Royal Caribbean did a nice job of refurbishing the Navigator of the Seas with new restaurants, new carpeting and drapes in the cabins, and some improvements to the sports venues. What they have done which is not going to be good for future cruisers is to continue to add new cabins without increasing the space in the dining rooms, the theaters and the other common areas. In fact, there is less and less space in common areas so with the anticipated 400+ additional passengers in the future it is going to be very crowded on this ship. One of the reasons we have sailed Royal Caribbean for more than 14 cruises is the open spaces and the lack of congestion onboard and that is about to change.
The new food menus are really good changes and, as always, the food is always good in all the venues. One negative we noticed was the lack of flowers on any of the tables, including the Captain's table in the main dining room. We don't know if the change is to save money or just a glitch in contracts but the lack of flowers was noticed by many frequent cruisers and is one of many "little things" that Royal Caribbean has been deleting from our cruises over the past two years. Things like taking away our slippers, then the nighttime chocolates and on this last cruise they even took away the coffee table in our Jr. Suite. So, when breakfast arrived each morning, we were force to eat from trays sitting on the bed. This is not what we were expecting on this cruise.
The Captain, senior staff and crew members were very friendly, helpful and professional. Everyone we met tried very hard to satisfy everyone's needs and wishes. There were a few glitches along the way such as the new system of purchasing photos but, again, everyone tried their best to handle difficult situations. And, the disembarkation was a little disjointed but it was partially caused by a fog delay in docking on return. But, overall, the crew handled problems very well and we were very pleased with all of them.
And, finally, the Port of Galveston is one of the worst layouts of any port we have sailed from in the U.S., other than New Orleans which holds the record as the worst for both parking and traffic flow. Add to that the high probability of fog in the Houston ship channel and you have the makings for frequent delays in both the arrival and departure sailing schedule. There is not much Royal Caribbean can do about the port or the weather but I wanted to voice my opinion of a cruise port that was developed on too little land and with too little regard for the poor travelers who need to get in and out of the port.