Hi Ms, I think I hunted 'em, down for you ... here is the first one, and I cut and pasted other info after it ... get ready for a long post!
Hi all, I got this note in my private email, but I thought a lot of you would benefit from the post, so here is the question and my answer. Feel free to pipe in with any additions or comments.
Hi Harry (and Art),
Have been on the boards looking for information about our upcoming cruise on the Mexican Riviera. Have been looking for info on excursions in Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan. [We've been to Cabo and seen much of what there is to see there--we were on a cruise on the Sea of Cortez that included snorkeling, viewing of marine mammals (whales!), and a close-up sail past Los Arcos--so given the short port day in Cabo don't think we'll try an organized excursion. We know how to find Cabo Wabo!]
Is it possible to experience and enjoy Mazatlan and PV without buying an excursion? A couple favorite excursions with the on-line bunch sound like great fun: horseback riding on Stone Island and the canopy tour at PV. Both sound like such fun, but our muscles are not what they once were, so we are hesitating.
That brings me to my point. Do you guys have any suggestions for what to do/see in Mazatlan and PV? If there is a "must-do" excursion, let us know.
Thanks so much for your feedback.
And my response:
Thank you *so* much for the note -- glad you asked. I can *so* relate to you two -- Art and I are about the same way. We like to see new things but don't wanna come back worn out or sore as sin afterwards. A cruise is about relaxing.
Our cruise Oct. 30th on the Diamond Princess will be our 5th trip to the standard Mexican Riviera (Puerto Vallarta, Cabo and Mazatlan) and our 7th to Mexico proper (Acapulco, La Paz, Zijuatenejo/Ixtapa and Manzanillo).
At any rate, here are some thoughts to ponder and our experiences:
* In Mazatlan, this time we plan on booking with Randi's Happy Horses. Over 4 years online at Cruisemates, I have heard nothing but kudos for this excursion. I plan on writing an article about our experiences for Cruisemates. Randi emailed me to say it was no prob if we wanted to skip the horses and just enjoy the ride to the island, the tractor ride thru the coconut groves, and relax on the beach with lunch/booze. so you can adjust at your energy level. But I plan darn-well to get on a horse!
* Also in Mazatlan, I can wholeheartedly recommend Frank with mazatlan-tours and his private tour to the colonial villages of Concordia, etc. We did this tour with him and another through the ship, and I can tell you I *so* much more enjoyed the personal attention in his 8-10 passenger van. We had a group, but Frank is always OK with grouping you with other travelers -- and the rate is much better than through the cruise ship. Check out the Pride tour photos online here (just search my name) and you will get an idea of the sights.
* The city tour in Mazatlan offered by Marlin Tours is also a great trip. It's $15 in the cruise terminal, and you get to see all the major sights in the city and Golden Zone. Jose was a great tour guide we had here.
* Puerto Vallarta is our personal favorite port on this cruise. The walking tour detailed in Fodors Guide to Mexico is great for seeing the main attractions. Now we take it and add the Rio Cuale area in the middle of town, and last time ventured out to Los Muertos Beach for drinks and nachos -- all an easy walk after taking the shuttle from the cruise terminal. Art *always* says he looks most forward to eating lunch on the Malecon, a story above the beach. It always makes for a great day, with a short taxi ride back to the ship for $5.
* On our first cruise, we took the tequila tour in Puerta Vallarta, and enjoyed seeing the outside of the city and the tour itself. This is a great option thru the ship.
More tips for other areas:
You can take the van from the cruise terminal ($3 a person) and it drops you right by the cathedral. From here, you can do a wonderful walking tour. Head south downtown, and you will come across the Rio Cuale area (which is the river that cuts through downtown). Walk down and do some shopping in the tropical area. Two restaurants here -- Le Bistro and the River Cafe at the western end get high marks. You can then take the new pedestrian bridge over to Los Muertos beach for a stroll along the sand (and maybe a strong margarita at Burros right on the beach). Walk back over the pedestrian bridge and stroll along the malecon, and then grab a cab back to the ship ($5 for the ride back).
* In Cabo, you are there such a short time, I would recommend just taking the glass bottom boat ride out to Los Arcos, and around to the Pacific side. It's a 45 min tour, and costs $12 a person. You can book it right when you walk off the pier. That should leave you some time for poking around town and walking along the marina. Internet cafes are located down a side street, by the way.
Hope this all helps
Post Edited (01-06-05 12:53)