All Things Galveston (Updated - 5/21/14)

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by Gina, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. jenhelgren

    jenhelgren DIS Veteran

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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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  3. jenhelgren

    jenhelgren DIS Veteran

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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!
     
  4. Golden Rose

    Golden Rose Princess by Choice

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    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.
     
  5. Golden Rose

    Golden Rose Princess by Choice

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    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.
     
  6. ukintheus

    ukintheus DIS Veteran

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    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. :thumbsup2

    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.
     
  7. Gina

    Gina Remembers the Great DIS Board Crash of '99

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    Just wanted to touch on a few questions...




    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.






    Please don't take this wrong, but I got a really good laugh from that. :thumbsup2 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. ::yes::





    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/includes/coupons/?action=details&couponID=661

    Hope this helps!
     
  8. gunka

    gunka DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  9. ukintheus

    ukintheus DIS Veteran

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    "It depends" is the answer for Houston. :rotfl2: 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. :goodvibes
     
  10. lilbuddy88

    lilbuddy88 Mouseketeer

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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?
     
  11. Gina

    Gina Remembers the Great DIS Board Crash of '99

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    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 :thumbsup2 , 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 hotel’s 35-foot Christmas tree on the front lawn. Dickens on The Strand’s 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!! :santa: Go here to see all the different events:
    http://www.galveston.com/holidaymagic/
     
  12. lilbuddy88

    lilbuddy88 Mouseketeer

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    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 :scared:
     
  13. Carrie in AZ

    Carrie in AZ DIS Veteran

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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.:confused3 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!
     
  14. Carrie in AZ

    Carrie in AZ DIS Veteran

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    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.:thumbsup2
     
  15. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    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.

    Corinna
     
  16. cruisecrasher

    cruisecrasher DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  17. MemphisMickey

    MemphisMickey Mouseketeer

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  18. DizDragonfly

    DizDragonfly <font color=green>Oooh oooh! Can we take a poll? I

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    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.
     
  19. TexMomma

    TexMomma Faith, Trust, & Pixie Dust

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    Does anyone know anything about handicapped parking options for the Galveston terminal?
     
  20. Homemom

    Homemom DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  21. jacjacboogie

    jacjacboogie Earning My Ears

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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.
     

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