38 New Orleans Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Cruise Reviews

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
We sailed out of New Orleans on December 15th one day after our twin 19 yo old daughters finished up finals at college! We spent the night at a La Quinta in Mobile, AL. Nice inexpensive room. Boarding: The lines were pretty long but ... Read More
We sailed out of New Orleans on December 15th one day after our twin 19 yo old daughters finished up finals at college! We spent the night at a La Quinta in Mobile, AL. Nice inexpensive room. Boarding: The lines were pretty long but kept moving. We finally realized we could move over to a "suite" check in area as we booked a jr. suite with balcony. At that point we were checked in very quickly. Room: As mentioned we booked a jr. suite. I am SO happy we did this as there were 4 of us in the room. There is a nice walk in closet and plenty of storage for all of our things. The closet was great as it became our "dressing room" when we were all trying to get ready at the same time. We loved our balcony and spent a lot of time out there...just wish they had a chair that reclined! Drink: I would say only "complaint" about this cruise was that you were not allowed to have a bottle of alcohol in your room. They only will allow you to purchase single drinks from a bar or room service. We have sailed on other lines like Holland American that allow you to purchase a bottle for your room. We enjoy sitting out in the evening on our deck and having a drink before dinner. Food: We had "my time" dining. Which is a bit deceptive in the name as you really need a reservation. If you tried to walk up, they would tell you when you could come back and for us it was always "after 8pm". So several nights we just went upstairs to the buffet or ordered room service. We did go to Chops one night and it was excellent. Shows: I only went to one show and the ice show...both were well done! Dancing: My husband and I like to dance and took the on board dance lessons....lots of fun...but then in the evening it was very difficult to find music to dance to. They played dance music from 7:45 to 8:30pm and then would play more starting at 10pm....we just wondered why they didn't offer music all night long. Gym: Excellent...my daughter and I went almost everyday...nice machines. Overall, we loved this cruise. Very friendly staff, ship was beautiful and many decorations up for Christmas. Loved our room and balcony and I would sail with RC again! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Arrived from Austin,Texas stayed in Baton Rouge the night before and arrived at Port at about 11:00 A.M. I was going to park at the Ship's parking but saw a parking garage directly across the road from the ship for $ 12.00 a day so ... Read More
Arrived from Austin,Texas stayed in Baton Rouge the night before and arrived at Port at about 11:00 A.M. I was going to park at the Ship's parking but saw a parking garage directly across the road from the ship for $ 12.00 a day so parked there and took a free shuttle to the ship. I was going to check my one suitcase, but did not exactly see where and no one volunteered to take it so ended up boarding with it. Check-in was fast and smooth and being in Emerald Class boarded right after a wedding party and was in the Windjammer eating a delightful lunch by 12:30 Went to my cabin at 1:30 with my sole piece of luggage and was in the Pool by 2:00 P.M. Ship was very bright and clean and noticed staff almost everywhere tidying and polishing all the time all week long. Food was excellent without exception in the main dining room and Windjammer. Ice show was first class as were the main shows. Other Acts were in my opinion very poor. I used my time dining and had no trouble getting a seat with others whenever I went to the dining room with no reservations. No waiting but I did tend to go between 6:00 and 6:15 which may have helped. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
EMBARKATION: We flew non-stop from Washington,D.C. to New Orleans on Dec.21 and stayed with our children and grandchildren at the Marriott Springhill Suites in the warehouse district. We particularly like Springhill Suites because they ... Read More
EMBARKATION: We flew non-stop from Washington,D.C. to New Orleans on Dec.21 and stayed with our children and grandchildren at the Marriott Springhill Suites in the warehouse district. We particularly like Springhill Suites because they include a free breakfast. The Hotel is close enough to the pier so that our kids just walked with their luggage to the pier. We took a taxi, left our luggage with the porters and were on board the ship within fifteen to twenty minutes..best embarkation ever!! We loved sailing on the Mississippi River..much more interesting than going right into the ocean. SHIP INTERIOR: The Navigator of the Seas is still a beautiful vessel! We sailed a few years ago on her sister ship, Explorer of the Seas, so we knew our way around at once. Our staterooms were on deck three, oceanview..we had four cabins side by side...our daughter and her husband had connecting cabins with their three children which is a perfect arrangement, because, among other things, it allows them to have two bathrooms. The cabins are beautifully designed, with plenty of storage behind mirrors, shelves in the closets and great lighting! Our cabin attendant was fine, and did the towel animals almost every evening which is always entertaining. They were especially cute in our grandchildren's cabin. We really did not ask for anything special except for a bucket of ice each day, however, our grandkids' cabin did require a bit more effort. DINING ROOM: We were at table #291 and table #294. There were twenty of us altogether in our party, all cousins, who had decided to take this cruise. My travel agent was able to link the two tables, so we had two oval tables together on deck three in the Nutcracker Dining Room. Our server, Ivor, and his assistants, Robert and Ruben were FABULOUS!!! This was the best service we have ever had on any cruise and the dining room experience can make or break a cruise! The food is adequate..not gourmet, but tasty! The soups are superb, especially the cold fruit soups, and the desserts were always good. They had lobster tails two nights, which were fine, and they had prime rib, which was also very good. They also offer a menu for those who are trying to be calorie conscious, which is quite satisfactory. We did not use any of the specialty restaurants although one of my grandchildren went to Johnny Rockets, which was just okay! ENTERTAINMENT: The entertainment on this ship was my greatest disappointment. I have the feeling that Royal Caribbean is using their entertainment budget to enhance the programs on their newer and larger ships, and are neglecting their older ships. The performers are talented, but the productions were not worthy of their talent. The costumes were cheap, there were no sets and until the third program, I did not even know they had an orchestra. The ice show was the only show that was really professionally done and it was excellent!!! The Schooner Bar also had a pianist with an amazing repertoire and he packed the place every night!! MISCELLANEOUS: The only port we had not been to was Jamaica, which was okay, but the guides never forgot to remind us that they wanted to be tipped. We went to Paradise Beach in Cozumel, which is the best beach of all and the most reasonable for what you get, and in the Caymans we went to the Royal Palms Beach Club, where our daughter had reserved a cabana and four beach chairs in advance for $100. It was expensive but lovely. The hotels on the Caymans do not give day passes at Christmas, so there were not too many options since we had already done the Stingray thing. Our disembarkation was easy. We had an eleven o'clock flight back to D.C. so we arranged for an early disembarkation..the process is not quite as organized as the embarkation, but we purchased transfers for a quick bus ride via Royal Caribbean, and went quickly through customs. This was really our best cruise ever and can't wait to sail again!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Embarkation: The port of New Orleans was pretty organized but not as organized as Oasis and Allure. We were checked in and on the ship within 45 minutes. Cabin: We had a Superior Balcony cabin on deck 7 forward. The room was in good ... Read More
