Mexican Riveria Which Ship is best?

** Please post your recommendations ONLY in response to not start a new thread. Thanks!
Mexican Riviera
Includes: Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas, Loreto, Manzanillo, Mazatlan, Pichilingue/La Paz, Puerto Vallarta, Topolobampo & Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa, Mexico

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28 Posts
Joined May 2005
We're trying to plan our next cruise. Just my husband and myself age 37 and we're trying to figure out the best cruiseline/ship to Mexico. We've been on the 4-day RCI twice and Carnival once. Any input from someone who has tried Princess, RCI, NC or Carnival to the mexican riveria would be helpful. Also, what's the best time of year to go there weather wise?

Thanks, Lisa
1,479 Posts
Joined May 2003
We are also looking at doing the Mexican Riveria. Have been on NCL, Princess and RCI. Liked Princess the best but a'm looking at Celebrity in Oct. Fall is the best time as far as i concern. Kids are back in school and it's before the snowbirds show up and the weather is still very warm. Parents were in Mazatlan last October and the said it was great and quit. For me it's between Celebrity and Princess. Celebrity goes out of San diego on there 11 day, better than L.A.
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</center>How 'bout them COWBOYS
The big red boat 4-94, NCL seaward 5-96, Sea Princess 12-00, Grand Princess 11-02, Brilliance of the Seas 3-04, Carnival Spirit 11-06, Disney Wonder 10-08, Carnival Ecstasy 3-09, Serenade of the Seas 11-09, Celebrity Infinity 7-11, Mariner of the seas 4-12, Disney Magic 12-12, Mariner of the seas 4-13, Independence of the Seas 3-14, Navigator of the Seas 5-15, Liberty of the Seas 5-16, Adventure of the Seas 11-17
Stockton, CA
1,113 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
Doing 10 day Celebrity Summit 10 day Mexican Riveria Sept 30 2005 I think you all should join us!

Other than that each line offers slightly different styles so if you have preferences choose that if not choose on time and price!

happy cruisin
Southern Maine
361 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
We did the Diamond Princess Mexican Riviera itinerary this April 2005 with our two children. We loved Princess, loved the itinerary and loved the PAX mix. My kids and I really enjoyed the freshwater pools and pottery painting. My kids couldn't say enough about the kids' program. I could go on and on about why we enjoyed Princess.....

My only comparison are two cruises on the NCL Dawn- one out of NY that was okay and a Western Caribbean which we really enjoyed.

We liked Princess so much we've booked next April 2006 vacation on the Coral Princess.

As for time of year, we're tied to April school vacation.........our weather was terrific but you may have more choices!!! Also, we need to choose a cruise line that is appropriate for kids when we're travelling with our kids. Our choice may be different when we finally take an adult only vacation, but I think I'd still stick with a Princess ship!

Good luck!
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Where next? Adventure Of The Seas - April

Cruises so far:
Crown Princess - April 2008
Land vacation - 2007 ... ugh!
Coral Princess - April 2006
Diamond Princess - April 2005
Norwegian Dawn - April 2004
Norwegian Dawn - April 2003
Naples, Florida
3,330 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
We're taking the Summit out of LAX (San Pedro) on 10/10/05 for a 7 day Mexican Riviera Cruise. We have 3 sea days and 3 port days. Cabo, P.V. and Mazaltan. We love Celebrity and the Summit is a great ship.
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Life is uncertain, eat dessert first..
escondido, ca
223 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
You are right, the Summit is beautiful! We did a 10 day Southern Caribbean on her last year. Did you go to the Normandie? I still drool when I think of the goat cheese souffle!!! My husband laughed at me about that one until he tasted it. LOL Anyway, we were going to do that trip as well, but the Vision worked out better for us in October (different week), so we will be roughing it...ha! ha! I say that because we had a Concierge Balcony on the Summit and we are booked in an oceanview deck 3 on the Vision and I hear those are kind of cramped. But...who cares, any day on a cruise is better than a day at work!!! At any rate, enjoy the Summit, she is a beauty and the service truly is fabulous! Linda

P.S. We were lucky enough to get invited to the Captain's Table for dinner, what a great experience. Don't know how we rated that one, but if it ever happens again, we'll be some happy cruisers!
san diego
816 Posts
Joined May 2003
Cabo-do lovers beach or medano beach or just drink onshore

Mazatlan-gotta do randis happy horses or if not into horses then goto goldern zone and drink margaritas

Puerta Vallaerta-go downtown to malecon to visit and drink up ambience or go to krystal hotel for massage and swim in pools with margaritas or go see where night of iguana was filmed long time are some pics to entice you also ses our pics from mercury on this site to get another view....
The Netherlands, wintermonths in Puerto vallarta, Mexico
6,657 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
We have been 2 there, once on Statendam of HAL and once on Mercury of Celebrity Lines. I loved them both. Check their itinary and prices.

