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rrshinn

Mexican Riviera First Timers

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We're sailing next July on the new and improved Splendor. Family of 4 with two teenage daughters 17 & 20. Help me choose what to do in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan & Cabo. Looking for best experiences for first timers.

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We're sailing on the Oosterdam next week with our 19 year old son. I can't tell you about the best of excursions yet..... however, we booked the Salsa and Salsa tour in Mazatlan. It looked interesting an then I read on Trip Advisor that it was ranked the number one tour in Mazatlan so I couldn't resist. Check it out at http://salsaandsalsa.com/ I thought my 19 year old son would think it was lame, but he is excited. I'll let you know upon our return! PS They make virgin margaritas for those under 18.

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We're sailing next July on the new and improved Splendor. Family of 4 with two teenage daughters 17 & 20. Help me choose what to do in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan & Cabo. Looking for best experiences for first timers.

 

I have been to the Riviera for the last 6 years and always enjoy my visit. If you are looking for something adventurous I would recommend the zipline excursion in Pv by Vallarta Adventures. Take the earliest excursion possible and then head to the Malecon and enjoy the area. Make sure to visit the Rio Cuale.

In Mazatlan we haven't done any tours. We head to the church in downtown and then walk through the Mercado, a great cultural experience. Also we stroll over to the Plaza Machado. We then head to the Zona Dorado (Golden Zone) and hang out at the beach at the Las Flores resort.

Cabo is usually such a short stop that we just hang out in the port area and take a water taxi to Lover's Beach. The snorkel trip to Chileno Bay or Santa Maria would be fun.

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In Puerto vallarta many cruisers like to go to Canopy Los Veranos:

http://www.canopytours-vallarta.com/

Or take a citybus marked "Centro", walk the Malecon and the old centre of the town, then walk pass the Rio Cuale bridge to the southside have a drink/meals etc. on the beach.

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Bet your teenagers would LOVE Los Veranos zip-lining experience. It's something they will never forget!

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If you/your girls enjoy horseback riding, we'd highly recommend Randi's Happy Horses in Mazatlan. Rides are only $45/person and she meets you at the cruise ship "terminal" in Mazatlan and brings you back in the afternoon. You get to ride along the beach on Stone Island and go as fast or slow as you'd like (unlike the other tour (from the ship?) that we passed by on our way to the beach....the horses were nose to tail, just walking along a trail inland following each other....boring!) After the ride, you go back to Victor's restaurant on the beach and can hang out and eat and visit or she'll have someone bring you back to the ship early, if possible. She prefers to be paid in smaller U.S. bills, and if you enjoyed the ride, can give her a tip and she divides it amongst her workers.

 

Search these boards and you'll find many others who recommend Randi and have been riding with her for years! We've gone a number of times. You can email her at randi@randishappyhorses.com and let her know what date and ship you'll be arriving and how many in your group and she'll let you know if she has room. Sometimes it takes a few days for her to get back to you because her internet is iffy, so be patient! You can also go to her website and check out the info there!

 

Whatever you decide to do, ENJOY! ;)

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Thanks all. This is the forum at it's best. Enjoy everyone's input and look forward to others favorites.

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I will be visiting these stops in a weeks time (hurry up time i wanna vacation:D)

 

We are doing a city tour in Mazatlan with Frank who get rave reviews on these boards as well as trip advisor.(http://www.mazatlan-frank.com)

 

We are doing a whale watching tour in Cabo (http://www.cabosails.com)

 

We are doing a city tour and tequila tasting in PV. This one is also booked through Frank.

 

Email me if you would like me to send you a copy of my review when I get back.

scoman@comcast.net

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If you/your girls enjoy horseback riding, we'd highly recommend Randi's Happy Horses in Mazatlan. Rides are only $45/person and she meets you at the cruise ship "terminal" in Mazatlan and brings you back in the afternoon. You get to ride along the beach on Stone Island and go as fast or slow as you'd like (unlike the other tour (from the ship?) that we passed by on our way to the beach....the horses were nose to tail, just walking along a trail inland following each other....boring!) After the ride, you go back to Victor's restaurant on the beach and can hang out and eat and visit or she'll have someone bring you back to the ship early, if possible. She prefers to be paid in smaller U.S. bills, and if you enjoyed the ride, can give her a tip and she divides it amongst her workers.

