Hot Tips For Cruising to the Mexican Riviera

Mexican Riviera Cabo San Lucas

Are you ready to cruise the Mexican Riviera?

This week on the podcast we are talking about hot tips for cruising to the Mexican Riviera. Over the past few weeks we’ve talked about cruising to Alaska, and cruising to the Caribbean, but we’ve yet to cover the place we have cruised the most.

So, today, we have 10 tips for cruising to the Mexican Riviera. If you’re new to cruising in this area, you won’t want to miss these. 

First up, Be aware of time zone changes. If you’re considering booking your own shore excursions in Mexico, check and double check the ship versus shore time, so you don’t end up being left behind. Not sure where to find this info? Your ships newsletter, the front desk staff, and the shore excursions desk can ALL help you. A good old fashioned wrist watch can be an excellent idea if you prefer not to trust your mobile device or smart watch. Each cruise line handles time changes differently, so this is a critical detail to research.

This next tip is HUGE, and super important to know BEFORE you cruise. Plan for chilly sea days, particularly if you’re sailing during the winter and spring months. While your time in Mexico will likely be warm and sunny, and resort wear will be perfect WHILE you’re in Mexico, you’ll want to pack warmer clothes for evenings on the ship and the first few and last few days going up and down the Pacific Coast.

In general, the summer months will be much warmer all around, but winter, spring and fall weather on your sea days will mirror California weather, NOT the warm balmy temperatures you can expect down in Mexico. We like to pack jeans, warm shoes, and a lightweight jacket for everyone in our family.

How about dealing with money in Mexico? We recommend that you research the exchange rate for pesos before your trip. This can be particularly helpful if you plan to shop with cash or take a cab in Mexico. This doesn’t mean you need to exchange currency in advance, because most vendors will take US dollars, just be aware of the approximate exchange rate so you don’t get taken advantage of. There are great currency conversion apps and websites you can check out in advance. Get familiar with the calculator on your phone. Also, haggling is okay. 

Speaking of shopping, it’s a good idea to pack small bills when traveling to the Mexican Riviera. From tipping a shore excursion provider, to shopping with local vendors, having small bills on hand reduces time rummaging through your wallet, and helps to ensure you don’t overpay for something. 

Now that we’ve got money matters out of the way, let’s talk about Cabo San Lucas for a bit. Did you know that Cabo san Lucas is a tender port? That means you’ll take a tender, or “water shuttle” to get to shore. Be sure to plan extra time to get off the ship. This might mean getting a ‘tender ticket” from the ship’s staff early in the day when you visit Cabo. Every ship works a little differently, but you’re daily newsletter will spell this out for you. Just be careful not to plan something too early in Cabo, because tendering can take some time.

While we’re on the topic of Cabo San Lucas, If you’re looking for something affordable to do for the day, we like to take a water taxi and hangout on the beaches in Cabo. We’ve made a video on how to get to Medano Beach, which we’ll link to below. 

Looking for a Cab instead of a water taxi in your ports? Walk just outside the port area for a few minutes for lower rates. This is especially true in Puerto Vallarta. In Mazatlan, expect to take the free open air shuttle from the ship to the area where you can pick up a cab. Where you’ll dock in Mazatlan is an industrial port, so the shuttle will be your only way out of the port. 

Our next tip is explore all the coast of Mexico has to offer. Just don’t expect Caribbean blue water. For example, Puerto Vallarta offers a jungle meets the sea vibe where you can snorkel, hike and rappel down waterfalls, while Cabo offers desert vibes and the chance to take an ATV ride on a remote beach or ride camels on a coastal ranch. There are SO many unique things to do in the Mexican Riviera, but I think what I”m trying to say here is, don’t compare it to a Caribbean cruise. 

Puerto Vallarta Mexican Riviera
Puerto Vallarta

This tip is more of a general tip for ANY cruise, but we’ve gotta say it. Put your phone in airplane mode the moment you head to the sailaway party on your first afternoon onboard. If you’ve purchased an internet package, you’ll use airplane mode anyhow. Still need to use your phone onboard? No worries- you can use services like What’s app or Facebook to send messages or make calls if you’ve purchased an internet package.

Lastly, we invite you to check out our vlogs from our journeys to the Mexican Riviera. We have lots of shore excursion and activity ideas and dozens of tips and tricks for your next Mexican Riviera cruise. We’ll link to those playlists below so you can take a look at how much there REALLY is to do on a Mexican Riviera cruise.

Listen to more CruiseTipsTV Unplugged podcasts here.

Stay In Touch

Thanks so much for listening! We hope you’ve enjoyed this podcast and we’d love to hear from you! Please feel free to direct message us on Instagram or Facebook with your thoughts, or just check in to see what we are up to on those platforms. We have lots of fun on Instagram, and we have a wonderful welcoming cruising community on Facebook. Be sure to check those out.

Need a travel agent?

Looking for a good travel agent? Contact our travel agency partner, Montebello Dream Vacations & let them know you were referred by CruiseTipsTV when you call. Wendy will match you with the best agent for your needs. Phone number is on the website. 

Join the Academy!

Download our shore day bag checklist, and more cruise packing and planning checklists & videos by joining the CruiseTipsTV Academy. We have a special discount code for our podcast listeners. To redeem the $5.00 discount on our Master Class, enter code UNPLUGGED at

Here’s what people are saying about the CruiseTipsTV Unplugged Podcast

  • Love the show!
    May 11, 2024 by Wonderlust3 from United States

    I stumbled across your show while I prepare for my 1st cruise in 12/2024. I’m going from Mobile, Al to Belize and Cozumel on a 7 day cruise. It’s w/Carnival. It will be with my husband and our 2 children. It’s my kids’ birthday who are turning 15 and 13. Their birthdays are just a few days apart. We decided to celebrate big this year! I’m so excited! I hope to become an avid cruiser. I travel a lot anyway. I love the idea of cruising already! I have planned 3 previous cruises but had to cancel because the the 1st and 2nd time I ended up pregnant and too far along & the 3rd time I got COVID. This is the 4th time and I’m not letting anything stop me! lol I love the show. I love how funny you guys are! All the info is great. Can you do an updated podcast of what to pack for an embarking bag? Can you please give me more info on what to expect on my 1st cruise? Thank you so much for all of your great advice, information, and funny comments! Keep it up!

    May 8, 2024 by Elainemast from United States

    I’ve been listening to CruiseTipsTV for several years and I’m finally leaving a review. It started watching their content, when we went on our very first cruise in 2017. I absolutely look forward to listening to their podcast and it just makes me happy! I love the banter between Mr. CruiseTipsTV and Sherri! They are always so positive but also realistic. They also give so many tips and advice! Currently, I am mowing our yard and have them in my ears and it’s just getting me excited for our next cruise! Keep up the wonderful content and podcast! Y’all are the best! Elaine

  • Nice people, fun to listen to
    April 14, 2024 by janiemac13 from United States

    Very relatable host(s) who it’s easy to feel like you’re just sitting at a table with while they talk and banter enthusiastically about cruise stuff. Working hard for our attention, and I appreciate that.