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Falling for Falmouth: An Expert’s Guide to Discovering the Beauty & Adventure of our Newest Port!

Patrick Schneider in St. Kitts

As we have been reporting, our cruise ships will start calling on a new destination in February 2011 – Falmouth, JamaicaVoyager of the Seas will be the first Royal Caribbean ship to visit Falmouth on February 17th and Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas will begin calling in March 2011. We are excited to be part of the development of this new port of call.  In this blog entry, I have asked Patrick Schneider, Director, Shore Excursions, to update you on some of the highlights of the tour program that will be offered for guests calling on Falmouth.  Patrick is one of the leaders in Craig Milan’s Land Operations group.

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Guest Blog Post by Patrick Schneider, Director, Shore Excursions

My primary responsibility as Director, Shore Excursions, is to oversee a team of Account Managers who identify and develop the tour programs offered worldwide on Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises.  As a former Shore Excursion Manager onboard Celebrity, I am passionate about providing our guests the opportunity to experience amazing cultures around the world; to try new things they never thought they would; and to simply escape from their day to day routine. My team and I travel to many of these destinations for site inspections (yeah, it’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it!) and we’ve been visiting Falmouth regularly as the work progresses.

Falmouth, Jamaica

Falmouth once played a significant economic role as a trade and shipping center during the English colonial period.  From the wharfs of Falmouth, sugar, rum and coffee were sent to England.  Ships carrying African slaves and all kinds of fine goods arrived in Falmouth, dropping anchor in the bustling port town in order to serve the necessities of 18th Century colonial life (such as fine furniture, French wines and Chinese Porcelain).

This time period produced much of Falmouth’s historic district including the Court House, the Water Square and other public and private buildings, which makes this town one of the most important historically in Jamaica. 

In the early 1830′s, shipping activity moved to deep-water ports and slaves were freed in Jamaica. Both events caused Falmouth to lose its main economic activity and over the years the town lost its luster and most building went into a state of disrepair. 

Very little development has occurred in the town over the last 100+ years.  However, about eight years ago, Falmouth Heritage Renewal, a Jamaican non-profit organization, was charged with the restoration of Falmouth’s main buildings.  Since then, other Jamaican institutions along with the University of Virginia’s School of Field Architecture have also joined forces to help document and restore Falmouth’s historical buildings.  Finally, the Historic Falmouth Cruise Port, a joint venture of the Port Authority of Jamaica and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is bringing international attention to this century long forgotten and ignored town.  The Historic Falmouth Cruise Port is serving as a catalyst for the town’s rehabilitation and beautification as well as raising awareness of the importance of documenting and preserving Falmouth’s history for future generations.

In addition, and just as important to our guests, the new port will serve as a gateway to three well-known tourist destinations within Jamaica: – Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and Negril. Guests will have many options for activities in Falmouth and in its surrounding destinations.

In February, we will have more than half of the site’s exterior complete and by mid-March almost all of the building exteriors are expected to be finished. Construction is scheduled to conclude by the first of June.  Since the Falmouth Port facilities will still be under construction for initial ship calls in February we encourage guests to participate in an organized tour as the best way to experience Jamaica from this new port-of-call. 

Long-time guest favorites, previously offered from Ocho Rios and/or Montego Bay, will continue to be available. These include visiting or climbing Dunn’s River Falls, swimming with dolphins, plantation/great house tours, river rafting, canopy tours, horseback riding, as well as several different beach/resort breaks.  In total Falmouth, Jamaica actually has more tours available than any other port in the Caribbean!

There will also be get-away options in the parish of Trelawny where Falmouth is located, including a walking tour and a horse and buggy tour of the historic port of Falmouth. This will provide guests the opportunity to learn more about the history and culture of this unique part of Jamaica. One can also take a helicopter tour of either the local Falmouth area or over to Dunn’s River Falls for great scenery and photo opps.  Guests will also have the opportunity to visit “Cockpit Country,” Jamaica’s largest remaining contiguous rainforest, via a 4×4 safari tour or a cave exploration adventure. 

Jamaica is famous for its beautiful mansions and Good Hope Great House is a local example of these former working plantations.  Good Hope Great House was built in the 1700′s and restored in its entirety, with paintings, antiques and the lush surroundings of a 2,000-acre working enterprise. Guests visiting the property can walk on the lands once owned by the largest planter in Jamaica, John Tharpe, and travel to the ruins where the water wheel and kiln still stand today. There will be several tour options available from Good Hope Great Estate including a horse and carriage ride, a tour of the great house and grounds, and will either include a fine dining experience of Caribbean cuisine, a traditional high tea experience or a taste of the wondrous spices of the Caribbean.

Our team handles the tour programs for over 400 ports-of-call and we offer over 4,500 tours worldwide. Every visit to these ports, whether for the first time or as a frequent visitor, offers an opportunity for new experiences.  Falmouth will not disappoint.

30 responses to:
“Falling for Falmouth: An Expert’s Guide to Discovering the Beauty & Adventure of our Newest Port!”

  1. Jackie

    So happy that Falmouth is coming about. Can’t wait to visit there later this year when on board “Allure of the Seas”. It’s wonderful that RCL is helping to develop new ports of call. There is always room for more exploration in this wonderful world in which we live. I’m sure it will be another “WOW” experience.

