Navigator is Great!

Frozen2014

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2014
Last year I created a thread of same name but for Mariner...and since we just got off Navigator, I thought I'd do a little review with a few pictures. Preview....we loved Navigator!

We've been on a few Royal cruises and went on the 4 day cruise end of August before our kids returned to school. It had a stop at Bahamas, a stop at CoCo Cay, and a sea day. Our son is 14 and our daughter is 10.

The day before we flew out, we heard of a Tropical Depression that was brewing near San Juan. Didn't seem like it would have an impact on us as it wasn't supposed to hit Bahamas (don't have 20/20 vision...ha ha). We flew to Miami on the Sunday with no issues. Cruise was Mon-Fri.

For this cruise, we were able to book 2 connecting promenade rooms, which worked great. It gave us more space plus was much more efficient when it came to shower time. (I was very proud of our younger one as for the first time, she was 100% independent in taking showers and drying her hair, etc). The rooms were located on deck 7, which was at a perfect spot; far enough from aft elevators that we didn't get a ton of traffic, but close enough that it was a short walk. It was also looking across guest services, so away from the main action and thus, wasn't too noisy (although my DD did say that it was loud on the last night when they had the 80s party)

Showing the connecting rooms:
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Each room (for our kids, we separated the beds so they each got their own space)
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Our room from outside (standing at guest services, room is 2nd row and 3rd and 4th rooms)
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Frozen2014

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2014
Our kids wore their bathing suits on the ship as we know from experience, that slides and pools get busy quickly. Thus, after boarding and grabbing lunch at the Windjammer, we headed to the slides. Royal built different ones on the Navigator; The Blaster where 2 people sit on a tube (probably similar to the Disney slide on Fantasy), and The Riptide where you lie on a mat on your stomach.

Our kids loved The Blaster...tons of fun. Only thing I'll warn is that the waiting area in the stairs gets quite humid in there. We went in August, so this may not be as much of an issue other times of the year, but it did deter our kids from going on the slides if it looks like the lines were bad. Also, there was an occurrence where people got stuck. It's not a big deal as the workers can get them out, but it's a process where they have to turn off the water, then they go up the stairs to get them out, and then wait a bit for the water to flow again. So it does extend the wait time. The loved this slide though. Riptide with the mat is fun too.

We found the best time to go was when it opened or morning on the Nassau day when a lot of people to on shore (we didn't get off the ship).

Yellow and pink one is The Blaster (tube). Blue and pink one is The Riptide (mat).

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Frozen2014

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2014
Royal did a lot of changes to the deck area during the amplification. Personally, I think they did a great job! They added more "beach" space or ledge area where you can stand/sit in the water around the pool where the water is ankle deep. In one of the pools, they also added stairs for you to get in slowly (or maybe this was always there?). There are a few loungers and sitting 'stubs' there. They also added a mini splash pad for younger kids on the end of the two pools.

Also, they added tons of colours in general...different colour chairs, hammocks (and at various places on deck 11 and 12 - more than Mariner), colourful cabanas, and other various circular pillow seating (not sure what to call it). Big thumbs up.

Around the pool, they also added a quick service Johnny Rockets (extra $), El Loco Fresh (included) - not as extensive as on Symphony but still convenient and good, and the Lime and Coconut pool bar.

A few pictures...
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There is also a solarium pool, which we actually ended up using on one of the days as the two main pools were closed (bad luck....someone had thrown up in one pool, and child went number two in second pool. They couldn't empty them when in port, so they opened up the solarium pool for everyone).
 
  • Frozen2014

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2014
    One thing I love about cruising is dinner and a show each night. The shows were good...not my favorite comparing to the shows we've seen on other Royal cruises but still impressive.

