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Old 10-27-2013, 01:17 PM   #451
dbenlee
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Originally Posted by levenhopper View Post
Help me decide!

My two best friends and I are on the 11/30 cruise. When we originally booked, we included DCL transfers to/from IAH ($90 round trip per person, $270 total).

I just looked at car rentals for the week, and I can rent a car for $199 (including all fees and taxes). Adding in $65 for parking at the port, its break-even with the DCL transfer cost (maybe a bit more figuring in tolls and gas, but not a huge deal for us).

Are we better off renting a car and driving ourselves?

Pros: 1) No waiting for a DCL bus to fill up before it leaves the airport, maybe saving us some time. 2) Allows us to stop at a liquor store on the way to buy alcohol to carry on board (since we don't want to deal with checking it on the airplane but can't carry it on). 3) Gives us freedom on our last day to go to Houston for a few hours (our return flight doesn't leave IAH until 8:12PM, but DCL would just take us right to the airport early in the AM after disembarking).

Cons: 1) Need to deal with rental check-in/check-out. 2) Our flight arrives in IAH on the day of cruise departure at 10:14AM...if we hit traffic or any other snags (obviously not related to airfare issues) we have a better chance of the ship being held for us if we are on a DCL transfer. 3) It just adds one more thing that could go wrong as we get ready to head on our amazing vacation.

I have no idea if DCL transfers are refundable at this point, so this question might not even matter. I'm just curious what y'all thought before calling DCL to figure that out.

I (briefly) played with the idea of using a private limo company, but again it'd be around the same price after adding in gratuities.

Thanks in advance!
Personally, if you aren't planning anything else besides transportation to and from the port and a visit to a liquor store, then I would use Disney transportation instead of the hassle of a rental and dealing with traffic. Like PP said, there is a liquor store within walking distance of the port. Using Disney transportation assures that you will board the ship in Galveston even if there is a traffic delay, which is not unheard of on I-45 between Houston and Galveston. On the flip side of that, I can understand the desire to have your own transportation and not having to ride a bus (not one of my more favorite activities).
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Old 10-27-2013, 06:21 PM   #452
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Does anyone know if BOI VALET went under? They are not answering phone and link broken to reserve online. Been trying for two weeks, thanks!
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Old 10-27-2013, 06:27 PM   #453
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Does anyone know if BOI VALET went under? They are not answering phone and link broken to reserve online. Been trying for two weeks, thanks!
When we cruised in September we passed it and we noticed that there is a sign outside it that has a different name on it, so I believe the answer is, yes. I can't remember the name on the sign but it isn't showing up when you google cruise parking in Galveston and it was not open when we went past.
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Old 10-28-2013, 03:10 PM   #454
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Navigating Houston

We live in Austin and will be driving over to Galveston the night before our cruise (Dec 13th). What is the best way to get around Houston and avoid the traffic getting to Galveston. Unfortunately my daughter has school until about 12 or so on the 13th so by the time we get on the road out of Austin that should put us right into the middle of rush hour in Houston.

We'll probably take 71 to 10 where should we get off to avoid traffic if possible? I read somewhere to take Grand Parkway south in Katy to Westpark Tollway to 45 and take that into Galveston. Is this the best way?

I have a toll tag on our van so we can use any toll road and I would rather not sit in traffic with kids
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Old 10-28-2013, 04:31 PM   #455
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We live in Austin and will be driving over to Galveston the night before our cruise (Dec 13th). What is the best way to get around Houston and avoid the traffic getting to Galveston. Unfortunately my daughter has school until about 12 or so on the 13th so by the time we get on the road out of Austin that should put us right into the middle of rush hour in Houston.

We'll probably take 71 to 10 where should we get off to avoid traffic if possible? I read somewhere to take Grand Parkway south in Katy to Westpark Tollway to 45 and take that into Galveston. Is this the best way?

I have a toll tag on our van so we can use any toll road and I would rather not sit in traffic with kids
Unfortunately Houston traffic on a Friday afternoon is just not going to be good. If there was any way you could pick your daughter up around noon and be on the road then, coming down 290 would be the straightest best shot, and you probably wouldn't hit too much traffic to take 290 to the Beltway and then the Beltway all the way around to 45.

