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Cruises to Manzanillo

Manzanillo (Photo:Brandon Bourdages/Shutterstock)
Manzanillo (Photo:Brandon Bourdages/Shutterstock)

About Manzanillo

Manzanillo may be short on style, but it's long on substance. While it doesn't have the glitz of other ports of call on the Mexican Riviera, it offers a straightforward, what-you-see-is-what-you-get look at a community that hasn't yet been transformed by a touristy do-over.

Manzanillo -- located between Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta -- is the country's largest commercial port. The port and nearby tuna canneries and seed and grain silos give Manzanillo an industrial, gritty feel.

But, thanks to world-class deep-sea fishing, pleasant beaches, an almost pueblo-style town center and -- of all things -- the Bo Derek movie "10," Manzanillo has gained cachet as a tourist destination. Still, it's relatively untouched; it's refreshing not to see Hooters or Senor Frogs dominating the landscape as you pull into port.

Overall, the town isn't going to win any beauty contests; its appeal lies more in its remarkable hospitality quotient, evidenced by welcoming smiles and friendly faces.

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10 Night
Cruise to Manzanillo

Leaving:
San Francisco
Visiting:
Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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16 Night
Cruise to Manzanillo

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Aruba, Panama Canal ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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DAY 1: Miami

116 Night
Cruise to Manzanillo

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Ocho Rios, Cartagena ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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DAY 1: San Diego

18 Night
Cruise to Manzanillo

Leaving:
San Diego
Visiting:
Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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10 Night
Cruise to Manzanillo

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Ensenada, Cabo San Lucas ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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102 Night
Cruise to Manzanillo

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Ocho Rios, Cartagena ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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21 Night
Cruise to Manzanillo

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Cartagena, Panama Canal ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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18 Night
Cruise to Manzanillo

Leaving:
San Diego
Visiting:
Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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Cruise Critic Favorite

17 Night
Cruise to Manzanillo

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Cartagena, Panama Canal ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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16 Night
Cruise to Manzanillo

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Ocho Rios, Cartagena ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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18 Night
Cruise to Manzanillo

Leaving:
San Diego
Visiting:
Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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19 Night
Cruise to Manzanillo

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Aruba, Curacao ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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8 Night
Cruise to Manzanillo

Leaving:
Puntarenas
Visiting:
Herradura, Playas del Coco ...
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Cruise Line:
Windstar Cruises
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28 Night
Cruise to Manzanillo

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Tortola, Puntarenas ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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Why go to Manzanillo?

Pros:

The city is extremely walkable, offering a mix of gritty cement buildings and historic architecture

Cons:

Some attractions -- beaches and the city market -- require a cab ride; drivers often price gouge

Bottom Line:

A stroll along the Malecon to the Monumento al Pez Vela (the blue sailfish) is essential

Manzanillo Cruise Port Facilities?

There are no services where ships are berthed. Passengers walk down the pier to leave the port area, and taxis and shore excursion providers are plentiful near the exit. There's also a small market set up when ships are docked; it features local arts and crafts like pottery, crocheted items, wood carvings, dolls, cigars and soaps, as well as consumable products like coconut candy and organic coffee.

Good to Know?

Manzanillo is located in Colima, said to be the safest (and most highly educated) state in all of Mexico. Here, as in other tourist destinations throughout the coast, there's an obvious police presence. Tourism is the area's third-largest economic contributor, after the commercial port and iron ore production, and officials want to keep it that way by making sure the port is safe. That said, it's always good practice to avoid wearing flashy jewelry or watches or carrying excessive amounts of cash. Also, when you are on shore, it's best to steer clear of tap water or ice and to observe the cardinal rule when it comes to street food: Boil it, cook it, peel it or forget it.

Getting Around?

By Taxi: Taxis line up just outside of the port gates. Drivers generally speak decent English and can take you to most points of interest -- including beaches, resorts and shopping centers -- for no more than $20 each way, depending on the distance. Fares aren't set, so be sure to negotiate and settle on a price before getting into the cab.

On Foot: Avenida Mexico, the main drag, is perpendicular to the waterfront malecon, or walkway. Within walking distance are a church and lots of little restaurants and shops. The Monumento el Pez Vela is located just outside the gates to the pier -- about a five-minute walk from the ship.

By Shuttle: An independent tour company runs shuttles directly from the pier into town for just a few dollars and to Miramar Beach for less than $15. The local guides onsite can also make arrangements for deep-sea fishing, snorkeling and kayaking expeditions.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

Mexico's currency is the peso. Visit www.oanda.com for current rates and a handy conversion chart that fits neatly into a wallet. ATMs tend to be the least expensive way to acquire pesos, and there are several in the town center. However, there's no need to bulk up on local currency. Most sidewalk vendors, taxis, restaurants and shops accept U.S. dollars; some even take euros. Credit cards are widely accepted, as well. (Note: On our 10-night cruise along Mexico's Pacific coast, we used dollars and a credit card exclusively -- no pesos.)

Language?

Spanish is the official language, but at least some English is spoken by vendors, cab drivers, restaurant owners and shopkeepers in the area near the port.

Where You're Docked?

Ships dock at the commercial port during the October through May cruising season.


Manzanillo Cruise Reviews

Coral Princess
Lizabetsa
Sail Date: Mar 2019
-Manzanillo Mexico- You really do not need to do any excursions there.. you can have a great time just off the port. LOTS of shops and places to eat.. you can get right on the beach immediately... of all the places... Read More
Grand Princess
waylyn
Sail Date: Jan 2020
We have been here before and so just walked around the port area and picked up some soveneirs. Very clean and pretty port.... Read More
Grand Princess
Gina Piazza
Sail Date: Dec 2019
Not much to do right off the ship, Excursions are probably the way to go.... Read More
Island Princess
Golf4
Sail Date: Apr 2018
We would have gone to Colima with lunch as we did this before but because of a change in itinerary we got there at 2pm so we chose to walk around and eat. The port is a port and really not geared for 2100 tourists.... Read More
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