Danny, the people who know Jamaica better than the news media are the cruise lines. The ship o
officers as well as the crew get off the boat and explore the island every week. When I was there
this June on the Voyager of the Seas, my tour guide was talking about unrest in Kingston. There
is almost always something going on in Kingston, yet the tourist areas are far away. Ocho Rios
was very calm.
If it is too dangerous to go there, the ship will divert from Jamaica. They will know the situation
better than anyone. If the ship stops there, you will have "no problems,mon!"
You might be better off staying on board even if violence isn't going on in Ocho Rios. The town does not seem very safe itself. If you do go into town, go in a group for sure and keep your guard up. You are constantly being harassed by guys walking around trying to sell you pot and whatever else may be illegal. This is one place that my wife and I will not visit again. Don't get me wrong, I think it is a nice area- just minus the people. If you are going to the Cayman Islands, enjoy your time there...it puts Ocho Rios to shame....have a great trip...I am not trying to ruin your trip, but I wanted to at least give you my honest opinion.
Ochi and Mobay (not sure which port your ship is calling on) are on the other side of the island from Kingston. Jamaicans even avoid Kingston. If you choose to stay on the ship you will miss a beautiful island, and for the most part, very friendly people eager to share the island's beauty with you. Grand Cayman's flora cannot hold a candle to Jamaica (IMO).
We were in Montego bay last wednesday and had no problems at all. The locals said that they were glad the trouble was in Kingston and not in Montego Bay. None of them seemed to want any part of it or to even be involved. They say it's all political. Regardless of the political climate, you will always be asked to take a shuttle, have your hair braided, or buy some drugs, when you go to any tourist area in Jamaica. That's just Jamaica, mon. Keep an open mind and appreciate the diversity of the land and the people.