6 Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Cruise Reviews for Spring Break Cruises to Caribbean - Eastern

A warning before you start: My reviews are long. This one may be longer than most because it was an 8-day, port intensive itinerary. I divided it into sections to help the reader find the information they need a little faster. ... Read More
A warning before you start: My reviews are long. This one may be longer than most because it was an 8-day, port intensive itinerary. I divided it into sections to help the reader find the information they need a little faster. Embarkation We left for Fort Lauderdale from Atlanta at around 3:30 am on the day of our cruise. Spring break traffic was pretty heavy all the way down there except for I-10. The almost constant rain did not help. We got stuck in traffic about 15 miles from our exit to Park n Fly. We eventually got here. As always, the shuttle driver at Park n Fly was waiting to help unload our car and take us to the ship when we parked. We got to the terminal a little before 3. The upside of such a late arrival was virtually no line. We were checked in and on the ship in about 30 minutes. The downside is we were among the last to get our luggage. It arrived well after 7. The ship The common areas of the Navigator are nice and well appointed. The atrium has a beautiful sculpture that extends all the way up to the upper floors. The ship is a little hard to navigate for me, mainly because there are no aft elevators and apparently, I booked an aft cabin without realizing it. There does not seem to be an official mid-ship on the Navigator. You're either forward or aft. It took a misguided attempt to try to get to the Windjammer (which the map says is aft but it's really more midship) by simply walking to the back of the ship and going up, to realize that there are no aft elevators or stairs. As a mostly Carnival cruiser, this is odd to me because every ship we've been on has had forward, midship, and aft elevators. I also kept turning the wrong way to get to the forward elevator from our cabin. In a forward cabin on Carnival, the forward elevators are usually behind us. On this ship, they were in front of us. The elevators were slow in the mornings, evenings, and on sea days. When one finally came, it was usually crowded. The layout and slow elevators means this is a walking ship. If you book a cabin at the very back, you will have quite a long walk to the aft/midship elevators to get anywhere on the ship. If you're like me and find the cabin numbering confusing, it may mean more walking to get back to one of the two opportunities you have to cross to the other side of the ship if you find yourself wandering around on the wrong side. All of my confusion could be because I am so used to Carnival ships. But, I did not have issues navigating on the Indy. Around the 3rd day, we started calling this ship, the Conquest class ships of Royal Caribbean. The crowding and the layout really reminded us of the Carnival Valor, Conquest, Glory, and Sunshine. The promenade area is very similar to the one on the Indy. The pizza shop was hard to find, mainly because they don't mention it at all as a food option in the Cruise Compass. One of our Cruise Critic roll call members told me that it's there, but at the very end of the promenade in the Cafe. Where the Navigator is showing its age is the cabins. Our cabin, 8562, was nice but there was obvious aging in the bathroom, mostly. Other than the age issues, the cabin is fine. We slept really well each night. Activities When we registered our son for Adventure Ocean, The counselor provided us with an overview schedule for the week that didn't provide important details like what time certain activities were going to take place. This made it difficult for me to plan our days. Like on the INDY, their scheduling of certain activities at night made family dinner a challenge if we weren’t eating dinner between 5 and 7. The counselor said that free arcade night was 7 to 8 that first evening. My husband took our very excited son. They came back and reported that many of the games marked as free did not work. Some did not play at all and others did not function properly. The Mario Kart game only turned left which meant going in circles for the entire race. We loaded his card with arcade credit for him to use the rest of the cruise. On our day in Labadee, we spent about an hour in the arcade after dinner. The games are expensive, averaging about $1 per play. We swiped our card on the Sonic game 3 times. Each time, it removed a credit but never played. We learned which games to avoid. Games would be working one day and not working the next. Annoying. But, when we called the help number, they put the credits back on our card. After eating dinner on our day in St. Maarten, it was too late to drop our son off at Adventure Ocean for the Pirate Parade, so we watched the Family Movie on the top deck, Big Hero 6. We've already seen it but it is a very good movie. The big screen on the deck is probably mounted too low. It's hard to find a spot where you have an unobstructed view of the screen. We settled on the area in front of the Sky Bar. Nope. Balcony bars running all across the screen. The Sky bar is also a smoking area so once the smokers showed up, the party was over. It seems you have to sit on the same level as the pool on either side of it to get an unobstructed view of the big screen. When he did go, our son had a great time at Adventure Ocean. We skipped our planned beach day in St. Maarten because he wanted to go to Adventure Ocean. I attempted to pick him up twice but he was having so much fun, he wanted to stay. We did not really rely on the Cruise Compass for activities. They tended to be the same every day. On the first sea day, after our dinner in Chops, we picked up our son and headed to the 10:15 ballroom dancing show. We stuck it out for about 30 minutes. With a show called "Ballroom Dancing", I expect more dancing than singing. The singers were amazing. The dancing, not so much. When we got on the ship, one of the first things we did was start looking for the water park or water slide. Apparently, this ship does not have one. I have no idea how I missed that in my planning. There is a rock climbing wall, mini golf, and the Flowrider. So, what's a parent with a child too young for rock climbing or flowriding to do? We don’t play mini-golf, so Adventure Ocean and the pool are pretty much it. On a sea day, the pool area was very crowded. Your experience will vary depending on the time of day you get there. We went around 10:30 am on the first sea day and there was not an available deck chair