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Found 148 results

  1. Specially For COELIAC AWARENESS WEEK - My thoughts on cruising Gluten Free with the new Unlimited Dining Package (This first post has info on Coeliacs Disease - feel free to skip it of course) On the first of April this year, what appeared at first to be a really rubbish April fool's joke turned out to be a bit of a disaster. A crane fell on our cruise ship Oasis and our TA cruise was cancelled shortly after. It's always nice though when something good comes out of something not so good and that's where this lovely cruise on Navigator of The Seas comes in. We were lucky enough to grab a cabin on Navigator on a sailing within our original vacation dates, as hubby couldn't get other dates this late in the game. At the time we just wanted somewhere to vacay our weary heads and make the best of a less than ideal situation. I was thrilled to find out after we were all booked that Navigator had been all spruced up very recently - and even more thrilled to find Hooked and El Loco Fresh had been added to the ship. We tried these out on Symphony last year and loved them. So I'm a bit of a foody. Love trying new things, exploring flavours and dishes. Which is made a teensy bit more difficult because I have coeliac disease. I'm writing this on the flight over to Miami, and I thought I'd take a little time to explain what coeliac disease is and how it affects me every day. (Feel free to skip this next bit if you like as its not about the cruise at all) Coeliac disease is an auto immune condition and shares some common ground with other autoimmune disorders like diabetes in that it has a simple issue, but effects most areas of the body and your health. To stay healthy and happy, Diabetics need to watch the sugar, CD folk need to avoid gluten. CD mainly impacts the gut and digestion. If I eat anything with gluten in, my body sees the gluten as an enemy and attacks. Unfortunately, gluten molecules are very similar to the cells in the gut, and as a result, my body attacks the gut, eating away at the lining which is crucial for absorbing any nutrients. So on top of getting the immediate horrid gut pain, diarrhoea and nausea, the long term effect is basically malnutrition, and even longer term sees a vastly increased risk of stomach and bowel cancer. People often think CD is an allergy to gluten. Some just think it's an intolerance like some have to dairy. Whilst most people get that you can't eat gluten, it's hard to fully understand what that means and even where gluten is found in foods. Some people think avoiding gluten is healthy (it's not really, tho it might help some people with a slight sensitivity who get bloated with breads and pasta) and many think it's a fad. People who need Gluten Free food are often seen as fussy and picky. And you know, some people who eat gluten free are faddy, fussy and picky. It's not the same for folk with Coeliac disease. Every time I eat, I need to be aware of what I'm eating. I need to take special care at home to avoid cross contamination because not everyone at home is GF so gluten is around. It's not that hard these days with so much GF foods available in supermarkets. And the good thing is that it's made me eat more healthily and cook from scratch more. But that's at home. Wherever i go, whenever I eat outside the home, I'm at risk. And it's a pain. If you think it's annoying to be held up in a restaurant because someone is asking about GF foods, imagine being *that* person every single time you go out. I've gotten better at it, but it's a real bind being that person, feeling people's eyes on you, hearing the sighs of your server when you ask, seeing the annoyance in people around you when all you really want to do is just avoid the fuss. Life with coeliac diseases is all fuss sometimes and it gets wearing very quickly. And all that is before we even get to the physical effects. I'm going to be reviewing this cruise as a coeliac, looking at the provision for special diets and letting others know the good, bad and ugly parts of cruising Gluten Free. I have the Unlimited dining package for this cruise, so I'll be looking particularly at how the speciality restaurants on board cope with a teeny bit of fuss from me. Hopefully what I share will help others with CD and also be helpful in general for those who might need to also be "that person" where food is concerned.
  2. Just from the Navigator of the Seas. They removed the sauna's, there is only a steamroom in the spa that you can only use if you book a spa treatment. Is this a new trend, removing the sauna's (and fitness center for more cabins)?
