21 New Orleans Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Cruise Reviews

The Navigator of the Seas is showing her age! Our cabin was missing the wood cap on the balcony railing and in the casino some of light strips were being held on with tie-wraps and tape. Carpet was worn and torn in several areas, the ... Read More
The Navigator of the Seas is showing her age! Our cabin was missing the wood cap on the balcony railing and in the casino some of light strips were being held on with tie-wraps and tape. Carpet was worn and torn in several areas, the TV's must have been the original ones installed when the ship was built 11 years ago. The bathroom walls had rust breaking through the paint. I wish that I could share some of my photos in this review. The embarkation process went very smoothly once we got to the port from the airport. We used RCL's transfer service and found ourselves having to wait for 45 minutes before they allowed us to board the bus. I will NEVER use this service again. Getting off the ship at our first stop in Jamaica was a nightmare. Once they gave the word that we could get off the ship it was at least 50 minutes before we reached the gangway....terrible crowd control BUT that was the only time! Other days it went much smoother. Debarkation back in New Orleans went very smoothly for us, we took a New Orleans City Tour and for our son and his family when left the ship during the self-assist time. Okay that's the bad stuff! But that really didn't prevent us from having a great cruise on RCL overall. We liked the room and the location. The buffet food was good (not great) and the meals in the dining room were very good. We enjoyed the activities and entertainment. Our grand kids (ages 9-14) enjoyed the activities provided for the kids. The best part of this cruise was the service. This was cruise #17 or #18 for us and I can honestly say that this was the best service that we have ever experienced. The waitstaff in the Nut Cracker was fantastic (Ivor and Kiara) and our cabin steward, Norma Cash, are real assets to RCL. I would recommend RCL to everyone, maybe a newer ship! We already have an eight-day cruise planned for November on Carnival but we will be back cruising on RCL soon. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
This was the largest ship we ever sailed on & despite having sailed frequently, was our first on Royal Caribbean. We spent 3 days before we boarded the ship in New Orleans to put us in the vacation mood & it was wonderful. ... Read More
This was the largest ship we ever sailed on & despite having sailed frequently, was our first on Royal Caribbean. We spent 3 days before we boarded the ship in New Orleans to put us in the vacation mood & it was wonderful. The trip was booked by our travel agent & transfers back to the airport were prepaid. Royal Caribbean had no record of this! First off their website was difficult to navigate, certain tours could not be booked on line. We were looking to pre-book spa treatments & could only book the longer, more expensive 75 minute massages, and some spa offerings we did book were not available on the ship. While I can understand that not all services were available on all ships, one would think that those that were not available would be blocked from a particular ship. We actually had to re-book everything once we were on board. The check-in process was quick & efficient, & the staff were pleasant & knowledgeable. Most of our luggage was delivered to our cabin before dinner so we were able to change from our traveling clothes. The first night we ate at the specialty restaurant, Chops Grill. The cost of this was $30 extra per person. Dinner was a big disappointment. I ordered a petite filet, rare, & was given a t-bone steak. While the waiter offered to change it, I opted not to do this, but I didn't enjoy it. The 4 of us at our table each ordered 2 side dishes, that came with the meal. But none of us were served what we had ordered. The vegetables were served family style. again we mentioned that some things were missing but nothing was done to rectify the situation. Only one of our group was completely satisfied with the meal. The dining room experience was much better. Although the selection of food seemed to be limited, mostly everyone at our table found something appealing. The waitstaff were a pleasure to deal with & made this trip so much better. The buffet for breakfast & lunch was the highlight of the trip- they offered something for everyone & for every taste. Not a bad meal was had there. One thing kept us from truly enjoying our on board time was the fact that smoking was permitted in some of the inside common areas, & this was distasteful to those of us who did not smoke. There should have been a ventilation/filtration system in place to draw the smoke from the non-smoking areas. You had to hold your breath when walking through the Casino since the air was so bad. I am sure non-smokers stayed away. Smoking was allowed in some of the cabins & you could smell the smoke when walking through the corridors. The entertainment was top notch & fun, particularly the circus parade & the ice skating show. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
Drove to New Orleans from Birmingham for a seven-day cruise with six friends from around the country. All of us enjoyed it. A few notes: Embarkation: Very easy; we arrived Saturday at about noon and walked right onto the ship. By 1 ... Read More
Drove to New Orleans from Birmingham for a seven-day cruise with six friends from around the country. All of us enjoyed it. A few notes: Embarkation: Very easy; we arrived Saturday at about noon and walked right onto the ship. By 1 p.m., all the staterooms were available for occupancy. The rooms: The cabin was great, particularly because this time I was sailing alone. Plenty of room for two, though, and the storage (in the closet mainly) is more than I remember on any other ship. Next time,I'll choose a cabin nearer the stairs or elevator, but other than long walks to get somewhere, it was nice. The ports: The ports were pretty standard -- Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Jamaica. We chose a fun shore excursion in Cozumel, Salsa and Salsa, which had us making our own salsas and margaritas and then later learning to dance the salsa. In Grand Cayman, I swam with the stingrays; in Jamaica, just a terrible port, had a nice trip to GOod Hope, a historic plantation home. The entertainment: The singers and dancers were no better than what I'd find in Birmingham, but the ice show was well worth waiting in line to get tickets. The food: Not great, but I've come not to expect great things from cruise ship food. The kitchen is feeding a lot of people, so the food isn't going to be top-notch. The two specialty restaurants, Chops and Portofina, were well worth the up charge. The service: Great service from start to finish. Some of the friendliest workers I've encountered anywhere. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
My husband and I sailed on the Navigator of the Seas from New Orleans on Feb. 2nd. By and large, this was a wonderful vacation, and we will definitely cruise with RC again, but here are a few positives and negatives... Negatives New ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on the Navigator of the Seas from New Orleans on Feb. 2nd. By and large, this was a wonderful vacation, and we will definitely cruise with RC again, but here are a few positives and negatives... Negatives New Orleans port was insane. The cruise line had not arranged adequate parking since it was Super Bowl weekend. We waited in a line of cars for an hour and a half to check our baggage. Then we were sent to park, but there were no places in the lot that we were directed to. There was no one there who could help us. We were left frantically trying to park in time to actually board the ship even though we arrived two hours early. We ended up having to pay almost forty dollars/day to park in a private deck because there was no parking available through Royal Caribbean. Food - The food was just ok. The Windjammer was typical buffet style food with little variety day to day. The dining room was excellent once or twice through the week, good a couple of times, and unfortunately bad a couple of times as well. They had a couple of barbeques by the pool which were excellent. Excursion - We booked the river raft trip. The rafting itself was wonderful! However, it was one of those "hurry up and wait" kind of days. What was supposed to be a rafting/banana plantation tour was misrepresented. The "banana plantation" was about the size of my back yard. (We waited around for about an hour for this "tour".) Then we made an unscheduled shopping stop(I assume for some kind of kick back) that left us barely enough time to get back to the ship. Positives The staff of the ship was excellent. The shows were definitely above average for a cruise ship. The ice show was especially good. The room was very clean. The activities were good. The ship is beautiful and provided plenty of room so that we did not feel crowded at all. We arrived at our stops exactly on time. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
While this was our eighteenth cruises, it was the first with our extended family consisting of five married children and their 15 children ranging in ages from 1 to 11 years. Overall the embarkation process was extremely smooth once in ... Read More
While this was our eighteenth cruises, it was the first with our extended family consisting of five married children and their 15 children ranging in ages from 1 to 11 years. Overall the embarkation process was extremely smooth once in the terminal. However, traffic around the port was terrible boarding on gridlock. We last cruised from New Orleans several years ago and felt the traffic situation deteriorated rather than improve. We had requested the early dining room seating. Prior to the cruise, seating for the group was arranged through travel agent. We had three tables on the outside edge of the dining room away from the flow of traffic and great for the children. We had two waiters assigned to our three tables. Both were great and extremely flexible in accommodating our needs. The supervisor of our waiters was particularly helpful in arranging for the needs of my daughter one year old child. RCCL originally told us they did not puree food for babies and that we could buy baby food on-board. However, every evening the wait staff supervisor served our baby a three course meal. We were not sure if it was processed baby food or pureed but the baby loved it. We were a little disappointed with the menu. RCCL recently introduced a new menu that offers escargot every night. However, escargot was never available. Our waiter told us that it has not been available due to a "world shortage" of snails. It must be a "world shortage" that is limited to RCCL! This was our first time visiting Jamaica. What a disappointment! The port that RCCL built in Falmouth is great but outside the boundary of the control port area is a nightmare. We only made it about a 100 yards beyond the fence. We were bombarded by locals selling, begging, harassing and just be annoying. We really felt unsafe and returned to the port. Disembarkation went smoothly until we got beyond security. The exit was on the opposite site of the terminal. We were herded down a corridor like cattle. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
