96 Galveston Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Cruise Reviews

The Good: The ship is most luxuriously decorated. Lots of amazing photo ops. We felt good just being there. Lots to do and see. Evening dining was great. (We were alone and chose 5:30 traditional dining with a table for 6. It ... Read More
The Good: The ship is most luxuriously decorated. Lots of amazing photo ops. We felt good just being there. Lots to do and see. Evening dining was great. (We were alone and chose 5:30 traditional dining with a table for 6. It was a great social success.) The food, service and table appointment equals the best upscale restaurants in Galveston - and is included with the cruise price. RC spends a lot of effort promoting specialty dining, but we were very happy with "our" table. The evening service waitstaff is more than amazing - you will be glad to tip them extra! The Bad: The mattress was worth complaining about- but to no avail. Our bed was as poor as camping in a sleeping bag and air mattress. I have stayed in Motel Six and had better rest. Bad. The Ugly: Galveston port is under construction, and since they receive no tax money, it is pay-as-you-go slow. The planned upgrades will hopefully take care of embark and debark problems. The food/service is so-so in the Windjammer- the free buffet is unimaginative, but it offers the best views of any aboard. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean, and overall, we were pleased with the Navigator. However, the Navigator was on its last cruise out of Galveston. The day that we disembarked, it was on its way to Florida. The replacement ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean, and overall, we were pleased with the Navigator. However, the Navigator was on its last cruise out of Galveston. The day that we disembarked, it was on its way to Florida. The replacement will be Liberty of the Seas which is a larger ship. Embarkation: It was great. We arrived at the pier at 11:00am and were on the ship by 11:45. No waiting at all. Our cabin was ready by 1:00pm as promised. Ship: We really liked the Promenade located on Deck 5. This deck included most of the stores, shops, etc. all in one place. The Cafe Promenade was nice to sit and people watch. We were travelling with 2 friends and spent quite a lot of time there. The one thing that was annoying to us was how the sales people tried to whip people into a frenzy when they had sales. They kept counting down the time until the items were available for sale. By the time of the actual event, the people were lining up 6 deep to buy a $10 t-shirt. However, the crew members were very friendly and courteous. Dining: We ate at Sabor, Giovanni's Table, and Chops Grille. Overall, the food was good. Although at Chops Grille, my husband and our friend ordered their steak medium and it came out almost raw. They sent it back but it still wasn't cooked enough. The service at all the restaurants was excellent. We tried My Time Dining and really liked it. The food was ok, not extraordinary. Our servers were great. We ate breakfast and lunch at the Windjammer, and were mostly pleased. There is a wide variety of food so it isn't hard to find something you like. The best thing is about the buffet is that there were no long lines like on Carnival. It may be the way they have the various stations configured but we never had to stand in line. Entertainment: The ice show was entertaining. The Headliner show was good. The show on the last night was cancelled due to rough weather. We hit the casino several nights and actually broke even. We had good weather in Cozumel and just shopped a little. This was our 5th trip to Cozumel so we weren't that excited about excursions. It was raining in Grand Cayman so our stingray excursion was cancelled which was ok due to the weather. We walked around for a while and did some more shopping. We went to Red Stripe Beach in Jamaica and it was actually good. We swam and enjoyed the sun for a while. The shuttle comes about every hour so you don't have to stay the entire time. The last night we had to sail through some sort of disturbance and the ship was really rolling and rocking. We were extremely glad to see Galveston. Disembarkation was a breeze. We carried our luggage and were off the ship and on our way home by 7:45am. All in all, I would say that we had a good time on this cruise. Of course, we were with good friends which made it much more enjoyable than if we had been by ourselves. If we cruise again, we will definitely do it with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Just got off the Navigator of the seas after a 7 day cruise that took us from Galveston to Roatan, Belize and Cozumel before returning home… Hurricane Patricia had us worrying, but the cruise went off without much of a hitch. Captain ... Read More
Just got off the Navigator of the seas after a 7 day cruise that took us from Galveston to Roatan, Belize and Cozumel before returning home… Hurricane Patricia had us worrying, but the cruise went off without much of a hitch. Captain decided to keep us over night due to the weather (35mph sustained winds and rain…. Good call mate). We got off around 11am the following day and were informed that the itinerary would be reversed due to the weather. Nobody seemed to care and I actually thought it was better to have the two sea days at the beginning of the trip rather than the end. Gave us time to get to know the boat. The Navigator itself and the Staff…. I’ve read a lot of reviews recently about how poorly conditioned the Navigator is. BS…. She’s beautiful... I actually took the time to try and find the “worn carpet” everyone talks about or the horrible sewage smells. Didn’t find any…. Anywhere…. Anytime. Forget about it…. Anyone who thinks this ship isn’t clean is full of it. Our ship was sold out and so I was expecting some issues with pool chairs and lines at the bars… but I really didn’t experience much of either (even on sea days). The bar service could be a little slow at times, but I think that was more to do with their payment system rather than the staff. Each time anyone orders a drink, the bartenders have to swipe your sea pass card. I was with my wife and so each time we went to the bar the bartender had to swipe each of our cards, wait for the slips to print and then find a pen and walk them over to us. This usually took longer than it did to make the drink or grab the beer. I went on my first Royal Caribbean Cruise back in 1998 and so it’s been nearly 20 years since my first experience with them. Unfortunately those who write about the decline of the food and the service are probably in my boat (no pun intended). My dinning experience 20 years ago, was amazing… the food in the main dining room was amazing…. And the waiters were amazing. It seems Royal has moved the “AMAZING” parts of that sentence to the specialty dining areas on the boat (more about that later), because they are definitely not in the MDR. Our waiter was good… very attentive and nice enough… but the bar waiter was a joke. If you want to have a drink in the MDR bring it with you or plan on heading out to the bar on 4 to grab it between courses, because you’ll never see him and if you do, you won’t see him twice if you need another. The food was not horrible, but it was just what you’d expect from a kitchen turning out 2000 meals for dinner. Portions were small, however they did allow you to order multiple items. Everything I had was good…. But not melt in your mouth fantastic. Likewise in the Windjammer…. Food was what you’d expect for a buffet. The windjammer was the only place on the ship where I felt there was a crowd. I guess free food does that to people. We elected to try two specialty restaurants….Giovannis and Sabor. Both were fantastic for different reasons, but the food and the service was excellent at both. Our cabin steward (Bernadette), seemed nice, but quite honestly we saw her twice the whole week. Our room was always clean and we got the obligatory towel animals, but not really much more than that. In her defense, we did not spend much time in our room. Shows Elton John Tribute… OMG. HYSTERICAL! I don’t remember the guys name, but man was that a fun show to watch. Great music and FUNNY! Adult Comedy…… Very, very funny…. actual account of his interaction with one of the ladies in the audience. “What do you do for a living sweetheart?” ….. I’m a admission clerk at a senior living facility. “Well…. That’s an easy job…. You’re (expletive deleted) old….. come on in” The Quest: We heard a lot about it and decided to try it and it was funny, but felt like there were too many veterans that knew what to bring and it kind of took the fun out of it. Pool Deck Activities….. Our Activities Manager was named Cuddy and he was very entertaining. If there is anything happening on the pool deck and he’s running it…. Go see it. Belly Flop Contest, Sexiest Man, Pool Volleyball…. All fantastic due in large part to Cuddy’s amazing MC abilities. Tenders: Fortunately we booked our Belize excursion for 10 am rather than early at 8. We did this because we had heard the tender process in Belize is a nightmare. Never has a statement been more true. Our boat was sold out and beginning at 730am people were lined up to get a tender ticket. In addition, folks were lining the steps to try and get off the ship and the elevators were so busy that they were basically gridlocked. Because we didn’t have the pressure to get off right away due to our later excursion time, we took some time to walk around the top deck of the ship. We headed back down to get a tender ticket about 30 min later and both the tender ticket line as well as the line in the stairwells to get off the ship were empty. Good call!!! Gym/Fitness... I'm an avid runner and tried to run every morning on the boat. The first day I tried the gym treadmills which was too packed and so I bailed to the top deck track (8 times around equals a mile). It's nice, but it's windy and crowded with walkers, runners and just folks just meandering about. Best find for running was on deck four outside. There is a walk way that runs all the way around the ship and it's covered by the upper decks. It's flat almost nobody there for some reason. The only hitch was the stairways on the port and starboard sides of the bow. Basically, I ran both straightaways and the aft portion and walked the steps up and down at the bow. great workout. Embark and Disembark... Galveston is a joke. Nearly ZERO instructions or signage as to what to do or where to go. Everyone has to check their bags with a porter before getting in the security line. We saw a number of people wait in the long security line only to be turned away when they got to the front because they hadn't checked their bags. We got there with the crowds (and a few buses) and so it was packed, but it did move pretty well. Getting off the boat was a bit of a hassle as well. We decided to carry our own bags off and I think that helped. People were complaining they couldn't find their bags etc. Royal has a decent system for grouping bags in piles based on numbers and that's essentially what they were.... piles. People would grab a bag, thinking it's theirs and then just drop it wherever they were when they realized they had the wrong one. Obviously that bag wasnt' where the owner thought it would be when they got to the pile. Customs was slow. I found it odd that the alcohol tax folks were waitiing outside of customs and nearly outside the terminal. They were literally just asking folks if they had alcohol. For those who said yes, they were charged a TX tax right there on the spot. My advice.... put your bottles in your luggage and when they ask if you bought any alcohol.... your answer is "Nope". :) Tips for Royal… Show something on the TV during sea days other than the Royal Caribbean screensaver. We were at Sea on a Saturday and it would have been nice to have some football up there. Allow people to run tabs at bars to cut down on the service time. Stop trying to sell everything all over the boat. This became very annoying. I don’t need to be met each morning by somebody trying to get me to buy a sushi class or a beer tasting for $40. I’m on your boat to relax and enjoy a week at sea…. Not be bombarded by sales staff. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
My wife and I along with another couple booked this cruise last year due to some great deals and incentives at the time. Never having sailed out of Galveston or ever been to Texas, we thought it would be fun to try. Arriving three days ... Read More
