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We were traveling with my three children (10, 12, 14) and my husband and I... My favorite way to read reviews is by subject, so I wrote mine in the same fashion. Hope it helps with your amazing cruise planning! We flew Southwest from Tulsa to Houston Hobby - stayed in Galveston for 1 night before our cruise sailing date so we could be sure to get there in time. A friend of ours from the Houston area picked us up and delivered us to our hotel - Harbor House. The hotel was across from Pier 21 - great location - great bay view - we could see the ships from our hotel window. No pool and the continental breakfast was very slim - but so close to the pier. Whatever we missed at breakfast was definitely made up on the ship. Embarkation - We left the hotel on foot around 10:30 pulling our luggage. Very short walk - all even ground. We arrived around 10:45 a.m. and a porter was there to greet us, take our luggage stack and direct us to the right place. We waited in a short line (one couple in front of us) and were completely checked in, photos taken, passports shown - in less than 10 minutes. We sat down in some blue chairs in this warehouse type building for just a few minutes. At 11:30 sharp the gangway door opened and we proceeded up to the gangway to embark on our wonderful cruise. We wondered around the public deck areas trying to learn the layout for a few minutes -took lots of pictures and then headed to the Windjammer for a buffet lunch. We snagged a window table and hung out there until 12:30 ish. Then we headed out to find the rock wall, put-put course and Solarium. Took lots more pictures and video (wanted to get this done so I wouldn't forget later). Our cabin was ready at 1:00 sharp. Cabins - We were in the Royal Family Suite 8032- amazing room. The verandah was huge. It had a small table with four chairs. The living area had a fold out couch (queen size, I think) and then the master suite area had a queen bed with a dressing table and its own bathroom/shower. The shower was in the tub - very nice - large area - no shower curtain sticking to you while you showered! The boys had their own room with twin beds and two nightstands. Also there was a Pullman bed above one of the twin beds but we didn't use it. They also had their own bathroom/stand-up shower - that was a life-savor with 5 of us in the room! There was so much storage we didn't even use it all - and we had quite a bit of stuff. Each person got their own closet space there were small closet nooks everywhere!! Our cabin steward was Lucky - he was from St. Vincent - the kids thought he was so cool! I would consider us a bit of a challenge with 3 children - he never missed a beat - we kept trying to catch him there - he was so good about coming in the moment we left. Our room was spotless. He made the most awesome towel animals - the kids looked forward to those each night. We tipped Lucky a $20.00 bill at the beginning just as a token of our appreciation for all that he would be doing for us. Our cabin (#8032) was located just below the pool deck. Yes, it was very, very noisy - until very late ( 2:00 a.m.) we heard chairs scraping and being pulled across the deck as well as people running. And then around 5:30 a.m. the morning deck crew re-organized each and every chair by pulling them back to their spots. It was annoying, however, we did get to enjoy the sunrise each morning because we were up. The cabin was very nice - but next time we may look into a couple of suites that are located under other cabins or a nice quite computer lounge or library. (: Oh yes and the Pillow Menu - I finally figured out what that meant! It was literally a menu to order pillows from. Everything from body pillows to posturpedic (sure I didn't spell that one right?!). Very, very cool! We let each of the kids choose one and then husband and I chose one too. We had so many pillows in that room - so much fun!! No free laundry service on this cruise (Holland America offers this for its suite guests) so we never used that service. Concierge's Lounge - Total disappointment. On HAL the concierge's lounge is a huge deal. A concierge was always on duty - foot was plentiful - they knew your name the first day. Hmmm.... We dropped by the concierge's lounge numerous times, no concierge - never met him/her the entire cruise. My daughter and I went at 7:00 a.m. one morning and picked up some fruit and hot chocolate but were told not to leave the room with the plates/drinks. Weird. The choices were slim (maybe three small plates of food/muffins) so we didn't return. There was a lady in there folding towels on the morning we went for the food. She was the one who asked us not to leave with the food. You can make a plate from the Windjammer and return to your room anytime - so we totally didn't understand this rule. Perhaps it was to get you to not come back?!?! If so, it worked. We were so disappointed in the concierge's lounge as we had high expectations - no big deal. We heard there were free drinks in the evenings but never went down to check. Pools - the pools were salt