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RC from Galveston... fall of 2014


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Obviously you self debark if you are off & home in 30 minutes. One of the main bottlenecks in Galveston is that 1/3 of the ship rushes to the gangway because they are parked across the street. Those that are trying to catch flights get caught way back in the backlog.

 

I'm glad you were off & home in 30 minutes. We were 2 1/2 hours to debark & clear the terminal with #1 departure tags.

 

I'll stand by my statement that the port facility is inadequate to handle the ship it has let along anything bigger.

 

I'll not cruise in or out of there again.

 

Then it is not Galveston's fault, but of OP on the ship. Please put the blame where it belongs.

We have self disembarked and picked up luggage. Still never more than 30 minutes. We don't get off when everyone else is trying to be first!

Edited by Galveston Cruiser
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I wonder why the Mariner or Navigator can't go to Key West when the Carnival Magic can. They're almost the same size. When we were on the Rhapsody from Galveston back in '04 we stopped in Key West. (smaller ship, I know) Still...:rolleyes:

 

Or how 'bout the Bahamas? The Magic goes there also. :D

Edited by Ladysilver
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Just something the next cruise guy (who was VERY cute) told us.....

 

The Navigator will be in Galveston next year. The transatlantic usually departs to Europe (or Asia or wherever) in late April. From what this guy told us, the Navigator is not scheduled to leave then - - - maybe, maybe, maybe a ship year-round in Galveston??? He said the Texas market is amazing with ships always sailing full.....

 

All we can do is hope!!

 

Barb

 

He is technically telling you the truth... Navigator is not scheduled to leave then. But then again none of the transatlantic's have been released yet. :rolleyes:

 

So by his reasoning, are we to believe that there will be no European cruises in the summer of 2014? :rolleyes::rolleyes:

 

I would LOVE to have a RCI ship in Galveston year round, but I'm not holding my breath.

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I wonder why the Mariner or Navigator can't go to Key West when the Carnival Magic can. They're almost the same size. When we were on the Rhapsody from Galveston back in '04 we stopped in Key West. (smaller ship, I know) Still...:rolleyes:

 

Or how 'bout the Bahamas? The Magic goes there also. :D

 

Actually the Mariner has been to KW... they took it in there last year on a test... sans passengers. At this link, scroll down to post 48, there are some stills from the Mallory Sq. Cam. She came in and turned around... did not tie up.

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1620531&highlight=voyager+key+west&page=3

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We've never self disembarked and are usually off the ship before 9 am. The one exception was a fogged in cruise where we didn't get to port until close to noon. So for the poster who is screeching that Galveston is always 2 hours, sorry, not the case.

 

Itineraries are limited out of Galveston due to making 3 ports in a 7 day period. I too would love to see Key West back.

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We've never self disembarked and are usually off the ship before 9 am. The one exception was a fogged in cruise where we didn't get to port until close to noon. So for the poster who is screeching that Galveston is always 2 hours, sorry, not the case.

 

Itineraries are limited out of Galveston due to making 3 ports in a 7 day period. I too would love to see Key West back.

 

 

I agree. We have sailed out of Galveston I think 13 times and never had a bad wait to get on or off except once, due to fog. (New Orleans is even better though) If you don't line up to get on before you are "supposed" to or line up to get off before you are "supposed" to, the wait is not bad. I think people with flights, should have priority getting off. I wouldn't mind waiting longer for them to get off first. We just get in the car and drive home.

Edited by stewpapa
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We've never self disembarked and are usually off the ship before 9 am. The one exception was a fogged in cruise where we didn't get to port until close to noon. So for the poster who is screeching that Galveston is always 2 hours, sorry, not the case.

 

Itineraries are limited out of Galveston due to making 3 ports in a 7 day period. I too would love to see Key West back.

 

You may want to peruse the posted reviews as "most" of the posted reviews since the TA mention this issue - gasp - even from Texans!

 

BTW the men in my part of the world don't screech. Maybe that's a local/regional thing for you though.

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I would LOVE to see an RCL ship year round!! Really hated it when Rhapsody left. :mad: Reason was because they were making more money in Europe is what a Head Waiter told us one time.

