Transfers From Houston Airports To Galveston Cruise Terminal

If you are flying into Houston TX and are planning to cruise out of Galveston TX, lets us help you with you transportation. Here in Houston we have two major airports

1. George Bush International Airport in Houston (IAH)

2. William Hobby International Airport in Houston (HOU)

This article will help you find transfers for newly weds, a family of 4 or a whole family reunion, to a group of friends wanting to have a good time. There are many options available to transfer from these airports to the cruise ship terminal in Galveston. These options include cruise line bus transfer, private shuttle bus, private town car or limousine, taxi, and car rental.

First, you need to do some homework, and check out all the options available to you, and at what price. You will be surprise at what competition may do to the prices, and extras, so try to find the best value for your bucks.

Below I am listing all the available options, starting with the classic taxi ride and ending with the out of thoughts luxury limousine one.

Taxi Cab Transfer between Houston Airports and Galveston Cruise Terminal

One way cab transfer from Houston Hobby Airport (HOU) and Galveston Cruise Terminal which is about 40 miles rides will be about $105 on average. (Not counting the traffic delays which would run it a bit higher)

For George Bush International (IAH), the cab ride will be about $179 since Bush airport is much farther to the north from Galveston, which is about 70 miles ride. (Not counting the traffic delays which would run it a bit higher)

*Rates for the cab ride were obtained from Houston Yellow cab dispatcher over the phone on April 12, 2013 at 6:30 pm.

Cruise Line Shuttle transfer between Houston Airports and Galveston Cruise Ship Terminal

As of April 12, 2013, the rate of transfer from Houston airports to Galveston cruise ship terminal as listed on Carnival website, using cruise line transfer from IAH to Galveston is $45 per person one way ($90 round trip), and $35 per person one way ($70 round trip) from Hobby airport to Galveston.

Car Rental from IAH or Hobby to Galveston Cruise Terminal

Many people do rent a car to drive from Houston airports to Galveston. You can find all the major rental car places in both airports. You can get a rental car between the Galveston Cruise Ship Terminal and the airports for about $65 a day. The rental car agencies have shuttles to take you to and from the ship.

For groups of 5 or 6, it is usually a good deal if they are arriving to Houston early, and they want to visit other places in Houston or in Galveston, and they want to have car for the convenience, but if you calculate the total expenses and the inconvenience related to the car rental, it turns out to be a bad deal. Think about gas, driving in unfamiliar city; do not know the traffic jam areas, parking cost in Galveston, getting the shuttle from the airport to the rental place, getting the shuttle from the parking to the cruise terminal. Well the cost for 7 days cruise would be about $450 for the car rental, $80 gas, $60 parking, for a total cost of about $600. If none of that bother you, then you are good to go.

Shared Private Shuttle from Galveston Crusie Ship to Hobby or IAH airports.

Most of the time, this is the most economical way to transfer from Houston airports to Galveston cruise terminal. If you have a large group, of if you traveling with your family, this option can be a very affordable transportation option. The rate per person to transfer from Houston Hobby to Galveston cruise terminal is about $35, and from George Bush International (IAH) to Galveston, it is about $45, assuming you are a group of 5 or 6 passengers.

TownCar or limousine from Houston Hobby / IAH to Galveston Cruise Ship Terminal

Another good option, that most of the people don’t think about because of the stigma associated with the limousine service being for rich people or very expensive. In fact Limousine companies provide an excellent service for very competitive prices. For example many Limousine in Houston offer a Towncar Transfer from Hobby airport to Galveston Crusie terminal or in that matter to most of the East side of Galveston Island for $110.00 (For 3 passengers, it is about $36 each) which is really affordable for a limo service, and very comfortable Luxury Towncar. The transfer from George Bush International (IAH) to Galveston Cruise Terminal, or other part of the island is $149 for a Towncar, and $175 for an SUV which can hold 7 passengers, so you do the math. They also provides 10 passengers van for very competitive prices. And again it is a limousine service, and most of the time, it is cheaper than a cab ride.

Other advantages of limousine service are:

  • You do not need to wait in line as you do for cabs
  • They greet you inside the terminal with a sign with your name on it.
  • You can pay for the service in advance, it help if you want to pay for your parents for example.
  • They can accommodate large groups
  • They provide professional drivers
  • They offer online reservation
  • They monitor your flight in case you come early, or you are delayed, so you will always have a driver waiting for you.
  • They can be hired hourly to provide you with transportation around the city
  • They provide car service discounts when booked online (some companies)

My First Cruise

WOW! That is how i felt when i stepped foot onto the most beautiful ship i have ever seen. I just returned home to philadelphia from my first cruise experience and i feel like my life has been changed forever.

