Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas: Overview and What to Do

Here's a full overview of Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas cruise ship, with what to do onboard, venues, and more!

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Navigator of the Seas made its debut in the early 2000s, as the first, second-generation, Voyager-class cruise ship. Despite its age, though, Navigator of the Seas hardly feels outdated or woefully old, thanks to more recent refurbishments.

So, what can you expect if you’re planning to take a Navigator of the Seas cruise in the near future? 

As a quick overview, expect a ship that’s on the modest side, size-wise, serving a maximum near-4,000 passengers, but with double occupancy closer to 3,000 people.

Expect all the Royal Caribbean classic venues and entertainment options, like the FlowRider surfing simulator, and favorited restaurants and bars that you know from other Royal Caribbean ships.

While you won’t get the breadth of choices that you have on Royal Caribbean’s newest ships, you’ll still find enough to keep you occupied for a shorter cruise.

Need to know more? Here’s everything to know about Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas, including the ship’s history, staterooms and suites options, dining options and more.

Navigator of the Seas Stats

Navigator of the Seas isn’t huge, as alluded, but the Voyager class did once include some of the largest cruise ships on the planet. That said, things have changed. 

In 2019, Navigator of the Seas held status as the 30th largest passenger ship in the world. As of 2024, it’s dropped down the list of largest cruise ships even further, all the way down to the 57th spot. 

However, even though cruise ships have become bigger and better, by a substantial amount, over the last five years, that doesn’t mean this ship isn’t still worth your consideration. Here’s how the ship measures up: 

  • Gross Tonnage: 139,999
  • Length: 1,020 feet
  • Total Decks: 15
  • Guest Decks: 14
  • Passenger capacity: 3,388 (double occupancy)
  • Passenger capacity at: 3,968 (maximum occupancy)
  • Crew: 1,232
  • Cabins: 1,694

Construction

Built-in the early 2000s, Navigator of the Seas was the fourth Voyager-class cruise ship for Royal Caribbean and the first, second-generation, Voyager-class cruise ship. Built in Finland, at Kvaerner Masa-Yards in Turku, it took its maiden voyage on Dec. 14, 2002, christened by godmother Stefanie Graf, a German tennis pro.

So what does it mean that Navigator of the Seas was a second-generation Voyager-class cruise ship? Not too much; the first generation of ships just features a few slight differences.

Navigator of the Seas at the Shipyard
Navigator of the Seas at the Shipyard

The first generation includes the older (late 1990s) Voyager of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas and Adventure of the Seas. Then, Navigator of the Seas launched the second generation, along with Mariner of the Seas, in the early 2000s.

The Voyager class overall brought with it some of the features that are now considered staples of the Royal Caribbean brand. Think the Royal Promenade, rock climbing walls and ice skating rinks. The second generation of Voyager-class ships, though, made some slight changes to the public spaces and aesthetics. 

Navigator of the Seas Refurbishments

As mentioned, Navigator of the Seas has undergone a few rounds of refurbishments, which has allowed it to keep pace with some of the newer ships in Royal Caribbean’s fleet.

In 2014, the ship was dry docked for significant modifications, including an increase in the number of cabins on the ship, the addition of a the FlowRider surfing simulator, the addition of an outdoor moving screen and the addition of two new lounges. Several public facilities were also removed in this 2014 dry dock, and enhanced dining options were added.  

This dry dock also debuted Royal Caribbean’s virtual balconies for the very first time. While the virtual balconies were originally intended to debut on Quantum of the Seas, this addition to Navigator of the Seas gave cruisers a sneak peak at what they could expect from the much-anticipated Quantum class. New Panoramic Ocean View cabins were also added.

Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas
Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas

The most recent “Royal Amplified” dry dock occurred in 2019, when the ship was dry docked in the Bahamas, receiving renovations to the tune of $115 million as part of Royal Caribbean’s Amplification initiative.

Highlights of this dry dock included the addition of waterslides, new restaurants, new cabins and a new pool deck. A standout addition? The newly amped Navigator of the Seas featured the longest waterslide at sea at the time!

It’s worth noting that these dry docks did add substantial weight to the ship. When it first debuted, the ship was originally 138,279 GT. The 2014 dry dock increased that measurement to 139,570 GT. The 2019 dry dock increased the ship’s size to its current 139,999 GT.

It’s rumored that Navigator of the Seas will undergo another dry dock in March 2024, in Singapore.

Navigator of the Seas Itineraries

The ship has sailed all over the world thus far, including itineraries around the Caribbean, Mexico and the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. Most recently, the ship has offered short cruisers (three to four nights, or up to a week) out of Los Angeles, California.

Staterooms

Navigator of the Seas offers a range of cabin types over its 1,600-plus cabin and suite options. These include: 

  • Interior staterooms
  • Virtual balcony staterooms
  • Ocean view staterooms
  • Balcony staterooms

These primary categories can be further broken down into options such a spacious panoramic ocean view cabin, which gives you more space, a spa cabin with spa-related amenities, or interior staterooms with views of the promenade.

