- 11 Days
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Things are about to get Texas Tropical on this sensational new tour custom-made by DeNure! We start things off in the land of cattle drives, square dancing, rodeos, and chuck wagons – Yee haw, honey! When it’s time to put the horses in the barn, we’ll board the Liberty of the Sea cruise ship. Over the next seven nights, we’ll dock in sun-bleached locales with distinct Caribbean culture. We’ll feast on seafood, relax on beaches, and let the local rhthyms take our stress away.
Our first port of call is Cozumel, where Mexi-Caribbean culture soaks into beaches, food spots, and music. Grand Cayman caters to dreamy strolls with coral sand and crystal clear water – but it also has bars and upscale resorts to spice things up. Seven Mile Beach was named one of the world’s “Ultimate Beaches” by Caribbean Travel + Life. Everyting is irie (alright) in Jamaica, where teaming waterfalls splash in the jungle, beaches beg for combing, and the flavours of the food are unrivalled. Our days at sea are filled with super-sized adventure aboard The Liberty of the Seas. When it comes to dining, there are flavours of every angle. When it comes to activities, there are too many to try them all! And our luxury ship outdoes itself with Tony Award winning entertainment options, including performances by professional ice skaters – Royal Caribbean is the first and only cruise line with an onboard ice-rink.
San Antonio is The Alamo, an iconic symbol of American Liberty and a great source of Texan pride. But San Antonio is also a cultural mix of people, music, and art. This is where jazz and mariachi dance in the air along the 15-mile River Walk. It’s an old, eclectic place with a charming canal, art, architecture, and museums. Stroll 25 blocks of elegant 19th-century mansions turned into cafes, galleries, and boutiques in the King William Historic District.
A three-hour guided tour highlights Houston’s hotspots. This is a city where Power Suits drive to work in shiny pickup trucks. Born on oil, cotton, and real estate, wealth lifts up this thriving city. We’ll tour Uptown, Houston’s megachurches, and the superb galleries of the Museum District and Hermann Park. The city’s top attraction for more than 50 years, NASA’s $1.5 billion Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC), leads the world in human exploration, scientific discovery, and technological innovation.
In Galveston, the old island-city, Southern Belle charm, genteel resorts, and beach houses fill our day. Visit Moody Gardens’ giant glass aquarium pyramid and see sharks, free-roaming monkeys, and macaws up-close. Or visit the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum, a retired jack-up drill rig with three floors of models, equipment, and interactive displays about offshore oil and gas exploration.
San Antoniohas a rich colonial heritage. In the late 1800s The King William District was the most elegant residential area of the city. Today the residences have been preserved and many repurposed as cafes, art galleries, museums and shops.Following the San Antonio River, the miles-long River Walk is a landmark pedestrian promenade lined with cafes and shops. Hemis Fair Park’s 750-ft. Tower of the Americas overlooks the city.
The Alamo, an 18th-century Spanish mission preserved as a museum, marks an infamous 1836 battle for Texan independence from Mexico. The deaths of the “Martyrs to Texas Independence” inspired greater resistance to Santa Anna’s regime, and the cry “Remember the Alamo” became the rallying point of the Texas Revolution
Nicknamed The Space City is the most populous city in the state of Texas. The city’s relatively compact Downtown includes the Theater District, home to the renowned Houston Grand Opera, and the Historic District, with 19th-century architecture and upscale restaurants.
A coastal resort city on Galveston Island and Pelican Islandwas first settled in 1816 by French pirate Louis-Michel Aury. Since then Galveston has for a brief time been the state capital of Texas and has become a major U.S. commercial center and one of the largest ports in the United States. Galveston is home to six historic districts containing one of the largest and historically significant collections of 19th-century buildings in the United States, with over 60 structures listed in the National Register of Historic Places. With miles of beaches, shops, museums it is a fascinating city to visit.
The Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum: board the retired jackup drilling rig and view a video about the offshore industry. The museum features three floors of models and interactive displays illustrating the story of offshore oil and gas from seismic technology to exploration and production. Following a leisurely tour inside the museum, visitors can take the skywalk out onto the drill floor of the rig or visit the exhibits on the pipe deck from the first floor of the museum.
Moody Mansion: Restored to its turn of the century splendor, the 28,000 square-foot, four-story structure was completed in 1895. Today visit 20 rooms on a tour that depicts the home life of a powerful Texas family. The Moodys’ established one of the great American financial empires. Based on cotton, it grew to include banking, ranching, insurance and hotels.
