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Navigator of the Seas out of Galveston

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I have a few questions and hope that someone can help me with a few of them. We are doing the Navigator of the Seas out of Galveston on March 16, 2014. (Yes, 2014 - still a long ways from now) We always cruise out of Florida, and the majority of the times it has been March. Now here are my questions:
How is the weather normally in mid March in Galveston?
We only have the option to fly into Houston. Anyone know of a good way to get from Houston to Galveston?
We will probably fly in the day before, any good hotel ideas in Galveston?
Anyone have any pictures of the Navigator of the Seas (inside, outside, rooms)???
Thanks so much in advance to any and all who help.
Also, I'd love to hear from anyone else that will be on the Navigator the same week as we are.

Thanks,
Janet

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[quote name='mon1jan1']I have a few questions and hope that someone can help me with a few of them. We are doing the Navigator of the Seas out of Galveston on March 16, 2014. (Yes, 2014 - still a long ways from now) We always cruise out of Florida, and the majority of the times it has been March. Now here are my questions:
How is the weather normally in mid March in Galveston?
We only have the option to fly into Houston. Anyone know of a good way to get from Houston to Galveston?
We will probably fly in the day before, any good hotel ideas in Galveston?
Anyone have any pictures of the Navigator of the Seas (inside, outside, rooms)???
Thanks so much in advance to any and all who help.
Also, I'd love to hear from anyone else that will be on the Navigator the same week as we are.

Thanks,
Janet[/quote]
Check out the Gulf Coast Depatures board:

[url]http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=414[/url]

Lots of good info and knowledgable folks there.

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I did a cruise out of Galveston at the end of last February, a few weeks before you are traveling but close none the less. I flew into Houston and did the transportation provided by Royal Caribbean. (I did the transportation as well on my first cruise and had great success). This trip was decently lengthy, was in a tour coach style bus and about 1 hour and 30-45 minutes if I remember correctly. It was nice driving through and seeing Houston as I had never been to Texas before. Galveston was nothing impressive, and honestly I did not care for it at all. I don't know the word for it, but it was all shipping, fishing, industrial, and nothing scenic at all. The weather wasn't cold, but chilly, low 50's I think it was. When we boarded the ship I needed to have a sweatshirt up on the pool deck.
I hope this helps! I always like the transportation provided by RC to the pier, I didn't really care for Galveston, the town or the pier, but out of Galveston I had a terrific cruise to the caribbean!

Jon

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We never cruised on The Navigator but The Voyager. I can answer a few questions about Galveston.

The best place to stay is The Harbor House at Pier 21. If you are coming during Spring Break (usually the second or third week in March) the hotels can be pricey and fill out quickly.

The Harbor House is right on the port so you can see the cruise ships come and/or go. It is within walking distance of The Strand (Historical Shopping District) and near plenty of restaurants.

It is withing walking distance to the ships although walking on their paved steets can be hardazous to your luggage as you are pulling it.

It is good that you are coming in a day early because Galveston is noted for delaying cruises, coming in and leaving out, because of heavy fog.

As for the best way to get from the airport to Galveston, you will have to rely on someone else's help since we always drive in since we are only a little over three hours away. Edited by lady_cruiser

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I am a Texan so I can help some. I have also been to Galveston serveral times.

The weather in Texas can be cool in March. Not cold per say, just cool. Spring can be unpredictable. A hoodi or sweater will do you just fine, if it is needed.

I assume you will fly into Hobby Airport? It is somewhat of a drive, maybe an hour+. Houston is quite a city. LARGE!!!! Not sure of all the transfers to Galveston. I am sure there are plenty.
Bush airport is in North Houston and will work if you get a better deal on airfare there. You just have to head from north to south to east to get to Galveston. Hobb is more of a stright shot.

Galveston is a great city! If you give yourself time to enjoy it. I LOVE the old mansions there. They are beautiful and I try to imagine what life was life at the turn of the century. There was a terrible hurricane there at the turn of the century and many people died-therefore-the sea wall.

There is a brand new boardwalk pier that opened up this summer with all sorts of rides, etc on it. I might see if we will take DS there this summer. Schlitterbahn is there too (water park)Moody Gardens is fun too

One of our favorite place to stay (not for a cruise but for a beach vacation) is Crystal Beach. You cross a ferry from Galveston to Crystal Beach. There are rows and rows of beach house. That is all-beach houses. So peaceful and relaxing. Crystal Beach was absolutely wiped out by Hurrican Ike. We were there just a week before and next thing we knew, the beach house we stayed in was GONE!:eek:

There are pleanty of hotel/motels in Galveston. Pier House is one of them and I bet you could get a room since you are 2014. Go to tripadvisordotcom and see the reviews on the lodging in Galveston.

