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Galveston Steve

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Posts posted by Galveston Steve

  1. 9 hours ago, Ampurp85 said:

    Nonrefundable deposit are forfeited if you cancel. Suites have been Nonrefundable for a while now.

    If you change a sailing you must pay a $100 change fee. If your deposit was $250 then $150 will go towards the new sailing. If you utilized NextCruise then it will take your whole deposit to cover the change fee. There aren't restrictions on types of sailings, ships, etc.

    This has been my understanding of the policy up to now.  I will say that in the past I have changed the ship/sail date on a number of cruises and the $100 change fee was not forfeited, which was nice.

    With the new 10% suite deposit policy I have not seen confirmation that there is still only a $100 change fee. With the drastic changes that RCG has been implementing I wonder if the change fee might increase?

  2. 4 hours ago, Pattycruise said:

    I did my first ever sailing out of Galveston on March 27.  I booked RC shuttle from Bush IAH and for the return as well.  
    RC had me going to customs for pick up- as if I was an international arrival. Luckily I flew in the day before and scoped out the “where”. -it was Terminal C for national flights.  I returned to the airport the morning of my shuttle (provided them a flight # for day of cruise) and they did not provide a 9 am shuttle.  We all had to wait for the 11 am. 
    btw, others had shuttle transfer instructions telling them terminal c, unlike mine which said customs.

    the return trip was ok.  Getting out of the terminal was quite a time consuming event with many saying they’ve never seen it this bad.  Return to the airport was interesting as it was supposed to be terminal A and C (United). The large bus could not pull into terminal A so we all got off at C. It was easy enough to get the subway shuttle to terminal A but IDK what those folks with loads of luggage did as they wanted porters and were told there weren’t any that go to other terminals.

    as for Uber/Lyft.  Someone in the FB group for the sailing reported there were no Lyft people available and Uber was on site -illegally-but not “in the app” and  they were charging 2 1/2 times the normal rate for rides.  That’s second hand info, no idea if it’s confirmed by others.  


    Wow, Royal has been operating in Galveston for years and they have such messed up bus transfer service? Crazy. I almost always drive to the port and it's very easy to park and get to the terminal so I haven't experienced the bus fiasco. I do recommend Galveston Saltwater Moms for transportation to/from the airport.  They are highly rated and also are legally operating at the Port. Follow the link I provided because there are impersonators with a similar name that are not as good. Just message them from their facebook page to arrange a reservation. Reserve well in advance because they book up early.

    I've sailed from the new terminal several times and it's always been very efficient for the arrival and departure process in the terminal, especially with the new security and check-in areas for arrival and facial recognition for departure. Too bad you had a different experience.

    Uber now has a contract with the Port, so that situation should improve very soon.

  3. On 3/27/2023 at 5:28 PM, Coda_Sarah said:

    I'm glad Uber got on board.  I have been reading on Cruise Critic that some folks are frustrated about getting rides from terminal to airports.  It doesn't seem as easy as other cruise terminals.  It's probably because the airport is so much further away. 

    Having Uber will help quite a bit. Doing your research as you noted above will also prevent frustration. Keep in mind that the driving distance from Port Canaveral to MCO is 45 miles. That’s 2 miles further than the distance from Galveston’s new cruise terminal to HOU. If someone chooses to fly into IAH then they probably didn’t do their research or ignored the advice in this thread. 

  4. On 2/19/2023 at 4:23 PM, Traveling Mike said:

    I am cruising on the Allure on April 2 and have done lots of research and am still looking.  From what I am seeing for a family of 4 your best bet is with Lift.  Uber is not allowed in the port right now.  They are working on a contract, but I see nothing that has said it is done.  The cruise line has shuttles (I think I am paying $45 per person one way), but it has to be the day of the cruise.  You can stay at one of the airport hotels and go back to the airport to catch the ride.  The ride shares they have been in two different groups.  Shuttle companies and small car groups that offer transportation.  Both of them end up being about $35 to $40 a person one way.

    For my weekend hotels near the airport were about 1/2 the price that they were at Galveston.  

    An Operating Agreement with Uber was unanimously approved by the Port of Galveston on 24 May 2023. Uber has finally agreed to the Port’s terms and the agreement is the same as Lyft's agreement, including a $2.00 fee for each pick up and drop off. I'm not sure if Uber will actually be ready to implement the agreement before your April 2 cruise however.

  5. On 3/6/2023 at 1:03 PM, Traveling Mike said:

    In my research the most cost-effective way seems to be Uber or Lyft.  One Question for someone that really knows... Can Uber get into the port of Galveston?  As of December, they still did not have the clearance to enter the port.  The difference is using Uber vs Lyft.

    An Operating Agreement with Uber was unanimously approved by the Port of Galveston on 24 May 2023. Uber has finally agreed to the Port’s terms and the agreement is the same as Lyft's agreement, including a $2.00 fee for each pick up and drop off.

