Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My Caribbean Vacation - Day 10 - Jamaica Day

Click here for DAY 1DAY 2DAY 3 , DAY 4, 
DAY 5 , DAY 6 DAY 7 ,  DAY 8
or DAY 9

Also, HERE is my tour of the Carnival Victory

DAY 10 - JAMAICA DAY - Monday Sept 9, 2013 

I had my alarm set for 7:00AM this morning. IT'S JAMAICA DAY!!!
Christina was still sleeping so I went quietly out on the balcony to see where we were. I could see Jamaica!! We were cruising parallel to the island for a while. Jamaica is a long island, and our port (Ocho Rios) is in the middle along the north side of the island. As I watched off the back of the ship, I could see we were begining to turn toward the island. We must be getting close.

I woke Christina around 7:20. I didn't want her to miss our approach to her first island.

As we came closer to the island, a Jamaican police boat came out to escort us in.
They were very friendly. There were a lot of us waving off the side  (and back) of the ship, and they waved back

The police boat was joined by a couple of jet skis

As we pulled in towards the pier, the ship slowed down and turned around to pull up to the dock.

As the back of the ship swung around toward the island, I was able to get this "WELCOME TO OCHO RIOS" message that was made out of bushes. Well, I got most of it anyway.

We weren't able to get off the ship until 10:00AM, so Christina and I took showers and went down to get some breakfast.


I got my ham and very melted cheesy omelet and filled my plate with bacon and other goodies. Christina fixed herself a plate too, and we carried them one flight down the stairs and back to our cabin.
I was a nice morning to eat on the balcony again.

We were able to get off the ship at 10, but Christina and I took it easy and let the first rush of people off the ship before we went down to deck 0.

We took our time getting ready and left Carlos his tip with a note.

Out in the hallway, we saw Ari


He he told us to have a great day in Jamaica today!

We went down to deck 0, dinged our cards through the machine and we were off the ship around 10:30ish

Ahhhhhh............beautiful Jamaica!! I really love Jamaica. I was so happy to be back for my 2nd time.

Today, Christina and I were going to go to Mystic Mountain. We were going to ride the Sky Explorer up to the top of the mountain and then ride the Jamaican bobsleds back down through the rainforest. The highlight of the day was going to be ZIP-LINING through the rainforest!
We also planned to eat lunch and shop a little before we came back to the ship.

Let's get this day started!!!
Looking back at our ship from the pier.


We were directed into this building to get our wristbands and wait for a bus to take us to Mystic Mountain

We waited for a few minutes, and it was getting hot already. 
Soon we were directed to a bus and we loaded in. 
When the bus was full (about 15 people) we headed out. 
Our bus driver said "Hello" to all of us, but that was about it.
In 2011, our bus driver, No-Problem Peter, told us all about Jamaica and sang "Day-o" with us while he drove. This guy didn't interact with us at all. 
Christina and I had been prepared to tip our driver, but since he didn't really do anything extra for us (we had already paid for the ride with our excursion fee) we decided not to tip him. 
It was about a 10 minute ride to Mystic Mountain

We got off the bus and grouped around this guide. She explained what we were going to be doing today.

After a few minutes, we headed down the path through the rainforest to get on the sky explorer.
The park rainforest was so beautiful. Christina and I walked slowly taking it all in, and we stopped to snap a few pictures.

 These next 2 pictures of the Sky Explorer are not my photos. I grabbed them off the web so you can see how we rode to the top of the mountain (Thank you if these are your pictures!)

The Sky Explorer is a ski lift. You sit on the benches and ride over the top of the rainforest to the top of the mountain. The ride up takes about 15-20 minutes.

This picture shows how you get on the Sky Explorer. See the group of people standing and waiting for a the next chair to come down. It will swing around behind them. As the chair comes behind you, you sit down and up the mountain you go! 

Christina and I successfully got on our chair and we were heading up!

It's a very peaceful ride, and we had beautiful views of our ship on the way up.

It was turning into a pretty hot morning. At the top of the mountain we got off the Sky Explorer and went straight into the gift shop and bought bottles of water............or rather.............WATA
We thought that was pretty funny! Wata

We found a table and sat down for a few minutes to have a smoke and cool off. 

There were drummers and Jamaican dancers

And several tables with hand made souvenirs for sale

We weren't sitting there very long when a man came up to us and welcomed us to Mystic Mountain. He was a bartender at a little bar stand under the pavilion. He told us his name was Donovan (not to be confused with my favorite waiter on the ship also named Donovan!)