I'm not really sure that the Westpark Toll takes you to I-45? I thought it hit 59, which means you would then have to head north on 59 to pick up 45, and it would be very close to downtown, so you would still have the traffic on 45 south for quite a while. If you take the Westpark, then I would take it to Beltway 8 (another toll) and take that south/east all the way around to I-45.

Maybe some others will have some input, but HTH's!
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Old 10-28-2013, 04:53 PM   #456
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Unfortunately Houston traffic on a Friday afternoon is just not going to be good. If there was any way you could pick your daughter up around noon and be on the road then, coming down 290 would be the straightest best shot, and you probably wouldn't hit too much traffic to take 290 to the Beltway and then the Beltway all the way around to 45.

I'm not really sure that the Westpark Toll takes you to I-45? I thought it hit 59, which means you would then have to head north on 59 to pick up 45, and it would be very close to downtown, so you would still have the traffic on 45 south for quite a while. If you take the Westpark, then I would take it to Beltway 8 (another toll) and take that south/east all the way around to I-45.

Maybe some others will have some input, but HTH's!
Sorry I misspoke. I meant taking the Westpark Toll to 8 and go counterclockwise to 45. Would there still be significant traffic on that route?

My daughter should get out of school around 12 or 1. Unfortunately I can't pull her out early because I believe she is part of a play that happens on that day. They do have a short day so she doesn't have to go until 4 (her normal time).

I live in SW Austin so I was going to take 71 to 10. 290 frustrates me with all the lights all the way to Houston.
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Old 10-28-2013, 06:06 PM   #457
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Sorry I misspoke. I meant taking the Westpark Toll to 8 and go counterclockwise to 45. Would there still be significant traffic on that route? My daughter should get out of school around 12 or 1. Unfortunately I can't pull her out early because I believe she is part of a play that happens on that day. They do have a short day so she doesn't have to go until 4 (her normal time). I live in SW Austin so I was going to take 71 to 10. 290 frustrates me with all the lights all the way to Houston.
I understand about 290. I always forget about the lights!!

On any given day traffic can vary but the scenario above, Westpark to 8 and then to 45 will be about as good as any.

Don't forget to check houstontranstar.org for up to the minute road maps. That way if there is a major wreck you can try to avoid it :-)
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:37 AM   #458
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I understand about 290. I always forget about the lights!!

On any given day traffic can vary but the scenario above, Westpark to 8 and then to 45 will be about as good as any.

Don't forget to check houstontranstar.org for up to the minute road maps. That way if there is a major wreck you can try to avoid it :-)
Thanks for the web link. We'll check on the way maybe an hour out from Houston. Hey if there is a wreck on our route would taking 6 off of Westpark all the way to 45 be the best alternative? I have read that route can be slower but if there is a major wreck on 45 or 8 I am thinking that is the only real alternative.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:12 AM   #459
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Thanks for the web link. We'll check on the way maybe an hour out from Houston. Hey if there is a wreck on our route would taking 6 off of Westpark all the way to 45 be the best alternative? I have read that route can be slower but if there is a major wreck on 45 or 8 I am thinking that is the only real alternative.
Hwy 6 lights are worse than 290, ten times worse! I avoid 6 at all costs because the lights back up during rush hour - even if you sat waiting for a wreck to clear on 45 it would probably still be faster than taking 6 all the way down. Your alternate might be 610 all the way around to La Porte and then down 156 if there is something major. Unless it's a hazmat spill though they will clear anything very quickly. Hopefully there won't be any issues and you can get on through with normal traffic.
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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

