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  #1  
Old April 14th, 2012, 07:22 PM
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Default REVIEW - Navigator of the Seas, March 31 - April 8 (plenty of pictures)

Another successful cruise is in the books. This time around we decided to give the Navigator of the Seas a try. We had already been on the Voyager and Mariner so we were very familiar with the layout. Originally we had planned to go on the Jewel out of Tampa but I thought a five day might be too short. We actually had the Jewel booked when we found this eight night cruise on the Navigator. We ended up cancelling the Jewel and switching to Navigator. I have to admit I was a little worried because we had such a great time last year on the Jewel. However, I’ve never had a bad cruise with RCI so I wasn’t too worried.

PRE CRUISE

We (Me, 39, wife Terri, 35, daughter Julia, 7, and son Liam, 5) like to travel one day before the cruise just in case. We’ve never had any issues but knock on wood we will not have any. We flew out of CVG (N. Ky/Cincy airport) on a non-stop Delta flight to FLL (Fort Lauderdale). The flight was VERY easy. We have found that our kids travel MUCH better when we take our little DVD player along. This time mom and dad had their movies too. Mom had our Mac Air and watched her show (Drop Dead Diva, season 3) and me with my show on the iPad (Dexter, season 5). That sure did make the 2 plus hour flight FLY by. Get it, fly by! Yeah, anyway. We stayed at the Embassy Suites on 17th. It is About 4 or 5 blocks from the port entrance. We stayed there 2 years ago and loved it. I’m a breakfast kinda guy and love the free breakfast and the place is really nice.

At some point I will upload all of our photos to Smugmug. I love taking photos so there will be lots. I just looked and there are 980 photos in the folder. I won’t upload all of them because there are several duplicates and some crappy ones.

Stay tuned!
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  #2  
Old April 14th, 2012, 07:27 PM
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Having a little trouble with the photos. They are coming!
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  #3  
Old April 14th, 2012, 07:36 PM
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Can't wait for the review. I'm boarding the Nav in 2 weeks! Hope you took care of her!
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  #4  
Old April 14th, 2012, 07:37 PM
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When we arrived at the airport we found Rosie Red, Mr. Red, and Mr. Redlegs.
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Old April 14th, 2012, 08:22 PM
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Default Embarkation day

This one is kinda long.

We woke up early and headed downstairs for breakfast. We were very excited about getting to the ship so it was difficult to wait at the hotel. Finally it was time to check out and head outside for our ride. Last year we were lucky enough to meet a guy named Carlos who drove us to the port. We found his business card in all of our stuff and arranged for him to pick us up. Little did we know that the port was going to REALLY busy. When Carlos dropped us off the day before we had agreed to be picked up around 11:30 in hopes of being at Terminal 29 by 11:45. Well that didn’t work. The port was so busy that Carlos was late picking us up. Not too late though. While waiting at the hotel with the scores of others heading to the port I had a different van driver try to talk me out of waiting for Carlos. I told him he was on his way (he had just called and told us that). Still he tried to convince me to go with him. We didn’t. That turned out to be a good thing because we met a nice couple from Washington, DC. They ended up sharing the ride with us. After we arrived at the port entrance we found out why Carlos was late. There were vehicles EVERYWHERE. We managed to make it all the way into the port and to the access road that would lead us to Terminal 29. When we got there a police officer waved us in the opposite direction. There were so many people dropping off that we had to wagon train it WAY out and away from the ship. I could tell Carlos was mad but there was nothing he or we could do. After a little while we made it up to Terminal 29. The lines were already crazy long. We settled into the idea that we would have a bit of a wait. It was fairly warm out so some of the terminal workers were handing out water to the people in line. After we were in line for just a few moments I head one of the workers ask “anyone Diamond, Diamond Plus, Pinnacle, or suite?” I answered “Yes, we are Diamond.” The gentlemen told me to follow him. We headed off to one side to a door that had no line. Just like that we were inside and through security. Inside we were told to get in another line so we did. When we got there some of the people in front of us, also Diamond, seemed to think they were in the wrong line. Turns out we were in the wrong line. One of the workers pointed us to the wrong place. No problem. We moved to the correct line. When we got there one of the other people in line asked a lady worker if we were in the right line. She replied nastily “All you have to do is read the signs!” “Can’t you read the signs?!” The wonderful lady directed us back to the first line. It turns out that the signs were in the wrong place. We went back to the gentleman that told us to go to the first line and he said “It’s up to you. This line”, the wrong one, “is really long. That line is short.” We chose the short line. After about 40 minutes total we were on the ship and in the Windjammer for lunch. While eating lunch we noticed it was raining outside. There were still people standing in line waiting to get into the terminal. There was also still luggage sitting outside. Luckily none of our luggage got wet. Side note - we did see several people later that night at the guest relations desk complaining about their luggage getting wet. I don’t know what they ended up doing about it. We also heard while eating from a lady next to us that she had waited in line for 2+ hours.

