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Tips for Planning a Memorable Cruise Departing from Galveston

If you’re dreaming of embarking on a cruise adventure, departing from Galveston can be an excellent choice. Located on the Gulf Coast of Texas, Galveston offers convenient access to a variety of cruise lines and destinations. To ensure your cruise leaving from Galveston is as memorable as possible, consider these tips for planning your trip.

Research and Choose the Right Cruise Line

When planning a cruise leaving from Galveston, it’s crucial to research and select the right cruise line that suits your needs and preferences. Each cruise line offers different amenities, activities, and itineraries, so take the time to explore what each one has to offer. Some popular options departing from Galveston include Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, and Disney Cruise Line.

Consider factors such as the length of the cruise, destinations visited, onboard activities and entertainment options, dining choices, and budget. Reading reviews from previous passengers can also provide valuable insights into the overall experience offered by each cruise line.

Check Visa Requirements for Your Destinations

Before embarking on your cruise leaving from Galveston, make sure to check if any of your planned destinations require visas or other travel documents. While some ports may allow passengers to disembark without additional documentation for short visits or organized shore excursions arranged by the cruise line, others may have specific visa requirements.

Researching visa requirements well in advance will help you avoid any last-minute surprises or disappointments during your trip. Contacting the embassy or consulate of each destination country is usually the best source of up-to-date information regarding visa requirements.

Plan Pre- and Post-Cruise Activities in Galveston

Galveston itself is a charming city with plenty to offer visitors before or after their cruises depart. Take advantage of this opportunity by planning pre- and post-cruise activities in Galveston to enhance your overall experience.

Explore the historic Strand District, known for its Victorian architecture and unique shops. Visit the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier for thrilling rides and waterfront entertainment. Discover the beautiful beaches and enjoy water sports such as kayaking or paddleboarding. Additionally, Galveston boasts several museums and attractions, including Moody Gardens and the Texas Seaport Museum.

Pack Wisely for Your Cruise

One of the keys to a stress-free cruise leaving from Galveston is packing wisely. Start by checking your cruise line’s website or contacting them directly for any specific dress codes or packing guidelines they may have.

Bring comfortable clothing and footwear suitable for both onboard activities and shore excursions. Don’t forget essentials such as sunscreen, swimwear, a hat, sunglasses, and any necessary medications. Remember that cruise cabins often have limited storage space, so try to pack efficiently while considering the duration of your trip.

In conclusion, planning a memorable cruise departing from Galveston involves careful research and preparation. Choose the right cruise line that aligns with your preferences, check visa requirements for your destinations, plan pre- and post-cruise activities in Galveston itself, and pack wisely for a stress-free experience. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating unforgettable memories on your Galveston departure cruise.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


winter cruises out of galveston

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Early Morning at the Beach by Pleasure Pier, Galveston, Texas

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Galveston Island is a gem for Texas tourism — and it’s easy to see why. Fascinating history, well-preserved 18th century architecture, gorgeous beaches and thrilling outdoor adventures. Experience all this and cruise out of Galveston with Travel Weekly’s Best Cruise Line Overall 19 years running.

Historic St. Mary's Catholic Church in Fredericksburg. Texas.

Go Bold From Galveston

Unlock the shores of the western Caribbean on some fan favorites from our award-winning fleet. Wander through ancient Mayan ruins in Puerto Costa Maya, snorkel in Cozumel’s dramatic tropical reefs and zipline across lush rainforests in Roatán. Choose from a 7-night adventure onboard Harmony of the Seas®. Or go long on thrills with a quick getaway on Mariner of the Seas®. Or go long on thrills with a quick getaway on Voyager of the Seas®

Harmony of the Seas Sailing out of Galveston, Texas


Oasis Class flavors, thrills and beats go full-throttle on the biggest, boldest ship to ever sail from Texas — Harmony of the Seas®. Twist, shout and let it all out down the tallest slide at sea. Over 20 dining venues take you from Italy to Wonderland. And when the sun goes down, head to the AquaTheater or experience the Broadway hit Grease. All while maxing out memories onshore in Mexico and Roatán .


Voyager of the Seas Aerial Sports Court and Rock Climbing Wall Close Up


Get ready for memory-maxing onboard Voyager of the Seas ® . Here, adventure reaches new heights with a rock-climbing wall 40 feet above deck. Tastes buds go globetrotting with mouthwatering dishes from Italy to Japan. And big thrills are always on the forecast with the Perfect Storm ℠   — the boldest waterslides at sea.


