I had signed up for the Uxmal tour months before we sailed on the Carnival site. Since it was so far away I decided to go with Carnival. We headed down the pier and looked for the gentleman with the Uxmal sign. He took us right to the bus. And let me tell you, there was only one bus to Uxmal. We were on the road by 7:30am. We saw the lines for Chichen Itza, there were 3 lines and they were very long. They had to have 5-10 buses. The ship was really pushing Chichen Itza the day before. They hadn’t even loaded the buses when we left.
It was a very interesting 1 ½ hour ride to Uxmal. There were 2 guides. One talked for around 30 minutes about the Mayan cultural. Then he just let us enjoy the ride. We stopped at a rest stop about 20 minutes from the Uxmal entrance. It was a small shop and a small bathroom. Not a luxury bathroom, bring your own paper and hand wipes.
Then we arrived at the site. It was beautiful. We had a guide for about an hour then he let everyone look around on their own for 45 minutes. We had about 15 minutes to look at the official shops inside the Uxmal area and then there were vendors outside selling mostly clothes. We bought a couple of t-shirts and a dress. T-shirts were $5.
On the ride back we ate our provided lunch of a sandwich, fruit, and Mexican chips. The whole bus had fun comparing chips, they were defiantly not Lays. It was a quite ride back to the pier. We arrived about 1 ½ before boarding, so we had plenty of time to shop the shops at the pier.
It was a really nice tour, no crowds, nice bus, great guides. I highly recommend it.
We will only have a day to visit the Mayan ruins, who do we book with? What company and how?
You can always book ship tour. Just check the excursions offered on the particular sailing you are on. If it's DZIBILCHALTUN you can book a local at Progreso. The shuttle operator offers tours and will pitch them to you on the ride into town from the pier. You can also rent a car and do it yourself. I've done that a coupe of times.
Good advice for a first time cruiser is to stick with the ships tours unless where you are headed is close enough to the ship that you can easily walk or taxi back. Not a good idea to go wandering off alone in a foreign country until you get a little experience. If you are on a ships tour the ship will not leave until the tour returns. If you are out on your own they are not obligated to wait for you.