    My favorite was the ice show. The skaters were quite talented and very pretty, elegant skating. They also had cool drones at the start (similar to Symphony). My DD and I even went twice. It played twice the first evening, and then during the day on the sea day.
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    Navigator has two production shows: Ballroom Fever and Showgirl: Past, Present and Future. The Royal singers and dancers are very good, especially the two main dancers. I admit though, that Ballroom Fever just isn't my thing as I don't love ballroom dancing or the 'vegas' style show. I liked Showgirl a bit better, probably because I recognized a couple of the songs. Having said that, I'm still glad we went (we being DD and I, as DS had no interest in the shows).

    Our Headliner was an A Cappella group. They were really good and quite enjoyable. Really neat how they can mimic instruments.

    One of my favorite entertainment items during the 4 nights was the improv piano guy playing at Schooner Bar. He was excellent, and so funny. He'd be singing a song (and typically one that everyone knows), and then he'd watch as people walked by and they became part of his song. A couple people even came over and would do karaoke (talk about good sports). DH and I went every night, and on the last night we brought our kids (as he started a bit earlier). They loved him too.

    DH and I also saw the comedian. The first night was the family friendly show, although we didn't realize it as it didn't start until 10:15pm. The last night was the adult show, but for the most part, he was still quite clean, which was good.
     

    Frozen2014

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2014
    We quite enjoy Royal's food options. Navigator, like Mariner doesn't have as many choices as say Symphony, but it's still pretty good. (We're easy to please and not super picky but we do like food).

    Originally we had BOGO, bought a long time ago when they still sold it as BOGO, so we debated on keeping it (as we'll never get 2 meals for that price again) or cancelling. In the end, we decided to cancel it as it's only a 4 night cruise as we quite like the MDR. The food is pretty good, and we like getting to know our waiters.

    There is no formal night on a 4 night cruise (and thus, no lobster) but we still had some good meals.....from garlic shrimp. to salmon to seafood pasta, to meat pasta (DD), to other fish dishes. Both our kids love the French Onion Soup so that was their appetizer staple. DD mostly ordered off of the adult menu, and DS had a mix...adult menu, and sometimes stuck with pizza, burger or chicken fingers. And for dessert...the cheesecake is great as is the carrot cake, and profiteroles. We were also given the 50th anniversary cake. Looked better than it tasted.
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    For breakfast, we went to the Windjammer each morning.

    For lunch, we tried El Loco Fresh one day, and the MDR on the other days which has a buffet and you can order off of the menu. Pretty good options.
     
    Last edited:

    Frozen2014

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2014
    There are a lot of other fun activities going on.

    Our kids went on the rock wall one afternoon (and it was great as there were no line ups).

    Laser Tag runs the two port days from 4:30pm-8:30pm. We wished it opened earlier as we had 6pm dinner and a show, so it didn't leave much time to line up and play. The first day, we got one game in before dinner, and I think DS got in another one after dinner (as he didn't attend the show).

    Navigator also has a nice mini golf at the front of the ship, and a Flowrider at the back.

    We also did a lot of trivia and a couple other game tournaments. Playmakers as well has a foozball, pool table and a couple video games that seemed to be free (or maybe our kids were playing demo---not sure).

    And of course, the pools are quite nice for swimming.

    DD and I also went to a Hush party that was a lot of fun, and DH and I listened to music at night.

    They also had a 70s party the first night on the Promenade, and an 80s party the last night.

    Quest ran the last night (which we missed) and a bunch of evening game shows as well, which DH and DS attended.

    So...tons going on during the week.
     

    Frozen2014

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2014
    I mentioned at the start that the day before we left we heard about a Tropical Depression that was brewing. I'm sure you all heard how that turned out....turned into this horrible Category 5 Hurricane Dorian , which took a turn for the worst and did lots of damage to Bahamas.

    We had no issue in Nassau, and weather was great, but the night before we were to stop at CoCo Cay, the captain came on the loud speaker saying that we would not be stopping at CoCo Cay as they had to evacuate the island. There were many workers and they wanted to get them home safe to their families.

    It was quite disappointment, but we understood and was a good decision of Royal. Funny though, as we didn't get off at Nassau, and the last day was a sea day. So basically we stayed on the ship the entire time. DH and I joked we could have just gotten on the ship in Miami and stayed there.

