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Galveston advice


Matt
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Taking my first cruise out of Galveston and after booking the cruise, I realized transportation options in Galveston leave much to be desired.

 

So for those that have cruised out of Galveston....

  • Can you recommend transportation options from IAH to Galveston?
  • Can you recommend a hotel in Galveston or near the port?
  • Anything else I need to know about this port?

Thanks in advance

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Taking my first cruise out of Galveston and after booking the cruise, I realized transportation options in Galveston leave much to be desired.

 

So for those that have cruised out of Galveston....

  • Can you recommend transportation options from IAH to Galveston?
  • Can you recommend a hotel in Galveston or near the port?
  • Anything else I need to know about this port?

Thanks in advance

 

Congrats on booking the cruise!! Let see I cruised out of Galveston in 1/2/12. I flew to Houston 2 days before the cruise, I rented a car from Enterprise I stayed in Clearlake Texas just south of Houston and took the family to the Houston space center. Drove down to Galveston and turned the car in by the pier (not far). Just be prepared for the FOG!! IM GLAD I PURCHASED CRUISE INSURANCE FOR THAT TRIP!!

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Congrats on booking the cruise!! Let see I cruised out of Galveston in 1/2/12. I flew to Houston 2 days before the cruise, I rented a car from Enterprise I stayed in Clearlake Texas just south of Houston and took the family to the Houston space center. Drove down to Galveston and turned the car in by the pier (not far). Just be prepared for the FOG!! IM GLAD I PURCHASED CRUISE INSURANCE FOR THAT TRIP!!

Maybe your cruise left earlier than mine does because we leave on a Sunday and the Enterprise in Galveston isn't open on Sundays and they are the only rental car company on the whole island  :o

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I agree - there's no easy way to get to the port from IAH. After looking at the limited options, my husband and I went with using RCCL transportation to and from the port. If you havent checked yet, you may want to.

Good luck.

I did look at that as an option.  For the three of us, I think sedan/limo service is actually cheaper or same price so we may go that way.  

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Nothing better than car service for traveling is there?! My favorite option. :)

Agree, have found private car cost slightly higher, but treasured vacation time saving priceless! I.e. saved $10 bucks NYC inbound transfer & cost us two hours of enjoying Times Square area. Spring $$ for time saving!

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 6 months later...

My response is a little tardy since your Navigator cruise has already happened, but maybe this will help others. I live in Galveston and would recommend the following:

  • Fly into HOU (Houston Hobby). It's much closer than IAH and you won't have the Houston traffic to deal with. You can arrange a Towne Car or Suburban in advance and the fare from HOU to Port of Galveston should be about $120 plus tip. http://www.townecarhouston.com or you can also use Cool Tours which is a Galveston business and can accommodate any size group and may be a little less expensive depending on the group size: https://cooltoursgalveston.com/shuttle-cruise-package-from-hobby-airport-hou/
  • There are a couple of hotels near the port and the historic Strand District in Galveston. It's a great idea to arrive a day early and enjoy the island ambiance. The Harbor House (http://www.harborhousepier21.com) is very convenient to the ship and to many nice restaurants, museums, and shopping. The Tremont House (http://www.thetremonthouse.com) is also very walkable with wheeled luggage. The Tremont House is a Wyndham Hotel located in a beautiful historic building. The Tremont's rooftop bar has wonderful views of the island and port area.
  • Fog was an issue in the Houston/Galveston area over the winter, but Royal Caribbean and Carnival seemed to fare better than the Caribbean Princess that sailed from Houston. Barring weather, and all ships have to deal with that, the ships seem to arrive and depart pretty much on time from Galveston. Galveston also has very easy access to open Gulf waters, unlike Houston and New Orleans.
If anyone has questions about sailing from Galveston or the local area, feel free to message me.
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I've priced out a bunch of travel options for my cruise out of Galveston, September 2014. For 3+ travelers, cruise transfers aren't very affordable. Recently I've found that Costco offers a 25% discount on certain rental cars, and renting the car for 8 days, and paying the $65 parking fee (in advance) for the week is looking like the cheapest option so far at about $285. Some round trip taxi fare estimates come close to that, so it all depends on your preference. The only cheaper option I can find is splitting a 10 person shuttle with other cruisers, but trying to find others to split with is tricky.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This will be our first cruise and We are driving into Galveston that morning.  Do you have to reservations when using the port parking?   Also, any recommendations  on other parking spots in area?

There are a ton of cruise parking options for you in Galveston.  Just google "galveston cruise parking" and you will see a few show up.  

