Disney Cruise – Tips for Jamaica

What to know when your cruise ship stops in Jamaica

ocean water in shades of blue, cruise ports of call Jamaica with kids

Lots of cruise ships stop in Jamaica because it is such a gorgeous place to visit in the the Caribbean.  This island is one of the largest in the Caribbean and a part of the British empire.

Lots of cruises bring visitors! Disney is one of them. We visited on a stop while cruising on the Disney Fantasy.

Jamaica is fun for any traveler. Couples on honeymoons and families traveling with the kids can enjoy the beauty and wonder of this lovely island.

Disney Cruise – Jamaica – Arriving in Port

Arriving in port is very exciting! This is a day for exploring. If you have scheduled an excursion through Disney you’ll head for the meet up area. There you’ll receive a sticker to wear that matches a little sign your leader holds up. This is how Disney keeps things organized with lots and lots of people leaving the ship at the same time. Then, you just follow the leader to meet with your excursion group.

Take your Key to the World AND a photo ID.  You only need the key to the world to get off the ship but you need BOTH to get back on the ship when you return. I asked what would happen if you forgot the photo ID and was told that security would have to escort you back to your stateroom to get it.

Our group met in the lounge and were given Snow White stickers to wear.

boy and girl at port off of a cruise ship

Disney Cruise – Jamaica –  Interesting wildlife

The island of Jamaica is densely forested and home to the largest butterfly in the Western Hemisphere – the Homerus Swallowtail. It has a wingspan of 6 inches! Wouldn’t this be an amazing sight! Keep your eyes open for this guy.

Jamaica is also home to the world’s second smallest bird! The vervain hummingbird is 2.5 ” long.

hummingbird with green body and red beak

Disney Cruise – Jamaica – Dunn’s River Falls

Dunn’s River Falls is the top site in Jamaica for visitor’s and it is easy to see why. This beautiful waterfall is naturally terraced like stairs. In about 1 1/2 hours you can hike to the top of this lovely spot. You can hike in the waterfall or along side the waterfall on man made stairs. It is about 600 feet tall and at spots can be a tough climb. Hikers often help each other out in a ‘human chain’ by holding hands.

If you are hiking in the water, then water shoes are a great idea! Bring your own or rent on the spot. You need them for keeping your feet  protected and for the grip. Water constantly running over rocks can make them very slippery.

The water is from a spring which is high in natural minerals. These minerals create terraces made of tufa. Geologists are especially interested in the process because these terraces rebuild themselves over time.

Dunn’s River Falls empties into a picture perfect white sand beach.

You can enjoy Dunn’s River Falls is so many ways! Choose the level of adrenaline that is right for your family Jamaica trip!

**Hike the Falls

**Swim in the lagoons

**Party Cruise

**River Rafting

**River Tubing

**Luminous Lagoon Snorkling

**Swim with the Dolphins

Disney Cruise – Jamaica – Disney Cruise Line Jamaica Excursion Options:

**Falmouth, Jamaica – private tour

**Carriage Ride

**Grotto Caves Exploration

**Hampden Estate Rum Tour

**High Tea at Good Hope Estate

**Potter tour

**Rafting on Martha Brae

**Shark Encounter and Dunn’s River Falls

**Sky Explorer Ride and Dunn’s River Falls

**Forest Canopy Exploration

**Dolphin Swim

**Dolphin Trainer for the Day

**Gorgeous Beach Day

**Rent 4×4

**The Amazing Race

**Horse Ride and Dunn’s River Falls

**Catamaran Cruise and Dunn’s River Falls

**Bobsled and Dunn’s River Falls

**Zip line

**18th Century House and Plantation Tour with Lunch

Disney Cruise – Jamaica – Need Help Choosing the Right Cruise Excursion?

The choices can seem overwhelming! If you need FREE help with any portions of your cruise let us know. The Educational Tourist has teamed up with Disney expert travel planner, the Pixie Dust Queen. The Pixie Dust Queen plans all things Disney FREE of charge. 

Laura Baustian, PIxie Dust Queen wearing a crown

Disney Cruise – Jamaica – Flowers

Take time during your cruise ship stop in Jamaica to smell the roses or any of the three thousand species of plants that grow in Jamaica – 27% of them are found no where else on Earth!

The climate in Jamaica is tropical: warm and humid. People LOVE this weather and so do plants. The average temperature is between 80 – 90 degrees. Since the weather is wonderful and the island is so isolated, there is a very rich diversity in plants here.

