PDA

View Full Version : Progresso (what a joke) Mexico


alildabldo
June 27th, 2005, 06:14 PM
Just got off the Elation. Great ship, good people. However, I've had more fun across the border from Del Rio than in Progresso. If you like dishonest vendors such as Imex De Onyx (last store on the left going in from the ship, first store on the right coming from Progresso), inept port facility security, beggars on the beach, a ten to one ratio of street vendors to beach goers, and a van ride down a two mile pier that is a disaster waiting to happen, then by all means, enjoy. Cozumel was great as usual. Belize cave tubing with Reggie is highly recommended. But Progresso.... I wish I had read a thread like this before I booked and I would not have gone with Carnival. Stay away, far, far away.

hdawson
June 27th, 2005, 10:43 PM
This is the fist time I've read such a negative review of this port. There are so many options when porting there. The pier is a disaster waiting to happen? It's the major port for the Yucatan.

clackey
June 28th, 2005, 09:16 AM
Hola alildabldo,

I can understand your disappointment in Progreso. After visiting the tourist stops, such as Cozumel, Playa del Carmen or Cancun, Progreso is not very glamourous. Once you get away from the Malecon you are in REAL MEXICO. This is their world. The everyday life of the average mexican. Everywhere you look there is poverty. People living in a shack or a house made of tin or sticks. Yes people, we are spoiled. We go to these far off lands and are astounded by the atrocities that we see. In a few years Progreso will be more like Cozumel or Cancun, and in a way that is good. More people will have income from the tourist trade, but at the same time we will lose the reality of Mexico. A harsh land full of wonderful friendly people that are trying to make an honest living.
I look forward to my next adventure in Mexico. I may even retire there. But for now, I can only watch and pray for my friends across the border.

Fear-the-turtle
June 28th, 2005, 06:43 PM
I, too, have to disagree. We were in Progreso just one week ago today and really enjoyed the opportunity to see some Mayan ruins. I felt I got a decent deal on a silver necklace at one of the pier stores, although I did walk right out of one when a salesman started trailing me like I was going to steal something. Just because the beach here is not the typical Caribbean paradise beach doesn't mean Progreso has nothing else to offer. We found our taxi driver helpful and informative, despite limited English, and our guide at the ruins was excellent.

terryde
July 1st, 2005, 08:03 AM
If you take advantage of the many opportunites to explore in this area, you will perhaps appreciate it a lot more than the crowded situation in Cozumel, for instance. There are many different things to do. Sorry you had a bad experience.

thoneycu
July 7th, 2005, 04:12 PM
I hope one's extremely negative comments don't dampen others expectations of a port on your cruise that you have looked forward to for so long. Sad and yet strange that there are so many other wonderful reviews of this little mexican beach town. I am still looking forward to it and plan on taking everything lightly, after all, these people are poor and you can get just as aggravated while shopping in downtown Cozumel or Cancun from the vendors there. ;)

clackey
July 7th, 2005, 07:44 PM
Thoneycu,

Congrates on taking the plunge. I hope you post a review when you return. Progreso is a neat stop. (Been there twice.) Coz is , well, Coz. (Been there 3 times.) and Belize was a ball. Just hope that Dennis doesn't stir things up for you.

snugbug
July 11th, 2005, 06:42 AM
Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience, however, I for one am looking forward to porting here in August when I cruise on the Elation. My husband and I will have two very Americanized sons with us, ages 11 and 12. Any yes.....I want them to see the "real" Mexico with all its cultural riches and blemishes. I think if you go into a situation like this with the proper attitude and realistic expectations, you can overcome the negatives by finding the "pearl" within the ugly oyster. I want my sons to see how the majority of the hardworking, friendly Mexicans live. It will broaden their cultural horizons and hopefully make them more appreciative of what they have. And yes....I expect to be hounded by vendors.....I expect that.

I have not cruised before and been to this port, however I have spent time in east Africa when I was a teen. I learned more about life and my blessings that summer than many people learn in a lifetime, and it had an immeasureable and lasting impact on me. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and has different perceptions and experiences, but if Progresso is as bleak as the OP says it is (which I doubt....also my opinion) , so be it.......it will be an education for my sons. :rolleyes:

hdawson
July 11th, 2005, 09:54 AM
snugbug. What a great attitude. Progreso gives a great opportunity to experience a different culture. You can visit one of the ruins, the beach, have a great lunch or visit Merida which is a beautiful, old, large, safe and interesting city. Merida is only 21 miles from Progreso and bus service is cheap and very reliable. The city is pretty sophisticated being the state capitol and home to four universitys. The people are very proud of their history and culture. This port call is best with some research in advance.
Check out: www.yucatantoday.com

Live_2_cruise05
July 12th, 2005, 06:18 PM
We just got back from the ELation July 10 that went to Progreso! It was ok..no the best port. It was our second time there and I personally think that the more we travel there the less I like it!

hdawson
July 12th, 2005, 07:33 PM
Live 2 Cruise05. I'm wondering what disappointed you in Progreso. What has been on your activity list the last two times? Do you prefer ports with 6 to 8 cruise ships in port at the same time?

Live_2_cruise05
July 12th, 2005, 10:39 PM
Well we normally just walk around and explore the stores and shop but last year they seemed to bargin a bunch...Now they rose the prices and wont work with you!

It really does not matter to me how many ships are in port! Does it to you?

pugsbest
July 14th, 2005, 12:48 PM
Friends and I were in Progresso last year and we loved it. We took a tour to Merida and had a wonderful time. The city was pretty, the people were nice and I didn't meet any really pushy sales people. I would tell them no and they would leave me alone. I found wandering around Merida much more pleasant than wandering the crowded streets of Cozumel.

hdawson
July 14th, 2005, 12:59 PM
pugsbest. Amen.

Txcruisers04
July 14th, 2005, 02:11 PM
I love the Elation and plan to ride her again. The Progresso stop is my least favorite. The port shops are way to high on their prices and act insulted if one ask them to compete with the ship prices. The ride to town is a pain. My goodness Ray Charles could see that this stop ain't good. Hey Carnival change it to Playa Del Carmen!

hdawson
July 14th, 2005, 06:09 PM
I guess prices haven't gone up in Texas and the merchants let the customer name their own prices. Did you Texans notice the relative poverty? These people are trying to take care of their families and that means they cannot lower their prices to no profit. Americans sometimes go too far in hagling which is a respected practice in some countries, but I've seen so many cruisers make disparinging remarks about the locals that won't meet rediculous prices. And intentionaly making the comments so that they will be overheard. Wonder where the term "ugly american" came from? The people of the Yucatan are very proud people inspite of their living conditions. And they have feelings.

Txcruisers04
July 14th, 2005, 07:39 PM
hdawson Please limit your use of "articles" at the beginning of your sentences. People from Texas love capitalism. One can name his price and the buyer can choose to buy or not to buy. I have seen far more shop owners grab the arm of cruisers and almost force them to buy than I have seen cruisers make disparinging remarks.

Although I don't have the space or patience to teach you capitalism, I will give you this! The consumer actually names prices indirectly. If you are to high people will not buy. Many of these shop owners will cut prices rather than see the customer walk away. The people of the Yucatan are not as down an out as you make them out to be. Many do ok in comparison to other parts of Mexico and they do it with the "ugly american" dollar. Let me put your mind to rest. These people will not sell their products at or below cost. These people do have feelings and are not dumb. If you want to pay top dollar they will welcome you. You will not be an "ugly american"; however, you will be like a piece of candy that is called an "all-day ____.

Terri102066
July 18th, 2005, 01:54 PM
I just was in Progresso last week due to Dennis. We were planning on Costa Maya as a port, but at the last minute Progresso was put in Costa Maya's place. I was disappointed that I did not know before about going to Progresso, only because I would have read up on the location before going, but I was happy to be on a cruise anywhere since Dennis almost changed the whole vacation. I have been to Costa Maya before and was actually happy with the change, I have now been somewhere totally different. My husband was very happy with the change since he was able to go to Chichen-itza. I personally went to the beach with the kids and had no problems. The beach is not anywhere as pretty as in Cozumel, but there isn't many places in this world that is. I felt like the beach was similar to beaches in the US, maybe not as nice as some beaches, but it wasn't dirty. There were a few venders on the beach, but a simple no thank you seemed to do the trick.

Terri

hdawson
July 18th, 2005, 06:16 PM
Terri. YOu have a great attitude. There is so much to see and do in the area of Progreso. However it is much better with some research. Sorry you didn't have the opportunity to do that.

