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maldenmusic

Why is Progreso looked down on by so many people?

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We have been to Progreso 3 times and are looking at going again this winter. No glitz. No touristy bs. Just a great example of Mexican culture and lifestyle. We have shopped and eaten with the locals and enjoyed their companionship. There is always plenty to do and see.

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My family and I love, love, love Progreso......If we could we would rent a house there for a month. It is the reason we take this particular cruise every year. Always safe, friendly and affordable there. Plus there are so many souvenirs that are truly hand made in the region and not from China.

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My husband and I went to Progreso and didn’t like it. In the span of 30 minutes we had about 30 vendors walking up to us wanting either money or to sell their goods. We sat on the beach and ate and during that time about 15-20 vendors came wanting us to buy…bracelets, shells, cigars, jewelry, kites, mangos, silver. It seriously never stopped once. I told my husband I needed a sign that just said NO. You couldn’t just set in peace and enjoy the ocean. While eating I noticed that even the sunbathers were being bothered to buy stuff.

 

However, it was really beautiful and we did enjoy the view. I will try again avoiding the area we went to.

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To be honest (and maybe it was a little culture shock also)--we really didn't care for Progreso. Hubby and I both found it to be a kind of dirty and we were creeped out by the fact that we were accosted every few seconds by somebody trying to sell us something. Seriously..within the three or four blocks through the main part of town (just after you get off the bus) we walked down, I was offered a hat ninteen times.."NEARLY FREE!". I was asked to buy sunglasses six times. A woman collecting money for charity hit us up three times--the same woman! I think she was following us. A guy leaned out from between two doors and stared at us, following us with his eyes as we walked down the street and I was kinda freaked out by that.

 

Yeah..if we take a cruise going to Progreso again, I don't think I'll be getting off the boat!

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I have been to Progresso twice and will be going back in Dec. and I LOVE it! Progresso is not Glitzy and commericialized like Cozumel. Progresso is authentic Mexico, the people there are friendly. and I enjoy talking to them learning their culture. The majority of their bread and butter comes from them selling their trinkets to the tourist from the ships, some can be annoying, but the majority will move on when you say no. I think the somewhat aggressiveness comes from them trying to make a sell which allows them to provide for their family. I think at present there are only two ships stopping in Progresso once a week so I understand why some are "annoying" actually I think it desperate-despate to make a sale to support their family. Some one has already said this, but you get the best authentic Mexican souvenirs at this port at great prices, most are hand made. I have had the BEST authentic Mexican food and drinks at this port. My sister in law and I walked all over Progresso and was not afraid, you will see armed police officers, and from talking to the locals, they will not do anything to harm the people from the ships because that is how they make their living..... the ships are their livlihood, and they will not do anything to jepordize it. I say get off the ship, learn and embrace authentic Mexico and have a couple of 2 for $5 Magaritas.

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I've been to Progreso four times and went to the beach. I don't know if it's the group you're with, how many ships are in port, the time of the year, etc. but last October my group of 12 all went to Buddy's and the vendors were intolerable. I don't mind passing vendors as I walk, I don't mind a few coming by as I sit on the beach. I budget my $ intentionally to buy trinkets from a few vendors. However, last year, it was unending and relentless, 2 or three at a time, standing around, playing guitar, waving jewelry in our faces...we were constantly surrounded to the point of ridiculousness. Upon asking the manager of Buddy's if he could help, he explained these poor people had to make a living. Well, if Progreso doesn't get these street vendors under control, they will have no one to sell to because like most of my friends this year...tourists will stay on the boat when we get to Progreso.

Again, I've been four times and had great visits on 2 but the last 2 were not so great because of street vendors.

That said, I have always felt safe, enjoyed the food, been treated very well by restaurant and market staff, I don't find it "dirty"...or any of the other comments some others have made. But when I want to sit on the beach with my friends and enjoy a meal, I don't want to be continually harrassed by street vendors.

