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Cruises to Monterey

Monterey (Photo:Ken Wolter/Shutterstock)

About Monterey

The Monterey Peninsula, about 120 miles south of San Francisco, is arguably one of the most naturally beautiful areas on earth, its rocky coast fringed by cypress forests and abundant marine sanctuaries. It also boasts rich literary roots in the writings of John Steinbeck and Robert Louis Stevenson. A day in the city and its surrounding communities provides many opportunities to explore this hilly, sea-kissed area in depth. And, for the more adventurous, it offers the chance to explore the beautiful and historic peninsula as a whole.

Monterey is a prime tourist destination, and by mid-morning on any given day, cruise ship passengers will be joined by hordes of tourists arriving by bus and car. However, cruise ship passengers are a distinct minority in Monterey -- the town has strict environmental safeguards, has a limited anchorage and small tendering pier, and is relatively passive in pursuing the industry. There is much local opposition to cruise ships calling in the harbor, and visiting ships must observe strict "no discharge" rules when in port. The size of the marine sanctuaries also limits the location and number of places ships may anchor.

Still, visitors will find a charming community, filled with history from the city's past as a whaling center and, later, as the sardine capital of the Western Hemisphere. Now, of course, that industry is gone, replaced by museums, seafarers, artists and writers. The area is perfect for walkers, and offers a wide range of art galleries and shops, and natural attractions as well as some special man-made ones, such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Good restaurants offering freshly caught seafood welcome the diner who is willing to wander off the beaten track. The area boasts numerous up-and-coming wineries.


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  • 14 Night
    Cruise to Monterey

    Leaving:
    Mombasa
    Visiting:
    Mombasa, Zanzibar ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Crystal Cruises
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    Cruise Itinerary

    14 Night Cruise to Monterey Route (Crystal Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Mombasa
    • Day 2
      Mombasa
    • Day 3
      Zanzibar
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Mayotte
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Maputo
    • Day 9
      Richards Bay
    • Day 10
      Durban
    • Day 11
      Cruising
    • Day 12
      Port Elizabeth
    • Day 13
      Monterey
    • Day 14
      Cape Town
    • Day 15
      Cape Town
    Ship Details

    Crystal Symphony - Crystal Cruises

    Pros

    More options for dining and entertainment than on other luxury ships

    Cons

    Entry-level cabins are small compared to those of competitors

    Bottom Line

    A successful blend of luxurious amenities with big-ship choice

    Reviews

    Crystal Symphony Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.5/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.5
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    Crystal Symphony is a wonderful choice for cruise travelers who are looking for a luxurious cru...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Savvy Seventy
    Sail Date May 2019
    Outstanding Voyage in Unusual Places.
    Read More
    Zebra2
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    Horrible suite/very good food
    Read More
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Monterey

    Leaving:
    Vancouver
    Visiting:
    Astoria, Oregon , San Francisco ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Holland America Line
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    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Monterey Route (Holland America Line)
    • Day 1
      Vancouver
    • Day 2
      Astoria, Oregon
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      San Francisco
    • Day 5
      Monterey
    • Day 6
      Santa Barbara
    • Day 7
      Catalina Island (California)
    • Day 8
      San Diego
    Ship Details

    Koningsdam - Holland America Line

    Pros

    Outstanding service, exceptional cuisine, great entertainment options

    Cons

    Music Walk does not have a clear identity and needs individual rooms

    Bottom Line

    Most luxurious HAL ship will appeal to many types of cruisers

    Reviews

    Koningsdam Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    5.0/5
    Cabins4.5
    Dining4.5
    Service5.0
    Value5.0

    Koningsdam is the first new Holland America Line ship in eight years. "Koning" means "king" in ...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Nelliegal
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Lacking Excitement
    Read More
    marcus315
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Entertainment was sorely lacking
    Read More
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Monterey

    Leaving:
    Los Angeles
    Visiting:
    San Francisco, Monterey ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Princess Cruises
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    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Monterey Route (Princess Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Los Angeles
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      San Francisco
    • Day 4
      Monterey
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      San Diego
    • Day 7
      Ensenada
    • Day 8
      Los Angeles
    Ship Details

