I was nervous about taking my parents around Ensenada on my own, so I booked the City and Shopping tour with Carnival. I was happy with the choice. The excursion offered a nice variety for our day. We met in a lounge on the ship and the tour guide greeted us and took us off the ship, through customs, and to the large 40 passenger bus. We drove to the former casino and were offered a margarita or Coca-Cola. There were about 12 vendors selling souvenirs. Our tour guide gave us a tour of the casino and then gave us about 20 minutes to enjoy our drink and shop. We then went to a Wine shop (not a winery) and they let us sample 4 different wines and cheese and olive oil. We were there for about 35 minutes. I don't drink so my Dad and I walked across the street to a few pastries shops; it seemed safe to do that and the guide didn't mind. We then went to the shopping district and were given 1 hour to shop. We had enough time to sit at a restaurant on the corner where we were dropped off and have some fish tacos. We then went shopping for souvenirs. It was just enough time for us. You have the option to stay behind and shop if 1 hour is not enough time for you. Just let your tour guide know and she will tell you where to get a shuttle back to the boat for one dollar. The shuttle is right on the corner at the McDonalds on the street where the bus drops you off. Thinking back, I would have been okay with taking this option, but my parents have ambulatory issues and so going back on the bus with the tour guide was the best option for us. I would recommend the City and Shopping tour for anyone who wants to get a little sample of Ensenada without the stress of having to figure out what to do or how to get places safely and timely. I recommend that you book the early excursion at 9:30 so that you have plenty of time to get back to the boat and enjoy the ship. If you decide to leave the guided tour and stay shopping in the district, you have to be back on the ship by 5:30. If you stay with the tour guide, the whole excursion is 3 hours and she will take you back to the boat by around 1:15. There are about 10 shops outside of where the boat docks. I did most of my shopping here, only because they were last minute purchases and I didn't have the time constraint. If you plan out ahead of time who you want to get souvenirs for and roughly what you want to get them, then that will be helpful with managing your time when you are shopping on the guided tour.
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