Credit: Shutterstock

Jamaica cruises return! Travel guide for Caribbean island - what to, do & eat

Author: Kendall Hayes

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Jamaica holidays are back in blessings as the island welcomes the return of cruises to the popular Caribbean destination. So, what are the best things to do in a Jamaica cruise port?

Jamaica cruise holidays can resume once again after minister of tourism, Edmund Bartlett, announced yesterday cruises will be welcomed again to the island.

The minister explained that the reintroduction of cruises will allow the country to bounce back when it comes to tourism.

Bartlett stated: “I am delighted to welcome cruise back to the tourism capital of Jamaica – Montego Bay. I am certain that this will be a welcome move for our stakeholders, especially our small and medium tourism enterprises, who earn significantly from cruise passengers."

Carnival Cruise Line ship Carnival Glory was the first vessel to return to Jamaica, arriving at Montego Bay Cruise Port.

The news follows Jamaica's success at World of Cruising's Wave Awards 2021, winning Best Destination. This is what you need to know about the Caribbean island.

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When is best to go to Jamaica?

The best time to take a Caribbean cruise to Jamaica is November to mid-December when the weather is the most beautiful at 24 to 31 degrees Celsius.

At this season, flights deals are not that difficult to find, but the cheapest flights to Jamaica are during the summer months.

- READ MORE: Three of the best cruise ports in the Caribbean -

If you do travel to Jamaica throughout the summer months, beware of hurricane season.

The most popular time to take a Jamaica holiday is January to March, but during this time prices tend to spike.

Jamaica is also known for its impeccable beaches; one of the best is Negril Beach. Credit: Shutterstock

What to do in Jamaica

Jamaica travel is extremely popular with plenty to do at Jamaica cruise ports from attractions to restaurants.

The Blue Hole, alternatively known as the Cool Blue Hole, is a natural limestone sinkhole near Ocho Rios.

Travellers can visit the hole to swim, cliff dive, and make their way through the lush rain to the Secret Falls.

Another popular attraction is the Appleton Estate, one of Jamaica’s best rum distilleries having produced the liquor since 1749.

- READ MORE: Best winter sun destinations right now and their entry requirements -

When many people think of Jamaica, they think of Bob Marley; so head to the Bob Marley Museum which is the former home and recording studio of the reggae king.

Dunn’s River Falls is another popular attraction on the Caribbean island.

This waterfall is a spectacular White River waterfall near Ocho Rios in Jamaica where cold mountain water cascades 300 meters down naturally terraced steps.

Jamaica is also known for its impeccable beaches; one of the best is Negril Beach, also known as Seven Mile Beach.

This famously long stretch of white-sand beach is great for swimming, kayaking and renting a sailboat.

Dunn’s River Falls is another popular attraction on the Caribbean island. Credit: Shutterstock

What to eat and drink in Jamaica

There is lots to eat and drink on the island of Jamaica, especially when it comes to the island’s classics such as rum, ackee and saltfish.

Ackee and saltfish is Jamaica’s national dish and is made with ackee fruit which is imported from Ghana.

Rick’s Café is a popular spot on the cliffs outside Negril and has been open since 1974.

- READ MORE: Essential post-Covid guide to Caribbean cruising -

Both locals and tourists make the trip to the restaurant and bar for strong cocktails and tasty Jamaican dishes.

Another one-of-a-kind restaurant is in Montego Bay at The Houseboat Grill.

This colourfully painted double-decker houseboat is on an inky-black lagoon and is hailed as the island’s best restaurant.

The Caribbean fusion menu changes regularly, where tropical starters could include grilled palm hearts or ‘peel and eat’ shrimp, followed by beef medallions and plantain-mashed potatoes.

Don't miss the chance to try local specialties such as rum, ackee and saltfish. Credit: Shutterstock

What cruise lines sail to Jamaica

Cruises to Jamaica are always available, as a multitude of lines sail to the popular island.

Cruise lines including Carnival, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean all sail to Jamaica.

- READ MORE: Cruises cancelled as red list changes and new travel rules begin - latest cruise advice -

What are Jamaica entry requirements?

With countries moving between the green and red list, many travellers are asking, “Is Jamaica on the green list?” The answer is yes.

The Jamaica entry requirements are like other popular tourist spots around the world; if you are double jabbed, entering Jamaica is much easier than if you are not.

All travellers from 12 years and upwards arriving in Jamaica must present a certificate issued by UKAS accredited laboratory showing a negative COVID-19 molecular (PCR, NAA, RNA) or Antigen test result within 72 hours prior to the date of travel.

Any traveller entering Jamaica may be tested for COVID-19 if assessed as high-risk because of exhibiting symptoms, exposure to persons who have tested positive, belonging to a high-risk group or other factors.

If you are not fully vaccinated, you must quarantine for 14 days from your date of entry to the island.

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