1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
After several cruises with Royal Caribbean and some prior with Fred Olsen, we have been disappointed and probably will not go with RC again. Service is poor and standards are dropping, see details below: 1 Chops Grille for lunch, poor ... Read More
After several cruises with Royal Caribbean and some prior with Fred Olsen, we have been disappointed and probably will not go with RC again. Service is poor and standards are dropping, see details below: 1 Chops Grille for lunch, poor menu selection, average quality. No sides of vegetables ? 2 No room safe, asked at customer service (twice), eventually turned up after 3 days. It then stopped working on THREE ocassions, complained at Customer Service, response poor and no manager available, showed complete lack of interest. 3 Enquired about transfers from ship to hotel and transfer to airport following day arranged by Royal Caribbean, again not really interested in helping me and made a bland statement that it would be sorted on day of disembarkation. (total lack of information) 4 Main Dining Room - repetative menu with little change. 5 Disembarkation at Miami (total chaos), no help from RC staff on shore who did not have any information and even sent us to wrong bus pick up point. 6 We were intending to book another cruise on board but after several cruises with RC have now decided to try another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
Have been on a few other different cruise lines. This was our first on Royal Caribbean. Our cabin steward was brilliant. He informed me that they, and a few other, direct customer facing employees are not paid at all by the cruise line. ... Read More
Have been on a few other different cruise lines. This was our first on Royal Caribbean. Our cabin steward was brilliant. He informed me that they, and a few other, direct customer facing employees are not paid at all by the cruise line. They rely on tips for their "wages". Ours was definitely worth his tips. Embarkation was very smooth - don't listen to those that say it wasn't. We bought a package and only ate in the speciality restaurants.Whilst the food was generally of a high standard it wasn't really to my taste. I preferred the food in the Windjammer Cafe. As others have mentioned I did find the lack of toiletries and tissues surprising. That is the first cruise line I have encountered a lack of those things. Contrary to what others are saying - there was plenty to do. Quizzes, lectures, dancing, shows, ice shows etc. What more do you want! To the people that complain about lack of smoking space and then complain about the cigar room "stinking!" - what planet are you on! That's what non smokers put up with all the time. Not our best cruise ever. But that's because of penny pinching by Royal Caribbean. But would I take another cruise with them - yes. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
This was a cruise from southhampton to USA. The embarkation was poor at southamption as to waiting times which was due to the way the queues are organised. The arrival at Boston took a minimum standing time of ... Read More
This was a cruise from southhampton to USA. The embarkation was poor at southamption as to waiting times which was due to the way the queues are organised. The arrival at Boston took a minimum standing time of two hours to get off ship with queues stretching more than double the length of the ship to go through US customs; customs were quick; therefore the delays are down to RC. Similar delays were also on final embarkation of the ship. Again this was down to RC and not as claimed by RC due to port and customs. There is plenty of senior staff going around the ship checking on front of house staff and service. Front of house staff and their service was generally very good and the amount of senior staff are not required as standing around on phones/discussions do not assist the front of house staff or the service. More front of house staff and less senior staff would improve the passenger experience. i.e. there was a problem at the promanade cafe which saw 4 senior staff on phones and in discusions with each other. The addition of two front of house staff to serve the customers, then the kitchen could not keep up with the customers queues better if the seniors had actually joined the front line staff and back room to improve the service. Similarly the windjammer, certain dishes were not available for 15 minutes and front line staff having to complain on behalf of passengers. What dishes there were available e.g, sausages you could not get a knife through the middle and the ends were worse, this cannot be edible. At this time there was 3 senior staff checking the service in the windjammer. Possibly checking the product that was being served and assisting with service would have improved the customers experience. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2017
I booked 2 rooms one for us and another couple friend. This was their 1st time on a cruise so they loved it however it was our 5th but 1st time with Royal C. I found ship very small compare to others and very crowded on a sea day. Always ... Read More
I booked 2 rooms one for us and another couple friend. This was their 1st time on a cruise so they loved it however it was our 5th but 1st time with Royal C. I found ship very small compare to others and very crowded on a sea day. Always struggling to find space to sit near the bar area when there is nothing else going on. Also hard work finding seats up in the Windjammer at anytime. Food in the dinning hall was very poor quality and tasteless though the head person who was looking after our table was trying his best but the chef's compare to WindJammers were not good with our requests and 3 of us were vegetarians. Finally we decided to just eat in Windjammer. Also they closed at 9pm which was too early as lots of people use to get there after the 1 show and people who want to see the 2 show were also trying to eat there as it would close before the 2nd show finished. Some waiters were friendly and others not, as they struggled with speaking English. Our room was on the 9th floor 9660 which was right opposite the stairs for service and so bringing luggage or taking luggage or any other time we use to hear lots of noises at odd hours. Entertainment was good but then other cruise liners were also good. We had all inclusive drinks package so that was good but even then from 4th day they did not have mint or sometimes lemon or certain beers and asked us to go to another bar which kept our choice. Oh and on the 10th day we found out from another passenger that we could order special request food at Windjammer which was really nice but this should have been told by the dinning hall people from the 1st day when they knew 3 out of 4 in our party were vegetarian. Immigration for St Petersburg was very long and took forever. We left our ship at 11.30 since we were queuing from 8.30am !! But it was worth it and our guide was very good English speaking and recovered the lost time and finished late. I would go on this cruise again only if there is a very good deal otherwise if I had to pay the same money then I would go on other cruise liner. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
RCI was tops in our cruise choices due to our prior experience. Now , it is below Holland and Princess. The reasons are the multitude changes that must be caused by the bean counters. Everything on the ship is offered at a price, the ... Read More
RCI was tops in our cruise choices due to our prior experience. Now , it is below Holland and Princess. The reasons are the multitude changes that must be caused by the bean counters. Everything on the ship is offered at a price, the Advertisements commence from boarding to departure; in the dining room of all places and everywhere. The announcements are advertisements. There is no longer little things like chocolates at night or mints or candy at the exits of the dining rooms. The elevator key pads are hard to read. The internet charges are ridiculously high. No TV programs to look at only repeated third rate comedy shows. No Fox channel. During the crossing we were without cable for TV news for four days. When most of the passengers come from USA and Canada we like to follow news at this important time. When we got it back there was only BBC for a day then CNN int'l occasionally. There were no movies on TV. Yet movie was shown at pool outside in horrible weather and ocean conditions but not inside on the tV screen. No movies in the theatre of other locations. The dancers and their programs were loud and annoying rather than pleasing. The juggler, comedian acts were super as well as the great ice performance. All staff in the dining room and room stewards were professional and 100% helpful and pleasing. It is the ongoing new programs requesting money charges that is offensive. The ship was clean and well taking care. The port calls were fantastic. Dining service: no small spoon or forks offered for small dishes. Food was excellent and the 11th floor food was always great with great service by the stewards. All crew were happy to please and were very helpful. Gym: no TV at the elliptical equipment. 11th floor dining: not open between meals or late at night. What happened? Whoever controlled the volume of announcements or music in the dining rooms ought to be shot. Extremely loud and annoying. Lack of chocolate in deserts was apparent. Cost cutting? Stateroom was clean and appearance good. Some towels should have been used as sheets as they would not dry and absorb water. Charges for drinks too high and then to add 18% is insulting. Why do we pay the gratuity charge daily? Pretty soon you will charge for bathroom visits. Please put the outside temperature and wind force on the TV channel that shows boat position. We will chose RCI only as our last resort for our next cruise. Robert cabin 2342. Early dining at 17:30 hours. ps: these are not my thoughts alone but many or all of the passengers we met and spoke socially. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Keep in mind that this is just my second cruise and I am not exactly a "cruise person." The idea of taking multiple cruises every year makes no sense to me at all. Anyway, we signed up for this "repositioning cruise" ... Read More
