Thursday, June 08, 2006

Jamaica: Jane hits the jungle

I’m strapped into a harness, hooked onto a pulley, and flying through the jungle 250 feet above the floor at 30-plus miles per hour. I’m on a cruise ship excursion.

Just a few years ago, cruise ship shore excursions came in one flavor: Vanilla. But in the past two years, Royal Caribbean has made a concerted effort to see that it’s active excursions are really, well, active, says Craig Milan, president of Royal Caribbean Tours. He’s one of the execs on board this inaugural trip.

I’m a believer. While a fellow cruiser reported she’d been trapped on a bland bus tour (yes, they still exist), I was playing Jane of the Jungle on a canopy tour.

I’ve done four canopy tours now – two in Costa Rica, one in Ecuador, and this one in Jamaica. The idea: You get up high (there’s usually climbing and hiking involved), then “fly’’ from one platform to another along cables. This tour included six traverses, some as brief at 30 feet, the longest more than 1000 feet long.

This wasn’t the longest or most rigorous canopy trip I’ve done, but it was the most enjoyable, thanks to the humor of our two canopy guides, Kim and Fitz. They weren’t just safe, they were fun.

The rating from the 12 fellow canopy fliers in my group: “Awesome’’ – even from the woman who was so scared that she had to be carried across an early traverse by the guide.


zati said...

that sounds awesome. i was wondering if u could get some info for me. i am on the june 11 sailing and need info asap. i just broke mt elbow and have a cast and sling. i am also handicapped and walk with a cruch. are the tenders handicap accessible? will one of the wait staff help me cut my food or maybe carry a tray from the buffet for me? will i be able to get off the ship? are ant shore excursions accessible to handicap people? thanks for any help. sorry for no caps - typing with onew hand.

Jane said...

Zati: Let me do some checking. The tenders don't appear to be handicapped friendly, per say, but there was an even surface onto each one that I took, and I do believe the staff is available to help you. Are for accessible shore excursions, there are some easy bus tours, a culinary tour in Cozumenl, that kind of thing that you can probably do just fine. I'll ask about the staffing situation and let you know in the next 24 hours. Best.

Jane said...

Zati: Here's an update. The staff will definitely help you on and off tenders. The beach at Labadee has sand -ready wheelchairs and staff to help you along. Enjoy your trip.