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cruiseeeeaddict January 5th, 2010 08:14 PM

Navigator Mini-Review
I didn't post this under the review thread since I'm not posting a "real" review or following that format. I'm just posting some thoughts of my New Years Eve cruise on Navigator of the Seas. If it wasn't for having my boyfriend with me, knowing some of the crew, and the countdown on New Years Eve this cruise would have been pretty bad. Having been on this ship three times previous to this cruise I was extremely disappointed.

The ship was nowhere near as clean as it used to be. Everywhere I looked there was garbage or dirty dishes, and nobody in sight to pick them up. The bed sheets in the cabin were stained with blood and who knows what else, along with cigarette burns in the blankets. This isn't a huge issue, but the ship smelled horrible of sewer all week.

The service was just ok - nothing outstanding like usual with the exception of our waiter, Serdar. He was amazing. Another good thing about the service was we were able to meet up with two crew members (Leon & Bornie, both bartenders) that we had met on the ship the three previous times. It was awesome to see them again! My mom had to talk to Guest Services a few times and they were anything but helpful. We almost didn't get our pre-paid gratuities in time for dinner the last night & they wouldn't apply our onboard credits, among other things. My mom spent the majority of the last sea day on the phone in the cabin dealing with them, with the onboard credit still unresolved until this morning at home.

Also, the food was pretty bad. I was shocked! My mom received spoiled seafood two nights, along with overcooked & raw meat on other nights. There were maybe two or three dishes all week in the main dining room that were good, still nothing great. I also found that the buffet food was not as good as it had been previously. It seemed that the best place to get decent food was cafe promenade. :confused:

The teen compass had many of the same activities that I've seen on all the Royal ships & have enjoyed in the past. However, a lot of the activities were for ages 12-17 instead of the two split groups (12-14 & 15-17). I did not want to hang out with little kids, and as my mom mentioned if I were 12 she would not want me with 17 year olds. Needless to say, I didn't use the teen activities at all.

The ship changed time in ports so we were unable to do any excursions. In Cozumel we went to Senor Frogs & in Belize we got lunch at the Wet Lizard. Side note: We almost got killed in the taxi in Cozumel. Watch out for them! I've been to both ports before so we didn't spend much time at either.

New Years Eve however was great. They did a NYC style count down on the Promenade complete with confetti, a balloon & ball drop, and free-flowing champagne for the adults. There was an event at every venue on the ship that night, but it seemed everybody was on the Promenade. It was pretty amazing!

Although I had a good time & my boyfriend enjoyed his first cruise, it was a huge let down. We will not be cruising Royal Caribbean again unless a fantastic deal comes up or to try Oasis when prices drop. It will be Carnival for us all the way with our next cruise being in April on Carnival Liberty.

Pictures from this cruise are on facebook for anybody interested. My name's Rebecca Cavanaugh for those who I have not added yet.

mmerali January 5th, 2010 10:02 PM

Wow, sad to hear the state of affairs over at Royal. Its too bad Royal has been focusing on Oasis this whole time and allowing the remainder of their fleet to fall by the wayside. From what I have heard, Oasis has been getting decently rave reviews.

At least they got NYE right, perhaps they should have focused a little less on NYE and a little more on the condition of the ship BEFORE the people got onboard.

cruiseeeeaddict January 6th, 2010 09:55 AM

I think the condition of the ship had a lot to do with Navigator recently sailing the European itineraries under a different captain, or at least that is what the crew told us. A lot of the staff was new on the ship from Europe and just didn't know what they were doing. Now that Captain Bang is back on board things will hopefully start to improve. My mom is friendly with his wife and she mentioned that Capt. Bang was not happy with the way the ship was left by the previous captain.

mmerali January 6th, 2010 10:45 AM

See but that shouldn't happen. It falls under faulty RCCL management which I was alluding to earlier. You can't afford to leave a ship in that bad a condition.

Djcarolina January 6th, 2010 12:34 PM

In true Cruise King style- As a Diamond Plus member, I feel it's important to look into bad service complaints onboard Royal Caribbean's Voyager Class vessel. I'll be sailing on the Navigator tomorrow in the Royal Suite to see what's going on.

cruiseeeeaddict January 6th, 2010 01:48 PM

I'm looking forward to hearing your experience when you return! As I said, I was shocked to see Navigator in such a poor condition since I've always had a great experience on that ship. Hopefully some of the problems will be ironed out for your sailing!

