Thinking of booking a weekend cruise from Long Beach to Ensenada in 2023? This article is all you need to know about cruising from Long Beach to Ensenada with Carnival Cruises. It's the perfect cruise for a weekend getaway from Long Beach to Mexico!
My husband, son and I sailed with Carnival on this 3-day Baja Mexico cruise from Long Beach. They make a great long weekend getaway, especially for anyone within a short drive of Long Beach, California. It's a super fun way to spend the weekend and what my husband and I found was that we really had a vacation. Thanks to the teen club, which my son loved, we found we had plenty of time to relax and enjoy our Mexico cruise as adults.
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Below are some helpful sailing tips and some of our favorite moments on our 3-day cruise in Baja, Mexico from Long Beach to Ensenada.
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Read reviews aboutThe best cruises in Mexico
When it comes to vacations or weekend trips, a cruise is a much easier trip compared to any other type of travel. One of my favorite things about cruising is that once you board, you've arrived at a home away from home. Just unpack and go!
unlike a a journeyWhere you move from one place to another: On a cruise there is no need to constantly unpack and pack, change hotels or drive from one place to another.
So if you're interested in a fun cruise for a weekend getaway and you're wondering whatcarnivaloffers, this post is for you! When we sailed with Carnival, we were on the Imagination, but Radiance is the newest ship in their lineup for this weekend cruise.
Long Beach Cruise Terminal
When you leave Long Beach with Carnival, you will pass through the Long Beach Cruise Terminal, the busiest port in North America with ships calling five days a week.
The 146,000 square foot state-of-the-art Long Beach Cruise Terminal has been completely renovated and is beautiful. The palm-lined terminal is huge and allows for quick and easy boarding.
To enter the terminal, you will need to present your boarding pass and passport, as this is an international cruise ship.
Fun fact:The terminal includes the world's largest free space geodesic dome, which was originally built forSpruce Goose by Howard Hughes. I'm probably dating myself here, but Spruce Goose was located here in Long Beach until the mid-1990s, when it moved to Oregon.
Our 3-Day Carnival Mexico Cruise Plan
Carnival Radiance is a Fantasy-class cruise ship operated by Carnival Cruise Line. We depart on this three-day Mexico cruise from Long Beach and visit Ensenada, Mexico. Our Cruise Plan:
- 1. and: Polazak s Long Beacha
- Day 2 – a fun day at sea
- Day 3 – Uvala
- Day 4 – arrival in Long Beach
This is a fun itinerary for a weekend trip, but after a three-day cruise we all agreed that we would like to try a longer cruise. Between my son's teenage club and all the fun things on board, there just wasn't enough time to experience it all and enjoy the vacation.
Board the ship in Long Beach (Carnival Boarding) for our cruise to Ensenada
The cruise to Ensenada departs at 17:30. m. and everyone must be on board 60 minutes before departure. Cabins are ready at 13:30. so make your first day on board more fun by arriving at the earliest boarding time!
Guests planning to arrive before 1:30 p.m. m. they can leave their luggage on the sidewalk so they can enjoy lunch that will be served on deck 10 Lido until 4:00 p.m. m.
Advice! Bring a hand bag:When you first board your cruise ship, it may take several hours before your luggage is delivered to your cabin. Pack some essentials like a swimsuit, sunscreen, and a cover in case you want to hit the pool or water slides.
There are three categories of cabins on Carnival Radiance; Interior, view of the ocean and apartment. There are two types of apartments; junior and grand We had a room with an ocean view, which was stated to sleep five people.
This would be extremely tight. Our room was equipped with a king size bed and a pullman (a bed attached to the wall, like a top bunk, that can be raised for more space when not being used as a bed).
We found that we spend very little time in the room and that we mostly use it for sleeping and "getting ready" for the day or dinner.
There is so much to do on a Carnival cruise, and with a three-day cruise we found that we spend very little time in the room and would rather be lounging by the pool than in the cabin.
Planning the day on board
Each day of the cruise you will receive a "Fun Times" itinerary that includes everything you can do on board. Share sections for 'top entertainment', 'food', 'drinks', 'spa', 'music', 'movies', 'casino', 'shopping', 'kids and tweens', as well as a calendar of everything happening. with times and places.
