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Current Refurbished Navigator (Voyager Class) vs Independence (Freedom Class)


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Hello Everyone!

 

I have been on four cruises with family: Navigator of the Seas in 2003, Freedom of the Seas in 2008, Liberty of the Seas in 2010, and finally Allure of the Seas in 2014.

 

All of these have been with family (I am 23 years old, so the sailing on NotS was long ago), but i am planning on booking a cruise soon for me and my S/O. Cant afford to go on the Oasis Class unfortunately, so i am looking at 4-5 day cruises at the beginning of 2016 (or the end of 2015) on either Navigator or Independence.

 

I am wondering what the current differences are between the Navigator and Independence is since they have both been refurbished recently. It seems to me that Navigator has gotten almost all of the upgrades to basically make it into a Freedom Class ship (only less expensive, which means we can either spend less money or go on a longer cruise).

 

Can you guys outline some of the differences? 

 

Some of the big things I care about:

Flowrider (which they both now have)

Dining (I prefer classic dinning in the big ball rooms, not MTD or whatever the new thing is with Dynamic Dinning)

Shows/Entertainment (My S/O really would like to see Broadway quality shows)

 

Things I don't care so much about:
Destinations

 

Which ship would be better for me? Thanks for the help!

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Great question and I'm looking forward to the answers.

 

If you listen to the podcast, listen to Matt's episode on the Navigator or check out his blog posts. He's headed for out on the recently refurbished Freesom soon, so I'm looking forward to those posts and episodes, too.

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I really, really loved Navigator. I thought her refurbishment was quite impressive and if you ask me my favorite Royal Caribbean ship, I'd say it's Navigator.

 

I'm going on Freedom later this month, so stay tuned for live posts about my experience there.

 

Essentially, Navigator's refurbishment gave her a lot in terms of specialty restaurants and other Oasis class upgrades like the pool movie screen, FlowRider and virtual balconies.

 

In terms of shows, it's even unless you picked Liberty of the Seas because she has Saturday Night Fever, which gives her an edge over Navigator.

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The Freedom class (as you probably know from having been on Liberty) was called the Super-Voyager class at one point in time. The layouts of the two classes are almost identical.

 

Originally the FlowRider was not on the Voyager class but that has been fixed for Navigator in drydock as noted.

 

The only thing that I have heard of between the two is the H20 zone being smaller/missing on the Navigator vs the Indy, that would only impact you if you have kids that would want to use the H20 zone. If not I would say you are not giving up anything by taking Navigator and with the more recent refurb should be getting a ship in great condition. If she costs less then its really a win all around.

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I couldn't agree more with Matt. At the end of the day with Navigator being at a virtual tie with the Independence I would go for the economy option personally. More money to spend onboard or a several day longer cruise on a ship truly worthy of the 'wow' factor like Navigator sounds like a win win to me.

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I couldn't agree more with Matt. At the end of the day with Navigator being at a virtual tie with the Independence I would go for the economy option personally. More money to spend onboard or a several day longer cruise on a ship truly worthy of the 'wow' factor like Navigator sounds like a win win to me.

Agreed. Might come down purely to cost

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As far as I know, Navigator is the only ship beside the Q Class that has the virtual balconies. I had one of those virtual balconies when she was still sailing out of Galveston and I absolutely loved it ! I don't think any of the other NAV or FREEDOM class ships has them. I was surprised that they didn't add any to the Oasis and Allure during refurb. I think they are excellent.

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I unfortunately will prob not be able to take advantage of the virtual balconies, on either ship I will go for an Econ room pref above deck 5.

 

Some RCI reps have informed me of a few differences:

 

Navigator no longer has Sorentos Pizza and instead has the Park Cafe. While I loved the Park Cafe on Allur, Sorentos was one of my fav places on the ship (and I have been hyping up pizza to my gf lol).

Navigator also has heated, salt water pools while Independace has non-heated freshwater pools.

 

Can anyone confirm these for me? Also where can you get pizza on Navigator now?

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Navigator no longer has Sorentos Pizza and instead has the Park Cafe. While I loved the Park Cafe on Allur, Sorentos was one of my fav places on the ship (and I have been hyping up pizza to my gf lol).

Navigator also has heated, salt water pools while Independace has non-heated freshwater pools.

 

Can anyone confirm these for me? Also where can you get pizza on Navigator now?

That is not true.  There is no Park Cafe on Navigator and I'm pretty sure Sorrentos is still there.  I can definitely guarantee no Park Cafe.

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