Welcome to /r/Cruise! This is a place to discuss anything and everything about cruising, working on cruise ships, and experiencing the lifestyle of cruising!Hi all! I was hoping for some help with places to stay and transfers/uber. This is my first time sailing out of Galveston and would like a little help. We’re flying in the night before and I’d like to stay in Galveston over staying at the airport. We’re flying into Huston and wondering if we should go with Cruise transfer, uber/lift, or another company? (We’re a group of 9) What is/was your experience and what did/do you like more? Also, will any hotel in Galveston work? Or should I stay away from some parts and/or hotel? Thanks for your time!
TaxiFareFinder estimates the one-way trip between IAH and the Port of Galveston will run you $190, but the good news is that the price is per car rather than per person. For four people, this comes out to about $100 per person for the round trip – which is double the price of the cheapest shuttle option but similar to the most expensive one. From the Hobby airport, the TaxiFareFinder estimates the trip will cost about $115 to reach the Port of Galveston. Go all out for your transport between Houston and Galveston and consider chartering a helicopter to fly between the two destinations! There are multiple helicopter charter companies in Houston where you can start your search, including: If you still don’t see what you’re looking for, you can also choose the Galveston Flyer or the Super Shuttle for your shared-ride shuttle services between the IAH and Hobby airports and the Port of Galveston, but you’ll need to call the companies or request a quote online because nether shuttle service lists their prices on their website.Island Breeze Shuttle costs $105 per couple for the one-way trip from IAH to the Port of Galveston and $190 for the round trip, coming in at almost double the price of the Galveston Limousine shuttle service. From Hobby, the price is $85 one-way and $150 for the roundtrip for two.
The Galveston Shuttle and Limo company offers 14-passenger vans for the trip from IAH to the Port of Galveston for $350 including all taxes and fees, which comes out to about $25 per person each way. From HOU, the trip is a bit cheaper at $320 per van. Sam’s Limousine also offers charter bus rentals for up to 56 passengers for $115 per hour and, for smaller groups, the Mega Shuttle Bus option can carry 32 passengers for $95 per hour as well.The Houston Exotic Car Rental Collection by Enterprise is located at the Houston International Airport and offers exotic cars like BMWs, Cadillacs, Jaguars, Porsches and more. Enterprise has offices near the Port of Galveston so request a one-way trip (which, if allowed, will come with an extra fee) so you can drop it off before your cruise and avoid parking fees while you’re away.Rental car prices vary based on the car type, length of rental, your age, your insurance, the company you choose, and about a million other things, so call multiple companies to get quotes before you choose. And, remember that if you plan to keep your car for the duration of your cruise, you’ll need to factor long-term parking fees into your transportation budget as well.If shuttles aren’t really your thing, you can also choose private transport to the Port of Galveston with taxis, rental cars, or ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of all three options below.
This portion, made of concrete, was 3.3 miles long, 16 feet at its base, and 5 feet wide on top, and 17 feet high. The outer face of the Seawall was curved to carry waves upwards. Riprap was placed along the base facing the Gulf of Mexico to break up wave action. The initial segment was completed at a cost of almost $1.6 million. It proved its worth first during the hurricane of September 21, 1909. Its critical test came with the hurricane of August 16, 1915. The seawall dramatically lowered the loss of life and destruction. The 1900 Storm’s tidal surge inundated Galveston, leaving thousands dead and millions of dollars of destruction and damage. How should the city be protected from future hurricanes? A second segment was built between December 1904 and October 1905 to protect Fort Crockett. It received Congressional funding. This portion ran 4,935 feet from 39th to 53rd streets. The Seawall was extended westward to 61st Street in 1927 and 99th Street in 1963.In 1914, the Houston Ship Channel was deepened, which took much of Galveston’s trade. From 1924 to 1957, until a crackdown by the State Attorney General’s Office, Galveston was primarily known as a wide-open port city where gambling and all sorts of amusements could be found. During World War II, the island had an air base where B-17’s received their final briefing before leaving