First Time Cruiser in Ochos Rios


Mark Ericksen

I am in need of advice. My wife and I are booked on the Celebrity Century for our first cruise on November 23. It is our 30th anniversary. Our first port of call is Ochos Rios, and I have a number of questions, and I hope that you can help.

I booked a tour with Peat Taylor. I have heard many good things about him, and I feel very safe with that selection. We are doing Dunns River Falls and intend to take a disposable, waterproof camera with rather than an expensive camera.

What kind of money, Jamacian or American, do I take; and how should I carry money and ID and whatever else that I need? How do I store personal items while climbing the falls? How can I exit the falls without going through all of the vendors at the exit?

How long does it take to exit the ship? Is there any way to tip someone or say something to someone to be in one of the first groups to leave the ship?

How soon before sailing should we be back to the ship? What kind of ID will I need to get back on the ship? What would happen if I lost my ID?

If asked, will Peat Taylor take us to one of the parks rather than to shop? We were interested in Coyoba Park, but someone may have a better suggestion.

I can't thank you enough for any and all advice. There is a lot to learn.


I can only answer a few of your questions, as I have not sailed with Celebrity before.

The ship will issue an ID, this is what you will use to get on and off the ship in port. Im not sure what happens if you lose it, so DONT!! :grin American money speaks loudly in Jamaica, so dont bother exchanging funds. Besides, the ship wont change it back to American once back onboard if you have extra. I have not taken Peats tour, but others have mentioned he took them where ever they asked to go. I do agree, this is your best option in this port. He will be taking you by van, I believe. So you can take along a bag and leave it in his van. I would not take anything too valuable off of the ship, if you have a safe in your cabin, use it. They make waterproof cases, buy one to keep your money and ID in. I'm not aware of any way to avoid the shopping area at the end of the falls, browse if you like. If you arent interested, keep walking. There isnt a way to get off the ship (via a tip) any faster. You will be docked at a pier in this port, so there is no tender wait. Just walk off. You will be informed as to what time to be back aboard. Most times, it's a half hour before departure (at the latest). Considering you are taking a tour independently of the ship, they will NOT wait for you. But Im sure Peat will get you back on time.


You did the right thing booking Peat Taylor. You'll be well taken care of. He's open to what you'd like to see, and will do everything he can to make your stay thoroughly enjoyable. Jamaican currency is like Monopoly money, and the rate of exchange is ridiculous. The dollar speaks volumes down there. Jamaican merchants are at the exit to Dunn's River Falls for a reason, and you just can't avoid the gauntlet. They're aggressive (often obnoxious), so don't let them engage you in conversation. If you wish to purchase anything, avoid jewelry, silver and the like - many of the items are, shall we say, fake! Other merchandise may be made in some Oriental sweat shop, but there are authentic pieces that are really nice (rely on Peat). Chances are you'll be able to purchase them for less than half of the asking price (the closer the sailing time, the lower the prices), so practice your negotiating skills (you'll be up against pros, who hone their skills dozens of times daily). Losing your ID can present a problem. Leave it aboard Peat's vehicle. You should be off the ship in less than a half-hour. Don't worry about getting back to the ship. Peat will have you there in plenty of time. Enjoy your cruise - you're in good hands!


I've seen people mention in their posts to leave the falls the same way you came in to avoid the throng of persistent vendors at the exit. Is there a path or something to get you back down to the entrance, or do you have to climb down the falls to go back the way you came in?