A group of us (20) will be traveling on the NCL Star in January doing the Mexican Riviera. I would appreciate any advice on the following questions and concerns:
1) Most importantly, my mother in law age 62 will be on this cruise with us. She has liver cancer and has lost 35 pounds in the last year. Present weight about 95 pounds. Needless to say she is often very weak and very tired but an experienced and very excited cruiser--Vacations are all she lives for now. Any advice on excursions and or ways to get around each port that would be easiest for her would be appreciated.
She has been to most of the ports. Seems to be more excited about Acapulco than any as far as doing something there. Already mentioned that she may or may not get off at the other ports.
She does love to sit in the sun. Can you give me hotels in each port that allow day passes to use their pool etc? Along that line, which port is the best to just call it a pool or beach day if that is all we want to do.
2) Where would you recommend that we all have dinner in Acapulco? Our age group is 32-62 with the older ones acting more like 50 year olds. We would like some place with a little bit of a party scene but not a disco where you can't hear each other talk. Preferably a Mexican type like Carlos and Charlies or something like that.
3) I have read so much about the cliff divers. Is that the must do at least once thing in Puerta Vallarta or is there something else. Last time we went to Paradise Village for the day and then to the Malecon (sp) at night for dinner and shopping--different ship which left a lot later in the evening .
4) Is Acapulco the only port without a tender? I think we docked in PV last time but maybe that is hit and miss depending on how many cruise ships are in that day?
5) Which ports can you just get off the ship and be right in the heart of the action?
6) Usually in Cabo, we go to the office for lunch. Any recommendations?
Sorry about the long post. Thank you in advance for any advice that you can give me regarding the questions above or on anything else that you feel may be helpful to our group.
For your Mother-in-law may I suggest an electric scooter. These are affordable to rent. She may find that a real blast to ride. The crew always have fun parking them for you. If you are flying the ADA on flights have to accommodate the scooter at no extra cost. It also can be used on the ship and in ports and normally with prearrangements can be tendered as in Cabo San Lucas. As for Cabo restaurants there are many. We always try to eat at a more authentic style Mexican diner and stay away from those USA type franchises (Carlos & Charlie's, no offense).
Tell us more on what ports you will be visiting and we can assist.
PV is a docked port. If you are visiting Mazatlan that is a docked port.
I can get you in touch with an individual I know in Puerto Vallarta for excursions. She is a nurse and administrator that also assist cruisers for excursions.
In Mazatlan there is a wonderful person known as Mazatlan Frank that will bend over back wards to help and put a good excursion together. In Mazatlan you need to take a tram from the pier to the terminal. These trams accommodate wheelchairs and scooters.
I was not impressed with Acapulco (just my opinion), it is a large business city and not very clean. No recommendations for anything there than the cliff divers. And be careful on the cliff diver excursion. You can be on a another bluff that binoculars are required to see.
There is another staff member here as myself who is Harry Martin that cruises Mex Riv a great deal. He can also help with questions.
The Krystall in Puerto Vallarta allows cruisers in for free. It is a five minute walk from the pier, but your mother-in-law may want to take a taxi. The pool was very nice with access to the beach as well. We had a nice time there. I believe there are several resorts in Cabo and Mazatlan that allow the same thing, but I am not certain as we did something different in those ports.
For your Mother in law the Acapulco city and cliff diver tour might be best, it looks like they do handle mobility problems.
Cabo offers a lot of water activity type excursions. The marina has a lot to offer, shops, fun places (Cabo Wabo) and plenty of places to eat.
PV offers a lot of excursions and mentioned before I can get you in touch with an individual that will custom an excursion for you. The cabs are just beside the ship (100 feet) has a secured area for to take you where you want to go. There is a mobility ramp also to the street level.
As for Ixtapa can not really help, it has been 20 years since we were there.
Round trip Los Angeles to Hawaii, Summit March 26, 2006
Vancouver _ Alaska _ Los Angeles, Sept 16, 2006 on Summit
__________________ Ready to Steer towards another cruise
Steve gave fantastic advice. I can jump in on Ixtapa. This is definitely a beach town, so a good chance to do some hotel sunning there. Zijuatenejo (to which you will tender) is absolutely gorgeous, and you may just wish to poke along through the village and have lunch at the fishing village. It's very pictuesque.
By all means, do book an excursion in Acapulco. It's exactly how Steve portrayed. Further, the cabbies and sales people are quite aggressive. We did the cultural tour, which may fit you family better in that it's done in those 8-10 passenger vans. Further, other than 3 stops, it's mainly a lot of sight-seeing (and you get some great views of the city). In terms of where to dine at night, try asking your wait staff, the port guide or someone like that.
Puerto Vallarta is such a great looking city that I would hate that you spend all day by the pool, but Krytsal is right by the terminal. We always just walk around town, then to the Malecon or across the new pedestrian bridge to Los Muertos Beach for some drinks and food on the sand at Burros.
Cabo will be an easy place for your mom to get in some shopping, and I would recommend lunch or drinks along the marina, because it is so picturesque.
Hope this helps ... my niece took your cruise for her honeymoon last year.
__________________ Harry Martin
Moderator - Mexico and G/L message boards
i wouldnt call acapulco a big dirty city i find it to be beautiful......now just beware of a tour that ncl has a tour called acapulco highlites.....it includes the divers but it should be called acapulco hiking....5 hrs on constant walking and you see the diving show from the outside platform not from the inside of the hotel where you can get a clear view to see the show with no stairs involed....i did the acapulco highlites and regreted it ....a tour guide with no knowledge of the english language....he lost half the group we started with a full bus and ended up with only 12 people by the end of this terrible tour.....i dont recommend you use ncl for a exsursion in acapulco we have been on a few crusies and i love the mexican ports....but are last experience with ncl was bad news......i was told they changed tour operators in acapulco.....but this was defenitley not what i call i step up if not a few steps backwards......we have done princess excursions in acapulco and the differece was like night and day....it is quite obvious to me that princess made the right choice on choosing their land excursion team in acapulco and ncl should really look into this problem it is very bad news.....