I just got back from 7 days of fun-filled, sun-filled, rum-filled cruising!
I’d never considered cruising to Mexico. The Caribbean is more my style. But all that changed last week. Hubby and I had a cruise planned from Aruba to Columbia, the Panama Canal, and then St. Pete, Florida. This was an open bar cruise—and trust me, we’d planned to get soused every day!
The morning before the trip, the cruise line CANCELLED the cruise due to impending Tropical Storm Andrew. We’re veteran travelers, and since we’d already scheduled 11 days off for vacation, we had to regroup fast. So, we focused on the opposite coast and lucked up on a deal for $449 from LAX to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabos San Lucas through Norwegian Cruise lines.
We upgraded to a balcony for $150 dollars more. It was totally worth it. The cruise was sheer perfection! I’m impressed with Norwegian, and how clean the staff kept the ship. This wasn’t a booze cruise, but somebody forgot to tell Norwegian that. We had plenty of free liquor on all of our excursions.
I skip anything involving animals (swimming with dolphins, petting turtles, camel rides, etc.). I don’t believe in imprisoning and enslaving any creature for humans’ enjoyment. It makes me sad to see that.
If you’re ever thinking of cruising on the Norwegian Jewel from Los Angeles to Mexico, try these excursions:
Las Caletas Beach Hideaway – $129 per person
At $129 per person, this excursion seemed a little pricey at first. We chose this because we’d heard it was an exclusive beach that wasn’t crowded, where we could simply relax.
Verdict: Thumbs up! It was all that and more.
We took a tender boat from the pier to the beach. This 30-minute ride was filled with fun tour guides, who kept us entertained, and guess what? FREE adult beverages! On the way to the beach and back, unlimited beer and pina coladas flowed. I had no clue this was part of the deal. I don’t know how many we had. Between the two of us, I stopped counting at seven!
When we arrived at the beach, we were served a FREE authentic Mexican meal. The outdoor lunch was offered beneath a shady canopy of trees. Afterward, I donned my swimsuit and lied on my big fat butt for four hours. See those hammocks? Yes, I parked my booty right there! While I was asleep, my husband took advantage of the FREE water sports. The beach offered canoeing, snorkeling, and water jet packing. What more could you ask for? In the end, the price was right for everything we got.
Bar Hopping – $59 per person
I rarely buy drinks on the ship. They’re ridiculously over-priced and watered down. We bought two mudslides on the first day, and our bill was $21.95!!! I don’t know about you, but I at least like to be taken to dinner before I get screwed over. I admit, I did try to take my own vodka onboard disguised in water bottles, but Norwegian confiscated them. Oh well, can’t blame a girl for trying.
This is one of the reasons we signed up for the bar hopping excursion. At $59 per person, it was a deal. In 3 ½ hours, we visited 3 bars, where our drinks were FREE. We were only supposed to get one drink for free and then we were to pay for the rest, but between stops, our tour guides served us FREE tequila! I think they were just as buzzed as we were. At the last stop, we had twenty-five minutes to shop. Hubby found a great little place called Casa Maya Arte, where I picked up some beautiful Mexican stoneware.
Bar #2 and the view from the bar!
Bar #3 and the view from the bar!