A 4-DAY CALIFORNIA COASTAL CRUISE ON THE SAPPHIRE PRINCESS: Part I

When you have finished Part 1, please scroll down for Part 2 of our Coastal Cruise experiences.

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There is a swelling and dipping movement as we cruise casting shadows ever-changing. The white foam tips tell a momentary tale and nearly instantly are dispersed for yet another appearance up or is it down the line. What does this mean?  It means a little lady and her husband from Tarzana are sitting on a balcony of a cruise ship heading from Los Angeles to Catalina, then to Ensenada and back again to Los Angeles. They have been on the high seas all over the world, why Catalina and Ensenada as destination points?  It was surmised that the long plane rides can be eliminated and destinations attained by sailing the high seas can still be enjoyed within a 45- minute drive from home.

Coastal Cruises worldwide have been experiencing higher interest in traveling from home ports, so many cruise lines are adding delightful itineraries departing from and returning to the same ports.  This close to home cruising offers the same sense of adventure, time to brush away your cares and doubts, gives you uninterrupted time for thought exploration, perhaps solving a problem here and there, time to talk and extra time to listen. You join the ranks of famous or infamous seafaring travelers whether it is for 100 days, 1000 days or your 4-day coastal cruise, allowing you to experience thought provoking discoveries and life altering solutions.

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The Vincent Thomas Suspension Bridge is a towering, shouting vision as you sail away from Berth 93 sailing across the Los Angeles Harbor to the open seas of the west coast of California. There are 2,700 other people with you on this ship and you wonder how do you fit in? You just do. Sometimes you have to stand in a line or two; sometimes you do not get dinner reservations when you want them, but basically there is room for everyone.

Fun loving friends John and Marlyn from Dorset were on the cruise. They rang our stateroom bell and look; we found them decked out in their sail away outfits. Oh happy cruising. We enjoyed their company and their stories of life across the pond. We shared ours. Cultural exchanges are dear.

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The first legendary Art Deco icon you see approaching Avalon Bay, Catalina is the Casino Building, which dominates the entrance to the bay. I thought it was a gambling casino, but not at all. The word casino in Italian means gathering place, and that it is, true to form, a gathering place. It is a 12-story building with a ballroom, where the dance floor can accommodate 6,ooo dancers as well as housing a Theater and Museum. Weddings and corporate events are held in the Casino. When you visit Catalina, take the 90-minute tour of the Casino Building.

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Next you wander off of the pier into the fabled fairyland of the commercial Avalon Bay. It is beautifully maintained and enjoyed by most visitors. A popular activity is to rent a golf cart and go back and forth on the frontage street. You have only a set route offered to golf carters. Do go early, as the golf carts by mid afternoon resemble a popular freeway exit.

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Our group of four tendered from our ship, and was swept up by Avalon Bay by Catalina Transportation Services for our planned trip to see the whole island of Catalina. You can see from some of the photos that Avalon Bay is like a movie set in its adorable perfection, but as you begin to move up and out of the bay, the landscape changes to its natural habitat. The following photos will give you a view of the interior and capture our Champagne toast at Sharks Bay.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sheryl
    Feb 14, 2014 @ 18:42:34

    The pictures bring back wonderful memories of my visit to Catalina Island several years ago.

    Reply

  2. Sheila Clapkin
    Feb 15, 2014 @ 09:46:41

    Sheryl,
    We have so many opportunities in Los Angeles, and the Channel Islands are one spectacular opportunity you can do over and over again!
    Sheila

    Reply

  3. Karen
    May 01, 2014 @ 13:12:55

    Love the shirts. I want to go on a Clapkin cruise.

    Reply

  4. Sheila Clapkin
    May 01, 2014 @ 13:40:08

    YOU know what Karen, we should have a Clapkin cruise. Where to?? Kind of out of ideas.

    Reply

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