8 New Orleans Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Cruise Reviews

So all in all a good cruise with all the typical good service from RCCL. Quick notes are that they really have very limited support for kids under 3 on most of the boats below the Oasis class. We were limited to $20/hour child care in ... Read More
So all in all a good cruise with all the typical good service from RCCL. Quick notes are that they really have very limited support for kids under 3 on most of the boats below the Oasis class. We were limited to $20/hour child care in our state room and 2-3 1 hour periods with a kid's staff member in the tot room. The also had bags of lender toys which was good but our tot got board with them and the hour play periods after about a week. To be fair there were no other kids under 2 for her to play with and the staff were very friendly but we were spoiled by our 7 day experience on Oasis when they not only had child care for $9/hr in a designated Royal baby's room but a 24 hour play room as well. Taking care out our tot in our room prevented us from enjoying our room childless. It was good we got a Grand suite or out tot would have had no place to run at all! The Weather in April was only warm enough to swim 1 or 2 days so that wasn't available for our tot either. Nor was there a pool with more than and inch of water for tots. So we spent a lot of time in our room or going with out tot back and forth to the few areas that were interesting to her. This was relaxing but it didnt allow much time for many of the other activities on the ship. We are fairly experience cruisers so we didn't feel we missed too much but it would have been nice to get out a bit more. The word from the crew is that the ship is due for dry dock which will address its getting older plan, During they dry dock they are supposed to update the child area. Recommendations: 1. Until updated you can get better service for kids under 6 on other boats and kids below 3 should avoid this ship. 2. Transatlantic cruises are populated by the traditional older set. Go if you enjoy just chilling out and meeting other seasoned travelers. 3. Get a bigger cabin on the long trips. It may sound obvious but the importance will hit you quickly especially if you have a kid in the room with you. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
Review of Navigator of the Seas, Transatlantic voyage April 6 through 21. 15 days, with stops in the Azores, Toulon, and Livorno on the way to Rome. Embarkation: The cruise port in New Orleans is very close to downtown and the ... Read More
Review of Navigator of the Seas, Transatlantic voyage April 6 through 21. 15 days, with stops in the Azores, Toulon, and Livorno on the way to Rome. Embarkation: The cruise port in New Orleans is very close to downtown and the French Quarter. Access is very narrow, but we arrived early enough that there were no crowds. Our baggage was collected immediately. The baggage handler asked for a tip (which I was prepared to pay) before he actually handled all of the bags. (I tipped $5, for which he took the bags from the taxi and put them in a nearby cage to be rolled onto the ship.) Check-in was relatively quick. We waited a short time in line, entertained by a couple complaining that Florence and Rome had not been located near enough to the ports. I observed that it was very inconsiderate of Romulus and Remus, but that went way over their heads. The actual check in process with the staff was as fast as I have ever seen. There were airline-like security checks. We had purchased two bottles of wine, but security did not care. We could have brought two bottles in each bag. Security did check one of our bags quickly because my laptop charger and some other electronics were in there. That was about 15 seconds. I also had an extension cord and a Belkin cube tap so I could have extra outlets for charging. There has been some commentary about cruise ship restrictions on these things, but security here did not care. We boarded the ship in short order. Having arrived just after 11, the cabins were not yet ready, so we toured the shop a bit, found a table in the pool area, and had lunch from the Windjammer. Cabin At 1, the cabins were ready and we went to see our cabin and drop our carry-on bags. We had a junior suite, no. 1394. This is an aft cabin, so it has a slightly different configuration from standard junior suites, and it has a very large balcony. The room itself was very nice and spacious. Our suitcases went under the beds, which had been pushed together per our request. The bath, with its tub, was also very nice. The cabin has a walk in closet, but one difference between this and others we have had is that the closet is long and narrow, and while there is a clothes hanger running much of the length of the closet, towards the aft end the closet is narrower than the hangers. Nevertheless, with clothes for a 3+ week