Aggie's Kitchen

Princess Cruises West Coast Getaway on Ruby Princess

Voyage along the California Coast on Princess Cruises to Santa Barbara and Ensenada, Mexico

Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to travel across the country to board a boat and cruise along the California Coast with friends. Pinch me right? I can’t tell you how incredibly grateful I am for opportunities like this, and that I can call it work. It is not something I imagined at all when I started this blog over 7 years ago.

I’ve partnered up with Princess Cruises over the next couple of months to share with you my 4-day getaway on the Ruby Princess along the West Coast. We boarded our ship in Los Angeles, sailed to Santa Barbara where we spent the day at Fess Creek Winery and were then off to Ensenada, Mexico where we experienced incredible local Baja California food, wine and culture.

Voyage along the California Coast on Princess Cruises to Santa Barbara and Ensenada, Mexico

Voyage along the California Coast on Princess Cruises to Santa Barbara and Ensenada, Mexico

Voyage along the California Coast on Princess Cruises to Santa Barbara and Ensenada, Mexico

Voyage along the California Coast on Princess Cruises to Santa Barbara and Ensenada, Mexico

Voyage along the California Coast on Princess Cruises to Santa Barbara and Ensenada, Mexico

Ahhh…take me back.

I hadn’t been on a cruise in over 11 years before this one. 11 years! Since I live in Florida, it’s pretty convenient to cruise off our coast and venture into the Caribbean even for just a few days. One of the things that excited me about this Princess Cruise itinerary was definitely the change of scenery. Don’t get me wrong, I love the beaches and the Caribbean but to experience a different part of our country like this was pretty amazing. Seeing mountains off in the distance, beyond all the water, was a such a magnificent sight – it is hard to truly share in photos.

Can we talk about the food and wine now?

Voyage along the California Coast on Princess Cruises to Santa Barbara and Ensenada, Mexico

Voyage along the California Coast on Princess Cruises to Santa Barbara and Ensenada, Mexico

Voyage along the California Coast on Princess Cruises to Santa Barbara and Ensenada, Mexico

I really do miss the food and wine.

 

Voyage along the California Coast on Princess Cruises to Santa Barbara and Ensenada, Mexico

A very special part of our cruise was our “Culinary Experience” –  in addition to the amazing food we were already experiencing from the ship’s kitchen we also had a unique opportunity to cruise along with Chef Cat Cora of Food Network and Chef Suzanne Tracht L.A.’s highly acclaimed Jar Restaurant. Both chefs hosted us during special events throughout the week along with a live cooking demonstration that was held for a packed audience in the Princess Theater. The chefs also hosted us on wine tasting excursions in Santa Barbara where we visited Fess Parker Winery and enjoyed the most delicious food of Pascale Beale and in Ensenada where we toured and experienced a fresh local lunch cooked by Chef David Sagado at Monte Xanic following up with a stop for a quick fish taco in the downtown area. It was truly a treat to get to know them and even sample some of their featured recipes that were served in different areas of the ship.

Voyage along the California Coast on Princess Cruises to Santa Barbara and Ensenada, Mexico

Voyage along the California Coast on Princess Cruises to Santa Barbara and Ensenada, Mexico

Voyage along the California Coast on Princess Cruises to Santa Barbara and Ensenada, Mexico

Voyage along the California Coast on Princess Cruises to Santa Barbara and Ensenada, Mexico

Voyage along the California Coast on Princess Cruises to Santa Barbara and Ensenada, Mexico

Obviously I loved the food, wine and local flavors, but can I tell you what I loved even more? The amount of time I spent outdoors breathing in fresh air. In Florida, this time of year has very thick air full of humidity. I was thrilled to be outside (in much drier air!) as much as I was, near water and mountains.

Voyage along the California Coast on Princess Cruises to Santa Barbara and Ensenada, Mexico

Traveling and experiencing other parts of the country (world?) is something I truly treasure, I love culture! Spending 4 days in the Santa Barbara and Baja California areas really opened my eyes to beautiful scenery as well as people. You can’t help but come home a little lifted and refresh.

Spending good quality time with my friend Heidi as well as old and new blogger friends and their plus ones was simply icing on the cake.

Ahhh…like I said, TAKE ME BACK!

Voyage along the California Coast on Princess Cruises to Santa Barbara and Ensenada, Mexico

I’ll be sharing more soon on what I ate, experiences on the ship, how I tried to stay in shape, as well as recipes that I came home to make inspired by my recent travels. I can’t tell you how hard it was not to photo dump the 3 million pictures I want to show you here in today’s post!

I recently purchased a new camera for traveling – the Samsung NX500 28 MP Wireless Smart Mirroless Digital Camera. You can see photos taken from this camera in today’s post, as well as this one (a couple of those photos were taken from my iPhone). This is the perfect “big” camera that is small enough to take with you when you travel!

(Disclosure: I was a guest of Princess Cruises for this cruise and am being compensated for my time to share it with you. All opinions expressed are my own.)

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6 Responses to “Princess Cruises West Coast Getaway on Ruby Princess”

  1. Kristen posted October 9, 2015 at 10:58 am

    I so loved experiencing this with you and can’t wait to do it again! I loved your pictures!

  2. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl posted October 10, 2015 at 7:33 am

    I’m so glad we got to experience this together!!! And I’m even happier I get to see you again in a couple days!!!! 

  3. Elizabeth Shaw posted October 13, 2015 at 9:26 am

    WOW- what a wonderful experience! This sounds truly amazing. I love Santa Barbara and actually just had the pleasure of getting back there a few weeks ago for a conference. There’s nothing like those mountains, right?! I feel like Ensenada is in my backyard being in San Diego but you are right, great food and lots of wine!! Thanks for sharing- can’t wait to see what else you divulge! 

  4. Olena@iFOODreal posted October 19, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    Wow, you are so lucky, I agree. I can’t even imagine what I have to do to get a job like yours.:D I have never been on a cruise. That picture inside with a staircase reminded me of a Titanic. I just got back from California and OMG it is truly amazing. Glad you got a break from the kiddos.

  5. Julie M. posted October 20, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    Now THAT looks like a fun time.  Would you believe that I have never been on a cruise before?  Looks like I’ll need to be changing that sooner rather than later. 🙂

    • Aggies Kitchen posted October 21, 2015 at 1:40 pm

      Yes, I think you need to change that asap 🙂

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