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Too Legit To Party
This is a day trip for anyone above 18 who wants to blow some steam off, get lose and have fun, its an adventure brace for details and see how Jamaicans love positive vibes. I stayed in Montego Bay because of its strategic location and pickup from whichever destination should never be an issue, the company is pretty good at pick ups so keep time. The journey to Ocho Rios is the same way like heading to Kingston and at this point am imagining either you have used this road before or you will again, we started on time so contrary to what people say keep time, the drive was amazing keep your camera ready the scenery is amazing. 2 hours later you're in Ocho Rios next to bay area ready to board the Catamaran which comes with staff and a deejay, off sailing but first detour is snorkeling for a good 1 hour all equipment available, then continue sailing to Dunn's River Falls at this point the only drinks being served non-alcoholic. Climbing the Dunn's River Falls is amazing just be careful and follow instructions before you end up with bruises but anyway its fun, after reaching the top then back to Catamaran where now alcoholic drinks are served with waiter to Bay area where Margaritaville Ocho Rios is located for Lunch and Drinks USD About 20 per meal. By this time chances are you have had too much so its time to go home and get ready for tomorrow.
Pros: A lot of added value activities including Snorkel, Catamaran Servers, Free Drinks and off course a Deejay
Cons: I know your looking for negatives, there was a lot of pick ups but again we need the numbers but what made this an issue was the fact that the driver was quite and not informative, I think he/she should at least talked about the history of the hotels we stopped by during pickups or about different parish that we went through, I also felt like it was too short ride from Dunn's River Fall to Bay since most people were not done with their drinks, I think it is a business strategy so drink steadily on your way back.
Tips: Book with Viator this is a no brainer, stick with shorts and t-shirt or light clothes, carry a bottle or 2 of water, good camera with waterproof case and portable charger but a go pro will give you better footage. Also during climbing of Dunn's River Falls you need some grip shoes I paid USD 10 for mine just carry some cash since am not sure if they accept cards on the catamaran.
This tour is amazing! We stayed in Montego Bay so it was about a 2.5 hour bus ride to Ocho Rios and took 8hrs total. Climbing the waterfall was my favorite part of our entire trip! It is absolutely gorgeous and a once in a lifetime experience. We ended at Margaritaville, so take extra money with!
I have a few issues I wanted to share so that people who are interested in this tour know what is really up. First of all, I didn't realize that you don't take a boat to Ocho Rio's, you take a bus. We were staying at Secrets in Montego Bay and the bus ride there, after picking up from several other hotels, was over 2 hours. There is no water provided. After this long awful bus ride, you get on the boat. The ad reads open bar but keep in mind the bar doesn't open until after you do Dunn's Falls. This made sense to me after doing the falls because its incredibly dangerous more on that later. The boat was packed, half is in shade, the other half is not and it was incredibly hot and uncomfortable. They take you to an area to snorkle, only about a 10 minute boat ride. The snorkeling was disappointing and the masks were terrible. I'd recommend bringing your own and also bring a towel, they do not have any. After this, you get back on the boat and the music starts. The music was so loud my ears hurt. I'm 38 and like loud music but this was deafening. And the music was awful, unless you prefer rap. Now, at this point its about 12pm, I'm starving and assume we are going to lunch. Nope, lunch was LAST more on this later! While en route to Ocho Rios, they tell you that you have to have water shoes to go up the falls. This was not stated on anything I saw. Of course you can buy them but they only had small sizes so we had to wait in line to give the bar tender the rudest lady ever your size and 10. If you didn't have cash, you were screwed. We got off the boat and had to stand in a line for 10 minutes, for what I don't know. I was so angry at this point. When I got in there were no shoes waiting for me. I told the tour guide we were waiting for shoes and he had no idea what I was talking about. About 10 minutes later he came back with shoes, I thought for sure I'd be out of luck. Now, the falls were incredible and I'm so glad I did it. It is extremely scary and dangerous but the guide that takes you knows every rock like the back of his hand. I felt safe with him leading us. There are exit points up the falls also, so there are chances to bail out. The water is cold but felt so great. Just 100 amazing! I'd skip this excursion and get a private car to take you to the falls. This process takes about an hour then you get back on the boat and now you can have alcohol. Your choices are Red Strip or Rum Punch. The terrible music resumes and you have a about a 45min ride back to Ocho Rios. We didn't get to the restaurant until 2:30. I was so hungry I wanted to pass out. There are no snacks on the boat. Also, the lunch is pre-set. You have two choices and you indicate what choice you want when you board the boat. The only options are jerk chicken with rice or fish. No vegetarian option at all. When you get to the restaurant you are sat at individual tables with your party, brought water and then wait for them to bring your meal. Serving about 40 people took awhile and we waited at least 20 minutes. You have about 30 mins to eat and then you board the bus. The bus ride back was close to three hours because of horrible traffic. The music was awful and loud. I wish I had brought my ear buds.
So, this was a one star excursion. If you decide to go, things to bring: water shoes, a towel, food, your own mask, cash and ear plugs!
The catamaran cruise was one of the BEST experiences I have ever had in Jamaica and I have been several times. I took my fiancé on this as a part of his birthday trip to Jamaica. It was amazing....I debated about whether I wanted to go or not because of the cost. It was well worth it. It was a great experience for those who want to climb the falls, have a great time with music, drinks, dancing and then lunch at Margaritaville crazy fun there too. Everyone on our trip danced!!! I made sure of that! If you'd prefer a more laid back experience...this probably isn't for you. If you're looking for fun, you MUST book this now!
Snorkeling was not great, they rushed us and I'm not sure we even were out there for 1/2 hour. I also was discouraged when I heard them tell fellow passengers to not snorkel if they were not good swimmers. They made everyone wear life vests, so not sure why that was an issue. The reef where the took us was not good. This was a big disappointment. The falls tour was good. Beautiful place, and our guide there was helpful, but we were rushed, and my husband had just gotten out of a leg cast 3 weeks prior hindsight- not a great move on our part and we were not looking for special treatment, but a little less rushed would have helped. The trip back on the catamaran was very fun. Lots of good music and drinks.
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