We were in Montego Bay 1/25/06. We booked tour thru the ship and I'm really glad we did. I didn't enjoy this port at all. At least our tour took us to a secured area for shopping. Then my sister and I went by taxi to what we were told was another secured area not far from Margaritaville. We went in 3 shops - right next to each other- and we left back to the ship! It was kinda scary. However, the rum cakes were cheaper here than in any of the other ports. Also the drug soliciting is accurate, but JUST SAY NO! and keep walking. Same with the agressiveness, sometimes they listen, and most times NOT. That is why we just left.
I agree with tom, if you want to save money than catching a taxi to Doctor Caves beach would be a great alternative, it is gated and safe, there are restrooms, showers, lifeguards and a place to by food and refreshments, the snorkeling is great. After your done playing in the sun you can walk right up the street (about 2 blocks with plenty of shops on the way) to Margaritaville for your choice of 52 different flavors of margaritas, music, waterslide, hot tub, water trampoline and pretty good food and admission is free. When the taxi drops you off at the beach just tell him to pick you up at Margaritaville, i have been the Montego Bay 4 times with my teenage girls and we always plan this same route.
Both the beach and Margaritaville are very family friendly.
I thik we payed a van driver $12ea. and the admission to doctor coves beach was i think about $2.60ea. (could have been less)
Margaritaville is free and YES, all ages will have fun! the kids love the waterslide and water trampoline. it is quit loud downstairs because that is where the JD is but if you go upstairs there is a nice covered open air area with another bar, this is where the take off point to the waterslide is the spa is also up there, we always sit up there because it is a great place to keep an eye on the kids.
beach to Margaritaville is about a 5 minute easy walk (unless you stop to look in the shops like we do)
the last time i was in Montego Bay was last august but the prices should be about the same.
hope you have fun!