Want the island experience? Go off the beaten path in Jamaica and you will likely find yourself getting mugged or worse. 99% of the people of Jamaica are lovely, warm and friendly . The 1% others are waiting just on the fringes of the "beaten path" to seell you grass or steal your money.
Unfotrunately without a tour guide, Jamaica is not a good place to travel off of the proverbial path.
Margaritaville is a good choice if you want to get off the ship for a few hours, it is an easy walk from the dock (you can see it from the ship), there are lots of nice shops to browse in also. Margaritaville has a large pool in the middle of the restaurant with a water slide from the second floor and a swim up bar. They have good food and drinks and you have access to their beach area also. It's a fun place to hang out and an easy walk back to the ship if you've had too many of their signature Maragaritas.
For those of you considering a cruise, think twice before booking Carnival or using Cruises Only. I have traveled on Carnival serveral times and used Cruises Only many times only to be trown out with the trash when Carnival offered the Elation to house victims of the huricane.
We had a trip booked for the Sept 25 sail which has now been cancelled. Carnival did nothing more than offer a $100 cruise credit on a future cruise. The problem is Carnival nor Cruises Only has an interest in helping those of us who have had thier vacations cancelled. Carnival has other ships with space available, but rather than allow displaced customers move thier reservation to another ship with a similar itenerary, they require you rebook from scratch, and in our case at triple the fare. When I contacted my travel agent, Cruises Only, the rep also has no interest in helping us find a new trip. His response was find a trip you want and call us back. When I asked for his supervisor he hung up on me. I called back, spoke to a supervisor named Star. She assured me she would follow up on the service of the male rep that had hung up on me, however, no follow up.
We spent nine hours on web sites and phone trying to find another trip, fortunatly I found *edited for commercial content*. She was simpathetic to the situation and found a great rate on a Princess trip otherwise I would be spending this vacation at home. Thank you Quinn!
If you want service, think about any cruise line but Carnival and think twice before booking with Cruises Only.
James, I would be upset too...but what does that have anything to do with ocho rios? I think I know what your up to. I sail with carnival next week and I am so scared it will be canceld. I would go with Celebrity for my next cruise...I love the boat layout/menu!
a really nice excursion you might be interested in would be the bamboo rafting tour of the Martha Brea River, its a great tour,very interesting, relaxing, scenic. You sit on a nice padded seat on these long bamboo rafts with a river guide who poles the raft down the river. Book a ships tour to do this
From what I have heard from both my brother & his wife - not a good idea to go off on your own in Jamaica. Ask cruisinvirgin - her & DH went there on all-inclusive for honeymoon & did most things thru the resort - they did a "cuban cigar expedition" & almost found themselves in some hot water in areas they didn't want to be in.
I agree that going with a tour guide is the best plan in Ocho Rios. We went with Carolyn Barrett and had an awesome time. She is so knowledgeable about the island and pointed out many interesting things we would have never found if not for her. We visited YS Falls and it was gorgeous, not crowded at all. She even took us shopping on the way back to the ship, as some of us wanted to purchase the famous Blue Mountain coffee.
I totally agree about not going off by yourself in Ocho Rios (which I do on any other island). I assume if you are asking this question, that you have not been there. So, if you have an opportunity to do something that is not available anywhere else in the world, like climb Dunn's River Falls, why would you want to miss it? We did a private tour with someone by the name of Belinda, and British woman whose name we got from the cruise critic message board. They took us to Ferngully, which was lovely, and to a pottery factory, which was extremely interesting, then on the Dunn's River. That was 2 years ago. About 10 year ago we were there as well, and I did not climb, but walked along the side will my husband climbed with our sons. I am 52, not in perfect shape, but had a great time doing this. The pottery faxctory was an interesting experience, not just to watch them at this hand made craft, but to see the apprentice program they have with high school students. I believe there is also some kind of plantation there to go to if you want, we did that on our first trip as well.
Well if you are looking for off the beaten path, the Jamaica Adventure Retreat would fit that bill : http://jamaicacruiseexcursions.com/J...ureRetreat.htm away from Ocho Rios, up in the mountains side, ATV's, A zipline, nature, local food made by locals. Its the real Jam!