  6. On 3/20/2023 at 1:06 PM, cruisellama said:

    May want to check of Uber can service the port.  I heard Lyft was credentialed for Galveston passenger terminal. (It may be an old rule and I don't know how they'd keep an Uber from the passenger drop).

    An Operating Agreement with Uber was unanimously approved by the Port of Galveston on 24 May 2023. Uber has finally agreed to the Port’s terms and the agreement is the same as Lyft's agreement, including a $2.00 fee for each pick up and drop off.

  7. A few items of interest from Friday’s Port of Galveston Board of Trustees meeting:

    • An Operating Agreement with Uber was unanimously approved by the Board. Uber has finally agreed to the Port’s terms and the agreement is the same as Lyft's agreement, including a $2.00 fee for each pick up and drop off.
    • The Port is expanding parking for Cruise Terminal 10 near Pier 12.
    • Trustees are receiving positive feedback from the community on the cruise traffic situation;  the new cruise terminal has not resulted in worse traffic.
    • Cruise Terminal 25 (primarily used by Carnival) is being improved to accommodate Carnival Jubilee.  Jubilee is Carnival's newest ship, LNG powered, launching in late 2023 and will be home ported in Galveston. 
    • They approved funding for preliminary engineering services for development of a potential fourth cruise terminal (Cruise Terminal 16) development. This is the cruise terminal location that MSC is interested in and would be located at the current Del Monte facility.
  8. 58 minutes ago, Plumlee2028 said:

    I have a hard time buying in to the MSC terminal.  I know they announced the LOA to look at doing it, but MSC doesn't have the best recent track record on this, that's why Royal is getting basically half a terminal extra in Miami.  They've generally struck me as a company big on press and announcements and quietly let the follow through lapse a bit.  This would be a big investment well outside their normal client base.  I know they want to build up their US customer base, but they haven't done so yet, and going straight into a new port with a custom terminal would be...unusual. 

    Fort Lauderdale is getting some growth too.  Princess will have larger ships there in the winter and Royal keeps the Short cruises there in the winter which pumps out a lot of passengers as well as a Winter Oasis class.  The article on Port Canaveral stated Florida Ports forecasts about 5.2 million passengers for 2027.    Galveston's big advantage is that the big players (Royal and Carnival) each keep large ships there year round (2 for Royal, 3 for Carnival).  Fort Lauderdale slows down a lot in the summer.  Im not sure what Royal Group has guaranteed Port Everglades for passengers, but with their Miami Guarantees, Celebrity will have to be part of that.  While their terminal in Port Everglades will be their primary, they will im sure also operate lots of sailings from Miami, impacting Port Everglades.  

    It will be an interesting tug of war for a while.  

    You have a good point on MSC actually following through on a Galveston terminal. Time will tell. I recently sailed on their newest ship, Seascape, and the lack of customer focus in how they operate on board will not go well in Texas. 

  9. On 3/3/2023 at 9:53 AM, steverk said:

    Does anybody think Galveston will pass up Fort Lauderdale to become the #3 US cruise port?

    I once thought it would be impossible for Galveston to get to #3, but now it looks likely. The new Royal Caribbean terminal bumped capacity by 50% in Galveston and they are running at a rate of about 3.2 million passengers per year now vs. Everglades at 3.8 million. With MSC signing a letter of intent to build a 4th terminal in Galveston that should bump them to #3 in a few years. 

  10. 9 hours ago, melmar02 said:

    Does galveston.com have a webcam that faces the new terminal? Does the cruise cam swing around to point that direction, or is there a better option? 95 days to Allure and we're getting excited - hoping to see sail away for Adventure tomorrow or Allure this weekend.

    Here’s another webcam that changes positions and shows the new terminal. 

  11. 4 hours ago, Coda_Sarah said:

    Does Saltwater Moms take reservations for 2-4 people?  I reached out to them and asked if they took six people, and they sent a picture of an advertisement that said minimum was six people.  Is that based on one price criteria?  We may end up going as a group of 2 and 4 people so that's why I am asking here. 

    I have an upcoming reservation with them for 2 people and I have family who have used them for 2 people. Please make sure you use the link I provided to their facebook page because there are imitators with similar names. The correct name is “Galveston Saltwater Moms

    Is this what they sent you? Read it carefully because the “6 passengers or more” only applies to the 10 person SUV option. 

  12. 3 hours ago, jbrinkm said:

    Thanks, I did read the original post but I don't have Facebook for Saltwater Moms. I may end up trying to get someone else to reach out for me. The shuttles and/or private transport from the other two companies are confusing to me or more expensive than I prefer. We'd be ok with a shuttle but I can't find times and they say on the website that they will leave you. The private transport page is also confusing after I put in # of people and luggage. I've also never used Lyft, only Uber, although rideshare would be my preferred method. It is all just a little overwhelming, even though I've been trying to research on my own. I was hoping someone with a similar group to mine could recommend what they did and how well it worked.

    For your situation and since the websites are confusing I suggest you call Galveston Limo or Galveston Express. They provide shared bus service and should be able to answer questions over the phone. 

