Vacationing in Porto Back Yarda

As the return of cruising seems to be within reach, it’s time to mitigate lockdown loneliness.  My brother Nick Leland sets it up perfectly in the song he wrote and recorded, Porto Back Yarda, a domesticated ode to travel wanderlust when travel isn’t possible. The song serves as a roadmap to setting up a backyard island escape and we have the perfect shopping list for bringing destination dreams to fruition at home, but before you light up those tiki torches and fill up the paddling pool, you’ll need to clear out the cobwebs of cruise withdrawal so……first things first.  


With cruise sailings on hold for over three months now, this unprecedented land locked seclusion can contribute to a plethora of inner emotions.  For some people the uncertainty about employment and the return of normalcy has undoubtedly caused some degree of anxiety and stress so it’s important to get your mind straight.

Don’t worry about a thing…..

Reggae legend Bob Marley lays it down perfectly,  Don’t worry about a thing, every little thing is gonna be alright !  If your introspect is challenged by today’s uncertainty, imagine trying to carve out a personal legacy when you are born into the Marley family. Maintaining the Marley mantra is the legendary singer’s grandson, Nico Marley. Although he never shot the sheriff, it should come as no surprise that he would inherit the family’s entrepreneurial heritage in establishing LionX Wellness, a cannabidiol (commonly known as CBD) brand and line of products.

CBD lays claim to a number of wellness remedies, with relief from anxiety and stress a major target.  While I am fortunate that I don’t suffer from that or other health issues, idle days spent waiting for the next cruise has made getting a good night’s sleep an issue.  Compound that with a shoulder malady from a recent fall in Bhutan and I reached out to my friend Nico for some holistic advice on the product.

Love the life you live,

     Live the life you love…. Bob Marley

As a heralded football player in high school and standout player at Tulane University he followed through with a short stint with the Washington Redskins in the NFL. But Marley’s love for life mirrored his grandfather’s legacy leading to the launch of LionX. Originally intended for athletic recovery, the trending popularity has led to expanding the product’s reach into the general public. Modifying the wellness playbook by championing the creative and healing aspects of CBD, Nico is quick to clarify that CBD is not a device for getting high or tuning out and although cannabis and the derivatives are often linked together, CBD is not addictive and best of all it’s legal.

Nico Marley | Photo: LionX

There is a further sentiment that CBD has proven to improve sleep, assist in muscle recovery and some ingredients can promote fat burning, reduce inflammation, relieve pain and can also serve as an antioxidant. To achieve optimal results for well being, LionX products stay true to nature’s design by including its natural phytonutrients that offer unique health benefits. The LionX product line offers Full Spectrum CBD oils and capsules, Vegan CBD Multivitamin gummies as well as a CBD muscle and joint soothing balm. 


CBD Products from LionX | Photo: LionX

Island Delights

There are a number of island products that can stoke up some serious Caribbean mojo and stocking up your backyard retreat can be as easy as a click on your computer mouse. So throw on your flip flops, fire up the computer and shop till you drop.

Nothing will start your day off better than a cup of Jamaican joe, and Rohan Marley (Bob’s son) has you covered with Marley Coffee. The sustainably grown coffee from the Jamaican Blue Mountain region is available in more than 8000 stores but if there are none near you, simmer down, because you can get up, stand up with a quick click to feed your caffeine fix.  


Jamaican patties | Photo: Steve Leland

If you’re all in on the Jamaican theme, there is nothing more quintessential to the island than a Jamaican patty. Essentially a Caribbean version of the Central and South American empanada, patties are to the Jamaican culture what hamburgers are to North America. Available in many supermarkets, they can also be ordered from numerous online sites. Fill the cooler up with some Red Stripe beer and a Ting or two and everyting cool mon!

If you are a true DIY’er and want authenticity in your cuisine, The Real Taste of Jamaica by Enid Donaldson is a valuable collection of traditional and contemporary recipes, accompanied by beautiful color photographs. 

If cruise line cuisine is more to your tastes, Porthole has recently featured several cruise line recipes that you should check out. 

Sweet Treats

To finish off the perfect day in the backyard sun, nothing is more synonymous with the Caribbean than Tortuga Rum Cakes.The Tortuga brand is well-known by the more than 20 million annual Caribbean tourists and cruise ship passengers. Tortuga Caribbean Rum Cakes are the #1 export of the Cayman Islands and named the 2020 “Best Cruise Souvenir” by Porthole Cruise Magazine for the 15th year. Tortuga products are sold across airports, travel retail markets, specialty food departments and gourmet stores throughout the Caribbean and North America, in onboard gift shops of nearly 100 cruise ships and shipped to 70 countries around the world.

While 2020 inflicts a blight on prospects for Alaska cruising, you can bring the Great Frontier to your doorstep with a delivery from The Alaska Fudge Company

Imagine glacial visions while savoring a slice of Mendenhall Mud,(chocolate, marshmallow, and pecan) or devouring a bit of Klondike Walnut Semi-Sweet. I’m personally a sucker for Klondike Krunch and the Inside Passage ( Chocolate fudge with peanut butter running through the center) is a perennial favorite.


Alaskan Fudge | Photo: Steve Leland

License To Chill

If it’s essential that you escape from home seclusion, then Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort in Hollywood, FL is the perfect destination.  Hang ten on the FlowRider® a surf simulator, search for that lost shaker of salt in the Caribbean themed restaurants or watch the sun bake, all covered in oil by the island style pool.

Until you’re back onboard your next cruise, use the downtime to channel up your dream holiday closer to home.  As Jimmy says, “Come Monday it’ll be alright!”


-Steve Leland

As a former Cruise Director, Steve has been cruising the world for the past forty years. Bringing a new dimension to cruise journalism, he continues to spin the globe searching for off the grid cruise adventures and unplugged destinations to share with Porthole Cruise Magazine readers.