Are there any hotel resorts that one can go to when in Ocho Rio...Is it possible to go to the Breezes and use their hotel facilities? Don't know what to do once we get there. Tired of the beach scene. Any suggestions? Also is there any shops there and must see.
Any thoughts on Cayman and Grand Bahamas.........resorts would be helpful and where to shop. Thank you.
All help appreciated.
We have been to Ocho Rios many times but have never used hotel facilities. We just walk down the pier to the nice shopping area and end up at Margaritaville for lunch and a few drinks...they have a pool in the middle of the restaurant with a water slide and swim-up bar. You can also access their beach area from the restaurant (they will put a wrist band on you so you can go back and forth from the restaurant to the beach).
Thank you so very much, now how far is this from where the ship docks, and do you recall the price to go to Margaritaville...Is there a place on line that I can check it out. I'd so really would like to stay pool side and do swim up bar....sounds nice. Is this near the market place near the pier where the ship is docked?
If you are going to Margrettaville you can walk there from the ship.If you are going to their beach,go in by way of the bar.If you buy a drink you get on the beach for free.But while in the bar try the slide that comes down from the second floor into the pool.
You can see Margaritaville from the ship when you dock, the shopping center is a very short walk from the pier (5-10 minutes), you walk thru the lovely shopping area towards the water, Margaritaville is right there, there is no cover charge at Margaritaville. It's lovely there, not air conditioned, not enclosed, all open and very tropical. The last time we were there, we arrived at Margaritaville around 11:00 a.m. and did not leave until the ship was about to sail. The pool was great, the drinks very good, and they had dynamite wings....there is even a hot tub on the second floor where the water slide entrance is. The waiters walk around to all the tables pouring free shots down your throat and there's a small dance floor near the bar with a live D.J. Make sure you get a wrist band when you walk in if you want to use the beach area, it just identifies you as a patron of the restaurant. Our group brought beach towels, etc., and found a nice table near the pool and stayed there for 3 hours eating, drinking, swimming in their lovely pool, dancing, singing and having a great time. You can access their web site: www.margaritaville.com and pull up the info for their location in Ocho Rios.
I second going to that shopping area. The stores are nicer, and the sales people arent hounding you like youre going to steal something. Cant say that about the Taj Mahal shopping area down the street from there! You dont need a cab-just walk down the street from the ship and youll see a heavily treed area on your right once you get to the intersection (maybe 2-3 block walk). Theres a "gated" entrance (one time we were there, there was an armed guard standing at the entrance). The only other thing Ive done there (was my first time years ago back in college) was to do a snorkel / climb Dunns Falls trip. It was fun, but I dont venture far from the ship anymore when visiting Jamaica. In fact if the ship we're on stops there now, none of us are real crazy about even getting off that day. Last time we wouldve parked ourselves at Margaritaville, but it wasnt open yet, and we had an almost 1 yr old with us. However, sounds like the ideal hangout other than the ship!
Yes - but to answer the question, I do believe it is a simple matter to go to some of the all inclusive resorts and get a day pass. We went to one once and just walked on and no one said anything to us, but the drawback was that we couldn't get a towel or even buy food without a wrist band. The resorts there are nice, and you do not generally want to be out in the general population in Jamaica as it gets a little rough.
Yes, some people will tell you they go out all the time and just shop like a local, however my experience was being offered drugs several times, getting bumped into repeatedly, and non-talkative cab drivers who make dozens of turns before you get to your final destination.
I am the editor, but I also speculate, ask questions and play devil's advocate. I reserve the right to change my mind.
I don't know why no one really mentioned going out to Dunn's Falls. We were in Ocho Rios last year for the first time, and we booked a trip to the falls with Peat Taylor. It was a fantastic day... We loved climbing the falls... it was a highlight of our trip! After that the guide from Peat Taylor took us around the island for a tour, all the while pointing out points of interest. He also took us to a local pottery which had lovely things made locally. After the tour, he took us back to the ship for lunch (our choice) then he picked us back up again and took us into town for a short while... a little scary there but we enjoyed the local marketplace. After that the same guy picked us up again and dropped us off at Margaritaville. Everyone is right... that is a fun place and a great way to end the day. Next time I would forego downtown Ocho Rios and just go straight to Margaritaville.
