Pre Cruise Hotel San Pedro or Long Beach?

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Jul 29th, 2018, 02:53 PM
  #1
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Pre Cruise Hotel San Pedro or Long Beach?

We are cruising on Oceania in Janury 2019 out of San Pedro California. What airport might be best? We are flying into California a few days before the cruise. I'm thinking Long Beach might be better than LAX...but I'm not sure. Then the question arises: are we better off staying in Long Beach or San Pedro? Would love to hear your thoughts.
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Jul 29th, 2018, 05:46 PM
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>>I'm thinking Long Beach might be better than LAX...but I'm not sure. <<

Or even Orange county. Long Beach is nearest, But it mostly depends on schedule, fares, . . . and what you plan on doing those few days before the cruise. If you are touring around -- then staying in Long Beach or San Pedro might not be your best option.
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Jul 29th, 2018, 05:47 PM
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Meant to add -- you might want to post on the US board tagged for California . . .
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Jul 30th, 2018, 08:52 AM
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I'd say it depends on what you plan to do for those few days.

I would fly into LAx only if you are doing general LA sightseeing (the usual Santa Monica-Beverly Hills, etc) in which case you would want to spend the hotel nights in that area and plan for a 2-hour shuttle ride to the port during peak hours.

Assuming ( since you asked) you can get flights into LGB which is a FAR easier airport to navigate and usually not as impacted with delays as LAX. If your home airport is served by JetBlue, then LGB is often a nonstop option.

If you are not interested in doing much sightseeing, I think the Doubletree in San Pedro is a good choice. They are on the marina, walking distance to the small Cabrillo Aquarium (closed Monday), Point Fermin tidepools and saltmarsh, and the Cabrillo Beach Fishing Pier. They have a nice happy hour and a pier shuttle service.

If you're renting a car they also have lots of onsite (free) parking.

Or if not doing any long distance sightseeing it would be easy enough to use taxi/Lyft etc to get to other restaurants in San Pedro (Raffaello if you like Italian).

Note that Ports O'Call is undergoing redevelopment most likely during your pre-cruise stay although the Fish Market is remaining open.

As for Long Beach, while I live here, I really don't think the Pike or the downtown, where most of the hotels are located, is all that interesting and there is quite a significant homeless population downtown so you need to know where to walk and where to avoid. I'd almost rather stay near the Long Beach airport where there are two new hotels (Hampton Inn/Homewood Suites) and rent a car. Since Long Beach homes often don't have air conditioning, these hotels are favorites of locals during heat waves. There is a Habit Burger across the parking lot and a new shopping center called LBX with a Nordstrom Rack and WholeFoods 365 a short distance away if you need any last minute purchases pre-cruise. If you'll be here Weds-Sunday and decide to stay in Long Beach, I recommend visiting Rancho Los Cerritos which you can do on your own, although Princess often runs tours there. It's about 5 miles from either the downtown or Long Beach Airport. So about a $20 taxi ride each way. You can hit up Angel Food Donuts (Cambodian donuts are a thing here) on the way. MOLAA is another option (also Weds-Sun) closer to downtown but I'd recommend driving or taxi (not walk or public transit).

Last edited by mlgb; Jul 30th, 2018 at 09:10 AM.
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Aug 7th, 2018, 10:19 AM
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I'll pick Long Beach over San Pedro any day ... easy to around with the free transit (the red bus), inexpensive hotels, attractions such as Queen Mary, Iowa, Aquarium, parks etc. Easy few days without stress or expenses. If you are senior, you can even take the Metro from LAX to Long Beach for a much discounted senior fare. Pick a hotel by the Metro station and the Red Bus station and you are golden! Some hotels offer free shuttle to cruise terminal.
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Aug 7th, 2018, 03:22 PM
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Great advice from mlgb above.

I live in San Pedro, and as much as I love my hometown, there is little to do here...except the Iowa (it's not in Long Beach)...your cruise ship will dock right next to it. We have a few attractions, not many restaurants, although we have a spectacular, uncrowded coastline.

If you have a few days before your cruise, you're probably better off getting a hotel near the airport or downtown LA. There's plenty to do in the city, and the weather is generally great that time of the year. Getting to San Pedro from LA takes about 20 minutes in normal traffic, and closer to an hour (or a bit longer) in heavy traffic. No way should it take 2 hours. You can Uber for cheap. So I wouldn't stay in San Pedro or Long Beach just to be close to your ship...you'll have plenty of time to get there.

