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When is the best time to cruise the Mexican Riviera?

In:
01 Aug 2022
By: 
Jenna DeLaurentis

Cruising the Mexican Riviera along the country’s Pacific coast is a unique cruise experience that combines rich cultures with mouthwatering cuisine and beautiful beaches.

A Mexican Riviera cruise is a year-round destination. While the cruising experience will remain similar no matter the time of year you sail, you can expect slight differences in weather, crowds, and price throughout the year.

Best time to cruise the Mexican Riviera for weather

Whereas weather on the Caribbean side of Mexico stays warm year-round, the Pacific coast can encounter chillier temperatures depending on the time of year you sail. There’s also a rainy and dry season along the Mexican Riviera, each of which comes with their own pros and cons.

Temperatures

Ports along the Mexican Riviera vary quite a bit in latitude, so you’ll see lower temperatures in ports like Ensenada and Catalina Island compared to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán, and Puerto Vallarta. Puerto Vallarta tends to have the warmest temperatures as it is the furthest south of the ports.

The winter months of December, January, and February bring the chillest temperatures, although you can still expect highs around 75-80 degrees. The ports of Ensenada and Catalina, however, are more northerly, and daily highs are around 70 degrees. Expect chilly mornings and evenings onboard during these months.

Temperatures begin to rise in the spring, with highs in the low to mid-80s and sunny skies. Temperatures remain in the mid-80’s throughout summer, although the ports of Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta can see highs in the low-90s.

Because cruises start and end in Los Angeles, it’s recommended to pack a jacket at any time of year. Temperatures will always be colder the further north you travel along the coast of Baja California and Southern California, and the Pacific is prone to chillier temperatures from what you’ll experience while at sea in the Caribbean.

Dry vs rainy season

The dry season in the Mexican Riviera runs from November through June whereas rainier weather should be expected from late July to October. The rainiest months are August and September, although rainfall typically lasts just a few hours in the afternoon, with most rainfall occurring at night. More arid ports like Cabo San Lucas may encounter less rainfall.

June through September will come with the highest, most humid temperatures in the Mexican Riviera, although humidity levels will be lower than what you would experience in Caribbean ports like Cozumel and Costa Maya.

Best time to cruise the Mexican Riviera for fewer crowds

Peak season in the Mexican Riviera ports of Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, and Mazatlán is during the dry season from December to April. This is where you’ll find the most people in port, as many tourists flock to the sunny skies of Mexico during North America’s coldest months of the year.

With the exception of Christmas and spring break, however, you may find fewer crowds onboard a cruise ship during these months. While land-based vacation is at a high in the winter months, you may find fewer guests onboard since school is in session.

During summer, on the contrary, you can expect more guests onboard a cruise ship due to school holidays.

Spring break crowds

Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta in particular are busy cities for spring breakers, leading to a heightened party atmosphere in these ports. Bars, beaches, and restaurants may be busier than what you will see during other months.

You may also find more spring break crowds onboard the ship itself during March and April. College students often book cruises during spring break for the value and party atmosphere, so it’s not uncommon for spring break cruises to have a higher percentage of college students onboard.

You shouldn’t necessarily avoid the Mexican Riviera during spring break, but be prepared for more crowds.

Best time to cruise the Mexican Riviera for whale watching

If booking a whale watching tour is a must for you while in the Mexican Riviera, be sure to cruise between the months of December and March/early April for the highest chances of spotting whales. Humpback and gray whales are the most common to spot along the Mexican Riviera.

During the summer months whales are in northern Pacific waters near Alaska, so the odds of spotting whales off the coast of Mexico are slim to none.

Cheapest time to cruise the Mexican Riviera

A cruise to the Mexican Riviera can offer competitive pricing, especially when compared to a land-based vacation in one of the resort towns along the coast.

Certain times of the year are more affordable than others, which can save you hundreds of dollars per person in cruise fare.

You’ll typically see the lowest prices during these times of year:

  • January and February
  • Last week of April (after spring break season ends)
  • End of August through mid November
  • First 2 weeks of December

Pricing is higher during spring break, summer, and around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

More Mexican Riviera cruise information:

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: July 31, 2022

In:
31 Jul 2022
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Can you believe it's the last day of July already? It is the middle of Summer and there is a lot of Royal Caribbean news to catch up from during this week.

It looks like some unvaccinated passengers above the age of 12 will be able to go on a cruise soon.

Independence of the Seas aerial view birds eye

We confirmed with Royal Caribbean an update shared by Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley that the line intends to open up space for unvaccinated adults without the need for an exemption.

Royal Caribbean promises an update next week, but a spokesperson for Royal Caribbean indicated that, "starting August 8th, 2022, we’ll be transitioning so that we can welcome all guests onboard our ships."

Royal Caribbean News

New RCB Video: 6 cruise ship main dining room rules to follow — Plus 1 to break

Have you subscribed to the Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube Channel? We share some great videos there regularly, all about taking a Royal Caribbean cruise! This week, we are sharing our latest video — 6 cruise ship main dining room rules to follow — Plus 1 to break — and don’t forget to subscribe here.

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 462nd episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available, featuring a review of the Mariner of the Seas group cruise.

Matt sailed on Mariner of the Seas with a group of friends for the first RoyalCaribbeanBlog group cruise of the year, and shares a look back at the fun they had onboard.

Please feel free to subscribe via iTunes or RSS, and head over to rate and review the podcast on iTunes if you can! We’d appreciate it.

Covid-19 testing will be dropped for vaccinated cruisers on shorter sailings

Cruise ship docked in Miami

Royal Caribbean announced it will stop requiring a pre-cruise test for vaccinated passengers on shorter sailings.

Starting Aug. 8, testing will be required for unvaccinated guests on all voyages and for vaccinated guests only on voyages that are six nights or longer. 

Up until now, all guests were required to get a Covid-19 test completed prior to their cruise, regardless of vaccination status.

Why Wonder of the Seas might the perfect cruise ship for a first timer

Wonder of the Seas aerial rear

Know someone that has resisted trying a cruise ship for one reason or another? Wonder of the Seas might be the perfect first cruise ship for them!

Whether they think they'll be bored, overwhelmed, or stuck at sea, Royal Caribbean designed Wonder of the Seas to address all those concerns.

Anthem of the Seas Guide & Review

Propulsion problem on Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas forces itinerary change | Royal Caribbean Blog

Anthem of the Seas is a popular Royal Caribbean cruise ship because of her innovations and fun itineraries.

