Few cruising destinations can match the mixture of Latin spirit, hot sunshine and modern tourism comforts quite like Mexico. That’s a statement further backed up by the country’s ancient connections to the Aztecs and other influential South American cultures. With superb cuisine and rich folklore besides, it’s little wonder that Mexico is becoming a cruise destination favoured by guests of all ages. Likewise, all of your favourite cruise lines are making Mexico the place to be for all manner of reasons, from cultural indulgences to some winning shore excursions. With that in mind, we’re helping to get you in the mood for Mexico with our top tips.
From east to west
While many of us picture the coastlines of Cancun when dreaming of the best Mexico cruise excursions, it’s a massive and diverse country with plenty to offer. While Cancun nestles on the Atlantic and Caribbean coast, the Pacific shores of the country are equally as inviting, and are often the more frequented among cruisers.
That’s because the west of Mexico is home to the Mexican Riviera, home to major destinations like Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. These rustic communities keep the local way of life intact a little more than their Caribbean contemporaries, but wherever you choose to cruise, you’re going to be bathed in sun and inspiration alike thanks to our tips for cruising in Mexico.
Ports to consider
One of the most famous Mexican resort cities is Acapulco. The party spirit and love of life here is always high, and the cliff-diving daredevils of the deep ensure that those with a taste for adventure will feel right at home too. Restaurants are peppered atop cliffs to help you savour the view, while trips around the town will let you shop and savour history to your heart’s content. You can also expect your cruise line to organise historic trips to local centrepieces of the region’s story so far, such as San Diego Fort.
Close to the Baja Desert and the wider vistas of the Baja Peninsula, you’ll find the port town of Cabo San Lucas. While the usual mix of superb cuisine and sublime shopping characterises this place, cruise lines favour it for its natural beauty. If you visit during the first quarter of the year, or December to the following March more specifically, you’ll be just in time for whale watching season. You and your fellow guests can experience these majestic denizens of the deep breaching and playing among the crystalline waves. Back on dry land, check out the massive stone arches that truly draw the crowds and bridge the gap between the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez.
The tropics are yours to savour in Puerto Vallerta, which sits beside swathes of rainforest and rewards the bold. Shore excursions here will likely see you zipline above the treetops, interspersed with platforms and bridges that often hang some 90 feet high. If a more serene adventure appeals to you, the private beach of Yelapa deserves your attention. As well as tasty lunches and cool margaritas, you’ll have the chance to snorkel close to some of the most unspoilt stretches of sand in the world.
Altogether, Mexico cruise deals feature some truly sensational ports, rich in sights and sounds and packed with ways to spend your time off the cruise ship. With that in mind, your only concern is which cruise line to go for.
The best cruise lines for a Mexico cruise
Cruises to Mexico often begin their voyages in sunny Californian cities like San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles. From there, they wind their way south of the border, offering you superb onboard entertainment and some of the finest dining around.
Naturally, you can expect Marella Cruises to offer a cruise to Mexico that sets the bar high for luxury and leisure at sea. The gorgeous island of Cozumel is much of the cruise line’s focus. Located just off the eastern coast of Mexico, it’s famous for its glass-clear waters that make way for some seriously incredible scuba diving, while you’ll also find ancient Mayan ruins further inland. The glamorous and modern Marella Discovery 2 mixes Cozumel with other Caribbean highlights – and with onboard shopping, outdoor movie screenings, an inbuilt theatre and casino, she’s a cruise ship with plenty to offer.
Of course, little luxuries are also abundant onboard the fleet belonging to Princess Cruises. Known for their adventure and zest for life, they’re a superb match for the Latin surroundings you’ll be sailing through. With stage shows, live music performances and the ship’s signature bars and restaurants, voyages here are definitely one way to sample Mexico in style.
Princess Cruises also offers a comprehensive range of journeys with varying lengths to match, including cruises that range anywhere from quick three-day trips to voyages lasting longer than a week. Along the way, you’ll hit popular ports like Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta, journeying inland for Mexican jungle adventures or sticking close to the beach for nothing but relaxation.
Other tips for a Mexico Cruise
The climate in Mexico is a little different to that back home. That means whatever time of year you’re cruising, you’re going to find the weather sumptuously hot. Keep sunscreen and suitable attire on standby accordingly.
It’s also worth remembering that around springtime the Mexican Riviera becomes a popular party region, thanks to students from the United States enjoying Spring Break. If you’re down with the party crowd, definitely get involved, but otherwise factor that into your plans if you’re looking to book a springtime cruise or prefer to go at a quieter time of year.
Mexico is a fantastic cruise destination that offers culture and cuisine unlike anywhere else on earth. With our tips under your belt, it’s time to let inspiration run free as you consider your next big escape to the sea.
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