Even though I have been so thankful and excited about the colder, fall weather we’ve finally been having in Northern California, tonight I’m throwing it back to hot and sunny Jamaica!
When we originally booked our adventure with Royal Caribbean on the Independence of the Seas, Eli and I didn’t plan on doing any excursions. We decided that we would just enjoy the days as they came and go with the flow on the activities in the port destination like we did in Haiti (click here to see that post). However, once we were on the ship, he decided that he wanted to do something at each stop so we could learn about where we had been.
The second stop was in Falmouth, Jamaica. We took a bus tour along the countryside to Montego Bay and I am so glad we did. In Falmouth at the port, there were a lot of places you could shop and a few restaurants, but that was about it so I was glad that we were able to see part of the country that not a lot of people would see and learn more about the land.
Our tour guide was a local woman who was very funny and made our tour fun and informative. Jamaica declared their independence from the United Kingdom in 1962 and they are the 5th largest islands in the Caribbean. Tourism is one of their main economies and they take their jobs very seriously. Credit isn’t common in Jamaica and so most people build their homes one room at a time until they can afford to add-on. It was very strange to see so many beautiful resorts on the ocean side of the highway and half-built houses on the mountain side.
But who wouldn’t love to see this on the drive home everyday? I know I would!
On our way to Monetgo Bay, we drove through a wealthy neighborhood where the rich people lived and where some celebrities apparently had houses. It was so interesting to see the different houses and wonder what it would have been like to live there. In that same neighborhood, there were the remains of an old windmill that they used to use over a hundred years ago!
When we got to Montego Bay, we were given 2 hours to explore, get some lunch and buy souvenirs. Our tour guide told us that Jamaica was known for having amazing coffee and rum, so we picked up some Blue Mountain Coffee, Sangster’s Jamaican Cream Rum, and of course some Jamaican Jerk seasoning!! After our shopping, we headed to Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville for lunch because everything else seemed a little shady, and most importantly, they had free Wi-Fi! It had been 3 days and I wanted to check in on our kitty! And maybe post a few pictures on instagram. JWe sat outside on the dock and eat the hugest plate of amazing nachos ever while looking out at the amazing blue waters!! I was so blown away by how blue the Caribbean is! I’ve seen pictures before, but to experience it first hand truly is incredible!! If the water wasn’t so far down, Eli might have even jumped in!
Aren’t these views beautiful?? It reminded me of Pirates of the Caribbean, but I wasn’t too surprised, Port Royale was in Jamaica 🙂
On the way back to the port, we stopped at a restaurant where we were given a post lunch treat of authentic Jamaican Banana bread and Blue Mountain coffee. Lisa’s dad and step mom were also on the tour with us, and we chatted over our snacks about the wedding, the heat and the new iphone that was rumored to be out any day!
When we got back to port, we explored the shops a little and tried some blended coffees and baked meat pies before deciding to call it a day in Jamaica and hit the pool before dinner. Every time I looked up and saw our ship waiting for us, it was so surreal to think that is was our home for the next couple days.
When we met up with everyone else in our group, we were all excited about the Jamaican culture we had all just experienced. We all practiced our newly learned Jamaican phrases until late in the night when someone said, “We’ve officially left Jamacia, can we stop now??” To which I replied, “Yeah, mon!”
Thanks for letting me share the second part of my Caibbean Travel series with you! I hope you enjoyed seeing part of our trip! Stay tuned for part 3, my favorite of the ports, Grand Cayman!