Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Navigator of the Seas
Ship: 392 out of 500
Accommodation: 141 out of 200
Food: 223 out of 400
Service: 267 out of 400
Entertainment: 75 out of 100
Cruise: 264 out of 400
Overall Score: 1362 out of 2000
Navigator of the Seas Statistics
Size: Large Resort Ship
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean International
Former Names: none
IMO Number: 9227506
Builder: Kvaerner Masa-Yards (Finland)
Original Cost: $500 million
Entered Service: Dec 2002
Registry: The Bahamas
Length (ft/m): 1,020.6/311.1
Beam (ft/m): 155.5/47.4
Draft (ft/m): 28.8/8.8
Propulsion/Propellers: diesel-electric (75,600kW)/3 pods (2 azimuthing, 1 fixed)
Passenger Decks: 14
Total Crew: 1,185
Passengers (lower beds): 3,286
Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 44.0
Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.6
Cabins (total): 1,643
Size Range (sq ft/m): 151.0-1,358.0/14.0-126.1
Cabins (for one person): 0
Cabins (with private balcony): 779
Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 26
Wheelchair accessibility: Best
Cabin Current: 110 volts
Casino (gaming tables): Yes
Slot Machines: Yes
Swimming Pools: 3
Hot Tubs (on deck): 6
Self-Service Launderette: No
Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No
Onboard currency: US$
A colorful, fun-filled large resort ship for family-friendly cruising
Overview. Navigator of the Seas provides a host of facilities, rather like a small town, with plenty of entertainment for all ages, yet offers a healthy amount of space per passenger. The food focuses on quantity rather than quality unless you are prepared to pay extra in a specialty restaurant.
The Ship. The first ship in the Royal Caribbean International (RCI) fleet to receive ‘virtual balconies’ for all interior (no-view) cabins - a neat feature installed during a 2013/4 revitalization, which also added 81 cabins, but no extra elevators; also added was a digital photo kiosk (no more photo walls, or lines).
A stunning four-deck-high Royal Promenade is the main interior focal point; it’s a fun place to hang out or meet friends. The length of two American football fields, it has two 11-deck-high internal lobbies. Cafés, shops, and entertainment locations line this ‘street’ and interior ‘with-view’ cabins look into it from above (it’s an imaginative piece of design work).
The horizontal atrium promenade includes the Two Poets (a ‘traditional’ pub), a Champagne Bar, a Sidewalk Café (for Continental breakfast, all-day pizzas, specialty coffees, and desserts), Ben & Jerry’s (for round-the-clock ice cream and yoghurt), a sports bar, several shops - for jewelry, gifts, liquor, perfumes, wine, and souvenirs, and Boleros (for Latin music and nightlife). Guest reception and shore excursion counters are located at the aft end of the promenade, as is an ATM machine. At times street entertainers appear, and parades are staged; at other times it’s difficult to walk through the area as it can be filled to the brim with tacky shopping items.
Arched across the promenade is a captain’s balcony, and in the center of the promenade a stairway connects you to the deck below, where you’ll find the Schooner Bar (a piano lounge common to all RCI ships) and a flashy Casino Royale. Gaming includes blackjack, Caribbean stud poker, roulette, and craps, plus 300 slot machines.
There’s a regulation-size ice-skating rink (Studio B), with real ice, with ‘bleacher’ seating for up to 900, and the latest in broadcast facilities. A fine two-deck library is open 24 hours a day.
Other drinking places include the intimate Connoisseur Club - for cigars and cognacs. There is a TV studio (‘Studio B’) with high-tech broadcast facilities, located adjacent to rooms that can be used for trade show exhibit space, with a conference center seating 400 and a multimedia 60-seat screening room.
Families. Facilities for children and teenagers are quite extensive (actually, they are larger than aboard the sister ships); Aquanauts is for 3-5-year-olds; Explorers is for 6-8-year-olds; Voyagers is for 9-12-year-olds. Optix is a dedicated area for teenagers, including a daytime club with several computers, a soda bar, and a dance floor. Challenger’s Arcade has an array of video games. Paint and Clay is an arts and crafts center for younger children. Adjacent is Adventure Beach, an area for all the family to enjoy; it includes swimming pools, a water slide, and outdoor game areas.
Accommodation. There is a wide range of cabin price grades, in four major groupings: premium ocean-view suites and cabins, interior (atrium-view) cabins, ocean-view cabins, and interior cabins (which now have ‘virtual balconies’ projected on a formerly blank wall - a really neat feature). Many cabins are of a similar size - good for incentives and large groups - and 300 have interconnecting doors (good for families).
