But if you love Carnival then you probably will not like this cruise experience on Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas. It does not matter what I liked or did not like. What matters is you getting the relaxing vacation you have invested. Hope this review helps you plan a great vacation. Navigator of the Seas is not like any Carnival ship. The attitude of Navigator of the Seas is not at all like Carnival. In some ways Navigator of the Seas out performs Carnival Magic which was its competition at the Port of Galveston, Texas.
Navigator of the Seas has better Embarkation procedures that allow passengers to check in fairly quickly. Navigator of the Seas is strict about check in documents and will leave you and your child behind if birth certificates are hospital issued instead of state/county issued. Expired passports or passports that are about to expire are not accepted. If you are divorced, try not to go off on a cruise with your new girlfriend/boyfriend but expect your ex to provide your documents at the last minute. All birth certificates must be notorized at the state/county level. I hopeI helped prevent some situations passengers complained about.
Once on the ship, the safety briefing must be given before the ship can sail. Please don't give the staff grief. Just go. Get there early if you want a seat. Late comers must stand and it gets super crowded - more people crushed against one another on cruises when the ship is full. To their credit - at least this safety briefing is inside and air conditioned.
Cabin 7230 - a balcony was our home for 7 days to Cozumel Mexico, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica. The room was very clean. The attendant always asked about or satisfaction. passing through halls, attendants in general seemed - not friendly. Not meAn. Maybe tired of saying "good morning" to people who would not tip them or tired in general. Some cultures speak a greeting while others do not. My culture speaks a greeting out of politeness, and I always received a polite greeting in return.
Windjammer buffet was always full of great choices. Carnival has a better selection, but the taste was better on Navigator of the Seas for basic buffet items with Indian food available upon request.it is easy to be gluten free, lactose free, and vegetarian or vegan on Navigator of the Seas. Carnival had better omlets and stir frys. The Windjammer seemed small compared to Carnival Magic Lido buffet.
The main dining room called MDR was lovely. The service was very good but the staff seemed stressed compared to Carnival Magic where the wait staff seemed to be truly happy providing wait staff services. Maybe Magic wait staff were better actors. I selected gluten free options and always had excellent choices and foods. Even if a person is not required to eat gluten free, I recommend it for those who experience sea sickness. After my doctor recommended a gluten free diet and dietary supplements, I can now sail without seasickness.
Movement at seas was barely felt. On a previous cruise on Navigator of the Seas we went through a storm and the ship movement was noticeable. On this cruise with mostly calm seas, the was barely any movement in the cabin or other parts of the ship. Most of the movement is felt in the rear aft part of the ship.
Flow rider - I observed people using the flow rider. Because people fell hard, I chose not to try, but those who did seemed to enjoy it.
Skating rink - I cannot skate but for My partner's sake I got on the ice. It was not fun but My partner enjoyed it. The skating area is small but sufficient. No ship movement was felt. I enjoyed watching others skate, remember how to skate, and teach others to skate.
Shows - I only attended one show. Compared to Carnival Magic, Magic serves a younger crowd for sure. A whole lot of fully grey heads, walkers, canes, wheel chairs loved the show. Most young adults would not be impressed. The singing and dancing was elegant but not multigenerational. The previous navigator of the Seas cruise had a young group of A Capella singers that all ages could enjoy.
Free gym was small and busy. A large whirlpool is in the gym and a sauna. Gym faces the ship's bridge with obstructions blocking the view.
I did not uses beauty and spa services.
