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beshears

Tours in "Jamaica"

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Before someone chews me out and tells me I need to go to the Jamaica area, I have already done it!  I "thought" perhaps those who do not go to the Jamaica area might see my question here.  One of the stops we will be making in March is Jamaica, and there are 7 others "depending" upon me to get information. I would like for those with me to see Dunns River Falls, or Blue Hole, which I have not seen, and some other areas of Jamaica. It has been over 20 some years ago since I have been there, and for those of you who went within the last year, did you use a touring agency/guide, or just get a Taxi, and go on your own?  I have heard of Courtney Taylor Touring, but wondered if there was any others that you might have use, and liked, that you might give me the name, and what you liked about them?

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You probably need to specify which port (e.g., Montego Bay or Ocho Rios) in order to get a relevant answer.

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25 minutes ago, DallasGuy75219 said:

You probably need to specify which port (e.g., Montego Bay or Ocho Rios) in order to get a relevant answer.

Darn, D.G., my wife & I have been discussing this exact same topic. But it's for Montego Bay....we are still debating. 

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Hi

 

Dunn's river and the Blue hole are a common combination for a day tour (from Ocho Rios). 

 

TripAdvisor is also a very good source for information on tour operators and pricing.

 

have a great cruise

 

 

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Just now, Nic6318 said:

Hi

 

Dunn's river and the Blue hole are a common combination for a day tour (from Ocho Rios). 

 

TripAdvisor is also a very good source for information on tour operators and pricing.

 

have a great cruise

 

 

Thank you Nic...much appreciated, but my child bride of 51 years and I are more soft tour oriented, with bar stops and fruity drinks and looking at the sunset. Just being us. :classic_love:

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We did Courtney Taylor Tours in 2015. Did the Blue Hole, a lazy river tubing, private beach, and ate. 5 of us went from age 9 to 39. One of the best port days ever! It was fairly inexpensive to book on their site and you can customize your day with whatever activities. Driver and tour guide were super nice and van was comfy and air conditioned. Plan to bring water shoes for the hole. I think the drive to the hole was the long part of the day but can't recall how long... 30-45 mins maybe? From Ochos Rios. 

The area outside the port looked pretty rough back then so it may not be the best for a do it yourself excursion. 

Hope that helps! 

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From Ochos Rios, we did the Carnival Bob Marley bus. Great, great music, and you see a part of the country that you would not normally see.

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Yes1025cruise, as I "stated", I had already gone to the Jamaica area first, but "thought" perhaps someone in the Carnival area might see my posting, and not have seen it in the Jamaica area. 

Sorry, I didn't mention that we would be in the Ocho Rios area when arriving in port.  I really don't like doing the ship tours, as normally they are more expensive than ones of the other tour agencies.  I have only read of "Courtney Taylor," and was wondering if anyone else had used any other touring agencies, but not through Carnival?

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Posted (edited)

Just went and looked on Jamaica board and there definitely isn't much there but now that folks are beginning to plan trips for next year in earnest would ask that you repost your inquiry from September with a few more specifics about what you're looking for. Jamaica is one place I am occasionally inclined to do a ship tour even if it is a bit more $$. Personal decision, have not been there in a while but some dicey areas imho only

 

Will leave up for today for some suggestions since nothing really on Jamaica board but since you aren't interested in Carnival tours will close then

Edited by Host Carolyn
Clarify topic for the reporting member

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Back in 2010 we used Mark Morris.  Markstours.  He was great.  Not a set tour.  More of a private tour seeing the specific things we wanted to see.  Looks like he is still in business.  I don't frequent the Jamaica boards so can't speak if they're any recent reviews. Hope this helps.

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2 hours ago, beshears said:

Yes1025cruise, as I "stated", I had already gone to the Jamaica area first, but "thought" perhaps someone in the Carnival area might see my posting, and not have seen it in the Jamaica area. 

Sorry, I didn't mention that we would be in the Ocho Rios area when arriving in port.  I really don't like doing the ship tours, as normally they are more expensive than ones of the other tour agencies.  I have only read of "Courtney Taylor," and was wondering if anyone else had used any other touring agencies, but not through Carnival?

 

I would recommend the  Know Jamaica private tour and then you can do whatever you want

 

https://knowjamaica.com/tours/ocho-rios/

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For the Blue Hole my family used Liberty Tours.  Ricardo followed up with me before the cruise, making sure we knew where to meet.  Michelle our driver took great care of us, driving the five of us up a very bumpy road to a beautiful falls area.  We were assigned a guide who helped us the entire time.  Afterward, Michelle drove us to Scotchie's for delicious jerk cooking.

Years ago, we used Phil Lafayette (I think) and he took us to Dunns River Falls.  After we had lunch at Scotchies.

Both excursions were awesome.  Have a great cruise!

