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Galveston transfer questions


sjlogghe
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We'll be on Allure out of Galveston in about 2.5 weeks. There aren't a lot of options for transport to/from the terminal from Houston! I currently have an Uber reserved on embarkation day ... the shuttle I had found only had times left that would get us there after our check-in time. Also, we are staying at a hotel the night prior, so I think it will just be easier to be picked up at the hotel then to have to take a shuttle back to the airport to catch another shuttle. Right now, Uber is about $60 for 2 people. Does that sound about right? How long should I plan for to get from Houston (IAH area hotel) to the terminal? 

 

I'm debating on how to get from the terminal back to the airport. We fly out of HOU. There is Galveston Express that has a decent time available. There's also a shuttle booked through RC - are there different times to pick from or is it just one time, and you're pretty early off the boat? Or an Uber, but that's not letting me reserve ahead of time because I'm going to the airport. I've read a few things that say the new Galveston terminal is sort of a nightmare in terms of finding the shuttles or Uber. Does anyone have recent experience with this?? I'd like to book Galveston Express, as it's less expensive than the RC shuttle, and I can pick a time that's not super early (I'd rather stay on the boat a little bit longer than sit in the airport.) But if it's going to be more hassle than it's worth, then maybe it'd be better off to book RC shuttle. 

 

Any insight or recommendations would be appreciated! 

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I have the same dilemma.  My sail is on Harmony in December and flying into Bush Int'.  I'm not too concerned with the arrival as I'm leaving Newark Int'l at 6 in the morning.  But my concern is the return trip to Bush.  I'm booked on 12PM United flight.  I called the C&A desk as Royal shuttle is reasonable @79.99 pp/r/t, however, they could not pinpoint time for earliest shuttle.  

 

It's estimated that it's 81+ miles one way to and from Bush.  So have to allow at a minimum 2 hours.

 

Galveston Express has an 8AM departure, but it makes multiple stops on the way and they estimate a window of 2 hours.  So, on a good day (no traffic or interruptions) I'll get to the airport at around 10AM. It'll take a bit of time to get the luggage and not knowing how big the terminals are, I'm a bit concerned.  When I fly, I usually leave some 2-hour window from entrance to gat, and this is why I'm concerned.  

 

Options:  Book a later flight @ 2:30PM which gives me more flexibility.  Also, investigation Island Breeze shuttle transportation.  I need to get more information as they advertise $199 round trip for 2, however they mention shuttle, but it seems like it's a car service.  In addition, ascertain the earliest timeframe for the first departure.  I'm traveling solo and also a senior citizen which allows a $10 reduction in the R/T fare. I know the fare is a bit high but can't take a chance.

 

Asked at the Gulf Coast section of CC and only got a few replies.  One of them was Galveston Express or Uber/Lyft.  Also, Harmony docks at 7AM and was told that if I do self-disembarking, I could get off at 7:30AM.

 

Good luck on your quest.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by nelblu
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A noon flight!! 😮  I can tell you, "81 miles" means nothing down here... we measure in time, not distance. And trying to make a noon flight out of IAH would stress me out to where I would lose any relaxation from the cruise. Sure, you might dock right on time and breeze right off the ship, sail all the way to Houston with no problems, but the planets would all have to line up just right.

 

Fog, the never-ending construction on I-45, accidents, lots of variables. I work on the island and live about 30 miles away. Some days it might take me 40ish minutes, some days an hour, some days when there's a bad accident (too common these days due to the state of the freeway and the construction) it has taken me 2 hours+. To go 30 miles. 

 

There could also be other issues you just can't control. We boarded the Carnival Vista a few weeks ago, and the day before they had two medical emergencies that caused a big delay. Ship didn't get into Galveston until 11am, we couldn't board until close to 2pm. No noon flights being caught that day (and doubtful on the 2:30 ones.) 

 

I would suggest looking at one of the more local, flexible transportation options such as Galveston Saltwater Moms or Friendswood Moms, or Highrollers by Shugg. All 3 of those get very high marks from people. Uber or Lyft is probably going to be the more expensive of any of your options. And definitely make sure you have good travel insurance that will cover you and your flight costs if any delays happen.

