I had deliberate this cruise for seven months. A good friend and I who had beforehand cruised with Carnival and Superstar had been wanting to attempt Royal Caribbean after listening to so many constructive issues about the great thing about the ship, high quality of meals and repair, and so forth. For the second time, I shocked my retired dad and mom by taking them with us (the earlier 12 months I had shocked them with an Alaskan cruise which I’ll overview later), and so they had been completely giddy with pleasure once they discovered that they might as soon as once more be touring aboard Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas, which they claimed was their favourite ship of 13 different cruises that they had taken. With the ship contemporary out of dry dock for upgrades, had been set to go to some brand-new locations none of us had ever visited: Roatan Island, Honduras and Belize Metropolis. Expectations had been excessive.
Then cruise time got here. Whereas I’m not ready to say that we had a BAD time on this cruise, I believe it’s honest to say that our expectations had been a bit deflated, just about from the minute we arrived on the Port of Galveston. Permit me to take you thru the excessive and low lights of life on the excessive seas aboard Navigator of the Seas.
Our eating experience– Most undoubtedly the very best service we obtained on the ship was in the primary Sapphire Eating Room, which is undoubtedly essentially the most beautiful eating room I’ve seen on a cruise ship. Strolling into the eating room is like coming into a regal opera home full with grand stair case and three ranges of eating with home windows on all sides. Our two servers had been extraordinarily attentive, noting my step-mother’s choice of constructing her personal ice tea with two glasses of ice, 2 tea baggage and a few sizzling water, which was ready for her each night time after night time one. I may fault her for being a “tea snob,” however then I might have to have a look at myself within the mirror with my Starbucks in hand turning my nostril up at Folgers. All of us loved the number of meal decisions and thought the meals was of very prime quality, with service operating like clock work. It was actually a pleasure to dine every night.
Right here we’re at dinner. I’m the goof-ball in blue.
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The Cabin– Inside cabin 7667 (Aft Port) was dwelling candy dwelling for our week at sea. My dad and mom had been proper subsequent door in 7669. For an inside cabin, there was loads of room to stow all of our stuff and have a very clear house to maneuver in. I’d say the mattress was a bit exhausting, however it’s all about your choice as my good friend and touring companion Jay (the man in purple) stated his was good. Ample closet and drawer house allowed us to every have adequate house to unpack. Our steward service was additionally top-notch, re-stocking and tidying up twice every day.
The ship– Navigator is certainly a gorgeous ship. Of notice is the Royal Promenade, a collection of outlets, eating places and bars operating aft to ahead giving cruisers the texture of strolling down a cobblestone avenue whereas at sea. I like to recommend the Two Poets Pub for some good ambiance and people-watching. The primary atrium is beautiful, and the assorted lounges and bars are designed with a really elegant but comfy really feel. The pool deck can also be spectacular, that includes two essential swimming pools flanked by a number of sizzling tubs, a few of that are shaded. For essentially the most half there are many chairs each out and in of the shade, but when your cruise is full you had higher get there early to snag one. We additionally thought the nightclub overlooking the pool deck with its floor-to-ceiling home windows added a pleasant contact to the ship’s choices. The ship’s on line casino can also be fairly respectable, however since smoking is allowed in there, chances are you’ll come out smelling like an ash tray.
Overlooking the Royal Promenade
The Grand Atrium
Beverage Package deal–Three of us on this cruise had the premium bundle for $55 per day, however since my dad solely drinks beer, we acquired him the essential bundle. At first look, this bundle might sound a bit dear (Royal Caribbean’s beverage packages are a few of the most costly at sea), however total we acquired our cash’s value. What I particularly preferred was that principally nothing on the drink menu was off limits in need of the tremendous premium stuff. You would even go for Gray Goose vodka at no additional cost. The flip facet right here is the bar service (see beneath).
Theatre Leisure–In case you ever end up on Navigator of the Seas, do not miss the ice-skating present. It’s improbable and was significantly better than I assumed it was going to be. We additionally loved the Elton John impersonator, the bar aptitude present and the grownup sport present.
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Embarkation/Debarkation–The phrases fiasco, nightmare, eternity and disorganization come to thoughts for each. This was hands-down the WORST embarkation/debarkation course of I’ve ever skilled, and my dad and mom who had been on 13 earlier cruises agreed. We should always have anticipated this when Royal Caribbean despatched us out an e-mail previous to the cruise instructing us to reach at sure occasions based mostly on the deck on which our cabin was situated. Because it occurred, we had flown into Houston, and our switch dropped us off proper on the time we had been purported to be there, which was 12:30 p.m. We didn’t step foot on the ship till nearly 2 p.m, as we had been caught two completely different traces, each of which had been extraordinarily slow-moving. That is undoubtedly not the best way you wish to begin your trip, and only a few smiles had been to be discovered within the safety and check-in traces. Thoughts you, I completely anticipate a little bit of a wait checking in, however this was simply ridiculous. I believe the longest wait I’ve ever skilled previous to this was 30 minutes tops. I undoubtedly expressed my dissatisfaction to the check-in woman.
Debarkation was virtually simply as unhealthy. Since we had a driver ready for us, we opted for the self check-out and got a particular time and place to satisfy. We’ve finished this on different cruises with minimal ready, with customs officers boarding the ship to gather types. Prior to now, now we have principally simply walked off the ship. Not this time. After we arrived on the appointed spot we then waited one other good 45 minutes simply to be allowed to disembark. As soon as off the ship, guess what? One other line, one other 45 minutes to move via customs. I ended up being a charged a further wait price by my driver, because of Royal Caribbean and the Port of Galveston.
Backside line–I’ll by no means cruise from Galveston, Texas once more as they clearly don’t have the flexibility to deal with the amount of those that cruise ships have. Principally, Royal Caribbean left a adverse first impression and a adverse final impression.
Service–Apart from our servers at dinner, service within the bars and lounges on this ship was common at finest and positively not what I’m accustomed to on a cruise. Whereas some bartenders had been standouts, it usually took ceaselessly to get a drink and infrequently you felt as for those who had been a trouble to the bartender or server. The worst service was most likely on the pool bar. Some would possibly say that I’m too demanding, however after I spend my hard-earned cash on trip I need respectable service. Interval. I did not actually get it on this cruise. My dad and mom additionally commented that “issues simply weren’t the identical on this cruise” as their earlier expertise on Navigator of the Seas.
Youngsters, youngsters, kids– OK, I’m most likely going to get some eye-rolls for this, and possibly for some it would not be a adverse, however there have been simply too many youngsters taking up the primary pool space on this ship. As with anyplace else, dad and mom are partially accountable right here, permitting their little monsters to run amuck and splash others in the primary pool, however I fault Royal Caribbean for not imposing pool guidelines. On previous cruises, youngsters weren’t even allowed in sizzling tubs, however they had been on this one. Granted, there’s an adults-only pool and sizzling tub, however the issue is that there’s no leisure there (not that the leisure on the essential pool was something to write down dwelling about).
We didn’t take part in any excursions on this cruise, so I am unable to converse to their high quality. We did hear varied feedback that the excursions had been over-priced and never definitely worth the cash. One tour was even over an hour late and needed to be delivered to the ship by boat because it was departing Honduras.
The decision–If I had to decide on between Royal Caribbean and Carnival, I’d most likely go along with Carnival based mostly on previous experiences. I’m not completely closed to giving Royal Caribbean one other likelihood, however they must fully WOW me to maintain me coming again.
Source by Rick Cohoon
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