Adult area - some polite people quietly relaxing. Two hot tubs that were hot. Carnival Magic had more hot tubs on the ship if I remember correctly but some were cold. One swimming pool in the adult area. Here I pause to comment on the attude of the adults in the pool. A few were kinda snobbish with one old lady taking charge of the pool and took the opportunity to speak ugly about another passenger who went to the pool to actually swim. No one was in the pool early that morning when the swimming began. When the over 60 went to do her walking exercise in the pool, she was offended by the swimmer because "she was a heavyset lady and splashed me with water. I thought I was going to drown." Hum. She was in a pool early in the morning and wouldn't let a swimmer do laps then leave? She stayed in the pool all day and whenever someone went to the empty pool, she would go start her walking exercises. I noticed she would start complaining about other passengers to the middle aged Anglo Americans whenever someone she didn't like entered the pool. Then I noticed zero non Anglos in the adult pool. By day 6i understood why. I don't know if this woman lives on Navigator of the Seas or she is elitist or racist but be alert for her if you use the adult pool. Everyone else was nice but by day 6 she had poisoned the minds of those who listened. The men would drink alcohol all day and stay in the adult pool. The top of the pool was soaked with a layer of sunscreen probably from that one lady. The southern ladies have a way of being sugar sweet with their sharp tongues. Be alert. Most passengers were nice but there was plenty of snobbishness and elitism that surprised me. Royal Caribbean cost a couple hundred more than Carnival but there was a pervasive hatred of Carnival on Navigator of the Seas among passengers and some crew. At least Carnival people are down to earth. On Carnival I have sat in the MDR with a physician, dentist, nurse, teacher, and retired police chief. On Navigator of the Seas, they seemed to have trouble seating us among the racist snobs. But that's okay because how thy live is how they will die - angry bitter sad people. I learned that no matter how much education we have - and we have a lot, no matter our socio economic level, racism is alive and well on Navigator. On an upscale ship, I could have understood the elitism - but not on Navigator. Most of the 3000 passengers were nice folks, but the few I met who were racist in that sickly sweet southern way let us know that we did not fit in on Navigator of the Seas and Royal Caribbean in general. My partner told me that whenever he went into the pool, all the Anglo women would leave. So of course, that meant we needed to desegregate the pool on this cruise - and we did though the water was nasty with all that scum floating in it. You decide if I am talking about the people or the sunscreen.
The family pool area had two hot tubs and two large salt water pools. We liked to go floating in the salt water pools. My partner thought the Anglo women would leave when he arrived but they did not. Everyone got along. Everyone gave room for anyone who wanted to float. Just a totally different environment than the racist adult pool. If the people were elitist or racist, they were well-bred enough not to show it openly. No hate. Just people of all ages relaxing. Families teaching their kids how to swim. No overt touching. Carnival Magic being a fun ship had more open romances among all gender identities. Some people did not like the live music at the family pool area but I did. Vybzs 4 I believe was the name of the primary Reggae group but the lead singer could perform any genre. Very good singing that some did not appreciate because all they know is country music. Some people don't want to learn anything beyond their comfort zone.
Children activities. The little children seemed to have fun and so did the young teens. The older teens and young adult teens struggled to connect with their age groups. Passengers were either young or old on this cruise with a sprinkling of middle aged. The young adult 20s and early 30s did not seem to be traveling solo but with very large family groups. By the end of day 5, young people were connecting which was great to see. I encouraged one to try and I guess I made an impression because I was invited to the club. The imitation was an honor,but these old bones were too tired to attend. It was great for the ship to recognize the social needs of the young adults.
Chapel - nice chapel for wedding, religious services, or reflections - or photos. One night a ship wide announcement for Sabbeth services was announced.
Other activities - one night was a picnic in the family pool area with live music and dancing. It was the best all ages event.
Buying aboard the ship - no general store. I guess the cabin attendant can get supplies. Mostly very expensive jewelry and branding items. Those $10 ship deals were few on this cruise. Guess they ran out before the sale.
Other restaurants - there are several restaurants that cost extra. I ate Indian food at the Grille and it was very good. The Indian food at the Windjamer was okay but not as good as at the restaurant. Book early if you want to eat at the restaurant.
24 hour cafe is free but tiny. Carnival Magic had more 24 hour food choices.
Hamburger restaurant had a cover charge. Did not eat there.
Room service free food was surprisingly good.
