They say everything is bigger in Texas, but until now that hasn’t always meant the cruise ships. Starting today, that’s all changed.
Now, Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas arrived in Galveston, marking the first time ever that an Oasis-class cruise ship — the largest class of cruise ships on the planet — has docked in Texas.
Coming in at more than 225,000 gross tons, Allure measures a staggering 1,187 feet long and can carry nearly 7,000 passengers at full capacity. The ship also features 18 total decks, more than 2,700 cabins, and 16 different places to eat for guests.
Its arrival marks a major milestone for the Port of Galveston and Texas cruising. In just over 20 years (less than the life of a cruise ship) the port has gone from being a sleepy departure point to the largest cruise port outside of Florida and the fourth-busiest in the nation.
As another sign of that growth, Royal Caribbean has brought its largest class of ships to a brand-new cruise terminal on the island. Allure of the Seas is docked at the Port of Galveston’s new Cruise Terminal 10, which is dedicated to Royal Caribbean.
This brand new facility marks the first dedicated Royal Caribbean terminal at the Port of Galveston, complete with 161,000 square feet of space and nearly 2,000 parking spaces. It’s also the world’s first cruise terminal to generate 100% of its energy through on-site solar panels. All told, the cost of the new terminal measures a $125 million investment into Galveston cruising.
Allure of the Seas will sail 7-night cruises to the Western Caribbean throughout 2023. The ship will have a special invitation-only cruise departing November 9, before sailing regularly with the public starting November 13.
More than 1 Million Passengers and 360+ Cruises from Galveston in 2023
While the arrival of Allure of the Seas is a major milestone, it’s really just one more step in the steady growth of Galveston cruising.
For example, Norwegian Cruise Line called on the Port of Galveston for the first time in October with its newest ship — Norwegian Prima — sailing two trips from the port. Prima will return in 2023 to homeport on the island.
Also in 2023, Carnival will bring its newest ship, Carnival Jubilee, to the Port of Galveston. It will be the port’s first cruise ship powered by LNG. And later this year, Princess will also begin sailing seasonally from Galveston.
The port says it expects more than 1 million cruise passengers in 2023, which would break the previous record from 2019. Those passengers will come from 362 sailings during the year, or roughly an average of one cruise ship a day.
With the largest ship ever to sail from Texas, a new cruise terminal, and more lines soon to be sailing from the island, Galveston is cementing its place as the top cruise port outside of Florida.