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Embarkation/Debarkation Ports Discuss pre/post cruise planning & sightseeing in various port cities.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old February 26th, 2008, 09:18 PM
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Default Port of Galveston---All questions about sailing from Texas

I thought I would start a thread to help answer questions about the port of Galveston. It is my home port and I have sailed from there many times so maybe I can offer some advise. There are some other great CruiseMates who live in the area and can even share with us local details.



If you have any questions about Galveston, this is your thread.
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Old February 26th, 2008, 09:23 PM
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Default Houston as well

We can also talk about the future of the new Houston cruise ship terminal which will open this year.

I have heard that Houston is actively pursuing NCL and MSC. Both would be great additions and I have been encouraging MSC myself. Longer cruises are needed from Texas.

Has anyone heard any thing else about Houston?
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Old March 5th, 2008, 01:24 PM
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snoozeman, i want to say as i am from the north, i am not that familiar with where the cities in Texas are. How close are Gavelston and Huston? Will they basically be the same or far enough apart to look at each port separately? Also, i have been wanting to cruise out of Texas (just to visit there) and have heard the port isn't close to the airport and not very easy to get to. Any info you can share would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old March 5th, 2008, 02:30 PM
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Houston and Galveston are on average an hour from each other depending on were you are in Houston and traffic. Right now there is no one sailing from the new Houston ship terminal although we are hopeful that NCL will be there next year and hopefully MSC as well.

The airport is the weak link for sailing from Texas. It can be an adventure getting from the airport to the ship terminal in Galveston. Depending on the number in your party it may be best to just use the ship transfers.

It's really an easy port especially for locals and Texans who drive in such as myself. The weather is usually good and the port and cruise staff are very friendly. A lot of people who fly come in a day early. Galveston is an interesting place to visit. At debarkation, I'd recommend late flight departure and take the NASA excursion which will then drop you at the International airport. It only a few $ more than the shuttle and at least you aren't rushed and you get a tour.

Of course IMHO the biggest advantage of sailing from Galveston is that there are lots of Texans on board ship. They are a fun group!
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Old March 21st, 2008, 07:21 PM
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Yes, we cound out that it is a bit of a pain to get from Houston to Galveston. It took two hours+ to get there with the stops dropping people off at various hotels. It didn't help that we went during Mardi Gras week and I didn't know they did that or else I would habe booked a hotel on the other side of 25th street (we stayed on 23rd and the street was blocked off at 4pm for a parade that night, we didn't get to the hotel close to 4:30).

I would think before going that way again, if I did, I would stay in Houston and get up early the next day and get a shuttle to the port instead. It may only have been a six hour flight, but add two plus hours and that makes for a long day...
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Old April 8th, 2008, 04:40 PM
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Default Galveston

I was excited to see this topic listed. We leave out of Galveston on Sunday. We have cruised before but never from here. What time do you suggest we get to the terminal? We are on carnival and have already completed all our preboarding documents online. There are just 2 of us, no kids. We are from the Austin area and are coming in the night before so we are very flexible with our time on Sunday.

Thanks for your help!

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Old April 8th, 2008, 07:54 PM
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Hula,

Since you are arriving the day before that is great !!

Enjoy Galveston...go to the Strand, ride a carriage. Go to the railroad museum, eat at Yaga's.

If you like to be first on the ship I would arrive about 1130am.

Have you arranged parking yet or do you not need it?

Phil & Liz
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Old April 8th, 2008, 10:04 PM
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Phil and Liz, Thank you for your quick response. We will plan on arriving around 11:30. We do not need transportation so that should speed things up slightly.
We look forward to doing all the fun things you mentioned.
Thanks again,
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Old April 12th, 2008, 04:09 PM
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hi ya'll,

we are cruising on the Conquest coming up May 18,2008..We live in Alexandria, LA, about a 5 hour drive from Galveston.. We are thinking about coming over and spending the night before, so I am trying to find out if any hotels are close by and offer any discounts on cruise parking? Any ballpark figures?
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Old April 12th, 2008, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by americanmama
hi ya'll,

we are cruising on the Conquest coming up May 18,2008..We live in Alexandria, LA, about a 5 hour drive from Galveston.. We are thinking about coming over and spending the night before, so I am trying to find out if any hotels are close by and offer any discounts on cruise parking? Any ballpark figures?
First, welcome to CruiseMates!

