Why go to Acapulco?
Watch the famous La Quebrada cliff divers
Crime is a concern here. Don't wander to deserted areas alone, especially after dark
Lovely beaches and a kinetic nightlife draw travelers to this resort destination
Acapulco Cruise Port Facilities?
The marine terminal, which, overall, is quite unimpressive, has restrooms, a few trinket shops, an Internet station and kiosks offering guided tours. Basically, it's a walk-through.
Good to Know?
With Mexican drug crime a staple in the news today, it's no wonder that security is a cause for concern. What most foreign visitors don't realize, until they sample a place like Acapulco for themselves, is that tourist districts are under heavy guard -- and have been for years. Armed police are a huge (and, frankly, comforting) presence on the street, at the pier and in patrol boats that stand sentry over cruise ships while they are in port. That's not to say you shouldn't take the same precautions you would in any other city: don't wear flashy jewelry or watches or carry excessive amounts of cash, and steer clear of deserted beaches or streets after dark.
The best thing about the cruise ship pier is that you can soak up a lot of scenery on foot. The fort, the old town and the beaches along Costera Miguel Aleman are all walkable -- 15 minutes at most. But, there's still a lot that is not -- the site of the cliff divers; the gorgeous hotels and beaches in the Diamante, or Diamond, district; and the far reaches of the bay are among those that are not stroll-worthy. The good news is that there's a public bus that runs the length of the strip for just a few dollars. And taxis, many of them Volkswagen Beetles, are everywhere -- and they are pretty affordable. A ride from downtown to a Diamante hotel should cost $15 to $20. Tip: Establish the price first. There are a number of so-called "authorized" taxi vendors at the marine terminal, but their prices tend to be higher than those you could negotiate by hailing a cab yourself. Also worth considering: You can hire a private, air-conditioned SUV for six people with an English-speaking guide for $60 -- $10 per person, per hour -- at the marine terminal.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
Mexico's currency is the peso. Visit XE.com for current rates. ATM's are plentiful and tend to be the cheapest way to acquire pesos. However, most taxis and vendors will accept U.S. dollars or euros, and guides are happy to be tipped that way. Credit cards are not generally accepted in small family restaurants or tiny shops. To be on the safe side, ask first.
Spanish. Surprisingly, little English is spoken, except in the finer hotels, restaurants and shops in the tourist district. Many eateries do, however, have English translations on the menu.
Where You're Docked?
Cruise ships tie up at a pier in Old Acapulco -- just below the Fort of San Diego -- which was built in the 1600's. It's a terrific location; the center of Old Acapulco is a few blocks to the west, and the bay beachfront is just steps away to the east. An interesting factoid: Our ship rolled more at this dock than at almost any other time during our cruise of Mexico's Pacific coast. (It was gentle, though still quite noticeable.) You may not see them, but deep swells and impressive tides are characteristic of this magnificent harbor.