Hotels in San Francisco & pre/post cruise excursions
I just booked the 10 day Mexican Riviera/California Coastal cruise on September 26, 2012 (seems so far away) out of San Francisco.
We'll be flying from the east coast so between the flight and the 3hr. time change I'm thinking we might want to stay over the night before. Does anyone have any hotel suggestions? Either near the airport or near the pier. I don't plan on doing much this night as we'll just eat dinner and relax.
Post cruise I was also thinking of staying in SF as we have never been and I would love to see some sites (Alcatraz, Golden Gate, etc...). Princess has a post cruise excursion that takes us to the Golden gate and to Alcatraz. Its basically an all day excursion though. Would you recommend doing the Princess excursion or is this something we could either find some local tour (or just take public transportation and do it ourselves). Also, since we plan on sightseeing, any hotel suggestions for our post cruise would be helpful. I plan on at least 1 day post cruise, maybe 2 if funds allow and there is enough to do.
I would look for a hotel in the Fisherman's Wharf area of SF. You are close to most tourist attractions. Use a airport shuttle when you arrive.
The most reasonable part of town and close to the cruise pier.
SS Ithaca , Volendam , Mariner of the Seas (x2) , Veendam , Coral Princess , Island Princess (x3) , Emerald Princess,Sapphire Sapphire (x3),Diamond Princess
One thing about San Francisco...its a bear to try and park a car ANYWHERE and the traffic can be terrible! Since you've never been to S.F. before...I'd strongly suggest you take some sort of tour either through the cruise line or even a private one. You will enjoy your trip a lot more without the hassle of trying to find on street parking, (which is nearly impossible) or looking for a cheap parking lot (doesn't exist). Without being familiar with the city, public transportation can also waste valuable time better spent seeing something unique to S.F.
Your problem is not having enough time to see what makes San Francisco the great city it is. (Great restaurants, fabulous shopping, unique coffee houses, exciting original theater productions, etc.)
Since your time is so very limited...a paid tour is most likely your best bet to efficiently use the time you do have.
Hopefully since I have enough time before the cruise I can find a hotel in Fisherman's Wharf on a deal site.
I probably will just book through Princess based on what fieldmouse said. At least I won't have to worry about getting to the hotel and trying to find a tour and can just enjoy my time in SF. Hopefully we won't be too tired the day before the cruise and can visit some more sites as well.
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.