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Navigator - Our Cruise to Nowhere


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Introduction Ok....well we knew that travelling end of August would be a risk due to Hurricane season.  Last summer on the same 4 days, we had amazing weather.  This year,  well, I'm sure most of

Final Thoughts You may have noticed that I haven't mentioned the cruise director.  That's because we barely saw him and he's not really that memorable.  Had we come 2 weeks earlier, we would have

Day 2 - Nassau Day (aka Sea Day) Pool, Slides, Foozball and Trivai We docked early in Nassau and as we've been here a few times, we decided to stay on the ship to enjoy the facilities with s

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On ‎9‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 7:35 AM, WannaCruise said:

Cool.  Guess it's across the board then.  I do give it a thumbs up.

Not a fan of the new design. Enchantment adopted it in the past few weeks. You have to look in a few spots now to not miss anything. One list for activities, I feel, is better than 3.

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3 hours ago, MotleyCruiser said:

Not a fan of the new design. Enchantment adopted it in the past few weeks. You have to look in a few spots now to not miss anything. One list for activities, I feel, is better than 3.

Yes exactly....you need to look at each category for the specific time.  I'm good with it now, but it did take some getting used to. (Or maybe I just like the pretty colours....lol)

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Day 2 - Dinner

By the time we got out of Laser Tag, it was close to 6pm, so we returned to the stateroom quickly and changed into our dinner cloths.  (I like dressing up for dinner, but of course DS14 gave a big stink about having to change out of his shorts for dinner).

As we arrived, our waiter brought out a plate of a few savory bites.  Was excited to try them as they seem to be well liked.  I'll say that I liked them, as did our kids, but didn't go crazy over them.  They are more dense than the rolls with some kind of herb taste.  DH much preferred the rolls.  So not sure I'll ask for them again but good to give them a try.

(Sorry for the partially eaten one...lol)

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Not sure what was going on in the dining room that night, but it was nearing 6:45pm and no one in our area had even gotten their appetizers yet.  But once it came, the rest of the meal flowed.  Our kids got the French Onion Soup (like every night), DH got caesar salad (like every night) and I got the caesar salad and escargots.  Yum. 

For dinner I had the seafood pasta, which was better than on Mariner (as on Mariner, it was tiny scallops and shrimps).  DH got the vegetarian option (forget the name).  DD got the meat pasta and DS ordered pizza from kids menu.

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And the best part of the meal....DS and DD got the carrot cake, DH got the chocolate cake and I got the cheesecake.

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Day 2 - Evening Fun...and a Twist in our Schedule

DD and I love the theatre, and for seats. we really love front row.  There were no reserved seats on Navigator on the main level so we had no issue getting front row in the centre (and we were 40 minutes early...so were the first ones there...lol).   Tonight was Royal's production show called Ballroom Fever.  

As we were sitting there waiting for it to start, the Captain comes on the announcement for something not expected.....He was sorry to report but they need to evacuate CoCo Cay and we wouldn't be making the stop tomorrow.  What???  We knew of the Tropical Depression that started on the news the day before we left for Miami (i.e. first started hearing about it on Saturday), but it was over San Juan and St Maarten area.  Looks like it was taking a turn and they worried for CoCo Cay and more importantly, it's workers.  What a disappointment as this was the one stop we were looking forward to, but of course a missed port, is nothing compared to people's homes and safety.  (We have a few more cruises that hit CoCo Cay so next time...).

He repeated the announcement again about 15 minutes later, and said there would be a revised cruise compass in our stateroom as we'd be staying in Nassau until 1pm tomorrow.

Anyways....on with the show....Ballroom Fever....the singers and dancers were extremely talented, but to be honest, it's not really my style of music/dancing.  (It's kind of that cheezy vegas style show).  But was still glad we saw it and it's good to expose DD to different styles and eras as well, and I think she still enjoyed it.

After the show, we returned to the room.  Our kids got in their pjs and watched TV and DH and I went out to the Bamboo room for a drink.

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DH got an Old Fashioned (his favorite) and I got a Banana Pina Colada.  Not sure I tasted the banana but it was still quite good (bit of a sugar rush though).