trip, we had plenty of storage space. The room has a stocked refrigerator, which we emptied and used for our wine, etc. There are few outlets, but with my Belkin cube tap and with a universal adapter for the European outlet, I had enough power outlets for a laptop, camera battery chargers, Kindle chargers, etc. Given the proliferation of devices which need charging, The Belkin cube tap (which includes a surge protector) is a necessity. The balcony is large and had two loungers, two chairs and a table. It has somewhat of an obstructed view because of the ship superstructure in the back. It is fully covered by the Windjammer. On the Navigator, the Windjammer is enclosed, so our dreams of dropping food from the Windjammer to waiting arms below were dashed. Because the balcony is enclosed, it had no wind whatsoever. On the other hand, if you want to sun yourself (not generally our thing), on an Eastbound TA the balcony is in the shade until late in the afternoon. We did not find the walk to and from the cabin difficult. We tend to walk everywhere and use the steps as much as possible. Our cabin steward was Reynaldo. The cabin was always clean and bed made promptly. We requested ice and we had a fresh ice bucket twice a day. The cabin comes with towels for two, but with trips to the gym and pools, we needed more, and after one request, the towel rack was always stuffed with towels. We had robes. Towel animals appeared from time to time. Baggage Delivery Despite having checked in early, our bags did not arrive quickly. We had been told that as suite guests our bags would be promptly delivered, but only two of our 3 checked bags arrived by 4 p.m., the nominal sail time. At that time we did the muster drill, and from the deck we could see my wife's bag still in a cage on the dock. Along with lots of other stuff. The ship sailed about an hour late, with the excuse that there was more to load than for its typical 1 week voyages. (Hadn't anyone figured this out?) My wife's suitcase arrived around 7 p.m.; others in our area were delivered after 9 p.m. Supervisors came around inquiring what was missing; they were suitably apologetic and kept offering the canned excuse that there was a lot to load given the 15 day voyage. Since the length of the voyage was a running excuse, let me note that the Navigator sailed with just over 2900 guests for its approximately 3800 beds. Transatlantic sailings don't attract children, and there were a lot of singles on the ship. Let's move on to the ship. Spa and Exercise Facilities There is an exercise area, indoor Jacuzzi and gender specific saunas and steam rooms. The indoor Jacuzzi was nice, and large to even swim short laps. Given that it was sometimes cool outdoors, this was a nice touch. However, on a couple of occasions it was not heated enough. The paint was peeling. (Navigator is going into dry dock for refurbishment.) The men's sauna and steam room were OK, although on one day neither was very hot as some system failed, they cooled off, and had to be started from scratch. The men's room has lockers, and to get keys you need to go upstairs to the spa check in. Some of the lockers are not for the height challenged (they are over 7 feet off the ground) and on multiple occasions after getting a key, you find that someone has put stuff into that locker without securing a key. (Just clothes.) More trips up and down the stairs, but exercise in any form is welcome. HOWEVER, the ladies steam room was closed. Broken. According to the spa staff, they expected to have it fixed in a day or two. It wasn't. Then the story was that it would be fixed in the Azores. It wasn't. We ran into several couples who were double platinum or whatever who had sailed the Navigator on its Caribbean route earlier in the year, who reported the steam room was out of commission then. When my wife asked the staff, saying it's never going to be fixed, they agreed, and said it would not be fixed until dry dock, but they had been told to say that a fix was imminent. The Navigator does not have a thermal suite, so there are no co-ed steam rooms and saunas. Outdoor Pools There were always adequate deck chairs. The weather was not hot, so there were not a lot of swimmers or sun seekers. The outdoor running track was adequate. Often one of the outdoor pools was closed for maintenance. Dining Let's move on to meals. Given our balcony, we had breakfast in the room most mornings. Service was generally good, with the meal arriving at or before the ordered time. We were able to order things not on the pre-printed menu (like lox to go with the bagels.) HOWEVER, when in port at Toulon, delivery was way late. For us and lots of people. On a morning when it makes a difference. I don't recall the precise times, but if we had asked for 7 to 7:30 delivery, it arrived at 7:45 a.m. After several calls. And incomplete although that was quickly remedied. (I had called to make sure they had