TexasAlexus
July 23rd, 2005, 08:44 AM
don't make the same mistake we did. We had a nice relaxing day on the beach when we docked there in June, until we attempted to go back to the ship. When we first arrived at the Corona beach we ordered a round of drinks that cost $9.00 total and we tried to pay the waiter. He refused to take the money and said to run a tab. A friend we were with was uncomfortable with running a tab, so paid him while we went off the swim. The rest of the day we paid everytime we ordered. When we went to leave at the end of the day, the waiter came running up to us claiming we owed him $16.00 for the first round of drinks. He never would acknowledge that we had paid him, so we ended up giving him $10.00 and walking away. We had children with us so we wanted to get them out of there. I wondered the whole way back to the ship if Mexican police were going to stop us. Not a good way to end what was a enjoyable day. This was our 9th cruise, but the first time we have had any trouble. I wanted to share this so others will not fall into the same trap. I think we were singled out because we had children with us and maybe the waiter thought we would be more likely to pay up to avoid getting the police involved. I recommend going across the street to the bar and paying cash. Have fun otherwise and happy sailing!

Txcruisers04
July 23rd, 2005, 01:26 PM
Good advice TexasAlexus. :)

alildabldo
July 28th, 2005, 10:31 PM
Umpire approach: "I call it like I see it". One month later....I reread my article and there is nothing that I would change. However, I will clarify some things for you. No place did I say anything about the "poor mexican people". If you want to see the "real mexican" people, go a few miles south of Acuna or visit Lajitas or hop a burro to the village in the chisos. No beggars or obnoxious vendors, they all went to Progresso. Now for the pier...for those of you that have been, did you notice the condition of the van that took you into town down that long, long pier? Or how about the guardrail that keeps you and your loved ones out of the ocean? That's right, no guardrail, only an 8 inch curb. What about that large truck in front of you with the brake lines dragging the ground? My wife has a great picture of that around here someplace. So, if there is an overloaded, no trailer braked truck in front of me...could there be an overloaded, no trailer braked truck behind me? Why no, not in Progresso. I posted this as a gentle warning to others to get you "from" this place safely, not "to" this place as so many others have posted on here. And for the record, the family of six from Keller agrees with me, the family of four from Southlake agrees, the two girls from Saginaw agree, the family of four from Alabama agrees, and the little old couple that was getting onto the ship as I was going ashore agrees. The little old man said as I was getting off, "don't waste your time", which I thought was kinda bitter at the time, then he continued, " if you want to go to a beach restaurant, use the restroom, run down to the beach and watch it come out, you'll have a great time". Now I know what he was talking about. Don't jump on me, he said it, I just wish I had his name. And txcruiser, you are correct, Ray Charles probably did know better. Too bad he didn't run Carnival.

Live_2_cruise05
August 1st, 2005, 08:01 PM
hdawson, Just because you like progreso does not mean that everybody else in the world has to like it! All I said was my opinion of Progreso! Ya we had a good time, but itís not the best port! I bet if you were on that cruise with us and you took a poll over what the passengerís least favorite port was they would say Progreso! I over heard several people say how bad they thought Progreso was! Heck we even ate with a family who disliked it also!

Do you like 5-10 ships in port?

hdawson
August 1st, 2005, 11:22 PM
Live 2 Cruise. I like most ports except for San Juan but because I've been there too many times, Nassau the same and Costa Maya which speaking only of the cruise port is the most contrived stop I've seen. I do like to see and explore the foreign culture when I can. I don't really enjoy a port that has more cruisers than local residents. When I go to Cozumel, I immediately rent a jeep and tour the island seeing a beautiful shoreline and stop at some beach clubs. Progreso offers more opportunities to see a side of Mexico that is true Mexico instead of the over Americanized Cancun and Cozumel. The 1000 to 1500 year old ruins are amazing. The city of Merida is a very big and beautiful city of excellent colonial style. We all look for something different in a vacation. Some want to explore, some just shop and some only interested in dollar Coronas or Carlos & Charlies. I don't criticize those that want something else. When I get to Progreso, I jump on the bus to Merida. My pics of options are available to anyone interested. I'll soon be returning.

alildabldo
August 2nd, 2005, 10:29 PM
"When I get to Progreso, I jump on the bus to Merida" by hdawson. I've been wondering who pays him, what cruise line he works for, or if he is going to the same place as me, but now, he says it all with this one line. I didn't say anything about Merida, only Progresso. You can go to the ruins from many other places and save your family from Progresso. A) are you docking there to see the ruins?.....OK, maybe worth it. B) are you docking there to see the town?.....that would be a "no". c) are you there to snorkel or scuba?.....that would be a "no". d) are you docking there because that is the only place this line goes?.....that would be a mistake. Learn from me, I don't sell passages, I only go on them. The ruins are cool, but not from Progresso. The Mexican people are cool, but not in Progresso. I said it before and I'll say it again, "stay away, stay far, far away.

kyminiah
August 2nd, 2005, 11:20 PM
Alidabldo.....

I have been looking at this thread for sometime and have never commented on what you had to say about Progreso. Myself, I have never been to this port but am scheduled to visit in December. My guess is that you have not been cruising long. If you had you would know that at one time all Mexican ports were this way. Last year when I was researching Costa Maya (a fairly new port) some said, "don't go", just stay on the ship! If I had followed their advise we would have missed the best day of our cruise. We spent the whole day away from the pier shops (as was suggested) in Majahual. I guess the moral of the story is to each his own Alidabldo. Venture out and explore each port to it's fullest, do your research, and save the trinket and beer time for a brief stop on your way back to the ship.

hdawson
August 2nd, 2005, 11:45 PM
Alidabldo. I guess I failed to mention that during my 8 day stay in Merida I spent one full day in Progreso. Had a really great dinner on the Malecon. Did spend time in the town. Beach was wide and very clean. People friendly even though I wasn't shopping. Bus only took 30 minutes. $3.00 RT. I don't know of any other port that offers so many major mayan ruins close enough. Even Uxmal can be done allowing a short visit to Merida. Dzibilchaltun ruins are only about 20 miles from Progreso. Also the all-inclusive resort Reef Yucatan is only about 25 miles with an attractive day rate. I'm waiting to learn if they had damage from Emily since I'm planning a couple of days there in Oct. I understand your disappointment with Progreso but there are so many choices with a little bit of research before going.
Happy sails.

hdawson
August 2nd, 2005, 11:53 PM
kyminiah. Several Cruise Critic cruisers have been taking supplies to the very small school in Majahual. I had bght quite a few school supplies in 04 to take but had to cancel due to illness. Saved the supplies and took them to the CSI Orphanage and community outreach program on Roatan, Honduras as I had done before. People to people outreach makes the trips much more rewarding. We ended up with 5 large suitcases going to Roatan, from calculators to diapers, to vitamins and everything in between. The ship's stewards helped getting all that stuff to shore.

kyminiah
August 3rd, 2005, 12:06 AM
kyminiah. Several Cruise Critic cruisers have been taking supplies to the very small school in Majahual. I had bght quite a few school supplies in 04 to take but had to cancel due to illness. Saved the supplies and took them to the CSI Orphanage and community outreach program on Roatan, Honduras as I had done before. People to people outreach makes the trips much more rewarding. We ended up with 5 large suitcases going to Roatan, from calculators to diapers, to vitamins and everything in between.

It is so wonderful that people think of others even when it is not Christmas. I am sure they still talk about the day you arrived and how you have changed may lives. :)

alildabldo
August 3rd, 2005, 08:51 AM
You can put a summer dress, bonnet, white sandals, and ruby red lipstick on a pig and call her Brenda......but it's still a pig.

hdawson
August 3rd, 2005, 10:12 AM
I'm finished with this thread and will leave it up to others to judge for themselves the merits of Progreso/Merida as a port of call.

Zeno
August 5th, 2005, 01:15 PM
My opinion:
I have never been to Progreso on a cruise but a couple of years ago I spent a week in the area (at the Reef Club - which BTW has a MUCH nicer beach than Progreso). I LOVE this area - so much to see and do - Merida is lovely, the ruins are amazing (Chichen Itza, Uxmal (my favorite Mayan ruin), Dzbilchaltun, the clouds of pink flamingos. Progreso itself neither impressed nor depressed me - it is basically an industrial port. BUT if you do stop here - get OFF the ship, and do something - go to Merida, go to a ruin, go to a nice beach. This area has SO MUCH to offer.

shannansgroove
August 12th, 2005, 12:21 AM
Ok, So I have read your opinion. Can you tell me the best route to take with this stop for 4 adults? It is part of our cruise and we want to know if there is anything to do here?

