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Celebrity transfer from San Diego to Ensenada


elena7seas

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I am looking at booking the Century for the November 1st cruise from Ensenada to Hawaii.

 

I understand that there is a bus transfer included in the cost of the cruise fare. The busses pick up at San Diego airport and take you to the ship in Ensenada.

 

Has anyone ever taken this transfer? What does the boarding process at the airport look like...is it controlled and orderly, or is it chaotic?

 

Apparently the bus transfers start at 12:00 noon, and continue until 4:00 pm. Are you given a reservation for a specific time?

 

Approximately how long does it take to get to Ensenada from San Diego on one of these transfers?

 

Where do you do your "check in"?

 

If you are on one of the first buses out of San Diego, will the ship be waiting for you in Ensenada, and can you board right away?

 

If you can't board right away, where do you wait for the ship and what amenities does the waiting area have?

 

I have called Celebrity at 4 different times and received 4 entirely different answers :rolleyes:.

 

I have also looked on the Roll Call for this cruise, but was hoping to get more information.

 

Thanks to anyone who has any information about this transfer process.

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I am looking at booking the Century for the November 1st cruise from Ensenada to Hawaii.

 

I understand that there is a bus transfer included in the cost of the cruise fare. The busses pick up at San Diego airport and take you to the ship in Ensenada.

 

Has anyone ever taken this transfer? What does the boarding process at the airport look like...is it controlled and orderly, or is it chaotic?

Sorry I can't tell you about the Celebrity transfer as we did it on Carnival. I am delighted to learn that the bus transfer is now included in the cost of Celebrity's cruise fare because in the past we were told that Celebrity charged extra for it. (It was included in the cruise fare on Carnival.)

 

 

Apparently the bus transfers start at 12:00 noon, and continue until 4:00 pm. Are you given a reservation for a specific time?

 

Approximately how long does it take to get to Ensenada from San Diego on one of these transfers?

 

Where do you do your "check in"?

 

If you are on one of the first buses out of San Diego, will the ship be waiting for you in Ensenada, and can you board right away?

 

If you can't board right away, where do you wait for the ship and what amenities does the waiting area have? I have called Celebrity at 4 different times and received 4 entirely different answers :rolleyes:.

 

I have also looked on the Roll Call for this cruise, but was hoping to get more information.

 

Thanks to anyone who has any information about this transfer process.

Please bear in mind that my answers here apply only to our Carnival transfer, but I expect that Celebrity's procedure would be similar:

 

We checked in for our cruise at the San Diego pier, dropped off our big suitcases and received our cabin key cards there. They also gave us a card with a group number for a bus and gave us an estimate of the time that our group would be called.

 

The assignment of the bus numbers seemed to be pretty much in "first come" order, except for those who had priority (high suite passengers and those in the top tier of their loyalty program).

 

They called the groups in order for boarding the buses. While waiting, passengers could take a free shuttle provided to nearby Seaport Village, a pleasant tourist area along the waterfront that has restaurants and shops.

 

The cruise terminal itself looks like an enormous, drab warehouse with only uncomfortable chairs to sit on while you wait for your group to be called. There were no food concessions there, only a few vending machines.

 

(Now I am only guessing here, but based on my previous experience with Celebrity, I would expect that Celebrity would at least provide the usual cold beverages and towels that they give their passengers at other ports and would not be at all surprised if they gave you some snacks as well.)

 

If you didn't want to go to Seaport Village, you could leave the terminal and stroll along the waterside. There are some nearby restaurants outside the terminal and a drugstore a few blocks away.

 

They did not start running the buses until after the ship left San Diego. The idea was for the ship to get down to Ensenada ahead of the passengers because they didn't want us to arrive there first and then need to sit around there waiting for the ship to arrive. In other words, it was better to have us do the waiting in San Diego than in Ensenada.

 

The bus ride itself took about 2 hours, which includes the border stop. They used comfortable tour buses. I understand that the time of the border crossing stop can vary. Ours was about 10 minutes. We were not required to get off the bus and nobody checked our passports. The driver took care of all the paperwork for the border crossing as we had already had our passports checked in San Diego. (But we understand that the procedure can vary from one trip to another.)

 

By the time we got to Ensenada, the ship was already there waiting for us and we were able to board immediately. Since everyone was already checked in, the boarding process went quickly and smoothly. We only needed to pass through security there. (Fast and painless, metal detector for passengers and x-ray machine for hand luggage. We didn't see them opening any bags at all.) Then we were able to board the ship (orderly line), ding cards and go right to our cabins. When we opened our cabin door, we were pleased to see that our checked luggage was already in the cabin waiting for us.

