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Old 09-11-2013, 11:49 AM   #376
ukintheus
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I was wondering if anyone has successfully booked BOI lately? I have been trying to reach him for over a week and no answer, so I guess I will have to take my business elsewhere too! I have e-mailed and left multiple messages with no reply at all! What is the next closest parking to the port after BOI? Is it still easily walkable without needing a shuttle? I also had a Galveston question. We have never been to Galveston but I have heard that the beaches/water is not exactly "pretty!" Is there a nice beach area that we could walk along and possibly find some rocks/shells for the kids?? I will be my daughters first time at the beach and she is really bummed that DCl will not allow her to collect and bring home shells!
I haven't tried to reach BOI but it sounds like they are not eager for business. The next closest is right next door and is Galveston Park N Cruise. They may it may not be available as they seem to give preferred treatment to Carnival cruisers (which has been their staple business, so I guess is only fair). We used them last October, they are also close enough that you don't need a shuttle.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:01 PM   #377
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I also had a Galveston question. We have never been to Galveston but I have heard that the beaches/water is not exactly "pretty!" Is there a nice beach area that we could walk along and possibly find some rocks/shells for the kids?? I will be my daughters first time at the beach and she is really bummed that DCl will not allow her to collect and bring home shells!
The west end beaches, particularly Jamaica and Pirate are good for shelling. There are lots of public beach areas with free parking.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:38 PM   #378
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I checked Galveston Park N Cruise and they are showing availability for our dates still, so I want to book ASAP!! Is the outdoor parking further away from the DCL terminal than the indoor? I am trying to decide between the two and we will have a rental car, so I am not too worried about the vehicle being left in the sun, etc.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:41 PM   #379
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I checked Galveston Park N Cruise and they are showing availability for our dates still, so I want to book ASAP!! Is the outdoor parking further away from the DCL terminal than the indoor? I am trying to decide between the two and we will have a rental car, so I am not too worried about the vehicle being left in the sun, etc.
I thought all of the Park & Cruise parking was indoor, so I am lost at this point. You can't go wrong with them if they are available though.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:04 AM   #380
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We are coming into Galveston on the morning of Friday, November 22nd. We are currently booked at The San Luiz. We initially booked this due to the park and cruise special. Now that we decided to fly instead (we live in South Dakota) we are second guessing this booking and looking at a cheaper option. Two that caught my eye was the County Inn & Suites and Quality Inn. Both include breakfast and are about $100.00 cheaper options (if not more). However, with shuttle and/or taxi costs I am not certain we save that much more. Anyone who has stayed or heard of people who stayed at these locations please provide your opinion.

Additionally, after reading this whole thread it appears there are issues with booking one way car rentals. We are traveling into HOU International. Plan on renting a car so we have it for the day in Galveston. We would like to go shelling and snorkeling and I think a car would come in handy. Anyone have experience renting a car from HOU for the day and returning it before close of business on a Friday night in Galveston? Does this work? Is it better to keep the car for the week and using the free parking option at San Luis? The Super Shuttle does not look like a good option for us. Any thoughts will do.
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:23 PM   #381
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The outdoor parking saves about $15 at Galveston Park N Cruise but that's why I was wondering if it was further and required a shuttle. I guess we will just stick to indoor!!


About the hotels question-I like to use tripadvisor to get an idea of what to expect at a hotel. I saw very negative reviews for both of those properties and decided against them for that reason, but maybe someone who has actually stayed recently can give you more information!
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Old 09-19-2013, 11:02 PM   #382
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I was wondering how traffic will be coming into Galveston on a Friday afternoon around 2 or 3? We plan on taking 59 to 45, but I have no idea what to expect for traffic!! Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-20-2013, 12:07 AM   #383
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I was wondering how traffic will be coming into Galveston on a Friday afternoon around 2 or 3? We plan on taking 59 to 45, but I have no idea what to expect for traffic!! Thanks in advance!
There's a big difference between 2 and 3. In general, traffic gets bad on Houston freeways by around 3:30 and stays that way until about 7. The worst of "rush hour" (really rush hours, with the emphasis on hours) traffic will be outbound in the afternoon, which means heading toward downtown won't be too bad (by Houston rush hour standards) and heading away from downtown will be horrific. Driving to Galveston down 45 is mostly going away from downtown, and will be really awful if you're not out of downtown by 3:30.

