I'm one of those "different people" who like to explore new places on my own - especially on foot. Has anyone had experience with the three ports listed in the subject? I live in southern New Mexico with Ciudad Juaraz as a border town that I frequent, so I'm not really interested in shopping in outdoor markets, etc...
I'm looking for interesting crafts that reflect the "local flavor" of the area, a "not to miss" place to have coffee or a mixed drink, a special museum, etc... Unless someone suggests a "super" excursion that is ship related, I tend to shy away formal tours. I work in special education for a school district, so given the extra cost of ship spa treatments and tours, I try to find alternatives. I'd rather travel more often on a budget than only go once a year - it helps to relieve job stress!
To give you an example, here's what I loved about going to Puerto Vallarta last March. I got out of the "main area" of town and found some very interesting little shops that had excellent prices. I also found a little museum/shop about the Huichol of Mexico and purchased some of the handicrafts there. However, the "best" experience I had was a little place that I walked by that gave facials, etc... It was small but very nice and I had a 1 1/2 hour natural facial. They were able to take me a couple of hours after I checked with them.
By the way, I'm traveling on the Carnival Spirit on December 27th.
Hope you had a great cruise..... Isn't the Diamond Princess a beautiful ship? Thanks for the information - it really helps! BTW, I'm thinking of spending Christmas in San Diego. I saw the picture of your sweet "pookie" Andy. I'm not sure if you are located in San Diego, but it seems you are. If so, could you possibly "recommend" a local kennel to board my terrier mix? I'm driving and want to keep her with me. (except of course on the ship) I hate to keep her in a kennel for two weeks instead of the eight days or so on the ship. You might want to e-mail me privately if you have a suggestion.
I took your same cruise in Oct 03 and had a great time. I very much enjoyed the Carnival Spirit. My wife and I went with our 6 year old son so we may not have done what you might prefer.
In Acapulco for the day we went to Mundo Marino. Its about 2 miles from the port and we got a taxi that was not one of the "approved taxis" and he came back in 3 hours to picked us up. No cruise ship people went here so it was almost empty. Entrance is about 5 dollars. This place is has a few aquariums, lots of sea turtles a couple of sharks and 4 water slides. I thought that it was a great value. I did hear that on the weekends it is very crowded with locals. We spent the rest of the 3 hours at the beach next to Mundo Marino. Very calm, rented innertubes and had a drink on the beach, food was also available. At night in Acapulco we saw the cliff divers with everyone else and enjoyed it.
Your second stop is Zihuatanejo which was our favorite. We took a boat to Las Gatas beach for 10 dollars a person. I have since found out that if you go off the pier there is a place that you can buy a boat ticket for 30 pesos less than 3 dollars, this may be closed when a cruise ship is in town but worth a look. We spent the day at one of the beach front restaurants and had drinks and shrimp tacos. The beach was beautiful and very calm.
I did not hear alot of praise about your last port Manzanillo. When I researched Manzanillo before our cruise I found out that most of the beaches were rough so we took a taxi to the only calm beach that was about 40 minutes north of the port, I cannot remember the name. Found another beach front restaurant and did the same thing. About half way back to port we stopped at a local market and did some shopping. We paid the driver about $50 for the day.
We are going on the NCL Star in 1 week which goes to Acapulco and Zihuatanejo. If I get anymore info I'll add another post.
I'm bringing some school supplies to donate in Zihuatanejo, since you work for a school district you may want to do the same. Go to www.zihuatanejo.net and research their board.
Craig, thanks for adding some great input. My niece is on the Star right now on her honeymoon. I would really appreciate it if you would check on the pier whether they have the boats to Las Gatas for $30 pesos ... that would be a great tip for folks in the future.
Thanks in advance,
__________________ Harry Martin
Moderator - Mexico and G/L message boards
Re: Re: Acapulco, Ixtapa, Manzanillo - What to do?
We are going on the Star in 30...no make that 29 days!!! ( I'm not counting or anything, though...lol!) Please let me know her thoughts!!
"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the tradewinds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover."