Escape From Home Life to 4th of July on the High Seas - A July 2019 Cruise Trip Report (Completed 6/21)

cstorm65

DDC #699
Joined
Feb 6, 2011


Welcome back everyone to another one of our trip reports! This will be our first trip report on something other than a Disney Vacation as we sailed with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line on a 7 Day sailing out of Galveston over the 4th of July. You can also read about our trips “Escape from Craziness Part I” and “Escape from Craziness Part II” where we had Disney Annual Passes, but we were taking a summer off of Disney World. We are going back this coming summer with Annual Passes again, so that will be coming down the road! We were very excited about our first cruise with Royal Caribbean. We have done a 4 night on the Disney Dream before DS3 was born and LOVED it! So we knew we enjoyed the cruise experience, but the convenience for us to go out of Galveston, plus the cost differential caused us to go with Royal Caribbean. We will cruise with Disney again, but Royal was a better fit for us at this point.

So, I’ll quit rambling and get started by introducing everyone!

Introductions

I will start by introducing myself, I’m Jon.



I am a high school football coach and athletic director and love the job I get to do every day. I’ve been teaching and coaching at the same school for ten years and just finished my third season as the head football coach. Anyway, I honestly think I have the best job in the world. Being able to make a positive impact on kids every day is something I love doing. It certainly has its challenges, but overall I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.

Favorite Character: Goofy
Favorite Ride: Flight of Passage
Favorite Show: Festival of the Lion King
Favorite Movie: The Lion King
Favorite Restaurant: ‘Ohana

Now for my best friend and wife, April.



April loves our family vacations as well as almost any time we get to spend together. We have developed a love for Disney and vacationing together and it is something she cherishes. She is a school psychologist by day and an incredible mother and wife by night. She works in the same school district I do and so we get to see each other every day, which really is nice. She loves her job working with kids as well and she is awesome at it.

Favorite Character: Ariel
Favorite Ride: Rock 'n Roller Coaster
Favorite Show: Festival of the Lion King
Favorite Movie: Little Mermaid
Favorite Restaurant: Whispering Canyon Cafe

Next up is DS7.



It seems like just yesterday that he was born and came into our family, but I’m sure all of you with kids think it goes fast too! He loves to run, play, hit things, throw balls, and many other things most little boys love to do. In addition to all of these things DS loves monster trucks, watching football on TV and playing outside. He also still enjoys the Disney Junior shows, although he might not tell you that since he thinks he’s a little older than he actually is! Anyway, he is an awesome kid and is now a great big brother.

And finally, the fireball of the family, DS3.



DS3 is an incredibly sweet little boy who LOVES his mommy, but man is he awnry and opinionated, not to mention the loudest human being for his little size that I’ve ever seen. DS7 was always kind of a daddy’s boy, but DS3 has certainly taken the other side. He just loves to sit and play with his mom. He loves watching Mickey Mouse on TV as well as Masha and Bear. He has a stuffed animal Mickey Mouse and an Olaf and those two sleep with him in his bed. They both have to be in exactly the correct place on the bed every night or he will not go to sleep! He’s a tad OCD about his bedtime routine! Anyways, this will be his first cruise and I don’t think he understands at all what is happening, but he will before long!

Well, that’s who we are. Stand by for Day 1.

Up Next: Day 1 Part 1
 

cstorm65

DDC #699
Joined
Feb 6, 2011
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Day 1 - Part 1 - 8 Hours, 5 People, 1 Car

Day 2 - Part 1 - The Best Gas Station Ever
Day 2 - Part 2 - "Dad, Can I Have More Ice Cream?"
Day 2 - Part 3 - Sail Away
Day 2 - Part 4 - What a Sunset!

Day 3 - Part 1 - "I See Dolphins!"
Day 3 - Part 2 - Some Cruising Classics...Trivia & Shuffleboard
Day 3 - Part 3 - Ice Cream, Ice Cream, & More Ice Cream

Day 4 - Part 1 - How Awesome Was That Breakfast?
Day 4 - Part 2 - Souvenirs for All
Day 4 - Part 3 - The Best Pool Day
Day 4 - Part 4 - Umm...Can I Have Another One of Those?