Things To Do in Galveston

Gulf Beach, Galveston, Texas


Gulf Beach, Galveston, Texas

Unwind along Galveston’s 32 miles of sun-drenched shoreline at one of the many county beach parks lining the Gulf of Mexico. Galveston Island State Park offers quiet seclusion and Stewart Beach is a great family-friendly option, while East Beach is a popular gathering space for livelier beach crowds.

The Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier in Galveston, Texas


The Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier in Galveston, Texas

Say hello to the thrills and excitement of the massive amusement park at the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier. Galveston cruises give the opportunity to experience all that the pier has to offer. Enjoy the rides before playing all of the classic carnival games — there's even a roller coaster on Pleasure Pier!

Old Strand District, Galveston, Texas


Stroll past well-preserved Victorian-era buildings in the old Strand District during your Galveston cruise. Once called the “Wall Street of the South”, this charming commercial hub, along with the neighboring East End Historic District, is home to mansions-turned-museums, the Grand 1894 Opera House, plus loads of unique shops and cozy cafés.

Gulf Shrimp Plate, Galveston, Texas


Seafood is king on Galveston Island— Gulf shrimp, blue crabs, snapper and grouper come fresh off the boat. But the signature Tex-Mex cuisine equally impresses with sizzling fajitas and tequila-laced margaritas. Old Strand Emporium scoops out ice-cream parlor charm, while La King’s Confectionary is where local candy makers craft saltwater taffy in-house. Don’t miss a drive-through daiquiri stand for a frozen cocktail on-the-go.

Antique Storefront Model Ship, Galveston, Texas

The Strand Historical District is the town’s prime shopping spot, where 19th-century storefronts now house a quirky collection of locally owned gift shops and antique stores. Here you can pick up beachwear, whimsical gifts, model ships, used books, Southwestern turquoise jewelry, and Texas-inspired home décor.

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Find a great cruise from Galveston

What are the best cruises from galveston.

Several great cruises out of Galveston in 2023 are available, including Royal Caribbean International's , Allure of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas , which travel throughout the Caribbean Sea. On these cruises, you can set sail while enjoying entertainment and Broadway musicals in addition to buffet meals, room service, and spa treatments with stunning views from the deck. Norwegian cruise lines are also quite rewarding, with luxury amenities and plenty of stops along the Mexican coast.

How can I find a cheap cruise out of Galveston?

When you search for budget Galveston cruises in 2023, you can sort your results by price to put the cheapest options at the top of the list. Discounts are already applied in the search prices and you will find attractive cruise deals. Most cheap cruises from Galveston reach ports in the northern Caribbean, such as the Bahamas.

What cruise lines operate from Galveston?

A variety of Galveston cruise lines depart from Galveston port including Carnival , Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian, Princess , Disney , and more. Couples, families or groups can all find options leaving from Galveston. You’ll find luxury, all-inclusive, last-minute or all types of cruises with the cruise lines that operate out of Galveston.

How can I find good cruise deals out of Galveston?

All deals on cruises departing from Galveston will be marked on your search results page with a green box right above the cruise price estimate. Within the green box, you'll see the upper limit of the discount available. Sorting by price is a great way to put these kinds of results at the top of the search page. Additionally, you'll want to consider the perks and amenities you can get for a discounted price, as that can be a great deal compared to a cheaper cruise without any of the extra features on deck.

What should I look out for when booking a cruise from Galveston in 2024?

To get the most out of your cruise out of Galveston, you'll need to find one that offers the kind of experience you'd enjoy most. Consider who you'll be traveling with, as a romantic cruise can be far different from a more family-friendly cruise. Additionally, consider what kind of amenities come with the price of a ticket and what is extra. Fortunately, you can always check the "What's included" section of any cruise to learn more. Since most cruises from Galveston go to the Caribbean or the Mexican coast, be sure to consider which destination is most appealing. Plus, winter travel from Galveston can still take you to warmer shores.

Where are the best places to go on cruises leaving from Galveston?

Several incredible destinations are within cruising distance, with cruises from Galveston to Mexico being particularly popular. Some ports in Mexico include Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, Cancun and Cozumel. You may also be interested in cruises to the Bahamas . These cruises traverse over 700 islands with plenty of white beaches and turquoise water to enjoy.

What are some good all-inclusive cruises from Galveston?