for the Pacific.For additional Galveston Tourism Information, visit the official website of The Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau The Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau.The City of Galveston was chartered in 1839. The role of Galveston as the principal port and gateway to the Southwest during the 19th Century has placed the entire city in a unique position in relation to the history of Texas. The city furnished shipping, goods, money, and transportation necessary to settle the state, nurture its trade, and help accomplish its independence.The boom period of the “Queen City of the Gulf” ended with the great 1900 storm, which killed 6,000 people and left 8,000 homeless. After the storm, the 16-foot-high, 17-foot-wide seawall was begun; the first section was completed in 1904. Behind it, 2,200 structures were raised an average of five feet.In 1836, Michael Menard bought “one league and a labor of land” from the Republic of Texas. He helped organize the Galveston City Company in 1838. From 1840 to 1870, the city was a major immigration port for over a quarter million Europeans. Texas’ secession from the Union and the Civil War halted development temporarily. The mid 1870s to the mid 1890s was the apex of Galveston’s prosperity. The Strand area became the Wall Street of the Southwest. Fortunes were made in cotton, mercantile house, banks, publishing and printing, flour and grain mills, railroads, land development, and shipping. In 1891, the University of Texas Medical Branch was established.In the 1960s and early 1970s, there were forward looking innovations in Galveston. The council-manager form of government was adopted in 1961. The Texas Maritime Academy, Galveston College, and the Marine Biomedical Institute were established. The first container terminal opened in 1972. Rosenberg Library was expanded. The Galveston County Cultural Arts Council was founded. A 40-block residential historical district was established in the east end; the Strand area and a number of notable buildings were placed on the National Register. As far as Saltwater Moms go. I’m the kind of person who wants to see operating/incorporation licenses, commercial insurance coverage. All the things a business needs to be in business. No corporate email, no website, no easy to find communication. This screams not paying for stuff you should be paying for, and you won’t find out until you get t-boned on the way to or from wherever you’re going. At that point, you better hope you have travel insurance because they may not. Car insurance is not the same as commercial insurance coverage. I’m more than happy to be proven wrong with documentation and not insults.When we booked our cruise from Galveston I had no idea how hard it would be to figure out transportation from IAH to Galveston. Once I read about the Saltwater Mom’s and contacted them, it was all so easy. Saltwater Mom’s are licensed to enter the Port of Galveston; Uber is not. As a business owner of 20+ years in the tourism business, i have yet to have someone ask for documentation of licenses, insurance, etc. I used them back in August 2021 and have them scheduled again for March 2022. They were wonderful!!! On time, clean vehicles, great communication even when I switched the pick up time last minute. I would highly recommend them without any hesitation.I’m not saying this is the case, but I wouldn’t be surprised if half the reviews are all their neighbors and relatives who are trying to help them and have never used the service. We have family that may stay outside of Galveston to save money. Perhaps stay near Texas City. Does Galveston Saltwater moms pick up from there and bring to the port? Or is it better to have a Uber/Lyft pick up the morning of the cruise?Yes, Galveston Saltwater Moms will pick you up from there. Just be sure to contact them ahead of time to get in a reservation. The other thing to mention is it is best to pay cash. They aren’t set up for credit card payments (or at least they weren’t) unless you want to send them payment thru a pay app. You can ask about payment when you make your reservation. Or you can Lyft to the port. There has been an issue sometimes with using Uber.
but they would not pick us up at the terminal after disembarkation; we used Galveston Limousine’s airport shuttle from the terminal to IAH, twice the cost of uberIf you can get a room Harbor House is the closest Hotel to the terminal and is a short walk away. It is located right on the dock and depending on room you can see cruise dock. It is a small hotel with not many rooms but is very nice.We ran into this as well and were fortunate enough to see it in advance and plan to fly into Hobby which has a more direct highway route to the city of Galveston.
