Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Panorama of Ocho Rios Bay Taken from the Mariner of the Sea
Ocho Rios, Jamaica Information
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?
The official language of Jamaica is English (well sort of) and the official currency is the Jamaican Dollar or the US dollar.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I might give Dunn's River Falls this designation but it would be a close call. What do you think?
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 PortReviews.com sent you and who knows what will happen?
Touring Ocho Rios With Trevor Hudlin,
398 users found this review helpful.
A Day in Ocho Rios with Trevor Hudlin Tom Ogg We were visiting Ocho Rios and wanted to tour some of Ocho Rios’ sights and activities. We searched for a local operator that could...read more
127 users found this review helpful.
Nancy Zupancic Dunn's River Falls Reading some previous posts on Cruise critic I could see that hiring one of the many private guides was the way to go. The ship’s excursions...read more
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Ocho Rios, Jamaica Shore Excursion Review Pete Peterson Jamaica is a very poor country, so you will be hassled everywhere you go to buy from people hawking their wares....read more
67 users found this review helpful.
We spent a delightful day with Orville Taylor as our private guide. We contacted him at his website and arranged the tour with him ahead of time. He was there to meet us right...read more
21 users found this review helpful.
Martin MalleyWe had engaged Barrett Adventures for a private tour, but because of a last minute port change by the ship ended up going to Ocho Rios instead of...read more
CATAMARAN SNORKEL CRUISE TO DUNNS RIVER FALLS
CATAMARAN SNORKEL CRUISE TO DUNNS RIVER FALLS $75 Per Person (3 1/2 Hours) You will find yourself moving from your cruise ship to a more personal venue...read more
RAFTING ON THE MARTHA BRAE
RAFTING ON THE MARTHA BRAE $167 For Two People Your trip begins at the cruise pier as you make your way through the Jamaican countryside from Ocho Rios to the...read more
WHITE RIVER TUBING ADVENTURE
WHITE RIVER TUBING ADVENTURE $60 Per Person This trip begins with a drive to the head waters of Jamaica's famous White River. Get comfy in your tube as you and your friends...read more
OCHO RIOS HIGHLIGHTS TOUR WITH DUNNS RIVER FALLS
OCHO RIOS HIGHLIGHTS TOUR WITH DUNNS RIVER FALLS $52 Per Person This is the best way to see what Ocho Rios has to offer. You will be met at the cruise pier and taken...read more
RAFTING ON THE MARTHA BRAE AND CLIMBING DUNN'S RIVER FALLS...MINIMUM OF PERSONS
RAFTING ON THE MARTHA BRAE AND CLIMBING DUNN'S RIVER FALLS...MINIMUM OF 4 PERSONS $85 Per Person Your trip begins at the cruise pier as you make your way through the...read more
WHITE RIVER TUBING ADVENTURE AND DUNNS RIVER FALLS
WHITE RIVER TUBING ADVENTURE AND DUNNS RIVER FALLS $77 Per Person This trip begins with a drive to the head waters of Jamaica's famous White River. Get comfy in your tube...read more
A SIMPLE WEDDING IN PARADISE
A SIMPLE WEDDING IN PARADISE $1,100 For the Simple Wedding Imagine your wedding in paradise. Whether you visualize yourself barefoot on the beach, admiring the beauty of the...read more
WEDDING CELEBRATION IN JAMAICA
WEDDING CELEBRATION IN JAMAICA $1,580 Per Ceremony Imagine your wedding in paradise. Whether you visualize yourself barefoot on the beach, admiring the beauty of the...read more
MINUTE SCENIC HELICOPTER TOUR OF OCHO RIOS
20 MINUTE SCENIC HELICOPTER TOUR OF OCHO RIOS $292.50 For 1-3 People Upon arrival at the helipad, you will be greeted in style and offered your choice of either a flute...read more
BIRDING IN JAMAICA'S WET LIMESTONE FOREST
BIRDING IN JAMAICA'S WET LIMESTONE FOREST $115 Per Person (8 Hours) This search for several of Jamaica's 26 endemic bird species departs from Ocho Rios...read more
JAMAICA ART - WASSI POTTERY HARMONY HALL AND FIREFLY
JAMAICA ART - WASSI POTTERY, HARMONY HALL AND FIREFLY $160 Group Price (for up to 4 people) (4 Hours) Your driver will not have to...read more
SHAW PARK BOTANICAL GARDENS AND FIREFLY A MUST-SEE
SHAW PARK BOTANICAL GARDENS AND FIREFLY, A MUST-SEE $46 Per Person (3 Hours) Two of our favorite spots in Ochi make up this tour and we...read more
BEACH AND OCEAN HERITAGE HORSEBACK RIDE
BEACH AND OCEAN HERITAGE HORSEBACK RIDE $79 Per Person Take a horseback ride through history. The ride begins at a site of great historical significance. It was at the...read more
BUSH MOUNTAIN MEDICINE HORSEBACK RIDE
BUSH MOUNTAIN MEDICINE HORSEBACK RIDE $66 Per Person (3 1/2 Hours) This is not the Jamaica you see while sitting on a beach chair drinking a Red...read more
DUNNS RIVER FALLS ADD-ON TO HORSEBACK RIDE
DUNNS RIVER FALLS ADD-ON TO HORSEBACK RIDE $27 Per Person (1 1/2 Hours) As you depart our stable, our driver will make contact with another situated in...read more
COCKPIT COUNTRY ECO - TOUR
COCKPIT COUNTRY ECO - TOUR $115 Per Person (8 Hours) This expedition into Cockpit Country begins at 8:00a.m. The expedition begins at the Trail by the...read more
DOWN UNDER CAVING EXPEDITION
DOWN UNDER CAVING EXPEDITION $115 Per Person (8 Hours) Down Under is a hiking adventure into one of Jamaica's largest cave systems, The Windsor...read more
COLUMBUS TO CRANBROOK
COLUMBUS TO CRANBROOK $98 Per Person (6 Hours) I n 1494, Christopher Columbus landed along the coast of St. Ann and begun a new chapter in the island’s heritage...read more
COCKPIT COUNTRY CROSSING
COCKPIT COUNTRY CROSSING $104 Per Person This 8 hour photographic and sightseeing tour departs Ocho Rios at 8:00 a.m. Crossing the island's largest wet limestone...read more