Princess Cruise 4 Day West Coast Getaway – A perfect vacation with wine tours of Santa Barbara and Ensenada, Mexico.
A better title – I went on a cruise and it was glorious. And I can’t wait to go again.
You know how certain things come into your life at exactly the right moment? It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s a doozy. At the end of the summer, I was worn out and exhausted. I intentionally took some time off to spend the summer with the kids, I wanted lazy beach days and to read lots of books and to just be. All summer long. My husband had planned to take a day off one weekday each week to burn some leave and spend it with us. That isn’t exactly how it turned out. Things kept coming up and our days were busier than I imagined or planned on. My husband had a crazy summer work wise and ended up not taking a single day off. That left me with the kids and the responsibility to entertain them each day. (Next summer I am definitely going to find them some classes, camps, or activities.) By summer’s end, I was done. Worn out, tired, and cranky.
(This picture is unretouched, and the view from our cabin. Pure heaven.)
Then one day my luck changed. Princess Cruises came calling and asked if I would like to go on a culinary wine tour of California and Mexico with my best friend. I replied yes within 2 seconds in fear that they would change their mind. It was exactly what both of us needed. A refresh, recharge, and to spend some quality time together. We are both military wives and don’t get to see each other as often as we would like. We were going to come back new. We have 7 children between the two of us, truly needed a break, and with the help of our spouses and some family members (we are forever grateful) we were able to get away for 5 days.
(Our ride, the beautiful Ruby Princess)
I had never been on a cruise before, and to be honest, I had no idea what to expect. I was so busy leading up to the trip that I did very little research other than what the weather forecast was going to be. As it turns out, I didn’t need to do a thing. The lovely (and I truly mean lovely) people that hosted us on this trip took care of absolutely everything. I have never felt so cared for before. Our every need was met and anticipated. If I ever doubted that cruising was an excellent way to vacation, I don’t any longer. I cannot wait to do it again. Everything about it is easy.
This trip was a first for Princess. We went on a 4-day West Coast Getaway culinary cruise. We went on curated culinary excursions hosted by two celebrity chefs, Cat Cora and Suzanne Tract. We spent the 4 days aboard the ship together learning about food, wine, pairings, and exploring vineyards in Santa Barbara, CA and Ensenada, Mexico. We ate incredible food, drank magnificent wines, and learned so much about the culture of both places through their food and drink.
There is so much to see, do and eat aboard the Ruby Princess. I think that there were parts that I never did make it to (a good reason why I need to go again soon). It is one of those vacations where you have the choice to be as active or chill as you want to be. You can leave the boat and explore the port calls or you can stay put and use the facilities on the ship.
(We did a lot of this on this trip, and I don’t hate it.)
I left thinking that it might just be the perfect way to travel with my family. Tons of activities to keep the kids happy and busy with plenty for the adults too. When you get to your destination you can explore as a family. My kids are the perfect ages for a trip like this because they are old enough that they can enjoy the ship on their own and are great travelers (i.e. they can carry their own bags and don’t need naps). My kids would have loved being on this ship, not to mention the ice cream available all day every day.
One of the best parts of going on this cruise was being to spend time with friends that are just as busy as I am. We actually got to talk, chew our food (delicious food too), tear up the dance floor, and relax. Each blogger got to bring a guest, and everyone was so much fun. By the end of the trip, I had a new group of friends that I didn’t have before and my stomach actually ached for days afterwards from all of the laughing that I did.
(We were honored to be invited to the Chef’s Table. It was a meal that I will never in my life forget. The attention to detail, the wine pairings, the careful preparation. Truly amazing.)
This trip had everything that I love about a vacation. Good friends. Incredible food. Sightseeing. Relaxation (the SPA!). Dancing. Games. Laughter. Lots of champagne. Glorious views. It was incredible.
Over the next week, I will be sharing more about my experience on the Ruby Princess on the 4 Day West Coast Culinary Adventure.
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Disclosure: I was delighted to be a guest of Princess Cruise Lines on a 4-day West Coast Culinary Cruise Adventure. All opinions expressed are my own.