Sail Date: November 2013
Nov. 3 we boarded the Navigator of the Seas for the sixth time. The difference, this time it's 21 days and every day was fantastic. The staff and crew were so friendly and helpful from our wait staff in My Time Dining, Francisco & ... Read More
Nov. 3 we boarded the Navigator of the Seas for the sixth time. The difference, this time it's 21 days and every day was fantastic. The staff and crew were so friendly and helpful from our wait staff in My Time Dining, Francisco & Carlo, probably the best we've had in over 20 cruises. On the first 7 day cruise we had a small problem with a bar server in the Two Poets but she was going home at the end of that trip and her replacement was the very best. Guest Relations staff managed to be pleasant and helpful through it all, and just everyone on board went out of there way to be helpful and share a laugh with any of the nine people in our group. I do have to say the Nav. is getting tired but should be addressed come January when she goes into dry dock for a major overhaul. Something we've found on the last few cruises is the entertainment in the theatre is not what it used to be in the early days (5 to 7 years ago). I would have to say that this back to back cruise would have to be right up there in the top (favorite) three cruises we have been fortunate to have taken. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2013
We love cruising and we love Royal Caribbean but we did not love our experience on Navigator of the Seas! Embarkation at Civitavecchia was straight forward and efficient, as was disembarkation at Barcelona, any problems we encountered ... Read More
We love cruising and we love Royal Caribbean but we did not love our experience on Navigator of the Seas! Embarkation at Civitavecchia was straight forward and efficient, as was disembarkation at Barcelona, any problems we encountered were in between. We had the soda package but most of the fountain soda machines were broken and the bars were serving soft drinks from large bottles meaning they were warm and had no carbonation unless you were lucky to get the first glass from the bottle! When we complained about it we were treated really badly as apparently we should have complained sooner - we were giving them a chance to fix it. I think there was a staff corridor above our cabin and it was so noisy from the sounds of trolleys being rolled up and down, day and night. We can sleep through pretty much anything but this was a pain in the neck. We had one sea day and were looking forward to lunch in the MDR but when we got there they were closing even though there was still over an hour to go according to the Cruise Compass. Food in the Windjammer wasn't as good as other cruises - it was lukewarm at best. Overall we were actually happy to leave the cruise - a first for us :( Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
Took a short cruise from Rome to Barcelona stopping at Naples. Malta, Sardinia, Mallorca, and ending in Barcelona. The stop in Malta had to be aborted due to foul weather and was replaced by a stop at Messina in Sicily. Navigator was ... Read More
Took a short cruise from Rome to Barcelona stopping at Naples. Malta, Sardinia, Mallorca, and ending in Barcelona. The stop in Malta had to be aborted due to foul weather and was replaced by a stop at Messina in Sicily. Navigator was large, clean and in pretty good shape given that is was heading across the ocean after the Barcelona stop for its refit. The ship was full but handles its capacity very well. There never seemed to be bottlenecks or crowding even in the Windjammer. It was my first time on this size of ship having cruised several times in Radiance and Vision class ships and I think that overall I prefer them. The theater is stunning though and the ice skating rink kind of neat. The main interior promenade will appeal to folks who like hanging out at the mall but it didn't appeal to me. The crew was well organized and friendly from my steward to the bar staff to the front desk. My dining room waiter seemed to lack confidence and got flustered easily but the assistant waiter and the section captain picked up the slack. Food was generally well presented and tasty though not gourmet - good quality banquet fare and now standardized across the fleet which probably pleases the cost accountants but bores the regular RCL cruisers like me. Likewise The Windjammer was fine with good curries though soups were salty and thinly flavored. Proper Bangers at breakfast were a surprise. An extra cost meal at Portofino was very tasty and well worth the $20 surcharge though the service was rather robotic and automatic. To that note Royal Caribbean needs to end the hokey practice of wasting our time and patience by making their waiters "describe my menu" whether the diners want it or not. We have repeatedly said "Its not necessary" but they forge on relentlessly obviously obeying some strict rule. Just ask "Would you like me to describe the menu?" and let us decide. We enjoyed drinks at the Champagne Bar and atop the ship in the Viking Lounge. The dungeon nightclub (a disco) was loud but amusing for a late night tipple. My inside cabin seemed a bit smaller than its