Cleanliness - very clean ship. Hand sanitation was mostly enforced in the Windjammer buffet entrance which angered some passengers who did not like the taste of alcohol when they ate. Sometimes I wonder how these people would feel if nurses took that attitude before proving their care. One passenger was elitist because she did not believe her hands could possible carry germs, she washed her hands and said she did'nt touch anything - but how would we know?
Ships officers - I only saw them on Elegant night. I am sure they were present. On Carnival Magic, I saw ships officers more often.
Quiet places to rest or read, on this cruise, a few people including a cewmember scoffed because I carried either an iPad or book with me as if that's a big taboo on Navigator of the Seas. This was my second cruise so I knew that I wanted to read. One man in an electric wheelchair interrupted me to joke about me reading the excursion material. Why would he care? Why do these people care? Oh yes, I forgot, people of our type are not supposed to read or use iPads. That's the type of cruise this was. The first cruise was not like this one or I would not have returned to Navigator of the Seas for this particular cruise.
Disembarkation was a bit lengthy. The trick is to be the first or wait til last to disembark quickly.
Side note: these were new officers to the ship and the crew did not have the same joy as those under th previous officers
Don't know where to begin as the whole experience was awful.
Room accommodations were not as specified. No upper bunk although our confirmation clearly showed one.
Food in Windjammer cafe was disgusting except for the fresh salad bar.
Room service took forever and things were left off the tray. Ala butter or jelly when ordering toast, or nasty coffee that tasted like it had been sitting for days.
Curfew for 17 and under 1 a.m. which was horrible and not announced until ship sails. Hair became like straw due to water on ship and after several conditionings at the salon, stayed bad, ($87) cost not refunded.
One member of the party was not able to travel due to a mental health issue that is documented and all they would say was they would give him 50% of the far back but this is about $250, and we will NEVER take Royal Carribbean again. They were not kind to kids, all shows were for the older crowd. Asked for help int he casino and no one would help us. Disembarking was a total fiasco and took forever, as I left the ship FINALLY theysent me back through the ridiculous crowd and told me there was a problem with my bill, after I waited over an hour to get off the ship! Never again.
Guest relations listens and says they are sorry, not enough. Carnival Magic was AMAZING and we had the time of our lives a year ago - if you have kids do NOT go Royal Carribbean, the announcements alone are negative and against your children. Some production comedy numbers were so awful; people left. Just not funny and downright stupid. If you want more details just ask but I am telling everyone I know NOT TO CRUISE WITH THEM
Our 11th cruise, 2nd on Royal Caribbean, was a great cruise. We were impressed with the ship which had a recent refurbishment, and the ease of getting around the ship. Our cabin was a balcony on Deck 8, Mid-Ship, # 8336 which was very smooth when sailing and very quite. We left out of Galveston as we are able to drive to the port in about 1 1/2 hours from our home in S/W Louisiana. We have booked this same ship for another cruise in November, 2014.
Never got the chance to sail with them and never will. Here's what they deleted that I put on their facebook within 2 minutes of it being up there. Too bad you can't edit the entire internet, eh?
DO NOT PLAN YOUR HONEYMOON WITH THEM. IF THEY CANCEL IT AND YOU HAVE PAID FOR AIRFARE THAT IS NONREFUNDABLE THEY DO NOTHING TO HELP YOU.
"I cannot believe you people cancelled my honeymoon after it WAS ALREADY BOOKED! How do you not know you were going to be moving the ship to the caribbean in December, you know, 7 months from now? What did you guys just randomly decide that? What are we supposed to do about the $2,000 plane tickets WE ALREADY BOUGHT?! And you guys were completely unsympathetic and didn't care, just said if we book another cruise with you you'll give us some onboard credit?!
ONE, my would I want to book with a cruiseline that has cancelled my honeymoon. What's to say you won't cancel anything else I book?
TWO, you have NOTHING similar anytime close to my Dec 2nd wedding.
