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Hiking excursion at Dunn River Falls, Ocho Rios, Jamaica (Photo: CO Leong Shutterstock)
Dunn River Falls, Ocho Rios, Jamaica (Photo: CO Leong Shutterstock)

28 Things to Do in Jamaica for Cruisers: A Port-by-Port Guide

Hiking excursion at Dunn River Falls, Ocho Rios, Jamaica (Photo: CO Leong Shutterstock)
Dunn River Falls, Ocho Rios, Jamaica (Photo: CO Leong Shutterstock)
Contributor
Melinda Crow

Last updated
Mar 4, 2024

There are so many things to do in the Jamaica cruise ports' surrounding areas. If it has been a while since you cruised to Jamaica, you may be surprised. In fact, you may find yourself wandering amidst port facilities you’ve never previously visited. Jamaica’s five ports have everything you look for in a Caribbean cruise destination: culture, food, music, beaches, watersports and fun, of course.

Cruise Critic went looking for the best things to do in Jamaica in each port of call, which include Montego Bay, Falmouth, Ocho Rios, Kingston and Port Antonio. We sought out things you can do both independently or through ship tours -- and we scoured the cruise lines themselves to find what they offer guests when docked in Jamaica. Here’s our list of 24 things to do in Jamaica, port by port.

Things to Do in Montego Bay, Jamaica: Ziplines, Upscale Beach Days and Haunted Houses

Montego Bay (Photo:Lucky-photographer/Shutterstock)
Montego Bay (Photo:Lucky-photographer/Shutterstock)

Montego Bay is a vibrant destination on Jamaica’s northwest coast. It has a rich culture, stunning landscapes and some of the most active excursions you’ll find on your cruise. We found a mix of mainstream and upscale cruise lines calling on Montego Bay. Here are our favorite things to do in Montego Bay.

1. Explore Doctor's Cave Beach on Your Own or Try a Luxury Resort Day Pass

Kick off your visit by relaxing on the powdery white sands of Doctor's Cave Beach. With crystal-clear turquoise waters and a vibrant coral reef, it's the perfect spot for swimming and snorkeling. For something a bit more upscale, try a day pass at a resort. Carnival offers an all-inclusive, adults-only day at Sandals Montego.

2. Go Zip Lining in the Jungle, One of the Most Thrilling Things to Do in Montego Bay

Montego Bay offers exhilarating zip-lining adventures through the jungle canopy for those thrill-seekers. Feel the rush as you soar above the treetops and enjoy breathtaking views of the landscape. We found zipline excursions available through most of the cruise lines that call on Montego Bay, including, MSC, which cruises to Montego Bay from Miami.

3. Visit Rose Hall Great House, the Spookiest Thing to Do in Montego Bay

Immerse yourself in the island's history by touring the Rose Hall Great House. This Georgian mansion is surrounded by beautiful gardens and is known for its captivating tales of the White Witch of Rose Hall. It’s creepy fun for those who thrive on the supernatural. Carnival offers tours on its cruises from New Orleans or Tampa. Tours can also be booked independently.

4. The One Truly "Don’t Miss" Thing to Do in Montego Bay: Shop at the Hip Strip (Gloucester Avenue)

Indulge in some retail therapy along the Hip Strip, where you'll find a mix of local crafts, duty-free shops and lively street vendors. Don't forget to pick up souvenirs like Jamaican spices, rum and handmade crafts. You should find excursions that include shopping the strip through Norwegian, on their cruises from Port Canaveral.

5. Experience the Rastafari Indigenous Village for a More Insightful Thing to Do in Montego Bay

Gain insights into Jamaica's Rastafarian culture by visiting the Rastafari Indigenous Village. Engage with locals, learn about their lifestyle, and enjoy traditional drumming and singing.

6. Try the Best Scuba Diving in Jamaica: Widow Maker’s Cave Near Montego Bay

For scuba-diving cruisers, Jamaica often feels like a let down after visiting exciting Western Caribbean ports like Belize, Roatan, Grand Cayman or Cozumel. But in Montego Bay, hook up with the local dive shops for a trip to the Widow maker’s Cave. It’s not as scary as it sounds, but well worth the effort for adventurous divers.

