With 32 Caribbean countries available for tourists pleasure, its no wonder that cruise ships have become popular with many travelers as a way to see many different islands on one vacation.
If you are fortunate enough to have your ship stop in the island of Jamaica, then you have come to the right place for assistance in planning your "Day in Jamaica". Jamaica is the perfect haven. Whether your seeking serenity, activity or both, Jamaica has it all, from tropical sandy beaches to dense green tropical forests.
Jamaica currently has two ports of call, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay. Both ports have a wide variety of "Things to Do". The ships sell many excursions and offer ship passengers a good variety. They will take you, along with a group of other passengers, to the "usual" tourists attractions at a premium price. The question is, how to experience the REAL Jamaica in the limited amount of time you get in a port call.
OCHO RIOS is located in the Parish of St. Ann, referred to as the Garden Parish. Ocho Rios has cruise ships in port most every day of the week; and can accommodate the new Mega Liners, thus making it a popular port, with many excursions to offer.
For ideas on the typical tourist attractions that the cruise line will offer, here are some of the more popular attractions.
Dunns River Falls , a 600′ cascading water fall that you climb with the assistance of trained guides.
Dolphin cove is one of the newest attractions added to this port of call. Swim with the dolphins or enjoy the jungle trail.
Day Sailing trip with snorkeling, most of these will also take you to Dunns River. This is a nice way to combine two excursions into one.
Plantation Tours will show you the flora and fauna of the island and let you see how our tropical fruits are grown.
Golf is available at both Sandals Golf and Country Club as well as Breezes Runaway Bay.
If big group excursions is not your style, why not charter a private driver, go at your own pace and decide what you want to do and when. Most drivers can be chartered at a reasonable rate and if shared with friends or family, can end up being a more economic excursion in the long run.
A typical trip could include a trip east, across the White River and into the Parish of St. Mary. Stop at Harmony Hall art gallery and see the magnificent works of some of Jamaica’s finest artists. Continue east along the coast thru the town of Oracabessa and on to Port Maria. Head up to Fire Fly, the former home of author and playwright Noel Coward. Enjoy a picnic or cool beverage on the lawn and relish in a spectacular view.
On the way back to the ship, ask your driver to stop at a road side fruit stand and sample some fresh seasonal fruits or at a Jerk Stand to try the world famous Jerk Chicken.
One cruise ship patron stated that after seeing the sea so much of the time, a break from the beach is what they desired. In that case, head up to Wilderness Resort in Goshen. Here you can fish in the fresh water ponds for Tillapia(fresh water snapper) and have it cooked to order. Enjoy the peace of the Jamaican countryside, ride horses, take an ATV ride, or play a rousing game of volleyball. It’s a wonderful place to spend the day.
In a recent interview of cruise ship patrons, "Jan" from Seattle said that her, her husband and son hired a glass bottom boat for the whole day. "It ended up being cheaper than the three of us taking a
chartered excursion," states Jan. Had Jan and her family paid to go on a group tour it would have cost them anywhere from $150 – $225. For $100 they got the boat for 5 hours and cruised the coast stopping where and when they wanted. "We paid the boat driver, stopped at Reggae Beach in Ocho Rios, ate fried fish, and had some drinks and kept the entire cost for the day under $150, it was our best outing the entire
If money is no object for you, why not charter your own luxury sailboat, complete with crew. Heave Ho Charters has charter options for everyone’s liking.
In addition to these trips, there are lots of other options. Go to the website for the Association of Jamaica Attractions and browse all the options. By hiring a private driver, you set the pace and choose where to stop and how long you want to stay.