to be found. But, one of the pools only had a few people in it so we were able to enjoy it for about 2 hours. I absolutely loved that this ship had a 1 am curfew for cruisers under 18. We experienced none of the unsupervised kid craziness that was everywhere on the Independence of the Seas. For the most part, the kids we encountered were well-behaved. This was also the friendliest bunch of people we have cruised with in a while. People did not hesitate to strike up a conversation with you or extend the greeting of the day. Food The food on the Navigator was good overall. The Windjammer tended to serve a standard breakfast every day. We had no issues with this since we are meat and eggs breakfast lovers. They also offered a selection of breads and pastries, fruit, juices, coffee, and milk. Lunch and dinner offered a variety of entrees and veggies. The sides were pretty standard though. Every day, we saw mashed potatoes, white rice, a flavored rice variation, ziti, and spaghetti. The food quality in the Windjammer was pretty consistent. The broccoli beef (way too much soy sauce - tasted burnt) and the lamb stew (flavors not quite right), were the only two misses of the food I selected during the cruise. The Windjammer seemed to have a condiment issue, mostly the ketchup, for most of the cruise. They had the large tubs that you pump the condiments out of. They had a hard time keeping them filled. It got annoying playing find the ketchup every time we ate. Every time we found ketchup packets out, we started saving them so we wouldn't have to hunt for ketchup the next time we ate. They also ran out of chocolate chip cookies around day 6 of the cruise. For us, if you're out of chocolate chip cookies, then you're out of cookies. The coconut, cranberry, lemon, and oatmeal raisin cookies that were still available just aren't the same. We only ate in the dining room one night during this cruise because we just didn't find the menu appetizing on most nights. I called to make an anytime dining reservation around 4 on our day in Labadee. All they had left was the late seating which was fine with us. At dinner, I got the shrimp cocktail and lasagna pomodoro. My husband ordered a Caesar salad and garlic shrimp. Our son ordered the chicken fingers from the kids menu. The shrimp cocktail was great. I did not care for the lasagna. I know it's made with a milder bolognese sauce but I like my lasagna with a hearty tomato flavor. This lasagna was really bland. Our son ate the French fries but only nibbled at the chicken fingers. My husband ate one and described it as tough and chewy. He thought garlic shrimp was ok. We both ordered the chocolate sensation for dinner. It was served with vanilla ice cream. The chocolate mousse cake was not bad but I enjoyed the ice cream more. I am glad we bought the specialty dining package Dinner in Chops Grille was a wonderful dining experience. We ate there twice during our cruise. We shared our entrees, the jumbo shrimp cocktail and crab cake. The crab cake texture was not what we are used to. It is clearly not a recipe that includes bread crumbs and the flavor was muted but the sauce they served it with elevated the taste. I ordered the strip steak and my husband ordered the filet mignon. Our sides, mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach were served family style in shareable portions. The waiter offered us a variety of options for sauces. I got the red wine sauce which was the perfect complement to the steak. We shared a huckleberry cheesecake for dessert and finished an entire bottle of wine. Sabor also did not disappoint. The salsa that came with the chips at the beginning of our meal was amazing. We ordered the bacon wrapped chicken and peppers, and the cheese dip for appetizers. Our son got the three cheese quesadillas for his entree. My husband ordered the duck burrito. I started with the red snapper and finished with the short rib mole. The plantain mash that the snapper came with was good but all the flavors seemed to come together when you combined the fish, mash, and mango salsa in the same bite. The mole was delicious. Too bad I was too full to finish it. Everything was delicious. The sides are served family style and they bring all the ones shown on the menu. The dessert is served the same way, as a sampler and family style. This works because everyone just chooses what they want. I got the espresso custard and the coconut lime flan. We nibbled on everything else. Chocolate crepes, chimichangas, and cinnamon sticks with dipping sauces. The desserts were not the greatest part of the meal, unfortunately. Good. Not great. We ordered a carafe of red sangria to go with our meal not realizing how large it was. Two adults had a difficult time drinking it all. Overall, a great meal and our wait staff was excellent. I love how they make fresh guacamole for every table. The Cafe Promenade was by far the most problematic and inconsistent place on this cruise. While the crew was always courteous, the frequent lapses in quality were annoying to say the least. On the first sea day, I went to the coffee shop around 6:30 in the morning to get a cappuccino for my husband. When he started to drink it about 30 minutes later, he said this is just milk. We got dressed and I took the cappuccino back to the coffee shop on our way to breakfast. There was a different crew there and the barista made another cappuccino without comment or complaint. This one was made correctly. Almost daily, the coffee quality varied. Sometimes, it was brewed perfectly. Other times, it tasted as though it had been mixed with water to extend it rather than make a fresh batch. Room service also delivered coffee that tasted like it had been mixed with water. Honestly, the Windjammer was the only place that provided a consistently good brew throughout the cruise. I started drinking tea if I just had to get a hot drink when the Windjammer was closed. They also ran out of pepperoni pizza midway through the cruise. So, they started making and offering salami pizza instead. Yes, you read that right. Of all the alternate toppings they could substitute for pepperoni, they chose salami. We got a few of the sandwiches on the second day and were not impressed. Bologna in a muffuletta? No. If you're going to offer a muffuletta sandwich, make it correctly. The rest of the sandwiches we got were just bland. The desserts were much better. The lemon tart was consistently excellent. Unfortunately, the Café Promenade became the place we chose when we absolutely had no other choice. Service The staff in the Windjammer was very friendly, helpful, and accommodating. Some of the best service we encountered on the ship was in the Windjammer. For the first time ever, we got a steward that was just meh. When we first got to our room, I really questioned whether it had been cleaned. The carpet was obviously not vacuumed and stayed that way for most of the cruise. She may have vacuumed it once but the debris under the desk chair never budged. She just was not very detail oriented. Our room was missing the glasses and the ice bucket that normally sit on the desk. We asked her to bring us some. She refilled the ice bucket every day but never replaced the glasses with clean ones. I always ended up cleaning them when we wanted to use them again. Sure, I could have asked her to replace them with clean ones but, these are things that are pretty standard on every other cruise we have been on. The fact that I even had to ask for them in the first place was annoying enough. I do have to compliment the captain. Other than the captain on the Carnival Legend, he is one of the most personable captains we have cruised with. He gave updates several times a day which were always informative and interesting. Ports Day 3 - Labadee We got off the ship and caught a ride to the beach. We planned to go to Columbus Cove again but ended up staying across from the water park since our son wanted to play there. A local fetched us beach chairs and set them up, for which he expected a tip. I spent the day lounging on a beach chair doing crossword puzzles while my husband and son played and swam at the beach and then played in the waterpark. We headed back to the ship after our son stubbed his toe pretty badly on the waterpark's concrete surface. Half his toenail was coming off and the toe was bleeding so we needed to get back on the ship to attend to it. By this time, everything was closing down anyway. I went to get some food around 1:15 but they had already shut it down. We got back on the ship, got cleaned up, took care of our sons toe, and rushed up to the buffet to eat before they closed at 3. I am not fond of the schedule for the buffet, especially on a port day when people are probably getting back on the ship hungry only to find the only thing available is sandwiches and pizza. Day 4 - San Juan We docked in San Juan a little before 1:30. We had prebooked a tour through Shore Excursioneer for a San Juan Bay boat tour. We wanted to book directly with the vendor, San Juan Water Tours, but their cancellation policy was not cruise ship friendly. What if the ship was late or didn't make it at all? There did not seem to be any allowance for those situations at all. Also, the only tour time, we could pick was 3:00. Again, what if the ship was late? Shore Excursioneer offered a cruise-friendly cancellation policy and a 4:00 tour time. Fortunately, our ship arrived earlier than the scheduled 2:00 arrival time. After eating lunch in the Windjammer, we were off the ship by a little after 3. It felt really good not to have to rush off the ship. Now to find Pier #6 using the directions that Shore Excursioneer provided. They describe it as a short walk. If we had docked at the usual pier #4 AND if it wasn't so darn hot, then yes, it would have been a short walk. Pier 6 is to the right of where the cruise ships dock. It does not look like a typical pier. If it weren't for the San Juan Water Tours sign, we would still be looking for it. If you are coming from the cruise ships, there is no Pier 6 sign until after you pass the San Juan Water Tours area. There was no boat there, so we sat and waited until the 3:00 tour returned. We finally get a day in San Juan with no rain and it is hot as Hades. We now see the rain is a mixed blessing. At some point while we were waiting, Mother Nature had mercy on us. Heavy clouds moved in and a nice breeze started to blow. The 3:00 tour returned a little before 4. When they unloaded, we gave our confirmation print out to the captain. His facial reaction told me that he was not expecting us. He did not say it though. He recovered quickly and told us it would be a few minutes while he prepared the boat. When the boat was ready, he checked us in. He said that Shore Excursioneer had not charged us for the local tax so we paid him the balance due on the excursion with an extra $10 for the taxes. San Juan Water Tours is a very professional operation. Shore Excursioneer is questionable. I think your success with them will depend heavily on the tour operator. I am pretty convinced that they did not confirm our reservation with the operator like they said they did. Either that, or there was a miscommunication somewhere. Day 5 - St. Kitts Our ship docked a little earlier than our scheduled arrival time of 10 am. We watched the ship sail past several islands before docking in St. Kitts. The Carnival Conquest and a small Silversea ship were already in port. We were scheduled to meet our tour guides at 10:30. We got in line with the masses to be among the first to get off. There was no rain when we docked but it was raining by the time we got off the ship. It stopped shortly after. We enjoyed beautiful weather for the rest of the day. I had prebooked our tour with Thenford Grey Tours through their website. They were easy to find because there were several people at the port area with signs. After a short wait, we met our guide, Al, and driver, Kasim. We boarded the bus and headed to the mountains for the rainforest eco hike. Our tour ended around 1:30 and we headed back into town for lunch and some souvenir shopping. Day 6 - St. Maarten I got to watch the ships sail into St. Maarten. The Regal Princess and Celebrity Summit were already docked. The Norwegian Gem and the Freedom of the Seas arrived around the same time we did. It started to rain while we were watching our ship dock from our balcony. Our plan for the day was to take a cab to Divi Bay Beach. Our son decided he wanted to spend the day at Adventure Ocean instead. So, we decided to make it a shopping day. The St. Maarten port looks a lot different since the last time we were here in 2008. They built a shopping area. I'm not sure. The dock may be new too. Now instead of walking off the ship and being in downtown Phillipsburg, you have to take a cab or walk. We started at the shopping area around the port. Everyone seemed to be selling mostly the same things at very inflated prices. We took a cab into downtown Phillipsburg because the water taxi always seemed to have a long line. The cab driver dropped us off in the midst of a street vendor area. The harassment/haggling started almost immediately. When I got off the bus, there was a colorful purse right next to me that caught my eye. Without thinking, I reached out to touch it and