water - for some reason we weren't expecting this as they were chlorinated on HAL. My 10-year-old daughter didn't like it so she only swam a couple of times the entire cruise. The Windjammer Buffet (deck 9) - Great food - amazing view. They have several stations throughout the buffet area. Each station carried different foods. Never had long lines - so many stations throughout the buffet area - really cut down on lines. Very, very smooth buffet service! The waffles on the breakfast buffet are the fantastic! They serve those every day. They had all the normal foods - muffins, eggs, omelets, bacon, sausage, ect... Room Service - We ordered room service a couple of days for breakfast and ate out on the balcony. What a fantastic way to start our day together. We enjoyed eating outside and munch away while gazing at our ever-changing scenery. You could order muffins, eggs (scrambled or omelets), bacon, sausage or ham, hash browns, yogurt, cereal, juices, And coffee - a whole pitcher - it stays hot quite a while. We always tipped $3.00 because our orders were always so big - of course, this is optional. We really enjoyed the delivery guys. They were very nice! The King & I Dining Room - We had first seating (6:00 p.m) Table 114 right by a window. Carolina and Cliff were our servers (I can't remember their official titles) - they were very pleasant. They did a good job - not great but they seemed to want to please. Our experience on HAL set the bar so high. Had we not been on the Westerdam last May we probably would have been fine with the level of service. They don't put the bread in a basket on the table - they continually bring this huge basket to you and have you choose (from three different types) - while we seemed to have plenty of bread constantly - our drinks were left empty a lot. I would ditch the bread service - basket on the table works fine - and focus more on the other needs of the pax. Strange - the bread thing really annoyed me. Okay - I'll move on. Cruise Staff - We had a brand spankin' new cruise director. This was his first cruise. His name was Abe. He did a good job. You could tell he was a little nervous and getting his feet wet. But he was funny - same cruise director jokes as usually - and personable. The activities staff were great - funny group - they do love their job and it shows. As soon as they begin to mesh with Abe - they will be 100%! Adventure Ocean - We had one child in the 9-11 age group (age 9-11). Each night their itinerary would arrive with the main itinerary. She would sit down with her colored highlighters (each person in our group had their own color) and they would highlight the activities that interested her.. RCL allows kids 9 and up (either 9 or 10) to check themselves in and out. Tons of activities - strange time schedule: 9a.m. - noon. 2-5 p.m. and then 7-10 p.m. They had an after hours club - 10pm - 1a.m. but we never utilized this service. There were about 20 kids in this program. The counselors have food names - ours was Mashed Potato Marie - no I'm not kidding - my daughter loved her - we tipped her a $20 on the last night. The Optix Group (ages 12 and up) - Another huge disappointment. I have two that would have fallen into this age group. On our HAL cruise - sorry to keep referencing - the boys were totally plugged in and rarely missed. I add that information to let you know they usually enjoy these kids' activities. But I felt no effort was made to get them lured in. Teens are probably the most difficult pax to keep happy. We understand that. But, the two times they went to their Optix club either no counselor was there - no activities were carried out or it was so "lame" (their description) that they didn't stay. They may need to revamp this area - my husband and I checked the Optix several times throughout the week to try to get them back in there and they were right - no one was there - the room was either empty or being used by the younger group. So, this consequently left our 12 & 14 year olds romping around the entire cruise - hanging out and making new friends. Not a bad thing - but they have such good memories from other cruise kids' programs we were disappointed in this one. Weather - The weather was absolutely perfect!! 85 ish and blue skies!! Cozumel - beautiful - beautiful weather - about 86 degrees - with a bright blue sky - and warm sunshine. - Costa Maya - Excellent weather - partly cloudy with about 85 degrees. Ports of Call/Excursions Galveston - We arrived at Houston Hobby via Southwest Airlines around 9:00 p.m. A friend of ours picked us up and delivered us to the Harbor House. Beautifully renovated warehouse type hotel right on the bay. We had a bay view and awoke to the Princess Sun right outside our window! Spectacular. We walked out onto the pier to see our Splendour of the Seas right behind the Princess. It was a great sight to see - no delays from Cozumel - right on time! Cozumel - Cozumel was experiencing gorgeous weather so when we woke up around 6:00 a.m. and headed out to the balcony we were greeted with balmy weather, clearing skies and a beautiful start to a sunrise. The