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Cruising to your vacation in Mexico-How to have two vacations in one!

Cruise ship in Cozumel Mexico Taking a one way cruise to Mexico is like two vacations in one.

Do you want to make your next trip to Mexico feel like two vacations? Most people fly into Cancun and then fly back home, but there is another option you might not of thought of before. Taking a cruise one way to Mexico and then flying home. How is this possible you ask? Well, this option is not for everyone but certainly is doable and a fun way to add to your vacation.

Taking a Cruise to Mexico

Several cruise lines offer very affordable cruises to the Yucatan Peninsula. For example one cruise line offers a sales price sometimes of $169 USD based on double occupancy and inside cabin for a cruise from Florida to Key West and then on to Cozumel, Mexico. There are other cruises that start in Houston, Texas or New Orleans, Louisiana and goes to Progresso and /or Cozumel. Taking a cruise one way is possible only in the direction leaving the United States (they are not available leaving from Mexico to the United States). It is acceptable to the cruise lines to take you one way, just make sure you tell them you are getting off. They will give you instructions on disembarking and immigration. You will receive a tourist visa just like at the airport and need to give it back when you leave.

Getting off in Cozumel will leave you at the gateway to sun and fun here in Mexico. You can either start your vacation in Cozumel or take the ferry to the mainland for Playa Del Carmen and beyond. There are two separate locations cruise ships dock in Cozumel. One is close to town(San Miguel) and the other is south of San Miguel. If you are docked at the far south pier there are taxis readily available for transport into town and the ferry to the mainland.

If you chose to get off in Progresso, you could start your vacation visiting Merida, Chichen Itza or the Ruta Puuc. With a little planning you could line up how you want to get around on the ground leg of your vacation.

Is there a catch?

What could go wrong? If there is a storm or change of plans for your cruise destinations, you are going to have to change your plans as well. Destinations are not guaranteed except the return port where you got on. This however does not happen often and a look of what the weather is doing before you take off will assure you of your destination.

What are the cost of taking a cruise to Mexico?

Cruises offer low introductory rates to appeal to your budget but will offer many extras that pad the price. For example, alcoholic drinks are usually extra, photos taken by onboard photographers are sold to guest, tips for your stay are added to your bill, land excursions, extra onboard activities, etc. etc. etc. You can keep your budget lower by knowing before you book what is included and what you want to do on your cruise.

Tip: Have a drink in your room or bring your own bottle of wine to dinner.  Most cruises allow two bottles of alcohol per person but will charge a corking fee so you might want twist off caps. This can save you some money on your overall travel expenses.

When to book your cruise

Some cruise lines will let you book one way tickets but only the week before sailing. This would be at an even cheaper price than some sale prices. The prices of some of the cruises are still so affordable that it does not matter you will not be taking the last leg back to the original destination. One way to save money if you booked a round trip is to pay for only the tips for the time you are on the boat (they calculate them on how many days you are on the boat). The customer service on the boat can adjust your charges.


Cruises offer you a relaxing way to come to Mexico. Your floating hotel with entertainment and food will leave you ready for your next vacation on land. This can be a creative way to make your vacation even more interesting and you get to experience a cruise and get to get off and explore more!

Tip: One way flights are easy to get from Cancun

Have you taken a cruise to Mexico? What did you think? Let us know about it in the comments below.

8 Comments on Cruising to your vacation in Mexico-How to have two vacations in one!

  1. We want to do this! We found the perfect dates for a cruise leaving New Orleans and will be in Cozumel two days later which fits in perfectly with our plans. I called carnival cruise line today and they said that they don’t offer one way trips. Do you have any advice on how I could do that? Or maybe the right questions to ask? Thanks you!

    • You may have to buy a round trip if they have changed their policies about last minute availability and pricing of one way. We would suggest asking someone else there and make sure they can accommodate at least getting off and not getting back on in Cozumel. Best wishes.

  2. I would like to know if this still works? Can you take cruises one way anymore? I have heard confusing information on this lately. We might like to try this way of going to Mexico.

    • Hello

      We have an email out to Carnival and are waiting to hear back on this. We do want to have a definitive answer for you. We will post when we hear something. Thank you.

  3. Any updates on this? We’d like to book 1 way Florida to Cancun.

    • Unfortunately no. We have recently emailed some of the cruise lines but they did not respond. It is a market that is not really served and could be more business for them. We think it will be best to write to them to see if you can get a response.

  4. Hi. I would love to cruise to Cozumel this coming December. But it seems no longer possible.
    I got this reply from Carnival Cruises.
    “Effective 5/03/13, we discontinued selling pre-planned one-way cruises, where a guest 1) joins a ship in the embarkation port and debarks in any port prior to the end of the cruise, OR, 2) joins a ship mid way during the cruise and debarks at the debarkation port. When a cruise is sold on a one-way basis, this may change the status of the voyage and ALL guests must go through additional screening.

    We know this is not the answer you were hoping for and apologize for any disappointment in this regard. “

    • Thank you very much for sending this. It is good to update this and we will make note in the article. It was a great way to arrive to Mexico and we hope in the future a cruise line offers it.

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