wonderful, professional and friendly. Dias, our Steward, couldn't have been kinder or more ... Read More
As a new cruiser, I have only small river barges as comparison, but I loved this trip on the Navigator! The crew, every one I encountered, were wonderful, professional and friendly. Dias, our Steward, couldn't have been kinder or more helpful. He knew right away I didn't like to get up early. I thought the food was very good considering the number of passengers and crew. I wish they didn't have to resort to pre-made foods, but it is probably cost-prohibitive to make everything from fresh ingredients. The only bad meal I had was in the dining room--a crab cake appetizer I ordered for dinner--which was obviously not prepared fresh. I would sail on the navigator again in a minute! Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We are 2 seniors and we have just returned from our first cruise. The ship is beautiful and the service was excellent. What was very disappointing was the lack of entertainment during the day. We were expecting there to be bars/lounges ... Read More
We are 2 seniors and we have just returned from our first cruise. The ship is beautiful and the service was excellent. What was very disappointing was the lack of entertainment during the day. We were expecting there to be bars/lounges with live entertainment during the day. Caribbean, blues, western or jazz music would have been nice. They did have a lonely guitar player that sounded as if he should be playing background music at a wedding. They also had all kinds of trivia and games, which did appeal to families with children. We stopped on day 4 at Jamaica, then our next stop was to be Grand Cayman, but we couldn't ferry in because of rough water. The captain slowed the ship down and we sailed slowly towards Cozumel, Mexico.It was a long boring time. We got to Cozumel on day 6, and back to Galveston on day 7. Way too much sailing with very little to do. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Summary: Had a wonderful time getting away. Ship was beautiful. Service was mostly good. Food was terrible (except for Giovanni's). Cabin was great. Would probably book with RCI again, but for different ports of call. My husband and ... Read More
Summary: Had a wonderful time getting away. Ship was beautiful. Service was mostly good. Food was terrible (except for Giovanni's). Cabin was great. Would probably book with RCI again, but for different ports of call. My husband and I are first time cruisers and came with a large group of Texans. We had high expectations and were not disappointed with the ship. One thing that made our experience unique to most others, is I was about 4 months pregnant at the time, so we did not do a lot, but just nap and relax by the pool. It was wonderful. I read just about EVERY review on this site, so I will chime in with what to really expect, and what some reviews overdramatized issues (although I know everyone's experience is different). Embarkation: We pre-paid parking online with a coupon code with EZCruise Parking (got $15 off - came to $54.12 total). We were nervous about leaving our truck in a parking lot, but it was great! The lot is fully barb-wired fenced with security. Not covered, but you can get a car cover, if you want. Quick shuttle trip to the port (the guys load your luggage for you). Only problem is they dropped us off kind of far away, and their last cart was fully loaded, so we had to haul our luggage ourselves to the front. Not a big deal normally, but was a strain being pregnant or if you are elderly / handicapped. Arrived at our designated time. Took only about 45 minutes to get on the ship. Lots of people complain about lines and line jumpers, etc., but don't be concerned. It's just like going through airport security. Not a big deal. Once on the ship, we explored and had lunch at the buffet, the Windjammer, while waiting for our room to be ready (room was ready at 1:00 p.m. - luggage came at about 4 - 5 p.m., so give them extra time for that). We booked our excursions in the super short line at the guest services, also got all our restaurant reservations and drink package booked. Go to Level 5, The Promenade, to book all of that right away, because the lines do get long later on in the day. Also, be sure if you want to change your dining options at night, to do it either before you leave online, or right away. We messed up and waited until about 6 p.m. the first day to change it to MyTimeDining (which they say you can do on the first day), but were told it was too late and they were sold out. Huh? Oh well. We never did do the main dining room at night because of that. We got the basic drink package (soda, coffee, juice, non-alcoholic cocktails and bottled water). I felt like this was a very nickel and dime thing to do, but did it anyways. I had to have water bottles (preggers), and I felt like this should be provided regardless. It was expensive ($350 for 2), but we had to do it. It was also a pain to get your pre-paid drinks (long lines, could only get one at a time). RCI can surely do better than this, like have some kind of drink machine that takes your SeaPass card. Dining: This is where most of the reviews were right on. There are little bars everywhere and a Starbucks. Most service was great, esp. at the Windjammer bar. That bartender is awesome and knew my name after the 2nd day. The Starbucks personnel are TERRIBLE. Horrible service. They get visibly upset when you don't add an extra tip, never mind that the drink package includes a 30% TIP. A fellow cruiser and I were yelled at for not having the line go a certain way. What? There's no rope or anything. My suggestion is they remove the staff and put them in a back kitchen somewhere. Seriously. There's a little café next to the Starbucks and they have OKAY food. It's good for little snacks like turkey croissants (a little bland and stale) and bananas and apples and some bite-sized