our order; if they didn't, I would have simply gone to Windjammer.) A supervisor called us that evening to confirm that the problem had been resolved to our satisfaction (it had) but again offered the excuse that the kitchen was not prepared for as many people who ordered room service on a port day. Like that had never occurred before. And, on a ship traveling 900 light from capacity. We tended to eat lunch in the dining room, opting for the large table option. You meet interesting people that way. The dining room offers a salad bar where you pick what you want and the staff makes up the salad. Uniformly good. There are also a few buffet items; we tried a few and were not impressed. There is also a menu which changes somewhat daily. Those choices tended to be good. HOWEVER, the dining room opened at noon. If you arrived at noon, and promptly ordered, telling the waiter you had something planned at 1 or 1:30 (a class, exercise, walking group, etc.) it was impossible to get out before 1, and usually not before 1:15 p.m. Not the waiter's fault. The main courses are simply not ready. (Yes, I know, I should have gone to Windjammer if I'm time pressed.) Dinner was in the main dining room late seating. We had a table for six, which is good for conversation. Our table mates were diverse, which is something we enjoy on cruises. One couple was German and Austrian, living in Canada for many years. The other couple was Puerto Rican, living in South Carolina for many years. Both of the husbands were engineers. One of the great things about cruising is meeting people with entirely different life experiences and views. Our wait staff, Gezik and Neal, were great. My wife likes lemon with her water, and a plate of lemon slices arrived as we were seated every night. When she has Caesar salad, she prefers it without cheese, and that's how it came. We had a 12 bottle wine package. Whatever we selected was always in stock. Our leftover wine was stored or we took it with us. If we stored it Neal had it back for dinner the next day. We knew the wine selection in advance and it was good. The menu included about six regular items (salmon, strip steak) and about six rotating items. My wife likes salmon, but after three attempts gave up as the salmon had no taste. The way it is prepared is that after lunch it is seared on both sides to seal it, and stored in the kitchen until dinner, when it is baked. (No open flames in the kitchen.) It is not marinated in anything, ever. Sauces are sometimes offered, but they did not help. The salmon was not seasoned, either. Eventually, on a fifteen day cruise, the menu got repetitive and boring. That goes for appetizers, dinners and desserts. The kitchen did make us some souffle's on request, but, alas, our tablemates did not want a souffle every night. There was only one lobster night, and that was a lobster tail. That night was also prime rib night, so RCI got to offer two higher cost items on the same menu to reduce demand. (And if you don't think that's true, take the all-access tour like I did.) I prefer lobster tail to lobster, but, interestingly, the headwaiter thought that lobster tail was simply the tail of a Maine lobster. It's not, and after we had this discussion, he came back one night as we were leaving and said that the executive chef had confirmed that lobster tail was a separate species of crustacean. Maine Lobster was available, at an increased charge. Food service on the ship, like all cruise ships, is getting more restricted. What we like to do, for example, is to have a snack on our balcony at 5 or so, along with whatever wine was left over from the last night. However, the Windjammer is now only open specific hours, and closes about 4:45 p.m. And at that time, hors d' ouerves are not out. At 6 there will be sushi (unlabeled), meats, cheeses, etc. There is the Promenade Cafe, which is always open, but its food choice is limited. The ship also has a Johnny Rockets as an extra charge restaurant. We refrained, since the extra charge approximates what we pay at home for Johnny Rockets. Unlike some ships, this Johnny Rockets was not open for breakfast. It was largely empty, as I suspect its clientele are typically from the teenager crowd, lacking on this trip. We went to Portofino once, for a murder mystery dinner. The show was great, and the food and service were excellent. We did not try Chops. We wholeheartedly recommend the fun of the murder mystery dinner. Coffee service was always available. The ship serves Seattle's Best, which is fine with us. Starbucks is available for an extra charge at the Promenade Cafe. Frozen yogurt was available at three different stations whenever we wanted it: chocolate, vanilla, sometimes strawberry, and a combination. The ship also offers Ben & Jerry's for an extra charge. We refrained. Food was also served for lunch in the Promenade. The displays were enticing. Health We, along with a great many