  3. Just got off the newly refurbished NOS and really had a wonderful time! My husband and I are in our mid 50's and love to party on our weekends; this was the perfect ship to do so. The ship looks great: our balcony cabin was refreshed with new carpet, sofa, balcony furniture, etc. (bathroom is the same buy ok), specialty restaurants were added and the pool decks were newly designed. A perfect day at Coco Cay was just that, perfect! The past few times we were there we didn't even get off the ship but when we saw what we did from our balcony, we had to take a look. The kids will definitely have a blast with so many fun activities. We didn't partake in any of those but did enjoy a great day at the pool with swimout bar and non-stop music. It's a party for sure! The cocktails were great and the crowd was having a lot of fun. Lots of bachelorette parties and couples looking to have fun. The bbq was very nicely presented with a taco station added to it. We were treated to a wonderful fireworks display, in celebration of the grand opening, as our boat was about to leave. RCCL will need to recover the money they put into this place so you will pay for it, that's for sure! We didn't get off the ship in Nassau but enjoyed a day at the pool instead. Many others had the same idea as there was a nice crowd. We bought a bottle of champagne and enjoyed it while watching Aquaman. We snacked at the new Mexican station at the pool which we enjoyed. There is also a Johnny Rockets express at the pool which is ala carte pricing. There are pool loungers in the water and little cabana like huts, they did a really nice job. We bought the unlimited dining package so did not try the main dining room. We went to Jamie's Italian on embarkation day, it was the only one open and had a light lunch. They had booked us already for dinner there that night so we just went back. Dinner was very, very slow. Unfortunately, we found that to be true in all of the restaurants with Chops taking 2 1/2 hours!! I think the kitchens were understaffed. I don't really like the decor of Jamies and Hooked; they look like upscale fast food restaurants. Since this boat does a weekend out of Miami, you will get lots of kids and there were big families with multiple very young kids at Jamies; they were running around and it was not the nicest environment. Our reservations were at 8:30 but that didn't seem to stop families with young kids. We have lots of friends who are from South America and their culture is to eat pretty late at night. This seemed to be the case as there were many Brazilians aboard. Izumi was the nicest restaurant in terms of decor, a very sexy vibe. It felt like a nice Saturday night dinner out. We cooked our dinner on the hot rocks and really enjoyed it. The food in Chops was pretty good. I was surprised since the last time we went on Independence it wasn't good at all. And it was very slow! We sat at 8:00 and no one took our order until 8:30. The couple next to us got up and left. Luckily we didn't have any show plans so we were fine. I think they should have 2 restaurant where they don't allow young kids or at least limit them to earlier dining hours. Even at Chops there were kids running around. Also, if you have unlimited dining, make your reservations as soon as you get on the ship! It was not easy to get spots and nothing seemed to open up either. Drinks on the boat are expensive, $15 with tax and tip. We didn't take the drink package this time but did notice that they offered buy one, get one 50% off. You had to buy it the first day though. We are Diamond members and did go to the lounge the first night. Dudley was very nice but the drinks are pretty pathetic. They are serving a $3 bottle of wine and champagne and I had never heard of the vodka brand. The coffee machine was great and we did make some nice cappuccinos. We enjoyed the little sandwiches in the Royal Promenade; they seemed to improve the choices quite a bit. The shows and music were wonderful. The cruise director is Hugo. He's a little guy with a big personality and a bit hard to understand if you don't speak Spanish. I will post some pics and please let me know if I can answer any questions. It was a whirlwind weekend and we missed a lot of the ship; will have to go back!
  4. Hi All Can anyone confirm that Navigator of the Seas NO LONGER offers free dry and wet sauna (mens or womens) as part of the gym? I believe that after the recent AMPLIFIED refurbishment the Gym has been moved Aft to what was the children's Adventure Zone and now no longer offers any form of Sauna facility? is this correct? Many Thanks
  5. Hello. Is it first come, first serve or are there appointment times? Also, do suite guests get some type of priority? TIA
  6. Has anybody been on the Navigator for the 4 night to the Bahamas since the refurb? I would love to see a copy of the cruise compass if anyone has them. Does it have a formal night and which night is it? Do you have to check out pool towels and return them? Thanks in advance for any information.
  7. I have noticed on the recent Cruise Compass's. There has not been a formal night on the 3 night cruise to Cococay and Nassau. Can anyone confirm that this correct.
  8. Are they different "Observatorium" puzzles? I know I've asked about Harmony/Symphony/Mariner Escape rooms before and believe I'd decided they are unique on each ship so no risk of getting the same puzzle. But, I do see on the app a description and picture for Navigator Observatorium that looks the same as the one I did recently on Mariner (could still be same design but different clues). Just wanted to make sure they aren't the exact same (like generally ships have different shows but there are exceptions like two ships offering Grease and iskate etc.) Thanks.