brothers on the smaller ships but has the standard Royal Caribbean fittings and fixtures. The bed was comfortable and the climate control and all the plumbing worked fine. My unobtrusive steward kept it all clean and tidy and left me wanting for nothing. It being a port intensive cruise we didn't bother with too many of the ships activities or being tired at the end of sightseeing, the entertainment so I cannot comment on either. What Royal Caribbean is perfecting is getting people on and off the ship both at the beginning and end of the cruise and at the port stops. Embarkation took about 5 minutes. Disembarkation? If you can haul your own suitcase, leave when you want up to 9:30 am. Ports? Never a lineup or logjam off or on. They really are good at this. All in all a fine cruise from a company that has their product down pat. As a tip, we took the fast train that leaves Termini Station in Rome about noon to the port at Civitavecchia which takes about 38 minutes flat. It cost 9 euros each (we got the lowest fare possible). The walk from the train station to the port entrance along the seafront is a pleasant 10 minutes. You won't get lost - two dozen passengers like you are making the same trek. There are regular free shuttle buses from the port entrance to the ship itself. Cheap and simple! I will be back with RCL again for sure but I think I prefer their smaller ships over the larger.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
Spent one night in the Port town of Civitaveccia (Rome) pre cruise at the hotel San Gorgio. Embarkation was very quick & efficient & found ourselves on board by lunchtime. The ship is very large & beautiful. It is maintained ... Read More
Spent one night in the Port town of Civitaveccia (Rome) pre cruise at the hotel San Gorgio. Embarkation was very quick & efficient & found ourselves on board by lunchtime. The ship is very large & beautiful. It is maintained very well with only small wear & tear marks here & there. We had a large balcony room on the hump on Deck 7. The location was very handy to the lifts. The design & storage areas of the room made for a very pleasant cabin. Entertainment was good overall, not as good as I have seen on other cruises but still enjoyable. The times or nights of the week they chose to do some of the main shows didn't seem to flow well with this particular cruise. Food in the Buffet was quite good with plenty of choices & little to no lines to wait for food. Looking for a table in peak times seemed to take longer than getting your food. The dining room is a large beautiful room however we thought the food was just ok. Not bad in any way, just not brilliant either. This is our second cruise on RCI & in my opinion we have enjoyed the dining room experience more on other lines such as Carnival, Costa, & Celebrity. We had My Time Dining as we usually do on most cruises & the waiters on this cruise were good but not as good as we have come across. The Promenade café was good & handy for a snack & Johnny Rockets is always a bit of good old fun. Most of the staff seemed fairly friendly & approachable. The captain was often seen at events however he always seemed to speak like he was reading from a script he had rehearsed many times before. I realise English was not his first language but his speeches didn't always seem to come from the heart. Didn't use the pool as weather was bit cold for it but did make use of Hot Tubs, as well as enjoy other outdoor facilities like mini golf, walking track, etc. Disembarkation in Barcelona was also very quick. We just walked off with our own bags & once outside of the Terminal we paid to have our bags taken to the airport for us by a local company while we jumped in a Taxi & explored Barcelona on our own for a few hours before going to the airport later in the day. This was a very Port intensive cruise so we did not get to enjoy the ship to it's fullest but with the right Itinerary I would sail this ship again & overall we had a great cruise.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2013
This review was for the back to back transatlantic cruises November 3 - November 24, 2013. I have traveled several times with Royal Caribbean as well as six other cruise lines but this cruise was the worst for grumpy staff, maintenance ... Read More
This review was for the back to back transatlantic cruises November 3 - November 24, 2013. I have traveled several times with Royal Caribbean as well as six other cruise lines but this cruise was the worst for grumpy staff, maintenance issues, poor service, poor quality of food, and staff that had no clue on how to perform their basic duties. However, there were some outstanding individuals that always went above and beyond what was their job. Those individuals were Mikhail and Jaime table 318 in the main dining room, Carlo Bangkas - server in My Time Dining and Windjammer, and No No - Maitre d' in My Time Dining. Each one of them always had a smile on their face and were willing to solve any problem. They gave over 100% ever single day. Royal should be proud of these individuals. The cruise overall was just okay but one had to deal with issues on a daily basis that really took away from the cruise experience. Some of these issues are as follows: 1. Ran out of Diet Coke for the final 4 days of the cruise at several bars, Windjammer and at the Diamond and Concierge lounge. When asked when Diet Coke would be available the staff would just shrug their shoulder and tell you to try another bar. I finally had a supervisor go get me a Diet Coke as I was in the Windjammer (deck 11) and I had enough of searching for my drink that I had paid for in the drink package. The supervisor had to go to deck 3 before Diet Coke could be found. This is not acceptable. 