Sounds like a plan to me. We usually drive in the day of debarkation so hopefully Phil & Liz will have some specifics. I like to eat at Gaidos when we do come a day early.
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Old July 7th, 2008, 10:00 AM
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Howdy All for Houston, TX
I understand several hotels will allow free parking for cruisers, we will come in from Houston the night before and have reservations at the Howard Johnsons...free parking and very close to the cruise terminal.

Does anyone have comments about the HO-JO there I only have info from the internet. Free parking is saving $60. So with that our less than $80. room is a great deal. Just need a place to sleep. Serveral hotels on the Seawall have free parking too. Would LOVE to stay at the Harbour House . . .but out of my budget.

great place to see ... lots to do, Lodging, attractions, dining ect. 8)
check it out at

http://www.galveston.com

Enjoy all Texas has to offer
I do but I was born here (Houston, TX) and love it!
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Old December 20th, 2008, 10:30 PM
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Voyager has arrived for it's second season sailing from Galveston!
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Old December 21st, 2008, 03:38 PM
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Default Re: Houston as well

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoozeman
We can also talk about the future of the new Houston cruise ship terminal which will open this year.
Has anyone heard any thing else about Houston?
We were at a Christmas party Friday night and one of the folks there is the construction projects manager for Bayport.

He said he hadn't heard for sure yet which lines will be contracted to sail from there.

They are looking at whether the lines will continue to reposition away from Europe and spend more time in this part of the world. If it looks like there will be more sailings locally they are looking at either a new bigger building or a few additional smaller ones to accommodate the crowd.

He did mention the plans to have a Margaritaville nearby and some additional lodgings and eateries.

He had a magazine with a pic of Conquest in port and boy how small the port looked relative to the ship!

Phil & Liz
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 05:15 AM
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Default Bayport

We sailed from Bayport on the Conquest when it was sailing from there and it was a very nice facility. Much better than Galveston IMHO. Whoever sails from there I think will do well. Still guessing that it will be MSC.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 06:50 PM
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Default CQ question

Snooze What would be the best way to get from Bush to Port? Being an hour and a half away I'm thinking it won't be cheap. Do you recommend a hotel by Bush or by Port? I see the hotels are alot cheaper during the winter then in Florida. Smile
I know I'm a pain asking Galveston questions! Razz Twisted Evil


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I always drive so I'm not all that familiar with airport transportation. I know many use a limo service. I believe there is an airport shuttle as well.

I would try to stay in Galveston if possible.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 09:07 PM
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Thanks Snooze!
I just noticed that Jetblue flys into Hobby. That might be a better choice instead of Continental into Bush. 8)

I'm not crazy about the 1 1/2 hour drive to port from Houston/Bush.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 09:17 PM
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Yes Hobby is closer and on the Galveston side of Houston.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 09:50 PM
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I called RCCL today and they told me the bus drive over to Galveston port is 20 minutes from Bush. I told her I think it is more then that she said if there is traffic.

Anyway the charge for the RCCL transfers from Bush to Port is $90. per person round trip. I guess that is not too bad I'm thinking a taxi service would be even more.

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Old January 6th, 2009, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecruisequeen
I called RCCL today and they told me the bus drive over to Galveston port is 20 minutes from Bush. I told her I think it is more then that she said if there is traffic.

Anyway the charge for the RCCL transfers from Bush to Port is $90. per person round trip. I guess that is not too bad I'm thinking a taxi service would be even more.

