*Disclaimer: This was a #selfietrip. Sometimes when photographers go out into the real world to have real experiences, they leave their fancy cameras and lenses at home to enjoy the little moments as they happen. This was one of those trips. Feel free to excuse yourself now if you can’t handle looking at two people, madly in love, taking face-photos together.
Our weekend trip to Ensenada, Mexico was many things – first time taking a cruise, first time in Mexico, first time zip lining, first time on a company cruise with my whole staff from work.
That’s right, this all-inclusive 3-day cruise from Long Beach, California to Ensenada was paid for by my (previous) job. Sweet, right? With the exception of a brief team meeting one afternoon, this trip was about chilling with our spouses, ordering every item on the fancy dining room menu, and drinking authentic piña coladas until Mexico ran out of pineapples.
Bartering for trinkets at Plaza Pueblo Antiguo.
Stopped at La Bufadora for piña coladas, colorful souvenirs and to see the famous natural water spout in the cliffside with a surprisingly sad backstory.
Legend has it that in forgotten times, during one of the migrations to the warm waters of the south, a breeding gray whale that passed through the bay of Ensenada got separated from the group. While wandering lost, it got stuck between rocks and, in an effort to cry for help, decided to launch small and large jets of water into the air to alert its companions. Over time, this whale turned into stone and merged with the rocks in the place to what is now called La Bufadora.
Climb the cliffs of the coast and discover La Bufadora, the second largest marine geyser in the world. Listen carefully to the sound emitted by the marine wave train as it experiences pressure in a cave at the base of the reef, and imagine an animal snorting and let the stream of water that reaches almost ninety feet high. (VisitMexico.com)
The thrill of a zip line is often exhilarating, but brief. We loved that the zip line course at Las Cañadas Campamento offered 5 zip lines alternating with 5 different hanging bridges in varying difficulty, so that the whole experience took several hours instead of minutes, and made us feel like we got our money’s worth. This excursion cost us $50 each and was not included in the Carnival Cruise cost, but made our trip that much more memorable.
Hanging bridge at Las Cañadas Campamento. That’s me in the front, not falling!
Inside the main atrium of our 7-story Carnival Cruise ship (not including the crew quarters down below).
The Chef’s Table (no, not the Netflix show) on a Carnival Cruise is an exclusive evening of delicacies and stunning presentation, hosted by the ship’s head chef. For only $75 per person, we feasted on a multi-course gourmet menu with unlimited wine.
Of course, I want to show you the dessert first! This is Sea Salt Praline Chocolate, Raspberry Mojito, Key Lime Cake, Apricot Vanilla Gel and Citrus Cream.
Our experience began with a personal tour around the ship’s galley kitchen, stopping every so often to sample imaginative appetizers like mango spheres on rosemary biscuits, salmon tartar cornets, and beef carpaccio with chocolate bacon and apple ribbons. Fancy, right?
Before heading to a secluded dining room for the main courses, the head pastry chef demonstrated how to make Carnival’s famous Warm Chocolate Melting Cake with only 5 ingredients. Let me tell you, that dessert is dangerous! Too easy to make, and so rich. And all that before we even sat down for dinner.
The endless entrées, the attention to detail, the flavors and presentation – we have never felt so special.
(left) Blue cheese dinner rolls. (right) Beet blankets in spiced grape tea.
Red tomato bisque and yellow tomato bisque with fresh creme and mango caviar down the middle.
(left) Sea bass with a lemon macaron. (right) Beef waygu and corn cube.
(left) Crab stack with mango caviar. (right) Duck and puffed vegetables.
We’re ready to go cruising again! Maybe a European cruise next time??