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January Mexican Riviera cruise for 1st timers?

January Mexican Riviera cruise for 1st timers?

Oct 29th, 2002, 03:55 AM
Sara & Hubby
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January Mexican Riviera cruise for 1st timers?

We are considering booking a Mexican Riviera cruise in early January. Have never cruised before, and the Mexican Riviera ports interest us much more than the Caribbean ones. (We are a married couple in our late 20s). Any recommendations for a particular cruiseline for this itinerary? Our friends have had the best experiences with RCCL so we're leaning heavily in that direction. Is early January an okay time to go - I want warm, sunny weather. Is there any benefit to booking a cruise thru a travel agent rather than online (I've booked plane tickets, hotel rooms etc. online before but I'm a bit nervous about a cruise - will I get a better cabin/better chance at an upgrade if I go thru a TA?) If you recommend online booking, what website do you recommend above all others? (I'm willing to do my homework, shop around etc. but I love to know what websites people find the most success with.) Appreciate any help you can provide!
Oct 29th, 2002, 05:56 AM
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Several thoughts about the Mexican Riviera cruise this January. The recent hurricane did some major damage to Puerto Vallarta - one of your three stops. We went in November so I suspect you might encounter the same weather we did - too cool to lay out for the first day and a half until almost to Cabo. The time in the ports, the weather was nice and warm and then cool again north of Cabo with the last sea day again too cool to be on deck.

Your idea of shopping around is a good one - try crucon.com, cruise411.com and bestpricecruises.com.

Your choice of cruise lines depends on what you want - Princess, a little more elegant with food and service primary. RCCL middle of the road with entertainment and activities primary. Carnival (I have never cruised with them so this is my take of reading those that have plus some good friends experience) - the "fun ships" with party time the major theme. Just keep in mind - there is no such thing as a bad cruise. Just pick the ship that you will most likely feel comfortable on.
Oct 29th, 2002, 08:36 AM
Sara & Hubby
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Any others with experience cruising to Mexico in January? I'm concerned about the weather above all else - would really prefer it to be 80 degrees and above every day we're on the boat - and my secondary consideration is the cruise line/ship. I always thought RCCL would be good for people our age, but the food is reputed to be not so great - and we love to eat, so this is not good! Anyone who has sailed on the RCCL Vision of the Seas or the Princess Star or Sun - I would love to hear from you.
Oct 29th, 2002, 10:14 AM
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Actually Puerto Vallarta is not that bad. I just got back and most of the damage has been cleaned up already. Some of the resorts are not yet open and others still have sand in their pools but that will not be a concern for a cruiser. No one can really predict the weather. If you want that kind of weather maybe you should look at a Hawaiian cruise? I think Mexico would be nice that time of year but you never know.

If you are into food I would compare RC with Carnival. Both "younger" lines but sometimes carnival gets a better score when it comes to food. The itineraries are pretty much the same.

Good luck!
Oct 29th, 2002, 11:40 AM
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Peter is right. We cruised the Mex Riviera in May and it was cold the first day at sea. From what I have read, that is pretty much the norm. Once you get further south it warms up.
Oct 29th, 2002, 10:38 PM
Paul Therault
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Hi Sarah and Hubby,

Carnival is not for everyone. There is quite a bit of dancing, singing and general loudness. Similar to a wedding reception. The food is better and there is quite a nice selection of complimentary beverages in the buffet. The entertainment is very exciting.

RCCL is a bit more laid back and dressier but keep in mind there are bad apples in any large "city." Best to see a travel agent who can steer you to a ship that matches your lifestyle.

Also, if you do not book a TBA cabin initially you will not be able to get an upgrade unless it is an across-the-board upgrade.

Carnival has a tendency to lower their airfare from Sept. through January on most cruises. This happens about 2 months before the cruise date. A travel agent would be the first one to know this and pass along the savings to you. Ask the travel agent if he/she will do this for you.

Also, unless you wish to study the layout of the ship a knowledgeable travel agent will keep you away from above and below the disco, galley and pool area.

January is a good time to sail since the prices are really reasonable.

Whichever cruise line you choose I am sure you will have a good time.

Oct 30th, 2002, 06:10 AM
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Have you checked out all the message boards on cruisecritic.com? We are going on the Star Princess in Feb. and are also concerned about the weather going down and coming back.
Oct 31st, 2002, 03:03 AM
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O.K. So the weather will be cool/cold? until Cabo. Do we dress for Alaska? Also, are the seas generally rough in the Pacific in January?
Oct 31st, 2002, 05:09 AM
Been there done that
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My first cruise was a ten day Carnival cruise to the mexican riviera in Jan. a few years ago. It is true that the weather is not very pleasant the first day out or on the way back. I personally do not care for the beaches on the western coast of Mexico. Once you have tried the western carribean route, you become spoiled if you are a beach lover. But of course, any cruise or vacation is better that being at work. Don't be too quick to pass judgement on Carnival. I have sailed RCCL as well, and seem to lean towards Carnival as my preference. Also, if you do book now for Jan., and the price drops after you have made final payment, don't hesitate to call your TA or the cruiseline direct and demand an additional upgrade or cabin credit for the difference in the cruise price. Don't take no for an answer! Have fun!
Nov 1st, 2002, 01:43 PM
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I just booked the Sun Princess, 1/5 - 1/15 Mexican Riviera cruise since the prices were too good to pass up. I investigated various weather web sites and, as stated by other posters, expect that it will be cool (60-70 degrees) until Cabo San Lucas - and possibly one day beyond - and vice versa on the return. Acapulco, Matzatlan, Puerto Vallarta all showed high temps of 80 degrees and January is the lowest month for precipitation, so that's good news!
Nov 8th, 2002, 04:59 AM
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We also booked the Sun Princess 1/5-1/15 and are planning on the first and last days being on the cool side. I have sailed RCCL to the Mexican Riviera before - had an absolute blast; I do prefer Princess over RCCL, though. The food is better, service a little better. If you're a "party" couple, you'll find both on RCCL and Carnival...I prefer RCCL over Carnival - food was better - service was MUCH better; but it does vary by ship. If you do your research and read reviews, you may be able to figure out what you want without the help of a travel agent. If that's the case, book online - you'll get better rates (but generally not better service - they tend to just want to book the cruise and not help you choose); but try cruise411.com or cruise.com - if you really can't decide, then you may want to go directly to a travel agent. If you have an agency that deals specifically in cruises, you'll find better rates. As far as upgrades - that all depends. Some travel agents offer them as a promotion. On some sailings you can book what they call a "guarantee" cabin...basically, that means you're guarateed a cabin in that category and you may or may not get upgraded. I've book oceanview guarantees and have been upgraded to higher oceanviews and even balconies; but there are also times when I haven't been upgraded at all. It can be tricky because you generally don't find out where your cabin is until very close to sailing - sometimes not a good idea for those who may get seasick. Hope that helped a litte - have fun!
Nov 12th, 2002, 12:56 PM
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We've cruised the Mexican Riviera in late December. The weather was too cool & cloudy for sunning/swimming on the days traveling from and to San Pedro, but once we got down to Cabo, Mazatlan, PV, temps were in the 80's. The upside is humidity will be low once you reach the Mexican ports with very little chance of rainfall. Did experience a little rough water leaving San Pedro and also crossing from Mazatlan to Cabo but not bad. My first choice for this itinerary would be the Sun Princess. If you decide to go with Princess, be sure to get a comparison quote from www.kimskruises.com - she specializes in Princess.

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