Passengers of all ages, we had great table mates, loved it.
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Last cruises: Koningsdam 27 August 2017 - Norway
Celebrity Millenium Asia, December 2016
RCCL Vision of the seas Med, october 15 2016.
Various cruises on HAL, Celebrity and Orient Lines (doesnot exist anymore)
1st cruise 1983 HAL "Volendam"[/b][/font]
1963 DH sailed Chandris Lines (Bretagne) from Australia to Europe.
Various trips by car through Europe, the USA and Mexico.
Frequent long winter stay in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
1,035 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
We have been there on RCI, Carnival and Princess. All were great. We took Celebrity to Hawaii and that was great too. This year we are going on NCL to Mexico. We have not found a line that we have hated yet. All have different pros and cons, but in the end, all are GREAT! Good luck deciding.
25,581 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
Personally for the money HAL,s MS Oosterdam is actually quite good. HAL is not just for the older folks any more.
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Prestige Cruises
NCL Latitudes Tier Level: Platinum

1.RCI Monarch Mar 2002 Carib,2.HAL ZUIDM Apr 2003 Carib,3.RCI Monarch Dec 2003 Mex,4.HAL Oosterdam May 2004 Alaska,5.HAL Ryndam Nov 2004 Sea of Cortez,6.HAL MS Westerndam Mar 2005 Carib,7. HAL Maasdam NE/Ca July 2005,8. HAL Oosterdam Oct 2005 Mex,9.HAL Oosterdam Feb 2006 Mex,10.HAL Ryndam May 2006 Alaska,11.HAL Veendam Sept 2006 Pac Coastal,12.HAL Zaandam Nov 2006 10 day Mex,13.HAL Oosterdam 30th Anniversary Mar 2007 Mex,14.HAL Noordam Alaska June 2007,15.HAL Noordam Alaska Sept 2007, 16HAL Oosterdam Dec 2007 Mex, 17.HAL Oosterdam Feb 2008, 18. HAL Amsterdam Alaska June 2008 19. HAL Oosterdam Mex Oct 2008 20. HAL Eurodam Carib Dec.2009 B2B w/ 21. HAL Eurodam Christmas Carib Dec 2008 22. February 2009 HAL Oosterdam Yum Yum Man II Mex 23. April 2009 HAL Statendam Panama Canal 24. HAL Westerdam Alaska June 2009 25. NCL Star Nov.2009 26. PCL Crown Princess .Carib Jan. 2010 27. NCL Pearl Pac Coastal April 2010 28. Cel Solstice W Carib Sept 2010 29.RCI Mariner Mex Nov 2010 30. HAL Nieuw Amsterdam E Carib Mar 2011 31. HAL Westerdam Alaska May 2011 32.HAL Oosterdam Hawaii Oct 2011 33.HAL Westerdam S. Carib Mar 2012 34. HAL Zuiderdam Pac Coastal May 2012 35. HAL Zuiderdam Alaska May 2012 36. NCL Dawn W. Carib Nov. 2012 37. HAL Zuiderdam Pac Coastal May 2013 38. HAL Zuiderdam Alaska May 2013 39. HAL Veendam Mex Dec 2013 40. NCL Jewel W Carib March 2014 41. NCL Jewel W Carib Nov 2014, 42. HAL Volendam Alaska May 2015, 43. NCL Jewel Mexico Nov 2015 44. HAL Koningsdam Inaugural April 2016, 45.HAL Westerdam Oct. 2016 Mexico 46. NCL Dawn W Carib Mar 2017 47. PCL Diamond Japan Oct 2017

Up Coming Cruises
HAL Oosterdam Yum Yum Man 10 yr Reunion Feb. 2018
NCL Bliss Sept 2018 - Alaska on NCL's Newest Ship

PCL Ruby Nov 2018 - Cali Coastal
4,309 Posts
Joined Nov 2000
Went on the Carnival three times to Mexico..


Rccl once..

Vision of the Seas..March.

Panama cruise that went to Cabo in Dec. too..that Dec cruise
hotter than the other Dec. cruise.

Oct. was the warmest cruise (80's to 90's)
The other months (70's to 80's)
Of course all different years.

