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EmilyJay

LIVE review: Navigator of the Seas ABC Islands (1st-10th March)

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Day 8: Bonaire 🇧🇶 

 

Today we docked in Bonaire! We had a shore excursion at 8.15am for the Samur Beach, Sail & Snorkel. 

When we got outside we were greeted by big, black clouds, but had hope they would fizzle out, especially as Bonaire hasn’t had daytime rain for the past 2 months.... 

 

We hopped on a kind of small pirate ship and sailed 40 minutes towards Klein Bonaire. (I do have a picture, but will have to post at a later date as it’s not on my phone.) 

On our travels we saw flying fish. (No picture as I was holding on for dear life.) 

Once we got close enough the boat docked and we had to climb into a tender which had a little friend in, we’ll call him Colin the Crab. 

Klein Bonaire is an uninhabited island and is beautiful! There is literally nothing but sand, sea, little bushes and of course alot of little sea creatures. Once Colin was reunited with the ocean, we got out the tender and and sorted our snorkel stuff out, which is included with this excursion. 

There were 2 options, to snorkel in the one area or go and do drift snorkelling. Drift snorkelling was a guided tour and you walk off to the special point and drift for about 15-20 minutes until you reach the main beach. 

Having never snorkelled before I stayed put and got used to snorkelling in the shallows, where I saw alot of tiny fish and a few bigger ones. At one point we were able to see a baby turtle! 

About 40 minutes in, the heavens opened and it peed down. The rain was so heavy it actually hurt and the warmest, less painful place was to get back in the water. Eventually the rain stopped and it was time to head back. 

 

Klein Bonaire is beautiful, it’s just a shame it wasn’t the best weather. If you come here definitely bring water shoes and bottled water to drink. As there really is nothing there. 

 

We arrived back to Navigator and as we did the rain come down again. We got showered and grabbed some lunch, then went back out to explore the town where thankfully the sun had come out a bit. 

It’s another beautiful place just like Aruba & Curaçao and due to the medical emergancy just before Aruba we got an extra 2 hours in port so left at 6pm. 

 

Dinner was at the MDR, which was excellent as it has been everytime we’ve eaten in there and then we went to watch the theatre show which was a RCI production based on ballroom dancing and it was fabulous! 

Straight after this was the 80’s street party on the Promenade which was alot of fun, then to the after party on the pool deck. 

 

Adventure Ocean finally opened yesterday late afternoon and is open today too! 

But the Splashzone is still closed. 

 

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51 minutes ago, Jasonmom said:

Have you noticed if they had wheel chair assistance on each port? 

 

Have really enjoyed your posts.  Once again thank you so much :classic_biggrin: .

 

 

Yes there is. There are a few people with wheelchairs on this sailing and I have noticed there being assistants if needed. 

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28 minutes ago, EmilyJay said:

 

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Am I reading this correctly that the Windjammer has late night snacks until 11:30pm and Playmakers has snacks until 2am?  That would be a fantastic change to our previous cruises!  I get tired of pizza and finger sandwiches late at night.

 

Any idea if Playmakers will actually serve food from their menu all of the way until 2am?  I don't plan to eat that late, but the 11pm - 1am timeframe is certainly an option!

 

Dan

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1 minute ago, The Fun Researcher said:

Am I reading this correctly that the Windjammer has late night snacks until 11:30pm and Playmakers has snacks until 2am? 

I think that's limited to Mariner and Navigator.

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12 minutes ago, The Fun Researcher said:

Any idea if Playmakers will actually serve food from their menu all of the way until 2am?  I don't plan to eat that late, but the 11pm - 1am timeframe is certainly an option!

 

 

As I'm sailing my first RCI cruise on Navigator after 2 NCL cruises were there is bar food available 24/7 and included, I was quite excited to see this in a post in that other place that shall not be named... the poster asked at the bar about how late they would really serve food and was told it would be closer to 11.30pm. Disappointed dot com over here. 

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1 hour ago, The Fun Researcher said:

 

Am I reading this correctly that the Windjammer has late night snacks until 11:30pm and Playmakers has snacks until 2am?  That would be a fantastic change to our previous cruises!  I get tired of pizza and finger sandwiches late at night.

 

Any idea if Playmakers will actually serve food from their menu all of the way until 2am?  I don't plan to eat that late, but the 11pm - 1am timeframe is certainly an option!

 

Dan

As @CazV stated, it was posted elsewhere that although the compass said til 2 for food for Playmakers and Bamboo Room, they are only serving til 11:30. On Mariner cruise compasses I saw, they were only serving food til 12. Was really hoping they would extend beyond that hour, because I think it would be nice to have an additional option besides the boring Cafe Promenade. But beggars can't be choosers.