    Royal was really good about it too. Of course they refunded our excursions (no water-park tickets for us), but they also gave us FCC to sail with them again. They didn't have to do that considering it was weather related (vs say ship breakdown issue or something).
     
  • Frozen2014

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2014
    Final Thoughts....We really loved Navigator. It's DH sweet spot in terms of ship size (Oasis class is a bit too big for him). DD also commented that it's partly her favorite for the water-slides (and other favorite is Mainer for the SkyPad).

    As mentioned, I really love what they did with decks 12 and 13 with the bright colours, seating and pool decks (and for this reason, I rank it just above Mariner). My favorite ship is Symphony, as the shows are spectacular, and I love the activities and overall decor, but Navigator is a great ship and I highly recommend.
     

    BensDaddy

    Graduate of Goofy's Flight School
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2010
    Awesome review! Thanks so much for posting it!

    Question, how did you manage to get the connecting cabin? Did you just tell Royal you wanted one and they figured it out? Or did you have to locate connecting cabins and book them separately/together?

    Again great job. Thanks
     

    Frozen2014

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2014
    Awesome review! Thanks so much for posting it!

    Question, how did you manage to get the connecting cabin? Did you just tell Royal you wanted one and they figured it out? Or did you have to locate connecting cabins and book them separately/together?

    Again great job. Thanks
    Thank you. Hopefully it'll help you with your upcoming cruise. :-)

    At the time of booking, I called Royal to see what connecting rooms were available for promenade category (the deck plans show connecting rooms by having an arrow between them). But they have since updated their site and you can find them yourself. If you do a mock booking, on the screen where it asks you for number of rooms, it will let you specify that you want connecting rooms as below. Select the circle icon on the right. Then as you continue through, that icon will appear if there are connecting the category and you can then book 2 rooms at once. This is a fairly new feature that is very helpful.

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    crabbymom

    Slythermom to 2 'claws and a Princess
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2012
    Thanks so much for the review and pictures! My DD and I are going on her in November. I've been on the Mariner so I will be interested to see the differences. I am really looking forward to the pool deck, it looks so colorful!
     
  • gumbypee

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 5, 2012
    nice review! Thank you! I was on NAvigator a few years ago before the amplification and enjoyed it then too
     

    cel_disney

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 21, 2007
    So excited to see a review from someone who recently sailed Nav and Symphony! We sailed Nav years ago out of Galveston and we are sailing her in April to check out her new look and coco cay!

    You mentioned that El loco Fresh is different than symphony - can you elaborate on that a bit more? Is it just that the space is smaller or is it the menu items that are fewer?

    We loved that on symphony and I know it will make the entire week with my 13 year old so easy! Haha!
     

    Frozen2014

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2014
    So excited to see a review from someone who recently sailed Nav and Symphony! We sailed Nav years ago out of Galveston and we are sailing her in April to check out her new look and coco cay!

    You mentioned that El loco Fresh is different than symphony - can you elaborate on that a bit more? Is it just that the space is smaller or is it the menu items that are fewer?

    We loved that on symphony and I know it will make the entire week with my 13 year old so easy! Haha!
    Thanks. Glad you found it. We loved both Symphony and Navigator.
    On Navigator, it's in one of the corners of the pool deck. I think the main meal selections were the same, but they didn't have any of the desserts that Symphony's location offered. Symphony in particular had this chocolate thing that stood out, and I liked the space a bit better for grabbing your food. Having said that, the main meal was still very good. Great addition that I hope they keep adding to their ships.
    Bet you're looking forward to Navigator in April!
     

    cel_disney

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 21, 2007
    Thanks. Glad you found it. We loved both Symphony and Navigator.
    On Navigator, it's in one of the corners of the pool deck. I think the main meal selections were the same, but they didn't have any of the desserts that Symphony's location offered. Symphony in particular had this chocolate thing that stood out, and I liked the space a bit better for grabbing your food. Having said that, the main meal was still very good. Great addition that I hope they keep adding to their ships.
    Bet you're looking forward to Navigator in April!
    We can’t wait! Disney for 5 days for Star Wars Race weekend and then driving to Miami for Navigator! We have been on Nav, Liberty, and my daughter and I on symphony. I know we are going to love the upgrades on Nav - we enjoyed symphony for all of its shows and activities but sometimes it felt to big for the kids to roam free...Nav is perfect for my 9/13year olds!! (They were on Nav at 4 and 8, Liberty at 6 and 10, Symphony daughter was 8 - looking forward to a kids club with sign in/out privilege!
     

