1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Was due to sale to Boston/New York/Florida but with big seas in the North Atlantic the captain decided to change the itinerary(twice).There was a lot of people who decided not to travel,it was mentioned 1000 and i would just like to thank ... Read More
Was due to sale to Boston/New York/Florida but with big seas in the North Atlantic the captain decided to change the itinerary(twice).There was a lot of people who decided not to travel,it was mentioned 1000 and i would just like to thank them all.The latest itinerary took us from Southampton to The canaries and on to the Bahamas and Florida with flat seas and clear sky’s 75/80 degrees for the six days at sea across the Atlantic.With only 2200 guests there was no need to change nationality to get a bed and all the bars and restaurants were easy to use.The food was fantastic and the level of service throughout the cruise was superb and on top of clear sky’s,flat seas,stunning food and fantastic service we received £250.00 from cruise 1st,$310.00 dollars on board spend and 25% off our next cruise and missed spending a fortune in Boston and New York.The staff in all departments were properly the best I’ve encountered with a special mention to Sweden and Benjamin our two excellent waiters where nothing was to much trouble.So i would just like to say what a fantastic cruise and thank you to all the people that cancelled which made it such a great crossing. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We did the Miami to Southampton trans Atlantic cruise april 2018. The navigator is from 2002 and there are signs of aging but this did not affect our experience. We had an internal cabin and was very small but had everything we needed. A ... Read More
We did the Miami to Southampton trans Atlantic cruise april 2018. The navigator is from 2002 and there are signs of aging but this did not affect our experience. We had an internal cabin and was very small but had everything we needed. A bed, a bathroom and plenty of space to hang our clothes. The bathroom was not very clean because there was some molt on the wall where it was impossible to clean. This is not the fault of the staff, just a design error. The staff was extremely friendly and worked hard. The food was fantastic and the entertainment plentiful. The ports of call where not of our interest and we just walked on our own, which was nicer than expected. The only thing to complain about is the behaviour of other guests. Eating while walking in the windjammer, Reserving seats around the pools, questioning every answer during quizzes and just being arrogant, ignorant, rude and demanding. The pinnacle status is going to their heads. (Pinheads) We are definitely going to cruise with royal Caribbean again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
DH and I had a wonderful transatlantic -our first! Navigator of the Seas is a beautiful ship. Food choices were good, lots of entertainment and things to do, and lots of relaxing while enjoying a week at sea before hitting the first port. ... Read More
DH and I had a wonderful transatlantic -our first! Navigator of the Seas is a beautiful ship. Food choices were good, lots of entertainment and things to do, and lots of relaxing while enjoying a week at sea before hitting the first port. We had a promenade cabin which allowed us to watch the parade and disco dancing from the comfort of our cabin. The cruise was a good value, catering to a middle class crowd. Ports: After spending a week at sea, we docked in Ponta Delgada, Azores. We went on a tour of the twin lakes (Sete Cidades)- one green, one blue. We then headed out to a park, and finally a very rushed visit to the pineapple plantation. We had only 20-25 minutes there and needed 45. We did visit the various stations (greenhouses) to see how the pineapple grew, however, there was a huge line to get into the gift shop, so we skipped that and got back on the bus. There were many other buses there at the same time which caused backups at all of the greenhouses. Really unfortunate that the arrival times of the various tours could not have been spread out a bit more. Next up was Lisbon where we did a walking tour, once again booked through Royal. We had a great guide and went on a hike up and down the narrow and beautiful streets of Lisbon. We sampled pastry and fish/potato pancakes along the way. Our next two ports were in Spain. In Vigo, we walked around on our own and visited O Castro. In A Coruna we hiked on our own to the Tour of Hercules and all the way to the top inside for great views of the bay. Fantastic place to visit- how often do you get to explore a lighthouse dating back to Roman times? Our last port was Le Havre, France. We took the Royal excursion to Honfleur and then walked around Le Havre in the afternoon. Honfleur, a beautiful fishing village, was spared the WWII bombings that destroyed much of Le Havre, which earned distinction in the way it was rebuilt after the war, leading Le Havre to become an UNESCO site. The walk from the ship to the train station in Southampton was much worse than I had expected due to all of our luggage. I definitely will reassess how I want to get from Southampton to London next time around. There is a nice Starbucks across the street from Platform One in which to relax while waiting if you do decide to take the train from Southampton to your next destination. Entertainment: The was a big mix of entertainment to choose from: the performers in the theater, ice dance shows, bands, a DJ, singers, and a guitar player. Landry was funny, the production shows were good (although I would prefer seeing Grease and Mama Mia on all the ships instead of the specially created shows for Royal), as well as the special show they did for the transatlantic. The singers from the productions who were featured in their own show one night hit the right notes. The magician, Bill Cook, did one trick at the end of his act which was a show stopper- don’t know how he did it! Jimmy Tamley did a funny ventriloquist act. Stephani Parker did an amazing job with her Whitney Houston tribute. What an amazing voice! DH loved the juggler, Pete Mattews, and all of the funny stuff which involved the audience helping out. Singers Gary Lovini and Darren Day did a great job, and the Beatles Celebration was fab. Our last show was the comedian, Mick Miller- didn’t understand all of the jokes, being American, but he got a lot of laughs. The Ice Dancing show was wonderful and not to be missed! We also enjoyed the special show that was done for the Top Tier evening celebration for the Crown and Anchor members. Food: The MDR remans challenging for vegetarians, however, the head waiter did stop by on the first night to ask if there was anything special that I needed, which I appreciated. There are a number of speciality restaurants- one of which, Johnny Rockets- ended up my favorite place on the ship. One day at sea, it was the only place we ate at all day. Loved it! The Windjammer was a great place to go for any meal because you could always find something. My only cause for concern was the fact that the second time I decided to enjoy some pasta with tomato sauce, it had (unlike the first day I tried it) what looked like peas in it. I ate some of it, and it didn’t taste the same as before. Then I found a tiny piece of bacon in it. Not cool. I did not choose that version of tomato sauce with the peas in it again. Spa: Unlike other Royal ships, this one does not have a Thermal Spa with the typical tiled hot chairs, sauna, steam rooms, aromatherapy room, and scented showers, however, I enjoyed the three stations that were available to use: the oversized whirlpool near the workout area and the sauna and steam room located in the ladies’ locker room. Cruise Critic event: We had a huge turn out for our meet-and-greet. The ship gave away prizes and served snacks/beverages. My thanks to all of the people who organized all of the extra events, such as the gift exchange. (On a side note, one of the gifts I brought, having gone out of my way by twenty miles round trip to buy it at the only place it was for sale in my hometown, was abandoned on the gift exchange table. I guess not everyone participating understood the concept: you bring something unique from your city/town/area that you can’t get elsewhere. Oh, well. Thanks for arranging the gift exchange, even if not everyone appreciated it). My two cents: I’m not going to complain about the food (which was good with the exception of the pizza which tasted like Jeno’s frozen pizza), nor the service (everyone works really hard- from the people cleaning your cabin, to the servers in the Cafe Promenade, to the entertainers). What I will complain about is the uncouth behavior of my fellow passengers. At every show I attended in the theater, people got up and walked out- while the performer was still taking a bow! Even the Beatle Celebration show, which was packed, had people leaving instead of showing their appreciation. Yes, you paid your fare, but does that give you the right to be rude? I would ask if they had been born in a barn, but that would be insulting to the people who actually had been. Are you in that much of a hurry to hit the buffet or lose your money in the casino that you can’t spare one minute to show your appreciation for the performer’s hard work? The uncouth behavior continued in the Windjammer where I witnessed one man take a piece of bread with his hand from the display only to put it back. I took the slice of bread out and set it aside explaining to a crew member what had happened. Another woman reached in to grab a bunch of grapes with one hand while holding the utensil she was suppose to use to select her fruit in the other hand. She then transferred the grapes from her hand to the utensil. Yikes. This was a wonderful trip despite some of my fellow passengers. Royal continues to produce a product which is a good value for middle class passengers. Sure, there are cuts here and there in order to save money (such as in the MDR), but I would prefer keeping fares down and deciding when and where to spend the savings in order to engage in dining and activities which match my needs rather than pay a higher fare in order to enjoy Cherries Jubilee at dinner. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
This was our first cruise and it was great! The ship was very nice even though it was older. There was plenty of things to do to keep you occupied and relaxed. The food was amazing and our cabin, which was a balcony cabin, had plenty of ... Read More
This was our first cruise and it was great! The ship was very nice even though it was older. There was plenty of things to do to keep you occupied and relaxed. The food was amazing and our cabin, which was a balcony cabin, had plenty of room. Our room attendant was truly amazing and our waiters at our dinner service were so awesome that we requested to be seated in their section every night. We swam with the dolphins at Cozumel, and if you have never done this or are thinking about it, I would highly recommend it. The experience is unbelievable. As we are members with World Wide Travel Experts we booked our cruise and flights through them. With our membership we were able to find and save about $80/ticket on 4 airline tickets and as we did save a little on our cruise. Our larger savings will be on our next vacation with utilizing the points we earned on this one. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
The ship was lovely and our balcony cabin was roomy and spotlessly clean. The choice and quality of food was excellent especially in the dining room where the service was second to none! We loved the different choices of ... Read More
The ship was lovely and our balcony cabin was roomy and spotlessly clean. The choice and quality of food was excellent especially in the dining room where the service was second to none! We loved the different choices of entertainment and was never at a loss for something to do even on the long journey accross the Atlantic . The staff on the Navigator of the Seas went over and above in their service to all on the cruise, nothing was too much trouble for them. Theiy are a credit to Royal Caribbean! We booked excursions in Boston and New York and found them to be informative and good value for money.. The only downside was Cape Canaveral where we thought we'd do our own thing and found there to be no buses or taxis at the port. We ended up staying on the ship that day. All in all we had a fabulous time. We ate too much drank lots of delicious cocktails and probably gained enough weight to wear the next size in clothing ......We was entertained pampered and made to feel that nothing was too much trouble.........just what the doctor ordered!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We have just returned from a fabulous voyage on board RCI Navigator of the seas, embarkation was a breeze and we were aboard in less than 20 minutes. Navigator is a mid sized ship for Royal and she is getting older now, but she is kept ... Read More
