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Is Galveston truly a viable cruise destination? Debating the island's push for "port of call" status

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Disney Magic, cruise ship, Galveston, Texas flags, horses
Galveston Island: Worthy of a cruise stop? Photo by Matt Stroshane
Galveston, The Strand, carriage, horse
The Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau is installing wayfinding signage to point tourists to island hotspots.  Photo by Vadim Troshkin/Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau
Disney Magic, cruise ship, Galveston, Texas flags, horses
Galveston, The Strand, carriage, horse
Galveston Island CVB
Get Directions - Galveston

As a native Southeast Texan, I grew up building drip sand castles along Crystal Beach, swimming in Gulf of Mexico waters muddied by the Mississippi's silt. 

Galveston Island, with its flashy Moody Gardens exhibits, its stately Victorian architecture, its brick streets inlaid with trolley tracks, lined with quaint tchotchke shops and ice cream parlors, proved a mystical land just a ferry ride away

The Port of Galveston and the Galveston Park Board of Trustees are banking on those attractions to market the island as Texas' first port of call, a destination — rather than just a starting point — for cruise liners. 

 The additional visitors would generate millions of dollars in tourist revenue for the city. 

According to the Houston Business Journal, the group has ensured that its plans meet legal regulations and has assigned a task force to look at options for "enticing cruise ships to make the decision to stop in Galveston as a destination." 

The additional visitors would generate millions of dollars in tourist revenue for the city.

The Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau is installing wayfinding sinage in its cruise terminal this month in hopes of pointing visitors to island attractions. 

On paper, those are many: Ample history, sandy beaches, amusements and museums, seafood restaurants galore. But in reality, do these stack up as destination worthy?

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