Win a Free Vacation- But Only If You Promise to Bartend Jamaica’s Most Notorious Floating Bar

floyds pelican bar bartender contest free vacation beach virgin holidays
Virgin Holidays

If “tending an island bar in paradise” is still unchecked on your bucket list, one of the Caribbean’s strangest and most iconic bars might be able to help out. Virgin Holidays wants to send one lucky candidate on a seven-day, all-expenses-paid trip to Negril, Jamaica. The catch? They’ll need to run the bar for the entire week.

The sole grand prize winner of the Pull Pints in Paradise contest will score roundtrip economy flights to Jamaica aboard Virgin Atlantic, plus seven nights in a 4-star hotel and £1000 (approximately USD $1,300) in spending money. They’ll spend their days working one of Negril’s most notorious dive bars, Floyd’s Pelican Bar. Floyd’s is a “floating” ramshackle structure situated on stilts a mile offshore from the famed Jamaican tourist destination. It looks a bit like an overwater bungalow hobbled together out of little more than driftwood, duct tape, and bubblegum.

Like all good dive bars, the “decor” inside consists of random license plates, curious flags, and past patron’s names carved into the wooden stilts. There is no bathroom, and patrons must find their own way to the bar. Thanks to a wide sandbar surrounding the bar in every direction, it’s possible — though strongly discouraged — for brave bar-goers to walk or swim from shore. Local fishermen are also happy to usher visitors out for a few dollars, although there’s no guarantee of a ride back.

floyds pelican bar bartender contest free vacation beach from above
Floyd's Pelican Bar

Floyd Forbes built Floyd’s Pelican Bar from scratch, one plank at a time back in 2001. He’s been tending bar and single-handedly keeping all the gears turning for nearly 20 years straight. It’s clear he deserves a break. The successful applicant will need to fill Floyd’s shoes for a week while he enjoys that much-needed vacation.

While the bar is situated in an impossibly beautiful slice of paradise, running the iconic watering hole is no easy feat. Job requirements include commuting to work by paddleboard or boat each day. Once there, the bartender needs to keep the good vibes humming, including chatting up tourists and local patrons, keeping the rum flowing, ensuring the resident pelicans are well-fed, socializing with local fishermen, and managing the bar’s playlist to, in their words, “ensure chilled beats are playing at all times.” Above all else, it requires multitasking with the efficiency of an air traffic controller without getting too distracted by the postcard views in every direction.

Wanna-be Floyds can apply online from now through May 28, 2019, on the official Virgin Holidays website.


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