My husband and I will be on the Star Princess Dec 28th for New Years cruise. While my husband is snorkeling and diving I would like to hear recommendations of safe tours I would feel comfortable going on my self. Wondering if shoping alone in the 3 ports of call PV, Cabo, Matz. is "safe" as well? Thank you
You can't go wrong taking a tour from the ship, especially if you are not familiar with the area and the local customs in a port of call. The tour guide usually does give an overview of local customs, etc., which is very helpful especially if it's your first visit. I usually try to take a tour in the morning, after which I may do some shopping or whatever on my own in the afternoon.
On the Mexican Riviera, the local drinking water is uncertain so don't eat or drink anything while you are ashore unless you know, from a trusted source, that it's okay or it's in a resort or other facility for tourists. The problem is that contaminated local drinking water contaminates everything that it touches -- ice served in your drink, glasses and dishes washed in it, frozen juices reconstituted with it, fruit and other foods washed or cooked in it, etc. Of course, any food or drink served as part of a tour from the ship will be safe.
In years past, there was a significant problem with street vendors harassing tourists in the ports of call of the Mexican Riviera, but the Mexican government decided to do something about the problem and has succeeded in solving most of it. Basically, the Mexican government built flea markets and gave booths, at no charge, to anybody who requested them. This gave former street vendors space to display considerably more of their wares than they could carry on the streets, and it also keeps them from ganging up on tourists because they have to remain at their booths to sell their wares. They might still be a little aggressive, but they tend to wait until you come to them.
As far as specific tours are concerned, I can offer some suggestions.
>> In Cabo San Lucas, be sure to take a boat excursion that goes to Los Arcos (the stone arch at Land's End). There are several such excursions from which to choose, depending upon your other interests.
>> In Mazatlan, the city highlights tour is an excellent choice if you have not been there before. For those who have already done the city tour, I recommend the tour called "Shopping, Beach, Lunch, and Show."
>> In Puerto Caldera, the city highlights tour also is an excellent choice if you have not been there before. For those who have been there before, I recommmend the tour officially named "Tequilla Factories & Beach Fiesta" (more popularly called simply "The Tequilla Tour"), which is both educational and fun.
My only other recommendation would be to consider booking the ten-day crusie aboard MV Sun Princess instead. The ship has a vastly superior layout and the cruise offers two additional ports of call -- Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa and Acapulco -- that have quite a few worthwhile attractions.
Hi - I wondered around shopping alone in all three cities. Once in PV - No problems AT ALL. 3 times in Mazatlan - again piece of cake. Several times in Cabo as it's my favorite vacation place - very safe. Actually, just be smart, as you would even in the U.S. Stay on main streets. I find the Mexican people very friendly and hospitable. I love their heritage. Hope you have a great time.
We took 2 tours: a glass bottom boat to Los Arcos (the seas were a bit rocky & that was scarey on a little boat); also a tour to a hotel/restaurant where we got a drink, I believe. We still had plenty of time for some shopping. (This was in 1994.) I'm sure you'll have a great cruise. Friends of ours went to Alaska on the Star Princess Aug. 31, & they really enjoyed this ship.
P.V. is safer than most U.S. cities. We have been there many times for long periods of time. You would be very safe alone, but your husband may not trust you alone with the credit card. :0)
Fun places to shop: Majollica, Galleria de Crystal, Galeria Uno
Best seafood in town for lunch: Mariscos Polo (Have an octopus burrito for me) this is a small restaurant run by a young Mexican man, Polo, and his family. Its not gringo chic but it is great food at very moderate prices. He has great margaritas too!