It's your cruising bible and we carry it with us and use it constantly day and night.
Sailing with children or teenagers
When we sailed on the Carnival Imagination, it offered three kids' clubs; Camp Ocean for children from 2 to 11 years old, Circle C for children from 12 to 14 years old and Club O2 for children from 15 to 17 years old. Our son just turned 16 and loved the tween club.
It opened around noon every day and closed at 1 am. As I mentioned earlier, my husband and I discovered that our son wanted to hang out with other teenagers and planned most of his days and nights at the club.
Teenagers at the O2 Club hung out in the club room, attended shows on the ship, the video game room and gathered for meals. Our son enjoyed it and loved hanging out with other teenagers, and my husband and I found that we were on our own for most of our cruise - eating alone and enjoying the many shows on board.
I'm sure if we had gone on a longer cruise, there would have been more family time, but with only three days, my son decided to hang out with the other teenagers on board.
So you know:Kids' and teenagers' clubs are included in the price of the cruise.
Lunch on the carnival cruise
There are many options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, late-night snacks and snacks on board Carnival, including these options built into your cruise price:
- main dining room
- Blue Iguana (Mexican Canteen)
- Guy's Burger
- Pirate pizza (24 hours)
- Karneval Deli (24 sata)
- restaurant Lido (buffet table)
- Soft ice cream (24 hours)
- 24-hour room service
The most prominent of the restaurants is bestselling author, restaurateur and Food Network personality Guy Fieri's Burger Joint, which strives to deliver all the authentic appeal of a roadside burger joint as the coolest place along the street. pool for hot burgers and hand cut fries.
The busiest lunch spots seemed to be the Burger Joint and the Blue Iguana Mexican Cafe, both located on the Lido deck. These two are quick and easy and located near the pool.
You can also go inside on the same deck and check out the made-to-order pizza and deli sandwiches, as well as the Lido Deck buffet.
Dinner is also spoiled for choice, but we opted for the dining room every night, which includes a three-course meal. You can choose between two shifts: at 6:00 p.m. or at 8:15 p.m. m.
If there's one thing about cruising, it's that you have tons of options and you'll never go hungry! Caneat at all these placeson a carnival cruise.
Food allergies:If you have dietary restrictions like me (gluten free) they are more than willing to accommodate you. I ordered food for the next night at dinner and they would make any dish I wanted gluten free.
Bars by the pool and outdoors
There is a resort-style pool on the Carnival cruise to Mexico, located on the Lido Deck. On either side of the pool you will also find a jacuzzi.
The main pool area is one of the most popular spots on the cruise during the day. There are plenty of places in the sun and in the shade to relax and enjoy the view of the Pacific Ocean.
You'll also find lots of fun activities on the Lido deck - we saw a hairy chest competition which was fun to watch.
On the Lido Deck you'll also find the Red Frog Rum Bar and the Blue Iguana Tequila Bar.
There is also an adults-only (21+) outdoor area on the Promenade level called Serenity with a large hot tub and lounge area with lounge chairs.
Carnival has a water park called WaterWorks and it includes a spinning water slide, a double flat slide, two mini slides and a sprinkler park. We traveled in March, which can be unpredictable weather.
During our cruise, it rained a bit on the first day and we were a bit cold for the water slides.
That hasn't stopped many other cruise ships from enjoying roller coasters. I would love to come back during a warmer month and spend most of the day here!
Evening shows and entertainment
The evening schedule regularly offers over 20 options for shows, art auctions, comedy, karaoke, trivia, meet and greets and more. It really is impossible to do everything on a three-day cruise, so you should choose wisely!
We really enjoyed the comedy on board and wanted to go to one of the three evening shows in the Xanadu Lounge. They offer PG and adult (18+) versions of comedy shows. Our son also really enjoyed the comedy and joined us most nights at the PG show.
We were really impressed with the comedy acts, musicians and entertainers at the “Showtime” extravaganza at the Dynasty Lounge.
