My husband and I are taking the Celebrity Millenium out of San Francisco, 14-day round trip to Alaska on May 5th. In San Francisco the ship offers a tour of Alcatraz and Sausalito ($67.00 each). Is this easy to see on your own or should we book with the ship?
In Astoria we are interested in seeing Mount St. Helens.
In Seattle we want to see the Space Needle and Pike Place Market. Should we book the tour with the ship ($44.00 each) or go on our own?
Any suggestions are welcome. We are really looking forward to this trip since we had to cancel our Alaskan cruise last year due to an illness.
A few of the things I really enjoyed in San Francisco were fisherman's wharf and china town. You have to try the real sourdough bread and some wonderful fresh seafood. I know they have a ferry to Alcatraz, but not sure of the cost. I think it was around $25/pp. I toured the space needle on my own, but can't remember the cost, I honestly think it was less than $20/pp. I've been in Sausalito, but not through a tour, just rented a car when I stayed in the Sir Francis Drake Hotel for a few days, years ago. I'd do a little research on the web and see, but I'm betting you can get tours that would be less expensive. Haven't been to Mount St. Helens, but I'll bet that's not only a beautiful tour, but very interesting. Just make sure she's not mad that day! Best wishes and have a wonderful cruise!
You can arrange to see Alcatraz on your own. The Alcatraz tour boats leave from a pier not far from where your ship will be docked and a tour of Alcatraz shpuld be about 2-3 hours, and at much cheaper than $67.00 per person.
Alcatraz is a DO NOT MISS trip for several reasons including the boat ride to and from the island.
Toward saving some money you can see much of San Francisco by walking. From the pier you can follow Columbus Avenue to the North Beach area. There are several wonderful Italian restaurants here, the Peter and Paul church where Joe Dimaggio and Marilyn Monroe were married and the City lights bookstore. You can also walk from here through Chinatown and onto downtown San Francisco and take the cable car back to the pier (the Hyde Street line is more interesting but both lines will get you back to the pier area (called the Embarcadero). For lunch there is an Inn and Out burger near Fisherman's Wharf for a very good but inexpensive lunch. For some atmosphere have an Irish Coffee (Alcohol)or a plain cup of coffee at the Buena Vista Cafe which is on Northpoint and Hyde.
Remember, San Francisco is not very big and you can reach the Embarcadero easily within 30 minutes even in heavy traffic.
I would do the Alcatraz trip in the morning and spend the balance of the day walking around San Francisco. And if you have time the Golden Gate Recreation Area is within a nice walk from where the ship docks.
Thanks for great information. It is nice to know San Francisco is easy to tour on your own. I did get a Frommer's book, which said the boat to Alcatraz left from the pier, but it is hard to visualize distances.
For Alcatraz, go to Alcatraz Cruises.com, as this is the website for the company that provides boat trips to Alcatraz. There is also a wealth of information about Alcatraz on this website. If you want to, please let me know when the ship is scheduled to arrive and the time it is scheduled to depart SF and i will give you some more ideas.
San Francisco is our port of departure. We will be flying in the day before, spending the night, and leaving at 5pm Monday, May 5th. Our reservations are not yet complete, but we hope to have a early arrival flight on Sunday. Thanks for your suggestions.
Fruby, If we come to CAL in the middle of Oct. Will the trees inland by Sequioa National Park be changing colors already- is that fgood weather...not too cold? (We're from FL.) We'd like to rent the dune buggys we hear so much about...where is the closest place to ride near SF?