desserts. Windjammer. Let's just say it sucks. Half of the food is weird international food that NOBODY touches. The other half is exceptionally bland American food that people are forced to eat. The buffet never changes. Nothing is hot. And nothing is cold. EVERYTHING is lukewarm. I have never wanted a microwave in my entire life. Avoid breakfast. It's crazy. BTW: You can order room service breakfast for free. We did that most days. We did lunch at the main dining one day. It was terrible and we never went back. Food was nasty, cold and service was slow. It took them 30 minutes to get me a bottled water. So, we mostly ate at the specialty restaurants which were pretty good, and honestly, that's something that should be provided cost-free. Chops Steakhouse: Great service, atmosphere is romantic, good steak, but it was overcooked. Sides were delicious. But not worth the extra $35/person. Giovanni's Italian: Ate here twice because it was just that good. BEST filet mignon I've had in a long time, and I'm from Texas! Don't go to Chops for a steak, go here. The service was out of this world. It was $20/person, but we tipped an extra $20 each time bc it was just that good. Definitely recommend this place. Sabor Mexican: Overall, it was okay, but we do live in San Antonio, so we know good Mexican. The side guacamole service was cool, but the guacamole was not good. I would go at least once, if you're craving Mexican. Johnny Rockets: Ate here multiple times. Only $5.95/per person, all you can eat. Well worth it. Service was outstanding (except one time when our server left us for 30 minutes, but they quickly corrected the problem). Two thumbs up - best hamburgers for sure. Miscellaneous: Didn't go to any of the shows because we were pretty tired at the end of each day, plus we had private shows to see (from our group). Enjoyed the casino - my husband did win about $350 on the slots - woohoo! Wish they had a regular Texas Hold Em table, but the casino director didn't know when they would have it, and she seemed very scatterbrained about it. Be sure to wait to shop because they do sales and specials near the end of the trip. Also, I did a spa day the first day. Had a great facial. The pedicure I got was terrible. Worst ever. The girl didn't even rub the lotion in my skin. She just slapped it on, and I was on my own. Ladies, trust me, for the price, do your pedicure before you go. Husband got a haircut and he said it was the best one he's ever gotten! Word of advice - don't fall for their trap of booking right away. I wish I would've waited on the facial because later in the week, they have MULTIPLE daily specials, and they slash their prices. Bummer. We spend most of our days at sea by the lovely adult pool, Solarium. Despite what some of the reviews said, it was very quiet and peaceful. Plenty of sun. Get there early if you want two loungers. They also have plenty of poolside towels, and there is even a bar with some servers that will walk around to get you drinks. Very nice. All in all, it was a lovely, relaxing trip. We met a lot of new and interesting people. There were no kids running around like wild monkeys (Hooray! And kudos to the parents, the kids there were VERY well behaved), and a lot of elderly people (be patient with them). Plan to spend a little extra money on food and beverage packages. Don't expect every RCI person to kiss your butt and say hello (although most do) - the reviews blasting RCI for this are simply ridiculous. We would definitely go again! Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
This was the first cruise for my whole family (myself, husband, MIL, and 2 children ages 10 and 8). We flew into IAH and took Galveston Shuttle which was a large SUV to the port. It was a nice vehicle but the driver never said a word to ... Read More
This was the first cruise for my whole family (myself, husband, MIL, and 2 children ages 10 and 8). We flew into IAH and took Galveston Shuttle which was a large SUV to the port. It was a nice vehicle but the driver never said a word to us. Once we arrived it looked confusing and people were everywhere, so we just grabbed our luggage and went to the nearest porter to drop it off. I don't think the people standing around realized you could do it, but I wasn't going to stand around in the heat (we're from Seattle and were already melting!) And even though our check in time was still an hour away, they let us go right in. People were standing around waiting, but if you went up to ask, they let you in. We got checked in fairly quickly. Total time from curb to ship was maybe 30 minutes. We were very impressed with the ship. It was beautiful. The one thing we also were impressed with is that all the staff were so nice to everyone. The food was good most of the time. We would have breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer (if not in port) and dinner in the Sapphire main dining room. Loved the chilled soup appetizers for dinner. Our servers for table 615- Rodrigo and Virgel were awesome! They would do brain teasers with the kids and brought them extra food-making sure they didn't go hungry! We loved playing mini golf, getting some great deals shopping on the last day at sea, and the Ice Dancing show. Views from the Cosmopolitan Club on deck 14 are spectacular and don't miss going out on the peek-a-boo bridge (out of the Solarium on deck 11) and seeing the "bridge" where they drive the ship! We had a few complaints. One was the elevators. Too bad they didn't have any mid-ship, especially since my MIL who is 70 had a hard time getting around the ship sometimes. They only have them in forward and aft and there just isn't enough especially after shows, embarkation and around meal times. The elevators are slow and sometimes would just by-pass the floors. They are also hot and stuffy. And not that it's the cruise lines' fault, but some people were just so rude they would shove their way in front of you to get on the elevators