Not certain why the cruise lines have added Progreso to their itineraries, but would imagine it has to do with $$$.
We visited the area a year ago, not as a cruise port of call, rather we rented a beach house. Ours was a trip to the Mayan capital, Merida, and the surrounding area, so expectations were different. We had plans to explore nearby Merida for Domingo en Merida (Sunday at the city square), take in some ruins, get a mayan massage and chill on the beach.
There is very little signs of government development in Progreso compared with the eastern shore of the state of Yucatan, at the well known, and overcrowded ports like Playa and Cozumel. Dependent on what you like, Progreso can be an oasis or a arm pit!
My wife and I prefer the interior of Mexico and the charm of the indigenous people, especially in the Yucatan where the people are truly friendly. If you do a little research on the area (try www.meridainsider.com)
you can make your plans and set your expectations accordingly. The Malecon beach at the pier is a nice beach and there are 2-3 decent restaurants on the 3-4 block ocean front that is Progreso. Also, if you are looking for your run of the mill mayan ruins there is a site, it's spelled DZIBILCHALTUN, that is just off the highway between Progreso and Merida, for more info go here: http://www.mayan-world.com/ruinas/yucatan.htm