Jump to content

Sailing out of Ensenada


JerseyShore

Recommended Posts

We are on that cruise with you. I had many of the same concerns. We are hearing that there will not be a Celebrity representative on board. I decided that it should be fairly safe because there will be so many people and buses. Some people on earlier cruises had problems, but I am hearing that Celebrity has worked to fix those problems. I think we are all in a wait and see mode right now, but I think it will be okay.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We did that last year. No issues for our bus, though some did have some issues with the drive, mainly a backup at the border. Make sure you grab a seat on the right side of the bus. The view of the coastline is spectacular! It was a great cruise and, for us, the trip down (bus 11) was fine.

 

Enjoy your cruise!

 

Bruce

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Haven´t done this cruise before but I remember a lot of reviews how bad this trip was regarding journey and arrival time to Ensenada.

Be prepared that it might be exhausting, but once you made it, you will have a wonderful cruise. Better than sailing to Ensenada.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have done it twice with no problem at all.

We had about a 10 - 15 minute stop at the border each time and did not even need to get off the bus there, although some of us chose to do so to stretch our legs.

 

The worst part for us was the long wait in the drab warehouse that serves as the cruise terminal in San Diego before boarding the buses.

 

But we did hear stories of some who were on a bus where the bus driver got lost and it took them much longer than necessary to get down to Ensenada. That was a few years ago.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

Was on the same sailing as "flyingv4me" last year. Also had no problems on our bus...and although we were prepared for a possible "bad" experience, after reading some past reviews on here, it turned out to be stress-free.

No Celebrity personnel on-board the bus...Border stop was a bit slow, as stated, because of the bus back-up/log jam...but only took minutes for Border Personnel to do their thing, and then we were on our way, with the sunset views to enjoy.

 

After we received our Bus Number, and time of departure, we enjoyed a leisurely walk to Seaport Village for a beverage or two...Celebrity did provide snacks and beverages in the terminal as well.

 

Just go with the attitude, that you then have 5 wonderful sea days to enjoy/relax/de-stress and everything should be just fine !!

 

Enjoy !

 

Woody

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those of you who have made this trip, what time did the last bus get to Ensenada? What time did you have muster? Did you have a sail-away get-together, since the ship does not leave til midnight? Was dinner served at the normal times? These are all questions that are coming up that no one seems to have an answer to.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were on the Solstice trip north this spring from Ensenada. We were AQ and our blue cards got us on one of the earlier busses from San Diego. Got to Ensenada in about 2 hours - only short delay coming south across the border. Had a longer than expected delay pulling into the Ensenada cruise port - they were putting people through metal detectors and had only two or three. Each bus of 50 or so took maybe 10 minutes to clear - we were four busses back.

 

Got on board around 4:45 PM while muster drill was going on. Nobody told us anything about where to go or what to do so we just wandered until the drill was over. A couple of staff said there would be another drill the next day but that never occured. Result was that we never actually went to a muster drill. (Since this was our 15th cruise it didn't bother us but I could see where some might be concerned.)

 

Busses were still arriving after 8:00 PM. I'm not aware that dinner was held or that any special dining arrangements were made.

 

As others have mentioned, just accept the fact that Celebrity will get you there sooner or later and the boat won't leave without you (It won't!). Don't expect much more beyond that and everything will turn out OK.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last fall the first bus got to the ship in Ensenada about 5. The last was about 11-driver got lost and a long wait at the border with multiple busses. But the ship does not leave until near midnight.

 

However, that made for very late meals/food grabbed at the buffet on arrival (they kept more food out than usual). However, there were some small sandwiches at San Diego provided by Celebrity about 1pm and those with later bus numbers could leave their luggage at the terminal and get food at nearby spots-you are given a ticket at check-in with a bus number and departure time. Many chose to do this. Muster was at about 9.

 

It is a very long day for sure and many people continued to complain for DAYS about getting to Ensenada. They let it affect their pleasure in the cruise in general. A few were still complaining at disembarkation 11 days later......

