Ocho Rios Beach Break Excursion Reviews
We participated in the River Tubing Adventure + VIP Beach Club. Only two true negatives here. One, the river tubing is 45 minutes away from the port, and after that you drive back to the port plus 10-15 more minutes to get to the beach club. Couldn't they have picked a river closer to their beach club, or vice versa? Two, after getting our river tubes/helmets/life jackets we walked 5-10 minutes through woods to the mouth of the river. During this time a large number of mosquitoes feasted on our blood, leaving us with itchy bites for the rest of our trip. It did not say anywhere in the excursion details that insect repellent might be useful. Otherwise the river tubing was enjoyable: a guide supervised our trip down the river and pushed us through some "rapids." At the end of the river we were gathered onto a bunch of rafts hitched onto a motorboat and pulled with the rest of our group over to a small beach where our van awaited to drive us back to the Beach Club. At the Beach Club our tubing group had its own little section of the beach where our leader waited on us, bringing us a selection of drink options and a meal, course by course. The meal was a set menu and it was brought out at regular intervals during our 2.5 hours on the beach, meaning whatever you were doing had to stop to go back and eat. The Beach Club did try to upsell massages and drinks in keepsake glasses, but mostly was quiet and peaceful.
Excursion guides were very nice and did a good job. The food and drinks were plentiful but had to wait for drinks on occasion so we just went to the bar ourselves.
Bamboo Beach...it was okay..Beach was small, sand was hard to walk in, and drinks were so-so!! We booked through Carnival to play it safe in Jamaica. I had been there twice before and it's not my favorite. The beach girls was nice and came around many times with Rum Punch & Beer. You got to experience some Jamaican food and the Jerk Chicken was good. We had a massage on beach that I thought was pricey compared to Cozumel. 30 minutes for $40....It was a deep tissue massage though!! We had one in Progresso, Mexico for $10. The bus was nice that took us to the beach and Carima and Sasha were great tour girls. We had a nice day in the 80's at the beach!! We didn't do any shopping other than right at the port. There was a few vendors set up there but I have never bought much there! We know Cozumel is our shopping port.
The excursion was Dunn's River Falls with shopping and beach break at Bamboo Beach Club. We started off on a bus ride to Dunn's River Falls with our wonderful tour guides Deandra and Kemone who I believe work with the Bamboo Beach Club. Our guides gave us some directions and information about Jamaica on our way to the falls. Once we got there they organized us and off we went. The falls were amazing and a must see even if you just walk along side of them. My wife completed the walk up even though she was terrified. A good tip when they take through the market after the falls on your way to your bus listen to what your guides tell you and there won't be any problem. I had read a lot of bad reviews about how aggressive they were but I actually didn't find it bad at all. I simply didn't take anything that was offered to me, didn't get into any conversation and tried to avoid eye contact if possible. A couple of time I gave them a firm NO as we were instructed since if you give them a firm NO they will not bother you.
After the falls we were off to do some shopping which was right outside of the port. There is only a few shops which are your typical port shops. Nothing exciting but I didn't care I wanted to get to the beach. The stop was for only 20 minutes which was more then enough and didn't hear any complaints from anyone.
We were then off to Bamboo Beach Club. At first glance not what I was expecting but after a few rum punches and beers everything was good. Things to remember here the put you with your group if you want to wander off let your guides know where you are so they can find you for drinks and food. If you wander off and don't tell them don't complain they didn't server you anything. We received plenty to drink and eat. The Jamaica food was amazing. We then got treated to some dancing by all the tour guides from each groups as well as some authenticate Jamaican style dancing with dancers that are part of the club. As we were leaving we were greeted with another big tray of drinks for the road. This tour was worth every penny. The only thing I can say is the down fall is there are so many people to tip. (Tour guides, bus driver (although I think we were the only ones to tip him), the people helping you up the falls, the guy taking the video tape as you are going up the falls) Tip bring extra money for all the tipping.
In Ochos Rios, Jamaica, we chose only to go to a beach excursion instead of doing Dunn's Falls due to time again. Although there were excursions that offered both the Falls and a beach in one trip, some of the fellow cruise members we spoke to afterwards said they were only at the beach for a little over an hour and didn't have time to relax. I think this is partly due to the short port of call Carnival had at Jamaica. Another issue is that even though you may have left early to arrive for your excursion, the locals that take you out are on a different mental schedule. We left 20 minutes late for our excursion for reasons unknown or explained to us.