My husband and I just completed our 7th cruise. We have traveled RCCL (Rhapsody & Navigator) Carnival (Ecstasy x 2, Conquest & Sensation) and Princess (Crown). We love cruising and can find good things to say about all of them we have been on but we both agree that Royal Caribbean is the total package for us!
We live about 500 miles away from Galveston and traveled down on Saturday, March 8. We prefer to stay in the Webster, Seabrook area hotels which are half the cost of Galveston hotels. This trip down we stayed at the Quality Inn (Trip Advisor #1 Rating) right by NASA. I booked the room for $82 per night. Great hotel, wonderful beds and nice breakfast.
Sunday, March 9 - Embarkation Day! We get in no hurry especially since we were weary from traveling the day before (about 10 hours) and the time changed. Only about a 30 minute drive to the ship terminal. Traffic was light. Made a fast trip to WalMart for sunscreen, bottled water, Dr. Pepper and Dramamine (just in case). Dropped off luggage at the ship terminal and then proceeded to EZCruise Parking. Dropping off your lugguage prevents you from having to load it onto the van from the parking lot. Hang on to your carry on and don't forget to have your Passports and Boarding Passes with you as well.
Boarded the Navigator of the Seas around 2:00. Went straight to our room, which was ready for us, on deck 7 Aft. Always love being at the back of the boat and sleeping to the gentle rocking of the ship. Our luggage had not arrived yet, but no big deal. Went straight up to the Windjammer to begin a week of feasting. All week long the food in the Windjammer (breakfast and lunch) was great! We always ate in teh MDR for dinner. Loved the Asian foods and the Mexican cuisine. I always enjoy the fish as well. Salad bar was loaded, the fresh pineapple was to die for, pizza, french fries, hamburgers, hot dogs all great but my favorite new dish was an Indian Soup called "Dal" which was on the lunch line everyday. A bean based soup with cilantro, curry, garlic and just enough spice to pack a little heat! Loved it! My husband loved the omelet bar at breakfast and he is a picky egg eater!
Our stateroom attendant was Mochadi from Indonesia. He saw to our every need in an excellent way. Ice, towel animals, turn down service and fresh towels twice a day. He was so professional and always spoke to us in the hallways, in fact, all stateroom attendants were extremely friendly to us each time we passed in the hallway.
Some of the activities and areas on the ship that we loved were the Martini Clinic (loads of fun)Circus Parade on the first night, the ice shows, went to all of the theater shows (all were good), the Casino, Cafe Promenade (great free coffee for a cruise ship) and the Solarium. The hot tubs at the Solarium were hot and powerful (one more so than the other).....wonderful. The Bubba Feathers Band was awesome! Loved their Country Music. This ship really knows how to cater to Texans!
We ate every night in the MDR. This is one of our favorite experiences while cruising. Husband and I had a table for two on the second level (can't remember the name of dining room) with Head Waiter Atul and Assistant Franklyn attending to our every need. Great service, great food! I can't remember the name of our Maitre'd but he came around visiting all the tables every evening. He brought our food, filled our glasses and cut our lobster! This is rare because the Maitre'd is usually not so present. Thank you! Loved the KC Strip Steak (it's a Texas thing) and the Escargot. Salads were all beautiful and all of the fish dishes delightful.
All of the ports were good. We didn't book any excursions through the ship but independently. Upachaya Snorkle in Roatan (very nice), no excursion in Belize, just walked around and as always Eagle Ray Divers in Cozumel for snorkeling and lunch at the Money Bar! Diana, Carlos and Leo showed us a great day!
The time to pack and place all luggage in the hallway came way too soon as always! We loved the Navigator. This ship is the total package! We were a little late coming in to port due to fog but the crew did an outstanding job keeping us all informed and updated. We were supposed to disembark around 9:30 and it was actually 12:00 but as amazing as RCCL is they cannot control the weather. Once back in the cruise terminal we grabbed a porter (HINT: this is a fast ticket out, don't stand in those long lines dragging your luggage) and were through customs and in our car at EZCruise Parking at 1:15. Pulled into our driveway at Midnight. The countdown now begins for Spring Break Cruise 2015!