Montego Bay off a cruiseship for a day

Apr 1st, 2012, 08:23 AM
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Montego Bay off a cruiseship for a day

My sis and her hubby will be in Montego Bay one day off a cruiseship and asked me to get some ideas for them from my travel forums.

I'm assuming they should not walk off on foot from where the cruiseship docks in Montego Bay? That they should arrange a taxi, driver, or tour or some sort? Any specific ideas or suggestions where else I should research are appreciated. Looking for an area that is OK for them to just wander around on their own, or a specific activity like going out to the falls or something?

I'm not trying to choose anything specific down for them. Just give them some ideas to work with. I also have the MoBay section of my Fodor's guidebook I'm going to send them.

TIA, suze
suze is online now  
Apr 3rd, 2012, 08:24 AM
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Hi suze. I don't have a lot of information to offer but I'll share what I know. We stayed in Montego Bay last year at the Iberostar Grand and as the resort is a bit isolated we didn't do much wandering off the property. We did, however, take a 1/2 day snorkeling trip and we also went zip-lining. The snorkeling wasn't great but we still had a really fun time. The people on our boat were in a bit of a party mood.

The zip-lining was great! It was our first time and we loved it. We especially liked the 2 vertical zip-lines. The guys working there were very nice, very safety-conscious and very professional. I would go again in a heartbeat.

We arranged both the snorkeling and the zip-lining through the tour desk at our hotel and unfortunately I don't even remember who they were. KVR and Weadles seem to have a lot of experience with Jamaica so if you search for their posts you can probably find out some tour operators and drivers they recommend. I remember reading in KVR's trip report that they had a private driver during their most recent visit.

We, sadly, didn't make it to any of the falls on our trip. We'll have to put that on our to-do list for our next visit.
sharona is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2012, 11:54 AM
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thanks Sharona. Their other stops are Grand Cayman (where they have an activity/tour arranged already) and Cozumel (where I feel OK about them wandering around on their own).

Personally I love Jamaica but it's a bit rougher for newbies so I appreciate any and all input here. Even if the advice is simply that they should use something planned by the cruiseship or other tour operator. Thanks again!!
suze is online now  
Apr 3rd, 2012, 04:30 PM
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Grand Cayman is very safe. I'd probably advise them to go with a tour or at minimum a driver in Jamaica. Would they enjoy one of the falls? You don't have that opportunity on many islands. I haven't been to Cozumel but I agree they should be okay on their own.
sharona is offline  
Apr 5th, 2012, 12:32 PM
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thanks again!! The activity/tour on Grand Cayman is something specific they want to do (not for safety reasons) and I agree that's probably the 'easiest' island. I've got a friend who knows Cozumel well, so along with some suggestions here on Fodor's got that one covered.

I'm in agreement definitely a tour or driver for Jamaica. If they had time to get out to Negril, I could help them from personal experience, but I don't think that would work for a cruiseship timeframe. A tour to one of the falls might be the best suggestion, or just advise them to go with a cruiseship activity in that port.
suze is online now  
Apr 5th, 2012, 01:46 PM
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I would have them look at the tours offered by the cruise line. And if they want to bring gifts back to the US, this is the stop to buy Blue Mountain Jamaican coffee.
Dayenu is offline  
Apr 9th, 2012, 03:04 PM
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Suze, they can also purchase a day pass and spend the day at one of the beach resorts.
margaretking is offline  
Apr 12th, 2012, 11:31 AM
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Thanks margaret! I'm putting together the suggestions I've received and mailing them an info packet. I included sections from Fodor's guidebooks (my freebies) for both places as well.

thanks everyone.
suze is online now  
Apr 15th, 2012, 03:32 PM
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so I don't know how long you have....but Ocho Rios is about 90 minutes away...but they have this Mystic Mountain where you can zip line, take this bob sled roller coaster, and you could also climb Dunn's River Falls....not sure you'd have enough time though.

The coffee is expensive - 20 USD for a pound.
BellaClaire is offline  
Apr 18th, 2012, 12:24 PM
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OK, I've got a more specific question now, after they have read thru the research I sent them and replied...