she pounced. It was a good 5 minutes before I wrested myself away. She was determined that I was going to buy that purse. I don't need another purse. I was admiring it because it was pretty. We wandered around for a little while longer before taking a taxi back to the port. Disembarkation We did not do much on our last two sea days. Whatever we did is already covered in the activities section. Disembarkation had to be the worst we have ever experienced on any ship. Apparently, they assign you a zone but let you off whether your zone has been called or not. The terminal got so packed with people since they were just letting everyone off that they actually closed the gangway so the crowds could make their way out of the terminal. Guess who was stuck in the line that snaked through the dining room when they closed the gangway? It was a mess. We did not get off the ship until after 10 even though disembarkation had started around 8:00. There was no Park n Fly van waiting for us as there usually is. We called them after waiting 15 minutes. We still waited another 15-20 minutes before they arrived. The driver’s explanation was that it was really busy. Then why did we see other shuttles like 3 or 4 times while we were waiting? To summarize, I am really not sure what to make of this cruise. On one hand, we had a good time but we have pretty much decided we won’t sail on this RCI class ship again. On the other hand, the lack of a water slide, the confusing layout, the hiccups with food quality in the promenade and food selection in the dining room, the lack of interesting activities, and a below standard steward are all deal breakers when you combine them all in one vacation. One or two issues here and there is fine but this was a bit much for us. We were really looking forward to the Navigator but this vacation was so-so. The ports made this a fun vacation, not the ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We are diamond on Rccl; have gone on 7 spring breaks in a row with our kids and grandkids. Altho' we love Rccl, we were disappointed that the ship was so crowded, more kids than we could count. Many unsupervised. But more ... Read More
We are diamond on Rccl; have gone on 7 spring breaks in a row with our kids and grandkids. Altho' we love Rccl, we were disappointed that the ship was so crowded, more kids than we could count. Many unsupervised. But more disappointing was that there were so many babies. We were in a balcony cabin with babies on both sides of us. We had to move from a wonderful table and excellent service because we were next to a table of 12 with 3 small babies who fussed every night for 4 straight nights. We found the food to be excellent both in the Windjammer and in the main dining room. I don't know what more any one could ask for. The shows were so so, very loud, I had to take my Bose to cut down on the volumn. The ice show was excellent . Our cabin stewart was wonderful as were most of the crew. Of course we will continue with Rccl, but not spring break again. Labadee was our favorite port. The Ship was in excellent condition. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Here is my review of the 3/19 - 3/27 Eastern Caribbean sailing on RCCL’s Navigator of the Seas out of Ft. Lauderdale with stops in Labadee, San Juan, St. Kitts, and St. Maarten. Pre-Cruise I was cruising with a group of 15 people. ... Read More
Here is my review of the 3/19 - 3/27 Eastern Caribbean sailing on RCCL’s Navigator of the Seas out of Ft. Lauderdale with stops in Labadee, San Juan, St. Kitts, and St. Maarten. Pre-Cruise I was cruising with a group of 15 people. We were all taking the same direct flight on United to Ft. Lauderdale at 8:25AM from Denver International Airport the day before the cruise as we typically do. We awoke that morning only to find 4 inches of snow on the ground and still snowing. The usual 40 minute drive for my family from my house to DIA took 1 hour and 15 minutes and my family and I arrived at our gate right when our group was boarding. The flight was then delayed 1 hour due to the weather and deicing but only arrived 20 minutes late. We grabbed our luggage and proceeded to the shuttle waiting area for our hotel shuttles. Our group was actually staying in two different hotels for our 1 night stay. Ten of us were booked at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport and Cruise Port Hotel on 1800 N. Federal Hwy. (formerly the Comfort Suites) and the other five were booked at the Hyatt Convention Center on 17th Street. We waited about 30 minutes for the shuttles and we found both of these hotels to be adequate for the overnight stay. After checking in we rounded up the troops and started looking for a place to grab some dinner. The front desk people at our hotel, the Ft. Lauderdale Airport and Cruise Port Hotel, recommended Ernie’s B-B-Q across the street. However, my daughter did a quick search on her iPhone only to find that the ratings were not that favorable. We then headed out walking down 17th Street when we came across 3 police officers so my son decided to ask them for a recommendation. They suggested a few places so we went with one of them, Gilberts 17th Street Grill, which was only a few blocks away in the Harbor Shops. What an excellent choice this was! They have great burgers, ribs, wings, homemade soups and salads, and daily specials. They also serve beer and wine. You order at the counter, find a table, then your food is brought to you. Everyone in our group was able to find something to suit their taste and no one was disappointed. I would highly recommend this restaurant. After dinner we went to the Publix in the Harbor Shops and the Harbordale Spirit Shoppe to purchase some wine to bring onboard the ship, along with some other alcoholic beverages to enjoy by the pool at the Hyatt before calling it a night. Embarkation Day The following morning everyone ate at the free continental breakfast at their respective hotel. It was the usual fair, bagels, doughnuts, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, sausage, waffles, cold cereals, coffee and juices. Good enough to hold us over until we boarded the ship. The Ft. Lauderdale Airport and Cruise Port Hotel offers a shuttle service to the pier for $6 per person so those of us staying there opted in when we arrived at the hotel the previous day and chose the 10:30 departure time. We were at the pier and checked in by 11:45 but were held in the waiting area for a short period of time because the ship had not been cleared for boarding of new passengers. I believe that the Hyatt also offers a shuttle to the pier for a fee as the rest of our party was already waiting