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Royal Caribbean International’s new $125 million cruise terminal in Galveston

Royal Caribbean Opens New Cruise Terminal in Galveston, TX

You know the saying; everything is bigger in Texas and that couldn’t be more true today!

Royal Caribbean International’s brand-new $125 million cruise terminal opened its doors today in Galveston, Texas, welcoming the state’s largest cruise ship ever to call, Allure of the Seas. The cruise line and Galveston’s relationship is by no means new, with a successful Royal Caribbean partnership dating back more than 20 years. Royal Caribbean International held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Port of Galveston to celebrate the opening and the Texas debut of its Oasis Class. 

Royal Caribbean executives, government, port officials, and partners celebrated the milestone achievement, including U.S. representative Randy Weber, Federal Commissioner Louis Sola, Mayor Craig Brown, Royal Caribbean International President & CEO Michael Bayley, and Port Director Rodger Rees. With the introduction of the Oasis Class, it is estimated that the new terminal will welcome as many as 630,000 vacationers each year. 

“We are thrilled to take family vacations to a whole new level in Texas. Our new, 161,334-square-foot terminal opens up a world of vacation possibilities for families in the Southwest,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Now our unmatched Oasis Class ships, known as the best family vacations in the industry, can set sail from Galveston. Allure of the Seas is just the beginning, and we thank the Port of Galveston, Ceres and all the teams involved for making this bold vision a reality.”

Royal Caribbean’s Galveston hub was built with a ground-breaking sustainable design. The terminal will break even more new ground as the first LEED Zero Energy facility in the world, generating 100% of the energy it needs through onsite solar panels. From the start of construction, the design strategies used to construct the terminal were influenced by Royal Caribbean’s holistic environmental goals and their commitment to developing more sustainable infrastructures. 

“This new cruise terminal is a gamechanger for the port and the region,” said Rodger Rees, Port Director, Port of Galveston. “This $125 million investment, in collaboration with Royal Caribbean, the port and Ceres, is expected to 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. And, of course, Allure of the Seas means more cruising adventures for our Texas cruise guests.”

The Galveston Beach Trio, a dynamic art sculpture by Texas-based artists, Brad Oldham and Christy Coltrin of Brad Oldham Sculpture, will welcome cruise-goers to the Port of Galveston. Royal Caribbean selected the husband-and-wife team for their creative concept inspired by Galveston’s rich musical roots, which includes the likes of Galveston-native and Grammy Award-winning, bass-baritone singer and songwriter Barry White. The stainless steel and lost-wax bronze sculpture is the perfect way to mark the beginning of a vacation! 

Royal Caribbean Terminal Galveston, TX
From left to right: Galveston Wharves Board of Trustees Chairman Harry Maxwell, State Senator Mayes Middleton, U.S. Congressman Randy Weber, City of Galveston Mayor Craig Brown, Galveston Wharves Port Director Rodger Reese, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley, and CERES Terminals CEO Craig Mygatt.

Allure of the Seas will set sail for the first time from the new homeport on Sunday, November 13. The Oasis Class ship has tons of amenities and activities for the whole family to enjoy, including tons of restaurants, nightlife, and entertainment across seven signature neighborhoods. A few things guests can look forward to while exploring these signature neighborhoods are an open-air Central Park with thousands of real plants, a Boardwalk neighborhood filled with tons of games and activities, and a one-of-a-kind AquaTheater entertainment venue featuring shows with acrobats, high divers, aerialists and more. Guests can also enjoy a nine-story-high zip line, two FlowRider surf simulators, rock climbing, ice skating, and original productions that span across four separate stages. 

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The ship has plenty of eateries for guests to refuel with over 30 restaurants, bars, and lounges that serve a variety of different cuisines like Italian classics at Giovanni’s Table, American steaks at Chops Grille, and fresh sushi and hibachi at Izumi. Some brand-new concepts are also coming to Allure of the Seas, with the debut of Wipeout Cafe featuring El Loco Fresh. This eatery will serve up El Loco Fresh’s already-popular, grab-and-go Mexican food including made-to-order quesadillas, tacos, nachos, and more. Giovanni’s Table’s menu will also have some new additions like crispy calamari, eggplant parmigiana, and a Caprese salad. 

Vacationers can enjoy all the amenities aboard Allure of the Seas on the new 7-night Western Caribbean cruises from Galveston and visit destinations like Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico, and Roatan, Honduras for the winter 2022-2023 season.

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Colleen Devaney is a contributing writer for Porthole Cruise and Travel. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Film & Television from The University of Arizona. She enjoys spending time with family, traveling the world and playing with her dogs, Bailey, Rocky & Lady.