2. Internet connection was so slow it took over 6 minutes at 75 cents a minute to connect in. No one from Royal around to help anyone with their connection problems. I did help several people as some of the computers were not working. I finally went to Guest Services and explained the problem and asked for a full refund. No problem was the answer but upon checking my bill Guest Services only gave me credit for the unused internet. 3. I received an invitation to a top tier Crown and Anchor event. However, upon arriving at the venue I was refused entry! The staff was down right nasty and rude stating that I did not belong at that event and to leave. The next day I received another invite to another top tier Crown and Anchor event for 2:30 pm that day. However, I only received that invite at noon and I was off the ship as it was a port day. Furthermore, I then received a letter apologizing for the problems with the top tier event and to come on down at 2:30 pm the next day. I did not bother at that point as the staff had treated me so rudely that I just did not feel like Royal really cared about this customer. 4. I went into the General Store and prices on the liquor were not displayed. Upon speaking with a supervisor as to how one finds out what the price is I was told to go ask the guy behind the counter as they were doing a reset. Keep in mind that this store was closed the first week of the cruise and that prices never did appear for the rest of the cruise. The supervisor was also very rude and said go call Royal as it is not his problem. 5. The majority of the staff appeared as if they just did not want to be on this cruise ship. Several passengers that I talked to stated the same thing. The big joke on the ship was ask for something three times before you will get an answer other then a NO! 6. I did go to Sabatini's specialty restaurant and was highly disappointed. The dinner took over three hours and the service was not up to standards. Dirty dishes were not cleared for over twenty minutes and my Diet Coke was never refilled. I could make some allowances if they were busy but there were only 4 tables being used. I was not impressed at all. 7. The spa was always running out of towels for the men's and women's locker room. I had to ask several times for a towel and waited one time for over ten minutes. 8. In the men's locker room there are six showers. Out of the six showers, four were broken where the temperature could not be adjusted. This was reported several times by various cruisers. Maintenance did try to do a fix but they never did get it right until the very end of the cruise. There were still two showers that were broken even after fixing them. Also, the showers would not be properly stocked with soap. This was a problem throughout the cruise. 9. I could not disembark the ship on my final day as there was a problem with my account even though I had been down to Guest Services the night before to ensure there were no problems. The problem with my account is that no credit card was on file for the two week cruise even though I had filled out the paperwork for both cruises. This seemed to be a problem for a lot of back to back cruisers in that information was not properly transferred. Upon going back down to the gangway all disembarkation had stopped. After waiting twenty minutes people tried to cut in line several times due to the poor crowd control. Finally I was able to get off the ship and upon arriving at Customs they wanted to know what the hold up was as they have been sitting around not doing a thing for the last twenty minutes. Once again Royal staff had no clue on how to perform their duties. I was on the Navigator of the Seas in April, for the Transatlantic crossing, and I did not run into these problems at all. The quality of staff on this ship has gone downhill so far that I will not be back on this ship. Keep in mind that I had a good time on the cruise but the problems I encountered is not what I paid for. I would hope someone from Royal would contact me regarding these problems but I seriously doubt Royal cares about the customer anymore. This is the attitude that I received from the majority of staff. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2013
I say second "Cruise of a Lifetime" because this is our second trip to The Mediterranean! Our first was our 25th Anniversary Cruise just two years ago. Who knew we would be returning so soon. (We did throw a coin in Trevi ... Read More