All-inclusive cruises from Galveston in 2024 come in many forms, but they all feature an inviting cabin, food, and entertainment such as what you'll find on Norwegian cruises or Princess cruises. Both of these cruise lines may already include quite a bit in the price of a ticket such as spa facilities and room service, check your cruise booking for details.

What are some great family cruises out of Galveston?

Family cruises from Galveston to exciting destinations like Jamaica and Cozumel offer fun for adults and kids alike, and Disney cruises tend to be among the best in that regard. You'll also find youth programs available with Royal Caribbean International and Princess cruises out of Galveston. Royal Caribbean has water slides and zip-lining. Princess cruises have onboard education programs for the kids. Of course, the captain makes sure that family cruises are smooth sailing as well for a relaxing experience.

What are some good adults-only cruises from Galveston?

Adults-only cruises out of Galveston to destinations like the Bahamas or Jamaica let you relax on your journey throughout the sea in 2023 without the noise of kids nearby, and you'll find some alluring options from Carnival cruises and Norwegian cruises. Plus, adults-only cruises often include drinks from the bar in the price of the ticket, which is something that would typically cost extra.

What are some good singles cruises from Galveston?

Singles cruises out of Galveston to destinations like Antigua and Mexico are specifically designed to let adults meet each other, and you'll find plenty of options from Royal Caribbean International along with Princess cruises. The activities and entertainment onboard are geared toward the solo traveler looking to find unforgettable experiences on the waves.

Are there any Christmas cruises from Galveston in 2023?

Yes, you can find Christmas cruises by searching using travel dates around Christmas. Going on a cruise is a popular winter vacation in Galveston for travelers looking to reach warmer shores, so just about every cruise line that's common to the port typically has something available. Most of the cruises visit the Western Caribbean with ports like Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Belize.

What are some great gay cruise lines out of Galveston?

Princess cruises and Royal Caribbean International have several gay cruises from Galveston available offering a variety of experiences, with some being 5-day cruises from Galveston and others lasting nearly 2 weeks. The captains on these cruises can take you throughout the Caribbean, with some having multiple shore excursions in places like Jamaica, Mexico, and the Cayman Islands.

How do I book a cruise from Galveston on Expedia?

To book a cruise out of Galveston, all you have to do is browse our pre-selected deals or set Galveston as your departure destination to see more. You can narrow down the search quite a bit by picking an arrival destination and departure dates as well. Plus, you'll find filters for a variety of cruise aspects such as cabin conditions, cruise lines, cruise ships, and more.

How can I find last-minute cruise deals from Galveston?

To find last-minute cruise deals from Galveston, simply enter your planned departure date, even if it's sometime soon, and available deals will be marked with a green box above the price on the search results page describing how much of a discount you can get. Additionally, you may want to sort your results by departure date to see what's the closest cruise available and get out to sea as soon as possible.

Can I book weekend cruises out of Galveston?

Plenty Galveston weekend cruises are on offer, you just have to find the right one for you. Venturing out of the Galveston port for a weekend is easy when you take advantage of the available search filters. Activate the filter for 3-5 nights in the cruise length section then sort the results by length to find the shortest cruises available. Common weekend destinations from Galveston include the Mexican coast and more ports throughout the Western Caribbean.

Do I need a passport to cruise from Galveston?

Whether you need a passport on a cruise from Galveston depends on where the cruise will return. If it's departing from Galveston and returning at the same port, you won't need a passport even if you anchor in another country like Mexico during the cruise. This is called a closed-loop cruise, and it means that as long as the cruise begins and ends in a US port, you don't need a passport.

Can I cancel my cruise booking?

Yes, you can cancel any cruise booking from your My Trips page or by contacting customer service. How much of a refund you get depends on the cruise line's specific policies and how far in advance of your departure you cancel, so make sure to cancel in advance to get the best deal.

Why should I book a cruise from Galveston with Expedia in 2023?

When you book a cruise out of Galveston, Texas, with Expedia, you can expect a wide variety of options available alongside search tools that make it easy to narrow down results and find the right ship for your cruise vacation. Plus, Expedia Rewards members will earn points on eligible purchases that can then be put toward future travel, including cruises, hotels, car rentals, flights, and activities.

Galveston Cruise Guide

winter cruises out of galveston

Galveston, where beautiful shoreline beaches stretch along the Gulf of Mexico, is a port to many major cruise lines including Carnival, Disney, and Royal Caribbean. Since it's a popular Island city to visit by cruisers, a lot of hotels offer hotel parking programs that allow guests complimentary parking and a free shuttle to the cruise port.