Aside from all the negatives, if you happen to run across Bornie, Dane, or Leon who are all bartenders or Serdar who is a waiter in the main dining room, they will all provide outstanding service.

Tropicalstephy January 6th, 2010 05:50 PM

First of all, I had a whole review written and then it disappeared, so I'm just gonna add to Rebecca's.
I agree with you. The ship was not looking so great. I however did not smell the sewage smell (I have year-round allergies that pretty much prevent me from smelling a lot of stuff), but the closet in my cabin smelled like BO which was pretty gross...
Also, I did use the teen program and had a blast! I think it might be because I'm just the kind of person who can have fun playing with like a rock. There were a lot of rules though. They were kinda strict about no grinding but that didn't stop people. On the last night the teen counselor stopped the music like 3 or 4 times because people were grinding. I usually just used the living room to meet up with my friends and then we would leave because the games were boring/there were a lot of younger kids there. Something I learned this cruise was that 12/13 year olds are REALLY obnoxious haha
I found the service wasn't all that great either. The dining room service was pretty fast on the last few nights. I thought that the food quality in the dining room was hit or miss. We went there for breakfast and lunch a few times and I just didn't really get any good food. My family all got really good food, but mine was just alright. The windjammer food was the same as it always is, not super fantastic but not completely gross.
New Years Eve was a blast!
My pictures are on facebook too, Stephanie Gordon (Glenbrook South High School) There really aren't that many though.
Overall it was a pretty good cruise, just not my favorite.

Djcarolina January 6th, 2010 11:07 PM

Maybe i'm missing something....but were u 2 both on the same ship for New Years?

I remember my sailing on Navigator as a teen- April 2008 and they were strict on the "Dancefloor Conduct" then as well. Problem with RCI is their mission is to provide an educational, enriching atmosphere youth to socialize at sea in. Carnival runs a teen club where the director's job is to DJ and keep the program ratings up. How many parents really give a crap, and if they do, ever think it's their fault for letting their kids act like that (side note: I 100% support grinding in the club)

Any rate- I'll keep an eye out for the bartenders and I doubt we'll even hit the dining room. Makes it easier just to eat in Chops/Portofino and let RCI pay for it. I'll post a recap when I get back and...hopefully I'll finish the Oasis review sometime before next year. I'm at 8 pages now and I've only covered dining onboard so....yeah.

Tropicalstephy January 7th, 2010 08:07 AM

Yea we were on the same ship. I get where royal Caribbean is coming from I just think it's dumb haha But I didn't let it get me and there were still a good amount of people grinding.

Djcarolina January 7th, 2010 10:18 AM

That's just part of the experience. I remember having some of the best and worst teen directors at sea. One that kicked a group of us out because I said crap and another that brought us a corona bottle to play spin the bottle with. It just depends on the ship i guess, that, and the time of year. Seems that spring/summer cruises have better teen staff than in the winter.

mmerali January 7th, 2010 10:49 AM

Royal has never been a "party" line though. I mean sure, there has been the exceptional Teen Host here and there, but there has never been an environment that could rival Carnival. I mean, I know Carnival did not care in the least if there was grinding going on; I recall on more than one occasion even grinding with more than one person at the same time.

There is truth to what Ryan is saying about Royal though; it is really hit or miss with the teen program. You might get an amazing director (my first cruise as a teen was like that - ironically it was also on Navigator OTS), or you could end up with someone who desperately needs to get out more often. Hit or miss. On the other hand, I've not had a bad experience on Carnival mainly because we were all willing to "create" our own activities if we were dissatisfied with the official ones. I mean, we've done toga parties, played legitimate poker, thrown room parties, gone swimming, pizza night, dinner on the lido; you just need a group of people willing to have fun and a little crazy imagination.

The Royal program, while good intentioned, is not making any friends with the curfew either. I mean yes, its for the "general warefare and comfort" of the other passengers, but it kind of pushes potential teen cruisers away who do enjoy late nights and early mornings.

