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mmomom 08-22-2012 06:28 PM

Ocho Rios
Stopping at Ocho Rios in a month. We had originally planned on doing the Chukka horseback ride and Beach swim with the horses. We did that in May out of Falmouth, but it's the same excursion this time and it's a blast. Unfortunately, my husband has an injury that doesn't seem to be healing fast enough so we're looking to do something else. The ship docks at 7:30 and leaves at 2:30. We looked into a day pass at Sunset Beach, but it's sorta pricey for the few hours we'll be there ... guess they give you breakfast instead of lunch when the ship leaves so early. Not crazy about going out on our own in Jamaica ... we usually do that in other ports, but not feeling all that comfortable about it here. Just not up to the possible 'hassle'. Anyway ... has anyone gone to Island Village Beach? I googled it and it seems nice ... supposed to be within walking distance of the pier and right near Margaritaville. Supposed to be shops, crafts and a 'theme type' atmosphere as well as a nice beach. Thinking we could look around, shop around, spend a little time at the beach and maybe a drink at Margaritaville and then go back to the ship. Has anyone done this and/or have any information? Tried another board, but no takers so far, so thought I'd also try here ... thanx!:)

f-mattox 08-22-2012 08:25 PM

We were dropped off there after a tour and walked back to the ship; you will be okay--just stay in a group if possible and don't wander off the beaten path. And be ready for a lot of very aggressive vendors--don't stop and look at anything you don't intend to buy.

mmomom 08-23-2012 04:33 AM

So you get that there too? What about the beach part, have you been there?

Dave 08-23-2012 07:51 AM

Island Village is just about 100 yards from the ship and is quite safe. It has a guarded entrance and it essentially a walled-off outdoor shopping mall, anchored by Margaritaville. In other words, it is a nice way to visit Jamaica without really seeing Jamaica.

mmomom 08-23-2012 08:06 AM

Thanx Dave .... it's not that we're afraid of 'seeing' the real Jamaica ... we've been many times and done many things. Just sometimes the hassle is not worth it and with such a short amount of time, we are thinking a nice, relaxing jaunt. So, sounds good .... thanx again!:)

Dave 08-23-2012 08:37 AM

Oh, I understand! I've seen enough of Jamaica and it holds no allure for me anymore, except I might try one of the all-inclusive resorts sometime.

I first visited Ocho Rios in 1980 while in the Navy. It was very much a quaint place back then. We walked from the James Bond pier to Dunn's River Falls and back and had a great time with nobody hassling us.

mmomom 08-23-2012 09:28 AM

I hear ya ... how times have changed everywhere!! LOL!! But, it is sad ... Jamaica is such a beautiful place. Way back (I think in the 80s as well) we went to Montego Bay ... Stayed at Rose Hall for a week ... it was lovely ... we even took the BUS to go to the straw market(and thought it was a riot when people got on with chickens!) ... walked everywhere. Have pictures with the lady at the straw market that sold us hats, purses, etc. and had no pressure to buy anything. The only person we had stop us was a guy wanting to give us some aloe from the plant in case we got sunburned!! Sure was nice! Wouldn't do that today. When we went on a cruise for the 1st time since then to Jamaica ... can't remember which port at the time, but we got a cab (JUTA as recommended) and went to some beach I had read about ... he wouldn't wait or come back for us ... the beach was awful and nothing like I had read ... we walked a long way with many hassles and ended up finally getting a cab and just went back to the ship. The last time had a wonderful time coming into Falmouth and doing the Chukka horseback ride and swim, no problem. Due to the circumstances, first looked at the all inclusive and they have good reviews, something we might like to try. Thing is, the ship is leaving so early, it's really not worth the $ for us this time ... maybe next time. $65 pp for just breakfast, the beach and think we'd only have like little more than 2 hours. This Island Village and Margaritaville sounds like it will work very nicely for us this time.:)

peter l 08-25-2012 04:45 AM

mmomom, we stayed at the Rose Hall Resort as well ten years ago or so and I think it was a Wyndham run all inclusive resort...It its the same place, it was beautiful, having its own theme large water park that encircled the resort and a beautiful pool and sandy beach. Even back then, the grounds were guarded and only licensed vendors allowed in. On our first day there, a group of us walked the grounds and found ourselves at the extreme end of the property and a guy literally popped up from nowhere wanting to sell us both trinkets and some smoke !! So, its had only gotten worse and we noticed in on two occassions that we have cruised into the island. Best to stay in a crowd and within the safe areas.


MCPayne 08-25-2012 03:34 PM

I think part of the reason for the hassling is that Ocho Rios / Falmouth only gets visited by 1 or 2 cruise ships per week, unlike other ports, which may have ships in port every day, or every other day. I wasn't crazy about the hassling either at Dunns River Falls.

Mmomom, if you're uncomfortable going on your own in Jamaica, but don't want to do the ship's excursions, then you might look at I did this when I went there a couple years ago. Like the ship's tours, I think they look at vendors, and only book reputable ones, and they haven't had anybody miss the ship that booked one of their tours, that I'm aware of, at least from what I've read.

papa60 09-30-2012 04:58 PM


Originally Posted by Dave (Post 294864)
Island Village is just about 100 yards from the ship and is quite safe. It has a guarded entrance and it essentially a walled-off outdoor shopping mall, anchored by Margaritaville. In other words, it is a nice way to visit Jamaica without really seeing Jamaica.

Thanks for this tip, Dave. My wife loves to shop and I had heard the horror stories of the Jamaican vendors' agressiveness. Ocho Rios is one of our stops on our cruise in February and Island Village sounds like the right stop.

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