Hotels in Los Angeles
When I saw a tour where people are picked up at hotels and only see the Getty Museum, I thought my family needs to do it to save ourselves the worry about traffic, directions, and parking.
That was before I called the tour operator to get the names of the hotels. The person I talked to said they only go to one hotel and it is on Rodeo Drive. An Internet search revealed Rodeo Drive has America's most famous zip code (think of a TV show). The price for one night: $350.
Does any part of Los Angeles County have affordable lodging? I am on a budget and just need a private room for a few nights.
I would suggest the Queen Mary Hotel in Long Beach.
Originally Posted by Smart Traveler
Rates run from $80-$120 per night. The is a local bus (passport) that goes from there to various locations of interest in Long Beach. The Queen Mary is a destination in itself.
Many people use www.kayak.com to check prices for hotels, air and car rentals.
I will definitely get on that ship for other reasons, but think on land I should not settle for the county's smallest room if I don't have to.
Originally Posted by reggierail
I found a hotel within walking distance of the pier (Vagabond Inn) that has a free shuttle and free parking up to one week for cruise passengers. But I have to select 2012 dates to look at the prices and will be traveling in 2013.
We left our cabin on Norwegian Star at 08:00 in the morning, carried our own bags off the ship, took a cab from San Pedro and we were in our room on the Queen Mary at 08:30.
From the Queen Mary to Long Beach there is a free shuttle bus every half an hour. This also serves the nearby Carnival Cruise Terminal
If I'm guessing correctly, the Vagabond is more of a motel than hotel.
Rodeo Drive is in Beverly Hills. I would guess that any hotel in BH is pricey. Same with Century City around the corner. Century Plaza is where presidents stay while in town (or at least back when I worked in CC). You might want to keep checking other tour companies as I'm guessing that others will pick up from more accessible locales. Try Greyline, Sunseekers for starts.
If you're staying more than one day before, plan out what areas you want to explore. San Pedro is nice if you're just sticking around that day to relax (maybe shop for beverages or other items left behind), but not really a lot of touristy things to do (I think there's a maritime museum). If you are staying there, try the Crowne Plaza or Doubletree. Those are considered three and a half stars on Priceline, I think.
Long Beach has the Aquarium, Shoreline Village, the Queen Mary are in one area (plus an amusement park) across the marina from where Carnival ships berth.
Those who want to go to Universal Studios and City Walk, see some of Hollywood on their own, maybe do a studio tour might want to stay at Sportsmen Lodge (in Studio City -- my family used to have special occasion dinners at the restaurant there when I was growing up) or for more money, stay at the Universal Sheraton, which is at the top of Universal City.
Patty, the problem is nobody else only goes to the Getty Center. Every other tour company takes people to the famous attractions and talks about famous people. We are only interested in seeing the big Getty Center, Queen Mary, and Aquarium of the Pacific. I know Mom does not want to waste time driving to the GC only to discover there is nowhere to park.
Originally Posted by cruisin' chick
Staying at Long Beach would make perfect sense if I was sailing on a Carnival ship, but are there any shuttles from there to SP? If not, how do we go from Long Beach to San Pedro?
If you stay in Long Beach,you can ask the congierce at your hotel if they have a free shuttle to the Port of Los Angeles (tell them you're not going to the Port of Long Beach). Some of the better hotels might do this. There may even be info on their websites, but even if there is, you should make sure this hasn't changed.
Originally Posted by Smart Traveler
But if they don't provide a free shuttle to San Pedro, you can either get a taxi (just make sure they know how much luggage you have -- I've seen some bigger taxis lately) or get a shuttle. Some of them (Execucar, Cool Rides, Super Shuttle) will pick you up anywhere in LA and take you anywhere in LA. But their websites may just have rates between the airports, ports and some cities listed -- but that doesn't mean those are their only start and end points. Supershuttle does do group pickups (like at the airport) with the idea that they will drop off people here and there, but because of that, they are often the least expensive. But it could be possible that everyone is going to the same place (most likely if you board them at the port, everyone will be going to LAX). You'll pay more for an exclusively booked vehicle, but it may be worth it for some people.
The one service I will not recommend as I had major troubles with reliability was Prime Time Shuttle. I had reserved a private van for my family to pick us up in the San Fernando Valley and take us to the berth in December 2010. And booked a pickup for two weeks later to pick us up at the port and take us home. Even got an email confirmation with it all right.
