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Old 09-20-2013, 02:25 PM   #391
lilbuddy88
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Originally Posted by Gina View Post
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/
Now Gina why would you go and give me options Now I have to make a decision. But Santa will be on the Wonder so no need to see him and we can do ice skating here in Atlanta. But the Galvez celebration and free sounds great too...maybe I should axe the surprising them idea and let them decide. Takes the pressure off me
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Old 09-20-2013, 02:36 PM   #392
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Has anyone here actually ever parked at the port parking? It sounds like we will need to take a shuttle from the parking the block or so back to the terminal. That part I get. What happens when we disembark? Is there a huge amount of people waiting to get on their shuttle to take them back over to their car? Has anyone ever walked it rolling their luggage along? Is it doable?

Still trying to decide on renting a car and parking it or paying for Execucar. Wondering how town car pick up works also. Do we just wait outside on the curb for them to show up? I'm picturing thousands of people outside and wonder how anyone finds their correct driver. We have never cruised before and I want to nail this! DH and I don't have a lot of patience for chaos LOL!!

Thanks so much!
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Old 09-20-2013, 02:58 PM   #393
Carrie in AZ
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They don't enforce PAT in Galveston so you can get there early. You may have a higher boarding group number but boarding goes fast and typically starts at 11:45 am. The only thing to be aware of is that there isn't anything to do at the terminal except one photo set up that has the characters rotating through it. Lots of people show up early, so seating is pretty packed. HTHs!!
We have a PAT of 1:00pm. If you were us, what time would you plan to arrive at the curb to drop off luggage? Obviously we'd like to get onboard as soon as possible, but I am also afraid of showing up with my family and having to stand outside or something.

BIG THANKS for any and all help!! I am so grateful for all the info here.
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Old 09-20-2013, 03:03 PM   #394
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Originally Posted by Carrie in AZ View Post
We have a PAT of 1:00pm. If you were us, what time would you plan to arrive at the curb to drop off luggage? Obviously we'd like to get onboard as soon as possible, but I am also afraid of showing up with my family and having to stand outside or something.

BIG THANKS for any and all help!! I am so grateful for all the info here.
When we sailed out of Galveston last year, we had a PAT of 11:30, but the shuttle was only supposed to leave the hotel at 11:30 and was running late. We got there just past noon and there were no lines at check in and we could walk straight onto the ship once we were checked in.

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Old 09-20-2013, 03:52 PM   #395
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Has anyone here actually ever parked at the port parking? It sounds like we will need to take a shuttle from the parking the block or so back to the terminal. That part I get. What happens when we disembark? Is there a huge amount of people waiting to get on their shuttle to take them back over to their car? Has anyone ever walked it rolling their luggage along? Is it doable?

Still trying to decide on renting a car and parking it or paying for Execucar. Wondering how town car pick up works also. Do we just wait outside on the curb for them to show up? I'm picturing thousands of people outside and wonder how anyone finds their correct driver. We have never cruised before and I want to nail this! DH and I don't have a lot of patience for chaos LOL!!

Thanks so much!
We used EZ cruise for our cruise last year and basically we walked to the space where they had dropped us off and there was a shuttle waiting there for us.
I will say that for the people using the port shuttle there was quite a large grouping of people waiting for shuttles by 8:45.

Last edited by cruisecrasher; 09-20-2013 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:45 PM   #396
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Old 09-21-2013, 01:34 AM   #397
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Originally Posted by Carrie in AZ View Post
Has anyone here actually ever parked at the port parking? It sounds like we will need to take a shuttle from the parking the block or so back to the terminal. That part I get. What happens when we disembark? Is there a huge amount of people waiting to get on their shuttle to take them back over to their car? Has anyone ever walked it rolling their luggage along? Is it doable?
I suppose you could walk it, but it's not really set up for pedestrians and may not be particularly safe. The wait for the shuttle wasn't that bad. There really isn't room for luggage on the shuttle. You are expected to drop your luggage with the porters and then drive down and park. When you return, just send the driver to pick up the car and then return to pick up the rest of the group and the luggage.
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Old 09-21-2013, 09:50 AM   #398
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Does anyone know anything about handicapped parking options for the Galveston terminal?
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Old 09-21-2013, 10:31 AM   #399
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Originally Posted by Carrie in AZ View Post
Has anyone here actually ever parked at the port parking? It sounds like we will need to take a shuttle from the parking the block or so back to the terminal. That part I get. What happens when we disembark? Is there a huge amount of people waiting to get on their shuttle to take them back over to their car? Has anyone ever walked it rolling their luggage along? Is it doable?

