Sailing on the Navigator of the Seas
with Royal Caribbean
- February 14 -Leave from Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- February 15 -At Sea
- February 16 -George Town, Grand Cayman
- February 17 -Falmouth, Jamaica
- February 18 -Labadee, Haiti
- February 19-At Sea
- February 20 -Arrive back in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Cruise Line and Ship: Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas. I am two points away from being a Platinum Crown & Anchor Society member and I did not feel that I got as many perks for being a Gold member as I have on other cruises.
My Favorite Thing at Each Port of Call:
- Royal Palm Beach Club is my favorite place to go in Grand Cayman. This is the perfect beach destination for cruisers. You can read about our day at Royal Palms Beach Club here. Downtown George Town is really fun, too. They have lots of great restaurants and tons of shopping.
- The Margaritaville in Falmouth is so much fun. They have three separate bar locations, a huge swimming pool, restaurant, and gift shop. Margaritaville offers free wifi, has an onsite DJ, and a huge drink menu. Blake and I had a blast at Margaritaville!
- Labadee is an awesome cruise port because whether you want to walk around the area and explore or just sit by the beach, you can make a whole day of it. They also offer zip lining, a rollercoaster that takes you around the island, and water activities. Labadee has so much to do that I wrote an entire article on it.
Why I Chose This Cruise: Blake and I were looking for a cruise that fell on his birthday and this one happened to include Valentine’s Day, too. We did not want to travel very far, so we opted to leave out of Florida. This cruise fit our dates and departure area perfectly.
Favorite Activities: Playing slots at the casino, bingo (although unorganized), comedian Michelel Balan, The Love and Marriage Game Show, Alfred and Seymour (if you have never heard of them you must look them up!), and comedian Collin Moulton.
Food Worth Mentioning: Chops Grille was awesome! We dined here for Blake’s birthday and it was the perfect choice. Johnny Rockets was a great lunch spot and their milkshakes were yummy. I will say that although I am usually not a fan of buffet food, the ship’s buffet was actually pretty good. The selection of food was massive and there was definitely something for everyone.
Special Offerings by Royal Caribbean: On night 4, guests could buy drink cards where you pay a discounted rate for so many drinks (it was like $80 for 6 drinks, but I do not remember specifically), which can save you money if you drink a lot of alcohol.
Best Part of the Cruise: Blake proposed! It happened our first night onboard after we sang karaoke. I will say that I was disappointed that Royal Caribbean did not acknowledge our onboard engagement the night of or any of the following days.
Worst Part of the Cruise: I was a huge Royal Caribbean fan, and this was Blake’s first time cruising with them; but I was really disappointed with our trip. From the moment that we got to the cruise terminal in Fort Lauderdale, until the time that we got off the ship, it seemed that everything was incredibly disorganized, chaotic, and guests were left out of the loop. Check in was horrible; no staff member was directing the line and hundreds of guests ended up fighting their way to the terminal door to check in. Disembarkation was even worse! We waited on the ship for over an hour past our designated time to leave because too many people were trying to get off of the boat at the same time. Luckily, Blake and I were near the two staff members in our area so we knew what the problem was, but all of the other guests did not. No one took it upon themselves to walk around and explain to the passengers what the problem was. When we finally did get to the terminal, the crew was incredibly rude and corralled us through rows of chairs trying to squeeze as many people in the room that they could. As a result, everyone was incredibly frustrated when they finished their vacation and I know a few people even missed their flight.
Guests had to get a tender ticket in Grand Cayman and that was a nightmare. People were lined up all over the Promenade level, throughout the dining room, and up to other floors trying to get a ticket. Plus, other than the one staff member giving out the tickets at the front of the line, there was no one else directing passengers. In addition, the tickets did not have a time on them, even an estimate, so you just had to sit and wait for your number to be called. We were on vacation and did not need to spend our time standing in line and waiting to be dismissed off of the boat. If you did not have an excursion, tickets should have been randomly passed out to each state room.
I was disappointed with the onboard restaurant Izumi. I have dined at Izumi on other ships and although the food was good, our server spent the entire time trying to upsell us on everything in the restaurant. We were already paying to eat there and we did not need appetizers, alcohol, bottled water, to attend the sushi making class, dessert, or to make a future reservation; if we would have wanted any of those we would have ordered them. It was actually a pretty annoying way to spend our Valentine’s Day.
The spa did not have all of the typical amenities which was a let down for me. For the first time ever, we had a dirty stateroom. Our bed had a stain on it when we arrived and all of our towels throughout the week had stains on them as well. Plus there was an open Coke in the fridge and the couches desperately needed to be vacuumed. We brought this to their attention and I will say that the housekeeping manager fixed the issue; but I bet this was a problem for other guests as well.
We went on this cruise to celebrate Blake’s birthday and it was not acknowledged at all. Apparently there are birthday packages you can buy, but I had no idea. We had to give all of our information when booking the cruise so I assumed that it would be in the system. However, when I talked to Guest Services, the woman told me that everybody on board was celebrating something and they did not have time to keep up with all of them. Well okay then..
My Thoughts: We opted for the inside room that overlooks the Promenade because it was not that much more expensive and we had never had one of those rooms before. Blake and I were both disappointed in it. Our view was of a stairwell and it added nothing to our vacation.
Other than the dining room workers, this was the most unfriendly group of cruise staff that I have ever encountered. Crew members would run in front of you when you were walking around the ship and it was clear that they did not want to help you. I visited Guest Services to tell them about our experiences onboard, and the woman just stared me in the face and gave me a very insincere apology.
FYI: Although the online cruise planner can help save you time when you get on vacation, I had numerous problems with it, found the website very un-user friendly, and ended up having to call to make multiple reservations.
TIP: If Zac Coombs is performing at the Pub on your ship you HAVE to go! This was my second cruise with him and he is so much fun. Zac plays the guitar and sings nightly, teaching the audience sing-a-long songs that you will be in love with by the end of the trip. Get to the pub early because it will fill up and only get more crowded as the night goes on.
Bonus: I got to play in the ship’s onboard slot tournament and I won third place. It was really fun and other than getting engaged, definitely the highlight of my week. Blake also got to play one night with the Cruise Director, Jerome.
Royal Caribbean no longer prints out every picture that is taken onboard. They have a tablet that lets you see you digital images and choose if you want them printed or to receive them digitally.
Lastly, the Navigator of the Seas was recently renovated and it is beautiful! I love the new style of the Promenade and open Solarium.
Check out our other Royal Caribbean articles: