Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond
Mexican Riviera

Mexican Riviera Cruise Ship Entertainment

Cruise ships decks are crowded during good weather and empty during bad. Credit: Pixabay
Cruise ships decks are crowded during good weather and empty during bad. Credit: Pixabay

Entertainment aboard a Mexican Riviera cruise ship depends in part on the weather, length of the cruise and departure port.

The shortest Mexican Riviera cruises last only about two days and three nights. They usually depart from southern California and go to a port such as Ensenada on the Baja California peninsula of the western Mexican coast. They have at most one day at sea.

A nine-day, 10-night cruise that departs from San Francisco, which is about midpoint on the California coast, may have as many as five days at sea.

The common six-day, seven-night cruises have about three days at sea.

When Weather Drives Passengers Indoors

If the weather is good, many cruise passengers spend their days at sea on the decks to enjoy warm weather and sunshine. But warm weather and sunshine isn’t always a sure thing. Two times a year may force passengers to spend more time indoors: winter and late summer to mid fall.

Winter for ports such as Cabo San Lucas means average daytime temperature in the upper 70s Fahrenheit. Trade winds may make the cruise ship deck a bit chilly at times, especially in the mornings and evenings.

Late summer to mid fall is the time for the annual Pacific hurricane season. Rainfall climbs until reaching a high point in September.

How to Stay Entertained Indoors

First time cruisers should know that ships have plenty of ways to entertain them indoors. But they usually know about only some of the most obvious examples such as shows, casinos and lounges.

Most cruise ships have a full day of events on a schedule they distribute to the cabins the night before. Typical events include:

  • Live shows are the most popular indoor entertainment. The big ones take place in the main theater—usually twice a night—and attract hundreds of passengers. Smaller ones may appear in some of the lounges. Get there early for good seating.
  • Casinos are the second most popular form of entertainment. Like the live shows, they are usually available in the evenings.
  • Art auctions of works by popular artists such as Peter Max. Prices often start at $1,500.
  • Free liquor tastings in small amounts that tempt some people to buy expensive bottles in the duty-free shop.
  • Gemstone classes, again in the duty-free shop.
  • Dance classes in styles such as salsa and merengue.
  • Cooking classes.
  • Fee-based bingo tournaments.

Active people may find that the ship’s activity schedule is simply not full or interesting enough to fill an entire day when the weather is poor. So it’s a good idea to plan on some backup activities.

Other Things to Do On Board

I always use the fitness center on my cruises. They are well-stocked with plenty of equipment, but rarely full of people. They usually have fitness classes multiple times a day. Some have a fee and some don’t.

Most ships have a library of several hundred used books as well as a game room for card players. The library’s books were often left behind by cruise passengers. Few of them are best sellers or written by well-known authors. Readers should bring their own. Unlike the fitness centers, the libraries are smaller and often filled with people.

Other ways to fill time at sea include audio books, ebooks, music and movies on portable electronic devices such as laptops, smartphones and ebook readers.

Passengers with smartphones and laptops will use the library and lounges during the day, especially if they buy Internet access from the cruise line. Experienced cruise passengers also bring hardcover, paperback and puzzle books.

Cruise ships usually have a decent selection of movies available on the TVs in the cabins. But small cabins can make passengers feel awfully cooped up. Besides, who wants to sit in a tiny cabin and watch movies on a Mexican Riviera cruise?