Trouble Making Excursion Decisions in Mexico

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Our next cruise is coming up soon, and we are still having trouble deciding on excursions.

My husband and I took the same cruise three years ago, and pretty much didn’t care if we even got off the ship. This time we are taking the kids and I want to make sure that we find a balance between relaxation and cultural/educational opportunities for the kids. I really don’t want to do the “Canned Cruise Tourist Activities” but would rather experience a real taste of Mexico. We are debating back and forth about what to do, and here are some of the ideas that we are currently considering.

In Cabo San Lucas, the water and beaches are the main attraction. I’d like to take full advantage of this and take one of the water taxis out to “Los Arcos” at Lands End. There we could enjoy the beautiful beach scenery and maybe even do a little snorkeling on the bay side of the Arcos. This would not be a very expensive proposition. From every thing I’ve read the water taxis are very inexpensive and as frequent as New York City street taxis. So, I think we’ll enjoy Cabo San Lucas with a little time on the water and beaches.

Our next stop is Mazatlan, and I have the perfect excursion picked out for our family. Celebrity offers a Mazatlan Beach, Lunch and Shopping Tour that includes a ½ hour folkloric performance featuring the famous Papantla Flyers. I think this is a perfect excursion because it combines culture and beach relaxation. The tour takes you to the outdoor Aztec theater located in the Golden Zone. The highlight of the show is the Papantla Flyer performance. They do an aerial performance where they spin around on a giant pinwheel high in the air and as they unwind their ropes, descend to the ground. The show also features some of the traditional Mexican colonial dances. There is a little time for shopping, and then guests can walk to a resort hotel where they will have day passes for the grounds and a Mexican Buffet Lunch. Then taxis will shuttle guest back to the ships when they are ready to leave. My kids and I all take folkloric dancing at our international dance studio, so we are eager to see professional Mexican dancers. The beach time would then provide the perfect time to relax and play.

In Puerto Vallarta, we are considering the Marigalante Pirate cruise again. We took the same excursion three years ago, so we know it is some thing the kids would really enjoy. You can read my complete review here at Cruise Talk Central in an earlier post.

Acapulco seems to be an area where my husband and I cant totally agree. I actually did some research and came up with what I thought was a pretty interesting self guided itinerary. We would start by visiting the Ft/Museum right across from the cruise ship terminal. This would give the kids a good idea of the history of the area. Then wed take a taxi to see the Cliff Divers, and then proceed on to a recommended seafood restrant and hotel where we can rent snorkel gear. Wed have lunch and then take the kids snorkeling for awhile, then head back to the ship to enjoy the evening entertainment which previously included Folkloric Dancers, Mariachis, and an on deck fruit buffet and sail away party. My husband wants to do one of those cruise tourist canned excursions, the Shot-Over jet boats. I think this would be fun, but it is expensive and to me it is not a “True Taste of Mexico.”

Zihuatenjo has some fabulous beaches and beach front restaurants where we can enjoy a snack and a drink, while watching the kids enjoy the water. Our plan is to probably take a water taxi to the Los Gatos beach club and just hang out for the day.

Manzanillio is a beautiful town, but getting to the resorts requires taking a shuttle from the dock area to town, and then picking up a cab there for the ½ hour ride to the beach resorts. When we were here before we really enjoyed Las Hadas, but it was not really worth the trip to get there. Our plan this time is to stay aboard and enjoy the un-crowded ship.