If you have a cruise booked on Anthem, here's a full rundown of what to expect onboard!

Where to keep Seapass Card, phone, and cash when on a shore excursion?

In:
30 Jul 2022
By: 
Jenna DeLaurentis

A common concern for new cruisers is where to keep valuables, including your phone, cash, credit cards, and SeaPass card, while on a shore excursion or exploring port.

It’s important to ensure your belongings remain safe, whether you’re at the beach, kayaking, or sightseeing in a busy city.

From picking the right daypack to keeping valuables in a locker, here are our top tips for where to keep your valuables while on a shore excursion.

Keeping belongings safe at the beach

Keeping your valuables and SeaPass card secure at a beach you’re unfamiliar with may seem stressful, but there are a few ways to help keep your belongings safe.

If you’re at the beach with a group and want to be as safe as possible, have one person from the group stay near your belongings while others swim or explore the area. This is the most fool-proof way to ensure your belongings remain secure.

If your group wants to go in the water together, cover your belongings with a pool towel and periodically keep an eye on your valuables while in the water. Remaining close to your belongings while swimming is recommended.

Alternatively, if you spot other passengers from your ship at the beach (look for the Royal Caribbean pool towels!), consider asking them if you can keep your belongings nearby while swimming. This can add an extra sense of security on a crowded beach, but you may also want to reciprocate the favor for their group.

Where to keep valuables on city excursions

If you’re on an excursion to a city, no matter the size, it’s important to keep your belongings safe to deter pickpockets, especially in busy areas. Here are a few of our best tips for avoiding any mishaps while in a city:

  • Wear a daypack with an anti-theft pocket that lays against your back. Inside this pocket you can keep your phone, wallet, passport, SeaPass card, etc.
  • Don’t keep anything in your back pocket
  • If you have a wallet or phone in your front pocket, keep a hand on the pocket when in very crowded areas
  • Keep your purse or bag on your lap at restaurants
  • Wear a cross-body bag with the opening pointed toward your body
  • Always be aware of your surroundings
  • Wear your backpack on your frontside while on public transportation

Utilize lockers in port

Lockers are available at Royal Caribbean’s private destinations of Perfect Day at CocoCay and Labadee. Lockers are free of charge in CocoCay, whereas they come with a daily rental cost at Labadee.

Perfect Day at CocoCay has lockers spread throughout the island. You’ll find lockers at Thrill Waterpark, Chill Island, and near Oasis Lagoon and the helium balloon.

Lockers at Labadee are located in Buccaneer's Bay, the first place you’ll arrive in Labadee once off the ship. To access the locker area, take a right at the end of the dock and walk to the large shaded building. Inside you’ll find lockers available.

There are also lockers located at the entrance to the zipline excursion. These lockers are free of charge for those doing the zipline.

Pack light when visiting port

The best way to prevent any mishaps with your belongings while in port is to not bring much with you in the first place. There’s no need to carry around hundreds of dollars in cash, your iPad, laptop, diamond necklace, etc. Carry only what you need for the day and leave your most valuable items back onboard.

Use a water-resistant or waterproof daypack

Having a water-resistant or waterproof daypack is a must while on a shore excursion near the water. Not only can it protect your belongings when participating in water sports or on a boat tour, but it will also protect against rain.

It’s not uncommon for sudden rainfall to occur in the Caribbean and other tropical destinations. The last thing you want to happen while in port is for the weather to take a turn for the worse and become stressed about keeping your belongings dry and secure!

A water-resistant backpack should work for most situations, although you may also want to consider a waterproof dry bag.

Bring a portable safe

If you want to be extra certain your valuables remain safe at the beach, consider purchasing a portable safe. You can attach a portable safe to an object, such as a beach chair or umbrella, with a cable, and the safe can be opened with a 4-digit combination.

Wear shorts with zippered pockets

If your pants/shorts pockets have zippers, place your SeaPass card in the pocket to ensure it does not fall out throughout the day. Whether on a roller coaster in Labadee or snorkeling in the Caribbean, you can have an enjoyable day without worrying whether or not your cards will fall out of your pocket.

Bring a waterproof phone pouch

If you’re going swimming, kayaking, whale watching, or doing any other activity near water, you’re going to need a way to keep your phone from being damaged while still being able to take pictures of your fun day in port.

A waterproof phone pouch can be a great way to bring your phone with you without worrying about it getting wet! These phone pouches can hold most of the newest phones, and you can wear the pouch around your neck, making for easy access while at the beach or participating in a water sport.

Keep valuables in a Ziploc bag

One easy way to ensure your valuables won’t get damaged on a shore excursion is to place them in a Ziploc bag. Putting your passport (or any other belongings that may get damaged by water) in a Ziploc bag takes little time, money, or effort, but can pay off in an unexpected emergency.

After all, you don’t want to open your backpack and realize a water bottle spilled all over your documents!

Royal Caribbean will allow unvaccinated passengers on cruise ships in early August

In:
29 Jul 2022
By: 
Matt Hochberg

For the first time in two years, unvaccinated guests of all ages will be allowed to sail on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship later this summer.

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley posted on social media the news about the change in testing coming next month, in which Covid testing for vaccinated passengers on short sailings will no longer be required.

Mr. Bayley also said, "Unvaccinated guests will be required to take one test within 3 days of departure. We will also continue to operate highly vaccinated cruises with a vaccinated population greater than society and which continues to exempt kids 12 and under and we will welcome unvaccinated guests over 12 and guests with a certificate of recovery within 90 days to travel keeping in mind our ships will typically sail with 80 percent plus vaccinated guests onboard. "

I reached out to Royal Caribbean's communication department to get confirmation on the Facebook posting.

Royal Caribbean confirmed for RoyalCaribbeanBlog.com that starting August 8th, 2022, unvaccinated guests of any age will be allowed onboard.

A spokesperson for Royal Caribbean verified the change in policy, "starting August 8th, 2022, we’ll be transitioning so that we can welcome all guests onboard our ships."

"We will maintain a high percentage of fully vaccinated guests onboard all our sailings, far above the general population."

"Vaccination and testing requirements may vary by port of departure, ports of call, and age group. We are working through this with our destination partners."

Up until now, only unvaccinated guests under the age of 12 have been allowed on Royal Caribbean ships.