captain spun us around and we docked. We were the only ones at the pier; however, we could see another ship in the distance just down the shoreline. Never confirmed but think it was a Norwegian ship. We planned a couple of excursions for our Cozumel visit. First, our family of 5 rode Segways, aka The Segway Tour. What a blast. These things are amazing. On a side note - my 10 year old daughter was too young to go through the ship, the RCL age limit was 12 and up. So I signed the boys and my husband up for the excursion through the website. Then, when we docked we strolled up to the Segway guy and asked if he had room for two more that we would like to go along too. He, of course, said yes and we were on our way as a whole family Segwaying!! We put on all the safety gear, practiced riding in the parking lot and then we (and two other couples making our group 9) were ready! We rode our personal transport systems on a bicycle path toward the beach for about 20 minutes - led by our fearless leader, Darwin and followed by Jeep (holding all of our personal belongings) by Alan. Once we got to the beach we stashed our stuff at a Mansion/type house with a pool, Jacuzzi, shower facility and bathrooms and headed out across the beach to snorkel. The guides were excellent and we saw a ton of fish. After about an hour we headed back to the house and enjoyed the snack bar (for an extra fee) and showered and swam. Then we got back on our Segways and headed back to the shop where a taxi was waiting (thanks to Alan radioing in the taxi for us) to take us to our next excursion - Chankanaab Park for our Royal Dolphin Swim. Ahhhh - the Royal Dolphin Swim. This excursion was book directly through Dolphin Discovery (www.dophindiscovery.com) because we wanted to do the Royal Dolphin Swim - the ship only offered the Dolphin Swim and while it was cheaper - it did not include some of the activities we wanted to experience with the dolphins. This single excursion was about $800.00 for our family of 5 and yes, my husband needed oxygen when I told him. However, after the experience we all agreed it was well worth the money. There were 7 of us in our group. Our family of 5 and two women who were sisters. It was a good blend. We watched a 5-minute video before getting into the water to explain all that we were going to do and what would be expected of us. Then we got into the water with our guide. We then kissed, hugged, rode and were propelled out of the water (this one thing is why we upgraded to the Royal Swim) - you float on your stomach - arms and legs outstretched. The dolphins (2) swim to your feet and with their noses they push your feet down into the water - then get underneath you and then push you out of the water superman style. Unbelievable!! The most fun thing we have ever done. Then, after about an hour you are escorted back inside to watch the video that was made during your adventure. They sell these for $50.00 and then pictures for an additional fee. Ours were wonderful - we bought everything - great memories to take home!! After this we headed down the beach in Chankanaab and snagged some great beach chairs with umbrellas - awesome snorkeling and a platform out in the water for the kids to swim to. Dad and I relaxed (okay collapsed) and observed. It was about 4:30 p.m. by now. We hung out there until about 5:30 and then headed back (via taxi) to the pier to board the Splendour. The shower felt wonderful! We were so tired we skipped the dining room and headed to the Windjammer. Costa Maya - perfect relaxation day!! It was about 80 degrees when we docked - great pier - brand new - beautiful. The Costa Maya pier was very commercialized - just like I had read on the boards. There was an Olympic size pool (salt water) and restaurants as well as tons of stores with souvenirs. So we took the advice and headed to Majahaul or Mahahaul (Can't remember?) to the Cat's Meow. Barbara came out to greet us and we started our tab immediately - everyone was thirsty. We also rented 3 beach chairs ($5.00 each) right on the beach. George was our waiter and kept us happy the entire day. We drank cokes all day long, a virgin pina colada and strawberry/banana daiquiri along with two plates of nachos, chips and salsa and coconut shrimp - at the end of the day the total was only $48.00! WOW! How can you beat that?!? Costa Maya was a short day - we had to be back on the ship by 2:30 p.m. for a 3:00 p.m. departure. So, around 1:00 p.m. we headed back to the pier ($3.00 each to get there and then $2.00 each to get back) and let the kids swim with dad while I shopped for those necessary souvenirs for family and friends back at home. Great shopping - nice selection. Then, we boarded at about 2:00 p.m. We didn't get to leave by 3:00, however, some pax didn't seem to get the memo. The captain blew the horn several times, they finally got the message and they came running down the pier. Everyone clapped from the balconies. Funny! Entertainment - The entertainment was good - we made it to a couple of shows - typical ship entertainment. The cruise director, Abe, was brand new - this was his