Note: With the opening of a completely new Royal Caribbean cruise terminal in Galveston and the introduction of its largest ship ever to sail from Texas — Allure of the Seas — Cruzely was invited to sail on the inaugural trip from the island. The four-day cruise left Galveston, headed to Cozumel. I’ll be live-blogging the experience each day to share what it’s like.
You can read our previous day here:
- Allure of the Seas Galveston Inaugural (Live Blog Day 1): Making Texas Cruise History!
- Allure of the Seas Galveston Inaugural (Live Blog Day 2): Doing it All on a Day at Sea
- Allure of the Seas Galveston Inaugural (Live Blog Day 3): This Much Fun in Mexico… Without a License?
Amazingly, it feels that just as the first cruise from Galveston aboard Allure of the Seas started, it’s already the last day of the trip. Today the ship headed back to port, meaning that days at sea have bookended yesterday’s stop in Cozumel.
That last day at sea is always bittersweet. No matter how long you’ve taken a cruise — whether four days or forty days — it’s always nice to know you’re about to get back home. At the same time, it’s also a little sad to leave a place that you’ve had so much fun and good memories.
The only thing to do is to really savor that last day and get in everything you can before it’s time to go back to normal life. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had some different plans for the last sea day aboard Allure.
Day 4 started out picture perfect. The seas were amazingly calm, it was warm, and barely a cloud in a sky. So we opened up the curtains in the cabin, opened up the balcony door, and casually got ready for breakfast while enjoying the weather. So much of this trip has been “go, go, go” as we’ve tried our best to fit everything there is on the ship into just a few days. It was nice to actually take a breath, relax, and just enjoy the most simple pleasure of being at sea.
After a leisurely (and late) breakfast in the Windjammer, we wanted to take full advantage of that weather. Since we’re sailing back north, the back deck was perfect for catching some sun as it’s on the south side of the ship. Yet, seemingly few people are back here.
We laid out, worked on our currently non-existent tans (it is November, after all), with only a small group of other people around. In fact, I took advantage to head over to the Flowrider and get in another couple of rides before the trip ended. After all, it’s not something you can easily do anywhere else!
But around 11 a.m., things started to change drastically. A strong cold front swept through Texas yesterday, and now it was our turn. We could see the dark clouds creeping up from the horizon and by lunchtime, we hit grey clouds, rain, cold wind, and rougher seas. Thankfully the rain didn’t last long, but the cool and gray have definitely stuck around.
The best description is weather that it felt like it was about 7 p.m. the entire afternoon.
With that being the case, we headed indoors like so many others around the ship. In this case, we hit up the casino (coming out ahead by a whole $4, though smelling a bit like smoke), enjoyed BBQ in the Windjammer (surprisingly good, although being a Texan, I was concerned about BBQ on a cruise ship), and also sat in the Royal Promenade with a snack and did some people watching.
Once the weather eased a little, it was nice enough in Central Park to sit out enjoy some warm tea. As long as it isn’t raining or too cold, the spot seems to be a nice area to get outdoors. Since it’s walled in on either side, it’s breezy, but not near as windy as the pool deck at the top of the ship. I’ve said it plenty, but it’s my favorite area on any cruise ship.
Still, it’s fair to say that the final afternoon and evening were tempered by the weather. Combined with many people seemingly using their time to pack up for leaving tomorrow morning, there was a definite lull in the energy around the ship. Apart from a pretty lively karaoke session being belted out in On Air, it seemed most people decided to call it an early evening.
Final Thoughts on Allure of the Seas in Galveston
As I mentioned in my first post about this trip, Galveston is my homeport. To say I’ve been excited about the upcoming opening of the new terminal on the island and the arrival of Royal Caribbean’s largest class of ship would be an understatement. So what are my thoughts?
Let’s start with the terminal. It’s gorgeous. It’s spacious. And it’s steps above the other cruise terminals on the island. While ports in Florida have been building new flagship terminals for years, Galveston and Royal Caribbean have definitely stepped up the game in Texas.
Now I don’t think anyone really picks departure port or a cruise based on the terminal, but it definitely makes for a much better experience for anyone planning to sail from Galveston.
Then there is the ship itself. Don’t get me wrong, Allure of the Seas is not Royal Caribbean’s newest ship. Experiences and venues from the newest ships haven’t all made it onto the ship. I’m talking things like the Bionic Bar (where robots make your drink), some of the specialty restaurants, waterslides, and more.
But that’s like being gifted a Ferrari and being disappointed that it doesn’t have enough cupholders. Allure of the Seas marks the first Oasis-class ship to sail from Galveston, and the experience on these ships is like nothing else. It’s not an exaggeration to say that if haven’t sailed on Oasis-class ships, then you are missing out on what cruising can be.
It used to be that if you wanted to be on a Royal Caribbean ship that featured the most bars, restaurants, things to do, Central Park, the Aqua Theater, and entertainment options galore, you had to head to Florida (and more recently New York) for that experience. Now, literally millions more people in have that option within driving distance of their home.
If you’re someone that has sailed Royal Caribbean from Galveston in the past, this is a completely different experience than the other ships that have sailed from the island. If you’ve been thinking about a cruise from Galveston, then your options just got a whole lot better.