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Exploring Jamaica

I tried to prep Marlowe for our Jamaica trip– there might be hills, but there would be loads of delicious food, tropical fruit, beach, jungle and sunshine! That being said, there was no question we were all super excited to visit Jamaica. Alex had been saying for a few years now that he would like to visit— and going there on our Carnival Cruise— well it seemed like the perfect way to get there. No need for us to buy overpriced flights to travel a few hours south when we can just sail in the sunshine– and nice, easy seas! We were so lucky to have an incredibly smooth sailing. I had been a bit nervous with my previous vertigo that I’d be falling all over the place, but no, smooth sailing and a happy Drea (and family too).



The weather was basically perfect in Ochos Rios too. Similar to here in Florida but with less humidity and more of a cool breeze that would hit from time to time. We were prepared with swimsuits, sunglasses, and a few bucks in our pocket to enjoy the beach town.




Right off the port we headed to a near by vegan (Ital) place. I knew I would have no trouble in Jamaica– there were three or four places near by, basically next door to the ship (win!)


We visited a place called Calabash Ital Restaurant. We ordered “a little bit of everything,” some juices and smoothies. It also had a small shop inside too! I picked up some neem toothpaste and two amazing tonics— a blend of herbs and such to give your body an extra boost. I swear this was part of the reason I felt so great on the vacation. I was even more excited when I noticed it was actually made by a guy I used to know in Miami! It was this guy who used to sell us handmade Jamaican patties in the health food store I used to manage. So random, right?! Such a small world! This whole thing is always my favorite about cruising and travel in general. We had such amazing food at the other ports we visited last cruise!






We then headed up the hill to these gorgeous botanical gardens– making a stop to buy fruit along the way of course 🙂


At the very top of the hill we arrived at the most beautiful botanical garden. This place was amazing. I kept day dreaming about how nice it would be to purchase the land and turn it back into the old hotel it used to be. Waterfalls, natural pools, lush greenery everywhere.  We had a guided tour, before spending the rest of our time exploring the jungle on our own. We loved our guide, he was a sweet older man– he showed us a lot of the plants we already knew from home– but a few amazing plants we’d never heard of before. Like this one fern-like plant that tucks itself away when you touch it! I wish I could remember the name, it was the coolest thing I had seen in a long time. Another reminder of how amazing nature is.


a lopsided sweaty family photo!





Kind of like home— but better.

If you’re into flora and fauna at all— or just into being in a jungle like place, I’d totally recommend the very short trek to Shaw Park Gardens or any of the other local gardens you can visit. Jamaica is so lush and filled with the most beautiful waterfalls– part of the reason why people visit so often I’m sure!






hummingbird finding.


hi rooster friends!





After the gardens we stopped at a small beach near the ship for Marlowe to enjoy the water, Alex to enjoy downtime, and for me to enjoy (two) coconuts— before heading back for our departure time. We then made our way quickly back to the ship as the clouds started rolling in— but honestly, I don’t think the rain ever came! Not before the ship left anyway. It was a good day– very easy, enjoyable, a little sweaty, but wonderful, and something I wish I could do right now again 😉 We’re so grateful to have these fun and easy, breezy moments together.

Alex told me if I could live on the ship and just sail from island to island forever that I would probably do it. And he’s right. I totally would. I’d happily sail and explore forever. And visit Jamaica a few times over 🙂


This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind.