PDA

View Full Version : West Coast Excursion Help needed.....


twinglez
07-16-2005, 10:41 AM
No I haven't planned or booked any yet!! YIKES.

Need suggestions from people who have BTDT. I have a 13 y/o DD who encouraged can be adventureous, but at this point is planning to stay on the boat the whole time. She wants to stay at the pools and club... sigh.

I also have 5 y/o b/g twins. Horseback riding is out. We have one here and they aren't ready for it yet.

Suggestions would be great.

Thanks

californiadopeyfreak
07-16-2005, 11:22 AM
humm depends on everyone's interest....husband and I did the Puerto Varata and Matzalan city tours. They were interesting and being on a bus and taken to places was nice. We chose the morning tours so we had the afternoon to shop or do whatever. In Matzalan...after our tour we went back to the ship, ate lunch and then went back out and went shopping (Which was right there by the dock) In Cabo we did the beach break. It was okay...but the water was COLD. I am not much of a beach person, so we said next time we would probably not do an exursion, but just shop and eat in the downtown area. We are not the rick taking type, so we stayed away from those types of exursions. Our tablemates did the zipline adventure in PV and the LOVED it!! One of them was afraid of heights and said it was not bad at all. Hope that helps a little...just my humble 2 cents worth

Calikeri

Eeyorefan12
07-16-2005, 05:28 PM
No I haven't planned or booked any yet!! YIKES.

Need suggestions from people who have BTDT. I have a 13 y/o DD who encouraged can be adventureous, but at this point is planning to stay on the boat the whole time. She wants to stay at the pools and club... sigh.

I also have 5 y/o b/g twins. Horseback riding is out. We have one here and they aren't ready for it yet.

Suggestions would be great.

Thanks
We did the Swim with the Dolphins in Puerto Vallarta. My kids, DS9 and DD11, both enjoyed it a lot (and DH won't admit it but he did too.) We traveled with friends who had a DD11 who also didn't plan to do much. The dad REALLY didn't think Dolphin Adventure was for them (they're more into the fancy resort type thing) but, in spite of our telling them we wouldn't be offended if they did something else, they signed up.

At the end of the entire cruise, their DD11 announced that the Dolphin Swim was the best part of the whole trip and her dad was thanking me for "pushing" them to go. (What?!!) LOL!

CB

kcashner
07-16-2005, 05:37 PM
DD (now 14) spends most of her time in The Stack. She did the teen excursions--loved the Wild Side on Castaway, wasn't thrilled with the twilight sail on whatever island it was. So, don'[t worry about your teen--she'll be fine on the ship!

cruzings
07-17-2005, 08:47 AM
Really depends on what interests you. Our girls love the beach so this is what we did:

1. Puerto Vallarta, we did the Paradise Beach excursion thru Disney. Paradise Beach is a big resort with pools, a so-so beach, and lots of water fun. We booked the 7:40 am sked. We just spent all day by the beach and pool. In fact, we had so much fun we didn't return with the group on the bus back to port at 12 noon. We left when we were ready at about 3 pm and took a taxi (cost us $28 for our group of 9 on a big SUV). I think it's better to do the 7:40 because the next group comes at 12:40, and the place is already full (hotel guests with timeshares, local Mexican tourists, etc). We just ordered lunch there and they have a nice selection, plus they serve it to you poolside or by the beach, wherever you want.

2. Mazatlan, we did the beach and city tour with Mazatlan Frank. We booked this on our own. $32/adult and $20 per child up to 10 years old. This is an all-day tour. Frank met us at the port, took us on a nice airconditioned full-size van all around the city of Mazatlan. He is very knowledgeable about his city and is flexible with adjusting where you want to go and when you want to do it....including time to shop. Then he took us to Tony's by the beach for lunch--yum! After that we spent about 1-2 hours at the beach. We had no jellyfish situation. Then he took us back to the port before 5 pm.