We have just returned from a fabulous voyage on board RCI Navigator of the seas, embarkation was a breeze and we were aboard in less than 20 minutes. Navigator is a mid sized ship for Royal and she is getting older now, but she is kept spotlessly clean. Our cabin was a promenade view room which was quite spacious, it had a bowed window with a window seat so that you could sit and watch what was going on down below, it also had another small 2 seater sofa which was very comfortable, the beds were very comfy too and there was more than enough floor space. It was also nice to have sliding doors on the shower instead of one of these nasty shower curtains, all in all we had plenty of space and Donna our stateroom attendant was a joy. On our anniversary she decorated the cabin in silk red roses and happy anniversary messages all around the room, we had a beautiful chocolate cake and a bottle of champagne all complimentary, it was really lovely. We had early diner at 6pm in the MDR and went there most evenings. The food was good and our waiters were very attentive, on the 2nd evening we had a smoked fish starter which was delicious and I sent my compliments to the chief and said that I could eat that every evening as the starter, he sent a message with the waiter to ask if I would really like it every evening, and I had this yummy dish served to me every night and it was amazing. I dont eat deserts so I asked for fruit and got a lovely dish of strawberries most nights. The chief and the waiters were the best we have ever had, diner times were very enjoyable indeed. We had very good entertainers on board and every seat was taken at most shows, but for us the stars were the crew shows, this was a new thing for this cruise. Crew members from different nations performed and sang for us in the theatre, it was fabulous they were the real stars of this cruise. The first port of call was Boston which was nice, we had a trolley ride around the city then had some shopping time. Of course the big thing for most people was arriving in New York, and it didnt disappoint, the sail up the Hudson will stay in my memory forever, especially sailing past The Statue of Liberty, it was wonderful, and the city itself was awesome we rode the subway, went up the empire state building ate bagels and hot dogs and shopped in times square,we even sat and watched the skaters on the ice rink at the rockefeller centre, what a day it was amazing., In Port Canaveral we went to Coco beach and just chilled for a few hours, very relaxing. What a wonderful cruise, the best we have had for a while, the ship the staff and ports just made it very special. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
The food was fabulous and the dining room is beautiful. The wait staff kept our meal going at the perfect pace. The 6 days at sea were relaxing except we had two days of 15 ft then 20 ft swells that can make you queasy. If I were to ... Read More
The food was fabulous and the dining room is beautiful. The wait staff kept our meal going at the perfect pace. The 6 days at sea were relaxing except we had two days of 15 ft then 20 ft swells that can make you queasy. If I were to issue any complaint it would be that too many events happen during lunch and dinner. They do have two shows-one for early seating and one for late. This cruise ship had the best casino experience for me. The excursions were good but setting out in the morning needs to be more organized. Love the larger ships with the Promenade area. As a Diamond member the perks are a real advantage. It was nice that they moved the Diamond "area" from the small venue to the Star Lounge as there were almost 1000 guests that were able to take advantage of this. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
excellent value it was a wow cruise service could not be faulted food as always was wonderful the shows were very good apart from the BOHEMIANS who were awful ports were very good and easy to visit with no long walks transatlantic ... Read More
excellent value it was a wow cruise service could not be faulted food as always was wonderful the shows were very good apart from the BOHEMIANS who were awful ports were very good and easy to visit with no long walks transatlantic crossings are always good and this was no exception its great to be on a cruise for 14 days with royal carribean as they are the best the weather was pleasent with only one bumpy night otherwise very smoth disembarkation at southampton must be the easiest in the world why cant they all be like this ? the navigator ship is made to please everyone and it does just that try to find a fault i could not although the films in the cabin were rather limited who cares as there is so much to do onthe ship i dont know how we fitted it all in well done royal carribean cant wait for the next cruise Read Less
Sail Date: November 2016
We love the Navigator of the Seas, it is our all time favorite ship. No complaints with the ship. We are higher Diamond Plus cruisers (over 400 points), the diamond plus lounge and the diamond lounges were both OK, but the coffee ... Read More
We love the Navigator of the Seas, it is our all time favorite ship. No complaints with the ship. We are higher Diamond Plus cruisers (over 400 points), the diamond plus lounge and the diamond lounges were both OK, but the coffee machines were broken for the majority of the days. We were also very disappointed with concierge attendants were probably the worst we have ever experienced. Not at all helpful or friendly and did not make a point of getting to know the people they were supposed to serve. The cruise director was also not very good either. We had very few trivia contests and they were crowded into the Schooner Bar and the Two Poets Pub. Not big enough for a group of seasoned T/A cruisers that seem to really like as much as we do. We were unable to Play several times because there simply was not enough room. We really miss the special Diamond section in the dining room for breakfast - can't imagine why this was discontinued. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Friends invited us to join them on this Transatlantic cruise, I am usually a loyal Celebrity Cruise Line cruiser - this was the 3rd trip that I have sailed on RCCL. The Navigator is a beautiful ship, well maintained and the open concourse ... Read More
Friends invited us to join them on this Transatlantic cruise, I am usually a loyal Celebrity Cruise Line cruiser - this was the 3rd trip that I have sailed on RCCL. The Navigator is a beautiful ship, well maintained and the open concourse is beautiful - a much smaller version to the open concourse on the Allure of the Seas. The smaller size is somewhat of an advantage as it takes relatively little time to travel from the front of the ship to the back of the ship and the new electronic navigation devices near the elevators made it so easy to find any venue on the ship. We had a room at the front of the ship with windows just below the ships bridge - sort of like riding shotgun in a car! Room was slightly larger than the ocean view rooms that are located on the sides of the ship. Friendly, efficient room attendant (Marcelino), he kept the room in an immaculate condition, twice daily ice delivery. Great food in the Sapphire Dining room (My Time Dining), excellent service! The Windjammer Buffet had an excellent salad bar and outstanding curries, the service level was great always someone from the wait staff offering coffee, tea, juice, water. Tables cleared in an efficient manner, only very few times when one had to search for a table. I found that there was excellent service from all staff members with two major exceptions - the Front Desk Reception area, staff unorganized, extremely slow and not as user friendly. Also noted that there did not seem to be many senior officers around and the Cruise Director was possibly the worst Cruise Director I have ever seen. The Diamond Lounge (held nightly in Star Lounge) was great - bar staff (Tatiana) made a point of remembering your drink preferences. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This cruise was for my wife and I on our 25th wedding anniversary. Neither of us had ever traveled to Europe. This repositioning Trans-Atlantic Cruise seemed perfect, and for the most part it was. This was our second time on Royal ... Read More
This cruise was for my wife and I on our 25th wedding anniversary. Neither of us had ever traveled to Europe. This repositioning Trans-Atlantic Cruise seemed perfect, and for the most part it was. This was our second time on Royal Carribean, but first time on one of the mid sized ships. While we are "Elite" on Princess, we are just starting out on Royal. That being said, the embarkation procedure was fine, not a long wait, not a short wait, but overall it was fine. We were very pleased with the ship, The "Mall" on board is awesome, as is the skating rink on board. We went to the ice skating show "Ice Dancin' " and it was a great show in its own right, but amazing that it was on a cruise ship. The Ship itself was very calm, probably the smoothest cruise I've ever been on (but to be fair, the Atlantic was very calm during the duration of our cruise). The dining was very good to Amazing. At our table we had 3 couples, all celebrating anniversaries. We enjoyed all of the couples, so whatever software R.C. uses to matches up couples is VERY GOOD. We ate at the Steak House 3 times and each time it was amazing. The 18% Gratuity on beverages is outrageously high, especially with the fact that if you buy a bottle of wine there is a 18% gratuity on that too. There are beverage packages, but they are expensive to the point you would need to stay loaded continuously to justify it. I am a realist and realize that we're on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean, so things aren't going to be cheap... but 18% is a bit high in my opinion. The shows were great, and the cruise director Jeffrey was amazing. The Ports were nice and wished we could have had more time, particularly in Lisbon and Le Harve (France). We took several tours from the cruise line and all we nice. We stayed several days in London after the cruise was done, so we didn't use the Cruise tour to Stonehenge and Heathrow. Overall we had a wonderful time, and recommend the ship, the line and this cruise highly. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Navigator of the Seas – March 5th 2016 Sailing My wife and I are seasoned cruisers and I have completed Cruise Critic entries of our past voyages, I certainly do not use this forum to criticize at least that is not my intent. I do ... Read More
Navigator of the Seas – March 5th 2016 Sailing My wife and I are seasoned cruisers and I have completed Cruise Critic entries of our past voyages, I certainly do not use this forum to criticize at least that is not my intent. I do however share my thoughts and experiences based on previous cruises and comparable voyages. With that being said this is my review of the MS Navigator of the Seas from Cruise Port to Embarking to disembarkation. Ft. Lauderdale Cruise Port Embarkation Unfortunately the MS Navigator was delayed 2 hours prior to docking in Ft. Lauderdale on March5th this meant that the furthest Southern Dock was used which is not very passenger friendly to say the least. The Traffic is a mess and not very organized. Nonetheless we managed to get through without that big of a deal. Just an FYI to Platinum and above RCCL members – The signs for Check in are not advertised to well so you need to ask where these areas are, it does make a difference. The only good thing about Ft. Lauderdale is they finally finished the freeway construction into the Port (Only took a couple years). As for Disembarkation the terminal is just as dis-organized going out as it is coming in and we generally take the early off the ship option so I cannot imagine what it is like if we waited until Nine or Ten AM. Thus my only advise is, feel it out when you arrive and make your best educated decision on what you see it’s like. MS Navigator of the Seas Well we were told that the Navigator is the sister ship to the Freedom and you wouldn’t notice too much difference – well not quite, the MS Navigator is actually smaller in Width and Length so there is a noticeable difference but you will overcome the differences rather quickly so it’s not a show stopper. The ship is arranged similar to that of the Freedom Class ships so getting around should be relatively easy. The Promenade is smaller in width and this is probably where you will see the most difference. As for the Location of the dining rooms and specialty restaurants - Just an FYI Giovanni’s and Chops Grill are located right inside the Windjammer (Left and Right) sides AFT Ship so no worries about running cross country to find these. The Ship overall has had some face lifts but is still in need of a few minor things that will make it complete. For example the elevators on AFT Starboard side seemed to be a lot slower than the elevators on the AFT Port side. We even experienced one of the Starboard side elevator doors opening and closing several times before it finally reset and started running its normal cycle. Also the women’s rest rooms on Deck 11 (Windjammer Side) seemed to be out of order for the week of our cruise not sure what happened after day 1 but it never recovered for use. The Sliding doors seem to be a little of with Sensors on Deck 4 and deck 11. As aforementioned the ship is a tad bit smaller but it is definitely not a show stopper. MS Navigator of the Seas CREW Words cannot describe how ecstatic we are with the Crew – We had a group of six and there was not one crew member that did not make us feel like part of the RCCL Family. We have taken over Nine cruises and although we had great service from the staff, the MS Navigator Crew raised the bar on Customer Satisfaction we were absolutely mind blown on the interaction – the service and the commitment this crew had absolutely amazing, we made some awesome lifelong friends with this RCCL Staff and already conversing on social media. It was something we didn’t expect and something we will never forget. So with that as I said in the beginning words cannot describe how awesome this crew was during our trip and we hope you have the same interaction. Windjammer / Specialty Dining Well honestly we only used the Windjammer for Breakfast, most of our dinners were in the main dining room as our wait-staff was so top notch we could bear not having dinner with them on a nightly bases. Although when we did use the Windjammer the food was good although it appeared it was more crowded than normal but that could certainly be about timing. There could have been more staff on hand during the breakfast service but nothing extremely bad. We did not try any of the Specialty restaurants as the timing just wasn’t there for us. But I didn’t hear any bad reviews from anyone on the ship. The Main Dining Room (Sapphire) was absolutely incredible from the Hostess down to the wait staff it was fantastic. During one of our dinners the wait staff let us know that there was a Galley Excursion that costs about $30.00 per person, Although we were a little reluctant to do it – we decided to anyway