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I have been to Progresso twice and will be going back in Dec. and I LOVE it! Progresso is not Glitzy and commericialized like Cozumel. Progresso is authentic Mexico, the people there are friendly. and I enjoy talking to them learning their culture. The majority of their bread and butter comes from them selling their trinkets to the tourist from the ships, some can be annoying, but the majority will move on when you say no. I think the somewhat aggressiveness comes from them trying to make a sell which allows them to provide for their family. I think at present there are only two ships stopping in Progresso once a week so I understand why some are "annoying" actually I think it desperate-despate to make a sale to support their family. Some one has already said this, but you get the best authentic Mexican souvenirs at this port at great prices, most are hand made. I have had the BEST authentic Mexican food and drinks at this port. My sister in law and I walked all over Progresso and was not afraid, you will see armed police officers, and from talking to the locals, they will not do anything to harm the people from the ships because that is how they make their living..... the ships are their livlihood, and they will not do anything to jepordize it. I say get off the ship, learn and embrace authentic Mexico and have a couple of 2 for $5 Magaritas.

 

 

Well said, I would like to point out the Crusie Ships are how the people their earn their livlihood. We wake up the next morning in Cozumel and they wake up still in Progresso and poor.

 

It's only one day, shell out a few bucks and have a good time and enjoy being with the locals. They may be poor but that should not keep you from having a good time and enjoying their company.

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I have no problem at all with the people trying to make a living selling stuff. They are typically honest, hard working folks trying to get by.

 

That said, the sheer volume at times makes the experience unenjoyable. I may actually buy a thing or two from them, but unfortunately I cant buy something from 100s of them or I would have to take up selling trinkets in progresso too because I couldn't afford to get home.

 

There becomes a point where enough is enough and I want to just enjoy my time for a 10 minute span without having to politely say no gracias.

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At one point, somebody started chattering at me in Spanish (perhaps because I look like I could be Hispanic LOL) and I had to say "Yo hablar Espanol un poco, senor." and he walked away.

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I have no problem at all with the people trying to make a living selling stuff. They are typically honest, hard working folks trying to get by.

That said, the sheer volume at times makes the experience unenjoyable. I may actually buy a thing or two from them, but unfortunately I cant buy something from 100s of them or I would have to take up selling trinkets in progresso too because I couldn't afford to get home.

There becomes a point where enough is enough and I want to just enjoy my time for a 10 minute span without having to politely say no gracias.

 

Exactly, as I said in my previous post, I've been to Progreso on cruises many times and enjoyed all but the last visit. We didn't even have a "10 minute span" with no vendors. Maybe it was because we were a large group of women but we were constantly surrounded by vendors. Three, four and five at a time, going to each of us, one at a time. Jewelry, Toys, Guitar Playing, it was relentless. And, again...I always budget to buy something from street vendors in Progreso but it was like chumming the water...as soon as I bought something, three more vendors would show up. I sympathize and empathize with the plight of poor people making a living but these "locals" don't want to "enjoy my company". They want to sell me something.

If Progreso doesn't get a handle at least on vendors on the beach, more and more people like my friends won't even get off the ship. I'll get off the ship this year but won't go to enjoy lunch on the beach because....it's most definitely not enjoyable.

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We took a tour of Progreso and Merida, and had a Great time.

Learning the history of this part of the Yucatan was great.

Not just wanting to hang out close to the bar scene near to the pier, there is much there.

Just can't wait to return, and continue tasting and seeing the area.

 

Also, thanks go out to Pedro, and Russel who took us on a great adventure through their country.

I'll post more details on another thread.:)

 

I also hired Russel for a private tour for my family of 5 and would highly recommend him. He provided a large Van with A/C, took us to Xcampo, a small mayan village where we met a lovely family in their home/ hut. Russel said he is a official guide and he was very informative and his english was very good. On the way back he took us to a locals only fresh water swimming hole back in the mangroves in which you needed to take a short boatride to. Also we saw Flamingos and where they harvest salt.

 

Much cheaper than ships excursion and Well worth the slightly extra $$ over just hiring a taxi.

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We will be in Progreso at the end of April, and I'm really torn on how to spend the day. I'm going back and forth between Dzibichultan, or an All-Inclusive Beach Day at Reef Club.

 

We will have my 5 year old daughter with us, otherwise I would do Chichen Itza or Uxmal....but I think the long bus rides will lead to a cranky girl.... She could certainly handle the 20 minute ride to Dzibichultan (that's how long the ride is from what I've read anyways). On the other hand, I know FOR SURE all three of us would love a day at the beach. But we will be in Cozumel the next day for a beach day, so I was thinking we'd do something different.