The three most common plants in Jamaica are all so pretty. Keep an eye out for these lovely plants and point them out to the kids. When I get home, I like to add something to our courtyard (If it is something I can keep alive! LOL!) to remind me of our travels.

Top Plants in Jamaica:

Orchids – These beautiful plants are used in perfumes.

purple orchid

Bromeliad – There are many kinds of bromeliads the world over. You may be surprised to find out that pineapples are a bromeliad, too!

orange and yellow bromeliad, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Hibiscus – this type of flowering plant is one of my all time favorite. Since I live in the heat of Texas I can indulge this love and my courtyard has several different types.

red and yellow hibiscus, Jamaica has lovely hibiscus flower, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Disney Cruise – Jamaica –  Food and Drink

Blue Mountain Coffee – Blue Mountain Coffee is grown on the thickly wooded Blue Mountain at 3000 feet. The Blue Mountain Coffee company has several different coffee made from the beans grown here.

Rum – Rum is made from sugarcane by products like molasses or sugarcane juice. The majority of the world’s rum comes from the Caribbean. Anything labeled Jamaican Rum has to actually be from Jamaica.

Rum is distilled and then aged in bourbon casks before being blended to ensure a consistent flavor. Rum ages quicker in this warm climate and there is a loss each year to evaporation during the process. This loss through evaporation is called ‘the angel’s share’.

You may be familiar with rum in drinks like these: daiquiri, mojito, hurricane, and pina colada.

Rum Cake – The rum cake reminds me of the famous fruit cake for Christmas that no one actually eats but just passes around. LOL! But, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The Rum cake is really moist and tasty and a must try  for all the adults in your party when you vacation in Jamaica!

Tortuga is the most popular brand of rum cakes. The recipe is a family one but it didn’t start in Jamaica. The recipe was imported when the Hamaty family brought it to the island in 1984. Bring one home as a souvenir. They last for 12 months – and indefinitely if they are frozen or refrigerated.

Disney Cruise – Jamaica – Beaches

Jamaica has some lovely beaches. Take the kids to the beach and soak up the sun.

blue water and blue sea with colorful sailboat, water fun in jamaica, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Seven Mile Beach, Jamaica – 

This beach is one of the most famous beaches in all of Jamaica and it is indeed – 7 miles long. This gorgeous stretch of white sand has a little something for everyone. Families, honeymooners, and locals enjoy this pretty spot. You won’t go away hungry either because you’ll find all sorts of yummies for sale – give the street food a try. If your idea of a relaxing afternoon involves water sports, you can rent all sorts of things here for fun.

Treasure Beach, Jamaica – 

If quiet and off the beaten path beaches are more your style, you’ll enjoy Treasure Beach. This ‘beach’ is actually 4 villages which combine into a 6 lie stretch. This spot is not easy to get to so make sure you have enough time in port before heading to this idyllic spot.

Reggae Beach, Jamaica –

What could feel more like Jamaica than a spot called Reggae Beach? This small beach, only 1/4 mile long, is the perfect spot to relax and listen to local musicians who come here to jam. Friday is especially interesting with the local DJs come together to have some musical fun.

sunset over beach with palm tree, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Disney Cruise – Jamaica – Zika Virus

According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists the Zika situation in Jamaica as ‘level 2: Practice Enhanced Precautions’ ….

“Zika virus (or Zika) has been reported in Jamaica. Public health officials have reported that mosquitoes in Jamaica are infected with Zika and spreading it to people. The mosquitoes that spread Zika usually do not live at altitudes above 6,500 feet because of environmental conditions. Although there is a risk of Zika in Jamaica, travelers whose itineraries are limited to areas above this altitude are at minimal risk of getting Zika from a mosquito.”

Read more about the Zika virus and Jamaica. 

Disney Cruise – Jamaica – Kids’ Books about Jamaica

Get the kids ready for any trip by reading before you go. Children are naturally curious and enjoy all sorts of details. Reading before hand gets everyone thinking!

The Jamaica Fact and Picture Book: Fun Facts for Kids about Jamaica by Gina McIntyre Learn about this wonderful island country. Cool information for kids and adults will enjoy it, too. Length: 44 pages Written for ages 3-6 grades. Lexile Measure: N/A.

Anya Goes to Jamaica by Nikko M Fungchung One book in a series about Anya who explores cultures and people of the world! Anya visits Jamaica and enjoys the food, language and beaches on her adventure in the island. Written for ages 3 – 9 years. No information about length or lexile measure.

