Getting onto the boat
Our cruise started in Long Beach and though the boat leaves at 5pm, you can get on much earlier and start the good times early. Which we did-the buffet is open and waiters will happily sell you drinks so of course we started off by sitting on the deck with fancy drinks and snacks.
But we also needed to explore the boat and the process of leaving port is interesting.
Watching the long shoremen, it seemed like they were training a new guy.
Free from land-we're off!
The best view is from the side deck
Bye bye Long Beach
Hello cruise ship!
Complete with dudes playing beer pong-heh!
Our first stop is Catalina Island. We take about 12 hours to make the ~1hr trip. But we really need all that time to eat dinner, sleep it off, then eat giant breakfast buffet.
In Italian, a casino is for movies or theater, or even dancing. The Catalina Casino has been around for decades and has gorgeous tile work.
funky floor tile
And out back you can walk into the ocean to start scuba diving
We walked around town, which doesn't take very long, and thought about the folks who live here full time. There are very few cars, golf carts are more the norm. Most homes are rentals, the main street got very crowded as the 2,000 folks from the ship got off. There were plenty of folks lugging suitcases over to the ferry. But of course it is gorgeous and you don't have to go very far to get away from the crowd, walking 10 minutes gets you to the edge of town.
One of the houses is an old boat that they got ashore.
And it just happens to be across the street from our relatives - neato! Great Uncle Al was an early diver and spent his life doing underwater welding and other dangerous stuff.
In the afternoon we went snorkeling at Lover's Cove. This is the cold cold Pacific Ocean, so I was glad I had joined a tour where they gave us wetsuits and nice masks. It can get crowded because the glass bottom boats also tour the cove. But it was super easy to just go out a bit and float back in with the waves. No effort, great views of the fish.