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Review: Paradise Feb 28 - Mar 4, 2011 - Long Beach, Catalina Island, Ensenada


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I thought the Imagination got rid of the blue water slide and added a water works area in the back. Looking at your pictures, I was wrong! I would totally do the zip lining in Catalina. Looks like a lot of fun! Thanks for your review and have fun on the Freedom!

 

Pics and this cruise review are from the Paradise which has not recvd the waterworks makeover. They are swapping ships but tye other ship isn't here yet.

 

WHOOPS! :o I meant the Paradise. I promise I HAVE been paying attention. ;)

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Great review and pictures Sheryl! We were on that sailing also. We've been to Ensenada 8 times now, and the port seems to improve a little each time.

 

I have pictures of the suite cabins from my Ship tour a couple of years ago, the link is below. We ended up pushing our bed all the way against the wall in our ov cabin, and just climbed in from one side.

 

I thought the food was actually a bit better this trip for us, the lobster was really good, the only complaint we had was, our waiter would not bring my husband the lobster and prime rib together, we were all finished when he finally got his prime rib. Also noticed the drinks weaker in all the bars.

 

Oh yea, and boarding was one of the slowest I've ever seen, still don't know why. Maybe all the seeing eye dogs?

 

Still a great little get away! :)

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Can you walk to the shopping area from the ship?

 

Yes. It is only about a 15-20 minute walk (1 mile) to the center of the main tourist street. When you leave the pier area, make a left. Then at the street light, cross the street, walk 1 block and then make a left.

 

Also if you do the ensenada cruise again there is the "wine country tour" which takes you to 2 working wineries, one huge commercial one(L.A. Cetto) & a tiny family owned & operated one("la casa dona lupe") im not big in booking through the ship either but i took this tour 3 times now & just cant get enough of the friendly people & beautiful wine country in what everybody calls a "dump" of a port! Im proabaly one of the few that loves ensenada!

 

I agree. Ensenada is a great little port. We did the winery tour a few years ago, and thought it was one of the better ship tours.

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HELLO fellow feb 28th cruisers! my mother & I were on the same cruise as you & also had a porthole room (R7) & it was HUGE sry no pic yet very long room & a huge ledge me & another person can stretch out in the cove/ledge thing! I was a nerd at work & had time to do some research on the "secret" bigger rooms & as soon as i saw it i booked it! Also if you do the ensenada cruise again there is the "wine country tour" which takes you to 2 working wineries, one huge commercial one(L.A. Cetto) & a tiny family owned & operated one("la casa dona lupe") im not big in booking through the ship either but i took this tour 3 times now & just cant get enough of the friendly people & beautiful wine country in what everybody calls a "dump" of a port! Im proabaly one of the few that loves ensenada! anyhow sorry for being longwinded AWESOME AWESOME review! & DUH me I almost forgot the highlight of my trip also was the 100's of dolphins passing by our lil tourboat I was amazed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ive been to ANTIGUA beautiful limestone island! best tour $moneywise & less crowdedwise "IN MY OPINION" hiring a taxi & he can take you everywere like he did for us, he even took us to the "DEVILS BRIDGE" & waited for us to swim at a local beach! the Devils bridge is like the blowhole but 1000 times better! hope I helped lol! sry no tortola info either :(

 

I wondered if some of those PT rooms were bigger or if it was just the way the curve of the ship made them look. Now that I know you can move the bed away from the footlocker, I would sail in a PT again. I loved our balcony but if going PT meant sailing vs. not being able to, I'd go PT in a heartbeat.

 

Thanks for the info on Antigua. I'm researching the ports now and am torn between a catamaran sailing/snorkeling day and a tour of the island. It's a long port day for us, so if I cut both to half day excursions, I may be able to figure out how to do both. :)

 

~ Sheryl

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Great review and pictures Sheryl! We were on that sailing also. We've been to Ensenada 8 times now, and the port seems to improve a little each time.

 

I have pictures of the suite cabins from my Ship tour a couple of years ago, the link is below. We ended up pushing our bed all the way against the wall in our ov cabin, and just climbed in from one side.

 

I thought the food was actually a bit better this trip for us, the lobster was really good, the only complaint we had was, our waiter would not bring my husband the lobster and prime rib together, we were all finished when he finally got his prime rib. Also noticed the drinks weaker in all the bars.

 

Oh yea, and boarding was one of the slowest I've ever seen, still don't know why. Maybe all the seeing eye dogs?

 

Still a great little get away! :)

 

Hi, Jen!

 

I'll definitely look at your suite pics. We passed up a $400 upgrade to a Grande Suite. I had non-buyers remorse but by the time we called back, it was gone.