for us in the waiting area. Once the ship was clear the boarding process began and we were in the Windjammer eating lunch by 12:30 or 1:00. After lunch we ventured off to our cabins. Our luggage had not yet arrived but was there after the muster drill. We unpacked then and went up to the deck for sail away. It was at this point that my 24 year old son informed me that he had received a note from security requesting him to retrieve his luggage in person. After a drink or two, myself and another person in our group ventured down to deck 1 with my son to retrieve his suitcase. When we arrived we were informed that x-ray indicated that he had a power strip packed in his suitcase and that these were not allowed onboard. They had him remove it and turn it over until debarkation day at which point he would receive it back. We thought for certain that they had identified the large water bottle, which now contained alcohol, and confiscated it. We were surprised and confused at the same time since many of us, myself included, also packed a power strip as we always do. From that point on we referred to our group as “team power strip”. Ship Love, love, love the Voyager class of ships! They are the perfect size for me. This was our fourth sailing on a Voyager class ship and the second on Navigator so we are familiar with the ships amenities. The ship is in great shape. I believe she recently went through a dry dock. They are constantly cleaning and polishing something. I really enjoy this class of ships especially for all of the little places to mingle, plus the Promenade is a great people watching venue. We also took advantage of booking a cruise while onboard for the first time. It was so cheap, only $50 per cabin not per person, so six of us booked something for August 2017 in the Mediterranean. Cabin Our group consisted of three married couples, we are all in our early 50’s, and our adult children, 9 of them, none of which are married. We had cabins on two different decks, 2 and 9. The couples were on deck 2 in ocean view cabins and the children were on deck 9 in four interior cabins. It was nice to be back in an ocean view cabin. On previous sailings with our children we would get 2 interior cabins but since they were paying their own way this time they chose an interior cabin and my wife and I chose an ocean view. I enjoy having the window since I like to look out at the sea while we’re sailing, plus it helps wake you up in the morning since a small amount of light does shine through the shades. My wife and I were in cabin 2600 and my daughter and son and their companions were in cabins 9375 and 9377. The layout of these cabins was just as I remembered from previous sailings on this class of ships. I was glad to see the removal of the small sofa table, it just seemed to get in the way. Overall, the cabins were in good shape. Our cabin steward was Debbie and she did a nice job of keeping our cabin clean and tidy, she had towel animals for us every evening, and she always said good morning, good afternoon, or good evening when we passed her in the hallway. Our children absolutely loved their cabin steward Abdul. They even took up a collection for an additional tip and wrote him a nice letter. They said that he cried when they gave it to him. Food We enjoy traditional dining and went with late seating, 8PM, for our entire group and were assigned to the Sapphire dining room on deck 3. Our TA made arrangements to have the 3 couples sit at one table and the 9 children at another. Everything worked out perfectly as the tables were right next to each other. Our waiter was Assis and his assistant was Nuni. Both were amazing! I found the food in the dining room to be up to par from what we had experienced on our previous sailings with RCCL. I did enjoy my fair share of appetizers and soups, sometimes to the point of leaving no room for my main dish. The deserts were less appealing to me on this cruise. I actually had trouble finding something each night that just jumped out and made me feel like “I have to get this”. Probably a good thing since I only gained 3 pounds on this cruise. We only ate in the Windjammer I think twice for breakfast and once for lunch. I enjoy having breakfast and lunch in the dining room, especially on sea days. I must say that the eggs benedict I had in the dining room were rather small and just OK. On the other hand, the tutti salad bar in the dining room during lunch was delicious. One of my favorite places to grab a snack is the Promenade Café. I love the chocolate doughnuts in the mornings and the little sandwiches in the afternoons and evenings. The chocolate chip and chocolate chocolate chip cookies are yummy there too. I was disappointed this trip because they no longer had the type of chocolate doughnuts or cookies that I’ve enjoyed in the past. The little sandwiches were still delicious especially the ham croissandwiches and the muffuletta sandwiches. The pizza was tasty too. We never ate at Johnny Rockets or any of the specialty restaurants. All in all I have no real complaints about the food. Drinks Many of our group opted in for the mid-range drink package, I believe it was $55 a day and I have to say that everyone that purchased the package got their monies worth. I did not purchase the package nor did my wife. We had $150 in onboard credit so we used that towards our drinks along with an occasional drink from someone in our group who had purchased the drink package. Most of us did agree that the drinks were not strong and wonder if in fact that they were watered down. I will say that one of our favorite bars was the R Bar located on deck 5 aft. Olisia and the gals at this bar know how to make some serious martinis along with many other drinks! They took good care of us both night and day. We tipped them during the cruise and on the last night for all of their hospitality. If you are onboard Navigator any time soon you need to go see the gals at the R Bar. Ports Labadee – This was only our second visit to Labadee, the first was in 2003, and boy has it changed! In 2003 you had to tender as there was no dock. The north side of the island had yet to be developed. There were no zip lines, no roller coaster, no parasailing, no waterslide, and no beach cabanas. You could take an earlier version of a trolley over to what was then called Dragon’s Rock. On that visit we nestled in at Columbus Cove so this time we ventured over to Adrenaline Beach. We walked off of the ship shortly after the gangway was put out and made the long walk over since the trolley was not running yet. Workers were still cleaning and setting up for the new day. Once we arrived at the beach