We just returned from our Royal Caribbean cruise on Mariner of the Seas. It is our understanding that Mariner will be leaving Galveston and going to Asia in two weeks and Navigator will be replacing it in Galveston. This is going to be a good change, and there are so many things that are alike on both ships, that there will still be the same care and concern for its passengers.
We drove in from Oklahoma and arrived on Saturday evening staying at the Holiday Inn, Webster, Texas. This is a great location to the port. Just a short 30 minute drive the next morning. This hotel was excellent, in a great location for dinner and shopping. This suburb seems fairly new so there were several hotels here that we would use again. We ate breakfast at a local restaurant, then got last minute purchases (water, flea collar, cold medications at a local store before driving to the port.
We arrived at the Port about 10:30am. We use Indoor parking at Galveston Park-n-Cruise. This is very convenient. We actually go to the Strand and shop for a little bit at the quaint little shops before going back to our car, getting our luggage and walking the short distance to board our ship. We took our luggage to the appropriate area (not labeled very well). We then got in line for pre-boarding and paperwork. We had completed the Sea Pass info on line so it was just a matter of getting thru screening, and then another line to get our Sea Pass Cards. This was the only negative to our cruise. Lines were not very well labeled, or the attendant was not clear and we got in the wrong line. We are just gold members, but there is a line for us, and it would have been a lot less time. About a one hour wait before boarding the ship. Our first cruise was on Navigator, so Mariner was the same layout.
Our room was in the perfect location! We were 8601, back of the ship with an Atrium View. These are just a little more than an inside room but have windows to the promenade. This was an excellent location to go up 3 flights of stairs to the Windjammer for Breakfast, or down 3 flights for dining.
Belize is a 45 minute Tender Ride each way and we just didnt see anything of interest to us in the list of excursions, so stayed on the ship and had it all to ourselves.
Cozumel-We had been to this port several times so just did a little shopping at the port. The other port, where Ron Jon's is located is so much better for shopping. I think that Cozumel has the best prices for things and more of a variety. We would have liked to have gone to a beach but these are more crowded since there were five cruise ships here so again, went back to the ship and enjoyed the Solarium and pools by ourselves.