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My time in Progresso


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I had read this message board that Progresso was a dump and so on. I dont let what I read influence me, so I did not have any pre-concieved notions about what I would find when I got there. I had been in Cozumel the day prior and if Progresso had been any thing like Cozumel, I would have disliked it alot.

 

We docked out on that long pier and walked to where the bus's where. I have to say, I did not like having to walk through the gift shop to be able to reach the buses. I feel that there should be a more direct route with out having to pass though the gift shop. There was a Mararachi band playing and I was very impressed with their efforts to entertain us. I was by myself for my trip, so I was able to board a very comfortable bus rather quickly. The bus took about 10 minutes or so to get to the actual town. Once there, a man from a tour company (Auto Progresso)boarded the bus and started giving us a sales pitch. Again, I was not pleased with this. I wanted to get "my party started" and did not want to listen to sales pitches. After 5 or so minutes we were allowed to get off the bus.

 

The bus stops right out side of a outdoor Mercado. I had wanted to find a phone/internet cafe first before beginning my day. I was able to use the internet at a small grocery store almost directly across the street (yellow building - not very big - 3 laptops in the back. The cost was $1.00 and I was on for about 15 minutes. My Spanish is not very good and did not know the word for telephone (calling station) so it took me a little bit of work to find someone who knew where one was. If you need to call the states, after getting off the bus turn to your left and walk down the street toward the intersection, make a right, and walk about 4 or 5 blocks. Its in a building that has the phone sign on the building. Again, the cost was very cheap. You sign in, are given a booth and there are instructions in English on how to dial out. The cost was about 8 pesos, but since I only had dollars, she took one dollar and gave me 2 peso in change.

 

I noticed that as I got further from the main street (Malecón) where most of the tourists were, the more relaxed it became. No one approached me. I was a single woman alone and never NOT once did I feel in danger. I took my time in walking back toward the main areas. I stopped at few pharmicia's to see how much Retin - A was. But since I did not know the strength, I passed on it. I will say, that it was around $10 per box. I enjoyed the fact that the locals were friendly and I got to see what their day was about. There was some guy selling coconuts and palms. There was a pretty little shop that had different linen's in it. That far away from the main street most stuff was in Peso's, so if you venture away from the main areas, take Peso's, you will get a better deal. Also they dont accost you on the street trying to get you into their shop to spend money.

 

I made it back to where I was dropped of by the bus and the Progresso Bus Tour operator was there, and I had read on CC that it was a cheap way to see the city. So I paid my $3.00 and boarded the bus. I chose not to sit up top as I do have a fear of heights and the sun was a little strong and I did not want to burn. It took about 15 minutes for us to get started as the driver had to find the tour guide. I think he was off "drumming" up business. The tour guide was quite funny and tried to keep us entertained. It did get annoying stopping at all the resturants/places and people who worked come out and talk to you. However, there was one place that I came back to because of this, so I guess it works. I can not for the life of me remember the name of the resturant, but the guy who came out was an American. He was very funny. And because of his special I went back to that particualr place..I can tell you it was a yellow 2 story building. I wish I could remember the name, I had the business card but lost it.

 

The tour was pretty nice. The bus was not full so you didnt feel closed in. It takes you around a small part of the city and points out different landmarks and even tells you where the WalMart is. It took us by a few houses that were for rent, some really big and some not so big, he even showed us some hotels and gave us the rates. I was recording the tour and got him talking, he saw me and started telling me that I could not publish it cause he was "wanted", he was joking ( I hope ).

 

The special at the resturant that I went back to was: 2 Margarita's or Pina Caladas for $4, plus you get chips (that were made there and were very thick and a darkish brown color), fresh salsa (almost like Pico de galla), I think it must have been made on site also and some sort of potato dish. He said that they had beach service and that they did not charge you for the seats, which evidently some of the other resturants did.

 

After eating, I did alot of walking and taking photos. I finished filling up a 4gb card and replaced it with a 2gb card and then ended up leaving the 4gb card on the ship in the safe and have still not gotten it back. I am a person who feels sorry for anybody and have been told that I have sucker written on my forehead. I am compelled to buy stuff from people who look down on their luck. I bought a pretty little cheap bracelet from a little Mexican girl for $1.00, a hand made straw hat from some really old guy for $10 - I was going to pass or try to bargin, but the guy with him, told me but its hand made, ok so I caved. Then I bought a really pretty blouse for my daughter from a lady in a wheel chair at the Mercado for $25.

