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Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas
by Roy Witman © 2008

One question I'm constantly asked as a travel agent is whether I have cruised on the ships that my clients are booking passage. People just naturally like to know that others have done what they are about to do and have had fun doing it. While I can't visit every ship in every cruise line fleet, I am often able to offer reviews from clients who have taken recent vacations. That's the case with a recent Royal Caribbean cruise to Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas onboard the Navigator of the Seas.

My client (who also happens to be my website and newsletter designer), Kristi Stangeland, and her family set sail, full of excitement and expectation. Their clan included one preteen girl, one teenage girl, one senior adult male (age 82) and two parents. When it comes to the Navigator of the Seas, Royal Caribbean states, “this 138,000-ton of nautical wonder has it all.” Kristi's group had a wonderful cross-section of people and ages that would soon validate whether or not Royal Caribbean's claim was true.

Dress to Suit Yourself

Festive and casual are two words Kristi used to describe the ship. Most would agree with her. Royal Caribbean makes a point to allow options for those who want a more refined, elegant experience and those who think vacations are all about shorts and sandals. From jazz performances to Broadway-style shows, there are plenty of evening events to take part in for everyone onboard. And you can dress to suit yourself for the majority of them.

Kids and adults alike will enjoy spending time on the Navigator of the Seas because of the amazing variety of onboard adventures you can take part in. How about an onboard ice-skating rink? Or a rollerblade track? You'll find both on the Navigator, along with a rock-climbing wall, basketball court, mini- golf course and much more.

Kristi's 11 year old particularly loved the arcade and the pools, saying the ship was “kid friendly.” Her 14-year-old sister agreed. And Mom and Dad felt completely safe letting the kids loose to enjoy all the ship offered because there were so many families onboard. Plus Royal Caribbean staff were always present and very visible at all kid functions. That left Kristi and her husband with plenty of time to enjoy their vacation, alone. After a full-body exfoliation in the spa and a nice ocean view workout in the gym, both Kristi and her husband were relaxed and refreshed.


While there's more than enough activity on the ship, the main reason people go on a cruise is to see exotic locations. That held true for Kristi and her entire family as well. Their particular Caribbean itinerary took them through the awe-inspiring beauty of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas.

Everyone in Kristi's group, from her 11-year-old daughter to her 82-year-old dad, raved about the ports of call on this cruise. And there's no wonder! Puerto Rico has an exceptional landscape including underground caves, coral reefs and massive rain forests filled with exotic birds and other wildlife.

Stops in the U.S. Virgin Islands included stays in St. John and St. Maarten. You can participate in sailing on a shortened version of an America's Cup race onboard the Stars and Stripes, visiting St. Maarten's Butterfly Farm, snorkeling through a shipwreck or shopping for exceptional bargains of 25%-50% below what you'd normally pay at home.

The Bahamas offers what may be your once in a lifetime chance to swim with the dolphins. Professional trainers and animal handlers take you up close and personal with these highly intelligent and always playful creatures including Universal Studios' “Flipper” who starred in the 1996 movie of the same name.

Exceptional Selection in Dining

Meals were another experience Kristi and her family raved about. “Our wait staff was great. Especially our dinner staff. They took time to get to know us and recommend entrees everyone would enjoy. The kids got to experiment with new meals, and there wasn't any pressure. If they didn't like it, they just got something else,” remembered Kristi. In fact, Kristi's teenage daughter reported that the food was especially good for kids. For the adults, a varied selection of distinctive meals or classic favorites was available in the main dining room, which provides a world-class dining experience. There are also five other restaurants onboard.


The accommodations aboard the Navigator of the Seas also got a thumbs-up. Staying in a basic, interior cabin (called an inside stateroom), all in Kristi's group reported that the staterooms were roomy, comfortable and nicely decorated.

As you can see, Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas truly did live up to its reputation. There was excitement and adventure for everyone who sought it. And for those who wanted to unwind and soak up the sun, there was a complete staff of trained stewards and waiters to anticipate their every need. Would Kristi and her family do it again? In a New York minute!

Read more about the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.
Read more about Caribbean Cruises.