 

Go with it as much as possible and then "let it go" after getting to the ship. Enjoy the wonderful 5 days of sailing and the wonderful Hawaiian experiences to come.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Mexican Govt. has built a new border crossing going into Mexico. This crossing

is state of the art. Cameras, computers etc. However, the US has not built there side so

when you get to the end of I 5 south you make a 90 degree turn to the right. Go along

the border for about 1/4 mile then swing left. As you leave the border you will cross the

river and travel along the border until you get to Playas Tijuana then head south thru

the first toll booth then about 10 more miles you will come to Rosarito Beach, another

toll booth and then south along the coast until Ensenada and another toll booth. Then

to the cruise terminal. I live 8 miles s. of Rosarito so drive this highway about 4 times

a week. Ensenada is less then 1 hour from Rosarito.

 

I still do not know why Celebrity leaves from Ensenada. Princess leaves from LA then

stops in Ensenada on the way to Hawaii and coming back goes to LA direct.

 

Greg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did this cruise last year. There is no celebrity rep on the bus.

Our Mexican driver (who didn't speak a word of English) got lost too but only for 10 minutes. We went around the block 4 times as he kept missing the turn onto I-5 to the border. Perhaps the driver didn't read English either as there were big signs. We laugh at the memory now.

The wait at the border was close to two hours for us. We didn't make it to the ship til 9pm or later. There are wonderful ocean views along the way if you are lucky enough to do it in the daytime.....we were not. The wait at the border was because they put all the buses coming from the pier in one line. Why they put 40 buses in one line I don't know. We had a drug dog board our bus and walk up and down the aisle and also put the dog in the baggage compartment under the bus to check our luggage for drugs.

The transfer is not too bad. What is bad is the wait at the San Diego pier waiting for the buses. This year we are going to go to seaport village to pass the time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

.....I still do not know why Celebrity leaves from Ensenada. Princess leaves from LA then

stops in Ensenada on the way to Hawaii and coming back goes to LA direct.

The Celebrity cruise being discussed here is a one-way cruise.

The Princess cruises that make a brief stop at Ensenada are round-trip cruises that start and end at the same location.

 

The brief explanation is that the PVSA (Passenger Vessel Services Act) imposes different legal restrictions for one-way cruises and round-trip cruises.

 

The differences have been discussed in detail many times on these boards, including explanations of the differences between nearby foreign ports and distant foreign ports.

But if you really care about the details, here is a link to a full explanation of

 

The Passenger Vessel Services Act

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those of you who have made this trip, what time did the last bus get to Ensenada? What time did you have muster? Did you have a sail-away get-together, since the ship does not leave til midnight? Was dinner served at the normal times? These are all questions that are coming up that no one seems to have an answer to.

 

Hi,

 

I think most of your questions were answered above...as stated, the last bus arrived somewhere near 11pm...but don't worry, the ship is NOT going to leave until every bus arrives ! Dinner was served in the MDR on a come-when-you-like/sit-where-you-like format, open from 530pm up until 930pm, which is when the Muster drill was held. (the Muster was originally scheduled for 745pm, but re-scheduled because of the number of late arriving buses)

 

Not sure if anyone from our Roll Call met for a sail-away. I do know we were on our aft/stern balconies enjoying the departure and watching the seals in the water !!:D

 

Any other questions...ask away !!

 

Enjoy

 

Woody

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This last May, we left San Diego a little after 3, arrived just as the horns were blowing signaling the end of the muster drill. A replacement muster drill was held the next evening, between dinner settings, but they did not do a good job at ensuring all passengers made the second drill who had missed the first one.

 

We did not have a bad trip, although a few of the busses were downright scary from what we heard.

 

For dinner, they did open seating throughout the dining room, a section at a time as passengers appeared for dinner based on when they arrived. They started seating people in the MDR about 6 and continued until about 9. They did keep extra food in the buffet and had room service available as expected.

