Cruise Lines Contend With All
In North America, the cruise industry has been treading water since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a No Sail Order March 2020. Although ships have already started sailing in Europe and Asia, the ocean-faring vessels on this side of the Atlantic and Pacific are still waiting to cast off their lines. Until recently, only ships with fewer than 200 passengers and crew members were allowed to sail, which limited the seafaring options to river and coastal voyages. But a spate of new developments could help launch if not a thousand ships then at least a few dozen this summer.
For people who love cruising, this is going to be very joyous, said Chris Gray Faust, managing editor of Cruise Critic. The return to cruising is not obstacle-free see Floridas ban on vaccine passports. Travelers should stay flexible as itineraries, departure dates and safety protocols take shape.
Here is an overview of the current state of cruising and what you need to know before booking a cruise and busting out your bathing suit, passport and vax card.
The Best Cruises To Jamaica
Visiting Jamrock, as Jamaicans often call their island home, is the best way to learn about this Caribbean nations unique culture, traditions and history. Reggae music, which Bob Marley called the kings music, was born in Jamaica. Reggaes main message is one of equality, justice and love. Travelers who want to feel a little of this message should accept Marley’s invitation to come to Jamaica, mon. A cruise is an easy way to get a taste of island life. Most cruise lines sailing the Caribbean include Jamaica in their itineraries, with some providing unique experiences.
Carnival Cruise Line Returns To Jamaica As Island Reopens To Cruise Industry
Carnival Cruise Line becomes the first cruise line to return to Jamaica, with the Carnival Sunrise making a call at Ocho Rios.
Cruising returned to Jamaica this morning at 07:30 AM local time as Carnival Sunrise docked in the port of Ocho Rios. The Carnival cruise ship became the first to visit the island since it shut down last year for all cruise operations.
Carnival Sunrise is now the seventh ship in the Carnival Cruise Line fleet to start operating. On Saturday, the cruise ship departed from Miami, Florida, bringing back fun to the Caribbean Island of Jamaica and Bimini in the Bahamas.
Costa Smeralda Trip Report Day : Tasting The Med Onboard & Ashore
This week contributing writer Bruce Parkinson is sailing a four-night cruise on Costa Cruises in the Mediterranean. Bruce has been writing daily trip reports to share his experience as he sails from Barcelona to Rome.;The true joys of traveling are experiencing new sights, meeting new people and sampling new flavors. But I have to admit, the donkey mortadella was a surprise.I was on the
Feel The Need For Speed At Mystic Mountain
Mystic Mountain, located in Ocho Rios, is one of the most popular shore excursions. This Rainforest Adventures location offers many thrilling adventures in the heart of the Jamaican rainforest. The main attractions include the Sky Explorer aerial lift, the famous Bobsled Jamaica attraction, the Ragga Ride, and a canopy zipline.
During your visit to Mystic Mountain, be sure to hop onboard the signature bobsled attraction to reenact a scene from Cool Runnings. Soar down the mountainside in your very own bobsled just like the famous Olympic team.
You can combine the bobsled with the various other attractions depending on your level of thrill-seeking for some amazing panoramic views of the rainforest and nearby Dunns River Falls.
Guests can make a day out of it with the Ultimate Mystic Mountain Package. Or perhaps, couple a visit to this popular location with a visit to Dunns River Falls itself.
Related Post:Caribbean Cruise Packing Guide
You May Like: What Are The Best Cruise Ship Jobs
Local Currency & Tipping Customs
The official currency in Jamaica is the Jamaican Dollar, but United States Dollars are accepted in many tourist destinations. Credit cards and debit cards are also accepted in most tourist areas, but its always a good idea to have some local currency on hand. As for tipping, consider tipping anywhere from 15% to 20% for good service. Some places accept tips in both Jamaican and US dollars.
