Navigator - Very Poor Value
Our last cruise was 10 years ago and we had a ball on Majesty and Monarch. We have kids now and we went on the Navigator. The ship was great and the crew was good, but overall it was a very lousy experience.
The food in the buffet was no better than Shoneys or Golden Corral. The food in the main dining area wasn't much better. I can see Americans eating this trough food, but I would be curious if they try to throw this crap at Europeans. The food was garbage. Even the ice cream in the pool area was cheap frozen yogurt.
The next item that I felt was of poor value was the service. The individuals providing the service were fine, but there were too few crew members to provide the service. I wasn't really expecting a self service cruise experience. If I wanted a drink or towels I had to go stand in line somewhere and get it.
The kids begged us not to send them to Adventure Ocean (the kid watching area) after their first visit.
Belize was a crap hole. I got to take a tour of Belize city and see the open sewers. The crew members warned us that Belize city is dangerous and they would prefer to stay in Cozumel for 2 days. I agree after seeing Belize.
This cruise was like living in a crowded urban setting, the service was what I provided myself, the food was coach class. Heck, for this kind of money you can rent a nice beach house, eat at nice restaurants every night, and not wait in lines.
Overall, this was a very poor experience and not a very good value. Go somewhere else. If you like Disney World, large crowds, and poor food then this is the cruise for you.
I'm sorry that you felt that Navigator was not a good value. I do agree that Royal Caribbean needs to address their food issues. The overall food on my last three Royal Caribbean cruises hasn't been equal to that of Carnival, Azamara, NCL, Princess or Oceania.
I have never experienced an issue with service and the larger ships do have more of a theme park feeling than a cruise ship.
I strongly hope that you don't give up on cruising. Try going on a smaller ship on Carnival or NCL. I think you will be happy.
In regard to Belize. A big mistake is that people judge it based on Belize City. Get outside of the city or to some of the cays and you will definitely appreciate it.
Take care and I hope your next cruise is a wonderful one.
I think your problem is you haven't cruised in 10 years. Most of the lines no longer have great food, as they did 10 years ago. If you want better food you must book the specialty now.
As we are still paying the prices we paid 10 years ago, (unless you book like the Oasis, which is much more expensive) I don't think it should surprise us that food is not as good.
Once cruiselines came up with specialty restaurants, and people were willing to pay for them, they never had food as good as they used to. Unless you want to pay for it.
I too agree about the food. It's been the biggest disappointment to us as far as RCL is concerned. Yet Carnival and HAL have managed to keep the quality and taste of their food up to par. Based on that I have no sympathy for RCL when people complain about their food.
You said the service was "coach class". Do you always travel first class? If so, then RCL is definitely not the line for you. RCL is mass market appeal to the most and yes, a theme park atmosphere. Especially The new ships.
As for the ports, for the most part they are what you make of them. I will never get off in Mexico as I don't like the country for many reasons (actually don't trust them.) However I don't blame the cruiseline for that. I just stay on the ship and enjoy myself.
I would agree that the 10 year gap, gave you great expectations, but a taste of reality, with Royal Caribbeans less than stellar food. I actually think their price of place in the industry would shake them up, and realize that the dining room food needs to come up to par, since not every cruiser wants to pay to get good quality, and tasty food. That should be a given, anywhere onboard.
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