We sailed as a family of 6..me, hubby, boys-18, 15, 13 and my 72 yr old mom. We flew from Cali to Houston and then took Karr Limo to the Galveston pier. No traffic. Nice ride. We had received an email that embarkation would be delayed until 1pm. We had Faster to the fun so were not concerned. We got to the pier around 1030am dropped our bags with the porter and walked around Galveston for a bit. Went back to pier about 1130am. We were directed to the FTTF line..no wait. Check in was less than 10 min. Sat in a special waiting area and got on the ship aroun 1230ish. The FTTF was well worth the $100 spent on both cabins. Our room was ready and luggage waiting. Our room steward never I introduced himself that 1st day and on other cruises we have always had the steward there waiting. We barely saw him and he did just an ok job. Room was cleaned bu t he never washed and replaced our drink of the day glass all week! We had two cove balconies next to each other..2280 and 2284. The stewa r d opened the balcony in between so we had one very large one and it was very convenient to go between rooms. Loved the location. No lifeboats above us so we did get sun. It was very quiet and very little movement from the ship. A b it of walk to the buffet, etc but a little exercise never hurts with all of that food!
We had the burrito bar and indian food when we first boarded and both were very good. Went to the buffet for breakfast and just had them fry an egg to go on bread. Didnt do the buffet at lunch as it was crowded but on sea days the sliders at the oceanside bbq on deck 5 are not to be missed! The line for mongolian wok was always long but I can get that at home. We didnt do any specialty restaurants as the din I ng room was very good with a few misses but I expect that. Our table was oceanview in the Northern lights and the wait staff was superb. Netty, Putu and Punbar were the best we ever had! Always tok advantage of multiple appetizers and entrees and we all shared. Had shark, escargot, lobster, frog legs, etc......the chateubriand was excellent but what they called bernaise sauce was not! The sea day brunch was very good. Try the funny french toast with frosted flake crust. Huge portions-beware. There was always enough to do. Karaoke, trivia, binvo. The newlywed show was hilarious. The casino was fun and we won several jackpots from $30 to over $300. By mid week we had free drinks while playing the slots. Nice perk!
We did all ship excursions. More comfortable for us with the kids. Snorkeling with the dolphins at Anthonys Key resort in Roatan was AMAZING. Cant recoomend it enough. The dolphins ranged In age from 9 1/2 months to 47 years! So friendly and playful. Experience of a lifetime. Did snorkeling and island beach break in Belize which was not worth the money. Snorkeling was just OK. No food or drinks included and the private island was beautiful but a little crowded and the sand itself was not powder. The Mahogany Bay beach in Roatan built by Carnival and was gorgeous! Water was perfect. The magic beach chair ride is worth the $12 in the humid and heat...trust me. My hubby and two older sons did beginner scuba in Cozumel and they enjoyed it. Me, my mom and 13 yr old took the Twister speed boat to Passion Island. That was soooo much fun. They did 360 degree spins in the water and we got soaked! But it was so hot it felt great! Wlly was a great driver. The beach was picture perfecf with multi shades of blue water. A buffet and open bar was included. The food was average but the beach made up for it! Also got a terrific maasage on the beach for $35.
Disembarkation was a breeze with FTTF..we had zone 1. Found our luggage easy but Customs was a nightmare! Long, long lines..took more than an hour... I saw people using porters and they breezed through a special line. We did not notice until it was too late. Use a porter!! The waterslides were fun. Mini golf was good. My boys loved playing basketball. The adultz only Serenity area had great hammocks but needs a pool. We went early between 8am and 9am and never had an issue getting a chair. Lines are not as bad and some say. We did see people cleaning but room service trays stayed out for hours and tables near the tides pool were never cleaned and always had dirty dishes. I wouls recommend this cruise and overall we had a fabulous time. Oh and dont forget to see Bob in the piano bar...so fun!