    If you use Galveston Saltwater Moms, be sure to use the links I provided. There is a group with a similar name that imitates them and is not as reliable nor properly approved to operate in the Port. 

  13. We saw Voices on the inaugural cruise and it was excellent! It was a combination of amazing live and video recorded voices, all singing a cappella. There were some quotations from historical figures and some other photos and video projected behind the singers, with a theme of “dreamers”.  I thought it was very well done. With a 5 year old I suggest sitting as close to the front as possible to be immersed in the show so it will hold their attention better. 

  14. On 1/3/2023 at 4:49 PM, jbrinkm said:

    Seasoned Galveston travelers - could you help me with advice for travel from port to IAH? 

    Details: family of 4 (2 teens) - 2 big suitcases and 4 small suitcases (plus our personal items, i.e. backpack, tote, etc but those can be on laps)

    Flight at 2:30pm from IAH

    What is the best balance of cost and reliability? Shared shuttle, rideshare XL or private transport? Can we do Uber now, or still just Lyft?

    Also, we want to go as late as possible. No need to hurry with a 2:30pm flight. What time is the latest Allure disembarkation these days? Does that make a difference for transportation recommendations?

    Check out my original post here. I have a number of transportation recommendations. My current favorite is Galveston Saltwater Moms

  15. I've criticized RCG for some of their health protocols over the past year or two, but I'm here now to praise them. Since the restart following Covid, Nancy and I have taken 21 RCG cruises over 16 months. In not a single instance did we return with the usual "cruise crud", Covid, or other sickness. Not once.

    We just returned from the 2nd US sailing on MSC Seascape, MSC's newest ship.  There are plenty of comparisons to be made. But as far as health goes we knew we were going to come home sick... and we did. Virtually no automatic doors, so every door/bathroom we entered we had to touch a door handle, push it down, and pull or push the door open. The bright chrome finish in all the public areas was beautiful but graphically showed all the handprints on door handles and handrails. Very few hand sanitizing stations or hand wash stations. Very few complimentary options for breakfast and lunch, so they essentially pushed everyone to the buffet which was a crowded mess with everyone serving their own food. Even the security person who scanned sea passes as you get on/off the ship would not scan it unless you handed it to them so they could spread germs from all the other passengers to your sea pass.  So yes, I'm sitting here with "cruise crud" and fever for the first time in years.

    I'm not here to compare MSC to RCG which I could spend a lot of time doing. I am here to say that RCG has its act together on their protocols.  If you complain about RCG that's fine (I certainly have), but you might want to check out the competition occasionally to see how others operate their ships and treat their passengers.

  16. I've flown JSX several times now, and have had great experiences. It's like flying "semi-private". They use the same facilities that private jets use, which means you avoid big crowds and long security and checkin lines. Just show up 20-30 minutes before the flight, check in, and get on the plane. They fly to many of the key cruise port cities: Miami, Orlando, Houston, Los Angeles / Orange County. Pricing can be similar to a first class ticket but we have scored some great deals at times.

    This week's Southwest Airlines fiasco proved to me that JSX is a better option. Our son's family, 4 in total, had their flight from FLL cancelled as we were disembarking the ship in Miami. Southwest's options would get them home 4 days later... maybe. They immediately booked seats on JSX from Miami and were able to get home that same evening. Southwest's refunds, if they come through, should cover much of the JSX fare.

    Nancy and I were already booked on JSX from Orlando for the next day (we wanted to do some sightseeing and snag the lower fares from Orlando). Our JSX flight back to Dallas was scheduled for 3:20 pm and it ended up being 4 hours late due to the inbound flight being cancelled coming in from White Plains, NY. Here's what JSX did for everyone on the flight without being forced to do it by the government or the passengers: 1) flew an empty plane and flight crew from Dallas to Orlando to pick us up 2) patiently answered our questions and provided updated information. 3) ordered a bunch of pizzas and had them delivered to the private air terminal (there was no other option for passengers to get dinner) 4) as we arrived home we each had already received an email apologizing for the delay and a voucher for $200 in future flight credit.


    • 2 free bags
    • Free Starlink WiFi (being rolled out fleetwide)
    • Free drinks (alcoholic too)
    • Free Snacks
    • Seating configuration provides extra room
    • Retrieve bags planeside


    • More expensive but may be worth it
    • Extra fee to reserve a specific seat prior to airport checkin
    • Typically only very expensive valet parking is available at the private air terminal, so you need to arrive by Uber, Lyft, etc.
    • They allow well-behaved large dogs to sit in front of an adjacent seat if they purchase a seat for the dog (may be a turn-off if you are allergic)

    Check it out if it they fly near where you need to go!


  17. On 12/4/2022 at 5:20 PM, ChessE4 said:

    The reported time is Ship Time.

    Although I would have agreed with this a month ago, this is not always the case. On two cruises on Allure out of Galveston the reported time on our Royal Caribbean itinerary is off by an hour because of “ship time”. We arrived and departed one hour early at the Mexican ports. Your experience may differ.  

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