We'll be going on Mariner of the Seas on Oct. 9th to the Western Caribbean. I've done a lot of research about the differnt ports we'll be visiting and the only one I'm not so sure about is Ochos Rios. How safe is it there and is there anything we should avoid? We have two daughters, ages 13 and 8 and we'll be traveling with my in-laws; father-in-law has Parkinson's Disease and brother-in-law has heart troubles. We've been thinking about climbing Dunn's River Falls (not with my father-in-law or brother-in-law, of course). How much fun and worth the money is the experience? Secondly, if we decide against the falls, what else would you recommend that we could all do together, considering the health problems of my in-laws. My brother-in-law gets around just fine, but my father-in-law sometimes stumbles. Thanks so much!
I am not a big fan of Dunns River Falls, but it is more from my observations than anything else. It seems that every cruise that I am on that stops in Ocho Rios, someone is hurt climbing the falls It is slippery and full of holes that invite broken feet. Also, Once you reach the top and want to exit through the marketplace, you are mobbed by persistent vendors that can make one feel uneasy.
You need to look at the physical condition of those that are going to climb and then have a strong exit plan when you reach the top.
Just wnadering around Ocho Rio is fun and thbe Island Shopping Center at the very foot of the piew is absolutely safe for everyone.
I just finished another reply regarding Dunns Falls and will tell you that although we did not take that excursion (our travel agent warned against it as it is usually overbooked and not worth the expense)we did hear from many passengers the same thing. We did leave the ship while at port long enough to be solicited by many locals to purchase drugs. So, take my advice. Plan on relaxing on the ship that day. Go to the spa, enjoy the wide open pool, read a book... I concur what my agent told me..."nothing in Jamaica is worth getting off the ship for!!!"
I on the other hand LOVED the falls...this excursion was the highlight of our cruise several years ago. We did a falls and kayaking excursion and absolutely loved the falls. It's always great to go do something that you can't do anywhere else..the falls are so rare..
Dowtown Jamaica, I would forego, but montego bay and falls are beautiful
I agree with jbrooks; our family loved going to Dunns River Falls. It was honestly one of the most fun excursions we went on. That said, Tom O. is correct re: the pushy salespeople coming out of the park (and pushy is a light word). You certainly have to be forceful when you leave. When all was said and done, though, our fun trip walking up the falls is what we remember most.
When I went I took the party boat to the falls and had a great time. I did hurt my foot while I was at the falls, however I had a great time. I literally what it called the falls, so there plenty of rocks and everyone is holding hands.
If you opt not to take that particular trip. The city tour with the botanical gardens is an excellent tour.
However, do not go off wondering on your own. Jamaica is not the safest place to be with your family on your own.