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Tips for Holiday Cruising from Galveston

Updated 195 days ago

For cruising enthusiasts, it was like getting two early Christmas presents when Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas and the Disney Wonder sailed into port recently. The only thing missing was big red ribbons on top. For the first time ever, Galveston is home port to six ships. Ho, ho, ho!

With so many itinerary options to pick from, it may be a hard decision. There is one decision, however, that should be easy to make. If you are cruising this holiday season from Galveston, you should definitely spend a day or two on our Winter Wonder Island before or after your cruise.

There are so many things going on, we’ve created an entire Holiday section on

Hotels & Parking

The Harbor House Hotel is literally located next to the cruise terminal. The Tremont House is located a few blocks away. Both are convenient low-stress options for a pre or post stay on the island. Other island hotels offer free parking and transfers to the cruise terminal. If you want to park near the cruise terminal, you can save a few bucks by pre-paying.


Day Of Departure

If everything is on schedule, you can usually drop your bags at the cruise terminal at 10:30 am. Instead of boarding the ship, go explore Pier 21 and/or Downtown.  

Running through Jan. 1, Saengerfest Park will be home to the Lanterns & Lights, a magical display of Christmas trees, artisan made pieces, an interactive photo frame and a giant snow globe that will be the perfect setting for holiday selfies.

While downtown, knock out some holiday shopping. If you can’t find the perfect Christmas tree ornament, you’re not looking!

It’s your last chance for a yummy lunch before you start standing in the buffet line onboard. Visit our Downtown Restaurant Guide and you will find everything from burgers to seafood to Greek and Mexican. 

Oh yeah, don’t forget to get on the ship. You need to check in by 2:30 pm.

Bon Voyage!

Article written by Clayton Kolavo

Clayton is the Engagement Strategist for the Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau, overseeing the bureau's social media presence and engagement initiatives. He began working in the tourism industry following his graduation from Texas State University with a BS in Public Relations and Mass Communication.