All the things You Must Know Pre-Cruise

Happening a cruise out of Galveston, Texas?  Right here is the whole lot you have to know earlier than you pack the baggage and depart the home.

The fast-growing cruise port is within the good location for residents of Houston and the encircling space for getaways alongside the Gulf of Mexico and past.

Galveston cruise port. (Picture courtesy of Royal Caribbean Worldwide)

In the event you’re going to be one of many many cruise passengers who will sail out of Galveston this yr, this information is for you. The Port of Galveston is a bustling hub of exercise for cruise passengers, providing easy accessibility to a wide range of fashionable locations throughout the Caribbean and past.

In the event you’re planning a cruise from Galveston, it’s necessary to know all in regards to the port’s terminals and parking choices, in addition to the closest airports and transportation choices.

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Moreover, there are many thrilling actions, eating places, and resorts close to the port that you simply received’t need to miss.

On this information, we’ll take a more in-depth have a look at all of those necessary components to assist guarantee that you’ve a easy and gratifying expertise earlier than and after your cruise.


A Little Historical past In regards to the Port

Established in 1825, the Port of Galveston has been a thriving maritime industrial middle for almost 200 years. What began as a humble Mexican buying and selling publish has since grow to be a Texan-sized middle of commerce.

Boasting 840-acres of infrastructure and only a 45-minute sail from the open seas, the Port of Galveston has grown to the fourth largest American cruise port, with over a million passengers passing by way of yearly.

The Port of Galveston sits simply off the coast of Texas on the entrance to Galveston Bay and the Houston Ship Channel on Galveston Island. The Port of Galveston has a wealthy historical past courting again to the early 1800s when it served as a serious buying and selling hub for cotton and different items.

Within the Nineteen Sixties, the port started to see the potential for progress within the cruise trade and began to spend money on infrastructure to accommodate cruise ships.

A Royal Caribbean cruise terminal at Port of Galveston


Galveston Cruise Terminals

At present, the Port of Galveston is likely one of the busiest cruise ports in the US, with over 1.5 million passengers crusing from right here annually. The port has continued to spend money on infrastructure to maintain up with the rising demand for cruises, together with the addition of latest terminals and parking amenities.

Because of this, Galveston has grow to be a preferred departure level for a lot of main cruise traces, providing handy entry to locations throughout the Caribbean and past.

Whereas it has grown exponentially in recent times, in comparison with different main cruise ports, the Port of Galveston is far smaller and simpler to navigate.

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It companies 5 cruise traces out of three terminals, the most recent of which was accomplished in 2022. Extra particular details about every terminal could be discovered beneath:


Terminal 25

2502 Harborside Drive

Galveston, Texas 77550

Terminal 25 was previously Terminal 1. It hosts each Carnival and Princess Cruise Traces and is the easternmost terminal. There are a variety of parking choices immediately throughout the road, making it handy to get to on the day of your cruise’s arrival and departure.


Terminal 28

2702 Harborside Drive

Galveston, Texas 77550

Neighboring Terminal 25, Terminal 28 was previously Terminal 2. The earlier residence of Royal Caribbean, it now hosts each Disney and Norwegian Cruise Traces. As you face the port, Terminal 28 will likely be in your left. It’s a barely farther stroll from parking choices than Terminal 25 is, however continues to be handy to get to (particularly in case you are taking a taxi or shuttle).


Terminal 10

1152 Royal Caribbean Manner

Galveston, Texas 77550

Terminal 10 is the most recent port, so the roads are newly renamed. In case your most popular navigation system doesn’t acknowledge 1152 Royal Caribbean Manner, you possibly can attempt the outdated handle: 1028 Harborside Drive.

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Terminal 10 solely hosts Royal Caribbean Cruises. That is the most important of the terminals. Sitting a few mile east of Terminals 25 and 28, Terminal 10 has its personal parking areas.

Royal Caribbean's terminal at Port of Galveston

The Port of Galveston’s three cruise terminals are a number of the most superior and well-equipped cruise amenities on this planet.

These terminals provide a spread of facilities and companies designed to make sure a seamless embarking and disembarking expertise for passengers, together with spacious ready areas, fashionable check-in amenities, and easy accessibility to close by parking choices.