7. Sample Genuine Jamaican Cuisine on a Food Tour in Montego Bay

Treat your taste buds to authentic Jamaican flavors. Whether you're savoring jerk chicken, fresh seafood or traditional dishes like ackee and saltfish, Montego Bay offers a culinary journey you won't forget. Viking offers a choice of foodie tours in Montego Bay on their cruises to Jamaica from Fort Lauderdale.

Things to Do in Falmouth, Jamaica: Relax and Explore

Falmouth

Falmouth, Jamaica is a charming port city on the north shore, known for its well-preserved Georgian architecture, rich history and vibrant local culture. When your cruise ship docks, you’ll exit into a port shopping area that encompasses a wide variety of food and shopping choices.

Because it's between Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, some activities from both of those ports are available to those cruising to the Falmouth cruise port as well, so don’t feel like you will miss out on the popular adventures from those ports. The selection of cruise lines visiting Falmouth include Royal Caribbean, Princess and even Disney.

Here’s our list of the best things to do in Falmouth, Jamaica.

8. Take a Leisurely River Rafting Adventure for One of the Most Relaxing Things to Do in Jamaica

Holland America Line is one of the many cruise lines that visit Falmouth and offer river rafting adventures. Don’t picture white water rafting, though. The Martha Brae River offers a serene bamboo rafting experience. Drift along the calm waters while taking in the lush tropical scenery and enjoying the company of knowledgeable raft captains.

9. Venture to Green Grotto Caves Near Falmouth Cruise Port

Visiting the Green Grotto Caves offers a unique opportunity to delve into Jamaica's geological and historical wonders. Whether you're an adventure seeker, nature enthusiast or history buff, the caves provide a memorable and educational experience amidst their stunning natural beauty.

Multiple Royal Caribbean ships stop at Falmouth each month. Look for Green Grotto excursions on Symphony of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas and even Grandeur of the Seas.

10. Spend the Day at Chukka Eco Park

Chukka Eco Outdoor Post near Falmouth offers a range of thrilling activities. From zip-lining through the treetops to exploring on horseback, it's an adventure lover's paradise. Most cruise lines partner with Chukka for some of the most exciting things to do in Falmouth. Disney Fantasy and Disney Magic (sailing from Galveston) both offer excursions here.

11. Jamaican History with a Healthy Dose of Fun: The Good Hope Estate

Dive into Jamaican history with a visit to the Good Hope Estate. This 18th-century plantation provides a glimpse into the island's past with a great house, lush gardens and even an adventure park featuring zip lines and river tubing. Excursions here are easily booked through your cruise line. Look for them on Celebrity Beyond and Holland America’s Eurodam.

12. One of the Best Public Beaches in Jamaica: Relax at Burwood Beach

Unwind on the pristine sands of Burwood Beach, which is an ideal spot for sunbathing, swimming or enjoying a leisurely beach day. For a more active day at the beach, there are beach clubs with watersports equipment rentals nearby.

Things to Do in Ocho Rios, Jamaica: Admire Waterfalls and Ride a Bobsled

Hiking excursion at Dunn River Falls, Ocho Rios, Jamaica (Photo: CO Leong Shutterstock)
Dunn River Falls, Ocho Rios, Jamaica (Photo: CO Leong Shutterstock)

In Ocho Rios, Jamaica, every moment offers a blend of adventure, culture and natural beauty. From waterfalls to wildlife encounters, this port city promises an unforgettable day filled with the best that Jamaica has to offer.

13. Climb Dunn's River Falls, One of the Most Famous Things to Do in Jamaica

Start your Ocho Rios adventure with a visit to the iconic Dunn's River Falls. Join a guided climb up the terraced limestone steps, cascading with fresh spring water. It's not just an exhilarating hike but also an opportunity to cool off in the natural pools along the way.

Every cruise line that visits Ocho Rios offers excursions to these famous falls. Consider getting here on MSC Seascape or Norwegian Escape.

