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Plan Your Trip: Carnival Cruise out of Galveston, Texas {Terminal & Boarding Logistics}

Plan Your Trip: Carnival Cruise out of Galveston, Texas {Terminal & Boarding Logistics}

It’s been awhile we left for our Carnival Cruise aboard the Carnival Breeze out of Galveston, Texas. My whole family loved our trip – it was so, so, so much fun (see below for all the posts about our trip!). But today I want to share all of the logistical information I thought might be helpful if you’re planning a Carnival Cruise out of Galveston, TX. 

Carnival Cruise out of Galveston

The kids and I had been counting down the days until we set sail (here’s a really fun cruise countdown printable for you!). Our trip would take us to Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. This was my fourth cruise (and my kids’ third, although this is the first one they’ll probably remember!), and my second time to sail out of Galveston. I’ve learned a lot through these travels, and even though this wasn’t my first rodeo, I found myself googling tons of question that popped up as we got closer to Galveston and ready to embark on our trip. 

So here you go – every question I could think of about logistics for your Carnival Cruise out of Galveston, Texas.

Carnival Cruise out of Galveston

Where do I park?

Parking is available near the port. Carnival has its own lot, and when you arrive you’ll find attendants that will direct you to your lot (if more than one cruise is leaving that day, they will ask you which line you’re sailing with and direct you to the correct lot).

You will pay for parking – the cost depends on how long your cruise is (it was $70 for our seven-day cruise).

Bring cash to tip your shuttle driver.

How do I get from the lot to the terminal?

A free shuttle is available. We took the shuttle to the terminal, but when we disembarked the line for a shuttle was long and we walked. It’s certainly walkable, but I would not plan on walking if you have a ton of luggage or small children. Also, there isn’t necessarily a sidewalk the entire way.

Printable Cruise Packing List for Kids

How do we get on the ship?

You’ll have an assigned boarding time (that you pick). We arrived early, and that was fine. They have an early/late boarding entrance if that’s the case. Once you get to the terminal you’ll find lots of helpful people who can direct you in the right direction and answer you questions (we call it Texas friendly, y’all!). 

You’ll check your luggage at the curb. Don’t look for a luggage check-in station – there will be people collecting it. 

What documents do I need to board?

You’ll need a passport and your boarding pass. You can use a boarding pass on your phone, but one of the ladies helping us check in made a comment that it’s easier with a paper boarding pass. 

How long does it take to get on the ship?

It was vary depending on what time you arrive, but we were on the ship in probably 30 minutes. The process is a well-oiled machine. You’ll go through several checkpoints…each one is clearly marked and people will be directing you along the way.

The last stop will be to get your photo taken for your Fun Card, which is basically an ID card that you’ll keep with you onboard – you’ll use this to pay for things on the ship (it’s hooked up to a credit or debit card that you designate), to get into your room, and to leave and return to the ship for excursions.

Carnival Breeze Pictures

OK, now you’re on the ship! Yay! 

Everything, except the casino and shops and maybe some restaurants, will be open as soon as you board. We headed to our room first, and then explored the ship. 

When do I get my luggage?

Your luggage won’t be at your room when you get there – it takes several hours to be delivered, so make sure you have everything you might need during that time on you. Prescription medications, diapers, etc. – keep them with you (you can drop them off in your room). I can’t stress this enough – keep anything with you that might need. It’s possible you won’t have your luggage for hours, and the shops won’t be open until after you set sail. So keep those diapers/tampons/medication/bottles/whatever in a separate bag that you bring on board with you.

When can we explore the ship?

You can start looking around immediately! I usually let the kids get ice cream and then we walk around for a bit.

Carnival Breeze Pictures

But before the ship can leave, everyone has to attend a safety training. THEY ARE NOT MESSING AROUND. Show up for this on time (the sooner everyone gets there, the sooner you’ll leave – don’t be that person everyone is waiting for). You might bring something for the kids to do while this takes place. It’s pretty brief and they’re very efficient, but it can be tough on a baby or toddler (and there isn’t really any room to move around…you’ll be kind of crammed into one spot with many people). 

We have always enjoyed our Carnival cruises. The whole process has always been very smooth, from boarding to disembarking. The staff are real pros, and super helpful, so you will always have someone to ask if you have any questions (same goes for the Galveston terminal, which is the perfect representation of “Texas friendly”!). If you have any questions that I can help you with, let me know below or find me on Facebook or Instagram! 🙂

And here is my Carnival Cruise series of posts that you also might find helpful:


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