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Navigator Dec. 15-22 Photo Review

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A little background on all of us. I’m Avery and my whole family basically called me their personal cruise director the whole cruise because they thought I always knew what was going on and basically I did most of the planning and booking for this cruise. I’m 19 and have been cruising since I was 6 years old. I am currently at a community college getting ready to transfer to Auburn University (War Eagle) to finish up my Hotel and Restaurant Management degree with my goal to work on cruise ships. This cruise began as just an idea for all of us that instead of doing Christmas the whole family should just get together for a cruise. In total there were nine of us: my parents (Keri and AJ), both sets of grandparents (Gram, Gramps, Granny, and Paw Paw) and my aunt and uncle (Barbara and Bruce). Planning actually worked out very well because all of us wanted to be home on Christmas so we decided the week before would be perfect. I was the only issue because we did not know when my college finals would end so we just hoped they would be done before the cruise and if they were not we would just have to figure out where to go from there. So we booked and I not so patiently waited for the day of the cruise to come. I apologize in advance because this is the first time I have ever written a review like this and I am notorious for jumping around and going off on tangents.

 

So bear with me because I have never posted a review like this and I am still learning how to do anything! Let the review begin!

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December 13- Travel Day 1

It was finally the day to begin our journey to Galveston! I was done with finals and was all packed up and ready to go. We left our home in North Alabama around 9:30 that morning and began the 12 hour drive to Galveston. The drive was incredibly uneventful which is good. We stopped in Lafayette, Louisiana for the night to get some sleep, or not so much sleep for me. Something about car rides makes me so tired that I end up sleeping the whole time so of course once it was time to go to sleep at the hotel I could not sleep. I think finally at 3am I fell asleep and got about four hours.

 

December 14- Travel Day 2

We got back on the road around 8 that morning for the rest of our drive to Galveston. Gram and Gramps and my aunt and uncle were coming from Dallas, TX and San Antonio, TX so they left that day. It worked out very well that we all got to our hotel at the same time and were able to sit and catch up while waiting on our rooms to be ready. We stayed at the Hilton Galveston Island Resort which was amazing. It was a beautiful hotel right across the road from the beach. The pools were even heated and there were many people using them the night that we were there. That night we ate at Fisherman’s Wharf right beside the cruise terminal. The food was amazing and we got to watch the Disney Wonder, which was the first cruise I ever went on, sail away. We all called it an early night because tomorrow was cruise day!!

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Excuse the absolute mess.

 

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The view from my balcony.

 

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The pool, it was heated so people were swimming in it even though it was freezing outside.

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December 15- Cruise Day

Its cruise day!!!!! Of course in all of my excitement that I was getting on the ship today I woke up super early. You would think after nine cruises the excitement would wear off but it never does. Since I was up so early I had plenty of time to get ready and went down to the lobby for breakfast.

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The sunrise this morning.

 

We arranged transportation to the port through the hotel and the shuttle was to leave at 11:30. Well that didn’t happen. About 12:15 the shuttle finally showed up and they squeezed us in like sardines and we were on our way to the terminal! We got to the terminal at about 12:30 and were met with LONG LINES. Oh no! Does everyone not know that I just want to get on the boat! Thankfully the lines moved and we were on the boat at about 1:30 and to the stateroom we went! About our stateroom. A few months out from our cruise someone on our roll call had to unfortunately cancel their cruise leaving the corner aft balcony 7388 up for grabs. Well of course I jumped at the opportunity to get the cabin! So after making sure it was ok to change the cabin with my gram and gramps I was on the phone with Royal Caribbean changing it! Needless to say I was basically running down the hallway to our room so I could see the balcony and hoping that it was all it was cracked up to be because I had talked it up so much. Well of course it was. It was fantastic! The pictures do not do the balcony justice! It was just so BIG!

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The room, the Pullman bed came directly out above the regular bed.

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You can see the superstructure here. Honestly, I hardly noticed it.

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After dropping our stuff off we went for a drink and to the windjammer for a quick lunch before muster drill. Then it was time for the drill that everyone just loves, muster drill. Our station was outside on deck 4 aft. After muster drill it was up to our balcony where the rest of the family met us for sail away. Sail away is not nearly as beautiful in Galveston as it is in Fort Lauderdale but it was still nice.

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This is the restaurant we ate at the night before.

 

After sail away it was time to get ready to meet the family at the Schooner Bar for our pre-dinner drinks before our 8:00 traditional seating dinner. For the week we had Muhammad from India as our Head Waiter, Gediz from Turkey as our Waiter, and Kevon from Jamaica as our Assistant Waiter they were all very good and super attentive to us especially my granny because she is on a no sodium diet. I had all intentions of taking pictures of my food every night at dinner but I would find my dinner would be completely eaten before I realized it. Oh well! Tonight I ate the escargot that is on the menu every night, the prime rib (one of my favorites) and for dessert I had the chocolate sensation that is on the menu every night. Everything was very good! After dinner I made my nightly donation to the casino and then went to bed because I was exhausted after waking up so early!

