Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook
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Making the Most of Puerto Vallarta
Making the Most of Puerto Vallarta
Your ship docks at the Terminal Maritima (Maritime Terminal) three miles north of downtown. The Disney Wonder pulls right up to the pier. There’s not much you can do right at the pier other than shop or board excursion boats. There’s a fairly large, tourist-focused flea market at the terminal’s south end, and believe it or not, Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club are right across the street if you need to pick up some familiar essentials. The 7-night Halloween itinerary is scheduled to arrive at 8:30 am and depart at 4:45 pm. The 14-night Halloween cruise itinerary is scheduled to arrive at 10:30 am and depart at 3:45 pm (not much time!). The 14-night Panama Canal itinerary is scheduled to arrive at 8:00 am and depart at 3:45 pm.
Taxis charge about $2/person for the 15-minute ride to downtown Puerto Vallarta. You can also rent a car—a Dollar Rental Car agency is right at the port. Buses are the least expensive way to move around, and they are really quite easy. A bus ride is just 4 pesos (50 cents) and drivers accept American currency. You can catch a bus going to “Centro” (downtown) at the stop just outside the port entrance. Buses are owned by individuals rather than a company, so don’t be surprised to encounter some quirky but amusing bus decor. The Puerto Vallarta region encompasses a large area—much too large to show on our map. Pick up a regional map at a tourist information center once you’re off the ship. Beyond downtown, popular spots to visit include Mismaloya (John Huston’s film site and spectacular views) and Old Vallarta (also known as the Romantic Zone, it evokes that ol’ Mexican charm)—these are both within taxi distance, though you may feel more comfortable booking one of the many excursions.
Crime in Mexico has been high in recent years. Take the same precautions you would in any large U.S. city, keeping valuables out of sight and your money secure. You may be accosted by kids selling “Chiclets” (gum) or other items. Don’t buy from them or give them money. Support programs are in place for these children to help get them off the street. There are bilingual tourist police in the downtown and resort areas—they are dressed in white and wear pith helmets or black baseball caps. Don’t hesitate to approach them if you need assistance. The drinking water in Puerto Vallarta consistently exceeds World Health Organization’s criteria, but bottled water is also plentiful. Observe warning flags on beaches—if black flags are up, don’t go in the water. Jellyfish can be a problem during the warmest summer months, but the Wonder’s schedule means you’ll probably miss them. Still, if you know you or a family member are allergic, take appropriate precautions.
In August 2017, the U.S. Department of State issued a travel warning for this region of Mexico: U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel to areas that border the states of Michoacán and Zacatecas because of continued instability. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from personal travel to areas of Jalisco that border Zacatecas, intercity travel after hours, and from using Highway 80 between Cocula and La Huerta. U.S. government personnel are authorized to use Federal toll road 15D for travel to Mexico City; however, they may not stop in the town of La Barca or Ocotlan for any reason.
Top Photo Slice: Boca de Tomatlán, a Mexican fishing village, 10 miles (16 kms) south of downtown Puerto Vallarta (℗ 7969) Photo contributed by © sueh818
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