Please be advised: If you have a cruise scheduled for April 15, 16, 17 leaving from Galveston you will be well served to arrive a day or two early. That weekend is "Beach Party Weekend" in Galveston and if you are trying to get to the Island, you will face a 10-20 mile traffic jam. Every college/high school kid is trying to get to the Island and party. If you wait until the day of your cruise you will probably miss the sailing of your ship. The locals close shop/pack up and leave for the weekend.
I've driven that route, and I'd modify what you say somewhat. Instead of arriving a day or two early and attempting to find lodging, it would make more sense to stay in Houston, and just drive in early the morning of your cruise.
Everyone knows college students won't be awake at 8 in the morning <g>.
I have first hand experience with the traffic. I would not want to risk my cruise on the premise that "everyone knows college students do not get up until after 8:00". Getting to Galveston before 10:00am will be fine, after that you will be stuck in traffic.
I have to agree with DannyMac. On our first cruise out of Galveston we had, unknowingly, booked during Mardi Gras! We always drive in a day early and sure were glad we had. The worst traffic was from Houston to Galveston. It took us over two hours from Houston in terrible traffic! (I nearly put a hole in the floorboard on the passenger side hitting the "brakes"!) The hotel prices will be higher, but I think it would be worth it just to be safe. (Make hotel reservations now! They'll fill up fast.) Our last cruise from Galveston it took less than an hour from Houston. (Nothing special going on.) We also find that the extra day gives us time to relax and we aren't exhausted when we get to the ship.
"A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour."
Carnival Inspiration 2002 Carnival Elation 2004
Grand Princess 2004 NCL Sun 2005
Sun Princess 2006 NCL Dream 2007
Caribbean Princess 2007 NCL Dawn 2008
Island Princess 2008 Island Princess 2009
Golden Princess 2009 Carnival Conquest 2010
Grand Princess 2010 Island Princess 2011
Grand Princess 2011 Carnival Magic 2012
Carnival Dream 2012 Island Princess 2013
Carnival Magic 2013 Carnival Legend 2014
Sea Princess 2014
If you don't have a hotel room in or near Galveston by by now, don't even bother. Everything is booked solid. I live in Houston and didn't really want to spend the night in Galveston in the first place. Rather than worry about getting stuck in a traffic jam and waving at the ship as it sails without me, we will resort to taking a Princess shuttle from Hobby airport. That way we know we will make the ship. Didn't really want to spend the $$$ for something we can easily do ourselves, but this is a special situation. I just don't want to have to worry about it and I would rather sit in a traffic jam on a bus with someone else driving!
My wfe and I will be on the cruise.I just made hotel reservations at the Hilton.Princess said there were no transfers from Hobby.We are so glad we read the message boards.We would have missed the ship! Charles