Keep in mind that this is just my second cruise and I am not exactly a "cruise person." The idea of taking multiple cruises every year makes no sense to me at all. Anyway, we signed up for this "repositioning cruise" because the initial price was low and because the idea of crossing the Atlantic seemed like a good one. Sailing-wise, things started out fine, but the last three or so days at sea out of Miami were VERY rough, and this is a ship that does not have the same level of stabilizing as some of the newer and larger ships out there. Plus the weather was kind of cold and super-windy. All the crew folks I interacted with-- waiters and bartenders-- were great. My favorite people to chat with by far were these folks who tend to have some really interesting stories about life on the ship, about where they are from etc. Maybe I'm a food snob, but I thought the offerings in the Windjammer cafeteria were kind of so-so and the main dining room was very mixed (some nights, great; others, not so much). We got 4 of the speciality restaurant meals. Chops Grill (if you like a good steak) and Izumi (if you like sushi and related Japanese dishes) were very good and worth the extra charge; Giovanni's was not very good (stick with the pasta if you go) and Sabor was just downright bad. We saw a couple of good to okay shows-- the ice skating stuff was surprisingly good and we saw a very funny juggler/comedian dude. My wife and I enjoyed the "Mystery Dinner" too. We "entertained" ourselves too much in the casino and the bars, which was good though being at sea for so long meant we spent too much money in those places. I think the best ports of call were the Azores and Lisbon. In the Azores, we took a shore excursion to the "crater lakes" of the main island and it was unbelievably beautiful. I'd love to go back there for a week to hike around and take in the small island charm of it all. Lisbon was so interesting and lovely too-- another place to visit for longer. Vigo was kind of boring as was A Courna, though we did visit Hercules' Tower on our own and enjoyed that a lot. La Havre was okay; a lot of people take a day-trip to Paris, but the idea of getting on a bus for a couple of hours each way to spend just a couple of hours in Paris seemed silly. And we also took a shore excursion at the end in Southampton to Stonehenge because it combined a trip through the English countryside to "the stones" (very cool) and then to the airport, and it costs about the same as just a trip to the airport. Would I do it again? Not the same itinerary (I'd want to see different places) and I'm not ready to make it an annual event, but hypothetically, I would do the right trip at the right time again. It's not nearly as cheap as advertised, but it is still a pretty decent deal. And the next time around, I'd have a better idea about what I was actually getting myself into here. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
Heard good things about RC, and had tried carnival, princess and Costa. Sadly RC failed to even match any of those on all levels. :-( Food was mediocre, and lacking in choice. Dining room food was consistently hot though, which is ... Read More
Heard good things about RC, and had tried carnival, princess and Costa. Sadly RC failed to even match any of those on all levels. :-( Food was mediocre, and lacking in choice. Dining room food was consistently hot though, which is commendable. Not once in 14 days did we get offered pepper mill. Small thing, but telling. TV choice was so repetitive and limited it was scandalous. They could have at very least shown some different movies, but it was literally the same every day for 2 weeks!!! Library had virtually no books!! Ship is tatty, especially on deck. Also not well cleaned, even in main dining. Buffet was mediocre and limited. Entertainment was also mediocre at best. Beatles show was basic but good. Comedian was good. Ice show was the best thing in the whole 2 weeks!! I cannot say it was terrible, but it was a let down. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Stateroom 9300-excellent location. Chosen for its ports and price, both of which were good. We had sailed on this ship 1.5 years ago. In that time RCCL seems to be doing some cost cutting. Furnishings in lounge areas were showing ... Read More
Stateroom 9300-excellent location. Chosen for its ports and price, both of which were good. We had sailed on this ship 1.5 years ago. In that time RCCL seems to be doing some cost cutting. Furnishings in lounge areas were showing extreme wear. Our cabin steward was required to care for 16 cabins on his own which left little time for some extra cleaning that needed to be done in our room. Capacity on this ship overpowers access to seating in most areas. Having only one small venue for snacks during off-buffet hours resulted in no seating available most of the time. Seating was also impossible during any 'game' event as no lounge was big enough to accommodate participants in these trivia type activities. Entertainment was a mixture of excellent to poor. When there was a very talented guest entertainer, the ship's band (although excellent themselves) drowned out guest by the volume. Overcharged for laundry twice and had to go to guest services for adjustments. Food and food service was excellent! Staff in Windjammer and in Dining room were efficient, friendly and accommodating. No complaints in this area. Shops offered variety of goods and sales were good as usual. Excursions had several choices, although we usually do our own thing at ports now. It seems RCCL may be putting all of their efforts into the newer jumbo ships? As frequent cruisers we will be hesitant to book RCCL again. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
Embarkation in Miami was long and tedious, maneuvering the sea of people trying to get on board. My mother could not get her wheelchair as requested. There was a LONG line of people waiting, very few wheelchair attendants and no place to ... Read More
Embarkation in Miami was long and tedious, maneuvering the sea of people trying to get on board. My mother could not get her wheelchair as requested. There was a LONG line of people waiting, very few wheelchair attendants and no place to sit curbside to wait at the Port of Miami...........major faux pas. Disembarkation in Southampton was timely, easy and orderly. Wheelchair was ready and the attendant was very helpful and courteous, attending to her every need. We selected this cruise in particular because we had not visited any of the ports featured. Pleased with all of the ports except Vigo, Galicia, Spain……..which was fairly average. Did not like the four-deck open design of the Deck 5 Atrium Promenade...felt it was a waste of good space that could have made the bars and sitting areas much larger to better accommodate the thousands of passengers onboard. The ship is huge, décor was rather subdued, showed signs of wear in some areas, but spotlessly clean. The cabin was clean and spacious enough. We got a veranda room with balcony but the weather was way too cold and windy to sit outside, so that part was a huge waste of money. It was so cold and windy that there was hardly any activity in the pool and hot tubs. So those of you planning a spring transatlantic beware. Transatlantic voyages returning to the Caribbean from Europe in the fall are much warmer so the balconies and outdoor areas are much better used. The entertainment was average to good, not so much because of the talent but because of the small size venues holding the events. We were never able to see the ice skating show in Studio B, although there were 3 performances. There was also no monitoring of tickets, so some people got to see the skating show 3x and we did not even get to see it once. The dining options were very good and the food in the Sapphire dining room was excellent with great variety, quality food, inventiveness, beautiful presentations, courteous and attentive managers, assistant managers and servers. The Windjammer was also very good in all respects except the noise and lack of seating. There were times a seat was hard to find because of the many passengers. The crew was the best point of the ship and trip. Every single crew member we encountered was friendly, attentive to our needs, courteous and disposed to being of help, from the Hotel Manager Sanjay to the restroom cleaning crew. So although we were extremely pleased with the people aspects of the cruise, we will probably not ever sail the Navigator again or any other ship in its category. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We used to sail RCCL often, but have recently switched to Celebrity. Back on RCCL due to a great itinerary, we could really see the differences. Just little things, but it will return us to Celebrity for our future cruises. Royal is ... Read More
We used to sail RCCL often, but have recently switched to Celebrity. Back on RCCL due to a great itinerary, we could really see the differences. Just little things, but it will return us to Celebrity for our future cruises. Royal is just a bit too nickle and dime, and the amenities are just that much less special. Overall: After spending the winter in the Caribbean, this Transatlantic repositioning was not planned well by the crew. With lack of cable signal for much of the crossing, RCCL did not provide alternate TV viewing so the same comedies were shown over and over, no movies on in-room TV (although shown on the outside pool screen at 7pm and 10pm on freezing cold, windy nights - seriously? ) For entertainment, the crew clearly had been "thinking" about how to supplement, with a couple of crew talent shows, but, again, RCCL, PLAN for the cruise from headquarters. This is a 14 day cruise. Also, daytime activities were sorely lacking in creativity. Every sea day had the same quizzes, expensive bingo a few times, and, of course, the requisite "bargains" on the promenade. And from 10 to noon, overlapping activities and then nothing in the afternoon, except more quizzes. As many have reported for all RCCL sailings, the constant "sell" does get old. In the dining venues, even MDR, people coming around to push the specialties. The staff was very friendly, and, for the most part, professional. But little things lacked, like suite toiletries not replaced unless we asked the cabin attendant, same with the coffee for the in-room pot. In the dining room, never once saw crumbs being scraped from a table. But overall, service was good and especially want to commend the bartenders and the staff at the specialty coffee bar on the promenade. We had a junior suite, and this was a highlight! The walk in closet was amazing! The most storage I have ever had on a ship! And the larger bathroom was nice. I would have rather had a coffee table than the upholstered chair, which we used as a coffee table for our room service breakfast on early port days. The ports: Azores: very nice port. We had hired a private guide from Azores4travel, and he was quite good. Lisbon: Booked a small group tour thru "We hate Tourism Tours" who provided a great tour of the island (called "Pirates tour" which is misleading, because it has nothing to do with pirates, just is their one day tour for cruise ship passengers) Vigo: we took what we thought was a hop on hop off tour but it was not really that way, an hour between buses, so you could not get off. This was a boring port and could have been skipped in my opinion A Coruna : We took the RCI extended half day tour to Santiago, which was a good tour, enjoyed the cathedral and walking around the town. Too much time was spent as a group walking the town, would have preferred longer "free time". Le Havre: Our group of 4 split with two going w/ RCI to Paris, for a one hour bus tour and 3 free hours. As expected, really too short a time to be in Paris to get much sightseeing done. The other two of us had organized an 8 person tour thru Overlord Tours with 6 others from our Roll Call. This was a thorough tour of the Normandy area, I would recommend it. Southampton: Our first rainy day (we had been incredibly lucky with weather up to this point, all of our shore days were amazing, sunny, weather. (We had a couple of rocky days during the crossing, but generally good weather). We had arranged private transport via Smiths for Airports, to London, where we had booked an AirBNB for 2 nights in the Pimlico area, which we really enjoyed. Entertainment: not sufficient for the long voyage. The Beatles band ("The Best of Britain") were quite good. The Ice skating was also good, but there were not enough performances for those who wanted to see it. BAD planning. On such a long cruise with so many sea days, I was very disappointed in the "enrichment" speakers. One guy was an astronomy expert, and spoke multiple times but this had no interest for me. The other guy spoke a bit about the ports, but he really did not seem like an expert. Really could have done better here.. The Casino: really need to either ban smoking altogether or have more smoke free tables of all game types. The one or two smokers in the casino really ruin it for a great many. O Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We chose this cruise for its dates and the stop in Boston during which I would have had the opportunity to meet for lunch there with family members living in Rhode island. We are thankful for all the perks that our diamond status ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its dates and the stop in Boston during which I would have had the opportunity to meet for lunch there with family members living in Rhode island. We are thankful for all the perks that our diamond status entitled us to. Also free use of sauna/steamroom We congratulate the restaurant staff for impeccable friendly service (table 23) and the cooks for high quality and variation of meals. Steward : helpful and eager. The shows were of lesser quality compared to other cruises we enjoyed and mostly TOO LOUD . Wines too expensive and + 18% service charge. On arrival in Boston (first U.S. port) at 8 AM American nationals were checked by immigration first. We had been ordered to come to the officers by 11,10 AM. The first two groups were called. Then :.. no more information at all. We went - unasked - to the waiting line at 2 PM and were allowed off the ship only at 3,15 PM ,still many passengers waiting behind us at 3,15 PM. All had to be back aboard at 4,30 PM. So : no disembarking in Boston possible for most non-Americans. No lunch in town with my family = very angry. Particularly since I could not warn them needing to reactivate my U.S, cellphone on land. Most probably the cruise line may not be responsible but at least you may expect some information in your cabin. AND : skip a port that cannot handle your number of passengers Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We chose this cruise as we love Royal Caribbean and have have always been very happy with the cruise line. We are extremely loyal to the Company. But having said this they disappointed us this time as follows. - Major Security ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we love Royal Caribbean and have have always been very happy with the cruise line. We are extremely loyal to the Company. But having said this they disappointed us this time as follows. - Major Security incident handled poorly in dining room. - Captain never made PAs to keep passengers informed. - We missed Boston as US Customs took 8 hours to disembark passengers. Both sides blame the other, and all passengers got for their troubles was a free drink! - Bars continually ran out of mixers and condiments for cocktails etc. - Staff very unfriendly, jaded and generally tired. - Food in Sapphire very bland at times and not enough choice with many dishes being repeated even on the same menu. (Creme Brulee was certainly no up to standard) - From 6-7pm there was no live music at any bar pre-dinner. - Some headliner shows were lacking in entertainment value. - We felt that as this was a Transatlantic cruise, RCCL may have cut costs? The good things were: - the dance instructors, piano bar entertainer, Hannah and Robert at Guest services, Christiana Iordan in the Windjammer, RCCL orchestra and musical entertainers. - beautiful ship otherwise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Check in at Southampton was excellent, fast and efficient was able to upgrade our drinks package at the port which saved time on ship. We were pleased with our cabin, it was a good size and we had an excellent cabin steward. I had ... Read More
Check in at Southampton was excellent, fast and efficient was able to upgrade our drinks package at the port which saved time on ship. We were pleased with our cabin, it was a good size and we had an excellent cabin steward. I had ordered champagne and strawberries to sail away (which was a good job as the sail away party was non existent) to receive the strawberries at 8pm that night? The fridge was a waste of time, it was warmer than the cabin itself. We were blessed with good weather for the muster which was a good thing as it took forever and we were stood outside. The entertainment was appalling, it is a good job we like each other's company as you would have been completely bored. Unless you love quizzes there is practically nothing going on in the day other than paid activities ( we did a couple of wine tastings and a sushi class which were great but obviously at a cost). The shows consisted of singers and one (poor) comedian. Having been on NCL the previous month they had a much better variety of entertainment and we just didn't bother in the end. Now for the food, my husband and I are big foodies and had booked the 5 night dining package and the murder mystery night. Again, having been on NCL the month before & having sailed on the Ovation in April we were expecting much better things. I understand that the length of the cruise meant that a lot of food would be frozen but I don't think in the MDR we had a meal where we all didn't leave at least one course each (we did send back at the start but gave up because it was never any better) it was like being presented with school dinners and the last night my husband was given a fish course straight out of the bargain frozen section of any supermarket, it was actually shocking it was so bad. I would have been ashamed to serve up some of the pasta options. The Windjammer was in a word inedible, we tried three times and in the end I think I would just rather go hungry. The promenade cafe did bland pizza and sandwiches but as non meat eaters there was a fish option just the once and no variation at all. Chops Grille, don't bother - again I understand that food has to be frozen but frozen chips? They were disgusting. Izumi the sushi was good but the rice with the hot rock was stone cold, as we had to pay over our dining package for this it was not really acceptable. Giovanni's food was definitely the best and we had two very good meals here, however the Murder Mystery night whilst entertaining did not offer the same standard. We dined in the Mexican for an indian cookery demonstration which we enjoyed but cant comment on the normal menu. The internet was a joke, just didn't work. Customs at Boston was a nightmare, we had two hours off the ship. I know a lot of this is down to US immigration but Royal Caribbean could have done so much to help, forms in the room prior to getting down to the Promenade, actually controlling the line - we waited for our muster station to be called (and we had 9.50 so one of the firsts) to find everyone had ignored it anyway as were one of the last to be off. Those things are controllable and it is not acceptable to just blame the authorities. Loved New York, fast, efficient getting on and off the ship and in the perfect spot. Took a Royal Caribbean trip at Port Canaveral for an airboat ride and had excellent service, we were really pleased with this. So we enjoyed the trip, the staff onboard were excellent and the drinks package offered great value for money but as for food and entertainment I would not rate it above 2 stars. Honestly at times it was inedible and we were shocked at how bad it was, cheap, bland and served by chefs who obviously do not bother tasting their work or have no interest in it as it was actually laughable what was being served up. As for the entertainment, I don't know what they were paying the cruise director for as I think running pub quizzes is hardly taxing, we enjoyed the Promenade party and the odd times they did activities there but they seemed more interested in selling market tat than actually giving us something to do on a long sea crossing. Would do transatlantic again, not sure I would with Royal Caribbean though, we have a transpacific booked with them and I hope that this cruise was a one off for standards as if it is the same then that will be the last sailing we take with them. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
This was my first transatlantic cruise and I loved it!!! I am only giving it a three star rating for the following reasons: We had a balcony stateroom. The shower smelled of mildew!!! One of the drawers in the desk was full of ... Read More
This was my first transatlantic cruise and I loved it!!! I am only giving it a three star rating for the following reasons: We had a balcony stateroom. The shower smelled of mildew!!! One of the drawers in the desk was full of crumbs. The toilet was stained with black marks which came with an accompanying letter that No amenities unless asked for - just two bars of soap and a "one gel does all dispenser", I guess this was shampoo, conditioner, bath gel all rolled into one. I got better amenities at a two star hotel in Southampton, UK. The entertainment left a lot to be desired. The individual entertainers were very good (except for the magician who I wouldn't hire for a children's birthday party), and the ice skating show was lovely. The ship's band which accompanied the individual entertainers was also good. The ship's entertainment crew (those young boys and girls who sing and prance and dance) were horrible. The noise level was much higher than the talent level!!! The movies shown on the ship were geared to a very young audience. Most of the cruisers were middle-age and above. So what was the point of that???? I don't know who was responsible for the fiasco in Boston. There were maybe three passport control people to process 3,000 travelers. Some people never made it off the ship!!!! In 13 days of sailing, I did not see the captain once!!! All that being said, the housekeeping staff and the dining staff were wonderful!!!! I would love to do another transatlantic next year (southern route, not northern route), but would try to find a different ship. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was my 5th Transatlantic. Transatlantic cruises are my husband & my favorite cruise. This was our 25 Royal Caribbean cruise but our first on Navigator of the Seas. We have been loyalist to RCCL..25 cruises on RCCL, 1 on ... Read More