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my only cruise from Esenada on Celebrity in 2006 included transfers from the Airport.We then went by bus to a building in the USA to check in with Celebrity and from there crossed the boarder to the ship where we waited in line to board

.......................Frank:)

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We went in 2006 also, for a repositioning cruise to Alaska.

I recall a lot of waiting: waiting on a bus to leave the airport, and some confusion about where to get the bus; they did give water and granola bars.

The ride to Ensenada was maybe an hour or so, memory is foggy.

Then after waiting to check in for cruise at a hotel, where there was some food available, we went to the pier and had to wait on the bus again before boarding.

Of course, things may have changed since 5 years ago.

The cruise was wonderful and we forgot about the waiting once we were on board.

We've taken another X cruise since, and have one coming up this August.

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Where did you hear the bus transfer was included in the cost of the cruise?

 

Hi Gonzo....from that-most-reliable-of-all-possible-sources, Celebrity customer service ;).

 

I have called in 4 different times, and although I received different replies to do with a variety of details, the customer service reps all said that the cost of the transfer was included in the fare. Two of them said to me that the cost itself was $23.75 per person, but that it was included in the cruise cost....I said, "no extra charge then, for the transfer" and they said, "no, it's included". I did ask if there was anything they could send me on paper, but they said no. The information was on their internal system, but they couldn't email it to me.

 

Of course, my best source for information is usually on these boards, which is why I posted my questions.

 

From the replies, it seems that these cruises out of Ensenada don't happen all that often, so I guess it's possible that no one really knows what the protocol will be in November. Perhaps Celebrity will provide more details as the date nears.

 

Thanks so much to everyone that replied. :)

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I wouldn't count on the transfers being included unless you have a hotel and/or airfare booked with the cruise line. I was originally booked on one of the Hawaii cruises, but changed to a Holy Land cruise and I think I had heard transfers from Ensenada to SAN were available for about $90 a person (we were not booking air or a hotel with the cruise line). I am not positive they are charging for the transfers, but don't want you to get your hopes up too high and then get hit with a large fee.

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  • 1 month later...

Hello,

 

Did you get more informations about the transfer of San Diego to Ensenada and the boarding process.

 

I wish to book the same cruise as you and I get confusing information from Celebrity Cruises.

 

My Celebrity Cruise's representative confirms to me that the Check-in is in Ensenada, but I can buy a transfer for 24.00$ CDN (San Diego airport to Ensedana Cruise terminal), or buy a hotel package that includes the transfer Ensenada.

 

Let me know if you have more information.

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On 2013 Solstice cruise from Hawaii to Encenada there is a $90. PP charge from Encenada to San Diego.

I'd double check if they said it was included. Do you have air and hotel booked with them?

If customer service would not put it in writing then I would have difficulty believing it.

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Hi everyone, My husband and I are booked on the Nov 1 cruise from Ensenada to Hawaii. I also had lots of challenges in getting the correct info on transfers. In the end, we did get free transfers from the San Diego airport to Ensenada. We did not want a hotel package since we live in Southern California. For all the info see posts 82 and 84 that I wrote on our cruise roll call. Basically, if you booked thru a TA, have the TA call Celebrity and have them ask for the "Complimentary pickup point transfer." If you booked directly with Celebrity, call Kandi in their Resolution Department at 800-280-3423. I gave this info to Ken on our roll call, and he and his group were also able to get the free transfers. Hope this helps. You don't have to pay or book a hotel package!! We are just taking the train from Anaheim to San Diego. Then will grab a taxi to Terminal 2 where the Celebrity rep will be waiting. I have looked at "My Reservation" on Celebrity's web site, and can verify the transfer even though we never got anything in writing.

Gail

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Hi everyone, My husband and I are booked on the Nov 1 cruise from Ensenada to Hawaii. I also had lots of challenges in getting the correct info on transfers. In the end, we did get free transfers from the San Diego airport to Ensenada. We did not want a hotel package since we live in Southern California. For all the info see posts 82 and 84 that I wrote on our cruise roll call. Basically, if you booked thru a TA, have the TA call Celebrity and have them ask for the "Complimentary pickup point transfer." If you booked directly with Celebrity, call Kandi in their Resolution Department at 800-280-3423. I gave this info to Ken on our roll call, and he and his group were also able to get the free transfers. Hope this helps. You don't have to pay or book a hotel package!! We are just taking the train from Anaheim to San Diego. Then will grab a taxi to Terminal 2 where the Celebrity rep will be waiting. I have looked at "My Reservation" on Celebrity's web site, and can verify the transfer even though we never got anything in writing.