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On 12/31/2019 at 9:57 PM, beshears said:

Before someone chews me out and tells me I need to go to the Jamaica area, I have already done it!  I "thought" perhaps those who do not go to the Jamaica area might see my question here.  One of the stops we will be making in March is Jamaica, and there are 7 others "depending" upon me to get information. I would like for those with me to see Dunns River Falls, or Blue Hole, which I have not seen, and some other areas of Jamaica. It has been over 20 some years ago since I have been there, and for those of you who went within the last year, did you use a touring agency/guide, or just get a Taxi, and go on your own?  I have heard of Courtney Taylor Touring, but wondered if there was any others that you might have use, and liked, that you might give me the name, and what you liked about them?

I was born in Jamaica and would suggest that you use the Carnival Excursions tours.

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Got in a van to go to Doctor’s Cave Beach in Montego Bay, ended up going further to “Tropical Bliss” which was next to the airport and a Sandals resort (I’m sure the driver gets a cut for bringing passengers) and enjoyed a day on the water. Some of us got massages, some of us snorkeled, all of us had drinks and food. Spent like $200 between four of us and everyone agreed it was a good day. 
 

 

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Last February we did a combination Dunns River Falls / Blue Hole tour with Peat Taylor and had a great time!  We bypassed the mess of lines for the Ship sponsored tours and were in a van and on our way before anyone on a ship tour even got in line for their busses after check in.

 

We were done with both tours and back near the pier with plenty of time for a local lunch and shopping.

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We also toured with Peat Taylor.  We had a group going to Dunn River Falls and then they took just the 2 of us for a lazy river tubing tour.  Everything worked like clockwork and our guides could not have been nicer or more helpful. 

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Oh thank you "everyone" for your postings.  This has given me some good names to check into further.  I don't know if my 3 sons will be able to do it here, but I know they love to snorkel, but I would love for them to see some of Jamaica as well.  I just remember years ago when I seen a beautiful plantation, but I understand it is no longer, and if I want to see one, it is quite a drive there, and I know we only have so much time.

 

Yes, as was suggestion, I'm know the Carnival tours are fine, but in most of my 19 cruises, I have only done about two or three from the ship, as I find, money wise, I can save by going another direction, and still had NO problem with the touring agency, or the driver/s that we hired.

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Posted (edited)

Hi  I am Patricia.   I have been cruising for years and in February I will take what will be my first diamond cruise w carnival.  The Jamaica and grand cayman cruise is one of my favorite.  I have used two companies while in Jamaica.  Courtney Taylor and Marva Shaw with know Jamaica tours.  I did two with Courtney and while the first was nice the second trip was with me and a friend only and it did not go well at all and I prefer not to state/accuse them in public Format but the experience was pretty upsetting and since have only used Marva Shaw and Javia with Know Jamaica Tours.  They are absolutely the best company to use.  They willl cater  to what you prefer. Privately or with others in a group.  They will protect your every concern and take You to places only the locals know.  Lunch at Scotchies for true pulled pork was superb. You can email them and they will respond quickly and answer any of your questions.   I highly recommend them and hope you will look Them up. Enjoy Jamaica no matter who you choose! 

Edited by nol4am

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16 hours ago, Garf said:

I was born in Jamaica and would suggest that you use the Carnival Excursions tours.

 

I disagree, the resort and tourist areas are safe. If there were incidents we would be reading about them here on CC. 

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Thank you for the additional postings.  I am making "note" of what has been said here, and am going to trying to get something booked before long.  I know March is a long ways off, but it will be here before we know it! 🙂

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10 hours ago, coevan said:

 

I disagree, the resort and tourist areas are safe.

But you have to get there. Last time I tried to take one of the taxi/shuttle vans from within the fenced port area in Montego Bay, the driver wouldn't even tell us where the van was going. I got right back on the ship.

 

Jamaica's reputation for hostile/aggressive locals isn't undeserved, and I would suggest not leaving the port other than on a Carnival excursion or a pre-booked excursion with a reputable company/guide.

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11 hours ago, DallasGuy75219 said:

 

Jamaica's reputation for hostile/aggressive locals isn't undeserved, and I would suggest not leaving the port other than on a Carnival excursion or a pre-booked excursion with a reputable company/guide.

 

Hostile???

 

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3 minutes ago, NightOne said:

 

Hostile???

 

I think I may understand, though it may seem a bit of a harsh word. In many other areas, Mexico for instance, you get hassled a lot to buy things and it gets tiresome saying no over and over. Sometimes more than once to the same person. That feels somewhat aggressive because many of us are not used to that "incessant hassling" in our own lives/culture.

 

But, despite having been to Mexico many times, I found Jamaica to be a whole other level. I did not expect it the first time I went. Just politely saying no does not necessarily have the same effect and may not deter everyone. We had someone follow us for many blocks yelling at us in a very angry tone just because we said no to buying pot. It felt very unsafe, so in that particular instance I would probably call what was happening hostile. I am so glad I was not by myself. And after that, I would never walk alone in Jamaica.

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On 1/1/2020 at 6:55 AM, ontheweb said:

From Ochos Rios, we did the Carnival Bob Marley bus. Great, great music, and you see a part of the country that you would not normally see.

We did this tour as well and really enjoyed it.  

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