Sailing on Mercury to Mexican Riviera - We're a relatively active couple (she in 40s, I'm in 50s), cruise veterans but this is 1st Celebrity cruise. Would like any advice and recommendations you consider pertinent, especially about shore excursions (Cabo, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo) - book thru Celebrity, book online, forget it and go on our own, etc.). Thanks.
I did one of the 10 day Mercury sailings last year. My advice is to pick another itinerary. Mazatlan is a filthy dump. Acapulco is full of con artists posing as government licensed tour guides that hang out right in front of the ship. Puerto Vallarta was clean and tolerable and Ixtapa was stunningly beautiful but we only had 4 hours there. We did the Tequila town and country tour in PVR which was outstanding and we did some Folklore show in Mazatlan which was OK because they had ice cold beer included in the price. After about 4 beers I didnt really care that Mazatlan was a filthy garbage ridden stinkhole.
We are doing the Mercury Mexican Riviera at the end of January and are looking forward to it. Regarding Mazatlan. We spent a week in Mazatlan near the golden zone a couple of years ago and loved it. A "filthy garbage ridden stinkhole?" Not from what we saw.
This will be our 4th cruise (1st Celebrity) and never did shore excursions but have read up on these boards to see where to go, etc. and followed the advice of many cruisemates.
If you have never been to Mexico, the big difference is that some of the locals you encounter are trying to make a living, want to entice you into their stores, sell you time share etc. Be polite and say no thank you and enjoy their beaches, food and margaritas.
Well perhaps im wrong about Mazatlan...this is the problem with cruises....You have about 8 hours to form an impression about a place If one goes to to the wrong place its possible to be left with the wrong impression. I should rephrase my statement. From what I saw of Mazatlan in 8 hours, I was left with the impression that it is a filthy, garbage ridden stinkhole. You know what they say......"one mans garbage is another mans treasure". I do think that given all the other choices out there the Mexican Riviera would be very low on my list of places to return. The Mercury did make the whole trip worthwhile.
When we were in Mazatlan we stayed far from the downtown area which if that was your only impression was not great, I agree. We stayed at a lovely resort within walking distance of some terrific seafood restaurants (Mazatlan is the shrimp capital of the world). We booked the Mexican Riviera this time since we have done E, W and Southern Caribbean and needed a change.
Your comment about the Mercury making the whole trip worthwhile intrigues me. We havent sailed Celebrity yet so looking forward to seeing if it indeed is a few steps above the other mainstream lines. We did Carnival twice and did Princess last year. We cruised Carnival with family over winter breaks and actually were very happy with them and found that while Princess was a prettier ship, we didnt find it superior to Carnival but perhaps a notch above. (IMHO only) . We have friends who only go Celebrity so are anxious to see the difference. Food, coffee, cabins, service, etc?
The Mercury is definately not like the floating Las Vegas strip you might find on Carnival. It is best described as understated elegance. I always felt very comfortable and at ease on this ship. The Mercury was my 7th cruise and my first time on Celebrity. I my expectations were set way too high at first. The first few days of the sailing I thought the trip would sail off into the part of my brain were I store memories of mediocrity. Then little things started happening, like the ice cold towels being passsed out as you get back on the ship or out by the pool. There was the morning I had the very bad hangover from Senor Frogs and the Cabin Steward brought me a tray with hot water and about 10 different kinds of tea and some asprin without even being asked. It is things like that that seperates Celebrity from most of the others. Celebrity is definately not Raddison or Silverseas. Its is as close as one might get without paying the exorbitant prices that those lines are asking. I am defiately sold on Celebrity. Im sailing to Alaska on the Infinity August 29th and I am confident that when I wake up with that hangover from the Red Dog Saloon in Juneau there were be another tray of tea waiting for me.
Sounds good to me. Thanks. Lucky you going on a cruise in a few weeks. We wait until January and then again going on Princess Mediterranean cruise in September 2005. Who thought that we'd love cruising so much.
OK back to topic. Anyone else out there who can help Ka Honu with some advice? (which I will of course use for my January Mexican Riviera cruise)
Mercury is a lovely ship with beautiful spaces, art that is pleasing to most & a great spa & T pool area.The dining was very good to excellent..a few yrs back. You will enjoy her! Sorry to hear the negativity about Mazatlan--we are booked on Vision (Royal) for three ports Cabo, Mazatlan & P>V. Hope this isn;t a mistake! BTW--poster who was neg has an interestibng screen name---