Whether you want adventure or lots of relaxation, the Navigator of the Seas can provide it! We sailed on the newly-updated Navigator of the Seas in February 2020.
If you are new to cruising, check out Our Best Cruise Tips: How to Save Money, What to Bring, and More to help you prepare for and enjoy your cruise. And see this post to find out how we took this cruise for only $307 out of our pockets!
The Navigator of the Seas was refurbished in 2019, so we were lucky enough to enjoy a new, sleek look and new amenities on our cruise. We really liked the common areas of the ship as well as our staterooms. Everything felt clean and well cared for.
Our cruise was near the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, before any American shutdowns, but the crew on the ship was doing all they could to encourage hand washing and cleanliness for the health and safety of the passengers and crew.
Onboard Activities and Events
Before out trip we were really looking forward to the activities and amenities onboard the Navigator of the Seas, and we weren’t disappointed.
The pool area was nice and spacious with fun pool chairs right in the water. We enjoyed it most at night when it wasn’t as crowded. The outdoor movies were an added bonus in the evenings.
On the hot day at sea, while the ship sat in the water going approximately 1 1/2 mph, it got very crowded in the pool so we enjoyed other areas of the ship most of the day. But we did head to the pool for the Belly Flop Competition, which was very entertaining.
We loved the FlowRider, climbing wall, and waterslides at the back of the ship.
Shows and Special Activities
We also really enjoyed the shows and other events on the ship. The Ice Skating Show, Ballroom Dancing, and Aaron Bonk’s Comedy Juggling Show were all high quality. And we had a fun time playing laser tag on the inflatable course.
My daughter hoped to ice skate but all of the time slots filled up after only 30 minutes, so she wasn’t able to skate. If you plan to skate on your cruise, sign up as soon as time slots open and don’t forget to bring long pants!
Port Day: Perfect Day at CocoCay
Our day on CocoCay Island was absolutely perfect, just as advertised! The island was beautiful, and the amenities made it very comfortable to spend a day there. At the end of the day I didn’t want to leave!
I was a little worried that we would feel like we were missing out since we didn’t plan to pay for the Thrill Waterpark, but we were perfectly happy without it. In fact, almost no one went to the waterpark. There was plenty to do on the island without paying for any extras!
We decided to head to the South Beach and we loved it so much that we stayed for a good part of the day. There were plenty of shaded lounge chairs and wide expanses of sand that wasn’t crowded at all.
When we were there, there was a path of very shallow water way out into the ocean, and it was so much fun to walk out with our kids. They found some huge conch shells and we saw a manta ray and other fish.
Back on the beach we spotted some iguanas sunning in the sand and the kids enjoyed gathering shells.
Later in the day we enjoyed the Chill Island beaches, hammocks scattered around the island, and the Oasis Lagoon.
Food on the island was plentiful, free, and tasted good. Our kids loved going up to the window of the food stands on their own to order whatever they wanted, as many times as they wanted!
Beach-friendly strollers and wheelchairs were available for anyone who needed them.
A splash area and small water slides were available for families with younger children.
We were on the island with only one other cruise ship, so it didn’t feel crowded at all. It was my favorite day of the cruise!
Port Day: Nassau, Bahamas
Our day on Nassau was pretty casual. We didn’t feel a need to spend the money to go to Atlantis or take a guided tour. Instead, we explored on our own.
My husband and son went on an early morning run to see Atlantis from a distance while my girls and I enjoyed sleeping in and a leisurely breakfast. Then we met up and walked to the Queen’s Staircase and did a little window shopping (and collected complimentary charms for my girls!) in town.
When we’d seen all we wanted to see in town, we took a local bus to Cable Beach to cool off. The locals recommended the section of the beach near the Sandals Resort.
There weren’t any amenities at the beach, unless you count the wall that provided a little shade, but it was a fun place to splash in the water and play in the sand. The closest restroom was at the Starbucks a 5 minute walk from the beach.
A group of local children gathered around my son and were really happy that he was willing to share his hole in the sand!
After an hour or two at the beach, we were ready to head back to the ship and we had plenty of time to enjoy our last evening onboard.
The main buffet (the Windjammer Marketplace) always had lots of tasty options. Unlike on our Carnival Cruises to Mexico and the Caribbean, the buffet was not open all day long, but it was open for several hours around each mealtime.
The main dining room food was delicious. It was open for breakfast and dinner, and we enjoyed “My Time Dining” so we could be flexible and eat when we wanted. The service was great and the dining room was beautiful.
There were also various cafes open at different times, so there was always food available, even if the buffet was closed. My kids loved getting pizza at Cafe Promenade whenever they wanted.
A Few Differences Between our Royal Caribbean Cruise and our Carnival Cruises
These comparisons are between the newly refurbished Navigator of the Seas in 2020 and the Carnival Elation (2016) and Carnival Fascination (2017). We really enjoyed each cruise, but we did notice some differences between cruise lines.
In general, the Carnival cruise ships had more outdoor areas to walk, which we really enjoyed. Their buffet was also open 24 hours and included a station to make your own ice cream cones. Our kids were a little disappointed that they didn’t get to make their own cones on the Royal Caribbean cruise and that ice cream was not available at all hours of the day.
We enjoyed the shows much more on the Royal Caribbean cruise, and there were more activities on the ship. The pool area had a better layout and the outdoor movies were a nice touch. Rather than using deck space for walking areas, they had more balconies for individuals to enjoy from their staterooms.
We would happily sail on any of these ships again; they each had things that we really enjoyed.
Have you been on a cruise? Future cruises on our bucket list include an Alaskan Cruise and a river cruise in Europe. We’d love to hear your cruising experiences in the comments below!