Carnival Vista Is First Ship To Cruise Out Of Galveston Since The Pandemic Shutdown
GALVESTON, Texas Cruising is back! Carnival Vista cruised out of Galveston Saturday at 70 percent capacity and is headed to the Caribbean.
Carnival Vista was the first ship leaving out of Galveston and only the second ship to leave from the U.S. since the pandemic shutdown.
The first cruise ship that left the U.S. last week was a Royal Caribbean cruise ship Celebrity Edge that sailed out of Ft. Lauderdale.
There were only about 1,200 passengers on the ship that normally holds more than double that.
All of the adults onboard were vaccinated, and the children who accompanied them were tested for COVID since vaccines arenÃ¢t required for them.
Travelers had to show proof when checking in.
For those who boarded the ship and those who live on the island and benefit from cruises, the voyage is a symbol of things going back to normal.
Allan Debowsky and his family are on board.
Weve been waiting and waiting. Were so excited, Debowsky said.
For the last 16 months, cruise ships have been docked because of COVID-19.
Every time that we thought about going on vacation, we always thought about a cruise, and we couldnt do that,Ã¢ Patricia Debowsky said.
Avid cruisers like the Debowsky family have been waiting for the chance to be allowed back.
Hes been cruising since he was nine months old, Patricia Debowsky said about her son Zachary. He would rather cruise, out of his words, than go to Disney when he was a kid.
Carnival said UTMB provided vaccines for all of its crew.
Cheap Cruise Vacations From Galveston Texas
You dont have to drain your bank account to cruise from the family-friendly Texas port. Rather, inexpensive cruise vacations from Galveston, Texas, are readily available online and by phone.
Carnival and Royal Caribbean offer four, five and seven-day cruises from Galveston to sunny destinations, including the Caribbean and Mexico at reduced rates throughout the year. However, you can find the best deals on cruise travel from Galveston for sailings that depart during the summer months.
Sample itineraries include:
- Carnival: Four, five or seven-day roundtrip Eastern Caribbean cruises from Galveston, includes stops in: Key West, Florida Freeport, Bahamas and Nassau, Bahamas.
- Royal Caribbean: Offers seven-day cruises roundtrip departing every Sunday from Galveston to Montego Bay, Jamaica, Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico.
Cruise Lines Leaving From Texas
There are currently 326 official ports of entry located throughout the United States, with 15 pre-clearance offices in Canada and the Caribbean. In the vast state of Texas alone, there are 16 ports of call throughout the region. Texas ports include: Orange, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Houston, Texas City, Galveston, Freeport, Palacios, Port Lavaca-Point Comfort, West Calhoun, Victoria, Corpus Christi, Port Mansfield, Harlingen, Port Isabel, and Brownsville. The most popular Texas port is Galveston. Port Isabel and Port of Houston are also listed as notable ports for cruise passengers.
The popular port of Galveston, Texas had more than half a million embarking passengers in 2005, and nearly 700,000 in 2006. Additionally, the port welcomed 233 cruise ships in 2005, and 255 in 2006. Galveston Island is also a popular stop on other cruise itineraries due to the numerous recreational opportunities such as golfing, fishing, and birding as well as, sightseeing, shopping, and dining. Visitors can expect to explore everything from parks, palaces, beaches and museums to gardens and theaters.
Princess Cruises features a number of western Caribbean cruises leaving from Galveston, Texas to Belize, Majahual, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel, to name a few. For more information about Princess cruises leaving from Texas, visit the Princess Cruises website.
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Carnival Cruise Lines From Galveston Texas
On a Carnival cruises out of Galveston, its not hard to take it easy. Whether youre a family of performers, a calm-loving couple, or a bunch of water lovers, on a Carnival cruise youve already arrived at your perfect destination. In fact, the toughest part is choosing whether to lie back in a hammock, spread out on a deck chair, or curl up in one of our many pods with a loved one and a cocktail or two. Carnival Cruise Lines brings you outstanding value for the money in addition to an extraordinary experience where its Fun for All, All for Fun. Adults, kids, grandparents, theres always something for everyone onboard Carnival Cruise Lines.
