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Any Info on Cruises to Catalina and Ensenada?


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My daughter lives in LA and over the Christmas holidays we decided to book the Carnival Imagination out of Long Beach for my annual visit to her in the summer.

 

I have found next-to-no information on this itinerary on the Carnival forum or on the California Coastal forum (Ports of Call). While my daughter has been to Catalina a few times, I'd enjoy hearing about what to see and do there. (You might know a "gem" that she has missed.) And, what about Ensenada?

 

We're not taking this cruise particularly for the ports--mostly it's a mother/daughter thing. But, if you know anything about the ship or the ports, I'd love to hear it!

 

Thanks!

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We got married on the Imagination in 2014 and will be on her again in 12 days. We have also cruised this itinerary in the past as it's close to us and always super inexpensive. It's hard to answer your question without knowing what appeals to you. I would suggest you take a winery excursion in Ensenada. It really is the highlight of the cruise for us. There is also a fun "cooking" excursion, it's not really cooking more assembling, but you get a good recipe for chicken tacos, and their margaritas are amazing there.You can do it in conjunction with the blow hole, or with a shopping tour, or just a winery tour. Go on Carnival's page and check out the excursions to get some ideas. FWIW we absolutely hated the snorkeling in Avalon. The water is too cold and you have to wear wet suits, and walk across a horribly rocky beach to get to the water....HATED it!. The glass bottom boat tours and submarine tours are basically the same thing, and not really that great. Shopping is big there, also if you are interested in four wheeling or hiking there are some out of town excursions. As I said....it's hard to answer without knowing what you might be interested in.

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Sadie--Thanks for the info. I did not think to look at "Mexican Riviera" because, technically, Ensenada is not part of the Mexican Riviera.

 

ImaginationCruiseBride--Thanks for the info you provided. My daughter and I are mostly interested in active things to do--swimming, snorkeling, hiking, bicycling, etc. (But she has told me the snorkeling isn't great on Catalina because of all the kelp.) So, if you discover something "outdoorsy" that's fun on your upcoming cruise, I'd love to hear about it.

 

BTW, do you have to tender at Catalina and/or Ensenada?

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Sadie--Thanks for the info. I did not think to look at "Mexican Riviera" because, technically, Ensenada is not part of the Mexican Riviera.

 

ImaginationCruiseBride--Thanks for the info you provided. My daughter and I are mostly interested in active things to do--swimming, snorkeling, hiking, bicycling, etc. (But she has told me the snorkeling isn't great on Catalina because of all the kelp.) So, if you discover something "outdoorsy" that's fun on your upcoming cruise, I'd love to hear about it.

 

BTW, do you have to tender at Catalina and/or Ensenada?

 

Catalina is a tender port, Ensenada they dock.

 

Parasailing is available in Catalina. Horseback riding, ATV's are available in Ensenada.

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You can rent a golf cart in Catalina, that was fun. One of the streets has a 2 story home that was made out of ship wrecks. They have a tour of the casino. There is zip lining. There is shopping. We had a blast. I don't care for Encinada and I stay on the ship.

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Catalina is a tender port. Carnival's now using the old Catalina ferries. They hold 270-399 pax, depending on ferry used. Roll on/off for mobility devices. They even have bathrooms :D

 

There is a zip line both Ensenada and Catalina.

Edited by SadieN
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My daughter and I are mostly interested in active things to do--swimming, snorkeling, hiking, bicycling, etc. (But she has told me the snorkeling isn't great on Catalina because of all the kelp.)

 

BTW, do you have to tender at Catalina and/or Ensenada?

 

You will tender at Catalina, and dock at Ensenada.

 

If you want an active day, I can offer a suggestion that we always do when we are taking others on a cruise to Ensenada:

 

When you get off the ship you can walk to town, or for a small fee (I think $2) you ride to town on a shuttle bus. On your way you will be given information about tours that are available, and can be booked at the terminal where the shuttle lets you off.

 

We get the Zip-Line/ Blow Hole tour, our last time in Ensenada it was $50 each.

