Walking Puerto Vallarta’s Malecon
Aaron Saunders, Live Voyage Reports
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Miracle came alongside in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico this morning, greeted by blue skies, warm temperatures, and chirping birds. The cruise terminal looks very much as I remember it: an attractive facility blanketed by green grass and local vendors. Canadian and American flags fly alongside the Mexican flag, as does Carnival’s house flag, from poles mounted to the pier.
When I first came here back in 2006, there was just one berth here – the one that Carnival Miracle is docked at. Other ships arriving on the same day were forced to drop anchor and tender ashore, as I was on that February day. Today, there are three permanent berths here – and sadly, only one is in use.
During the heyday of Mexican Riviera cruising in the latter part of the last decade, this city of approximately 256,000 could see as many as four cruise ships in a given day, particularly during the winter season. Between the recession and the fear of violence against tourists from feuding Mexican cartels, the cruise industry here was absolutely clobbered.
But times have changed, and the Mexican Riviera is gradually