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eroller

NAVIGATOR OTS - Just returned

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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.   

Edited by eroller

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Great photos and thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'm sailing on her in a few weeks and the more I see and hear, the more excited I get.

 

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Great pictures, glad to see new carpet because in December deck 7 smelled horrible.  It looks like they removed the hanging sculpture from the center of the ship.

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9 hours ago, SakeDad said:

Did you see any shows?

 

I did.  I mentioned them in my mini-review.  

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9 hours ago, HOSKI said:

Great pictures, glad to see new carpet because in December deck 7 smelled horrible.  It looks like they removed the hanging sculpture from the center of the ship.

 

 

Glad to say zero smells!   Loved my Deck 7 location.  The ship looks good as new.  

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Thanks for the review and wonderful pictures.  Will be sailing on her on 3/29 and really appreciate seeing how great the ship looks.  We will also be on deck 7 Junior Suite aft and like the idea of the upgrades on that deck.  Hopefully they were also done in our JS.

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45 minutes ago, sgerth said:

Thanks for the review and wonderful pictures.  Will be sailing on her on 3/29 and really appreciate seeing how great the ship looks.  We will also be on deck 7 Junior Suite aft and like the idea of the upgrades on that deck.  Hopefully they were also done in our JS.

 

 

I’m sure they were.  I was traveling with 10 others and everyone had their cabins refreshed. They all looked great.  Bathrooms though seemed untouched but were fine.  

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13 minutes ago, Keri's Cruisin' said:

Thanks for the awesome review and photo's! Wonder if mattresses were replaced? Bed comfy? 62 days for me! Can't wait! 

 

 

I would say yes. At least mine.  No sags and very comfy. Even the sheets seemed new.  

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14 minutes ago, blueridgemama said:

Hi, Thank you for your review. How did you find an adults only cruise?

 

 

I have no kids so I loved it.  It’s one reason Virgin Voyages is looking very appealing to me.  Adult only as well.  

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Just now, eroller said:

 

 

I have no kids so I loved it.  It’s one reason Virgin Voyages is looking very appealing to me.  Adult only as well.  

 

How did you find an adults only cruise on the Navigator or any other RCI cruise?

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6 minutes ago, blueridgemama said:

 

How did you find an adults only cruise on the Navigator or any other RCI cruise?

 

 

This was a full ship charter, and the theme was Spring Break Adult Only Party Cruise.  A friend told me about it so that is how I heard about it.  10 of us ended up booking.  Parties went till sun up, either in the Royal Promenade or the pool deck.  I made it one night till 4:30am but that was pushing it!  I would not have wanted a Royal Promenade view cabin as the music could be heard loud and clear in the cabins.  My cabin was very quiet.  I wasn't sure what to expect but it was a lot of fun.  People partied and had a great time but I never witnessed any bad behavior, people being disrespectful, or fights of any kind.  Not to say it didn't happen but I didn't see any of that.  You know how people can get sometimes with too much alcohol.  To be honest I've witnessed really bad behavior on some Carnival cruises (not even adult-only - just normal), but none on this one.    

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