Just got off the Elation. Great ship, good people. However, I've had more fun across the border from Del Rio than in Progresso. If you like dishonest vendors such as Imex De Onyx (last store on the left going in from the ship, first store on the right coming from Progresso), inept port facility security, beggars on the beach, a ten to one ratio of street vendors to beach goers, and a van ride down a two mile pier that is a disaster waiting to happen, then by all means, enjoy. Cozumel was great as usual. Belize cave tubing with Reggie is highly recommended. But Progresso.... I wish I had read a thread like this before I booked and I would not have gone with Carnival. Stay away, far, far away.

shannansgroove
August 12th, 2005, 12:23 AM
I want to know what warrents my money and time in this port of call?


Just got off the Elation. Great ship, good people. However, I've had more fun across the border from Del Rio than in Progresso. If you like dishonest vendors such as Imex De Onyx (last store on the left going in from the ship, first store on the right coming from Progresso), inept port facility security, beggars on the beach, a ten to one ratio of street vendors to beach goers, and a van ride down a two mile pier that is a disaster waiting to happen, then by all means, enjoy. Cozumel was great as usual. Belize cave tubing with Reggie is highly recommended. But Progresso.... I wish I had read a thread like this before I booked and I would not have gone with Carnival. Stay away, far, far away.

shannansgroove
August 12th, 2005, 12:25 AM
Please tell me more. This will be my first trip , and I'd like to know what to expect. What should I look for, and what might I do to make the trip enjoyable???

hdawson
August 12th, 2005, 05:05 AM
Shannonsgroove. There are many posts here and many opinions. Not sure what else can be added. You might check out www.yucatantoday.com if you haven't already.

DEL67
August 12th, 2005, 11:35 AM
Shannansgroove:

Do you have any interest in archaeology? If so, I would hire a taxi to go to Dzbilchaltun and then perhaps Merida.

hdawson
August 12th, 2005, 01:48 PM
Question for posters from So Texas. This is a bit off topic but I was wondering if Americans are still visiting Nueva Laredo in the numbers they used to. So many news storys about NL and other "border" towns. I was there a couple of times many yrs ago. I didn't feel unsafe at that time but sounds like things have changed.

alildabldo
August 21st, 2005, 11:46 PM
The US Ambassador to Mexico said, "Some have said that I ordered the shutdown to punish the Mexican Government for its failure to control the violence in the region. And in a sense that's true." This was the "umpire approach" for not curtailing the unseemly activity in Nuevo Laredo. Carnival, if you are lucky, will take the same approach with Progresso. Almost two months later and I have come upon an idea.....I'll take my bulldozer and wheel loader to Nuevo Laredo, place sand along the south shore of the Rio Grande, south of the International Bridge and I will have: A) a location much like Progresso but with a much safer bridge (pier), B) a much nicer beach than Progresso with a beach called, "The Dos Equis" beach which will serve $1.00 beers, and C) a better place to snorkel/scuba than Progresso. Donations may be sent to: "dredge the Rio Grande to Nuevo Laredo so Carnival can dump me onto this worthless place .com. " Ya'll have a great week.

Seago2
August 22nd, 2005, 10:03 AM
Progreso... what can I say? It looks up to being Tijuana. What a nightmare. Actually, compared to Merida, Progreso isn't half bad.

My Mom took two kids to the Mayan ruins, and they loved it. They had lunch in Progreso and liked that, too. So- that is the one and only option. Everyone on board had the same thing to say- BAD PLACE TO GO. I took a "tour" (sketchy bus) into Merida- what can I say... if you like tiny sidewalks with tons of people on them, and foul water waiting for you if you get pushed off the sidewalk, dark uninviting places to buy things or eat, with no doors or windows, heat, filth- this is the place for you.

Let me say that I have been to Mexico and the Caribbean before, including Roatan in April. I also lived in Greece for a year and saw much poverty there. I am not exactly horrified by poverty to say the least. I loved Belize, and on the way to cave tubing we saw people in quite dire circumstances. What I object to is Progreso as a cruise ship port. We are supposed to be on vacation, not putting in time with Amnesty International. Whereas Roatan and Belize offer many options- snorkeling, etc- Progreso offers essentially one: Mayan ruins.

God, what a hellhole! Stay on the ship! Thei "pier"? Are you kidding me? How about a seaside industrial wasteland! Grim. Just absolutely GRIM.

Mayan ruins can be accessed quite easily from Cozumel. Give us an extra day there and drop the farce that is Progreso.

Seago2
August 22nd, 2005, 10:06 AM
By the way, Shannonsgroove- the Elation was GREAT. We had the best time and I cruise a lot. Great time, great crew, cozumel was fantastic and I really loved Belize. Galveston is difficult. Progreso- Mayan ruins or stay on board.

hdawson
August 22nd, 2005, 11:47 AM
Carlena. Hope you don't mind my asking, but where can I find a report from Amnesty International on the state of Yucatan. I would very much like to read it.

I agree the sidewalks are surely narrow compared to what we are used to unless you venture to the Paseo Montejo which is a very broad, upscale European styled boulevard with very wide sidewalks.
Your comment about Merida being dirty was quite a shock. I've always found it very clean and so safe that most of the police don't even carry sidearms. I do think some people equate very old bldgs and cities as being dirty simply because of age. Many of the buildings were built in the 15 & 1600s. I've never seen the streets dirty or the plazas and a total absence of graffiti. I was first in Merida on two port calls and was so impressed I returned for 8 days. Returning in two months for two full weeks. YIPEE! ! ! Will be visiting Merida, a very small rural village, Campeche and a couple of days at an all-inclusive near Progreso.
And yes the sidewalks in Merida can be crowded at times. It's a busy and vibrant city being the state capitol and home to four universitys. And yes, Mexico can be very hot. That's a given as we travel south.
Filth? Gee that would be a real disappointment if that is what I find. I'll report back for sure. LOve Roatan. Many Cruise Critic cruisers support an orphanage there with supplies for those kids and a community outreach program. We took 5 large suitcases of supplies in Feb. Beautiful island. LOved Costa Rica too. Panama? Still trying to decide although I enjoyed the one stop there.

Maggie01
August 23rd, 2005, 01:44 PM
Question for posters from So Texas. This is a bit off topic but I was wondering if Americans are still visiting Nueva Laredo in the numbers they used to. So many news storys about NL and other "border" towns. I was there a couple of times many yrs ago. I didn't feel unsafe at that time but sounds like things have changed.

We are not visting Nueva Laredo and I understand that people that live in Laredo are not crossing over to Nueva. If they need something, they have the Mexican that cross over daily buy them their items. We have shopped many times in Nueva (at one time my husband lived in Laredo) but not any more. It is to dangerous...

hdawson
August 23rd, 2005, 02:17 PM
Maggie. Thanks for the feedback. You truely live in a very beautiful city. I was there to adjust insurance claims right after Hurricane Celia many yrs ago. The people there were fantastic. As the newspaper masthead said at the time "Sparkling City By The Sea". So true.

Maggie01
August 23rd, 2005, 04:18 PM
Maggie. Thanks for the feedback. You truely live in a very beautiful city. I was there to adjust insurance claims right after Hurricane Celia many yrs ago. The people there were fantastic. As the newspaper masthead said at the time "Sparkling City By The Sea". So true.
Thanks...we are in the insurance business also. My son and daughter are both agents, my husband is an auto estimator and I answer phones in my daughters business.

Corpus is really a very pretty town...sometimes we forget how pretty it is until someone reminds us...thanks!

caribdiver
August 24th, 2005, 12:02 AM
Hey everyone:

Here's our 2 cents. My wife and I have stopped at Progreso on cruises. We don't work for any travel-related business whatsover. Here's why we like Progreso:

- Progreso is the only convenient cruising gateway to Merida. And Merida is a VERY cool city.

- They have a fairly nice beach where you can sit, soak up the sun, and drink a cold Tecate beer for 60 cents. (You read that right Amigos....or more precisely 7 pesos!)

- They have some wonderful seafood restaurants if you want to eat lunch ashore.

- If you decide to do a little shopping in Progreso they have good deals on some souvenirs, T-shirts, etc.

- For us the only drawback is the lack of scuba diving (or even decent snorkeling). But the "positives" more than make up for that.......we think!!!

We're going on 2 more cruises in Dec with stops at Progreso....and we can't wait!!!

caribdiver
August 24th, 2005, 12:05 AM
Hey everyone:

Here's our 2 cents. My wife and I have stopped at Progreso on cruises. We don't work for any travel-related business whatsover. Here's why we like Progreso:

- Progreso is the only convenient cruising gateway to Merida. And Merida is a VERY cool city.

