Sunday, August 17, 2014

Somewhere Beyond the Sea... Jamaica

Summer Cruise 2014 
Falmouth, Jamaica 
Thursday, August 7, 2014 

It is time to hit the ground running. We had a full day ahead of us... literally, with 2 different shore excursions happening around the island of Jamaica. It was jampacked full of adventure and excitement but we wouldn't have it any other way. 

We started our morning off with a romantic breakfast in bed brought to us by the "Classic Romance Package" from the beginning of the week. We chose to have the special Spanish omelet and Cinnamon French Toast, plus mimosas, coffee and other pastries. This was one of the best breakfasts of the cruise and truly was romantic as we ate it all overlooking Jamaica from our balcony.

Romantic Breakfast on our balcony!
Happy Anniversary Chris! Here's to 8+ more years! I love you!

We then went down to Deck 1 to try to get off the ship for our shore excursion. Unfortunately the ship had not cleared Customs yet so we had to go back up to Deck 3 and wait. We ended up waiting with the other 4,000 guests on board on the stairs. Finally, around 8:25 AM we got the all clear and began to walk down to Deck 1. We got off the ship and headed towards our shore excursion station at the end of the Falmouth pier. This pier was built in 2011 and was the nicest pier we have been to in the Caribbean.

Waiting on our tour bus at the Falmouth pier!

We met our guide, Tameeka, and our driver, George, and loaded up to head toward Chukka to the Jungle Zip-lines. This was about a 45 minute drive from the pier on the Jamaican highway and the sights were beautiful. Once we arrived at Chukka we got all of our zip-line equipment and rode in an open air bus up a very rough and bumpy mountain road to the top of the mountain to start our zip-lining adventure.

We may not survive this crazy bus ride so here is a selfie!

I'm all geared up and ready to go!

Whoo... Only in Jamaica! The tour guides were awesome... AND CRAZY! 

The BEFORE picture!

We went through 8 zip line traverses ranging from 45 feet to 635 feet long and a 80 foot vertical repel. This was absolutely amazing and awe inspiring. It was definitely something we could not have done 210 pounds ago since there was a weight limit. Once we finished all the ziplines we hiked back down to our starting point and got to witness the beauty of the Jamaican wilderness and river. Then we had a traditional Jamaican lunch of Jerk Chicken and rice. This whole experience was amazing and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

On our way to the first traverse. 

I survived the first 2 ziplines! WooHoo!

Chris coming in on traverse #4!

The AFTER picture!

One of the tour guides gave me this beautiful hibiscus as a reward
for my hike down the mountain!

After lunch we changed into our swimsuits and boarded the bus to head towards Ocho Rios, Jamaica for Dunns River Falls. This was a shore excursion that both Chris and I have wanted to do for a while so we thought now was as good of a time as any. The tour started at the beautiful crystal blue waters of the ocean and then ended at the top of these beautiful falls. The ocean water was warm and pleasing but the falls water... they were "refreshing" as the locals call it. This was a very active excursion and it took a lot of leg muscle and even upper body strength to pull yourself up over some of these rocks. This too was an amazing experience and I would recommend it to anyone traveling in the region.

Dunn River Falls in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. 

At the base of the falls near the ocean. Let's get this show started!

"Whoa... That's COLD". The locals call it "refreshing"! Indeed!

Here we are about 1/3 of the way to the top!

The mighty Chris!

We are about 3/4 to the top!

We're almost there!

This was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been!
Just another example of God's wonderful creation!

Yeah... That's still cold!

I just love him... always a goofball!

We made it to the top! WooHOO!

Once we completed the climb we waited for the rest of our group and then got back on the bus to make the 1+ hour trip back to our floating home away from home. We made a pit stop at a local gas station for some refreshments but made it back to the pier with just about 30 minutes to spare. We stopped within the shops at the pier to get some souvenirs and then it was back to the ship. 

We had dinner reservations for 5:30 PM so we had to really rush to get back to the room and change for dinner. Luckily this was not a formal night but rather a casual/ Caribbean attire night so we could get ready in a lot less time. After dinner we went to our first trivia of the cruise but one that was sure to not be missed... 80's music trivia. We did not do well this time but the song selections were not classic 80's but more top 100. I think we got a score of 19 out of 40. I was disappointed in Royal's effort in all of their trivia sessions but in particular, this one! 

While we waited for the evening show to start I went back to the Royal Promenade for the famous $10 sale. They had all kinds of things for sale including jewelry, bags, scarves, souvenirs and so much more, all for $10. I didn't buy much but I did get a great new watch for school! Plus it was tax and duty free! Score! 

We then went to the show "Ballroom Fever" which was performed by the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers and all about the various styles of ballroom dancing. This was the worst show of this cruise and any cruise. In fact, I fell asleep. But it was a nice 30 minutes nap!

Now it was time for an event I was really looking forward to... Big Band Classics on the Royal Promenade with The Navigator of the Seas orchestra. This band never ceased to amaze me. Each and every musician was phenomenal but the lead trumpet player was the absolute best I have ever heard! He had the chops of an animal! You can listen to some of their performances via our YouTube account. Wow... This was the best entertainment of the whole cruise for me! Just incredible!

The Navigator of the Seas orchestra... Not you typical "cruise" entertainment!

(Opens Link to YouTube Video)

We then went up to the Pool Deck for the Country Western dance party. The dance floor was pretty crowded so we opted to get in the hot tub and watch the party from the big screen. It was hilarious to watch everyone try to do the line dances. I think we made the good choice of people watching instead of being laughed at by someone else. We watched for about an hour then were asked to get out of the hot tub so it could be cleaned. We went back to the room and went to bed around 11:00 PM. 

Tomorrow would be Sea Day #2 and there are LOTS of things we want to do and see around the boat! 

God is good... ALL the time! 

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