and I will be the first to say it was well worth the experience in understanding firsthand how the Galley works I highly recommend you take this tour if the opportunity presents itself. Games and Shows on Navigator We only made a couple shows (Quest and Love and Marriage) both are great shows and if you have time it would be worth seeing / participating in either one. As for the headliner shows, honestly there wasn’t allot of advertisement on the ship about the headliner shows so I couldn’t even tell you who was on board, generally you would see this advertised on the ship or a marquee but honestly I don’t remember seeing much of anything. BINGO – Well this was our first and last time playing bingo, it’s not your typical bingo play – you have 3 rounds of Bingo and depending on how you play – Soft Card or Electronic will determine how much it cost to play. You can figure and averages start about $25 and go up from there. Game 1 is your general BINGO Straight or Diagonal Cover, Game 2 is 4 Corner and Game 3 is Cover All. Now I am not an expert BINGO player but I heard allot of people complaining when game one was over in 4 Number Picks and we all found out there is only one prize for each round. No one was expecting anything extravagant but come on RCCL a T-Shirt and or a Specialty restaurant Gift Card would be nice 2nd and 3rd Place prizes especially after 5 minutes playing round one. Round two went a little longer with only one prize awarded and round 3 was for a Free Cruise, So it just so happened that there was a 3 way tie and the answer to the tie is, The MC would pull a number and if that number is on your card you win. Uhm… Not good – and no one was happy of how this all ended. So do your-self a favor and ASK the questions before you play – How much? How Many Prizes and how Tie Breakers are handled. As for the Pool Side – Pretty much the norm as any other cruise except my overall standing complaint is the music is way too loud, not that it’s a bad thing but it is nice to sit on the deck and have a conversation that doesn’t require a bull horn to communicate with your party who is two and a half feet in front of you. Overall Appearance on Navigator The ship was very clean except the pool area; I certainly don’t blame the workers I do however believe that RCCL and Passengers bear most of the Brunt on this. First we are smokers and we are polite smokers meaning we will not wander into a nonsmoking area, we keep our areas clean and do not impede on others to clean up after ourselves in any shape or form. RCCL needs more trash and recycling containers on deck 11 and need table ashtrays as well. These two simple and low cost products can help allot of unnecessary work for everyone, but more importantly help to detour those passengers who like to leave their garbage anywhere and everywhere. Restrooms were clean and the only non-operational Restroom was the aforementioned Women’s area on Deck 11 Windjammer. Gest Services Officers Utterly fantastic – never met such an awesome Guest Services crew. We had some room issues that we later found out were are issues. Which I will explain below – Nonetheless they were very helpful and very patient with us. Stateroom 3626 Deck 3 AFT three doors from the Elevators – Awesome area, great for immediate access to dining rooms, elevators, casino etc. We liked it so much we are booked next year on the same ship same room. As I mentioned before there was a slight room problem that RCCL failed to alert us of. They have staterooms that are POWER EFFICIENT meaning there is a trigger Pocket below the light switch that when activated it allows your lights to turn on and off. If you don’t place the cards into the slot the correct way your lights will not work. Well it took us a few days before someone finally explained it to us (Guest Services) although we felt silly we laughed quite hard about it because we were sure there was an issue with our room’s electric. So check with your State Room Attendant and ask if you have such a room – I think they are retrofitting these rooms a little at a time. Overall The MS Navigator is a great ship, with a great Crew and we are looking forward to sailing on her again in March 2017 if not sooner. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
Nov. 3 we boarded the Navigator of the Seas for the sixth time. The difference, this time it's 21 days and every day was fantastic. The staff and crew were so friendly and helpful from our wait staff in My Time Dining, Francisco & ... Read More
Nov. 3 we boarded the Navigator of the Seas for the sixth time. The difference, this time it's 21 days and every day was fantastic. The staff and crew were so friendly and helpful from our wait staff in My Time Dining, Francisco & Carlo, probably the best we've had in over 20 cruises. On the first 7 day cruise we had a small problem with a bar server in the Two Poets but she was going home at the end of that trip and her replacement was the very best. Guest Relations staff managed to be pleasant and helpful through it all, and just everyone on board went out of there way to be helpful and share a laugh with any of the nine people in our group. I do have to say the Nav. is getting tired but should be addressed come January when she goes into dry dock for a major overhaul. Something we've found on the last few cruises is the entertainment in the theatre is not what it used to be in the early days (5 to 7 years ago). I would have to say that this back to back cruise would have to be right up there in the top (favorite) three cruises we have been fortunate to have taken. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2013
This was my first longer cruise, going from and to places I'd never been before, on a ship the size of which I had never been on before. My first sight of Navigator of the Seas..."holy cr**!" Big was understating it - it ... Read More
This was my first longer cruise, going from and to places I'd never been before, on a ship the size of which I had never been on before. My first sight of Navigator of the Seas..."holy cr**!" Big was understating it - it was HUGE!!! Travelling with mobility issues makes it harder these days, but not with this cruise! From the moment we entered the cruise terminal in New Orleans, the staff of Royal Caribbean couldn't have been more friendly and helpful. Wheelchair provision was great, accessibility was really good and there was no problem getting from the gangplank to my room. I had preorganized a rental scooter that was waiting for me and I had booked a disabled room for the first time. I was very impressed. Previous experience on cruises left me with cracked skulls and bruises from falling out of standard bathrooms into wardrobe doors, slipping out of the shower into mirrors and, most embarrassing of all, not being able to make it to the loo on time because of having to manoeuver up the step. Not on this cruise!!! The bathroom being on one level, no shower lip to trip over and being able to take my wheelchair in there...I was in paradise!!! For the first time, I was able to find something to do pretty much each day. Not being a drinker or a gambler, not being a sun worshipper and not being able to participate in more physical endeavours, it is sometimes a challenge...not on this cruise. There were the standard jewellery making classes and scrapbooking classes, but what made this more fun for ME were the extra craft classes provided by the amazing Connie and the always entertaining Crafty Dude (Tony, her helpful hubby). They gave me something to get up each morning for, something new to learn and taught me skills I can take home with me. Way to go, Connie!!! As someone who always declares "I have no great skill in anything", well, I can't say that anymore. RC laid on the music trivia, a different one each day. I found my niche, to the point I even gained a Trivia Posse and was actually in great demand to join other teams. I have never been one to win anything, yet I managed to complete the set of prizes at trivia!!! Yay me!!! Shout out to TT, Roberto and Alina from the Cruise Director's staff...they made everything even more fun, I wanted to take them home with me! Were there any disappointments? Well, yes. Dinner at 5.30pm was a bit rough, as I found that if I ate breakfast I didn't want lunch and if I had lunch I was not hungry at dinnertime. I did find, however, that I was at a table with six great tablemates! I even made a great friendship with two of them (we have plans to cruise again together!), something I have never done on any other cruise! The food? Not so great. Plenty of it, but with having food restrictions, it was sometimes just too hard to find something that could be modified for me (thank heavens for the windjammer!). I was very disappointed that there were no themed dinner nights...apparently discontinued. Well, Royal Caribbean, in this cruiser's opinion...BRING THEM BACK!!!! The night time shows were disappointing. Too many "guest artistes". I like the Broadway style shows and enjoyed the two they put on. The ice show was fun, especially as they kept falling over (ok, the ship was rocking!)...they had great skill and did a fantastic job for being on a moving boat. Cudos to the ice cast. I didn't book too many tours for port days, only in Livorno as I wanted to see the Leaning Tower (no, I didn't do it, I promise!). They tried their best, were very accommodating, but with the weather having closed in, I got to see the Tower so was happy with that. Being able to take my scooter off the boat in both Porta Delgado and Toulon, I was able to explore on my own which gave me not just a sense of independance but a feeling of satisfaction. All in all, the best cruise I have ever been on. It has made me want to try longer cruises and I am considering consecutive back to back cruises next year. This was one cruise I will NEVER regret taking... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2013
I sailed with my wife and my 4 year old daughter. Boarding the ship took about one and one-half hours. I had arranged for our stateroom to be decorated for my daughters birthday and our anniversary. We arrived at our stateroom to find ... Read More
I sailed with my wife and my 4 year old daughter. Boarding the ship took about one and one-half hours. I had arranged for our stateroom to be decorated for my daughters birthday and our anniversary. We arrived at our stateroom to find it beatifully decorated with a not for my wife and daughter from me. A great way to start the trip. I have been disappointed in the past by other cruise lines. Our cabin steward, Golda was outstanding. During our trip she made a different towel animal every night for my daughter, she was very easy to work with, if we were not out of our cabin by the time she finished working she offered to come back when we were ready. Our room was always immaculate, a very difficult task considering we have a 4 year old. We ate at Portfino the first night, the food and the service were outstanding. We said we would go back another night. The crew on the ship is extremely friendly, not once in 15 days did I pass a crew member and not get at least a greeting. We saw several shows while onboard, the juggler was funny and included my daughter in the show, so that was one of my favorites. But, the ice skating show is not to be missed. The other shows we saw were good, nothing great. The food outside of the pay restaurants was also very good. The main dining room always had something very good on the menu. The night they served lobster I was very skeptical to even try it, because I am from Maine and I am almost always disappointed with cruise ship lobster. Our waiter convinced me and I am glad he did, it was very good. My only complaint would be at the buffet for breakfast, it did not have the variety that I have had on other ships. Our waiters in the main dining room were exceptional. Fahmi and Christian could not have been better. They were always right there to meet any need you had. They were also very fiendly. If I took another cruise on this ship I would want them back to be my waiters. The head waiter Leslie, was also excellent. He always took the time to stop and say hi, on several nights he made my daughter napkin animals. He also brought her plates of beef carpaccio that he found out she liked. We took shore excursions in Ponta Delgada, Toulon and Livorno. The excursion in Ponta Delgada was good, but it was not a very nice day. The tour guide was knowledgable and friendly. I could have lived without the Pineapple plantation. If I had to do it over again, I Probably would have done a different tour. In Toulon we went to Aix. I really just took this tour for the ride to Aix, I did not have any interest in following the tour once in Aix. I guess this somehow offended our tour guide, he was a complete jerk to me and my wife. We still had fun in Aix and I complained about him once back on the ship. The tour in Livorno was very good. We went to Pisa and Florence on our own, Lisa our guide was very knowledgble about the areas and gave us some great tips for getting around and what to do. On the sea days there was always plenty to do, miniture golf, rock climbing, trivia, bingo, ice skating, or just hanging out at the pool. The first few day of the trip we did not put our daughter into the kids club, because I enjoy spending time with her. But, I started to feel guilty and selfish, as I had heard other kids were having a great time. We finally decided to let her go and she didn't ever want to leave. The staff was very friendly and always had something fun planned for the kids to do. She also met many new friends in the kids club, I was happy we decided to send her. I think the ship is due to be refurbished soon, which is fine as long as they keep the Captain and crew. Overall the crew was outstanding! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
After a two night stay in Barcelona we boarded the Navigator of the Seas. It had been two and a half years since we last sailed on the Navigator and not much had changed but we did notice that she was getting tired and ready for a face ... Read More
