My trip to Jamaica on a cruise was an exciting adventure. The experience of being in the Caribbean Sea surrounded only by clear blue water and visiting the Island with pure nature, green forests, and white beaches were remarkable. Before embarking on the cruise ship, I knew almost nothing about this Island or the culture of its inhabitants and could not envision life in Jamaica. Adventures such as the Jamaican cruise fulfill people’s lives by adding valuable memories and allowing us to see a different way of living.
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Some background details should be mentioned to get a full grasp of this Jamaica cruise. I was traveling with my family, it was our first cruise to Jamaica, and I was as happy as a clam to be able to spend time with them while visiting a new place. The cruise ship traveled from the seaside of the United States to the Jamaican Island and back, taking its passengers on an exciting journey. Montego Bay was the final destination on the Island. One of the biggest cities on this Island, it is a remarkable example of a combination of a big city’s attributes surrounded by nature. Despite the fact that Montego Bay has a large number of resorts since it is a popular tourist destination, one can enjoy the quietness and calmness of a seaside there. In fact, we expected it to be a busy city with thousands of people departing their cruise ships and examining the surroundings. In actuality, although there were many tourists there, we did not feel the pressure or busyness that is sometimes present at resort cites.
At first, we had to get used to the hot, humid climate on the cruise, which took us several days. Arguably, the most memorable part of the journey is being in the sea for days, which is unusual for people who are used to living in a city. The clear water, with its light blue color surrounding the ship, is breathtaking. The cruise ship itself served as a distraction from climate change because it was enormous, with restaurants, coffee shops, and bars. Also, there were many means of entertainment available to travelers since the main deck had a casino, and performers had a scheduled show every evening. My family and I were fascinated by the fact that the cruise ship had everything one can need during a vacation, including a beauty salon. Therefore, while we were getting used to the hot climate and being in the sea, we distracted ourselves by examining the decks with a variety of places to spend time in and visiting the colorful and joyful night shows.
The cruise ship was the biggest I have ever seen in my life. The majority of people there were traveling with their families, so we often encountered men and women with their children fascinated by the Caribbean Sea. Since the cruise ship had several large decks, each assigned with a different purpose, we wanted to see every part of this ship. However, by the end of the cruise, were went to every place except for Deck 6 and 7 that had a souvenir shop and a gallery, which we were not interested in seeing. However, the friends we made onboard showed us the souvenirs they purchased, the shiny as a button miniature copies of the cruise ship we traveled on, which would serve as a great reminder of this cruise.
Before the cruise ship arrived at the Jamaican port, my vision of the Island, its life, and its inhabitants was limited to what I saw in popular culture. I heard the Reggae Music, with its distinct rhythm and combination of electric and classic guitar sounds that one can listen to in Bob Marley’s songs. The tempo in these songs differs from that of the music popular in the United States since it is usually offbeat. From these sounds, one can imagine that Jamaicans prefer a relaxed lifestyle, which is, in fact, true. While being on the cruise ship, the only music we listened to was Reggae, apart from the moments when we went to a restaurant or a show, where popular music was the primary option. It allowed us to feel the culture and the connection with the Island, so by the time we arrived at the Montego Bay port, the Island felt like home to us.
I think that trying the local food is essential to have a cohesive experience from a trip. At this cruise, we were served several dishes that people in the Caribbean region like. The taste of them is mostly spicy, on par with the general feel of the region’s jerk chicken, which is a wet marinated chicken with spices. The spices are a combination that the Jamaicans came up with. It is a mixture that has a very sharp and hot taste. Although I tried spicy food before, the Jamaican combination differs from others since it uses special allspice (Lakshmi 10). Also, we tried the Blue Mountain coffee, which is also considered to be a signature of the Island. Despite its fame, it tastes similar to other coffee that is served in the United States, although it seems to be stronger. I would argue that the combination of the view and the hot coffee that fascinates the tourists the most. The combination of Reggae music and Jamaican food was the best memory from the cruise.
Moreover, Jamaica is famous for its Island culture, which is unique, and unlike anything we were used to seeing in the United States. Another remarkable memory is strolling alongside the coastline once we arrived at the Island. The secluded nature that you can see there is fulfilled with greenery, something a person living in a modern city does not see often. This combination of the contemporary city and nature and their elements is a result of the fascination and love that the Jamaican people have for their homeland. We saw the white-sand beaches resembling a paradise on earth and visited a waterfall, a natural miracle.
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Overall, before this cruise, when I lived my life in the United States, it was difficult to appreciate the beauty of nature and its resources. The cruise trip to Jamaica reminded me that seeing other cultures and other cities and traveling can be very important. Both the cruise trip and visiting the Island were significant events since my family, and I experienced being in the sea for days. We ate spicy local foods and enjoyed Rageaton music. At the port, we saw a combination of nature and urban life, which fascinated us.
Lakshmi, Padma. The Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs: An Essential Guide to the Flavors of the World. HarperCollins Publishers, 2016.