We were on the Feb 26th sailing on the beautiful Splendour of the Seas.
We chose to drive down the night before and stayed at the Galveston Hilton since they offered secured parking, as well as a shuttle to and from the cruise terminal. I highly recommend this hotel for a pre and post cruise stay. We spoke with the bellman upon check in to set up our shuttle time and we were able to book the first one at 11:30.
Embarkation: We made it to the cruise terminal around 11:50 and we were able to zip through the check in process and were on the ship by noon. We first went to check on our table location for the main dining room. We had table number 12 which was right by the windows. Great location! Then we proceeded up to the windjammer for a bite to eat. They have hand sanitizer stations set up at both entrances and I saw everyone using them. The food here was pretty good. I would say above average for a buffet. We were able to get into our room by 1pm and we met our cabin steward. He took such good care of us all week that we gave him an extra tip above what we had prepaid for. The bedding was wonderful and we both slept wonderfully. Our luggage was waiting for us when we went to our room to get the life jackets for the muster drill. So since I had some time to kill we unpacked and got everything put away. After the muster drill we headed up to the pool deck for the sail away party. For the welcome show they had comedian David Orion performing and he was quite funny.
1st full day at sea: We woke up this morning early in anticipation of our first full day at sea. We had breakfast and lunch just about every day in the windjammer or the solarium cafe. Very good variety, and the crepes in the solarium are out of this world! We attended the Park West art auction and we were able to attain one of the pieces we really liked. They have wonderful deals on a lot of the art so I highly recommend attending at least one of the art auctions. After the art auction, we made our way over to play Bingo. We thought it was kind of high for what you get so we didn't go back for the rest of the cruise. The Royal Caribbean singers and dancers did "Dancing through the Movies" show tonight. It was well done and we enjoyed ourselves.
Cozumel: We were able to dock here at the downtown pier. We signed up for the Xcaret excursion through the ship and we had a blast here. Just a warning, they don't tell you that you will be doing a fast paced ten minute walk through Playa del Carmen to get to the chartered bus. Some of the older people were complaining that it was not mentioned. There is so much to see and do here. We chose to hang out under a palapa on the beach area and soak in the rays, as well as snorkel in the inlet. Before we realized it, the time had come to walk to the front of the park to catch out chartered bus back to the ferry.
Costa Maya: We almost missed this port because of the weather. It was sunny, but very windy and the seas were rough. Somehow the captain managed to get us docked and we had the port all to ourselves this day. There was supposed to be two other ships in port with us, but I guess they didn't take a chance on docking. For this reason, the vendors seemed quite pushy to us. We did a little bit of shopping and got some great deals on pure vanilla, along with some other stuff. We went back to the ship to drop off our goods, and decided to spend some quiet time at the pool. The stage show that was scheduled for tonight was canceled because of the rough seas, but they substituted with the next nights show. This was the Los gauchos and it's hard to explain but highly entertaining.
Final day at sea: We woke up this morning feeling sad because it was our final day at sea. We played some putt putt/ had fun in the casino, among other activities. Since we were going to be staying in Galveston for a post cruise mini vacation, we chose to put our bags out between 7pm and midnight. The stage show tonight was Ballroom fever and we thought it was the best of all of them. Don't miss it.
Debarkation day: We had to be out of our staterooms by 7 am so they could start preparing for the next cruise. We went up to the windjammer for a quick bite to eat and then our color was to meet in the Top hat lounge. You could tell a lot of people were sad to see the cruise was officially over. Everyone was quiet and had somber looks on their faces. We breezed through customs and were back at the Hilton for an afternoon dip in the pool.
Overall: This was our first cruise and we had an amazing time. We will definitely book again. The crew and staff were friendly and always had an answer for whatever question we might have thrown their way.