73 New Orleans Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Ship: Navigator of the Seas..Date: Feb 9th 2013. Port: New Orleans. This was our first cruise out of the Port of New Orleans. Normally we go out of Port Canaveral, but because we live closer to New Orleans we decided to try it. My wife ... Read More
Ship: Navigator of the Seas..Date: Feb 9th 2013. Port: New Orleans. This was our first cruise out of the Port of New Orleans. Normally we go out of Port Canaveral, but because we live closer to New Orleans we decided to try it. My wife had sailed on Navigator before, but I had not. We have only sailed on Royal Caribbean, because we have always had excellent results..in other words, "if it isn't broke don't fix it..". Once again Royal Caribbean lived up to our expectations. Port: Because Mardi Gras was still happening in New Orleans, the directions given to us for Port Parking were slightly incorrect. I felt this was not Royal Caribbean's fault but the city of New Orleans for not giving the last minute changes to Royal Caribbean. For normal departure dates..directions are right on. The New Orleans port is more congested than say Port Canaveral but even then I felt the process went relatively smoothly. I recommend you arrive to board around 10 am..Later you might have some waits..Overall good job.. Condition of the Ship: The Ship was in excellent condition and I never saw any trash etc laying around. All areas very clean and I saw no areas needing repair. Room: We always book a promenade room, and we did here. We knew what to expect from our two sailings on Freedom of the Seas and our rooms were exactly what we had on Freedom. Very clean and nothing need of repair. Bathroom was excellent and we had no issues..Size of our room was exactly what we had on Freedom. Ships Personnel: Excellent and very Friendly. Many times I always had a crew member say good morning or hi before I could. I could tell they enjoyed their work. Dining: Navigator had just changed their menus a few days prior to our sailing and I must admit..I really enjoyed the selections. We ate all our evening meals in the main dining room and always did lunch in one of the dining rooms rather than the Windjammer. All our meals were excellent.. We had no complaints about the food on Navigator. We also experienced Johnny Rockets and once again the crew members serving this area were fun and enjoyable. (one observation: My wife sensed that the dining room personnel were rather new and were "learning the ropes", however, not to the point that our service was ever compromised. Excellent Service..and Food...Portions were more than abundant..We ate one meal in the Windjammer and found it to be good. My wife prefers to not do the "buffet thing".. Drinks: Excellent and felt prices comparable to what you would find in any bar in the U.S. Gratuity always included in the price of your drink. Beer selections were excellent. For those of you who enjoy wine..I would recommend you buy one of the wine selections and once you purchase..go ahead and reserve your bottles. If you wait to choose your bottle at every meal you may run the risk of that selection being sold out..We saw this with our dining companions. Entertainment: Outstanding: If you have never seen Kenny James then you must. This gentleman put on a show that was unbelievable. All other shows excellent and enjoyable. 70's night on the Promenade was fun and rousing.. Shore Excursions: Ports of Call: Falmouth Jamaica..Gran Caymans and Cozumel. Falmouth is a rather new port and we only did a bus tour to Montego Bay.. Gran Caymans..Loved walking around and shopping.. Enjoyed the atmosphere of Georgetown..Margaritaville in the Cayman's was fun.. Cozumel: Had fun within the port area and for those who want to party..Senor Frog right their within the port area.. Just look for the water tower with the XX on it.. The Cruise lines have done a wonderful job of developing an excellent, and clean environment at their immediate port areas at both Falmouth and Cozumel.. Shopping within these areas was excellent and you can bargain. I would not recommend walking on your own outside of the immediate port shopping area at Falmouth. Cozumel and Caymans OK do so.. Overall: Outstanding Cruise and Ship. Once again Royal Caribbean did not disappoint and we will be back.. Our next ship: Oasis or Allure.. We have sailed on Royal Caribbean 8 times and have never been disappointed. We have sailed on Monarch..Freedom..and Navigator..We look forward to the Oasis or Allure..For those of you concerned about the sailing down the Mississippi..it was fun.. When you awake after your first night you will be in the Gulf of Mexico. It was fun on the return to go to the bow of the ship at night as we entered the Mississippi.. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
We have sailed with Royal Caribbean previously and it's always a very enjoyable trip. Their service is always phenomenal! Our room steward, waiter and assisant waiter were attentive and added so many personal touches. They made it so ... Read More
We have sailed with Royal Caribbean previously and it's always a very enjoyable trip. Their service is always phenomenal! Our room steward, waiter and assisant waiter were attentive and added so many personal touches. They made it so enjoyable for our daughter and were so sweet to her. We loved them! We sailed last year on The Liberty of the Seas. The Navigator is a bit smaller but is set up very similarly so it was very easy to find our way around. The Liberty has a bit more to do and sometimes we felt overwhelmed and like we had to fit it all in. So the Navigator was nice if you are really low-key and like to just relax at the pool on sea days. We had the later dinner seating and on a few nights we had to go to the show before dinner. Would have preferred to go after dinner as there wasn't much to do after dinner for families. We also weren't really able to use Ocean Adventure club for our daughter because by the time dinner was over we usually just decided to go to bed. Plus it was into the time frame for which you had to pay for the childcare - we couldn't get her there in time after dinner for the regular hours. We felt like the entertainment was just average. The production shows were well-performed but were "old school" cruise ship shows. All of the headliners were pretty good. The ice show was outstanding. Wished there were more family friendly evening activites. Last year on the Liberty we did family karoake. Navigator only had adult karoake. Also,my daughter was so excited to attend the White Party again this year and the Navigator version was not family friendly. There was no food (Liberty had fruit carvings, ice cream, etc.). The beginning of the party had line dancing but by the end of the night there was Tom Cruise "Cocktail" style bottle tossing show by some of the bartenders. It was entertaining for the adults but unfortunately, wasn't family friendly. I ended up taking my daughter and heading back to our cabin. She was disappointed. But all in all we had a wonderful trip. Royal Caribbean definitely has the service thing down. All employees are so well trained in customer service and really "roll out the red carpet" for their passengers. Also,our cabin was very clean and comfortable and we thought the ship was beautiful. We loved our 7 days and we weren't ready to go home! Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
This was our fourth cruise, and first with Royal Caribbean. Getting on board was a quick and easy process. From the moment we parked our car to the moment our keys were unlocking our cabin door took less than an hour. Our cabins were in ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise, and first with Royal Caribbean. Getting on board was a quick and easy process. From the moment we parked our car to the moment our keys were unlocking our cabin door took less than an hour. Our cabins were in level 6, an inside cabin and a cabin with. Window. Both were immaculately clean, with comfortable beds and nice furnishings. Both bathrooms were small, of course. I appreciated the bathroom shelving and good water pressure. Our cabins had 8 drawers and a closet with 7 shelves and room for hanging clothes. The vanity desk in each cabin had vanity lights, 2 electrical outlets, and a good hair dryer. There is also an outlet in the bathroom. The televisions were older models, but decent quality. The temperature, bedding, and everything else I can think of were good quality and comfortable. The service on board was flawless. Every team member we dealt with was smiling, and quick to help. Our room steward, the mechanic who fixed our safe, the service desk, shop keepers, wait staff in all of the eateries, plus any staff member we randomly came across were smiling and pleasant without fail. The batteries in our tv remote died, and our steward had them replaced in a few minutes. Our towel animals were a big treat, especially the kissing swans that formed a heart and included a Valentine from the Housekeeping staff. The food was phenomenal. The Promenade, just a quick walk down one flight of steps from our cabin, was open 24/7, with pizza, pastries, and sandwiches. A nice variety of teas, coffee, and hot chocolate mix are available self serve. Our first meal was at the Windjammer buffet. They offered a good variety of soups, salads, entrees, sides, and desserts. We ate at the Windjammer and adjoining Jade Asian buffet about fifteen times, and we enjoyed new dishes every day. The Indian food was especially nice. There was a chick pea stew and Basmati rice dish that was divine. The list of excellent foods would be too long, so I will only provide our top 5: baked macaroni and cheese, blackened salmon, key lime pie, all of the curries, and honey stung fried chicken, with an honorable mention to the extensive and fresh salad bar, pasta bar, and taco bar. And the chicken ala king was so good we have to mention that as well. We also made use of the three soft serve ice cream stations on board, all on level 11. We always found a good seat, usually by the window. We enjoyed fine dining at 8:30 each evening. The service and presentation were superb. The food was 90% excellent & 10% fair. When our waiters noticed a dish we did not eat, they always offered to bring something in its place. The Grand Mariner vanilla souffle was the best dessert our sons have ever tasted. The fitness facility was very nice, well appointed, and easy to use. I had access to the yoga mats and an exercise ball in the empty aerobics studio a few times, and used the machines as well. The hydro therapy hot tub was huge, beautiful, and inviting, but I skipped it. Did not take a class, though several were offered. We used the walking track on deck 12 most of all. We spent time in the chapel on level 14, lovely and sunlit. Banked with white flowers, it looks made for intimate weddings. Nice that it is open to all who wish to use it, and an un-lead chapel service was advertised for Friday night at 5:30. The rock climbing walk, putt-putt golf, inline skating, ice skating, board games,basketball court, volleyball, dodgeball, and much more looked fun and inviting. Between the four of us we played basketball, board games, and spent time at the pool and the hot tubs,which were always clean and never crowded. We saw a few shows. Two of us saw the welcome variety show, which was okay. The ice show is a must see. Kenny James was absolutely outstanding in every way, the hi light of our cruise! The last show, a comedian and balancing act were good. The disco party on the Promenade was really fun. Ports of call: Jamaica has a city tour by tram we thoroughly enjoyed. It was $20 per person,and purchased off the ship in the nice shop area within the gate. We purchased a tour I. Our own for $30 pp in the Caymans. It was an air conditioned mini bus with a guide that took us to "Hell," the turtle exhibit, and 5 other places. Also bought off ship. We saw Cozumel on our own. A taxi took all if us downtown for $8. We have toured the ruins and snorkeled and such on previous trips, but really enjoyed playing it by ear this time. Getting on and off the ship, even the tender to and from Grand Cayman, was pretty seamless. A few things I appreciated: We were never forced to have photos made. Our fellow cruisers seemed to be nice people. I only saw two tween girls who were loud. The ship was decorated beautifully. I must admit, we were treated "Royally." During our last dinner, our dons asked if we could take the same cruise next year. Best vacation ever:). Disembarkation: We always self assist. We walked out of our cabin at 7:33am, and reached our car at 8:00am. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
Our first time with Royal Caribbean. Took the Navigator of the Seas on 2/02/2013. We were SO IMPRESSED with EVERYBODY on the Ship. Their service(attentiveness, sincerity, politeness and professionalism) is better than Crystal ... Read More