Port of Galveston Parking

parking terminal at Port of Galveston
Picture Credit score: Cruise Fever

The general public boarding cruises on the Port of Galveston drive themselves there, as Galveston is just a brief drive from a lot of Texas’ main cities. In the event you can drive your self, it is a nice possibility as a result of parking on the port is straightforward and inexpensive.

The port itself affords official parking, there are unbiased parking heaps close by, and a few native resorts provide cruise parking. No matter which possibility you select, we suggest that you simply e-book a spot early so to lower your expenses with advance-payment reductions.


Official Port of Galveston Parking

The port affords parking in any respect three terminals; that is clearly marked with blue banners that say ‘Port of Galveston Cruise Parking.

There are shuttles to take you to and from the official parking heaps for Terminal 25 and Terminal 28, that are Lot A (160 33rd Avenue) and Lot B (224 33rd Avenue). There’s additionally an Categorical Lot at 2702 Harborside Drive that’s inside strolling distance of Terminals 25 and 28.

Terminal 10 affords a number of parking choices together with the North Lot (1142 Royal Caribbean Manner), the South Lot (1201 Royal Caribbean Manner), and the Pier 14 Lot (1390 Royal Caribbean Manner).

The North Lot is immediately subsequent to the terminal, and spots could be booked there for a premium value. The South and Pier 14 Tons are a bit additional away however provide company a free shuttle service to and from the terminal.

Charges run from about $70 for a five-day cruise and $100 for a seven-day cruise for those who e-book prematurely. The port’s official parking heaps settle for all main bank cards (together with American Categorical) however don’t settle for money.

Learn extra: Port of Galveston parking information and suggestions

Unbiased Parking Tons

There are almost a dozen unbiased parking heaps surrounding the port facility that provide parking at cheaper charges than the official port parking and are generally even nearer to your ship than the port’s parking zone. These heaps additionally provide choices for lined parking.

Costs begin as little as $65 for a five-day cruise and $70 for a seven-day cruise. The strategies of fee accepted range by unbiased firm.

Inns that Supply Cruise Parking

Many resorts within the Galveston space will provide free parking for the size of your cruise in return for a one-night keep, both as a part of a bundle or as a courtesy consideration for lodge company. The resorts that at present provide this are:


Port of Galveston cruise port with Allure of the Seas docked by Royal Caribbean's terminal
Picture courtesy of Royal Caribbean Worldwide

What’s the most cost effective technique to park on the Port of Galveston?

In the event you’re not planning on spending the night time at a close-by lodge, probably the most inexpensive parking possibility on the port is the port’s floor lot situated at thirty third Avenue and Harborside Drive.

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This parking zone is a few 10-minute stroll from the cruise terminals and prices a flat price of $10 per day for normal automobiles and $20 per day for outsized automobiles.

One other low-cost possibility is the Port of Galveston’s satellite tv for pc parking zone, situated off-site at 3212 Harborside Drive. This lot affords a complimentary shuttle service to and from the cruise terminals and prices a each day price of $7 per car.

Nonetheless, it’s necessary to notice that availability for these cheaper choices could be restricted, so it’s finest to e-book prematurely or arrive early to safe a spot.

No matter the place you select to park, drivers ought to drop off passengers and baggage earlier than heading to the parking zone to cut back issue when boarding your ship.

Porters will likely be accessible at every terminal to help with baggage on embarkation day.

Houston Airports (together with transportation)

The closest main metropolis to the Port of Galveston is Houston, which is about 50 miles northwest of the port, so for those who should fly to Texas to board your journey, set your sights on a Houston-based airport.

Houston has two fundamental airports, William P. Interest Airport (HOU) and George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), each of which host home and worldwide flights. Houston Interest is usually extra conveniently positioned, solely 45 miles (about 50 minutes) from the port.

Interest serves as Southwest Airways’ working base, so virtually all flight site visitors out of HOU is operated by the Texan airline. Southwest offers nonstop flights to over 60 locations, together with a smattering of worldwide airports.

The one different flights are hosted by American Airways and Delta who’ve a each day flight to their hubs in Dallas and Atlanta, respectively.

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Bush-Intercontinental has a superior flight community however is additional outdoors town and is located 70 miles (about 75 minutes) from the Port of Galveston. IAH is United Airways’ second largest hub and affords nonstop journey to over 185 locations throughout 28 airways.

There are lots of methods to get to the Port of Galveston from each Houston-area airports, together with cruise shuttles, rideshare companies/taxis, and public transit.


