1. Home
  2. Destinations
  3. USA
  4. Embarkation in Los Angeles (Long Beach) Cruise Port
The Long Beach Cruise Terminal (Photo: Cruise Critic)

Embarkation in Los Angeles (Long Beach) Cruise Port

--Updated by David Swanson, Cruise Critic contributor

Updated August 21, 2018

Long Beach Cruise Terminal Address

231 Windsor Way
Long Beach, CA 90802
polb.com

Originally built to display Howard Hughes' "Spruce Goose" airplane, the 12-story geodesic dome of Long Beach Cruise Terminal, located beside the regal Queen Mary, was also used as a movie production soundstage for such films as "A.I.," "Last Action Hero" and "Batman Forever." Today, it's owned by Carnival Cruise Line and used primarily by Carnival ships. Follow road signs to the Queen Mary to find your cruise ship. From Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), it's 22 miles away, roughly a 40- to 50-minute drive; it's 11 miles from Long Beach Airport (LGB) -- approximately 20 minutes of travel time.

Long Beach Cruise Terminal Directions

From Los Angeles International Airport (LAX): Travel southbound on the San Diego Freeway (405) and then southbound on the Long Beach Freeway (710). Follow signs for Queen Mary. At the entrance to the Queen Mary attraction, stay to the far right of the parking ticket-taker for the Queen Mary ship; this lane is the entrance to the Long Beach Cruise Terminal. Follow signs for passenger parking and luggage drop-off area.

From Long Beach Airport (LGB): Follow the airport exit signs to Lakewood Boulevard. Head southbound on Lakewood toward the San Diego Freeway (405). Take the 405 north and then go south on the Long Beach Freeway (710). Follow the signs for the Queen Mary. Stay to the far right, as stated above; this lane is the entrance to the Long Beach Cruise Terminal.

Traveling from San Diego (north): Take I-5 north to the San Diego Freeway (Interstate 405) and then southbound on the 710 Freeway. Continue on the 710 Freeway south and follow the signs for the Queen Mary. Follow directions above.

Getting to the Long Beach Cruise Terminal from the Airport

Passengers on cruises departing from Long Beach Cruise Terminal can fly into LAX or LGB. UberX and Lyft are available for pickup at LAX (approximately $50) and LGB (about $25). Taxis are available from both LAX (about $75) and LGB (roughly $40), as are shared van rides, $20 per person from either airport. If you wish to take public transportation, see the section below.

Getting There by Public Transit

Go downstairs in any LAX terminal and find the pickup point for the LAX FlyAway bus service to Long Beach ($9 per person). The buses depart from all LAX terminals and operate nonstop once per hour, arriving at the Long Beach Transit Gallery 50 minutes later. From here, take the free Long Beach Transit Passport bus to the Long Beach Cruise Terminal/Queen Mary.

From LGB take the Long Beach Transit system, route 111 ($1.25) to the Long Beach Transit Gallery and then take the free Long Beach Transit Passport bus (every 10 minutes) to the Cruise Terminal/Queen Mary.

Amtrak to Long Beach Cruise Terminal

Disembark at Los Angeles Union Station to connect with a bus specifically for Amtrak customers that stops directly at Berth 95 at the World Cruise Center. Look for Thruway signs in the train station, past the baggage claim, to go to the Catalina Express Terminal. These buses run daily. The bus transfer fee is included in the rail fee. From Berth 95, take a taxi (roughly $20) to the Long Beach Cruise Terminal.

Rental Car

In downtown Long Beach, Avis, Budget, Enterprise and Hertz all have car rental offices on Ocean Boulevard, 2 miles from the cruise port. However, all of these offices close at 2 p.m. or earlier on weekends and 6 p.m. on weekdays. If you want to pickup or drop a car later in the day, opt for an office at the Long Beach Airport (which includes National/Alamo).

Long Beach Cruise Terminal Parking

At the port, Long Beach cruise parking is offered in a five-story, 1,450-space indoor parking garage. Oversized vehicles will be charged per parking space occupied. With proof of valid permit, disabled parking is available. RVs may have to use the adjacent outdoor parking facilities if they exceed height maximums. Rates are $17 per day; free under 30 minutes; $4 per hour for the first two hours. Full payment is due upon exiting the garage.

Taxis

Taxis are readily available on days when ships embark or disembark. It's 23 miles to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX); allow 50 minutes and a $75 fare. From Long Beach Airport, it's 11 miles, roughly 20 minutes and a $40 fare. Uber (UberX only) and Lyft are both available for pickup at the port, about $25 to LGB, $50 to LAX.

What Time to Arrive and Embark

Cruisers can check-in and board for Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration between 1 and 4 p.m. as the ships depart at 5:30 p.m.; Carnival Splendor passengers can check-in and board between 1 and 3:30 p.m. as the ship departs at 4:30 p.m.

Wheelchair Service

The Long Beach Cruise Terminal does not provide wheelchairs for passenger use. If you require wheelchair assistance to board the ship, make sure to arrange with Carnival in advance. If wheelchairs are required for the duration of the sailing, passengers are responsible for providing their own.