My wife and I along with another couple booked this cruise last year due to some great deals and incentives at the time. Never having sailed out of Galveston or ever been to Texas, we thought it would be fun to try. Arriving three days early, we were able to see San Antonio and then drove to Houston staying in the Clear Lake area for two nights. We all agreed the best part of Texas was the people (yall) and the worst would be the traffic. Using Lighthouse parking for our rental car, we arrived at the terminal around 11am only to find that a medical emergency had shut it down, leaving the crowd to build up until they opened doors making a large mob for security screening. It took us about an hour to get through that, then easily on board around noonish. The ship is truly stunning to see, our friend was able to ride the flowrider early while there were no crowds and he enjoyed it. The buffet was quite crowded and the one feature we did not like about the ship was having no outside areas either serving food or drinks and nowhere to sit outside and eat a meal. One had to go all the way into the back of the ship to get food or iced drinks, and for sanitary reasons they were handling all drinks by staff, so you could not just go up and dispense your own ice or drinks, but grab a filled glass and pour it into your own thermal mug in our case. The food in the buffet was fine with good variety, however at peak times getting a table would be frustrating. Our cabins were on deck seven just aft of the hump superior balconies, nice and large enough but the design of the closet next to the bathroom door caused issues for us. One day the water pressure was lost entirely while my wife was showering, a call to maintainence told us they were working on a fix, and a few minutes later it came back. The same day the desalinization system went down and they were trying to serve this salty water to crew and guest alike. We ate at Chops that night and they served us this awful water, we could not drink it, so they comped us Evian as they should, however they were obviously trying to keep it hush hush, leaving the guest to speak of it on our own. I found out the next day from our waiter at dinner the entire ship was affected, my only thought is to RCI please be honest with us and tell us. The next day it tasted fine. Our service and food in the dining room was exceptional, and we enjoyed our time with Leonardo and Rommel much. The sailing was rough seas the first day and then the weather was fantastic other than that pesky hurricane Patricia the really messed with our debarkation and drive back to the airport. All in all it was a great cruise for us all. I've read other complain about the coffee however they do serve Seattles Best and it is drip coffee makers both in the Windjammer and Promenade Cafe, we thought it was very good, except the night the water went salty at which time they tried to serve us the coffee and it was undrinkable. One other strange thing we all noticed was the lack of bar servers the first half of the trip. Nowhere at any pool or even in a bar/lounge would you see any bar service, we'd have to walk to the bar and get it ourselves. We thought this was really weird given the profit on alcohol and built in customers. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We had a great time. Our drive to Galveston from Oklahoma was good except for a 20 minute traffic jam in Dallas and a 10 minute traffic jam in Houston. We booked one night at Moody Gardens Hotel Resort to stay before our cruise on ... Read More
We had a great time. Our drive to Galveston from Oklahoma was good except for a 20 minute traffic jam in Dallas and a 10 minute traffic jam in Houston. We booked one night at Moody Gardens Hotel Resort to stay before our cruise on Galveston Island. I am serious about customer service and I must say it is exceptional here! ​The next day we drove about 10 minutes and parked at the Galveston Park & Cruise in-door lot and walked across the street to the cruise terminal. Embarkation was smooth OUTSTANDING. I hate mustering but at least our station was inside the Main Dining Room. The Navigator is old but beautiful. There was some rusting here and there around the ship as well as on the balcony of our room. The couch in the room was already showing some wear (so soon after renovation?); however everything was very very clean including the bathroom. The beds were CRAZY HARD! Our Cabin Attendant Maritza made life a lot better by adding several blankets to the mattress. In Cozumel, we did the tequila tasting tour and have probably acquired more knowledge about tequila than we ever thought possible. We learned about "clear" tequila, "rested" tequila, and the best: "aged" tequila -- tasted it (some in the group should have held back...lol) and were able to purchase it to bring home. We were served margaritas and great tacos, beans, rice, guacamole, sodas, water, etc.; watched a pole performance; toured a small cultural museum; and, shopped. At the end of the tour, we were presented ​​​​with ​​​certificates, we are now certified tequila tasters. You should have seen how tipsy Evette was. She is a light weight. ​Roatan Honduras was EXCELLENT! We did the dolphin encounter. I was very nervous initially -- that went away as soon as I got in the water. A locked box is provided to store your personal items. We were all separated into groups, the trainers encourage smaller groups for more interaction with the dolphins. I have never experienced anything like it and I cannot imagine anything better. The trainers are informative and it was very apparent how fond they were of the dolphins. Gosh, is it weird to say the dolphins were so sweet? They were like very well behaved (and at times mischievous) kids and very smart. We stood about waist deep in the water to touch them, take pictures with them, and watch them perform and eat! Would do this again in a flash! Best excursion I've participated in hands down! The trip back was 2 days straight cruising and the Gulf was kinda shaky. I won a cruise for 2, for 5 days, at Bingo that we have to take within 365 days of winning it. I was too lightheaded and breathless after I yelled BINGOOOOOO! The same guy that had me signing the paperwork for the prize was the same guy that awarded me a Royal Caribbean hat the night before when we won the Michael Jackson trivia contest. It was too funny! We were able to forget the shakiness of the seas for a little while at least. Back in Galveston, disembarking was a complete pain - OMG. I thought doing self carry would make things easier, NOT! I won't do that again. We picked up the car and made good time getting thru Houston and Dallas and this time hit a construction traffic jam in Oklahoma for over an hour. Unbelievable! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
1) Royal Caribbean does not allow criticism, just accolades in their web reviews. 2) Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines are now floating retail malls intent on selling you every minute on board. Even in the food service in their ... Read More
1) Royal Caribbean does not allow criticism, just accolades in their web reviews. 2) Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines are now floating retail malls intent on selling you every minute on board. Even in the food service in their main dining room (in the past superb), their menus are becoming dull and not as well prepared as though promoting their expanding "on board paid" restaurants now provide the best they have to offer. Main dining table service remains excellent. 3) After five cruises, the dancing and singing shows remain great (especially the Broadway Fever performance with Margaryta Garmash-Kyiv and Levgen Tkachenko / 5 stars) as well as the ice dancing and the Platters. However, they could have left the comics on shore. Personally, we would have preferred to see more of the Royal Caribbean Dancers and Singers. 4) It bothers us that some have historically slighted the service crew on deserved tips (their primary income), but Royal Caribbean now processes passenger automatic tips. You have to go to the desk to opt out if you want to direct your gratuities to those working their best for you in the now "WOW" program. 5) There is no space provided on the Royal Caribbean survey for anything like the above and "that" is a management issue. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Very nice ship; we had no trouble getting on board 25- 35 minutes from arrival at port to boarding ship. We showed up about 15 minutes before our schedule time so we were ready to go when our boarding time came. Seems a lot of people ... Read More
Very nice ship; we had no trouble getting on board 25- 35 minutes from arrival at port to boarding ship. We showed up about 15 minutes before our schedule time so we were ready to go when our boarding time came. Seems a lot of people were not prepared with paperwork or didn't know their scheduled boarding time, but otherwise it was a smooth process. We were able to drop our carry on luggage in the cabin before our our cabin was ready which was nice so we didn't have to lug it around the rest of the morning. Common areas were clean and easy to see. Most of the shops were closed because were still in port, but we wandered around and located all of the ones we planned to visiting later. Show tickets were free, but only distributed a specific times which was a little of a bother, but no big deal. After the mandatory muster drills and departure, we were able to start to enjoy the cruise. The ship was booked to capacity, but we never really felt crowded. We ate at 3 of the specialty restaurants during the week. Sabor, the Mexican restaurant, was nothing special; just OK. Giovanni's was very nice, good menu and the food was prepared well. Chops Grill was a good steak house, my filet was done to perfection. The main dining room was also very nice and the menu had enough variety to meet everyone's taste. The food was very good and service was more than adequate. Table mates were nice and dinner conversation was pleasant, everyone was polite and welcome to share experiences on the ship and on their shore excursions. We had a balcony cabin and enjoyed breakfast out there most mornings and enjoyed toasting the sunsets most evenings. The on board entertainment was good - the ice show was excellent. Just not enough shows in the theaters. The nightclubs offered a venue for all tastes. Hip-hop, folk rock,to 50' & 60s music. Drinks were well made and almost all brands were available. We did port shopping at all 3 locations, nothing special, mostly souvenir stuff, but if you looked hard you could find some nice items. Our shore excursions were all that we expected them to be and the tour operators were nice. The snorkeling trip in Belize was a little too crowded. My mask was knocked off a couple of times by people kicking me in the face. About 1/3 too many people on this one trip. The one negative thing I could say about the entire trip, was the departure. Getting you luggage and going through customs was a real zoo. The port Authority really needs to fix this. All in all it was a very nice trip and we would cruise with Royal Caribbean again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
The Navigator of the Seas was recently refurbished and it shows. It is clean and well kept. We drove to the port and had none of the problems stated in some other reviews. We used Lighthouse Parking and recommend them. We arrived at the ... Read More
The Navigator of the Seas was recently refurbished and it shows. It is clean and well kept. We drove to the port and had none of the problems stated in some other reviews. We used Lighthouse Parking and recommend them. We arrived at the ship at 11:00 and were onboard in 10 minutes. Embarkation was just as smooth. We took our own bags off. We chose the earliest departure time of 7:30 and were through customs, picked up by a Lighthouse van and in our car before 8:00! No problems taking the 2 allowed bottles of wine in a carry on bag onboard. Room was fine..clean ...good bed...and attendent, Arlene, was excellent. Location very good and very quiet. Balcony just large enough for table and two chairs. I took own shampoo and soaps so no guessing as to what it was in shower dispenser. There are a lot of activities onboard. Fun to watch Flo Rider folks and rock climbers. Pro football games shown on huge outdoor screen. Best shows were the Ice Dancing and comedy of Ettamae. Very few children on-board as school in session..nice! Food good..but repetitive in Windjammer. Service good with staff trying to please. We did My Time Dining and always got time we wanted. Service in dining room very attentive. Promenade food a good touch as always available. Overall, clean ship with attentive staff. We did not use ship excursions but booked others on line. Be aware that tender in Belize is more like a 25 minute ferry ride if you schedule any private tour there. On Roatan , Mayan Eden is a great tour spot and highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We like cruising. Our room was bigger than expected and the bathroom not surprisingly small but usable. Our room attendant Emmanuel was professional and kept our room very tidy. It was nice to always come back to a clean room. The main ... Read More
