The 8 Best Carnival Cruise Ships Of 2021
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Runner-Up, Best Overall: Carnival Vista
âHas a large amount of repeat Carnival cruisers and offers nonstop action onboard.â
Best New Ship: Carnival Sunrise
âEvery cabin on Sunrise is remodeled with fresh new furnishings, and dining and beverage additions.â
Best Accommodations: Carnival Horizon
âAccommodations include the Family Harbor, dedicated family staterooms with their own lounge and concierge, and the Cloud 9 spa staterooms.â
Cruises Leaving From Galveston Texas In December
Cruises Leaving From Galveston, Texas, in December
Galveston’s cruise port is about 50 miles southeast of Houston, Texas. A total of four cruise lines call Galveston home: Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Disney Cruise Line. December cruises departing from Galveston sail mainly to the eastern and western regions of the Caribbean, visiting such destinations as South America, the Bahamas and Mexico.
Best Cruises From Galveston Texas
On the Gulf Coast of Texas in the USA sits the historic port city of Galveston.
Galveston Port was once a commercial port but now caters mainly to cruises.
From some of the top cruises in the world to more affordable cruises, Galveston has something to offer all lovers of the sea.
Here is our list of the best cruises departing from Galveston, Texas.
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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 arent 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, 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.
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
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The Best Cruises From Galveston
The beachy port of Galveston sits on the Gulf of Mexico, about an hour from Houston. While it’s not as large as Miami in terms of ship choice, there are a few cruises out of Galveston, especially during the winter months. You’ll find lots of Caribbean options well as the Bahamas. Plus, the fares are also reasonable , which can offset having to add airfare to your vacation budget if you live farther afield. Here are the five best cruises that sail out of Galveston, Texas.
Carnival Breeze Cruise out of GalvestonThe 3,690-passenger Carnival Breeze offers multiple Western Caribbean sailings departing from Galveston. Families will find a lot to love about the ship, which has casual poolside restaurants BlueIguana Cantina and Guys Burger Joint, an onboard water park, and special Seuss at Sea activities. Those not traveling with kids in tow can head to the ship’s adults-only retreat, Serenity, or one of the 13 bars and lounges on board.
Liberty of the Seas Cruise out of Galveston
Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas underwent a full refurbishment in 2016, adding new restaurants including Sabor and Giovanni’s Table, where you’ll find amazing Italian eats. You’ll also find the active pursuits the line has become known for rock climbing wall, ice skating rink, surfing simulator plus an extensive aqua park and the Perfect Storm waterslide. The ship departs from Galveston and is currently offering two seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries in 2021.
Pre And Post Cruise Options In Galveston
Galveston is an island that is 32 miles long on the upper coast of Texas on the Gulf of Mexico and one of Texas most popular tourist destinations. There are miles and miles of beaches, great lodging, wonderful seafood restaurants, and incredible shopping to enjoy in a semi-tropical climate. The many family friendly attractions in the area make it a perfect add on to a cruise that departs from Galveston.
Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum: Visitors enjoy experiencing the offshore industry first-hand on an actual retired jack-up drilling rig. The museum features three floors of models and interactive displays illustrating the exciting story of offshore oil and gas from seismic technology and exploration and production to pipelining and marine transportation.
Schlitterbahn Water Park: This water park is consistently rated tops by the Travel Channel due to the fact that it offers an extensive variety of activities and rides. There are also many different age appropriate rides and pools so that even young children can enjoy themselves with no safety concerns.
Johnson Space Center: Located in nearby Houston, the center offers unparalleled exhibits, attractions, special presentations and hands-on activities tell the story of NASAs manned space flight program. Its the only place in the world where visitors can see astronauts train for missions, touch a real moon rock, land a shuttle, and take a behind-the-scenes tour of NASA.
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Largest Cruise Ship From Galveston
Allure of the Seas will be the largest ever cruise ship to homeport out of Galveston and is going to be a hugely popular choice for many cruisers. She offers zip lines, FlowRider surf simulators, open-air AquaTheater, and loads more.
