I'm not sure you would be saving any time doing it on your own. The ship tour has a ferry waiting for you when you get off the ship. You get directly on it from the pier (unless you are tendering in and then it may even pick you up right at the ship.) The ferry ride time would be the same, but then you need to go to a rental car place, rent a car and then go (provided you know where you are going) Then coming back you would have drop off the car and get to a ferry (which is waiting for you if you are on the cruise tour). The tourist trap stop the bus makes is only 15 or 20 minutes. So at best you might save 20 minutes renting a car.
Also with the ship tour, you have the ability of relying on the tour to get you back on time. If I were on my own I would probably tend to leave a little earlier than I needed to in order to make sure I got back to the ship. Of course if that is your objective (to have time to shop a little in Playa Del Maya) then that is not such a big deal...
So, I'm on the fence on this one... I DO agree that the Tulum ruins are cool to see and the beach there is beyond description, you must see it to believe it. But I don't know if I would be adventurous enough to do it on my own.
Originally posted by moonbliss7:
Okay, so now I'm really confused. Can I get to the Ruins at all by car or do I have to to ferry over? How do I get to see the ruins once I get off the ship other than booking a ship tour?
If you are in Cozumel, you have to 1) take a ferry to the mainland, and 2) either rent a car or otherwise find your way to the ruins. This is what takes so long and the reason the ship's tour lasts so long. It is the time involved in getting to and from the ruins.
I would never try to do this trip on my own from Cozumel. It is too risky. If you want to do it, use the ship's tour. Otherwise you may very well return to Cozumel and find the ship has left without you.
"Yeah, I'm screwed because now I have to try and catch up to the ship but at least I save $100 on the tour".
Oh.. and I forgot to say, you are sailing on RCCL but for anyone reading this going on NCL Dream, they DO stop at Playa Del Maya and anyone with a mainland excursion is tendered from there which saves 45 mins on the ferry. Then the ship goes to Cozumel. Of course you still have to ferry back on the return trip but overall it saves some tour time.