 

One issue we experienced was that Mexico refused to allow supplies and crew into or off the ship, so hopefully that will all be taken care of the day before while the ship is in the US. Apparently that was a bit of a surprise to Celebrity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the info. One last question. Is your luggage taken from you at the pier in San Diego or is it placed on the bus with you?

 

Taken at the pier in SD and goes by truck to Ensenada...so keep any meds etc that you might need with you, and your carry-on

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Luggage checked in at the pier in SD went in separate large trucks to the ship. As we arrived at the Millie, there were several being unloaded onto the pier in Ensenada with dogs and agents checking them before putting them on the ship. This went on for several hours until all was loaded.

 

We were allowed to keep our carry ons, if we wished, which were stored below us on each bus. That area was then sealed and inspected at the border crossing by the Mexican authorities. We heard that some buses waited in the one very long line assigned to buses for over an hour-ours was about 10 min total plus carry on luggage inspection and paperwork/questions from officials who boarded the bus.

 

rwr235 has described the MDR dinner service well and we heard that MDR service ended when the muster began. I believe the buffet was kept open later with more food than usual for the later arriving passengers.

 

It did surprise us that so many passengers had done no reading/understanding of the trip itinerary and claimed to have no idea they were getting on the ship in Ensenada rather than in SD. Emails had come out (tho on the actual day they were often tardy) and cruise documents gave info on transfers to Ensenada from SD. Yes, sometimes the emails from Celebrity can be confusing, but then call and ask for clarification if you are not sure. If you have conflicting info from the cruise line or don't understand why you report to SD but the itinerary says Ensenada, Mexico, then ask!!

 

I am grateful for CC and all the info I have gleaned here in the last few years...we were prepared for the long day and all the waiting, and then really enjoyed a spectacular Hawaiian experience!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

.....We heard that some buses waited in the one very long line assigned to buses for over an hour-ours was about 10 min total plus carry on luggage inspection and paperwork/questions from officials who boarded the bus.
It is interesting how the procedure appears to vary from one trip to another.

 

No officials questioned us at the boarder stop or inspected our carry-on luggage. They opened the cargo hold below the bus but did not pull the luggage out and quickly closed it again and sealed it with tape.

 

We had our passports ready to show at the border, but nobody asked to see them.

 

On our previous trip to Ensenada, we had been asked to hold up our passports open to the photo page and an official walked down the aisle of the bus and glanced at them. But last time they didn't even do that.

 

At the border the bus driver got off the bus and went inside the building for a while, so we figured he had whatever documents were required and took care of the necessary processing.

Or maybe he went in to have a beer and chat with his friends. We really do not know what he did in there. ;)

 

They kept us waiting there until they had assembled us into a convoy of about 6 buses and then we proceeded down to Ensenada accompanied by armed escort vehicles with flashing lights in front and in back.

I don't know if they were police or military, but we never felt that we were in danger at any time.

 

 

The checked luggage that came down in trucks was unloaded onto the pier, as DiamondDiva described. It sat there all lined up out in the open for a quite a while before they started loading it on the ship, so I was glad that it was not pouring rain that day.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will be on this cruise as well. Will we be processed and receive our sea pass cards at the San Diego pier? What time do you suggest we arrive there? Approximately how long would the wait be from the time we arrive at the pier until the buses leave? Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for all the great information. This will be our first time sailing out of Ensenada, and it looks like it will be quite an adventure!

 

I have a couple of questions that perhaps some of you here can answer.

 

1. Our docs state that we are to show up at Pier B at 1:00PM. Realistically, can we come earlier and get checked in earlier? Would there be an advantage to arriving around 11:30 or 12?

 

2. Do Elite guests get any kind of priority check-in and perhaps an earlier timed bus pass?

__________________

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for all the great information. This will be our first time sailing out of Ensenada, and it looks like it will be quite an adventure!

 

I have a couple of questions that perhaps some of you here can answer.

 

1. Our docs state that we are to show up at Pier B at 1:00PM. Realistically, can we come earlier and get checked in earlier? Would there be an advantage to arriving around 11:30 or 12?

