My husband and I put this particular itinerary off multiple times. We always found somewhere else we really wanted to go more. Our ports on this cruise were Grand Cayman, Falmouth Jamaica and Labadee Haiti. Were we ever wrong putting this itinerary off until now!
Grand Cayman was beautiful. We took a tour that included Hell, the Rum Cake Factory, The Turtle Farm, and Stingray City. Outstanding tour. We covered a lot of ground, at a nice pace. Stingray City was definitely the highlight! That was an unbelievable experience, and we would definitely do it again.
Next up, Falmouth Jamaica. We had heard so many horror stories about Jamaica, we weren't even sure we wanted to get off the ship. My advice to anyone going to Jamaica, don't listen to naysayers. Take an organized tour and enjoy your day. Stay out of the "local markets" where you get hawked to death. If you must, just shop in the port village. Our tour in Jamaica was called "The Heartbeat of Jamaica". First, let me say, the roads out to Trelawny were semi-paved at best, so the ride out there (about 40 minutes) was a bit bumpy. It took us to a local grade school first. If you are from the States, this was an eye opener, and as far as I am concerned a must see. The children and their wonderful teachers were very accommodating and extremely friendly, and we enjoyed this very much. At this point our jitney picked us up and took us to the sugar cane and papaya fields. Our guide Dana was wonderful. We actually got to plant papaya seedlings which was a lot of fun. Next, we went to the site of the original "Big House". We had a wonderful tasting meal of papaya juice, fresh fruit (including papaya, citrus and pineapple) and some of the best jerk chicken I've ever had. After our tasting, we had a rum tasting, with all different varieties of rum. While we were waiting for our coach back to the pier, our guides offered up more fresh papaya juice and a wide variety of fresh fruits.
Last, but certainly not least, was Labadee. What a beautiful place! In Labadee we did the Dragon's Breath Flight Line. WOW!!!!! It's pricey, but so worth the price. You start out 500 feet off the ground and fly a breathtaking 2600 feet over the water. I am not a thrill seeker, but this is something you just have to experience. The cruise line BBQ was good, as always, and the weather was perfect. I highly recommend this port.
Independence of the Seas is a big, beautiful ship. The crew is helpful to a fault. There are so many things to see and do, just on the ship, that your week can be completely full, if you choose. We will be taking this cruise again, and we're just sorry we've put it off for so long.