- They have a fairly nice beach where you can sit, soak up the sun, and drink a cold Tecate beer for 60 cents. (You read that right Amigos....or more precisely 7 pesos!)

- They have some wonderful seafood restaurants if you want to eat lunch ashore.

- If you decide to do a little shopping in Progreso they have good deals on some souvenirs, T-shirts, etc.

- For us the only drawback is the lack of scuba diving (or even decent snorkeling). But the "positives" more than make up for that.......we think!!!

We're going on 2 more cruises in Dec with stops at Progreso....and we can't wait!!!

caribdiver
August 24th, 2005, 12:05 AM
Sorry for the double-post everyone.

Decali
August 27th, 2005, 03:35 PM
...They have a fairly nice beach where you can sit, soak up the sun, and drink a cold Tecate beer for 60 cents. (You read that right Amigos....or more precisely 7 pesos!)


Where can you get these 60 cent Tecate beers you speak of?

danpriceusa
September 18th, 2005, 12:46 AM
Well when I was in Progresso, we went to the local shops and just explored for the whole day. I thought it was fun hagelling with the locals, and bought most all our souveneirs in this port.

If you drink enough $1 Coronas you will enjoy Progresso. Where else in the whole world can you get 3 Mexicans to serinade you and your wife for half an hour while drinking $1 cold Coronas looking at the beach?

Relax a little!!

e3flighteng
October 17th, 2005, 01:49 PM
We are leaving on the NCL Dream on the 22nd Oct 2005, very soon! Our itenerary was changed to include Progresso and our group has decided to just hang on the beach. Which one is the best? The one with $.60 Tecate sounds great!

alildabldo
October 20th, 2005, 12:49 PM
Just got back from Del Rio....and I was correct. I had more fun there than in Progresso. Same trinkets in the stores, better vendors, better food and better atmosphere even. I'm cruising Hawaii and then coming back for another cruise south. I won't consider anything that comes within a cannon shot of Progresso. It's not worth the powder.

carla64
November 2nd, 2005, 09:40 AM
I agree with the other Carla that posted. We spent an hour there and left. It literally smelled like sewage. It was a very sad place. To the person, that mentioned the Coronas...yep, that would be the highlight. I didn't drink, though and couldn't tolerate the place. Sorry to offend those that love Progresso...but I just don't see what you see. This was our one and only port of call. I was told by Carnival that we were going to Grand Cayman up until we started loading the ship. For those that are having to go, please try and plan an excursion out of the town. Do some online research. Carnival only offered us 5 excursions while on the ship...and I'm not going to pay $150 dollars to spend 5 hours in a tour bus to go see some ruins.

Seago2
November 2nd, 2005, 09:37 PM
Wow- havne't checked this thread in a long time. Glad to see someone agrees with me! Figures it would be one of my home girls.

Carla :D

hdawson
November 5th, 2005, 01:57 PM
Not everyone is interested in the same things when visiting foreign countries. This stop is not at all like visiting the over crowded, over touristed and over Americanized ports such as Cancun, Cozumel or Playa del Carmen. There won't be 8 cruise ships in port at the same time. There is no Carlos and Charlies or Diamonds International. Thank goodness. There are more Mayan ruins that are easily accessed than anyother port call. There is an all-inclusive resort (Reef) just 30 miles away with transportation provided for day passes. I spent two days at the resort early this week. Two connected large pools, tennis courts, massage, etc. I think the hour & 20 minute hot stone massage was $80. Bloody Marys and Pina Coladas were excellent. The Uxmal ruins can be visited on a port call and is actually prettier and maybe more impressive than Chichen Itza. Of course there is one Mayan ruin just 15 miles from Progreso and some have visited it and gone on to visit Merida. Bus service to and from Merida is very good and reliable. Seems they run every 12-15 minutes. As low as $3.00 round trip.

In an earlier post, in a response to someone that commented that they found Merida as dirty, I promised to report back on my findings. It could not have been any more different from that poster. As usual, I found Merida extremely clean and of course very safe. There isn't even graffiti. Even the mornings following the street fairs, lasting very late, the streets are spotless. For what it's worth, I found Campeche to be the same. Very clean. These are five hundred year old cities and maybe some people relate antiquities to being dirty. Not the case at all. BTW. Had some great food all over the State of Yucatan.

alildabldo
December 21st, 2005, 07:42 PM
I have a buddy that just came back from there. He lives in Tennessee. He reported that Progresso was, "one of the biggest wastes of time that I have ever experienced". Well traveled and educated guy....just thought you should know.

caribdiver
December 29th, 2005, 01:07 PM
My wife and I both enjoy Progreso. We like to stop there for a walk on the beach, and an inexpensive cold Mexican beer (or two). Then we take the local taxi to tour Merida, a very old and wonderful city. Then we pick up a few souvenirs before boarding the ship. I have found the locals there to be honest and friendly.

I also consider myself to also be "well-traveled and well-educated guy". But I strongly disagree with the previous posting and the gentleman from Tennessee.

IMHO I find Progreso to be a very enjoyable port of call.

clackey
December 30th, 2005, 08:52 PM
Hola Carib,

Clackey here. We also enjoy Progreso and I guess that it is a good thing since Carnival has changed our itenerary from Calica to Progreso. This makes 3 years in a row. Oh well, like I've said before, "I can have fun at a funeral."

starketcher
January 7th, 2006, 01:37 PM
I am well educated and well travelled; I enjoyed Progresso. We went into Merida, but that was a disaster. It was NOT dirty and had a beautiful square. Our problem was lack of a plan once we got there and my Spanish not being up to par.

Maybe the fact that I am well travelled is why I enjoyed Progresso. I am tired of the Diamonds International, C&C, Senor Frogs, etc. that you see in every port! It was nice to visit an area that was not yet a tourist trap!! Beach vendors are everywhere, but the vendor are like human gnats in Coz! So if you want to shop and sit around looking for any and all things touristy, then there is very little in Progresso for you. If you do not want to see a Hard Rock Cafe, then this place will be fine for spending a day! In fact, I am dissapointed that Carnival dropped it as a port from the Glory.

You take the good with the bad everywhere. Be open to new experiences! Once you learn that you tend to have a better time.

hdawson
January 30th, 2006, 08:29 AM
I am curious as to what Alildablo and the Carlas look for when they visit a foreign country/culture. There are many choices when visiting the Yucatan but like visiting any other country, research certainly improves your chances of enjoying that country.

Seago2
January 30th, 2006, 05:30 PM
I am curious as to what Alildablo and the Carlas look for when they visit a foreign country/culture. There are many choices when visiting the Yucatan but like visiting any other country, research certainly improves your chances of enjoying that country.

If you are referring to me let me say that not only did I spend six months in Guatemala but I have also traveled to South America and spent a total of 6 weeks in Greece, 99% of it in two rural areas. I look for different things in different countries. When I am on a cruise ship vacation, paritcularly when I have four kids with me, I look for something relatively user friendly and cushy. I have enjoyed cave tubing and canopy tours and Mayan ruins, but Progreso was IMHO sketchy and Not Worth It.

Thank you for the tip on researching other countries. That's a given, wouldn't you say? Why are you trolling around giving "Carlas" helpful advice?

hdawson
January 30th, 2006, 07:16 PM
Carla, as for giving advice, I think we're both guilty.
If nothing else, our disagreement may inspire others to research their ports of call, and thus we have provided a service.
I would like to have the opportunity to send you the info and pics I've shared with at least 60-70 people over the last couple of years. As I've said there are many options when visiting Progreso. It's free and I've enjoyed showing some folks the real Mexico and the activities available and hearing back their impressions. As I've said, not everyone looks for the same thing when traveling and that's not a bad thing. My suggestion to research was not directed and anyone specifically.
You and I surely had differing impressions.
hdawson228@aol.com

hdawson
January 30th, 2006, 07:28 PM
Sorry for the double post.
Carla, I spent 4 yrs east of you in Plattsburg. You folks sure know how to have a winter. LOL Guess I'll never forget.

alildabldo
February 7th, 2006, 09:23 PM
I was nice. Alright Dawson, save me the trouble. Tell me where "you" like to go (other than nasty, long pier accident waiting to happen, worthless, shouldn't be a cruise stop, border towns make it look like a flea market, waste of my precious time Progesso/Merida) and I'll make certain those places are crossed off of my list. You can sell it to some unwitting souls, but "been there, wish I hadn't done that". I do agree with you on one count....this has been at the top of the page long enough for people to "search" and hopefully some will come to the understanding that this is a place to BYPASS. Spend your money on good things and go someplace else. I'll check in on ya'll later, I'm off on a short voyage.

