Certain parts of Jamaica are beautiful such as Montego Bay, but Ocho Rios is the "industrial" part of Jamaica. Been on many cruises and each time hasseled by venders begging to look at their things and wanting to sell things to me, it is just plain annoying to me. I can understand they count on selling as their income, but I am on vacation and when I say no its no, they just keep going after you.
I was approached two different cruises by people selling illegial substances (and my children were young at those times present with me) I quickly said no and one person didn't hassle us but the other kept asking over and over. We jumped into a store and lost him. Both persons each were carrying "a box" so when you see somebody approaching you and they have a box in their hands run the other way! Do not go anywhere remote or by yourself.
I found the tour guides (always choose a cab right outside the ship) to be very experienced and took 3 tours (3 different cruises). They do show you the sites, but always haggle with them. The last one was 3 years ago and the driver wanted $170.00 to show us a 3 1/2 hour tour of Jamaica, said he would take us anywhere we wanted, which he was honest about that. We haggled and got it down to $110.00. He did take us to the most popular sites and gave us an excellent narriated tour of Ocho Rios but of course, he brings us to an area to do some "shopping with local vendors". Those persons weren't as bad, but we did get people saying come look at mine, etc. If you want to purchase something with them haggle with them.
We are taking another cruise this summer western caribbean, and you be sure we won't be getting off the ship this time! Thank goodness the ship arrives in Ocho Rios 7am and departs 3:30 so guess I will have the ship to myself.