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Cruise the Past: The S.S. ACAPULCO cruising from CALIFORNIA to MEXICO during the early 1960s.

Cruise the Past: The S.S. ACAPULCO cruising from CALIFORNIA to MEXICO during the early 1960s.

The S.S. ACAPULCO was the first passenger liner to fly the Mexican flag and commenced service from Los Angeles to Acapulco with regular cruise service in 1962.

  • The Acapulco, a 24,400-ton cruise ship formerly sailed between New York and the Caribbean under the name S.S. Nassau.
  • The ship was renovated in Glasgow, Scotland.

  • The cruises offered eight full days at sea with a four-day stopover in Acapulco, which gave passengers time for inland tours to such tourist favorites as Taxco, Cuernavaca and Mexico City.

  • Despite some initial problems on the maiden voyage, along with being used as a floating hotel for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, the Acapulco sailed every other Saturday from Los Angeles on a 13-day cruise.

  • The cruises offered eight full days at sea with a four-day stopover in Acapulco, which gave passengers time for inland tours to such tourist favorites as Taxco, Cuernavaca and Mexico City.

SS ACAPULCO – NATUMEX LINE

The ship was a one-class vessel. All passengers dined in the same dining room and had access to the various public rooms, decks, entertainment facilities, etc.

  • Instead of the hula lessons that Matson Lines offered on the S.S. Lurline to Hawaii, passengers on the Acapulco learned the art of bullfighting. Luckily, not with a live bull.
  • They used a reasonable facsimile, with a bull mounted on wheels and the seagoing matadors were awarded diplomas at the end of the voyage.
  • There were two swimming pools, free lessons in Spanish. Cocktails were offered for fifty cents, and a dance band played until dawn if the passenger didn’t collapse first.

TRAVEL AGENTS ENJOYED THE MAIDEN CRUISE

  • Travel agents who sailed on the maiden voyage providing. Andrew J. Keizer of Ask Mr. Foster: “I know that I express the feeling of the other travel agents who were on the cruise at the same time, that it should meet with the good public response. It appeals to everybody the young, the middle-aged and the elderly . . . there is something for everyone. Never have we had more fun or enjoyment out of a cruise.”

  • Caroline Gates of Ferguson-Gates Travel: “The food was wonderful … the service was good … the officers were courteous, congenial and friendly. The public rooms are very nice.”
  • Mort Salter of World-Wide Travel: “The service beginning with the cabin stewards and throughout the ship is superb. We are convinced that Natumex (the operating company) will do extremely well.” Donald R. Innes, Choice Travel Service: “It was a most enjoyable trip and worthwhile experience.”

SS ACAPULCO SERVICE ENDED IN 1963

  • Despite the great reviews, Natumex struggled to fill the Acapulco, and her last cruise sailed from Los Angeles on Feb. 3, 1963.