This was my 5th Transatlantic. Transatlantic cruises are my husband & my favorite cruise. This was our 25 Royal Caribbean cruise but our first on Navigator of the Seas. We have been loyalist to RCCL..25 cruises on RCCL, 1 on Celebrity. We flew down the evening before and stayed at a Quality Inn with cruise port shuttle. Hotel was fair but shuttle was full and had no openings till 2pm, so we had to get cab ($20). We would not stay at this hotel again. Check in at pier went smoothly though lines were longer for Crown & Anchor upper tiers than for general boarding. We got right on Navigator and made our way to pool deck. Ship was lovely and clean. Not many crew greeting you when you boarded. Windjammer buffet opened (only 1side) at 11:30. It was crowded and food was okay. Not a great selection. Crew in Windjammer was welcoming and helpful. The girl greeting you was wonderful and continued to be every day. She greeted everyone with a giant smile, warm hello and "washy,washy". Sometimes she had fairy wings, a princess crown, she just loved her job and the passengers. Got in room at 1pm. Inside cabin on deck 7. Was what we expected. Plenty of storage, very clean. There was a hole on the cushion of the love seat. Our cabin steward Mike was friendly, efficient and very helpful. We asked for ice and it was there every morning & evening. He made great towel animals...just wish they were more often. The location was good and room was quiet (7355) The menu was mediocre. It was first time we went to specialty restaurant based on not liking any item on menu. While the dining menu left much to be desired, our servers were great. Emily & Susan were fun, warm, and made sure we enjoyed our meal. They also went out of their way to say hi if they saw us in main dining room or Windjammer for breakfast or lunch. We NEVER saw our head waiter. Not once even to introduce himself. Shame on him! Specialty restaurants Gianni's and Chops were very good...food delicious and service great. Cruise director was depressing...he seemed to hate being at sea and wanted everyone to feel the same. He never seemed to interact with passengers or staff unless it was staged. NO Lectures except on retirement or if ship was trying to sell something. No special things for all the time at sea. And often cruise compass had wrong times. Was very disappointed in lack of activities or lack of planning (ie Show 8:30, game 8:45, karaoke 9pm). His morning show was depressing and it was only him behind a desk. No birthday, anniversary shout outs, no What's in the box. Activities staff ran the gamut... Billie andJP were friendly, always said hi and were lots of fun. Another girl was mean and nasty. Production shows were good, entertainers (for most part were excellent), ice show was spectacular. Never saw officers. Captain did not attend top tier event (which was a first for us) Excursions offered were great but the organizing of them was horrible. The first port the excursion departures were so disorganized that it created a dangerous situation with people just herded in, hallways, stairs and elevators blocked. Worst experience I ever had on cruise. Also awful was customs on the ship. Cruise director had a schedule, promised it would only take 10 minutes...he was a little off it took 2 days and people were in line for long periods of time. Cruise director spent a lot of time apologizing and thanking everyone for their patience, When we asked why there was such chaos, we were told "we weren't expecting so many of you" or "there are a lot of you". They should have known that, they had a passenger list and a list of who bought excursions. Every port had very long lines getting off and getting back on ship. Very poor planning and very disorganized. Any cruise is better than no cruise BUT Royal Caribbean feel far short of their WOW on this transatlantic The excursions we went on were very good, especially Fatima. It was the disorganization that was so horrible We had the Windsor Castle and airport drop off for disembarking. The meeting place was too small and when we got off to get luggage, many found their luggage not out. After more than 1/2 hour they found missing luggage still on ship and brought it out (5 carts full). Just another example of the disorganization. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Overall the cruise was great. The ship is dated but is a beautiful ship. Embarkation on first day was great. No issues at all. Food on ship was good. The buffet closed at 9pm which really wasn't good. If you have a late show, by ... Read More
Overall the cruise was great. The ship is dated but is a beautiful ship. Embarkation on first day was great. No issues at all. Food on ship was good. The buffet closed at 9pm which really wasn't good. If you have a late show, by the time you get out of the show, the buffet is closed which doesn't make any sense to me. They also didn't open up the whole Windjammer most of the time which was crazy. The only place to get a snack was on the promenade deck and it was limited as to what you could get. Couldn't make your own toast, so the toast they made was as hard as a rock cause it was probably sitting there. They should have had someone at the toaster making toast as people asked for it. Our dining room experience was good. The only thing I didn't like was that we had a table of 14 (oblong table) which I think is too big. We could never converse with the others at the other end of the table as it was too big. We have always had a table of 8 or 10 (round table) which was great. We have done 6 TAs and always enjoyed meeting the officers and the Captain always had a hour long q and a time at the coffee place. On this cruise, we never seen an officer (only at the Captain night). Not the most friendly officers. Excursions at the Ports - Getting off the ship was a nightmare and even worse getting back on from the ports. I have never seen such a dis organized group of people in my life. It took forever to get off the ship and the line ups to get back on the ship were worse. They really have to work on this. I think that it turned a lot of people off..It did us. Television was really bad in the rooms. They repeated the same shows day in and day out. I know this may sound trivial but on other ships they had great shows on the tv and never repeats. Our dining staff and housekeeping staff were great. I did notice that they have cut back on staff and staff were working a lot. All in all it was a great TA but there could be improvements. We are not loyal to any one shipping line but Royal Caribbean will not be top on our list. They have a lot to work on. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We booked this trip mainly on the blowout price. $500 for a 13 night cruise in a decent cabin cant be beat. This was our first time with RCCL but we are seasoned cruisers having sailed with 5 other companies. This was out first and likely ... Read More
We booked this trip mainly on the blowout price. $500 for a 13 night cruise in a decent cabin cant be beat. This was our first time with RCCL but we are seasoned cruisers having sailed with 5 other companies. This was out first and likely our last with RCCL. I got an incredible deal but If I had paid more I would have been disappointed. The good: Embarkation was very well organized The rooms were great, the beds, the size, the way they are organized. It all seemed very well thought out and as good as any line or room we have had. Many (but not all) of the staff were also very good. The main dining staff were professional and attentive. Most of the staff in the windjammer were also good. The spa staff were excellent. The ballroom themed show was excellent and the ice dancing show spectacular. These two shows were REALLY REALLY good. The orchestra was great and the cafe singers and guitar players were superb. The live violin and piano music in the dining room really added to the experience. The flowrider was fun and very easy to get time on. The gym was clean, well equipped, and always had space. The drinks were well made. The parade/carnival was fun. Medicore: The food, at best, was mediocre. Very bland and inoffensive, like a Cracker Barrel at sea. Far behind ANY other cruise line we have sailed. Our group lost weight on this 13 day cruise! The exceptions being the Indian and Asian foods offered which were edible to good. The juggler and Magician were decent enough. (I didnt catch the hypnotist so cant judge him) Cabin steward was good but lacked personality. The disco on the promenade could have been more interactive. Bad: The entertainment not mentioned above was awful. Like off-strip Vegas 25 years ago. Cruise director felt like a used car salesman and had no rapport or interaction with guests. Constant up-selling of Izumi and Sabor. I got approached 6 times for Izumi and 3 times for Sabor and was given the hard sell each time. It felt like a time share sales presentation and they often interrupted conversations and meals to sell to you. I was going to try them before the sales pitch but decided against it out of spite after the hard sell. By day 5 I just started to be rude and send them away once I saw them coming. Really disorganized ports, 1.5 hours to get on ship in Azores, problems at other ports. Cruise director admitting "he knows nothing about these ports"; well do some research! 24 hour cafe promenade is a joke. It is tiny and has only 2 options for food; Pizza or a Sandwich. Terrible pizza and sandwiches that are 4 inches of bread with 1 thinly sliced piece of meat and a limp piece of lettuce (literally). If you wanted a sandwich that didn't taste purely of bread you had to get 5 sandwiches, take them apart to make 1 decent sandwich. So much bread waste as everyone was doing this. Many other cruise lines do made to order sandwiches, why cant RCCL? It would save them money and waste. Better year ditch the cafe promenade and leave a section of Windjammer open past 9:30 pm! Windjammer (buffet area) closed and locked at many times people wanted to use it (after lunch, after 9:30). Heck at least let people sit in there, you don't have to serve food (although it would be nice to leave a small section open until at least midnight). There were not enough places to play cards and the windjammer and all its oceanview tables was locked up tight. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
I must commend the people who designed and built the boat... Bravo it is a beautiful boat. We were recently on a Transatlantic repositioning cruise. The operation of the cruise and the organizational weakness of the management was obvious ... Read More