Carnival Sunrise Makes First Cruise Call In Jamaica Since 2020
The Carnival Sunrise arrived in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, today, marking the lines first time back to Jamaica in 17 months, according to a press release.;
The arrival also represents the reopening of cruising in Jamaica as it is the first cruise ship to call on a Jamaican port since the cruise industry paused operations in March 2020.
Carnival Sunrises leadership team joined local officials for a ceremonial plaque exchange to commemorate their return. Ocho Rios is among the featured ports on the ships five-day Caribbean cruise that departed PortMiami August 14.We are delighted to be the first cruise ship to return to Jamaica and to offer guests an opportunity to experience all of the countrys beauty, said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. On behalf of Carnival, I would like to personally thank the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Health and Wellness, and our partners for working with us to bring safe cruising back to Jamaica.
I am very pleased to announce that Jamaica has finally seen the return of cruise today with the arrival of Carnival Sunrise. We welcome this resumption as we know that thousands of Jamaicans depend on the cruise shipping industry, and it will have a positive impact on our economy overall, added Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett.
Also Check: Which Cruise Lines Depart From Tampa
A Cruise Day In Ocho Rios
There are as many activities to do on your cruise day in Ocho Rios as there are beaches.; Your cruise line offers dozens of fun, entertaining, historic and tasty shore excursion to choose.; There are also independent shore excursion operators that you can find online.;
Sign up for a breathtaking zip-line ride and glide above the rain forest canopy.; Form a human chain and climb to the top of Dunns River Falls. A short walk from the port is Island Village, a shopping, dining and entertainment complex with Jimmy Buffets iconic beachfront Margaritaville.; Tucked behind Margaritaville is a small local restaurant owned by my friend, Lobster Dave.;;
Those interested in serious shopping in Ocho Rios can head over to the two-story, open air Taj Mahal shopping mall. Many shore excursions include a stop at Taj Mahal for a last minute spree to purchase duty-free liquor and fine jewelry and gemstones.; Resist the temptation to buy Cuban cigars.; Passengers still cannot bring these into the U.S.;
Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise
This annual five-night round-trip cruise sails out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and visits the ports of Montego Bay and Ocho Rios in Jamaica. Reggae artists are invited aboard Royal Caribbeans Independence of the Seas so guests feel like theyre at a reggae festival even before they dock in Jamaica. Theres a pre-party and an after-party near the port in Fort Lauderdale to extend the fun. Passengers are invited to decorate the door to their cabins with a Jamaican or reggae theme and be eligible to win a prize.
Recommended Reading: What Is An Alaskan Cruise
New Oceania Cruises Ship Vista Breaks Booking Record As Itineraries Go On Sale
Oceania Cruises new ship Vista has set an all-time single day booking record with the opening for sale of her inaugural April, 2023 itineraries.Vistas 18 debut cruise itineraries opened for booking on September 15th and sold out on the same day, 60% faster than Oceanias previous booking record.<img aria-describedby=”caption-attachment-13391″ data-attachment-id=”13391″
Culture And History Of Jamaica
The original name of the island was Xaymaca, which means land of wood and water. After Christopher Columbus discovered Jamaica in 1494, the native Arawak people were displaced and the island was colonized and used by the Spanish mainly as a supply base for food and weapons. In 1655, the British attacked Jamaica, and Spain eventually surrendered the island to England.
Under English settlement, pirating was rampant. Buccaneers eventually took control of Port Royal, a town that was known at the time as the wealthiest and wickedest city in the world. Sugar exports grew exponentially, and in order to keep up with the demand, enslaved Africans were taken to the island against their will to work in the plantations. There were many slave rebellions and confrontations until 1808, when the Abolition Bill was passed and slavery was finally outlawed.
On August 6, 1962, Jamaica gained independence from England. Even though it is a small island in the Caribbean, Jamaican culture has a strong global influence, specifically in music. Local genres such as reggae, ska, dub, and dancehall are famous around the world.
Jamaica Port Facilities & Location
Recommended Reading: Which Cruises Leave From New York
What Youneed To Know
- Port Name & LocationPort of Montego Bay. Ship will DOCK at this port.
