Embarkation - Awful. got late check out from hotel in FLL and arrived at Miami at 2:45 PM. Huge line, not enough personnel. Two thirds of the computers were not manned. At 5:00 PM they decided to get the process moving by taking all the non-US passports and expediting boarding. We boarded just in time to miss the Drill, which is fine by me.
Navigator itself is a beautiful ship, but after cruising Celebrity, it is simply too big with too many Kids of younger age and all the problems associated with them. It might be OK for others, but we have been there done that and moved on. All public places were crowded. Our staterooms were a nice adjoining two rooms on Deck 8. It actually made a nice suite when we opened up the connecting door.
Huge amount of Spanish speaking travelers aboard the ship made it difficult to meet interesting people, but still we had a good time as a family. Rough seas Day 1 and Day 2. 12 ft swells with 40 knot winds put us two hours late into San Juan 4 PM. And I must say sailing into San Juan was very pretty and the fort on the coast is magnificent. Lots of sick puppies, and many people wearing the patch. We have our sea legs from sailing so enjoy a little rock and rolling. Best way to get to sleep like a baby at night. Quite frankly, we did not find any thing very interesting inside San Juan except the sail away party aboard the ship when we left, which when compared to Celebrity's sail away parties was pretty lame. To be fair, after dark it was pretty tough to get a good feel for the place in a short amount of time.
Next stop St. Thomas. We had made arrangements for a Day sail with Winifred and Capt. Sharon. I will give a detailed review of that in the Destination board, but is short it was fabulous and really made an otherwise mediocre cruise into a great reason to go to St. Thomas.
Nassau, a nice 5 hour stop before heading back to Miami.
Disembarkation, great. We were White Tags, Actually the first off the ship, had luggage in our hand by 7:15 AM and in the FLL airport at 8:20 AM.
Overall, RCI would not be my first choice for another cruise. We tried it on a recommendation from a travel agent for our boys to have a good time, but by the end of the trip they were also fed up with the kids. It is clear RCI is really setup to compete with Disney for the young family market. This is not our gig anymore. Also, they really push the alcohol and many passengers if they acted and drank like they did on the boat in Miami, would be cooling their heels in jail, but I guess RCI tolerates this when they can get $8 a drink, they look the other way. One other little problem occurred in the Adult pool area when two foreign travelers, a man and women decided to have sex in the hot tub, with others in with them. Actually it was sort of comical to see which other hot tub occupants could get out of the tub the fastest. It was like a slip and slide contest. The guests complained to a passing officer, but no one approached the offending couple. Did I mention they were drunk?
Overall the cruise vacation ranked a 4 on a scale of 10 for us. As I always say, you have to try it to see if you like it, and in this case, we did not care for it. It will be a long time before we book with RCI. I'll have to weigh other options first. The saving factor was the fun we had in St. Thomas aboard Winifred www.sailwinifred.com