Independence of the Seas aerial view birds eye

The change in policy is a result of the the CDC ending its Covid-19 Program for Cruise Ships.

No further details on the policy change were shared, but Royal Caribbean said further details will be released the week of August 1.

A major change in policy

Allowing unvaccinated passengers on ships is a big change, as this segment of the population has been left out of the cruise industry restart until now.

Ever since cruises restarted in the United States in 2021, all cruise lines have required anyone eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine to be vaccinated in order to sail on a cruise ship.

Royal Caribbean is the second line to change its policy, following Virgin Voyages announcement last week that it would allow up to 10% of passengers on any given sailing to be unvaccinated for Covid-19.

In a statement to investors on Thursday, Royal Caribbean Group CEO Jason Liberty said the change is a move to be more like other forms of leisure travel, such as theme parks, casinos, or air travel. 

"We are continuing to adapt our protocols to align more closely with how the rest of society and other travel and leisure businesses are operating."

"This means that we're transitioning to the point where everyone will be able to vacation with us while always working with our destination partners to meet their regulations."

Mr. Liberty told investors during an earnings call on July 28th that the close work between the cruise industry and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) allowed this progression in policy to occur.

"The other major milestone for the group, and the industry, is related to the CDC ending its program for cruise ships, as we are now transitioning to the point where everyone will be able to vacation with us."

"After two years of successfully working with us, the CDC has transitioned from enforcing protocols and policies for the cruise industry to suggestions and recommendations to be in line with the travel and tourism sector."

"That speaks to the great work we've done together as an industry."

Mexican Riviera cruise guide

In:
29 Jul 2022
By: 
Jenna DeLaurentis

Cruising the west coast of Mexico along the Mexican Riviera makes for an excellent vacation, with dramatic landscapes, world-class cuisine, and culturally-enriching ports at your fingertips.

Cabo San Lucas Arch

Understanding the ins and outs of cruising the Mexican Riviera is important before embarking on your cruise. If you’ve cruised the Caribbean side of Mexico before, you might be surprised by just how different the Pacific side of the country can be, so it’s helpful to know what to pack, what to do in port, and how to best prepare for your sailing.

Here’s our guide to cruising the Pacific coast of Mexico along the Mexican Riviera.

In this guide:

What is the Mexican Riviera?

Cabo San Lucas beach

The Mexican Riviera refers to cities and towns situated on the western coast of Mexico known for picturesque oceanfront resorts and tourist attractions.

The phrase “Mexican Riviera” was originally coined by Princess Cruise Line and has since been adopted throughout the cruising industry to describe the beauty and cultural enrichment visitors can expect on Mexico’s Pacific coast.

Mexican Riviera Cruise Ports

Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas arch

Located at the southernmost point of Baja California is Cabo San Lucas, which is among the most popular tourist destinations in all of Mexico and known for its party atmosphere, abundant wildlife, and unique rock formations.

As your cruise ship sails into Cabo San Lucas, you’ll pass by Land’s End, a rock formation and iconic landmark of the city. The most well-known of the rock formations is El Arco, a 200-foot granite rock in the shape of an arch.

Related: A day in Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas

If you’re hoping to get away from the more touristy, beach resort vibes found in Cabo San Lucas, make the 30-minute trip to San Jose del Cabo. San Jose del Cabo is a more relaxed, artsy town with fewer crowds offering a local-feel.

Cabo San Lucas is a tender port, so be sure to collect your tender ticket early so you can disembark and get the most out of your time in port.

Puerto Vallarta

Once a quiet fishing village, Puerto Vallarta has grown exponentially to be among the busiest resort towns in Mexico. More lush and hilly than other Mexican Riviera cruise ports, Puerto Vallarta offers the perfect blend of calm beaches and hip city streets.

You’ll want to visit the Zona Romántica (Romantic Zone) in Puerto Vallarta, a historic, waterfront old town neighborhood that is home to boutique shops, bars, restaurants, homes, and condos.

Related: A day in Puerto Vallarta

Downtown Puerto Vallarta

History lovers can make a trip to the Xihuacan Museum and Archaeological Site, which was home to various tribes throughout history including the Aztecs, Olmecs, and Toltecs.

Mazatlán

El malecon in Mazatlan

Crossing the Gulf of California from Cabo San Lucas will bring you to Mazatlán, a resort town known for its wide white sand beaches and charming Centro Histórico. Mazatlán is the most populous of the Mexican Riviera cruise ports, with around 500,000 people calling the city home.

Related: A day in Mazatlán

Mazatlán is split into three main areas: the Marina, Golden Zone, and Centro. Most visitors will spend the day along Centro Histórico, Mazatlán’s Old Town. The historic city center is a walkable, cobblestoned neighborhood lined with colonial buildings where you’ll find a variety of museums, restaurants, and plazas.

Don’t forget to take a walk on the Malecón (boardwalk) of Mazatlán, which is a whopping 13 miles. The boardwalk covers the length of the waterfront from Mazatlán’s most historic neighborhoods to the newest.

The cruise port in Mazatlán is located within a shipping port, so visitors will have to take a quick shuttle to town before exploring.

Ensenada

Kayaking near La Bufadora

Ensenada is located just 2 hours driving distance from San Diego in the most northerly part of Baja California. Ensenada is a port city surrounded by the “Napa Valley of Mexico” and is known for its rocky geography, fresh seafood, fantastic surfing, and local wines.

Related: A day in Ensenada

Cruising to Ensenada offers plenty of activities to choose from, including wine tastings, shopping at local markets, enjoying fresh cuisine, and visiting the second largest blowhole in the world.

Catalina Island

While not technically in the Mexican Riviera (or in Mexico for that matter), Catalina Island is a port you’ll see on shorter cruises to Mexico out of the Port of Los Angeles. The island is located just 22 miles off the coast of Southern California and is best traveled via golf cart or bicycle.

A small paradise of beaches, wildlife, hiking trails, resort villages, and shopping, Catalina Island is sure to offer a fun-filled port day while on a cruise.

What to do in Mexican Riviera cruise ports

Whale watching

If you thought you had to take a cruise to Alaska in order to book a whale watching excursion, think again. The Mexican Riviera is one of the best destinations in the world to spot these magnificent mammals. In fact, the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) has been called the “World’s Aquarium” due to the abundance of diverse sea life calling the area home.

