Tuesday, December 19, 2006

December 2006, Golden Princess Cruise -- Day 4

Tuesday, Montego Bay

Montego Bay looking westAt 7:00 A.M. the Golden Princess was starting to pull up to the dock next to the Montego Bay Cruise Ship Terminal. The shoreline is very nice looking and well developed. It reminded us a little of St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, although the area around Montego Bay is less hilly.

As we finished docking I heard "One Love" playing over the outdoor speakers at the terminal. You hear Bob Marley's music all day here on the western-most tip of Jamaica.

We got off the ship for a few minutes and checked out the terminal building. The sign on the roof also says "Shopping Mall." But the shops were few, small, very hot and very humid. You could buy cases of Red Stripe Beer and many different rums.

Montego Bay looking eastAs for the famous Jamaican weed we didn't see or smell any. However, despite many posted warnings not to buy drugs and even more warnings to not bring them back on the ship, several shops were filled with bongs, pipes and other paraphernalia. Just like at home many were decorated in Rastafarian colors: red, gold, green and black. The shops had lots of humorous, often smutty, decor items to hang on your wall. They would have made nice joke gifts but cost too much for a joke. Cuban cigars were also available for purchase with warnings of "don't take them back to the U.S."

I wanted a copy of a local newspaper, perhaps The Gleaner, but none was available. The clerk I asked about a paper looked at me like I was a crazy and maybe she should call security. And there does seem to be lots of official-looking armed guards. To get back on the ship one has to go through airport style security.

Outside there were shuttle vans to take you to better shopping and restaurants but it was hot and we went back to the ship. It was deserted and for the afternoon it was our personal, seventeen story yacht.

Montego Bay was the only port on this cruise where we could dock. All the other stops need tenders to get passengers to and from the shore.

The food on the Golden Princess, as it was on our cruise last spring on the Caribbean Princess, was generally very good. Most days we had breakfast and lunch in the Horizon Court Buffet and dinner in the Donatello Dining Room with waiter service.

Starboard view from Prego Pizzeria, Lido Deck 14And if you're still hungry, from 10:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M., there's always free, freshly made pizza at Prego Pizzeria near Neptune's Reef & Pool. The pies have the New York City style, super thin crust. The kind of slices you buy in Penn Station.

Right beside the pizzeria is the Trident Grill with burgers, hot dogs and fries. And in between them is the Mermaid's Tail Bar serving beer and cocktails. The drinks are not free of charge but the prices are reasonable and the cocktail portions are generous.

At 5:00 P.M. we pulled away from the dock and headed for the Cayman Islands. The dress code for tonight, mentioned in today's Princess Patter, was not the usual "Smart Casual" but "Smart Casual/Tropical." This evening's entertainment was Caliente, a production show in the Princess Theater. The singing was very good, as were the dancers. The elaborate costumes tended to look silly and the set folded and unfolded like a transformer and was in the way most of the time. A good time was had by all.

No comments: