Royal Caribbean lures cruisers back to Galveston with mammoth ship and speedy new terminal
The Port of Galveston on the Texas coast is getting in shipshape as it prepares for a hopeful return to cruising.
Royal Caribbean International recently broke ground on a new state-of-the-art $125 million cruise terminal to serve as home port for its award-winning Oasis Class ship, Allure of the Seas.
The techy new terminal is set to open by fall 2022, the company notes.
Those familiar with the cruise line will recognize Allure as one of the brand’s largest ships. The first of its kind to sail from Galveston, Allure will sail seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries starting November 2022, per an announcement.
Royal Caribbean hopes to lure Allure guests with myriad entertainment options, including a zip line that flies across the ship 10 decks high, a pair of FlowRider surf simulators, dedicated spaces for kids and teens, entertainment across four stages — air, ice, water, and stage — and the open-air AquaTheater.
Meanwhile, Texas cruise travelers concerned about the COVID-19 uptick can take comfort. A Royal Caribbean spokesperson confirms to CultureMap that Galveston cruises are still on; four-day Western Caribbean itineraries sailing in September 2021 can be found here.
The Royal Caribbean website also notes that cruisers 12 and older departing from Galveston must provide proof they have been fully vaccinated within 14 days of their cruise. Guests younger than 12 will have to meet COVID-19 testing requirements.
As for the terminal, the facility will boast mobile check-in and facial-recognition features to speed up guests’ arrival. Extra attention was paid to environmental concerns; the terminal is designed to meet global LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards for health, efficiency, and sustainability, a release notes.
Currently, Galveston, the sole cruise port in Texas, houses Royal Caribbean’s Independence and Liberty of the Seas, which are the largest cruise ships home ported in the area.
“This new cruise terminal is a game changer,” said Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves port director and CEO, at the recent groundbreaking. “This much-anticipated project will bring 800 new jobs, $1.4 billion in local business services revenue, $5.6 million in state and local taxes, and incredible business development opportunities.”