CONTINUTED in part 2
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  #6  
Old April 14th, 2012, 08:24 PM
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Default EMBARK part 2

For our muster drill we were in the Ixtapa lounge on Deck 5. It was REALLY hot with hundreds of people crammed into that space. We were so glad when it was over.

Funny story – when the first announcement came over the ships PA about the muster drill we were in our room. We had connecting D1 balcony rooms this time. We were in one room and the kids were in the other. When we first arrived the door between the rooms was locked (security ended up coming to unlock it later). I forgot I had turned the in cabin speaker volume up in the kids room. When that first announcement came on they freaked out and started banging on the door. Daddy had to go and save them. Liam, 5, was crying. We explained it to him and he seemed ok. From then on out any announcement that come on Liam would ask “Is that for the muster drill?”

After the muster drill we headed to the helipad to claim a good spot for the sail away. We had this great idea to bring along a sign so that my mom and dad could see it on the Port Everglades webcam. Well, mom & dad never saw the sign on the live stream. However, my brother and sister-in-law did. Somehow mom wasn’t on the right camera and only saw the back portion of the ship. She said she was mad at the world all night because she didn’t see the sign. She said she even cried a little. She was able to see the sign via the replay on portfever.com the next morning.

After that we ate and wondered the ship. More to come.
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  #7  
Old April 14th, 2012, 08:35 PM
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I'm uploading the photos to Smugmug and it's taking a REALLY long time. More photos are coming.
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  #8  
Old April 14th, 2012, 08:39 PM
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Our room, 7432, and the kids room, 7436. Same room just flipped.
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Last edited by kycruiser72; April 14th, 2012 at 08:50 PM.
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  #9  
Old April 14th, 2012, 09:18 PM
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The kids room (7436)


Our room (7432)
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Old April 14th, 2012, 09:20 PM
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Looking down the railing toward the front of the ship


Looking down the railing toward the back of the ship
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Old April 14th, 2012, 09:21 PM
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Looking down at the water and the lifeboat.
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Old April 14th, 2012, 09:39 PM
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Default First day

We didn’t do anything too exciting today. We were kicking into vacation mode and relaxing. We did sign the kids up for the Adventure Ocean program. They had participated in it last year and were looking forward to it. Liam was in the Aquanaut program while Julia was in the Explorer program. Each program had their own entrance but the area was all connected. At one point in the day when we went to pick them up Liam told me that he had a girlfriend in his class (he calls it class). I asked if she was pretty and he said yes. When I asked what her name was he couldn’t remember.

There were A LOT of kids on this cruise. With it being spring break kids of all ages seemed to be everywhere. I did notice there seemed to be quite a lot of kids between 14 and 17. They tended to hang out in the hot tubs alot.

We went to Johnny Rockets for lunch. It was really good. I know it’s just burgers and fried but MAN were they tasty. “This is a tasty burger!”

We spent most of the afternoon wondering around the ship taking pictures in the various areas.

