UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK
UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK

I've been living in Southampton on and off over the past six years, but having been brought up in London, I have always been intrigued by the towering cruise ships that temporarily dock along the Solent before gathering a new lot of passengers every week. Seeing them has always brought this childlike wonder over me as I had never really experienced cruise ships or the open water as a child. During my years in this seaside city, I've often sat in the green, open Mayflower Park opposite the cruise ship dock, overwhelmed at the sheer size of the boats that frequent the nearby waters and wonder where it will take its passengers on their next adventure and more importantly, how on earth they manage to stay afloat! Seriously though, how DO they do it?!

A few weeks ago I was invited for an afternoon onboard the Navigator of the Seas, which is part of the Royal UK fleet of cruise ships. Now it's hard to put into perspective just how huge this boat is (I've tried to photograph it, but it was just too freakin' massive to fit in the frame without standing a looonnggg way back). Although a cruise holiday has never particularly appealed to me in the past, I was excited to explore the ship for the day!



UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK
UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK

Rather conveniently, I currently only live a ten minute drive away from the docks, so our 10am start on a Sunday wasn't too painful. Usually, I'm making my way back to London for blog events, so it made a nice change to get up a little later and not have to travel too far!

We were greeted by some of the Royal Caribbean team before checking in at the desk with our passports, despite only being on board for the day. The process is a little similar to checking into an airport as you require your passport to board and have to go through the standard security procedures and bag checks. Luckily though, this didn't take too long at all as most of the passengers were leaving the ship to explore Southampton, which left the boat quite empty for us to have free reign of the entire thing.

After a quick coffee at the Navigator's very own Starbucks (yep, it's official, they actually are on every corner of the world, including at sea!), we were given a quick guided tour through the majority of the ship. Now, the Navigator is one of the largest passenger ships in the world so although we couldn't quite cover the entire ship, I think we done pretty well!

We wandered through what was essentially the Navigator's own high street laced with an arcade-style strip of bars, shops and it's very own pub (pictured above). James was quick to point out it had a strange U.S.A. vibe to it, so we immediately had that feeling of being on holiday and could dream we were somewhere outside of Southampton.

UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK
UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK

After wandering through majestic decor of the Navigator's open interior space, we took an elevator up to explore what above deck had to offer. Dotted with vivid, abstract patterned swimming pools, hundreds of deck chairs and a huge screen for film showings, I started to picture the boat docked in a more exotic location. Unfortunately the weather wasn't playing along with our daydreams that particular day!

We stopped off to see what the other blogger/journalist group were getting up to on board, and as it happens they were testing out their surfing skills on the on board flow rider, which pushed out waves at an astonishingly fast rate. Although it looked like SOOOO much fun, I was happy we had made it into the 'foodie group' on that dreary, grey day! I couldn't quite imagine getting down to my swimwear in September!

As well as the flow rider, there was a basketball, football pitch, mini golf and a casual 30ft climbing wall! The idea of being stuck on board a ship for a long period time can be a little daunting, but I can honestly say the recreation options on board are fantastic for anyone that's active or a sports lover. We were also shown the gym just below above deck, which was a sufficient size and had every piece of gym equipment you would ever need, so there's no worrying about losing track of your fitness regime whilst at sea.

The next stop on our tight schedule was to have a quick mooch around the fancier suites that the Navigator has to offer its passengers. We saw an executive suite, a junior suite and a balcony room, which were all incredibly spacious and I promise you, they were extra fancy! I personally felt most at home in the executive suite, which had its very own bar. I mean, I can just picture myself swanning around my suite in a robe with a gin and tonic to hand! The largest suite of them all even had a piano at the end of the bed, but maybe that's a little excessive... or not. Maybe I can see myself in a robe, gin and tonic in hand and brushing my fingers across the keys of a grand piano? Maybe.

Although we didn't get to see the interior rooms, we were told they have screens inside them that project a real-time view of the ocean outside the ship, so it doesn't feel so claustrophobic. 

UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK
UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK

We then headed back below deck and to meet up with the ship's executive chef, Russell Henderson, who guided us around the Navigator's kitchens and galleys. We were absolutely blown away by the sheer amount of food that is required to feed the passengers and staff every single day. The staff work ruthlessly all day stirring giant soup bowls, baking fresh bread and making sure food is constant

It's important for the kitchen staff switch up the food options, so that everyone on board has a greater variety of meals to choose from. In fact, there are nine different restaurants on board including a absolutely HUGE buffet hall that serves every cuisine that you could possibly think of! You'd be spoilt for choice if you ever decided to take a cruise on board the Navigator.

UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK
UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK

It was then time for my favourite part of my day, and predictably it involved alcohol and food! YES. After a quick cocktail demonstration with the ship's head mixologist who showed us the absolute wonders of a wasabi cocktail, we eagerly took our places for lunch at Japanese restaurant and sushi specialist, Izumi. By this point our stomaches were rumbling and wreaking havoc after a long walk touring the sizeable ship. 

 We were introduced to the head chef and founder of Izumi, Travis Kamiyama, who absolutely radiated passion and determination in his work. He demonstrated the art and careful curation that goes behind every sushi dish he delivers and believe me after witnessing such a demonstration, it really is an art form. Every dish is so carefully considered and pieced together with such precision in order to make it look darn beautiful; in fact, it was so vibrant and pretty that it was almost difficult to devour.

UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK
UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK

Unfortunately, I have never enjoyed seafood so I was a little skeptical about how I was going to feel about a sushi lunch. I mean, I cannot stand cooked fish, let alone raw fish *shudder*. However, Izumi catered exactly to my needs and created several vegetarian dishes for me that including some of the most incredible tofu I've ever tasted! Mmm, I've not stopped thinking about that tofu since my afternoon on board the ship. 

After a while the gorgeous colours of the seafood based sushi looked so inviting that I had to at least allow myself a little taste. Usually I would never even consider eating anything that once lived in the sea, but the temptation was just too much. IT JUST LOOKED SO BEAUTIFUL! Predictably and unfortunately, the sushi wasn't quite enough to turn my tastebuds, so I demolished the rest of my veggie serving.

UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK
UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK
UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK

I've always said that I would never be interested in a cruise as a holiday; there's something about being trapped on a ship, even if it's a huge one, that has me feeling a little claustrophobic.

 Surprisingly, my day on board exploring the Navigator may have left me feeling a little more open minded about the option of a cruise. Although I won't be packing my suitcase for a two-week long venture any time, I've started to crave a short cruise break that's a little closer to home. Maybe a little jaunt around Europe? Who's joining me?


FOLLOW ME: BLOGLOVIN' | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK
UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK

I've been living in Southampton on and off over the past six years, but having been brought up in London, I have always been intrigued by the towering cruise ships that temporarily dock along the Solent before gathering a new lot of passengers every week. Seeing them has always brought this childlike wonder over me as I had never really experienced cruise ships or the open water as a child. During my years in this seaside city, I've often sat in the green, open Mayflower Park opposite the cruise ship dock, overwhelmed at the sheer size of the boats that frequent the nearby waters and wonder where it will take its passengers on their next adventure and more importantly, how on earth they manage to stay afloat! Seriously though, how DO they do it?!

A few weeks ago I was invited for an afternoon onboard the Navigator of the Seas, which is part of the Royal UK fleet of cruise ships. Now it's hard to put into perspective just how huge this boat is (I've tried to photograph it, but it was just too freakin' massive to fit in the frame without standing a looonnggg way back). Although a cruise holiday has never particularly appealed to me in the past, I was excited to explore the ship for the day!



UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK
UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK

Rather conveniently, I currently only live a ten minute drive away from the docks, so our 10am start on a Sunday wasn't too painful. Usually, I'm making my way back to London for blog events, so it made a nice change to get up a little later and not have to travel too far!

We were greeted by some of the Royal Caribbean team before checking in at the desk with our passports, despite only being on board for the day. The process is a little similar to checking into an airport as you require your passport to board and have to go through the standard security procedures and bag checks. Luckily though, this didn't take too long at all as most of the passengers were leaving the ship to explore Southampton, which left the boat quite empty for us to have free reign of the entire thing.

After a quick coffee at the Navigator's very own Starbucks (yep, it's official, they actually are on every corner of the world, including at sea!), we were given a quick guided tour through the majority of the ship. Now, the Navigator is one of the largest passenger ships in the world so although we couldn't quite cover the entire ship, I think we done pretty well!

We wandered through what was essentially the Navigator's own high street laced with an arcade-style strip of bars, shops and it's very own pub (pictured above). James was quick to point out it had a strange U.S.A. vibe to it, so we immediately had that feeling of being on holiday and could dream we were somewhere outside of Southampton.

UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK
UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK

After wandering through majestic decor of the Navigator's open interior space, we took an elevator up to explore what above deck had to offer. Dotted with vivid, abstract patterned swimming pools, hundreds of deck chairs and a huge screen for film showings, I started to picture the boat docked in a more exotic location. Unfortunately the weather wasn't playing along with our daydreams that particular day!

