Posted by: Tom Baker | May 14, 2014

The FANTASTIC all-NEW Navigator of the Seas

Grand Suite -Navigator
There are so many cruise ships out there today and keeping up with refurbishments, changes, and ship itinerary changes these days can be daunting… I had the opportunity to sail on one VERY SPECIAL Ship this past week and that was Royal Caribbean’s spectacular 138,00 ton, 3,112 passenger ship sailing year round from Galveston and must confess, I was WOW’D! The ship looks new once again and has been touched at every point from all cabins being completely refurbished to every drop of carpet being replaced throughout this massive vessel…

The service onboard was friendly, affable, and professional at all times. Entrainment was top notch in every venue and the ship is a lively fun vessel with so many places to find one’s own niche. RCI International has a solid 4-4.5 Star ship on their hands with this product!
Navigator of the Seas completed a $66 million major makeover that saw the addition of a FlowRider surf simulator and an expanded lineup of eight dining options. The (February 2014) month-long overhaul of the 3,114-passenger vessel also included the addition of “virtual balconies” in 81 windowless inside cabins, an industry first. Expanding on an idea pioneered three years ago on a Disney ship, the high-tech walls offer real-time views of the sea (see more below). Other additions to the ship include new Panoramic Ocean View cabins that have floor-to-ceiling glass walls. New eateries include Royal Caribbean’s first modern Mexican specialty restaurant, called Sabor ($25 per person); a Japanese restaurant called Izumi (prices a la carte); and Royal Caribbean’s signature Italian restaurant Giovanni’s Table ($15 per person for lunch, $20 for dinner). There is also a revamped version of the line’s signature, $35-per-person Chops Grille. An updated menu includes such new selections as Veal Chop Parmesan, slow broiled with caramelized shallots and topped with parmesan herb butter; and a slow-braised Short Rib of Beef with Bordelaise sauce. Other changes to the ship include the addition of digital signage; bow-to-stern Wi-Fi service; new flat-panel televisions in every cabin; an oversized LCD movie screen overlooking the main pool; a new Diamond Lounge for Diamond-level members of Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program; and a Royal Babies and Tots Nursery for children ages 6 months to 36 months all features that first made their debut on Royal Caribbean’s newer Oasis Class of vessels. Additionally, the ship’s Champagne Bar has been re-conceptualized into Royal Caribbean’s signature, retro-chic R Bar.

Inside virtual-balcony

I stayed in one of the Grand Suites and must confess it was larger than my Penthouse Suite on Crystal Serenity. It was well-appointed, spotless, had a huge dressing area, plenty of storage, large living room, huge balcony, and extra-large bathroom with a tub and shower unit. These suites come equipped with extensive concierge and VIP amenities including an open bar each night from 4pm-8pm! One of the most wonderful features was the virtual balcony which was just a just a really amazing thing to see. One can purchase an inside cabin with a virtual wall that has real-time views to the outside of the ship and equipped with sound! One can turn this feature on and off at will but it certainly adds a new dimension to an inside cabin…
Navigator of the Seas sails year-round from Galveston, Texas to the Western Caribbean. Its seven-night itineraries feature stops in Cozumel, Mexico; Roatan, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; Falmouth, Jamaica; and George Town, Grand Cayman. She remains one of the most affordable vacations and BEST experiences in the Caribbean cruise market-period!

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