By Rosanne Coloccia
Preferred Travel Services
As if we needed one more reason to love San Diego!
Good news for those cruise lovers among us - especially those who would rather drive to their port of embarkation rather than fly - the final buildout of the huge Port of San Diego renovation, in downtown’s North Embarcadero area, will soon be complete!
The biggest phase of the project, including the construction of a widened public esplanade, new trees and gardens, public art, and easier access to the waterfront via new roads and the public plaza, was completed in 2014, but the surrounding areas have been catching up ever since.
Across the street from the project you’ll find a brand new Marriott Residence Inn/Springhill Suites dual-use property, with a luxury property under construction right next door. You’ll also find scores more hotels, along with shopping and restaurants, within walking distance of the cruise port complex.
So why is this that one more reason to love San Diego?
Because this project is thriving, bringing in 10% more passengers via scheduled port calls year over year, 2016 to 2017, set to increase again in 2018.With the uptick in popularity of 7-day Mexican Riviera cruises, San Diego looks to make a renewed splash as a homeport - which means more competitive prices for you!
Homeports - the point where cruises begin and end - are a big business in the Port of Los Angeles, in San Pedro (Princess) and Long Beach (Carnival) respectively. Currently a homeport to some of Holland America’s beautiful ships (periodic Mexican Riviera sailings, round trip Hawaii sailings, Panama Canal, and a variety of longer voyage itineraries - some up to 55 days!), and seasonal 3-, 4-, and 7-day sailings for Disney Cruises, San Diego is now in a position to woo more cruise lines to make their home in this beautiful city.
With three port options an easy drive from the Valley, I have to give an edge to San Diego. The facilities in San Pedro and Long Beach aren’t quite as user-friendly, shall we say, as the new facilities in downtown San Diego, and you can’t beat the location for easy access. Right in the heart of this exciting city, with family-friendly activities like Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo literally minutes away, San Diego is also home to great nightlife, sports, and cultural activities.
So if a cruise vacation is in your future (and I can give you many reasons why it should be), take a look at what essentially becomes “Arizona West” every summer, and consider setting sail from San Diego.
San Diego is a 5.5 hour drive from the Valley.
You may remember Rosanne Coloccia as "the travel lady" on KTVK's top-rated Good Morning Arizona, where she brought you travel tips and destination information for more than 14 years. She is delighted to once again be part of the travel industry that she loves, and Preferred Travel Services is more than delighted to have her on our team.