We like cruising. Our room was bigger than expected and the bathroom not surprisingly small but usable. Our room attendant Emmanuel was professional and kept our room very tidy. It was nice to always come back to a clean room. The main room was fine dining and wished I brought more formal dresses to wear for dinner. Our waiters Melvin and Rohan were very attentive. We made sure to get a table with them each night. Lot of activities to do and watch on the high seas. Our favorite excursion Tabyana Beach Break - white beaches, clear water, seeing different kinds of fishes when we snorkeled, lunch & light beverages included. Now we know the reason people love cruising. Same hotel & service everyday and wake up in a different city most days. Lessons learned. 1. Ask for more details when getting advice. We did not book an excursion in Cozumel and we got taken. Don't book an excursion in Cozumel, grab a taxi, etc. Spent $60 on a taxi trip to a small white beach full of drunk men. My husband and I were the only tourists and no visible taxis around (except the one we took). We immediately went back to our ship and stayed there. Our advice pay extra for the ship excursion when in Cozumel. 2. The excursion tickets have two times listed. Our Belize excursion tickets listed Meeting time 7:45 am and departing time 8:30 am. We arrived at the meeting place at 7:30 am. RC ship director started tendering groups at 7:45 but did not specify which time she was using. She was calling groups by time and we missed our time. Others also missed their call time. To RC's credit we got to go on different and cheaper excursion and RC refunded us the difference. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
The ship was fun. The only problem we had was one of the showers at the adult pool did not work. We had great food and the staff was wonderful. We sailed to Cozumel, Belize and Roatan. We had a wonderful time at all three ports. We ... Read More
The ship was fun. The only problem we had was one of the showers at the adult pool did not work. We had great food and the staff was wonderful. We sailed to Cozumel, Belize and Roatan. We had a wonderful time at all three ports. We sailed out of Galveston and boarding was quick and easy, however when we returned it was a nightmare. I would recommend that you never sail out of Galveston because of the reentry process or chaos as we experienced. First my luggage was not in the area it was supposed to be and by the time I found my bag the like was out of control. There were many people not going to the end of the line because the like was so long there were no barriers. So they just walked up and got in like wherever they pleased. When the Customs agents tried to handle the situation those who cut in line said they did not so it was a stand off and they stayed in front of us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This cruise is one with a majority of Texans on it due to the port. We were one of the minority being from the Pacific Northwest (PDX). Because of the makeup of the guests, there was a lot of country western music in the bars and the big ... Read More
This cruise is one with a majority of Texans on it due to the port. We were one of the minority being from the Pacific Northwest (PDX). Because of the makeup of the guests, there was a lot of country western music in the bars and the big screen had plenty of football playing. They know their audience, that's for sure! The port itself is a mess - piles of dirt and construction materials that you see from the deck of the ship. The area in front of the terminal entry was very small and crowded but we had no problem finding a porter to wheel our bags inside. The line into the security scanners was long and slow as there were only two security guards working. They only made you throw out your bottle of water if it had been opened but you could have just put it in your bag and it would have probably gone right on through. (Think vodka...) The actual registration went very quickly even thought we were there about 11:30 am in the thick of the early boarders. The first night the left balcony partition door came loose in the wind and was banging against the ship from 2 am - 5 am when my husband finally called the desk. It ruined the next day having to sleep all afternoon to catch up. I feel like we lost a day of the trip. The humidity was horrid - impossible to have your balcony door open with that wall of wet coming in. Of course, we're from a place where we hardly have humidity so it was difficult to enjoy the balcony except late at night. The first night's dinner was unsettled. My fish was overcooked which isn't normal for RC. The rest of the time, everything was perfect except the Baked Alaska (gritty meringue) which was easily replaced. Our waiter, Stalin and assistant, Jakub, table 414, at Early Seating were very attentive. Stalin would make suggestions which were always the best choice. We had brought our own wine on board (they allow 1 bottle per person), and we had them the last 3 nights without a corkage fee being charged. My mother wasn't able to negotiate the stairs much so we had to use the elevators most of the time. They were so busy we had to go in the opposite direction we wanted to go just to get in one. Lots of other people were doing the same. This was the first time for this experience. The Flow Rider was so much fun. You have to sign a waiver and there are age/height restrictions. The instructors are very helpful and work to give you the longest ride possible. They have boogie board (on your stomach) and surfing at separate times. Putt putt golf is an 8 hole course and goes fast. It's in the sun, so wear your sunscreen! We didn't do any excursions through the ship except the Houston Space Center which included bus transportation to IAH. It was a very comfortable bus with a toilet, safe driver and knowledgeable guide. The stop at the HSC is about 2 hours long which is plenty of time to see almost everything within the building. There is a nice cafeteria to grab a bite to eat, a large gift shop and restrooms. Since we were a tour, we had Green 1 bag tags which put us off the ship among the first groups and through customs quickly. The baggage area is small so it makes for some confusion. The customs process is slow depending on who is in front of you. We were behind three British citizens who had to be fingerprinted and photographed. The tour does watch for you since you have a sticker on your shirt and they usher you out to the bus area. I would pay for this next time just for the priority service! We did not go to the production shows since the last one I went to on a cruise a couple of years ago was pretty ordinary. After reading reviews on here, I'm glad we didn't waste the time. However, we went to the comedian and the hypnotist shows which were hilarious. We also found the time to to go the Love and Marriage game which had the best participants I've ever seen. The drinks were only $5 in a souvenir glass - the best deal on the ship? We played the Nations Game where you collect signatures from crew members from all the different countries on the ship. It was a great way to meet them and have a conversation for a more personal trip. We ate in the dining room every night and only a few times in the Windjammer. We had breakfast from room service most days. The order forms are on a hook behind the cabin door. They were normally about 1/2 hour earlier than the time selected. The first morning's food had cold, hard toast and poorly cooked bacon. The scrambled eggs seem like they are baked. The fruit plate was ordinary, not well plated and some of it was sour/unripe. It didn't stop me from ordering it, though. The refrigerator is a good place to put an extra yogurt or lemon tart for the next morning or a snack. As someone posted before, it would be a good idea to have the steward remove all the items from your frig so you aren't tempted to use any of it. We didn't use anything but I think I was charged for an item. Probably poor inventory control from the last occupant. The Belize City port is a tender port. They may have this well organized, but it's a big chunk of your port time sitting on a noisy boat on metal benches. This port appears to be the poorest of the three, followed by Roatan, Honduras and then Cozumel, Mexico. Everywhere you are inundated with "requests" for your money. It was very tiring and depressing. The ship was late loading our Gold benefits onto the Sea Pass card on Sunday and I went to the service desk to find out how to get a credit. The person at the desk called the shop and sent me back to have it fixed. He even called me the next day to make sure it was taken care of! That was the only time I had any dealings with the desk since the rest of the trip went smoothly. I signed up for international internet with my carrier, Verizon, but it didn't work very well with the ship or on land. The next trip, I'll buy a couple of days of access and do everything I need to during that time and forget about it the rest of the time. The cafe at the end of the Promenade is where there are sandwiches, pizza, desserts, coffee, tea, iced tea, lemonade and water. It's not apparent that this is included in your fee as it's next to the Starbucks and Ben & Jerry's counter that do have a cost. It's not that large but the tables have good turnover and it's open all night, unlike the Windjammer. The dinner menu is posted on an interactive screen outside of the dining rooms so you can check out that night's options or any of the other restaurants. I always found something to eat without a problem and they take care of dietary issues such as gluten free. We signed up for the galley tour which was a $30 per person buffet lunch for 150 people. It started with a mimosa and then an inside glimpse of how the kitchen works. Lunch was prepared by various sou chefs and placed on the pass for you to select from. There were omelets, Beef Wellington, eggs Benedict, salmon, fresh fruit, a lovely bread display, sushi, a large selection of desserts and crepes made to order. It was well worth the cost, so if you have the opportunity offered to you, don't hesitate to do it. The cardroom is on deck 7 and has a daily suduko puzzle and quiz posted. They have boxed games, plenty of tables & chairs and a pretty large library of books. It was a hidden gem we didn't discover until the cruise was about over. It's just below the art gallery. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our first cruise & our honeymoon. We booked Royal Caribbean b/c we heard from others that it was the better ship to travel on since the rates were slightly higher there would be less children & people. We were also ... Read More
This was our first cruise & our honeymoon. We booked Royal Caribbean b/c we heard from others that it was the better ship to travel on since the rates were slightly higher there would be less children & people. We were also told that Royal Caribbean has better food than Carnival. Embarkation & Disembarkation both went smoothly. We didn't have long lines at embarkation (we got there within less than an hour of embarkation). Disembarkation could have moved a little bit quicker with more customs lines and/or better structured disembarkation. It seems they try to get everyone off the ship at the same time, with few customs lines to get through. The cabin was clean and quiet. Our attendant was very nice. The dining room food was amazing! Although, prior to sailing we were told that formal nights were not required to have full suits & ties, etc. While we did not dress like beach bums (we brought a polo shirt & slacks for my husband, and a nice semi-casual dress for me), we did not get to engage in those nights. Also, we will not be engaging in formal nights on Royal Caribbean in the future since my husband doesn't own a suit, didn't wear one to our wedding, and won't be wearing one to his own funeral. It is sad that it is like that for both nights since we do pay extra of our hard working money to sail on Royal Caribbean, but cannot enjoy the same amenities as everyone else while we are on vacation. The adult entertainment was lacking with only one show a night (which were usually great) & it wasn't good planning that the latest night show was scheduled when the earliest port day was the following morning. Also, nothing for adults to do on "at sea" days other than sit by the pool, which was boring. Hopefully with the new water slide my husband will be able to enjoy himself more on the "at sea" days. I would rather have more of the adult shows on the "at sea" days than on port days since those days wear you out anyway. We enjoyed the ports & learned after the first one that it is safer and not much more expensive to book through the cruise line. However, if you decide to do that, all of the good excursions book up quickly. You need to book online before the trip or on the first day after embarkation. While there was not much adult entertainment provided on the ship, the ship was clean and the service was great. We enjoyed trip and are going on another this fall on Royal Caribbean. This time, we are having a couple of friends join us for a kid-free vacation! Hopefully we will have more fun with a couple that we know. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I was pleased to see that they have returned staffers to the dining room service. An RC cruise we took 3/2014 had marked shortages in the dining room. Overall, I think this is a good value and we enjoyed the ports. We booked our own ... Read More