Hola from Puerto Vallarta! I can only comment on Puerto Vallarta. I have lived here for about 13 years now - it is very safe although I suggest using common sense, as anywhere! You can shop alone, eat alone, drink alone if you want. Not a problem! You could shop for days and not cover everything. Be sure and head into Old Town (southside) for more unique shops and restaurants. Norm, sorry to disagree but I can tell you 100% sure, that the Mexican government has NEVER given free booths to anyone. The people in the mercados (at least here in PV!) pay a large amount to sell their wares in all places. The biggest and most bothersome problem here are the timeshare people. They will drive you nuts. Just tell them you are from the ship and they will leave you alone. The water system here was installed by a company from the United Kingdom and supposedly we have the cleanest water in Mexico. Any of the main restaurants you will visit will have purified food-ice-water. I am sorry but I get very frustrated when I know the ship says it is not safe - it is. It is usually the combination of too much sun and alcohol that make people sick!! Their bodies are in shock! I have put together a cruisers guide to the area which I would be happy to send. Just email me at email@example.com No charge and no spam. I did this for the above reason - to "enlighten" the people arriving in on the cruise ship with things that the ship doesn-t tell you! Happy Cruising!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11
Norm, sorry to disagree but I can tell you 100% sure, that the Mexican government has NEVER given free booths to anyone. The people in the mercados (at least here in PV!) pay a large amount to sell their wares in all places.
I guess the tour guides gave out misinformation....
The water system here was installed by a company from the United Kingdom and supposedly we have the cleanest water in Mexico. Any of the main restaurants you will visit will have purified food-ice-water. I am sorry but I get very frustrated when I know the ship says it is not safe - it is.
it's important to realize that most people from the United States (and Canada and western Euripe, too) are accustomed to drinking highly purified water and thus may be affected by bacteria in drinking water that does not bother locals who are accustomed to it. From my perspective as a tourist, I would rather err on the side of caution and not have a problem if I don't know the situation in a particular area. "Montezuma's Revenge" might make one's vacation memorable and provide unexpected adventure, but not necessarily in the way that we desire.
My husband & I will also be on the Star Dec 28th for New Years and my birthday. This will be our 7th time to the Mexican Riviera so I probably won't leave my chaise lounge on the ship. However, shopping is safe...just stay in the main areas. There will also be lots of vendors right near the ship. Definately go to Cabo (and the Los Arcos tour is great).
We have met others going on this trip on the Cruise Critic boards.My TA has a group of family and friends going on this cruise. We have been on 3 or 4 other New Years cruises and love them! We're from So Ca and hope to meet others going on this trip. Where are you from?
Hi Joyce- Wanting to reply to your message. We are from the "Bay Area". That's is why we decided to go on a Mexican Revera cruise....so we could avoid flying across the country and avoid the bad weather. LA is just a very short flight away.
That's why we picked this trip also. I saw in one of your messages that you are celebrating your husband's birthday (41st, I believe?). My birthday is on Dec 30th (I will be slightly older...49), but young acting!
We met another couple from New York who will also be on the 12/28 cruise. She and I have corresponded and look forward to meeting. I met her on Cruisecritic website. Also met a family from Los Angeles who are going.
I guess we are arch rivals right now since the Giants will be playing the Angels (we live 5 minutes from Angel Stadium). They are both great teams and I am just excited that we have a California World Series.
We love the Bay area...we were in S.F.in August for our anniversary. One of our favorite cities.
Is it just you and your husband going on the cruise? It's just the two of us although our Travel Agent has her family and a group of friends going. This will be our 7th time to Mexican Riviera and our 4th for New Years.
Between celebrating Birthdays on this voyage and celebrating New Years....I will need a vacation from the vacation. (What a great problem to have). Yes, it is just my husband David and I on this trip. I have cruised before with a small and also a very large group and had a wonderful time .....so this will be a different experience for me. It's nice to have contact with someone else who will actually be on the ship.
You said you have been on a New Years Eve cruise before...I hope they really do it up and celebrate. I have been trying to read past reviews on the cruise line (first time on Princess) but not much has been said about holiday celebrations that I can find. But I am sure it will be wonderful and what a way to ring in the New Year.
Well the World Series game is in SF tonight but Shhhhh I am not a Giant fan. I'm actually for the Angels. Reason being, they are from Anahiem, and thats where the "Mouse" is, at Disneyland and I enjoy visiting and acting like a child there. (You can see I am not much of a base ball fan).
Good hearing from you and Go Angels!
Thanks for answering. Your notes are also going to my Email address which is great, however I am not able to respond to your Email. I am watching the Angel game as we speak...Angels 4...Giants 1!! Glad to hear you are rooting for the Angels...we like Disneyland also. We go at least 1-2 times a year and only live 3 freeway exits from Harbor Blvd.
