It’s that time of year again, as across the southern hemisphere things heat up for Carnival Season, and Jamaica is no different. From the masquerade balls in Venice in Italy to the festivities of Crop Over on the small island of Barbados, those with Carnival Fever prepare for this time of year with great anticipation. Many revelers will make the rounds partying along the Savannah in Trinidad and then travel across the Caribbean to the city of Kingston, Jamaica to keep the party going.
If you are a die-hard Carnival lover or looking to do this to create a once in a lifetime, epic memory of a vacation in Jamaica, it pays to be as prepared as possible. Book your tickets and accommodation early, then join the band of choice whether it is Xodus, Xaymaca, Bacchanal Jamaica or the original Jamaica Carnival. No matter which one, you’re sure to have a party experience like nothing else you have ever danced your way through before!
There’s another way to be prepared for the best parties you’ve ever enjoyed, not to mention enjoying the possibility of intimate concerts with some of the top performers of charting soca music. As you arrive in Jamaica, already dancing to the Carnival songs you know by heart, there is a window for you to also get stocked up with some of the best liquor available on the island at fantastic rates. As you finish up with Immigration after arriving at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, you will pass through a doorway to be greeted by the smiling faces saying ‘Gladfiseeyu’ at this small but well-stocked duty-free store.
Conveniently located to meet your needs as you enter the island, this store, whose name means ‘glad to see you’, can cater to almost any taste for someone’s alcohol beverage of choice, including Jamaica’s world-famous Appleton Rum. Whether your taste leans towards rum cocktails mixed with the gold or white rum of Appleton Estate or partaking of the older reserve rum, brand name cognac from Hennessey and Johnny Walker scotches, made to be enjoyed neat, it is easy to pick up a bottle at this spot to get you started, or even enough to carry you through the entire season.
Not to worry, for those who enjoy a fine glass of wine or champagne, the choice here is also quite ample, and ‘Gladfiseeyu’ ensures you have enough choice to please any and everyone who may join you in your revelry. Patron Tequila is offered side by side with the creamy deliciousness of Bailey’s Rum Cream, while the finest vodka gleams invitingly on the shelf next to bottles of smooth gin.
Now you’re all stocked up and ready to go, just walk through the other door into the customs hall, collect your luggage completely hassle free and you’re ready to go party like there’s no tomorrow!
Once you’ve partied through the night, jumped in jouvert covered in paint and chipped and wined your way through the streets of Kingston in the most beautiful costume sharing these unique moments with thousands of others, you may be ready to head home to start dreaming of next year’s Carnival. After this legendary party, however, don’t forget to pick up a few souvenirs! Stop by Bijoux duty-free and pick up some gifts to take back home. Not only will you have access to a fine selection of beautiful souvenirs but some are even one of a kind. Pandora bracelets offer charms only available in Jamaica, a truly unique keepsake, while some signature pieces by Roberto Coin and John Hardy will stand out just because you got them in Jamaica.
If you aren’t looking to buy a gift for someone else there’s a good reason to stop by anyway, to pick up something nice for yourself! Whether it’s a designer perfume you’ve always wanted or a statement timepiece from Rolex, Breitling, Movado or Omega you know you deserve. You can also pop into Carousel before you depart to top up your supplies of those premium liquor brands you enjoyed all the way through Carnival and take advantage of the prices one last time before you leave Jamaica. You’ll be able to pop them in your carry on just before boarding and then sit back and relax all the way home knowing you will get to relive every moment of Easter vacation and Carnival in Jamaica when you unpack your souvenirs.
You’ll have the best access to some of the top duty-free options on the island from the first few minutes you touch down in Kingston until the moment you leave Jamaica’s shores.
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