FAQ’s

Q.  I am traveling solo. Will you find me a traveling partner/roommate?

A.  Absolutely! Simply select “One Passenger” for your reservation cruise by clicking the reservation button for one guest.  Click the option on the following screen that indicates you wish to be matched with another person of the same gender and will share accommodations for the double occupancy price, choose your desired stateroom and complete your reservation. Roommate matches will be made as opportunities arise.  An email will be sent to all roommate match passengers providing contact details for their assigned roommates and their room number assignments.  Please read the Roommate Match Terms and Conditions here.

Q.  May I bring other family members and/or friends? Can we be situated near each other on the ship?

A.  Yes, we welcome family and friends! They don’t have to be Master Gardeners.  Passengers who wish to book staterooms near others passengers may make their request in the “Other Comments and Requests” field on the reservation or send an email to tmgaconference@landrykling.com.  We’ll do our very best to accommodate the request, however it depends on whether the passengers have booked within the same stateroom category and the availability of rooms at time of request.

Q.  What if I have to cancel after registering?

A.  Due to the unique nature of this event, all reservations will be subject to the following cancellation policy:

Between July 10 – September 30, 2016                25% of total reservation cancellation fee
Between October 1- December 31, 2016               50% of total reservation cancellation fee
Between January 1 – February 28, 2017               75% of total reservation cancellation fee
On or after March 1, 2017                                     No refunds will be issued

Cancellation dates are based on Eastern Time.

No refunds will be made in the event of interruption or cancellation by any passenger after commencement of the cruise. No refunds will be given for cruise no-shows.

Any adjustment to the above policy is at the sole discretion of Texas Master Gardener Association Conference Committee.

Cancellation fees for airline tickets and/or other reservations made by passengers are subject to the cancellation policy of the specific airline/supplier.

Q.  May I purchase insurance for my cruise through the website?

A.  You will have the option to obtain a quote and purchase trip insurance on the reservation site after payment is made.  This insurance is offered by Travel Guard.

Q.  What documentation is required to cruise?

A.  Proper travel documentation is required at embarkation and throughout the cruise for all passengers. Even though a passenger has completed the cruise line’s online registration, it is still the passenger’s responsibility to present the required travel documents at the time of embarkation. Any passenger without proper documents will not be allowed to board the vessel and no refund of the cruise fare will be issued. Carnival Cruise Lines (“Carnival”), Texas Master Gardeners Association (“TMGA”) and its agents/affiliates assume no responsibility for advising passengers of proper travel documentation.

Carnival highly recommends all passengers travel with a government-issued passport that is valid for at least 6 months following the return of the cruise. Although a passport is not required for U.S. citizens taking cruises that begin and end in the same US port, traveling with a passport may help to expedite your CBP clearance upon return to the US. Additionally, passports are required in the event you need to fly from the U.S. to a foreign port should you miss your scheduled port of embarkation or need to fly back to the US for emergency reasons.

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) allows U.S. citizens (including children) sailing on cruises that begin and end in the same U.S. port to travel with one of the WHTI compliant documents, listed below:

  • Valid U.S. Passport
  • Passport Card
  • Original Birth Certificate issued by a government agency along with a government issued photo ID if 16 years of age and older
  • Original Certificate of Naturalization
  • Trusted Traveler Program Membership Card, e.g., Nexus Card, Sentri Card or Fast Card
  • Enhanced Tribal Card
  • A Consular Report of Birth Abroad
  • Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) – only acceptable at land and sea ports of entry.  It cannot be used for air travel outside the U.S. The word ‘Enhanced’ must appear on the driver’s license. The following five states currently issue an EDL: Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont and Washington.

Copies of US passports/naturalization papers, hospital certificates and baptismal certificates are not WHTI compliant documents and are therefore NOT acceptable.  For more information on the documentation requirements, please see the cruise line’s website.

Q.  I don’t have a passport. How do I obtain one?

A.  Please visit the U.S. Department of State website for all passport information.  Please note a passport could take six weeks or more to process, so make certain you allow enough time.

