Living near Galveston, we decided to cruise the Navigator. After experiencing other RC Ships, and other Cruise Lines; I can say this Cruise did not match up to our past Cruises. Here are some high, and mostly low lites of our Trip.
1. Embarkation- Arrived at Galveston Terminal at 11:30AM to long and slow Security Lines. We were in line for about 30 minutes. The Terminal was hot and it was not pleasant. Once through Security, we got in the Check-In Line. This wait was about 20 minutes.
2. Day 1- Boarded- Had a drink in the Pub, (we bought the Drink Packages). We had heard about the Chef's Table on RC ships, and asked the Bartender where we could sign up for it. He told us at Guest Services. My husband went there to register and they told him to go to the Dining Room on Deck 4. He went there and could find no one. He came back, and someone else told him to go to Deck 3's Dining Room. Off he went again, only to discover that the Navigator does not have a Chef's Table offered. Does their Staff know what is going on? My husband was hot from all the running around, and not happy. After our drink, we went on to the Windjammer for Lunch. Typical Cruise Ship Buffet Food. Cabins were ready by 1:00PM. Once we arrived at our Cabin, we opened the Mini-Refrigerator and found a Chocolate Cake with Molded Strawberries on top. It had a date on it which was from the previous passengers. We took it out, put it outside the door, and when we told our Steward about it, he told us it was from the people before. So we figured that, but why would he leave a molded Cake for us to find?
3. Cabin Air Conditioning- Had it going full force, but it was never nice and cool, except for at night.
4. Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle -Our Roll Call had been talking to each other for over a year, and we made sure everyone was reminded of the date, time and location of the Party. Found out the Ship changed the location of the Party, and we had people going to Deck 14 Forward as we had been telling everyone, and the Ship had moved the Party to Deck 3 Aft, (a portion of the Dining Room). I was going back and forth trying to find out was going on, and no one seemed to know anything. People were late to the Event due to the confusion over the location. Once the RC Coordinator of the Party arrived, we had a great get-together, and RC had a nice drawing for gifts. That was appreciated.
5. Specialty Dining Confirmations - We always enjoyed receiving our Specialty Dining Reminder Card left in our Cabin. Now they call you on the phone to remind you of your Reservations. I understand it is cheaper this way, but it's just one more nice thing gone.
6. Specialty Dining - Chop's Grille- We paid the $35. Surcharge each to dine there. Upon our arrival the Maitre'd was on the phone and we could tell he was having a problem. He did not acknowledge us and other couples started forming behind us. Finally someone else came along and seated us. We waited a while for water, had to ask for bread, and got confronted by the Waiter when we asked for a Glass of Wine. He tried to sell us a Bottle of Wine with a 20% discount instead. We explained we had the Drink Package, and he sulked off. Had to ask for a second glass of Wine. The food was very good, but to us, not worth $70. a couple more. Found out the next night that in the Dining Room you can order Filet Mignon from Chop's Grille for only $15.95. Would have been a cheaper route for us.
7. Specialty Dining -Italian Restaurant- Surcharge also, but got great service, even though we were questioned when we ordered 2 vegetables. It was like, "You really want two?". Same problem with Drink Package. They tried to push on us a bottle of Wine.
8. Drink Packages- We purchased our Drink Packages ahead of time. Don't know if we got our money's worth. The Gratuity is included in the Packages, so that is good, and you don't have to sign a receipt each time you get a Drink. But they sure don't seem to want people to use them, always pushing bottles of Wine. In the Dining Room, getting a Drink was slow, and they never offered to get you another one, but people around us with bottles of Wine were getting served graciously. Pool Waiters were few and far between. Always seemed to be lines at the Pool Bars, and the Bartenders were stingy on their alcohol pours.
9. Elevators- Full most of the time. It seemed we waited longer on this Ship than any we have been on before. Is there, maybe less Elevators on the Navigator, than on other Ships?
10. Lunchtime Venues at the Pool- We are used to laying at the Pool, and being able to go to a Hamb./Hot Dog Line for Lunch, where you don't have to get dressed. There was no such place on this Ship. Your Lunch Choice for the Pool was dressing and going to the Windjammer Buffet to eat there, or carry it back to your Lounge Chair.
11. Dis-embarkation-Awful- We used the Carry Your Own Luggage Off Route- At 8:00AM, once we left our Cabin, finally were able to fit on an Elevator, and proceeded to the Gang Way, we were told to go right on off. Thinking this was going to be easy, (saw no lines), we left the Ship, only to see all the lines ahead of us, leading in to the Terminal. We waited, and waited, and it was hot. People were getting off the Ship at Aft and Forward, and were then merging into the same line. Once we got to the front of the line you had to carry your luggage down an Escalator or wait in a long line at one Elevator. We did the Escalator, but it was very dangerous with our bags. Down in the Terminal the Customs line continued. Took about 30 minutes to weave through this one, to then be routed into individual Lines for a Customs Worker. Well, ours was slow, slow, slow, and then she left her Booth with a couple who had some sort of problem. We all stood there helpless, waiting for her to come back, as other lines were moving on and people were exiting. After about 15 minutes, I went back to the gal who was putting us in the lines to tell her our Customs Worker had disappeared, and after about another 10 minutes they decided to mix us in to the other lines. Did not think we would ever get out of that hot Terminal. My nerves were frazzled.