Why Cruise To Mexico?

America’s sunny southern neighbor seems to have all the fun, with powder-soft beaches, savory fish tacos, and endless tequila sundowns. In Mexico, it feels like every day is a festival that ends in starry skies with a mariachi band romantically crooning in the distance.

Cruise ships carry travelers to two different coasts, the Pacific side and the Caribbean. Itineraries through the Panama Canal unite the two. As you explore the country, you’ll notice that every port reveals a place that blends history, adventure, food, and beaches.

And oh those beaches: Mexico’s strands are things of legend. To really explore them, you’ll need to get wet, since the natural charms beneath the warm waters should not be missed. Don a snorkel mask or scuba gear to visit the iridescent fish and rainbow colors of Mexico’s coral reefs. Adrenaline junkies can swim with whale sharks while mellower travelers commune with dolphins.

It would be a mistake to only hug Mexico’s palapa-strewn coast, however. Venture inland on an excursion to cobblestoned colonial Spanish cities with bustling craft markets and stylish boutiques, or spend a day among the ruins dedicated to Mayan gods.

Mexico offers a rich palate of colors in which to paint memories. Regardless if you choose a trek to jungle-shrouded temples, a seaside massage, or a simple kickback with a fresh lime margarita, Mexico will make a national sport out of spicing up your vacation. 

When To Go To Mexico

Mexico’s cruise season runs year-round. Winters are balmy; summer temperatures can reach past the 90s. The high season is also the driest season: That’s December through April, when the beaches are most crowded and prices peak. June and July are the hottest months of the year.

Those who don’t object to a mid-afternoon rain shower or sticky nights will find steep discounts and fewer crowds during the rainy season, May through October. September is the rainiest month on the Caribbean side and the heart of hurricane season. While hurricanes are rare, cruisers inclined to seasickness might prefer to visit in other months.

Multigenerational families are plentiful on cruises during school holidays, including Christmas and spring break, and prices can skyrocket because of the demand. In addition, some single and senior travelers might feel overwhelmed by the crowds during these weeks.

For nature lovers, the annual gray whale migration up and down Baja California is a treat. The world’s largest mammals travel south from Alaska in the winter to Mexico's Pacific coast, where they'll accompany your ship on a journey along the peninsula. The season lasts from January through March, when they birth and nurse their calves.

Mexico Cruise Routes

The Pacific:

Mexico’s Riviera rivals the Mediterranean for its blend of striking beaches, chic shopping, and spirited partying. The western coast also offers world-class views of large sea animals, sport fish, and sea lions along the stark and beautiful Baja peninsula.

Good for: Travelers craving variety will enjoy the mix of desert and beach.

Downside: While the protected bays of Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco shelter swimmers from open ocean rollers, some Pacific-facing beaches get more swell in summer months than little children or nervous swimmers would find comfortable.

The Caribbean:

The calm, blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico create placid beaches and underwater worlds rich with color. Cruises to Mexico’s Western Caribbean ports often make stops in several countries, such as the Cayman Islands, Belize, or Jamaica, a boon for travelers who enjoy diversity. The Gulf Coast was the center of Mexico’s ancient civilizations, which left behind temples, pyramids, and palaces that you can still see today.

Good for: Snorkelers and scuba divers can’t get enough of the candy-colored fish in Mexico’s Caribbean waters.

Downside: You may have to travel away from the port to view the best sights. But cruisers who don’t take advantage of on-shore excursions will miss out on highlights such as Mayan pyramids that bring out your inner Indiana Jones.

Panama Canal:

The Panama Canal is an engineering wonder, providing passage between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. It can only be experienced by ship; most canal itineraries make a stop in at least one Mexican port.

Good for: The canal offers a long, slow at-sea day with a rare glimpse of the world’s most exciting shortcut.

Downside: Small children might not understand what all the waiting and fuss is about when passing through the canal. 

Mexico Cruise Itineraries

Mexico Cruises

Ports

  • San Diego, California
  • Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  • Ensenada, Mexico
View more ports

Ports

San Diego, California - Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - Ensenada, Mexico - View more ports

View All 41 Mexico Cruises

Best Mexico Cruise Excursions

Best Mexico Cruise Ports

Photo of Acapulco, Mexico

Acapulco, Mexico

3.5
(508 Reviews)
Photo of Ensenada, Mexico

Ensenada, Mexico

3.7
(4298 Reviews)
Photo of Mazatlan, Mexico

Mazatlan, Mexico

4.0
(2578 Reviews)
Photo of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

4.3
(3835 Reviews)

View All 23 Mexico Ports

Best cruise lines to Mexico

Disney Cruise Line

Sails 4 Ships

Average rating of:

4.4

Oceania Cruises

Sails 6 Ships

Average rating of:

4.1

Holland America Line

Sails 15 Ships

Average rating of:

3.9

Princess Cruises

Sails 21 Ships

Average rating of:

3.8

Carnival Cruise Lines

Sails 29 Ships

Average rating of:

3.7

Norwegian Cruise Line

Sails 17 Ships

Average rating of:

3.5

Marella Cruises

Sails 6 Ships

Average rating of:

0.0

View All 7 Cruise Lines

Expert advice about Mexico

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10117 Reviews

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Fantastic First Cruise by henrytheh

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Carnival Inspiration / Destination: Mexico

I talked to a lot of people that were first timers and experienced cruisers; to the man, they prefer the quality of Carnival cruises for the price; however, even if you can afford it, you'd have to pay significantly more to get just a little bit more luxury.

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Was this review helpful? 11
3 Comments

Fun atmosphere by PhoenixTracy

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Carnival Imagination / Destination: Mexico

We enjoyed our cruise, it was a great to be able to relax and have some fun, thanks!

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Was this review helpful? 7
3 Comments

Mostly great time by apusch

Sail date: / Traveled as: Family (older children)
Ship: Carnival Imagination / Destination: Mexico

No communication with us before arrival for the cruise. Drink package had a wasted day. I commented on the wonderful service in the Prime restaurant and room steward and room cleaning staff.

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Was this review helpful? 12
5 Comments

Short and Sweet by debijg24

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Carnival Inspiration / Destination: Mexico

Short weekend getaway cruise at a great price! Embarking was super fast!

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2 Comments

Awesome Experience by JayPeeGT

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Carnival Inspiration / Destination: Mexico

Amazing experience. Myself and my wife really had a great time. I would do it again when time permits. I would recommend it to anyone

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