The Bryan Museum, located in the historic Galveston Orphans Home, houses the Bryan Collection, one of the world’s Largest collections of historical artifacts, documents, and artwork relating to Texas and the American West. Collected by J.P and Mary Jon Bryan, the collection spans more than 12,000 years, with pieces ranging from ancient Native American cultural artifacts to modern twenty-first century objects
NASA’s Johnson Space Center has served as a hub of human spaceflight activity for more than half a century. It is home to the nation’s astronaut corps, the International Space Station mission operations, the Orion Program, and a host of future space developments. The center plays a pivotal role in enhancing scientific and technological knowledge to benefit all of humankind.
is famous for its magnificent coral reefs. This makes way for the most amazing snorkel and diving experiences available in the entire Caribbean. Cozumel has the most magnificent beaches in the Caribbean and has many hidden secrets.
Secluded gorgeous deserted beaches, off-road jungle terrain, blow holes, hidden water caves, beach bars/restaurants, hatching baby sea turtles, snorkeling, rock formations and Unique Mayan Ruins are all waiting for you to explore. Source: Visitcozumel.com
George Town serves as the capital of the Cayman Islands. It is a popular port of call for cruise ships, who anchor in George Town Harbour. Passengers disembark in George Town, in the centre of the Grand Cayman shopping district. Activities available in George Town include submarine tours of George Town Harbour, glass-bottom boat tours, snorkelling, scuba-diving, parasailing, charter boat tours, rum distillery tours, art galleries, a historical museum, and of course, shopping and eating. George Town’s waterfront is also home to a Harley-Davidson shop, a Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville franchise, and a Guy Harvey art studio and restaurant. Source: Wikipedia
Falmouth is the capital city of Jamaica’s Trelawny Parish. It’s a busy cruise-ship port that lies between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay on the island’s north shore. The city is characterized by its Georgian architecture, concentrated in the Falmouth Historic District. To the south, the 18th-century Good Hope Estate was originally a sugar plantation. East, near Ocho Rios, Dunn’s River Falls cascades over limestone rocks.
- Cozumel, Mexico
- George Town, Grand Cayman
- Falmouth, Jamaica
- San Antonio, TX: Menger Hotel (2 nights)
- Houston, TX: TBA (1 night)
- Cruise: Liberty of the Seas (7 nights)
Toronto to San Antonio
Our Air Canada flight departs from Toronto at 8:15am and arrives in Texas in the late morning. After a 4.5 hour tour of San Antonio, with lunch along the way, we’ll arrive at the Menger Hotel for dinner.
Meals: B, L, D
San Antonio – The Alamo
Rise and shine in sunny San Antonio! Today we visit the Alamo on a self-guided tour. But no motorcoach today! The Alamo is right across the street!
Nothing stirs up Texan pride like the Alamo, built in 1744 as a Spanish mission (before the United States was united). A handful of revolutionaries died defending the fort against thousands of Mexican troops in 1836. The main chapel’s dark-stained doors and limestone facade is an iconic symbol of American liberty.
The rest of the afternoon is yours to discover San Antonio your way. And San Antonio gives you lots to do and see. The city is a cultural mosaic where exotic is the standard. You’re just as likely to hear jazz drifting through the streets as mariachi. Feel the oldness of this eclectic place in its art, architecture, and museums.
The 15-mile River Walk is a charming canal, a pedestrian street, and a nod to Europe. Stone footbridges, cafes, and gardens provide hours of afternoon sightseeing. Tour the Briscoe Western Art Museum, where cowboys, Native Americans, Hispanic settlers, and the wild women of the west all get their due. And spoil yourself with culinary excess (the Culinary Institute of America lives here).
Stroll along the King William Historic District’s 25 blocks of elegant 19th-century mansions. Some homes, featuring German, Greek revival, Victorian and Italianate-style architecture, have turned into cafes, art galleries, and boutiques.
San Antonio to Houston
After breakfast we’ll head for Houston, arriving at lunch. A three-hour guided tour highlights Houston’s hotspots. This is a city where Power Suits drive to work in shiny pickup trucks, and Texan pride has a sense of humour. Born on oil, cotton, and real estate, wealth lifts up this thriving city as seen in Uptown, Houston’s megachurches, and the superb galleries of the Museum District and Hermann Park. The city’s top attraction for more than 50 years, NASA’s $1.5 billion Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC), leads the world in human exploration, scientific discovery, and technological innovation. See the interactive displays, space artifacts, full-size rocket, space shuttle, and real astronauts at work.
After a fabulous afternoon of sightseeing we’ll arrive at our hotel, plumb tuckered out for dinner (on your own).
