In February we embarked on a much needed 7 day voyage from Long Beach, California to the Mexican Riviera taking in the ports of Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. This was our first time on the West Coast of Mexico and since there was a massive ice/snow storm happening in our hometown just as we were leaving for this trip, it was a welcome getaway.
Our home for the week was Carnival’s Splendour, a beautiful 113,300 ton ship with a vibrant personality and a guest capacity of 3012 passengers. Feeling hungry? No problem, it boasts several restaurants, a coffee shop, self-serve ice cream spots, a pizzeria, a burrito bar and so much more. Want a drink? That’s easy, choose from one of its many bars and lounges to sit back and watch the shoreline disappear along with all your worries (at least for the next 7 days).
Sea Day – Our first full day on the ship was a sea day so we explored the ship’s happenings, ate to our immense satisfaction and enjoyed the quiet time in the Serenity adults only lounge area.
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico – This tropical haven has long been on my list of places to go and now I simply want to go back again some day. We spent the day soaking up rays in the sand between the famed Lovers and Divorce beaches – aptly named for the calm water and turbulent water respectively. We grabbed a local water taxi which, for an extra few bucks, took us a brief tour to see the famed rock formations and the sea life that surrounded it. Bonus: as our boat turned back to head to the beach we caught a glimpse of a whale lingering around a nearby fishing boat. I can certainly tell you, seeing one at a distance while you are standing safely on land is one thing – seeing one while you are on the water is another.
This beach was absolutely beautiful, but I will give you one word of caution however, it’s a public beach and while we felt safe during our time there, we did notice some locals that were “eyeing” tourist’s belongings a little too closely. We made sure we brought minimal items with us to avoid the chance of having something stolen. Leave valuables on the ship or at your hotel to be on the safe side.
Mazatlan, Mexico – Since the whole point of our trip was to rest and relax, we took advantage of the one of the ship excursions to a resort where we could lounge poolside or take a dip in the ocean and have the convenience of a bar, a buffet, and full facilities. We headed to the El Cid Marina Beach Club which was a great little spot to just chill.
Since we noticed a few locals selling their wares along the beach, we opted for the pool area where they could not access. (The only person we wanted to approach us during our stay was the server from the pool bar, if you get my drift.)
The resort was beautifully maintained and the staff that we encountered were lovely.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – This was my favorite stop for a few reasons. The first reason, there was a ton of shopping that could be done in either the mall located directly across the street from the cruise port or in the majority of local shops and boutiques that speckled the downtown area. Puerto Vallarta’s El Malecon Boardwalk area is also just beautiful for strolling along and enjoying the beautiful sea views.
We decided to take in another beautiful resort and headed off to the Hyatt Ziva, an exclusive resort nestled among the lush hills and resting on an incredible stretch of beach. We were immediately greeted with a welcome drink and cool towelette before heading down to the beach area.
The beach was immaculate and the perfect spot to just listen to the sounds of the rolling waves.
After a delicious buffet lunch we relaxed in the infinity pool before boarding the shuttle back to the ship. I’d highly recommend this place and would love to return to stay for a full week or two.
Two Sea Days – Once back on the ship we had two glorious sea days left before heading back to Long Beach. Suffice it to say we used our time wisely by partaking in some ship activities, killing it at the buffets, soaking up some sun, and enjoying the daily drinks.
Our overall impression? We’d definitely recommend this itinerary because the stops were fantastic with plenty to do, the excursions we did were terrific, and the ship had plenty of personality with an abundance of activities and entertainment for every age.
Are you going on a trip soon? I’d love to hear about it!