before you could get to it (again, trying to get to an elevator with my 70 year old MIL) The bathrooms on Deck 11 by the restaurants smelled really bad. I don't think they ever changed the diaper pails in the women's restroom. It was bad all week long! And one thing that really annoyed us was on the last day we ordered room service for breakfast to be delivered between 0630 and 0700 since we had to disembark early for a shore excursion to the Houston Space Center- well at 0645 we get a call from room service saying that they don't deliver room service on the last day. It would of been nice to be told that ahead of time, like when we ordered! Or better yet, we shouldn't of been able to order at all! (We ordered on the tv) So we had to scramble to finish getting ready for the day and get something to eat before getting to our meeting place. Again as a first time cruiser, we didn't know this kind of info! Although the pools are small it didn't feel too crowded-probably because there wasn't too many kids on the ship, and the weather was quite windy our last two sea days. In fact the pools were closed the last sea day. Which brings me to the entertainment on the ship. We utilized the library. The games were ok and would be better if pieces weren't missing or mixed with other games. Also, young people would come in there and be loud and the tables were always messy. Too bad they don't have a "librarian" to help control some of that. Other than that I was kinda disappointed because I thought they had jewelry making and cooking classes and scrapbooking classes? I never saw any of that... As far as the ports go we loved Cozumel- went to Chankanaab for the dolphin encounter. definitely worth the money. We just wish we could of stayed there longer! Grand Cayman was ok. We didn't have any excursions. We took a taxi to Hell. They let us stay for 20 minutes but with that we barely had time to look at the rock formation, go into 1 of the stores and the post office. There is about 5 stores there and I was disappointed I didn't have time to go to the others. The taxi then took us to 7 Mile Beach. He tried to take us to a beach where we would of had to pay, even after we had agreed on our price and location, so be careful. Once we got to the beach we had a relaxing afternoon swimming and playing. Falmouth Jamaica was very hot. We also didn't do any excursions there. We walked around the port which was set up nicely. We didn't run into any pushy vendors (they were more pushy in Cozumel) and ended up with a lot of nice souvenirs. The only thing besides the heat I didn't like was Margaritaville- horribly way overpriced! Overall a wonderful first cruise experience as we didn't let the few bad things ruin all the many great things! Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
My wife and I just got back from our honeymoon cruise and I must say that we extremely enjoyed ourselves. The crew was always working super hard and were a bit overwhelmed at times but always made sure to say hello. I never once saw any ... Read More
My wife and I just got back from our honeymoon cruise and I must say that we extremely enjoyed ourselves. The crew was always working super hard and were a bit overwhelmed at times but always made sure to say hello. I never once saw any crew members just standing around or loafing. The people are working their tails off all day, everyday. Although we were just first time cruisers and haven't experience the way things used to be before the pre paid gratuities, I didn't once notice any crew members not willing to help with any problem big or small. We still ended up tipping certain members that were outstanding anyways which made the services even better. All I can say is get to know the fellows that work at the Schooner Bar, Abel, Eric, and Bela are phenomenal guys and we loved hanging out with them. Our dining time was at 8:00 pm on Deck 3 and had Annabelle for a waitress with the help of Milan. These two were so very attentive to our needs and always there to treat us like royalty. There were so very many activities on board to attend as well from shows, ice shows, Salsa Dancing, Ballroom Dancing, rock climbing, putt putt, Flowrider, Ice Skating in Studio B, the list just goes on and on and we tried them all. Food was all pretty good in the Windjammer as well as the Main Dining Hall, never any complaints except for the tiger shrimp to which Annabelle just brought me out a different entree and everything was fine. No matter where we went on the boat there was always friends to be made whether they were other passengers or crew members everyday was full of great conversations with all types of different people.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Like many we were concerned based on some of the reviews but picked this cruise due to the port location. We had a wonderful time and have no problem recommending both the ship and the cruise destinations. Galveston port is a challenge ... Read More
Like many we were concerned based on some of the reviews but picked this cruise due to the port location. We had a wonderful time and have no problem recommending both the ship and the cruise destinations. Galveston port is a challenge because 2 ships are leaving at the same time. Keep in mind Royal is leaving from terminal 2 as you make your parking plans. My advice is to arrive early. We were in the security line at 9:45 and were on the ship exploring within 45 minutes. Royal promised staterooms ready by 1 which they met. We boarded and took the elevator to the highest point, then walked and explored our way down. We found all of the Royal staff to be excellentWe had a couple of minor service issues from our travel agent and they promptly answered our questions and generally made us feel welcome. We at the majority of our meals in the MDR and had great service. We enjoyed the table conversation and lounging through meals over the rush of eating at the buffet in the Windjammer. Our MDR waiters we attentive and even brought extra entrees if we had trouble deciding. We enjoyed all of the entertainment and the activities. The ship is very clean. The only time we felt pressured to buy something was when my wife visited the spa. They did try to hard sell her, but after a polite no she enjoyed the rest of the experience. We booked our excursions thru Royal and all 3 were good. I know people say you can save by going outside but we didn't want any hassles. They met us immediately off of the ship and took care of everything from there. Hope you have as good as time as we did. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
