In a move reminiscent of Disney's birthday deal a couple years ago, one of the major transportation companies for service between the mainland and Catalina Island has announced a free roundtrip ticket for those who ride on their birthday. The deal, valid May 1st through the end of April next year, is in celebration of Catalina Express' 30th Anniversary and can save travelers up to around $70.
But before you head on over to the docks, there are a number of things you'll have to do and need to know. Most importantly, birthday goers need to plan ahead and pre-register online to receive a birthday pass with a unique promotion code. Then a reservation has to be made, which involves giving credit card information, which the company says is "standard reservation policy" that is necessary to secure a reservation, which is subject to availability (the sooner you book, the better). If you cancel, you must do so by 6:00pm the day before your departure date or you will be charged, hence them asking for a credit card in the first place.
Birthday guests must travel out on their birthday, but can spend the weekend--actually, up to 30 days if they really want--before using their return ticket. The deal is good for all mainland ports--San Pedro, downtown Long Beach and Dana Point--and the two island ports at Avalon and Two Harbors. Get all your questions answered at their FAQ page.