CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Rhapsody of the Seas Western Caribbean March 20, 2004

We recently took a great cruise on the "Rhapsody of the Seas" out of Galveston, Texas and she was a wonderful ship. We were four couples from Edmonton Alberta Canada. We decided on the "Rhapsody of the Seas" because we had friends that had cruise on her just a month before. They spoke very highly of this ship out of Galveston, Texas. So on their recommendation we decided on the "Rhapsody" as our ship and Galveston for two pre-cruise nights..

Non of us had ever been to Texas before. So we read up on Galveston and Houston, and this just seem to be the perfect place to start our cruise.

Our departure was on a Sunday and it started a little cloudy, at 12 noon our hotel. In Galveston provided the eight of us a with a free transfer to the ship, which was only a five minute ride from the hotel. Our check in on the "Rhapsody" went smoothly, our bag arrived at our cabins about the same time as we did. We unpacked of bags, met up with the rest of our party and then set out to find our way around the ship.

We met other Canadians, and folks from thoughout the U. S., but as time went on we realized that about two-thirds of the passengers were fun loving Texans, from all over Texas. Even the ship's captain wore a Stetson hats.

The food abroad this ship was wonderful, oh there is so much to choice from. The service was excellent. The cabins stewart took good care of us.

We did a some gambling in the casino, we danced to this great band "The Doc Dockery Band" they played anything and everything. This band has been in Las Vegas for years, I'm told.

We were not much on the excursions, we did get off the ship in a number of ports, just to do some sightseeing, shopping, eating and people watch, one of my favorites was Key West, I loved the street performers there.

When we were planning our cruise, we got some advise from our friends from Edmonton that had been on a previous cruise from Galveston. They provided us with the name and telephone number of a gentlemen in Houston that transported them to Galveston from the big Houston airport.

So I made a call this gentlemen up three weeks prior to our arrival in Houston. Since our cruise would sail on Sunday afternoon, we all decided to fly down to Houston early, so we arrived at mid morning on Friday.

On the telephone this gentlemen a Mr. L. J. Cormier provided me with a lots information about his transfer service and hotels in Galveston. At his advise we booked a hotel in Galveston. We made our reservations at the Tremont House hotel, we told the hotel we were coming to go on a cruise ship and they give us this great rate. And this hotel even provides free transfer service to the ship on Sunday.

Mr. Cormier, agreed to transport us to Galveston on Friday. When we arrived at Bush Intercontinental Airport, he was waiting, we requested he give us a sightseeing tour of Houston before going to Galveston. It turned out he is a professional tour guide and had a great deal of knowledge about Houston and the area. After sightseeing in the big city of Houston he drove us to Galveston.

Thank God we called Mr. Cormier for transportation. Without him we would have never been able to ride in the same vehicle to Galveston, because of the bags. It would have taken us three separate cabs for this eighty mile trip. And would have cost of a bunch. Or we could have taken one stretch limo, and we would have had to crawl on our hand and knees to get to our seats only to have to put our bags in the passenger compartment on our laps with us. We saw this at the ship on Sunday. No thanks. We had a large comfortable van with nice windows to transport us.

When we got to Galveston we got a nice tour of this island city. Oh I thought I had gone to haven. As we drove down the "Seawall" where people lying around on the beach, young people surfing in the Gulf waters. We couldn't believe this was March, and folks walking around in shorts, swimsuits, short shelves and sandals. After we left the beach area we drove in area of town with beautiful old Victorian mansions. And then on to the old Historic downtown area called "The Strand". This is the area next to the cruise ship terminals with lot of shops, restaurants, bars and museums. This area is where our Galveston hotel was located. We spent Friday and Saturday nights at the Tremont House Hotel, everything was so close and convince . The hotel was great.

Friday afternoon after we checked in to our hotel, we did a walking around downtown, Friday evening we had delicious seafood in a restaurant overlooking the harbor at "Willie G's" and then walked to the "Strand" for cocktails before returning to our hotel.

On Saturday morning we all met in the hotel lobby at 9:00 am we walked a block from hotel and took and old fashion street trolley from downtown Galveston to the "Seawall" which is where beach is located, where we walked on the seawall overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. We had coffee and a light lunch at one of the many restaurant facing the Gulf. After a four hour visit to beach, we rode the street trolley back downtown. Once we returned downtown, we ladies decided do browsing of the shops. We took noticed of this dress shop called Morgan's Dress Shop it on a corner. We went inside and browse the shop which had some great stuff. I bought a sun hat, "I love my hat". There we met this delightful southern gentlemen by the name of Pat Morgan who owns this shop. He has a lot of information about the Galveston of old and today.

Saturday evening we had another great dinner, this time at Landry's. Had cocktails and retired early in anticipation our cruise the next day. Galveston turned out even better than we had hope.

All in all our entire party had a wonderful cruise on the "Rhapsody", the weather was great the entire time. It was a cool and breezy on our return to Galveston on the following Sunday. We disembarked the ship with no problems at about 9:45 am, and there was our driver L. J. waiting to return us to the Houston Airport, which was an hour and a half ride from the ship. I do want to return to Galveston someday. This is a wonderful part of the U. S., everyone we encountered were warm, friendly and accommodating.

We all recommend the "Rhapsody of the Seas" for your cruise, and spend a night before your cruise in Galveston. No matter which you choice, If you have a party or a family 6- 8- 10 people that needs transportation to Galveston, we suggest you contact Mr. L. J. Cormier at 281 443 4430 You need to call him in advance.

Feel free to write me, if I can provide you with additional information. Miriam Jewett Edmonton, Alberta Canada

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