If you’re only in Galveston for the morning before embarking on your cruise, make sure to grab breakfast at one of the many local mom-and-pop shops, like Farley Girls Café or the Gumbo Diner. Then take a stroll through historic downtown Galveston for shops, restaurants, museums, and an interactive pirate museum, Pirates! Legends of the Gulf Coast. If you're around for longer, there’s a variety of live music events that happen all year round, like inside the Moody Mansion, which is one of the many historical buildings found in the city. For animal lovers, try out a dolphin tour, or stop by the Moody Gardens complex which features a botanical garden, a giant aquarium and a live rainforest replica. Lastly, no trip to Galveston would be complete without stopping by the Island Historic Pleasure Pier, the family-oriented amusement park that features 16 rides, games, and a variety of shops and food venues including Texas’ very first Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

Pre and Post Cruise Hotels in Galveston

Baymont by Wyndham Galveston

Baymont by Wyndham Galveston

Reviewed on Nov 13, 2023

Inn at The Waterpark

Inn at The Waterpark

Reviewed on Nov 12, 2023

Galveston Beach Hotel

Galveston Beach Hotel

Wingate by Wyndham Galveston East Beach

Wingate by Wyndham Galveston East Beach

Reviewed on Nov 9, 2023

Best Western Plus Galveston Suites

Best Western Plus Galveston Suites

Reviewed on Nov 10, 2023

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winter cruises out of galveston

Set sail from a historic jewel in the Gulf of Mexico on Carnival cruises out of Galveston, Texas. Perched on the Gulf Coast, Galveston was a major commercial port in the late 1800s and has the restored architecture and proud history to show for it. Galveston’s long seawall stretches from beach to beach and offers gulf views the whole way. Sprinkle in a few museums, amusement parks, attractive beaches and tasty seafood restaurants, and you’ve got a great start to your cruise from Galveston.

  • Shop for antiques in the historic Strand District, near where Carnival cruises from Galveston dock.
  • Hear the sounds of a Central American rainforest at the gardens.
  • Treat yourself to spa day at a historical hotel.
  • Bike the length of the mural-adorned Seawall.

See it all from Galveston.

* Taxes, fees, and port expenses are additional per person.

winter cruises out of galveston

Winter 2023-24: Larger and Newer Ships to Sail from Galveston

  • April 3, 2023
  • Cruise Industry News

Allure of the Seas in Galveston

With the debut of the new Carnival Jubilee and the Harmony of the Seas, Galveston is set for a record-breaking winter season in 2023-2024.

Cruise Industry News looks at the ships sailing from the Texas homeport during the upcoming winter:

Harmony of the Seas Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean International Capacity: 5,448 guests Tonnage: 227,625 Built: 2016 Itineraries: Seven-night cruises to the Western Caribbean visiting Roatán, in Honduras, as well as Cozumel and Costa Maya, in Mexico Sailing Season: Year-Round starting on November 5

Voyager of the Seas Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean International Capacity (at 100% Occupancy): 3,100 guests Tonnage: 142,000 Built: 1999 Itineraries: Four- and five-night cruises to Mexico visiting Cozumel and Costa Maya Sailing Season: May 15 to April 25

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Line: Carnival Cruise Line Capacity (at 100% Occupancy): 5,400 guests Tonnage: 183,900 Built: 2023 Itineraries: Seven-night cruises to the Western Caribbean sailing to Hondura’s Mahogany Bay, as well as Mexico’s Costa Maya and Cozumel Sailing Season: Year-Round starting on December 23

C arnival Breeze Cruise Line: Carnival Cruise Line Capacity (at 100% Occupancy): 3,650 guests Tonnage: 130,000 Built: 2012 Itineraries: Four- and five-night cruises to Mexico visiting Cozumel, Costa Maya and Puerto Progreso Sailing Season: Year-Round

Carnival Dream Cruise Line: Carnival Cruise Line Capacity (at 100% Occupancy): 3,650 guests Tonnage: 130,000 Built: 2009 Itineraries: Alternating schedule of six- and eight-night cruises sailing to the Bahamas or the Western Caribbean with visits to Freeport, Nassau, Half Moon Cay, Cozumel, Belize and more Sailing Season: Year-Round

Norwegian Prima Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Line Capacity (at 100% Occupancy): 3,215 guests Tonnage: 142,500 Built: 2022 Itineraries: Seven-night cruises to the Western Caribbean visiting Cozumel and Costa Maya in Mexico; Harvest Caye in Belize; and Roatán in Honduras Sailing Season: December 15 to March 29