Embarkation: The port of New Orleans was pretty organized but not as organized as Oasis and Allure. We were checked in and on the ship within 45 minutes. Cabin: We had a Superior Balcony cabin on deck 7 forward. The room was in good shape except for some of the droors that were pretty knicked up, but it didn't bother us much. Also it still had one of the older Tvs. We were very close to the elevators and it was very convientant to the promenade. Dining: We ate in the main dining room 5 of the 7 nights. Food was overall good, with a few bad dishes. Our servers Ali from Turkey and Iwanai were great and very personable and not forced. We were a group of 2 and we were at a 4 top but the other 2 never showed. Ports: In Grand Cayman we did the Dolpin adventure (push, pull, and swim) which was excellent. The facility was very nice and very modern. In Falmouth we did a Mountian Valley Rafting tour was overall okay. The bus ride was a good hour, which was longer than expected. The rafting part was very fun and relaxing, while the activities afterward drug on. Shows: We saw all of the shows in the main theatre along with the ice show. The production shows were All Access and Ballroom Fever. All Acess was a fast paced pop and rock show which I really enjoyed. Ballroom Fever was okay, there was minimal sets, plus we don't really ballroom dancing. The guest entertainers were good except for the juggler. The other guests were the Platters and Vox Audio were both excellent. Crew: We felt like overall the crew seemed more confortable and more friendly than on Oasis and Allure. Like I already said our wait staff was awesome. We gave our wow card to our server Ali. Overall a fantastic cruise, and we would return to the Naviagtor any day! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
First thing I want to mention is how incredible the crew was considering the ship had norovirus present, the cruise before us has over 100 cases, the virus was all but gone when we disembarked. We had to board late due to sanitizing the ... Read More
First thing I want to mention is how incredible the crew was considering the ship had norovirus present, the cruise before us has over 100 cases, the virus was all but gone when we disembarked. We had to board late due to sanitizing the ship but that was a minor inconvenience. We were a party of 4, in two staterooms and none of us caught the bug. :) Yeah! Royal Caribbean notified us of the virus before we left for the port and that there was a delay boarding. They were professional and everything was super clean. Us two couples travel together cruising and on land and we had a great time. We drove to the port and spent one night in New Orleans, boarding was late but efficient considering the extra precautions due to Norovirus. The windjammer was not open at the time of boarding which I thought was poor planning. They opened the windjammer (buffet dining) at 2:00 which meant everyone was on board and very hungry. Norovirus on board meant that they had to serve us in the buffet lines and the biggest problem was rude inpatient cruisers. We were all in the same boat (so to speak) and they had plenty food, people were just impatient, these people complained and were impatient the entire cruise, even though the Captain and crew were working hard to keep us all healthy. I had no complaints except chapped hands from an allergic reaction to hand sanitizer. Food was good but not great, I found it was not as good as our first cruise on Navigator of the seas in 09. NOS Captain was highly concerned about the virus and it was handled well. The port of New Orleans is nice for the New Orleans experience. The port itself was like navigating through a maze. Navigator is in the voyager class, has plenty to offer- multiple pools one of them an adults only pool with large hot tubs in the area, spa, beautiful 3 level dinning room, casino,clubs, and 24 hour cookie and snack shop on the Royal Pramenade. I had heard there are no quiet spots on mega ships, not true, there are numerous seating areas you can quietly sit back and relax. We found one next to the sky bar and played cards when we had extra time or wanted to unwind, just the 4 of us. We also had our private balconies. Our cabins we were on deck 8, room 8603, balcony room, great clean room, comfortable bed and quiet location. We were around the corner from the elevators but had no noise from that,we have booked same general area and we will continue to book this area, close to elevators and the internet cafe. I did not pack my own computer but enjoyed a few minutes to check on my family back home from the internet cafe. Speaking of internet is is slow, all ships have slow internet, you just expect that from a ship internet. The entertainment was a comedian who was very good his name is Scott Record but and an Elvis impersonator, he was talented guy but I do not enjoy a tall skinny Elvis as my headliner entertainment. The ship crew shows were OK, usual show for RCI. We always do the Ice Show, which is excellent, Love and Marriage show (always a blast) and the QUEST!!! A MUST SEE! (for adults ONLY!) There are two formal nights on the 7 night cruise, some still wear Tuxedos and Gowns, I prefer a nice cocktail dress. Our ports were Falmouth Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, and Cozumel. Falmouth is still a port being developed and there is not that much do to there. Grand Cayman is beautiful and rich, which is why it stands out from other islands. Cozumel is typical tourist local with plenty to offer. We docked at Falmouth and Cozumel and had to tender to Grand Cayman. The tendering process was easy even though we were doing it during a storm. No problems at the ports getting on or off the ship. The Navigator is showing her age a little bit, I believe she is on the list to be refurbished, I think this was more apparent since we were just on a newer larger ship 6 months before this cruise. I would recommend this ship for a family, couple, or group of friends who want an affordable enjoyable week away in the beautiful Blue Caribbean Sea or Gulf of Mexico. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We picked this cruise to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary; we were married onboard Enchantment of the Seas 12/15/07. Decided to sail on Navigator because she was sailing out of New Orleans, which allowed us to drive down from ... Read More