I say second "Cruise of a Lifetime" because this is our second trip to The Mediterranean! Our first was our 25th Anniversary Cruise just two years ago. Who knew we would be returning so soon. (We did throw a coin in Trevi Fountain!) This trip was with my brother and sister in law and since we had been before we were nominated as trip planner. I made all the reservations direct through various sites on the internet - Flight, hotel, cruise, tours, etc. Of course Crusie Critic was my Number One source of information. We flew to Rome via Atlanta two days early to enjoy a little more sightseeing. Good thing as Delta had computer problems and all regional jets were grounded Thursday mid-day and we missed our connection to Rome by about 15 minutes. Delta agents were helpful and the four of us were put on a later flight that stopped briefly in Paris. We got to add another city to our "bucket list of places to visit". I had arraigned a private transfer with "Rome Airport Transportation" and was not sure they received my notice about the delayed flight but once we cleared customs there they were with our name on a sign. What a welcome relief! The trip from the airport to our hotel was uneventful but we did get to see some sights on the way. We had reservations at the Hotel Colosseum. The hotel was very adequate, very clean and in a good location. (I was a little worried as other reviews painted it in a somewhat negative light as being close to a gentlemens club. There was one at the end of the block but we never saw anyone going or coming and had no problem at all.) As I mentioned the rooms were clean and well cared for. Breakfast was a selection of breads, cheeses and meats. It was adequate unless you were looking for a full American breakfast of all the eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage and cereal you could eat! They did keep our passport to register us but they were returned to us our first trip down to the desk. The keys are on a giant brass key ring that weighs a pound but they kept the keys for you at the front desk as you went out. The elevator was small - enough room for two pieces of luggage and two people. If you don't like tight places take the stairs! We went to a small restorante pizzeria just down the street that was recommended to us - La Mela D'Oro. Our waitress wasn't much although some of the other staff seemed friendly. We really didn't like the food and would advise seeking out another place. The sound of thunder awoke us on Saturday morning but by the time we finished breakfast the storm was clearing. We broke out our umbrellas and hit the street. After a few minutes of getting oriented we made our way to Termini Station and purchased an all day Metro pass. We had reserved tickets to the Vatican Museums and so bypassed the lines and walked right in. After spending the morning touring the museums and St. Peter's we found (or it found us) a small mom and pop restaurant - Trattoria Al Cuppolone. It had good food and good service at a great price. From the Vatican we took the Metro back to Barberini Station and started our walking journey. We began at the corner of San Carlo Quattro Fontane and made our way to the Quirinale. From there a short walk to the Trevi Fountain and it hordes of people! Onward to the Pantheon, Pizza Navona and back along the Vittorio Emanuele to the Forum area and its wonderful ancient ruins. The Colosseum was the end of our walking tour with a short jaunt back to our hotel. After a short time to cleanup from all the walking and exploring we headed back out for some real Italian food at the Hard Rock Cafe! Day One - The next morning Rome Airport Transportation picked us up at the hotel and delivered us to the pier at Civitavecchia. Upon arrival at the port RCL personnel greeted us and escourted us into the registration area. It took less than 20 minutes from our arrival at the port until we were aboard the ship. Although only Gold members of C&A we were treated like royalty! We went to the Windjammer for a delicious lunch and while there the announcements that the rooms were ready was made. Arriving at our cabin (#7221) we found it ready and our cabin attendant nearby. Although the cabin was cleaned regularly we hardly ever saw the attendant. He did a fair job but nothing special. At 4:30 pm we went to the Guest Assembly Drill. It’s amazing that people don’t think they really mean everyone has to attend. After rounding up the strays we were dismissed. Sail away took place at 5:00 pm and the high seas beckoned! After cleaning up a bit we headed to the Welcome Aboard Show. It was OK but it seems that the entertainment has gone down hill a bit. The orchestra was great but most of the other entertainment just didn’t WOW us as in the past. We had Second Seating for our meals so we wouldn’t have to rush back from shore every day. It worked well for us. Out Wait Staff (Natalia and Sachim) were EXCELLENT and showed excitement every night. We had two couples from California traveling together as table mates and enjoyed great conversation each evening. Day Two we awoke to find our ship pulling into Messina, Italy. We had opted for a RCL excursion "Taormina on Your Own”. This fit us well as we were able to enjoy the town at our own pace. After getting back to the ship we made the Headliner Show - The East Coast Boys - not a bad group. We enjoyed their songs and then made our way to dinner. After dinner a