You just take your chances with the weather what ever
month you choose. You'll have a GREAT time!

Had a great time on ALL of the cruises!

See a few of you have been on the Summit.
Going on this ship in April 2006..two week Hawaii out
of San Pedro.
Can't wait!
Henderson, NV
192 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
I'll toss in a recommendation for NCL's Star. A well laid out, well maintained ship. We like her well enough we've cruised on her twice.

We took her last Christmas to the Mexican Riviera, and although Cabo is far enough north that the weather was a bit cooler, the other three ports were shorts and tanktops all the way. Personally I think winter or fall is a good time to do this cruise. There's just something about sporting a tan in the dead of winter.

Age wise, NCL tends to get a pretty diverse mix. NCL is also a bit more laid back with their freestyle cruising.

I don't think you can go too far wrong with any of the cruise lines that do the Mexican Riviera. It's a good itinerary.
Granada Hills, CA
3,594 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
How about joining us on the Sapphire Princess on New Years Eve. We took the Coral Princess last year to the Panama Canal on New Years and loved it so much that we booked the Sapphire this year. It leaves L.A. on New Years eve day for the Mexican Riviera. I have read so many good reviews about this ship
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Future cruises: Celestryl Crystal 8/7/2017; Celebrity Infinity 3/4/2018; Celebrity Edge 3/31/2019

Celebrity: Silhouette 10/11/12; Solstice 6/28/13; Solstice 11/4/13; Century 4/26/14
Royal Caribbean: Viking Seranade 1/2/95; 3/28/97; 4/2/99; 4/21/00; Rhapsody of the Seas 8/01; Monarch of the Seas 4/04 3/05; Jewel of the Seas 8/15/08; Radiance of the Sea 11/7/09; Serenade of the Sea 11/7/10; Voyager of the Seas 3/24/12; Quantum of the Seas 4/12/15; Serenade of the Seas 10/7/15; Navigator of the Seas 9/18/16
Carnival: Elation 4/98; Fascination 6/00; Ectasy 4/02;12/05; Conquest 3/03;
Princess: Coral 6/03; Sapphire 12/04; Sapphire 9/11; Golden Princess 11.14
Radisson: Paul Gaugin 8/02
Premier: Big Red Boat 8/90

Seattle, WA
380 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
We did the 7 night on the Vision in May (Cabo, Mazatlan and PV) and loved it. We booked the NCL Star for Oct (Acapulco, Ixtapa, PV and Cabo) for their 8 night. Wanted a different ship and slightly different itinerary. Really wanted to go back to Cabo and PV and do more exploring since we really liked both places. Mazatlan was nice but our least fav of the three. Looking forward to the new itineraries in Oct for more new places.

Vision is a smaller ship but still nice and big so you dont feel crowded. The Star is bigger and seems to have more to offer (and looking forward to giving Freestyle dining a try).

I suggest just checking the amenities on each ship you are considering as well as the ports (and time at each port). Regardless of which one you go with, the Mexican Riviera is a great trip!
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Mariner of the Seas - (Mexican Riviera) Sept 27. 2009
Norwegian Star - (Alaska) Sept 13, 2008
Norwegian Pearl - (Vancouver to LA Repo) Sept 24, 2007
Norwegian Star - (Seattle to Vancouver overnight) Sept 22, 2007
Navigator of the Seas - (Eastern Caribbean) Dec 2006
Radiance of the Seas - (PacCoastal Repo) May 2006
Norwegian Star - (Mexican Riviera) Oct 2005 - my b-day cruise
Vision of the Seas - (Mexican Riviera) May 2005
Voyager of the Seas - (Eastern Caribbean) Dec 2004
San Ramon, California
1,710 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
We're doing the 10-day Mexican Riveria cruise on the Dawn Princess in November. You get the 3 usual Mex Riveria stops plus San Diego and Catalina Island. We live in the Bay Area so no flights necessary! If not from Bay Area, then think about visit to SF pre or post-cruise. It's a great city!! The price is ridiculously cheap right now - $750 pp for a 10 day cruise! I've been on sister ship Sun Princess, which was terrific, so expecting great things from Dawn.
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Upcoming Cruises

May 2018 - HAL Eurodam, Pac Coastal
Sep 2018 - Celebrity Infinity, Pacific Coastal
May 2019 - Ovation OTS, Hawaii
Jun 2019 - Symphony OTS, Western Carib; Carnival Horizon, Southern Carib
Sep 2019 - Celebrity Constellation, Med