 

I haven't used any so I can't vouch for any of them but one option I am aware of is some hotels offer a deal where if you stay for a night, you can park for the week.  The Galveston Beach Hotel does that.

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I know this thread is old and you've already taken your cruise. I just wanted to comment that I'm surprised so many travel so far to cruise (NY to Galveston, wow! ) I wish I could help with the question. We are in Austin so we are only about 4 hours from Galveston which makes cruising pretty convenient! We use Lighthouse Parking if that helps. Also, there's a website that might be helpful: www.galvestoncruises.com.  I know there are several hotels that will let you park while you cruise, but I can't offer an opinion since I haven't used them. I've only cruised with Carnival so far and I'd guess 95% of the people are Texans, so that's why I'm so surprised to see some of you coming from so far away.

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I know this thread is old and you've already taken your cruise. I just wanted to comment that I'm surprised so many travel so far to cruise (NY to Galveston, wow! ) I wish I could help with the question. We are in Austin so we are only about 4 hours from Galveston which makes cruising pretty convenient! We use Lighthouse Parking if that helps. Also, there's a website that might be helpful: www.galvestoncruises.com.  I know there are several hotels that will let you park while you cruise, but I can't offer an opinion since I haven't used them. I've only cruised with Carnival so far and I'd guess 95% of the people are Texans, so that's why I'm so surprised to see some of you coming from so far away.

Good info, thank you.

 

We flew to Galveston to try out Navigator.  Well worth the effort!

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There are a ton of cruise parking options for you in Galveston. Just google "galveston cruise parking" and you will see a few show up.

 

I haven't used any so I can't vouch for any of them but one option I am aware of is some hotels offer a deal where if you stay for a night, you can park for the week. The Galveston Beach Hotel does that.

Excellent information from Matt. I highly recommend researching on Google and then making a reservation on line, especially if you want an indoor or covered space as these sell out. Prepaying also usually gets you about a 10% discount.

 

The closest (probably only) indoor option is also walkable to the ship:

http://www.galvestonparkncruise.com

I have used them twice and they are nice people. You can drop your bags at the pier and then go park your car and walk back to the ship.

 

You can prepay for "official" Port of Galveston parking here and receive a discount:

http://www.portgalvestonparking.com

 

I have driven past all of the private lots, and the "official" lot and they are all fenced and gated. Some may be a little nicer than others but I would have no hesitation using any of them. Prices vary based on distance from the ship and whether the spaces are open, covered, or indoor. They are all only a short shuttle ride to the ship and some are walkable.

 

Political note: the Port charges the private lots a fee for their shuttles to drop people off. Same for taxis and busses. The Port just raised these fees 261% on the private lot operators which caused many to raise their rates. They weren't happy. The private lots tend to be less expensive than the "official" Port parking and the Port is trying to close that gap.

 

If you don't have a reservation you will always find plenty of outdoor parking available at the "official" Port parking lots.

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From what I have read when we were reserving our parking back in may for next month you want seem to go wrong with any of the lots. Some like lighthouse have raised lots (if you're worried about a major storm flooding the island while you're gone). Others like I believe park n cruise and one other have some 'indoor' parking. The main point that ive read is to reserve early if you have a specific private lot you really take a shining to as the smaller ones tend to fill up fast. I can see this likely getting worse with Carnival putting another ship yearound starting this year I believe and the larger capacity Liberty of the Seas coming to Galveston next year.

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From what I have read when we were reserving our parking back in may for next month you want seem to go wrong with any of the lots. Some like lighthouse have raised lots (if you're worried about a major storm flooding the island while you're gone). Others like I believe park n cruise and one other have some 'indoor' parking. The main point that ive read is to reserve early if you have a specific private lot you really take a shining to as the smaller ones tend to fill up fast. I can see this likely getting worse with Carnival putting another ship yearound starting this year I believe and the larger capacity Liberty of the Seas coming to Galveston next year.

We are getting Carnival Freedom and Royal Liberty of the Seas - both nice, big ships. I'm not sure if the Magic is going away, but we've been wanting to try Royal anyway and that's why I'm here.

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We are getting Carnival Freedom and Royal Liberty of the Seas - both nice, big ships. I'm not sure if the Magic is going away, but we've been wanting to try Royal anyway and that's why I'm here.

I don't think one is being replaced, they're adding one to make 3 Carnival ships year round and one Royal Caribbean year round. I mainly mention it to bring attention to plan that parking situation early if you drive yourself and plan on parking with a lot and not a hotel. With an additional ship I forsee it getting even busier at the port.

 

Enjoy your first RCCL cruise, while that's all I know myself I think you're in for a treat!

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