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Month: August 2017

UBER shut down operation in Galveston Texas.

UBER shut down operation in Galveston Texas.

On Thursday January 28, 2016 Galveston city council passed a new ordinance to regulate the Transportation Network Companies (TNC) such as UBER, Lyft and Wings. Uber, the only TNC Company operating in Galveston responded by immediately shutting down operation in Galveston. Uber has sent an email to their driver partners informing them about the bad news.

 

The city of Galveston new regulation requires TNC companies drivers to pass the fingerprint and background check which don’t go into effect until March 1, the regulation also has other requirement such as control of the rates charged, control of the number of vehicles operated per driver and even an additional operating license, to name a few.

Uber management were very disappointed about the new regulation, and pointed the finger at the City of Galveston for being too harsh on them, and that the city is anti enovation and does not want to provide alternative choice to the city resident.

Galveston’s city officials comment about the new regulation were very simple, and stated that the new revaluation requires TNC’s to do the same thing that other vehicles for hire do

According to the Galveston Police Department, during the first weekend of Mardi Gras celebrations, more than 100 tickets were issued to Uber drivers for oerating illegally on the street of the city.

For other transportations alternative you can always call Galveston Shuttle and book a private car with them

Until something change with the city of Galveston, there is no UBER in Galveston TX.

 

This is the message that was send to Uber drivers in Galveston:

Since Uber first became available in the City of Galveston in 2014, you have played a significant role in making the streets a safer and better place for everyone. You made it easy for people to make the right choice not to drink and drive. And you extended a friendly, Texas-sized welcome to visitors who needed a ride around town. We can’t thank you enough for all of your hard work, and we appreciate and value your partnership. Unfortunately, as a result of new rules passed by Galveston City Council, we are disappointed to announce that we will be ceasing operations in Galveston effective today, February 1. These new regulations will make it difficult for partners to earn extra money on a flexible schedule and create barriers to entry instead of improving access to reliable transportation options such as ridesharing.

Cities across the U.S. have embraced Uber’s innovative model – including College Station, San Marcos, and Beaumont in the past few months – but a very small handful of cities have decided to impose burdensome regulations on this new economic engine. We know from experience in other markets that these rules can have a devastating impact on our ability to provide the experience that riders and drivers have come to expect. As an Uber partner, you will still be able to receive requests outside of Galveston and drop off within Galveston, but you will no longer be able to receive requests within Galveston city limits.

We hope the City Council will reconsider their decision so drivers like you can once again serve the community while earning extra income on your own schedule.

Thank you again for your partnership. It has been a pleasure to help serve the people of Galveston with you.

We will keep you updated on any progress related to the City’s ordinance. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, you can email us at partnershouston@uber.com.

Uber General Manager,

Sarfraz Maredia

Norwegian Cruise Line Sailing from Houston Bayport October 2014

Norwegian Cruise Line will officially sail from Houston Bayport Cruise Terminal on October 11, 2014 to join the already in service Princess Cruise which started on October of last year. The newly improved 2,374-passenger Norwegian Jewel will be the selected ship to sail from Houston Bayport Cruise Terminal. Norwegian Jewel will be sailing for seven-day Western Caribbean cruises, departing each Saturday from October 11 – April 11, with calls in Cozumel, Mexico; Belize City, Belize; and Banana Coast or Roatan (alternating schedule) Honduras.

This destination was voted Best Caribbean Cruise for the value by Travel + Leisure, this exciting itinerary offers guests an thrilling way to explore the beautiful Western Caribbean from a convenient departure point. As the namesake of the “Jewel Class” cruise ships, you can bet she’s got it all. As well as offering some of the largest suites at sea, there are staterooms to accommodate every style. When it comes to entertainment, this ship’s filled with excitement: 16 dining options, 13 bars and nightclubs and that’s just the beginning.