After a two night stay in Barcelona we boarded the Navigator of the Seas. It had been two and a half years since we last sailed on the Navigator and not much had changed but we did notice that she was getting tired and ready for a face lift. We were told that that upgrading had been postponed till spring 2014, she will be very tired by then I'm afraid. All that aside the cruise turned out to be one of out top three cruises for good times and great food. we enjoyed dinner in the dinning room very night with a great wait staff. If people complain about the quality of the meals they must have a wonderful life at home. The only meal we had that was less than great was the night we all went to Portofino where the meal was much less than spectacular and the seafood was cool by the time we got our meal. The entertainment was very good, both in-house and shows in the theatre. Special mention to the Sunlight Band who we miss the most. All in all we had a great time, put on a couple of pounds and came home with some great memories. The only real negative from our point of view was the number of smoking venues and the lack of enforcement of smoking in non smoking areas. I guess I have to mention the debacle when we arrived in New Orleans, even though it was the Port Authority and not RCCL that is responsible on this one. Over four hours to get off the ship and on the street is a little crazy. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
This was our second time aboard Navagator of the Seas and once again we were very happy with the crew and the for the most part happy with the whole experience. As has been noted by others Navagator is due for a makeover and if it is ... Read More
This was our second time aboard Navagator of the Seas and once again we were very happy with the crew and the for the most part happy with the whole experience. As has been noted by others Navagator is due for a makeover and if it is another 18 months off she will really need some help. We arrived in Barcelona late on Thur. before boarding on Saturday and found that a day and a half is not enough time in this great city. STayed at the Hotel Villamari and found it comfortable and in a good location from which to get around the City. Arriving at the port about 2PM only took about 30 minutes to get on board and our stateroom was ready for us--clean but a little worn--the embarkation was about as smooth as could be expected. We enjoyed the Ports both Cartagena and Malaga were pleasnt enough and the weather was good. One problem we found in Malaga was a that several places did not accept credit cards and after you order lunch without cash it gets a little tense. Tennerefe was interesting with the very rugged topography coming right down to the waters edge. My wife and I both thought the shows in the theater started out as very poor but got better later during the trip, The Platters put on a good show as did El Gaucho. The Ice show was good but not as spectacular as previous Ice Shows we have seen on both the Navagator and on Mariner. I always look forward to the encrichment lectures and am disappointed when they are not offered. The Fun Decades presentation was fun and informative and I thought the speaker was among the best we have seen on Cruise ships. The art historian a little less impressive. I also enjoyed the evening Astronomy lectures offered by one of the Directors staff. I would like to know in the future that these types of lectures will be offered it might be the difference in going or not going. Now to the dinning experience, we are relatively new to Cruising (only about 6 years) but I certainly feel that even in that short time the meals have gotten worse both in quality and variety. We were always able to find something on the dinner menue that was agreable but unlike a few years ago when almost each evening there were two or three things on the menue that I thought I would like to have. Our waite staff was very good there were a couple of evening when the food was not as hot as I would have prefered. The windjammer was ok we had the late seating for dinner and would usually just look for a snack for lunch and then perhaps go to tea aroun 4 or so. I think on future transatlantics we will try to get the early seating for dinner. Most mornings we had breakfast in the Main Dinning room and found that very good Hot food cooked to order. I was a little worried about 6 consecutive sea days but they litteraly flew by to the point that I lost track--we played bridge most days, attended the lectures and other activites and found ourselves plenty busy. The last comment concerns the debarkation I don't think you can necessairly fault RCI but the last memory of a very good trip is a bad experience. I don't know how to fix this problem certainly we need security and control but this system is just a mess with little information being transmitted to very frustrated passengers. Fortunately we were in no great hurry as we had a late afternoon flight out of New Orleans but there were a lot of people at the airport when we got there that had missed flights some of them international connections. The trip was really great and one that we will do more often the future it is a great value at less than 100 dollars a day I can't stay home for that. Fishforfun Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
Remember the end of the 1985 movie Cocoon when all the rejuvenated elderly folks went with the aliens to their world where people never get ill, age or die? Well, they're back with a vengeance and I think I know where -â€" ... Read More
Remember the end of the 1985 movie Cocoon when all the rejuvenated elderly folks went with the aliens to their world where people never get ill, age or die? Well, they're back with a vengeance and I think I know where -â€" Royal Caribbean's cruise ship, The Navigator of the Seas. It all started with an innocuous email in my inbox way back in April -â€" an announcement that Royal Caribbean had made a sudden decision to reposition one of its ships (originally meant to winter in and around Dubai) from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean. This meant an entirely empty ship desperate for passengers with prices to match. Sitting there in my office, swamped with work, the prospect of quitting my job to travel the world looming large -â€" suddenly the idea of spending days on end doing nothing but staring at the big blue sea, without a care in the world while traversing the Atlantic, book in one hand, a shrimp cocktail in the other, was wildly intoxicating. And since I would already be in the general vicinity at the time of sailing, the rock bottom pricing was impossible to refuse. For those who have never cruised before, a cruise vacation is somewhat like having a floating hotel, ferrying you to various ports-of-call to enjoy during the day, while filling up your nights with gourmet meals and slightly cheesy entertainment. In some ways, the ship is even a destination in itself with shops, bars, casinos, specialty restaurants and in the case of the Navigator, a rock climbing wall and an ice rink. So it was that I found myself boarding the ship in Rome along with about 3,000 other cruisers, with stops in Livorno (Italy), Provence (France), Barcelona and the seaside town of Cartegena (Spain) and the archipelago islands of the Azores (Portugal). Days were spent taking excursions to Pisa (the tower was much prettier and whiter than I had imagined. Warning: Shameful confession ahead... This was one stop where I did the tourist thing I usually despise and took the requisite picture of me propping the tower up. Sad, I know, but how can you not, right?), Florence (a shopper's paradise with high end artisan shops specializing in the most beautiful leather and paper products), San Gimignano (a medieval walled Tuscan town famed for its soaring towers), Aix-en-Provence (birthplace of Paul Cezanne, home to a delightful farmer's market) and Marseille with its picturesque old harbor... The sailing reached an exciting climax early on when we found ourselves in the middle of a weather phenomenon known as a medicane, a Mediterranean hurricane, with sustained winds in excess of 90 mph, forcing the ship to stay in port for an extra day in France and foregoing the stop in Portugal. The ship rocked back and forth so much that passengers looked like people badly failing a drunk driving test trying to walk in a straight line... Something else I was apprehensive about was what to do on those 9 long days at sea. Turns out I shouldn't have worried as every day was a race from one activity to another, including highly competitive trivia three times a day ("What is the literary collective noun for a group of owls?") fighting tooth and nail for cheap Royal Caribbean promotional umbrellas and caps (if bought in the gift shop = useless junk. However, same items won in a trivia game? priceless heirlooms), crew vs. guest volleyball and line dancing by the pool deck. You haven't lived until you've seen 60 seniors doing the Electric Slide... Aaaaaaand grapevine! From my very unscientific data gathering, the typical transatlantic cruiser would seem to be comfortably retired, about 68 years old and possessing a propensity towards enormous buffets. It doesn't help that there's in essence a buffet 3 times a day, with options of ordering however much you want from a menu in the dining room ("Actually, I WILL have three appetizers, thank you for asking!") to a casual buffet restaurant with at least 50-60 meal options, from miso soup to roast turkey to pizza and burgers and everything in between. Free food + non-stop food = an average weight gain of 2lbs per day (lunch literally starts half an hour after breakfast finishes, meaning it was physically impossible to feel any type of hunger for two solid weeks). The first few days, I found myself running around wanting to try everything (and feeling faint afterwards. Fried hashbrowns AND sauteed potatoes for breakfast? I'm talking Sophie's Choice here). Sure, there are "healthy" options of salmon, grilled chicken breast, steamed vegetables, etc., but where's the fun in that? I was finally home! I had found... "my people". All kidding aside, I found myself bonding with really nice people over trivia (shout out to teammates Efren and Maria!), the odd Scrabble game in the card room overrun by old Chinese ladies playing Mahjong much to the chagrin of the Balderdash / cribbage players ("They really need to have a separate room for those noisy games!") and really long dinners. The dining room table dynamic on a cruise ship is a strange one. Put ten people from differing socio-economic classes together every night for at least an hour and a half for 14 dinners (if you're counting, that's 21 hours of conversation...) and mundane dialogue centering on past cruising experiences imperceptibly move on to deep dark family secrets, youthful indiscretions and embarrassing stories. Perhaps it's the thought that you'll never see these people ever again? Or the camaraderie that comes from being on the same vessel in the middle of the ocean? In any case, scintillating... Evenings were filled with shows ranging from the ship's own singers and dancers to specialty acts brought on at various ports to perform magic, hypnosis, comedy, acrobatics, Motown, piano playing and more. While cruise ship entertainment leans towards the cheesy (hence all the Simon Cowell references), I found the few shows I did go to mildly-to-rather entertaining. There were even ice skaters admirably performing jumps and spins in the small but very popular ice rink onboard. If you've ever exclaimed, "I wish there were more hours in a day!", then a transatlantic cruise is for you. To make up the time difference, an extra hour is added on select sea days, meaning you could go to that 11pm karaoke competition or poolside buffet under the stars and still get your beauty rest. Overall, the cruise was a great chance to decompress, do nothing & everything and travel in style back to North America. Oh, and by the way, a group of owls is a "parliament". Just send me a Royal Caribbean key chain when you end up winning the trivia... Travel tips: (1) I first heard of this deal through Travel Zoo, a great weekly e-newsletter that scours thousands of deals to produce a list of the Top 20 travel values of the week. While you may rarely be able to take advantage of the deals, it's worth signing up because you never know when something might come along. Besides, it's fun to see what kind of deals are out there. Before seeing the email, taking a cruise wasn't even on my radar. But I'm glad I did. I ended up paying a base fare of $499 (for a total of $890 including a single supplement and all taxes). I also got $100 shipboard credit which I applied towards the gratuities and a $60 dinner for two in one of the ship's specialty restaurants. All said and done, the cruise averaged just slightly over $60 / day for accommodation, all meals and entertainment onboard. I also used 20,000 fewer frequent flyer miles for my around-the-world ticket which made the deal too good to pass up. (2) I found Cruise Critic's roll call a really helpful resource. This particular group was forum-happy, creating a total of 3,400+ posts, of which only about 1 in 20 were relatively useful. The rest was evenly divided between non-cruise items such as the weather where they lived, relating makeups and breakups, medical conditions and past sailings with arranging cabin viewings, gift exchanges, slot pulls and trivia groups. However, it was great for finding people to fill a group for privately arranged tours. The tours I went on in Italy and France were both arranged by motivated people on the cruisecritic forum and turned out to be cheaper / better organized / more efficient than the ship's tours. (3) There were three specialty restaurants on board. Portofino ($20 surcharge), a great Italian restaurant, serving up a delicious giant shrimp risotto, succulent seafood skewer of scallops, shrimp, lobster with a raspberry tiramisu served with a shot glass of heavenly kahlua topped with cream. I also had Johnny Rockets (old-fashioned diner food, $4.95 surcharge which includes gratuities but not drinks) one afternoon, ostensibly for a snack. However, bottomless onion rings / fries, classic hamburger with all the fixings, and chicken tenders, turned out to be a lot of food! Don't forget to indulge in the chocolate sundae afterwards. (4) Getting to the cruise terminal in Civitavecchia was very easy to do on your own. Tickets can be bought on the day of travel at Termini via vending machine. My advice would be to pay the extra 2.50 euros and go with a first class ticket. Seats are plusher and there is room to keep your luggage with you, as opposed to fighting for a seat in 2nd class. Just note that Italian trains are notoriously late, so leave yourself plenty of time. When arriving in Civitavecchia, you'll need to schlep your luggage down and up one flight of stairs and walk about 7 minutes to the entrance of the port where a dedicated shuttle bus takes you the rest of the way to the ship. (5) Barcelona is eminently easy to do on your own. Forego the ship's $10 transfer and take the blue city bus all the way to La Rambla. The subway system is very easy to use, taking you to almost all the major stops at only 6.20 euro for the day. If you haven't been there, arrange to get to the Sagrada Familia in the afternoon when the around-the-block lines die down. You won't regret the relatively steep entrance fee to see this one of a kind building that's everything a cathedral isn't supposed to be. Did you enjoy this review? If so, check out my travel blog as I travel around the world, passing along helpful tips along the way. www.dreamtravelblog.wordpress.com Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
