Navigator of the Seas - Apr 16 - 30, 2009

Royal Caribbean Cruiseline
Navigator of the Seas

April 15 - 30th, 2009

Tenerife, Canary Island; Lisbon, Portugal; Cadiz, Spain; Malaga, Spain; & Barcelona, Spain

(stayed extra days in Barcelona - read on next blog)

Bob & Debe

It had been a while since we had been on Royal Caribbean and to our surprise, we had picked a great ship. At 140,000 tons, not near the bigger RCCL ship since Freedom of the Seas of 160,000 and the new Oasis of the Seas is 220,000 (coming out soon) but we had a cadillac ship. It had so much to offer. You will see in later pictures. Our itinerary begin in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We headed across the Atlantic for seven days finally reaching land in Tenerife, Canary Islands. Then we stopped at Cadiz, Portugal; Lisbon, Spain; Malaga, Spain; before disembarking in Barcelona, Spain - my favorite stop. As we take this 14 day journey on the ship - remember that 7 days was crossing the Atlantic. So come join us for life on the ship and off.
Arriving in Miami (only flights we could get) meant we needed to get to Fort Lauderdale. What little we knew was there was a train available from Miami making a few stops as it headed to Fort Lauderdale. So for our first time - we took it. A free shuttle took us from the Miami airport to the train and with only a few minutes to spare and $3 a piece, we were heading to Fort Lauderdale. The shuttle for Ramada Inn Hotel picked us up at one of the stations and we were checked in and starving. We ordered room service from New River Pizza. Absolutely the best Stromboli we had ever eaten. For about $8 for a 10"-12" Stromboli, well, it was more food than I could eat. Below you can see us getting ready to board the train.

On April 16th, it was up early for the free hot breakfast served at the Ramada Inn and then on the shuttle to the ship. (compliments of Ramada Inn) The computers were down so embarking was somewhat of a wait but we were literally the first in line once it started (as the cut off ended with us). Below is the embarkation photo (well, really a photo of the embarkation photo they took which was shown on a computer screen. Now you know why we never buy them. lol)

After check in and getting our sign and sail card (also used for the room key) we were off to explore the ship. Below is my sign and sail card.
At 1:00 p.m. we were allowed to go into our cabin. We had an inside cabin on deck seven. Cabin #7525.
The room was normal size with all the basics. Very comfortable and the only downfall, no room to get around the corners of the bed. Oh well, we are still able to climb over the end.

Royal Caribbean puts on a great "meet and mingle" for the Cruise Critics members so sitting on the dresser was my "meet and mingle" invitation, raffle ticket, and complimentary gift card. And of course our coupon books that everyone from gold level up receives. Bob wasn't to happy that they had me platinum and him gold considering we have cruised the same ships on Royal Caribbean. (well, he might have a couple more he took prior to our marriage.

The Cruise Critic group put together their own sail away get together so we had a good time just meeting each other. But the first day at sea, second day on the ship was the official "meet and mingle." We were also all given a magnet to go on our cabin doors saying we had attended the meet and mingle!
Royal Caribbean has a great map at all the elevators to help you navigate around the ship. Other lines have something similar but you have to take your finger and follow it over to the name of the place you are wanting to go so you know the floor. Here you can see the map is very convenient to never be lost.
The main attraction on the ship was the Royal Promenade Deck. Since the front of the ship had a three story Theatre and the back of the ship had the three story Dining room, this Promenade Deck ran from one end to the other. It was on deck 5 and the deck was like a main street filled with bars, stores, ice cream shop, coffee shop and our favorite place, the Promenade Cafe. Twenty-four hours a day you could get desserts, coffee, hot tea, pizza, and sandwiches. Thank goodness our room was just two decks above it and by the stair case .
Below is another photo of the Promenade Deck from the opposite end. Also you will see that the cabins overlooking the Promenade deck gave you front row seats to the parades and entertainment on display many times during the cruise.

