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The Best Cruise-Friendly Hotels In San Diego For Your Next Vacation

Hotel in San Diego easy to get to the cruise port

Embarking on a cruise vacation from the beautiful port of San Diego? Choosing the right hotel can make all the difference in creating those unforgettable pre or post-cruise memories.

With an array of waterfront hotels offering luxurious accommodations, unbeatable amenities, and breathtaking views, San Diego has something for every type of cruiser. In this blog post, we'll be sharing our top picks for the best cruise-friendly hotels near Port of San Diego Cruise Ship Terminal that deliver incredible value without compromising on quality or convenience.

Key Takeaways

  1. San Diego offers an array of cruise - friendly hotels near the Port of San Diego Cruise Ship Terminal, ranging from luxurious to more affordable options.
  2. Some of the top - rated hotels for cruisers include SpringHill Suites By Marriott San Diego Downtown, Wyndham San Diego Bayside, Embassy Suites by Hilton San Diego Bay Front, Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, Hilton San Diego Airport / Harbor Island, Kona Kai Resort and Spa, Humphreys Half Moon Inn and Hotel del Coronado.
  3. These hotels offer exceptional services such as waterfront views, proximity to attractions like Seaport Village and Petco Park , pet-friendly rooms and diverse dining options.
  4. The port is easily accessible via public transportation or taxi from the airport making it effortless to explore all that this beautiful coastal city has to offer before or after your cruise adventure with endless activities such as food tours or taking harbor cruises or whale watches.

When planning a cruise from San Diego, it is important to consider the many neighborhoods and hotels available for accommodation. Each neighborhood offers its own unique benefits, such as proximity to the airport, shopping, dining, and tourist attractions. Here are some of the best neighborhoods to consider when searching for a hotel before taking a cruise from San Diego.

What Neighborhood Location Should You Select For Your Cruise Hotel?

San Diego has the highest number of hotels located near the cruise port compared to any other west coast cruise destination. As a result, it can be confusing for some people since a simple search of "hotels near San Diego cruise port" can result in litterally hundreds of different options. While we recomend selecting a Bay Front hotel or Gaslamp Quarter location for your cruise if this is your first time visiting the city, those options can be somewhat expensive. Other areas such as Point Loma and Mission Valley do offer some less expensive options but may add an additional 10-20 minutes to your time between the airport or cruise terminal and your hotel.

Bay Front Hotels

Bay Front Hotels are located along the waterfront of downtown San Diego offering stunning views of the bay. This area is home to Seaport Village which features shops and eateries as well as USS Midway Museum which houses an aircraft carrier turned museum ship.

San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

The Gaslamp Quarter is located in downtown San Diego and is known for its vibrant nightlife scene with numerous bars and restaurants. It's also home to Petco Park baseball stadium and is minutes from Balboa Park which features museums and gardens. If you are looking for a central location where you can walk or rent a bike and see the city, this is it. 

Little Italy

Little Italy is a charming neighborhood featuring Italian eateries that line India Street along with art galleries and boutiques that offer unique items made by local artisans. There are some budget-friendly and mid-tier hotels located in this area while still being very close to the harbor and the airport.

Point Loma

Point Loma is located on the western edge of San Diego Bay and is known for its stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. It is home to several popular attractions including the Cabrillo National Monument and Point Loma Lighthouse. You will need a car to stay here and while it is one of our favorite picks for "expert cruisers" who are taking a voyage from San Diego, it can be a bit complicated for folks who aren't as comfortable with off-brand boutique style hotels vs big-name liesure and business travel brands like Marriott, Hilton, or Hyatt. However, your ability to explore pays off since you can enjoy some of our favorite spots for fresh fish like Ketch, Mitch's Seafood and Point Loma Seafoods (casual and authentic - right on the water as fishermen come in) and our favorite San Diego beer garden, Eppig Brewing Waterfront Biergarten. 

Mission Valley

Mission Valley is centrally located in San Diego and offers easy access to many attractions such as SeaWorld San Diego and Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. You will need a car to get around here but prices are going to be some of the least expensive options and plenty of choices from big name hotel brands.

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When choosing a neighborhood for your stay before taking a cruise out of San Diego it’s important to consider factors like convenient proximity to Sailor Cruise Port or airport , prices ,and overall tourist experience . To make sure you get the most out of your stay , research each neighborhood thoroughly before booking your accommodations .

Our Favorite Cruise-Friendly Hotels In San Diego

These top-rated hotels in San Diego offer exceptional services and amenities for cruise passengers and easy access from betwen airport, train station, and hotel so you can avoid any last minute stress before or after your cruise. Some of these properties may offer cruise packages and deals that include extended parking but due to the nature of the hospitality industry right now, we recomend that you call the hotel directly rather than assuming that details remain accurate weeks or months later.