Whale watching on Mexico’s Pacific coast is best from mid-December through late March/early April, when whales make their way south from Alaska and the Arctic. The most common whales you’ll spot in Mexico are humpback and gray whales. While blue whales, sperm whales, orcas, and fin whales pass through the area on their migration route, they are much rarer to spot.

Exploring Pueblos Mágicos

Mexico market

One of the best parts of cruising the Mexican Riviera is walking around the historic, cobblestone-street towns you’ll find in this region of Mexico.

Pueblos Mágicos (Magic Towns) are small towns recognized by the Mexican government for their culture, history, and charm. There are currently 132 pueblos mágicos in Mexico, several of which are located nearby cruise ports in the Mexican Riviera, including Sayulita and Todos Santos.

Visiting a Pueblo Mágico will connect a visitor with a small town’s unique roots, history, and traditions, all while admiring the colorful, intricate architecture and natural beauty that makes these towns so unique.

Take a stroll around port

If you’re the type of cruiser who prefers wandering around port instead of taking excursions, you’ll find plenty to do in each Mexican Riviera port.

Be sure to grab a coffee, beer, or meal in a local Plaza. These town squares are the perfect place to watch and observe local culture and lifestyle. While some are more touristy than others, relaxing in a shady plaza can help break up a busy port day in Mexico.

Beach day

While the Mexican Riviera offers plenty of history, culture, and cuisine to discover, sometimes a day in port is best spent relaxing on a sandy beach. Luckily, the main Mexican Riviera cruise ports of Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán, and Puerto Vallarta can make for an excellent beach day.

At the ever-popular Land’s End in Cabo San Lucas are two beaches: Lover’s Beach and Divorce Beach. Both beaches are only accessible via boat, but Cabo San Lucas has plenty of water taxis available to get you from place to place. 

Snorkeling and diving are also popular along the Mexican Riviera, which has an abundance of marine life to discover, from pufferfish to butterfly fish, octopi, sea turtles, and even sharks!

If you can’t decide on one of the many beaches along the coast, consider a catamaran or boat tour! While cruising along the coast, you’ll be able to visit several destinations and attractions while spotting wildlife and swimming along the way.

Keep in mind that some ports offer better swimming opportunities than others. Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlán tend to have stronger currents and conditions than Puerto Vallarta, which is located in a small bay as opposed to the open Pacific.

Resort For A Day

There are several all-inclusive beach resorts offering day passes to cruise guests through Resort For A Day. These can make a nice, stress-free option for those interested in a relaxing beach day.

In Puerto Vallarta you’ll find RIU Palace Pacifico, RIU Jalisco, and Hotel RIU Vallarta, all of which offer unlimited drinks and food along with pool and beach access.

In Cabo San Lucas are two resort day passes: the Solmar Resort Cabo San Lucas and RIU Palace. Just like in Puerto Vallarta, you can purchase a day pass to the resorts and enjoy unlimited dining, drinks, and access to resort amenities like the sauna, beach, and pools.

Adrenaline-filled adventures

Mexican vineyard

Adrenaline-seekers will find plenty of adventurous activities to keep them occupied on a Mexican Riviera cruise. From zip lines to kayaking and off-roading through the countryside, you won’t go bored while in port.

ATV tours are popular along the Mexican Riviera, allowing visitors to experience the countryside around ports by off-roading through vineyards, canyons, and deserts.

If you’re in for a challenge, consider a hike to the El Faro Lighthouse in Mazatlán. This 1.5 mile out-and-back hike takes around 45 minutes and offers the best views of Mazatlán and the nearby Sierra Madre mountains.

Mexican Riviera Cruise Itineraries

Royal Caribbean offers several different itinerary options to the Mexican Riviera, from short weekend getaways to 7-night sailings and repositioning cruises.

Ports visited will depend on itinerary length due to the travel time required to reach certain destinations along the Mexican Riviera.

3-night cruises

Typically offered over the weekend, 3-night cruises visit Ensenada, the northernmost port in the Mexican Riviera. These cruises include one sea day and a 10 hour stop in Ensenada.

Related: Guide to weekend cruises: Tips for taking a 3-night Royal Caribbean cruise

4-night cruises

4-night Mexican Riviera cruises visit the ports of Ensenada and Catalina Island. They also include one sea day. These cruises are offered from Monday to Friday.

5-night cruises

Sailing on a 5-night Mexican Riviera cruise gives just enough time to reach the port of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. There are two 5-night itineraries available:

  • 5-night Cabo & Ensenada cruise, with port days in both Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada along with two sea days
  • 5-night Cabo Overnight cruise, with an overnight stop in Cabo San Lucas and two sea days

5-night cruises are not offered as often as 3, 4, and 7-night cruises, but they can be found periodically throughout the year.

7-night Mexican Riviera cruise

A weeklong cruise to the Mexican Riviera allows ample time to travel to several ports further south along Mexico’s Pacific coast, allowing for more diversity in terms of scenery, culture, and activities.

7-night Mexican Riviera cruises visit the ports of Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán, and Puerto Vallarta. They have three sea days.

Repositioning cruises

In addition to regularly-scheduled Mexican Riviera cruises on Navigator of the Seas are repositioning cruises along the Mexican Riviera. As cruise ships make their way from Alaska to the Caribbean (and vice versa) during the change of seasons, they’ll pass through the Pacific coast of Mexico, visiting several ports along the way.

These cruises tend to be between 11-16 nights, departing from either Los Angeles or San Diego and ending in Florida. Repositioning cruises often visit Huatulco, Mexico, a port located in the state of Oaxaca, which is not visited on shorter Mexican Riviera cruises.

What cruise ships sail to the Mexican Riviera?

Navigator of the Seas is the Royal Caribbean ship offering year-round cruises to the Mexican Riviera from the Port of Los Angeles. As a recently amplified Voyager Class cruise ship, Navigator of the Seas boasts plenty of amenities, restaurants, lounges, and onboard activities to keep cruisers busy.

Highlights of Navigator of the Seas include the longest waterslide found at sea, ice skating, the Bamboo Room tiki bar, Hooked Seafood restaurant, and a resort-style Caribbean pool deck.

Related: Navigator of the Seas guide & review

There will occasionally be other Royal Caribbean ships stopping at ports along the Mexican Riviera. However, this only happens during longer repositioning cruises as ships make their way from the Caribbean to Alaska (and vice versa). These ships are in Royal Caribbean’s Vision or Radiance Class.

