We just returned from our second sail on Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas. If you’re looking for an introduction to cruising or can only spare a weekend getaway Navigator of the Seas is your best option. This is because it is the nicest ship out of all cruise lines doing 3 night cruises. Most cruise lines have their oldest ships do these short cruises but Royal Caribbean invested $115 million in renovating Navigator of the Seas in 2019 to fulfill the ships slogan of Weekend Like You Mean It! Here is my Navigator of the Seas review to help you decide if it’s the ship for you.
Navigator of the Seas Review: 3 and 4 Night Itineraries
Navigator of the Seas sails from the port of Miami on 3 and 4 night itineraries. The ships 3 night cruises depart on Friday and return Monday morning while the 4 night cruises depart Monday and return on Friday. Both itineraries go to Nassau and the Perfect Day at CocoCay but on the 4 night ones you can choose between two stops at CocoCay or have a sea day. The Perfect Day at CocoCay is on Royal’s private island and it is absolutely amazing, literally non-stop fun. Here’s a video from our visit on Navigator back in May, you can read more about the island here.
Navigator of the Seas Review: Things to Do on Board
The reason why Navigator of the Seas is the best weekend cruise is because of all the things to do on board. Most weekend cruises have a crappy pool, one show and that’s it. With everything there is to do on Navigator of the Seas you will have a hard time doing everything during your 3 nights.
The Pool Deck
The pool deck of Navigator of the Seas has the Solarium Adults only pool which is nice and quiet with two hot tubs. Then the main pool deck has two pools, two hot tubs and a kids splash pad.
There are life guards at every pool and life jackets provided free of charge. Kids cannot enter the pool with swim diapers so make sure they’re potty trained.
The Sports Deck
The sports deck on Navigator of the Seas is where you can find all the thrilling action. Here you’ll find two water slides, the RipTide where you go down head first on a mat and the Blaster which is a two person tube. There is no additional cost for the slides.
For more thrills you can test your skills and balance on the FlowRider. There are two activities here, boogie boarding and stand up surfing. The staff will give you a short demonstration and then you’re on your own to see how long you can last. If you need further instructions you can book a private lesson, while using the FlowRider is free, the private lesson is at a fee. The below video is technically me doing the FlowRider on the Mariner of the Seas since I didn’t get a video this time but it’s exactly the same and in the same spot of the ship.
This is a photo of the FlowRider on Navigator of the Seas.
If you don’t want to get wet there are still some fun activities on the sports deck for you. There is a basketball court and rock climbing wall. And by chance you just want to relax in this area there are a few hammocks you can lazy around in.
While the name isn’t super telling, Navigator Dunes is an onboard outside mini-golf course. There are nine fun holes and the course is open 24 hours a day. The area isn’t manned and you can just grab the clubs, balls and scorecard at your leisure. This activity is also included in your cruise fare.
On Deck 12, right next to the Adventure Ocean kids club is the Challenger’s Video Arcade. The arcade is open 24 hours a day but the games are not included in your cruise fare. You can just swipe your sea pass to play and games range from $1-$6. Make sure you’ve disabled your kids charging privileges or have set a spending limit if you plan on allowing them to explore the ship unaccompanied.
Battle for Planet Z Laser Tag
Laser Tag on a cruise ship? Yes, on Navigator of the Seas you’ll even be able to play Laser Tag! It takes place in Studio B which is also where the ice skating rink is so it’s not available every day and has specific days/hours you can play. Each round lasts 10-15 minutes, with 6 people on each team and it’s quite fun. This is also included in your cruise fare but fair warning the line can get long, especially if it’s only available for one day during your sailing so arrive before it opens to get a spot in line. Closed toe shoes (these cannot be water shoes) are required to play so be sure to pack sneakers and wear them to this activity.
Cupcake Decorating Class
If you or your kids are obsessed with baking shows you’ll love that you can take a cupcake decorating class on board Navigator of the Seas. It’s the perfect sea day activity but be aware it comes with a $35 per person fee.
Sushi Making Class
Cupcakes not your thing but love sushi? The Izumi Japanese restaurant on board also offers a sushi making class. Enjoy some sake while you prepare your sushi, it will either help or hurt your chef skills! Check onboard for the price of this class.
I never would have imagined you could go ice skating in the middle of the ocean but Royal Caribbean is not playing when they say Weekend Like You Mean it! Ice Skating is also included in your cruise fare along with the rental of the ice skates, just bring socks. The ice skating is held in sessions as only a certain amount of people can be on the rink at once so again arrive early to claim your spot.
Royal Caribbean has really made it so you cannot say that you were ever board on board their ships. The Navigator of the Seas even has an Escape Room! The activity lasts one hour and costs $19.99 per person. You must be 12 years old to participate and there does have to be at least 6 people signed up for the activity to run.
