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Thinking of taking a Western Carribean Cruise to see Mayan Ruins etc Recommentations?
Old 04-12-2017, 11:17 AM   #1
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Thinking of taking a Western Carribean Cruise to see Mayan Ruins etc Recommentations?

As the title says. We want to leave from a Florida Port and visit some not so popular Mayan ruins. For example Chechen Itza is WAY too crowded for our liking, so we are thinking Cozumel or Riviera Maya options, and with minimal days at sea.

We prefer an adult style cruise ship, but I think there are very few, so the next best thing is a cruise that does not accommodate kids very well.

I am looking for suggestions to review. I would prefer a balcony room.

Thank in advance.
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Old 04-12-2017, 12:29 PM   #2
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We did this in early Dec last year. We took RC and it had very few kids. It was a week cruise with 4 ports. It left from Miami. The ruins were not crowded. WE make sure to cruise when kids are in school.
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Old 04-12-2017, 01:23 PM   #3
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If you find a cruise going to Belize, I can recommend a visit to Lamanai. It's a good sized site with several pyramids surrounded by deep jungle. It's quite eerie to hear the howler monkeys voices echoing through the clearings, and it was definitely one of the best excursions we've ever done on a cruise. It includes a boat trip up the river through the jungle, with lots of opportunity to see birds, crocodiles and exotic flowers. There is an approach by road if you're driving yourself, but the boat ride is really worthwhile.

It's an all-day trip, so you won't see anything else in Belize if you do it, and I'd suggest taking the official ship's excursion rather than trying to DIY as the risk of getting left behind would be high. We were on the first tender off in the morning and were late getting back due to traffic, so the ship actually left a half-hour after the posted time due to our tour's late return.

If you want a shorter excursion, a lot of people went to Altun Ha in Belize, which is closer to the coast, and I suspect more crowded.

Otherwise, Cozumel has small ruins on the island that can be seen in a half-day. And there are several major sites, including Chichen Itza and Tulum on the Mexican mainland. If you're going to see ruins in Mexico, you need to check the various ports' calendars (easily found via Google) and choose the day when there are the fewest number of large ships docked in Progreso, Cancun and Cozumel. All these stops will offer excursions to pretty much the same ruins, so you could easily end up with people from many different ships crowding into a popular place like Chichen Itza on the same day.
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Old 04-12-2017, 01:34 PM   #4
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We are not cruise type of people but you might try searching at https://www.intltravelnews.com/ I believe that some of the site is open to non-subscribers. All the articles in the magazine are written by subscribers, so there is very little hype and a high fraction of honesty. If you subscribe (it's cheap) you can also search the whole site, contact authors through the magazine, and, if there is time, run a free classified advert asking advice for your specific trip.

They will send a free sample issue on request.

I am just a subscriber who has written a few feature articles for them. I have no economic interest in making the recommendation. I have just found it to be a great resource -- the antithesis of the big glossy magazines with their doctored photos.
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Old 04-12-2017, 02:04 PM   #5
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We were on a Princess ship maybe 15 years ago that stopped in Progreso, MX and we did an excursion to the city of Merida and to the Mayan ruins of Uxmal. Loved both. We never mind being tourists, but there were hardly any tourists in Merida and no big groups. Cozumel's ruins are fine but not in the same league imo.
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Old 04-12-2017, 03:05 PM   #6
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From Belize City you can see Xunantunich. From Costa Maya Mexico you can see Chacchoben. Both are smaller than Chichen Itza, but less crowded.
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Old 04-12-2017, 03:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ShokWaveRider View Post
As the title says. We want to leave from a Florida Port and visit some not so popular Mayan ruins. For example Chechen Itza is WAY too crowded for our liking, so we are thinking Cozumel or Riviera Maya options, and with minimal days at sea.

We prefer an adult style cruise ship, but I think there are very few, so the next best thing is a cruise that does not accommodate kids very well.

I am looking for suggestions to review. I would prefer a balcony room.

Thank in advance.
Look at:
https://www.vikingcruises.com/oceans...eas/index.html

Quote:
Walk with learned historians among the remarkably preserved Mayan sites in Belize and during an overnight excursion in Chichén Itzá. Learn from a local guide the colonial and Mayan past of Cozumel.
Viking has few to no kids on board and every room has a balcony. It leaves and returns to Miami with a stop in Key West.
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Old 04-13-2017, 02:02 AM   #8
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We have cruised about a dozen times, only once with balcony rooms. That one time we found an incredible deal for the balcony room-nearly free!

Our experience is that we only hang out in the room to sleep-we enjoyed the balcony, but it really did not entice us to spend more time in the room. In addition to the shows, movies and such, we like to just sit on deck, especially the sides of the ship, not top deck, to stay out of the sun. We read, chat or just watch the water flow by.

We have most likely saved (by not getting balconies) the cost of a future cruise or maybe two.

On the other hand, our first cruise was a room without a window....we won't do that again-too gloomy.
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Old 04-13-2017, 03:08 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ShokWaveRider View Post
As the title says. We want to leave from a Florida Port and visit some not so popular Mayan ruins. For example Chechen Itza is WAY too crowded for our liking, so we are thinking Cozumel or Riviera Maya options, and with minimal days at sea.

We prefer an adult style cruise ship, but I think there are very few, so the next best thing is a cruise that does not accommodate kids very well.

I am looking for suggestions to review. I would prefer a balcony room.

Thank in advance.
We are taking the Celebrity Equinox in December which meets the aforementioned criteria. Celebrity is an upscale version of Royal which generally has few kids. It leaves Miami and goes to Costa Maya, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Key West. Sailing a week or two before Christmas is also quieter and a bit cheaper. BTW - we've sailed Celebrity 5 times and absolutely love the service.

