Sail Date: October 2015
I wrote this information for myself and thought I'd share it with everyone, as it contains information I wish I'd had before sailing. Cruise line: Royal Caribbean Ship: Navigator of the Seas Cruise Dates: Oct. 4-11, ... Read More
I wrote this information for myself and thought I'd share it with everyone, as it contains information I wish I'd had before sailing. Cruise line: Royal Caribbean Ship: Navigator of the Seas Cruise Dates: Oct. 4-11, 2015 Western Caribbean (Starting at Galveston, Texas, and traveling to Cozumel, Mexico; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Falmouth, Jamaica) 7 Night Western Caribbean Cruise Cruise Amenities (non-exhaustive): Surf Rider, rock climbing, ping pong, basketball, mini-golf, spas, gym, outdoor track, large outdoor television screen, 3 pools, 3 hot tubs Day 1 (Boarding/Sea) Boarding is from 11am – 4pm. We arrived around 11:30am (drove from Dallas). Royal Caribbean is terminal 2. You first drop people and luggage off and then take the car to park at a nearby parking lot. The parking lots have shuttles that bring you back to the boarding area. It will likely take about 30-45 minutes to complete the process (drop people off, take care to lot, come back). While the cars go park, everyone else drops off their luggage at the luggage drop off. Make sure to print out your luggage tags before you get to the port and make sure to tape/staple them to your luggage to save you time. There is no food at the port but you can eat as soon as you enter ship. The total check-in process took about 1 hour. We got in line while the people parked but it was difficult for us get them to skip back in line. I heard, though have not confirmed, that there is now a parking lot where you can go with your luggage and you can bring it back to the terminal to avoid the whole drop off/take car to lot/come back process. Apparently it’s called “Parking Lot B.” We brought in water bottles (filled) in our luggage and those went through. Since you drop off your luggage and then don’t see it until it’s delivered to your room, I’m assuming they checked our luggage but have no way to confirm. They only officially allow 2 bottles of wine per stateroom. We brought those in our carry-ons. When they saw that I had 2 bottles they asked me to "register" with a man seated at a table. First of all they didn't tell everyone in our group to register, even though everyone had wine bottles in their carry-ons so it's clearly not enforced strictly. Also the “registration” involved a man writing down on a piece of paper my room number and number of bottles I had. So it's not high tech at all and we could have easily brought in more bottles. There is a mandatory safety drill at 4pm. They check every room to make sure you've evacuated. You can't skip this. They even took attendance at the drill. General tips It's a good idea to bring a small bag to hold your sea pass and other small stuff while on the ship. Also, remember to bring a beach bag for the actual beach or just lounging by the pool. Make sure to bring cash and in dollars for tipping. There were many times I wanted to tip someone (attendants or when we were off on our excursions) but I did not have enough singles. There is no need to exchange currency – everyone accepted American currency. Water, tea, coffee, and lemonade are included in the price of the trip (so no need to buy a beverage package if you’re okay with just having these drinks available). This particular ship did not have an iron in the stateroom, but they did have hairdryers. Bring water bottles so you can refill them on the ship and take with you when you dock. There is a Johnny Rockets on the ship. It is $6.95 USD all you can eat except for shakes. Tips for choosing a room: Choose a room closest to the top so you don't have to walk far. The dining room and pools are at the top, so you’ll have to walk less to get to them (which is where we spent most of our time). Also, choose a room on the side of the big dining room (Wyndjammer). Day 2 (Sea) This was a cruising day. This was our first formal attire night at the dining room. We had a set time to eat (8:30pm) every day in the main dining room. People wear suits and cocktail dresses. I did see some people in tuxedos but only a few. Anything you’d wear to a wedding or church should suffice. They will not turn you away if you’re wearing jeans. Day 3 (Cozumel) We rented a car from Alamo for 14 people for a total of $140 USD (paid with credit card), not including gas or insurance. We went to the San Gervasio ruins. It costs $9.50 USD per person, so bring exact change as credit is not accepted. You might want to bring bug spray, though it didn’t bother me much. The ship arrived in Cozumel at 7am but we disembarked at 9:30am. By the time we found the car rental and gathered everyone together, it was 10:30am. It took 30 minutes to drive to the San Gervasio ruins from the terminal. We found a tour guide that works for tips, and he provided very good service. It was very sunny, so definitely bring protection. Then we drove to Sky Reef Beach. We wanted to find Ocean Beach as that was recommended to us but we sort of got off the access road and then weren't able to find it. When you rent car they give you a map. It is not a big island. You need to be back on the ship by 3:30pm. Check to see what sort of insurance your credit card company offers for car rentals. Day 4 (Georgetown, Grand Cayman) The beach is a 30 minute cab ride. It's about 4 miles away from the port. To disembark, you first have to take a tender (small boat) from the ship to the land. The process took about 30 minutes total which includes getting in line, getting on the tender, and then leaving. The actual ride is about 10 minutes from ship to land. We went to Paradise Restaurant to do some snorkeling. It was $18 USD for full gear (mask, flippers, and life vest) and then $5 to rent a locker. They accept credit cards. We walked from the port to Paradise Restaurant. It is a green building right on the water. It took about 7 minutes to walk there. There were plenty of fish to see here. The water was very nice and it was very enjoyable. I did not eat at the restaurant but obviously there is food available there, as well as alcoholic drinks. Day 5 (Falmouth, Jamaica) The ship arrived at 8:00am and we had to be back on board at 4:30pm. When you arrive at the port, there is a tiny little booth that is pale green and says “Tours and Information.” It’s to the right and further down (closer to the exit).There we found horse riding that includes riding in the water on the beach. It was $70 USD per person for horse riding and transportation to and from the beach. It was $25 for just transportation to and from the beach. The drive to the beach was 20 minutes from the port. We were able to pay cash and credit. We went to Braco Tours/Stables. The tour itself was 2 hours in total (not including travel time). First they took us to the stable. We signed waivers, paid, and then mounted our horses. We rode for about an hour to the beach. You do not get into the water with your horse until you get to a small pool area at the beach. At the beach, there is a little pool area that they take you in one person at a time with your horse. Then you ride back and they take you to port. The beach area is private and no one was there except for a few locals. They have some food and drinks there you can buy. The guides were all extremely nice. My parents stayed at the private beach area and waited for us. There is a small store there where you can buy snacks and drinks (including Jamaican beer). Also, the store has a porch area that provides shelter from the sun and they had chairs out so my parents weren’t physically on the beach/in the sand. There are bathrooms there too. Day 6 (Sea) More tips: Laundry and getting your clothes pressed is expensive. I went to the lost and found by the pool where they distribute towels. I told them that I lost my sunscreen and they showed me several bottles they had there. I asked if I could keep one and they said yes so that's how I got free sunscreen. Food: We never ordered room service. The food in the buffet (Wyndjammer) is average. We only went there for breakfast and lunch. There is lots of variety. The dining room food was much better quality. You can have breakfast in the dining room, but you have to go before 9:30 am. The food on the 5th floor in the café was good, but they mostly had sandwiches. Weather: It was mostly warm to downright hot. You should, however, bring a light jacket or sweater as it can get chilly at night. Cabin: We had an interior stateroom with no windows. This was actually great, as there was no light in the morning to wake us up. It was much easier to sleep/stay asleep. Yes, it's small but we're not large people and we kept the room tidy so it was never, ever a problem. Day 7 (Sea) Do those things you didn’t get to do, like rock climbing. Day 8 (Galveston/Arrival) Express self-serve checkout means you carry out your own bags. If you want to do this, they ask you to get a ticket the last night before you leave which gives you the time you're supposed to leave. This is absolutely necessary as they didn't ask for it. (And they aren't going to keep you on the boat because you're leaving at a different time than it says on your ticktet). It's best to leave on the very last express time because most people doing express are off the boat by then. It takes about 30-45 to get off and get your car and be on the road. If you do not take express, then the night before, they leave you luggage tags and the time you're supposed to disembark. (Again, I doubt this is actually enforced.) You go through immigration which is relatively painless but there are a lot of people (this is of course applicable to self-express as well). The difference between express and this option is that you then have to find your luggage. They have them all waiting for you in a large warehouse, and though you have a number that leads you in the general direction of your bag, it can be a bit chaotic with all the bags and people trying to find their stuff. Definitely identify your bag in an obvious way to make finding it in literally hundreds of other bags much easier. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
Our waiter Jasper and Assistant Waiter Jirmansyah were excellent. They made our cruise enjoyable in spite of other falling-short on the cruise. With regards to Entertainment/Shows. Very lame. I have seen better High School ... Read More
Our waiter Jasper and Assistant Waiter Jirmansyah were excellent. They made our cruise enjoyable in spite of other falling-short on the cruise. With regards to Entertainment/Shows. Very lame. I have seen better High School productions. Another issue that needs to be improved is the music: 1. At the pool. There was NO music playing except when there was a "competition" or the Reggae Band was playing. Reggae is okay for a day, but every day of the 7 days? and for only 1-2 hours of the day? 2. At the Boleros Bar, the musicians seemed bored and played the SAME songs EACH night, in the same order. To top it off most were not even done live, but played from an ipad and they pretended to play and sing the song. They weren't even good lip-sync artists. 3. When there were dance lessons, for example, Salsa Dance Class. They promptly played Merengue and Bachata and Cumbia. The effect was to confuse everyone as to whether we were supposed to try to dance the Salsa steps to the wrong genre of music. They have a wonderfully HUGE movie screen by the pool. this was mostly used for promoting the newer ships of Royal Caribbean and occasional CNN or a movie here and there. Otherwise, it was not used. A waste of money and space. These are some of the areas that I found entertainment seriously lacking. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
This was the second RCI ship I have been on since June and the second ship where the food was mediocre at best. Good thing I don't cruise for the food, we cruise for the adventure of new ports and the people we meet. But many ... Read More
This was the second RCI ship I have been on since June and the second ship where the food was mediocre at best. Good thing I don't cruise for the food, we cruise for the adventure of new ports and the people we meet. But many people remember the food and this prompts this review. The buffet food on this cruise was best described as less than mediocre. When two young men that have eaten me out of house and home growing up rather go to the main dining room than the buffet that should tell you something. Even the desserts at time appeared to be below par. Maybe in tough times RCI is cutting back on the food selections but that shouldn't affect taste and variety, should it? Otherwise, service was exceptional from the staff. The shows I thought were not as entertaining as others. Cleanliness was of high standards in both the cabins and public areas. Other than the food my only other major criticism is about the port of Galveston. When the line to get to customs upon disembarking crosses in front of the baggage pickup it cause confusion and some chaos. I overheard many first timers to Galveston cruise port saying they would have to think twice about going on another cruise from there. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
We live in Houston, and Galveston is only an hour away from our home. My husband and I have sailed on Royal Caribbean several times and are seasoned cruisers. Age 57-53. Embarkation- was a breeze, got to the port at 10:30AM and was on ... Read More
