The #1 Website for Cruises from Galveston and Houston, Texas

Galveston Cruise Questions

We’ve been there ourselves. You’re as excited as can be about your cruise, but you have a thousand questions. We’ve put together a list of some of the most common questions for cruise passengers sailing out of Galveston…

Q. How do I get to the Port of Galveston?

A. Getting to the Port of Galveston is easy. If you are coming from Houston, you take I-45 South (Gulf Freeway) to Galveston. As soon as you hit the island, you will exit Harborside Drive. From there, you take Harborside Drive all the way to the port. You will see the cruise ship from a distance.

If you are coming from the east, you will take the Bolivar ferry to Galveston. Once off the ferry, follow Ferry Road to Harborside Drive and take a right. You’ll continue on Harborside Drive until you arrive at the port.

For more detailed instructions and a map, visit this page.

Q. Where can I park for my cruise?

A. There are several options for parking. More than a half-dozen lots offer parking near the cruise terminal. Those more than a few blocks from the terminal will offer a free shuttle. Be sure to book ahead of time — many of the parking lots fill up, and there is usually a discount for prepaid booking.

Some hotels also offer free parking for cruisers staying the night at their location. If you plan to stay in Galveston the night before your cruise, ask around.

For more details on parking at the Galveston port, see our parking page here.

Q.What is there to do in Galveston before my cruise?

A. Galveston is a first-class tourist destination — not just a place to depart. There is year-round fun that starts, of course, with the beach. But there’s so much more. There is great food, the Strand shopping district, world-class restaurants, and plenty beautiful architecture. December brings Dickens on the Strand, a festival of all things Victorian England. February or March is Mardi Gras season, and Galveston has one of the biggest Mardi Gras festivals outside of New Orleans. And of course, don’t forget Moody Gardens and its famous pyramids that house a rainforest and aquarium. Truth is, you could spend a week in Galveston and still not do it all.

For more on what you can do while in Galveston, visit this page.

Q. Where can I stay in Galveston before my cruise?

A. As a tourist destination, Galveston offers plenty of accommodations for every price range. Except for busy holiday weekends, you should have no trouble finding a place to stay.

We’ve put together a list of the most convenient hotels to the Port of Galveston. Click here to see it now.

Q. Do I need a passport to cruise from Galveston?

A. To keep things as simple as possible, it’s highly recommended anyone going on a cruise from Galveston that visits any foreign country (including Mexico) have a valid passport — no matter their age.

That said, there are ways that U.S. citizens can travel without a passport. Any cruise leaving and returning to Galveston is subject to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WTHI). This allows passengers leaving from and returning to the same port to cruise to other countries with only a birth certificate and government-issued photo ID, as long as they don’t leave the western hemisphere.

Frankly, we think that’s a lot to worry about. Instead, you’ll have peace of mind with a passport. For more details, we recommend contacting your cruise line before departure to make sure you have all the necessary documents.

Q. Where can I cruise to when sailing from Galveston?

A. Cruises from Galveston can take you places you never thought. While the western Caribbean is the most popular destination — places like Jamaica, Honduras, and Mexico — there are also sailings to the Bahamas and transatlantic crossings. See our “Cruises” page for the latest itineraries.

Q. How do I keep from getting sick on a cruise?

A. The vast majority of passengers have a great time on their trip — getting sick never enters their mind. However, ships are great places for germs to spread. The vast amount of people combined with the confined space means that some bugs can spread quickly. There’s no 100% way to guarantee you won’t get sick, but there is plenty of preventative, common-sense steps you can take.

For instance, be sure to wash your hands regularly. You may also want to use disinfecting wipes when on the ship. Meanwhile, vitamins and other over-the-counter options to boost your immune system can’t hurt. Most importantly, if you feel you are sick, please keep other passengers in mind — try not to expose them to the illness by being in close contact to others or touching public surfaces.

Q. How can I keep from getting seasick?

A. Today’s modern ships offer some of the most stable and smooth rides imaginable. That said, you will still be able to tell you are at sea. If you are easily seasick, we recommend booking a stateroom near the center of the boat and on the lowest deck possible. This is the area of the ship that moves the least amount. As well, there are several over-the-counter seasick remedies like Dramamine that can make your cruise go much smoother.

Q. Can I bring alcohol on a cruise leaving Galveston?

A. The best answer — it depends. Every line has a different policy… and the policies do change. Currently, four different cruise lines sail from Galveston, and each has a different take on what you can bring aboard.

Carnival — No liquor or beer. Guests 21 or older may carry on one 750 ml bottle of wine/champagne (unopened).
Royal Caribbean — No liquor or beer. Guests may carry on two 750 ml bottles of wine/champagne per stateroom (unopened).
Disney  — Guests 21 or older can bring alcohol on board, and there are no restrictions on beer, liquor, or wine. Alcohol must be brought on board in your carry on.
Princess — No liquor or beer. Guests 21 or older may carry on one 750 ml bottle of wine/champagne (unopened).

Note: All the cruise lines sailing from Galveston will charge a corkage fee for consuming alcohol you bring on board, if you drink it in a public place like one of the ship’s restaurants.

For more details on specific cruise line alcohol policies, visit this link.

Q. How can I find cheap fares on Galveston cruises?

A. If you’re looking for the best deals, then be sure to check out our Buying Guide here. This guide will show you the tips and tricks we use to find the lowest possible fares for cruises departing from Galveston.