Regal Princess Cruise Line: Princess Cruises   Capacity (at 100% Occupancy): 3,600 guests Tonnage: 141,000 Built: 2014 Itineraries: Seven-night Western Caribbean cruises to Mexico, Honduras and Belize, in addition to ten- and 11-night cruises to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Mexico, Honduras and Belize in December Sailing Season: November 5 to March 17

Disney Magic Cruise Line: Disney Cruise Line Capacity (at 100% Occupancy): 1,750 guests Tonnage: 85,000 Built: 1999 Itineraries: Four- to seven-night cruises to the Western Caribbean visiting Mexico, Grand Cayman, Jamaica Sailing Season: December 17 to January 26/March 6 to April 9

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Cruises from Galveston, Texas

A cruise from Galveston is a great option to get away on a cruise vacation. Galveston, located just about an hour from Houston, offers miles of relaxing beaches, superb restaurants, marvelous shopping, antique stores, art galleries, fabulous entertainment, well-preserved Victorian architecture and is a great place to begin a cruise vacation.

The Caribbean cruises offered from Galveston range in length from 4 to 9 days and include ports such as Cozumel, Roatan, Belize and Costa Maya. Galveston can easily be reached from Texas and Western Louisiana and those within driving distance can also get some great last minute cruise deals when they cruise from Galveston. Pre and post cruise packages are available for those looking to extend their vacation or those driving longer distances to reach Galveston.

Call now or book online to receive exclusive rates, special deals and extra amenities on your next cruise from Galveston.

Featured Cruises from Galveston

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Galveston Highlights

NASA Space Center

NASA Space Center NASA Space Center is a must see for anyone visiting Houston or Galveston. Tours offered include “Blast Off Theater” where you can personally experience the thrill of launching into space like a real astronaut.


Dining Galveston dining includes a large selection of freshly-caught seafood offered in a wide variety of restaurants located on the island. Restaurants feature menus ranging from Cajun to Tuscan and everything in between.

Galveston Island

Galveston Island Galveston Island is well known for its Victorian architecture and beautiful beaches and makes a great beginning or ending for any cruise vacation.

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Celebrity Cruises 3 FREE Amenities + Up to $1,700 Onboard Credit

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Cruises from Galveston

An island full of art, architecture, and boutiques.

Princess® returns to Galveston, sailing once again from this city tucked within a quaint Gulf Coast barrier island. Explore the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier and grab some local cuisine, or visit Moody Gardens with attractions and entertainment ranging from a world-class aquarium and a living rainforest to the Discovery Museum and Colonel Paddlewheel Boat, before you embark on a cruise to exciting destinations in the Western Caribbean and Mexico such as Costa Maya, Cozumel and Roatan.

Caribbean cruises

On a cruise from Galveston to the Western Caribbean, explore the beauty of unspoiled coral reefs and underwater caves as well as visit the ancient Mayan ruins throughout the region. One moment you can be walking among the vast ruins of this mighty civilization and the next delving into the culture of the Yucatán Peninsula or simply unwinding on beaches that offer some of the best snorkeling in the world.

What to Know About Cruises from Galveston

Known for its history, beaches and outdoor adventures, Galveston is truly a gem in Texas. Here’s everything you need to know about your cruise from Galveston. 

Galveston at a glance

  • Language:  English
  • Currency:  U.S. Dollar (USD)
  • Time Zone:  Central Time (CT)
  • Docking:  Your cruise from Galveston docks at the Port of Galveston located in the city’s historic downtown district.
  • Attire:  Galveston’s temperatures throughout the year typically range from 48 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning it’s never too hot or too cold to spend the day at the beach.
  • Transportation:  You can get around the island by Uber, Lyft, shuttle, limousine, or rental car. There are also unique transportation options such as surreys along the beachfront and horse-drawn carriages in the historic downtown district.

Things to do in Galveston

Before getting on a cruise from Galveston, start your vacation with a visit to the city’s museums, historic neighborhoods, and cultural icons. Take a walk along the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, home to family-friendly rides, games, and other attractions. Then relax on one of Galveston’s many iconic beaches and enjoy the 32-miles of coastline. Whether you are traveling with family, a group of friends or your significant other, this laid-back island has something for everyone.

