Jamaica, a lush, green island in the Caribbean Sea is one of the most popular ports of call on many cruises. The major ports of call though are very different, and offer a variety of fun activities for just about everyone.
Montego Bay in the west will welcome you with reggae music and a laid back lifestyle. No matter how you want to fill your day, you will be able to do so here. Want to make a relaxing day out of it? Head to one of the many beaches. Maybe you like being active? Not to worry, there are plenty of water sports available. If you're a golfer then you’re in luck as there are many award winning courses on the island. Or you can see a bit more of the island and visit a rum factory and a sugar plantation.
Ocho Rios in the east is a popular port with Dunn's River Falls as the major highlight. The waterfalls are about 180 feet (55 m) high and 600 feet (180 m) long and rush into the Caribbean Sea. You are able to climb the falls with the help of tour guides, usually in the form of a human chain holding hands, helping each other climb up. It takes about one hour to an hour and a half, giving you time to take photos and admire the green vegetation around the falls. If you're not keen to climb the waterfalls, you can also walk around in the Botanic Garden or visit nearby Prospect Plantation.
Montego Bay and Ocho Rios are the most popular ports on Jamaica and as the newest port on the island Falmouth is an up and coming destination. That doesn't mean there isn't a lot to do here though. When you have the historic port of Falmouth on your itinerary, you will be able to experience the north coast of Jamaica. Explore the town and admire the historic Georgian architecture gracing the beautiful buildings. Visit the Good Hope Great House, built in the 1700s and entirely restored. Or take a ride on a bamboo raft along the Martha Brae River while admiring the scenery. You can also travel to nearby Ocho Rios and experience Dunn's River Falls as described above.
At all the ports you will have the opportunity to buy souvenirs and local arts and crafts. The official currency is the Jamaican dollar, but US dollars are also widely accepted. A little heads up, as with all Caribbean islands, there are areas where there is poverty and the locals can sometimes try to sell you things. As on any trip, just be cautious, preferably stay within a group or tour and don't flash your jewelry or money.
What's your favorite excursion on Jamaica?