I must commend the people who designed and built the boat... Bravo it is a beautiful boat. We were recently on a Transatlantic repositioning cruise. The operation of the cruise and the organizational weakness of the management was obvious through the cruise. The cruise director was enormously disorganized, regularly provided incorrect information and conducted the disembarkation for shore excursions in a terrible manner. Absolutely everyone was pissed. The line at the guest services desk was extremely long 24-7 with people lodging complaints and rarely more than one or two staff, always scowling. . If you want to see a short or no line go to the location where you sign up for your next cruise. Well staffed, happy people, but no line. They upsell you on 13 days of WI-FI, but when you get to sea, they tell you that because of the size of the ocean, there is no or weak WI-FI... what a scam... Again if you want to get a stronger signal, go sit in the location where you sign up for the next cruise. Their signal is great. Lovely boat, moderately good food, poorly prepared staff. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
I have 25 sailings with Royal Caribbean, four are on the Navigator all of our sailings on her have been wonderful. Unfortunately our Transatlantic cruise was not up to their normal high standards. The odd things that happened on this ... Read More
I have 25 sailings with Royal Caribbean, four are on the Navigator all of our sailings on her have been wonderful. Unfortunately our Transatlantic cruise was not up to their normal high standards. The odd things that happened on this cruise are not normal at all. I do have a few disappointments as well as high points to share. The guests on board were seasoned travelers, we notice every little thing. The average age was 65+. EMBARKATION - The line for the Priority boarding for Diamond and above was extremely long. The person inside the door at the terminal directed us to the shortest line for general boarding. It was a quick easy process. LIFE BOAT DRILL - The life boat drill was held later than usual. This created a problem in the dining room. Some muster stations are in the dining room. The life boat drill was not totally completed in time for the passengers with the 5:30 dining to enter the dining room. We were trying to leave as they were trying to enter. The poor waiters were trying to move everyone along. DIAMOND LOUNGE - The Star Lounge which they used for the Diamond Evening events had many broken chairs. Even by moving the large number of Diamond members to a huge facility, finding seats was challenging at times. On the positive side, there were two areas where you could get hot and cold snacks. They kept them well stocked. The waiters were always available to get you a beverage. Most of them remembered exactly what you drank. The regular Diamond lounge is always open. They still served their continental breakfast with Salmon, and had warm cookies in the afternoon. It is also a nice quiet place to go and sit. GUEST SERVICES - I never found any long lines or wait times at Guest Services, I went there on several occasions and quickly had my questions answered to my satisfaction. All the agents were pleasant. As usual there were long lines on day one and on the last day. MEDICAL FACILITY - I needed a medical issue taken care of and went to the medical facility. The particular insurance I purchased pays the facility up front. The guest should never receive a bill. This is one of the reasons I choose this company. It is not the insurance sold through the cruise line. I went to the medical office and showed them my insurance card. They didn’t look at the card and said it would be on my onboard account. My bill was less than $100 so it was not a budget breaker. I cannot imagine the immediate out of pocket cost of a major illness or accident on board. MISCOMMUNICATION - There were typo errors and incorrect information in the Daily Cruise Compass. That publication comes from the home office in Miami, therefore, the crew on board has no control over what they receive. They had to deal with what they got, just as we did. In my 25 cruises with Royal Caribbean I have never run across this issue. When the cruise director read the compass at his morning TV show you could see that he was taken aback by when he read daily events from the Cruise Compass. He was able to make verbal corrections on the spot. He tried to play it off, many people saw this action as uncaring. It is too bad passengers viewed it that way. It was not his intent, he was trying to make the best out of an uncomfortable situation. DAILY ACTIVITIES - There were many different types of activities to keep us busy through the entire trip. The activities were varied and offered something for everyone. DINING ROOM - I did not see shrimp cocktail on the menu any evening. I found out later, from another passenger, they do have it available if YOU ASK for it. The meals were ok, but not spectacular. The wait staff did an excellent job. IMMIGRATION - In order to speed up the disembarkation process in Southampton, immigration agents came on board during an at sea day to check our passports. Immigration did not send enough agents to smoothly and quickly do this process. The passengers did not help this situation either. We were all given times to show up for this process. Many thought why not go early. Well that action delayed everyone. Again not Royal Caribbean's fault. The immigration officials office determines how many agents they need to send out. There should have been more agents and passengers should have stuck to their assigned time to get in line. The cruise line did the best they could in this inconvenient situation. SPA - I have never treated myself to a massage on a cruise. I was pleasantly surprised, they have many rooms. Everything was professional and clean. The atmosphere was calm and I felt so much better after my treatment. I will do this on every cruise from now on. GYM - I thought with being at sea for so many days the gym would be packed. No it was not. I usually went about 10 AM and I was able to use any of the machines I wanted. ENTERTAINMENT - Many reviews slammed the entertainment. I did not find it much different than the regular twice yearly 7 night cruises we take. It is geared to please various tastes and they can't please everyone every day. SHORE EXCURSIONS - There were two tours offered to Normandy, people who booked one tour were told 2 days in advance it was cancelled due to weather. I find that odd since the other tour went on as scheduled. The weather was beautiful that day. This is a 10 hour tour and I do believe they should have some sort of provision for food. PONTA DELGADA WAIT- Unfortunately the port of Ponta Delgada did not have enough security agents. Due to short staffing and a small security area the wait to get back on board was 45 min to an hour. Royal Caribbean cannot be faulted for this. It is the Azores Port Authority who staffs the security. The blame lies on them for this. WINE TASTING TOURS - We took 3 tours which included wine tasting at the end of the regular tour. I do not recommend doing this. It is not what we think of as a wine tasting. All three places gave you a bit less than 2 oz of ONE wine. That was it. One place offered many cheeses, one offered some canapés and a sweet item, one offered only crackers. They are not worth the additional cost. Take the tour that is the same but does not include the wine tasting that is good by itself. ANOTHER SLOW EMBARKATION - At one port we had to wait for the gangway to be moved to a different level on the ship. This is due to the normal ebb and flow of the tides. It was an inconvenience but not Royal Caribbean's fault. They do not have control over the tides. They moved the gangway as swiftly and safely as they could. Yes, this caused lines, but there was no other option. We were at the mercy of the seas. HANDICAP ACCESSIBLE TOUR CANCELLED - At one port there was a tour geared to those with mobility issues. It was the only tour that was handicap accessible. They cancelled that tour due to only 4 people signing up. That is a shame and slap in the face to the disabled. PHOTOS - They are doing the purchasing of your photos differently. They now, after your order them on the computer kiosk, deliver them to your room. This did not work out so well. Many people did not get their photos and had to have the charges removed from their account. If you wanted to purchase a photo on the last night, there was no way they could get the photo to you before we docked. They were only open from 9-11PM the last day. You could pay and down load the photo to your electronic device. That would have incurred additional fees for WiFi, then the cost to have it printed when you got home. We wanted a PRIVATE BLACK AND WHITE photo taken in celebration of our 50th wedding anniversary. We tried to contact that photographer the entire 13 days on the ship. We went to the photo studio area and made the request every couple of days. They wrote down our name and said the photographer would contact us. That never happened. HELPFUL TIPS - There are 3 formal nights. You will move your clock ahead 1 hour at NOON 4 days in a row. From the Azores to Lisbon you move 1 hour ahead at midnight. From LeHarve to Southampton you move the clock back 1 hour at midnight. Changing the clock at noon was very strange. It is well worth taking the cruise line transfer from Southampton to Heathrow. It has two routes, one stops at Stonehenge and the other at Windsor Castle. LEAVING THE SHIP AT AN ALTERNATE PORT - I was curious if this could be done. I received many different answers. I know the answer now. Several couples left the ship in LeHarve and traveled on their own to other European destinations. You have to make special arrangements through the Cruise Line to do this. CRUISE DIRECTOR Jeff has been with Royal Caribbean for 25 years. Many passengers had issue with him. He has a very demanding job; he needs to be all things to all people, both passengers and staff. Imagine having lines of upset passengers and trying to solve all of their problems. Many issues were caused by outside sources not Royal Caribbean itself. With all of the glitches with this cruise this had to be one of the hardest ones he worked. Give him a break, put yourself in his shoes. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2013
So all in all a good cruise with all the typical good service from RCCL. Quick notes are that they really have very limited support for kids under 3 on most of the boats below the Oasis class. We were limited to $20/hour child care in ... Read More
