Let me tell you a little about our "surprise" trip to Progresso, Mexico. We were just on the Inspiration last week and had to give up going to Grand Cayman's due to ugly weather....so we got to go to Cozumel (which I wasn't crazy about, but I know they are recovering from Wilma, so I won't say anything until I have the opportunity to return in the future) and after Cozumel, we were taken to Progresso, Mexico. We were disappointed that we couldn't go to Grand Cayman since we did so much research and had our plans laid out, but you have to be flexible in life, so we decided to make the best of it. We LOVED Progesso!!! What a sweet little town!! It was a TRUE taste of the REAL Mexico (Yucatan) without so much of the tourist type feel that you get from Cozumel and other places (from what I hear). Progesso is a working/fishing town. You'll find that out real quick when you see all the little fishing boats as the ship pulls into port and see all the open air markets selling fish. The ship pulls up to a newly constructed pier that is soooooo long and leads up to a shopping area (beautiful shops)beyond that is the FREE transportation by bus to the town of Progresso. They drop you at a colorful market where the sweetest people work. I bought so much stuff because the people were so kind and NOT PUSHY. They sold a lot of interesting things (again, not TOURISTY). I recommend the $2.00 bus tour around Progresso. You get to sit on a double decker open air bus that takes you on a 20 minute ride around the town and you'll be entertained and educated by a local that isn't too shy to ask for a tip at the end (but you're more than glad to oblidge because the tour is worth more than $2.00. We gave the driver $1.00 and the tour guide $1.00. After that, we strolled town the street that leads to a beautiful beach. You will feel 100% safe because there are tons of cruis goers on the streets and the police are everywhere. We were enticed into a bar because they were hocking $1.00 Corona's and we had a blast in there. The beach was beautiful and there are lots of nice looking restaurants and bars along the beach to hang out in. So, I must say....Progresso was a good trade off for Grand Cayman. I've never been to Grand Cayman, but I do know that I would love to return to Progresso. I feel like it's a town that is trying to find a place in this whole cruise stop world.... but I hope it remains simple, quaint and real. Enjoy Progresso, for those who go.
DEB R!!!!! LOL I am truly laughing out loud right now. You have to read my review of Progreso- it is part of a cruise review I wrote in August. Just goes to show you that two people can walk away with directly opposite perspectives- this is why eyewitness testimony is so unreliable!
Glad you had fun.
Here is what I wrote:
PROGRESO: Several alternatives went through my mind as I took the bus from Progreso to Merida: was this some sort of joke? Is CCL in dire straits financially? Do they think we are stupid?
I remember reading that this was the World’s Longest Pier or something along those lines. Aren’t piers supposed to be elevated, or at least pier-like? This is a man made peninsula from Hell, with concrete trucks rumbling by at breakneck speeds, and in the distance, piles and piles of broken concrete, rusty ships, third world industrial things… and this was before the ride from the ship to the end of the pier. Never has the word “shuttle” meant so little.
The little shopping area in Progreso is where you should pick up your trinkets, jump back on the “shuttle” (imagine Tom Sawyer’s school bus preserved in acid and then carted on a rusty barge to Botswana, used there for a century, and then hauled here), and kick it back to the Lido Deck. Do not, repeat, do not go to Merida. It looks up to being Tijuana. I know there are aficionados of Merida, and you would do well to read their reviews. I am calling it the way I saw it, and I saw nothing redeeming about the place but the cathedral, a picture of which will accompany this review.
My mother and the big boys went to Dzibilchaltun and they absolutely loved it. They ate in a café in Progreso afterwards and loved that, too. I should mention that my mother is Cuban and obviously fluent in Spanish, so she managed to find some off the beaten path taqueria that was some kind of undiscovered gem.
Whither Progreso? Why would anyone who is not an Amnesty International rep want to visit there? What part of “cruise ship vacation” says Progreso? Mayan ruins? Give us an extra day in Cozumel and we’ll see them from there