I am frantic right now. We are going to lose our$2,000 plane tickets if we don't rebook with the same airline going to the same place but you guys don't have anything similar so how the heck can we?! I can't begin to describe how completely heartbroken and disappointed I am with your customer service and your policies regarding cancellations. I am not made of money, my fiance and I are paying for everything ourselves and we decided to splurge on this cruise because it was my dream and now we're going to be out 2,000 because you guys had no idea what you were doing?
I will never again book with RCI and I will be sure to tell everyone I know about this ordeal. About the lack of sympathy. About the complete disregard for the fact we're two students who saved for ages to be able to afford this but nevermind that. We're irrelevant to a big corporation like you guys. I truly cannot even express the depth of my sadness right now and thank you for ruining my dream trip, probably the only trip of this sort I will be able to afford in my lifetime and thank you for the complete disregard for the money already invested. Thanks"
As an experienced cruiser on several lines(and a Diamond member with RCCL's loyalty program)I've seen many changes in the overall cruising experience as the various companies merged and sometimes changed their philosophies on customer service, ship size, etc.
Navigator was the largest ship I've been on to date, and I was concerned that the increased number of passengers would result in additional demands on the staff - ultimately resulting in poorer service. I firmly believe this to be the case. Examples include longer lines at bars, less waiters on the pool deck, poorer training and English comprehension by dining room wait staff, far more clutter in common areas - particularly Windjammer buffet "cafe", and overall a far diluted experience from cruises on smaller ships and certainly a step down from Celebrity. Granted some of my prior cruises took place several years ago when RCCL's philosophy seemed to be "the customer always comes first" and all I ever heard from staff was "No problem, sir." I'm not sure what their philosophy is now, but it seemed to be more like,"Explain to the customer how it's really their fault" and "It's not my problem". Andat times worse.
Here's an example of every cruiser's customer service desk nightmare: Partner N. and I went to the Purser's desk to get the tips for her children (in a separate cabin) pre-paid on the 2nd to last day. Ours (2 occupants of "my" cabin) were paid in cash. We were very clear. With the direct supervision of the clerk "Put a #2 right there...", we filled out the appropriate form with a very clear #2 at the end of the bolded print saying, "Total number of guests charging customary gratuities to my seapass account".
When 3 gratuities were charged to her account (a $40 error in their favor) I was furious and was told they'd look into it but couldn't change it because the accountants weren't there! At my insistance I spoke with the desk manager (O. from Turkey I believe), who assured me that if the original form had a #2 on it, we'd get the refund. I wanted to believe him and hoped the issue would be resolved as I had already generously (over)paid the cash tips.
The next morning I received a photocopy of the original form which had CLEARLY been altered from a 2 to a (practically illegible) #3 - changed with a different pen! THE ALTERATION WAS OBVIOUS AND THEY STILL DENIED THAT SUCH A THING COULD HAPPEN! Not only did they make an incompetent error in their favor, they TRIED TO COVER IT UP RATHER THAN FIX IT!
Where I come from they call such rascals thieves and I went back and very loudly said so in front of a long line of dissatisfied cruisers. After a lot of "no way" head nodding from the individuals visible in the back "accounting" room, and at the last minute (precluding breakfast on disembarkation day...) another clerk found a way around the "can't undo the tip" problem and credited her account an equal amount under a different code, but only after my very loud and public continued expression of my displeasure. This is not the kind of training, leadership, and customer service I expect from ANY cruise line, let alone one I once owned stock in. Fortunately I no longer do, as I am disgusted by the "capture the herd" mentality.
Partner N. was on her first cruise and while she and the kids generally had a good time, she has told me that the crowded, noisy experience was unpleasant enough that it will likely be her last. I've never heard that before after an RCCL cruise - only after cruises on the "other" big line. Seems like both major companies employ clowns now. Maybe they should just merge and get it over with because the experience on RCCL has been degraded to what I once associated with the big "C."
Hmm, they could change the name of the big club on top of the RCCL ships to the Viking "Clown" lounge...
Dining room selections have been greatly reduced, and Chops grill selections now grace the inside menu for only "14.95" additional. I met several cruisers who ONLY do the specialty restaurants every night. Geez... Just choose a better line with better food already!
