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Tour with Peat Taylor in Jamaica

Discussion in 'Caribbean Ports' started by dkbryan, Jun 4, 2003.

  1. dkbryan

    dkbryan Guest

    My wife and I toured with Peat Taylor on May 13, 2003 (Explorer of the Seas) and had a great time. As promised, we were the first ones to Dunn's Falls and we enjoyed the out-of-the-way scenery that he showed us around Ochos Rios. He went where WE wanted, as some wanted to eat at Jerk Center while others wanted to eat lunch on the ship. He then gave everyone on his tour the opportunity to do a little shopping.

    However, that is not the best part. When my wife and I got back to the ship we realized that we had not returned with our digital camera. After giving it some thought, we realized that we had left it on Peat's bus. By that time, however, we had already left Jamaica and our camera. When we returned to the USA I emailed Peat and asked if the camera had been found. To my surprise, he had found it. He had waited at the dock to see if we would come back out, but we did not realize our loss in time. Not only that, but he sent it back to us free of charge!

    Unlike many other tours, Peat never tried to sell us anything or even ask for tips. He was very down to earth and gave us the impression that our enjoyment was his main concern. I highly recommend Peat, not only for a great tour, but for his honesty.

    You can reach Peat by going to his website at:

    www.geocities.com/peattaylor/island_tour.html

    or you can email him at oneiltay@cwjamaica.com

    He charges just $30 for the tour which includes the $10 ticket for Dunn's Fall. You'll have a great time!
     
  2. ljeanbrown

    ljeanbrown Guest

    Thank you for the info, we are now thinking of going on his tour.



    Laurie :wave
     
  3. Gigi

    Gigi Guest

    I also toured with peat ....so glad you posted this story we need to reward the good tour operators by word of mouth!



    Post Edited (06-06-03 06:26)
     
  4. Linda&Rod

    Linda&Rod Guest

    My cruise is 10 months away, and I just sent him an e-mail to reserve us a spot! :dance

    Linda
     
  5. Cruzman

    Cruzman Guest

    We also went on Peat's tour in Ocho Rios. He is first class! I enjoyed his tour so much that the next time we are there, we will be booking with him again.
     
  6. oceanblue

    oceanblue Guest

    We (our party of 6) toured with Peat on May 21st on our Voyager cruise, and we too had a great time - very enjoyable, very relaxed and fun guy. His honesty and knowledge of the people and places was much appreciated.....also, we saw some out of the way places, rather than the beaten path that most tourists see. He was great with the kids too. We highly recommend Peat..........hey mon, no problem.
     
  7. Linda&Rod

    Linda&Rod Guest

    Not to be nosy, but what do you tip at the end of the tour?? I just booked with him. :) Do you tip him or do you tip the guides that take you up the falls. We are two adults.
    Thanks.

    Linda.
     
  8. snorkelman

    snorkelman Guest

    Since we had never been to Jamaica before, I researched what there was to do in Ocho Rios and it seemed that most people visit the Dunn’s River Falls. The more that I read, the more I saw that everyone was recommending a local tour guide named Peat Taylor.

    I checked out his website and saw that his tour went to the Dunn’s River falls and Fern Gully and also would take us back to the ship for lunch and pick us up after lunch for some shopping. All of this ended up being more inclusive than the ship-offered excursions and it was cheaper than the ship’s tours (Peat only charged $30 per person, which included entrance to the falls).

    The main reason that I chose Peat was because everyone said that he would get us to the falls before they got crowded, but that fell threw. One of the people who booked with him did not show up, and Peat was a nice guy and waited around a bit and then took us threw fern gully, hoping that the no-show would be at the port when Peat drove the van past it (to the falls). Anyway, we ended up getting to the falls late and there were hundreds of people already at the falls and the lockers were full and we had to leave out bags on a table, hoping that the local who ran the lockers would watch our bags. We then walked down the steps to the bottom of the falls and got in a huge line and held hands and began the climb up the falls. This was an amazing experience, but if the falls were not crowded then I think it probably would have been easy to navigate the climb alone, without the help of guides. There certainly were some dangerous areas, but as long as you are careful, you should do just fine.

    Oh yea, buy some cheap water shoes at Wal-Mart for $5 before you leave home, because it is next to impossible to do the falls without them and they rent such shoes at the falls for $6, so you may as well buy them, and then you can use them on the other islands as well (and by the pool where the deck is very hot).

