Since we booked this cruise and February we had PLENTY of time to save and plan and we did both!!
I searched every review board possible and came up with a compilation of different things. This is what we decided on in Progreso-
I started communications with Ralf from "William Lawsons Personal Driving Service", He was booked but said that he had a lady, Lucy, who could take us since he was not available. I was a little hesitant at first because all the reviews I read were about him, but he assured me she was great and everyone who had been with her loved her, so I said okay! From there we mapped out what we wanted to do- I gave him a brief description of what we wanted and he came up with an incredible plan. Our main thing was we really wanted to see Mexico- not the touristy towns, etc- but really see Mexico as we've never been out of the States.
Here is what we did....
The free shuttle took us about 4/5 miles into town from the port. I will say it was a culture shock to us when we first got off the bus- we've never left the states so all this was so new to us! You are immediately in a shopping area with TONS of vendors- they will call out to you and try and get your attention!!! I saw Ralf right away and met wonderful Lucy and we would have been on our way but all that shopping was too tempting! We shopped around for a little bit- my boyfriend *actually now fiance* needed sunglasses so that was the first order of business- but we also bought a hammock and some jewelry! Don't forget to haggle with them!! If you are at a price you want and they won't come down- walk away and they will generally call you back and accept what you are interested in spending! SO from here..
Lucy (she was so amazing- had cold water and beer ready for us in her car) took us through the town of Uman. We stopped and walked through the market, bought some fresh bread (Ralf had mentioned this and i said "Ralf, how'd you know I loved bread? LOL" so we got some yummy bread, fresh fruits, even though I knew I couldn't bring it on the ship I bought some beautiful flowers to enjoy for the day- besides they were SO cheap- and I gave them to Lucy when it was time to go! The market was buzzing with vendors and shoppers, etc. IT was so neat to see how other cultures are. Once we were down at the shops we headed back to the car and stopped in at this beautiful Catholic church. We walked through and I was so touched to see Lucy give a praying gentleman some fruit.
After this it was off to Uxmal. The ride there was amazing!! Just seeing all the different things and the way they do things. No road rage was seen anywhere and people kindly pulled over a bit when you needed to pass them. They go their speed and understand if you need to go faster and make it easier for your to get on your way! In Uxmal we explored and visited the Mayan Ruins and at Ralf's recommendation we got an English speaking guide who was full of knowledge about the ruins and really made that a learning experience!
From Uxmal we went to a cenote (sink hole with a spring that you can swim in) in the tiny town of Peba. We arrived at the entrance but no one was there and the gates were locked! Well Lucy wouldn't accept that and she went into the town- started talking to the first man she saw who took us to the "key keeper" lol at which point she spoke w/ him told him we wanted to go swimming and he just gave her the key!! We went back to the cenote and didn't even realize what we were about to see and WOW!!! What a pleasant surprise! Lucy stayed up top and we walked down the steps into this beautiful cave with crystal clear water and enjoyed a swim and got some photos! After this we went back to the man we got the key from and gave it back to him!
We were originally going to eat at the Hacienda Ochil- but due to the shopping and time we took in Uman- were not able to! I wouldn't have done it differently though! We decided on going to the cenote instead of the Hacienda because we figured there was plenty of food on the ship.
We got back said our farewells to Lucy and had about 15 minutes to shop before getting back on the shuttle to go to the port.
This was amazing...everything about it..Lucy, the trip, everything! I would highly recommend it!