Mexican Riviera cuisine

Family eating in Mexico

Mexican cuisine is one of the most beloved in the world, and arguably one of the best aspects of cruising to Mexico is sampling fresh, local food.

Seafood is by far the most popular choice for those cruising the Mexican Riviera, as many of the cruise ports along the coast are known for their abundance of fresh seafood. With savory ceviches, endless shrimp, and grilled fish with chili marinade, you won’t go hungry if you love seafood.

Non seafood-lovers will also be impressed by the cuisine found in the Mexican Riviera, with birria (meat stew), tacos al pastor, and chilaquiles popular throughout the region.

Don’t forget to enjoy your meal with a cold glass of an agua fresca, a fresh fruit juice found all around the country.

What to bring on a Mexican Riviera cruise

Packing for a Mexican Riviera cruise can seem complicated due to the different weather patterns you’ll experience throughout the cruise. While you’ll be visiting warm beaches and jungles, you’ll also be sailing up the coast of Baja California and Mexico, which can be prone to chillier temperatures, especially in the winter months.

Related: The Ultimate Cruise Packing List

If you’re traveling the Mexican Riviera in the summer months, packing won’t be too different from what you’ll pack for a Caribbean cruise, outside of an emergency lightweight jacket and jeans for chilly sea days.

The winter months will likely encounter nice beach weather while in port, but you’ll want to pack a few long sleeve shirts and jackets during this time of year for sea days.

As far as footwear is concerned, be sure to pack a pair of comfortable walking shoes, whether tennis shoes or sturdy sandals. If you plan on visiting the beach, flip flops are preferred, and you’ll also want to pack formal shoes for dinners and events onboard.

Mexican Riviera cruise packing list:

  • Swimsuit
  • 6-8 t-shirts
  • 3-4 shorts
  • 1-2 pairs of jeans
  • 3-4 semi-formal outfits for evenings onboard
  • 2-3 sundresses
  • 2-3 long sleeve shirts
  • 1 lightweight coat
  • 1-2 pairs pajamas
  • Flip flops
  • Sturdy sandals
  • Tennis shoes
  • Formal shoes
  • Water-resistant daypack

Related: The worst cruise packing mistakes to avoid

Cost of a Mexican Riviera cruise

Booking a cruise to the Mexican Riviera can be an affordable way to discover Mexico’s Pacific coast, culture, and beaches. You’ll often find competitive prices on a cruise to the Riviera, especially when considering the cost of flying to Mexico yourself and staying in a resort for a week.

Related: How much does a cruise cost?

You can expect to see the total price of a 7-night Mexican Riviera cruise on Navigator of the Seas between $900 and $2000 for two people in an interior cabin. Total costs will depend on the time of year, with summer months and holidays much more expensive than the off-season.

You’ll usually find cheaper Mexican Riviera cruises from January through April (excluding spring break), during fall (excluding Thanksgiving), and in the first two weeks of December.

The best time to cruise the Mexican Riviera will depend on if you want low crowds, better weather, or cheaper prices. Often, the best weather may be opposite when the lowest crowds or lowest prices tend to fall.

Additionally, you may find that excursions along the Mexican Riviera are often more affordable compared to excursions in more expensive destinations like Alaska and Europe.

Mexican Riviera cruise FAQ

Do I need a passport to cruise the Mexican Riviera?

Royal Caribbean’s Mexican Riviera cruises are closed-loop sailings departing from the Port of Los Angeles. Because the cruises start and end in the United States, a passport is not required. Guests without a passport must bring a state-issued ID and birth certificate in order to board the ship.

However, cruising with a passport is always recommended even when not required. On the chance of any unexpected problems (missing the ship in port, emergency evacuation, etc.) it’s always better to have a passport than be stuck in a foreign country without one.

What kind of currency should I bring?

US dollars will be widely accepted at ports along the Mexican Riviera, although you may choose to get pesos from an ATM once in Mexico. If you choose to pay with US dollars, make sure to have an idea of the current exchange rate to avoid being overcharged.

When paying with US dollars, you’ll receive change back in Mexican pesos. It’s a good idea to have small bills with you (i.e. don’t pay for a $5 meal with a $50 bill). 

Royal Caribbean pre-cruise sale offers up to 35% off purchases

In:
29 Jul 2022
By: 
Matt Hochberg

A new Royal Caribbean cruise planner sale has begun with savings on pre-cruise purchases.

The new sale begins on July 29, and promises up to 35% onboard prices.

The sale runs between July 29, 2022 – August 3, 2022 and is valid on sailings departing between August 1, 2022 – May 31, 2023.

Here's a look at what sort of discounts you might be able to find:

Beverage: Up to 40% off

  • Classic Soda Beverage Package: 30% Off onboard prices
  • Classic Soda Beverage Package + VOOM Surf & Stream 1 Device: Over 30% Off onboard prices
  • Spring Water Cans: 40% off onboard prices.
  • San Benedetto Water Cans: 40% off onboard prices.
  • Evian Water Bottles: 40% off onboard prices.
  • Deluxe Beverage Package: 30% Off onboard prices
  • Deluxe Beverage Package + VOOM Surf & Stream 1 Device: Discount varies by ship.
  • Refreshment Package: Discount varies by ship.
St Lucia

Shore Excursions: Up to 25% off

  • Shore Excursions: Discount varies by ship.

Internet: Up to 50% Off

  • VOOM Surf + Stream Voyage Package 1, 2, 3, 4 Device(s): Discount varies by ship.
  • VOOM Surf Voyage Package 1, 2, 3, 4 Device(s): Discount varies by ship.
Chops top view

 Dining: Up to 50% Off

  • Unlimited Dining Package on 3N – 9N sailings: Discount varies by ship.

Gifts & Gear: Up to 20% Off

  • Anniversary Decorations with Champagne
  • Happy Birthday Decorations with Chocolate Cake & Strawberries
  • Happy Birthday Decorations with Vanilla Cake & Strawberries
  • Inky Beach Set
  • Inky Beach Towel (TicTacToe)
  • Inky Travel Set
  • Red Wine and Cheese
  • Royal Caribbean Beach Towel
  • Strawberries with Champagne
  • White Wine and Cheese
Photo package

Photo Packages: Up to 70% off

  • Photo Packages: From 5 - 100 Print and/or Digital Options: Discount varies by ship.
  • Photo Package: Private Photo Session: Discount varies by ship.
  • Photo Package: All Digital: Discount varies by ship. 