Day 5 - Part 1 - Thank Goodness We Did a Ship Excursion
Day 5 - Part 2 - Can We At Least Get a Picture Honey?
Day 5 - Part 3 - Fun with Starfish
Day 5 - Part 4 - That Was a Good Burger
Day 5 - Part 5 - That's A Lot of Balloons

Day 6 - Part 1 - This is a Nice Port
Day 6 - Part 2 - There's Nobody Here
Day 6 - Part 3 - "I Want a Soccer Ball Too"
Day 6 - Part 4 - This is the Best Cheese Ever
Day 6 - Part 5 - Sail Away
Day 6 - Part 6 - Holy Carbonara

Day 7 - Part 1 - Why Are You Spending Money on That?
Day 7 - Part 2 - Best Buffet Item All Week
Day 7 - Part 3 - "Dad, I Just Want to Play Basketball"
Day 7 - Part 4 - Pictures Around the Ship
Day 7 - Part 5 - Ping Pong Battle

Day 8 - Part 1 - Sunrise on the Ocean
Day 8 - Part 2 - Is Mini Golf Finally Open?
Day 8 - Part 3 - Do We Get to Make Guacamole at the Guacamole Class?
Day 8 - Part 4 - A Final Trip to the Dining Room
Day 8 - Part 5 - Does the Watch Sale Ever End?

Day 9 - Part 1 - Goodbye to the Liberty
Day 9 - Part 2 - Wow, We're Tired!

Day 10 - Part 1 - We Get Our Theme Park Fix
Day 10 - Part 2 - "Dad, This Looks Like Tomorrowland!"
Day 10 - Part 3 - The Wettest Ride in the Wilderness
 
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cstorm65

DDC #699
Joined
Feb 6, 2011
Past Trips and Trip Reports

Current Trip Report

June 2018 - Escape from Craziness to Fireworks, Food, and a DVC Tour
July 2019 - Escape from Home Life to July 4th on the High Seas

Past Trip Reports
December 2017 - Escape from School to Crazy Christmas Crowds
July 2017 - Escape From Craziness to Pandora, Po Boys, and Oppressive Heat

June/July 2014 - Escape from Real Life to Paradise: A New Trip with New Memories
June 2013 - Escape from Tornado Alley to Food, Tropical Storms, Mickey and More Food
June 2011 - "Can Two Thrill Ride Junkies Love Disneyworld?"

Past Pre-Trip Reports

June 2018 - Let's Put These AP's to Use! A June 2018 PTR
July 2017 - Our First Trip As a Family of Four!
June 2015 - We’re Going For the Record...A Record Number of Resort Changes!

Past Trips
June 2018 - WDW Dolphin/Yacht Club Resort (
Trip Report)
December 2017 - All Star Sports (Trip Report)
July 2017 - Pop Century/Port Orleans French Quarter (Trip Report)
June 2015 - Pop Century/Coronado Springs Resort
June/July 2014 - Disney Dream Cruise/Wilderness Lodge (Trip Report)
June 2013 - Pop Century/Universal Royal Pacific/Boardwalk Villas (Trip Report)
June 2011 - Caribbean Beach Resort (Trip Report)
July 2008 - Offsite

Upcoming Trips
July 2020 - TBA "First Trip as DVC Owners"
 
  • DLo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 14, 2006
    Hopping over from your current WDW TR . Looking forward to reading about your cruise adventures.
     

    cstorm65

    DDC #699
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2011
    Day 1 - 8 Hours, 5 People, 1 Car

    It was finally time for our trip and it seemed like this one took a long time to arrive, but we’d finally made it. The only thing we were going to pack five people into our car and drive eight hours to Houston to be ready to board our cruise the following day. I mean an eight hour trip with a three year old and seven year old is every parents dream...am I right? Well, It actually didn’t end up being too bad, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

    I also failed to mention in the intro that DW’s mom was joining us on this trip. She had never cruised before and we thought this would be a good chance for her, especially since we had two staterooms on the ship. I know you all were on pins and needles trying to figure out who the fifth person was. Anyway, it was time to head out. We planned on leaving the house around 7 AM and we actually got everything all loaded up and left by 7:15 of so. DS7 had to say goodbye to our dog before we left!



    If there was one picture that epitomized our entire drive it was this:



    Yes, it’s DS3 eating BBQ chips. I’m not sure what the deal was but he had about three bags on the way down from every gas station stop. I mean we don’t even buy chips for the house very often, but he ate these like crazy on this trip. And by the end of the bag there would be BBQ spices all over him! Haha

    DS7 also must have picked up an ice cream sandwich somewhere along the way. He was excited to have the entire back seat to himself!



