We loved NCL in Hawaii last year. Why don't you read the articles on this section that I wrote, "Hawaii with Kids" and "NCL with Kids in Hawaii" for some details. NCL is introducing a new ship there this summer too.
Let me know if you have add'l questions.
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor
We cruised the Mexican Riviera on The Star Princess two years ago and on The Celebrity Galaxy four years ago. We live in LA, so it is real convenient.
The ships were both great, the Princess better for kids and the Galaxy more grown up and casual. The ports are not very interesting and the beaches are no where near as good as Hawaii. If you are on a great ship and live on the west coast, go for it!
As for Hawaii, never cruised there but I been to every island. Much prettier and much more to do. A long way, but I think worth it.
Did Mexico Rivieria( fancy name for west coast ) years ago on Carnival. It was ok. Not very pretty,, Hawaii is so lush and green and much more scenic!! Also we cruised out of LA in Jan so it wasn't really nice weather for the first two days or so, not until we got further south.Also the water is warmer in Hawaii, and better ( clearer for snorkling). Mexico seemed more like a shopping and drinking margaritas place. If you want to see lush green jungle covered cliffs rising out of a blue blue sea, or black lava sand beaches then think Hawaii! Honestly, I think Hawaii is much nicer, but I know this is just my opinion!We've never cruised Hawaii, just done land based trips, been four times and would go again tommorrow!
Depends on what you want to do with your kids while cruising.
Mexican cruise in winter is not that warm, very cold while out on the ocean. While on land it's pretty warm, esp. Puerto Vallarta which is the same latitude as Hawaii. I loved sailing along the long Baja coast, thought it was hypnotic, that long arid peninsula. If you're on one of the newer ships it can be a fun cruise. Mazatlan, Cabo and Puerto all have pretty beaches, but I agree with others, they don't compare to Hawaii. Not much for kids to do in these ports.
I have to agree with others about Hawaii also, never cruised there but have done land vacations there. We always go to Maui cuz it's my favorite place out of all the places I've been.
We just lived for a year in Mexico with our children. The place to go there is Zihuatenejo. The beaches are much better than other for children and it has a family atmosphere. It is most popular with Mexicans and Europeans. There is also a fantastic variety of beaches. Do not go near a full moon as the jellyfish come in. I agree with the comments about most Mexican beaches not being particularly family friendly as many Americans got o Mexico in search of drinking as much alcoohol as possible and many beaches have surf that is too rough for swimming.