My wife and I were first time cruisers and I thought it would be nice to take a cruise to Belize, Roatan and Cozumel through Galveston. Embarkation was easy and I have to say, I was very impressed with Royal Carribbean service on board. ... Read More
My wife and I were first time cruisers and I thought it would be nice to take a cruise to Belize, Roatan and Cozumel through Galveston. Embarkation was easy and I have to say, I was very impressed with Royal Carribbean service on board. The food was good, if not exceptional and there was plenty to do on sea days. We were not bored. We had an ocean view room and the room service was exceptional. The on board entertainment we enjoyed most (surprisingly) was the stand up comic. The guy was hilarious. Food wise, we tended to stay away from the Windjammer cafe, I'm not a huge fan of buffet food, but on the occasions we ate there, it was acceptable. Our table mates at the main dining hake were pretty uninteresting so we opted to eat out. The latin/fusion restaurant was the least impressive of the lot. But otherwise I would say the cruise was good value for the money. It was the disembarkation where Royal Carribbean fell down. It might have been poor coordination with the TSA (whom I also blame btw) but we waited over 3 hours to move the 100 feet to go through customs. I felt awful for the British citizen who missed his flight. This experience has convinced me that we will never sail out of Galveston again. It was a miserable end to what was otherwise an excellent cruise. Oh well. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We have cruised several times with several different cruise ship lines over the past 15 years. We actually cruised on the Royal Navigator of the Seas in 2006 so this was our second time aboard this very ship. I want everyone to know before ... Read More
We have cruised several times with several different cruise ship lines over the past 15 years. We actually cruised on the Royal Navigator of the Seas in 2006 so this was our second time aboard this very ship. I want everyone to know before you book your trip that we have NEVER been told NO so many times aboard ship! It was such a different experience from all of our other trips that we won't likely cruise any more. The new trend is to have everyone purchase drink cards, not just the usual 'soda pop cards' but non-alcoholic cards and alcohol cards as well. What this means is that the line already has everyone's money so they don't have very many attendants walking about asking you if you would like a drink brought to you. You now get to go stand in line and wait 20 minutes to get a drink from the bar. AND, if you purchased one of their drink cards you are told that you can only get ONE drink and that you must wait a minimum of 10 minutes to get back in line to purchase another. We don't drink alcohol so this rule wasn't just for hard drinkers. I couldn't get two bottles of water to drink after working out in the gym. What a joke. I actually was not asked if I wanted a drink of anything for two solid days. That is not what the shipboard service is suppose to be like. We also found the service in the formal dining to be changed as well...keep in mind we were on this very ship several years prior and we know what the standard service experience should be. We were sat down and given menus and expected to get our dinner orders submitted ASAP. We asked to start with drinks (non-alcololic for us) and the waiter actually became irritated. We ended up drinking water and hurrying thru our dinner. Second night he attempted to do the same and we told him no. We insisted that he go find a bar attendant for us so we could order drinks prior to placing our food orders. Our waiter did weird things like giving menus to two men at our table and not giving menus to the ladies for several minutes. Things like that shouldn't happen with upscale dining. Also, the waiter wouldn't bring me a cappuccino coffee with my dessert stating that my drink card did not provide for after dinner coffee. I ended up standing for 30 minutes in the service desk line the next day to get that resolved. So stupid that the employees of the ship don't know their own rules. Every bar tender had a different excuse as to why I couldn't receive a free drink with my drink card as well as the amount of time I had to wait to order a second one. The only high light was the room steward who took great care of us during our trip and one particular waiter that came to us each evening in the dining room (starting on day 3 ! but that wasn't his fault). Those two men were the only people who made our ship board experience special...everyone else acted like the passengers were just in their way. Also note that if you purchase the drink card that they charge you for each day you are aboard the ship; however, they will not serve you any drinks on the last day as they state that the cards no longer work on the day that you disembark even though you paid for that day! I don't know yet if all ship lines are moving to this type of service; but my guess is that they are...just like anytime dining is now the standard fare option on most ships too now. New cruisers will not realize that they are receiving substandard service but past cruisers know what the service standards were and will definitely be unhappy with what is being given now. I would rather stay in a hotel and eat in a regular restaurant and get up and go order my own drink from a bar without paying many thousands of dollars that we pay for cruising. I use to think the extra costs were worth it because of the special service that you received onboard. Not any more... The room was tight as far as size but well appointed and beds were very comfortable. We had a third person in our room (our daughter) and her bed was hanging directly over the main bed in the room. We didn't like that layout but were unaware of how the extra bed was set up. Last ship we were on the extra bed was a fold out from the sofa which was much better FYI   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
