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 Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Ocho Rios, Jamaica Panorama View
Panorama of Ocho Rios Bay Taken from the Mariner of the Sea

Ocho Rios, Jamaica Information
Tom Ogg

Language and Currency
What is Ocho Rios Like?
What is the Weather Like?
Where Does the Ship Dock?
Where is the Shopping?
What is There to Buy?
What is There To Do?
Is There Anything of a “Don’t Miss Quality?
Are There Any Great Restaurants or Bars?

Ocho Rios Port Reviews
Ocho Rios, Jamaica Shore Excursions

Language and Currency

The official language of Jamaica is English (well sort of) and the official currency is the Jamaican Dollar or the US dollar.

What is Ocho Rios, Jamaica like?

Ocho Rios and the Port Facility

Ocho Rios is a medium sized village with all the flavor of Jamaica. It offers a gateway to fabulous sightseeing, excellent shopping and a good look into the Jamaican culture.

What is the weather like?

Ocho Rios is blessed with almost perfect weather in the mid 80s year around. The wetter months are in the summer, but even then it is not that rainy.

Where does the ship dock?

The Mariner of the Seas in Ocho Rios

The port of Ocho Rios is right outside of the main town area and is within easy walking distance to the main shopping areas. The port can accommodate a maximum of three ships and more can anchor up outside and tender in.

Where is the shopping?

Ocho Rios Wood Carvings at Ocean Village Flea Market

There are six shopping plazas to appease even the most ardent shopper. To the west of town are Coconut Grove and Pineapple Place and in town you will find Ocean View and Island Plaza. Soni's and Taj Mahal Plaza are the places to go if you are looking for in-bond, luxury items.

Taj Mahal Plaza Shopping Center

The Crafts Market is situated in the downtown area and is easy walking distance from the ship. The main flea market (Ocean Village), which sells everything under the sun is in the center of Ocho Rios.

What is there to buy?

Ocean Village Booths

Jamaican handicrafts and souvenirs to duty-free bargains from the in-bond stores. The crafts market is a visual treat offering everything Jamaican under the sun. Wood carvings, shell items, masks and so on are in complete abundance. Be sure to bargain as everything is negotiable here.

What is there to do?

Dunn's River, Ocho Rios, Jamaica

This side of Jamaica offers a wealth of things to do. First (and foremost) is Dunn's River Falls. While completely touristy, this is one of Jamaica's most wonderful sights. Be sure to bring your camera and have you guide take pictures as you ascend the falls with thousands of other folks. Note that once you have climbed the falls that you exit through a small market place where the vendors are extremely aggressive. They realize that if you leave without buying something, you are lost forever, so they give it their all and it does take some resolve to not purchase anything.

The Beach in Front of Margaritaville (far beach)

Ocho Rios also has a wonderful beach for you to enjoy. Simply enter the gate leading to Ocean Village in the port, or go through Ocean Village to the entrance to the beach there. There is also a very nice small beach right at the foot of the harbor pier that offers good snorkeling, beverages and food.

Attention single men: The last time I visited Ocho Rios, I was traveling as a single. On the way into town (about halfway down the road on the left hand side from the furthest pier) I was intercepted by a prostitute that tried to get me to enter a small bar on the side of the road. She was aggressive and demanding. On my way back to the ship, I was once again accosted by the same prostitute that actually came across the street to harass me. (yes, it is true that I was hiding from her, hoping to avoid another embarrassing situation) It was an uncomfortable encounter for me and I resented being put in the position as a married man.

If you elect to walk into town, don't let the taxi drivers intimidate you. Simply walk pass them and acknowledge them with a simple smile (like you have been there a thousand times before) and the respect they deserve. Once past the fleet waiting for potential suckers to come outside the fence, Ocho Rios becomes a more wonderful place to be. DO NOT BUY DRUGS FROM ANYONE! I don't know for sure, but it seems to me that the guys selling drugs must work for the local police. They probably make more money turning you in than they made on the original sale. The drug laws in Jamaica are TOUGH and while everyone in Jamaica seems stoned, I guarantee you that you will be held to a different standard.

Tubing the White River

An excellent excursion is tubing on the White River. It takes a couple of hours once you arrive at the staging area and it is a bunch of fun.

There are a good number of tours in Ocho Rios that include SCUBA diving, snorkeling, downhill mountain bike riding, botanical gardens, plantation tours, horseback riding tours, Cave exploring and great beaches to enjoy.

Is there anything of “Don’t Miss” quality?

I might give Dunn's River Falls this designation but it would be a close call. What do you think?

Are there any great restaurants or bars?

The Bar at Margaritaville in Ocho Rios

Yes, Jimmy Buffets famous Margaritaville in Montego Bay, Jamaica has opened a sister restaurant and bar in Ocho Rios. Located in the Ocean Island Shopping Center right by both piers, it offers plenty of action and excellent food.

The Deck and Pool at Margaritaville in Ocho Rios

You will find a Jacuzzi on the second deck near the entrance to the water slide and there are plenty of chairs in the sun so that you can enjoy your favorite libation while catching some rays.

Ocho Rios Lobster Dave's Restaurant

Right around the corner from Margaritaville is the local fish market and some of the best lobster you will ever dine on. Simply go through Margaritaville to the beach and then turn left. You can either wade the creek, or follow it up river (so to speak) to the small bridge that will allow you to cross it without getting wet.

Ocho Rios Open Air Fish Market

From here you will see the tishing boats, a small outdoor fish market and an open air restaurant.

Ocho Rios Lobster Dave Ready to Cook Up Some Jamaican Lobster

Dave can cook you lobster, conch or fresh fish, whatever you would like. At first blush the restaurant looks pretty raunchy, but the lobster is to die for and priced very reasonably. Dave will even let you pick out your own live lobster so that you know it is fresh.

The Cruise Ship Pier as Seen From Lobster Dave's

Dining at Lobster Dave's is perfectly safe and something I am sure you will remember for quite a while. If you like lobster, don't miss it. Be sure to tell Dave that Tom from sent you and who knows what will happen?

 Port Reviews


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