3. Cabo, we just booked a water taxi on our own. We picked a company that took 9 of us on a water taxi tour of Los arcos, Lover's beach, etc. Then he took us to Medano Beach. You can pick any of the hotels and hangout there for the day. They have no problems with this, as long as you buy some drinks from them, which they put in a bucket of ice beside you as you sit and relax under an unbrella. There we relaxed for the rest of the day. The water taxi came back to pick us up at about 3 pm to take us back to the port. It was a bit challenging to board the taxi from the beach! But it was the moment we had laughed about the most. BTW, the water taxi service charged us $10/adult and $5/child for the entire service. Not bad. We did some shopping when we returned to the dock.

:thewave:

Jasak
07-18-2005, 01:07 AM
Hi Californiadopeyfreak,
When you did the Puerta Vallarta and Mazatlan City tours, was the entire tour by bus?
Was it airconditioned? Did you get lunch during the tour?
We're planning the same tours when we go and was wondering if we need to bring snacks/lunch?
Thanks, Jinny

californiadopeyfreak
07-18-2005, 10:57 AM
Yes..the entire tour was by bus...but they would stop at places and let you take pictures. I PV we actually got off a few times and walked through the city and then the bus picked us up later. We had lunch in PV that the bus brought us to. It was an awesome lunch with really great food. After the tour, we asked to be dropped back off in the shopping area and they took us as close as they could. About a 5 minute walk. In Matzalan we were in the bus again and they took you places and you got off to take pictures. There was no lunch on that tour. All the buses were air contioned and they were pretty full. In Matzalan they drop you back off in a shopping area that you have to through to get back to the ship. It was nice though and that is where we did most of our shopping. Oh, also Matzalan had the forcloric show with these flyers...that was lots of fun. Hope I answered your questions!

Calikeri

jlawall
07-18-2005, 11:38 AM
Thx cruzings...great tips...those are the kind of things that we like to do! :goodvibes

TootyJane
07-18-2005, 11:57 AM
We did the Canopy Tour (http://www.canopytours-vallarta.com/) in Puerto Vallarta. This is an independent company. All three of our boys (ages 16, 14 (our shy one that doesn't participate in anything!) and 10) loved it. We purchased the DVD ($30). We ate lunch, which was very good, there while we waited for the DVD. FYI, they do take US $$ but you will receive Pesos as change. The DVD is a nice reminder of a great day and our kids (especially the 10yo) love watching it. I would definitely recommend this tour.

atakaratemom
07-18-2005, 03:15 PM
Calikeri,

Were there many kids on these tours and do you think they enjoyed them?
I have a DD5 and DS11 and am wondering if they would find them interesting. Thanks!

Mary :flower:

markmyboy
07-18-2005, 03:24 PM
Cruzings
When in Cabo, using the water taxi, do you think any part of that would have been difficult for/with a 3 year old? We really wanted to hit Lover's Beach & Playa Chileno & figured the best way would be by water taxi.

Is Lover's beach a non-child area? We realize the water taxi's do not drop you off directly on the beach, but with her flotation do you think it possible to pull it off with a 3 year old in tow? (my husband would probably hold her!)

Thanks for any info!

Crowncaster
07-18-2005, 06:43 PM
We did the Canopy Tour (http://www.canopytours-vallarta.com/) in Puerto Vallarta. This is an independent company. All three of our boys (ages 16, 14 (our shy one that doesn't participate in anything!) and 10) loved it. We purchased the DVD ($30). We ate lunch, which was very good, there while we waited for the DVD. FYI, they do take US $$ but you will receive Pesos as change. The DVD is a nice reminder of a great day and our kids (especially the 10yo) love watching it. I would definitely recommend this tour.

