We will be on the Coral Princess and are looking to book a shore excursion in Ocho Rios. We really just want to take our two kids to a nice beach area. After reading about all the problems you might encounter in Ocho Rios, we prefer to do an organized excursion. It looks like the two options we have are either the beach at the Shaw Park Hotel or the Bamboo Beach Club. Has anyone been to either of these?
Better rethink Shaw Park, Anyone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure this is the same place we went about 2 years ago. we were there and it was a run down, closed hotel. The brochure said we could use the hotel facilities but the place was closed. It had a terribly ugly beach. Everyone on the excursion was dissapointed. The food was awful and they played extreemly annoying caribbean music on a slow motion setting,very 3rd rate. All the people on the excursion wanted to leave but they wouldn't let us! They said it was too unsafe for us to call a taxi in that area. Then they said they would take us back for $20 per person, what a joke, what a dump. I can't believe that they have this excursion offered still.
It looks like you go before I do. We'll be on the Coral Princess in December. Let me know what you find out when you are there in October. It sounds like the Bamboo Beach Club might be better than Shaw Park.
Leaving on Nov. 11th cruising to Ocho Rios and was going to book the Shaw Park excursion, but after I read some of the reviews don't think we will. Does anyone know of a nice beach area. I checked the excursions and I do not see the Bamboo Beach Club listed only Shaw Park. Any suggestions??
we went to dunn's river falls and used thier beach, mainly because i wanted to see the falls.
when we came back to the pier we found a nice beach right next to it, that charged a few bucks to get in and a few bucks for chairs and umbrellas, they also had some water toys (trampoline, slide, kayaks, ect.) it was right next to margaritaville's which was a great place for a drink before reboarding...the only problem was even though it was virtually at the end of the pier you had to walk all the way to the road and then come all the way back through a tourist shop mall to get to it...there was plenty of security around and a few beggars at the road where you entered the mall area. It would make more sense to have a cut through to margaritaville and the beach from the end of the pier. Margaritaville has a place on a few islands, one of them (maybe ocho rios) had a waterslide and beach for customers during the day. its a good cheap alternative to a tour or cab ride to a beach.
that was probably it.. the margaritaville at mo' bay had the beach and waterslide, the one at ocho rios has a beach next to it that charges low fees... i think it was $2-3 to get in and $5 for a chair or umbrella. You can see it from the ship, its to the right of the pier.
If it doesnt look good enough to ya, follow the signs to the taxis they have a board with the set prices to different places, pick your beach and get your taxi there.
official taxis in jamaica have red liscence plates on the front, at the taxi stand a big rude jamaican woman directed us to the next driver going to our destination...you pay the driver for the round trip and he returns at a designated time for the return..this made me a little nervous, expecially because the guy didn't have change for a $20...but you are given a reciept with his tag # on it, so i guess complaints would jeopardize his job, he was waiting for us on time and had my change..it would have been easier just paying one way, as we had to negotiate how long we got to stay at dunn's river...the driver suggested 2 hours, i got the majority of passengers to opt for 3 instead...he took some of the cab back after 2 hours and was waiting on us when we got done.
We went out a second time to shop and after paying $6-8 one way for a cab to the taj- mahal shopping center, we shopped and hailed one for our return, the guy felt sorry for us and said we could have walked...he walked us to the road and gave us directions for the 3 block walk back to the pier area..the first cabbie rode us around the back way. we did have to walk past a disturbing ammount of crippled beggars..i didnt want to give to one and not the rest so i passed them all by.
when they tell you to get back an hour before the ship sails they probably had ocho rios in mind, because the line to get back on was 400 long and took 45 mins to get through, the ship left a little late out of that port
I went to shaw park beach hotel in sept. It was very nice. Not a lot of people there. They seem to keep the crowd small. It was very relaxing.
I would suggest bringing water shoes. There are a lot of rocks in the bottom of the ocean, it hurts your feet to walk on them. The best beach we went to was Castaway at Malfini Beach in Labadee haitti. There were only 3 or 4 other couples there besides us. A very private beach. Beautiful! If you have children they have another beach in labadee where they have water toys like slides and bananna boats etc.. in the water to keep kids and teens intertained.