You can enjoy many memorable shore excursions and activities when you cruise the Caribbean side of Mexico. The ancient Mayans left behind ruins and pyramids that are awesome to see. Local venues offer all sorts of fun excursions. Carnival, Celebrity, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean cruise lines offer cruises that explore and visit the Mexican gulf and shoreline communities.
You can snorkel or dive in the tropical blue Caribbean Sea. Some of the best reefs are located around the island of Cozumel. Visit the national underground marine park at Chankanaab. You will think you are diving in a tropical fish tank. Iguanas populate the park, watch for them scurrying away. You can swim with the dolphins for a fee at the park or watch the dolphin show. A submarine ride to explore the ocean floor is available, or you can dance, play games and party on a party or pirate boat.
Stop and buy linens, silver and other articles from local venders. There is a great downtown area, do not bargain at the stores on the main street, but be prepared everywhere else. Take a jeep tour to the ocean side of the island where the waves and wind are on the wild side, just do not swim there.
On mainland Mexico the ecological parks, Xel-Ha and Xcaret offer local wildlife and botanical exhibits. You can rent snorkel equipment for a swim in a river where fresh and salt water meet, or just enjoy the hammocks and a tropical drink.
Go back in time on a archaeological tour to the Mayan ruins. Talcum overlooked the Caribbean. Imagine yourself there years and years ago in that ancient culture. You can take a bus or fly to the pyramid at Chichen Itza where you will be overwhelmed by the sight.
Horseback riding, jungle tours on ATVs, or golf at Playacar can fill out your day. Restaurants will serve local fare. There are several chain restaurants that serve more Americanized foods as well. Walk down Fifth Ave. in Play del Carmen and visit the small shops.
Think about the cruise shore activities and excitations you would like to do. There is something for everyone. If you use an online travel agency, you can purchase your excursion tickets ahead of time. That way you will be assured you can do the things you want to do and will not waste time deciding.