We're booked for this same tour 8/3. What's the best way from the cruise ship to their office to catch their shuttle? We're a group of 10 and would like to figure the cost for taxis or shuttle. Could you recommend a meal at the end of the line? Thanks,
David

TootyJane
07-18-2005, 07:33 PM
Crowncaster,

There are vans just outside the cruise ship gates or you can walk out to the street (which we did) and caught a white taxi for $2 per person. Taxis are not allowed inside the gates. After the tour we caught a cab at the tour office and again got the $2 pp rate. There were 5 of us so it cost us $10 each way. You can negotiate with the driver. We paid everything in US dollars. Just make sure you nail down the price BEFORE you get in the vans or cabs.

I just read on the Cruise Critic that the DVD is now $40 and the video is $30.

I can't remember what we ate afterward but do remember it was delicious. However, my niece wanted the tuna sandwich which she said was not good at all, so I'd stick with the Mexican food. HTH

needalatte
07-18-2005, 07:46 PM
Twinglez: Here's another idea for PV that might work well for your DD who wants to stay on the ship. About a five minute walk from the port is a resort called the Krystal. They let cruise ship passengers use their facilities for free. They have a great, meandering pool with fountains, bridges you can swim under, swim up bars, volleyball and basketball and a separate pool with a (small) water slide. It's right on the beach, so you can have access to both. (We never made it to the beach because we did an excursion that day and only had about an hour to spare for the Krystal, so I can't tell you how good the beach is.) This way, if you want to take DD back to the ship, it's right there.

Just a thought, something I learned on our recent trip: What DS (10) really wanted to do was stay in the room and watch movies and order room service on sea days, not spend as much time at the kids club. Unfortunately, I didn't let him do too much of that and I regret now that I didn't compromise a little bit more. Like a friend later told me, it was his vacation too. My point is, I guess, that I had expectations about how he should spend his time, but it wasn't what he would have enjoyed most. That may not work for you in your situation, but it was eye-opening for me to see that by forcing him to "have fun", he wasn't, really. Not that I would let him hang out in the room all the time, or wander around by himself, or let him just blow off family things, just that next time I will try to accommodate and be a little bit more understanding about what he wants to do, (even if I don't think it's necessarily the best use of his time).

BTW--We did the canopy tour, booked through shore excursions, and the whole family loved it, even DS. I highly recommend it. Unfortunately, your 5yo twins couldn't do this one. In Mazatlan we did Stone Island. Nice beach, lots of fun, a few jellies. In Cabo we were on our own (kayak tour got cancelled due to high waves) and went shopping. DS stayed on the ship for that one and had much more fun than shopping with the adults.

Crowncaster: You can look for Los Veranos Canopy Tours on line. It's likely the independent canopy tour that TootyJane was talking about. Several members of our group did this one and were really happy with it. You can email the owner (can't remember her name right now) and she will give you all the information about which taxi to use, where to meet, how much it should cost, what to wear, etc. My friends' group got muddy from head to toe, so bring old clothes to wear on that one!

TootyJane
07-18-2005, 08:19 PM
....
Crowncaster: You can look for Los Veranos Canopy Tours on line. It's likely the independent canopy tour that TootyJane was talking about. Several members of our group did this one and were really happy with it. You can email the owner (can't remember her name right now) and she will give you all the information about which taxi to use, where to meet, how much it should cost, what to wear, etc. My friends' group got muddy from head to toe, so bring old clothes to wear on that one!

Betsy -- yes Los Veranos is the tour we took. I provided the link in my above post. We went in March so we didn't have rain nor any bugs. Best to wear a brightly colored t-shirts (we chose red) so you stand out in the DVD and any pictures you purchase from the company or that you take from the platform.

cruzings
07-18-2005, 11:58 PM
To markmyboy:

On the day we were at Cabo, we were told that the waves were rougher than usual. On another day, they told us it would have been possible to be dropped off at Lover's Beach. But not when we went, the driver actually warned us that he would not be dropping us off there. The water taxi just went around onto the other side, Pacific Ocean, where we experienced the rough seas. We didn't stay there for long. Just enough to see the other side, including Divorce Beach and then we went back to the Sea of Cortez.