Just booked a cruise on Allure for January. Plan on flying into Houston Hobby the day before and just discovered Royal doesn’t have any options to get transportation from a hotel in Houston or Galveston. Has anyone solved this issue? Is there an economical way? We have the transfer for the end of the cruise from them. Does it make sense to go back to the airport on cruise day to use their shuttle? Appreciate any advice. Just booked a cruise on Allure for January. Plan on flying into Houston IAH the day before and just discovered Royal doesn’t have any options to get transportation from a hotel in Houston or Galveston. Has anyone solved this issue? Is there an economical way? We have the transfer for the end of the cruise from them. Does it make sense to go back to the airport on cruise day to use their shuttle? Appreciate any advice. uber did a fantastic job taking us from our hotel near IAH to the cruise terminal on the morning of embarkation, including additional stops at Target and a coffee house, about $75Yeah, unfortunately Houston is far enough away from the port in Galveston that no hotels there find it worth the gas/time to have a shuttle all the way out to the port.The Storm led to the development of the celebrated Seawall and a shift away from being a trade center to an entertainment and gambling hub. A popular haunt was the Balinese Room, a famous nightclub on the pier that hosted some of the biggest names of the era, even Frank Sinatra. It was also an illegal casino that invited much mob activity. Sadly, the structure was destroyed by Hurricane Ike on September 13, 2008.After this, Galveston, being the resilient city that it is, raised most of the island 17 feet to create Seawall Boulevard. It took around eight years to complete the raising of 500 city blocks—all done by hand to prevent damage from future storms. People walked on raised wooden sidewalks during the construction, which also included building 2,000 homes. Galveston has a fascinating and storied past: from devastating storms to civil war battles. Before the 1900 storm, Galveston was the second richest city per capita in the United States and was even dubbed the “Wall Street of the South” due to its flourishing banking industry and the retail success of The Strand. Among many of its Texas “firsts” (there are over 100), it had Texas’ first bank and first post office. Today, Galveston still boasts top schools, historic districts featuring beautifully restored Victorian homes and hotels, and an array of restaurants and activities that attract more than seven million visitors annually. Known as the “Playground of the South” in the late 1800s, Galveston remains an important leisure area today, with Schlitterbahn Waterpark, the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, and Moody Gardens. There’s also tons of culture to take in, including a variety of museums that cater to children and adults alike as well as theatre and live music. And of course, don’t forget the beaches! In 1836, Canadian fur trader Michel B. Menard purchased seven square miles of land, which became the City of Galveston. It was the same year Texas gained independence from Mexico and became a republic. Other great changes followed, business flourished, and Galveston became a major U.S. commercial center and one of the largest ports in the United States; it was second to Ellis Island as an immigration port. By 1885, it was the largest and richest city in Texas.Founded in 1838, Galveston established prosperity through a natural deep-water port, expansion of trade routes throughout the region, and development of industry, such as cotton, in the decades leading up to the Great Storm of 1900. The people of Galveston Island would find themselves as a fundamental piece of the state and region’s growth and diversity, welcoming hundreds of thousands of immigrants worldwide who would settle locally, move regionally, and establish themselves nationally.
Galveston got its name from the Spanish Colonial governor, Bernardo de Galvez, who ordered the first survey of the Texas Gulf Coast in 1786. Oddly, de Galvez never stepped foot on the island; it was the surveyor, Jose de Evia, who named Galveston Bay in his honor, which later led to the name of the island.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.Terrestrial (land) environments in the Galveston Bay area can be divided into three distinct zones: the coastal prairies, the riverine floodplains and deltas, and the barrier islands. The most economically important fin fish species to native peoples appears to have been black drum, red drum (redfish), sheepshead, and trout, in about that order. The drum spawn in the cool seasons from fall (redfish) to winter and early spring (black drum) when they are concentrated in the bays and tidal passes. Both species of drum grow quite large, with adults weighing 5-10 pounds and more. The bays support large numbers of waterfowl, particularly in the cooler months when ducks, geese, and cranes migrate from the north. Based on the animal bones found at archeological sites, native peoples in the Galveston Bay area did not depend heavily on waterfowl.Galveston Bay and its associated secondary bays and lagoons comprise an extensive and highly productive estuary environment. It is an example of the kind of low relief, protected estuary systems that are among the most biotically productive environments in the world, rivaled only by tropical rainforests. Galveston Bay waters are shallow and characterized by high photosynthetic primary productivity. In essence, sun + sheltered warm water + nutrients = fertile growth of plants and animals all the way up the food chain, as those who harvest Galveston Bay’s oysters, shrimp, crabs, and fish today can well attest.
