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Best Travel Advice from LAX to Ensenada to Board Cruiseship

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
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Best Travel Advice from LAX to Ensenada to Board Cruiseship

We need to get to Ensenada from LAX next month to board a cruise ship, and i would prefer not to rent a car. Please advise...Also, would you suggest arriving in Ensenada a couple of days early to enjoy the area?

Thanks so much.

B

Lincoln, California
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1. Re: Best Travel Advice from LAX to Ensenada to Board Cruiseship

I would look into taking a flight from LAX to San Diego and then find online a luxury bus service from San Diego to Ensenada

Ensenada has great seafood and a nice winery area just outside of town if you want to arrive early to visit the area

Edited: 10:42 pm, September 05, 2012
Los Angeles...
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2. Re: Best Travel Advice from LAX to Ensenada to Board Cruiseship

If you can arrange your flight into SD (in lieu of LAX) that would be best, since it is much closer to Ensenada. You can take the trolley or public transport to the border, walk across the border and take an ABC bus (terminal is about a block from the border) to Ensenada.

We LOVE Ensenada, so if I were coming all the way from New York, I would certainly take a couple days and experience Ensenada. The wine tasting in the Guadalupe Valley is phenomenal (80% of Meixican wines come from this region), the shopping is fun in town and the food is terrific from taco stands to gourmet dining - for a fraction of the cost that you might be accustomed to. It's a fishing port, so you will find alot of fresh seafood too.

I understand that Hotel Coral & Marina (1 of 2 of our favorite hotels in Ensenada) offers transportation from SD Airport for around $125, but you would need to call to see if rooms are available for your dates and what the current prices are.

Have a great time on your cruise!

Sun City West
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for Rosarito
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3. Re: Best Travel Advice from LAX to Ensenada to Board Cruiseship

How much luggage will you have? If you're going to have a lot, you may not want to do the "walk across the border" thing, which would make the tour bus option a better one. If you don't mind the walk across option, you might consider renting a car from Avis in Tijuana (the rental company is close to the border crossing) and turning it in when you get to Ensenada. The highway to get there is a 4 lane, concrete, well-maintained, divided highway. It would probably be your least expensive option.

Also, if that is a Holland America cruise, are you aware that you can take as much wine as you want--cases if you want--on board with you?

San Diego...
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4. Re: Best Travel Advice from LAX to Ensenada to Board Cruiseship

Unless you can get a really good deal on either a direct flight to San Diego or a LAX to San Diego commuter flight then I would get to San Diego from LAX by taking the AMTRAK Surfliner train. The commuter flights are notoriously expensive. Spend a day or 2 in San Diego if you wish, or head down to Ensenada. A bus transfer from San Diego to Ensenada is probably the easiest way to go. Yes, you can take our trolley right down to the border but with all that luggage, it's a bit of a hassle.

Curious though - I know that when Carnival has it's ship's leaving out of Ensenada, they actually have you check into the cruise ship terminal in San Diego and then Carnival buses you down to Ensenada. My understanding was that Ensenada did not have the facilities nor the personal to handle checking in passengers going on a cruise. That is why it was all done at the San Diego Cruise Ship Terminal. Guess things could have changed.

Edited: 8:46 pm, September 06, 2012
Los Angeles...
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5. Re: Best Travel Advice from LAX to Ensenada to Board Cruiseship

PStreet, strongly considering a Holland America cruise after what you mentioned...you always have the best info! Thank you!

Sun City West
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6. Re: Best Travel Advice from LAX to Ensenada to Board Cruiseship

We've enjoyed several Holland cruises, and being able to take our own wine on board is a nice plus. We have a little carrier that we got at Sams, or Costco--can't remember which-- that has wheels and holds exactly a case. Hubby put in dividers from a case. We have friends who lug aboard cases from Bev Mo that they've purchased right before boarding.

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7. Re: Best Travel Advice from LAX to Ensenada to Board Cruiseship

Thank you so much for all the advice. Mistakenly I booked into LAX and not San Diego. We are on a Celebrity...had no idea the benefits of Holland America. Very good to know. i will check to see if Celebrity is offering any transportation that the cruise agent did not tell me about.

I love TA exactly for this kind of help. I will look into the bus and renting a car if need be. I had heard driving in Mexico could be tough but that was years ago.

Thanks for all the help.

b

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110 posts
18 reviews
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8. Re: Best Travel Advice from LAX to Ensenada to Board Cruiseship

Thank you so much for all the advice. Mistakenly I booked into LAX and not San Diego. We are on a Celebrity...had no idea the benefits of Holland America. Very good to know. i will check to see if Celebrity is offering any transportation that the cruise agent did not tell me about.

I love TA exactly for this kind of help. I will look into the bus and renting a car if need be. I had heard driving in Mexico could be tough but that was years ago.

Thanks for all the help.

b

Sun City West
Destination Expert
for Rosarito
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4,497 posts
134 reviews
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9. Re: Best Travel Advice from LAX to Ensenada to Board Cruiseship

Avis has an agency in Tijuana, so they may have one in Ensenada--that might be a place to start because you'd have a better chance of booking the car for one way.

Another thought, have you checked on www.cruisecritic.com on the board for your sailing? It may be that someone is organizing a van for transportation--or that you could.

ZLI
Galiano Island...
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10. Re: Best Travel Advice from LAX to Ensenada to Board Cruiseship

If your cruise ship is not providing check in and transportation in the USA, I recommend you rent a car and drive to Ensenada. The road is great. It's completely safe and the drive between Tijuana and Ensenada is breathtakingly beautiful. The freeway is a toll road and smooth. The "libre" or free road is also fine and it takes you through some charming areas. We lived in Ensenada for a while and took the free road in preference because it was such a pleasant drive. Absolutely arrive a couple of days early and check out the Valley of Guadalupe for the wineries. Ensenada is a nice little city. We like staying at America's Best Value Posada El Rey Sol. It's a reasonably priced, pretty little place just off the main street, so within walking distance to all the shops and restaurants and you can see the cruise ships from your balcony. Ask for a room on the front - there's no street noise after about 10 p.m. Ensenada is an early to bed kind of place once you are a couple of blocks away from the area that caters to the drinking and party crowd that floods in from California on the weekends. This is at the North end of the tourist area. The south end, where Posada El Rey Sol and the parks and cruise ship terminal are located, is peaceful and pleasant