What’s Included In Your Royal Caribbean Cruise Fare on Navigator of the Seas?

What’s Included In Your Royal Caribbean Cruise Fare on Navigator of the Seas?

If you are going on a Royal Caribbean cruise onboard Navigator of the seas, you might be wondering what parts of the cruise experience are included in the cruise fare that you paid.  After all, there is a lot of components to any cruise vacation and it’s good to know what’s included and what isn’t.

We think Royal Caribbean does include a lot of activities, food, entertainment and things to do in your cruise fare.  A cruise remains a really good vacation value, especially when you factor in meals and entertainment.  Over the years, Royal Caribbean has realized some of its guests prefer to add onto the core experience, and began offering more options to tack onto their vacation.  As a result, it may be a bit overwhelming for someone new to Royal Caribbean to know exactly what is included and what carries an additional cost.

If you have been hoping to find out what is included with your Royal Caribbean fare and what is extra, specifically for Navigator of the Seas this breakdown should help clear it all up.

Accommodations

Let’s start with something simple, where are you staying on your cruise.  Your cruise fare gets you a stateroom exclusively for you.  This means you have a room and private bathroom to use throughout the cruise.

Depending on which type of stateroom you book the exact size, amenities and layout of the room will vary.  But at the very least, you should know that your cruise fare assures you of a room just for you (and any friends or family you invited to stay with you).

Gratuities

Guests sailing on Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas (and most Royal Caribbean’s ships) have two choices when it comes to gratuities to the dining room wait staff and stateroom attendants that provide services to them.  They may elect to pre-pay gratuities prior to the cruise, or have gratuities automatically charged on a daily basis to the SeaPass account.

As of January 2, 2018, guests will pay a $14.50 per guest per day service charge on a daily basis for guests in Junior Suites and below, or $17.50 USD per person, per day for guests in Grand Suites and above, applied to each guest’s SeaPass account on a daily basis, unless pre-paid prior to the start of your cruise.

Purchases and services rendered onboard a Royal Caribbean ship will have gratuities added at the time of purchase.  If you buy a drink, get a massage at the spa, eat at a specialty restaurant, etc, you will be charged an 18% gratuity automatically.  Your receipt will display the cost breakdown.  ***NOTE*** Do not skimp on tipping the staff!  They work extremely hard and this is where they make most of their income.   Gratuities are a part of cruising and your staff will show how hard they work for you by making so many moment of your trip that much more special with their amazing service, done with a smile.

Drink packages and specialty dining packages will be charged an automatic gratuity upon purchase of the package, which means no additional gratuity is required when taking advantage of the package benefits (i.e. ordering a drink at the bar with a drink package).  Some people forget this and add essentially a tip on top of a tip.  Not required! (although if you want to do so, go for it)

In addition to the gratuities listed earlier, there are opportunities to give crew members an additional tip for excellent service.  Even crew members who receive an automatic gratuity can receive additional gratuities if you feel it is warranted.  I find the PPG (Pre-paid gratuities) to be fair, and often I will pre-pay so I have one less thing to deal with at the end of my trip.

Meals & Snacks

Main Dining Room, Navigator of the Seas

All Royal Caribbean cruise fares include most meals and snacks onboard your ship, and any private destination you visit (such as Labadee or CocoCay).  This means there will be ample opportunity to enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in-between without additional cost.

While on Navigator of the Seas, your cruise fare includes:

  • Main dining room – With sweeping, multi-level ambiance, world-class cuisine, and extraordinary personal service, the main dining room serves exceptional, multi-course meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day.
  • Windjammer buffet – Enjoy an assortment of global cuisines and American favorites at this casual dining destination with spectacular views and a comfortable atmosphere that welcomes guests for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Cafe Promenade – Located in the multi-level Royal Promenade at the heart of the ship – and the best spot for people watching – Cafe Promenade serves coffee, snacks pastries and sandwiches around the clock.  Open 24 hours a day, it’s perfect for satisfying your late night cravings.
  • El Loco Fresh – Stop into El Loco FreshSM to satisfy your craving for fresh-made Mexican favorites, like burritos, tacos and salsas. ]
  • There are 2 soft serve ice cream machines. One is located against a wall in the Windjammer and the other one is located on Deck 11 against a wall in the pool area.

