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Victoria

Age: 43

Occupation:Corporate Travel Consultant

Number of Cruises: 8

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Navigator of the Seas

Sailing Date: August 23rd, 2003

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

I booked my family of four and my mother to travel on the Navigator of the Seas. We have two sons, 15 and 9 So a ship that provided a wide variety of activities for all ages was crucial. The Navigator has a 22,000 square foot area designated for their Adventure Ocean program.

Our flight landed early Saturday morning into Miami. We collected our bags and were escorted out to the waiting motor coach for transfer to the pier. Once at the pier, we were instructed to wait until the bags had been off-loaded and then to send one party out to identify our bags and make sure the porter loaded them all onto a cart. This process was a bit confusing and remember to take along several single dollar bills as the porters and bus drivers look for tips.

Once inside the terminal and through security, the next step is check-in. The computers were slow that day and that made the process a bit longer. But no major issues. Boarding the ship went rather quickly for the number of passengers. We were on board by 100pm. Found our staterooms easily and then found our way to the Windjammer Cafe for the buffet lunch. The cafe was crowded as everyone had the same idea at the same time. But we were able to find a table and enjoy our lunch. We purchased the fountain cards for the children immediately-it really comes in handy for those kids that prefer soft drinks.

The ship was wonderful! Public areas were tastefully decorated and easily accessible. The "blue car" on Promenade Deck 5 made a perfect meeting spot as did the library on Deck 7. My 9 year old had the layout of the ship down by the 2nd day. The Champagne Bar was a peaceful place to enjoy a cocktail pre-dinner and Boleros was a jammin' latin bar apres-dinner! There was no room on the dance floor and people were dancing in the walkways. It was fun to watch those that could really salsa. The Connoisseur Club was a favorite of my husband's for a cigar and cognac after dinner. The ventillation system was not quite as good as Celebrity's Michaels Club, however, but not overpowering.

The food in the main dining room was very good. We ate in Portofino's and Chops Grille one night each. Definitely worth the $20PP service fee. Food was awesome and service was personalized and special. In Chops when my husband excused himself to the restroom, the waiter came and took his plate to keep it warm until he returned. The Captain visited each table that night. A pleasant surprise. My 9 year old truly enjoyed the self service ice cream station on Deck 5-frequenting the stand SEVERAL times per day.

Activities: Both children enjoyed the rock climbing wall and miniature golf. My husband and I made good use of the fitness center. The equipment was state of the art and they had enough cardio pieces to go around. The fitness center was busier in the early morning than in the afternoon-just in case you don't like crowds. They offered a large variety of classes with instruction as well.

Entertainment seems to be never ending from street-like performers on the Promenade to the production shows in the theatre to the ice show in Studio B to the quiet lounges with piano music or string quartets. We enjoyed every venue we attended. The ice show was very good. The Russian skater with the hula-hoops was phenomenal. She received a standing ovation. Bingo was very popular as on any ship. The final jackpot was over $7000 won by one person! Guess he had a great cruise.

We found the Solarium Pool (adults only) our favorite spot on deck. It was quiet and the chairs cushioned. The main pool was just through the sliding doors and we could easily go back and forth to check on the kids. The main pool offered music and all the wild poolside activities like the belly flop contest and the horse races.

We had a balcony stateroom at the back of the ship and we loved it! The hallway was wide and uncrowded, there was no through traffic and very little noise from either passengers or engines. And the views were beautiful. My mother and son shared an atrium cabin. They enjoyed being able to view all the action on the Promenade deck and even viewed the parades from there. A perfect spot.

Our ports of call were: Labadee, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. We snorkeled on Labadee, rode horses in Ocho Rios, window shopped in Grand Cayman and swam with the dolphins in Cozumel. Weather was hot, it poured in Cozumel-but we didn't complain-we were on vacation!

Disembarkation went surprisingly fast. We had no issues with immigration or luggage. Unfortunately we were whisked away to the airport for our return home.

Overall, we had a wonderful trip. The ship was beautiful and so many people commented on how beautiful she was especially when moored next to a Carnival ship. We were never at a lack for anything to do. Even though we did not participate in everything-it was there if we wanted it. I had heard so many complaints about people waiting in lines. We found none of that other than in the Cafe for the buffet lunch on the first day. We had no lines for golf, rock climbing, for disembarking in port or for the shows, etc. and the ship was near full capacity. The food overall was very good. In the main dining room, if we selected something we didn't care for, we ordered something else. The alternative dining rooms were wonderful. We found the crew friendly and helpful. The shows were very good and a variety was offered for all tastes. Public spaces were beautiful and plentiful so you never felt overwhelmed by other passengers. We would sail on the Navigator of the Seas or any of her sister ships in a heartbeat. It was a great choice for a family.

Bon Voyage!

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