  9. So this is the first time we are taking the kids on a cruise. Question is for the MDR, is there a kids menu? If so, what does that look like. Anybody have a sample of one? Is is the same thing every night? Second question for breakfast. Does Johnny Rockets offer a free breakfast on the Navigator?
  10. Just back yesterday from a wonderful cruise on the recently refurbished NAVIGATOR OTS. This was a 5-day charter (adult only) to Jamaica and Nassau. It's been several years since I've sailed on a Voyager Class and I forgot how much I love this class of ship. In many ways better than the Oasis Class. Royal did a phenomenal job with the refurbishment and it's almost like a new ship. The new pool deck is superb, perhaps my favorite pool deck of any ship afloat now. It's bright, cheerful, colorful, and perfect for the Caribbean. Tons of seating options from chairs, to loungers, hammocks, and even cabanas. Even the pools have a built in ledge around them so you can sit in mid-chest high water if you want without totally going in. The slides and flowrider are tons of fun, and I rode both slides multiple times. One slide uses a mat, and the other an inflatable raft that holds two people (400 lbs max). The raft slide was closed the first two days but they finally got it working. Both slides are well worth while. Food and service were great, and the new Windjammer is awesome. Way better than the Oasis Class I think and beautifully done. This being a charter it was open sitting for the entire ship for dinner each night in the dining room. It worked like a charm. We had a party of ten and never had to wait more than 5 minutes for a table (around 8pm or 8:30pm usually). All the wait staff I encountered were awesome and that goes for the bartenders and my cabin steward as well. I was in cabin 7532 which was a large balcony cabin. It had brand new carpet, a new sofa, new bedding, new drapes, and I think a new TV (which was interactive). The cabin seemed really big. Much larger than I remember. The sofa was so big (long) but no more coffee table. The balcony had nice furniture (two chairs and a table) which I think were new as well. The bathroom is untouched and original. My favorite new bar on the ship is the Bamboo Lounge and that is where I spent most evenings. It has a great atmosphere with a wonderful bar staff and atmosphere. The R-Bar was my second favorite and Royal did a nice job refreshing this space. There were two production shows which were pretty good (one all new), plus the ice skating show that was amazing. Drones were used in the show and it was quite dramatic. I think my favorite ice skating show of all my Royal cruises. There was also a Journey tribute show which I loved. Really brought me back to my high school days! This being a charter not all Diamond level benefits were available. For instance they did not offer the unlimited happy hour drinks in the Diamond Lounge each evening, but they did load the 3 free drinks into your Seapass card to use at any bar from 4-8pm. I found that some bartenders didn't ring it up so you really could get more than the 3 drinks depending on which bar you went to. The Diamond Lounge itself was quite nice, and open daily with its own mini-buffet and coffee/tea. It was moved from the Viking Crown to the old Connoisseur Cigar Lounge. So the view is not as great but it's still a very nice space. Two negatives ... one very minor and one not as minor. First the CD. Sorry but I found him beyond annoying. Just too Vegas cheesy for me. Not a big deal as the CD doesn't really impact my cruise, but this guy seemed to be much more in my face ... probably because I found him annoying! LOL. Second was the only aspect of the refit I did not like. Lots of new cabins were added to where the spa used to be. Gone are the wonderful mens/womens steam and sauna with the great views of the ocean. All cabins now. Also gone is the forward facing fitness center with great views. It's all cabins now as well. The size of the spa was greatly reduced and now occupies just a small interior area that is in the center of where all these cabins were added. It's disappointing especially because the Voyager Class had one of the nicest spas and fitness centers afloat. The fitness center was actually moved aft, to an area on the port side of the ship. It will still have views but not those great forward facing views. Unfortunately the fitness center was closed this entire cruise. We found out from staff that the ceiling is actually too low. If you stand on a treadmill you can hit your head. So they have to actually cut holes in the drop ceiling above the treadmills to make them usable. I was quite disappointed there was no fitness center on this cruise. They did put some treadmills in the solarium as a temporary solution but it's hot in there plus just an odd place to work out. I passed. So overall a fantastic trip on a really wonderful ship, and Royal should be proud of the job they did with NAVIGATOR's refit. It's truly awesome, enough so I plan to return in the fall when CocoCay is finished so I can experience that as well. I did take some pics and I'll post a link when I get them uploaded.
