Houston 3-Day Itinerary – Ultimate Pre and Post Cruise Trip


As an avid cruiser, I’ve done my fair share of departures out of the popular Port of Miami, Florida, and even NYC. This time, I wanted to do something different. Did you know that Houston (the 4th most populous city in the US) is home of the Port of Galveston which is only a short hour away from Downtown Houston?

Day 1 (Pre-Cruise)

I often recommend that you fly out minimum 1 night before your cruise, this avoids any potential flight delays and cancellations. It also allows you to get your vacation started early and enjoy the sights and food that the city has to offer.

We checked into our 4 star hotel Le Méridien Houston Downtown located conveniently in the heart of everything. The rooms are spacious and even offer two Queen sized beds. Our rooms were ready earlier than expected, so we dropped off our luggage and headed out for lunch.

When you’re in Texas, there’s one thing you need to try: BBQ! We headed off to our favourite BBQ joint called The Pit Room. You will find people from all walks of life here, from your average joe to your corporate suits. Nothing brings together people quite like Texan BBQ.

My favourite item to order is of course the brisket and also their smoked sausages. They cook everything with wood fire and there is ample seating in the patio.

After such a hefty lunch, it was time to walk it all off at The Galleria. This mall is massive at an impressive 2.4 Million Square Foot and is the 7th largest mall in the US. From Rolex to Lady M cake to even a skating rink, this mall has it all.

After getting our 10,000 steps in, we decided to go back to our hotel and rest up before dinner time.

For dinner we had to hit up our favourite place every time we are in Houston. Did you know that Houston is one of the most diverse and multi-cultural cities in the US? With a very strong Vietnamese population, you’ll find their influences in the culinary scene that juxtaposes with Cajun cuisine.

Cajun Kitchen in Houston offers a wide of array of seafood in addition to their Jumbo/XL sized crawfish when its in season. My favourite dish is the Scallop Crudo with caviar which can easily be found on any 3 Michelin star menu.

That brings us to the end of Day 1, a mix of gluttony and shopping.

The very next day after a short ride to Galveston, we boarded our cruise from Norwegian Cruise Line headed for a 7 Day Itinerary to the Western Caribbean.

Day 2 (Post Cruise)

We checked into our beautiful 4 star hotel The Laura Hotel, Houston Downtown, Autograph Collection, this will be home for the next 2 nights.

We started our afternoon by visiting the Downtown Aquarium, this place really has it all from stingray reef, to ferris wheel, jelly fish, to even live tigers!

Did you know that Houston is very well known for its music and arts scene. Unfortunately this time we weren’t able to catch the symphony, we were able to visit the Menil Collection which is completely free to the public. It features nearly 19,000 pieces of art from outdoor to indoor exhibits spanning 30 acres thanks to the generosity of John and Dominique de Menil.

As with any art exhibits, I won’t ruin it by showing you pictures; it’s best if you experienced it yourself.

After approaching another 10,000 steps it was time to work our way towards dinner. After 7 days of eating cruise food, it was time to change it back to some authentic comfort food. Kau Ba owned by chef Nickie Tran, as seen on Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix.

You can’t go wrong with a traditional pho, but they do have various such as Texas-Style Smoked Brisket Pho, Seafood Pho, and even Wagyu Short Rib & Truffle Pho. My personal favourite is the sizzeling hot Street-Food Grilled Scallop. Make sure you let them cool down or else you might burn your mouth. Ask me how I know!

After dinner and right around the corner, you can grab some ice cream from Jeni’s Ice Cream or a coffee at Agora. Agora is a very chill space with great vibes and eclectic crowd of people. You can even pick up a night cap there if you wish. The choice is yours.

Day 3

Started our day the very same way we ended the night, with a latte.

We headed out early to visit one of my favourite places in Houston, Houston Museum of Natural Science. This is no exaggeration, but you can literally spend hours and get lost in the vast array of exhibits. It has one of the most vast displays of palaeontology, to planetarium, jewels, a butterfly museum, and even King Tut’s exhibit.

After a long day and night at the museum, we headed off to our final meal in Houston. We got to experience this delicious bowl of Crawfish Pho jam packed with meat at the bottom and finished off with a night cap at a local bar featuring 30+ different beers on tap.

The next time you’re looking to plan a cruise, make sure to check out Galveston, Texas as a port of departure. With so many different things to do and eat, it’s a much better alternative to Florida.

Our travel experience in Houston, Texas during this press trip was provided by Houston First. However, as always, the opinions expressed in this post is entirely my own.


Leave A Reply