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NCteacherlovescruising

Tell me about this itinerary

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We’ve never been to this part of Mexico and are looking at a 7 day on the NCL Joy. Is this a nice itinerary?  Are the beaches pretty?  What’s the water like?  Is it clear?  Would it be chilly in April?

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It might help if you posted your itinerary.  I am not going to look it up for you.

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8 hours ago, Mike45LC said:

It might help if you posted your itinerary.  I am not going to look it up for you.

Sorry!  I didn’t realize there was more than one. It’s Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, and Mazatlan.  

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You could do some research on your own.  Snorkeling (discussed here frequently) is not recommended,  as the water is not all that clear. Water temp will be cooler tha the Caribbean,  perhaps by as much as 15 degrees. The air temps will be very nice...you could Google seaweather in your ports. Try "Cabo San Lucas April weather", for example. 

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8 hours ago, CruiserBruce said:

You could do some research on your own.  Snorkeling (discussed here frequently) is not recommended,  as the water is not all that clear. Water temp will be cooler tha the Caribbean,  perhaps by as much as 15 degrees. The air temps will be very nice...you could Google seaweather in your ports. Try "Cabo San Lucas April weather", for example. 

 

I am second guessing booking this because I’m not hearing much positive feedback when I mention it. I googled those things when we first discovered it was available during my spring break. I was more looking for personal experiences in these ports, good or bad. 

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The Pacific is not the Caribbean.

Many people enjoy this itinerary. We do it every year and each time we do something different in each port. There is more than just laying out on a beach.

Why don't you look at the possible excursions to see if anything interests you.

We like exploring Mexico more than swimming.

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I have my 3rd mexican riviera trip planned, same ports you mentioned, and I like the itinerary.  I had traveled on regular land vacations a few times also to Mazatlan.  Pretty easy to navigate with the buses or taxis, just have to negotiate the fare before you get in the cab.  

 

I love Ensenada even more, great food & I have a spa day every  time I have had a port stop there, at Massage & Facial Care.  

 

I think it's worth at least one cruise to check out the itinerary, but the beaches are definitely not like the crystal blue, warm water at half moon cay etc.  

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From NC, I would probably not do this itinerary, but it happens to be my absolute favorite!  That is because I lived in Los Angeles for decades, and now that I live in Las Vegas, the Mex Riv cruises out of L.A. are still the most convenient.  I can drive right up to the cruise ship terminal and unload my bags, drive into the parking lot and I am ready to go!  No airplanes, no hassles!!

 

The beaches are not Caribbean quality, but they are still nice.  In April, it will be hot enough to enjoy.  If you take the trip, let us know and I will post my recommendations for each port.  

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11 hours ago, riffatsea said:

The Pacific is not the Caribbean.

Many people enjoy this itinerary. We do it every year and each time we do something different in each port. There is more than just laying out on a beach.

Why don't you look at the possible excursions to see if anything interests you.

We like exploring Mexico more than swimming.

 

It’s good to hear something positive!  Thank you!!  If we do this, which it looks like we are, we may do a beach one day. Which is the best port for this?  At first we were both really excited about doing a whale watching tour, then I read where April is too late. As long as their are fun things to do, culture to explore, or sights to see them we would enjoy it. 

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4 hours ago, CanWeGoYet? said:

I have my 3rd mexican riviera trip planned, same ports you mentioned, and I like the itinerary.  I had traveled on regular land vacations a few times also to Mazatlan.  Pretty easy to navigate with the buses or taxis, just have to negotiate the fare before you get in the cab.  

 

Great!  Thanks!

 

4 hours ago, CanWeGoYet? said:

I love Ensenada even more, great food & I have a spa day every  time I have had a port stop there, at Massage & Facial Care.  

 

I assume this this is something we can do with our itinerary. 

 

 

4 hours ago, CanWeGoYet? said:

I think it's worth at least one cruise to check out the itinerary, but the beaches are definitely not like the crystal blue, warm water at half moon cay etc.  

 

I’m starting to feel better about booking this!  I’m not expecting it to look like the Caribbean, just want to make sure it’s an enjoyable itinerary.  😊 We’ve done that so many times already, and going to Bermuda soon. We just wanted to try something different. 

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2 hours ago, Mike45LC said:

From NC, I would probably not do this itinerary, but it happens to be my absolute favorite!  That is because I lived in Los Angeles for decades, and now that I live in Las Vegas, the Mex Riv cruises out of L.A. are still the most convenient.  I can drive right up to the cruise ship terminal and unload my bags, drive into the parking lot and I am ready to go!  No airplanes, no hassles!!

 

With the NCL promotion right, with free or reduced airfare it’s not that expensive. In fact, it’s much cheaper than the Canada/New England Cruise we were also considering. 

 

2 hours ago, Mike45LC said:

The beaches are not Caribbean quality, but they are still nice.  In April, it will be hot enough to enjoy.  If you take the trip, let us know and I will post my recommendations for each port.  

 

Thanks!  I’m pretty sure we are going to. 

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1 hour ago, NCteacherlovescruising said:

 

 

 

I assume this this is something we can do with our itinerary. 

