An area of alluring wonders at the lower Gulf of California, the Mexican Riviera proves the West Coast of Mexico is as captivating and unique as its Caribbean side. Whether you’re considering Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán, Puerto Vallarta — or all three, the Mexican Riviera has tantalizing regional cuisine, an oasis of Mexican culture and perfect shores for pastel-colored Pacific sunsets. Here’s how Carnival Cruises creates a solace-filled, week-long vacation for your pleasure.
Before your departure, enjoy time in Long Beach or Los Angeles. Visit sites such as L.A.’s Griffith Observatory, where you can marvel at the stars in the heavens; Hollywood Boulevard, where the stars appear as the Walk of Fame; or the wonderful collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum, where the arts inspire the heart and mind.
At 4:30 p.m., you’ll disembark from Long Beach on Panorama, one of the newest ships in Carnival’s fleet, with offerings that will entertain and provide comfort for your entire family.
Whether you have little kids or you’re a big kid at heart, Panorama has an array of options to add fun to your voyage. Take on Waterworks Water Park, with its dumping buckets, water toys and waterslides that wrap and twist from on high like a joyous rainbow. There’s also the bouncing excitement of Sky Zone’s trampoline rooms or the pedal-powered lift racing of SkyRide. For the adults, celebrate the romance and nightlife of Havana Bar, with its amazing sunset view and inspired cocktails. And if you’re a fan of live performances, then experience a show by Playlist Productions, with stunning visual effects and songs you remember by heart.
Located at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, Cabo San Lucas is bejeweled with gorgeous beaches, stunning rock formations and a spectrum of blue ocean. For your day-long excursions, sail on an all-inclusive luxury catamaran and go snorkeling. You could also ride a camel for a Mexican outback adventure at an oceanside ranch, with lunch and a tequila tasting included. Or you can soak in the sun at a family beach resort with an authentic Mexican buffet.
Across the slender gulf on the mainland shore, Mazatlán reminds one of Mediterranean Spain. Called the “Pearl of the Pacific,” this town has beauties both manmade and natural. During your tour of the city, set aside time to see the Immaculate Conception Cathedral. With 38 stained-glass windows incorporated with the Star of David, a magnificent organ constructed in Paris by famed organ builder Aristide Cavaille-Coll, and architectural influences from Gothic, Moorish and Baroque styles, this cathedral is captivating in sight and sound. Local legend states that the gesture of adding the Star of David to the windows was in gratitude for the donation of construction funds by the Mazatlán Jewish community; however, an actual donor has never come forward.
As for natural beauty, you need look no further than a canopy adventure, where you’ll glide above the foothills via a series of 12 platforms and nine zip lines; there’s also a flex-walk bridge to observe the forests at a slower pace. Later during this adventure, watch the fascinating transformation of blue agave becoming tequila — a demonstration incorporating chemistry and artistry.
Before heading back to the ship, participate in workshops on how to craft fresh salsa and delightful margaritas, because class is supposed to be “challenging.” And top that off with an easy-to-follow salsa dance lesson, because nothing summons rhythm like a chilled margarita!
During your last trip in the Mexican Riviera, you’ll find activities in Puerto Vallarta that will spark your sense of adventure, feed your curiosity and redefine relaxation. Take on the challenge of a natural water park designed to test your limits, stamina and courage. After this challenge, you will be able to amuse your friends by telling them about the time you participated in the Ultimate Ocean Adrenaline Experience with Lunch. If that’s not your speed, join a tour of Puerto Vallarta’s southern region, where you’ll visit the 16th century village of El Tuito. While there, you’ll sample traditional products such as panela, unrefined whole cane sugar or Oaxaca cheese. Or, to round out your day, arrive at the secluded tropical splendor of Las Caletas, accessible only by sea, for the most epic of hammock naps. Children under 5 can go for free.
On your return voyage home, enjoy a fun day at sea with a visit to Guy’s Burger Joint. Imagine the appeal of a roadside burger shack, envisioned by Food Network personality Guy Fieri, combined with the poolside bliss offered by Carnival Cruises. Or test your luck at Hasbro, The Game Show, where the boardgames you knew as a kid are played before a live audience: Simon Flash, Yahtzee Bowling or Connect 4 Basketball. Put those gaming skills to the test!
On your last day at sea, visit the onboard spa for a massage incorporating herbal poultice for energy or seaweed for a detox. Afterward, swing by the RedFrog Rum Bar for that beach tavern vibe of chilled beers, nice rum and hopping tunes. Complete your vacation with attendance at the White Hot Night Party, thrown by the cruise director with an invitation waiting for you! When packing for your cruise, be sure to bring a white ensemble, for the cool photo op and to amaze your fellow passengers.
To learn more about the many cruise options you can choose from, contact a Nexion travel agent today.