My cousin's husband is Ret. Navy Captain C6? He fought my cousin tooth and nail about going on a cruise stating he had "enough of ships". Somehow she talked him into joining us on an Alaskan Cruise. They had him at the first glass of champagne when he embarked. LOL Now they cruise all the time.
A cruise is what you make of it. If you are bored, it's your very own faultIf you don't like where you are at on a ship or the company near by, move some place else. There is a lot of room on a ship! Lots to explore! Even if you don't know what to do, there are people who can guide you. Or you can do it yourself. Or do nothing at all. there are places where you can get your hair and nails done, a massage, work out, take a spin class sometimes at additional cost, play basketball and tennis, rock climb, swim, hot tub, and yes, play shuffleboard.
DH and I are crowd phobic and seem to find all the quiet places we need to relax. We don't go there for all the food as some do. There is food EVERYWHERE. Carnival has Guy Fiero burgers and fries all day long. And a Freebirds/Chipotle type burrito/taco place. Buffets everywhere all day long with all kinds of food and dessert. Free coffee, lemonade, juice, and water. You pay for your cocktails and soda or pay for a daily plan and drink all you want. (Seriously!) You won't go hungry, that's for sure. We find our mood for food, and then a quiet table away from everything and watch the sea. Formal Dinners are business casual-dress up. Some groups really go all out in tuxes and formals. It's usually a 5-7 course meal. We don't even go to fancy dinner unless we want to. Some tables are assigned and they try to match up couples with couples, singles with singles or honeymooners getting a table by themselves. We have sat at tables with 2-10 and tables by ourselves. It's a great night out with great food.
We have taken many "long weekend" cruises out of Galveston just to get away. We have no desire to head to Senor Frogs again in Cozumel, or see more pyramids in Merida. We own that ship when everyone leaves. We sail to enjoy the ship. DH can't do beaches (yet) so we haven't ventured on Galveston cruises to Jamaica, Belize or Roatan.
You can buy the "excursions" or fun things to do during your time off the ship from the cruise company or from private companies. They are totally optional. They include things like swim with the dolphins, city tours, horseback riding, snorkeling and scuba, dune buggies, museums, beach resorts, and whatever. Or you can plan your own. Just make sure you get back to the ship on time or they WILL leave you behind. I would do an excursion if I ever went to a city I have never been to. You get all day to see everything.
In our case, we need an Accessible Room. There are only about 15 Accessible Rooms per ship so we book early. Almost missed out and got one of 2 last Accessible Junior Suites on a Royal Caribbean ship in February. What a treat that will be!! A blalcony is a treat for us. I might not ever leave my Junior Suite Stateroom! btw Room service is usually free.
Carnival is known as a Party Ship and sails the most out of Galveston (about $20/day to park at the pier) and can be quite loud especially by the pool while they are having the Hairy Body contest, or a trivia game other silly fun thing. But find the Spa section usually up front (Forward) where they have hammocks and large pads to lay in the shade. Yes, the bar staff comes by to take care of your needs. It quiiiiiiet!
Last time DH won us $350 in slots over 5 days. We only play for a short time, then leave with our winnings. The Casino is pretty much smoke-filled and we can't stand it for very long. But the slots are fun. We go daily and spend no more than $50 then leave. We always win.
Last time, I played BINGO. I won $5 in a scratch off. But that's good for me who never wins anything. I got all excited. Jumped up and down thinking I won $20K. lol the Emcee came over to check it and announced I had won...FIVE DOLLARS. I whooped and hollered still thinking it was $20K. hahahaha But from then on, everywhere I went, everyone said, "Hey! You're the girl who won $5!" I was famous for a couple days.
I find the people aren't that bad. I helped a guy catch the whale tail in a photo and had become part of his own tale by doing so. I had been watching the whale for a time. The guy came up and asked if I had seen one. I knew the timing and told him where to point his camera. Sure enough, he got his shot. Whenever we saw him on the ship, he told whomever he was with, "That's the girl who helped me get that whale shot!".
I was up really early to get a good seat on the center top deck going through a fjord in Alaska. I was bundled up with my hot chocolate in hand enjoying the amazing sights. People started gathering around me. I would point out things when I saw them, "Seal on the left!" "Mountain Goat in the middle right!". Soon we figured out I was the one with the best distance vision so they gathered around me. lol We saw a seal just born on an iceberg. People are nice if you are nice to them. On the Alaska cruise they come from all over the world. In Galveston usually they are from Texas and Oklahoma.
My cousin and her DH are avid ballroom dancers. They had (free)lessons on the ship and danced every night. I have video of him doing Karaoke that will live in infamy.
The Comedians are top notch and you have to find a seat early. You will laugh your butt off. Once we sat through 3 (different) comedian shows in a row. Some ships have an ice rink for ice show and magicians in very large Las Vegas style seating areas. There is a giant movie screen where they play movies each night, or if in season a football/game. The small TV in the room is pretty good if you need to stay inside for some reason. Some ships have movie theaters, library, board game rooms, and they all have lots of shopping and sales.
DH and I have cruised alone. I went with GFs. I went with family. No matter, I always had a great time. Everyone knows to look for me on a lawn chair on the highest deck. I'll be staring at the sea. Totally relaxing. When we'd meet up with family we'd share the different things we each did. My cousin was into museums while we were floating the rapids and zip-lining through the trees with the eagles. Between our stories and the photos, which DD eventually made into a slide show on CD, we felt we got to see all there was to see.
Sailed on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Karras. There is something to be liked about each of them. Bottomline, it's still the best bang for your buck.