I was pleased to see that they have returned staffers to the dining room service. An RC cruise we took 3/2014 had marked shortages in the dining room. Overall, I think this is a good value and we enjoyed the ports. We booked our own excursions. Ocean Adventure was great for our 3.5 and 9 year old boys. There were just enough activities planned. We avoid the musical shows and stick to the headliners now. Joel /Elton John guy was so good and I think we've seen Phil Anderson/Piano Bar on at least 4 cruises. I enjoyed the casino with low limits every night not just off peak hours. Embarkation in Galveston was a mess...not RC's fault...security lines were long and disembarkation was a joke...there are NO signs telling where the luggage is, porter line or custom line..you have to ask someone in uniform. Dang, make a few signs. Speaking of lines, I had to plan and go down the ice show entrance on 1st sea day by 9am to wait in line to get tickets for 1 of 4 ice shows. It was Ice Dancing and not so exciting as other RC's shows I've seen but we enjoyed it. I waited about 20 minutes. The next day, I had to get in line for tender tickets for the following day in Belize. That line was about 15 minutes. You kind of get punished for not booking a RC' excursion cuz you don't have to have tender tickets. Without tender tickets, you are the last to get off the ship. Speaking of, we had the longest tender ever. It was 20 minutes! That's a ferry ride in my book. It was fine but just unexpected- 20 each way. Carnival Magic was next to us out in the deep blue waters. I was pleased to see breakfast room service with more than continental stuff- the Quantum did not have anything but drink/pastries ! The windjammer was better than in times past and I was able to stick to a low-fat, sugar-free diet. They also had a lot of gluten free selections. Dining room service was very good and the selection was fine. I do not pay for specialty restaurants. Had a little issue with one staffer telling my son he wasn't 52" tall for Flowrider and miraculously he was over 52" days later when we tried again-somebody was messing with the height flag. He was turned down on the Quantum and devastated when he was turned down again and we KNEW he was 52.5 inches tall. At least he got to go on it and had a blast. They are very helpful on the Flowrider. Last, the drink package- I found it hard to drink at least 7 beers per day on the basic beer/wine package but if you factor in the sodas it might be worth it. In other words, I had diet coke and sprite for the kids the whole cruise. Don't get me wrong, I like beer but that many beers 6 days in a row ! Keep in mind the 18%tax on packages and a la carte. I loved the fitness center but didn't see ANY staff. No charge for wet/dry saunas. Last the cabin- deck 9 #9356. Location was okay ( didn't want to be too close to stairs/elevators) no noise from above but of course you can hear everyone's door slam. I did not like that there was no aft elevator access on this floor -you had to go to mid-ship. Sadly, the toilet had a strong urine/sewer odor the entire cruise. Our cabin guy was great and tried to spray some stuff in there but I think it's the positioning of the cabin/toilet system so I would not recommend this room. The balcony was fine. I do wish RC would allow family of 4 to get more pullman options which my 9 year old prefers but they make us go in the double sofa beds. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
I went on this cruise with my husband, and 16 year old daughter. Embarkation: Galveston. Sigh. You would think a Texan port would be designed with a priority towards keeping people relatively cool and out of the sun. I am ... Read More
I went on this cruise with my husband, and 16 year old daughter. Embarkation: Galveston. Sigh. You would think a Texan port would be designed with a priority towards keeping people relatively cool and out of the sun. I am a Texan, so obviously, I am used to being hot and uncomfortable outdoors for 8-9 months out of the year. I'm not a whiner. But geez. The port was awful. If I weren't from Texas, I'd have been 100x more disappointed and annoyed. Outside there were lines for luggage drop off requiring people to stand in the sun, sweltering. Inside was barely air conditioned -- which is understandable given the open design -- but couldn't they have huge ceiling fans cranking at all times? My recommendation: Priority boarding is your friend. If possible -- consider a Junior Suite if only to get the priority boarding. If that's not an option -- research and arrive at the best time for the shortest lines. Otherwise, be prepared to stand for hours, sweating and hating life. On the plus side -- the terminal staff was friendly and helpful. Also -- regarding parking -- I didn't realize until the last minute that the standard port authority parking lots that the cruise lines refer you to, are not optimal. First all all, you have to drop your luggage off at the terminal, then drive to the designated parking lot, then wait for a shuttle to take you back to the terminal. The shuttle for these lots will not accept your luggage. And the traffic to get to those port authority lots is awful. Long lines to drop off luggage, etc. Line to get to lot. Wait in line for shuttle. Confusion is common. Also, the lots offer no covered parking. So we reserve a covered space in another lot in advance, online. There are at least three that offer covered, that are close to the terminal. The cost is about the same. You can get a covered space, even inside a parking garage. And the lots have free shuttle service that will take you AND your luggage. When you drive to Galveston, you can bypass the heavily congested roads to the port authority parking lots and avoid spending an hour in traffic just to park. We used LIghthouse covered parking. Great service. We were picked up in the lot, at our truck. And upon return to Galveston, the shuttle was waiting for us right where they said they'd be. No waiting. The shuttle drivers were friendly and helped us with our luggage. The cabin: Cabin 6694 in the aft section was awesome. No complaints really, other than the sofa bed. But regarding the cabin -- this is not specific to the cabin itself but the accommodations in general --- my biggest issue was dirty, old, stained linens. The sheets were clean – no stains. Not exactly high quality – but who expects high thread count on a cruise? But quality aside -- the mattress pads and blanket were…well, shockingly stained and old. They were torn in places. And were covered in random stains of all sizes. Thinking we had bad luck, and just needed a new set of linens – I waited for them to be changed. I didn't complain -- just kind of removed the linens in the morning. (I am not one to complain unless absolutely necessary. I just think, in the long run, to get better service, it's better to endure some things than be labeled "difficult") And guess what? New linens. More brown stains, different sizes, different locations. Clearly, they need to invest in oxyclean, bleach, or new linens. The stains were dark, and appeared to be either blood or vomit – both organic so if laundered promptly – I think they could be removed. So, bottom line -- if you are one to get grossed out guessing the sources of old, dark, stains on bedding – then be warned and spare yourself that OMG moment. Do what I did – try not to pull the sheets back too far to reveal the underside of the comforter, or heaven forbid accidentally pull an entire corner off to reveal dark brown stains on a dingy mattress pad. Just get your Lysol out, and remain blissfully ignorant. Or bring your own linens. Ignorance is easier though. Food: We are not food snobs. Do we like fine dining? Do we appreciate great presentation? Absolutely. But we are reasonable, and didn’t expect stellar dining experiences day after day. And on the whole, we liked the food. It met expectations. Main Dining Room: But as far as the MDR (main dining room) – well, that was a complete disappointment. First off, I don’t mind the dress code. In fact, I wear mostly casual skirts and dresses in the summer anyway. My husband doesn’t have a problem with a dress code either. But, if I do bother to wear something other than shorts, casual skirts, sandals, and tank tops on vacation just to eat --- I expect the food to reward the effort. And the MDR fell far short. Why? Great example is Day 2: We went to the Windjammer buffet for lunch. I had roast beef with mashed potatoes. Very tender, not too fatty. Impressive. Later on, we went to Café Promenade and had a coffee and a lemon tart served on the standard plastic little plate. All great. That evening, for the MDR, I break out the spanx (ugh!), a nice dress, sandals with a heel (I know, I know, how lame that this was a big deal to me, but hey, it’s a vacation) – my husband donned dress pants, business shirt, jacket, tie -- teenager reluctantly wore something other than flip flops and shorts – and we went to the MDR. And guess what? I was served the same roast beef, the same mashed potatoes as I had eaten earlier at the lowly buffet – albeit with a less fancy presentation. The lunch version of this meal was fresher though. And my husband has the same variation of food he had eaten at lunch as well. The kicker? The lemon meringue pie was the same lemon tart from the Promenade served on a red plastic plate, but with a dollop of “meringue” and a wedge of chocolate added for show. My daughter had the cheesecake, which – you guessed it – was available elsewhere, all day long – they didn’t even try to “jazz it up” or make it look different. There are some unique offerings – like lobster on “lobster night”, shrimp cocktail (which was, literally, three sad little shrimp in a fancy glass filled with wilted shredded lettuce) but on the whole, in my opinion, the MDR isn’t worth the effort. Add to it, our waiter was kind of odd. He gave us a long speech (and I mean LONG) about the dangers that lurk in Cozumel, identity theft, muggings, etc. Yes, all true. But we are educated travelers, well informed of the risks. And it was just a weird thing coming from cruise staff -- like he wanted people to stay on the ship rather than explore the ports via RCI excursions. He left my teenager filled with anxiety and talking about staying onboard .Not a discussion I wanted to have at dinner. We did get some wonderful photographs out of the MDR experience. And our table was next to a lovely window. So, I would recommend it for that alone . But one can have a nice family dinner, with nearly the same or more options, in the Windjammer without all the faux formality and weirdness. The food there was always fresh – lots of variety, great salad bar, wonderful French toast, fresh fruit, roasted chicken, burgers, fun dessert station (fresh beignets with whipped cream and fruit). The staff was friendly and helpful. Was it a 5 star dining experience? No. But it was decent and consistent. We also ate in the Mexican restaurant, Sabor. Wonderful food and great service. On the final night, we dined at the Italian place. The service was wonderful. Great risotto and gnocchi. But my chicken was dry and rather luke warm. The bread was stale. My daughter had shrimp ravioli – and she loved it. My husband had some kind of fish with shrimp on top --- and he enjoyed it as well. Overall, good – but nothing to get too excited about. The snacks and Cafe Promenade were decent. Nothing to rave about -- but solid little sandwiches and pastries (which you will see over and over again in the MDR and also, Windjammer). We would have a cup of fresh coffee and a snack in the late afternoon. We also