Simply put, it is quite easy to have plenty to eat at any of the complimentary dining locations onboard.

You may find a few for-fee items on the main dining room menu, such as a filet or lobster.  Steak and lobster might be offered on other evenings of the cruise for no fee, but this is an option for those that want those dishes at other times.

Windjammer on Navigator of the Seas

Navigator of the Seas does offer in addition alternative specialty restaurants, where you can opt to pay extra for food/meal.  Most specialty restaurants have a simple cover charge that includes most of the food on the menu, although there are a couple of specialty restaurants that forgo the cover charge and simply charge you for what you order.

Here is a list of the specialty restaurants specifically for Navigator of the Seas:

  • Johnny Rockets Express – Step back in time to the 1950s, when jukeboxes were at every table and diner menus were packed with all-American favorites like burgers, fries, and shakes.
  • Chops Grille – Enjoy juicy steaks, fresh seafood, hearty side dishes, and sumptuous desserts in the elegant, classic Chicago atmosphere of Royal Caribbean’s popular signature steakhouse.
  • Izumi (a la carte) – Traditional Asian cuisine is artfully prepared and presented at Izumi. You’ll be wowed by the fresh ingredients, delicate flavors, and gorgeous plating of Izumi’s sushi, sashimi, ishi-yaki plates, and more.
  • Jamie’s Italian – Chef Jamie Oliver’s passion for Italian cooking and the Italian way of life drives a menu of rustic favorites, bursting with fresh, seasonal ingredients.
  • Hooked Seafood – For the freshest seafood and raw bar favorites, head to Hooked SeafoodSM — it’s a real taste of New England in a casual setting.
  • Playmakers – At Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade, it’s all about winning — whether you’re watching your home team on screen, making your own legendary plays at the arcade, or refueling on your game-day favorites.
  • Chef’s Table – Dinner at Chef’s Table is both experiential and educational, as the Chef de Cuisine specially prepares and presents each course, while explaining its cooking techniques, ingredients and flavors. Then a sommelier pairs every course with wine chosen to enhance your enjoyment of the dish.
  • Starbucks – Being at sea doesn’t mean you have to give up your daily half-caff Coconut Milk Macchiato. Your Salted Caramel Mocha Frappucino® is here, too. And achieve Teavana® whenever the mood emerges. From drinks to pastry, you can enjoy your Starbucks®; favorites on select ships. A la carte pricing.
  • Ben & Jerry’s – Treat yourself to a cone of Vermont’s Finest Ice Cream, or indulge in a smoothie, sundae, or shake for a special treat.

Specialty restaurants offer cuisine options not otherwise available onboard your ship, as well as an opportunity to indulge in meals that you may prefer to enjoy at your own pace.  In addition, the ambiance is usually enhanced at these locations and the prices charged are usually not exorbitant.  As stated earlier, you should look at specialty restaurants as a way to enhance or splurge on your cruise, as dining at the complimentary venues is quite satisfying.

Chops Grille onboard Navigator of the Seas

Drinks

Navigator of the Seas provides all its guests (and this is standard for all of Royal Caribbean’s cruise ships) a few different drinks throughout the day that are included in your cruise fare.  These drinks are available at any time, and include:

  • tap water
  • milk
  • tea
  • coffee (regular and decaf)
  • lemonade
  • iced tea
  • flavored waters
  • juices (at breakfast and not fresh squeezed)
  • Hot chocolate (via instant packets)

These drinks are available throughout your cruise at a number of locations, so there will always be somewhere to get something to drink for free. And if you are wondering, it is very safe to drink the tap water onboard, as it is of high quality.

I’m more of a Diet Coke gal myself – what’s your favorite drink while cruising?

Alternatively, if you want alcohol, soda, juices, virgin cocktails and pretty much anything else not listed above, you can purchase them individually for an additional cost during the cruise.

  • soda
  • beer
  • wine
  • liquor
  • cocktails
  • premium coffee and tea, such as Starbucks
  • bottled water (still or sparkling)
  • fresh squeezed juice

For all of these drinks, you may purchase each drink individually or purchase a Royal Caribbean beverage package that will give you either a set allotment of beverages or unlimited access onboard to them.