I have never had a bad time in Galveston. I dont swim in the ocean, but we take fishing boats out, etc

Someday I will take a crusie out of there

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As far as flying, Houston is serviced by two airports. First is Bush InterContinental, it is located on the north side of Houston and quite a farther drive/ride to Galveston. It is, however, where most commercial flights come in and out of. Then there is Hobby, it is on the south side of Houston and quite a bit closer to Galveston. As far as I know, Southwest is the only major airline which flies in/out of Hobby. Your best bet for either may be RCI transportation. We drive to Galveston for our cruises, so I am not well informed about their airport transportation.

As far as hotels, yes, Harbor House is one of the best, but is more pricey. There are plenty of options available.

As to the weather, with apologies to Forest Gump, the Weather is as the Weather does...we have sailed numerous times from Galveston in January and February. It can be foggy (six hour delay on our last cruise) or sunny and warm (82 degrees one time in February). Generally, it can be a little cool and a sweater or light jacket is almost a must on the first night.

Check out the Galveston board as recommended and I'm sure you'll find a plethora of information to help! Have a great cruise!

Pete

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Thanks everyone for all the information, I was unaware of two seperate airports, so guess I need to do research when we are a little closer to date to see how airfare goes from each port. I like the idea of flying Southwest and hope it is a direct flight from Kansas City.

Thanks again, if anyone has any pictures they would like to share, please I would love to see them.

Thanks again!

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[FONT="Arial Black"][SIZE="3"][COLOR="DarkRed"]We live in central Tx and last cruise was early March...I only needed shorts embarking and disembarking, but that is Tx weather, you just never know...We have even cruised in January from Galveston and it was just a little cool..Fog can be an issue that time of year, so allow time for that...We do not fly but there is a shuttle service from the airport...We are cruising the same day as you , but on CCL Magic...[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]

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[FONT="Comic Sans MS"][SIZE="3"][COLOR="DarkRed"]Forgot to mention , your cruise should be the week after Tx spring break , which should be pretty quiet...I posted this on another thread you might want to read, as Royal has their prices wrong in my opinion for Mar 16, 2014. It appears they think that it is spring break week, and is not. Their rates for the Mar 9 2014 cruise are cheaper, and I guaranty you they will catch this and raise them..This exact thing happened to us on the Mariner in March..I had booked it very early, and when they discovered the mistake , they more than doubled..So in your case, you might want to really watch for a price drop..I will post the link to my thread if you would care to read it..[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]

[url]http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1644407[/url] Edited by JC KRUZER

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there are some things to do in Galveston - you may look into checking out moody Gardens or maybe the Bishops Palace, and this past weekend there is a NEW attraction in Galveston it is the Pleasure Pier, kind of like Santa Monica Pier, it looks like a lot of fun. I have been watching it being built, I a planing on checking out soon. There is a website for it you can google it Pleasure Pier Galveston. I always enjoy spending the day on Galveston. The Strand is fun to stroll down and look at all the shops etc....
The Hotel Galvez is a beautiful Hotel and it is the oldest on the Island, it celebrated its 100th Birthday last year. We had Sunday Brunch a few weeks ago and it was delicious.

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I live relatively close to Hobby and go to Galveston several times a year. Fog is usually an issue in the early a.m. in Feb/March and sometimes in early April. It typically doesn't last long...but of course it can last til 11:00am. The weather can be 80 in march or it can be 60ish and windy. You never know...but a light jacket/hoodie/sweater is plenty warm.

For sure use Hobby...it's a lot closer to Galveston. Best wishes for a wonderful trip with wonderful weather!:)

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We fly Southwest to Hobby.
We use a limo service with great service.

[url]http://www.houston-airport-town-car.com/[/url]

Sometimes, RCCL does not provide transfer service from Hobby, only from Bush Intercontinental. I would check on this, and not assume that they provide service from Hobby.

This limo service is approximately the same price as a taxi would be, but with clean Lincoln towncars and courteous drivers.:D

There are also several shuttle services that do provide service from Hobby with large van type bus.

