Visit to Rose Hall Great House - I do volunteer work with seniors at least once per month and last month we had day trip to Rose Hall Great House and then on to Aquasol Park Montego Bay for lunch and fun-day.
I had to be up by 5.00 am to get to the meeting point to leave at 7.00 am. As I drove the 30 mins journey to Santa Cruz from Munro district, my friend was concerned that we may be late. When we got there and there were about half a dozen seniors waiting and no sign of the scheduled bus.
At about 7.15 am two buses arrived by which time the group had increased in size. We had devotion (in Jamaica’s Christian society, most activities are preceded by prayer) and then boarded the buses.
Of the two drivers one was very personable but the other was pretty grumpy and he seemed to have left his customer service behaviour at home. Soon, the passengers decided that the grumpy driver would not do, so he was eventually replaced. This of course caused further delay.
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Now down the line were other pick-up stops where other buses did the scheduled pick up but due to the fly in the ointment of the grumpy driver, departure time for all was unintentionally pushed back.
We eventually left the principal place of departure about one hour behind schedule and needless to say, some seniors down the line were not too amused.
Some vented their frustrations as the buses met up and others at the destination.
Anyway, once we were up and running we had a scenic drive first through the mountains of St Elizabeth, Westmoreland and parts of Hanover through to the coastal areas of St James parish along the coastal waters of Montego Bay through to Rose Hall District.Find the best Restaurants in Montego Bay here
We arrived at Rose Hall Great House at 11.00 am. After a few mins the business of the day started where those who wanted to do the guided tour queued up to pay the entrance fee and eventually went off to the tour led by the ebullient tour guide.
As a seniors group, we got a discount on entrance fee but the actual fee is approx J$500 per person. No pictures are allowed on the tour of the house.
My friend and I have done the tour before decided to relax on the grounds of the property until the seniors returned. The view from the property is beautiful landscaped gardens in the foreground with the stunning blue western Jamaica ocean in the distance.
I got pictures of the grounds and a long-shot view of the house. For a souvenir picture of the house, a booth at the gift shop will supply at $10 for a framed picture.
As I appreciated the view, a catamaran or a yacht passed by out at sea. The picture I took, seen below, does the view little justice.
A couple of down sides I noticed were that the tuck/snack shop had little to offer.
By the gift there are two w/c’s but the one marked gents was out of use. I noticed a male asking the staff about the bathroom and was told it was out of use. He stood there bewildered as it did not seem clear that the female w/c was turned into a shared facility for the day.
I pointed out to the same staff member that she needs to offer an alternative to the visitor and I was informed that management is aware of the situation. On that note I suspected that if a visitor needs to use the bathroom they may be better served to access the public bathrooms within the house.
On the upside, the ladies in the gift shop were very welcoming and happy. A variety of items were on offer including some very nice hats – I of course fell in love with the one below at approx $30.00!
My budget could not extend to this on the day but found it in Kingston at a later date.
After about 2 hours at Rose Hall Great House, the seniors thanked the tour guide for taking them around and we were no all getting hungry and looking forward to lunch. Back in our buses we headed out in convoy back on the coastal main road back to central Montego Bay to Aquasol Beach Park.Find the best Montego Bay hotels deals here
A discussion developed on the bus to Aquasol Park about the story of Anne Palmer (original owner) told to them on the tour of the Great House. While they were impressed with the tour guide’s adeptness in telling the story, they were not convinced that it was credible.
Nuttun no go so! exclaimed one lady – nice story but not credible was the general consensus of the seniors.
Several explanations were offered but at the end of the day it was considered light entertainment to the benefit of the tourism product. Have you been on the tour? What do you think of the Annie Palmer story? Read the concluding part of the trip at Aquasol Park here.