Later in the afternoon we went swimming. We found the pool to be VERY cold and salty. The kids didn’t realize that the water in the pool was salt water. “DAD! This water tastes bad.” "You aren't supposed to drink it. You're just supposed to swim in it."

I was finally able to connect to the ship’s internet at dinner in the Windjammer. After dinner we went to the production show in the Metropolis theatre. This gave the kids a chance to get their MIAMI VICE drink. Virgin of course. The show was very good. Having worked in the music and audio/video world I always enjoy a good show.

BACK STORY - we gave up on the MDR (main dining room) several cruises ago. It was too difficult to pack our fancy clothes and all of the items needed for the kids. Plus, they couldn't sit still that long. We choose to eat in the Windjammer. We call it our version of MY TIME DINING.
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Last edited by kycruiser72; April 14th, 2012 at 09:43 PM.
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  #13  
Old April 14th, 2012, 09:53 PM
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I just saw a post on the board about a power strip being taken away. We didn't bring a power strip but did bring a three outlet tap. It turns one outlet into three. No problem with that making it through. We also brought on board a case of water and some soda (six 24 ounce bottles and a 1.5 liter bottle) for me. We did place the drinks inside of a rolling duffle bag so I don't know if that made a difference or not.
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Old April 14th, 2012, 10:19 PM
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I forgot about this one. Thank you to portfever.com for taking some pictures of us holding our sign.

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Old April 14th, 2012, 10:57 PM
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  #16  
Old April 14th, 2012, 11:18 PM
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Great review and wonderful pictues, thanks for posting.
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  #17  
Old April 15th, 2012, 12:11 AM
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I love the Navigator! Great pics!
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33 Nights at Sea....
Cruise History:
6/11 - Allure of the Seas - 7 Night Western Caribbean
4/11 - Navigator of the Seas - 5 Night Western Caribbean
12/09 - Oasis of the Seas - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean ***Inaugural Sailing***
6/05 - Navigator of the Seas - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean
3/01 - Disney Magic - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean


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Old April 15th, 2012, 09:33 AM
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Default DAY 2 - at sea

2nd day ay sea. Again we just relaxed a lot. After we dropped the kids off at Adventure Ocean we wondered around and tried to find a place to sit and watch our videos. It was around 10am or so and the pool deck was already very full. We wondered around deck 11 and 12. I finally decided to sit by the peek-a-boo bridge. It was a weird place to sit but it was quiet and had a nice breeze. In actuality it was REALLY windy, but I was under the cover over the windows so it was bad. After I watched my episode I wondered back and found Terri sitting in the solarium. She said she found two open seats right after she left me to watch my video. Oh well.

We picked up the kids and headed for the M&M. It was being held in the Dungeon. In my opinion it was not the best place to hold the meet. It was REALLY dark in there. Several of the people at the M&M did a gift exchange. I can’t remember where the people were from that received our gift. I want to say St. Louis. The gift we picked was from Maine. It had some really good cookies and some Old Bay seasoning. We just used the seasoning last night on some steak. Pretty tasty. We also met a couple from Michigan. They were very nice. I can’t remember their names. If you haven’t figured it out I’m not good with names. I can remember faces like nothing, but names always escape me.

Standard lunch in the Windjammer. I’m mostly a meat and potatoes kind of guy. I would occasionally try something different. I did have a dad moment with some random girl at the ice cream machine. She was being really dumb about making her cone and then just let go of the handle. The handle doesn’t snap back into place and shut off the ice cream flow. Anyway, she just stood there and watched the ice cream keep coming out of the machine. Then she stated “The ice cream won’t stop coming out.” I said in a very stern dad voice “That’s because you didn’t put the handle up.” She just looked at me and then pushed the handle up.

