“Highlights of SoCal” Birthday Trip/Cruise, Day Four

Who: Rich and Kathy
Where: Los Angeles to Ensenada cruise, Disneyland Resort, Newport Beach
What: Carnival Imagination, Residence Inn, Hyatt Regency Newport Beach
When: July 11-16, 2018
Why: Kathy’s Birthday Celebration (Catching up with SoCal)

Today was Ensenada day. We’d been to Ensenada several times so we weren’t sure what we wanted to do but found a tour called “VIP Wine and Lunch Tour” and thought that sounded fun. We’d done a couple of winery tours but this “VIP” with lunch sounded even better.

We were to meet the group on the pier at 11:10 for 11:30 tour. We were there a little early after a room service breakfast at about 8:00 a.m. Eventually, it was time for the tour so our guide led us to a small, cramped mini-bus. We were stuffed in there like sardines. Knowing how long the drive would be to the winery, having been there before, I started to panic, especially when a very large woman sat in the solo seat next to the door because she couldn’t fit on the side with the people in her row. Hey, she said it–not me.

If there was an emergency, none of us would be getting out of that van easily. I remembered the regular buses we’d had on our other tours and we hadn’t filled them. I never expected this type of vehicle. Nothing about this tour seemed “VIP.”

Rich told the guide we wanted to get out. This was just past security. I said I was having a panic attack. The woman next to the door said, “She’s having a panic attack.” I think she was afraid what I’d do next – lol!

So the driver stopped and let us out. We filled out a form. Another driver heading in stopped to see what was wrong and when told, he offered to drive us back to the ship. We’d thought about walking into town but by this time, it was hot outside and, frankly, I was really quite tired from the night before.

So we took him up on his offer. He was very nice, and Rich tipped him when he dropped us off. We stopped in at a gift shop and bought a magnet. Then we ran into our friend April and her friend from the Chef’s dinner from the night before. We chatted a bit. In fact, we kept running into them and chatted each time. They were very nice. So good to be with my people again. People really aren’t that friendly in Florida, especially if you’re not from where they’re from. This has always been the strange part about Florida. This is outside of Disney – on Disney property, we’ve had some really great interactions with other guests – one of my favorite parts about Disney World.

Anyway, not going on the tour allowed us to have lunch at the new Blue Iguana Cantina where we each had 2 or 3 tacos after we’d changed into our swimsuits. Then we found a couple of loungers on the Serenity Deck and Rich got us a couple of drinks, Margarita for me and Rum Jumper (I think) for Rich. That’s what my notes say, although I’m starting to wonder if that’s what he had. I think he had a Mai Tai, actually

We returned to the cabin for a nap and some packing before dinner. Dinner was in the buffet and then we went to the 70s/80s Rock show, which was absolutely amazing!!! We stopped in at the photo gallery and used my birthday discount to get the Ensenada photo and frame.

We stopped in at the buffet for a slice of cheesecake and some milk for a bed time snack. We later discovered that Carnival had refunded our money for the tour. We hadn’t even asked and thought that was a a great move on their part. Say what you will about Carnival, and we’ve probably said it, too, but their customer service is excellent.

About Kathy

Novelist & Music Producer

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