My wife and I recently took a cruise aboard the Mariner of the Seas from Galveston. We didn't find Galveston very interesting and will probably not take any future cruises from this port again. We didn't find Galveston an exciting cruise port town and we would recommend anyone plan a cruise out of Galveston.
If you must plan a trip to Galveston for a cruise, we recommend that you book a hotel at the Hilton Galveston. It is a modern, clean hotel that provides cruisers a free shuttle to the cruise port.
Upon arriving at the cruise port, embarkation went well and fast considering the long lines. We arrive at noon and by 1 p.m., we were on our ship. Royal Caribbean did a great job getting us on board quickly.
Our cabin was on the seventh deck and was very clean with lots of space for all your personal items and clothing. Our steward was great and very focused on meeting our needs. Our steward was one of the best stewards we have ever had on a cruise.
Dining was very good. We had anytime dining and had the same table every night with the same waiter and assistance waiter. They were great and they provided us the best service we have ever experienced. Windjammer was good but I thought they lacked the number of options for lunch. Breakfast was good but we enjoyed more the ability to have breakfast in the dining room every morning. Finally, we only utilized one speciality restaurant, that being Johnny Rockets. We enjoyed the lunch meal and received good service.
Bar service was okay. We found that several of the bartenders didn't know how to make some drinks. We found that best cocktails at the bar located on the four deck near the rear elevator.
Entertainment was very good except for the band who thought they could play country music. They should have left them in Galveston when we departed. They had a great band call Latin Power and the shows were great.
As for the ports of call, well we zipped lined in Roatan. We found this exciting and was the only tour that we were interested in. Found port security a bit lacking but all in all, we had a good time zip lining.
Belize City was very interesting. Had to tender in about 5 miles due to the shallow harbor. Belize City looks interesting as you arrive in port. But once on a tour, there are two classes of resident, those that have money and those that do not. Taking a tour of Belize City is an eye opener and you have to feel sorry for those who work hard but have very little to show for it. We found the best shopping at the port and by 1 p.m. we were ready to return to the ship. On the way back, saw a huge pod of dolphins hunting for their lunch. What a neat sight that was.
Our last port of call was Cozumel. This is a great port for shopping, touring and having fun. We did shopping but we spoke to a number of passengersho took a variety of tours and enjoyed them.
Debarkation was a problem. First, we were given instructions for leaving the vessel and assigned a group number and time. But when it came time for departing, groups were called by group letters instead of group numbers. As you departed the vessel and entered the gangway, a huge traffic jam of people kept the line moving slow. However, once we obtained our luggage, clearing customs was very quick. We strongly recommend that you have your bags picked up by the ship crew the night before and when you arrive in the terminal, obtain a porter to help with your luggage. Doing so will help you get through customs quickly.
All in all, this was a wonderful cruise. We would recommend this cruise to Roatan, Belize and Cozumel. If you can take this cruise from any other port than Galveston, do so.