Vacation Sagas

2007 Caribbean Cruise Trip Report

Pre-Cruise At Sea Montego Bay, Jamaica Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands Cozumel, Mexico At Sea / Post-Cruise

I've added some background music to play as you read. If you don't like it, just click it off or on.


Dey-o, dey-o
Daylight come and me wan' go home
Dey, me say dey, me say dey, me say dey
Me say dey, me say dey-o
Daylight come and me wan' go home

Wednesday, September 19, 2007 Montego Bay, Jamaica
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After our second day At Sea, our ship arrived in Montego Bay, Jamaica at 8:00 AM.

Lesley and I were up early for our shore tour where we were promised to: "See the world through the eyes of a jungle bird as you glide silently through a tunnel of trees in the Jamaican jungle."

Once off the ship, everyone was corralled in the terminal, lined up behind signs labeled with the various tour names. While Lesley and I waited, we found Patsy and Rich approaching their waiting sport for their tour to experience the invigorating waters of Dunn's River Falls followed by a pampering at the beach.

When the groups had all gathered, we were led outside to board the bus allocated to take us to our day's adventure. For Lesley and I that means the Canopy Adventure lining.

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Bonney and Lesley wait in line. Patsy and Rich wait in line. The waiting busses creat a traffic jam.

Patsy and Rich enjoyed the beach during their shore tour.

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Lesley and my bus spent about half an hour winding its way up the mountain on an extremely narrow road. Actually it more resembled a cow path that had two-way traffic on it and was very close to the edge of the drop off down the mountain.

After a quick potty break (so considerate of them), we met under a pavillion where we were outfitted with hard hats, gloves, and gear, instructed in what would happen, and signed our life away on an accident release form. There were four groups with two guides each, paired with 12 or 13 tourists.

Our guides were named English and Andre. We were the first group who hiked a short distance and stopped before the first zip line platform. There we were further instructed on what to do and assurred that our guides would take care of us, proudly announcing their experience and displaying their large biceps! Andre took the lead, as someone needed to be at the other end to be sure we made it to the platform without majorly injuring ourselves. The rest of us were lined up and clipped onto a safety line until it was our turn to simply walk off the platform. Although I've never done it before, I imagine it to be similar to jumping with a parachute on out of a perfectly good airplane. I believe this time I went before Lesley.

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One of several zip line guides who explained the release form.

While I do have one other zip line exerience at Haleakala Crater in Hawaii to rely on, I was never so unsure as on our first short, unknown zip glide, as I ende up going down backward. Although the view was excellent, there was the little problem of raising my feet upon my approach to the platform...whenever that would be. Fortunately, our trusty guide, Andre, was waiting at the edge, calling out when to life my feet. Then, he caught me!

From there, we hiked a short distance to the next platform. This zip was a little longer than the first and lots of fun. There was one girl in our group who shrieked or hollered the whole way, as she had done on the first. Little did we know that she would do it every time. Neither Lesley or I made any noise, but we did carry big grins for each thrill.

For our first 2 or 3 zips, a cameraman/guide was positioned to photograph us tourists in mid air and later to sell our selections to us at the end of the tour.

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English, our guide. Lesley. Bonney. Bonney, our guide Andre,
and Lesley.

Between our thrill rides we had to hike short distances. Now, I can walk a long way, but I can't do it very fast. In addition, we were going up hill on rainslick mud much of the time. It was also very hot and humid after the rain that had occurred before we got there. The further between platforms, the longer the hike as we got higher and higher on the mountain. Needless to say, I started getting winded and fell to the end of the line up. When I'm hot and over exerted my face turns beet red, possibly making it look like I'm going to have a heart attack! I'm sure this must be the reason my wonderful nextdoor neighbor offers to mow my lawn.

I don't remember if it was the fourth or fifth run, yet longer than the previous ones, where we couldn't see the platform on the other side. I was the last one to go, before English followed everyone at the end. I zipped past two tall trees that were close by and approached the platform, getting ready to lift my feet for my landing. Just as I thought I was almost there, I stopped...short...then drifted back toward the middle for about 15 feet! We had been instructed on how to handle this situation. We were to turn around and do a hand-over-hand pull until we reached the platform, which I started to do. In addition, I had coaching from Andre, who was on the platform. Unfortunately, at that time I discovered two problems: my arms were too short to reach the line for a full grasp of the cable above me, and my gloves were too long so I was attempting to grab with undetectable fingers. Stretched as far as I possibly could, with the ends of my fingers barely wrapped around the cable, I managed to go about 3 feet before I had to drop my arms!

