Traveling for a romantic
getaway, family adventure or singles escapade can be found in the clear blue waters of the Baja or Yucatan peninsulas and the southern Mexican seaside towns. Enticing travelers with their affordable vacation alternative to the Caribbean
, Mexican cruise ships provide a relaxing and fun-filled atmosphere with cultural diversity and flavorful food for a variety of people. They become a traveling five-star resort
of the ocean, offering water sports, shore excursions, casinos, spas, bars and other amenities. Mexican cruise ships specialize in catering to specific travelers; finding the right type of ship can enhance your vacation experience.
Carnival Elation and Spirit
These ships provide a roster of indoor and outdoor activities and an energetic atmosphere for the party crowd. The attractive nightlife appeals to the young singles crowd. The Elation is part of the Fantasy Fleet Class, where capacity is just more than 2,000 guests. The Spirit belongs to the Spirit Class, with a capacity of just more than 2,100 passengers. The unique feature of these ships lies in the on-board activities available, such as a twister water slide measuring three decks high, poolside competitions, gambling, bars, live entertainment venues and lounges. They also feature a 22-foot-wide LED screen at poolside for showing the big game, special programming or movies.
The Elation also provides a city sports park for the sports enthusiast to play nine holes of miniature golf, volleyball, basketball or ping-pong.
The Spirit also has a wedding chapel for the romantic couple.
The distinguishing factor between the two ships are the itineraries--the Elation usually travels to the Baja Peninsula; the Spirit travels further south, exploring the Mexican Riviera.
For a more mature crowd that prefers top-of-the-line accommodations and lavish eating spreads from the 13 restaurants on board, The Norwegian Star may be the ship for you. The Norwegian Star hails a 965-foot vessel with a passenger capacity of just more than 2,200 people. The unique feature on this ship is the modern and relaxed atmosphere, where there are no dining rules, no formal attire, no planned itineraries or activities for the day. The focus is on the specialized experience for every passenger in a freestyle and flexible atmosphere, where the traveler chooses what to do and when to do it. One of the highlights on this ship is The Barong Spa and Fitness center. It offers exercise opportunities and fitness programs throughout the day for the healthy traveler. Luxury facials, massages and acupuncture are only some of the signature services available.
The Norwegian star also provides an extensive choice of accommodations from luxury villas and deluxe owner suites to personalized staterooms with mini-bars catered to your specialized needs and memory foam mattress toppers for your bed. An added bonus is the "freestyle" disembarkation policy which allows you to sleep in, work out, take a swim, have breakfast or leave at daybreak if you choose to do so on the last day of the cruise. The Norwegian Star travels to the Mexican Riviera on six-or-seven day cruises leaving from Los Angeles or San Francisco.
Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas
If you are looking for more of an affordable couples retreat or family vacation, then Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas may be the right choice for you. The Radiance holds 2,500 passengers and boasts big-ship amenities with an intimate feel. The well-known rock-climbing wall offers a challenging adventure for the athletic enthusiast, in addition to the golf simulator, basketball and volleyball courts. The Radiance also provides an extensive children and young adults program featuring the Adventure Ocean Youth Facilities. While having facilities for family fun, The Radiance provides a great layout and architectural design with wide-open spaces and a spectacular 10-story glass atrium decorated with lush greenery, waterfalls and sculptures. The Radiance also offers four types of accommodations, ranging from suites with complimentary concierge service, balcony rooms for added privacy, staterooms with an outside view and the standard room that provides all the necessary comforts for a good value.
Princess Cruise Sun, Sea and Dawn Princesses
It's still considered the "Big Ship Choice with the Small Ship Feel." These ships provide personal, comfortable and intimate spaces, with a tasteful décor at a grand scale. The wraparound promenade deck and four-story atrium lobby provides spectacular ocean views as you relax or do a little shopping. The ship's capacity reaches 1,950 passengers and offers passengers 70 percent of outside staterooms with balconies. It offers a 24-hour buffet and bistro with other flexible dining options. The staff provides a welcoming atmosphere as they meet and greet you at the entrance, as well as offers a turn-down service every night. The 20-station Internet café and Wi-Fi spots give passengers access to the outside world if needed, but since you're on vacation, it's most likely that you'll be enjoying a premium meal at the steakhouse, being pampered at the Lotus Spa, listening to enriching lectures or cooking demonstrations at the Scholarship at Sea, or enjoying the wine and caviar bar.
Anel Laj began her professional writing career more than 10 years ago as a sports journalist for the Los Angeles Daily News. Currently, she is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. Laj received her Bachelor of Arts in mass communications from UC Berkeley. She earned her Master's in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.