okiegirl
February 8th, 2006, 10:34 AM
I was very dissappointed in Progresso and now that my itinerary has changed from Calica to Progresso and dissappointed again. What all the seasoned travellers wanting to explore other cultures forget is that some of us want a vacation away from poverty, pushy vendors, and sewage small. We want to swim and snorkel in beautiful clear Carribean water and experience beautiful white sandy beaches! We don't all want to treak through the jungle looking at old ruins in the middle of the summer.

hdawson
February 8th, 2006, 10:54 AM
Okiegirl. My humble suggestion is to book cruises (or land vacations) only at the Caribbean beach ports/resorts. Not stopping in the Gulf of Mexico. As I've said, research helps alot anytime and you are doing just that. Of course, severe weather conditions can and do create a need for being flexible. The day I arrived in Merida, Oct 20th, there were literally thousands of tourist evacuees from the Cancun area looking for hotel rooms. Kudos to the Hotel Gran for holding my reservation since there were probably a dozen evacuees at the desk begging for my room. You might consider a day pass to the all-inclusive Reef Yucatan. Very reasonable with transportation.

okiegirl
February 8th, 2006, 11:14 AM
dawson- could you please tell me more about reef yucatan? I was very careful about selecting my upcoming cruise - going to Calica and Cozumel - both ports with beautiful beaches - then I found out today that Progresso is being substituted for Calica - which is obviously very disappointing - unfortunately its too late to book another ship as we booked awhile back when the cruises were cheaper. But back to the point (As I tend to ramble). We really need somewhere we can go with 2 kids - 5 and 8 - we can't take them to Corona beach - I don't want my 8 yr old around a bunch of drunk teenagers - (on the other hand SINGLE GUYS LISTEN UP - plenty of bikini tops came off on our last visit there)
and honeslty the kids could care less about ruins and I dont want to deal with a cranky bored 5 yr old on a long tour bus. SO PLEASE ANY ADVISE OR ALTERNATIVES WOULD BE HELPFUL!!!! THANKS

hdawson
February 8th, 2006, 12:25 PM
okiegirl. Here is the website for Reef Yucatan, about 30 miles from Progreso, near Telchac Puorto.

http://www.reefyucatan.com/

I spent two nights there in late October. Very pretty. I have quite a few pics. There were day pass guests there one day from an NCL ship that said they paid $25 at the Progreso pier with transportation. Food and drinks included. Hope this helps.

okiegirl
February 8th, 2006, 12:47 PM
Dawson - THANKS! this looks like a real possibility - I appreciate the advice

hdawson
February 8th, 2006, 12:56 PM
Okiegirl. The Reef Yucatan is only one option of many when stopping at Progreso. I just remembered, Merida has a small zoo if you think the kids would be interested.

It's funny. If you are from Oklahoma, I just sent tons of pics and information to another couple in Oklahoma this morning. They're going in May.

Contrary to one poster's suggestion; I am not and never have been nor will ever be in any type of travel business. I am retired with way too much time on my hands and glad to give what information I have that MAY help them enjoy their visit to Progreso. Obviously, some don't appreciate my positive experiences or maybe don't believe me. To each their own.

okiegirl
February 8th, 2006, 05:19 PM
well - I appreciate the advice, I am going to check in on the zoo - thanks

hdawson
February 9th, 2006, 12:07 PM
Alildabldo. As I've said in my previous post, I'm not trying to sell anything but the wisdom to research any traveling destination. Obviously, from your post you are trying to sell an idea or your personal opinion. I quote
" hopefully some will come to the understanding that this is a place to BYPASS. "

Now back to my research on Progue.

brandypants
February 10th, 2006, 09:26 AM
okiegirl. Here is the website for Reef Yucatan, about 30 miles from Progreso, near Telchac Puorto.

http://www.reefyucatan.com/

I spent two nights there in late October. Very pretty. I have quite a few pics. There were day pass guests there one day from an NCL ship that said they paid $25 at the Progreso pier with transportation. Food and drinks included. Hope this helps.

Can anyone tell me if advanced passes are available? Is this a kid-friendly hotel? About how long will it take to get there? Thank you so much for any info. !!

hdawson
February 10th, 2006, 10:20 AM
To my knowlege, there is no advance purchase available. The Reef Yucatan is family friendly. Travel to the resort will be 30 to 40 minutes. Two large pools, tennis courts, very nice beach. Food and drinks, of all kinds are included. Reasonably priced massages are also available.

brandypants
February 10th, 2006, 01:18 PM
hdawson, thank you thank you!! you share so much valuable info. w/ everyone! hope to someday know as much as you!!:)

jellybean5109
February 11th, 2006, 08:04 PM
To my knowlege, there is no advance purchase available. The Reef Yucatan is family friendly. Travel to the resort will be 30 to 40 minutes. Two large pools, tennis courts, very nice beach. Food and drinks, of all kinds are included. Reasonably priced massages are also available.

How much is an all day pass to the Reef Yucatan?? Also they provide transportation to and from the ship? How much are the massages? Please forgive the questions but I am considering doing this with my daughter while my husband and son do something else. Thank you so much.

hdawson
February 11th, 2006, 08:59 PM
I understand there will be people at the pier selling the day pass for $25 including transportation. If memory serves me well, the 120 minute hot stone massage was $80.00.

FantaSea
April 17th, 2006, 12:05 AM
Can anyone compare Progreso to Costa Maya? I'll be going to Progreso in a couple of weeks. I've been following this thread and it sounds a lot like Costa Maya.

hdawson
April 17th, 2006, 01:18 AM
Costa Maya is a completely contrived and phony shopping village You won't even find the name on a map.

Progreso and Merida is the real Mexico and it's existance doesn't depend entirely on tourism. It is the best port for visiting Mayan ruins in Mexico. Not at all like the over crowded and overtouristed Cancun or Cozumel. Usually one ship in port at a time.


Start your research at: www.yucatantoday.com
If you want more information and pics, email me at hdawson228@aol.com

After 2 portcalls on Celebrity I'm now getting ready for my third land trip to the area.

Zeno
April 17th, 2006, 10:54 AM
Can anyone compare Progreso to Costa Maya? I'll be going to Progreso in a couple of weeks. I've been following this thread and it sounds a lot like Costa Maya.

I have been to both areas. They are totally different. As hdawson says Costa Maya is just the name of the port area -which frankly might as well be any mall. The town of Majahual (a short drive from the port ) is actually very real and pleasant in its own laid back way. The beach is nice and the town isn't over-developed yet. There are interesting ruins (at Chacchoben) about 1 hour from the port - they have not been completely excavated and you get a really exotic jungley feel there.
Progreso is a real port that existed long before cruiseships started coming there. Personally I am not crazy about the actual town of Progreso but it is REAL (not contrived and over-priced for tourists) and I love the surrounding area (Merida, the wonderful Mayan ruins - Uxmal, the entire Puuc Hills area, Dzbilchaltun).

crazybill
May 28th, 2006, 04:29 AM
I was sad to read the posts of those who were not happy with Progreso and the Yucatan. I love it here (I own a house on the beach about 16 km east of Progreso. See http://www.drennon.org/yucatan/pictures.html ). I love it here. The people of the Yucatan are very friendly. There is tons to do (See http://www.drennon.org/yucatan/thingstodo.html (http://www.drennon.org/yucatan/thingstodo.html)). The beaches are beautiful, loaded with sea shells, so white that they do not burn your feet. It is a wonderful place. I love sitting in a hammock, reading a book, listening to the coconut palms rustle in the wind, the gentle waves lapping at the shore line.. etc.. etc. You can not run out of things to do here.. or to see. It is not the typical "tourist" destination. I personally think negative reviews tell you more about the person than the place.

Bill

hdawson
May 28th, 2006, 10:45 AM
Very well said Bill.

2ctheworldbyc
May 28th, 2006, 04:05 PM
i was there last year and loved it, spent the day at the beach where we had waiter service bringing us our drinks whenever we got low, never had to ask. Looking forward to going back and visiting Meridia. Also dont book the beach party unless your going to drink insane. Beer is 1 to 2 bucks each and you can enjoy the music and games.

clackey
May 28th, 2006, 09:30 PM
You can not run out of things to do here.. or to see. It is not the typical "tourist" destination. I personally think negative reviews tell you more about the person than the place.