we were greeted by an attendant who quickly helped us setup loungers in the spot of our choice, applied our sunscreen and Off with Deet, then just relaxed in the sun. Some of our group did snorkel but said that they only saw fish further out by the breaker. Once the Schooner Bar opened we grabbed some drinks and bottled water. This would be our watering hole for the day. Lunch was served around 11:30 in the pavilion just adjacent to the Schooner Bar. It was quite tasty especially the BBQ chicken and the red beans and rice. Towards the end of the day we packed up our things on the beach and just lounged in the shade in some Adirondack chairs at the Schooner Bar sipping a few more drinks, it was a hot one that day! We ventured back to the ship around 2:30. This was just a great beach day. San Juan – We have been to San Juan many times but this time would be a little different. One of my nieces is married to a man who is originally from Puerto Rico, he still has family there and his parents own a condo there. It turned out that they would be on vacation in Puerto Rico during our stop there so we were going to meet up with them once we got off of the ship! The rest of my nieces family, her father, mother, brother and sister, were traveling with us so they contacted her by phone once we were off the ship and made arrangements on where to meet us. We met them at the J Bar on Calle Recinto Sur, just a short walk from the pier. This day just happened to be my nieces’ birthday so we toasted with Sangrias and beers then we were off to walk around Old San Juan. We headed towards El Morro stopping at Ostra Cosa on the corner of Calle San Sebastian and Calle Del Cristo where we had some tappas and drinks. Some of us walked up to the park in front of El Morro just to take some pictures since no one really wanted to go inside of the actual fort. We then continued our walk heading back towards the pier doing some shopping along the way and stopping at the Catedrál de San Juan Bautista on Calle Del Cristo. The first time we were ever in San Juan we actually attended mass at this cathedral. By this time we needing to start heading to Café La Princesa since my niece and her husband had made dinner reservations for 6:00 for our group. We walked towards the water then along Paseo del Morro until we reached the restaurant. What a beautiful walk that was. We got to see a part of San Juan that we had never seen before. Dinner at Café La Princesa was amazing! There were many traditional Puerto Rican dishes like paella and mofongo, and others with an added Puerto Rican flair. I chose the risotto with skirt steak and plantains and it was to die for! Everyone in our group absolutely loved this place. After dinner we finished the walk back to the ship and said our goodbyes to my niece and her husband. Truly a great day in San Juan. St. Kitts – On this day our group had pre-booked a half-day catamaran snorkel and sail excursion with Blue Water Safaris. Our excursion was scheduled to begin at 10:30 so we were off of the ship promptly at 10:00 once the gangway was out. At first glance the weather did not look like it was going to cooperate as there was a dark cloud over the pier and the wind was blowing. There were a few scattered drops of rain but the wind carried off the apparent storm and the skies were now clear. We met a representative from Blue Water Safaris just outside of the security gates at the end of the pier then walked over to where the catamaran was docked. Once everyone was onboard, I estimate the total size of the group to be around 30-40 people, we were given instructions as to how our day would go then we shoved off and motored out of the harbor. When we were out far enough to catch the wind the crew hoisted the sails and we cruised to our snorkeling destination. Now I do not snorkel, can’t get the breathing thing down, and I was not alone. I did however, put on a snorkeling vest, inflated it generously, and got in the water to float around with others for a period of time. It was relaxing and refreshing and the water was so clear you could see the fish even without a mask and snorkel. Once the snorkeling time was over we returned to the catamaran and the crew began to setup what was supposed to be a “light lunch” but it was anything but that. They served us a delicious chicken curry salad along with a pasta salad and a green salad. They had several different varieties of snack size bags of chips and some banana nut bread. The salads and banana bread appeared to be homemade. Refreshments consisting of water, soda, beer, and rum punch were also served. This was way more than any other catamaran excursion that we have ever taken. The sails were once again hoisted, music was turned on and we sailed back to the pier. The crew was very interactive with everyone, dancing and refilling our drinks. Needless to say a good time was had by all. I would definitely use Blue Water Safaris again and highly recommend them if you are ever in St. Kitts. After we got off of the catamaran we walked back to the shopping area at the pier and did some light shopping then returned to the ship. Once again another great day! St. Maarten - Our group had decided on going to Orient Bay for half of the day then to Front Street for shopping the other half of the day so we were promptly off of the ship once the gangway was out. My son and I ventured out ahead of the group to find transportation. We ended up using a taxi and found one that would hold our entire group of 15, I guess it was more of a van. The prices were as posted at the taxi stand, $8 per person each way. The driver originally tried to take us to a newer part of the beach at the south end but once we saw it we asked him to take us to Bikini Beach as we had been there before on a previous visit. Once we were dropped off it began to rain but it passed over quickly, the sun came out and we began our quest to find a place to enjoy our day. We were able to find a section offering 2 chairs an umbrella and 2 drinks for $15. We soaked up the sun for a couple of hours then found a taxi (van) to take us back to Front Street for some shopping. A few of us decided to forgo the shopping so we walked along the boardwalk and stopped in at the Dirty Sanchez bar for a few drinks. Those that did shop spent their time looking for jewelry bargains, sunglasses and the like. A few made purchases at Kay Jeweler’s since they know the owner, Archie. After they had finished making their purchases at Kay’s, Archie walked them over to the Barefoot Terrace Bar & Restaurant where the rest of just so happened to be eating lunch. Archie is such a nice guy that he picked up the tab for