Cozumel was just fine by the way, we hired a cab to drive us around the island, toured some ruins (bring bug spray!), and stopped at San Franciso beach - highly recommended. Best day I've had in Mexico on many trips. Stick with the Ceviche and avoid the larger and more expensive seafood platters and you'll be ok. Good cigars from the hawkers on the beach too. N. and kids loved the water rock climing wall and other features ($10 each wristband to use) at the beach nextdoor. Otherwise Mexico still is what it is.
I can say I've had a worse time on a cruise but not with RCCL. Very disappointing to see that bigger clearly does NOT mean better if you're concerned with service and quality. Personally I'm switching back to Celebrity or smaller "sailing" ships. But after this experience, I'm concerned about what corporate changes I might encounter there as well. I guess I'll have to keep reading other's cruisemates reviews before booking, eh? One more cruise like this and I'll just fly down and charter instead.
We left Columbus Ohio on April 14, 2009 for Ft. Lauderdale for our 30th anniversary cruise. This was a 14 day transatlantic cruise to Spain. We spent 2 nights in Ft. Lauderdale at an Encolodge on Taft Street. It was very reasonable and newly remodeled. We rented a car from Gold Coast and drove to Hobe Sound where we used to live. We ate at an Italian restaurant called Napoli's, and it was so good we ate there both nights that we were in the area. The pizza was the best.
We got on the ship on April 16 for our 14 day cruise. This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean and we were not sure what to expect. Getting on the ship went very smooth and fast. The ship was beautiful. We had not been on a ship this big, and so very well laid out. We had no trouble finding our way around and the 5th floor Promanade Hall was great.
The ship was very clean and the workers were very friendly. We had a leak in our bathroom somewhere and it came out onto the carpet. Theywere there really fast to fix the leak, though it took a couple of days for the carpet to dry which was no big deal.
We found lots of things to do on the ship. We did the climbing wall, ice skating, and laid out on the deck to read.
Some of the shows were really good, and some were just ok. The music in some of the lounges was great. We liked the ice skating show the best.
We did play the Quest game and that was a lot of fun.
Our dining room was very nice. It was very bright, which was good because we do not like dark dining rooms. Our waiter and our assiatant waiter were great. They were very friendly and funny, and they took time to talk with you. My wife ordered off of the kids menu and the waiter thought this to be funny, but he got her what she wanted. Our water glassses we could not empty. The waiters were there to refill them instantly.
Overall we had a great cruise and we are looking to book another transatlantic cruise. The next time we won't take too many clothes, because we did not wear all that we took on this cruise.
This was our third cruise with Royal Caribbean and the one we liked the least. Upon arrival at the port the porters were not very helpful at all (even with tip in hand). I was very glad that I made my own baggage tickets ahead of time so that I did not have to wait for them to give me a baggage tag. My parents, who were traveling with my husband and I, had to wait until someone finally came around to give them a tag, but then had to borrow a pen from me to fill it out.
We made it to our rooms and unloaded our carry-on bag and went to the Windjammer for lunch. As usual, it was a mob scene and one of my least favorite places on the ship. Some people can be so rude and this is a good place to see it first hand.
After a quick bite to eat, we met up with my brother, his wife, and three children. This was their first cruise and they were so excited and happy. We walked around and explored the ship and it wasa lot of fun.
My husband and I noticed that this ship, compared to the others we had been on in 2006 and 2007, was in need of repair and upgrades. The carpeting, and towels and bedding in our room was rather worn and needed to be replaced. The room was clean however.
The food in the main dining room was rather poor compared to the other two cruises we were on. It usually came cold or room temp and there was nothing really special about it. We also noticed that the portions seemed much smaller. We left hungry most nights. The service was horrible. The main server was very moody and seemed unhappy. His assistant was about the same but did try and show the kids some interesting little tricks.