Casitas: Up to 20% Off

  • Casita Packages: 20% Off Onboard Prices
Thermal Suite

Spa: Up to 30% Off

  • Spa Packages: Discount varies by ship

To check if your sailing has this new offer available, log into the Cruise Planner on Royal Caribbean's web site look for any available offers. Keep in mind that not all sailings may see the sale applicable, nor are all offers significantly cheaper than previously posted.

If you spot a better discount on something you already pre-purchased, you should be able to cancel the purchase and then re-purchase the same item under this promotion.

More helpful information

Royal Caribbean redeploys cruise ships for 2023-2024 cruise season due to new speed restrictions

In:
28 Jul 2022
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Four additional Royal Caribbean cruise ships scheduled to sail in 2023 has been moved elsewhere.

Brilliance of the Seas side docked

Guests that were booked on Brilliance of the Seas for her summer 2023 sailings received an email today that their sailings have been cancelled.

Royal Caribbean's original plan was for Brilliance of the Seas was to continue offering sailings departing from Tampa, Florida through April 29th, 2023 and begin its European season on May 15th, 2023, before making its way back to Tampa, Florida in November 2023.

The International Maritime Organization recently shared new speed regulations that Royal Caribbean must adhere to and as a result, they've repositioned some of ships for the upcoming 2023/2024 season.

Radiance of the Seas in Vancouver

Brilliance will now sail from Vancouver, British Columbia starting April 3rd, 2023 and Sydney, Australia beginning October 23rd, 2023.

Enchantment of the Seas will now take Brilliance's place in Florida and Europe and will offer similar itineraries.

The original plan for Enchantment of the Seas was to offer sailings departing from Vancouver, British Columbia on April 3rd, 2023 and Sydney, Australia on October 23rd, 2023.

Instead, Enchantment of the Seas will now continue offering sailings from Baltimore, Maryland through April 20th, 2023 and begin a European season with departures from Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy, Athens (Piraeus), Greece, and Venice (Ravenna), Italy starting May 15th, 2023, before making its way to Tampa, Florida in November 2023. 

Starting July 28th, 2022, we'll automatically move your clients to the new Enchantment of the Seas sailing departing on the same day as their original Brilliance of the Seas cruise. They'll receive like-for-like accommodations onboard Enchantment of the Seas, and their amenities will remain the same.

Guests that were booked onboard Enchantment or Brilliance of the Seas have 3 options:

  • Automatically move to the Enchantment or Brilliance of the Seas sailing departing on the same day as their original cruise
    • Their new sailing will still offer the same beautiful ports as their original cruise, and it'll depart from the same destination. 
    • Move them to a like-for-like stateroom and their original stateroom category price will either be protected at their original cruise fare rate or reduced to the current cruise fare rate (whichever is lower).
  • Re-book any other Royal Caribbean International sailing
    • Royal Caribbean will waive any non-refundable deposit change fees.
    • No price protection
  • A full refund of any paid portion of your cruise fare (including non-refundable deposits) and any pre-paid amenities to the original form of payment within 14 business days

Guests have between now now and August 18th, 2022 to decide. If the person does nothing, they'll remain booked on the alternate Enchantment of the Seas sailing.

Voyager and Adventure of the Seas

Adventure of the Seas in St Maarten

Another swap was announced for Voyager of the Seas and Adventure of the Seas.

Due to the same International Maritime Organization speed regulations, Voyager of the Seas was to offer sailings departing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida through November 4th, 2023, and Orlando (Port Canaveral), Florida beginning November 10th, 2023. Instead, Voyager will now sail from Galveston, Texas beginning May 9th, 2023.

Adventure of the Seas will now take Voyager's place in Florida place and will offer similar itineraries.

Guests will be automatically moved to the new Adventure of the Seas sailing departing on the same day as your original Voyager of the Seas cruise. They'll receive like-for-like accommodations onboard Adventure of the Seas, and their amenities will remain the same.

Just like Brilliance and Enchantment, guests have the choice of the automatic move, a move to another ship, or a full refund.

Another ship moves away from Europe in 2023

Brilliance of the Seas is the second Royal Caribbean cruise ship to be redeployed away from Europe.

Earlier this month, Serenade of the Seas had her summer 2023 cruise season cancelled.

Serenade of the Seas was to offer sailings departing from Copenhagen, Denmark and Stockholm, Sweden starting May 21st, 2023. 

Serenade of the Seas in St Lucia

Instead, she'll be homeported in Florida in summer 2023.

Unlike Brilliance, Royal Caribbean cancelled Serenade's European season due to the war in Ukraine.

Royal Caribbean executives talk higher demand for cruises & why cruises are better value than land vacations

In:
28 Jul 2022
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Top executives from the Royal Caribbean Group hit on a number of topics with investors during the company's second quarter earnings call on Thursday.

Allure of the Seas aerial rear

Each quarter, Royal Caribbean Group hosts a conference call with Wall Street analysts to go over the financial results and share more insight beyond the earnings sheet.

During the course of these calls, the public gets insight into what the company sees and that provides more visibility into the cruise business.

Here are the important tidbits from the hour-long call that cruise fans should be aware of as it relates to how the company is doing.

Over 100% capacity in Caribbean itineraries

Two ships docked in Cozumel

Demand is so strong for cruises to the Caribbean right now, that ships are sailing completely full.

Royal Caribbean Group President and CEO, Jason Liberty, highlighted this fact at the opening of the call, "Our North American itineraries are now sailing at over 100% load factors, and we are building on this momentum as we expect to reach load factors in the mid-nineties in Q3 and then return to triple digit load factors globally by year end."

In cruise industry speak, "load factors" refers to how many passengers are onboard as a percentage of capacity.

Royal Caribbean Group Chief Financial Officer, Naftali Holtz, broke down the capacity in the second quarter based on region:

  • Overall: 82% load factors, with June just about 90%
  • North America: About 100%
    • Caribbean: 103%, with some ships reaching 107%
    • Northeast and West Coast (including Alaska): 90%
  • Europe: 75% in June

Why do so many people want to cruise? Mr. Liberty sees strong trends driving it, "The combination of consumers strong propensity to experience and travel, accelerating demographic trends which are pulling in more bucket list and multigenerational travel, a very compelling value proposition and a strong preference for our brand is translating into strengthening demand."

Family oceanview on Brilliance

You might be wondering how a ship can sail over 100% capacity, and the answer comes down to how many people are in a stateroom.

