In July 2016, I was fortunate enough to get to visit Navigator of the Seas whilst she was docked in Southampton as a day visitor.
My friend had entered a competition for people new to cruising to get to visit the ship on one of her turn around days. She kindly invited me and at that point, I had never cruised with Royal Caribbean, and so it was a brilliant opportunity to have a look around and suss it out. My friend had never cruised at all, so it was even more exciting for her as she really had no idea what to expect at all.
On arrival at Southampton, we handed in our ID and received our passes for the day. Unfortunately, they would therefore know if we were still onboard the ship, as we had to get off the ship and hand back our passes in order to retrieve our ID, so there’s no chance of stowing away!
Once we were onboard the ship, we were given a great tour of all the main communal areas, which included the stunning central atrium the ice rink, the main dining room, the promenade and the pool deck.
We were also able to visit some of the cabins in order to see how they compare size wise, both with other cabins on the same ship, and for those of us who have travelled with other cruise lines, with them. I was particularly impressed with the internal cabins which had either windows overlooking the promenade. This is a feature which as far as I am aware is exclusive to Royal Caribbean. They also however have virtual balconies, which again they were trailblazers and pioneers of, but which other cruise lines like Norwegian Cruise Line are following with.
Before leaving the ship, we were provided with a really nice meal as well. We were given a bit of a talk about the ship, and whilst we were expecting a hard sell, there was no such thing. We were given some souvenirs, and a voucher should we want to book anything, but there was no full on sales pitch or anything like that. We really were made to feel like competition winners and visitors, and not just someone there for a sales talk.
Overall I really liked the feel of The Navigator of the Seas, and I definitely wanted to try out another Royal Caribbean ship for longer than just a few hours. There were things I liked about it, and there were things that I think I would have preferred on other lines, but in just a few hours it is really hard to know exactly.
It gave my friend a great taster of what cruising is all about and she has now booked and been on a few cruises herself! By the way, I’m not sure if due to the increased security issues around the world whether cruise lines still offer such day trips, but if an opportunity arises, I would thoroughly recommend the opportunity.