We boarded in Houston after a 6 hour delay. They were taking extra time to sanitize the ship and there was a 3-hour delay because of fog in Houston harbor. I know these things can't be helped, so we tried to just roll with it. What WAS extremely irritating was that we were all sitting in a large open room with a water dispenser and 3 vending machines for chips, candy and soda. Period. The trouble was, the crew (at least half a dozen I saw) were walking around with steaming cups of coffee and pastries. I approached two to ask where I could get a cup of coffee. "There is none available for passengers". OK. So why be so insensitive as to walk around the room and torture us?!
We had trip insurance through itravelinsured.com but, thankfully, didn't have to use it. The second morning we heard of a man who was getting CPR (don't know what happened to him), but it made me thankful again for getting that insurance.
We had a very nice cabin - nice to have the extra leg room. The balcony (uncovered), was the same as a regular balcony cabin. Please see cabin video here (cabin D322, mini-suite with balcony):
Don't bother with requesting robes, though, unless you are a size 6 or smaller. They were quite a joke on a size 12 frame. The beds were comfy, towels were always changed if we requested or not. Two tvs in case someone wanted to watch in the sitting area and another wanted to sleep. The large sofa had a pull-out bed for extra people. The bathroom was also larger than our previous balcony cabin. Nice lotion and soap from the spa. The room had a small refrigerator, the closets TONS of hangars, and two big pillows on each bed.
The food onboard is wonderful. I kept thinking how amazing it is to serve that many people and have the quality stay so consistent! Our favorite part was afternoon tea everyday with little sandwiches, pastry, cookies and scones - the scones were the biggest hit with everyone! Once we even got a plate of goodies and took it back to our cabin. It's a good time to try new food - if you don't like it, just order something else - and dessert at every meal :)
We selected 'anytime' dining because we don't like to have to eat at a specific time. We never had to wait to sit down. I would do it again, too, because we met so many new people that way.
We took in a few shows and two movies outside around the pool (they provide popcorn). It's nice to grab pizza, hot dogs, soda and popcorn for the movie. Ice cream cones were very nice, too. The crew walks around with warm blankets if you should need them.
Roatan, Honduras, was lovely because we hired a driver for the day (thank you Rolando from TropicalRez) and he took us around the island to places we would not have seen otherwise. We got to connect with locals and spent time at a deserted beach with the clearest, warm water, had a beach massage for $25 and had a wonderful lunch they cooked just for us. Never saw another tourist.
Belize is a tender port, which means we had to take the shuttle boat to get from ship to shore. Quite nice, actually, and I was leery because I get seasick at the drop of a hat. We sat in the very back facing forward (highly recommend!) and were there in no time. We took the ship tour to the Howler Monkey Sanctuary and Belize Zoo. I recommend both. Don't try to compare them to anything we have in the states. Island sites are totally different - laid back, hand-made signs, fluid rules, often muddy ground. I had been to the sanctuary before and we were thrilled to be greeted by the same guide we had 10 years ago, Carolin. The zoo was also larger than expected and quite interesting. Wear closed shoes - besides the fire ants, if it's wet, the ground will be muddy in both these places. I was disappointed in the shortened sanctuary tour, but because of the rain we couldn't see it all. The Chukka tour guides which handled the tour with really, really lovely - Rose and Terice (Therese?). Lunch at the zoo kitchen was also very nice with slow-cooked chicken, rice and beans.
Cozumel was my least favorite. It was the only port where you get the full-on harrassment non-stop. We spent some time in one shop with the owner actually sitting aside and not bugging us, but when we thanked him and left without buying, he following us down the street yelling "cheapskates! go back to your own country". It was like going to Tijuana with cleaner shops. Next time I will stay on the ship.
Disembarkation went smoothly and we were able to have a nice breakfast before getting off. Gift shops were all closed up, though.