Friday, August 3, 2012

Caribbean Cruise Week - Jamaica, Mon!

The next morning after departing Grand Cayman, we awoke to sights of Falmouth, Jamaica. Falmouth has built a new cruise terminal that will accommodate two ships although for once, we were the only vessel in port.

It was interesting to watch the captain back this large ship into what seemed a narrow berth and dealing with stiff side winds wanting to send the ship in another direction. Ahhh, but our Captain Flemming was most talented and we were safely docked in short order.

Arriving in Falmouth, Jamaica

Falmouth Pier

Since the pier is relatively new, everything was super clean and tidy. Lots of shops to browse around in and buy trinkets.

Our shore excursion for the day was a trip to the 2,000 acre Good Hope Estate Plantation for an ATV ride. Once out of the port area, the town of Falmouth itself is undergoing transformation and restoration. Not everything is hunky dory, but hopefully more of the tourists' monies will end up staying in Falmouth over time.

Upon arriving at Good Hope after a short 30 minute ride, we had brief disagreement with the tour operators about having to leave our back packs in lockers. Since we were not informed about having to leave our belongings behind, our little group of 8 demanded to speak to a supervisor. We were not about to leave our things there and felt it was a scam to get us to pay the $5.00 USD locker rental. Mind you, we have already ponied up a chunk of change to do this excursion to start with. We also told them if we had to pay for lockers, then no tips would be paid at the end. Money talks. The tour operators finally relented and off we went to the ATV area.

First we did the mandatory safety briefing and then took a short ride so they could see the experience level of all riders. We got moved up in the line to almost behind the guide with the less experienced riders at the back with the second guide bringing up the rear. Zoom! Zoom!

We were taken on a leisurely tour around the plantation and given some history about it. The plantation was built in 1774 as a sugar plantation but was in the process of switching to growing oranges. There were several old abandoned stone buildings on the plantation. We took a short break by one of them and got to eat oranges grown on the plantation.

Sally, George, Paul and Sharon at one of the ruins

Our ride continued on around the plantation, weaving among the orange groves and fields. I was surprised by how hilly Jamaica was. I don't know why but I didn't expect it. The scenery was beautiful.

View from up high on the plantation

Beep! Beep! Here I come!

At one point, we stopped by an old water wheel building. Beautiful tropical plants and flowers surrounded this area. There was even a banana tree here with a huge bunch of bananas on it.

One of our Guides at the Water Wheel

Iron Gridwork in the Wall

Tropical Flower - Hibiscus maybe?

Another flower - Variety Unknown

It seemed that our ATV ride was over too soon. It was time for lunch before returning to the ship. We ate Jamaican Jerk Chicken that was pretty tasty and washed it down with a delicious rum punch of some kind. After lunch, we checked out the pottery that was in an old building on the plantation while we waited for the bus to return.

Pottery Building

I enjoyed my time in Jamaica. With the exception of the locker issue, I found the people to be warm and friendly.  It was so cool when our ship pulled away from the pier, many of the workers came out and tooted horns and waved good-bye. Whether this is typical or not at other ports, I don't know. It didn't happen in Galveston or Cozumel. Of course we waved back from our balcony!

Good-bye from Jamaica!

Next - more "at sea" days and the return to Galveston.


  1. I'm glad you stuck to your guns.
    Great photos and it looks like you had a lot of fun! keep them photos coming!

  2. We've been to Jamaica (a hundred years ago...really, when our middle-aged kids were in high school/college)....but this town/port was probably not even there then. We found it to be very friendly and always wanted to go many places.....

  3. You captured a variety of sites in Jamaica, all lovely and tropical. I especially liked the iron gridwork in the wall of the water wheel building. It looks like a fun cruise!

  4. Good that your numbers brought the operators around. Love that pottery building.

  5. Hi there - great set of pictures - I think its a shame that the charge for the locker was such an issue. I suppose people have to make a living - but if should have been part of the price. I don't think I would have ever picked that second picture as Jamaica.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Australia


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