BillI'll drink to that, Bill. I'll even eat a shrimp to that.:D

alildabldo
June 9th, 2009, 11:52 PM
Back to the top, hey dawson.

terry&mike
June 10th, 2009, 06:54 AM
I'm going with CrazyBill on this one, Progreso has a lot to offer, it's just a different kind of port than your usual Caribbean stop.
This from my post under Progreso is a Dump:
My husband and I own a second home in the small fishing village of Chelem, just 6 miles west of Progreso. The area is certainly not your usual tourist spot, but it has it's own charms. Progreso has long been a beach destination for locals from Merida and Mexico City, and other cities throughout the country. In the past few years, as cruise ships have begun to port there, it is trying to learn the way to appeal to the gringo market, but it is still mainly a beach vacation or beach day trip for Mexican families, and happily so. If you visit on days when a cruise ship is not in port, it has a totally different vibe.
The people of the area are hard working, and some of the friendliest you'll find anywhere. Yes they are mostly poor, they generally make around $15 per day, but they are amazingly positive people and very family oriented, enjoying life on a different financial scale.
Close by are some amazing things to see. The ruins at Dzibilchaltun are about 20 minutes away, smaller than Uxmal or Chichen Itza, but interesting, and with a great museum. Merida is a lovely colonial city dating back to the 1500's with glorious architecture, many plazas/squares, a cafe society and wide avenues. At one time it was the richest city in the world, due to it's production of rope from the henequin plant, and many of it's grand homes remain. Now it is a city of over a million people with a large historic center. There are places nearby to go kayaking to see flamingo habitats, swimming in crystal clear cenotes (underground rivers), and fishing. If you head east towards Telchac Puerto and Santa Rosa you'll see the perfect beaches and modern grand beach houses built by the wealthy. If you head a bit south you can visit the "yellow city" of Izamal, with it's 400 year old convent and monastery and charming town. There are interesting tours of henequin plantations, such as Sotuta de Peon, that rival a sugar plantation tour in South Louisiana.
The area is just waiting for folks to get out and explore a bit, it's just getting it's tourist wheels rolling, so you have to try a bit harder to seek out the great, until they get it all figured out and start bringing the great to the port, that's all.
As to safety, we drive all over this area and always feel safe, and anytime we have a problem the folks we happen upon are always more than happy to be of help.
I hope you enjoy your time, and know that your money spent really does help someone who lives on much less than you. Best.

JaneBP
January 21st, 2010, 09:17 PM
Having visited Merida years ago, and this time, having time for only one city, should we re-visit Merida or Izalam$ We do want to visit Dz and figure lunch and some souvenier shopping time after that. Or can we do it all?
Thanks!

conchead
January 22nd, 2010, 08:09 AM
I just now found this thread, I thought it was a new one..Wrong!

I Love Progreso, it is not a glitzy tourist trap at all, it is the
real deal..and that is why I like it so much. I will be there
Monday, and this trip, we might even get to the Malecon.
Last time we went into the city and had a great time.

hdawson
January 22nd, 2010, 09:21 AM
Conchhead. I envy you. I'm almost out of vanilla.

Traveler353
January 22nd, 2010, 09:57 AM
Having visited Merida years ago, and this time, having time for only one city, should we re-visit Merida or Izalam$ We do want to visit Dz and figure lunch and some souvenier shopping time after that. Or can we do it all?
Thanks!

It is possible to go to DZ and Merida in one day. However it is pushing it. So much to see and do at both.

JaneBP
January 22nd, 2010, 10:53 AM
Thanks.
How about Izalam? Is that closer? We will be in port from 9-ish, saiiing at 6. We plan to hire a car and guide.

Traveler353
January 22nd, 2010, 05:16 PM
Thanks.
How about Izalam? Is that closer? We will be in port from 9-ish, saiiing at 6. We plan to hire a car and guide.

Sorry, but I have never been to Izalam. DZ in only about a 25 minute ride from Progreso and Merida is another short ride (15 -20 minutes) from DZ. You can easily spend several hours at DZ. The museum is well worth spending some time viewing and the restored ruins are spread out from each other, so a bit of walking is involved. Merida is a beautiful and very old colonial city that deserves a full day just to see the highlights. I have been to Merida several times for week long land trips and find something new each visit.

jeepfella
February 16th, 2010, 12:36 PM
I had a blast last time in Progresso, it reminded me of the old days in MX, safe, fun and cheap !!!

Gonna be there again in April, I really want to check out Buddy's there, can anyone give some directions ? please !! ;)

Raven Days
February 19th, 2010, 06:01 PM
I was in Progreso in Feb 09 on the Estascy and I loved it! I thought it was much better then Cozumel! I have nothing to say negative about Progreso. It was really THAT great.

hdawson
February 19th, 2010, 06:09 PM
Almost one hundred posts to this thread. Must be some kind of record. lol And over 17,000 reads.

dnj1
February 23rd, 2010, 04:44 PM
Crazybill- thanks for sharing your beach house pictures. Looks like a lot of fun. We will be in progresso in August. We have been to Progresso once and I had no negative opinions, but now you have opened my eyes even moreso. Thanks.

Sea Born
February 23rd, 2010, 06:33 PM
Crazybill- thanks for sharing your beach house pictures. Looks like a lot of fun. We will be in progresso in August. We have been to Progresso once and I had no negative opinions, but now you have opened my eyes even moreso. Thanks.

We will be going there in May and are very much looking forward to it, never been. So, tell me, what are the beaches like there? Would it be best to do a beach excursion through the cruise line or on our own? Any advice would be great!

Thanks!
Sue

hdawson
February 23rd, 2010, 06:48 PM
Progreso is on the Gulf so don't excpect the crystal clear water of the Caribbean.

Keep reading this board for your options and also www.yucatantoday.com for more information on the area.

In 19 cruises, I've used the ship's excursions once 15 yrs ago. Never again when I can strike out on my own.

Traveler353
February 24th, 2010, 11:11 AM
We will be going there in May and are very much looking forward to it, never been. So, tell me, what are the beaches like there? Would it be best to do a beach excursion through the cruise line or on our own? Any advice would be great!

Thanks!
Sue

The beach is free and open to all. So no reason to do a ships overpriced beach excursion. Great little beach bars, plenty of shade and loungers for the cost of a drink. The seafood is some of the best and freshest that you will find anywhere and the price is right. The water is clean and shallow and feels so good after a hot day of Margaritas and people watching. (I wish there was some way to change the name of this thread.)

hdawson
February 24th, 2010, 11:21 AM
Traveler. Just maybe, the title of the thread attracks more people to read the thread and discover that the OP was dead wrong and that Progreso, Merida and the Yucatan state are just what they would enjoy rather than the over-touristed port stops. Just saying ..........

As you know, I love the area.

Traveler353
February 24th, 2010, 02:38 PM
Traveler. Just maybe, the title of the thread attracks more people to read the thread and discover that the OP was dead wrong and that Progreso, Merida and the Yucatan state are just what they would enjoy rather than the over-touristed port stops. Just saying ..........

As you know, I love the area.

That could be it. It is actually a very active thread. Any chance I can get to tell folks how great the Progreso/Merida area is you know I jump on it.

marshhawk
February 28th, 2010, 12:23 AM
That could be it. It is actually a very active thread. Any chance I can get to tell folks how great the Progreso/Merida area is you know I jump on it.


The best way to get a book read, is to ban it. I am very much looking forward to next years Progreso trip. I want to go to "Dz", and from the aeriel views, I really want to see this port. The first time I went to Mexico I went to Isla Mujeres, early 80's and it was not a touristy area(at least for Americans) at that time, and I loved it. I spoke no spanish, and I still don't. Didn't mean I had a bad time, between my spanglish, and their amerispan I had a great time. Looking forward to new adventures.

Nannersmom
March 5th, 2010, 08:47 PM
We hated Progresso. Tried to sit on the beach and were constantly harrassed by people attempting to sell stuff. Yes, I know this is a poor area. But it got to the point that I was ready to just smack the next person. My uncle kept count, in the 1 hour I was there, we were approached by 47 vendors!!!! That gets to be exteme. I would look at cruises that never go to Progresso. It is a bad as Tijuana . The place felt so dirty all I felt like I wanted to do was go back to the ship and take a shower. The beach is NOT beautiful. Have been on beaches on the east and west coasts of US, Gulf Coasts, and the Azores. I truly believe the beaches on Lake Michagan in Chicago are much cleaner and nicer.

