I will be cruising on the Summit from Ensenada on May 3rd. I will be arriving in San Diego one night prior to departure. Based on reports from previous cruisers I assumed check in would be at the San Diego pier. However, I just recieved my cruise documents which includes a transfer from the San Diego airport to a hotel in Mexico for check in. I guess there was a change in procedure, so I'll have to head back to the airport on May 3rd for transportation to Ensenada. Does anyone have any idea on how early the first buses will depart?
I just did this in February on Vision of the Seas.
The buses left the San Diego airport at approximately 11AM. They went to the San Diego pier where the luggage was off-loaded, x-rayed and re-loaded back on the buses. Meanwhile, we received a box lunch and a bottle of water.
The trip to Ensenada was smooth and without problems or delay. The border crossing was a breeze, with not a single person being asked questions by Customs. The trip is about 90 miles.
We were taken, as I recall, to the Coral Hotel where in-processing was done. At about 2PM buses were used to transport everyone to the ship.
Hope this helps and that you have a great cruise. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
No change in procedure: they always do it that way. No sense using the pier facilities when the ship's not there and most people are flying in. In any event the airport and the ship terminal are practically right next to each other.
They peg the starting time for the busses roughly to the arrival times for their same day air/sea passengers. This usually means the first busses haul at 10 or 11 or so.
Spend all the time in Ensenada you like, but 1) the walk from the ship to town isn't short. 2) There's not much going on there. 3) But I am told you can buy ****** and other drugs without a prescription.
And, based on the experiences of some people on our cruise, they are very serious when they tell you not to drink the water (including ice cubes) in Ensenada. No joke.
The reason the ship leaves from Mexico is (if I recall correctly) the Stevens Law. A ship leaving the U.S must visit a foreign port before it returns to a U.S. port. Since your ship will be leaving a foreign port it can go directly to a U.S. port (Hawaii). If the ship leaves Hawaii it could not come directly back to San Diego, so it docks at Ensenada.
Thats also the reason most Alaska cruises depart from Vancouver, B.C.
Does that make sense?? I have never heard why that law was put into effect. I am sure it is hundreds of years old and probably involves smuggling. I wonder if it is still necessary? I would think our ports might have slightly better security than foreign ports.
It's the "Jones Act" and was put into place over a 100 yrs ago to PROTECT U.S. workers. Of course it is having the opposite effect now so there is a move to change the law. So typical of the U.S. to act so slowly, Robbie