stop in the Casino was mandated by the wife. After making our contribution we strolled the deck and then turned in for the night. Day Three was a Sea Day. Nothing to do but kick back and relax. I had brought along a book to enjoy on deck so after a quick stop at the Café Promenade for some hot chocolate I retired to a chair on Deck 4 to begin my relaxation! The Production Showtime was "Now and Forever” featuring Broadway numbers. We did not enjoy the show and forced ourselves to sit through it. Afterwards it was off to dinner - our first Formal Night. Day Four we found ourselves in Athens. I had arraigned a private tour through Nikos Loukas (privategreecetours.com) to see the sights of Athens. We were met at the port by our driver, Demitris. He had a vast knowledge of Greek history and shared it with us as we toured the city at our pace. The Acropolis and Mars Hill had to be the high points for me. We never felt rushed or pressured at the suggestions he made and had a wonderful time. We had lunch in the Agora area and stopped for dessert on the way back to the ship. That evening we went to the Ice Dancin’ Spectacular - and it was! This was the best entertainment of the entire cruise. It is amazing what these people can do in such a small area while the ship is moving!!! After the show, dinner, the casino and bed. Day Five we arrived at the port of Kusadasi, Turkey. Again, I had arraigned a private tour through Tayf Tours. Our guide and driver (Yesim and Hasan) were waiting for us as we exited the ship. We quickly boarded our van and were whisked off to the House of Mary. We arrived before the tour buses and so had a rather peaceful time there. We then beat the crowds to Ephesus and toured the ruins and the Terrace Houses. From there we went to a local pottery store and yes we bought some pieces. They were absolutely beautiful. Our journey then took us into the mountains to Sirince. We spent just enough time here to pick up a few items and then back to the valley for lunch. Everyone warns of the "carpet factory” tours! I was hesitant but did stop at one for lunch and a quick tour. Looking back I would have let them know up front that we had no intention of purchasing a rug. Although they were beautiful they moved outside of our price range very quick. It was an interesting stop and story and the lunch was very good. Arriving back at the port we had some time to look around and purchase a few more items! The Headliner Show was Chilli Gold, a British singer, and she was actually pretty good. We enjoyed her show as it was full of familiar songs and high energy. Dinner was casual. My wife and I actually ate alone as my brother and sister in law went to the Mystery Dinner. They had a great time and said the steak was some of the best that they had ever eaten. More casino and deck strolling before turning in for the night. Day Six we arrived in Chania, Crete. We took the three Euro bus into town and spent the day wandering about. More shopping about town and then back to the ship for another show and dinner. Day Seven was at Sea so we could unwind before arriving back in Rome. The Farewell Show was pretty good and dinner was sad as we bid farewell to our new found friends. Sunday our ship arrived back in Civitavecchia. Disembarkation was as painless as checking in. We had no more arrived at the C&A waiting area when they announced we could leave the ship. Transportation was again through Rome Airport Transportation. The were waiting when we left the ship and had us on our way to our airport hotel in no time. Because of flight schedules we chose to stay Sunday night and fly back to the US on Monday morning. Our hotel, the Courtyard Rome Airport had our rooms ready when we arrived about 9:30 am. We checked in, had lunch and a nap and then went out exploring. A walk into downtown Fiumicino led to a street fair and seeing how the locals spend their Sunday afternoons. Monday morning was a shuttle bus ride to the airport and our flight back to the US. All things considered this was a great vacation. We’re already planning our next cruise to either Northern Europe (the Baltic) or New England (to see the leaves change). Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
We took our second cruise Oct 2013 out of Rome to Eastern Mediterranean (our first cruise was to Caribbean Feb 2012 with Freedom). We come from Turku, where many RCCL cruise ships have been built - along with Navigator. So we actually had ... Read More
