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Carnival Radiance - Catalina Island and Ensenada

sunny 26 °C

Embarked on Radiance, our first Carnival ship in over a decade. Same itinerary as the Royal cruise last week. The cruise port is next to the decommissioned - now restaurant - Queen Mary.

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Carnival felt much cheaper than Royal. No tablecloths on the dinner table, fewer servers, no replacement of cutlery from the appy to the main course. Decorations on the ship were repetitive and every stateroom corridor was identical with the same repeated four beach pictures (unlike Royal, on which each deck had art that was unique and themed). The drinks were slightly less expensive than Royal $9 vs $11 for a beer. We were seated at a table for two, when we would have preferred a larger table and people to meet. As it turns out, we’d been on this ship as Victory before it was rechristened as Radiance. The public spaces seemed much different with a smaller theatre and everything seemed louder. Some of this complaint is likely due to me becoming older and more curmudgeony, but we remembered always being able to find a quiet place to relax and read, which wasn’t possible on this ship. After these two cruises, we are starting to question our desire to cruise.

On this stop at Catalina Island, Steve chose to stay on board while I spent the day hiking. Off early on the second tender, since we were all aboard at 3:45 and I wanted lots of hiking time. The trails were undulating, some very steep with slippery scree, but for the most part it was easy hiking on dirt roads and trails that covered the island outside of Avalon.

I stopped first at the Wrigley memorial. The island was once owned by William Wrigley jr, who also owned the Cubs. And the Cubs had spring training on the Island for many years. There’s also a botanical garden included for the $10, but not much to see in November. It’s possible to avoid the fee, but I wanted to see the memorial and start my hike nearby.

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A few pics of Avalon, including the view from the bar at the end of the hike. The beer was cheaper and darker off the ship.
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We decided to take a Carnival excursion in Ensenada - 10 best things in Ensenada, which was scheduled to include a tour of the former casino, la bufadora (natural cave/blow hole), a wine and olive oil tasting and (time permitting) a tequila tasting - the last of which didn’t fit in the time. Darn.
It was an enjoyable day, even without the tequila. And the excursion cost was lower than similar options on Royal.

The casino included murals of 6 of the 7 deadly sins, but it was hard to distinguish which was which.
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On the way home, just waiting for our flight from YVR to leave. Looking forward to my own bed and pillow.

Until next trip…

Posted by Deb Godley 00:42 Archived in USA

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