If you want to cruise and do so without having to fly or drive far from home, you can easily get to Galveston and cruise from there. There will be more choices this Winter cruise season as Royal Caribbean returns, Princess returns (after a few years away), and Disney begins sailing out of Galveston for the first time. This gives plenty of capacity for those who choose to cruise from Galveston. Those who do will get an option to see various Western Caribbean Ports. Of course Carnival sails year round from Galveston aboard two of their ships. They offer week long and four as well as five night cruises.
Galveston is appealing as a cruise departure point for millions of folks who are within a five to six hour drive from the port. With major cities of Houston, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Austin, and San Antonio all close enough to drive the morning of the sailing passengers can cut costs as well as get back home with minimal fuss at the end of the cruise. Houston being one of the largest international airline hubs in the USA allows passengers from around the world to easily fly in via non-stop flight or a single connection. Further with United and Southwest both having major hubs in Houston flights from all over the USA are simple for passengers as well.
Not only is Galveston close to many who live in the USA and convenient for domestic travelers, it is a great entry point for those flying in from Europe and South America. There are even very convenient connections to Asia and Africa via non-stop flights on each of those continents. Thus, with simple travel plans it is very easy for much of the world to get to and cruise out of Galveston. Add that Galveston has a lot of history and it is an even better place from which to cruise.
Galveston is a historical city not only as part of Texas History, but also that of the USA. Galveston served as the jumping off place for many who sailed from afar. From Galveston they would head up the rivers further inland. Galveston was the immigration point for many who moved here from Europe and helped settle Central Texas, bringing German and Czech culture to that area. Because of this there are many historical sites on Galveston Island. Thus, Galveston is a great place to spend a day or two before or even after a cruise.
In addition to the rich history, there is much to do in Galveston. Pleasure Pier is the newest big attraction there. Not to be missed include Moody Gardens, the Flight Museum, and Schilitterbahn Water Park. Of course there is always fishing of the jetties, the beach, and for the die-hard fisherman you can charter a boat to go offshore or enjoy one of the larger boats hosting 30-100 fishermen per trip. Plenty of hotels and a variety of places to eat make staying in Galveston a pleasant experience.
From Galveston as mentioned before typically sailings go to the Western Caribbean. There are some exceptions, most notably when Carnival introduced the sailings to the Bahamas out of Galveston. Ever few weeks they sail to Nassau in the Bahamas out of Galveston on a week-long cruise. They also alternate between a couple of Western Caribbean sailings, so it is possible to actually work your way into a 21 day cruise not repeating all of the ports each week. Additionally Disney, Princess, and Royal Caribbean have repositioning cruises that you can sail in and out of Galveston which adds some additional exciting ports of call from here in Texas.
Most sailing out of Galveston are for 7 nights with Carnival offering a 4 night every other week and two 5 night cruises in between so that every two weeks they rotate thru 3 sailings. These short sailings are great for a quick getaway but don’t expect to see more than one or two ports because they must first cross the Gulf of Mexico over and back which gives you a sea day in each direction. On the longer cruises again you start with a sea day or two as your first and last full day aboard the ship. Despite there being several cruise lines, most of the ports of call are the same.
Cozumel, Mexico will end up on nearly every trip out of Galveston. Other ports of call include Key West, Florida, USA; Progresso, Mexico; Costa Maya, Mexico; Roatan, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; Grand Cayman; Montego Bay; Jamaica; Falmouth, Jamaica; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; and Nassau, Bahamas. This is quite a variety of places to see.
The different cruise lines sailing from Galveston offers the opportunity for different cruise passengers to select a cruise line and ship that most closely matches their desired experience. All of the lines are Mass Market lines but Disney is the most focused on family and constant entertainment while Princess is more refined offering a bit more upscale experience. Ultimately though many will choose based on the ports of call and price the ship they decide to take. What is nice about sailing from Galveston though is the many options from which to choose for your cruise departure.
For those who live with a five or six hour drive of the Port of Galveston, sailing from Galveston can be so convenient. Not only will you be able to come and go from the port pretty much as you please, you will save over the cost of flying in ahead of the cruise and paying to be transported from the airport to the cruise terminal. Additionally, you get rid of the hassles the airlines have created for those who must carry luggage on their flights. Convenience is key for many who travel out of Galveston.
In addition to the convenience and lower costs associated with sailing out of a drive-to-port, many report that when they sail on off-peak sailings they can really save money on their cruise fare. This is of course another reason people will select Galveston as their embarkation port. One specific kind of cruise where big savings nearly always comes into play is the Trans-Atlantic/Repositioning cruises out of Galveston. These are often prices at rates that mostly cover taxes and port fees, making these fares nearly impossible to beat.
Cruising out of Galveston is very convenient for millions of those living in the Southern USA and even convenient for many around the world with non-stop flights to Houston. The travelers who drive to the port often save quite a bit getting to and from the cruise making the overall cruise vacation more cost effective for the cruisers. While saving money and having a more convenient cruise embarkation port is helpful, what makes it a really great place from which to cruise is the diverse ships sailing and numerous reached out of Galveston. As an even nice add on is that Galveston is rich in Texas and US history. There is much to do and see while in Galveston as well. Take a Cruise from Galveston for a great cruise experience.