Our first time with Royal Caribbean. Took the Navigator of the Seas on 2/02/2013. We were SO IMPRESSED with EVERYBODY on the Ship. Their service(attentiveness, sincerity, politeness and professionalism) is better than Crystal ... Read More
Our first time with Royal Caribbean. Took the Navigator of the Seas on 2/02/2013. We were SO IMPRESSED with EVERYBODY on the Ship. Their service(attentiveness, sincerity, politeness and professionalism) is better than Crystal Cruises' ! We had a Balcony cabin on Deck 9. Balcony and interior spaces were larger than their competitors(Carnival and NCL-7day cruise from New Orleans). Quality of bedlinens and bath towels were better. Had more than enough storage spaces. We liked the shower design. You take a shower in a round enclosed tube like space., so water does not splash outside of this space. Sorry but I must write some negative points now: Dining room menu was ordinary and lunch and dinner did not taste good. Carnival's dining room menu is much better. NCl was the second and RCL ranks 3rd on the quality of food.(I am comparing 3 cruises out of New Orleans). Windjammer had larger selection for Lunch and Dinner and many people seemed to prefer Windjammer. Dining room menu and food selection were excellent on our 5th and 6th night. Lobster appearred on the 5th night and Lamb on the 6th night was THE BEST lamb I have ever had. But I can not forget the bad food we had on our previous 4 nights Entertainments: The worst again. Headline Shows were cheaply presented., inexpensive costumes and dancers who could not line up properly in orderly fashion. Singers, dancers were worse than some HighSchool shows. Carnival always has expensive grandiose shows, in addition to the comedians who usually perform in a smaller theatre. NCL had excellent comedians from the Second City last year. RCL production was miserable. Maybe their IceShow was much better. We did not go as the ticket line was always so long. Maybe RCL spent too much budget on the IceShow, they neglected the main street Shows. Overall, inferior food and shows did not matter too much for us, as we were extremely impressed by EVERYONE worked on the Nagigator of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
Was on the cruise from New Orleans Feb 23rd. The staff is great, very polite, accomodating and service is number one. The ship is fantastic although there are areas of the ship that look a bit tired... As a non smoker I found it ... Read More
Was on the cruise from New Orleans Feb 23rd. The staff is great, very polite, accomodating and service is number one. The ship is fantastic although there are areas of the ship that look a bit tired... As a non smoker I found it disturbing there was smoking along poolside where we had to walk by to get our towels...couldn't they be located to a less traveled area?? Why would they permit smoking in the casino; especially when there is an open stair case to the promenade deck?? there is food served there...does not go with smoke! There was no late night dancing/entertainment available for people over 40 - unless you wanted to try the dungeon was open - another smoke infested area....but really set up for the younger crowd...30 ish. The service in the dining room was excellent, too bad the food did not match level of service. There were 3 or 4 nights where the dinner was excellent and the balance of the cruise, the food was so-so...I cruised with Celebrity - the food is spectacular - this was a few years ago, so that may have changed as the cruise I took was pre-RCCL's merge. Two of the three ports were great! Falmouth, Jamaica is not a very nice area. The locals appear to be upset because most of the tourists do not shop outside the port - we were steered to shop within the safety of the port fences. Georgetown Grand Cayman is beautiful and we found a great glass blowing shop. Visit this store you will not be disappointed!! Many beautiful pieces from $15.00 Island GlassBlowing Studio Ltd 189 North Church Street 345-946-1483 http://www.islandglassblowing.com/ If you're on the cruise ship, when you come off the dock you turn left. Keep on the waterfront side of the road and you will see a big sign for Burger King, we are the building before that. It's about a 10 or 15 minute walk from the dock. Open at 9-15 a.m. and close at 4-00p.m. For more info email: islandglassblowing@gmail.com Way too much focus on shopping! We rented a jeep and bombed around the island - covered lots of ground..beach, Tortuga, hell, and blow holes - it's beautiful! We met several people on board who used this site to book the many excursions your own and are cheaper than the ships' offerings...which are often the same or better! Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
RCI delivers a very good standard in about everything across the board. People who don't like the food are too picky in my opinion. People who think it's great are not discerning enough...it's good. Same with the rooms ... Read More
RCI delivers a very good standard in about everything across the board. People who don't like the food are too picky in my opinion. People who think it's great are not discerning enough...it's good. Same with the rooms (hotel operations), service, presentation of the ship etc. It's all very good. Considering you pay a very good rate on a cruise like this one, you get a very good value. Price plus quality = value. Don't be scared away by any picky reviewers...look for what you want and if RCI says they have it, they will deliver! Embarkation: NOLA was cold, so I liked departing out of Miami much better...not RCI's fault at all. I just want to leave winter and feel like I'm on vacation, and New Orleans was 47 degrees as we left, brrrrrr! Getting on was easy, smooth, and took about 45 minutes start to finish. Cruise: Took my 11 yr old son for some one on one time. Great time. However a tip to RCI...there are things for kids (adventure ocean) and things for adults, but not much for both during the day in terms of planned or coordinated activities. We did everything from scavenger hunt, to rock wall, to mini golf, to ice skating, to roller blading, to ping pong, to swimming to lots of basketball and shuffleboard...so make no mistake we found plenty of fun! Meals: We ate in the Windjammer all but three meals and found it quick and easy. Food choice were good, and on par with any buffet. Again, good, not great, not bad. Never went hungry. Ate at Portofino, GREAT! Ate at Johnny Rockets, very good! MDR for one meal on lobster night, satisfactory...takes to long and lobster was only average so a bit disappointing. Room: Having a balcony for ocean breezes and hearing the waves from the boat...ahhhhhhhh now that is what you cruise for. We loved it and escaped the cold Iowa winter by spending lots of time on our balcony. Room was plenty spacious, clean, bed was medium comfort but plenty workable. Ports: Great time swimming with dolphins in Cozumel at chankanaab and fun time watching the sea lion show and walking their fun trail for the "ancient ruins" as well as some decent snorkeling with easy access. Great time swimming with stingrays in Grand Cayman with a reef snorkel stop and the tiki beach break. Great time at Doctor's Cave beach in Jamaica. We took a bus to Doctor's cave and back, worked fine...I'd do all of them again. Snorkeling was good at all three places, but the best in Jamaica. People complain about leaving the safety of the port in Jamaica...I'm cautious...esp with an 11 year old...and we had no problems and no worries Mon! Go with a group or stay in main tourist areas in all three ports and it seems plenty safe to me. Tips and Overall: Great time, we didn't want to be back. I'd cruise on RCI again and on Navigator again! We'd highly recommend the ice show...the shows in the main theater were hit and miss. There are hidden shuffle board courts on the very back of Deck 4! Hang the card on your door for room service breakfast delivery and enjoy it on your balcony...although windjammer for breakfast was great as well! Hot chocolate is available next to the regular coffee in the snack place on the Royal Promenade...my son loved it but the water is very hot so we put some cream in as well. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
Spent three days in NOLA prior to cruise allowing us a vacation before the vacation and we had a wonderful time, there is so much to see and do there. Checking in was fairly easy - although confusing as to which line we were supposed ... Read More