Carnivals ships are known for their Las Vegas-style decor and entertainment. A Fun Ship cruise features means day and nighttime entertainment from traditional napkin-folding classes, Vegas-style revues and kitchen tours to belly-flop pool contests, stage shows, musical performances, casinos as well as water slide races. All of Carnival ships also offer size-appropriate spa and fitness facilities and have multiple pool areas. Most of all, Carnival Cruise Lines will put a smile on your face and leave you with countless memories.
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About The Galveston Cruise Port
The Port of Galveston is located on the upper Texas coast at the mouth of beautiful Galveston Bay, just 30 minutes steaming time from the open sea. The two closest airports to the Port of Galveston are Houston Hobby International Airport and George Bush Intercontinental .
The nearest airport to Port of Galveston is Houston Hobby International Airport .The distance between them is 42 miles and the trip takes about 30 minutes. A taxi will cost approximately $85 a carload and the shared shuttle about $45 per person.
An alternative airport is George Bush Intercontinental, located on the north side of Houston, but its about 70 miles from the port and the ride can take about 1 ÃÂ½ hours. Taking a taxi will cost approximately $135 a carload and the shared shuttle $55.
If youre driving to the port the parking lots available to passengers are located 1/2 mile from the cruise ship Terminal. The parking lots are safe and secure. Gates will be locked upon vessel departure and no entry will be available on non-cruise days. Lots are to be monitored by Port police every two hours.
Drop off passengers and luggage at the cruise terminal before heading to the parking lot. Porters will assist you with your baggage and Police Officers will direct the driver to the appropriate parking lot for that day. There are shuttles running continuously to take passengers from the lot to the terminal for check-in.
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Enchantment Of The Seas
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean International
This romantically named cruise leaves Galveston Port to make 3-day cruises and 4-day cruises to Miami and the Bahamas.
Cruises packages include a movie screen thats right by the poolside, a video game arena, a rock climbing wall and live shows inspired by Broadway.
The splash deck and other age-appropriate programs keep children occupied, while adults can unwind in one of the seven lounges and bars, or the casino.
There are six restaurants onboard Enchantment of the Seas.
2,730 passengers are catered to by 852 crew members.
True to its name, this Royal Caribbean International ship offers an enchanting cruise itinerary.
Size of Ship: Large
Royal Caribbean Cruises Highlights
- An incredible company that has been in operation since 1969.
- A well-known name in the cruise line industry, with service standards that accompany their length of time in the industry.
- Winner of a plethora of service awards, including âBest Cruise Line in the Caribbean,ââBest Cruise Line Overall,â and âBest Cruise Ship Symphony of the Seas.â
- Amazing rooms in various sizes available for all of your accommodation needs and party sizes.
- Breathtaking views, offering you uninterrupted views of the water, the shores, and all of the beautiful sights of each destination.
- Unmatched customer service to make your trip a relaxing and unforgettable experience.
- Knowledgeable tour guides to accompany you to places that you might have never heard of.
- Lots of space to explore and get to know the ship.
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Cruise From Galveston Texas
The Galveston, Texas cruise port is home to both Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Lines. Both lines offer year-round cruise options from Galveston. Royal Caribbean cruise ships offer a range of 6 to 9-night Caribbean cruise vacations. For travelers in need of a shorter vacation, Carnival Cruise Line provides anywhere from 4 to 10-night Caribbean cruise options.
Royal Caribbean International Voyager Of The Seas
The Royal Caribbean International ship Voyager of the Seas offers seasonal seven-day cruises from Galveston. Voyager of the Seas set sail every week for seasonal seven-and 14-day cruises. The seven-day cruises travel to Mexico and the Caribbean. Fourteen-day cruises take passengers to Spain.
Voyager of the Seas features restaurants, bars and lounges, a casino, fitness center and spa. The ships sports recreation offerings include a full basketball court, ice-skating rink, rock-climbing wall, golf simulator and 9-hole miniature golf course.
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First Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Restarts Operations From Galveston Texas
Independence of the Seas becomes the first Royal Caribbean cruise ship to resume operations out of Galveston, Texas.