On board you will also find Mirage Piano Bar, Illusions Nightclub (18+), Shangri La Lounge, Dream Bar, Atrium Lobby Bar, Alchemy bar where they specialize in martinis and cocktails and have a casino.
Ensenada: A day in port
We spend the second day of the cruise anchored in Ensenada. The ship arrives at around 8:15 am and departs only at 5:30 pm. You can spend the day on a boat, on an organized excursion, or explore the town of Ensenada on your own.
There are more than 20 shore excursions that you can book when purchasing a cruise or while on the cruise. Excursion possibilities range from visiting the nearby wine regionGuadalupe Valley(Valle de Guadalupe), to surfing, kayaking, food tours and more.
During our day in port, we decided to explore the city on our own. We have visited Ensenada and wine country many times, so we enjoyed visiting the local museum, having lunch at Dock 3 and walking around town.
Don't miss the sunset
Sunrise and sunset can be spectacular sailing along the coast of the Pacific Ocean. I caught a beautiful sunset on the second night of our cruise from Long Beach to Ensenada. Be sure to plan at least one night until sunset to truly enjoy Mother Nature!
Planning a carnival cruise in Mexico
book your cruise
You can book your 3-Day Baja Mexico Cruise from Long Beach with Carnival through our affiliate link withdirect cruisefor just $154 and you'll never have to pay a booking fee.
They also have a "Best Price Guarantee" to ensure you get the best Carnival cruise deals and Long Beach cruise deals, offer flexible payment plans, and have options for manyCarnival cruises to Mexico.
Buy travel insurance
Travel insurance is designed to cover unexpected medical emergencies and events such as trip cancellation, lost, stolen or damaged baggage by the airline or cruise line and other related losses that occur during travel.
I'm a fannomads of the worldfor short trips. Protect yourself from possible injuries and thefts abroad. Read more aboutWhy you should always have travel insurance.
Depart and return from Long Beach to your cruise ship
Long Beach Carnival Cruise Terminal is 23 miles from Los Angeles International Airport; travel time is about 50 minutes. It is 12 miles from Long Beach Airport; travel time is about 20 minutes.
There is a garage right next to the terminal, and the daily fee is 20 dollars. You can also drop it off by taxi or bus.
Going on a carnival cruise? Here are some tips:
Do you need a hotel the night before or after the cruise?There are many places to stay in Long Beach. There is a wide selection of hotels, from cheap to luxury. For a luxury hotel that won't break the bank, I recommend itWestin Long Beach, which is currently#1 hotel i Tripadvisor.
For a mid-level hotel, I suggest legendaryqueen maria. Finally, if you want a cheap hotel, give it a tryRoyal Inn Motel Long Beach. You can also check HotelsCombined forBest hotel rates in Long Beach.
Hoteli i Long Beach:Check Trip Advisor reviews for everythingHotels in Playa Larga.
What to pack:Temperatures vary greatly in each season, but even in summer it can be cold at night and very hot during the day. I visited in March and was very happy to havelight jacket,warm socks (I like themledolomac), waterproof outer layer andoily skint, and some hiking boots (I loveKeen). If you're visiting in the winter, you'll want to bring solid layers.
Best time of year to cruise from Long Beach to Ensenada:My favorite months to cruise are October and November. The weather is usually warm but not hot. Spring can be unpredictable. Maybe you have summer weather or some rain. Early summer can bring foggy mornings, but it should clear around 10am. m.
6 Things You Must Pack for a Carnival Cruise
- getSouthern California Cruise Guide: Golden Gate to Ensenada, Mexico.
- I always bringBoninoon a cruise. It's for motion sickness and the likeof dramabut it doesn't put me to sleep.
- Bring a quality mirrorless camera to capture those beautiful photos of the ship and Mexico. I usesony alfa a6000.
- You'll get a lot of sun on board, and it can be tricky in a cool breeze, so be sure to bring oneNeutrogena Sunscreen Broad Spectrum Spf 45
- Greattravel bag over the shoulder. Bandoliers are great for your day in Mexico. The bag hangs across your chest to keep all your valuables safe!
