We traveled on the Navigator of the Seas on the Jan 14th sailing from Fort Lauderdale to Cozumel and Belize City.
Boarding We arrived at the port at around 12:20 PM; and in spite of the large number of passengers already present, we were on board by 12:50 PM. We had lunch in the Windjammer Café and the announcement that cabins were ready was made at around 1:10 PM. Our suitcases did not arrive at the room until 5:30 PM though a lot of the other rooms close to us had bags outside by 3:30 PM.
Cleanliness No issues here. All the public areas were kept in a good state of cleanliness and the overall state of the ship seemed to be at a high level despite the continuous levels of foot traffic. There seems to be a lot of ongoing maintenance. The only area that seemed a bit worn was the furniture in the Windjammer Café.
Cabin In good condition and the cabin attendant (John from St. Vincent) did a fine job. He was always around, amiable and ready to answer any queries that we had. The room was always made up quickly. We were on deck 2 toward the bow of the ship. The room was close the front bank of elevators and the Corporate Conference area, but we experienced little noise. There was lots of storage space and the toilets worked fine.
Food and Dining I thought the food was as expected with enough choice to satisfy most tastes. The breakfast and lunch was a bit more limited than I thought it would be, but I understand the range of the menus was being cut back to reduce waste. The food was well seasoned (I do not like bland food). The dinner service was of a high level and our waiters (Miguel from Costa Rica and Subbiah from India) were attentive and provided excellent service. Johnny Rockets was visited once and we enjoyed it.
Public Areas The swimming pools seemed small for such a large number of passengers and were crowded on a number of occasions. The separate adult and family areas on the pool decks were a good idea, but the family area (where the band played) seemed much busier and lively. The free coffee/tea/snack section of the Promenade was well patronized but the absence of readily available drinking water was a bad omission. One had to go to the bars or buy water from the shops. The Promenade was busy at nights and the shows seemed to be well attended. The Ice Skating show was the best of all the shows we saw (none of the skaters fell over).
The entertainment staff was largely anonymous and seemed to do very little especially on the pool deck (aside from the resident band who played at least twice per day). On only one occasion did I see any pool area games and that seemed half-hearted. The Cruise Director, who I met twice, completely lacked any charisma or enthusiasm.
Kids My son was in the Adventure Camp every day and seemed to enjoy it greatly. He was never in a rush to leave. The extended hours made it easy for us (as parents) to get some quiet time. Thanks to Laura, Yolanda, etc. for a well-run facility.
Ports I did not enjoy either of the stops. In Cozumel we were faced with a taxi driver who tried to charge over twice the stated fare from the dock to Cozumel, despite the price being shown on signs at the port. I dislike people trying to take advantage as they think you are from a rich country. The taxi dropped at an indoor centre where he was immediately paid by people for dropping us off. The shopping centre was full of overpriced rubbish that I would never buy. Belize City was OK but shockingly poor and shabby. I was glad to get back on board.
Grouses We prepaid our gratuities and this was noted in the Royal Caribbean booklet. Our attempt to get the vouchers to hand out to the staff proved to be difficult. First the Guest Services desk suggested that we had not paid the gratuities and then suggested we call our travel agent in Canada to query what they had done with our money. When we pointed out that their own paperwork said that Royal Caribbean had received the money, the staff then changed tact and said the vouchers would be sent to our room immediately. Two further visits (and some loud talking) on the same day were required to get the vouchers. Very poor performance from the people you would think would try a bit harder to meet an acceptable level of customer service.
Overall Excellent value for money; staff were great aside from the incident at the Guest Service desk, and the ammenities offered by such a large ship were welcome. The only time we really noticed the number of passengers on the cruise (3,100 was the announced figure) was when taking the tender to shore and the last breakfast in the Windjammer. We will certainly travel with Royal Caribbean again.