From waterslides to blow-dry bar with bubbly, Navigator of the Seas' $115m amp-up

The Perfect Storm features Royal Caribbean's first aqua coaster plus a head-first mat racer The Perfect Storm features Royal Caribbean's first aqua coaster plus a head-first mat racer

A new Caribbean poolscape, two daring waterslides, the first blow-dry bar at sea, Insta-worthy nightlife and dining are all part of the $115m modernization of Navigator of the Seas. This will take place before the ship's first cruise from Miami on Feb. 24 and, beginning in May, Navigator will offer short Bahamas sailings, becoming the first to visit Perfect Day at CocoCay.

'After launching our Royal Amplified modernization program with Independence of the Seas and then redefining short getaways with Mariner of the Seas, we are challenging ourselves to take it to the next level. Every detail matters, and we’ve mapped out an unmatched combination of innovative features and experiences for this top-to-bottom transformation of Navigator of the Seas,' said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International.

More pool, new bar, Johnny Rockets Express

Navigator’s top decks will get new elements, from bow to stern.

The Perfect Storm brings a duo of waterslides. The Blaster is Royal Caribbean's first aqua coaster and what it claims is the longest waterslide at sea. Adventure-seekers will hop on a two-person raft that propels them through more than 800 feet of hills, drops and straightaways and over the side of the ship. On Riptide, riders will plunge down a head-first mat racer, finishing through a translucent tube with endless ocean views. Signature Royal Caribbean features like the FlowRider surf simulator and rock-climbing wall will round out the additions.

The reimagined poolscape features a resort-style deck with more pool for everyone, including a Splash Pad for tots. New to the scene is The Lime and Coconut, a two-level bar for sunset cocktails as pool days transform into pool nights with extended hours, live music and a 'rooftop' deck. Casual grab-and-go spots on deck include Mexican street fare at El Loco Fresh and American classics at the first Johnny Rockets Express.

To Dry For, Bamboo Room, Playmakers, Starbucks

Having originally debuted on Voyager-class ships, the Royal Promenade will tout new restaurants, retail and nightlife. To Dry For becomes the first stand-alone blow-dry bar at sea, offering blowouts, hairstyling and polish changes, plus a selection of wines and champagnes.

The Bamboo Room, first introduced on Mariner of the Seas, is a Polynesian-themed watering hole with kitschy-cool cocktails and tiki-chic décor. Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade features 50 big-screen televisions, tabletop games, tournaments, trivia, a new Owner’s Box VIP room and a menu of classic bar fare and brews.

Popular Royal Caribbean restaurants join a refreshed Chops Grille steak house. Being added are Jamie’s Italian for celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s rustic Italian dishes and homemade pastas. Hooked Seafood, which debuted on Symphony of the Seas, purveys lobster, crab claws, local fish and just-shucked oysters. Also new on board will be Starbucks, with an extensive menu of drinks and pastries.

Adventure Ocean redesign

A getaway on board Navigator means time off for parents and kids, with activities and experiences for every family member. There will be glow-in-the-dark laser tag with Battle for Planet Z in Studio B, mini-golf and the Royal Escape Room: The Observatorium, where family, friends and foes team up to solve new puzzles before time runs out.

Younger kids get Royal Caribbean’s new take on the Adventure Ocean youth program in a newly designed open, free play space. The teen areas will also sport updates with a redesigned Living Room, as well as a new 'hidden' entrance and outdoor deck.

From PortMiami, Navigator will first sail a series of five- and nine-night Caribbean cruises before switching to three-night weekend and four-night weekday sailings to the Bahamas, starting in May.

This will be the first ship to visit Perfect Day at CocoCay, with its Thrill Waterpark including the tallest waterslide in North America; Oasis Lagoon, the Caribbean’s largest freshwater pool; Up, Up and Away, a helium balloon that floats up to 450 for the highest vantage point in The Bahamas; Chill Island for some R&R on the beach; and the action-packed South Beach with sports, paddle-boarding, glass-bottom kayaking and more.

Royal Amplified tops $1bn

Royal Caribbean’s investment of more than $1bn in the Royal Amplified fleet modernization effort—up from $900m originally announced—spans 10 ships in four years.

Posted 01 November 2018

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review