Completed Cruises (50)
2017 Celebrity Silhouette, Western Caribbean; Celebrity Silhouette, British Isles; Emerald Princess, California Coastal
2016 Pride of American, SF to Hawaii; NCL Gem, Canada/New England; Celebrity Summit, Bermuda, Amsterdam & NCL Pearl, Pac Coastal; Harmony of the Seas, Bahamas; Carnival Miracle, Mexico
2015 Radiance of the Seas, Alaska; Star Princess, Baja Mexico
2014 Liberty of the Seas, Western Caribbean; Celebrity Century, California Coastal, Star Princess, Pac Coastal; Celebrity Equinox, Eastern Mediterranean; Queen Mary 2, The Crossing, Pride of America, Hawaii
2013 Celebrity Solstice, Seattle Cruise to Nowhere; Norwegian Breakaway, Bermuda; Norwegian Jewel, Pac Coastal; Carnival Inspiration, Baja Mexico
2012 Carnival Spirit, Baja Mexico; Queen Mary 2, The Crossing; Emerald Princess, Scandinavia and Russia; Golden Princess & Star Princess, Pacific Coastal
2011 Norwegian Epic, Western Caribbean; Island Princess, Pacific Coastal
2010 Norwegian Pearl, Eastern Caribbean; Pride of America, Hawaii; Sapphire Princess, California & Baja Mexico
2009 Mariner OTS, Mexico; Star Princess & Westerdam, Pacific Coastal; Caribbean Princess, Bermuda & Eastern Caribbean; Freedom OTS, Western Caribbean
2008 Emerald Princess, Mediterranean & Greek Isles
2007 Adventure Of The Seas, Southern Caribbean; Golden Princess & Coral Princess, Pacific Coastal
2006 Serenade Of The Seas, Pac Coastal
2005 Grandeur Of The Seas, Western Caribbean; Norwegian Spirit, SF Cruise to Nowhere; Dawn Princess, Mexican Riviera & California
2004 Brilliance Of The Seas, Mediterranean
2003 Radiance Of The Seas, Southern Caribbean
2002 Veendam, Eastern Caribbean; Sun Princess, Pac Coastal
2001 Volendam, Alaska
Temecula, CA
3,389 Posts
Joined May 2003
I am putting together a 8 night Cruise Critic Group Cruise aboard the NCL Star 04/02/06. We have stops in Acapulco, Ixtapa, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo. I have been to two out of the four ports so I am excited about the getting to go somewhere new. This is over Spring Break and it is shaping up to be a good group. We have 7 cabins so far including four families. If you would like more info drop me an email, [email protected] , or check out the link in my signature. Our group name is "Shooters and Stargaritas" and it's going to be one great party. I have taken the Vision (RCCL) to Mexico and personally I like my ships a little bigger. After being on the Radiance Class I just found that there wasn't as much to do or eat!

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Life's a trip, where to next ?
4 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
My husband and I cruised on the Diamond Princess in November '04. It was a beautiful ship..... we celebrated our 15th Anniversary. The food was delicious, Sabatini's was so relaxing and there was mucho food... seemed like it never ended!! The pizza place by the pool was our usual stop for lunch The rooms (we had a balcony) were so nice, the only small problem was the shower... my husband is 6'4" and had some "issues" with the size of the shower stall, it was fine for me @ 5'0"!!. The "nightlife" was kind of subdued, ended up dancing by ourselves at the nightclub?! Not many children, although it was not Summer or a Holiday time. We booked all our excursions through Princess.... @ Puerto Vallara we took the Jungle Hike w/Lunch on a beach... it was so fun, nothing formal, great food, PRETTY SCENERY, and a beautiful beach! In Mazatlan we did the Deer Island Kayak Tour, The Kayaking was fun and the Island was pretty.... only a small amount of snacks were offered.... wish it was as plentiful as the Puerto Vallarta Tour! We did the ATV tour in Cabo..... it was in the "Desert" so was not as scenic but my husband LOVES Dirt Biking and ATV's so this was his favorite pick.... went to Cabo Wabo and the mall after. They were kind enough to let us off at the mall and give us directions to Cabo Wabo... I feel Princess is a perfect choice for a romantic couple's cruise.... we want to take our children (13 and 8) on a cruise next summer.... probably will choose Royal Carribean or Carnival just because they seem to have more families aboard! One last tip.... might want to visit the Casino in the a.m., my husband won a $550 Jackpot on the slots... only spend $1.50?? We are usually not lucky people so this was a special treat, it was the last day of our cruise so we actually came home with $$$$$. Enjoy whatever you choose!!! Cruising is Wonderful!!!