We are going on our first cruise on the Carnival Conquest leaving on July 25th. One of our ports is Montego Bay. I've read the shore excursions and was wondering what might be best for us. It is my husband and I and our 8 year old daughter (who loves the water and is a great swimmer).
Should we do the beach break thru the ship (I have no idea how much $$) or go on our own with a cab to Doctor's Cave Beach or Jamaica Grand Renaissance Hotel where I've read you can use their facilities for a small price?
Any suggestions??? THANKS!
I'd recommend that whatever you do, you do it through the ship. The area is very poor and everyone there tries to hustle your buck. When we were there, the driver of our cruise line excursion offered to take us shopping or back to the ship. We went shopping and twere told we could only go in one small area. Don't leave the area though. It is not safe. Also, they practically drag you into their store.
We checked into Dunns River Falls, but it is a 7/12 hour excursion because we are far away. I don't think we want teh 2 hour ride there and back! Would love to do that another time if we go into Ocho Rios!
I've been to Montego Bay 18 times on land-based vacations and I love Jamaica. There is nothing to be afraid of as long as you follow some simple rules. Think of downtown Montego Bay as a city, not a vacation destination set up for tourists. If you want to walk around town, dress down. Don't wear any flashy jewelry or carry expensive cameras around your neck. Do be polite and if someone offers to sell you something you don't want, simply and firmly say, "No thank you." Many people in Jamaica are poor, and they are only trying to make a living to support their families. However, you will not see many people begging on the street - they work hard to make ends meet and I respect that.
If you are only in Jamaica for one day, take advantage of the beautiful natural countryside. I've visited plantations, taken bamboo raft trips, and visited Rocklands Feeding Station where you can feed wild hummingbirds by hand (they actually land on your finger - amazing!). The beaches are nice, but if you don't want to be hassled by vendors wandering the beach, go inland. There is a new Jungle Canopy tour that looks incredible! Downhill biking through the rainforest is great too. Swimming in waterfalls and looking at plants and flowers. Jamaica has so much natural beauty, if you only have one day, doing another beach or shopping might leave you feeling a little empty.
Wave to people you meet or pass while in your bus. Outside the city you will find that people are so friendly and just like to talk.
This is pretty long, but can you tell I love Jamaica. We're stopping there on our cruise (Caribbean Princess 8/21), and we can't take any tours because we have too many old friends to visit "at home." But choose something natural in Jamaica, and you will have a real Jamaican experience.
We are going on that same cruise. We booked a tour with Barrett's to do YS Falls and tubing. I think it will be a blast but you are still dealing with a drive! You are welcome to join us if you would like. Just contact Barretts.
I hate to sound stupid but what is YS falls??? Thanks for the invite! Our only reason for not doing some of the excursions is the long rides. My daughter or I don't do well on car trips and especially if the roads are bumpy, etc. We truly love to swim and the ocean and if we only get 3 days at ports we are happy to spend them on the beach snorkeling.
I must say though feeding wild hummingbirds would be lots of fun! Is it far from the port?
I don't believe you can book the excursions early thru Carnival. We've booked our Cozumel excursion on our own, not thru the ship.
I did more research and think we will go to Doctor's Cave Beach and use their facilities.