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parrotfeathers

Navigator Review October 14 No Photos

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The October 14 cruise was a 4 nighter going to Nassau and Coco Cay.

 

My sister-in-law and I leave the men home and go on our annual cruise to rest and have some entertainment.  The weather on this cruise was absolutely beautiful.  Smooth sailing and no rain.

 

I had reserved a GS in Nov. 2019 and a few weeks ago received a Royalup email offering an OS with a minimum bid of $100 pp, so I decided to offer that.  I was very surprised to get the email approving my bid.  We were assigned Cabin 1300 on Deck 10.

 

We flew into Miami a day early and took a taxi (a driver who dared anyone to get in his way on his personal Indy 500 race track) to the Intercontinental.  I love Intercontinental.  I had booked a club room with a view of the harbor.  After a smooth check in we got settled in our room and took a tour of the hotel and had appetizers and people watched.  We then went up to the club room and enjoyed the drinks the concierge made for us along with the generous selection of canapés.  The skyline of Miami from that floor is amazing.  We turned in early because we had been awake since 2 a.m.

 

On Monday we went up to the club room for coffee and breakfast.  We considered an Uber vs. a taxi after our check out and decided to go with the taxi since they were right there.  The door man took our luggage and hailed our ride immediately and we were off.  [Note:  I cannot imagine what it would be like for someone to just handle every detail of one’s life as is done at Intercontinental.   I recently stayed at one in MSP and it is just as wonderful.]

 

We arrived at Terminal A about 10:15 a.m.   There was no traffic.  Our suitcases were taken immediately and loaded.  An agent was walking around and asked if we were ready to check in.  We had checked in online so I handed her my sea pass page and that was it.  No long counters or agents standing behind them with lines everywhere.  We were directed to the suite security and went right through.  Then we were directed to the elevator for suites and went up to the suite waiting area (which is quite lovely).   Of course this is also for pinnacles and maybe others.

 

We were on the ship at 10:30 a.m.   There was no sea pass card (it’s in the cabin) and no familiar DING as we went on the ship.   I thought perhaps I could drop my carry on items (in my huge purse thing) in the suite lounge.  Unfortunately, no one could get in because we had no sea pass card.  I could have gone to the Diamond lounge but we just didn’t.  I did look in there later in the day and there were a few people.  

 

So we went in Windjammer and had a snack.  Interesting that the clams on the first day only paella had been replaced by whole crawfish.  The carry-ons for the Key people were stacked at the entrance to Windjammer (both sides).  I suppose it was the Key people trying to get into Chops.  Seemed like a lot of carry-ons and people lined up too.

 

Finally the suite lounge attendant who put food out showed up and let us in.  It is a lovely lounge with access to an outdoor deck and one wall of windows.  We then went up to the pool bar and celebrated with a frozen drink of some kind.  Went to the cabin at 1 p.m. and met our cabin attendant.  She let us know the bed could not be separated and would be happy to make up the sofa every night.  We decided we could live with one bed.  We unpacked and then went exploring and to the muster drill.

 

Finally it was 5 p.m. and time for canapés in the suite lounge.  I think RCL has definitely improved on the quality of these.  There weren’t many people and the couples that were there had their kids with them.   The kids were very excited and somewhat loud but the parents did make an effort to quiet them.  I decided not to be aggravated and when one person apologized I said it was fine with me—they were just being kids and were having fun.

 

Sis in law and I ate in the main dining room the first night.  I started with onion soup and escargot and my main course was the salmon.  For dessert I chose the cobbler.  The salmon was okay (a little overdone) but I do cook it at home once a week already.  The cobbler was not overly sweet and I was fine with this.  Personally I think all the portion sizes the entire week were very generous.  Our waiter told me he would be happy to bring additional food should we want it.  The dining room seems to continue to evolve, but I cannot really give an explanation as to “what” it is evolving into.  The waiters seem harried.  I asked for savory bites and was told they didn’t know what those were.   It is a disappointment to see plastic butter cups and coffee creamer instead of real half and half.   Sure seems like they could still have half and half in the disposable cups, but this was simply coffee creamer.  Also in the suite lounge the half and half was replaced with milk.   I miss the tray of rolls the assistant waiter brings by so you can choose.  There was only one pumpkin seed roll in the basket each night.  I actually considered visiting Windjammer first and bringing my own poppy seed roll.  I know I am sounding whiney and don’t mean to—just commenting on the evolution of the dining room.  It was still very acceptable.

