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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
This was my first-ever cruise. It was the annual full-charter Welcome to Jamrock reggae cruise featuring several of the Marleys as well as an all-star cast of reggae stars past, present and future. I had a great time but found it to be ... Read More
This was my first-ever cruise. It was the annual full-charter Welcome to Jamrock reggae cruise featuring several of the Marleys as well as an all-star cast of reggae stars past, present and future. I had a great time but found it to be a mixed experience. The performances were spectacular. Every artist did a lengthy set backed by their own band (which is often not the case at land-based reggae festivals where there are curfews). The shows were originally scheduled to all be outside by the pool on the top deck. This led to a fun outdoors festival party vibe. For less crowded sets you could just walk up close to the stage and have a great view. But for more popular acts like cruise host Damian Marley the place was so packed many were in areas that had poor sightlines (poles etc). Several nights it rained and the music was instead held in the ship's theater. Again, a mixed experience. I knew that the theater's capacity was far less than the 4000 passengers on board so I got in line quite early and scored a great seat. But I heard plenty of complaining from folks who showed up later and could barely see the stage from where they were standing in back. On prior editions of the cruise when a smaller ship was used there were formal meet and greets with the artists, but on the larger ship it was less common to just run into the performers. A few lucky folks did get photos/autographs with their favorite singers but it was far from guaranteed (except for Stephen Marley the only artist who did an organized signing). Generally the acts got on board, did their show, and then disembarked at the next port. My cabin steward was very friendly and helpful. I was surprised and sorry that I was never given any kind of survey after I returned home so I could recognize him. The dining room service was fine and all the other interactions with staff were perfectly pleasant. All my cruise veteran friends had told stories about the wonderful meals they'd eaten on their cruises, but the food on board this ship was so terrible and boring the promoters of the charter actually posted an apology on their Facebook page! Because of the shows most passengers used the buffet which had the same bland items each night and surprisingly little Caribbean influence given the cruise theme. The times I used the dining room things weren't much better with many of the plates interesting in theory but very poorly executed. Note that while some folks did bring their kids, this is probably not the most family friendly cruise given the late night events and the consumption by most passengers of the large amount of alcohol and other substances that were easily obtainable when the ship docked in Jamaica. Our sailing was delayed by several hours beacuse of a luggage issue. The first act had to perform in their street clothes because their suitcase hadn't yet reached their cabin! Things were a lot smoother on arrival. Read Less
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