We took our first cruise the 2nd week of January. Not knowing what to expect in Progreso, or Cozumel, we decided to play it by ear. Everyone kept saying the prices were better in Cozumel so my wife avoided shopping and haggling, which she enjoys. BIG mistake.
I get the whole poor area and feeling unsafe comments; however, in hindsight, we felt we missed a better opportunity in Progreso. I did not feel unsafe, but the vendors were pushy. I really did not expect them to be anything other than pushy. They are trying to make a few dollars (pesos). Nothing wrong with that. My wife said she could have gotten better bargains in Progreso hard we not been told Cozumel was better.
At the end of his day, I would spend my shopping time in Progreso and fun time in Cozumel.