Posted March 22nd, 2017, 03:59 PM
Hello. I'm contemplating a Mexican Riviera cruise that departs from San Francisco (never been there) and was wondering which area is best/most convenient for a reasonably-priced pre-cruise hotel. Fisherman's Wharf? Union Square? Something else altogether?
I've stayed all over San Francisco: Union Square, SoMa, Civic Center, SFO, Financial District, Marina District, etc. But, for me, it usually depends on the reason I'm there. Lately, I stay at a nice little hotel in the Marina (Cow Hollow Motor Inn) because my daughter lives two blocks away and they have a rarity in San Francisco--FREE Parking. I've stayed in SoMa (Marriott Courtyard) when I'm there to attend events at AT&T Park. I used to stay often at the Hilton on Kearney in the Financial District because of its nice central location near Chinatown and North Beach. There are lots of good hotels in all price ranges (I guess "all price ranges" should be qualified by, "Well, it IS San Francisco and things here are expensive) and in lots of areas of town...
Of course, for me, parking is often a consideration...but, for most visitors from outside the area, it shouldn't be: Do NOT rent a car here unless you have some extraordinary reason to. Parking is near impossible and/or extremely expensive. Driving in the City can be a nightmare for the uninitiated...Streets tend to go at steep angles up and down hills with completely blind intersections. OTOH, most public transportation is easy...cable cars, buses, taxis and BART cover everything.
That said, if I were coming to San Francisco for a cruise and a couple of days before hand to get a brief taste of the City as a newbie, I would stay in the Fisherman's Wharf area. There are some here who will tell you it's a bit touristy...and yes, it is. Lots of cheesy gift shops and restaurants frequented most by tourists rather than locals. OTOH, as a tourist new to the City, it is different and exciting...And, it is a good spot from which to catch Alcatraz and Harbor tours...It is the terminus of one of the Cable Car lines...It has several tourist attractions. It is very walkable. AND it is very close to the cruise ship pier.
As to the safety of the neighborhood...ANY touristy location in ANY city may be rife with pickpockets and scammers. When traveling anywhere, you should pay good mind to your belongings and to your personal safety. But, as San Francisco goes, Fisherman's Wharf is far from the most crime-ridden area. Union Square and the Tenderloin is far worse. The Civic Center area is scary. Fisherman's Wharf is actually pretty nice...and convenient.
Good luck and have fun...
12/22/17 RCCL Navigator of the Seas-S Caribbean
6/29/18 Celebrity Millennium-Alaska-7 nt
7/18/18 Viking Aegir-E. Europe-13 nt
HAL Maasdam 7 nt Canada 7/17*RCCL Jewel OTS 7 nt Greece 7/17*RCCL Jewel OTS 7 nt W Med 6/17*Ruby Princess 8 nt Mex Riviera 12/16*Celebrity Constellation 13 nt Iberia 7/16*Celebrity Silhouette 7 nt W. Carib 3/16*Star Princess 5 nt Cabo 11/15*Celebrity Xpedition 10 nt Galapagos/Quito 7/15*Celebrity Millennium 7 nt Alaska 6/15*Crown Princess 3 nt Baja 1/15*Golden Princess 3 nt Baja 11/14*Viking Emerald 17 nt China 6/14*RCCL Allure OTS 7 nt E. Carib 1/14*Golden Princess 3 nt Baja 11/13*Celebrity Silhouette 13 nt Adriatic 6/13*RCCL Mariner OTS 7 nt W. Carib 12/12*Celebrity Eclipse 14 nt Iceland/Norway 7/12*Celebrity Century 13 nt Australia/New Zealand 12/11-12*Oceania Marina 16 nt W. Europe 8/11*Carnival Paradise 3 nt Baja 2/11*RCCL Allure OTS 7 nt W. Carib 1/11*Celebrity Eclipse 14 nt Baltic 7/10*Celebrity Summit 7 nt S. Carib 3/10*RCCL Mariner OTS, 7 nt Mex Riviera 1/10*Oceania Nautica 14 nt Med/Egypt/Israel 6/09*RCCL Mariner OTS 1 nt Pre-Inaugural 2/09*Sapphire Princess 7 nt Mex Riviera 12/08-9*Celebrity Constellation 14 nt Baltic 7/08*RCCL Vision OTS 7 nt Mex Riviera 3/08*Carnival Liberty, 8 nt Panama 7/07*RCCL Liberty OTS 7 nt W. Caribbean 6/07*RCCL Monarch OTS 5 nt Baja 1/07*Oceania Nautica 14 nt Med 7/06*RCCL Monarch OTS 3 nt Baja 4/06*Celebrity Constellation 14 nt N. Europe 7/05*Celebrity Constellation 7 nt S. Carib 3/05*Celebrity Summit 13 nt Alaska Cruisetour 7/04*RCCL Monarch OTS 3 nt Baja 1/04*Celebrity Millennium 13 nt Med 8/03*RCCL Grandeur OTS 7 nt Mex Riviera 7/02*Crown Princess, 10 nt Baltic/Russia 8/01*Carnival Elation 7 nt Mex Riviera 8/00*RCCL Grandeur OTS 7 nt E. Carib 8/98*Carnival Jubilee 7 nt Mex Riviera 7/97*RCCL Viking Serenade 4 nt Baja 7/96*RCCL Viking Serenade 3 nt Baja 6/94*Norwegian Southward 3 nt Baja 12/89*Premier Big Red Boat Atlantic 7 nt Disney 3/89