Jammin’ Into the New YearShana Jones January 1, 2018
We’re now at the beginning of 2018 and what better way to send off the old year but on a Jammin‘ cruise? It’s about time I write something about these guys, since at one time I was cruising with them every month! Jammin‘ is one of many day cruise operators in Barbados, but sets itself apart from the rest with its awesome service and even more awesome onboard vibe. From that first time I went a few years back on a friend’s invitation, I was hooked. The atmosphere was amazing, the guys were professional/fun/very safety conscious, and the boat was clean. The big thing for me was the selection of soca played onboard: it was like Kadooment on the water. For an idea of what Kadooment is, click here. Think: the ULTIMATE party!
It’s amazing how after all this time, even now that I know the daily itinerary by heart, each Jammin‘ cruise is still really enjoyable. This is partly due to the rapport I’ve developed with the guys over the years, such that now they greet me as a “regular” (ie. big hugs!) when I board in the morning. We usually set out around 9:30am and at this time a small breakfast is served. A welcome/safety briefing follows, and then it’s a really mellow combination of gentle boat rocking, skin-caressing breezes, and background strains of reggae music. At the first stop, we swim with the turtles, and in the swimming-with-turtles-etiquette briefing we are warned to not “…pull his tail, because it’s not his tail!” One or two of the crew escort the guests in the water and coax the turtles with little pieces of bread. If you’re lucky, you can get close enough to just graze the turtle’s shell before it glides gracefully away. At the next stop we dock near a reef where we learn about the different marine life surrounding it. The scene of underwater life forms floating by lazily in slow motion is priceless! This is my favourite stop, because the flippers they give out make me feel like an accomplished swimmer! At the next and final stop lunch is served and we stay put for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Here you can swim to shore, have drinks served to you in the sectioned off “pool area”, or partake in water activities like jet skiing with other operators.
All this time of course the guys are all over the place, making sure glasses are filled, jokes are told, plates are whisked away, etc., while the energy level on the boat starts to increase. As we start the journey back to port the volume is cranked up and it’s Kadooment! Drinks have been flowing, strangers are now friends, and still waistlines come alive! Some hold a corner, others jump and wave with the rise and fall of the boat, and still others just watch in mild amusement from their place on the net. Then it’s the shot call, when everyone minus one (guess which one?) lines up at the bar for his chance to have a healthy shot of Jammin’ Juice (rum punch) poured down his throat. If it’s your birthday, you’re probably lining up for seconds to the thunderous approval of everyone onboard.
Soon comes the moment we’ve been dreading: the city of Bridgetown has come into view, which means we’re near to shore. Never mind everyone’s at the front of the boat doing a group dance to a local soca song and waving at other passing boats in a classic gesture of you-know-you-wish-you-were-here. Never mind your head’s a little sweet from all the Jammin’ punch and the memories of the crew’s Baywatch bodies. It’s all winding down now, and now it’s back to reality………until the next time, of course. And there WILL be a next time. More goodbye hugs as we walk the gangplank back to land, already planning the next cruise date……
This is my normal Jammin‘ experience and what I’ve come to expect. In response to a recent negative TripAdvisor review, however, the atmosphere has toned down some (ie. the guys, with muscles rippling, now refrain from swinging on the masts); still, even after trying some of the competition, Jammin‘ remains my first choice for the best, most relaxing, enjoyable, rejuvenating day on the water!
Jammin’ lower deck 360: mellowness!