A ship has a 100% capacity based on double occupancy, but if you add third or fourth passengers into a cabin, then you get capacity exceeding 100%.

Cruise vs land based vacation

Hotel in Cocoa Beach

Royal Caribbean has always compared itself to land vacations (and not other cruise lines) as their primary competition. To that point, executives talked about how a cruise compares to a land vacation.

Mr. Liberty talked up the benefits of a cruise, "Cruising has always been an attractive value proposition when compared to land based vacation alternatives, and that is truer today than ever before."

Specifically, he thinks there is a larger than ever gap of value between cruises and land vacations, "There is a very healthy gap, and a larger gap today, than there has been with land based vacations."

"Now that these protocols are falling off, and we're operating and our guests who are incredible advocates of ours, are sharing their experiences and telling them that, you know, cruise is just like what it was pre-Covid that all of that is is kind of manifesting into this opportunity where people look at cruising and say, wow, there's a really good value proposition."

Read moreRoyal Caribbean will drop Covid-19 testing for vaccinated cruisers on shorter sailings

Spending trends

If you've noticed higher prices for cruise extras, there's plenty of people who are still buying them.

Mr. Liberty talked about guest spending in his opening remarks, "Overall, we continue to see a financially healthy, highly engaged consumer with a strong hunger to dream and seek experiences. And they are willing to spend more than ever with us to create those memories."

"The 100,000 plus guests that we have on our ship every day, including the 125,000 guests that are currently on our ships today, have been spending at least 30% more on board our ships across all categories when compared to 2019."

"Approximately 60% of our guests book their on board activities before they ever stepped foot on our ships."

What Mr. Liberty is saying is that not only are a lot of people booking cruises, but a majority are booking add-ons before their cruise at a pace never seen before the pandemic. 

It's critical for Royal Caribbean Group's bottom line that passengers buy things in advance, because it tends to translate into more profit than someone who books onboard, "Every dollar a guest spends before the voyage, translates into about $0.70 more on the dollar when they sail with us and double the overall spending compared to other guests."

To exemplify this trend, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley pointed out the other day someone spent "over $4,000" for a single over the water cabana at Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Read moreGuide to CocoCay Cabanas

"There's just a lot of demand for these experiences, as Jason said. And we've also seen this in Alaska, for example, with the product that we have in Alaska, that people just seem to be more willing to open their wallets and purchase these experiences."

No plans to offer stock

Carnival Cruise Corporation was treated poorly by the stock market when they announced a new round of stock offerings to drum up cash, but Royal Caribbean Group has no such plans.

Mr. Liberty spelled out that things are going well for his company, "Our business is clearly ramping up. We're generating cash flow after OpEx, after CapEx."

"We have been very thoughtful and very methodical about capital raising, balancing liquidity and minimizing dilution, especially relative to others."

"I would note that issuing equity. One is obviously it's a board decision. The bar is at exceptionally high for us to be issuing equity. We don't have any plans to issue equity."

He added that the company has a different focus than cash on hand, "What the board is really focused on is how do we get back to pre-Covid levels as soon as possible. And by that meaning earnings, meaning ROIC and getting our balance sheet back and leverage back to what it was pre-Covid."

Inflation is peaking

Cruise ship in Grand Cayman

Royal Caribbean seeks inflation numbers peaking, which could mean lower costs in the coming months.

Mr. Liberty pointed to a few indicators that tell him, "inflation levels are peaking and that we would start seeing some relief in the coming months."

The company has two primary categories that are most affected by inflation: food and fuel.

"There are some initial positive signs with respect to inflation trends and our food basket. Our more recent month over month FNB (food and beverage) inflation indicator has increased at the slowest pace thus far in 2022."

Mr. Liberty also alluded to conversations with suppliers that things are getting better.

Royal Caribbean will drop Covid-19 testing for vaccinated cruisers on shorter sailings

In:
28 Jul 2022
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Very soon, fully vaccinated guests won't have to bother with a Covid test on cruises less than six nights.

Freedom of the Seas sailing away from Miami

Included in Royal Caribbean Group's second quarter financial results was a mention of a policy change related to Covid-19 testing.

Starting Aug. 8, testing will be required for unvaccinated guests on all voyages and for vaccinated guests only on voyages that are six nights or longer. 

Up until now, all guests were required to get a Covid-19 test completed prior to their cruise, regardless of vaccination status.

Cruise ship docked in Miami

The change in policy is a result of the the CDC ending its Covid-19 Program for Cruise Ships.

No further details on the policy change were part of the press release, but we should expect more information in the coming days.

A major change in policy

Covid-19 testing has been a cornerstone of Royal Caribbean's health protocols since cruises restarted in 2021.

Up until now, vaccinated guests had to get either a PCR or rapid antigen test up to 2 days before sailing. Unvaccinated children had to get a PCR test only up to 3 days before sailing.

Virgin Voyages was the first cruise line in the United States to drop testing. Norwegian Cruise Line has also eliminated testing for vaccinated travelers for all cruises sailing from any port except in the U.S., Canada, or Piraeus, Greece.

Eliminating testing for vaccinated passengers removes a major obstacle to pre-cruise stress, as many cruisers were concerned they weren't sure they would actually be able to sail until just a couple days before their cruise.

Mr. Liberty said the change is a move to be more like other forms of leisure travel, such as theme parks, casinos, or air travel. 

"We are continuing to adapt our protocols to align more closely with how the rest of society and other travel and leisure businesses are operating."

"This means that we're transitioning to the point where everyone will be able to vacation with us while always working with our destination partners to meet their regulations."

Testing expected to drop for longer sailings soon

Oasis of the Seas in New York with Statue of Liberty

If you'd like to see Covid testing drop also for longer sailings, it sounds like Royal Caribbean has a plan for it.

Speaking to investors during an earnings call on Thursday, Mr. Liberty said, "We also anticipate in the not too distant future that pre-embarkation testing for longer duration voyages will be reduced."

He later elaborated on changing testing requirements for longer sailings, "We're starting off here by doing the five days or less, and we're going to look at that."

"I think our our expectation here, call it in the next 45 days or so. And, of course, following local requirements, which will somewhat dictate in some of our destinations what those testing requirements will be, that the majority of the testing requirements will will be lifted, especially around the majority of our of our deployment."

Less testing should translate into more bookings

As soon as Royal Caribbean Group announced the change, the company expects bookings to spike as a result.