    We stopped in Corsicana, TX on the way down for lunch at the Collin Street Bakery. We used to have some family in Corsicana so I was familiar with this place, but they’ve now got this really nice, new store/restaurant right on I-45. We had some good sandwiches for lunch and I think DMiL got a salad that she loved.









    This place is actually famous for their fruit cakes. I’m not a fan of fruit cakes in general as they are just strange to me, but this place has made a business off of them.

    We were back on the road and by about 4:00 we had arrived at our hotel for the night, the Homewood Suites in Spring, TX. We had some friends going on the cruise with us and they had arrived about 30 minutes before us, but were staying at the same place. I was able to get everything off of the roof of the car while DW and the boys got settled in the room for the night.



    We went out for dinner at about 5:30 so we could get back and get in bed before the big embarkation day. Our hotel was going to be about a 90 minute drive from the port, but the hotels are really expensive in Galveston and this would help us pass the time until we could actually arrive at the cruise port.

    The boys naturally had to jump on the furniture a little before bed:



    Overall, the boys did great in the car and the travel day went fairly smooth. Everyone was super excited for embarkation tomorrow!! Sorry, my picture rate will increase. I was still trying to get in vacation mode with the camera here on the first day!


    Up Next: The Best Gas Station Ever
     
    Last edited:
  • cstorm65

    DDC #699
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2011
    Hello!

    You guys are brave for making that drive. But I totally get it! Your pictures aren't showing up. :(
    Oh, I forgot to share the album. See if they are working now and let me know if they aren't I think I fixed it, but still forget to do that on Google Photos when I start a new trip report.
     

    crabbymom

    Slythermom to 2 'claws and a Princess
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2012
    Oh, I forgot to share the album. See if they are working now and let me know if they aren't I think I fixed it, but still forget to do that on Google Photos when I start a new trip report.
    Working now! Thank you for the review!
     
  • cstorm65

    DDC #699
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2011
    Day 2 - Part 1 - The Best Gas Station Ever

    It was finally cruise day and we were all woken up by our usually alarm clock...DS3. He was up and happy as a lark at 6:45 AM! We managed to keep him quiet until about 7:15 with an iPad, but it was time to start getting ready. This picture sums up our two boys in the morning:



    DS7 would definitely rather be sleeping still and DS3 wakes up happy and ready to go! I took the boys down at about 7:45 while DW and her mom finished getting ready. After we ate some breakfast, which was good, we went outside as this place had a nice basketball court so they could run off a little morning energy!





    At about 8:30 we headed up to the room to grab our stuff and it was time to load up and head to the port! The port of Galveston was about an hour and 20 minutes away from our hotel and we wanted to arrive at around 10:30. We managed to get loaded up and on the road by about 8:45 and easily made it through Houston, but was had to make a pit stop that morning at the best gas station anywhere:



    If you’ve driven through Texas you’ve probably seen these and let me say, they are awesome!





    It is a one of a kind place for sure. Gas station, convenience store, restaurant, grocery store, shopping for decor and other stuff...all in one place! We got back on the road and before long we were seeing the signs we had been waiting for:







    It was about 10:10 when we finally saw this:



    Look a little closer and the Liberty of the Seas is there!



    It was our first view and we were all so excited to see our home for the next week.



    We also had the Carnival Freedom in port today:



    The port was crazy as the final groups form the last cruise were still getting picked up and people on our cruise were dropping off. It took us about 20 minutes to pull our car up and unload. Our plan was to pull the car in, unload our stuff and send with a porter, then we would take the car over to the cruise parking we had booked. This way we wouldn’t have to lug our big bags onto the shuttle, we would have already checked those. Let me say, this is the thing to do. It did take us 20 minutes or so, but when we saw other families boarding the shuttle and they were dragging big bags across the street and parking lots...it made it worth it! Overall the morning had gone to plan, hopefully check in would go just as well!

    Up Next: “Dad, Can I Have More Ice Cream?”
     

    sommergirl25

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 4, 2012
    Just getting back on the Dis after a short hiatus! We went to Disney in September and I just couldn’t bring myself to come back due to the Disney Blues. Decided to look at the Royal Caribbean section tonight because we have a cruise booked in April on Liberty of the Seas and I just happened to see your trip report! Your boys are getting so big! I can’t wait to hear how y’all liked the boat! Hope to get lots of good tips!
     

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