Yes, my daughter and I went to both ports. In Grand Caymon we booked a Stingray City trip through Captain Marvins - he's the absolute best. Don't waste your money on the RC excursion they are too crowded - book it through Captain Marvin's.
In Ocho Rios we did the Dunns Falls/Dolphin Swim - that was the best. We had a great guide up the falls and his assistant took lots of pictures with everyones water cameras in the falls (don't forget to tip $ both). Then we went to the Dolphin Swim and that was just a wonderful experience (you don't have to know how to swim either). Don't waste your money on the Dolphin Encounter/Touch - spend the extra on the Swim.
Just got back from last week. As stated before me, Captain Marvin is the best. It is more than the people selling at the tender port but worth it. They are $35 and have one stop for snorkeling and the stingrays. Marvin's has 2 snorkel stops and the stingrays. Just go from the arrival tent to the left for 2 blocks and Capt Marvin's office is on the right in a yellow building. GC is devastated from Ivan (290mph they said). BUT, the watersports are still great.
Ocho Rios stunk in my opinion. The pressure to buy rides, guides, braids and weed was overboard. They will follow you down the sidewalk. We skipped excursions that day as we had a ton a gifts to buy yet. Maybe that was better, but even the pressure to buy excursions there was bad and they were very vague in what you get. So why not buy from Carnival? Because the prices are way too high! TULUM in Mexico. Carnival=$79pp. We did 5 people on our own for $90 total. Stingray City on Carnival was alomst double what we paid and had about 60 people on the boat with just one snorkel stop. Capt Marvin had 2 stops plus the Stingrays. So, for Ocho, we did not feel good about the cost of the excursions and decided to shop. If I never return to Jamaica, it will be too soon! So many better things in other ports.
Ocho Rios - Dunns River Falls is where most people go. I have climbed the falls years ago. We enjoyed the experience.
Grand Cayman is beautiful. Of course they were hit hard by the hurricaine & are still rebuidling. Most say one of the top places to snorkel. StingRay City is great. Hell is a tourist stop, fun to mail postcards from. I enjoy wandering the shops downtown.
Ocho Rios, we booked a tour with phil Lafayette. $55 per person. This gets you a great tour with a proud Jamaican guide who is fun and will keep you and your belongings safe. He takes you to Dunns Falls, Fern Gully, river tubing. Then it's off for lunch and shopping. He will make stops along the way to show you cool things. He is there to make your group happy and gears the tour to your wants.
Grand Cayman, we book a tour with Native Way. We had about 15 people on our tour. You spend time at the stingray sandbar, snorkel at barrier reef, then off for lunch at beautiful Rum Point...prettiest white sand beach and crystal clear waters. Native Way was great!!!
PLEASE HAS ANYONE BOOKED WITH MOBY DICK TOURS FOR STING RAY CITY. BOTH MOBY AND CAPTAIN MARVIN LOOK GREAT. CAN DECIDE WHICH TO CHOOSE. I TRIED TO ACCESS PHIL'S WEBSITE BUT WAS UNABLE TO. CAN'T DECIDE TO JUST WING IT IN OCHOS OR USE PHIL AS A GUIDE. COMMENTS
We had a horrible experience in Jamaica. Wanted to climb Dunn's River Falls without big group, so didn't book anything, just took taxi and paid entrance fee. Were herded into group of 40-50 and told we COULDN'T climb without a guide. We were rushed, pulled, with no time to just enjoy/see beauty of the falls. At one point, as we tried to separate from the pack, we were told to 'stay together because you all look alike to me and I won't know who to get tip from.' After water was splashed into my teenage daughter's face (she wears contacts)on purpose by the guide, with him telling her to 'hurry, hurry, get in the this pool' because she wasn't climbing fast enough for him, we left the water and quit the climb. The guide followed after us, shouting 'you tip me now.' yeah right! The shop prices were priced higher than the beach shops of our native California (very expensive) and when we tried to haggle, were asked "why you so cheap, you can afford it." On good side, we were not harassed at all by shopkeepers while leaving the falls--perhaps our expressions and fury felt at the time prevented approach. If I never visit this port again, will be great. Grand Cayman was much better experience. Unfortunately, my daughter came down with upper respiratory bug and I stayed on board with her, but husband and grown son went on Stingray City and 2 other snorkel stops--booked online with Captain Marvin's. They loved it, Capt Marvin was onboard, they saw a shark, eel, and crew were fabulous, according to my guys. We were only charged for the two of them, even though the females in our group were technically "no-shows." Would recommend.