We live in Houston, and Galveston is only an hour away from our home. My husband and I have sailed on Royal Caribbean several times and are seasoned cruisers. Age 57-53. Embarkation- was a breeze, got to the port at 10:30AM and was on the ship by 11:15AM. Stateroom available at 1PM. Service- on board the ship was awesome. Drink service a bit slow, but was not because of the service, just they did not have enough help to manage the crowd. Our cabin steward was beyond great. Cabin- bed was beyond horrible. It was like sleeping on the floor. We asked for a foam topper to be told they no longer provided. Again, the bed was horrible!! Main dining room-food was the worse than we have ever had on a cruise. The steak did not have the texture of a steak. It was like spam in a steak form. Disgusting. Windjammer-food was like a local buffet, breakfast was the same every day. Chops-excellent food, but the waiter seemed disinterested and only wanted reassurance that we would rate him high on the survey that you received after you got home. Tender-to Grand Cayman-I KID YOU NOT-TOOK US THREE HOURS TO GET OFF THE SHIP!!! Three hours of our cruise waiting to get on a boat to take us to shore. Jamaica-did not do an excursion thru Royal Caribbean. Did a private excursion and had the time of our lives! Cozumel-nothing special-been there-done that. Main show-high school kids could do a better job. Terrible. Comedian-raunchy doesn’t make it funny. Ice Show-Day one they made you wait in line for tickets, and show night didn’t even ask for them. Show-not bad-not great Pictures-they have you look on a kiosk to decide if you would like to purchase, and have writing all across the pictures so you cannot tell until after you buy them if you have say your eyes closed or something doesn’t look right. One night the entire ship lost power for maybe 2 minutes, totally freaked. However, you would think nothing happened. Drink service continued. People just didn’t seem to even notice. Way funny. One woman on board stayed drunk the entire trip-falling down drunk-got mean and loud and no one stepped in to take care of it. Every show she was loud and trying to get attention and again no one from Royal Caribbean stepped in to stop her. One show she was in the front seat and started to cry and blaming the performer for her troubles. Stopped the whole show- Again, no one stepped in to stop her. TIPS-watch out peeps- people take their karaoke very serious! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
This was one of many cruises that we have taken on RC. We started out in Atlanta, GA in which we used buyreservations.com in order to book a room at the Courtyard Atlanta Airport South which turned out to be a very good choice. Check in ... Read More
This was one of many cruises that we have taken on RC. We started out in Atlanta, GA in which we used buyreservations.com in order to book a room at the Courtyard Atlanta Airport South which turned out to be a very good choice. Check in was no problem and we left our car there for 9 days. All for the cost of one night stay. The next morning was no problem as we had an early morning flight and did not have to wait on a shuttle no more than 5 minutes. We flew into IAH and met friends that we travel with and at that point we went to Enterprise and rented a car which went very well. It is quite a long distance from the airport to the cruise terminal so we had booked a room at the Quality Inn at the seawall in Galveston for the night. The room was clean and that was all that we needed but it did need some updating. The next morning the four of us were on our way to the cruise terminal in which was just about 15 minutes from where we had stayed the night before. We were on Navigator of the Seas and the time it took us to get from the terminal to when we were on board ship was no more than 20 minutes. The ship was very clean, service was great and we could not have had a better time. The food was really good, our cabin was clean and we were treated so well. We could not have ask for a better cruise. It did take 1 hour and 15 minutes to disembark but we had allowed enough time because we know it just takes time. The line went well but it just takes time. We would rate this cruise 10 out of 10. The only downside is the cost of getting from the airport to the cruise terminal. It is a good hour and 15 minute drive. All is all a wonderful week. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
Very nice ship; we had no trouble getting on board 25- 35 minutes from arrival at port to boarding ship. We showed up about 15 minutes before our schedule time so we were ready to go when our boarding time came. Seems a lot of people ... Read More
Very nice ship; we had no trouble getting on board 25- 35 minutes from arrival at port to boarding ship. We showed up about 15 minutes before our schedule time so we were ready to go when our boarding time came. Seems a lot of people were not prepared with paperwork or didn't know their scheduled boarding time, but otherwise it was a smooth process. We were able to drop our carry on luggage in the cabin before our our cabin was ready which was nice so we didn't have to lug it around the rest of the morning. Common areas were clean and easy to see. Most of the shops were closed because were still in port, but we wandered around and located all of the ones we planned to visiting later. Show tickets were free, but only distributed a specific times which was a little of a bother, but no big deal. After the mandatory muster drills and departure, we were able to start to enjoy the cruise. The ship was booked to capacity, but we never really felt crowded. We ate at 3 of the specialty restaurants during the week. Sabor, the Mexican restaurant, was nothing special; just OK. Giovanni's was very nice, good menu and the food was prepared well. Chops Grill was a good steak house, my filet was done to perfection. The main dining room was also very nice and the menu had enough variety to meet everyone's taste. The food was very good and service was more than adequate. Table mates were nice and dinner conversation was pleasant, everyone was polite and welcome to share experiences on the ship and on their shore excursions. We had a balcony cabin and enjoyed breakfast out there most mornings and enjoyed toasting the sunsets most evenings. The on board entertainment was good - the ice show was excellent. Just not enough shows in the theaters. The nightclubs offered a venue for all tastes. Hip-hop, folk rock,to 50' & 60s music. Drinks were well made and almost all brands were available. We did port shopping at all 3 locations, nothing special, mostly souvenir stuff, but if you looked hard you could find some nice items. Our shore excursions were all that we expected them to be and the tour operators were nice. The snorkeling trip in Belize was a little too crowded. My mask was knocked off a couple of times by people kicking me in the face. About 1/3 too many people on this one trip. The one negative thing I could say about the entire trip, was the departure. Getting you luggage and going through customs was a real zoo. The port Authority really needs to fix this. All in all it was a very nice trip and we would cruise with Royal Caribbean again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
The Navigator of the Seas was recently refurbished and it shows. It is clean and well kept. We drove to the port and had none of the problems stated in some other reviews. We used Lighthouse Parking and recommend them. We arrived at the ... Read More
The Navigator of the Seas was recently refurbished and it shows. It is clean and well kept. We drove to the port and had none of the problems stated in some other reviews. We used Lighthouse Parking and recommend them. We arrived at the ship at 11:00 and were onboard in 10 minutes. Embarkation was just as smooth. We took our own bags off. We chose the earliest departure time of 7:30 and were through customs, picked up by a Lighthouse van and in our car before 8:00! No problems taking the 2 allowed bottles of wine in a carry on bag onboard. Room was fine..clean ...good bed...and attendent, Arlene, was excellent. Location very good and very quiet. Balcony just large enough for table and two chairs. I took own shampoo and soaps so no guessing as to what it was in shower dispenser. There are a lot of activities onboard. Fun to watch Flo Rider folks and rock climbers. Pro football games shown on huge outdoor screen. Best shows were the Ice Dancing and comedy of Ettamae. Very few children on-board as school in session..nice! Food good..but repetitive in Windjammer. Service good with staff trying to please. We did My Time Dining and always got time we wanted. Service in dining room very attentive. Promenade food a good touch as always available. Overall, clean ship with attentive staff. We did not use ship excursions but booked others on line. Be aware that tender in Belize is more like a 25 minute ferry ride if you schedule any private tour there. On Roatan , Mayan Eden is a great tour spot and highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
We like cruising. Our room was bigger than expected and the bathroom not surprisingly small but usable. Our room attendant Emmanuel was professional and kept our room very tidy. It was nice to always come back to a clean room. The main ... Read More
We like cruising. Our room was bigger than expected and the bathroom not surprisingly small but usable. Our room attendant Emmanuel was professional and kept our room very tidy. It was nice to always come back to a clean room. The main room was fine dining and wished I brought more formal dresses to wear for dinner. Our waiters Melvin and Rohan were very attentive. We made sure to get a table with them each night. Lot of activities to do and watch on the high seas. Our favorite excursion Tabyana Beach Break - white beaches, clear water, seeing different kinds of fishes when we snorkeled, lunch & light beverages included. Now we know the reason people love cruising. Same hotel & service everyday and wake up in a different city most days. Lessons learned. 1. Ask for more details when getting advice. We did not book an excursion in Cozumel and we got taken. Don't book an excursion in Cozumel, grab a taxi, etc. Spent $60 on a taxi trip to a small white beach full of drunk men. My husband and I were the only tourists and no visible taxis around (except the one we took). We immediately went back to our ship and stayed there. Our advice pay extra for the ship excursion when in Cozumel. 2. The excursion tickets have two times listed. Our Belize excursion tickets listed Meeting time 7:45 am and departing time 8:30 am. We arrived at the meeting place at 7:30 am. RC ship director started tendering groups at 7:45 but did not specify which time she was using. She was calling groups by time and we missed our time. Others also missed their call time. To RC's credit we got to go on different and cheaper excursion and RC refunded us the difference. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
The ship was fun. The only problem we had was one of the showers at the adult pool did not work. We had great food and the staff was wonderful. We sailed to Cozumel, Belize and Roatan. We had a wonderful time at all three ports. We ... Read More
The ship was fun. The only problem we had was one of the showers at the adult pool did not work. We had great food and the staff was wonderful. We sailed to Cozumel, Belize and Roatan. We had a wonderful time at all three ports. We sailed out of Galveston and boarding was quick and easy, however when we returned it was a nightmare. I would recommend that you never sail out of Galveston because of the reentry process or chaos as we experienced. First my luggage was not in the area it was supposed to be and by the time I found my bag the like was out of control. There were many people not going to the end of the line because the like was so long there were no barriers. So they just walked up and got in like wherever they pleased. When the Customs agents tried to handle the situation those who cut in line said they did not so it was a stand off and they stayed in front of us. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
This cruise is one with a majority of Texans on it due to the port. We were one of the minority being from the Pacific Northwest (PDX). Because of the makeup of the guests, there was a lot of country western music in the bars and the big ... Read More
This cruise is one with a majority of Texans on it due to the port. We were one of the minority being from the Pacific Northwest (PDX). Because of the makeup of the guests, there was a lot of country western music in the bars and the big screen had plenty of football playing. They know their audience, that's for sure! The port itself is a mess - piles of dirt and construction materials that you see from the deck of the ship. The area in front of the terminal entry was very small and crowded but we had no problem finding a porter to wheel our bags inside. The line into the security scanners was long and slow as there were only two security guards working. They only made you throw out your bottle of water if it had been opened but you could have just put it in your bag and it would have probably gone right on through. (Think vodka...) The actual registration went very quickly even thought we were there about 11:30 am in the thick of the early boarders. The first night the left balcony partition door came loose in the wind and was banging against the ship from 2 am - 5 am when my husband finally called the desk. It ruined the next day having to sleep all afternoon to catch up. I feel like we lost a day of the trip. The humidity was horrid - impossible to have your balcony door open with that wall of wet coming in. Of course, we're from a place where we hardly have humidity so it was difficult to enjoy the balcony except late at night. The first night's dinner was unsettled. My fish was overcooked which isn't normal for RC. The rest of the time, everything was perfect except the Baked Alaska (gritty meringue) which was easily replaced. Our waiter, Stalin and assistant, Jakub, table 414, at Early Seating were very attentive. Stalin would make suggestions which were always the best choice. We had brought our own wine on board (they allow 1 bottle per person), and we had them the last 3 nights without a corkage fee being charged. My mother wasn't able to negotiate the stairs much so we had to use the elevators most of the time. They were so busy we had to go in the opposite direction we wanted to go just to get in one. Lots of other people were doing the same. This was the first time for this experience. The Flow Rider was so much fun. You have to sign a waiver and there are age/height restrictions. The instructors are very helpful and work to give you the longest ride possible. They have boogie board (on your stomach) and surfing at separate times. Putt putt golf is an 8 hole course and goes fast. It's in the sun, so wear your sunscreen! We didn't do any excursions through the ship except the Houston Space Center which included bus transportation to IAH. It was a very comfortable bus with a toilet, safe driver and knowledgeable guide. The stop at the HSC is about 2 hours long which is plenty of time to see almost everything within the building. There is a nice cafeteria to grab