By all means, get off the ship and visit the downtown area. It will appear rough at first when you get off the bus. Learn to say NO to the tour sellers and street vendors or they will worry you to death. After you exit the bus, go to the next block and turn left and head to the beach area. Be sure and stop by LaMarina Bar on the left walking toward the beach. There is also a nice upscale restaurant a few blocks down the beach. We only used their rest rooms and bar but everything looked and smelled good. The downtown area is somewhat primitive, but is developing. It is worth the visit.
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Thanks for the prompt response. I heard about a "resort" there allowing the use of their premises(pool, bar)for a fee. Any info? What about other beach area restrooms and showers? Lastly, should a shuttle or taxi be taken from ship to town?
We loved Progressso. It is so true about it looking a little rough at first glance but once you get to the beach the people there will engage you in a game of tequila volleyball.. very fun!! It is just a really fun, simple, port. Just be aware that if you decide to buy a piece of pizza, a taco, anything from one of the restaurants that you are stern with them about giving you back American money and NOT pesos. The people at Dominoes acted like they didn't speak English, so I went next door bought something from them, tipped nicely, and got back American cash.
I went to the resort you are referring to. It is well outside of town. You need to pay the tour operators tncruieman refers to to get you there. I think it was $20 a head for the bus ride and entry. It was a really nice resort and worth $20. But hanging out right there on the free beach is nice too. And you can do the local culture thing if it suits you.
The reason I went to the resort is that my wife and a daughter wanted to do the horseback riding. That tour was combined with the beach break thing which happened to be at the same resort. So, the other daughter and I hung out at the local beach and got to meet up with the wife at the resort at the end of their tour. It would have cost as much for a cab ride and we wouldn't have gotten into the resort without paying. So all in all it worked well.
There is a free shuttlr bus from the ship. Take it. The same bus operators run the tours, so when you get into town and before you get off the bus, they will push their tours (probably a deal they run to provide the shuttle bus is they get to hawk their tours.)
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Jim C, if the shuttle bus operators run the same tours, is that just as good a deal as booking thru the ship? Was thinking about the Dzibilchaltun (sp) ruins tour since it doesn't take as long to do...thru Carnival it is $51/pp but is it the same tour and cheaper in town? And safe?