Tag Archives: Destiny

Vacation Part 3: Jamaica

Our hot waiting room.

We arrived in Ocho Rios, Jamaica on the morning of the second full day of  our cruise on the Carnival Destiny. We bought an excursion to Paradise Beach and after waiting in a hot tent for ten minutes, we got in a big van and traveled less than a mile to the beach. It was so close, it would have taken less time to just walk there.

We chose the beach because Rose didn’t want to go to the falls and since we are going snorkeling in Grand Cayman, we did not want to do it in Jamaica too. Unfortunately, we did not do our research like we usually do and had to choose something the ship offered.

Paradise Beach, Jamaica

Paradise Beach, Jamaica

I mentioned we could walk there but I don’t think we would have been allowed on the beach. There were security guards at the entrance and when we arrived we were escorted to our little section, which was maybe 400 feet long. One side had a resort with a no trespassing sign, I’m not sure what was on the other side besides jet ski rentals and security guards.

I think the entire beach is controlled by private companies, including Carnival. I suppose living so close to the beautiful Gulf beaches of Florida has spoiled us but we both thought Paradise Beach was an inappropriate name, this beach was far from paradise. It should have been called Mediocre Beach. It certainly was not worth the $50 apiece we spent to go there.

Carnival Destiny in Jamaica

Carnival Destiny in Jamaica

The description talked about walking on  a beautiful white sands beach while you look for shells. Well the sand was not very white, there was not a shell in sight and if you wanted to take a walk you would have to turn around a lot. There was also a large amount of seaweed in the water and you could only go out about wast deep before running into the ropes.

We left there after about two hours and got a ride the stores. We could have walked there too but we were warned that the locals would accost you for money. We shopped for about twenty minutes and Rose bought gifts for everyone on her list.

Afterwards we waited for the ride back to the ship. After ten or fifteen minutes, no ride showed up so we decided to walk. We did get asked for money a couple of times but it was no big deal. It was worse inside the stores where the merchants followed us around and tried to push everything we looked at. It was very annoying.

It was a very controlled environment. We felt like we were allowed out on a day trip from the asylum. Jamaica may be a great place to visit but unless you know what you are doing, don’t go there on a carnival cruise.

Vacation part 2: Carnival Destiny

When we got on board the Carnival Destiny, we got a good table by the window and had lunch. It was a nice view but the windows were very dirty. It looked like Godzilla had sneezed on them and nobody bothered cleaning them. The curse, of course, was that since we could not go to our cabins until 1:30 or so, we were tethered to that table, lest we lose it to someone who was not as prompt as us.

Our room was actually ready after 1:00 but our luggage did not arrive until 5:30.  Despite the late luggage arrival, we managed to get to dinner almost on time. Fortunately it was casual night.

After dinner Rose wanted to gamble, so I gambled too, even though I have no luck for games of chance. Rose won a little and I, of course, lost almost as much. This was how it went the entire trip except sometimes Rose would lose too.

I must say that, for me, playing the slots is about as exciting as watching grass grow, and significantly more expensive. I usually played video poker. At least there was some strategy to that and I could keep my losses to a minimum. Between the two of us, I don’t think we lost more than $50 the entire trip.

The next day we sat through a show about the shore excursions and other things to do which was basically a big pitch from Carnival designed to steer your money towards them and their affiliates.

Every cruise has at least one formal night and our cruise was no different. It is something that I hate because I am on VACATION and I shouldn’t have to lug a bunch of extra clothes with me so I can pretend I am at a business meeting.

They do it for one reason only. THEY WANT TO SELL YOU PHOTOGRAPHS. So even if I do not want photo of me, I still have to dress up or I wont be allowed in the dining room. I would only be allowed at the buffet upstairs, which is fine by me, but the formal dining does give you a better opportunity to meet new people.

After the formal dinner we went to the theater to see the show, which was singing and dancing. Rose loves that stuff but she actually found it boring and I was more than happy leave.

Next time I will talk about our first stop in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.