 

So torn!!! Any thoughts?

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The ruins are amazing and something definitely worth seeing, but fairly spread out if you try and see everything. A lot of walking for a 5 year old. But, they do have a really nice museum there and swimming in the cenote is incredible.

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We will be in Progreso at the end of April, and I'm really torn on how to spend the day. I'm going back and forth between Dzibichultan, or an All-Inclusive Beach Day at Reef Club.

 

We will have my 5 year old daughter with us, otherwise I would do Chichen Itza or Uxmal....but I think the long bus rides will lead to a cranky girl.... She could certainly handle the 20 minute ride to Dzibichultan (that's how long the ride is from what I've read anyways). On the other hand, I know FOR SURE all three of us would love a day at the beach. But we will be in Cozumel the next day for a beach day, so I was thinking we'd do something different.

 

So torn!!! Any thoughts?

I've done both-Dzib ruins and the AI at Technotel. I enjoyed both but the water isn't the beautiful clear blue that you will see at Cozumel-more like a greenish brown but still enjoyable. Going back this June and will probably lean toward visiting Dzib again or perhaps going to Merida.

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I also hired Russel for a private tour for my family of 5 and would highly recommend him. He provided a large Van with A/C, took us to Xcampo, a small mayan village where we met a lovely family in their home/ hut. Russel said he is a official guide and he was very informative and his english was very good. On the way back he took us to a locals only fresh water swimming hole back in the mangroves in which you needed to take a short boatride to. Also we saw Flamingos and where they harvest salt.

 

Much cheaper than ships excursion and Well worth the slightly extra $$ over just hiring a taxi.

 

I found his card: Russel Rodriguez Canto. Tel: 9993 257104 Facebook: russelrodriguezcanto hunab.tours@hotmail.com

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Worst port I have ever visited. The town is squalor. I cannot understand why a cruise ship would stop at Progreso.

I am used to the locals pimping what they are selling in the ports, but, the locals at this port take it to a higher level of rudeness and disrespect.

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Agree with you 100%..

Worst port I have ever visited. The town is squalor. I cannot understand why a cruise ship would stop at Progreso.

I am used to the locals pimping what they are selling in the ports, but, the locals at this port take it to a higher level of rudeness and disrespect.

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The shore excursions to historical sites such as Chichen Itza and Uxmal make it worthwhile.

Edited by JimAOk1945

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The shore excursions to historical sites such as Chichen Itza and Uxmal make it worthwhile.

photos were awesome !!!

looking forward to going there in november with princess !! ;)

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photos were awesome !!!

looking forward to going there in november with princess !! ;)

 

Thanks for taking the time to view the slide shows. My wife does a great job with her pictures and website.

 

Happy cruising!

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I agree Progreso isn't a beautiful city and there is a lot they could do to improve their beach. I can't relax on the beach because of the constant influx of vendors trying to sell me something. I literally was not able to read more than a few sentences in a book I had brought in between having to tell them "no thanks." But I use Progreso as a jumping off spot for going other places such as Dzib, Merida, Technotel, Xcambo, etc. I'd rather be able to do the Cozumel/Playa del Carmen cruise like we did about 4 years ago.

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maldenmusic,

 

I agree with you that Progreso is a good jumping off spot for going to other places. Sometime in the near future we plan to go back a see some of the Mayan ruins we haven't seen yet.

 

We enjoyed the cruises we took that included Cozumel/Playa del Carmen. The port areas were very nice and it also gave us the opportunity to visit the Mayan ruins at Tulum.

 

Thanks for starting this thread. I think it will give newbies a good overview of this port of call.

 

Happy cruising!

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Really wondering if we should stay on the ship when we go in Aug..I have been on a lot of cruises but will be taking some newbies this go round and do not want to scare them off at first. We have looked at doing Technotel at this point..I hope we are making the right choice here..Any pointers??

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We took a tour to Uxmal and Merida and loved it. We actually liked Uxmal better than Chichen Itza. Merida is great for shopping. I booked this tour outside of the cruise line.

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We took a tour to Uxmal and Merida and loved it. We actually liked Uxmal better than Chichen Itza. Merida is great for shopping. I booked this tour outside of the cruise line.

 

We have also visited Uxmal and Chichen Itza. I agree that Uxmal is fantastic!

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