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stevendom57

Tulum Experience Question

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I am going to Cozumel and I am booked on the Tulum Mayan Ruins and Fifth Avenue Experience tour through RC. Is this a guided tour with commentary through the ruins or is it a "drop you at the entrance and you are on your own, like every other tourist" type of tour? It wasn't cheap so I hope there is some value added by going with the tour.

TIA

Steven

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We did the Tulum Ruins and Beach Break.....instead of shopping, we went to a beach for lunch after the ruins.  I'm guessing yours is similar other than not going to the beach.

Here's how our excursion went on the Mariner (according to the Cruise Planner, Mariner excursions are an hour shorter than other ships due to ship departure times):

We met in the main theater as per directions on our tickets.  There, different excursions received different color stickers (to put on your shirt) based on which excursion you were going on.  We debarked as groups and immediately boarded a ferry to the mainland (we never left the dock).  On the way to board the ferry, we had to go past a K-9 which checked any bags people were carrying.

The ferry took about 45 minutes once it left the dock.  When we arrived in Playa del Carmen on the mainland,  there were people standing there with signs for each excursion.  Look for the Tulum/Fifth Avenue sign.  We saw it while standing with our group.

Once everyone was assembled, we were led to the buses.  The ride to Tulum was about an hour.  In addition to the bus driver, we had two tour guides with us.  When we arrived in Tulum, we moved as a group until we arrived at the big structure overlooking the water.  Along the way, one of our guides told us about the different things we were looking at.  He was very knowledgeable and shared a ton of info with us. Once we climbed up to the steps to the edge of the water, we had approx 30 minutes to make our way back to the bus by ourselves.  It was plenty of time to get back, and we even had a chance to pick up some souvenirs.  The tour guides were very firm about the departure time, and told us if anyone was late, one of the guides would wait, and the late party would have to pay for a taxi back to port.  Things went very smoothly.  My only regret was I wish we had more time at the ruins.  There is so much to see, and being part of a group, you move only as fast as the slowest person.  There is a lot of walking, so wear comfortable shoes.

Once back on the bus, we went to the beach.  Your excursion would go to the shopping area.  When we got back to the port in Playa del Carmen, one of the guides took us (as a group) right to the ferry to insure no one missed it.

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This is the big structure overlooking the water.  You climb stairs a short distance to get up to it (you are not allowed to actually climb on or in it).   Directly behind the camera is the cliff overlooking the water.

IMG_1620.JPG

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@teddy Thanks for the information! That is the excursion I'm leaning toward for our 2020 stop in Cozumel. Do you happen to remember which beach you guys stopped at afterwards? Or what the seating/shade options were there? Thanks! 

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We went to a beach in XpuHa. I think it was called Serenity. 

There were loungers in the sun as well as covered up. 

When we were there, a young teens summer camp was there, so it was kind of crowded. 

The food was decent.  Fish tacos and chicken enchiladas with sides of beans, etc. 

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4 hours ago, stevendom57 said:

@teddyWhen at Playa del Carmen, when transferring from ferry to coaches, are there restrooms available? My wife has a small bladder and 1 hour is manageable, two hours is going to see some tightly crossed ankles and pained expressions.:)

My wife has the same dilemma.

On the walk from the ferry to the bus, the tour guides brought us to a store that had public restrooms.  The bus had a toilet for emergencies (my wife used it), and there are decent bathrooms on the ferry and a Tulum itself.  

There are attendants in the bathrooms at Tulum.  It has been a few decades since I was in a bathroom with an attendant, so I was kinda surprised by the young woman attendant in the men's room.  🙂
 

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We are planning to book the Tulum Ruin and Beach Break excursion through RCI but the duration says it's 8 hours.. My fear is that the ship will leave us, can that happen even though we purchase through them?

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51 minutes ago, deniserosas said:

We are planning to book the Tulum Ruin and Beach Break excursion through RCI but the duration says it's 8 hours.. My fear is that the ship will leave us, can that happen even though we purchase through them?

If you buy through Royal they will absolutely wait for you!

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10 minutes ago, KristiZ said:

If you buy through Royal they will absolutely wait for you!

Be careful with that claim, it's not actually Royal policy.

They will typically reunite you with the ship at the next port of call by policy.  If a returning Royal excursion is late by a short amount they will hold the ship, but that has it's limits.  If you are on the other side of an island and it will take 4 hours to get a new bus and get you back to the port you'll likely be met by a very nice local port agent who will provide airfare and hotel reservations.

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11 minutes ago, twangster said:

Be careful with that claim, it's not actually Royal policy.

They will typically reunite you with the ship at the next port of call by policy.  If a returning Royal excursion is late by a short amount they will hold the ship, but that has it's limits.  If you are on the other side of an island and it will take 4 hours to get a new bus and get you back to the port you'll likely be met by a very nice local port agent who will provide airfare and hotel reservations.

True, but we have actually had them wait 2 hours for us before. It does depend on the needs of the port you're in, the port you're going, etc, but on my list of things to worry about, being left behind when on a Royal excursion is waaaaaaaaaay down there 🙂 

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We did the Talum and beach break and it was amazing. Our guide was very detailed and awesome. There was some on your own time but vast majority was with guide. 

It was also 8 hours and we were the last group back to the ship but never felt concerned they’d leave with a tour group. 

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