Have you ever been on a cruise? If not, you really should try it! I like to think of it as a vacation where somebody plans a party for you every day of the week. Our cruise on the Norwegian Star was no exception!
We chose an 8 day Mexican Riviera cruise out of Los Angeles, and drove to the Port of Los Angeles in our minivan. Parking was quick and easy in their parking lot, and the rates were reasonable. Current rates are $19 per day, which is cheaper than paying for airfare for six people!
We grabbed our suitcases and headed for the cruise terminal, where boarding began at 1:00 PM. We were a little early, so we just hung out until it was time to board our ship.
Check-in is easy for a cruise, as long as you have your passports and reservation confirmation. You just send your marked luggage up the ramp, and board the ship!
One of the first events on the itinerary is the mandatory safety drill. Everybody gets to wear their fashionable orange life jackets for a brief lecture on procedure in case of an emergency.
And then it’s sail away time! The buffet restaurant is open if you are hungry, and you can explore the ship.
The cruise line puts itineraries just outside your cabin each night, to inform you about all of the fun activities they have planned, as well as where we would be stopping the next day. Make sure to read your itinerary, so you don’t miss out on anything!
Our first stop was Acapulco, which is an unusual stop on a Mexican Riviera Cruise. Acapulco is a big city known for it’s violence, so it’s important to stay in the tourist areas right by the ship.
We did venture to see the famous divers of La Quebrada, but we hired a guide to get us there and back, since it involves walking after dark. Other than that, we shopped in the street market and visited Fort San Diego, both of which were a short walk from our ship.
Our next stop was Zihuatanejo, which is a relatively quiet fishing village. The cruise ship stops in a bay, and visitors board a small boat known as a tender to get to shore. The waves are not large, and even children can play with no problem.
Although there were shore excursions available, we opted to walk along Paseo del Pascador (fisherman’s path) until we found the perfect place to play in the ocean.
There was a sandy beach, with places to get food and drink nearby. Even though it didn’t cost much, it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable days on the cruise!
Another shore excursion that we loved was the Dolphin Swim in Puerto Vallarta. This one was kind of pricey at almost $200 a person, but we felt that it was worth it!
Our swim included several different interactions with the dolphins, including a kiss from the dolphin….
encouraging the dolphin to do a spin….
a dolphin foot push (which is when the dolphins push your feet with their nose, propelling you along the surface of the water….
and a dolphin dorsal tow (which is when the dolphins tow you across the surface of the water as you hold onto their dorsal fins).
As much as we loved the shore excursions, we also loved all of the activities on board the ship. And yes, dinner counts as an activity! The wait staff is very friendly and accommodating, and will bring you seconds (and thirds) of your favorite dish! Also, if you just can’t decide between two yummy options, get both!
Just make sure to save room for dessert!
One of the most hilarious activities on board was the Miss Mexico pageant. Greg was sitting innocently in the hot tub when he was chosen to participate as one of 4 contestants. (I may or may not have pointed wildly at him behind his back.) Each contestant was
forced invited to be dressed up by other cruisers, then brought out for the pageant.
Greg came out swinging his handbag, and said, “Hi, I’m Candy Sweet! I’m from Hershey, Pennsylvania.” After several interview questions, he won the title of Miss Mexico!
There were plenty of other things to do on the ship as well. An awesome Teen Club, nightly shows and entertainment at the Stardust Theatre, trivia games, and dancing poolside!
I can’t wait to go on another cruise! How about you?