We're locals, and we simply don't use the freeways during "rush hour." We use the HOV lanes when we can, or the toll roads, and avoid the freeways at any cost. A route that would take 40 minutes not in traffic can take an hour and a half during rush hour. Driving to Galveston, you'll hit a lot of stop and go traffic. It will be bad through downtown and for a while out of it, and it will feel like a parking lot around Nasa Road 1.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but rush hour is long and awful here.
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Old 09-20-2013, 12:23 AM   #384
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Thanks for the parking info! I still have a few more Galveston ??'s...

I am also considering Moody Gardens but have seen good and bad reviews and IMO it is pricey. Do they ever offer any specials-Groupon/Living Social-anything like that in October? I saw somewhere that kids can enter one attraction free with a good report card but my kids are homeschooled so I am not sure if we could take advantage of that since they don't actually have quarterly report cards
Moody Gardens is sort of ridiculously priced when they aren't running specials, but we've had good luck finding specials off season. (We also sometimes get annual passes, which are a really good deal for those of us who aren't too far from them.) Not sure how old your kids are, but mine (almost 3 and 8) love Moody Gardens. They both like animals, so they both really enjoy both the Aquarium and Rainforest pyramids. Honestly, I really enjoy it, too.

I know last year, they did a special near Halloween for a Halloween party that you got in for free if you were in costume, so we all went in costume! It was close to our cruise, and we had our pirate costumes all ready anyway! (And of course, that day, my kids only wanted to do the rainforest pyramid and then play on one of the playgrounds. And the playgrounds are free all the time.)

Anyway, if you're looking for a fun way to fill some time in Galveston, it is definitely worth doing.

Try not to eat there, though. We've had terrible luck with the food - overpriced and not very good.
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:28 AM   #385
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I was wondering how traffic will be coming into Galveston on a Friday afternoon around 2 or 3? We plan on taking 59 to 45, but I have no idea what to expect for traffic!! Thanks in advance!
As Golden Rose has said, Friday rush hour does start early. If your travel plans can get you in and out of the downtown (where 59 and 45 intersect) area by about 2:30 pm you will be fine. That intersection will have somewhat heavy traffic during the day just because of local traffic, but all in all it won't be bad. If you can time your trip to actually be through Houston by about 2:30 pm, (so hitting the north side on I-45 by 2:00 pm) you will be happier in the long run than if you are trying to get through Houston between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm.

ETA: Once you get past the Clear Lake area (Nasa Rd 1 etc), the traffic will clear out and the rest of the journey will be a breeze, no matter what time of day.
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:46 AM   #386
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Just wanted to touch on a few questions...


Quote:
Originally Posted by RonningFamilyCrusin View Post
We are coming into Galveston on the morning of Friday, November 22nd. We are currently booked at The San Luiz. We initially booked this due to the park and cruise special. Now that we decided to fly instead (we live in South Dakota) we are second guessing this booking and looking at a cheaper option. Two that caught my eye was the County Inn & Suites and Quality Inn. Both include breakfast and are about $100.00 cheaper options (if not more). However, with shuttle and/or taxi costs I am not certain we save that much more. Anyone who has stayed or heard of people who stayed at these locations please provide your opinion.


The San Luis is gorgeous, and the pool is amazing... But if you're just going for one night and won't even really be at the hotel except to sleep, then I probably wouldn't pay the big price difference for the San Luis. I haven't stayed at the other two properties, but everything on the Seawall is acceptable to really nice. Keep in mind though that any property right on the Seawall is going to show more wear and tear than a property somewhere else -- from mother nature, tourists, Spring Breakers, etc. I ignore reviews, though, especially for chain places. People love to complain.





Quote:
Additionally, after reading this whole thread it appears there are issues with booking one way car rentals. We are traveling into HOU International. Plan on renting a car so we have it for the day in Galveston. We would like to go shelling and snorkeling and I think a car would come in handy.

Please don't take this wrong, but I got a really good laugh from that. You don't snorkel in Galveston, I'm afraid. Because of the silt from the mouth of the Mississippi that currents bring our way, the water in Galveston is greenish-brown and very murky. Any snorkeling would have to be done in the hotel swimming pool. Sorry!! But they keep the beaches very clean, and it's a wonderful family atmosphere, and you might even find an unbroken shell or two. Just enjoy the beach, and look forward to snorkeling on the cruise.




Quote:
Originally Posted by jenhelgren View Post
I was wondering how traffic will be coming into Galveston on a Friday afternoon around 2 or 3? We plan on taking 59 to 45, but I have no idea what to expect for traffic!! Thanks in advance!