    • Adam

      Hi, Jackie. Falmouth is truly going to be a fantastic port. You’ll have to tell us all about your experiences when you get back! We’d also love to see pictures, you can even upload them on our Facebook page. Have a wonderful time onboard and we hope to hear from you soon.

  2. bobby

    let’s cruise

    • Adam

      Sounds like a wonderful plan, Bobby. When will we be seeing you onboard?

  3. Jill

    Looking forward to my Oasis 5/14/11 sailing and this new port of call. I will be sure to report back with lots of video and photos!

    • Adam

      We can’t wait to see all that you have to show us, Jill. Feel free to show us your pics on our Facebook wall. We hope you have a great time onboard Oasis of the Seas this May. See you soon.

  4. Larry S.

    Great description of Falmouth. Via visits to Jamaica on the Voyager and the Freedom, we have visited Ocho Rios,Rode horses in the surf, and spent a week a an all enclusive resort in Negril. The new excusions in Famouth sound great. Way to go RCCL!

    • Adam

      Thanks so much, Larry. Falmouth will certainly deliver the WOW to all of our gusts. Your experiences there sound wonderful. Hopefully, we can see you back in Falmouth soon.

  5. KYle

    I am looking forward to visiting on my March 6, 2011 sailing aboard Freedom of the Seas! I have visited Ocho Rios and experienced Dunns River Falls. What an adventure that was. We are considering doing it again from Falmouth.

    • Adam

      We are happy to hear that you are returning to Jamaica with us, Kyle. It sounds like you had a great time the last time you were there. We’re confident that you will be WOWed by Falmouth. We’ll see you soon.

  6. Chana

    See you in April. Look forward to visiting this island.

    • Adam

      We can’t wait to have you onboard, Chana. We’re sure you will be WOWed by Falmouth. See you in April.

  7. pat

    Adam- We can’t wait to experience Falmouth on our VOS cruise February 27th ! We sure hope it’s ready since we were just in Montego Bay last month with RCCL,and we would LOVE to be able to see your new WOW !! But if it’s not ready yet, we are keeping our fingers crossed it will be ready on our April 10th cruise.

    • Adam

      Hello, Pat. Falmouth will be ready by February 17th as scheduled so you will be able to experience the WOW on Voyager of the Seas. We can’t wait to have you onboard.

  8. Joyce

    We’re excited to see Falmouth, Feb 2012 we’ve booked a new departure port for us – New Orleans. We’ve done Ocho Rios twice, enjoyed Dunns River Falls and once at Montego Bay and visited Margaritaville. Have thoroughly enjoyed all our excursions in Jamaica and anxious to try something fun in Falmouth. Thanks RC

    • Adam

      We are so happy that you have enjoyed Jamaica in the past, Joyce. We just know that you will be WOWed by Falmouth. We look forward to seeing you next year!

  9. lisa ruchte

    We will be in Falmouth is April and are interested in beach/resort breaks. Will we book them soley through RCCL or will be have other options once in Falmouth?

    • Adam

      Hello, Lisa. You will be able to book shore and land excursions here. Thanks so much for your comment. We can’t wait to see you this April.

  10. Ernie W.

    My wife and I will be on the Freedom of the Seas and are hoping to be the second ship to Falmouth on Feb 23. At least I’m hoping the second ship! Looking forward to our first visit to Jamaica!

    • Adam

      We can’t wait to have you and your wife onboard, Ernie, and you’re right, Freedom of the Seas is scheduled to be the second ship to arrive at Falmouth, have a great time.

  11. Tammy

    We are on the Apr 30 Oasis cruise. I love history and architecture. My husband loves adventure. We have been to Ocho Rios and love the falls, I hoping this will be an adventure with lots to do. We are more doers than shoppers.

    • Adam

      Your adventure awaits you, Tammy. We can’t wait to have you onboard this April. We assure you there are plenty of things to do both onboard the Oasis as well as well as shore excursions. You can learn more about shore excursions here. We hope you and your husband have a great time with us onboard the Oasis.

  12. bob

    Going in April on NOS and really looking forward to it as its our 20 year anniversary. We love Jamaica!

    • Adam

      Congratulations on your 20th anniversary, Bob. We hope you two have a wonderful time onboard! And here’s to your next 20 years being just as wonderful as your first.

  13. Steve p

    My wife and i are on our second cruise within a year on Freedom of the Seas. we are looking forward to the new port and hope everything goes smooth on feb 23.

    • Adam

      We know you and your wife will just fall in love with Falmouth, Steve. We can’t wait to see you onboard with us in February.

  14. Dianne

    Going on our 3rd VOS out of Galveston on 3/27 and can’t wait. Love the ship, love the cruise line and the sights and sounds are fantastic. Looking forward to seeing the newest port. Bringing my folks who are in their 80′s and never been on a cruise before.

    • Adam

      Well you and your parents are in for quite a treat, Dianne. We’re confident that all of you will have a wonderful time onboard. We truly appreciate the kind words, and we’re looking forward to delivering the WOW to you and your family. See you in March!

  15. shirley

    So happy to learn of a new port. We have just booked a cruise for November 2011 to visit this new location traveling aboard the Liberty! Can’t wait. Thank Royal Caribbean to continued new experiences.

    • Adam

      You’re more than welcome, Shirley. We can’t wait to have you onboard to witness this port first hand this November. We’ll see you soon.

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