 

We piddled the night away (I think we watched trivia in Schooner Bar and met our favorite bartender) and missed the ice show (but did go on sea day).

Edited by parrotfeathers

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Cool upgrade, love navigator always did grand suites but owners suite is really nice , love separate shower and bath. 

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On our April Symphony Cruise - I had the same sad feeling about the basket of roles and the pumpkin rolls being limited.   Our waiter heard me and handled things so that there were always a few in there each night after!   Just mentioning this Incase you have this pumpkin seed roll sadness again in the future!!   Oh - I also ask for half and half and soy milk and always managed to get them on symphony!   Not sure if that will be different one navigator (which has a much different vibe), but again - worth a try!  

 

Looking forward to the rest of your review! We are going to be on NAV in April! 

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Day 2:

 

This was Nassau day.  We went to breakfast at Chops (as we did every day).  Fantastic staff in Chops.  I seemed to always get the same thing--eggs over medium, bacon,  hash brown with broiled tomato.  I actually enjoy the broiled tomato.  Chef knew exactly what over medium meant.  Sis got over easy, bacon and French toast.  I sampled the French toast and it was very good.  After breakfast we got ready for Nassau.  We had no plans and decided to take a carriage ride.  The horses were well fleshed and had shoes on--the driver made sure to point all that out to me.  He even picked up the feet to prove it.  It was a nice tour.  The horse was very steady and knew his route.  A very loud ambulance pushed through and he never flinched.  A good carriage horse.  The driver pointed out all the important buildings and told us some facts I didn't know about.   After that we walked around and stayed close to the port, mostly around the straw market.  Sis in law bought a couple of things and we came back to the ship.  We had fries in Windjammer and sampled a couple other items and then went back to our balcony and read our books.  Schooner didn't open until 5 that day.  So we went down to Playmakers but they didn't have my champagne.  What they had was too sweet for me.

 

For dinner we decided to eat at Chops.  All aboard was not until 8:30 p.m.  Chops had plenty of open tables and we got the time we wanted.  It was dress your best night so we wore some nice clothes.   Appetizer was mushroom soup.  We both got the 6 oz filet.  Mine was perfect at medium rare.  Sis in law got hers butterflied so it would be medium well (what a waste).  Our shared sides were asparagus and spinach.  We had nice conversation with a couple next to us.  For dessert I had the cheesecake.  It was good.

 

The entertainment was Ballroom Fever with the Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers.  Good dancing and singing.  

 

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Day 3:

 

CocoCay Day.  I will admit RCL has done an amazing job transforming this place.  Kids could stay all day and never run out of things to do.  There are shuttles running constantly from the ship, and also island shuttles running.  You have to be sitting down at one of the "stops" to get on the shuttle.  They will not stop for you if you are walking and want to get on.

 

The landscaping is beautiful.  I did notice they have underground sprinklers which would be necessary to keep it so vibrant.  Guys were cleaning up constantly.  Part of the island is closed until December, 2019 to make Coco Beach Club, Coco Beach Club Bar and the Grill at Coco Beach Club.  All of these are pay for venues.  South Beach will also have Sandtrap Bar and other pay venues.

 

We settled on Chill Island under one of the many umbrellas.  I waded in the water's edge (the water drops off into the deep quickly).  Never did find out the charge to go up in the balloon.  It looked like fun.   Returned to the ship about 2 p.m.  