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After our drinks, we returned to the Schooner Bar to hear the improv music guy again.  We caught the end of his act, and then went to the R Bar where a band was playing that was excellent.  There really is great talent on the ship.

At this point, we called it a night.

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Day 3 - More Challenges

Forgot to say that when we returned to our stateroom later, there was a letter stating again that we were not going to be stopping at CoCo Cay. It also explained that any excursions would be returned as OBC, and then to original payment for what we don't use (we had the waterpark booked...and for a really good price that we won't see again as prices have gone way up).  To our surprise, it also said that we would be getting 25% Future Cruise Credit so that we can return and visit CoCo Cay another time. Bonus.  Wasn't expecting that, and thought it was great of Royal for offering that for a weather related issue.  We would be receiving an email with the amounts, etc.  

This was one of the times where our son said "Well at least we have a story to tell".

So Wednesday morning we got up, still in Nassau as the ship hadn't moved since arriving first thing the day before.  (At least this cruise would be pretty calm...but I admit that I like walking laps on the ship and watching the waves go by so kind of missed that).  We put on our bathing suits and like yesterday, headed to the Windjammer. (Not a ton of breakfast options on Navigator, compared to Symphony).

Next plan of attach was to go swimming so over to the pools we went.  That was strange, the pools were supposed to open at 8am and it was close to 9am, but yet they were covered by nets (this is the first picture in my earlier post).  There was a lifeguard standing by the splash zone so we asked him.  He stated the splash zone was opening in a couple minutes but to check with the lifeguard by the towels about the other pools so we walked there.  This lifeguard stated that in one pool, someone had thrown up.  In the other pool, some kid went number two.  He went on to explain that they can't empty the pools to clean them when in port so they would be like this for most of the day until we started moving.  Lovely. He said that they were opening up the solarium pool for everyone.  So basically one (tiny) pool so the whole ship....and there would be a lot of adults that would not be happy campers (rightfully so).

We headed to the solarium.  It was hot, even at 9am in the morning, and so we wanted to cool off.  DD was scared and wouldn't go in the pool at first as she knows the solarium is for 16+.  So DS and I headed over.  I first double checked with the lifeguard and he knew the changed rule for today.  Eventually other kids came in and so then my DD joined us.  One group did ask the lifeguard about kids in the pool and he explained.  Our kids were really good, but there were a few younger ones that were just swimming across the pool, but they were splashing a bit so I felt bad. 

As my son said "Well at least we have a story to tell".

 

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Day 3 - Exploring some more

After swimming we played some mini golf and then explored some more.  We headed to the back of the ship to see the Flowrider (which wasn't running until we left Nassau)

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And I think this is the teen hang out (our kids don't join the clubs but it looked like a nice area)

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And we saw our good old friend Mariner.  We have her booked for same time next summer (hopefully no hurricanes) so we tried to view our stateroom at the front corner.

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Since today was no longer a sea day, the MDR was opened for lunch so we headed there.  DH and I really love the tutti frutti salad bar.  DD got pasta from the buffet.  DS didn't see much he liked but ordered the burger.  DH and I also shared an amazing truffle grilled cheese.  We also decided we hadn't had enough sugar that day (lol...already hit our count), so treated ourselves to one dessert item.  I have to say that we all agreed that the brownie below is by far the best Royal dessert that we've ever had.  It's soft, moist (more like fudge than cake-like) and perfect icing.  

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Best dessert ever!

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Day 3 - Afternoon

We left Nassau at about 1pm.  I'm pretty sure it doesn't take a day and a half to return to Miami from there and so we were going soooo slow.  A few times I'd look out and question if we were even moving.

Today was a big trivia day for us.  After lunch we hit the TriBond trivia.  We didn't even know what it was (and thought it would be funny if it ended up being some tv show or movie none of us had seen), but it ended up being fun.  The person listed 3 words and you had to figure out the connection.  It was one of those things that was difficult at the time, and yet seemed so obvious once you heard the answer.

After that one, we wandered outside and our kids went on the rock wall. We were surprised that there was barely a line up on a 'sea' day, but it was quite hot out.

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Later in the afternoon there was Guess the Logo trivia, and a Cartoon triva.  We also played some more foozball, and let our kids wander a bit on their own until dinner.  They said they played poker in the library with another family. The new game for kids....lol.