our entire group, even for those of us who had not gone into his store! Well, those of us who had not yet visited Kay’s decided to go over after finishing lunch. We did end up making some small purchases and Archie continued to be a class act by offering us refreshments while we shopped. Stop by Kay’s the next time you’re in St. Maarten, you won’ regret it. Once everyone had their fill of Front Street we made the walk back to the ship following the boardwalk then down the street just outside of the pier. It looked much longer than it was but we enjoyed the walk and made it back to the ship in plenty of time. This put a cap on four great port days as we were now to have two sea days before returning to Ft. Lauderdale. Misc. Casino – The casinos on the Voyager class of ships are very nice. We visited it on several nights after dinner but the smoke was too much for me to handle. It was nice on the two formal nights since they did not allow smoking then. I’m not a big gambler but when I do gamble I like to play craps. I ended up only loosing $50 so I was happy about that. My sister-in-law won $100 on slots the first night of the cruise. I think she said that she was only into it for $10 when she hit the jackpot. A couple people from our group did well at the roulette table over the course of the cruise. My son was infatuated with that game that cost a $1 to move this key up and over then into a variety of keyholes to win a prize. He was sure he was going to win the $1000 prize but never did. Shows – We did not attend any of the shows. Going to them after having late dinner seating only puts me to sleep and we do not like to go before dinner. We did see the children’s orchestra from Colorado that was onboard and performing on one of the sea days. They were very impressive, especially the 6th grade solo violinist. Other – My son and I played putt-putt on one of the sea days and we grabbed another guy from our group to play in the 3-on-3 basketball tournament one day. On sea days our group lounged on deck 12, just above the pool, for most of the day. Now the chair hogs were out in full force on these days and we might have been guilty too but we do not just throw items on several chairs and disappear. We actually had 3 or 4 people from our party stay with the chairs until others in our group would arrive. We visited the night club on two occasions but the DJ was really bad! Seemed like he played the music that he wanted to hear rather than what the crowd wanted to hear. Several times he had the dance floor full then would throw something on and clear it. Why wouldn’t he just stick with the genre of music that everyone was dancing to? Several of us in our group are Crown and Anchor members and were repeat cruisers so we expected to be invited to a Crown and Anchor cocktail party as we were in the past but that never happened. Has this been done away with? Debarkation This is always the worse part of a cruise however I thought it went quite well. Since we were in no hurry to get off of the ship having a 4:35 flight from Ft. Lauderdale, we ate breakfast in the Windjammer then grabbed our carry-ons from our cabins and headed to our waiting area, the Metropolis Theater, until it was time for us to disembark. We actually waited there until we heard the announcement for all remaining passengers to disembark, it was about 10:30. Finding our luggage was a breeze since most everyone was already gone. The only problem was that one piece of luggage from someone in our group could not be found. After talking to several representatives from RCI they located the missing piece. Turns out that the main zipper had broken when it was loaded off of the ship and it could not be closed back up. Fortunately my brother had packed a roll of duct tape so he and the owner closed it up as best they could using that. The bigger question was would it make it back to Colorado in one piece, well I am happy to report that it did. Since all 15 of us were on the same flight we contacted Alianza Transportation, they were the service used by the Ft. Lauderdale Airport and Cruise Port Hotel to shuttle us to the pier, and arranged a pickup for transportation to the Ft. Lauderdale airport. We arrived in plenty of time to play the waiting game for our flight and were not allowed to check-in until 12:30. Once we were checked in we went through security then to our gate. We had plenty of time to eat at one of the places on the concourse so 6 of us decided to go to Chili’s, big mistake. We got our names on the waiting list but after observing how unorganized they were we left and walked down to Shula’s instead. This place was excellent! You order at the counter, find a table, then they bring your food to you. We were in and out of there in 45 minutes. The flight was 20 minutes late but it was a direct flight back to DIA. When we landed we gathered our luggage and went our separate ways. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
The itinerary, was a little unique, the ability to do an 8 day cruise, as opposed to a 'normally offered' 7 day cruise. I was interested in sailing with the Navigator, as I had sailed on this ship within the past 8 years. It ... Read More
The itinerary, was a little unique, the ability to do an 8 day cruise, as opposed to a 'normally offered' 7 day cruise. I was interested in sailing with the Navigator, as I had sailed on this ship within the past 8 years. It 'supposedly' had been dry-docked for modernization and refresh, but it still showed plenty of signs of age(ageing), lack of continuous maintenance, and required many updates to keep up with some other RCCL ships in their fleet. I'm hoping (and was told) that this ship will be going for dry dock in the next couple of seasons, as really does need the extra amenities, and modernization, as the other ships; that represent the RCCL name and product. The R Bar still shows the same reflection of The Champagne Bar, and the Diamond/Diamond Plus and Concierge Lounge still do not have enough room for its loyal, repeat and Concierge level cruising passengers Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Last cruised Navigator around 6 years ago. She is still as fresh and beautiful as I remember her. We had a aft cabin on the "edge" of the ship. I panicked when I first entered the room and saw a porthole then I discovered a ... Read More
