A Galveston cruise will have you embarking from one of the busiest ports in the south. Cruises from Galveston generally sail on four, five, and seven-day voyages through the Caribbean, making stops along the Mexico coast and at various islands. The major cruise lines that sail from Galveston include Carnival and Royal Caribbean. The ships of these lines offer all the normal onboard facilities and amenities, including entertainment, shops, restaurants, casinos, fitness centers, swimming pools, and spa facilities>.
There are a number of cruises from Galveston to choose from. Ports of call can include Cozumel where there are shore excursions to Mayan ruins, beautiful Montego Bay Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and other destinations.
Most cruises from Galveston are operated throughout the year, although there can be disruptions during the hurricane season of June through October. Because the itineraries are relatively short, it is practical to combine a Galveston cruise with a few days' land stay on Galveston island, where you can visit fascinating Moody Gardens and bask on beautiful Texas beaches. The cruise and land stay combined makes for a wonderful and varied vacation.
There are other Galveston cruises for much shorter periods of time. The educational and enjoyable sightseeing cruises can last from an hour or two or most of the day. The Galveston Historical Foundation offers a one-hour cruise of the historic city harbor, combined with a dolphin watch (dolphin sightings are quite likely). The cruise is narrated by a knowledgeable guide, and there are four departures per day. Moody Gardens operates a traditional paddlewheel boat for one-hour cruises through Offatts Bayou. This boat also offers dinner cruises and sports two dance floors for after dinner entertainment. Playful dolphins are an almost constant feature of the harbor and gulf waters here, so there are other commercially operated dolphin watch cruises from Galveston. These are all operated in dolphin safe jet drive boats. There are also a number of privately operated party boats offering sunset and dinner cruises.
If you want a really exciting, more intimate Galveston cruise, you have a choice of many fishing charter operators. Some of the best deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico is available from this port, and it boasts one of the largest fishing fleets in the South. If you're planning on one of these eccursions, you need to make sure you arrive with a Texas fishing license that has a saltwater stamp on it - and all boats will requie deck shoes with white skid resistant soles. Some of the trips require you bring most of you own gear, including ice chest with food and drink. Others can arrance to provide fishing rod and other gear, bait, and all food and drink. Offshore trips usually last eight to 10 hours, while bay fishing may be a shorter length.
Top image: cmakin (flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0