Which Mexican Riviera cruise?

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Mexican Riviera
Includes: Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas, Loreto, Manzanillo, Mazatlan, Pichilingue/La Paz, Puerto Vallarta, Topolobampo & Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa, Mexico

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#1
baltimore, maryland
14 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Would love some help chosing a cruise for next March. We are 4 girlfriends that cruise every year and are finished with the carribean.
#2
toronto
222 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
i have done the 10 day mexican riviera cruise on the mercury liked it and would do it again. nice opption of ports. and a nice ship with good service aswell. but then again there are lots to choose from but i would tend to choose the 10 day cruise over the 7 day cruise more ports for your money.
#3
Hudson Valley, NY-USA
9,882 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
The 8 day NCL Star has 4 ports and freestyle with I think 10 restaurants to choose from. I will be able to tell you more about it in 4 weeks.

I choose the ship for the reasons above 4 ports one late night to 12:30 am in Acapulco and FREESTYLE.
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NCL Breakaway 12/26-1/2/17 (FL & Bahamas)-most disappointing cruise!
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NCL Gem 3/27-4/6/15 (E. Caribbean)
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NCL Spirit 11/9-11/19/06 (S. Caribbean)
NCL Spirit 7/16-7/22/06 (FL & Bahamas)
NCL Star 4/10-4/18/06 (Mexican Riviera)
NCL Dawn 5/22-5/29/05 (FL & Bahamas)
CCL Legend 3/19-3/27/05 (Panama, Exotic W. Caribbean)
RCCL Voyager 5/21-5/30/04 (W. Caribbean)
CCL Inspiration 4/4-4/11/04 (E. Caribbean)
NCL Sea 4/14-4/27/03 (Repo Aruba, Bermuda and in between)
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CCL Fantasy 2/15-2/18/01 (Bahamas)
#5
Oceanside, CA
166 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by emmawoman
Would love some help chosing a cruise for next March. We are 4 girlfriends that cruise every year and are finished with the carribean.
You can not beat the ease and comfort of CCL Spirit out of San Diego. Airport is 1 mile from the port. Lots of hotels to stay at if you come in early and lots to see downtown. All easy walking distance. Holiday Inn just across the street from the port (300ft) but books early. Long Beach has a few more cruises but a bit more difficult to get around.
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#6
41 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
Not to trash Mexico cruise or anything, but we enjoyed our Carribean cruise much more than our Mexico cruise, so if DH and I were to cruise again, we probably would go back to the carribean. But for now, we are done cruising for a few years, we want to travel to the fareast now....
#7
Hudson Valley, NY-USA
9,882 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
Originally posted by lovemexico
judy when you get back i need a full report on ncl free style cruises we have never tried them so please let me know how it was.