a bite to eat, a large gift shop and restrooms. Since we were a tour, we had Green 1 bag tags which put us off the ship among the first groups and through customs quickly. The baggage area is small so it makes for some confusion. The customs process is slow depending on who is in front of you. We were behind three British citizens who had to be fingerprinted and photographed. The tour does watch for you since you have a sticker on your shirt and they usher you out to the bus area. I would pay for this next time just for the priority service! We did not go to the production shows since the last one I went to on a cruise a couple of years ago was pretty ordinary. After reading reviews on here, I'm glad we didn't waste the time. However, we went to the comedian and the hypnotist shows which were hilarious. We also found the time to to go the Love and Marriage game which had the best participants I've ever seen. The drinks were only $5 in a souvenir glass - the best deal on the ship? We played the Nations Game where you collect signatures from crew members from all the different countries on the ship. It was a great way to meet them and have a conversation for a more personal trip. We ate in the dining room every night and only a few times in the Windjammer. We had breakfast from room service most days. The order forms are on a hook behind the cabin door. They were normally about 1/2 hour earlier than the time selected. The first morning's food had cold, hard toast and poorly cooked bacon. The scrambled eggs seem like they are baked. The fruit plate was ordinary, not well plated and some of it was sour/unripe. It didn't stop me from ordering it, though. The refrigerator is a good place to put an extra yogurt or lemon tart for the next morning or a snack. As someone posted before, it would be a good idea to have the steward remove all the items from your frig so you aren't tempted to use any of it. We didn't use anything but I think I was charged for an item. Probably poor inventory control from the last occupant. The Belize City port is a tender port. They may have this well organized, but it's a big chunk of your port time sitting on a noisy boat on metal benches. This port appears to be the poorest of the three, followed by Roatan, Honduras and then Cozumel, Mexico. Everywhere you are inundated with "requests" for your money. It was very tiring and depressing. The ship was late loading our Gold benefits onto the Sea Pass card on Sunday and I went to the service desk to find out how to get a credit. The person at the desk called the shop and sent me back to have it fixed. He even called me the next day to make sure it was taken care of! That was the only time I had any dealings with the desk since the rest of the trip went smoothly. I signed up for international internet with my carrier, Verizon, but it didn't work very well with the ship or on land. The next trip, I'll buy a couple of days of access and do everything I need to during that time and forget about it the rest of the time. The cafe at the end of the Promenade is where there are sandwiches, pizza, desserts, coffee, tea, iced tea, lemonade and water. It's not apparent that this is included in your fee as it's next to the Starbucks and Ben & Jerry's counter that do have a cost. It's not that large but the tables have good turnover and it's open all night, unlike the Windjammer. The dinner menu is posted on an interactive screen outside of the dining rooms so you can check out that night's options or any of the other restaurants. I always found something to eat without a problem and they take care of dietary issues such as gluten free. We signed up for the galley tour which was a $30 per person buffet lunch for 150 people. It started with a mimosa and then an inside glimpse of how the kitchen works. Lunch was prepared by various sou chefs and placed on the pass for you to select from. There were omelets, Beef Wellington, eggs Benedict, salmon, fresh fruit, a lovely bread display, sushi, a large selection of desserts and crepes made to order. It was well worth the cost, so if you have the opportunity offered to you, don't hesitate to do it. The cardroom is on deck 7 and has a daily suduko puzzle and quiz posted. They have boxed games, plenty of tables & chairs and a pretty large library of books. It was a hidden gem we didn't discover until the cruise was about over. It's just below the art gallery. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
This was our 6th cruise total and 4th cruise on Royal and our 3rd time onboard the Navigator of the Seas. We drove to Galveston from Dallas early sunday morning and got to the port around 10:30 am and they made an announcement they ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise total and 4th cruise on Royal and our 3rd time onboard the Navigator of the Seas. We drove to Galveston from Dallas early sunday morning and got to the port around 10:30 am and they made an announcement they were delayed a little bit. We are used to the port of Galveston being crowded and long lines, so we were onboard the ship by 12:00. They are building a bigger port, so I'm sure once it's done it will be better, but other than that, just have to have a little patience! :) We had an excellent time this cruise! We have always cruised alone as a couple and this time we brought our good friends, my mom and my aunt. We all had a blast together, and they all loved this ship as first time cruisers! The ship itself is beautiful just like it has been the other two times we have been on it. The service is always so nice and pleasant and they are always willing to help with whatever you need. Our room attendant, Reynaldo did a great job with our room. Always clean and made sure to stop and say hi to us the first day and throughout the rest of the trip. We ate in the MDR every night for dinner and the food is great! I was excited to eat some of my favorite menu items and thoroughly enjoyed them each night. Our head waiter Sandeep was right on point, he did a fabulous job of explaining the menu every night and waiting on us and letting us know what the next day held as far as weather, tendering and etc. However, the assistant waiter is not what we are used too. This was his first week in the MDR learning all of the ropes, so we didn't get great service, but we understood it was his first time doing this and just let him know what we needed each night. I'm pretty certain he will do a great job the more he does it! He was very nice! I'm addicted to the shows each night and the shows were really good this trip! The Royal cast was fabulous, and my favorite show was the Broadway Hits the last night of the cruise, they did fantastic! The Ice Skating Show is a MUST SEE! It's absolutely beautiful and fun to watch! Ports of Call: Cozumel - we had a nice warm day, we rented a taxi and took it over to Chankanaab National Park and snorkeled on our own (Best Snorkeling site around), ate some lunch at the beach while were there, saw the sea lion show (adorable) and had a really great day! We left there and did a little bit of shopping back at the port before we got back on the ship. Chankanaab is really nice fun place with a great beach and lots to see! We go there every time we are in Cozumel. It's $21 per person to get in, but if you go to their website beforehand, you can print off a $2 coupon. It's a great price for all the access you get inside. Grand Cayman - We had to tender in this port of call, and the tendering went really well. We had a shore excursion, so we were one of the first groups to get off the ship. We took the Jeep & Snorkel Excursion - we got to drive our own jeep and they took us around the island, we stopped at a really nice beach spot but we couldn't swim because there was a ton of seaweed, but it was beautiful to look at. The water is incredible. Our next stop was to the town of "Hell" - there we saw why it was named Hell and went into the gift shop and etc. After that they took us to another stop to enjoy some samples of Rum Cake and Rum. After that, we went to 7 Mile Beach where we could enjoy swimming, snorkeling, or just laying on the beach. This excursion was a little misleading, as we thought we would be snorkeling out somewhere nice, but it was just right at the beach at your own leisure so it wasn't much to see. Still a great time though! Jamaica - We took the Dunns River Falls Excursion - we got on a bus and took a 1 hour ride to Dunns River Falls - here we left all our belongings on the bus as we couldn't take anything with us per our tour guides and climbed the beautiful falls! I think everyone should at least do this once in Jamaica, it was breathtakingly beautiful and an absolute blast! Our guide on the falls was so much fun!!!! However, we were really sad that we couldn't tip him since we couldn't bring any money in. After that, they took us to a beautiful beach where they brought us different plates food (jerk chicken was so yummy!) and free drinks (lemonade, rum punch and etc) - we had about an 1 1/2 here to relax. We really enjoyed this excursion. The Disembarkation was a pretty easy process, lines as normal, but we were off the ship by 8:30am, so we were on good timing to get back to Dallas by early afternoon. All in All, we absolutely love Royal and will continue to sail with them! Thanks for a wonderful vacation!! :) Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
Embarkation: If you’re a Crown and Anchor member you’re fine, the lines were quick and easy. If you’re not, get ready for a long wait! Everything was quite orderly the day of embarkation, no complaints, we were on the ship by ... Read More
Embarkation: If you’re a Crown and Anchor member you’re fine, the lines were quick and easy. If you’re not, get ready for a long wait! Everything was quite orderly the day of embarkation, no complaints, we were on the ship by 11:30am! Cozumel: Getting through security points was easy; aside from a sea pass we were never asked for more identification. While people were generally kind, we were duped when we took a taxi that, instead of charging $4/person, decided to charge us $17/person. It was our mistake for not getting into a van jammed full of people I guess. We went to Mr. Sanchos Beach Club and paid for the all-inclusive experience ($55/person); which was worth it for us. The drinks were great, we were brought to our chairs where we had a waiter for the next several hours and the private beach was incredibly relaxing. If you get food, order it off the menu, it’s fantastic. The “buffet” is a joke and incredibly sparse, don’t even bother going up for it. All in all I’d go back to this resort, it takes care of the pampered “fix” with the attentive waiter, good drinks, relaxing private beach and amenities. Grand Cayman: Again, getting through security was a breeze, we were only ever asked for our sea pass. Taxis here were nominal at around $4 to get to several beaches…we went in a packed van this time. People on the island were absolutely fantastic, very kind and bubbly. We spent the day at the Royal Palms and I could not recommend this spot more! Yes, there is a $2 entry fee but the beach is beautiful, private and incredible. Since there aren’t any “water sports/kids water toys/etc” it was sparse of kids/teens, which made for a quiet and peaceful day! This spot is purely a la carte, beach chairs are $8, drinks ran anywhere from $10 on up and were well made, some of the best drinks I had on the trip. Again, if we ever go back to this port we’ll be at this location, it was fabulous! Grand Cayman is a port I would go back to over and over again :-) Jamaica: First, let me say, the port at Falmouth is fantastic. It’s new and full of great shopping; definitely try to make time to look around! But since I hadn’t heard the best things about Falmouth we decided to make this our excursion day. We did the Chukka Ziplining Canopy and Dunns River Falls tour. Our guides were great, very informative and funny during the hour long drive to Chukka. Once we arrived we were fitted with gear then sent on a 10-15 minute hike towards the start of the zipline. During our hike several of the male guides began to make conversation, most of it polite, some of it not. Case in point, when myself and another woman were “barked” at by a young guide who thought this was either flattering or funny. We found it to be neither. But moving along we began our adventure and the ziplining in and of itself was fun. There are lines, you do wait a while, and you WILL be tired at the end of it. It took us a good two hours to complete everything simply due to the volume of people in our group. Once you get back to home base they have a buffet set out for you. I use the term ‘buffet’ lightly. In fact, they shouldn’t call it that; it’s a spread of chicken, rice and beans, and salad (which, you know, we’re told not to eat anyway!). It was disappointing to say the least, you would do well to bring along some other snacks. Oh and, unlike the other ports, we were asked for tips several times after the tour. From there we went to Dunns River Falls, which was 20 minutes away. Dunns River is pretty neat when you take it in, however, you will be soaked head to toe when done. The climb isn’t terrible if you’re in decent shape but just know you can’t bring any phones/video/etc so it kind of takes away from documenting the experience…bring waterproof gear if you want to do that. I’m going to be honest, I wasn’t terribly impressed by this excursion though it was beautiful to behold. It was the type that sounded more exciting v. the actual experience. I definitely wouldn’t recommend doing this tour together with the ziplining only because it is A LOT of physical exertion…this is coming form someone who runs half marathons. I had enough midway through; it’s just too much for one day of activity. Again, at the end, we were asked for tips. Honestly out of all of the ports this was my least favorite. Jamaica is very poor (which you will see as you drive through the country), the people are kind but the constant barraging for tips (and I am a tipper!) just leaves you feeling nickeled and dimed and guilty for not throwing money to everyone who makes eye contact. I wouldn’t get off the ship if I found myself at this port again. Experience on the Ship: I have nothing negative to say. Every single staff member we came across was friendly and kind. Props to our waiter Bovino, if I could have him on every vacation I would…he would always bring us extra treats and was very attentive, just a lovely person. The food overall was good, of course, some dinners were better than others but I don’t have any complaints. The shows: I appreciated the entertainment for what it was and with that I’ll say the shows with live music compilations definitely received more positive feedback from the crowd. Karaoke was a nice way to kill time and have a drink in between events and the singers were actually very good on this cruise. This was our first time with Quest and I will be sure to be at every single one from now on, I have not laughed so hard, what a great time! We had a Promenade room, which was decently sized (for what it was) and having the window to look out of did make the room seem more open and comfortable -- I’d book this room again. My favorite place though was the Two Poets Pub…a warm and relaxing atmosphere, good beer and just a nice way to chill out. This was my first time on this class of ship and I was extremely happy with the amenities, this is a new standard of sailing for sure! Disembarkation: Holy crap, I have no idea what the heck happened but it was the biggest mess of people and luggage I’ve ever been in the middle of. There were no lines outside of the ones we formed ourselves. No people to navigate us. No rhyme or reason to ANY of it. COMPLETE CHAOS. Somehow we managed to find a line and get out….lol. This is my third cruise with RCCL and I have no reason to look anywhere else, I just love them. We booked our 4th on the ship and can’t wait for our next adventure! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
