July 2015 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Galveston Roundtrip) Cruise on Navigator of the Seas
I'm a cruise traveler. I have been on pretty much every cruise line. But this was my first time on Royal. I chose this cruise line because of the commercials of Kristin Chenoweth. Of course, I was on an older ship not the one that she recommended. It was OK. Just not what I expected. Let me start with the food choices. In the dining room there were no good choices. The classics should have consisted of a lasagna or spaghetti, chicken fried chicken or steak, or a fettuccine pasta. We found ourselves wanting the ambiance of the restaurant but not eating the food. The restaurant wait staff were great deserving a 10. But they could not change the menu choices. Then they have the Windjammers with the same food day after day. No food choices except for Cafe Promenade after 9 p.m. Then rest assure you are going to get a sandwich. Most of the decent food cost an up charge. For example to get a good burger. You have to go to Johnny Rockets and pay 5.95 a person plus tip, plus drinks. Even cheap Carnival gives you Guys Burgers for FREE. Then you have room service. Order by a certain time or you will be charged a fee. We had the beverage package but if we decided to use a regular cup instead of the souvenir cup we were stopped and ask to show our beverage id on our ship card. I guess I was use to getting food and having some special food events at night. There are cruise lines that do the Mexican buffet one night at midnight. And a chocolate lover event late night. Even a barbecue event on sea days. But none of that was on this ship. Okay so off the food. Now lets talk entertainment/games. You play trivia. Not asking too much but even if you win you get a highlighter or a zipper pull. But what about something to remember your vacation like a small trophy. Also, the shows. I guess I was expecting grandeur. With a Tony winner promoting Royal. I thought better shows with sets and massive talent. Although, the ice show was beautiful. Beautiful set design, costume and talent. The show was the right length as well. The Quest was fun. It was interactive. I even brought my teenage daughter and she loved it. The cruise director is funny and personable. As far as the smoking in the casinos. I hated it. Any time I needed to get to my room, I had to walk through there. Although, I know that it will be a long time before one cruise line steps up and takes the ball and get rid of it. I worked for Marriott a long time. They were the first to get rid of smoking on property and after a month later all the hotels followed suit. Shopping was okay. They need much more event shopping and a lot lower prices. Then the rooms. Very small must have done with a wide angle lens. The beds fold out on top. Not use to that. Was on another cruise line where they were on the other side of the room. Great for safety, I would think. Then there is the shower. Only one if you get the ocean view room. Other cruise ships are retrofitting the two bathrooms in one ocean view room. The room attendant was very efficient. He cleaned the room from top to bottom. He was friendly and he defiantly was deserving of his tip. The embarkation and debarkation had many kinks. I arrived early but the time I was on the ship they were in the drill. It's wasn't efficient checking in at all. In fact, in all my years this one took the longest ever. Not sure whether there was a problem or what. Getting off was the same challenge. We were sent to crowded rooms with lots of people and had to wait for a time.
I'm not telling anyone not to take this ship. You could absolutely love this. Or if you a comparing to others you may not. I know that Royal makes other ships and I am willing to give them a chance but Navigator I won't do again.