 

The peddlers came around the resturants and offered their goods, but were not as pushy as those in Cozumel had been the day before. I struck up a conversation with one about my Spanish. He said it was very good and that most American's dont even try to speak it. I feel that if I am in another country then the least I can do is honor them by learning even the tiniest bit of their language. By this time I had made my way to the beach. I was asked numerous times if I wanted a massage, I did but I wanted it a bit later. I wanted to walk along the water line for a bit and collect some sea shells to take home to my grand daughter. The water was cold and a little murky, nothing like what I saw in the Bahama's. But I didnt care, I was just pleased to be there. After finding a handfull of shells, I walked back up toward the street level. I passed a few ladies offering massages, but I wanted to go back to the first one who had asked me. She was still there and asked me again, this time I accepted. It was a 45 minute massage for $10. I am a big girl and was some what concerned about my weight (210lbs) and the table, but it held up. The first thing she did was divest me of my bra and shirt ( I usually get dinner and drink first before someone tries to take my clothes off ). I guess they are not as concerned with nudity as we American's are. I was able to keep myself covered (to a point), but after she put that oil on my body and started her massage, I did not care who saw me and I hoped they enjoyed the show! I was so relaxed laying there under the tent, with the sounds of the ocean and the breeze blowing around me. I think I must have dozed off. She did a great job and I tipped her well. I was able to re-dress with her help and without showing parts that are meant to be kept covered.

 

I began my walk back toward the where the buses were parked to take us back to the ship. I took my time as I was not in a hurry and it was well before time before the ship was to sail. I stopped and talked to a guy who owned a beer garden type place, his English was amazing and he was very friendly and asked me how my day had been. He didnt try to sell me anything, just wanted to talk. I made it back to the Mercado and walked through it again, just to make sure that I did not miss anything that I might want. I also walked though the building that was attached to it, it was very cool and had a lot of historic photo's and information, mostly in Spanish, but it was nice to see anyways.

 

I did not have long to wait for a bus to take me back to the ship. This bus was not as nice as the one I had came on, but it was fine, better then spending the money for a taxi! This time I stopped in the gift shop to see if there was anything there that I wanted, I picked up a shot glass and a tee shirt. I had to show my passport and ID as I went through the Mexican security check point, and then walked back to the ship. There are ricksaw's and bike carriers to take you back and forth but I just walked and enjoyed the rest of the time I had in Mexico. I got back to the ship about an hour before our departing time.

 

I would go back to Progresso in a heart beat. On the tour I saw many houses and hotels and was told that there were daily flights from Houston to Merdia and that they always welcomed guests. I will be going back, either by boat or air! I did not see Progresso as a dump. I saw what I thought was a pretty little Mexican village. I did not want to see the same things that I can see in Texas or the US. I wanted it to be foregin. I got what I wanted.

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Thanks for your post. I also read the less than stellar reviews of Progresso, but had decided to at least do the double decker bus... that sounded (and looked) like such fun! Saw pics of it on this website: http://www.caribbeanportreviews.com/Progresso.htm

Is it really painted like that? What a hoot! :D Can't wait... less than 3 weeks.

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I had read this message board that Progresso was a dump and so on. I dont let what I read influence me, so I did not have any pre-concieved notions about what I would find when I got there. I had been in Cozumel the day prior and if Progresso had been any thing like Cozumel, I would have disliked it alot.

 

We docked out on that long pier and walked to where the bus's where. I have to say, I did not like having to walk through the gift shop to be able to reach the buses. I feel that there should be a more direct route with out having to pass though the gift shop. There was a Mararachi band playing and I was very impressed with their efforts to entertain us. I was by myself for my trip, so I was able to board a very comfortable bus rather quickly. The bus took about 10 minutes or so to get to the actual town. Once there, a man from a tour company (Auto Progresso)boarded the bus and started giving us a sales pitch. Again, I was not pleased with this. I wanted to get "my party started" and did not want to listen to sales pitches. After 5 or so minutes we were allowed to get off the bus.

 

The bus stops right out side of a outdoor Mercado. I had wanted to find a phone/internet cafe first before beginning my day. I was able to use the internet at a small grocery store almost directly across the street (yellow building - not very big - 3 laptops in the back. The cost was $1.00 and I was on for about 15 minutes. My Spanish is not very good and did not know the word for telephone (calling station) so it took me a little bit of work to find someone who knew where one was. If you need to call the states, after getting off the bus turn to your left and walk down the street toward the intersection, make a right, and walk about 4 or 5 blocks. Its in a building that has the phone sign on the building. Again, the cost was very cheap. You sign in, are given a booth and there are instructions in English on how to dial out. The cost was about 8 pesos, but since I only had dollars, she took one dollar and gave me 2 peso in change.

