Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook

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Falmouth, Jamaica

Falmouth, Jamaica

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Few islands conjure more mystique than this, the Caribbean’s third-largest isle. Harry Belefonte’s “Jamaica Farewell” and the reggae beat of Bob Marley, Rasta, and dreadlocks, the unmistakable patois, terraced waterfalls and pristine beaches, rum, coffee, savory jerk chicken, Olympic athletes... a large island that looms even larger in our minds!

Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica

AMBIENCE

Jamaica has many faces, from upscale beach resorts and stately remnants of a plantation-based aristocracy to the poverty of the countryside; from a pristine cruise pier marketplace to dusty local streets (within just a few blocks). Any Caribbean island can boast sea and sand, but few add river-running, from a tranquil float on a bamboo raft to modest whitewater in a rubber raft. The north coast’s ample rainfall dissolves the underlying limestone, spawning waterfalls, caverns, and the unique hollows and conical hills of Cockpit Country, an area that protected rebellious ex-slaves and gave birth to Reggae’s superstar. All this is within easy reach of Falmouth, whose bygone prosperity left it with a remarkable collection of Georgian-era buildings.

HISTORY

Before Columbus stepped ashore in 1494, Jamaica was inhabited by Arawak tribes. The British ended Spanish rule in 1655, and built a slave-based plantation economy. Jamaica became a top sugar producer, but harsh treatment of the slave population by planters, and the planters’ refusal to change, were key factors leading to Britain’s abolition of slavery in 1838. The economic crash that followed had a long-lasting effect on islanders. In 1957 Jamaica went from Crown Colony to self-governing member of the West Indies Federation, and in 1962 islanders voted to leave the Federation and received full independence from Great Britain.

FACTS

Size: Parish: 337 sq. mi. (874 sq. km.) Island: 4,244 sq. mi. (10,991 sq. km.)
Climate: Tropical Temperatures: 72°F (22°C) to 88°F (31°C)
Population: 2,889,187 Busy Season: December to April
Language: English/Jamaican Patois Money: Jamaican Dollar (J$126 $1 US)
Time Zone: Eastern (no DST) Transportation: taxi, bus
Phones Area Code 876 from US Dial 119 for emergencies
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Top Photo Slice: Falmouth, Jamaica (℗ 53455) Photo contributed by © Jennifer Marx



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