We loved Ocho Rios... try the falls... it was fun! And do book with Peat Taylor if you do... they picked us up right off the ship and we beat all the ship's excursions to the falls... we were the first ones there! Find them on-line.
We LOVED Peat Taylor and his son. As you said "grin", he took us anywhere we wanted to go and picked us up again. We were the first at the falls then tubing down the river. We are certainly going to see Peat again this November.
A river tubing excursion is quite unique. Very relaxing and no worries. You can do the straw market downtown and it is a lot of fun and interesting. Be polite and have a sense of humor and the Jamacian people will reward you for it and about all, show respect. If you disrespect a Jamacian you might just as well slap him in the face. Respect is all many of them have and they guard it well. Many people have reported they have had problem in Jamacia but my wife and I as well as my kids and their wives have all been there many times and have always had a wonderful time and we travel all over!
Recently, while staying at Sandals, we went on a mountain bike ride, basically all down hill. They take you to the highest point (about 6000 ft.) by bus, just coast down on the bikes about 16 miles. At the top, you can look out and see forever, all the way to Kingston. A morning snack, then lunch and then beer with swimming at the end is included. Beautiful scenery, villages, banana plantation on the way there. One of the best excursions we have ever done. It was not exclusively Sandals guests, so I am sure open to the public.
The first time we visited Grand Cayman, we booked the Stingray Sandbar excursion, it was awesome!! We booked it again a couple of years ago because we sailed with people that asked us to go with them. Last month we sailed on the Valor and booked an excursion thru Carnival to the Beach Club which is located on 7 Mile Beach, it was terrible. The Club's beach area is tiny and they had lounge chairs crammed together which you had to climb around to get to the water. We spoke to a local and she told us that next time we're there, just hop on a taxi and ask them to take us to a free beach access road to 7 Mile Beach. I believe there is a Marriott hotel on 7 Mile Beach which allows day visitors.
Do you know how I can get in touch w/Peat Taylor? I have heard so many wonderful things about him and his son and I'd like to try to book them for my cruise 7/6/05.
An email or phone number would be great.
Im so surprised nobody mentioned the green grotto caves tour. last time i was in ocho rios i went on this cave tour where we were outfitted in hard hats and went thru the mysterious and historical caves of green grotto. It was truly an experiance i mean not many people can say that on vacation they went exploring exotic caves in jamaica. The second part of the tour was of course a climb up dunn river falls. This entire tour was booked thru royal caribbean. Also in ocho rios i would also recommend going to the popular Island Village shopping center which houses margaritaville.
Desta4....the direct dial phone # for the Marriott in Grand Cayman is 345-949-0088 or toll-free 800-228-9290. If you go online to www.grandcayman.com, you can pull up info on all the hotels on 7 Mile Beach.
Thank you, Rosetattoo, I'm gonna call that number and see if you can use their facilities.
Are there any Islands "Western Caribbean" that are not safe to venture. I heard things about Jamica so I will be going to Margaritaville. That is my stop for there. And I will check out a resort in Georgetown, Grand Cayman Island.
Well, in Belize we took a snorkel excursion to Rendezvous Cay but my sister booked the excursion to Altun Ha and she said the bus ride thru the country was not what she had expected, very poor area, lots of disrepair....also in Roatan, same thing....but, Tabyana Beach in Roatan was absolutely beautiful. I wouldn't venture out by foot, alone, in either city. If you book a shore excursion thru the ship, you'll be fine. Just in the short walk from the pier to Margaritaville, we were approached constantly by locals offering tours, etc. There is security at the entrance to the shopping mall where Margaritaville is located and they assess everyone that walks through the gate. I found the locals in Grand Cayman to be very friendly and helpful.