My best friend and I shared a balcony cabin aboard Navigator of the Seas sailing from Galveston, TX to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica on 5/25/14. We were on deck 6, Balcony cabin 6236. Our bags arrived about 2 hours after we sailed. ... Read More
My best friend and I shared a balcony cabin aboard Navigator of the Seas sailing from Galveston, TX to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica on 5/25/14. We were on deck 6, Balcony cabin 6236. Our bags arrived about 2 hours after we sailed. This was my first cruise, her fourth, and I have to tell you, either cruising isn’t for me, or it was just not that great. A few disclaimers: I am not a fan of crowds. I don’t like being treated like cattle. It takes a lot to impress me. Please keep those things in mind while reading this review. I will try to be objective. The Galveston Port: We hired a car to take us from the Hampton Inn in Houston to the port. It was Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend so there was some traffic, but not really that bad. From pickup to drop off was about 50 minutes. A porter met us at the car, took our bags and directed us inside to the terminal. We showed our passports and Set Sail Passes, went through screening, lined up for our SeaPasses and then onto the boat. Total time: approx. 30 minutes. Not bad. There were quite a few people, but the terminal seemed well organized and the flow of traffic moved quickly. On the Boat prior to sailing: We wandered around, took some pictures, sampled some of the Specialty restaurants’ offerings that were being displayed on the Promenade, took a tour of the spa, then settled down at the Sky Bar overlooking the pool to wait for our cabin to be ready. I am a smoker, so for my fellow smokers here are a few words of advice: THERE IS NO SMOKING ON THE BALCONIES. If you are caught it is a $250 fine. A second infraction will get you disembarked. There are approximately five smoking areas on the ship. The three I took most advantage of were: the Sky Bar, the Casino Bar and deck 11 (the pool deck) in the far corner under a covered area. Fortunately for me all of these areas were fairly close to my cabin. Our cabin was ready approximately one hour after boarding. We got in and to my surprise, my Bestie had the cabin decorated for my birthday! So sweet of her! We got unpacked, changed and headed out to eat. For lunch we went to the Windjammer. Wonderful selection, no long lines and we had no trouble getting a table. For our first night’s dinner, we ate at Sabor, the new Mexican Restaurant on deck 4. The food was divine, the service impeccable and the ambience wonderful. It’s a fairly small, intimate venue with Margaritas and Guacamole made tableside to your specifications. We enjoyed that immensely. Day 2 was spent poolside with beers in hand. The pool band started up around 4 pm and we enjoyed that for a while, then headed inside to get ready for our first Formal Night. There were photographers at all entrances to the Sapphire Dining Room and they took several shots of us together and separately in our formal attire. They also came to the table for group shots. We had the 830 seating, which I must say, is kind of late. The problem with this is that each course takes approximately 20-30 minutes from ordering to plates being cleared. Dinner was a long, drawn-out affair that I found quite tedious. I didn’t eat in the MDR again. I won’t bore you with a further day-by-day detailing, but let me hit some highlights for you: The café Promenade became our home away from home after hours. They serve sandwiches and pastries 24/7 and have a huge selection of teas. There was a very small selection of music available. One country band – Bubba Feathers – and a DJ. For dancing or live music, that was all you got. It was a bit disappointing as, while I do like country music, I would’ve liked to hear something different once in a while. And as for the DJ – he catered to the much younger (teeny bopper) crowd. That was just too raucous and crowded for me. I found 3 general groups of people on board – 20-somethings, 70-somethins, and couples. I was none of the above. It seemed that the people in my age group were parents there with their children. While I was with my best friend and my sister and her husband, there really weren’t many people with whom we identified with. That being said, let me tell you: not everyone is friendly on a cruise. In fact, most people seem to be trying to have a private vacation while amongst thousands of people. They were rude, snippy and selfish. They hogged the deck chairs for hours. They cut in front of the line. They pushed while in crowds. Not a lot of smiling. Not a lot of friendly chit chat. The pool was ridiculously crowded every day all day. Even the Solarium pool was packed, fortunately there weren’t kids allowed in there, that was very nice. We did take advantage of the Solarium pool and hot tubs several times, but mostly after hours so as to avoid the masses. It was wonderful to be floating in the pool after dark watching the stars. Very peaceful. There were a lot of things going on on the ship that I didn’t take advantage of: Quest, Love