Sail Date: April 2014
We’ve been here many times, so slept in, had a nice buffet breakfast, then headed into town around 11:30am. We always visit Fausto Polanco Hacienda Furniture faustopolanco.com.mx , a brown 2-story building that was originally a hotel at ... Read More
We’ve been here many times, so slept in, had a nice buffet breakfast, then headed into town around 11:30am. We always visit Fausto Polanco Hacienda Furniture faustopolanco.com.mx , a brown 2-story building that was originally a hotel at the very south end of Ave Adolfo López Mateos (“the tourist street”). We then headed back up that street and hit a couple of shops along the way, then over 2 blocks to the marina and checked out the excitement at the Mercado de Mariscos seafood market. We walked over to see the boats in the marina then strolled the nice walk along the water back to our ship. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
We decided to stay close to the ship and not bother with an excursion for such a short cruise. The little marketplace where the ship docks is pretty much exactly the same stuff you can purchase at any other port in Mexico. If you're a ... Read More
We decided to stay close to the ship and not bother with an excursion for such a short cruise. The little marketplace where the ship docks is pretty much exactly the same stuff you can purchase at any other port in Mexico. If you're a fan of brightly painted pottery pieces, tooled leather, sterling silver, vanilla (with distilled water as the first ingredient), or cheap meds, then Mexico is the place for you. I'm fairly sure everything for sale in Mexican tourist locations must come from the same factory somewhere since it genuinely is all the same stuff. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2014
No excursions were planned for Ensenada. We got off the ship and shopped at the shops next to the cruise port. We bought some liquor and other souvenirs and returned to the ship. The rest of the day was spent on board by the pool and ... Read More
No excursions were planned for Ensenada. We got off the ship and shopped at the shops next to the cruise port. We bought some liquor and other souvenirs and returned to the ship. The rest of the day was spent on board by the pool and sitting in the Atrium. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2014
We did leave the boat for a short walk around Ensenada, Mexico. It is definitely not a resort town- the comedian we attended that night joked that he had asked the cab driver to take him to the nicest part of Ensenada and the cab driver ... Read More
We did leave the boat for a short walk around Ensenada, Mexico. It is definitely not a resort town- the comedian we attended that night joked that he had asked the cab driver to take him to the nicest part of Ensenada and the cab driver drove him back to the boat. That is not far from the truth. I had overheard a mom talking on the bus ride back to the boat about how she and her son had brought several bags of toys then took a cab to a poor part of Ensenada and handed out the toys. She wanted her child to see how these children live to appreciate how lucky he is to live in the USA. That is a great idea. I wish I had thought of that. Our kids definitely would have benefited from that.Ensenada is a very poor Mexican town. We were going to pay $15 each to take a bus to the part of town that had many shops. However, we opted not to as the line to get on this bus was formed outside the bus we took from the ship. It was very unorganized and didn't seem to move after 15 minutes. We decided to forget it and head back to the boat. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
We walked from the ship into downtown. You will be harassed NONSTOP. Sitting at the Wings restaurant we were bothered constantly. Little kids tap you asking you to buy junk over and over. An old homeless looking woman came up and asked for ... Read More
We walked from the ship into downtown. You will be harassed NONSTOP. Sitting at the Wings restaurant we were bothered constantly. Little kids tap you asking you to buy junk over and over. An old homeless looking woman came up and asked for our food and my BF gave her a wing and she stood right there an ate. Ughh!! Won't come here again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2014
We walked off the ship and explored Ensenada, Mexico by foot. Many guests on the Carnival Inspiration book an excursion to horseback ride in Ensenada, go wine tasting, see the blow-hole or take a city tour. We started at the end of the ... Read More
We walked off the ship and explored Ensenada, Mexico by foot. Many guests on the Carnival Inspiration book an excursion to horseback ride in Ensenada, go wine tasting, see the blow-hole or take a city tour. We started at the end of the cruise terminal with a visit to the Ensenada Historic Museum located inside the exquisite 1930’s Riviera de Ensenada. Once a luxurious hotel and casino, this Mission style building was initially operated by the heavyweight boxing champion, Jack Dempsey.The museum depicts rock caves with interesting mural art, a replica of a mine and various exhibits of colonization by missionaries and early European settlers. Next, walk towards one of the tallest flag poles in Mexico. It reaches 338 feet at the top and the National flag measures 164x92 feet. It weighs about 265 pounds. The nearby National Civic Plaza has three bigger than life sculpted gold heads of Miguel Hidalgo, Benito Juarez and Venustiano Carranza. Each man has significance in Mexico’s history.I picked up a map at the Visitors Information Center on Bulevar Lazaro Cardenas (Costero) and Avenue Gastelum. We walked up the street to the Regional History Museum of Ensenada. It’s the oldest public building in Baja California. Built in 1886 with adobe, it served as military quarters where soldiers lodged, a hospital, the local jail and a school. This building now belongs to the