We picked this cruise to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary; we were married onboard Enchantment of the Seas 12/15/07. Decided to sail on Navigator because she was sailing out of New Orleans, which allowed us to drive down from Missouri. The drive was not bad, split up into a couple of days. Stayed at Springhill Suites by Marriott in NOLA the night before the cruise (rate $80 by using hotwire.com). Parked at Fulton Place Parking Garage for $12/day, which was walking distance to hotel. So, parked at the garage when we arrived on Friday and there was a little confusion with trying to locate the parking garage office but finally figured it out. Ate dinner at Cochon which was just a few blocks from the hotel. Saturday morning walked over to Riverwalk to see the sites and view the ship as it was too early to go to the pier for pre-boarding process. Around 11am made our way back to the parking garage to catch the shuttle to the pier. Upon arrival, our check-in process went pretty quick and we were onboard eating lunch at Windjammer by noon. Got to our stateroom at 1 and at 1:30 our luggage was delivered, quickest delivery ever! Many of our dinner mates told stories about delays at the pier and still hadn't received their luggage by 6pm. I think our key to success was arriving around 11:30, later than the early birds but earlier than the later arrivals so it worked well for us. This is the largest ship we have been on and it was at first overwhelming. But thanks to the maps near the elevators we were able to "navigate" Navigator fairly easy. I thought it was comical that the carpet in the elevators had the day of the week on it, until around Tuesday when I was thankful to know which day it was. Afterall, every day is Saturday when you are on vacation! Our stateroom attendant, Russell, was great! We requested an ice bucket and every day he filled it with ice during the day and at night. When he was out and about and saw us walking toward the cabin, he had his key ready and opened the door for us - so helpful! Only ate in the main dining room the first two nights, then ate at windjammer, Johnny Rockets, and Chops on the other nights. Pre-paid gratuities so didn't have to worry about handing out the envelopes on the last night. Had room service delivered (free!) every morning, just coffee, oj, and milk. This is a great service and we tipped the delivery person a few bucks each morning. I really miss that coffee delivery, it was great to wake up & have some coffee while getting ready for the day. Then, had real breakfast at windjammer a little later in the morning. One afternoon we had lunch in the dining room, they have a fantastic little salad bar where you pick the ingredients and they mix your salad for you. So good. Other days we had lunch in the windjammer, Johnny Rockets, and/or on shore while in port. We registered for the meet & mingle in advance and participated in the roll call threads prior to the cruise. Met a great, fun couple at meet & mingle that we ended up hanging out with throughout the week, and we feel we have made friends for life! Falmouth, Jamaica - the pier area was nice and we took excursion to Red Stripe Beach ($24 per person). Nice beach area but the drive there shows a bit of the real Jamaica. The staff we encountered at the pier and during the excursion to the beach were super nice. I would not, however, feel safe just out and about walking around the town. The pier area is a gated, guarded compound as was the beach area. Grand Cayman - fantastic! On one of our previous cruises the port call was cancelled due to rough seas (can't tender if waves are too rough) so I was so excited to finally make it onshore at the cayman's. We met another couple during the meet & mingle on Day 2, so the four of us decided to get together and hire a driver to show us the island for the afternoon. Saw some great sites, stopped at the rum cake factory for rum cakes & rum, as well as the brewery for a beer. Ate lunch at a restaurant just outside the pier area before getting back on the ship. Stopped at Margaritaville for some t-shirts. Cozumel - our new friends that we met at meet & mingle told us about Nachi Cocom, a private beach club that costs around $55 per person for the day. All-inclusive drinks & food, it was a bargain. You don't reserve Nachi Cocom onboard the ship though, you have to reserve online before you arrive. Our friends added our reservation for us the day before, once we arrive at Grand Cayman. Took a cab to the beach club, taxi cost was $15 each way for our group of 4. Upon arrival to Nachi Cocom, drinks were ordered and delivered to our spot often. We rented one of those large rafts that's tethered in the water just off the beach for $40 for the day. Had a fantastic authentic Mexican lunch, also included in the daily fee. Try the dirty monkey drink if you visit Nachi Cocom, it's similar to a mudslide. Drank way too much but didn't have to drive so all was good. Took taxi back to the pier and our new friends did some jewelry shopping while we went back to the ship. All in all, this was a great cruise on Navigator. Would definitely sail again from NOLA on this ship or any other ship from that port, as it is an easy drive from our home in Missouri. Will still consider Florida sailings as well though. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Part I - Precruise A. Inception We are avid Caribbean cruisers. Two years ago, we spent Christmas and New Year's in the Caribbean on the Celebrity Mercury (which, sadly, sailed for the last time under that name in February 2011); ... Read More
Part I - Precruise A. Inception We are avid Caribbean cruisers. Two years ago, we spent Christmas and New Year's in the Caribbean on the Celebrity Mercury (which, sadly, sailed for the last time under that name in February 2011); last year, we spent Christmas in the Caribbean on Celebrity's Millennium; and this year, we wanted to do it again. We looked at all cruise lines, and wanted another 14-day cruise, but the way that Christmas and New Year's are on the calendar this year, a 14-day cruise would've taken our son out of too much school, so we booked a 7-day cruise. We settled again on either Royal Caribbean or Celebrity (the only lines we have cruised on) because of their itineraries and schedules. We prefer to drive to the East Coast for our cruises, but that wasn't an option this year. B. Cruise Critic We use the community chat boards on cruisecritic.com extensively for cruise port hints and information. This review is my way of sharing. Thank you to everyone who shared in their reviews and roll calls. C. Choice of Route Our route was out of New Orleans (very excited about that again. New Orleans is a wonderful city!), to Falmouth, Jamaica; Cozumel, Mexico; and George Town, Grand Cayman. We have been to most of these ports of call before, but not in a while, so we were excited about seeing them again. We have been to Jamaica before, but not to Falmouth, so that should be interesting. D. Choice of Cruiseline and Ship We selected Royal Caribbean because we found out during our Celebrity Cruise last year that if we spent even 1 day on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, we would be Diamond members. Navigator, a Voyager Class ship, is a 138,000 ton ship with 15 decks, 10 pools & whirlpools, and 16 bars, clubs & lounges. It has a rock wall, a basketball court, an ice-skating rink, and a mini-golf course. Capacity is 3,114 passengers plus a crew of 1,185. It was launched in 2002, is registered in the Bahamas and has a CDC score of 96. E. Choice of Airline This was pretty easy. We picked the cheapest, most direct flight from Milwaukee to New Orleans. I have lots of miles on Delta, so we used them to book the 4 tickets, so they cost us only $40 out of pocket total. Flying hints: 1. Don't fly if you have a choice. I suggest driving if you can. 2. Go non-stop if you fly. Each connection increases the possibility of lost luggage and additional flight delays. 