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1 hour ago, CazV said:

 

As I'm sailing my first RCI cruise on Navigator after 2 NCL cruises were there is bar food available 24/7 and included, I was quite excited to see this in a post in that other place that shall not be named... the poster asked at the bar about how late they would really serve food and was told it would be closer to 11.30pm. Disappointed dot com over here. 

 

8 minutes ago, cot427 said:

As @CazV stated, it was posted elsewhere that although the compass said til 2 for food for Playmakers and Bamboo Room, they are only serving til 11:30. On Mariner cruise compasses I saw, they were only serving food til 12. Was really hoping they would extend beyond that hour, because I think it would be nice to have an additional option besides the boring Cafe Promenade. But beggars can't be choosers.

 

Ah thank you.  I’ll have to accept 11:30pm. Better than it used to be at least 

 

Dan

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@The Fun Researcher Yes Windjammer has late night snacks. It’s not a full on buffet but a smaller selection. 

Playmakers were definitely serving food at 10.15pm last night, but can’t say I’ve paid attention otherwise, will see if I can find out. 

 

 

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56 minutes ago, cot427 said:

As @CazV stated, it was posted elsewhere that although the compass said til 2 for food for Playmakers and Bamboo Room, they are only serving til 11:30. On Mariner cruise compasses I saw, they were only serving food til 12. Was really hoping they would extend beyond that hour, because I think it would be nice to have an additional option besides the boring Cafe Promenade. But beggars can't be choosers.

 

If it still says 2am on the Cruise Compass when I sail in April I'm going to test out what happens if I try to order something at 1am 😉

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Day 9: Sea Day. 

 

We are now on our 2 sea days heading back to Miami. It only feels like 5 minutes ago we were getting onboard. 

 

This morning on our walk to breakfast at 8.05am, every single sun lounger was gone on the pool deck. Not one was to be had, which is insane as it was 8am!! What time are these people getting up for every chair to be gone?!? 

Breakfast was at the Windjammer again, and then we went in search of a lounger. Another look of deck 11 and all the loungers were covered in personal belongings, yet 0 people in the pool and about 10-15 people actually on the deck. 

We went up to deck 12 and found some loungers and even up here it was beginning to get full. 

We spent a few hours catching some vitamin D, and then noticed 1 pool being evacuated and chained off. It was soon drained, cleaned and re-filled again.  At 1pm it was the belly flop competition with the cruise director Hugo, which was hilarious!! 

Lunch was at El Loco Fresh, cheese quesadillas and some nachos it was, although you had to hold onto those nachos or they’d be flying away due to the high winds today. 

 

We had a go on the Navigator Dunes, I really like this course which is located at the front of the ship on deck 13. 

 

And so far that’s about all for today.

The 10 drinks card is now being offered at $75. 

And I’ve noticed more of the ship being completed ready for the next cruise, however the blast water slide still isn’t working. 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, EmilyJay said:

Day 9: Sea Day. 

 

 At 1pm it was the belly flop competition with the cruise director Hugo, which was hilarious!! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We sailed with Hugo back in November on Mariner....and yes....he is quite the bundle of energy and hilarious.    Who is the Activity Manager  on your sailing?

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10 minutes ago, EmilyJay said:

Day 9: Sea Day. 

This morning on our walk to breakfast at 8.05am, every single sun lounger was gone on the pool deck. Not one was to be had, which is insane as it was 8am!! What time are these people getting up for every chair to be gone?!? 

Breakfast was at the Windjammer again, and then we went in search of a lounger. Another look of deck 11 and all the loungers were covered in personal belongings, yet 0 people in the pool and about 10-15 people actually on the deck. 

We went up to deck 12 and found some loungers and even up here it was beginning to get full. 

 

I really don't know how they are going to keep this up without passengers throwing a major fit.  Is there someone you can speak with?  There has to be many others like you that are very upset that folks can "claim" a lounger for an indefinite amount of time while others are wanting to use it.
 

Dan

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24 minutes ago, The Fun Researcher said:

 

I really don't know how they are going to keep this up without passengers throwing a major fit.  Is there someone you can speak with?  There has to be many others like you that are very upset that folks can "claim" a lounger for an indefinite amount of time while others are wanting to use it.
 

Dan

The pool lounger situation and 'chair hogs' has been a problem for years.  I have solved it on my own....if all you have there is a towel.....then it is subject to removal by me.  IF you show up and belly ache.....my answer is 'nothing was on the chair when I came by'.  

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3 hours ago, CazV said:

 

As I'm sailing my first RCI cruise on Navigator after 2 NCL cruises were there is bar food available 24/7 and included, I was quite excited to see this in a post in that other place that shall not be named... the poster asked at the bar about how late they would really serve food and was told it would be closer to 11.30pm. Disappointed dot com over here. 