Our first time with Royal Caribbean. Took the Navigator of the Seas on 2/02/2013. We were SO IMPRESSED with EVERYBODY on the Ship. Their service(attentiveness, sincerity, politeness and professionalism) is better than Crystal Cruises' ! We had a Balcony cabin on Deck 9. Balcony and interior spaces were larger than their competitors(Carnival and NCL-7day cruise from New Orleans). Quality of bedlinens and bath towels were better. Had more than enough storage spaces. We liked the shower design. You take a shower in a round enclosed tube like space., so water does not splash outside of this space. Sorry but I must write some negative points now: Dining room menu was ordinary and lunch and dinner did not taste good. Carnival's dining room menu is much better. NCl was the second and RCL ranks 3rd on the quality of food.(I am comparing 3 cruises out of New Orleans). Windjammer had larger selection for Lunch and Dinner and many people seemed to prefer Windjammer. Dining room menu and food selection were excellent on our 5th and 6th night. Lobster appearred on the 5th night and Lamb on the 6th night was THE BEST lamb I have ever had. But I can not forget the bad food we had on our previous 4 nights Entertainments: The worst again. Headline Shows were cheaply presented., inexpensive costumes and dancers who could not line up properly in orderly fashion. Singers, dancers were worse than some HighSchool shows. Carnival always has expensive grandiose shows, in addition to the comedians who usually perform in a smaller theatre. NCL had excellent comedians from the Second City last year. RCL production was miserable. Maybe their IceShow was much better. We did not go as the ticket line was always so long. Maybe RCL spent too much budget on the IceShow, they neglected the main street Shows. Overall, inferior food and shows did not matter too much for us, as we were extremely impressed by EVERYONE worked on the Nagigator of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
This was my 2nd cruise, and the second with RC so I don't have any other line to compare it to. it was a family holiday, adult children with aged parents. It suited us well. Navigator is a beautiful ship with wonderful decor and ... Read More
This was my 2nd cruise, and the second with RC so I don't have any other line to compare it to. it was a family holiday, adult children with aged parents. It suited us well. Navigator is a beautiful ship with wonderful decor and attention to detail. My cabin was spotless and well maintained. Housekeeping was superb. The public rooms are gorgeous. We forgot it was spring break when we booked, so we were surprised to see many kids. However they were well behaved and it was OK. There were a lot of activities but due to our booking time they were totally dominated by kids, so although i wanted to play table tennis and minigolf with my old dad it just was not possible. This was our fault, live and learn. On the one lousy weather day we went to the cinema - the projector needed refocusing! The best thing about the RC ships is the Service. The crew are really great. Smart, personable, attentive, know their job, friendly but not 'servile' it is the service that makes the ship special and I hope RC know that! We did Chukka Beach and the San Gervasio Ruins + beach break excursions. Both excellent value for money. Georgetown was cancelled due to weather. Dining was good: the food was better than I had had on the Voyager in 2009. The dining room lamb shank stands out in particular; the prime rib too. Lovely fresh breads too. Wonderful service. Portions not too big. We had the later sitting which was good - fewer people and more relaxed. The Windjammer was like all buffets - way too much choice and the temptation to pig out. Some folks were doing serious pyramid-ing. But the quality was very good and the provision of low fat and low sugar foods was great. The oatmeal and low fat granola was just amazing! Also impressed by the crisp salads and yes, the fries! We did not try any specialty restaurants since the dining room was very good we did not feel we missed anything. The Promenade snack bar was excellent - I ate lunch there once; had a lovely fresh grilled veg sandwich. The coffee was weak but then I like my coffee strong, French style. There is a starbucks but I don't like starbucks so I just grinned and bore it. Good lemonade. We did not go to any theatre or ice shows, but did visit Bolero's almost every night for the Latin Jazz, and also to the Ixtapa Lounge a few times and to the 14th floor bar. All were excellent. Bolero's was the high point of the cruise, just great cocktails and music. Used the gym twice, great. Although I didn't really want to; I just felt guilty at having too much fun. Had a spa treatment. Very well done though a bit abrupt. I will do RC and this class of ship again, just not in spring break. Embarkation/Disembarkation: New Orleans could make their port a bit more efficient and pleasant. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
Was on the cruise from New Orleans Feb 23rd. The staff is great, very polite, accomodating and service is number one. The ship is fantastic although there are areas of the ship that look a bit tired... As a non smoker I found it ... Read More
Was on the cruise from New Orleans Feb 23rd. The staff is great, very polite, accomodating and service is number one. The ship is fantastic although there are areas of the ship that look a bit tired... As a non smoker I found it disturbing there was smoking along poolside where we had to walk by to get our towels...couldn't they be located to a less traveled area?? Why would they permit smoking in the casino; especially when there is an open stair case to the promenade deck?? there is food served there...does not go with smoke! There was no late night dancing/entertainment available for people over 40 - unless you wanted to try the dungeon was open - another smoke infested area....but really set up for the younger crowd...30 ish. The service in the dining room was excellent, too bad the food did not match level of service. There were 3 or 4 nights where the dinner was excellent and the balance of the cruise, the food was so-so...I cruised with Celebrity - the food is spectacular - this was a few years ago, so that may have changed as the cruise I took was pre-RCCL's merge. Two of the three ports were great! Falmouth, Jamaica is not a very nice area. The locals appear to be upset because most of the tourists do not shop outside the port - we were steered to shop within the safety of the port fences. Georgetown Grand Cayman is beautiful and we found a great glass blowing shop. Visit this store you will not be disappointed!! Many beautiful pieces from $15.00 Island GlassBlowing Studio Ltd 189 North Church Street 345-946-1483 http://www.islandglassblowing.com/ If you're on the cruise ship, when you come off the dock you turn left. Keep on the waterfront side of the road and you will see a big sign for Burger King, we are the building before that. It's about a 10 or 15 minute walk from the dock. Open at 9-15 a.m. and close at 4-00p.m. For more info email: islandglassblowing@gmail.com Way too much focus on shopping! We rented a jeep and bombed around the island - covered lots of ground..beach, Tortuga, hell, and blow holes - it's beautiful! We met several people on board who used this site to book the many excursions your own and are cheaper than the ships' offerings...which are often the same or better! Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
Background Info: We are a family of 4 - we are 40ish and our 2 girls are 9 & 10 years old. This was the 10th cruise (7th with RCI)for my husband and I and 4th & 5th for the kids. We are from Alberta, Canada and usually take a ... Read More
Background Info: We are a family of 4 - we are 40ish and our 2 girls are 9 & 10 years old. This was the 10th cruise (7th with RCI)for my husband and I and 4th & 5th for the kids. We are from Alberta, Canada and usually take a vacation every winter to escape. Travel to Port: We flew on US Air on January 31, 2013. Our luggage did not make it until the next afternoon which cut into our time we had allotted for sight seeing on Friday, February 1st. Since it was Superbowl weekend we did not get to see much of New Orleans due to our shorten time and crowds. We stayed in Baton Rouge due to the hotel room shortage in New Orleans hosting Superbowl. We dropped off our rental car at New Orleans airport Saturday morning and took a taxi to the pier. Cab ride was just under $60 for 4 people and took about 40 minutes to get there. Hotel: We stayed at Homewood Suites in Baton Rouge. It was just ok but had a wonderful hot breakfast. Embarkation: It was a bit confusing when we first arrived as it was still early, about 10:30am. RCI had recommended getting to the pier early due to the Superbowl traffic. There were still people disembarking and we were in a line to embark right next to the disembark line and both running in the same direction. But it moved quickly and we were checked in within 10 minutes of arriving and on the ship by 11:30am. Stateroom: We had an aft corner balcony cabin (#1388). The cabin is much larger than regular D1 categories due to the odd shape and the balcony is very large as well. There is some structure obstructing the view but you don't notice it really. This balcony also has areas that are in the shade and sun and very little wind. The cabin has a sofa bed but no pull-mans. The balcony has 2 lounge chaise, to chairs and a small side table and still lots of room to walk around. Ship: The ship is very nice but is starting to show some wear - nothing major, just some cosmetic things like some tiles missing around the pool area, scratches and dings on the corridor walls, our balcony flooring was pretty dinged up, etc. She is still a beautiful ship and she is scheduled for dry dock in February 2014 so she will be sparkling new again. There is also a casino and various lounges. Dining: The ship has 3 places to eat that's included in your cruise fare - the main dining room, the windjammer buffet and the Cafe Promenade. The food in the main dining room was very good with lots of selections for special diets such as vegetarian and gluten-free. The service in the main dining room was fabulous. The Windjammer food was average - you could get pizza, burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches/wraps and salad every lunchtime and the rest of the buffet was a mixture that changed daily. The windjammer also has a Jade restaurant that offers Asia/Indian food that changes daily and sushi for supper. The Cafe Promenade offer sandwiches, pizza, cookies, deserts (the brownies are delicious here)and coffee & tea and is open 24 hours a day. Room service is also available 24 hours but there is a service charge of $3.93 from midnight to 5 am. The only pay pay restaurant we ate at was Johnny Rockets which was a $4.95 fee per person. It was good. Activities: The ship has an ice rink, rock wall, in-line skating track, mini-golf, full size basketball court, table tennis, outside running/walking track, a fitness center, 3 pools (1 adult only) and, I think, 6 Jacuzzis. There is a Royal Promenade on deck 5 that runs through the middle of the ship (looks like walking through a mall) and it contains cafes, bars and shops. There is also a fairly large casino and many lounges and bars. Entertainment: There are shows every night from Production shows to comedians. The promenade is the venue for various things such as 70s, Welcome aboard party and a Circus parade one night. You will also find live music here during the evenings. There is also an ice skating show that is not to be missed! Children's club: RCI has Adventure Ocean that is a free service. On sea days there are open from 9am to noon and again from 2pm to 10pm. On port days it is open a 1/2 hour before the start of the first shore excursion and closes a 1/2 hour after the end of the last shore excursion. The kids can stay at AO when you leave the ship for a tour and the AO staff will even take them for lunch. There is also an after hours service from 10pm to 1am that cost $6 per hour per child. The AO program is fantastic and our kids want to spend most of their time there. Service: The service staff were excellent. Everyone was very friendly and very willing to help. Port & Shore Excursions: We booked a catamaran snorkel tour through RCI in Cozumel and it was a great experience. ON Grand Cayman we took a taxi to Seven Mile Beach and rented lounge chairs and an umbrella. The beach was beautiful and the water very warm. In Jamaica we just did some shopping inside the secure area as we've been to Jamaica before and did not want to expose the kids to the people trying to sell you "stuff". If we didn't have the kids we probably would have ventured outside or taken a tour of some sort. Disembarkation: This was easy and organized except for the line for customs. We got our bags in no time and walked up to the exit before realizing that the line went all the way back to where er got our bags and then some. Once we got through customs we walked out, flagged and cab and was off to the airport. The drive to the airport only took 20 minutes and we were there by 9:15am. Summary: This was a very nice cruise and I would do it again. The Navigator is a great ship - not too big, not too small. The staff was awesome! Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
