Embarkation says 1:30p.m. when is a good time to be at the port to unload, park, and get in line in Galveston? Can you board prior to 1:30?
Also, I heard it is a good idea to carry on some luggage, what's important to carry on besides obvious papers, money, medications?
Depending what the weather is, the general rule is not to line up more than 30 minutes before 1:30 due to heat stroke. If you're cruising in the winter that's not a problem. Carry on the clothes you plan to wear to dinner because sometimes you won't get your luggage until later that night. Important if you want to dine in the dining rooms that have a dress code. Oh, carry on your toothbrush. You will be outdoors for the muster drill before the ship leaves port. You'll be wearing a lifejacket they provide, but try not to blow the whistle attached to it. It's annoying. So wear comfortable clothing. If you were thinking about wearing your dinner clothing for boarding, if it's hot outside, think again.
If you fly in the day of the cruise which is a BAD idea make sure you hand carry on the plane and on the ship a suitecase that will hold all things necessary to complete the cruise should your luggage get lost. This happened to someone I know and the luggage was not found in time for the cruise. They had only the clothes they wore on the ship for 7 days. You should pack your swimsuit, undies, toiletries, makeup, curling iron, meds and a couple changes of clothes.
If this is not the case it is a good idea to hand carry anything you need to get you through the day and into the evening in case your luggage does not make it to your room until late evening. Make sure you carry on valuables like cameras and video cameras. Never put them in your checked luggage.
Thanks for the info, we are driving to port from Kansas and leaving in a couple weeks! Trying to get all the info I can. Don't know how the port parking works but from what I have read, you drop off luggage with wife at port and then park and shuttle to port? Anything else we need to know to make the process smoother?
SanDee -- going a day early is very important. Although Mobile is only a 5-6 hour drive for me, anything can happen causing me to be late. If I miss the ship, I lose my money and all the joy that has built up inside of me in anticipation of this cruise.
Suzycruise. There is no worry about heat stroke in Galveston. The facility allows for a huge line all inside in the A/C. I would go early. we were there about 10:30 and the line was already forming. But they allowed us to check in and start boarding by noon. That could change if there was a customs clearence issue of the previous ship, but I always go early.
For port parking, you can pul up to the cruise terminal, drop you bags off with a porter (you won't see them again until there are at your cabin. Then send in eveyone to "get in line" and then the person driving can go drop of the car. There is a shuttle bus back from the parking lot. (For a cheaper parking alternative look at EZ Cruise parking which is basically the same as the cruise terminal parking with the shuttle and such. And definetly do the carry one bag for valuables/cameras/ and a change of clothes.
When driving it is still important to get there a day or two early. You are right, anything can happen and then all your money and fun are down the tubes. Our first cruise was out of Long Beach and we drove down from Las Vegas the morning of the cruise. On the way the water pump on our car started to go out. We literally drove 100 miles with steam coming out of the hood. I was so embarrassed!
Hubby drove up to the terminal to drop me and the luggage off. I can just imagine what passangers must have thought....Here comes Ma and Pa Kettle or the Clampets. We managed to enjoy our first cruise and then worry about the car when we returned. Hubby drove it all the way back to Las Vegas by himself stopping every 50 miles to add water. I stayed in CA for a few days with family. I am just glad we made it. If the car had broke down we would have missed the boat (ship)!
My daughter and family will be joining us on a cruise out of Miami in Nov. They will be driving from Tampa which is about 4 hrs. Daughter wants to leave early the morning of the cruise and hubby says day before "just in case". I agree with hubby. You just never know what can happen.
thanks for the info! we are driving down two days ahead of cruise departure!!! I, too, want to make sure all goes well on the trip down there! Is EZ-Cruise parking near the port? Do you still drop off luggage/wife at port if you use EZ-Cruise? How does EZ-cruise work upon returning? Thanks!
happily- Yes, EZ cruise parking is near the port. Other than it being private parking, the thing works much in the same way. You drop off the luggage and whom ever is the designated line stander off and take the car to EZ cruise. THey bus you back. When you get back their shuttle will be there to pick you up and take you to get the car. You do need to go to their website and reserve a spot though. I think it is like a $20 or $25 savings over the cruise parking... and their lot is secure too. I have used them and so has some friends.
Oh and one more thing, where are you staying when you come down early? Some of the Galveston hotels will let you park your car in their lot and shuttle yo uback and forth to the ship... that is even less expensive if you are already staying in the hotel.