Alternatively, we always encourage you to work with a travel advisor such as Heather from FlowVoyages.com who will be able to provide you with specific guidence and make those inquiries for you directly.

SpringHill Suites By Marriott San Diego Downtown

As a cruiser looking for the best accommodation experience in San Diego, the SpringHill Suites By Marriott San Diego Downtown / Bayfront should be at the top of your list. This luxurious hotel features spacious suites with comfortable living areas that are perfect for winding down after a day of sightseeing or preparing to embark on a cruise.

Conveniently located just 2.4 miles from the airport and only a 5-minute drive from the cruise ship terminal, this downtown San Diego hotel makes it effortless to explore all that this beautiful coastal city has to offer.

Be sure to take advantage of their rooftop terrace amenities for breathtaking panoramas of Southern California's natural beauty as well as proximity to Seaport Village – an ideal spot for shopping and dining before or after your cruise adventure.

Wyndham San Diego Bayside

Situated directly across from the Cruise Ship Terminal, Wyndham San Diego Bayside is a favorite among cruisers seeking comfort and convenience. With 600 guestrooms featuring private balconies offering stunning views of San Diego Bay, this hotel promises an unforgettable stay before or after your cruise adventure.

Guests rave about the delicious complimentary breakfast that sets them up for a day exploring nearby attractions like Balboa Park and Midway Museum. The hardworking housekeeping team keeps every room spotless, ensuring a comfortable retreat with waterfront vistas.

Embassy Suites By Hilton San Diego Bay Front

Embassy Suites by Hilton San Diego Bay Front is definitely a top choice for cruisers seeking convenience and style. Ranked #9 of 284 hotels in San Diego, this cruise-friendly hotel offers stunning bay views in close proximity to the city's main attractions.

The hotel boasts 337 spacious suites with breathtaking views of both the bay and the San Diego skyline. Many rooms even overlook Seaport Village, which lies just across the street at The Headquarters at Seaport District - an ideal location for cruise ship passengers.

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego

Looking for the perfect hotel for your San Diego cruise vacation? Look no further than the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego. This waterfront hotel offers stunning Pacific Ocean and city views, making it an ideal choice for those who want to soak up the best of what Southern California has to offer.

If you're looking for family-friendly amenities, the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego won't disappoint. The hotel features a kids camp, sports courts, and plenty of activities within walking distance.

Plus, there are pet-friendly rooms available if you're planning on bringing Fido along with you on your trip. And when it comes time to dine, there are plenty of options to choose from – including onsite restaurants serving everything from sushi and seafood to American classics like burgers and fries.

Hilton San Diego Bayfront

One of our top picks for cruise-friendly hotels in San Diego is the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. This luxurious hotel offers a sophisticated resort atmosphere with 1,190 rooms and is conveniently located near Petco Park, the Convention Center and downtown San Diego.

The Hilton San Diego Bayfront boasts stunning waterfront views and is located across from Petco Park, a major attraction in the city. This hotel provides easy access to all that San Diego has to offer, including sports stadiums, beaches, maritime history tours, harbor cruises and whale watching excursions.

Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina

The Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina is one of our favorite cruise-friendly hotels in San Diego. This waterfront hotel offers stunning views of both the marina and downtown San Diego, making it a perfect place to relax before or after your cruise.

Once you've settled in, take advantage of the hotel's full resort amenities including three outdoor pools, two spa tubs, lounge areas with city views, and even spa services to help you unwind.

Hilton San Diego Airport / Harbor Island

Located right on San Diego Bay, the Hilton San Diego Airport / Harbor Island is one of our favorite cruise-friendly hotels in San Diego. This hotel offers a free shuttle service to and from the airport, making it an excellent choice for those embarking or disembarking from a cruise ship.

Guests can enjoy all that southern California has to offer while being minutes away from top attractions. The outdoor pool also adds a relaxing touch to their stay.

Kona Kai Resort And Spa

Kona Kai Resort and Spa is a must-visit for cruisers heading to San Diego. The resort boasts an upscale, tropical atmosphere with Spanish colonial architecture and ocean-inspired decor that will transport you to paradise.

In addition to its private beach, Kona Kai offers outstanding resort amenities including an indoor pool, 24-hour fitness center, outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, and a restaurant with free Wi-Fi in public areas.

Humphreys Half Moon Inn

Humphreys Half Moon Inn is an ideal choice for cruisers looking for a great hotel in San Diego. Situated on Shelter Island, the hotel boasts of spacious rooms equipped with modern amenities like mini-fridges and microwaves.

