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Old May 29th, 2006, 06:43 PM
ESS ESS is offline
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Default Ocho Rios Jamaica - Stay on the Ship or Get Off?

Greetings - I placed this post on the Carnival Posts - thought I would try it here!

We are taking the Carnival Victory in the fall. One of our stops is Ocho Rios - Jamaica. I have talked to a number of people about this stop, and I usually am given two pieces of advice:
1. Ocho Rios and area is a wonderful area to explore
2. All of Jamaica is awful - stay on the ship

We love to explore areas, and we enjoy snorkeling, thus the question is as follows:

Those of you who actually visited Ocho Rios -

-Did you enjoy it?
-What did you enjoy the most?
-Did you go snorkeling with a tour?
-Any other sights that you would recomend?
-Can you take taxis to places such as Dunn's Falls with relative ease?
-What were the problems and hassles you encounted?
-You don't really suggest that we stay on board? If so - why?

There are no right or wrong answers, and all feedback is appreciated.
I thank you in advance for you insights

ESS
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Old May 30th, 2006, 11:45 AM
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Jamaica is a beautiful, lush, tropical island with so much to offer. Lots to do in Ocho Rios, we have done Dunns River Falls which is great fun, have done the River Rafting tour of the Martha Brea river and have done a snorkel-Dunns River tour - the snorkeling in Jamaica left a lot to be desired-imo. Next trip back we are probably going to do the river tubing or the zip-line tour.
I would book a tour either with the ship or thru an independant operator.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 12:02 PM
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Default Re: Ocho Rios Jamaica - Stay on the Ship or Get Off?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ESS
Greetings - I placed this post on the Carnival Posts - thought I would try it here!

We are taking the Carnival Victory in the fall. One of our stops is Ocho Rios - Jamaica. I have talked to a number of people about this stop, and I usually am given two pieces of advice:
1. Ocho Rios and area is a wonderful area to explore
2. All of Jamaica is awful - stay on the ship ...

-Did you enjoy it? Yes
-What did you enjoy the most? Swimming with the Dolphins
-Did you go snorkeling with a tour? No
-Any other sights that you would recomend? The Falls and Dolphin Swim with Shopping in town were the extent of our activities
-Can you take taxis to places such as Dunn's Falls with relative ease? Yes but be sure only to hire those with red license plates and make sure you know the price in advance.
-What were the problems and hassles you encounted?
The peddlers in the market area at the exit of Dunn's River Falls are quite persistant, simply keep moving and politely decline their pitches.
-You don't really suggest that we stay on board? If so - why? NO BY ANY MEANS - Just be cautious.


Have a great time!!
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Old June 15th, 2006, 08:18 PM
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We went last year to Ocho Rios and LOVED it! It was probably my favorite stop! But I did a TON of research on these forums and I think that helped.
There were a lot of great tour guides mentioned in the forums.
The first thing I did was email Trevor Hudlin. trevorhudlin@hotmail.com
We wanted to do the Falls, horseback riding in the ocean, see Fern Gully and eat Jamaican food. Anything we wanted, he accommodated us. We even invited our new friends and it was just the 4 of us! He picked us right up at the pier and we started at the Falls.
I learned that we did not have to have a guide for the Falls! We just said NO and went by ourselves at our own pace. And we were the first ones on the Falls that day. Next I learned you can go out the FRONT entrance and not the exit they want you to! The vendors are out the exit so we went out the front.
We told Trevor we didn't want to be bothered by annoying vendors and he took us to better places to shop.
We had a really enjoyable time tasting different fruits and jerk meat.
I think your tour guide can really make your day!
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Old June 30th, 2006, 05:20 AM
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How safe is it to take kids into Jamaica?? We were thinking of getting off and just browsing around the port area?
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Old June 30th, 2006, 09:17 AM
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momx5 - are you docking in Ocho Rios or Montego Bay? It makes a difference as to what is available. Either way i would look into some type of tour, Jamaica is a beautiful island and i think you would miss alot, also Jamaica isn't really a wandering around kind of island, the immediate port/shopping area is fine, otherwise, its not a great idea, especially with kids.
If you dock in Ocho Rios i think that your family would love doing the river-tubing/Dunns River Falls tour(not the rapids tour).
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Old June 30th, 2006, 01:23 PM
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Montego Bay- we are traveling with an infant too.
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Old July 11th, 2006, 10:54 PM
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We were in Montego Bay in October. Not as nice as Ocho Rios. The people really "attack" you to buy their goods (and drugs). I would not suggest just wandering around with kids. That said..... Jamaica is BEAUTIFUL-- DO NOT MISS IT. Take an excursion that you and your kids will like and you will have a wonderful experience. It is perfectly safe if you are with a tour. River tubing was one of the best excursions we have done in Jamaica. But remember you are in a poor country--so excpect this. Our bus broke down after tubing and we had to walk through the jungle with our tour guide--to meet the next bus that was coming for us. This was actually the best part of the trip. We walked through and orange grove and ate fresh oranges off the tree. My 8 year old son loved that! Dunns River Falls is nice--although if you have young children they are kind of hard to climb! Have a great time! If you pick a tour that you don't like, don't consider Jamaica bad. I think that is what a lot of people do. Just do a different tour next time. The tour experience can make or break your thoughts about the island. It took us 3 times before we actually liked Cozumel! But we have never had a really bad tour in Jamaica.
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