The shore excursions to St Petersburg, Russia is a must.
Most of the staff very average, breakfast, lunch and dinner the Windjammer was unimaginative. Really disappointing in quality, taste etc. The better food was in the specialty restaurants. The entertainment also fell short. There was maybe one headliner worth attending his performance.
I was expecting more from Royal Caribbean, I like the cruise line.
The Navigator of the Seas needs to improve in many ways if it wants to compete with other ships/lines.
The hallway carpets by the cabins (at least on Deck 6, where we stayed), are very stained. The cabin on the other hand, was very nice, clean and spacious.
Food is a major, disappointing area. The buffet at the Windjammer is the same food, day in, day out.
Service in the dining room is spotty...sometimes waiting for a tea can take a long time. The dinner and lunch menus were o.k....nothing special.
It wasn't until we complained about the slow service, that things improved, at least for us. We still heard many people complaining.
On this cruise, everything in the shops was taxed 20%, even though we were in international waters. When we questioned them, we really didn't get a complete answer. They said it was because the ship didn't go to a non-EU country.
Prices of goods and drinks were outrageous.
Smoking in the casino is an issue as well; the entire casino will smell of smoke, and you have to go through it to get to some other areas. Very annoying.
Our previous cruise on the Independence of the Seas was not fantastic, but compared to the Navigator, it turned out to be a lot better.
The Navigator is just not a great ship at all.
We were mostly in cold weather, and even though it has several swimming pools, not one has a (retractable) cover on it, so people were inside most of the time, which made it very crowded. Bar service or even finding a seat somewhere became a challenge.
The daily schedule, just like the food, was always the same. Many activities would cost you additional $$.
One very annoying thing, to try to get more $$ from the passengers, was the sale for the extra dining packages. You couldn't get away from it...even in the dining room, they would come and try to sell you the packages. Also, in the dining room, if you wanted better food, it would cost you.....you want a better steak...pay up...you want a lobster tail...sure...it'll cost you.
Mexican food would cost you $25.00 p.p. You want sushi....same thing.
RCL gets people on board with lower up front prices, but one there...watch out.
My favorite stop for the cruise would have been LeHavre, France and a tour of the D-Day beaches but this was cancelled because of a French dock workers strike. As a result, I feel like we spent too many days at sea. Ship provided plenty to do but still too many days at sea for me. I saw little too do in Gijon, Spain - a different stop might be considered in the future. Other stops were nice.
The ship was fine, just extremely disorganized, particularly in the excursions department. At the first port of call, getting off the ship to get to our excursions was absolutely chaotic. It improved on subsequent ports, but was never what I would call good. The food in the dining room was average at best. We have been on other Royal Caribbean ships where the selection and quality of the food was much superior to this one. Cleanliness, friendliness, and courtesy of service was very good,, but were not enough to pull the overall experience up to above average.
The May 8 transatlantic trip on Navigator of the Seas was thoroughly enjoyable. Our balcony stateroom was comfortable, with ample storage for two women who over-pack on a regular basis.
Our Room Steward, Alesia, was always smiling, cheerful, and helpful. The condition of our room was impeccable.
In the Dining Room, Bernadeth and Charlie provided attentive service and plenty of personality to entertain us. The food was mostly mediocre, but Bernadeth was spot-on with her recommendations.
The Cruise Director, Jeffrey, was fantastic. He was funny and personable, without being over-done as so many cruise directors tend to be. He got a lot of undeserved criticism for challenges encountered during the trip. The participation for several events (trivia for instance!) was so much larger than expected the events had to be moved to larger rooms. Since the Compass had already been printed, many people were upset that the information on the Compass was incorrect. They would have been equally upset if the room had not been changed, and they were unable to get in to participate because of overcrowding.
The crossing itself was as smooth as a Caribbean cruise! We were extremely fortunate to have perfect weather most of the time. That changed once we got to Europe, but nothing to be done about that - it's spring.
*Cruiseline.com is not a booking agent or travel agency, and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners (travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our users' convenience. Cruiseline.com does not guarantee any specific rates or prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site for the exact amount. Cruiseline.com is not responsible for content on external web sites.