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  #1  
Old April 16th, 2012, 01:24 PM
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candydane candydane is offline
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Default Transportation to Pier from SFO and OAK

We'll be flying down for our September Princess cruise from San Francisco.

We can fly in and out of either San Francisco (SFO) airport or Oakland Airport (OAK). We'll be going directly between the airport and the cruise pier (not staying overnight).

Is a shared shuttle our best choice? About how much per person from SFO vs OAK?

If so, can you recommend a shuttle service?

Anything special we should consider?
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  #2  
Old April 16th, 2012, 01:44 PM
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As OAK is much further from the pier, a shared shuttle (Super Shuttle is the common brand) from SFO is the common way. IIRC correctly, the fare is about $20pp, or a little more. A taxi will be in the $55-60 range.

From both airports, BART (subway) is an option for $5-10pp. However, the nearest station is around a mile from the pier, or a little less, and thus a cab or walking with your bags comnes into play.

Last edited by CruiserBruce; April 16th, 2012 at 01:44 PM.
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  #3  
Old April 16th, 2012, 04:12 PM
kenish kenish is offline
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I'm assuming you're flying to the Bay Area the morning of your cruise and are well-aware of the risks.

A resident can provide more detail, but I believe September can bring fog problems to SFO. I've been on a few flights that diverted to OAK which was in the clear while SFO was socked in. The problem every time was they couldn't offload passengers at OAK due to the gates being filled with other diverted flights. So, we had to sit on the apron at OAK until SFO opened and we got a clearance.

Point is, I'd go with OAK due to less chance of weather issues.
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  #4  
Old April 16th, 2012, 04:20 PM
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sarafinadh sarafinadh is offline
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September is actually our summer month, when you have a lower chance of fog issues. No guarantee as we can get fog any day of the year, but if you had to pick a month Sept is a good one.

From the BART Embarcadero station you can catch a street car to right in front of the pier (either one actually) that the cruise ships dock at.

We always fly in and out of SFO, much more convenient to the City. From Oakland you will have to catch a shuttle from the airport to the BART line, adding an extra transfer to the trip, which always slows things down and makes it more fatiguing.

If the cost is the same come into SFO, BART to Embarcadero and take the Muni to the pier. Under 10 per person.
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Old April 16th, 2012, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarafinadh View Post
September is actually our summer month, when you have a lower chance of fog issues. No guarantee as we can get fog any day of the year, but if you had to pick a month Sept is a good one.

From the BART Embarcadero station you can catch a street car to right in front of the pier (either one actually) that the cruise ships dock at.

We always fly in and out of SFO, much more convenient to the City. From Oakland you will have to catch a shuttle from the airport to the BART line, adding an extra transfer to the trip, which always slows things down and makes it more fatiguing.

If the cost is the same come into SFO, BART to Embarcadero and take the Muni to the pier. Under 10 per person.
You're flying in the same day as the cruise? Good luck. I'm sure you've seen the many posts here of people recommending against that.

I wonder how many cruise passengrs have so little luggage that they'd take BART into SF from either airport. And then Muni. If I can afford a cruise, I can afford a taxi or shuttle. But some may have less luggage and/or have an easier time carrying it around.

According to Google Maps, at least, the difference in distance to the port is not great at all (under 5 miles), but SFO may have a bigger variety of shuttles (by the way, there have been discussionson some travel sites about shuttle scams out of SFO;I imagine you can find those and avoid the scams). SFO also has good sourdough bread for sale.

Last edited by Fattony; April 16th, 2012 at 04:40 PM.
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Old April 16th, 2012, 04:56 PM
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OK, a couple of confusing issues here.

First, September is one of the best weather months in SF, and fog is rarely a problem then.

Second, yes, you can catch (the F line, I think) the trolly close by the BART station. However, it is the most popular line in SF- especially with tourists in town- and getting your baggage on board will be difficult if not impossible.

Last edited by CruiserBruce; April 16th, 2012 at 04:57 PM.
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Old April 16th, 2012, 11:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fattony View Post
I wonder how many cruise passengrs have so little luggage that they'd take BART into SF from either airport. And then Muni. If I can afford a cruise, I can afford a taxi or shuttle. But some may have less luggage and/or have an easier time carrying it around.

According to Google Maps, at least, the difference in distance to the port is not great at all (under 5 miles), but SFO may have a bigger variety of shuttles (by the way, there have been discussionson some travel sites about shuttle scams out of SFO;I imagine you can find those and avoid the scams). SFO also has good sourdough bread for sale.
The distance to the port is more like 15 miles. I have never heard of a scam shuttle or taxi. They regulate who can pick up passengers at the terminals pretty carefully.

Shuttle will be around $17

http://www.sftravel.com/shutl.html

Taxi around $45

BART and Muni around $9

And the perspective on cost and luggage and Bart is pretty funny.

