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Car Hire San Pedro drop off Santa Monica. Getty Centre & Uni

Suffolk
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Car Hire San Pedro drop off Santa Monica. Getty Centre & Uni

Would be grateful for some help as have spent hours on the internet but getting no-where. Two of us arriving on the Princess cruise ship on 16 April. When booking the Queen Mary Hotel for the night and then on to Jamaica Inn Bay at Marina del Rey, I made the mistake of thinking public transport would be easy - but now realize it will take a very long time (although our still preferred method of transport). Now thinking that (reluctantly) we will have to hire a car, but cannot get the Enterprise website (who seem to be the only company at San Pedro) to take the above pick up and drop off points - web-site states Sold Out. The other reason for thinking of car hire is that we want to go to the Getty Centre and Universal Studios but again public transport takes a long time to do a relatively short journey. We can get a taxi from Marina del Rey to Santa Monica. Would really appreciate any suggestions re car hire, public transport, tours.

Hope the above is not too vague. Many thanks.

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Anaheim, California
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1. Re: Car Hire San Pedro drop off Santa Monica. Getty Centre & Uni

OK, The Queen Mary Hotel is locstd in Long Beach, if you head there after debarking the Princess Cruise Shi, you can take the Long Beach Passport Bus for free to check out the area.

www.visitlongbeach.com

To get to Universal Studios from Long Beach is basically the LB Passport to the LA Metro Blue Line Rail Line to the 7th Street Metro Center, and switch to the LA Metro Red Line to Universal City and the free Shuttle up the hill to the park.

As for the Getty Center, why are you heading there? Some folks don't think it is that special, and IMHO the Griffith Observatory has better views of the LA area than the Getty Center.

Why I like Public Transit, a rental car might be good for you, stay at the Queen Mary and get a rental car from the Hotel. I would contact them directly.

www.queenmary.com/stay-aboard/amenities.php

Suffolk
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2. Re: Car Hire San Pedro drop off Santa Monica. Getty Centre & Uni

Many thanks Darkbeer for the prompt and very helpful reply.

We will be doing the Universal Studios and the Getty Centre once we get to the hotel in Marina del Rey. It is good to get your input in respect of the Getty Centre as we can get to Griffin Park with a Day in LA Tours, so now we know the views are just as good from there, we can cross the Getty Centre off our list of ‘must do’s’. (We only have a couple of days to do Universal and the usual touristy sights.)

If you could give me some info on public transport to Universal Studios from either Marina del Rey or Santa Monica we would appreciate this. I have been on the metro site but like most things, until you have done it the first time, it looks a bit confusing.

Didn’t think to ask the Queen Mary hotel to sort car rental – many thanks – will contact them now.

Anaheim, California
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3. Re: Car Hire San Pedro drop off Santa Monica. Getty Centre & Uni

To get to Universal Studios from Marina del Rey/Santa Monica is a bit of a pain, a combination of multiple transit options.

I would use the LA Metro website, or Google Transit to plug in your specific date. I strongly recommend getting to the park before opening.

Suffolk
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4. Re: Car Hire San Pedro drop off Santa Monica. Getty Centre & Uni

Thanks again. We will look at the Google Transit but from what you say I think our best option for Universal if we don't hire a car, will be to do the Starline tour to Universal.

Really grateful for your help.

kindest regards.

Los Angeles
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5. Re: Car Hire San Pedro drop off Santa Monica. Getty Centre & Uni

Public transit can work well but you need to locate yourself well with respect to the bus routes that will get you where you want to go. Marina Del Rey is not really well located for public transportation - most of the hotels there are a lengthy walk just to reach a bus stop for a bus route that would be useful, and once you do most of the buses from there will not be direct to where you want to go - you'll almost always need to switch at least once. The main bus lines in that area run on Lincoln Blvd. and Venice Blvd., but as you can see on a map, your hotel is a bit removed from either. Therefore, I would strongly suggest renting a car if you stay there, even if that means not renting a car when you get off the ship and getting to the hotel some other way first, and then renting a car once you are at the hotel.