National Institute of Anthropology and History. When this complex was a jail, prisioners could pay for a cell upstairs rather than stay in several “holding” tanks. They were allowed to decorate their cells, adding personal touches, such as tile and hand paintings on the walls. Walk into some of the cells and you can detect a wall painting of a bay with trees and mountains. In another cell we saw a portrait of a beautiful woman with a church, moon and clouds in the background.Currently part of the old prison offers an exhibit of lighthouse photographs. There is also a giant lighthouse beacon.Upstairs, the second floor used to be the offices of the District Judge and a guard tower. It also was housing for pisoners who could afford to pay for a room. There was an earthen oven for baking bread.Near the port is the Old Customs House. It was built in England, shipped and assembled in Ensenada in 1887. In 1922, the building was owned by the Marine Customs Office. In 1992 the building was given to the National Institute of Anthropology and History.It now exhibits items recovered from the lost Galleon the San Felipe that was wrecked in Baja California in 1576. It’s an interactive spot for families, with an excavation box with items that are similar to what was recovered when the wreck was found. There are beautiful blue and white porcelain displayed in glass cases. Many were rice and soup bowls.On one wall is an interactive game with magnetic “Galleon” game markers called The Manila Galleon Game. The object is to roll a dice in a wood box and move the galleon the number of spaces rolled. Read aloud the events that took place where you land to learn about the galleon voyages. Each space is equal to about one week at sea. The game takes about 10 minutes. Land at one spot and learn the scurvy killed 208 people on one ship with only 192 surviving or in 1696 the sea surged with such high waves that 12 men together could barely steer the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
Ensenada was a scary place for me. Leaving the ship was easy, and it was a short walk into town. The local peddlers are relentless. As soon as we got off the pier onto the first bridge, we were inundated with children and adults blocking ... Read More
Ensenada was a scary place for me. Leaving the ship was easy, and it was a short walk into town. The local peddlers are relentless. As soon as we got off the pier onto the first bridge, we were inundated with children and adults blocking our paths trying to get us to buy trinkets from their cardboard boxes. The kids were the worst. They would stand in front of you and jockey back and forth to block your way while shoving things into your face. We made it to the main drag, Avenida Lopez Mateos, about 3/4 of a mile from the pier. We walked north up the road and then south again, repeatedly saying “No, gracias” to dozens of peddlers and shop owners who tried repeatedly to get us to go into their shop. They would stand up just as we approached and say things like, “Come on, friend, I give you good deal” and “Best prices in the morning, come inside” and “Now it’s my turn, friend, amigo, step inside, I give you best deal yet.” Several of them noted I was wearing an Arizona Diamondbacks hat, so they kept trying to point me to their Diamondbacks merchandise.We basically speed walked through town as fast as possible, uncomfortable with every part of being in Ensenada. We stopped in at McDonald’s, hoping to get some ‘real food’ that was better than what they had on the cruise ship. Unfortunately it was filthy and they have no seating in the restaurant, so we passed on that. Later, we stopped in at Sweetberry which is a yogurt shop. The girl at the counter spoke no English whatsoever, and they only took Pesos so my US Dollars were no good there. Since it was Día de la Candelaria (a national holiday in Mexico) that day, none of the banks were open so I couldn’t exchange any money. I didn’t want to buy anything from a local and then try to get Pesos back in change, so we just gave up and went back to the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
When the boat stops in Ensenada, don’t get off. I knew this but was talked into it by my travel companions. Perhaps it was the fact that we were the only ship in port, but the minute we go off the shuttle in downtown we were bombarded by ... Read More
When the boat stops in Ensenada, don’t get off. I knew this but was talked into it by my travel companions. Perhaps it was the fact that we were the only ship in port, but the minute we go off the shuttle in downtown we were bombarded by vendors. It was horrible. Seriously, it is not pleasant nor safe, especially for the older folks. If you must venture off the boat for souvenirs, just stay at the port terminal. They have basically the same goods (booze, pharmaceuticals, nick knacks, and your run of the mill knock-off goods and you won’t risk your sanity or safety by going into town. None of the excursions are worth taking and you’ll probably have more fun enjoying an empty ship. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
A stop away from the States is a legal requirement for returning cruise ships and this is just that. Our afternoon visit was very disappointing and the walk into town was just passing a parade of women and children begging on the sidewalk. ... Read More
A stop away from the States is a legal requirement for returning cruise ships and this is just that. Our afternoon visit was very disappointing and the walk into town was just passing a parade of women and children begging on the sidewalk. Once in town there was nothing to keep your attention. If we were to stop here again, we would remain onboard. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
We just bought souvenirs while we were at the port. We did not want to take any excursion. We traveled with our kids, and didn't want to leave them in the ship, or take them into Ensenada.