My husband travels a great deal for work and he takes BART almost all the time. Depending on traffic it can be much quicker, and is a comfortable easy way to get out there.

Last summer we took a 3 week trip to Europe and had a checked bag and carry-ons for each of us. We walked a few blocks to BART, stacked our bags with no problem, there are open areas for luggage, and then when we arrived at SFO, walked to the check in counter.

Couldn't have been easier.

Or you can sit in a cab, or in a shuttle that stops at numerous drop offs and pick ups, watching the heavy traffic... hoping to get there in time...
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Old April 17th, 2012, 03:25 AM
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I agree that September is the best weather month, but fog can be a problem any time. My husband flies through SFO all the time. Generally in our experiences, delays are pretty frequent at SFO. It always amazes us how easily SFO shuts down due to a little rain or wind or fog....weather NY or Chicago or Denver would laugh at. They shut down just the other day due to a thunder storm. OK, it was a bad storm. We had golf ball size hail at my house. But they shut down over the slightest problems. On our first cruise we flew from SFO to LAX and took a shuttle straight to the pier. It was a very long stressful day and we won't ever fly the same day again.

I'd grab a cab or shuttle at SFO for a ride through San Fran to the pier
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Old April 17th, 2012, 08:11 AM
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Again, some confusion here. SFO doesn't "shut down", well, only rarely. When visibility gets low, it can't use the two parallel landing runways for landing at the same time due to requirements for spacing between the runways. So, the landing capability is cut roughly in half. However, the take off capability is only decreased by about 10-20%, as there are a total of 3 runways commonly used for takeoff. So, if your plane is there, you can usually get out close to on time. If your plane is coming from somewhere else immediately prior to your flight, then delays start to build. Another good reason for early flights out of SFO, but doesn't help for early flights in.

Last edited by CruiserBruce; April 17th, 2012 at 08:12 AM.
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  #10  
Old April 17th, 2012, 11:29 AM
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As my apartment is between the 16th St and 24th St BART stations, I am biased in saying that either SFO or OAK would work for a trip to San Francisco (It takes about the same amount of time on BART.) If you do come into The City on BART, consider getting off at the Embarcadero station, and catching a cab from the Hyatt Regency to the pier. Also, consider getting flight coming in the night before as you never know when Murphy's Law will kick in and you will have a bigger cushion to deal with it.
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  #11  
Old April 17th, 2012, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CruiserBruce View Post
Again, some confusion here. SFO doesn't "shut down", well, only rarely. When visibility gets low, it can't use the two parallel landing runways for landing at the same time due to requirements for spacing between the runways. So, the landing capability is cut roughly in half. However, the take off capability is only decreased by about 10-20%, as there are a total of 3 runways commonly used for takeoff. So, if your plane is there, you can usually get out close to on time. If your plane is coming from somewhere else immediately prior to your flight, then delays start to build. Another good reason for early flights out of SFO, but doesn't help for early flights in.
Thanks for explaining The news reports here earlier this week said "shut down" lol

All I know is I have spent waaaayyyy too many hours sitting in that airport with my flight delayed, then delayed, then delayed again, and many cancelled. Although the frequent cancellations are probably because our first/last leg is to a small airport in the Central Valley. When things get backed up and they start cancelling flights, it's usually the small hopper flights that get cancelled so as to affect the least number of people. Our flights going into SFO get cancelled as well and it's SFO that cancels them, not our little airport. My husband has started flying out of Fresno in order to avoid SFO because so many of his flights are either delayed or cancelled. But again, our experience is probably because they're small planes from a small airport.
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  #12  
Old April 17th, 2012, 04:33 PM
kenish kenish is offline
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When weather, equipment outages, etc. limit the number of arrivals into an airport, it starts a ripple effect. The FAA has a national clearinghouse in the DC suburbs where airline employees play "Let's Make a Deal" with the FAA. For example, United might agree to cancel or delay 5 flights into SFO if the FAA allows them to operate JFK-SFO and a SFO-LHR flight as planned.

From the ATC perspective, it doesn't matter whether a landing or takeoff is a 777 from New York or to London (profitable for the airline), or a turboprop from San Luis Obsipo with 15 aboard (less lucrative). ATC just needs to limit the number of operations. The airlines will sacrifice their low-yield flights to "save" the ones that are more profitable or cause less dispatch disruption.

As someone mentioned, the distance between SFO's parallel runways is less than required when visibility is low. During clear weather they run parallel approaches (planes landing side-by-side) but planes are staggered in low visibility. That restricts the arrival capacity.
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Old April 18th, 2012, 12:45 PM
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Thanks.

We'll plan to fly into Oakland if we decide to go down same day as our cruise.
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