- Time ZoneEastern Standard Time ZoneUTC/GMT-5
- LanguageThe local language spoken in Montego Bay is English.
- Currency & ShoppingFor in-city shopping, the Jamaican Dollar is the local currency used. The 17th century Fort Montego has been transformed into the Old Fort Craft Market where you can find a wide range of souvenirs at more than 100 stalls. If you do plan on purchasing items, be prepared to bargain with vendors.
- Famous ForMontego Bay is known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife and outdoor adventures.
- Fun Fact #1Doctors Cave Beach is one of Montego Bays most popular beaches where visitors are drawn to its tranquil turquoise water and powder-soft sands.
- Fun Fact #2As one of the countrys biggest rivers, the Martha Brae River provides the ideal setting for an eco-friendly rafting adventure on bamboo rafts through lush rainforest.
- Fun Fact: FoodiesMontego Bay’s diverse lineup of restaurants offers a wide range of dining experiences. From fresh seafood dishes to Jamaica’s famous jerk chicken , you can savour authentic Jamaican cuisine.
Us Congressman Pushing For Cruise Ships To Permanently Bypass British Columbia
Alaska Congressman Don Young has introduced legislation that, if passed, would allow cruise ships to permanently skip ports in British Columbia.Young, a Republican serving his 25th term in the U.S. House of Representatives, is pushing for a law that would allow ports or land owned by Tribes or Alaska Native Corporations to satisfy the Passenger Vessel Services Acts; foreign stop
You May Like: What Is Disney’s Newest Cruise Ship
What Are The Health Risks For Jamaica
While the pandemic still poses a threat to travelers and residents of areas that rely on the travel industry, the Jamaican government is now taking a line of risk management.
Stating the importance of the cruise industry, the Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, said a balance is needed between protecting lives and livelihoods:
These are the challenges we face but we cannot continue to manage the pandemic by always shutting down. Shutting down has serious financial implications and increases the fiscal risk to agencies and statutory bodies like the Port Authority.
Carnival Cruise Line has decided to sail with at least 95% of the guests and crew fully vaccinated. The cruise line will be conducting extensive testing with those guests who have not been vaccinated. Tourism workers in Jamaica involved with the cruise industry will all receive a vaccination if they havent done so yet.
Tourism attractions in the area will be accredited by the government as soon as all those working there have been vaccinated.
The Prime Minister of the island even went as far as to say that cruise lines will not be calling in Jamaica if tourism workers who intend to interface with their clients are not vaccinated.
Top Things To Do In Jamaica
Explore the Green Grotto Caves
On a Jamaica cruise, descend into the fascinating Green Grotto Caves, a network of underground passageways that are reportedly over five million years old. Located near the area where Christopher Columbus first stepped foot on the Caribbean island, the Green Grotto Caves are a stunning natural attraction full of breathtaking stalactites and stalagmites, light holes, and a crystal-clear grotto lake. Learn about the caves rich history and how the Arawaks used it as a refuge from the Spanish colonizers. Before you leave, make sure to stop by the mythical wishing well, where youre encouraged to toss in a coin for good luck.
Hike Up Dunns River Falls
Hike up Dunns River Falls, one of Jamaicas most popular natural attractions and one of the only travertine waterfalls in the world to fall directly into the sea. As you make your way up this 180-foot-high trail of spectacular waterfalls and springs, youll pass by captivating natural pools that make for the perfect spot for a refreshing dip in the water. At the end of the falls, youll arrive at Little Dunns River Beach, another Jamaican oasis where you can rest and relax under the sun.
Swim with Dolphins at Dolphin Cove
You May Like: What’s The Largest Cruise Ship
Ocho Rios Cruise Port
A combination of waterfalls and botanical gardens create Ocho Rios signature beauty. The Ocho Rios cruise port is the countrys largest and sits centrally among top Jamaica attractions. If youre a nature enthusiast, floral splendor and a steady waterfall await at Shaw Park Gardens, or drive Fern Gullys roadway to take in miles of leafy life forming a tunnel. Mix in adventure by climbing against the rushing force of Dunns River Falls or soaring through Mystic Mountains rainforest vegetation.
