Navigator of the Seas Day 1: A right Royal time

Having never sailed on a Royal Caribbean cruise  before I was very excited to board Navigator of the Seas with my friend,  seasoned cruiser and Crown & Anchor Platinum member, Sherri.

Meeting onboard Pride of America in Hawaii last  year, it was so refreshing to cruise with a Florida local who knows the product  well and is as passionate about this industry as I am.

Something I have never advocated are cruise  lines that maintain a theme across their vessels but, this is something I have  thoroughly changed my tune about after my first night onboard Navigator.

Touring Allure of the Seas the day before  boarding, I was surprised to notice how similar the layout is.

For the first time ever, I actually knew my way  around the ship within hours!

Sharing such amenities as the Schooner Bar,  Vintages and Windjammer, it wasn’t long before I was helping seasoned cruiser  Sherri find her way around this beautiful ship.

Disappointed that the buffet wasn’t open  earlier, we headed to Café Promenade for a sandwich but realised that everyone  else on the ship was thinking the same thing it seems. The line wound down the  Promenade and I have to say it wasn’t the best welcome aboard I’ve ever  experienced, however, I suppose the restaurants do have to close at some point  to refresh the stations for the delectable food we’d experience later in the  evening.

Sailaway party is always the most exciting time  for me. It heralds the beginning of a new adventure at sea and it’s the perfect  excuse to indulge in your first cocktail (potentially of many) of your cruise.

Our bar tenders Chris and “Bruno” made our  first experience at the bar overlooking the pool deck a memorable one and set  the tone for the fabulous service we’d receive for the rest of the evening.

The steel drums were playing and everyone was  crossing fingers that the storm that looked as if it were about to hit would  remain at bay.

Watching the passengers move so fluidly to the  Calypso music was hypnotic and I can safely say that I have never seen better  dancers on a cruise in my life!

Setting  the mood perfectly for the rest of the evening, Sherri and I enjoyed the sushi  in the dedicated Asian buffet, Jade, before getting ready for the 70’s street  party in the Royal Promenade.

Hosting a party along that area of the ship is  the best idea with such a ‘Carnivale’ type atmosphere for all of the  passengers. Lining the pubs, stores and cafes, people donned their boogie shoes  and took a step back a few decades to the time when polyester was the key to a  stylish outfit and being good at the ‘Bus Stop’ was the best way to win over  the ladies.

The 70’s hits made way for more recent chart  toppers in the two storey nightclub ‘The Dungeon’ and those impressive dancers  from the Sailaway Party hit the floor in a major way until the wee hours of the  morning.

With Sherri preferring to retire early, I met a  group of New Yorkers and was spun around the dance floor like I was a  competitor on ‘Dancing With the Stars’.

That just doesn’t happen in the bars in  Sydney…perhaps I’ll consider the Merengue competition later this week!

Originally written by Natale Aroyan for e-Travel Blackboard

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