Meals: B, L
Houston to Galveston
Breakfast at the hotel then the morning is up to you! Choose between two self-guided tours:
The Ocean Star Off Shore Oil Rig
Visit the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum, a retired jack-up drill rig with three floors of models, equipment, and interactive displays about offshore oil and gas exploration.
28,000 square-feet, 20 rooms, 4 stories. This was the home of the Moody’s, a powerful Texas family. The Moodys built a cotton empire and branched out into banking, ranching, insurance, and hotels to become one of the great American financial empires. Now, it is known as one of the most famous houses in the USA by the Travel Channel.
We’re not done yet! Before lunch, we’re fitting in a one-hour guided tour of the Bryan Museum. After lunch… that’s right! It’s time to head for the cruise terminal.
The Liberty of the Seas lifts anchor at 4:00pm setting a sunny 7-day heading for the Western Caribbean.
Meals: B, L, D
The Liberty of the Seas goes big on super-sized adventure. If adrenaline is your thing, plunge into The Perfect Storm for adventure. Try the FlowRider surf simulator (30 000 gallons of water rushing at you over 40 feet) or the Typhoon and Cyclone racer slides. And don’t miss climbing a Bolder Boulder rock wall for high-above-deck views.
If food is your thing, this ship has flavours of every angle, including Giovanni’s Table (described as “bold Tuscan”) and Chops Grille for hand-cut prime steak. Uncork a bold Cab at Vintages, curated by top winemakers.
If watching a show is your bag, there’s not shortage of entertainment options. Broadway at Sea is a Tony Award winning musical featuring the best lineup of performers at sea with special guests. Glitter and Glam on Ice is a frenzy of costumes, spins, and lifts performed by professional skaters. Royal Caribbean is the first and only cruise line with an onboard ice-skating rinks.
Cozumel is where Mexi-Caribbean culture soaks into beaches, food spots, and music. Tulum carves Mayan history in stone above the ocean below, where snorkelers take in the quiet colours under the waves of Chankanaab (you can also swim with dolphins). Visit San Gervasio, an ancient Maya site dating back to A.D. 300. Walk sun-baked trails through mangroves in Punta Sur National Park. When in Cozumel, you must try a cochinita pibil (slow-roasted pork) with a Michelada (beer with lime juice) or the nation’s signature spirit—tequila. The waterfront shopping on Avenue Rafael E. Melgar is a mile-long shop extravaganza. This is also where you can sample tequila at the Chile Tequila Factory. Tequila (we thought we would say that one more time).
George Town, Grand Caymans
If you want it up, George Town is up. If you want it down to ultimate relaxation) George Town has that too. Designer shops treat the savvy shopper with on-the-mark retail therapy. Seven Mile Beach caters to dreamy strolls with coral sand and crystal clear water—but it also has bars and upscale resorts to spice things up. Seven Mile Beach was named one of the world’s “Ultimate Beaches” by Caribbean Travel + Life. The Caribbean Aviary is a great place to spot exotic birds up close, like the Cayman Parrot. The North Sound Club is the only 18-hold championship golf course on the Cayman Islands. Stingray City is a good place to mingle with southern stingrays.
On the menu is shellfish served in every way—fritters, chowders, even marinated. And if Mexico is tequila, Grand Cayman is rum. Try a Cayman Mama, a cocktail that dresses up coconut rum with banana liqueur, Triple Sec, pineapple juice, and strawberry syrup. Good heavens, yes!
Eryting is irie (alright) in Jamaica. And when we say eryting, we mean there’s lots to do in Jamaica! Ascend to the top of a secluded waterfall in Ocho Rios, ride horseback along Chukkah Beach, take part in high tea at Good Hope Estate, and buy duty-free goods and local island crafts at The Shoppes at Rose Hall. Tube down a river or beachcomb Burwood Beach.
This is where food puts great big smiles on faces. Jerk chicken, Jamaican Patties, and rum cake washed down with Red Stripe lager (brewed on the island since 1939) is a good starter. Don’t miss out on Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, rated among the best in the world by caffeine connoisseurs.
Day9 - 10
Back on board, enjoy al fresco dining, rustic dishes, and traditional Mexican dishes at Sabor. Carne Asada burritos, tacos, ceviches, and quesadillas… do we hear Mariachi? A fiesta in every bite. Soak up the sun or the shade on expanded pool decks and listen to live music with a cocktail. The Solarium is an adults-only indoor/outdoor retreat with whirlpools and an invigorating water mist.
Our last port of call, Galveston (and our homeward flight to Toronto)
The Liberty of the Seas docks early and we leave Galveston at 8:00am, heading to Houston by ship/airport transfer. We’ll fly from Houston after lunch to Toronto, landing around dinnertime.