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December 16- Sea Day

Today was our first full day onboard the Navigator of the Seas and I had absolutely no plans except to relax! Most of the day was either spent reading in the library or on our balcony. It was still slightly cool outside but the sun was shining! We played logo trivia this afternoon and it is amazing how you know you have seen certain logos before but you have no idea what they are. Tonight was our first formal night and was the captain’s reception on the promenade. We met in the Schooner Bar again for our pre-dinner drinks and then we were off to dinner. Tonight I had the scallops and lobster bisque as my appetizer (I know oink oink) the filet of beef tenderloin which was VERY tender, and the chocolate soufflé. I was stuffed afterward. After dinner I went to the shops on the promenade. Earlier in the day I had fallen in love with a black and white diamond ring in the jewelry store and probably went back at least three times throughout the day to look at it. Well finally after dinner I of course bought it and I am in love with it. After shopping I went back to the room and went to bed. My friends always tell me I am an old person trapped in a young person’s body because I rarely every go out and would rather either read a book or go to sleep. It does not bother me because all I wanted to do on this cruise was relax.

 

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I could not get enough of this wake.

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Loved the Christmas tree!

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December 17- Sea Day

Today was our second sea day aboard the Navigator. The weather was not perfect today but we are on a cruise and not at work! Today was spent relaxing. Today was also the day that I meant to take a very short nap and woke up several hours later. Oops. We also played trivia again today and it was CROWDED but it was still fun. We ate Johnny Rockets for lunch and as always it was amazing! I ate way too much though. For dinner tonight I had the arancinni (I think that’s what it was), the garlic tiger shrimp and the dessert sampler. All were very good, I think I could have went without dinner tonight and be fine but were on a cruise! After dinner I went to the casino and it was not nice to me then went to bed. I had an early morning tomorrow!

 

Unfortunately I did not take any pictures today.

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Great beginning to your review! We have much in common, I'm 18 and at a community college studying Hospitality Management and will eventually transfer to a University in Florida with a desire to work for Royal Caribbean in their offices in Miami!

 

Navigator was my first RCI ship and I haven't seen many reviews of her in a long time so I am excited to see some new, recent pictures; that Christmas tree looked amazing!

 

Subscribed!

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December 18- Roatan, Honduras

Today was our first port! This was the first time I have ever been to Honduras and I was very excited. Unfortunately we woke up to rain though. My parents and I booked the Jolly Rodger Catamaran Sail and Snorkel and we had to meet on the pier by 8 so we were off to the Windjammer early! After breakfast we headed down to the gangway and off we went to meet our tour and thankfully the clouds had cleared and it was beautiful.

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There were about 20-30 people on our excursion and it was about a 15 minute bus ride to the dock that the catamaran was at. The catamaran was docked in the same area Carnival docks. Once everyone had boarded we had a short safety briefing and we were off to the marine park where we were going snorkeling. I cannot remember how long it took us to get to the snorkeling area but I think it was around 30 minutes. Once there we were split in to groups of advanced and beginner snorkelers and off we all went. The coral was absolutely gorgeous. The only thing I did not like is that you were required to wear a life vest. I understand why you had to but as a competitive swimmer for some reason the life vest made it very difficult for me to swim and I couldn’t dive down to get good pictures. Our guide though was awesome and he would take my camera for me and dive down to get pictures.

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After everyone got done snorkeling it was back on the catamaran for rum punch and the lunch they provided of rice, chicken, pasta salad, watermelon, and cabbage. All were very good! Then we just puttered around looking at the houses in the area. We got to the dock around 12:30 and they returned us to the cruise terminal. It was a great excursion and I would definitely do it again. After getting back to the terminal we looked around at the shops there and then got back on the boat.

 

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Once back on the boat I went for a little snack in the windjammer then it was back to the room for a nap before dinner. We went and saw the ice show Ice Dancing tonight. They cast did a fantastic job especially since this was their first week on the ship. At dinner tonight I had the crab cake which was amazing and the chicken cordon bleu. I did not do much of anything tonight except for walking around the boat taking pictures.