We just bought souvenirs while we were at the port. We did not want to take any excursion. We traveled with our kids, and didn't want to leave them in the ship, or take them into Ensenada. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
We loved Ensenada but it's important to go in with reasonable expectations. Ensenada is a lot of cheap shopping and taquerias with one winery that wasn't open for tasting. We had a local massage that was worth every penny. If ... Read More
We loved Ensenada but it's important to go in with reasonable expectations. Ensenada is a lot of cheap shopping and taquerias with one winery that wasn't open for tasting. We had a local massage that was worth every penny. If you're looking for an authentic Mexican experience, this isn't the place for you, but for a fun stroll around town and some cheap souvenirs, it's a nice little section of town. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
Ensenada; emphasis on the "nada" unless you like touristy souvenir shops, beggars and bars. Tip: Forget the city bus, you can walk it from the ship in 5 minutes. If you do want to give anything to the beggars, give them food, the ... Read More
Ensenada; emphasis on the "nada" unless you like touristy souvenir shops, beggars and bars. Tip: Forget the city bus, you can walk it from the ship in 5 minutes. If you do want to give anything to the beggars, give them food, the money goes to a "boss" and they don't see any of it. One bright spot....there's a ceviche stand between the edge of town and the port; awesome seafood and yes it's safe. Several locals were crowding around. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
Ensenada is a waste of time if you have taken a number of Princess cruises from California, as Princess always docks there. We went to Puerto Vallarta - great choice, Cabo - also good. It would seem to us to be a better use of our port ... Read More
Ensenada is a waste of time if you have taken a number of Princess cruises from California, as Princess always docks there. We went to Puerto Vallarta - great choice, Cabo - also good. It would seem to us to be a better use of our port time to spend and extra day in PV, or go to Mazatlan or La Paz. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
We didn't get off the ship - there is nothing to do at the port itself. To get to anything, you must walk a mile or so or take a cab.
We didn't get off the ship - there is nothing to do at the port itself. To get to anything, you must walk a mile or so or take a cab. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
This is the one International port of call in Mexico. The ship is required to stop at least one! Anywhere! So they choose Ensenada for this 15 Day Princess Hawaiian Cruise. They is very little to do or see. I think it give the over all ... Read More
This is the one International port of call in Mexico. The ship is required to stop at least one! Anywhere! So they choose Ensenada for this 15 Day Princess Hawaiian Cruise. They is very little to do or see. I think it give the over all experience of Mexico a VERY Bad Name...This town is small, very Poor and many pan handlers' is it safe? ABSOLUTLY! Get off walk around, but don't expect much! There is a few fun little restaurant's! However, this is an up and coming island! Not a far drive from So. Cal. Lots of people are starting to go there for the beautiful water's, it's still cheap to visit and the town is starting to build and accommodate outside tourism.. This is going to be the New Cabo in a few years!! Keep that in mind when your traveling around!!Personally, I have no Problem with Mexico, I've had a home in San Carlos, Sea of Cortez for 10 years. I love it there! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
This was my 2nd time to Ensenada. We did a lot of walking there, and did some "bargaining" on jewelry, etc. We then hired a Taxi to take us up to the mountains for the beautiful view.
This was my 2nd time to Ensenada. We did a lot of walking there, and did some "bargaining" on jewelry, etc. We then hired a Taxi to take us up to the mountains for the beautiful view. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
Nothing too exciting here. We visited Papas and Beer for what turned out to be more of a typical US Mexican bar than a bar in Mexico. We also wondered by all the shops and made a few small purchases. We walked to and from the ship, but the ... Read More
Nothing too exciting here. We visited Papas and Beer for what turned out to be more of a typical US Mexican bar than a bar in Mexico. We also wondered by all the shops and made a few small purchases. We walked to and from the ship, but the busses to downtown are just a couple of dollars per person. Read Less

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