When you arrive in port can you book your tour at the dock with people other than the cruise line? First time cruiser and have never done this before. It sounds like from all the postings that their are people waiting for passangers to get off the ship and then book with them.
You can book almost all at the pier/terminal. I would be more likely to do this on your second cruise to these ports, and do ship excursions the first time. You save some, but I think as a first-timer, etc, you will be a lot more relaxed about tthings.
Your welcome ... the easiest "do it yourself" port is Cabo. You can take the glass bottom boat ride on the pier for $12 and just walk around town (it's a very short walk into the center of town). Also, many lines make this only a half-day stop, so you can just do it wham-bam.
Be sure and book a tour in Mazatlan. We did half a day on our own and then did a tour later, and I wish we would have just done the tour. You need a cab to get anywhere.
I'll be on the Statendam - Holland America Line - in the Mexican Riviera in mid-January, and was wondering precisely that: which ports are easy to get around in, and don't demand some sort of tour. You answered the question for both Cabo and Mazatlan. Thank you!
Linda, Puerto Vallarta is an easy walk-around town. You just take the shuttle van to downtown, and it drops you right by the cathedral -- from there you can see all the big spots downtown (Malecon, Rio Cuale, etc). I used a Fodors travel guide for a walking tour and had no problem at all.
The shuttle is $2 or $3 person, and the cab ride back should be about $4-$5.
I am a tour guide in mazatlan, licensed for 20 years and I do my own tours in an air conditioned van. Would you be interested in a tour as your here? The tour I do is a make your own tour thing. I give you the choices and you select where you want to go. I try to do the best I can because if you are happy, I get more business because the word by mouth is my best publicity. Hope you decide the right thing and contact me amigos!
Zihuatanejo was very easy to get around. It is a quaint village. It is a tender port and you get dropped off right in town. You do not need any transportation like some of the other ports.
There are some very nice shops along with a street or two of the normal flea market stands. I also saw some very nice places for a drink and lunch. A small old church in the flea market area was niced to see.
HAL does not offer much in excursions so many think there is nothing at this port and not worth the effert to take the tender. Wrong!!!! Get off the ship and see this village.
I only wished the time we were in port was longer.
In Acapulco get a tour. You do not need to take a ship tour. There are lots of taxis available when you leave the ship. Most will take you to the same places as the ship tour, like the Princess hotel and lots of nice views and also the cliff divers.
In Mazatlan, see if you can make a stop at the cathederal. It is beautiful!!!