On this cruise, we did the Mayan Ruins of Tulum booked through Carnival. We met in the Encore theater and were then escorted to a small boat that had a capacity of about 200 people. The boat ride to the mainland was about 25 minutes and the bus ride to the Ruins was another 25 or so minutes. The Ruins are nice, but not what I expected. The pyramids I was expecting were not at this location, nor could you climb directly on the ruins. Most of them were roped off, so you could not get closer than 5-10 feet. The best part of this tour was the beach area than you have to walk down some pretty steep wooded steps to access. The water is amazingly clear and a gorgeous shade of blue/turquoise. A few natural stones make for great pictures and HUGE Iguana's are everywhere. Our family of 5 spent $400 for this cruise plus tips for the Tour Guide, driver and food at the Ruins. It's not required, but our tour guide was very knowledgeable about the Mayan culture, so we felt a tip was in order. I enjoyed the experience, but I don't think it was worth the money or the long travel time to and from the ship.
We later met for the Pirates, Monkeys and Birds tour. After a 30 minute drive to Gumbalimba Park, we were briefed on what not to do when handling the monkeys and Macaws. The tour also introduces you to 'black' Iguana's and the Pirate culture once found on the island, but it is a very cheesy cave with one statue of a Pirate and fake chests of gold. The tour was advertised as a chance to experience wild Macaw and monkeys, but in truth... this is a rescue missionary habitat and most of the animals have been handled so much that they are just uncaged domestic versions. A few are caged and some have leashes to control their temperament, but it was not really what we were expecting. This is more of a Zoo experience than a wild one. One of the warnings was to remove glasses, jewelry and other shiny objects from your person because the monkeys will try to take them. We were warned that they will try to bite if you resist their attempt to take these items from you and a few fellow tourists did not heed the warning. Needless to say they were part of some entertaining situations, but no one was injured. At the end of the tour you have the option to explore more of the park, zipline, or hang out in a pool near a local eatery. We stayed for a while here with the kids and ordered the Curry Chicken which was FANTASTIC. My only problem was the price of food. Burgers were $10 and so were Chicken tenders and other food that wouldn't run more than $6 in the States. I had a problem with that, but I was hungry and so were the kids... do you think they know that? If we ever visit this port of call again, I would probably stick to just getting a taxi to the beach, hanging out @ Fat Tuesday's and calling it a day. The cost of some of these excursions doesn't match the experience.