- Don't forget sunglasses for beautiful sunny days at sea.AJ Morgan unisex sunglassesThey are a great option and very affordable!
- Water shoesThey are a great item for any vacation at the pool or beach. They take up little space when packing and are great if you end up on a rocky beach or very hot sand.
Pin it for later!
Read more about the cruise
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- How to spend a perfect day in port in Cozumel
- How to choose the right Viking river cruise in Europe
Many thanks to Carnival Cruise Line for your generous hospitality. We enjoyed this cruise as professional bloggers, but as always, all opinions are our own.
But the best time to visit Baja is from December through April. Our Baja cruises primarily operate during these months, taking advantage of pleasant weather and sailing conditions while avoiding the hottest summer months and the hurricane season.How many hours is the cruise from Long Beach to Ensenada? ›
The cruise terminal is approximately 23 miles south of Los Angeles International Airport and 12 miles from Long Beach Airport. Plan excursions for your time in port. Both cruises spend approximately nine hours in Ensenada.What is the best amount of days for a cruise? ›
If you're bringing the whole family, a 5 or 7 day cruise might be the best way to make sure everyone has an awesome getaway. And for those lucky folks with even more time to spare, a cruise of 10 days or more will give you an incredible experience of all the best things a cruise has to offer.What port does Carnival use in Long Beach? ›
Long Beach Cruise Terminal is the Los Angeles departure and arrival port for Carnival Cruise Line. Other cruise lines use the Port of Los Angeles World Cruise Center in San Pedro, which is literally on the other side of the Los Angeles Harbor.What months have the best weather in Baja California? ›
Being a desert climate, it is generally warm and dry year-round. Overall, the cooler months of November – April is the best time to visit Baja California Sur. It is dry all over the state, with blue skies and sunshine most days. Mornings and evenings can be cool, and water temperatures are chilly.Do you need a passport to go on a cruise to Baja Mexico? ›
All travelers are advised to carry a valid passport with them when taking a cruise to Mexico, regardless of their nationality and port of departure. US citizens on closed-loop cruises, meaning they begin and end at the same US port, can travel to Mexico with proof of citizenship other than a passport.What is the best month to cruise to Ensenada? ›
- April: April is widely considered the best month to take a cruise to Ensenada. ...
- May: May is another great month to take a cruise to Ensenada. ...
- June: June marks the beginning of summer in Ensenada, and it is a great time to take a cruise to the city. ...
- October: ...
By Sea: If you are on a closed-loop cruise, you will not need a passport book and can visit Ensenada using your passport card, a REAL ID, or a trusted traveler's card.Can I cruise to Ensenada without a passport? ›
U.S. citizens on closed-loop cruises will be able to enter or depart the country with proof of citizenship, such as an Enhanced Driver's License (EDL), a government-issued birth certificate (issued by the Vital Records Department in the state where he or she was born) or passport, and if 16 or older, a government ...How much money should I bring on a 3 day cruise? ›
As a general rule, plan to have $50 to $100 each day in the local currency. Also, you may want to bring an extra $20 a day for tipping crew members. Make sure to include smaller bills for tips. Fifty to a hundred dollars a day should be enough to cover small purchases, tips and snacks at each port.
Many people suggest $100 per day, and this has generally worked well for me in my cruising experiences, but there are a lot of variables to consider. Here are some guidelines to help you decide how much money to bring on a cruise.What day of the week is the cheapest to book a cruise? ›
There's No Best Day to Book
Cruise lines generally release their lowest fares when itinerary schedules are first published, and then run sales every so often to encourage bookings. As cabins fill up, the prices go up.
Carnival Cruise Line
However, like most cruise lines, you can expect the earliest you can board the ship to be about four hours before departure.