 

I thought Rhapsody went to Australia in the (northern hemisphere) winter and Alaska in the summer. I don't remember her going to Europe.

 

I was on her first Australia/New Zealand sailing.

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Forget boring Key West. (can be cool in the winter months). Bring on Cuba.:)

 

 

KW is nice and toasty compared to MN!!! :D But Cuba would be a cool port, are Americans allowed to visit them yet??

 

Someday soon I will be sailing again.

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Obviously you self debark if you are off & home in 30 minutes. One of the main bottlenecks in Galveston is that 1/3 of the ship rushes to the gangway because they are parked across the street. Those that are trying to catch flights get caught way back in the backlog.

 

I'm glad you were off & home in 30 minutes. We were 2 1/2 hours to debark & clear the terminal with #1 departure tags.

 

I'll stand by my statement that the port facility is inadequate to handle the ship it has let along anything bigger.

 

I'll not cruise in or out of there again.

 

 

I just got off Mariner Sunday and did not self debark and we were off & through customs in under 45 minutes. I noticed in your signature that you listed Mariner TA. I have to admit that the TA disembarks are usually much longer because all of the crew has to go through customs as well and there are only so many customs folks.

 

I have had a much longer wait at Port Liberty in Newark than Galveston.

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I'm glad you were off & home in 30 minutes. We were 2 1/2 hours to debark & clear the terminal with #1 departure tags.

 

I'll stand by my statement that the port facility is inadequate to handle the ship it has let along anything bigger.

 

I'll not cruise in or out of there again.

 

Beachin, you cruised one time out of Galveston on a TA. Respectfully, that does not make you an expert on the adequacy or lack thereof of the port. We have cruised out of the port 10 times. Every port will have issues at one time or another and yes Galveston will foul it up sometimes. But based on 10 varied experiences, it has averaged no worse than San Juan (1x), California (2x), Port C (1x) Ft Lauderdale (6x). So yes, based on your one and only experience, I agree it is best that you not "cruise in or out of there again." I apologize for using screech since it offended you. Humor is hard to catch sometimes.

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Beachin, you cruised one time out of Galveston on a TA. Respectfully, that does not make you an expert on the adequacy or lack thereof of the port. We have cruised out of the port 10 times. Every port will have issues at one time or another and yes Galveston will foul it up sometimes. But based on 10 varied experiences, it has averaged no worse than San Juan (1x), California (2x), Port C (1x) Ft Lauderdale (6x). So yes, based on your one and only experience, I agree it is best that you not "cruise in or out of there again." I apologize for using screech since it offended you. Humor is hard to catch sometimes.

 

I've cruised 2X out of Galveston. Once in 2006 and I don't really recall one way or another the wait to get on or off the ship so I'm assuming it was non eventful. The last time was this season...Embarkation was the worst and so was Disembarking (although disembarking was better than embarking). We had tag "3" and it took us over 2 hours to get off. It was quick to get to the luggage hall--but we needed porter assistance so we waited nearly a hour for a porter to get freed up from standing in line for customs and dropping bags off outside..then it was another hour to go through customs after we got our luggage on the porter dolly, even with all of us having passports. It seemed like a vicious cycle and helped me understand why boarding day was so terrible. Our neighbors on the ship posted pictures from later (they had tag "20") where they waited well over an hour just to get off the ship into the luggage hall...and they didn't need porter assistance but still took over 3 hours to get outside of customs. I'm not saying it is like that every sailing, but it certainly was for the sailing before ours (Thanksgiving) and our sailing...and sounds like on the TA as well which was before the Thanksgiving cruise. Those with later tags and who waited until their tag was called were really the ones impacted. Those up early with self disembark were first in line and therefore not impacted.

 

As many, like yourself, have had many good experiences, I would assume it was just the staff getting back into the swing of things at the port. I don't know. I certainly hope it has gotten better. I may sail from Galveston again, but never will I go within the first few sailings after they return from being in Europe (or any other place for that matter). And in fairness, I haven't sailed on other ships from other ports within those first few sailing either so it may be just as bad in those ports as well. After that experience, it was bad enough that I don't want to be stuck in that again..too much stress day of sailing and last day...I can cruise any time of the year vacation wise so it would be in my best interest--regardless of ship or port--to pick that week better next time.

