Cruise options for locals

by Oct 27, 2022Play

It’s not a topic often explored but, yes, Jamaicans do go on cruises that leave from the country’s shores. sought out managing director at Leisure for Pleasure Holidays and Tours Limited Judith James-Watts for details on upcoming cruise options being offered for the 2022 season. TUI’s Marella Discovery 2 cruises, which all leave from Montego Bay, begin on November 15 and run until March 14, 2023. Ships depart every Tuesday and each sail lasts for eight days and seven nights. During three very different cruises, some of the countries that will be visited include Belize, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, and more.

The Explorer 2 was used last season. For the 2022 season, the Marella Discovery 2 leaves Montego Bay every Tuesday.

Prices have moved up significantly over the years, but James-Watts still thinks these cruises are value for money, comparable to any decent all inclusive hotel on the island. Read on for her paraphrased replies to often-asked questions.

Many people think of elderly retirees or younger people looking for love when they think about cruises. Who’s your typical client?

I would say we have a mix of clients. Normally, cruises are for older persons, but the sails we have sold are a mixture of persons from different age groups and different income streams. We have groups of retired teachers, returning residents, friends and family, passengers celebrating a honeymoon, anniversary. It’s a family cruise so children are allowed.

Let’s talk price.

Prices are based on double occupancy and do not include departure tax from Jamaica, WiFi on the ship, travel insurance and costs for shore excursions.

When we began about six years ago, prices started from about $60,000-plus to $70,000-plus for seven glorious nights and eight wonderful days.

Prices fluctuate daily, based on the new booking system used post-COVID-19 but cruises for November 15 now start from $88,350 for eight days/seven nights for inside cabins. That’s $12,622 per person, per night, comparable to an all-inclusive hotel vacation.

December 6 sails now start at $118,750 for inside cabins.

For the Christmas cruise that leaves on December 20, the cost for an inside cabin starts from $186,200. Only junior suite cabins are available for the New Year’s cruise that leaves on December 27. All inside, ocean view and balcony cabins are sold out. These rates are applicable to new bookings only.

There is the option to use a payment plan. You make a deposit to confirm the booking and the balance must be paid four months before the sail date.

There is the option to use a payment plan. You make a deposit to confirm the booking and the balance must be paid four months before the sail date.

Cruise passengers enjoying a show on board. Each cruise offers daily and nightly entertainment.

What are the documents needed to book a cruise?

You will need a passport that is valid up to six months after the return date; travel insurance; proof of vaccination (two shots) against COVID-19 as well as a booster shot. Antigen tests for passengers before sailing have now been waived.

No visa needed?

Most persons who go on cruises tend to fly to Florida, or different countries, and sail from there. Our cruises are excellent options for persons who want to travel but don’t have a US visa. You only need to go through immigration in Cuba, no need to do that for the other stops.

Our cruises provide an excellent option for those who are planning family reunions, for persons who have never sailed before, who want to give a gift for their parents’ anniversary, honeymoon, you name it.

You get a chance to see other countries without any additional cost for the airfare and you board right from our very own port. 

The rates are not that expensive. When compared to any hotel here in Jamaica, it is quite reasonable. We have different categories of cabins so persons can get from the low end, which is the inside cabin, and they can go to the highest end which is an executive suite. 


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