This was not just a regular cruise. This was a millionaire mentoring success cruise. Big difference.

I started out by flying to Miami Florida to meet up with about 50 of my business associates. We spent the night in a beautiful hotel on the Miami river. The next morning we had an outstanding training session with my person mentor Mr. Dwayne Golden. This gentleman is one of the most dynamic trainers in all of the world. I believe everyone should have someone like Dwayne in their life.

Then we were off to the port where our beautiful ship awaited us. Her name was The Majesty of The Seas.

I have seen cruise ships from the outside and they all look huge but until you step foot on one you have no idea.

As soon as you step on to the ship you are overwhelmed with beauty. Glass elevators, brass handrails, and mirror everywhere. I felt like i was in one of Donald Trumps casinos. Then i proceeded to my private stateroom where i was greeted with an ocean view. It was amazing. So after i got settled in it was time for dinner.

I could go on for hours about the amazing dining experiences that i was blessed with but i do not want to make anyone jealous. I was surrounded by an amazing group of like minded entrepreneurs and lets just say that we were treated like royalty. I am not sure which was better, the food or the service. They were both outstanding. Every meal was better than the last. With out a doubt the best culinary experiences of my life and i have been to many five star restaurants but none of them compared to this.

Our first destination was Nassau Bahamas. When woke up and looked out the window i saw paradise. After i got showered and dressed i had the privilege of spending a few hours with a skillionaire. His name is Myron Golden and this man is nothing short of a genius. If you would like your life to go from tragic to magic in a short period of time you will want to get familiar the systems that he has created.

After lunch it was time to get a taste of paradise. As soon as i got off the ship in the Bahamas i looked into the Caribbean sea and immediately saw some of the most colorful fish in the world. As i strolled around the streets of Nassau shopping for souvenirs all i could think of was how great my life has become since i began my journey of personal development. It is amazing the kind of life you can live when you actually make a decision to change the quality of your life.

That night we had full schedule of entertainment as we cruised to our next destination. We experienced a hilarious hour of karaoke. Then the laughs continued with a comedy show in the next room over. Then it time to dance. Fortunately for me some of the people i was with were from Colombia because until that night i had no idea how to salsa dance. I had a so much fun i went back the next night and learned a few more moves.

When we woke up the next morning we were in Coco Cay. This is a private island in the Bahamas that is owned by the cruise line. We were anchored out in the middle of the sea and we had to take a shuttle boat to get on to the island. Once we arrived on the island we went snorkeling and then we relaxed on the beach. As i was sitting in a hammock watching the waves come in i was looking out at the ship as it sat anchored still a few hundred yards away. It looked so small. So i had my friend take a picture of me standing along the edge of the rocks with my hand out and it looks like the ship is in my hand. It is a really cool picture. I would love to send you a copy of it.

That evening we saw something nobody could describe. There was a full moon with a very bright ring around it. It looked like a halo. If you know what that is about please let me know. As we danced the night away on the top deck over looking the swimming pool there was a man creating an ice sculpture that turned out to be an Indian head. It was really cool looking. After the music finally stopped we went to the all night pizza buffet. About 20 of us sat there eating pizza and telling stories. We had some good laughs as we learned some new things about each other.

The next morning we woke up in the Florida Keys. From our view on the ship it looked amazing. To our left there was an island with nothing but beautiful houses on it. And on our right was the city of Key West.

Before we went out to tour the beautiful city we we blessed to have another amazing trainer/celebrity who was willing to spend some time with us. Her name is Artemis Limpert. She is one of the most the most powerful women in free enterprise but she is also in the new movie Pass It On which is like a sequel to the movie The Secret. If you have not seen these movies yet you will want to do so immediately. They will change your life.

After getting some amazing wisdom from Mrs. Limpert were off the ship and onto the streets of Key West. This is amazing historical town with a ton of things to see. I did some touring around but it was very hot and sunny so me and my friends from Chicago decided to go swimming in the Gulf of Mexico for the rest of the day.

That night back on our beautiful ship with my body covered with sunburn i just relaxed and enjoyed the peace and quiet that i knew would be over in the morning.

