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Cruises to Ocho Rios

Ocho Rios (Photo:Atomazul/Shutterstock)
Ocho Rios (Photo:Atomazul/Shutterstock)

About Ocho Rios

Ocho Rios, affectionately referred to as "Ochi" by the locals, is situated on the northern coast of the island of Jamaica, midway between the capital, Kingston, and the popular tourist resort of Montego Bay. The Spanish translation of Ocho Rios is "eight rivers," but the area is best known for its abundance of waterfalls. The shoreline is dotted with one hotel resort after another, with the Caribbean's trademark warm sands and turquoise waters in their backyards. Beyond the shoreline, rainforest-like greenery blankets the mountainous landscape. The strikingly lush tropical foliage makes it easy to see why Saint Anne Parish, of which Ocho Rios is a part, is known as the "garden parish."

Set just slightly past the cruise port, the town of Ocho Rios offers plenty of craft vendors, duty-free shopping bargains, open-air eateries and happening bars on its two main drags: Main Street and DaCosta Drive (which run parallel to each other). Although the town is worth checking out, spending an entire day there would be overdoing it. For cruise ship tourists, primary points of interest and attractions -- like Dunn's River Falls, Mystic Mountain and James Bond Beach -- lie beyond the actual town and are short five- to 20-minute taxi rides away. 

Ocho Rios gets its fair share of precipitation with the most rain falling in October, and average temperatures in the 80s and 90s. (July and August are the hottest months, while February is the coolest.) Watch out for hurricane season from June into November.

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7 Night
Cruise to Ocho Rios

Leaving:
Port Canaveral
Visiting:
Cozumel, Grand Cayman ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Miami

6 Night
Cruise to Ocho Rios

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Baltimore

14 Night
Cruise to Ocho Rios

Leaving:
Baltimore
Visiting:
Half Moon Cay, Ocho Rios ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Baltimore

14 Night
Cruise to Ocho Rios

Leaving:
Baltimore
Visiting:
Half Moon Cay, Ocho Rios ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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14 Night
Cruise to Ocho Rios

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
San Juan, St. Thomas ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Ocho Rios

Leaving:
Galveston
Visiting:
Ocho Rios, Aruba ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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14 Night
Cruise to Ocho Rios

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
San Juan, St. Thomas ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Ocho Rios

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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16 Night
Cruise to Ocho Rios

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Ocho Rios

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Ocho Rios

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Ocho Rios

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Grand Turk, San Juan ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Ocho Rios

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Half Moon Cay, Ocho Rios ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Ocho Rios

Leaving:
Galveston
Visiting:
Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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14 Night
Cruise to Ocho Rios

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
San Juan, St. Thomas ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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116 Night
Cruise to Ocho Rios

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Ocho Rios, Cartagena ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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10 Night
Cruise to Ocho Rios

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Grand Cayman, Cartagena ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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Cruise Critic Favorite

102 Night
Cruise to Ocho Rios

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Ocho Rios, Cartagena ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Ocho Rios

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Roatan, Belize City ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Ocho Rios

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Princess Cays, Ocho Rios ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Ocho Rios

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Princess Cays, Ocho Rios ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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8 Night
Cruise to Ocho Rios

Leaving:
Tampa
Visiting:
Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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16 Night
Cruise to Ocho Rios

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Ocho Rios, Cartagena ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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Cruise Critic Favorite

14 Night
Cruise to Ocho Rios

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Grand Turk, San Juan ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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10 Night
Cruise to Ocho Rios

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Ocho Rios, Cartagena ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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Why go to Ocho Rios?

Pros:

Beaches are near the pier but Ocho Rios' best sites are its rainforests and waterfalls.

Cons:

Must-see attractions are a bit far out and best reached via organized shore excursions.

Bottom Line:

The town isn't much but surrounding nature and adventure attractions are worth a visit.

Ocho Rios Cruise Port Facilities?

The port has two piers for cruise ships. The Turtle Bay Pier is located next to the town's restaurants and shops and the James Bond Pier, which is industrial in nature but serves cruise ships, is located farther west.

The piers are right beside the downtown area where shops, restaurants and bars can be found just minutes away on foot.

Good to Know?

As with many other ports, and when traveling to foreign places in general, it's always best to proceed with caution. While in port, be aware of your surroundings, leave valuables and nonessentials on the ship, and take measures to keep yourself and your personal belongings safe. While you're shopping, merchants might come off as pushy but responding with a respectful "no thanks" should do the trick.

Getting Around?

On Foot: You can walk into downtown. If you are docked at the James Bond Pier, take Main Street to the west to get to town -- it takes about 10 minutes.

By Taxi: Taxis are readily available at the dock; just make sure you hire a licensed JUTA taxi. Negotiate a price before you go and the time to be picked up; round trip fares are $50 to Dunn's River Falls from outside the port area.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The currency in Jamaica is the Jamaican dollar but U.S. dollars are widely accepted. Most shops, restaurants and attractions accept credit cards. ATMs are located at the cruise terminal and in town at Island Village, Soni's Plaza and Gem Palace. Be prepared to pay a higher service fee than you normally would from home, and make sure the machine is marked dual currency if it's U.S. dollars you want.

Language?

Standard English is spoken in Jamaica but the locals speak an English-based patois with a thick accent.


Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination

  • 2018 Top-Rated Western Caribbean & Riviera Maya Destinations
  • 2015 Top-Rated Western Caribbean & Riviera Maya Destinations

Ocho Rios Cruise Reviews

Norwegian Epic
glolily
Sail Date: Nov 2018
Our tour was called Best of Ocho Rios. We went to Sun's River Falls, we also went to Konoko Falls and Park. My kids enjoyed the birds and animals at this park. There was alot of walking and it was a warm day. My... Read More
So Glad
Sail Date: Feb 2020
Not fond of Ocho Rios. We may have enjoyed it more if they would regulate the amount of pestering taxi drivers. We did not book an excursion there, and we might have had more fun if we had. We walked to downtown... Read More
tmlane
Sail Date: Dec 2019
Merchants in Ocho Rios are not as pushy as they used to be.... Read More
BBRUIZ
Sail Date: Dec 2019
We had been to Ocho Rios before on other cruises and we every time we visit Dunns River Falls. It is a beautiful place to visit and explore the falls and now they have a zipline which was fun for our 22 year old... Read More
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