Some 138 interior cabins have bay windows that look into the Royal Promenade. Regardless of which cabin grade you choose, all except for the Royal Suite and Owner’s Suite have twin beds that convert to a queen-size unit, TV set, radio and telephone, personal safe, vanity unit, hairdryer, and private bathroom. However, you’ll need to keep the curtains closed in the bay windows if you wear little clothing, because you can be seen easily from adjacent bay windows.
Royal Suite (Deck 10). At around 1,146 sq ft (107 sq m), the Royal Suite is the largest private living space, located almost at the top of the Centrum lobby on the port side. It is a nicely appointed penthouse suite, whose occupants must share the rest of the ship with everyone else, except for access to their own exclusive Concierge Club. It has a king-size circular bed in a separate large bedroom that can be fully closed off; a living room with an additional queen-size sofa bed, baby grand piano, refrigerator/wet bar, dining table and four chairs, expansive entertainment center, and a reasonably large bathroom.
Royal Family Suites. Four Royal Family Suites (two aft on Deck 9, two aft on Deck 8, each measure around 574 sq ft/53 sq m) each have two separate bedrooms (one of which includes two beds and third/fourth upper Pullman berths). The lounge has a dining table and four chairs, wet bar, walk-in closet; and large bathroom with Jacuzzi tub, washbasin, and separate shower enclosure. The suites have large balconies with views out over the ship’s wash aft.
Owner’s Suites. Ten slightly smaller but desirable Owner’s Suites (around 468 sq ft/43 sq m) are in the center of the ship, on both port and starboard sides, adjacent to the Centrum lobby on Deck 10. Each has a separate bedroom with queen-size bed or twin beds; lounge with large sofa; wet bar; bathroom with Jacuzzi tub, washbasin and separate shower enclosure. There’s also a small private balcony.
Standard outside-view and interior cabins. All cabins have a private bathroom, as well as interactive TV and pay-per-view movies, including an X-rated channel. Cabin bathrooms really are compact, but at least they have a proper shower enclosure instead of a shower curtain.
Dining. The Sapphire (main dining room) has a total capacity of 1,889. It consists of three levels (a dramatic stairway connects them all), but the menu is the same on all three. Huge, fat support pillars obstruct sight lines from a number of seats. However, the ambience is good and there’s always a good buzz when the ship is full and dinner is in progress.
When you book, choose one of two seatings - or ‘My Time Dining’ (eat when you want during dining room hours). Tables are for four, six, eight, 10, or 12. The place settings, china, and cutlery are of good quality. Two small private wings serve small groups: La Cetra and La Notte, each with 58 seats.
Other dining options. Chops Grille is for premium steaks, ribs, veal chops, and seafood; a cover charge applies, but it’s worth it.
Portofino, the ship’s upscale Euro-Italian restaurant. It’s open for dinner only, and a cover charge applies.
Sabor, added during the 2014 refit, specializes in Mexican cuisine. A cover charge applies, and reservations are required (it’s located on a lower deck in what was formerly a discotheque called The Dungeon).
Giovanni’s Table is a popular Italian family-style eatery.
Windjammer Café: a really large, sprawling venue for casual buffet-style, self-help (always busy) breakfast, lunch, and light dinners (except for the last night of the cruise); it’s often difficult to find a table and by the time you do your food could be cold.
The Island Grill (a section of Windjammer Café), for casual dinners (no reservations needed), has an open kitchen. Johnny Rockets, a retro 1950s all-day, all-night diner-style eatery, has hamburgers, malt shakes (at extra cost), and jukebox hits, with both indoor and outdoor seating.
Promenade Café: for Continental breakfast, all-day pizzas, and speciality coffees - which are provided in paper cups.
Entertainment. The 1,350-seat Metropolis Theater is the showlounge - a stunning room located at the forward end of the ship. It has Art Nouveau themed décor, and spans three decks, with only a few slim pillars and good sight lines from most seats. Production shows are presented here by a large cast and a live band. There’s also an array of up-and-coming cabaret acts and late-night adults-only comedy.
Spa/Fitness. The ShipShape health spa is reasonably large, and measures 15,000 sq ft (1,400 sq m). It includes an aerobics room, fitness center (with stairmasters, treadmills, stationary bikes, weight machines, and free weights), treatment rooms, and men’s and women’s sauna/steam rooms. Another 10,000 sq ft (930 sq m) of space is devoted to a Solarium (with sliding glass-dome roof) to relax in after you’ve exercised.