Cruises From Galveston – Where To Go

Welcome to Galveston island, it is a beautiful and historic city that is the fourth busiest in the United States!  Its cruises from Galveston service Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Disney Cruise Lines.

This post is going to introduce you to the actual ships that cruise the Caribbean from the port of Galveston.  If you’re looking for more information on the destinations of the Caribbean, go here.

If you’re in a rush and need directions to the port, this is where to go:

SeniorSouth tip: If you’re driving to Galveston, there are plenty of paid parking spaces to hold your car while you are on your cruise, but consider renting a car and driving it to Galveston, then returning it on the island to avoid parking charges.  Depending on how far you are driving, this may save you some parking money.

While I know you’re anxious to get on the ship and go, I do recommend planning a night out in Galveston before you go and take advantage of this island’s unique history and vibrant culture.  There are many historic homes and hotels that let you feel the heritage from the days when Galveston was the largest city in Texas (a long time ago).

But since I know you folks visiting SeniorSouth like to get a move on, let’s talk about the ships.  To be honest, I don’t really think you can go wrong with any of them!

Carnival Cruise Line

The Carnival line has three ships currently using Galveston:

CARNIVAL DREAM

4 and 5 day Cruises to Eastern Caribbean and Mexico from Galveson Island.

The Carnival Dream sails to Eastern Caribbean itineraries that typically go to Key West, Freeport, Nassau, as well as Carnival’s private island, Half Moon Cay.  The ship also does the Western Caribbean and Mexico so if you are looking for Mayan Ruins and Belize beaches or Cozumel Scuba Diving, make sure to look for that itinerary.

The Carnival Dream is the lead ship of the Dream line class of cruise ships built by Fincantieri in Italy.  She has 15 decks, a full Spa deck, 18 hole mini golf course, a multi-slide water park, and of course the famous RedFrog Rum Bar.  There is a full combination of restaurants from casual to fine-dining, most notably the Bonsai Sushi and Steakhouse.  For those with a sweet-tooth, don’t miss the Cherry On Top sweet shop!

The Dream can host up to 3,646 passengers being taken care of an on-board crew of 1,367.

CARNIVAL FREEDOM
The last of the Conquest class of ships built by Fincantieri in Italy.  According to Galveston.Com, the Carnival Freedom offers 3 different seven-night itineraries out of Galveston, all beginning on Saturdays:

  • Western Caribbean itinerary with stops in Cozumel, Mexico; Belize and the Honduran island of Roatan.
  • Western Caribbean itinerary with stops at Montego Bay, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel.
  • Bahamas itinerary with stops at Key West; and Freeport and Nassau, the Bahamas.

While the Carnival Freedom is a tad older and smaller than the Carnival Dream, it will have similar on board amenities that passengers have come to love such as a mini-golf course, water park, and the delicious assortment of restaurants and bars.  What really makes this ship stand out to me though is the fact that it was christened in Venice by none other than super model Kathy Ireland!  Anyone else impressed?  No, just me?

This ship will also pass through the Panama Canal and offers incredible 9-day itineraries from Galveston that are worth checking out!  The Carnival Freedom does also sail to Seattle to carry passengers on Alaskan cruises.

CARNIVAL VISTA

If you thought cruise ships were starting to get boring, what with their atmosphere of fun, food, drinks, waterparks, and spa’s.  Well then you’re lucky that Carnival agreed with you and built the Carnival Vista

Now passengers must choose between entertaining themselves on the deck of the ship or above it!  The Vista offers two new amusements to passengers:  The SkyRide bicycles and the SkyCourse Ropes Course.  Yeah, I’ll start with the bicycles.

The SkyRide bikes check them out here are basically awesome.  You strap in to the bicycle and then pedal in a track high above the deck and over the water, with the best view for a hundred miles, I have to imagine you’ll end that lap with a sweat and a smile.  Unless you’re scared of heights and your dad forced you on to it, in which case you probably got stuck up there in tears and provided the drama for the day for every other passenger on board.

Now let’s talk about the SkyCourse Ropes Course, which you can look at here.  Basically, for those that like to get high in the sky, this one is the less cool, but more kid friendly version of the SkyRide.  At least that’s how I see it.  You get to balance and grab and walk on narrow things high above the deck, which don’t get me wrong, seems fun, but also seems like once would be enough for me before I hit the Havana Bar.