We were on the Navigator of the Seas from Sept 5-13/15 which sailed in/out of Galveston and visited the ports of Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Falmouth Jamaica. It was our girls trip this year and the two of us travelled from Canada. Our ... Read More
We were on the Navigator of the Seas from Sept 5-13/15 which sailed in/out of Galveston and visited the ports of Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Falmouth Jamaica. It was our girls trip this year and the two of us travelled from Canada. Our flight arrived in Houston at 10:30 am and we had arranged for airport to port transfers with RC transfer service which began just after 11:30 am. When checking in with the RC rep at the transfer desk (baggage claim area), we were told that the buses were running behind and that they should be there "shortly". This was the only information that was given to passengers waiting and the whole process seemed a bit disorganized - but we were patient and eventually we were loaded onto a bus at 12:45 pm. (bathroom on board). It does take about 1.5 hours to get to the port but in our case, traffic was pretty heavy and we arrived at the port at 2:45pm. Embarkation was easy as the crowds were gone and we breezed through all the checkpoints and on the ship in about 20 minutes. Stateroom: JS9268 We were in a Junior Suite on deck 9, forward location/starboard side. This was our first time in a junior suite and we appreciated the extra space. The stateroom was about the size of a typical hotel room, which compared to the regular staterooms, is quite large. The bathroom has a bathtub/shower, great water pressure and temperature. We appreciated the tub/shower combo as it was as big as a standard bathroom in your house. The balcony (covered) was bigger with two nice chairs and a round table. Inside the stateroom, we had a sofa, chair with ottoman, tea/coffee station, vanity with lit up mirror, mini fridge (did not keep things very cold), hair dryer (in a drawer), plenty of drawers, cupboard space, twin beds with night stands and a walk in closet with hangers, shelf space, iron/board. Our room steward was Susan and she was an absolute delight. Always smiling and accommodating and she surprised us most nights with imaginative towel art. Being on deck nine, we had staterooms above and below us, so it was very quiet. We were right across from the service area where they collect the luggage, etc.., but honestly, we were not disturbed during the night and slept well. The beds were comfortable and while we each had two pillows, they were not to our liking but that is just personal preference. Sleeping with one pillow was too flat but two was too much. We enjoyed room service breakfast each morning (coffee, fruit, yogurt, toast) and enjoyed it out on our deck. In the morning, we always received a phone call to let us know breakfast was on the way. Nice touch. Ship activities According to the Cruise Compass, there was a lot of activities and things to choose from. If you were interested in being pool side, there was three pools to choose from. One pool was in the Solarium area (adults only) and while the pool was open air, the seating area around it plus the huge hot tub was all undercover so it actually had the sauna effect going on rather than having any breeze. The main pool area had two pools side by side. There was a small area partitioned off for the kiddie wading pool. Wait staff did their rounds poolside for drink orders and it was easy to get drinks yourself at the two pool bars. There are lots of lounge chairs both at the pool deck as well as one level up overlooking the pool. We did not have difficulty finding two chairs and noted that staff did a good job of removing towels placed on chairs if the occupant didn't return within 45 minutes or so. There was plenty of signs up telling people that reserving chairs and leaving them unoccupied would result in the towels being removed. This made it fair for everyone to have a chair poolside at various times. The Flowrider looked challenging and we enjoyed watching but did not participate. Same with rock climbing. There was mini golf, ping pong, basketball, etc and many poolside events (men's bellyflop contest, trivia, beanbag toss, and bands playing). Deck 5, Promenade deck was like a shopping/entertainment floor with shops, restaurants, bars lining both sides. We were a bit disappointed that the Two Poets pub did not have a selection of beer on tap - rather it was bottles and cans. We found the service in the pub lacking customer service. There was no acknowledgement by bar staff as you waited. On two occasions, we were the only people standing at the bar waiting to be served. The bartenders were busy making drink orders for those at tables and although they were mixing right in front of us, there was no hello or be right with you. We found the same at Schooner's. R Bar, Boleros and Vintages wine bar had wonderful bartenders/sommeliers. We did spend a lot of time in Vintages trying different wines, learning from the sommeliers, Robert and Daniel and enjoying the atmosphere. It was fun to have a nice glass of wine, enjoy some complimentary tapas and watch the craziness of the shoppers (pushing and shoving!!) in the Promenade from our vantage point in Vintages. We saw the majority of the shows at night. The RC Orchestra are very good and supported most acts/performances. The production show singers and dancers (ballroom and toast to Broadway) were "ok" - nothing special. The comedian/ventriloquist Ron Lucas, was terrific, the fellow who did the tribute to Motown was terrific as well as the singer/impressionist Greg London. The Ice Dancing shows held in Studio B (ice rink on deck 3) are professionally done and very entertaining. We attended two art auctions and while we did not buy anything it was interesting learning about the artists and pieces and seeing what price points they were. Dining: We were on My Time dining and enjoyed it. Prior to sail date, we had made a reservation for 7:30 pm under My Time dining for the first night's dinner as our experience with cruising is that the first night is a bit of a gong show. This worked out well given the long line up of My Time diners who did not have a reservation and had to wait. We were seated in a lovely section and looked after well by head waiter Albert and assistant waiter Marcello. I truly believe that the wait staff can either add or detract from your dining experience and we were fortunate enough to be seated at table 614. After night one dinner we asked to be seated in the same section at a standing 7:30 pm reservation. There was always something on the menu that suited us and we enjoyed many dishes. The rack of lamb stood out as a wonderfully prepared dish, as well as the salmon, lasagna, escargot, French onion soup, and the decadent desserts. As we had a shipboard credit, we ate at Sabor (gourmet Mexican) and Giovanni's table (Italian). At Sabor they make your guacamole tableside (big!) and also make your margarita's tableside as well. Dessert here is a 6 piece sampler plate so it gives you the opportunity to have a few bites of 6 different items. We also enjoyed Giovanni's table where the food is served "family style". The appetizer portions are not big, so our waiter encouraged us to have three so that we could try different things. For example, the scallop appetizer was two scallops (one each), beautifully prepared and presented. They also do a pretty impressive filet mignon. Ports: Cozumel - we just walked the boardwalk/malecon from the cruise ship to the marina. It was about 10 kilometers/6 miles one way. We took a taxi back towards the cruise ship ($5) and got out to enjoy a beer ($2.50) and snack at a palapa bar overlooking the water. It was a hot/humid sunny day with a bit of a breeze coming from the water. Grand Cayman - we had an excursion booked through RC doing a catamaran cruise and swimming with the sting rays. Grand Cayman is a tender port so we hopped on the 11 am tender to give us some time to check out Georgetown prior to our excursion scheduled at 1:30 pm. Georgetown is pretty and friendly and we had a good walk around. At 1:30 at our designated meeting point (clearly marked on the pier) we got on a bus and drove to the other side of the island to the yacht club to board our catamaran. It was another beautiful sunny day. The water is crystal clear with varying shades of blue and is not deep. It took about 30 minutes to get to Stingray city. Our guides were very good about explaining what to expect, safety precautions and making sure everyone felt comfortable. The water was only waist deep so for those not comfortable in the water or thinking that you have to be a strong swimmer, consider this excursion as no swimming is involved. the guides show how to feed the stingrays (they don't have teeth) and how to touch and hold them. A photographer comes along and takes a variety of photos of you and the stingrays which you can purchase for $40. The excursion is about 3 to 3.5 hours and they tour company brings you back to the pier. At the pier, there is a shopping area/craft stalls set up exclusively for cruisers along with a bar on the water and food stands. Jamaica- we did an excursion through RC for the Green Grotto Caves and Dunn's River Falls (5.5 hour excursion starting at 8:30 am). Falmouth port is a laid back shopping/craft centre with bars/restaurants, etc. Excursion pick up was again clearly marked. We were loaded on a bus for a 30 minute drive to Green Grotto Caves (traveling from Falmouth towards Ochos Rios). Once at the caves, we had to put on hair nets with hard hats overtop. There are tons of bats in the caves, so be forewarned. Our guide took us through the cave system and gave us the history of the run-away slaves taking refuge in these caves for many years. Going through the cave pathways, there are places were you have to duck, go up and down man made stairs, and watch your footing as the pathways are not even. There were a couple of elderly folks in our group who found it difficult to navigate the stairs and walk the pathways. They did do it, but were slower. At the end of the cave tour, you are given a complimentary non-alcoholic glass of punch which is appreciated! You cannot take any food or drink in with you to the caves. We thought it might be cooler in the caves but it really is not. You are pretty hot and thirsty by the end. There is also a little snack bar if you want to buy cold bottled water or 7up or snacks, plus there are clean bathrooms. If you are not already wearing your bathing suits the tour guide will suggest you get changed here, so that we won't have to wait in line once at the Falls. Back on the bus it another 30 minutes to the Falls. We were fortunate to be able to leave all our belongings on the locked bus but there are lockers to rent. Because you get wet when climbing the falls, you are cautioned not to bring your phone or camera, etc as there is a good possibility they could be ruined. They also rent water shoes but we just wore our sneakers which worked out just fine. We were a group of 14 and they added 6 more folks with us to be led by one of the Falls' guides. Our Fall's guide was a young man named Andrew who was very good and conscientious. Each group is also joined by a guy who does a video ($40) of your group for the whole climb. The fellow who did our video, while I applaud his enthusiasm, it was annoying to keep hearing him want us to scream "ya mon", "Jamaica mon" and "oowa oowa". The climb itself was a lot of fun. It is about 900 feet in total but there are level parts as well as climbing spots. The guides do a good job of taking you through safe routes and encourage your group to hold hands and help each other along the way. No one in our group slipped or fell and I did not encounter any overly slippery rocks. There were people of all ages and shapes and sizes. It takes about 45 minutes to climb but this is due to a couple of factors 1) it is crowded! 2) the guides take you at a slow pace for safety. Once at the top you do need to pass through an artisan village and while we did not encounter aggressive vendors, many others did to the point where they felt a bit intimidated. Dunn's River Falls is a very touristy thing to do but it is fun and is nice to be in water during 100 degree sunny/humid weather. Back on the bus, it takes an hour to get back to the port. We wandered around the port and stopped in for a red ($5 each) at one of the bar/restaurants. Disembarkation: The self assist express folks started getting off at 8:15 am. As we had airport transfers, we were slated to get off the ship at 8:45 am. We had breakfast in Windjammer and our group was called right at 8:45 am. The line ups to get through customs, etc., took over an hour in total and we were on the transfer bus at 10 am. Traffic was easy Sunday morning and we arrived at Houston Airport at 11:15 am. In summary, we were very happy with the cruise and felt we were treated very well. Each staff member we passed in the hallways or other areas (with a couple of exceptions) were friendly and greeted us warmly. Will said RCI again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
