A big ship and state-of-the-art terminal are heading to Galveston, signaling a hopeful return to serious cruising. Royal Caribbean International recently broke ground on a new, $125 million cruise terminal to serve as homeport for its award-winning Oasis Class ship Allure of the Seas.
Those familiar with the cruise line will recognize Allure as one of the largest ships in operation. The first of its kind to sail from Galveston, Allure will offer seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries starting November 2022.
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 COVID-related cancellations can take comfort. A Royal Caribbean spokesperson says Galveston cruises are still on; four-day Western Caribbean itineraries sailing in September 2021 (as well as health and safety protocols) can be found here.
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) health, efficiency, and sustainability standards, a release notes.
It is set to open by fall 2022, the company says.
Currently, Galveston, the sole cruise port in Texas, houses Royal Caribbean’s Independence and Liberty of the Seas, which are the largest cruise ships homeported 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.”