This ship also offered an ice skating rink. This was open for passengers use of ice skating but also was used for entertainment with a wonderful show at night. It was the same show but well worth going to. We only wished they had a couple more to watch on as long as a cruise as this was.
Below on the left is a shot of the Metropolis Theatre. This photo is taken from the back of the main floor so it had a couple balconies above us. We saw three Production shows during the 14 days and other nights they offered comedians, magicians, singers, etc.. We usually pass on those but our dinner mates let us know that many of the shows were great. In the below right photo is the entrance to the Mardi Gras Casino. By far a small casino for a big ship but never did we see it packed. Of course I didn't play at all and Bob only played Texas Hold'em which is played on a blackjack table for seven people with a huge rake.

On longer cruises including transatlantics, you don't see many people using the Adult disco. Below are pictures of the "Dungeon" Disco that was two stories. The dance floor was on the bottom along with lots of tables. The upstairs had a bar and chairs but you had to be sitting next to the opening above the floor to see people dance. Don't' worry, it wasn't ever full so no problem sitting on the main floor (also equipped with its own bar for the drinkers).

Also on the ship was a movie room called, "The Screening Room." Since we always bring our own movies and dvd player, we never used it. But they did show movies a couple days in the three story Metropolis Theatre and Bob did go to onet. In the below right photo is the Internet Cafe. Bob did spend a lot of time in here and the $450 on board credits helps to keep him going.

On this ship, many eating venues were available for free or a cost. The buffet was called the Windjammer and did offer up many great foods. Located by the Windjammer were some "pay restaurants!" Chops Grille $25 pp fee, Portifino $20 pp fee and Jade which was at the buffet and free. Also, as you can see in the below right photo, Johnny Rockets was available for a fee of $4.95 per person. (of course if you got a milk shake or malt that was extra)

At no cost you could hit up the Promenade Cafe for self service coffee, hot tea and behind the drink station you found the pizza, calzones, sandwiches and desserts. 24/7
The most stunning thing on the ship and the most beautiful dining room we had ever seen was the three story main dining room. RCCL offers traditional dining along with MTD (My Time Dining) All in the same dining room. The bottom level was called the Nutcracker and was our dining rooms. The other two decks were called the "Coppelia" and the top was "Swan Lake." Coppelia was traditional and Swan Lake was MTD. This only means you show up and are seated as you would be in a restaurant at home.
The ship had plenty of places to spread the people out. We enjoyed laying at the pool on the sunny days. The main pool area had lots of chairs with two pools and hot tubs. Some chose the Solarium pool which was not covered but more enclosed.
And for a first for me to see, they had an area above the bridge so you could watch the staff hard at work taking the ship across the ocean and from port to port.
There is always something to do. Here you can see photos of mini golf, basketball court used to play soccer and/or basketball, ping pong, roller blading and even rock wall climbing. Just a few of the activities to work off those extra calories you are taking in.

But when night time hits, the Royal Promenade Deck becomes the center of attraction. Here you can see the decorations for the sailaway party are up and ready for the big parade.
As you can see, it goes from calm to wild very quickly. What a great time but get there early, it is standing room only and that means along the parade route, at the balconies, etc..

Our cruise director was young and so funny. His name was Simeon Baker and I have to admit, I found his morning shows so funny I looked forward to getting up and watching them on the tv. He would have the Entertainment Director join him and at times, I think the camera man and staff just left them for their gab sessions. Hilarious.
And the one ice show was spectacular. Of course we went to the first show, not knowing that it would be shown many times over the 14 days. The show was called "Ice Dancing." It was truly great with unbelievable costume changes and fabulous ice skating skills. (and throw in some fun in there) Below you see one of the entertainers during the show as she hoola hoops with multiply hoops. The other photo is some of the costumes in the show.

Below is the Royal Promenade Deck being decorated for formal night.
Even though Bob hates doing photos, we went ahead and took a couple since we had a huge onboard credit. Our house is filled with photos from past cruises but it was time for a new one. The photo on the left is the one we bought so the other is a picture of the computer screen where you can view your photos during the cruise. (also a first for us to see)

The first formal night also included the first Production Show. It was titled "Ballroom Fever" and was our least favorite show of all we have seen in the 38 cruises we have taken. The dancers did great but not our type of music or dancing so to each their own.
Next day it was back to the pool for some fun in the sun. Better enjoy all the hot days we can because we won't have them the entire 14 days. We had great chairs in front of the band and of course, when line dancing started we were right there. I even joined in.

