We hired a local, private driver through a friend prior to our cruise. He drove us anywhere that we wanted to go for the day. We started out at Richmond Hill where you can see the ship in the bay with beautiful scenery. Rose Hall is a must-stop if you've never toured the mansion. We also visited a primary school...my daughter and I are in education. That was a treat for us!
On previous visits to Jamaica, we've gone on the river rafting on bamboo rafts...FUN! Jamaica is one of my favorite ports, but you have to get away from downtown. It has some beautiful beaches and waterfalls.
We booked a private tour prior to our cruise with Moby Dick Tours. We would HIGHLY recommend them. Mark and his crew are fantastic! They met our group at the tender drop off point, and we boarded the old blue school bus to go to the Moby Dick boat. We snorkeled and swam with the stingrays for over an hour. I do not swim, but the water only comes up to your waist while on the sandbar with the stingrays. It is an extraordinary experience! They will drop you off at Seven Mile Beach on the way back to town if you desire. You WON'T be disappointed with Moby Dick Tours!
Cozumel was our port for SHOPPING! It rained all day, but that didn't stop us. We took a taxi van ($16 for eight people) to Pancho's Backyard at the far end of the waterfront shops. We had a wonderful lunch there in the covered patio area. It was my husband's birthday, and we had a great time!
I bought him a Titanium Diver's Watch for a great price at Touch of Gold. If I buy jewelry in Cozumel, I always buy it at Touch of Gold. They have a 30-day return policy and they stand behind it because I've sent something back before. Another place where I always shop is the Mayan Fiesta Rum Cake Co. Their rum cakes are THE BEST! They also have several tasty hot sauces. I usually buy my souvenirs there.