November 2014 - Emerald Princess to Caribbean - Western
This was our first time cruising out of Houston and we found it a bit of a challenge figuring out where to stay the night before (coming from the West Coast that's pretty much of a necessity) and the most economical way to get to from George Bush International to the port. We found that our best choice was to rent a car through Costco from the airport and drop it off in Webster near our hotel. We stayed at the Best Western Nasa and were quite happy with it.
We chose to book obstructed view staterooms for ourselves and son and daughter-in-law. There's not much to see out on the sea, but we like to tell night from day. Our only complaint with the room was the minuscule shower. I am a small woman but found it a real challenge to shave my legs in that shower. The bed was comfortable and there was a comfortable chair. Storage space was fine.
Service was excellent. We experienced bad weather so that we were unable to visit Belize, a real disappointment. Cozumel was very windy so that snorkeling was a challenge and we gave up on it pretty quickly. This meant that we had five days on the ship with no ports. Nevertheless, we had a great time because there were excellent activities. There was that old favorite trivia at least twice a day. In addition there was a golf chipping contest most days in which contestants attempted to chip a golf ball into one of several hula hoops floating in one of the pools - not easy. There was bocce ball, croquet, paddleball, hoops contests. At night we enjoyed Majority Rules, Liar's Club (try to guess which of three definitions for words is correct - and these were words that must have come from a search of an unabridged dictionary to find the most impossible words), Marriage Match (definitely PG-13). I felt that these were some of the best activities I've enjoyed on a ship. I would have liked lectures like can be found on Holland America or Celebrity.
The ports would have been good had the weather cooperated. We had been to all three ports several times before and they are really good ports. We arranged a boat snorkeling tour for Roatan with Roatan Ecotour and that worked out very well. There were whitecaps at West Bay but Alex Manzato took us to the other side of the island for excellent snorkeling. I had arranged a cavetubing and zipline tour with cavetubing.bz for Belize. We didn't get to do that, of course, but we had done the cavetubing part of the tour with the same company on a previous cruise and enjoyed it thoroughly. We took a cab to the Money Bar on Cozumel and were able to use a comfortable beach lounge for the price of a drink and also got lunch there, very good for a reasonable price. We had been there before and had very good snorkeling there. Our son and daughter-in-law found scuba operators off the ship in Roatan and Cozumel for a reasonable price and were very happy with what they did.