As i woke up on our final morning in Miami Florida all i could think about was the next time i will be cruising out to sea. Which will not be long. Our team will be celebrating our next success cruise in April. You should set a goal for yourself to be on it with us. It will be a life changing experience.

Do not just live life, Create a lifestyle.

Congratulations on your future success,

The Frugal Cruiser, Consider a Repositioning Cruise

The frugal cruiser… And who doesn’t want to save money on travel these days… Should consider taking a repositioning cruise.

Cruise lines that concentrate on the Caribbean in the wintertime… And the Mediterranean in the summertime have to get their ships from one cruising ground to the other.

Hence the repositioning cruise… Which offers at a reduced rate, a lot of sea days, great food, great relaxation, all of the same amenities you would expect on a cruise offering ports of call on a daily basis.

We just returned from a cruise from Fort Lauderdale that ended up 14 days later in Citavecchia, italy…the port closest to Rome Italy.

At a price of $899 per person… That works out to a per day price of $64 a person, this is truly a remarkable bargain… Try finding a resort, for $64 a day per person including all meals and entertainment.

The repositioning cruise, is not for everyone, since we had 8 sea days before our first port of call in Gibraltar. Subsequent ports, were Alicante, Spain…Barcelona… Marseille France… Livorno Italy (Florence/Pisa).

For those that take cruises for relaxation these eight days at sea can be heaven like… Great for relaxing on board, with good books and great company at mealtime.

The entertainment is what you would expect on a first-class cruise ship. Good dance reviews, singers, hypnotists and comedians.

The highlight of this particular cruise in my opinion, were the educational speakers… With the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster… Several talks on that fateful night off Nova Scotia, gave an insight that goes far behind the scenes… in more depth… than any movie could possibly cover.

To those that say eight days between ports is boring… I would beg to differ, there never seem to be enough time in the day to do all the activities that were available for the passengers.

Some repositioning cruises, going from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean include stops at the Azores or Bermuda… This particular itinerary did not include those stops.

So for the frugal traveler that enjoys the ambiance, service, great food that today’s mega-cruise ships provide… Take a look at the savings you can realize by taking a repositioning cruise.

These cruises leave generally from the Florida area in the spring… And from Mediterranean and European ports in the fall.

For those travelers, that want a bargain, a cruise between popular cruising grounds should be in your future.

Luxury Cruising From San Francisco to Hawaii on Princess Cruise Lines

In a recent article entitled “Three Reasons to Book Your Next Cruise our of San Francisco,” we wrote about the fun of spending part of a vacation in the famous City by the Bay, and part of it cruising to exciting destinations like Hawaii, Alaska, and the South Pacific. This story is about the cruise we selected to follow our own tour of San Francisco.

Selecting a cruise

As Mark Twain often noted, it can be a bit chilly in San Francisco regardless of the time of year, so we thought a cruise to some place warm would be the perfect other-bookend for a vacation.

We did an internet search and explored all the cruise line itineraries sailing out of San Francisco on our travel dates, and Princess Cruise Lines had exactly what we wanted – a roundtrip sailing from San Francisco to the Hawaiian Islands. We made the right choice, and here’s what you can expect if you decide to take the same plunge.

The day before the cruise

We arrived in San Francisco the day before our cruise departure to Hawaii. We toured our favorite sites in the city, had a nice dinner at Scoma’s on Pier 47, and checked into our favorite and always fashionable San Francisco Hyatt Regency. The hotel is directly across from the iconic Ferry Building on the Embarcadero, and a very short distance from the cruise terminal at Pier 35.

Sailing out of the Golden Gate

We settled into our port side stateroom, popped open a bottle of bubbly, and when the ship pulled away from the dock, we proceeded to our patio to watch the San Francisco skyline on slow parade. There was Ghirardelli Square lit up in its entire splendor, and the famous Transamerica Pyramid Building – outstanding among its traditional “square” neighbors.

We could see the Golden Gate Bridge coming up above the bow, and we bid a fond farewell to old Fort Point as we made our way out of San Francisco Bay and into the vast blue Pacific. All we could think at the time was, “What a spectacular way to start a cruise!”

Next stop – Hilo, on the big island of Hawaii. A future article will describe the Hawaiian ports of call in Hilo, Nawiliwili, Lahaina, Honolulu, and our final stop in Ensenada, Mexico, before returning to San Francisco. Why are cruise ships sailing to Hawaii from US ports required to stop in a foreign port like Ensenada? We will explain in the upcoming article.