So all in all a good cruise with all the typical good service from RCCL. Quick notes are that they really have very limited support for kids under 3 on most of the boats below the Oasis class. We were limited to $20/hour child care in our state room and 2-3 1 hour periods with a kid's staff member in the tot room. The also had bags of lender toys which was good but our tot got board with them and the hour play periods after about a week. To be fair there were no other kids under 2 for her to play with and the staff were very friendly but we were spoiled by our 7 day experience on Oasis when they not only had child care for $9/hr in a designated Royal baby's room but a 24 hour play room as well. Taking care out our tot in our room prevented us from enjoying our room childless. It was good we got a Grand suite or out tot would have had no place to run at all! The Weather in April was only warm enough to swim 1 or 2 days so that wasn't available for our tot either. Nor was there a pool with more than and inch of water for tots. So we spent a lot of time in our room or going with out tot back and forth to the few areas that were interesting to her. This was relaxing but it didnt allow much time for many of the other activities on the ship. We are fairly experience cruisers so we didn't feel we missed too much but it would have been nice to get out a bit more. The word from the crew is that the ship is due for dry dock which will address its getting older plan, During they dry dock they are supposed to update the child area. Recommendations: 1. Until updated you can get better service for kids under 6 on other boats and kids below 3 should avoid this ship. 2. Transatlantic cruises are populated by the traditional older set. Go if you enjoy just chilling out and meeting other seasoned travelers. 3. Get a bigger cabin on the long trips. It may sound obvious but the importance will hit you quickly especially if you have a kid in the room with you. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2013
Review of Navigator of the Seas, Transatlantic voyage April 6 through 21. 15 days, with stops in the Azores, Toulon, and Livorno on the way to Rome. Embarkation: The cruise port in New Orleans is very close to downtown and the ... Read More
Review of Navigator of the Seas, Transatlantic voyage April 6 through 21. 15 days, with stops in the Azores, Toulon, and Livorno on the way to Rome. Embarkation: The cruise port in New Orleans is very close to downtown and the French Quarter. Access is very narrow, but we arrived early enough that there were no crowds. Our baggage was collected immediately. The baggage handler asked for a tip (which I was prepared to pay) before he actually handled all of the bags. (I tipped $5, for which he took the bags from the taxi and put them in a nearby cage to be rolled onto the ship.) Check-in was relatively quick. We waited a short time in line, entertained by a couple complaining that Florence and Rome had not been located near enough to the ports. I observed that it was very inconsiderate of Romulus and Remus, but that went way over their heads. The actual check in process with the staff was as fast as I have ever seen. There were airline-like security checks. We had purchased two bottles of wine, but security did not care. We could have brought two bottles in each bag. Security did check one of our bags quickly because my laptop charger and some other electronics were in there. That was about 15 seconds. I also had an extension cord and a Belkin cube tap so I could have extra outlets for charging. There has been some commentary about cruise ship restrictions on these things, but security here did not care. We boarded the ship in short order. Having arrived just after 11, the cabins were not yet ready, so we toured the shop a bit, found a table in the pool area, and had lunch from the Windjammer. Cabin At 1, the cabins were ready and we went to see our cabin and drop our carry-on bags. We had a junior suite, no. 1394. This is an aft cabin, so it has a slightly different configuration from standard junior suites, and it has a very large balcony. The room itself was very nice and spacious. Our suitcases went under the beds, which had been pushed together per our request. The bath, with its tub, was also very nice. The cabin has a walk in closet, but one difference between this and others we have had is that the closet is long and narrow, and while there is a clothes hanger running much of the length of the closet, towards the aft end the closet is narrower than the hangers. Nevertheless, with clothes for a 3+ week trip, we had plenty of storage space. The room has a stocked refrigerator, which we emptied and used for our wine, etc. There are few outlets, but with my Belkin cube tap and with a universal adapter for the European outlet, I had enough power outlets for a laptop, camera battery chargers, Kindle chargers, etc. Given the proliferation of devices which need charging, The Belkin cube tap (which includes a surge protector) is a necessity. The balcony is large and had two loungers, two chairs and a table. It has somewhat of an obstructed view because of the ship superstructure in the back. It is fully covered by the Windjammer. On the Navigator, the Windjammer is enclosed, so our dreams of dropping food from the Windjammer to waiting arms below were dashed. Because the balcony is enclosed, it had no wind whatsoever. On the other hand, if you want to sun yourself (not generally our thing), on an Eastbound TA the balcony is in the shade until late in the afternoon. We did not find the walk to and from the cabin difficult. We tend to walk everywhere and use the steps as much as possible. Our cabin steward was Reynaldo. The cabin was always clean and bed made promptly. We requested ice and we had a fresh ice bucket twice a day. The cabin comes with towels for two, but with trips to the gym and pools, we needed more, and after one request, the towel rack was always stuffed with towels. We had robes. Towel animals appeared from time to time. Baggage Delivery Despite having checked in early, our bags did not arrive quickly. We had been told that as suite guests our bags would be promptly delivered, but only two of our 3 checked bags arrived by 4 p.m., the nominal sail time. At that time we did the muster drill, and from the deck we could see my wife's bag still in a cage on the dock. Along with lots of other stuff. The ship sailed about an hour late, with the excuse that there was more to load than for its typical 1 week voyages. (Hadn't anyone figured this out?) My wife's suitcase arrived around 7 p.m.; others in our area were delivered after 9 p.m. Supervisors came around inquiring what was missing; they were suitably apologetic and kept offering the canned excuse that there was a lot to load given the 15 day voyage. Since the length of the voyage was a running excuse, let me note that the Navigator sailed with just over 2900 guests for its approximately 3800 beds. Transatlantic sailings don't attract children, and there were a lot of singles on the ship. Let's move on to the ship. Spa and Exercise Facilities There is an exercise area, indoor Jacuzzi and gender specific saunas and steam rooms. The indoor Jacuzzi was nice, and large to even swim short laps. Given that it was sometimes cool outdoors, this was a nice touch. However, on a couple of occasions it was not heated enough. The paint was peeling. (Navigator is going into dry dock for refurbishment.) The men's sauna and steam room were OK, although on one day neither was very hot as some system failed, they cooled off, and had to be started from scratch. The men's room has lockers, and to get keys you need to go upstairs to the spa check in. Some of the lockers are not for the height challenged (they are over 7 feet off the ground) and on multiple occasions after getting a key, you find that someone has put stuff into that locker without securing a key. (Just clothes.) More trips up and down the stairs, but exercise in any form is welcome. HOWEVER, the ladies steam room was closed. Broken. According to the spa staff, they expected to have it fixed in a day or two. It wasn't. Then the story was that it would be fixed in the Azores. It wasn't. We ran into several couples who were double platinum or whatever who had sailed the Navigator on its Caribbean route earlier in the year, who reported the steam room was out of commission then. When my wife asked the staff, saying it's never going to be fixed, they agreed, and said it would not be fixed until dry dock, but they had been told to say that a fix was imminent. The Navigator does not have a thermal suite, so there are no co-ed steam rooms and saunas. Outdoor Pools There were always adequate deck chairs. The weather was not hot, so there were not a lot of swimmers or sun seekers. The outdoor running track was adequate. Often one of the outdoor pools was closed for maintenance. Dining Let's move on to meals. Given our balcony, we had breakfast in the room most mornings. Service was generally good, with the meal arriving at or before the ordered time. We were able to order things not on the pre-printed menu (like lox to go with the bagels.) HOWEVER, when in port at Toulon, delivery was way late. For us and lots of people. On a morning when it makes a difference. I don't recall the precise times, but if we had asked for 7 to 7:30 delivery, it arrived at 7:45 a.m. After several calls. And incomplete although that was quickly remedied. (I had called to make sure they had our order; if they didn't, I would have simply gone to Windjammer.) A supervisor called us that evening to confirm that the problem had been resolved to our satisfaction (it had) but again offered the excuse that the kitchen was not prepared for as many people who ordered room service on a port day. Like that had never occurred before. And, on a ship traveling 900 light from capacity. We tended to eat lunch in the dining room, opting for the large table option. You meet interesting people that way. The dining room offers a salad bar where you pick what you want and the staff makes up the salad. Uniformly good. There are also a few buffet items; we tried a few and were not impressed. There is also a menu which changes somewhat daily. Those choices tended to be good. HOWEVER, the dining room opened at noon. If you arrived at noon, and promptly ordered, telling the waiter you had something planned at 1 or 1:30 (a class, exercise, walking group, etc.) it was impossible to get out before 1, and usually not before 1:15 p.m. Not the waiter's fault. The main courses are simply not ready. (Yes, I know, I should have gone to Windjammer if I'm time pressed.) Dinner was in the main dining room late seating. We had a table for six, which is good for conversation. Our table mates were diverse, which is something we enjoy on cruises. One couple was German and Austrian, living in Canada for many years. The other couple was Puerto Rican, living in South Carolina for many years. Both of the husbands were engineers. One of the great things about cruising is meeting people with entirely different life experiences and views. Our wait staff, Gezik and Neal, were great. My wife likes lemon with her water, and a plate of lemon slices arrived as we were seated every night. When she has Caesar salad, she prefers it without cheese, and that's how it came. We had a 12 bottle wine package. Whatever we selected