|Galveston’s maritime heritage spans the eras of tall ships and mega-cruise ships.|
Newer and bigger cruise ships are calling Galveston their home. Families in the south central U.S. prefer to drive to their cruise so they don’t have to purchase multiple air tickets. West Coast cruisers—with fewer southern California options—often fly to Galveston on the day of departure to avoid a pre-cruise stay, which they won’t be able to do at an East Coast port.
Those are just a few of the reasons why the city is becoming popular. Others include its sunny, often warm climate, historical Grand Strand, and unique events. “Galveston consistently earns high marks from our guests, which is one of the many reasons Carnival has been there for 11 years now,” says Jonie Rein, vice president of worldwide sales, Carnival Cruise Lines. “Its proximity to Houston allows guests to easily fly and drive to the port, while its charms are unique, warm and inviting.”
Carnival will have its biggest, most amenity-laden vessel, the new 130,000-ton Carnival Magic, at Galveston starting November 14 for seven-day western Caribbean cruises with calls at Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Approximately 2,500 U.S. travel agents will attend a pier-side overnight function onboard the ship November 13.
Carnival Magic replaces the 110,000-ton Carnival Conquest, which will reposition to New Orleans. The 70,000-ton Carnival Ecstasy, which has also sailed from Galveston for many years, is being replaced on October 6 with the larger, 102,000-ton Carnival Triumph, offering four- and five-day Caribbean cruises.
Royal Caribbean International will be deploying an even larger ship at Galveston. The 138,000-ton Mariner of the Seas will have seven-day sailings from November 11 through April 15 next year. Depending on sailing date, the ship calls at Cozumel, Falmouth (Jamaica) and Grand Cayman, or alternatively, Cozumel, Roatan (Honduras) and Belize City.
Starting on September 22, 2012, Disney Cruise Line will bring the 83,000-ton Disney Magic to Galveston for a series of 12 cruises. It’s Disney’s first ever home-port program at Galveston. The seven-night western Caribbean itineraries will call at Grand Cayman and at Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico.
Also late in 2012, Princess Cruises will homeport the 113,000-ton Crown Princess in the city. It will sail on seven-night, roundtrip western Caribbean voyages between December 22, 2012, and April 27, 2013, calling at Cozumel and Costa Maya, Roatan and Belize City.