We drove to Galveston and stayed at the Hilton Galveston Island, arranged through RCCL. Hotel was rather expensive, but it was a last minute trip and spring break. They let us park for the week at a sister property.
Embarkation: we took a shuttle to the port rather late, at 1330. The nice part was we had virtually no lines and had priority check in. When we got on the ship our cabin was ready. This makes me re-think wanting to be first at the port on embarkation day.
Ship: The ship was clean, comfortable, and we never felt crowded except on debarkation day and during some of the sales in the Royal Promenade.
Fellow Passengers: Many families since it was spring break, but all the kids onboard were very well behaved, most were seasoned cruisers. There were over half of the passengers were from Mexico, so it was a bi-lingual trip for sure.
Cabin: First time we let RCCL pick our cabin, we were as far to the bow as you can get. No balcony for us this time and I missed that, but we survived. Our Steward, Theodore was from Honduras and took great care of us.
Food: Most nights in the MDR,the 1745 seating, had wonderful table mates. We ate at CHOPS one night and it was excellent. The food was good, if you don't like something they will replace it with something else. We are not picky eaters and did just fine. The Cafe Promenade was great for a late night snack. We also spent every evening at the Irish Bar, Wig and Gavel, people watching and having a drink.
Entertainment: The RCCL singers and dancers did a great job. The singers were performing for the second time a new show and it was very well done. Hubby enjoyed it and he is hard to impress because he does sound and lighting for a living. He was very pleased with their featured singers. We did not go to the comic show, we heard the ice show was excellent. The aerial/strength group called Duo Enchantment was ok, feats of strength, nothing special in a world where Cirque de Solei is expected.
Excursions: only complaint was that my husbands excursion in Cozumel was cancelled the night before at 2200 due to lack of participation, I wish we had been warned sooner so he could have made other plans. I went on another excursion without him, he wandered around Cozumel all day, alone. With 7 ships in port though, he wasn't too alone!
The only unusual part of the trip is those sales in the Royal Promenade made for a nearly riot mentality. What some people will do for $10.00 cheap watches and jewelry is unusual. Fun to watch the frenzy but I don't get the fascination with it.
The ship is on her way to Singapore soon and I wish her well.What I love about cruising is the opportunity to start a conversation with a simple "Where are you from?" We had a fantastic time and look forward to our next cruise.
Debarkation: after all the horror stories, our experience was easy. The line for U.S. citizens was short, there were plenty of customs agents available and we were off the ship in no time. Only hard part was after we made it to the car we realized hubby left his I-Pad on the ship in the departure lounge. We ran back to the ship with a security guard and it was gone. It was password protected and not much of importance was on it, so lesson learned, don't leave your valuables behind! We tried to Ping it, but never got a response back as to where it was.