 

Happy cruising!!

 

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3 hours ago, sjlogghe said:

We'll be on Allure out of Galveston in about 2.5 weeks. There aren't a lot of options for transport to/from the terminal from Houston! I currently have an Uber reserved on embarkation day ... the shuttle I had found only had times left that would get us there after our check-in time. Also, we are staying at a hotel the night prior, so I think it will just be easier to be picked up at the hotel then to have to take a shuttle back to the airport to catch another shuttle. Right now, Uber is about $60 for 2 people. Does that sound about right? How long should I plan for to get from Houston (IAH area hotel) to the terminal? 

 

I'm debating on how to get from the terminal back to the airport. We fly out of HOU. There is Galveston Express that has a decent time available. There's also a shuttle booked through RC - are there different times to pick from or is it just one time, and you're pretty early off the boat? Or an Uber, but that's not letting me reserve ahead of time because I'm going to the airport. I've read a few things that say the new Galveston terminal is sort of a nightmare in terms of finding the shuttles or Uber. Does anyone have recent experience with this?? I'd like to book Galveston Express, as it's less expensive than the RC shuttle, and I can pick a time that's not super early (I'd rather stay on the boat a little bit longer than sit in the airport.) But if it's going to be more hassle than it's worth, then maybe it'd be better off to book RC shuttle. 

 

Any insight or recommendations would be appreciated! 

We were on the Galveston Express round trip for our Allure of the Seas cruise.  It was $100 total, round trip for both of us.  We stayed at a hotel by the airport the night before our cruise and took the hotel shuttle back to the airport to catch the shuttle.  Very easy, very efficient and right on time; took us about an hour to get to the terminal.  They also text you your shuttle’s ETA and driver’s name about 10 minutes before they arrive.

However, the return trip was a little more complicated.  It is understandable though when you consider that 6000 passengers are leaving around the same time!  We also booked a hotel for Sunday night as our flight was leaving on Monday morning. I received a text that they would be utilizing a bus instead of a sprinter van and that we needed to go to the side of the terminal where the full size buses pick up.  There was some confusion but it all worked out. Driver even agreed to drop us off at the hotel.  I would use them again.  

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5 hours ago, nelblu said:

I have the same dilemma.  My sail is on Harmony in December and flying into Bush Int'.  I'm not too concerned with the arrival as I'm leaving Newark Int'l at 6 in the morning.  But my concern is the return trip to Bush.  I'm booked on 12PM United flight.  I called the C&A desk as Royal shuttle is reasonable @79.99 pp/r/t, however, they could not pinpoint time for earliest shuttle.  

 

It's estimated that it's 81+ miles one way to and from Bush.  So have to allow at a minimum 2 hours.

 

Galveston Express has an 8AM departure, but it makes multiple stops on the way and they estimate a window of 2 hours.  So, on a good day (no traffic or interruptions) I'll get to the airport at around 10AM. It'll take a bit of time to get the luggage and not knowing how big the terminals are, I'm a bit concerned.  When I fly, I usually leave some 2-hour window from entrance to gat, and this is why I'm concerned.  

 

Options:  Book a later flight @ 2:30PM which gives me more flexibility.  Also, investigation Island Breeze shuttle transportation.  I need to get more information as they advertise $199 round trip for 2, however they mention shuttle, but it seems like it's a car service.  In addition, ascertain the earliest timeframe for the first departure.  I'm traveling solo and also a senior citizen which allows a $10 reduction in the R/T fare. I know the fare is a bit high but can't take a chance.

 

Asked at the Gulf Coast section of CC and only got a few replies.  One of them was Galveston Express or Uber/Lyft.  Also, Harmony docks at 7AM and was told that if I do self-disembarking, I could get off at 7:30AM.

 

Good luck on your quest.