I can only echo what Golden Rose said -- get out as early as you can. On a good day, it'll only be awful.. If anyone is playing smash-em-up on the freeway that day, all bets are off.


Re: Moody Gardens -- It can be spendy to get the everything-pass, but what a cool place... The best way to cut the cost if you can't find a Groupon or something is to just choose a couple attractions to see and do it a la carte. It would be hard to cram it all into one day anyway, unless you really blow through every attraction and don't stop to appreciate the details!
If anyone is going to Galveston for 2 or 3 days and you plan on doing several attractions/tours around the island, don't forget the Island Pass -- you'll save up to 40%. Get the deets at www.galveston.com.


One last thing... You can save 15% on SuperShuttle by going here:
http://www.visithoustontexas.com/inc...s&couponID=661

Hope this helps!
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Old 09-20-2013, 11:33 AM   #387
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We will be coming in from the West on I-10. Is it better to take one of the outer loops (8?) around Houston or just take the 10 straight to the 45? Hopefully we will be coming through midday so traffic should not be an issue - per above. Thanks. And if anyone knows the same about San Antonio.
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Old 09-20-2013, 12:57 PM   #388
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We will be coming in from the West on I-10. Is it better to take one of the outer loops (8?) around Houston or just take the 10 straight to the 45? Hopefully we will be coming through midday so traffic should not be an issue - per above. Thanks. And if anyone knows the same about San Antonio.

"It depends" is the answer for Houston. Not trying to be difficult but the traffic here can change based on so many different variables. I-10 straight through to I-45 "should" work though.

For anyone driving in/through Houston where there are multiple options (Sam Houston Tollway/Beltway 8 or Loop 610 etc), my suggestion is, if you have a smart phone, to go to the Houston traffic web page when you are in the suburbs of Houston. Give yourself plenty of time to see if there are any hold ups. www.houstontranstar.org is the website and it has up to the minute traffic information. By looking at their map on their main page you will be able to see if there are any problems (the map is color coded) and then make a decision. HTH's.
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Wandering The Gulf on the Wonder - Inaugural Bahamas Cruise Trip Report
Magic Your Way to the Magic Kingdom...another Galveston trip report
Our Magical Trip From The Lone Star State - Oct 13, 2012

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Old 09-20-2013, 01:20 PM   #389
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So I was just on Moody Gardens website. It says we can do the Festival of Lights on November 29 for $6.95 and get access to the rain forest pyramid for $6 after 6. Is 4hours enough to do the lights and the rain forest? I would love to surprise my mom and kids with this. Also we won't have vehicle. We are staying at the courtyard marriott. Can we just catch a cab there and back?
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Old 09-20-2013, 02:17 PM   #390
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So I was just on Moody Gardens website. It says we can do the Festival of Lights on November 29 for $6.95 and get access to the rain forest pyramid for $6 after 6. Is 4hours enough to do the lights and the rain forest? I would love to surprise my mom and kids with this. Also we won't have vehicle. We are staying at the courtyard marriott. Can we just catch a cab there and back?



I think you could definitely do both in 4 hours. If you're not doing the ice skating, waiting in line for Santa pics, etc., it won't take overly long to walk the lights (which are *gorgeous*, by the way!) You'd have plenty of time to visit the rainforest pyramid while the animals are still active, and then go see the lights.

BUT, that is generally speaking -- and November 29th is Thanksgiving weekend, so there will be a lot of out-of-towners. It's also the Holiday Gift Market there at the Moody Gardens convention center, which is popular with locals who then also go see the lights.

On the plus side, that night from 6-8pm is the holiday lighting celebration at the Galvez. I've never been to that, because I'm allergic to crowds , but it sounds really neat! And free!

"Performances from The Nutcracker, handbells, bagpipes and Christmas carols will entertain guests at the Galveston Holiday Lighting Celebration at Hotel Galvez & Spa, A Wyndham Grand Hotel, on Friday, Nov. 29. This free family event begins at 6 p.m. and marks the start of the holiday season in Galveston.

The Holiday Lighting Celebration begins with the arrival of Santa Claus by horse-drawn carriage, followed by the lighting of the hotelís 35-foot Christmas tree on the front lawn. Dickens on The Strandís Queen Victoria will also make special appearances during the festivities. Additionally, children can have photos taken with Santa and receive a small gift."



So that might siphon off some of the Moody Gardens crowds for you. There is sooooo much that goes on on the island for the holidays!! Go here to see all the different events:
http://www.galveston.com/holidaymagic/
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