To note: With the opening of a brand 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 maiden voyage from the island. The four-day cruise departed Galveston, heading for Cozumel. I will be blogging live about the experience each day to share what it’s like.
You can read our previous day here:
Amazingly, it looks like just as the first cruise from Galveston aboard Allure of the Seas began, it’s already the last day of the voyage. Today the ship returned to port, meaning the days at sea ended yesterday’s stopover in Cozumel.
This last day at sea is always bittersweet. No matter how long your cruise is, whether it’s four days or forty days, it’s always nice to know that you’re about to return home. At the same time, it’s also kind of sad to leave a place where you have so much fun and great memories.
The only thing to do is to really savor this last day and do everything you can before it’s time to get back to normal life. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had different plans for the last day at sea aboard Allure.
Day 4 started out picture perfect. The sea was incredibly calm, warm and barely a cloud in the sky. So we opened the cabin curtains, opened the balcony door and casually got ready for breakfast while enjoying the nice weather. Much of this trip has been “go, go, go” as we have done our best to fit everything on the ship in just a few days. It was nice to breathe, relax and enjoy the simplest pleasure of being at sea.
After a leisurely (and late) breakfast in the Windjammer, we wanted to take full advantage of the weather. As we are sailing north, the aft deck was perfect for soaking up the sun as it is on the south side of the ship. Yet apparently few people are back here.
We laid out, worked on our currently nonexistent tans (it’s November, after all), with only a small group of other people around. I actually took the opportunity to head over to the Flowrider and do a few more rides before the trip was over. 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 across Texas yesterday, and now it was our turn. We could see the dark clouds rising from the horizon and by lunchtime we encountered gray clouds, rain, cold wind and rougher seas. Luckily the rain didn’t last long, but the cool and gray definitely stayed.
Best description is the weather it was around 7pm all afternoon.
That being so, we headed inland like so many others around the ship. In this case, we went to the casino (with a $4 advance, but smelling a bit of smoke), enjoyed the BBQ in the Windjammer (surprisingly good, although being a Texan I was concerned about the BBQ on a cruise ship), and also sat on the royal promenade with a snack and made people watch.
Once the weather calmed down a bit, it was nice enough in Central Park to sit down and enjoy a hot tea. As long as it’s not raining or too cold, the place seems like a nice place to hang out. As it is walled on either side, it is breezy, but not as windy as the pool deck at the top of the ship. I’ve said it a lot, but this is my favorite area on any cruise ship.
Still, it’s fair to say that the last afternoon and evening were tempered by the weather. Combined with many people who seemed to be using their time packing to leave tomorrow morning, there was a definite lull in the energy around the ship. Outside of a fairly lively karaoke session taking place in On Air, it seems most people have decided to call it early in the evening.
Final Thoughts on Allure of the Seas in Galveston
As I mentioned in my first article on this trip, Galveston is my home base. To say I was excited about the upcoming opening of the new terminal on the island and the arrival of Royal Caribbean’s largest class of ships would be an understatement. So what are my thoughts?
Let’s start with the terminal. That’s wonderful. It’s spacious. And it’s a short walk to the other cruise terminals on the island. While Florida ports 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 chooses port of departure or a terminal based cruise, but it certainly provides 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 isn’t Royal Caribbean’s newest ship. Not all newer ship experiences and locations have made it to the ship. I’m talking about things like the Bionic Bar (where robots make your drink), some specialty restaurants, water slides, and more.
But that’s like getting a Ferrari and being disappointed that it didn’t have enough cup holders. Allure of the Seas is the first Oasis-class ship to leave Galveston, and the experience on these ships is unlike any other. It’s no exaggeration to say that if you haven’t sailed Oasis-class ships, you’re 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 the Florida (and more recently New York) for this experience. Now millions more people have this option within driving distance of their homes.
If you’re someone who’s sailed Royal Caribbean from Galveston in the past, it’s a completely different experience than other ships that have sailed from the island. If you’ve been thinking about a cruise from Galveston, your options have improved a lot.
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