My husband, daughter and son in law and myself flew into Houston and we rented a car to drive to Galveston the next morning. We stayed at the Hilton beach resort and we have no complaints. We had a balcony room which we had our morning coffee on before leaving to go to the pier. Parking at the pier wasn't a problem and was on the ship within an hour.
The Mariner is a beautiful ship and the staff is so friendly. We felt the food was very good no matter where we ate. We actually like the new system were the gratuity's show up on your sea pass card. We gave extra cash to the room attendant and waiter since they gave us such good service.
We never ran out of things to do, their are so many activities to do all day and night! We loved the activity team, Micky, Joyce, Jenny, Christine and the Activity Director Cuddy. We absolutely loved the Cruise Director, Steve Davis! Young with new idea's, full of energy, a great teacher of the Thriller Dance which we all learned and performed before the Quest. Also a very talented singer.
We did our own sightseeing in Cozumel by taking a taxi to the other side of the island to Coconuts and Bob Marley's(Rasatas) bar. No electricity and everything is on generators. I recommended this if you would like to get away from tourist places.
In Grand Cayman did the Stingray Island and in Jamaica we did the all inclusive Hilton Rose Hall resort for the day. We were happy with all of our picks while we were off the ship.
Disembarkation was not as bad as we have heard in Galveston port. We were out picking our car up in about an hour after we left the ship.
We made so many new friends and wish we had another week on the ship but all good things come to an end. We couldn't of asked for a better vacation.