Cruises to Manzanillo

100 Reviews
Manzanillo (Photo:Brandon Bourdages/Shutterstock)

About Cruising to 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.

  • More about Manzanillo

  • Why Cruise to Manzanillo?

  • Manzanillo Cruise Port Facilities?

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Norwegian Bliss
Norwegian Bliss (Photo: Cruise Critic)

15 Night
Repo - Panama Canal

1,416 Reviews
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Ruby Princess
Ship Exterior on Ruby Princess

11 Night
Mexico Cruise

1,976 Reviews
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Norwegian Encore
Norwegian Encore (Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line)

21 Night
Repo - Panama Canal

431 Reviews
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Coral Princess
Coral Princess (Photo: Princess Cruises)

16 Night
Transcanal Cruise

1,032 Reviews
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Nachi Cocom Beach Club

21 Night
Panama Canal - Tampa

431 Reviews
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17 Night
Repo - Panama Canal

2,358 Reviews
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16 Night
Panama Canal Cruise

1,229 Reviews
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15 Night
Repo - Panama Canal

1,416 Reviews
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Cruise Critic Favorite

16 Night
Transcanal Cruise

1,032 Reviews
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12 Night
Mexican Riviera & Sea Of Cortez

560 Reviews
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11 Night
Mexican Riviera & Sea Of Cortez

560 Reviews
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109 Night
109 Night World Cruise

1,330 Reviews
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10 Night
Mexico Cruise

18 Reviews
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15 Night
Panama Canal - Miami

506 Reviews
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51 Night
World Cruise

1,330 Reviews
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More about Manzanillo

Why Cruise 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
First time in Manzanillo so we took a tour of the city with beach and shopping time. We enjoyed our stay the beach restaurant we stopped at was nice and had very clean bathrooms. We could of done without the stop forRead More
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froggy9143
Just walked around looking for an ATM visited the Malecon & some shops. The inhabitants are really nice and helpful Read More
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Nerdy veghead
Small town, vey walkable off the ship. Great prices. No beach that is close by, you have to take a taxiRead More
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cancruise2
Mexico.A beautiful country but again lots of poor and struggling peopleRead More
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