3. Consider flying in to your departure port one day early. This can be a major stress reducer! 4. Don't select your airline seats without first visiting SeatGuru.com. They have detailed airplane seating plans and hints about each seat for almost every plane flown by major airlines. F. Choice of cabin Generally, the lower your cabin and the more central its location, the less you will feel the movements of the ship. We love rocking and so did not mind being closer to the back of the ship. We always stay in inside cabins (unless something strange happens) because it is nice to be able to sleep in without worrying about the sun shining in the window. A recommendation to anyone in an inside cabin is to bring a clock. It can be very disconcerting to wake up and have absolutely no idea what time it is. We were in cabins 7345 & 7347, both interior staterooms (N). My husband and I were in one and our 17-year-old son and his 15-year-old friend (a first-time cruiser) was in the other. Royal Caribbean allows minors to stay together in a cabin if it is adjacent to their guardians' cabin. It took a few requests to ensure that we were in the right cabins (they originally wanted to book one adult and one minor in each cabin), but it ended up working out. G. Price We went to a local Travel Agent who specializes in cruises (as we always do for cruises). The cost, because it was over the holidays, was high at just over $1,000 per person. The flights were $40 for all four of us because I used my Delta miles to pay for them. Additionally, because of when we booked, we received a $100 on-board credit (OBC) for each cabin, so that was nice. I also use the Royal Caribbean Credit Card, so we got another $250 OBC from that. H. Passports We all have passports and encountered no problems. I did bring extra documentation for my son's friend. I brought a detailed (notarized) letter from his parents saying that we could take him on this specific ship, that we could take him into these specific countries, that we could make medical decisions for him, that we would supervise him, and that we would be able to sign for permission for onboard activities (like climbing the rock wall). I got all of this information from the RCCL website, but it wasn't easy to find. I. Insurance We also purchased travel insurance because we never know when our son might wind up in a cast or one of our aging parents might have a health crisis. J. Prebooking Excursions We booked all of our excursions on our own. I did research beforehand and we decided what to do from there. I do not like using the ship's excursions because they are usually expensive; I do recommend them, though, for novice cruisers. K. Packing We packed for 2 formal nights (we all brought nice outfits -- the boys wore what they wore to their Homecoming dance, my husband wore a shirt and tie (and pants) and I brought nice clothes), and the rest at various levels of casual (non-jean pants and nice shirts for all of us). Additionally, we brought enough clothing to cover us during the day for 7 days. This is less than you think because clothing rarely gets really dirty and we tend to re-wear clothes a few times before it goes in the "to be washed at home" luggage. (NOTE: My son has apparently outgrown the "re-wear your clothes" phase and decided to pack different clothes for every day. We made him carry them all in his luggage.) Among the most helpful "extra items" we packed were: extension cords and power strips for each room (usually, there are only 2 outlets in the room and we have lots to charge), alarm clock, bug lotion, sunscreen ranging from 100 to 15 spf, highlighters, beach bag, and water shoes. We also brought Christmas decorations for each room, as well as Cruise Critic door signs printed off of the roll call lists. Part II - Embarkation A. The Port We flew into New Orleans via Atlanta and arrived at 3:30pm the day before the cruise departed. You have a choice of buying transfers from Royal Caribbean, catching a taxi or hiring a car. We used taxis to and from our hotel (in the French Quarter). B. Security Processing and Boarding We arrived at the pier at 2:30pm, hoping that there would be no wait, but there was a long line for security screening. But because we were Emerald Club members, we bypassed all of that and had absolutely no line. Once through security, there were separate lines for non-Crown & Anchor Society (C&AS) members and Gold C&AS members, and all other C&AS members. All lines were kinda long and fed into a table of folks processing your boarding documents. Assuming you had already completed all the documents requested online, signing in and getting room keys (which is also your cruise ID, and ship credit card) took no more than 10 minutes. There was a quick wait for the embarkation cruise photo (which we skipped). On-board and our cruise cards were quickly data-encrypted with our images at one of three stations. Once they handed us our cards we found ourselves on the 4th floor aft lobby of the ship. It took a total of 60 minutes from the time we arrived at the pier to our arrival in our cabins. I was surprised that I was never asked for the paperwork for my son's friend. At no point in the cruise (embarkation, disembarkation or anywhere in between) did anyone ask for it. However, I have heard from others that this is not always the case, so I would recommend that anyone taking a minor non-family member get the required paperwork. C. Explore The Cabins We were in cabins 7345 & 7347, side-by-side, inside category N cabins in the back of the ship. The cabins are each 150.7 square feet and were set up for my husband and I to sleep in one big bed and my son and his friend to each have their own. The bathroom has enough room, and the shower was very nice. Our bathroom had a reasonably large shower (no bath), hair dryer, large mirror, sink, toilet, and some pretty decent storage. Something new since the last time we were on a ship: a nightlight we could use in the bathroom or main cabin. We used it in the bathroom so we wouldn't have to turn the lights on at night. Hangers were provided in the cabin, as was a welcome gift: a bottle of Evian water, some key lime cookies and a small package of candied fruit. The room safe is located in the cabinet. In the closet there are shelves for organizing your stuff. The desk featured a number of informational brochures including that day's event newsletter. The cabins also have a TV, thermostat, phone (but no clock, although you can set your phone for an automated wake-up call), and a mini-bar (small refrigerator). Being Emerald Club members, we requested and were given robes for use on board. We also received a discount booklet with coupons for beverages, Johnny Rockets, photos, internet, laundry, casino, bingo, gift shop, art, jewelry temporary tattoos, the spa, etc. Having signed up for the Meet & Mingle party, we received invites to the following day's gathering. Being members of the C&AS, we were also given invitations to a number of different events during the cruise. Our stateroom attendant, Orson from St. Vincent & the Grenadines, did a wonderful job throughout our cruise. D. Tour of Ship and Search For Food We almost found