and Marriage, Trivia, lectures, etc. I did join in the Country Dance Party on the pool deck one night. We played a game of “Musical Men” and I had a blast. I won a keychain and danced the night away. My sister and brother-in-law attended the Quest game and they loved it! I mostly took advantage of room-service (get the steak sandwich and Caesar salad – excellent!) and the Café Promenade. The Windjammer was yummy, too. On the 4th night of the cruise, for my birthday, we ate at Giovanni’s table. Again, excellent service, scrumptious food, and dreamy ambience. I enjoyed every minute of it. And both restaurants were worth the extra fee. PORTS: Cozumel: we didn’t do an excursion (my friend wasn’t feeling well). We did go into town to do some shopping. This is probably not a good idea for two women to do alone. We were HOUNDED from the minute we got out of the taxi. It was so annoying. And not only did they practically drag us into their shops, they tried to totally rip us off! I was interested in a silver ring. They asked for $85. I just laughed and walked out. They literally chased me down the street going down on price. I finally paid $10 for the ring. Lots of jewel shops, lots of junk shops. We ate at Fat Tuesdays. The food was awful, the beer warm and it was hot as heck in there. They do have free wi-fi, though! After a little more shopping, we headed back to the ship. The heat and humidity are killers. Grand Cayman: A few of us booked an independent excursion to snorkel and swim with the stingrays. We chose Moby Dick Tours. They were so nice. They knew we had to tender at this port and that it takes a long time, so they pushed our tour time back from 11 a.m. to noon, just for us! We met at the pier, took a bus ride about 20 minutes to their dock, got on the boat, which was very nice, and headed out to the crystal clear blue waters of Grand Cayman. It was so beautiful. First we anchored near a reef that was literally teeming with colorful fish and snorkeled for about 30 minutes. Then we headed over to Stingray City. There were a lot of other boats there, but there were plenty of stingrays to go around. Our captain brought chopped squid for us to feed them and pretty soon they were all flocking to our group. They are AMAZING! Honestly, this was the highlight of my entire trip. I got to hold one and swim with it. Just incredible. After we got back to the pier, we did a little shopping, had a few beers and tendered back over to the ship. A few tendering tips: if you don’t have an excursion booked through RC, you MUST wait in line for a tender ticket. They will say to line up at a certain time – I was there one hour before and it was already crowded. The first two tenders went to RC excursion people, my tender ticket was for tender #4. From the start of tendering to my reaching the pier it was one hour 20 minutes. And I was on the fourth tender!!! Take this into account if you have excursions booked at a tender port. Jamaica: We didn’t book any excursions in Jamaica. Everything was very far away with round trip travel time of about 2 hours. We opted to just do a little shopping in the fake shopping center that RCI built at the port. Again, jewel shops, junk shops and in the middle of the square a little local crafts market. My girlfriend bought a very cute dress from a local who told us her mother made it. After we got back on the ship we noticed the tag inside that said “Made in China”. Our bad. She paid $25. I’m sure we could have gotten it cheaper back home. The prices for shopping in these countries are no lower than here in the states. You still only get what you pay for and a lot of the stuff can be found here for lower prices at a Wal-Mart or a similar store. The one thing I did find cheaper was medications in Cozumel. I bought my son some inhalers for his asthma at only $10/each. Here they are $45 As far as service on the ship: with the exception of the two specialty restaurants – Sabor and Giovanni’s Table – I was less than impressed. Don’t get me wrong, everyone was nice. They just didn’t seem to go above and beyond. I guess that’s acceptable, after all, they do work their tails off. There was one incredibly arrogant, rude bartender named Fernando in the Casino Bar. You could tell he thought he was God’s gift to this planet. I found him to be so offensive I actually complained to the bar manager. Our cabin steward was very nice and helpful, but again, nothing extraordinary. We only got towel animals twice – this may be the norm, I don’t know. One thing to note: my SeaPass card de-magnetized 7 times! I had to get it replaced every time. Sometimes it would work for my cabin door, but not for purchases. Other times it was fine for purchases, but wouldn’t open my door. It was very frustrating. And I wasn’t the only person this happened to. The Guest Services desk was crowded with people having the same problem. All in all I have to say: I’m not sorry I did it, but I probably won’t do it again. It just didn’t seem to be the amazing experience others have made it out to be. No fault of Royal Caribbean, just not my bag, you know?   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
After years of turning down cruise options for a vacation my husband and me finally gave in and went on this one, we had a wonderful time, weather was great, and we just can't say enough about the staff. Every one of them was ... Read More
