March 2016 - Navigator of the Seas to Caribbean - Eastern
Attn: Royal Caribbean Customer Service Department
On 3/19/16 my family and I took a cruise on the Navigator of the Seas and were very disappointed from beginning to end. Reservation # xxxxxxx and xxxxxxx. I booked for two balcony staterooms, 6226 and 6228, for my 20th wedding anniversary and it definitely fell short of all expectations. We had multiple issues beginning as soon as we arrived at the port. Our very first encounter with Royal Caribbean staff began with the baggage handler that was rude and then asked for a tip for handling the baggage that we had to get out of our car and bring to luggage carts ourselves. When we arrived to our cabins on the ship we were greeted by our stateroom attendant Barrington Talbot who was absolutely wonderful. He was happy and very welcoming to our family. At this point we thought the baggage handler incident was going to be an isolated one but we were wrong. Once in the stateroom we checked our tickets that were delivered for our excursions and found that we did not receive tickets for one of our excursions, catamaran in St. Kitts, then waited 40 minutes in line at the excursion desk to be told that they may have oversold the excursion and we may or may not get to go but would be told in a couple of days. Shortly afterwards we were called to the mandatory muster drill where two of the attendants were rude and pushing us and other guests to the side so that we were standing where they wanted us rather than directing us to the location. We then went to the service desk to find out how much in onboard credits we had received from not only Royal Caribbean but also my RC Visa and were told again after waiting 30 minutes in line that they didn’t know but we should be able to check back with them sometime around day 2 or 3 to find out. That night we headed off for our 8pm dinner time only to find we had no table assignment and 45 minutes later was told that we were changed to my time seating and had to wait for a table to be available. I purchased several extras for this trip including slide tickets and water park at Labadee, Haiti, Catamaran day trip St. Kitts, 4x4 Jeep adventure St. Martin, and an anniversary package that were all purchased through RC. The anniversary package included a cake that was delivered later the first night and on the cake was Happy Birthday written as opposed to Happy Anniversary. I called the main desk and was redirected to food services and was told that they would deliver a new cake the following day. That night when we were going to bed we found that the mattresses were is terrible shape and that they were literally falling apart at the seams and the refrigerator did not cool in either of the two rooms. Maintenance was called and they stated that the refrigerators were working at normal capacity even though nothing was cool in the refrigerator and that the ship was full and there was nothing they could do about the mattresses. The floor in cabin 6626 was not adhered to the actually floor/deck it would lift and move every time you walked across the floor. The sofa in the room had stains all over it and was in bad need of shampooing or replacement. When we arrived in Labadee, Haiti we were disappointed to find that the slide that we had paid to use had very poor water flow and you could not slide you actually had to push your way down the slide to get to the bottom. When addressed with the staff on the island we were told that it is always like that and blown off. The St Kitts excursion for the Catamaran, lunch, beach and snorkeling was absolutely worth every cent and the crew Captain Cracker, Alex and their crew were wonderful and entertaining. They did a fabulous job in caring for all their guests and you are able to see they truly enjoy their jobs. When we were departing the boat for the day we were given dirty towels that had to be returned and replaced in turn running us behind to our excursion. In St Martin, we again had issues with getting towels for the excursion, the staff did not want to swap out the towels we had and instructed us to go back on the ship and swap them on the pool deck instead. After arguing with the staff they gave us the 4 towels we needed and we proceeded to the waiting area for our excursion. The 4x4 Jeep excursion was a big disappointment, it started over an hour late and was rushed the entire time. The guide was not informative or very friendly and got us back to the ship at the very last minute for boarding, telling us and the other guests, “don’t worry you booked us through RC and they can’t leave you behind.” We arrived back at the port at 4:28pm and had to be boarded by 4:30pm making all of us nervous that we would not make it to the ship in time. Very stressful for a supposed relaxing and fun filled excursion. During the first four nights that we ate dinner in the main dining room the service and food was subpar at best. The service was extremely slow and the food usually cold by the time we received it and not really worth the wait. The staff