Spent three days in NOLA prior to cruise allowing us a vacation before the vacation and we had a wonderful time, there is so much to see and do there. Checking in was fairly easy - although confusing as to which line we were supposed to go in. Sail away was cold and windy, weather really does come to play into enjoyment level, we were so excited to be cruising again but it was no fun being on deck at that time. Ship is very pretty - decorated with the Mardi Gras theme. Overall it's a beautiful ship with some signs of wear such as rust on the balcony and faded carpet and plastic plants on the mini golf course. Our cabin was great, we had a junior suite at the back of the boat, although not the view we had hoped for as there is an extension off the back of the balcony that blocks your view of that beautiful water churning. Would opt for cabin on the side next time. We had two sea days up front which was nice coming off of busy days prior in NOLA, but this being our 4th cruise on this class we were finding a lot of the same old same old and not a lot to do. Weather was just not cooperating with us and sitting outside was not much of an option. We ate in the dining room every night and the waiter and assistant waiter were friendly, attentive and very helpful. Could not say anything bad about the service we received in the dining room. We were told they were working with a new menu, each night centered around a different spice. Food was fine but I never really had a meal I was excited about, even the lobster just seemed fine. I was feeling however that there were some cutbacks - for example - at our first crown and anchor event cocktails were served but no hors d'oeuvres. This was even brought up by one of the guests to the captain at the second crown and anchor event. I'm not sure the captain understood the question though. We used to get nice tote bags delivered to our cabins and now it is a box with some dried fruit and cookies, which is nice, but again, feels like a cutback. First port was Falmouth. We had purchased the day pass to the Iberostar resort which included the transportation. Lovely resort, did not realize that alcohol was included with this day pass but you can enjoy the resort and all food and drink is included. Beach was ok, water was not the pretty blue color and was not that clean, may have just been the day we were there. The area outside the terminal shopping is very iffy - I would not feel safe on my own there at all. Next stop was Cozumel. We had pre booked the Cozumel Bar Hop and I would highly recommend this. I am forever grateful having been able to experience the other side of the island - mostly untouched and so beautiful. Our tour guide was very friendly and nice and funny. There are four stops, each "bar" has a different personality and we thoroughly enjoyed each one. I would do that again in a heartbeat. Cost is 54.00 pp, includes a small drink at each stop, buy as they say, have enough cash because there is no electricity, you cannot use credit cards and there is no ATM. We did not have as much cash as we needed and found ourselves penny pinching - we ordered tacos at the second stop, one plate to share two tacos but we were fine. I highly recommend this tour. Grand Cayman - we took a taxi to seven mile beach, the water was beautiful. Decided to each lunch at Margaritaville, our first visit to this franchise and it was a lot of fun. Our last sea day we did something we have never done - we woke up early and went down to the Solarium to put our towels on two chairs and ran to the Windjammer to eat a quick breakfast and went right back. We were there so early we had the chance to watch those who plunk their towels down and our gone for hours. We watched a woman come in and save eight deck chairs in a row and she said alone for hours. Four of the chairs never did get used but her party, eventually they packed their stuff up and left, it was another chilly, windy and cloudy day with periods of rain. So disappointing for the last day. We tried to do the shows - but mostly I think they were horrid. Kenny James was the guest artist and I enjoyed every minute of his show, but the ones featuring the RC singers and dancers were sad. We would sit at the back so we could exit when we had had enough. Overall - we really did have a wonderful time, looking back - we decided maybe it would be better to try the second dinner so we could lay down a bit before dinner. We found ourselves so tired by the end of the day it was hard to stay up late. Leaving the ship seemed like it was going to be easy until we got to the section our luggage was supposed to be in and all four pieces were missing as were a handful of other cruiser's. We filled out a form to have it shipped to our home so we could get to the airport but my husband caught a glimpse of one of our luggage tags on a cart that hadn't been unloaded yet and lucky the others were with it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
I took the Navigator of the Seas out of New Orleans on Feb 2nd ( super bowl weekend) 2013. Flew in and cab took us to the pier with no problems. Checked bags and took the trolley to French Quarter and walked back to the ship. If you want ... Read More
I took the Navigator of the Seas out of New Orleans on Feb 2nd ( super bowl weekend) 2013. Flew in and cab took us to the pier with no problems. Checked bags and took the trolley to French Quarter and walked back to the ship. If you want to buy a couple of bottles of wine before getting on the ship walk one block over down Julia street. You can carry on 2 bottles. We had room 6611 a inside cabin with a bay window looking onto the Promeneade. This room and the 3 or 4 next too it does not look down on the part of the Promeneade where the shops and the parades are held. The room look right onto the sculpture that goes from the top to the bottom of the ship. It is directly across from the Customer service desk. You can't see this from their deck plans. The bed is also cross ways in the room. You have to work your way around the end of the bed to get to the main part of the cabin by the window. Over all it was just ok but I would not get that room again. Never did get cold in the room. Ship is showing it age and needs to be remodeled soon. This cruise had the new menu rolled out earlier this year. My wife liked it but I was not impressed. Food in the dining room was ok. Service is great. Everyone working on the ship says hello and really tries to please. The cruise director Simona is easy on the eyes and you see her everywhere. Production Showes are disapointing. Live entertainer Kenny James was really good and the comedians were funny. Ice show is fantastic, saw it twice. Don't miss The Quest!!! Cozumel for beaches, Grand Cayman for reefs, Falmouth port only. Don't go into town or even outside the fence. Falmouth for shoppping. The End. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
Embarkation was a complete mess, the NFL had taken all the local parking lots and the cruise line failed to make arrangements for cruiser to park. We spent 2 hours in traffic getting parked. Had to drag the luggage to the corner of the ... Read More
Embarkation was a complete mess, the NFL had taken all the local parking lots and the cruise line failed to make arrangements for cruiser to park. We spent 2 hours in traffic getting parked. Had to drag the luggage to the corner of the lot to load onto a wagon, were really concerned about seeing it again but it did show up in the room and fairly quick. Once in the New Orleans terminal it went very quickly, assuming everyone was still outside looking for parking spaces, anyway we were on the ship in pretty quick order. Fantastic ship, very well kept and there is no place on board that does not catch the eye. Very clean and RCC program of hand sanitizer stations everywhere and staff directing guest to use them worked well. Within 1 day everyone was trained to hit the hand sanitizers when they saw them or when entering a restaurant. We did the prepaid alcohol, this is a coin toss on value, we will likely not do it again, basically as a couple we would need to have 8.5 drinks rounds between us each of the 7 days. Now to be honest there were a couple that this was no problem but tough to accomplish on other days. Guess it is really how much of a drinker you are and whether you can get your money's worth. Our suite was killer, on the center of the hump and very clean, the steward did a great job taking care of us. Food was typical cruise ship fare nothing crazy good except when we ate in Portofino, well worth the extra 20 bucks and it was a really nice evening with excellent food. Great service staff, very nice and always ready with a smile, all of the evening spots were fun and there was always a place to sit. Problem spots, I have 2 words for RCC, "Soap Dish", we were in a suite and there was none so we used a drink glass. The room had fabulous granite counters in the bath and they were being ruined with the soap residue left because of no soap dish. Deck Chairs, this seems to be an issue on all cruise ships, they need to figure out how to resolve. Sat and watched dozens of loungers go unused with a towel on them, being "reserved"... Overall, great time and ship, we will go again on the Navigator, except hoping next cruise the Captain does not decided to outline the entire cruise after the safety drill but while we are all still standing there.....The return saw more issues with getting out, Mardi Gras, we will watch when we cruise next year out of New Orleans and avoid these times. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
We had a wonderful time and my expectations were exceeded frequently. The food in the dining room was really good and some was excellent. The buffet was good, but I didn't eat there much because the dining room was so good and so ... Read More
We had a wonderful time and my expectations were exceeded frequently. The food in the dining room was really good and some was excellent. The buffet was good, but I didn't eat there much because the dining room was so good and so relaxing. Our water and asst water (Ahmet and Alelie) took exceptionally good care of us. Our cabin steward was great, she took care of our special requests and did an excellent job. In fact, the whole crew made me feel like royalty, they really took great care of us and made us feel welcome and special. This ship is very large and had everything. The shows ranged from OK to really good. The gym was very good. I went there every day and it was sometimes busy but I was always able to do whatever exercise I wanted. Got my haircut and my DW said it was the best haircut I ever had. The promenade is really nice with shops and a 24 hour coffee/tea/sandwiches/pastries and cookies area. It also had a mini Starbucks. Royal Caribbean really won us over. Our Junior Suite on the aft of the ship was spectacular and we really enjoyed it. I could go on about how wonderful our cruise was. I really can't think of much they could have done to make it any better. I few minor items they could improve on would be to have brewed iced tea instead of made from concentrate, allow tips to be adjusted on your account instead of the all or nothing method and give receipts for tips put on your account so you can present them to the people you tip. They have a large selection of good quality tea bags available everywhere, but if you get the iced tea, it is from a concentrate. The coffee was brewed. It was a little strong for me, but that is just my preference. You have to ask for cream at your table, they just put milk on the table for your coffee. I only had one major complaint-smoking. I understand that RC tries to make both smokers and non-smokers happy, but I think they don't appreciate that you can't have it both ways. If you allow smoking in places that connect to, or are open to other areas, the