Andrew Winstanley sailed from Southampton to Le Havre on Navigator of the Seas.
April 27 2007:After a slight lie in I headed to the Windjammer for breakfast.
Self-service and a great choice – from fruit, yoghurt and cereal to a full fry up! I went for the latter and it was very good.
We then met the Royal Caribbean team to spend a great morning exploring the ship, learning and exchanging ideas. Where better to embark on cruise training?
After the introductions we headed to the sports deck to check out the mini golf, inline skating, basket ball court and climbing wall – which at 200ft above sea level really is something!
We went on to look at the children’s facilities. I have three kids aged eight, five and three, so paid particular attention.
From Aqua Babies (6-18 months) to Guests (15-17 years) and everything in between I would have no hesitation in enrolling my lot, who would probably enjoy their time here more than spending it with Mum and Dad.
When it comes to your last day on board there’s a fair bit to think about, particularly for a first time cruiser. How do I tip? What do I do with my luggage? How do I settle my account and how do I get off?
Tips can be prepaid when you book or settled on board. Some people feel uncomfortable about pre paying but it’s a bit easier and you are still issued with vouchers that you can put in the gratuities envelopes. If you want to put a little extra in you can.
As for settling the bill, I registered my credit card when I checked in and this was linked to a SeaPass card account, which did it all automatically. You can even check your account on your stateroom TV!
I opted for express check out which means you have to carry your luggage off the ship. This works well on a short cruise if you don’t have much baggage.
Otherwise you are issued with coloured tags for your case which correspond to your disembarkation time. Your luggage then gets placed outside your stateroom before midnight and is taken away for you.
The following morning I had to be out of my stateroom by 8am but could wait in the theatre or one of the lounges whilst I waited for my time slot to disembark – all nice and easy.
Once I was all set for disembarkation I headed to the gym and promenade again, then showered and changed ready for a meal in Chops Grille.
This is well worth the extra $15, particularly if you like a really good steak. I do and my 10oz filet minion was one of the best I’ve ever had.
After a nightcap I was back in my stateroom ready for an early departure the following morning.
Navigator of the Seas is a beautiful ship and the fact that it will be based in Southampton this year is a bonus for anyone selling cruises. There are some great itineraries and with the variety of staterooms available there really is something for everyone.
by Andrew Winstanley, director, Americas4u
- Flickr galleries: Agents tour Liberty of the Seas