Inside Stateroom, Virtual Cabin
Inside Stateroom, Virtual Cabin

Whichever stateroom you choose, though, you’ll appreciate the staterooms’ slightly updated décor and aesthetic, which, while slightly reminiscent of the ship’s 2000s and 2010s heyday, doesn’t feel dingy. 

For a particularly unique experience, try that virtual balcony stateroom, which projects real-time views of what’s happening beyond the ship’s exterior, right onto your cabin wall. Staterooms come with standard amenities like:

  • Luxurious bedding
  • Either two twin beds or one queen-size bed
  • A siting area
  • A bathroom with a shower, vanity area and hair dryer
  • 24-hour room service
  • 24-hour attendant service
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • TV 
  • In-room safe
  • Phone and voicemail

Suites

Suite options aboard Navigator of the Seas likewise vary. Options include:

  • Junior suites
  • Grand suites
  • Royal suites
  • Owner’s suites 

Junior suites are the smallest in the bunch. Grand suites come with two-bedroom options. Royal suites and Owner’s suites are the best, however, in terms of overall luxury and perks. Think big balconies, lots of social space but still privacy — the Royal suite even comes outfitted with a baby grand piano! 

Free Dining

You can find favorite classic Royal Caribbean dining options aboard Navigator of the Seas, both free dining that’s included in the cost of your cruise fare, and specialty restaurants that come with an added fee.

El Loco Fresh
El Loco Fresh

If you want to eat on the cheap, consider these free dining options on Navigator of the Seas

  • The ship’s main dining room, for an elegant, three-course menu every night
  • Windjammer Café, the classic cruise ship buffet
  • Café Promenade, for quick bites in the heart of all the ship’s action
  • El Loco Fresh, for Mexican fare

Room service is also available 24/7, but do note that you may have to pay a delivery fee and gratuity. 

Specialty Restaurants

Unfortunately, the above limited free dining options do seem a little lackluster compared to the ample free dining options that you’ll find on some newer cruise ships. However, keep in mind that, if you take a shorter cruise, this should be just enough variety to keep you from getting bored.

Hooked Seafood
Hooked Seafood

Don’t believe us? You can always upgrade and spring for a specialty dining experience, at one of these craving-worthy favorite eateries:  

  • Izumi, for Japanese cuisine
  • Starbucks, for your favorite coffee beverages
  • Jamie’s Italian, from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver
  • Chops Grille, Royal Caribbean’s steakhouse
  • Johnny Rockets Express, for diner classics
  • Hooked Seafood, for fresh seafood 
  • Playmakers Sports Bar & Grill, for pub-style, sports bar favs 

There’s also Royal Caribbean’s Chef’s Table, a specialty dining experience that brings together the ship’s culinary team for a one-of-a-kind, exclusive, VIP event.  

Bars and Lounges

Just like there are plenty of great classic restaurants aboard Navigator of the Seas, there are similarly lots of great classic bars and lounges. Try:

The Lime & Coconut
The Lime & Coconut
  • Schooner Bar, a Royal Caribbean classic
  • Playmakers Bar & Arcade, for beer and games
  • The Lime & Coconut, for a Caribbean beach bar vibe
  • The Suite Lounge, for suite guests only
  • The Viking Crown Lounge, for Royal Caribbean’s loyalty club members only
  • The English Pub — just what it sounds like
  • R Bar, for classic cocktails
  • The Bamboo Room, a tiki option just found on Navigator of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas

You’ll also find bars at the pool.

Activities and Entertainment

When it comes to fun things to do, Navigator of the Seas has you covered in so, so many ways. No matter what you’re into, no matter how you like to spend a vacation, you’re covered. Here’s how to fill your itinerary. 

Pools and Water Slides

There are plenty of new outdoor offerings onboard this ship, thanks to that 2018 dry dock in the Bahamas. 

The amplified pool deck is the perfect place to catch some rays (or some waves). The pool is twice the size that it originally was and there’s an entire deck dedicated to spaces for you to relax in your lounger, swim or otherwise enjoy the sun and shade.

Main Pools
Main Pools

The Perfect Storm water slides include The Blaster, an aqua coaster that’s one of the longest water slides at sea. You and your friends or family members will be propelled via five water jet blasters around dips and turns and drops, all at a dizzying height over the water.

Meanwhile, Riptide was the only headfirst mat racer water slide at sea when it debuted; part of one of the slide’s curves is transparent as it goes out over the water, so you look like you’re actually about to slip and slide right out into the open ocean.

Navigator of the Seas Slides
Navigator of the Seas Slides

Then, there’s the FlowRider surf simulator, for body boarding, wake boarding and otherwise catching a wave without ever setting foot in the ocean.