ate at Johnny Rockets. We loved it. The staff was friendly and service was quick. The burgers were great with standard fries and onion rings. I got "cheese fries" which were the standard velveeta covered fries. Nothing spectacular here -- burgers are kind of hard to screw up -- but none the less good quality and a great value. My husband got a shake and it was great. Entertainment: RCI could improve it's entertainment options on board. Or at the very least, they could improve their communication about the entertainment. The Calypso-esque group that plays by the pool was awesome. The lead singer has an amazing voice. We saw one show -- a comedian. Honestly --- IMO it was awful. Just awful. And I wanted to like it. I would have loved to see the ice show, but we missed the notice that you had to get tickets on Sunday, the day of embarkation. I visited guest services to inquire and was told that it was unlikely we'd get seats without said tickets so we gave up. Fitness: The gym was nice. Lots of equipment, space to stretch or work with fitness balls. The locker room had steam and sauna, with showers. (Ok, full disclosure -- on day two, I was going to shower, walked up to one and noted the clear presence of vomit all over the floor. I informed the staff -- and they were nice enough. The entire locker room was closed immediately, the hot tub as well. But -- OMG. Wear flip flops.) And in the center of the gym area was a huge hot tub that was quiet and usually empty. Spa: We got a couples treatment package called "Five steps to Heaven." We booked it while onboard after seeing a flyer with a "special" offering 5 different services, foot massage, back exfoliation, deep tissue massage, facial and scalp massage for $159 per person. It was great -- not perfect but overall fun and relaxing. I was not in "heaven" however. Mainly due to high pressure sales pitches. It is hard to go from the zen of a massage, to a hard core product push. Kind of ruins the entire thing for many I'm sure. So, be prepared for the massive product push at the end. And the people act kind of miffed if you decline. This is not just something that happens with the masseuses -- my daughter had a mani/pedi and we got the same hard core sales pitch for random products. Needless to say -- it's kind of annoying to have to say repeatedly "no thank you I'm not interested in the $85 bottle of massage oil. No thank you but $150 for capsules filled with moisturizing oil is not in my budget." They don't take "no thank you" for an answer. FTR -- my "favorite" product push was the $48 stiff bristle brush that you use to brush your skin to rid yourself of cellulite and toxins. This was the thing they used to "exfoliate" my back (Which, truly, is not an area I need to exfoliate. And when they, without warning, scraped those stiff bristles over my sunburned skin, back and forth, over and over -- holy cow. NOT pleasant). Aside from my obvious skepticism as to the product's utility in these regards -- it was literally a $3 scrub brush you could buy at Walmart. The profit margin alone is appalling to me. Service -- Some of the RCI staff was great. Some were beyond unprofessional. For the most part, the dining/restaurant staff were pleasant and helpful. There were exceptions -- such as the surly man serving at Promenade Cafe. He seemed unhappy every single day. The photo gallery -- the worst. Honestly, it was so bad customer service-wise, it was a bit shocking. Case in point -- I ordered prints and a flash drive. The computer says pick it up tomorrow by 10:30 a.m. So I arrive at 10:45 a.m. the next day, only to be told by a disrespectful young man that "nobody told you 10:30. That's not possible." Uh, ok. why would I lie? Seriously? Then I was told, come back at 3:30. Then at 3:30, I was told "10:30". Then at 10:30 p.m. -- they don't have the prints, but they have the flash drive. So, come back in the morning and the entire package will be ready. I come back the next morning (disembarkation day), and they have lost or misplaced the flash drive, and the prints are nowhere to be found. Deep, heavy sigh. I stand around for 30 minutes b/c they tell me they can make a new flash drive. I stand there forever it seems, only to have them come out and say "the system is down" and they will email me a link to my photos. In a week. A week has come and gone -- no photos via email. Keep in mind we paid over $200 and got nothing. So, I call RCI, who tells me they are not responsible for the photo "vendor" (I'm not even going to discuss the absurdity of that pitch both legally and logically when RCI received the money for said photos as documented on my invoice). They gave me a phone number to call the photo vendor, who is only open monday through friday 8-5. Sigh. Other service issues: After reviewing our account statement -- I noted several double charges. E.g., at the bar, we had one order of drinks for $37. But on the invoice, the charge was entered twice, plus two other identical charges. We bought two drinks for $37. But were charged 4 times totalling over $100. Same thing with the spa -- there was one legit $68 charge. It was entered twice, and then an additional mystery $38 charge was added to it. These charges were readily refunded. Yes, mistakes happen. But when the RCI customer service rep said "we will talk to these employees. this is not supposed to happen" I kind of got the impression that it was a regular occurrence. If so, not cool. So check that invoice! :) Excursions: I booked all our excursions privately, ( I found that even including cab fare -- it was more economical) so I can't speak toward any RCI sponsored activities. In Cozumel, we took a cab to Mr. Sanchos. Awesome place. In Cayman, we went to the Westin. And in Jamaica -- we went to the HIlton Rose Hall. Love both places. I got up early and got a tender ticket for our arrival in Cayman. So, we were able to board the tender in group 9, almost right after the RCI excursions. We waited about 15 minutes, which to me, wasn't much of a delay . So, not getting on the tender first wasn't that big a deal for us. Overall, we are pleased with our trip. But I admit -- the three days of sailing juxtaposed to the excitement of the ports was kind of a let down. If you are not a big drinker, and are active -- i.e., don't like to sit for hours in the pool, hot tub, on a chaise reading -- a more port heavy cruise may be a better choice. Also -- even if you are not a big drinker, but think you and your spouse/partner might enjoy one or two drinks at the pool or wherever --- I think you should consider paying a bit more for a drink package. The cost of the drinks is ridiculous. E.g., I had a weak, barely alcoholic pina colada that cost about $10 at the pool. A mojito and appletini at the Schooner bar cost us --- kid you not -- $37.76 -- and that's NOT with an extra tip. Two drinks for nearly $40? And FTR -- the appletini was nasty. Insult meet injury. ;) My point is: I saw lots of people walking around on disembarkation day with long faces holding their statements. I heard one woman moan "why didn't we get the beverage package!" Even for a occasional drinker -- one or two here or there for fun can add up. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We just got home from the 02 August 2015 sailing of the Navigator out of Galveston. The traveling party was me (41 year old male), my wife, and children aged 7 and 9. We were staying in cabin 1286, a Grand Suite on the starboard side. I ... Read More
We just got home from the 02 August 2015 sailing of the Navigator out of Galveston. The traveling party was me (41 year old male), my wife, and children aged 7 and 9. We were staying in cabin 1286, a Grand Suite on the starboard side. I have organized this topically in an effort to help people find information which they judge most useful. On balance, I enjoyed the trip very much and would certainly sail again if some small things were addressed. In no particular order: Getting on and off the ship-- The security company at the Port of Galveston is awful. I took a picture of the embarkation area. That included the security area, so they said I had to delete it. Whatever, but the physically aggressive woman who bumped into me to make her point should be fired. I wish I had a contact for that firm, and I would love from RC to be reading. The same company had people who were unnecessarily rude, but not physically aggressive, on the return. Other than that, the process went as well as it could. It helped a little that we had a suite, but arriving at 10:30 all of the lines were fairly short. They called suite embarkation as we were finishing check in, and we were on the ship by about 10:50. Getting off the ship earlier today, we got to the dining room on Deck 4 at around 7:10 to walk off with our own luggage. We were scheduled to leave at 7:30, actually did so about 10 minutes early, and were all the way at our car (at Galveston Park n' Cruise) at 7:49. So.... some ugly people working at the port, but the mechanics of it all were as smooth as possible. Elevators-- These were painfully slow most of the time. Happily, we are all in solid physical health and dealt with it by taking the stairs a lot. My step tracker counted over 50 flights of stairs (going up; there were more going down) each sea day. My mother and a buddy of hers were on the cruise in a different cabin and had to wait for elevators, and that was a significant time delay. Communication-- We had the global data package through Verizon. Voice calls at seas were poor but great in port (2-3 in each situation). Text messages worked fine. We bought the ship's internet for $189 for two devices ($210 minus a 10% discount) and were quite pleased. It wasn't blazingly quick, but it certainly met my requirement that I maintain just enough contact with my office to not be in fear when I return tomorrow. The TV channels were limited, but adequate to make sure I had some reasonable idea of what is going on in the outside world. As a side note, political debates are quite entertaining with mojitos, which were excellent. Food and drink-- I have seen some folks on here describe the food in the Main Dining Room (MDR) as of the quality of TV dinners, and I don't find that fair at all. I think the better analogy is that it is banquet food with more choices than the banquets I typically attend. That means that there are some limits based on the number of people they are feeding, and the spices and flavors were generally designed for a universal medium rather than my preferences. Yes, of course, I have had much better food on land. That said, I really enjoyed my dinner each night. The service was very good, there was always at least one choice at each stage of the meal I wanted (sometimes 2-3), and I enjoyed dinner each night. The order of dinner menus in the MDR was: Day 1 Mojo Day 2 Saffron Day 3 Pimiento Day 4 Basil Day 5 Shitake Day 6 Jasmine Day 7 Pomodoro Breakfast in the buffet was adequate but bland. Breakfast from the menu in Chops (a suite privilege) was actually quite good, and I enjoyed the ability to eat in that quieter space even when I was merely bringing in my own plate from the buffet. I enjoyed my two lunches from the buffet, and found Johnny Rocket's on two other days to be merely adequate. So... I enjoyed the MDR quite a bit, and the buffet was perfectly serviceable. I did have the Ultimate package, and my wife and the boys had the Royal Replenish (all of the non-alcoholic stuff). The juice was nice for them, and we enjoyed fancy coffee each evening in the MDR after dinner. We drank more club soda than I can count, and the boys were quite fond of various smoothies. I suspect the three of the broke even or lost a little bit of money on the package, but I would still do it again to avoid thinking about things at the point of sale. I am quite certain I got value out of it; I found a series of drinks at precisely the $12 (maximum) level and grew quite fond of a $14 cognac that cost me $2. We tended to tip $1 a drink in cash, and that was appreciated. We never had a problem getting service. The Sky Bar above the pool was nice, but my favorite spot on the ship was the cigar bar on Deck 5 forward. I generally didn't smoke, but it was a nice quiet space with great service. I actually left that bartender a WOW tip envelope at the end of the week, and that is where I discovered I like cognac. Who knew? Spa-- The treatments were lovely. The product sales afterwards were so aggressive as to make me not want to go back; they were my biggest service problem on board. RC really needs to find a way to dial this back, because it is a pretty facility doing good work that I would try to avoid if I booked another cruise. Cabin 1286-- The grand suite had plenty of space for us and was in good shape