Mexico Cruises and Cruise Lines - Choosing A Mexico Cruise
Western Mexico cruises, in other words cruises along Mexico's Pacific Coast, typically are offered as either Mexican Rivera (which require one week or longer) or Baja (primarily short sailings from Los Angeles). Note that in cruise language cruises to the Caribbean side of Mexico are always referred to as "Western Caribbean" cruises, not as "Mexico" cruises.
From Southern California, it’s a short haul by sea to the storied western shores of Mexico. Leaving Los Angeles and San Diego, cruise ships ply the gentle Pacific along the same routes as the gray whales that make their annual migratory journeys between Alaska and the lagoons of Baja California. Yes, you will likely see whales on your Mexican Riviera cruise, particularly if you sail during the peak winter months. And you’ll have ample opportunity on and off the ship: Whale-watching excursions are offered throughout the region.
A Mexico cruise is where Tecate (one of the national beers) and tequila meet marine life and cacti — and cruisers are exposed not only to marine wonders but also to Mexican culture. Mixed among such ports-of-call activities as swimming with dolphins and sport-fishing are cooking classes where participants learn to make six types of salsa before being instructed in salsa dancing.
Mexican Riviera cruises feature resort destinations and Spanish Colonial cities such as Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo (the two cities are only four miles apart and are referred to as one, a mouthful to pronounce, no doubt) and Acapulco.
Baja cruises call on cities along the 800-mile, semi-arrid peninsula flanked by the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez. Primary ports are Ensenada and Cabo San Lucas (also a port of call on Mexican Riviera cruises).
When To Cruise?
The Mexican Riviera is a fall, winter and spring cruise destination. Baja cruises are offered year-round from Los Angeles.
Ports of Departure
Cruises depart from Los Angeles and San Diego. Los Angeles cruises depart from either San Pedro or Long Beach, both of which are about 20 miles from Los Angeles International Airport. If you’re a cruise ship buff going to Long Beach, be sure to visit the Queen Mary Hotel, near the cruise ship terminal at Long Beach, the departure point for many Carnival cruises. Have a drink at the hotel bar or dine at one of the restaurants.
San Diego cruises depart from downtown. You could practically heave your luggage from the airport to the cruise terminal, a five-minute taxi ride away.
How Many Days?
Mexican cruises are of varying lengths, from three, four and five day Baja cruises from Los Angeles to seven day, 10 day and longer cruises from Los Angeles and San Diego.