Just in time for her first cruise, Royal Caribbeans Independence of the Seas received her conditional sailing certificate from the Centers for Disease Control last week. The cruise ship has now started cruising from her home port of Galveston, Texas.
Independence of the Seas became the first Royal Caribbean cruise ship to set sail from Galveston since the pause in operations in March of 2020. After starting up an additional 4 ships from Friday to Sunday, Royal Caribbean now has twelve cruise ships in operation worldwide.
Tips For Luggage And Passenger Drop
On cruise day, the port recommends driving directly to the terminal to drop-off passengers and luggage. Porters will be there to help direct your group and take your luggage aboard while the driver parks the vehicle and hops aboard the shuttle for the return trip back to the ship.
Be sure to keep in mind that not every cruise company allows early check-in, so pay attention to the details of your trip. If youre traveling via Carnival, they use a staggered check-in method and will give you a specific 30-minute window for checking in and boarding the ship. If you arrive too early, theyll turn you away.
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Galveston Wharves To Welcome First Norwegian Cruise Line Ship
Galveston, TX Galveston Wharves announced today that Norwegian Cruise Lines Norwegian Prima would set sail from the Port of Galveston in fall 2022. This is the brands first new class of ships in nearly 10 years and the first-ever Norwegian Cruise Line ship to sail from Galveston.
Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves port director and CEO, said, Were thrilled that Norwegian Cruise Line chose Galveston, the fourth most popular cruise port in the U.S., as one of the first U.S. ports to debut its newest ship.
The ships visit to Galveston, the only cruise port in Texas, is part of a larger effort to debut its newest ship in a number of major markets. Galveston is a major drive-to market with 30 million people living within a 300-mile radius.
On Oct. 15 the 140,000-ton, 3215-passenger Norwegian Prima will depart for Galveston from New York on a 12-night Caribbean voyage that will include stops at Curacao, Bonaire and Aruba. While in Galveston, Norwegian Prima will sail two roundtrip Western Caribbean voyages: a 3-day cruise on Oct. 27 and a 4-day cruise on Oct. 31.
Port officials are in discussions with the cruise line and hope to pen a memorandum of understanding for a long-term strategy beginning in November 2023.
Special Rules For Alcohol On Texas Cruise Ships
Search around the Internet and youll find all sorts of questions about drink packages for cruising from Galveston. Rumors and hearsay have run rampant across the Internet for years as passengers tell their stories. Meanwhile, Carnival and Royal Caribbean have different policies regarding alcohol while in Texas waters that causes even more confusion.
Thats why we spoke with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission the body that regulates the sale of alcohol in Texas as well as cruise line representatives to get the details on cruise line policy and Texas laws surrounding drink packages.
What follows is each cruise lines policy about selling alcohol on the first day of a cruise from Galveston, plus details on the Texas laws that are behind the policies.
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Big Changes Ahead For Galvestons Port
Theres more good news for the growing cruise port on the Gulf of Mexico that offers easy access to the Western and Southern Caribbean and popular ports in Mexico including Cozumel and Costa de Maya: Royal Caribbean International is moving forward with a new $110 million cruise terminal that will be large enough to handle the lines giant Oasis-class ships.
Royal Caribbean is beginning preliminary construction work and targeting completion in late 2022, when the 5,400-passenger Allure of the Seas is scheduled to sail for the first time from the new terminal.
Allure of the Seas
While uncertainty created by the global health crisis slowed the project, its now full-steam ahead. The importance of Galveston in Royal Caribbeans future plans was driven home recently by Russell Benford, Royal Caribbean Internationals vice president of Government Relations, Americas, who spoke at the Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau Summit.
Benford told the audience that during the pandemic, the cruise giant pressed the pause button and re-evaluated its 2021 global plans. We went from over 100 projects to three one of those being Galveston, Benford said.
Benford added that Royal Caribbeans Oasis-class ship will draw cruise visitors from around the U.S. to Galveston as both a cruise and vacation destination. In addition, the ships 2,200 crew members will make Galveston one of their shopping, banking, and dining hotspots when the ship is in port.
