Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas: A Photo Tour
After extensive refurbishing, Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas is ready to provide big thrills for passengers on island-hopping Caribbean cruises setting sail from Miami. Once the largest ship in the line's fleet, the Voyager-class vessel is 1,020 feet long, with a 157-foot-wide beam and 15 decks. The ship holds 3,276 passengers (double occupancy)—and none of them has any excuses for getting bored. Click through for a look at what the Navigator has to offer.
Royal Caribbean calls this ship the “amped up” Navigator because it underwent major renovations—to the tune of $115 million—that were unveiled in early 2019. It's part of the company's Royal Amplified program, a $1 billion project to modify, modernize, and otherwise improve the fleet. Navigator was the third ship to get the amplified treatment. Pictured is the pool deck after the refurbishment. The pool is now two times bigger than it was, with plentiful lounge chairs, hot tubs, and a multilevel bar overlooking the action.
One of the goals of the ship's makeover was to add more opportunities for family fun. As a result, the upper decks are now overflowing with activity. Here, children play on a basketball court, and the Blaster, the longest water slide at sea, loops overhead. Elsewhere on the ship, families can scale the rock-climbing wall, play glow-in-the-dark laser tag, and try to stay upright on the FlowRider surf simulator.
Riptide is the only head-first mat-racer water slide that exists on a cruise ship. The slide snakes above all the activities on the pool decks before culminating in a few seconds spent in a clear tube, allowing for views of the ocean stretching out below—provided you can bear to look.
The Observatorium is an escape room onboard the Navigator. Groups are locked in and given a short amount of time to find clues and solve puzzles to get out. If your crew isn't keen on cracking mysteries, you could always opt for a round of mini golf instead.
The Adventure Ocean kids program provides young cruisers their own space to play games, make crafts, watch movies, and engage in educational activities under the watchful eye of trained staff members. Teenagers have a hangout, too, called the Living Room. It's kitted out with the latest video game consoles and has an outdoor deck accessed via a hidden entrance.
Another new addition to the amplified Navigator is To Dry For, the first blow-dry bar at sea. Sip on complimentary champagne as a hairdresser styles you to perfection. You can also get a polish touchup for your nails.
When night falls, passengers have their pick of numerous shows, from lavish original productions to spectacles staged on the ship's ice rink. (Did we mention the ship has an ice rink? It does and, yes, you can go skating.) Make sure not to miss Ballroom Fever, a dance showcase set to familiar pop songs.
A major center of activity onboard is The Lime and Coconut, a multilevel bar serving Caribbean-inspired drinks usually involving tequila or rum. Opening onto the pool deck, the bar often hosts live music.
Among the many dining options onboard, notable venues include the New England–style Hooked Seafood and Jamie’s Italian by Jamie Oliver, the British celebrity chef. For casual bites, try the all-American diner classics at Johnny Rockets Express or the Mexican street food at El Loco Fresh. As for bars and lounges, there's something to suit every taste, whether you're in the mood for classic cocktails (R Bar), ivory tickling (Schooner Bar), sports (Playmakers, pictured), or tiki (The Bamboo Room).
Navigator's staterooms range from economical inside cabins—some of which have virtual balconies like the one pictured—to spacious suites with private balconies and bathrooms with tubs. In between, there are ocean-view and balcony rooms.
One last benefit of taking a cruise on the Navigator: the ship docks at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean's private island in the Bahamas. After a $250 million renovation, the island caters to thrill seekers and relaxers alike. Thrill Waterpark has 13 attractions, including Daredevil’s Peak, the tallest water slide in North America. Similarly shiver-inducing: Up, Up and Away, a hot-air balloon ride. If nauseating heights aren't your thing, you can head over to Chill Island and . . . do just that.