This was our second family spring break cruise out of Galveston but our first on RCCL. DH, I and our kids 17 and 14. Sunday we arrived at the EZCruise Parking lot about 11AM where we had a reservation. It easy to find, easy to park, got our stuff and on the shuttle within about 10 minutes. Arrived at the terminal and used the porters. Also easy. The line was outside the cruise terminal which made us nervous about a long wait but it moved quickly. We probably only waited in line an hour total. Much shorter than our last cruise. There was a computer glitch with the sign and sail passes. The kid's printed but the adults didn't. The agents were having to reprint them so it took an extra 20 minutes or so. A little while after us they shut down all the lines to reboot the system so I understand the people who arrived much after us had a much more significant wait but we seemed to get there just in time.
Got on the ship, our cabin was ready so we headed down to drop off our stuff before exploring. We were on Deck 6, inside cabins. One for us and one for the kids and they were as expected. We had lunch in the Windjammer and it was fine. The staff was very nice and helpful. The ship is clean and well laid out. We rarely felt crowded which wasn't true of our last cruise. Our luggage was there next time we went to our cabin. We met our attendant Erick who took great care of us. Muster drill was easy. Not what we experienced before. Our location was in one of the dining rooms so we sat there while the crew demonstrated the safety procedures. Much better than standing out on the deck in a life vest for an hour.
We had late seating which we liked. Had early seating last time and always felt rushed to get ready in time. Our waiter was pretty good but our assistant waiter was terrible. Slow with everything, had to ask several times for drinks. Couldn't get bread, glasses of tea were refilled with soda one evening, water took forever to be refilled. He was just bad. It happens. Our waiter did the best he could and was very accommodating considering the help he had. The food was pretty good. Several times we wanted to try an extra appetizer and our waiter had no problem with that. Several times he offered seconds to my son who was obviously enjoying his dish. Overall it was a good experience but definitely could have been better.
We loved the ice show, hated the adult comedian Max. He was just not funny. We enjoyed the game shows and the karaoke. The only other show we watched was the farewell show and we enjoyed it. The cruise director, Mike, was awesome! Loved him. Very funny and his staff was great too. The piano player was good, Synergy band was good. There were plenty of places to sit, enjoy a drink and people watch. We played craps one night in the casino and had fun but they only had one table. The casino seemed very cramped.
We were always able to find something we liked at breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer. We ate at Johnny Rockets once and it was really good. Definitely worth the extra $5. We also enjoyed the snacks in the Promenade that were served all day. Sandwiches, pizza, cookies and desserts.
Our kids spent a lot of time on the sports deck but wished there was more to do for their age in the evenings. They commented our last cruise was better for that sort of thing. We never had any trouble finding a chair on the deck. It was cooler and windy in the evenings so I was glad to have a sweater.
Disembarkation was a breeze. We carried our own bags off, left the ship about 8:30AM. There was no crowd, no frenzy, no line at customs. Our shuttle was waiting for us and we were in our car by 9:15AM. It couldn't have been easier.
Overall we had a very enjoyable vacation and would definitely do it again!
We took a cab to Paradise Beach and had a great day. It was $13 for our family each way. We loved Paradise Beach. Good service, good location, great food, great value. We paid $12/pp for the wrist bands but could have probably gotten away with just buying them for the kids. Food and drinks were reasonable. They also had free Wi-Fi which we took advantage of to send a couple emails back home. They had a couple computer terminals at the bar and we could also access it with our iPods. Our kids played on the water toys, we got some sun, had a few drinks. There were lots of other things available but we didn't take advantage of them this time. Very good day. We definitely recommend this place to everyone and would go back.
We took a cab to Royal Palms on the Seven Mile Beach. It was a nice place. We rented some chairs and a float, had some lunch and drinks. DH and the kids rented wave runners and had a blast. The food was good, the service was good and the beach was gorgeous. We had some issues with cabs getting back. They put us in a van and we thought we were leaving but they went to get more people. It was really hot and after waiting for a while we asked if someone else was available to take us since there were several drivers there. Our original driver came back with more people so rushed us to a different cab and as we drove out, she also circled back to the front and went to find more people. It was very frustrating. We waited about 20 minutes in hot vans and were not happy. At least let us know you plan to wait to have a full vehicle. I can understand that. Don't lie to me and say we are leaving, then make a circle and go back to the entrance. Very frustrating. Other than that it was a good day. No lines for the tender back to the boat and all went smoothly.
Our family did the zipline through a local company, Zipline Tours. It was great. A shuttle picked us up at the terminal, drove us about 30 minutes to the tour which was 5 ziplines, then shuttle back to the terminal. I was very nervous but it was so easy and a lot of fun. The staff was very nice. We had a photographer that made us a CD of great pictures for a reasonable price. It was much hotter there than the other ports and quite a bit of climbing so we were all exhausted after but we loved it. I highly recommend it. We were with another family who did it through the ship before and they liked this one much better.