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We have been told by our travel agent the California Coastal cruises have pretty rough seas.  Would like some comments from experienced cruisers who have given it a try.  We've done multiple Caribbean cruises and cruised NCL out of Hawaii.  We are ready for something different and I've never been to California and would like to possibly give it a try.  Thanks so much for any input.

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We've been on 10+ coastal cruises, both north and southbound. Some have been rough and some have been silky smooth. It's really dependant on the weather as well as the prevailing currents. Northbound may be rougher, but I don't bother trying to predict anymore.

 

If you're prone to sea sickness, just be prepared to take precautions with whatever works for you - i.e. sea bands, gravol, bonine, ginger, etc.- take at first sign of queasiness,  and try to book a cabin low and midship.

 

If you're experienced cruisers, I'm sure you've experienced a few rough seas along the way. 🙂  So don't be scared off,  give the Coastal a try. 

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Cali Coastals tend to be Spring & Fall, to let the lines repo their ships into and out of Vancouver for Alaska cruise season. That timing of course brings with it more potential for weather... but at the end of the day if you're sensitive to motion sickness you bring an appropriate treatment, as you can never guarantee ANY spot on any sea will not be rough or smooth.

 

I wouldn't let the potential for statistically-slightly-worse sea conditions than your typical non-hurricane-season Caribbean cruise impact your choice whether or not to do the cruise, instead I'd be deciding whether the places I most wanted to see were visited for long enough or at all compared to doing a road trip - it's a beautiful drive, and there are plenty of good bits of California that are way too far from the coast to be visited by a ship.

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Not true per our experiences.....have done numerous Cali coastals with no issues.......usually in October.  We're doing the Star out of Seattle next weekend.   We had beautiful weather two years ago in October in San Francisco,  Monterey,  Santa Barbara,  Catalina and Ensenada......loved it.

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Along the same lines, I'm trying to consider what clothing will be necessary based on the weather.

 

We sailed out of NY to Bermuda a few years ago in early May.  Temps were low 60's at embarkation and very pleasant on deck...until we started moving.  By the time we hit the Verazanno Bridge it was simply too cold to be outside with a light jacket.  On the sea days to Bermuda it was chilly on deck during the day - needed sweatshirts - but again at night it was freezing for a walk...probably in the low 40's.

 

We depart from Vancouver mid-October and have a stop in Santa Barbara, then San Diego on the 19th before heading to the Mexican Riviera where I expect warmer temps.  How chilly can I expect it to be those four days to San Diego?

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I have done about 60 California Coastal Cruises on a variety of ships.

About half of them were quite calm; the other half quite choppy.

 

With California's newish eco laws and higher priced ship fuel requirements, many cruise ships are sailing farther and farther off from the California Coast, where weather conditions are generally worse.

 

Vancouver in mid-October can be quite cold. Weather at sea is generally colder and windier.

Weather in San Francisco in mid-October can be quite chilly. Weather off the coast is generally colder and windier.

You will probably be comfortable once you reach San Diego.

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As others have mentioned... wave motion can vary with my dozen trips.

 

It was very calm when I did the trip last week.  But I remember one year where the stacked dishes in the MDR kitchen went crashing to the ground in strong winds.

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On 9/21/2019 at 6:05 AM, msmayor said:

We depart from Vancouver mid-October and have a stop in Santa Barbara, then San Diego on the 19th before heading to the Mexican Riviera where I expect warmer temps.  How chilly can I expect it to be those four days to San Diego?

 

Until you get to Santa Barbara, I'd expect to be similar to what you experienced on NY to Bermuda; maybe not quite as chilly, but not warm.

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4 hours ago, scottca075 said:

 

Until you get to Santa Barbara, I'd expect to be similar to what you experienced on NY to Bermuda; maybe not quite as chilly, but not warm.

 

Then for sure I'll bring my fleece wrap to keep warmer.  Thanks!!

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In my personal experience, I've had more issues with motion sickness on west coast cruises than any other.  Even transatlantic / transpacific the seas have given me far less grief overall.  That and brrr that Cabo / Catalina Isand / Ensenada cruise was cold in March.  Even cold on the ship, I was glad I brought a winter weight flannel nightgown to sleep in.  

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We sailed Panama to San Francisco on a small Oceania ship and it was rocking a rolling.  The crew told us northbound along the Pacific coast is some of the roughest seas you will get.  Southbound on the other hand is pretty smooth.  We did Alaska to SF also in a pretty small ship and it wasn't bad at all.  

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