Carnival Excursion Review: Deer Island Beach Escape and BBQ (Mazatlán)
Updated: Nov 15, 2019
If you're looking for an excursion that offers plenty of free time on a beautiful sandy beach with warm turquoise water (and includes a buffet lunch and open bar), look no further than Deer Island! We booked three excursions on our latest cruise and, though this one was the least action-packed, it may have been my favorite!
If you've never visited Mazatlán, it is a beautiful Mexican city rich in culture and beauty. One of my favorite things about this city is the abundance of public art. Our adventure began on a charter bus ride through the city where our fabulous guides taught us about several art pieces, landmarks, and local history along the way.
Deer Island was named so because of the abundance of deer that once roamed the island. Unfortunately, there are no longer deer on the island, but there is a local preserve where the species is now protected.
To get to the island we all hopped on a catamaran. Now, I've been on many boats and have never experienced seasickness, but something about the motion of the catamaran had me a bit queasy the whole time. All that to say, if you've never ridden on one before, bringing along some Dramamine might be a good idea.
It was a pretty rough ride, but our guides made sure we had a good time! Starting off with some great music and an open bar, everyone was amped up and ready for some fun by the time we arrived at the island!
As we neared the shore, we were ushered onto smaller boats which took us the rest of the way. Once we arrived, there was an option to kayak (about a one hour tour), but because we had children with us that were below the minimum age limit, we had to pass on this opportunity. I did ask around and learned from other guests that it was a great trip, though quite challenging. If it becomes too difficult mid-paddle, there is a boat you can jump on at any point of the trip.
With temperatures in the high 90's, we decided to pack on the sunscreen and head straight for the water! I don't think there are many things in life that make me happier than crystal blue water that rivals bath-tub temperature... it was SUBLIME!
We soon noticed tropical fish swimming below us. Luckily I had packed one of our snorkeling sets "just incase," so I grabbed it and jumped back in the water. I'm pretty sure I had no idea what my family was doing the rest of the time as I traded life on land for an amazing show beneath the waves for the next couple of hours!
I'm joking of course and had a blast with the fam, but Nate kept an eye on the kids for part of the time while I ventured further out for some amazing snorkeling! One of my favorite memories is following gorgeous tropical fish around for as long as I could before they scurried away. I wish I were able to take pictures but we didn't have the gear on us.
The lunch on every one of our excursions was wonderful and this was no exception! We all enjoyed a wonderful meal in the shade that included BBQ chicken, a variety of salads, and an open bar. Lunch was served buffet style.
Overall, I would highly recommend this beautiful Deer Island escape to anyone looking for a relaxing yet adventurous time in Mazatlán! The warm people, beautiful scenery, and yummy food are well worth the trip!