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Los Angeles Union Station to Cruise Port


minifarmer

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We'll be arriving at Los Angeles Union Staion on Amtrak Coast Starlight and need to get to the cruise terminal. I know there is an Amtrak bus but it would put us in San Pedro blocks from the nearest hotel/motel at a bus stop about midnight. That doesn't seem like a safe idea. Plus, we're in our mid 70's and have health problems that prevent us from walking very far.

 

I checked with Super Shuttle and Prime Time Shuttle but they only go to/from the airport. Is an expensive taxi our only option? I also checked public transportation but that seems difficult with the luggage. We could stay at a motel near Union Station and go to the cruise port the next day if that would work better. Thanks in advance for any info.

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The shuttles do pick up at the train terminal. We have taken one of the shuttle services in the past from there. Also in July I saw at least one (blue) van picking up poeple.

-Might want to call them.

 

DO NOT take public transportation in LA to get to port. If you were younger and taking a minimal amount of luggage to Long Beach during the day, then MAYBE it would be fine to take the light rail system.

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Hello,

 

I would stay the night before your cruise in downtown Los Angeles. There are several nice hotels in downtown Los Angeles.

 

Please note that I have not stayed at any of these hotels but I know that all are a short taxi ride from Union Station. You might also ask if the hotel has a shuttle service from the train station to the hotel.

 

Best Western Dragon Gate Inn

 

Kyoto Grand Hotel and Gardens

 

Miyako Hotel Los Angeles

 

Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown

 

Millenium Biltmore Hotel

 

Westin Bonaventure

 

Please note that the above are in reasonably safe areas. There are other hotels and motels but for various reasons such as safety or location I listed the ones that you should look at.

 

None of the above will be inexpensive but if you look at AAA, AARP or Priceline you may be able to save some money. They are however very nice hotels.

 

I would not take a cab late at night from the train station to Long Beach or San Pedro because this would be a very expensive ride.

 

I would also double check Super Shuttle or Prime Ticket to see if they will pick you up at Union Station at midnight. The problem here is that trains are late and Super Shuttle or Prime Ticket may not wait for you as these companies have other passengers. Then you will have a fairly long ride to a hotel in San Pedro or Long Beach and would have to check in late.

 

This way you can get a good night's sleep and arrange for Super Shuttle to take you to the cruise terminal the next morning.

 

One advantage to Super Shuttle is that you can make all the arrangements before you leave...pre -pay the entire fare including the driver's gratuity. This way there is no hassle or misunderstandings.

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Addenda:

 

The Best Western Dragon Gate Inn is probably the closest to the train station and it is a basic Best Western which is nothing fancy. It is located in a very safe area though it may not look like it to you. The other hotels that I listed are very wel known properties.

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Just a note: many of the various shuttle services will pick you up or drop you off from various locations such as your home or the cruise ports. But for the sake of simplicity, the online reservations may not have an option for trips not involving an airport. You can call their 800 numbers and check that out.

 

It's been a few years since I've used a shuttle, but for our last cruise, I made arrangements with one service (Cool Ride) to have a private town car pick us up in Northridge and take us to the World Cruise Center in San Pedro. We didn't even have to give directions -- the driver says he takes people there all the time.

 

On its website, Prime Time says it will pick up at Union Station, and I'm sure others will too. Again, check out the threads here to see which ones are recommended and try calling them. Of course, you may have to pay for a private car, rather than a shared one.

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Hello,

 

The problem here is that the Coast Starlight may not be on time and will a private car company such as Cool Ride wait at Union Station? And what is the cost of Cool Ride?

 

Secondly where is the couple going to stay? The Crowne Plaza is one possibility and the Double Tree is another as both are in San Pedro.

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I was just trying to come up with one alternative as the OP thought the shuttle companies do not pick up from there. It could be that he or she got that impression from their websites and didn't contact them directly.

 

When we went on the Coast Starlight back in '04, we ended up getting to our destination four hours late on each end. Got into the Seattle station around midnight and got into the Oxnard station going south around midnight. We worked out complicated logistics of boarding at a station that had luggage check in (at the time, the closest one to us, Chatsworth didn't) and decided to rent a car one way, drive up north, stay overnight at Oxnard and start our train trip the next morning with a pre-cruise stay because we figured the train would be late. And do the reverse coming back after a post-cruise trip in Seattle. That way, we wouldn't have to drive to downtown LA.

 

But unless the OP wants to stay at another city and then travel directly to San Pedro the next day, then the choices would seem to be stay in downtown LA that night, or have the number of a taxi or shuttle service handy that will pick them up from Union Station and drive them to San Pedro (which at 10 or 11pm at night -- or later, if there's constant sidetracking -- shouldn't take too long).

