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Publication Date: September 11, 2015

These are some sad experiences on this year’s July cruise.

The butler appeared to be under extreme pressure at times and here are just some of the issues:

iPad. We asked whether we could have some music in our suite and he said that

iPads were not available however two days later he delivered one to us.

We asked for some videos and he told us they were available at reception. The reception said that they do not have any videos available!

In accordance with our suite arrangements we requested the free pressing of four items which eventually arrived on the evening of the following day.

On the last day we requested breakfast in our suite which arrived without any butter for the toast.

I asked him what the dress code arrangements are for dining at lunch at the Splendido. He enquired and said that long trousers must be worn. Whilst I was at reception before departing there was a local person on the hospitality desk and I rechecked with her and she said no, smart shorts are allowed, so I asked her to ring the hotel just to confirm this was the situation (it was).


above Butler service was not what we had experienced before or what we expected this time. I think they need to be better briefed and I don’t know whether he is a new person on board the ship but felt as though he wasn’t up to coping possibly due to the ship being full!


The general dining standards were standards on this cruise were very poor in relation to previous cruises and a few other people had also said that they believed it was also and it was evident that there were some cut backs in quality being introduced. The ship had a capacity, I’m informed, of 768 with many families and we were constantly told this but it was not what we wanted to hear.

Sunday (lunch) Veranda. We tried the veal, it was very tough and very difficult to cut. The salads were of a poor standard and also the food choice was poor, lacking in imagination and quality.

Breakfast in the suite mostly took an hour to arrive and the poached eggs were solid and the toast cold.

We had lunch in the Veranda on two more occasions, the lamb with a feta crust was very tough and the pork was quite inedible, again, with very poor salads. The choices were limited and mostly the same each day with few local dishes.

Lunch in the main restaurant was at the best average with poor choices.

Dinner, one night we pre-ordered Crepe Suzette’s, they arrived cold on cold plates, such a shame as the sauce was very good. This was pointed out to the waiter who apologized.

Veranda(Evening). My wife ordered the veal chop, it was so overcooked I can only assume that it had been pre-cooked then heated up (veal should always be served pink). I complained to the waiter but no one came to see us. We had another night without a main course.

Prime 7. On our last night we had a rearranged 7 o’clock reservation instead of A sharing table at 9 o’clock. We both ordered the hot crabs legs. On arrival the smell was very strong, we called the waiter who agreed and sent them back. We then ordered lobsters tails instead one of which arrived just fine, the other was partially translucent. For our main course we ordered steak Pittsburg style (a little burnt on the outside and pinkish in the middle). Two extremely rare steaks arrived, when we pointed this out the waiter came and apologized with a plate to take them back to the kitchen and cook them some more. We said “well what about the vegetables!” the Maître d’ arrived and said to take it all away and start again. Dinner then arrived at 10 o’clock. All in all It was the worst food we have had on any cruise ship and we were constantly told the ship is full and that is why the standards were not up to scratch. This is not our problem and something we should not have to think about.

Subsequent correspondence requesting the cancellation of another cruise booked for October this year on the same ship was not even considered. They wanted to charge a cancellation fee based upon 50% of the full fare amounting to £6101.50 they would not consider also transferring this cruise to a third party or to allow a credit on a future cruise so there was no option to proceed and I can only hope that everything will be 100% in October.

Having been a loyal customer and ambassador to Regent for many years with almost 70 days cruising I feel that they have been unreasonable and inflexible.

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Happy 90th Birthday
Publication Date: September 9, 2015

We recently sailed on the Westerdam out of Seattle to Alaska in August of 2015. This trip was a family get together to celebrate my Mom’s 90th birthday. We booked this trip as a group, were assigned a group number, and since this trip was also booked on a prior HAL cruise we were eligible for the Explore 4 promotion. This promotion included a free Pinnacle Grill dinner per person, free beverage service of up to 15 items (alcoholic as well as non-alcoholic) per day, and a 50% booking fee. We had a total of 14 people in 7 cabins. Our problems started shortly after embarkation when we discovered that our daughter and her husband had been removed from our group booking. According to the folks in the front office this happened as a result of her upgrade from a D to a VE cabin. She actually paid additional cash for this upgrade. Surprisingly, my Mom also did this exact same upgrade with no ill effects. I had all the supporting documentation of this error that clearly showed that the error was HAL’s. There was only one individual in the front

office that took our side in this fight. She was Ms. Ninka Bakker, but she turned out to have no influence on the main office. She did take photocopies of all my confirmations and sent them to the main office in Seattle. Unfortunately, the other individuals at the front desk were simply rude.

Well, the first night of the cruise was actually my Mom’s birthday and we had the Pinnacle Grill scheduled for that, and it took quite a bit of complaining to get our daughter and son-in-law invited to that dinner as well. I had also ordered a cake for my Mom’s birthday 3 months in advance, and then I was asked to renew this order almost at monthly intervals. Well, when we checked with the restaurant to make sure that they had all the information, they had no clue that they were supposed to have a cake for my Mom. I luckily had all my supporting documents with me including the original cake order and the fax confirmation when I placed this order. They were able to their credit provide a cake at the last minute.

As the oldest daughter, I was responsible for coordinating this group excursion, and had a lot of interaction with the main office in Seattle. You probably wonder why I brought all the documentation with me onboard. It was actually quite a file of papers approximately 2 inches thick of standard computer paper some pages had print on two sides. It was my interactions with the folks at HAL that encouraged me to do this because I could see that there was NO communication between various departments, and the departments also did not know what the policies of the other departments were. In other words, management at HAL stinks. I can also say that my Mom who is a 4 star mariner with HAL was very disappointed and stated that their customer service has deteriorated over the years.

You will probably then ask, how did the rest of the cruise go? It was fair. The food was OK, with lines on the Lido deck, the dining room portions were small, but you could order multiple items if you chose. The ship itself is older, with areas needing extra care, rust was evident. Our bathroom was clean, but showed signs of inexpert caulking. The entertainment was fair, leaving not much to do on sea days, unless you were an aficionado of the casino or bars. There was Wi-Fi, which was dreadfully expensive and VERY slow. The only part of the cruise that was memorable was the shore excursions in Alaska. We had previous experience with an Alaska cruise with Princess, which we will do again.

I also sent complaint letters and emails to HAL in Seattle after the cruise and have NOT received any kind of reply, other than a confirmation that my email did arrive at the HAL main office.

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Very clean ship but...
Publication Date: September 7, 2015

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 hope

I 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 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

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