We stopped off to see what the other blogger/journalist group were getting up to on board, and as it happens they were testing out their surfing skills on the on board flow rider, which pushed out waves at an astonishingly fast rate. Although it looked like SOOOO much fun, I was happy we had made it into the 'foodie group' on that dreary, grey day! I couldn't quite imagine getting down to my swimwear in September!

As well as the flow rider, there was a basketball, football pitch, mini golf and a casual 30ft climbing wall! The idea of being stuck on board a ship for a long period time can be a little daunting, but I can honestly say the recreation options on board are fantastic for anyone that's active or a sports lover. We were also shown the gym just below above deck, which was a sufficient size and had every piece of gym equipment you would ever need, so there's no worrying about losing track of your fitness regime whilst at sea.

The next stop on our tight schedule was to have a quick mooch around the fancier suites that the Navigator has to offer its passengers. We saw an executive suite, a junior suite and a balcony room, which were all incredibly spacious and I promise you, they were extra fancy! I personally felt most at home in the executive suite, which had its very own bar. I mean, I can just picture myself swanning around my suite in a robe with a gin and tonic to hand! The largest suite of them all even had a piano at the end of the bed, but maybe that's a little excessive... or not. Maybe I can see myself in a robe, gin and tonic in hand and brushing my fingers across the keys of a grand piano? Maybe.

Although we didn't get to see the interior rooms, we were told they have screens inside them that project a real-time view of the ocean outside the ship, so it doesn't feel so claustrophobic. 

UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK
UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK

We then headed back below deck and to meet up with the ship's executive chef, Russell Henderson, who guided us around the Navigator's kitchens and galleys. We were absolutely blown away by the sheer amount of food that is required to feed the passengers and staff every single day. The staff work ruthlessly all day stirring giant soup bowls, baking fresh bread and making sure food is constant

It's important for the kitchen staff switch up the food options, so that everyone on board has a greater variety of meals to choose from. In fact, there are nine different restaurants on board including a absolutely HUGE buffet hall that serves every cuisine that you could possibly think of! You'd be spoilt for choice if you ever decided to take a cruise on board the Navigator.

UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK
UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK

It was then time for my favourite part of my day, and predictably it involved alcohol and food! YES. After a quick cocktail demonstration with the ship's head mixologist who showed us the absolute wonders of a wasabi cocktail, we eagerly took our places for lunch at Japanese restaurant and sushi specialist, Izumi. By this point our stomaches were rumbling and wreaking havoc after a long walk touring the sizeable ship. 

 We were introduced to the head chef and founder of Izumi, Travis Kamiyama, who absolutely radiated passion and determination in his work. He demonstrated the art and careful curation that goes behind every sushi dish he delivers and believe me after witnessing such a demonstration, it really is an art form. Every dish is so carefully considered and pieced together with such precision in order to make it look darn beautiful; in fact, it was so vibrant and pretty that it was almost difficult to devour.

UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK
UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK

Unfortunately, I have never enjoyed seafood so I was a little skeptical about how I was going to feel about a sushi lunch. I mean, I cannot stand cooked fish, let alone raw fish *shudder*. However, Izumi catered exactly to my needs and created several vegetarian dishes for me that including some of the most incredible tofu I've ever tasted! Mmm, I've not stopped thinking about that tofu since my afternoon on board the ship. 

After a while the gorgeous colours of the seafood based sushi looked so inviting that I had to at least allow myself a little taste. Usually I would never even consider eating anything that once lived in the sea, but the temptation was just too much. IT JUST LOOKED SO BEAUTIFUL! Predictably and unfortunately, the sushi wasn't quite enough to turn my tastebuds, so I demolished the rest of my veggie serving.

UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK
UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK
UK Travel Blogger Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship Tour Royal UK

I've always said that I would never be interested in a cruise as a holiday; there's something about being trapped on a ship, even if it's a huge one, that has me feeling a little claustrophobic.

 Surprisingly, my day on board exploring the Navigator may have left me feeling a little more open minded about the option of a cruise. Although I won't be packing my suitcase for a two-week long venture any time, I've started to crave a short cruise break that's a little closer to home. Maybe a little jaunt around Europe? Who's joining me?


FOLLOW ME: BLOGLOVIN' | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

2 comments

  1. I've been lucky enough to go on a few Royal Caribbean cruises and I've loved them! x

    Heather | Of Beauty & Nothingness x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ahhhhhh such a cool experience! Always loved seeing the ships come in!! xx

    abbieloves.com

    ReplyDelete

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