1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Oh, Mr Porter, what shall I do? I wanted to go to Boston and New York and they've taken me on to the Canary Isles....OK, it doesn't rhyme or fit the tune, but it sums up what happened to us on our first experience of cruising. ... Read More
Oh, Mr Porter, what shall I do? I wanted to go to Boston and New York and they've taken me on to the Canary Isles....OK, it doesn't rhyme or fit the tune, but it sums up what happened to us on our first experience of cruising. My wife and I decided two years ago to blow our savings on a cruise down the Eastern Seabord of the USA. Royal Caribbean International were advertising a 13 night cruise leaving from Southampton in early November, calling at Boston, New York, Port Canaveral and Miami - all places we had never visited, but would very much like to see. We took a deep breath and booked, then waited as the months crawled by, getting excited at the prospect of the Big Adventure ahead. Two weeks before departure, I went in to hospital and we had to miss the sailing. Insurance paid for most of the financial loss, so when an identical cruise was advertised last February, we decided to tempt fate and book up again. This time we were both fit and well as the day of departure arrived. Unfortunately, as it turned out, the ship wasn't in quite such great shape. Newspapers carried the story of a catastrophic failure of one of the stabilsers which caused hull damage and resulted in the cruise before ours being curtailed for emergency repairs. Then came the storm warnings. Late on the Friday before Monday's sailing our travel agents contacted us to say that because of adverse weather conditions in the Atlantic, the ship would not be calling into Boston, New York or Port Canaveral, but instead would spend time in Belgium and French ports before taking a southerly route to Miami. With someone else booked to move into our house the next day to dog-sit, and goodness knows how much already spent on return air-travel, overnight stays and car-hire, we felt we had no choice but to continue with the cruise, even though we had zero interest in spending time in Bruges or LeHavre. (No offence, Belgium and France, but we have visited you lots of times before.) Our disappointment was utter, and there was little excitement left when we went on board The Navigator for our first cruising experience. Things appeared to look up when, just before sailing, the Captain came on the Tannoy to say that - reponding again to weather changes - we would now be sailing direct to the Canary Isles, then crossing the Atlantic to the Bahamas for a day's water sports and sunbathing on a tropical island before going to Port Canaveral. (Back on the list). Nine happy days at sea allowed us to work up an appetite for the day of snorkling and coral reef exploration we were promised on Coco Cay, the RCI's private island paradise in the Bahamas. Crossing the Bay of Biscay was pretty choppy as the broken stabiliser was still not working, but the seas soon calmed down to a light swell. The crew were magnificent, the onboard entertainment excellent, and because so many people had cancelled at the last minute, we virtually had a waiter each. Life on board was relaxing and fun-packed, and our spirits rose. Sure, we had missed meeting our old friends in New York, and we never got to see Boston, but the sun was shining, the southern breezes were balmy, and there was that delicious day of water sports in the Bahamas to look forward to. The Day arrived, and the whole ship's complement lined up to disembark, larded in sun cream and already dressed in swimming gear. Announcement over the Tannoy: "Because of the swell, tenders are not prepared to put out from the island. We will not now be spending the day on Coco Cay but will divert to Freeport for a few hours on Grand Bahama." More dashed hopes. More cancelled excursions. But still, there was a guided tour of the Everglades at Port Canaveral to look forward to tomorrow, wasn't there? Well, no, actually, becuase later that day, after a rather uninteresting few hours on the quayside at Freeport, we had the message that all guided tours booked for the next day were off because of "immigration difficulties." So far, of the four excursions we had booked, none had or would now take place. As a last ditch effort to have some fun somewhere, we booked a shuttle ride to Magic Kingdom. Been there before, and it costs an arm and a leg, but, hey, we're on holiday. The ship docked in Port Canaveral. The shuttle bus made it to the Magic Kingdom. We had five hours in the park - just time for two rides and a ten-minute show - then back to the ship. Or so we thought. The coach broke down on the way back. We waited forty minutes in a gas station for a replacement bus, and ended up back at the ship seconds before it sailed, missing half of our last meal on board because we were so late back, and having to wear the same clothes we had worn for a sweaty day in the seething Disney park. Short of actually sinking mid-Atlantic, it is difficult to see how anything else could have gone wrong on this voyage. We have never cruised before - is our experience typical? Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
This was a very crowded cruise and not much was done to make it feel less so. The spaces on the ship were not fully used. Even though it was in the 50's and windy the evening movies were still at the outside pool deck. Why not move ... Read More
