I agree with the rest...if your friend does anything in Montego, do it with the cruise line. We did the White Witch tour and they took us to a totally secure place to shop where no locals could get in. Prices reflected that as well - strictly upper end goods. My sister and I did venture to the ship's recommended shopping area from Margaritaville. The doorman got the taxi for us and requested we stay safely inside the door until it was arranged. Only problem, once he had us in the taxi, the guy wanted more money or he would leave us. We were close enough to Margaritaville that we got out of the taxi and found another that would accept the doorman's price. Once to the shopping area, IT WAS HORRIBLE. People pulling at us and the shopping was awful ... we quickly bought the tee-shirts and got into the same cab we took there and he took us back to the pier. If we ever go there again, I will also stay on the ship - it just isn't worth the hassle.
It's a shame Jamaica is the way it is when the island is really beautiful. There's hardly a time that when we stop there that you don't here of someone's bad experience. Either they've got taken buying jewelry, hounded by the locals for handouts or mugged. As Dave has said, I don't know why the cruise lines stop there but they do. A small portion of the population really gives the island a bad rep.
Hubby & I were in Ochos Rios and if we are there again, we will stay on board and enjoy the pool, etc. We walked to the shopping area and once there I never had so many vendors offer me the "pretty lady special" or the "special of the morning" etc. We got hassled so much on our walk back that it freightened me as the taxi drivers kept stopping to offer us rides. We didn't go to Dunn's Falls but were told that it was just another waterfall with vendors there as well.
In Montego Bay last year we did luck out and get a great lady cab driver. No hassles and she took us to Margaritaville and then picked us up later and returned us to the pier. But all along the way we saw hapless passengers getting hassled.
Retired, I always get slammed for my Jamaican views. That being said, STAY ON THE SHIP. Enjoy the empty bars and pools. It's just not worth the risk. The land is full of ganja dealers and the water is full of sea urchins. Yes, I have been there on more than one occasion and my experiences have shaped my current opinions. It is the only area in the world that I will try to persuade you to avoid.
Hi I have been reading what you say about Montego Bay now very concerned has that is the port we fly into on Saturday does anyone know what its like at the airport, we are booked through Princess and land at about 2pm was going to have a walk into the town once we had boarded just to stretch our legs after a nine hour flight since the ship does not depart till 10pm is it really that bad any tips gratefully received
I am new here and have not cruised yet. That said, I have been reading the threads about Jamaica. The place sounds like it is a complete waste of time. If it is so bad, why do the cruise lines continue to stop at Jamaica? Why not add another day at a port already on the itinerary? How about a different port. I know that the customer chooses where they sail, but for me it came down to a two out of three decision. I get to go to two pleasant stops and just have to deal with Jamaica. There has to be a time where the safety of the passengers is considered.