Laser tag was again from 4:30pm - 8:30pm.  It conflicted with the triva, and our son tried again after dinner, but no luck with the long line ups.  

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Day 3 - Dinner 

We met our kids at the MDR for our 6pm time.  More savory bits waiting for us.  (Warning....if you ask for something, you'll get it every night 😉)

DH and I ordered the garlic shrimp (one of my favorites), DD ordered the burger (first time ordering off of the kids menu) and DS ordered the chicken fingers.

 

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For dessert, we all ordered the warm donuts.  

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We were surprised that the menu didn't offer the 50th birthday cake that you see around and I thought I had remembered it being offered on night 3.  

The staff did start singing happy birthday, but I had left for the washroom so thought that was just for some table.  When they brought out our dessert, DH did ask about the birthday cake and our waiter said that it was a surprise.  Then brought out one for the table to share.

 

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I will say that it looks better than it tastes, but it sure is colourful and pretty.  Our kids shared the lollipop on top (split in half...not lick by lick..lol).  They don't love cake so DH an I had most of it.  He didn't love it.  I thought the icing was good, but cake was a bit hard or something.  Anyways, I still think it's a nice gesture and cool to do for the year.

P.S. - Although we only got one per table, was glad that we got the lollipop as that's probably what makes the cake.

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Day 3 - Evening Fun

Tonight's Headliner was an A Cappella group called The Edge Effect.  Was hoping the headliner would be a comedian or magician or impressionist as DS would have enjoyed those, but a singing group was not his thing.  So DS and DH went off after dinner to try for the Laser Tag again (but no luck as lines were long).  So instead, they went to the Majority Rules game show that they said was fun.

DD and I went to The Royal Theatre for the show and scored front row again.  The group was excellent and hard to believe they didn't have any instruments on them.

After the show we returned to our room to meet DS and DH.  They weren't there yet, but we had a couple other friends waiting for us.

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DH and I returned to Schooner bar to watch the improv musical comedy guy again...and then called it a night.  

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Day 4 - Original Sea Day

Thursday was the planned sea day.  I love the cruise compass on these days as there is always lots going on.

DS and DH has the Escape room booked for 10:30am on that day.  DS was really excited that he was finally old enough to participate.  He decided that he didn't want to do any water activities before so after our Windjammer breakfast, they hung out and DD and I went to the pool and slides.

We started with the slides.  She wouldn't go on The Blaster without her brother, so DD stuck to The Riptide.  The lines were really good and she got on quite a few times.

When she was done we decided to go swimming.  Thankfully the main pools were back in order today so we went there.  They were playing Missing Link on the big screen (with subtitles) so we could watch that while swimming.  We were meeting DS and DH at the MDR for lunch and we still had some time, so we sat on the hammocks for a bit to dry off, and wandered a bit to the mini golf, watched a bit of the flowrider, and then changed out of our swimming suits for lunch.

We met DS and DH for lunch.  They did great at the Escape room.  They solved it and apparently did it in great time.

In the MDR, we did a mix of the buffet, including the tutti fruitti salad bar, and menu.  DH ordered the risotto and I had the lobster roll which was not great, but ok.

 

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There was a Name That Tune for Musicals going on so DD and I grabbed our dessert to go and headed there.  

Then, we decided to watch the ice show again as we quite liked it the first time.  DS had no interest and there was a Harry Potter trivia going on so they went there while we were at the show.  I think in there as well, we played more foozball, etc.

We were planning on doing the afternoon scavenger hunt by the pool but DS and I were the only ones that showed up (boo).  So that was a no go.  Day went quick and it was time for dinner again.  

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Day 4 - Our Last Dinner

Boo...it was our last dinner of the cruise.  What was annoying is that tonight's show was early at 7:30pm so we had to rush it a bit.  We let our waiters know about the show time and they were really good about not having us wait too long.  

Last food porn of this report...

Some meat dish for DD (forget what she ordered), grilled cheese for DS, some battered fish for DH and cheese tortellini for me (not as good as it was on Symphony)

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And of course, the best part of the meal, dessert.  We all had the profiteroles.  DS raved about it last time on Symphony so we all had to try it. 

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I'll give it a thumb's up.