If you do choose to stay in San Pedro, the Hilton Doubletree is the best hotel, and is routinely filled with pre-cruise guests. Long Beach has more restaurants and more stuff to do, but it's crowded. Contrary to the above post, there are no inexpensive hotels, as Long Beach is a host to endless conventions.

If you need anymore info about anything in San Pedro, don't hesitate to ask.

Last edited by Jim_Tardio; Aug 7th, 2018 at 03:41 PM.
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Aug 8th, 2018, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim_Tardio View Post
Great advice from mlgb above.
there are no inexpensive hotels, as Long Beach is a host to endless conventions.
Depending on what part of town you are staying, if you are NOT close to the convention/meeting facilities, chains such as Best Western, Holiday Inn etc. are all around the $100 to $150 per night range. And you are correct. The IOWA is actually at San Pedro right by the cruise terminal. Worth spending a couple hours prior to the board the ship.
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Aug 13th, 2018, 04:02 AM
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As far as nothing to do in San Pedro? Well, we like the little Cabrillo Aquarium, the tidepools and fishing pier and 7th Street (Whale and Ale), as well as Point Fermin, the SS Lane Victory, the Warner Grand (when it's open, check special events).

Please be careful with hotel locations in Long Beach..some of those $100 hotels are not in safe neighborhoods. Assuming that as the OP is cruising Oceania that they don't need to stay in the hood to save $25 or $100 on a hotel room.
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Aug 16th, 2018, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mlgb View Post
Assuming that as the OP is cruising Oceania that they don't need to stay in the hood to save $25 or $100 on a hotel room.
True enough, if they can afford to cruise with Oceania, why try to save $100 on a hotel! LOL!
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Aug 17th, 2018, 11:14 AM
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Who are you to comment on what the OP can afford? Everyone chooses to spend their money very differently even if of same means. Obnoxious comment. Perhaps they can travel on Oceana because they make wise choices for other options.

If Oceanea is paying your airfares as they frequently do, you may not get the choice to fly into Ontario; I'd shoot for LAX regardless and stay perhaps in Marina del Rey so you have access both to Santa Monica, Brentwood as well as Long Beach and San Pedro, both of which do not offer a day's outing IMHO. How many pre-nights are you considering? If one, just pick something closest to port; if 2-3 I'd explore western LA along the PCH (Rt 101) for those days. Get a guidebook for CA in library and do your homework to discover your interests in that side of town.




Who are you to say what someone else can afford by cruising Oceania? Everyone spends differently even if of same means. Perhaps they can, because they wisely choose other options to save money. Obnoxious comment IMHO, Eschew and mlgb.

OP, if you're just in for one night, stay close to port. If staying 2-3+ nights check out Marina del Rey which gives you better access to Abbot Kinney district of Venice, Santa Monica, Brentwood and other points for Western LA. Also, if Oceania is paying for your flights, you might not get the choice to fly into Ontario. We go to southern Cali regularly from EWR, and sometimes we get better deals going to/from there, but sometimes not. If you do fly into Ontario, see Laguna & Newport Beaches, Crystal Cove State Park, etc. Yes, we frequently are there in Jan/Feb and weather has been amazingly good, meaning 50-80. Also, get a CA guidebook from library and find out what interests you most.
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Aug 17th, 2018, 11:15 AM
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[QUOTE=aliced;16779754]Who are you to comment on what the OP can afford? Everyone chooses to spend their money very differently even if of same means. Obnoxious comment. Perhaps they can travel on Oceana because they make wise choices for other options.

Sorry for duplicate responses, do not like new form of "quick reply" on this site.
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Aug 17th, 2018, 01:06 PM
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Nobody is dissing the OP for cruising Oceania. Only saying that choosing a hotel in a less than desirable Long Beach neighborhood to save $25 or $100 isn't likely a choice they would make..maybe you know which of those $70/night hotels are better ones? If so, please do clue us in. Most of the cruises out of Long Beach are the $400 round trip to Mexico ones, which is why a lot of folks use those "hot sheet" motels for a pre-cruise night..not for a sightseeing base.