Overall the crew seemed tired and not very helpful. Even the cruise director, Paul, just seemed plain tired and rather boring!!
We took an excursion in Grand Cayman called the Reef and Wreck Snorkel. We were supposed to be met at the pier at 12 noon, but they were about 30 minutes late. We finally loaded a bus that took us about a block away. We boarded a boat and went to the wreck part of the excursion (you can actually see from the pier). We stayed there for about 30 minutes and traveled just a short distance to the reef part and stayed about another 30 minutes (the crew of the boat threw bread in the water to attract the fish). The boat took us back to where the bus dropped us off, but we had to walk back to the pier. The excursion was suppose to be 2-1/2 hours, but we lost 1/2 hour because they were late and we did not get much snorkel time at all.
In Jamaica we walked off the ship just to shop in a little "village," but no sooner than we walked off the ship, we were accosted by people who wanted to bring us to "see Jamaica." Every couple of feet someone came up to us offering to take us somewhere. We just kept saying no thanks. In the shop the clerks did not seem happy to see us, but rather the opposite. We felt very unwelcomed and almost a little hated. My brother even had to come to the rescue of a young lady who was walking by herself and was being followed by several men who were really bothering her. She was almost in tears and could not thank us enough for helping her. Jamaica was very unpleasant, to say the least.
Overall Our experience overall was fair to poor. I am glad this was not our first cruise because I don't know if I would go on another one after experiencing some of the negative things with this one. Our other two cruises were top notch! On a scale of one to 10 (10 being the best) I would give this cruise a 4.5!
My husband and I just returned from a 4 night cruise on The Navigater of the Seas. This was our 27th cruise (4th on Royal Caribbean). We were very pleasantly surprised. The ship was just wonderful from head to toe. The food, the entertainment, service etc. All great!! We were not impressed with Royal Caribbean in the past, but we were certainly wowed by this ship. The promenade deck is a great addition, especially the 24 hour cafe. The ice show was spectacular!! We cannot wait to go on this ship again, and I would highly recmmend this ship to anyone.
See pictures here: CruiseMates Gallery
This is my second time on the Navigator of the Seas. I think my first visit was better than the second time.
Let me start with the good, because no cruise is completely bad.
The ship is very clean and well kept. The food in the main dining room is very good, and the staff is friendly for the most part.
This ship is starting to show some wear in areas.
Let me be specific. I noticed wear on the carpet going into my stateroom from the hall. I noticed the railing on the balcony was so in need of teak oil it felt like I would get a splinter.
Ok so that's not so bad let me continue..
Two days in a row I had towels with holes in them, and I don't mean small holes, really big holes.
Too top it off, I had no hot water on Saturday night. i had to take a cold shower.
The hot water issue really upset me because when I called I was told "This is a cruise ship" and in a matter of words they said this is tobe expected.
I'm not going into the details but let me say that it was handled badly and left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
The food in the windjammer was no better than ok.
It seems like lunch and dinner are much better than breakfast.
I tried to use room service but I waited and waited on hold for at least 20 minutes and no one ever answered, so I gave up and walked down the the cafe.
Bottom line is that this cruise did not go so smooth for me. Will it be the same for you? I won't say, but things are not looking up on the Navigator.
To end, even with all of this I did enjoy the day in Cozumel, we went on the "Jungle Buggy" on Sunshine tours, I highly suggest this tour.
I also really enjoyed the dinner in the main dining room.
We just completed our third cruise with Royal Caribbean. This was our least favorite of the three.
The cruise director was obnoxious and annoying. The entertainment in the evening shows lacked the quality of the previous cruises. Two nights we actually got up and left during the show.
The cleanliness of the tables in the Windjammer was very poor. They were always streaked, looking like they had been wiped with a dirty cloth.
We were in a group of 16. Some of us experienced soiled linens and stained towels.
The food in the dining room was average, at best. The portions seemed much smaller than previous cruises.
The prices for alcohol were also more expensive.
All in all, it was disappointing, and we will definitely consider another cruise line for our next vacation.