Is there parking at the cruise terminal? Parking is available at the Long Beach Cruise Terminal parking structure for $23 per day (rates subject to change). 0-30 minutes - No charge, 31 to 59 minutes $4.00, 1 to 2 hours $8.00. Note: The Garage Height Limit is 7'0".What ship is docked at Long Beach? ›
Now permanently stationed in Long Beach, the Queen Mary is not just a floating museum—the ship also offers top-notch dining, dazzling city skyline views, overnight accommodations in original first-class staterooms, and a full calendar of performances and events.What are the hottest months in Baja Mexico? ›
The hottest months are April & May in the South, and July to September on Pacific Coast (Including Baja), and extremely hot in the Yucatan May to September.Is the ocean warm in Baja? ›
Average water temperatures are 80-85° F (26-30° C) with up to 80 feet (25 meters) of visibility.When should I go to Baja? ›
What's the Best Time of Year to Visit Baja? January to March is prime whale-watching season and the height of tourist visits. Summer is the best time to surf and brings temperatures that can soar into the nineties.Is it safe to go on a cruise to Mexico right now 2023? ›
Generally speaking, Mexico is a safe destination if visitors use common sense and educate themselves about the particular region of the country they are visiting. Due to crime, several regions of Mexico are subject to elevated travel advisories.What documents are needed for Carnival cruise to Mexico? ›
A boarding pass. A government photo I.D. if 16 years of age or older.
There is no permit requirement for visiting the entire peninsula of Baja. There is a permit requirement to travel into mainland Mexico or if you will take the ferry from Baja to the mainland. Visit our vehicle permit page for more information on how to obtain a Mexican vehicle permit.What is the safest month to go on a cruise? ›
- Best Time to Cruise Hawaii: May - September. ...
- Best Time to Cruise the Caribbean: December - Mid-April. ...
- Best Time to Cruise Australia: November - March. ...
- Best Time to Cruise to Mexico: November - January. ...
- Best Time to Cruise to Bermuda: June - August. ...
- Best Time to Cruise Alaska: June - August.
The average high temperature hovers around 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 Celsius during the day and a chilly 50 Fahrenheit or 10 Celsius at night. Rainfall increases slightly to about one to two inches a month. Because of the cooler temperatures, cruise ships visit Ensenada less often and instead go farther south.Does it get cold during cruises to Mexico? ›
With a mid subtropical climate, cruises can expect highs in the mid 70s during the summer and mid 60s during the winter. In the winter, expect lows in the high 40s.Do you have to be vaccinated to go on a cruise? ›
Although vaccines are not required, we encourage all guests 5 years of age and older to be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines, when eligible, and carry proof of vaccination.How many days is the Ensenada cruise? ›
Overview. Begin and end your 4 day (3 night) cruise in Los Angeles onboard the Navigator of the Seas and enjoy exclusive savings and cruise inclusions with Royal Caribbean and Global Journeys.Why do cruise ships have to stop in Ensenada? ›
Due to what's commonly called the Jones Act requiring a stop in a foreign port instead of only US ports. It was instituted about 100 years ago & should be repealed because it prevents more US ports of call.Do you need a real ID to go on a Carnival cruise? ›
A non-expired government-issued photo I.D. is required of all guests 16 years of age and older. The following are acceptable: Driver's License (a temporary Driver's License with photo is acceptable)Do you need a passport for Baja California? ›
Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents. When crossing the border back and forth between Baja and San Diego, you'll need to have a valid passport or other acceptable identification handy.Which cruise line does not require a passport? ›
Carnival offers many Caribbean cruise options including sailings that depart and return to U.S. ports like Baltimore, Norfolk and New Orleans. These don't require a passport as they are closed-loop sailings.
Most guests bring $50-$120 cash per day to spend during the cruise. You will have many opportunities to purchase duty free goods, take exciting shore excursions, buy local souvenirs, play your chance in the casino, or enjoy some pampering in the spa.Is it good to carry cash on a cruise? ›
You will most likely need cash while you're off the ship, especially in foreign ports. Not only can it save you money in foreign transaction fees that most credit card companies charge, but if you're traveling to certain parts of the world, you may encounter places where credit cards aren't accepted.Can you get a drink package on a 3 day cruise? ›
Can guests purchase the all-inclusive beverage packages for selected days? The package is sold for the first 2 days of the voyage and can only be purchased for the length of the voyage. On a 2 or 3-night cruise, guests must purchase on the first day.How do you not spend a lot of money on a cruise? ›
- Drink Packages. Most cruise lines offer per-day pricing on drink packages, either for soft drinks and non-alcoholic beverages or for all types of alcoholic drinks. ...