    Frozen2014

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2014
    We can’t wait! Disney for 5 days for Star Wars Race weekend and then driving to Miami for Navigator! We have been on Nav, Liberty, and my daughter and I on symphony. I know we are going to love the upgrades on Nav - we enjoyed symphony for all of its shows and activities but sometimes it felt to big for the kids to roam free...Nav is perfect for my 9/13year olds!! (They were on Nav at 4 and 8, Liberty at 6 and 10, Symphony daughter was 8 - looking forward to a kids club with sign in/out privilege!
    Your kids are similar ages to ours. Symphony was the first time we let them wander a bit on their own (with our older one looking after the younger one). Then they did the same on Navigator. Wasn't that long, and they met us back in the stateroom at specific time, but they loved the freedom. And as you say, much easier on Navigator size ship. They don't go to the kids clubs so can't comment, but sounds like you're familiar with them. :-) Amazing too with Disney beforehand. That's our plan for a couple days after our Mariner cruise next summer.
     

    John VN

    DIS Cast Member
    Joined
    Aug 2, 2003
    We quite enjoy Royal's food options. Navigator, like Mariner doesn't have as many choices as say Symphony, but it's still pretty good. (We're easy to please and not super picky but we do like food)...............................There is no formal night on a 4 night cruise (and thus, no lobster) but we still had some good meals.....from garlic shrimp. to salmon to seafood pasta, to meat pasta (DD), to other fish dishes. Both our kids love the French Onion Soup so that was their appetizer staple. DD mostly ordered off of the adult menu, and DS had a mix...adult menu, and sometimes stuck with pizza, burger or chicken fingers. And for dessert...the cheesecake is great as is the carrot cake, and profiteroles.............................
    GREAT review, thanks !!!

    We have a Mariner 4 night in Jan. and hope the seafood pasta, fish dishes AND the carrot cake for DW with the cheesecake for me wind up being tasty. :) By playing the "Internet Booking Game" I believe I managed a really good deal. Booked an aft suite for DW and myself then when RCCL sent out another Internet Deal we added DD and DSIL.
     

    Frozen2014

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2014
    GREAT review, thanks !!!

    We have a Mariner 4 night in Jan. and hope the seafood pasta, fish dishes AND the carrot cake for DW with the cheesecake for me wind up being tasty. :) By playing the "Internet Booking Game" I believe I managed a really good deal. Booked an aft suite for DW and myself then when RCCL sent out another Internet Deal we added DD and DSIL.
    Sounds like you got some nice rooms! The cheesecake is served every night as one of their classics as is the crusted salmon (from what I remember, Mariner is the same as Navigator). Other dishes it depends, but the menus do seem to repeat on different ships. Always lots of choices.
     

    Spencer Wright

    Constantly craving a zebra dome...
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2017
    Final Thoughts....We really loved Navigator. It's DH sweet spot in terms of ship size (Oasis class is a bit too big for him). DD also commented that it's partly her favorite for the water-slides (and other favorite is Mainer for the SkyPad).

    As mentioned, I really love what they did with decks 12 and 13 with the bright colours, seating and pool decks (and for this reason, I rank it just above Mariner). My favorite ship is Symphony, as the shows are spectacular, and I love the activities and overall decor, but Navigator is a great ship and I highly recommend.
    I went on my first cruise in May on the Navigator and absolutely loved it! I really didn't do as much research as I could have to prepare, but found the ship so easy to navigate 🤣

    I will absolutely go again.
     

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