> Cruises > Viking Serenade

Viking Serenade, Baja Mexico, September 1, 1997 - September 5, 1997

We decided that we needed an end-of-summer getaway, so we booked the Viking Serenade 4-night cruise over Labor Day.

The cruise stopped at Catalina Island, San Diego, and Ensenada.

The first port was Catalina Island. We had been here before, but not for a few years. We took a snorkeling excursion and although the water was a bit cold (we wore wet suits), we enjoyed it very much. Allyn got to swim with Garibaldi, the adorable bright orange fish (and California State Fish).

After the snorkeling was done we rented a golf cart and zoomed around the mountain roads and took in the sights and scenery. We enjoyed this very much.

The next stop was San Diego. Since we live in the greater San Diego area, a port stop in what is essentially our home city was not very enticing. We had planned to stay on the ship and relax and read, swim, etc. Unfortunately, Teri got a migraine headache and was miserable. It was so bad she wanted to go to the emergency room.

It felt weird to be a stranger in our own home city. We had no transportation and no idea where the closest emergency room on our health plan was. And trying to get that information turned out to be like pulling teeth.

We finally found a hospital and took a cab over there. After a long wait the doctor prescribed some pills for Teri so we caught another cab to a nearby pharmacy, where we had another long wait. A third cab took us back to the ship. This took most of the day we had intended to relax and it was anything but relaxing, unfortunately.

I don't remember leaving port that day. Normally we would have been up on deck enjoying the sunshine and sea breezes. We hope someday to cruise out of San Diego Harbor again when we can enjoy it.

Our third and final port stop was Ensenada, Mexico. We had been to Ensenada before and knew what to expect. We took a van tour to La Bufadora, one of only a handful of blowholes in the world. Sea water shoots up through a hole in the rock and sprays into the air.

At our dinner table were eight first-time cruisers. We surveyed them at the end of the cruise on their experience and all eight said they were hooked on cruising and would cruise again.

On this cruise, every day is a port day. We really enjoy days at sea so this was a little disappointing, but we did enjoy the cruise.

Allyn's note: The Viking Serenade is no longer part of the Royal Caribbean fleet. She has been sold or leased to a UK-based company and renamed the Island Escape.

Copyright © 1997 Teri & Allyn Fratkin, All Rights Reserved.