    When Peat drops you off at the falls, he will leave you in the custody of two guides who will occasionally help you up the steep sections of the falls, and who expect a tip for their services. Peat gave excellent advice about the local scams. He said that the locals will hand you something and once it is in your hands, they will not take it back and then they will try and talk you into buying whatever is in your hand (so never take anything that they hand you). At dinner that night our table mates confirmed that this happened to them and they felt pressured into buying whatever it was. Another scam is that the locals ask you what your name is and when you tell them, they immediately carve it into some wooden piece of crap that they are selling and then tell you that you HAVE to buy it because it is now ruined and they cannot sell it to anyone else.
    As we were exiting the falls (they make you walk through a market in order to exit the falls) and I observed both of the above scams in action. I also observed a third scam, where the local tells you that something is free (in order for you to take that object into your hands).

    When Peat drops you back at the ship he reminds you that he supplied the tickets into the falls (which have the admission price of $10 marked on the ticket), hoping that you will give him a $10 per person tip. Everyone gave him some amount of a tip because he was an excellent guide.

    Peat dropped some people off at Margaritaville (which is just a 5-minute walk from the ship) and when he took us shopping we had about an hour. My wife saw a pink sapphire ring (c2k) which started at $1800 and the guy went down to $780. We decided to not buy and only found one store later in Cozumel which sold C2K pink Sapphires and they started at $1800 and only went down $100, claiming that the ring in Jamaica had to be fake because there was no way that an authorized dealer could go so low. We never bought that piece of jewelry, but we had been warned before our cruise as to the questionable authenticity of jewelry in Jamaica, so be careful.
    We ended up buying Blue Mountain coffee for $14 a pound. I saw it as high as $20 a pound (right near the ship). Peat warned us to only buy the Blue Mountain coffee with one of two brand names because all others were probably fake. I bought one of the brands that he recommended (Jablum). Others in our group bought some other name (not recommended) and only saved $1 per pound.

    Oh yea, on Peat’s tour he showed us some James Bond stuff, including Ian Flemming’s house. FYI, when you pull into port you will see this huge rusty building on the right side of the ship. It looks like it holds grain. Well, Peat told us that it was the location where the filmed Dr. No and it was Dr. No’s laboratory.
     
  9. lizardstew

    lizardstew Guest

    I emailed Peat yesterday inquiring about his tour....he emailed me back by the end of the day. I plan on booking with him as soon as we get our cruise booked!
     
  10. Linda&Rod

    Linda&Rod Guest

    As I mentioned above, Peat returned my e-mail within 24 hours and we are all set with him for next April! Since he can only take up to 22 people, I guess it is good that we booked early, because he seems very popular on the boards.

    Question: Snorkleman says that he tipped Peat $10, but what about the guides who took you through the falls??

    Linda :)
     
  11. snorkelman

    snorkelman Guest

    I didn't think that the guides really deserved a tip, but I did give them $3 because I was feeling generous and because i know that the $3 would go a whole lot further for a jamaican than what i would use it for back home. But we talked at dinner and the concensus was that the guides don't deserve a tip. But when you are at the falls, they really push you for a tip (each guide will try and make you give them separate tips).
     
  12. Cruzman

    Cruzman Guest

    When my party of seven did the falls, I tipped him $20 for all of us and he seemed very disappointed. Go figure!
     
  13. oceanblue

    oceanblue Guest

    Following up on the above comments. Went with Peat Taylor on the May 18, 2003 Voyager of the Seas cruise. Peat set up things a bit differently with us. We actually paid the $10 U.S. admission to Dunn's River Falls and Peat stated that we would only owe him $20 for the tour. This, we believe, was due to him not being able to pick up the tickets in advance. It worked out to be the same $30 per person. The two of us gave Peat an extra $5 U.S. as a tip and we also tipped his assistant Vivian $2 U.S.

    As for the guides at Dunn's River Falls, our party of 6 gave one guide, who mainly assisted us $5 U.S. and gave the other $2 U.S. Some of the guides are more helpful than others and some seem to have an attitude when it comes to tips. We were pleased with our guide from this trip as we had two children with us, who were visiting the falls for the first time.

    As for leaving Dunn's River Falls, we took the advice of other Cruise Addicts and went out the same way we came in, avoiding the craft market. The security guard tried to guide us to the market, but we just kept walking.

    Again, highly recommend Peat.
     
  14. Gigi

    Gigi Guest

    Peat did the same for us as with oceanblue. I also agree the guides at the falls were of no help to us and did not deserve a tip. After having been on a few other tours peat was the best . I felt very safe when we were with him (but not so on our own). Having said all of this I have no plans to ever get off a ship there again. I do not like being intimidated at home much less on vacation. Thank you!
     

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