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Mexican Riviera

Mexican Riviera Cruise Line Tips

Mexican Riviera cruise lines are fairly few in number despite the popularity of cruises on the west coast of Mexico.

Cruise travel planners should know that their options for choosing a cruise line are limited for several major reasons:

  • The Mexican Riviera has fewer cruise ports than the Caribbean, Europe, New England and other popular cruise destinations.
  • As a result of fewer cruise ports, there is more competition among cruise lines to offer a similar experience.
  • The most popular cruises usually go to just three ports.

In some ways, a Mexican Riviera cruise is not unlike an Alaska cruise (except for the temperatures). Most Alaska cruises usually last for six days and seven nights. So do Mexican Riviera cruises. Alaska cruises have about 10 ports of call as do Mexican Riviera cruises.

Although several ports are dominant, many cruise ships visit four or five destinations in Alaska. But the great majority of Mexican Riviera cruises go only to three ports: Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta. Again, the competition is intense.

While as many as 14-15 cruise lines visit Alaska, fewer than 10 visit the Mexican Riviera. They include Carnival, Celebrity, Disney, Holland America, Norwegian, Oceania, Princess and Regent Seven Seas.

The length of the cruise has some impact on which cruise lines are available for Mexican Riviera tourists. The cruises usually break down into three lengths:

  • Three to five nights
  • Six to nine nights
  • Ten to 12 nights

All of the above cruise lines are available for the six- to nine-night cruises. Only Princess and Holland America are available for cruises that last 10 nights or longer. For shorter three- to five-night cruises, Carnival is by far the dominant cruise line.

Cruise Line Budgets


The limited number of cruise lines means that travel planners who are picky about their cruise lines have few options for the shorter and longer cruises.

Anyone who wants a higher-end shipboard experience can choose the likes of Celebrity or Disney for a six- to nine-night cruise.

Otherwise, Mexican Riviera cruisers with larger budgets may want to spend more money on their cabin or their shore excursions. All of the above cruise lines have luxurious cabin and fine dining options in addition to their regular buffet-style restaurants.

Unlike the Caribbean, the Mexican Riviera is a coastal cruise experience. Cabins with balconies will have high appeal for the views.

Unfortunately, the Mexican Riviera doesn’t have as many remarkable shore excursions that cruisers will find in the Caribbean and Europe. So a nicer cabin is not a bad choice for anyone with the money to spend.

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