BACKGROUND: This was my 5th, and my husband's 4th cruise. We have cruised on the Destiny, Conquest, Jubilee, just me on the Holiday, and now the Elation. The Elation is currently sailing the Ecstasy itinerary since the Ecstasy has been chartered to FEMA. We sailed to Cozumel and Progreso, Mexico. We have no children and are in our mid-thirties. We are fairly conservative, but enjoy having a good time.
PRE-CRUISE: First of all, we were almost late for check in for the flight to Houston IAH George Bush Intercontinental. It was storming the whole way to the airport. We went through water across the road several times. I was a nervous wreck. When we arrived, the Continental ticket agent fussed at us and was a real jerk. We will be more careful next time to arrive earlier. We still should not have been treated like that. After boarding the plane, the pilot makes an announcement that we are overweight and some bags are going to have to be taken off. We were heartbroken. The agent checking us in was one of the employees loading bags. He knew which ones were ours because they had neon green luggage straps. We just knew that he was going to leave ours behind. I was suddenly wishing we had traveled a day early. We decided that there was nothing we could do and we would just have to buy some clothes on the ship. I said a prayer and tried to enjoy the flight. The plane ride was as smooth as glass, even though we went through the storms. It was a nice small jet. Unfortunately, the stewardess was also rude. We were not very happy with Continental Airlines customer service at this point. When we landed at IAH, we were at a different terminal than we thought we would be. After a confusing walk to the baggage claim, we waited to see if any of our bags had made it. One by one, they all came out. We were both shocked and greatly relieved. But that is not the end of the confusion. Even though our tickets said Continental, we were actually at the Continental Express terminal, a big difference at IAH. I then tried to call Galveston Limo. We had arranged and prepaid for shuttle service to the ship with them. I got a recording that basically said the office was closed. I started getting worried because we were at a different terminal than what we were supposed to be. I finally reached them after 9:00 AM and told them that I was at terminal B instead of A. The woman fussed at me and was not very nice. She said that I should have known I was flying Continental Express instead of Continental. I was beginning to wish that I had used the Carnival shuttle service. The Carnival employee at the airport was a nice old lady, who was very sweet and helpful. We settled into some seats after calling Galveston Limo, anticipating a long wait for their shuttle. Our shuttle was not supposed to come until 10:45. Just a few minutes later, a Galveston Limo rep walked into the terminal and I jumped up and was able to get us on that shuttle to Galveston, much earlier than expected.
GALVESTON LIMO: At the end of my review you will see that I had an overall positive experience with Galveston Limo and would use them again. However, I was not so sure at the beginning of my trip. The bus used for the shuttle was not very nice. It was packed to the brim and since it was a rainy day, it made it seem even worse. It was so bad that I refused to lean back in my seat and relax. It felt gross. The ride to Galveston was uncomfortable, but I managed to make it with only a small backache from leaning forward the entire time. There were lots of Celebrity folks on our bus, mostly older people or middle aged. They were a lot of fun to talk to. The Galaxy was leaving for the Panama Canal. Also, the Grand Princess was there, but I did not talk to anyone leaving on it. The Norwegian Dream was also leaving from Houston the same day, and I spoke with several Dream people while waiting at the airport. It seemed like the Dream had a passenger demographic similar to Carnival. When we arrived at Galveston, the driver mentioned that it was very unusual for the three ships to be in Galveston at once. It was a neat thing to see.