Enjoy delicious eats like O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill and Moderno Churrascaria, the Brazilian-style steakhouse, then hop over to the Sugarcane Mojito Bar, offering delicious hand-crafted cocktails. Guests on board Norwegian Jewel will also be able to enjoy delicious cannolis and cupcakes from Carlo’s Bake Shop by Buddy Valastro, star of TLC’s Cake Boss and Next Great Baker, at the ship’s Java Café.

For its part, Norwegian Cruise Line signed on to home port at Bayport for 75 departures over a period of three years starting with the first sailing by the 2,374-passenger Norwegian Jewel on October 11, 2014. NCL’s contract with POHA calls for an option to extend an additional two years. From Bayport, the Norwegian Jewel will sail on seven-day Western Caribbean itineraries including ports of call in Cozumel, Mexico; Belize City, Belize, and Roatan and Bay Islands, Honduras.

Awaiting passengers there at Pasadena outside Houston will be a stand-alone structure of 96,000 square feet in area. It’s specifically designed to make the embarkation process a pleasant start for the coming cruise experience and to process efficiently and speedily returning passengers and their luggage.

Anticipating a large number of passengers who will drive is parking space for some 800 vehicles. Covered walkways connect the building with passenger drop-off points. Close-in, too, are taxi stands and bays for tour buses that will shuttle passengers in from both Hobby International Airport 25 miles away and the George Bush International Airport 45 miles away.

Inside Bayport is a 13,500-square foot passenger lounge area while 55 check-in counters will be staffed to process boarding guests. Information and even paging messages are transmitted over a network of 40 42-inch plasma video screens. VIP customers will have access to a separate lounge for priority check-ins. It’s also available for wedding parties and similar pre-embarkation social events.

Boarding ships comes at an upper level reached by escalator or for handicapped passengers a large capacity elevator. A glass-enclosed air conditioned/heated FMT Mobile Elevating Gangway provides access to the ship.

For passengers on a pre- and post-cruise vacation, the surrounding areas called Bay Area Houston offers some 35 accommodations ranging from B&Bs, motels and hotels. Some will provide free shuttles to the cruise terminal. In terms of attractions, about 8 miles from Bayport is the 60-acre Kemah Boardwalk, a complex that features nine themed restaurants, amusement rides and games, retail shops and the 52-room Boardwalk Inn.

Officials of the POHA are excited that their long wait for their ships to come in, literally, is over. Says Ricky Kunz who heads up Trade Development, “We’re already getting calls from passengers about where they should park.”

Norwegian Jewel Facts

Passenger Capacity (double occupancy) 2,376
Gross Register Tonnage 93,502
Overall Length 965 feet
Max Beam 105 feet
Draft 28 feet
Engines Diesel Electric
Cruise Speed 22.5 knots
Crew 1,100
Inaugural Date 2005

Transfers from Houston Airports to Bayport Cruise Terminal

Now that you book your Norwegian Jewel vacation, you got your airline ticket to fly to Houston TX, all you need is to find a stress free way to transfer between Houston airports either Hobby or Bush (IAH) airport and the Bayport Cruise Port. In this case visitors have multiple transport options, such as Taxi, shared shuttle, private shuttle, car service, and limousine.

Taxi Cab Transfer between Houston Airports and Bayport Cruise Port

All destinations within Houston city limits are charged according to the zone or meter rate, whichever is less. There is a late night surcharge of $1 per trip (8pm-6am)

One way cab transfer from Houston Hobby Airport (HOU) and Bayport Cruise Terminal which is about 28 miles or 30 minutes’ rides will be between $50 and $60 on average. (Not counting the traffic delays which would run it a bit higher)

For George Bush International (IAH), the cab ride will be between $95 and $120 since Bush airport is much farther to the north from Bayport Terminal, which is about 50 miles or 45 minutes’ ride. (Not counting the traffic delays which would run it a bit higher)

*Rates for the cab ride were obtained from Houston Yellow cab dispatcher over the phone on June 10, 2013 at 4:00 pm.