Q.  Who May Sail?

A.  Passengers are responsible to ensure that they are eligible to sail according to Carnival’s requirements, including but not limited to the following:

  • Infants must be at least 6 months old on the day of departure.
  • Women must be less than 24 weeks into their pregnancy on the day of departure and for  the duration of the cruise. This policy is due to the risk of premature labor. Pregnant women must have a letter signed by their doctor (on the physician’s letterhead) stating how far along in weeks their pregnancy will be at the beginning of the cruise, that mother and baby are in good health and fit to travel, and that the pregnancy is not considered high-risk.
  • Adults must be 21 or older unless the passenger is:
    1. traveling in the same stateroom with an individual 25 years or older; or
    2. traveling in the same stateroom with a spouse (proof of age and/or proof of marriage are required)
  • Passengers not meeting the cruise line’s requirements will be denied boarding, and no refund of the cruise fare will be issued. These policies are set by the cruise line (not TMGA), and no exceptions are allowed.

Q.  What is the Customs procedure upon returning to Galveston?

A.  Detailed instructions about clearing customs will be provided on-board ship near the end of your cruise. Some general guidelines/suggestions to keep in mind as you shop in foreign ports include: keep receipts for gifts and purchases. U.S. residents visiting foreign ports have a duty- free allowance of $400 and those 21 years or older may include one liter of liquor.

Q.  Can the ship accommodate special dietary needs?

A.  Carnival can accommodate special diets that have been created in consultation with a dietary specialist. Selections offered are for lunch and dinner in the main dining room only. Sample diets include: vegetarian, vegan, diabetic, low fat, low sodium, low cholesterol, kosher meals, gluten-free and lactose-free. Please note any special dietary needs, including food allergies, in the “Other Comments and Requests” section of your reservation.

Q.  Is room service complimentary to all passengers?

A.  A select room service menu is available to all passengers on a complimentary basis, 24 hours a day.

Q.  What types of accessibility options are available in cabins?

A.  There are a limited number of wheelchair accessible cabins available on-board the ship.  For people who do not use a wheelchair but still need some assistance, bars and raised toilet seats can be accommodated in most cabins. In addition, disposal units for needles, refrigerators for medication, and oxygen tanks can be put into most cabins upon request. All of these items are available on a limited basis and should be requested in the “Other Comments and Requests” section of your reservation. If you have an accessibility need, please send an email to  tmgaconference@landrykling.com.

Q.  How do I book shore excursions?

A.  You can purchase shore excursions on Carnival’s website once you receive your booking number and online check-in instructions for the cruise (approximately 3 to 4 weeks prior to the sailing date).

Q:  Can I take pictures and video on-board?

A:  Yes, you can take photos and videos on-board.

Q:  Can I call my home while on-board?

A:  The ship’s telecommunications network offers direct dialing via satellite from the stateroom telephone, which is available 24 hours a day regardless of the ship’s location until 4:00am on the final day of the cruise when the service is closed. The current rate is $1.99 per minute, and charges will be billed to the primary passenger’s on-board Sail and Sign account. Since all communication is via satellite, the charges apply to all calls including calling cards, credit cards, 800 toll-free numbers and collect calls. Information and instructions can be found in the Ship’s Directory in the stateroom.

We know many of you would like to leave an emergency contact number for family members not traveling with you. In the event of a TRUE emergency, loved ones may contact our call center at 1-800-227-6482 on a 24/7 basis. Our team will take down the caller’s name and contact information and pass it on to our Guest Services team on-board for delivery to the person being called.

A.  Is there Internet access on-board?

A.  To keep you connected while at sea, all Carnival ships provide satellite Internet access facilitated  through the Internet Café and through the ship-wide Wi-Fi network. Three different plans are available for purchase.  Further details regarding availability will be available on-board ship.

Q.  Will my cell phone work while at sea or in ports of call during the cruise?

A.  Carnival, through agreement with Wireless Maritime Services, proudly offers an advanced roaming network on-board Carnival ships, allowing you to make and receive calls while at sea using compatible mobile phones that are set to roaming. International roaming charges will be conveniently billed to you by your home mobile carrier. Mobile phone service will be available for use while the ship is at sea.

