The falls was so much fun and not quite as challenging as it looks. The Bob Marley 9-Mile was an interesting experience in more ways than one. The driver and tour guide were not the best. The tour guide was limited as far as speaking clear English. She did not narrate at all during the duration of the close to 2 hour bus trek. The driver and tour guide appeared to be at some kind of odds at certain points of the trip. The ride to Bob Marley's 9-mile was very tedious in the mountains on what appeared to be a single lane road...rocky/dirt at times with our big tour bus. Several times the few cars in sight had to stop or ride on the very edge because of our bus. A van even had to back up to let us through. I am not sure if this was a real road...the driver seemed suspect throughout. However, once we arrived at the Falls and Nine Mile the excursions were well worth it. The transportation aspect (driver and tour guide on the bus), were the only negatives. I would definitely recommend using "Vacation Express" for scheduling excursions and NOT "Holiday Services" We had both and it was definitely a difference.
Great tour! Our guide, priest Jerome, was very entertaining and also informative. A rather long drive was turned into a fun and enjoyable one. Nine Mile is as expected quite commercialized, with t-shirts and all types of goods for sale, but the guide there was also great!
The value of the trip was fantastic! We were picked up on time and greeted warmly at our hotel. Now the things I didn't like or appreciate was there was not a lot of interaction on the long ride to Nine Mile, having been once before I already knew of several "hot spots" along the way from my previous guide years prior, but my 2 sisters had never been and neither had the other 2 guests aboard. I was disappointed that our guide didn't point out more along the way up. The second thing I really did not appreciate is that we were hustled into buying water shoes for Dunn River Falls by what seemed to be a set up with a vendor on the side of the road, again, I have been before and did not need water shoes but our driver insisted we HAD to buy them or they wouldn't let us climb the falls. Well, as I remember it's only suggested you wear water shoes not mandatory you could also rent some if you didn't want to buy some. So we were all out $12 that could have gone toward a better tip for our driver or other guides. So beware...at the falls water shoes are not mandatory and you can rent them there. I am all for supporting local business but don't hustle me. Please....but again I would highly recommend the tour for price alone...good deal.
Tour guide was great.. Didn't really enjoy the drive to Nine Mile but other than that it was awesome.. Best price I could find!!
Oy! Well, the short version of this story is that the guide you get means a lot. Having said that, we had a rough day, but I am sure this tour would be better had we had a better guide.
First off, we got picked up in Negril. We were the first on the bus at 8am. Our driver arrived 20 mins early which we were happy about, but this made for a long day. By time we picked other passengers at their hotels, the guide (in Mo Bay), and finally made it to Dunn's River Falls it was noon.
Second, the guide. English was her second language. She was filling in last minute for the English tour guide that apparently called out. She gave us zero info (minus the situation she was in) on the tour. No heads up on where we were, what we were seeing, what's coming up next. She rushed us off the bus at Dunn's River and kept complaining that we were not "on time". Not to mention her fighting with the driver. She was not pleasant.
Finally, our driver ran out of gas before getting us back to our hotel. We had to take a $20.00 US cab ride home from another Negril hotel to get back. This was the nail in the coffin after a 15 hr day that consisted mostly of driving and staring out the window at we were not sure what since our guide was silent.
Tips for this trip
- If you are getting picked up from Negril, prepare for a LONG day
- Bring food. You get fed once so snacks to have on the bus are paramount. We got lunch at 2:30pm and did not get back to the hotel in Negril until 10:00pm
- The ride to 9 Mile is treacherous with windy crap roads with one lane off the face of a cliff. Would have been nice to get a heads up on that. The ride from Dunn's River to 9 Mile and back to the hotel is the majority of the trip. Prepare to spend hours and hours on the bus
- Bring change to tip, as you would on any tour
- Luminous Lagoon option? This was not mentioned once by our driver or the tour guide. Rule it out if you have to make it back to Negril
This was one of the worst days of my life. We had only been in Jamaica for a day and we went on this tour. From the moment we boarded the bus, I began to have bad feelings. The ride to nine mile was like a roller coaster that never stopped. The driver never told us the itinerary for the day or anything. When we arrived at Nine mile people were passing out and selling marijuna. Some of the people in our group were buying it, stopping and eating brownies with marijuna, etc. I was very uncomfortable with the whole situation. Our guide at the nine mile was pretty good. Then we got back on the bus; still nothing from the driver. We stopped about 2:15 for lunch. Lunch was good. We got back on the bus and stopped to buy shoes for the river. We were told we had to have them and we would need to buy them since if we rented them we had to leave our shoes behind. This cost us 20 dollars. Then during the river part, I decided to not do it since I was afraid I'd fall and some man tried to hustle me and take money from me. This made me very uncomfortable. I couldn't wait for the group to return. Our group had to wait a good 30 minutes for a guide as the guide that was assigned to us abandoned us. Then back on the bus. My husband and I were dropped off at glistening waters for the next tour....we waited about 75 minutes for our tour.....which was NOT worth the wait. I was scared and very uncomfortable. We were starving and my husband who is diabetic really needed to eat. We finally got back to the hotel at 9:50. I will NEVER do this again.
