Number of Cruises: 4
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Navigator of the Seas
Sailing Date: March 26th, 2005
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
We just came home from a wonderful 7 day cruise vacation on the Navigator of the Seas. We chose this ship because of the Eastern Caribbean itinerary (San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, and Nassau) and all of the activities available on board. We are in our 40's and have a 16 year old son.
The best parts of the cruise ship were the sports deck, the Royal Promenade, the deck space and chair availability, and the Solarium pool.
Our son's favorite parts of the ship were the sports deck, the "party" pool, and the nighttime activities. We rarely saw him on board, but he could easily find us when he needed us. I didn't realize that 18 year old kids can drink legally, beer and wine, on this cruise line. We saw many underage drinkers- we'll choose Carnival for our son's senior cruise trip for that reason.
We normally don't take the excursions that the ships supply. We find that they are expensive and we don't like lining up and following anyone around :) We normally just find a taxi after making decisions on beaches to visit online before the vacation.
One stop was St. Thomas. We have been to this island before, so we headed straight for a great beach, Sapphire Beach. We took an open air bus ($24 each way for all three of us) It was breath taking! Snorkeling was $5 per hour to rent, but they didn't even check the time when we returned the equipment a couple of hours later. Lots of coral, fish, and even a sea turtle. It was spring break and the beach wasn't too full.
In St. Maarten we went to Orient Beach (private taxi, $24 each way). Our son parasailed ($45) and had a riot. The southern end of the beach was totally nude, but the rest was a "normal" fully/partially clothed beach. There were plenty of chairs to rent and cheap drinks ($1 beer, $3 lunches) and food to buy. Some cute vendor's shops were there, too.
Our other two stops were a bit less than we'd expected, but they were 1/2 days stops (getting into port after 1). We will not take a cruise that has these 1/2 day stops from now on. San Juan, Puerto Rico was OK. We found a nice, big beach and took a taxi ride after we toured Old San Juan a bit on foot. Nassau was the worst stop, we felt like cattle throughout the whole stop. We took a nice ferry to Paradise Island and stayed on the Atlantis Hotel beach- very nice. Fresh coconut drinks (directly out of the coconut) made by the locals- great!
Days at sea were very relaxing (our choice)- they could have been very busy if we'd have chosen to do all the activities. We could always find a chair to lay on the top deck.
The work out facilities are great! Good yoga classes.
The general age of the cruisers was in the 40's with older children in high school and college. Nightlife was wild and all night long.
The wait staff at dinner was great, but the food was average. Not nearly as good as Carnival and Disney. We were disappointed with the lack of fresh fish and fresh fruit. The lunch and breakfast bar was great. We never felt like we were in a huge crowd and the staff there really catered to us.
Our room was on the 2nd floor. We decided to just get an oceanview room this trip and the room was just fine. The window was really big and the room itself was about the same as the rest of the cruiselines. Our room attendant was OK- he did his job, but did not go over and above as we've had before. It was clean and nice, though. We'd stay away from the 2nd and 3rd floor if we use this cruise line again- you can't get from the front to the back of the ship on either floor, you must go up to the 5th floor, across the ship, and back down to 2nd. It was a pain to remember and not get lost.
Our son liked the climbing wall, the lines weren't too long.
Embarkation was really quick! Debarkation wasn't too bad, it took us about 1 hour by the time our color was called, then about 30 min. to get a ride on the bus to the airport.
In all, it was a vacation we'll remember for the rest of our lives. It is truly a HUGE ship!