Hi HockeyNut: I live in S.F. You do not want to stay at the airport. As others have said, for the night before the cruise, the nearest hotels to the pier are at Fishermans Wharf so you can walk around there to get it out of your system and see how many tee shirt shops you can count. Post cruise, I wouldn't stay at FW, but closer downtown and anywhere within a few blocks of Union Square or on the square itself. Stay in places NW of the square rather than SW. Or across Market in the Marriott. Then take tours to where you want to go. I also vote for Muir Woods as it takes you across the GG Bridge and into beautiful Marin and the woods are awesome, great tour. Any questions, drop me a line.