- Specialty Dining. ...
- Fitness Classes. ...
- Connection Fees. ...
- Professional Photos. ...
- Souvenirs. ...
- Tours With Meals. ...
- Shopping Tours.
For your convenience, almost all your on board purcheses are charged directly to your Sail & Sign account. The required form will be sent to your along with your travel documents or it is a part of the Fun Pass. The Sail & Sign account can be activated either by credit card or by cash.What months are the most expensive to cruise? ›
The most popular time to cruise is during summer when it's warmest, kids are out of school, and holidays like Christmas and New Year's Eve. Due to supply and demand, these are the most expensive times to travel. So, if you have to ability to cruise in the shoulder season and can take a drop-and-go, you can save money.Is it cheaper to call and book a cruise? ›
Travel agents can get better deals on cruises
Their service to you is usually free, though some may charge first-time clients a minimal fee. It's worth it. In addition to sharing their expertise, the agent may have negotiated group space at lower rates with the cruise line, which may save you money on the cruise fare.
Cruise prices do not get cheaper closer to the sailing date in all cases. Cruise prices are usually the cheapest furthest from the sailing date when first launched or 60-90 days before the cruise sets sail. The prices of some cruises will decrease last minute but this doesn't always happen.What is the best time of year to cruise to Cabo? ›
Cabo San Lucas is one of the most arid cruise ports on the Mexican Riviera. But there are still best and worst times to visit this popular vacation destination on the west coast of Mexico. The best time to visit Cabo san Lucas is April through June. The worst times are August and September.What time of year is best to whale watch in Baja? ›
Though whale watching is a year-round activity, Baja whale season peaks in the winter months of January through March. However, you can expect to see gray whales off the coast of the Baja peninsula from late December through April.
- April: April is widely considered the best month to take a cruise to Ensenada. ...
- May: May is another great month to take a cruise to Ensenada. ...
- June: June marks the beginning of summer in Ensenada, and it is a great time to take a cruise to the city. ...
- October: ...
Keep in mind: Pacific hurricane season runs from mid-May to November. Though Cabo typically only experiences tropical storms during the hurricane season, the city has seen hurricanes make landfall in the region. It's best to consider an international travel insurance policy regardless.How many days in Cabo is enough? ›
Many guests stay for seven days but might easily have remained an additional three to four days. For returning visitors, spending a week in and around Cabo San Lucas offers the ideal amount of time for exciting activities, leisure, and the adventures they missed the first time around.What months have the worst weather in Cabo? ›
The period from August to September can be the worst time to plan your vacation to Cabo. The weather reaches its highest peak in August. The heat coupled with constant rain and the occasional hurricane makes for a pretty poor vacation.What is the most expensive month to go to Cabo? ›
Top tips for finding cheap flights to Cabo San Lucas
High season is considered to be May, June and July. The cheapest month to fly from United States is January.
Legal Whale watching in Baja California Sur, Mexico, is only allowed from a boat. Swimming with them is illegal.Where is the best place to see whales in Baja? ›
There are three spots in Baja California Sur where the gray whales come every winter—Laguna San Ignacio, Laguna Ojo de Liebre, and Bahía Magdalena. Visitors go out into the lagoons in small fishing boats, and up close encounters with the gentle giants are extremely common.What time of year can you see whale sharks in Baja? ›
The best time to see whale sharks in La Paz is between October and February when they journey from across the world to take advantage of the feeding frenzy. Water temperatures are still bathtub warm in October and November before dropping to around 60°F in January and February towards the end of winter.What month has the most hurricanes in Mexico? ›
September and October are the two warmest months in Mexico. These two months in Mexico are also the most active for hurricanes. Cooling down starts occurring in November and hurricane season will officially end.What is the hottest month in Baja? ›
The hottest month of the year in Baja is July, with an average high of 82°F and low of 62°F. The cold season lasts for 3.4 months, from November 22 to March 2, with an average daily high temperature below 46°F.