smoke will naturally go to all the places. Just because you designate someplace as non-smoking doesn't mean it will be smoke free unless you don't allow smoking in areas connected to or open to that area. Balconies are part of the rooms and are connected (through the rooms) to the hallways. The bars on the sides of the promenade have large openings and doorways that open onto the promenade. The casino has a staircase leading from the middle of the casino up and onto the promenade. The casino also opens into the art studio/photograph area. The casino and bars also open onto or near the elevators and stairs. Smoking is allowed on balconies, bars and the casino. The smoke from these places doesn't stay there, it goes wherever it wants to. So when the bars and casino are open, the promenade can become smokey. When people are smoking on their balconies the smoke sometimes drifts away from the ship. Other times it goes into a neighbors balcony and other times into the hallways. If people smoke on their balconies with the balcony doors open, it can go into the room and from the room into the hallways. Many times while walking down the hallways by balcony rooms, the hallways were smokey. I was disappointed that I had to put up with smoke in the hallways and promenade. I read the smoking policy before I purchased this cruise. It gave me the impression that I would not have to put up with smoke, because it is only allowed in a few areas. I didn't expect these areas to be so connected and open to many other areas. They try to minimize the intrusion of the smoke with good air circulation and lots of air fresheners, but that just makes much of the ship smell like a casino. Royal Caribbean would have won me over as a loyal customer, if it had not been for the smoke. The trip was wonderful, but the smoking "left a bad taste in my mouth" and made me search for another cruise line for my next trip. Royal Caribbean has the departure ports, the itineraries, the ships, the staterooms and so much more that I am completely sold on. I hope they change their policy soon to be like Princess or Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Based on reviews from other websites of the 7 day Western Caribbean cruise on Navigator of the Seas departing from New Orleans during the latter part of 2012, my expectations for our Jan. 12, 2013 departure were somewhat reserved. ... Read More
Based on reviews from other websites of the 7 day Western Caribbean cruise on Navigator of the Seas departing from New Orleans during the latter part of 2012, my expectations for our Jan. 12, 2013 departure were somewhat reserved. Discussion with a co-worker who has sailed RCI and competing cruise lines did not help my expectations. There were many stories of cold food in both the regular dining room and buffet areas. Also prevalent were comments that the entertainment shows in the main theater paled in comparison to other cruise lines, with the "Ice Dancing" show being the lone exception. This was my fifth cruise, but the first with RCI and I found the decor inside the Navigator of the Seas to be as good as I have ever experienced on a cruise. I found the ship easy to navigate after exploring it the first day. The staff was also as friendly and accommodating as any I have experienced, from the room steward to the waiters to the ship's officers. A technical problem was experienced on my first wifi internet connection, but a quick visit to the customer service desk provided a quick and quite satisfactory resolution. Here are my views regarding the food onboard. I found the food to meet, and in many cases exceed, the quality of my previous cruises. I was never served cold food and a couple of the meals in the main dining area was nothing short of excellent. I would gladly accept the quality of the food I experienced this cruise on any future cruises I might take. All eight members of our party were very pleased with the food served. I found the Windjammer buffet area to have equal or better quality food as any of my previous cruises. The staff in the Windjammer provided the best service I have experienced in a buffet environment on my cruises. Mr. "Sanitize" who greets everyone entering the buffet and gets them to "sanitize your hands" is a treat itself. This man enjoys his job, and it shows. In my opinion the reviews I read about the "Ice Dancing" show were pretty much on target. I would consider it a "Don't Miss" just like many other previous reviews. You do have to get complimentary tickets, but the distribution process was quick and painless. I agree with many other reviews that most of the costumes for the Navigator of the Seas singers and dancers leave something to be desired, as compared to other shows I've attended on cruises. However, the singer's and dancer's talents were very comparable to the others I have experienced. The two stand up comedy shows were excellent and I overhead many favorable comments from other guests while leaving the main theater after both of these shows. "The Unexpected Boys", a musical show based on the music of Frankie Vallie was very entertaining with excellent harmony and vocals. Since I really enjoy music, I thoroughly enjoyed this show. That brings me to the musical acts stationed around the ship. Initially I was a little disappointed, not based on talent, but on styles of music. I really enjoy music and it is a big part of my cruise experience. My favorite music is 70's rock and there was not a cover band playing this type of music. There was a solo guitar performer, Scott Perham, in The Two Poets Pub on the promenade who played a lot of songs I like, even some Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZTop, but the venue was small and hard to get a seat. He had his own style and influence, but a lot of guests seem to enjoy it, as he had a loyal following. The Caribbean Force band played in the pool area, very talented, just not my style of music. The Tumbao Trio, a latin band, performed in Boleros on Deck 4, and seemed to have a good crowd gathered most of the time, but once again, not my style. There were at least two piano players on board, Rizaldy and Patrice Doucet. Both were very talented and a pleasure to listen to. The Cosmopolitan Club is located on Deck 14, offering great views and is one of the wifi hotspots. The Cosmopolitan Club is home to the Sunlight Band. The Sunlight band members are from the Ukraine. As far as music is concerned this band was my favorite on this cruise. They covered several styles of music and even though none of it was my favorite 70's Rock genre, I spent a lot of time listening to them, and really enjoyed it. Maria, the vocalist, naturally sings with a Ukranian accent, but it seemed to grow on everyone, as it certainly did on me. With each passing night the crowd in the Cosmopolitan Club grew larger. The band consists of Igor on keyboard, Anastasia on bass guitar, Yevhen on drums and Maria. All three of the musicians are quite talented. Anastasia is technically the best bass guitarist I have seen on any of my cruises. Maria is quite energetic and interacts very well with the guests while performing. It is obvious that she really enjoys singing. Guests had a great time dancing to Sunlight's music, and there was a dedicated crowd there every night. For me, the Sunlight band is the "Don't Miss" of musical acts currently on the Navigator of the Seas. Not to take anything away from the other musical acts, but, based on my taste, I would have been disappointed with the music experience on this cruise if not for the Sunlight Band. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
I previously sailed on the Mariner of the Seas which has the identical floor plan to the Navigator, and I really enjoyed that cruise, but I was disappointed that the Navigator was not as good. I'll comment on a few areas that made ... Read More
I previously sailed on the Mariner of the Seas which has the identical floor plan to the Navigator, and I really enjoyed that cruise, but I was disappointed that the Navigator was not as good. I'll comment on a few areas that made the most impression. Embarkation: We got to the terminal around 11:30 am and there was practically no line. We were on the ship and in the buffet in maybe 30 minutes. That's the way to go! Food: Just average at the beginning of the week, but it got better as the week progressed, especially in the MDR. Desserts were generally good there, better than at the buffet. We had first seating which was a bit early for us some nights. One annoyance was that they only had white bread rolls at the meals, which I almost never eat. We tried to ask for whole wheat or whole grain rolls and were met with confusion (and more white rolls). Finally the headwaiter got some nice bread from the buffet (why did they only have it there?), which was just what we wanted, and from then on we had a few slices available every night. In the buffet the vegetable selection and salad bar could have been better. We were surprised that the buffet closed so early every night (9 pm). On Princess we could go do a run through the buffet after the show and see if we missed anything that we wanted to try. We liked Cafe Promenade but they needed more variety in their food offerings, especially the desserts. Lounges: This was the biggest disappointment. My boyfriend and I do a lot of partner dancing (ballroom, nightclub 2-step, swing, Argentine tango) and we love to dance on cruises. This ship had HORRIBLE floors for dancing. Nearly all of them were tile instead of wood, and every single floor was incredibly sticky so you couldn't turn or pivot on them; very bad for dancing since forcing turns can cause injuries. This was not the case on the Mariner so I don't know what they did to those floors. We and other dancing couples we met on the cruise complained about it but nothing was done until the last night. Also, the bands didn't start playing until quite late most nights, after 10 pm sometimes, and they all seemed to take breaks at about the same time. Also, the bands repeated their music a lot, especially the one up at the Cosmopolitan that seemed to play the same set of music every night. We were pretty tired of the songs by the end of the week. They also played too many of the same type of music in a row. Every good dance band knows that you need to vary your music! Cabin: We had an inside cabin, and with the beds pushed together, there is almost no room to get around the end of the bed due to furniture being right up against the end of the bed. I've never had that problem on any other cruise ship before. I like the shower with the shower doors though; much nicer than the curtains on Princess. Overall a good cruise, but I think we preferred our last cruise on Princess to this one due to the above issues. It was nice to get a chance to visit New Orleans though. We stayed 4 nights after the cruise and enjoyed seeing the sights there. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Our cruise began December 15, 2012. It was our first cruise and I was nervous about cruising with kids (ages 11 & 6). We got through the security lines in less than an hour and were able to walk to the suite check-in with no line. ... Read More
