Cabin review: E27638 Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony
Outside of a few kids running up and down the halls during the middle of the day, cabin was great. We were in the belly are of the ship, so our balcony sticks out a little bit from the ship. You could see the side of the ship easily. We were close to the elevator which was nice. It really wasn't as noisy as I thought it would be with being that close to the elevator. Overall it was good with plenty of room for the two of us. I did get the ocassional wiff of smoke from a smoker in the area, but that was usually in the morning and maybe once or twice all week.
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Port and Shore Excursions
A step up from Jamaica, the store vendors will ask you to look, but if you say no or keep walking they will leave you alone. We decided, after looking at the local taxi and excursion fares, to rent a jeep for $50 bucks and drive around the island ourselves. You can talk the rental car vendors down, if you take a minute and check out who has the best deal it will save you a few bucks. Our Jeep was really nice and practically new. Just be aware that there is some scarce parking downtown if you want to shop or hit up a bar. If you want to go to the beaches, the lighthouse, and the ruins then this is the way to go in my book. Some of the gas stations have long lines, so if you are going to gas it up before you return it just add a few minutes to get your petrol. There are some good bars here in cozumel. Carlos and Charlies and Senor Frogs are a good time. The cab driver taking us downtown tried to rip us off on our fare, but just be sure to count your change, or bring exact change for the fare. The guy on the way back was great though. Plenty of good, cheap shopping downtown. Do not shop at the pier! You will pay a premium if you do. Pay the $7 taxi fare and go downtown it will save you money.
Although it is a small island, there is some wonderful shopping and plenty to do. We rented scooters for $8/hour. Drove out to "Hell", then back to the Tortuga Rum Cake Factory, then over to the beach for a little while. It was a great way to get around, on our time, and to take in the local tourist attractions. Just be aware that they drive on the left side of the road. It only took a few minutes to get acclimated, and wasn't that hard to get used to. There is scooter rentals right across the street from the pier, so just keep your eyes peeled. The island is clean, stores are nice, and you don't have to worry about hagglers really at all. A great stop and I would love to go back again and again! There are plenty of watersports, beach resorts, and ample shopping!
We booked the Dunns River Falls Highlights tour through RCCL and had a very positive experience. A short trip to the Fern Gully, a couple quick shopping stops, and the it was off to climb the falls. This was my second trip to Jamaica and I must say that Dunns River Falls is really the only "must see" of Ocho Rios. Our tour guide was fantastic, and even gave us tips on avoiding some of the street hagglers. The falls were beautiful and quite an adventure. We met a guy who did the Falls trip, but he took a catamaran over to the falls. It rained while he was there, and the boat crew did not cover any of there belongings. So he lost a camera in the process. Then on the way back the boat broke down, they were not anywhere equipped to handle the situation. So after an hour they transferred to another boat, after some strong haggling for tips for the first boat driver. Another couple we met made the mistake of paying a cab driver a full round trip fare to the falls before the trip was over. Needless to say they got left at the falls and had to find another ride back. The other couple at our dinner table got swindled into a cabby tour, which included all stops at the local road side vendors, when he asked to not stop anymore they just kept going to these places, so he finally had him bring them back to the port. Some guy asked these other people their names and then proceeded to carve their names into a trinket, so they were guilted into buying it. So my only advice is to be on your toes, book a tour with someone reputable, and learn to say NO!