other passengers, developed coughs. One member of our meet-and-mingle group developed pneumonia. RCI personnel constantly urged us to use Purell, which is available everywhere. RCI personnel cleaned things like the banisters regularly. Cruise Critic and Meet and Mingle We followed the roll call on Cruise Critic (about 5000 posts) and joined meet and mingle. Did the cabin crawl, slot pull, murder mystery dinner together, book cluib, walking tour. Other activities were organized, We organized one tour with folks we met on meet and mingle. All-Access Tour I took the All-Access tour, with about 10 other people. Cost is $150, although my sense was that I was the only one who paid. Good tour, well worth it. Toured the bridge, with the officers there explaining things. Then a visit to the engine control room, where the engineer on duty gave a 45 minute talk on how to run the ship. That ran over, annoying the environmental guy. Then on to waffles in the crew's quarters. Off to the kitchen, where we saw food storage and learned about ordering stuff, and learned that the chef had a budget per person per day for food. We saw the pictures of every arrangement of food for the staff to use to make up plates, although not all of the arrangements were going to be used on the cruise. We saw salmon being seared and stored, rolls being baked, shrimp cocktail being assembled. Then off to backstage in the theater, and finally a stop for champagne. Activities There was plenty to do on the multiple sea days. There is entertainment in the evening, ranging from singers, comedians, the Dungeon dance club, the ice show and production shows. The ice show was very good; we understand that the second time it was offered, given that the ship was rolling a bit, the performers missed a few cues, but got rave reviews from the crowd for their spunk. We entertained ourselves at trivia in two different groups. What kept us attending was our two groups, otherwise we would have dropped out. The questions were prepared and had been used multiple times before (sometimes repeated during the cruise), but every day there were answers which were wrong. Not close calls. The Great San Francisco Earthquake did not occur in 1908 but in 1906. Golda Meir is not the only Israeli prime minister born in Russia; there were 7. The country closest to where the Titanic sank was not Halifax, which, last I checked, was not a country, nor is it Nova Scotia, which is not a country but a Province of Canada. The staff member running trivia took Canada, Nova Scotia and Halifax as correct answers. Internet I bought the 500 minute internet package. RCI tells you that you need to go to a hot spot. The Solarium hot spot did not work. The internet center on 8 was fine, although as usual for this type of service with high usage everyone's connection slowed. I had a problem once where the connection would not disconnect and kept billing; guest services remedied it promptly. I was able to get a connection in our aft cabin twice. Telephone I have an Apple iPhone 5 and my wife a Blackberry Bold. Service was good for the first few days. (We were just using the phones for e-mail.) Then mine stopped working and my wife's was slow. Guest Services called Verizon, which reported a world-wide problem with the ship system. That lasted about 3 days. (Not an RCI problem.) Pricing We booked a year in advance, paid retail (about $3,800), and got an aft cabin, our first aft cabin. RCI tells cruisers to book early for best selection and price. (We also got a $250 shareholder's credit.) Until our final payment was due, pricing did not change. As soon as final payment was made, RCI began offering a special, book a balcony or better and get a free liquor package, valued at $1650. (We can't and won't drink that much.) Our agent tried to get this deal for us but was unsuccessful, even though a few people on Cruise Critic reported that they had persuaded RCI to extend the deal to them. I wrote to RCI; no response. Once on the ship, we met a number of people who received the free liquor package even though they did not meet the terms of the offer, including one fellow who got a single for $470, had the single supplement waived, and got the free liquor package. He showed up at dinner every next nicely lubricated. Disembarkation We left early in the morning to catch a train to Rome. We purchased a transfer from RCI from port to the train station because we wanted to make an early train. Getting our bags was as easy as it could be. About 17 people purchased this early transfer. 