New Donovan invited Christina and I to come sit near his bar stand in the shade of the pavilion. 
We gladly moved to a new table in the shade and we talked with New Donovan for a few minutes while we cooled off. It was SO humid. 
We changed out of our flip-flops and into our tennis shoes. 

Christina and I decided to get a locker to put our backpacks in while we went ziplining. We told New Donovan goodbye and we went off to find the lockers.

We shared a locker between the two of us and shoved our backpacks in. 
Now we were ready to zipline!

I didn't bring my camera ziplining. Last time my pictures came out so terrible, I decided to just enjoy my time rather than try to mess with carrying the camera. 

We walked over to the zipline area and got our gear on. Hardhats, ziplining belts, etc....

There were 8 of us in our ziplining group. 3 couples and then Christina and I. 
Our guides were Ricardo and Mark. These guys were so funny!

They showed us what to do, and we ziplined on 6 different lines. 
Some of them were really long. 
We also went straight down on one line to get to a different platform. It was about 30 feet down.
There was also a swinging bridge to walk across to get to our last platform. 

These next pictures are not my pictures (again, thank you if these are yours!)  

On each platform, we were attached to the trees with lines while we waited for each person ahead of us to zip. 

 When it was time to zip to the next platform, they untied us from the lines and hooked us up to the zipline ropes. It looked kind of like this, except we were sweaty and hot.( I don't think we looked quite as glamorous as the people in this pic are making it look)

The ziplining took about an hour.

It was hot but we had so much fun! Our guides, Ricardo and Mark, were really funny and joked around with us a lot. They took very good care of us.

After the last zipline, we were all going to go back up the sky explorer to go back to the top of Mystic Mountain. Christina and I realized we had left all of our money in our backpacks in the locker at the top, but we really wanted to give Ricardo and Mark a tip for being such excellent guides.
We told them our money was up in the locker, and we asked them if we would see them at the top so we could tip them.

Ricardo and Mark asked us to wait for a minute, and they helped the other 3 couples onto the sky explorer to go back up the mountain. 
Mark disappeared, but Ricardo asked Christina and I to follow him. 
So we followed Ricardo into the forest, walking on a little trail. Christina and I had no idea where we were going, but we followed him anyway. 

Ricardo walked along and told us a few interesting facts about Jamaica. He stopped at a tree and pulled a few leaves off it and handed us each one. He asked us to crush the leaf and smell it.
They smelled SO GOOD! It was like spice.
Ricardo told us that it was a spice used in cooking Jamaican foods.

I think it's called pimento.
This is what the leaves looked like.

We walked on through the rainforest with Ricardo entertaining us. I had no idea where we were going, and I was just about to ask him when a few things happened really quickly.

First, Mark reappeared from wherever he had been. 
Also, we
suddenly walked into view of the bobsled tracks
and right then, four bobsleds came shooting down the track toward us. 
Mark and Ricardo (somehow) stopped the bobsleds right on the track in front of us. 

Well, that was cool! How did they do that??!!

Ricardo rushed Christina into one of the bobsleds and Mark helped me into the last one. 
OH! I dawned on me that these guys had called up to the top and asked someone up there to send 4 bobsleds down here to us. 
We are getting a bobsled ride!!! WOW!!

The bobsleds were hooked up together in pairs. 
Ricardo was in the first one with Christina hooked onto his. They took off and were out of sight pretty quickly winding their way down the track.

The bobsleds look like this:
(web image)

And this is two of them hooked up together
(web image)  

Mark got in the 3rd bobsled and I was in the last one that was hooked to his. 
He asked if I was ready, I was. 
Then he told me he was going to make me scream. 
And I did.

I screamed like a 5 year old the entire way down. It was SO fun! 
I have no idea how he made it go so fast, but we were flying down the mountain.

We got to the bottom and Mark braked hard. So hard that my head flew forward and hit the padding in front of me, and then I flew back and hit the back of the seat. 
It was definitely a jarring stop, but it didn't hurt at all. I was still laughing from the ride down. 

A man appeared beside us on the track and asked me where my glasses were?
Oh crap! They must have flown off my face at some point. I was just about to be really sad, these were new prescription sunglasses that my husband had just bought for me before my trip. They were expensive, and I really loved them. 

The man by the track saved me from deep sadness when he suddenly held my glasses out for me! 
OH! My glasses!! I was very happy to see them! They must have flown off my head during our jarring stop.
I thanked him about 5 times. I would have tipped him for this, but my money was still in the locker at the top of the mountain.

