Progresso is the place to shop for your souveniers . . . .we found the absolute best prices there and unfortunately it was our cruiseline's first stop so we didn't realize that these prices couldn't be beat. No jewels, etc. but souveniers, etc. this is the place. Been on 8 cruises and this was our first one to Progresso - do the beach right off the pier, easy access and lots to do without taking a tour - now if you want ruins, got to do a tour. We went into Merida via the $10 shuttle and it was a waste for us - small kids, very hot and no one spoke English - just go to the beach area here and you'll have a good time.
The beach is right down from the place the shuttle drops you off. Just walk to the end of the block and take a left and walk down that street. The beach is right there. It's not as pretty as what you will see in Cozumel, but it's still a great place to relax.