 

Search these boards and you'll find many others who recommend Randi and have been riding with her for years! We've gone a number of times. You can email her at randi@randishappyhorses.com and let her know what date and ship you'll be arriving and how many in your group and she'll let you know if she has room. Sometimes it takes a few days for her to get back to you because her internet is iffy, so be patient! You can also go to her website and check out the info there!

 

Whatever you decide to do, ENJOY! ;)

 

Do you know her age limit and weight limit? We have a 10 year old, and one person is about 275 pounds, but able to physically do everything. We've been emailing her, but haven't heard back in over a month. Thanks!

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Thanks all. This is the forum at it's best. Enjoy everyone's input and look forward to others favorites.

 

We did a day sail with Mi Casa. Eduardo owner/operator/captain was great he had stories that had us entertained the whole trip.It was $55 p/p for the day including food & drinks.beer.wine.soda.water. Also transportation to the Mazatlan Marina. They stop at a beach near Deer Island where you can swim/snorkel or kayak. You can check them out here: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Search?q=Mi+Casa+Sail+Mazatlan&geo=&where=nav&returnTo=__2F__

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Bet your teenagers would LOVE Los Veranos zip-lining experience. It's something they will never forget!

 

Another vote for this one, it really is one of the best excursions you can do.

 

There is a little bit of hiking involved, but boy is it worth it.

 

Mazatlan we head for stone island.

 

Cabo, boy that can be a tough one, it really is a bad port to tender in, Carnival tends to use the local tenders there which are a lot smaller than the ship tenders, so getting off the ship can take time unless you have status with them or book an excursion through Carnival.

 

We tend to you sleep in late and head to the marina for a nice lunch, then head back to the ship.

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We were on the carnival splendor in October - -

 

In Puerto Vallarta, we did Vallarta Adventures dolphin signature swim

 

Mazatlan - Ginger's Bilingual Horses and lunch there at the restaurant and hung out at the beach

 

Cabo - we did Yellow Submarine since my inlaws went with us on this one and it was an all ages experience... easiest port to just walk around in and shop also w/o having to take a taxi

 

Would love to do ziplining in the future when my girls are older and the las Calletas and snorkeling.

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We haven't taken our cruise yet to the MR, but we also chose Mazatlan's Franks City tour and added a Massage - you can check out all his tours on his website! In PV we chose an independent ATV tour of the botanical gardens, through uniqueatvtours.com - they were highly rated on t r i p ad vi sor, and they offer vehicles that can accomodate a party of 4!. Still deciding what to do in Cabo - maybe take a cab to Cabo del San Jose, and have lunch somewhere. Have fun planning!

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If you can swing it financially, the best excursion I've ever done is swimming with the dolphins in Cabo. Truly an awesome memorable experience. They also do it in Puerto Vallarta but requires transportation there but in Cabo it is a very quick 5 minute walk from where the tender drops you off. Plus I always find other things I want to do in PV and less appeals to me in Cabo so that is a great excursion and still leaves time to walk along the marina for shopping & food/drink etc.

 

2552444050040669306S500x500Q85.jpg

2017689590040669306S500x500Q85.jpg

in this picture is the dolphin center and the area where the tender drops you off is around middle right area where the white pointed tip ramada's are:

2567928930040669306S500x500Q85.jpg

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We're sailing next July on the new and improved Splendor. Family of 4 with two teenage daughters 17 & 20. Help me choose what to do in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan & Cabo. Looking for best experiences for first timers.

 

If you're interested in zip lining, I highly recommend Wild Canyon in Cabo, I did the Wild Canyon tour in 2008 and it was AWESOME. They have added more adventures since that time, so it’s not just zip lining. There are also a couple of coupons on their website for some promos.