In a few seconds, Mark and I were being pulled in our bobsleds back up the track toward the top. 
WOW! That was such a fun ride!! (and I was really glad I had my sunglasses!)
I hoped Christina was having as much fun as I was.
Mark and Ricardo just earned an even bigger tip than we were planning to give them after ziplining! 

We all got off the bobsleds at the top and Christina and I couldn't believe how much fun that was.
We were laughing and gushing all over Mark and Ricardo.

We all walked to the locker area and Christina and I gave Mark and Ricardo each $20.00
That's a huge tip, but it was well deserved by these two. They were awesome!

We all stood around talking for a few minutes. Christina and I got their email addresses and we all posed for a few pictures now that we had our cameras from the locker.

Mark and I

Ricardo and I (I don't know why I look sad in this pic, I was having a blast!)

Christina with Ricardo

Christina and Mark

We had so much fun with those two!! What a great experience for Christina to have for her first time ziplining!

Christina and I said goodbye to Mark and Ricardo and we walked back to the pavilion.  We found our table by New Donovan's bar stand and sat down to catch our breath. 

While we sat there, we told New Donovan all about how much fun we just had with Ricardo and Mark on our ziplining and bobsledding adventure.

Donovan was happy we had such a good time. He introduced us to Alex who was now sitting at the tables under the pavilion with us. 

Alex was................ an interesting fellow.

He was very quiet. Maybe he was shy??
We tried to chat with him while we were all sitting there. He seemed to stare at us a lot with big huge eyes. 
When he did answer us, his answers were delayed, and only one word answers. 

Like this:

Us:  Alex, do you work up here?
Alex: long stare......silence.....more staring at us......and finally he would say "no" very quietly

We tried to have conversation with Alex, but it was difficult.
We liked Alex, but he was just a little .............well, creepy. We were glad New Donovan was nearby.
Alex asked Christina and I to go see the hummingbird habitat, but we made the excuse that we were going to go bobsledding and then eat lunch.
Neither Christina or I wanted to go off into the rainforest with Alex. We didn't feel that he was dangerous or anything, it was just uncomfortable talking to him. He was a bit odd.
We named him "Creepy Alex"............but we didn't tell him we named him that

After we calmed down from our ziplining and our wild and crazy bobsled ride, Christina and I were ready to go on our own bobsled ride. We had paid for a bobsled ride as part of our excursion. Our ride with Ricardo and Mark was a bonus ride.

We said our goodbyes to Donovan and Creepy Alex, and we took a few pictures with them before we headed off

Christina with New Donovan and Creepy Alex:

And me with New Donovan and Creepy Alex:

We gave them both a tip before we left. Yes, we even gave Creepy Alex a few dollars. He was nice, even though he was a bit strange.

Next we walked over to the bobsled area.
This is Beezy. He helped us get into our bobsleds and gave us our instructions on how to work the brakes

We liked Beezy and we had a good time talking to him as we were waiting for our turn.
He was really sweet and his co-workers told us he was shy. After we heard that, Christina and I had a good time joking around with him and trying to embarrass him. 

My ride down the track this time wasn't nearly as exciting as my ride with Mark. I had a great time, but it wasn't as fast or as fun. I have no idea how Mark got that thing to go so fast. This time my glasses stayed on my head.
I still had a good time though!

At the bottom, the same guy was there that had rescued my sunglasses. I happened to have my backpack with me this time, so I gave him a few dollars for helping me earlier.

A few pics of the bobsled track

Back up at the top of Mystic Mountain, Christina and I needed another rest. It was really hot that day.
We made our way back to the pavilion and sat down by New Donovan again.
This time, Alex was gone. New Donovan introduced us to Daniel, who was sitting at the table by the bar stand. This was a busy table!

Daniel was really nice and chatty. We had a great time talking with him and New Donovan. 
As we were sitting there, it started to rain. We were glad we had finished with our ziplining and bobsledding before it rained, but we were a little bummed out that it was raining. 
Daniel told us it rarely rains in Jamaica and that he was happy to see the rain. He called it "Liquid Sunshine" and told us how Jamaicans would catch the rain in rain barrels and use it for everything. Baths, cooking, and even drinking water. After that, Christina and I decided the rain wasn't so bad after all. 

We spent about 20-30 minutes with Daniel and New Donovan, and then we had to get going. We wanted to eat some lunch and then go down to shop by the pier before we went back to the ship. 