save for some work needed on the balcony. We would have no need to pay extra for an owner's suite, although I would certainly consider a configuration that had two bathrooms. The couch made a lovely bed for the boys. The balcony was a great spot to sit or lounge and had plenty of space for a table, two chairs, and a lounger. I might pick a cabin closer to a stairwell next time, but I was on balance very happy with the cabin. I also enjoyed several suite perks (several reviewed here) enough to not downgrade to a junior suite. Casino-- I work for a living, but within the budget that allows am still able to get nice deals on good rooms in Vegas based on gambling play. I spent very little time gambling here because the blackjack rules were so bad and because all of the limits were so low. RC lets new punters in mid-shoe on demand, so we were constantly stopping for people to buy enough chips for one or two table minimum bets. Some of them would then loudly insist they knew precisely what they were doing; I sat in peace and simply didn't go back much. I would like to see a few tables with $25 minimums. Kid's club (Adventure Ocean)-- My kids loved it here and wanted to go as often as possible. There weren't a lot of staff, but they seemed well-trained and were helpful to the kids. This is a real strength and is something which would draw me back- my kids were happy, and it let my wife and I enjoy cocktail hour. Ports-- Cozumel was good. The fact that I speak Spanish (I lived in Mexico City for a couple of years) helped but was completely unnecessary. We played laser tag at Chankanaab, which we booked on our own. That was splendid, and then we snorkeled a bit. The cruise pier here is enormous and was a challenge for my mom (mobility challenges), but it was a fairly reasonable place to do some shopping. It certainly felt safe. Belize was my least favorite due to the tenders, but it was still good. We booked Altun Ha and River Wallace in advance through the ship. This was a great tour which simply took too long and left the boys and I exhausted. It didn't help my spirits that I was sitting in the corner of the boat that got soaked on the return. Also, the lunch was pretty small given how hungry we were. That said, the tour guides did a good job giving me an interesting perspective on a new place. The ruins were gorgeous, and we had a bit of time to climb about. I liked Roatan much more than I though I might. We booked Maya Key through the ship, and it was lovely. The beach sand was too rough for building sand castles, so we swam. And snorkeled. And walked around. Saw some Mayan re-creations in an interpretation center. Ate a fantastic meal while learning to love Honduran beer. Saw some awesome rescued animals in what amounted to a very nice zoo. Conclusion-- Yeah, I would do it again. There were some things to fix, but all four of us left feeling like we had a splendid time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
My husband and I have been on many cruises (about 20) on various cruise lines. We prefer Royal Caribbean! The food and entertainment are the best. Port: I had read a lot of negative remarks about the Galveston port so I was ... Read More
My husband and I have been on many cruises (about 20) on various cruise lines. We prefer Royal Caribbean! The food and entertainment are the best. Port: I had read a lot of negative remarks about the Galveston port so I was somewhat prepared. We got to the port around 10:30. Were on the ship by 11:15. This part was smooth. Even though the rooms are not available to go to until 1:00, at least we were on the ship and enjoying the cool and drinks. Disembarking was a different story all together. First of all, you are given a time you can leave the ship. Our time was 9:15 (#16). We had plenty of time to eat breakfast and sat in the lounge until our number was called. They were prompt in calling the numbers on time. However, when we got off the ship the port was TOTAL mass confusion!! No one checked your number as you got off so there were numbers from 15 to 26 so needless to say, too many people trying to find their luggage. No signs where to get in line to go to customers. Lines going left and lines going right. Not to mention the fact that it was 90 degrees in the port with little or no air!! I don't see how some of the older people could handle it. Then we were in line for 45 minutes and the man and woman in front of us, called their family over (there were 6 more of them) and they all cut into the line in front of us!! This part was horrible!!! ENOUGH OF THAT!! Cozumel: We did the Royal Swim with the dolphins and it was truly AMAZING! Would highly recommend to anyone. There was even a 3 year old little girl that did it and loved it. She actually cried when it was over. Belize City: We did the Trolley tour just to see the city. This place could be missed as far as I could see. Most of the excursions were water based and you have to take an hour to hour and a half ride to get to anywhere pretty. If we went here again, I would stay on the ship. Rotan: We did the Park animal refuge tour. Played with the cappuccino monkeys! It was so HOT but I would do this again. The monkeys made it all worth it. I could have skipped the rest but it was still fun. You can not take any bags or water (and they really mean it) because the monkeys will take them away from you. Overall, the cruise was so fun and relaxing! Would defiantly recommend and do this one again!! Make sure to do the flow rider. Lots of fun and you don't need any skills to do it. Also, I did not like the idea of paying extra for a meal but the couple we went with wanted to go to Chops so we did. It was truly worth the extra money. Just make sure you don't eat anything the rest of the day before you go. there is sooo much food but very good!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
I went on this cruise with family and we had a good time overall. Out balcony cabin was just enough room for 2 people, and the bathroom was adequate. Don't expect an adventurous dining experience. The Windjammer had hot dogs, ... Read More
I went on this cruise with family and we had a good time overall. Out balcony cabin was just enough room for 2 people, and the bathroom was adequate. Don't expect an adventurous dining experience. The Windjammer had hot dogs, hamburgers, and Americanized Indian curries (often made with beef) at lunch and dinner. Breakfast consisted of oranges, apples, bananas, eggs, sausage, and pastries. In the dining room, you could have steak or farm-raised grilled salmon. If you're looking for something healthy/paleo/gluten free/vegetarian, you will have to starve at breakfast and eat tomatoes, lettuce, onions, and olives for lunch and dinner on the salad bar. Occasionally, there was fried codfish, canned tuna, and steamed broccoli available. Although this cruise went to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel, not once did we have any kind of regional cuisine pertaining to our port destination. This was a big disappointment. I had an excellent reflexology treatment in the spa, which was a highlight of my time on the ship. The entertainment was nothing to write home about, but I was more "entertained" by exploring the ship and relaxing on deck 12. The jacuzzis in the fitness center/solarium were often not being used (especially in the evenings), which made the ship not seem so crowded. The ports and the shore excursions were also nothing special, though we all had a good time anyway. We just wanted a getaway and a chance to get some sun without getting scorched. (The weather was sunnier and cooler than the 107 degree temps back home.) Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Galveston is a very inconvenient departure port especially coming from the west coast requiring an overnight stay. The next day we showing up at the airport to take the RC bus to Galveston. Honestly, don't they do this every day? ... Read More
Galveston is a very inconvenient departure port especially coming from the west coast requiring an overnight stay. The next day we showing up at the airport to take the RC bus to Galveston. Honestly, don't they do this every day? How can it get so messed up and be over an hour late? So we got to Navigator after 1:30 and got through check-in quickly due to my Emerald status but the other lines were jammed. First off our cabin just stank. There was trash (pizza and cigar wrappers( still in the trash can. The couch was filthy, as if kids had been jumping on it with dirty shoes and the toilet anointed our bathroom with an inch of water for our arrival. So sorry no other rooms. Water vacuumed up but nothing to do about the smell. Oh well. Balcony in disrepair and unusable most of the cruise due to maintenance crew tearing up the deck. Why couldn't this have been done in dry dock? Our party of four; instead of our requested table for four was split up at two tables for six on other floors. When I asked for a table together I was told nothing was available, which as we all know is nonsense. I very pleasantly told the supercilious head waiter that I was certain something could be found and I would stand there until it was and if necessary take me meals there. Amazingly a table showed up! Waiters very good. Food hit and miss continuing the gradual decline of MDR food discussed in detail on the boards. Chops and Giovanni's excellent but we went there more to avoid the MDR than to treat ourselves so their evil plan is working. Entertainment also hit and miss with a strange combination of comedians during the week. Take into account lots of kids were aboard (not a problem for us) and lots of Texans too this was a strange mix. So I will certainly cruise RC again but I'm not going to Galveston again unless some twist of fate finds me living in the Lone Star State. It's easier to fly to Florida. Navigator needs work and they shouldn't be doing it on my vacation. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Arrived at 10am at the Galveston Port from a transfer from Hotel Galvez. In line and on board at 1045. It was amazing!!! We read reviews about the nightmare it is and we had none on that day. We left the cruise at 845am on disembarkation ... Read More
Arrived at 10am at the Galveston Port from a transfer from Hotel Galvez. In line and on board at 1045. It was amazing!!! We read reviews about the nightmare it is and we had none on that day. We left the cruise at 845am on disembarkation day and got our luggage immediately, a porter and was out of the terminal to transfers in 45 min. - it was going very quickly. Cabins were ready at 1pm, luggage was delivered around 3pm. Food was good. Nothing outstanding. Had teen boys who could order as much as they needed and it was no problem at all. Service was great in dining rooms and specialty restaurants. Ate at Chops, Gioviannis and Sushi. Again, good but my opinion nothing outstanding. I can see if the general public doesn't really cook at home it would be great for them. We love to cook and eat well. Actually loved going into the Sapphire dining room for breakfast. Not crowded and relaxing. I thought the only bars that had good service was Schooner and the adult pool bar. Pools are way overcrowded on sea days, and music at pool was extremely loud. Need more fun activities inside cruise ship when people have had enough of the crowed pools and unsupervised children. Pool decks slippery and hot, both in adult solarium and family pool. Cabins- balcony room, lots of room compared to Disney and Celebrity balcony rooms. Just bring own shampoo, soap etc... Loved the wine bar every afternoon before heading to showers for dinner. Chose MY time dining at 730pm. We went to the 630 showtime and then ate and had the rest of the evening free to listen to music, watch people karaoke etc... Now that I have been on 3 cruises, I feel they are all about the same with the exception of food quality, types of crowd-families with children, adults, seniors etc... but in the end game - all similar. We have done Disney, Celebrity, and Royal Caribbean. We Might want to look at Norwegian or Crystal next. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
The wife and I have cruised many times to Mexico and Alaska, but this was our first cruise in the Caribbean. The ship was just as we expected, with excellent service from Dennis our cabin attendant, and Jahjah our waiter in the main dining ... Read More