 

I wonder if the entrees were hit and miss. It seemed anything we ordered with pasta or vegetables was really mushy. Not that it kept us from eating it... lol Slightly overdone food will always be better than cooking for myself any day. :p

 

So the long boarding process wasn't normal for this cruise? It was our first time on the Paradise, so we didn't have anything to compare it to.

 

~ Sheryl

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Great review! Glad to hear about the PT cabins. We will be in E1 on the Paradise in three weeks for my Birthday.

 

Stacy,

 

Thanks for the kind words. :) We didn't mind our PT at all. It seemed smaller than our other cabins but I think it was just the layout. But even feeling smaller, there was plenty of room. Have a great birthday cruise!

 

~ Sheryl

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Thank you for taking the time to post your review and for including pics ... I really enjoyed sharing the adventure with you! :)

 

Robin:

 

You are very welcome. :) I spent a few hours in Barnes & Noble today reading travel books to glean info for the next adventure. I think we're going to schedule a snorkel in Turtle Cove.

 

I'll be able to say, "Stingrays and dolphins and turtles! Oh my!" haha

 

~ Sheryl

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Yes. It is only about a 15-20 minute walk (1 mile) to the center of the main tourist street. When you leave the pier area, make a left. Then at the street light, cross the street, walk 1 block and then make a left.

 

 

 

I agree. Ensenada is a great little port. We did the winery tour a few years ago, and thought it was one of the better ship tours.

 

 

We would definitely go back to Ensenada. I'm not sure why some travelers consider it a throw-away port. :confused:

 

~ Sheryl

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I wondered if some of those PT rooms were bigger or if it was just the way the curve of the ship made them look. Now that I know you can move the bed away from the footlocker, I would sail in a PT again. I loved our balcony but if going PT meant sailing vs. not being able to, I'd go PT in a heartbeat.

 

Thanks for the info on Antigua. I'm researching the ports now and am torn between a catamaran sailing/snorkeling day and a tour of the island. It's a long port day for us, so if I cut both to half day excursions, I may be able to figure out how to do both. :)

 

~ Sheryl

 

No problem Sheryl! i felt bad i never said who I was lol! Dimitry here & mom is Eva! any other Ques just ask I'll do my best to answer them from my experiences!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Sheryl....I absolutely LOVED your review and all the pics, I felt like I went on a mini vacation with you! Great job. My hubby and I are leaving on 4-18 for the same trip and I'm so excited - my first cruise, his second. We splurged and went with a balcony cabin, I'm hoping for great weather. We have booked the same excursion on Catalina as you out to see the dolphins. I think also we'll get the golf cart and ride around for an hour, thanks for the info on the cost and cash only. A fantastic review, greatly appreciated. All the best to you and yours.

Debbie

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By the way, one more question, that restaurant you ate at in Ensenada...El Coralita...how far is that from the port? We didn't plan to do too much there, but did want to have some great authentic food close to the port. Thanks again.

 

I was also on that same cruise to get to downtown take a short shuttle most people do for a couple bucks! the walk from the port to downtown is kinda long! Checkout the wine country if you like wine the countryside is absolutly amazing! As for that specific place to eat but there are some great lil authentic places! & for "the original margarita" (1st place it was made they claim it was made is" housongs cantina) its a must for a tasty but deadly stong(just kidding) but it is a strong & smooth margarita!

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Let's start with the good stuff. The really good stuff. The "when it's warm" best place on the ship stuff.

 

 

Ahhhh.... the Serenity Deck :D

 

I love my children. Truly I do. They're 19 and 22. I loved them when they were small. I love them as adults. But boy do I love the Adults Only serenity of the Serenity Deck.

196066_1889675288501_1440032501_2200799_704254_n.jpg

 

196623_1889246717787_1440032501_2200188_1262458_n.jpg

 

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There two of these. Nice, nice nice...

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Unfortunately, we cruised during an unusually cold weather snap. So there wasn't a lot of sun-soaking but this was still a fantastic place to get away from it all. We're on the Freedom in November and I'm crossing my fingers for warm, sunny sea days!

 

~ Sheryl

 

I think the Fantasy class ships do the Serenity so much better than the Conquest Class. I love that beautiful inlay of woodwork, having two hot tubs right there and 2 rows of loungers (the second row was in the shade on our Inspiration cruise, which was perfect for me). Did they have the piped in soothing, almost classical music? Such a departure from our last sailing on the Glory where they added the Serenity deck in a part of the ship where you heard all of the noise from the main part of the Lido Deck (men's hairy chest contests, etc). It was anything but serene! The hot tubs were around the corner in another area and not easy to get to at all (hey, I want a minimal amount of walking between my deck chair and hot tub!!). I absolutely love the Serenity areas on the Fantasy class ships!!!