Tropicalstephy January 7th, 2010 01:42 PM

That's so true. I feel like they would have let us grind and stuff because that was the kind of people they seemed like but when it came down to it they were really just like we're going to stick with royals rules. There were ways to get around the no grinding by just like going far from the dj booth. I had an amazing teen director on the freedom over the summer and these ones just seemed really uptight at the dances. They were fun at the other events but the dances they became like super strict.
I don't really have a problem with the curfew thing because my parents make me have a curfew so I never have to abide by royals. It seemed like the people I was hanging out with didn't get bothered by the curfew though.

cruiseeeeaddict January 7th, 2010 03:01 PM

The curfew drives me crazy since I've had a bad experience with it. At exactly 1am on Mariner the security would shut down Fuel and literally follow groups of people back to the halls to make sure they went to their rooms. That's a bit over the top. I don't see why everybody under the age of 18 has the same curfew. I mean, I don't think 12 year olds and 17 year olds have the same maturity level and should be told to go to bed at the same time. I understand Royal is just trying to maintain a level of control on their ships, but it is still vacation and a curfew should be left up to the parents. Instead they should make it that you can't be in certain areas without parents after 1am, or that you must be in Fuel/The Living Room past a certain time, even if there is no scheduled activity. It's a lot safer to have everybody in one place then making it so teens feel the need to "sneak around" by going to people's rooms or finding a remote place on the ship dodging security for the night. That's just my opinion though.

As far as teen directors they definitely are hit or miss. I had an amazing one on my first cruise when I was 12 on Navigator. I don't remember his real name, but people called him Butterfinger. Other than that cruise none of them really stand out to me so they couldn't have been too good, or bad lol. I've never seen the no grinding enforced too bad unless people got to out of hand & started to look like they needed a bed not a dance floor. :rolleyes:

Ryan: Since you mentioned Chops & Portofinos I figured I'd ask your opinion of them. Are they really worth dining at? We've always stuck to the main dining room for dinner.

Djcarolina January 11th, 2010 11:06 AM

Royal Caribbean goes back and forth on their teen policy. I agree with them having one set curfew though, because unfortunately it's the older teens that are usually the problems. True, many of us have a maturity level that would not warrant a curfew, but there are some little hooligans that ruin everything for everyone else. During spring break, however, Royal Caribbean has toyed with a 2am curfew and restricting teens to the pool deck and teen facilities. RCI tried a fleetwide 2am curfew January-March last year, but it didn't stick. I agree with the curfew, but feel that it should be on a case-by-case basis. Security guards who terrorize teens sitting in the library or in cafe promenade need a good kick in the ass and something better to do with their time. (And I've been known to give them a piece of mind, thats how i got a tour of what's below deck 2 once on Mariner)

Chops Grill is absolutely worth the fee and time. They have the best food I've ever had onboard a ship and it is a far notch above the regular dining room. Everything on their menu is exceptional (and I've tried it all). On Navigator this weekend, we ate in Chops 3 nights and with the captain on formal night in the main dining room and it was excellent.

Portofino is good, but it depends on whether or not you like italian. It's different from Chops in that Portofino is all about presentation. Chop's menu is no-frills just very good food. Cessar Salad, Cheese & Onion (French Onion) Soup, Steaks, Chicken, Lamb and Pork. All served simply and let the flavor speak for ittself. Portofino has a bunch of "fu-fu" dishes where the food is prepared with a lot of ingredients and has many different layers. It's some of the best italian food I've ever had, but you need to be a fan of their type of cuisine to thoroughly enjoy the Portofino experience.

TLashawn March 16th, 2012 06:43 PM

Navigator of the Seas
This was my very first cruise and it was pretty good. I also met Bornie( amazing and easy on the eyes). The food was ok and I agree the best food was at the cafe. I didn't like the shops on board at all. They made me think there was some reall shopping to do but when I got there i noticed there was really only 1 place to actually shop! My waitress was ok but the assistant waiter, Kingsley, was the bomb. I also did like the fact that we only stayed in puerto Rico for half a day! What a waste!!!! Over all I would love to cruise with them again because I loved Bornie and Kingsley but I am unsure if I really want to deal with the rest of that ship again!

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