So this is the first time just you and David will be going, huh? Tom (my husband) and I have gone alone, with small and large groups. We always end up meeting others.
As I mentioned we have been on 4 other New Years Cruises and have always had a great time. The ships are still decorated with Christmas trees and decorations so it is very festive. This will be our 20th time on Princess so we know things pretty good.
If you send a note directly to my Email so I can answer you back at yours, I'd be ahppy to give you all kinds of tips. Also, I see you like to shop...so do I! Since we have been to Mexico so many times, most of the shopping I'll do is with the vendors outside the ship. In fact, Matazlan there are lots of vendors and it is fun to bargin with them. Maybe we can go together.
Look forward to meet you both. What day is David's birthday? The ship will decorate the door of your cabin with baloons and a sign. Do you know where your cabin is? We are still on a guarantee and have not been told yet. It will be one with a balcony.
Since my husband and I are new to AOL, we are not certain as to how to repond directly to your e/m address. Is it "TJCaballero@msn.com" ? Please advise. For now, we are sharing a single account, but we will be setting one up for me later tonight.
I will certainly follow your tips and take you up on your offer of shopping: I am quite the shopper myself. Since you are so familiar with the area, it will be fun to "do some damage" with you at the local shops.
David's birthday is January 4th, the day we arrive back in Los Angeles. We may not get much milage out of the decorations (if they do it at all), but we can always bring them home.
We are on the Caribe deck and all the balconies were taken by the time we booked. Also, we chose the "Personal Choice" dining option since we want the flexibility. (Hope we made the right choice.)
We should be getting our Pre-Cruise Docs soon and David is really looking forward to signing up for some "Water-related" shore tours.
Please remember to confirm your e/m address and I will be looking forward to hearing from you soon.
> Thanks for answering. Your notes are also going to my Email
> address which is great, however I am not able to respond to
> your Email. I am watching the Angel game as we speak...Angels
> 4...Giants 1!! Glad to hear you are rooting for the Angels...we
> like Disneyland also. We go at least 1-2 times a year and only
> live 3 freeway exits from Harbor Blvd.
> So this is the first time just you and David will be going,
> huh? Tom (my husband) and I have gone alone, with small and
> large groups. We always end up meeting others.
> As I mentioned we have been on 4 other New Years Cruises and
> have always had a great time. The ships are still decorated
> with Christmas trees and decorations so it is very festive.
> This will be our 20th time on Princess so we know things pretty
> If you send a note directly to my Email so I can answer you
> back at yours, I'd be ahppy to give you all kinds of tips.
> Also, I see you like to shop...so do I! Since we have been to
> Mexico so many times, most of the shopping I'll do is with the
> vendors outside the ship. In fact, Matazlan there are lots of
> vendors and it is fun to bargin with them. Maybe we can go
> Look forward to meet you both. What day is David's birthday?
> The ship will decorate the door of your cabin with baloons and
> a sign. Do you know where your cabin is? We are still on a
> guarantee and have not been told yet. It will be one with a
> Keep in touch...only 8 weeks to go.
Yes, that is our Email. We only have one between the two of us, however I am the main user!
Shopping sounds like fun. We have signed up for traditional 2nd seating because we are old fashioned cruisers. With that we also have the option of doing Personal choice if we choose.
We need to plan on meeting in one of the lounges. Since we are in the LA area, we plan on getting on board early.
Can't wait to get the packet! And don't worry about the balloons/decorations because they usually put them up earlier so you can enjoy them.
Keep in touch and I'll be abe to answer you back via your email once you send one to me.
My husband and I are on the 11/30 cruise on the Star. But I want to comment how much I've enjoyed reading your postings to each other. Your messages are very cute! I think it's neat to see so much human kindness!
It's nice to hear from you. Lucky you ....you will be on the Star before the rest of us. Would love to hear your thoughts and input upon your return. Are you doing any shore tours?
There are two cruise magazine this month relating to our upcoming trips. "Porthole" magazine has a picture of the STAR on the cover along with a nice article about the ship. "Cruise Travel" also has a related article regarding on the Mexican Riviera. Hope you have a chance to check these out.
I bet you are excited about your trip. We should be getting out pre-cruise docs very soon. I'm waiting for the mail each day.
Have a good day and hope to hear from you,