RCI delivers a very good standard in about everything across the board. People who don't like the food are too picky in my opinion. People who think it's great are not discerning enough...it's good. Same with the rooms ... Read More
RCI delivers a very good standard in about everything across the board. People who don't like the food are too picky in my opinion. People who think it's great are not discerning enough...it's good. Same with the rooms (hotel operations), service, presentation of the ship etc. It's all very good. Considering you pay a very good rate on a cruise like this one, you get a very good value. Price plus quality = value. Don't be scared away by any picky reviewers...look for what you want and if RCI says they have it, they will deliver! Embarkation: NOLA was cold, so I liked departing out of Miami much better...not RCI's fault at all. I just want to leave winter and feel like I'm on vacation, and New Orleans was 47 degrees as we left, brrrrrr! Getting on was easy, smooth, and took about 45 minutes start to finish. Cruise: Took my 11 yr old son for some one on one time. Great time. However a tip to RCI...there are things for kids (adventure ocean) and things for adults, but not much for both during the day in terms of planned or coordinated activities. We did everything from scavenger hunt, to rock wall, to mini golf, to ice skating, to roller blading, to ping pong, to swimming to lots of basketball and shuffleboard...so make no mistake we found plenty of fun! Meals: We ate in the Windjammer all but three meals and found it quick and easy. Food choice were good, and on par with any buffet. Again, good, not great, not bad. Never went hungry. Ate at Portofino, GREAT! Ate at Johnny Rockets, very good! MDR for one meal on lobster night, satisfactory...takes to long and lobster was only average so a bit disappointing. Room: Having a balcony for ocean breezes and hearing the waves from the boat...ahhhhhhhh now that is what you cruise for. We loved it and escaped the cold Iowa winter by spending lots of time on our balcony. Room was plenty spacious, clean, bed was medium comfort but plenty workable. Ports: Great time swimming with dolphins in Cozumel at chankanaab and fun time watching the sea lion show and walking their fun trail for the "ancient ruins" as well as some decent snorkeling with easy access. Great time swimming with stingrays in Grand Cayman with a reef snorkel stop and the tiki beach break. Great time at Doctor's Cave beach in Jamaica. We took a bus to Doctor's cave and back, worked fine...I'd do all of them again. Snorkeling was good at all three places, but the best in Jamaica. People complain about leaving the safety of the port in Jamaica...I'm cautious...esp with an 11 year old...and we had no problems and no worries Mon! Go with a group or stay in main tourist areas in all three ports and it seems plenty safe to me. Tips and Overall: Great time, we didn't want to be back. I'd cruise on RCI again and on Navigator again! We'd highly recommend the ice show...the shows in the main theater were hit and miss. There are hidden shuffle board courts on the very back of Deck 4! Hang the card on your door for room service breakfast delivery and enjoy it on your balcony...although windjammer for breakfast was great as well! Hot chocolate is available next to the regular coffee in the snack place on the Royal Promenade...my son loved it but the water is very hot so we put some cream in as well. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
Spent three days in NOLA prior to cruise allowing us a vacation before the vacation and we had a wonderful time, there is so much to see and do there. Checking in was fairly easy - although confusing as to which line we were supposed ... Read More
Spent three days in NOLA prior to cruise allowing us a vacation before the vacation and we had a wonderful time, there is so much to see and do there. Checking in was fairly easy - although confusing as to which line we were supposed to go in. Sail away was cold and windy, weather really does come to play into enjoyment level, we were so excited to be cruising again but it was no fun being on deck at that time. Ship is very pretty - decorated with the Mardi Gras theme. Overall it's a beautiful ship with some signs of wear such as rust on the balcony and faded carpet and plastic plants on the mini golf course. Our cabin was great, we had a junior suite at the back of the boat, although not the view we had hoped for as there is an extension off the back of the balcony that blocks your view of that beautiful water churning. Would opt for cabin on the side next time. We had two sea days up front which was nice coming off of busy days prior in NOLA, but this being our 4th cruise on this class we were finding a lot of the same old same old and not a lot to do. Weather was just not cooperating with us and sitting outside was not much of an option. We ate in the dining room every night and the waiter and assistant waiter were friendly, attentive and very helpful. Could not say anything bad about the service we received in the dining room. We were told they were working with a new menu, each night centered around a different spice. Food was fine but I never really had a meal I was excited about, even the lobster just seemed fine. I was feeling however that there were some cutbacks - for example - at our first crown and anchor event cocktails were served but no hors d'oeuvres. This was even brought up by one of the guests to the captain at the second crown and anchor event. I'm not sure the captain understood the question though. We used to get nice tote bags delivered to our cabins and now it is a box with some dried fruit and cookies, which is nice, but again, feels like a cutback. First port was Falmouth. We had purchased the day pass to the Iberostar resort which included the transportation. Lovely resort, did not realize that alcohol was included with this day pass but you can enjoy the resort and all food and drink is included. Beach was ok, water was not the pretty blue color and was not that clean, may have just been the day we were there. The area outside the terminal shopping is very iffy - I would not feel safe on my own there at all. Next stop was Cozumel. We had pre booked the Cozumel Bar Hop and I would highly recommend this. I am forever grateful having been able to experience the other side of the island - mostly untouched and so beautiful. Our tour guide was very friendly and nice and funny. There are four stops, each "bar" has a different personality and we thoroughly enjoyed each one. I would do that again in a heartbeat. Cost is 54.00 pp, includes a small drink at each stop, buy as they say, have enough cash because there is no electricity, you cannot use credit cards and there is no ATM. We did not have as much cash as we needed and found ourselves penny pinching - we ordered tacos at the second stop, one plate to share two tacos but we were fine. I highly recommend this tour. Grand Cayman - we took a taxi to seven mile beach, the water was beautiful. Decided to each lunch at Margaritaville, our first visit to this franchise and it was a lot of fun. Our last sea day we did something we have never done - we woke up early and went down to the Solarium to put our towels on two chairs and ran to the Windjammer to eat a quick breakfast and went right back. We were there so early we had the chance to watch those who plunk their towels down and our gone for hours. We watched a woman come in and save eight deck chairs in a row and she said alone for hours. Four of the chairs never did get used but her party, eventually they packed their stuff up and left, it was another chilly, windy and cloudy day with periods of rain. So disappointing for the last day. We tried to do the shows - but mostly I think they were horrid. Kenny James was the guest artist and I enjoyed every minute of his show, but the ones featuring the RC singers and dancers were sad. We would sit at the back so we could exit when we had had enough. Overall - we really did have a wonderful time, looking back - we decided maybe it would be better to try the second dinner so we could lay down a bit before dinner. We found ourselves so tired by the end of the day it was hard to stay up late. Leaving the ship seemed like it was going to be easy until we got to the section our luggage was supposed to be in and all four pieces were missing as were a handful of other cruiser's. We filled out a form to have it shipped to our home so we could get to the airport but my husband caught a glimpse of one of our luggage tags on a cart that hadn't been unloaded yet and lucky the others were with it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
You can never blame the cruise line for the weather. That being said I will probably not sail out of New Orleans again. We have always sailed out of Florida ports and Florida is always warm...even in February. But New Orleans was cold ... Read More
You can never blame the cruise line for the weather. That being said I will probably not sail out of New Orleans again. We have always sailed out of Florida ports and Florida is always warm...even in February. But New Orleans was cold and drizzly. Just yucky. We were in NOLA 2 days before to take in some sites and enjoy the local flavor. It is a great fun and historic city, I would have enjoyed it more if it was warmer. But like I said, no one's fault. We arrived at port around noon and were on the boat by 12:15. They had an awful lot of stations to get you processed quickly. I counted roughly 35 attendants. The boat is beautiful. We were on the Independence a few years ago and they are both very similar. It was shorts weather the day we left though. I was anxious for the boat to get moving to a warmer climate. The itinerary called for 2 days at sea, 3 days in port and 1 day at sea going back to New Orleans. Sunday, the first day at sea, it was a bit warmer, but the winds on the pool deck were ferocious and I probably got more windburn than sunburn. The weather didnt really start to warm up until Monday though, the 2nd day at sea. Once we got to the Caribbean the weather was wonderful. The 3 ports are all fine and I think what you do while in port is a matter of personal preference. The first port was Falmouth Jamacia and it really is a nice little port, but it appears to be new and there was a lot of contruction still going on. And the area just outside the port is non-exisitent, so you really needed transportation to get around if you wanted to leave the little port area. Grand Cayman is an awesome port and so is Cozumel. The thing with Cozumel though is that they have a few different cruise terminals and it seems as though the Disney ships get the better terminal. Punta Langosta. Thats really where you want to be when you go to Cozumel. I had to take a taxi to get there from the International Pier. Regarding the ship and the food and the service. The service on the ship is awesome, you cannot complain about that. But the food. We didnt go to any of the specialty restaurants. We ate in the main dining room every night. The food is good. Not great, not memorable, not stupendous. The idea of going on a cruise to get amazing food is long gone I think. UNLESS! UNLESS you want to pay the extra money and go to a specialty restaurant. There was a time when you could go on a cruise and every dinner would be the top quality amazing memorable meal that now you can only get if you pay for dinner. That saddens me quite a bit. And I get it too....I mean how can they justify giving the same amazing meal to the ones that are paying extra in the specialty restaurants to the people who are not paying in the main dining room. So the food in the dining room while it is certainly better than any meal i might cook for myself at home is not amazing and memorable like you want oon a cruise. None of it. The last cruise I took that had amazing memorable food was on the Disney Magic in 2003. Since then if you want a memorable meal, you should plan to pay extra and go to one onf the specialty restaurants on board. One more note about food, and I made a point of talking about this in my review about the Independence of the Seas. The juice they serve in the morning at the Windjammer should not be called juice. In fact it should not even be consumed by anyone. It is truly horrid and not only is it different every day, it is different from glass to glass. If you grab 3 glasses of OJ from the serving area in the Windjammer each one will taste differently and all 3 should be thrown away. They give you these horrible juices because if you want something really good, you have to pay $3.95 per glass to get it....I didnt do that, but I would bet it would be real good if I did. We lost pool day on the last at sea day because it was so cold as we sailed back to New Orleans. No one was at the pool. No one. Not a soul, when usually on an at sea day you cant get a chair by the pool. It was in the 50s. and in New Orleans when we got back is was 48°. So like others who also reviewed this cruise, it was okay. Nothing great. We may also try a different cruise line next time. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
