Christmas Caribbean Cruise…Part 8 George Town, Grand Cayman


The second stop on the cruise was George Town, Grand Cayman.  Father Tom and I had convinced Josh and Sara to join us on the excursion we were taking.  Below is the description in the brochure.

Island Tour & Tiki Beach –

OVERVIEW: Enjoy the best of Grand Cayman with an island tour as well as time at Seven Mile Beach. HIGHLIGHTS: Enjoy an island tour that includes the Observation Tower with its panoramic views of Grand Cayman and stops at Hell to view the jagged rock formations and the rum cake factory to sample some delicious rum cake. Your tour concludes at Tiki Beach on Seven Mile Beach to relax or take a swim. A lounge chair and a welcome rum/fruit punch are included. The facilities include toilets, changing rooms and fresh water showers. NOTES: Additional beach activities available at guest’s expense and discretion. Snacks and drinks are available at a beach restaurant at your expense.
Because this port of call was so small we had to get into a smaller boat to get to the port.  Once at port we were going to get into a small tour bus.  Well there was some kind of problem with a bus being broken down so people were getting re-arranged into the buses that were present.  So basically our bus was filled to capacity like sardines with no breathing space.  This was not an issue for our little group of four because we managed to get good seats.
The first stop, at least I think it was the first stop was the Rum Cake Factory. Ahemmm.  When I was a young girl and visiting my homeland of Puerto Rico we did the Barcardi Rum Factory Tour, in which we got to see the inside of the factory and the whole process of making rum and it was quite interesting.  So I imagined this tour would be something similar.  Ahemmmm.
Well not so much.  The rum cake factory was no more than a small storefront in which they had everyone line up and you get to sample the rum cakes, which were yummy and I would have bought one but they did not have the flavor I wanted and some rum.  Well, since I already had my Jamaican Coconut Rum no need to purchase any more.  Here are some of the pictures I took on that bit of the tour.  There is more of the tour past the pictures.
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We never did make it to the Observation Tower, which I imagined would be a nice place to stop and take pictures.  Actually there was a bit of dissention in the group regarding that stop. I believe the stop where the Tower was located was near a shopping center but most of the shops were closed because it was “Box Day“–I believe this is a U.K. holiday, the day after Christmas. So the driver convinced the bus load that maybe we shouldn’t stop.  Well, I looked out the bus window and there was a very pretty park and bay–so who cares if the stores were open–I didn’t come to shop I came to look at the scenery. So, I am like excuse me but I think we should take a vote on this and be democratic.  Huh, well wouldn’t you know it no one, not even my tour buddies raised their hands to support me.  I was so pissed.  Well, the next part I don’t really remember the exact words but apparently I was so pissed that I said something along the lines of God-karma- and putting a curse on everyone.  So, we don’t get off the bus–mind you some of the people are squished like sardines so I would have thought that a bit of leg stretching would have been in order.
Well, there is a God and there is karma because we could not continue to the next destination spot because all of the drivers were on a schedule to make sure not one venue gets over crowed.  So instead of stopping by the bay for about 10-15 we all got to sit in a hot bus with no air conditioning while the driver stops in front of this pink house and starts to talk about the wood on the roof, the white sand that was brought on the lawn to simulate snow or some such cockamaney story–the bottom line was we were trapped sitting on the hot bus listening to some boring story because no one had wanted to get off at the bay.  Yes, sir I would say that is instant karma.
The next stop was Hell.  No, seriously that was the name of the town.

Hell, Grand Cayman

Hell, Grand Cayman island

Hell’s Gift Shop, Hell, Grand Cayman island

Hell’s Service Station, Hell, Grand Cayman island

Hell is a group of short, black, limestone formations located in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. Located in West Bay, it is roughly the size of half a soccer field. People are not allowed to be amongst the limestone formations but viewing platforms do exist for visitors.

Hell got its name

There are numerous versions of how Hell received its name, but they are generally variations on “a local official exclaimed, ‘This is what Hell must look like.'”

It is also claimed that the name “Hell” is derived from the fact that if a pebble is thrown out into the formation, it echoes amongst the limestone peaks and valleys and sounds as if the pebble is falling all the way down to “Hell.”

Regardless of how it first came to be called Hell, the name stuck and the area has become a tourist attraction, featuring a fire-engine red hell-themed post office from which you can send “postcards from hell”, and a gift shop with ‘Satan’ passing out souvenirs while greeting people with phrases like ‘How the hell are you?’ and ‘Where the hell are you from?’[1][2]

Below are my pictures of Hell.  The story continues past the pictures…

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L to R, Sara, Tom and Josh

The last stop on the tour was the beach–yeah finally!!!!  It was beautiful and uneventful.  Of course the talk at dinner that night was a recap of the day and how I cursed a bus-load of people because they didn’t want to get off of the bus.