looked overwhelmed and understaffed. Which leads me to think the staff is stretched too thin in the areas where the amenities are included and staffed in the restaurants that you have to pay extra for such as izumi, chops, etc. There were too little of choices of places to eat that were included as opposed to places that RC could charge you more for. By day 5 we decided that it was better food being served with better service in the Wind Jammer than in the main dining hall and did not return. The problem that we had going to the Wind Jammer was that only one time over the entire 8 days was all of the Wind Jammer open. Every time we stepped into that area half or more of it was roped off and closed. Out of frustration we found ourselves eating room service many times to avoid going to the same buffet every day. Room service didn’t show two separate times and on a third occasion after a 3 hour wait we called and they sent it immediately within 10 minutes stating technical difficulties. Since we were in our rooms more than we had planned to be we noticed that every day the same exact tv shows were playing the entire cruise. Same movies, same episodes, same everything. We utilized the spa while on board on 3/23 and my daughter had a keratin complex treatment done for $185.98 that is advertised to “eliminate 95% of the frizz and lasts for six weeks.” We were instructed to purchase the special shampoo and condition, which we did, wait at least 8 hours but the longer the better to wash her hair (and we waited almost 48 hours), and not to pull back or pin up her hair until the keratin sets 8-24 hours later. We followed the instructions and after washing her hair it looked as though she had never had the treatment done. We went back to the Spa/Salon and spoke with them and they retreated her hair saying, “she must just need an extra dose” and follow the same instruction and it will last 6 weeks. We waited again 48 hours prior to washing her hair and we are at home in the same situation the frizz is back and the money is gone and no way to get it fixed. We also purchased a beverage package under the impression that the kids would be able to use the Coca Cola Freestyle machines throughout the ship as they had on our previous RC cruise. We were wrong, there were not machines anywhere on the ship. Every time they wanted a drink they had to go to a bar to get one. This was not our expectation or what was described on the website when we purchased the package. We found that the photo gallery concept not printing wasteful photos and utilizing TV’s and iPad for display was a great concept if the system wasn’t constantly down. We had to make several trips and attempts throughout the trip to be able to see our photos. There was not enough entertainment on the ship and were many times we found ourselves with nothing to do except go to the pools that were overcrowded because there was nothing going on. The shows were not well planned and interest in them seem to dwindle throughout the cruise due to lack of presentation and quality. The ice show was wonderful and very entertaining as well as the juggler and the comedian/final show. But the other events lacked luster to say the least. When we wanted to purchase a watch from the display case we were told that those watches were only sold on certain days and that we could check back every day and see if they were being sold that day. The case was locked and we had to wait until the day they were going to be sold. Overall this was a rather disappointing trip that cost well more than what is was worth. The food, service, spa/salon and entertainment left a lot to be desired. There are multiple things we should be fully refunded for the $186 salon/spa that did not hold up, full refund the slide tickets that we paid $23.75x4= $95 that we couldn’t slide down, a partial refund for the $175 beverage package that was not as advertised and no Freestyle machines anywhere on the ship, partial refund of the $400 for the St Martin 4x4 Jeep excursion that we lost over an hour of time and were rushed through due to them being late, partial refund on the cruise itself for continual issues throughout the entire 8 days. We spent nearly $10,000 on a trip that severely fell below expectations. The staff seems overworked, overstretched and underappreciated along with long overdue for time off. Very few employees seemed as though they enjoyed their jobs. I have been on many cruises and never have I had such poor service as this cruise. Everything on this cruise seemed to be about the up sale and not about the experience for its passengers. We felt as though we received the response of too bad that’s the way it is regarding all of our concerns including maintenance, dining experience and so on. I am writing this letter in the hopes that RC will take my concerns under consideration and look into fixing the problems that I have outlined her for your review. I again have to bring up or stateroom attendant and say that had it not been for Barrington we would not have had any good experiences on this trip.