This story features the many vacation pleasures aboard the Star Princess. Note: The Grand Princess has now replaced the Star Princess on the Hawaiian route out of San Francisco. They are sister ships, so the differences are minimal.

Sweet suites

The Star Princess has several luxury suites positioned throughout the ship. The Grand Suite is 1,314 square feet of pure indulgence, with a walk in closet, large bathrooms, and an oversized balcony. These elegant digs are for the truly fortunate among us.

Besides luxury accommodations, the suites come with supplementary amenities such as an exclusive Suite Breakfast at the Sabatini’s specialty restaurant – where you can start your day with a complimentary “Good Morning Mimosa,” and select other goodies from an extraordinary breakfast menu. We expected the service to be impeccable, and it was.

Did you know that the now famous champagne and orange juice “Mimosa” drink was first created and named at the Paris Ritz in 1925? Its namesake is the mimosa plant, which has bright and frothy yellow flowers.

There are also afternoon and pre-dinner cocktail and private nosh parties where suite passengers get to mingle and mix with the ship’s officers that drop by.

Care for a quiet dinner for two? Having a lavish room service meal served in a ship’s suite is the height of seagoing indulgence and sublime privacy.

Suite passengers are also provided with priority boarding, and disembarkation via the Elite/Suite Disembarkation Lounge. While visiting ports that require taking a launch to shore, suite occupants are furnished Priority Tender Disembarkation Tickets – a nice time-saving touch.

Time for dinner

It was soon time for our initial dinner on board the Star Princess. The first night aboard a cruise ship is a casual affair, so after cleaning up a bit, we made our way down to the Portofino Dining Room on Deck 6.

The Maître d’hôtel was busy orchestrating the process of showing the first diners to their assigned tables. Remember when everyone ate at either an “early” or, “late” sitting? These days you can dine in traditional fashion or decide to eat at any time you choose during dining hours. There are advantages to both practices – it is clearly a matter of personal taste.

That’s entertainment

After a sumptuous dinner, it was time for our opening night of entertainment in the Princess Theatre on Deck 6 and 7. The first show included the entire cast in an extravaganza review. The large two-story theatre was packed, but comfortable, and everyone enjoyed the lavish musical production.

We took a stroll around the Lido deck before returning to our stateroom after the show. Not quite ready for bed, we turned on the TV, and watched our first movie from the library of closed circuit films. It was an oldie,- An Affair to Remember, starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr – a quintessential tearjerker with the plot starting on a cruise ship. What could be more apropos for the setting?

Days at sea

It took four days to reach our first port of call in Hilo. We travelled 2,003 nautical miles (2,303 highway miles) from San Francisco. The time passed quickly.

Days at sea can be quiet or exciting – it’s your choice. You can shop endlessly in the myriad Ship’s Boutiques. You can visit the Internet Café to catch up on emails, listen to live Chamber Music, and attend lively Art Auctions. How about a workout in the extensive Gym, a Seminar at Sea, eating pizza, a hot dog, or hamburger, or trying your luck in the Casino?

Having your teeth whitened is another option, as is enjoying sundry Spa indulgences, snoozing by one of the Pools, and chatting it up while enjoying the entertainment at your choice of the many Bars and Lounges. There is also the opportunity to watch Movies outdoors or indoors, peruse the Library, read, and of course – eat.

The ship’s master

On one of our days at sea, we had an opportunity to interview the ship’s captain. At the time of our sailing, the master of the Star Princess was Edward Perrin who hails from Dorset, England. As is usually the case, Captain Perrin was most congenial and very willing to share stories about his ship and experiences at sea.

We always ask sea captains what they like best about their jobs. Captain Perrin revealed that he most enjoyed the ability to have a positive impact on people’s lives – both crew, and passengers. He gave an example of an elderly couple who saved all their lives to take a cruise. They approached him with the problem that they had no more money to spend while on the cruise. Captain Perrin summarily wrote a list of “free” things the couple could do on their cruise vacation. They were elated, and the good Captain was equally gratified – it made his day, and he has never forgotten the feeling of being able to help.

Where passenger services are concerned, an important member of the crew is the Hotel General Manager. On the Star Princess, that was Terri Lynn Cybuliak, and she greatly contributed to our fun discussion.

As we have mentioned in previous cruise articles, ship’s captains are contracted to be masters for months, not years, and therefore transfer from ship to ship quite frequently. Keep an eye out – you may very well find Captain Perrin at the helm of your next Princess cruise.

Attention on the bridge

After our meeting, Captain Perrin invited us to join him on the bridge. The ship’s bridge is always manned 24-hours a day by two officers working four-hour shifts in a three-watch system. It is interesting to witness the vast array of sophisticated systems that run these mega ships in a controlled and quiet atmosphere. We continue to be fascinated by the fact that the traditional ship’s steering wheel has been replaced by a tiny joystick on a desk panel.

Dining in the specialty restaurants

All the food aboard the Star Princess, and most other cruise ships for that matter, is quite delicious. It is amazing that seagoing chefs can prepare thousands of assorted meals daily, and do it with such finesse.

People always ask, “If all the sit down meals are included in the price of the cruise, why would anyone pay extra to eat in a specialty dining room?” The answer is quite simple – intimacy – and a little something extra special for an important occasion.

Each specialty restaurant has its own kitchen, so there is just a touch more attention to detail in the food preparation and presentation. The waiters have fewer tables to attend, and the overall experience is that of eating in a truly fine restaurant. The extra charge is never extravagant, and the experience is worthwhile.

Avoid disappointment, reserve your specialty restaurants early.

Our recommendations

Throughout the years, we have enjoyed many cruises, and Princess Cruises is one of our favorite lines. It provides first time cruisers with an enjoyable introduction to cruise vacationing, and it offers seasoned cruisers a nice selection of accommodations and amenities. Whatever your wallet dictates, a Princess Cruise will provide good value for your vacation dollars.

If you go

San Francisco International Airport is about 20 miles and a $65 taxi ride to the Cruise Terminal or Hyatt Regency. Your travel agent or Princess Cruises can also arrange transfers to and from the airport, but if there are two passengers involved, we recommend taking a cab, it’s a lot less hassle.

A final note

The San Francisco Cruise Terminal is presently located at Pier 35. That will change when the America’s Cup Headquarters pulls up stakes from Pier 27 sometime around September 2013 – after the US (hopefully) wins the Cup.

After a quick facelift and the addition of a new park at the site, the vastly improved cruise terminal at Pier 27 will be capable of handling larger ships, and will come with expansive views of the City including Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower, the Ferry Building, and the Bay Bridge.

Happy travels!

Positives And Negatives Of a Cruise Vacation Verses an All-Inclusive Holiday

People often ask me “should I take a cruise vacation or should I go on an all-inclusive holiday” The truth is, that is not an easy question to answer in a few words, but I will go over some of the crucial differences between a cruise holiday and an all-inclusive vacation. Hopefully this will allow you to make your own, well-informed vacation decision.

Ready? Then let’s start. First the Pro, in favor of a cruise vacation.

The 1st point in support of a cruise vacation is going to be the food. Unlike most all-inclusive holidays, your cruise includes a sit down dining room dinner every night of your voyage. The cuisine is 5 star and very elegant. Have as many portions of the 4 course meal as you choose to.

The second point in favor would be the entertainment. The nightly shows and on board entertainment far exceeds anything you would find in an all- inclusive. High quality dancers and singers entertain you every night on board the ship.

The 3rd supporting point is going to be the ship itself. These luxurious liners are just as glorious as any hotel you would find on land.

The 4th point in support of a cruise vacation will be the service. Everyone from the cruise director all the way down to your cabin steward is first and foremost concerned about your comfort and enjoyment of the cruise.

And conversely, for balance, I will present just a few of the benefits of an all-inclusive holiday.

The 1st point in favour of the all-inclusive will be the price. For one relatively small price, your all-inclusive really does include everything from the hotel room to the flight and all the food and drink.

The second point against in favor of the all-inclusive holiday is the crowd. I would not say that cruise ships are crowded, because they are certainly not. However, during certain times of day people do tend to congregate all in the same area. When that happens, you may want to be somewhere else..

The 3rd point is that you stay in the same place for the duration of your vacation. Compared to a cruise ship which docks at a different destination almost every day. This one will be determined by your preference, if you prefer to see a different exotic island almost every day of your trip then the cruise will be for you, otherwise, the all-inclusive will allow you more time to explore the destination that you are already enjoying.