The wife and I have cruised many times to Mexico and Alaska, but this was our first cruise in the Caribbean. The ship was just as we expected, with excellent service from Dennis our cabin attendant, and Jahjah our waiter in the main dining room. My sister and brother in law were onboard with us, and we celebrated her birthday on the ship. Sis wanted to go to Chops for her birthday, mostly because it was a formal night, and none of our group felt like dressing up for the event. We knew the food was going to be good, but we were pleasantly surprised at the top notch service. Darwin our waiter was fabulous. His attention to detail, and overall caring attitude made a good evening great. The ports that we visited were very good, with the visit to Georgetown, Grand Cayman's Stingray City being the best. Marineland Tours took us to Stingray City, where Bert, one of our guides was outstanding. The Stingray City visit should not be missed if you have the opportunity to take part in this excursion. I guess the fact that we booked another Navigator of the Seas cruise, while on the Navigator, is the best indication of our level of satisfaction with this ship and our cruise. The only reason that this cruise was not given an excellent, was because the Windjammer food was not as good as we have experienced on previous cruises. I was a little disappointed in the selections, and the wait staff service in that particular venue. Overall, this was a great trip, and we are really looking forward to our next adventure on the Explorer of the Seas next year. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Hotel-Stayed at a Farfield inn in Texas city 26 minutes from ship. Sufficient for pre cruise. This was our 7th ruise Embarkation-The port of Galveston is organized chaos. 3100 new cruisers on 1 street. However, we arrived at ... Read More
Hotel-Stayed at a Farfield inn in Texas city 26 minutes from ship. Sufficient for pre cruise. This was our 7th ruise Embarkation-The port of Galveston is organized chaos. 3100 new cruisers on 1 street. However, we arrived at 10:30 and were on board in an hour. This inlcuded dropping off bags and parking the car. Parking is well marked and cost $70 for the week. Shuttle carries you back to ship. Almost no one is in line at that time. Took about 10 minutes. Ship-Showing some wear but absolutely nothing that intefered with our enjoyment. It was clean and well maintained. 3100 passengers Activities-Numerous activities for cruisers of all ages. Grandkids enjoyed the climbing wall and wave machine. Some of the cruise directors were hard to understand but were enthusiastic. Entertainment-A bit disappointed with the productions. About the quality of a high school group. Average at best. Out of step many times. The former American idol singer was great-don't remember his name. Juggler/commedian was very good. Rock group-I hated it, but that is just not my style. Ice skaters-production was first class. Crew and staff-all worked very hard to make our cruise enjoyable Dining-I thought the main dining room was excellent. Very wide selection and it changed nightly. Its much better than most of us have at home. Our waiter Arnold and his assistants K'anne and Miothan were professional and delightful. K'anne was a sweetheart. Buffet-Ok. I am not fond of buffets, but this one was good enough.Very wide variety Ports-This is a cruise that centers on beach and water activities. I am getting too old for that but the younger generations enjoyed it. Cozumel-There is plenty of shopping in the dock area. Some in our party took a taxi to a beach. One went to the Myan ruins and said that were not too impressive. Belize-some shops in the port area.We all took the cave tubing and enjoyed it. Roatan-One of the group went to the private island and said that it was great. All of the ports are filled with the typical tourist shops. Overall, nice family trip. I personally enjoy cruises to non beach countries but this trip was not about me. The cruise line did their job in delivering us and I will sail with them again-If the price is right and they are going where I want to go. Disembarkation--WALK OFF ON YOUR OWN-BETWEEN 7:00 & 7:30 IF YOU CAN CARRY YOUR BAGS. WE WALKED STRAIGHT THROUGH CUSTONS AND IMMIGRATION WITH NO WAITING. There were 3100 people and you do not want to be at the back of the line Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We arrived at port at 10:30 AM, which was a great time. We were on board the ship by 11:30. We had a room on deck 8 balcony in the middle of the "hump". We had a great time on board the ship. It is a little old, but they ... Read More
We arrived at port at 10:30 AM, which was a great time. We were on board the ship by 11:30. We had a room on deck 8 balcony in the middle of the "hump". We had a great time on board the ship. It is a little old, but they have tried to update as much as possible. We enjoyed the formal dining room, our waiters were Deandra and Joel, and they were great !! Didn't eat but once in the Wind Jammer café, due to what others have said about the serving utensils being used by everyone. We toured the Mayan Ruins in Cozumel and went to a beach for an hour and half, which was awesome but they were having a HORRIBLE problem with mosquitos, which isn't their fault, it was due to the previous weeks rains. In Grand Cayman we just walked around ate lunch at Margaretville, which was exciting. In Jamaica we went on the catamaran sail and it was a BLAST...HIGHLY recommend the Sun Dreamer, Montego Bay Catamaran sail. WOW...they really entertain you PLUS let you snorkel and they are very nice ....that was probably our highlight of our cruise. The cruise director Jeffery on board was a great guy...he really knows his stuff. Shows on board were great too. Getting off the boat was not fun at all. One, they do not have a good system in force to get that many people off in a short amount of time, and once you are off, you walk into a huge room with all this luggage and lines EVERYWHERE , which is confusing...that part WAS NOT fun...but...all in all we had a fantastic cruise ! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Just returned from our Navigator RCI cruise out of Galveston. Used Cruise Critic extensively so we were not surprised about many of the things that happened. Arrived about 11am with moderate traffic until hitting the port area. Some ... Read More
Just returned from our Navigator RCI cruise out of Galveston. Used Cruise Critic extensively so we were not surprised about many of the things that happened. Arrived about 11am with moderate traffic until hitting the port area. Some brilliant person with about a third grade education decided to funnel the cars droppings off luggage for both ships to one choke point before separating the two lines. We therefore had to pass well by the Navigator and the Carnival ship before being able to take a left where they then divided the traffic to each ship. Utterly stupid. I recommend that you take the road to the north or right of the port road and go up well past 25th street and come in the other way. Far less traffic and a much faster ingress to the baggage area. Once through the drop off line, it was not bad in the terminal itself and we saved some time since we were Crown and Anchor Platinum members and junior suite guests as well. Everything else went pretty smoothly and we were able to get our bags in a fairly timely fashion. Staterooms were ready at about 1:30 pm. Junior suite was pretty nice...bring an extension cord as very few electrical outlets. Coffee machine had good Starbucks coffee but had to move it off of the provided bar as there was no outlet. We turned the AC down all the way and left it there the whole cruise in order to keep the room nice. Can't imagine what will happen in July and August when it gets really Texas warm. No toiletries in the room whatsoever except for a dispenser on the wall which had either soap or shampoo in it...not sure which. TV was nice as it allowed for TV viewing as well as ship activities and the ability to review accounts. Bought the 1 device package on day 2 and found it to be worthwhile though fairly slow and no video streaming. If you want to use a second device, it costs more so we just made sure only one device was connected at the same time. Room service was good but limited menu. Unfortunately I pulled a hamstring on day 2 but medical was excellent and no charge since it happened on board the ship. Flowrider was pretty crowded and since we were in a group of 26, I rented it out for an hour just for us and it was super. Lots of rides and the kids loved it. Food was disappointing and has declined in quality every RC cruise we have taken...now our fourth. Lobster nice was average at best and steaks were thin and only satisfactory. Food description on the menu sounds marvelous but portions are tiny and tasteless in many cases. Fisher mans platter was about as good as a McDonalds fish sandwich. Salmon was overlooked and soups disappointing. The wine list was a joke. We ordered a bottle to find out ten minutes later that they did not have it. Went to second selection and same deal. Finally told the beverage gal to choose but wine arrived after we had already finished main course. 80% of the wines on the list were not in stock. On the first night, We were told that it was still being unboxed but that was BS since the same thing happened the next night. Apparently they changed the wine list and did not update it on the menus provided to the passengers. Extremely poor performance there. We chose the early sitting for dinner to allow the kiddos a chance to eat and then head to ocean club and allow the parents an enjoyable kid free meal. Unfortunately service was so slow that when they came to get the kids at 6:45pm, they had not finished nor had even ordered dessert. Another disappointment. Giovanni's was surprisingly excellent but you need to overlook them trying to constantly sell you additional visits or wine pourers. Food was far superior to the main dining room. Good wine selection too. Did not go to Chops as a previous cruise found it to be overpriced and not all that good. No extra C&A points though I paid for 21 people and 7 staterooms which was a little disappointing. Also the concierge club which used to be open to Junior Suite folks is now only open to the better suites. Ice show was good and pools not too crowded until the two days at sea when it was a mob. Lunch buffets by the pool were good. Windjammer buffet was okay but my son mentioned he had just returned from a Carnival cruise where their buffet was superior. Fresh squeezed OJ comes with th ultimate package and it was good. Recommend this if you like the drink of the days, the OJ, Starbucks coffee, and bottled water. Johnny Rokets made good burgers and shakes but fries were not as crispy and good as Windjammer. Ice show was good except a few animal characters for the kiddos would have been nice. Promenade was enjoyable and enjoyed Two Poets which was never crowded and a good singer and guitar player named Dallas was great. Ports would have been better for snorkeling but rain messed up Belize and Roatan. Enjoyed a tour of the monkeys and sloths in Roatan. Disembarkation was not as bad as we had heard. Follow the instructions and it is pretty painless except that the customs line was a bit long because of our visits to Belize and Honduras. RCI has lots to improve upon before I would select them again even with my C&A status. Not enough benefits for repeat cruisers to make it worthwhile. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We cruised on the Navigator of the Seas out of Galveston with my extended family, 17 people total, ranging in age from 2 to 71. The itinerary was a 7 night cruise to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica. This was my third cruise and the ... Read More