I took the Navigator of the Seas out of New Orleans on Feb 2nd ( super bowl weekend) 2013. Flew in and cab took us to the pier with no problems. Checked bags and took the trolley to French Quarter and walked back to the ship. If you want ... Read More
I took the Navigator of the Seas out of New Orleans on Feb 2nd ( super bowl weekend) 2013. Flew in and cab took us to the pier with no problems. Checked bags and took the trolley to French Quarter and walked back to the ship. If you want to buy a couple of bottles of wine before getting on the ship walk one block over down Julia street. You can carry on 2 bottles. We had room 6611 a inside cabin with a bay window looking onto the Promeneade. This room and the 3 or 4 next too it does not look down on the part of the Promeneade where the shops and the parades are held. The room look right onto the sculpture that goes from the top to the bottom of the ship. It is directly across from the Customer service desk. You can't see this from their deck plans. The bed is also cross ways in the room. You have to work your way around the end of the bed to get to the main part of the cabin by the window. Over all it was just ok but I would not get that room again. Never did get cold in the room. Ship is showing it age and needs to be remodeled soon. This cruise had the new menu rolled out earlier this year. My wife liked it but I was not impressed. Food in the dining room was ok. Service is great. Everyone working on the ship says hello and really tries to please. The cruise director Simona is easy on the eyes and you see her everywhere. Production Showes are disapointing. Live entertainer Kenny James was really good and the comedians were funny. Ice show is fantastic, saw it twice. Don't miss The Quest!!! Cozumel for beaches, Grand Cayman for reefs, Falmouth port only. Don't go into town or even outside the fence. Falmouth for shoppping. The End. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
Embarkation was a complete mess, the NFL had taken all the local parking lots and the cruise line failed to make arrangements for cruiser to park. We spent 2 hours in traffic getting parked. Had to drag the luggage to the corner of the ... Read More
Embarkation was a complete mess, the NFL had taken all the local parking lots and the cruise line failed to make arrangements for cruiser to park. We spent 2 hours in traffic getting parked. Had to drag the luggage to the corner of the lot to load onto a wagon, were really concerned about seeing it again but it did show up in the room and fairly quick. Once in the New Orleans terminal it went very quickly, assuming everyone was still outside looking for parking spaces, anyway we were on the ship in pretty quick order. Fantastic ship, very well kept and there is no place on board that does not catch the eye. Very clean and RCC program of hand sanitizer stations everywhere and staff directing guest to use them worked well. Within 1 day everyone was trained to hit the hand sanitizers when they saw them or when entering a restaurant. We did the prepaid alcohol, this is a coin toss on value, we will likely not do it again, basically as a couple we would need to have 8.5 drinks rounds between us each of the 7 days. Now to be honest there were a couple that this was no problem but tough to accomplish on other days. Guess it is really how much of a drinker you are and whether you can get your money's worth. Our suite was killer, on the center of the hump and very clean, the steward did a great job taking care of us. Food was typical cruise ship fare nothing crazy good except when we ate in Portofino, well worth the extra 20 bucks and it was a really nice evening with excellent food. Great service staff, very nice and always ready with a smile, all of the evening spots were fun and there was always a place to sit. Problem spots, I have 2 words for RCC, "Soap Dish", we were in a suite and there was none so we used a drink glass. The room had fabulous granite counters in the bath and they were being ruined with the soap residue left because of no soap dish. Deck Chairs, this seems to be an issue on all cruise ships, they need to figure out how to resolve. Sat and watched dozens of loungers go unused with a towel on them, being "reserved"... Overall, great time and ship, we will go again on the Navigator, except hoping next cruise the Captain does not decided to outline the entire cruise after the safety drill but while we are all still standing there.....The return saw more issues with getting out, Mardi Gras, we will watch when we cruise next year out of New Orleans and avoid these times. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
We started our trip in New Orleans. We spent a couple nights at the Hilton Riverside which is next to the port. LOVE that Hilton, and of course, love New orleans. We had a wonderful meal at Brennans. Pricy, but something you should do at ... Read More
We started our trip in New Orleans. We spent a couple nights at the Hilton Riverside which is next to the port. LOVE that Hilton, and of course, love New orleans. We had a wonderful meal at Brennans. Pricy, but something you should do at least once in your life! We did a tour of the city from the Grayline station which is just down the trolly track from the Hilton. You should buy a daily trolly pass for $3 which allows you to ride all day. You can get it from your trolly driver. Here's a tip to save a little on transport to the port. You could actually walk down there by taking the Hilton passageway to the Riverside shopping mall. It's a long walk, though and there are stairs. The port is just past the food court. My son and I walked down there the morning of the cruise and got a great look at the ship from the food court. A taxi driver will charge about $6 or $7 per person, so if you have 3 or 4 in your party, get one person to taxi the luggage to the pier and everyone else walk thru the mall or take the trolly. I like taking the trolly down just to go to the food court. The trolly is just outside the front door of the Hilton. Our taxi driver was visibly disappointed that we were only going to the port (about 1/4 mile), and we were surprised he charged EACH of us. The day of the cruise, after we walked down to the port, we HAD to go to the French Market (also a trolly stop) for more beignets and coffee at Cafe Du Monde and a little shopping, so we didn't board as early as we could and should have. I think we went down about 1:30-2 pm. Crowded doesn't begin to describe the situation. My knees were killing me by the time we got onboard. The earlier walk to the port and around the French Market didn't help either. Go early! Some of the passengers of the Carnival Triumph that had been stranded for several days were bussed from Mobile to New Orleans, and they were staying at the Hilton. We met several of them and learned that the situation wasn't as bad as the news reports. They said there was plenty of food, and the staff was bending over backwards to be helpful. Other cruisers were taking meat off sandwiches on the line and putting it on theirs, which is why some people had no meat. I will sail Carnival again. I have been on the Triumph before and loved it. But about the Navigator - loved it! Our cabin was much larger that either Norwegian or Carnival balconies. We ordered a case of water, and it was in the room as well as free distilled water for a CPAP machine. For some reason, the carpet was wet in our room, and they had a high-powered fan drying it when we got there. We had to endure the fan for 24 hours, but they gave us a coupon for a future cruise. Probably won't get a chance to use it - it expires in a year, but it was nice of them to offer. Loved the promenade. Loved the shows. Loved the food. Loved the spa. Loved the ports. We wanted to go to Johnny Rockets, but never got the chance - too busy. We asked our travel agent to put us at a large table for dinner, but they put us at a table for 4. My son's wife couldn't go, so her empty chair was a sad reminder. A couple nights my son didn't go with us to dinner, so it was just the two of us. Hindsight, we'd have asked for a different table after the first night, but we didn't. My knees were suffering, and I didn't want to walk to the customer service desk. I was surprised to see so many tables for 4 or even for 2. Maybe newlyweds want those, but in our 60's we look forward to eating with several people - more fun. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
We had a wonderful time and my expectations were exceeded frequently. The food in the dining room was really good and some was excellent. The buffet was good, but I didn't eat there much because the dining room was so good and so ... Read More
We had a wonderful time and my expectations were exceeded frequently. The food in the dining room was really good and some was excellent. The buffet was good, but I didn't eat there much because the dining room was so good and so relaxing. Our water and asst water (Ahmet and Alelie) took exceptionally good care of us. Our cabin steward was great, she took care of our special requests and did an excellent job. In fact, the whole crew made me feel like royalty, they really took great care of us and made us feel welcome and special. This ship is very large and had everything. The shows ranged from OK to really good. The gym was very good. I went there every day and it was sometimes busy but I was always able to do whatever exercise I wanted. Got my haircut and my DW said it was the best haircut I ever had. The promenade is really nice with shops and a 24 hour coffee/tea/sandwiches/pastries and cookies area. It also had a mini Starbucks. Royal Caribbean really won us over. Our Junior Suite on the aft of the ship was spectacular and we really enjoyed it. I could go on about how wonderful our cruise was. I really can't think of much they could have done to make it any better. I few minor items they could improve on would be to have brewed iced tea instead of made from concentrate, allow tips to be adjusted on your account instead of the all or nothing method and give receipts for tips put on your account so you can present them to the people you tip. They have a large selection of good quality tea bags available everywhere, but if you get the iced tea, it is from a concentrate. The coffee was brewed. It was a little strong for me, but that is just my preference. You have to ask for cream at your table, they just put milk on the table for your coffee. I only had one major complaint-smoking. I understand that RC tries to make both smokers and non-smokers happy, but I think they don't appreciate that you can't have it both ways. If you allow smoking in places that connect to, or are open to other areas, the smoke will naturally go to all the places. Just because you designate someplace as non-smoking doesn't mean it will be smoke free unless you don't allow smoking in areas connected to or open to that area. Balconies are part of the rooms and are connected (through the rooms) to the hallways. The bars on the sides of the promenade have large openings and doorways that open onto the promenade. The casino has a staircase leading from the middle of the casino up and onto the promenade. The casino also opens into the art studio/photograph area. The casino and bars also open onto or near the elevators and stairs. Smoking is allowed on balconies, bars and the casino. The smoke from these places doesn't stay there, it goes wherever it wants to. So when the bars and casino are open, the promenade can become smokey. When people are smoking on their balconies the smoke sometimes drifts away from the ship. Other times it goes into a neighbors balcony and other times into the hallways. If people smoke on their balconies with the balcony doors open, it can go into the room and from the room into the hallways. Many times while walking down the hallways by balcony rooms, the hallways were smokey. I was disappointed that I had to put up with smoke in the hallways and promenade. I read the smoking policy before I purchased this cruise. It gave me the impression that I would not have to put up with smoke, because it is only allowed in a few areas. I didn't expect these areas to be so connected and open to many other areas. They try to minimize the intrusion of the smoke with good air circulation and lots of air fresheners, but that just makes much of the ship smell like a casino. Royal Caribbean would have won me over as a loyal customer, if it had not been for the smoke. The trip was wonderful, but the smoking "left a bad taste in my mouth" and made me search for another cruise line for my next trip. Royal Caribbean has the departure ports, the itineraries, the ships, the staterooms and so much more that I am completely sold on. I hope they change their policy soon to be like Princess or Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
My wife and I live in the Chicago area, and last summer we started planning a winter escape for January 2013. We were mainly interested in Caribbean itineraries, but didn't care which port we cruised from. A search on the RC website ... Read More
