Planning a cruise out of Los Angeles with Carnival Cruise Line and need to know some basic tips about the Long Beach cruise terminal? We’ve got you covered. Here is everything you need to know before your cruise out of Port of Long Beach.
26 miles from the heart of Los Angeles, the Port of Long Beach is the gateway to the Pacific and the 2nd busiest container shipping port in the US.
More than 300 cruises a year sail from the Long Beach cruise port, mostly reaching destinations in the Mexico Riviera like Ensenada, Puerto Vallarta, and Cabo. Some transpacific cruises will also port in Hawaii.
Long Beach Cruise Terminal is the Los Angeles departure and arrival port for Carnival Cruise Line. Other cruise lines use the Port of Los Angeles World Cruise Center in San Pedro, which is literally on the other side of the Los Angeles Harbor.
The Long Beach Cruise Terminal was inaugurated in 2003 for Carnival Cruise Line and is used exclusively for the line. The first thing you will notice at the port is the large Geodesic Dome which was a museum before being converted.
But what should you expect upon arriving in Los Angeles? Is there a place to park, or hotels to stay in? What is there to do for fun in the nearby area?
Keep reading. In this articled we will tell you everything you need to know about the Port of Long Beach so you can plan your cruise more efficiently to save money and have fun.
How to Get to The Long Beach Cruise Terminal
The address for the Long Beach Cruise Terminal is 231 Windsor Way, Long Beach, CA 90802. If you are driving and using a mapping or navigation device, this is the address you will need to use.
Directions from the Los Angeles Airport & Long Beach Airport
If you’re driving from LAX, it should take you roughly 50 minutes to drive to the Long Beach Cruise Terminal. From the Long Beach Airport it should only be about 20 minutes.
To get there from LAX:
- Get on The San Diego Freeway South (405 S)
- Take that to the Long Beach Freeway South (710 S)
- Continue down 710 South and follow the signs for the Queen Mary
- Drive past the Queen Mary entrance, staying to the far right. This will put you into the lane for the Carnival Cruise terminal
- Follow signs for parking and luggage drop-off
From the Long Beach Airport:
- Take Lakewood Blvd South and get on the San Diego Freeway (405)
- Take 405 South to 710 South (Long Beach Freeway)
- Follow the signs for the Queen Mary
- Keep to the right past the entrance for the Queen Mary
- Follow the signs for parking and luggage drop-off
For directions from other places, visit https://sanpedro.com/long-beach-cruise-ships/.
Transportation Options to the Long Beach Cruise Terminal
You can either drive to the port from where you live, or rent a car from the airport and drive it to the terminal.
Other travel options from either LAX or Long Beach airport are shuttles, private car service, Uber or Lyft, or getting a taxi.
There are four shuttle services and one bus service in the Long Beach area that serve all cruise terminals and airports.
This is both a shuttle and a bus service. They serve the Santa Barbara and LAX areas, as well as provide pickup and drop-off services for both the Long Beach Cruise Terminal and the San Pedro Cruise Terminal.
Reservations must be made over the phone ahead of time at either 805-964-7759 or 800-423-1618. You can only book cruise ship service for days when a cruise ship is actually arriving or departing.
SuperShuttle is a company that provides shuttle service for hotels and cruise ports all over the United States, including Long Beach, California.
Depending on when you’ll be travelling, you can easily get a private shuttle for up to 4 people for $45. Options may vary depending the time of year and day you’ll be needing service.
A service just like SuperShuttle, it’s best to book your shuttle online. Again, available cars and prices will vary depending on when you need a car.
Prime Time Shuttle provides shuttle options (private or rideshare) all over the Southern California. They serve airports, cruise ports, convention centers, and various other locations.
Prime Time Shuttle is a service much like Uber or Lyft, but specifically for certain areas in Southern California.
Give them a call at 800-733-8267, or you can book or get a quote on their website.
Cruise Line Shuttles
Carnival Cruise Lines does provide a shuttle option to their passengers, but this is really only beneficial if you’re travelling alone.
Carnival charges $30 per person one day to ride in their shuttle from LAX and $23.50 from Long Beach Airport.
Again, if you’re travelling alone, this isn’t that bad, as you will only be paying about $47-$60 roundtrip. But say you’re travelling with a family of four. You’d be looking at paying roughly $188-$240 round trip, just for shuttle service.
If you’re looking for a great option for both convenience and price, using Uber or Lyft are going to be your best options.
You just book your ride on your smartphone, and the car arrives at the airport to pick you up and take you to the cruise terminal.
