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RetiredRich

San Diego shuttle to airport question

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I see there is a shuttle form the pier to the airport.  We are taking the April 13th cruise to Hawaii and would like to take the shuttle after the cruise to the airport.  Problem is my wife has had knee surgery and cannot stand steps.  So is the shuttle a big bus with steps to go on or some kind of ramp.  We can walk along fine but if there are big steps we might just have to call uber for that trip.  Also if we do want to take the bus do you have to reserve a spot ?

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Given the short distance to the airport from the pier AND the abundance of taxis, I would suggest taking a taxi.  No steps, no waiting for the shuttle to be full.  

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Why not just take a taxi or Uber.  Lots of taxis around and the cost should be around $15 plus tip (usually two shuttle fares are more than that).  Easier to get into and out of.  Airport is only about 2 miles from pier.

 

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The Holland America "TRANSFER" purchased is on a 56-seat bus.  Please do not confuse with a "SHUTTLE" which is available but not pre-booked nor operated by your cruise line.  Shuttles are small vans staged on the pier and offering group rides.

 

HAL transfers do not have to be "FULL" before departing the pier....  time slots are pre-arranged according to disembarkation luggage tag colors.  Everyone in that group of guests is hopefully onboard before that bus leaves.  The next color group called will be scheduled on another coach or more as necessary.  It easily could be 15 or 20 people in a particular color....and if the luggage storage is filled, no more can board.  Always travel on the same vehicle as your belongings.  

 

Every effort is to make certain that you will arrive in plenty of time for your flight using a transfer.

 

Shuttles are privately owned and operated.  Shared rides (Uber, Lyft, etc.) are available as are taxis.  The advantage of using a HAL transfer might be important.  Should you or someone else take luggage mistakenly (and it happens every sailing!!) the rep at the pier will contact staff at the airport.  We will know which coach you boarded and what flight you are taking.  We'll also know who's similar bag was left behind.  Most times issues similar are resolved within 1 hour.

 

This is not going to happen with shared rides, taxis, shuttles, or the city bus.

 

ADA (lift) buses are always available with HAL transfers and it is best to pre-arrange use of them.  

 

David

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The airport is very close to the pier.  In fact you can see the airport from the pier.

 

I would take a taxi or Uber.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, DAllenTCY said:

The Holland America "TRANSFER" purchased is on a 56-seat bus.  

 

HAL transfers do not have to be "FULL" before departing the pier....  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We used HAL transfer last year from port to FLL airport. Never again.  It was expensive.  We were the first few people on our bus as we watched a just-filled bus before it drive away.  We sat on that bus for 20-30 minutes, waiting for it to get enough people on so it would leave.  (Our friends took a taxi and were at FLL in minutes.)  

 

  This year we took a 8 or 9 passenger shuttle bus to FLL.  Cost was $11/person and no waiting. YMMV

 

To the OP, if you are concerned about multi pax vehicles, Uber or taxi will be better if for nothing more than peace of mind. 

Edited by Walfam

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San Diego is one of two ports where I would rather take a taxi than the HAL transfer (Ft. Lauderdale is the other). Even though a taxi costs me more, it is generally easier all around and doesn't cost much more. The HAL transfer drops passengers off between terminals, so you must then drag your luggage to whichever terminal you want; a taxi drops me right at the door. Time waiting isn't an issue, since I will be at the terminal in plenty of time either way (I can wait on the bus, or wait at the airport), but getting deposited where I need to be is great.

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Hi Ruth.....I would agree with most of what you've just posted and I'm the one responsible for HAL transfers in San Diego.

 

Certainly, it depends on your departure needs.  Are you flying at 3 or 4 in the afternoon, then HAL transfers are a good purchase.  And this is the best option for those who rely on scooters.  Booked in advance my ADA coaches will get you there.

 

If you need to leave before noon.....please take a taxi or a shared ride (Uber, Lyft, etc.)

 

Dropping off at the airport is another issue all together.  Your ride can stop 3 wide from the curb and possibly block traffic while you take a minute to exit.  My 50' long coach cannot.  Often, my buses have ADA lift elevators that can only be unloaded at the curb and they can get a moving violation if they impede traffic.

 

So, the motor coach drivers must pick a spot where there is less congestion to unload, as you noted.

