Monarch had been scheduled for Montego Bay but all berths were filled.
In fact, all three of Jamaica's main cruise ports—Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Falmouth—were at capacity. Rather than lose Monarch's call, and noting that it was arriving from Cartagena, a cultural capital much like Kingston, 'we saw this as a great opportunity,' said William Tatham, vp, cruise and marina operations, Port Authority of Jamaica.
'The Pullmantur team was very positive about redirecting the ship here and by all accounts the passengers themselves were pleased with the experience,' Tatham added.
Monarch's visit also meant that all four of Jamaica’s major cruise ports handled ships on the same day. (Port Antonio is also an occasional cruise stop.)
The Pullmantur passengers took excursions to Dunn’s River Falls, Devon House, Bob Marley Museum, Kingston Craft Market, Fort Clarence, Tuff Gong Studios and the National Gallery.
'Kingston already has an interesting range of activities for the cruise ship passenger. The feedback we’ll receive from this Monarch visit will go a far way in helping us to refine our strategy for cruise possibilities in the future,' Tatham said.
Jamaica anticipates another record year for cruise arrivals. The January to October period chalked up 1,313,841 passenger arrivals at the three major ports, an increase of 109,609 passengers or 9.1%.