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.
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.