Of course, he’s no innocent young boy either, so maybe they saw him as an easy target. The facts of the matter are unimportant but the bottom line is that his parents had to pay a bribe to keep him out of a Jamaican jail. Wanting to avoid spending an extra couple of days waiting on Jamaican “justice” we simply told the boys that they had to stay within arm’s reach while on the island.
Sarah and I got up and went to breakfast. We were still coming in to port, so after a quick bite to eat, we went up to deck 11 and watched the ship dock. I took some pictures as the big ship glided into port. On the way downstairs, we ran into Tom and Nancy, so we joined them for second breakfast. I had a bunch of fruit and we tried to come up with a gameplan.
Once we were done, we ran into some of the kids and eventually rallied with everyone else. We were done docking and off-loaded to go walk around Ocho Rios. Right after coming off the boat, we walked the short distance to a shopping complex called
The first thing we did was some shopping. Matthew picked up a Jamaican Bobsled Team t-shirt. Sarah got Matthew a Bob Marley t-shirt, but didn’t tell him; she’s planning on giving it to him for his birthday.
Ron and the boys left us to go 4-wheel riding. They came back and said it was okay. Apparently, the guide wouldn’t let them ride wide-open and kept everyone in line.
Meanwhile, Lauren, Tom, Nancy, Sarah and I went to Margaritaville. Now that I think about it, Ron was there for a little while, too. I think the boys went back to the ship . . . I’ll have to check on that.
We had some conch fritters, nachos and some calamari. Sarah had a Perfect Margarita (or two), I had a strawberry margarita and the others had their favourite potable. The food was good, but the portions were small. We sat around and talked, all the while watching kids—and a couple of adults—take the waterslide down off the roof into the pool by the deck.
When the bill came, there was a 16% tax and 18% gratuity already added in, which comes to adding an extra third to the bill. I think I’ll stick to getting gouged at home (especially if the service is slow).
Sarah and I bought our friend Charley a trailer hitch cover that said Margaritaville Ocho Rios and then we left to go to the Hard Rock Café. It was only a couple of blocks away and I noticed the “herbal” smell a couple of times, but it wasn’t as pervasive as I thought it would be.
We were accosted by a couple of panhandlers, including one pathetic-looking old man who was on crutches and had two wooden stick legs. I was also asked if I was a “party” guy and wanted to buy something to smoke. I politely declined and the locals went away when turned down. I had heard the Jamaicans could be very aggressive, but that wasn’t an issue for us.
I picked up my city t-shirt at the Hard Rock and then we got a picture of
Sarah and I got back to the boat and found that they were having a fire/emergency drill. They didn’t stop us from going anywhere on the boat, and it was good to see the crew practising for the real thing (which happened a couple of days later). We saw the fire doors closed and we saw an EMT team loading a couple of people on to stretchers. I also saw them lowering a couple of lifeboats into the water, and drive around, which was cool.
In the mean time, Sarah lay down for a nap while I went walking around the jogging track. If you want some quality time in a pool or hottub without loads of little kids, go while the boat is in port.
Have I mentioned that there is also no line at the ice cream machine while the boat is moored?
A little while later, we pulled out of port and we got dressed for dinner. Tom, Nancy, Sarah and I had a reservation for dinner at
The last time we were on the Mariner,
I had the risotto and shrimp appetizer, a roast duck salad, and pasta in a white sauce with mushrooms. For my entrée, I had a seafood skewer over rice and asparagus. I had shrimp, scallops, salmon and lobster that was grilled and then served tableside. It was fabulous. Later in the week, we ran into a woman who said she had a whole skewer of lobster; I wish I had known I could do that.
Our server was Gergana and she was wonderful. For dessert, I had the dessert sampler, which had small portions of all their desserts. There was tiramisu, a flourless chocolate cake, pistachio pannacota and an apricot ricotta pie. Given the choice, I think I’d go for the tiramisu alone next time.
Following dinner, we went downstairs to the ever-popular Love & Marriage game show. It was hilarious. The young couple, Tyler and Amber from
The older couple was Olen his wife (I forget her name, too; I guess I shouldn’t wait a month before writing these things down, huh?). They had been married for 60 years and were an absolute riot.
Becky asked a lot of the usual questions including the final one was “Where is the most exciting place you have made whoopie?” Tyler and John’s answer involved cars, but Olen’s was on a “boat that was a-rockin’.” It may have been the Mariner, but it also could have been his 40 foot boat “a couple of weeks ago”. The show was very, very funny and Becky was a great hostess. She knew when to balance the right amount of wit with a need to keep things moving.
After the show, we went upstairs and sat through some karaoke, which was bad. Unlike our last trip on the Mariner, there was no karaoke contest, which kept the good singers seated and encouraged the bad ones to sing. We only stayed for a little while and then went up to deck 11 to the poolside buffet. They didn’t have a lot of great food, but it was a good party.
When we got back to our room, we found that Royal Caribbean had left Sarah and I a pair of free totes, courtesy of the Crown and Anchor Society. They’re actually pretty nice and not the chincy crap that I was expecting.
Pedometer: 27,518 steps, 12.595 miles