When we flew to Jamaica last year to join Sea Princess were we - to put it mildly - completely wrecked!!! We left Manchester at 8:15am (or were supposed to - actually left at 10:45am!) but as it was a three hour check in, we were at the airport for 5:00am! After nearly a two hour drive across the M62 we were up at 2:15am. So even though we landed at about 2:30pm our bodies actually thought it was 8pm (there was at the time a 6 hour time difference). We were on ship for about 5:00pm (our bodies now thought it was 11pm!) After the safety drill, we were at dinner for 6:15pm (12:15am for our poor tired bodies) How the hell we didn't land our faces in our dinner, I do not know! We were snoring our heads off by 9pm (3 in the morning for our little bodies - up 25 hours nearly!)
So you see:
1.You won't have time to venture out (and as pro's Neil and Ida say, not a good place to go out on your own. Nothing at the port and dodgy characters by the port from what we saw out of our minibus window!).
2. You'll be delusioned and cracking up with tiredness by the time you arrive on ship.
Use the time to familiarise yourself with the ship.
Unlikely by the time you have got from the airport to the ship then your registration sorted out at the dockside and found your cabin there will be muster stations before the ship leaves possibly earlier than normal as you will have to go for your dinner whether it will be 1st/2nd sittings or they may have an open seating for for this evening, just make the views from your balcony and if you don't have one up on the main decks and as after the long flight you might want a bit of relaxation. Given the time scale I would have a small suitcase with a change of clothes you can have as hand luggage on the plane as the arrival of all the suitcases might not be until you have eate,n see what others advise.
I would suggest that by the time you are on the ship having driven from the airport and gone through the induction procedures it will be at least 4-30pm, You the have very little hours of light left as at that time of the year is the equinox that is equal night and day. There is nowhere around the port area that would be worth going to after dark that I can think of so I would get to know the ship and sort out your clothes and prepare for the onslaught of ......... jetlag. ......Neil.
Jamaica is not a place to go walkabout to say that it is unsafe is putting it mildly my advice is get in then get out as quick as you can.
Thanks all for your comments, most helpful. I thought the area might be a bit dodgy but useful to have confirmed. As regular extremely long distance travellers (but East rather than West) the time/tiredness issue isn't a problem and we've been on Artemis loads of times so know the layout. Good advice on taking a small bag on flight, we had thought that would be an idea to have some clothes suitable for the heat on arrival and some wash gear especially if our luggage is delayed. Looks like a brisk stroll round deck to loosen up after the flight rather than finding a local Caribbean bar with a Kid Creole act to unwind with!