Cruise Travel to Montego Bay
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Cruise Travel to Montego Bay
Ships dock at the Montego Cruise Terminal, operated by the Port Authority of Jamaica. West of Montego Bay, the cruise terminal has five berths and accommodates both cruise and cargo shipping. The terminal has shops, a communications center, a visitor information booth, and a taxi stand supervised by the Port Authority of Jamaica. The cruise port in Montego Bay is not within walking distance of the heart of town; however, there's one shopping center (the Freeport Shopping Centre) within walking distance of the docks. If you just want to visit a beach, then Doctor's Cave or the Cornwall Bathing Beach, both public beaches, are very good nearby alternatives, and they are right in town.
From the Montego Cruise Terminal both taxis and shuttle buses take passengers downtown. Taxi service is about US$5 each way to downtown. Expect to pay US$5 per person each way by shuttle bus to the two crafts markets, the City Centre Shopping Mall, Margaritaville, or Doctor's Cave Beach. A day pass for the shuttle bus is US$15 and allows passengers to get on and off as they wish. Jamaica is one place in the Caribbean where it's usually to your advantage to take an organized shore excursion offered by your ship unless you just want to do a bit of shopping in town. Private taxis and other transportation providers aren't particularly cheap, and a full-day tour for a small group will run $150 to $180; however, road conditions and travel time have improved significantly with the completion of the North Coast Highway.
If you take a private taxi, you should know that rates are per car, not per passenger. You can flag cabs on the street. All licensed and properly insured taxis display red Public Passenger Vehicle (PPV) license plates. Licensed minivans also bear the red PPV plates. If you hire a taxi driver as a tour guide, be sure to agree on a price before the vehicle is put into gear. Car-rental fees in Jamaica include the cost of insurance. It is not difficult to rent a car, but driving in Jamaica is done on the left side of the road, and it can take a little getting used to.
Cruise Travel to Falmouth
Cruise ships, including the world's largest, are able to dock at the Falmouth Cruise Port's two berths. A Visitors Information facility is in the pier area. The town is right outside the port gates, and places of interest are easily within walking distance. Currency-exchange booths are in the pier area as well as just outside the entrance gate on Seaboard Street. Further, the cruise-port area has Wi-Fi service (paid) for passengers with laptops. The Falmouth tourist trolley offers a half-hour tour of the town with regular departures from the Port Transportation Center. Tickets and trolley schedules are available in the trolley kiosk at the Taxi Shelter building.
For travel out of town, buses and taxis are available. Bus fare to the beach is $20 round-trip, and taxis are priced by the hour at $35 for up to four people for either a guided tour or transportation to a specific destination. Falmouth's location, almost equidistant to both Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, makes most tours offered at those ports available from Falmouth as well. In truth, though, it's often difficult to book activities privately in Jamaica, so this is one place in the Caribbean where it's usually to your advantage to take a shore excursion offered by your ship. Many of the most popular and adventurous tours are operated by Chukka Caribbean and can only be booked by cruise passengers directly with the cruise lines, as space is pre-sold to ships for their arrival dates. Coaches for pre-booked tours pick up passengers inside the Cruise Port, but authorized independent tour operators are also available there to arrange tours on the spot. Car rental isn't recommended in Jamaica because of the narrow roads and aggressive drivers.
Cruise Travel to Ocho Rios
Most cruise ships are able to dock at this port on Jamaica's North Voast, near Dunn's River Falls (a US$10 taxi ride from the pier). Also less than 1 mile (2 km) from the Ocho Rios pier are Island Village (within walking distance), Taj Mahal Duty-Free Shopping Center, and the Ocean Village Shopping Center. If you're going anywhere else beyond Island Village, a taxi is recommended; expect to pay US$8 for a taxi ride downtown. The pier, which includes a cruise terminal with the basic services and transportation, is also within easy walking distance of Turtle Beach.
Licensed taxis are available at the pier; expect to pay about US$35 per hour for a guided taxi tour. Jamaica is one place in the Caribbean where it's usually to your advantage to take an organized shore excursion offered by your ship unless you just want to go to the beach or do a bit of shopping in town. Car rental isn't recommended in Jamaica because of high prices, bad roads, and aggressive drivers.
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