As to getting on and off the water taxi, it is possible for a 3 year old as long as an adult is there to hand off and receive the child. In fact, on our water taxi ride there was another family with us that had two girls, about 2 and 4 years old. When getting off, there are a lot of Mexicans who are there to help...but they ask for tips so be ready with a dollar or so.

:flower:

californiadopeyfreak
07-19-2005, 12:41 AM
I saw some kids on the PV tour...and the ones on our bus...the girl was probably about 7...she looked really bored. Even layed on the ground one time! Probably not the best for younger kids. I heard lots of families that went on the beach exursions and most had all positive things to say about them. There were a few more kids on the Matzalan tour...of course we were going to the folkloric show...and that is geared towards families. So...bottom line...PV city tour maybe not that good for younger ones...Matz tour better for younger ones.

Hope that helps!!
Calikeri

DareTooDream
07-19-2005, 12:54 AM
Betsy -- yes Los Veranos is the tour we took. I provided the link in my above post. We went in March so we didn't have rain nor any bugs. Best to wear a brightly colored t-shirts (we chose red) so you stand out in the DVD and any pictures you purchase from the company or that you take from the platform.

DS13 and I were part of the group Betsy mentioned. I think the owners name is Sophie?? Tooty Jane, the link doesn't seem to work - although it is storming here right now if that has anything to do with it :teeth: .....Tooty Jane is right about wearing something bright/noticable. There are some distance shots on the DVD and clothing is about the only identifier. But, make sure it's something old and/or cheap. Most likely it will not come clean!!! We thought it was an awesome excursion.

Crowncaster, like Tootyjane said we just took a taxi (4 actually for 17 of us) for $8 per car. I think we paid $6 per car on the way back. The car with 5 was one adult and 4 kids not including the driver. There were not any large cars or vehicles - at least when we were going. Also like Tootyjane said some of our group ate there and had the mexican food and they all liked it. The rest of waited til we got back to the ship.....just weren't hungry yet. Feel free to PM me if you'd like.

Sherry

atakaratemom
07-19-2005, 01:16 AM
Thanks for the info Calikeri. It is really helpful. We actually have the Paradise Beach reserved for P.V. but I was having second thoughts because of all the reports about jelly fish. Based on your review I think we'll just stick with the beach and take our chances. I appreciate your help!

Mary :flower:

markmyboy
07-19-2005, 01:03 PM
thank you so much cruzings!!

I really didn't want to book an excursion, with the kids you never know if they will last the ENTIRE time!! I figure if we use the water taxi's we would have a "little" more flexibility, see how the kids (and mom) are holding up & figure out what to do next. My son (7) is the one who really wants to go to lovers beach! We were both looking through some online photos & he said that place is cool! So I am sure he would still think driving by on the boat is cool.

Your first hand experience is SO valuable to us, sorry you had some rough seas.


Thank You!!

mommykeg
07-19-2005, 06:20 PM
Cruzings
When in Cabo, using the water taxi, do you think any part of that would have been difficult for/with a 3 year old? We really wanted to hit Lover's Beach & Playa Chileno & figured the best way would be by water taxi.

Is Lover's beach a non-child area? We realize the water taxi's do not drop you off directly on the beach, but with her flotation do you think it possible to pull it off with a 3 year old in tow? (my husband would probably hold her!)

Thanks for any info!

We took a water taxi to Medano Beach in Cabo after our parasailing adventure. It was VERY difficult to get in and out of, especially for my 4 year old, who fell in the boat several times! We carried him in and out, but once he was in and we were climbing in, or when we got out to carry him out, he was on his own for a few seconds and the rocking of the boat knocked him down. No real damage, but he wasn't very happy! Also, we had a beach bag with towels,etc. for a day at the beach, and it almost landed in the water several times! The driver doesn't help at all because he's controlling the motor at the back of the boat. It was quite an adventure, but if we were to go to Cabo again, we would take a land taxi to one of the resorts and walk through to the beach.