  11. We convinced our family group of 14 to book the Navigator OTS for June. When we boarded the Allure OTS this past November, upon entering the ship for the first time on the Promenade Deck, the ship certainly had a WOW factor. Then we sailed on the Adventure OTS in March, and we boarded the ship on Deck 4, between the aft elevator bank and the MDR...Meh! So, my question is, when boarding the Navigator OTS, what will our group witness first? WOW or meh? Thanks in advance for your answers.
  12. A couple of you may remember that I did a live thread back in April on the Grandeur's 9 night sailing down the coast. Well, I got such a warm reception and so much encouragement, that I'm doing it again, this time, on the Navigator of the Seas. We depart on Friday from Miami, and travel south to beautiful Labadee. After that, we continue south to Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. A couple things are different this time. For one, my wife will be with me. I won't be complaining so much about the internet because I can't communicate with her as much as I would like. Also, this is my first time on BOTH Navigator and to these Southern Caribbean Islands. I have excursions booked, which I won't reveal until we get there. When i did the Grandeur, it was my 4th time on her, plus 2nd time on that same itinerary, so I was kind of a pro at both the ship and the ports. This time, we will both see these for the first time, for the most part. We've been to Labadee before. I plan to load plenty of pictures as well as cruise compasses and menus like last time. Hopefully, the internet on the Navigator will cooperate better than the Grandeur. This Live thread is also an experiment of sorts. On our meet and greet, we had another person interested in doing a live thread, so we may try to combine two live threads into one and see how that works. I'll let her introduce herself if she chooses. Hope you enjoy this thread as much as I enjoyed writing it last time.
  13. I was wondering - I have seen some photos of the pool deck and it looks like there are cabanas/day beds. Does anyone know if they are available to rent for the day/half day or are all of them strictly first come first served, have to battle the chair hogs kind of deal?
  14. Hi. I am booked on Navigator OTS in Cabin 1886. This looks to be a connecting cabin. My question - where is the connecting door in the cabin? I am guessing that the bed in this cabin is near the balcony - is that correct? and that the connecting door would be closer to the bathroom. Is the connecting door in place of a sofa ? or on the opposite side? thanks for any input.
  15. We will be sailing on Navigator late December and I know my son (17 at time) would love to try out the Flow Rider. Do you know whether or not I need to book a timeslot for him? Is it first come, first served? Lessons? Cost? Any help would be appreciated. There was one at an indoor waterpark we went to but you were not allowed to stand on the boards, only ride on your stomach unless you had taken a lesson and the lessons were only offered a couple days a week so I want to make sure he is able to get the full experience this time.
  16. Hi Cruisers! We are hoping the refurb Navigator of the Seas has a dedicated juice bar, like the one on Harmony. Does anyone have any details? Thanks! Happy Cruising!!
  17. While @EmilyJay did a great job posting about the overall cruise experience on the March 1, 2019 nine night sailing to the ABC islands, I thought I'd focus on the ship, updates and various venues and public spaces. Check out EmilyJay's live trip report here: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2639274-live-review-navigator-of-the-seas-abc-islands-1st-10th-march/ The updates have been quite extensive, more so than some of the previous 'Royal Amplified' ships. In 2018 I sailed a few of the Voyager class ships including Adventure, Explorer, Mariner and I last sailed Navigator just before her dry dock and amplification. Voyager class ships are sweet spot for me and after sailing the 'new' Navigator for this March 1, 2019 sailing, I've grown to really enjoy the updates. I’ve snapped pics of any menus I could find at various restaurants so I’ll post those too. If you are going to reply to any comments please do not include the pictures in your reply. Thanks.
  18. A friend mentioned that the sauna and steam room on Navigator were removed during dry dock. Anyone have information on this?