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December 19- Belize City, Belize

Today was the day I was really looking forward to, unfortunately Mother Nature had other ideas. We ordered room service this morning to be delivered between 6:30-7:00. At about 6:20 they called to tell us that it was on the way. After breakfast my gram and gramps, parents, and myself met up at guest services so we could get in line so we could be on the first tender. At this point it was raining quite hard. We had planned to go cave tubing with an outside tour company but once we met up with them they informed us that the caves were unfortunately closed due to all of the rain. They offered us other tour options but none of them seemed like much fun in the rain. After leaving talking to the tour company we just all walked around the shops in the cruise terminal until we got tired of being in the rain then we sat at a bar called the Wet Lizard and had drinks and chips and salsa. Once back on board I went and got lunch in the windjammer and then sat in the library reading for a part of the afternoon. Tonight for dinner I had the shrimp cocktail that is available every night, the roast beef, and the cappuccino cake. All were ok. Not great. Tonight was also the 70’s party on the Royal Promenade. I went down there for a while to take pictures. There were a TON of people on the promenade. When I was ready to leave I think it took me 30 minutes to get from one side to the other. I do not know why I didn’t just walk down the cabin hallways.

 

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A rainy day in Belize.

 

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The Wet Lizard

 

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Chips and salsa and my drink a belizian sunrise

 

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70's party

 

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Macho Men

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Thanks for the review it is great so far! Did you happen to save the cruise compasses? I love looking at them and dreaming!

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Thanks for the review it is great so far! Did you happen to save the cruise compasses? I love looking at them and dreaming!

 

Unfortunately I did not! I saved them all and meant to grab them before we left but completely forgot to get them.

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Great beginning to your review! We have much in common, I'm 18 and at a community college studying Hospitality Management and will eventually transfer to a University in Florida with a desire to work for Royal Caribbean in their offices in Miami!

 

Navigator was my first RCI ship and I haven't seen many reviews of her in a long time so I am excited to see some new, recent pictures; that Christmas tree looked amazing!

 

Subscribed!

 

Thank you! We do! I noticed you are a swimmer too. I used to compete but now I am just coaching.

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Unfortunately I did not! I saved them all and meant to grab them before we left but completely forgot to get them.

 

Darn! But thank you for the really quick response :)

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Great review and pictures. Looks like you had a great cruise. We had cabin #7688 on the Explorer in December. Just the opposite corner aft that you had on the Navigator. I just loved that cabin. I even put battery operated Christmas lights on the porthole on the side of the balcony.

 

Keep up the great review. You are doing a great job for a first timer.

 

Gwen :)

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Great review and pictures. Looks like you had a great cruise. We had cabin #7688 on the Explorer in December. Just the opposite corner aft that you had on the Navigator. I just loved that cabin. I even put battery operated Christmas lights on the porthole on the side of the balcony.

 

Keep up the great review. You are doing a great job for a first timer.

 

Gwen :)

 

Thank you so much for your kind words! They are great balconies! I wanted to hang my hammock on mine but could not figure out how to string it up!

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December 20, 2013- Cozumel

Today is our last port day in Cozumel:( I always hate the last port of call because it mean the cruise is coming to a close and that means it is time to go back to reality. We did not have any plans for today so we slept in and then went to the windjammer for breakfast. We got off the boat around 11 and grabbed a taxi to downtown. It was 8 dollars for all four of us and they drop you off all the way at the end of downtown at the Forum Shops. It was a beautiful day today and made for perfect shopping weather. After walking for a while we stopped at Senor Frogs and had some nachos and drinks. It was a very nice day in Cozumel. I wished I would have had time to go to a beach because the water looked perfect. Next time! Once back on board we went and got lunch and then relaxed in the room before having to get ready for the second formal night. Before dinner we went to the Schooner Bar for pre-dinner drinks and 80s trivia! We did really well but did not win unfortunately. For dinner tonight I ate a ton, there is no way I can disguise the amount of food I ate. I had the mushroom puff pastry for my starter which was fantastic. Now is when I don’t just fall off the wagon, I jump off and then it hits me. The entrees I ate were the fisherman’s plate, an extra lobster tail, and the prime rib. Oink oink and to wrap everything up I had the Grand Marnier Soufflé for dessert. Eating all of that food made me tired so I went straight to bed.

 

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The Senor Frogs downtown actually wasn't crowded at all.

 

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My favorite ship so far. I cannot wait until I can go on her again.

 

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There were 7 ships in port today. I do not know if it is normal but the Norwegian Jewel was having to tender.

 

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This is what the whole superstructure looks like. No you cannot look directly down to the ocean in the front part but you can look directly down when standing at the porthole.

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Avery! Such a wonderful review. We had your same cabin in October, and our son and daughter, who are just a little older than you, had the opposite corner aft. Deck 7 corner afts on the Voyager class ships are The Way To Go. Don't you love your cabin steward? I actually cried when I had to say goodbye to him after our back-to-back 14 nights on the Navigator. He took such good care of us!

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Loving your review and photos! We were on the Navigator just 2 weeks before you! Can't wait to go again! :D

 

Thank you! I want to go again also now that she is being refurbished.

