GrumpyTallMan

Recommended Shuttle from IAH & Hobby to Galveston

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Thanks for the tip on this, GrumpyTallMan. The need for inexpensive transfers for Galveston departures has been a topic of discussion on these message boards for a while now. This looks like a new service that will be a welcome addition to Galveston. I'm going to add it to my previous post about Galveston:

http://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php/topic/568-all-things-galveston-answers-to-your-questions/

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What if you've prepaid for shuttle through your TA ?? Is there a certain one you'd need to use ?

You'd need to check with your TA to see if s/he booked your transfers through a service or the cruise line.

 

We opted to rent a car as we found a good rate on a full size car and are coming in a couple of days early. Even with $65 to park for the week, it was nearly the same price as round trip transfers and we'll be on our own schedule. The fuel will be our only added expense.

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Wait. Doc, you rented a car for the week just for the ride from the airport to the ship ?? Didn't they charge you for the week's rental ?

I know; sounds stupid, right. I mean, I'm renting a car to then pay to park it. But, we're coming in two days early, are doing the space center and a couple of other things, so we needed a car for those two days anyways. In the end, the math was a wash as a two day rental is pricey compared to a week plus rental as there are more discounts available.

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While I hate to pay $65 and a rental fee for the car just to have it sit for 7 days, the pricing really did work out for the best.  Plus, we can go on our own schedule.  If the family is running slow, I don't have to worry about missing our ride; and if they're running ahead of schedule, that just means I get to the port earlier. :)

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In general, the shuttles/transfers get pricey beyond 2 people across all ports.

This may be Galveston's greatest challenge. My wife's coworker just got back from a Carnival cruise and her biggest complaint was the time and cost from the airport to the port and back. She said it took about 2.5 hours each way, which makes other embarkation ports much more appealing for some.

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She said it took about 2.5 hours each way, which makes other embarkation ports much more appealing for some.

2.5 hours?! Well, that's certainly disappointing. I thought it was much less.

 

We recently decided on a cruise on Liberty of the Seas out of Galveston for October 2016. The fact that it was a bit away from the airports was a negative factor, but we didn't think it was that bad. We'd previously sailed on Freedom of the Seas out of Port Canaveral which is 45 minutes away from Orlando, and I was thinking that Galveston was comparably distanced from Houston.

 

I know that there are differences between Houston Hobby and George W. Bush Intercontinental airports, with Hobby being the closer of the two. Fortunately for me, I'd probably fly Southwest into Hobby, but I need to consider other people in our group who may prefer to fly into IAH.

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This may be Galveston's greatest challenge. My wife's coworker just got back from a Carnival cruise and her biggest complaint was the time and cost from the airport to the port and back. She said it took about 2.5 hours each way, which makes other embarkation ports much more appealing for some.

The driving time between Houston Hobby Airport (HOU) and Port of Galveston is about 50 minutes. It's about 1.5 hours if you fly into Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). I always advise folks to fly into HOU, which is a big hub for Southwest Airlines (remember Southwest has no fee for changing your flight, and bags fly free). Delta also flies into HOU from Atlanta. I can't imagine how it took 2.5 hours both ways, even in bad traffic during a weekday rush hour.

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If I had to guess, I'm thinking that my wife's coworker was using a shared shuttle service or the Carnival transfer. Given that they wait for the bus/van to fill and likely pick up and drop off at multiple terminals, I could see it taking 2.5 hours.

 

In Harwich, those who took the cruise line transfer spent 4 hours to get to the port because of the size of Heathrow and needing to pick up at multiple terminals and then a required rest stop half way to the terminal.  Even with a private transfer, it still took us 2.5 hours to get there from London.

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Ok, Doc, that makes sense. Those shared shuttles can be a long journey when you are at the end of the line and they have to make a lot of stops. If I were flying to Galveston for a cruise, I would fly into HOU and pre-reserve the shuttle service mentioned at the top of this post (http://galvestonexpress.com). That shuttle price is very good, they appear to have new busses, and the website indicates it's one hour from HOU to the Port.

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Ok, Doc, that makes sense. Those shared shuttles can be a long journey when you are at the end of the line and they have to make a lot of stops. If I were flying to Galveston for a cruise, I would fly into HOU and pre-reserve the shuttle service mentioned at the top of this post (http://galvestonexpress.com). That shuttle price is very good, they appear to have new busses, and the website indicates it's one hour from HOU to the Port.

I agree.  For the price, about $20 each way from HOU, Galveston Express is quite a bargain.  The only downside I see is the potential of a lot of waiting if say you're off the ship by 9:00 but booked an 11 a.m. transfer or if your flight arrives at a time not convenient to those scheduled.  But again, for the price, it can't be beat.

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THREAD BUMP

 

I'm looking at organizing private shuttle service for my group of 16-18 people sailing on Liberty of the Seas in October. I figure that getting a private shuttle would give us better scheduling and the opportunity to have a nice group experience during the hour-long ride between the Houston Hobby area hotel and the port and then back to Houston Hobby post-cruise.

 

I've looked at a couple Galveston shuttle services. Galveston Express doesn't seem to have vehicles that could hold our group and if we hired two, the cost would be a bit too prohibitive. Galveston Limo can offer us an 18-person minibus round-trip for $876. That seems like a lot, but divided among 16 people, that's $55/person, which isn't so bad for a scheduled (as opposed to waiting until the bus gets full), group ride.

 

Are there other companies we should investigate?

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Galveston limosine is the service I have booked previously when sailing out of this port.  You don't have to book an entire mini bus like Marc described.  We always just used them with two people and it was pretty reasonable price wise if i remember correctly.  We were on a coach bus.  The ride was definitely not 2.5 hours each time we did it... More along the lines of an hour and 15 if memory serves me correctly.  http://www.galvestonlimo.com  Good luck!

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THREAD BUMP

 

I'm looking at organizing private shuttle service for my group of 16-18 people sailing on Liberty of the Seas in October. I figure that getting a private shuttle would give us better scheduling and the opportunity to have a nice group experience during the hour-long ride between the Houston Hobby area hotel and the port and then back to Houston Hobby post-cruise.

 

I've looked at a couple Galveston shuttle services. Galveston Express doesn't seem to have vehicles that could hold our group and if we hired two, the cost would be a bit too prohibitive. Galveston Limo can offer us an 18-person minibus round-trip for $876. That seems like a lot, but divided among 16 people, that's $55/person, which isn't so bad for a scheduled (as opposed to waiting until the bus gets full), group ride.

 

Are there other companies we should investigate?

Marc, I haven't used Galveston Limo but I do know the owners.  They are a reputable company.  Recently I have seen their motor coaches rolling in and out of the Port with "Crew" signs in the window.  It looks like Carnival or RCCL has arranged for them to shuttle the crew to various locations on the island for the day.

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I live in Houston and have a good friend who is an Uber driver for those who have more than two people you probably will save money. Let me know if anybody wants to use him. 

 

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