Best areas for pre-cruise hotel in San Francisco?

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#1
Chicago, Illinois
2,440 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
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?
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#2
Exactly where I want to be
7,044 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Myself - I love the Union Square area. But, it depends on what your "reasonable" price point is that is going to determine where you can afford to stay. I usually stay at the Westin St. Francis.
Not a fan of Fisherman's Wharf area, but if you've never been to San Francisco, staying there could have it's attraction. Easy to get to the cruise terminal from there. Maybe I was soured on hotels that area because I had my car (NOT a rental) broken into and the sound system stolen (back in the day) at the Sheraton - not fun driving 8 hours home in a car with broken windows and no tunes...
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#3
Calabasas, CA, USA
11,761 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
Originally posted by elycelynne
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...
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#4
Coronado, CA & Corona del Mar, CA, USA
678 Posts
Joined Oct 2001
Union Square and the Embarcadero would be my first choices, but then it also depends on your budget and when you are looking to arrive.
#5
San Ramon CA
138 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by elycelynne
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?
fisherman's Wharf is the closest but more choices at Union Square.
#6
Ontario, Canada
1,778 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
We recently stayed in San Francisco for our 1st time and based on input from these boards we stayed at the Tuscan in Fisherman's Wharf. It was an excellent location as we could walk to the pier for the Alcatraz Tour and then to the HOHO bus for our other site seeing that we did. We spent 3 days there and thoroughly enjoyed our stay with a lot of walking which we enjoy.
#8
NE Ohio
4,038 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
We liked the Fisherman's Wharf Doubletree for the rooms, service, and location.
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#10
SF Bay Area
1,484 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Originally posted by rbslos18
Anyone have any comments on the Grand Hyatt in Union Square? Thanks!
RB
Well if its later this year and you don't mind the people camping out on the sidewalk, the flagship Apple Store is part of the Hyatt building; they'll be waiting to get their mitts on the new 8.

If your looking for some "glass", Tiffany & Co is right around the corner next to the Apple Store.

Just past Tiffany's is Powell St where you can catch the little cable cars "half way to the stars" to Nob Hill, Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf.

Getting to the cruise terminal? Taxi/Uber/Lyft is your best bet.
#11
330 Posts
Joined Oct 2001
Originally posted by Philob
Well if its later this year and you don't mind the people camping out on the sidewalk, the flagship Apple Store is part of the Hyatt building; they'll be waiting to get their mitts on the new 8.

If your looking for some "glass", Tiffany & Co is right around the corner next to the Apple Store.

Just past Tiffany's is Powell St where you can catch the little cable cars "half way to the stars" to Nob Hill, Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf.

Getting to the cruise terminal? Taxi/Uber/Lyft is your best bet.
I'll be there early January. Would you suggest staying there aside from Apple etc. Thanks
#12
SF Bay Area
1,484 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Originally posted by rbslos18
I'll be there early January. Would you suggest staying there aside from Apple etc. Thanks
As stated earlier by Bruin Steve depends on your plans/needs.

The Grand Hyatt is a good place to start; it's in the Union Square district with the "high-end" shopping. A block away is the St. Francis where US Presidents use to stay. Up until 2-3 years ago they washed the coins "lest the ladies gloves get soiled" before it went back out to the cashiers. They stopped when the coin washer retired.

Fisherman's Wharf is the touristy part of town, but close to our Little Italy and Chinatown. Strong Italian coffee, sweet pastries for breakfast and dim sum (light to the heart) lunch across the street from each other.

The Financial District (old) is dead on weekends, the newer SOMA financial district is just as dead on weekends, but there's the Museum of Modern Art in it. Obama stayed across the street from the museum when he was in town at the "W". Locals hated it cause its near one of the busiest intersections of the city and his security detail would close it when he's in residence. Our major convention center is also in this area, call the hotel directly and ask if there's any major conventions at Moscone Center if your thinking about this area. SalesForce, Apple, Oracle have their annual thing here.

Another Hyatt is the Hyatt Regency a few long blocks away adjacent to the waterfront. It has a HUGE atrium lobby. The California cable car line turn-around is right in front. It's across the way from our foodie center, the Ferry Building, and about a 15 minute walk from the cruise terminal. There's also a subway entrance next to the cable car turn-around if you want to get to SFO airport via subway. I used to take the subway from SFO to here and catch the local bus across the street from the Hyatt to go home.
#13
Beautiful, BC
2,479 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
We stayed at Hotel Zephyr near Fisherman's Wharf. Great location, walked with our wheeled bags from the ship to hotel. Walked everywhere from there during our stay.


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#14
SF Bay Area
1,484 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
I forgot to mention, this may be a deal breaker. There's major road construction in front of the Grand Hyatt. A new subway line is being built with a station under Union Square. Been that way for the past 3 years with another 2 to go. Doesn't look like it has affect the Hyatt to much but its something to consider.
#15
Chicago, Illinois
2,440 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
Since I originated this thread I thought I would come back to update.

I got a VERY reasonable rate on LMT Club for the Hyatt Centric at Fisherman's Wharf, so that's where I booked. I imagine that it will be okay for one night.
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Elyce

Chandris Amerikanis - late 1970's; Carnival Festivale, NCL Norway, Carnival Tropicale - 1980's; Carnival Celebration - 1989; HAL Westerdam - 12/2009; HAL Eurodam - 2/2011; HAL Nieuw Amsterdam - 1/2012; HAL Noordam - 2/2013; HAL Noordam - 1/2014; HAL Noordam - 2/2015; HAL Zuiderdam - 2/2016; Royal Princess - 1/2017



#16
Pittsburgh, PA
391 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Our friends recommended the Stanford Court. We staying there pre and post cruise. Any one have any experience with this hotel or the area?
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#17
Coronado, CA & Corona del Mar, CA, USA
678 Posts
Joined Oct 2001
Originally posted by rbslos18
Anyone have any comments on the Grand Hyatt in Union Square? Thanks!
RB

Grand Hyatt is a very nice hotel in a good location.

But there are a lot of very nice hotels in good locations in SF. What kind of info did you need?


Originally posted by brt49
Our friends recommended the Stanford Court. We staying there pre and post cruise. Any one have any experience with this hotel or the area?
How many nights in each case?

As I said in the other post the Stanford Court is a great hotel, but you have to Uber pretty much everyplace because it is up on top of the hill and therefore not very walkable.


If you have multiple nights pre and post cruise I'd keep the Stanford Court for one stay and something in Union Square for the other. If it is one night each stay, just keep the Stanford Court.
#18
Pittsburgh, PA
391 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Originally posted by scottca075
Grand Hyatt is a very nice hotel in a good location.

But there are a lot of very nice hotels in good locations in SF. What kind of info did you need?




How many nights in each case?

As I said in the other post the Stanford Court is a great hotel, but you have to Uber pretty much everyplace because it is up on top of the hill and therefore not very walkable.


If you have multiple nights pre and post cruise I'd keep the Stanford Court for one stay and something in Union Square for the other. If it is one night each stay, just keep the Stanford Court.
We arrive in the morning the day before our Hawaii cruise. We are staying there after we get off the ship and leave on a red-eye the following night.
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#19
Coronado, CA & Corona del Mar, CA, USA
678 Posts
Joined Oct 2001
Originally posted by brt49
We arrive in the morning the day before our Hawaii cruise. We are staying there after we get off the ship and leave on a red-eye the following night.
I love the hotel, think it is great, but on the return I might choose a hotel off Nob Hill in the Union Square area so you can walk around a little and sightsee, shop etc.