Jun 26, 2018

Carnival Cruise to Catalina and Ensenada

We were in Las Vegas for our granddaughter’s high school graduation. It was special because her father, our son, was an administrator at the school so he personally presented her with her diploma.  A cruise was her gift from her parents and our son wanted all of us to go along making it a family cruise. The Carnival Cruise sailed from Long Beach, CA, to Catalina Island then to Ensenada. John and I are newbies when it comes to big ship cruising.  We have done many river cruises but they have been all-inclusive and never more than 30 people.  

We flew from Las Vegas to Long Beach and stayed at the Best Western because they offered free transport to/from the airport and cruise pier. They also have a package for those who want to leave their vehicle. In the morning the hotel transported us to the cruise ship where a porter was waiting to tag our luggage and transport it to our room.  We were early so the line was not long and check-in was better organized than the only other big ship cruise we went on.  Being early meant avoiding the
lines and having time to explore the ship. Once everyone else arrived there was the compulsory safety drill which was done in the theater and more civilized than the cruise we took in January. 

We enjoyed the cruise more than we thought because we loved how the grandchildren participated in so many events and got
to bond together. They would check the daily schedule and make their plans but we all met for dinner. Besides celebrating a graduation we celebrated two birthdays.

When we arrived in Catalina John, the younger, and his wife went scuba diving and declared it wonderful.  Most of the other family members went into Avalon, the main city on the island, and wandered around.  John
and I stayed on board because we had visited Catalina previously. With so many people off the ship it was a great time to relax in the sun. 

In Ensenada most of the family went horseback riding which they said was awesome as they followed a trail up into the mountains.  Two others went on a wine tour.  We didn’t see
anything that interested us so once again we stayed on board and relaxed in the lounge chairs.  However, I learned later that there were a couple of activities we would have enjoyed but I didn’t see them on the web site.  The next time I will make sure I check with the onboard tour desk. 

John signed up for the onboard tour of the ship which turned out to
be so much more than he expected… and longer.  It started with coffee and donuts at 9 a.m. and then toured the entire ship, returning to the lounge about noon where there were more refreshments.  He
didn’t get to drive the ship but thoroughly enjoyed the tour. He learned that for one week the ship, which carries 2000 passengers, serves 1,400 lbs. of prime rib, 45,000 eggs, and 12,500 cans of soda. He was impressed with their effort to recycle. The leftover food is liquefied and fed to the fish.

We enjoyed all the evening activities (I was one number away from wining the big bingo jackpot) and our grandson came in second in the paper airplane contest. We will do it again…soon, I hope.