This was a very crowded cruise and not much was done to make it feel less so. The spaces on the ship were not fully used. Even though it was in the 50's and windy the evening movies were still at the outside pool deck. Why not move them to the conference center area? While it was generally cold outside on the sea days the theater area could have been more fully used for entertainment. The speakers that were scheduled had limited, if any, audio visual support. The theater didn't work for these events. Entertainment was marginal. The only bright spot were the comedians, especially Kivi. The performance put on by the crew felt like forced labor, don't they work hard enough already. These were also a safety nightmare. The shows were so crowded by people looking for entertainment that all access points were blocked with people sitting on the steps. How a medical emergency would have been handled is hard to imagine. Also there was only seating for several hundred people on a ship carrying approximately 3400 people. Note; these Transatlantic cruise generally carry a high senior passenger headcount! Food was OK, much Indian cuisine. The dinning room on multiple occasions described meals that were not delivered as such. One of my table companions finally asked why he didn't get what was described, but there really was no answer. The waiter has no control on this, Our dinning room waiter was very good and professional, but aside from him I felt like I was on a training cruise, maybe I was. As an emerald member of Royal Caribbean I certainly was disappointed on the level of service. Oh I also was without water in my cabin for several hours on evening. This ship is old and tired and it shows! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Food and service were average with a few over cooked deserts and the same old fayre. The curries in the Windjammer were generally very good and authentic. Entertainment was the worst we've ever seen. RC are now resorting to using ... Read More
Food and service were average with a few over cooked deserts and the same old fayre. The curries in the Windjammer were generally very good and authentic. Entertainment was the worst we've ever seen. RC are now resorting to using their non professional staff to provide some of the evening entertainment. The ships professional performer shows lacked impact and the singers had poor vocal ability. The headliner acts were nothing special apart from the juggler who was amazing and extremely funny. The Queen tribute band were awful and relied on their visual likeness rather than any musical ability. The ship is tired and the sofa in our cabin was very worn and full of dust. My mattress had a massive dent which made sleeping impossible. This should have been picked up by the stateroom attendant rather than me after a terrible nights sleep. Maybe it's time to stop being loyal to Royal! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
Birthday cruise turned out to be a big disappointment. A 14 night cruise started great but deteriorated throughout the journey. Small signs encountered along the way indicated something was wrong. - many typos and wrong scheduling in ... Read More
Birthday cruise turned out to be a big disappointment. A 14 night cruise started great but deteriorated throughout the journey. Small signs encountered along the way indicated something was wrong. - many typos and wrong scheduling in the cruise compass created communication confusion for guests and staff - ran out of chicken and turkey sausages on the first day - poor planning or tactic to try and use up pork approaching sell by date? we don't eat pork so no protein choice at breakfasts. What was worse the head chef was adamant there was chicken sausage on board and after coming to our table every night to check our breakfast was fine and then making calls whilst we tried to dine made things embarrassing worse. - salmon was not fresh and blanched and by last few days had turned green Chlorine levels were very high, eyes watered and swim clothing saturated with chlorine. Main issue was having a burst of sulphur dioxide gas coming through the shower drainage system. The shower had been blocked and no doubt chemicals thrown in to sort but unfortunately these were n't washed down and didn't realise at the time that poisonous odours were seeping into the cabin which explained the very poor sleeping and acid under the skin feeling. This ruined the last few days including my birthday. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
Sailing to MIami for my recently widowed friend to meet her son who lives in USA. So disappointed with the entertainment. I would like to know why we were crammed into and standing up for quizzes in the piano bar when this activity is ... Read More
Sailing to MIami for my recently widowed friend to meet her son who lives in USA. So disappointed with the entertainment. I would like to know why we were crammed into and standing up for quizzes in the piano bar when this activity is so popular, when the Star bar was empty and loads of seating. There was line dancing which was so popular it was full, but this was only offered once or twice, same with the Kareoke which was nightly at 9.45pm for 45 minutes but so popular again crammed, and poor, in house, Kareoke with not enough content why don't they afford ''Virtual DJ'' which you can purchase very cheap online. The ice show which I had seen before on another ship with fantastic costumes, was so disappointing almost hip hop in jeans and tee shirts I was disgusted having raved about it previously. The comedian on stage one night even commented ''oh someone in the audience laughed''. The only night it was great was when the Beatles tribute played but that was only once why didn't they use them somewhere else like the Star lounge as well. I could go on, but like Royal Caribbean I cant be bothered!!!!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
The disembarkation in Boston for non American guests was a fiasco, eventually got off the ship at 2.30 to return by 4.30. Needed more announcemnets. lots of passengers very disappointed as they had not been to Boston before. The ship ... Read More