We took our second cruise Oct 2013 out of Rome to Eastern Mediterranean (our first cruise was to Caribbean Feb 2012 with Freedom). We come from Turku, where many RCCL cruise ships have been built - along with Navigator. So we actually had been onboard Navigator while it was brand new, before it sailed away from Finland. We managed to get a great deal for JS so we had plenty of space, as it was just the two of us this time (both 44yrs). Our cabin was just lovely, very spacious with a walk in closet and bath tub with amenities on deck 9. The ship is in good shape although the carpets are a bit dusty and some furniture (especially chairs in MDR) is worn out. Other than that, we found the ship to be in very good condition. We flew out from Helsinki directly to Rome, and had booked a transfer with Civitavecchia Cab. The driver was waiting for us with our name tag, so we found him very easily. This was a shared ride, so there was another 2 persons already waiting for us. So no wait time for us, but about 20 mins for them they had arrived from Romania, and spoke very limited English, so there was no conversation in the car. It took about 45 mins to arrive to Civitavecchia port. The driver took us directly to the door where we left our luggage, after which we walked to check inn and to ship  all this took less than 5 minutes at about 11am. Cabins were ready by 1 pm and first piece of luggage had already arrived followed by the second piece in about 20 min. I had 2 bottles of wine with me one in check in luggage and the other in carry on neither of them caused any questions. Nobody seemed to care. We enjoyed everything on our cruise very much. We ordered breakfast twice to our room and the rest we had in Windjammer. We also tried out room service a couple of times, sometimes there was a good waiting time before the food arrived, but it was nevertheless delicious. We ate lunch at windjammer, in our room, at Johnny Rockets or at Café Promenade. We only had MDR dinner, which we both enjoyed very much. Service was good  especially the drinks waiter was hilarious. We had prepurchased Premium Drinks Package. Originally we wanted just soft drinks package with a wine package, but after doing some serious calculating we decided to upgrade to Premium Drinks Package since the difference was after all not that bad. Oh boy did we fully utilize it! I do not remember having been drinking for 7 continuous days since college/university. But neither of us was really drunk at any occasion  nor did we feel hung over at any morning. We were just on a "happy cruising mood” every night. We tried out so many different drinks - almost fully through the bar menu, and only 2-3 drinks we left unfinished either because we did not like them or because we felt that we needed no more drinking and headed to cabin. I admit that we drank much more than what we would have done without the package. It was lovely to try out drinks we would not normally try for example I had never had a Pina Colada before. Also the bar menu was much different from the drinks that are offered in Finland much more adventurous. House white wine as well as house sparkling was okay to us we are not fussy with our wine as long as it is dry enough. Would I have the package again? Probably yes, if there was just the 2 of us, but if our daughter was with us never. I’d then stick to just soft drinks and wine at the dinner. We did not do any paid excursions although we did find our way out of the ship at every port to do sightseeing on our own. In Athens we took a taxi from the port directly to Acropolis with 20 euro (fare was 18 euros, but we tipped 2 e) and were there at 9 am before most of the cruise ship crowds. When we walked to Plaka, it started raining and eventually after a quick lunch at a café we decided to return to ship with metro. We unfortunately decided to continue walking at Pireus, and it took really really long until we reached the ship which was at the far end of the port. We should have taken a taxi from the metro station. We had been to Efesos twice so we only shopped around the Kusadasi bazaars in Turkey. It was very windy so we had waited for almost 3 hours at sea before we could safely dock. So captain prolonged our stay with 1 hour so everybody was able to return from their excursions. In Chania we utilized the 3 euro bus to Chania city and came back early to enjoy the pool. Loved the solarium pool on sea days so quiet and without music or noise. We saw some shows like the ice show (good!) and Celine Dion impersonator (very good indeed) and found out the Navigator entertainment team to be not so good. The musicians were talented, but the dancers and singers only moderate. Simona was the cruise director. Overall the staff was friendly. But we did meet some individuals who clearly should not have been near customers. For example I accidentally knocked over my full coke glass spilling it entirely on pool deck at solarium pool. And I know how sticky it becomes when it is half dry. I asked a staff member (Pool patrol) for something to clean it with and the answer was "Don’t bother”. Well I do bother if I were to mess my bare feet on someone’s coke spills. Disembarkation was smooth out of the ship. But the line for the shuttle was long we waited about 30 mins in queue. Then we walked to train station, and took a regular train to Rome where we stayed a day. If you are traveling by train, please remember to VALIDATE your ticket. There was an inspector on the train and we saw several people getting fined although they had purchased a ticket. They had failed to validate it before entering the train and that is considered traveling without a valid ticket. So they had to pay upfront to the inspector. There is also not much space for your luggage, so as our pieces were standing in the walkway, we got nasty looks and words which we pretended not to notice/understand as we speak no Italian! Well, what can you do? Overall we had most wonderful cruise most of it has to do with us being just together we could speak Finnish together without others understanding as there was only few other Finnish passengers which were easy to spot but also because of the lovely cruise ship. I fell in love with cruising during our first cruise, so I am very much sure that we’ll be back, someday, somewhere and hopefully very soon!   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
