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  1. You mIght enjoy Tin Fish for lunch. Also, Lou & Mickey's, Toscana Cafe & Wine Bar, Roy's, Buster's Beach House, and Edgewater Grill. There are so many great places to eat in SD it's hard to pick. We visit 2-3 times a year for the last 40 years and these are some of our more recent fav's. If you have a few hours to kill take the walking tour of Gaslamp "Brothels, Bites & Booze". If you want to take the ferry over to Coronado then at The Landing is Il Fornaio and Phoie's.
  2. "Downtown Long Beach"? I don't think I would walk there from the QM. Legal and possible, yes. Good idea, no.
  3. Mostly gets rough after LA. We haven't had much issue to San Diego or Long Beach. Good thing is it's northbound so you have already been on the ship a few days. Luckily we had been on the ship 15 days before the closet doors and drawers started sliding in/out. So we just rolled over and went to sleep.
  4. We live just east of San Francisco and have sailed in/out of there and LA a few times. Everybody will tell you the northbound sailing along the CA coast from San Diego to Seattle is the roughest sailing water just about anywhere. We found that out toward the end of 15 days PC cruise. We have friends who have done 50 cruises and they book out of SF a couple of times a year if the price is right. I wasn't aware Carnival is sailing from SF full time so that's good news. For us it's a toss of the dice on rather to drive or fly to LA area. We can drive to LAX in 5 1/2 hours and depending on flights out of Sacramento we can almost drive in about the same and SFO or OAK take longer than driving.
  5. Golf cart rentals are two or four hours. If only there for the day then two hours would be plenty. Wandering around Avalon will take you about 30 minutes.
  6. Most of the CA port stops will have tasting rooms near the port. I know Santa Barbara, Monterey and San Francisco do. Some will be co-op run so you can sample several different vitners in one location.
  7. SNA is my go to airport for LA area it's well laid out and comfortable. Security is never a hassle. I use it if I'm going Orange County south. You might also consider BUR (Burbank). Again, it's small and easy to get around.
  8. You need to stay onboard you won't be disappointed. We have stayed twice and where just there in January for a cocktail before going out to Catalina for the weekend. She reeks of history. The food is good to very good depending on where you eat. But the main object is the history and it's all over. Safety isn't an issue as she's pretty isolated. Downside is she is pretty isolated. There's really nothing around so you're fairly stuck onboard. You can walk across the parking lot to the cruise ship check in.
  9. You will tender to the "tourist pier" not sure why you would want to go to the "working" pier unless it's to eat at one of the restaurants. If you Google Earth it you will see Wharf 1 and Wharf 2. #1 has all the shops and tourist stuff and the tender docks at the end of it. #2 is the commercial pier where all the fishing boats unload and people with boats tie up. There's a few places to eat there but not much else. I doubt the free shuttle would do you much good either way as it really can't get you much closer than the land end. There is a nice wide flat sidewalk that runs along the water between the two piers. It's probably 300 yards from the land end between the two.
  10. There must be something going on in downtown those days as our go to Hiltons are either sold out or $500 a night. I see the Curio is $237 so I would book it. That's a little distance to Gaslamp but trolley is easy or UBER. Our first choices are Hilton Gaslamp (sold out) and Embassy Suites ($500) or Hilton Bay (sold out). So at $237 for the Curio in the heart of Littly Italy that's a steal. Our other fav is the Andaz but I haven't check the price. It has a great roof top pool and bar along with a fantastic wine bar. You must do the walking tour of Gaslamp "Brothels, Bites, and Booze". After 30 years going to SD we finally did it a few years ago and it's awesome. Great way to kill two hours.
  11. January can be a pretty reasonable time to visit The City. I'm Hilton brand loyal and we visit 2-3 times a year usually between October - February when hotels are more reasonable. I haven't done the Hilton Financial District but usually do the Hilton Union Square or Parc 55. Just keep shopping until you find something in your price range. As a Hilton Honors member I really like how easy it is to book, cancel, book, cancel as the prices change. Weekends are almost always cheaper than weekdays as they charge the business travelers up the wazzu.
  12. I just saw our new itinerary for NYE and it ain't bad. It's not Cuba but I can upgrade to a PH3 for 30% less than I was going to pay. We are still going.
  13. Now that's funny. AA was one I meant from personal knowledge. Plus Southwest is another.
  14. I don't think that is accurate as to all airlines. I know at least two that travel must be "completed" within one year of the original booking.
  15. Doesn't seem to me you can include the air fare in any comparison of discounts. If O offers up a 40-50% discount I'm guessing that's cruise fare only.
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