Our cruise began December 15, 2012. It was our first cruise and I was nervous about cruising with kids (ages 11 & 6). We got through the security lines in less than an hour and were able to walk to the suite check-in with no line. Be sure to look for it if you are staying in a suite, as it took the people who were in front of us an additional hour to get on the boat. By then, we had already unpacked, and started checking out the boat. We went to the Windjammer for a late lunch and finished just in time to get to or muster zone for the drill. After the drill we went to our room and finished setting up our room and getting ready for dinner. I was beginning to the see a pattern! My son decided the theme of our trip was: Eat. Sleep. Repeat! Our stateroom attendant, Yara, came in and met the kids, asked us questions about some of our preferences, and gave us some tips and ideas. We were doing the 6 pm first seating dinner for the week, the food and service were great. It was nice to be able to look out and watch the sea as we started dinner the first night but before dinner arrived my youngest was not feeling well so I took him to the room and we both went to sleep. Thankfully that was the only time we experienced any uneasy feelings during our cruise. Our waiter prepared our food and let them bring it up to us. It wasn't necessary but very appreciated when I woke up starving. We had room service deliver breakfast every morning so that we could get ready at our own pace. On the days we were at sea we had a late breakfast and on the days we were in port it was earlier depending on what time we had to get off the boat. We were at sea for the first three days and my kids ended up spending a lot of time in the Adventure Ocean program. The youngest loved it and would cry when I would pick him up. This was especially shocking for us as we thought that he would not want to be away from us. We even ended up letting him stay for the late night events twice. For $6 per child they can stay until 2 AM. We were never able to stay up quite that late but they did get to stay until midnight. One night they had an adorable pirate parade and they painted their faces and walked through the promenade chanting. It was very cute and they all were having fun. They had events planned for them the entire cruise. On the last day at sea they hosted a talent show in the Cosmopolitan Bar for them and I swear it was the cutest thing ever. My oldest had fun the first few days, but I didn't want him to be a self signer so he decided he would spend more time hanging out with us. We didn't spend nearly as much time at the pool as I thought we would, we only ended up going swimming once. The pools were to deep for my youngest to reach the ground. The ice skating show was a hit with everyone in our family. We played bingo and even won a little money. We enjoyed the entertainment each night and the morning show was funny. We even sent a few shout outs to other family members that were on board. Next time we will probably do two beach days and one adventure day for excursions. Maybe zip line or a dolphin encounter? Some of the things I was very glad to have were: air deodorizer, highlighters for the daily compass, pens, waterproof camcorder (go pro), and good walking sandals. I used the packing list found on cruise critic and we found ourselves very well prepared. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Cruise Review of Navigator of the Seas, December 8, 2012 About me: Love cruising - like to be active. Easy to please. Best thing: service, both housekeeper and waiters Worst thing: casino because of smokiness The cruise: Getting ... Read More
Cruise Review of Navigator of the Seas, December 8, 2012 About me: Love cruising - like to be active. Easy to please. Best thing: service, both housekeeper and waiters Worst thing: casino because of smokiness The cruise: Getting there. We live nine hours from New Orleans and four hours from a good airport, so we drove. Spent the night at a nice Sleep Inn ($59) near the airport - pick up a coupon book to get this rate. Visited the French Quarter in the morning, and stopped by the interesting old Catholic cemetery. Then used GPS to go to the port's parking lot. That was a mistake. We got a zigzag tour of the underbelly of the port area. Next time I will go back to I-10 and use the road signs to find the cruise port. Parking lot was poorly paved, and cost us $112 (could have saved $28 by parking offsite, but I would be in a hurry to leave New Orleans after the cruise.) We didn't see a porter until we'd walked most of the way to the terminal. Arrived at 2:30 in an attempt to let the crowds get on the ship -- didn't help, there was one slow line after another. Guess I'll go back to arriving early. The first thing we noticed about the ship was the slow elevators. As the cruise wore on, the elevators got slower and slower. Maybe it was because most passengers wanted to ride rather than to walk up or down a single level. Departure. The ship got away two hours late; I'm afraid this was because somebody had heart problems during the lifeboat drill. Kids on a riverboat tour went crazy when we waved at them. Another riverboat gave us a calliope concert. We passed a cruise ship while on the Mississippi River. Being on the river is a great part of a cruise out of New Orleans. Dining rooms. The main dining rooms are on decks 3 through 5, towards the rear of the ship. They are open in the middle, and it feels like one huge dining room. The chandeliers are spectacular. Noise level is low. The cafeteria is on deck 14. It is a no-frills place, with buffet lines in the middle of the cafeteria, but lots of seating near the windows. Breakfast. We always ate in the restaurant; breakfast was quite good, and there was no reason to go anywhere else. The menu had several selections, plus there is a buffet with fruits, yogurt and cereals. The cooks got my eggs right every time. One day my wife sent her Eggs Benedict back because the whites were runny. The host fills up each table, so there are lots of people to talk about the previous day's activities. Breakfast was the best part of most days. Lunch. The restaurants weren't open long for lunch. Since we had late seating supper, and usually ate breakfast fairly late, there was no opportunity to eat lunch in a restaurant. I ate in the cafeteria. The lettuce salads were fine. The hot food was poor, with the same selections every day. Bread pudding was good, but the other desserts were terrible. Supper (late seating, 8:30). Food was excellent. Even the frozen fish was cooked well. Wonderful prime rib, served on two different nights. Lobster was plentiful; one guy ordered and ate three lobsters. The cold, sweet soups were too sweet for my tastes. No escargot during the week. Chocolate desserts were tasty, and the parfaits were good. There were four of us at a table for eight -- we had very attentive service. Cabin. We had a balcony cabin. The balcony itself felt like public space; we couldn't see anyone, but we heard many conversations. Romantic, it was not. The cabin itself was roomy. Lots of sitting space, including a couch. The bathroom was plenty large, and the shower was big enough. Closets had lots of space. The dressers were way too small, but there were several shelves in the closet. The room was very quiet. We slept with the balcony door open on the first and last nights, as the weather was cool near the mainland. In the Caribbean, the weather was way too warm to enjoy being outside on the balcony at any time. Music. Ship band (big band / jazz) was mediocre. Pool band (vaguely reggae) was very good and had a wide repertoire. Jazz combo was pretty good. Violin and piano duo were nice. Other music was not impressive. There was little live music for such a large ship. Comedians. Azeem was hard to understand, so I didn't laugh much. He did a late night, "adult" set which I missed (poor reviews from people at breakfast.) The other comedian told the stalest of jokes; but a young lady sitting near us thought they were hilarious. Ice skating program. Surprisingly good. I'd rather pull out my fingernails than watch ice skating on television. But these were real people doing honest ice dancing. If they missed a jump or had to recover from an awkward lift, it just made the show all the better. Musician Travis LeDoyt. Elvis impersonator. He performed as the young, rockabilly Elvis. He also did some Jerry Lee Lewis style music. Crazy entertaining. El Gaucho. Musician, visual artist, and loon. Fun to watch. Ballroom Dancing show. After being pleasantly surprised by the ice dancing, LeDoyt and El Gaucho, we decided to try this show. The ballroom dancing couple was very good, but the show was boring. We left early. Casino. It is the last refuge for cigarette smokers, and almost every gambler sported a lit cigarette. The exhaust system was overwhelmed. Only people who seriously love second hand smoke should go to the casino. Usually on a seven day cruise, there are stories about somebody who won a bunch of money. Only one rumor reached my ears -- at breakfast a guy said he saw someone doing okay at some roulette style game; the other diners at my table were incredulous. Activities. My wife went to a belly dancing class; they changed the location, and the class was half over by the time she finally found it. I am a piano instructor, and so went to a piano lesson to see how they teach it; nobody came to the lesson. The ship also offered one hour classes in napkin folding, ballroom dancing, Spanish speaking, and other things. My wife enjoyed the belly flop contest and the sexy man contest. Bingo on the ship was way over-hyped, and that was my clue to do something else. Poor art auctioneer could barely speak English, and he didn't sell much the one time I watched. CruiseCritic Meet and Greet. Had an invitation in the cabin that the get-together would be held at 11:30 PM on the third day. Then someone called and said it was changed to 11:00 AM on the second day. We had a good time visiting with