A few weeks ago I had the chance to sail on Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas for a three night Bahamian cruise to Nassau and Coco Cay (Royal's private island destination in the Bahamas). The Navigator of the Seas launched in 2002 as the fourth of five Voyager class ships in the fleet. Larger than the Enchantment of the Seas but smaller than either of the Freedom class ships I'd been on (Freedom and Independence), this ship surprised me in the fact that despite it being smaller, it was really full of things to enjoy throughout our weekend. The ship went through a substantial refit in December 2018 to update existing venues, adding water slides and restaurants to the ship and updating the pool decks and bars to match the more vibrant feel of the newer ships in the fleet.
Also new for me this trip was Perfect Day at Coco Cay, the massively updated private island experience for Royal Caribbean in the Bahamas. My last visit to the island was in the early 2000's, so was very different from what I experienced this time around with the addition of the Thrill Waterpark, the tethered hot air balloon, zip line, updated dining venues and swim up bars. The water park itself has a pretty solid lineup of attractions, setup against two slide complexes, one purely for body slides (including two SkyBOX drop slides) and the other servicing several tube slides and a six-lane mat racer. There is also a water play area for the younger guests and a wave pool. The only thing that I felt was missing was a lazy river, but then again, you have beaches to enjoy with open water a few minutes' walk away from the entrance of the water park. Given that the water park is an add-on experience for the island, with prices anywhere from $35 - $100 per adult depending on the day and time of year (as well as your length of visit), I don't know that I would pay the price a second time, but I enjoyed experiencing it when I did.
Overall, the updates to the Navigator of the Seas and Perfect Day at Coco Cay made our weekend a really great one. It had been a few years since my last Royal Caribbean sailing but as you'll see below, I definitely got my fill from it all and I still look forward to my next RCCL sailing.
Sailing out of PortMiami, we got the chance to experience the new Royal Caribbean terminal.
A cool use for screen panels...
Our balcony stateroom for the sailing.
And where I lived for the next three days.
I love that they added a tiki bar to the Royal Promenade!
There are some pretty hardcore tiki-culture drinks on this menu including Navy Grog and the Jet Pilot... These are the kind of drinks I go out of my way to visit the Mai Kai in Ft. Lauderdale to enjoy.
$12 with tax and gratuities for The Bamboo Room mug... I’ve paid a heck of a lot more for mugs on land, so this is a steal.
A cool little space that is pretty large but due to the limited seating actually feels pretty intimate.
YES IT IS!
I really was surprised at how nicely sized this Royal Promenade is!
My last sailing with Royal (my own bachelor party) was also during the holidays, so it was familiar to see a huge tree in the Promenade.
Back for more...
As if The Bamboo Room hadn't won me over already, the music they were playing managed to combine my love of tiki and my love of Daft Punk.
Cafe Promenade has been a favorite of mine for years and while my favorite Egg Salad sandwich was not in rotation for this cruise, the shrimp roll and the chicken curry roti wraps became my life blood for the cruise.
The Navigator of the Seas has a pretty nice show venue onboard...
Our sailing featured a comedian who was... Not good.
I had fun playing with the wide angle less on my iPhone 11 Pro during this cruise.
We woke up the next morning in Nassau and I was pleased to see one of my favorite ships parked next door.
We often use Nassau on weekend cruises as if it were a sea day, so on this day we enjoyed the amenities of the ship.
This slide complex was added during the ship refit in December 2018.
I always love finding the shipyard tag when roaming a new ship.
The slides certainly are picturesque.
And as always, the Flowrider is a great attraction onboard.
I had fun using the wide angle lens of the phone out on the upper deck.
Unleash the fury!
Seconds later I was washed away.
Riptide is a mat racer with a transparent section that sits slightly over the edge of the ship.
The tubes for The Blaster are sent up to the loading station via a conveyor so you don't have to carry them up with you.
I love the look of the hills on The Blaster.
The Blaster is definitely a family water coaster, but a fun on at that.
And I love the look of it!
Taking in the sights...
I love how tightly these two slides wind into each other.
There's Atlantis, for those of you who are familiar with the Paradise Island resort.
Looking out towards the pool deck.
Still loving this view.
There's a blow dry bar onboard for those that are into such things.
The main atrium at the end of the Royal Promenade.
We dined at Jamie's Italian as our one uncharge dining experience for the weekend and it was awesome!
This truffle pasta was fantastic!
As was the rigatoni...
But the lamb chops were the real winner!
Polenta Fries are a thing I didn't know I needed in my life until this moment.
Desserts were quite delicious too.
It isn't a Royal Caribbean cruise without Quest.
That night they were showing The Polar Express on the main screen outside. I discovered that I must have experienced the former Polar Express-themed Wild Arctic overlay enough that—without seeing the screen (or the full movie before)—I could tell you what parts of the film were on the simulator and how the cabin would tilt.
The next morning we woke up at Coco Cay with the Mariner of Seas parked next-door.
The island looks very different than the last time I was here.
The money shot.
Before heading into the Thrill Waterpark we decided to check out the Chill Island side of Coco Cay.
A neat little lagoon inside of the island.
Two ships, one port.
Roaming entertainment on the island.
The Zip Line is another uncharge experience available to enjoy.
Pretty neat that there's a Funky Buddha Coco Cay beer.
Daredevil's Tower features seven body slides including two SkyBox slides and Daredevil's Peak, the tallest slide in North America.
There's no bad angle to look at Daredevil's Tower.
Lunch on the island.
We spent some time at the Oasis Lagoon to enjoy the swim up bar...
And then we went back to do more slides at the Thrill Waterpark.
If you can't tell from this photo, I enjoyed my time here.
There is a second slide complex in the Thrill Waterpark which features two raft slides and a mat racer.
It was a pretty perfect day.
I love this camera!
Back onboard and time for more shrimp rolls and roti wraps!
See you later Coco Cay!
Just a screenshot from the app for those that are interested.
Proper representation found!
Back for more fun at the Bamboo Room as the cruise comes to a close!
The Bamboo Room has its own story!
We got off of the ship the next morning with breakfast at Top Hat Deli in Ft. Lauderdale (a favorite of ours) and made our way home...
With two ships in dock when you were in the water park, how were lines? Also, how was the weather (obviously I expect there to be no one there if it was like it had been at MSC Ocean Cay last Monday, AKA about 70 and windy).
I'm also interested to hear how the lines were since I'm sailing there in June and I expect there to be two ships in port on our day at Coco Cay. Also just curious but did you buy your water park ticket in advance or on the ship, and did you notice if they sold half day tickets? I've read some conflicting reports online about the availability of half day tickets as well as price differences purchasing in advance or on the ship.
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