The ancient bay was protected by barrier islands and, in the upper (innermost) bay, a productive estuary formed with comparatively brackish water (low salinity) in which certain species of shellfish such as Rangia cuneata clams flourished. As sea level rose during the mid-Holocene, the ancestral bay became larger and more rounded in outline as the adjacent low-lying coastal plains were inundated and wave action “hollowed out” the bay.The prairies are low and flat and have heavy clay soils that originally supported savannas (grasslands with patches of brush and trees) dominated by coastal prairie grasses such as big bluestem and indiangrass. Coastal bluestem grass is more common in sandy areas along the mainline shores. The coastal prairies supported numerous mammals, including four species heavily hunted by native peoples: white-tailed deer, eastern cottontail, jackrabbit, and, sometimes, bison.As the island formed, the sand piled up in low ridges parallel to the beach in rows separated by swales. This ridge and swale topography can still be seen today in places along Galveston Island, although modern development has obscured or obliterated the patterning in many areas. Early in its existence, the island was narrower and shorter than it is today. At times it would have appeared as a series of disconnected islands separated by storm channels carved out by hurricanes. Through time the island gradually enlarged as waves and long-shore currents deposited more and more sand (mixed with pulverized shell) and the tidal passes and storm-surge channels filled in on the seaward side of the island. Eckert Bayou, along which the Mitchell Ridge site is situated, is thought to have been a tidal pass that was gradually cut off from the sea.[Galveston Island] is a low flat, sandy island about 30 miles in length and ranging in breadth from one to two miles. There is hardly a shrub visible, and in short it looks like a piece of prairie that had quarreled with the mainland and dissolved partnership. – Francis Sheridan, 1839-1840The organic debris and nutrients from the marshes, grasses, and the Trinity and San Jacinto Rivers results in Galveston Bay having the most abundant supply of commercial shellfish on the Texas coast—oysters. Reefs of the American oyster (Crassostrea virginica) are large and abundant in Galveston and East Bays and somewhat less so in West Bay due to higher salinity. They are absent in the upper bays, such as Trinity Bay, because of the influx of freshwater. The brackish water clam, Rangia cuneata, is today found in the uppermost bays and along the lower rivers, streams, and bayous where relatively low salinity predominates. The presence of sizeable shell middens (piles of food debris comprised mainly of discarded shells) throughout the Galveston Bay area shows that native peoples made heavy use of both oyster and rangia. Individual middens are usually dominated by one species or the other, reflecting nearby water conditions at the time of occupation.
Measured in geological time, Galveston Island is a very young landform that had not yet begun to form as recently as 6,000 years ago, during the mid-Holocene geological period. As compared to today, 8,000 years ago sea level was considerably lower by perhaps 5-10 meters (16-33′). At this time the Texas coastline and earlier barrier islands were considerably farther out into the Gulf by an estimated 55 kilometers (34 miles) at the west end of Galveston Island. An ancestral Galveston Bay existed as a much narrower and deeper feature that formed as sea level climbed in the early Holocene and flooded the deeply incised valleys of the Trinity and San Jacinto Rivers.Galveston Island is a classic example of a barrier island, a long narrow strip of sand and shell that runs parallel to the shore, separated by a bay or lagoon. Such islands are formed by deposits of sand and shell piled up by ocean waves and long-shore currents.
Early 19th century visitors found Galveston Island to be teeming with life. Relatively few mammals inhabited the island, the most common being the hispid cotton rat, but deer were also present in periods between major hurricanes. Freshwater and brackish ponds formed in the mid-island swales and were lined by cattails and marsh grasses. These held frogs, crabs, turtles, water moccasins, and alligators. The ponds allowed dense clouds of mosquitoes to form in warm, wet weather. Amid the thick grasses were many snakes including rattlesnakes.Until modern times, the barrier islands (including Bolivar Peninsula, which although connected to the mainland, is effectively a barrier island) were essentially treeless, except for small mottes of live oak and clumps of mesquite scattered along the higher ridges. Most trees were typically swept away during major hurricanes. The few spots with prominent trees served as navigation markers. Most vegetation consisted of salt-tolerant grasses such as cordgrass and glasswort.You can get there by driving across either the I-45 bridge that connects the mainland with the island or the bridge spanning San Luis Pass on the west end of the island or by taking the ferry from Bolivar Peninsula. The ferry is free and is operated by the Texas Department of Transportation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A. Waves and currents swept sand into ridges that eventually merged and became Galveston Island. Today you can see these early ridges and swales between the ridges on the back side of the island. Large storms cut channels across the early island and deposited sand