Cruise Ships Sailing from Galveston

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The 5 best cruises from Galveston for every type of traveler

Gene Sloan

What are the best cruises from Galveston, Texas ? I've been on all the cruise ships that sail out of the fast-growing cruise port (and visited all the places they go), and I know which one I would pick: A seven-night sailing on Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima.

I'm a big fan of this new Norwegian vessel's stylish design and upscale feel, and I love its luxurious Haven suite complex. It also offers a solid itinerary out of Galveston that visits several of my favorite ports in the Western Caribbean.

That said, a seven-night Norwegian Prima sailing out of Galveston isn't necessarily the best Galveston cruise for you.

For more cruise guides, news and tips, sign up for TPG's cruise newsletter .

Whether you'll have a better time on one of the other seven cruise ships that regularly sail out of Galveston will depend a lot on the type of traveler you are. The best ship for a cruise out of Galveston with your family might not be your top pick for a couple's cruise or girlfriends' getaway.

Here we list our top picks for the best cruises from Galveston for five different types of travelers.

Best for families: Allure of the Seas

winter cruises out of galveston

Looking for the best family cruise from Galveston? It's hard to go wrong with a sailing on Royal Caribbean 's giant Allure of the Seas.

Designed specifically to appeal to families, the world's fifth-largest cruise vessel is chock-full of more family-friendly activity zones than just about any other cruise ship at sea.

Thanks partly to its enormous size — it's 18 decks high and nearly 1,200 feet long — the 5,484-passenger Allure of the Seas has room for three separate main pool areas, a kiddie splash zone, surfing simulators, a miniature golf course, a basketball court and even a zip line. And that's just on its top decks.

Inside Allure of the Seas, you'll find all sorts of family attractions, including counselor-staffed play areas for kids, a teen club and an indoor ice skating rink. The ship also offers lots of family-friendly performances, such as ice skating shows at the rink and acrobatic and diving performances at an outdoor "Aquatheater." At the back of the ship, a New Jersey boardwalk-themed fun zone features rock-climbing walls and a hand-carved carousel.

In short, whether you have toddlers in tow or command a troop of teens and tweens, you'll find all sorts of activities to keep them squealing with delight — more than on any other ship that sails out of Galveston, including Disney Cruise Line's family-focused Disney Magic.

Related: The ultimate guide to Royal Caribbean cruises

Allure of the Seas sails out of Galveston every Sunday on seven-night voyages to the Western Caribbean. The ship stops at Roatan, Honduras; and Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico.

Note that in November 2023, Allure of the Seas will be replaced in Galveston with Royal Caribbean's slightly larger Harmony of the Seas. The two ships, both part of Royal Caribbean's groundbreaking Oasis class of vessels , are similar. However, the newer Harmony of the Seas has a couple more bells and whistles that will get your kids excited — most notably the Ultimate Abyss, a terrifying slide that drops nine decks. (Royal Caribbean says it drops 10 decks, but don't be fooled; the line is counting a nonexistent Deck 13.)

Harmony of the Seas also has a water park area, something that has yet to be added to Allure of the Seas.

If either of those two attractions is a must-have for your next cruise out of Galveston, you'll want to book the Harmony of the Seas sailings that start in November. Harmony of the Seas will operate the same itinerary as Allure of the Seas does now.

In addition, Royal Caribbean operates a second, smaller vessel out of Galveston: The 3,602-passenger Voyager of the Seas. The ship mostly sails four- and five-night trips to Mexico.

Best for Disney fans: Disney Magic

winter cruises out of galveston

As noted above, our pick for the best family cruises out of Galveston are the sailings available on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas. However, we say that with one big caveat: If your family is a Disney-obsessed family that can't imagine a vacation that isn't infused to the extreme with all things Disney, there is only one choice for your Galveston-based cruise: a voyage on Disney Magic .

Based seasonally in Galveston from December to April, Disney Magic offers the best cruises out of Galveston for the Disney fan. It is, for the record, the only Disney Cruise Line ship that sails from Galveston.

Disney Magic isn't a new ship. It dates to 1998 and is the oldest cruise ship regularly sailing out of Galveston. But it still feels modern, thanks to major makeovers in recent years.

One overhaul to Disney Magic not too long ago brought such cutting-edge features as the AquaDunk — a 37-foot-tall body slide that careens over the side of the vessel — and a new outdoor kiddie fun zone called AquaLab.

Disney Magic is also home to multiple pool areas and indoor children's zones that cover almost an entire deck, plus multiple themed restaurants that Disney fans will love. (In Disney Cruise Line tradition, passengers — and their waiters — rotate each night among three main restaurants.) The ship also has a large showroom for nightly Disney-themed shows.

