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  1. Yay! I hate Aquafina bottled water, so this means no more Aquafina on NCL. Now I can upgrade my drink package for my Thanksgiving cruise and hopefully get water that actually tastes good.
  2. Enjoyed our steaks on Rhapsody, but not so much on Liberty. Ordered the chicken and the shrimp dishes on Liberty and liked them much better than the steak. The key burger option was meh on Liberty last summer btw. Overcooked and almost room temp. Don't know what I will pick as my option for lunch in March on Liberty, but it won't be the burger nor will I order a steak in Chops. We definitely prefer Giovanni's to Chops at least on Liberty. It was the opposite on Rhapsody in December 2018.
  3. I am from Houston, born and raised. I live 30 mins. from Hobby (HOU) and about 45 mins. from Galveston. We sailed on Liberty this past summer and loved it so much we are sailing on her again in March for Spring Break. Haven't sailed on Freedom, but I agree with others stating the extra days and savings are worth the hassle of getting from HOU to Galveston. My recommendation would be to stay in the Clear Lake area, specifically Webster either in a hotel on Bay Area Blvd. at or near I-45 or on Nasa Road 1. This would put you near or even walking distance to restaurants and shopping depending on the hotel. If you have kids with you and your flight gets in early enough, Space Center Houston at Johnson Space Center is great! Tons of hands on stuff for the kids and you can actually go into the Enterprise, the mock shuttle used to train our astronauts. There are some "nice" hotels near HOU, but the area is very limited on decent dining options. The area is straight up sketchy, though. From reading your live blogs, @Lovetocruise2002 I think you would be happier in the Clear Lake area rather than staying near the airport. I can recommend restaurants, especially knowing your love for Mexican food. 😁
  4. I agree, @AshleyDillo... kinda like Mexican food on Liberty. As a native Texan, I'm leery of anything called "Texas style" BBQ and not prepared by someone who can identify Luling or Taylor, much less Austin on a map. Slapping BBQ sauce on a slice of pre-cooked brisket is not Texas Style BBQ. 😂
  5. Nothing beyond October 2021 is available for Galveston, so it goes along with @cruiselife 's argument in favor of Allure still coming to Galveston.
  6. Great blog! Now that you're home and fully back to reality... Have a great school year! I'm back in PD now and get kids on Thursday. Trying to figure out how to fit 32 17 year olds in my room short of having them sit on the floor. Ugh. I'm in countdown mode to Spring Break as well (209 days). We have a girls' trip on Indy.
  7. This guy, a couple of weeks ago on LOS.
  8. The beaches in Galveston are gross because the Gulf current pushes all of the mud from the Mississippi Delta our way. Once Texas curves south, the beaches clear up, but you have to get south of Corpus Christi. I grew up going to the beach at Galveston, but you couldn't pay me to get in that water now. I was down there last week and the seaweed wasn't too bad at all and the water was actually almost green. Still not getting in it, though. Earlier in the summer there was an issue with high bacteria levels due to all the rain we got in late May/early June. The bacteria was from fecal matter being washed from pastures into the bay. Gross!!! Your plan to go to Space Center is what I was going to recommend. If you rent a car, I would stay at a hotel on Bay Area Blvd near I-45. There are a ton of good restaurants in that area as well as a nice mall and other shopping options in case you forgot something. For BBQ, in that area I would recommend Delta Blues BBQ for a sit down/more of a traditional restaurant. It's owned by the Pappa's family and they are a Houston Restaurant Empire. The BBQ is great. If you are looking for something a little more low key, Rudy's BBQ is a great option. If you're wanting another Texas staple, Tex-Mex is a must. There's several options for it in the area. Los Cucos is the most traditional Tex-Mex in my opinion. Chuy's is an Austin original, but is a good option as well. For something a little different/funky, we love Torchy's Tacos. They have awesome breakfast tacos and regular tacos that are far from regular. FYI, ask for the secret menu... the Mad Cow is the bomb and make sure you ask what the taco of the month is. I live about 30 mins. from Webster and we got to Torchy's so much that the bartender knows us. Feel free to "pick my brain" about the NASA area.
  9. This is an interesting article explaining why we are seeing so much seaweed in Mexico. When we were in Costa Maya a few weeks ago, the seaweed at the port was terrible. I grew going to the beach in Texas on the mainland across from Galveston, so I’m very familiar with it and its smell, but it was awful in Costa Maya. We watched it float in the water the entire time we were at sea around the Yucatan. If you’re headed down there soon, just be prepared. This also explains why we didn’t see it in December when we were there. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/massive-waves-of-toxic-seaweed-sargassum-inundate-yucatan-shorelines/?ftag=CNM-00-10aac3a#
  10. Haven't cruised on Oasis, but our experience on two other ships were extremely hard beds. As a result, we brought our own topper on our last cruise. I bought an extra large space saver bag on Amazon that came with a travel pump. We folded up our queen sized topper from our guest bed and then packed it into the space saver bag. The pump worked surprisingly well. We packed the bag in the bottom of our large suitcase. It was a lifesaver as my back cannot handle the firmness of RCL beds. I've read that requesting a topper from the stateroom attendant will only result in extra duvet covers used as they no longer use the foam ones due to hygiene issues, ie they can't be washed. We tried the duvet cover method on a previous cruise and it was still not enough. I highly recommend bringing one yourself if your daughter needs it to be comfortable. Even just a twin for her side of the bed may take up less space in your luggage. This is the bag we used... https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015QO8H1S/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  11. Flying into HOU and sailing out of Galveston is no different than flying into MCO and sailing out of Port Canaveral. It's an hour from each airport to each port. If you fly into HOU, don't stay near the airport as it is not the greatest part of town. I suggest staying in the Clear Lake/Webster area if you aren't going all the way to Galveston the night before. I would not fly into IAH unless it was necessary as those who have mentioned the traffic and distance are correct. I live on the far east side of Houston and I can drive west for an hour with no traffic and still be in Houston. The city is very spread out on top of the fact that it is the 4th largest city in the country.
  12. Johnny Rockets is included. IDK if the pub is.
  13. Yes, we are now UDP people for sure and the Key meals in the MDR reinforced that mindset. A "meh" burger in the MDR was still better than fighting the madhouse that the WJ is on embarkation day. My wife had the branzino and really enjoyed it. Our salads were good and the cheesecake was good. The couple next to us ordered the filet and said it was good. However, I don't know how the temp was on it of course. With so few tables, I don't get why they didn't have food runners. As a former server and front manager, it drives me nuts when I get food that I can tell has been sitting.
  14. On LOS last week, Key lunch was in the MDR. It was a Chops menu, but it was MDR temp food. I was disappointed. I've come to realize I don't want my food under a cloche. I ordered the burger and the bun was crunchy and the burger itself was dried out and meh. The final breakfast, also in the MDR, was ok. I had the french toast and it was soggy. These were the only two meals we had in the MDR and it reinforced my #NoMDR philosophy. #don'tclochemyfood #nobanquetfood #Iwanthot&freshfood However, the rest of the Key perks were well worth the purchase of it at 19.99 a day. Our disembark process wasn't as smooth as others have reported only because they only had one person escorting people off and we got lumped in with a family of 20 who had a few members that had not settled their accounts. Once we got through the sea pass scan point, it was very smooth.
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