  19. I realize that "healthy" means different things to different people, but I needed a short title! I prefer meats and seafood that aren't fried or greasy, whole grains, and lots of veggies (like them best with no butter). Eating out is usually a compromise, and that's fine, but if anyone has any tips for finding this type of food on the Navigator (besides the salad), I'd appreciate hearing them. For example, I did a Carnival cruise and they had really good grilled salmon available every night in the MDR. I'm thrilled to be cruising Royal again -- just need a little help finding my favorite foods without being a princess about it!
  20. Hey everyone! I'm so happy to be able to write this review after weeks of uncertainty as to whether or not Navigator would be out of dry dock on time!! 🎉 After hearing the Feb 24th cruise was cancelled, I didn't hold much hope March 1st would be going ahead, but hooray all is looking good!! I already have ALOT of questions from some lovely people here on CC, I will try my hardest to answer them all during the cruise. Itinerary We are doing a 9 night ABC cruise + Labadee. Day 1: Miami Day 2: At Sea Day 3: Labadee (8am-5pm) Day 4: At Sea Day 5: Aruba (8am-11.59pm) Day 6: Curacao (8am-8pm) Day 7: Bonaire (7am-4pm) Day 8: At Sea Day 9: At Sea Day 10: Miami We are staying in an inside cabin on deck 7. We have stayed in an inside cabin before and it's fine for us as we're not in there all that much. But I do love a good balcony cabin, sadly it was just too expensive for this cruise 😞 Maybe next time... We have the Deluxe Drinks Package... This is a first for us and I'm very excited about this, I hope they have stocked up on the gin 😉. We fly out of Heathrow on Thursday and are staying pre-cruise near the port, time to get the ironing done and the packing sorted! Any questions, let me know.
  21. Are there USB outlets in the Oceanview Balcony Cabins?
  22. On a 4 day cruise do Diamond Plus Members still have 3 coupons loaded onto their sea pass card to use in different bars after 4:30 p.m. Where is lounge located and is there another room for overflow?
  23. Hello, I‘m on the Navigator of the Seas right now and it‘s my first RCCL cruise. I‘ve been cruising mostly NCL, but also did experience Carnival, Celebrity and MSC before. I‘m not doing a fully live trip report but I try to send a few impressions and maybe answer a few of your questions. I was at the port around 11:30am and had to wait until 12 until they let people inside the security area. No communication whatsoever about why we were delayed. Security and and document check went swiftly but then we had to wait once more on the gangway to finally board. People weren’t happy about those delays. Once onboard, around 12:30, the ship felt empty, we were the first to have a drink at the Bamboo Room and we got an excellent MaiTai. Rooms were ready shortly after 1 pm and we dropped our carry on luggage right before we went to Chops for Lunch. I honestly wasn’t blown away. I have the Key package, my parents don’t and paid for this lunch upfront only to be informed that they were also limited to the small Key lunch menu. What a waste of money for them. They didn‘t even prepare pepper sauce or bearnaise sauce and limited us to bordelaise sauce 👎🏻. The quality of the beef was fine though. I‘m used to inside muster drills on NCL and prefer those to the chaos that was here during sweltering heat on the outside promenade. 👎🏻 Sailaway came and we were delayed because of a medical emergency. The captain did inform us about a small delay which then turned into 3 hours delay because apparently an elderly lady died. So sad 😭. Dinner in the MDR was very nice though and I think service and food was a step above NCL. Out of the major cruise lines, I still prefer Carnival for food quality though. The promenade was crowded for the balloon drop and the music was too loud for me. My promenade room has rather good soundproofing but I hope in the coming days, music won‘t be as loud.  Had breakfast in the MDR today and felt it took too long for me because I want to be out on the deck enjoying the ship instead of wasting my daytime in a dining room. Once again, the food was rather good though and service was great again. I‘m now out on the 12th deck enjoying my day but the chair hog situation is out of control compared to the other ships I‘ve been to. At 10 am the pool deck was empty but there wasn‘t a single chair available in the Solarium or in the shaded areas around the ship. They really need to do something about this.
  24. My family is going on the Navigator of the Seas in March 2020. Last boat we were on was the Allure of the Seas which we had an excellent time. We liked Sorrentos and being able to grab a piece of pizza. Does Navigator have a pizza place like Sorrentos after dry dock?
  25. I wanted to know who has been on the newly refurbished Navigator of the Seas? On the 4 night which one is the formal night, and how are people dressing for it?
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