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