16 showed up on time. So what do you do if you are RCI? You hold the bus for the last guy, 20 minutes, inconveniencing the folks seeking to make the earliest train to Rome. No manner of requesting that we leave for the 10 minute trip to the train station made a difference. (We were less concerned as we were meeting our daughter in Roma Termini and had more room in our schedule.) Dings I wrote to Adam Goldstein about the liquor package offer. I'm still waiting for a response. It's been 3 months. My wife filed a comment card about the non-working women's steam room (and other matters) very early in the cruise. She was promised a response in 24 hours from guest services. She's still waiting. My wife was publicly insulted by a member of the cruise director's staff we had not seen before or after. When we saw Keith, the cruise director, later that day, the incident had already been reported to him by others, strangers to us. While Keith said he was "spoken to," my wife has yet to receive an apology. What's Next Next year's trip is booked. That cruise is about $10,000. It's not on RCI. Will we go on RCI again? Maybe. Right itinerary, right price, we might consider it. Biggest downside for me was the reduction in ports. Our 2012 RCI TA had 6 stops; this one had 3. Second biggest downside is the Grand Bazaar approach to pricing. Third biggest downside is the rude treatment by one employee for which RCI doesn't think it should apologize. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
Don't get me wrong. It wasn't an absolute horror story cruise. But having tried other destinations with other cruiselines, this trip fell short for the dollar. My initial impression of RCI is that it's for the 18-30 ... Read More
Don't get me wrong. It wasn't an absolute horror story cruise. But having tried other destinations with other cruiselines, this trip fell short for the dollar. My initial impression of RCI is that it's for the 18-30 crowd. There were MANY highschool/college aged kids running around, as well as kids 6-16. Maybe not a family oriented at Carnival, but definitely not catering to the Celebrity cruiser. I have to say my favorite Cruise line to date has to be Princess. A big part of that has to do with the food and entertainment. With that being said... RCI Likes: -For the most part, staff was very friendly. Our stateroom attendant was exceptional. I also like the towel animals he folds and leaves on our bed. -Promenade area was BEAUTIFUL. -Live poker in the casino instead of utilizing those digital poker tables. -Initial boarding was quick and painless. They have that down to a science. -Beautiful art collection on display in hallways and stair cases. -Great gym facilities. RCI Dislikes: -Only a few swimming pools and hot tubs? Their competitors offer sometimes double the pools/tubs. -The live entertainment and movie screening room was a joke. -I was told balcony rooms had flat screen tv's? NOPE. -Carpets in hallways were super dated and old; reminded me of Vegas in the 80s. -The food was 1 step above cafeteria grade. Nothing seemed fresh. Being that this was my first cruise with RCI, I thought they observed other cruiseline's practice of picking up fresh/local foods from every port stop. NOT THE CASE. Everything tasted frozen fresh. -Soft drink package at $54. OUCH. And yes, automatic gratuities added. -When I'd go to the bars and ask for a soda with my prepaid card, the bartenders always gave me a dirty look because they're not making the additional sale, like he's doing me such a huge favor filling a cup up with ice n Coke. -Speaking of the sodas, they tasted horrible. I know these boats have purifiers on board, but they need to change the filters or something because the water they serve for teas, coffees, flavored water, etc, just tasted funky. And this water made the sodas out of the fountains taste funky too. -The cooking station staff in the buffet was hit or miss. One night, they will go out of their way to get you an ingredient you requested on your omelet that they didn't have sitting around. I asked for bananas in my crepe, and it wasn't at their station, though the fruit area was 8ft away, and the guy gave me an attitude that they don't offer it. That's what happens when gratuities are prepaid on these trips. -No 24 hour buffet? The buffet closes between meals, and relatively early (9pm) at night. So what happens if you have a hankering for desert at 10? SOL. Or go to their BS cafe for a limited selection of dried up cakes n cookies. -The excursions were a let down. Yes you can travel to the Mayan temples, no you cannot get within 10 feet of the temples. You can't get the coveted pic of you scaling the sides of the temple; probably something they should tell you before you book. I would have stayed in town and enjoyed the beach. Falmouth, OMG; imagine a slum, where a corporate entity (RCI) comes in, takes a beachhead, and drops a gated city block sized tourist trap full of their partner vendors (Diamonds Internationl, etc). Once you go outside that gated retail haven, you get mobbed by the locals. Not a very friendly town. I felt safer walking down the back alleys in Mexico at night than the main streets of Falmouth in broad daylight. I had a biggo angry local woman get in my face after I "no thank you'ed" her, screaming "I'm talking to you!" Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
