Most cruise lines use the World Cruise Center in San Pedro. Cruise ships belonging to Carnival Corp. use the Cruise Terminal in Long Beach which is a huge white hemisphere with an elevated gangway leading from the terminal to the ship. The old Queen Mary, now a hotel and museum is next to the terminal. Carnival Cruise Line just finished a multimillion-dollar renovation of its Long Beach Cruise Terminal facility to accommodate larger ships and enhance terminal operations.
Both terminals are more than 20 miles south of the airport.
Xpress Shuttle and Supershuttle provide bus transportation to and from all three airports. If you travel with two or more people, a taxi is usual the same price or even cheaper.
Los Angeles is huge and distances are almost beyond taxi's limits. That's why most airline passengers rent cars.
If you use GPS the addresses are:
World Cruise Center 500 N. Front Street . San Pedro . California . 90731
Long Beach Cruise Terminal is at 231 Windsor Way, Long Beach, California . 90802
Hotels in San Pedro
Hotels in Longbeach
Printable map to take along.
Cruise calendar for San Pedro.
Cruise calendar for Long Beach.
Check here for festivals and events in Los Angeles when you are in port.
Watch a destination video.
Despite a relative lack of tangible sights and museums, LA's west side is a tourist honey pot. The reason is obvious: the Pacific-side location, where it's perpetually summertime and the living is generally pretty easy. The center of the action is liberal, likeable Santa Monica: the beach has a bright, busy pier with food stalls and games arcades, and the Santa Monica Place mall and the Third Street Promenade are within easy walking distance. However, things are a little livelier just down the coast in Venice, both on the famously oddball beach and in the cultured, arty shops and galleries on Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Surf dogs, meanwhile, should head north to Malibu's Surfrider Beach or south to Huntington Beach.
Edging inland, past the fabulous Getty Center near Brentwood (off I-405, CA 90049, +1-310 440 7300, www.getty.edu) and UCLA-dominated Westwood, lies Beverly Hills. Although the big chains have impinged on world-famous Rodeo Drive and its surrounding commercial streets, this is still an undeniably wealthy and glamorous part of town. Slightly further inland is West Hollywood. Like Beverly Hills, it's not home to any major attractions besides its own indigenous atmosphere, but the nightlife here is livelier than in many of the surrounding areas.
Some of the biggest changes in LA recently, at least in the eyes of returning tourists, have been in the heart of Hollywood. Pretty rough around the edges for years, it's recently been cleaned up, with the huge mall development at the corner of Hollywood and Highland perhaps the main sight for sore eyes. However, the old favorites all remain: the hand- and footprints outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the 2,000-plus stars that make up the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and, way up in the Hollywood hills, the world-famous Hollywood sign.
There are further changes east of here, in three neighborhoods that sit in various stages of gentrification. Cultured, homey Los Feliz has pretty much come all the way up, while funkier Silver Lake and Echo Park are both on the rise. There's an eclectic mix of people living in these corners of town, and the shops, restaurants, bars and clubs reflect the blend.
Just north of Los Feliz, meanwhile, is the massive Griffith Park, fire-damaged in recent years but still the largest city-run park in the US. The park's numerous attractions include the newly renovated and now-stunning Griffith Park Observatory (2800 E Observatory Road, CA 90027, +1-213 473 0800, www.griffithobs.org), the Los Angeles Zoo (5333 Zoo Drive, CA 90027, +1-323 644 4200, www.lazoo.org
It's all happening in Downtown LA these days, too. Hotels and condo towers are springing up all over the shop, as people move back to this long-forlorn corner of the city. There's a surprising amount of high culture here: Downtown is where you'll find LA's Museum of Contemporary Art (250 S Grand Avenue, CA 90012, +1-213 626 6222, www.moca.org), and Frank Gehry's breathtaking Walt Disney Concert Hall (111 S Grand Avenue, CA 90012, +1-323 850 2000, www.laphil.com), among other attractions.
And if that wasn't enough, then there are outlying yet appealing neighborhoods such as Pasadena, the surrounding desert, and - of course - the theme parks. Universal Studios (100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608, +1-800 864 8377, www.universalstudioshollywood.com) remains popular, but it's still very much in the shadow of Disneyland (1313 S Harbor Boulevard, Anaheim, CA 92803, +1-714 781 7290, https://disneyland.disney.go.com/).
Sightsee Hollywood and Beverly Hills at your own pace, with unlimited hop-on, hop-off opportunities at 19 stops!
It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here.
From coastline to desert, city to suburbs, malls dominate the LA shopping landscape. Many of the more famous ones, such as Santa Monica Place (at Colorado Avenue & Fourth Avenue www.santamonicaplace.com) and the huge Beverly Center on the edge of Beverly Hills (8500 Beverly Boulevard, CA 90048,), don't offer much in the way of surprises. However, you'll find more character at some newer malls: in particular, try the glossy Hollywood & Highland complex (6801 Hollywood Boulevard www.hollywoodandhighland.com) and the open-air Grove (189 The Grove Drive www.thegrovela.com).
Fashion hounds with cash to splash are directed to Rodeo Drive and the streets surrounding it in Beverly Hills, which attract the haute couture clothing lines. Nearby on Robertson Boulevard, between Beverly Boulevard and W 3rd Street, are a number of designer stores with a little more appeal. And at the other end of the scale, Downtown's Fashion District is teeming with stores hawking budget threads, designer knock-offs and all manner of accessories.
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:
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 reasons.
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)
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