The disembarkation in Boston for non American guests was a fiasco, eventually got off the ship at 2.30 to return by 4.30. Needed more announcemnets. lots of passengers very disappointed as they had not been to Boston before. The ship seemed to be rather dirty, all the soft furnishings (seating in public areas) needed a good clean. The linen and towels very thin. The food in the Windjammer was boring and mundane, even breakfast cereals tasted stale and choice poor. Reminded of school dinners, not enough seating and consequently got very crowded. The staff in the MDR were really excellent, very good service from all the staff. The food was presented well but cut backs over the years is showing with not as much choice in MDR. The service and food in the speciality restaurants was good with good service. Sabor was especially good, the guacamole made at the table was excellent Staff in bars were all friendly, choice of drinks was good although with the dollar exchange a bit expensive for non Americans. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We have previously undertaken this same trip on Independence of the Seas and found it to be relaxing and enjoyable. On this occasion it was less so due to: Ship - Was showing it's age and public areas had insufficient seating for ... Read More
We have previously undertaken this same trip on Independence of the Seas and found it to be relaxing and enjoyable. On this occasion it was less so due to: Ship - Was showing it's age and public areas had insufficient seating for the many guests who could not go out on deck due to the November Atlantic crossing weather. Cabin - 8690 deluxe balcony cabin on the stern. Dining - Food was average in both the Windjammer and Main Dining Room. Public areas have been reduced by the introduction of Speciality restaurants and Diamond Class lounge. Staff are continually attempting to sell Dining and Beverage Packages. Entertainment and Activities - The Enrichment series of lectures was of very limited interest to the majority of guests and as such poorly attended. Headliner acts were generally enjoyable but the three Production Shows lacked imagination and quality of vocal and dancing performances compared to other ships. Service - Was generally good apart from the excessive internet charges Port and Shore Excursions - Due to an inefficient American Immigration process in Boston mainly caused by RCI all passengers queued for up to three hours . We were allocated to attend at 11.50 but it was after 2pm before we were processed and as we had to be back on board by 4.30pm there was insufficient time to visit the City Centre or anywhere other than the immediate port area which had nothing of interest. RCI gave all guests an insulting 'one drink' voucher as compensation. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2016
I've been cruising (mostly solo) for 7 years now but this was my first time on RCI. Sadly on reaching our first US port after a week at sea, there was an ABSOLUTELY HORRENDOUS immigration process which resulted in me and many other ... Read More
I've been cruising (mostly solo) for 7 years now but this was my first time on RCI. Sadly on reaching our first US port after a week at sea, there was an ABSOLUTELY HORRENDOUS immigration process which resulted in me and many other non-US passengers only being processed around 3 p.m.! Queues snaked for hours. People missed their tours and lost money. Midway they stopped making announcements and no one knew what was going on. It was utter confusion!!! RCI blamed the US Customs . Customs blamed the ship. And I never got to see Boston! By the time I was processed it was about a hour before sailing so there was no point in getting off the ship. For our inconvenience we got a drink voucher. I'm not quite sure how this was supposed to make up for me missing a whole port stop (through no fault of my own) and though I took this up with the Reception desk no one seemed to care. I was determined not to let it spoil what, up till then, had been a good cruise. A few days later however I noticed a foul odour along my corridor and seeping into my room. To make an oh-too-long-story short, despite reporting it twice, it took hours of me standing at the reception desk complaining and repeated trips by maintenance and finally reception personnel for them to get someone agree this was a problem! The absolutely galling part of this was that I had to then convince them they needed to find another room for me to sleep in! Even when it was agreed that there was an odour no one was empowered to actually do a darn thing about it! As a passenger paying the 100% single supplement they expected to sleep in a room that smelt like the inside of a sewage treatment plant! Crazy! The NOTS had great restaurants, good food and attentive wait staff. Despite the many sea days there was no shortage of entertainment and each day the ship organised a lunch for the large group of solo travellers (those who hadn't already met through the Cruise Critic roll call) which was great. But needless to say after such poor treatment I am reluctant to ever give my money to RCI again. From time to time I've had an issue on a cruise but never once did the cruise line delay or fail to address it once brought to their attention. In both instances RCI was almost indifferent to my complaints. I think I'll stick to the other cruise lines who seem to know how to empower their staff to resolve problems and ensure a good overall experience. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2016
Ports of call were of interest,but immigration was a disaster and officers totally absent. No TV working entertainment poor and irregular . The captain was boring and his information lacklustre..e.g. Told us about the whales after ... Read More
Ports of call were of interest,but immigration was a disaster and officers totally absent. No TV working entertainment poor and irregular . The captain was boring and his information lacklustre..e.g. Told us about the whales after the event. No effort to repair tv service excuse was difficult to get signal..if so ask other ships how they do it ! The crew seemed tired and were disinterested.There was no attempt to enforce dress code..so why bother having it ? Ai the first port of call..Boston the immigration officers were late and had no it equipment.there seems to have been no liaison with crew,and officers hid and were not seen.some people missed tours. The entertainment was of a poor standard.a couple of acts were passable but only had a couple of performances..the ship was transatlantic..where did they go ? I wouldn't travel on that ship again.RC are concentrating on their Stella ships and the rest Are just left to their own devices. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2016