was always in stock. Our leftover wine was stored or we took it with us. If we stored it Neal had it back for dinner the next day. We knew the wine selection in advance and it was good. The menu included about six regular items (salmon, strip steak) and about six rotating items. My wife likes salmon, but after three attempts gave up as the salmon had no taste. The way it is prepared is that after lunch it is seared on both sides to seal it, and stored in the kitchen until dinner, when it is baked. (No open flames in the kitchen.) It is not marinated in anything, ever. Sauces are sometimes offered, but they did not help. The salmon was not seasoned, either. Eventually, on a fifteen day cruise, the menu got repetitive and boring. That goes for appetizers, dinners and desserts. The kitchen did make us some souffle's on request, but, alas, our tablemates did not want a souffle every night. There was only one lobster night, and that was a lobster tail. That night was also prime rib night, so RCI got to offer two higher cost items on the same menu to reduce demand. (And if you don't think that's true, take the all-access tour like I did.) I prefer lobster tail to lobster, but, interestingly, the headwaiter thought that lobster tail was simply the tail of a Maine lobster. It's not, and after we had this discussion, he came back one night as we were leaving and said that the executive chef had confirmed that lobster tail was a separate species of crustacean. Maine Lobster was available, at an increased charge. Food service on the ship, like all cruise ships, is getting more restricted. What we like to do, for example, is to have a snack on our balcony at 5 or so, along with whatever wine was left over from the last night. However, the Windjammer is now only open specific hours, and closes about 4:45 p.m. And at that time, hors d' ouerves are not out. At 6 there will be sushi (unlabeled), meats, cheeses, etc. There is the Promenade Cafe, which is always open, but its food choice is limited. The ship also has a Johnny Rockets as an extra charge restaurant. We refrained, since the extra charge approximates what we pay at home for Johnny Rockets. Unlike some ships, this Johnny Rockets was not open for breakfast. It was largely empty, as I suspect its clientele are typically from the teenager crowd, lacking on this trip. We went to Portofino once, for a murder mystery dinner. The show was great, and the food and service were excellent. We did not try Chops. We wholeheartedly recommend the fun of the murder mystery dinner. Coffee service was always available. The ship serves Seattle's Best, which is fine with us. Starbucks is available for an extra charge at the Promenade Cafe. Frozen yogurt was available at three different stations whenever we wanted it: chocolate, vanilla, sometimes strawberry, and a combination. The ship also offers Ben & Jerry's for an extra charge. We refrained. Food was also served for lunch in the Promenade. The displays were enticing. Health We, along with a great many other passengers, developed coughs. One member of our meet-and-mingle group developed pneumonia. RCI personnel constantly urged us to use Purell, which is available everywhere. RCI personnel cleaned things like the banisters regularly. Cruise Critic and Meet and Mingle We followed the roll call on Cruise Critic (about 5000 posts) and joined meet and mingle. Did the cabin crawl, slot pull, murder mystery dinner together, book cluib, walking tour. Other activities were organized, We organized one tour with folks we met on meet and mingle. All-Access Tour I took the All-Access tour, with about 10 other people. Cost is $150, although my sense was that I was the only one who paid. Good tour, well worth it. Toured the bridge, with the officers there explaining things. Then a visit to the engine control room, where the engineer on duty gave a 45 minute talk on how to run the ship. That ran over, annoying the environmental guy. Then on to waffles in the crew's quarters. Off to the kitchen, where we saw food storage and learned about ordering stuff, and learned that the chef had a budget per person per day for food. We saw the pictures of every arrangement of food for the staff to use to make up plates, although not all of the arrangements were going to be used on the cruise. We saw salmon being seared and stored, rolls being baked, shrimp cocktail being assembled. Then off to backstage in the theater, and finally a stop for champagne. Activities There was plenty to do on the multiple sea days. There is entertainment in the evening, ranging from singers, comedians, the Dungeon dance club, the ice show and production shows. The ice show was very good; we understand that the second time it was offered, given that the ship was rolling a bit, the performers missed a few cues, but got rave reviews from the crowd for their spunk. We entertained ourselves at trivia in two different groups. What kept us attending was our two groups, otherwise we would have dropped out. The questions were prepared and had been used multiple times before (sometimes repeated during the cruise), but every day there were answers which were wrong. Not close calls. The Great San Francisco Earthquake did not occur in 1908 but in 1906. Golda Meir is not the only Israeli prime minister born in Russia; there were 7. The country closest to where the Titanic sank was not Halifax, which, last I checked, was not a country, nor is it Nova Scotia, which is not a country but a Province of Canada. The staff member running trivia took Canada, Nova Scotia and Halifax as correct answers. Internet I bought the 500 minute internet package. RCI tells you that you need to go to a hot spot. The Solarium hot spot did not work. The internet center on 8 was fine, although as usual for this type of service with high usage everyone's connection slowed. I had a problem once where the connection would not disconnect and kept billing; guest services remedied it promptly. I was able to get a connection in our aft cabin twice. Telephone I have an Apple iPhone 5 and my wife a Blackberry Bold. Service was good for the first few days. (We were just using the phones for e-mail.) Then mine stopped working and my wife's was slow. Guest Services called Verizon, which reported a world-wide problem with the ship system. That lasted about 3 days. (Not an RCI problem.) Pricing We booked a year in advance, paid retail (about $3,800), and got an aft cabin, our first aft cabin. RCI tells cruisers to book early for best selection and price. (We also got a $250 shareholder's credit.) Until our final payment was due, pricing did not change. As soon as final payment was made, RCI began offering a special, book a balcony or better and get a free liquor package, valued at $1650. (We can't and won't drink that much.) Our agent tried to get this deal for us but was unsuccessful, even though a few people on Cruise Critic reported that they had persuaded RCI to extend the deal to them. I wrote to RCI; no response. Once on the ship, we met a number of people who received the free liquor package even though they did not meet the terms of the offer, including one fellow who got a single for $470, had the single supplement waived, and got the free liquor package. He showed up at dinner every next nicely lubricated. Disembarkation We left early in the morning to catch a train to Rome. We purchased a transfer from RCI from port to the train station because we wanted to make an early train. Getting our bags was as easy as it could be. About 17 people purchased this early transfer. 16 showed up on time. So what do you do if you are RCI? You hold the bus for the last guy, 20 minutes, inconveniencing the folks seeking to make the earliest train to Rome. No manner of requesting that we leave for the 10 minute trip to the train station made a difference. (We were less concerned as we were meeting our daughter in Roma Termini and had more room in our schedule.) Dings I wrote to Adam Goldstein about the liquor package offer. I'm still waiting for a response. It's been 3 months. My wife filed a comment card about the non-working women's steam room (and other matters) very early in the cruise. She was promised a response in 24 hours from guest services. She's still waiting. My wife was publicly insulted by a member of the cruise director's staff we had not seen before or after. When we saw Keith, the cruise director, later that day, the incident had already been reported to him by others, strangers to us. While Keith said he was "spoken to," my wife has yet to receive an apology. What's Next Next year's trip is booked. That cruise is about $10,000. It's not on RCI. Will we go on RCI again? Maybe. Right itinerary, right price, we might consider it. Biggest downside for me was the reduction in ports. Our 2012 RCI TA had 6 stops; this one had 3. Second biggest downside is the Grand Bazaar approach to pricing. Third biggest downside is the rude treatment by one employee for which RCI doesn't think it should apologize. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
Cruise Critic Roll Call Members: We had over 200 members on the active Roll Call and many volunteers organized daily activities for the big group. This made it one of the most enjoyable crossings we've ever experienced. We made ... Read More
Cruise Critic Roll Call Members: We had over 200 members on the active Roll Call and many volunteers organized daily activities for the big group. This made it one of the most enjoyable crossings we've ever experienced. We made lots of friends, who we hope to cruise with again. Embarkation: We arrived at 11:30 AM and stood in a relatively fast moving line (both outside and inside) for about 45 minutes. The staff was pleasant and helpful. Cabins were ready at 1 PM. Cruise Critics assembled for a Sail Away Party after the Muster Drill. Great fun. Ship: The ship was in good condition for its age and we eventually learned the large layout. We got to like the way the ship is laid out with an indoor promenade. Placement of dining room, show room, lounges and cafe was typical of large ships and better than Carnival. The ship is 15 decks high and rode the open seas very well. We had smooth sailing and very good weather for the crossing. Cabin: Our balcony cabin (#6322) was on the starboard "hump" and therefore slightly larger than others in that category. The location near the rear elevators was perfect. We were one deck above our dining level and near the elevators for a ride to deck 11 for the Windjammer Cafe. The cabin size is typical of ships this size. We used the balcony only a few times. The beds were comfortable. Linens and carpet were clean. On the negative side: The bathroom seemed smaller than other ships we've been on. We had a very slow drain in our sink. The TV was old and the programming was slim. No ice was provided in the cabin. We had plastic SOLO cups for glasses in the bathroom. Our stateroom attendant's name was not provided in our cabin and did not present himself on the first day. Stateroom Attendant: He kept the room clean but visited it only twice per day. He did not make himself know to us for a few days. I ran into him once during the entire cruise. He did provide 4 towels instead of the normal two. But we've had much better service on other cruises. Recommended tip for him. Dining: We found the Windjammer Cafe relatively clean but always crowded. The staff seemed shy but friendly. The breakfast buffet quickly became boring. Pastries were stale. Toasted bagels were like a rock. Had to wait in line for a cup of coffee. The omelet ordering process was tedious. Some food was cold. The eggs were a purveyor's ready mix product with food coloring added and quite watery - not fresh scrambled eggs. Bacon and sausage were OK. Waffles and French Toast were pretty poor products. The Main Dining Rooms (3 decks high) were nicely decorated and clean. Early dining was moved to 5:30 PM. The variety of meals offered were somewhat disappointing. They offered daily standards of Sirloin Steak or Salmon. The Salmon was quite good. The steak was deplorable. 