Took this cruise with my wife, son and daughter in law. My wife and I have taken 15 cruises together, 6 with Royal Caribbean. We invited my son and his wife to go along. This was their first cruise and we were excited about having them ... Read More
Took this cruise with my wife, son and daughter in law. My wife and I have taken 15 cruises together, 6 with Royal Caribbean. We invited my son and his wife to go along. This was their first cruise and we were excited about having them join us. We drove to Galveston the morning of the cruise from Louisiana and my son and daughter in law drove from Dallas. I was a bit skeptical about this cruise after reading some negative reviews on this web site. I shouldn’t have worried. We had a wonderful time. Some people only notice the negative side. We had a balcony cabin on level 10 and the kids had a balcony on level 8. We had dinner every night in the dining room except for the night we went to Chops. I think that was the best steak I have ever eaten. Over all the food was good to excellent. The buffet was good at breakfast, but we usually ate lunch at some of the other venues. We had my time dining and had our evening meal at 6:30 each evening. Christ, our waiter was from India and she did an excellent job. Some of the reviews we read said that people were not friendly and acted like they had rather be doing something else. That was not the case with us. Each person we came in contact with was smiling and friendly. Our cabin steward was Igusti. We did not see much of him the first several days, but he seemed to know when our room needed attention. He did a great job. We especially enjoyed the ice show, love and marriage game and the quest. The first comedian we heard was very funny. The second one was just OK. We always go the shows in the theater and they were all good. Even though I do not participate in some of the activities such as rock climbing and flow rider, I like seeing the younger crowd enjoy themselves. We went to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica. Although we have done this itinerary several times, we still like going there. The four of us did the Catamaran sail, snorkel and beach tour. It was the best snorkeling we have ever done. Did a little shopping in Grand Cayman. It did take a little while to get off the ship, but the lines moved quickly. My wife and I did not get off in Jamaica. It was nice staying on the ship on a port day. And yes the elevators were a slow at times, but that is why God made stairs. Not only were the employees friendly but the passengers were as well. For the most part, people were friendly and courteous and just having a good time.Gotta love those Texans. The ship looked very good for her age. Just a few things that showed some wear. We like cruising with Royal Caribbean. They have never disappointed us. I would recommend them to anyone who likes cruising. They have something for all ages. We also like cruising out of Galveston because it is only a 5 hour drive and we don’t have to fly. Can’t wait to do it again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
This was our first cruise & our honeymoon. We booked Royal Caribbean b/c we heard from others that it was the better ship to travel on since the rates were slightly higher there would be less children & people. We were also ... Read More
This was our first cruise & our honeymoon. We booked Royal Caribbean b/c we heard from others that it was the better ship to travel on since the rates were slightly higher there would be less children & people. We were also told that Royal Caribbean has better food than Carnival. Embarkation & Disembarkation both went smoothly. We didn't have long lines at embarkation (we got there within less than an hour of embarkation). Disembarkation could have moved a little bit quicker with more customs lines and/or better structured disembarkation. It seems they try to get everyone off the ship at the same time, with few customs lines to get through. The cabin was clean and quiet. Our attendant was very nice. The dining room food was amazing! Although, prior to sailing we were told that formal nights were not required to have full suits & ties, etc. While we did not dress like beach bums (we brought a polo shirt & slacks for my husband, and a nice semi-casual dress for me), we did not get to engage in those nights. Also, we will not be engaging in formal nights on Royal Caribbean in the future since my husband doesn't own a suit, didn't wear one to our wedding, and won't be wearing one to his own funeral. It is sad that it is like that for both nights since we do pay extra of our hard working money to sail on Royal Caribbean, but cannot enjoy the same amenities as everyone else while we are on vacation. The adult entertainment was lacking with only one show a night (which were usually great) & it wasn't good planning that the latest night show was scheduled when the earliest port day was the following morning. Also, nothing for adults to do on "at sea" days other than sit by the pool, which was boring. Hopefully with the new water slide my husband will be able to enjoy himself more on the "at sea" days. I would rather have more of the adult shows on the "at sea" days than on port days since those days wear you out anyway. We enjoyed the ports & learned after the first one that it is safer and not much more expensive to book through the cruise line. However, if you decide to do that, all of the good excursions book up quickly. You need to book online before the trip or on the first day after embarkation. While there was not much adult entertainment provided on the ship, the ship was clean and the service was great. We enjoyed trip and are going on another this fall on Royal Caribbean. This time, we are having a couple of friends join us for a kid-free vacation! Hopefully we will have more fun with a couple that we know. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
Please understand we love cruising and couldn't wait for our first time on Royal Caribbean but we just want people to be warned to set your expectations low!! Pros-- Cozumel always awesome with the beautiful water and great people ... Read More
Please understand we love cruising and couldn't wait for our first time on Royal Caribbean but we just want people to be warned to set your expectations low!! Pros-- Cozumel always awesome with the beautiful water and great people Belize ok but if we don't go back no big deal Roatan awesome our first time there and Maya Key was amazing The comedy show of Alfred and Seymour were hilarious Cons-- notice that none of the pros were related to the ship other than the comedy show, where to start, well it smelled like mildew on the 8th floor (we warned you) the windjammer food is nearly inedible, the biscuits for breakfast can double as hockey pucks, the eggs were obviously instant eggs and not real, the dinner is below Golden Corral or Furrs, and the worst part is the windjammer closed at 9!!! The main dining room really the only good option was the lobster one night, the rest of the nights were average to below average at best, and the portions are pathetic. Don't complain about the food or you will be asked if you have tried the pay options of Chops or Sabor, which we didn't book the cruise so that we could pay addl money for food we should be getting served in the main dining room. Also if you have been on Carnival and had the luxury of Guys Burger joint you don't get that on RC no you get to pay for a burger at Johnny Rockets which was unfortunately the best meal we had. Next up is the pool area, the best seats that are facing the pool are reserved for suite holders so if you aren't in a suite (99% of the people) you will get to try to find one of the seats that don't face the TV screen or the action, and as for the TV screen don't worry it is all commercials for royal Caribbean and the bigger ships that are "better" than the one you paid for. The promenade that they are so proud of is a waste of space, Also PLEASE stop trying to get me to buy tanzanite I don't care!!!!! I could go on but you probably stopped reading anyway, to make a long story short (too late) we will NEVER cruise RC again not worth it! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
Ship looks great inside with the refurbish. they spent millions of dollars to upgrade this. However the food in the buffet was a 7.99 type of buffet. i have been on many Cruises including royal , i cruise 2-3 times a year. I noticed less ... Read More
Ship looks great inside with the refurbish. they spent millions of dollars to upgrade this. However the food in the buffet was a 7.99 type of buffet. i have been on many Cruises including royal , i cruise 2-3 times a year. I noticed less variety as well as lower quality. (cheap Chinese buffet desserts, no cake pies ect) the main dinning room was ok some nights however overall i found the food lacking. forget a late night option on this ship , the cafe promenade was terrible with the same tiny sandwich with no meat in them everyday and night. all these millions spent and you cant get a hot tasty hot sandwich??? entertainment was good, the cruise director was very boring though. he would be doing paperwork or be on celebrity with a much older crowd. overall i think royal is cutting costs on food so sadly i think this is a deal breaker for me. Adam Goldstien needs to read the reviews and correct this as he is trying for record profits im sure. staff is friendly but clearly overworked and spread thin. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
Dining was great. We have always cruised Carnival and decided to try Royal Caribbean. The ship was nice and easy to navigate. Service in dining area was great, but that's where it stops. I cruised with 10 guessed of mine and we ... Read More
Dining was great. We have always cruised Carnival and decided to try Royal Caribbean. The ship was nice and easy to navigate. Service in dining area was great, but that's where it stops. I cruised with 10 guessed of mine and we like to hang out poolside in evenings, however they pretty much roll in the entertainment at dark. All bars close early outside, big screen TV on deck rarely plays, after 7:00 the deck is virtually a ghost town. I realize they cater to seniors, but come on... there are plenty of bars inside ship but seriously under staffed. If you need help at the "service" desk, be prepared to wait and wait as it is under manned as well. I purchased a bottle of Rum in Belize (mainly to help the locals as they are in poverty) which I turned into the ship until disembarkment by protocol; Last I ever saw of that bottle! My visit to "Service" desk was a disaster. The man at the desk asked for a receipt to prove I bought a bottle. Seriously, a receipt from Belize? It was only about a $20.00 bottle which I could care less about except in principle. He was dang near rude. I only cruise about every 1-2 years, but I do so with 10-15 family members and friends. We have decided to stay with Carnival where we have yet to have a mediocre time with rude service. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
I have been on 8 Carnival cruises, but this was my 1st Royal Caribbean cruise. I am a pretty loyal Carnival cruiser as I have always enjoyed Carnival, but I was interested to find out if RC really is better. The answer is....yes. I still ... Read More
I have been on 8 Carnival cruises, but this was my 1st Royal Caribbean cruise. I am a pretty loyal Carnival cruiser as I have always enjoyed Carnival, but I was interested to find out if RC really is better. The answer is....yes. I still love Carnival and will be happy to cruise with them again, but RC is definitely more polished. The passengers are older and more genteel. Carnival is the "fun ship" and fun it is! It's loud and gawdy and I love it. The Navigator is more subdued. The crowd is certainly not rowdy. They are a well behaved bunch. At first I was a little worried as I thought I was in for snooze city, but that was not the case...at all. First I'll address my dislikes, of which there are only two. Only one deck (12) and the small deck 13 are open decks. Deck 11, with the pools, is actually closed with windows. This bugged me to no end. The adult-only Solarium area is also closed in with windows. Yes, you can open every other one, but most were left closed. It was HOT and HUMID in the Solarium. I don't know how the passengers could stand it. There was absolutely no breeze at all. It's pretty, but super hot. Most of the Solarium is shaded, which is nice because it provides the older passengers with the option of sitting poolside, but not becoming fried by the sun. However I do not understand why the outside pool deck is closed. All of the decks on Carnival are open and this is really nice. You can walk around several of the decks on Carnival ships, but not on the Navigator. My second dislike was the production shows. Please note that I am not a complainer. I never ever complain about cruises. I am so happy to be on board that I think everything is great! However....I must call a spade a spade. While the orchestra is fantastic, the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers are terrible. I mean T.E.R.R.I.B.L.E. I can see a better production at my local high school. There are 2 pairs of singers and they have absolutely no chemistry with each other. They look so stiff together. One of the male singers showed up in the first production with long, greasy looking hair and he was unshaven. He looked so smarmy it was no wonder the girls looked uncomfortable next to him. And the male dancers...where did they find these kids? And kids they are! These prepubescent boys couldn't lift the girls, and one actually dropped his partner. They were out of sync and can't jump. Please note that I realize this isn't Broadway nor So You Think You Can Dance....my bar of expectation isn't all that high. I expect cheesy performances and cheesy costumes and I'm okay with that. But this....this was painful. There really was no excuse for this. There are really good dancers all over the U.S. who would love to dance on cruise ships....where did they find these kids???? They only had 2 productions over the 7 day cruise. They need