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Erika1971

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Can anyone give me their thoughts regarding the Navigator of the Seas?  Thinking about a family cruise to the ABC islands and I'm finding there is a ton of information on the Oasis ships, but not a ton on the smaller ships.  Thank you!

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Funny that you call the Navigator a small ship... because it is not.  The Voyager Class, Navigator included, were the largest in the world when they were new.  The growth of ships has escalated at an unbelievable rate since these ships were built.  

 

But, back to your question.  To me, the Voyager class is the sweet spot of cruising.  The ships are a great size with an awesome layout.  The ships are built to handle and disperse the crowd.  They don't have all of the bells and whistles of the Oasis and Quantum classes, but they have a lot.  

 

We did the ABCs last year and really enjoyed the islands.

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You will enjoy the Promenade on the Navigator. Nice long walking venue with all the shops on the sides. Nice bars also. You can't go wrong withe the ABC islands either. We were just there on the Serenade. Our first time to Bonaire and it was fantastic. Great snorkeling and scuba diving. 

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On ‎4‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 10:39 AM, Matt said:

I just did Navigator of the Seas 9-night ABC sailing.  I live blogged it here: http://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/category/category/navigator-of-the-seas-live-blog

 

I can safely say it was among the best cruises I ever took.

I loved your blog and you sealed the deal for us!

 

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It is so nice to read ( doesn't surprise me) so many great reviews of this ship and itinerary.  It is hard to believe some people have bad things to say about her.  Hey, but then again some people are never happy no matter what you do.  lol  

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Just now, RBRSKI said:

 It is hard to believe some people have bad things to say about her.  Hey, but then again some people are never happy no matter what you do.  lol  

I often get asked about online reviews, like "I read so many negative reviews about ____ of the Seas".  Positive or negative, take it with a grain of salt.  Experiences are subjective, but I know it certainly makes anyone feel better to know everyone else enjoyed something.  

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22 hours ago, PRC said:

Just returned from the 9 night sailing this past Sunday.  great time, you won't regret it!

 

We just got off the NOS on Sunday too. It was  an excellent cruise, smooth sailing and excellent weather.

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On 12/04/2017 at 11:00 AM, RBRSKI said:

It is so nice to read ( doesn't surprise me) so many great reviews of this ship and itinerary.  It is hard to believe some people have bad things to say about her.  Hey, but then again some people are never happy no matter what you do.  lol  

 

Sounds like old bitties on cruise critic 

I admit I'm a bit of a Royal fan, but I feel at some point one takes a leap of faith and trusts the cruise line as a whole. In my opinion the standards are relatively equal across the fleet.

In my years researching iv never heard of a black sheep ship, it's not like there is one ship you should stay away from. There is however many different styles of ships that offer different things. Huge mega ships with different neibourhoods, large high tech ships, large promenade ships, mid size promenade ships, smaller ships offering many views of the ocean, tiny ships offering short trips to different ports. All these different styles offer different experiences for different people, the debate over what's best (subjective) will NEVER end. But there is no bad apple or ship to stay away from, just different flavours.

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A lot of reviews are influenced by the expectations of the cruisers themselves. If you have unrealistic expectations, you're going to be disappointed. The Navigator has a lot to offer, but if you're expecting Harmony, then there's a problem. 

I've bounced around some of the biggest and smallest ships in the fleet and have always had an enjoyable cruise. Things can be different, but I wouldn't classify then as better or worse. I even went on another line's ship that was half the size of the smallest Royal ship. While it had much less to offer, it's still one of my to 3 cruises. 

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2 minutes ago, Erika1971 said:

I agree 100%. I felt like a lot of TAs were leading us toward an Oasis class and I value everyone's experiences they shared! I love the itnerary!

This is a safe thing for a TA to do as the Oasis class has most of the bells and whistles that Risk advertises as available on their ships and they don't want clients to be disappointed. Also keep in mind, though, that not all TAs are as knowledgeable as others. For example, my first cruise was on Royal when I was 22 and I lived everything about it particularly the dark woods, brass fixtures, etc. So for our honeymoon when I was 24, a new TA suggested Carnival. What a disappointment. It didn't offer is anything that we wanted or liked and I think the TA made the suggestion simple because of our age, not or likes or dislikes. 

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2 minutes ago, Erika1971 said:

Do you still book through a TA?  If so is it a local company or online?  This will be my 4th cruise, my husband's second and the kids' first!

Yes I do and I wouldn't have it any other way. I've just learned to pick my travel professionals better and to make sure I'm clear about my likes and dislikes. I'm also much more knowledgeable about cruising then I was back then, so now I use my TA for advice on itineraries, suggested cruise lines, and the such. For example, we wanted to try the new MSC Seaside and our agent (Michelle at MEI) informed me of a loyalty match program that they offer that I had no knowledge about. As a result, we'll have their to loyalty perks based on our status with Royal. She was also able to secure us a discount based on my wife's occupation. 

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3 minutes ago, Erika1971 said:

Do you have any recommendations and where to look for a knowledgeable one?  Sorry to pepper you with questions!

No apologies. Recommendations and weird of mouth is how I've found mine. I'm currently using Michelle at MEI travel and an very happy with her. I have referred many friends to her and they've been equally happy. Others on the boards use MEI, too, but other agents. Their website is here: http://www.mei-travel.com

Full disclosure: MEI is a sponsor of this site. However, I am an unpaid volunteer, so I have no financial gain in recommending then to you. I have four cruises booked as well as a land vacation with them. 

I'm happy to message you with Michelle's information if you'd like or you can go through MEI directly. 

I used to use a AAA agent who was good and whom I liked, but she lacked the expertise I was looking for especially as I'm being drawn to European, Japanese, and Australian itineraries. 

 

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9 minutes ago, Erika1971 said:

Do you have any recommendations and where to look for a knowledgeable one?  Sorry to pepper you with questions!

MEI Travel does a great job! I have used them twice based on recommendation and the fact they support the blog...they really are good!

Use the form entitled 'Get a Free quote" to the right on the main page.

http://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/

I work with Brock, but I have heard good things about everyone there.

 

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I agree about MEI travel. Iv used them through the blogs group cruises and had the opportunity to meet many of the agents, it's clear they care and are very knowledgeable. My agent was great but I really feel like it's a group effort, they seem to work as a team.

Whichever agency you decide to go with its good to pick one that specializes in cruises. Hearing stories from the agents it's clear that dealing with these cruise lines has its own chalenges, experience counts.

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