14. Explore Mystic Mountain and Do the Jamaican Bobsled

Take a rainforest adventure at Mystic Mountain, where you can soar above the treetops on a thrilling zipline or bobsled through the lush landscape. The Sky Explorer chairlift offers panoramic views of Ocho Rios and the Caribbean Sea. Consider enjoying this excursion booked through a Costa transatlantic cruise.

15. Leave Busy Jamaica Behind and Experience the Blue Hole

Venture off the beaten path to discover the enchanting Blue Hole. This hidden gem features turquoise pools surrounded by lush greenery. Take a refreshing dip, cliff jump or swing from a rope into the crystal-clear water.

16. Visit Our Second Favorite Waterfall in Jamaica: Konoko Falls and Gardens

Combine nature and history at Konoko Falls and Gardens. Wander through the botanical gardens, visit the museum showcasing Jamaica's indigenous Taino culture and climb the waterfall for breathtaking views.

17. Sail to James Bond Beach for a Firsthand Look at Laughing Waters Beach

For fans of the 007 franchise, a visit to James Bond Beach is a must on your list of things to do in Jamaica. Enjoy the sun, sand and sea at this picturesque beach known for its appearance in the James Bond film "Dr. No." Relax or partake in water sports for an adventurous day by the shore for a fun day from your cruise on Caribbean Princess or Norwegian Jade.

Things to Do in Kingston, Jamaica: Music, Music and More Music

Kingston, Jamaica is a city brimming with culture, history and vibrant musical energy. It’s a UNESCO creative city, attracting the world’s top luxury cruise lines. When your cruise ship docks in this dynamic destination, embark on a journey of exploration with the below captivating activities.

18. Discover the Bob Marley Museum

Begin your Kingston adventure with a visit to the iconic Bob Marley Museum. Explore the former home of the reggae legend, learn about his life and immerse yourself in the history of Jamaican music. Most cruise lines that call on the Port of Kingston (Port Royal), including Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn and Silversea offer a Bob Marley cultural tour that includes the museum.

19. Get Out on the Water and Take a Boat Tour of the Kingston Harbor

Discover the maritime charm of Kingston by taking a boat tour of its historic harbor. Learn about the city's role in trade and commerce while enjoying scenic views of the coastline.

20. Visit a World-famous Blue Mountain Coffee Plantation

This is one of the most in-demand tours among coffee lovers, and certainly one of the best things to do in Jamaica. You’ll see the plantation operations, learn how the coffee is harvested and what happens before it ends up in your cup. Book this excursion through your cruise line, including onboard Oceania Sirena.

21. Relax at Hellshire Beach, Because What’s a Visit to Jamaica Without a Beach?

Kingston is not without the more traditional Jamaican fun in the sun and sand. Oceania, in particular, offers a range of excursions quite similar to those found on mainstream cruise lines. On other lines, head to Hellshire Beach on your own for a taste of Jamaica's coastal beauty. Enjoy the sun, sea and sand, and indulge in freshly caught seafood at the beachside restaurants. It's a local favorite for a reason.

Things to Do in Port Antonio, The Hidden Jamaica Port

Port Antonio, Jamaica, a little-known harbor on the island's northeast coast, offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural richness and, most importantly, relaxation.

Cruise lines stopping at this quiet port in Jamaica include Silversea, Regent Seven Seas and Oceania. Look for Windstar in the near future, as well. When your cruise ship docks in this picturesque port, make the most of your time with these unforgettable activities.

22. Your Beach Day Hideaway: Visit Frenchman's Cove

Begin your Port Antonio adventure at Frenchman's Cove, often considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. Relax on its pristine white sands, swim in the azure waters, and admire the lush surroundings. It’s a delightful option when you visit onboard Seabourn Ovation.

23. Explore Reach Falls if You're Chasing Waterfalls

Immerse yourself in nature at Reach Falls, a cascading waterfall surrounded by tropical rainforest. Take a guided tour to explore the hidden caves, refreshing pools, and natural rock slides.

24. Test the Waters: Blue Lagoon Boat Tour

Embark on a boat tour of the famous Blue Lagoon. Known for its captivating blue hue, the lagoon is a haven for snorkeling and swimming. Some tours even offer the opportunity to dive into its deep, mineral-rich waters.


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