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Thank you for the great review! I love the ones with pictures. We just got back from a 14 day to Hawaii with Princess and are having the post cruise sadness of not being on a cruise right now. I have been going thru the site reading reviews for fun and had not really considered doing one of the "smaller" cruises, but your review makes it seem like a nice little cruise. Maybe as a holdover until we impulsivley decide to do another extensive cruise (Long Beach is just a short little drive for us lucky ducks, but I agree that it is not set up very well :(). And I LOVE Catalina!

 

 

Anyways, your pictures were great, your review was entertaining, and you guys are soooo cute!

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I took this cruise June 8, 2009 and i simply loved it..I love people who love it..you did some great things I did not do and look forward to doing..you have a great synopsis of the cruise and so many extra things shared and places...thank you sooooo much..I have friends here who love Socal and lucky friends who live there LOL..yes compared to places like where we are OP..no complaints on chilly and not COLD..LOL..we are still getting our sometimes April snows.

 

the dolphins and winery would definitely be top things i'd love to do..i was helping some folks and had less freedom..but still a wonderful time on that cruise..i can honestly say it saved me.

 

I have a credit to use on Carnival...it might be good to see what i can do with that 200 bucks or so..last minute on this one can be special deal..thanks so much..Sarah.

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By the way, one more question, that restaurant you ate at in Ensenada...El Coralita...how far is that from the port? We didn't plan to do too much there, but did want to have some great authentic food close to the port. Thanks again.

 

If you want authentic tacos, go to Taqueria Lindo. It is next door to Hussongs. It is a little open restaurant that has great food. (We always see crew eating there and has been recommended by some store owners). After having some tacos and beer, I like to walk a few stores down (past Hussong's) to a paleteria (ice cream shop) and get a cream sicle (about $1). Both of these places speak limited english.

 

If you want a sit down restaurant, we like to go to El Charro. It is on Mateo Lopez, across from Papas&Beer. It is known for the rotisserie chicken and the tortilla press in the window. I like to get the chicken mole and the 1/2 chicken.

 

Here is the menu from Taqueria Lindo. Note the prices have gone up about 10 cents since this picture was taken.

 

TaqueriaLinda.jpgTaqueriaLindaMenu.jpg

 

the walk from the port to downtown is kinda long! As for that specific place to eat but there are some great lil authentic places! & for "the original margarita" (1st place it was made they claim it was made is" housongs cantina) its a must for a tasty but deadly stong(just kidding) but it is a strong & smooth margarita!

 

From the ship to the main shopping area of Mateo Lopez is about 1 mile.

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Hi Sheryl....I absolutely LOVED your review and all the pics, I felt like I went on a mini vacation with you! Great job. My hubby and I are leaving on 4-18 for the same trip and I'm so excited - my first cruise, his second. We splurged and went with a balcony cabin, I'm hoping for great weather. We have booked the same excursion on Catalina as you out to see the dolphins. I think also we'll get the golf cart and ride around for an hour, thanks for the info on the cost and cash only. A fantastic review, greatly appreciated. All the best to you and yours.

Debbie

 

Hi, Debbie:

 

If I were going during your sail dates, I'd love a balcony suite! And you are very welcome for the information. I have found an abundance of helpful information on Cruise Critic. We've been able to see and do things that wouldn't have been options if we'd stuck to ship-only excursions.

 

Have a great cruise!

 

~ Sheryl

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By the way, one more question, that restaurant you ate at in Ensenada...El Coralita...how far is that from the port? We didn't plan to do too much there, but did want to have some great authentic food close to the port. Thanks again.

 

We took the shuttle into town. Our driver said they all stop at the same place unless you've arranged to go out to the blow hole. When we exited the shuttle, we asked a local shopkeeper "El Coralita?" and she kindly sent us up about two blocks.

 

~ Sheryl

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I was also on that same cruise to get to downtown take a short shuttle most people do for a couple bucks! the walk from the port to downtown is kinda long! Checkout the wine country if you like wine the countryside is absolutly amazing! As for that specific place to eat but there are some great lil authentic places! & for "the original margarita" (1st place it was made they claim it was made is" housongs cantina) its a must for a tasty but deadly stong(just kidding) but it is a strong & smooth margarita!

 

I don't know if it was the port or just the We're On Cruise vibe but we had some of the best margaritas this trip. :D

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