Thursday, April 7, 2016

Queen Mary & Wine Tasting in Ensenada Mexico

Greetings dear friends.  I was away this past weekend on a little mini trip with my family.  I apologize for not visiting your blogs as I did not have internet...

My daughter booked a three day cruise for us from Long Beach.  We've done this itinerary before but it's always a fun get away, especially with the family.  We started the night before, checking into the Queen Mary Hotel in Long Beach. (You can check out my previous blog about the Queen Mary here.)

The Queen Mary is 80 years old this year.  She sailed the seas for 31 years and she's been docked in Long Beach for almost fifty years.

Here's a photo of the promenade deck.  Just imagine how it would have looked with all the passengers 80 years ago...

We enjoyed happy hour in the iconic art deco bar and caught a glimpse of the sunset.

I've shared many photos before of the cabins but I just had to show you this picture of the drawer which becomes a desk.  Isn't is amazing!  Imagine sitting there and penning a letter to your dear one across the water.  Oh, how I wish I could go back in time!

The ship still retains a lot of it's original fixtures and proudly wears its art deco decor.

Sadly, I don't think we will be staying there again.  The prices range from $99 to $500 (according to the hotel clerk).  But, we paid just shy of $200.00 for one night, with no parking and no amenities whatsoever in our room.  There is no central heating/air conditioning; our daughter's family froze in their room and the hotel's engineer had to turn on the boiler in order for it to warm up.  It amazes me how they can run this as a business when so much is lacking.  I would love to see someone take this project on as a "restoration" so as not to lose anything that makes this ship so special.  But, I'm sure it would be cost prohibitive.

The next morning we walked across the parking lot and boarded our cruise ship for a three night cruise to Ensenada, Mexico.  The photo above is of Ensenada from the pier.

The weather was perfect when we arrived in Ensenada. 

Ensenada sits at the northern part of the Baja California peninsula.  It is semi arid so there's no lush tropical greenery as you would find further south.  But, it's still a lovely area.

I went on a wine tour with my daughter and son-in-law.  My dear husband stayed onboard the ship.
It was about a 45 minute drive to the vineyards.

Our first stop was at L.A. Cetto winery.  Mr. Cetto came from Italy and started this winery back in 1928.  They make wonderful reds and white wines along with their special extra virgin olive oils.

On the grounds of the winery there is this little chapel area with a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  A blessing of the harvest takes place here each season.

And, here's a little tiny snapshot of one of the vineyards.  The area is so beautiful with the rolling hills and green vineyards reaching out along the land.

Of course, we had to view the barrel room.  For the white wine, they use oak barrels from France to give that unique oaky aroma.

And, the tour concluded with wine tasting in the tasting room.

From there we traveled down the road a bit to another winery which is known for being strictly an organic operation.

The buildings were a bit primitive but the scenery made up for it.

We tasted some lovely wines and enjoyed sitting on the patio area.  It was then time to board the bus back to the ship.

If you're familiar with my blog, you know that I'm from central Washington state.  The part of the state that is big on agriculture.  We also have lots of vineyards and the scenery here reminded me so much of the area of the Tri Cities (Kennewick, Pasco and Richland).  

Although it was not my first time to Ensenada, I enjoyed learning some new things about this city:

1.  Ensenada is the third largest port in Mexico
2.  The drink called "Margarita" originated in Ensenada
3.  Ensenada is home to Mexico's wine country
4.  Ensenada has a population of approximately 700,000 people
5.  Ensenada is approximately a three hour drive from the border of California

The cruise was enjoyable for our family as there is always something for each of us to do to keep us busy.  And, the ship itself and our cabin was well cared for.  But, something did bother me a bit.  We dined in the formal dining room each evening on the ship.  They have a short program where the waiters sing and dance called "showtime".  I'm sorry to say, but this time I felt it was very humiliating for the wait staff.  The sound system was horrible and the way the dining room was set up on board this ship made it extremely awkward to "sing and dance".  The staff on board the ship are people like you and me.  They work extremely hard with no days off, sign extended contracts and have to be away from their families for months at a time.  I admire these people who are so hard working.  And, I don't like to see them treated unfairly. 

Thank you again for all your lovely comments and for reading my blog.  Life has quieted down here a little bit now and all is well.  I'll be back again hopefully sharing some crafty (knitting) news if I can complete the project I'm working on.  Until then, be safe and have fun whatever you are doing!

With my best wishes to you,

 Linking to the following:
BTTCG BLog Party ...