3 at our table had to send it back and order something else. It needs to be removed from the menu. When Lobster & Filet was offered, the lobster was miniscule. We all laughed that a single shrimp would have made a better Surf 'n Turf. Overall the food was barely acceptable and has gone down another notch since last year's TA on the Jewel OTS. Wine was very expensive. A $16 bottle of 10 Year Vine XY Zin sold for $49 onboard including tip. It took 30 minutes to get a cocktail ordered and delivered to the table. They need a dedicated cocktail waitress and a sommelier for the dining rooms. Lunch in the main dining room offered a made-to-order salad. That was excellent. The pasta offerings were not good. Other items for lunch were acceptable. Cafe Promenade offered stale donuts. Johnny Rockets should be closed or made no charge. Alternate Dining: We dined at Portofino's and found it below the level we experienced on Celebrity ships. At $25pp we went there only once. My meal was average. Dining Room Staff: Our waiter and assistant were good, not great. Respectful and friendly. The head waiter interrupted our conversations often. He lost my bottle of wine, mis-marking it for another table who enjoyed it, I'm sure. Our tablemates had to convince him that a full bottle was put aside two days ago after it was opened and only sampled. He finally "bought me" another bottle. Extra tip for the waiter and assistant but much less for the head waiter. Entertainment: The CD was Mike Hunnerup from Australia and he quickly grew on us. He was fun and approachable. The staff, including Richard, the Activities Director, were friendly and helpful. Just one person had an "attitude" we didn't appreciate. The stage entertainment ran the gamut. Some poor, most mediocre and a few memorable. Individual singers tend to be poor. The variety was good however. RCL held a nice Meet & Mingle for us on Day 3. At my suggestion they had a few Bridge Tour door prizes for lucky members. Quest is a big hit and was held on the ice rink. Great adult fun. Ship's Staff: Captain Patrik Dahlgren is probably the best we've encountered on all the ships we've cruised on. He stopped at all the dining room tables for conversation and photos during the cruise. Very engaging. He's an asset to RCL. Enrichment: Did not enjoy Joe Condrill's lectures or Hohn & Donna Mollan's presentations very much. I've see much better on other cruises. We missed Jack Cochrane's (Cruise Critic member) lecture about water on day 7 because of a conflict. Don't believe it was taped either. We were disappointed we missed him. Facilities: The Internet Cafe is too expensive and too slow to use often. Library was average for cruise ships. Fitness facility was very good but no TVs on the equipment. Smoke in some of the lounges and part of the casino is still problematic. Champagne Bar was expensive. The Wine Bar on the promenade was way overpriced. Way too much selling on the floors all day. You ran into tables set up to sell goods and services everywhere. It is quite annoying. Seems that after early dining, your opportunity for after dinner dancing lasts just 30 minutes. No venue existed that played dance music from 7:30-9:00 PM for us. Ports of Call: We were happy to visit Tenerife for the first time. Ship's excursions were too expensive for the full day (5 hr.) tour ($99pp). A Cruise Critic member organized a longer tour on a private basis for just $21pp. We enjoyed it. Mallorca and Ajaccio were somewhat interesting. We prefer the Azores. The printed port information provided by the ship is almost useless. We bring our own maps. Debarkation: Needed luggage tags for an earlier time and had to wait in line at Guest Relations to move up 1 hour earlier. We walked off and found our (damaged) luggage in little time. There was no time to report a claim. The taxis would only take passengers for Rome and not local destinations like Civitavecchia. We took the FREE port bus to the port entrance and then walked to the rail station. Took about an hour. Overall: We notice RCL quality going downhill each year. Both for food quality and service. Cruise rates are stable but onboard charges keep going up. Ours was $950 this trip. Ouch! We may not use RCL again next year. Regards, Florida Rich... Read Less
Sail Date: November 2008
We decided to splash out on an Owner's Suite for this crossing and paid a significant premium for the privilege. Perhaps I should say up front that we had a really good time aboard Navigator, despite the somewhat critical comments ... Read More
We decided to splash out on an Owner's Suite for this crossing and paid a significant premium for the privilege. Perhaps I should say up front that we had a really good time aboard Navigator, despite the somewhat critical comments that will follow! For us, the lesson was that if one wants a cruising experience commensurate with an investment of some $6000, then Navigator (and RCI) is not the appropriate choice. For a fraction of what we paid, we could have had just as good a time in comfortable balcony accommodations. Check in was effortless, and very efficient. We were very impressed that RCI was able to process almost 3000 passengers without long delays. Arriving on board, there was no assistance offered in finding our suite; neither were any welcome drinks offered. The ship is beautiful, and well maintained. Despite its size, it is easy to "navigate" one's way around without getting lost. Our suite, the Fiji Suite, was nicely appointed, and really spacious. There is enough closet and packing space for a household! The bathroom was stocked with premium toiletries, and a bowl of fresh fruit was awaiting us on the dining table. A bottle of complimentary mineral water was placed on the bar counter. Neither the fruit nor the water were replaced during the duration of the 12 day cruise, and on one afternoon, we received a cheese plate that was available from the room service menu. We received an access card for the small concierge lounge on Deck 9, and an invitation to the daily complimentary cocktails and snacks in the Ixtapa Lounge on Deck 5. This was the sum total of the privileges we received for booking an Owner's Suite. Our greatest disappointment was the level of indifference with which we were treated. We most certainly did not wish to be fawned upon, but some personal interaction with senior crew members would have been welcome. The "concierge service" throughout the cruise was lacking. One one occasion, we entertained guests in our suite, and asked the concierge to arrange some snacks (from the complimentary room service menu). We were informed that this would cost $350, despite the fact that we ordered wine and drinks from the ship's bar! Eventually we called room service ourselves, and our order was delivered at no charge! The concierge, Xavier, seemed disinterested and not inclined to make any effort - maybe fatigue from a season of cruising in the Mediterranean. Food...The food was of a reasonable standard (but not remarkable), in both the Windjammer Cafe and the dining room. We never had difficulty finding a table in the Windjammer during breakfast and lunch. The lunchtime menu and made-to-order salads in the dining room were excellent - perhaps the best meals we had on board. Dinner menus were somewhat repetitive in the dining room, but the food was palatable. Our waiter and assistant waiter (Glennifer and Serdar) were excellent,and were willing to go to great lengths to please. The Head Waiter, Ashton, was also wonderful. Standards have slipped, though - but quite understandable given the massive global food price increases over recent times. Getting tea and coffee outside Windjammer opening hours was a challenge and an irritation - getting early morning coffee meant a trek to Deck 5 (if we did not make our own in the suite). The star of our cruise was the bar waiter in the Ixtapa Lounge, Mark Lyttleton, who is a shining example of outstanding service. Activities and entertainment...We saw all three production shows, which were good. The highlight, though, was the special performance of "Ice Dancin'", the ice show, for Platinum and Diamond Crown & Anchor members. Wow! It was great. We enjoyed the gym facilities. Other activities were quite low-key, and influenced by the awful weather conditions across the Atlantic. (For "operational reasons" RCI decided to change our route from what was originally advertised when we booked, and the more northerly route resulted in a cold and windy crossing). We found the Cruise Director and his Assistant to be rather indifferent, and the daily video clips advertising activities on board to be reminiscent of a Butlins Holiday Camp (UK members will know what I mean). The activities staff didn't show much initiative or innovation in tailoring activities in the light of the bad weather. On a positive note, The ship's master, Captain Bang, was visible around the ship throughout the crossing (including in the gym), and communicated regularly. It would have been good if his officers had followed his example. During the cruise, it transpired that our rather bumpy ride was exacerbated by the fact that one of the two stabilizer sets on the ship was out of action. The motion caused one of the large closet doors in our suite to come off its hinges, and we were kept awake on several nights with drawers banging. In conclusion: we had a very enjoyable 12 days, but mainly due to the company of great people, and the hard work of a few outstanding crew members. It was most certainly not value for money, and although I steadfastly refrain from making comparisons with other cruise lines, RCI's premium category services are very poor indeed, by any standards. It lacks finesse and attention to detail, despite pricing that compares with premium cruise lines. Maybe a mid-priced balcony cabin in future, but never again a suite! Read Less
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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