Ensenada Review

Ensenada Travel Blog

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I learned a valuable lesson on this trip. Never ever assume that the shuttle driver is going to know where he is going. Lol! I got to the Long Beach airport at about 4 pm, with the ship scheduled to leave at 5:30. Of course the shuttle wasn't there as they had stated they would be, and I had to wait 15 minutes to get in the van. Then the guy gets lost. Not as lost as the last time, but lost nonetheless. We got to the cruise terminal at about 4:45, and I got on the ship with about 2 minutes to spare to get to the boat drill.

We left Long Beach and made our way to Ensenada that night. I was hungry so I had the intention to just get a salad and wait for dinner, but ended up eating a full meal and going to sleep at about 8 pm. So I missed dinner, which was ok. I slept for about 12 hours and felt really great the next morning.

Ensenada was much more fun than the last time I went. I got the chance to get out of town and see the wine country, as well as the blowhole. Wine country was in the morning, we took a tour of two different winery's. The first one they walked us through the storage areas, we got to see lots and lots of wine bottles, kegs, and giant containers for wine. The second place we more focused on showing us how they manufacture the wine, and that was interesting. We got to taste lots of different wines and at the second place we got to try some brandy and tequila as well, along with lots of bread and cheese. The end of the tour, we got a free bottle of wine. It's still wrapped up and in my kitchen as I write this.. lol.

I got back to the ship at around 1 and the Blowhole tour was at 1:30, so I had just enough time to drop the wine off and get back on the bus. We drove south from Ensenada to the Blowhole and got a nice narrative on the way. When we were getting ready to get off the bus the tour guide told us to look at the shopping on the way through but not to stop so that we can all see the blowhole together, and that worked out pretty well. We got some free samples of a churro and I ended up getting a whole batch on the way back out for $2. So we made our way to the Blowhole and were minimally bothered by the vendors who probably know that the tour guides want to get us to the Blowhole before we shop. The blowhole was really cool, and I got some great pictures there. On the way back to the bus, was a whole different story as far as shopping. Every booth I went by it was "Lady, Lady!!". Wanting me to buy this and that. I did end up getting a new "leather" purse for $15. He originally started at $48 so I was happy with the negotiation. That was pretty much the purchase for this trip. We got back to the ship around 4:30 and I got a nap in before dinner. This was formal night, so I got all dressed up and had lobster. i always enjoy the lobster when it's free. :) This was also the night we got to meet the Captain and get free cocktails before dinner, so I had a few screwdrivers and that was nice.

Sunday was a sea day, I slept in and had a late breakfast around 11. They had the Newlywed Game in the afternoon and I went to that, then I watched Oceans 13 on the TV in my room, and then I got packed and went to dinner. This evening was a little different, a few drunk people came and sat at our table so there was a lot of drama around something they had been doing over the weekend, so it was a little bit annoying. But the food was good.

I got off the ship on Monday morning around 10 and got an earlier flight back to Phoenix, which turned out to be delayed due to lack of staff to get out of Phoenix and to Long Beach for our return trip. Ended up getting home around 6, I think. Overall it was a very pleasant trip.

Now I have to stop doing trips that use vacation time until November. I am going to Europe for 3 weeks and need to have all my vacation time to cover me being gone for that long.

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Itinerary: Baja Mexico

Days: 3 days

Ship: Carnival Paradise

Stateroom: Category 1A #E183

Date: February 15, 2008

Cruise Calendar

Fri, Feb 15

Los Angeles (Long Beach), Ca


Depart 5:30 PM

Sat, Feb 16

Ensenada, Mexico


Arrive 9:00 AM Depart 6:00 PM

Blow Hole Tour

Depart 1:30 PM Arrive 4:30 PM

Wine Country Tour

Depart 9:00 AM Arrive 1:00 PM

Mon, Feb 18

Los Angeles (Long Beach), Ca


Arrive 8:00 AM

Excursion information

Blow Hole Tour:

Take this chance to tour one of the major attractions in Ensenada. La Bufadora is a natural spout that shoots sea spray high into the air.

On this excursion you will:

  • Embark on a 25-mile trip along the Baja California countryside before reaching La Bufadora.
  • The blow hole is a natural sea spout that shoots sea spray approximately 60 to 100 feet into the air.
  • Visit La Bufadora for approximately 1 1/2 hours for sightseeing and shopping at the open air market.

Wine Country Tour:

Journey just a few miles northeast of Ensenada to Calafia Valley and tour two prolific wineries: Casa Pedro Domecq and L.A. Cetto.

On this excursion you will:

  • Learn about the history of Ensenada and the Baja area as well as the local customs and traditions.
  • Take a 30-45 minute tour of each winery and discover how they transform crushed grapes into delightful bottles of wine, sherry, tequila and brandy.
  • Taste selected wines served with assorted cheeses and biscuits.
  • Visit the winery’s store, where you may purchase these wines at considerable savings. A free bottle of wine is included with this tour.
  • Browse Ensenada’s main shopping district for Mexican handicrafts and imported merchandise, or return directly to the ship. Guests wishing to stay downtown will be responsible for their return transportation or make the short walk back to the ship.
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photo by: furiousfowl