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Posts posted by diane.in.ny

  1. On 3/11/2020 at 12:11 PM, OlympicGirl said:

    Hi Diane, 

    forgot one thing - what would be in your opinion an acceptable amount to tip a guide/driver? I am not that familiar with such group tours so would appreciate any recommendation 🙂 


    I honestly don't remember exactly what we tipped. Since generally we do $10 for a full day pp, we probably tipped our guide $50 because she was very accommodating to the needs of the group. And we would have given the drive $20 or $25.

  2. 2 hours ago, Fran2020 said:

    Thanks Diane, 

    yes, the open group we are currently booked at is up to 16 people but I am fine with that. I am also looking at their evening events - have you taken any? A folk show for example? I remember I saw a video of a Russian folk dance called Beriozka and it was fantastic 


    No. Didn't go to any of the evening program s . Long days and didn't think we could handle it

  3. 1 hour ago, coastcat said:


    At LAX, all rideshares and taxis pick up at a separate lot by Terminal 1. You can walk there easily from Terminal 1 but it's a little bit of a hike from the other terminals. The blindingly green (and I mean GREEN) LAXit shuttle runs every 4-5 minutes and the buses (did I mention that they're green?) used are ADA compliant. If you need help with boarding and/or your luggage, the driver will assist you. When you get to the LAXit lot, it's really easy to figure out where to go for the service you want to use.


    LAX is an annoying airport to navigate but at least the rideshare lot makes sense!




    Thanks for the info about expecting the driver to help. I had previously read there were going to be porters but I guess not 

  4. dkata Thank you SO much for your report.  I just came to the forum looking for that exact information. I am a new Uber user and your post is very helpful


    coastcat Perhaps you can give me some information regarding the shuttle to the lot. I read there are supposed to be staff available to help pax get their luggage on and off the shuttle. Is this accurate?  We have no problem once the bags are on the ground and we can roll them but, as seniors, we would have a hard time lifting up a step or two onto the shuttle

  5. 3 hours ago, OlympicGirl said:

    Hi Diane,

    did you have meals included in the private tour too? We have requested seats in an open group already but maybe it is a better option to make it private for six of us,  so I am trying to understand the difference in price if we go for it.  I wonder if it is in general possible to have a proper lunch with an agenda like this 🙂 


    Yes, meals were included. We had two very nice sit down lunches. No choices but we liked everything. 


    At the second lunch, the office manager came with a handheld charge card gizmo and that's when we paid. At the end, we tipped the driver and guide in US $.

    • Like 1
  6. 2 hours ago, Fran2020 said:

    Hi Diane, 

    which tour did you book? Was it this Best of the Best? I wonder what this hydrofoil is - is it comfortable enough? 



    Yes, it was that tour. We kept it private for 8 of us but you can also just book it and have up to, I think, 16 people


    The hydrofoil is fine.  Nice smooth ride

  7. 2 minutes ago, princeton123211 said:

    I haven't been back to experience the change yet-- I could still get an Uber terminal side when I was there a few weeks ago-- but you do apparently take a shuttle like a rental car shuttle over. I'm sure the driver is there to help with luggage. 


    It's a temporary measure for a few years until the people mover opens. 


    We will be there in February. I suspect they should have it all worked out by then.  🙂

  8. 6 minutes ago, princeton123211 said:

    If you are into the heyday of the transatlantic liner and are willing to overlook a few things here and there (not unsafe or dirty things, just old and sometimes dinged) then you will love it. If you want a newer hotel experience than it wont be your cup of tea.


    I've always found that booking on the Queen Mary things are perfectly fine if you book one of the wood paneled first class cabins. Any of the lower category ones with the white walls that they retrofitted are pretty dismal and thats where most of the complaints I've heard from. 


    The ship itself isn't in horrible shape-- its actually seen a lot more TLC in the past year or so than it has in a while. But it is old and it's sitting in salt water, and old things in salt water are not as easy to maintain as a newer concrete building sitting on land. 




    Was thinking of booking the upper class cabin with the king bed and sitting area. Based on what you are saying that should be fine.  Thanks so much.