Cruise Shuttles

Each airports are residence to cruise-specific shuttle companies that present round-trip companies from Houston to the Port of Galveston. These shuttles depart on a set schedule, with many suppliers providing a number of each day departure instances seven days per week.

Airport to terminal shuttles could be pre-arranged by way of your cruise line for those who arrive the identical day that your cruise departs. Remember to test every respective shuttle supplier’s schedule to make sure that the timing suits properly along with your flight arrival and ship boarding instances. You don’t need to be caught on the airport with out a journey!

Prices for these shuttles vary from $50-75 per particular person, however reductions can be found by way of many suppliers for senior residents and youngsters.


Rideshare Providers and Taxis

Each airports host rideshares and taxis that may take you to the Port of Galveston. These can be found to e-book upon arrival to the airport, so that you do not need to fret a lot about timing.

Typically, rideshares will run a bit cheaper than conventional cabs—an Uber/Lyft will value about $80-100 whereas taxis will value about $100-150 from every airport. Rideshares additionally now provide the choice to e-book prematurely, so you possibly can decrease the price of your journey by reserving it when you land in Texas.

Nonetheless, in case you are touring with a bigger group (whose baggage suits in an ordinary automobile!), this selection may work out to be cheaper than a shuttle.


Public Transit

There’s restricted public transit choices between Houston and Galveston. Amtrak has a bus accessible, however tickets can solely be booked at the side of a prepare ticket for round $90 per particular person.

Service departs from the Houston Station and the drop-off in Galveston is the Moody Railroad Museum (on 25th and Strand). This might then require reserving a taxi or rideshare service to get to the port.

Your most cost-effective public transport possibility is the Galveston Categorical, which affords an inexpensive public shuttle service from each airports to the Port of Galveston ranging from $30 per particular person. It’s endorsed to e-book this prematurely.


What’s the most cost effective technique to get to the Port of Galveston from the airport?

The most cost effective technique to get to the port relies on how many individuals you’re touring with. If there are sufficient individuals to make splitting a rideshare service value it (i.e., lower than the price of particular person shuttle tickets), then that’s your finest guess.

In any other case, the shuttles present an inexpensive and straightforward technique to get to your ship.


Issues to Do Close to the Cruise Terminal

Galveston, Texas is a vibrant coastal metropolis that gives a wide range of enjoyable and attention-grabbing actions to get pleasure from earlier than setting sail on a cruise. Guests can discover town’s wealthy historical past by visiting museums, historic websites, and delightful Victorian structure.

There are additionally miles of seashores to get pleasure from, together with water sports activities and different outside actions. For these searching for one thing a bit extra laid-back, there are many nice eating places, bars, and outlets to discover. It doesn’t matter what your pursuits could also be, Galveston has one thing for everybody.

That includes an indoor rainforest, an aquarium, and academic displays, Moody Gardens dots the skyline of Galveston with its towering pyramids. Moody Gardens is lower than 20 from the cruise port and is actually definitely worth the drive for households with kids. One among Galveston’s prime points of interest, Moody Gardens even has a small water park, freshwater lagoons, ziplines, and a golf course.

 Galveston Island’s Historic Pleasure Pier is a 1,000-foot-long amusement park that sits over the ocean a few six-minute drive from the Port of Galveston. For $30 per particular person, you will get all-access all-day to this lately renovated nexus of enjoyable, providing meals, outlets, carnival video games, and 15 rides (together with a curler coaster!).

In the event you’re itching for an academic twist in your pre-cruise recreation, Galveston has loads of historic choices. Bishop’s Palace is an ornate 19th century residence that sits six minutes from the port by automobile. Moody Mansion is one other historic constructing in Galveston, situated three minutes from the port by automobile (or a 15-minute stroll). Public entry to each is obtainable each day from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. for $15 per particular person per home (kids ages 5 and beneath can tour free of charge).

Galveston can also be residence to the 1877 Tall Ship Elissa, a 19th century ship that was designated a historic landmark in 1990. Elissa is featured as part of the Galveston Historic Seaport, which is a three-minute drive from the cruise port. The ship could be toured from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 A.M. to five P.M. for $10 per particular person.

For outside lovers, there are many seashores and parks to discover, together with Stewart Seashore (named one of many “10 Greatest Seashores for Households”) and the Galveston Island State Park (nice for outside actions like mountaineering, biking, and swimming).