Nannersmom
March 5th, 2010, 08:49 PM
And I don't know where anyone else lives, but here in NC we can get an eighteen pack of Corona's for $16.97....so that is cheaper than a dollar a beer.

hdawson
March 5th, 2010, 09:15 PM
Nannersmom. You're very wise to not consider a cruise stopping in Progreso. I had two port calls in Progreso, sailing Celebrity and now have been back to the Yucatan state for three two week vacations. Although my base is always Merida, I always make time to visit Progeso but prefer non-cruise days.

Nannersmom
March 5th, 2010, 09:34 PM
hdawson... my dh is retired from the Navy. We have traveled many places, him way more then me. He said the place was nasty compared to numerous other ports he has seen. While I had read some reports about it not being a nice place, I took it more as someone saying it is not Disney clean picture perfect tourist trap. I looked forward to not having the picture perfect. We have friends who have family in the Yuctan area, when I was telling her the cruise goes there, she could not figure out why. She said her family DOES NOT go to Progresso as it is to Nasty for them...this is from family who is Native to the area (real Mexico). (They live near Merida). We stayed in the Progresso area only because my two young (2 & 4 year olds) wanted to play at the beach. We hoped that we could just do a little shoping and let the little ones play...Our beach time was cut short because of all the peddlers.

Cruisin Christi
February 21st, 2011, 12:48 PM
I won't lie, I am nervous about the peddlers. Not because they will bother me but because I have such a big heart to help I will try to buy from them all.

I am not really looking forward to Progreso, because I am not into the history stuff. I will make the best of it and I have been doing lots of homework.

ottasha
February 21st, 2011, 03:41 PM
well I for one am looking forward to our stop in Progresso this April. I absolutely love Costa Maya and have heard this is similiar. I like seeing the real Mexico. I don't mind the vendors because I enjoy talking to different people from different areas and walks of life. If I don't want to buy I simply say no thank you and have never had a problem with street vendors or in stores in any of the ports I have been to both on a cruise and privately. In my opinion having a positive attitude and treating people with respect makes any port a good port.

JoshGrrrr
February 21st, 2011, 09:29 PM
I love Progresso. I prefer it over Cozumel. Cozumel is so overgrown it's almost like some parts of the States. Progresso is Mexico. I go to Mexico to see Mexico, not fake culture made up to please tourists and over priced stores.

vanityfur
February 21st, 2011, 10:09 PM
I love Progresso. I prefer it over Cozumel. Cozumel is so overgrown it's almost like some parts of the States. Progresso is Mexico. I go to Mexico to see Mexico, not fake culture made up to please tourists and over priced stores.

Progreso is not the real Mexico. It's a town that caters to tourists, like any tourist town. If you wanna see Mexico, rent a van with a driver and go visit Merida, Valladolid, or any of the small villages that are off the beaten path.

Progreso is a dirty tourist trap. As I said in the other thread, I don't like having to avoid walking into a vendor's pee stream while walking down the street!

And, I find it odd that you find the stores to be overpriced and not the vendors. We bought 1 item in Progreso. That's it. Why? Every vendor priced their items so outrageously high that I refused to bargain with them. $55 for a ceramic knick-knack? I don't think so. But, to add insult to injury -- as we walked away, he offered $5. (And, yes... I asked if he meant $55 in pesos or USD.)

It seems as if the vendors in Progreso assume that Americans could not possibly understand what they are saying... I heard insults flying right in front of us. No hiding it... They insulted us and the people around us.

I LOVE Mexico. It is my favorite place in the world. We have traveled quite a bit in QRoo/Yucatan over the past 8 years. But, Progreso was just bad.

hdawson
February 22nd, 2011, 08:20 AM
Vanityfur. In spending about 50 days spent in Progreso, Merida and the Yucatan state, I've never encountered what you describe. Not once. Three port calls and three 2 week vacations.

Cruise days do bring out the vendors. That's to be expected.

Progreso is not primarily a tourist town. It's a fishing town and very much a shipping port. The 4.5 mile pier was not built just for cruise ships. It is the primary shipping port for the Yucatan state.

I've found the people of the Yucatan to be very friendly and proud of their history and culture.

vanityfur
February 22nd, 2011, 08:29 AM
[QUOTE=hdawson;28050226]Vanityfur. In spending about 50 days spent in Progreso, Merida and the Yucatan state, I've never encountered what you describe. Not once. Three port calls and three 2 week vacations.

Cruise days do bring out the vendors. That's to be expected.

Progreso is not primarily a tourist town. It's a fishing town and very much a shipping port. The 4.5 mile pier was not built just for cruise ships. It is the primary shipping port for the Yucatan state.

I've found the people of the Yucatan to be very friendly and proud of their history and ...[\quote]

I must have imagined it all happened, then...

I shared my negative experience, bc I think people need both sides. You can like/dislike/refute my experience all you wish. You can try to convince people they are wrong or must be stupid to not appreciate the port. But, in the end, it happened just the same. And, I will continue to share...

It always makes me laugh how people that like Progreso will defend it no matter what. It is odd. Before I went, I was looking so forward to the town bc of this. Then I went-- and was just shaking my head at how the naysayers had a legitimate point.

jojoacq
March 20th, 2011, 08:35 PM
well I for one am looking forward to our stop in Progresso this April. I absolutely love Costa Maya and have heard this is similiar. I like seeing the real Mexico. I don't mind the vendors because I enjoy talking to different people from different areas and walks of life. If I don't want to buy I simply say no thank you and have never had a problem with street vendors or in stores in any of the ports I have been to both on a cruise and privately. In my opinion having a positive attitude and treating people with respect makes any port a good port.

Can you give me some input into Costa Maya? We will be there in April off Carnival. What have you done there? Thanks!

ottasha
March 21st, 2011, 09:03 PM
once off the ship, near the back of the port entrance there are a bunch of tours. We took a all inclusive beach one. I can't remember the name but it was great. We paid 25 pp will all you could drink and I think 1 food iterm(can't remember for sure). You were given lounges, chair and one of those beds.(my daughters loved that). We all got massages on the beach for 4 people at about 15 a piece for an hour. We also rented 2 jet skis for an hour for less than 100. they had swing seats at the bar. We didn't really get bugged by vendors
I don't know how to upload a pic on here to show you. But we liked the more real mexico and not all built up. don't get me wrong I like cozumel too but it was a nice beach day there.

melodystrother
March 21st, 2011, 09:37 PM
I am sorry to those that do not like Progresso and didnt have a good experience. I just came from there and actually liked it better than I thought I would. I will say that yes the vendors can overwhelm you but it's just people try to make a living.. Sometimes you just have to keep an open mind and if you dont like it then the ship is close enough to stroll back for some quiet ship time. I also will say that I hope as I return in the future they will offer more variety of port excursions as I or husband arent into seeing the Ruins or really getting into their history.. But that is just us...

LouisianaMamma
March 25th, 2011, 08:58 PM
We were in Progresso in March and were looking for a taxi to take our family of five to Merida. A helpful gentleman told us where the bus station was. For less than $20 round trip we took a bus from Progresso to Merida. It was a real "Mexican" experience for our three kids. In Merida we took a horse-drawn carriage tour, shopped and ate lunch. Then we went back to Progresso on the bus. A day like that is probably not for everyone. We are experienced travelers (back-packed in Europe for 3 months in our twenties) but our kids haven't traveled much. They really got a sense of the "difference" of Mexico. I think that being open to adventure and willing to go beyond your comfort zone is one of the best ways to enjoy travel.

hdawson
March 26th, 2011, 05:56 AM
Amen LouisianaMamma.

DebJ14
March 26th, 2011, 02:37 PM
@Louisiana Mamma - great attitude. You kids will be so much more well-rounded for these experiences. Isn't Merida a beautiful city? We love Merida and Progreso too - nicest people we have ever encountered on our travels. Clearly you are travelers, not tourists!

LouisianaMamma
March 27th, 2011, 07:20 PM
Thanks those who replied. When we were young we got hooked on the travel writer Rick Steves whose philosophy is that one should travel as much as possible as a native and enjoy "backdoor experiences." On a 2009 Med. cruise we took several of his books and did all the ports on our own. We just recently noticed that he has come out with a Mediterranean Cruise Port book. Knowing Steves, it will be a great book and will tell travelers everything they need to know to enjoy those ports as independent cruisers. I wish somebody would write a book like that about the cruise ports most American travelers go to. As I prepare for our upcoming Southern Caribbean cruise, I am using these boards to try and accumulate as much information as I can about ways to enjoy backdoor experiences.

mbardsley
March 31st, 2011, 07:57 PM
Just my thought, as we cruise more and more, always try and find a cruise to a place we have not visited. Found that some of the most fun and educational places are the new ports, not yet taken over by Diamonds internations, ect. You need to enjoy the people, and there culture. We stopped at Santa De Thomaso, a couple of years ago, and found a taxi driver, offered a whole day for $60. I paid him double after the day ended. He took us to meet his mom, his dogs, his best friend, the market, helped us barter for hand made goods, steared the bad types away from us. He wanted us to know about his country, and was proud of it. It was better than any shore excursion we could pay for. And I will always look for this type of person at all of our ports. Us visiting these ports helps them to build there economy, and you will find most to be honest hard working people. Coming in with attitudes does not do them or you any good.