Cruise Line Shuttle transfer between Houston Airports and Bayport Cruise Ship Terminal

Most of the time we don’t even check the cruise line shuttles, because they charge per person, they are usually one of the most expensive ways to get to the port. In this case, however, there is a cheap option.

Princess Cruise Lines shows a transfer fee of $24 per person each way ($48 round-trip) from either Houston’s Hobby or Intercontinental airports. That’s a dirt-cheap rate if you are coming into Bush Intercontinental.

Norwegian Cruise Lines hasn’t yet released clear pricing on its shuttle service. We expect more details closer to the initial sail date.

Car Rental from IAH or Hobby to Galveston Cruise Terminal

Many people do rent a car to drive from Houston airports to Bayport cruise port. You can find all the major rental car places in both airports. You can get a rental from the airports for about $60 a day.

For groups of 5 or 6, it is usually a good deal if they are arriving to Houston early, and they want to visit other places in Houston, and they want to have car for the convenience, but if you calculate the total expenses and the inconvenience related to the car rental, it turns out to be a bad deal. Think about gas, driving in unfamiliar city; not knowing the traffic jam areas, parking cost in the port, getting the shuttle from the airport to the rental place. Well the cost for 7 days cruise would be about $450 for the car rental, $80 gas, $60 parking, for a total cost of about $600. If none of that bother you, then you are good to go.

Shared Shuttle from Hobby or IAH airports to Bayport Cruise Port.

Most of the time, this is the most economical way to transfer from Houston airports to Bayport cruise terminal. If you have a large group, of if you traveling with your family, this option can be a very affordable transportation option. The rate per person to transfer from Houston Hobby to Bayport cruise terminal is about $40 for the first passenger and $10 for each additional passenger. So for a round-trip ride for two people, expect to pay $100, but for 5 passengers, the total will be $160. From George Bush International (IAH) to Bayport, one-way charge is $60 for the first passenger and $10 for each additional rider. So a round-trip ride for two will run about $140. For 5 passengers, the total will be $200.

Private Shuttle from Hobby or IAH airports to Bayport Cruise Port.

Check out Galveston Shuttle, www.galveston-shuttle.com they provide the private shuttle services for a very good prices, for groups of 2 or more.

TownCar or limousine from Houston Hobby / IAH to Bayport Cruise Port

Another good option, that most of the people don’t think about because of the stigma associated with the limousine service being for rich people or very expensive. In fact Limousine companies provide an excellent service for very competitive prices. For example Transgates Limousine in Houston www.transgateslimo.com offer a Towncar Transfer from Hobby airport to Bayport Crusie terminal for $70 (For 3 passengers, it is about $23 each) which is really affordable for a limo service, and very comfortable Luxury Towncar. The transfer from George Bush International (IAH) to Bayport Cruise Terminal, is $120 for a Towncar, and $145 for an SUV which can hold 7 passengers, so you do the math. They also provide 10 passengers van for very competitive prices.

These services offer a more comfortable ride than a taxi and a personal ride that can take you anywhere you want to go, unlike a shuttle. While they can be expensive if traveling alone, private cars can make sense if traveling with a group or family.

Other advantages of limousine service are:

  • You do not need to wait in line as you do for cabs
  • They greet you inside the terminal with a sign with your name on it.
  • You can pay for the service in advance, it help if you want to pay for your parents for example.
  • They can accommodate large groups
  • They provide professional drivers
  • They offer online reservation
  • They monitor your flight in case you come early, or you are delayed, so you will always have a driver waiting for you.
  • They can be hired hourly to provide you with transportation around the city
  • They provide car service discounts when booked online (some companies)

The Norwegian Jewel First Day out of Bayport Cruise Terminal

The Norwegian Jewel Cruise ship has arrived today Saturday October 11, 2014 to Houston Bayport Cruise Terminal in Passadena Texas, to start the 27 calls season from this new Cruise Terminal.

