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Old 09-22-2013, 02:34 AM   #406
levenhopper
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So my friends and I bit the bullet, and booked our transfers directly with DCL. Our flight arrives IAH at 10:14AM, and leaves IAH at 8:12PM.

I have a few random questions:
1) Does DCL do their transfers on DCL busses (like they do in FL)? I'm hoping they do, so they'll show a fun video en route.

2) Will DCL take care of the luggage, or do we need to get it once we arrive in IAH and then carry it with us to the shuttle (i.e. is it like Disney's Magical Express when going to Disney World)?

2) Any idea what time we'll arrive at the Galveston port? We're hoping to try for a stateroom upgrade, and hoping we'll get there at a decent hour.

3) What time do you think we'll get to IAH after we return? Any ideas of things to do once we get to IAH (for what it's worth, I'll be with my two best friends, all in our mid-20s).

Thanks!
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Old 09-22-2013, 01:39 PM   #407
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Originally Posted by levenhopper View Post
So my friends and I bit the bullet, and booked our transfers directly with DCL. Our flight arrives IAH at 10:14AM, and leaves IAH at 8:12PM.

I have a few random questions:
1) Does DCL do their transfers on DCL busses (like they do in FL)? I'm hoping they do, so they'll show a fun video en route.

2) Will DCL take care of the luggage, or do we need to get it once we arrive in IAH and then carry it with us to the shuttle (i.e. is it like Disney's Magical Express when going to Disney World)?

2) Any idea what time we'll arrive at the Galveston port? We're hoping to try for a stateroom upgrade, and hoping we'll get there at a decent hour.

3) What time do you think we'll get to IAH after we return? Any ideas of things to do once we get to IAH (for what it's worth, I'll be with my two best friends, all in our mid-20s).

Thanks!
I'll answer what I can, just based on being local and also from the info I've heard or read from others on the Galveston cruises. Hopefully someone else will pitch in too.

1) No, they didn't move any of the DCL motor coaches to Houston. The transportation company that they had been using while the Magic was here was Woodlands Express. I don't know if they showed any video, hopefully someone that has taken them can help you with that.

2) You have to claim your luggage and meet the DCL rep outside of baggage claim. I assume that they will offload it from the motor coach for you and take it to be loaded on board, but again, maybe someone that has done it can say for sure.

3) If you land at 10:14 am, then I would think you'd be down to the cruise terminal by about 12:30 pm-1:00 pm.

4) Seeing as you have a late flight out when you leave, I would take my time getting off the ship and take the very last coach available. I would think the last one leaves about 9:30-10:00 am, so you'll be at IAH by 11:30-12:00 pm. I've been trying to think of something that you could take a taxi and go and do, but there's not much out by the airport. The airport has quite a lot of shopping and some good restaurants and bars. This link has a terminal map that you can click on (C and E have the best facilities) to show you what is in each terminal. You have a long time there though.

http://www.ifly.com/george-bush-inte...t/terminal-map

HTH's
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Old 09-22-2013, 03:59 PM   #408
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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!!


It's been 8 years since I lived in Houston so things may have changed... 59 is generally less busy than 45. Coming down 59 you probably won't hit heavy traffic until you get near the ballpark. Traffic is pretty heavy along that curve and after you merge onto 45. Once you get past downtown however, traffic usually lightens up.
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Old 09-26-2013, 02:48 PM   #409
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Originally Posted by ukintheus View Post
I'll answer what I can, just based on being local and also from the info I've heard or read from others on the Galveston cruises. Hopefully someone else will pitch in too.

1) No, they didn't move any of the DCL motor coaches to Houston. The transportation company that they had been using while the Magic was here was Woodlands Express. I don't know if they showed any video, hopefully someone that has taken them can help you with that.

2) You have to claim your luggage and meet the DCL rep outside of baggage claim. I assume that they will offload it from the motor coach for you and take it to be loaded on board, but again, maybe someone that has done it can say for sure.