Great tip is to go to the central information desk at the port, and ask the people there for a good driver

luvstocruise711
April 11th, 2011, 08:21 PM
Not sure what I did to get all these posts... Sorry!!! :(

luvstocruise711
April 11th, 2011, 08:23 PM
Can you give me some input into Costa Maya? We will be there in April off Carnival. What have you done there? Thanks!

Some go to Costa Maya and spend the day at the pier area shopping, swimming, and drinking. It is a very nice area, BUT if you want the "real" Mexico experience, venture outside of the port area. We took a bus (cost just a few dollars per person) to Majahual. It's a very poor area, but the people take VERY GOOD care of you! When the bus got to the Majahual beach, we actually questioned whether we should get off! But, I had read many posts from others saying what a great time they had so I figured if they made it out, then I would too!! :) We walked down a sidewalk between 2 rows of vendors and out onto the beach. As soon as they saw us, the waiters started to put tables together under a palm tree, rushing to find enough chairs for our group (there were about 14 of us), and, of course, laying menus on the tables. They were at our beck & call, but not bothersome, the entire day. The beach was very pretty, the water so clear... There were quite a few vendors with tents on the beach. They were not pushy or rude so it was fun to barter with them to see what kind of deals we could get. Also, on the beach, you could get $20/ hour massages. A row of 5 or 6 tables (with white linens) were set up under a white tent. The ladies giving the massages were all dressed in white uniforms... obviously trying to look professional and they gave absolutely wonderful massages! (Not like some of the massages you get from locals wandering the beach with aloa vera plants to rub on you.) You can also get your hair braided, enjoy the swings while eating/ drinking at the bar & drink coconut milk from a coconut that they open for you. The feel of the "real" Mexico was all around... especially when we saw the local law enforcement walking the beach with large guns strapped to their backs. :) I couldn't leave that out just because that's not something you see everyday! We had a GREAT time and felt very safe from the moment we stepped foot on the beach. Don't cheat yourself... venture outside of the Costa Maya pier area.

luvstocruise711
April 11th, 2011, 08:24 PM
"Can you give me some input into Costa Maya? We will be there in April off Carnival. What have you done there? Thanks! "

Some go to Costa Maya and spend the day at the pier area shopping, swimming, and drinking. It is a very nice area, BUT if you want the "real" Mexico experience, venture outside of the port area. We took a bus (cost just a few dollars per person) to Majahual. It's a very poor area, but the people take VERY GOOD care of you! When the bus got to the Majahual beach, we actually questioned whether we should get off! But, I had read many posts from others saying what a great time they had so I figured if they made it out, then I would too!! :) We walked down a sidewalk between 2 rows of vendors and out onto the beach. As soon as they saw us, the waiters started to put tables together under a palm tree, rushing to find enough chairs for our group (there were about 14 of us), and, of course, laying menus on the tables. They were at our beck & call, but not bothersome, the entire day. The beach was very pretty, the water so clear... There were quite a few vendors with tents on the beach. They were not pushy or rude so it was fun to barter with them to see what kind of deals we could get. Also, on the beach, you could get $20/ hour massages. A row of 5 or 6 tables (with white linens) were set up under a white tent. The ladies giving the massages were all dressed in white uniforms... obviously trying to look professional and they gave absolutely wonderful massages! (Not like some of the massages you get from locals wandering the beach with aloa vera plants to rub on you.) You can also get your hair braided, enjoy the swings while eating/ drinking at the bar & drink coconut milk from a coconut that they open for you. The feel of the "real" Mexico was all around... especially when we saw the local law enforcement walking the beach with large guns strapped to their backs. :) I couldn't leave that out just because that's not something you see everyday! We had a GREAT time and felt very safe from the moment we stepped foot on the beach. Don't cheat yourself... venture outside of the Costa Maya pier area.[/quote]

Tasmexicanian
April 16th, 2011, 11:06 PM
Sorry to read that some aren't happy with their Progresso experience. The fact is Progresso is one of the last unspoiled destinations in Mexico's East. Cruises go there so we can see the peace of it all. If you want Razzamatazz, by all means laud the busier ports but if you want a true travel experience, go outside the square and try and enjoy these gentle places. If not, try a tour to Merida or some of the ruins that are fairly close by. Yes, you will have to spend time in a car but if your guide is OK it can be a great experience. Travel is about learning as well as buying stuff.
I love Progresso and will soon be living in Merida from Australia. It is my intention to set up daytrips for the discerning cruiser. Meanwhile, enjoy the tranquility that Progresso offers. Lie on the beach. Buy a shirt from a Mayan vendor. Bargain with them, they are happy to bargain but don't try and rob them. A dollar may be nothing to you but a lot of people in Mexico have to live on less than $10 a day and they sell their stuff on commission. Live the experience. Be a good tourist and not just a loud foreign annoyance. You might even get a warm, fuzzy sensation that you contributed to the local economy and not just the coffers of a multinational brewery.

Cruisin'Mama7
April 18th, 2011, 09:26 PM
Sorry to read that some aren't happy with their Progresso experience. The fact is Progresso is one of the last unspoiled destinations in Mexico's East. Cruises go there so we can see the peace of it all. If you want Razzamatazz, by all means laud the busier ports but if you want a true travel experience, go outside the square and try and enjoy these gentle places. If not, try a tour to Merida or some of the ruins that are fairly close by. Yes, you will have to spend time in a car but if your guide is OK it can be a great experience. Travel is about learning as well as buying stuff.
I love Progresso and will soon be living in Merida from Australia. It is my intention to set up daytrips for the discerning cruiser. Meanwhile, enjoy the tranquility that Progresso offers. Lie on the beach. Buy a shirt from a Mayan vendor. Bargain with them, they are happy to bargain but don't try and rob them. A dollar may be nothing to you but a lot of people in Mexico have to live on less than $10 a day and they sell their stuff on commission. Live the experience. Be a good tourist and not just a loud foreign annoyance. You might even get a warm, fuzzy sensation that you contributed to the local economy and not just the coffers of a multinational brewery.

Tasmexicanian,
I gotta say...Very Well Said!!!!!!

Welcome to Cruise Critic!:) And I love your first post! I agree with everything you said. You're soooo "spot on"!!!! Progreso (one "S", not like the soup!) is a cultural experience and I look forward to every time we go there. We're taking our son & his wife in 3 weeks and I can't wait for them to experience Progreso! It's so refreshing to visit a port that's still in it's natural state and hasn't been bought out by the cruise lines - yet! What's the point of traveling if you're just going to port in "Disneyland type" environments?:rolleyes:

Best wishes for success in your Progreso venture! I hope it proves to be very lucrative for you.

Again, welcome to Cruise Critic! What a way to start out!;)

Cheers!:D

Cruisin' Mama

Trin1103
June 27th, 2011, 04:51 PM
We were in Progresso in March and were looking for a taxi to take our family of five to Merida. A helpful gentleman told us where the bus station was. For less than $20 round trip we took a bus from Progresso to Merida. It was a real "Mexican" experience for our three kids. In Merida we took a horse-drawn carriage tour, shopped and ate lunch. Then we went back to Progresso on the bus. A day like that is probably not for everyone. We are experienced travelers (back-packed in Europe for 3 months in our twenties) but our kids haven't traveled much. They really got a sense of the "difference" of Mexico. I think that being open to adventure and willing to go beyond your comfort zone is one of the best ways to enjoy travel.

Now THIS is why I go on vacation to another country. I don't go to shop at exclusive department stores, I don't go to be pampered in an up-market spa, and I don't go expecting to be able to stay in my bubble and not smell the locals.

Your visit to Progreso sounds absolutely ideal and the perfect way to treat this port of call. Personally - the idea of a horse drawn carriage ride through an old city, some lunch and shopping sounds SPECTACULAR to me right now!!!

Thanks for the report. We are going on the Elation next January (see my counter below) - and our stops are Progreso and Cozumel. Can't wait!!

..Trin..