Guests can relax by the large heated pool or outdoor Jacuzzi after exploring the surrounding areas on free bicycle rentals provided by the hotel. With its private marina and lush vegetation, Humphreys Half Moon Inn offers guests a tropical escape that truly captures a Polynesian-inspired atmosphere.

Hotel Del Coronado

If you're looking for the ultimate beachfront resort experience during your San Diego cruise, look no further than Hotel del Coronado. This historic landmark is located on Coronado Island and offers stunning ocean views, luxurious amenities, fine dining restaurants, and a range of water sports activities.

But Hotel del Coronado isn't just a pretty face - it's also conveniently located near the Port of San Diego Cruise Ship Terminal. So whether you're looking to spend some extra time exploring before or after your cruise, this seaside escape should definitely be on your list of options.

San Diego Is A Great Cruise Port To Spend An Extra Day Or Two Exploring

Explore the beautiful city of San Diego before or after your cruise with endless activities to enjoy such as food tours, visiting beaches, exploring maritime history, and taking harbor cruises or whale watches.

Airport And Other Public Transit Is Very Close To The Cruise Port

Getting to and from the San Diego Cruise Port is a breeze, thanks in part to its proximity to the airport and other public transit options. Both piers of the cruise terminal are located just a few miles from San Diego International Airport, so arriving passengers can easily hop in a taxi or take public transportation directly from the airport to the port.

Additionally, there are several bus and trolley routes that serve the area around the cruise ship terminals. For cruisers who prefer driving themselves, there are plenty of parking options available near both B Street Pier and Broadway Pier.

Food Tours

San Diego is known for its delicious local cuisine, making it an ideal destination for foodies. Here are some must-try food tours and self-guided destinations for food lovers to explore in America's Finest City!

  1. Bite San Diego Walking Tours: This tour takes you through the historic Gaslamp Quarter, where you'll sample foods from a variety of local restaurants.
  2. So Diego Tours: If you're looking for a more upscale experience, So Diego Tours offers private tours to top-rated restaurants and bars.
  3. Old Town Tequila & Tortillas Tour: Learn about the history of Mexican cuisine in San Diego's oldest neighborhood while enjoying tacos and tequila tastings.
  4. San Diego Brewery Tour: For those who prefer drinks over food, this tour takes you to a selection of local breweries.
  5. Liberty Public Market Food Hall: Located in the historic Liberty Station development, this market features over 30 vendors serving everything from sushi to craft beer.

As a cruise passenger with limited time in San Diego, taking a food tour is an excellent way to sample the local flavors while also getting a taste of the city's culture and history.

Visit The Beaches

San Diego is a beach lover's paradise, with miles of beautiful coastline for you to enjoy. Here are some of the best beaches to visit during your cruise stop in San Diego:

  1. Coronado Beach: This wide, sandy beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and watching the sunset. Don't miss a stroll down the iconic Coronado Hotel red-roofed walkway.
  2. La Jolla Cove: This small but picturesque cove is great for snorkeling and swimming with sea lions - just make sure to stay at a safe distance!
  3. Mission Beach: This lively stretch of sand features an old-school boardwalk with roller coasters and carnival games. Perfect for families or anyone looking for a fun, energetic atmosphere.
  4. Del Mar Beach: Just north of San Diego proper, this beach is known for its clear water and long stretches of sand dunes.
  5. Torrey Pines State Beach: This wilder beach is surrounded by natural cliffs and provides excellent opportunities for hiking and exploring.

No matter which beach you choose, you're sure to have a blast soaking up the sun in beautiful San Diego!

Maritime History

San Diego is a city with deep maritime roots and a rich naval history. As a cruise passenger, you'll have the opportunity to explore this aspect of San Diego's culture firsthand.

Additionally, there are plenty of harbor sightseeing tours available that allow you to see all sides of this coastal city while learning about its seafaring past. The Maritime Museum of San Diego offers access to historic ships like Star of India, H.M.S Surprise orHMS Surprise (made famous in the movie Master and Commander), and many others that offer a glimpse into what life was like for sailors in days gone by.

Harbor Cruises And Whale Watches

San Diego is a great cruise port for exploring its beautiful waterfront and marine life. Here are some of the top harbor cruises and whale watches that you can enjoy during your visit:

With so much to see and do in San Diego's beautiful harbor area, taking a harbor cruise or whale watch tour should definitely be on your list of things to do while in port!


In conclusion, San Diego is one of the best cruise ports to spend an extra day or two exploring before or after your vacation. With a plethora of waterfront hotels offering various amenities and prices, visitors can find the perfect accommodation option that suits their taste and budget.

From luxury accommodations with breathtaking views to more affordable options within walking distance of the cruise port, there is something for everyone in San Diego.