Flew into LA from Canada 2 days prior to sailing.
We are a couple in our late 40's both work full time and wanted to chill out on the coast, drink some California wine and relax. This was our 16th cruise, Have cruised with Princess, Carnival, RCI, Norweg & Holland. We like to travel off season. Great deals and not so crowded.
Stayed at The Westin in Long Beach, great deal on price line. Walking distance to nice restaruants. Also hit Vaugn's grocery store. Numerous California wines to choose from. Brought a couple of good bottles on the ship. ( 1 each no hassle.)
Rented a car from the LA air port and toured the coast for 2 days. Our cruise was the first week of Oct so the weather was just beautiful. Dropped off our luggage at the port the morning of the departure, Had brunch along the San Pedro coast and back to the ship by 2pm. Easy peasy, getting around with a car. We packed our GPS and off we went. Dropped the car at Long Point and free shuttle to the ship.
Embarkation was a breeze. On the ship in about 20mins tops ( about 2pm) our room was avail. We have an AFT Cabin the extra size balcony is great and lots going on in the harbor while we wait to sail away.
Day 1 on route to San Fran. full sea day. Tons of fog and wind. lots to do on the ship, took advantage of the gym and steam bath etc. good day to relax as still had a bit of jet leg due to time change.
Day 2 San Fran. Take the hop on hop off open air bus tour. Lasts about an hour and a great over view of the city as well as some history. Wear comfy shoes, the harbor front is beautiful and spot less. Spent the afternoon strolling and taking in the sites. Fisherman's Warf..Sea lions a must. ( you can hear them from the ship)
Day 3 Sea Day
Day 4 Santa Barbara- Walked, walked and walked. ok a bit of shopping as well. Great town but nothing special but very wealthy and homeless teenagers. Sad really.
Day 5 San Diego- very interesting, hopped in a cab and took in the zoo. Cab fare from ship about 8.00
Good way to spend a nice sunny day. Back to the harbor front to check out the down town. Very Cool.
Enjoyed sitting on the aft balcony with a glass of wine. Watching life go by in the harbor from the aft balcony was a treat. Packed the binoculars, fighter jets flew buy, aircraft carrier was directly across from us. Yachts coming and going. A very active harbour.
Day 6 Ensenada Mexico.- Walked from the ship into the town. Different from other Mexican cities we have visited. Enjoyed some freshly made salsa right on the spot yum. Had some tequila samples and enjoyed the hot sunny afternoon strolling in the area. Felt totally safe. Purchase your gifts in town. The gift shop at the pier is a rip off.
Day 7 Arrival back to LA. - We walked off with our luggage. Process took about 25 mins and we were on route to the airport for a 12:30 flight. Lots of time to spare. Numerous vans at the pier will take you to the air port 15 pp.
Loved Princess. We dined with a table of 8 every evening. Hit it off right away with our table guests and made some new friends for the week. Dined one evening at the Steak house..a must..The surf and turf to die for, French onion soup, etc. Do not eat all day in preparation for this lovely meal.
The age of the majority of the passengers appeared to be mid 60's. We hit the casino and the comedy shows both good. Not one for the dancing shows. Rather stroll the ship in the evening with a glass of wine and take it all in.
We did not participate in any of the princess shore excursions. We have travelled enough, I do my own research in advance on these boards. Half the cost and use the extra cash to purchase wine along the way.
Food was excellent/ Princess was excellent.
As always, 7 days flies by. I would have enjoyed another sea day at the end but oh well.
Bon Voyage !!!!!