Royal Caribbean does allow its guests to bring up to two brttles of wine per stateroom with them onboard a ship.  It must be brought onboard on embarkation day, and it is subject to a corkage fee if opened in a public venue.  Guests may also bring non-alcoholic beverages as carry-on items on boarding day. Non-alcoholic beverages may not exceed 12 standard (17 oz.) cans, bottles or cartons per stateroom. Milk and distilled water brought on for infant, medical, or dietary use are permitted.

Room service

Room service is available any time of the day or night – simply order from the room service menu located in your stateroom/suite (service charge of $7.95* applies). An 18% gratuity is additional and will automatically be added to your check.  Grand Suites and above do receive complimentary room service, however the 18% gratuity still applies.

Child programming and care

Royal Caribbean’s Adventure Ocean program offers children between the ages of 3 and 17 years old, complimentary supervised programming during the day and part of the evening. From when Adventure Ocean opens until 10pm, there is no additional cost to use Adventure Ocean. From 10pm to 2am, Royal Caribbean offers an after hour ($7 per hour) option that has an hourly cost for parents that want to let kids stay a bit later.

While in Adventure Ocean, kids take part  in activities lead by the Adventure Ocean staff. There’s a lot for kids to do here and the programs specialize for each age group. It’s a mix of learning, play time and socializing.

Children between the ages of six months and 36 months old can participate in the Royal Babies and Royal Tots program. Most Royal Caribbean ships offer a nursery, where parents can drop children off throughout the day and evening. Use of the nursery comes at an hourly charge.

In addition to the Nursery, there is often a open play area set up during the day for parents to bring their young children to and play that has no additional cost. This is unsupervised play time, but does provide an opportunity every day for parents with toddlers to have space to crawl, play, and have some fun.

Activities and Shows

A vast majority of cruise activities are included with your cruise fare.  Your daily Cruise Compass will list a schedule of activities offered onboard, and most have no charge for them. These are the sort of activities you might expect to find on a cruise ship (as well as some that may surprise you).  Cooking demonstrations, pool games, movies, trivia, dance classes, and scavenger hunts are regularly offered on Royal Caribbean and have no additional charge.  On Navigator of the Seas, Royal Caribbean has amplified their pool deck, there’s the always popular FlowRider, outdoor movie nights, multiple water slides, culinary classes, wine tasting, ice skating and laser tag, and more!

There are some activities offered that have an additional fee, such as some fitness classes, bingo, casino tournaments (and pretty much anything in the casino), drink seminars, spa services and more.  In addition, Navigator of the Seas also offers To Dry For Blow Dry Bar, cupcake classes, and the all new Royal Escape Room!

 

The performances in the Royal Theater, are included in your cruise fare.  Likewise, ice shows, comedy shows, magic shows, live music, audience participation shows and more are included as well.  Even the Broadway shows on Royal Caribbean ships are included in your cruise fare.

There will be shows each evening, along with additional performances during the day on sea days.  Live music is a staple of Royal Caribbean’s entertainment and is offered throughout the day at multiple locations.

Signature activities and Games

Royal Caribbean has built a reputation for itself with some of the signature activities offered onboard.  Watch any Royal Caribbean cruise commercial, and inevitably you will see people tackling the FlowRider, rock climbing wall and more.

Here is a breakdown of Navigator of the Seas top activities and any additional costs.

  •  Flowrider surf simulator
    • No cost to use (first come, first served), although private and group lessons are available to book for an additional fee.
  • Rock climbing wall
    • No cost to use (first come, first served), although private and group lessons are available to book for an additional fee.
  • Mini golf
    • No cost to use
  • Waterslides (Riptide, The Perfect Storm and The Blaster)
    • No cost to use
  • Aqua parks (Amplified Pool Deck)
    • No cost to use
  • Sports Court/SeaPlex
    • Multi-purpose venues that offer basketball, tennis, volleyball, dodge ball, soccer and more.
    • No cost to use.
  • Ice Skating

     

    • No cost to use (tip:  get in line early to get your pass to ice skate, they go fast)
  • Laser Tag:  Battle for Planet Z
    • no cost to use
  • Royal Escape Room – The Observatorium
    • Reservations required, 12 and older, additional fee
  • Scuba Certification
    • Get certified while onboard, fee applies

Fitness and Spa

Every Royal Caribbean ship has a fitness center that offers cardio machines, weight lifting machines, weights and more for no additional cost.  There are also some (but not all) fitness classes included in your cruise fare, such as stretch and abs workouts.

