Originally Posted by You
Does anyone know why Celebrity no longer cruises out of Galveston?
I'm not aware of any public statements from the line, but the bottom line is that Celebrity currently has only eight ships -- a smaller fleet than most other major cruise lines -- if one does not count MY Expedition
, which is permanently in the Galapagos Islands. Thus, Celebrity has to choose where to deploy the ships that the line does have to maximize its revenues, and this sometimes requires tough choices. Availability and cost of docking space, especially in a turnaround port, also can influence the decision of where to deploy ships.
That said, there are several factors that make Galveston less desirable than other turnaround ports.
>> 1. The airports that serve the port of Galveston are a considerable distance from the port. In particular, George Bush Intercontinental Airport is on the far side of Houston, so the transfer is about fifty miles, and Hobby Airport offers so few flights that Celebrity did not even offer transfers there. Compare this with ports like Miami, Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale), and Tampa, which are less than ten miles from the respective airports so the transfer takes only a few minutes and the transfer service requires far fewer buses.
>> 2. Air fares to and from Florida are exceptionally low, especially for people who live in the eastern half of North America, because there is a lot of business and a lot of competition on these routes. As a result, it costs a lot less for people who live in the northeast and the midwest to take cruises from Florida than to take cruises from other ports on the Gulf of Mexico.
>> 3. Located at the western end of the Gulf of Mexico, Galveston is much further from the Caribbean than other ports. This limits the practical itineraries from Galveston severely. It's possible to do a seven night "Western Caribbean" itinerary and a ten night or eleven night itinerary that goes through the westernmost (no, that is not a typo...) locks of the Panama Canal to Gatun Lake, then returns to the Caribbean, but the eastern side of the Caribbean -- which has most of the better ports of call -- is too far away to be practical.
It's likely that MV Galaxy
did not receive as many bookings while operating from Galveston as when operating from other ports due to these and possibly other factors, so the line decided to deploy her elsewhere (operating "Southern Caribbean" itineraries from San Juan) instead.