 

2. Do Elite guests get any kind of priority check-in and perhaps an earlier timed bus pass?

__________________

 

 

Hi,

 

Yes and Yes...(I think):D

 

Honestly, I'm not sure how the bus assignments were made, but I think Elite, Suites and Concierge, and perhaps Aqua got earlier buses. We were Select and in a Concierge Cabin when we took this trip (we arrived around 1230-1300) and were assigned Bus #7; 2 friends travelling with us were also Select and Concierge, checked in at the same time as us, at the desk next to us, and were assigned Bus #8; A third couple travelling with us were neither Select (guess they would be the new Preview Level:D), and were in a regular balcony cabin, checked in at the same time, at the desk on the other side of us, and were assigned Bus #41.

 

In the end, I ended up giving the Bus#7 passes to another couple who were upset that they were assigned bus #35 or higher (don't remember their exact number, but it was high), and got new bus passes so all 6 of our party could ride together...on Bus #42 :confused:!!...

 

(and if that couple I gave the passes to by chance reads this...No Thanks for the drinks you promised me in return !!:mad::D

 

Woody

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We sailed from Ensenada this spring. We arrived at the check-in tent via a Celebrity bus from the airport at the check in about 12:30. Check in was supposed to begin at 1, but since so many had come early check in began about the time we arrived. We were concierge class and waited about 30 minutes to check in, we waited about another 15 minutes (just enough time to grab our lunch and a quick bathroom break) and we were assigned bus #13. The trip was uneventful, the border crossing was easy, and the border guards did not even board the bus, although we certainly did have our passports, just in case. The trip took about two hours total, and we waited maybe five minutes to get off the bus in order for the bus in front to clear away. We boarded, were given our ubiquitous champagne glass, and we never looked back.

 

While the system seemed to be kind of organized chaos (there were 2,800 people travelling north in the AM and 2,800 travelling south in the PM) it really did work as well as could be expected. I was also nervous after reading the CC boards, but decided to go with a good attitude, and found the whole process to be easy and not particularly tiring.

 

The emergency drill was provided on monitors in various venues throughout the ship (you reported to your muster station for the film). The film is also available on your in-room tv in several languages, so if you have concerns you can only blame yourself if you don't get trained.

 

Some people complained mightily the entire cruise and posted scathing reviews afterwards saying it ruined their entire vacation. What a shame, when just a little patience and "attitude adjustment" could have made things so much easier for them. Recognize that X uses Mexican busses/drivers - the bus we were on was pretty clean and had no problems - check out the bus you get on, if you're not satisfied just let someone else on and take the next bus, the transport numbers were flexible enough to allow that. We did hear one bus broke down and they had to send a replacement, but that could happen anywhere. There were complaints about the waiting - those in concierge and above paid for priority boarding in their additional fare and were given that "perk." Don't expect it if you didn't pay for it - don't come 2 or 3 hours before your scheduled check in and expect to be given priority, there are too many people to do that. There were complaints about how bad the sandwiches were and that some people took more than one so they ran out toward the end of boarding - if you're worried take a snack or have a meal at the pier (not an option the day we arrived - it was pouring rain).

 

My point is, I stressed about it a lot before the cruise too, and unnecessarily so. Just recognizing you're on vacation and you will not be left behind should make the trip more enjoyable.

 

And, as someone posted earlier, it really is a beautiful drive, on a good highway which runs near the ocean. Remember, seat yourself starboard to enjoy the trip - you need to get your bearings before your board.:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, the bus number you get does depend on your Captain's Club status and whether you are in a suite or AQ class and perhaps concierge class cabins. Then it also depends on when you check in. The earlier the better. Our friends had a very early morning flight and were in a suite so they were on the first bus or the second. They had no status with CC. We arrived at the terminal later and are at the top level in CC, but were on bus number 10 or something like that. We got to the ship in time for dinner around 6 or 6:30 pm.

 

BTW, we were given a bottled water and some small snack for the bus ride that we didn't bother to eat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Welcome to Cruise Critic
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Cruise Critic News & Features
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...