to spend the other 5 days in the fitness center working on upper body strength. Their second production wasn't any better. It was a train wreck. Carnival has the Navigator beat hands down in regard to production. While the RC singers and dancers were terrible, the Ice Show was AMAZING! RC has brought on professional skaters, as in an Olympian and several national title holders, and they perform a fantastic show. The choreography is great. The costumes are great. They are smiling and look like they are having a great time. They are in sync (take note, dancers...). This was a top of the line production. Be sure to watch the Compass for the ticket distribution and get to the show early. You don't want to miss this one! Like I mentioned previously, the orchestra is great, as are the other bands, such as Bubba Feathers and others. The live music by the pool was great! The comedians were hilarious. There was also a ventriloquist and a juggler. Superb entertainment. Royal Caribbean surpasses Carnival in this type of entertainment, and Carnival can't compete with the ice show. The FlowRider was great! My husband spent HOURS on the FlowRider. Watching was fun as the crowd claps and cheers when passengers do well and encourages everyone. It was a great time. Now for FOOD! We went to the Main Dining Room every night except one and it was great. The food is much, much better than the food on Carnival. I only had one entree that I didn't like and that was the pork chop. It's pretty tough. Think shoe leather. However our server was superb and I think he anticipated the shoe leather as he also brought a salmon dish which was excellent. The service was impeccable. The food delicious. And the desserts were of course the highlight of the meal. The food in the Windjammer was meh. Not terrible, but nothing to write home about. The burgers are better than they look. Other than that, I don't have much to say about it. We skipped breakfast as we tried to save our appetites for lunch and dinner. We went to Johnny Rockets one day. I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. It was okay. Guy's Burgers on Carnival has Johnny Rocket's beat by miles. Guy's Burgers are delicious. Johnny Rocket's is a cute place, but the fries are like frozen Or Ida fries from the freezer section. I ordered bacon cheese fries and it's just frozen fries with cheapy cheese from a can spooned on with some bacon bits. Not quite what I had in mind, but of course I ate them anyway. My opinion: save your money. It's not all that. We went to Chops Grille the night we didn't go to the MDR. Chops Grille was A+. We have been to the Steakhouse on Carnival twice and thought it was meh. Chops Grille is heads above Carnival's steakhouse. If you like Carnival's Steakhouse, you'll LOVE Chops. If you hate Carnival's Steakhouse, you'll LOVE Chops. The service was outstanding and the meal was perfection. The service on the ship is friendly and accommodating. They sell the drink packages like they do on Carnival, but I didn't see any drunk passengers. That's certainly a change from Carnival. One night we enjoyed the hot tub and it was so quiet on the pool deck it was surprising. I am used to the laughter and rowdiness of the Carnival deck. I think the Carnival passengers enjoy their beverage packages more than the RC passengers. (We don't purchase the drink packages as we don't drink much alcohol.) The other thing I noticed is that Carnival really pushes the drinks. A waiter stops by your lounge chair every 10 minutes on Carnival. The Navigator didn't push the drinks as much. I'm not saying this was good or bad, just an observation. Disembarking was fine. There was a delay due to a computer issue in the terminal, but this didn't have anything to do with RC. I'm sure this was stressful to people who had a plane to catch, but it didn't bother us. In regard to embarkation, it was a breeze. We were at the terminal by 10:30 and was on the ship by 11:00. Parked at EZ Cruise and as always they were super efficient and friendly. This was a fantastic cruise. One of my favorites! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
I think the main issue I had with our cruise was the order we went on cruise ships. We went on allure and oasis then went on the navigator. If we went on the navigator first, we wouldn't have been disappointed. Lets start with the ... Read More
I think the main issue I had with our cruise was the order we went on cruise ships. We went on allure and oasis then went on the navigator. If we went on the navigator first, we wouldn't have been disappointed. Lets start with the Good: Boarding was fast. Sit down dinning was awesome. Service in the dinning was tremendous. Room was clean and exactly what we expected. 1 really good dual comedian show. Other comedians where ok. Love and Marriage was hysterical. Quest was outrageous. Casino staff was lively and so nice! Negatives: Leaving was slow. Windjammer food was not fresh. It was edible but not nearly as good as other ships. The Sport Crew were extremely silent with no personality. They spent a lot of time on the flowerier testing it. There was a few times the wait to get on it was very long. I thought this was kind of rude. 2 production shows and ICE dancing show- I did not enjoy. I just did not care for the theme of them. Juggler- was ok but did not seem like a "headliner" Wifi- Extremely slow. Advertisement on it was very miss leading. They burry the fact it could be slower then expected. I went to talk to Customer Care about this and they were very dismissive. 1 Shore excursion- Conditions were extremely wavy. Father became very sick after struggling snorkeling. He ingested a ton of salt water. It was much more extreme then advertised. Over half the people ended up giving up and going back into the boat. Life jackets were not nice enough for conditions. They were the type you blow into. He struggled with trying to blow into it more while n the water. This ruined the last few days of the trip for my father. Shops- I bought a few items that seemed fair. I spent about $250 on board on gifts. I wanted to purchase a Gshock watch that retailed for $250. Next to the watch it said price match guarantee. I looked the watch up on amazon with my slow wifi. It was $165 with prime delivery. I walked up to the salesman with the ad. He said we don't price match to online retailers and walked away and greeted a customer looking at a more expensive watch. I have since purchased the watch on amazon. I felt a bit like really? I emailed Royal and they offered there apology. It was nice to have an apology. Our overall experience was ehh. Most of these items are no big deal. The shore excursion was my father's fault for over estimating his swimming capability. I feel they could have done better. I complained once about the wifi and once by email. I was brushed away by all. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
Being in hospitality myself, it requires foundational customer service skills that are not reflected in Royal Caribbean's core values. I booked this cruise with two best friends to celebrate our 30th birthday. Although it seemed ... Read More
Being in hospitality myself, it requires foundational customer service skills that are not reflected in Royal Caribbean's core values. I booked this cruise with two best friends to celebrate our 30th birthday. Although it seemed hopeful, the booking process was relentlessly stressful and needless to say we will probably not be booking again. Our sales rep was helpful up until he made the sale. Once we made our deposit, he had disappeared without a trace. I left several voicemails as well as numerous emails with questions regarding our trip as I had been a first time cruiser. He never returned one voicemail or one email to this day. The final payment process became even more strenuous when we realized the due date to be paid in full was within the week. Regardless of the lack of help from our sales rep, we paid based on the invoice sent. The month before our sail date, I called him again to inquire about a shuttle from Houston airport to the Galveston port. I was met with quite the shock to find out that Royal Caribbean had decided to cancel our cruise due to a remaining balance. Immediately I pressed zero to speak to ANY representative in order to correct this horrible mistake. I had not received any cancellation notice via email and I was in complete horror that our vacation was canceled. After an hour of being transferred to at least 3 people, I learned that our sales rep had added a vacation protection plan which was Not included on the only invoice that he emailed me. Therefore, we never knew we had a remaining balance and were extremely frustrated how Royal Caribbean had handled our situation. Not once was there an apology but rather blame on the us, the customer, for not knowing. Finally after 90 minutes of pleading with the customer service department, I spoke with Geneva Harrison and Samantha Koomen who were both a breath of fresh air and the glimpse of hope that rescued our vacation. These 2 ladies exuded empathy by pausing to reflect our feeling of distress and offered a solution. Although it wasn't ideal, they were able to apply our penalty to the cruise originally booked and I paid the difference in full over the phone. We couldn't get the original price so I paid the rack rate. The additional amount of money spent could have paid for a second cruise however I was completely grateful for the two women that owned the situation and were willing to come up with a recovery solution. These two individuals should be recognized for their distinct skill set that includes positivity, empathy, patience and professionalism which defines customer service. We were anxious as our sail date approached; hoping that we wouldn't deal with any other problems. Boarding the ship was a smooth process however the guest service/ front desk team on the ship was a mirror image of the phone operators with misinformation. Every employee at the desk gave us a different answer to the same question asked about gratuities and beverage packages. We decided that it would just be best to avoid speaking to guest services and book with another cruise line next time. When we were allowed to go to our cabins, we were informed that one of our suit cases was misplaced and would be sent to the room later in the evening around 7pm. Trying to maintain a calm attitude, our day 1 of our 7 day cruise seemed to start off disappointing. Needless to say, we were not impressed with setting sail with Royal Caribbean however we met some employees on the Navigator of the Seas that are worth mentioning. These team members brightened our day daily and Royal Caribbean should be honored to have such employees aboard their ship. Shauna and Jakob in the windjammer cafe were a great start to our morning. They were always cheerful and even if we were unable to find a seat in their section, they would find us and make sure we had our coffee and excursions set for the day. Bernadette, Gilberto, Dean, Agnelo and Bobie were absolutely delightful during our evening dinners in the Sapphire room. We never could pick who would serve us each night because each person brought a unique exuberant attitude to our dining experience. We loved our dinner conversations with each waiter and seating host as we learned about their hometowns and family life. It made the vacation more personal and created unforgettable connections. Lastly our room attendant Tanoe was fabulous. He conversed with us multiple times a day to ensure our stay was beyond expectation. Working for a hotel, I know the importance of the operations team. They run the property/ ship and are the face of the company. These employees operated their functions with pride and perfection as mere advocates for the enjoyment of their guests. None of them knew the experience we had booking the vacation however each of them created new memories and new loyalties to the Royal Caribbean family. Although Royal Caribbean has room for improvement, their employees on their ship make the vacation worth while. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
First i want to stat this by saying that certain people on the Navigator of the Seas went over and above in their efforts to not only make sure we had a great vacation but that everyone else that they served did as well. First shout ... Read More
