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Cruises to San Diego

300 Reviews
3 Awards
San Diego (Photo:littleny/Shutterstock)

About San Diego

California's second largest city, San Diego is located at the foot of the state's scenic coastline, where it enjoys more than 300 days of sunshine a year. The metropolitan area is an inviting mix of city chic and beach casual, with plenty of recreational opportunities ranging from sailing across a sparking bay to hiking in the Cuyamaca Mountains.

San Diego is home to diverse nationalities, including Pacific Islanders, Asians, Hispanics, Middle Easterners and Europeans. It is most heavily influenced by its Spanish and Mexican roots. Visitors will discover this as they explore Balboa Park, munch tacos and take note of Spanish street names.

Shaped by canyons, flat lands and rolling hills, the city's numerous neighborhoods have distinct ethnic and cultural identities. Many of the most dynamic, including Old Town, Point Loma, Hillcrest and North Park, are within eight miles of the cruise terminal. Equally close is funky Ocean Beach, one of the last authentic California beach towns. Several other popular destinations -- like the Gaslamp Quarter and Little Italy -- are an easy walk from the port. Just a few miles from the bay is Balboa Park, the nation's largest urban cultural park, home to the Old Globe Theater and world-renowned San Diego Zoo.

For those who arrive or depart and have time on their hands, day trips abound. Take the kids to SeaWorld to pet dolphins or to colorful Legoland in Carlsbad. Enjoy a round of golf at world-famous Torrey Pines followed by a gourmet dinner overlooking the sea in La Jolla. Bet on the ponies during the summer racing season in Del Mar. Less than an hour's drive from the city, taste wine in Temecula's wine country, or camp overnight with lions, tigers and giraffes at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido.

  • More about San Diego

  • Why go to San Diego?

  • San Diego Cruise Port Facilities?

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Norwegian Jewel
Norwegian Jewel

8 Night
Repo - Pacific CoastalDetails

2,301 Reviews
Leaving:San Diego
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Apr 23, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite
Diamond Princess
Diamond Princess

7 Night
Mexico CruiseDetails

900 Reviews
Leaving:San Diego
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Jewel
Norwegian Jewel

7 Night
Mexican Riviera - San DiegoDetails

2,301 Reviews
Leaving:San Diego
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Apr 2, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Jewel
Norwegian Jewel

7 Night
Mexican Riviera - San DiegoDetails

2,301 Reviews
Leaving:San Diego
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

25 Night
Transpacific CruiseDetails

900 Reviews
Leaving:San Diego
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Feb 12, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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12 Night
Repo - Panama CanalDetails

2,301 Reviews
Leaving:San Diego
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Jan 14, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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11 Night
U. S. Pacific Coast CruiseDetails

983 Reviews
Leaving:Vancouver
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Sep 27, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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5 Night
U. S. Pacific Coast CruiseDetails

1,714 Reviews
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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16 Night
Hawaii CruiseDetails

900 Reviews
Leaving:San Diego
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Jan 6, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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4 Night
U. S. Pacific Coast CruiseDetails

69 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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14 Night
Panama CanalDetails

533 Reviews
Leaving:San Diego
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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34 Night
South Pacific CrossingDetails

794 Reviews
Leaving:San Diego
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Oct 8, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Mexican RivieraDetails

801 Reviews
Leaving:San Diego
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
U. S. Pacific Coast CruiseDetails

69 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Mar 25, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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16 Night
Panama CanalDetails

533 Reviews
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Jan 5, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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More about San Diego

Why go to San Diego?

Pros:

The Port of San Diego is located right downtown, in California's sunny second-largest city

Cons:

Itineraries are somewhat limited to the Mexican Riviera and coastal cruises

Bottom Line:

It's a beautiful city with optimal weather and anything you want to do is a trolley ride away

San Diego Cruise Port Facilities?

There are no cafes, gift shops, ATMs or visitor information booths inside the cruise ship terminal; however, just outside the terminal is the International Visitors Center where multilingual staff and volunteers have information on activities, attractions, lodging and dining options, as well as maps and discounted tickets. The center is open seven days a week.

Good to Know?

Trips to Tijuana or other nearby Mexican beach towns can be problematic, especially on ship departure days. Border crossings are long and unpredictable, and violence and crime, plus rising prices for everything from tequila to sombreros, act to deter even savvy locals from making the trip.

Getting Around?

Taxis and airport shuttles will be plentiful at the port, airport or at downtown hotels. The port offers a list of shuttle services you can arrange in advance.

On Foot: From the port, it is a short walk to harbor attractions, the Gaslamp Quarter and Little Italy. If you're feeling adventurous, licensed pedicabs lined up at the port and around downtown can be fun transportation along the harbor and into the Gaslamp Quarter. Make sure the fee is agreed to in advance.

By Bus: The hop-on, hop-off (HOHO) Old Town Trolley is an efficient way to see highlights of downtown, Coronado, Balboa Park, Little Italy and Old Town. Along the way, drivers entertain with colorful history (and some tall tales). There are several pick-up stops downtown and free shuttle service to the trolley from select hotels.

City bus service in San Diego is fairly complicated and slow and not recommended for visitors, unless they want to see some of the city's diverse residential areas.

By Car: Taxis are plentiful, but expensive; so for longer visits, a rental car might be a better option. The city's network of freeways is fairly easy to navigate, but avoid the rush hours of 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

By Rail: For just-beyond attractions like Old Town and Mission Valley, there is a light-rail service from several downtown stops. The Coaster commuter train from downtown to Oceanside is no-hassle transportation to north county beach cities, including Encinitas and Carlsbad Village where the station stops are convenient to beaches, restaurants and shops.

During the summer horse racing season, there's a Pony Express train to Del Mar. The train leaves from the historic Santa Fe Depot near the port on Kettner Boulevard several times daily. Roundtrip fare is $8 to $11 depending on the destination.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The currency is the U.S. dollar, and ATMs are readily available throughout the city and just off the cruise terminal.

Language?

English is spoken everywhere, including in the tourist-friendly areas of Baja, Mexico.

Where You're Docked?

San Diego Cruise Port Address:
B Street Cruise Ship Terminal, 1140 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101

Cruise ships dock at the B Street Cruise Ship Terminal in San Diego harbor at the bayside entrance to downtown. It's a 20-minute walk to the bustling Gaslamp Quarter and 15 minutes to trendy Little Italy or the novelty shops at Seaport Village.


San Diego Cruise Reviews
We took a bus tour of the city which also took us to La Jolla and Balboa Park. San Diego is one of my favorite cities, and it is always a pleasure to see it. One stop in La Jolla along the coast was delightful, with Read More
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tripledip3
I love San Diego. We've been here many times. Recommended restaurant: Puesto's at the Headquarters (near Seaport Village). We stayed across the street from the port at the Wyndham. Good hotel (not luxurious, but deceRead More
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jennas6514
I could have used more time in San Diego. First, it was warmer than San Francisco, so it was better for pooltime than San Francisco, if nothing else. The San Diego Zoo was awesome! It filled a hole in my science-geRead More
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cmccloskey56
We were not planning on getting off the ship at all on this trip, but once we saw how few people were on board and no people watching, we decided to get off in San Diego. We woke up at 8:30 and saw the trolley tour oRead More
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lilghallinsf

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