The next production show was called, "All Access!" Much better than the first show with high energy and songs from the Rock gr0ups of the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Now that was more our type. lol

As we approached land, the Make a Wish fundraiser was coming to an end. It was called "Run Across The Atlantic" and the crew and passengers signed up to keep at least one of the treadmills going while we crossed the Atlantic. It would be 3,490 nautical miles and for a $10 donation you received a t-shirt. All money went to Make a Wish Foundation. Below you can see the captain as we landed on the Canary Island and the fundraiser came to an end.
Land, trees, people - wow, we have now managed to survive 7 days without seeing anything but water. lol So below, you can see our group that booked a tour in Tenerife in the Canary Islands. In just three days I managed to get together this group for a wonderful full day tour. It would take us to Mount Teide, the old town of Puerto La Cruz and many other short stops. The company was El Mar (thanks to Els on another bus for finding it) and the cost for the day was about $26 per person. What a deal. The following photos were all taken on that tour.
As we drove through Santa Cruz on our way up the mountain (dormant volcano) we stopped for some awesome photo opportunities. We were above the clouds and even saw sky divers that glide down through the clouds into the city. Once at the top, you had the option of doing the cable car to as close to the top as you could go. The cost was somewhat expensive so no one in our group did it.

As we continued, down the volcano we went by areas were movies like The Ten Commandments, parts of Star Wars, and many B Western movies were shot. It was like being on the moon. We finally came upon rock formations formed by the lava flow of years gone by. All given a different name like, The Bear, Two heads, etc... The air was still very thin but Bob and I was able to climb one area and take a picture with Mount Teide and the rock formations behind us. It was so beautiful. As we continued down the other side of the Mountain, we came upon the Rock Formation that was named The Rose. As the natural design of the rock formed what looked like a Rose.

At the bottom we finally made it to Puerto La Cruz, the older side of the Canary Island. Our stop was at Loro Parque which had so much to offer. A beach, fishing, salt water ponds (looked like swimming pools to me) restaurants, internet, shops, you name it. We had about one and one/half hours there and of course, we needed internet time. lol

Before leaving and heading back to the ship I took another shot from Loro Parque and then as we rounded the hillside going through a tunnel, I took the below photo of the ocean looking through the opening of the tunnel. What a great day and fascinating place to visit.
As we continued from the Canary Island into the major land mass of Europe countries, we hit what many people said was a rough day as sea. Below, check out the pool and you tell me.
Finally we reached Lisbon, Portugal. What a beautiful country to pull into. So be sure to be on deck so you can see the ship go under the sister bridge to the Golden Gate Bridge while also viewing the Christ Statue stretched out overlooking the Tagus River.
Lisbon has several things you can do besides picking a ship tour. We chose the hop on hop off yellow buses but there is more than one to chose between. It was a little chilly and windy but we roughed it out. The hop on hop off did pick us up right at the ship but a short five minute walk also took you to the train station (no attendants so know what you are doing). Main town was a long walk so the ship offered a shuttle for $12 pp round trip. We chose to do the Hop on Hop off and get off later in town for the cost of 11 Euros.

So many things to see here. First the April 25th bridge, sister bridge to the Golden Gate Bridge which gives access across the Tagus River. And also, the Christ Statue which is huge & awesome with those outstretched arms.

Next we came upon the Discoveries Monument. This was built in 1960 to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator. (photo below left) On the right is a photo of the Belem Tower on the Tagus River. Built in 1515 as a fortress to guard the entrance to Lisbon's harbor, the Belem Tower was the starting point for many of the voyages of discovery, and for the sailors it was the last sight of their homeland.

