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Blanche Poulet

Age: 60

Occupation:small business owner

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Navigator of the Seas

Sailing Date: 2010-10-2

Itinerary: Eastern Carribean

We had a wonderful 12 days overall. We will never forget the ports visited or the time spent with family getting to each destination. The ship is beautiful and the cabin was much more comfortable than we expected. We have traveled extensively, but never cruised. Using a cruise took the worry out of traveling to a destination like Egypt. I doubt we would have ever gone to Egypt without a cruise, and we had a wonderful time.

We though of the boat as our oasis and really enjoyed getting on board every evening.

The food is not gourmet, but it is not bad either. The staff and service in the formal dining room were excellent. Meal choices were provided for all tastes and dietary restrictions. I found myself eating the "healthy" meal selection by choice and they good....not gourmet, but good. The main issue with food is the Windjammer Buffet. We avoided this dinning experience whenever possible, the food is typical buffet....lukewarm, bland, and by the pound....but it is edible. The problem is the crowding and poor ability to get to a table. I don't understand why running a buffet is so difficult. We actually began to joke when it was necessary to go to the Windjammer because of a commitment or activity that it was time to "Jam" at the Jammer. That was the experience. Crowding and difficulty finding a table.

Take my advice and just use the main dinning room for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You will be much happier. Great service and views. We had first class views and tables with no crowds by simply going to the formal dinning room (we didn't even need to be specially dressed). I never understood why more people didn't use this option.

The cruise line really needs to work on the buffet....

While the wine selection was OK...(US table wines), I was a little disappointed to be in Europe, drinking middle of the road Ca wines.....especially since we are from Ca. Why don't they have a local wine selection? In Italy drinking Ca wines seemed silly to me.

Very comfortable, not large but we were very happy. We booked a cheap room and had no problems. You really aren't in the room all that often anyway....Why pay for a window when you are sleeping? The best views were on the 14th floor where we read, played cards, had drinks, and chatted. My husband even had enough TV to keep him happy while falling asleep.

Plenty to do for people of all ages and tastes. We enjoyed playing miniature golf in the evening during the second dinner seating. The course was empty and it was a good way to stretch after dinner. The pools were a little crowded for my taste, but very refreshing after a long hot excursion.

The activities staff was great and worked to keep everybody involved.

We only used the cruise lines for excursions in Egypt and Turkey. Everywhere else we managed on our own. Hiring locally and exploring was much more economical and we had some great experiences we would not have had while driving around in a bus. This curise has lots of walking however you decide to visit ports, and often on uneven terrain. Take good shoes, keep hydrated, and if you have issues with walking in the heat be careful when choosing tours. My legs were tired, but I wouldn't change anything we did.

Don't be afraid to try things on your own, just be careful not to over extend and be late. Listen to safety advice, but have an adventure. I could not beleive the people who didn't leave the ship in Egypt. Why travel all that way, spend all the money and time and miss a country like Egypt? The bus ride through Cairo and Alexandria was worth the trip. Don't be afraid to negotiate, and by all means try a local meal. You can eat bland buffet food anywhere.

We loved this trip, with a cruise you only see the highlights, but what great highlights they were.....PS we booked our own taxis to and from the airport to the port in Rome (when we arrived in Rome) and it was ~half the price of using the Cruise arranged transfer service. With 4 of us in a cab we paid $40.00, including tips, each for a one way trip to and from our airport hotel with no issues or delays.

Make sure to spend some time away from formal excursions to have a real local experience away from a busload of tourists, but use the tours in Egypt for safety and because of the distances required when traveling.

What a great experience.

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