Without a car at that hotel, generally the best way to Universal from there is to walk to Venice Blvd. and Abbot Kinney Blvd., then take Metro bus 733 east to intersection of Venice Blvd. and Fairfax Ave., then from there Metro Bus 780 or 217 north to Hollywood Blvd. and Highland Ave., and from there the subway one stop to the Universal City station, but this takes around 2 hours. For Santa Monica if you walk to Lincoln Blvd. and Washington Blvd. you can get Big Blue Bus #3 headed north and this will take you to Santa Monica. Getty involves 3 buses - 733 again to Venice Blvd. and Centinella Ave., #14 north on Centinella which will eventually stop next to the Hotel Angelino where you can board bus 761 to the Getty.

In my opinion, the Getty is indeed worth going to, even if you go to Griffith as well. The views are only similar to the Griffith Obs. in the sense that they're both high up in the hills north of the city. As they are several miles apart, the views are a bit different, the Getty having much better views of the west side of LA and the ocean, while the Griffith's views are move of the east side, Hollywood, and downtown LA. Architecture-wise, they're both fantastic, with the Griffith being a great example of the art-deco style, but the Getty being a much more modern architectural wonder. Both are worthy museums, though focusing on completely different things - the Griffith on astronomy and space, and the Getty on European art. If you're an art history major, you may find flaws with the Getty's collection - some critics say the Getty spent to much building its museum and not enough on its collection - but if you're an art layman like me you won't know the difference and there's plenty of art to enjoy there.

Suffolk
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6. Re: Car Hire San Pedro drop off Santa Monica. Getty Centre & Uni

Thank you MachThree. It certainly looks like car hire will be the best and I have now found that we can pick up a Hertz Car in Long Beach and drop off in Santa Monica. Just need to persuade my husband to drive. Could you just give me a bit of insight into how busy the roads will be and how easy to navigate the following routes:

On Thursday 17 April (coming up for Easter week-end) at 9 am ish drive from Long Beach to Marina del Rey. Book into hotel (or at least drop off luggage) and then go to Getty Centre. After that drive to Santa Monica beach area and then back to the hotel.

Friday 18 (Good Friday) drive out to Universal Studios for the day. Saturday return the car to Santa Monica and catch a tour of LA with A Day in LA Tours.

If roads not too 'busy and fast' then this will give us our best options I think.

We really appreciate all the help - it is really helping me get a 'feel' for the area. Thank you

West Hollywood...
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7. Re: Car Hire San Pedro drop off Santa Monica. Getty Centre & Uni

Hi, Ashton, I'll answer your questions in a moment but will first say that if you can change your hotel to one that is more central in Los Angeles, it will make your life ALOT EASIER. If you can't, I understand. (Also, not meaning to 'pile on', but I wouldn't recommend the Queen Mary as more than a museum since, the rooms are -- not surprisingly -- small and you won't have the appeal of being 'on the seas'. It's a wonderful ship to visit -- lots of tours! -- but, as the saying goes "I wouldn't want to live there". It's also a bit of a transfer from San Pedro to Long Beach (which is a fine city, btw, but it doesn't sound like you'll be visiting any attractions, there).

Okay, re: your current itinerary. The drive from LB to MDR should take about an hour (maybe a little more). Don't leave LB before 9:00 or you'll be stuck in morning 'rush hour'.

On Friday, the drive to Universal should take about an hour (maybe a tat less). Then, you'll need to queue up to pay for parking ($15) find a space, and make your way on foot (ugh!) or via free tram to the Park's entrance (add 30 minutes for parking/transferring to the entrance).

Why are you returning the car to Santa Monica when your hotel is in Marina del Rey? Are you planning to take public transit to your hotel from Santa Monica after the tour or will the tour provider drop you at your hotel?