They are great. I sailed on the NCL Dawn last May and that's the reason I booked her sisiter ship the Star. I just loved it so much. I liked all the ships I've been on for different reason but I must say it will be hard now to book anything but freestyle. The true freedom of a vacation feel doing what you want when you want makes it a true vacation. Not worring about rushing to make it to the assigned dinner time. Not everyone likes it but for my mother and I it's the best.
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Coming up
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Been there done that
NCL Breakaway 12/26-1/2/17 (FL & Bahamas)-most disappointing cruise!
NCL Spirit 12/26-1/2/16 (W. Caribbean)
NCL Breakaway 10/18-10/25/15 (Bermuda)
NCL Gem 3/27-4/6/15 (E. Caribbean)
NCL Gem 3/22-3/31/13 (E. Caribbean)
NCL Dawn 5/2-5/9/10 (Bermuda)
RCCL Explorer 3/28-4/10/10 (S. Caribbean)
NCL Jewel 10/30-11/13/09 (Repo-NYC to Miami, Aruba, Belize and in between, (S. Caribbean)
NCL Pearl 5/24-5/31/09 (Alaska)
RCCL Explorer 3/16-3/28/08 (S. Caribbean)
NCL Pride of Hawaii 10/27-11/7/07 (Hawaii)
NCL Dawn 4/1-4/12/2007 (S. Caribbean)
NCL Spirit 11/9-11/19/06 (S. Caribbean)
NCL Spirit 7/16-7/22/06 (FL & Bahamas)
NCL Star 4/10-4/18/06 (Mexican Riviera)
NCL Dawn 5/22-5/29/05 (FL & Bahamas)
CCL Legend 3/19-3/27/05 (Panama, Exotic W. Caribbean)
RCCL Voyager 5/21-5/30/04 (W. Caribbean)
CCL Inspiration 4/4-4/11/04 (E. Caribbean)
NCL Sea 4/14-4/27/03 (Repo Aruba, Bermuda and in between)
DCL Wonder 5/16-5/19/02 (Bahamas)
DCL Wonder 5/3-5/8/01 (Bahamas)
CCL Fantasy 2/15-2/18/01 (Bahamas)
#9
The Big Tomato; i.e. Sacramento CA
7,406 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
I was on the NCL Star a couple years ago. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED the freestyle dining. I ate when I wanted to eat, not when the cruiseship decided it was my time to eat. Plus I was always able to get a table for two - I'm not the type that prefers eating at a large table with a bunch of strangers.
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#10
northern california san francisco bay area
4,347 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
yes FREESTYLE ,, will get you hooked to NCL , that was the most relaxing vacation we have ever been on... we didnt have to worry about getting ready for dinner by a certain time, we slept when we wanted to , and then ate when we wanted to without any worries..it was so nice,
and the ship is nice , and great service and food,,
and the itenerary is the best... ACA,IXTAPA,PV and CABO
we liked it so much we are going again in november... ( sicne we missed aca and ixtapa)

good luck deciding
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Celebrity mercury-7 day mexico 10/19/03
Carnival conquest -7 day caribbean 9/04
Norweigan star -8 day mexico 1/28/06
Norweigan star- 8 day mexico 11/14/06
Celebrity Infinity- 14 day Hawaii 4/8/07
Carnival Pride-7 day mexico 2/24/08
Dawn Princess- 10 day alaska 8/5/08
Holland America Ryndam 10 day Mexico 4/4/09
RCCL-Mariner of the Seas 7 day Caribbean2/26/12
#12
Toronto, Canada
2,331 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
We are going on the Dawn for a 10 day Mexican Riviera Cruise on April 29 . I will surely post a review and let you know my thoughts.
#13
La Mirada, CA
1,134 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
I loved the Carnival Pride out of Long Beach! Cabo, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta. Great ship and great service!
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Disney Magic 6/11/05 Mexican Riviera
Carnival Pride 2/12/06 Mexican Riviera
Disney Magic 5/5/07 Western Carribean
RCL Vision of the Seas 11/9/08 Mexican Riviera
Disney Wonder 2/6/11 Mexican Riviera
Sapphire Princess 5/5/12 Coastal Cruise
Carnival Miracle 2/8/14 Mexican Riviera



