Monday, January 22, 2024

December 26, 2023 – Falmouth, Jamaica – Mostly Sunny – Warm 85F

I don’t know how it happened but I actually “overslept” and got up at 7:20 AM. I hurried up to the Windjammer because I knew it would be difficult to find a seat. I was not able to get a window seat but I did find a seat. There was only a little strip of land that you could see from the ship.

I tried something different this morning – a plain pancake, a chocolate chip pancake and two fried eggs (they mass produce them like Princess does).  The breakfast was good even though the eggs were a tad overdone. I put together Ellen’s lox plate and brought it to the room.  Hot tea came via room service but it took a bit longer to arrive today. 

I also finally got a picture of our long hallway on this ship.  This is what I deal with when going to the aft end for food or bringing food back to the cabin.

I went up to the Solarium to try and get phone signal.  I had to change a doctor’s appointment – I got signal but the medical app wouldn’t open correctly so I decided to call the doctor’s office at 25 cents a minute.  The call went through but was put on about $2 of hold before being told that I couldn’t change the appointment.  Being on hold was made a bit easier by a White Chocolate Latte (on my coffee card).  I checked emails, made sure the world was still in one piece, finished Wordle quickly and waited for Ellen so we could get off the ship.

I had been to Falmouth or rather Falmouth Bay in the past (don’t recall when) and today, we are planning to walk around the pier area.  

Today, we are joined by a single ship, the Explorer of the Seas (a friend from the past and on the right in this picture).  

I thought Explorer was a massive ship when I lectured on it years ago but with 3000 or so passengers, it is in the middle of the scale now.  Still, the two ships could theoretically offload about 7000 passengers today.  If they did, they must have been on excursions because the port area was not crowded. 

The walk to the port complex was short – about half the length of the ship.  The port of Falmouth consisted mostly of shops – there was, of course, Diamonds International (with a menorah still hanging over the entrance) and its clones.  

There were souvenir shops galore – the baseball caps were running $15 - $30 – and that really the only item I was looking for since I don’t have one from Jamaica.  There were some restaurants in the complex, which is a large rectangle, shops lining the perimeter and pretty much open in the center.


I am always on the lookout for coffee.  The big coffee in Jamaica is “Blue Mountain Coffee”.  I had heard of it and it must be amazing coffee because it was selling at $60 - $80 per pound – even more expensive than Kona Coffee (or maybe the same as these days).  One store was offering a 10 percent discount on the large size but that wasn’t going to make it worth it. The coffee came in 2, 4, and 16 ounce sizes.  Amazing.  You have to be a coffee fanatic to pay that much for coffee. 

We walked over to the entrance to the port – lots of security there and went out to the actually “historic district” of Falmouth.  Within one block of the Port Gate, the city became authentic and we didn’t think it would a good idea to explore the neighborhood.  We went back through the gate and spent a little time listening to the island music being played by a live band and trying unsuccessfully once again to get a decent selfie. Ellen looks good and I look like I can't find the shutter button.

Then, it was back to the ship.  Security at the port included metal detectors, which saved time on the ship (no detectors just a scan in).

We had a very familiar lunch – two slices of pizza from Sorrento’s, two mini tuna sandwiches from Espresso and a Strawberry Kiwi drink and ice water.  We ate all of this in Sorrento's because the pizza is better hot.  After “lunch”, I picked up an Iced White Chocolate Latte (they charge you for two drinks for the larger iced versions, a fact not disclosed when I bought the card) and went to the Solarium shady side (Port side today).  Ellen joined me on the couches near the pool entrance.  These couches, in addition to being in the shade, are also closer to the washroom – a bonus. 

Using the phone signal, I download two more Robert Crais books – one of them said it was 70 percent read but I don’t recall reading the book.  We’ll see.  I didn’t do any reading – too tired – instead catching up with Facebook and the news. 

At around 2 PM, we walked over to Fish and Ships at the end of the pool deck to get some Fish and Chips.  The fish is really good and almost to hot to eat – it’s that fresh.  We walked over to the other side of the deck and got two soft serve swirl cones. And that was our lunch today – a progressive lunch of sorts. 

It was a short day in Falmouth with departure at 4 PM.  I think the two RCL ships were leaving together or they were playing a duet with their ship’s horn.  They went back and forth like the UFO in Close Encounters.  The Independence OTS pushed away from the pier and was instantly in open water.  The ride was smooth.

Tonight’s dinner consisted of Cesar Salad (too wet and no dressing), Vegan Green Lentil Soup (in San Marzano tomato base – very good).  Ellen had the Vegan Tofu Avocado Salad w/o Tofu (good). We both had the Pesto Tafliatelle (pasta pesto with mushroom and sundried tomatoes), which was really good. Ellen also had some Tilapia from the Windjammer (not so good). We both had the Carrot Cake (very good).  Ellen had a scoop of vanilla ice cream because the only ice cream otherwise available is soft serve.

The headliner tonight is Vargus Mason, a comedian, who did an adult show the other night that was too late for us.  

We moved around a couple of times because, even though it is a mammoth theater, people will always choose to sit right in front of us (and we were in the last row in the upper balcony).  Amazing.  I really wanted him to be funny but he was not – and he was also hard to understand (he had this screechy voice he used with his characters that was tough to make out).  We were 0-2 on comedians on this cruise. 

We thought of going to Bolero for live music but it was too loud so we went to the Star Lounge for “Jazz Cabaret”.  On stage with a full band were two of the Royal Caribbean Singers doing jazz – they had started at 7:15 PM so we caught about a 20 minutes of their act (Vargus’ show was mercifully only a half hour).  

While we were there, we found another "cruise duck" at our table - left by another passenger.  We took this one home, as well. 

Our next stop was the Library for some P and Q and photo organizing and reading. I mentioned the Egyptian motif on this ship. Here's an example.

At 9:00 PM, we went over to the Schooner Bar to hear Anthony on Piano. 

Anthony is the conductor the Grease Musical scheduled for tomorrow.  We sat in the back to get away from the Casino Smoke so we couldn’t see all that well; we eventually move to bar seats to see.  Anthony sang “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” and did a great job.  He was then joined by the Royal Caribbean Singers, who did both show tunes and Christmas songs for the next hour.  

They were really good and we would have stayed after their break (the entire show was supposed to run for 3 hours and 15 minutes, which would have had these people singing after midnight) but it was 10 PM.  Still, this was the best thing we had seen on the ship so far (the Jazz session was good, too).  I was surprised that it wasn’t better attended but that worked out for us because we did eventually get good seats.

We went to the room.  When the elevator door opened there was a guy with a full size piano in there playing.  I took his picture and waited for the next lift to show up.  

No idea what that was all about and how they got that heavy piano into the elevator.

The seas are smooth and the room is quiet.

No comments:

Post a Comment