I just can't understand why Carnival chose to stop at Progreso .
Lotsa people like it.
I like it.
It's not a Junior America Goes to the Strip Mall stop, which almost every place is.
Mahogany Bay is a strip mall facade on Roatan; Costa Maya is a strip mall facade; The Zone in Belize City is a strip mall facade. I've gotta believe that the mini-mall on the Progreso causeway is little more than a strip mall [I haven't been there in years] and it's as far as some people will go.
If you want nothing out of a cruise but to visit foreign places that do their damnedest to be America, then ... stick with Eastern. Get indignant about having to endure docking next to the cargo ships at Freeport's industrial wharf. Whatever you do, avoid Colon Panama and Limon Costa Rica!
But in the grand scheme of things, Progreso is better than how half the world lives so if nothing else applying a little perspective, a few "Gracias, no"s, and a little congeniality might make your grand total of 8 hours there seen as a little less haughty. Plus, buying a doodad or trinket from a little girl on the street might make her day, and getting a beer from one of the street vendors might just make yours.
Trying circumstances make the better stories, if you apply yourself. And "waste of time" isn't a good story at all.
SIG: If you're going to create the drama, at least supply the popcorn.