Let me preface this with we may be spoiled..... This was our 8th cruise all with RCC. This was the first one out of NOLA and we also brought along two other couples, one being first time cruisers. We are early 40's and love cruising. ... Read More
Let me preface this with we may be spoiled..... This was our 8th cruise all with RCC. This was the first one out of NOLA and we also brought along two other couples, one being first time cruisers. We are early 40's and love cruising. We have always chosen RCC because we have had great experiences. I honestly believe we are going to check out other cruise lines just to see what they offer. We arrived to NOLA by car on Friday, Feb 22nd. We had a stay and cruise package with Holiday Inn West Bank Tower and it was fine. We arrived to the port about noon and made it onto the ship within about 20 minutes. It was cold and drizzly outside. (Boo) Overall the cruise was fine. Not good, not bad. Let me try to explain...food was good, not great, not bad. Portofino was FANTASTIC and Peter was great. Chops was excellent and Marco was Spectacular. The Mud Pie was Amazing. These two experiences were worth the extra money and made us feel special. Marco and Peter made our sailing memorable. The shows were ok, not great. The singers and dancers were ehh ok, nothing memorable. Simona the cruise director was very forgettable. I believe she is Italian (not sure) but the game shows were not so funny due to the language barrier and lack of pizazz. The ice show was good, but not sure about the intro or how it ties to any kind of story. Overall the entertainment was disappointing. That is sort of how the whole cruise was. Nothing special. The entire cruise just lacked energy. I will say the sanitize, sanitize, sanitize guy in the Windjammer seemed happy and tried to entertain.... Every previous cruise had memorable experiences that made us feel like we were a part of something special. This cruise felt worn out and forgettable. The special touches like towel animals every night in your room has gone by the wayside. (We had 2 over the course of the cruise). You now must ask for ice and the one that still has me irked is the new ppd gratuity policy. We don't mind prepaying as we have every cruise, but now you get envelopes but no coupons to put in them. I went to the guest relations desk and asked for the coupons when I was told that coupons are no longer. I asked why the envelopes and was told for additional gratuities for the room attendant, and wait staff. I'm irked because it was so Very uncomfortable. Now you have nothing to hand your wait staff unless you "want" to give more. Not cool at all. So if we give extra we make others at our table feel cheap...if we don't give extra we feel cheap. AWKWARD. I am not against the ppd plan, just give us the coupons or DON'T give us the envelopes. Overall the cruise was bland and average. We want something more than that. That is the reason we chose RCC and have never strayed. I no longer feel that others would probably disappoint after returning today. I am left feeling like perhaps we should have tried another cruise line or even a different vacation all together. I'm just perplexed and disappointed. I feel like a customer, but not really a guest Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
First of all, the best part of this cruise was New Orleans. It was the first time in NOLA for my daughter and I. We got in a day before the cruise and instantly fell in love with New Orleans. The Navigator looks good, most aspects are ... Read More
First of all, the best part of this cruise was New Orleans. It was the first time in NOLA for my daughter and I. We got in a day before the cruise and instantly fell in love with New Orleans. The Navigator looks good, most aspects are the same that we experienced on Carnival Victory and Princess. They did not have an outdoor movie screen which limited outdoor interest for me. I read that they will do a rehab of this ship by next year. I had read several reviews of this ship before and noticed that a smell in the hallways was included on most. Our room was on the 6th floor, it was a balcony room and we did not notice a sight but noticeable mildew smell in the hallways. The thing that bothered me most about this cruise was the habit of walking to your cabin during the day or night and finding large bags that may have contained laundry in the hallway. There were also vacuum cleaners left in the hallway and a machine that looked like some sort of fan. I know that the room stewards have to get rid of dirty laundry and clean the rooms, but I have never seen up to twelve or more huge red bags lined up against the wall for hours a day. Everyone has seen the little carts that are used to replenish toilet paper, soap, clean towels etc..., but these items were frequently in the hallway and it looked