other people who got that mistaken message. When it actually started at 11:30, it was disappointing. There were too many people in a room with no windows. They served us seriously bad Kool-Aid. Walking track and jogging track. Deck 4 circles the ship outdoors. Toward the front of the ship, this track detours to deck 5; that is an added bonus to serious walkers. There were several shuffleboard courts that were well used. Many deck chairs were available, but were mostly vacant. This track is above and beside public areas, so early morning walkers don't disturb anyone. The jogging track is on deck 12, above the pool. It is fairly short, and wound around the chairs which faced the pool; and so, jogging is difficult during daylight hours. Promenade. Artfully laid out. Besides obligatory liquor store and cruise clothing store, there were small bars -- coffee, ice cream, beer, and champagne. Only problem was that wide tables (used to sell trinkets) blocked traffic through the area. And a huge Christmas tree blocked traffic at the other end. On formal night, graceful stairways were used as a photo prop. To travel between front and rear of the ship, we usually avoided the deck 5 promenade and used the walking track or casino on deck 4. Recreation. The rock climbing wall was more of a competition venue for teens than a recreational area. It was only open during short hours. The basketball court was good. The miniature golf course was difficult because there were no walls against which to carom a shot. There were side by side pools; somebody told me that one was fresh water and the other salt. Lots of hot tubs. Another pool and hot tubs were in a part of the ship that was supposed to be child-free; the walls were so close that it seemed more like an indoor swimming pool. An in-line skating track was very short. The ice skating rink had open skating only a few times during the cruise. Getting off the ship. There were no debarkation announcements in the cabins or restaurants. We didn't know that it had been delayed for an hour and a half. Breakfast was slow, even though we were in the restaurant when it opened at 6:30. Once in the terminal, the waiting line for people carrying all their luggage off the ship was incredibly slower than the line for people who had checked their bags; so people with early exit times were out the door before the self-porters. Summary. Many RCI customers have a notion that Royal Caribbean is some kind of luxury line. Maybe it is. Those people were disappointed by the Navigator. The Navigator has some very nice things, but it is definitely not luxurious; it is a little nicer than ships of the same size from Carnival and Norwegian. I'd go again on an RCI ship, especially if they continue to cruise out of New Orleans & Galveston. But there is no reason to pay more for a Navigator cruise than for any of the mass market cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
A little background: ADA cruiser lugging medical support stuff. We arrived at the terminal at the time stated on the documents (11am) and were told rather rudely we couldn't get into the terminal until 1pm. So here I am, an ADA ... Read More
A little background: ADA cruiser lugging medical support stuff. We arrived at the terminal at the time stated on the documents (11am) and were told rather rudely we couldn't get into the terminal until 1pm. So here I am, an ADA (Americans with Disiabilities Act) person, having to stand outside in the cold for two hours. RCCL to the rescue: one of their agents heard the discussion and went inside and brought me a chair. When we finally boarded, we were told it would be another hour before we could go to our cabins. Went to the Windjammer;it had a line out to the pool area. FINALLY got to the cabin, luggage had arrived--but not the medical supplies (finally located at 11pm). This ship is not for older persons. It's a long way from the forward elevators to the dining areas and from the dining areas to the showroom. (And anywhere else for that matter). Dining: Food has slipped a few steps on RCCL. So has service. Waiter was ok. Assistant waiter was very good. Housekeeping:Best feature of the ship (considering my medical requirements), he just rolled with the flow and was REAL nice about it. Windjammer wasn't like the Windjammers of old on the Rhapsody, Sovereign, and others. Food wasn't as good, presentation wasn't as efficient, area wasn't as clean, and dining area manager was not as nice. Neither was the manager of the forum sandwich shop (NEVER saw him smile once during the entire week. (Sandwich shop was was GREAT for a snack or quick coke or coffee or tea). Shore tours? Efficiently handled and good. Shows? WOW! One bad one out of many! Ice show was REALLY good. Casino? It's a casino, but very comprehensive (needs another poker table imho!) Bars and Bar service? Very good. Especially late night jazz in the Crown and Anchor and the Schooner Bar. It sounds like we had a terrible time, but I'm being critical here. Summary: I never thought I would ever say that RCCL has slipped a few notches, but they have. But it's still a FAR better cruise experience than the big "C." Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Last July when deciding where to go for our pre-Christmas vacation my wife and I looked at several options we finally decided to try a Western Caribbean cruise and after looking at several ships and intenerates we decided since we have not ... Read More
Last July when deciding where to go for our pre-Christmas vacation my wife and I looked at several options we finally decided to try a Western Caribbean cruise and after looking at several ships and intenerates we decided since we have not been to New Orleans and after not getting the response we wanted from Carnival we decided to book our cruise on Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas. Since our departure was in mid-December and we were not sure of what the weather would be and we wanted to see some of New Orleans before leaving on our cruise we decided to fly in the night before our cruise. After leaving our home at 11:00 AM on Friday, December 14, 2012 we arrived in New Orleans around 6:30 PM and were in our hotel room at the Drury Inn by 7:30 PM. We found the Drury on the forums on the Cruise Critic. The hotel was excellent and after waling over to the French Quarter to have dinner at the Bourbon House and stopping at a local CVC to get some last minute items that we needed for our trip we had a nice night. On Saturday morning we had a wonderful breakfast we went out and walked around the French Quarter where we visited Jackson Square and stopped at Cafe Du Monde for coffee and beignets then it was back to the hotel to pick up our luggage and to check out. At 12:15 PM we were in a cab and heading to the Julia Street cruise ship terminal. By 12:30 PM and after waiting in line we were at the entrance to the terminal and since we had all ready tagged our bags we dropped them off with the porter and made our was in side the terminal where we waited on four lines was to show our ticket and id to enter the second line which was for security these lines went pretty fast the third line was to enter to line for check in to combat the Norovirus everyone had to use hand sanitize before proceeding to the line for check in as part of the check in process both my wife and my self had to fill out a heal form stating we were not exposed to the flu or any flue like virus after that was done we received our SeaPass cards and it was off to the gangway where the cards were activated and welcome photo were taken. We then headed to deck 10 where our cabin was ready and we found our shore excursion tickets, tickets to Sundays Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle. After dropping off our carry on bags we went up to the Windjammer on deck 11 for lunch around 2:00 PM. Before heading to the buffet I bought the unlimited soda package. However it should be noted that the soda selection are limited on the Navigator has the ship has not been outfitted with the new Coke machines that Royal Caribbean is rolling out through out its fleet. After checking out the menu for Chops the ships steakhouse it was off to the buffet which featured two identical lines beginning with Jade the ships Asian buffet then the Windjammer line which featured a salad bar, pizza, sandwiches then an area with various hot foods and desert bar. We found that some of the hot food was not has hot as it should have been. I had two Hot Dogs that were nicely grilled but that the ship used sandwich rolls instead of buns for the food. After lunch we headed back to our cabin where we found our bags had been delivered so we began the process of unpacking. The closet in the cabin had plenty of hangers and there was ample space all of our clothes the only problem was storing our luggage since the storage space in the cabin was limited so one our carry on bags were stored in one of our larger pieces of luggage. At 4:00 PM we headed to our muster station for the life boat drill. Unlike our previous two cruises attendance was taking at the drill I could not determine if this was done in response to the Costa Concordia disaster. At the conclusion of the drill the ships Captain Frank Martinsen gave a briefing on the ships course and departure time we then processed up to deck to get some photos and to watch the ship depart. Since we had to wait for the Carnival Elation to depart and to get down river. We finally pulled away and were underway at 5:05 PM about thirty five minutes after departure the ship used it reversers to pull away from the dock it then made a 180 degree turn in the Mississippi River to head south to the Gulf of Mexico after watching New Orleans disappear in the distance we went down to the Royal Promenade on deck 5 to have a drink and watch the Circus Parade which featured the ships entertainment staff and Jimmy Rhodes our cruise director. After reviewing the menu for dinner and being tired we had dinner at the buffet and went to bed early since we were both tired. Before going to bed I did check out the ships on board TV which was quite limited and was really geared to times when the ship is cursing the medterian since it had 4 different channels for moves in foreign languages and no CNN International in English. Sunday was the first of three Sea days we both got up and were well rested after getting dressed we then headed to the Windjammer deck where we had a nice breakfast but what we also found was that the Omelets were premade and most of the hot food was not hot at all which was a pattern that continued for the rest