Navigator of the Seas Cruise Review by mwarzecha: Beautiful Ship, Kind and Caring Staff, Won't Cruise Out of Galveston
Overall Member Rating
Beautiful Ship, Kind and Caring Staff, Won't Cruise Out of Galveston
Destination: Western Caribbean
We LOVE the Navigator of the Seas. This was the sixth time we've cruised with RCCI and third time we sailed on Navigator.
- Sabor is delicious, authentic, slightly upscale Mexican food. We enjoyed it so much we went twice. I don't like guacamole and I LOVED their guacamole that's made table-side. More than worth the cover charge. Do NOT eat before you go; we couldn't finish even a quarter of our entrees the first time.
- Izumi is delicious and authentic Japanese food. Great udon noodle bowls, sushi, and vegetable tempura.
- The ship simply looks beautiful. New carpet everywhere. New upholstery that's more modern and has a nicer color pallet of navy blues and whites and soft golds. The hull is freshly painted. The digital way finders were an awesome addition.
- The staff on this ship is what keeps us coming back. We adore Ricardo Mock in the Concierge Lounge. Everyone remembers who you are and treats you like family.
- More LOVE the Mystery Dinner. Do it! It's cheesy if you're used to professional theater, but the cheese is what makes it so fun!
- Giovanni's Table is delicious. Just as good as Portofino's was. We actually liked it a little more because the food is served family-style, so we didn't feel like the portions were too big.
- Always able to find chairs to read, lounge, and get sun in, although we're not married to the pool deck and are happy to find something on a different deck.
- Ship didn't feel overly crowded, even with the addition of so many new staterooms.
- Fitness center is great. Never had to wait for a treadmill. Love that you can run while staring at the ocean.
- We won't cruise out of Galveston again any time soon. The port clearly can't handle the number of guests on a ship this large. We've cruised out of Miami, Tampa, New Orleans, New Jersey, Civitavecchia, and now Galveston, and Galveston was by far the worst experience. It took us slightly longer to check in, even though we're Platinum C&A members and were suite guests. This was partially due to very slow x-ray lines. The disembarkation was the real issue. From the time we left the ship at 8:20 it took us 2 hours and 10 minutes to get through customs. They had 10 agents available for 3600+ guests and they didn't seem to be in any sort of hurry to move things along. Enough said.
- Disappointed that they replaced the nice Bose sound system in the suites with a Playstation. Not a huge deal, though.
- Spa windows are now all covered over with a boring wallpaper because of the added staterooms. Doesn't look or feel like a relaxing oasis at all.
- Very irritating encounter with a rude staff person in the spa. Unaccommodating, insulting, rude, etc. This is our second negative experience with Navigator's spa. Won't be returning there. Hope it's better on Liberty.
- Menu in the Main Dining Room is a little tired, but the food is delicious.
- Shops on the Promenade are a little tired. Nothing new.
- Running track got shorter. Less
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Cabin review: 1298
Beautiful! Spacious. We've stayed in two other Grand Suits on Navigator and this one seemed larger. We think maybe it really is bigger since it's in the middle of the ship. Minimal exterior noise. Lots of room for luggage and clothes. Great bathroom, tub, shower, sinks, etc. Disappointed that the Bose sound systems were replaced with Playstations. Easy to find electrical outlets, especially since there's a plug bar in the entertainment station with a lot of unused outlets. Very comfortable bed. Wish the hairdryers were a little nicer, but I've gotten used to it :) Love the balcony!
Port and Shore Excursions
AWESOME!!! Do the "Barrier Reef Snorkeling Wonders - BE31." Husband and I love to SCUBA and snorkel. This was the best snorkeling I've done so far, including Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Mexico, Roatan, and Belize. Part of the excitement came from our awesome guides. This is a "shore snorkel." We were divided into three groups, so we snorkeled with other advanced snorkelers. They ask you to wear a life preserver, but they don't make you inflate it. We snorkeled for about 45 minutes. Our guides didn't just guide us. They also pointed out and identified all kinds of cool coral, fish, etc. You swim along the drop off for a large portion, which is cool. The island is small and clean. There's a small tiki hut that sells hamburgers, hotdogs, beer, rum and coke, and chips - CASH ONLY. Definitely recommend.
- Houston Hobby seems to be the slightly better airport to fly into because it’s a little smaller, so less busy
- When considering transfer from the airport to Galveston, there’s no difference in price between a limo and a taxi. We didn’t look into hotel shuttle services because we didn’t stay at a hotel, but these do exist at most hotels.
- STAY CLOSE OT THE PORT. We had SO much trouble getting a taxi the morning we embarked. We heard Harbor House hotel is GORGEOUS and costs between $100-$150/night. Plus, you could walk to the port and the Strand, Galveston’s historic district, from there.
- The Strand is great for eating and shopping, but not for more than a day.
- The other side of the island, the side we stayed on, with Pleasure Pier and the Seawall, is only great if it’s warm outside. It’s basically a beach town. Decent restaurants, but the better ones are in the Strand. Great if you want to just go lie on the beach, run, or go in the water.
- Get to the port EARLY for embarkation, around 10:00. RCCI is terminal 2. It’s the slowest port we’ve ever experienced. There’s a lot of confusion when you arrive at the terminal. A lot of people are just standing around. Half are leaving and looking for a taxi. The other half are waiting to check in their luggage. Give your luggage to a porter (tip him), skip the huge crowd, and go straight to check-in. They had three lines for security, with one for Crown and Anchor and suite guests. Suite guests are supposed to have a dedicated x-ray line, but they don’t monitor what line people go through, so that benefit’s out the window. Staff seems to take their sweet time, too.
- We won't cruise out of Galveston again any time soon. The port clearly can't handle the number of guests on a ship this large. We've cruised out of Miami, Tampa, New Orleans, New Jersey, Civitavecchia, and now Galveston, and Galveston was by far the worst experience. Disembarkation was a NIGHTMARE. From the time we left the ship at 8:20 it took us 2 hours and 10 minutes to get through customs. They had 10 agents available for 3600+ guests and they didn't seem to be in any sort of hurry to move things along. Enough said.
Definitely recommend "Shipwreck Snorkel and Beach - RT41." 30 minute bus ride; not a big deal. Nice resort, although definitely aged. Nice beach, sand, and trees. You take a dive boat out and jump off, which is always fun. They ask you to wear a life preserver, but they don't make you inflate it. Great snorkeling. Beautiful fish and coral. We snorkeled for about 45 minutes. Beach is fun - it has monkeys! They're pretty socialized. Bring cash for food and drinks.
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