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 cabin was small and not clean upon our arrival. There was also some initial confusion over the bed arrangement. The pillows were terrible and so flat we had to ask for more to stack upon each other. The bathroom was fine (one person at a time of course) and the shower door was a welcome addition. There was not enough storage space for 4 people to unpack all of their things. The cabin was quiet and the location very convenient to the theatre and the 4th and 5th floors.
The traffic was a mess and parking was slow on the day of embarkation.
We took a cab to Public Beach. The beach is narrow and crowded, but the bar was convenient and the food good. We only stayed for a couple of hours before taking a cab back to the port to shop. This is a very clean and safe port, but I think it would have been more fun to have booked an excursion.