We are seniors and this was our very first cruise. I have to say right at the start that it turned out to be more than I expected. We had a wonderful time, and we will do it again. We were on the Navigator of the Seas, and our departure ... Read More
We are seniors and this was our very first cruise. I have to say right at the start that it turned out to be more than I expected. We had a wonderful time, and we will do it again. We were on the Navigator of the Seas, and our departure point was Chivitecchia (Rome). This port is located about 45 minutes north of Rome Airport. We chose to take a limousine from the airport to the port. I am glad that we did because it was cheaper that taking the coach and much more comfortable. The limousine took us right to the departure area located on the quay. We also upgraded to a stateroom with a balcony and we are glad that we did this. The room very spacious for a cabin and having the balcony was nice to be able to sit out in the evenings. The boarding procedure went smooth and being as we were from Canada we had to surrender our passports for the duration of the cruise. On our arrival at our cabin we were met by our cabin steward who explain everything to us and looked after us well during the trip. The cabin was spotless I noticed that the steward even dusted the walls every day. This is without any doubt the cleanest hotel room that I have been in. The entire ship is spotless. During the voyage the Captain explained that they are very conscious of any kind of bug or infection being brought onto the ship by passengers. The crew will not shake hands, and passengers were asked to use the Purell hand sanitizer machines that were located all over the ship. When you went to board the ship the machines were at the gangplank. There was an officer pointing out the machines for you to use. While the passengers were on shore the crew spent their time wiping every hand rail, they even vacuum on the top of the signs over the stores. The whole ship is kept spotless. Ports Our first port of call was Massena we took the Red bus tour of this port. I cannot say it was a very nice place the buildings were drab, and there was a lot of graffiti on the buildings. Athens was our next stop and this is a big tourist city. We chose to take the afternoon tour because there was not too much waling. Athens is a nice city and there was lots to see. Ephesus was a shopping stop we did not take the tour we just went to the market. It was interesting they sell lots of gold and silver in these markets. The last port of call was Chania and we took the tour the scenery was lovely and we had a very pleasant day. The two days we had a sea were different the first one we had thunderstorms and it was wet and overcast. The second one was clear and sunny. It does not matter what the weather is like there is so much to do you cannot get bored. Activities are well organized and you get a copy of what is going on the day before. We dined at the Windjammer. This is the buffet restaurant and I found that there was Indian food, Chinese food, Japanese food and North American or European food. There was always something different available. In general I must say it was a wonderful trip and the crew on this ship were excellent. The ship is going to Galveston in December for a re fit. I did notice some of the carpets in high traffic areas were low on pile. Not dirty just showing signs of wear. The one thing that I would do different next time is. We had to fly overnight from Canada to Italy. We arrived in Rome the morning that the ship departed. Next time I would go a day earlier and stay in a hotel for the night and overcome the jet lag before starting a cruise. My next cruise will be on Royal Caribbean I found there service prior to the cruise and after the cruise to be excellent.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
Getting to port: Don't listen to whoever says it's not so bad dragging your luggage from the Civitavecchia train station. Btw, getting to Civitavecchia by train from Rome Termini station was very straightforward. We paid the 20 ... Read More
