Mom and Dad loved cruises and have been on more than a few. Vanja and I? None. No desire. Maybe a little fear, actually. Lots of problems on cruise ships with proper healthcare and international law…. but, she found the cruise and really wanted to go for “One last big trip!” My response? “OK! If you want to have one last big trip, let’s plan it and really do it well.” Her answer? “That’s not how I do things. This came along. It is a great price, so if you want to go, we’ll go, and if not, that’s fine, too.” So, we’re going. We have always wanted to travel to New Orleans, so I am very excited about that. Mom was not interested in adding a few days there at either end of the trip, so I will just have to go back. Soon, I hope! (Life is getting shorter, daily~!)
Situated on Jamaica’s North coast about 18 miles east of Montego Bay, Falmouth is noted for being one of the Caribbean’s best-preserved Georgian towns. Visitors to Falmouth will experience the revitalization of one of the first shipping ports in the Caribbean, with a rich heritage dating back more than 240 years. Falmouth flourished as a market center and port for decades when Jamaica was the world’s leading sugar producer.
Most recent development includes a two-berth pier, retail establishments, restaurants and a transportation center. In the future, there will be onsite attractions and experiences, hotel and residential components along with additional retail and restaurant options.
Visit the spectacular Dunn’s River Falls near Ocho Rios, where you can climb 600 feet up from the base of the falls or retreat to the beach where the rushing water exits into the ocean. At Dolphin Cove you can watch the dolphins at play or walk through the jungle to see friendly birds and iguanas.
Visit Good Hope Great House and tour one of the immaculately preserved homes on a former sugar plantation, which dates back to the 1770s and sits on over 2,000 acres. From dune buggy safaris and river tubing to a horse and buggy tour, you will find many activities to keep you entertained. Here you will discover the ruins of buildings that were once the jewel of the Caribbean on its estate grounds. Be sure to visit the local pottery house and enjoy an authentic Jamaican lunch.
The pulse of Falmouth radiates from the heart of Water Square where you’ll discover the Albert George Shopping and Historical Center. Pick up local craftwork wares that showcase the history and culture of the area and make memorable souvenirs for visitors and those back home. Wednesday morning was made for the most dedicated shoppers, as dealers fill stall after stall with native produce and gifts you won’t find anywhere else you journey.
A trip to Falmouth, Jamaica, wouldn’t be complete without sampling one of the more than 300 different jerk recipes that are cooked locally. From shrimp and lobster to chicken and pork, the jerk recipe is the signature of the city’s tasty fare. Complement this culinary adventure by sampling local refreshing fruits like the ackee, breadfruit and star apple, a sweet finish to your flavorful journey.
The Jamaican dollar (JMD) is the official unit of currency. U.S. dollars, traveler’s checks and credit cards are widely accepted. You’ll be able to pay with U.S. dollars at nearly every restaurant and shop in town, but be prepared to get change in Jamaican dollars if U.S. currency is not available.
Passengers depart immediately for excursions with the cruise lines, and the arrival of Falmouth’s port has led to a slew of new offerings by Chukka (the tour operator that runs many cruise ship tours) on the vast grounds of Good Hope Great House, one of Jamaica’s most stately plantation homes. But you could easily spend a few hours admiring the town’s architecture, popping into a jerk joint for a very authentic snack for a few dollars or taking in the town scene from above with a perch at Cafe Nazz. If the beach is calling, there are a few within a 10-minute taxi ride, and Montego Bay’s party beaches are only 30 minutes away/
Shore excursions by Chukka Tourism, Jamaica here
Experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure: snorkeling with stingrays at Stingray City Sandbar. These relatively tame creatures will swim right into your arms as they glide around you. They have velvety soft skin and love to have their bellies rubbed. Despite their frightening name, they are very gentle and won’t hurt you as long as you stay away from their tails.
Grand Cayman is humorously referred to as “Brand Cayman” by those savvy shoppers who know the island’s reputation for fabulous duty-free prices on designer merchandise. Great bargains abound on jewelry and watches from Caribbean Hook, Chopard, Honora, House of Tanzanite, John Atencio, John Hardy, Kabana, Roberto Coin, Starnight, Alfex, Cartier, Concord, Faconnable, Gucci, Maurice Lacroix, Michele, Movado, Wenger and more. Fine china, crystal, perfumes, leather, rum cakes, and liquor are available at bargain prices. Local crafts and treasure coins found in retail shops in George Town are also great buys.
The official currency of the Cayman Islands is the Cayman Islands dollar (KYD). U.S. dollars, credit cards, and traveler’s checks are widely accepted.
Shore Excursions here.
More tips here.
Shore excursions here.