I want to be really fair about Ensenada.
It was a dump. Little begging children trading tiny boxes of Chicklets for anything you'd give them made me uncomfortable. I always want to get off the ship if for no other reason than to get another refrigerator magnet. But I have to say that if I had it to do all over again I would not leave the pier. I won't say that Ensenada is all bad but it almost is.
The day we were there a parade celebrating some kind of Mexican heritage was going on with the military assembled in what I would call the town square. Some sort of ceremony was happening celebrating the efforts of the local youth. That would probably have been pretty cool to watch were it not for all the garbage in the streets, beggars and suspicious people around. This is definitely a port where you do NOT wear jewelry, take a minimum of cash, and guard your purse/wallet with your life.
We stopped by the local McDonalds thinking that might be a safe place to get something to drink and bought some bottled water. Risky but no problems. This is also a port, and the only one I have thought this of, that it would be a good idea to buy some of the Evian the ship sells as you go ashore. Better yet, bring your own. I saw where some people in a cabin down the hall from us had brought a case, just checked it like luggage. It worked.
The pier, however, is pretty nice. Next time I will just stay there and call it a day. There are shops which are a fine representation of what you might find in town right there as you get off the gangway. In fact, if you're in the market for cheap medications without a prescription (NOT RECOMMENDED) you can take care of that right there too.
We visited here on the Ecstasy as part of a short, 4 day cruise that included Catalina Island. Catalina Island was by far the better port of the two.
Was that fair?