A Cruise Day In Ocho Rios
There are as many activities to do on your cruise day in Ocho Rios as there are beaches. Your cruise line offers dozens of fun, entertaining, historic and tasty shore excursion to choose. There are also independent shore excursion operators that you can find online.
Sign up for a breathtaking zip-line ride and glide above the rain forest canopy. Form a human chain and climb to the top of Dunns River Falls. A short walk from the port is Island Village, a shopping, dining and entertainment complex with Jimmy Buffets iconic beachfront Margaritaville. Tucked behind Margaritaville is a small local restaurant owned by my friend, Lobster Dave.
Those interested in serious shopping in Ocho Rios can head over to the two-story, open air Taj Mahal shopping mall. Many shore excursions include a stop at Taj Mahal for a last minute spree to purchase duty-free liquor and fine jewelry and gemstones. Resist the temptation to buy Cuban cigars. Passengers still cannot bring these into the U.S.
You May Like: Msc Divina Dress Code
You Dont Need To Be Bilingual To Cruise To Jamaica
Americans who only speak English fluently need not worry of they want to go on a cruise to Jamaica. After all, this is the third-most populous English-speaking country in North America, after the United States and Canada.
So, even though Jamaicans have their distinct accent, if youre an English-speaker, you wont have any trouble at all talking to the locals.
Choose The Cruise Line
First, make sure to choose the cruise line that you would like to sail with to Montego Bay. Good news for you, there are several cruise ships you can choose from. The cruise ships visiting the port of Montego Bay include:
- Carnival Cruise Line
- MSC Cruises
There are two famous cruising lines with cruise ships that stop over Montego Bay from the United States. They have gained popularity among tourists. You can choose to sail with the Carnival Cruise Line that has the famous ship Carnival Vista. It is well-known for its budget-friendly Fun Ships. Carnival cruise lines even offer cruises to other areas. These include Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Port Canaveral, Cayman Islands, New Orleans, Fort Lauderdale, Belize City, Key West, and Mahogany Bay in Isla Roatan. For these, youll be saving U.S. dollars.
Your other option will be a European Line that offers sailing options to the Caribbean known as MSC Cruises. Other options will be the Norwegian cruise line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, and Royal Caribbean cruise. These options also offer celebrity cruiseswhich are guaranteed to make your trip memorable.
Other places also include Port of Galveston, Port Royal, George Town, Santo Domingo, Les Saintes, and other Island Nation areas.
Don’t Miss: Disney Travel Insurance Worth It
Jamaica Runs On Its Own Rhythm Of Music Food Its People And Scenery
A cruise to Jamaica includes one of three ports. Probably the most well-known to cruisers is Ocho Rios. Ocho, or Ochi as its called, is a relatively big city with easy access to Dunns River Falls, the Craft Market and great shopping. Then theres historic Falmouth, a revitalized and cruise-friendly city/port thanks to the development and investment from Royal Caribbean.
Finally, theres famous Montego Bay, or Mo-Bay, as its called. The town is known for its laid-back atmosphere and the option to spend the day on a shore excursions to the glistening sugar-sand playground at Seven Mile Beach in Negril.
It seems like most cruises from Florida to Jamaica now have Falmouth on their itinerary. For me, a cruise to Jamaica means a day in Ocho Rios, my favorite port on the island.
All Jamaican Cruise Ports Expected To Be Operational By December
Get ready for more cruise ships heading to Jamaica as the Caribbean nation expects all of its cruise ports to be operational by December 2021.
After a relatively slow start earlier this year, Jamaica is now full steam ahead with re-opening its border for the cruise industry and the much-needed economic boost that it will bring.
The Port Authority of Jamaica is working through plans to have all cruise ports on the island operational by the end of the year 2021. Currently, the only port operational in the country is Ocho Rios, which successfully served to provide data on operating other ports around the country.
Read Also: Cruise Ship Prices Per Person
Carnival Cruise Line Returns To Jamaica As Island Reopens To Cruise Industry
Carnival Cruise Line becomes the first cruise line to return to Jamaica, with the Carnival Sunrise making a call at Ocho Rios.