first week at sea - so that was interesting. Dress Code - On causal nights - the pax really went casual. A lot of men and teens wore shorts - most women were dressed in capris. On formal night most dressed up - only saw a few tuxedos - mostly shirts with ties - some jackets/sports coats. Women were dressed from everything from church-type dresses to formals. We had read that this was the norm and for once did not over pack. Disembarkation - We opted for the walk-off - carrying our own luggage - so did about 500 other people. Utter chaos! Unless you have an early flight - skip this mess! They said that only 100 or so pax could sign up for the early walk-off - but when we got to deck 4 at 7:00 a.m. there was mass exodus. Everyone with every kind of luggage tag walked off at the same time. No one was checking any departure tickets. Customs went uneventful - and we were outside ready for our friend to -pick us up by 8:00 a.m. We were at the airport by 9:00 a.m. - plenty early for our 11:30 flight with Southwest. To sum it all up here are some not to be missed items: 1. All you can eat ice cream cones and on deck 9 by the pool. 2. Board the ship early - snag a window seat and enjoy the view while you dine on your first shipboard lunch in the Windjammer. 3. Enjoy the solarium - this area is adults only - nice, padded chairs - very quiet - nice! 4. If the sea is rough - take the kids to swim in the pool - there is a magic wave machine - they had so much fun. 5. Get the all you can drink coke pass - worth it and very, very easy to get cokes - bartenders were pleasant and didn't seem to mind the kids. 6. If you were able to splurge for the balcony be sure and try room service for breakfast one day - it was great having a quiet start to our day on the balcony with the entire gang. Most of all have a blast - the cruise goes by so fast - participate in as much as you'd like - take long walks on the deck with someone you love and enjoy the sunset (and sunrise if you're an early riser). Great family vacation!

Splendour of the Seas - Western Caribbean

Splendour of the Seas Cruise Review by 5 in OK

Trip Details
We were traveling with my three children (10, 12, 14) and my husband and I...
My favorite way to read reviews is by subject, so I wrote mine in the same fashion. Hope it helps with your amazing cruise planning!
We flew Southwest from Tulsa to Houston Hobby - stayed in Galveston for 1 night before our cruise sailing date so we could be sure to get there in time. A friend of ours from the Houston area picked us up and delivered us to our hotel - Harbor House. The hotel was across from Pier 21 - great location - great bay view - we could see the ships from our hotel window. No pool and the continental breakfast was very slim - but so close to the pier. Whatever we missed at breakfast was definitely made up on the ship.
Embarkation - We left the hotel on foot around 10:30 pulling our luggage. Very short walk - all even ground. We arrived around 10:45 a.m. and a porter was there to greet us, take our luggage stack and direct us to the right place. We waited in a short line (one couple in front of us) and were completely checked in, photos taken, passports shown - in less than 10 minutes. We sat down in some blue chairs in this warehouse type building for just a few minutes. At 11:30 sharp the gangway door opened and we proceeded up to the gangway to embark on our wonderful cruise. We wondered around the public deck areas trying to learn the layout for a few minutes -took lots of pictures and then headed to the Windjammer for a buffet lunch. We snagged a window table and hung out there until 12:30 ish. Then we headed out to find the rock wall, put-put course and Solarium. Took lots more pictures and video (wanted to get this done so I wouldn't forget later). Our cabin was ready at 1:00 sharp.
Cabins - We were in the Royal Family Suite 8032- amazing room. The verandah was huge. It had a small table with four chairs. The living area had a fold out couch (queen size, I think) and then the master suite area had a queen bed with a dressing table and its own bathroom/shower. The shower was in the tub - very nice - large area - no shower curtain sticking to you while you showered! The boys had their own room with twin beds and two nightstands. Also there was a Pullman bed above one of the twin beds but we didn't use it. They also had their own bathroom/stand-up shower - that was a life-savor with 5 of us in the room! There was so much storage we didn't even use it all - and we had quite a bit of stuff. Each person got their own closet space there were small closet nooks everywhere!! Our cabin steward was Lucky - he was from St. Vincent - the kids thought he was so cool! I would consider us a bit of a challenge with 3 children - he never missed a beat - we kept trying to catch him there - he was so good about coming in the moment we left. Our room was spotless. He made the most awesome towel animals - the kids looked forward to those each night. We tipped Lucky a $20.00 bill at the beginning just as a token of our appreciation for all that he would be doing for us.
