We had also heard that Progreso pays more for them to dock there than Cozumel does ... We didn't hear anything until we arrived at the terminal to check in for the cruise. Not even from our TA ... We did get a $50 per person credit, but still ...
The ship is great ... some of the Carnival employees could use a little attitude adjustment, but overall, we didn't let that ruin our trip. This was our 5th Carnival cruise, 2nd on Ecstacy. Ecstacy was much improved after the revamp from the FEMA loan out. Food was good, shows excellent, personnel in gift shop extremely courteous and upbeat. The ones in the main gift shop were the ones that didn't seem to be to happy to be there... Like I said previously, we didn't let the change ruin our good time. By the way, the sandwiches in the sandwich area on Lido deck AFT, are EXCELLENT!
A word of advise though, we did the CORONA BEACH BREAK. Please be advised if you do this excursion, it is a PARTY. Don't be surprised to see underage drinking, and some risque games. We mostly just chilled and read our books. There was supposedly open bar, but the "mixed" drinks we had, had little to NO alchol in them. We are only occasional drinkers and we had NO effects from 4 of their drinks. Son in Law said the same about the tequila shots they were doing that they tasted like kool aid. Some of the young people on the trip did get wasted though so I'm assuming they were drinking the CORONAS.
Don't bother with the flea market in town. Our daughter went there and she advised it was down right scary, as were some of the other shops with extremely agressive people. The shops that face the waterfront seemed from the people we talked to to be your best bet if you want to shop there. One couple had bought one of the hammocks for $10. The shops right at the terminal in Progreso, don't dicker too much, a couple of them not at all. Shopping right there is not the best to be had except for tee shirts.
Overall, I would give the cruise about an 8-9 and the port maybe a 4-5. We are pretty even going folks and just usually go with the flow.
We are doing the 5 day on Ecstacy in Feb. with the entire family and a couple of friends. Will definitely do something besides the beach.
If I can answer any other questions, let me know! LOVE CRUISING...