Last edited by mlgb; Aug 17th, 2018 at 01:10 PM.
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Aug 17th, 2018, 01:17 PM
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If Oceanea is paying your airfares as they frequently do, you may not get the choice to fly into Ontario;

This is a good thing, because Ontario is nowhere near the San Pedro.
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Aug 17th, 2018, 01:30 PM
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Yeah, that was funny, too.

OP never mentioned flying into Ontario.
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Aug 28th, 2018, 08:48 AM
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Thanks to everyone . Lots and lots of information and great suggestions.
We live in Chicago so departing the sub zero temperatures is our first objective. We are securing our own air so which airport is up to us. Mainly want to arrive a few days early to avoid any major snow storms. Thinking a reasonably priced comfortable hotel near a little bit of sightseeing, a pool,and a hotel where we can take walks in a safe neighborhood would fill our needs.

Have never visited the Queen Mary...is that a good option for sightseeing?
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Aug 28th, 2018, 11:26 AM
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It would take not even half a day. It's in an industrial harbor setting. Not too far away is the Aquarium of the Pacific and a bunch of chain restaurants. The downtown areas of both Long Beach and San Pedro have their share of homeless/mentally disturbed substance abusers. There have been time late in the day where we have not felt safe walking around Golden Shore area of Long Beach, near where the Catalina Flyer departs. The Queen Mary is on a peninsula away from the downtown shoreline and probably has fewer issues because to reach it is a long walk, drive or shuttle bus (something to consider if you aren't renting a car, you can't walk to much else if you wanted to stay on the ship).

January can be sunny but it can also be crisp (although from Chicago maybe it feels like summer). If you are picking based on having a pool, be sure it's not closed for maintenance.

I think the Doubletree is nicer and you can walk around the small boat harbor or to Cabrillo Beach and Aquarium. It does have a pool.

Hotels near Aquarium of the Pacific - DoubleTree San Pedro Attractions

I assume you've already asked on Cruise Critic?

Last edited by mlgb; Aug 28th, 2018 at 11:30 AM.
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Aug 28th, 2018, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mbw220 View Post
Thanks to everyone . Lots and lots of information and great suggestions.
We live in Chicago so departing the sub zero temperatures is our first objective. We are securing our own air so which airport is up to us. Mainly want to arrive a few days early to avoid any major snow storms. Thinking a reasonably priced comfortable hotel near a little bit of sightseeing, a pool,and a hotel where we can take walks in a safe neighborhood would fill our needs.

Have never visited the Queen Mary...is that a good option for sightseeing?
In that case, I'd just fly into LAX and get a taxi or Uber to a hotel in Manhattan or Hermosa beach (very close to LAX). Not really much in the way of formal "sights" but you can walk along the beach for miles, dine in a variety of restaurants, micro breweries, etc.., and it's all very safe. From there it's about a 30 minute drive to the cruise terminal in San Pedro. You don't even have to get on the freeway. If you want a days excursion, you can easily taxi or Uber any where in LA for the day.

The Queen Mary is OK. You would just walk around the ship, look in a few shops and that's about it. Sadly, there's just not a lot in the way of attractions in the Long Beach/San Pedro area. While there is more to do in Long Beach, these are basically working port towns.
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Aug 29th, 2018, 08:56 AM
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Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach is nice. Again, there isn't a lot to see nearby (probably less than San Pedro or Long Beach) but it's a very safe neighborhood and you can walk to the Strand and Pier. MB is a bit nicer than HB, IMO. Shade is very close to the old school Uncle Bill's Pancake House if you want some local flavor. I guess the big risk in staying in Manhattan Beach is if it's raining, there virtually is NOTHING else to do within a reasonable distance.

I don't know much about Beach House in Hermosa but it's very close to the beach and the Pier, which can be good (or bad) depending on how much nightlife you want, eg Hennessey's.

Those Beach communities can be heavily impacted by traffic especially if it's raining (yes sometimes that happens) So I'd allow a cushion from the shortest likely drive time quoted of 30 minutes to get to San Pedro (if that's where you're leaving from). Don't forget the traffic will often back up getting to the drop off point for crusies, also.

I haven't mentioned Terranea Resort in the Palos Verdes Peninsula because you really need a car for that one unless you want to spend most of the time on site, but there are some walking trails , multiple pools, restaurants, and a spa. It will still take you about 30 minutes to get to the Terminal from there, surface streets all the way.

Last edited by mlgb; Aug 29th, 2018 at 09:03 AM.
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