At Falmouth a busload of writers went with Mary Robinette Kowal to Good Hope Plantation for a tour and High Tea. This was apparently one of only 3 or so plantations to survive the slave revolt, because the owner treated his slaves well (to the point of building a school and a 300-bed hospital). It was also the site on which Mary based the house in Of Noble Family; she gave us her own tour after the main tour explaining how her novel's house differed from the real one.
Our bus driver tried to teach us several phrases of Jamaican patois; unfortunately I've forgotten most of it besides irie and yeah, mon, both of which were reinforced by brief conversations with my Jamaican steward back on the ship.
At Cozumel another group of writers took a ferry from the docks next to Independence of the Seas over to mainland Mexico, where we boarded a bus for the Mayan ruins at Tulum. This is a much smaller site than the more famous one at Chichen Itza, but involved a noticeably shorter bus ride. I might have been tempted to take the longer trip, except that this was the one that was exclusive to our tribe of writers.
- A mandatory 45-minute stop at a souvenir shop (it was supposed to be 20 minutes, but I cynically wonder whether it was actually designed as "until they spend enough money").
- Getting dumped back on the docks 3 miles from the ship, in Cozumel's main shopping district. Most of us immediately took shared taxis or vans back to the ship, so only the taxi drivers benefited.