After years of turning down cruise options for a vacation my husband and me finally gave in and went on this one, we had a wonderful time, weather was great, and we just can't say enough about the staff. Every one of them was outstanding, Ports of Roatan, Belize City and Cozumel were very good; we did RCL excursions and no problems had. We arrived early at port because it was our first time; the check-in process took about 1 hr. We saw some people carrying their entire luggage. We dropped our carry on in our rooms since they were ready as soon as we boarded. We went up to the Windjammer to eat. There was a pretty big selection of food including ethnic food. We went to explore the ship and then put on our bathing suits and headed for the Jacuzzi. There are several Jacuzzis on board. The best ones are by the Solarium; if they are full the one inside the gym is good. Watching the sunsets in the Cosmopolitan Club on the 14th deck was a special great. We signed up for My Time Dining, which worked out perfectly for us. The food was great most nights, but we were really impressed with the excellent service from our wait staff. They really deserved the extra gratuity on the last night. All areas were clean and well maintained. I enjoyed the shops, attending the shows, playing mini golf, and relaxing at the pool and on our balcony. I loved my morning coffee on the balcony. Our room 9376 was at the back of the ship on deck 9 and was just right since we were first timers. We only heard noise a couple times being at the back. Navigator is large but easy to, no pun intended, but navigate, we enjoyed the Mexican restaurant, Sabor. The menu at Chops Grille was great also. The bars and cafe, which serves coffee, ice cream, pastries and pizza was open 24/7. The Promenade where the captain hosts the welcome-aboard reception is beautiful, there is so much to do on Navigator, and we were never bored. The ship has a friendly vibe. Many passengers hail from Texas &/or Oklahoma and most are warm, hospitable, so you'll be greeted with plenty of smiles and enjoyable table-mates for dinner. Country music is on the sound systems, and some of the on-board musical entertainers also specialize in country music. The bars and dance club were bustling, our favorite was the piano bar, but not too crowded, on most nights during our sailing. The ship is beautiful, and fun. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Sailed March 2-9; Grand Cayman, Falmouth, Cozumel itinerary. We booked this a week before sailing after RCCL had just released the newly added Panoramic Ocean View Rooms for a great price. We usually book Balconies or Jr. Suites, but were ... Read More
Sailed March 2-9; Grand Cayman, Falmouth, Cozumel itinerary. We booked this a week before sailing after RCCL had just released the newly added Panoramic Ocean View Rooms for a great price. We usually book Balconies or Jr. Suites, but were interested in checking out these newly engineered rooms at the front of the ship on Deck 12. We had cabin #1874 which was larger than expected, floor to ceiling glass wall for awesome views (somewhat cantilevered out over the water), great storage, near elevators, same deck as Spa, jogging deck, Adventure Ocean (for kids) and Sky Bar. Highly recommend one of these rooms unless you must have a balcony. One deck below us was the Solarium Pool (adults only) which had been redesigned tastefully. Did not use the Spa on this cruise, but you can get some great deals during the week if you watch the Cruise Compass for specials offered by the Spa. Had My Time Dining and because we booked late, our dining times were all over the place. However, the dining staff was wonderful, helpful, and we had great service at table 576 (Paul & Stanley). We love Chops Grille on most ships but were a little disappointed in the service on this ship and the price increase. The menu has changed and sorry to see some favorites off the menu. Windjammer was great for breakfast and lunch. If you don't care for crowds in the morning, order room service breakfast the night before (breakfast order forms are in your room, just hang outside your door before going to bed). We find room service breakfast to be on time and hot. Since we are Diamond Members, we were pleased to find the Viking Crown Lounge dedicated to the nightly Diamond and Diamond Plus event from 4:30-8:00. The concierge, Nadjia, was very gracious and accommodating. Waiters were attentive and hustling to serve everyone. Free cocktails and very nice hot/cold appetizers are a nice perk. Plus watching the sunset from the panoramic views of this lounge are awesome. We enjoy this itinerary. Falmouth is finally finished, great shopping, fun restaurants/bars and great excursions are available. Dunns River Falls is always a favorite and rafting the Martha Brae River is fun. Some people like to explore the beaches near Montego Bay or Ocho Rios. Grand Cayman is a personal favorite--love the town, dining, gorgeous water, shopping, Seven Mile Beach, water sports and snorkeling. Cozumel is also a fun port. You can get to great beaches, snorkeling, water sports, shopping at the cruise terminal and in Old Town, restaurants and bars. Had an awesome fajita lunch at Las Palmas in Old Town complete with Margaritas and Mariachis. Usually pass on the song and dance shows, but we saw a terrific comedian/magician Cheswick and a special showing for the Texas Tenors who put on a marvelous and moving performance. We had a blast and met people from all over the US. This ship has a lot to offer: 15 deck; 10 pools/whirlpools; 16 bars/lounges; Flow Rider surfing; Rock Climbing; Sports court; ice-skating rink; Royal Promenade filled with shops, a café, bars; newly added panoramic rooms; Adventure Ocean for kids/toddlers; 8 dining choices; the casino; and the outdoor big screen for movies/events poolside. Don't understand some of the negative reviews. I know some people are upset over fog issues, but that is not RCCL's fault. We were able to leave Galveston before the sea fog got too bad and we had no issue with fog on arrival at the end of the cruise. Our weather was great for a March cruise, temps 75-84 and no rain during the day. I would highly recommend the Navigator.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
This was my Girlfriend and I first cruise as adults(I cruised when I was 6 years old, she never has). Let me start by saying the cruise was AWESOME! We were on Navigator Of The Seas. The biggest thing that made the trip enjoyable was ... Read More
