Spring Break Cruise – Day 5

Spring Break Cruise – Day 5

We were originally scheduled to go to Labadee today, but that was cancelled due to the ongoing civil war in Haiti. Rather than find another port, RC moved our Jamaica day to day 5 and extended our time in port. For anyone wondering, yes, we were refunded for any port fees and excursions planned for Haiti.

When booking our excursions, TG suggested the Green Grotto Cave tour, as it was unlike anything they’d done before. I thought it was a perfect choice as this was our last port (with or without the Haiti stop) and it would keep us out of the sun in case anyone was burnt. Shocker: they were.

Heading back from breakfast, TG and I were chatting with a fellow passenger in the elevator – a dad and his teenage son. The dad said he’d been looking forward to some weed all week and couldn’t understand how people could function with drinking so much alcohol every day and night. We all laughed.

After stopping by the cabin and collecting Hubs, hats, and sunscreen, we disembarked and boarded a bus that took us to the Green Grotto Cave. Our tour guide was great. As we passed piles of trash on the side of the road, she welcomed us to her beautiful island. But seriously, she did a great job of telling us tidbits about Jamaica and the areas we were driving through without being a boring dud.

We arrived at our destination and my bladder and I were so happy to know we had a bit of time before our group was to start tour. After my pit stop, I admired the local foliage. This tree was just too cool not to photograph.

We were all given hardhats (and hairnets) to protect us from bonks on stalagmites. The guide thought she was funny in measuring me to see if I even really needed one (because: short). Turns out, I’m glad I had the hard hat Much to all of our surprise, I did bonk my noggin a couple of times. Oopsie! Another source of smiles:

Kitty! He looked to be around 8-9 months old. It’s unclear if he’s a stray or the “office cat” of this excursion destination.
I coached them well as to where they should both look. I did not follow my own instructions.

We walked back up the 60+ steps and drank some much needed libations. It was definitely a sweatier endeavor than I’d anticipated, and hydration was necessary.

I can’t recall the name of the restaurant, but it was in the main shopping square just inside the port. Being hot, thristy, and hungry, I went for a fun slushie cocktail called – what else? – a Bob Marley. Legends played on the restaurant speakers, and I made the server laugh when I said working there, hearing this play must be like working in a place back in the U.S. where they played Elvis nonstop.

None of us had ever heard of ackee & saltfish until our tour guide talked about it being a traditional, easy to prep dish that most Jamaicans have at least once a week. Well, when it was probably not so coincidentally on the menu at lunch, and Hubs and I had to try it. With the rice and peas (we say beans) there to soak up the butter sauce, it was pretty good. Not something I’m craving, but I wouldn’t say no to it again.

With fully bellies, we did a bit of shopping. In addition to the usual port shopping chains, they had a whole slew of kiosks with maybe-maybe not local craft and clothing items for sale (and haggling). Being that we were unaware of some of the theme nights on board, we did not have ideal outfits for that eve’s tropical theme. After much browsing, TG and I settled on some coordinating breezy outfits and a matching shirt for Hubs – all in Jamaican colors.  

Shopping bag in hand, the three of us boarded the ship once again, headed to our cabin, and got ourselves clean and gussied up in our new digs. While waiting for a turn in the shower, TG and I enjoyed watching the runners on the pier. As the stragglers who almost missed the boat booked it across the square, through security, and onto the gangway, we all cheered from our balconies. As we cheered the tardy passengers, the port staff serenaded the ships and got everyone to sing along.

Next up, that VIP art event we were invited to. Gotta go for more free champagne and hors hors d’oeuvres, right? TG worked on their sketches of the art team while I took in some of the more “upper crust” pieces they had on display.

Once finished with the art, it was time for dinner. We were in the elevator when I heard someone say, “Deb!” Before I could even register where the voice came from, I heard, “It’s Betsy…” It was indeed my high school friend Betsy. What a fun surprise! It took 5 days to run into each other (small world, big ship), but then we saw lots of each other in the remaining days.

After dinner, we needed pics in our matchy-matchy outfits. The casino seemed like the right backdrop. I voted for something else, but was outnumbered.

We wound down the evening listening to the piano man at the Schooner Bar while TG continued a work in progress.

Next: the final post of the trip.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.