Gail

Thanks so much for posting this information.

It is still puzzling though because if their free transfers are available to everyone, there should be no need to call to request them separately.

 

When we did the 12 night cruise on the Carnival Spirit, they handed out bus transfers to everyone checking in for the cruise, regardless of how they got there. We never had to call anyone to request them in advance.

We had arranged our own independent transportation to get to San Diego so the transfers were definitely not part of any package.

 

I should think that any cruise line would want all passengers to use their transfers on that particular trip, considering that our buses traveled inside Mexico in a convoy with police escorts in front of us and behind us.

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Hi everyone, My husband and I are booked on the Nov 1 cruise from Ensenada to Hawaii. I also had lots of challenges in getting the correct info on transfers. In the end, we did get free transfers from the San Diego airport to Ensenada. We did not want a hotel package since we live in Southern California. For all the info see posts 82 and 84 that I wrote on our cruise roll call. Basically, if you booked thru a TA, have the TA call Celebrity and have them ask for the "Complimentary pickup point transfer." If you booked directly with Celebrity, call Kandi in their Resolution Department at 800-280-3423. I gave this info to Ken on our roll call, and he and his group were also able to get the free transfers. Hope this helps. You don't have to pay or book a hotel package!! We are just taking the train from Anaheim to San Diego. Then will grab a taxi to Terminal 2 where the Celebrity rep will be waiting. I have looked at "My Reservation" on Celebrity's web site, and can verify the transfer even though we never got anything in writing.

Gail

 

I wonder if this will be the same for the 2013 Honolulu to Ensenada?

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On 2013 Solstice cruise from Hawaii to Encenada there is a $90. PP charge from Encenada to San Diego.

 

 

That is just.... not.... right. If other cruise lines can include this transport in their fares, why can't Celebrity? More importantly, it's not like you have a lot of options in Ensenada.... there isn't an airport, few (if any) car rentals, and there's no way you could take a taxi through the busiest border crossing in the world. :eek:

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At the end of a cruise from Hawaii to Ensenada on the Infinity in 2003, we had to be up at 5am, and off the ship by 7am, the crack of dawn - literally.

 

There was a bumpy bus ride (Ensenada was not a pretty place in 2003), we were dropped at the border crossing, stood in line for almost 2 hours in the rain, walk across the bprder, then another 1/4 mile walk to the bus.

 

So, we get to San Diego, and what is one of the first things we see? The Infinity at the pier. I don't think I was ever so infuriated in my life

 

Now, I know my judgement is colored by the usual end-of-cruise depression, and the trip is in the opposite direction that you are taking, but, for your sake, I hope that they are not still making passengers walk across the border. The first few buses actually had people, some quite elderly, drag their luggage with them.

 

Some cruises make what are called 'Service Stops' in Ensenada on the way back, and this is much more preferable, but, I will never do the Ensenada Shuffle again

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Hi,

 

It's Ken.....the Nov 1 trip is free transfers. We had been billed $90 pp for our group of 8. As soon as I saw the post....voila' we were all free. So yes , they do charge....but the trick is....keep your eyes open....check the boards daily....and reward yourself with the savings....

 

Just last week....our cruise dived in price over a 2 day period. Our friends in a $1949 pp CC1 room changed to a CC GTY room for $849 pp and wound up 2 rooms away from the original. Not too shabby eh? Saved $2200 bucks....and this is a 10 day cruise!!!!!!

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That is just.... not.... right. If other cruise lines can include this transport in their fares, why can't Celebrity? More importantly, it's not like you have a lot of options in Ensenada.... there isn't an airport, few (if any) car rentals, and there's no way you could take a taxi through the busiest border crossing in the world. :eek:

 

I agree and hope that when our time to cruise (April 25, 2013) arrives, things will have changed!

 

Garry

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It's Ken.....the Nov 1 trip is free transfers. We had been billed $90 pp for our group of 8. As soon as I saw the post....voila' we were all free. So yes , they do charge....but the trick is....keep your eyes open....check the boards daily....and reward yourself with the savings....

