A Princess Bows out of Galveston in Favor of Houston

With the addition of the [Disney_Magic] to the Port of Galveston the port had a little problem, they had just enough berthing space to accommodate 3 ships at any given time. The temporary plan was to squeeze the 3 vessels into the port with a mere 60 feet of clearance between them.

3 Ship Berthing - Port of Galveston

It looks like one cruise line was not satisfied with this plan according to an article posted by The Galveston Daily News. Princess Cruises has decided that they are not interested in dealing with the tight fit at the Port of Galveston along with the potential passenger bottleneck at the terminal. Princess Cruises informed port officials that it was not willing to sacrifice their customers’ satisfaction. As a result Princess Cruises will be moving to Houston’s Bayport Cruise Terminal for the 2013-14 season. Carnival Corp, which owns Princess Cruises, has an exclusivity agreement with the Port of Galveston that prohibits them from sailing from any other Texas ports unless there is not enough berthing space to accommodate one of its ships.

The Port of Galveston is a victim of it’s own success according to Port Director, Mike Mierzwa. The port has invested $65 million over the last 12 years, but without long term commitments they cannot justify borrowing additional funds to expand. Back in August, Disney Cruise Line was only willing to commit to a 2 year operating agreement.  Carnival Cruise Lines has committed to a 5-year agreement, but this came at a cost as the Port of Galveston invested $15 million to improve the terminal, the pier and loading bridge for the Carnival Magic.

While this is a loss for the Port of Galveston, it should have a positive impact for Disney cruisers sailing from Galveston. There is now potential for Disney Cruise Line, if they were interested, to make Galveston a true second home port akin to Port Canaveral. Personally, I do not see this happening, but it does merit some consideration given the Port’s willingness to expand.  Thus giving Disney Cruise Line an upper hand in any negotiations.

Do you think it would be worthwhile for Disney to make a long term commitment to the Port of Galveston?

3 Replies to “A Princess Bows out of Galveston in Favor of Houston”

  1. tanya turner

    I was so excited to have Disney port at Galveston. then I see they are pulling out. I was planning to take my grandchildren and their family..I do hope Disney stays. I cruised Disney out of Florida. no other cruise compares..please give Texas a real change. most people have no idea

  2. Lyle

    What about New Orleans? Disney has taken much influence from the area (hinted Mahon, some of the magic kingdom, Prinses Tiana, and vereous other things) I hope they deeply consider it.

  3. Bob McFall

    Yes, Yes, yes . . . Disney should make a long term commitment to the Port of Galveston. It would allow Disney to better reach out to cruise travelers that live in the midwest, western US, and western Canada. With all 4 Disney ships currently based in Florida, western US travelers have to book the long, expensive flights, on the day prior to their cruise ship’s departure to Florida, because it takes 3-6 hours to fly to Miami or to Orlando, plus there is the 2-3 hours time change, not to mention the added cost of an additional night a motel close to the terminal. However, a flight to IAH or Hobby is direct, and is only 2 hour flight from cities like PHX or LAX, plus you can get a morning flight to Houston, and make it easily to the ship in plenty of time to enjoy the bon voyage buffet. I also like the fact that Disney offers two itineraries from Galveston in 2015, not just a Cozumel option. And with a long term commitment, maybe Disney would be able to expand their itineraries to include stops in Grand Cayman and Jamaica.


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