My wife and I live in the Chicago area, and last summer we started planning a winter escape for January 2013. We were mainly interested in Caribbean itineraries, but didn't care which port we cruised from. A search on the RC website showed some very attractive pricing on the Navigator of the Seas out of New Orleans. These 7-night cruises included Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. The order in which the ports are visited varies from sailing to sailing. We selected an itinerary that started with two sea days, allowing us time to decompress and switch into cruise mode. To keep the costs low (and just to try something different), we decided to ride the Amtrak train from Chicago to New Orleans. We have been on Amtrak several times before, but never on an overnight train. This would be a new experience. If you purchase either a roomette or a bedroom on Amtrak, the fare includes meals in the dining car. The combination of an overnight train ride plus a night in New Orleans plus a 7-night cruise and finally another overnight train ride back resulted in a 10-night vacation with all but two meals included in the cost. Our train rolled out of Chicago's Union Station at 8:00 PM on Thursday Jan 10. We were in a roomette in a sleeper car. A "roomette" is a rather generous name for something that can described as two chairs (which can be converted into beds) and a sliding door. At least we were cozy and had privacy. We arrived shaken (but not deterred) in New Orleans at 3:00 on Friday afternoon, which was 30 minutes ahead of schedule. A nice thing about train travel is that the stations are usually located right in the downtown areas of their respective cities. Therefore, it was an inexpensive taxi fare to go the one mile to our hotel. We stayed at the SpringHill Suites at 301 St. Joseph Street. Breakfast was included in the room rate. The hotel was clean and well maintained, and we had no complaints with the quality of service. This hotel does not have free shuttle service, so took we a cab to the French Quarter for dinner. New Orleans is an amazing city for visitors. We had dinner at The Gumbo Shop, a very touristy restaurant, but the food was good and reasonably priced. Afterwards we walked around the French Quarter. There were several street performers out and about. I had a Hurricane at Pat O'Briens and we enjoyed the dueling pianos. My wife was both amused and appalled by all the bizarre souvenirs for sale in the shops. We sampled only a fraction of what New Orleans had to offer, but we managed to enjoy ourselves thoroughly. We were back at the hotel before things got too wild. The weather forecast was predicting heavy fog for the next morning, and I went to bed worried that our ship would be delayed. I woke up around 6:00 AM to the sound of a deep ship's horn in the distance. I looked out the window, and it was indeed foggy. I heard the horn again. I couldn't be sure that it was the Navigator of the Seas, but I had a feeling it was. From that point on, I knew it was going to be good day. We were in front of the hotel and loading ourselves into a cab at 10:30 AM. The fog had burned off, and it was sunny and around 70 degrees. The ride was short, and we were at the port at 10:37. The drop off area has a nice view of the ship. We breezed through security and check-in with no lines at all. We were on board at 10:58. The security person said there were a lot of people lined up at 9:30, but they were all processed by the time we arrived. The Windjammer did not open until 11:30, so we walked the Promenade and had a quick snack at Cafe P. Some members of the Navigator of the Seas orchestra were just starting to play their Welcome Aboard set when we arrived. By 11:40 we were comfortably settled into the seats of a window table in the Windjammer. For the next hour, we ate and chatted and looked forward to our cruise. The ship was parallel parked on the side of the Mississippi River, right behind a smaller Carnival ship. In front of the Carnival ship was a large double bridge carrying a highway over the river. With the skyline, the river, and the bridge, interesting views were to be had from anywhere on the ship. This was our first time sailing out of New Orleans. Many people are unaware that New Orleans is not actually on the ocean. It is about 60 miles upriver from the mouth of the Mississippi, which means that a ship spends eight to nine hours cruising the river before reaching the Gulf of Mexico. During this time, New Orleans sales tax (9%) is added onto all purchases (including drink purchases) and the onboard shops are closed. The Cruise Compass refers to this tax as a "VAT" (value added tax), but that is just a fancy international term of a sales tax. Once we were in the Gulf, no more sales tax, or VAT, or whatever you want to call it. Note that the casino was open for business the first night. We were in an outside cabin (category F) on Deck 6. This cabin faces forward, toward the bow, with a view of the helipad. The head of the bed is against a side wall, leaving enough space beyond the bed to look out the window. It was something new for us to look out the window and see where the ship was going. I preferred this view to the side facing cabins we stayed in on previous cruises. A sign near the window explained that we had to close the curtains at night in order keep the bow dark so the bridge officers could steer the ship. I really liked this room. The walk to the elevators was not too long, and the forward elevators seemed less crowded than the aft ones. Being on Deck 6, it was only one flight of stairs down to the Promenade. On Navigator, the cafe is at the forward end the Promenade, which was very convenient. The room was quiet, and there were no issues with the plumbing or the ventilation. Our cabin attendant was competent, efficient, and cheerful. On the first day, we watched sail away with some friends who were staying in a junior suite. It was wonderful to relax on their balcony and watch as the ship left port. First it pulls away from the dock, then it has to turn completely around before starting down river. After the turn, we had a dazzling view of downtown New Orleans at sunset. At last we were cruising the Mississippi, river of legend, the Father of Waters. We sailed along, unvexed, to the sea. We had all of our dinners in the main dining room, early seating. We were at a table for four on Deck 3, actually not too far from the Captain's table. The food was good to excellent every night, and the service from our waiter and assistant waiter was superb. We had the same bar service person all seven evenings, and I was impressed with her performance. When we arrived, she was there to take our orders, and our drinks came out within minutes. When our drinks were running low, she promptly appeared to ask if we wanted more. This was a big improvement over our previous cruise, where the MDR bar service left much to be desired. Another nice thing about our dinners (at least in our section) was that the head waiter came over to chat with us every evening, and sometimes multiple times the same evening. I have been on cruises where I never even met the head waiter until the last night. Overall, I have the highest praise for our dinners on Navigator. Note that the formal nights were Day 2 and Day 6. All of our breakfasts were in the WJ. Lunch was in the WJ on port days and the MDR on sea days. I made good use of the custom salad bar in the MDR every day it was open. It had a great selection of ingredients and toppings, and getting a salad properly tossed with the dressing is a always a treat. Overall breakfast and lunch in the WJ were fine: plenty of items, a few things not that warm, but most of them okay. While most WJ selections are the same from day to day, some things do change so it pays to check carefully. One day (and one day only) I noticed Cajun pulled pork in the burger line, so I took some buns and made a couple of tasty sandwiches. By the way, each day in the Windjammer we were greeted by the most energetic and fun character on the ship. He made up songs and dances on the spot to urge people to sanitize their hands before entering. He brightened our day whenever we saw him. My wife and I made a habit of going to the WJ at 4:00 for afternoon snacks. In addition to sandwiches, they had plenty of cakes and dessert treats, and they always had one or two types of scones. It made for a nice afternoon break. I used the wireless internet every day. It was not available in the rooms, at least not in ours. The strongest signal was in Cafe P in the Promenade. One of the handouts mentioned that it should be available in the Cosmopolitan Club (AKA the Viking Crown Lounge), but I found the signal to be marginal up there. Overall, the internet speed was slow and the price high. I found it best to work offline and keep connection time as brief as possible. As for entertainment, on the first night, there was only one show in the main theater. This was at 7:45 PM. We were a bit late getting there, but found some decent seats on the side of the balcony. This was billed as the "Welcome Aboard Variety Show." It featured the Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers, the Navigator of the Seas orchestra, the ballroom dancing couple of Olga and Dmitry, and the comedy of Jim McDonald. It was a nice show with a little of everything, but the dancing of Olga and Dmitry was a highlight. They are a talented couple, and they appeared in another show later in the week. They also gave ballroom dancing lessons during the cruise. On most nights, there were usually two main shows in the theater, and all of the shows were well done. Overall, the quality of the shows was above what I have seen on previous cruises. I would like to single out the Gemini Duo, who are two twin sisters who play piano and violin. They sometimes appeared in the main dining room during dinner (where it was difficult to hear them) and at other times in Bolero's. They played mostly classical music, but it was usually the livelier and better known pieces, essentially the classical top forty. At times during their set they asked for requests. Of course, listening to them in Bolero's has its drawbacks, as they had to play over some very loud conversation and the sound of the crushed iced machine. Still, they were a pleasant discovery on this cruise. We caught as many of their sets as we could. Patrice Doucet (the "Piano Man") in the Schooner Bar was good, too. He did a bit too much Neil Diamond for my taste, but he seemed to draw a fine crowd most nights. The Two Poets Pub was way too smoky for me, but as I walked by I could hear Scott Perham in there. He is a one-man bar band whose bread and butter is the Margaritaville type of ballad. I never made it to the Dungeon, nor did I get to hear the Latin flavored Tumbao Trio. The poolside band was Caribbean Force, and they did a decent job. Overall, the musical entertainment and choices were very excellent. Day 3 was the 70's disco party in the Promenade. It starts with live versions of songs by a couple of the RC singers. Then it shifts to recorded music and lip-syncing, with the heavy lifting being done by a group of faux Village People, who were amazingly energetic. Of course, the ice show was amazing, as expected. Tickets were distributed at 9:30 AM on Day 2. Our Cruise Director was John Perry, who did an acceptable job, but he didn't really stand out in any way. I was drinking mostly beers on this trip. I recall enjoying Newcastle, Corona, Becks, Red Stripe, Boddington's, Spaten, and a few others. I would advise people to keep an eye out for the beer cart. I first noticed the beer cart in front of the WJ buffet on Day 1. I also saw it several times in the lobby of the main theater before a show. It is essentially a cart with a nice selection of bottled beers, all of them priced at $3.50. After including the automatic 15% tip, that works out to $4.03 a beer, which is a great deal for a cruise ship. At the bars, the prices were higher. Our fellow passengers on this trip seemed friendly and well-mannered. I think the percentage of European passengers is less when cruising out of New Orleans than from the Florida ports. The south central states were well represented, and there were plenty of LSU T-shirts and caps to be seen. We also recognized a few passengers who were on our train from Chicago. We did not do any of the port excursions, although we walked around in each port. The ship turned its clocks back one hour to match local time in Jamaica and Grand Cayman. I was impressed with the size of the shopping compound in Falmouth, and I was glad that it included a covered area where local craftspeople can sell their wares. My wife and I purchased some inexpensive carvings directly from the artisans who made them. Grand Cayman is the only port in which we had to tender. It was a short tender, perhaps only five minutes. I was surprised at how expensive it is to get a drink in Grand Cayman. We stopped at a restaurant called Breezes, and our two Red Stripe beers (plus tip) cost us $17. Wow! Of course, there were seven cruise ships in port that day, totaling around 20,000 passengers. I hope the prices go down when the ships leave. The real bargain of Grand Cayman is the Post Office (Cardinal Ave. and Main Street), which is only a few blocks from the tender