Rates for usage of your cellular phone are determined by your home mobile carrier. Please note that calls to 800, 888, 866 and 877 numbers are not toll free. You will be billed by your home mobile carrier for your international roaming usage on your regular mobile phone bill. It can take up to 60 days for charges acquired while using your cellular phone at these times to appear on your phone bill. For more information, please contact your home mobile carrier customer service.

Q.  Are there hairdryers available in the cabins?

A.  Yes.

Q.  Are there irons and ironing boards available in the cabins?

A.  Cabins do not have irons or ironing boards however there is a full laundry and dry-cleaning service available on-board for a reasonable rate. Please also note that irons are strictly prohibited on-board the ship. If you choose to bring one with you, it will be confiscated from your luggage before sailing.

Q.  What do I pack?  What should I wear?

A.  Casual wear. Here is a list of clothing and items you may want to pack:

  • Daytime attire such as casual shorts, tee shirts and tops, khakis, jeans, capris, summer dresses, bathing suits and cover up
  • Evening attire such as sport slacks, khakis, jeans, long dress shorts, summer dresses, collared polo shirts and blouses. And for the more elegant evening (one during our cruise), dress slacks, shirts and a sport coat for the guys; cocktail dresses, pantsuits, elegant skirts and blouses for the gals (or if you want to really dress up, a suit & tie / evening gown)
  • Light sweater or wrap (for indoor, air-conditioned public areas)
  • Comfortable shoes, sneakers, sandals and flip-flops
    • We suggest rubber-soled, low heeled or flat shoes for extra traction; the use of any footwear with wheels is prohibited on-board the ship
    • Select shore excursions may require closed-toe shoes
  • Work-out gear for the fitness center
  • Proper travel documentation
  • Prescription medications in their original containers
  • Personal toiletries
  • Hat or visor, sunglasses, sunscreen and after-sun lotion
  • Beach bag or backpack
  • Cell phone and camera with chargers

Q.  Do cabins have safes?

A.  Yes.

Q.  What if I have special medical needs?

A.  Any special needs must be indicated in the “Other Comments and Requests” section of the online registration and will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. While there is no guarantee that all special needs and requests can be accommodated, we will make best efforts to accommodate the need or provide an alternative if possible.

Q.  Are wheelchairs available on-board?

A.  The Carnival Liberty does NOT provide wheelchairs for on-board use; however, you can rent a wheelchair, motorized wheelchair or scooter from the following vendors:

  • Care Vacations: 1-877-478-7827
  • Special Needs at Sea: 1-800-513-4515

Q.  I’m bringing my own wheelchair, is the entire ship wheelchair accessible?

A.  Not every area of the ship is wheelchair accessible; however, Carnival has made substantial modifications to enhance your ability to move about the ship. The Carnival Liberty features accessible elevators at each elevator bank with tactile controls within reach of passengers who use wheelchairs.

Accessible routes are available throughout most areas of the ship and signs are posted to assist you in locating these pathways.  There is also accessible seating within your ship’s restaurants and lounges, and accessible public restrooms.

Q.  How do I make purchases on-board?

A.  The cruise ship operates on a cashless system. Passengers can validate their Sail & Sign card with a Visa, MasterCard or American Express card, or sign for payment by cash or traveler’s check.  Passengers can then sign all on-board services and purchases to their account. At the end of the cruise, passengers will receive a completely itemized statement.

Carnival does not accept personal checks, and only U.S. currency is accepted aboard the ships. There is an ATM located on-board the ship, though a transaction fee will apply.

Q.  Does the ship have a fitness center?

A.  Yes, there is a fitness center and a jogging track, which is open 24 hours a day and complimentary to all passengers.

Q.  Can I bring my own beverages (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) on the cruise ship?

A.  Passengers are prohibited from bringing alcoholic beverages on board except that passengers 21 years of  age and older may bring on board during the initial embarkation one unopened/sealed 750ml bottle of wine or champagne in their carry-on luggage. A $15 corkage fee per bottle will be charged should you wish to consume this wine in the main dining room or steakhouse.