I'm just back last week from the Navigator TA. It was my first experience with RCL, and I got to say it made me eager for more even though there were several glitches - we booked another November TA for 2012. This was my second TA ... Read More
I'm just back last week from the Navigator TA. It was my first experience with RCL, and I got to say it made me eager for more even though there were several glitches - we booked another November TA for 2012. This was my second TA - previous with Celebrity. Prior to that I was worried about the long string of sea days and worried about boredom - believe me... boredom is not likely! I am so hooked on TAs now! I have always enjoyed Celebrity's food and considered that a reason worth sailing with CC. Comparing Celebrity to RCL food I'd say it was a toss - the food was equally good in quality and quantity. While we enjoyed CC's Aquaclass Blu restaurant, I don't think its worth the disadvantage of the less than perfect cabin locations. This trip was the first time we used a specialty restaurant and we loved Portofino. Our regular dining assignment was at a table for 10, and we had a terrific group. Each evening I actually looked forward to sitting down with the group to discuss the day's adventures. So much so that on the night we went to Portofinos we went back to "our table" to see our new friends. It helped to have the very best wait staff I've ever encountered. The evening meal was a highlight of each day. Our trip started a bit weird - we had chosen a middle of the ship cabin and had requested no upgrades because we wanted to keep mid ship because Danni gets a bit motion sick sometimes. We boarded without incident, other than during the 15 minute walk from our hotel to the ship the skies went from blue to gray and a cloudburst left us drenched. Civitavecchia was easy and seamless for boarding, So wet and still happy we boarded. We went to lunch, then after it was announced we could go to our cabins we went to our cabin to find other people there. The steward told us we had been upgraded from our selected interior 9th floor cabin to an ocean view on the 2nd deck forward...very forward. We were not pleased! Down to Customer service to appeal, and at first treated rudely for questioning our good luck in getting a free upgrade. After explaining we were told to come back after dinner. By then our clothes were drying out but still a bit uncomfortable as we did the usual selfguided tour of the ship, and then went to dinner. After dinner, back to the desk - no solution yet. We went to the theater, and then around 10pm came to a resolution of the room - ocean view 2nd deck, but at least between the elevators, closer to mid ship. They gave us vouchers for a specialty restaurant as compensation. Not great, but at least we finally had a room. Back at our room we told our tale to the room steward and asked him to help us find our luggage. He found them on the 9th floor and brought our damp suitcases...fortunately the contents were protected with plastic and our clothes were dry. Rough start to a great vacation, but all things considered we were very happy with the cruise. As it turned out while we were in Toulon, the worst storm in the last 10 years hit the Mediterranean. We were stuck in port overnight and lost a port day in the Azores, which also meant we would cross the Atlantic in an uninterrupted 8 days at sea. We also crossed the Atlantic on the edges of a storm that gave rough sea conditions. while usually 3 to 5 meters, the occasional wave was up to 10 meters. To tell the truth we ended up glad for the 2nd deck cabin - the lower the deck the more stable the ride. Despite that there were lots of activities - loved the many trivia contests, live music throughout the ship at different venues. We don't drink much but found we were welcome to sit and listen to music in any bar at any time, even without buying drinks...in all my previous cruises I was hesitant to sit in bars in the evening without making purchases. This time it was apparent it was not only acceptable, but we we were very welcome! As Elite with Celebrity I had Diamond status. I was very disappointed to find that even though we were sharing a cabin Danny could not join me for pre-dinner wine in the Dungeon...actually, she did join me the first 3 nights, but on the fourth night a different attendant check her card (not just mine) and she was denied access. Since my DH doesn't have Elite yet on Celebrity and he has been able to join me to Elite functions I never doubted that Danni would be able to share. Not so. Its no fun to sit in a venue and drink wine by yourself leaving your roomate behind, so I didn't go to any more Diamond functions. We did use the gym almost daily, and found equipment usually available within 10 minutes even during the busiest periods. Loved the gym. Thank God for it - it accounted for a 1.4 pound weight gain during the cruise, despite the fact I thoroughly enjoyed myself at every meal...my Weight Watchers leader was happy. On the roughest days the pools were closed, but other than that we were able to swim most days - I wasn't sure if that would be so for a November crossing, so this was another positive. Final verdict - not perfect, but we had a terrific time, and can't wait to go again. and look forward to many more RCl cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
Summary Our second cruise on RCI was even better than our first and the aggressive pricing works for us as well. Compared to Holland America, Princess and Celebrity, RCI has a much higher energy vibe and more activity. While not for ... Read More
Summary Our second cruise on RCI was even better than our first and the aggressive pricing works for us as well. Compared to Holland America, Princess and Celebrity, RCI has a much higher energy vibe and more activity. While not for everyone, we did enjoy the transat and time in Rome. Itinerary Back in April 2011, the Navigator of the Seas (NOTS) was shifted from year round service in Europe back to the Caribbean presumably due to business reasons. Since the routing change was sudden, this cruise was significantly discounted at first when we booked. The 14 day crossing left from the port of Civitavecchia for Rome on Nov 6th stopping at Livorno for Florence on Monday, Toulon, France on Tuesday, Barcelona and Cartagena, Spain on Wednesday and Thursday. There would be two days at sea, then Ponta Delgada, Portugal on Sunday the 13th followed by six sea days and ending at Fort Lauderdale on Sunday Nov 20th. Due to hurricane strength winds in Toulon Tuesday night, we were pinned in port till Wednesday morning. See this article on the storm http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/international/2011/11/15/224109.htm We sailed for Barcelona that morning arriving about 7P where we stayed till Thursday evening. We proceeded to Cartagena Friday, one day late. To make up lost time, Ponta Delgada was dropped and we sailed directly for Fort Lauderdale. Pre-Cruise We flew direct JFK to FCO (Rome Fiumicino) on Tuesday night Nov 1st on AA 236 leaving JFK at 8:50P arriving FCO 9:55A. We chose this flight as it arrives later so we would not have to wander around Rome for very long before checking in at 2P. We also had the (forlorn) hope of sleeping more since it left later. Food was usual roach coach fare, but at least they did not charge for it (did not provide an emergency procedures manual for the meal either). Taking a taxi from FCO to Rome anywhere within the Aurelian walls, center city) should cost 40 Euros, but since we only had 50s and the driver feigned having no change, he got a large tip. Do bring small bills to avoid this type of issue. We booked a room at the SuiteDream Hotel on Via Modena 5, just off of Plaza Repubblica about 800 meters west of Termini, Rome's main railroad station. If you book directly with the hotel instead of through a booking site, breakfast is included in the price and it features cold cereals, hard boiled eggs, fruit, cold cuts and pastries which is quite sufficient for a day of touring. For four days (Nov 2nd to 6th including breakfast and bottled water only in the room fridge, the price was a very reasonable 130 Euros per night including breakfast for two people. Taxes of 2 Euros pp were extra. The rooms came with individual a/c and free wifi and had comfortable beds. Being on a side street, the rooms were very quiet. Bathrooms had basic amenities and the room was spacious for a European hotel. We toured the usual tourist attractions in central Rome and St. Peter's square. We were unable to find the stop for the 115 bus that takes you to an overlook on the west side of the Tiber for a panoramic view of the city. Note that the Coliseum has high steps to the second level which is tiring. Also, Palatine Hill and the Roman Forums have uneven footing that requires sturdy shoes. The lines for entry to St Peter moved reasonably fast and you do have to clear through metal detectors. The efforts are well worthwhile. We also ventured up Arventine hill to the keyhole of Malta. Look this up; it is well worth the view. Food in Rome was pretty good though expensive; for the two of us, we averaged $50 for lunch and $80 for dinner with a glass of wine. I am sure we could have done it cheaper, but we enjoyed what we had. We had dinner at Hosteria Romana which was recommended by Zagats and Rick Steve's. We also had lunch at Roma Spartia popularized by Anthony Bourdain in his Rome tour. Yes, the Cacio e Peppe was good as was their ravioli. Weather was good for the first three days with rain Saturday night and Sunday, the day of departure. A Cruisecritic member chartered two buses for a group of us to go from Rome Termini with an intermediate pickup point directly to the terminal in Civitavecchia. At $24 each, it was a bargain for direct service to the ship. Since we had priority boarding, we were on board in about 15 minutes. Luggage arrived about 2P and we sailed at about 6P. While a sailaway meeting was scheduled that afternoon, we demurred due to rain and wind where we were to meet. Note to self, always plan an alternate indoor meeting point for sailaway meetings. The wind and rain were to dog us for three days. Ports For our first stop, Livorno, on Monday, we shared a private van tour of Florence and Pisa which cost about 75 Euro (approx 100 USD) each. While the price was comparable to a ship tour, we had a private van for seven people and we could determine where we wanted to spend more time. We stopped first at an overlook on the southwest side of the Arno River where we could see much of Florence including the Ponte Vecchio, a medieval bridge with shops built on the sides. The driver took us on a tour of the city to orient us then dropped us off for a few hours. Since this was Monday, the museums were closed. Despite the rain which was heavy at times, we had a good time walking around the city which is compact. Then we went to Pisa and the tower which remains as an object lesson for foundation engineers worldwide. The rain was heavy by then and we returned to ship. At Toulon, we docked at La Seyne-sur-Mer across the bay from Toulon itself. Given the heavy rain, hurricane strength winds and our experience in the rain in Florence, we opted to stay on board. Those who did take tours away from the coast said that they had sunny conditions. With winds gusting to 90+ mph, the captain, Eric Stendal, said that the port was closed and we would stay overnight. Midmorning Wednesday, we did sail out for Barcelona arriving 7P and stayed overnight. We took the ship's tour to the monastery at Montserrat northwest of Barcelona up about 2,200 feet up the side of a sheer rock cliff. The monastery was undergoing renovation but the cathedral area was still quite impressive. We walked around a bit but did not have time to take the cog railroad to the very top of the mountain. You can get to Montserrat by road as we did, cog railroad or cable car. The last two connect to a regional rail line that goes to Barcelona. For $42 pp for four hours, I thought the tour was reasonable. That afternoon, we went back into town using RCI's overpriced shuttle service of $10 pp. We walked up Las Ramblas to Plaza de Catalunya stopping a few places to shop. By the time we got back to the ship, we were starting to feel the effects of a virus that had been going around the ship plus walking in the rain in Florence. Friday in Cartagena, we took a short walk downtown. Facing the town from the pier, there is a medieval fort on the top of a hill and to the right is the entry way into the fort. There