I have heard ALOT of good about Dunn's River Falls.
It is definitely on our agenda.
I just received from our TA the excursions offered by CCL.
Our total stay on Ocho Rios is 7 ½ hours (arrival time to departure time)
It looks like we can only get one or two excursions in.
All or most of these excursions ends up in Dunn's River Falls.
Can anyone tell us which of the following excursions is recommended?
Snorkeling: Marine Garden Coral Reef or Sanara Sail
Boat parties: Cool Runnings Party Criuse, Jamaica Queen, Sundancer Yacht or the
Super Yacht San San
Joe and Jeannie, I highly suggest that you skip the ship tours and book a day with Peat Taylor. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He provided us with a safe, interesting, and fun tour of Ocho Rios! The falls are great, and he gets you there early before the ship tours get there so it is not crowded. He takes you through Fern Gully, and shopping if you wish or a beach, and knows where to get great Jerk!
My husband and myself were on the Carnival Imagination October 20-25, 2001. One of our Ports was Ocho Rios, Jamaica. We decided to take the Cool Runnings Party Cruise. Just wanted to give you a tip if you decide to take this Excursion. Before we got of the boat in Ocho Rios, the Cruise Director warned us not to take alot of Cash onto the island. Therefore we didn't. We took a few dollars nothing much. We knew when we got off the Party Boat we could go back to the boat and change and get some cash if we needed to. The ride over to Dunn's River Falls was nice. The water was calm and the music was loud. After we climbed the falls and were waiting on the boat to come back to take us to the Pier, the locals were very persistent about the tips they deserved. Once we got back to the Pier, the boat attendants were also very persistent about their tips. They were lined up as you got off the boat with there hands held out. Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying these people don't deserve tips, because they do, but every person we come in contact with? Come on - that would have been 20-50 people. Just expect this if you take this shore excursion.
By the way, the ride back to the pier was WILD. The tide had come in and the ocean was very rough. I know there were 5'-10' waves we went over. If you like the water as much as we do, you will love this, but if not, don't drink to much Rum and Punch because you could get sick.
I got home last night from my cruise on the Imagination. We stopped in Ochos Rios and took the Cool Runnings boat ride to the falls. We were looking for something that included time on the beach and this was the best, we were told. We really didn't have any time on the beach other than waiting for the boat to come back but there were 11 of us and we had an amazing time.
The way there was relaxing, sat on the boat with our legs hanging off the edge. The falls were amazing (BRING WATER SHOES!) and we had so much fun. On the way back, the helpers on the boat changed and they did dance lessons the whole way back. You were given free rum punch, rum and coke, straight rum, and then some non alcoholic drinks, if you wished. Like someone else said, the water was a little rough on the way back but we were having so much fun we barely noticed. Neither my boyfriend or I EVER dance and we were dancing like loonies on the way back because we had so much fun. It was an excellent excursion and I would totally recommend it! Someone else also mentioned it left enough time to go shopping. It was a short excursion- just enough time for the falls, which left us about two hours to walk into town to do some shopping.
As for the tipping-- we were a large group and tended to tip once for everyone. On all the islands they expect tips so make sure you bring some small bills. We usually tipped one and told the people it was for everyone. They really didn't say anything and if they did we just continued walking.
Just be careful if you go on your own-- Jamaica is very agressive and people will follow you. If you take a cab, make sure it has a red lisence plate! Hope you have a wonderful time!
I would only attempt the Falls climb if you are young and fit, energetic and don't mind the cold water. On the other hand, you HAVE to do the Cool Runnings catamaran trip, no matter WHAT your age, size, abilities, whatever, it is a blast for all ages - the drinks, the music, the costumes, the WAVES!! I get seasick, but I was having way too much fun to be sick on this one! Enjoy!