Absolutely awesome day out and learned lots about Bob Marley's life and career. The staff were very friendly and our guide, Captain Crazy was absolutely fantastic. A must-do trip for anyone who is interested in Bob Marley or the Rastafarian culture and the jerk chicken place we stopped off for lunch was lovely. Great trip to compliment our honeymoon.
Great tour! The stops were all awesome!!
There was a spiritual presence at Bob Marley's Nine Mile. It was inspirational and well worth the hike to get there! Lunch was tasty authentic Jamaican food, but it wasn't enough. We were pushed for time at Dunn's River, but it was fun. Take your camera! Warm water in the lagoon! Horace=great driver!
Great tour guide
One of the highlights of my trip. Bernard was an amazing guide and truly fun to hang out with. Didn't realize that we would be stopping for Shopping, Columbus Park and be having dinner before the luminous lagoon, which was a great surprise. Good times!
The tour itself is a must. Just be prepared to be out and about all day long. Bring plenty of snacks and water and possibly a book to read just in case your bored in the bus.
Our tour guide Horace was absolutely without a doubt amazing. He was engaging and informative and sooo wonderful.
Confirming your trip 24-hr in advance when your trip is on a Monday is difficult - the office is closed on the weekend. So we hoped that the tour driver would show up and he did! Horace was energetic, flexible, courteous and accommodating. We grooved to the music he played on the bus. Horace is a helluva driver - taking those windy, almost one-lane roads like the pro that he is! Nine Mile was serene and tranquil. The tour guide and Marley's cousin - Fuzzie - informative and funny. After Nine Mile we had lunch - choice of a burger or jerk chicken. The jerk with rice and peas were good! We arrived at Dunn's River Falls at 20 mins to close, missing the last tour. We had to join another group at the halfway point - VERY DISAPPOINTING. It would've been good of Horace to let us know the timing so we would've spent less time at Nine MIle and arrived earlier at Dunn's River. Horace also told us to leave our cameras behind if not waterproof so no pictures! Turns out that the River guide would've held onto our cameras... Horace showed extreme patience when learning someone from the tour group was missing. Horace went to look for him and the guy was found - he'd gotten sick and disoriented in the park. We then went to the Luminous Lagoon where the water glows in the dark. The air had turned cool and rainy so the boat venture was slightly miserable. The lagoon water was warm though but I would've skipped this part ( and saved my money) of the tour. On the way back to the hotels Horace let us stop to grab something to eat and then returned us safely to our separate hotels by 10p. I enjoyed our 14-hr tour however i wish the timing was better.
I am glad I went because I am a Bob Marley fan, but I was actually disappointed. Maybe the guides were having a bad day... but on the drive there in the van there was no music - no Marley, no reggae, no nothing! During the drive the main bit of info the guide gave was about all the spending opportunities. Not about the life of Bob Marley or his spirituality. Spending opportunities are the main theme of this destination, unfortunately. Cheap touristy souvenirs abound. We were escorted from one stop to another, each one with an opportunity to buy or donate $. After passing through a tacky gauntlet of t-shirts and ash trays, you stop in front of an amateur band playing painful versions of Bob Marley songs. I guess the point of this was for visitors to give them a tip. Overall, a disappointing tour and most dissapointing way to preserve the memory and contributions of Bob Marley.
Really enjoyed this trip
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