3) If you land at 10:14 am, then I would think you'd be down to the cruise terminal by about 12:30 pm-1:00 pm.

4) Seeing as you have a late flight out when you leave, I would take my time getting off the ship and take the very last coach available. I would think the last one leaves about 9:30-10:00 am, so you'll be at IAH by 11:30-12:00 pm. I've been trying to think of something that you could take a taxi and go and do, but there's not much out by the airport. The airport has quite a lot of shopping and some good restaurants and bars. This link has a terminal map that you can click on (C and E have the best facilities) to show you what is in each terminal. You have a long time there though.

http://www.ifly.com/george-bush-inte...t/terminal-map

HTH's
Thanks so much! One last question...my friends and I want to bring some liquor on board with us. We'd rather not check it on the airplane (don't want to risk all of our clothes smelling like alcohol if the bottle breaks), but we obviously can't carry it on board. Is there anywhere near the port to buy alcohol?
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Old 09-26-2013, 03:28 PM   #410
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Quote:
Originally Posted by levenhopper

Thanks so much! One last question...my friends and I want to bring some liquor on board with us. We'd rather not check it on the airplane (don't want to risk all of our clothes smelling like alcohol if the bottle breaks), but we obviously can't carry it on board. Is there anywhere near the port to buy alcohol?

There's Frankie's Liquor Store right on the Strand at 22nd, super easy and quick to walk to from the port. Just Google them for their hours. Hope this helps!

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Old 09-26-2013, 06:41 PM   #411
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It's been 8 years since I lived in Houston so things may have changed... 59 is generally less busy than 45. Coming down 59 you probably won't hit heavy traffic until you get near the ballpark. Traffic is pretty heavy along that curve and after you merge onto 45. Once you get past downtown however, traffic usually lightens up.
I'm not sure about 59 because we take I-10 to I-45 from San Antonio. Last year we did it on a Friday evening after school. We left town around 2:30 so hit all of the rush hour traffic. My piece of advice is to use those HOV lanes. You need 2 or more people and the HOV is a little difficult to find getting onto I-45 (you might have it easy since you could already be on I45 coming into town). You have to exit the highway and then go through a light and it's a left entrance to the HOV. Thank goodness DH is an aggressive driver and made it over to the left! You won't be flying by the other traffic but it is MUCH quicker moving.
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Old 09-29-2013, 10:08 PM   #412
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I know the beaches are not for swimming in Galveston, but we are from Illinois so a beach is better than no beach for my kids! We are staying at Comfort Suites on 89th street. Are there any beaches walkable from there or would we need to drive? I know Jamaica and Pirate beaches were suggested as decent for shelling, but do not know my way around Galveston at all!!
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Old 09-29-2013, 10:28 PM   #413
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I know the beaches are not for swimming in Galveston, but we are from Illinois so a beach is better than no beach for my kids! We are staying at Comfort Suites on 89th street. Are there any beaches walkable from there or would we need to drive? I know Jamaica and Pirate beaches were suggested as decent for shelling, but do not know my way around Galveston at all!!
You can walk down 89th to Seawall. That's the beach. Not sure what part of the beach though.
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Old 09-29-2013, 10:44 PM   #414
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I know the beaches are not for swimming in Galveston, but we are from Illinois so a beach is better than no beach for my kids! We are staying at Comfort Suites on 89th street. Are there any beaches walkable from there or would we need to drive? I know Jamaica and Pirate beaches were suggested as decent for shelling, but do not know my way around Galveston at all!!
The seawall itself is about a block from your hotel, so you can walk there easily. However at 89th St. there is very little beach just the seawall. So it's a nice area to stroll and look at the water but not a nice area for playing. This is especially true at high tide. If you have a car available, the beaches at either end of the island are readily accessible. Seawall is also highway 3005 and both the pay public beaches and free public beaches are readily accessible off of that road.
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Old 09-30-2013, 12:16 AM   #415
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:25 PM   #416
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We still can't pinpoint our arrival time into Houston on a Friday afternoon and it is making me nervous!! I do not want to hit major traffic after having the kids locked in the car for hours already! Since we are coming down 59 a friend of mine recommended 321 to 146. It bypasses Houston, but I am not sure how much better or worse of a route it is. I just want to be in moving traffic for bathroom stops etc as it will be the end of our 18+ hour trip and we are used to Chicago traffic so have no desire to start the cruise out that way!! Can any locals help me out??? Thanks!!
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:00 AM   #417
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There is ALWAYS traffic in I45 South on Fridays. It can start as early as 2:00 in the afternoons some weekends. Plan for traffic. At least 1.5 hours from IAH and longer if the traffic is bad. Highway 146 is an option, however, it has tons of red lights. It's just a matter of which one you would rather sit through. Coming from the north, 59 is better but you eventually have to hit 45. The HOV lanes are the best option. Once you pass Bay Area Blvd, things will be smoother. Good luck out there and welcome to Texas y'all!!
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:21 AM   #418
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We still can't pinpoint our arrival time into Houston on a Friday afternoon and it is making me nervous!! I do not want to hit major traffic after having the kids locked in the car for hours already! Since we are coming down 59 a friend of mine recommended 321 to 146. It bypasses Houston, but I am not sure how much better or worse of a route it is. I just want to be in moving traffic for bathroom stops etc as it will be the end of our 18+ hour trip and we are used to Chicago traffic so have no desire to start the cruise out that way!! Can any locals help me out??? Thanks!!
I'm super familiar with the 146 route south of I-10. I agree with what the other poster said, it is a lot of traffic lights. But, given the alternatives, it really is your best bet. If you went around to 610 or Beltway 8 you'd be in for a punishment because I-45 between those loops and Galveston has a lot of construction that won't be finished for years (if ever). Coming down 146 you'll likely hit the snarl at Seabrook and the Kemah bridge. There is a cut-thru that sorta bypasses this backup that my husband used to take all the time on his way home from work. I could try to describe it to you using some screen shots from Google maps. But, if you can be patient and get thru this area either by sitting it out on 146 or using the off-hwy bypass you're still gonna beat fighting the I-45 cluster on a Friday afternoon. Once you clear the Seabrook/Kemah backup 146 should be smooth sailing on down to Galveston.
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:05 PM   #419
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I cannot say THANK YOU enough for all the Texans willing to help and offer advice in this thread!! (I knew there was a reason I have been trying to convince my husband to move to Texas )