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Loving all the pics. This is the itinerary we're doing this summer. Can't wait =)

 

Thank you! I really liked this itinerary, it was my first time to Honduras and only my second to Belize so they were new to me!

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Avery! Such a wonderful review. We had your same cabin in October, and our son and daughter, who are just a little older than you, had the opposite corner aft. Deck 7 corner afts on the Voyager class ships are The Way To Go. Don't you love your cabin steward? I actually cried when I had to say goodbye to him after our back-to-back 14 nights on the Navigator. He took such good care of us!

 

Thank you! It was a wonderful cabin! I did love him! He took such good care of us over the week and I gave him a great big hug before we left. I always get a little teary when I have to say goodbye to everyone.

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Enjoyed your review. We had an aft balcony when we did NOS on 2011 Mediterranean cruise.

Looking forward to March when we get to cruise on her again after the makeover

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December 21, 2013- Sea Day

The worst day of the cruise. The last day. The day that my depression kicks in. The morning was spent relaxing with my book in the solarium because I knew I would be returning to cold Alabama weather. I walked around the ship for a while taking pictures but then realized much of the ship will be different since the Navigator is about to go in to dry dock. Then it was time to go back to the room to do my most hated activity, packing. Well instead of packing I ended up falling asleep. I think I was trying to convince myself that this was all a bad dream and it was only Monday and the cruise had just started. Then I woke up and reality crashed down on me that it was the last day and I had to pack. After packing and getting ready for dinner I went and saw the farewell show. The acrobatic couple, I cannot remember their names for the life of me, was AMAZING. I seriously do not think she had bones in her body she was so flexible. For dinner tonight I had the escargot and the steak that is on the menu every night. I could not find anything that I really wanted on the menu tonight and there was no dessert that I really wanted so I just went back to the room to finish up my last minute packing before having to put my bags outside the door. I then went to the casino for my final donation and I won….absolutely nothing. Oh well. Then it was back to the cabin to read on the balcony one last time.

 

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LOVED the Christmas tree.

 

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December 22, 2013- Disembarkation

We were up at 7:30 to get ready to be at the Windjammer by 8 since it closed at 8:30. The Windjammer was CROWDED which was to be expected since only it and the main dining room were open. After eating we went back to our cabin to grab our stuff and to tell Iwayan bye. Our whole group met in the Ixtapa Lounge which was the area designated for all Crown and Anchor members. Then it was the waiting game because our tags were not until 22. At about 9 they told us that the escalator in the terminal was not working and if you could not use stairs to follow them. My Granny, Aunt and Uncle could not use the stairs so we all went with them to stay together. Once in the terminal it was pure madness. There was a lot of miscommunication on what to do and where to go. Once we found our bags, there was no rhyme or reason to how they were lined up, we got in the very long customs line. When we finally got through customs we went to the place we were supposed to meet the bus to bring us back to the hotel. There was one when we first got there but it was full, thankfully there was another one right behind it that could fit us! We got to our cars at 12 and loaded our bags and said our goodbyes then we hit the road for Alabama. We finally arrived home at 1am on Monday.

Final Thoughts-

It was a good cruise. It was probably my least favorite of my 6 Royal Caribbean cruises but any cruise is a good cruise because I am not at work and class. This was my first time travelling with the new menus and I do like some of the new items on there but I do miss some of the old items. There was only one night that there was nothing on the menu that interested me but I definitely did not starve. The Navigator does have some wear and tear but I knew that she would since she is going in to dry dock soon. That said the only places I really noticed were on the carpets in the hallways where the doors were is really worn down. I loved our excursion in Roatan and if you want a relaxing half day excursion and you like snorkeling I would definitely go for it. I was a little disappointed we could not go cave tubing but I understand that for safety reasons we couldn’t go. The tour company was awesome trying to find an alternative but like I said none of them sounded fun in the rain. I have been to Cozumel many times and it was nice to just leisurely stroll around. I do not know if I will ever sail out of Galveston again. Maybe once they get used to having the Navigator in port everything will smooth out. I also became spoiled because the last few cruises I have been on were out of Fort Lauderdale and they have the process down. If you have any questions feel free to ask me. I am also very sorry for any jumping around or anything since this is my first ever review. Thank you to everyone that read my review and if you have any questions I will try to answer them!

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Enjoyed your review, nice job. It is too bad that the awful disembark in Galveston leaves you with such a negative feeling at the end of the cruise.

 

It's only a 5 hour drive for us from Dallas, so I just keep reminding myself that I am avoiding an airport and the TSA, so it's worth it! But, if I had to fly to port, I would definitely fly to another port...ANY other port!

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Thanks for your review and photos--great job! We are considering a cruise on Navigator, and looking forward to the post dry dock improvements--but I've not read many good things at all about embarkation and disembarkation in Galveston. Sounds like your experience was the same, sadly! :( Hope it improves!

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