Crown Princess California Coast San Francisco

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Thank you to Princess Cruises for hosting us on this California Coastal Cruise Aboard The Crown Princess to facilitate this review. All opinions and photos are ours.

pilot escort san francisco

Our third day started early in the morning with room service coffee on the balcony as we watched the pilot boat guide us into San Francisco Bay and under the Golden Gate Bridge.

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Cruising under the Golden Gate Bridge at sunrise is a breathtaking experience that we will remember forever!

Emmy has told everyone we have met today about it. I am 100% with her on this one; it was really cool, and I would even call it a bucket list item.

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Once we docked we set off to explore the city and then we took a tour of Alcatraz Island Federal Penitentiary.

We had tried to do this tour before each time we were in San Francisco, but it was always sold out. I understand why now, it’s one of those things you just have to see.  Be sure to buy your tickets early. Another tip, once on board the boat to the island, walk all the way around to where the bathrooms are. That’s where the best seats in the house are… they are right by the exit so you can get off quickly too.

alcatraz island tour

Here is a picture tour of our visit to Alcatraz.

One quick note, we did the self-guided audio tour. When we were getting the headsets, I asked for new ones or once that were freshly washed. They have those in a separate area; you just have to ask for them. Also, with Emmy being only five, she was a bit concerned at some parts of the tour. We talked through those parts, but you might want to have them remove their headphones during the prison riot part, or at least be prepared to talk about it.

There is so much history on this island. You should plan to spend at least 2-3 hours on the tour and seeing the other parts. We brought a stroller, and I’m very glad I did. There is a lot of walking. If your child is old enough for a fold up stroller, that’s the best way to go because there are also stairs along the way. You can bring water with you, but no food so eat before you come over. There are two sets of bathrooms too… one at the bottom where you get off the boat and the other up at the prison.

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After we got back from Alcatraz we headed down to the famous Pier 39.

Pier 39 is a quick 5-minute walk from the cruise terminal, and there are tons of fun foods available to purchase like cookies, crepes, ice cream, etc. to snack on… not that you will need to do that during a Princess Cruise! The girls all (yep even the older ones) went on the carousel! We took our oldest here when she was 2, and she rode it ten times then… so it was fun taking her back and telling her all about that visit!

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It was “Funky Disco Party Night” for the 5 and 12-year-old in the kids clubs, so we had to get back to the ship quickly! 

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My oldest came with Pete and me to get coffee and dessert.

We love the premium coffees and are getting good use out of our pre-paid card. We sat and enjoyed some piano music and talked about tomorrow’s day at sea. There was also a mariachi band playing in one of the show rooms… it was packed in there, and everyone was talking about how awesome they were! 

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Day 4 is a sea day, so we are going to have lot’s of kids club fun, afternoon tea, good food and maybe a visit to the sanctuary for Pete and I! I’ll be back tomorrow with all the details!

What destinations are on your cruise wish lists?

PS. See our complete Crown Princess, Princess Cruises Review and Detailed Daily Posts Here.

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


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