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

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

  1. Gina

    Gina Remembers the Great DIS Board Crash of '99

    Aug 16, 1999
    I hadn't seen a thread for this yet, and I know there are a lot of people who will be sailing out of Galveston now who have maybe never been there. Just thought I'd toss out whatever info I could think of that might help. Please feel free to chime in, and I'll add it to the list! :cheer2:

    First stop:
    A treasure trove of info on everything from hotels, to dining, to shopping, to a calendar of events. Bookmark this one.

    Galveston is a beautiful island city, with a fascinating history. (First European settler was a pirate -- what's not to love about that??)

    Galveston has some *incredible* architecture -- In Budget Travel's list of top ten American castles that just came out, #3 was Galveston's own Bishop's Palace. Also check out the Moody Mansion and the Ashton Villa.

    I love to just drive through the neighborhoods and stare in awe at some of the beautiful Victorian homes -- some gorgeously restored, some waiting for me to hit the lottery so I can buy and restore one. :)

    There is a ton of fun, "tourist-y" type stuff to do in Galveston. Here's a short list:

    The brand-new Galveston Pleasure Pier
    And check out the new Weekend Pass! For $49.99, you get access to the Pleasure Pier, the Kemah Boardwalk, and the Downtown Aquarium in Houston. That's a seriously great deal.
    Schlitterbahn (open year-round)
    Moody Gardens (Check out the new ropes and zipline course!)
    The Tall Ship Elissa
    Pirates! Legends of the Gulf Coast
    Galveston Duck Tours
    Haunted Mayfield Manor
    Rainforest Cafe
    Pier 21 Theater for a film about the Great Storm of 1900, as well as features about the pirate Jean Laffite and about the cultural history of Galveston Island.
    The Strand (wonderful little shops and dining places, right by the cruise terminal)
    Ride the Galveston ferry, with or without your car (DS & I just park in the guarded lot and walk on) -- One of the most awesome and fun things to do and is totally FREE. Go in the daytime to watch the dolphins jumping in front of the ferry, and go at night to enjoy a peaceful ride and all the twinkling lights. Runs 24 hours a day!
    Galveston Railroad Museum (LOVE this place!)

    Wonderful places to stay: Harbor House -- A gorgeous little nautical-themed boutique hotel, and the closest hotel to the cruise terminal.
    The Hotel Galvez, also known as the "Queen of the Gulf" or the "Grand Dame of the Island." One word: Stunning. Another word: Haunted! :-)
    The San Luis Resort -- Beautiful in a more modern and stylish way.
    The Hilton Galveston Island Resort, on Seawall Blvd., offers free parking for the duration of your cruise and a free shuttle to/from the cruise terminal. (Thanks, Mikehn!)

    There are also a TON of hotels, both large chain and family-owned (such as Gaido's ), as well as a large number of unique and wonderful Bed & Breakfast inns. Check out the charming Lost Bayou Guesthouse - They offer free cruise parking with a minimum 1-night stay!

    And private condos for rent through Vacation Rentals by Owner, such as the beautiful Emerald by the Sea, as recommended by Tinkerbell2B!

    So many great places to eat, that would be for a whole other thread! But a great place to start is here.

    Miscellaneous hopefully helpful info:
    Transportation -- Cornerstone Elite Limo
    Galveston Limo Super Shuttle
    Yellow Cab Galveston

    Houston airport info for anyone flying in:
    Real-time area traffic map for anyone driving in:

    Here's a discount for Super Shuttle from either Intercontinental or Hobby airport, good for 15% off until the end of the year. Input code SJY9J, or just follow this link and it will prepopulate it into the quote screen:

    Maps and driving directions:

    Cruise parking:
    EZ Cruise is the one I always use -- The owner and staff are so friendly and welcoming, they take care of you and your luggage the moment you pull up, and the lot is elevated, locked, and secure. Use the code "ANYSAIL8" online only for $10 off on parking.

    Discount Cruise Parking -- They have indoor seating if the weather is bad, restrooms, a convenience store, a deli. I have used them as well, and it was an easy experience. Use promo code "8115" for an additional $5 off your parking.

    Lighthouse Parking --

    Webcams -- Everything from watching cruise ships leave and arrive, to people watching, to watching penguins and seals frolic. :)

    Weather forecast:

    That's all I can think of right now... Hope this helps someone! :goodvibes
    Please let me know if there's anything I can add, or if any pages/codes aren't working!

    tekaye likes this.
  2. tajz90

    tajz90 Mama D

    May 6, 2012
    You are just awesome. I hate to hear that some are missing Galveston by staying in Houston by the airport:(. Galveston is such a cute little island.
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  4. ilovetexas

    ilovetexas DIS Veteran

    Feb 13, 2012
    I grew up in the D/FW area and Galveston was vacation for us. I have fond memories!!