Cost estimates for Uber and Lyft are:
- LAX – Long Beach Cruise Terminal: $37.30
- Long Beach Airport – Long Beach Cruise Terminal: $14.04
- LAX – Long Beach Cruise Terminal: $35-$42
- Long Beach Airport – Long Beach Cruise Terminal: $15-$18
Taxis, much like Uber or Lyft, charge for the car rather than per person. Though they will cost a lot more than taking an Uber, they’re still a cheap and convenient option.
If you’re coming from Long Beach Airport, you’ll be charged a flat rate of $45 to the cruise terminal. From LAX, a taxicab may run you a little over $60.
The Long Beach Cruise Terminal is only one terminal, and only Carnival Cruise ships use this terminal. The ships you will likely see going in and out of Long Beach are:
- Carnival Imagination
- Carnival Inspiration
- Carnival Legend
- Carnival Miracle
- Carnival Panorama
- Carnival Splendor
If you haven’t yet chosen your cruise and you need more information regarding costs and itineraries, go to the Carnival website.
At the terminal entrance there will be porters available to help you with your luggage and will direct you to the parking garage. Look for the folks wearing red caps – those are your porters.
If you arrive close enough to when your ship leaves, there will be ample seating available inside the terminal as you wait to board your ship.
However, arrive too early and you’ll have to sit outside and wait, which won’t be nearly as comfortable.
Cruisers can check-in and board between during a short window of time before their ship leaves. Departure times are different depending on which ship, so be sure to check your ticket to know when you should arrive for check-in and boarding.
The terminal does have plenty of restrooms inside, and there are other restroom options outside. There is also free public Wi-Fi available.
There is no luggage storage available at the terminal, but you can arrange with Carnival head of time to check your baggage onto the ship early. Any carry-ons you have will need to stay with you until you board.
If you or someone in your group is going to need wheelchair assistance to ship, you will need to make arrangements with Carnival ahead of time, as the terminal does not provide wheelchair service.
Does the Long Beach Cruise Terminal Provide Parking?
Yes, there is parking at the Long Beach Cruise Terminal in their five-story, 1,450-space parking garage.
You don’t need to make any advanced reservations, and full payment will be due upon exiting the garage.
It costs $17 per day to park at the port. any oversized vehicles will be charged per space ($17) that their vehicle takes up. Handicap parking is also available, provided you have a valid permit.
For more information about parking, you can give them a call at 562-901-323.
There is also parking at the Port of Los Angeles, which is $18 per day for regular vehicles and $32 for oversized. However, if there’s ample enough parking at the Long Beach Terminal, parking across the harbor is not going to be in your best interest.
There is no off-site parking readily available, unless you arrive a day or so before your trip and stay at a hotel that provides parking for cruise passengers.
Hotels Near the Long Beach Cruise Terminal
There are many hotels near the Long Beach Cruise Terminal that specifically cater to guests to provide them not only with lodging and various amenities associated, but parking and shuttle service as well.
Editor’s note: My favorite place to stay when sailing out of Port of Long Beach is the iconic Queen Mary. It’s so close to the port that the only shuttle you will need is your two legs. The floating hotel is full of history and intrigue, and is the perfect way to start a cruise vacation.
See our video tour of Queen Mary below:
Here are some other hotels nearby the Long Beach cruise port if you’d like a more traditional place to stay.
525 South Harbor Blvd, San Pedro, CA 90731 | 310-548-1080
The Sunrise Hotel is right by the harbor and within walking distance of the Port O’Call village, which has amazing food and dining opportunities.
Their Park and Cruise package provides parking during your cruise and shuttle to and from the port. To book this package you will need to give them a call at 310-548-1080.
Hotel Maya – a DoubleTree by Hilton
700 Queensway Drive, Long Beach, CA 90802 | 562-435-7676
Hotel Maya, a beautiful full-service luxury hotel in Long Beach, provides an excellent waterfront location to stay before or after your cruise.
If you stay here before, you’ll get free parking for your car during your cruise, as well as free complimentary transportation to and from the terminal.
Courtyard Marriott Long Beach
500 East 1st St, Long Beach, CA | 562-435-8511
The Courtyard Marriott Long Beach is conveniently located close to the Long Beach Airport, subway station, and the Long Beach Cruise Terminal.
Book a room using their “Escape! Park & Sail Package” and you’ll get 7 nights free parking for your cruise. You must show your cruise itinerary and valid ID upon check-in.