 

I noticed that as I got further from the main street (Malecón) where most of the tourists were, the more relaxed it became. No one approached me. I was a single woman alone and never NOT once did I feel in danger. I took my time in walking back toward the main areas. I stopped at few pharmicia's to see how much Retin - A was. But since I did not know the strength, I passed on it. I will say, that it was around $10 per box. I enjoyed the fact that the locals were friendly and I got to see what their day was about. There was some guy selling coconuts and palms. There was a pretty little shop that had different linen's in it. That far away from the main street most stuff was in Peso's, so if you venture away from the main areas, take Peso's, you will get a better deal. Also they dont accost you on the street trying to get you into their shop to spend money.

 

I made it back to where I was dropped of by the bus and the Progresso Bus Tour operator was there, and I had read on CC that it was a cheap way to see the city. So I paid my $3.00 and boarded the bus. I chose not to sit up top as I do have a fear of heights and the sun was a little strong and I did not want to burn. It took about 15 minutes for us to get started as the driver had to find the tour guide. I think he was off "drumming" up business. The tour guide was quite funny and tried to keep us entertained. It did get annoying stopping at all the resturants/places and people who worked come out and talk to you. However, there was one place that I came back to because of this, so I guess it works. I can not for the life of me remember the name of the resturant, but the guy who came out was an American. He was very funny. And because of his special I went back to that particualr place..I can tell you it was a yellow 2 story building. I wish I could remember the name, I had the business card but lost it.

 

The tour was pretty nice. The bus was not full so you didnt feel closed in. It takes you around a small part of the city and points out different landmarks and even tells you where the WalMart is. It took us by a few houses that were for rent, some really big and some not so big, he even showed us some hotels and gave us the rates. I was recording the tour and got him talking, he saw me and started telling me that I could not publish it cause he was "wanted", he was joking ( I hope ).

 

The special at the resturant that I went back to was: 2 Margarita's or Pina Caladas for $4, plus you get chips (that were made there and were very thick and a darkish brown color), fresh salsa (almost like Pico de galla), I think it must have been made on site also and some sort of potato dish. He said that they had beach service and that they did not charge you for the seats, which evidently some of the other resturants did.

 

After eating, I did alot of walking and taking photos. I finished filling up a 4gb card and replaced it with a 2gb card and then ended up leaving the 4gb card on the ship in the safe and have still not gotten it back. I am a person who feels sorry for anybody and have been told that I have sucker written on my forehead. I am compelled to buy stuff from people who look down on their luck. I bought a pretty little cheap bracelet from a little Mexican girl for $1.00, a hand made straw hat from some really old guy for $10 - I was going to pass or try to bargin, but the guy with him, told me but its hand made, ok so I caved. Then I bought a really pretty blouse for my daughter from a lady in a wheel chair at the Mercado for $25.

 

The peddlers came around the resturants and offered their goods, but were not as pushy as those in Cozumel had been the day before. I struck up a conversation with one about my Spanish. He said it was very good and that most American's dont even try to speak it. I feel that if I am in another country then the least I can do is honor them by learning even the tiniest bit of their language. By this time I had made my way to the beach. I was asked numerous times if I wanted a massage, I did but I wanted it a bit later. I wanted to walk along the water line for a bit and collect some sea shells to take home to my grand daughter. The water was cold and a little murky, nothing like what I saw in the Bahama's. But I didnt care, I was just pleased to be there. After finding a handfull of shells, I walked back up toward the street level. I passed a few ladies offering massages, but I wanted to go back to the first one who had asked me. She was still there and asked me again, this time I accepted. It was a 45 minute massage for $10. I am a big girl and was some what concerned about my weight (210lbs) and the table, but it held up. The first thing she did was divest me of my bra and shirt ( I usually get dinner and drink first before someone tries to take my clothes off ). I guess they are not as concerned with nudity as we American's are. I was able to keep myself covered (to a point), but after she put that oil on my body and started her massage, I did not care who saw me and I hoped they enjoyed the show! I was so relaxed laying there under the tent, with the sounds of the ocean and the breeze blowing around me. I think I must have dozed off. She did a great job and I tipped her well. I was able to re-dress with her help and without showing parts that are meant to be kept covered.

 

I began my walk back toward the where the buses were parked to take us back to the ship. I took my time as I was not in a hurry and it was well before time before the ship was to sail. I stopped and talked to a guy who owned a beer garden type place, his English was amazing and he was very friendly and asked me how my day had been. He didnt try to sell me anything, just wanted to talk. I made it back to the Mercado and walked through it again, just to make sure that I did not miss anything that I might want. I also walked though the building that was attached to it, it was very cool and had a lot of historic photo's and information, mostly in Spanish, but it was nice to see anyways.