sustenance in the Windjammer Cafe on the deck 11 for a 3:45pm buffet lunch, but the Cafe closed for the 4:00pm Muster until 6:30pm. This was inconvenient as I hadn't eaten lunch and now could not find any until later in the evening. It is possible that the Promenade Cafe (on Deck 5) was open, but I wasn't aware of it at the time. The ship is well laid out with ample sets of stairwells and elevators. I tried to take the stairs as much as possible (and pretended that this was sufficient exercise to cover my food intake). E. Muster/Sailaway About one hour prior to leaving port, we participated in the mandatory lifeboat drill. The drill went smoothly and lasted 40 minutes. We are very happy at the changes that have been made in the muster drill as we no longer have to get our lifejackets and wear them to the muster, but we did have to stand outside waiting for everyone to show up. It was a good opportunity to meet people. We had a Cruise Critic get-together at the Sky bar right after muster. I asked people to wear red so that we could identify each other. I also brought nametags. About 10 people showed up -- it was a great opportunity for some of the teenagers to meet each other and start hanging out. It takes 7 hours to get through the Mississippi River from NOLA to the Gulf. The scenery was magnificent on the way out. F. Dinner -- 8:30pm Late Seating We selected the late seating. We were seated at table 366 with seating for 8 at an oval table on the lower floor (3) of the Nutcracker Restaurant. Our server, Vipin from India, and his assistant, Kiara from Peru, did a very good job throughout our cruise. Our tablemates were a dating couple (in their 20s) and their parents who spend ½ the year in Wisconsin (which is, I suspect, how we were paired up because we are from Wisconsin). They were delightful people and dinner conversation never lagged. The two-story restaurant has a seating capacity of 1,000+ passengers at each seating. Of note: jeans, t-shirts, tank tops, swimsuits, robes, and bare feet are prohibited in the Dining Restaurant at all times. Shorts are permitted at lunch only. However, we did see a number of people wearing jeans (our teenagers did on a regular basis), shorts and t-shirts for dinner even on formal nights. Part III - Food! Royal Caribbean's meals met our expectations. There was good variety. There are 2 specialty restaurants on the ship--Chops Grille Steakhouse and Portofino Italian Restaurant. There is a per-person fee for these restaurants. There is a for-fee Johnny Rockets and Ben & Jerry's. Free food is available in the main dining room, The Windjammer, Jade, Cafe Promenade and room service (for-fee late at night). We did not feel the need to eat at any of the specialty restaurants for dinner because the food in the main dining room was sufficient. A. Always Available On the Vitality menu every day were the following items: Traditional Caesar Salad, Linguini with Pomodoro Sauce, Broiled Filet of Atlantic Salmon, Grilled Chicken Breast with Rosemary, Grilled Black Angus Steak, Top Sirloin with Herb Butter, and sides of Mashed Potatoes, Rice, and Vegetable of the Day. B. Our Favorite Breakfast Items I enjoyed the fresh-squeezed orange juice (US$4), but I also loved the availability of English muffins and corned beef hash at the buffet. There was a large variety of foods, including many Asian foods, for breakfast. I liked the Mango Water, too. C. Our Favorite Lunch Items I enjoyed tremendously the Indian food at the Jade restaurant. There was also hamburgers and mashed potatoes, and chicken. D. Our Favorite Appetizer My son liked the Onion Tart, while I appreciated the wide variety of salads. We all loved the escargot and the endless supply of bread that day (to sop up all of the garlic butter!). E. Our Favorite Soups My son loved the cold soups, while I liked the warm ones. My son's friend declared the Potato with jalapeo to be a winner. F. Our Favorite Salads All of them. Honestly, the focaccia and tomato was great, but so were all the others. G. Our Favorite Entrees Any fish -- including the sea bass and the sole -- was great. The linguine was appreciated by the boys, as was the lobster tail. I loved the lamb shank and the Christmas Day turkey dinner. H. Our Favorite Desserts Cherries jubilee, crème brulee, and anything chocolate. I. Buffet I loved the warm scones available in the Windjammer. They were usually only there around 2:30-3:30pm. I also enjoyed the small sandwiches available in the Cafe Promenade on the 5th floor. The availability of Indian food was appreciated. J. Room Service We didn't use room service. Part IV - Entertainment A. Movies All the movies were shown in the Cinema. They were mostly releases from about a year ago. We did not watch any movies in the Cinema. B. Shows The Celebrity Theatre is gorgeous, with comfortable seating and good sight lines. We did not see any shows in the theater. C. Casino Large casino filled with the usual. We did not use the casino. D. Spa I did not use the spa. The prices are just too darn high. E. Outdoor Pools and Hot tubs. They were busy all day when we were at sea and the air was warm. The pools are chlorinated salt water. The hot tubs are fresh water. There are fresh water showers near each pool and hot tub. We liked that the hot tubs stayed open late -- after midnight. F. Indoor Pool and Hot Tubs The indoor pool is for adult use only. The pools are chlorinated salt water. The hot tubs are fresh water. There are fresh water showers near each pool and hot tub. We liked that the hot tubs stayed open late -- after midnight. G. In-room TV There were a number of closed-circuit ship channels and satellite stations (Global CNN, ESPN, Eye on CBS, Sky News, and a few others) available on the TV in the cabin. Pay-per-view movies were also available. You can also order room service and check your current account on the TV as well. H. Holiday Stuff The ship was decked out in its Christmas finery with a large (huge!) tree on the Promenade on deck 5 and wreaths hung there, as well. There was a large Christmas display (complete with running toy train) at the entrance to the Windjammer. There were parades every evening and Santa arrived on Christmas Day with toys for everyone from age 0-17. On Christmas Eve day, we, as Emerald members, received a plate of chocolate-dipped strawberries and cookies in our room. It was a pleasant surprise. Part V - Cruise Critic Get-Togethers A. Sailaway Party As a group, the Cruise Critic folks had arranged (on the boards) to get together at sailaway at the Sky Bar on Deck 11. About 10 showed up and we had a great time. B. Meet & Mingle Party We signed up for the Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle gathering on the RCCL web site. We received an email confirmation that a party would take place. Upon our arrival in our cabin, we received an envelope containing an invitation to the party, set for 11:30 am on Sunday (our first day at sea). At the appointed time we arrived at the Dungeon. In total, about 40 folks attended. We had a great time meeting and greeting our fellow cruise critics. Light refreshments were provided. C. Slot Pull We did not arrange a slot pull. D. Cabin/Poker Crawl We did not arrange a cabin/poker crawl. Part VI - Health Concerns A. Smoking Smoking was permitted in certain areas on the ship. Although we are very sensitive to smoke, we could not detect any smoke smell in our cabin. The only place that the allowed smoking really disturbed me was in the Two Poets pub on Deck 5. Because this is