Ships out of Galveston vs. Florida

Apr 9th, 2003, 09:00 AM
  #1  
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Ships out of Galveston vs. Florida

My family is considering a cruise out of Galveston rather than Florida because we can drive to Texas, but not to Florida and will therefore save on airfare. But from my review thus far, the ships out of Galveston seem to be "second tier"..not quite as nice as those out of Florida. Is this perception correct? Of the ships that do go out of Galveston, which are the nicest? Thanks!
Paultravel is offline  
Apr 9th, 2003, 09:52 AM
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I ran into the same situation before I booked my cruise. Another alternative for you is to drive to New Orleans. It isn't that far from Texas. The Carnival Conquest leaves from New Orleans and it is one of the newer ships. I haven't gone yet, but it looks really great.
ktyson is offline  
Apr 9th, 2003, 11:57 AM
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Paul
The Carnival Celebration, out of Galvez, has just had an extensive "face-lift!" I've heard it's beautiful! I took my triplet grandson's (12) and their little brother (10) on the Celebration a couple of summers ago....
they loved it and had a blast! I've not seen the "new" Celebration, but Carnival spent $$$$$$'s on her.
Where will you be driving from? You also might want to check out ships departing Houston.
Happy Sails!
martita is offline  
Apr 9th, 2003, 03:39 PM
  #4  
esd
 
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We were on the Celebration 3 years ago and had no complaints. Last year, though, we took the Rhapsody out of Galveston and had a wonderful time. We liked the ship, the crew, the food, the entertainment, the ports..the works. Like you, we chose this cruise and the others we've been on because they left from either Galveston or NO and we can drive to both. We're not adverse to flying but wanted to cruise without the added expense.
esd is offline  
Apr 11th, 2003, 04:14 PM
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Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas sails out of Galveston and gets great reviews. I live in Texas and I know quite a few people who have been on this cruise. They loved it! (Definitely wouldn't sail on Carnival, though.)
Athena39 is offline  
Apr 12th, 2003, 08:43 AM
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Most ships out of Galveston could hardly be called 2nd tier. The RCCL Rhapsody and Splendour are great ships. I chose to fly to Houston to take the Splendour rather than Miami to cruise and it was a 3 hr flight no matter which port. It just made more sense. The prices were better and the itenerary was great. Yes, it's not the supper large newer ships but all in all I'd do it again in a minute.
RickT is offline  
Apr 20th, 2003, 07:52 AM
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I have cruised out of Galveston on the Rhapsody and would say that the only 'negative' would be the commute from the Houston airport to the ship (since I live in the midwest, I have to fly). The Rhapsody is in good shape and overall the cruise experience was great. We've been on 7 cruises on Royal Caribbean, Holland American and Celebrity. Royal Caribbean is our favorite - Holland American has better service (although it's almost like being waited on by robots) and Celebrity has better food, but we prefer Royal Caribbean overall.

Please keep in mind that the Rhapsody is six or seven years old and looks her age when compared to the newer Voyager and Radiance class ships, and any other newer ship. Also, Royal Caribbean is delivering a mass market product just like Carnival, NCL, Holland America and Celebrity, so there may be some instances here and there of less than spectacular service or a meal that doesn't meet your expectations, but generally you're going to get good value for your money. An afternoon by the pool enjoying a few Coco-locos and listening to the band can very quickly make up for an indifferent crew member or a meal that just wasn't warm enough. That being said, in our opinion the Rhapsody definitely should not be considered second tier just because she's not brand new. In fact, our favorite ships of any cruise line are the Majesty and Monarch of the Seas and they're both over 10 years old.

We really enjoyed the Rhapsody's itinerary (Key West, Cozumel and Grand Cayman) and the price for the cruise was a good deal. If I didn't have to pay airfare, I would not hesitate cruising on the Rhapsody again out of Galveston (I might even try Carnival). One good thing about Galveston is that there are relatively few people accessing the port, compared to the weekend hordes that descend on Fort Lauderdale and Miami when there are 6 or more ships embarking passengers. And since you're driving, you could time your arrival so that you get there in mid-afternoon after the big crowds that usually jam the terminal from 12:00 to 2:00.

We have not cruised on Carnival, but have friends who love it. One reason that we haven't tried it yet is that we've heard alot of complaints about a high percentage of smokers on Carnival and we're both allergic (we may try the Paradise a some point). It might be worth checking out the refurbed Celebration.
Bottom line: if you're going to save a significant amount of money on airfare I would seriously consider cruising out of Galveston.
Tommark is offline  
Apr 20th, 2003, 09:03 AM
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Tommark is absolutely correct...all the cruise ships except Crystal and Seabourne are all mass-marketed..don't kid yourself and that includes Princess.. that said the cruise lines have discovered that many people do not want to fly or do not want the hassle and many are secretly afraid. Cruise ships smartly are taking advantage of this and are now leaving from Philly, Baltimore, New York (two going year round), Boston, Galveston and New Orleans plus of course the Florida, Hawaii and Alaska. Driving to the port or taking a bus from a central area is a heck of a lot more convenient that getting up early in the a.m. to catch a plane that may require several transfers and getting to the port in Miami or Ft. Lauderale and being herded like animals into long lines and being treated rudely. In these new ports the city is thrilled to have all this extra business as are the piers and people who work there. By the time you get on the ship and in your cabin your exhausted. Because a ship is a few years old what difference does it make.. Your on vacation with your family, somebody is cooking, cleaning, making up your cabin and your away from your every day life..and seeing new things. No matter how negative some cruiser maybe about NCL we love the convenience of the Majesty in Boston...we leave our home at 11:00 a.m., have willing and polite longshoreman unload our luggage, park the car and sign in..Before 1:00 p.m. we are on the ship and on vacation, what's easier than that..Disembarking is easier..we are off the ship by 10:00 a.m.(our convience) and home with luggage and in the front door no later than 11:30. Life is too short to worry about whether the ship needs a paint job..lol
ParrotMom is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 11:23 AM
  #9  
pam
 
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Just wanted to comment on the 'New Orleans isn't far from Texas' comment. New Orleans is a 10-hour drive from Houston and Galveston is 50 miles from Houston. They are not exactly next door to each other.
pam is offline  

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