Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Navigator of the Seas
Sailing Date: January 9th, 2007
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Room: We had room 6630, a balcony room near the aft staircase, which made it convenient to make a quick trip to the Promenade or the 4th floor dining room and not have to wait for the elevator. The room was as roomy as I expected (not) but it was comfortable for the time we spent in it. And, the balcony was great for the morning wake up at each new destination or for a late night of relaxation.
Every aspect of the ship was fun, for lack of a different word. But we spent some great leisure time at a few of the watering holes. We watched football with cheering fans at the 19th Hole on the 14th deck. Drinks are a little expensive but not out of line. The waiters were always attentive but not overly so. We got to know a couple by name. Marvin at the Boleros bar on the 4th deck became friend by the end of the cruise (sort of like Cheers where everyone knows your name.) We stopped at a few other drinking establishments and were equally well treated by most.
Food: We ate in on the 4th floor, early dinner and had “Anastasia” as our server. We both fell in love with her as did the rest of our table. We were all first time cruisers and had a ball together as we learned the ins and outs. Anastasia, although a little repetitive at times, kept us amused and well served. The food was good, very good. Even the desserts were scrumptious. We liked eating here that we only tried room service once, and the Windjammer twice. We only got to Johnny Rockets on the last full day at sea but I can attest to the great quality of food and entertainment. It was worth the extra $3.95 each plus the price of shakes to try at least once. Spending dinner time with Anastasia was a highlight of our trip.
Entertainment on board: The ice show was very good. The skaters fell quite a few times. I’m sure it was due to the small arena combined with the fact that the seas were a mite rough the day we saw them. Doing a double is difficult enough with having a ship move underneath you. Jerry was the Cruise Director, congratulations Freedom of the Seas, because you just got one great Cruise director. This guy was a bundle of energy and we were lucky enough to be on his last cruise on Navigator. The ships shows kept us entertained and the comedians they picked up along the way were some of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of laughing at.
On Board: They have so many activities that I couldn’t begin to report on them. We went to a few and only left one because it bored us, but we found another to interest us almost immediately. The casino was fun, although I don’t like not being able to surrender at Blackjack, so I only played the $5 table for fun. I walked away in the plus column. The Spa and exercise area was glamorous and functional. The pools were warm and pleasant. It can be hard to get a lounge chair on a hot, sunny day at sea, but we did when we were patient and asked around. They use salt water in the main pool so you’d be advised to shower immediately afterwards. The hot tubs were fresh water.
Ports ‘O Call: We missed the Grand Cayman’s but all the other ports had moments of great enjoyment and some pushy merchants which we were able to get though with some persistence. It was really fun playing tourist and bartering at times and tiring at other times but that’s part of the deal when you go to the Caribbean.
Labadee, a fenced off private part of Haiti, was very relaxing and you only had to deal with the merchants if you choose to do so. We did the Kayak rides which was fun. Barter like crazy here. One third the asking price is not unreasonable.
We booked our own tour guide, Phil Layfette, on Ocho Rios, Jamaica and had more fun than I can explain here. See Portreview.com for more on him and other private tour guides. Dunn River Falls, although a little dangerous, is a grand way to spend time and get exercise. Barter to half price or more.
We shopped a lot at Cozumel Mexico but did take the Atlantis Submarine ride which we thoroughly enjoyed. I’m a Mexican Food freak so, we did eat and eat. Poncho’s Back Porch was the best but some local places did offer a few quick Mex. treats. Barter at some places, but others won’t do so. Local sellers always barter.
I can’t think of a down side. Embarkation and disembarkation was slow, but I expected such with 3500 people getting on and off at once. Full elevators were only a problem a couple times and we were able to deal with that by taking a “sit down.” Hey, we were on vacation and being force to relax is a good thing, and there’s always a bar somewhere. Never got seasick, as some said I would. The ship is so big that the waves only rocked it gently.
In general, we had a great cruise and would do this ship, it’s sister ships or bigger and this company again and again.