Have a great trip. The planned cruises have always seemed to me to be great for families with children: there's always something to do, and you can't really lose track of them (most of the time).
I haven't been to Mexico, so I can't be of any special help there. However, for people going to Mexico -- especially areas near the US/Mexico border -- it's worth knowing that there is a recent Travel Alert regarding safety and some civil unrest. I guess it's unlikely this would affect your cruise, but it might be a good heads-up for general Mexico trips currently.
The link is to the US State Department, and it has consular contact information, etc.
Posts: 14017 | Registered: May 2000
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I just got back from Mexico City yesterday and here's how things stood there: You could easily find dinner at a restaurant for 70-100 (or more as you go to fancier restaurants and such)pesos (5-7 dollars). Street vendors were selling a can of pop or a bottle of water for 5-10 pesos. Other things we saw for sale like tools, clothes, fabrics were all less expensive than they were in the states. I think a normal men's polo shirt I saw for the equivalent of about 10 dollars at at least one place.
Basically, things are less expensive there. I'd hazard a guess that it varies depending on where you are. I'd expect more american prices in places cruise ships are known to stop because the people there know they can get it.
I visited Puerto Vallarta in late January. You could usually get around 14 pesos to the dollar, and expect to pay around 100 pesos for most small items from vendors (t-shirts, hats, and the like) if you're willing to haggle. It helps to a) know some Spanish and b) be ready to walk away.
Prices are great for most all-inclusive kinds of things (hotels, resorts, etc.) but there are certainly higher prices from vendors in the areas around resorts. I'd strongly advise getting into downtown and away from the resorts. The prices are better, and, believe it or not, you're likely to be hassled less. We were getting truly tired of having to say "no" three or four times every time we passed through the lobby of the resort where we were staying.
Do not, under any circumstances, be talked into a vacation or timeshare presentation. No matter what they offer you. Life is too short.
Also be wary of tours that "stop for lunch" somewhere or go to specific stores for "the best prices". Again, the prices are likely to be higher, because the tour directors are probably geting a piece of the action. And our "lunch stop" on one such tour lollygagged in the hope of raising their clientele's bar tab.
As far as Puerto Vallarta goes, I do recommend visiting a tequilla distillery if you like that kind of thing and get a chance. That's distillery, as different from a factory. What we were offered at the distillery was eye opening in regards to what's typically offered as "tequilla" in the U.S... The real thing has virtually no burn.
And the marina area in PV is very nice- lots of interesting statues and sand sculptures.
Posts: 3825 | Registered: May 2005
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