Cruising returned to Jamaica this morning at 07:30 AM local time as Carnival Sunrise docked in the port of Ocho Rios. The Carnival cruise ship became the first to visit the island since it shut down last year for all cruise operations.
Carnival Sunrise is now the seventh ship in the Carnival Cruise Line fleet to start operating. On Saturday, the cruise ship departed from Miami, Florida, bringing back fun to the Caribbean Island of Jamaica and Bimini in the Bahamas.
Recommended Reading: Bus From Heathrow To Southampton Cruise Terminal
Get Adventurous At Blue Hole
Blue Hole is a natural phenomenon located in the hills of Ocho Rios. Its signature blue hole certainly lives up to its name with stunning hues and calm, refreshing waters.
The area is fed by cascades of the Secret Falls and is the perfect spot for swimming and relaxation. If you are feeling adventurous, there is also a section for diving. Channel your inner Tarzan on the rope swing for some one of a kind cliff jumping. Or, you can even explore some underwater caves or hike the small series of waterfalls.
This attraction can also be combined with other activities on the White River including river tubing/rafting.
Don’t Miss: What Cruise Lines Go Out Of Mobile Al
Cruises To Montego Bay
Situated on Jamaica’s north coast, Montego Bay is one of the country’s largest, most vibrant cities. For a glimpse into local culture and history, visit Sam Sharpe square downtown to see historical monuments, browse local shops and savour delicious cuisine. Or journey outside the city and immerse yourself in spectacular natural beauty – from pristine beaches and lush jungles to mesmerizing waterfalls. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures like rafting or kayaking or to simply soak in some relaxation on an expansive beach, Montego Bay has something for everyone to enjoy.
All Cruise Ports Operational By December
After the careful start that saw Jamaica open up for cruises slowly and steadily, the country is now ready to open up more and more for tourists to arrive by cruise ship, at least, if its up to the Port Authority of Jamaica.
Assistant Vice President, Marketing Communications at the Port Authority, Kimberley Stiff said: The Port Authority, with the guidance and support from the Ministry of Health and Wellness, has been systematically devising and implementing mechanisms and solutions to ensure a safe and secure restart of the cruise-shipping sector within the COVID-19 operational context.
The ports in Jamaica that are capable of receiving cruise ships include the largest cruise port on the island, Ocho Rios, on the north shore Port Royal, the gateway to the nations capital Kingston Port Antonio, a small port also on the north side Falmouth, one of the more well-known cruise ports on the island and Montego Bay, Jamaicas second-largest cruise port.
Ocho Rios has already seen a steady stream of ships arriving over the last few weeks, and this will only increase. So far, Carnival Sunrise and MSC Meraviglia have been calling here and will continue to do so over the following weeks.
Port Royal will see visits from the Ultra-luxury cruise ships from Seabourn and Crystal Cruises and calls from Holland America Lines Nieuw Statendam& Nieuw Amsterdam.
Also Read: Carnival Commits to Have At Least 110 Calls to Jamaica Over the Coming Months
Recommended Reading: Cost Of Alaskan Cruise From Seattle
What Are Jamaica Entry Requirements
With countries moving between the green and red list, many travellers are asking, âIs Jamaica on the green list?â The answer is yes.
The Jamaica entry requirements are like other popular tourist spots around the world if you are double jabbed, entering Jamaica is much easier than if you are not.
All travellers from 12 years and upwards arriving in Jamaica must present a certificate issued by UKAS accredited laboratory showing a negative COVID-19 molecular or Antigen test result within 72 hours prior to the date of travel.
Any traveller entering Jamaica may be tested for COVID-19 if assessed as high-risk because of exhibiting symptoms, exposure to persons who have tested positive, belonging to a high-risk group or other factors.
If you are not fully vaccinated, you must quarantine for 14 days from your date of entry to the island.
