What to experience aboard the newly renovated Navigator of the Seas

Navigator of the Seas made headlines in 2021 when it became the first Royal Caribbean ship to call Los Angeles its home port in 10 years. 

The ship underwent a thorough renovation in 2019, adding 2 new outdoor water slides, a redesigned resort-style pool area, new dining and drinks options, and indoor entertainment such as mini golf, an escape room, and laser tag. 

Several specialists from AAA Travel sailed aboard Navigator of the Seas' maiden voyage from Los Angeles to sample the new amenities. We check in with 3 of them to see what they enjoyed most about the experience.

What's your favorite new Navigator of the Seas feature?

Janice Z.: I loved the new Hooked Seafood restaurant and raw bar. The entrees were delicious, seafood was fresh, and the nautical theme matched perfectly to the dishes served. Prior to the ship's refurbishment, the area was occupied by a nightclub. This specialty restaurant is a great addition to the ship.

Monique N.: As my daughter Ashley and I had just sailed on the Freedom of the Seas in December 2019, this ship was very similar, but amped up. In comparing our previous experience, we loved the addition of the blow dry bar, the gluten-free sandwich option at the Cafe Promenade, the cabanas on the top pool deck, and of course the best part: the water slides.

Yvonne S.: The new muster (or safety) drill protocol is much more convenient. You watch a video in your stateroom TV, then check in at your assigned muster station at your convenience (within a timeframe and before the ship sets sail). This way, you’re not crowded into the muster station with other cruisers at the same time—which could be inconvenient if you just boarded the ship and wanted to unpack first.

What makes Navigator of the Seas a must-experience vacation for SoCal families?

Janice: Kids will love the 2 water slides, rock climbing wall, FlowRider surf simulator, and miniature golf. Adults will love the adults-only solarium pool area, ice skating and Broadway-style shows, and the new Bamboo Room tiki bar.

Monique: Leaving from a convenient Long Beach port is definitely a plus! Also, it was in the 60s when we went, but if the weather had been 10-15 degrees warmer, like it often is in SoCal, the water slides were a highlight.

Yvonne: The wide range of activities makes it perfect for families. The Blaster slide is great for kids 6 and up, while the Riptide slide is ideal for older kids. FlowRider surfing and the rock climbing wall are also great for older children. The Adventure Ocean kids club has a small rock climbing wall for the little ones and lots of activities for younger kids. There a plenty of food options to accommodate a variety of preferences, especially kids.

Where did you eat? What was your favorite?

Janice: During the day, I ate at Windjammer Cafe, where the entree options were abundant with chicken, beef, and vegetarian choices as well as international dishes from India. At dinner, I ate in the Main Dining Room and indulged in filet mignon, lobster, and escargot.

After watching some of the passengers belt out song after song during karaoke, I grabbed a slice of pizza and a cookie from the 24-hour Cafe Promenade. But my favorite place to eat was the new Hooked Seafood restaurant and raw bar. The raw oysters on the half shell, crab cakes, ceviche, and lobster mac and cheese were absolutely delicious!

Yvonne: The Windjammer buffet, the Main Dining Room, El Loco Fresh, Johnny Rockets, and room service. The specialty restaurants were available by invitation only. My favorite dining option was the Main Dining Room – I really enjoyed the food. The steak and lobster dinner was delicious, good quality, and a good value for $37.50.

What did you like most about your room?

Janice: I sailed in a spacious ocean view balcony stateroom. Although I sailed by myself, there was a king bed and a pull-out couch so that up to 4 guests could be accommodated. There was ample space to walk around in the room, lounge on the couch, and have my morning coffee and a pastry on the balcony. The stateroom was tastefully decorated with aquamarine ocean images.

What I liked most about my room was the storage space! The closet had an abundance of room with built-in shelves, an area for my suitcases, and so many hangars to keep my clothes wrinkle-free. Also, more cabinets and drawers could be found around the stateroom and bathroom. I could imagine staying comfortably in the room for a 7+ night cruise.

Monique: In 2019 aboard Freedom of the Seas, we had a standard balcony room and this time we were given the expanded balcony. We noticed the longer couch and more spacious closet. The bed (mattress and soft sheets) were very, very comfortable, similar to a Hyatt or Hilton.

Yvonne: Even though it looked a little small, it felt very spacious because there was lots of storage space. But the best thing was our cabin steward. He was great, very attentive, had all the answers to our questions, and made us feel special.

What surprised you the most?

Janice: One of the most fun events on the ship was the Hush Silent Party. Attendees were given headphones with 2 channels, where 2 DJs played music. One channel featured music from the '80s and early '90s, and the second channel played current Top 40 music. I was expecting people silently dancing with only the sounds of stomping feet. What surprised me was everyone loudly singing along to the different tunes while dancing and all the laughing as we watched each other. I can see it being a fun activity for the young and "young at heart."

Monique: The Hush Party was SO fun, and we were surprised by how much we enjoyed it. The dance party was unique and catered to different generations and musical tastes. We especially loved how we could have a conversation if we weren’t on the dance floor with headphones on. It made for a great experience. We were also surprised by the quality of the Showgirls (Past, Present & Future) show. My daughter was a competitive dancer, so we've seen our share of technically trained dancers. We were impressed with their energy, quick costume changes, and versatile talent!

Yvonne: The staff was so friendly, attentive, accommodating, and knowledgeable. I was surprised that you could ask anyone on the ship about anything, anywhere on the ship and they had the answer. They didn’t have to refer you to someone else.

Book your cruise aboard Navigator of the Seas

Set sail for Catalina Island, Ensenada, Cabo, and more aboard the newly renovated Navigator of the Seas.

AAA Travel alert: Many travel destinations have implemented COVID-19–related restrictions. Before making travel plans, check to see if hotels, attractions, cruise lines, tour operators, restaurants, and local authorities have issued health and safety-related restrictions or entry requirements. The local tourism board is a good resource for updated information.

Travel offers & deals

Infinity pool

Hot travel deals

Get the latest offers from AAA Travel’s preferred partners.

Learn more

Makena Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Travel with AAA

See how we can help you plan, book, and save on your next vacation.

Learn more

Mom and 2 kids riding roller coaster

Entertainment savings

Save big with AAA discounts on tickets to your next adventure.

Learn more

Woman at airport looking at arrival and departure screen

Travel with confidence

Purchase travel insurance with Allianz Global Assistance.

Learn more

back to top icon