Catalina Cruise Pictures

This year we went on a cruise on the West Coast, starting in San Diego and then to Catalina, followed lastly by Ensenada, Mexico.  We again traveled on the Royal Caribbean lines, this time on the Monarch of the Seas. This ship was basically the same size and layout as our first cruise on board the Nordic Empress. 

Here's an interior shot of the centrum, which was where the band would play each evening at dinnertime.


And here's a shot of the top deck, before the sun worshippers moved in.


A few pictures of onboard activities, including the rock wall (not sure why I didn't try it, since I really WANTED to) and a basketball court which is always inviting for a former NBA player such as myself (haha, just a joke!)


  We docked in San Diego and found it to be similar on a smaller scale to Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The walk to the  Seaport Village was well worth it as there were over 30 shops which offered crafts, books and good eats ! Many thanks to Ben for the info on local attractions for the San Diego port.

We left San Diego on Tuesday afternoon and set sail for Catalina Island, located only 23 miles off the coast of California.  

 The island is about 90% undeveloped save for the port itself, which is as busy as you would expect. Space is at a serious premium, as witnessed in the pictures below.

We took a guided tour of Catalina, all the way to the top of the Island, 1600 feet above sea level. The scenery was incredible, and we encountered a wild herd of bison along the way. They were brought in back in the 1920's for a movie being produced on the island. The island was owned by the Wrigley family (of Chicago Cubs fame) who have always wanted the island undeveloped so the bison remain there and seem to enjoy their stay.



We returned down the same road we came up, which you can see below. Several hairpin turns, with utility trucks coming the opposite direction, made for an interesting adventure ! You can even see our ship in the harbor down below.

Speaking of harbors, good luck getting your boat safely out of this harbor !! We had a tender come out to the ship to take us into shore due to the size of the dock and the steady stream of boats in and out of the area.

Back on the ship and off to Ensenada we went. We were entertained by the waiters who danced with a cake on top of their heads. For effect the cake had a candle on it.

Our next port of entry was Ensenada, where we visited La Bufadora, a natural blowhole caused by air being forced out of a cave at sea level and directed upwards. On this day though, it was much too calm to be very enjoyable. There were dozens of small shops hawking trinkets to tourists in the area so we shopped.

One thing we enjoyed on our last cruise were the towels wrapped into shapes of animals by our room attendants, and this cruise had its share of them for us to enjoy. Shown below are an elephant, a bunny (with my sunglasses on) and a pair of swans.


  The stateroom we had on this cruise was noticeably larger than the first cruise. We could actually walk around in the room rather than hop on the bed and go from one side of the room to the other ! 

We had an enjoyable cruise, but at only 4 days it was just not long enough to get into the mood of the cruise . Having lots of free time and lots of entertaining things to do is the best thing about a cruise. Having family along on our last cruise was also fun since we enjoyed the amenities of the cruise together.

Sunset on the Pacific .... 

  I hope you enjoyed viewing the pictures and hope that you can visit San Diego and Catalina too.