The Western Caribbean on the Navigator of the Seas 11/27/04 ~ 12/4/04- what a way to spend our 33rd wedding anniversary. I will only go over some of the highlights of a fantastic cruise.
Embarkation Since our 4 Points of Sheraton Miami Beach checkout was at noon, we went directly to the ship. What a beautiful sight as your cab drives up. The process of check-in was done very quickly. A Royal Caribbean representative noticed that my sister-in-law was wearing a walking cast and escorted us onto the ship by another entrance. It was really appreciated. I was so impressed by all of the RCCL employees and the high level of service.
Some of Our Meet and Mingle group met early and it was fun. Captain Band and his wife were a pleasure to meet and my wife even won the RCCL mouse (which is now on my computer).
The ship This was our first RCCL cruise and the first time on something as large as the Voyager class. The ship is an absolute marvel. I do not feel that you can truly see this beautiful ship in only a week. I can understand why people do repeat sails on her.
The E1 balcony cabin was a pleasant surprise. Even with three adults in the room it never felt crowded. We had standard balcony rooms on the Coral Princess and it seemed like there was more room even with the small sofa and coffee table. I also liked the Navigator's shower much better. It had a rounded sliding door vs. the shower curtain (that seemed to have cling appeal, if you know what I mean).
While this may sound like a trivial point, there is a difference in size of the table on the balcony. The Princess's table was about twice the diameter of the Navigator. It is fine for a single person, but not large enough to have breakfast for two. I realize that it allowed for more room on the balcony, we missed having breakfast in the morning air.
The food The dining room food was excellent and very good in the Windjammer. The coffee is a brand called Seattle's Best and is pretty strong for my taste. It took me a couple of days to find the right mix of cream and sugar (I normally drink it black). If you do not go to the main dinning you are missing a great experience. Our waiter (from Turkey) and assistant waiter (from Malaysia) were a joy. The highlight of the formal evenings were all of the serving staff singing in chorus. They deserved the standing ovations and provided such memories that you cannot help but smile. The nightly menu provided new experiences and opportunities to expand my tastes.
Entertainment Ken Rush was the Cruise Director and proved to be a good host. The Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers were outstanding. And do not miss the Ice show. You can see that a lot of effort was made to provide a high level of performance. Also of note was the musical performance by Las Vegas' Glenn Smith on day 2. Great!!
Disembarkation The wait for our color to be called seemed to be forever. Once it was called we were processed pretty quickly. It was surprising that American Airlines has a baggage processing right at the terminal but it sure did save time and effort.
Summary The cruise was extremely comfortable and relaxing. The weather clear and clam, the ports of call were all exciting and offered new adventures (especially the Grand Caymans). We will definitely be sailing on the RCCL again. Ron