"This was my third visit to Cabo, which is a lovely little place at the bottom of Mexico.
"It's a really easy and relaxing place to visit and to immerse yourself in the Mexican culture, without going anywhere dangerous.
"The city sits on a bay and the ship moors a little way out, so you get a tender to the shore. Cabo is well known for the El Arco rock arch formation and for snorkelling and scuba diving.
"You can get a cheap local boat from the pier or you can go on one of the official shore excursions, which go out for half a day and include snorkelling and sightseeing.
"The snorkelling is just gorgeous in Cabo; the water is crystal clear and they have picture-perfect weather most of the time.
"I have learnt to go snorkelling in the morning, because the water is much calmer then.
"I don't scuba dive but I imagine if you did it would be incredible; we've seen turtles and sea lions and all sorts of fish in the water.
"Cabo also has lots of bars and restaurants where you can sit and look at the water.
"There's a very popular one called Cabo Wabo Cantina that was opened by Sammy Hagar from the band Van Halen.
"There are a lot of people wandering around the town selling their wares, such as pottery and bracelets, and they're so friendly and happy.
"I have a favourite bar I like to go where you get rum cocktails for about $2 and they play maracas, a giant xylophone sort of instrument and guitars, which creates a great atmosphere.
"It's just so relaxing, you really feel like you're in Mexico.
"Because the ship is moored offshore, there's no big rush, you just sit and wait until you see the tender coming.
"The other thing I really enjoyed in Cabo was swimming with dolphins at the dolphin centre they have there.
"It feels so much safer doing it that way, than being in the water with wild dolphins."
Value for money
Carnival Cruise Lines has a range of excursions for Cabo, including a 4½-hour "Cabo by Land and Sea" excursion for about $75 a person, including snorkelling, Los Arcos and a city tour.
"There's a lot to be said for going on one of the official excursions, where they use a nice boat with toilets on board and you get cold drinks and commentary along the way," Alison says.
"You can do it yourself but the official excursions are good value."
For swimming with dolphins, Carnival has a 90-minute excursion for about $160 a person.
WHO Alison Carmichael-Rulten, of Balgowlah, Sydney. Alison has done more than 30 cruises.
WHAT Exploring the Mexican city of Cabo San Lucas.
WHERE Cabo is at the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, Mexico.
THE SHIP Alison cruised with her mother, Carmel, on Carnival Cruise Lines' Carnival Splendor (carnival.com). They cruised for seven nights, starting and finishing in Long Beach, California.
As told to Jane E. Fraser
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