 

One caveat to with train travel is that (hopefully rarely) every once in a while there's a situation in which the train can't continuously travel all the way. That happened for a short time last year when the Metrolink tragedy happened (on the same rail that is used for some trains) and a couple of years ago when there was a land slide near Santa Barbara. We almost had that happened to us in '04 when there was a tunnel fire in Oregon. We were the first train that went through that tunnel after that (and we could tell where the fire happened from the hole in the tunnel and the smell). Before that, passengers had to get off the train at one point, take a bus past that point, and then get on another train, which apparently added another nine hours. So have a plan B handy just in case.

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Cruising,

 

Sometimes on these boards there are people whom you really want to help and this couple surely is in that category.

 

I noted that the Coast Starlight stops in Simi Valley and Van Nuys before Union Station.

 

Simi Valley is the safest city in California as it is home to about half of the LA City Police Department. I am not familiar with the station in Simi Valley or Van Nuys but would it make any sense for the couple to stay the night mear one of these stations and then in the morning take Super Shuttle to the cruise terminal? They would be arriving at these stations in the early evening.

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I do not think the Simi Valley stop is a good choice for OP. It seems to be a platform only stop without any services.

 

http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Amtrak/am2Station/Station_Page&code=SIM

 

OP- Just after the Simi Valley stop (scheduled at 7:30p or so) you will pass thru two long tunnels in Chatsworth. These were some of the longest train tunnels when they were built.

 

Most motels in downtown LA is not where I would put a relative. Any of the hotels that Fredr mentioned with a paid shuttle to port seems like a good bet. If you decide to stay by port it will take about 45 minutes to get there. I do not know what the taxi rate would be from the Terminal to port but from Long Beach to LAX it is about $60.

 

The Bonaventure is beautiful. Does the top still revolve?

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I was thinking further up the coast. But that would entail renting a car on an one-way basis. If the OP wanted to pad a day or two before the cruise, they can stay in SLO or Santa Barbara, where the train gets in during the afternoon or early evening, even if there's a slight delay (9pm at the latest). Just an idea.

 

I wouldn't recommend Van Nuys as that station is just south of Roscoe Blvd. and probably not any nice hotels nearby.

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A few days ahead runs the OP into New Year's Eve.

 

Van Nuys has two stops. One at the FlyAway (near to it) with no services and the one on Van Nuys Blvd that is a building. There are a few hotels in the area that would be OK (The Sportsman's Lodge) but OP might be better off just going into LA and catching a cab or shuttle from there. IMHO.

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Many thanks to all you kind people who offered so many good suggestions. We're now thinking we'll stay at a hotel the evening the train arrives in Los Angeles and take a shuttle to the Cruise Port the next day.

 

We appriciate all your help and feel much more comfortable about our trip now.

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Many thanks to all you kind people who offered so many good suggestions. We're now thinking we'll stay at a hotel the evening the train arrives in Los Angeles and take a shuttle to the Cruise Port the next day.

 

We appriciate all your help and feel much more comfortable about our trip now.

 

hello,

 

Before this thread closes, a couple of comments...

 

At Union Station there are mini shuttles that take passengers from the train into the station where you pick up your luggage. Ask the conductor on your train to have one of these available for you. Union Station is a fairly big station (it is an architectural gem) so it is better for you to have a ride. I believe that there is no cost for this.

 

Make sure that you have the hotel's telephone number with you in case the train is late and to call for their shuttle. And select a hotel that does have a shuttle as I do not want you to have to negotiate a fare with a taxi driver at night in downtown Los Angeles. The taxi ride is a short one from the train station to your hotel but it is no fun to negotiate taxi fares at night anywhere.

 

There is a discount from AAA for Super Shuttle, and this may save you some money.

 

When calling hotels in Los Angeles always ask if they have any specials such as weekend rates or AARP discounts.

 

The ride from downtown Los Angeles to either cruise terminal is about 45 minutes or so. It may be less because Super Shuttle canuse the carpool lanes. I would have the shuttle pick you up about 10:30 AM. This should get you to the cruise terminal about 11:15 AM or so.

 

And... the difference between downtown Los Angeles and Walla Walla is the difference between the far side of the moon and the sun. There will be characters around who will ask you for money but just politely shake your head and say no. There are a number of social service agencies in downtown Los Angeles where they can get help. Stay in lighted areas. But if you are in Chinatown at the Best Western you will be safe as this is one of the safer places in the area. And go to a chines restaurant if you are hungry as this area does have some great restaurants.

 

Have a great cruise.

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