Apparently, this alarmed our guide, Andre, who clipped back onto the line and sped toward me, then wrapped his legs around my waist so he could do the hand-over-hand to reel me in. I believe if it were absolutely necessary, I could have eventually rescued myself. Afterward, I learned that Lesley, too, failed to reach the platform, but was able to retrieve herself.

Our final zip was most of the way down the mountain, a considerable drop, I'm guessing at least 100 yards, as long as a football field. Again for this one, I was last in line, except for English. This was a fantastic ride with a fabulous view. At the end, my speed had picked up to a pretty fast clip, so there was no problem reaching the platform. What I didn't know then was about the huge tree trunk at the back side of the platform that I proceeded to crash into, almost head first, even though Andre was trying to slow me down. Thus the need for helmets! And they were considerate enough to put a large pad around the tree trunk, as this must be a normal event. I got applause from the rest of the group standing around waiting for the last one in line, with a few chuckles about others doing the same thing. THIS WAS AN EXCELENT TOUR!!! I already want to go back.

Since we were almost to our starting point, we hiked a little way to a small shuttle back to the pavillion. There, we looked around at souvenirs and purchased a few of the photos that had been taken earlier. It was pretty cool because they had the photos in color on computers so we could choose the ones we liked, then burned them to a CD. We waited a while for the other groups to return, boarded our bus, and took our drive down the cow path, back to our ship.

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A bus serving as a gift shop. A little entertainment while we waited to return to the ship.

We were offered a drop of in a shopping area after some got off the bus to return to the ship. While shopping, I purchased souvenir playing cards, post cards, and a couple of elephants to add to my collection. I don't remember if Lesley bought anything this time. Exhausted, Lesley and I caught a taxi back to the ship, sun burned a little more, and very pleased with our great experience.

Meanwhile, Olga and the Adairs spent their day in Jamaica shopping and seeing the sights.

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Typical Jamaicans soliciting sales or donations. Which way did they go? Come this-a-way.
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Bobby sure likes hugging! Bobby, a local Jamaican, and Debbie. Debbie with a local Jamaican.
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I'd trade something to get this fella! Olga, Bobby, and Barbara. Bobby and Barbara.
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Johnny and Debbie. Bobby, Johnny, Debbie, and Barbara. Barbara.
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Back at the ship. As the ship leaves we say farewell to Jamaica.

While Lesley and I were out exerting ourselves, and Olga returned from shopping with the Adairs, she and Randy went to the art auction where Randy won his bid on a Thomas Kinkade print for $200, then learned he had to have it framed on the ship before he could arrange to ship it home.

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Carmel, Sunset on Ocean Avenue.

After doing so, he was given a smaller print for free that, oh by the way, had to be framed, too. The smaller one he had selected was one Olga liked, so he was hoping she would pay for that framing and shipping to her home. It was Anatole Krasnyansky's painting Street of Old Prague.

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Street of Old Prague.

So $800 later he had two framed prints packaged up to mail home. His cat will be very happy with his new view while Randy is working!

Patsy and Rich did some more exploring around the ship and somehow Rich ended in a line up!

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The water slide. Rich in the lineup.

Our ship departed Jamaica at 5:30 PM. Back onboard early gave us plenty of time to clean up and rest before dinner.

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We had a lot of fun eating and telling about our experiences. Typically, between dinner and serving dessert, our wait staff performed some kind of entertainment. This night it was reggae dancing in a conga line. I stayed by our table so I could pick up some steps from Raymond.

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James. Silvia. Patsy and Rich.
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Lesley, Bonney, and Randy. Bonney and Raymond. Let's dance! Patsy getting into the swing of things!

More pro photos.

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Pre-Cruise At Sea Montego Bay, Jamaica Next -> Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands Cozumel, Mexico At Sea / Post-Cruise

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