Jamaica has always been one of my favorite places in the Caribbean. The thought of Jamaica’s beautiful white sand beaches, wonderful laidback lifestyle and the lilting sound of steel drums prompt great memories and make me smile.
When I first heard about Royal Caribbean teaming with the government of Jamaica to build a new port at Falmouth I was delighted. It’s a new way to see a lovely island and get a feel for the history of the region. I hear various amounts of what the final costs will be to complete Falmouth Harbor, but $220 million is used most often. The port complex opened in February and as of mid-March is approximately 75 percent completed.
Falmouth, between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, is a 250-year-old town and tourism had bypassed it for many years. It was the main source of commerce for the island and the area was home to the largest plantations in the Caribbean. Molasses, sugar and cane were loaded on ships and sent around the world.
The Falmouth heritage site contains an old court house, typical of Georgian architecture, and will offer a variety of attractions representing the island as it was more than two centuries ago. The idea appears to be to create a Jamaican-style Williamsburg.
Falmouth first welcomed Royal Caribbean ships in late February and will host Oasis class ships.
Jamaica’s other main ports are Ocho Rios and Mo’ Bay, while smaller vessels call at Port Antonio.