on the island’s bay side. Sand was added to the Gulf side of the island, creating a series of ridges and swales as the supply of sand changed through time. A. Geologists have drilled holes in the island and dated sea shells to determine that Galveston Island began to form about 5,300 years ago, when the rise in sea level from the melting of ice from the last Ice Age began to slow down. Southwest end of the Galveston Island Seawall looking toward the southwest. In the early 1970’s cars could drive off this ramp onto the beach. Also note the lack of a beach seaward of the wall. 4. Using a stopwatch, measure the wave period. Make a mark on the side of the pan with the marker or a piece of tape. As the crest of a wave passes the mark, count that as zero and start your stopwatch. The next wave is wave number one. When the 10th wave passes your point, stop the watch. Divide the number of seconds by 10 to get the wave period. Because these are waves with small wavelengths, this task may be difficult to do. Fill a shallow, clear container 1/3 to 1/2 full of water. Waves can be created by several different methods including moving a thin board back and forth like a paddle. Place a float in the middle of the pan and observe how it responds to the waves you create. Quickly dip a piece of construction paper into the tank to create a snapshot of the wavefield.When waves strike the beach, sand may move onshore, offshore, or along the beach. If waves hit the beach at an angle, which is almost always the case, then sand will move along the beach. On any given day, the direction on the beach along which the sand moves depends on the direction of the waves. Along Galveston Island, sand can move in either direction, but averaged over the span of a year or more, more sand is moved in one direction than in another. 2. Create waves by one of the following processes: (a) blow across the surface of the water; (b) use a hair dryer set at a low setting (harder to vary the velocity) to blow across the surface of the water; (c) use a block of wood tied to a piece of string, and raise it up and down in the water; or (d) insert a thin board into the water and move it back and forth like a paddle. If you are using a hair dryer: BE CAREFUL NOT TO GET THE HAIR DRYER WET OR RISK ELECTRIC SHOCK!! 3. Place a float (cork) in the middle of the pan. Observe how the float responds to the waves you are creating. Try to keep the wave period consistent.The ongoing processes of wind, waves, and currents sort the sediment making up the island. Little mud is deposited on the high-energy Gulf of Mexico side because it is washed away by waves. To find deposits of mud you need to go to the bay side of the island, especially in the marshy areas. This is where mud is produced by decaying vegetation and where some of the mud moving down the rivers and creeks of the bay is trapped. The marsh vegetation and relatively sheltered locations allow the deposition of mud. In many places on the bay side, however, the marsh may have a shelly beach on the fringe, where bay waves are eroding the marsh and concentrating oyster shells. Also, near San Luis Pass, strong tidal currents transport sand along the bay-side shoreline.
Because of its strategic location, Galveston Island—inhabited since the 1500s—has played a key role in Texas history. The island was home to many famous people of history, including Spanish explorer Cabeza de Vaca and pirate Jean Lafitte. The greatest natural disaster in U.S. history occurred on Galveston Island in 1900 when a large hurricane devastated the island and killed more than 6,000 people. For more on the history of Galveston Island, click here.A. Galveston Island is constantly changing—sometimes suddenly and dramatically as during a hurricane. There are many other sources of change on the island:Points of interest: Bolivar Roads Ship Channel, Galveston Jetties, Big Reef Nature Park, Fort San Jacinto, Bolivar Lighthouse, and Galveston—Port Bolivar Ferry Operation.Digging a pit in the beach reveals fine laminations created by waves sorting the sediment on a small scale. In some pits, you may see coarse, shelly or heavy, dark mineral layers deposited by storms. See the two examples above. Outbound ship moving through the Galveston Harbor Channel. Photo is taken from the northeast end of the Galveston Island Seawall. Bolivar Peninsula is in the background, and the black Point Bolivar Lighthouse, first lit in 1872, is visible just in front of the ship. This 40-feet-deep, dredged channel provides deep-draft access to the ports of Houston, Galveston, and Texas City. The port of Houston is first in the United States in foreign waterborne commerce, second in total tonnage, and sixth in the world. Points of interest: Attempt at using geotextile tubes to protect houses from shoreline retreat and storm surge. Contrast this beach with the beaches at the State Park (stop 5) and Bermuda Beach (stop 3).Galveston Island State Park terrace-style marsh restoration project completed in 2000. These terraces were created by dredging bay sediments and forming berms with intertidal elevations. The berms were then planted with marsh plants by hand. Photo taken August 21, 2002.
1850 U.S. Census as the largest town in Texas with 4,177 people. Galveston Bay’s main function at this time was that of a transportation system, and many navigational improvements were made to the Bay, including updated charts, the deepening and straightening of Buffalo Bayou, a lightship, lighted beacons, and eventually the Bolivar Point lighthouse.