I love Jamaica....four Sandals vacations there, and two Riu Tropical Bay AI vacations. There's way more to see and do than just Dunn's River Falls in Ochee....Bob Marley 9 Mile birthplace, Fern Gully, lots of stuff.
"life is uncertain....eat dessert first...."
We had a day pass at Couples San Souci resort and had a blast....
I have heard that the bobsled run is fun too. I recently saw a show on the vacation channel on Jamaica and there are lot's of things to do on the Island. Jamaica is just as safe as ant Caribbean Island, the pushy vendors near the port make you think it is unsafe because of how pushy they are.
Caribbean Princess 07
Carnival Valor Feb. 08
Carnival Holiday Dec 08
Carnival Triumph Feb 09
Island Princess coming in Nov. 2009
We did a day pass to the sandals and had a great time. The food was excellent and the drinks were good too. The pools were really nice and we spent a lot of time at the swim up bar. The beach area was only okay. Afterwards we did a little shopping and went to margaritaville. It was a nice relaxing lazy day. So if you are looking for something adventurous I would recommend that.
Last week I was in Ocho Rios and I am happy to say it was much better than it was when I visited there in 2006. We didn't see any "cannabis sellers" around the port area and we walked down the main street and had only a couple of people proposition us for money. A simple "no" or ignoring them handled the situation.
We did the Jungle Zipline Tour through Carnival. It was over $100 p.p. It was fun but the zip lines are pretty short runs and the bobsled is about the same as a small roller coaster. Much less extreme than I believed it would be and how the shore excursion staff described it. That is my personal opinion and others may think it was VERY extreme. The best part of the experience was going up and down the chair lift. It's a beautiful ride.
After that we grabbed a cab, at the port, and did a 2.5 hour tour of Ocho Rios and the surrounding area. It was beautiful and we were able to ask the driver to stop at some roadside vendors where we bought some wood carvings and spices. Yes: They were actual spices. We also stopped at a small place and had some fantastic jerk chicken and jerk pork. It was wonderful and the cost for almost a whole chicken and a mound of pork was $15 and it fed me, my very hungry Son-In-Law and our driver. This also included a Coke and two Red Stripe beers. The cost of the 2.5 hours in the cab (actually a seven passenger van) was $40.
Dunn's River Falls is beautiful but it will be crowded and when you get to the top of the falls don't follow the crowds. Go to the left at the top and back to the parking lot. This will eliminate the vendor gauntlet that you run through.
Take care and enjoy the cruise:
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Oh my, clearly, clearly, cleary Jamaica Bobsled is a must! It is at Mystic Mountain and the chairlift to the top is amazing. The views are incredible!
The bobsled run itself is so much run. I went once and bought two more funs for another $20!!!!
As for being scared, ok I am single, and a woman--easy pickings...The walk from where were dropped off at Taj Mahal to Island Village is like uhm, two minute or so and that was waiting to cross the street. The street from Island Village to the port area is quiet and you do not have to worry about any problems at all.
Be nice and considerate, and they will give it back to you. You'll find the pushy vendors on the street, but a firm "TNo thank you" will do!
2007 Victory & Triumph
2008 Conquest & Liberty
2009 Valor, Freedom, and Splendor
2010 Glory and Liberty
Definitely do a ship's excursion there.
(heard good reviews about Mystic Mountain that night at dinner)
We thought we were seasoned travelers and discounted the complaints about the pushy vendors and people in general in Jamaica, so we decided to just wander near the port and see the area.
I've been all over Europe, Greece, Turkish bazaars and Nassau's famous straw market and the people of Jamaica make the pushiest vendors anywhere else look like shy choirboys.
It was unbeleiveable.
You are constantly bomabrded by every passing person, trying to get you to go for a tour in their cab, buy their item, etc...
It was simply unbelievable.
Definitely the worst port we have been to so far and it will never get booked by us again.
And if, we get rerouted there by hurricane or swine flu, ever, it will be an added sea day for us.
A couple hours of Jamaican hospitality was more than enough for a lifetime.