Last cruised Navigator around 6 years ago. She is still as fresh and beautiful as I remember her. We had a aft cabin on the "edge" of the ship. I panicked when I first entered the room and saw a porthole then I discovered a door hidden by the curtain. While we were disappointed by the triangular shaped "patio" which was half the expected space, it accommodated us just fine. The stateroom attendant kept the room clean and the ice bucket full. She treated us like we were suite guests or family - always asking if there was anything else she " coupon, it ran around $17-18 for Lunch. We ate at Chops on our last night. What an absolutely fantastic restaurant! On par with a 4-5 star steak house. Well worth the price. Easily double or triple the price in Chicago area for the quality of the food. Guitar player on board provided the best entertainment. The Three Tenors show was the best, but wear ear plugs if you go to this show. The last thing those powerful voices need is a mic. We finally had to leave toward the end. Extremely talented voices but my ears are still recovering. (Think very loud rock band type experience) Ports were great. San Juan has improved a lot over the years. We walked to Barrinchina's so my husband could have a Pina Colada at it's birth place and did some minor shopping. There is a free trolly to get around, but we didn't use it. The walking is not difficult. St. Kitts was nice. It was our second time there. First time did the Sugar Train excursion (still HIGHLY recommend) and this time we went on the tour that went to the fort and the Batik factory.Both were worth while, historical sites. The batik factory is actually located in Thomas Jefferson's great Or great-great grandfathers home. The grounds are beautiful. The fort is HUGE and amazing. I would recommend this tour. St. Maartin was a disappointment. Since they have located shops on the pier, the downtown area has declined. We walked around downtown for awhile. Mostly jewelry stores and taverns. For beach lovers - two chairs, an umbrella and to floats for $15 is a good deal. Nice beach. Labadee is not as nice as it used to be. We settled along a long stretch of rocky beach with strong waves. The nice beach I remember is gone. Perhaps the suite cabanas are located there. The area is much larger than it was several years ago. I think I actually liked tendering in better (gasp!). The long, shadeless walk down the hot pier is almost not worth it. They do have a large market area which we discovered on the tram ride around the area at the end of our day. They had many interesting items there from what I saw from the tram. (and they're not made in China) Lunch was ok. One of the best parts of the cruise was getting together with other Diamond members,swapping stories/getting suggestions for port activities and future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
We took this cruise during Spring Break due to our youngest child being on Spring Break. Had concerns about the activity being crazy but was pleasantly surprised with how well behaved the fellow cruisers acted. The ship does show some ... Read More
We took this cruise during Spring Break due to our youngest child being on Spring Break. Had concerns about the activity being crazy but was pleasantly surprised with how well behaved the fellow cruisers acted. The ship does show some age but overall was still a beautiful ship. Would gladly go on it again. The Promenade, dining rooms, theaters, etc were superb and loved all of the shows. The worst part of the cruise was the embarkation process. I had read about Terminal 29 before going to Fort Lauderdale and of course the earlier comments were right on the money. The Terminal was busy as there were 4-5 other ships going out including the Oasis of the Seas. Congestion was an understatement. We traveled with another family member and their spouse so the five us drove to the Park N Fly, who were excellent. I would recommend them again in a heart beat. Never waited for getting to the ship or off of it so would recommend them to anyone for consideration. We unloaded all of our bags and the Port Staff were busy getting the thousands of bags in the lot. Within 15 minutes of our unloading we saw rain clouds forming (welcome to Florida) and sure enough it began to rain. There is no difference in the handling of bags so if you think a GS cabin will get you special treatment for bags you are mistaken. We saw our suit-bags and suitcases getting drenched in the rain for 15 minutes. They did not have enough tarps to cover and there seemed to be no urgency for the staff to rectify the situation either. We were standing in the rain for several minutes until they finally rearranged the long lines to give some coverage under the limited covering. My wife's formal dress got wet and stained from other clothes being in the same garment bag. We had 20 items hanging all over the cabin trying to dry and sent off 4 to be cleaned of which two they could not get the water stains out of. Sure they tried to clean them for free and apologized but we were not happy with this issue. I can assure you I will never go out of Fort Lauderdale #29 again. The Oasis and Allure have there own new terminal and it is suppose to be state of the art but outside of that there are no guarantees. I've been out of Port Canaveral and it is like the stone ages in Terminal 29. Now the Good part. Our state room attendant was fantastic. Augusta was the consummate professional. While quickly learning our names and greeting us coming and going every day and night when he saw us. He would step out of room he was cleaning to inquire about our day and if he could do anything for us. Our dining room staff were excellent as well throughout the cruise. The food was very good and for the most part prepared well. We ate most of our breakfast in the formal dining room instead of the Windjammer. The Windjammer met our expectations for buffet dining but we preferred the dining room most of the time. The ports were excellent and getting on and off the ship was easy for us. We did the ATV ride to Orient Beach in St Maarten. The ride was cool but Orient Beach was overrated in my humble opinion. We did the rain forest excursion in St Kitts and that was really informative. Long hike so having good shoes and being in reasonable shape is recommended. We just walked around in Puerto Rico and shopped since it was such as short stop. We really enjoyed Labadee since it had the cleanest beaches and all the available activities. The Zip-line was cool to see and will probably do that if we go back there again. Overall, I would recommend this cruise to anyone with the caveat that you should avoid Ft Lauderdale Terminal 29. It could have made a good cruise a great cruise if the embarkation process would not have started off so poorly. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
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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