 

Wild Canyon picked us up outside the terminal and drove us to the sight and returned us to the ship in plenty of time to do some shopping before we sailed. The walk/hike between the zips was strenuous for me - I'm overweight and over 50, but the zips were worth the “pain” of the hike for me. The staff was Great, very professional. On one zip I braked too soon and didn’t quite make it to the station and as I was pulling myself in, one the staff actually came out and towed me the short distance to the station.

 

If I wasn't going whale watching, I would do the Wild Canyon zip lining again.

 

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We took our two teen boys last year and I would recommend Los Veranos for zipling - we booked and in Cabo we did parasailing and rented jet skis. We booked both independently.

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Outfitter Santiago and Waterfalls Tour

 

  • Guided hike through one of the area’s most impressive canyon
  • Swimming in natural pools
  • Tour guide on hand to talk to you about the landscape
  • Lunch, snacks and drinks included
  • Transportation included

santiago-hiking-03.jpg.c22c59c61d0e457f85869098415b2162.jpg

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Mini Sub Dive

 

  • Experience what everyone’s been talking about!
  • Explore the underwater world of the Sea of Cortez
  • Try out this new method of swimming in your own private “mini sub”
  • Snorkeling and diving will never be the same!
  • Tour includes all necessary snorkeling gear, drinks, and a snack

MXCSSUB-1.jpg.6ecdab0f04cae63ba162e6fde53b2083.jpg

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This sounds great! How much was it per person? Can children 13 and 11 go too?

 

We're sailing on the Oosterdam next week with our 19 year old son. I can't tell you about the best of excursions yet..... however, we booked the Salsa and Salsa tour in Mazatlan. It looked interesting an then I read on Trip Advisor that it was ranked the number one tour in Mazatlan so I couldn't resist. Check it out at http://salsaandsalsa.com/ I thought my 19 year old son would think it was lame, but he is excited. I'll let you know upon our return! PS They make virgin margaritas for those under 18.

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This sounds great! How much was it per person? Can children 13 and 11 go too?

 

We booked this while on a land based vacation last week. It was a lot of fun. These were our prices: The cost of the tour is $42USD per person and $22USD for children under 12. This includes all you can drink margaritas, snacks, the salsa making class and the salsa dancing lesson.

 

If they have a contract with your cruise ship then your prices will be different.

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We booked this while on a land based vacation last week. It was a lot of fun. These were our prices: The cost of the tour is $42USD per person and $22USD for children under 12. This includes all you can drink margaritas, snacks, the salsa making class and the salsa dancing lesson.

 

If they have a contract with your cruise ship then your prices will be different.

 

Boy, you are not kidding about that one!!!:eek:The cruise line charges $97pp, no break for children. They say the age limit is 16. But the owner's of Salsa Salsa have told me that the limit is 12. My son will not be 12 until 10 days after we are there.

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With the cruise ships pulling out of Mazatlan for the rest of 2011 because of the ongoing violence - how is that going to affect the shore trips that everyone has planned with independent tour guides? We booked a trip to the brewery with Mazatlan Frank and have been so looking forward to it.

 

Does any one know anything about the alternate port of Manzinillo? We planned on booking a tour with Frank's associates in Cabo and in PV - Cabo Arts & Cluture that is identical to the one from the ship but costs 1/2 of what the cruise line charges. Had not decided on what we wanted to do in PV yet - any recommendations?

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The people at Salsa and Salsa say that if you are on a ship, you must book through them. They only take landbased bookings on days there are no ships in port!!!! we are having second thoughts about paying double:mad:

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The people at Salsa and Salsa say that if you are on a ship, you must book through them. They only take landbased bookings on days there are no ships in port!!!! we are having second thoughts about paying double:mad:

 

I've run into the cruiseline contract issue with excursions in many ports around the world. This is typical.

 

It is more, but it's not really double. My excursion did not include any transportation. Your's would. Also included for you is insurance that your ship will wait for you or get you to the next port. If you booked independently and were in a traffic jam (or accident), and were late getting back, the ship would most likely sail without you, unless some of their excursions were also late.

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