Take A Bob Marley Tour
For a true Bob Marley experience, board the Zion Bus for a 1.5 hour scenic drive from Ocho Rios to the mountain village Nine Mile, the birthplace of Bob Marley. Here, you can tour the very home in which the King of Reggae lived as a child and see his final resting place.
You will also hear stories of his life from your Rastafarian guide. The word on the street is that you should have an open mind if booking this tour!
You can also choose to visit the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston, which is closer to a 2 hour drive from Ocho Rios. The Museum is located in the reggae legends former home, and it is filled with mementos from the musicians life.
Don’t Miss: What Cruise Lines Go Out Of Mobile Al
Culture And History Of Jamaica
The original name of the island was Xaymaca, which means land of wood and water. After Christopher Columbus discovered Jamaica in 1494, the native Arawak people were displaced and the island was colonized and used by the Spanish mainly as a supply base for food and weapons. In 1655, the British attacked Jamaica, and Spain eventually surrendered the island to England.
Under English settlement, pirating was rampant. Buccaneers eventually took control of Port Royal, a town that was known at the time as the wealthiest and wickedest city in the world. Sugar exports grew exponentially, and in order to keep up with the demand, enslaved Africans were taken to the island against their will to work in the plantations. There were many slave rebellions and confrontations until 1808, when the Abolition Bill was passed and slavery was finally outlawed.
On August 6, 1962, Jamaica gained independence from England. Even though it is a small island in the Caribbean, Jamaican culture has a strong global influence, specifically in music. Local genres such as reggae, ska, dub, and dancehall are famous around the world.
Jamaica Port Facilities & Location
Ocho Rios Cruise Port
A combination of waterfalls and botanical gardens create Ocho Rios signature beauty. The Ocho Rios cruise port is the countrys largest and sits centrally among top Jamaica attractions. If youre a nature enthusiast, floral splendor and a steady waterfall await at Shaw Park Gardens, or drive Fern Gullys roadway to take in miles of leafy life forming a tunnel. Mix in adventure by climbing against the rushing force of Dunns River Falls or soaring through Mystic Mountains rainforest vegetation.
Don’t Miss: Dress Code On Seabourn Cruises
What Else Is There To Do
The Port of Montego Bay is a popular cruise port and one of the great departure ports in the United States. It is surrounded by an idyllic paradise. Port of Montego Bay is a few miles west of downtown. You will find that the docks are large enough to accommodate four cruise ships all at once.
Now that you have already booked your cruise to Montego Bay, you may know what are the things you can do for a good time during your cruise vacation. There are a whole lot of different things you can do in Montego Bay. From the moment cruise passengers step off their cruise ship, they will enter a stunning world filled with hidden and green grotto caves, coral reefs, natural pools, waterfalls, and like sea turtles. Cliff divers can also have fun in Montego Bay.
Visit Good Hope Estate
The Good Hope Estate located near the Falmouth cruise port also warrants a visit while in Jamaica. This estate once belonged to John Tharpe. It was a former sugar plantation but is still one of the most elegant structures in town. These estate grounds offer panoramic vistas of the Queen of Spain Valley, the Cockpit Mountains, and the Martha Brae River. Today, the estate is still a working citrus farm and a nature adventure park offering historical, cultural, and adventurous tours.
You can tour the Great House, enjoy the 2,000+ acres of nature, or partake in an Appleton rum tasting experience. Additionally, you can test your thrill for adventure with dune buggies, ATVs, ziplines, and river tubing. Or, simply relax by the Great House pool.
Related Post:Top Reasons to Book a Cruise Early
You May Like: Cruises Only Marriott
Water Activities And Beaches
Rescue services may not be consistent with international standards.
Hotels and resorts may not have lifeguards on beaches or may lack warning systems for local water conditions. While private beaches with security guards are generally safer than public beaches, never leave your personal belongings unattended when swimming.
Use only reputable and professional guides or tour operators when booking for recreational activities and ensure that sporting and aquatic equipment is safe and in good condition.
