Big Ship Cruising: Carnival Freedom Live Voyage Report – Day 6

Progreso, Mayans and Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza's El Castillo, the anchorpiece of the ancient Mayan-Tulmec civilization. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
Chichen Itza’s El Castillo, the anchorpiece of the ancient Mayan-Toltec civilization. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Once again, another blustery morning greeted Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Freedom as we sailed into Progreso, Mexico. Unlike our evening departure from Cozumel, our arrival into the port at the northern tip of the Yucatan was bathed in brilliant sunshine that illuminated the water that glistened like sea-glass buried in some forgotten tropical beach.

Watching the sun rise over Carnival Freedom as we sailed into Progreso early this morning. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
Watching the sun rise over Carnival Freedom as we sailed into Progreso early this morning. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
A large outdoor observation area situated on Deck 10 forward provides some spectacular views. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
A large outdoor observation area situated on Deck 10 forward provides some spectacular views. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
Sailing to Progreso. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
Sailing to Progreso. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Today, I participated in Carnival’s massive 7-hour long tour to the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza. Priced at $79.99 per person, the tour was supposed to kick off at 9:15 in the morning, but ended up being moved ahead by over an hour to 8:00 a.m. Guests were notified of this change at 7:00 a.m. via a phone call to their stateroom. In my case, I was up having breakfast and only discovered the change at 7:45 a.m. when I returned to my stateroom.

Photographing Towel Animal Seaside Theatre this morning. It turns out I should have been getting ready for my excursion, which was bumped up by an hour. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
Photographing Towel Animal Seaside Theatre this morning. It turns out I should have been getting ready for my excursion, which was bumped up by an hour. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

We then proceeded to the Victoriana Show Lounge on Deck 3, where we sat for approximately 40 minutes while the ship completed maneuvering procedures in Progreso. By the time I was sitting on the motorcoach pierside, the time was approximately 9:00 a.m., which left me a little baffled as to why the tour was moved ahead in the first place.

Disembarking Carnival Freedom in Progreso...Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
Disembarking Carnival Freedom in Progreso…Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
...and traveling to Chichen Itza. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
…and traveling to Chichen Itza. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Be that as it may, Carnival did a fabulous job with their Chichen Itza Mayan Ruins Tour. A 2.5-hour long drive away from Progreso, Chichen Itza (pronounced che-chen-eetsa) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site noted for its historical and cultural importance. UNESCO lists it as the most important example of Maya-Toltec architecture, influence, and historical record from the 10th to 15th century that remains in the world.

El Castillo. You've probably seen this before...and it's enormously breathtaking in real life. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
El Castillo. You’ve probably seen this before…and it’s enormously breathtaking in real life. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
El Castillo Heights. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
El Castillo Heights. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

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