 

 

 

 

 

Yikes, I wouldn't do the 12pm flight. Unless you're good with potentially missing and rescheduling. You could also look into Galveston Limousine airport shuttles (they're not just limousines). Disclaimer though: I haven't used them in years, so can't vouch for them now. But they used to be reliable and reasonably priced. https://galvestonlimo.com/airport-shuttle/

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12 hours ago, sjlogghe said:

We'll be on Allure out of Galveston in about 2.5 weeks. There aren't a lot of options for transport to/from the terminal from Houston! I currently have an Uber reserved on embarkation day ... the shuttle I had found only had times left that would get us there after our check-in time. Also, we are staying at a hotel the night prior, so I think it will just be easier to be picked up at the hotel then to have to take a shuttle back to the airport to catch another shuttle. Right now, Uber is about $60 for 2 people. Does that sound about right? How long should I plan for to get from Houston (IAH area hotel) to the terminal? 

 

I'm debating on how to get from the terminal back to the airport. We fly out of HOU. There is Galveston Express that has a decent time available. There's also a shuttle booked through RC - are there different times to pick from or is it just one time, and you're pretty early off the boat? Or an Uber, but that's not letting me reserve ahead of time because I'm going to the airport. I've read a few things that say the new Galveston terminal is sort of a nightmare in terms of finding the shuttles or Uber. Does anyone have recent experience with this?? I'd like to book Galveston Express, as it's less expensive than the RC shuttle, and I can pick a time that's not super early (I'd rather stay on the boat a little bit longer than sit in the airport.) But if it's going to be more hassle than it's worth, then maybe it'd be better off to book RC shuttle. 

 

Any insight or recommendations would be appreciated! 

I am doing the same on Allure 4/30 - 5/7.

1. Getting from IAH or HOU to the Port of Galveston is no problem.  There are plenty of Lyft drivers if you want to do that.  Or you can do one of the shuttle services at what is probably a similar price for two.  I am doing Lyft but I have 4 of us (my wife, 2 granddaughters and me) and I expect to pay about $50 plus tip from HOU.  The prices that I have heard from IAH are more than the $60 that you list -- more like $80 plus tip, but that is just what others on the board have suggested.  In any case, you have lots of easy options for embarkation.

2. Getting from the Port of Galveston to HOU (or IAH) is much harder, since there are (as another poster said) 6,000 people trying to leave within a 3-hour or so window, and there are far fewer Lyft drivers in Galveston than in Houston.  Last Sunday (3/12) morning, I made "mock" (temporary, did not "pull the trigger") reservations on Lyft to test prices to HOU.  I tried at regular intervals throughout the morning.  They were normal (circa $50) until about 8:30 a.m., at which point (or soon thereafter) they skyrocketed to about $200 and stayed in the $150 to $250 range, with limited availability, for several hours.  So Lyft is a reasonable option only if you self-disembark AND are quick about it.

Traveling with children, being quick is not possible for me. (:-)  I am looking at Galveston Express, which another poster found reasonable.  (Their overall rating seems a little mixed, but certainly not terrible.)  Saltwater Moms comes highly rated, but I am hesitant to book with a company that does booking only through Facebook.  (That's just me, others feel very comfortable with them.)

I would be grateful if you share your experiences here, upon your return.  Have a GREAT cruise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Edited by DavidMutchler
hit ENTER prematurely
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FWIW, we cruised Princess out of Houston a few years ago.  They had a package where you could get a room at the Marriott hotel in IAH (Bush international) the night before the cruise and it included tranfers from the hotel to the port and return.  Worked very well.  At checkin, we were give bag tags and were told to leave our bags in the room while we went for breakfast (that may have been included too).  Our bags were gone when we went back to the room.  We were told to go to the hotel lobby to meet the Princess agent IIRC 0900 and we would be assigned to a bus at that time.  IRCC, the buses were every 30 minutes.  Extremely smooth transition.  

 

We're on Norwegin next Feb.  I'm waiting to see what kind of arrangement NCL offers.  They do have a hotel package at the Tremont in Galveston.  Hopefully, they will have transfers from the airport the day prior and return to the airport when we leave the ship.

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