We took this cruise in November but it was from Hawaii to Ensenda. Hopefully my answers will help.
We got dropped off at the San Diego Airport and saw the next Infinity cruise passengers loading on buses. You meet right outside the Hawaiin Airlines drop-off area. There will be 3-4 buses there to greet and load evereyone. The bus ride to Ensenada is about 3 hours and goes quickly (sit on the right side of the bus for some beautiful scenery!).
The ship has activities for all ages...not to worry. There are computers, fun lectures, cooking lessons, dance lessons various tours, computer classes, photography lessons etc. There are two swimming pools and jacuzzis. Evening activites include casino, lounge and dancing for the adults.
We are booked on this cruise also. We plan to purchase two transfer tickets at $67/ticket to get from whichever hotel the bus leaves from to the port. We will do own hotel and used FF air miles.
Any recommendations on what to do in the various ports. I know I would like a Helicopter trip, but I have forgotton the best Island to do that on. I have been to the cultural center before, and also the volcanoes on th Big Island. I was wondering if a Helicopter trip over the Volcano is available and worth while. I guess you might say I like the birds eye view. Eat like a bird and like to view like the bird. ( Birds eat a lot)
Well thank you for the responses. We will be in San Diego for three days pre-cruise with a rental car so I guess the thing to do would be to purchase the transfers, drop the rental car off back at the airport and then catch Celebrity's bus from there to wherever they do their check in.
Just for information, we did this cruise last year on the Carnival Spirit and Carnival did their checkin at the San Diego convention center and then bused you from there (for free) to the pier in Ensenada.
Anyone know why Celebrity keeps subjecting its passengers to this long bus ride to Ensenada when Princess round trips to Hawaii from LA? They do a one hour touch and go stop in Ensenada where no one leaves the ship to get their ticket punched for the Jones Act. I prefer Celebrity over Princess but not when I have to go through this. It was the deciding factor for me in the choice of the Island Princess instead of Celebrity.
We just did this cruise on May 9, 2004 from Ensenada to Honolulu. We bought bus transfers from Celebrity for the approx. 2 hour ride to Ensenada. The buses were not what I would call luxury buses but they were adequate. The ride does go by some very nice scenery along the Mexican coast.
Luggage was taken from us at the airport and sent by truck first to the San Diego port for screening by the TSA people, then sealed into trucks and transported to Ensenada.
Check-in for the ship was done at the Hotel Coral in Ensenada. We sat in the buses for at least an hour there waiting our turn to move up to the room in the hotel being used for check-in. There just is not enough room inside for everyone. Once you have checked in you reboard a bus for the 5 to 10 minute ride to the ship.
On the 9 day cruise there were 2 formal nights, the 2nd night (1st day at sea) and the night we left Maui. There were more kids on board than I would have expected in early May and appeared to be a fair number of teenagers.
If you have any other questions feel free to ask and I'll try to respond.
I am doing the Island Princess on December 20th. We are going with our children and grandchildren on this 15 day cruise. We are driving down a few days before so the kids can go to Disneyland. We are staying at the Sheraton, where we'll leave our cars. The Sheraton provides free transfers to and from the ship. Unfortunately, this is a popular cruise and Princess gets double the usual price for it. It sold out quickly. Better pricing can be had for this cruse at the non-holiday time frame.
HAL also goes round trip from San Diego to Hawaii. On your way back to San Diego (during the last night) you make a 1 hour "stop" in Ensenada to satisfy the Jones Act. Most of the passengers did not even notice the stop (it was from midnight to 1AM) and we had no need to take one of these long bus trips to Ensenada. Since we drove to the ship from LA, this was perfect for us.
Not sure why Celebrity is not doing this too, since both HAL and Princess are doing it.
We like Celebrity...just wish they used either LA or San Diego as a homeport instead of SF.
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Celebrity Infinity is doing a 15-night Round Trip from San Diego to Hawaii on December 5, 2004, but this is the only date for this cruise. They tried it this year and it was a success, I heard it was sold out.
On my last cruise on the Summit back in Dec 03, I asked the booking agent about it and she said she just came back from a meeting in Miami with Celebrity agents and said that since this R/T Hawaii cruise was such a hit, they are going to offer it for a few more weeks in 2005.
Celebrity's 2005 calendar is NOTout yet for May-Dec 2005, but I do hope they added a few more weeks to this cruise. I think it's going to be a hit, since there are so many Celebrity cruisers and a non-stop is great.
Interesting..The schedule for Infinity shows it (& many other ships)in Alaska for most of Sept 2005 , so I am thinking no trip to Hawaii from Vancouver in Sept ??? Doesn't affect us anymore as we decided to go with Radiance on Royal from Vancouver to Hawaii--Can catch Infinity another time & place.