Cruising to Panama - Acapulco

Cruising to Panama delivered a bonus. One of the terrific experiences of cruising is that you get to meet other travelers and oftentimes strike up a friendship. Most of the time once the trip is over, you keep in touch for a few months, perhaps a year…then life just continues as you both drift on to new memories. 

However, when going by sea to Panama, we made friends with a couple that were close to the same age as us. Yvonne and Jim were from the U.K. with a marvelous British sense of humor. Yvonne had that quiet elegance that reminded me of my mother although she is much younger. This duo had so many adventures during their travels that we thought of them as the “intrepid British twosome”.

We were thrilled they were cruising to Panama with us. They spend a couple of months in Mexico each year as well as enjoyed travel to a myriad of other destinations. We hope to join up with them again on one of their Mexican jaunts. The wonderful thing about new found friends that live long distances away and remain your friends is that over time they are like the stars…not always seen, but always there.

Cruising to Panama had numerous ports of call and as we headed into Acapulco I was a little apprehensive. I had such fond memories of living there in ’76 -’77 but had read and heard that the drug cartels were causing carnage there, not aimed at the tourists, but they were the “collateral damage”. 

I won’t give the grizzly details because you can read of such things in the news. So, having lived there so far back, I knew I would be seeing huge variations in what I remembered while on this cruising to Panama voyage.

Upon docking we were one of the first groups ashore because we had signed up for an excursion that was rather lengthy. If we hadn’t been taking an excursion it would have been a bit later that the gangway opened to all that chose to disembark. We saw the Welcome to Acapulco sign. The tours available at this port of call while cruising to Panama were:

  • Mayan Palace Golf Course
  • Deep Sea Fishing on a fully equipped 35 ft. fishing boat. It included lunch, bait & tackle, fishing license & beverages
  • Dolphin Swim…approx. and hour with the dolphins (and their trainers) which included photos & a video
  • Pierre Marques Beach Break…this break at a fine resort included a buffet lunch, a couple of beverages, lounge chair and towel
  • Isla La Roqueta Snorkeling and Nature Walk…La Roqueta Island is a 30 minute boat ride off the coast of Acapulco. This half day tour includes 1.5 mile walk, followed by snorkeling. Lunch & beverage included
  • Tropical Aviary and Botanical Garden…on arrival at the Tres Palos Lagoon you board a motor boat for a cruise through the lagoon. The sanctuary is home to exotic birds, mangrove tunnels, virgin lagoons and a natural garden of wild flowers. On the return you travel up into the hills to visit the Botanical Garden. Insect repellant, sunscreen, sunglasses and hat recommended
  • Sea Turtle Interactive Release Program…Participants have the chance to protect newly hatched turtles in their journey to the sea, thus preserving them now and for the future. You’ll walk with your baby turtles down to the shoreline where the turtles will be named before they are released to the wild
  • Learning Mexican Cuisine
  • Best Views of Acapulco…Enjoy the best views of Acapulco from one of the most beautiful church’s in town and a special visit to the private Villa Arabesque of the Barons of Portanova
  • Tehuacalo Archaeological Site…An opportunity to be transported back through the ages and learn how the Yope civilization lived centuries ago. Located south of the Sierra Madra Mountains, approx.. 40 minutes from Acapulco, the ruins of Tehuacalo are one of the most recently discovered archaeological sites on the pacific side of Mexico
  • Cultural and Historic Walking Tour…Begin your tour with a relaxed stroll to Fort San Diego followed by a visit to the Mask Museum with over 3,000 masks from around the world. Next experience the oldest part of the city known as the “Zocalo”. Before returning to the ship a stop is made at Plaza del Navegante for shopping.
  • Acapulco Through the Ages…Visit Acapulco’s historic sights, from the 18th century Fort San Diego to the legendary Hollywood hangout once owned by John Wayne
  • Acapulco Bay Cruise & Cliff…Set sail through Acapulco Bay and view the world famous cliff divers as they plunge nearly 130 feet into the ocean below. Afterwards, cruise past the homes of the rich and famous. Tour includes Mexican canapés & beverages
  • Acapulco City Tour & Cliff…See the highlights of Acapulco, the cliff divers and a folkloric show in this leisurely tour. A stop for regional handicrafts will be made during the tour
  • Historical, Traditional and Picturesque Acapulco…Experience the famous cliff divers followed by a drive through Acapulco and Las Brisas area to visit the Chapel of Peace. A snack stop at the Flamingo Hotel, a famous hangout once owned by John Wayne, followed by a visit to Fort of San Diego and a museum

We opted for the final tour on the list which started with the cliff divers. While we waited for the next show we wandered into a upscale silver store which was conveniently located to take advantage of the tourist traffic. The Cliff Diving show started and we took a ton of photos until we got one of the divers in flight (seen above).

We then went to the Chapel of Peace which was built by a couple that were honoring their son that had died in an accident. The views over Acapulco Bay were spectacular. Talk about a multimillion dollar property!! I was pleased that the cruising to Panama cruise stopped here. Remarkable views that hadn't changed since my living there so long ago.

When we looked down on the harbor from the church we saw that the two Celebrity ships were still together. They were tied up to the same dock. It was still weird that we had a shadow ship always alongside or behind us. 

Cruising to Panama seemed to be a "biggy" for Celebrity that they had two ships together. We've cruised the Mediterranean and the Caribbean without ever seeing this destination pattern.

It was time to return to the ship and we would be leaving for the next port of call which would be Huatulco, Mexico.

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     By Carolynne Woods, © Copyright 2010-2020. International Travel   All rights reserved images and text