 

I did not have long to wait for a bus to take me back to the ship. This bus was not as nice as the one I had came on, but it was fine, better then spending the money for a taxi! This time I stopped in the gift shop to see if there was anything there that I wanted, I picked up a shot glass and a tee shirt. I had to show my passport and ID as I went through the Mexican security check point, and then walked back to the ship. There are ricksaw's and bike carriers to take you back and forth but I just walked and enjoyed the rest of the time I had in Mexico. I got back to the ship about an hour before our departing time.

 

I would go back to Progresso in a heart beat. On the tour I saw many houses and hotels and was told that there were daily flights from Houston to Merdia and that they always welcomed guests. I will be going back, either by boat or air! I did not see Progresso as a dump. I saw what I thought was a pretty little Mexican village. I did not want to see the same things that I can see in Texas or the US. I wanted it to be foregin. I got what I wanted.

Thanks for the great review!! I really enjoyed the review esp since I'm traveling solo on the Fanasty in early May. I really just want to find a great place to eat lunch and enjoy a day outside.

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The name of the place that you went back to is Los Arcos. We also went back and had a couple of "Ritas". We have one in Tomball and I looked them up when we got home and they are all over the place. I told my husband that we were going to have to try them out. We did almost the same thing you did, with the exception of the massage. We did the Double Decker, also sitting inside. I did some shopping when we got back to the pier. I did find a pretty ring in the Duty Free store that we bought. I also agree with you that if you told someone no, they didn't hassle you like they do in other places. I can't wait to go back. Like you, I had also read the boards before our cruise and didn't know what I was going to find. We enjoyed our time in Progresso very much. Next time I do want to take the time to go into Merida.

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I enjoyed Progreso, too. Loved the review - makes me want to go back and just do my own thing!

 

I will say, though, that the shuttles ARE owned and operated by AutoProgreso, and a lot of people really don't have a clue what they might want to do when they're let off that bus, so the representative explaining all the options is a good thing. That was how WE knew exactly where to go and what to do.

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So you actually had to show a Passport to get back on the ship. This is different. Usually I only take my drivers license and my sign and sail card when I get off at ports.

 

Thanks for posting the review.

 

I only took my S & S card and Passport card off the ship. Since I wasnt going to drive, I didnt want to chance losing my DL. I have a Tennessee DL and I live in TX and it would be hard to replace it.

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The name of the place that you went back to is Los Arcos. We also went back and had a couple of "Ritas". We have one in Tomball and I looked them up when we got home and they are all over the place. I told my husband that we were going to have to try them out. We did almost the same thing you did, with the exception of the massage. We did the Double Decker, also sitting inside. I did some shopping when we got back to the pier. I did find a pretty ring in the Duty Free store that we bought. I also agree with you that if you told someone no, they didn't hassle you like they do in other places. I can't wait to go back. Like you, I had also read the boards before our cruise and didn't know what I was going to find. We enjoyed our time in Progresso very much. Next time I do want to take the time to go into Merida.

 

Thank you for the name. I could not for the life of me remember the name. And I asked for the business card purposefully. Its where I bought the bracelet from the little girl for my grandaughter - who by the way broke it with in minutes of me giving it to her - she thought it was candy!

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I loved Progresso! Thanks for your review, after our visit in 2008 my hubby is anxious to learn Spanish :) Definately have it in our list of retirement locals. :D

 

I think even the minimal amount of Spanish is fine. I dont know more then Hello, how are you? Fine. Good by, Very good, stuff like that, just the basics.

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Thanks for the wonderful review. We'll be sailing aboard the Fantasy in June with my 18 yr. old daughter and a bunch of her male/female friends for their Sr. trip.

 

I was looking forward to a beach massage, but now that I know I'll be flashing my daughter's friends and boyfriend, maybe I need to rethink that. Can you imagine the "Moooooommmmmm?!":eek: I'd be getting!!!:cool:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for the very accurate portrayal of Progreso. My wife and I just returned from there. I, too, walked the streets of town and found it to be most friendly. As with all cruise ports, I imagine that the layed back environment will suffer in time. For now, it was most enjoyable to soak in a small amount of life in a small town of another country. I will return again!

 

Captain Ronn

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the post. I was getting discourage about the port after reading a few threads but after reading your post, I am even more excited about my first cruise. I wanted to go to a port that was a little more authentic and do my favorite activity... shopping! My best friend and I are also excited about getting a massage. Again, thank you, you have helped me relax my nerves!!! :D

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  • 1 month later...

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