  9. 45 minutes ago, Bruin Steve said:


    It looks to me as if you are coming here for a February cruise...which is not exactly prime beach season...

    So...I would ask what you are really looking for in "near the beach"?

    If you are looking towards going in the water, be aware it will likely be quite cold...and, it may not be the best time of year to lay out on the sand to try to get  a tan...

    OTOH, if it's just the ambiance of a beach town you are looking for...or maybe for the ocean views, then you do have some possibilities--from Malibu clear down to South Orange County.  There are many beach towns, most of them fairly upscale (some more than others) and many have hotels right at the beach or fairly nearby...

    Assuming you are flying in to LAX and cruising out of San Pedro, I would not go too far north of LAX or too far south of San Pedro--meaning, for convenience sake, I'd stick to between Santa Monica and Seal Beach... The South Orange County towns--Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, et al are very nice, but a little out of your way.


    Santa Monica is my number one recommendation for anyone with extended time in the LA area--because of the multitude of things to do right there as well as the proximity to a lot of LA are tourist favorite sights.  Santa Monica has a few very nice hotels basically right on the beach--Loews, Marriott Le Marigot, Shutters-on-the-Beach, Casa del Mar...as well as several other great options within 1-5 blocks of the beach, but close to the Downtown Santa Monica Attractions--Fairmont Miramar, Wyndham, Huntley, Georgian, Courtyard, Hampton, CarMar and others...Nice areas to walk--on the beach , on the Pier and along the Palisades Park on the cliffs overlooking the beach...Santa Monica is approximately 10 miles north of LAX...


    Closer to LAX is Marina Del Rey/Venice Beach...which has lots of nice hotels...and restaurants...and attractions such as the Venice Boardwalk...Look at the Marriott, the Jamaica Bay Inn, the Foghorn Harbor Inn, the Inn at Venice Beach, the Venice Beach House, the Ritz Carlton and the Hotel Erwin...


    South of LAX is the area known as the "South Bay"--Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach...These tend to be more residential beach towns with an almost retro vibe...But there are some reasonable choices here--such as the Portofino or the Crown Plaza near the Redondo Beach Pier.  Other hotels in this area tend to be smaller, outdated motels...


    Just outside of San Pedro, in the VERY exclusive Palos Verde area, you'll find the Terranea Resort--on the cliffs over the Pacific...it's very close to the cruise port, but not much in the immediate vicinity...and a bit pricey...


    Long Beach has several nice hotels in its Convention Center area--near the harbor rather than the nicer beaches--but there are beaches very nearby...Look at my "A" list:  Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Centric at the Pike, Renaissance, Westin...The Maya Doubletree and Residence Inn Downtown are farther into the commercial port and farther from beaches...but are nice hotels--just requiring a shuttle to the more touristy areas across the channel.  The nicer beaches in Long Beach are further down the coast--in the Naples/Belmont Shore area, but there really aren't any great hotel choices near the beach...


    I hope this helps...

    BTW, here is the view from the room I stayed in at the Marriott Le Merigot in Santa Monica:



    Here's a view from the Loews:





    Thank you so very much for taking the time to write this long and helpful post.

  10. 15 minutes ago, scottca075 said:


    There are not any hotels what I would call "near the beach". The beach in Downtown Long Beach is all inside the breakwater or the Port of Long Beach & LA, which makes it not a very desirable beach.


    If you want a nice beach hotel, I'd look at Huntington Beach or Laguna Beach. Which to choose depends on budget and interests. If you stay in the downtown area of either, you don't need a car; they are both very walkable.


    Downtown Laguna Beach

    Downtown Huntington Beach


    Both maps above can be spun 360 or zoomed out to see where they are in relation to San Pedro.



    Thank you!


    What airport are you connecting through?


    We are also seniors and don't run through airports anymore. But the secret we found is if we have a tight connection, depending on the airport, we ask for wheelchairs. Worth the $10 pp tip to get zipped from one flight to the next. Especially when you consider the $$ saved using EZAir.

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