On the left below you can see Jeronimos Monastery. What a massive building and those that toured it said it was fabulous (now we know what we will do next time there. lol) Here is a little history of it. In 1496, King Manuel I asked the pope for permission to build a great monastery in thanks to the Virgin Mary for Vasco de Gama's successful voyage to India. The request was granted and construction began on the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos on January 6, 1501. As for the monastery, it would be not only a thank-offering to the Virgin Mary but a lasting monument to the Age of Discovery and the mausoleum of King Manuel I and his successors. The project was completed around 1600. On the below right is the Royal Palace entrance and guards.

Once in town, we got off the hop on hop off and did my souvenir shopping along with buying my Hard Rock Cafe Pin for my collection. lol Then it was off to the Santa Justa Elevator. This is a "vertical" elevator and was built between 1900 and 1902 as a steam powered elevator. A few years later it was changed to Electric. It is a small fee of 2.50 euros pp for the round trip ticket. In the below right photo is Lisbon's prison. Nice huh.

The photos below are the front and back of the Campo Pequeno bullring . What an awesome building. The Campo Pequeno bullring is the bull ring of Lisbon, Portugal. It is located in the Campo Pequeno Square. Lisbon's bullring was built between 1890 and 1892. After a profound renovation, it re-opened as a multi-event venue in 2006, designed to be used for various events apart from bull fighting. It hosts a range of live acts and has seen many famous bands perform there. It includes an underground shopping centre, restaurants and a parking lot.

Below, I am looking into Commerce Square /Palace Square. If you look close through the archway, you will see the statue of King D. José I, who reigned the country at the time of the earthquake in 1755. We are in the shopping area, a long street with no cars. You also get to the Santa Justa Elevator in this area.
Back on the hop on hop off we saw historical aqueducts, Estrela Church, Orient Museum, Library Bldg built in 1800's among many other things. Lisbon is filled with history. But it was time to be back on the ship with no time to do anything but shower and get ready quick for second formal night. A couple of quick shots after dinner and off to watch the sunset.
And what a beautiful sunset it was.
From there it was off to the last production show of the trip. The show was called, "Now and Forever." This show was a tribute to Broadway Shows which we do love. So of course, it was our favorite.

The next day it was up early for the port of Cadiz, Spain - the first of our Spain ports of call. Cadiz is very small and doesn't have alot to do. We had done the hop on hop off (below) while in port before and felt we had seen everything so today was an internet day for Bob to get caught up at work. We spent 6 hours on the internet at a cost of 1.20 euros per hour. Compared to the ship - what a deal.

Below is our ship sitting in port!
Here are a couple of statues within walking distance of the ship. On the left is a statue that can be seen in the main square by the Town Hall Building. On the right is the Cadiz Moret Statue.

Below are a couple more photos of Cadiz. The left is the gateway entrance from the port into town. While on the right is a photo looking between the buildings as we searched for souvenirs.

Below are a couple of huge tourist attractions. For a small fee you can visit the Cadiz Cathedral also known as the Holy and Apostolic Cathedral of Cadiz. It was built due to the poor condition of the old cathedral and work started in 1722. It took another 116 years before it was regarded as being complete and because of this, it incorporates a number of architectural styles. The other photo is the Town Hall in Town Square. It stands facing the port and was built in two stages, the first being in 1799 and the second in 1861. The Bells of the Town Hall play Fallas music called 'The three cornered hat' every hour. The square has been called a Royal Square and it was also used for a parade ground and market.

After a good night sleep it was up and off the ship to Malaga, Spain. A port we have visited a couple other times but the main attractions have been closed. This trip - we were lucky. The below photo I have taken every trip. lol The beach that you walk by as you leave the ship and enter town.
And of course, Picasso's child hood home is located in the apartment building below left. While on the right is the internet shop, across from Picasso's childhood home. After a little internet time, it was off to see the main attractions we had missed before.

First stop - the Malaga Cathedral. Malaga´s cathedral was built between 1528 and 1782 on or near the site of a former mosque. The former mosque was the biggest centre of Muslim worship in the area, back when the Moors occupied southern Spain. But the building was deemed to small for Christain worship and was demolished.
More photos of the exterior of the Malaga Cathedral.