BTW, for your benefit (or the benefit of others), in case you haven't seen our TOP QUESTIONS subject on public transit, it explains how to immediately find public transit routes by simply entering starting and ending points, along with day of the week and time of day traveled. If you went to the Metro website and simply attempted to look at transit maps or schedules, that would be a difficult way indeed to find the routes you needed. Here's the content that explains our transit system:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g32655-c171690/Los-An…

If you're in a position to change your hotel, let us know. We can make recs.

Fortaleza, CE
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8. Re: Car Hire San Pedro drop off Santa Monica. Getty Centre & Uni

'"Some" people don't find the Getty (presumably the Getty Center vs. the smaller Getty Villa) special? Of course. People have different opinions. While the view from the Getty can be good, I don't think most people go there for the view. If you don't like the art they have there, I'd give it a miss. If you do, I certainly would not bypass it for the Griffith Park Observatory because someone feels the view at the latter is better (and I don't feel that way, but, of course, people have different opinions). Getty isn't all that easy to get to by public transit, but it can be done. Universal is more of an all-day proposition. You've checked the admission prices, I assume.

Enterprise's Web site does not, in my experience, have one-way rentals except between airport locations. You can phone them (e.g., using Skype). I believe you can easily get to other rental locations, such as those for Budget and/or Avis. BTW, if you phone a company, tell them you want to rent a car. We rent cars, hire people. Forums on www.cruisecritic.com regularly discuss this topic.

Edited: 15 January 2014, 20:30
Fortaleza, CE
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9. Re: Car Hire San Pedro drop off Santa Monica. Getty Centre & Uni

p.s. Getty has free admission but parking is about $15, and although the underground lot is huge, it can get awfully crowded on busy days. The smaller Getty Villa, in Malibu, focuses on Greek, Roman and Etruscan art.

Suffolk
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10. Re: Car Hire San Pedro drop off Santa Monica. Getty Centre & Uni

Many thanks all of you – special thanks HS&J for the time you have taken. Too late to change Marina del Rey as have paid deposit. Chose this on advice found months ago on the internet “many visitors choose to make Marina del Rey as a base for their LA area visit ……….”. What the info didn’t mention was that it was not the best of areas if you did not have a car. We will be coming into Port of San Pedro on a Princess cruise ship and thought it would be a good idea to have a quick look at the Long Beach area whilst so close (again not realizing that close does not mean easy public transport – but at least it is close enough to get a taxi). Thought the Queen Mary would be ‘different’ – if it had been for more than one night we would have booked elsewhere. Should arrive in Long Beach by mid-morning, so will have the rest of the day and night to explore the area.

Thanks to all the input I think I have now got things sorted and will start to make ‘bookings’ tomorrow. Have persuaded hubby to drive (will take Route 1 to Marina del Rey instead of the 405) so will ‘rent’ a car from Hertz in East Ocean Blvd., Long Beach (very reasonable price of £40 for 24 hours); drop off luggage at hotel and then drive to the Getty Centre. Will do a bit of research to see what else to do the remainder of that day/evening whilst we have the car. Will then drop the car off the next morning AT MARINA DEL REY – Hertz location close to our hotel. Many thanks for suggesting this HS&J – I assumed (incorrectly) that they would not have an office there, so didn’t even bother to check. Will then go to Universal Studios using Starline. They pick up from the hotel and we won’t have the bother of parking, etc. when we get to Universal. Price using Starline not much more than keeping the car for another day.

Have checked the prices of Universal Sutter – we don’t really have anything to compare against in the UK so had no idea of entry costs, but we didn’t want to come all the way to LA and not visit a Theme Park of some sort, and being too old for the amazing rides they have now at the bigger Parks, thought Universal would be fun for a few hours. Saturday we will do a LA tour and explore Santa Monica for a couple of hours and Sunday Church (hopefully a church walking distance from the Marina) and then head out to the airport for our flight home.

Really grateful for all your input. See you in April.