There was much preparation and expectancy in Falmouth on Tuesday October 8, 2013, as Disney Wonder, 1 of 4 ships from the Disney Cruise Lines fleet, dropped anchor in Falmouth Jamaica Cruise Port for the first time. It marked the first time a Disney Cruise vessel was docking in the Historic Georgian seaport.
During the day, anyone would certainly be excused for thinking there was absolutely no ship in port. Cruise ship travelers were ‘visibly absent’ from the roads and the community did not experience any apparent extra commercial activity.
What was evident was the added influx of police on the roads. They were trying to minimize the risk of blockage by bus owners (outside the gates of the Pier complex). This was no regular traffic jam anyway. It was a protest by the bus drivers as they were being forced to park to the extreme east of Falmouth. This is far away from the port.
Since it was a protest, police came out well armed with the standard assault rifles and this seemed to scare the visitors. So, instead of being abuzz with activity and the presence of tourists for this memorable occasion, Falmouth was like a ghost town.
The Disney Wonder is far smaller in size compared to those ships from the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines to which we have now ended up being accustomed. Still, the shortage of retail life in Falmouth was actually simply overly obvious.
A number of local dignitaries, led by the Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill and Mayor of Falmouth, Garth Wilkinson, were invited onboard to join in a maritime custom of a plaque exchange. This performs the double duty of officially welcoming the vessel, and for the captain and crew to commemorate the boat’s maiden voyage to Jamaica.
There was really much groundwork by the Mayor and the government of Jamaica, primarily since the town wants to charm Disney Cruise Lines for a lasting arrangement. This was declared by the Mayor. The ensuing is actually the report obtained through the Jamaica Observer:.
The Mayor of Falmouth Councillor Garth Wilkinson was glad for the arrival of Disney Cruises , and is wishing that a deal could be sealed to see the vessel coming in for at least a few years. The Disney Cruise Line is expected to make another 4 voyages to Falmouth Jamaica Cruise Port. Falmouth is hoping they will make a long-term commitment.
For the ordinary member of the community, it was really much ado about nothing. In true Disney style, the Disney Wonder was there, but not there. Let’s hope that protest aside, Falmouth will be able to woo Disney to make Falmouth a permanent stop.