Like all Disney ships, Disney Magic boasts many cabins with split bathrooms — a boon for families. That's not something you'll find on any of the other Galveston-based cruise vessels.

If you've tried Disney's newer Disney Wish or two Dream-class ships (Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream), you will notice that the 1,754-passenger Disney Magic is noticeably smaller — about 42% smaller than Disney Wish and 35% smaller than the Dream-class ships. That results in fewer and smaller attractions than the latter vessels. On the flip side, it has a much more intimate feel on board.

Related: The 3 types of Disney ships, explained

Disney Magic sails a mix of four- to six-night voyages from Galveston to Mexico. Shorter voyages typically visit Progreso, Mexico, while longer sailings add a stop in Cozumel.

Fares for off-peak sailings on Disney Magic often start around $800 per person for a four-night trip — significantly higher on a per-night basis than the lowest-cost sailings on many of the other ships sailing out of Galveston.

In other words, you'll pay a premium for that Disney magic.

Best for budget travelers: Carnival Breeze

winter cruises out of galveston

Carnival Cruise Line 's Carnival Breeze is the Galveston-based ship to pick when you're looking for a quick and affordable getaway — something that isn't a big commitment and won't break the bank.

Based in Galveston year-round, the 11-year-old vessel operates short four- and five-night voyages to the Western Caribbean that are often on sale for under $500 per person or less. For off-peak travel, we sometimes see five-night sailings for sale for around $300 per person — or just $60 a night. This is a third of the cost of similar five-night sailings on Disney Magic.

Remember, the rates mentioned for Carnival Breeze above are not just for your room but for meals on the ship, too.

For would-be Galveston cruisers, Carnival Breeze serves as a sort of "test the port" ship. Its short sailings and low pricing mean you're not out a lot in time or money if you don't love the experience. It caters heavily to first-time cruisers, as well as Texas locals and Southerners who can book on short notice and drive to the port for a quickie escape.

One of three ships in the line's Dream class that date to the late 2000s and early 2010s, the 3,690-passenger Carnival Breeze is no longer the newest or snazziest ship in the Carnival fleet. At around 130,000 tons, it's about 29% smaller than Carnival's newer Excel-class ships and has fewer venues, from bars and restaurants to entertainment spaces.

Related: The 8 types of Carnival ships, explained

That said, Carnival Breeze still has a huge amount to offer for all sorts of travelers, from couples to families with kids. The ship was, notably, the first Carnival ship to feature a 4D "thrill theater" and one of the first Carnival ships with a ropes course, both attractions that appeal heavily to teens and tweens.

Carnival Breeze also offers a water park with waterslides on its top decks, a miniature golf course, a sports court for basketball and volleyball, and multiple pools.

Interior venues on Carnival Breeze include a comedy club, piano bar, casino and showroom for big production shows. The dining options are similar to what you'll find on many Carnival ships, including an extra-charge steakhouse and Italian eatery, Cucina Del Capitano, as well as no-extra-charge main restaurants. It also has a sushi restaurant and a version of Carnival's Caribbean-inspired watering hole, RedFrog Pub.

Most Carnival Breeze sailings out of Galveston stop at Cozumel, with some adding a stop at Costa Maya, as well.

Carnival has two other vessels based year-round in Galveston: Carnival Vista and Carnival Dream. Both ships operate longer, generally more expensive sailings. Carnival Vista mostly sails seven-night trips out of Galveston, while Carnival Dream alternates between six- and eight-night voyages out of the Texas port.

Best for luxury lovers: Norwegian Prima

winter cruises out of galveston

There are no luxury-focused cruise lines, such as Silversea Cruises or Seabourn Cruise Line , sailing out of Galveston. Still, you can get a luxury cruise experience on a voyage from Galveston by sailing on the one mainstream vessel based in the city that has a separate "ship-within-a-ship" luxury zone: Norwegian Cruise Line 's new Norwegian Prima .

Hands down, the 3,215-passenger ship offers the best Galveston cruises for luxury lovers.

Unveiled in 2022, Norwegian Prima is the first of a new class of Norwegian vessel that the line has designed to be "elevated," in its words, as compared to earlier Norwegian ships. That is, it's designed to be more upscale.

The upscale turn included loading Norwegian Prima with an unusually large variety of suites (13 categories in all), including what the line says is the largest three-bedroom suites of any recently unveiled cruise vessel. If it's swanky digs you're after (and you have the money to spend), you'll find plenty of options on this ship.