 

I do not understand. Did you call Celebrity citing this CruiseCritic posting and get refunded the $90pp that you had previously paid? We are on the return trip in March 2012 and wonder how to get the free transfers.

 

Thanks.

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Hi,

 

It's Ken.....the Nov 1 trip is free transfers. We had been billed $90 pp for our group of 8. As soon as I saw the post....voila' we were all free. So yes , they do charge....but the trick is....keep your eyes open....check the boards daily....and reward yourself with the savings.......

Congrats on the savings. Ken, if you are planning to arrive in San Diego a day before the cruise, I would recommend staying at the Holiday Inn right across the street from the pier and asking for a late check out.

 

That way you can stroll over to the pier the day of the cruise at your own convenience, pick up your seapass cards and bus tickets, and then relax in comfort back at the hotel until close to the time for your bus to depart.

(It is also an easy way to take photos of your ship when it first arrives in the morning and again later when it leaves without you.)

 

It sure beats hanging around waiting in that dreary cruise terminal or trying to walk around town or go to Seaport Village with your carry-on luggage. There was a place in the terminal where you could leave your hand luggage while waiting for your bus, but it didn't look very secure to us. Maybe they will have a better system by the time you go.

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I just officially booked this cruise yesterday. In researching all the pricing over the previous week I too received conflicting information directly from the Celebrity Reps. I ended up using a travel agent for the booking and she called Celebrity and got to the bottom of the transfer issue. The free transfer (as of yesterday) is from the San Diego Airport only. Not the pier or from LAX. There is a transfer from LAX, but that one is $23.75 per person. We are confirmed on the 4pm bus out of San Diego.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 3 months later...

We're on the 10/22 Millennium cruise from Ensenada to Hawaii.

Just off the phone this morning with Celebrity Captain's Club representative concerning travel from San Diego to Ensenada. Will be arriving in San Diego on Amtrak. I was told the transfer was $24.75 per person and that it was not included in the cruise price. Buses will be leaving from the San Diego airport, terminal 2, American airlines baggage claim, area starting at noon. Hope this helps. Last week I spoke with two different Celebrity cruise sales representatives regarding the transfer issue and received conflicting information. One rep said the transfer was $99.00 each, the other said it was complimentary. The Captain's Club rep said her info was correct!!

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We're on the 10/22 Millennium cruise from Ensenada to Hawaii.

Just off the phone this morning with Celebrity Captain's Club representative concerning travel from San Diego to Ensenada. Will be arriving in San Diego on Amtrak. I was told the transfer was $24.75 per person and that it was not included in the cruise price. Buses will be leaving from the San Diego airport, terminal 2, American airlines baggage claim, area starting at noon. Hope this helps. Last week I spoke with two different Celebrity cruise sales representatives regarding the transfer issue and received conflicting information. One rep said the transfer was $99.00 each, the other said it was complimentary. The Captain's Club rep said her info was correct!!

 

Jimbob.....This is an old thread you have posted to...but...we are on the same cruise in Oct...Have you joined our RollCall ?...we have a very active Roll Call going, so come on over if you haven't already !!... I have received confirmation, from both my TA and Celebrity, that the transfer to Ensenada is "no cost"....

 

Woody

 

Here is the link to our Roll Call:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1413485&referrerid=422315

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This may be an older thread, but there is recent bad news for travelers returning North from Mexico. They try to downplay the delays in this article, but most people here in San Diego expect bigger problems during the construction.

 

January 27, 2012: Nation’s Busiest Border Crossing To Close 8 Lanes Monday

 

" The number of northbound lanes at the nation's busiest border crossing will be significantly reduced starting next week. The closure is part of ongoing construction at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. Starting Monday, eight of the 24 lanes will be closed for drivers heading into the U.S. from Mexico....We'll be closing lanes 17 to 24 , possibly until the early fall. At that time we'll be rebuilding those eight lanes with stacked booths" said Preciado. The construction is all part of a $557 million expansion project designed to reduce border wait times from two hours to about 30 minutes. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2014. "

 

http://www.kpbs.org/news/2012/jan/27/nations-busiest-border-crossing-close-8-lanes-mond/

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  • 8 months later...

Just got off the phone with Celebrity. The transfer is still "free" We are headed to Ensenada, Mexico from San Diego Airport in May 2013. We almost didn"t travel there as I heard conflicting reports on safety. Going there via Celebrity makes our group feel much better. Hopefully the roads to and from Ensenada are completed :)

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