Summer cruise on Navigator great for adults and teens. Not so much for little kids

Navigator of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Experience: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 3

Overall Rating:

3 out of 5
Verified Review
7 Night Western Caribbean (Galveston Roundtrip)
Sail Date: August 02, 2015
Ship: Navigator of the Seas
Cabin Type: Balcony
Cabin Number: 8668
Traveled As: Family (young children)
Reviewed: 2 years ago

We did a 7 day Navigator of Seas out of Galveston August 2-9. Stopped in Cozumel, Belize and Honduras. My older kids, 11 and 15 had a blast. The teen program allowed my 11 year old to "bump up" to the 12-14 program and because of that, she was able to have a really great experience. For my 3 year old, however, it was not a good experience. This is a ship that, in my opinion and in the opinion of many others we met on the cruise, merely accommodates small children but really does little to nothing to make their experience fun. My little one was in the 3-5 year old room. Yes. Just a room. They never leave it during their time in kids club. Kids club is an overstatement. It's daycare at its worst. There is a 15 to 1 ratio of staff to kids. They only have 3 hour sessions. 9-12. 2-5. And some evening time. The kids aren't allowed any snacks or drinks while they are there other than a trip to the water fountain, which my petite daughter couldn't reach. And no stool was provided. But here's the worst part. The royal Caribbean policy is that they will not assist your child in any way using the potty. Not at all. My daughter is tiny and couldn't reach the potty or coordinate pulling down her close and climbing up alone. Nor is she able to wipe by herself yet. Let's not even start with the hygiene issues. I was appalled. And so was she. We were only able to use the kids club for under an hour at a time because of this so I got very little down time on the vacation. So basically, don't plan on your young child being able to stay in child care there very long. Also, the pools aren't kid friendly other than one tiny shallow triangle area that is fenced off as a baby area. But be aware, adults hog the small area so there isn't room anyway for your kid to splash. And my daughter is potty trained so this wasn't an issue for us, but be advised that younger babies on diapers aren't allowed in any pool on the ship. Not even this little shallow area. We saw families with babies get kicked out of the baby splash area. Just saying. It's just not a good ship for kids under 6. It was also very crowded. Long waits for elevators. Several inoperative. The gym closes at 10pm so I wasn't even able to take advantage of the hours after my littlest was asleep to work out. It's also almost impossible to enjoy any nightlife without keeping your young child up late. A 530 dinner seating wasn't finished until 7. But the show times were usually 630 and 830. And the waiters weren't able to turn dinner around in an hour to make the early show. If we stayed for part of the 830, then bedtime was pushed until close to 930/10 for my daughter who is usually asleep by 8 at home. We had issues with ship maintenance too. Our water pressure was off. Once the cold water shut off entirely while my little one and I were showering. We spent 45 minutes all soapy after getting scalded waiting for it to be fixed. Oh. That reminds me. No bathtubs. Just showers. Ok for a 3 year old but not sure what people did with babies. There were also issues with shore excursions. Belize especially. We spent hours in a hot bus and saw very little. We're practically starved instead of a real lunch and were pretty miserable on an expensive misrepresented excursion. Cozumel was ok but way more crowded on our dolphin encounter than in years past. Had a very assembly line feel and spent a lot of time baking in the sun waiting in hot long lines. Honduras was the only great day. We did the private island. Overall not a trip I recommend unless you are traveling without small kids and have a lot of patience. 

Food and Dining

3 out of 5

Onboard Activities

1 out of 5


3 out of 5

Children's Programs

1 out of 5

Service and Staff

3 out of 5

Ship Quality

3 out of 5

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
The cabin was set up well. Good storage. Fairly quiet except for the sound of people opening and closing their balconies over and over at all hours. Uncomfortable beds though. Very hard. Our cabin steward was fantastic and attentive.

Ship Tip

Get tickets to the ice show as soon as possible and show up early. Otherwise even with a ticket you may not get seats together because they open it up for people without tickets before the show even starts.

3 out of 5
5 out of 5
Cozumel was beautiful as always and we love chakanab. Third time there. but the dolphin discovery was disappointing this time around. Overcrowded. And the Dolphins seemed to be tired and overworked. Had an assembly line feel to the experience that was not there in the past.
1 out of 5
We did the wildlife adventure and I cannot say anything good about it. I would have paid money to bail halfway through if it was possible. Poorly done. And we saw nothing of the plus side of Belize. Just poverty. Heat. And a weak at best tiny zoo that took an hour in a hot bus to get to. The river portion was disappointing as well. Baked in the hot sun because the boat didn't have a canopy. Spent hours looking for a lot of nothing. Although advertised as such, not a good excursion for anyone and especially not for little kids.
5 out of 5
The private island was wonderful. Great snorkeling. Staff was very helpful. Even a chlorine pool for a break from the ocean. And the food was fantastic.
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