During October of 2013 I took a Caribbean cruise. The cruise was on a ship operated by Royal Caribbean International and lasted 7 days. It departed and returned to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. One of the ports of call was Falmouth, Jamaica.
Falmouth is a small community on the island of Jamaica. From the forward deck of the ship I saw the dock area below and some buildings that looked like a small downtown about seven blocks away. I wanted to get away from ship’s system of having everything organized for the passenger’s convenience. So I decided to go to the area with the buildings.
I left the ship, the dock area, and began walking toward the downtown area. Several taxi drivers ask if I wanted a ride somewhere. I stopped and explained to them I was walking and then continued on my way. A short time later, a young looking man started walking with me and said he would be my guide. I told him I wasn’t giving him any money for anything. He continued walking with me in the direction of the downtown. After arriving at the downtown street, he said we weren’t there yet. And he pointed down a cross street and said it’s right down there. So I walked along with him to see, from his point of view, where I was going. We went to a church and stopped in the street in front of the church where he asked for money. I told him I wasn’t giving him any money. He said goodbye and left.
After standing in the street taking pictures, a bus full of tourist, arrived, parked beside the church, and everybody entered the side entrance. To find out what was going on, I went in the front entrance. A tourist guide was giving an interesting lecture about the history of the church. After the lecture I noticed a donation box near the side door. I left a donation and returned to the downtown street.
I found an outside patio of a restaurant, stopped there and took a few picture. The employees of the restaurant didn’t say anything to me. While standing there one young man came by and pointed at my camera. I told him I wasn’t going to sell my camera and he left. Another older, very skinny, man stopped and said something which I did not understand. I assumed he was asking for money. I said I wasn’t going to give him any money. He appeared to be confused by my answer. He said a few addition things which I didn’t understand. Then a restaurant employee came out and said something to him and he left.
After that I walked down one of the side streets for about three blocks. The street had small homes within 10 feet of the narrow paved road. It was rather hot and there was a store on a corner. I entered, showed them I had United States currency, and asked if they would take it. They said they would, so I bought a bottle of soda. I drank the soda while walking toward the ship’s dock area.
A short distance from the entrance to the dock area, I noticed a somewhat older looking lady and a much younger lady. The younger lady was well dressed compared to the average person I had seen that day. The older lady politely said something to me. I was not sure what she was saying. But she was making reference to the younger one and motioned toward her, while she spoke. So I said “How are you?” too the younger lady. She replied that she was fine.
I continued walking toward the gate entrance of the dock area. When I arrive at the gate there were around thirty people outside the gate. All had the appearance of the persons I had seen in the downtown area. They were in a disordered line to the right side of the open gate. Two security persons were standing inside the gate not allowing them to enter. I walk passed the line and through the gate opening without the security personnel saying anything to me.
The port of Falmouth, Jamaica was a better port to visit on the Caribbean cruise. Because going on the vacation cruise also included getting away from the environment designed for the tourist. To do this I wanted to be around areas and people to see the normal lifestyle and I was.