After our cruise through the Panama Canal we arrived in San Francisco on Friday 27th October
Our cruise through the Panama Canal started in Fort Lauderdale and would take us to Aruba, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and finally San Francisco and then onto Monterey.
Arriving into San Francisco
We had gone to sleep with the ship’s fog horn but at 4.30 am I was woken by what seemed to be a particularly loud blast. From our balcony the visibility was minimal. Using Google Maps rather than the map on the TV screen, I could see that we were still in the Pacific making our way towards the Golden Gate.
At 5.30 am I heard the pilot boat arrive and I drifted off to sleep again despite the ship’s fog horn and the other fog horn’s sounding around us. When I saw the lights of the Golden Gate I went out onto the balcony to watch the ship sail under the bridge.
Sleep was no longer a possibility and I put on sandals and a jumper and went out onto the balcony to watch as we came into the Bay. The mist hung like a blanket over the buildings on the starboard side and as we neared the city proper I could see the Coit Tower brightly illuminated against the sky. Closer to Fisherman’s Wharf the Ghiardelli sign could clearly be seen.
As we passed Pier 39 we could hear the resident sea lions as the ship passed on her way to Pier 27. The Bay Bridge was illuminated and as we neared our pier I could see the traffic on the double deck bridge.
Then a tug joined us to manoeuvre Coral Princess onto Pier 27.
For all my images as we sailed in.
Breakfast and leaving the ship
We had to be out of our cabin before 8 am and after saying thank you to our cabin steward we went to the Bordeaux Restaurant for the last time. Only a third of the restaurant was in use and we were given a buzzer and told to wait until a table was free.
For the first time on the cruise we were seated on a table for two. Our servers were very busy and it took a little time to get them to smile. Our lady server explained that that changeover days were always very busy with cleaning before the new passengers came on board. Plus the new passengers also made the first evening difficult as they were never sure about how the ship operated.
After breakfast we went to the Universe Lounge to wait to be called to leave the ship. At the back of the lounge there were drinks and cakes. We sat with our friends from California and best of all I listened to stories about the US Navy while we waited.
We were told that the ship’s disembarkation was running at least 20 minutes early. Then at 10 am we were told that everyone on the ship could now leave, as all the earlier groups were off the ship.
We went to Deck 7, there we had our cruise cards read and we followed the signs out to the cruise terminal. There was a queue for non-US passengers to clear Immigration. After 10 minutes or so we were through without any problems into the baggage hall. As we were some of the last passengers off the ship our suitcases were easy to find.
There were no baggage trolleys so we had to pull our cases along to US Customs. Much to our surprise we didn’t need any customs forms and we were soon outside in the cool air following the signs for taxis.
To our hotel
Our driver was from Nigeria and had lived in California for 15 years. We had to have one of our cases on the front passenger seat whic was OK with him. When we arrived at the Travel Inn in Marina we were concerned about getting into our room. After a short chat, reception allowed us into our room early at 10.45 am.
Once we had unpacked one suitcase it was time to go out into Marina. We went to Peets for drinks and then had a wander up and down Chestnut. The bookshop’s A-frames were as unusual as always.
Dinosaurs didn’t read.
Now they are EXTINCT
Your reward for having an ATTENTION SPAN
We picked up Caesar salads from the Marina Deli and had our lunch back in our hotel room.