November 1, 2018.
Royal Caribbean International is definitely amping things up on 3- to 4-night Caribbean cruises. I was recently on Mariner Of The Seas, which received a major refit earlier this year and I was highly impressed with the reborn ship in every way. Now comes news of the new experiences coming to a reimagined Navigator of the Seas.
With a $115 million modernization, Navigator will offer vacationers a lineup of firsts and Royal Caribbean favorites, including a Caribbean poolscape, two waterslides, the first blow dry bar at sea, Insta-worthy nightlife and dining, and activities for the whole family. Travelers can experience the new features starting on February 24, 2019, when the amplified ship sets sail on her first cruise from Miami. Beginning May 2019, Navigator will offer short Caribbean itineraries that will visit the cruise line’s highly anticipated private island in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay.
Navigator’s top decks will be the center of this weekend escape with adrenaline-inducing and feel-good moments from bow to stern.
The Perfect Storm brings a new wave of excitement with the boldest duo of waterslides yet, featuring The Blaster, the cruise line’s first-ever aqua coaster and the longest waterslide at sea. Guests will hop on a two-person raft that will propel them through more than 800 feet of hills, drops and straightaways, which includes extending over the side of the ship for a rush of ocean air. On its counterpart, Riptide, guests will plunge down the industry’s only headfirst mat racer and reach an exhilarating finish through a translucent tube with endless ocean views. Signature Royal Caribbean features like the FlowRider surf simulator and rock-climbing wall will round out these next-level feats.
Travelers can take a beat or the whole day to unwind under the sun with a completely reimagined poolscape infused with Caribbean vibes. The standout resort-style deck takes on a new look with more pool for everyone – even a Splash Pad for tots – and all the ingredients that make for a perfect weekend. New to the scene is The Lime and Coconut. The two-level signature bar will sweeten sunsets with cocktails as pool days transform into pool nights with extended hours, live music and a “rooftop” deck for a bird’s-eye view. When hunger strikes, the weekend goes uninterrupted with casual grab-and-go spots on deck. Guests can conveniently choose from tasty Mexican street fare at El Loco Fresh and American classics at the first Johnny Rockets Express.
Elevated Dining and Nightlife
Having originally debuted on Voyager Class, the cruise line’s signature Royal Promenade will tout new restaurants, retail and nightlife. After a day in the sun, travelers can swing by To Dry For, the first standalone blow dry bar at sea. Offering blowouts, hairstyling and polish changes, plus a selection of wines and champagnes, the new space is the perfect stop for a quick beauty fix before a night out. The Bamboo Room, first introduced on Mariner of the Seas, is the cruise line’s Polynesian-themed watering hole with kitschy-cool cocktails and unique tiki-chic décor. For those looking to catch the big game or host game night, Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade features 50 big-screen TVs, tabletop games, tournaments, trivia, a new Owner’s Box VIP room, and a menu of classic bar fare with a twist alongside ice-cold brews.
Every palate will be pleased when popular Royal Caribbean restaurants join a refreshed Chops Grille steakhouse. Guests can go for Jamie’s Italian to get a taste of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s rustic Italian dishes made with seasonal ingredients and homemade pastas crafted in-house daily. Foodies angling for fresh seafood and ocean views in a casual setting will find New England-inspired dishes, from lobster and crab claws to local fish and just-shucked oysters, at Hooked Seafood. Also new on board will be Starbucks, with an extensive menu of drinks and pastries.
Amped-up Family Adventure
A getaway on board Navigator means time off for the parents and kids, with activities and experiences to thrill every member of the family. Beyond the action-packed top decks are more Royal Caribbean hits, including glow-in-the-dark laser tag with Battle for Planet Z in Studio B, mini-golf and the Royal Escape Room: The Observatorium, where family, friends and foes team up to solve new mind-bending puzzles before time runs out.
Younger kids will enjoy Royal Caribbean’s new take on the Adventure Ocean youth program in a newly designed open, free play space. With trained staff and the cruise line’s award-winning programming, the modern concept will let imaginations roam free with activities organized by interests at every corner. The teen areas will also sport updates with a redesigned Living Room, the teen-only laidback hangout, as well as a new “hidden” entrance and outdoor deck that serves up nothing but chill vibes.
When Navigator arrives in Miami after her modernization, she will sail a series of 5- and 9-night Caribbean itineraries. The amped-up ship will then offer vacationers 3-night weekend and 4-night weekday sailings to The Bahamas starting May 2019, becoming the first to visit Perfect Day at CocoCay – the debut destination in the cruise line’s recently announced private island collection. With a $200 million makeover, the ultimate family destination will feature Thrill Waterpark with 13 jaw-dropping slides, like Daredevil’s Peak – the tallest waterslide in North America; Oasis Lagoon, the Caribbean’s largest freshwater pool; Up, Up and Away, the helium balloon that floats up to 450 feet in the air for the highest vantage point in The Bahamas; Chill Island for some R&R on the beach; and the action-packed South Beach with sports, paddle-boarding, glass-bottom kayaking and more.