I think its cheaper from Galveston, as Carnival is sailing their older / smaller ships from there... that being said, it wont stop us from trying our hand @ cruising on the Celebration ! We figured we would start out small to see if we liked cruising... so the better price you get... the better off you are ! Oh yeah... one more thing as of ths fall the GRAND PRINCESS will be sailing from Galveston... who knows we may try her next !
HINT ** we found its cheaper to take a limo from Houston Hobby to the port than it is to take the Carnival shuttle... dropped off right where you need to be ! So, no worries there ! Happy travels to you & yours !
Galveston is a beautiful city and very easy to get around in. We had no problems and will always cruise out of Galveston, just for that fact. The cruise teminal was easy to find and well marked. Not a mad house like some cruise terminals can be.
Galveston is a cool bohemian type of town. Don't be put off by the location and the first impression of the the terminal area. This town has really tried to go from zip to 90 mph in just a couple of years. I think they just imploded some old grain elevators and stuff just a few months ago to really enlarge the terminal capacity. It really makes sense for ships to leave from there as it is serving the mid section of the county and a ship can be out in the ocean in what...30 min?. Try that in New Orleans. We're pretty laid back here in Texas and I think visitors will have a great time coming to Galveston. We live 4 hours away, and would love to live there someday.
Galveston is a great little city that used to be called "The Wall STreet of the South" 100 years ago. The cruise terminal is only a block away from the historic district of Galveston, called The Strand. If you can, get into town a day or at least SEVERAL hours before you sail to walk up and down this area. The Railroad Museum at the end of the Strand is excellent. There is also a tour of historic homes that is really fabulous. I wouldn't spend ANY time at the beach: our beaches (and water) are the color of mud. But you can have a great time on the other side of the island, not far from the cruise terminal. Great food, too!
PS: if you come into town 1 1/2 days early, I would check out Moody Gardens. It is a complex of 3 glass pyramids, each with a different theme: tropical rainforest, aquarium, and science exploration with IMax. They have a private beach there also. And there is a hotel on the garden-covered grounds. Moody Gardens is at least an 8 hour side-trip. Definately a must-see.
I am scheduled to cruise 8/29 on elation and did alot of research. Galveston is way cheaper for a 7 night than any other out of florida. prob because florida has Disney and Universal Studios. Carnival ship elation is a newer one, (1998) and sounds better than Rhapsody of the seas. I paid $579 for guaranteed oceanview cabin for 7 nights.
I found that it is cheaper to stay overnight near Bush airport and limo next morning to pier than to stay in Galveston. Weekend rates at a biz class hotel like hyatt for $75 and Galveston hotels are expensive tourist destinations in and of themselves. I think it is crazy to pay $135 for a days inn type of place when we won't have the chance to do anything but go out to dinner. So why not stay in Houston and limo to port of galveston Sunday morning. Why pay like $150 to sleep near pier if you are landing late saturday afternoon into IAH airport and only traveling to hotel to make disembarkation the next day?
Just to let you know so you plan accordingly if you decide to stay by Bush Airport: Bush is 20 miles north of downtown Houston. Galveston is about 60 miles south of downtown Houston. In the summer months (March to October for Houston) the traffic on I-45 to Galveston is very heavy on Saturday morning with locals going to the beach. During rush hour (on Friday, that means from 2pm to 7 pm) you can only travel about 25 miles an hour. It would be a VERY long drive, especially after a long flight. With good traffic, it will take you probably 2 hours to get from Bush to the cruise pier.
If you haven't made air plans yet, I would suggest Hobby Airport. It is 10 miles south of downtown Houston. There is a Hilton across the street. The only airlines that fly into Hobby are Southwest (with 300 flights a day), American, Delta, and AirTran. Continental just (within the last month) started flying to Hobby again with one gate, so the flight options will be limited with Continental.
thxs for the reply, I found that Bush-IAH was $50 per ticket cheaper than Hobby. Since we land sat night before departure at 9:30PM, we can ride airport shuttle to fancy business class, weekend rate airport hotel and fall into bed. Sunday morning early we can limo it to Galveston and get dropped off pier. My point was that since there really isnt a good way to get to galveston except by private car or taxi, and that we are landing late sat night before flight, why stay in Galveston the night before?
We're counting the days...
Just to agree with everyone. I love Galveston, especially the Strand. But if you're going to swim, it's not a nice beach, and bring your meat tenderizer. I don't recall ever swimming there without being stung by a jellyfish. And, yes, it is easy to get around there...really only one long main road along the water.