Our family of four took our first cruise on Jan 28, 2011 for 9-days aboard the Carnival Spirit. We traveled to the Mexican Riviera, which was the first time to Mexico for all of us. We are newbies, that have decided we like cruising, I hope you find the following posts helpful. Cheers!
In Puerto Vallarta we purchased a 7 hour excursion through carnival- whale watching, snorkeling, beach time and lunch.
I had read online that Jan-Mar is prime time for whale/dolphin sight-seeing. I had seen two excursions that would work for our family – there was another excursion in Cabo – for 2 hours and the same price as the PV 7 hour excursion. Naturally, I go for the most bang for my buck-a-roos. We were pleased with the PV excursion.
Not only did we see whales, we saw manta rays bouncing up and down in the water. My husband did the snorkeling and said the water was extremely cold, even with a wet suit. He did say the visibility in the water was poor. It doesn’t compare to the clear snorkeling in Hawaii.
Our beach time was the part my girls most looked forward too. They love the sand and surf. My 6YO loves to run in and out of the waves, and my 4YO loves to dig, build and bury hermit crabs. Unfortunately, on my way off the catamaran into a little skiff I smooshed the back of my right heel between the skiff and the catamaran. It hurt like a *&^%.
It reminded me of when my hubby and I were heading to Hawaii on our honeymoon and we were running to get through security when I landed wrong and sprained my ankle for the upteenth time in my life.
Beach time was great, but FAR too short. We felt a little cheated out of it.
Lunch aboard was simply a sandwich and fruit buffet. After the gluttony of cruise, we were grateful for a food break.
Our girls had a blast dancing to the music aboard the catamaran and playing with the crew.
Cabo San Lucas – San Jose Del Cabo – Cabo Azul:
We were extremely grateful that my hubby’s friend had a timeshare in Cabo. The resort was a nice break. It was nice to only have to split the cab ride and enjoy the amenities at the resort, including having a fish and shrimp taco delivered to our pool loungers.
However, due to the cold snap that was sweeping the east coast on down, the winds kept it rather chilly. My hubby was a great daddy spending most of his time playing with the girls in the pool, while I read my book, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I did join my hubby and girls in the pool – let’s just say getting out of the pool was chilly.
Note on Cabo – the ship isn’t able to dock there. Instead you tender to shore via these smaller boats. Once you get ashore people are shouting and calling to get you to take their excursion, or buy this and that (they do that in PV too). It can be either overwhelming, or really annoying. I was surprised at how dry and arid Cabo is.
We also heard that there are some areas of the beaches that are too dangerous to due to unseen, undercurrents, and rogue waves. In fact, on our tender back to the ship, we heard about grandparents who were swept off a beach and died that day we were in Cabo.
ps. I am not being compensated in anyway to post about cruising. I like information, and am sharing information that I would want, if I were considering my first cruise.