Montego Bay Cruiseimage Gallery
- Hike through lush rainforest to the famed Dunns River Falls.
- Experience picture-perfect vistas in Montego Bay.
- Enjoy an eco-adventure on a bamboo rafting tour.
- Discover natural beauty at every turn in Montego Bay.
- Sample fresh local fruits while touring Montego Bay.
- Browse for local souvenirs while exploring Montego Bay.
- Savour a local favourite – jerk chicken.
- Enjoy a relaxing bamboo rafting experience.
- Encounter a wide range of colourful locals at Rockland’s Bird Sanctuary.
- Discover paradise at the famous Blue Hole.
You May Like: How Much Is An Alaskan Cruise
Cruises To Montego Bay
Situated on Jamaica’s north coast, Montego Bay is one of the country’s largest, most vibrant cities. For a glimpse into local culture and history, visit Sam Sharpe square downtown to see historical monuments, browse local shops and savour delicious cuisine. Or journey outside the city and immerse yourself in spectacular natural beauty – from pristine beaches and lush jungles to mesmerizing waterfalls. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures like rafting or kayaking or to simply soak in some relaxation on an expansive beach, Montego Bay has something for everyone to enjoy.
Your Gateway To Cruising Around Jamaica
The heartbeat of the world is connected to the sea via five ports in the cities of Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Falmouth, Port Antonio, and Kingston. These cruise ports in Jamaica are equipped to handle colossal passenger ships and boutique yachts.
Embarking on an extraordinary experience once setting foot in these multifaceted towns is almost effortless. In between exciting the palate at an exotic fruit stall or smokey jerk joint, make the most of a cruise stop at one of our islands natural wonders, heritage sites, and more! No matter the desired vacation experience, your docking destination is likely to offer it.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Great Deals On Cruises
Top Food And Drink In Jamaica
Jamaican cuisine ranges from mild to wild, a result of its British, Spanish, and African influences. One of the staples for breakfast or lunch is saltfish with ackee, a fruit with the taste and texture of scrambled eggs. During your cruise to Jamaica, you must try the legendary flavor of jerk, a signature seasoning invented by runaway slaves which adds a distinctly Jamaican kick to chicken, lamb, pork, fish, and even veggies.
Get Adventurous At Blue Hole
Blue Hole is a natural phenomenon located in the hills of Ocho Rios. Its signature blue hole certainly lives up to its name with stunning hues and calm, refreshing waters.
The area is fed by cascades of the Secret Falls and is the perfect spot for swimming and relaxation. If you are feeling adventurous, there is also a section for diving. Channel your inner Tarzan on the rope swing for some one of a kind cliff jumping. Or, you can even explore some underwater caves or hike the small series of waterfalls.
This attraction can also be combined with other activities on the White River including river tubing/rafting.
Recommended Reading: Where To Stay When Cruising Out Of Miami
Foodies Delight: Silverseas New Salt Delivers Local Tastes
Youve heard the old expression, When in Rome, do as the Romans do.;Well, perhaps theres no more effective way to do that from a culinary perspective than to sail on Silverseas new 596-passenger Silver Moon.Its the first of the ultra-luxury lines ships to offer the S.A.L.T. program, which also will debut later this year on new sister ship, Silver Dawn.Silver Moon
Montego Bay Cruise Port
Jamaicas tourist capital holds our second largest cruise port. Visitors to Montego Bay flock to the reputed curative waters of the famous Doctors Cave Beach, championship golf courses with striking views, and legendary great houses like the infamous Rose Hall Plantation. A stroll down the lively Hip Strip provides a wad of activities, iconic entertainment hotspots, cuisine, shopping, and gaming options.
Read Also: Why Are Disney Cruises So Expensive