Each Royal Caribbean ship has a jogging track, which is available to use throughout the day and at no additional cost.

The sports courts also offer complimentary use of the facilities, with organized games often held throughout the sailing.

The fitness center will offer fitness classes for an additional fee, such as spinning, yoga, Pilates and more. The fitness center also offers personalized training and other services for an additional fee.

The spa is nearly available exclusively at an additional cost.  Spa treatments, salon services and day passes all come with an additional cost.

Navigator of the Seas does have a a complimentary single sex sauna that can be found in the changing rooms of the fitness center on deck 11 of the ship.

Tours of the spa are available at any time during your cruise and have no additional cost or obligation.  In fact, these tours are a great way to learn about what the spa offers.

Pool and sun decks

Access to Royal Caribbean’s pools are included in your cruise fare, including the lounge chairs, hot tubs, water slides, aqua parks and more. The Solarium area has no additional cost, but is limited to adults only.

Some areas of the pool deck are reserved for suite guests only.  If you are a suite guest (Grand Suite and above), you will have complimentary access to these areas.   On Navigator of the Seas, there is a limited VIP lounge chair set-up near the pool Bar area between Deck 12, Foward (No chairs reservation, however).

Miscellaneous services

If not mentioned in the post, here are a few more services that are not included in the cruise fare

  • Gambling (Including Bingo)
  • Art Auction
  • Any purchases made in the gift shops onboard
  • Shore excursions
  • Photographs
  • Video Arcade
  • Medical Services
  • Internet Access
  • Transfers (Unless guest has purchased our air/sea package)
  • Laundry and Dry Cleaning Services
  • Ship to Shore Telephone calls

There’s truly so much to do on the ship that your biggest issue will be not having enough time to do everything!  And we haven’t even discussed Navigator’s ports of call, Nassau and Perfect Day at Coco Cay.  That will be for another blog post.  What is your favorite part about being on a cruise ship?  Comment below and let us know!

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Top 11 Excursions While Visiting Nassau

Top 11 Excursions While Visiting Nassau

From unwinding on gorgeous beaches and indulging in world-class food, to embarking on thrilling underwater adventures, there’s something for everyone in Nassau.

With more than 700 islands in The Bahamas, the capital of Nassau continues to be one of the country’s most popular vacation destinations thanks to its incredible shopping, dining and adventure.

Nassau offers guests a glimpse of the picture-perfect paradise that was once a pirate’s haven, including historical streets that bootleggers traveled, local cuisine that reflects Spanish, West African and British influences and crystal-clear waters where guests can swim with dolphins, stingrays and more.

I’ve mapped out an ideal eight hours in Nassau, narrowed down to the must-dos along with a healthy dose of powdery sand and Bahamian blue waters. Read on for how to make the most of your port day in this special place.

Known for dishes like Conch salad, local Bahamian cuisine combines the flavors of Spain, West Africa and Great Britain to create a culinary experience unlike anything you’ve ever tried.

Credit: The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation

If you’re a foodie:

Taste the Best of the Best of Graycliff

Time it takes: 1-hour excursion.

Combine a chocolate tasting and cigar-rolling demonstration with a museum visit at the renowned Graycliff property, an 18th-century mansion (built by a pirate!) turned hotel in the heart of Nassau. From learning about the chocolate factory’s fair trade and organic farming practices, to watching master torcedores (highly skilled and specifically trained cigar rollers) roll finely made cigars, this excursion encompasses the best of this famous hotel.

Tru Bahamian Food Tours

Time it takes:  3-hour excursion; wear walking shoes.

Eat like a local with this off the beaten path tasting tour that takes guests through Nassau’s vibrant downtown neighborhood. Try local delicacies like conch fritters and rum cake, while exploring the colorful streets of colonial Nassau and mingling with local chefs, artisans and business owners.

