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Marietta

Which Carnival Ruins Excursions?

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(I posted this under Carnival but thought this might be a better place...)

 

We are sailing on the Ecstasy next month and would like to see some ruins. Any one have any suggestions on the most bang for our buck in Progreso? We would like to go with the ship tours as we do not want to get left behind on our first cruise. :)

 

Our choices are:

Chichen Itza - 7hrs for $79

Dzibilchaltun w/ Mexican Rodeo - 5.5 hrs for $79

Uxmal & Lunch - 6.5hrs for $71

 

Also looking for the name of a local, good, cheap snorkle in Cozumel while still having time to shop some.

 

Thanks for any suggestions,

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Uxmal is the prettiest and most impressive. I've been there twice and Chichen Itza once. Both are great. It's also a pretty easy drive if you want to rent a car. Take plenty of film.

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While I haven't been to Chichen Itza, I have done Uxmal among other sites. Uxmal is very impressive and worthwhile.

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My brother just got back from a land trip to Mexico on Friday. He climbed the one at Uxmal and was very impressed with it, but at Chichen he says they have most of the areas roped off now where you can't climb them.

I believe Uxmal is a little closer to the port than Chichen is.

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It sounds like Uxmal is the place to see. We would really like to climb one if we can, and if they are still letting people do the one at Uxmal then I guess that seals the deal! :)

 

Now to talk my husband out of the Rodeo...

 

Thank you all for all of the help!!!

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Chichen Itza was the capital of the Mayan Empire - This should be first on your list - it is by far the largest Mayan Site - Seeing the great ball court, walking up the giant pyramid (El Castillo) , seeing the Temple of Kukulcan, walking through the temple of the Warriors, seeing the well of souls (Sacred Cenote), etc - Everything else pales in comparison!

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Chichen Itza was the capital of the Mayan Empire - This should be first on your list - it is by far the largest Mayan Site - Seeing the great ball court, walking up the giant pyramid (El Castillo) , seeing the Temple of Kukulcan, walking through the temple of the Warriors, seeing the well of souls (Sacred Cenote), etc - Everything else pales in comparison!

If any of you have been there lately, most are now roped off and no longer accessable to climb. My brother was just there.

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We went to Uxmal and got to climb the 2nd largest pyramid. NO crowds and almost had the place to ourselves (our bus was only 1/3 full). It was great but next time (we are going back on Jan 27!) we'll be going to Chitchen Itza as my dad saw it on the History Channel or something and my husband wants to see it. We'll see how they compare!!!

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We went to Uxmal and got to climb the 2nd largest pyramid. NO crowds and almost had the place to ourselves (our bus was only 1/3 full). It was great but next time (we are going back on Jan 27!) we'll be going to Chitchen Itza as my dad saw it on the History Channel or something and my husband wants to see it. We'll see how they compare!!!

Please DO give us your feedback on how they compare !

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We went to both on a land tour in 2005. While I was impressed with Chitchen Itza, I liked Uxmal more. There were more stone carvings at Uxmal, more ruins you could get close to and walk around in and you were able to climb the Magician's Pyramid. No climbing/touching allowed at Chitchen. I would love to do both again, but when we go on our cruise in June, we'll be going back to Uxmal so I can show my parents what they were only able to see in pictures a couple of years ago.

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We went to both on a land tour in 2005. While I was impressed with Chitchen Itza, I liked Uxmal more. There were more stone carvings at Uxmal, more ruins you could get close to and walk around in and you were able to climb the Magician's Pyramid. No climbing/touching allowed at Chitchen. I would love to do both again, but when we go on our cruise in June, we'll be going back to Uxmal so I can show my parents what they were only able to see in pictures a couple of years ago.

Uxmal is the best I've seen out of Uxmal, Tulum, San Gervasio, and Xunantunich. In May, I'm touring Kolunlich out of Costa Maya.