Pier 10 Royal Caribbean Terminal 3
On December 5, 2018, the port authority company signed with RCG-Royal Caribbean Group an MoU agreement for the development and concession of a new cruise terminal. The project was approved on December 11, 2019. This is a long-term lease deal that could be extended up to 60-year exclusive terminal concession rights.
The new Royal Caribbean terminal is sized 14990 m2 and built on 10 acres of land at Pier 10 .
The new passenger terminal has capacity to berth even Oasis-class liners . Cruise Terminal 3 features dedicated bus parking, taxi ranks, large car parking , facial recognition technology.
The construction works on the USD 125 million Terminal 3 were planned to start in April 2020, with scheduled completion in November 2021. However, due to the Coronavirus crisis, in early-March RCG requested a 1-year extension for starting construction works . RCGs proposal was approved on April 28, 2020. The initial plans included in 2021 to be homeported Allure OTS , but the ships homeporting was rescheduled for Nov 2022.
Works on Pier 10s Cruise Terminal 3 officially started on August 14, 2021. The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by Rodger Rees , Joshua Carroll , Craig Mygatt , Craig Brown .
RCI Galveston Terminal is currently scheduled for completion/inauguration on September 1, 2022. The new facility is co-owned by RCG and Ceres Terminals Inc . Ceres currently provides for RCG similar services at Port Canaveral, Tampa, Port NOLA and Baltimore.
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Cruise Ship Terminals 1 And 2
- Terminal 1 address Ã¢Ã¢2502 Harborside Dr., Galveston, TX 77550Ã¢
- Terminal 2 address Ã¢Ã¢2702 Harborside Dr., Galveston, TX 77550Ã¢
- Terminal 1 is for docking of Princess and Carnival ships.
- Terminal 2 is for docking of Disney and Royal Caribbean ships.
- location Ã¢ some 40 mi / 70 km from Houston Hobby International Airport , some 70 mi / 110 km from Houston Intercontinental Airport
- GPS coordinates Ã¢ pending
- Embarkation: luggage must be unloaded at the terminal curbside prior to parking. Shuttles donÃ¢t handle luggage during embarkation.
On November 30, 2016, the port completed a USD 13 million project that expanded the passenger area at Ã¢Cruise Terminal 2Ã¢. TerminalÃ¢s both buildings are now connected by an enclosed, air-conditioned walkway. The passenger area was increased from around 90,000 to 150,000 ft2 . Seating was increased from 500 to 2000 seats, baggage holding-, customs- and waiting areas were expanded, and 16 more check-in booths were installed.
Terminal 2Ã¢s expansion works started in 2014, financed by Royal Caribbean. However, construction roadblocks delayed the project with roughly a year. The expansion also included longer docking pier with extra bollards . The dock project cost around USD 3,5 million and was completed in 2017. The expanded Terminal 2 now has capacity to handle up to 5,000 passengers at a time.
How Many Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships Are Sailing
At the start of this month, parent company Royal Caribbean Group announced its intention to have at least 80% of its fleet operational by the end of the year. Royal Caribbean Cruise Line is well underway to achieve this goal. So far, no less than 12 ships have resumed operations. These ships include the following:
Besides four Royal Caribbean cruise ships starting this weekend, and Oasis of the Seas are also restarting their operations in the coming weeks. will sail from Port Canaveral, and Oasis of the Seaswill make her long-awaited start on the U.S. East Coast from New Jersey.
Feel free to discuss this topic and all things cruise at our new boards. A place where readers can ask questions, help their fellow cruisers and general cruise discussions on cruise lines and ports.
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Answered: First Day Drink Packages And Alcohol On Galveston Cruises
Drink packages are supposed to make things easier. Instead of having to budget and keep an eye on what you are spending, you simply pay one daily fee and drink your fill. Want a beer when you step on board? Just order it and get back to enjoying your cruise. Want a margarita while you sit poolside? Step up to the bar and its yours no additional payments required.
And for the most part, the drink packages are simple and work exactly as planned. You can purchase the package, step on board the ship on the first day of the cruise and start getting your moneys worth. If you want a drink, you order it. Couldnt be simpler, right?
Well, cruises from Galveston are a little different. There are special rules that apply to selling alcohol in Texas that have an impact on your drink package and what you can order.