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Day 4 - Last Evening Filled with Lots of Fun Stuff

It was our last evening, but at least there was still lots to do.

DS and DH left dinner to catch the Star Wars trivia.  After that, I think they caught the Millionaire Game Show.

DD and I went to see Royal's other production show "Showgirl: Past, Present Future".  Guess where we sat?  Yep...front row again.  So much easier to get great seats on Navigator compared with Symphony. Again, the show was ok...at least they had some modern music such as from Greatest Showman.  I do miss the Broadway type shows that they have on the larger ships.  

After that, DD and I went to the Hush party.  It was hilarious.  Everyone gets headphones that are not necessarily playing the same music as the person standing next to you (you can change the color...which changes the music). My daughter was really getting into it and was quite cute with her dancing.  She loved it!

We stayed for a bit and then met DH and DS at the Schooner Bar for our favorite improv music guy.  Tonight he was playing early enough that we could bring our kids.  Our son really enjoyed it (I love it when he laughs outloud).  There seemed to be less people walking by tonight, which is where his improv mostly comes in, so the show wasn't quite as good as the other nights, but they still got to see him and get the idea.

He played until 10pm and our kids went back to the room for bed.  DH and I went out to The Promenade for a bit to see the 80s show, and then there was another comedy show by the same guy as the first night, but the adult version.

Well....a pretty good full evening....but all fun must come to an end.  We returned to our stateroom setting DH's alarm to early the next morning.  

(Forgot to mention but sometime before dinner we did the dreaded packing - which is always sad....and a challenge figuring out what to keep out for the next morning).

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Day 5 - A few Hours Before Flying Home

We woke up nice and early (well, not so nice) and headed to where else; the Windjammer.  I'll say that this was the only day that it was nuts.  It was hard to find a table, and even the ones that didn't have anyone sitting there, were dirty.  We eventually found one though, and grabbed breakfast.  We let our kids have a donuts as part of their breakfast as it was the last meal (not that their Windjammer breakfast ever included anything healthy).

We returned to our staterooms and hung out there until our luggage tag time and then sadly, headed to MDR spot to get off the ship.  It's such a great feeling when you first walk on, but such a yucky feeling walking off.

Our flight wasn't until 8:45pm that night back to Toronto, so we had rented a day hotel at The Regency.  I had looked for a place near the airport, with a pool and with restaurants and stuff in walking distance.  The pool was actually pretty large, which our kids were happy about so they swam there for the rest of the morning.  The hotel had wifi so we connected for the first time since Sunday. I had 847 emails....I think 842 of them were from this site, or the other cruse site...lol.

In the afternoon we found lunch in the area and stopped at KMart and Walgreens for some items to bring home. 

Got home with no issues and 3 loads of laundry later, shopping, cleaning, prep for school, etc etc...back to reality. 😣

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Final Thoughts

You may have noticed that I haven't mentioned the cruise director.  That's because we barely saw him and he's not really that memorable.  Had we come 2 weeks earlier, we would have seen Hugo, who we loved on Mariner.  He was hilarious.  I actually had high hopes for this guy, Cory Rogers as he introduced himself on the facebook page and he seemed enthusiastic.  It's not that he was bad...but again, all he did was introduce the shows (or come out at the end such as the ice show).  Never saw him around the ship, didn't run the belly flop contest, etc.  I'm guessing he did Quest but DH and I didn't make it to Quest this time.  So again, he was fine, but definitely not memorable.

But...I will say that we really loved Navigator.  I think DH said that his favorite is still Mariner.  DS and I love Symphony for the ship size, shows, etc, but DD said her favorites are Mariner for Skypad and Navigator for the slides.  I also really love what they've done with the pool decks and the different seating available to everyone, which is what puts it ahead of Mariner for me.  Service was great.  Every meal in MDR was pretty good, and lots of activities going on. The promenade too is beautiful with the lighting that they do (probably all ships have that, but I don't remember), and the "sculpture" or whatever you call it going up the centrum near guest services.

So overall, my ship order is:

  1. Symphony
  2. Allure
  3. Independence
  4. Navigator
  5. Mariner
  6. Voyager
  7. Grandeur

Am curious too where Anthem will fall in the ratings.  We don't necessarily need hot weather so I don't think that'll be a problem, and it seems different. 

