Monday, October 5, 2015

Episode #45 - Birthday Celebrations on Catalina Island and Helga!

Welcome to Episode #45!

Happy Birthday to us! It was our birthdays last weekend  (Tommy, September 27th and Scott the 28th) and so we keep the party going on this podcast. On this show Scott tells us about his birthday trip to Catalina Island and all the great discounts and freebies you can get when you visit on your birthday! Many locals visit Catalina for quick getaway from traffic and headaches of Los Angeles life to this island paradise 26 miles from California coastline. 

Catalina is also a favorite cruise stop for Carnival and Princess cruise ships too!

Please check out Scott's review with links, video and great information down below.

Also on this episode we have news about the impact on various cruise lines from hurricane Joaquin, including a message from a listener whose ship was re-routed away from the storm. A story about NCL's new TV show, Dream Quest, cruise chit chat, our themed cruise of the week, and Helga too!

Thank you so much for supporting and sharing our podcast with your friends and family. We appreciate all the kind words, messages and emails.

Happy Cruising!
Tommy & Scott

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Catalina…California’s Island Port Destination
(On Your Birthday)
by Scott Andrews, The Cruise Dude

As I said before, “California is Catalina, California’s own Island Resort. Gorgeous mild weather all year long - it’s always a beach day at Avalon or Two Harbors.  One can get there by helicopter, airplane or boat.” This time my adventure was to begin on my birthday. What giveaways and discounts can you get on your birthday?

My adventure started three weeks before. For my first savings, Catalina Express has a promotion going on where they will give you a free round trip boat ticket to Catalina. The catch is that you must travel on your birthday. Savings - $74.00. Visit ( for more details.  After that, one call and I was on my way!  Before leaving I went onto and click under Specials & Packages then click under Birthday Island! and printed the only sheet of paper one needs to find the great birthday deals to be had. There are about 50 different things to choose from. Areas covered are, Where to Stay?, Where to Shop?, What to Do?, and Where to Dine.

After arriving on the island go to the Visitor Center located on the Green Pleasure Pier to grab the Catalina Island Map & Directory. My first stop was to Catalina Coffee & Cookie Co. for my FREE coffee. It was well worth it. Savings - $4.00. Try one of there famous cookies, it was not free but, well worth it.   From there it was off to get my Birthday massage. The massage cost $95.00; on my birthday it was $79.00 a Savings - $16.00. Did I say the place is called Massages By The Sea? The massage was done in a private cabana at the Descanso Beach Club. Check out the view in the video.  After my massage it was off to get my free ice cream from Descanso Fresh a savings - $5.00. Of course I had to have a cocktail at the Beach Bar while I was there.

It was time for a round of miniature at Golf Gardens Mini Golf. I did play by myself, a fun course with a few challenging holes.  Cost = Free, Saved - $10.00. Now on to Bowling at Three Palms Avalon Arcade. Yes, it’s bowling on Catalina, well kind of bowling. It’s a giant Skee ball game and it’s Free. Savings - $5.00.

Now the food was incredible - my first stop was a place called Buffalo Nickel Restaurant. The only way to get there was a tram that took you there and back.  I had my Free Birthday meal: a burrito and chips and wow was it good! The Margaritas weren’t so bad either. Cost at least $10.00. I did not add it all together.

From there it was time to hit the beach. I grab my Free Snorkel Gear from Scuba Luv and hit the ocean. After a few hours of swimming I packed it in and went to Mi Casita for another snack and drink.  It was not free but well worth it. For my last free item for the day I was off for dessert at Lloyd’s of Avalon for another free scoop of ice cream.

It was a great to get away for the day and celebrate my birthday.  All in all it was a good birthday with all the fun freebies, discounts and things I did. Parking at the Los Angeles port was $15.00 all day so plan that into your budget. There are other activities and tours you can do. Follow the birthday sheet first then contact the other outfits on the island. I went by myself but the “Welcome To Birthday Island” sheet is geared for two-for-one deals such as parasailing, Segways and more. Or, if you just want to get away from the hassles of everyday life, bring a book, sit on the beach and just enjoy the warm breezes.

Plan ahead for your Birthday Adventure. Contact the Catalina Chamber at for the “2015 Official Visitors Guide”. They will mail it out to you for free.   Check out the tours and book online for the best possible deals. Until Next Time “Keep on Cruising”

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