so tacky and low class. I will be very surprised if no one else mentions this. The food was o.k., just o.k. The service was great, everyone worked very hard to please. The Windjammer's food was routine and boring, it never changed. The quality was so-so. The "Jade Restaurant" is a joke. I love Asian food and looked forward to some good Asian food. Most of the time the space in Jade was taken up with American type foods. Occasionally there would be some fried rice or stir fry that was poorly prepared. All in all, We still had a good time overall despite my criticisms. I would not say however that Royal Caribbean has consistently high standards. I know that Carnival has issues with their ships, but their rooms are larger, the entertainment was better, and I didn't feel nickel a dimmed for gratuities on an ice cream cone after you've already been charged an extra 15% for it. Read Less
Sail Date February 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
This is a review of the Navigator of the Seas, sailing date December 1, 2012. It was just my wife and I. As a general statement I believe the crew on any given ship will make or break the entertainment value of the vacation. Boarding: ... Read More
This is a review of the Navigator of the Seas, sailing date December 1, 2012. It was just my wife and I. As a general statement I believe the crew on any given ship will make or break the entertainment value of the vacation. Boarding: We flew in the day before and spent the night at Harrah's New Orleans and had a great time. We took a cab with another couple that we met at the front door and we got taken for a ride ....literally....$30.00 to go 2 blocks!!! The ship had porters there to unload our luggage into the big carts and into the line we went.... Our bags were already tagged so it was a quick drop and go situation. The porters tagged your bags if you didn't already have them. Note that the Riverwalk access to the cruise ship walkway (it's still marked like that) is closed. The doors have a heavy chain and padlock on them. At this point organization took a vacation. We didn't know it at the time but a lot of the embarkation problems were related to the fact that the Navigator had just come in with the "NOROVIRUS infection" on board and that they were in the process of "fumigating" each and every public area on board.... It only took about 1 hour to get on board ship but because of the decontamination process we were not allowed to go to our stateroom until after 4:00PM... Once on board that is where the problems started. We headed to the Windjammer and instead of it being a regular buffet they had TWO (2) food servers next to each serving station to serve the guests as NOBODY was allowed to touch the food because of the virus. It took over one hour to make it through the buffet line and by the time you found a seat, the food was cold. We had this problem the WHOLE trip. Cold food....It was not until Friday, on the last day, that the guests were able to self service. Entertainment: Average at best Dining: The food and service in the Main dining room was fabulous and both Waiter (Rakesh) and Assistant Waiter (Americo) were phenomenal. Windjammer: the food was always cold. Room service: The food was decent and on time. Bar Service: Very good Soda Package: In my opinion, the soda package on the Navigator is a complete waste of money. I'm not sure I will ever buy the soda package on RCCL again because of this. Excursions: Our excursion to Dunn's River Falls in Falmouth Jamaica was very good and very well organized. NOROVIRUS: On day 3, I started getting a really bad head cold and by day 5 I was pretty run down. I went to sick bay and spoke to a nurse whose whole interest was whether or not I had a headache, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea....which were the published symptoms of Norovirus....I had none of the above other than a mild case of diarrhea.....she told me that I had two choices either to get the FREE Tylenol and Imodium to treat it as Norovirus infection or see a doctor for a $100.00 fee....Really??? I opted for the Imodium and Tylenol and was confined (quarantined) to my cabin for 24 hours. That was on Thursday at 11 AM and I was in the cabin for 24 hours....NO FUN!! The following day at 11:15AM the nurse called and asked me "how I felt?" and since I was feeling better she released me from the quarantine and I was free to go anywhere on the ship. ...Out of courtesy for other passengers and our table mates, I decided to abstain from going to the dining room or to the buffet and stuck to room service. Disembarkation: It was very well organized and we were off the ship within 30 minutes. Note: We have now been home for a week and I still have yet to hear from RCCL. No emails or not even a letter asking "How I was doing or whether I was dead or alive?" It was our third cruise with RCCL but it will be a long time before I go on another one... A very disappointed cruiser! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Background on me: Experience cruiser with over 20 cruises on a variety of lines and I have never been on a bad cruise. I am male, 50, traveling with spouse and two boys ages 14 and 12. We have sailed out of New Orleans many times (we ... Read More
