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Houston Cruise Questions

Have questions about cruising from the Bayport Terminal in Houston? Don’t worry, so do plenty of other passengers. That’s why we created a list of some of the most common questions — and their answers…

Questions about Houston

Q. How do I get to the Bayport Cruise Terminal?

A. Getting to the terminal can be a little tricky if you’re not familiar with the area. If you are coming from Houston, we recommend taking I-45 South to Bay Area Boulevard. From there, you will eventually turn right onto Port Drive, which leads directly to the terminal.

If coming from the east on I-10, we recommend taking Highway 146 South to Port Drive. Take a left on Port Drive and you will be at the terminal.

For turn-by-turn directions and a map, be sure to visit our page dedicated to getting to the Bayport Cruise Terminal.

Q. Where can I park?

A. Parking is very convenient when taking a cruise from Houston. The terminal has an adjacent parking lot with roughly 1,000 spaces. There are also overflow lots available.

Parking costs $10 per day. Oversize vehicles that take up more than one space (like RVs) must pay for the additional space.

For more details about parking for a Houston cruise, see our “parking” page here.

Q. What is there to do in Houston before or after my cruise?

A. Tourism isn’t the first thing you think about when you hear Houston, but the city and surrounding area offers world-class attractions.

Close to the port is NASA and the Johnson Space Center, which features interactive visits for all ages. Be sure to take the “Level 9” tour that will show you Mission Control, the astronaut training facility, and even have lunch where the astronauts eat. There is also a full-scale Saturn V rocket on the grounds.

You’ll also find the Kemah Boardwalk a few miles south of the cruise terminal. The Boardwalk has plenty of restaurants to suit any taste, several full-time amusement park rides, and carnival games. Its wide boardwalk right on the water offers great views of Galveston Bay and is a fantastic place to take in an evening.

Closer to downtown sites the Museum District, where you’ll find the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Houston Zoo.

And just a few minutes down the highway is Galveston Island. Galveston is one of the most historic cities in Texas and offers beaches, the Schlitterbahn waterpark, Moody Gardens’ rainforest and aquarium pyramids, and much more.

For more on things to do in Houston, visit this link. For more on things to do in Galveston, click here.

Q. Where can I stay in Houston before or after my cruise?

A. Of course, a city the size of Houston offers accommodations for any budget. Many hotels are near the cruise port, with most of them being comfortable, yet affordable places to stay.

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

Questions about cruising from Houston

Q. When do cruises from the Bayport Terminal start operating?

A. Two lines have contracted to operate from the Bayport Terminal — Princess and Norwegian Cruise Lines. Princess will start running weekly cruises in the fall of 2013. Norwegian is scheduled to start cruising in fall of 2014.

Cruise passportQ. Do I need a passport to sail from Houston?

A. As with cruising from Galveston, to keep things as simple as possible, we highly recommended anyone going on a cruise 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 Houston is subject to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WTHI). This allows passengers leaving from and returning to the same port to sail 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.

Docked cruise ships

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

A. As of now, all sailings from Houston are scheduled to visit the western Caribbean. Ports of call included Roatan, Honduras, Belize City, and Cozumel, Mexico. 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. I get seasick. Is there anything I can do to enjoy my cruise more?

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 board a cruise leaving Houston?

A. The best answer — it depends. Every line has a different policy… and the policies do change. The two lines sailing from Houston have different policies regarding what you can take aboard.

Princess — Guests may not bring liquor or beer. Guests 21 or older may carry on one 750 ml bottle of wine/champagne (unopened).

Norwegian Cruise Lines — Guests may not bring liquor or beer on board. Guests of legal drinking age are allowed to bring wine or champagne of any size on board the ship. It should fit within your carry-on.

Note: All the lines sailing from Galveston and Houston will charge a corkage fee for consuming alcohol you bring on board, usually 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.

Photos: The Wide Wide World lonny paul