Galveston, Cruise Ships, and Good Ole’ Cajun Cooking

Allure of the Seas

We had the fortune to receive an invite a couple months back to attend two ship tours with Royal Caribbean. The destination (Galveston, Texas) was relatively close by, the opportunity was appealing, and we wanted to give you a glimpse inside two contemporary, large, cruise ships. Royal Caribbean is one of the largest and most popular cruise lines around — and we were also intrigued by some new luxury features that have been added to some of their ships.

So, off we went, flying from Tucson to Houston, and then driving to Galveston. We’ve been to Houston many times, but never to Galveston. That brings up what you might call our “side hobby” when we travel – sampling the local cuisine. We have a big thing for cajun and creole cooking, so we have some insights to share with you about that, also.

Overall, the ships tours were very insightful, we roamed the length of the ships, and we saw everything from meeting spaces and different types of cabins to the public promenade and pool areas. These were also embarkation days for both ships, so passengers were boarding the same time we were there. Call it fun, organized, chaos, but it gave a great glimpse into the operations and “feel” for being on a large cruise ship.

Day 1. On May 20, we explored Voyager of the Seas. Commissioned in 1999 and boasting a maximum capacity of 4,000 guests in 1,801 guest rooms, Voyager is a veteran of the Royal Caribbean fleet. Onboard amenities include pools, whirlpools, complementary and specialty dining, spaces for kids, fitness center, wedding chapel, an outdoor movie screen, and much more.

The public space are very eye-catching with the open designs and artwork everywhere. Ship interior and exterior spaces were well-maintained, the Royal Caribbean staff throughout was very friendly, and the hustle and bustle of people boarding with their luggage made the tour that much more interesting. People watching, ya know. Always a fun sport.

Voyager of the Seas

Day 2. This time, we boarded Allure of the Seas. Allure is much larger with a maximum passenger capacity of 6,780 guests in 2,742 rooms. Allure is an Oasis class ship and, as you might expect, felt more spacious even with a larger passenger capacity. Another very interesting part of the tour was exploring some of the Royal Suite Class cabins, which is a new effort by Royal Caribbean to attract families and luxury clients to very large and well-appointed accommodations. More on that in a bit.

We also visited several of the kid-friendly spaces — for small children as well as teenagers — and went inside a few of the specialty dining restaurants. Whether your taste is for a quick bite or formal dining, you can find almost anything to suit your moods and needs onboard.

Of particular note, the promenade area on Allure is very attractive. There are plenty of plants and foliage around to make you feel almost as if you’re walking in a garden. On both Voyager and Allure, there are different types of lounges — and some with very unique designs — that are also available.

Overall, visiting these two ships makes one realize that you must really like people, and being around people all the time, if you are going to enjoy a large cruise ship experience. The one exception is choosing Royal Suite Class accommodations. This is a new three-tiered program by Royal Caribbean that offers luxury accommodations with exclusive amenities. The categories include Sea, Sky, and Star levels. The perks really kick in at the Sky and Star levels. If you go all out and book an apartment-sized suite at the Star level, you will receive assistance from a Royal Genie. Your Royal Genie will assist you throughout your cruise. This adds a very personal touch to the services that you’ll receive onboard.

Last but not least, we have to call out a couple of restaurants that we enjoyed during our stay. The first is Little Daddy’s Gumbo Bar. This is a little gem in Galveston that has a truly New Orleans feel to it. From the seafood empanadas drenched in etouffee and the fried alligator to the crawfish platter and beignets, everything was delicious. The staff really makes you feel at home, too. Give them a visit.

The other must-eat restaurant is at Willie G’s Seafood and Steaks. Be sure to sit outside in the back. While dining on some excellent cajun cuisine, you can enjoy a view of the harbor and Pier 12. We sampled the pepper tuna rolls, Redfish Louisianne, and key lime pie. All were exceptional and delicious. The staff also did a great job. Check them out, too, when you’re in Galveston.

We had a great time in Galveston, truly enjoyed our time on the Royal Caribbean ships, and look forward to a return visit soon. If you’re ready to explore an epic cruise, then contact us today via our Contact page: HERE.

Published by Paul Hardersen

I am the CEO of a startup nautically-focused travel company, former associate professor and research scientist, traveler, lobster lover, and now doing what I can to help preserve the planet for future generations. The ocean is the key.

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