is a fee to enter the fort. To the left of the fort is a pedestrian only street with shops and open air restaurants. There is also a seaside esplanade near the pier area. Cartagena was the site of a battle between the royalists and fascists during the Spanish Civil War which trashed part of the city. After Cartagena, we skipped Ponta Delgada and sailed directly for Fort Lauderdale. Since we would have topped off supplies on Sunday in Ponta Delgada, some fruits and dairy products began to disappear by day six. Salad greens held up well but lemons and lines showed up only at the bars (no surprise there). Weather for the crossing was OK with some rain and wind from time to time. We did run into Tropical Storm Sean late in the cruise with strong winds and spray which caused the outside decks to be locked and the pools drained and netted. Not having to go north to the Azores, Captain Stendal took us south to the Canaries after exiting the Med and then headed west to Florida. This provided warmer weather and there were some people using the pools and sun deck though the open areas were breezy. Unfortunately, it was too windy t try the rock climbing wall. The Ship The Navigator is the fourth of the five ship Voyager class and unlike the first two ships; the last three had glass balcony partitions instead of steel which made the balconies and cabins brighter and gave the ship an airier look. Like the other Voyager class ships, the signature design of the Navigator is the four story tall Royal Promenade that runs down the middle of the ship on deck 5 between the forward and aft Centrums. The Royal Promenade has "window" rooms that look out onto the promenade from both sides on the upper three levels and a mix of shops, bars and eating venues on the first level. The Centrums are another feature of RCI ships and these extended from deck 3 to deck 12 forward and to deck 14 aft. Most of the public spaces are on decks 3 to 5 and decks 11 to 14. The main dining room is aft on decks 3 to 5 with buffet options in the Windjammer Cafe aft on deck 11. The bars are on decks 3 to 5 and 11 to 14. For more information on the Voyager class of ships, go to this URL http://voyager-class.com/. At the aft end of the Royal Promenade are the library on deck 7, the internet cafe on deck 8 and the Concierge Club for Suite pax on deck 9. Mary who is a retired librarian noted some deficiencies in the library operation that may be due to cost cutting. For one, there is never anyone from the cruise staff there to check material in or out. Also, not much effort was made to properly shelve books; books that should have been in the collection were misfiled on the paperback exchange shelf. Another cost cutting casualty is the daily news briefs that we received on every other ship we've taken. These news briefs are an eight page 8 ½ x 11 brief that offered bits of the world outside the ship. It might have been a feed from the New York Times, the Times of London or the Toronto Globe and Mail. Whatever it was, it was welcome. We didn't have this on the Navigator. The only news channel we found on the in-cabin TV was Fox News. CNN or BBC was not available. Movie selections were Ok with recent runs such as Knight and Day and REDs (Retired, Extremely Dangerous??). Good entertainment on a rainy day. Stateroom With the very favorable pricing, we booked a Grand Suite, 1564, forward portside. At about 390 ft2 with a 90 ft2 balcony, the room is double the width of a standard balcony stateroom. As one enters our cabin, to the right ix a dressing area with three closets and a waist high granite topped dresser with six large drawers and a built-in mini-fridge. The closets are to the right against the hallway wall and the dresser is on the left of this area which divides the dressing area from the living room area. There is also a bar setup area with glasses and an ice bucket. Pity, they do not let you bring liquor on board. Also here is a full length mirror. To the left of the entry is a large bathroom with a tub shower, a two sinks and a shelf for towels. The sink vanity has drawers down the middle and hidden trashcans under each sink. The mirror above the sink has storage behind it for your toiletries. Amenities included bath soap, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and body lube. There is a razor point with both 110V and 220V outlets. The razor point is powered only when the bathroom light is on. Beyond the bathroom door is a small two drawer table and mirror along with various switches and sliders for controlling the lights. The living area beyond the dresser has a large sofa, two club chairs and a coffee table. The sofa is flanked by two end tables with lamps. Behind the bathroom is a sleeping alcove for a king sized bed and a vanity desk area with six more dresser drawers and a mirror area above the vanity with two hidden storage areas behind the side mirrors. The coffee/tea service setup is on the desk and there are 110V and 220V outlets just below the mirror. The balcony siding door is on the living area side with a light switch for the balcony light to the right of the door. The LCD TV and DVD player are in a low console between the window on the alcove side and the sliding door to the balcony. Our stateroom attendant, Anca Butic (sp?) did an excellent job of tending the cabin. Booking a full suite (Grand, Royal Family, Owner and Royal) gives access to the concierge lounge on deck 9 which has morning continental breakfast and a cappuccino/espresso machine (when it works) and cookies in the afternoon. Access to the lounge is by the room card. The concierge has regular morning hours. From 5P to 8:30P, there is a nightly cocktail party in the forward lounge on deck 5 (Ixtapa on the NOTS) that is limited to suite pax (also Diamond plus and Pinnacle club members). In addition to complimentary drinks, wine and beer, there are hot and cold appetizers available. Needless to say, our bar bill was de minimus for this cruise. The concierge can be found here during the party. In addition to the concierge lounge and nightly cocktail party, suite pax have access to reserved seating in the main theatre and Studio B for Ice shows as well as a separate seating area on the pool deck. In addition to the regular ice show, there was a special show for suite and diamond plus pax with complimentary cocktails and appetizers. Dining We had first seating (6P) in the Swan Lake dining room (deck 5) at a table for six. The food in the MDR was the equal of what we have had on Princess and HAL last summer and fall. The meat quality was very good as was the seafood; I normally shy away from seafood on ships but at Jacob's urging, I tried several fish and shrimp dishes and they were better than I expected with none of the fishy/bitter aroma and taste that sometimes accompanies ship board seafood. Service was good although the kitchen was slow in providing the dishes in some cases and the food, while not piping hot, was certainly at an acceptable temperature when served. As Diamond members, we also had access to the D/D+ breakfast area which was very good, but we drifted back to the Windjammer for its greater variety. Lunches in the MDR were also very good with a spec your own salad bar and 30 minute hot entree service (usually faster unless they got slammed by a large inrush of pax at lunch). The Windjammer Cafe offers a large variety of foods at breakfast and lunch and we often found ourselves eating there rather than the MDR. The first part is the Jade Restaurant which is divided into two sections which are opened at staggered intervals as needed. The hot table section offers Asian entrees such as congee and miso soups, various curries and Chinese dishes and sushi that change daily. Further back is the Windjammer Cafe which offers spec your own omelets at breakfast and spec your own sandwiches at lunch. The breakfast offerings were the same day to day as was many of the lunch entrees. Seating in the Windjammer Cafe area is more available than in the Jade. The table servers come around to offer beverages (both free and extra tariff) and clear away used plates quickly. The self serve soft ice cream machines are at the dividing partitions between the Jade and Windjammer dining areas. Suite pax may use the Portofino Restaurant area for breakfast and lunch. Made to order omelets are available at breakfast along with fruit and pastry items. Nothing special is available at lunch in the Portofino, but it is nice to have a quiet area with white tablecloth service. Cold and hot drinks are provided at the table. There is no outdoor grill for burgers and such; the burgers at the Windjammer looked dry and overcooked. Although there is snack service from 3:30 to 5 P each afternoon, the offerings were the same every day. Yet another food venue is the Cafe Promenade in the Royal Promenade on deck 5. This is a 24 hour eatery which offers continental breakfast in the morning and light sandwiches, pizza and snacks the rest of the time. If you get it fresh, the pizzas were good, otherwise they were dried out. Seattle's Best coffee, regular and decaf, along with hot water for hot cocoa and various teas and iced water is available at all times. Extra tariff items include specialty coffees and Ben and Jerry Ice Cream. We did not try Portofino's, the extra tariff Italian restaurant nor Johnny Rockets, the 50s diner but we heard positive reviews from other pax about them. When the concierge lounge cap/exp machine was not working (the last few days of the crossing), showing the suite room card will get free specialty coffee service at the Cafe Promenade coffee bar. Entertainment We did see some of the shows, but they are the usual cruise ship fare. The Metropolis Theatre is nicely decorated but can fill up quickly unless you get there early. We did not use the suite pax sitting area as we rarely stayed the full time for the shows. The ice shows in Studio B were good but since the skaters were trying out new routines during the crossing, only a few shows were put on. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
We flew down from Dulles to Ft. Lauderdale on the morning of the cruise.Embarkation was efficient and friendly.The buffet spread for the boarding passengers was very good.Our room steward, Soma, was great. He did everything we asked of ... Read More
We flew down from Dulles to Ft. Lauderdale on the morning of the cruise.Embarkation was efficient and friendly.The buffet spread for the boarding passengers was very good.Our room steward, Soma, was great. He did everything we asked of him, and we probably were more demanding, at least at first, than average in terms of robes, amenities, ice. His towel animals were nice to come home to.Our balcony cabin was perfect for us. Plenty of room to put things for two people. The bed was very comfortable. The room was quiet and our neighbors were very nice. In fact, in general staff and passengers were great. There were few gripers.The library was well managed, and we were able to get interesting books to read. We had Kindle backups, if that hadn't been the case, but we mainly used the library.Because of time changes, we had six 23 hour days. That uncomfortably compressed our food consumption and we skipped lunch several times, or went very light on lunch because we were at the 5:30 seating for dinner. However, changing time at noon was the best approach. The people working on the ship work very hard and need what little sleep they can get.The ship was very clean and well maintained.At the social function, wine and mixed drinks flowed more than I'd experienced on other cruises.The cruise critic mix and mingle was a huge event. It was wonderful. We spent a lot of time with another couple for Herndon, and I departed tipsy on champagne.Although the quality of the shows varied some, every evening show was worth attending. Because the ship was almost full, it was a good idea to go early. We attended the 8:30 shows. The band was very good, as were the guest performers. The ship's dancers seemed shaky at the first show on May 2, but were quite good at every other performance.Entertainment was good around the ship, especially the Latin Express.The ice show was fabulous.The fitness center ran smoothly and was well equipped.Because of wave motion and maintenance, the pools were often not available, but the hot tubs mostly were.The quality of the food in the dinning rooms was very good, and the buffet was good. Definitely above average.Our waiter, Daniel, and assistance waiter, Dasran, were the best.We were a rowdy group of 8. Captain Patrick came by one evening and said with a smile, "So, this is the noisy table!" As to the captain in a social sense, despite his youth, he was as good as it gets on a cruise. The fictional Love Boat Captain pales in comparison. The 8 of us at our table, Bonnie, David, Peter, Helen, Diana, Diane, Lynn and I got along. Four of us were UUs, so we "got" each other on several levels. David, Bonnie, Lynn and I were in Cruise Critic, so we "got" each other. Helen is from Alexandria, next to Fairfax County, where we live. Like Lynn and I, Peter also spent a lot of time with David and Bonnie. The ship activities were mostly well run and interesting or fun. The staff on board was very good overall.Our excursions on Tenerife, Mayorca, and Corsica were good and our free time in those places were good too. They are all beautiful islands with fabulous scenery, history, culture, and towns.Only 60 of the 3000 plus passengers were kids, but the ship tried hard to make it a good cruise for them. I think they mostly were happy with how it went.This was our first Transatlantic cruise, and I just can't say enough good things about it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2011
We have just got back from a 13 night transatlantic on the Navigator of the Seas (Fort Lauderdale to Rome). There were 3 of us, myself, my wife, and our 3 year old daughter, and we got a good deal on a Grand Suite (1278). This was our 10th ... Read More