drop off point. Most of the souvenir stores wanted $1.25 to $2.50 for one post card. The Post Office was selling nice looking cards at much lower prices. I purchased six cards, plus postage to the US, for a total of $3.80, and they accepted US dollars. I wrote the cards in the restaurant and mailed them at the Post Office. I can confirm that all of them were received, with an average delivery time of eight days. I made it to the fitness center every morning for a good workout. The fitness center is on Deck 11, facing forward, with large windows that provided fantastic views ocean. I used mostly the treadmills and the cycling machines, and I never had to wait for a machine. My only criticism of the fitness center is that it includes a large whirlpool hot tub. That in itself is not a bad thing, but the tub is in the same room as the workout equipment. It raised the humidity level so that cardio workouts became much more challenging than usual. My wife enjoyed the line dancing activities. Most of these were poolside, except one day when the weather was bad. They included a lot of fun Latin dance moves, and they even included a Gangnam Style dance. There was also line dancing at the White Night poolside party, which occurred late in the evening on Day 5. It was a great deal of fun. The Navigator of the Seas is in great shape. If I looked closely, I could see a little wear and tear. For example, on one of the elevators, the button for Deck 11 was well worn. Our room had an older style TV, but our friends in the junior suite had a nice flat screen model. The quality of service was excellent (as expected), and all of the staff I interacted with were friendly and helpful. For disembarkation we ignored the announcements and just hung out in Cafe P and the Champagne Bar until 9:40 AM, when it was clear that they wanted everyone off the ship. We walked off, got our luggage, went through customs, and were in the cab line in less than 15 minutes. Unfortunately, the cab line moved slowly, and we waited in that line for about half an hour. By 10:35 we were at the Amtrak station, where we checked our bags. Then we took another cab to Harrah's to gamble and to get some lunch, as the only dining option at the station was a Subway sandwich counter. We got back in time to board our train, which left at 1:45 PM. We were back in Chicago (a very cold Chicago) at 9:00 AM on Sunday morning. We enjoyed just about everything on this trip. New Orleans is great city to cruise from, and the Navigator is a wonderful ship to sail on. Best wishes to whoever sails on her next. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Have just returned from a great cruise-Left from the Port of New Orleans and embarkation was a breeze. Have cruised many times in the past and this was by far the easiest and quickest-no waiting-just signed in and off we were to the ship. ... Read More
Have just returned from a great cruise-Left from the Port of New Orleans and embarkation was a breeze. Have cruised many times in the past and this was by far the easiest and quickest-no waiting-just signed in and off we were to the ship. Just slightly disappointed with the room-had an inside cabin which was standard but the drawers had not been wiped out-actually hair inside some of the drawers. Also the carpet did not appear to have been swept. Two pills were left on the floor and purposely left them to see if they would be swept up. They were on the 2nd day of cruise. After that the room was kept very clean. Have to request ice in room or you will not receive it. I have to comment there was a sulphur like odor the entire length of cruise inside and outside of our cabin as we walked down the halls. Was a little disappointed that many on the slots in the casino were not in service the entire length of the cruise. Dinner in main dining room was very good-Windjammer Cafe was OK-nothing outstanding however the pastries in the coffee shop on the Promenade were very tasty! Enjoyed many of the evening shows but the ice show was outstanding! Ports of call were Falmouth, Jamaica(we did not get off the ship), Grand Caymen(7 ships were all in port the same time and shopping in town was a mess-hard to move there were so many people. Last port was Cozumel(did a taxi tour)This was wonderful-about 2 hours and saw a great deal of the island. Last but not least was disembarkation-VERY EASY. This port of New Orleans and RCCL have really done a great job of simplifying what used to be the worst part of cruising. I would definitely recommend this cruiseline and port. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
We flew to New Orleans and got there around 1:30 to meet a huge group of people. I didn't like going through 3 rooms of wait lists. Went to eat at Jade and didn't realize there was a better restaurant at the Windjammer just ... Read More
We flew to New Orleans and got there around 1:30 to meet a huge group of people. I didn't like going through 3 rooms of wait lists. Went to eat at Jade and didn't realize there was a better restaurant at the Windjammer just behind it. Hot dogs and greasy chicken was not very good for our first meal. We got a great price on a room on the 3rd floor. It did have a bad odor getting to it in the hallway, but our room was fine. I was worried about noise from the nightclub, but we heard nothing. Toilets and shower worked fine. Carpeting on all floors to cabins needs replaced. Main areas of the ship were very nice and well maintained. I got to thinking at the last minute, that perhaps what we saved, we could get a drink package. The price was $630 for two for the week for wine and beer. Each cabin member had to get the package. It was nice to not have to worry about the money and perhaps we did drink more than we would have normally. The wine was bottom of the barrel cheap. Ironically, the merlot tasted okay, but by the end of the week, my body didn't like it. In hindsight, buying a better glass of wine may have been better. Hubby liked his beer package. Then on the last day of the cruise, I got the norovirus. I was up all night long, and very worried about the double plane ride home. Fortunately that went well, and the $10 extra per flight was worth advanced seating on Southwest. Very weak the next day. Laundry had to wait. The food was adequate. I can't say we had bad food but nothing to write home about. Breakfast on Celebrity's buffet was always an adventure. Very creative every morning! The food was the same every day on RC. Lunches were okay. Lots of salt though, as my face and fingers were swollen from the start. Dinners in the main dining room were okay. Steaks were tough, fish was fine, lobster was small. I guess we just got spoiled on previous cruises, and I know the ships have to cut somewhere with the price of fuel. Now the good: I liked the ship layout, service was good. There was more entertainment aboard ship than Celebrity, which I liked. A crazy mardi gras night dancing to oldies in the Promenade was a lot of fun. We were close to the Seattle coffee shop so that was great. I would have to say it was more of a fun ship. The entertainment musical groups were pretty good. The weather got very hot in Jamaica, cloudy in Grand Cayman, very windy in Cozumel, and down right cold and windy on last sea day. So our weather was not the best, and very little tan for me. We did the river raft in Jamaica which was good, and Passion Island would have been better had it not been so windy. But they did a nice buffet on Passion Island and guacamole & mahi was great. The beach was nice to walk on barefoot. I was disappointed in the little things you got on Celebrity that was missing here: No beach bag, no Q-tips & cotton, no cream rinse, no lotions, no midnight chocolate, no water pitcher. Also, on Celebrity you didn't need to lug your towels all week so you didn't get charged. So, I had to buy a beach bag. I probably shouldn't compare, but being the same parent company, I thought it would be the same. But looking back on our photos, yes, we did have fun. It was a nice getaway, but we spent too much. Sigh, I guess that is to be expected. Bottom line, you should try Celebrity as the captains club points are combined. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Four of us were on a "package" which was made up of 3 days in Memphis seeing Elvis (who alas had left the building), a day on Amtrack and 3 days in New Orleans all of which was superb, we all had a great time especially New ... Read More
Four of us were on a "package" which was made up of 3 days in Memphis seeing Elvis (who alas had left the building), a day on Amtrack and 3 days in New Orleans all of which was superb, we all had a great time especially New Orleans and boarded the ship for what was hopefully going to be our 2nd great week. The ship itself is superb, it is well laid out, clean, tidy and a joy to cruise on, the food in the Windjammer at Lunch was very good and you were never left wanting for choice - however :- Boat drill was done without lifejackets (a first) and the combination of a foreign accent and a bad tannoy system meant that anyone in B13 station would have gone down with the ship for lack of direction. The "Wine package" offered on the first night was done without telling you that there was a New Orleans sales tax added AND then 15% as well, if done on the 2nd night then you saved 8% plus a bit for the service. No transparency on this and when questioned the Sales tax was credited. The food in the main dining area was for the first 5 days poor and we took bets on whether there was actually a chef on board. One steak was so tough we invited the waiters to attempt to cut it while 4 days later another was rare on the inside and cindered on the outside. The last 2 days were much better although while the lamb shank was great it suffered from a lack of mint sauce. We were offered a kind of mint jelly but it somehow looked radio active in colour so we declined. As a "Gold" member we were invited to a special meeting done to maybe try to sell us more cruises. This consisted of 30 minutes listening to the band, a speech by an Eastern European Officer in maybe his own language and around 100 words from the Captain who then cleared off pronto, end of reception, all clear off ! Did it sell more cruises ? I doubt it. The Captain boasted that he had around 70 different nationalities on board the ship looking after us all which was good, however the fact they all spoke in what can be called "broken English" meant that on many occasions we hadn't a clue what many of them were saying and I doubt they did either when talking to each other. Finally, we did take part in some of the quiz times which were in the main good fun. Whatever you do do not believe the answers as some of them are wrong. Alas since 1912 everyone believed the Titanic sailed from Southampton however RCI seem to think it was Liverpool - maybe if it had then it would not have sank ! The ship was great, the ports of call were very good except Jamaica (which as one person said "if it sank without trace no-one would miss it")and overall the cruise was not bad. It is a pity that the running of the ship is so dysfunctional making lines like P&O and Cunard stand head and shoulders above this company. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Our family of 4 (2 adults, 2 kids age 12 and 14) had a great experience on the RC Navigator! Our only real cruise experience before this was on Disney. It really depends on the ages of your kids, but for mine, I would pick Royal Caribbean ... Read More
Our family of 4 (2 adults, 2 kids age 12 and 14) had a great experience on the RC Navigator! Our only real cruise experience before this was on Disney. It really depends on the ages of your kids, but for mine, I would pick Royal Caribbean over Disney big time. Our check in was very easy-we basically just walked on board! We did take a few 12 packs of soda and a case of water in our bags, and they made it on board no problem! Our rooms were great-kids had an inside cabin, my husband and I had a balcony room. We actually didn't even see our kids much on our days at sea because they were so busy with all the activities in the teen room. The 12-17 activities were very well organized-the kids even had their own activities planner/director and she was GREAT!! My kids rate this cruise 5+++. They enjoyed Disney, but this was a whole different ballgame, and it was GREAT. My husband and I enjoyed ourselves very much. We loved our late dinner seating, we LOVED the Quest, the Casino, the bars, and the pool. We actually went to bed pretty much after dinner most nights because we hit it so hard during the day-especially on the port days! Our dining room experience was great-we had a 4 top table and would have enjoyed having others at our table-especially since our kids ditched us most nights to hang with their friends. We did end up meeting friends and sitting with them! We literally talked all the way home (10 hour drive) about our cruise and really couldn't come up with too many things we would change! It was that good! Here are the only small complaints we came up with: Hard beds, crowded elevators, and The Windjammer was a bit of a nightmare...decent food, but mob quality crowds, lines (especially for breakfast), no place to sit, and the same food for breakfast and lunch every day. We avoided it by eating in the dining room, or fighting the crowds to fill a couple plates, and enjoying our breakfast in our room off our balcony. We ordered room service once-but selections are very limited so a quick run thru the Jammer, and back to the room was best! Same thing for lunch-fill a plate, head to the pool!!! In the beginning of the cruise, I had a fabulous salad every day for lunch. Later in the cruise, I would get a huge plate of fry's, cover it with cheese, bacon, and ranch dressing, HA! I hated how crowded the elevators were but being forced to take stairs was good for me. Bottom line, we loved our RC vacation, and can't wait to do it again next year!!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