 

Went to the suite lounge to visit some.  Met a nice couple sitting with super Mario and had good conversation.  Then back to the main dining room for dinner.    I think that was the night they had coconut shrimp and had I known how good they were would have ordered 3 for my main meal.   We went with Steak Diane for supper along with my onion soup. I ordered my steak medium rare and it was cooked perfectly.  It tasted fine but not as good as Chops obviously.  We skipped dessert.    

 

For some reason we missed the headliner--Bryan "Soul Man" Cheatham--no reason other than we were ready to call the day quits.

 

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Day 4:

 

Sea Day.  I love sea days.  Sis had a massage booked at 8 a.m.   I think I went to breakfast by myself.  Then I went up to the suite lounge with my book and read a while while drinking my lattes.   The ice show was at 2 p.m.  It was really good and should not be missed.  

 

We piddled around the rest of the day, reading on the balcony, having a drink from Schooner Bar and exploring the ship.  I'm sure there were other things we did but it was mostly uneventful.   Got our drinks and went to the suite lounge to visit our new friends.

 

Thought about eating at Hooked but settled for main dining room.  It was lamb shank night (and I love that night) but for some reason I went with the cheese tortellini because I didn't want anything really heavy.  The tortellini was very good!  I also had beet salad and skipped the onion soup.   No dessert.   Went back to cabin and got packed.  For some reason didn't make the last show (Showgirls) but I guess we were having more fun elsewhere.  I do wish we had made it.

 

Day 5:

 

Leaving:  Went to chops for the last breakfast.  Met the suite concierge in Bamboo Room at 7:45 a.m. and departed.  I'm not sure it will always be this way at Terminal A, but the concierge simply showed us the entrance to the terminal and then returned to the ship.  Previously they have taken you to a different place in the customs line.  But there was really no line at all to worry about at 7:45 a.m.  What was really strange to me was no one was allowed to get luggage from any area (ANY) until all the luggage on the carts had been unloaded.  Our  luggage was right there and we were not allowed to touch it until they took all the barricades down.  What is the use in getting off the ship early if you cannot get your luggage and get to the airport early?   Others had disembarked before us and were just waiting for the ropes to come down.  Finally they did and everyone went for their luggage and went out the terminal.

 

We were told Uber/Lyft was to the right and taxis/shuttles were to the left.  We went to the left and there were dozens of shuttles and drivers with signs yelling "taxi taxi."  I stopped a moment and said that's not a taxi.  He said oh yet it is $10 per person.  I told him that was a shuttle and we had to wait until it was full.  I've had my share of shuttles and don't plan to do that again.  We passed by many shuttles with drivers trying to corral us and we just kept walking.  Finally we found the taxi line and got right in.  Our driver was a great older Jamaican guy and he was very entertaining.  We were through security by 8:30 to 8:45 a.m. to wait for our 11:15 a.m. flight,  Security was even slow at that hour so I cannot imagine how bad it was backed up by 10 or so.

 

I guess that's about it.  I went on this cruise to relax mainly and we certainly did that.  There were parties everywhere and entertainment everywhere and there is no reason someone could not find something to do if that is the reason they went.  I didn't meet any rude people, any rude kids, any rude staff.  

 

El Loco Fresh on the pool deck was packed every time I walked by.   

 

My only cabin "well darn" comments are that the cabin area with the bed got too warm during the night.  The pillows are huge and if you are used to a feather pillow that squishes down be sure and bring your own.  We had one of those mysterious delayed flushing toilets and that was aggravating at times.   Our attendant made towel animals two nights and they were very imaginative.  

 

I really enjoyed my cruise and the RCL product itself, even though it continually seems to change.   One thing I try to remember is a verse from that song Patty Lovelace sings:  "Life's about changing nothing ever stays the same."  That goes for our cruising experience also.  But they better not replace my butter with oleo.

 

 

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PARROTFEATHERS - Thank you for sharing with us. I appreciate you taking the time to do so.

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I think if you want your luggage early, they make it pretty clear that you have to drag it off yourself.

It sounds like you had a nice relaxing cruise with your sister.

 

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