|Port of Montego Bay, Jamaica|
Finally, a break in the clouds and a port day! We were so excited to get off the ship and onto dry land to enjoy a little fun. We arrived into Jamaica and were able to get off the ship just after 9 am. Before we got off the ship, we headed to the Southern Lights dining room for a sit down breakfast. For some odd reason they were squishing people all into the same set of tables in the same stations instead of spreading things out as many servers were standing around waiting to work and others were killing themselves trying to catch up. Regardless, we got our food and were able to get our nourishment before heading out for the day.
|Entrance to cruise terminal building|
We packed our little bag the night before so we would be ready and that included our ID’s, cameras, and money. In order to get back on the ship you’ll need not only your Sail & Sign card, but a photo ID like a driver’s license or passport. If you can avoid bringing your passport, that’s probably a better idea since you’ll need that to get back home. We entered the small cruise terminal building in Montego Bay and the paperwork I printed off for our excursion stated that we should go to the information desk and they would direct us from there. After picking up a pair of water shoes for only $12 in the store, I talked to the young woman at the information desk who told us to walk through the terminal to the other side. Here every single excursion that the ship offered was waiting for passengers. I spotted a man from Chukka and he said he would find someone for us, but after a few minutes I decided to go back to the information booth. The other young woman told us to go outside and that is where we met up with our driver for Zipline Jamaica. It pays to go with your gut and when I realized that nothing was happening, I could have stayed there, but chose instead to continue investigating and I’m glad I did.
|“Tease” and company|
The ride to Lethe is only about 30 minutes, but is on a very windy and rocky road. If you get carsick easily, you might want to reconsider an excursion that requires you not going on the main road. Upon arrival, we were shown where the gift store and restrooms were and then we were sent over to get our harnesses and helmets for the zipline. Our tour guide was “Diablo” and working with him was “Tease.” Zipline Jamaica uses a double pulley system without gloves to make it a more enjoyable experience. The whole purpose of ziplining is to enjoy the adventure, but you should be able to take in the scenery and beauty of the area while also having a safe and enjoyable time. After our instructional session, we then boarded the off road military-type vehicle that would take us to the first zip line. This is where bumpy is an understatement and I think we needed the helmets more for this ride than for the zipline itself.
|Rope bridge with Zipline Jamaica|
Our group was a small one with only 13 people and the guides accommodated everyone’s skills and needs. Safety was a priority, but having fun was just as important. The ziplines varied in length and height but they were all fantastic and fun. Since we have done ziplining in the past, we weren’t so much as scared as wanting to try something different. Diablo said we could do the pencil, cannonball, or go upside down if we wanted. I loved doing the pencil and then grabbing my ankles and on the last zipline I went upside down, too. Halfway through the course they offered us fresh water, fresh coconut water, coconut, pineapple, and sugar cane. We also walked across a rope bridge and learned some words in Patois. At the end when we were back down at camp and taking our equipment off, we were able to get some refreshments from Marcia like ginger beer and Red Stripe, which was great after our exciting adventure.
|Twisted Kilt’s frozen strawberry margarita|
We were asked if we wanted to go to the main shopping area and if so, it would be an additional $10 per person and everyone agreed. The Pork Pit was what was recommended, but everyone in our group wanted to go to Margaritaville for some odd reason. We skipped Margaritaville in search of some better local options and that’s when we found The Twisted Kilt. Basically needing some food and libations, I ordered a frozen strawberry margarita, which looked great and was ice cold and tasty, but was incredibly messy and low on actual alcohol.
Inside the Twisted Kilt was a lovely pub, but the seating area outside is the place to go. Does this picture give you any idea of how beautiful the view was? There was a beach in front of us and water all around us and we could not only see people out snorkeling, but a storm brewing and taking shape in the distance. When you don’t live near the water, you definitely appreciate views such as this one.
|The Twisted Kilt’s 2 lb. burger challenge|
Now this is where we as parents probably made the mistake of allowing our son to think he was the new Joey Chestnut. Remember him? An amazing eater with massive records in all thinks gluttonous including the 4th of July Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Competition, Joey Chestnut prides himself in eating copious amounts of food. Well, the Twisted Kilt has a crazy burger competition. Eat a 2 lb. burger ($22) in 30 minutes and win a t-shirt and a certificate and get your picture placed on their wall of fame plus get 25% off your burger. There’s also a 3 lb. burger that you must eat in an hour and a 6 lb. burger that I think you would have to be crazy to even consider. Our Joey Chestnut decided to take on the challenge and he ended up finishing in 27 minutes! I wanted them to know we did not help him as neither of us eats meat and it was all him and his crazy metabolism that did it.
By this time it was now time to head back to the ship and it was luckily after a downpour so we didn’t get stuck in the middle of all that and lightning, too. We were able to make our way back onto the ship relatively quickly and without issue and before we knew it, we were back in our cabin. The Carnival Legend was docked right next to us as you can see in the picture. My husband wanted to go to the gym and I was all about an afternoon nap so I snoozed while he ran so we could enjoy our evening together. We were celebrating our anniversary and had made reservations in Cucina del Capitano and we were even able to change the reservation time at the last minute. I’m not sure why so few people are willing to give a specialty restaurant a chance when they cruise as it is always worth the added expense.
|Cucina del Capitano|
With reservations for 8:30 pm, we showered and dressed and made our way over to deck 11 aft for Cucina del Capitano. The service in this specialty restaurant is amazing as there is a team of servers waiting to take care of you from the beginning to the end of your dining experience. They ask you to allow 1 ½ hours for dinner and that means don’t expect fast food service, but it is so much better than that. From the checkerboard tablecloths to the large bottles of wine and beautiful glass chandeliers that adorn the restaurant to the mismatched chairs, you will feel like you are somewhere familiar, like maybe your grandmother’s house. Our team of servers included Magdalena from Poland who was an exceptional server while also being personable and witty, a combination I personally appreciate.
My husband and I started with the arancini (risotto rice balls) and the Insalata Caprese while our son thought a bowl of the Minestroni might settle his stomach. I enjoyed a glass of the Chianti Classico Riserva while my husband opted for the Birra Moretti beer, both great choices. The food was delicious and although I thought our son was up for dinner, he couldn’t handle the thought of more food and left early. So my husband and I enjoyed the rest of our romantic anniversary dinner with each other, which wasn’t a bad plan. For our entrees we had the Spaghetti Carbonara minus the bacon and this was a super rich entrée of which I even had to pull back and say, “No more.” Could I have eaten more? Of course, but I would have hated myself in the morning for sure.
I’m glad we didn’t decide to eat all of our entrees because I really wanted to try their desserts. For dessert we had coffee and shared the Magic Tiramisu, which was beautifully presented with chocolate ribbons on top. Another sinfully rich addition to the menu, this is not a place for dieters or health conscious diners, but if you are looking for a delicious meal in a comfortable setting, I highly recommend Cucina del Capitano. I forgot to mention that if diners at your table order the same thing, they will bring it family style to your table, which is a nice touch. Clearly employees on the ship like this restaurant as we saw one table of officers eating here and another table of what we believed were performers also dining in Cucina del Capitano so if they all eat here, it must be good.
Tomorrow morning we arrive in Grand Cayman at 7 am so we are not planning on staying out too late tonight so we can wake up in time in the morning. Until next time, I hope you’re enjoying my updates of our cruise on the Carnival Magic!