I was on the RC Navigator Jan. 5-12, 2013. It was fantastic! I had so much fun. I went to Sea Grape Beach in Grand Cayman, which is the most beautiful swimming beach I've ever been to. I stayed in the water for hours, and enjoyed my ... Read More
I was on the RC Navigator Jan. 5-12, 2013. It was fantastic! I had so much fun. I went to Sea Grape Beach in Grand Cayman, which is the most beautiful swimming beach I've ever been to. I stayed in the water for hours, and enjoyed my beach chair and umbrella for only $10. I hired a private guide with a few other people to take us around Jamaica. It was a very good tour, and he was very knowledgeable and fun, but Jamaica is kind of a depressing place. I took RC's island tour of Cozumel, which was interesting but also slow and a bit boring. We ended up at Playa Mia beach, which I liked, and wound up staying there late and taking a taxi back to the ship. I recommend in each of these islands finding out which are the best beaches and simply going to a beach for the day. The service on the ship was impeccable. My stateroom attendant was fabulous and kept my room spotless. The food was very good the first few days, then went downhill for two days, then went back up the last few days. The had a delicious BBQ by the pool the second to last sea day. I loved my balcony room and slept with the window open every night. I traveled by myself and did MyTime dining, so I met a lot of people. MyTime is a great way to get to know other cruisers. I highly recommend this cruise! Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Based on reviews from other websites of the 7 day Western Caribbean cruise on Navigator of the Seas departing from New Orleans during the latter part of 2012, my expectations for our Jan. 12, 2013 departure were somewhat reserved. ... Read More
Based on reviews from other websites of the 7 day Western Caribbean cruise on Navigator of the Seas departing from New Orleans during the latter part of 2012, my expectations for our Jan. 12, 2013 departure were somewhat reserved. Discussion with a co-worker who has sailed RCI and competing cruise lines did not help my expectations. There were many stories of cold food in both the regular dining room and buffet areas. Also prevalent were comments that the entertainment shows in the main theater paled in comparison to other cruise lines, with the "Ice Dancing" show being the lone exception. This was my fifth cruise, but the first with RCI and I found the decor inside the Navigator of the Seas to be as good as I have ever experienced on a cruise. I found the ship easy to navigate after exploring it the first day. The staff was also as friendly and accommodating as any I have experienced, from the room steward to the waiters to the ship's officers. A technical problem was experienced on my first wifi internet connection, but a quick visit to the customer service desk provided a quick and quite satisfactory resolution. Here are my views regarding the food onboard. I found the food to meet, and in many cases exceed, the quality of my previous cruises. I was never served cold food and a couple of the meals in the main dining area was nothing short of excellent. I would gladly accept the quality of the food I experienced this cruise on any future cruises I might take. All eight members of our party were very pleased with the food served. I found the Windjammer buffet area to have equal or better quality food as any of my previous cruises. The staff in the Windjammer provided the best service I have experienced in a buffet environment on my cruises. Mr. "Sanitize" who greets everyone entering the buffet and gets them to "sanitize your hands" is a treat itself. This man enjoys his job, and it shows. In my opinion the reviews I read about the "Ice Dancing" show were pretty much on target. I would consider it a "Don't Miss" just like many other previous reviews. You do have to get complimentary tickets, but the distribution process was quick and painless. I agree with many other reviews that most of the costumes for the Navigator of the Seas singers and dancers leave something to be desired, as compared to other shows I've attended on cruises. However, the singer's and dancer's talents were very comparable to the others I have experienced. The two stand up comedy shows were excellent and I overhead many favorable comments from other guests while leaving the main theater after both of these shows. "The Unexpected Boys", a musical show based on the music of Frankie Vallie was very entertaining with excellent harmony and vocals. Since I really enjoy music, I thoroughly enjoyed this show. That brings me to the musical acts stationed around the ship. Initially I was a little disappointed, not based on talent, but on styles of music. I really enjoy music and it is a big part of my cruise experience. My favorite music is 70's rock and there was not a cover band playing this type of music. There was a solo guitar performer, Scott Perham, in The Two Poets Pub on the promenade who played a lot of songs I like, even some Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZTop, but the venue was small and hard to get a seat. He had his own style and influence, but a lot of guests seem to enjoy it, as he had a loyal following. The Caribbean Force band played in the pool area, very talented, just not my style of music. The Tumbao Trio, a latin band, performed in Boleros on Deck 4, and seemed to have a good crowd gathered most of the time, but once again, not my style. There were at least two piano players on board, Rizaldy and Patrice Doucet. Both were very talented and a pleasure to listen to. The Cosmopolitan Club is located on Deck 14, offering great views and is one of the wifi hotspots. The Cosmopolitan Club is home to the Sunlight Band. The Sunlight band members are from the Ukraine. As far as music is concerned this band was my favorite on this cruise. They covered several styles of music and even though none of it was my favorite 70's Rock genre, I spent a lot of time listening to them, and really enjoyed it. Maria, the vocalist, naturally sings with a Ukranian accent, but it seemed to grow on everyone, as it certainly did on me. With each passing night the crowd in the Cosmopolitan Club grew larger. The band consists of Igor on keyboard, Anastasia on bass guitar, Yevhen on drums and Maria. All three of the musicians are quite talented. Anastasia is technically the best bass guitarist I have seen on any of my cruises. Maria is quite energetic and interacts very well with the guests while performing. It is obvious that she really enjoys singing. Guests had a great time dancing to Sunlight's music, and there was a dedicated crowd there every night. For me, the Sunlight band is the "Don't Miss" of musical acts currently on the Navigator of the Seas. Not to take anything away from the other musical acts, but, based on my taste, I would have been disappointed with the music experience on this cruise if not for the Sunlight Band. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
I previously sailed on the Mariner of the Seas which has the identical floor plan to the Navigator, and I really enjoyed that cruise, but I was disappointed that the Navigator was not as good. I'll comment on a few areas that made ... Read More
I previously sailed on the Mariner of the Seas which has the identical floor plan to the Navigator, and I really enjoyed that cruise, but I was disappointed that the Navigator was not as good. I'll comment on a few areas that made the most impression. Embarkation: We got to the terminal around 11:30 am and there was practically no line. We were on the ship and in the buffet in maybe 30 minutes. That's the way to go! Food: Just average at the beginning of the week, but it got better as the week progressed, especially in the MDR. Desserts were generally good there, better than at the buffet. We had first seating which was a bit early for us some nights. One annoyance was that they only had white bread rolls at the meals, which I almost never eat. We tried to ask for whole wheat or whole grain rolls and were met with confusion (and more white rolls). Finally the headwaiter got some nice bread from the buffet (why did they only have it there?), which was just what we wanted, and from then on we had a few slices available every night. In the buffet the vegetable selection and salad bar could have been better. We were surprised that the buffet closed so early every night (9 pm). On Princess we could go do a run through the buffet after the show and see if we missed anything that we wanted to try. We liked Cafe Promenade but they needed more variety in their food offerings, especially the desserts. Lounges: This was the biggest disappointment. My boyfriend and I do a lot of partner dancing (ballroom, nightclub 2-step, swing, Argentine tango) and we love to dance on cruises. This ship had HORRIBLE floors for dancing. Nearly all of them were tile instead of wood, and every single floor was incredibly sticky so you couldn't turn or pivot on them; very bad for dancing since forcing turns can cause injuries. This was not the case on the Mariner so I don't know what they did to those floors. We and other dancing couples we met on the cruise complained about it but nothing was done until the last night. Also, the bands didn't start playing until quite late most nights, after 10 pm sometimes, and they all seemed to take breaks at about the same time. Also, the bands repeated their music a lot, especially the one up at the Cosmopolitan that seemed to play the same set of music every night. We were pretty tired of the songs by the end of the week. They also played too many of the same type of music in a row. Every good dance band knows that you need to vary your music! Cabin: We had an inside cabin, and with the beds pushed together, there is almost no room to get around the end of the bed due to furniture being right up against the end of the bed. I've never had that problem on any other cruise ship before. I like the shower with the shower doors though; much nicer than the curtains on Princess. Overall a good cruise, but I think we preferred our last cruise on Princess to this one due to the above issues. It was nice to get a chance to visit New Orleans though. We stayed 4 nights after the cruise and enjoyed seeing the sights there. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Our group of twelve took the Navigator of the Seas out of New Orleans for a 7-night graduation celebration cruise to Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Jamaica. We arrived at New Orleans a day early and stayed at the Prytania Park Hotel in the ... Read More
