Please, note I'm saying "no ships", not "no naval battles". The lack of 3D naval battles, while regrettable, is understandable and doesn't harm the game too much. But the lack of dedicated naval assets is, according to me, the worst design decision of an otherwise well-done game. I'll briefly state the reasons why:
1) It equalizes factions on the sea, while High Elves should enjoy a very strong naval advantage, Dark Elves the benefits of a pirate strategy supported by Black Arks, and Lizardmen and Skaven should be weaker and rely more on land routes and stealth, and maybe some rare monster or mechanical powerhouse.
2) It introduces a strong and unwelcome element of RNG into the game. In the first Warhammer, sea zones were so limited that the risk of being forced into autoresolve was minimal. Here, it can be a big problem and bring about the failure of whole invasions.
3) It doesn't allow for any dedicated way to influence that autoresolve. By investing into ships, by developing characters into admirals, by deciding if the added security of an escorting fleet is worth the increased costs, or if we should risk sending transports out alone. It could have been an important strategic element for very little effort in terms of graphical assets and animations.
I would really like to know if the choice was deliberate, in which case I would strongly suggest to reconsider, or at least to provide some tools to modders in order to solve the issue, or if it was forced by a lack of the relative license, in which case, well, we can only be sad about it.