In addition to these activities that aren’t standard on most cruises you’ll also find the typical activities on board. Trivia, karaoke, and game shows can be observed or participated in throughout the day, every day.
Navigator of the Seas Review: Complementary Dining
Cruises are all inclusive so all of your meals, water and lemonade are included in your cruise fare. On board the Navigator of the Seas that means you can dine in the Main Dining Hall (a la carte meals) for breakfast and dinner and eat at the Windjammer, a buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner at no additional fee. While a set number of classic meals remain the same, there are multiple daily specials on the menu in the dining hall and the Windjammer so you always have the option to try something new. There is also El Loco Fresh at the pool deck which serves tacos and quesadilla for lunch, and Cafe Promenade serving pizza until 3AM.
Navigator of the Seas Review: The Speciality Restaurants
While there is a ton of complementary dining there are four specialty restaurants on board are an additional fee. These include the steakhouse Chopped Grill, the Italian Restaurant Jamie’s, the Japanese restaurant Izumi, and the seafood restaurant Hooked. Other eateries on board not included in your cruise fare are Starbucks, Playmakers Sports Bar, Johnny Rockets, and Ben and Jerry’s.
You can choose to not eat at these restaurants at all, pay per meal if you choose to dine at one for lunch or dinner or buy a restaurant plan. Playmakers Sports Bar, Izumi, Johnny Rockets, Ben and Jerry’s and Starbucks are a la cart while the others are a flat fee for unlimited food during your meal. The unlimited dining package is a flat fee and you can eat at all of the specialty restaurants for one low cost.
For the a la carte restaurants you’ll get a $35 credit per person for Izumi and $25 credit per person for Playmakers Sports Bar, however the credit is per seating so you’ll get the same credit each day. Ben and Jerry’s and Starbucks are not included in the unlimited dining package. If you’re traveling with young kids know that you don’t have to get a package for kids 12 and under. Kids 0-5 eat for free at speciality restaurants and kids 6-12 just pay $10 so need to buy a package, they will add the charge as you go to the restaurants.
Navigator of the Seas Review: The Gym
If you’re like me and still work out on vacation you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the gym on Navigator of the seas. There are plenty of treadmills, ellipticals, and bikes along with free weights and weight machines.
Royal Caribbean also offers classes like spinning, body sculpture and abs. Some of these classes are free of charge while others have a fee. For a fee you can also hire a personal trainer for your time on the ship. My only con with the gym is that it closes at 10pm, I’m not sure why it can’t be open 24 hours.
Navigator of the Seas Review: The Spa
The spa is quite expensive on board but hey you’re on vacation right! I haven’t personally gotten a spa treatment on Navigator of the Seas but I have gotten one on a different Royal Caribbean ship. They typically offer specials when the ship is in port or late night from 5:00-10:00pm. On the first day there is also a spa raffle where you’ll have the opportunity to win discounted or free spa services.
Navigator of the Seas Review: Adventure Ocean, Royal Caribbean’s Kids Club
If you’re kids want to meet and play with other kids or you just want some kid-free time you’ll love Navigator of the Seas’s Adventure Ocean. They have multiple rooms including the Royal Babies and Tots program for kids 6- 36 months, then a room for 3-5 year olds, 6-11 and 12-17 year olds. Hours vary depending on if the ship is in port or at sea but the program is free until 10PM. From 10PM-2AM there is a small fee of $7 per hour per child so you can enjoy some adult activities while your kids are entertained.
Navigator of the Seas Review: The Shows
Even though Navigator of the Seas operates shorter itineraries there are still a variety of show to keep you entertained onboard. There is a main show, Show Girls, a comedian and my favorite show onboard, the iSkate show. The iSkate show has cast members which are former Olympians and their figure skating is superb. Here’s a quick look into the 45 minute show.
Navigator of the Seas Review: A Look Into the Cabins
Navigator of the Seas like most cruises has interior, ocean view, balcony and suite rooms. We’ve stayed in both an interior and a balcony room on board this ship. Since there were four of us staying in the interior room it included two bunk beds for the kids. The cabins are my least favorite part of Navigator of the Seas, I wish Royal Caribbean had spent some of that $115 million updating at least the bathrooms in the cabin. They aren’t horrible but not as nice as on Harmony of the Seas. Here’s a look into both the interior and balcony rooms.
Here is a photo of what our interior room looked like once the bunk beds were brought down.
After two sailings on Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas it remains my favorite ship for weekend cruises. I hope this Navigator of the Seas review was helpful to you. If it was please share this article to help someone else!