Our group of twelve took the Navigator of the Seas out of New Orleans for a 7-night graduation celebration cruise to Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Jamaica. We arrived at New Orleans a day early and stayed at the Prytania Park Hotel in the Garden District. It was a pleasant place, with easy 15 minute bus ride to Bourbon and Canal streets. The neighborhood was quiet and there are several places for food and drink nearby. VooDoo Barbecue, just a block away, was particularly a hit -- excellent pulled pork and brisket, along with tasty sides, all for a reasonable price. Down the street was the Blind Pelican, another fine purveyor of pub food and inexpensive buckets of beer. We went down to the nearby port for boarding about eleven o'clock. Checking our luggage was a bit of a circus. With eleven of us and others in a fairly confined area sorting out our luggage and tags, it did not get us off on a good leg. The porters had blank tags, no pens, and a bit of an attitude. One of my pet peeves is when customers are expected to bear the inconvenience of a transaction for a service provider. IMHO, as a customer, I should not monkey around printing at home, or bumbling with a pen in a luggage discharge area so the cruise line can save a minor amount. Kudos for the boarding process. Quick and easy. Once done with our luggage, we were on the ship in minutes. Smooth sailing! Rose expertly handled the transaction and we were off. The hits kept on keeping on...everything from lunch to exploring the ship was four-stars. No issues with bringing wine, sodas or water. Our cabins were outside starboard on Deck 2. They were the standard issue, well-kept, and in good repair. Others have reported a sewerage odor in the hall, and it was evident daily. The toilets were having issues, mainly involving flushing. A maintenance guy was there daily tinkering in the plumbing closet. The problem was never fixed completely. Our attendant Lynea was excellent. Some complained about hearing forklifts and other equipment, as well as carts in the hallway, but I did not hear any such noises. Dining was "interesting", from wonderful dishes to ...something less. The roast duck, for example, was the best I'd ever tasted. The skin was perfectly crisp, the meat wonderfully moist and tender, with amazing flavor. Then there was the "Stroganoff" mishmash that tasted like something from a Chinese kitchen better wrapped in a tortilla. Some plates had little but a few chips of beef amid the slurry. There was at least one very good offering each night. The trick was recognizing it. One in our party summed it up well: The difficult dishes were done well; the simple dishes were not. Ask your waiter. He knows what he carries off uneaten time after time. Main Dining Room service was excellent. Eduard and Nicolai were friendly, attentive and knowledgeable, remembering our individual preferences, and appropriately calling us each by name. We were well served, never feeling rushed or put-off. The Windjammer offered good food at breakfast and lunch. Staff reductions were clearly noticeable, but the service actually seemed improved. The food there was uniformly good, hot and well-presented, and our group was very happy overall. The "Egg Harbor" for custom-made egg dishes was well organized and the output top notch for fried eggs and omelets. Tables were generally available at all times, breakfast and lunch. Johnny Rockets was a fun departure, and the food there exactly what you would expect. Excellent malts! Entertainment was the usual mix of cruise line dancers and singers, and hired acts. I thought the production shows were better than previous offerings. One thing missing in action was the ship's band. Until Wednesday we thought the shows were backed with recorded music as no mention was made of any musicians lurking behind the curtain. Unlike other ships, the band made no other appearances that I recall, which I find disappointing. Music in the Viking Crown and Boleros was untracked one night after the pianists both came ill. It is apparent that RCCL is shifting from an elder/boomer-centric model to something more contemporary. Out are the 50s and 60s in terms of music (except at Johnny Rocket's) and the 70's and 80's are in. If disco and club music is your thing, you're in the right place. Otherwise it's the Viking Crown or Two Poets for an evening of softer music and drinks. Thomas did a fine job as a substitute Cruise Director when the original suffered a knee injury early in the cruise. Ship activities included crafts such as painting and scrapbooking. Those who participated enjoyed themselves, and brought home some "interesting" work. If you are participating, the classes generally cut off at 25, and if you sign up early, don't expect to lollygag and show up whenever -- your place will be taken. The twenty-somethings with us enjoyed the many sports activities (both organized and casual) and tournaments, as well as the casino play. We did private/DIY excursions. At Jamaica we met our bus and guide from Marva Shaw's "Know Jamaica Tours." We were very happy with the service provided and recommend her based on the experience. We tubed down river, which included several rapids, then climbed Dunn's Falls before a shopping stop and a Jamaican meal at the Ultimate Jerk Centre before heading back to the ship. The Falls can be strenuous, and progress very slow with crowds - stop, go and wait. Missteps are easy to make on the climb, although it's not particularly treacherous. I stepped in a hole and took a fall, with no harm done. Still, be careful. It costs $20 to walk up or just look along the way from the platforms. The ship itself has drawn some criticism as being "tired". That wasn't my observation. The ship was in good repair. Like any well-used facility, like any luxury resort, there are signs of wear if one seeks to find them. Nothing I noticed detracted from the trip experience. Another area that has drawn criticism is the service level and enthusiasm of the crew. IMHO, the service crew performed well. There were apparent staffing adjustments made that somewhat reduced service, particularly the food venues, but the differences were slight if noticeable in terms of personal convenience. Frankly, I recall times in the past where it was common to see crew socializing rather than working. I did not witness service personnel standing around on this cruise. Even the white shirts were hustling tables in the Windjammer. Disembarkation was very well organized and executed. Customs and Immigration moved the line along, and there was a good system for arranging transportation. The accommodations, service, and overall ship experience were excellent. The itinerary was good for us, including shopping, beach time, touring, and one new destination. Overall, we were well-satisfied with our cruise vacation on Navigator of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
We arrived about 10:30am, parked at the Port of New Orleans, which is a bit of a challenge to find and were on the ship by 11:00am. Btw, parking at the port is on a lot surrounded by a chain link fence. It is not covered and cost $16 a ... Read More
We arrived about 10:30am, parked at the Port of New Orleans, which is a bit of a challenge to find and were on the ship by 11:00am. Btw, parking at the port is on a lot surrounded by a chain link fence. It is not covered and cost $16 a day. It was fine for us since we only had to walk across the lot and hand our luggage to the porters and when we disembarked, made for a quick exit. The ship is absolutely beautiful, the staff attentive and friendly and we thought the food and service were quite good. We brought 2 bottles of wine onboard (in my backpack so it was easy to find when they scan your stuff on embarkation) so that was lovely to have a glass on our balcony. We also poured a glass a couple of nights and took to the dining room - no problem. We ate at Chops Steakhouse one night to celebrate my husband's birthday. They give you way too much food and yes we took half our steaks and both our desserts back to our room and never did eat them. Such a shame - but throwing up at the table wouldn't have been nice either :) Next time I am going to nix the appetizers and save myself for entree and dessert!! We did not think it was as romantic a setting as some of the other specialty restaurants we have eaten at. It is located right next to the Windjammer so we could hear the tea cart rolling over the floors and the clatter of dishes. Our cabin 9294 was a junior suite with a walk in closet, an electric tea kettle which we used for hot chocolate and hot tea, and a small coffee maker that we didn't use. The balcony had a lounger, 2regular deck chairs and a small table. That made it a tad crowded for us so we moved one of the chairs inside the cabin to give us more room outside. The chair and ottoman inside the cabin was quite nice for reading since it was a little chilly when we left New Orleans. As to service - our cabin steward forgot to come back and perform her turn down duties one night early in the cruise. We didn't mention it to her because really I have been turning my own covers down for years without any assistance, and while I mourned the towel animal surprise, it was the lack of clean towels that I grieved! However, she asked the next morning if she had forgotten us and we did tell her yes, but it was okay. That night she put a bucket of champagne in our room - a gift from our cabin steward!! That was a first for us but a lovely surprise!! Service example 2: Our bathroom was nicely equipped with a bathtub and shower head but unfortunately, it smelled like the sewer for the entire ship had backed up in there. Let's just say that everyone became involved in this problem. Our cabin steward called everyone she knew, my honey talked to the chief engineer and his whole staff, people were in and out of our room for the first 24 hours BUT they did get the problem fixed AND our bathroom smelled WONDERFUL :). In addition, the very next night, the Room Services Manager sent us a bottle of...you guessed it, champagne thanking us for our patience etc. Imagine our surprise when the 4th night of our cruise rolled around and no one showed up with any champagne :)We ate in the dining room every night except for the one in Chops. Our wait staff was superb - Darius and Jamie we think of you every night we come home to an empty kitchen with no dinner awaiting us! Our table mates were hilarious and we all had a really good time. So good in fact that we were often the last ones to leave the dining room, yet Darius and Jamie never rushed us out instead offering us more coffee, wine or whatever anyone was drinking. A shout out to newly weds Rachael and Michael Chance, Margaret and Bill Leggett and Nancy Jacuzzi. We miss your wit and humor at our non-existent dinner table :) We have visited these same ports before so check out the port page if you need suggestions. Cruise Critic won't let you down. One observation - my husband bought some liquor in Cozumel. We found out that it was CHEAPER in the Carnival terminal than the RCCL terminal. $5.00 a bottle cheaper for the Balvenie he bought but unfortunately, they wouldn't sell it to him because he was on RCCL. We thought that was crazy! We found some folks at Fat Tuesday who offered to flash their Carnival sail card and let us just pay cash but we had a credit card so ended up at the RCCL terminal for our purchase. We walked our luggage off so that took about 20 minutes. Would definitely go again. More please!! Sunshine Mullins Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
My wife and I have taken seven cruises which included Carnival, NCL, and Celebrity. This was our first with RC. We were celebrating our 40th anniversary. Embarkation: We arrived at the baggage drop-off by 11:00, parked in the whale ... Read More
My wife and I have taken seven cruises which included Carnival, NCL, and Celebrity. This was our first with RC. We were celebrating our 40th anniversary. Embarkation: We arrived at the baggage drop-off by 11:00, parked in the whale lot, and were enjoying lunch in the Windjammer by noon. The boarding process was similar to most cruises we have taken with minimal waiting in line. This, of course was dependent upon the early arrival. Cabin: We had an inside cabin on deck 9. Convenient and quiet. It was smaller than some we have been in, but very comfortable. It was a good choice for us since we spent so little time in the room. Storage space was well designed and adequate for our needs. The bathroom was roomy enough except for the shower. It would probably be a tight fit for anyone over 250 lbs. Food: We ate breakfasts in the Windjammer throughout the voyage. Because we are early risers it was not overly crowded. The breakfast food choices were extensive, but tended to be the same all week. The same was true for lunches at the Windjammer. We ate suppers in the Nutcracker (MDR). Choices and quality were comparable to Carnival and NCL, but inferior to Celebrity. Service: Waiters were attentive and helpful. Even in the Windjammer, waiters regularly circulated to offer beverages or provide assistance. Our room steward, "Speedy" was exceptional. He recognized us coming down the hallway, immediately went to our cabin, and opened the door for us. That's "royal" service. Entertainment: Special guest performances were quite good. The ice skating show is a "must see". Tickets for the ice show are available the first night at sea in the Promenade. Don't procrastinate. Certain performances "sell out" quickly. Disembarkation: Because we chose to carry our own luggage off the ship, we were allowed to leave at our convenience once docked. I would recommend this option to all who are able to carry their luggage. The only caution is to be patient. The elevators become very congested during this time. Specific commendations: The ships decor is very beautiful (not gaudy like some). There is a constant emphasis on cleanliness. Gheorge, the "sanitizer man", makes your entrance into the Windjammer a fun experience. The head waiter of the Nutcracker was noteworthy, circulating and greeting every guest. Recommendations: Search out recreational and entertainment options. The Compass (the daily info sheet) could be more helpful identifying these options. We enjoyed the putt putt golf on deck 12 and the shuffleboard on decks 4 and 5. There are also classes such as quilting, etc. available on deck 2. In general: The Navigator is a fine ship. It does not seem old or worn, and I would happily choose this vessel for another cruise. Royal Caribbean provides a lot of bang for your buck, its strongest feature being service. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Navigator of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.3
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.5 4.2

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