What is the best way to get to a cruise leaving from Galveston?
We have offered, on occassion when we are available, our private "Phil&Liz Taxi service" to a few CM's here to get to their cruises, but we would also suggest:
1.If arriving day of sailing-take the cruise lines shuttle service. If there are delays due to traffic etc then the cruiseline knows your predicament and is not likely to sail w/o you.
2.If arriving day before sailing-there are a few shuttle services as well as the usual taxis. We suggest booking lodging on the island and make your way to the island to spend the night. So much easier the morning of embark to not struggle with traffic and time constraints. Wake up, have a casual breakfast and even lunch on the island then board.
What airport is closest to the port and how close it it? How much is a taxi?
Hobby airport (HOU) is closer to the island as it is on the south side of the city of Houston. While it may only be 40 miles from HOU to Galveston, due to construction and traffic, it can take and hour sometimes to make the trek. It is 70 miles from Houston Intercontinental Airport (IAH) but you will be passing thru the city and all that entails. This can take an hour and a half at times depending on the route you take. There is a tollway system that one can take to avoid the inner city traffic but you need a " EZ tag" to make it a smooth drive. Stopping to pay each toll along the way would not be timesaving nor economical.
Taxi can vary in cost, guessing $40-60. We would suggest using a shuttle service here as well, perhaps sharing the cost with a small group you might find here in the "Meet on Board" section of Cruisemates.
You may find the hotel you book in Galveston offers a shuttle. We have read that some folks book a hotel near the airport, book the cruiseline shuttle, and return to the airport in the morning for the cruiseline shuttle.
If it is a small airport, are the airlines restricted or the number of flights limited?
Hobby is smaller than IAH. Southwest and AirTran are the big providers there.
Timing of your flights is very important for Galveston/Houston. As with getting to the island, it can be challenging getting back to the airport after debark.
We strongly suggest folks book their return flight for noon or later. It has happened many times that the ship is delayed entering port due to fog. This or traffic can delay you getting off the ship or getting to the airport.
There are a few threads on CM by us and others with great detail on motels and shuttles to/from Galveston. Just use the search feature.
The Original Phil & Liz
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