Art and I both agreed that we will come one day in advance again, rather than heading out from home (only a 1 1/2 hour car ride from San Diego).
The reason being is that I am running around like a crazy man the day we leave, trying to ready the house for his sister and boyfriend to stay with Andy, answering pages, cleaning house, and ensuring all is in the car.
We went up one day before the cruise on the Star Princess (our sailing with you) and we both agreed that I was a helluva lot more relaxed.
We're lucky, in that I can get a cheap rate on Hotwire.com and decide from there whether to park the car or have Maria drive us up and pick us up after. We also have a friend nearby to drive us to the terminal. (Hell, a 4-star hotel for $109 in Long Beach or 3-star for $61).
I think what I will do is book early, and then you, and Cruiseguy (and anyone else) can decide to use Hotwire or not. (It's very easy to pick out whether you will be at the same hotel). This way, I can get a cheap-o rate and find out if you all can park and we can get a shuttle over to the terminal.
You won't have a problem with any of the shows ... Carnival schedules 'em great. Worst was one day we had to go to the show before dinner, but otherwise had no problem after (10:30 p.m.)
Breakfast and lunch are open seating, and we also had no prob requesting a table for 2 at lunch.
Just booked our hotel on Hotwire -- got the Holiday Inn Long Beach (3 stars) for $60 a night ($73 with taxes). Not a great deal but still a $25 savings from Travelocity)
They have complimentary shuttle within 5 miles ... terminal is 7 miles. I will call tomorrow to see if the terminal is OK (I can't believe they won't). Also free parking ... I will check to see if it's OK for cruise parking.
Please let us know if they'll shuttle to the ship. Still no info from Ginny. I called her this morning and she said that she hadn't forgotten me and would call me at work, as soon as she hears anything.
I'll surely let you know. I still haven't heard from Ginny. I've never had a TA take so long to keep their client updated. I'd rather know one way or another if I got my room, than being kept waiting. I hope it works out OK. It'll be a real disappointment if we don't get to go.
Ginny came through so we're in (watch out here we come!) Thanks very much for your good wishes.
I decided to call the Courtyard Marriott so I could pass on the info and they were totally booked for January 31st. I'll try calling the hotel directly and see if there is any avalability - if not I'll keep checking other resources.
Harry - Did Holiday Inn say they'd shuttle to the ship?
Gee Guys, I'm sorry to be monopolizing this board
(guess who doesn't cruise very often?)
I was able to book a room at Courtyard by Marriott in Long Beach. I called the reservation number and used a different tac - rooms are still available for the Bon Voyage package for 7 days if you ask for two double beds - the kings are all booked on Jan 31st. Small price to pay...
The price was $124 plus 12% tax and does include r/t transportation to the pier AND two breakfasts.