Summary: Jamaica was our second stop on our Western Caribbean Cruise with Princess Cruise lines. After some time at sea, we were itching for some adventure so chose a day of zip lining, ropes course, and swimming. Jamaica does have a high crime rate, so we opted to stay with the a shore excursion purchased through the Princess Cruise line. The subcontractor did a great job of making us all feel safe and at no time did we have any concerns about our safety. Each activity was suitable for kids grade school age and up. $119/per person for this all-day activity. Includes lunch. This post is part of a 4-part series featuring our Western Caribbean cruise experience with Princess Cruises.
About Jamaica. While just 4,200 square miles, this Western Caribbean island has culturally left a big mark, world-wide. Bob Marley, one of Jamaica's most famous natives, helped popularize reggae, while one of the most decorated Olympic sprinters in history, Usain Bolt, put Jamaica on the map in three consecutive Olympics (2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics). The island's laid-back, fun attitude permeates throughout. We found every staff encounter to be lively, inviting, and entertaining. Jamaica itself is filled with beautiful rainforests and white-sand beaches, making it a popular tourist destination.
Good Hope Estate's Thrill Seeker's Pass. Jamaica does have a high crime rate, so we opted to stay with the a shore excursion purchased through the Princess Cruise line. Each activity was suitable for kids grade-school age and up and was appropriately priced at $119/per person for this all-day activity (including lunch). Part of what you pay for is the lovely staff at the ropes and zip lining course, along with the safety of a private estate. This shore excursion is especially great for families with kids between the ages of 6 and 13.
Ropes Course and Zip Lining. After disembarking, we were taken on an air-conditioned bus to a private estate. Here, the activities began with time on a ropes course. None of the activities are especially difficult and even those a bit wary of heights (this writer), should be able to complete each of the ropes course sections. Ziplining here (no photos) is very modest but the staff were a hoot, and we laughed the whole time. If you have zip-lined in other destinations, you may be disappointed. However, in the end, we really did not mind because it was impossible not to have a good time with the staff at this estate.
Lunch & Swimming. Next, we had a pool-side lunch and enjoyed time with the estate's 300 foot-long water-slide. There are lounge chairs available for those that want to extend their time at the pool and enjoy the pretty setting. After a short while, we opted to head out for the plantation tour instead.
Plantation Home Tour. Included in the package is the option to head out on a tour of the plantation's historic quarters. This 18th century estate was formerly owned by John Tharpe, then the largest land and slave owner in Jamaica. At one time, he owned 3,000 slaves to run his many plantations. Like many historical sites we visit, nothing replaces the impact of seeing these sites, and learning of it's sordid past, in person. A complimentary tour is provided where you can learn of the plantation's history.
The views at the Good Hope Estate are gorgeous. The lush green rainforest can be seen for miles into the horizon from here.
Afterwards, we were taken back to the main section of the private estate where we previously enjoyed the ziplining and ropes course. From there, the bus picked us up and returned us to the cruise ship in time to change for our dinner seating.
What to Bring. This is a long day in a humid environment. If you are worried about rope burns, wear long pants for the ropes course. Otherwise, light clothes are best in this warm environment. We brought a change of clothes, bathing suits, closed-toed shoes, flip-flops, sun block, extra water, towels, sunglasses, hats, and insect repellant (though we did not experience much of an insect problem when we were there).