First i want to stat this by saying that certain people on the Navigator of the Seas went over and above in their efforts to not only make sure we had a great vacation but that everyone else that they served did as well. First shout out to Cat in the Solarium bar. He knew my name and my wife's name and what we drank every time one of us walked up. Second shout out to Ella and her team at the R Bar. I have never seen a team work so well together. It was an incredible site of precision and efficiency, not only were their cocktails perfect and constant each time, no matter which one made it, the camaraderie between them and the guest was a true pleasure. Third was to Muammer and Sheetal in the fifth floor dining room. Their level of service was unmatched. Their anticipation and attention to detail made each evening a fine dining experience. Lastly one goes to Kwame Mathews. He was the assistant front desk manager who was able to help us out when we were ready to quit the cruise early due the the mold/mildew issue on the eighth floor. These folks above deserve every congratulations and celebration they can get. Dealing with 2500-3000 people everyday is a daunting task and they did it with a smile and never let us feel like we were intruding on their time. After saying all that i will mention some items that made me swear off Royal Caribbean Cruise Line for a cruise vacation. The first issue was mentioned earlier. The MOLD/MILDEW on the eight floor. It was overwhelming. Many people complained and their complaints as well as ours seemingly fell on deaf ears. Sunday night the first night at sea we had a crew member say that he could not smell anything so we were imagining it. After several phone calls and trips to the desk we ended up with people in our room until 1:30 am to deal with the “crazy peoples” mold problem and temperature issues. Yes we could not get the temp regulated in the room either. Very frustrating. It was not until three days later that something was done. This only after Kay’s asthma had kicked in and she was taking meds to prevent further developments over the issue. Windjammer buffet…food quality below average, hours open limited. service levels non existent. Main dining…service outstanding, food quality slightly better than windjammer but very limited. Bar service…other than those listed above i would say horrible is a kind word. At the Cosmopolitan night club i witnessed two waiters standing around with their trays at their side either talking to each other or just watching the dance floor. This was each and every night. I finally had to give one waitress $20 dollars cash just to get service without having to track down someone. Bar preparedness was poor as well. Whoever managed this bar is not experienced or not gifted in making sure essential items were stocked. On more than one occasion I saw someone ask for a drink and they said we cant make it right now because something was missing, either a mixer or basic spirit. They then would leave to go get it. While that was nice this left the bar down one bartender often, two bartenders on a couple of occasions and once when all three were off getting things like Jack Daniels, grapefruit juice or something else. meanwhile waiters still standing around watching the ladies on the dance floor. Debarkation…what a mess that was. We showed up at our designated meeting place to await debarkation. It was roped off. Staff said we could not go in until fifteen minutes before our estimated debarkation time. Their was a lobby full of people, young children, older folks, people with walkers etc who had to stand around an hour or more because we were not allowed in to sit down. Commercials…this isn't a complaint per se but it was annoying to get Royal Caribbean commercials all day at the big screen at the pool. Very tiresome. I do not usually write a review on anything because i know that most people just gripe about stuff but this was a vacation that is actually shaping our future vacation plans. At one point despite all of this we wanted to talk to the NextCruise people about a European cruise. we cancelled that appointment deciding to go on another cruise line instead. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
Ok, not our first cruise. Have cruised Norwegian, Carnival and Royal. We choose Royal because our last cruise was great as far as the ship was concerned. Hats off to Cat at the Solarium who always knew our name and drink, even when ... Read More
Ok, not our first cruise. Have cruised Norwegian, Carnival and Royal. We choose Royal because our last cruise was great as far as the ship was concerned. Hats off to Cat at the Solarium who always knew our name and drink, even when changing venues at night..he can save the night!. Ella and team at R Bar..true mixologist and need to make a youtube video. You girls rock! Daniel the Whiskey expert on the Promenade is just fun! I believe his friend was Nola, they rock too! Muareem and Sheetal on 5th floor dinning room..Thanks for knowing we needed extra shrimp cocktail each night before we asked, always making sure I had the correct food for dietary restrictions and for even keeping me eating something that would probably make me sick later:) Thank you Kwame Matthews for finally getting me out of the cabin that was going to land me in hospital with pneumonia. Now on to the complaints. We exited the elevator to our room on the 8th floor with a balcony and were immediately met with the smell of mold. Now, I know I have sensitive nose to this because it is my asthma/bronchitis/pneumonia trigger but after sometime my hubby could also smell it. We immediately called, someone came down and said they could not notice anything. We called again and someone came and said they would shampoo the carpet in the morning, to which I explained that would not get rid of mold, he could do the hall but not the room because it would make it worse. Now on top of the mold the room was warm. We figured it was due to it not being set on low, so we turned it down and went off to explore and have dinner & dance. We got back 11:30-12 and the room was steaming. 3 people later and now it is 1:30 am the best solution we can come up for mold and heat is a fan! Well this tends to make one grumpy, sleepy, not feeling well, & well you get it so Monday both of us were not in great moods. Oh, I forgot to mention that we paid for internet because we had some business stuff to take care of. It took 3 phone calls to get that where we could log on( which consumed the bulk of two lost days) of internet. Once we could log on, the service was so slow we could only load one page and the internet would freeze. So, we had already complained so much we were hesitant to address this issue, they did give us one day credit due to log on issues but we just said forget it on the slow service issue. OK, back to mold, finally on day three after telling them they would need to pay my medical bills we get moved to a room on deck 2 that someone unexpectedly deserted at Cozumel. FYI, they eventually after other complaints found a leak on deck 8 and had fans out trying to dry it out..they will need to replace the carpet. Other than the ones mentioned above and a few others, service was non existent. We (and I mean me and hubby, hubby &friends, me &friends, etc) could stand at a bar that was not busy and not even be acknowledged, even with a “hi!’ At R Bar they would be swamped 2-3 people deep and they would ask what you wanted and tell you just a few and then when got to you repeat the drink back. At the Windjammer forget it, the salad bar was so lacking it was pathetic, you could get “gluten free, just ask” but good luck finding someone to ask. And it closes at 9 pm so you are really out of luck if you don't make dinner because your selection is the Promenade cafe which is even more skimpy than the Starbucks selection (well other than if gluten free they do have Udis GF snickerdoodles which are a huge treat) Leaving the boat/getting from venue to venue…well heaven help you if you are elderly and with a walker or wheelchair. First you have to wait 5 or more minutes for an elevator and then make sure you get on a floor that will take you to the other end of ship you need to be on and then catch another elevator…just a tip, allow 30 minutes to get somewhere. Oh and if you need to leave the ship make sure to not ask the staff, find someone to help you. We saw quite a few elderly wandering hallways frustrated trying to figure out how to get off the ship or get to whatever end of the boat the activity was going on. Entertainment, I will be honest we knew we would be bored. We are used to poolside activities starting at 9 or 10 am poolside (swim up bar) and being on the hour something to entertain us. But this was horrible, big screen videos which only encouraged people to watch tv and commercials for RC. Good grief, we are already on RC, do something to encourage us to come back. What no late night buffets, no theme nights. We even had discussed booking a Mediterranean cruise for the discount while onboard but as the trip went on we decided we would book with another cruise line. Before this trip we would swear by RC, not now. I honestly think the prepaid tips encourage lack of service. Those that getting marketing, the ones that we gave a shout out to, got extra tips. We are not hostile, ignorant travelers. But we appreciate those that go out of their way. We will give extra at end of trip, if you make yourself memorable, then you get extra for it. I have spent hours talking with the staff, I know what they do is not easy. I too am in a service per se industry…people are hard to deal with…but those who can market day in and day out and keep the charm on…they get extra reward. So…long review…sum up. Unless RC gives me on heck of a deal for my Mediterranean trip or something, I will not do RC again. We thought Carnival was lacking on service when we went (and it was only in bar area, not eating or room, we always had a towel something awaiting and dancing by waitstaff and midnight buffets) RC really disappointed us this time. I cant logically give a one so 2 is the overall rating..if not for the people we were with and the people we met and have already contacted after getting home and our excursions and the great staff we mentioned, it would be a 0 Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
My wife and I (both in our early ‘50s) just returned from the 8/23 sailing of the Navigator of the Seas from Galveston to Cozumel, Grand Cayman & Falmouth, Jamaica. Overall, this was a very exception cruise. It was our third ... Read More
My wife and I (both in our early ‘50s) just returned from the 8/23 sailing of the Navigator of the Seas from Galveston to Cozumel, Grand Cayman & Falmouth, Jamaica. Overall, this was a very exception cruise. It was our third cruise (Norwegian Jade & RCL’s Splendor of the Seas were the others, both in Europe), and the ship was much bigger than those first two. We were a little worried that it would seem more crowded, but to be honest, the feeling was about the same. The pool was packed on sea days. The shopping areas get packed at night. But our anxieties were misplaced…it was populated with lots of people but VERY rarely did it particularly merit notice. The passengers were mostly American and mostly from Texas. A sprinkling of folks from around the world filled in the rest (I heard Spanish, Hindi, German, French and others I didn’t recognize). It was a friendly group with better elevator manners than some others. The ship was renovated in early 2014 and overall it looks GREAT. To really find signs of wear, look UP. The ceilings in many of the public places like the main dining room were a bit grimy. But for the most part, it all looked quite shiny! Now, for specific categories. EMBARKATION: Galveston port is a chaotic mess. We were in port with the Carnival Magic, also taking on passengers, so the drive up to the terminal took awhile. Once I unloaded my wife and our luggage, a porter from RCL came to us almost immediately, and whisked away our bags, but first took the time to actually ask us if we had our passports and other documents. Nice touch. Then taking the car to the Port of Galveston parking was another traffic jam challenge, and then you have to wait for a shuttle to take you back to the terminal. Of course, it was very hot outside. My wife waited for me at the terminal and said it was even hotter inside the big metal building than standing in the shade outside. I would say from time we arrived at the port area to the time I was reunited with my wife after dropping the car was 45 minutes. My biggest complaint is that the port doesn’t have enough signage. You really are left to your own to figure out how to manage. We got there at 11:15, and most of the passengers from the cruise before were gone, but it was still chaos. Our past experiences have been Barcelona and Civitavecchia…both of those were a complete breeze, BUT I wasn’t driving either. Once reunited, y wife and I checked in and were on the ship in 20 minutes, most that time spent waiting on Deck 4 to get our Sea Passes scanned. Overall, not too bad. Once onboard, we got a drink at the nearest bar and then began to explore, including a stop at the buffet. (No other dining options on embarkation day.) STATEROOM: We were in 8298, a balcony room. Our luggage arrived by our cabin by 5pm, if not sooner (we weren’t there to see it delivered. The balcony is very small, the smallest we’ve had. 2 chairs and a small table, with room for almost nothing else. We just like to go out there to look out at the surroundings and to sit and read, so our purposes were met. The carpet and walls out there could have used some renovating, I suppose. The room itself, while small (SHOCKER!!) was clean and efficient. We actually had plenty of storage space. The bed was comfortable. The little table/dresser area was handy. Note that there are two outlets built into the dresser, and that’s IT for outlets. You can’t get at the one behind the fridge (I’ve done that on a past cruise). So bring cords or something to expand your options. The fridge was not terribly cold. The closest was nicely sized (again, for a cruise ship). Bathroom was small, but I like that RCL has actual useable counter space at the sink AND some actual shelves in the mirror. We were fine with this. The shower is a small round tube. (Same as we had on SPLENDOR). It is certainly tiny but perfectly utilitarian. The carpet in the room looked pretty new. Bernadette was our stateroom attendant, and she was perfectly friendly. We didn’t see much of her, but she was always great when we did. She did NOT empty our mini-bar as requested, but always kept us stocked with ice and extra towels, as requested on day one. I’ve had flashier attendants, but she was more than okay. COMPLIMENTARY DINING: We had My Time Dining, and we got off to a rough start. We went there at about 1pm to make our dinner reservation for that night (7 pm). When we showed up, they seemed almost unprepared to see us and the table we were given was not acceptable. Carts with dirty dishes went past us constantly. We could practically have handled the water jug refills for them! Also, our waiter that night was not very friendly or helpful and I’m not sure we ever saw our assistant waiter. Just not off to a good start AT ALL. After dinner, we asked for new seating and the lady who helped us was not very helpful. “Well, you may have to sit with others.” Nope, no go, we said. Then she gave a non-specific reply that left us not feeling very good about things. The next morning, we went back and spoke to a young man from Slovenia who was a bit more reassuring. And they obviously put some notes about us in their seating software, because after that, everyone was super aware of us (they probably said we were “picky” or something….which I don’t think we are overall). But we got a nice table and a much better waiter (Umesh) and assistant (Rohan) than before. After that, aside from a couple of nights were the host staff was a bit harried, we had great service. The meals themselves ranged from fine to great. Day 6, by the way, was lobster. We usually got an appetizer each with a third to split. Almost all were very good. Main courses were generally okay, although one night my wife’s pork was very fatty and I had the “classic” menu strip steak which was very average indeed. But most other meals excelled, and the desserts were varied and fun. (Lobster night, the Grand Marnier Souffle was really exceptional.) We frequently had breakfast in Sapphire (the main