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Clarasgrandma

Museums, Arts and Fort San Felipe - Carnival Excursion

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Prior to our cruise, I couldn't find any info on this excursion so I thought I would leave a quick review for others who may have an interest.  I picked this excursion because I wanted something cheap that would allow me to see the area and get a feel for what life is like there.  I originally wanted to do the waterfalls but with my bad knees and foot, i wasn't sure that would be the best fit for me...I know I sound old but really I'm only 48!  Any hoo, this tour was informative and took up most of our port time.  The rum factory tour was pretty limited.  There was a 10ish minute video to watch in an air-conditioned room that didn't have much seating areas so most people had to stand.  Then you go into a main room with some displays and this is where you get your 8 samples of various flavored rums.  That about sums up the tour at the rum factory.  We were a little disappointed as we wanted to see the actual process first hand.  Afterwards you have time at a rum store on the property to look around and purchase items.  We also toured a cathedral. The paperwork prior to the tour said to wear clothing that covers the shoulders and knees - most did.  That being said a few did not cover knees or shoulders and were still allowed to go in to the church.  The area were the church is was interesting...lots going on in the "square".  My husband found a food vendor selling pina coladas for approx $6 and they came in a pineapple - really good and almost too strong for us.  This is also the time in the tour where you get your coconut water served in the coconut shell, freshly cut open for you.  At this point, you are thirsty! You aren't given any beverages until this point.  I would recommend bring a water or buying a beverage at the port before starting your tour.  It's warm outside!  From here you walk to a shopping store where there is a bathroom to use and a chance to purchase items.  I got a nice amber pendant.  Then we headed to our lunch destination. This place was so relaxing and inviting.  The meal is served buffet style and you serve yourself.  Chicken, rice pilaf, fresh fruit, salad w/ dressing. Coke, sprite or water are part of the buffet as well.  (I thought the Sprite tasted odd....not as sweet as the US version???) After eating, you wonder down a level into a gardenia garden with Koi pond as well as some other vegetation.  This was probably my favorite stop.  There is also a coffee (free samples) and chocolate (free samples) store that we toured here before getting back on the bus and heading back to the port area.  The fort was interesting and we were given a chance to wander around on our own for a short bit.  This part of the tour involves walking up steps...we had a lady in a wheelchair that wasn't able to participate in this portion of the tour fyi. Also beware: lots of vendors outside the fort and they are somewhat aggressive in that they don't want to take no for an answer.  Overall,  I think this tour was a lot of bang for our bucks.  Nothing for adrenaline seekers but easy walking and sight-seeing for those that just want to get away from the port area without spending a lot of $.

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I'm going to Amber Cove next month for the first time, and really wanted to get some amber or larimar jewelry. Do you remember what the pricing was like in the gift shops? Pretty sure my excursion is going to some of the same places.

I went to Dunn's river falls in Jamaica and encountered the vendor village we had to walk through to get out. One vendor was selling cheap wooden beaded necklaces and just grabbed my hand and started putting necklaces in them, then demanded $5! Hope the Fort vendors aren't like that, cuz that's one of our stops. That Jamaican vendor kinda made me want to never sail to Ocho Rios again...😐

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5 hours ago, Llamabear said:

I'm going to Amber Cove next month for the first time, and really wanted to get some amber or larimar jewelry. Do you remember what the pricing was like in the gift shops? Pretty sure my excursion is going to some of the same places.

I went to Dunn's river falls in Jamaica and encountered the vendor village we had to walk through to get out. One vendor was selling cheap wooden beaded necklaces and just grabbed my hand and started putting necklaces in them, then demanded $5! Hope the Fort vendors aren't like that, cuz that's one of our stops. That Jamaican vendor kinda made me want to never sail to Ocho Rios again...😐

There was a gift shop diagonally across the street from the coconut stand that we visited. I bought an amber and larimar silver pendant for $68.  I think the earrings which were a combo of amber and larimar that I wanted but decided not to get were $44. A smaller frog charm that was just amber was $17. So a wide range of prices depending on what you get.  I heard someone mention that the jewelry prices at the port store were higher. I don't recall seeing any vendors selling jewelry at the fort but I tried not to engage them as they weren't putting things in my hand but they were somewhat aggressive in not always wanting to take no for an answer the first time around.

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