‘Goose bumps!’ - Port Royal residents in seventh heaven after first cruise ship arrives
When the Marella Discovery 2 docked in Port Royal yesterday, a little after 8 a.m., Dave Johnson was overjoyed to have witnessed the historic moment.
"Goose bumps! Trust me ... goose bumps!," said the man who has been living in the community for more than 40 years. "Yuh have a thing name facts and yuh have a thing name fiction. This is facts! I see it! It happen. Not a bag a mouth now, is action!" he told THE STAR.
Port Royal, once called "the richest and wickedest city in the world" is a quiet fishing village with significant historical and archaeological sites. The Government has now established a cruise ship port in the area, and it was the Marella Discovery 2 that made the first call.
"This moment is history. History is in the making and me live fi see it happen. Every Government entity come in and always talk about developing Port Royal and cruise ship this and cruise ship that, but we witness it fi see it happen! It mek me feel good!," he said.
While many tourists were passing by, Johnson was hard at work, ridding the sidewalks of garbage, he said he is glad to be contributing to the moment.
"If I never liked what is going on, no money in the world coulda get me fi do dis! But true I like what is going on, I just put out all a me heart. It's a beauty. Me hear bout development, me hear bout ship ... I see it now! Me a 40-odd-year-old and I see it! Oh God ... from me born," he related.
Ideal birthday gift
A similar excitement brews within Sharon Prawl. She has been calling Port Royal home for six decades.
"I'm 61 today and this is the most ideal birthday gift. I've been expecting something like this for a long time. I'm happy about it ... I'm enthusiastic about these developments. I welcome it 100 per cent. I'm hoping that I can go inside and look at the ship," she said.
Rachel Howells, visiting from the United Kingdom, was among the persons on board the Marella Discovery 2.
"I've been here (Jamaica) before and I love it. Everybody's really friendly and there's a lot of partying which I love. I've never been here to Port Royal, so this is a first and everyone is really lovely so far," she said.
Wayan Temu, 28, joked that he could leave his homeland, Indonesia, and start a life in Jamaica.
"I have only gone out to Montego Bay and Port Royal. This is my second time in Jamaica. I am excited about Jamaica ... this is why I come. I want to know! I want to know the culture, the music and I want to know how to live a life in Jamaica, but I still love my country," he said laughing.