Puerto Vallarta has always been a haunt for the rich and famous, and shot through the roof when Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton began their notorious love affair. This was our destination with the focus being excellent shopping and a beautiful beach.
The Norwegian Star offered quite a few excursions, none of which interested us, but still sounded like fun. You could:
- Experience Bahia de las Banderas powder-soft beaches;
- Take the Town, Country & Tequila tour that drove through Marina Vallarta, visit the Hacienda Dona Engracia tequila factory to learn about the tequila manufacturing process and time for shopping at Puerto Vallarta’s downtown area;
- The Las Caletas Hideaway is only accessible by boat. The tour enjoys exclusive rights to this beach paradise for one entire day, and a Paella lunch is included. (I got deathly sick on Paella in Spain years ago and would rather have my toenails torn out one by one than ever eat Paella again.); and
- Enjoy a Mexican Fiesta and lunch, sample tequila and tour the city.
Most of these activities can certainly be done easily by yourself. The Norwegian Star was going to be in port for the entire day and no tenders, good news. Another ship changed its itinerary and we got their berth. There are only two berths for big ships like ours and we watched a huge Carnival slowly maneuver its way in right after us.
The approach into Puerto Vallarta’s marina was very dramatic with mountains and busy streets right before our eyes. It was time to gather the group together and make taxi/van arrangements to a beach. Beach towels, sun screen, key cards and i.d. in hand, it was down several levels to the gangway, personnel scan cards, and we were on shore…