Our cabin (#8032) was located just below the pool deck. Yes, it was very, very noisy - until very late ( 2:00 a.m.) we heard chairs scraping and being pulled across the deck as well as people running. And then around 5:30 a.m. the morning deck crew re-organized each and every chair by pulling them back to their spots. It was annoying, however, we did get to enjoy the sunrise each morning because we were up. The cabin was very nice - but next time we may look into a couple of suites that are located under other cabins or a nice quite computer lounge or library. (:
Oh yes and the Pillow Menu - I finally figured out what that meant! It was literally a menu to order pillows from. Everything from body pillows to posturpedic (sure I didn't spell that one right?!). Very, very cool! We let each of the kids choose one and then husband and I chose one too. We had so many pillows in that room - so much fun!!
No free laundry service on this cruise (Holland America offers this for its suite guests) so we never used that service.
Concierge's Lounge - Total disappointment. On HAL the concierge's lounge is a huge deal. A concierge was always on duty - foot was plentiful - they knew your name the first day. Hmmm.... We dropped by the concierge's lounge numerous times, no concierge - never met him/her the entire cruise. My daughter and I went at 7:00 a.m. one morning and picked up some fruit and hot chocolate but were told not to leave the room with the plates/drinks. Weird. The choices were slim (maybe three small plates of food/muffins) so we didn't return. There was a lady in there folding towels on the morning we went for the food. She was the one who asked us not to leave with the food. You can make a plate from the Windjammer and return to your room anytime - so we totally didn't understand this rule. Perhaps it was to get you to not come back?!?! If so, it worked. We were so disappointed in the concierge's lounge as we had high expectations - no big deal. We heard there were free drinks in the evenings but never went down to check.
Pools - the pools were salt water - for some reason we weren't expecting this as they were chlorinated on HAL. My 10-year-old daughter didn't like it so she only swam a couple of times the entire cruise.
The Windjammer Buffet (deck 9) - Great food - amazing view. They have several stations throughout the buffet area. Each station carried different foods. Never had long lines - so many stations throughout the buffet area - really cut down on lines. Very, very smooth buffet service! The waffles on the breakfast buffet are the fantastic! They serve those every day. They had all the normal foods - muffins, eggs, omelets, bacon, sausage, ect...
Room Service - We ordered room service a couple of days for breakfast and ate out on the balcony. What a fantastic way to start our day together. We enjoyed eating outside and munch away while gazing at our ever-changing scenery. You could order muffins, eggs (scrambled or omelets), bacon, sausage or ham, hash browns, yogurt, cereal, juices, And coffee - a whole pitcher - it stays hot quite a while. We always tipped $3.00 because our orders were always so big - of course, this is optional. We really enjoyed the delivery guys. They were very nice!
The King & I Dining Room - We had first seating (6:00 p.m) Table 114 right by a window. Carolina and Cliff were our servers (I can't remember their official titles) - they were very pleasant. They did a good job - not great but they seemed to want to please. Our experience on HAL set the bar so high. Had we not been on the Westerdam last May we probably would have been fine with the level of service. They don't put the bread in a basket on the table - they continually bring this huge basket to you and have you choose (from three different types) - while we seemed to have plenty of bread constantly - our drinks were left empty a lot. I would ditch the bread service - basket on the table works fine - and focus more on the other needs of the pax. Strange - the bread thing really annoyed me. Okay - I'll move on.
Cruise Staff - We had a brand spankin' new cruise director. This was his first cruise. His name was Abe. He did a good job. You could tell he was a little nervous and getting his feet wet. But he was funny - same cruise director jokes as usually - and personable. The activities staff were great - funny group - they do love their job and it shows. As soon as they begin to mesh with Abe - they will be 100%!
