Royal Caribbean International’s Voyager of the Seas made history of a sort when it became the first ship to call at Historic Falmouth port in Jamaica yesterday. Situated between the popular cruise ports of Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, Falmouth is the first-ever thematic cruise port for the island nation. It is also a convenient gateway for passengers to embark on more than 60 land experiences along the north coast, which are incidentally also available from the other ports. Additionally, restoration throughout the town of Falmouth will offer visitors a wide selection of cultural and historic experiences when the work currently underway is complete. Many prominent houses, shops, and public buildings built in the 18th and 19th centuries are still standing, but are in need of refurbishment.
“We are delighted to see Voyager of the Seas make the first-ever ship call at Historic Falmouth,” said Craig Milan, senior vice president of Land Operations, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “By partnering with the Port Authority of Jamaica, we are working to deliver our shared vision of Falmouth’s rebirth. Together, we are bringing the town’s historic sites to life and integrating the culture and authenticity of this destination into a superior guest experience.”
Although the arrival of the first ship at the new port was delayed for more than a year and there is still a lot of work to be done, the docking of the first cruise ship sounds like things are on track, right? That's what we thought here at Cruise Diva until we read in Go-Jamaica that the media was barred from the Falmouth pier even as residents gathered to witness the maiden visit by Voyager of the Seas. As reported by Ruddy Mathison, a writer for The Gleaner, “Journalists and camera crew who turned up for the 8 o’clock arrival of ship were told by security personnel at the entrance gate that the media would not be allowed on the compound.”
Apparently the port security guards were instructed to turn the media away and inform them they would be admitted upon invitation to cover the official opening of Falmouth Pier on March 22nd when the world's largest cruise ship Oasis of the Seas is slated to arrive.
That didn't seem to put a damper on the enthusiasm of local residents who appear to be pleased about the opening of the pier and are hopeful that the long anticipated arrival of cruise ships will lead to job opportunities and a stimulation of Falmouth's economy. Cruise Diva will be in Jamaica in a little over a week and we look forward to checking out the progress in Falmouth first hand.