Jenny & Scott
2000-POFQ, 2005-FW, 2006-FW, 2008-FW, Feb 2009-CBR/POFQ, Sept 2009-ASM,2010 BWI/WL/AKL/DCL Magic Western, July 2011 BWI/DCL Dream, Nov 2011 FW/AKL, May 2012 GF/DCL Fantasy-Eastern/BWI, Oct 2012 DCL Magic-Western, Feb 2013 DCL Magic-Cozumel, Apr 2013 DCL Magic-CC/WDW/KW, Sept 2013 - DCL Wonder-Bahamas, Dec 2013 - DCL Wonder-NYE-Cozumel, March 2014 - DCL Magic-4 night, Patiently waiting for: Nov 2014-Dream, Nov 2015- DCL Wonder B2B-Western & Bahamas-Galveston, DCL Wonder 2015 NYE Cruise-Bahamas-Galveston
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:41 AM   #460
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Hwy 6 lights are worse than 290, ten times worse! I avoid 6 at all costs because the lights back up during rush hour - even if you sat waiting for a wreck to clear on 45 it would probably still be faster than taking 6 all the way down. Your alternate might be 610 all the way around to La Porte and then down 156 if there is something major. Unless it's a hazmat spill though they will clear anything very quickly. Hopefully there won't be any issues and you can get on through with normal traffic.
Thanks again! Sounds like grin and bear it to me. I'll keep an eye on the traffic and take 610 around the way you said if there is an accident on 45 or 8.
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:44 AM   #461
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Hmm...I've been mulling this over and can't really decide what I would do if I were in your place. I can give you some information, I don't know if it will help anything. All of the car rental companies are in one place, separate from the terminal buildings, and require a shuttle. The shuttle can take from 5 to 10 minutes to get from the terminal to the rental location. The same is true that when you drop the car off you have to drop at the rental building and take a shuttle back to the terminals.

OK, so if I had to make a decision this is what I think I would do. I am wondering if you can do DCL to get down to Galveston (there is a liquor store on the Strand that is walking distance from the cruise terminal) and then a private town car back to IAH, which means you could spend the day in Galveston? Dickens on the Strand is going to be going on in Galveston the Saturday that you get back. It starts at 10 am, so you could spend almost all day enjoying that and then get a town car back to the airport at about 5 pm.

HTH's. Let us know what you end up doing.
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Personally, if you aren't planning anything else besides transportation to and from the port and a visit to a liquor store, then I would use Disney transportation instead of the hassle of a rental and dealing with traffic. Like PP said, there is a liquor store within walking distance of the port. Using Disney transportation assures that you will board the ship in Galveston even if there is a traffic delay, which is not unheard of on I-45 between Houston and Galveston. On the flip side of that, I can understand the desire to have your own transportation and not having to ride a bus (not one of my more favorite activities).
Thanks for the replies! I think we'll end up staying with DCL transfers...it just makes more sense, and is a safer bet.
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:31 PM   #462
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We were on the Nov. 9-16 cruise out of Galveston. We used Cool Tours for our airport shuttle. I can't say enough positive things about this company!! Steve, the owner, met us at the airport and drove us to our hotel in Galveston. He was our driver on the return trip to Hobby, too. The shuttle van was newer and very clean! Steve also had complimentary bottles of water for us. He was very informative and shared lots of Galveston history on our drive. The total fee was $200/round trip plus tip. I highly recommend this company!
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Old 11-24-2013, 12:53 AM   #463
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Any updates or feedback on Towneplace Suites?

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We just booked at the Towneplace Suites Galveston Island Gulf Front and they offer free shuttle service to and from port as well as free parking for your cruise. The rates are actually really good and they just opened this past Spring. Their pool looks really nice as well.
Hi, has anyone parked and shuttled with Towneplace Suites? Hoping to get some updates/feedback. How is their shuttle service? I'm more concerned with the shuttle timings and frequency and would appreciate any info on that. Thanks!
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Old 11-24-2013, 01:23 PM   #464
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Hi, has anyone parked and shuttled with Towneplace Suites? Hoping to get some updates/feedback. How is their shuttle service? I'm more concerned with the shuttle timings and frequency and would appreciate any info on that. Thanks!
We just returned from the Nov 16-23 sailing & stayed/parked at Townplace Suites. They were really hustling to get folks to the ship on departure day & I was very pleased with their service. We did have to wait about an hour for our pickup when we returned, and it was in a chilly drizzle. It may have been weather-related, or perhaps because there were 2 ships in port and only 1 on our departure day. Nevertheless, I think the hotel offered a great value for our $ - it was clean, the staff was super helpful & friendly, and parking was in a garage not in the open. I would stay there again.
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:38 PM   #465
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We just returned from the Nov 16-23 sailing & stayed/parked at Townplace Suites. They were really hustling to get folks to the ship on departure day & I was very pleased with their service. We did have to wait about an hour for our pickup when we returned, and it was in a chilly drizzle. It may have been weather-related, or perhaps because there were 2 ships in port and only 1 on our departure day. Nevertheless, I think the hotel offered a great value for our $ - it was clean, the staff was super helpful & friendly, and parking was in a garage not in the open. I would stay there again.
Thanks for reporting back! (:
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