This is one of the reasons I like NCL because of the food options, and being able to get a snack late at night without any extra charges. My daughter loves those pot pies, and me the wings.

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41 minutes ago, Paulette3028 said:

The pool lounger situation and 'chair hogs' has been a problem for years.  I have solved it on my own....if all you have there is a towel.....then it is subject to removal by me.  IF you show up and belly ache.....my answer is 'nothing was on the chair when I came by'.  

 

I aware of that. ...and I like you're approach by they way. 🙂  The difference with the Navigator right now is zero enforcement of a 30 minute rule, which some ships will do.  Leave something unattended on a lounger/chair for more than 30 minutes and it's subject to removal (which is more than fair IMO)


Dan

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1 minute ago, The Fun Researcher said:

 

I aware of that. ...and I like you're approach by they way. 🙂  The difference with the Navigator right now is zero enforcement of a 30 minute rule, which some ships will do.  Leave something unattended on a lounger/chair for more than 30 minutes and it's subject to removal (which is more than fair IMO)


Dan

Very few ships actually enforce the 30 minute rule, very few.  That is sad on Royals part.  I work in a business that has to be customer oriented, because we have competition....but we have policies and we adhere to them.    

 

As I said, I have no problem attaching myself to an unattended chair that is being 'held hostage' by a towel.  I have done it in the past and will do it in the future.  On our recent Symphony sailing I had no problem finding a pool lounger;  several years ago on Harmony it was tough (I used my approach); on Mariner this past November not a problem, but we stayed on the ship on some port days or returned early from excursions, which would make it much easier in the first place.

 

Someone wants to hassle this 4'11" lady -- just try it!  (LOL)  

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The cruise planner states the sun loungers are on a first come, first serve basis which I think is why they all go so early. 

By 10.30-11am most the loungers had people in, but I had my eye on 2 right by the pool and nobody used them between 9am-2pm. 

 

There are enough loungers around the ship, it’s just the ones near the pool which is the problem. 

We were on a full capacity Harmony sailing 18 months ago and it was alot easier to get a lounger by the pool than it has been on sea days this week. 

 

I have noticed there is a large group on this sailing and 2 members will obviously come out early and reserve 12 or more chairs which don’t all get used, but they will make out someone is using them. If this was nipped in the bud and they were told no you can’t reserve that many I think things would slightly better. 

 

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1 hour ago, EmilyJay said:

The cruise planner states the sun loungers are on a first come, first serve basis which I think is why they all go so early. 

By 10.30-11am most the loungers had people in, but I had my eye on 2 right by the pool and nobody used them between 9am-2pm. 

 

There are enough loungers around the ship, it’s just the ones near the pool which is the problem. 

We were on a full capacity Harmony sailing 18 months ago and it was alot easier to get a lounger by the pool than it has been on sea days this week. 

 

I have noticed there is a large group on this sailing and 2 members will obviously come out early and reserve 12 or more chairs which don’t all get used, but they will make out someone is using them. If this was nipped in the bud and they were told no you can’t reserve that many I think things would slightly better. 

 

 

I appreciate the additional info, and everything else you've done this week to help us all.  Thank you!

 

Dan

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@EmilyJay enjoy your last days at sea. I'll be sailing out on the 29th of Mar and all your info has been awesome. You are too kind answering and researching questions. Once again, thanks for all you have done. Safe travels!

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I know every sailing is different, but I've noticed in your pictures some loungers in a shade structure and some nice day beds. Because these are shaded, but more comfy are they coveted too?

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Today staff have been going round taking towels off beds!!! Horrah. There are also notices coming up on the big screen at the pool saying you are not allowed to reserve them. 

Shame it’s taken until the last day but hopefully it’s better from now on for the next cruises. 

 

@Getting out there All the huts, comfy bed, cabana type beds are for anyone. They get snapped up pretty quick. Best bet to get a comfy bed is by the Navigator Dunes. 

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31 minutes ago, EmilyJay said:

Today staff have been going round taking towels off beds!!! Horrah. There are also notices coming up on the big screen at the pool saying you are not allowed to reserve them. 

Shame it’s taken until the last day but hopefully it’s better from now on for the next cruises. 

 

 There is justice in this world! But like you said it’s a shame it took until the last day of a nine night  cruise for them to finally enforce some order.   I hope it continues .

 

Dan

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Loved your review. Great information. We’ve enjoyed Explorer twice and Adventure twice. The activities scheduled on your cruise looks amazing. Zumba. Pool volleyball. Those are our favorite things. You can’t beat the ABC islands. Thanks for sharing.

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