Sincerely, I'm not one for cruises. I've been on two and can, without a doubt, say that there are better ways to spend your money and your time.. at least for me. Still, there are merits that should be acknowledged. Although I can only take so much of the beach, there are more interesting destinations that can be visited. This is especially the case for someone with a camera!
The family and I took a trip on the Norwegian Sun, leaving from Tampa and swinging by Roatan, Belize, Riviera Maya, and Cozumel. Frankly, I have no photos of Roatan. It was a beautiful island (tiny) with not too much to see, and our excursion was a snorkeling outing. I don't happen to have an underwater camera, and I wasn't about to take my gear and lenses on the off chance there wouldn't be anyone to watch my stuff. My girlfriend got some great underwater shots, but alas, those are her's to share.
Each Mayan ruin has it's own unique characteristic and it's own gesture. Unfortunately, they don't allow you to get in before they open for those magnificent sunrise shots (The largest temples are always facing the east, as the Mayans based their lives around the importance of the sun) and they close them off before sunset. This means we are stuck with the harsh daytime light. Still, I'll take what I can get for a chance to see something so extraordinary.
The most unique and stunning of the three ruins that we visited was, without question, the ruins of Tulum. It lies on a cliff overlooking an extraordinary beach, and is well preserved. However, there is a huge downside to this. It's pretty much set up like an amusement park.. along with all of the people. Soooo many people. Seconds before the above shot was taken, there about 50 people in frame. This is not an exaggeration. I had to wait about 15 minutes just to get only 5 in the shot. I was excited.
All in all, I definitely recommend visiting these testaments to ancient human civilization and getting an idea of the grandeur of determination and art. As you walk around, take it all in and don't forget to look at the details. And if you have the time, stick around for the sunset.