Question for those of you who've done this - How do we get there on our own? Are cabs available? If so, could you tell me how much? and how much is it to get in to the Falls? Is there someone there to "help" you get up the falls or is it self-explanatory once you get there? My family and I will be on Explorer of the Seas on 6/8 and were planning on taking an excursion, but I wasn't sure how safe it was or how to do it on our own.
Any help you can provide me will be appreciated!!!
There are tons of cabs and vans available as soon as you leave the pier area. There were 7 of us so we took a van. I believe it ended up costing about $5.00 per person.
To get into the falls it cost $4.00 per person. Make sure you bring water shoes unless you want to rent them there. You will be at the top of the falls at this point. You can also rent a locker if you have things you want to store. I think it was $8.00 with $3.00 back once you return the lock.
From the top of the falls you walk down the paths to get to the bottom where the falls meet the ocean. This is where you start to actually climb the falls. They will tell you to get a guide ($$) but we didn't and had no problem getting up the falls. Stay to the left or right side for the easiest walk up. Also, try to get there early. We were some of the first there and it got very crowded later on.
River sandels are the wide-straped sandels that buckle around your ankles (if that makes sense! :-) ) My son wears them when we go white-water rafting and they stay on fine. They have rubber soles, so I'm thinking they will be fine then.
Ok, two less things to buy - now if I can find a pair that matches my bathing suit . . .
I would not do anything in Jamaica on your own be safe and take the tour you are not going to save that much money. I had a lot of Jamaican friends I worked with in South Florida one who's uncle runs Jamaica and she told me the same. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed Jamaica very much and would do the falls again in a heart beat but it just is one of those ports you really should stay in a group. I do not think things have changed in the last 3 years but they have a 8-10 fence around the port to keep locals out my first thought when I saw all of the locals surounding the area it looked like rats on a cage. They will bring the transportation into the fence it is very well organized. Another thing if you do a on your own thing the ship will not wait for you and I have seen many people left. There is also a market area you go through when you leave the falls and they are very pushy you will have to barter if you want a good deal. Make sure you take the water shoes they are a must have.
I agree that I would not do it on my own. The locals can be a little pushy and almost scary at times. We enjoyed the falls but it did with a large group and had a tour guide. I like Jamaica but personally would not do anything on my own there. the falls are beautiful!
We have done it on our own twice. Just last year was the most recent. Both times we saved a bunch of money & had a great, safe time. And we know a lot of others who have, too. Jamaica isn't nearly as crime ridden & scary as many people make it out to be. I have heard the same warnings for Cancun, Italy, Miami, New York, and all sorts of places we have traveled. Use good common sense & safety precautions as you would at home & you should be fine. If Jamaica were THAT unsafe, the cruiselines wouldn't be stopping there and it wouldn't be such a hot tourist destination. (Not ALL resorts there are fenced in all-inclusives!) It is one georgeous place. When you go with the ship's tour you are on their time schedule & with their CROWD. I would NOT recommend going with them unless you are old, have physical problems or maybe babies. But babies probably wouldn't stop me, either! If you want to save $, do it on your own. On the ship they will tell you what color license plate to look for on the cabs. These cabs are govt. licensed & safe. You will even see cab brokers as you walk toward the fence from the dock. Also, I agree you can climb the falls without a guide. We just walked right around them, acting like we didn't hear them. They were not "required" the first time we went there about 4 years ago, & since we didn't need their help then, knew we didn't last year, either. Have a great, save, cheap, time!