Michael
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Old 04-13-2017, 05:30 AM   #10
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Try Regency Seven Seas. We get their ads all the time, and the brochures feature all gray-haired models and no kids.
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Old 04-13-2017, 08:04 AM   #11
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I recently looked at Oceania cruises. They include a lot of extras which bring them in line with Celebrity cruises . They do not have a kids program so very few children aboard .
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Old 04-13-2017, 08:38 AM   #12
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One thing that will drive me scatty is getting surprising or unexpected charges added to my bill when I disembark. I am finding a hard time getting the fine details on all charges that will be applied or are NOT included.
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:31 AM   #13
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BTW - we've sailed Celebrity 5 times and absolutely love the service.

Michael
+1 We have cruised on many ships, but our our last 4 have been on Celebrity for good reason. We have gotten a little more spoiled, and like the suites over the balconies

Belize is great for doing some cave ruins by tubes


Our next trip to Asia is in December and we are excited to be on Celebrity again.
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:42 AM   #14
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One thing that will drive me scatty is getting surprising or unexpected charges added to my bill when I disembark. I am finding a hard time getting the fine details on all charges that will be applied or are NOT included.
(I'm starting to sound like a Viking employee, but I'm just trying to provide info...)

Viking hasn't ever added any hidden charges on our trips. You pay the price of the trip upfront, then there are clear optional add-ons like extra excursions and unlimited drink package. Finally they do add a default gratuity (which they tell you about), but you can change this if you want:

https://www.vikingcruises.com/oceans...FAQ-LIST/67138

The lack of pushing upgrades and not having surprise fees if one thing we really like about them.
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:56 AM   #15
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Another option we are considering is an all inclusive resort in Cozumel, Cancun or around there, as the Mayan ruins are the real goal. From Cozumel there are ferries to the mainland which is nice.
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Old 04-13-2017, 12:11 PM   #16
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+1 on Celebrity, it's a really nice [RCCL-owned] line. Probably my favorite large-ship cruise line. I've heard good things about Holland America's new ships as well, (I never liked the old 'dam' ships). Viking, Seabourn and similar lines are generally considered to be more in the luxury segment of the industry.

Most large cruise lines offer several different Western Caribbean itineraries. You can get great discounts on less popular sailings and repositioning cruises and shouldn't have to pay more than $100 a day per person for a nice exterior/balcony cabin. It's a great way to travel. Sometimes the luxury lines can be had for similar prices too.
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Old 04-13-2017, 12:19 PM   #17
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WE have had some ocean view cabins but last time tried a inside cabin and it was fine. We are only in it to sleep or shower. With RC they are pretty upfront about what is free and what you pay for. We never had any surprises. I have also heard good things about Celebrity. If I remember correctly Viking is a much smaller ship with less to do but much more expensive.
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Old 04-13-2017, 12:38 PM   #18
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Two of my four cruises have been on Celebrity and it is my preferred cruise line. A Dutch retired airline captain told me that Celebrity has adopted the same type of crew resource management and safety focus that is used in the airline industry, which must be a good thing.

I have done the "Ultimate" Caribbean cruise on Equinox and it is a beautiful ship. The clientele was predominantly middle aged, few nonagenarians and few children. My favourite spot was the glass blowing studio on the top deck. On this cruise I splurged for a balcony and it was totally worth it!

My Caribbean cruise took in five islands (St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Barbados, Dominica and Sint Maarten/St. Martin) but no Mayan ruins. However, I have been to the Mayan Riviera and have visited Chichen Itza by bus. It was an all day trip with a Masters level local historian, the day was relatively cool, the site was not too crowded, and the ruins were spectacular. I believe Tulum is much smaller but still worth while and much more accessible as it is right on the coast (ruins with a view!).
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Old 04-13-2017, 01:28 PM   #19
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Two of my four cruises have been on Celebrity and it is my preferred cruise line. A Dutch retired airline captain told me that Celebrity has adopted the same type of crew resource management and safety focus that is used in the airline industry, which must be a good thing.

I have done the "Ultimate" Caribbean cruise on Equinox and it is a beautiful ship. The clientele was predominantly middle aged, few nonagenarians and few children. My favourite spot was the glass blowing studio on the top deck. On this cruise I splurged for a balcony and it was totally worth it!

My Caribbean cruise took in five islands (St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Barbados, Dominica and Sint Maarten/St. Martin) but no Mayan ruins. However, I have been to the Mayan Riviera and have visited Chichen Itza by bus. It was an all day trip with a Masters level local historian, the day was relatively cool, the site was not too crowded, and the ruins were spectacular. I believe Tulum is much smaller but still worth while and much more accessible as it is right on the coast (ruins with a view!).
My wife and I have done two Trans Atlantic's on the Equinox and that is the ship we are booked on in December (for a one week Carribean vacation.) I like the glass blowing studio as well and the $13 a day tips are pretty standard. We've never had excess charges tagged onto our bill - but most of the time our OBC covers whatever misc charges we incur.

Michael
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Old 04-13-2017, 01:38 PM   #20
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My wife and I have done two Trans Atlantic's on the Equinox and that is the ship we are booked on in December (for a one week Carribean vacation.) I like the glass blowing studio as well and the $13 a day tips are pretty standard. We've never had excess charges tagged onto our bill - but most of the time our OBC covers whatever misc charges we incur.

Michael
I did a transatlantic cruise on the Constellation. I enjoyed the trip and it was very comfortable, but the Constellation is an older ship and a couple of times the kitchen water supply failed. Also, being Millenium class, and smaller, there is no glass blowing studio. The Equinox would have been nicer, but it wasn't going where I wanted to go at the time! All the cruises I've been on so far have had tips included.
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