We have just got back from a 13 night transatlantic on the Navigator of the Seas (Fort Lauderdale to Rome). There were 3 of us, myself, my wife, and our 3 year old daughter, and we got a good deal on a Grand Suite (1278). This was our 10th cruise, and our daughter's 4th, previously we have cruised on QE2 (x2), QM2, QV (x2), IoTS, Voyager, Mercury, and the Seabourn Spirit. We are Brits (only around 60 of us onboard).The ship called at Tenerife, Mallorca, Corsica, and finally Rome. Check In Check in was quick and efficient, as suite guests, we did not have to queue and were on board within 10 minutes. Non suite guests seemed to be checked in quickly also. We received our gold coloured sea pass card (only GS and above get this) which carries a number of privileges (discussed later). Also in FLL that day was the Equinox, which was also doing a transatlantic, although a more northerly route to us. We checked in at 12:45, but our bags did not arrive until around 5pm. The lifeboat drill was held outside, and seemed to take aged. Many people were complaining that they needed to sit down. 3 days prior to check in, we received an e-mail from Karen (the Concierge), introducing herself and outlining the perks of travelling in a suite. The Suite The suite exceeded our expectations, looking much better than in the photos on the RCI website. It was very clean and spacious; with a flat screen TV, Bose hi-fi, DVD player, video player. Also, there was a coffee maker and a kettle (on the Navigator, only suite guests get a kettle). The bathroom was spacious, with a double sink and a bath with shower over - plenty big enough for us. I preferred the suite to the Queens Grill suites on the QV as it was more open plan, we could utilise the space more effectively with our daughter. The balcony was very nice (as the suite was double the width of a standard balcony cabin), and had a sun bed and also a rattan table with 2 chairs - very nice for having breakfast on the balcony when coming into Corsica. The double sofa turned into a bed where our daughter slept. There was also a full dividing curtain separating the bedroom area from the rest of the suite. We also had a complimentary bottle of Evian (only one though), and a leather bound folder which highlighted the suite perks, and contained the full menu for the day for breakfast, lunch, dinner, extended cocktail and wine menu that was afforded to suite guests. The dinner menu was updated daily. Our suite steward was excellent (we have been lucky never to have had a bad room steward) - the room was made up whilst we were at breakfast, and turned down when we were at dinner. Ice, coffee, tea etc. topped up twice a day (or as requested) Suite Perks: Basically, the main suite perks were: 1) Reserved seating on the pool deck, ice shows, main theatre, therefore we never had to worry about having anywhere to sit, or having to get to the shows early to guarantee a good seat 2) Use of the Concierge Lounge (deck 9) where there was a coffee machine, continental breakfast, afternoon sandwiches and cakes. Also, Karen was there at certain times during the day (and always contactable by phone) to give any help and advice and answer any queries - suite guests therefore never needed to queue up at guest relations as Karen could take care of everything. In addition, she had the keys to the DVD and CD library. 3) Free bar and nibbles in the Ixtapa lounge from 4:30pm to 8:00pm - the lounge was open only to Suite guests and (I think) C&A members that were Diamond and up. Unfortunately, children were not allowed in here, so we only used this facility twice 4) Behind the scenes tours - we went on a tour of the bridge (you could also tour the engine control room and the galley, but space was limited and we did not sign up early enough), and also were invited to a reception where we went to the staterooms of the Captain, Chief Engineer, and Hotel Director - lots of free drinks and a very nice food presentations being made available 5) Invitations to 2 suite only receptions with senior staff, again with lots of free drinks and a very nice food presentations being made available 6) Quality toiletries (well, the same Gilchrest and Soames that you get with Cunard), and chocolates on the pillow (nice ones) 7) Someone knocked on the door one day with a very nice cheese plate - not sure if they only deliver this if you are in as we only got this once, but it was excellent. 8) Breakfast and lunch in Portofino's - you could avoid the crowds in the Windjammer and eat here, where tables were laid out properly (table cloths, nice cutlery etc.), and waiting staff, however you needed to go to the Windjammer to get your own food (there was fruit, cereal and pastries in Portofino's for breakfast though). 9) Extended in suite dining menu - also room service was always on time and as ordered. Everything that should have been hot was hot. On a 13 night cruise (especially with the first week at sea), these perks were really appreciated, and well used. Especially as the suite was not that more expensive than a D1 balcony cabin (£800 if I recall). Condition of the Ship The ship was in very good shape. Some signs of tiredness (some scuffs here and there), and some areas did have an unpleasant odour - the amusement arcade, and the walkway to the Aquanaut's play area for example. The ship was very stable (although we did have good weather for the crossing). This was the first cruise that I have not needed sea sickness tablets (my 10th cruise). The ship was nearly full but felt nowhere as crowded as the IoTS last November - you could always get a seat for a quiz for example, where you had no chance on the IoTS unless you arrived very early. There were also an impressive number of events where free 'champagne' was made available. There was no vibration from the engines (something that we have experienced on QM2 and QV), and the suite was very well insulated from external noise. The air conditioning around the ship did not seem to be cold enough and we did find ourselves quite hot in the theatre. Service The Captain (Patrick) was excellent, very visible and approachable. Also very humorous. We saw him on a number of occasions having breakfast / lunch in Portofino's and he made a point of speaking to everyone. The Cruise Director (Mike) was ok, but we never saw his sidekick. Our best cruise director was John (and Steve as the sidekick) on IoTS last November - Mike just did not seem to do much. The cruise was made up of c80% Americans / Canadians, so this may be what they like (only around 60 Brits). Dining Room - excellent staff - James (waiter) and Alner (assistant) were fun, knowledgeable and interacted really well with us and our little girl. Aston, the Head Waiter was also excellent, visiting us at least twice each meal - our daughter took a real shine to him. Bar staff - all very pleasant Entertainment staff - very good, especially Timmy and Rio ('from Rio') who were a lot of fun running the quizzes Children's facilities The Navigator catered very well for children. There were about 15 people in my daughter's age group (3-5) and there were lots of free activities every day. It was a real shame that our girl only went to a couple of sessions (she flatly refused any more). The problem is that we (as parents) were not allowed into the play area to settle her, it was a case of dropping her off and that was that. With Cunard, you can go in and make sure they are settled before leaving. As with Cunard we were given a pager in case we were needed back at the play area. There are also a number of occasions where children can have lunch with the staff (with a charge), or dinner (no charge) - but there are financial penalties if you are late, loose / damage a pager, or want your little one to stay after 10pm. Overall, I would say that Cunard's children's facilities (QV) are more modern and more personal, but still, those on the Navigator were very good and there was an excellent variety in the programme (which was delivered each day to the room). Shows The Ice Show was, as always, excellent Some of the entertainers were tailored to the American market - one comedian and a Celine Dion tribute act was not our cup of tea. Once again, Jonathan Kane was on board (Elton John tribute) and we were not going to go (this was the 4th time he has been on a cruise of ours), but we did see him in the end, and I have to say he was excellent - the Americans loved him and at least 100 of them got up on the stage to dance to Crocodile Rock, the audience participation really made his performance a memorable event (and he had slightly changed his act since we saw him last). The singers and dancers were good, but very loud, and the band were ok, however not as good as on the IoTS band last November who had the most amazing drummer. Food Food was excellent - lots of choice, always hot and very tasty. My wife was very happy that they served English breakfast tea throughout the ship. Another positive with RCI is that tea, coffee, water, iced tea, lemonade and fruit punch is always free in the Windjammer (and in most other places throughout the ship). Also, waiters throughout the ship are more than happy to get you the free drinks - I get the feeling on Cunard that if you want a free drink, you have to get it yourself...no such feeling with RCI. Disembarkation Very smooth - we had a tour of Rome then to the airport, so were off the ship by 7:30 (so up at 5am). This all went really well. Summing up I would have to say that this was the best cruise we have been on. I would highly recommend a transatlantic crossing on the Navigator and the Suite accommodation and perks were outstanding (especially with a 3 year old and the extra space required). Crew and staff were excellent, although cruise director was only so so. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
We are two sixty-somethings who have been cruising since 2005. We have cruised on Carnival, Princess and are C&A Diamond Members on RCCL. This was our 4th transatlantic but first on RCCL (three on Princess) and our 24th cruise overall. ... Read More
We are two sixty-somethings who have been cruising since 2005. We have cruised on Carnival, Princess and are C&A Diamond Members on RCCL. This was our 4th transatlantic but first on RCCL (three on Princess) and our 24th cruise overall. We typically do 2 transatlantics a year to take advantage of R/T airfare. I will briefly mention prices throughout the review as many folks are interested in that information.We flew to FLL from Syracuse on Delta with no problems. We stayed at the Comfort Inn and Suites Cruiseport on S Federal Highway. We got a great rate through Skoosh ($80 per night) which included breakfast and free airport shuttle. The hotel offers a shuttle to the cruise port for $5 but we opted for a taxi ($10) as we wanted to get an early start. We arrived at the ship at 10:30 and were on board by 11:00. Embarkation was a breeze. Most folks head to the windjammer but our routine is a bit different. We head to the Pub on the Royal Promenade. I scoop the seats and order a couple of tall Murphys Red drafts will my DW goes to the Promenade Cafe and scoops the munchies. They offer sandwiches, pizza, sweets, cookies and fruit. It's never crowded and we avoid the pandemonium that seems a fixture of the Windjammer on embarkation day. Then we settle in and watch the people coming on board as they ooh and aah their way down the promenade. Rooms were available at 1 pm and our luggage arrived shortly thereafter. We were in a D3 #6360 on the starboard side. Our champagne was waiting but NOT iced down. This was soon remedied by a passing waiter. Our stateroom attendant, Jeanette, stopped by to introduce herself and we gave her our little list of immediate needs (feather pillows, robes, extra hangers, twin beds, extra towels, empty out the fridge etc.) and we gave her a nice tip for her prompt attention to our needs. Muster was at 4:00 and it was the shortest we have ever had. I still like the Princess way where muster is held in the lounges sitting down in air conditioned luxury. Sailaway found us toasting our new adventure on our balcony as we left Ft Lauderdale in our wake.We had a table for two in the Nutcracker Dining Room late traditional at 8 pm. Our waiter was Darius and his assistant was Jean. They were good but not outstanding. Our Headwaiter was conspicuous by his absence. He stopped by a few times but was less than engaging. We opted for the Diamond wine package and were pleased with the selections. I'm not sure what folks are expecting but at a cost of $25 per bottle with the package, we thought it was as good or better than typical restaurant selections and prices. We took a couple bottles to our stateroom to enjoy at sailaways. A word about the food on this cruise...GREAT!!! Once again, I'm not sure what folks expect from a mass-market cruiseline but we were quite pleased with the quality, selection and presentation. We had most of our meals in the dining room but took advantage of the extended hours in the Windjammer on days when we couldn't get to the dining room. We thought that the food was quite good there as well. We did dine at Portofino one night and it was delightful as usual. The shrimp risotto is just the best!To adjust for the time change, clocks were turned ahead at noon. this seemed to work very well.The library on deck seven was the most disorganized we have ever encountered. Nothing alphabetized and no method to the madness. We had brought several books with us and took advantage of the books left by our fellow cruisers for exchange.The Diamond Event was held in the Dungeon each evening from 4:30-8:00 pm. It's a bit dark and claustrophobic in there but after the second glass of wine, we found we could enjoy ourselves quite well thank you.We can't comment on the shows as we never attended a single one! We did attempt to see a movie in the Screening Room once but it was a fiasco. By the time the first-showing guests had squeezed their way past those pushing their way in to get the best seats, the movie had started and the only seats left were much too close to the screen. Points for Princess in this regard as their theater has more seats and allots few minutes between screenings to allow for an orderly transition.Ports visited included Tenerife, Mallorca and Ajaccio. We did no excursions as this was the