Adventure Ocean - We had one child in the 9-11 age group (age 9-11). Each night their itinerary would arrive with the main itinerary. She would sit down with her colored highlighters (each person in our group had their own color) and they would highlight the activities that interested her.. RCL allows kids 9 and up (either 9 or 10) to check themselves in and out. Tons of activities - strange time schedule: 9a.m. - noon. 2-5 p.m. and then 7-10 p.m. They had an after hours club - 10pm - 1a.m. but we never utilized this service. There were about 20 kids in this program. The counselors have food names - ours was Mashed Potato Marie - no I'm not kidding - my daughter loved her - we tipped her a $20 on the last night.
The Optix Group (ages 12 and up) - Another huge disappointment. I have two that would have fallen into this age group. On our HAL cruise - sorry to keep referencing - the boys were totally plugged in and rarely missed. I add that information to let you know they usually enjoy these kids' activities. But I felt no effort was made to get them lured in. Teens are probably the most difficult pax to keep happy. We understand that. But, the two times they went to their Optix club either no counselor was there - no activities were carried out or it was so "lame" (their description) that they didn't stay. They may need to revamp this area - my husband and I checked the Optix several times throughout the week to try to get them back in there and they were right - no one was there - the room was either empty or being used by the younger group. So, this consequently left our 12 & 14 year olds romping around the entire cruise - hanging out and making new friends. Not a bad thing - but they have such good memories from other cruise kids' programs we were disappointed in this one.
Weather - The weather was absolutely perfect!! 85 ish and blue skies!!
Cozumel - beautiful - beautiful weather - about 86 degrees - with a bright blue sky - and warm sunshine. -
Costa Maya - Excellent weather - partly cloudy with about 85 degrees.
Ports of Call/Excursions
Galveston - We arrived at Houston Hobby via Southwest Airlines around 9:00 p.m. A friend of ours picked us up and delivered us to the Harbor House. Beautifully renovated warehouse type hotel right on the bay. We had a bay view and awoke to the Princess Sun right outside our window! Spectacular. We walked out onto the pier to see our Splendour of the Seas right behind the Princess. It was a great sight to see - no delays from Cozumel - right on time!
Cozumel - Cozumel was experiencing gorgeous weather so when we woke up around 6:00 a.m. and headed out to the balcony we were greeted with balmy weather, clearing skies and a beautiful start to a sunrise. The captain spun us around and we docked. We were the only ones at the pier; however, we could see another ship in the distance just down the shoreline. Never confirmed but think it was a Norwegian ship. We planned a couple of excursions for our Cozumel visit. First, our family of 5 rode Segways, aka The Segway Tour. What a blast. These things are amazing. On a side note - my 10 year old daughter was too young to go through the ship, the RCL age limit was 12 and up. So I signed the boys and my husband up for the excursion through the website. Then, when we docked we strolled up to the Segway guy and asked if he had room for two more that we would like to go along too. He, of course, said yes and we were on our way as a whole family Segwaying!! We put on all the safety gear, practiced riding in the parking lot and then we (and two other couples making our group 9) were ready! We rode our personal transport systems on a bicycle path toward the beach for about 20 minutes - led by our fearless leader, Darwin and followed by Jeep (holding all of our personal belongings) by Alan. Once we got to the beach we stashed our stuff at a Mansion/type house with a pool, Jacuzzi, shower facility and bathrooms and headed out across the beach to snorkel. The guides were excellent and we saw a ton of fish. After about an hour we headed back to the house and enjoyed the snack bar (for an extra fee) and showered and swam. Then we got back on our Segways and headed back to the shop where a taxi was waiting (thanks to Alan radioing in the taxi for us) to take us to our next excursion - Chankanaab Park for our Royal Dolphin Swim.
Ahhhh - the Royal Dolphin Swim. This excursion was book directly through Dolphin Discovery (www.dophindiscovery.com) because we wanted to do the Royal Dolphin Swim - the ship only offered the Dolphin Swim and while it was cheaper - it did not include some of the activities we wanted to experience with the dolphins. This single excursion was about $800.00 for our family of 5 and yes, my husband needed oxygen when I told him. However, after the experience we all agreed it was well worth the money. There were 7 of us in our group. Our family of 5 and two women who were sisters. It was a good blend. We watched a 5-minute video before getting into the water to explain all that we were going to do and what would be expected of us. Then we got into the water with our guide. We then kissed, hugged, rode and were propelled out of the water (this one thing is why we upgraded to the Royal Swim) - you float on your stomach - arms and legs outstretched. The dolphins (2) swim to your feet and with their noses they push your feet down into the water - then get underneath you and then push you out of the water superman style. Unbelievable!! The most fun thing we have ever done. Then, after about an hour you are escorted back inside to watch the video that was made during your adventure. They sell these for $50.00 and then pictures for an additional fee. Ours were wonderful - we bought everything - great memories to take home!!
