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.
Two P&o Cruise Ships To Sail The Caribbean
P&O Cruises plans to have two ships sailing the Caribbean before the end of the year. The cruise line has experienced a hugely successful summer return with the launch of its newest flagship Iona and its popular summer seacations onboard Britannia. The cruise line is ready to expand its cruises and has chosen to do this in the Caribbean with;Britannia;and;Azura.
Britannia;will set off on her transatlantic voyage from Southampton in southern England on October 22. The vessel will take 14 days to sail to the Southern Caribbean island of Barbados before she starts the first of a series of 14-day cruises in the Caribbean.
Azura;will be the second ship sailing the Caribbean for the UK-based cruise line. Starting December 10, the cruise ship will also be sailing from Barbados on 14-day itineraries that include ports of call such as Trinidad and Tobago, Aruba, Bonaire, Dominica, and Martinique.
P&O Cruises are not yet sailing with the entire fleet and will not do so this year.;Aurora;is currently scheduled to return in February of next year and;Arcadia;is scheduled to return to sailing in March of next year.
Plenty to look forward to and this will be the first chance British cruisers will be able to enjoy a cruise in the Caribbean since the suspension started in 2020.
Hotels Near The Port Of Galveston
The bad news? There arent a ton of hotels right at the port . The good news? Galveston isnt that large, so in reality every hotel is just a few minutes away.
The island has a wide variety of places to stay, from historic hotels like Hotel Galvez to modern-day hotel chains that are abundant on Galveston. There are also a few resorts with large pools, restaurants and more. No matter your budget of what youre looking for, Galveston has something to fit your needs relatively close to the port.
Most Galveston hotels are along the Seawall. After the hurricane of 1900, the entire island was built up, with a protective barrier along the island facing the Gulf of Mexico. Today the main boulevard on the island runs along the Seawall, and hotels next to it offer unfettered views.
There are also hotels on the mainland, just 15-20 minutes from the island. While these dont offer the views or atmosphere of staying in Galveston, they can be affordable and convenient as they are on the way from Houston.
Galveston Hotels With High Ratings
One thing to know is that a number of hotels in the area offer parking at their hotel while you cruise. So stay a night, and you can leave your car there for little or no cost. If youre driving into the port, its hard to beat this deal. .
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Port Of Galveston Location
Galveston Island sits as a barrier island just off of Texas, attached to the mainland by Interstate 45. If youre coming from the Houston area, youll approach over a short causeway that will bring you just a few miles from the port. Those coming from the east normally take the free ferry between Galveston and the Bolivar Peninsula.
The port itself sits on the northern side of the island, protected from the Gulf of Mexico. Its location makes it a convenient spot to set sail as it only takes 30-45 minutes for the ships to get out to the open water.
Whats not convenient is that the port sits at least 45 minutes from the nearest major airport . In other words, if you are flying in for your cruise, then you will need to figure out transportation to the ship
Given the location, many people choose to drive in for their cruise. If driving into the port, the address is:
2502 Harborside Dr.Galveston, TX 77550
Royal Caribbean Announces Fall Cruises And New Galveston Terminal
Steven DevadanamAllure of the SeasRendering courtesy of Royal Caribbean International
A state-of-the-art terminal is coming to Galveston in time for a return to serious cruising. Royal Caribbean International recently broke ground on a new, $125 million cruise terminal to serve as homeport for its award-winning Oasis Class ship, Allure of the Seas.
The techy new terminal is set to open by fall 2022, the company notes.
Those familiar with the cruise line will recognize Allure as one of the brands largest ships. The first of its kind to sail from Galveston, Allure will sail seven-night western Caribbean itineraries starting November 2022, per an announcement.
Royal Caribbean hopes to lure Allure guests with myriad entertainment options, including a zip line that flies across the ship 10 decks high, a pair of FlowRider surf simulators, dedicated spaces for kids and teens, entertainment across four stages air, ice, water and stage and the open-air AquaTheater.
Meanwhile, Houston and Texas cruise travelers concerned about the COVID uptick can take comfort. A Royal Caribbean spokesperson confirms to CultureMap that Galveston cruises are still on; four-day western Caribbean itineraries sailing in September 2021 can be found here.
Currently, Galveston, the sole cruise port in Texas, houses Royal Caribbeans Independence and Liberty of the Seas, which are the largest cruise ships homeported in the area.
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Parking At The Port Of Galveston
One of the best things about cruising from Galveston is that parking is easy, cheap, and convenient. The area around the port offers ample parking, with official Port of Galveston parking lots competing alongside independent lots.
We have all your parking options with complete prices here. Below we cover parking for your cruise in general terms. One tip always reserve a spot ahead of time as there are discounts at each lot for advance payment.
Official Port ParkingThe Port of Galveston operates ample parking thats near the cruise terminals. A shuttle will transport you back and forth from your car and the ship for free. Rates run about $100 for a 7-day cruise and $70 for a 5-day cruise if you book ahead of time. The port accepts cash, travelers checks and credit cards. There is also covered parking available.
Independent Parking LotsAs the Port of Galveston has boomed in popularity, nearly a dozen independent parking lots have sprouted up all around the port facility. These lots typically offer cheaper rates than the official port parking, while sometimes being even closer than the ports parking. There are also a number of options for covered parking. Prices start as low as $60 for a five-day cruise or $70 for a 7-day trip.
Disney Wonder Restart Announced
Disney Cruise Line has announced the restart date for Disney Wonder and an update to its protocols. The ship will start operations on October 1 on an itinerary that will feature three-night sailings from San Diego with a stop at Ensenada, Mexico, and a day at sea, while 4-night sailings will feature two days at sea and a stop at;Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Disney Cruise Line has returned to the U.S. with;Disney Dreams;3- and 4-night itineraries out of Florida.;Disney Fantasy;will resume on September 11. The cruise line will only be visiting Castaway Cay for the time being with both ships.
