Our first trip with Royal Caribbean. Finally it was time! We had long been looking forward to the American ship and what it would be like: The Navigator of the Seas. But this trip was to be a new experience, not only because of the ship. It was to be my first cruise with crutches and thus it would be a somewhat limited travel. That’s what I thought, at least prior to departure. But it was all wonderful!
Prior to departure, we informed Royal Caribbean through the travel agency that I could unfortunately not walk because of the crutches and asked if this would a problem on board. The answer was, no, no problem, they would take care of everything. And that was indeed what happened …
Arrival at the airport in Rome. We had booked Royal Caribbean’s shuttle service. It was perfect. On the bus, a place with more legroom front had been reserved for me and the bus driver already knew about my problem. Arrived at the ship, we had preferred check-in, so I did not have to wait so long. And then we could go aboard the Navigator of the Seas. For the first time. The first impression was stunning. A large ship, spacious corridors, bright colors and an impressive promenade in the center of the ship with shops and a 24-hour Cafe Promenade. Especially spectacular was the great hall with its spiral staircases and the wonderful light design in the middle. A look up at the elevators was impressive.
Our balcony cabin was spacious. The bathroom with shower was in a beautiful blue and white decor.
Inside the cabin we found a welcome overview of the highlights of the trip, called “The Planner”. Great! I did nowhere else get such compact information. So you could get a quick overview of the possible activities and the shows during the trip. Thrilled, I was reading with
my leg on a pillow which things were possible, wondering which ones I would be able to enjoy. And this is what “The Planner” was like:
We then first had a break on the balcony in sunny 23 degrees and after the security exercise we enjoyed the view from the balcony. Then we left and we set sail towards Palermo. For the next day Messina was on the agenda.
For dinner we had several options. Either you ate in the main restaurant for the 1st sitting (18:00) or the 2nd sitting (20:30), or you went to the Jade or the Windjammer Cafe for a casual dinner. Meanwhile in (both 18: 30-21: 00 h on Deck 11). Casual, because there was no admittance to the dining room in shorts and T-shirt. Of course, you could also choose one of the paid options, or take only a snack in the 24 hour Cafe Promenade.
We had a table in the main restaurant for the first sitting at 18:00. As we were able to see from the program, the first night the dress code at dinner was casual. Again, they had gone to great lengths to help me with my crutches. We got a nice table right at the entrance, with 2 nice American couples our own age. The restaurant was lushly decorated, but with class. It was over three floors with a grand staircase in the middle. The food was typically American. The menus were in English, but you could ask for a German menu. We were thrilled.
After dinner we went to the theater for the “Welcome Aboard Variety Show”. Again, I was surprised by the service. There was a separate row for people with reduced mobility and their companions. We got perfect seats and did not have to search, because we were directly led to the places. My on-board experience was better than I thought. We enjoyed the show and were pleased that we are on such a nice cruise. Back in the cabin was the next service highlight: The bed was made and there were two pillows at the foot of the bed for my leg – super !
Nicely bedded, I rummaged the excursion program : there were various excursions in English and also in some in German or with a German tour guide. For Germans these 6 trips were offered:
Messina, Italy: Taste of Sicily: Mt. Etna und Taormina (7,5 h, adults $89, kids $ 58)
Ephesus, Turkey: Highlights of Ephesus (4 h, adults $76, kids $ 46)
Athens, Greece: Ancient Athens, Plaka & Shopping (4 h, adults $56, kids $ 38)
Athens, Greece: Athens Sightseeing & Acropolis (4 h, adults $70, kids $41)
Chania, Crete, Greece: Real Crete (4 h, adults $56, kids $ 38)
Rome, Italy: Rome on your own & FCO Flughafen Transfer (9 h, adults $120, kids $ 85, departure at 07:00 h)