A. Many cruise passengers who fly to their Galveston cruises arrive at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, 65 miles from Galveston. Closer is the William P. Hobby Airport, about 45 miles away. Yet the journey is about an hour and a half from either airport. You can rent a car and drive I-45 South through downtown Houston to Galveston, or Galveston Limousine offers frequent shuttle service from both airports to the cruise terminal. The fare is $30 ($50 roundtrip). For more information, call 800-640-4826 or visit www.galvestonlimousineservice.com. Other transportation companies: Extreme Elegance (866-799-5466); Karr’s Limousine Service (713-780-8300); and Jeff’s Cab & Shuttle Service (866-533-3222).
Q. Where do cruise ships dock?
A. All cruise ships dock within walking distance of downtown. Carnival Corp. ships (those operated by Carnival Cruise Lines and Princess Cruises) dock about a block closer than those ships operated by Royal Caribbean. Galveston’s cruise terminal is situated in an old Spanish-style stucco structure built in 1927 that is architecturally consistent with the rest of the downtown.
Q. Where do I stay before or after my cruise?
A. Accommodations on Galveston Island range from affordable motels to luxurious resort hotels and condominiums with Gulf views. One of the more popular hotels is The Tremont House (a Wyndham Historic Property), which is within walking distance of the port and used in both Royal Caribbean’s and Carnival’s pre- and post-cruise stays. For something more personal, choose one of the island’s historic bed and breakfast inns for a romantic getaway (The Queen Anne, for example, has won quite a few accolades — 800-472-0930, www.galvestonqueenanne.com).
Q. Where do I find more tourist information?
A. Before your trip, contact the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau (409-763-4311 or 888-425-4753; www.galveston.com). Once ashore, visit the Galveston Island Visitors Center, located at 2027 61st Street (409-797-5000 or 888-GAL-ISLE), or the second location at 2215 Strand in the Old Galveston Square Building (409-797-5101).
Q. How do I get around in Galveston?
A. Galveston’s downtown is easy to walk, but if you prefer to get around on wheels, hop on the Galveston Island Trolley to ride the rails around The Strand area and along 25th Street to Seawall Blvd. Fares are $1 for adults and 50 cents for senior and children ages 6-11. For more information, visit www.islandtransit.net.
Q. What money-saving tips can you offer?
A. First, check with your hotel. Many offer free parking for the duration of your cruise (click on www.galveston.com/cruising/). Second, check with rental car companies. Some offer shuttle services between the airport and the cruise terminals. And finally, click on www.galveston.com/offers/ for money saving coupons and special offers.