J is for Jamaica by Benjamin Zephaniah The ABC book is a great introduction to all that Jamaica has to offer. Written for kids aged kindergarten to Grade 2, but excellent for anyone who would like to get a flavor for the island. Length: 32 pages Lexile Measure: N/A

Yes, I Can! The Story of the Jamaican Bobsled Team by Devon Harris This is a real life underdog story that shows perseverance and hard work can make your dreams come true. A group of men from Jamaica, including the author of this book, decided to compete in the Olympics as the FIRST bobsled team from Jamaica. They weren’t put off by small details like – no snow, no money and no equipment. Inspirational story. Written for upper level elementary school aged kids. Length: 56 pages. Lexile Measure: N/A.

A Smart Kids Guide to Jaunty Jamaica: A World of Learning at Your Fingertips by Liam Saxon Great photos of this beautiful island along with information about the geology and history gives you a great overview. Length: 28 pages. Written for kids in lower elementary school. Lexile Measure: N/A. If you are a member of Kindle Unlimited you can download this book FREE!

Kids Travel Journal: My Trip to Jamaica by BlueBird Books Use this journal to get ready for their family adventure to Jamaica. Use the guided information to get ready for your vacation to this fantastic island.

Jamaica Dive Map & Coral Reef Creatures Guide to Jamaica by Franko Maps Ltd. If your plans during an onshore excursion includes snorkeling, you will love this map. Pour over it before you go to get a feel for the colorful fish you’ll see in Jamaica! Front and back. This laminated map is waterproof.

The Wooing of Beppo Tate by C Everand Palmer This story is about life in the small village of Kendal on the island of Jamaica. Interesting especially to hear the rhythm of the Jamaican speech patterns. Written for kids in upper elementary school. Length: 160 pages. Lexile Measure: N/A

Disney Cruise – Jamaica – Kids’ Books about the Caribbean

The ‘Caribbean’  is a region made up of the Caribbean sea and more than 700 islands that mostly sit on top of the Caribbean tectonic Plate. Jamaica is one of the islands in the Caribbean.

Disney Parks Presents: Pirates of the Caribbean by George Bruns This purchase includes a CD so you can enjoy the song, written in the 1960s – Yo Ho A Pirate’s Life for Me. Written for kids aged 4-8 years. Length: 32 pages. Lexile Measure: N/A.

The Pirates of the Caribbean Series: #1 Jack Sparrow: The Coming Storm by Robb Kidd This series is written for the tween set who will love following the adventures of the young teen Jack Sparrow. There are 11 books in this series. Written for kids aged 8-12 years. Length: 144 pages. Lexile Measure: N/A

Kallaloo: A Caribbean Tale by David and Phillis Gershator You only need one thing to make a good soup and that is a shell! Master soup maker, Granny tells everyone she can make a soup from just a shell …and one little thing from each of them. Great to read with the more common Stone Soup book and then compare and contrast! Written for kids in elementary school. Length: 32 pages. Lexile Measure: N/A

The Shark and the Parrotfish and Other Caribbean by Mario Picayo These wonderful tales are inspired by Aesop’s classic stories but add a a Caribbean flavor. These fables teach morals, too. Written for kids of elementary school age. Length: 32 pages. Lexile Measure: N/A.

The Zombie Chasers #6: Zombies of the Caribbean by John Kloepfer Even reluctant readers love zombies! The zombie chasers flee Florida in search of a zombie expert who is hunkered down somewhere in the Caribbean. Your tween will love this book. Written for tweens aged 7-12 years. Length: 240 pages. Lexile Measure: N/A

Mixed Up History: Abigail Adams: Pirate of the Caribbean by Steve Sheinkin A girl pirate? You bet your boots there is such a thing as a girl pirate! Written with historical background, as the author is a former text book writer, this is a fun book for girls and boys. Written for kids aged 7-10 years. Length: 160 pages. Lexile Measure: N/A.

My Island and I: The Nature of the Caribbean by Alfonso Silva Lee This book shows the lovely diversity of the Caribbean giving a nature perspective to kids. The pictures are all water color and help answer questions like, “How did the plants get to the island originally?” Written for kids aged: 4 and up. Length: 32 pages. Lexile Measure: N/A.

The illustrated Anasi by Phillip Sherlock Classic Read this classic Caribbean fable to your kids and give them a flavor of the islands. Written for kids aged: elementary school Length: 48 pages Lexile Measure: N/A.

 

Wherever your cruise ship stops you are sure to have a fantastic time. Read more cruise tips!

Disney Cruise Tips for Cruising with the KIDS

 

The Educational Tourist and kids in Caribbean

Happy Travels, Mon!

Natalie, The Educational Tourist

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  1. August 24, 2017

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