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Well we went to Chitchen Itza and really enjoyed it also. Both my husband and I liked Uxmal better because of the lack of crowds, time to see more of it and the ability to actually get up close and personal with the structures.

 

Chitchen Itza is really too big to do as an excursion from Progresso, in my opinion. There are so many people that the guides have to wait on everyone and make sure we don't get separated. Waiting in lines seamed to take half the time we were at the site and the people following you around trying to sell you things made it very hard to hear what the guide was saying in such a large group.

 

Uxmal was smaller but we feel we saw much more of it as we kinda had our guide to ourselves in such a small group. Climbing the pyramid gave us such a thrill and perspective of the site that we didn't come close to at Chitchen Itza. No lines (even for the womens bathroom!) and only one vendor set up outside the gate, NONE around the actual structures.

 

My verdict? Go to Uxmal if you are doing the Carnival Excurssions from progresso. If you will have more time, Chitchen Itza may be better, but it's not really worth the long drive and lines in comparision to what you get for your money at Uxmal.

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We are going to Progesso on a Carnival cruise in April and we were not sure which ruins to see. I think we have decided to go to Uxmal. Should we do a Carnival excursion or go off on our own? This is our first cruise and I don't want to get lost and miss the boat!:p

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We are going to Progesso on a Carnival cruise in April and we were not sure which ruins to see. I think we have decided to go to Uxmal. Should we do a Carnival excursion or go off on our own? This is our first cruise and I don't want to get lost and miss the boat!:p

 

I live in Oregon but travel to Merida and Progreso several times a year (I know lucky SOB.) For what it's worth my advice is hire a driver and van/taxi once you get there. I've heard of people getting tours out to Chichen Itza for as little as $10 USD per person, less for trips to Uxmal. My understanding is the tours offered by the cruise lines start at $40. My experience (which is limited because I've only taken two) is taking a cruise tour has always been more crowded and I got less time to see what I really wanted. Several years ago I started just going on the fly, it's never turned out bad. To me, it seems, every time I take an organized tour I get a cookie cutter version of a place. "Ok, lets go over here, look at this, now lets move over here, did you see that? Oh, wait what's her names camera needs new batteries, Ok every one wait now. Ok, now over here...blah, blah blah." Maybe I'm just luckier on my own? I've had trips that didn't quite turn out as I planned but they've all been interesting. In short, for me, taking a private, personal tour has always been better.

 

Couple things about the area- Merida is a lovely city with amazing architecture. The mansions lining Paseo de Montejo are nothing short of amazing. They're several churches that date back to the mid 14th century. Also, my experience with this area, as opposed to say Cozumel or Cancun, is when walking through the markets or being approached by a vendor a simply no thank-you will work. Not so much in Cozumel, to me it's almost like they hound you. "No, seriously there's nothing you can tell me that's going to make me want to buy that hat with flowers on it... No, I really don't have time to tour your time share, I'm going to get a free dinner on my ship, yes, really it's free on the ship." By the time I get back to my ship or my room I feel wore out.

 

Another thing to note is unlike Cancun you'll not find a large % of English speaking people. If you're not at least slightly able to speak Spanish you might consider a small pocket phrase book. A $5 book could save you quite a bit of frustration. I'd also like to say this entire area is very safe. My wife and I often walk the main square in Merida late into the evening and have never felt in danger. The same is true for Progreso. I paid for three nights at a local Progreso hotel one time only to have the manger find me the next day and refund some of my cash. He explained I was charged for a Suite but was given a Jr. Suite.

 

Finally, the Chichen Itza vs. Uxmal question. Uxmal is roughly 75 miles from Progreso, while I'm guessing Chichen Itza is well over 120 miles. Both sites are impressive. Chichen Itza is, again in my opinion, the crown jewel of the Mayan empire. But Uxmal is outstanding, less crowded and a shorter trip. You'll have more time to see the site and anymore much of Chichen Itza is now roped off. I think it's a good choice to go with Uxmal.