#14
baltimore, maryland
14 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
thanks for all the info on the mexican riviera. i will look into the NCL cruises. sounds like those are the "critics" favorites. thanks for all your help.
#15
Park City, UT
647 Posts
Joined May 2002
The ONLY bad cruise we've ever had was NCL - the Wind in Hawaii. We'll NEVER sail NCL again!
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36 Cruises Completed
#16
Olathe, KS
453 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Just got back from Mexico on the Sapphire Princess. The only thing I didn't like about this particular cruise was that we had only 4-5 hours in Cabo San Lucas. I would have enjoyed an entire day there so that we could have done some water sports, walked through the town or see the resorts. All we had time for was a 2-hour cruise to Los Arcos and see a few shops. Of the three Mexican cities we saw (Puerta Varrata and Mazatan), it was the place we enjoyed the most. Next time, I would get on a cruise with an agenda that gives more time to Cabo.
Ray and Barbara
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Sapphire Princess 3/06 Mexican Riviera
Zuiderdam 5/05 Eastern Caribbean
Coral Princess 11/04 Panama Canal
Grand Princess 1/04 Western Caribbean
Coral Princess 5/03 Alaska
#17
Summerville, SC U.S.A.
845 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
Thats what makes these boards great...different people can do the very same thing and come away with entirely different opinions. I sailed NCL and really DON'T like freestyle. I can go to a restaurant at home. I really like the feeling of the traditional cruise dinner. The waiter who learns my likes and dislikes, cruisemates who I can learn more about as the week progresses, and just the "feel" of the dining experience. Yes, the specified time to eat can be restrictive but I always take the late seating and incorporate that into my planning as far as excursions go. For me vacations are about doing something different and special...NCL made me feel like I just drove down the block. Of course that was just 1 experience and I'm sure I will try another NCL cruise at some point, especially since they have the all Hawaii monopoly.
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#18
637 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
We absolutely loved out trip to Mexico on the Sapphire Princess!! It was just spectacular.....Would love to be abe to go on the Dawn Princess 11 night sailing to Mexico. We are die-hard Princess fans!!
#19
Sunny Arizona
1,261 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Originally posted by pppiglet
I loved the Carnival Pride out of Long Beach! Cabo, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta. Great ship and great service!
Me too! That cruise would be hard to beat - however we are giving the 8 day "Exotic Mexican Riviera" on the Carnival Spirit out of San Diego a try!

I also enjoy the more traditional "Dining Room" experience, and, while I have never tried "Freestyle", it doesn't sound like I would care for it - at least not for dinner. It sounds too much like eating on the Lido Deck. I'm sure it's better, but I just don't think that dining in the Dining Room can be beat! To me it's all part of the cruising experience!
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Carnival Elation June 2003 - Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Cabo
Carnival Pride April 2006 - Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Cabo
Carnival Spirit March 2007 - Acapulco, Zihuatanejo, Manzanilla
RC Mariner of the Seas June 2009 - San Francisco, Seattle, Victoria B.C.
Carnival Paradise Nov 2009 - Catalina, Ensenada
Caribbean Princess May 2011 - Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Antigua, Bermuda, New York
Catamaran around the British Virgin Islands May 2012
Crown Princess Jan 2015 - Santa Barbara, Ensenada

Carnival Legend Sept 2015 - Vancouver to Hawaii!
Carnival Glory April 2017 - Grand Caymen, Mahogany Bay, Belize, Cozumel



I gotta go where it's warm!
#20
The Big Tomato; i.e. Sacramento CA
7,406 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
Originally posted by Lurkyloo
Me too! That cruise would be hard to beat - however we are giving the 8 day "Exotic Mexican Riviera" on the Carnival Spirit out of San Diego a try!

I also enjoy the more traditional "Dining Room" experience, and, while I have never tried "Freestyle", it doesn't sound like I would care for it - at least not for dinner. It sounds too much like eating on the Lido Deck. I'm sure it's better, but I just don't think that dining in the Dining Room can be beat! To me it's all part of the cruising experience!
You can eat in the dining room on NCL ships - they haven't been done away with. All they've done away with is the rigid two seatings for dinner; plus the almort required coat and tie dress code. Every dinner I was dressed in one of my pairs of dress slacks & a luau shirt. Most people were dressed in slacks & a polo shirt or nice sports shirt. No jeans/shorts & t-shirts at dinner is about the only thing not accepted.
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If at first you do succeed, try not to look too astonished.

Grand Princess - 09.05.17 Back to Alaska (Again)
Golden Princess - 07.21.15 Back to Alaska
Grand Princess - 04.13.14 Hawaii (b2b)
Grand Princess - 04.06.14 Calif Coastal (b2b)
Sea Princess - 06.02.12 Alaska
Sea Princess - 05.07.10 Panama Canal
Emerald Princess - 04.19.09 Southern Caribbean
Celebrity Millennium - 03.02.08 Western Caribbean
Royal Caribbean - Serenade of the Seas - 10.21.06 Eastern Caribbean
NCL Star - 06.04.05 Hawaiian Isls, Fanning Island