Cruising the Mexican Riviera

Written by Dad

It was with a little trepidation that we headed down to the Port of San Diego to start our second cruise. Our first cruise, taken some 10 years ago, was a complete disaster; ten years is a long time so I'll spare the company a shaming!

Any fears we had turned out to be short-lived, for as soon as we got to the arrivals hall it was clear everything was well organized. We'd chosen this Holland America cruise based on a recommendation from a friend (she had just done a Hawaii cruise).  We needed a vacation after recent family events, and what could be easier than Uber'ing to the port and stepping onto a ship?

Crusing the Mexican Rivera

The Holland America Eurodam is a medium-sized cruise ship with about 2,000 passengers and 1,000 crew. We had chosen a suite with a veranda on the 5th deck looking out directly over the top of the lifeboats. Traveling with Xaria, we decided we would mainly eat in the buffet area called the Lido Market. As soon as we arrived at the buffet on Deck 9, Xaria caught the attention of several of the serving staff and she was already making friends.

Making friends on the Holland America Eurodam.

We spent the first full day at sea getting familiar with the ship, and I was able to sneak off for a game of Party Bridge. Yafei and Xaria headed to the Lido Pool.

Yafei and Xaria at the Lido Pool, Deck 9, Eurodam Holland America

Our first port of call was Cabo San Lucas.  This was the finishing point that our friend Rick had recently visited on his epic motorcycle adventure down Baja California.  Rick had mentioned the arch was a must see and so as soon as we disembarked we hired a panga for the short trip out.

The famous arch at Cabo San Lucus, Baja California, Mexico

We never made it away from the marina area during our stay in Cabo.  We had a yummy lunch of fish tacos and then became lunch for some hungry Garra Rufa!


Our second port stop was at Mazatlán. This town has a bustling port and I drank my coffee watching containers being lifted onto waiting trucks.  The old part of the city has several 19th-century landmarks including the performance hall Teatro Ángela Peralta and the towering Immaculate Conception basilica.

Immaculate Conception basilica, Mazatlán

Mazatlán is a fun town to walk around.  After another tasty lunch, spent in part, chatting to a group of ex-pats, we watched the cliff divers and then played on the beach.  By the time we made it back to the boat, Xaria was tuckered out!


In contrast to Mazatlán, our final port call of Puerto Vallarta is a hectic resort town known for its beaches, water sports, boutique shops, restaurants, and nightlife.  At lunch Xaria made friends with a local girl - she's always wanted a little sister.

Making friend in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

We strolled along the boardwalk and played dodge with the crashing waves.  A little unsuccessful it must be said, soon Daddy's shoes were soaking wet!

The day ended with a visit to the Eurodam medical center - Xaria was more than a little constipated!  This was our only paid excursion on the cruise - even if it was unexpected. The doctor was super and we walked away with medications that resolved Xaria's issue in short order.  We finished the day by attending a Gala evening in the main dining room.


Our final full day at sea was spent relaxing.  I got in another couple of hours of Party Bridge, and then met a couple who were just about to embark on an Airbnb travel adventure to South America.  They were interested in my book, A Life Redesigned, and we discussed their preparations and other items they might consider before leaving.


I have to say the crew on the Eurodam were fantastic. Not only did they look after your every wish but they were super friendly. The entertainment was excellent, and and the music in the BB King Bar fun for dancing. Special thanks to the girls of the Lido Market who became good friends over the course of the voyage.

Crew on the Holland America Eurodam

Agnesia, Erika and Christy - so much fun!

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6 comments

  • We had a fabulous time, Rick.

    Gary Hawkins
  • Jealous… jealous… jealous!! Great pics. Trip sounds like it was great.

    Rick Albertson
  • Hi Joanne, to me the Eurodam looked just fine but I’m sure newer ships look more pristine. The thing that really impressed us was the crew. Super friendly, professional and very helpful.

    Gary Hawkins
  • Thanks alot for posting this. It sounds like you enjoyed your week aboard the Eurodam. We are thinking of doing this cruise this fall and now you have given us a little more info to think about! The ship is 11 years old. Did it look “tired” at all?

    Joanne Frankruyter
  • It was a great trip and we would recommend the ship. As for traveling with children, the Eurodam (and other Holland America cruises) offer Club HAL for the kids. While Xaria did not go, the children we spoke to seemed to really enjoy it. There’s plenty of stuff for children to do onboard (shows, pool, hot tub, ping pong, Club HAL) and many children-friendly excursions when in port. The medical center was excellent as well.

    Gary Hawkins

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