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley spoke about the reaction in the marketplace to dropping testing for short cruises, "this kind of change I think will be seen very positively."

"We've got some distributors who have been anxiously awaiting changes as long as along with many of our customers."

Cantilevered hot tub on Freedom of the Seas

"One of the calculations that we have is about 40% of all of the folks that are sitting on the byline. So people who've been waiting for the protocols to change."

"I think this easement and this change is going to be viewed very positively. So we're expecting to see an increase in bookings literally starting today."

Unvaccinated passengers too?

Wonder of the Seas pool deck

Depending on how much you want to dissect Mr. Liberty's words, it sounds like the company is looking to someday allow unvaccinated passengers of all ages onboard.

When Mr. Liberty said, "This means that we're transitioning to the point where everyone will be able to vacation with us while always working with our destination partners to meet their regulations," it sounds like it could point to allowing unvaccinated cruisers onboard.

Up until now, only unvaccinated guests under the age of 12 have been allowed on Royal Caribbean ships.

Time will tell.

Reader reactions

Allure of the Seas

As soon as news came out of the change, many cruisers shared their thoughts on the policy shift.

Certainly anyone with a short cruise booked was happy to see the change. Cinthya Rod wrote on the Royal Caribbean Blog Facebook page, "Great news! For our next cruise will be awesome."

Beth Coddington likes where the policy is headed, "That's a step in the right direction."

Explorer of the Seas docked

A number of cruisers questioned the logic of picking 6 nights instead of 7 nights.

Mark Middleton wrote, "What’s the difference, for testing purposes, between a six and seven night sailing? Many are seven nights so would be easier for that!"

Greg Crouch added, "Seeing as most Royal Caribbean cruises are 7 nights it's not an enormous difference for most of us. Test the unvaccinated and not boosted by all means."

Kelly Lene-Tarman shared her thoughts, "Instead of complaining about it only being 6 nights or less, or why not unvaccinated, etc., let's look at the positive in this. They are are doing this in small steps to see how it goes and if all works well, everyone will be welcome to cruise again!"

Royal Caribbean Group reports positive cash flow for first time since cruises restarted

In:
28 Jul 2022
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean Group reported its second quarter 2022 earnings on Thursday.

While the company still had a net loss of half a billion dollars, operating cash flow and EBITDA were positive for the quarter.

Royal Caribbean Group saw this quarter as "meaningfully ahead" of their projections, due to accelerating and strong close-in demand, further improvement in onboard revenue and better cost performance. 

Royal Caribbean Group President and CEO Jason Liberty saw two important takeaways from the fiscal disclosure, "We reached two important milestones in our recovery this quarter – returning our entire global fleet back to operations and delivering positive operating cash flow and EBITDA."

Cruise ship docked in Miami

He also sees strong demand for cruises, "Consumers' propensity to travel and cruise remains strong. We continue to see a robust and accelerating demand environment for cruising and on-board spend. Cruising remains a very attractive value proposition for vacationers, and today we have an opportunity to further close the value gap to other land-based vacation offerings."

The second quarter loss of $0.5 billion is better than the $1.3 billion loss in the second quarter of 2021.

Second quarter by the numbers

Oasis Lagoon pool

Load factors (meaning how full were the cruise ships) in the second quarter were 82% overall. June sailings reached almost 90%, with Caribbean itineraries averaging over 100%.

Based on the continued strength in consumer demand, the company expects load factors will average approximately 95% in the third quarter and increase to triple digits by year-end.

Total revenues per passenger cruise day were at record levels and up 4% as reported and 5% in constant currency versus the second quarter of 2019.

Booking volumes received in the second quarter for the back half of 2022 sailings remained significantly higher than booking volumes received in the second quarter of 2019 for the back half of 2019.

The second half of 2022 is booked below historical ranges but at higher prices than 2019, with and without future cruise credits (FCCs).

For 2023, all quarters are currently booked within historical ranges at record pricing.

Royal Promenade on Adventure of the Seas

For the third quarter of 2022 and based on current currency exchange rates, fuel rates and interest rates, the company expects to generate approximately $2.9 billion - $3.0 billion in Total Revenues.

In terms of reducing costs, Royal Caribbean Group gave credit to the delivery of new, more efficient ships and past sales of less efficient ships, as well as actions taken to improve operating costs and margins that continue to materialize as operations ramp up.

Changing Covid protocols

Covid-19 antigen test

Mr. Liberty mentioned an upcoming change in Royal Caribbean's Covid-19 protocols based on the CDC announcement  it would end its Covid-19 program for cruise ships.

As part of their earnings statement, Mr. Liberty said, "Last week, the CDC ended its COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships. Based on this change, we are continuing to adapt our protocols to align more closely with how the rest of society and other travel and leisure businesses are operating.

This means that we're transitioning to the point where everyone will be able to vacation with us while always working with our destination partners to meet their regulations. Starting Aug. 8, testing will be required for unvaccinated guests on all voyages and for vaccinated guests only on voyages that are six nights or longer. "

A look at bookings

Junior Suite on Symphony of the Seas

Second quarter 2022 bookings averaged 30% above 2019 booking volumes for 2019 sailings in the corresponding period in the second quarter with even greater strength in July. 

An interesting trend is that guests are still booking their cruises much closer to their sail date compared previous years. 

In addition, cancellation activity has now returned to pre-Covid levels.

Nice, France

Second half 2022 sailings are booked at higher prices than 2019, both including and excluding FCCs.

Europe has seen sluggish results due to Covid and the Russia-Ukraine war. Europe makes up about a third of the overall capacity.

As of June 30, 2022, the Group's customer deposit balance was $4.2 billion, a record high for the company. This represents an increase of about $600 million over the previous quarter despite the significant quarter-over-quarter increase in revenue recognition. 

Approximately 20% of the customer deposit balance as of the end of the second quarter is related to FCCs. Approximately 60% of the FCC balance accumulated since the start of the pandemic has been redeemed. 

Silversea's new ship comes with two years of no payments

Silver Endeavour

Earlier this month, Silversea purchased the Crystal Endeavor for $275 million, but won't make any payments on it for two years.

The transaction is fully financed through a 15-year unsecured term loan, guaranteed by the German export credit agency, Euler Hermes, and has no amortization payments in the first two years.

Silver Endeavour is scheduled to begin service winter 2022, spending its inaugural season in Antarctica starting November 2022.