This was a 20th anniversary cruise for the Mrs. and I. We originally booked a balcony cabin but a few months later I remembered how much she liked the cloud 9 spa. A couple of calls later I moved our booking to the extended balcony suite on deck 11.
Arrival was as per usual other than the driving thunderstorm that greeted us in Galveston. The Premier guest lounge was nice with a decent selection of coffee, water, and treats.
Entry onto the ship was uneventful. Having purchases FTF (highly recommended) our stateroom was ready when we arrived onboard. We just dropped off our carry on packs (always recommended to bring some necessities in a pack just in case something happens to your luggage) and started exploring the ship (and waiting for the ship to depart and the casino to open)
Once underway we did encounter some heavy seas but the ship handled it with aplomb and seasickness wasnt an issue (travel tip , Ginger Root pills work as well for most people as dramamine and dont have any of the side effects) and we never felt concerned.
The dining room was ok and the staff very attentive, however the Steakhouse was AWESOME, highly recommended ! The sushi bar was quite nice as well. On deck 10 Guys burgers was much better than you might be inclined to believe and Tandoor on the aft had lots of interesting things to try as well.
The casino was nicely staffed and were always at hand to fetch a drink for you, however if you are sensitive to smoke, a filter mask might be appropriate. While cigars are not allowed, cigarettes and vape pipes were very prevalent.
The water park is a good hour of fun for adults and the adventure course was a hoot as well. We missed the show (casino was being nice to us) but did hear rave reviews for other folks that saw it.
At port we did Tabiana beach and got some great snorkeling done and saw LOTS of fish, lobster, and other colorful coral (another quick tip, a ziplock bag with dog biscuits in it will bring fish to eat right out of your hand)
We also did a snorkel and paddleboard excursion, it was nice but "contained" in that you had to stay with the group, unlike Tabiana where you did and swam where you liked.
The Cloud 9 spa was a dream for the Mrs. and we did a couples hot stone massage that was quite nice. The Mrs. Did several other activities there. the Therapy pool was great after a day of swimming and working the currents.
Disembarkation was quick and easy (another plus for suite guests or FTF) meeting in the ovation theater around 0800 we were off the ship by 0845.
Customs and TABC were a little stricter than other cruises we have been on (mainly due to Belize and trafficking) but were polite and quick. The porter was very helpful and got the bags situated.
One thing we did discuss was our next cruise. We have decided the next cruise will be a last minute 4-5 day "Vagabond" cruise. We both agreed to limiting ourselves to what we can carry in our daypacks ONLY. No additional baggage. Also going to try an interior cabin as well as we have only cruised on balcony or suite cabins. So no "formal" day for us ;)
The cabin is located on deck 11, Nicely appointed and in good repair. The balcony was large and secluded (unless you are looking around the partitions, you DO have privacy). The whirlpool tub was awesome though as a shower it was rather cramped (not going to easily fit two at a time). Water will get hotter that you want it to so adjust carefully. The sofa (which is a sofabed) was comfy and the sitting room arrangement was great for a couple that moves around quite a bit while prepping for a date or excursion.
I know others have complained about noise from the excercise room, but we didnt experience any of that during the cruise, the only noise really noted was some adults arguing the hallway and occasionally kids running down the hallway (theyre kids, what do you expect ;)
Bed was good for a spring mattress, but I did bring my own foam pillow.
Steward (Greg) and deck staff were GREAT!!!!!!
Room service rarely took more than 30 minutes (when you realize that it 0200 and you havent eaten yet)
All in all, if you are going to use the spa services and like the extra space the suite is well worth it.
nice fish but small area to snorkel and was guided , had to stay with group and not wander at all.View All 485 Snorkeling Reviews
Tabinana Beach day, snorkeling the reef was AWESOME, highly recommended !!!! security kept a VERY close eye on your stuff and we enjoyed it immensely.View All 345 Snorkeling Reviews
used covered parking for my truck, worked well with no issues
Lots of folks had fun out and about, but we determined to make it a fun day on the ship. Water park, fooseball, adventure course, and reading on the deck 11 veranda.