The Fish Fry at Arawak Cay

Time it takes: 25-minute walk or 10-minute taxi ride from the port.

Nassau’s famous Fish Fry isn’t just one restaurant, it’s a group of restaurants and bars serving up traditional, fresh Bahamian food, including the signature ingredient, conch. Try conch salad, conch fritters or stewed conch, and make sure to finish your meal with guava duff, a dough spread with guava, then rolled, steamed and served with a vanilla sauce.

John Watlings Distillery

Time it takes: 17-minute walk or 7-minute taxi ride from the port.

The distillery is located on the famed and hallowed grounds of the 1789 Buena Vista Estate in historic downtown, serving guests a taste of the “Spirit of The Bahamas,” handcrafted by Bahamians, using local ingredients and traditional English rum-making methods.

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and head to Pearl Island, a private beach getaway just 30 minutes from Nassau.

Credit: The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation

If you’re a beach bum:

Junkanoo Beach

Time it takes: 15-minute walk or 8-minute taxi ride from the port.

This free, public beach (with affordable lounge-chair and umbrella rentals) is an easy 15-minute walk from the cruise port, and offers a taste of the Bahamas’ famous blue waters and soft sand with a hint of local flavor. Both residents and visitors gather here to sip a few Bahama Mamas while enjoying their day under the sun.

Pearl Island Escape Day with Lunch

Time it takes: 5-hour excursion.

Just a short harbor cruise away from Nassau, guests can enjoy a beach escape, featuring shaded decks and white sand beaches, plus a range of aquatic activities, including kayaks, stand up paddleboards and beach and board games. Pro tip: pay attention on the harbor cruise to-and-from Pearl Island for fun facts about Nassau’s colonial architecture and culture.

Nassau’s crystal-clear waters make it an ideal destination for water sports, including snorkeling, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.

Credit: The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation

If you’re a thrill-seeker: 

Atlantis Aquaventure

Time it takes: 5-hour excursion.

Truth time: You can’t talk about Nassau without talking about Atlantis, the unrivaled (and huge!) luxury resort and water park on Paradise Island. During a day at Atlantis, you can shoot down intense water slides—including one that goes straight through a shark tank—take a dip in 20 swimming areas, explore fascinating marine life exhibits and jet through the rapids river on an inner tube. Need a break? Pull up a chair on Atlantis’s private beach.

Adventure Yacht Turtle and Reef Snorkel

Time it takes: 3-hour excursion.

Travelers will take a scenic cruise of Nassau Harbor before grabbing a mask, snorkel, fins and vest to test the waters and snorkel with turtles. Afterwards, relax at the beach at Green Cay, a long narrow island known for its New England-style architecture.

Certified Scuba Dive

Time it takes: 5-hour excursion.

Nassau’s turquoise waters welcome certified scuba divers to take stock of the capital’s underwater adventure and enjoy a two-tank dive of the colorful reefs. Check out tropical fish, sea turtles and even reef sharks up close.

Fort Montagu is the oldest fort still standing on the island of New Providence, located at the eastern end of Nassau Harbour. The fort was originally built to defend against Spanish invaders in 1741.

Credit: The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation

If you’re a history buff:

Pirate Museum

Time it takes: 8-minute walk from the port.

Explore the seedier side of Bahamian history at the Pirates of Nassau Museum, where costumed staffers answer questions and pose for photos as you browse the exhibits and learn about the days when pirates ruled the Caribbean waters. Learn the Pirate’s Code of Conduct (including which offenses could get you “marooned”!) and see replicas of a pirate ship’s galley and mates cabin.

Nassau Highlights

 

Spend some time getting to know the history of the destination with a tour of the city’s landmarks, including Rawson and Parliament Squares, The Queen’s Staircase, Government House and more. Once acquainted, guests can use the remainder of the day to explore on their own and revisit the sights like the Queen’s Staircase, located in the Fort Fincastle Historic Complex and named in honor of Britain’s Queen Victoria.

Whatever adventure you choose, there’s no doubt you’ll fall in love with the views and the people of The Bahamas. Ready to start your adventure?  Let me know here.  What’s your idea of a perfect day in Nassau?  Tell us in the comments below!

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