We drove to the new Houston Port and were not sure what to expect. We were thrilled with the ease in getting to the port. The layout for dropping off the luggage and parking is absolutely wonderful! The staff at the port were helpful and pleasant. The facility is very comfortable and not too large so there is not a lot of walking. Houston beats Galveston by a mile as far as port convenience and parking goes.
Check-in was not bad at all. We were soon checked in and told to sit and wait until they began boarding the ship. They began boarding at 11:30 am and getting onto the ship was very easy. The boarding ramps are not overlong, and so getting onto the ship was fast.
Our room was ready when we boarded so we were able to drop off our carry-ons and head to lunch. The ship is similar to most Princess ships. It is very clean, though some of the furniture is a bit worn.
Throughout the week the food was excellent, both in the dining room and the buffet area. The service was exemplary. Our two waiters made our meals very enjoyable.
Our first stop was Cozumel and it was wonderful! We were the only ship in port!! That made the shopping so much more pleasant and the beaches were not crowded at all. It was a very pleasant day.
The next day we went to Mahogany Bay, in Roatan. Again, we were the only ship present so the beach was not crowded at all. We just went to the beach and shopping right in Mahogany Bay. It is hard to beat that. The only criticism I have is that by the afternoon some garbage was washing up on the beach. I do not know if someone was dumping garbage close by but it did detract from the beach area. I do not know if that happens very often, we have been there before and not seen it. But it was a little unpleasant.
The next day we went to Belize. The worst part of Belize is the tender ride going and coming back. The tenders insist on having the boat to full capacity or more (some were standing on the way back) before they launch. So it makes for a long and smelly and uncomfortable wait. We were waiting so long going to Belize we almost got off the tender, thinking we would just spend the day on the ship, and then they finally launched. In Belize the shopping is good. The problem is there is not much shopping that is unique. I did find a little booth behind the main stores that I always visit when we go to Belize. The couple make unique jewelry from shells and has managed to support their family over the years by making the jewelry. I always try to buy something there while in Belize.
The entertainment on the boat is adequate. I did however enjoy the bands and music that was played. A lot of it was the 60’s & 70’s, which is my era, so I did enjoy that. The singers and dancers were just okay. They did have a family time one afternoon in the Piazza where they played music for the kids to dance to. They did face painting, gave the kids large sugar cookies so they could decorate them with sprinkles and different colors of frosting, and had ice cream with lots of syrup and sprinkles to add. It was enjoyable to sit back and watch the kids have fun with their parents. This was the first ship that had such an activity and it was fun.
We were sad to see the trip end. It was thoroughly enjoyable! We would like to go again.
Disembarkation was very smooth and we were off the ship quickly and through customs with not much of a wait at all.
I would definitely recommend this port, this ship and their crew! It makes for a very nice vacation.