My husband and I are in our late-30's/mid-40's, and we have been on 10+ cruises together. Our last cruise was in December 2019. This was our first post-Covid cruise. Also, our only other Celebrity cruise was back in 2015, and it was out of the Mediterranean. This was our first time taking a Celebrity cruise out of the States.
Pre-Cruise: We stayed two nights at an Airbnb in the Belmont Shore neighborhood of Long Beach. This was a great area! The homes are older and have lots of character, and the locals are friendly. By foot, you can easily reach the beach, a grocery store, and lots of shops and restaurants.
Embarkation: First of all, the port at San Pedro is gross. Very industrial and stinky. We arrived around 11:15. We had signed up for a check-in time between 11 and 11:30. After getting through security, we reached a packed holding area. No one had boarded the ship. Once boarding began, there was no honoring of the check-in times and very little organization. We spent a long time waiting and ended up eating protein bars for lunch. Around 1pm, we finally boarded. We were able to drop off our bags in the room and pick up keycards.
Our inside cabin was great! Very spacious, and our attendant was lovely.
This port can be done easily by foot. Our first stop was at Von's for picnic supplies. Then, we walked 1.5 miles to the Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Gardens. It costs to enter. Within the gardens, there is access to the Garden to Sky Trail. What beautiful views! Be sure to wear hiking shoes because the path is gravel. The round trip distance for the trail is 2.8 miles.
This was my 6th visit to my favorite city! We had an overnight here, so we were able to pack a lot in. We walked along Fisherman's Wharf, bought chocolates at Ghirardelli Square, hiked up Hyde Street, zigzagged down Lombard, visited Little Italy, and climbed the many stairs to Coit Tower. The weather was beautiful, so we took a rideshare to Golden Gate Park and Lands End. So much to do, so little time!
We walked up State Street, which is partly pedestrian only. We visited the courthouse. It is absolutely beautiful and a must see! Be sure to check out the Law Library because many visitors miss this room. We ended the day by walking out to Castillo Point and enjoyed the fresh Pacific air.
The Riviera Cultural Center is about a 15 minute walk from the pier. It is a beautiful 1930's hotel. We watched a mariachi performance that included dancers. Also, the bar that supposedly invented the margarita is here, and you can enjoy one in the patio. We also visited Dona Engracia for a tour and tequila tasting. Highly recommended!