 

David

 

P.S.  More and more guests are now taking shared (Uber, Lyft, etc.) and they have nowhere to load at the pier.  Our pier is tiny by any standard.  Therefore, shared transit often prefer to load on the main street outside.  This causes a 4 block back-up on Harbor Drive.   Soon, if not immediately we'll find that shared drivers will be ticketed for not moving immediately.  This information was shared to me by Harbor Police.   Taxis must follow the rules, and they will...lest their permits be taken.  Shuttle vans are an option if going just to the airport.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, RuthC said:

San Diego is one of two ports where I would rather take a taxi than the HAL transfer (Ft. Lauderdale is the other). Even though a taxi costs me more, it is generally easier all around and doesn't cost much more. The HAL transfer drops passengers off between terminals, so you must then drag your luggage to whichever terminal you want; a taxi drops me right at the door. Time waiting isn't an issue, since I will be at the terminal in plenty of time either way (I can wait on the bus, or wait at the airport), but getting deposited where I need to be is great.

I take it that the taxi cost you more than the HAL transfer is that you are traveling solo?  For a couple. I have always found the taxi in SD or FLL to be less expensive.

 

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50 minutes ago, DaveOKC said:

I take it that the taxi cost you more than the HAL transfer is that you are traveling solo? 

Correct. I've been solo for coming on 20 years, so normally prefer the HAL transfers in both directions. But this is one port that I prefer a taxi. It's comfortable, since I know the language, the money, and generally how things work there.

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18 minutes ago, DAllenTCY said:

You know Ethiopian or Eritrian?

 

David

 

 

Or Haitian in FLL?

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10 hours ago, RuthC said:

Correct. I've been solo for coming on 20 years, so normally prefer the HAL transfers in both directions. But this is one port that I prefer a taxi. It's comfortable, since I know the language, the money, and generally how things work there.

We were staying at the Fairfield across from the port.  We used Uber to pick us up at airport and then to and fro  to the airport to pick up a rental during our time in SoCal.  Very reasonable and very fast.   No worry about schlepping bags.   So close that it is not that expensive. 

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Posted (edited)

On a normal single ship day, there will be no issue.  But consider about 4,800^ people at the port at the same time (Sundays from 3/24 until 4/28).  The Disney Wonder and Nieuw Amsterdam will share the pier.

 

At least on Sundays there will not be loads of construction material and hundreds of workers at the new development just kitty-corner from the cruise piers.  However, it will be Spring Break for some, and lots of tourists in town looking to visit Seaport Village and go whale watching or harbor cruising.

 

As an added bonus, on 4/3......3 ships and 6,700* people trying to grab a cab, shared ride (Uber, Lyft, etc.) to or from the same spot.  It will be gridlock from 9 am until 2 pm in my opinion.  For those who are unfamiliar, the cruise piers are 2 1/2 miles from the airport and on the same street with very limited alternative routes.

 

Plan ahead.


David

 

^  Nieuw Amsterdam 2,100

    Disney Wonder 2,700

 

*  Disney Wonder 2,700

    Volendam  1,400

    Golden Princess  2,600

 

 

Apologies for misspelling Eritrean on a previous post.

Edited by DAllenTCY

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10 hours ago, DAllenTCY said:

On a normal single ship day, there will be no issue.  But consider about 4,800^ people at the port at the same time (Sundays from 3/24 until 4/28).  The Disney Wonder and Nieuw Amsterdam will share the pier.

 

At least on Sundays there will not be loads of construction material and hundreds of workers at the new development just kitty-corner from the cruise piers.  However, it will be Spring Break for some, and lots of tourists in town looking to visit Seaport Village and go whale watching or harbor cruising.

 

As an added bonus, on 4/3......3 ships and 6,700* people trying to grab a cab, shared ride (Uber, Lyft, etc.) to or from the same spot.  It will be gridlock from 9 am until 2 pm in my opinion.  For those who are unfamiliar, the cruise piers are 2 1/2 miles from the airport and on the same street with very limited alternative routes.

 

Plan ahead.


David

 

^  Nieuw Amsterdam 2,100

    Disney Wonder 2,700

 

*  Disney Wonder 2,700

    Volendam  1,400

    Golden Princess  2,600

 

 

Apologies for misspelling Eritrean on a previous post.

Anything on April 6 (Sat.)?  We are on the Euordam.

 

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4 hours ago, DaveOKC said:

Anything on April 6 (Sat.)?  We are on the Euordam.

 

 

Looks like Eurodam will be the only cruise ship in port on that day

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2 hours ago, Copper10-8 said:

 

Looks like Eurodam will be the only cruise ship in port on that day

Thanks for the good news!

 

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