    Royal Princess - Princess Cruises

    Pros

    Lots of dining options, many game shows and busy daily schedule

    Cons

    No aft pool

    Bottom Line

    Modern ship with a traditional take on cruising

    Reviews

    Royal Princess Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    Like other Princess Cruises ships, Royal Princess embraces many traditional components cruisers lo...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Truprincess
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Treated like a princess!
    Read More
    geomac53
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Short but awesome
    Read More
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 25 Night
    Cruise to Monterey

    Leaving:
    Los Angeles
    Visiting:
    Honolulu, Kauai ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Crystal Cruises
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    Cruise Itinerary

    25 Night Cruise to Monterey Route (Crystal Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Los Angeles
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Honolulu
    • Day 7
      Honolulu
    • Day 8
      Kauai
    • Day 9
      Maui
    • Day 10
      Kona (Kailua Bay)
    • Day 11
      Hilo
    • Day 12
      Cruising
    • Day 13
      Cruising
    • Day 14
      Cruising
    • Day 15
      Cruising
    • Day 16
      Ensenada
    • Day 17
      Los Angeles
    • Day 18
      Santa Barbara
    • Day 19
      Monterey
    • Day 20
      San Francisco
    • Day 21
      San Francisco
    • Day 22
      Cruising
    • Day 23
      Astoria, Oregon
    • Day 24
      Seattle
    • Day 25
      Victoria
    • Day 26
      Vancouver
    Ship Details

    Crystal Serenity - Crystal Cruises

    Pros

    Extensive enrichment and entertainment, inclusive fares, top-notch service.

    Cons

    Can feel clubby with many older, repeat passengers.

    Bottom Line

    You'll be pampered but never bored on luxury's largest ship.

    Reviews

    Crystal Serenity Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    5.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining5.0
    Service4.5
    Value4.0

    The 980-passenger Crystal Serenity takes the best of big-ship cruising and the best of luxury t...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    alwaysonaship
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    We Jumped Ship In Cabo!
    Read More
    CruiserFromMaine
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    We had a great cruise on the Serenity
    Read More
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 10 Night
    Cruise to Monterey

    Leaving:
    San Diego
    Visiting:
    Santa Barbara, Monterey ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Celebrity Cruises
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    Cruise Itinerary

    10 Night Cruise to Monterey Route (Celebrity Cruises)
    • Day 1
      San Diego
    • Day 2
      Santa Barbara
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Monterey
    • Day 5
      San Francisco
    • Day 6
      San Francisco
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Astoria, Oregon
    • Day 9
      Seattle
    • Day 10
      Victoria
    • Day 11
      Vancouver
    Ship Details

    Celebrity Millennium - Celebrity Cruises

    Pros

    Never feels overly crowded; friendly, efficient service and modern cabins with USB ports.

    Cons

    Limited daily activities; about 50 percent of listed offerings actually for-fee or retail-oriented.

    Bottom Line

    Beautiful, easy-to-navigate midsize ship with comfortable, modern cabins and excellent dining.

    Reviews

    Celebrity Millennium Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.5
    Dining4.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    Celebrity Millennium is not one of those glitzy, brand-new mega-ships with rock climbing walls,...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    VincesDeeDee
    Sail Date Aug 2019
    Great Cruise & Nice Ship
    Read More
    ashstreet
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Unbelievably good experience....thank you Celebrity Cruises
    Read More
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Monterey

    Leaving:
    Seattle
    Visiting:
    Astoria, Oregon , Monterey ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Princess Cruises
    View Deal
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    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Monterey Route (Princess Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Seattle
    • Day 2
      Astoria, Oregon
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Monterey
    • Day 5
      San Francisco
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Victoria
    • Day 8
      Seattle
    Ship Details

    Ruby Princess - Princess Cruises

    Pros

    Great kids club, good food options and a laid-back vibe.

    Cons

    Shows its age in places.

    Bottom Line

    Great for families and anyone looking for a variety of activities.

    Reviews

    Ruby Princess Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.5/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.0
    Service5.0
    Value5.0

    Ruby Princess has a laid-back, family vibe that despite carrying 3,000 passengers never felt crowd...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Libray
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Saw some nice things, BUT!
    Read More
    varty
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Relaxing 13 night cruise on Ruby Princess
    Read More
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 8 Night
    Cruise to Monterey

    Leaving:
    Los Angeles
    Visiting:
    Catalina Island, Ensenada ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Oceania Cruises
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary