Stop #2 Mazatlan! We docked, right up to shore on Christmas Eve. As someone who enjoys either rain or snow around Christmas-time the initial warmth and sunlight was a little disappointing. The tan I left with, however, was not. And no matter where we spent it I got to spend Christmas Eve with my family. Mazatlan truly had something for everyone, mom and I wanted to go shopping, my future sister-in-law really wanted tacos and we all wanted to hit the beach, we got to check all the things off of our lists. (The picture is of my Brotherman and his beautiful future fiance!)
Before we started drinking my brother insisted on getting food in our stomachs, so we headed down the beach looking for a decent place to eat, that had tacos. We found a beachfront place called Joe’s Oyster Bar, in our group that day there were 12 of us and we ate delicious food and downed ridiculously strong drinks for under $150 USD, which would literally be impossible in the US. The food was absolutely incredible, I had the best quesadillas I've ever had in my life, my brother and his girl had amazing tacos and nachos, and mom ordered some truly life-changing ceviche. We ate, drank, laughed and bonded all while watching the waves. I literally can not say enough about this place you guys, Joe's Oyster Bar was SO GOOD. We literally went straight from lunch to the beach which was literally down the steps.
There was a beautiful island less then a mile away from the main beach that if your party isn't as big as ours was is definitely worth checking out, the main beach wasn't that crowded but you do end of saying "no" a lot to those beach salesmen, my understanding was that the island beach was far quieter and more private.
As my dad and uncle caught up, my siblings and I spread out our towels on the sand with our music and $11 bottle of tequila. They did shots while I took pictures (with a beautiful couple to photograph Mazatlan was a photography goldmine). They gave me great tourist shots and lovely couple photos. Eventually mom came down to hang out with us kids and that really kicked up the party, after they killed the first bottle of tequila, they decided we needed another before returning to the ship, and I wanted to do some shopping.
So we headed down the alleys and alleys of shops and found beautiful wood carved, hand painted, beautifully beaded gifts. I found a gorgeous, hand-painted Dia Los Muertos bride and groom for my grandparents, hand-painted scenic pictures for my friends and bracelets for me. The best part of shopping the streets of Mexico is that negotiating is a must, if you look like your going to leave they WILL drop the price for you. The bride and groom I bought for my grandparents was supposed to be $25 USD, I bought it for $10, haggle guys seriously it's fun and you save your money. My dad and brother bought hats and my dad bought my brother cigars. Then they, of course, bought their second bottle of tequila. Which they threw back entirely on the way back to the ship, I mean there were six people partaking, but it was still impressive.
Every stop had it's highlights but Mazatlan was definitely my favorite. Lots of family time, I got to soak up the sun, we got some shopping done AND we got to eat some incredible food. If you are going to Mazatlan from a cruise stop make your way to the Golden Circle district, that is where we were and you can literally walk up and down the beach with plenty of places to shop and eat. Beautiful views and clear skies, warm water and great company made Mazatlan the highlight of our trip for me!