Of course, if you don’t want to get your blood pumping quite that much during your Navigator of the Seas cruise, you can easily just kick back with a drink at the pool deck and let the rest of the family enjoy those fun thrills.

The Spa

If you want to leave your cruise feeling a little more rejuvenated, maybe a little more polished, you can have that when you take a trip to the onboard Vitality Spa.

The professional spa is equipped with a range of spa products you likely are already familiar with if you frequent spas on occasion while traveling, and the full spa menu offers all your favorite treatments, from classic massages to facials to wraps.

There are also medi-spa treatments and acupuncture treatments available. The spa features a salon, too, with full hairstyling, nail and beauty services (including teeth whitening). You just have to talk to your cruise planner to book an appointment and you’re in!

Ice-Skating Rink

Navigator of the Seas offers an ice rink, where you can catch regular choreographed ice shows. Don’t worry, though. Cruisers get to enjoy ice skating, too!

Ice-Skating Rink
Ice-Skating Rink

Royal Promenade

The Royal Promenade first premiered on Voyager-class ships and now it’s difficult to imagine many Royal Caribbean ships without one.

This large, expansive space with its sweeping ceilings is like the heart of the ship, with activity going on all the time, and access to lots of entertainment, shopping and dining. This is your place to go for something fun to do, even if you’re not quite sure yet what it is you actually want to do!

Sports 

If your favorite way to play includes a little friendly competition, you’ll have ample opportunity on Navigator of the Seas. There’s a sports court with basketball and volleyball, a rock-climbing wall, a newly added pickleball court and a mini-golf course. For those who want their fitness a little tamer, the fitness center is available, as is a jogging track.

Sports on Navigator of the Seas
Sports on Navigator of the Seas

Laser Tag and Escape Room

A fun activity for kids and parents alike, Navigator of the Seas’ glow-in-the-dark laser tag arena makes for a fun afternoon if you just want to get out of the sun for a while.

Escape Room
Escape Room

Shooting lasers on Planet Z not your thing? You can put your mind to the test with a trip to the ship’s Observatorium escape room. 

Kids Venues

While the kids could spend their entire trip filling their faces with sugar and splashing in the pool (which there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that — it is vacation after all!), they can also enjoy some more enriching activities when you take them to Adventure Ocean (which is included in the overall price of your cruise).

Adventure Ocean
Adventure Ocean

The Adventure Ocean kids club offers places for children from toddlers to age 12 to hang out, learn something new and show off their creativity.

Worth Reading: Royal Caribbean Age Limits – What You Need to Know

Preteens and teenagers also enjoy their own spaces, with a little less adult oversight but still fun programming and a safe environment. Older kids are split into groups ages 12 to 14 and 15 to 17. 

FAQ:

How many pools are on the Navigator of the Seas?

There are technically two pools aboard Navigator of the Seas. The main pool is twice the size of the original pool aboard the ship (following the 2018 dry dock refurbishments). There is also an adults-only pool in the Solarium area, as well as some small children’s splash areas and the on-board water slides.

Does Navigator of the Seas have an ice rink?

Yes, Navigator of the Seas does have an ice rink and you can catch regular choreographed ice shows on the ice rink. Don’t worry, though. Cruisers get to enjoy ice skating, too!

Is Navigator of the Seas kid-friendly?

Navigator of the Seas is incredibly kid- and family-friendly! There are tons of different activities for families to enjoy together, as well as activities for kids to enjoy all on their own. The on-board kids club is called Adventure Ocean and offers something for every age group.

Does Navigator of the Seas have water slides?

Navigator of the Seas has several water slides. Water slides include The Blaster, an aqua coaster that’s not only the longest water slide at sea, but that also features the longest stretch of water slide ever suspended over the water.

Riptide is the only headfirst mat racer water slide at sea, and part of one of the slide’s curves is transparent as it goes out over the water, so you look like you’re actually about to slip and slide right out into the open ocean.

What class ship is Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas?

Navigator of the Seas is a member of Royal Caribbean’s Voyager class. Other Voyager-class ships include Adventure of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas.

Final Thoughts

Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas has offered so much to families and cruisers in general over the years, from an at-the-time impressively large size to new features like virtual balconies and the longest waterslide at sea. While this ship may not be as glamorous as some of Royal Caribbean’s newest offerings, it still provides plenty of that classic Royal Caribbean experience.

Read Also: Are Royal Caribbean Cruises All Inclusive?

In other words, if you don’t need the biggest or the best, but you do still want to be assured your cruising experience will be incredibly fun, you can’t go wrong with Navigator of the Seas.

Holly Riddle
Holly Riddle
Holly Riddle is a travel and food freelance writer whose work can be found in print and digital publications all around the world. She is additionally an entrepreneur specializing in content and marketing services. Beyond frequent travel, Riddle enjoys cooking, reading, camping and spending time with her husband and two dogs. Her favorite travel destinations include Chicago, Amsterdam, Edinburgh and just about anywhere in the Caribbean. Find out more about us here.

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