“This is their return to our cruise facility after seven years, and we’re thrilled to have them here for three years,” says Port of Houston Authority Chairman Janiece Longoria.

 

The Norwegian Jewel offers some of the largest suites at sea, there are staterooms to accommodate every style. When it comes to entertainment, this ship’s filled with excitement: 16 dining options, 13 bars and nightclubs and that’s just the beginning. The Norwegian Jewel offers numerous enhancements such as the popular O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill, the Sugarcane Mojito Bar, and delicious treats from Carlo’s Bake Shop by Buddy Valastro,  and the best part of any cruise-plenty of food.

The ship is outfitted with Marine Scrubbers & upgraded Azipods, in order to reduce fuel emissions, boost fuel efficiency, and improve energy consumption. So, come aboard in Houston and go island hopping in the Caribbean, or explore the majestic beauty of Alaska in the summer.

Starting this week, both Princess cruise line and Norwegian Cruise Line are calling on Houston Bayport Cruise terminal and sailing out of this facility, which is a good news for the local businesses such as airports, hotels, Taxis, Transportation companies, and more…..

“Houston is a big market for us,” adds Norwegian Jewel Hotel Director Steven Jacobson. “And I think with the families and the activities we offer for them, it’s going to be very successful.”

On its first trip to Bayport Cruise Terminalthe Norwegian Jewel is sailing with more than 2600 people on board, but the ship can carry about 3600 passengers when full. As the season goes along more are expected to take the same trip. That’s a few thousand more potential customers for nearby businesses.

“…Today was the first day the cruise ship actually went out. So as far as I know, we were completely booked up the night before. And I assume it’s going to be like that every weekend between now and the time cruise season is over.” says Julie Barfield who works at the Best Western Plus about a mile away from the Bayport Cruise Terminal.

Norwegian Jewel is a cruise ship operated by Norwegian Cruise Line. She is the lead vessel of NCL’s Jewel class cruise ships and entered service in 2005.

 

Ship Amenities
Cabin Features
Bathroom w/ Shower
In-Room Mini-Safe
Tea and Coffee Makers
Duvet
Refrigerator
Telephone
Hair-Dryer
Safe
TV
Classes & Services
3 Meeting Rooms
Java Café
Sky High Bar
Bar Central
Kid’s PC World Library
Spinnaker Lounge
Children’s programs
Library
Star Bar
Club Underground
Magnum’s Champagne & Wine Bar
Stardust Theatre
Corona Cigar Club
Malting’s Beer & Whiskey Bar
The Chapel
Freestyle Sundeck
Medical Center
Topsiders Bar
Fyzz Cabaret Lounge & Bar
Shakers Martini & Cocktail Bar
 
Dining
Azura Main Restaurant
Kid’s Café
Tango’s Tapas & Latin Restaurant
Blue Lagoon
Le Bistro French Restaurant
Teppanyaki
Cagney’s Steakhouse
Mama’s Italian Kitchen
The Great Outdoors
Chin Chin Asian Restaurant
Midnight Chocolate Extravaganza
The Grill
Garden Café
Sushi Bar
Tsar’s Palace Main Restaurant
Recreation
6 Hot Tubs
Indoor Lap Pool
Sapphire Pool
Aqua-jet Pools
Jewel Club Casino
Sauna
Art gallery
Jogging / Walking Track
Shuffleboard Court
Basketball / Volleyball / Tennis Court
Kid’s Cinema
Splashdown Kid’s Club
Body Waves Fitness Center
Kid’s Splash Pool
Sports Court
Bora Bora Health Spa & Beauty Salon
LifeStyles Room
Steam Room
Card room
Relaxation/Wet Area
Video arcade
Deck Games Area
 
 
Ship Features
Art gallery
Internet Café
Photo Gallery
ATM
Leisurely disembarkation
Promenade
Crystal Atrium
Library
Ship to shore telephones
Duty free shopping
Logo Shop
Shore Excursion Desk
Galleria Shops
Onboard telephones
Single cabins available