Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cruising from LA - The Mexican Riviera

While living at Edwards, it makes sense to take a cruise. Elizabeth and I aren't 'cruise people,' but cruising is an extremely convenient and cost-effective way to visit a handful of cities you'd otherwise never see. The downside is that you'll only spend a day in each and if you're not careful, cruise costs can escalate quickly. But since Edwards is 2.5 hours from the departure port (San Pedro), you don't have an airfare cost.

-Find a ride to the port to save the $12/day parking fee.

-Carry-on the max allowed beverages (Princess' rule is 1 bottle wine or sparkling wine per person) and some bottled water.

-Be cognizant of your on-board beverage purchases - they add up quickly.

On our particular cruise, we visited the Mexican Riviera: Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. In Puerto Vallarta, we spent the day on a city tour and in a Mexican cooking class. It was a bit of a letdown because the 'cooking' was more of 'preparing.'

In Mazatlan, Elizabeth chose a horseback riding trip to Las Moras Hacienda - about an hour outside the city. The hacienda was once a tequila factory, so the Blue Agave plants were still abundant. After an hours' ride, we had lunch and spent time exploring the property.

In Cabo, Jeff's pick was a sailing trip on an America's Cup boat (New Zealand). We raced a second boat in the Pacific, just west of Cabo, but lost when our spinnaker dipped into the ocean. We were part of the crew onboard, adjusting the sails and sipping Pacifico. And yes, we did see whales.

Our favorite activities on this Princess cruise were seeing the shows/comedians, playing Bingo with the old people, eating, going to the gym and attending the various lectures.

Again, it makes a lot of sense to go on a cruise or two when you live so close to a major cruise port. Cruises from LA (or San Diego) will take you to the Mexican Riviera, through the Panama Canal, Alaska, on short trips to Ensenada (Mexico) and Catalina Island or on repositioning cruises up the western US coast to Vancouver.

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