Entering Progreso on Wednesday April 20th, I was interested to see two cruise ships at the end of the pier, and expected to see good size crowds enjoying the town and its facilities.
I approached the malecón a few blocks away from Calle 80, and was surprised to see no one on the street, the beach, or in the restaurants and palapas. Walking west, the foot traffic increased slightly, however even at the intersection with Calle 80, the heart of the tourist area, there were not many people to be seen.
There was a moderate crowd at Eladio’s and a similar moderate number at Los Henequenes. Beyond that though, I was wondering “where is everyone”?
The ships were the Carnival Liberty, carrying 3,376 mainly US passengers, and the P&O Oriana, with 2,000 mainly British passengers. Apparently the vast majority chose to purchase tours onboard the ships, which took them to the archaeological sites, and to the city of Mérida.
Merchants in Progreso had anticipated an influx of at least 2,000 passengers to the town, however reported no more than 500 ever appeared on the streets, a very disappointing result for the shops, bars, and restaurants.
It’s been alleged before that the cruise lines use the “Mexico is dangerous” line with their passengers in order to sell organized tours (at great profit to themselves of course) and to discourage passengers from making their own way into the port towns. Wednesday in Progreso would seem to support that allegation.
by Stewart Mandy
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Freelance Journalist and Writer
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