an enclosed space, you could smell the smoke in many places on the Deck 5 Promenade. They had every right to smoke in the appointed areas of the ship, and unfortunately they did. B. General Cleanliness of the Ship In a word: impeccable. You could not take a stroll without witnessing some type of cleaning going on at all hours. The ship was constantly being cleaned: floors, walls, fixtures, everything! C. Viruses Although some other ships were hit with Norovirus (and it made the news) over this time, I heard of no such outbreak on our ship. E. Seasickness The seas were choppy on the last day, but I didn't notice anyone in distress. Part VII - Ship Notes A. Ship and Crew We were very impressed with the ship and crew and they were all very friendly and competent. The ship and furnishings were in very good shape. She was very clean. B. The Shops There was something on sale each day. Realize that if you forget something, you can buy it on the ship, but necessities are expensive. Deodorant, mints, dental floss, candy bars are all available, but not at a price you might want to pay. My advice: remember to bring the essentials, even if that includes M&Ms! C. Internet Service The good news: there are plenty of computer terminals with internet access on the ship. The bad news: it is expensive. D. Children Being a holiday cruise, our ship had a number of children on board. They behaved very well. Part VIII - The Ports We visited three ports. A. Falmouth, Jamaica There really is not much to do in Falmouth. Falmouth is good only in its proximity to both Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. Because we did not want to sit on buses or in taxis for a long time, we did not schedule an outing. Instead, we wanted to help the local economy by shopping in the straw market just outside of the gated and fenced-in port. We wandered and bought a few things. I was not feeling well (too much heat) and so I went back to the ship early and my husband and the two teens kept shopping. At some point, my husband noticed a Jamaican police officer (there were dozens in view all around the port) taking too much interest in how much money he was carrying. Fearing a confrontation with an armed man, my husband took the boys and their shopping inside the port. We did get many Jamaican craft items before then and did enjoy the port. B. George Town, Grand Cayman We tendered off the ship at about 10:30am in Grand Cayman and found a bunch of people selling Stingray City tours. We booked one for US$40 per person, including transportation to and from the boat, 45 minutes at Stingray City, 45 minutes at a coral reef (snorkeling), snorkeling equipment, and non-alcoholic beverages. We left at 11am and were back by 2pm. It was a good trip with great experiences. C. Cozumel, Mexico We were late getting into Cozumel because of a medical situation on the ship that forced us to return to Grand Cayman immediately after leaving the port. We stayed an hour later in port, though, in an attempt to make up the time. We left the ship and caught a taxi to Paradise Beach. There, we hung out for about 4 hours. The cost to get to the beach was US$14 for a taxi of 4 people. The cost to get in was US$2 if you just wanted a chair and access to the beach, toilet, changing rooms, and pools; it was US$14 if you wanted to also play on their floating climbing things in the water, kayak, and bungee jump on the trampoline. No one bothered us on the beach and I enjoyed myself sitting under the palm trees. We had lunch which was US$91 including 15% tip (already included). Lunch was 2 smoothies, 1 daquiri and 1 margarita, ceviche platter, nacho platter, and 2 large chicken burritos. It was easy to catch a cab back (US$14) to the International Pier and then shop a bit (Los Cinco Soles has a branch at the pier now, along with many other shops) before we got back on the ship. I. Days At Sea Between ports, we had three at sea days. They were good, although the first and last days were a bit chilly (in the 70s) and windy, so sunbathing wasn't a given. J. Speakers/Entertainment We really didn't pay much attention to these on this trip. Part IX - Tipping The service personnel on Royal Caribbean receive meager wages and rely on your tips for income. While Royal Caribben says it is customary to offer gratuities to the ship's personnel who service you on the voyage, it really is expected, and it's something you should figure into your cruise budget. Our tips were paid on our cruise charge which was what our personnel preferred (we asked) rather than cash. We did tip extra to everyone for their good work. On our evaluation, we also included the names of people who had gone that extra mile for us. We have heard in past cruises that this is a great way to recognize people and it can result in a monetary bonus for people whose names are written down often. Part X -- Crown & Anchor Society On this cruise, we were select members and so we received a "Welcome Letter" which invited us to a events on the cruise. If you have taken a previous voyage and are not a member of the Crown & Anchor Society, sign up. It's free. Benefits include a express lines at embarkation, priority disembarkation, some small cabin welcome gifts, very minor casino, wine and spa discounts, a cocktail party, and upgrades (whenever possible). Some exclusions apply. Part XI - Disembarkation and Customs A. Disembarkation Disembarkation ("exiting of the ship at the end of your cruise"). Breakfast was served on the buffet and in the restaurant. Disembarkation went smoothly. Earlier in the week, everyone completed surveys which were used to prioritize passengers. Clearly those folks needing to catch plane and train connections or who were on escorted tours in New Orleans had highest priority. Crown & Anchor Society members had priority within their color group. Color-coded disembarkation luggage tags were issued to all cabins, and passengers were instructed to place the tags on their luggage and put it outside their cabins prior to 11:00pm Friday night. We were self-disembarking which meant we carried all of our luggage (not easy with 4 backpacks, 5 carry-ons and only 4 people, but we made it. We met on the 4th floor at 7:45am after breakfast and were off the ship, through customs and immigration and outside the pier by 8:30am. B. Customs US citizens are permitted 1 liter of alcohol and $800 worth of Duty Free goods per person. If under the limit, all you needed to do was to declare the total value. Anything greater had to be itemized (declared) and a duty paid, if requested. C. Transportation Options to Airport There were transfers available through the cruise line which would take you on bus to the local airport, taxis were available, as were hotel shuttles. We chose to take a taxi and it was $62 (with tip) for 4 people from the cruise terminal to the airport. D. New Orleans Airport Upon arrival at the airport, we proceeded to the Delta check-in. It took us less than 15 minutes to turn in our bags and less than 10 minutes to clear security. Delta charges $25 per checked bag (of less than 50 lbs) for the first checked bag per person. We checked 1 bag for $25. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We arrived in NOLA 2 days prior to our December 29th sailing aboard the Navigator of the Seas. We enjoyed our time in NOLA despite the rain and cold weather. We went to the cruise terminal a little early on the morning of our departure ... Read More
