2017 EDITOR'S PICKS
So we’re sailing from the Port of Galveston and what do we know about it? Well, it’s in Texas. To get there cruise travelers from out of state fly to Houston then make their way south. Most drive there. When I think Carnival Magic or Carnival Triumph, Galveston pops into my brain. Fog sometimes delays ships coming or going and it was one heck of a hit for Glen Campbell. A new addition to that list: Carnival Cruise Line loves the place and has positioned three ships there, sailing year-round. Hmm, that’s as many as some Florida ports. There must be a good reason.
Right now Galveston is in the spotlight as the place Martina McBride performed on the heels of a $100,000 donation from Carnival Cruise Line to Operation Homefront. In a nicely-orchestrated social event, the theme #CelebrateFreedom resonated especially well with the invited military families on board the newly-renovated FunShip Carnival Freedom. Still, that’s akin to inviting a ton of National Rifle Association members to a Ted Nugent concert; everyone is on the same page and a nice reception is nearly guaranteed. Still again, on the to do list of what makes for successful cruise ship deployment, McBride’s iconic tune freedom-themed Independence Day was a perfect fit.
- Get ship off to good start- check
That the great big state of Texas is nearly a country of its own is surely good reason to have plenty of hardware in the area too. Most passengers on board ships sailing from Galveston drive to the port. On arrival they find plenty of parking at the pier, including covered VIP parking for a fee. Area hotels with a Cruise & Park or Cruise & Snooze package are plentiful. Nine different properties offer parking and transfers to and from the ship.
- Easy and convenient-check
Also a plus for cruise travelers, a hour walking time at a leisurely pace takes them into the city and some marvelous architecture that dates back to the 1800’s. Bishop’s Palace, built in 1892 by Nicholas Clayton is on the top 100 most significant buildings in the United States. Right at the port is the Texas Seaport Museum and the home of 1877 tall ship Elissa. The Lone Star Flight museum with one of the world’s best collection of vintage aircraft is not far either.
- The port is an attraction as well- check
For the directionally challenged (me), a stroll away is a full service CVS Pharmacy, grocery store and a collection of eclectic shops, bars and restaurants. All these places and more are a straight shot into town with the ship in sight at all times. My kind of GPS…sort of like how so many European towns have the spires of a giant cathedral as a focal point. The Funnel of your Carnival cruise ship can be seen easily from most locations one might walk to.
- More than just a place to get on and off the ship- check
Getting there, for those who do fly in, is not a really big project to plan either. With Houston Hobby Airport (HOU) 40 miles away and Houston Intercontinental Airport (IAH) 70 miles away, Carnival has a shuttle system in place that insures getting to the ship and making flights back home on time. Still, this is not Fort Lauderdale where the cruise port is nearly adjacent to the airport. Planning an early flight back home would be a dumb move.
Follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as we #CelebrateFreedom all this week.
Chris is not a paid spokesperson or brand ambassador. Not compensated by cruise lines, what you read here are his observations, thoughts and interpretations, biased only by a positive outlook and appreciation for what cruise vacations have to offer travelers.