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John and Janet K. Matthews

Age: 69 and 68

Occupation:Retired IBM

Number of Cruises: 17+

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Navigator of the Seas

Sailing Date: February 11th, 2006

Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean

It has just been two months since we sailed on Explorer of the Seas and we are very excited to see the difference between the Explorer and the Navigator of the Seas. We’re especially looking forward to this cruise since we were celebrating our 48th wedding anniversary. We decided not to do a JS this time so we booked a balcony #7600, wheelchair accessible, which was great. I am still using an electric scooter for my back and leg. I cannot get over the fantastic bathrooms for the physically challenged. Our travel agent, Bill, Above and Beyond Travel in Austin, assured us this room would be as nice as our JS and he was right! Also, kudos to Care Vacations on my electric scooter it was a beauty.

Embarkation:

Embarkation was difficult, as porters did not have enough wheelchairs for people that needed them. We had a waiting line. I was assured we would eventually get a wheelchair and the gentleman came thru as promised. It is absolutely amazing to me with all the activity going on they get everyone on board. Not only did a wheelchair arrive but someone to push me all the way to my room. John was thrilled and gave the young man a nice tip! Crown & Anchor provides a nice service here.

When we arrived at our destination, room #7600, on the 7th floor it was decorated for our anniversary and had a dozen roses thanks to Sammie and Bill. A very nice surprise! I do believe that the physically challenged rooms on RCCL are a third larger than the regular rooms. It makes it nice when you have an electric scooter to manipulate in your room. Our room steward, Martin, did a great job. We always had enough towels, cute little towel animals as well and etc.

The Navigator of the Seas is a beauty. Everyone is extremely helpful and friendly. John and I decided to do something different this cruise. We decided to do the Windjammer and the specialty restaurants and not eat in our assigned seating in the main dining room as we were always missing shows or rushing thru dinner due to 2nd seating. This is mainly a review of the restaurants/shows as I felt the ports had already been critiqued. We only ate one meal in the dining room and that was eggs benedict for breakfast.

Chops Grill:

Oh, boy, what’s not to like here. The service and the food are excellent and the list goes on. It is very easy to make a reservation. The first night on board you just go up to the Chops Grill desk and the waiter is more than happy to help you. We had our anniversary dinner at Chops. There is a $20.00 cover charge for each person but well worth it. The meat comes out on a tray and you pick the piece of meat you want and it is cooked to your order. You may have any side dish you want. The people at Chops made room for my scooter as well.

Portofino:

This restaurant has excellent food as well. I could have been a happy camper just going to Chops and Portofino every night but you would have had to literally “roll” me off the ship as the food is rich, delicious and wonderfully prepared. Again, this restaurant is very easy to make a reservation at. This restaurant has a $20.00 cover charge per person as well. A space was provided for my electric scooter.

Johnny Rockets:

I remember Johnny Rockets back when I was a kid. There is a cover charge (very minor) but well worth it. The malts and shakes are super and the hamburgers were not bad either. The young people in Johnny Rockets were full of energy and fun to watch.

Windjammer:

We felt the Windjammer had better food and selection than the main dining room. We ate most of our meals there. They’re is an omelet (both regular and egg beaters) station at the back of the ship. The salads are excellent, as you make your own. There is a pasta station and whatever is served in the main dining room (except for the lobster) is served in Windjammer. At night all the tables have tablecloths on them as well and waiters are around to help

Jade:

This little restaurant is the first one going into Windjammer. I can’t handle a lot of seasoning and Jade is an Oriental restaurant. The fruit here is great. It serves three meals a day as well. My husband ate at Jade one night and said the egg rolls were superb.

Promenade Café:

There is a very nice little café on the promenade that served absolutely delicious cookies and little sandwiches, pizza, hot tea, coffee and fruit. One night we just ate here, as we were so full. We were not alone either and everyone was so friendly and we met some very nice people at this little Café. It is very easy to pull up on your scooter/wheel chair at this Café and many people did just that.

The Promenade is kept spotless and no small task with so many people aboard but you never felt like you were in a crowd. There are lots of shops as well as entertainment and music. Every night a different group would play, some with singing, string instruments, and guitar.

Studio B:

We went to the ice skating show at Studio B and had a nice surprise, as there was a guest skater from Russia. She was wonderful! Several people attempted to get tickets to see her again. The ice skating show on Navigator of the Seas was outstanding and very professional. The skating was near Olympic quality.

There is special “parking” for wheel chair/scooters at Studio B. I watched the ice-skating from my electric scooter and had one of the best seats in the house. My husband was able to sit right next to me in a theater seat.

Shows/Entertainment

We watched several shows of the singers and dancers and one specialty show of a comedian. We laughed so hard we had tears in our eyes! All were excellent. We were not expecting this caliber of entertainment.

Disembarkation Suggestion:

Royal Caribbean needs more wheel chairs for the people who cannot make it on their own to get off the ship. They especially need more “wide-bodied” wheel chairs. Several elderly had difficulty.

I would love to see different ports of call on these larger ships. Navigator of the Seas is a ship I would sail again. She is a perfect anniversary cruise.

Happy Cruising.

Jan and John

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