 

 

 

Sorry, my ensenada outings have all been on cruises that specifically stopped there.  Quite a few do, I've taken some from long beach that also hit catalina island, or frequently longer cruises use ensenada as their foreign port stop.  It's really quite far from cabo and your other port stops.   Also, ensenada is not everyone's cup of tea.  I love it because I love to try food off the ship, and to me La Guerrerense is as good as it gets.  But it isn't a polished port town, a little  rough around the edges for some people.  

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2 minutes ago, CanWeGoYet? said:

Sorry, my ensenada outings have all been on cruises that specifically stopped there.  Quite a few do, I've taken some from long beach that also hit catalina island, or frequently longer cruises use ensenada as their foreign port stop.  It's really quite far from cabo and your other port stops.   Also, ensenada is not everyone's cup of tea.  I love it because I love to try food off the ship, and to me La Guerrerense is as good as it gets.  But it isn't a polished port town, a little  rough around the edges for some people.  

 

So sorry!  I mistyped. I intended to say can’t. Thanks though!

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Posted (edited)

We have done this itinerary many times and love it! Of course, being from San Diego makes it really convenient for us to drive to the cruise port here in SD or in L.A. which helps. 😉

 

Since we've been to these ports so many times, we never take organized shore excursions, but always just venture out on our own. In Mazatlan, we recommend Stone Island, which is a very nice, relaxing beach day with good palapa style restaurants for food/drink, and it is relatively unspoiled.

 

PV is also another nice beach day port, and Yelapa is highly recommended. We're doing this on our next visit in March.

 

Cabo for us is always a lunch on the beach day, maybe a massage at the Sand Bar and people watching, etc. Medano Beach is our recommendation for these activities. But since you've never been there, you may want to consider a local boat tour to Los Arcos to see the world famous arches, which are truly awesome! There will be plenty of vendors at the tender pier eager to sell you a boat tour of the arches, just pick one where the price seems to fit and go.

 

Hope you decide to take the trip, we think you'll love it! 😀

 

 

Edited by KroozNut

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Hi again,

Cabo is on the edge of a desert so different atmosphere than most of the rest of Mexico.

We think it is the least "Mexican feeling" of the cities.

It is also a tender port. We often do our own thing but one interesting ship excursion that I've done is to ride the camels on the beach! Camels originally came to that area for WWII practice for desert bound troops. Anyway, the excursion was great with a walk in a desert garden, ride on the camels and lunch. The only thing I didn't like was that the prices they charged for pictures of your ride/visit were ridiculously expensive!

 

Mazatlan has Stone Island, mentioned above. You can get there easily on your own without a  tour at all. When you get off the ship you take a people mover to the port exit. There you will find volunteers to point you in the right direction to the water taxi to Stone Island. It is a short walk to the left.

Mazatlan is also unique in that they have literally painted a blue line down the center of the street. If you follow the blue line you will end up in the main town square with its church and large covered market. There are more English speaking volunteers along the route of the blue line to give out maps and advice if you need it. There are also golf  cart taxis called pulmonias which you could use to take a little tour of the city. Always agree on a price before you get in.

The ship will also probably offer tours to smaller towns in the interior but on your first visit you might just stay closer to the shore.

 

Puerto Vallarta is our favorite!! There is a wide variety of activities on water and on land.

You can read the ship excursion offerings and you can also find private tours or make up a group with your Roll Call or bargain with a local taxi. We have done all of those possibilities to explore the city and the smaller towns nearby. The malecon(boardwalk along the oceanfront) is a short taxi ride away. We go outside of the port to get a yellow taxi that only charges about $6-8USA to get there. The white taxis inside the port charge per person. Some folks even use Uber here but I don't do that. There are shops and restaurants lining the walk along the malecon. There is a busy beach where you will see offers for tours and water activities. There are lots of fun excursions here from cooking to music to exploring smaller towns and more secluded beaches to zip line etc.

Have fun reading and pick something that you will enjoy!! At this point we just walk along and get a mango margarita and a lovely lunch!! For your first time you will want to do more than that!!

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Oh, Sorry you didn't do a full transit!

We loved ours last year!! It was a bucket list item for me!

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NCteacher, I think you made a great choice.  We did a partial Panama Canal cruise on Princess several years ago in the month of April.  We had a fabulous trip, but be prepared for it to be hot and humid in all of the ports. 

 

Cartegena was my favorite stop and we did a private city tour there which was not particularly expensive considering what we saw and did.  (Unfortunately, I think our guide has retired, but we found him here on CC, so maybe you can find a similar tour.) We saw some of the ship’s excursions and there were way too many people on those!

 

For the day of the partial transit of the Canal, I recommend doing one of the small boat tours that goes through the remaining locks.  It’s such a fascinating experience to see the Canal from the perspective of a small boat.  And the guide who provided commentary during the transit was so informative. 

 

Anyway, I’m sure you’ll have an amazing cruise. 

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On 8/16/2019 at 7:55 AM, NCteacherlovescruising said:

I was more looking for personal experiences in these ports, good or bad. 

 

If you do a search in this forum for the specific ports, you will find more info about them and what people have done there. 

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