A corkage fee is a charge exacted at a restaurant for every bottle of liquor served that was not bought on the premises.

Also on embarkation day, each passenger may bring a small quantity of non-alcoholic beverages on board and only in their carry-on luggage. A small quantity is considered a maximum of 12 bottles and/or cans, 20 ounces each or less.

All alcohol/hard liquor/beer (sealed, unopened bottles/cans), wine/champagne over the allowable 1-bottle per passenger (sealed, unopened bottles) or excessive quantities of non-alcoholic beverages (over 12 per person, sealed, unopened bottles/cans) will be confiscated and stored for safekeeping until the end of the voyage. The retained item(s) will be available for collection on-board in a designated location on the morning of debarkation.  Unsealed liquids that are prohibited will be discarded, as well as any unclaimed items left after the voyage, and no compensation will be given in either case.

Q.  What is the Smoking Policy on-board?

A.  All staterooms and suite accommodations are entirely smoke free, including the outside balcony. This policy includes all forms of smoking, including but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, electronic cigarettes, and personal vaporizers.

Cigarette, E-cigarette and personal vaporizer smoking will continue to be allowed in designated exterior open deck areas, as well as in the night club, and in certain areas within the casino (for playing passengers) and casino bar.

Cigar and pipe smoking is allowed in designated exterior open deck areas and in jazz clubs (where available).

Note: Passengers who smoke in their staterooms or on their balconies will be assessed a $250 cleaning and refreshing fee on their Sail & Sign account. Information on this fee is included in Carnival’s cruise ticket contract. Passengers agree to strictly comply with Carnival’s non-smoking policy.

Q.  I am a VIFP member.  Will Carnival recognize this cruise under that program?

A:  The VIFP Club stands for the Very Important Fun Person Club, Carnival’s passenger recognition program.  If you’re a past passenger, the program recognizes you for your continued loyalty to Carnival with increasing recognition and benefits as you cruise more and more. Are you new to Carnival?  The VIFPClub is a warm welcome to the Carnival experience and gives you access to VIFP members-only rates and promotions.

Q.  What is the closest airport to Port of Galveston?

A.  Two major airports serve the Port of Galveston – William Hobby Airport (HOU) located in Houston is about 42 miles northwest of Galveston – George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)  also in Houston is 70 miles northwest of Galveston.

Q.  What are the directions to Port of Galveston?

A.  Texas Cruise Ship Terminal on Galveston Island
Pier #25
2502 Harborside Drive
Galveston, Texas 77550

Travel Time: 42 miles from the Houston Hobby International Airport; travel time is approximately 60 minutes. 70 miles from the Houston Intercontinental Airport; travel time is approximately 90 minutes.

Directions to the port:

I-45 South

  • Take Exit 1C – Harborside Drive (Highway 275)
  • Turn left (East) onto Harborside Drive
  • Continue approximately 4.7 miles to Kempner/22nd Street
  • Turn left onto Kempner/22nd Street
  • Proceed to Cruise Terminal – Pier #25

Q.  Is there parking at the Port of Galveston?

A.  Port of Galveston Parking Lots A and B

  • Guarded and lighted; 24-hour surveillance and police patrol
  • Current cost is $45.00 for a 4-night cruise (rates are subject to change)
  • Accepted forms of payment: US dollars; VISA and MasterCard
  • Pre-payments may be made by visiting Port of Galveston
  • No advance reservations required
  • Vehicles occupying two or more spaces will be charged double the rate
  • Handicap parking available with proof of valid permit
  • For parking information: 409 766-6100

Embarkation:

  • Luggage must be unloaded at the cruise terminal curbside prior to parking; the shuttles do not handle luggage during embarkation.

Debarkation:

  • Return directly to Parking Lots A and B to retrieve car without luggage and then pick up the passengers and luggage at the terminal curbside.
  • Depart the terminal on luggage-capable shuttles; there will be a short to moderate wait time. Note: This is only provided in parking lots where luggage drop-off is indicated on the parking lot sign.