Catalina'a is scenic and its waters are very clear. We were greeted by a pod of 50+ dolphins the morning we arrived. Gift shops a-plenty and most are reasonably priced. Didn't try restaurants or take organized tours. Took an open air city trolley however that drove us around Avalon. It was $4 round trip and gives you a good non-narrated tour of the tiny town. Well worth the price compared to the high cost of the tours.
On arrival, we were were greeted by a new odor, the waters in and around Ensanada's port. Didn't recall it smelling this bad in the past. Didn't take tours or eat in restaurants this time (We have in the past however. Horseback riding and downtown tours were good) We shopped in the gift shops located in the building just as you exit the ship. We've found that these vendors sell nearly everything that can be found downtown at equal rates, without having to brave the taxi ride or risk security concerns. There is also a margarita vendor there who sells excellent premium tequila margaritas and other high quality drinks for about half of what you pay on the ship. They are Excellente!