Boarding Your Cruise In Galveston

So, you have arrived after taking your relaxing shuttle from HOU airport to Galveston and you are ready to start the cruise line check-in process! You can use this sweet little guide to keep you on track until you board your cruise to a tropical get-away. Sit back, relax, and let us guide you through island time.

Knowing Where To Go

When you take a shuttle service from HOU to Galveston your shuttle driver will know right where to take you and drop you off making this part of your trip a breeze. But, if you drive yourself, you will need to have an idea ahead of time of where you are going! Make sure you know what cruise line you are sailing with and which terminal you will be sailing out of.


Most cruise lines recommend the driver drop passengers and luggage off at the terminal, park, and then take a shuttle back to help make the process a bit easier.

  • Terminal 1 is located at 2502 Harborside Drive, Galveston
  • Terminal 2 is located at 2702 Harborside Drive, Galveston
  • Terminal 3 is currently under construction

Parking At Galveston Cruise Terminal

If you opted to not take a shuttle service to Galveston cruise terminals there are still options for you! You will find that terminals 1 and 2 at the Port of Galveston offer onsite cruise parking. You can expect to spend around $100 for 7 days at sea for regular parking. This is a pretty good price compared to other ports which charge by the day. For covered garage parking, you will be paying upwards of $130 or more for parking. Keep this in mind when budgeting for your trip and deciding whether to rent a car or book a shuttle service from Hobby to Galveston. 

Be Prepared For The Check-In Process

You will be thankful for the little bit of downtime you had by taking the shuttle from Hobby to Galveston once you are ready to start your check-in process. Whether you have minutes, hours, or a couple of days before you board your cruise, you will want to ensure that you have all of the necessary documentation required for boarding the ship. Just like when you are flying you will find it best if you keep all of these documents together and in an easy-access location. Documents you may need include:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Drivers license or identification card
  • Passport
  • Cruise boarding pass/ticket

(As always check with your cruise line to see exactly what they require at the time of travel).


There is usually a time frame assigned for when you can start boarding the ship. Keep in mind that all cruise lines operate a little differently and you may find yourself waiting in long lines if you wait until the last minute.


After you have unloaded your luggage from your shuttle from Hobby to Galveston you are probably going to be ready to just set it aside for a while. Fortunately, most cruise lines will offer to take your bags for you so you don’t have to lug them around for hours on end while you wait for your cabin to be ready. While this is super handy, you may want to keep your carry-on with you or any personal items that you will need before you are reunited with your luggage. Once you hand off your suitcases it will be a while before you see them again.


Be prepared to wait in some hefty lines. Just like airports, cruise lines have to go through rigorous security procedures to ensure the safety of all passengers. While this can be annoying and you may think it seems a bit overkill, these procedures are set in place for a reason. Be prepared to empty pockets and bags, remove metal accessories, and be willing to participate in what the security guards request. If everyone can smile and get through this minor line, it sets the tone for a great vacation.


Also, there are typically hundreds of people trying to board a cruise ship for their spectacular vacation. When there are that many people trying to get on one vessel you can expect the lines to be lengthy. If you or a loved one have trouble standing for long periods, it’s totally acceptable to have a walker device with a seat on it to rest your legs for a while.

Talk To Your Kids

Most everyone is accepting of fussy kiddos on traveling days. It’s all part of the experience, right? If you are a parent to young kids you may want to have a conversation with them that while they can see all of the fun stuff the cruise ship has to offer, it doesn’t mean they are going to get to play on it just yet. Prepping them before they hit the lines may help them exercise a little bit of patience until they get to start the fun!


 A helpful hint: play a game of “I Spy” as you wait in line with the kids. This will help them stay excited and allows them to explore with their eyes all the fun they will have.

People Also Ask

Should you fly the night before a cruise?

Frequent cruisers suggest flying in either the night or day before your cruise embarks. This leaves plenty of time for you to get where you need to be on cruise day and get checked in as stress-free as possible.

Flying at least 24 hours before your cruise leaves also helps to avoid Murphy’s Law. Even though your friends and family have never had flight cancellations, delays, or road traffic affect their cruise times, it doesn't mean it won’t happen to you! Plus, there is so much to do and see in Galveston. When you arrive early just think of it as a bonus to your vacation.


  1. What to Expect on a Cruise: Boarding a Cruise Ship, January 8, 2008 [1] retrieved on August 22, 2022 from
  2. Galveston Cruise Terminal: 9 Things You Need to Know December 14, 2021 [2] retrieved on August 22, 2022 from