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[quote name='JC KRUZER'][FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=3][COLOR=darkred]Forgot to mention , your cruise should be the week after Tx spring break , which should be pretty quiet...I posted this on another thread you might want to read, as Royal has their prices wrong in my opinion for Mar 16, 2014. It appears they think that it is spring break week, and is not. Their rates for the Mar 9 2014 cruise are cheaper, and I guaranty you they will catch this and raise them..This exact thing happened to us on the Mariner in March..I had booked it very early, and when they discovered the mistake , they more than doubled..So in your case, you might want to really watch for a price drop..I will post the link to my thread if you would care to read it..[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]

[URL]http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1644407[/URL][/quote]

Thanks so much for the info. I will definitely keep an eye on it. I'm wondering if they know when the Oklahoma and Kansas spring breaks are and banking that a lot of midwesterners are willing to drive 10-14 hours instead of pay for airfare??? I, myself, prefer to not do a long road trip when going for a cruise. I like the idea of once off the cruise ship to get home as soon as I can.
Thanks again!!!

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[quote name='Hypo']We fly Southwest to Hobby.
We use a limo service with great service.

[URL]http://www.houston-airport-town-car.com/[/URL]

Sometimes, RCCL does not provide transfer service from Hobby, only from Bush Intercontinental. I would check on this, and not assume that they provide service from Hobby.

This limo service is approximately the same price as a taxi would be, but with clean Lincoln towncars and courteous drivers.:D

There are also several shuttle services that do provide service from Hobby with large van type bus.[/quote]

Perfect!!! Thanks so much for the info. I didn't think of using a limo service, I was searching under airport shuttles and didn't really find anything.
Thanks!

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[FONT="Arial Black"][SIZE="3"][COLOR="DarkRed"]For comparison, our SB cruise in March had I believe 3000 Texans. It will be interesting to see what they do . Good luck with it...:)[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT][quote name='mon1jan1']Thanks so much for the info. I will definitely keep an eye on it. I'm wondering if they know when the Oklahoma and Kansas spring breaks are and banking that a lot of midwesterners are willing to drive 10-14 hours instead of pay for airfare??? I, myself, prefer to not do a long road trip when going for a cruise. I like the idea of once off the cruise ship to get home as soon as I can.
Thanks again!!![/QUOTE]

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If you fly in the day before is renting a car not the best solution? Edited by Topo Gigio

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[quote name='Topo Gigio']If you fly in the day before is renting a car not the best solution?[/QUOTE]

I think there's a big problem with rental cars - my understanding is that there's no place to return a rental car on a weekend in Galveston! We always drive when we cruise from Galveston, so I have no firsthand experience. Maybe somebody can confirm this, or if you're considering renting a car, call and find out before you book one.

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[quote name='Topo Gigio']If you fly in the day before is renting a car not the best solution?[/quote]
To my knowledge, Galveston does not have any car rental agencies open on Sundays, so this becomes a difficult situation for ships that leave on Sunday.

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I did check into car rentals, and like everyone mentioned, it could create an issue because of location of rental stations and the time you would need to have it at port. I'm going to hold off until a few months before the cruise (still have a long time) and do more research.
I appreciate everyones input. Thanks so much! If you have any other ideas or suggestions please post.

Thanks!!

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[quote name='OhCheck']I did a cruise out of Galveston at the end of last February, a few weeks before you are traveling but close none the less. I flew into Houston and did the transportation provided by Royal Caribbean. (I did the transportation as well on my first cruise and had great success). This trip was decently lengthy, was in a tour coach style bus and about 1 hour and 30-45 minutes if I remember correctly. It was nice driving through and seeing Houston as I had never been to Texas before. Galveston was nothing impressive, and honestly I did not care for it at all. I don't know the word for it, but it was all shipping, fishing, industrial, and nothing scenic at all. The weather wasn't cold, but chilly, low 50's I think it was. When we boarded the ship I needed to have a sweatshirt up on the pool deck.
I hope this helps! I always like the transportation provided by RC to the pier, I didn't really care for Galveston, the town or the pier, but out of Galveston I had a terrific cruise to the caribbean!

Jon[/QUOTE]

What was the price for the transfer to the port?

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[quote name='mon1jan1']Perfect!!! Thanks so much for the info. I didn't think of using a limo service, I was searching under airport shuttles and didn't really find anything.
Thanks![/quote]

Treat yourself to the Limo Service. We used it in Miami (FLL to Miami), we had six in our party and with 20% tip it ended up costing us less than RC transfers. With less than 6 it would have been more than RC but well worth it. We rented a 10 passenger stretch, a Town car would be more economical if you only had two traveling. With six our luggage barely fit in the Limo, my SIL is a notorious overpacker! :eek: With RC transfers in the past we seemed to wait around and then were herded like cattle, not so with a Limo.

