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Los Angeles port - excursion to Catalina?


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Wondering if it's feasible to do an independent excursion to Catalina Island whlle we're docked at Los Angeles. The ship doesn't provide one, which would have been our first choice. Has anyone done this on their own?

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It's a long ferry ride to/from and I have seen the ferry get delayed or even canceled due to the seas.  I wouldn't do it on my own.  You could fly out via helicopter, which we did.  It's expensive but very cool and you feel like a rock star.   We flew out for our anniversary and spent a long weekend.  The return day the ferry coming out was delayed by about three hours and people who needed to get back to the mainland to catch flights were screwed.  We were even offered a 50% refund for our flights if we switched to the next day; we didn't.  Our pilot told us one guy paid for an entire helicopter flight for him, his wife and golf clubs, just so he wouldn't miss his flight from Long Beach to the east coast.    

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On 5/3/2023 at 1:39 PM, Napagirl said:

Wondering if it's feasible to do an independent excursion to Catalina Island whlle we're docked at Los Angeles. The ship doesn't provide one, which would have been our first choice. Has anyone done this on their own?

 

I would say not feasible. If you want to see Santa Catalina, come into LA one day early or stay one more day.

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2 hours ago, 93yearsyoung said:

 

I would say not feasible. If you want to see Santa Catalina, come into LA one day early or stay one more day.

Thank you. We are not departing from L.A. so we can't come early or stay late. It's a port stop. What makes it not feasible if I may ask? The time it takes, the location of the ferry or something else? I'm in Northern CA so it is something we could do sometime when not on a cruise.

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3 hours ago, Napagirl said:

Thank you. We are not departing from L.A. so we can't come early or stay late. It's a port stop. What makes it not feasible if I may ask? The time it takes, the location of the ferry or something else? I'm in Northern CA so it is something we could do sometime when not on a cruise.

Take a look at the schedule(s) in post #2.  You have to make your way to the ferry, take a one hour boat ride, look around Avalon and take a ferry back in enough time to be onboard for departure.  I'm sure it will become apparent that all this is not practical/feasible on a port day stop.

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18 hours ago, Napagirl said:

What makes it not feasible if I may ask?

I think the short answer is you could physically pull it off (depending on the day as afternoon returns are limited on some days), but there are things outside of your control which would really screw up your cruise (that wouldn't be as disruptive not being on a cruise). The chief among these is a delay or cancellation due to weather/seas which doesn't happen often but does happen with the Catalina Express. It's not like there are several returns a day so the cancellation of one would be game over. 

 

If you weren't on a cruise and the 3:35 was cancelled but you could catch the 6pm it wouldn't be that big of a deal. The 6pm back at San Pedro at 7:15pm would most likely cause you to miss your ship. 

 

It's not if you could pull it off or not-- it's just about risk/reward. 

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On 5/11/2023 at 4:17 PM, d9704011 said:

Take a look at the schedule(s) in post #2.  

Well now - I scrolled back and saw that I missed the first two replies! I guess when I clicked on the notification it took me to the third reply. I would have never asked the follow up question had I seen those. haha Sorry and thank you all for your replies!

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Wait and do it as a stand alone trip.  We lived in Stockton and for an anniversary we flew to Long Beach and took the helicopter out.  We spent a long weekend (plenty) and stayed in an ocean front room at Hotel Vista Del Mar.  We went during late winter and the island was empty, which was really great.  Prices are much lower and there's no crowds.  It was cool but not really cold like the central valley in the winter fog.  Flying out in the helicopter was expensive, but very cool and much quicker than the ferry.    

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