first time we had visited these ports and we prefer to walk around the town and get the feel of the place before we excurse. We are visiting these same ports later so we'll consider excursions then. Tenerife was OK; Mallorca a bit more interesting; but our favorite by far was Ajaccio. We found a great little restaurant where we had a giant bucket of mussels, crusty bread, frites and house wine for the princely sum of 34 euros. Some might call that expensive; we thought it was cheap at twice the price.We arrived at Civitavecchia quite early and were off the ship by 7:45. We joined others for a shared shuttle into Rome (a big thanks to Chipper and Smiley for arranging this) and were checked into our hotel by noon. We stayed at the Hotel Katty, Via Palestro 35 which we had found through Venere.com. It's a couple blocks from the Metro stop so quite convenient. The price for a double room with bath, fridge and flat-screen TV was 89 euros per night which included breakfast (choice of coffees and massive cream-filled croissants) at a nearby cafe/bar. The hotel was spotlessly clean and we had the best room on the house (top floor corner with a nice view. The typically tiny (maybe ten square feet) elevator was an adventure. There are Internet cafes nearby for checking in for flights. The hotel doesn't offer much in the way of services but it was perfect for us.Our favorite restaurant in Rome is worth a paragraph itself. We happened upon it a few years ago and now it's the only place we eat. It's called Ristorante Pizzeria Carlo Menta, Via della Lungaretta, 101 in Trastevere and it's a 15 minute walk from either the Vatican, Piazza Navonna, the Pantheon or the Vittorio Emmanuelle monument. They offer a tourist menu (I know some folks sneer at these but this one is a winner) with 4 courses (10 euros at lunch; 13 euros at dinner) that is to die for. It starts with fresh tomato and olive oil bruschetta (2 giant hunks), pasta (4 choices; I personally recommend the penne Carlo Menta), a meat course (4 choices; I personally recommend the cotelette de veal Milanese style) and dessert (3 choices; creme caramel, house cake of the day [one day a chocolate cream tart; another an apple tart] and fruit salad [bowl of fruit sections]). We always order a liter of the house red wine (8 euros). There are, of course many other delectable items to choose from and the pizza is some of the best we've ever had. They offer a pizza marinara for 2 euros, pizza margherita for 3 euros and various specialty pizzas for 4-6 euros and they are larger than any other place we've eaten. If you want really good food at reasonable prices, this place is certainly worth a detour.We had opted for a transfer from the hotel to the airport arranged by a fellow cruiser but with time running out and no transportation in sight, we had the hotel car for a taxi and we arrived at the airport just in time to check in. The taxi was 45 euros and our driver was courteous and actually a safe driver!We flew Swiss with one transfer in Zurich and I must say we were very pleased with their aircraft, service, food and amenities. They fed us well and often, drinks (wine or mixed drinks) and movies were free and the service was attentive and friendly. We will certainly fly with them again.In closing, let me say that we had a delightful cruise with RCCL and the entire pre-cruise, cruise, and post-cruise experience went very well. We are now looking forward to our fall transatlantic on the Mariner and subsequent B2B to the Western Caribbean. Bon Voyage to all! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
WE'RE GOING ACROSS THE OCEAN IN A BIG, BIG BOAT Dad once asked me why I loved to travel so much. My answer was "there is so much world to see and so little time to see it". If I could describe the adventure that ... Read More
WE'RE GOING ACROSS THE OCEAN IN A BIG, BIG BOAT Dad once asked me why I loved to travel so much. My answer was "there is so much world to see and so little time to see it". If I could describe the adventure that Dianne Fossen and I experienced the past 20 plus days in a few words - it would be TOTAL SENSORY OVERLOAD! MUSIC The music on the ship was live - not canned - and good, from acoustic guitar, to Latin, opera, broadway, etc. What a joy. We took a tango lesson - and danced the merenge almost every night at Boleros! Ole! PEOPLE We met people from all over the world - and they all loved to travel. Our dinner companions were a couple from Virginia (Bill and Lynne), a couple from Canada (David and Bonnie) and a lady our age traveling alone - who lived in Washington DC (Helen). The captain said ours was the liveliest table. Our waiter was wonderful as he talked of family and home. David told jokes and Dianne F even got him to tell some Ole and Lena jokes. Our days and nights were filled with warmth and laughter... There are others we met and saw on the ship that stand out in my mind - like the elderly couple I saw at dawn, holding hands and walking quietly together...or the young man traveling alone in a wheelchair who did not let his handicap stop him from living... I sat and talked with him many times - he full of warmth and smiles. Or the young girl traveling by herself who had pink hair, pink nails, pink purse and pink shoes and clothes - I nicknamed her Pinkie of course and we would meet and talk almost every day on deck. OUR HOME AWAY FROM HOME Our ship was the Navigator of the Seas and after talking with many people - it seemed to be a favorite - because of the overall warmth of the staff and travelers. This ship offered lectures every day on various subjects - we went to one on the Straits of Gibraltar - and it was wonderful. They had an ice skating rink as well - which I tried - for five minutes! Unfortunately the skates were hockey skates and my ankles started screaming! The crossing from Fort Lauderdale to Tenerife, just off the west coast of northern Africa - was good. We did have a little rain and wind (35 mph) with approximately 15-20 ft seas - but it wasn't anything the Navigator could not handle. She was a big, big ship! It took us nine days to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Dianne F thought she might get bored - NOT!!!! There was so much to do and see every day, we couldn't do/see it all. Most nights we went to the stateroom early, tired but happy, intending to go to bed - but inevitably, we would stay up talking until midnight! Dianne went dancing one night with friends she had met, at a club called "The Dungeon" - and didn't come "home" till 1:00 in the morning! You go girl! PORTS OF CALL In Tenerife, our first port of call - we went to the top of Mount Teide - which is volcanic. The view was breathtaking and humbling. What a magnificent place. In Majorca we noodled through cobblestoned alleyways, up and down ancient staircases, got prints from a local artist for 4 euros (cheap), talked to Milo and Mom in the quiet beauty of an old Majorcan church.... In Ajaccio - we jumped on a tram that took us all over this small French island, along the beautiful coast and back again. We walked the streets that Napoleon walked as a boy - and while looking for an open bathroom found three wise old French women who pointed and said "NO TOILETTE - LE BUSH"!!!! Viva le France! There was a farewell party on deck that last night before Rome... sadly we said goodbye to all of the friends we had made and the wonderful staff who took such good care of us. Most, like us, were staying in Rome for awhile - or traveling to other exotic places. We were ready for the next chapter!! ROME We landed in Civitavecchia - which is the port to which all cruise ships must come. From there you can get to Rome a few different ways. You can take the boat excursion which would cost $91.00 per person, rent a cab at equal cost or take the train or bus for approx. 4 euros. We took the train! Picture us trundling our large suitcases over cobblestone streets to the train station. Then picture us slowly banging these suitcases up and down stairs trying to get to the right train before it left! Thankfully, some locals realized that if they were going to make their train on time they would have to pick up the back of our suitcases and push us up and down the stairs - which they did! And voilla! We made it! We got off where we were supposed to - the San Pietro station near the Vatican and took a cab to our B & B - ROMA VATICANA. (the weather in Rome was supposed to be a cool 65 degrees. NOT!! It was in the mid-80's and hotter than heck)! Our B & B was spartan and cheap - but the location was great. We spent first afternoon at St. Peter's Basilica - with our mouths wide open, looking at all of the beautiful art. We got to see the Beatification of Pope John Paul Exhibit there, which was wonderful. It rained a little but we did not care. We were in Rome. What did we do in Rome?? Everything. We got a Metro card which let us use the trains, subways, busses and trams - the whole while we were there. We visited every Piazza, Da Vinci Museum, Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museum, we got lost in the Borghese Gardens and best of all - we got to hear the arias sung from some of the major operas - at the Anglican Church near the Opera House. Amazing! -2- Dianne had young friends there in Rome that Milo and her met and spent time with while having an adventure on the Transiberian Railroad - and we managed to meet them in Trestevere on two occasions. The first time the four of us had dinner together in a wonderful restaurant near the Ponte Sisto and the second time they brought their two children with. Francesco and Julia - tre' bella!!! We spent five days and four nights in Rome and once again, the people we met along the way will stick in our memories... the ones who helped us navigate the trains, busses, streets and sites of this glorious city. My heart was full - but sad at leaving this ancient city. As I packed the last few things in my suitcase I heard the soft, plaintive sounds of a violin being played and went from room to room trying to find where it was coming from. I opened the bathroom window and the music soared up from the old airshaft below - music that mirrored my feelings so totally. I imagined a violinist from Rome's orchestra living in one of the little pensiones there, practicing for the evening's performance. Ah - the beauty of it all.... GOING BACK HOME Each of us planned very well - and I can honestly say that we both really only had one brain fart apiece! Dianne F was so busy looking up at the beautiful buildings that she fell off a curb - but thankfully, only skinned her knee. I lost our return tickets but luckily found them tucked in my journal! The flight to Dusseldorf, Germany was fine - the good night sleep we had at our hotel was even better (some people had to sleep at the airport). Air Berlin was great with good food, good service. Miami was hot and sticky (almost 90 degrees) and it took awhile for Leon to find us - but we made it home. We had our last dinner on Fort Lauderdale beach at one of my favorite restaurants named H20 - where an aging male model regaled us with stories of a modeling shoot he was on in Russia where he endured the sounds of a cross-eyed soprano opera singer in Moscow!!! It seemed the perfect way to end this wonderful adventure. My thanks to Dianne for sharing this incredible adventure with me - ciao for now dear family and friends, Wildbird Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
Embarkation was very smooth. We had no trouble getting on a shuttle at Civitavecchia to take us to the ship and no line up to receive our sea pass and board. (We arrived around noon.) We had sunny days in every port. Any rain happened at ... Read More
Embarkation was very smooth. We had no trouble getting on a shuttle at Civitavecchia to take us to the ship and no line up to receive our sea pass and board. (We arrived around noon.) We had sunny days in every port. Any rain happened at night up to our last day before Fort Lauderdale when we hit the edge of Hurricane Tomas. I loved the fact that Captain Patrik was very visible. He did regular ship announcements and was available quite a few times for pictures and participated in the Make a Wish marathon we did as a fundraiser. Paul Rutter, the cruise director, also made announcements and introduced the evening entertainment. He kept us up to date without dragging everything out like on some other cruises I've been on. The meals were pretty good although our table found the soups and sauces to be salty. We didn't go to Chops or Portofinos even though we had intended to because our tablemates were great companions and we preferred to eat with them. The kitchen had quite a few new people and meals were slow to come out. We had first seating at 6 pm and were never finished until around 8:15 with second seating having to come in for 8:30. We had 6 hours to turn back on our clocks and this was done one hour at a time on sea days. Most people thought it was crazy when they announced the time would go back one hour at 3 in the afternoon so we lived 2-3 in the afternoon over again 6 times. But actually it gave us all an extra hour naptime! I think the ship's idea was to make the staff work an extra hour and the cruisers to spend an extra hour's worth of drink or shopping money. I would definitely do another transatlantic. Having the long flight to Rome first and then flying only a few hours home from Ft. Lauderdale was a good idea as we were anxious to get home. Our first port was Toulon, France. It was a Sunday so many things were closed but we took a tour on the little train and it had an informative English commentary and was an inexpensive way to see some of Toulon. Second port was Barcelona, described separately. Third port was Cartagena, described separately. Fourth port was Malaga where we went on RCI's Caves of Nerja tour. Excellent. You will get wonderful pictures. Only problem here was that the tour left the ship very early and when we got to the town of Nerja the shops were not yet open. Last port was Tenerife, described separately. 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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