We kept the limo a secret from the kids until we walked out of the airport. They kept asking, "Are we really getting in the limo? You're just joking right?" It was a blast!

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Bothered by one comment, Galveston is nothing but "industrial". Appears that person took a transfer, got on and off the bus and never saw Galveston.
The island was hit by a devastating hurricane a few years back, they have rebuilt the island....It is a major tourist destination for folks. The islanders rolled up their sleeves, did not sit around waiting for help, and have done a great job rebuilding!!
For transfers, try Galveston limo. Newer equipment, you do not have to wait to fill a whole bus, and good service. We drive, we live in Ft Worth, but every comment we have heard is that this service is good.
Hotels range from the low end to 5 star. Try Galveston.com for information. That web site will also let you know what is happening when you get to the island.
Weather? This past srping we boarded in shorts....previous times, needed a jacket.
There are some really great restaurants on the island, you can find info at the island web site.

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Lots of info: [URL="http://www.galveston.com/default.asp"]http://www.galveston.com/default.asp[/URL]

Lots of things to do there and the old Strand area downtown is fun. It's a working port so always activity on & near the water. Edited by pspercy

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If one rides a bus down the highway to old Port Industrial (Harborside), gets off in front of the pier and does the same in reverse a week later I don't understand why any one would feel they can make a statement about the City, any city.
Ships must dock in a "port" which is typically "industrial".

Galveston is a great place to visit and live:D
There are so many things to do we maintain an event/social calendar so not to overbook ourselves.
The new Galveston Historic Pleasure Pier is incredible and a beautiful sight to see at night with all the lights.
Do check out Galveston.comn for a list of events and hotels.
Harbor House and The Tremont are downtown, others located on the Seawall overlooking the Gulf. There also are numerous Bed and Breakfasts located in old homes.

When we fly out of Hobby Airport (30 miles) or Intercontinental (70 miles) we use Cornerstone Elite Limo for transportation. We love going on the transatlantics so we can arrive back home just a few blocks from the port (an 1860 Texas Historical Home) :)

Car rental is an issue with only Enterprise here which closes at noon on Saturday. Don't know why the others will not open on the island with all the ships. Guess they don't want the business:mad:

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[quote name='Galveston Cruiser']If one rides a bus down the highway to old Port Industrial (Harborside), gets off in front of the pier and does the same in reverse a week later I don't understand why any one would feel they can make a statement about the City, any city.
Ships must dock in a "port" which is typically "industrial".

Galveston is a great place to visit and live:D
There are so many things to do we maintain an event/social calendar so not to overbook ourselves.
The new Galveston Historic Pleasure Pier is incredible and a beautiful sight to see at night with all the lights.
Do check out Galveston.comn for a list of events and hotels.
Harbor House and The Tremont are downtown, others located on the Seawall overlooking the Gulf. There also are numerous Bed and Breakfasts located in old homes.

When we fly out of Hobby Airport (30 miles) or Intercontinental (70 miles) we use Cornerstone Elite Limo for transportation. We love going on the transatlantics so we can arrive back home just a few blocks from the port (an 1860 Texas Historical Home) :)

Car rental is an issue with only Enterprise here which closes at noon on Saturday. Don't know why the others will not open on the island with all the ships. Guess they don't want the business:mad:[/quote]


I totally agree! :D

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Don't forget to walk on the strand, a street with shops, food, etc, a lot of interesting shops

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Texans and Islanders are very proud of Galveston!

Disregard anyone who thinks it is only an idustrial port....some folks total image of Galveston is a bus ride. That is like blindfolding someone, having them touch an elephants tail then asking them to describe what an elephant must look like!

One added benefit to sailing out of Galveston!!! Bar none, it is considered the friendliest port and the friendliest passenger group on any Royal Caribbean ship.....hint, that is bacause more than 75% of the passengers are probably from Texas!!! (Remember, it ain't bragging if it is true).

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RCCL is upgrading many of their ships. By the time Navigator gets here late December 2013, she will have been upgraded. Flat screen TV's, dedicated Diamond Club/Concierge Club, Park Cafe, (outstanding roast beef sandwiches and open boarding day), Giovanni's, Chef's table.
We're excited about having her here in Galveston, but will miss Mariner too.
Agree with Texasmunk and Galveston Cruiser, there are lot's of things to do in Galveston, great restaurants, the pleasure pier etc. If you like hamburgers with a view, The Spot is excellent on the Seawall near the pier. Great seafood restaurants everywhere.
And Southwest will fly you to Hobby which is the much closer airport.

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