WHATSINPORT: YOUR CRUISE GUIDE TO 1200 PORTS OF CALL
Santa Barbara CA USA
Cruise ship passengers are generally tendered in somewhere near the
end of the wharf that is at State Street or close to the harbor.
Printable map to take along.
Cruise calendar for this port.
Watch a destination video.
Live Nautical Chart with Wikipedia Markers
Ship's Location in Cruise Port:
Lush, sun-drenched, relaxed and nestled seductively between Los
Angeles and San Francisco, Santa Barbara is one of America's best-kept
secrets. From State Street and the Santa Ynez Mountains to the Channel
Islands and the wine country, Santa Barbara basks in sunshine, natural
bounty, creativity, cultural sophistication and an appreciation for
taking life at your own pace.
Tours Excursions Transportation:
Trolley: Discover the enchanting seaside Spanish paradise known
as Santa Barbara, through a unique fully narrated tour.
From the City, you are just minutes away from the Santa Barbara
wine country. The gorgeous Santa Ynez Valley, with its breath-taking
vistas, is home to such notable attractions as Solvang and the Chumash
Shopping and Food:
There is good shopping along State Street from around 600 State Street to 1400 State Street. It is not very far to walk or there are
electric buses you can take for 25 cents.
Stroll the Sunday Art fair.
The official U.S. currency is the United States dollar (symbol:
$). ATM's everywhere.
Major credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard are widely used and accepted, even for transactions worth only a few dollars. In fact, in some cases, it may be the only way to make a transaction.
Note to overseas visitors: Prices of goods and services always seem lower than they really are, as taxes and gratuities are seldom included.
Most states have a sales tax, ranging from 2.9% to nearly 10% of the
retail price; 4-6% is typical. Sales tax is almost never included in
posted prices (except for gasoline, and in most states, alcoholic beverages
consumed on-premises), but instead will be calculated and added to
the total when you pay.
Tipping in America is widely used and expected. While Americans themselves
often debate correct levels and exactly who deserves to be tipped,
generally accepted standard rates are:
- Full-service restaurants: 15-20% (Often this is the only income of the wait(ress). Tips are either left in cash or you can add it to the credit card slip) Note: Few restaurants add an automatic service charge, in which case it is up to you how much you tip extra. Check your bill!
- Taxi drivers, hairdressers, other personal services: 10-15%
- Bartenders: $1 per drink if inexpensive or 15% of total
- Bellhops: $1-2 per bag ($3-5 minimum regardless)
- Hotel doorman: $1 per bag (if they assist), $1 for calling a cab
- Shuttle bus drivers: $2-5 (optional)
- Private car & limousine drivers: 15-20%
- Housekeeping in hotels: $1-2 per day for long stays or $5 minimum
for very short stays (optional)
- Food delivery (pizza, etc.): $2-5, possibly more for very large
The U.S. has no official language at the federal level, but English
is by far the standard for everyday use. Several states have declared
their official state language as English. Spanish is also official
in the state of New Mexico, where it is widely spoken; French is official
in Louisiana and the Hawaiian language is official in Hawaii, but neither
approaches the use of English and are official for primarily historical
Opening Hours and Holidays:
In major metropolitan areas like New York and Los Angeles, many
drugstores and supermarkets are routinely open 24 hours per day, 7
days per week, while department stores, shopping centers and most other
large retailers are typically open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to
Saturday, and often with shorter hours on Sundays - generally 11 a.m.
or noon to 5 or 6 p.m. On holidays, the tendency is to remain open
(with the exception of the most important holidays like Thanksgiving
Day and Christmas Day where stores are generally closed)
- New Years Day (January 1) - most businesses closed; hangovers
from parties the previous night, football parties. Primarily a
secular holiday, and the major celebration occurs the previous
- Martin Luther King Day (third Monday in January) - many government
offices and banks closed; diversity-awareness programs.
- St. Valentine's Day (February 14) - no significant closures;
romantic evenings out.
- Presidents Day (third Monday in February) - (also Washington's
Birthday) - many government offices and banks closed; few observances,
many stores have sales.
- St. Patrick's Day (March 17) - no significant closures; Irish-themed
parades during the day, and parties in the evening. Travelers may
want to be wary of the drunken revelry and associated drunk driving
- Easter (a Sunday in March or April) - few significant closures;
Christian religious observances.
- Passover (timing somewhat similar to Easter; lasts a week) -
Jewish religious observances.
- Memorial Day (last Monday in May) - most non-retail/tourism businesses
closed; some patriotic observances; extensive travel to beaches
and parks; traditional beginning of summer tourism season.
- Independence Day / Fourth of July (July 4) - most businesses
closed; patriotic parades, fireworks after dark.
- Labor Day (first Monday in September) - most businesses closed;
extensive travel to beaches and parks; traditional ending of summer
- Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur - Jewish religious autumn holidays.
- Columbus Day (second Monday in October) - many government offices
and banks closed; few observances.
- Halloween (October 31) - no significant closures - trick-or-treating
and costume parties in the evening.
- Veterans Day (November 11) - many government offices and banks
closed; some patriotic observances.
- Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday in November, unofficially the Friday
and weekend after) - most non-retail businesses closed; family
gatherings, on Friday major Christmas shopping begins.
- Christmas (December 25) - most businesses and restaurants closed
the evening before and all day; exchanging gifts, Christian religious
observances. If you need food from a restaurant, your best bet
will be hotels and Chinese or Indian restaurants. People from non-Christian
religions often go to the movies and eat at Chinese restaurants
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