of our trip. After breakfast we wanted to work our on the treadmills in the fitness center but all of the treadmills were in use so we walked on the walking/jogging track on deck 12. At 9:30 AM I left my wife to wait on line to get tickets to one of the 4 Ice shows in Studio B the ships Ice Rink. After working out we changed and did some shopping along the Royal Promenade for souvenirs which we bought. At 11:30 AM we headed to the Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle which was in the Dungeons the ships disco which was rather small and cramped for the size of the crowed and there were not enough food or gifts for every one who attended. Since we arrived late our gifts were derived a day later to our room. After the meet and mingle and having made our way to the bow of the ship on deck 5 we went and has a delicious lunch in the Nutcracker Dinning Room after lunch and checking out that evenings dinner menu we returned to our room while I checked the lone NFL game available on the TV then we had a delicious snack at the Cafe on the Royal Promenade. We then got dressed for the first of two formal nights on the cruise where we went to the Captains Reception and got our photos taken with the Captain along with several of the other photo stations before going to dinner and that evenings show Ballroom Fever which my wife enjoyed but I found to be rather slow. Before going to bed since the ship was heading into the Eastern Time Zone our clocks had be set forward one hour. Monday was also spent at sea since I wanted Eggs Benedict and it was not available in the Windjammer we had a much better breakfast in the main dinning room. After breakfast we checked out our photos from forma night and bought a water camera. After setting up the new camera we went to the sports deck where we played some minnture golf. After playing golf I had lunch at Johnny Rockets which was well worth the $4.95 cover charge since I had a meal that if I bought it on shore would have cost me around $10-12.00 including tip was a great deal. Since I had Johnny Rockets my wife had her lunch at Jade and had a massage at the ships spa. While she was at the Spa I went and checked out the observation window into the bridge where there was not very much activity going on since we were just cursing along at sea and I went to the Viking Crown to have a drink in the lounge. After picking my wife up at the Spa we had a snack on the Royal Promenade and went to the evening's show which was El Gaucho which was a little bit of music, comedy and some work with the rope. We then had dinner and later that evening we went to the 70's disco party on the Royal Promenade which we found since the shows were sill open to be rather small and cramped for a party which may have been better to have had on the upper deck by the pool. It was then to bead as the next day was the first of three port days. Tuesday was the first of three days in port after breakfast went up on deck to watch our arrival at the Royal Caribbean built dock at the historic town of Falmouth, Jamaica this time the ship was backed into the port. Once we were cleared to debark we got off and proceeded to join our shore excursion which was an excellent trip to the Duns River Falls our guide Charm and our driver Peter were terrific as they brought us to the Falls where we were introduced to Tamara Douse who is the only female guide at the falls who brought us up the falls safely and it was a memorable experience on the way back to the ship we stopped at Columbus Park for a chance to have some Jamaican Barbeque. The excursion returned us to the ship by 2:00 PM which gave us time to clean up and get off the ship to check out the shops returning to the ship at 4:30 PM. At 6:00 PM we went up on deck to watch the ship sail off. Although we had tickets for the 9:00 PM Ice Show that would have meant having diner at 7:00 PM and we were not yet hungry so we went to Studio B where we were permitted to attend the 7:00 PM show since it was not "sold out". While it was strange to be watching a skating show while sailing the Caribbean the show was outstanding was the best show we attended on the entire cruise. Then we had dinner and went to bed since it was going to be an early arrival at our next port of call. Wednesday morning had us getting up early since it was an early arrival in our next port which was on Grand Cayman since the island doe not have a port our ship had to anchor off shore and every one was brought over in small ferries. It was here we were joined by sister ship Jewel of the Seas and Holland America's Westerdam. unlike the Holland America's ship which carries it's own tenders we had to use local ferries that tendered everyone to shore in groups of 200. Even tough our shore excursion was not until 10:00 AM we came ashore early so that we could do some shipping in the port. The shore excursion was Turtle, Stingray Land and Sea Adventure. Our guide LeRoy was good the trip started with a visit to a place called Hell that was only worth visiting due to it's unique name we then vested the Tortuga Rum Cake factory which was basically a store where you can try Rum or Rum Cake and was very crowded. The next stop was the Turtle farm which was very interesting. The last stop was at our excursion boat which took us out to Sting Ray City which is a sandbar where you can get in the water and encounter the Sting Rays after about an hour we returned to meet our guide who got us back to the port to get in line to be transferred back to the ship after getting cleaned up we went up to the Windjammer to get some lunch as we watched the Caymans Sail off into the horizon. For our sail to Cozumel we were joined by the Jewel and Westerdam. That evening we attended the concert by a band called Revolution which was a" Beatles Tribute" band that was very good since we did not want to get dressed as it was smart causal night and did not like the selections in the dining room we decided to have dinner in the Windjammer and at 11:00 PM we went to the pool deck to attend the deck party and to have snacks. Thursday we woke up got dressed had breakfast and as the ship was arriving in Cozumel, Mexico where in addition to the Jewel and Westerdan we were joined by Carnival's Triumph. We repotted to the Metropolis Theater where every one who was going on an excursion was given a sticker so they would no who was being transferred to the mainland we were then escorted off the ship first and transferred to a dedicated ferry which brought us the Play Del Carmen where we met our tour guide Andres who brought us to our motor coach for our 90 minute drive to Coba which was one of the many Mayan cities located through the Yucatan Peninsula it was very interesting as we were given a tour of the ruins than we got back on the coach and brought back to Playa del Carmen where we were brought to a restaurant that was in a former cave for lunch and a Mayan Cultural Show and were than brought back to the ferry for transfer back to the Navigator. The trip would have been better if the lunch and show were replaced with a stop where we could have had lunch have done some shopping. The dedicated ferry got us back to the ship a little after 5:30 PM which gave us time to get ready for the last formal night where we attended a show called All Access and then had dinner in the main dining room where we asked by our head waiter and table waiter to make sure you give the food service good rating on the survey. Friday we were at sea and we had planned on going to the pool however the ship had encountered a frontal system with high winds and rough seas and as a result the pools and the upper decks were closed. This also resulted in the Walk for Whishes to be cancelled. After breakfast we did one last round of shopping on the Royal Promenade we went a played some bingo. After lunch in the Windjammer we completed our packing and prepared our bags to be picked up, we gave our room steward his tip and returned our surveys. We then went to the farewell show featuring the comedy of Bud Andersen which was terrific and the final farewell number featured the entertainment staff and some of the ships crew along with a taped farewell message from the Captain we then had one final dinner returned to our room to put our bags out had one last drink in the Cosmopolitan Club and then it was off to bed as it would be an early day. Saturday was another early wake up as we were scheduled to arrive in New Orleans at 6:00 AM. We had one last breakfast in the Windjammer then returned to our room to make sure we had packed every thing grabbed our carry on's and since we decided to take a New Orleans City tour with an airport transfer we reported to the Metropolis Theatre where were given a stick identifying us as taking the city tour and were escorted off the Navigator one last time. When we arrived in the baggage area only one of our bags was in the designated area. I then approached a porter who said that some times the tags come off the bags and directed me to the area where the bags without tags would be left I went there still no bags I then approached anther representative with the port agent who was basically of very little help sting they would only assist once all the bag's were off loaded while waiting I noticed a large number of bags under zones whose passengers would have all ready debarked from the ship so I started looking and found our other bag without tag placed in a different zone location instead of in the area for bags without tags. We then proceeded through customs and out to where our motor coach was our guide Chris was ok but the tour gave us a chance to see the rest of the city by 12:00 Noon we were dropped at the New Orleans Airport for our flight home. Overall we thought the cruise was good but was not as good as Carnival which offers better food service than Royal Caribbean would we sail again on Royal Caribbean we would but only if Royal Caribbean was the only option. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We booked a cruise from cheapcruises at the end of August for sailing immediately after Thanksgiving. When we booked the cruise, there was some back and forth e-mails with the agent. About a month before departure, we got an e-mail telling ... Read More