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Christmas Caribbean Cruise….Part 7, Jamaica



Our first day docked was to be in Jamaica on Dec. th–Christmas Day.  Really, wow, I thought that kind of sucked for the people of Jamaica forced to work on a holiday because a cruise ship was coming into port.

Docked days were the days that I did not have to face paint–at least that is what the initial contract stated.  But hmnnn according to the schedule I was given I was supposed to face paint a two-hour shift starting at  a.m.  And I had already purchased on excursion that departed at 11 a.m.  Hmnnnn…this was not a good thing and really went contrary to the agreed upon contract.  I checked with the tour desk and I would be able to get a refund if I was not able to take the tour.  Hmnnn…okay but the whole point of my even taking the face paint job on the cruise was the stop in Jamaica.  I had run out of my favorite Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee and my Wray & Nephew, “CocoMania” coconut rum that I could only get on the island, not even on the internet.

blue-mountain-coffee-2 wncoco

Oh no, this was so unacceptable to me.  The cruise director had decided that Santa would visit the children on the ship and give them all a present.  There would be hot coco and cookies and face painting–oh lucky me.

I was also advised my the excursion desk that I would be able to take the excursion even if I was a bit late.

Okay my, ” I love Lucy” brain went into gear–how do I pull this off?  Well rather than wear my regular face painting gear I wore my beach gear with a cover-up and a skirt. I mini-sized my face paints to only the essentials for a faster clean-up and my excursion bag was ready as well.

I get to the designated location, which was the ice skating rink—hmnnn kind of chilly when you are dressed for a tropical beach. Per usual there was not table and no one really knew where I was supposed to be.  Here we go again on the one day I am not even supposed to be working.  I also noticed that the kids were just doing a quick take a picture with Santa-grab your gift and go.  No one was hanging around.  These kids and parents had cabin fever as much as I did.  And while there are activities on the ship kids and myself included need to be in the great outdoors running and playing–in my case sitting on the beach relaxing and getting a tan.

So, I am walking around the rink trying to locate a table and someone who knows what is going on when I run into the head Entertainment Director and I asked him where he would like me to set-up.  Boy, was I so happy and relieved when he told me, ” Go leave, Merry Christmas!”  “Really”, I said, “Are you sure I wont get in trouble?”  His response to me was, ” I AM the boss and if you don’t leave now I will change my mind.” Wohoo, that’s all I needed to hear.  I ran back to the room dropped off the face paints and got my excursion bag and went to meet Father Tom at Mass.  Yes, we were supposed to go on this excursion together.  We were supposed to find each other on the bus after his Mass and my face painting. So, I went to mass because I wanted to see him do service and to make sure we got out on time.  There were only eight people at the service.  I nearly fell out of my chair when Father Tom, says, “Since I am sure many of you have excursions to go on we will keep service short today ” Right after the service I immediately go to Father Tom and say, “Do you have a moment to talk?”  This was to ensure that we could do a fast getaway.  Of course Father Tom had to take his priestly paraphanaila back to his room and change into tourist gear as well.

My main objective at that point was to buy coffee and rum at one of the duty-free shops. I also realized that I did not have any sunscreen.  I figured it would be cheaper to buy in Jamaica than on the ship.  I found a small shop and got “Jamaica Browning Tanning Oil SPF 15”. I think I may have paid like $10.00 USD for a 4 fl oz bottle.  And yes it did smell like coffee extract.  So instead of laying on the beach smelling like coconut I smelled like a fresh pot of coffee.


One I got the tanning oil it was off to get the rum and coffee.  That ship could not deport without my getting my coffee and rum.  I get to the duty free shop and I get talked into buying 3 bottles of rum.  As you all know I already had a problem with excess baggage weight and now I was adding 3 bottles of rum.  I thought I will cross that bridge when I get to it.  The prime directive, to get the rum had been fulfilled.  I believe I bought 2 bags of coffee beans (last longer that ground).  I am all set to pay only to find out the computers are down–seriously?!  Well, it is Christmas after all, even the computers didn’t want to be working. Now what do I do?  It turns out they were able to hold the items, which was great because I did not want to be carting around 3 bottles of rum and two bags of coffee with me on the beach.  I would have if I had to–but it was much nicer this way.  After the coffee purchase Tom and I went to get something to eat before we got on the bus to go to the beach.  Below are some of the pictures of the Fallsworth Port and of one of the beautiful beaches in Jamaica.

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