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I'm not trying to be a Galveston cheerleader or make excuses. I just don't think it's right to make blanket statements based on one cruise.

 

I can say that most of our Galveston cruises have been the first week after Thanksgiving and they were relatively easy. But I've learned anything around a TA is LONG. We booked Millennium one time after a TA in Ft L and we boarded close to 2 pm - and we were the first ones on. So I made a note to self - stay away from TA's or be prepared for delays.

Edited by wolfganghowell
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Beachin, you cruised one time out of Galveston on a TA. Respectfully, that does not make you an expert on the adequacy or lack thereof of the port. We have cruised out of the port 10 times. Every port will have issues at one time or another and yes Galveston will foul it up sometimes. But based on 10 varied experiences, it has averaged no worse than San Juan (1x), California (2x), Port C (1x) Ft Lauderdale (6x). So yes, based on your one and only experience, I agree it is best that you not "cruise in or out of there again." I apologize for using screech since it offended you. Humor is hard to catch sometimes.

 

Agreed - no expert on that port, but I sure recognize a poorly run facility when I see it.

 

In our case the ship did not have a delay after the TA in November due to crew processing - everything started on time. Just because the ship clears & starts on time does NOT mean that the port has the facilities to efficiently process this ship.

 

If you read the last 9 reviews posted in the review section (none of them mine BTW) since the TA 5 of them negatively mention the debarkation.

 

As I've said before - were I local I'd be making some noise to the local port authorities. They are the ones who are causing this issue.

 

Look at the FL ports. You certainly don't hear/read of this with the frequency you do in Galveston.

 

How can you folks wish for a larger ship when over half of the most recent reviews are negative on the shore side?

Edited by Beachin2
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I've done four cruises into Galveston. Three were Caribbean and one was a transatlantic.

 

The disembarkations from the Caribbean cruises were fairly effortless. The Transatlantic was much longer. I believe that this has more to do with ICE being stricter with passengers embarking in Europe than they are with a closed loop sailing such as Galveston to Galveston.

 

About to sail from Galveston in a few days. I will report back if I remember.

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I can understand frustration over taking so long to get on or off a ship, but that does not ruin a cruise for me OR make me decide to not cruise out of a port. If that were the case, I would never go out of Barcelona again. The WORST embark and disembark ever, and that was on 2 different cruises.

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We were told several years ago by a Staff Captain onboard that Voyager class is the largest Galveston can handle - the channel would have to be dredged to get a Freedom class in there. So I don't see a larger ship coming to Galveston unless there is a major change in the channel.

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I can understand frustration over taking so long to get on or off a ship, but that does not ruin a cruise for me OR make me decide to not cruise out of a port. If that were the case, I would never go out of Barcelona again. The WORST embark and disembark ever, and that was on 2 different cruises.

 

We had no problems in Barcelona.

 

I thought San Diego was pretty bad for embarkation until we sailed from Venice in October. Venice is just about the worst port I've ever sailed from. We had to descend 4 flights of stairs after checking in. We had carry ons with us making it even harder. Luckily, it was raining and they offered a bus or we would have had to walk another half-mile to board the ship.

 

Venice is a lovely city, but use it as a stopping port, not an embarkation port. It's awful!

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We were told several years ago by a Staff Captain onboard that Voyager class is the largest Galveston can handle - the channel would have to be dredged to get a Freedom class in there. So I don't see a larger ship coming to Galveston unless there is a major change in the channel.

 

That's a shame. I was really hoping for a Freedom class, year round ship from Galveston.

 

Do you know if the new port in Houston can accommodate larger ships?

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We were told several years ago by a Staff Captain onboard that Voyager class is the largest Galveston can handle - the channel would have to be dredged to get a Freedom class in there. So I don't see a larger ship coming to Galveston unless there is a major change in the channel.

 

It is not a matter of dredging. According to both port websites, Galveston and Houston have a depth of 40'. Galveston has a length capacity of 1,200' for the turning basin, whereas Houston' length capacity is 1,600' at the turning basin.

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