But on the day of our cruise, no van at 10am. I called and was told that the van was waiting for us "at the harbor." The supervisor came on the line and asked when our ship was leaving. I ignored that question (like we want to spend the next few hours waiting for our ride, and also risking that with the rainy weather and the construction on the 405 freeway, that we won't be delayed even more!!!!) and insisted that she get us another van right away. At first she said she didn't have one currently in the Valley, but then she "found" one. After 11, a van finally came to our house. The driver said that he was supposed to pick up someone else in Tarzana (about ten miles away) so the routing had to be changed. He drove like a maniac and got us to the port a little after 12 (it's 50 miles, pretty much all freeway, but not perfect driving weather plus the construction).
Then when we got off the ship, we went over to the shuttle pickup island. I presented a copy of my email confirmation to the PT rep. He couldn't find our name on his list. Turned out the scheduler put us down for, yes, a pick up at our house. He finally obtained a van for us (among the chaos, as there apparently were other mistakes made on others' bookings that day), but when he called his office, the woman on the other end argued with him that he can't give us that van as there was a driver waiting for us at our house. (I was standing next to him and heard her) He said, "no, they're standing right here next to me." She kept insisting that he was wrong.
After we got home, I tried calling their customer service number, but it went to voice mail. I left a message but didn't get a return call. A few days later, sent an email. Didn't get a response. Sent a follow up one that said I was proceeding with "further action" (contacting hubby's credit card company to remove the charge). That got me an answer, albeit not a completely satisfactory one. A small portion of a refund. I responded that it wasn't acceptable given that the same mistake was made twice (I think we would have just shrugged off the first one). I reminded her that their website says (and the vehicles they use also have this painted on them) that "on time or you don't pay."
Someone from their marketing department who saw my posts on a certain other website (I waited until this point to make any comments about their poor service) wrote me and said that during a holiday period, this guarantee isn't in effect (that wasn't on the confirmation they sent me, and it took me a while to find that disclaimer on their website). So three days before Christmas, they can be flaky. I can see saying they can't guarantee they can't get one to the airport by a certain time due to holiday traffic (don't ever fly in or out of LAX the day before Thanksgiving -- I know that from experience), but this was a case of a scheduling error and not having a traffic jam. And one would think that if you are booking a service like this and they have a policy like this, the booking agent could point that out ("make sure you're adding enough time to your pick up time"). The guy then offered a credit toward the next time we use them, but that'll be when pigs fly. There are a ton of different car services in Los Angeles.
If you want to go to just a few selected areas (and not go on a regular tour), and you don't rent a car, your best bet is to use a taxi. Probably won't be cheap, but a taxi can drop you off at the entrance to the Getty by the parking area. Whether you drive there or get dropped off, you have to board this special "train" that goes up to the where the museum is. There are no roads for vehicles.
Since you are talking about a few days before Mothers Day (right?), if it was this year, there probably won't be too many school field trips as the public elementary and middle schools will be having their state tests at that time. Next year's schedule will be different though because the Los Angeles School District is changing all the schools to start in August. State testing will be done in April so it could be possible for some field trips to be happening in May. But don't worry as school classes are required to bring so many chaperones per number of students, which means a lot more order. I was a chaperone for my daughter's second grade class and I basically bribed my group with giving them cookies on another day if they behaved.
Going to the Long Beach attractions if you're staying in Long Beach will be a lot easier -- some of the nicer hotels will provide local transportation or you can ask about bus service. There is a free bus that goes along the waterfront. I know that one can walk between the Aquarium and the village next to the Queen Mary as we did it, even with complaining girl who hates walking.
Patty, as someone who can't drive for a medical reason, I am so experienced in road transportation errors nothing surprises me. I have not had the same problem you did, but many times, nobody came even though I was on the schedule. The only mistake I was forced to endure on a vacation, however, was by a Super Shuttle driver. He took us to Baltimore instead of the Dulles airport. That was definitely not Mom's fault. She requested a refund and got it. (No, we did not miss our plane.) :mad:
The plan is to rent a car and put the Getty Center in our GPS. My mom is worried about having nowhere to park there, but after the years of errors by taxi and van companies taking me to work, I'm unwilling to hire any driver if I don't need to.
Here is your flying pig. :flypig:
The Getty Center entrance is off of Sepulveda Blvd. (which parallels the 405 Freeway) and all vehicles are directed to the parking lot (no exceptions). Can't remember how much to park. It's a multi-story parking lot. Once you park, you are directed to the rail car (that's the only way you can get up to the actual museum). There's also a picnic area.