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“Back in time” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Port Royal

Port Royal
Palisadoes, Kingston, Jamaica
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Ranked #6 of 23 attractions in Kingston
Type: Historic Sites, Marinas
Activities: City walk sightseeing
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Old pirate haunt, notorious in its day for residents' sticky fingers and loose morals, now being renovated into a major tourist attraction.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Back in time”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

Kind of scary when you read the history of this place. Interesting
sites but we enjoyed some delicious fish meals at the

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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110 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
South Florida, Florida
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Very Interesting Tour”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2012

We visited Fort Charles by chance only because we were too early for our flight but it well worth it. The tour guides were very informed and answered our questions well. The tour was a window through old Jamaica with lots of history from the Arawak's to the Buccaneers . Good for Children.
Non traditional

Visited October 2012
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2 reviews
“amazing at the damage earthquakes cause”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2012

If you like architecture, this brick constructed fort is worth the look if you are in Kingston. but I would not make it the primary reason to visit Kingston Jamaica

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston, Jamaica
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

If you liked history in school, you will love Port Royal. Port Royal was pretty much a military base in Colonial times, then it turned a base for pirates, then it got destroyed by earthquake in 1692. I don't remember all the stories, I just go for the food. You can get very good seafood at Gloria's or Morgan Harbour or boat out to Maiden Cay or Lime Cay.

Visited July 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Exploring Jamaica's Era of Infamy”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2012

In an attempt to introduce my friend, a first-time visitor, to my native land, it was my desire to share with her the expansive scope of Jamaica’s illustrious history and rich culture. She is a widely-travelled, retired teacher, with an insatiable appetite for all aspects of knowledge about our planet and its inhabitants, past and present. A daunting responsibility for me, but I knew that Port Royal would be just the place to help me fulfill my mission. As a child, I had paid many visits there, on both family and school outings, and I remember being enchanted by this place, steeped in its captivating lore of pirates, sunken treasure, and even catastrophic earthquakes and fire! Definitely fodder to spark one’s imagination!

At present, Port Royal is a tranquil little town, where fishing and limited tourism are its main foci; and it is nothing like it was in its days of infamy, but vestiges of its past are still evident. It also serves as the chosen location for the headquarters of the Jamaica Defense Force’s Coast Guard.

The guided tour of Ft. Charles’ museum, consists of displayed relics housed in two small rooms on the site; and a walk-through of its outlying structures, including the Giddy House, which is fun to experience, even for grown-ups! Aided by the informative narration of the guide, who described the various artifacts exhibited within - reclaimed through underwater archaeological expeditions from the old city, which was submerged in the Caribbean Sea by an earthquake in 1692 - we were provided with an entertaining, educational history lesson. On the day that we visited, our guide, Dwayne (sp), did an outstanding job of painting a vivid picture of the lifestyle of its residents back then, when this locale once existed as a city that flourished. He delivered his presentation in a natural, easy-going manner, and was an engaging story-teller. I was especially impressed with his interaction with the children in his audience, as he strove to make the mystique of the place come alive for them.

The mere setting and architecture of the fortress’ red-bricked remains, with its cannons peeping through embrasures, helps to immediately transport you to another era of Jamaica’s well-documented, history-laden past, when Port Royal was renowned as a military stronghold, pirates’ haven and main hub of trade during the 17th century. Standing within the bounds of the fortress, it’s as if time has stood still, which further stokes one’s imagination to conjure up images of how it must have been in its heyday.

There was also a rather lengthy documentary available for viewing on a touch-screen monitor, which laid the foundation to Port Royal’s historic background. Due to our time constraints, we were unable to view the entire presentation, but the part that we watched was noteworthy. I have since discovered that you can locate it on You-Tube, but somehow, viewing it at the museum, within the context of its actual location, definitely augmented the entire experience.

After departing the museum, we dined at Gloria’s, the local seafood eatery, which came highly-recommended. However, on the day, and time, of our visit, it was really busy, very noisy, and the service was slow. Maybe this was because their other location was closed at the time. As for the much-touted food, there were four in our party, and none of us were particularly impressed with our selections. It was acceptable fare, but not the exceptional, gastronomic experience that we had anticipated, given all the hype surrounding their reputation. The view from the upper level of their seaside location, did go a far way to make up for the mediocre meal, as we were able to see Lime Cay out in the distance, and view a large ship slowly make its way through the sea-lane on its way to the port in Kingston.

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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