We returned home from our cruise last month (April 20) and are still remembering the memories we will forever hold in our hearts. We sailed the Carnival Conquest and one of our stops was in Montego Bay, Jamaica. I was worried because of all of the things I read on these message boards 2 months prior to leaving but I would say overall it was great.
Although we loved all of our stops and the water in Grand Cayman is the most beautiful water I've ever seen we really enjoyed our day in Jamaica. We were a bit disappointed at first as we wanted to go to Dunn's River Falls but missed the opportunity. We were standing outside figuring out what to do when I asked this lady what excursion she was waiting for. She said "White Water Rafting"...my girlfriend was very excited and I only decided to go because she wanted to go. The ride there was very bumpy as there were tons of pot holes but not enough to ruin the trip.
When we got to the White Water Rafting place my first impression was that it was kinda dirty and the equipment looked kinda old...but I tried to keep an open mind. There were 8 people total and each couple got their own raft. It was really calm and laid back for the first part of our excursion but then it got pretty rough in a few spots. We got to know a lot about the culture of Jamaica from our guide Mackel who we fell in love with. I was very inquisitive and he answered my questions usually with a smile and a "yeah, mon"....he also worked his butt off doing a lot of work trying to maneuver the raft when it got stuck. At the end of the excursion he washed our feet in limestone. We were the only ones to get this special treatment and we felt just that. I didn't know what to expect when I started this excursion but ended up being treated very very well. I gave him a $20 tip at the end but I swear had I not lost $700 the first night in the casino I would have given him much more..he was great. I believe it was Caliche Rainforest that he works for. We will never forget him or our experience because HE made the difference.
When we got back in our room we lay down to take a nap and I heard what I thought was someone banging on drums in the next room only to look outside and see about 17 adolescents in a marching band. The lady two balconies over from me called one of the boys to her and threw him something. I thought it was a piece of paper but it was money..Many people started throwing money to them and so did I. Our Jamaican experience was a great one. I did have a taxi driver ask me if I wanted to buy Marijuana but I politely declined and he didn't hassle me.
I hear a lot of negative talk about Jamaica but we loved it. Maybe it was Mackel, I don't know, but we enjoyed it. Just give it a try and if you can get past the small nuisances you could have a great time, also. Thanks for reading my lengthy post and if you go White Water Rafting tell Mackel Melody (the girl who offered him a cigarette every 5 minutes last month on our excursion) and April said hello.