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“Free, Mandatory Cruise Pier shuttle with Mandatory Sales Pitch, Questionable Destination”

Grupo Auto Progreso
Ranked #6 of 42 Tours in Merida
Certificate of Excellence
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Fee: Yes
Reviewed 9 October 2017

When your cruise ship arrives in Progreso, Mexico you are docked at the end of the longest pier in the world. It is 3 miles long. To get from the end of the pier and into the town of Progreso there are free but mandatory shuttles that take you from the cruise ships, down the pier and into town. You cannot walk. You must ride the shuttles. They are run by this company called AutoProgreso.

When our shuttle arrived in Progreso it pulled into a dirt parking lot surrounded by walls. As our bus parked three people who work for AutoProgreso stood outside the doors, blocked anyone from exiting and then boarded the bus and told us we could not get off. They needed to give us important information first. The “important information” consisted of a 15 minute detailed sales pitch for the various tours AutoProgreso offers in the port. So they have a captive audience to sell their tours. The cruise passengers cannot get into Progreso without riding their shuttles. It is a great business for AutoProgreso but it is terrible for the cruise passengers. We had already booked a private tour and our precious time in port was being eaten up by the hassle of the shuttle process and then the sales pitch. Due to all of this inconvenience we were late for our tour.

I appreciate the bus service. I have a recommendation. They should do the sales pitch while you are riding the shuttle from the cruise ship into the town of Progreso. That way they still get to try to sell to their captive audience but without adding delays to everyone’s schedules. They could even just play a recording. Much more efficient.

Upon finally being allowed to exit the shuttle bus we had to wade through a large flea market full of people trying to sell us stuff before we could exit the “bus station”. “Bus Station” is a very generous description. There are no facilities. No restrooms. Just people trying to get your money in a large dirt parking lot.

Also, be aware that the AutoProgreso shuttles drop people off at one of two different “bus stations” in Progreso. They do not visit both. They drop you off at one or the other. And there is no way to know which one you are going to ahead of time. It is not posted anywhere. In fact, you don’t have a choice. When you exit the cruise ship you are directed onto the only shuttle into town that is available. So this becomes an issue when you have already made arrangements for a private tour/excursion in port as we had done. When we exited the bus station we could not find our tour guide because he was at the OTHER bus station. We called each other and got things worked out and had an incredible day but this whole system is not very friendly for the cruise passengers and seems designed to confuse and disorient people so they will just give up and use the AutoProgreso tours. You have been warned.

Thank MickeysBestPal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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11 - 15 of 160 reviews

Reviewed 6 September 2017

We decided on the Open Bar excursion (really great price for the all that's included) for port of Progreso on our Carnival Cruise. The wait time at the transportation hub wasn't too bad, waited about 30 minutes. Traveled to the Technotel beach resort where we had really decent food and drinks, swam in the ocean, swam in the pool and had massages under the palm trees (most relaxing massage I've ever had and great price $25).

1  Thank DASH1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2017 via mobile

Service was ok. Could've been better. They throw a lot of info when you get off the ship just be careful on what you choose, overall if you want something cheap go this route.

Thank Alan E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2017 via mobile

Beware of these guys who approach you when getting off the Carnival Valor and show you incredible pictures of beautiful locations and charge you $39.99 for a resort beach style area with drinks & food included. We where told by a fast talker man name Carlos/Charlie saying this was worth our money! It was not, the service was horrible the area was crowded food was sickening, not to mention there were not enough umbrellas or huts as fast Carlos said there would be. BEWARE of these guys it wasn't just one but several of them working the area.

1  Thank Barbie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2017 via mobile

Great prices friendly staff and guides! Our guide for the Techonotel beach excurions was Daniel. He was very sociable and talkative and made us laugh with his jokes! He made sure we were enjoying our time at the resort and made sure we all made it back on the bus in time so no one missed the boat! The prices are half of what the cruise line would have offered and they offered our son a ticket for free! Would recommend them for anyone looking for an excursion in Progreso. Ask for Daniel!

Thank missnorm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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