Thanks so much!

We just booked www.galvestonparkncruise.com for our upcoming cruise. It's right across from the terminal. Sounds like all we have to do is park and walk across the street, no shuttles to deal with. I hope it's as easy as it sounds.
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Old 09-21-2013, 01:22 PM   #400
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We just booked galvestonparkncruise for our upcoming cruise. It's right across from the terminal. Sounds like all we have to do is park and walk across the street, no shuttles to deal with. I hope it's as easy as it sounds.
Used parkncruise on our cruise in July, your expectations will be exceeded concerning how close it is to the terminal and the spaces they give you (got a covered for no extra charge).

Just watch out when you cross the street in front of the terminal (Harborside), there is no pedestrian crossing so you need to watch the traffic lights and wait for a green for New Strand. Also, the entrance is in an alley on the right, right after you turn right onto New Strand from Harborside. It doesn't look like it should be the entrance but it is.

We drop off all our checked luggage at the terminal, park, and then stroll across with our carry-ons. Hope this helps, we will be using them again on our October Wonder trip.
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Old 09-21-2013, 01:35 PM   #401
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Originally Posted by Carrie in AZ View Post
We have a PAT of 1:00pm. If you were us, what time would you plan to arrive at the curb to drop off luggage? Obviously we'd like to get onboard as soon as possible, but I am also afraid of showing up with my family and having to stand outside or something.

BIG THANKS for any and all help!! I am so grateful for all the info here.
If you drop your luggage about 12:10-12:15 pm and then park, you will be walking into the terminal around 12:30 pm. By that time the lines should be starting to go down and you may be able to just about walk on.
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Old 09-21-2013, 01:51 PM   #402
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Originally Posted by Carrie in AZ View Post
What happens when we disembark? Is there a huge amount of people waiting to get on their shuttle to take them back over to their car? Has anyone ever walked it rolling their luggage along? Is it doable?

Thanks so much!
It really is rather efficient. As you exit, a porter will help you collect your bags and take you to the line for the shuttle to the parking lot. The line is not that long as they have a number of shuttles and the drive is short (but you wouldn't want to walk it - don't rush, the line really moves quickly). The driver loaded our bags (many) on the shuttle, and took us right to our car where he unloaded the bags. A few dollars put a smile on his face!

The biggest piece of advice I can give you to be stress free is to mark your bags with something easy to spot. We use colorful ribbon from one of the craft stores. When you look in the 'Goofy' section for your bags, in rows with countless others, they all start to look the same. Having colorful ribbon on the handles helps to both find yours and deter others from grabbing the wrong ones inadvertently.

Enjoy your first cruise!
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Old 09-21-2013, 02:23 PM   #403
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Used parkncruise on our cruise in July, your expectations will be exceeded concerning how close it is to the terminal and the spaces they give you (got a covered for no extra charge).

Just watch out when you cross the street in front of the terminal (Harborside), there is no pedestrian crossing so you need to watch the traffic lights and wait for a green for New Strand. Also, the entrance is in an alley on the right, right after you turn right onto New Strand from Harborside. It doesn't look like it should be the entrance but it is.

We drop off all our checked luggage at the terminal, park, and then stroll across with our carry-ons. Hope this helps, we will be using them again on our October Wonder trip.
This is very helpful, thank you!
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Old 09-21-2013, 03:14 PM   #404
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We just booked www.galvestonparkncruise.com for our upcoming cruise. It's right across from the terminal. Sounds like all we have to do is park and walk across the street, no shuttles to deal with. I hope it's as easy as it sounds.
This is BY FAR the best option. We have cruised many times from galveston and have used ez cruise (long wait after disembarking), port parking (expensive), lighthouse (same shuttle problem).

With Park and Cruise I suggest that you drive through the the terminal and drop all of the luggage and your wife/kids. Drive and park the car and walk back across the street to the terminal. Reverse when you exit the ship.
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Old 09-21-2013, 03:25 PM   #405
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I had posted earlier about taking 59 to 45 to get into Galveston on a Friday afternoon. The traffic situation seems less than ideal and I am not sure that we will make it as early as was advised to get through rather stress free. We will be coming down through Texas from Texarkana and 59 to 45 looked the easiest/best route to us but if any locals have a better suggestion-I would be grateful! I am familiar with Northern Texas, but we have never been to Galveston before so all suggestions/advice would be helpful!!
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