Harmony of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, is slated to make its inaugural call to Jamaica in November. The vessel, owned by Royal Caribbean, is scheduled to dock at the Falmouth Pier in Trelawny. Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett said the visit will provide a major boost for Jamaica’s growing cruise-ship sector, which is still celebrating a 13.6 per cent growth for the 2013/14 winter season. Bartlett made the disclosure during an interview with JIS at the annual general meeting of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association held Saturday at the Sandals Ochi Beach Resort in St Ann. Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas Jamaica will now have the three largest ships in the world calling on our ports, Bartlett pointed out. He said that Harmony of the Seas is on its inaugural voyage in Barcelona, Spain, and will remain in Europe for the summer before going to Fort Lauderdale in the fall for its Caribbean cruise, when it will make its Jamaica stop.
Bartlett said that Royal Caribbean has had a long relationship with the local cruise industry, with the Falmouth Pier accommodating most of the cruise line’s flagship vessels. As a matter of fact, it’s not just Royal Caribbean, the minister pointed out. It is no secret that all the cruise lines that ply the western Caribbean route continue to see Jamaica as a marquee destination, boasting some of the Caribbean’s finest attractions, he said When itineraries are being put together, the quality attractions we have here in Jamaica have to be taken into consideration. Meanwhile, the tourism minister said that the cruise sector is poised for further growth. I am actually going to Miami next week to meet with the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association to discuss additional ships for Jamaica. We see Kingston coming into the picture now as a cruise destination… these are really exciting times, he said. At 226,963 tons, Harmony of the Seas has been described as a floating mega resort.
A holiday is a fantasy the chance to be someone else, somewhere else for a blink of time. A Disney cruise is a double fantasy, a true land of make-believe where children can hug Snow White and grown-ups can talk to turtles. After spending time exploring the attractions of Magic Kingdom in Florida, each guest is given a red-carpet welcome by the crew on Disney Dream, a classic liner voted best in the large-ship category among Cruise Critic readers. Once on board, you are immediately part of a masterfully produced piece of floating theatre, as the ship, Donald, Mickey and 4,000 passengers sail away from Florida’s Port Canaveral for a four-day cruise, docking in Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney’s private island to the north, Castaway Cay. The ship’s horn sounds the first line of When You Wish upon a Star as we leave, and Disney dancers rip into a crazy conga, introducing Goofy, Pluto, Chip and Dale, Donald, Mickey and Minnie.
The Disney Dream is polished to within an inch of its life. Such is Disney’s attention to detail that the bottom of the ship is painted dark blue and the lifeboats are yellow, rather than regulation orange. The US coastguard granted special permission to use the colors of Mickey himself. On board, 1,000 children from toddlers to 17-year-olds are swept up in a swirl of activities. Youngsters learn light saber moves in a Jedi master class and then face off against Darth Vader; they can whoosh through the ship’s water-coaster, the Aqua duck; be kitted out as princesses in the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique; shut parents out of the Vibe Splash zone; and mingle with pirates in the Caribbean while fabulous fireworks explode overhead. In the evening, energetic shows are a high-octane mix of hits from Disney movies the Little Mermaid appears with a starfish and octopus to give us Under The Sea, and there are staged reminders that you can do it ‘if you believe’.