Any recommendations for a tour or private driver to use to see Rose Hall? Any comments pro or con for this idea as a way to spend their day?
suze is online now  
Apr 28th, 2012, 09:08 PM
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Hey suze. Oh wow. So much to do in Montego Bay!

They can check out Chukka Adventures and Tours: They can check if their cruise has scheduled tours and sign up for one of the many excursions offered. Cruise ship visitors get priority on these tours.

An excursion for a relaxing raft down the Martha Brae River in Trelawny is also an option.

They can head to Sea Wind Beach Club in Freeport, not far from the port if they want a quiet, relaxing day at the beach. Or they can head to Doctors' Cave Beach or the Cornwall Beach both of which are located on the Hip Strip.

The Greenwood Greathouse offers an interesting tour of an old Great House which was a slave plantation. Lots of history there. There is also the Rose Hall Great House tour.

For shopping, head to the Whitter Village or the Shoppes at RoseHall to get jewellry, souvenirs, gifts, coffee.

If they are not opposed to swimming with Dolphins, there is also the Dolphin Cove attraction just outside of Lucea, about 20-30 minutes drive from the cruise ship port.

They can check out the Montego Bay Yacht Club, which is just down the road from the port, for a good lunch. If they are overnighting in Montego Bay then they can head to the Houseboat Grill for a good dinner and great ambiance. The Houseboat Grill is located almost across from the port.

For a good lunch they can also check out the Pelican Restaurant, or the Twisted Kilt on the Hip Strip in Montego Bay.

If partying is their thing, they can head to the Hip Strip and check out Margaritaville.
Calypso Gelato, if they are heading to Negril or to the Dolphin Cove is a must. They have to try the pink grapefruit or lime gelato or any of the tropical fruit gelato. It is that good!
Calypso Gelato is also at the same location to get those famous Tortuga Rum Cakes which everyone back home will love...if the cakes ever make it back!

They can also do as was suggested here and get a day pass to an all inclusive hotel: Secrets, Riu, Sandals, Iberostar, Grand Palladium. They'll have a super time there as well.

I hope they have a great trip and find something fun that they'd like to do
JAGIRL is offline  
Apr 29th, 2012, 07:34 AM
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JAGIRL, Thanks so much, I'll pass on this thread to them. I really do appreciate the help. I have loved my 3 trips to date to Jamaica, but I always just zoom thru MoBay on my way out to Negril myself!!
suze is online now  
May 3rd, 2012, 03:49 PM
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No problem, hun. There's a lot to do in Mobay and its environs if you have the time
JAGIRL is offline  
May 7th, 2012, 05:59 PM
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Hi TIA, Suze,

We've been to Montego Bay several times, on stopovers and cruises...the walk from the pier to the hipstrip is about 2 1/2 mls. I've stayed at the Sunset Beach, which is less than 1/2 a mile from the pier...people walk around in that area all the time and even to the hipstrip(mostly when the AIDA Luna or Arura are in port.

However, tell them to get a certified private taxi driver at the port, discuss what they want to do for a day and they'll be fine...If the driver is on the pier it means that he's safe to go with because you have to be registered, certified and insured in the system to enter the pier. From 1-4 persons, it will cost about $150 for an entire days tour to do whatever they want to do.

I would say, go to Jamaica, be smart and have fun! Use the same pre-cautions that you would use even in your own town. I go there a lot and realized that a lot of the negitives about Jamaica are over stated by people who are just paranoid.

MichLez is offline  
May 19th, 2012, 05:19 PM
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If you plan to stay close to the ship my suggestions would be sight seeing in the mountains, visit close by towns, community and see the city, visit the Rose Hall Great House, Shopping , Beach and lunch OR head on over to Falmouth and do the Martha Brea Rafting.. Ocho Rios is 90 mins away and hot spots ther are Dunns River Falls River, Tubing, zipline, Dolphin Cove and horse back
dsolution2 is offline  

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