February 10, 2005

Carnival Glory - Progresso, Mexico

February 3, 2005 Ė Progresso, Mexico

Up very early today Ė we have to be on the pier at 8:00AM to meet our tour. We order room service this morning so we donít have to bother going to the dining room or lido deck for breakfast. This is such a nice bonus when you have a balcony cabin. You can eat your breakfast outside watching the ocean or the scenery when in port. Not that Iím anti-social, but I wouldnít be eating breakfast with strangers anyway.

The tour today covers the Haciendaís of Progresso, Mexico and city tour. This was such a pleasant change from Cozumel. The town was delightful. You can see they are just developing the area so itís Cozumel the way I remember it years and years ago. Small and quaint with friendly and cordial business owners. No one pulling on you to come into their shops. Just some nice shops with decent prices. Not outstanding bargains, just decent prices.

The Hacienda portion of the trip was very educational. I always thought a Hacienda was a home. However, it was actually a community that includes the surrounding area. It stretches some 2 miles or so around the main house. The Mayans lived and worked on the land around the Hacienda. They bought all their goods at the stores there and sold their products to the owner of the hacienda. The part that kept them tied to the land is that they never made as much on the goods they sold as it took them to buy the goods they needed to live on. So they thought they owned their land, but technically they could never leave it. We saw how the Mayanís live now and while itís poor according to our standards, we were assured they are happy with what they have. They have their homes, pay no taxes and have no cares.

I would recommend a stop in Progress to everyone. The ship pulls into a pier that sits off the city center. The pier is ď6Ē miles off the town. Yes, I said ď6Ē. You canít walk the pier so you have to take some type of shuttle or tour. The pier is amazing to look at from town. You canít imagine how long it is until you stand on the beach and look at it. They have built a shopping area out on the end of the pier where you have a few shops that you can purchase typical Mexican goods at. Town offers more of the same, but more jewelry stores with a larger selection.

Progresso is known for itís ďGreen GoldĒ. Not that we had any idea of what that was, so Iíll explain it to you. Green Gold is what the Mayans called Henequen or what we call sisal. They have an extraordinary amount of the Yucca plant that they use to make the sisal. They demonstrated how they make the sisal rope when we were at the Hacienda. We call it sisal after the port that itís shipped from in Mexico.

All in all we had a very nice day and would not hesitate to return to Progresso. Itís a short ride to Merida from there and if we ever get to go back, that will be our next visit. I understand from the other cruisers that went that itís a wonderful, charming city. Gives you a reason to return.

We had to be back on board by 2:00PM Ė the ship sails at 2:30PM. Not much time to spend in a really nice port. That was one of the reasons we originally chose this cruise, the ports for the most part were different from the ordinary. I could care less if I ever returned to Cozumel and Ocho Rios is a close second. I guess Iíve been to each place once to often. You just get so tired of the merchants harassing you when you walk by a store.

So, we get back onboard and head up to enjoy some lunch on the lido. Again, we had a wonderful selection. The food here has been top notch. Carnival has had some of the best food Iíve had at sea.

The rest of the afternoon we just relax, read, play Mah Jongg.

Tonight is our second formal night so we have to head back to our rooms early enough to get ready. Formal nights take a little extra effort these days. Plus, when you cruise, you have to save your biggest, elastic waist for the last few nights. Something Iíve learned over my many years of cruising. The food is usually just to good not to eat.

Back to the room after a wonderful dinner and Iím just to exhausted to go out again. Just another night to get some sleep. At least tomorrow is a day at sea so we can relax all day.

February 4, 2005 Ė At Sea between Progresso and Port Canaveral

We wake up to a not so nice day today. Weíre at sea for the duration of the cruise and will be back in Port Canaveral tomorrow at 7:00AM.

Posted by MJ at February 10, 2005 05:57 PM