Number of Cruises: 3
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Navigator of the Seas
Sailing Date: July 26th, 2003
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
We just got back from the Western Caribbean Cruise of the Navigator of the Seas. Our sail date was July 26, 2003 - Aug. 2,2003, stopping in Labadee, Ochio Rios(Jamaica), Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. Note that our only previous cruise experience was on the Disney Cruise Line (2 cruises). Here are our comments:
Food: More than enough. The quality was excellent everywhere on board. Some people commented that the food in the Windjammer (buffet) was the same every day. Well, if you have 36 different things to choose from, who cares? You still cannot eat everything. There is more than enough variety to eat, so that you would not get bored.
Drinks/ Bar.. Everything that comes from a bar, including minibars (in the cabins), sodas and unlimited soda drink cards) gets an automatic 15% gratuity tacked onto it. Another thing is that you are constantly bombarded by waiters asking you if you want a drink. We are very light drinkers and being asked 6-7 times in the 30 minutes before a dinner show seemed excessive. Same around the pool areas.
Shows: These were more variety shows where there were jugglers, comedians and singers/dancers as opposed to a semi or pre-Broadway production (as was the case on Disney). There was a large group from a professional society and a lot of the entertainment seemed tailored for them. The ICE Show should not be missed, because it was fantastic. Also, the parade on the Promenade Mall was very good.
Embarkation/Debarkation: Relatively smooth getting on the ship, due to the fact we bought bus transfers from Royal Caribbean and they pre-boarded us on the bus ride to the port. Also, the transfers cost about the same as a taxi. At the end of the cruise the hold up was US customs, but it was not too bad.
Some of the ports seemed rough outside the shopping areas which were close to the dock. Ochios Rios and Cozumel had armed guards around the shopping areas (I am not sure i f that made us feel better or worse).
Overall, the ship was beautiful, the staff was excellent, and the cost of the cruise was worth it. However, the extras that you buy on the ship can add up and figure on 300+ per person per week, not counting gratuities.
I would give this 4 stars. With some minor tweaks, it could be 5 stars....