Christmas Caribbean Cruise….Part 7, Jamaica


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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.

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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.

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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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Christmas Caribbean Cruise….Part 6


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This is the spot where I was face painting, right across from the statue, under the bridge.

The second day of cruise I was scheduled to face paint in the afternoon from 2:00-4:00 PM, so I was able to work out in the gym and up for a yoga class in the morning. That gave me enough time to grab lunch, shower and change or maybe it was shower, change grab lunch and then go to face paint, honestly I don’t remember exactly.

Now being a vegetarian traveling and eating is always a challenge. And while the carnivores had plenty of variety for their breakfast and lunch meals the herbivores did not have the same variety available.

And I am used to having my soy bacon or soy sausage in the morning. Be that is it may I did find food that I could eat. Now if you wanted soda or drinks or fresh juice that was an additional fee that even I had to pay. I am not a soda drinker so that is not a problem but it certainly meant I wasn’t going to be doing any drinking of liquors on this trip. And once I found out that the flavored waters were no more than soda without the carbonation I figured $4.00 for a fresh squeezed orange was not so bad after all. Yes, I did ask to see the cartoons so I could read the ingredients lists. I am one of those people. I like to know what goes in my body.

Lucky for me I wasn’t a vegan yet on this cruise as I am now. Breakfast and lunch were okay but to be truthful I much prefer the variety of food when I have gone to Jamaica all-inclusive resorts.

I fared far better at dinner where there was always a creative vegetarian option on the dinner menu. Of course I did not realize I could order more than one entrée until the last couple of days of the cruise. But when I did find out I was ordering like two desserts for dinner. The first time I got a chilled fruity soup it tasted just like a smoothie to me. Hmnnn, so from that point on I asked the waiter to bring me the soup in a wine glass and I would have myself a fancy dinner drink sans the alcohol. I did not take pictures of dinner. I guess next time I will have to do a better job of journaling, especially if I want to write about my travels. But when I am hungry I am thinking eating and not documenting.

As for my first day of face painting it went something like this. I went to the spot on the promenade deck where I was to be face painting and there was no table or chairs anywhere. Hmnn, this is not good, I thought but I was about a half hour early. They asked me to be 15 mins early for my shift but I like to be super early. Of course no one was around that knew anything of my tables and chairs. I somehow managed to locate someone who could get me a table and two chairs. I like to start on time and end on time. The young kid that came to assist me did not really seem to know much of what was going on. I think he was an assistant entertainment director 4th down the line. It’s like ten minutes to my start time and still no table.

I am quite perturbed as it takes me about 15 minutes to set out my face paint supplies and they are the ones that stressed that “I” had to be punctual. I think I may have said something to kid like, “I am a professional and this is unacceptable.”  They had me face painting where they would have tables set up with items for sale.  I guess the thinking was while I painted the kids faces mom and dad could go shopping.

Other than the missing table the second day of sailing was rather uneventful. Honestly I don’t even remember if I went to see a show that night. I think I went in search of a piano that I could practice on.

Below are some samples of the face painting I did on the ship. The kids were really cute and I would have my regular customers show up for each shift.  I brought extra sparkles, jewels for princess faces, and made sure I had lots of christmas themed designs.  I had about 15 lbs of face paint supplies with me.

There was a single dad that came up with three children.  The kids mother had recently passed away and she was a face painter.  She would paint her kids all the time.  And they had not been face painted by anyone since the mother died.  Talk about putting pressure on me!!!!!  This was the first Christmas without the mother which is why dad and the grandparents and uncle and his kid were taking this cruise together.  My heart just broke for these kids and I so wanted to make them feel a little bit of joy.  And Dad was pretty handsome as well.  He showed me a picture of his wife and some of the things she had painted on the kids.  Wow, truly not the kind of story you expect to hear at Christmas.

 

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