Notably, the entire back of Norwegian Prima is devoted to an upscale luxury enclave for well-heeled travelers called The Haven. Rising eight decks high, it's home to 107 of the aforementioned suites, a sprawling private indoor lounge area, private outdoor lounge and pool areas, and a private restaurant — all exclusively for the use of those who pay up for one of its suites.

Related: The best cruise lines for elegance and exclusivity

Outside of The Haven, the entire ship has a more elegant feel than you'll find on other Norwegian ships. It has more of the feel of the ships you find in the fleets of Norwegian's higher-end sister brands, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises — albeit on a bigger scale.

Alas, Norwegian Prima only is based in Galveston seasonally for the winter, from December to March. It offers seven-night sailings to the Western Caribbean with calls in Roatan, Honduras; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; and Harvest Caye, Belize.

Best for retirees: Regal Princess

winter cruises out of galveston

Looking for a cruise out of Galveston that isn't jammed full of families with children? Look no further than the sailings out of the city on Princess Cruises ' Regal Princess.

Unlike the other major cruise ships that sail out of Galveston each year — operated by family-focused Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian and Disney — Regal Princess wasn't built with families in mind as the core customer. As is the case with all Princess ships, it's more of a ship geared toward middle-aged and older travelers without kids, including lots of retirees.

Notably, the 3,600-passenger Regal Princess lacks nearly all the gee-whiz attractions for families found on the other ships that sail out of Galveston. You won't find big waterslides, kiddie splash zones, zip lines or go-kart tracks on this ship.

For the most part, the top decks of Regal Princess only offer pools, whirlpools and sunning areas, as is typical for Princess ships. As a result, it draws far fewer families than the vessels above and caters more to an older crowd of mostly couples.

Related: The best cruises for seniors who love to travel

Regal Princess is based in Galveston on a seasonal basis from November to March. It operates some of the longest sailings from the Texas port, including 10- and 11-night trips to Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Honduras, Belize and Mexico. They're the sort of sailings that generally appeal to a retired crowd because these trips require a long time away from home.

The shortest sailings that the 10-year-old Princess Cruises ship operates out of Galveston are seven nights in length.

Bottom line

Galveston, Texas, offers a relatively wide range of choices for cruise ships and itineraries. Five different cruise lines sail four- to 11-night voyages that visit such Western Caribbean ports as Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.

What is the best cruise from Galveston for you? That'll depend on your personal interests and travel style, as there are cruises from Galveston that appeal to everyone, including family travelers, budget travelers and retirees.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

  • The 5 best cabin locations on any cruise ship
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  • A quick guide to the most popular cruise lines
  • 21 tips and tricks that will make your cruise go smoothly
  • 15 ways cruisers waste money
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  • What to pack for your first cruise
  • Loyalty Program Log In
  • Warm Up This Winter with Cruise Deals Out of Galveston, Texas

Have you been searching for an affordable, enjoyable way to escape the winter chill? Why not consider looking into cruise deals out of Galveston? It is one of the more popular cruise departure points in the United States. Many of the cruise lines that utilize the port offer trips to warm destinations like Mexico, Jamaica, Belize, Honduras and the Grand Caymans.

Take  Royal Caribbean Cruises  as a fine example. They are presently offering several six to seven night cruise deals out of Galveston to the Western Caribbean. The cruises are scheduled to take place on the Navigator of the Seas and include stops in Mexico and Honduras. The cruise ship is an amazing one. It includes a medi-spa, whirlpools, casino, solarium pools and so much more. Perhaps the best part is that depending on the date selected, you may be able to book one of the ship’s interior cabins for less than $500 USD per person. There are great deals available on outside, balcony and deluxe suites as well.

In addition to the cruise ship deals, affordable cruise parking in Galveston is available year round through our firm. We also provide shuttle service and baggage transportation to and from the Port of Galveston. The most cost effective way to reserve your cruise parking in Galveston is to do so in advance of your trip. Once you’ve determined which cruising dates suit your winter schedule, reservations may be made online through our  EZ Cruise Parking  website.

winter cruises out of galveston

Are you still hungry for more information about money-saving cruise options? As long-time Galveston residents, we’d be delighted to share our in-depth knowledge of the area with you. With that said, please feel free to  contact us  by phone or online. We also like to post information about cruise deals out of Galveston on our  Facebook  page. So you may want to stop by and check out our latest postings too.

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