Thanksgiving “3 in 2015” Cruise to Mexico, Day 3: Bar Hopping in Ensenada

This was our third (and my fourth) visit to Ensenada, with the last visit just two months before. It’s definitely a “faster to the fun” destination from L.A.

On my first trip to Ensenada, I’d done the usual La Bufadora and winery stop. Our first trip together we did the wine country tour, which was fabulous. You felt like you were in Italy – not Mexico. In September, we did a tour of historical Ensenada with a stop at another winery and lunch downtown. So for this trip, we chose the Barhopping Tour, stopping at 3 bars by bus, which would start at noon but we should arrive at 11:45 a.m. on the pier.

The Inspiration arrived in Ensenada at around 7 a.m. We’d put the room service thingie out the night before. On Carnival, you can wait until 5 a.m. to put it out, unlike other cruise lines where you have to put it out the night before – or at least, you did. But Carnival really accommodates its late-night party crowd. Try getting lunch before noon – impossible. It’s all about breakfast for late-risers.

We’d requested the 7-7:30 a.m. time slot but it always came at around 6:50 a.m. So Rich got up to accept the room service delivery and then we drank our coffee and oj, ate our cereal and banana, took our showers and got ready. Ah… the shower was really, really nice. This bathroom and shower was far better than on the Ruby Princess.

I was really dragging this morning – martinis or any hard liquor does that to me. Not knowing if there would be any food opportunities on this tour, but too early to find lunch on the ship, we stopped by the buffet to see what we could find. Scrambled eggs, potatoes, and ham for Rich and scrambled eggs and sausage for me.

We sat in the atrium waiting to meet up with our tour and finally headed down a bit early, just in case it took longer than expected. Nope, we were there in no time. At this point, we weren’t sure we really wanted to do the tour. Perhaps we’d stay on board and enjoy the pool and rest. We wandered through the shops on the pier but didn’t find anything we had to have. We were hoping to find some Christmas ornaments but didn’t see any.

Finally, we decided to go for the tour, and we were later glad we did. It turned out to be a blast!

Our first stop was a bit laid-back bar by the beach where we watched people ride horses on the beach. The second stop was the famous Hussong’s Cantina in downtown Ensenada, which was our favorite. And our third stop was around the corner from Hussongs, Papas & Beer, which was a total scream. At stop #1 and #3, we were given a free tequila shot, but at Hussongs, we were on our own. The daily special was 2 for 1 margaritas for $3, which made it $1.50 apiece. Can’t beat that – lol! And there was entertainment.

In between the stops, the driver played rap music and people got up and danced and one guy used the bars as a jungle gym. Here I’d been practicing my Salsa moves by doing Zumba (our boat crew did the Salsa in Puerto Vallarta), but on this tour, we ended up with the L.A. Rap Crowd – lol! One woman said her guy (husband? boyfriend?) was usually quite sedate and she was shocked at the party animal he turned out to be. He got us to high five and do a finger thingie and dance.

When they handed out cans of beer on the bus, another guy said, “This is legal in Mexico?” We passed on the beer (I have slight gluten reactions to beer). This is so totally not our usual scene but it was a huge BLAST! And, we must add, we’d never done tequila shots until we did the “Tequila Tasting” at Mexico in Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival at WDW the first year it was offered.

IMG_6215Mango tequila shot

IMG_6217Added to our mango tequila shot – really good with fruits, especially watermelon.

IMG_6236Entering Hussongs Cantina

hussongsInside Hussongs Cantina

IMG_62352 for 1 Margaritas

IMG_6220Mariachis at Hussongs

IMG_6239Sidewalk Tables

IMG_6241Menu at Papas & Beer (we ordered but the food never arrived)

IMG_6243Papas & Beer (the music was screaming loud!!!)

On the way back to the pier, we were all dancing on the bus – our party friend told one person, “no faces,” so I’ll skip posting those pics altogether. When we arrived at the port and the officer came onboard to check our shipboard cards, we all had to sit down and act straight – lol – which made us all crack up after.

Later, like on so many cruises, when we saw some of our party people on the ship, they either didn’t recognize us or pretended not to. I wrote this into a scene in Real Women Wear Red, based on the first time this had happened to my first cruise. šŸ™‚

Back onboard, we headed straight to our cabin and ordered room service. For a small fee (new to Carnival), we ordered the Philly Cheesesteak and Chicken Quesadilla to share for lunch/dinner. Tonight was “formal” night but we chose to stay in our cabin, watch Failure to Launch on the cabin TV, order bedtime milk and cookies and call it a night.

About Kathy

Author of Cruise and Travel-Themed Novels ("Real Women Wear Red" / "Real Women Sing the Blues"), Songwriter & Poet