A friend of mine was taking the cruise, suggested I take it also, and several people on previous cruises suggested I give RCCL a try. Dinner service and my room stewart were good, but lunch service was a disaster. The food on the whole ... Read More
A friend of mine was taking the cruise, suggested I take it also, and several people on previous cruises suggested I give RCCL a try. Dinner service and my room stewart were good, but lunch service was a disaster. The food on the whole was pretty boring. There was very little to do on board, Each time a movie I was interested in was playing it was out by the pool, too cool, to be comfortable there. There were not any good educational lectures. Every activity on the ship was a sales pitch of some kind. Entertainment was mediocre with the exception of three shows, a talented female pianist and singer, an excellent violinist, and a Beatles review band. The ships officers were not friendly, unlike other cruise lines I have taken. I doubt I will give RCCL another chance especially at the high price I pay as a solo cruiser. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We chose this transatlantic cruise to visit Boston, New York and Florida. The cruise was redeployed. We have never done this type of cruise before, unfortunately the entertainment is based on a summer cruise. A lot of the entertainment and ... Read More
We chose this transatlantic cruise to visit Boston, New York and Florida. The cruise was redeployed. We have never done this type of cruise before, unfortunately the entertainment is based on a summer cruise. A lot of the entertainment and activities were based on deck in the open air, which in November was not the ideal place. There was very little variation inside the ship. Evening entertainment, we expected better quality of acts. In some instances, in the main theatre, audiences walked out during performances. The artists in the bars were far better. First port of call was Boston. We didn't clear customs until 3pm by which time it was too late to visit this city. Unfortunately we were ill for much of the cruise and so where the majority of passengers and crew. We had problems with our cabin for 3 days. After several days of trying to correct the noise, maintenance finally dismantled the wardrobe and rebuilt it, leaving a very strong smell of glue in the cabin. Good point. Food was good and staff were very attentive. Has anyone had a similar experience like this. Would recommend a visit to Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
I am a Platinum member of RCCL's Crown and Anchor Society, and this was our second Transatlantic. In the past we were quite satisfied with the hospitality given to passenger on the Royal Caribbean ships we have sailed on. This trip ... Read More
I am a Platinum member of RCCL's Crown and Anchor Society, and this was our second Transatlantic. In the past we were quite satisfied with the hospitality given to passenger on the Royal Caribbean ships we have sailed on. This trip left a lot to be desired. I read the review that another passenger left on our cruise, and I find he was quite accurate. He spent a lot of time on the food, and I concur. The food was mediocre, at best, and I was really surprised, when it was announced two days out, that the ship had run out of raw eggs. This was the day after we were in Nassau. I would think, they should have restocked when they were in port. Not only were Eggs sold out, but they ran out of bananas and Berries on day 10. The other reviewer mentioned a shrimp soup. I also was surprised by this when I ordered it, and saw the lack of shrimp. We had a surf and turf night, and a lobster night. The Surf part of Surf and turf was 1/2 of a small lobster tail. It also was served in shell, and was hard to retrieve the meat, which was overcooked. The cooks could also learn something about seasoning. There were a number of passengers from Louisiana on board, since the ship was slated to terminate in New Orleans. Several times on the lunch menu Jambalaya was featured. I was sitting in the restaurant with a couple from New Orleans. I told them not to expect much, and that's what they got. No heat at all! One of the problems we encountered was the state of the room. To be frank, it was dirty, and showed signs of extreme wear. This ship needs a renovation badly. the room was a little larger than many of the balcony staterooms, and on the hump, which is about the best you can get, and not have a suite. so I was disappointed when we saw cigarette burns on the carpet, and had lumpy mattresses. Shortly after boarding, we sent out some our clothes for cleaning. The clothes were delivered the next day. About halfway through they offered a special deal. Laundry was done for $25 all you can get. Unfortunately it took two days instead of one. To top that off, they lost our laundry. Our cabin steward had to bring three bags of unmarked laundry, and helped us find it. Which brings me to entertainment. Many of our table mates had sailed on the Navigator before. They commented on the shows which were pedestrian at best. In some cases they had seen the same shows two or three times. the cruise director made the point in one of his pre show comments, that he had been in the same show in 2003. Ten years is a long time to have the same show. Now I know why the shows seemed dated. I also have criticism with the activities, or lack thereof. The Art auctions no longer are with Park West. RCCL now runs the auction themselves, and they are not as varied than the Park West auctions. It also seemed that there were less poolside activities, then we've seen in the past. One standout was Vito, who ran the Bingo games. He is also a marine biologist, and also had a series of enrichment programs which were educational and well attended. Finally kudos to the wait staff, and cabin stewards, who worked hard and were very professional. I was impressed. 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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