Where to Eat or Shop Near the Long Beach Cruise Terminal

The Queen Mary is a fun option for combining sightseeing, dining and souvenir shopping. There are six dining options, from fine dining to coffee shops, and the ship is within a few minutes' walk. If you have more time, head to downtown Long Beach. Catch the free Long Beach Passport C Bus (running every 10 minutes, most of the day) at the corner of Pine Avenue and 1st Street, 2 miles or a 10-minute taxi ride from the terminal. The bus makes stops at several tourist destinations along the way, including the Coast Hotel, the Aquarium of the Pacific, Shoreline Village and others, plus dozens of restaurants. For shopping in Long Beach, head to City Place shopping center that includes both retail and general stores.

Porters/Red Caps

Porters are available at the entrance of the berth to take your luggage.

Where to Sit at the Cruise Terminal

Ample seating is available within the terminal, designed to look like park benches surrounded by trees. If you arrive early, you have to wait outside the terminal. There is some "seating" on concrete walls/benches, but nothing super comfortable.

Bathrooms

There are plenty of restrooms available inside and outside of the Long Beach Cruise Terminal.

Wi-Fi at the Cruise Terminal

Free Wi-Fi is available at the Long Beach Cruise Terminal.

Where to Store Luggage

Lockers are not available at the Long Beach Cruise Terminal. Contact Carnival to make arrangements to check your baggage with the cruise ship. Carry-on baggage must stay with you until you board.

More Long Beach Cruise Port Tips

Google has a hard time recognizing the actual address at the port. If you're driving here, the GPS coordinates are N 33° 45' 4.61", W 118° 11' 19.53" (Long Beach Cruise Terminal).

Find a Cruise
Email me when prices drop

Popular on Cruise Critic

8 Best Luxury Cruise Ships
The moment you step aboard a luxury cruise ship, a hostess is at your arm proffering a glass of bubbly while a capable room steward offers to heft your carry-on as he escorts you to what will be your home-away-from-home for the next few days. You stow your things (likely in a walk-in closet) and then emerge from your suite to get the lay of the ship. As you walk the decks, friendly crew members greet you ... by name. How can that be? You just set foot onboard! First-class, personalized service is just one of the hallmarks of luxury cruise lines. You can also expect exotic itineraries, varying degrees of inclusivity in pricing, fine wines and gourmet cuisine as well as universally high crew-to-passenger ratios. That being the case, you might think any old luxury cruise ship will do, but that's not quite true. Like people, cruise ships have their own unique personalities -- and some will be more suited to your vacation style than others. Lines like SeaDream might not offer the most spacious suites, but their intimate yachts can stealthily visit ports that large ships can't manage. Regent Seven Seas and Oceania Cruises are owned by the same parent company but Regent offers a completely inclusive vacation experience, while Oceania draws travelers with a more independent streak. Take a look at Cruise Critic's list of best luxury cruise lines and ships to see which one resonates with you.
Best Time to Cruise
It's one of the most common cruising questions: When is the best time to cruise Alaska, Australia, the Caribbean, Canada/New England, Hawaii, Europe or the South Pacific? The answer depends on many variables. Fall foliage enthusiasts, for instance, will find September and October the best time to take that Canada/New England cruise, whereas families much prefer to sail the region in the summer when school is out and temperatures are warmer for swimming. The best time to cruise to Alaska will vary depending on your preferences for viewing wildlife, fishing, bargain-shopping, sunshine, warm weather and catching the northern lights. For most cruise regions, there are periods of peak demand (high season), moderate demand (shoulder season) and low demand (low season), which is usually the cheapest time to cruise. High season is typically a mix of when the weather is best and popular travel periods (such as summer and school holidays). However, the best time to cruise weather-wise is usually not the cheapest time to cruise. The cheapest time to cruise is when most travelers don't want to go because of chillier temperatures or inopportune timing (too close to holidays, the start of school, etc.). But the lure of cheap fares and uncrowded ports might make you change your mind about what you consider the best time to cruise. As you plan your next cruise, you'll want to take into consideration the best and cheapest times to cruise and see what jibes with your vacation schedule. Here's a when-to-cruise guide for popular destinations.
What to Pack for a Cruise: A Beginner's Guide
There once was a not-so-savvy seafarer who didn't feel right unless she took two steamer trunks crammed with outfits on every cruise. This, she learned, was not a good idea. Besides incurring the wrath of her male traveling companion, who pointed out that he would have to wrestle with excess baggage through airport terminals and beyond, she quickly tired of cramming her belongings into tiny closets. The now savvy seafarer follows this packing rule: Thou shalt put into one's suitcase only that which will fit neatly in the allocated cabin storage space. Following that advice is getting easier because, for the most part, cruising has become a more casual vacation with relaxed dress codes. Plus, with airlines charging to check bags, it's just plain economical to pack light. To do so, you need to have a good sense of what you’re going to wear on a cruise so you don't pack your entire closet. If you're wondering what to bring on your next cruise, here are our guidelines for what you'll need to pack.