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LA or San Francisco to Hawaii?


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Okay, I’ll take a swing, currently doing this cruise on Grand out of San Francisco.

 

SF Positives

Pier is right downtown, if staying a couple nights before or after, nice.

in my experience, checkin and boarding are very efficient.

Shorter ride to/from airport, even possible via BART.

 

SF Negatives

Longer sail to warm waters, first 2 days and last day will be cool.

 

LA Positives

Warmer sooner, no doubt.

If leaving a car near the pier, many more close by options.

Parking available directly on the pier (expensive though).

if possible to fly into LGB, a nice small nearby airport.

 

LA negatives

In my experiences, checkin and boarding less smooth and consistently less efficient.

In flying into LAX, large airport challenges.

 

to be clear, we use both, but favor SF when possible.

 

 

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We've done this cruise from San Diego (on HAL), Vancouver and San Francisco.  We prefer SF as it is closer to us and easier to get to.  I see you are from N.C. Have you been to either LA or SF  before?  If not,  I would take that into consideration; which city would you like to see?  SF is a nicer port to sail from and easier to sightsee before or after.  Either way I think you will enjoy especially if you like sea days.

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21 minutes ago, jondfk said:

SF Negatives

Longer sail to warm waters, first 2 days and last day will be cool.

 

LA Positives

Warmer sooner, no doubt.

 

I am not sure that is true. San Francisco is closer to Hawaii.

 

As to the overall question, it just depends on so many factors, especially if you plan on spending a few days pre or post cruise in the area.

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14 minutes ago, scottca075 said:

 

I am not sure that is true. San Francisco is closer to Hawaii.

 

As to the overall question, it just depends on so many factors, especially if you plan on spending a few days pre or post cruise in the area.


 

well, having done both 3+ times, I’ll stand by my opinion.

 

It is undoubtedly true that San Francisco is closer to Hawaii, but it takes much longer to get to the warmer southern water.

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SF was great to sail out of.  We stayed in a hotel that was about a 15 minute walk to the pier.  After walking down early in the morning, we decided to walk their later instead of taking an Uber.  It was an easy walk, even pulling our luggage.  

Sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge is amazing.  Highly recommend it!

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5 minutes ago, jondfk said:

It is undoubtedly true that San Francisco is closer to Hawaii, but it takes much longer to get to the warmer southern water.

 

You know that makes no sense right?

 

Your anecdotal experience aside, ships leaving LA & SF at the same time, the SF ship will be the first to reach warmer water by several hours.

 

But I'd still hold off on a rec to the OP until I know more about their plans.

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DH just said “what about spending a couple of days in Sonoma before”? Of course! So decision made. Sonoma wineries plus sailing under the Golden Gate.  We will take the Ruby and fly into SFO. Thanks to all. I’m working on Sonoma part tonight then will call TA tomorrow to book cruise! Excited!  

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23 minutes ago, ProfMHC said:

DH just said “what about spending a couple of days in Sonoma before”? Of course! So decision made. Sonoma wineries plus sailing under the Golden Gate.  We will take the Ruby and fly into SFO. Thanks to all. I’m working on Sonoma part tonight then will call TA tomorrow to book cruise! Excited!  

 

Well that part is done.

 

Have you been to CA Wine Country before? If the first time, I'd recommend a small town in Napa Valley over Sonoma; someplace like St Helena or Younteville.

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4 minutes ago, scottca075 said:

 

Well that part is done.

 

Have you been to CA Wine Country before? If the first time, I'd recommend a small town in Napa Valley over Sonoma; someplace like St Helena or Younteville.

 

or Calistoga...there are some great small wineries the north end of Napa Valley plus the hot springs.

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2 hours ago, ProfMHC said:

Requesting help deciding which port for embarking and debarking before booking our cruise to Hawaii.  Personal experiences and opinions most welcome!

I’ve been out of both LA & San Francisco. Their is very little to do & see in the San Pedro pier. In San Francisco their is unlimited things to do around & near Pier 27 in San Francisco within walking distance. Yes I’m always amazed going under the Golden Gate Bridge as, until I was on a cruise ship, the last time I went under the bridge was on the USS Coral Sea, CVA 43, the aircraft carrier that I was stationed on. 
 

As other people have said their are a number of hotels near Pier 27 & it’s a easy walk or Taxi/Uber ride to the pier. And what a beautiful view from the top deck. If you can find the right cruise date in Fleet Week you will have a excellent view of the Blue Angels air show. 
 

Tom😀

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We have sailed out of both ports in the past to other itineraries.  Last year we sailed out of San Pedro to HI.  Next year we are sailing out of SF to HI.  SF is a much more historic and interesting city to depart from and one we thoroughly enjoy spending a few days before departure in a hotel usually in the tourist area.  Sailing under the GG is a sight of its own.

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I don't think there is a major difference if you are flying into port. SF is our home port, I love it, always stay in the city for a pre cruise night, sailing under the Golden Gate is beautiful, but we also cruise out of LA and do a pre cruise stay in San Pedro when we do. There isn't a difference in the cruise to Hawaii from either port, in my opinion. Both can have issues with the crossing, depending on the time of year.  I would go with whatever was cheaper in the long run (cruise plus flight price-I don't fly into LAX, too crowded, I usually fly into LGB, but it can be pricier).

The ship may also play a part in picking what I would choose, but usually price is our main concern. 

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