Getting to port: Don't listen to whoever says it's not so bad dragging your luggage from the Civitavecchia train station. Btw, getting to Civitavecchia by train from Rome Termini station was very straightforward. We paid the 20 Euros per person for first class. Next time we'll probably opt to save the money since it was such a short trip (40 min) - it's about 5 Euros for coach class. So... to get from the train station to the port, take the shuttle bus!!! It's free! To avoid the line, we decided to walk it since someone had posted that it's not that far. It's far, even for this marathon walker, especially while wheeling luggage. We survived but avoiding the line for the shuttle wasn't worth the hassle. So... unless you want to burn the extra calories (good reason to binge when you get on the ship), take the shuttle. Embarkation: was pretty straight forward, long line but lemonade/water was provided, a nice touch. And the line moved quickly as there were many agents. They take your passport away for this itinerary. I don't really like that. Something about clearance process being complicated for non-EU residents. There were piles of passports sitting on a table which was roped off but anyone could have leaned over and grabbed them. One person collecting them and no one to monitor the table... doesn't instill much peace of mind... Day 2, Messina, Sicily: Breakfast on day two at Windjammer was insane. We've never experienced such crowding, and people were so rude, cutting in line, nudging, elbowing... it was difficult to find a seat. And there was no one walking around serving coffee, which we're accustomed to, with 4 RCI trips under our belts. The crowding was likely due to the fact that the first port day was the day after embarkation. Next time that happens, we'll definitely use the main dining room or room service for breakfast. Sicily fire and water excursion: not recommended. Information about preparation was poor. If you do choose to do this excursion, dress in layers, long pants. Mt. Etna is cold and windy. And then you're taken to a river park which is warm and humid, with lots of mosquitoes. The bus ride was loooong (I slept most of the time consequently) and the sights weren't worth it, at least to me. I wish I could get my money back. We should have been properly informed about the conditions and how to dress and prepare appropriately. While water was provided, there weren't enough toilet breaks. The only highlight was the farmer's market at the "water" portion of the excursion. They sampled/sold wonderful olive oil, pestos, dessert spreads. I wish we had brought more cash... I'll definitely be googling for these products... Athens: Make sure you wear proper shoes (sneakers) if you're visiting the Acropolis (Parthenon). The steps up to it are marble, uneven and slippery. Especially when wet. Excursion was worth it. Ephesus: Great shopping town. I found the salespeople were not too pushy. If you like shopping, no need for an excursion here. To see the ruins you will need one, or at least a ride. Chania: Beautiful little town with winding alleyways and cafes and arts and crafts at every turn. No need for an excursion here really. Other impressions of the ship: Compared to the other RCI experiences (Liberty, Allure)... not as great. There was no lobster night (has this changed across all RCI?). Hardly any coffee service at breakfast. Not enough areas to get free beverages (coffee/tea were only available 24/7 at Cafe Promenade). No one ever approached us for drink service at the hot tubs. Also at the main dining, there were a couple of nights where we had to ask for bread / drink orders, after waiting at least 15 minutes. Overall: The trip itself was great. The ship definitely needs the reburb in Jan 2014. And service could be improved too. Excursion descriptions were lacking in prep information (clothing required) and indications re: time that you'll be on the bus vs. time spent at the destination(s). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2013
We enjoyed the ports, Messina, Athens, Kusadasi and Crete. We did independent tours this time instead of using the ship's and really enjoyed it. This seems to be the way to go, we read Cruise Critic for recommendations for the tours! ... Read More
We enjoyed the ports, Messina, Athens, Kusadasi and Crete. We did independent tours this time instead of using the ship's and really enjoyed it. This seems to be the way to go, we read Cruise Critic for recommendations for the tours! This was our first cruise on R.C. and we were disappointed. Past cruises have been on Carnival, NCL, and Celebrity. We had a balcony stateroom which was very nice. This is an older ship, but the dining room and lounges, etc. were lovely. Lots of beautiful wood. The service at bars was great, we especially liked one right outside the casino and had a great young bartender from Portugal. Service in the dining room was also good, but the food left a lot to be desired. No special nights with lobster and filet mignon on R.C. You could purchase it every night for an extra $30.00 per person. Other cruise lines, we've always looked forward to this on formal nights. The buffet on deck was just o.k. Not many choices there either for all three meals. We usually eat in the dining room most nights on cruises, but because we didn't like the choices on R.C., we ate on deck more. To me, the whole dining experience with other passengers and being waited on in the dining room makes the cruise. We saw several shows. Our favorite was the ice show, it was outstanding!! Disembarkation was orderly and went smoothly, no problems locating our bags. We probably won't cruise Royal Caribbean again just because of the food. Read Less
Navigator of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 2.0 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0
Rates 4.5 0.0

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