The mega cruise ship is 225,282 gross tons with a guest capacity of 5,484 at double occupancy along with 2,200 international crew members.
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.
And if you like, feel free to cast your vote in the 2021 Cruise Ship Awards covering a range of categories, including best cruise ship and best cruise line.
Tips For Cruising Out Of Galveston
Galveston is a unique and historical port in the Gulf of Mexico that offers both Eastern and Western Caribbean cruise itineraries. It currently hosts Carnival Breeze, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Valor, and Liberty of the Seas, and Vision of the Seas is set the join the party in November. Disney Wonder also sails from Galveston during the winter months.
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1. Fly in the day before.
Its a common complaint that Galveston is so far from both Houston airports: 46 miles from William P. Hobby Airport and 72 miles from George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Thats why if you have to fly in for your cruise youll want to do so the day before. If your flight is delayed and youre still an hour and a half drive away from the pier upon arrival, you could miss your cruise completely.
2. Look for deals on your stay.
3. Plan ahead for traffic delays.
4. Reserve parking beforehand.
5. Select the earliest check-in time.
6. Do self-assist at debarkation.
7. Use a passport.
8. Youll pay tax on alcohol & cigarettes.
9. Winters are foggy.
10. Spend time on the island.
Do you have any tips for sailing out of Galveston?
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Cruise Ship Terminal Directions And Parking
From East take Highway 87. Board a Port Bolivar vehicle ferry. Exit the ferry onto Ferry Road . Turn right onto Harborside Drive, then continue to Kempner some 20 city blocks. Turn right onto Kempner and follow the signs to the terminal .
From North or West take Interstate 45 South, then Exit 1C, Follow the feeder road to Harborside Drive , then turn left onto Harborside Drive and for ~5 mi / 8 km to Kempner . Turn left onto Kempner and follow the signs to the terminal .
Cruise Parking Rates USD 45 , USD 50 , USD 70 . Parking is guarded, lighted, with 24-hour surveillance and police patrol. Phone number 409 766-6100.
Debarkation: go directly to the Parking Lot to retrieve your car . Then pick up passengers and luggage at the terminal curbside. Depart the terminal via shuttles. The service is provided only in parking lots with luggage drop-off signs.
If you plan to fly to Galveston, you will arrive at either Hobby Airport, HOU, or George Bush International Airport, IAH, you have to rent a car or take a cruise line shuttle. There is no public transportation to Galveston from the airports in Huston. Galveston Limousine offers service to Galveston cruise ship terminal for USD 30. Taxi fares are USD 100 from George Bush Intercontinental and USD 75 from Hobby Airport.
Cruising From Houston Or Galveston: Bottom Line
When selecting whether you want to cruise out of Galveston or Houston, you’ll need to decide what is most important to you.
For the most cruise line and itinerary choices, both in terms of destination and cruise length, choose Galveston.
If you’re flying in, want to get on your cruise ship as soon as possible upon arrival and don’t mind waiting for some of the ship’s venues to open, you’ll want to sail from Houston. If, instead, you really want all the ship’s services to open up as near to sailaway as possible and don’t mind two hours of transport to the ship, choose Galveston.
Also note that both Galveston and Houston are subject to fog, which can severely affect the start or end times of a cruise sailing — sometimes by as much as a day. In a typical year, a handful of cruises will be affected by heavy fog resulting in some people getting back later from their cruise or ending up with a shorter cruise than anticipated. The ports are equally impacted, so weather is not a reason to choose one port over the other.
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About The Galveston Wharves At The Port Of Galveston
Located at the entrance to Galveston Bay and the Houston Ship Channel, Galveston Wharves has been a thriving maritime commercial center since 1825. Just 45 minutes from open seas, the 840-acre port has infrastructure and assets to serve growing cruise, cargo and commercial businesses. As the fourth most popular U.S. cruise port, it welcomed more than 1 million cruise passengers in 2019. Also one of the busiest in Texas, the port moved 4.3 million tons of cargo in 2020 and has an estimated annual state economic impact of $2.1 billion.
