Can't offer any advise regarding booking land excursions -- don't have any experience there.... However, my husband and two children (daughter -- 13 and son -- 11) will be debarking on the Elation for their 7-day Mexican Riviera cruise. I think that must be the same one as you and your family -- but, my travel agent said that our ship sails on Dec. 16th. That is a Sunday, and we are to return on Dec. 23rd. Are you sure you leave on the 17th?