And of course photos of the interior of the Malaga Cathedral.

But the highlight of Malaga for me was the Alcazaba Ruins. The Alcazaba is a Moorish fortification dating from the 8th century although much of it was built around the middle of the 11th century for King Badis of Granada and served as the palace of the governors of the city. Next to the entrance to the Alcazaba are the ruins of a Roman theatre dating to the 2nd century which is undergoing restoration.
Here is a photo of Bob and I as we stood in one of the many gardens of the Alcazaba ruins. Just awesome and beautiful.
And here you can see the orange tree filled with oranges and the flowers in full bloom which added to the beauty of the ruins. In the right photo is a look at the huge ruins from the main street. There is no way to get a photo of all the ruins of this massive structure.

I call these next four photos my "windows with a view!" I love taking pictures through a window just to see what the view was. The views into town (even looking at the huge Cathedral) and others looking at the ocean. Beautiful!!!!!

And Bob and I pose at one of the upper parts of the ruins.
And from another area, a view to the bull ring was great. Look close to our side but far behind us. Right in the middle of town.
One exciting place to sit was the ruins of the Roman Theatre where many things were seen. This is our third time to see this but the first time to walk in it. Since our first time in Nov 2006 coming here, the excavation in this area continues and the threatre ruins have continued to be uncovered. This was definitely my favorite time in Malaga.
With one more sea day before our last port of call, Barcelona, Spain, and the end of our cruise - the ship's chefs had their final display of food. Unfortunately for us, a nap interferred with it but I was able to catch them as they were taking it down. Another great use of the Royal Promenade.
Below, the great work done by the chefs to turn fruits and vegetables into art.

And our final dining experience with the tablemates we had shared many meals with. In the left is Sam and Pam from Colorado via California. And in the right photo is John and Pixie from Seattle, Washington. We truly enjoyed the wonderful conversations and getting to know these people. Sam and Pam filled us with their unique adventures in being clowns and spreading the gospel along with his busy work life. And also the sadness of losing not one, but two homes in the California fires along with many personal vehicles and treasures. And John and Pixie shared their life of Seattle, kids, and experiencing things they shared while taking classes abroad and working in their busy jobs. Thanks guys for being a part of our wonderful experience.

So our final night at dining, we take our final photo with our "new" friends around the US. May each life have been touched from this experience.
And of course, we could never forget the one that took care of us all for 14 days. What a great job our waiter and assistant waiter did.

For those that wonder how you survive 7 days at sea and trying to keep up with what day it is - well, it is easy, just take the elevator each day and it will let you know. lol But I didn't bore you with all of the pictures from each day. Three is enough - you get the point. lol

Now for Barcelona. The disembarkation was so easy. Of course, we just pull our own luggage off so we spend the morning, filling up on our last breakfast and taking our time getting off the ship. Makes for a less stressful exit. Below you can see that again, we planned the hop on hop off for our days in Barcelona. But with so much to see there - well, another blog is needed. So please, enjoy this part of the trip and watch for our final days in Spain in the next blog. TO BE CONTINUED

I do hope you have enjoyed the ship and ports of call on this cruise. But the best is yet to come. So watch for the next blog for the "land part" of this trip. As always, we thank you for reading our blog and taking this trip with us and hope you join us for more. Or of course, just join us for the next trip. lol



  1. What great pics Debe :o) I sure enjoyed looking at them. Els

  2. Hey Debe, Just now had a chance to look and I was fascinated by all the history and beauty. Would luv (I think) to take a cruise. We want to go to Spain next yr. for our 30th anniversary. Guess we'll see. Really enjoyed reading the blog. Take Care, Shelia

  3. glad u enjoyed ur cruise !!! :)


  4. That was a great website. We needed that, as we our going on the ship on June 6th 2010 for a Mediterranian cruise! It looks like it will be fantastic. We leave out of Rome, and it will go 7 days. We have been on the Navigator's sister ships, the Explorer and Adventure too, so this seems like it will be just as fabulous. This was very helpful and put us at ease!


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