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7 Reasons to Cruise the Mexican Riviera with Princess Cruises

by Kelly Magyarics

Jan 23, 2020

Princess Cruises

Cruising

Thinking of booking a cruise with your grown children? Or are the kids wanting to take your parents on a trip to celebrate a milestone birthday or anniversary? When we mention “cruise” your thoughts probably turn to the Caribbean, Bermuda or the Bahamas. But we suggest setting your sights farther west, to Princess Cruises’ seven-day Mexican Riviera Cruise.

 

Here are seven reasons to consider it for your next intergenerational vacation:

 

Three Total Sea Days = Lots of Quality Family Time

After the Royal Princess embarks from Los Angeles at 4 p.m. on day one, guests have a full day and a half at sea before arriving at the first port of Cabo San Lucas. On the return trip, after port calls at Matalan and Puerto Vallarta, you’ll get a full 2.5 days at sea. For many cruisers, sea days are the best days: Your time is completely your own to partake in activities onboard, or do nothing at all. Early risers can hit the track on the sun deck or a Zumba class in the Center Court before heading to the dining room for a sit-down breakfast — family members who sleep in can grab a bite at the buffet. Sea days are also the perfect time to book a couples’ spa treatment, group pedicure or order a round of drinks poolside or in the Jacuzzi or watch a flick or concert film together on deck.

 

Royal Princess. Photo: Kelly Magyarics

 

Wearable OceanMedallions Make Meet-Ups Easy

Royal Princess is one of Princess’s few MedallionClass ships, with the rest of the fleet following suit this year or next. Ships fitted with MedallionClass technology allow guests to use wearable, quarter-sized OceanMedallions as their room key and to make any onboard charges. (You can either wear the medallion on the provided lanyard or purchase a piece of jewelry on which to place it; the silicone bracelets are the most affordable and come in several colors.) Download the companion app, create your profile and link your OceanMedallion and you can also link those of your friends and family members, providing an easy way to see where everyone is, meet up for an impromptu cocktail or build an unbeatable team for trivia in the Princess Live! Theater.

 

Photo: Princess Cruises

 

Drive Your Own Power Boats on Mazatlan …

One of the most fun optional excursions on Mazatlan starts with a lesson on how to navigate a power boat before taking out your own 14-foot custom vessel. Your guide will lead you through the channels of the largest marina in Mexico, pointing out flora and fauna on the way. Then things get a little wild as you head into the open waters, where you are invited to take the boats full throttle (or as fast as you are comfortable). Do donuts and figure eights as you watch lots of fish jump out of the water (and, who knows, maybe right into your boat), and feel the chop when you catch the wake of your excursion buddies. It’s a crazy good time.

 

… Then Relax at a Beach Club

After the powerboat part of the excursion, retreat to a lounge chair and umbrella at the all-inclusive El Cid Marina Beach Club, offering two pools, a swim-up bar, tranquil lagoon and underwater caves. Depending on the day and the size of your group you will either tuck into a buffet lunch of regional favorites or select from the menu. Don’t miss the addictive guacamole, pico de gallo and chips, and order shrimp in any and all iterations, from ceviche to grilled, as the local variety is abundant, unbelievably sweet and fresh. Sip all the libations you like; start with margaritas made with Reposado Tequila, followed by a Paloma or Michelada. You’ll return to the ship mid-afternoon and have a few hours of downtime before you set sail again.

 

A Puerto Vallarta Excursion Offers Something for Your Entire Crew

Try the Speedboat, Horseback Ride, Snorkel & Lunch activity in Puerto Vallarta. The seven-hour tour begins in the morning with a 20-minute ride on an inflatable speed boat across the water to the fishing village of Quimixto, only accessible by boat. After docking, your guide will give you a little info on the island before getting you outfitted with helmets and a lesson. Climb on, secure your feet in the stirrups and head out on a steep ride to the waterfalls. Once there you’ll find great group photos opps — the tour operator also hires a photog and pics are available for purchase. You and your fam can sit by the falls and order some beverages and snacks or choose to jump into the water for a brisk swim. After the horseback ride back, return to the boat and ride to the secluded cove of Majahuitas to snorkel. The last stop is Pizota, a tiny settlement where you’ll lunch on local favorites and quench your thirst with Mexican beer, tequila or soda. End the day with a swim in the ocean, try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding or just while away the afternoon in a swaying hammock. It truly is fun for all.

 

Horseback riding on Puerto Vallarta. Photo: Kelly Magyarics

 

The Chef’s Table, an Unforgettable Dining Experience

If your group consists of 10 or fewer guests and includes rabid foodies, book The Chef’s Table for dinner one night. Start the evening by being ushered into the ship’s galley by the maitre d’ where you’ll get an inside peek at what goes into serving dinner to thousands of hungry, discriminating diners each evening. Enjoy a flute of Champagne, appetizers and hear the details of the curated menu from the executive chef before being escorted to the dining room, a round table surrounded by retractable glass curtain. Eat your way through a multicourse menu that’s only available for your group and may feature regional cuisine or ingredients procured during a recent port call, each paired with wines. During dessert the chef will rejoin you to answer questions, chat about the meal and share culinary secrets. Each guest leaves with a copy of Princess Cruises’ cookbook Courses, A Culinary Journey and a photo with the chef.

 

El Cid Beach Club on Mazatlan. Photo: Kelly Magyarics

 

Embarking/Debarking from L.A. Makes Add-on Time Easier

Want to check out the city’s trendy Fashion District? Have a hankering to tour Hollywood? Or is your interest piqued about Long Beach, the port city where Royal Princess is docked? Princess makes it easy to add on days at the front or back of your cruise. Since LAX is serviced by all the major airlines, it’s effortless for your family to arrive early or stay late.

 

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