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Justin B.

Age: 18

Occupation:Student

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Navigator of the Seas

Sailing Date: December 27th, 2003

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

Hello, my name is Justin and I am reviewing the Navigator of the Seas. I will be reviewing this cruise from the perspective of a family with 2 children, one teen and one 11 year old. First I will mention the ship. Navigator is the once largest cruise ship on the ocean. It is huge. I don't think that it is possible to do everything in one week. There is an ice rink, rock wall, and pools galore. Check out the RCCL website to see everything, their descriptions are accurate. There are many many kids on the ship, almost 1000 on our new years sailing. RCCL claims that there are endless activities for them, but that is stretching the truth. There are activities to do, but not a lot. For young children, under 12 or 13 there is a lot, but the Teen Club is not up to teen standards. Be advised that most activities, like bingo, rock climbing, golf simulator, ice rink, in-line skating, all require a parents presence. The sports court has a basketball court and activities that are fun for teens and all people. Most activities on the ship, however, are for adults. This year, more than last, most happenings on board were based on you buying alcohol. You cant be more than a 1 minute walk from a bar. There is a bar at the breakfast buffet. I recommend that you buy a drink card for the children, which is around 30 dollars and gives you unlimited sodas. Now, if you enjoy adult drinks, a few a day, buy a drink card which for a price allows you to have a limited amount of drinks. Be careful, Pina Coladas, and Bahama Mamas can run up to and over 7 dollars a drink. Your tab will run up fast. Beer is also very expensive. I will include a tip list at the end that will cover all of my tips.

When we arrived in Miami, we met the family that we were traveling with at their condo. At 2pm, we taxied to the port and checked-in. We did not use the airport transfer from RCCL. If you have a later flight in the day, than i recommend you do it. The port was busy, but not as bad as the airport. It took us about 30-40 minutes to get from taxi to ship. We immediately went to our rooms, a interior, and a balcony. The interior was small and tight. Not much time is spent in your room, so size does not matter. I liked the interior because at night, it was dark and quiet. The balcony was larger and very nice. I recommend the balcony because it is so beautiful to have a view of everything. We were on deck 7, towards the aft section. We ate at the early dinning, 6pm, every night. The food was good, sometimes great, and sometimes not so good. The wait staff was amazing. Out waiter, Brent from India, was the nicest person on the ship, and there were a lot of them, If you do not like something, you can send it back, order another, or change your entire meal. The shows on-board are usually an hour or so long. Go see them, they are all fun and are not too long. The night life was geared towards gamblers and drinkers, if you do neither, than you will be sleeping. The night club is for under 30's mostly. There is a jazz club, wine bar, pub, champagne bar, cigar club, which was very relaxing, and other bars all around.

The second day of our cruise was a day at sea. These are fun for everyone. The family all spit up, and we did out own thing. I laid in the sun, my father read a book, my mother went shopping on board, my brother went swimming. The calypso band at the pool was a great touch. The cruise staff did a great job of having non-stop activites all week, it is hard to get bored.

The third day was Labadee Haiti. This is a semi-private beach area run by RCCL. It is a fun place to relax and take it easy for the day. There is a small flea market run by Haitians. They are very pushy tp get you to buy and please be careful with your belongings when inside. Here are some tricks they use, they will say enter my store, and then stand in your way until you buy something. Don't go in, unless you know you will buy. Also, Haggle Haggle Haggle, I bought 3 beautiful paintings for 25 dollars. Hold you children close while their. As far as beaches go, I recommend Barefoot beach, get there early to save a seat. Do an excursion if you like what they offer, it is jet-skis and para-sailing.

Our second stop was Ocho Rios Jamaica. Take a taxi to downtown, and try not to walk to far alone, the people will not hurt you, but will barrage you with offers to braid your hair, sell you dope, or invite you to parties, DO NOT TAKE THEM UP ON ANY BIDS. There is a dog on board that sniffs drugs, and the ship does have jail cells. Don't miss the Taj Mahal shops, the Bijoux Jewelers have wonderful deals, and go to the local market across the street, the people are very pushy, but also kind and nice. Lots of Bob Marley stuff everywhere. Take a taxi to Dunn's River Falls, and climb up them. It is difficult, but possible. My 12 year old brother made it, along with my 50 year old father. Not for young children and old folks. Don't take the boat's tours, they are a rip-off and always run late, 'Its Jamaica Mon”. Taxis are cheap and easy to come by, make sure they are licensed though. Walk through the downtown and have a drink at Margaritaville.

Grand Cayman was pleasant. But BUSY!, 6 Ships were in port. We did the Grand Cayman Snorkel, which worked out wonderfully. The boat ride was only 5 minutes or so, and the captains were very nice and informative. The snorkeling was on a wreck and a reef. I highly recommend this trip. It is about 2 or 3 hours, and goes fast. There is not a long ride to get there, which was great, and the equipment was in perfect shape. Grand Cayman is the shopping destination. The prices are higher and there is not much to do other than Duty Free shopping.

Finally Cozumel. Cozumel was not bad, The shopping is fine, talk to the Port Shopping guide for info. There are good deals to be made on jewelry and other items. For teens, At the mall across from the middle town port, there is a Quicksilver store that has amazing deals on jeans, only 18 dollars a pair. The town is safe to walk through, take a taxi to the forum shops and walk back. Don't eat or drink much there. Stick to Carlos And Charlie's for a good party.

Here are my tips for your cruise. Please feel free to Email me with any questions, I will do my best to respond quickly. (Please mention Question for cruise in subject, I get a lot of SPAM)

-An early flight to arrive at port is best. Boarding early gives you time to explore the ship.
-Both seatings have a show, its up to your preference on which to choose.
-Get to the theater about 30min early.
- Tenders at ports ALWAYS run late, give yourself 30 min to get to shore on average.
- The windjammer is good for breakfast, okay for everything else.
- Not every meal is gourmet, don't expect them to be.
- Every staff member is willing to help you, they go out of their way to help. Just ask them.
- Be nice to people, you can meet new folks that way. If you are hell-bent on getting a tan, go to the deck above the pool bar, it is small and fills fast, get there by 11am.
- Play bingo, it is fun.
- Meet the Cruise Director and staff, they are friendly and helpful.
- Don't be scared to ask guest relations for help, they are very patient.
- Don't book your excursions ahead of time, unless you really want to do a certain trip. Be warned, if you book a boat tour, you will most likely have rough seas, and not for weak-of-stomach people.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO EMAIL ME WITH ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS.

-Justin B.

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