dining room) and it was always good without ever being great. The French toast was nice. The bacon was variable. The fried eggs over easy were always runny (a plus). The toast was thin and hard, more like a giant Melba cracker than bread. But we enjoyed it. We ate lunch there one day, and it was very nice. The tossed salad bar was fun. You tell the guy what you want on your salad and he dumps it all into a bowl and then tosses your salad with your dressing so you get a very nice stirred salad…better than you could do yourself without risking a mess. We used room service twice for breakfast on excursion days. On time both times, and exactly what we ordered. We seldom went to the buffet after embarkation day, but did try once for breakfast and once for lunch. It was perfectly fine…a cattle call experience, but with nice presentation and a very friendly staff. The food was always perfectly acceptable, and the Jamaican Beef stew as really tasty! The big disappointment in “Free food” was the 24 hour option. The Promenade Café (part of the Royal Promenade that makes up the middle of deck 5…think of it as the shopping mall) is open all the time, but only has so-so pizza and little sandwiches. Plus a few dessert choices. You go through a deli line for your food. Water and tea available to drink, but no ice nearby. On our previous two cruises, we enjoyed the “anytime” options because on the Jade, you could sit and order from a menu, even at 2 am and the Splendor had a café that was aft, with outside seating perfect for watching sailaways (although I gather that is gone now). In fact, there is no place aft to sit outside at a table. There are some spots with loungers, but I missed having something like the Great Outdoors on the Jade, where you could sit outside either under sun or shade, and have your drink at a table and just enjoy the views. (Oh, dress code. Casual except for Days 2 & 6, which are formal). On the casual days, yes, there were guys in shorts and flip flops in the dining room. It’s disappointing, but not a total distraction. On formal days, everyone looked very nice, but I saw only one actual Tuxedo. Never bothered me. Take a sportscoat…you’ll be covered, in my opinion. Yes, plenty of men wore ties, but plenty didn’t. But the overall effect was still one of “I’m on a Caribbean vacation, gosh darn it, and wearing a coat and slacks is pretty darn dressy.” And it was!) PREMIIUM DINING: We had dinner one night at Chops. (We started a tradition on our first cruise of having a “Date Night” where we splurge a bit on the food and wine.) Chops was quite good. The French onion soup is killer…the single favorite think I ate all week. The steak was very good and the side items ranged from okay to great. Dessert was decadent (although they had fewer choices than I would have expected). We got great service and the atmosphere was very intimate. Worth the extra, in my opinion. We did not try the other venues, although Izumi is on our list for next time. On the Navigator, it is near the top of the ship and has some great views! BARS: We are not the kind to “hang around in bars”, but we did play some trivia at Schooners. It was a nice spot, but the bar service there was always a bit slow. Bolero’s was right by the door we entered the ship on Day 1, so the first place we got a drink. It was a nice place, but we didn’t spend much time there. We never did anything at the R Bar, but it actually looked pretty nice. Our favorite spot to sit and chill (as far as bars) was the pub. The only place on the ship where you can get a different selection of beer. Still not a staggering choice, but better, with a couple of Belgian Wit Biers which I enjoyed. Most nights, a guitarist played there, singing “classic rock” tunes. He was okay. (Schooners had their “piano man” but we were never there for that.) If you’re looking for a relaxing bar, try the Cosmopolitan Club up on Deck 14. At night, it is the late-night club, but during the day, it provides great views, comfy seating, no crowds and good A/C! So relaxing. The ship also has Vintages, a wine bar, but we never went in, and from the looks of it, not many other people went there either. I never saw more than two tables occupied, even though it was right in the middle of the promenade. The Star Lounge is the bigger club, where Karaoke and other such events take place. In the evening, it’s tough to find a seat there…you have to arrive well ahead of the events. It’s a nice enough space though. ENTERTAINMENT: We really enjoyed most of the entertainment, which was heavy on comedy. Here’s what we had: Night 1: One show only. Navigator the Seas orchestra played for about 10 minutes (they are a very tight outfit…should be used more) and then a very funny comedian rounded out the show. All ages show. Night 2: The “ship’s company” did a ballroom dancing show. There was a guest couple, who have won some dancing competitions, and they were suitably skilled and impressive. But the rest of the show was extremely lackluster. Dancing was sloppy and signing was uninspired. Worst show we saw. That night, the same comedian did a 10:30 “adult only” show. It was a bit racier, but really not much more than PG-13. Very funny. Night 3: An “Elton John impersonator with a comedic twist”. This turned out be really entertaining. Not much singing (5 songs or parts of songs, I think), but great costumes and lots of humor. Big surprise…worth seeing for sure. (Show featured the orchestra…very good again.) Night 4: No show. The Ice skating venue had two shows, but we had tickets for Saturday afternoon. Night 5: A comedy duo. This was a very high energy duo who just bounced all over the place, including doing some great mocking of the latecomers. (Why would you ever come late to a comedy show and then try to sit down front???) We laughed a lot. Night 6: Another comedian. Very funny. Night 7: The orchestra played as the company did a “salute to Broadway” show. Some of the stuff was very obscure, but this show was much better than the ballroom dancing show. Concluded with a MAMMA MIA medley that was a good capper. The orchestra was excellent again. At 10:15 pm, the comedian did his adult’s only show. It was VERY R-rated, and often bordered on the offensive. He got quite nasty with a lady who heckled him. Yes, she deserved a good comeback (which she got!), but then he mocked her graphically throughout. I am not a prude at all, but the show made me uncomfortable at times with its nastiness. We REALLY enjoyed the Ice show. Get your tickets on Day One (distribution started at 3pm for us) and enjoy. Yes, there were some falls, but again, the ship is gently rocking throughout. But the fun-factor was high and crowd was really into it, which helps. We were back in Studio B on night 6 for the Quest Show. GO TO THIS. Even if you don’t participate, it is a blast to watch. DON’T TAKE YOUR KIDS. OUTSIDE: As always, there were chair hogs galore on the chairs around the pool (Deck 11). But Deck 12, the area that overlooks the pool, was NEVER crowded. We got some nice tans and never had trouble finding a place to sit. We also spent a little time (actually on Day 1, before we even sailed) watching folks wipe out on the Flowrider. Go check it out, even if you have no interest in doing it yourself. The basketball/volleyball court was always in use, which was nice to see. The ping pong tables were frustrating because there is always a breeze at sea, so it was tough to get in a reasonable game. Miniature golf was challenging (again, the ship is always listing slightly), so we played one perfunctory round. Do not bother with the golf simulator. I did it, and consider it to have been a waste of my $25. Observation deck was gorgeous (Deck 5) and hardly anyone was ever there because it gets windy. Deck 4 has the walkway almost all the way round (a promenade of sorts, I guess) and we did play some shuffleboard there. Never any crowds. SHOPPING; the shopping is extremely typical, with the same watches, jewelry (Tanzanite! Zultanite!!!) and perfume as always, but I did appreciate the overall aesthetics of the Royal Promenade. It is a lovely space. I liked that they changed the lighting from “daytime” to “night” (with a sunset in between). There was also a couple of big events there a couple of nights (Disco Night) and the whole area became party central. It is a nice space, even if you don’t want to shop. PORTS: We did private excursions (just the 2 of us) each stop. This review is more for the ship, of course, but let me just touch on a few items. Cozumel: We did an excursion to the ruins of Tulum. It was worth doing, but it does eat up a chunk of your day. Next time, we’ll stay on the island and do some more adventuresome activity there. The shopping “Mall” as you exit the ship is a mazelike zoo of very pushy vendors. Just too much, and very ineffective, because we just rushed through in an effort to get away from the obnoxious vendors. Be prepared for this place…there is no straight-shot from ship to main street; you have to navigate the maze. Grand Cayman: We did a boat tour. Visited Star Fish bay, Stingray City (Great fun!!) and did some good snorkeling at the reef. All in a 4 hour tour. The island is much more laid back, no crazy salespeople. Ironically, we spent the most money here, buying gifts. This is a tender port. There were 3 ships in that day (Navigator plus Carnival Magic & Breeze). I’ve heard the tender process can be brutal here, but we had NO such experience. Smooth as can be both coming and going. Falmouth: Another shopping mall here to greet you, but the vendors are much more chilled out and the mall is lovely. And you can quickly walk through it if you so choose. We took a private tour for zip lining, with lunch afterwards at Scotchie’s (in Discovery Bay) for jerk chicken and pork. Go there if you can. I know it’s “touristy” but we arrived at 12:30 and there were few folks there that early. The food was GREAT! And inexpensive. I didn’t know what the currency rate was, so I worried a bit, but our whole chicken, 3 large side items and 2 Red Stripes was $24 USD!! MISC: The staff, overall, was friendly, but I’d say a tiny bit less friendly than others we’ve had. Nothing bad (expect what I mention above), but there were a few folks (random bar staff or hosts) who just weren’t in to it. Internet service was maddeningly slow. I expected it, but it had been 3 years since we cruised, so I had hoped it might be a little bit better. No dice. The photographers were just as bad as they always are with their cheesy poses. Yes, minor grips throughout, but considering the logistics of a cruise, and how great so many other things were, I can’t give less than 5 stars. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
I was pleased to see that they have returned staffers to the dining room service. An RC cruise we took 3/2014 had marked shortages in the dining room. Overall, I think this is a good value and we enjoyed the ports. We booked our own ... Read More
I was pleased to see that they have returned staffers to the dining room service. An RC cruise we took 3/2014 had marked shortages in the dining room. Overall, I think this is a good value and we enjoyed the ports. We booked our own excursions. Ocean Adventure was great for our 3.5 and 9 year old boys. There were just enough activities planned. We avoid the musical shows and stick to the headliners now. Joel /Elton John guy was so good and I think we've seen Phil Anderson/Piano Bar on at least 4 cruises. I enjoyed the casino with low limits every night not just off peak hours. Embarkation in Galveston was a mess...not RC's fault...security lines were long and disembarkation was a joke...there are NO signs telling where the luggage is, porter line or custom line..you have to ask someone in uniform. Dang, make a few signs. Speaking of lines, I had to plan and go down the ice show entrance on 1st sea day by 9am to wait in line to get tickets for 1 of 4 ice shows. It was Ice Dancing and not so exciting as other RC's shows I've seen but we enjoyed it. I waited about 20 minutes. The next day, I had to get in line for tender tickets for the following day in Belize. That line was about 15 minutes. You kind of get punished for not booking a RC' excursion cuz you don't have to have tender tickets. Without tender tickets, you are the last to get off the ship. Speaking of, we had the longest tender ever. It was 20 minutes! That's a ferry ride in my book. It was fine but just unexpected- 20 each way. Carnival Magic was next to us out in the deep blue waters. I was pleased to see breakfast room service with more than continental stuff- the Quantum did not have anything but drink/pastries ! The windjammer was better than in times past and I was able to stick to a low-fat, sugar-free diet. They also had a lot of gluten free selections. Dining room service was very good and the selection was fine. I do not pay for specialty restaurants. Had a little issue with one staffer telling my son he wasn't 52" tall for Flowrider and miraculously he was over 52" days later when we tried again-somebody was messing with the height flag. He was turned down on the Quantum and devastated when he was turned down again and we KNEW he was 52.5 inches tall. At least he got to go on it and had a blast. They are very helpful on the Flowrider. Last, the drink package- I found it hard to drink at least 7 beers per day on the basic beer/wine package but if you factor in the sodas it might be worth it. In other words, I had diet coke and sprite for the kids the whole cruise. Don't get me wrong, I like beer but that many beers 6 days in a row ! Keep in mind the 18%tax on packages and a la carte. I loved the fitness center but didn't see ANY staff. No charge for wet/dry saunas. Last the cabin- deck 9 #9356. Location was okay ( didn't want to be too close to stairs/elevators) no noise from above but of course you can hear everyone's door slam. I did not like that there was no aft elevator access on this floor -you had to go to mid-ship. Sadly, the toilet had a strong urine/sewer odor the entire cruise. Our cabin guy was great and tried to spray some stuff in there but I think it's the positioning of the cabin/toilet system so I would not recommend this room. The balcony was fine. I do wish RC would allow family of 4 to get more pullman options which my 9 year old prefers but they make us go in the double sofa beds. Read Less
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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