 

Have a great trip, I'll be back down in May.

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hello pacridge,

good info given about your visits. i've got a question here...can you provide a little more detail on what to do once off the ship. (go straight to...catch taxi to...?) i'll be in progresso in late april(first time), and would like a little more info. thanks!gg

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I am so excited for you!!! First cruise is the best! My wife and I are also going on the same ship on May 5th leaving Gavelston. Any way later. ps pack some water and Coke if it is a necessity to you because they are REALLY costly on the boat!

 

Troy

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I, too, could really use some info regarding renting a van for 8 people with a driver preferably, to take us to Uxmal ruins. I would love to book it in advance (like I have done for Cozumel)....any suggestions? If not, can you tell me where to go to book it once we arrive in port? Thanks for any and all info....this will be our second time on the Ecstasy...she's a grand ship!! (May 5, 2007):)

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Was anyone successful in renting a van with a driver? There are 5 of us and we are travelling with a 2 year old. We would like to visit the Uxmal ruins. I think my older two 13 and 14 would really like that. Any way to book this trip in advance like other ports?

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GEO HACK-

 

I've hired a taxi to take me and 5 others to Merida. Your going on Aug 20th on the Ecstacy right? It's easy. I got a taxi when I got off the shuttle bus. But they also have people outside in the shopping strip in Progreso, where some have signs for tours, & some just ask you if you would like to go see, Dzbl., Merida, etc.

 

We may end up going to see either Uxmal or Chichen Itza...we will find out when we get to Progreso & find out which one is cheaper. :) My little brother and cousin who are 14 are coming w/us. Maybe they will meet up.

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I realize this is an old thread (started last November) but I will add to it as others who are planning a trip to Progreso might be interested.

We did the Uxmal (pronounced Oosh-Mahl) and lunch tour back in June and loved it. On the way, one of our two guides gave us a very interesting talk about Uxmal and the Mayans. When we arrived at Uxmal the other guide gave an excellent tour of the ruins. I might add that it was very hot (this was in the middle of June) and I strongly recommend a hat, good walking shoes, and suntan lotion. We did not take bug spray nor did we need it.

Lunch was very good and consisted of a sandwich, chips, a banana, and a roll plus a bottle of water. The food was fresh and tasty.

After the tour there are clean restrooms, food, drink, and a few small shops at Uxmal. Do bring a camera as you will see some awesome sights.

We enjoyed it so much we are thinking of going to Chichen Itza in November. Travelgirl

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GEO HACK-

 

I've hired a taxi to take me and 5 others to Merida. Your going on Aug 20th on the Ecstacy right? It's easy. I got a taxi when I got off the shuttle bus. But they also have people outside in the shopping strip in Progreso, where some have signs for tours, & some just ask you if you would like to go see, Dzbl., Merida, etc.

 

We may end up going to see either Uxmal or Chichen Itza...we will find out when we get to Progreso & find out which one is cheaper. :) My little brother and cousin who are 14 are coming w/us. Maybe they will meet up.

 

Yes, that's our sailing and we have the 14 year old son with us. I believe I'll take one of the tours as others have done. The pricing looks to be about half the ship price?

 

Thanks for the review travel girl23. We'll be sure to have the sunscreen.

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Has anyone ever noticed anyone in a wheelchair at any of the ruins? (probably Uxmal) My 87-yr old Dad is going with us in Sept. (to Progreso) and he can certainly walk... but not really really far nor does he do well just standing for long periods of time. If we have a wheelchair with us on the ship, would it be useful or too hard to manouver on the terrain?

 

Thanks,

dd's mom

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dd's mom, I've never been, so I can't answer that question, but as a mom of a handicapped adult child, I would be more concerned about transportation to the ruins. Can your dad walk at all? Will he be using a manual wheelchair that you can fold and carry onto the bus? I checked Carnival's website for wheelchair accessible excursions and the only one listed was a Merida shopping trip.

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