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Ensenada Mexico Cruise

Lisa asks…

WHERE IS A GOOD PLACE TO GO FOR FIRST TIME CRUISERS?

Me and my hubby want to go on out first cruise (finally) and he is 33 and I am 30. What is a good port and good cruise line?

Tijuana answers:

Which coast do you live the closest to, or do you care where your cruise originates from?

If you are closer to the Pacific Coast, and wish to experience cruising for the first time, without spending an arm and a leg, I recommend the Carnival Cruises out of Long Beach, California. The original Queen Mary is docked there, and it’s a fascinating site. The terminal at Long Beach is quite nice, and the check-in process, in my opinion anyway, is much quicker and smoother than it is out of Miami.

There are a couple of cruises from this location.; Catalina Island and Back, or Catalina Island, then to Ensenada, Mexico, and back. Or, there’s a longer cruise that goes down to Cabo San Lucas, Peurto Valletre, and Mazatlan.

The Catalina, Ensenada one is decent. Granted, it’s not what I’d call “fabulous” compared to a cruise to the Carribean or Bahamas, but it’s fun, none-the-less, and very reasonably priced.

Cruises off the east coast, from Miami or there abouts, usually go to prettier places. There are cruises to Key West, Cozumel, Jamaica, and the Bahamas. These are beautiful places.

Www.vacationstogo.com has been advertising some pretty sweet deals on cruises lately.

Good luck with your decision!

George asks…

Great food near Ensenada Mexico port of call?

I am so over the shore excursions from the cruise ships, but I would love to find a great restaurant in Ensenada that is within walking distance from the ship. I am not down for the Papa’s & Beer type places. Something authentic would really hit the spot. Thanks!

Tijuana answers:

El Rey Sol in downtown. The best tablecloth restaurant in any country.

Lizzie asks…

Which cruise line is most affordable, yet really good and entertaining for a young couple?

My boyfriend and I (ages 22 and 23) want to go on a cruise this summer, probably a weekend cruise or 4 or 5 days max. We’d like to do the Mexican Riviera (we live in California), and don’t have tons of money, but don’t want to compromise quality for price since he’s never been on a cruise before.

Tijuana answers:

How tight is your budget?

Have you considered the Baja Mexico cruise by Carnival? I live in Los Angeles and did this one twice (and going on 3rd!). They’re also the cheapest cruises I’ve seen around.

The first time I paid $259 for 5 days and 4 nights in an inside cabin (this past September). We stopped at Catalina Island and Ensenada. One of my girlfriends on the trip didn’t have to spend a dime, so $259 was all she spent for a one week vacation! (she doesn’t drink) I on the other hand did booze it up a little, but drinks on that trip were so cheap compared to clubs. I think I paid like $4-5 for an apple martini. Plus, your food’s paid for on this trip – sounds even better huh?

Another time I did the weekend cruise to Ensenada – also by Carnival. I paid about $329 or so for a cabin with a window, because even though I had the best sleep of my life in an inside cabin, I felt too groggy in the morning – whenever that was. My fiance and I did a wine-tasting excursion, which was about $30/per person I think, but – get this! – they gave us 2 free bottles of wine each to take home!!!

Royal Caribbean also got GREAT deals for the same cruises to Ensenada (they leave out of San Pedro instead of Long Beach, which is Carnival). They also run in the same prices, and sometimes you’ll see that they charge $10-20 above or below Carnival – we’re taking that in May for kicks.

Since you guys are young, I really recommend Carnival. They’ve got a party-atmosphere going on on top of a ton of activities! My friends and I range from 18-27 (my fiance’s 37) and we all fit right in. You’re also allowed to bring on 1 bottle of wine or champagne per person onto Carnival too (you’re not allowed to do this on Royal Caribbean), so if you’re really on a tight budget and want party, this could be the way to go for you. Plus, Carnival has more pools, jacuzzis and bars onboard than Roybal Caribbean. This is a real plus when you and your honey want to jump into a jacuzzi but want more than 2 to choose from. Plus, whether it’s the weekend cruise or 5 day cruise, you’ll get a “Day at Sea,” which means the ship just floats in the middle of the ocean for a whole day – SUPER relaxing and tons of fun! It’s really great not having the pressure to go anywhere for the day, so you can fully enjoy the amenities the ship has to offer, including sipping on glasses of champagne while taking a romantic stroll on the deck at sunset, or having lunch on the deck while gazing at miles of ocean. There’s also have a topless deck where no cameras and kids are allowed – we had a ton of fun up there. :p

Hope this helps, good luck!!!

Edit: By the way, I looked into the Mexican Riviera cruises; turns out, they run 7 days and a few hundred dollars more than the Baja Mexico ones.

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