Airline Service For Houston Airports
There is no doubt that Houston Hobbys location makes it much more convenient for passengers headed to Galveston. Unfortunately, Hobby is considerably smaller in terms of airlines servicing the airport when compared to Intercontinental.
Houston Hobby is primarily a Southwest destination. The airline dominates service from the airport. However, there are flights from Delta, American Airlines, and Allegiant.
Houston Intercontinental is the citys largest airport and also offers the most flight service. Here youll find nearly every airline available, including Southwest. If you are flying from an international destination, you will likely have no choice but to fly into this airport. In addition, IAH is a United hub, which serves airports around the country and the world.
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St Cruise Set To Sail Out Of Galveston On July 3
The Port of Galveston is scheduled to be the first U.S. port to welcome cruise passengers with a Carnival cruise sailing planned for July 3. The cruise line announced that it is planning to begin sailings in July aboard the Carnival Breeze and Carnival Vista. Both ships are currently in Galveston.
“We’re proud that Carnival Cruise Line chose Galveston to be the first port to resume sailing in the U.S.,” said Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves port director and CEO. “This decision will have a huge impact on our regional and state economy.”
The pair of Carnival cruise ships returned to the Port of Galveston on Sunday, May 2, for the first time since April 2020. It takes approximately 60 days to ready ships for voyages, according to cruise industry officials.
While they remain stationary for the time being, their presence is a sign of hope for many anxious to return to cruising, and for the economic impact on the island.
The CDC has told cruise line operators that sailing from U.S. ports like Galveston could resume as early as July, provided most crew members and passengers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Cruise ships have already resumed in other countries and will expand this summer in the Caribbean and Europe. Officials said in Texas $1.2 billion in spending is tied to the cruise industry, with 23,000 people connected to it with their jobs.
Cruise Itineraries From Galveston Texas
Follows a list of destinations visited by cruise ships leaving out of Galveston:
- Most departures from Galveston are operated by ships from the fleets of the cruise lines Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Disney.
- 7-day to Honduras and Mexico .
- 7-day to Jamaica , Grand Cayman and Mexico . Another port of call could be Belize City.
- 7-day to Florida and Bahamas . Also can be visited the Bahamian private islands Half Moon Cay , Castaway Cay and CocoCay .
From Galveston are also offered Mexico-only roundtrips that visit Cozumel and Cozumel with Progreso .
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What Is The Dress Code On Regular Nights On A Norwegian Cruise Line Cruise
Norwegian have the most relaxed dress code of any cruise line that Ive ever cruised with. Jeans are acceptable at all times in the main dining room as long as they are not too ripped/faded.
Realistically as long as you are dressed and clean you wont be turned away from the main dining room on a Norwegian cruise.
Norwegians website says the following:
Dress cruise casual anytime during the day, in the buffet and in most speciality restaurants. For women, it includes summer and casual dresses, skirts, regular or capri pants, shorts, jeans and tops. Khakis, jeans, shorts and casual shirts are fine for men. Swimwear is acceptable at the buffet and outdoor restaurant, but a shirt or a cover-up and footwear are required.
As the cruise industry prepares a post-COVID comeback, a new face will appear in Galvestons cruise port. Norwegian Cruise Line has added Galveston to its portfolio. NCL will bring its mega Norwegian Prima ship to the Lone Star State. This new ship will be the first of a new class that NCL is establishing.
Norwegian Cruise Line joins Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Disney Cruise Line. This brings all of the Big 4 cruise lines in North America to Galveston and Texas. Currently listed on their website are itineraries taking you to Aruba and Cozumel.
An Adventure Of Texas
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Vaccination, Testing and Travel Document Requirements
Travel requirements and health protocols are constantly evolving and vary by port of departure. We will continue to publish more protocols as they are developed. Booked guests will be advised of their specific requirements before setting sail. See more details by ship and homeport.
CHASE BIGGER THRILLS
Fun-filled Galveston is the starting point for your next unforgettable Caribbean getaway. Dig into Texass world-famous BBQ then wander along the picturesque Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier before sailing to stunning sun-soaked isles onboard Liberty of the SeasÂ®.
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