We cruised on the Navigator of the Seas out of Galveston with my extended family, 17 people total, ranging in age from 2 to 71. The itinerary was a 7 night cruise to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica. This was my third cruise and the first time with Royal Caribbean. We are from San Antonio and Austin which makes leaving from Galveston convenient. The traffic at the port was a mess and took a long time. The embarkation process was okay, but the lines were long and slow. We arrived around noon and were onboard by 1:30pm. We were able to go to our staterooms, but when we got there, the cabin was so small, I thought they had made a mistake. We had four cabins in a row on the 3rd floor, each with adults and children. My parents had a balcony room on the 7th floor (which was much larger and very nice). We were 2 adults (in our 40’s) and 2 children (ages 12 and 13) in our room but there was only a king sized bed. We looked around bewildered and could not figure out where the supposed bunk beds would be. Furthermore, I could not find an attendant or a single person to ask. Other people were wandering around the hallway asking the same thing. I ended up going up to guest services and was told the beds come down from the ceiling and our stateroom attendant would lower them after dinner. Basically, the bunk beds hang over the king sized bed. I had looked online before the trip and had even called Royal Caribbean about the sleeping arrangements in a family room, and could not find any information. There are no pictures of this room configuration on the website or anywhere else. I took some pictures once the beds were down and will post them online so others will know what to expect. In addition, the cabin itself was really dirty. It seemed the only thing done between the prior guests’ departure and our arrival was to make the beds. There was hair in the bathroom and on the window sill above the bed, sand all over the floor and couch, some kind of smeary stains (blood?) on the walls, dried vomit on the curtains above the bed, and a disgusting toilet brush that lingered in the bathroom during our entire stay. Our stateroom attendant came by and introduced himself (Leon) and assured us the beds would be lowered after dinner time and he would vacuum the floor. I did not mention the other things because I would basically be asking him to clean the room properly, but I didn’t want to get off on the wrong note. It was getting late so we went to the Wind Jammer for lunch. The food was good with lots of variety. After lunch, we explored the ship. We watched the departure from the top deck and enjoyed a drink. We returned to the cabin late in the afternoon thinking we might unpack, but none of the luggage had arrived to our room. Leon assured us the luggage would be there soon. But by dinner time, our luggage had still not arrived, even though all my family in the other cabins had theirs. I had to go to dinner wearing shorts with holes in them. Bummer. Next time, I’ll pack my dinner clothes in my carry on. We had a 5:30 pm dining time. Our group of 17 was split amongst two tables next to one another. We ended up eating in the main dining room every night of the cruise. I really didn’t care for the food, but everyone liked the experience of eating in the dining room. Some of the items were better than others (salmon was good, steaks were not good). The kids became increasingly adventurous with what they ordered each night (escargot, lamb, duck, etc.), which was fun to watch. Everyone enjoyed the interesting desserts and being able to order as many items as they liked from the menu. The portions were very small (ex., 5 chips served with the spinach and artichoke dip made us laugh), but that was fine since none of us are really big eaters anyway. Our waiter was not friendly and was actually abrupt and sometimes downright rude. He was always behind the other tables in his service cycle. Not that we wanted to rush, but he was consistently slow and seemed very stressed out. The wine steward was also rude and not knowledgeable about the wine list and his service was very slow also. But the young lady who brought the bread basket around each night and refilled tea and water glasses was so sweet. She smiled the whole time and was so warm and pleasant. She needs a promotion!!! After dinner, our luggage arrived and we were able to unpack. The cabin had very little storage for 4 people. It would have been fine for 2, but with 4 people, there definitely was not adequate space to unpack our things. I had to get pretty creative to make it work. At the end of the first day, I was kind of annoyed and disappointed. It had not been the best beginning for a cruise. But luckily, the rest of the trip went so much better and despite a rough start, the cruise itself was wonderful. The second day was a sea day and we had to pass through a tropical storm. It was pretty rough waters and the boat was rocking, not enough to make people ill, but enough to through off your balance. They closed the upper decks until we were through the storm by the late afternoon. My husband decided to buy a beverage package on the second day (beer, wine and soda), which was probably a cost saver in the long run. The prices of the drinks are really high! Being able to bring two bottles of wine onboard (plus the ones my sister carried on for me, since she doesn't drink wine) was perfect for me. Surprisingly, no one even used the soda cup. In the end, I think we got our money's worth, but it would be nice if there was an allowable amount of beer you could bring too. While I'm on the subject, the policy on bringing water onboard seems a bit fuzzy. Most of our group had no trouble and just put a luggage tag on our water case and it arrived at the room with the luggage. But we saw another person carrying water during boarding who had it confiscated. So stupid. They should just make an allowance for bringing on a case of water to keep in your stateroom. Jeez... The third day we docked in Cozumel. We arrived later than scheduled due to the weather the day before, but that was nice because we got to sleep in a little later. We had booked the Fury Catamaran Snorkel and Beach Break through Royal Caribbean. This was so much fun. The catamaran’s crew were very capable and kept the beers and margaritas flowing. The snorkeling location was not that great. There weren’t that many fish and the waters were pretty rough that day. But at least it was memorable. The private beach had lots of inflatables to play on and the kids had a blast. You could order a hamburger or hotdog that was made fresh in front of the guests. They are enormous and delicious and could easily be split between two people. We stayed at the beach for about an hour and a half then boarded the catamaran for the trip back to the boat. The crew played music and got the passengers dancing on the deck. It was really entertaining to watch everyone. We were back in time to do some shopping in the port before getting back onboard the ship. The fourth day, we tendered in Grand Cayman. It was a late arrival (10 am) and they prioritized those guests with excursions booked through Royal Caribbean to get off the ship first. Everyone else needed a numbered ticket to disembark and the process was slow. We didn’t get off the ship until almost noon. We did not have an excursion booked because we had heard how beautiful the beaches are and decided to take cabs on our own. It was easy to get a cab and we were taken to Public Beach. Our cab driver said she would take us back and we arranged a time. There was a bar/restaurant where we ordered buckets of beer and headed out to the beach. This beach was very narrow and pretty crowded. We rented a couple of chairs and umbrellas. The kids snorkeled and played in the water. We ordered food from the bar, which was very good. But it was very hot that day and we only stayed at the beach for a couple of hours. Our driver returned to pick us up and we asked to be dropped off near the port to shop. Grand Cayman is clean and safe to walk around, but we had to remind the kids to be careful crossing the street since they drive on the other side of the road. We bought a few souvenirs and returned to the tenders for the ride back to the ship. It was enjoyable, but we probably would have had more fun if we had booked an excursion. The fifth day, we docked in Falmouth, Jamaica. I had booked an excursion through a private company (Liberty Tours) for a trip to Blue Hole. This was such an amazing day and I cannot say enough good things about the experience. I had been given directions by the tour company on where to meet our guides and we found the meeting place easily. We divided into two groups and were taken to the comfortable, air conditioned vans. The driver of our van was Rose Marie. She was so friendly and outgoing and kept us entertained the whole way. She would answer any and all questions happily and knowledgeably. There was never a lull in the conversation and the facts she told us about life in Jamaica were fascinating. The drive to Blue Hole is over an hour, but was part of the fun. Seeing the homes and people of Jamaica going about their day was really cool. It is such a unique culture. The drive up to the falls was off the main road and along a bumpy, windy, narrow dirt road. Once we arrived, we were led up to the falls by our guides; two young Jamaican guys who were very friendly (Irving and Morgan). Our group was led up the falls and shown where to jump off into the pool below. You could jump from different heights depending on how adventurous you wanted to be. Some were easy (about 6 feet or so) and some were really high (30 plus feet). Everyone in my group jumped from various heights, and even the oldest generation braved the most treacherous of the falls. The guides held onto each person securely as they walked to the edges of the falls. These young men were so strong and capable, we felt very safe. However, this is not an easy excursion. It is best to be up for a little adventure!!! There was a rope swing at the end which was fun too. Once everyone in the group had jumped, the guides would run off the falls and do the most amazing flips and dives. Very impressive!!! It is suggested to wear water shoes, and while they are certainly no fashion statement, I was glad I had them. The rocks could get pretty sharp in some places. After the falls, we were driven in the vans back down the mountainside to “Scotchies” for lunch. Our drivers had called ahead, so the food was ready when we arrived. We sat outdoors and enjoyed the wonderful jerk chicken, rice and “peas” (beans), and sodas they brought us. The portions were large and by that time everyone had worked up an appetite. The food was fresh, hot and delicious. There was a bar for those of us who wanted a Red Stripe or Rum Runner. After lunch we headed back to the port with over an hour to spare. This was everyone’s favorite excursion and was truly a unique experience. The sixth and seventh days were at sea and we enjoyed everything the ship had to offer. We watched the ice show (wonderful), climbed the rock wall, played on the Flow Rider, worked out at the gym, lounged by the pool, and caught the nightly shows in the theatre. Disembarkation went smoothly and we were on the road by 10:30 am. Overall, this cruise was one of our family’s favorite vacations. The kids said they had more fun on this trip than on our Disney World vacations. My parents even booked themselves another cruise for next year. Comparing the two cruise lines I have taken out of Galveston, there are some things I like more about Royal Caribbean and some things I prefer about Carnival. I guess the deciding factor in the future will be promotional prices and destinations. But we really had a great time on this cruise and look forward to more in the future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Loved our balcony cabin in room 1826 (more below in cabin review) and had great service from our room steward. PROS: Navigator was refurbished a couple of years ago and is still well maintained and looks great. The overall layout ... Read More
Loved our balcony cabin in room 1826 (more below in cabin review) and had great service from our room steward. PROS: Navigator was refurbished a couple of years ago and is still well maintained and looks great. The overall layout with the Promenade deck is nice. Service in the dining room was fantastic and food in the dining room was very good. The ice skating show is top notch. CONS: Drink prices are outrageous! $14 for a Moscow Mule in R Bar and over $10 for the drink of the day special. RCI's shore excursions really aren't great. In Cozumel we went with a snorkeling excursion and the water was way too rough for snorkeling (our guides assured us it would be better once we were actually in the water) and the equipment wasn't good quality (my daughter's mask never fit properly which we didn't learn until we were in the water, my fins had a defective strap that kept coming off, daughter's life jacket had a grimy blow-up tube that left black marks on her face). In Grand Cayman the ship arrived early so we were told to get off early only to arrive at our excursions meeting point and end up waiting an hour and 20 minutes in the heat (way past even the original meeting time). The shows weren't very good and did not seem to fit the audience on the ship. They debuted a brand new ballroom dance show one night and it had a very Latin them with lot of songs in Spanish. Most of the people around us had walked out before it was over. There was also an Elvis impersonator (really only appealed to the older crowd, and not to any of the younger couple/families) and a comedy show. I was surprised they didn't have an aerialist show or big singing/dancing show other than the ballroom dancing. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Navigator of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.3
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.5 4.2

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