Your right, it's more like an hour and twenty minutes. $90 RT sounds very fair to me. Good to know.

Have you booked yet? I'm going on the Voyager on Sunday.
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Old January 7th, 2009, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoozeman
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecruisequeen
I called RCCL today and they told me the bus drive over to Galveston port is 20 minutes from Bush. I told her I think it is more then that she said if there is traffic.

Anyway the charge for the RCCL transfers from Bush to Port is $90. per person round trip. I guess that is not too bad I'm thinking a taxi service would be even more.

Your right, it's more like an hour and twenty minutes. $90 RT sounds very fair to me. Good to know.

Have you booked yet? I'm going on the Voyager on Sunday.
I thought I'd post the $90. fee just in case any other CM was wondering. I thought that rate was good. I also looked into a car service and they wanted $135. each way so yes cruiseline tranfers might be the way to go.

No I did not book anything yet I better book something this week since I'm going next month.
I have a few options on different RCCL ships I would like the voyager but when I think of the over 1 hour ride to port I think twice.

I also have to add that the precruise hotel rates in the Houston area are alot cheaper then FL. I have seen hotels in Houston for $59. a nite and up however in FL I can't find anything under $150.

decisions decisions

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Old January 7th, 2009, 10:40 AM
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Sailing with a ship load of Texans is an experience in itself.

(That's ship load, a 'p' not a 't'.
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Old January 7th, 2009, 01:00 PM
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Someone told me that was on the Voyager last month that Bolero's is dead and not much going on. I hope that was just on her sailing.

I wonder if the Texas folks can Salsa? ??

Still considering though just that drive from airport to port turns me off.

Here is another question....Since Voyager is a Sunday ship how will the drive be from Bush to Port? will there be any traffic? Being it is not a work day I'm thinking not.
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Old April 23rd, 2009, 12:42 AM
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Default Radiance Class coming!

We've been wondering what will happen when the Voyager finishes it's three year commitment in Galveston. Next year is the last year (booked for February) so we're not sure what will happen in 2011 and beyond. Well the rumor has it that Galveston will again have a year round commitment from RCCL. Doesn't look like a Voyager class, but a Radiance Class sailing year round. That would be nice. I would be happy with that. I would be even happier if the did a combination of 5-7-10 day cruises so that there is some variety in ports.
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Old May 10th, 2009, 01:18 PM
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Default Voyager from Galveston 2010/2011

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Old May 10th, 2009, 03:41 PM
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Super. And they have Belize just as I was told. If all holds true then following will be a Radiance class full time. I wonder if it will come in April 2011 when the Voyager returns to Europe. Of course a lot can happen between now and then.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 08:23 PM
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driving from southern texas to galveston. where is the best place to stay overnight in galveston. what would you suggest to do about parking for the week while we are gone. any help would be appreciated.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cubsyear
driving from southern texas to galveston. where is the best place to stay overnight in galveston. what would you suggest to do about parking for the week while we are gone. any help would be appreciated.
The terminal has parking, but I park at EZ Cruise Parking. Its a little less $ and just as close.

Several hotel will allow you to park for the week if you stay with them the night before. Go to http://www.Galveston.com for lots of good information.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 09:07 PM
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how do you contact ez cruise parking? price? how do you get to ship from there. would you suggest a hotel with cruise parking to stay at for the week.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cubsyear
how do you contact ez cruise parking? price? how do you get to ship from there. would you suggest a hotel with cruise parking to stay at for the week.
There is a link to EZ Cruise Parking from my blog. (link in my signature) Look in the links section. There are about three blocks from terminal. The price depends on number of days, but it's all on their website.

There was an error in the galveston link above that I fixed--they have the hotel information.
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Old October 30th, 2009, 09:40 PM
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We are going to take Amtrak to Galveston. They include a bus transfer from Longview in the ticket price.

I reserved a hotel room early to make sure we had one, and that it was at a good price. We'll be going over spring break 2010.
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