Daniel was kind enough to pose for pics with us before we left

Christina and Daniel:

When it was my turn for a picture, I was afraid Daniel was going to touch my back. I was so sweaty from ziplining and bobsledding. It was so humid the back of my shirt was wet and sticking to me.
I told Daniel I was sweaty
He replied "That's ok, we like it that way" and I cracked up!
That was right when Christina snapped the picture
I look like I'm snorting, but I'm laughing at Daniel

Very funny, Daniel!!
After I composed myself, we were able to get a picture

 It wasn't until after we got home and looked closely at our pictures that Christina and I discovered that Daniel was one of the drummers that was entertaining us that day!
Here he is, in the back playing the djembe, and we never knew it!

And we thought he was dressed all cute because he was Jamaican! Turns out it was part of his costume for the band, he he

We said our goodbyes and went off to find the stairs to the restaurant that was above the gift shop.
It was a nice place, and it wasn't crowded at all that day.

We were seated at a table by the windows. We had an awesome view of Jamaica and the port while we ate

We both ordered Jerk Chicken and Fries. 
It was very good!!! 

We ate our lunch and settled our bill and got ready to head back down the mountain on the Sky Explorer.
At this point, it was pouring rain.
We wanted to hurry and get down to the port area, we only had a few hours left in Jamaica and we still had shopping to do.

We had our big blue carnival beach towels with us that day, because we had planned to go swimming in the pool on Mystic Mountain if we had time that day.  Since it was raining and we were running out of time, we used our towels to cover our heads while we walked back over to the Sky Explorer.

We had a VERY wet ride back down. It was pouring.  Since Daniel had told us how precious rain was to the Jamaicans, and we were done with our excursion, we just made the best of it.

When we got to the bottom of the mountain, we walked toward the entrance to catch a bus back.
It's a good thing we had taken the sky explorer down the mountain when we did. Shortly after we got down, they shut off the explorer for a while because of the rain. We could have been stuck at the top for awhile!

There were 30-40 people at the entrance waiting...............and we hoped they weren't all waiting for the same bus we were.
We found out that they were all waiting to go back to their hotel (good!), so when the bus came, Christina and I were able to get right on and find seats.

We rode back toward the port, and the driver asked if we would like to be dropped off at the shops. Yes, Please!

It was only a 10 minute drive back to the port area. The rain had stopped by then so we were safe to take our towels off our heads.

We walked into the Harley Davidson store first. I wasn't planning on buying anything, but I ended up getting a pink t-shirt. It's one of my favorites, so I'm glad I got it after all.

Christina got a few things and then we walked down to the gift shop.

I found a few really neat souvenirs to take home.
I bought this wooden vase for our livingroom. It's hand carved and has some rope wrapped around it:

And I couldn't believe I found this! It was perfectly perfect for my Timmy. A handmade wooden motorcycle, and it was even better than the one I found in Nassau the week before. So now I had two wooden motorcycles to take home to my Sweetie. I was so excited to give these to him!

I also bought a Jamaica T-shirt and a few other small things.

After we shopped, we walked the 2 blocks back to the ship.

There were a few women near the shops who asked us if we wanted our hair braided for $5.00
We didn't.
There was also a guy who asked us if we wanted some pot. We politely declined that too.

As it turned out, the rain must have chased away the locals that hang out near the pier. We were never bothered or stopped at all by locals while we walked back to the ship. It was actually a very nice walk, although we were still hot and sweaty, and now we had wet towels and heavy backpacks filled with souvenirs.
We still enjoyed our walk and we were sad that our Jamaica day was almost over.

Walking back down the pier, we had to take pics of the "Thanks for coming" sign. Hopefully we will be back again.
We both really had a great day in Jamaica. I think this day even topped my Half Moon Cay day, and that's HUGE

Christina on the pier, just before we got back on the ship:

As we were getting back on the ship, we saw a school of blue eels swimming between the dock and the ship. I had never seen an eel before, and there were 10 or 12 of them just swimming around down there. There was a guy watching the eels with us, and we chatted with him on the way back up to our cabin. He happened to be on the same elevator we were on and going to the same floor as we were. As we talked to him, he told us this was his first Carnival cruise, so I was giving him a few "not to miss" ideas for the rest of the week. I told him to go to the Quest Adult Game Show that night in the Caribbean was guaranteed to be a very funny show.