We arrived in NOLA 2 days prior to our December 29th sailing aboard the Navigator of the Seas. We enjoyed our time in NOLA despite the rain and cold weather. We went to the cruise terminal a little early on the morning of our departure but it really paid off because there were no lines and we quickly boarded without a hitch. Once aboard we had to wait a little while for our cabins but that was no problem because the Windjammer opened and we enjoyed a nice lunch while we waited. Although we didn't leave the port until around 5:30 that afternoon we took that time to become aquainted with the ship. By the time we left it was time for our dinner. We found the main dining room and the dining room personnel to be top notch. We enjoyed every meal we ate there and the service was superior. The staff did everything they could to make our dining experiences as perfect as they could and we had no complaints. We also ate breakfast and lunch there a couple of times which were also delicious! Our cabins were interior and served us well for the time we spent in them. The first couple of days were spent at sea and they were windy and cold. Once we arrived in Jamaica the weather warmed up and was nice for each port day. The ports of call were nice and we enjoyed visiting Jamaica, The Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Jimmy our cruise director was the bomb and tried to fill every day with something that appealed to everyone. The enterainment was excellent! The parade, street party and NYE celebration were so much fun. The Navigator is a beautiful ship and her crew works hard to ensure fun, good health and safety for all! We hope to sail again with RCI! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
I am writing this review to help others that were so helpful to me during my planning as well as to give RCCL a nice Thank you - we loved our trip. I hope the cruise lines read these reviews. This is my first attempt, so please bear with ... Read More
I am writing this review to help others that were so helpful to me during my planning as well as to give RCCL a nice Thank you - we loved our trip. I hope the cruise lines read these reviews. This is my first attempt, so please bear with me. I will try to be fair - if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. Stayed in New Orleans 2 nights at the Royal Sonesta - great hotel. I was given the name of Henry Lee Tennessee for shuttling purposes that was so helpful. His email is: h.tennessee@gmail.com He made our trips to and from the airport, hotel and port wonderful. He picked us up at the Royal Sonesta promptly at 11:00 am for the short trip to the port. His prices were the same as cabs but with a personal touch. Check in was effortless and easy - no lines - walked right on to the beautiful Navigator. Cabins: We had the Royal Family Suite 9394 with six adults - DM, DF, DH, DD, SIL and myself. DD and SIL slept on the pull out couch and it was a queen size pullout - very nice size. Our room steward put bed toppers on the pull out couch and the bed in the second bedroom. We had breakfast on the balcony in the mornings - weather permitting. Breakfast was fabulous, eggs, bacon, sausage, juice, coffee, fruit, ect. Other Suite perks that were enjoyed: eating lunch quietly in Portofino's (food from Windjammer),drinks in the Concierge Lounge (as well as special tender loving care from Concierge Ricardo - he was fabulous), having clothes pressed free formal nights and priority seating for the ice show - which was a nice. I cannot say enough good things about this cabin. It was more than enough room for all 9 of us to gather. My DS, DIL and Granddaughter (18 months old) were in 9397 just around the corner. Her baby monitor worked from 9394 to 9397 which was nice when she was napping. Pack-N-Play fit nicely in the corner after moving the bed and couch down a little. We celebrated New Years on the balcony together which was memorable. Never encountered any soot on our balcony, so it must have a lot to do with the wind. We did smell sewage on day 2 in the hallway aft but it was gone the next day. The balcony railing was safe for our granddaughter and she loved the room to play and walk around. Note: Nigel our room steward did a fabulous job with our suite. Our bathrooms were always sparkling, we always had plenty of towels, always plenty of ice for cocktails, and he always had a wonderful smile on his face. Ports: Falmouth Jamaica - We shopped at the port then decided to explore outside the gates. We just didn't get a warm and fuzzy feeling on the outside of the gates so we went back to the ship and enjoyed the empty pool on-board. It was a beautiful warm day. Grand Cayman - the kids went to Seven Mile Beach and DH and I took our granddaughter shopping in town. We enjoyed the roosters walking around town and had Dairy Queen - doesn't take much to make an 18 month old happy. Cozumel - did a beach excursion with RCCL - Playa Mia Beach Break. It included drinks (alcohol and non)all day and the use of all of their facilities. We ordered off the menu right from our beach chairs and the food was good. We did a cab to and from and it was $30.00 plus tip for 6 adults and child each way. We will do this beach break again when we are in Cozumel as it fit our family well. Children's pool and play area was so much fun for B but she also loved the sand and swimming in the ocean. Food: We did MTD. I think I didn't do enough research on this area. I thought that 5:30 was too early and 8:00 pm to late with our granddaughter so I went with MTD. I thought that we could get a 7:00 or 7:15pm but that was not to be. They tried very hard to accommodate us and every night we had 6:15 or 6:30. Our granddaughter did very well in the dining room but we did bring an IPAD so she could watch her favorite video (low sound of course). We never had to wait for our table and as we left every night, we just schedule for the next night. Food was good. The first nights pork was terrible but the lobster night was great. We had shrimp cocktails every night and they were wonderful. The steak that was offered nightly was not great but one night they offered Filet of Beef and it was delicious. Overall, I think the food was a little better than Carnival but a little less than Princess. Note: Roxanne and Americo our table stewards were wonderful. Roxanne always had chicken tenders waiting for our granddaughter which was a huge help. Americo made sure my coke was never empty and knew which roll I wanted after the second night. Just sweet, warm, gracious people working so very hard to make sure our vacation was wonderful. We had pizza and cookies nightly after gambling which was fun. Carnival's pizza is much better. Breakfast on the balcony was fabulous. The food was always hot and delicious. They always called before delivering which we really liked, as we used that as a wake-up call. Coffee was very good but very strong. Toast was terrible - not sure where that bread comes from but the bagels were great. We never found a crowd in the Windjammer and I thought the choices were great. Love the salad bar. We had lunch at Johnny Rockets - the milkshake was wonderful. We had level 2 for departure and it went smoothly. Wheelchairs were available for my parents and porters were easily available. My parents would have been fine without the wheelchairs but we just didn't know how long we would have to stand and wait. Henry Lee Tennessee was waiting for us and we were off to the airport. We didn't get to have a Bridge Tour which was one of my parents special requests. Due to the Noro Virus that the