After this we headed down the beach in Chankanaab and snagged some great beach chairs with umbrellas - awesome snorkeling and a platform out in the water for the kids to swim to. Dad and I relaxed (okay collapsed) and observed. It was about 4:30 p.m. by now.
We hung out there until about 5:30 and then headed back (via taxi) to the pier to board the Splendour. The shower felt wonderful! We were so tired we skipped the dining room and headed to the Windjammer.
Costa Maya - perfect relaxation day!! It was about 80 degrees when we docked - great pier - brand new - beautiful. The Costa Maya pier was very commercialized - just like I had read on the boards. There was an Olympic size pool (salt water) and restaurants as well as tons of stores with souvenirs. So we took the advice and headed to Majahaul or Mahahaul (Can't remember?) to the Cat's Meow. Barbara came out to greet us and we started our tab immediately - everyone was thirsty. We also rented 3 beach chairs ($5.00 each) right on the beach. George was our waiter and kept us happy the entire day. We drank cokes all day long, a virgin pina colada and strawberry/banana daiquiri along with two plates of nachos, chips and salsa and coconut shrimp - at the end of the day the total was only $48.00! WOW! How can you beat that?!? Costa Maya was a short day - we had to be back on the ship by 2:30 p.m. for a 3:00 p.m. departure. So, around 1:00 p.m. we headed back to the pier ($3.00 each to get there and then $2.00 each to get back) and let the kids swim with dad while I shopped for those necessary souvenirs for family and friends back at home. Great shopping - nice selection. Then, we boarded at about 2:00 p.m. We didn't get to leave by 3:00, however, some pax didn't seem to get the memo. The captain blew the horn several times, they finally got the message and they came running down the pier. Everyone clapped from the balconies. Funny! Entertainment - The entertainment was good - we made it to a couple of shows - typical ship entertainment. The cruise director, Abe, was brand new - this was his first week at sea - so that was interesting.
Dress Code - On causal nights - the pax really went casual. A lot of men and teens wore shorts - most women were dressed in capris. On formal night most dressed up - only saw a few tuxedos - mostly shirts with ties - some jackets/sports coats. Women were dressed from everything from church-type dresses to formals. We had read that this was the norm and for once did not over pack.
Disembarkation - We opted for the walk-off - carrying our own luggage - so did about 500 other people. Utter chaos! Unless you have an early flight - skip this mess! They said that only 100 or so pax could sign up for the early walk-off - but when we got to deck 4 at 7:00 a.m. there was mass exodus. Everyone with every kind of luggage tag walked off at the same time. No one was checking any departure tickets. Customs went uneventful - and we were outside ready for our friend to -pick us up by 8:00 a.m. We were at the airport by 9:00 a.m. - plenty early for our 11:30 flight with Southwest.
To sum it all up here are some not to be missed items:
1. All you can eat ice cream cones and on deck 9 by the pool. 2. Board the ship early - snag a window seat and enjoy the view while you dine on your first shipboard lunch in the Windjammer. 3. Enjoy the solarium - this area is adults only - nice, padded chairs - very quiet - nice! 4. If the sea is rough - take the kids to swim in the pool - there is a magic wave machine - they had so much fun. 5. Get the all you can drink coke pass - worth it and very, very easy to get cokes - bartenders were pleasant and didn't seem to mind the kids. 6. If you were able to splurge for the balcony be sure and try room service for breakfast one day - it was great having a quiet start to our day on the balcony with the entire gang.
Most of all have a blast - the cruise goes by so fast - participate in as much as you'd like - take long walks on the deck with someone you love and enjoy the sunset (and sunrise if you're an early riser). Great family vacation!
5 in OK’s Full Rating Summary
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