Background on me: Experience cruiser with over 20 cruises on a variety of lines and I have never been on a bad cruise. I am male, 50, traveling with spouse and two boys ages 14 and 12. We have sailed out of New Orleans many times (we live in NO) and find the best time to get to the port is about 11:00 AM. This year we arrived about 11:20 and were in the Windjammer by 12. Also if you are a past cruiser register with the Crown and Anchor program by RC, there is another line for C&A members and it is much shorter than general boarding. My brother arrived at the Port about 1:00 and it took him over two hours to get on the ship. Alcohol tip here, if you want to bring extra wine on the ship. Just put two bottles in your carry on, but have your spouse go through another security line with another two bottles in their carry on. We got four bottles of wine on board, but could have brought much more, no one pays any attention in security to who is with who, just don't put more than two bottles in each bag. Also, we brought two case of water on board that we checked at the pier and both made it to our cabins. I met someone on board who paid $88 for the "water package" this seems pretty high to me for water. Also did not buy the new drink package as it is just way to expensive considering all adults in one cabin have to purchase this package. A big problem at the pier is many people do not have luggage tags and this takes the Porters about 2 minutes per bag to tag causing a back up. RC may be saving money by not sending these luggage tags (I know you can print them) but it is adding much delay to the boarding process. If you are arriving by cab your driver will simply drop you off at the curb, if you are driving you will be parking in the Whale lot, just ask and an officer will direct you. You can also have your luggage taken here and it is just about a five minute walk to the ship. Parking is about $112 for the week paid in advance. Having sailed on the Voyager last year (and loved it) I found this ship, The NOS to be just as beautiful. We had an outside balcony on deck 8 and the room was clean and your typical cruising cabin. However, my boys ages 14 and 12 had an inside cabin with a view of the Promenade deck. This was a very nice feature and the noise never woke anyone up or keep them awake. We choose two cabins over one because we felt the extra bathroom was better than just upgrading to a suite. The extra bathroom and extra cabin IMO is the way to go for families if you can. Once again the ship is clean and very beautiful, but I won't sail this class of ship again, having sailed on the VOS last year, this seemed like the same exact ship from last year and I discovered what I like is exploring and learning a new ship on my cruises. The food in the dining room is some bad, some good, some excellent. Ask you waiter, he knows what is good. We ate in Chops one night and thought is was a waste of money. The filet in Chops was excellent, but everything else (the sides) was also available at some time in the MDR. Also, on most nights the food in the Windjammer is the same exact food being served in the MDR. Breakfast is the same EVERY day and gets very boring toward the end of the cruise. Never ate breakfast in MDR but they have nice lunches in the MDR and the Tuttie salad bar is outstanding. I really miss the fact that the VOS and NOS have no grill around the pool. I just love the smell of those hamburgers grilling as I lounge around the pool. Both my kids had fun and enjoyed the teen programs. However, we won't sail again on a ship unless it has a better pool area. This ship only has two small pools with hot tubs, no slides or other H2O areas for the kids to play. The shows were really bad and your typical cruise ship shows, however the ice show was very nice and is the only must see show of the week. I think RC could do a better job of giving out tickets rather than making you go wait in line for them on your first sea day. The lounges really stink of smoke and were kind of boring, not much going on in them. Found a great new place to go on Couzmel called Paradise beach, a great place and found for the kids with tons of stuff to do. Also, do Dunns River falls in Falmouth, it was outstanding. Overall a good ship and a great time, if you have questions just ask. PG Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Navigator of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.5 N/A
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 2.0 N/A
Service 4.5 4.3
Value for Money 4.5 N/A

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