It's a shame about the Tropical Depression that turned into Hurricane category 5 (DS has a story to tell), and very scary with the damage it did, especially to the Bahamas, to the homes and even some lives.  This cruise turned into a cruise to nowhere as it was all sea days for us.  Next summer we have Mariner booked (if no weather issues) and that one is the opposite with no sea days (it's one that got 2 stops at CoCo Cay).  Funny how things turn out (not funny ha ha...but you know what I mean).  

I'll leave you with one last picture....one of my favorites (not including ones with my family of course)

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@WannaCruise awesome post cruise review! Loved reading your thoughts. Happy to see that you are still Team OA class!  I am curious why you ranked Indy over Navigator. Was it just simply due to size?  Can’t wait to see what you think of Anthem. You and I seem to share similar thoughts on ships. 

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Just now, Lovetocruise2002 said:

@WannaCruise awesome post cruise review! Loved reading your thoughts. Happy to see that you are still Team OA class!  I am curious why you ranked Indy over Navigator. Was it just simply due to size?  Can’t wait to see what you think of Anthem. You and I seem to share similar thoughts on ships. 

Thanks so much. Glad you enjoyed.  Yeah....still love the OA the best but Navigator is amazing too.  

Indy ranked over Navigator because of the shows.  It has Grease on it, plus I quite enjoyed it's production show Once Upon a Time.  Navigator shows were so so.  Also, I like the additional splash area on Indy.  Our kids are too old for it, but it spreads the crowds out a bit at pool time.

Any plans for Navigator (after your others...lol)?

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This post is EVERYTHING!

We're from Toronto and planning to go on our first cruise ever of our lives. We = Me and my mom.
I'm a "baby" in the cruise world. Never read up anything about cruise ship until like 2 weeks ago. Just started to get a hang of it.

I'm looking at a 4 day cruise on Navigator in the first week of November.
Basically just because I have a week off at that time, and we don't have a lot of budget, can't quite afford the bigger ships like Symphony or Allure.
Do you think it'll be a good time and ship for our first cruise? Do you think Navigator is good for my 73 yr old mom?
Though she has foot and knee problem but usually doing very well taking transit in the city.
My only worry is the ship will be too crowd that she can't find a place to take a short break when she needs to. Especially at some time she'll be left alone when I go for activities.

Thanks 🙂
 

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1 hour ago, zillono said:

This post is EVERYTHING!

We're from Toronto and planning to go on our first cruise ever of our lives. We = Me and my mom.
I'm a "baby" in the cruise world. Never read up anything about cruise ship until like 2 weeks ago. Just started to get a hang of it.

I'm looking at a 4 day cruise on Navigator in the first week of November.
Basically just because I have a week off at that time, and we don't have a lot of budget, can't quite afford the bigger ships like Symphony or Allure.
Do you think it'll be a good time and ship for our first cruise? Do you think Navigator is good for my 73 yr old mom?
Though she has foot and knee problem but usually doing very well taking transit in the city.
My only worry is the ship will be too crowd that she can't find a place to take a short break when she needs to. Especially at some time she'll be left alone when I go for activities.

Thanks 🙂
 

Hello!  Thanks for reading.  Navigator sounds like a perfect ship for you.  It's not too big, and not too small, and 4 nights is a good way to get a taste or a mini vacation.  There are lots of spots to sit down; seats around the pool, and surrounding on the decks, and different seating on promenade area (e.g. R Bar, Cafe Promenade, Playmakers), Star Lounge, library, schooner bar has nice seats with trivia and the music at night...and you can just sit...don't need to order something.  Also, I think it is deck 4 where it is covered (in case raining) but open to the outside for views and then seats along there. We did some walks around this deck (but then it does go up to deck 5 at the front to the helicopter pad).  Lots of seating too in the theatre and Studio B for the ice shows.  We didn't experience any issues with crowds....only time was on the Promenade during 70s or 80s party.

Maybe try and get a room not too far form an elevator.  We loved our location on deck 7, but depends on what room you want.

Never traveled November, but have done early December and it was great...quite comfortable (compared with August where it can be hot). 

Let me know if any other questions. Exciting planning your first cruise!

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