We booked a cruise from cheapcruises at the end of August for sailing immediately after Thanksgiving. When we booked the cruise, there was some back and forth e-mails with the agent. About a month before departure, we got an e-mail telling us we needed to preregister. I delayed acting on this e-mail because I was traveling for work, but registered about 7 days in advance. The website said we missed the 10-day cut off to have luggage tags mailed to us, but that a porter would help. (We later found that no one got luggage tags mailed to them regardless of how early you registered). Then about 3 days before the cruise, we realized we never received details on the cruise, no communication from RC what so ever. We are experienced cruisers, but wanted some specific details. My wife called the 1-800 number for RC and talked to a lady. We asked about the number of formal nights so we would know how to pack. The service lady told us that Navigator exclusively had "My Time" dining and that it was all casual. My wife asked that we had requested late dining and was told that no longer an option. The lady again confirmed there was no other option other than my time dining. We also asked if we could bring a bottle or two of wine. We were told that absolutely no alcohol or any beverages of any kind could be brought on board. We get to New Orleans and board the ship. As we were waiting in line to get our Sea Passes, we noticed another family with two large cases of water. Not sure if he made it on board, but we had already been though several checkpoints at that time. Anyway, we get on board. Since we don't normally spend much time in the stateroom, we normally just get inside staterooms on a lower deck. But, this ship had a promenade and we though we would give it a shot. We loved the room. Anytime, day or night you could look out and see people walking buy and enjoying drinks at the pub right below our windows. The artificial light in the promenade is matched to the real light outside. We thought it was really neat. The room is also the largest we have ever had with a 2 person loveseat in front of the window and a 2nd loveseat on the side of the room between the bed and the window. We were very impressed. One disappointment. New Orleans is quite a ways up the Mississippi river from the Gulf of Mexico. I think we spent about 6 hours each way cruising the Mississippi. All of the travel was at night. I think it would have been cool to see the cruise down the river. A summer cruise where the sun sets later would have allowed this, but in November, the sun set as we departed port. As we were sailing on the Mississippi, my wife was talking with another passenger and confirmed that traditional dinning was still available. She noted on our Sea Pass, that we did indeed have late dining and pointed out our table number. So, at this point we knew, the 2 formal night would be enjoyed in my "Formal Polo Shirt". RC lie #1. When we do get to dinner, we are seated at a 6-top table with 2 other couples similar in age to us. One of the wives, Sue, was telling us about the wine she brought on board. I guess you are allowed 1 bottle per person (or stateroom not sure which). You just have to show it to security when boarding. RC lie #2. Towards the end of day #2, a sea day, the captain got on the PA system and said that overnight 25 people had reported Norovirus symptoms, and that if we experienced vomiting and/or diarrhea, that we should call the desk for further instructions. By the morning, they were up to 50 cases, and at that point, we could no longer serve ourselves food at the buffets. As soon as you got up from a table, they cleared the dishes and cleaned with this stuff in a purple bottle. There was a crew of maybe 10 people that just roamed the ship, day and night, wiping down elevators, hand rails, and anything that might get touched. By the end of the cruise, they had 180 cases (not all active at the same time). Here are my thoughts. They told us the carrier was tracked down to a family of 5 that came from Australia. So, if you are sick, be honest with the cruise line. There are 4-5000 passengers and crew in a small confined area. Illness spreads exponentially. Out of respect for fellow passengers, just be honest. It is possible that they got infected on the flight and didn't know they were sick prior to boarding, so I can't blame them if they honestly didn't know. Royal Caribbean, I think, did a great job of containing this. I enjoyed being served food at the buffets. This cruise had an older crowd and so many people would stand in front of the pan of fried chicken, for example, looking for that perfect piece. I thought the lines moved quicker because you got the piece of chicken they gave you. We had one of the couples at dinner get quarantined, two different people at an adjacent table, and at least 4 staterooms in our hallway had quarantined passengers (yellow square over their door). So, people were getting sick all around us, but luckily, we avoided it. One thing I think RC did not do a good job of, was providing details of the illness, like how it is transmitted, incubation time, etc. If you are going to take a cruise, I would print out details from the internet on Norovirus and take it with you. I would also recommend watching the movie "Contagion". It is not the best movie I have seen, but it really drives home how these things spread. The first two nights of dinning, none of us through the food was that good. There was some kind of seafood skewer that most of the table got one night, and the sauce on it tasted weird. However, friends of ours got that in early dining and thought it was fantastic. Apart from that, the food wasn't bad, it was just below average. The head waiter stopped by and asked how everything was going, and we mentioned that the food was sub-par. He apologized. For the remainder of the cruise, the food was very good. So, I don't know how all of that transpired, but they definitely took care of the situation. Overall the on-ship staff was fantastic. The entertainment was very good. One thing most of the passengers noted was that there was no way the ship was full. Usually we get to the shows early to make sure we get a seat, but we never saw the theater more than 1/2 full. We never waited in line for food and never had problem getting a lounge chair by the pool. One thing I have said is that every cruise we have taken is worse than the one before. As the ships keep getting bigger and bigger and there are more and more ships, coupled with a declining economy, the cruise lines have to deeply discount fares, and that can only mean that have to cut corners. I am happy to say, this cruise broke the trend. It was not the best, but it did land somewhere in the middle, and cost about 20% of what the best cost us. The last couple cruises, the staff has been downright aggressive in pushing alcohol and photos, and they scaled back to an acceptable level. A bartender was available if you wanted a drink, but if you just wanted to lay by the pool and read or sleep, they weren't interrupting you every 5 minutes to see if you wanted a "Bahama Mamma" or whatever. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
The food on this cruise is the worst that I have ever experienced on a cruise. There was not food available on the pool deck and swim suits were not allowed in the Windjammer buffet, so you would have to get dressed to go eat. They ... Read More
The food on this cruise is the worst that I have ever experienced on a cruise. There was not food available on the pool deck and swim suits were not allowed in the Windjammer buffet, so you would have to get dressed to go eat. They were extremely slow about clearing tables in the buffet. There was a lot of socializing among the crew when they should have been working. Supervisors would join in on the socializing. Who was minding the store? The food in the dining rooms was not good either. We ate at Johnny Rockets and Chopps a couple of times. The food in these venues was good, but it should have been because you pay a premium to eat there. If you wanted a late night snack and did not want to eat in your room there was only one place to get something. They had pre-made cold sandwiches, pizza under a heat lamp sponge cake and cookies. The pizza was not even grocery store quality. The bars where there was live music were small and so smoke filled you could not enjoy it if you were even able to find a seat. The ship was hot in all areas even the stateroom. Two days into the cruise there was a Norovirus outbreak. There were over 102 reported cases. This put a damper on the cruise for fear of catching it. The staff had to be pulled from other duties to constantly disinfect the public areas. The service on the ship suffered. I spoke with several seasoned cruisers and they expressed the same complaints that I had, so I feel I was not being over critical. Now please do not get me wrong we had a great time on the cruise but it was not to the standards that we are accustomed to. We were told that other ships in the RC line were great, that it was just the bad management of this ship. I may give one of their other ships a try but I could not recommend the Navigator of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
We did this same cruise at the same time last year but on Voyager instead of Navigator, so the ship layout was same. Once again we stayed at Hampton Inn, Metarie, where we left our car for no charge for the week. Embarked before noon and ... Read More
We did this same cruise at the same time last year but on Voyager instead of Navigator, so the ship layout was same. Once again we stayed at Hampton Inn, Metarie, where we left our car for no charge for the week. Embarked before noon and headed for Two Poets for drinks and food from Cafe. Our jr suite included a coffee maker, robes, and walk-in closet. Very clean and tidy. Dinner was early seating in MDR at ten top with very congenial tablemates. Ate all dinners and several lunches there. One meal in WJ was enough. Missed pool grill that is on other ships. Never went to shows(music usually too loud), casino, or pool. Mostly ate, drank, and slept. These were same ports we had done twice before. In Cozumel we enjoyed the chocolate factory tour that we booked on-line. In Georgetown we took an independent tour of rum cake factory etc. In Falmouth we stayed in port and shopped. Norovirus meant crew was constantly washing railings and not allowing passengers to serve own food. The last night all glasses were removed from our room until I bitterly complained about having nothing to use while taking pm and am pills. Why could they not leave us paper cups? The last morning we left our cabin early for the written promise of refreshments in dining room while waiting to disembark. No food available. Were they afraid we would get sick while leaving ship? 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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