However, the recent policy changes from the Bahamian government mean that the cruise line had to require all guests to be vaccinated on cruises to the Bahamas, just like other cruise lines. Its also due to updated guidelines issued on August 27, 2021,;from the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention .
For cruises departing from San Diego in October, Disney Cruise Line now requires all guests of 12 years and older to be fully vaccinated 14 days before boarding. Guests 11 years old and younger do not have to be vaccinated but should provide proof of a negative test. On November 5,;Disney Wonder;will depart for a 14-day voyage that will take guests through the Panama Canal to Galveston from San Diego. Disney has made some significant changes for this voyage, requiring all guests of all ages to be fully vaccinated.
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Getting To The Port Of Galveston
As weve mentioned, sailing from Galveston is easy and convenient if you live in the area. If you have to fly in for your cruise, then youre looking at another 45 to 75-minute ride to get to the cruise port. Thats because the nearest major airports are in Houston.
Not to worry, however. We have all the details on the major modes of transportation on our port transportation page. Below we hit the highlights of the major ways to get to the ships.
Driving to the PortOne of the reasons that Galveston is such a popular cruise port is that millions live within a few hours drive of the port. That makes it convenient to get to the cruise port and not having to deal with airports or flying. As well, having your car means you can get to the port when you want, leave as soon as you get off the ship, and not have to meet anyone elses schedule.
One good thing about driving to Galveston is that there is ample parking right near the port thats extremely affordable. See details in the parking section below.
Cruise ShuttlesGiven the distance between Houston and Galveston, an industry of shuttles have popped up that provide rides from the airport to the cruise port. Typically these shuttles offer shared rides at affordable rates and leave at set times from both locations. There are also private car options available that can give you a ride for a bit more money, but offer direct service and can even make any stops youd like.
Learn About The Cozumel Cruise Port
There are three cruise ship piers and one passenger ferry pier on Cozumel Island. The Punta Langosta Pier is located in the center of San Miguels downtown area, and is a short walk to the towns restaurants, bars and shops. The TMM International Pier is about 5 miles south of San Miguels downtown area. The Puerta Maya Pier is just south of the International Pier.
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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.
Port Of Galveston History & Faqs
The Port of Galveston is located adjacent to the city of Galveston, Texas, on the upper Texas Gulf Coast. The Port holds the distinction of being the oldest Gulf of Mexico shipping port west of New Orleans. The port is located on the eastern end of Galveston Island, 9.3 miles from the open ocean, generally about 30 minutes of sailing time.
Continuously upgraded over its history, The Port of Galveston can accommodate all types of cargo including containers, dry and liquid bulk, break bulk, Roll On/Roll Off, refrigerated, and project cargoes. The Galveston Railroads terminal switching facilities then move cargo inland by rail.
Of course, one of the Ports most visible and profitable uses is as a hub for multiple cruise lines.
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Relying On A Negative Covid Test Is Also A Flawed Strategy
If you don’t quarantine for two weeks before your pre-boarding Covid test, the test is “basically irrelevant,” Ostrosky says.
To make cruises genuinely safe, he says, companies would need to require mandatory two-week quarantines for each passenger and crew member, negative Covid tests 24 to 48 hours before boarding and another negative Covid test immediately after boarding. That’s an onerous process, and difficult to organize and pull off, especially in the middle of a passenger’s vacation.
Carnival Glory Cruise Cancelled
With Hurricane Ida having a huge impact on New Orleans, Carnival Cruise Line has canceled Carnival Glorys September 5th departure. The main reason was at the time, the city was still under emergency management and the channel leading towards the cruise terminal remained closed.
Carnival Glorys first return cruise from New Orleans was scheduled to depart on September 5 on a seven-day voyage, including calls at Bimini, Freeport, and Nassau, all in the Bahamas. The ship will now restart from the Port of New Orleans on Sunday, September 12.
Carnival is allowing impacted guests to transfer to the;Carnival Vista;sailing departing the Port of Galveston in Texas on Saturday, September 4, 2021. Guests will have to be fully vaccinated to be allowed to transfer. Unfortunately, those under the vaccine exemption wont be allowed to transfer their booking to the;Carnival Vista;but are being asked to contact Carnival about their options.
Since the cancellation was first announced, the Carnival Glory has already returned to the port and is currently making preparations for its restart on September 12. That cruise will be a seven-day Western Caribbean itinerary with stops at Mahogany Bay, Belize, and Cozumel, along with three sea days. The Conquest-class vessel will become the ninth ship in the fleet to resume operations and the first out of New Orleans since suspensions first began in March 2020.
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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 Â½ 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.
Cruises Are ‘a Recipe For Transmission’
Even on a good day outside of the pandemic, cruises are challenging environments from an infection-control standpoint, Ostrosky says.
On a cruise, you often spend time in shared common areas. You eat and drink indoors at buffet restaurants with large communal tables, attend shows in theaters and touch all kinds of surfaces, from railings to casino games. If an outbreak happens at sea, you’re restricted to the boat, which can make the outbreak harder to contain and treat.
“It’s just a recipe for transmission,” Ostrosky says. That’s why it’s common to see outbreaks of other contagious respiratory or gastrointestinal viruses, like norovirus, aboard cruises.
Cruises are even particularly risky when compared to other types of travel, like driving or flying, because they present more opportunities for prolonged exposure. “Frankly, the risk on a two-hour flight where everyone is masked and airflow is good is than being on a cruise ship for five days straight,” says Dr. Preeti Malani, chief health officer at the University of Michigan.
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