  1. Thank you Pat. I learned new things from Ensenada - never heard before... Have a lovely weekend!

  2. What a great post!
    Wishing you and yours a happy weekend!

  3. Apart from a few annoying things on your holiday, it looks like you've had a good break. I enjoyed seeing the beautiful ship interior and the areas that you visited. x

  4. What precious time away with your family. after being on my first cruise this year I came home saying just that, it has something for all ages and to travel as an extended family on a cruise would be a great idea. thanks again for the share Pat and welcome back home x

  5. The Queen Mary looks amazing, a shame the stay wasn't more comfortable.

    I loved reading this post, thanks for sharing!
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend, all the best,

  6. Pat your trip sounds wonderful. I loved looking a the art deco décor, such a shame it couldn't be taken on as a restoration project.

  7. Beautiful ship built here on the River Clyde in Scotland!

  8. Wow, I never was at a big ship in my life... and the writing desk is wonderful - would like to sit thetre and write a letter or a diary... The hotel seems like in old times -
    Have a nice weekend

  9. We visited the Queen Mary when we lived in southern California, but toured it, didn't stay on it.
    Went to Ensenada once, driving, had no idea it was that big or that there were vineyards there.

  10. Glad you had a (mostly) good time! Thank you for taking part in Five On Friday, hope you have a great weekend! xx

  11. I didn't know there was wine production in Mexico. What a shame the Queen Mary is not modernised, it would be so much more enjoyable if the amenities were as fabulous as the art deco of the ship. Glad you had a good trip.

  12. Hello Pat, I have thought that if ever I was going to do a cruise this short one from Long Beach to Ensendada would be my choice. I can't believe after living in Southern California for so long I never made a point of visiting the Queen Mary. I read again about you being from Central Washington. I spent some time in the Tri-cities when our sons played soccer for tournaments. We moved to Washington State in 1988 after living in Southern California all our lives to that point. Hope you have a great weekend.

  13. Thanks for sharing your interesting trip, Pat. I always think of Wine Country being in the Napa Valley of CA, but now I can add WA state and Mexico to the list of places I have found that have vineyards! xx

  14. Dear Pat:
    So glad you shared your lovely trip. My Grandaughter's name is Lily too. I am so glad you came and shared and linked. I just moved 3 weeks ago today so got a little behind this week but wanted to say thanks! Hope you can join in again Monday!

  15. Hi Pat, the ship looks a lot like the Titanic. How nice it is. My 16 year old daughter wants to go on a cruise so bad. Thanks for sharing your trip with us and have a great weekend,

  16. I love to take a cruise, but I can't remember us ever eating int he formal dinning room, we are much more a buffet crowd in my family. I can see all the singing and dancing might be a bit too much. Glad you had fun,

  17. wow looks like a lovely holiday- never been on a cruise ship- looks huge!! xx

  18. Hi Lilly's Mom,
    I'm pleased to meet you. What lovely pics of your Queen Mary Wine Tasting cruise. I am not much of a traveller but wish that I could see that beautiful vintage ship. Even though it was expensive it is good to treat ourselves once in a while. Have a good weekend! Karen

  19. Oh I just loved having a look at the original Queen Mary - how grand and elegant she was. You must have had a great time!

  20. Hi Pat, your trip sounds wonderful! I loved seeing The Queen Mary - such a beautiful old gal and I can imagine it was a wonderful experience to take a cruise on her. It was fun to see Ensenada and all the beautiful wineries. I've been to the Napa Valley, but had no idea there were wineries in that part of Mexico. It really does remind one of the tri-cities area with the aridity of the landscape and the distant hills. It's nice to get away with family for a nice little break. Hugs xo Karen

  21. Hello! Just had to see this post when I noticed it below the one for FIVE. We went on the cruise to Ensenada last fall and loved every minute of it! I have taken the tour of the Queen Mary many years ago (before it was ever a hotel) but had never been on a cruise. I have a bunch of photos of our cruise that I spread over about ten blog posts. To see them enmasse, you could visit my facebook page if you have facebook. I got some pretty photos from the deck of the ship, some of Long Beach, and I loved seeing your photos. Would have loved the wine tour...maybe next time if we ever do it again. Did you go to La Bufadora? The ONLY thing I could complain about was that my husband is disabled and there is no way to have help getting your bags (or you) from your car in parking to where assistance is available. Fortunately we were traveling with our kids, and our daughter could drop us off and then go park the car. But what if we had been alone? I could have dropped hubby off, but I too have health issues and that walk down from the car would have done me in. It was my only complaint. It was awesome the way we could call for a wheelchair to be brought for my hubby every time we needed help from that point on though. That was wonderful.


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