They do not provide a shuttle to the terminal, so you’ll need to find alternate transportation.
Hyatt Regency Long Beach
200 South Pine Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90802 | 562-491-1234
This stunning beachfront hotel provides a view of the harbor, and will treat you like the luxury guest you are. There’s an outdoor pool that’s lit for nighttime use, state of the art rooms for your to relax and de-stress, and an in-house restaurant to give you the best dining experience you could ever want.
Give them a call to ask about booking a cruise package to get a deal on parking. They do provide shuttle service to the cruise terminal, but for a nominal fee.
Things to Do in Long Beach Before or After Your Cruise
Southern California is full of attractions and fun things to do before or after your cruise. If you have the time to arrive a day or two ahead of time, we highly recommend that you do so. It will both help incase any travel delays occur, and it’ll give you the chance to take advantage of what Long Beach and LA have to offer.
Yes, we know, this is in Anaheim and not in LA or Long Beach. However, if you can spare a few days, Disneyland is a great place to visit while you’re in Southern California.
Visit Mickey’s Toontown, Main Street Electrical Parad, Disneyland Forever, and so much more. If there are any Disney lovers in your group (or you ARE the Disney lover) you won’t want to miss this opportunity.
Crafted at the Port
A little closer to the harbor area is a unique shopping experience you won’t find anywhere else.
Crafted at the Port is a large-scale, year-round handmade artisan marketplace. It features hundreds of individual artists, crafters, food makers, and more, all displaying and selling their wares to locals and visitors alike.
Parking and admission are free, you only pay for the things you buy. For more information go to http://craftedportla.com.
Paramount Drive-In Theatre
Located on Rosecrans Ave in Paramount in CA is a drive-in theatre with two movie screens for all kinds of drive-in movie fun.
Enjoy watching a movie from the comfort of your own car while munching on popcorn and other snacks. The theaters are clean, safe, and friendly. General admission is $10, children ages 5-8 are $3.50, and children under 5 get to view for free.
Visit http://www.paramountdrivein.com/ for more information about showtimes.
Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament
If you’ve never been to a Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament show before and you love all things medieval and fantasy, you should definitely allow some time to go here.
Located in Buena Park, CA, Medieval Times provides a delicious multi-course dinner with a live jousting tournament. Root for your favorite knight to win the princess and dine on the best food you’ve ever had.
Visit https://www.medievaltimes.com/plan-your-trip/buena-park-ca/index.html for more information about prices and times.
Long Beach Performing Arts Center
Within a mile of the cruise terminal is the Long Beach Performing Arts Center, where you can experience Broadway Quality shows at a fraction of the cost in New York.
This International City Theatre is an award winning non-profit theatre, with shows that parallel Broadway and other on stage productions in quality and professionalism.
Visit https://ictlongbeach.org/ for more information about the shows that will be going on during your visit.
Fort MacArthur Museum
History and military enthusiasts alike will enjoy visiting this museum just a few miles away from the port in San Pedro.
This museum is dedicated to preserving and educating folks about the history of Fort MacArthur, which served to guard the LA harbor during World War I, World War II, and various other wars that took place between 1914 and 1974.
Various rooms and galleries display a large number of artifacts, exhibits, and displays from during tat time. Learn about the history of harbor defenses for LA, Civil Defense, and more.
Visit http://www.ftmac.org/ for information about prices and hours.
Visit the Queen Mary
Just down the road (your probably passed it) from the cruise terminal is the Queen Mary.
Originally from Scotland, built in 1930 by Cunard Cruise Lines, the Queen Mary serves as a hotel, a place to book meetings or weddings, a history museum, and so much more.
They also have scheduled tours and exhibits, nighttime activities (after all, it is said to be haunted), and educational tours. You can even stop in and dine in their restaurants or visit one of their four onboard shops (two portside and two in the main hall) for some retail therapy.
If you decide to book your hotel stay on the Queen Mary, you’ll be within walking distance from the cruise terminal, and you’ll have access to just about everything that this fun attraction has to offer including guided tours and exhibits, their spa, the shops, and more.
Visit https://www.queenmary.com for more information.
Conclusion on Things to Know About the Long Beach Cruise Terminal
The Long Beach Cruise Terminal is small so there’s not much going on there besides Carnival cruise ships coming in and out of port.
However, it can still be helpful to know what to expect in regard to parking, hotels, and the surrounding area.
In this article we have provided for you everything you need to know about cruising from the Long Beach Cruise Terminal. Have a fun and safe trip!
This guest post was written by Justin Stewart.