This was my Girlfriend and I first cruise as adults(I cruised when I was 6 years old, she never has). Let me start by saying the cruise was AWESOME! We were on Navigator Of The Seas. The biggest thing that made the trip enjoyable was how clean everything was on the ship. no bugs, no smells, no overflowing garbage, no smudgy surfaces.....ever. nothing worse than a dirty atmosphere to ruin the mood. The food was top notch, the worst thing we ate was just "OK" and that was poor selection of meal on our part. I would rate the food 9 out of 10. We ate in the MDR all nights except one and had My time Dining. we had one of two waiters every time. The other night Wed night we ate at Chops, I give it an 10 out of 10 for taste, performance, value, and presentation. I had the Porterhouse and my GF had the Filet Mingon. All AWESOME and The Mud-pie for dessert was worth the extra 30 alone. The one downside to the cruise were kids were not controlled. They invaded the pools and we roudy and parents did nothing and cruise staff were busy doing other things to babysit(not their responsibility). Kids took up space in the elevators and would ride up and down for hours, this is fine until they take up half the elevator when people are in line to get on and they dont move or when several times you get in to see they just pushed every floor button to ride for fun and you get out because you dont want to go to every floor when your trying to get lunch. Every port was Great! Grand Cayman was the best. Cozumel was very nice, has rough beaches because of weather coming in, and Falmouth was rich in culture, and as in many reviews about that port.... STAY in the gates unless you book a tour or plan on taking a cab out of town, the locals outside will pursue you until you come to their shack, they do this by chasing up the street after you yelling and screaming. We did the ATV safari at Good Hope Estate and this was amazing, defiantly a cruise highlight. Our stateroom was basic interior and to our liking, we slept in their and that was it, we were busy vacationing and not being couch potatoes. The Solarium was our place of choice to hang and drink, mostly in the whirlpools . We spent 2 days after in New Orleans and was a very good choice on our part, great city with Awesome food, culture, and sights to see. Embarkation was a breeze and so was debarkation. We self serviced our bags off. We enjoyed the cruise immensely and we booked our next with RCCL on board already. WE recommend RCCL to anyone! Navigator was a great ship! Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
We took a cruise with my girl scouts. This was their reward for saving up all that cookie money over the years. So you had four moms and four late teen girls traveling together. We were in 3 interior cabins with the girls all in one room. ... Read More
We took a cruise with my girl scouts. This was their reward for saving up all that cookie money over the years. So you had four moms and four late teen girls traveling together. We were in 3 interior cabins with the girls all in one room. The cabin was surprisingly spacious and comfortable for two adults, but did get cramped for four girls. There really wasn't enough closet space for them, but that's to be expected in all honesty. The nightly dining was delicious and it was fun to have eight people ordering so we all got a sampling of nearly everything on the menu. We did have one vegetarian in the party and her choices were limited. The ice skating show was the best show of all of them, though the comedian was quite good. We played a lot of bingo and enjoyed the karaoke, and we all actually got up and sang. The girls were a little disappointed in the "teen" options, probably because they were just shy of 18 and felt too old for the most part, but were too young for the adult disco. We could have stayed on the ship, there was so much to do, but we had to investigate the ports of call. It is cheaper to tour on your own, but since it was just us "girls" I was more comfortable booking the excursions and it worked out very well for us because the girls could stick together with only a single chaperone, while the moms were able to get away to other, adult excursions. Cozumel, Mexico: The girls chose to swim with the dolphins and the stingrays and had a blast. They were able to spend time on the beach as well as shop and delighted in the freedom they had to barter and buy alcohol as they were over the drinking age in Mexico. We took the Salsa, Salsa, Salsa "class" which was a hoot. We were beach side, with a great view of the Caribbean, ocean breezes blowing in our little covered balcony while we learned to make margaritas, salsas, and salsa dance. Great fun. Georgetown, Grand Cayman: We took a drive it ourselves, jeep tour around Georgetown. We got to explore the area, visit a preserve and dip our toes in the pristine beach, visit the Rum Cake Factory and even go to Hell, ending up on the beach for an hour or so. It was fun to drive on the wrong side of the road (for us Americans) and our guides were great guys from Jamaica. Highly recommended. Falmouth, Jamaica: We did the river tubing and beach excursion. It claims to be more strenuous than it really is. You walk a little ways while carrying your tube, but you're fitted with a helmet and life vest (the helmet was completely unnecessary) and the floating is very serene with a few "rapids", then you take a powered raft to a beach which was beautiful, perfect sands and water and very uncrowded. It even had a stand for beer and jerk chicken, which was delicious. All in all this was a great experience. It was great to leave from New Orleans because we'd never been there, either, so we toured Bourbon Street before left. I'm considering doing it again, taking my husband this time.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
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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