Navigator of the Seas was the first of a new generation of Voyager class ships for Royal Caribbean International. When it launched it was the largest cruise ship in their fleet, and to this day it still ranks as one of the largest passenger ships in the world. It boasts many incredible features such as the FlowRider® surf simulator, an outdoor cinema screen, many amazing restaurants serving a variety of dishes from around the world, and spectacular virtual balconies, but here are ten things I wish I’d known before I boarded this astounding ship.
1. Visit the helipad
For the best unobstructed views of your surroundings, you can actually go up onto the helipad on the bow of the ship. You can enjoy near 360º views surrounding Navigator of the Seas. To access the helipad you can either go outside on deck 5 and walk towards the front of the ship, climbing a set of stairs along the way, or take the hidden route via the Star Lounge on deck 5. Once you enter the lounge, take an immediate right turn just past the DJ booth, and you will find a set of unmarked doors which you can open which let you out right next to the helipad. This is useful if you have a stroller, wheelchair, or have difficulty with stairs.
2. Book an inside cabin
If you are someone who must always have a view of the ocean from your cabin, Navigator of the Seas offers a new and cheaper solution. Their inside cabins boast innovative virtual balconies. These floor to ceiling high definition screens show real-time views and sounds of the ocean by using onboard cameras, giving you the sensation of being in a balcony cabin, but without the extra cost.
3. Decorate your cabin door
As your door is magnetic, it can be great fun to bring a dry erase board allowing you to communicate either with your party or leave riddles for other guests to answer.
4. Try the blender bike
In front of the Lime and Coconut bar on deck 11, you will find an unusual looking bike which allows guests to mix their own drinks using pedal power. Just ask the bar staff for your chance to sit on the bike, spin the pedals as fast as you can and blend a frozen concoction, rewarding you with a fully mixed drink!
5. Make a port-day spa appointment
Although not often publicised, discounts are often available on port-day spa treatments. If you want to save money, love going to the spa, and don’t mind missing some time ashore, you can book multiple treatments back-to-back on the same port-day, and don’t forget to ask about mixing port-day discounts with multiple treatment discounts for the very best deal available.
6. Ride the water slides on embarkation day
The two water slides, Blaster and Riptide are often the most popular rides during any sailing, but there is a trick to riding them and avoiding the crowds. If you pack your swimsuit in your carry-on luggage (or wear it to the ship), you can head to the slides in the afternoon after boarding. Most passengers won’t have immediate access to their swimsuits, and don’t realise that the slides will be open so early. It is the best time to get multiple rides with little or no wait. This strategy also works for the nearby FlowRider®.
7. Make use of the Wayfinders
If you’re lost, you are in luck. In its recent upgrade, Navigator of the Seas received a “wayfinder” system. Located near the lifts throughout the ship, these digital touchscreens will show you where you are, how to get where you want to go, and what is on the daily schedule.
8. Adventure Ocean for kids
While the ship is in port, you can leave your children in the care of the Adventure Ocean staff at no charge, and depart on a shore excursion, or visit this new port. Your children will have lunch provided for them.
9. Find the Stowaway Piano Player
A new, and not widely publicised entertainment feature that Royal Caribbean have introduced is the “stowaway” piano player. Somewhere on the ship there is a piano player with an extravagant piano who performs for guests, and encourages them not to report him. The piano player moves around the ship, and the piano is no ordinary piano with hidden compartments and functions which can dispense various things such as lollipops for kids, or appear to overheat due to intense piano playing.
10. Grab a casita
Throughout decks 11 and 12 you can find casitas along the pool deck that are available on a first come, first served basis. These casitas are at no additional cost, and are available for guests to use at their leisure. Each casita has comfortable lounge chairs or day beds, and is the perfect place for your group to relax or doze between dips in the pool.