I assumed but you never know. I don't think we will go there this trip. I think we will try to do something close to the ship--so nervous husband can get back on in a hurry if need be. any suggestions?
Originally posted by Jim C.:
We personally have no need to ever get off the ship in Jamaica
but we have already been there twice. So if this post sounded very negative towards the island, temper it with the fact that we have already seen what we wished to see there.
Beggars (locals) will not leave you alone if you are at a beach in Jamaica. I hate to preach, but, please do not venture off to a beach by yourselves. Always book through the cruise line, even for a simple "beach day".
If you go to Dunns River Falls, wear your bathing suits. It is a completely submersible excursion.
glynette, here's what I found on the property. It's an all-inclusive resort. Are you sure day use is permitted?
The Sunset Beach Resort features 550 meters (600 yards) of beach divided by rock jetties into three sections; two are crescent-shaped and provide swimming coves. The most isolated of the three is reserved for nude sunbathing. Thatched shades offer snoozing comfort along the entire beachfront.
The Pirate’s Paradise Water Park features themed land and water recreation for adults and children. Activities include two spa tubs, a pirate ship and bridge, and two 40-foot tall waterslides. The park offers a children's program, as well as a teen's retreat, the "Pirates Cove," which includes pool tables, arcade games, and reggae music.
Three pools surrounded by sundecks supply freshwater swimming and sunbathing space. Use of snorkeling gear, small sailboats, kayaks, and pedal boats is complimentary, as is playing tennis on four lighted courts. Also included are classes such as aerobics, Pilates, and yoga—depending on the specialty of the instructor. Land sports include miniature golf, shuffleboard, and outdoor chess.
The recreational activities listed below are available either on site or near the hotel; fees may apply.
Golf - miniature on site
Motor boating nearby
Snorkeling on site
Swimming on site
Jet skiing nearby
Kayaking on site
Sailing on site
Scuba diving nearby
Volleyball on site
Tennis on site
Basketball on site
Bicycle rentals nearby
Playground on site
The resort has a No Tipping policy.
Cancellations within three days of arrival and no-shows incur a penalty of two nights’ charge.
Extra person charges may apply and vary depending on hotel policy.
Photo identification and credit card or cash deposit are required at check-in for incidental charges.
I did some research on www.tripadvisor.com. I also checked out a few other sites. It looks like a great, fun way to hang for the day while in Montego Bay. I just didn't come across a site that allows for day use.
The beggars even follow you onto the ship booked excursions! The last time we were there we did not want to get off the ship, but found a ship excursion for snorkeling that said they picked you up "right from the ship dock" Which they did. We got off the ship and walked 50 yards to the pick up point and got on a catamaran and they took us snorkeling. After our "snorkle time" was up, they took us to a beach for a beach break... of course it was a public beach full of "hair braiders" and "bead sellers" and "hey man, you want some smoke man...." We then got back on the catamaran and headed back to the same spot they picked us up at. But beggars (friends of the operator I guess) got on at the beach and tried to sell us friendship braclets all the way back to the ship. Then, when they got us back, instead of letting us walk back to the ship the way we came, they forced us to walk out of the secured area and back into the entrance of the dock so we could go through "customs" which was nothing more than an excuse to make us walk the gauntlet of shops and beggars to get back onto the ship... past the high school band marching up and down in front of the ship with their hat in hand asking for donations....
Like I already said... no need to get off the ship. I understand it is a poor country, but so is Belize. I had no problem walking through Belize city and looking at stuff to buy. Yes, there was the occasional hard sell, but only if I was looking at what they were selling. Can't fault them for that.
After reading Jim's post and my own family's frightening experience, you can see, glynette, why you don't hear too many cruisers/tourists speak highly of Jamaica. It's unfortunate because it is a beautiful country with lush landscape and many possibilities for economic growth.
Obviously, the Jamaican government doesn't believe in the trickle down effect.