Back on our floor, we smelled a burning smell in the hallway and in our cabin. We were a little concerned at first but other passengers told us they found out it was a belt from some machinery. We were all asked to turn our A/C off in our cabins, so we did. The smell went away pretty quickly after that and we didn't smell it again.

Before sail away, we took some pics off our balcony of the shops we had been to earlier.
If you look real closely, you can see the Harley store back there. It's a tan building with a brown roof.

 We could also see the restaurant on top of Mystic Mountain were we had lunch.

We waved at Ricardo, Mark, New Donovan, Daniel, Beezy and Creepy Alex. 
Too bad they couldn't see us wave...............we had the BEST time up there that day. We couldn't stop talking about our awesome day and the super nice people we had met on Mystic Mountain.

As the ship sailed away from the pier, we were watching off our balcony and we saw a young couple walking down the dock.
We quickly realized what happened.
They were supposed to be on OUR ship! The one that was sailing away RIGHT NOW.
Uh Oh! They missed the ship!

It was so sad to watch. We saw the girl put her hands to her face as she realized we weren't coming back for them.
We just kept sailing further and further away from them.

I had to use my zoom to get these pics.
I'm sure the woman was telling them how they were going to have to fly to Grand Cayman to catch the ship tomorrow. We felt so bad for them.

We never found out if they made it on the ship the next day. We assume they did.

At this point, Christina and I were starving, so we decided to go up to the Lido deck and find a snack.
We ended up at "The Grill" at the back of the ship. We got hot dogs and fries and ate at the tables by the back windows.

We went back up to our cabin and took showers.
We got ready for dinner and went down to the dining room around 6:45PM

Donovan and Joyce's station was closed again. Lucky for us, the hostess opened their section just for us. I think they realized by this point that we only wanted to eat in that particular section. We gladly would have come back later, but they insisted on opening it.

It was so good to see them both!
We told Donovan excitedly about how much fun we had in Jamaica that day. He was genuinely happy for us.
He told us he wanted to be a good Ambassador for his country, and we told him he was THE BEST!
It was so neat to see the pride he had when he talked about Jamaica.
We also found out that Donovan had a great day too. He was able to spend time with his wife and daughter, although he had to go to his daughter's school to visit her.
We were so happy he got to see his family. 
We all had a GREAT day!!

Dinner was very good that night. I ate the turkey dinner and it was so good!

Tonight the waiters sang and danced for us!
We got to watch Joyce up on the podium singing "HEY BABY.............I wanna know, if you'll be my girl"

Christina and I stood up near our seats and danced with them!

One of the bar servers, Alejandro, came up to us and showed us how to do the dance

 We seemed to be the only passengers that were up dancing and singing. We didn't care, we were having a lot of fun!
We loved the hand motions they did with their dance, and we spent the rest of the cruise singing that song, and doing what we remembered of the dance.
We sang it in our cabin, on our balcony, and everywhere else we could possibly sing it, LOUDLY for the rest of the cruise.

Singing and dancing in the Dining room was a great way to top off our awesome Jamaica day!

After dinner, Christina and I ran errands. We looked for and bought some of our formal pictures from the night before.
We stopped at guest services so Christina could add some money to her Sail & Sign card, and we dropped off the comment card that I wrote about Shane and how sweet he was on the Tender back from Half Moon Cay the week before.

We went into the Caribbean Theater for the Quest Adult Game Show. It was so funny the week before, and I really wanted Christina to see it.
We found our favorite seats in the center of the balcony and settled in to watch.

Soon we saw our friend from earlier, the guy we met watching the eels on the way back onto the ship. Not only did he show up to watch the show, but he was participating in it!!!

We had so much fun watching this show! Marcelo was the host again. Our "friend" was so funny,  he really did it up and had the whole audience rolling. Christina and I laughed and laughed though the whole show.

When it was over, we decided to skip the Love and Marriage show and just go back to our cabin. We had a long day and we were starting to get tired.

We were back in our cabin by 11 ish, and we had some late night balcony time before we went to sleep.

Carlos had left us an adorable elephant tonight.

We were both asleep by midnight.......we really had THE BEST day today..............and even better, we were going to Grand Cayman the next day!

Day 11 is HERE!


  1. WOW you did alot that day!! Sounds like a blast!

  2. It really was a wild and fun day. We are STILL talking about our Jamaica day. I hope I get to go back there someday. It's hard to decide between going back AGAIN to an awesome place, or going to explore a whole new place on our next vacation. decisions, decisions!