Sail Date: 07/10/11
We just returned today from a 7n/8d cruise on the Carnival Splendor to Mexico. Due to violence in Mexico we spent 2 days at Cabo San Lucas and 1 day at Puerto Vallarta instead of Cabo, PV, and Mazatlan. We had to tender into Cabo which isn't as easy to jump off and on the boat. As soon as I entered Cabo I didn't really have a good feeling. It was hot, dry, and not a very pretty place. I wanted to stay on the very obvious path of shopping/restaurants. There are many, many people constantly approaching you to try to sell you their items or trying to get you to buy one of their excursions. We did not buy anything from anyone off the street but nonetheless it was exhausting to constantly be bombarded with people yelling at you with their offers. I just generally did not feel safe while I was in Cabo. One day was plenty for me. We talked to several different people that had bad experiences buying excursions from people at the port (instead of purchasing through Carnival). I think the phrase you get what you pay for applies here. At dinner they announced that a guest had rented a jet ski through a vendor at the port and crashed it. In Mexico you are completely liable for the jet ski and your injuries. Also, I know that if you book your excursions through Carnival they guarantee that the ship will wait for you if your excursion is late whereas you don't have that assurance if you purchase an excursion on your own. At every port, 2-4 people were left at the port for not returning to the ship on time because they were out on their own.
Puerto Vallarta was a much better experience. I felt safe even though we stuck to the normal walking paths. The sea lion excursion at the port was much better than the two we did on Cabo. PV was very pretty, lush, and green. There was a larger police presence here also. It's not everyday that you see men in fatigues with very large automatic weapons but I will say that I felt safer with them there.
I don't have any interest in returning to Cabo. Even though I enjoyed Puerto Vallarta I don't really have much interest in returning there either. I think once was enough. Not a big deal when there is so much more of the globe yet to be discovered and enjoyed!