So, just as food for thought-is 146 always going to be better even with the stop lights or does it depend on what time we will be getting onto 45 S? I know it will be Friday for sure and the air show is in Houston that weekend also so I don't know what that will add onto things.

We will probably make the route decision when we get close enough to judge our time into Houston. So-with the air show and all do I brave out 45 South as long as it will be between 10 and 2 or should we just plan 146 from the start??
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:52 PM   #420
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Well, I'm not from Texas but the money here is mighty sweet. I guess its rubbing off on me. LOL! I've really enjoyed this area of Texas a lot more than where we were living a few years ago in a different area.

If you are arriving in Houston between 10 & 2 I think you'd be okay taking the interstate thru. Personally, I hate the mess of interchanges downtown so I'd take Beltway 8 around to I-45 but Beltway 8 is a toll road. The alternative is I-610 which is fine. Both are loops around Houston. 610 is the inner loop & 8 is an outer loop. You may have some slow downs when you get on I-45 due to the construction but it should move unless there's an accident. The air show shouldn't impact the I-45 traffic on Friday. If arriving in Houston after 2 or 2:30 I would go the 146 route. The backup in Seabrook & Kemah starts just after 4:00 because that's when all the workers at refineries & facilities in that corridor get off work. It'll stay pretty backed up in that area until later in the evening. I can hook you up with some Google maps screen shots to show you the cut-thru. I think it'll be okay if I show you carefully. I could even ride over there in the next day or so and take a few pics to point out the right turns.
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