Ocho Rios excursions

Old Jan 19th, 2003, 06:59 PM
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Ocho Rios excursions

Any recommendations on shore excursions for Ocho Rios?

Everyone raves about Peat Taylor tours. Has anyone had a bad (or mediocre) experience with Peat?
Old Jan 20th, 2003, 07:52 AM
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There's a neat pottery place (forgot name) where they make it from scratch, and an old hotel with nice gardens (forgot name also). Your hotel will have plenty of pamplets. We just rented a cab. You could also take the glass bottom boats over to Dunns River Falls, there is no line at the base in the morning to climb. We had the whole falls to ourselves. Snorkeling along the reef James Bond was filmed was fun. In the mountains you can see the Blue Mountain coffee being processed. We stayed in Mamee Bay, great gated community.
Old Jan 20th, 2003, 08:25 AM
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We took Peat Taylor's tour 2 wks ago and found him to be professional and knowledgeable. His drive into Fern Gulley was exceptional! There are actually people living in caves in the mountain, we saw one man cooking inside his cave. Peal took us to Dunn's River which was a blast, he took us to the pottery place and dropped us off to enjoy jerk chicken and pork and 150 proof rum drinks! yummmmm picking us back up and returning us to port. He will take you anywhere you want to go. His bus in airconditioned and comfortable.
Old Jan 21st, 2003, 01:14 PM
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I took the tour to Martha Brae River for rafting last week (1/15/03) and don't recommend it from Ocho Rios. It is 90 minutes over a bumpy, narrow road to get there, and the same going back. (It is nearer to Montego Bay.)

The river parallels a road, so you are not truly getting away from it all. The experience is interesting for 10-15 minutes or so on these unique bamboo rafts, poled gondolier style by men in numbered t-shirts.

Each rafter is also a gourd carver, and they give a really hard sell to their captive audience on how poor they are and need the income from selling their carvings to help make ends meet. It detracts, shall we say, from the calm, pleasant experience the trip is touted to be.

Of course, aside from the (barely) optional gourd purchase, one is expected to tip the rafter, the tour guide, and the bus driver, in addition to the hefty basic fee for the tour (might be cheaper if you are based in Jamaica, not visiting on a ship).
Old Jan 22nd, 2003, 12:55 PM
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Get off the ship and pay a local cab a few bucks to take you to Dunn's River Falls. The trip will take a few hours, it's fun, (but not meant for older, less limber people or very young children). It's not worth booking an excursion through the ship because they are over priced. Other then that, Ocho Rios is somewhat of a dump if you are not staying at a resort, but that's just my opinion.
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 08:42 AM
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I think you would be hard pressed to find someone who didn't enjoy Peat Taylor's tour. We thought it was great when we went two years ago and I haven't heard anything to the contrary. However, after climbing the falls twice, experiencing shopping in Jamaica more than I care to do, we are seriously looking for something else, short of staying on the ship. I am not interested in river tubing, raft riding nor horseback riding. I am considering a day at Margaritaville. Any other suggestions?
Old Jan 25th, 2003, 07:34 AM
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just be advised that when you book with Peat you will have many others in your group. i assmed incorrectly that our party of 6 would be alone but we had to wait for other people and it kind of wasted our day. He is a nice, knowledgeable man and next time i know to ask for exclusive! The new Island Village where Margaritaville was really nice. Nice stores, live reggae - definitely worth seeing
Old Jan 30th, 2003, 10:52 AM
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This is a question for Joanne, how far is it to the new Island Village in Ocho Rios from the pier? We will be there in March and I think our teenage son would like it. Thank you, Mary
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Old Jan 31st, 2003, 06:23 AM
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hi there, we were there also - you can walk - tops 5 minutes. It is really a great improvement. If you want to bargain and haggle you can still go downtown.
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