We know you’ve been anxious to know what else the Resort Caribbean family has been up to. This time, we decided on a full holiday experience with family and friends in Jamaica. We not only vacationed at a resort, but we included an off-island trip to complete the package. For our trip, we left the Moon Palace Resort in Ocho Rios, and went on a little cruise enroute Dunn’s River Falls via Cool Runnings Catamaran in the Caribbean Sea. The experience altogether was royal. Literally! Before reading this, we recommend that you read about our experience at Moon Palace Resort. Here are 10 reasons why Moon Palace Jamaica Resort is the best.
Cool Runnings Dunn’s River Catamaran Cruise
In addition to the stay at Moon Palace Resort, a catamaran trip was booked, which involved snorkelling and the climbing of Dunn’s River Falls. A catamaran is basically a boat, but it’s not a monohull like those we typically see. These are ideal for cruises and carrying large groups of people for entertainment purposes, especially since patrons might not be in the most stable condition on board while partying. It is larger and more stable, hence safer, so people are less likely to fall overboard.
I am not embarrassed to say that this was my first time on a cruise, or off the coast of Jamaica. For every experience, there must be firsts, so cheers to many more off-island/water adventures! It’s a thing for foreigners to explore and experience most of what we have to offer, while we perhaps just watch on social media. Though many of these attractions are accessible, many times Jamaicans would opt to stick to what they are familiar with. I can even relate this to our snorkelling experience which I shared further down. It took a bout of “in the moment” rigorous mental preparation and conviction to enter that ocean! As you read, I hope whether you’re a local or foreigner, you’ll experience the Caribbean Sea and Dunn’s River Falls through our senses.
Ocean Swim and Snorkelling
This trip brought about a lot of firsts. One of these is snorkelling. Being out in the ocean was the best part of this trip! It’s a part of the package and was already paid for, so why not? If you haven’t yet, you should add snorkelling to your Caribbean adventure itinerary. Highly recommended! There is something remarkably different about snorkelling in a tropical area. Americans have told me about their snorkelling adventures off their coasts, but it is nothing compared to here in the Caribbean. Our islands are surrounded by coral reef, so there is a myriad of tropical marine wildlife to see. What has been described to me by those I’ve spoken to sounds nothing compared to what I’ve seen. Especially given the fact that reef is rarely found in certain regions.
Based on several sources, Jamaica has the best snorkelling in the Caribbean. Unlike scuba diving, which probably requires you to be able to swim, snorkelling is easier. It doesn‘t require a lot of gear and doesn’t require you to be able to swim. All that is required is a life jacket, perhaps, and goggles. These are also provided. On the boat, patrons were given life jackets based on our level of comfort in open water. Though I was already a swimmer – a lifeguard actually, to be safe, especially given that it was my first time, I used the jacket for non-swimmers and intermediates. I’m not that confident of a swimmer to risk my life in the ocean. They however had a much smaller life jacket for “excellent” swimmers.
Observing Life Below Water
Snorkelling is fun, but it can also be scary. I’d be lying if I didn’t mention that it is difficult to swim against the tides. Nonetheless, it is too much fun to not try! You need to try this at least once in your life. It might seem daunting at first due to “what ifs”, but the fun starts the moment you stop overthinking and just go jump into the water. Many of us are used to the beach, but this is a whole different experience. You’ll be floating on the surface of the water discovering life you’ve never seen before in live colours. The water is clear, the sand looks white, and everything else below is vibrant and beautiful. It might even become the focus of your vacation, and you might want to do it as often as you can, or stay above the reef as long as you can.
Though it seemed far out into the ocean, I was surprised that the water was not that deep. I don’t want to say “shallow” because that can mean something totally different for a non-swimmer vs. a swimmer. It was basically like the depth of a swimming pool with a deep end – seemingly 10 ft. to 12 ft. In case you’re worried, no, there is no need to worry about sharks. Though there were odd cases of sharks swimming across reefs and up beaches, it’s rare in the Caribbean. There will be lifeguards dispersed in the water ready to rescue you if you should drift, sink, or be attacked by a shark…I hope.
Climbing Dunn’s River Falls
After a moment out in the ocean, the boat docked at the pier at Dunn’s River Falls. We’ve had the saltwater experience, now it was time for fresh water. Dunn’s River Falls is one of the most popular attraction sites in the Caribbean. It not only attracts tourists, but it is a hotspot for locals, and day passes are affordable. They also offer attractive group rates.
While guests may casually climb the falls and stop wherever they wish, the challenge here is to climb the entire falls. It is approximately 600 ft, so if you’re up for the challenge, then go for it. Just do not forget your climbing shoes because the rocks can be pretty slippery.
Party and Vibes
On the way back, there was a Jamaican-styled party where various genres of music were played, but mostly Dancehall. This was my peak. I’ve never had so much fun before at a party! Trust me, I am not much of a party person, but I just wanted to revel in the music and atmosphere and just…let loose, without fear of being judged. I mean, that’s what people do at dances right? And YOLO. I believe we should just let go of our inhibitions and completely savour the moment of every adventure, especially those in Jamaica. If you’re the self-conscious type of person, maybe all you’ll need is a little spirit to get in the mood. To get our adrenaline pumping and dopamine levels in check, we had rum punch. They of course had other liquor and refreshments, like the patties served.
Devouring Spicy Jamaican Beef Patties
One of the perks of the ride is that, on our way back from the falls, they gave us a delicious appetizer. It was the infamous Jamaican Beef Patties. We didn’t anticipate this. It was spicy and hands down one of the best patties I’ve ever tasted in Jamaica. I have no idea where it was baked, but it doesn’t taste like any I’ve had from any of the popular patty restaurants in Jamaica. Being the avid patty lover that I am, I just had to ask for a second one.
In conclusion, just don’t forget to try an off-island adventure in the Caribbean Sea, whether it’s a catamaran cruise, riding on a yacht, on a cruise ship, scuba diving, or even fishing, being in the ocean is a unique experience. Trust me, if snorkelling over a reef was as accessible, this is something I’d do every day! Overall, the trip was worth it and was good value for money. The time stipulated to complete the cruise, climb the falls, party and get back was sufficient.