Maurine - If there is a beach party at Doctor's Cave Beach -Aoid it at all costs 'cause you won't wake up for three days after!!! Mo'Bay has a lot going for it and there are some nice scuba dives in the Bay but marine life is thin due to overfishing!!
Consider the Bamboo Rafting tour/cruise down the Martha Brae River- a relaxing afternoon interlude with cocktails on a hand poled 30 ft. Bamboo Raft with your special one. You will have a neat motorcoach tour of the Jamaican countryside giving you a substantial insight into what Jamaica is all about. A firm No! to pesky sellers usually does it and if worst comes to worst -tell 'em you got one of the items last time you were in Mo'Bay -they will leave you alone!!
If you're looking for munchies -The Pelican Grille has the real Jamaican flare and flavor without a hassle!! The drinking water is safe!! Don't drink the "special" Mushroom Tea or eat the "special" cake and Don't ask for it!! (You won't remember the rest of the cruise!)
Maurine - In Jamaica they are particularly good at locking eyes and maintaining eye contact with you - they can be a bit surly if you break contact- looking them straight in the face with a firm response works well in the Jamaican culture. They are a wonderful people and very much "up front" and they react very favorably when you smile!! (It works well, anywhere in the world! But noticeably well in Jamaica!)
I would not walk off the boat and try to connect with anyone in Montego Bay. Crime there is unbelievable. We did the Great River tubing in Mo-bay as I mentioned above. It is a beautiful, wild area. Great scenery. Unfortunately in the late winter the water is very low and this adventure should not have been offered to us. I found this tour on Shoretrips.com and they don't even try to sell it during the dry season.
We did a tubing adventure on the white river at Ocho which had lots of current and was lots of fun. My family enjoys this type of adventure. In Sept. the River should have a lot more water and be a pleasurable day for you.
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With shore excursions booked through the ships, you don't get refund if you don't cancel ahead of time and you don't go.
I would suggest booking an excursion ahead of time.
From my experience, you need a reservation to do the excursions, whether you book through the ship or elsewhere. You may be able to do something walk-up, but if you want to guarantee that you'll be doing what you want to do, you should book ahead of time--even if you wait till you're on-board and book through the ship.
You should ask the company you book with what their refund/cancellation policy is.
Do you think you won't be making it to MoBay? Is your ship scheduled to dock there?
If you book through the ship and say, the ship has to take a detour and you don't make it to that port, you would get your money back. Booking through another company, I don't know. Ask them first.
Hi Suzette, welcome to Cruise-Chat. If you book an excursion through the ship, you will not be billed for it if you don't make the port. If you book through an outside source, make sure when you book that you will get your money refunded if they don't make the port. In Jamaica, I would NOT recommend doing an adhoc excursion. There are many ports where this is not a problem at all. Jamaica is a very beautiful but poor country. I would strongly advise using the ship's excursions here. Best wishes for a fantastic cruise!
We have been to Montego Bay twice. I agree with everyone else on - don't venture off on your own. First time there we did the Rose Hall tour - it was very interesting but extremely humid and hot. The shopping area was very enjoyable as it was totally secured with a gate guard. Prices a little high but maybe worth it for no aggravation. I would not recommend the City Centre which is the ships recommended area as the vendors were extremely aggressive there.
The 2nd time we did the Margaritaville Negril and it was very nice. No one bothers you on the beach although I did see several people selling necklaces and shells. The water is clear and they have the trampoline there. The lunch is very tasty. We did do Margarita's after lunch, but service was very slow.
We were there in December for the beach and January for Rose Hall.
I would think think that there might come a point where the aggressive sellers/panhandlers etc. won't be worth it and people/cruise ships won't visit Jamaica. I guess these Jamaicans don't think about that.