Households can take a strolling tour of town’s historic downtown space, The Strand, which is residence to lovely Victorian structure, museums, and distinctive outlets. The Strand can also be the middle of Galveston’s seasonal celebrations, together with Mardis Gras and the annual ‘Dickens on the Strand’ competition. With so many choices to select from, you’re positive to discover a worthwhile technique to spend time earlier than embarking in your cruise.


Eating places close to the Cruise Port

Galveston’s Historic Strand District options eating places, bars, and outlets in buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Right here you’ll find mingle with locals as you admire distinct structure and luxuriate in nice eats. The Strand District is inside strolling distance of Terminals 25 and 28, however in case you are at Terminal 10, it would be best to take a rideshare or taxi to succeed in this space.

  • Stuttgarden Tavern: Probably the most fashionable eating places alongside The Strand is Stuttgarden Tavern, a three-floor restaurant with a beer corridor and rooftop bar with stay music. The Tavern affords pool and dart video games to play alongside pub meals and draft beer.
  • Yaga’s Café: Additionally situated alongside The Strand, Yaga’s Café is thought for its artisan pizzas, corresponding to coconut shrimp pizza, and its plethora of vegan choices. Go for outside seating the place you possibly can get pleasure from your meals on certainly one of Galveston’s largest patios and luxuriate in stay music from native teams.
  • La King’s Confectionary: For dessert, you possibly can go to La King’s Confectionary, an old style sweet store that has been in enterprise for almost a century. La King’s is thought for its thick shakes and malts, in addition to its home made ice cream and saltwater taffy.

Different eating places and outlets to buy last-minute objects (like sunscreen!) could be discovered within the lodge district, which runs alongside the Galveston Seawall. This space is residence to chain and unbiased eating places in addition to grocery shops.

The Seawall is usually a seven-to-ten-minute drive from the Port of Galveston, so you will want to take a taxi or rideshare for those who plan to go to this space.


Inns close to the Cruise Port

Galveston Island has all kinds of locations to spend the night time, from historic resorts to fashionable chains and resorts. Most resorts in Galveston are alongside the Seawall, about seven minutes from the port, providing inexpensive stays with lovely views of the ocean. Nonetheless, there are some resorts nearer to the port that may present a singular pre-cruise expertise.

  • Tremont Home Resort: The closest and highest rated lodge inside strolling distance of the Port of Galveston is the Tremont Home Resort. Located in The Strand District, this lodge affords a rooftop bar, a café, and straightforward transportation across the island and to/from Houston space airports.
  • Harbor Home Resort: Present in Galveston Wharf overlooking Galveston Bay, the Harbor Home Resort affords company beautiful views solely a four-minute drive from the port and two blocks from The Strand District.
  • The Grand Galvez: Situated alongside the Seawall, the Grand Galvez is the one historic beachfront lodge on the Texas Gulf Coast, courting again to 1911. This elegant lodge boasts luxurious facilities corresponding to a full-service spa, outside pool, and on-site restaurant. The Grand Galvez is about an eight-minute drive from the Port of Galveston and a five-minute drive from The Historic Strand District.
  • Vacation Inn Categorical & Suites: For vacationers on a finances, the Vacation Inn Categorical & Suites Galveston Seashore is a superb selection, providing comfy rooms and a complimentary breakfast. This selection is seven minutes from each the port and The Strand.

To save cash (however miss out on beachfront views), there are additionally mainland resorts between Houston and Galveston which are solely a brief drive from the island. These is likely to be a superb possibility for vacationers coming from Houston, as they’re inexpensive and dotted alongside the path to the island.


Remaining Ideas

Finally, the Port of Galveston affords a improbable expertise for cruise passengers, with a spread of handy parking choices, proximity to close by Houston-area airports, a wealth of actions to get pleasure from earlier than setting sail, and cozy pre-cruise lodging.

From exploring town’s wealthy historical past to absorbing the solar on the seashores, Galveston affords one thing for everybody.

With continued funding in infrastructure and a dedication to customer support, the Port of Galveston has established itself as a premier vacation spot for cruise journey in the US. Whether or not you’re a first-time cruiser or a seasoned traveler, Galveston is bound to offer the stating level of an incredible cruise expertise.

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