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Help w/ cruise itinerary

Boston...
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Help w/ cruise itinerary

I need some expert advice from all you LAX people.

We are considering a Princess cruise to Hawaii which departs 2/26 from LAX (San Pedro port?), not sure which port.

We would probably book our own air as the rates are pretty good right now. I need to know how to get from the airport to the port. We would be flying in the same day as our cruise departs but flights arrive mid morning so we have plenty of time to get to the port.

We are considering a visit to San Diego for a couple of days after our cruise, then fly home from there. I am unsure how to coordinate getting from the cruise ship after disembarkation to San Diego.

We could rent a car and stay in SD a couple of days. However, we would prefer not to drive the freeway if this is the way to SD. What alternate routes could we take? We are totally unfamiliar w/ these areas.

I know Amtrak does have trains but again, not sure how to coordinate this. We would have suitcases to schlepp along w/ us so maybe a rental car would be the best option. Are there any busses that do that route?

We have been to LAX b4 on a tour so not interested in staying or visiting there. What other cities would be near the pier we might consider staying in or visiting for a couple of days?

Thanks so much for your help. I know I'm asking a lot of questions but just need expert advice. We are travel saavy, just not w/ the west coast area.

May

Los Angeles
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1. Re: Help w/ cruise itinerary

Yes, Princess Cruises departs from San Pedro.

To get to San Pedro from LAX, the best options are a taxi (likely fare $65-75) or a shared van shuttle (usually $16 per person). The shared van companies are www.primetimeshuttle.com and www.supershuttle.com The shared vans, unlike a taxi, might circle the airport once or twice to try and fill the van, and before they drop you at the port they might detour to pick up or drop off other passengers.

Amtrak does indeed go to San Diego and is really the only viable alternative for ground transportation to San Diego without renting a car or spending hundreds of dollars. The nearest Amtrak station to San Pedro will be Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. As its about 25 miles taxi fare there would likely be $75-85. Shared van looks to be $60 for the first passenger and $10 for each additional passenger.

Its not really practical to drive to San Diego without using the freeways

West Hollywood...
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2. Re: Help w/ cruise itinerary

Princess leaves out of San Pedro.

BTW, in our FAQs section (a link at the top of the TOPIC LIST), we have a section called "Arrival/Departure Transportation" in which we describe how the 5 area airpoerts connect to the 2 cruise ports, the 2 major rail stations and to major neighborhoods (airport transfers).

I assume that you are flying in from Boston. You have 2 options:

1. Fly into Long Beach Airport (LGB) on Jetblue.com

2. Fly into LAX on any number of airlines.

LGB is a tiny, regional airport (1 terminal). To give you an idea of how small it is, the last time I flew from there (to Boston), I arrived at the discount parking area (off-airport) at 7 a.m. for an 8:30 departure. I waited for the free tram to the airport, swiped my credit card at one of the Jet Blue kiosks to print my boarding pass, went through security and walked to the gate. When I looked at my wstch, it was 7:12!

The airport transfers from LGB to the port are similar to those from LAX:

1. Public transit (very cheap, but time-consuming).

2. "Shared Van service (cheap)

3. Taxi -- Expensive: From LAX, about $70-80 (incl tip); from LGB, about $45 (flat fee + tip). (If you look at the FAQs, there is a typo regarding taxi costs from LGB (the FAQs say it's a $175 fare).

4. Rental Car -- Most expensive, most convenient, most comfortable but since you're heading straight to the ship, it might not be of much value to you.

Regarding transfers to SD, the only real option is to rent a car. I'm not sure why you're concerned about driving on the freeways; if traffic is a concern, simply depart from San Pedro after the morning 'rush hour' (after 9 a.m.). You can also avoid the freeway by driving to neighboring Long Beach (on surface streets) and then driving along the coast to San Diego. This will take longer but will give you some great views and give you a chance to visit some southern California beach towns: Laguna, Huntington, Newport, etc.

california
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3. Re: Help w/ cruise itinerary

If you have the option to fly into LGB on Jet Blue for nearly the same price, I would go for it (they still allow one free checked bag).

Manhattan Beach...
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4. Re: Help w/ cruise itinerary

My friends are going to be on the same cruise, but flying out of NY on Jet Blue to Long Beach. A lot of people just take a taxi to a hotel the night before, and then board about noon the next day. This insures if there are any delays getting out with snow storms. The Crown Plaza in SP has free transportation to the ship, across the street.

Long Beach...
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5. Re: Help w/ cruise itinerary

You may want to check out a sister site, boards.cruisecritic.com for more cruise info.

I would highly recommend you coming in a day before. If there is any hiccup in the flight you are missing your cruise and will have to fly to Hawaii to catch up.

If you fly into Long Beach, a cab is about the same as a shuttle to San Pedro. If you are coming in the night before, use Priceline, bid 3.5 stars, San Pedro only, Starting at $55. Most people get either the Doubletree or the Crowne Plaza somewhere from $55 to $75. Both have a free shuttle to the pier.

For a post San Diego trip, if you can drive out of Logan Airport onto I-95, you can drive on Southern California freeways. If you put on your turn signal, the other drivers' generally let you over. Plus, after you get to San Diego, you will probably want a car to get around the city. We just don't have the public transportation options you may be used to on the east coast.

Wishing I was joining you on that cruise!

Boston...
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6. Re: Help w/ cruise itinerary

Thanks so much guys for your helpful info. I will check out those options.

I would rather fly into Long Beach so will check Jet Blue to see what is avaiable. I will check out those hotels also. This would really simply things for us. We have definitely decided to fly in the day b4 for the obvious reasons - the weather. We are having the worst weather imaginable here on the east coast and flights are being cancelled frequently. So we will fly in the day b4.

We are bracing for yet another storm tomorrow which will drop 6-10". We have had 14" and 16" in 2 previous storms.

We will probably just hang around the Long Beach area and sightsee there. San Diego will be another trip for us. And no, we would not drive on 95 from Boston! LOL

Thanks again for your help. If you have any suggestions for what we could do in the Long Beach area, it would be much appreciated.

May

Long Beach...
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7. Re: Help w/ cruise itinerary

"And no, we would not drive on 95 from Boston! LOL "

I just meant if you can drive out of Logan into the tunnels (or before when there was only the one) the California freeways are easy. Signage is better and drivers are polite. I have had to rent a car a drive out of Logan Airport to Hanscomb AFB one too many times--one trip I had to fly back out of Logan to Washington DC for the day and then fly back and do that awful drive again!

For Long Beach, we have a wonderful aquarium, Aquarium of the Pacific; an art museum that has a world-class collection of Latin American Art (Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA)); and the Long Beach Museum of Art. Disneyland is 30 to 45 minute drive and Knott's Berry Farm is about 30 minutes. Of course, one of the best shopping centers in the area, South Coast Plaza is also a quick 30 minutes away in Costa Mesa.

Boston...
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8. Re: Help w/ cruise itinerary

We never drive in Boston, parking is a nightmare! The expressway is not all that bad once you get out of Boston. Getting to Black Falcon port for cruises is fairly easy. What I really meant about not doing the expressway was taking those backroads to see all the sights along the way. However, it looks like we need to save San Diego for another vacation. There is so much to see there also.

I have priced Jet Blue to Long Beach and they are coming up way higher than if we fly into Lax. I priced air through Princess last night and it's not all that bad and does offer non-stop flights. I am going to call them today to see if it includes transfers to the ship. That said, this would be our best option.

The acquarium and art stuff sound great. Thanks for that info.

My search continues. I feel more educated now! I do used Cruise Critic boards all the time.

May

9. Re: Help w/ cruise itinerary

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