Here are some highlights of our day in Mazatlán. Our cruise ship docked at the Port of Mazatlán, which is one of Mexico’s largest commercial ports that handles much of the country’s imports and exports. It is also a drop-off point for cruise ships, like the one we were on. Once our ship docked, we had to disembark and immediately hop on the waiting trams that took us to the cruise terminal. They don’t allow passengers to wander around on the dock, on account of it being a busy industrial port.

At the cruise terminal we hooked up with Julian Acosta, our local tour guide. Julian works for an outfit called Mazatlán Red Truck Group Tours – they offer guided tours of the city on the back of a pick-up truck. Our first stop was a liquor / convenience store where we picked up some adult beverages for ourselves and soft drinks for the kids plus a lot of ice to keep it all cold on a hot summer’s day. It was a little nuts, driving around Mexico on the back of a pickup truck drinking beer, but a ton of fun. Erika and I loved it, our guests loved it, and the kids had a blast.

Julian took us to some of the ornate local churches, we then went downtown and checked out the colorful architecture and even went to the town square and fed the pigeons. Erika, I and the kids posed for some pictures. Something to bear in mind when taking kids on cruises – babysitting / childminding facilities vary by cruise line. Carnival Cruise will babysit children of all ages, Norwegian Cruise Line, on the other hand, have an age limit for kids in their childminding service – they won’t take kids below three years old. As we were on a Norwegian Cruise ship, we couldn’t leave our youngest on the boat and had to bring him along plus Erika’s nephew to keep him company. Thankfully both kids had the time of their lives.

By now everyone was getting a little hungry so we stopped at a little seafood cart down the street and ate some incredible shrimp, scallops and octopus – some of the best seafood I’ve ever had. Here’s a tip for anyone going on a cruise: 1. If you’re in a port city by the sea, try the seafood – it’s always freshly caught and prepared since you’re close to the source! 2. Always ask your tour guide where the locals prefer to eat. We learned of this seafood cart from our guide, Julian – it’s where he himself likes to eat.

Julian drove us around some more and eventually brought us to the Malecon, which is a long boulevard by the beach. It’s built for walking and enjoying the ocean view and totally worth checking out. The kids had a great time goofing off on the large Mazatlán sign by the beach and it made for a great photo op. As for the beach itself, we were there in October so the water was a little choppy, but still warm.

We ended our tour with a meal at Los Arcos restaurant, which I can highly recommend. They do steak and seafood (a sort of Mexican surf ‘n turf) – but we stuck mainly to their seafood menu, which was excellent. Once again, you can’t go wrong with ordering seafood when you’re right next to the sea.

Overall, we had a fantastic time at Mazatlán.

Here’s Julian Acosta’s Facebook – our tour guide extraordinaire from Mazatlan RedTruck Group Tours.

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