I was on the Diamond recently and a waiter told me that the ship was going to be docked for a few days so they can get it ready for the Holiday crowd. They were planning to clean the carpets, do some touch up painting and other things to make it look better. Some of the employees were looking foreward to having a few days off. That waiter was happy and singing because he was going home for Christmas.
My sister said that the Island Princess had been hanging out in port too but then left today. It is getting ready for the 15 day cruises from L.A. to L.A. and going to Hawaii and back. What a great deal for the L.A. people who don't have to fly.
The parking lot is very safe and has lots of security. But it looks small so get there early like 10:30a.m. so you can get parking. Some people will be getting off the ship and driving off the parking lot. I did notice that there is another parking lot across the street under the freeway but it looks like another company owns that parking lot. First......drop off your luggage at the top of the ramp....... then go down and park your car. There are plenty of security men to tell which way to go if you get confused going up the ramp.
I thought this was strange as well. We are leaving on the Diamond Princess on Jan. 8th. I got on the the Princess web site and learned that she will be leaving San Pedro Wednesday, Dec. 22 for a seven day cruise and then leaving on Dec. 29th for a TEN day cruise to Mexico. I'm pretty new to cruising, but my guess is if the ship sailed on Saturday that would be Christmas day and that it would be much better to already be on the ship (at least for a day) before Christmas. The same would go for New Years day. That would mean that Friday, the last day before the end of the cruise, it would be New Years Eve. I usually am in bed early New Years Eve, but I know plenty of folks who would have a hard time getting up and disembarking the ship on Saturday, New Years Day!! So this stagered schedule might be Princess's answer to both holidays falling on Saturday this year. This is just a BIG guess on my part. I just can't wait until Jan. 8th. and it is our turn to sail away!!!!!
SMGE46..........Go check-out PORTS OF CALL VILLAGE which is a tourist place. It is located a few blocks away from the ship. Go have lunch at Ports of Call restaurant. That is where I hosted a Cruise Addict party a few years ago. That restaurant is in the habit of honking a loud horn and waving good-by to the people on the ships. The ships answer back by honking the ship's horn. We had some hilium filled ballons and some of them flew up on the decks when the Star Princess passed by. It was the month of April when there was still daylight. Most ships leave around 5:30p.m. eventhough they say 4p.m. It is already dark by that time presently so all I could see from the Princess was the restaurant lights and people taking photos of the ship as we were passing by.
Also go check-out the Sheraton Hotel that is located close by. They may provide parking and shuttle for a fee. You should always have plan B as a back up. Some people park, spend the night, and get the shuttle to the ship. They say it is great. You can see the Hotel from the street near the ship. There is another small motel that is also popular because it has a low rate for the night and is also located where you can see the ships. It has a coffee shop next door. I think you can also park there but I am not sure since I haven't been there in awhile in that area.
We disembarked the Diamond on December 18th. Right after our cruise, the Diamond went into "wet dock", in order to finally fix the propellor blade that was damaged during it's Alaska run, when it hit a dock in Victoria. All the crew seemed to be overjoyed being able to have some time off.