    Sent from my iPad using DISBoards
  5. NancyIL

    NancyIL DIS Veteran

    Aug 19, 1999
    Thanks for the great info, Gina!
  6. Gina

    Gina Remembers the Great DIS Board Crash of '99

    Aug 16, 1999

    Me too... I cringe every time someone posts that and want to tell them to A.) get in a cab, on a bus, in a car, or tape enough peanuts to your arms to attract pigeons to fly you, and B.) GET THE HE## OUT OF HOUSTON. Period. As quickly as possible, lol. :rolleyes1

    If I didn't work here, I'd be happy to never set foot in Houston again! Galveston is amazing, and we never ever run out of things to do and see there, even being there at least a couple of times a month.
  7. Wildernessbride2005

    Wildernessbride2005 Mouseketeer

    Jun 10, 2004
    Thanks for all the info. We are sailing on Oct. 27th. We have never even been to Texas so this is great. So far, I have the four points booked and a one way rental car. We are flying in the day before. Have we made good choices?
  8. sissy_ib

    sissy_ib DIS Veteran

    Feb 23, 2010
    Thanks Gina! I have been wondering where to park! Unfortunately Chris thinks we should drive up the morning of the cruise since it is only 4 1/2 hours! :scared1:
  9. ksucats

    ksucats DIS Veteran

    Jan 21, 2008
    Does anybody have a experience with the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort? I have that booked mainly because I was able to get it on points.
  10. eggroll

    eggroll eggroll

    Nov 10, 2009
    I live in the area and posted a good amount of info. You can message me if you want and I'm willing to help with whats needed.
  11. kmcford

    kmcford Mouseketeer

    Jun 24, 2007
    I'm looking for which hotels offer free parking for the length of the cruise. Also of those which of those offers a shuttle.

    There are various threads that have some info but all in one would be awesome!
  12. EpicBilynn

    EpicBilynn Mouseketeer

    Aug 30, 2012
    Thanks for the info! I live in DFW and we're cruising out of Galveston in December! Can't wait!
  13. llqool

    llqool DIS Veteran

    Jul 6, 2006
    Thanks for starting this thread!

    I'm still puzzling about my airport dilemma -- Mom gets into HOU around 4 hours earlier than we do, and we're the ones renting a car. I have us booked into a hotel near HOU (Springhill Suites by Marriott) b/c they have a free shuttle and that way my mom won't have to sit for hours at the airport. But I have heard (from eggroll and others) that this is not a nice area. I don't know that *any* hotel close enough for a free shuttle will be in a nice area. And there are 5 of us (3 adults, 2 children), so we really need a suite....

    I've got a couple of months to figure it out, but it has been bugging me....
  14. Piper

    Piper DIS Veteran

    Mar 2, 2000
    I was born in and grew up in Houston. The area around HOU used to be nice. As a matter of fact, I used to sell GS cookies in the airport back in the early 50's. I had friends who lived close enough that we used to pretend that the tower (which had a revolving light in the top like a light house) was taking our photos when it flashed our way and would freeze in place so it could get a good photo. Would I let children play outside that near the airport now? No way! Not in the daytime and certainly not at night!!

    If there is any way you could stay in Galveston, I would do it.
  15. Chee Chick

    Chee Chick DIS Veteran

    Dec 13, 2009
    DH and I are still debating whether to drive in the night before or the morning of. I started a thread asking for feedback about a week ago and the majority of replies recommended to spend the night before. I am leaning that way and looking at hotels now.

    I am torn between the Tremont House and the Hotel Galvez. I came across some websites that said that Hotel Galvez is really haunted. I'm worried that I will be up all night looking for ghosts and won't get a good night's sleep. But it looks so nice.
  16. Madhattr

    Madhattr Mouseketeer

    Apr 25, 2009
    We booked at Harbor House prior to our Christmas week cruise. Glad to see it recommended! Can't wait. :yay:
  17. maleficent esq.

    maleficent esq. If you are not on a Disney Cruise you should be pl

    Apr 7, 2006
    Thank you so much for all the info. I have a couple of questions if anyone knows the answer I would appreciate it. What time does the terminal actually open in Galveston? Which terminal is Disney going to use? Do the Porters get there before the terminal opens? We are driving down from Keller (near Fort Worth) the morning of the cruise. I am trying to figure out what time we need to leave. Any and all information would be very appreciated.

    Best to All
  18. eggroll

    eggroll eggroll

    Nov 10, 2009
    The treemont is a block or two from the terminal.
    The hotel galvez is haunted but still cool, and I'll even call it the nicer of the two. I've stayed at both but I do like the galvez more.
    As far as the hauntings, it's just kids laughing. Nothing like the shining. And apparently it's in the girls spa bathroom.
    Thx teddy
  19. eggroll

    eggroll eggroll

    Nov 10, 2009
    When I left the from Galveston the doors opened at 1045 am. This seems to really consistent.
  20. eggroll

    eggroll eggroll

    Nov 10, 2009
    When I cruised from galveston, the doors opened at 1030-1045 am. This is rather consistent.
    There are only two cruise terminals here, and they have the same entrance. We don't know if it's terminal one or two.
  21. alaskanabbott

    alaskanabbott DIS Veteran

    Feb 15, 2010
    Thanks Gina. I'm wondering about hotels with shuttles too, and also if we take a shuttle from Houston to Galveston, and are there with no car, will we be able to get around town fairly easy? Or is it the kind of place you Really need a car?

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