NAV had been battling lately they were not offering them. We did not see or hear of anyone sick with the Noro so whatever they had been doing to combat that bug was working. My parents did receive a beautiful glass frame from RCCL/Ricardo for their 65th Wedding Anniversary. That was a lovely gift and they loved it. I will be happy to answer any questions concerning babies, seniors, ect. This was the second cruise for our granddaughter - we took her last year on the Carnival Miracle when she was 6 months old. She has cruised both trips without any problems. We did not use the in-room babysitting or children's programs on either cruises due to her age. Both Carnival and RCCL were more than accommodating with our granddaughter. We have been on Carnival 3 times, Princess 2 times and this was our first RCCL as well as our first suite experience. We will definitely cruise on RCCL again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Embarking was HORRIBLE- parking directions from Royal Caribbean were wrong, then parking filled up. Traffic getting to parking was horrible. We walked in the doors of the terminal at 2 p.m. becuase RCI sent an email saying not to come ... Read More
Embarking was HORRIBLE- parking directions from Royal Caribbean were wrong, then parking filled up. Traffic getting to parking was horrible. We walked in the doors of the terminal at 2 p.m. becuase RCI sent an email saying not to come before 1:30 p.m. We waited 60 minutes in long line to get up to security which really wasn't that bad because the line was moving pretty frequently. But the real kicker was waiting ANOTHER 90 minutes in the security line after they split us from the main line and into one of five security lines. Our line just didn't move. Other people walked into the terminal building and right through security because they were directed to another line. We were just unlucky and the security personnel seemed oblivious to the problem. Because we were one of the final few to board the ship, it was pure chaos on the deck because people were mingling about after the security drill and no one provided us any direction as to what to do or where to go once we stepped aboard. We were so worn out by the process we skipped formal dinner, grabbed a bite in the Windjammer (yummy) and spent the evening settling in to our cabin. The rest of the cruise was wonderful, thank goodness. We were especially pleased with our cabin overlooking the Promenade. It would not be good for those who want to fall asleep early, though, as the sound from the evening's entertainment was pretty audible in our cabin. The upside was we could watch the parades and entertainment from our room. We were quite pleased with the wide variety of activities and entertainment on the ship. And the cruise director (Jimmy) and Activities Manager (Tom) and their staff were highly entertaining. Our first two days aboard were at sea and we were never at a loss of something to do. The ship was large, but not so large that you couldn't get to where you needed to be relatively quickly (if you didn't mind taking the stairs.) Main dining room was good, particularly at dinner. Though we were a little surprised to be seated with a large party of 10, seeing as it was just me and my husband. We figured they would sit us with other couples or smaller parties. Oh well, we had a great time. We did eat lunch one time in the main dining room and decided it was too slow of service and the food was not any better than the Windjammer Cafe. Windjammer Cafe had a lot of variety including plenty of healthy options and plenty of comfort food and sweets. The only downside was going during peak times meant it could be difficult to find the type of seat we preferred and the buffet lines could be a bit chaotic at times. We signed up for the Murder Mystery party in Portofino (specialty restaurant.) Well worth the $$$. Tons of fun and great menu! We were warned about Jamaica so we didn't have high expectations. Turned out to be our favorite port. We went on horseback ride and climbed Dunn River Falls through Yardie Tours which we booked through Cruises Only's Marriot Rewards web site. Grand Cayman was gorgeous - we did stingray city plus 2 snorkle stops with Captain Marvin's tours. Cozumel we took advise from Trip Advisor and hired a private taxi driver for the day who gave us a great tour of the island including a tour of a small chocolate factory and a tequila tour/tasting. Turned out to be an expensive day because we bought jewelry, chocolate, and tequila in addition to paying for 5 hours of a private taxi but it was nice to get out of the crowds. We look forward to our next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
We sailed on the Navigator of the Seas, RC on 11/17 out of New Orleans. Our Embarkation was not good. Parking was impossible. But getting off the ship was very good. So I think the Port of New Orleans cleaned up their act by then. The ... Read More
We sailed on the Navigator of the Seas, RC on 11/17 out of New Orleans. Our Embarkation was not good. Parking was impossible. But getting off the ship was very good. So I think the Port of New Orleans cleaned up their act by then. The ship was FANTASTIC. The Promenade which is designed like a Main Street is great. There was a Disco Party there one night and the Circus Parade was Amazing. There are lots of activities on the ship, from jewelry making to napkin folding. There was always something to do. The shops on Main Street are okay, nothing special. The food is good at the main restaurants and buffet. The food is excellent in the specialty restaurants. We did the Mystery Dinner, which was lots of fun. The Gym on the ship is great, lots of machines and weights, but it does get crowded at certain times. The Casino is good. The Solarium, the adults only pool is fantastic. 2 whirlpools and one medium size pool. The other pool area is great, 2 larger pools and at least 4 whirlpools. They had line dancing, a disco party and various contests. The ports, Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel were okay. Grand Cayman was beautiful. We did the Captain Bryan's Snorkeling trip in Grand Cayman. It was not great snorkeling, the reefs are not spectacular, but the ship and crew were Great. The snorkeling in Jamaica, Dream (booked thru the ship) was not worth the money. Snorkeling was just off the beach. But the ride on both catamarans was wonderful. We shopped in Cozumel, which although hectic with all the vendors shouting at you. But, you can get some great deals. I bought a necklace and I know it was 50% off as I checked the US price. I would give the Navigator 5 stars. The food is not perfect, but I didn't expect it to be. The Ports were not breathtaking, but I didn't expect that either. The ship is spotless, they received a 100% grade from the Health Inspector before we left the Port of New Orleans. The best part of our cruise was the ship. There was ALWAYS something to do. Bingo, exercise classes, dance lessons, mini golf, dodge ball, skating or in line skating. The bars and lounges are great. Our favorite was the Cosmopolitan. The ship never felt crowded even though it was fully booked. The Staff on every level was wonderful. All the staff we encountered on the entire cruise was courteous and friendly. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Navigator of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.3
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.5 4.2

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