With summertime just around the corner, a lot of folks are looking for great places to spend a week (or more) of vacation. And if you’re used to traveling via plane, motorcoach, or car, then taking a cruise might be a refreshing change of pace. Think about it: instead of being cramped inside your vehicle of choice and traveling as fast as possible, you can enjoy a salty breeze and sunshine as you leisurely make your way to a fabulous, scenic site.
Here are our top picks for cruise destinations, all of which can be reached by ships heading out of Galveston, Texas:
Key West, Florida
Is Key West touristy? Yes, definitely. Does that mean it’s not worth checking out? Absolutely not! Key West, which is officially recognized as the southernmost city in the continental United States, has gained its tourism-friendly reputation primarily because it offers so many things for vacation-goers to do. Travelers interested in revelry will love the bars, cafés, and shops on Duval Street, while more reserved guests will enjoy visiting the historic Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum or the Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. Lounging about on the beach is great, too, but because Key West is also famous for its coral reefs, you may have more fun keeping your head under the water than above it.
Looking for something truly exotic? Head to Progreso. You and your traveling companions can explore the archeological sites of Uxmal and Dzibilchaltun, learning more about the culture of the ancient Mayans and purchasing handmade crafts along the way. The beachfront offers an incredible view of the city’s 19th century lighthouse and ample opportunities to try freshly-caught seafood. And if you prefer a less “anthropological” approach, you’ll likely be interested in the nearby town of Celestun. This hidden gem offers flamingo-spotting tours, as well as visits to the area’s freshwater springs and the petrified forest of Tampeten. It’s hard to experience this kind of cultural immersion with your feet planted firmly in the continental United States, so grab your passport and head outside your comfort zone!
Colón will likely be appealing to two very different demographics: folks who love engineering, and folks who love shopping. See, Colón is the gateway to the Miraflores Locks, a “modern marvel” that enables cargo ships to safely transverse the uneven (and man-made) Panama Canal. The Miraflores Visitor Center is just a short drive away from Colón, and it offers guided tours, historical information, and even observation decks where guests can watch boats make their way through the canal. Meanwhile, travelers who stick to Colón proper can take part in the city’s Free Trade Zone, a veritable mecca of tax-free shopping. Spend all of your time in a single area or visit both in one trip; either way, you’ll probably be heading home with a souvenir (or twelve) in your suitcase.
Grenada (South Caribbean)
Self-proclaimed “foodies” shouldn’t pass up an opportunity to visit Grenada. This island nation is one of the world’s most important producers of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger, earning it the nickname “The Island of Spice” and a reputation for delightfully seasoned cuisine. Visitors with sensitive tongues may prefer to stick to Grenada’s home-grown coconuts, bananas, and carambola, but between spiced seafood, fruit, and a local delicacy called oildown, it’s all but impossible leave the area feeling hungry. In addition to fine (and casual) dining, Grenada offers ample opportunity to enjoy nature: you can try to spot monkeys and birds among the trees of Grand Etang National Park, and your group can hike to the Seven Sisters Waterfalls and then cool off with a refreshing swim. Overall, this is a place to relax and indulge your senses. Perfect for weary travelers!
Castaway Cay, The Bahamas
This entry is a little more exclusive than the others on our list, as it’s available only to sightseers traveling the Disney Cruise Line Bahamian or Caribbean cruise vacations. But because this private island is reserved for Disney guests, the folks in charge offer special, Disney-themed fun in addition to “typical” cruise attractions. The adults in the group can take part in activities like yoga, kayaking, boat tours, and even open-air massages, while the little ones can enjoy character meet-and-greets and dance parties under the eyes of childcare professionals. All of this—plus convenient tram transportation around the island—is delivered with the Walt Disney Company’s world-famous hospitality and customer service.
The idea of visiting one of the aforementioned destinations can be enough to make even the most avowed “landlubber” pack their bags and run up a gangplank. However, if you need some more convincing, here’s a bit of good news: while Echo Transporation’s fleet doesn’t include cruise ships, we can very easily provide professional, punctual conveyance to and from Galveston ports. So instead of having to worry about a member of your youth group, sports team, or clique of friends getting separated and—quite literally—missing the boat, you can all travel together. You’ll arrive on time and in style in one our luxury vehicles, carefully avoiding a hefty amount of pre-holiday stress.
Cruises can represent a once-in-a-lifetime vacation experience, so there’s no point in doing things halfway. After you book your cruise, contact us to book transportation services. Reserve one of our cars early, and you’ll definitely have an Echo professional driver saying “Bon voyage!” on the day of your trip.