 

You are taken by bus to Las Canadas (if you search "Las Canadas en Ensenada" on-line you can find their website) which is a camping resort with attractions. Included in your fee is admittance to the zip-line and bridges attraction which is a very professional operation for active people.

 

After the zip-line portion of the trip you will be taken to La Bufadora (if you search La Bufadora you will find a lot of information on the attraction) which is a natural blow hole on the coast. Your bus will be parked at the top of the street to the blow hole, and you will have to walk the "gauntlet" of shops on your way to the seacliffs. A polite "no thanks" has always worked for me if I wasn't interested in the wares being offered. I'm not much for shopping but my DW can "haggle" with the vendors along the route.

 

After seeing the blow hole (or not if you become too intrigued by shopping) you return to the shuttle at the appointed time and are taken back to the port to meet your ship.

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Hi,

My Mom and I and family friend went on this cruise early December. My Mom lives in Idaho now. So, we got to visit and we had beautiful sunny days in Catalina & Ensenada!

I wrote on the trip in the "Imagination" page of Carnival Cruises here on Cruise Critic. If there is something I can answer, just ask.

:). Bobbi

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Did this itinerary last year. Terminal at Long Bch very easy on/off. Imagination's an old ship, but in great shape + I love the Fantasy class open deck space. Not a lo to to do in Catalina + Ensenada is a little rough around the edges. Good chance of seein whales this time of year but not in the summer.

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We've done the wine tasting in Ensenada a couple of times and enjoyed it both times.

 

In Catalina, we ended up booking a tour on the pier thru catalina adventure tours, that was SO good that I've recommended it to several friends. You can find info on their website at the above name dot com.

 

We did the combination tour: Glass bottom boat (which I would not do again nor recommend) and the Inside Adventure Tour, which was fabulous!

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  • 9 months later...
Catalina is a tender port. Carnival's now using the old Catalina ferries. They hold 270-399 pax, depending on ferry used. Roll on/off for mobility devices. They even have bathrooms :D

 

There is a zip line both Ensenada and Catalina.

 

Hey Sadie,

If ypu take the shuttle into Ensenada can you possibly post the tours they have available? We sail in January and want to do a combo tour but it appears i didnt post the price list I took a photo of when I was there last. We did the blow hole and horseback riding for $35 last year.

Thanks

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Hey Sadie,

 

If ypu take the shuttle into Ensenada can you possibly post the tours they have available? We sail in January and want to do a combo tour but it appears i didnt post the price list I took a photo of when I was there last. We did the blow hole and horseback riding for $35 last year.

 

Thanks

 

 

Don't know the price of the tours. We walk into town for lunch. I've seen La Cetto wine and local olive oils for sale in the supermarkets.

 

The refurbished Malecon was just opened. New pedestrian bridge going over. They've added a skatepark, playground, bandstand, concession stands and a dancing waters fountain. Also the Museum is finally open.

Edited by SadieN
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Don't know the price of the tours. We walk into town for lunch. I've seen La Cetto wine and local olive oils for sale in the supermarkets.

 

The refurbished Malecon was just opened. New pedestrian bridge going over. They've added a skatepark, playground, bandstand, concession stands and a dancing waters fountain. Also the Museum is finally open.

 

Thanks Sadie😃

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Since this post has been resurrected, I'll report that we took the Imagination and had a blast.

 

On Catalina, we took the bus ($1) from the dock to the Wrigley Gardens. From the Wrigley Gardens there is a hiking trail called something like "Sea to Sky" and it was great! It's moderately strenuous, but the views are fabulous! We then played minigolf and had ice cream in town. We walked to the Casino to see the architecture from the outside. (My daughter had previously done the guided tour of the Casino and said it was good.) Then we caught one of the last tenders to the ship.

 

We stayed on the ship in Ensenada and had the Serenity deck almost all to ourselves most of the day.

 

The best thing about the cruise was the entertainment. The comics in the Punchliner Club were good and the production shows were outstanding. In fact, "Epic Rock" was probably the best show I have ever seen on any ship of any cruise line.

 

And now that they have Guy's Burgers and Blue Iguana Cantina, the food choices are even better than they were--and they were good even before those were added.

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