Mexican Cruises

Mexico offers some of the best beaches and weather for romance, family entertainment, and groups of all sizes wanting fun, excitement, or just to relax. Whether you’re looking for a long weekend get-away or a week’s vacation, Mexican cruises offer a little something for everyone.

Mexican Cruise Routes

Some of the most popular Mexican cruise routes include visiting Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Yucatan (Progreso) on Mexico’s Caribbean coast. Then, on the Pacific side, ports such as Cabo San Lucas, Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta, Ensenada, Mazatlan, and Ixtapa are all included as stops. The ports on the Pacific side are often referred to as Mexico’s Riviera.

Mexico Cruise Ships

© faungg's photos - Mexico Cruise Ships

Leaving the Port of Los Angeles or San Francisco

Whether you choose Los Angeles or San Francisco as your city of embarkation, you can choose to park in a lot near the port and have a shuttle take you to the ship. If you fly, a taxi may be the easiest way to get to the ship’s terminal.

Leaving from California, you’ll have several options along the Pacific Coast of Mexico to visit. There are short two or three day Mexican cruises leaving Los Angeles (Long Beach) and going to Ensenada (Baja). There are seven day cruises also leaving Los Angeles (Long Beach) and going to Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas, or Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta.

Leaving from San Francisco, there is a ten day cruise with stops at Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas. Both Los Angeles and San Francisco offer easy access to those living on the West Coast.

Mexico Cruise Ships in San Francisco

© Dave R - Mexico Cruise Ships in San Francisco

Leaving the Ports of Galveston, Mobile, New Orleans, Tampa, Miami, or Ft. Lauderdale

Since Cozumel is rated as one of Mexico’s top places to visit, there are short four or five day Mexican cruises going to Cozumel (Western Caribbean) from Galveston, New Orleans, Mobile, Tampa, and Miami. There are longer cruises (seven days or more) offered that will take you to Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Yucatan (Progreso).

It’s easy to get to one of these cruise ports, either by car or plane. All cities offer parking near their ports for easy access to the ship’s terminal. Once you know the date you are sailing, you may want to reserve a parking space. Sometimes you will receive a discount for paying on-line and paying early.

Cruise Ship leaving from New Orleans

© Adventures of KM&G-Morris - Cruise Ship leaving from New Orleans

Popular Destinations for Mexican Cruises

Cabo San Lucas

© Robert Ciavarro - Cabo San Lucas

A city located on the Southern tip of the Baja peninsula. It’s mostly known for its beaches and water-based sporting activities, especially fishing. There are some great restaurants and bars along the coast. One of the most famous attractions is El Arco, a natural arch in the seacliffs.

Costa Maya

© Steve Bridger - Costa Maya

A small tourist area in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico on the Caribbean. It is known for its crystal clear water and spectacular beaches. Tourists enjoy snorkeling, kayaking and shopping in the quaint village where locals sell their goods.


© superphoebe - Cozumel

An island in the Caribbean Sea and is a popular spot for those who enjoy scuba diving or snorkeling along the Great Mesoamerican Reef. Shopping is also enjoyable as ships dock near restaurants, bars, and shops where you can buy from the locals.


© greg lilly - Ensenada, Mexico

A city on Mexico’s Pacific coast in Baja California and is about an hour South of San Diego. This busy city boasts of a highly-rated flea market, great restaurants, and La Bufadora. La Bufadora is a marine geyser located on the Punta Banda Peninsula just outside Ensenada and is a phenomenal site to withhold.


© Gerald Lau - Ixtapa

A city located in the municipality of Zihuatanejo and is about four hours northwest of Acapulco. Tourists love visiting Ixtapa for its highly-rated golf courses, fishing, watersports, scuba diving, snorkeling, and pristine beaches.


© Shawn Bagley - Manzanillo

A port city on the Pacific Ocean and Manzanillo Bay, and is in the state of Colima. It’s mostly known for its marlin sportfishing, beautiful beaches, and shopping at El Centro.


© Lisa Brettschneider - Mazatlan

A resort town on the Pacific shoreline and is in the state of Sinaloa. You’ll find beautiful beaches and the famous boardwalk, along with big-game fishing. It’s also known for its high-rise hotels and exciting nightlife.

Puerto Vallarta

© Jonathon McDougall - Puerto Vallarta

One of Mexico’s most famous resort towns, it’s located on the Pacific coast and is known for its water sports, beaches and nightclubs. The center of town is known for its historical church Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, cobblestoned streets, shopping, and an array of restaurants and bars.

Yucatan (Progresso)

© Michael McCarthy - Progresso, Yucatan

Progresso is a port city on the Gulf of Mexico in the state of Yucatan. Many tourists love to visit the Mayan historical sites, but the beaches and village are popular spots too.


Sunset on a Mexican Cruise

© Don Richards - Sunset on a Mexican Cruise


Mexican Riviera

The Mexican Riviera, also known as Mexico’s Gold Coast, is very popular for cruisers. Most ships leave the port of Los Angeles and will make stops in Puerta Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas as a typical seven or eight day cruise. Not only do you get to experience three port cities, but you also get to experience life on a cruise ship.

Cruise ships offer both day and evening entertainment, all you can eat buffets, restaurants, swimming pools, bars, and exciting night life.

Cabo San Lucas

© Ray Dehler - Cabo San Lucas

Cheap Cruises

If you’re looking for a short cruise, the three or four night Mexican cruise packages are very inexpensive, especially for everything that is included. Typically, the price of your cruise includes your cabin, your meals and your entertainment. The extras are drinks (sodas and liquor), excursions, and gratuities.

The Caribbean side and the Pacific side of Mexico both offer excellent deals for couples and families. Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean both offer several choices as far as the length of your cruise and are known more for their on-board entertainment and fun.

Mexico Large Cruise Ship

© Roger W - Large Cruise Ship, the Crown Princess

Luxury Cruises

Ships are like cars. Some ships offer smaller cabins, fewer amenities, and are larger in size. These cruises are typically less expensive than on a luxury ship.

The luxury cruise lines offer larger cabins with larger bathrooms, more amenities, and are usually smaller in size, with fewer people. The restaurants and entertainment are also usually higher in quality. Luxury cruise lines include: Seabourn, Regents Seven Seas, Celebrity, and Princess.

Mexico Luxury Cruise Ship

© Denise Miller - Luxury Cruise Ship

Best time of the year for cruises in Mexico

November is the best time of the year to go to either coast of Mexico. You may want to avoid the summer months, as that tends to be hurricane season.

Facts about Mexican cruises

  • Great vacations at very reasonable rates as you are actually on a floating hotel. The cruise ships offer fun for everyone.
  • Exciting stops on either the Pacific side of Mexico or the Caribbean. Ships offer at every port their own excursions you can purchase onboard, or you can venture out on your own once you’re docked.
  • All tourist ports offer water sports, beaches, shopping, or historical places to visit. All cruise ships offer excursion packages for your choice.
  • You can choose short, three or four day cruises, or longer ones. Whether you are short on time or limited funds, there is a cruise just for you.
  • You may or may not need a U.S. passport. Be sure to check with the cruise line for requirements.
  • They are all-inclusive, except for drinks (sodas or liquor), gratuities, and excursions. Once on board, you don’t have to leave the ship unless you choose to do so.
  • Any time of the year is great for cruising, but November is the best month. You may want to avoid summer months because of hurricane season.