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Ensenada Mexico Airport

Sandra asks…

Help! I need advice on how to book a flight to Hawaii from Kansas!?

My husband and I are going on a 14 day cruise from Honolulu to Ensenada Mexico. What is the best way to book our flights. I only need one way flights and they are so expensive. Our cruise is from September 28, 2009 through October 10, 2009. Would it be best to book a hotel room in Honululu and stay on Sunday as to not miss our cruise on Monday? I know this is a lot, but I am feeling overwhelmed! Yikes!
So far, you all have given me great information, here is some more information about my trip…The 12 day cruise is with Carnival leaving September 28, 2009 from Honolulu arriving in Ensenada on October 9, 2009. I could fly out of Wichita, KS or Kansas City, MO. I contacted a travel agent, but haven’t heard back yet. They might not want to help since I booked the cruise myself. I don’t really know why.

Tijuana answers:

I just did a cruise from the West Coast to Hawaii and back and I think you have a bit of your information mixed up or incorrect. We cruised from San Diego to Hawaii and back and the total time for cruising to Hawaii, stopping at 5 Hawaii ports and cruising back to the US was 14 days.

Its roughly 4&1/2 days to cruise between the West coast and Hawaii. I do not think there are cruises that cruise the Hawaiian islands for 9 or 10 days and then cruise back to Mexico. So you need to double check the cruise itinerary to be sure you have the departure port correct. If you are going on a 14 day cruise you may be cruising FROM Ensenada and then back there. In which case you will need a round trip air ticket from Kansas to California, and then you can arrange for bus transfers between the California airport and the cruise port in Ensenada.

I have flown to Hawaii 4 times and the flights generally arrive in Honolulu between 1:00 PM and 3:30 PM. So if you do fly to Hawaii you should go a day early so that you do not miss your cruise due to a flight delay. The airport in Honolulu is about 20 to 30 minutes from the cruise port, but you still have to add time to collect your luggage.

If you fly to Hawaii you will not be buying a one way ticket but what the airlines call an “open jaw” ticket, meaning your return flight is from a different location back to where you started. You can book that type ticket online; just select “multiple destinations” rather than “round trip”. The reservation system will allow you to put in exactly what you want. For example, from Kansas City to Honolulu, and then from San Diego to Kansas City.

When you book your cruise you can book your own air arrangements, OR, the airline will book then for you and include the air fare in your total cruise fare. You can do either on line or you can have a travel agent do it for you. Travel agents do not usually charge a fee because they are paid commission by the cruise line. If anything they may charge $10 per person for airline tickets.

My advice is double check your cruise itinerary before you book air reservations.

Ruth asks…

What Is The World’s Greatest City ?

Your Favorite City in the planet.

Tijuana answers:

San Diego, CA! Really, you have everything here! Snow line is less than an hour away up Interstate 8, beaches galore, desert it you like it is close by too, mountains and forest nearby, not to mention Mexico is at your doorstep! One may travel to Tijuana just for the evening and return that same same night! Rosarito Beach, Ensenada too, all are a day trip away or good for a weekend getaway. The San Diego Zoo is world famous, Wild Animal Park, Sea World, Llego Land, all are close by. LA and all it offers is only a 2 hour drive away. San Diego is the sixth largest city in the US and has an international airport, a great City park called Balboa Park with over 12 museums, theaters, restaurants and outdoor music. The downtown area is vital and safe, the Gas lamp district being one of the funest and beautiful districts. You just can’t beat San Diego for geographic convenience, natural beauty, ethnic and cultural diversity!

Richard asks…

Going to Ensenada area from San Diego airport. Any recommendations for car rentals?

There are some car rental companies in San Diego that claim to rent vehicles for travel in Mexico. But I’ve also read that to take a car into MX, you have to show ownership of it. So is it advised to rent in the US? Or is it better to get to the border somehow, then rent in Tijuanna and drive to Ensenada?

Any suggestions for a rental company to rent from? If it is best to rent in TJ, how do I get to the border from the airport?

Also, are you more apt to get harrased, robbed, etc. with a US license plate than if you have a MX plate?

Lastly, should I get the MX auto insurance from an online site, or from the rental agency?


Tijuana answers:

Don’t rent a car, don’t drive across the border unless you are in your own vehicle; not worth the possible hassle crossing the border in both directions. Here’s a much better option:

San Diego-Tijuana-Ensenada

If you reach San Diego, you must first get to the Tijuana border. There are three options to go from the San Diego airport to the border (San Ysidro):

1) Take a taxi (expensive option).

2) Take a bus (about 1.50 US) to San Ysidro. The bus stops at the other side of the parking lot of the United Airlines terminal. We’ve been told that buses leave every 15 to 30 minutes.

3) Take a bus to the “trolley” station at the center of San Diego. The “trolley” will take you to San Ysidro for 3 US. This is the most frequently used option.

Cross the border on foot (avoid heavy luggage!). Just accross the border there are 2 bus stations servicing Ensenada (ABC and Aragón). Buses leave every 30 minutes, and the price is about 3 US. The trip takes 1.5 hours (you can watch the scenery or a movie).

Tijuana and Ensenada are safe, for the most part. Use common sense, don’t flash a lot of cash, leave jewelry and flashy items home. Since you are sticking to the most commonly used tourist treks, you should not have any problems.

Really, waiting in line for up to 2 hours to cross the border in a car just isn’t worth it. Consider the above option, especially #3. It’s fun, safe, quick, scenic and stress-free compared to driving.

BTW, there is a bus at the SD airport that takes you to the Amtrak station downtown and you can catch the trolley to the border there.

Have a great trip.

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