Local Currency & Tipping Customs
The official currency in Jamaica is the Jamaican Dollar, but United States Dollars are accepted in many tourist destinations. Credit cards and debit cards are also accepted in most tourist areas, but its always a good idea to have some local currency on hand. As for tipping, consider tipping anywhere from 15% to 20% for good service. Some places accept tips in both Jamaican and US dollars.
Also Check: What Cruise Lines Go Out Of Mobile Al
Port Antonio Cruise Port
The pier at the Errol Flynn Marina, Port Antonios cruise port, is the smallest of Jamaicas major ports. Paradisal Portland is like a promised land for nature lovers, where its captivating scenes have proven worthy of Hollywood films. Sit on a bamboo raft throne as you float down one of our longest rivers, immerse in the sapphire depths of the Blue Lagoon, and sink your toes in the silky sands of Frenchmans Cove while visiting this coastal town.
Carnival Cruise Line Returns To Jamaica
For the first time since last March, Carnival Cruise Line has had a ship visit a port in Jamaica.
Carnival Sunrise stopped in Ocho Rios, Jamaica today marking Carnivals return to the Caribbean nation after 17 months.
Carnival Sunrises leadership team joined local officials for a ceremonial plaque exchange to commemorate their return. Ocho Rios is among the featured ports on the cruise ships five-day Caribbean cruise that departed PortMiami August 14.
We are delighted to be the first cruise ship to return to Jamaica and to offer guests an opportunity to experience all of the countrys beauty, said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. On behalf of Carnival, I would like to personally thank the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Health and Wellness, and our partners for working with us to bring safe cruising back to Jamaica.
I am very pleased to announce that Jamaica has finally seen the return of cruise today with the arrival of Carnival Sunrise. We welcome this resumption as we know that thousands of Jamaicans depend on the cruise shipping industry, and it will have a positive impact on our economy overall, added Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett.
Learn the cruise secrets most people donât know and cruise like a boss. Check out Intelligent Cruiser here for a better cruise vacation.
Recommended Reading: Cruise From Norfolk
The Best Cruises To Jamaica
Visiting Jamrock, as Jamaicans often call their island home, is the best way to learn about this Caribbean nations unique culture, traditions and history. Reggae music, which Bob Marley called the kings music, was born in Jamaica. Reggaes main message is one of equality, justice and love. Travelers who want to feel a little of this message should accept Marley’s invitation to come to Jamaica, mon. A cruise is an easy way to get a taste of island life. Most cruise lines sailing the Caribbean include Jamaica in their itineraries, with some providing unique experiences.
Your Gateway To Cruising Around Jamaica
The heartbeat of the world is connected to the sea via five ports in the cities of Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Falmouth, Port Antonio, and Kingston. These cruise ports in Jamaica are equipped to handle colossal passenger ships and boutique yachts.
Embarking on an extraordinary experience once setting foot in these multifaceted towns is almost effortless. In between exciting the palate at an exotic fruit stall or smokey jerk joint, make the most of a cruise stop at one of our islands natural wonders, heritage sites, and more! No matter the desired vacation experience, your docking destination is likely to offer it.
Also Check: Best Time To Visit Mediterranean
Carnival Corp Now To Send 110 Plus Cruises To Jamaica
Jamaica Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has revealed that Carnival Corporation, the worlds largest cruise line, has committed to sending 110 or more cruises, by its various brands, to the island between October 2021 and April 2022. The agreement is contingent on Jamaican authorities and Carnival continuing to work closely on logistics and public health issues.
This was announced by Arnold Donald, the CEO of Carnival Corporation, during a meeting on Tuesday, September 28, 2021, with Minister Bartlett, local tourism officials, as well as other senior Carnival Corporation executives.
Carnival is a critical partner for Jamaicas tourism and wider economic recovery. We are seeing a welcome return of vessels with the recognition that Jamaicas Resilient Corridors offer a safe environment for our visitors, tourism workers, and the general population, expressed Minister Bartlett.
The announcement comes despite slowing global travel demand triggered by the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 and associated issues.