Review; Navigator of the Seas- Run and get on board
I usually try and avoid cruising the Caribbean during the hot summer months but a friend called and before I knew it I booked the newly renovated “Navigator of the Seas”, a voyager class ship with many of the features of the Freedom class ships + much, much more – let the fun begin!
Embarkation: Painless, simple and quick but some confusion regarding the bringing of alcohol (two bottles of wine) on board. Arrived around mid day and was on board in twenty minutes.
Cabins: I personally think that the promenade inside cabins are the best cabins on these ships. I could not get a promenade deck cabin but was happy with my inside cabin on deck 6. There were a number of minor issues – i.e.; the safe did not work correctly, TV remote and the hairdryer were broken but these inconveniences were not show stoppers. I would gladly book an inside cabin but long for the promenade deck cabins.
Dining/Food: I selected “My Time Dinning”. Overall food in the main dining room at dinner was nothing short of very good; sure some nights better than others but still very good. I made one special request and the staff came through with flying colors. The nightly hostesses were very accommodating and tried to seat you at your requested table. I am not a breakfast person and was always in the Diamond lounge so no comment on the buffet/Windjammer Café breakfast fare. For lunch I went to the main dining room and was pleased…loved the salad and service what I can say. My only disappointment was the Mexican specialty restaurant Sabo which was a new feature on this ship – definitely not worth the $25 cover charge + you get charged a hefty sum for drinks..If at least one of the drinks was free, I would reconsider. The food was good; some of it very good, but overall, nothing great enough to spend extra $ on.
Public Rooms: Simply beautiful! The ship was nicely decorated and I loved the promenade. Deck 5 serves as the main hub of activity, as well as decks 4 and 3. One of the newest onboard attractions is a HUGE TV screen on deck #10 overlooking the pool. This screen displayed various scenes of aquatic life/comedy skits during the day, but evening showings included movies. I was hoping for a football game but no such luck.
Entertainment: In the evening, you will find music playing at several locations throughout the ship. There is a piano bar, also variety music in different lounges, and karaoke at the Star Lounge was usually crowded each night I went but needs a better song selection. The Promenade occasionally had a band, and there was a guitar player at the bar. Did not go to the disco, but I will say the volume for music at any venue was GREAT – not so loud you needed ear plugs nor too low to feel ‘in the mood’ – perfect volume level! The parade on night one was off the charts and the 70’s celebration was just as good. I attended three shows and all were good; the Beach Boys reenactment was very nicely done. The Ice Show was most excellent!
Ports of call: We stopped at three terrific ports: Roatan, Belize and Cozumel. I never take the ship excursions because I think they are too expensive. In Roatan I went deep sea fishing; Belize – just walked around (not much to see in town, so stay on the ship unless you have something specific to do); and in Cozumel I got a massage and had a drink/did wifi at my hangout bar.
Activities: We can separate the on board activities into two types: usual ship activities (trivia, bingo, bean bag toss, not so newlywed games, etc.), and the sports type (rock climbing, flow rider, volleyball etc.) All were GREAT (are you not getting tired of hearing this).
Disembarkation: You can take your own bags off although after you leave the ship and are going downstairs into the terminal, they might not let you take your bags on the escalator (some bags had already tumbled down causing some issues) and if the elevator stops working, you might experience some delay/frustration which happened to my wife. Otherwise, no real issues except with customs, but they were overworked. No hassle getting a cab as I pre-arranged.
Overall: A wonderful cruise experience. I would not hesitate to recommend this ship to anybody – wonderful staff, great food, plenty to do – what more can you ask for?! PACK YOUR bags NOW.