Terri and I like to people watch. To us it’s fun. After we dropped the kids off we wondered around and people watched. Don’t get me wrong, I am the first one to know the pains of sun burn (red hair, fair skin). However, I also know that you can’t go lay in a deck chair all day and not expect to get sun burnt. It used to be that we would wait in the MDR for the people that came in REALLY burnt. Now that we don’t go to the MDR we do it while wondering the ship. We noticed several people, many young girls, that forgot to apply SPF 50. One such girl had obviously fallen asleep with her necklace on. Her skin burned around the pendant on the chain. If I remember correctly it was a shamrock. Very clearly visible.

We went swimming again in the afternoon. The water was still cold but bearable. We found out that my daughter Julia could swim without her float in the pool. We suspect it was the salt water helping keep her afloat but whatever. She loved it. Major down side, NO CLEAN POOL TOWELS! Really? You have to be kidding. I would think that you would know you are running out of clean towels and have enough on hand but that wasn’t the case. We end up having to use our room towels. Oh well, not a vacation breaker.
We ended the day by watching the sun set from our balcony. It was really cloudy so we didn’t get to see the actual setting of the sun.

More to come later. I have a bunch of stuff to get done today so it might be a little while before I get to the next post. Coming up, St. Marteen.
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Old April 15th, 2012, 09:57 AM
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Default Day 3 - St. Marteen

One of our favorite ports of call. We LOVE St. Marteen. There is just something about this place.

We woke up a little late. No big deal, we’re on VACATION! After breakfast and the slathering of SPF 50 for everyone, we piled into a taxi van and headed toward Maho beach. There were five ships in port today so things were a little crazy. The ships were NCL Epic, Princess Grand Princess, Navigator (WOO!), Celebrity Constellation, and Fred. Olsen Brahemer (very small). I asked the driver what was the most amount of ships in one day and she said nine. NINE SHIPS?! WHOA! That’s a lot of people

We shared the van with some people from the Epic. They were telling my wife Terri how the ship seemed to be geared toward kids more. Interesting. Maybe we should look into NCL next time? The only problem is their ship is kinda ugly. It looks like they stacked a building on the front above the bridge. Said building is all of the fancy suites.

We arrived to find Maho PACKED with people. We swam in the clear water and played in the sand. If you don’t know, Maho sits at the end of the runway for Princess Julianna International Airport. You get to see the planes land and take off from the beach. The beach is in the landing path so it looks like the planes are going to land right on your head. WE LOVE IT! This time we got to see a 747 (KLM) land and take off. When the 747 was taking off people were standing at the fence to feel the jet blast. When the pilot kicked all four engines in people went running for the water. I saw a hat go flying through the air but no people. Fun stuff.

After three hours we went back to the ship. I had half of the beach in my water shoes. That made for a pleasant ride back. We had an interesting driver on the way back. She was hell bent to get us to the port as fast as possible. She took alleys and turned this way and that. At one point she went down a one way alley the wrong way. I didn’t see it but Terri told me about it.

We did a little shopping when we hit the port. I have a little place that I buy my Appleton’s rum from. Good price and what seems to be a good selection. I also picked up a bottle of Gentlemen Jack. I was actually able to buy a little better rum in port than on the ship. The ship had the standard Appleton’s for $18. I was able to buy the reserve in port for $15. The regular was $12 in port. There was one bottle of 30 year old rum that I wanted but Terri said “NO!” It was only $230. Seemed reasonable to me. But that’s why I’m not an accountant.

Back on board all clean and sand free we did dinner and then took the kids to the club (Adventure Ocean). We went to see the production show in the theatre. This time it was a show with pop music. I think they called it ALL ACCESS. Terri didn’t like it because she didn’t know many of the songs. “Who is Sly?” “That’s Sly and the Family Stone, dear.” Some of the artists were Abba, Sly & the family Stone, Bee Gees, and Madonna was at the end. The show was complete with one of the singers wearing a semi pointy bra.

Great day. Coming up, St. Kitts.
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Old April 15th, 2012, 10:57 AM
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Celebrity Constellation in port at St. Marteen


NCL Epic


"The valley"


They had to take someone away in an ambulance. I never heard any more about it.


Family photo
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