Me and my college aged son on our 7th cruise, 4th on Royal Caribbean. Looking to relax after the harsh Ohio winter and do some scuba diving.
We flew into Hobby airport around 1:30. We pre-booked Cool Tours for our transportation from Hobby to hotel. As soon as we landed I turned my phone on and they called with instructions to find them. Very smooth operation. Our driver was friendly and shared with us a lot of Galveston history. It was interesting and enjoyable.
Since we wanted to visit NASA we stayed at the Courtyard Marriott across the street from it which was a good choice. Nice hotel with several restaurants and a CVS pharmacy within walking distance.
We again booked Cool Tours to get us from hotel to Port Galveston. We scheduled our ride for 9:30. They called at 9:20 and were waiting outside. Since we didn't get to see Galveston, our driver took us the scenic route showing us some highlights of the island. He shared a lot of history and facts making the ride again interesting and pleasurable.
This has to be the smoothest embarkation ever. We arrived at the port by 10:15. Someone immediately took our bags and we got in line. By 10:30 they were letting us inside to proceed with our paperwork. In full disclosure, having a JS allowed us priority boarding but both lines were moving equally fast. After getting 'signed in' we sat for a short time and by 11:00 were in the Windjammer enjoying lunch.
We mostly ate in the main dining room. I am not a 'foodie' but there were many choices and the food was good. We are not buffet people so only ate twice at the Windjammer. Food was fine and tables were plenty.
We used room service a couple of times and enjoyed what we ordered. I absolutely love the bistro burgers on the menu.
For the first time we decided to try Johnny Rockets. We ended up going there three times for lunch. The burgers were good but I was mainly going for the apple pie they offer for dessert. It's tasty!
Our room steward was Stephanie from Jamaica and she was awesome. She kept our cabin spotless and did a good job of getting in and out around our crazy schedule.
Our main dining room waiters were excellent. Our head waiter asked us to call him Sing as we couldn't pronounce his name. He and his assistant Deandra worked their tails off and we never wanted for anything.
The only service complaint I have is Johnny Rockets. Each of the 3 times we ate there the service was not good. And the workers there seemed to be genuinely miserable. The first visit we witnessed 2 servers arguing over whether a specific table was theirs or not. Definitely a downer and not the experience you expect.
Since we scheduled private scuba dives in Cozumel and Grand Cayman I wont spend much time on ports. We had some of the best dives ever. If anyone wants info on who we booked with just ask. In Jamaica we did a little shopping and got back on the ship.
We attended the parade which was very enjoyable, even for adults. And we also attended my favorite, the 70's Street Party. We went to the Love and Marriage game show which was hilarious. Also made it to the ice show, titled Ice Dancing. This show is awesome! Went to Quest which is always a good time. We didn't make it to any of the other shows.
We pre booked our transfer back to Hobby through RCI. We were told to be in the Metropolis Theater by 8:30. We went at 7:15 and around 8:00 they were leading us off the ship. I have read complaints about lengthy waits to get through customs at this port but we had no problems. By 8:45 we were on the transfer bus headed back to Hobby.
We really enjoyed cruising out of Galveston. I mean no insult to other home ports, but I have to say that hands down the people on this cruise were the friendliest and most polite I have cruised with. It just stood out.
I would have to guess that a large percentage of them are from Texas.
While I enjoyed touring NASA, I regret that I didn't get to see much of Galveston. For those of you who avoid this port because of possible fog and transportation challenges, all I can say is it's your loss. This is a great port! Due to our schedules, and the fact that my son and lots of my money go to Ohio State University, I dont get to cruise as often as I would like. Therefore I choose my cruises carefully. With this in mind, a future cruise out out of Galveston will definitely be at the top of my list.
I have enjoyed all of my cruises but this one is my favorite thus far. Everything went smooth. Fellow cruisers as well as most of the ship staff were pleasant and fun.
Because I need to keep in touch back home, I purchased the unlimited internet package for 1 device. Cost was $189.95 and was totally worth it. Used my Nook tablet most of the time and was able to logon all over the ship.
Unlimited for 2 devices cost $229.95, Daily Plan for a 24 hour span is $59.90, 3 Day Special Plan is $140.95, 1 hour is $29.95 and for 30 minutes it cost $10.00.
The ship played Country & Western music the majority of the time. Not a big fan of it. On a Caribbean cruise it would have been nice to hear a better mix of music styles. Didn't make or break my cruise, just sayin.
Not sure what happened in Grand Cayman. This was our 4th time there and it never took as long to tender off the ship as it did on this cruise. We pre-booked and put deposits on scuba dives which we nearly missed.
In prior JS cabins we had a coffee table which we made full use of. For whatever reason this JS did not which was kind of inconvenient.