If daiquiris aren’t your thing, the ship has it’s own microbrewery, imax theater, and casino.

So yeah, I wouldn’t blame you if you never got off the ship, but I would encourage you too 🙂

Disney Cruise Line

The Disney Cruise Line currently has one ship using Galveston:

DISNEY WONDER
The Disney Cruise Liner Disney Wonder was built in 1999 (updated several times) and has a wonderful Art Nouveau design in the interior.  One really can’t go wrong with anything Disney because of their experience running theme parks, and a quick look at all there is on this ship confirms: the company knows how to please its customers.

Great for families because of the Disney characters and events wondering the decks, including the Marvel super heroes.  The ship’s entertainment and musicals is understandably some of the best in the cruising industry and unique to Disney.

Oh and the itinerary to the Bahamas includes a stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, where you just might see a few pirates.

Royal Caribbean International

The Royal Caribbean cruise line currently has two ships departing from Galveston:

ENCHANTMENT OF THE SEAS
Royal Caribbean International’s Enchantment of the Seas is going to be your best bet for a cruise that fits an extended weekend.  With a capacity of 2,446 Passengers and destinations like Cozumel and Cancun, you know you’re in for a good time on board and off.  The Enchantment of the Seas has rock climbing walls, bungee trampolines, and arcades that will give you plenty to do between the many types of stage productions, day spas, dancing, and activities ranging from art auctions and guest lectures to pool parties and wine tasting.  In this regard, Royal Caribbean has definitely mastered the variety of activities to a degree that is truly remarkable.  There really is something for everyone on board and with enough luxury from a cruise line with “royal” in it’s name.

 

LIBERTY OF THE SEAS
By WikiEK at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=75288591Royal Caribbean International’s Liberty of the Seas offers seven-night Western Caribbean cruises year round including to get all the Caribbean out of the cruise! And whoa…the Liberty of the Seas is the Royal Caribbean answer to the Carnival Cruise line’s more water park focused crowd.  Water slides and adrenaline galore on board the Liberty of the Seas, with two different water parks, a surf park, and whirlpools.  And for those who need a little ice in their Caribbean, the Liberty of the Seas has an on board ice-rink to practice your skating or watch an ice-show.

Since it is a Royal Caribbean, you can also expect that plethora of activity types to satisfy the intellectual side of any cruiser.  The Liberty of the Seas also has a card room for those who want to indulge their competitive side, a little quieter than the basketball courts on deck.

Bon Voyage! 

While I believe you can’t go wrong I wanted to sum up my opinions of these ships and give you my top three choices (if the itinerary of destinations were the same):

1 Liberty of the Seas – Royal Caribbean

Why?  I think the variety of activities on board a Royal Caribbean cruise makes any of their ships an option.  However with the added amount of sports and water activities on board the Liberty of the Seas, you won’t miss out on any adrenaline after going to a lecture on Mexican Archaeology.

2 Carnival Vista – Carnival

This ship has the SkyRide bicycles.  I honestly think that’s all I need to say, but in addition the Havana Club with day pool is truly a place I want to check out.  But I mean honestly…SkyRide!

3 Disney Wonder – Disney

This ship would be number one if I had a young family.  But since I don’t, it’s number 3.  The visit to Castaway Cay would be a must for me so I would look for the Bahama itinerary, but besides that the amount of shows and favorite storybook characters would also make me smile, if I wasn’t already smiling on any Caribbean cruise!

I hope this helps.  And let me know if you’ve sailed on any of these in the comments!

Saludos,

John

8 thoughts on “Cruises From Galveston – Where To Go”

  1. Richard Hannaford

    Excellent article and well written.

    We have sailed aboard the Carnival Freedom although that was several years ago when yes sailed the Eastern Caribbean.

    The service aboard is amazing and the staff’s attention to detail is incredible.

    We loved that trip will definitely check out some Western Caribbean itineraries.

    Thanks for the insight.

    Rick

  2. John,

    I have been talking about going on another cruise for quite some time now. I have been on two in the past and they were perhaps some of the best memories I have to this day. This article was helpful in showing me other cruising options.

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