Ocho Rios now much better than before and we enjoyed it. Went to the public beach in the centre of Ocho Rios (7 minutes walk) which was very safe and quiet. US$2 entrance fee, US$5 for deck chairs and washrooms and showers provided. No harassment from locals and all were friendly and polite.
Had lunch at patty shop, bought coffee etc at General Supermarket in the shopping plaza as better prices in my opinion and bought reggae Cd's from a very polite Rastafarian at the small shop at the entrance to craft market.
All in all a fun day and nothing near as bad condition or level of harassment as some reviews suggested. Keep in mind that it is a poor country as are many in the Caribbean. You will be approached but a friendly thank you will be useful.