My family (2 adults, 2 teenagers) sailed on the Rhapsody June 26-July 3, 2005. We had a wonderful experience, loved every minute of it. As for parking in Galveston, through this message board and others, I learned of EZ Cruise Parking, one block from the cruise ship terminal. They are priced less than the port parking lots. Their website is www.ezcruiseparking.com
. If you reserve your spot on-line, you get an even better price. They were great on the trip out -- very easy process ... husband dropped us off at the terminal, then he went to park the car and returned on the shuttle bus. Sunday morning return was another story ... not enough shuttle buses, massive number of people needing rides to all the parking lots. My husband ended up walking over to the parking lot (only a block away), retrieved our car and picked us up at the terminal.
We live in north Houston, so we did not need a hotel room prior to sailing. I've heard of hotels in Galveston that offer free parking for cruise ship passengers and they shuttle you to and from the terminal. You might check out the Hilton Galveston (on seawall, across from the beach) or some of the other hotels in the area -- Holiday Inn, Best Western, Galvez, San Luis (very nice). These hotels are all on the seawall, across from the beach. Another hotel downtown -- near the cruise ship terminal -- is the Tremont House, a boutique hotel. I don't know if any of these hotels offer free parking to cruise ship passengers ... but it doesn't hurt to ask! Especially in October, which is not a peak time for Galveston.
Any other questions about the Rhapsody, feel free to ask!